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DIMEV 1326
IMEV 809
NIMEV 809
Flee from the press and dwell with sothfastness
Chaucer, ‘Truth’ or ‘Balade de bon conseyl’ — four stanzas rhyme royal including Envoy, with refrain, ‘And trouthe the shall delyuer it is no drede’
Note: Ringler Jr. (1992), TM 414; Ringler Jr. (1988), TP 404.5
Author(s): Geoffrey Chaucer
Title(s): ‘Truth’; ‘Balade de bon conseyl’ (Chaucer)
Subjects: counsel, value of; envoys
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Arch. Selden. B. 10 (SC 3356), ff. 201v-202
First Lines:
FLe from the prece & dwell with sothfastnes
Suffyse vnto thy god thoughe it be small…
Last Lines:
…Weye thy luste and let thy gooste the lede
And trouthe shall the delyuer it is no drede
Note: 3 stanzas
Attributed Author: Ecce bonum consilium galfridi chaucers contra fortunam (f. 201v)
Attributed Title: Ecce bonum consilium galfridi chaucers contra fortunam (f. 201v)
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. More Odd Texts. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 77. London: Trübner, 1886; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Arch. Selden. B. 24 (SC 3354), f. 119
First Lines:
Flee from the pres and duell with suthfastness
Suffice vnto thy gude thocht It be small…
Last Lines:
…Wayue thy lust and lat thy goste the lede
And treuth the schall deliuer this is no drede
Note: Without envoy; followed by 4490
Attributed Author: Explicit Chauceris counsoling (f. 119)
Facsimiles:
Boffey, Julia, and A. S. G. Edwards, eds. Chaucer, Works. Bodleian Library MS Arch Selden B.24: Facsimile Edition. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1995.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Odd Texts of the Minor Poems. 2 vols. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 23, 60. London: Trübner, 1868, 1880; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Fairfax 16 (SC 3896), f. 40
First Lines:
ffle fro the pres and duelle with sothfastnesse
suffice the thy good thogh hit be smale…
Last Lines:
…Weyve thy lust and let thy goste the lede
and trouthe shal the delyuer hit is no drede
Facsimiles:
Norton-Smith, John. “Introduction.” Bodleian Library MS Fairfax 16. London: Scolar Press, 1979.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Fairfax 16 (SC 3896), f. 201
First Lines:
fflee fro the pres and dwelle with withfastnes (sic)
Suffise vn to thy good though hyt be smalle…
Last Lines:
…Weyve thy lust and let thy gooste the lede
And trouthe shall the delyuer hyt is no drede
Note: Second occurrence in MS; followed by note, ‘Qui legit scriptorem non reprehendat’ (f. 201)
Attributed Title: Balade (f. 201)
Facsimiles:
Norton-Smith, John. “Introduction.” Bodleian Library MS Fairfax 16. London: Scolar Press, 1979.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
5.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Hatton 73 (SC 4119), f. 118v
First Lines:
Fle fro the prees and dwelle with sothfastnesse
Suffise vnto thi good though it be final…
Last Lines:
…Weyve thi luste and lete thi goost the lede
And trouthe the shal delyuere it is no drede
Attributed Title: Good conseyll (f. 118v)
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Odd Texts of the Minor Poems. 2 vols. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 23, 60. London: Trübner, 1868, 1880; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
6.Source: Oxford, Corpus Christi College 203, pp. 22-23
First Lines:
ffle fro the pres and dwell wyth sothfastnes
Suffyse vn to thy good yef hit be small…
Last Lines:
…And wayue thy lust and let thy gost the lede
And treuthe the schall delyuer hit ys no drede
Attributed Title: Prouerbium Scogan (p. 22)
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Odd Texts of the Minor Poems. 2 vols. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 23, 60. London: Trübner, 1868, 1880; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
7.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Gg.4.27 (Part 1a), f. 8v
First Lines:
Fle from þe pres & dwelle with soþfastnesse
Suffise vnto þyn þyng þow it be smal…
Last Lines:
…hold þe heye wey & lat þyn gost þe lede
And trouthe schal deliure it is no drede
Attributed Title: Balade de / bone conseyl (to left and right of line 1, margins)
Facsimiles:
Parkes, Malcolm B., and Richard Beadle. “Introduction.” Poetical Works. Geoffrey Chaucer. A Facsimile of Cambridge University Library MS Gg.4.27. 3 vols Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1979 (vol. 1); 1980 (vols. 2-3).
