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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 2711
IMEV 1619
NIMEV 1619
It falleth for every gentleman
Speak no evil behind a friend’s back — short poem, accompanied by Latin
Note: See Whiting (1968), G45
Subjects: precepts; speech, advice concerning
Versification: — eight-line — aabbcdcd
Bibliographic Ghosts: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson C.83 (SC 11948), f. 31: this MS has only 7 folios and does not seem to contain any verse.



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 315 (SC 2712), f. 268ra-b
Transcription:
Hit falleth to a gentil man
To say þe best þat he can
Of euery man in his absence
And say hym soth in his presence
Note: First four lines only; occurs with 1879, 6568, 6621.5, 6644 (the last formerly included with this; all originally copied from Cornwall, olim Launceston Priory, a wall inscription, no longer visible).
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope. “Wall Verses at Launceston Priory.” Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 200 (1963): 338-43: 342, 353.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 562.
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.15 (595), f. 3
Transcription:
It falleth for every gentleman
To saie the best that he can
In mannes absence
And the sothe in his presence
It cometh by kinde of gentle blodde
To cast awaie all heuynesse
And gader togider wordes good
The werke of wisdome beareth wittnesse
Note: Eight lines; immediately follows 6299 as if another stanza.
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope. “Wall Verses at Launceston Priory.” Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 200 (1963): 338-43: 342, 353.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 562.



Inscriptions:
1.Source: Cornwall, olim Launceston Priory, a wall inscription, no longer visible
Editions:
Rose-Troup, Frances. “Verses in the Hall at Launceston.” Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 19 (1937): 154-6: 154-6.



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 5090. Chaucer, Geoffrey, [Thou fiers god of armes, mars the rede], [Westminster: W. Caxton, 1477?]
Facsimiles:
Blades, William. The Biography and Typography of William Caxton, England’s first printer. London: Trübner, 1877; repr. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1971: 2.65.
2.Source: Geoffrey Chaucer, Workes, Thynne, 1532 , sig. A.ivvb
Transcription:
It falleth for euery gentylman
To saye the best that he can
In mannes absence
And the sothe in his presence
It cometh by kynde of gentyl blood
To caste away al heuynesse
And gader togider wordes good
The werke of wysedome beareth wytnesse
Note: Ends four texts added after table of contents to fill up first quire; one 8-line stanza.