hEre begynneth the prohemye vpon the reducynge, both out of latyn as of frensshe in to our englyssh tongue, of the polytyque book named Tullius de senectute ...

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Title
hEre begynneth the prohemye vpon the reducynge, both out of latyn as of frensshe in to our englyssh tongue, of the polytyque book named Tullius de senectute ...
Author
Cicero, Marcus Tullius.
Publication
[Westminster :: Printed by William Caxton,
1481 (12 Aug. [-ca. Sept.])]
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"hEre begynneth the prohemye vpon the reducynge, both out of latyn as of frensshe in to our englyssh tongue, of the polytyque book named Tullius de senectute ..." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A69111.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 27, 2024.

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aftir the forseid two repreuis & defautys alled∣gid and opposid ayenst olde age / Nowe folo∣with the iij vituperacion & defaute by the which yong men seyne / that olde age is noiouse / myschaunte / & wretchid by cause it hath almost no flesshely delectacyons or sensualitees / as for to gete with childeren and yssue to encrece and multiplie the world / To whom I answere forwith / that it is right a noble gyfte rewarde & the right

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grete worship of olde age / that it be sequestred / depryued / and dischargid of the delectacyons of sensualitee of the body or flesshely lustis / for yf it be so that olde age be pryued and sequestred of such delectacyons / It had takin awey from vs olde men / that thyng whiche is right vi∣cious & right foule in the age of adolescence & yongthe /

And neuerthelesshe my right good and louyng yong men Scipion and Lelius / an auncyent senatour pur∣posid an oracion / that a philosopher callid Archites made whiche was takyn of Haniballe duc of cartage when he werrid in ytaile / he was recouerde by Quintus ffabius the noble senatour when he recouerd tarente / takyn by the said Haniballe / Archites was pryncypally a grete man connyngly lernyd in sciences and in vertues and was right famous and noble / this oracion purposid / which ar∣chites made was yeuen to me / when I adolescent and yong of age was at tarente with the seid ffabius / and by this oracyon seid archites that nature which ordeyned to men complexions / gaue neuir no pestelence peyne nor turment / more damageable to yong men than is fless∣hely delectacyon / the coueitous playsirs of delectacyon mo¦uen tyce and steeren men ouer boldely and withoute bri∣dell of reason or shame or any restraynt to execute and make an ende of their foule lustys / for thought / delectacy∣ons ben made and conspired treasons diuisions and dis∣sencyons of countrees & the destruccions of their comon profite / and the secretes of parlementys disclosed to our ennemyes and aduersarye partye / there is noon vntrou∣the / there is noon euyll werke / but pleasyre of delectacyon

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which shall constrayne men to encline therto / by cause that they enioyen owt of mesure of spousehode brekyng & that so feruently / The cause of defoulyng of maydens virgins the anontry of weddyd women & all such corrupte vntrew werkys / whiche ben neuir meuid nor vndirtakyn / but by the insolence & wantownes & wenlacys of flesshely delec∣tacyon / Archites also saide / that as nature by power / of which god hath yeuen to men noth̄yng bettir than is the soule / by the which they haue vndirstondyng & mynde / al so to that soule which is an office & agift dyuine / nothyng is so grete ennemye nor so contrary as ben flesshely delecta¦cyons / for sith delectacyon & flesshely pleasir haue domina¦cyon in the regyon of man / That is to witt in the coura¦ge of his body / the vertue of attemperaūce may not be lod∣gid therin / & wthin the regyon of man which is yeuen to delectacyon may not abyde any wisedome nor vertue / & by cause that this thyng may be vndirstonde / Archites wol∣de that som shuld fayne & ymagyne in his courage & con¦ceyte that som were meuid by some delectacyon of body as grete as any man myght preue it & knowe it then / The∣re is no doubte saide he / but while the man is geuyn to suche sensualite / which shall enioye of that delectacyon as playnly & as largely as any man myght enioye of it / that then he shulde not mowe demeane hym in vndirston∣dyng nor in mynde / neithir he shuld mowe be of power to vndirtake any thyng of woryship nor proffite to perfour¦me by reason nor by any good auise / And therfor seid Archites / that ther is nothyng so cursed nor so infortu∣nate as delectacōn of body vnmesurably vsed / And if ye

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delectacyon whiche is litle & shorte / were gretter & longer / it wolde quenche and bryng to nought alle the light of the courage and of the clerenesse of the lyf / And knowe ye Scipion and lelius / that one of myne host∣tes callid Nearcus Citezeyn of tarent / which had be long in the frendship of allyaunce of the people of rome / said that he herd telle to more auncient men than he was / that the said Archites pronounced the wordys here be∣fore wretyn in disputyng of delectacyon with Gayus Poncyus ffader of the seid Archites and citezein of Sannice a cyte of Poyle / This Poncius was so worthy and so manly that in a batayle made before Can¦dy he discomfited two consuls romaynes / That is to witt Spurius Postumus and Titus veturius / & Archites disputed of delectacyon in the presence of the philosopher Platon an athenys man / That is to witt a clerk of Atheenes that thēne was come to Tarent so as I fynde by the reportys of Lucius Canubus & of Appy¦us Claudyus consuls romayns / yf ye aske me to what entente / the thynges that I haue here disputed ayenst delectacyon drawe and stretchyn / I answere you that they belongen and drawen to thentente that ye vn∣dirstonde that yf we men may not despise & flee delecta¦cyons of body by meane of reason and of wisedome / we shuld gretly thank olde age sith that he may doo so moch / that flesshely delectacyon shuld displease which is vncouenable to ony man yong & olde / Delectacion of body lettith the deliberacyon of good coūseill / It is the en∣nemye of reason / It shyttith faste & closeth the eyen of the

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thought and courage whiche conteyneth vndirstondyng and redy mynde of remembraunce / Neuerthelesse de∣lectacyon hath no bargeyne with vertue / I caused ones al¦most grete maugre mysilf by asmuche that I castid oute of the college of the senatous Gayus fflamyneus brothir of Titus fflamyneus consul of rome / aftir that the said Gayus had be seuen yere consul to the entent that I shulde shewe that he was vituperable and defamed by cause that he folowid delectacyon of body vnmesurably / ffor where as the seid Gayus had be by the romaynes sent as consule in the countrey of gaules / and he syttyng at borde was exhorted by a re∣bawde stotte of his / that he shulde do smyte to the hert with a daggar one of his prisoners condempned to dye / This Gayus scapid to be dede by sentence / but he loste his office of consul by the sētence of his brothir Tytus beyng thenné Iuge of Rome / whiche before me had be next consull / This delectacyon is so euyl and so damageable whiche so was repreuyd by me and by flattus at that tyme consuls romayns / Sith that the same delectacyon was in a man whiche had suche syn∣gler repreef and suche defame and shame / and the whiche with that was in lordship and in dygnyte of offices / othir of lyke degree and worship or benethe her degrees / owght right gretly pondre and consider in their mynde / to putt awey suche flesshely delectacy∣ons / I haue often herd say of oure auncient ffa∣ders / tho thynges whiche they at that tyme when they were childerne had herd seye to olde men / That is to