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
8.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Kk.1.5, (Part 6), ff. 4v-5
First Lines:
ffle fra the pres and duell with suthfastnes
Suffice one to thi gud þocht It be small…
Last Lines:
…Reull thi self that vthir folk can Reid
and treuthe the sall deliuyr that is no dreid
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Odd Texts of the Minor Poems. 2 vols. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 23, 60. London: Trübner, 1868, 1880; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
Lumby, Joseph Rawson, ed. Ratis Raving, and other Moral and Religious Pieces in prose and verse. EETS o.s. 43 (1870); repr. 1973: 9-10.
Girvan, Ritchie, ed. Ratis raving, and other early Scots poems on morals. Scottish Text Society 3rd ser. 11. Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1939: 175.
9.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 2006, pp. 389-390
First Lines:
Fle fro the pres and dwelle with sothfastnesse
Suffise vnto thi gode þough it be small…
Last Lines:
…Weyne thine luste and lat thi goste the lede
And trouth the shall delyuer it is no drede Explicit
Attributed Title: Le bon Counsell de Chaucer (p. 389)
Facsimiles:
Edwards, A. S. G. “Introduction.” Manuscript Pepys 2006: A Facsimile. Magdalen College, Cambridge. Norman, OK: Pilgrim, and [Woodbridge, Suffolk]: Boydell and Brewer, 1985.
Editions:
Pace, George B. “Four Unpublished Chaucer Manuscripts.” Modern Language Notes 63 (1948): 457-62: 458-60.
10.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.20 (600), pp. 144-145
First Lines:
fflee fro þe prees and dwelle with soothfastnesse
Souffyse vn to þy goode þaughe hit be smal…
Last Lines:
…Weyve þy loust and let þy gooste þee lede
And trouthe þee shal delyure hit is no dred
Note: Added to margin, ‘nota per Shirley’ (p. 144)
Attributed Title: Balade þat Chaucier made on his deeth bedde (p. 144); Balade ryale By Chaucer (RT)
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967: both texts.
11.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.20 (600), pp. 357-358
First Lines:
fflee frome þe prees and dwelle with soþefastnesse
Suffice vn to þy goode þaughe it bee smal…
Last Lines:
…Weyve þy louste and let þy gooste þee lede
And trouth þee shal delyver owte of drede
Note: Second occurrence in MS
Attributed Title: Balade by Chaucier [‘on his dethe bede’ added later] (p. 357); Balades by Chaucer Made (RT)
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967: both texts.
12.Source: London, British Library Addit. 10340, f. 41
First Lines:
ffle fro þe pres & dwelle wiþ soþefastnesse
Suffise þin owen þing þei it be smal…
Last Lines:
…ffor þe & eke for oþer heuenlyche mede
And trouþe schal delyuere it is no drede
Note: With unique Envoy.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A One-Text Print of the Minor Poems. 2 pts. London: Trübner, 1871, 1880; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Odd Texts of the Minor Poems. 2 vols. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 23, 60. London: Trübner, 1868, 1880; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
Brusendorff, Aage. The Chaucer Tradition. Copenhagen, 1925; repr. Oxford: Clarendon, 1967: 246-8.
Robinson, F. N., ed. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Oxford: Clarendon, 1933; 2nd ed. 1957: 631; 1957; 536.
Davies, Reginald Thorne. Medieval English Lyrics: a critical anthology. London, 1963; Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1964: 135-6.
Luria, Maxwell Sidney, and Richard L. Hoffman, eds. Middle English Lyrics. New York: Norton, 1974: 168-9.
