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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 2723
IMEV 1627.5
NIMEV prose
It is but a simple oak
Proverbial couplet in a letter from Elizabeth Brews to John Paston, February 1477 [Davis (1971), No. 782, and repeated in No. 785 (numbers 896 and 899 in Gairdner (1904))]
Subjects: proverbs; Paston, John; Brews, Elizabeth
Versification: — two-line — aa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Addit. 43490, f. 22
Transcription:
It is but a sympill oke
That was cut down at the first stroke
Note: Robbins and Cutler (1965) lists ‘Gairdner, III.169, 172’ for orig. ed.
Editions:
Fenn, John. Original Letters Written during the Reigns of Henry VI…. London: Robinson, 1787 (The Paston Letters): 2.208.
Gairdner, James, ed. The Paston Letters. 6 vols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1904; repr. Alan Sutton, 1986: 5.266.
Coulton, George Gordon. Life in the Middle Ages. Cambridge: at the UP, 1931, and New York: Macmillan, 1931: 3.134.
Bennett, Henry Stanley. England from Chaucer to Caxton. London: Methuen, 1928: 20.
2.Source: London, British Library Addit. 43490, f. 25
Transcription:
it was a febill oke
þat was kut down at the first stroke
Note: Robbins and Cutler (1965) lists ‘Gairdner, III.169, 172’ for orig. ed.
Editions:
Gairdner, James, ed. The Paston Letters. 6 vols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1904; repr. Alan Sutton, 1986: 5.269.