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wite that where as a cytezeyne of rome callid ffabricius herd a cytezeyn of the countrey of Thessayle saye / that in the studye of Athenes was one Epicurus whiche callid hym silf a philosopher / & mayntened an oppynion / that all thynges that we doo in souereynte shulde be chief¦ly comēdid & reported to delectacyon of the bodye / Of that oppynion the seid ffabrycius merueylyd hym / & to olde men recounters said / that Marcus curyus & Titus Cormi∣cacyus hieryng / that which I haue saide before / They two whiche in tyme paste had habondouned & disposid them to sensualite / and to delectacyon of flesshely lustis / they were woont to desyre that the oppynion of Epycurus shulde be in semblable wise exhorted affermid & said to the samy∣toys & to kyng Pirhus their lord / by cause that ye samyto is & kyng Pirhus ennemyes to the romayns shuld be abandouned and disposed to the delite of lecherye / whiche feblith & takith awey the bodily strengthis of the body / This Marcus curius / which in his tyme ordeyned hym vnto delectacyon that he had lyuid & conuersid with Pub∣lius decyus that lyued vertuously and chastely / and by fiue yere before that the seid Curyus was consul / the seid Publius decyus with playne wille of good cou∣rage habandouned & offird hym to the deth for the saua∣cyon of the publyke wele & comon profite of rome thēne when that he was consul the fourth tyme Gayus ffabri¦cius & Coruucacyus knewe the good knyght decyus / Thies tweyne ffabricyus and Cornucacyus myght certaynly Iuge & deme aswele by the conuersacyon as by the noble dedys of decyns / wherof he saith that sum

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thyng is naturally so faire and so precious & noble / that it must be sought & desyred with playne hert & effectuell desyre And that thyng so faire & so gracio{us} is noon othir thyng but lawde & fame of vertue / whiche is suche that for that cause euery right good & wele disposed persone ought to despise & rebuke delectacyon of the body to thentente that he vse lawde and preysyng of vertu / Therfor thēne ye may aske and demaunde why I haue said so many thynges of flesshely delyte and of lecherye / wherfor I an∣swere you / that the blame and the shame is not onely ynoughe / But namely it is the grete lawde and pray∣syng of olde age that it desyreth but lytle flesshely delec∣tacyons / Olde age chargith neuir of dyetes nor of dyuers deynty metys nor of tables richely and dy∣uersly arrayde nor of many dyners drynkys / Olde age wille not be fulle of wyn often for doubte of seke∣nes / Olde age wille not suffre the akyng of the bely as is the colyk or of the stone or costyfnes / whiche comyth of takyng somuche mete and so often / that it abideth rawe within the stomake / Olde age desy∣rith not wakyng in the tyme that nature hath ordeyned to slepe / Al be it an aged man is gretly disposed to wa∣ke ayenst his will / fforsoth the philosopher Platon whiche spake dyuersly in a mater that delectacyon at∣tempted by euill disposed men / that leyen the baite & the sna¦re to delite aged men in repleccion of lustis & metys not helefull to them / & by cause that men be taken & deceyued by the baite sett in the hoke or angle as the bird is taken in the snare / how be it that olde age wolde haue no metys ne his

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etyngys excessiuely / Algatys they may delite in deynte metys and in smale feedyngys and temperate dyete /

At the tyme whan I was yong I sawe often an olde consull of rome callid Gayus duellius whiche was the first that discomfited by nauye and shippys vpon the see the aufricans / when he cam from soper and dyner he oftentymes delited in the instrumentys of musike as playeng vpon strengys of harpes / and such like melody∣es and in heeryng the sowne of pipes and trompys / Also he had takin onely for his delectacyon and solas∣thies two playes wythoute / that he had seen any auncyent men to delite or disporte them with any othir honeste so∣las / and that licence and vse of honeste delectacyon had duellius by cause of his glorious victorye / by the whiche he discomfited them of aufrik / But it is not nede al∣so to remembre in what thynges the othir olde men tokyn their honeste delectacyons / Therfor I shall come ayen to speke of myself / ffor from myne yongthe I haue al∣way had felowes and acqueynted of vertuous dis∣posid men / And aftir that I was in the office of questour at Rome / I was ordeyned in the feleshipps and acqueyntances of yong men / And in that same tyme the romaynes resceyued of them of ffrige / the maner to sacrifye to the goddesse / Berchinchia which is the grete moder of the goddes / I drank and ete with my felowes temperately and mesurably withoute any excesse / But within me was yit an hete of yongth / but in as much that it procedith euir in approchyng & co∣myng of myne olde age / alle the delectacyons of the body

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hit appesith and softeth / And knowe ye that I did not rek nor toke any charge / more of the delectacyons of metys and drynkys of wynes / not onely for the delectacy¦on of my body / but in specyalle that I did more for the delectacyon and contemplacyon that I toke in the feli∣ship of my frendys / and also in their reasons and their wise and frendely comunicacyons for the solas of my soule / And consider ye Scipion and Lelius that oure auncient ffaders of worship / whiche haue sett their names as a brethirhede or a gylde to suche assembles named / at the feste that is wele and proprely callid in latyn Conuiuium / whiche is desyrid prayed and gaderd / of frendely people in drynkyng and etyng atte table as they wolde themself say or desyre / that the feleship of the same company / ought to haue a custu∣mable and a continuell assembled lif at conuenient dayes assigned / The grekisshe people seid not so we∣le of suche festis makyng / for in the stede of suche com∣panyes and congregacyons they saide / that it was ordeyned for to ete and drynk to gedir / as the seid grekys wolde approue / and saye that suche etyng and drynkyng as sowned to delyte pryncypally in metys and drynkes / is the leste thyng to accompte amongys the company of frenship shewyng and frendes / Ther∣for I telle you Scipion and lelius that I delite me in couenable thyngys wele ordeyned and approuued festes by the delectacyon that I haue to speke with my felowes and frendys for oure solacys and comfort / and that they haue with me / and yit I delyte me not oonly with myne

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of age / ffor now ther be of them right fewe that be ly∣uyng / but I delite me with them of your age and also with you / I owe also to yelde grete grace thankyngis and praysynges to olde age / whiche hath encreced / and multiplied in me the desyre to speke with my felowes & frendys / But yf ye aske what is my sentence / yf som olde men deliten them in etyng and drynkyng / I answere that by cause that ye thynk not that I wolde moue werre & dyspleaser ayenst alle delectacyon by cause that no man shulde vse of hit / knowe ye Scipion and lelyus that I vndirstonde not nor wyll not / that olde age be destituded of his naturall lufte / and desyre by any thyng that it mynysshith and bessith all the delectacyons whiche as be in drinkyng and etyng / ffor to som men befallyn parauen∣re som delectacyons whiche folowyn and contynue with them naturell maner founded / and grounded in honeste of condicions / ffor I take delectacyon to haue the dig∣nytees and offices ordeyned by our predecessours / I take delectacyon in the wordys of the maistre stuard or of the botiler of the hous / whan he prayeth me or comaundeth me to dyne or take a repaste for his lorde or his maisters sake orellys to drynke for som mans sake aftir the custume be of oure predecessours / and also I delite me in the stan∣dyng cuppys half fulle of colde wyne / aftir the custume that an auctor of grece callid Exenophon wrote in a bo¦ke of his named Simoposium / in whiche he treteth and sheweth how men shude make their drynkynges emongys frendys and felows / I delite me in somer tyme to fele the colde wynde / and also in wynter tyme I delite me to be