Pace, George B., and Alfred David, eds. The Minor Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Variorum Edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer vol. 5, part 1. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982: 59-64.
Pearsall, Derek, ed. Chaucer to Spenser: An Anthology of Writings in English 1375-1575. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999: 176.
Benson, Larry Dean, ed. The Riverside Chaucer. 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987: 653.
13.Source: London, British Library Addit. 22139, f. 138rb
First Lines:
ffle fro the pres and dwell with sothfastnesse
Suffice vn to thi lynynge thogh hit be smal…
Last Lines:
…Hold the hie wey and lete thi gost the lede
And truth shal the delyuer hit is no drede
Note: Immediately follows 4990 at end of MS
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Supplementary Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 2 vols. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 22, 59. London: Trübner, n.d.; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
14.Source: London, British Library Addit. 36983 [olim Bedford Public Library], f. 262
First Lines:
Fle ffrom the pres and dwell with sotheffastnesse
Suffyse vnto thy Goode though it be smalle…
Last Lines:
…Wayse thy lust and lete thy gost the lede
And trouthe the schall deliuer it is no drede
Editions:
Pace, George B. “Four Unpublished Chaucer Manuscripts.” Modern Language Notes 63 (1948): 457-62: 458-60.
15.Source: London, British Library Cotton Cleopatra D.VII, ff. 189-189v
First Lines:
Flee fro the prees and dwell with sothfasnesse [sic]
Suffice vnto the thing though it be smal…
Last Lines:
…Holde the high way and lete thi goost the lede
And trouthe shal deliuere it is no drede
Note: Lacks envoy
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 312.
16.Source: London, British Library Cotton Otho A.XVIII (MS destroyed by fire; transcribed by William Thomas, 1721)
Note: BM Cat. 643.m.4; transcripts by William Thomas in 1721, pasted into copy of Urry (1721), 2.548.
Editions:
Pace, George B. “Otho A.XVIII.” Speculum 26 (1951): 306-16: 366-7.
17.Source: London, British Library Harley 7333, f. 147vb2
First Lines:
FLe ffrome þe pes and dwell with sothefastnesse
Suffice vn to þi goode þaughe it be smalle…
Last Lines:
…Weyve thi luste & lete thi goste þe lede
And trowthe the shall deliuer it is noo drede
Note: The γ version (see Pace and David (1982)). Follows Gentilesse (5277) on f. 147vb).
Attributed Title: Moral balade of Chaucyre (f. 147vb)
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
18.Source: London, British Library Lansdowne 699, ff. 82v-83
First Lines:
Flee from the press & dwell with sothfastnesse
Suffise to thi good thouh it be small…
Last Lines:
…War be thi lust & lat thi gost the leede
An trouthe the shal delyver it is no dreede
Attributed Title: Incipit bon counceil de le Auctour (f. 82v); Explicit optinus tractatus de ffortuna (f. 83v)
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Supplementary Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 2 vols. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 22, 59. London: Trübner, n.d.; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
19.Source: Coventry, Coventry Archives Acc. 325/1, f. 77ra
First Lines:
Fle fro the pres and dwelle with sothfastnes
Suffice vn to thi thinge thouȝ it be small…
Last Lines:
…Holde the hie weie and lete þi goost the lede
And trouth the shall deliuer it is noo drede
Note: Only three stanzas, no envoy
Attributed Title: Balade de bone Counsail (f. 77ra)
20.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 344, f. 10v
First Lines:
Fle fro the prees & dwell wyth sothefastnesse
Suffyce vnto thy good thought it be small…
Last Lines:
…Weye thy lust and lete thy goste the lede
And trowyth the shall dylyver yit ys no drede
Note: No envoy.
Attributed Title: Goode counselle (rubricated)
21.Source: Nottingham, Nottingham University Library Mellish Lm 1 [olim Mellish; olim Hadsock Priory nr Worksop], f. 2va
First Lines:
ffle fro pres and dwelle wyth sothefastnes
Suffice vnto thy goode though it be smalle…
Last Lines:
…Weyve thy lust And lete thy goost þe lede
And trowth shalle the delyuer it is no drede
Attributed Title: le bon councell de Chawcer (f. 2, margin)
Editions:
Doyle, A. I., and George B. Pace. “Further Texts of Chaucer’s Minor Poems.” Studies in Bibliography 28 (1975): 41-61: 56-7.
