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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 4795
IMEV 3079.8
NIMEV 3079.8
Say well or be still
Three lines advocating caution (including ‘had y wyst’)
Note: Cf. 4798.
Subjects: advice, moral
Versification: — three-line — aaa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Harley 665, f. 302
2.Source: New York, Pierpont Morgan Library B.21 [olim Phillipps 7008; Katherine Fenwick; Thomas FitzRoy Fenwick; Alan George Fenwick; William H. Robinson Ltd., London; their sale, London, Sotheby’s, July 17, 1950, lot 27; purchased for Curt F. Bühler at Sotheby’s (London, Feb. 28, 1955, lot 169) by E.P. Goldschmidt, London], f. iii
Transcription:
Sey þe best or be stylle
Wyth thy tonge noman thou qwelle
Suffyr and haue thy wylle
Note: hree lines translating four short Latin lines, beg. ‘Optimam dic ve tacere…’.
Editions:
Bühler, Kurt. “A Middle English Medical Manuscript from Norwich.” Studies in Medieval Literature in Honor of Professor Albert Cross Baugh. MacEdward Leach, ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1961: 285-98: 287.
Whiting, Bartlett Jere. Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases from English Writings Mainly before 1500. Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1968: S77.