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oon tyme in the sōne shynyng / & anothir tyme to be atte fyre / fforsoth also I folowe thies delectacyons a forsaide when I am in my village with the sabynoys my neygh̄∣bours / and I make euery day meetynges / steuyns / and as∣semblees of my neyghbours when I am at sabynes / and we endure somtyme long for the moost that we may at oure meetyngys / tylle a grete parte of the nyght be pas∣sed / as in spekyng of many thyngys & of dyuers maters

And if thou saye Scipion that the delectacion of bodily delites / is not so grete in the corages of olde men / that it myght stere them or meue them to lecherye or othir sensu∣alitees of the body / for if thies delectacyons be ouer grete / it shuld thēne seeme that thou shalt desyre nothyng / but that it be angwisshouse and soroufull in courage / The philosopher Sophocles whiche for cause of age was fe∣ble / answerde wele and pertynently to one that askid hym if he vsed any more of delites of lecherye and of sen¦sualytee of the body / I pray god said Sophocles / that he yeue me fortune to desyre better thynges / for I haue with drawe fro me / and fled awey from delytes of lecherye as a man shulde flee and withdrawe hym fro som straunge lorde madd or furyous / And knowe ye Scipion and Lelyus that it is parauenture chargeous thyng & enoy∣ouse to yong men that be couetouse of the delites of le∣cherye if they may not enioye them / But to olde men that be wery and replete of suche delytes / it is more ioy∣full thyng to be sequestred / pryued / and quyted / therof than for to vse and enioye in that / how be it that they be not depriued of bodily delytes / that they desyre them / neuir

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I say thēne that it is more ioyfull thyng to desyre not the delectacyons / than it is for to haue them / but if the age of good and honest yongth vse of thies delectacyons / it is vsed more gladly first of som litle and smale delec∣table thynges as we haue saide here before / And aftir that the good yong men delited / them in this honeste de∣lectacyon / wherin olde age vseth not habondauntly and playnly of bodily delites / yit be they / not all for that pry∣ued nor for boden therof / as ye may see by this forsaide ex∣sample Ther is a man at rome callid Turpis Albi∣nius whiche pleyeth and counterfetyth the pagentys / when the poetys syngen enterludes in playes or tragedyes of soroufull lamentacyons / or othir ditees in verses / in the place callid the scene or the teatre / the tent or pauily∣on / he than whiche is in the first stage nygh the pleyar / hath grete delectacyon in the wordys & in the countenaunce of the pleyar / But also he deliteth theryn that is in the la¦ste stage and in the ferthist of the tente or playng place /

Also I tell the Scipion that the age of adolescency∣e whiche lokith nygh the delectacyons / gladith parauen∣ture more than anothir age dooth But also olde age which seeth from ferre the delectacyons / he takith a delite in it / asmuche as it suffiseth / But and ye aske / what arn worth the yong delectacyons that olde age takith / and whiche be so ferr from the body / I answere you that thies smale pleasurs deliten not the body / but they deliten the courage whiche is the moost excellent part of a man /

The smale honeste delectacions as olde men saye / ma∣ken the courage to be myghtyer and to lyue lenger and

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strengthe the man / for thenne ceesen the wages and sa∣wlde of lecherye / of couetyng / of contempcions of striues / of enemytees / and of all couetyfe / as it be falleth / like as it comyth to knyghtys and to chief officers whiche aftir sixti yeris ben dischargid oute of their offices and comen to rest / Ther is thēne nothyng more ioyfull than is olde age / and honeste ydilnes and restyng / so that it haue fee∣dyng and refectyon of studye of sapience and wisedome / and some doctryne for to teche to othir tho thynges that he had lerned in yong age / Remembre the Scipion by how many tymes we saw that worthy man Gallus familier and homely with thy fader whiche was so olde / that it semyd that he shulde dye / and yit he contynued by delectacyon in the studye of geometrye and astronomye whiche be two souerayne sciences for to mete and mesure the proporcions of heuen and the erthe and of the distan∣ce in courses of the sterrys / and of her coniunctyons oppo¦sicions and aspectys by the sixth part iiij part or thrid part in aspectys castyng her lightes and influences from othir / and what the seid coniunctyons and aspectes sig∣nyfien vpon thyngys to come / as hete colde / raynes drynes¦se / and wyndes / derthes / pestilences / & othir infirmytees / And to knowe the conuenyent dayes and tymes of my∣nistring of medicines / as laxatyues / dygestiues / expul∣sifs / and retentifs / and the dayes callid Dies cretici & dies of prenostikes of good determynacions / of the passi¦ons of a mans sikenesse or the contrarye / Remembre the Scipion by how many tymes this Gallus by delec∣tacyon hath begōne by nyght som conclusions of thies

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two sciences so long that the day came vnwarely vpon hym / and oftentymes he wrote and studied endyng to the nyght / and yit had he begon in the mornyng / he toke grete delectacyon for to telle vs the effectys of the eclip∣se of the sonne and of the mone long before that it shul∣de come and befalle / Thou wotest also how Gallus delited hym in studye of light sciences callid trynals / as be gramer logyk and rethorik in comparison of the quadryiuall sciences / as ars metryk for nombres / Geo∣metry for mesurs / Musik for syngyng / and astronomye for diuinacyons / as is before specifyed / But they be sharp and subtyle / and owght te be in vertuous mens lernyng wele disposid / Thou knowist also how that olde man Nenyus delited hym in a boke whiche he endited and made / of a bataile doon by the romayns ageynst them of cartage / Thou knowist also how the poete Plantus delited hym in two comodies made in balade and enterlu∣des that he made / wherof the one is callid Terencius & the othir Sendulus / In the first he treteth of the cruelte of a seruant ayenst his maister / and in the othir he treteth of the falsnes of a bonde man ayenst his lorde /

I haue seen also an olde poete callid Lenyus / whiche in the studye of rome taught to his scolers / one of his fables of a comedye in balade and enterlude / by six yere or I was borne / And yit the seid Lenyus proceded & conti∣nued in faire age vnto the tyme of myne adolescente age / at the tyme when Tonus and Tudycanus were consuls at rome / What wilt thou Scipion that I telle the of the labour and of the studye of the olde man

