Whoso that nil be war by othere men, By him shal othere men corrected be.
“He who isn’t warned by other men’s example, will himself become an example for other men.”
Flee fro the prees1, and dwelle with sothfastnesse, Suffyce unto thy good, though hit be smal; For hord hath hate, and climbing tikelnesse2, Prees hath envye, and wele blent3 overal; Savour no more than thee bihove shal; Werk wel thy-self, that other folk canst rede; And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede. Tempest thee noght al croked to redresse4, In trust of hir that turneth as a bal5: Gret reste stant in litel besinesse; And eek be war to sporne ageyn an al; Stryve noght, as doth the crokke with the wal. Daunte thy-self, that dauntest otheres dede; And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede. That thee is sent, receyve in buxumnesse, The wrastling for this worlde axeth a fal. Her nis non hoom, her nis but wildernesse: Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out of thy stal! Know thy contree, look up, thank God of al; Hold the hye wey, and lat thy gost thee lede: And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.
1) Crowd (the ambitious crowd at court).
4) Don’t trouble yourself trying to straighten everything that’s crooked.
5) “Trust in her that turns like a ball.” (i.e: fortune.)
Juvenal seith of poverte myrily: `The povre man, whan he goth by the weye, Bifore the theves he may synge and pleye.' Poverte is hateful good, and, as I gesse, A ful greet bryngere out of bisynesse; A greet amender eek of sapience To hym that taketh it in pacience. Poverte is this, although it seme alenge, Possessioun, that no wight wol chalenge. Poverte ful ofte, whan a man is lowe, Maketh his God and eek hymself to knowe. Poverte a spectacle is, as thynketh me, Thurgh which he may hise verray freendes see. And therfore, sire, syn that I noght yow greve, Of my poverte namoore ye me repreve.
And certeinly, a man hath moost honour To dyen in his excellence and flour, Whan he is siker of his goode name, Thanne hath he doon his freend ne hym no shame. And gladder oghte his freend been of his deeth, Whan with honour up yolden in his breeth, Than whan his name apalled is for age; For al forgeten is his vassellage. Thanne is it best as for a worthy fame, To dyen whan that he is best of name.
Deception And Flattery
Allas, ye lordes, many a fals flatour Is in youre courtes, and many a losengeour, That plesen yow wel moore, by my feith, Than he that soothfastnesse unto yow seith.