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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 4794
IMEV 3079.7
NIMEV TM 1385
Say well is a worthy thing
Verses advocating that Do well is preferable to Say well — nine quatrains and burden, or 42 lines in couplets with burden: ‘Saye well & do well þey are thynges twayne / thryse happy ys he in whome bothe dothe rayne’.
Subjects: advice, moral
Versification: — four-line, two-line — aa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 1.1.6 [Bannatyne MS], ff. 83-83v
First Lines:
Say weill is trewly ane wirthy gud thing
off say weill grit vertew dois out spring…
Last Lines:
…Say weill and doweill ar thingis twane
Thryss happy is he quhome in thay do remane
Note: 21 couplets in this MS (usually 9 quatrains and burden).
Facsimiles:
Fox, Denton, and William A. Ringler. The Bannatyne Manuscript: National Library of Scotland Advocates’ MS. 1.1.6 London: Scolar Press, in Association with The National Library of Scotland, 1980.
Editions:
Murdoch, James Barclay. The Bannatyne Manuscript. 4 vols. in 11 parts, paged continuously. Hunterian Club 16, 32, 40, 46, 50, 55-56, 64-67 Glasgow: Anderson, 1873-1896: 230.
Ritchie, W. Tod, ed. The Bannatyne Manuscript. 4 parts in 4 vols. Scottish Text Society 3rd ser. 5 (1928); n.s. 22 (1928); n.s. 23 (1930); n.s. 26 (1934) Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1928-34; ed. by Ritchie et al: 2.212-13.
2.Source: London, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Art Library Dyce 25.F.40 (MS Dyce 45), ff. 41v-42
First Lines:
sayewell ys a wothy thyng
of sayewell great goodnesse dothe furthe spryng…
Last Lines:
…Lorde trycke & quycke to gether knytte
so shall they pype a mery fytte
finis