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Publius lucinius / whiche wrote and treteth of dyuine lawe aftir the whiche the bisshops and preestis of the temple ought to sacryfie & to serue the goddes / Luci∣nius also wrote and tretid of lawe ciuile aftir whiche men must gouerne and rule the cytees and countrees / or what wilt thou that I telle the of the labour and of the studye of this Scipion Mysica now an olde man all redy to departe from the worlde / whiche nowe hath be cho∣sen and ordeyned the moost grettist bisshop of rome ffor certaynly we haue seen alle thies whiche I haue remem∣brid to the / that were olde men hauyng a sharp and a fer∣uent desyre in entendyng the occupacyons that I haue seid / in the whiche they had pleasyrs and honeste delecta∣cyons / Thenk also Scipion in how grete labour of studye I sawe full besye this olde man Marcus Thete∣gus to whom the poete Ennimis callid hym his swete hony / by cause that his boke was so retoriquel̄y made / and was of the said Thetegus endited / by faire and swete langage in eloquent termes / whiche enforced men hie∣ryng his purposyngys / to incline and bowe them to byle∣ue all that he had purposid and tolde / Ye may thēne see and knowe / what be the delectacyons of metys drinkys and of playes / and also of folissh̄ women and ribaldes / to regarde of wele disposed peple of sad gouernaunce / and how grete in comparison of the moralle vertuous men / that be disposed for to studye for the auauncement of the comyn prouffite and of othir seuen craftys of scien∣ces wherin the wise olde men that I haue named aboue / delited gretly / fforsoth thies studyes of doctryne and

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of sciencys folowed & folowyth the wyse men wele ordey∣ned in condicyons / And also thies studyes of doctry∣ne haue ben and be suche that they encrecen and multi∣plye semblaby & egally with the aged men / in so muche that the good and honeste sentences saide by the philoso∣pher Solon that is preuid trewe as I haue saide afore /

This philosopher Solon seide that he becam wise in lernyng alwey many thynges by study / whiche he neuir had knowen before / Ther is not forsoth no gretter delec∣tacyon / than is that / by the whiche the wise olde men ler∣ne somwhat by excercise as did the right wyse philosopher Solon / Aftir that I haue spoken now hier of the studyes / and of the occupacions wherin wise men and let∣terd haue had / and may haue honestees and pleasirs and delectacyons / I come nowe to speke of delectacyons that wyse olde men may haue in labouragys and culture & approwment of londys / wherin I delite me more than any man wolde or myght byleue / Olde age lettith not the delectacyons and the grete ioye and pleasirs that gro∣wen and come of the labourage and tillyng of the lan∣dys / and they be suche that as it semith me they be right nygh neyghbours to the lyf of a man / ledyng the lif of a philosopher / ffor wise olde men proceden by naturelle reason in the labourages and tillyng of landys / and the erthe refusith not nor disobeyeth the naturelle werkyng to the comaundementis of the wise olde men labourers / ffor the erthe hath resceyued / and is sowed it yeldith neuir withoute vsure of manyfolde werkyng the same / That is to witt that the erthe yeldith the double as the seconde

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greyn the thrid / and the iiij vntyll the viij greyne & not only the symple agayn / But the erthe in som tyme yel∣dith that / whiche he hath resceyued of the greynes and seedys in lesse vsure of encrece / and som tyme in multi∣plying encrece gretter / And how be it that the erthe yel∣dith that / whiche it resceyued / with vsure of encrece / ne∣uirthelesse the fruytes of the erthe deliten me / not only in that grete encrece / but namely it delited and ioyeth me to knowe the vertue / and the naturell growyng and wor∣kyng by the whiche the erthe gendrith thyngys necessa∣ryes and helthfull to men and to bestis / And whan the erthe resceyueth the seed sowen in his lappe softed and beddid / thenne it is closid first and syttyth faste so that the seed be couird by the instrument of the ploughe / or by the harowe / and in the tyme / in whiche men sowen seedys and couern the corne / for that cause / it is callid the tyme and season of sowyng / accordyng to the custume and na∣ture of dyuers countres / aftir that the seed is heeted / by the naturell moisture of the erthe and thorough the heete of the sonne / and also by the spraynture of dewys of no∣risshyng that the erthe dooth to the seed / and to the plan∣tys whiche is with alle couird / the erthe brekith and cas∣tith oute of that seed an herbe growyng grene / whiche puttyth and spredith within the erthe small rootys / the & stokkes of the stalkes growen and wexen aftir grete / li∣tle and litle / and aftir riseth and comyth in to a spryng and a stalke full of knottys / and wh̄ne it comith to the first erys and buddis / hit is closed with smale leues like heres / and aftir that the seed is remeuid and goon oute

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of thies leues / it castyth an ere in whiche the whete corne or othir greyns ben ordeyned and renged ordynatly in suche wise that one corn puttith not oute that othir / and by cause that the smale briddes shull not lightly ete nor waste the corne / the ere is armed with the closyng of pric¦kis / In whiche thynges to knowe and to excercise and occupye / The olde age may take grete exsample of naturell werkyng and honest delectacyon / why shuld I remembre the delectacyons and pleasirs that olde age may take in consideryng and knowyng the nature of the vynes / the maner of the settyngys and of the shredyn∣gys and cuttyngys of hit in season / ffor to thentente ye knowe the reste and the delite of myne olde age / I telle you that I may not be wery nor fulfilid of the dlectacion that I take in the labourages of corne and of the vynes / I leue to telle what delectacyon olde age takith in kno∣wyng and considering the vertue & the naturell strength of alle thynges that be genderd on erthe / ffor of a smale grayne of a figge or of a litle smale pepyn or kernell of a roysyn or of a smale corne of whete or of ony othir see∣dys or of som smale wandes and braunchis the erthe en∣gendreth grete tronkes and grete trees and bowes / I demaūde you Scipion and Lelius if the newe blosso∣mys and buddys of the vyne / if that the sapys that men settyn ayen to the shredyngis that men cuttyn of the vynes charged with grapes the rootys whiche spredyn aswele withoute as within the erthe / and the plantys that thicken the vyne / yeuen not only delectacōn Inough̄ and pleasirs to the olde men / so that they wille consider

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in merueilyng them of the thynges a boue said / O thyng may yeue to olde age honeste delectacyon / that is to witt how the vyne / which naturally fallith downe to the groū∣de / but it be vndirsett & susteyned / it mounteth & growith high / and alle that it ouirtaketh it beclippith and enbra∣ceth with his tendrenes so as if it had the craft & handes And the laborers of the vynes aftir their crafte / arte & reason / kepyn that the vyne growe not / but aftir reason nor oute of mesure / for they cutt it with the vyne hooke / when it drawith or hangeth vpon the grounde / or when it departed excessiuely in dyuers and croked braunches / by cause that the vyne be not to thik by ouir grete braunches & that it stretche not in to many partyes / And at the be∣gynnyng of the season of veer & of spryngyng / the vyne growith to the braūches which be lefte in the stockes / & in the knottys of the braūchis comith a watir that men call Iennue / wherof aftir that sewith the burgeon wherof the grape comith / & this grape which by the moistnesse of the erthe & by meane of the heete of the sonne begynneth to wexe grete and is at the begynnyng bettir and sow∣re to the taste / and aftir that it is ripe / it shewith swe∣te / and thenne it is clothed with leues wherof the gra∣pe resceyueth the heete wele temperately / and also is de∣fendid and kepte from to grete brennyng of the sonne /

I see not forsoth how any delectacyon myght be more ioyouse nor gladder than is the fruyte of the vy∣ne nor fairer for to see / And knowe ye Scipion and Lelius / that so as I haue here before saide the fruyte of the vyne maketh me not oonly to haue delite / But namely

