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The chief beginning of grace and of virtue
John Lydgate, ‘An Epistell to Sibille’ (Lady Sibille Boys ?) — twenty stanzas rhyme royal, including envoy
Author(s): John Lydgate
Title(s): ‘An Epistell to Sibille’
Subjects: women, praise of; envoys; letters
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 59 (SC 6943), ff. 60-62
First Lines:
The chief gynnyng of grace and of vertue
To exclude slouþe is ocupacoun
Martha minystred to oure lord Ihesu
And Maria by contemplacoun…
Last Lines:
…Let hie labour avoyding ydelnesse
Vsinge hir handes in vertuous besynesse
Note: 21 stanza (stanza 18 is repeated twice).
Attributed Title: Lenvoye by Lidegate. Here foloweþe an Epistel made by þe same Lidegate sende to Sibille with þeschewing of ydelnesse (f. 59v); Lenvoye (f. 62)
Editions:
MacCracken, Henry Noble, ed. John Lydgate: The Minor Poems, Vol. I: Religious Poems. EETS e.s. 107 (1911; repr. 1961): 14-18.