22.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library EL 26.C.9 [‘Ellesmere’], f. viii [back]
First Lines:
ffle fro the prees and dwell with sothfastnesse
Suffise vnto thi good though it be smal…
Last Lines:
…Hold the hye wey and lat thi gost the lede
And trouthe shal deliuere it is no drede
Note: Added fifteenth century; does not include envoy; 3 stanzas only
Facsimiles:
Woodward, Daniel, and Martin Stevens, eds. The New Ellesmere Chaucer Facsimile (Huntington MS EL 26 C 9). Tokyo: Yushodo, and San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1995.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
Todd, Henry John. Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer. London: Rivington, 1810: 131-2.
Skeat, Walter William, ed. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. 7 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1894-7: 1.390-1.
23.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 140 [olim Phillipps 8299], ff. 83v-84
First Lines:
ffle from the prees and dwell with sothfastnesse
Suffise the thyne owne though it be small…
Last Lines:
…Holde the high wey and let thy goste the lede
And treuth shall the delyuer it is no drede
Note: Follows immediately after Chaucer’s Clerk’s Tale (5573), as if part of same text; three stanzas, lacking envoy
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. More Odd Texts. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 77. London: Trübner, 1886; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
24.Source: Leiden, Leiden University Library Vossius Germ. Gall. Q.9, p. 191
First Lines:
ffle from the pres & dwelle with sothfastnesse
Suffice to the good thouh it be small…
Last Lines:
…Weyve thi lust & late thi goost the lede
and trouth the shall delyuer it is no drede
Attributed Title: Explicit optimus tractatus / de ffortuna (p. 191)



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 5091. Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Temple of Bras, or Assembly or Parliament of Fowls, Caxton, 1477? , sig. c.vi
First Lines:
ffle fro þe prees & dwelle with sothfastnes
Suffyse vnto the good yf it be smal…
Last Lines:
…Weyue thy lust and late thy gost the lede
And trouthe the shal delyuer it is no drede
Note: CUL shelfmark: Inc. 5. J. 1. 1. (3485)
Attributed Title: The good counceyl of chawcer (sig. c.vv)
2.Source: STC 17026. Lydgate, John, The prouerbes of Lydgate, de Worde, [1510?]
Note: 19th-century transcription in London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Dyce 34
Editions:
Clarke, Charles Cauder. The Riches of Chaucer. London: T. Tegg, 1835, 1839: 2.314.
3.Source: STC 17027. Lydgate, John, The prouerbes of Lydgate, de Worde, [1520?]
4.Source: STC 5088. Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Boke of Fame...with dyuers other of hid workes, Pynson, [1526?] , sig. e.ivra
First Lines:
Flye fro þe preace & dwell with sothfastnesse
Suffice vnto thy good though it be small…
Last Lines:
…Wey thy lust and let thy gost the lede
And trouthe þe shall delyuer it is no drede
Note: As a prologue to the ‘Morall prouerbes of Christyne’
Attributed Title: Ecce bonum consilium Galfredi Chaucer contra fortunam (sig. e.ivra)
5.Source: Geoffrey Chaucer, Workes, Thynne, 1532 , ff. 381rb-381va
First Lines:
flye ye fro þe prease & swel with sothfastnesse
Suffyse vnto the good if it be smal…
Last Lines:
…Weyue thy luste and lette thy gost the lede
And trouthe the shal delyuer it is no drede
Attributed Title: Good counsayle of Chaucer (f. 381rb)
Editions:
Stowe, John, ed. The Workes of Geffrey Chaucer…with diuers addicions, with the Siege of Thebes, compiled by J. Lidgate. London, J. Kyngston for J. Wight, 1561 (STC 5075).