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the labourage & the nature of the vyne in burgenyng suche deliciouse licours closed in grapes / deliten to me for to see / the rengis of the stakes that susteyne the vyne / to bynde or ende egally as the othir to attache and bynde euery tymbre & braunche to his owne propre stake / & the growyng of the vynes and the cuttyng of the braūches Wherof som arn take away for to brenne & the othir be kept / for to sett ayen in othir places / whiche makyn to me grete delectacyons and pleasirs / It nedith not that I tell what delectacyons and pleasirs be to olde age / the dongyng and the dyghtyng of the londys with the super∣fluyte that is voyded of bestis and shepe / that men make to be spredde in a felde / by whiche doongyng and compos∣tyng / the feldes gladeth / the grounde wexith more fruc∣tuous and plenteuouse / What nedith that I seke of the delectacyon that olde men may haue of the prouf∣fite that comith to donge and fatte the landes and fel∣des / I haue spokyn of dongyng of landes in oon of my bookys whiche I haue wretyn to the labourage of the feeldys & of the doongyng of the londes / A wise auctor callid Hefredus said neuir oon worde ydely nor vayne therof / whēn he wrote his boke of erthe tilying / that men say of the labourage & tyllyng of the feldes / But the po∣ete Omer which was as me semyth by many yeris befo∣re Hefredus / whiche was oon of thoo that taught the maner for to laboure and tylle the landes and fruytes and the thynges that growe of it / After whom Uirgile the poete wrote a booke callid Giorgika

That Omer by his versys saith that Lacertes kyng

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of ytacye in grece / ffader of kyng Ulixes had right swete pleasir in oon of his sones / which laboured the cul¦ture of the erthe tilyeng & donged oon of his feeldys / wherof it was the more ioyfull & more fertile & plenteuo{us} in multiplyeng of cornes & fruytes / And knowe ye Scipion & Lelius that the thyngys & werkys & besines∣se of labourers of the landes & feeldes be gladsom & plea∣saūt not oonly by thencreces of whetys & cornys / nor by the medowes full of gras nor by the vynes full of grapes nor by dyuers smale & yong trees bryngyng forth fruy∣tes / But also the thynges & the werkys of the labourers be gladsome & delectable / by the gardeynes full of dyuers herbys floures & seedys / by the curtilages gardyns & or∣chardes planted & greffed with dyuers trees / & by the no∣risshyng & feedyng of bestis in faire grene medowes & pas∣tures / & by the hyues of bees kepyng & norisshing of them whiche makyn wax & hony / by a meruelouse werkyng of their kynde / & by the dyuersitee of all flours & of dyuers colours of roses / And not olde men haue delectacyon of the trees that they sette / or that they doo to be sette / but al¦so they deliten themsilf to sett a tree / & greffe it vpon an∣nothir / which is the most subtile & most artificiall thyng that euir was foūde by labourers of the londe / And now I will tell many delectacyons & many pleasirs which be in the labourages of the feeldys / But the delectacyons that I haue aboue tolde be lenger and more durable than be the other whiche I leue to telle / I trust Scipion and Lelyus / that ye shall pardone me by cause that I am a long speker of an erthe tilleir in tellyng the delectacōns

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which come & growe of the labourages of londys / and to thentent that it semith not that I wolde defende & make olde age to be free of all vices / I tell you that olde age aftir nature & kynde / spekith and determyneth more than any othir age / And for to haue suche delectacyons / this noble man romayn Marcus curius wolde were oute / & endure forth to the ende of the remenaūt of his olde age in labourages of londes aftir that he had resceyued at ro∣me the honour & the worship of tryumphe for the victorye that he had of the Samytois of the sabynoys & of Pur∣rus kyng of Epirotes / the which the seid Curius descō∣fited by bateyll / whan I cōsidre the village & also the gre¦te labouryng in londes / of the seid marcus curi{us} / which be nygh vn to myn / I may not merueil to gretly of the per∣seuerance of the seid Marcus curius / nor of the studye & solicitude / which he had in his tyme aboute the thyngys pertynent to labourage & tyllyng of his londys / It fortu∣ned oones that the said Curius sate by his fyre / to whom the samytois had brought a grete some of golde for to make hym a presēt thēne / But Curius the worthy man beeyng full of noble courage refused their yift so presented to hym & sett not by them nor of their yiftes in golde / & sa∣id to the samitois / that it semid vnto hym nought / though it were riche & right a faire syght nor it is no noble thyng to a gouernour of a coūtree to haue a grete hepe or a quā∣tite of golde all onely / But it was right faire & a more noble thyng to a souerayn captayn vsing werre for to be lorde of the men wythin the coūtree that haue golde & othir riches / Telle me Scipion & Lelius / yf ye thenk not /

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that sith marcus curius had so grete & so noble courage in disputyng of couetyse & refusyng yiftis and rewardes / he myght wele haue but gladsonmesse & mirth of his olde a∣ge / whiche is onely ioyfull / when the olde man knowith hym silf to haue lyued euir wele & vertuously / & hath had his desire in welthe & worship to lyue in delites profitable & honeste / But I haue muche to speke of the delites & pleasirs that olde men haue / in knowyng / vsyng & hawn∣tyng the labourages of londes / And of this mater I speke by cause I goo not to ferr fro myne occupacōn which am a labourer & a tyller of londys in myne age / Whi∣lom the senatours / that is to witt the olde romaynes / which dwelled in villages vpon their lordshipps / And at the tyme when Lucius Quintus thēne an olde man eryed tylled & laboured in oon of his feeldes / a messager was sent to hym & denounced hym as to lete hym witt / that the senatours of rome had by their electyon chosyn hym for to be dictatour / which was at rome the grettist of the offices as chief Iuge of the londe to admynystre Ius∣tice to the people / And by the commaundement of this Quyntus dictatour Gayus seruylius thēne maister of the knygthis at rome / slewe a knyght romayne Spu¦ryus melius / whiche stode aboute knyghtys armed by cause that the seid spuryus wolde take to hym the gouer∣naunce of the reame of romayns / men callid also in sem∣blable wise Curyus of whom we haue spokyn for to bere office of dignyte to assemble and come ayen to Rome with the senatours aoccmpanyed / After that tyme when he had dwellid in his village vpon the

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approwyng of his londes / & the sergeantys that sōmoned & callid auncien men romayns to the senat for to be coū∣seillours for the comon prouffite / were named iourney men & ryders / as messagers pursiuaūtes and sergeaūtys / Therfor I demaunde you Scipion & Lelius / if the olde age of such as delited them in the labourage of londes se∣myth vnto you to be wretched or lothfull / I saye aftir my sentence & auise / that I knowe not if any olde age may be better ne more blessed / than is this / which deliteth men in labouryng & approwmentys of landes / for thencrecyng of fruytes of londes tillyng / whiche by his auise is not onely prouffytable & holesome to all mankynde / but the labourage of londys is good & prouffitable & helthfull to his body / by the delectacyon in excercisyng the tyllyng of hymsilf / It recouerith naturelle heete to warme his sto∣make & his bodye as I haue more ample before saide / & al¦so the labourage of landes is good / & prouffitable for the refection prouffite & habondaunce of all thynges / that be∣longen to the multiplyeng of vitaill & sustenaūce for ly¦uyng to men / Thenne sethin that olde men desiren the delectacyons & pleasirs which be in the labourages & tyl∣lyng of londys / thēne be we graciously disposed in suche prouffitable werkys of delectacyon accordyng to olde age fforsoth in the house of a good & diligēt olde lorde labou∣rers haue ordeyned his manoirs & lordships to be wele approwed by plantyng fruytes tyllyng eryng / sowyng / & gardenyng / & in their heruest & vindages / with theire bestis & catailles norisshing stored / as the seler is euir stored with wynes syders & oyles / & the bernys with the garners euir

