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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 5557
IMEV 3521.5
NIMEV TM 1622
There be four things full hard for to know
Cordiale quatuor novissimorum’ — six lines introducing prose
Note: Bühler (1963), 83 suggests the rhyme is accidental.
Subjects: introductions, to prose texts; aphorisms
Versification: — two-line — aa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Lansdowne 762, f. 16v
Note: Transcribed from print.
Editions:
Wright, Thomas, and James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, eds. Reliquiae Antiquae. 2 vols. London: Smith, 1845: 1.233.



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 3308. Boke of Hawking, Hunting, and Blasing of Arms, [St Albans, 1486] , sig. f.5v
First Lines:
Ther be iiii thynges full harde for to knaw
Wyche way that thay will drawe…
Last Lines:
…The thridde of an Edder or a serpent spcent
The iiii of a fowle sittyng on any thyng
Note: CUL shelfmark, Inc. 3. J. 4. 1. (3636).
Attributed Title: If theis be not directid then go thei at aventyr (sig. f.5v)
Facsimiles:
Blades, William. “Introduction.” Facsimile edition of The Boke of Saint Albans by Dame Juliana Berners. London: Elliot Stock, 1881.
Hands, Rachel. “Introduction.” English Hawking and Hunting in The Boke of St Albans. Oxford: University Press, 1975.
2.Source: STC 3309. The Manere of Hawkyng and Huntyng and also of cote armours And of the blasynge of armys [and] The treatyse of fysshynge wyth an angle, de Worde, 1496 , sig. e.3v
First Lines:
There ben foure thynges full harde for to knawe
Whyche waye that they woll drawe…
Last Lines:
…The thyrde of an adder or of a serpent sprent
The fourth of a foule syttynge on ony thyng
Note: Princeton, University Library Z241.xB37.1496.
3.Source: STC 5759a. Gerard of Vliederhoven, Cordiale quottuor novissimorum (French, trans. Jean Mielot), [Bruges: William Caxton, 1476]
Note: British Library IB 49437.
Editions:
Bühler, Kurt. “Middle English Apophthegms in a Caxton Volume: Libri impressi cum notis manuscriptis X.” English Language Notes 1 (1963-64): 81-4: 83.