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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 6052
IMEV 3792.5
NIMEV 3792.5
Tongue breaketh bone
A proverbial couplet
Note: Cf. 182; included in 3383 (stanza 17 of Harley MS., ed. Northall (1892), 559); see also Hazlitt (1882), 455; Smith (1935), 552; 1948, 663.
Subjects: proverbs; tongue, advice concerning use of
Versification: — two-line — aa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Douce 52 (SC 21626), f. 18v
Transcription:
þe tonge brekyth bon
& hath hym sylfe non
Editions:
Förster, Max. “Frühmittelenglische Sprichwörter.” Englische Studien 31 (1902): 1-20: 6.
Förster, Max. “Die Mittelenglische Sprichwörtersammlung in Douce 52.” Festschrift zum XII Deutschen Neuphilolgentage in München 1906. E. Stollreither, ed. Erlangen (1906): 40-64: 47.
2.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, p. 42006
Transcription:
Tonge breketh bon
wher bon he hathe non
Note: In a collection of 55 proverbs in Latin and English; translating ‘Ossa terit glossa tamen in se non habet ossa’, which follows.
Facsimiles:
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=balliol&manuscript=ms354).
Editions:
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 203.
Dyboski, R., ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. EETS e.s. 101 (1908); repr. 1984: 132.
Bühler, Kurt. “The Liber de dictis philosophorum antiquorum and common proverbs in George Ashby’s poems.” PMLA 65 (1950): 282-9: 288.
3.Source: Oxford, Lincoln College Lat. 52, f. 3rb
Transcription:
þe tonge brekith bone
and hath hym selue noon
Note: Immediately followed by 6629.
4.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.2.45 (1149), f. 351
Editions:
Förster, Max. “Frühmittelenglische Sprichwörter.” Englische Studien 31 (1902): 1-20: 6.
5.Source: London, British Library Harley 3362, f. 2v
Editions:
Wright, Thomas, ed. “Anecdota Literaria: Proverbs from Ms. Harley 3362, of the end of the fifteenth century.” Retrospective Review 2 (May, 1854): 309: 309.
Förster, Max. “Frühmittelenglische Sprichwörter.” Englische Studien 31 (1902): 1-20: 6.
Bad Key: Forster1918: 200.
6.Source: London, British Library Harley 3362, f. 21
Editions:
Wright, Thomas, ed. “Anecdota Literaria: Proverbs from Ms. Harley 3362, of the end of the fifteenth century.” Retrospective Review 2 (May, 1854): 309: 309.
Förster, Max. “Frühmittelenglische Sprichwörter.” Englische Studien 31 (1902): 1-20: 6.
Bad Key: Forster1918: 200.
7.Source: Manchester, John Rylands Library Lat. 394, f. 8v
Editions:
Pantin, William A. “A Medieval Collection of Latin and English Proverbs…from Rylands Latin MS. 394.” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 14 (1930): 81-114: 97.