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stored of cornes and vitaylles necessaryes to the suste∣naunce and lyuyng of man / and alle the villages as the tenauntes of the seid good / and delygent auncyent lordes be riche & stuffid plenteuously / & also hath grete ha∣bondaunce and plente of beefs & motous porkys for larde and kedys lambys swannys partryches hennys capons & of othir pullaile & of othir foulys of dyuers kyndes / also of mylk of cheesys & of hony by the bees in hyues in pla¦ces which the labourers of londes callen nowe their cur∣tylages / The seconde thought & solicitude of aged men is for to say that the labourers will / that aftir the labou∣rage of the feeldes be doon & sped / Thenne that men put to laboure the curtilages of gardeyns for their herbage of herbys of dyuers colours & of dyuers complexions & in orchardes makyng for to plante & to sett trees of fruy∣tes bryngyng forth / as oyles pomegarnades / orenges / fig∣ges dates / almandes / pomecedres / pechys / apples / perys∣quynces medelers / chesteynes / & othir such fruytes of dy∣uers kyndes / thies be goodys of kynde here aboue named & rehersed / whiche come by the studye and diligent occu∣pacyon of agood labourer in the londe / a man may name∣ly thenk / to be come more riche and more delectable by that occupacyon / than by a besinesse or a werk which is superfluyous vayne and ydill / That is to witt / by hawkyng fowlyng of bryddes and huntyng of wilde bestis which belongith vnto yong men / What will ye Scipion and lelius saye yf I telle you of the delec∣tacōn & pleasyre / whiche olde age may haue by cause of the grenesse of the medews or of the faire rowes in whiche

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arn sett the trees of dyuers kyndes and frutys I shall telle you vppon that / my sentence in short wordes / Ther is no thyng that may be more plenteuous nor more ha∣bondaunt in vsage for the prouffite to a mānys lyuyng / nor any thyng more semblable to naturelle beaute and fairnes / than is a cloos of frutys wele tillyed and labou∣red / Olde age lettyth not to laboure wele a cloos plan∣ted with fruytes of dyuers kyndes / for their sustenaunce / But namely olde age sterith and yeuith courage to the olde man for to laboure wele the londe / ffor syth that in wynter tyme the olde man labourer may as redely for his helth and comfort warme hym to the sōne shynyng vpon the erthe / or at the fyre / whiche is a thyng more co∣uenable to olde age / than to any othir age / Or sith that the olde man labourer may withdrawe hym to the shado∣wes / or for to fynde the heete / or for to fynde the colde / or that in somer tyme he may refresshe hym with watirs or othirwise more sykyrly / than the yong man whiche hath his hote blode boyllyng / I say that delectacyon sterith and yeuith courage to the olde man to laboure in the londes /

Thenne ye Scipion and Lelius may not saye the contrarye / but yong men haue for them for theyr solas & worship / their armours / their horsys / their speris / pollaxis mallys / and Instrumentys of iren / or of leed / and laun∣cegayes for to fyght / And also maryners in vsyng the see / and yong men deliten in shippys bargys of dy∣uers fassions and in rowynges and in sayllyng in wa∣tirs and ryuers and in the sees / and som yong men vsen the cours of voyages in gooyng rydyng and iourneyeng

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from one counttre to anothir / and emong many othir labours of playes sportys and of dyuers solacys / The yong men also / leuyn to the vse of olde men / the playe at the tablis and chesse / and the philosophers playe by nom∣bre of arsmetrike as is made mencion in the boke of O∣uide de vetula callid the reformacion of his life / But we demaunde the Caton / if the olde men may goodly vse and when we be olde of thies two said playes of the ta∣blis and chesse / I answere you nay / for withoute thies two playes ol̄de age may wele be stuffid and fulfillyd of alle othir goodnes perteynyng to felicite and to blessid∣nesse / Now it is so that olde age and yche othir age vsyng of discression ought not to doo any thyng / but that it drawe and be longe to vertues and to blessidnesse in stede of playes at tables and at chesses / Ye Scipi∣on and Lelyus may rede the bookys of the philosopher xenophon / whiche be right prouffitable to many thynges And I pray you that ye wille rede them so as ye do nowe al redy / and rede diligently howe Xenophon prayseth moche to labourage of londes in a book of his named the book of Economike / wherin he declareth how the man ought to gouerne kepe & approwe his owne propre lon∣dys and goodys / And to thentent that ye vndirstonde the somme of the seid booke / whiche the philosopher Xe∣nophon made / Knowe ye he saith / that to noble & pui∣ssant men in worship & to rialle astates / ther is nothyng so worthy nor so welbecomyng them / as is the studye and the crafte for to laboure and approwe the londys to be plenteuouse / for the life of a labourer as it is said / is like

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the life of a philosopher / in so moche as he serchith and enquereth the causes naturell whereby the londe thorugh burgenyng myght be fertile and plenteuouse / and also his laboure is continuell and proffitable to alle creatures and so it ought to be of euery kyng and prynce and othir states of noblesse / and yit ther is no crafte nor any wer∣ke so leefulle nor so honest to a kyng or to a souerayne / as is to prouide and ordeyne the labourage of the feel∣dys / for namely in bataile the handys of a labourer be more harder and stronger to endure / than of ony othir man / The ph̄ilosopher Socrates in one of his bokys in whiche he spekith with the poete Tritobolus / seith that litil Cirus kyng of peere was excellent in witt and glo∣riouse in erthly lordshipps / In the tyme of that kyng Ci¦rus / a man of the cytee of lacedomone in grece callid li∣sander / wh̄iche was a man of right grete vertue and no∣blenes came in an ambassade for to see the same kyng Ci∣rus / at that tyme beeyng at sardes his cytee / to whom Li∣sander brought clothes of golde & riche Iewelles from the lacedomonies and from the cytees adioynant that were of his feliship / And Socrates said that this kyng Cirus was fulle benyngne and curtays to the seid Lisander to come to his noble presence / and resceyued hym worshipfully and liberally in his rialle palais / and for his moste rialltee in suche richessis that he delited most in / not in tresour of golde of precious stones ne of othir grete richesse that he had grete plentee / he delited not therin / but in the richesse of tyllyng and labourages of londys and fruytes of trees of dyuers kyndes he shewed

