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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 2729
IMEV 1629
NIMEV 1629
It is full hard to know any estate
Proverbial verses showing the influence of Cato’s ‘Distiches’ — in rhyme royal stanzas.
Note: Immediately preceded by Lydgate’s Horse Sheep & Goose (1075) in this MS only, and followed by 5534; St 6= st. 23 of 5788; st. 7 = st. 1 of 5410 and = 5411.
Subjects: proverbs; abuses of the age; mutability
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 144 [olim Huth 7], ff. 145-145v
First Lines:
Hit is ful harde to knowe ony estate
Double visage loketh oute of euery hood…
Last Lines:
…Hurte not thy self lest thou sore rewe
ffor thyn owne ese keepe thy tonge in mewe
Note: Followed immediately by 5534 and 5411, as if part of same text; 5 x RR; added modern note, ‘On Conduct & Manners, Misrule & Good Rule in’ (f. 145); 5 stanzas copied from Caxton.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James. “Chaucer and Lydgate Fragments.” Notes and Queries 5th ser. 9 (1878): 342-3: 342-3.
Bühler, Kurt. “Lydgate’s Horse, Sheep and Goose and Huntington MS HM 144.” Modern Language Notes 55 (1940): 563-69: 566-7.



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 17018. Lydgate, John, The Horse the Ghoos & the Sheep, [Caxton, 1477-78] , sigs. b.7-b.8
First Lines:
Hit is ful hard to knowe ony estate
Double visage loketh out of euery hood…
Last Lines:
…Though I goo loose I am teyde with a lyne
Is hit fortune or Infortune thus I fyne
Note: CUL shelfmark, Inc. 5. J. 1. 1. (3488); follows Lydgate’s Horse, Goose and Sheep.
Facsimiles:
Jenkinson, Francis. “Introduction.” Lytell Treatyse of the Horse, the Sheep, and the Ghoos, Westminster: de Worde, 1495. Cambridge: University Press, 1906; facsimile of John Lydgate (STC 17020).