Alphabet of tales : an English 15th century translation of the Alphabetum narrationum of Etienne de Besançon, from Additional MS. 25,719 of the British Museum
Etienne de Besançon
Mary Macleod Banks

CCCCXXI.
Iuuentus facit homines diligenter mulieres considerare.

We rede of a profeste of þe ordur of Premonstracence, on̛ a tyme as he rade witℏ a yong man̛, a bruther of his howse, þaim happend̛ to mete a fayr yong damyseƚƚ; & þis profeste stoppid̛ his hors & haylsid̛ hur honestelie, & sho stude stiƚƚ & lowtid̛ vnto hym̛ & thankid̛ hym̛. And when̛ sho was passid̛ þaim a littyƚƚ, þis profeste þoght he wold̛ prufe þis yong man̛ & said̛ vnto hym̛; "Me þoght þis was a passand fayr maydyn̛." & þis yong man̛ ansswerd̛ & said̛, so þoght hym̛. And þan̛ þe profest said̛ agayn̛; "A thyng difformys hur hugelie, þat is sho hase bod one ey." And þe yong man̛ said̛; "Sur, forsuthe sho hase bothe hur ene, ffor I behelde hur graythelie." And þan̛ þe profest said̛ vnto hym̛; "And I saƚƚ considur þi bakk, ffor þou sulde be of so mekyƚƚ symeplenes, & þou met a womman̛ þou suld̛ not luke wheþer sho had bothe hur een̛ or bod þe tane." And þan̛ he Page  290 turnyd̛ agayn̛ vnto his monasterie & said̛ vnto his brethir; "Ye repruvid̛ me for I take no yong men̛ furtℏ with me." And þan̛ he tellid̛ þaim þe cauce, & snybbid̛ þis yong man̛ & chastid̛ hym̛ for his truspas.

  • Iuuenes puelle pulcritudinem corporalem abscondere debent. Infra de temptacione et supra de abscondere.
  • Iuuenis non debet prefici mulieribus. Supra de carne.