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hym a cloos wallid all aboute diligently and connyngly laboured / tylled / planted / and sett with trees of dyuers fruytes beryng / where as Lisander merueilled hym of the length & bewte of the trees & for their right renges planted and keepyng a mesurable ordre in dymencyon / whiche trees were sett fyue fote one from anothir / and also Lisander merueilde hym of the aleyes and wal∣kyng places and the grounde of that cloos was so wele pared / doluyn and made clene / sett / and planted / with her∣bys of dyuers kyndes of swete flauours and odours ex∣cellent of beautes in leuis flouris / and colours / for the softnesse & the swetnesse of aromatique sauours came oute of the floures of dyuers kyndys / as of violettys rosemarynes maiorons / gylofres / basiles lillium conualli∣um &c. / He said to the kyng Cirus that he meruei∣lid not onely ffor the diligence and studye of hym that had labourde it / But he namely merueilid of the subtilite and craft of hym whiche had compassed and ordeyned by due mesure the settyng and plantyng of the trees of that cloos / Thēne kyng Cirus answerd to Lisander / forsoth said he / I haue myself ordeyned and mesured alle thies thynges of this cloos / and also I haue compassid and proporcioned the renges of them / and many also of theis trees that ye see here / be sett and greffid with myne owne handys / And Socrates tellith that Lisander in loo∣kyng vpon the gowne of purpure of kyng Cirus / and the clene beaute and goodlynes of his body / and the array whiche he bare in the maner and wise accustomed of the countree of Perse / whiche was weuid with golde

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thyk / and with manye precious stonys garnysshid and richely couchid / and purposed in thies wordes to kyng Cirus / fforsoth said Lisandre / men seyen rightfully & truly that thou art riche and fortunat happye and blessid in thy life / for to thy vertue & nobilnes roiall is conioy∣ned to gedir fortune and wordly felicitee / by cause that thou employest the and occupyest to laboure the feeldys to be riche and plenteuouse / wherin is the pryncipall parte of worldly blessidnesse / Sith than that of thies for∣tune and blessid disposicion whiche kyng Cirus thēne olde / myght lefully vse and worke in londys tyllyng / and that he delited hym therin to make his reame plentefull and riche / I tell you Scipion and lelius that it is leefull to the olde aged men of high astate as of othir meane degree / to vse and to take delectacion in labouryng the londes / and yit it is true that olde age lettith not / but yeuith olde men myght to maynten contynewe and per∣fourme vnto thende of our age the studye and by coun∣seyllyng the offices of dyuers craftes of all thynges to be wrought and to be doon and specyally in labouryng of londys / ffor forsoth I haue herd saye by the olde historyographes / that a noble olde man romayne callid / Ualerius Carninus vsed the life of a labourer vnto an C yere of his age / and all though he were of long & of parfyte age / neuirthelesse he dwellid in opyn townys and in villages and laboured the landes Betwixt the first office geuen hym in rome and the sixt consulat of this Ualerius was xlvj yeris by reuolucyon of yeris / and anon aftir that same tyme he was Iuged to be an

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olde man / And by that grete age / he was named vnable to haue publike office of rule and gouernaunce of citees and townes or for to be a capitaigne to make werre for the defence of the romayns / But which men may vndir∣stonde that aftir the nombre of yeris that auncien men ordeyned / which was from childehode vnto the begynnyng of olde age / men myght endure tyll that same nombre of auncien yeris to haue offices and dignitees in rome / ffor olde age beganne aftir the ordenaunce of the romaynes and not aftir the nombre of yeris / and forsoth the laste age of this valerius was more bettir and more blessid / by cause that it had more auctorite and experience in the offi∣ce of labourage of approwmentys of manoirs feldes and lordships / Yf ye question how I preue that auctorite / by the most high thyng that olde age myght haue his verry experience and excercise / Ye knowe it wele Inough in cōsideryng what was that olde man romayne Lucius Metellus the most grete bisshop of rome whiche by his grete auctorite and wisedome defended Postumius con∣sul of rome / that he shulde not goo for to make werre in aufryk / in leuyng the sacrifises in the olde lawe deputed and accustumed of Mars god of bataile / wherof it for∣tuned that the seid Postumius in obeyng to the auctori∣te of Lucius metellus the bisshop left the seid entrepris of his werre makyng though it had be committed to Postumyus as consul of rome / Ye also may knowe how grete the auctorite had be of olde men by the same that was subduyd in the noble romayne Actilius Catilinus / whiche was the prynce and lorde of the people

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subdued and conquered as many men consenten and as it apperith by all the versis of the tytle graued and wre∣tyn vpon his toumbe / This Attilius thēne was by right a man auctorised / that the fame and name of alle the romaynes consented / to write vpon his tombe his ti∣tle of renomme in worship and in praysyng of his victo¦riouse deedys / Consider ye Scipion and Lelius of what auctorite was Publius Crassus the most grete bisshop of rome / And aftir hym Marcus Lepedus whiche had the same dignyte / whiche both we haue seen of grete age / What will ye that I telle you of thies iij noble romayns Paulus or of Affricanus or of ffaby¦us Maximus all iij olde men / of whom the auctorite was not onely in spekyng and in counseillyng / But they were of so grete auctorite / that it was obeyed to that whiche they wolde haue doon or sped / so that they had she∣wed it but by sygnes and tokenes / Olde age honora∣ble hath in it pryncypally so grete auctorite that it is of gretter power than be alle the delectacyons of yong age /

But remembre ye Scipion and Lelyus in alle this my present boke that I preyse and magnyfye that olde age / whiche from his begynnyng is ordeyned and arrayde by the fondementys of adolescencye whiche be in dyuers doctrynes of sciencys lernyd and in excercisyng of honest occupacyons and craftys instruct and excercised By which I shewe you that the silf olde age is but lew∣de and wretchid that defendith the auctorite of it onely by wordys / and not by vertues & sciences lerned studied conquerid / and won in yong age / as I seid it ones in

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oon of my sentencys / to the whiche all the philosophers of rome accorded / The whyte herys and the ryuilyng chier of the body of an olde man may not wynne soden∣ly auctorite nor worship / but the age passed / before the olde age / takith his lafte fruytes of auctorite / That is to witt / that the vertues and the sciences of the yong men resceyuen not hole worship nor full auctorite till olde age come on hym / that his wittys bee stablisshed by / fforsoth ther be seuen thyngys perteynyng to the worship of olde age / whiche semytth to som men to be light and cōmune / by cause that they belongen to all good olde men / whiche ben thies / The first is that it perteyneth that the othir yong men all be it they be grete in dignite to salewe and make reuerence in all places to the olde man / men ought desire the felisihp of the olde man for to lerne of hym and to haue his counseille / Men ought in euery place to yeue rowme & audyēce to the olde man in the felishipps where men treten and comenyn of publike offices vpon maters for a comon prouffite or a pryue / that be syngler causes to be decysed / Men ought to rise sone anone before the ol∣de man and bowe them in obeyng hym / Men ought to fo∣lowe and goo honorably and worshipfully aftir the olde man fauoure and abyde hym when it nedith / Men ought to lede and guyde them honestly / and bryng them ayen from the places that olde men haue for to tarye / Men ought to demaūde question and enquere of the olde man coūseill & aduise vpon chargeable maters and doubtouse thyngys for to witt whiche be for to doo and whiche be for to leue / And all thies worships belongen to olde

