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With this beetle be he smitten
An English quatrain in a Latin story of the foolish father who gave away his goods, sometimes found in Bromyard’s sermons
Note: See Gomme (1890), 199, 204.
Subjects: sermons, verse in; translations; illustrations, verse accompanying
Versification: — four-line — aabb



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.9.38 (1450), f. 47
Transcription:
With thys bytel be he smete
þat all þe worle mote hyt wete
þat yevyt hys goode to hys kynne
& goth hym selfe a beggynd
Note: Written as 2 lines.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Hymns to the Virgin and Christ…and other religious poems. EETS o.s. 24 (1867); repr. 1973: 35.
2.Source: London, British Library Royal 7 E.IV, f. 45v
Editions:
Wright, Thomas. A selection of Latin stories. Percy Society 8. London: Richard, 1842: 28.
3.Source: London, British Library Royal 8 E.XVII, f. 83v
Editions:
Wright, Thomas. A selection of Latin stories. Percy Society 8. London: Richard, 1842: 221.
Brown, Carleton Fairchild. A Register of Middle English Religious & Didactic Verse. 2 vols. London: Oxford University Press for the Bibliographical Society: 1916-20: 1.362.
4.Source: London, British Library Royal 18 B.XXIII, f. 81v2
Transcription:
with þis betull be he smytte
þat all þe world well it will
þat ȝeweþ þe vnkeend all is þinge
and goyþ hym selfe on beggynge
Note: Written as prose. In a sermon for Septuagesima.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. The Babees Book, etc. EETS o.s. 32 (1868); rev. ed. Early English Meals and Manners London: Trübner, 1876; repr. 1973: 35.
Ross, W. O., ed. Middle English Sermons from British Museum MS. Royal 18 B. xxiii. EETS o.s. 209 (1940); repr. 1987: 90.
D’Evelyn, Charlotte. Peter Idley’s Instructions to His Son. Boston: Modern Language Association of America; and London: Oxford UP, 1935: 226.
5.Source: London, British Library Addit. 35287, f. 104v
Transcription:
With this mace be he smete
That al the worlde may it wete
That geuyth a way his owne thynges
And goth hymselff a beggyng
Note: Separate from Latin story; added to final leaf of MS by hand of the fifteenth century with a crude illustration of the mace.
6.Source: Eton, Eton College 34, f. 192
Transcription:
Wyth thys betyll be he smete
As I wyll þat all þe werld it wete
That to the vnkynde ȝeue all thynge
And goth hymselfe on beggyng
Editions:
Lucas, Peter J. “Another Text of ‘With this beetle be he smit.’” Notes and Queries n.s. 26 [224] (1979): 396-7: 397 (including composite text and variants).
7.Source: Leicester, Leicestershire Record Office BR II/3/3 [formerly Old Town Hall MS], f. 1
Transcription:
With a Centyll be he beton
that all hys goddȝ to gyn chyldere leyton
And gyffeȝ a wey hys thyng
& goys hym selff abeggyng
Note: With 2495 added to blank folio at front.
8.Source: Manchester, John Rylands Library Lat. 394, f. 18v
Transcription:
With a betull be he smeton
Þat alle þe world may it weten
Þat ȝeues his childe alle his þynge
and gooth hym selfe abegynge
Note: Two lines, in a series of Latin & English proverbs; followed by its Latin equivalent, ‘Prioli qui sua dat vt victum querere purgat / Malleus hunc feriat quilibet vt videat.’
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: 105.
9.Source: Dublin, Representative Church Body Library, Dublin Black Book of Christ Church, f. 1