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men / whiche be full dylygently kept / emonge vs roma∣ynes / and also in other citees townes and villages af∣ter that whiche be right wele founded and grounded in good condicions and the same custumes duly obserued

The historyes of the greekys sayne that the wise man Lisander of the kyngdome of lacedomonye in greece of whom I haue nowe late made nencōn / where he was wont for to say that the cytee of lacedemone was the right ho∣nest toure or dongeon or castell of olde age / That is to witt / In the cyte of lacedomone olde men resceyued right grete worship and right grete auctorite in dignite / ffor in no place saue there / men made not somuche worship to olde age and was not more honourid and worshiped / than it was in the seid cyte of lacedomone othir wise named spar∣ta / And knowe ye Scipion and lelius that we re∣membre wele that oute of the cytee of Athenys was co∣me theder aged men of worship and degree for to see ga∣mes and playes / Ther was no man of all the cytezeyns sittyng and stondyng in that grete place that wolde ge∣ue place and rowme to the olde men of Athenys for to sett them to be holde and see the playes / Thenne thies olde men consyderyng that noon of cytezeins had not made them no place / they withdrewe them a parte from the Teatre callid the Tent and stages where as there sate in a certeyne place ordeyned some men of the cytee of La¦cedomone / whiche were come vnto Athenys as legates callid Ambassiatours / and the historyes sayne that alle the men of lacedomone ariseden from their sieges and re∣sceyued the seid olde men for to sett the same olde men by

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them / And aftir that they / whiche sate in the tentys had right gretly preysed and recomended the men of lace∣domone / whiche had yeuen place to the seid olde men / And oon of the men of lacedomone said heeryng them that were there / fforsooth said he the men of athenys knowyn suche thynges of reuerence and / honour belongyng to be doon aftir right and gentilnes / but they will not doo it / O ye men of lacedomone I come to speke of you for I haue knowyn that in your company and feliship / and in your college be many thynges right noble and worthy to be tolde of and putt in remembraūce / But the honoure and worship due and belongyng vnto olde age / wherof I spe∣ke nowe is founde pryncipally in your feliship / for aftir that euery man hath more in age emongys you men of lacedomone / he is holden and take for the pryncipalle / and the first place to hym assigned in the assembles and in places and publike counseils / and yeuyth first the sen∣tences vpon the causes questioned wherof men spekyn and come to be counseylde vpon the dygnyte / And the reuerence and the religyon be so straytly kept emong the men of lacedomony / that not onely the olde men be set before them whiche be in worship and dignite / But namely the bisshops and prestis more aged be sett before the Emperours and pryncys lesse aged /

Nowe may ye knowe that men of bodily delectacy∣ons ought not to be compared with the rewardes of auc∣torite of worshyp / whiche is due and yelden to olde age and if som haue to gretly vsed of this bodily delectacōns

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wherof I complayne me / It seemith me that they haue not perfourmed their age / but it owght to be tolde for a mok / and for a fable / by cause that in their life dayes they haue made no prouffitable thyng vaillable to endure by them / whiche ouer muche haue vsed of thies delectacyons tom∣blyn and falle in their laste age / That is to wit in olde age which is to vndirstonde / not as Iouglers mynstrels and players turnyn and tomblyn vp so downe in the last ende of their playes of maistryes for disport makyng by the whiche they ought lightly to be excused / But the men whiche so long haue vsed / of delectacyon that they leue it but as a fable and a vnyte / They ought to haue no mercy nor be excused / But some may telle me that ol∣de men be slowe and soft / angwisshous / and heuy / angry and soroufulle / variant and mystrustyng / and if we seke wele the condicions of olde men / we shall fynde as ye say / that they be also nygardes and couetouse / But I answe∣re you Scipion and Lelyus / that their vices whiche ye name here aboue / be the vices of the condicions of cor∣rupt & euill custumes / and be not the vices aftir age / But algatis this euill slownesse of body & the othir vi∣ces that I haue said whiche semyn to be foūde in olde age haue apparaūce of some excusacyon whiche forsoth is not Iuste / But it is suche that it seemyth that men may preue that it be reasonable / Men may yit oppose me that olde men trowyn and ymagyne to be dispraysed and moc∣ked of yong men / And with that alle office and euery dyspleasyre be hatefulle to olde age / by cause that olde men haue their bodyes freel and sekely / by whiche

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they may suffre noon offenses of displeasir nor wrethfull

But I tell you Scipion & Lelius / that though ol∣de men weenyn to be dispraised and mocked and offended of yong men whiche thynges arn dyuers & hatefull to ol∣de men / Neuirtheles if they be purueid of good condici∣ons and vertues & of good sciences as they ought to be the thyngys aforesaid shal seeme them swete and light to bere and to suffre / ffor though the mynde be purueid of good condicions and vertues and of good sciences / it may not be so harde offended nor troubled / but it appeaseth and swetith it holdyng hym content and pleased / as so∣ne as it thenkith and remembrith the propre goodnes that it hath in it silf / But and the olde men be not wele drawyn foorth in connyng and manerly taught and wise / the euil condicions hereaboue reherced shuld be to them harde noyous & hatefull / & parauenture importable & it is not merueil though some olde men suffryn & heeryn wele & softly the greuaunces of olde age / And that some arn inportune & wery of age / ffor we may rede and see like thyng in the lyuyng & the condicōns of two bretheren ge∣mellys callid twynlynges / wherof the poete Trecencius made a comodye callid aelphis / the which he redde in the scene at rome / ffor of thies two bretheren gendird of oon ffadir in oon bely at onys norisshed / the oon like as the othir / the one was hard sharp angry vngracious & rude / And the othir was curteys meke honeste and debonaire /

Than knowe ye Scipion and lelius that suche is the ordenaunce of the custumes of olde age / ffor as e∣uery wyne long kept and olde waxith not eagre of

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his owne propre nature / right so all mankynde is not ay∣gre fell cruell vngracious chargyng nor inportune in ol∣de age of their owne kynde / though some men among ma∣ny be foūde of that condicōn / I approue & preyse in olde age the man which hath seueritee & stidfast abydyng in hym / seuerite is contynuance & perseuerance of oon maner of lyuyng aswele in the thyngys within as in theym withoute / But I approue nat that in an olde man be e∣grenesse nor hardnesse & sharpnesse of maners of condici∣ons / & also I may not consceyue nor vndirstonde why a∣uaryce & couetyse ought to be in an olde man / for ther is no thyng more vnreasonable nor more folyssh / then is for to hepe gretter quantite of wordily goodes or of vitailles in the tyme when the man hath lesse wey for to endure & & lyue / Nowe it is so that olde age aftir nature is the ende of the laste dayes of olde men / wherfor aftir rea∣son they ought lesse put them to thought solicitude and care for to gadre more grete hepes and plente of richesses and tresours thēne nedith /

Here endith the fourth part & the thrid distinctōn of this boke & aftir begynneth the fyfthe part & the fourth & the laste distinction by the whiche Caton confoundith and repreuith the fourthe vituperacyon opposid ayenst olde age / begynnyng / Quarta restat /&c.
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