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DIMEV 835
IMEV 513
NIMEV 513
Better is to suffer and fortune abide
The Golden Mean — a couplet
Note: Ringler Jr. (1992), TM 267; Ringler Jr. (1988), TP 241.5; also = lines 9-10 of 6621.7; and concluding couplet of 5112; this list also includes formerly separate 512.8.
Subjects: aphorisms
Versification: — two-line — aa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Fairfax 16 (SC 3896), f. 194
Transcription:
Better is to suffre and fortune abyde
And hastely to clymbe and sodeynly to slyde
Note: Written as separate text between the end of 2262 and the beginning of 3190.
Facsimiles:
Norton-Smith, John. “Introduction.” Bodleian Library MS Fairfax 16. London: Scolar Press, 1979.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967: 425.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 108 (SC 1486), f. 238v
Transcription:
Better ys to suffre and fortune abide
Þan hastyly falle & soþenly slyde
Note: Follows 779 and 1833.
3.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, p. 3415
Transcription:
Better yt ys suffre & fortune to abyde
Than hastely to clyme & sodeynly to slyde
Note: In a collection of six proverbial couplets: 6621.7, 5794, 2662, 3009.
Facsimiles:
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=balliol&manuscript=ms354).
Editions:
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: 139.
4.Source: London, British Library Harley 665, f. 281
Note: Four lines.
5.Source: London, British Library Royal 17 D.VI, f. 150v
6.Source: London, British Library Printed Book 1379.a2(7), sig. L.i
Note: Marginal addition in a printed book.
7.Source: Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales Peniarth 356, p. 196
8.Source: Brechin Castle, Earl of Dalhousie John Barbour, Buik of Alexander the grit, [Edinburgh, Arbuthnet, c. 1580] (STC 321.5), sig. E.viiia
Transcription:
Better it is fortoun to abyd
Than haistilie to clim and sudenly to slyd
Note: In a sixteenth-century hand scribbled in the inner margin, and again same page, outer margin (partly cropped), with other later texts on next page by same hand, all ed. Ritchie.
Editions:
Ritchie, Robert Lindsay Graeme, ed. The Buik of Alexander. 4 vols. Scottish Text Society n.s. 12 (1925), 17 (1921), 21 (1927), 25 (1929) Edinburgh, London: Blackwood, 1921-29: 2.xviii.
9.Source: Durham, Durham University Library Cosin V.iii.9, f. 85v
Transcription:
Better hyt hys serten to abyde
then hastly to clym and hastly to clyde
Note: Added upside-down to lower margin by John Hancok, who also copied 1912, 3010, 4131, 5708.
Facsimiles:
Burrow, John, and A. I. Doyle, eds. Thomas Hoccleve: A Facsimile of the Autograph Verse Manuscripts. EETS s.s. 19 (2002).
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Hoccleve’s Works: The Minor Poems. vol. 1. EETS e.s. 61 (1892); repr. with Gollancz (1925) 73; rev. J. Mitchell and A. Ian Doyle, 1970: 228.
10.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 1.1.6 [Bannatyne MS], f. 75v
Transcription:
Better it is for to suffer fortoun and abyd
Than haistely to clym and suddanly to slyd
Note: Formerly listed separately as 512.8; followed by other rhyming proverbial lines on the same subject (including 1867), and so edited.
Facsimiles:
Fox, Denton, and William A. Ringler. The Bannatyne Manuscript: National Library of Scotland Advocates’ MS. 1.1.6 London: Scolar Press, in Association with The National Library of Scotland, 1980.
Editions:
Murdoch, James Barclay. The Bannatyne Manuscript. 4 vols. in 11 parts, paged continuously. Hunterian Club 16, 32, 40, 46, 50, 55-56, 64-67 Glasgow: Anderson, 1873-1896: 205.
Ritchie, W. Tod, ed. The Bannatyne Manuscript. 4 parts in 4 vols. Scottish Text Society 3rd ser. 5 (1928); n.s. 22 (1928); n.s. 23 (1930); n.s. 26 (1934) Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1928-34; ed. by Ritchie et al: 2.187.
11.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 1.1.6 [Bannatyne MS], f. 122
Transcription:
Bettir Is to suffer and fortoun abyd
Than haistely to clym and suddenlie to slyd
Note: Second occurrence in MS; immediately preceded by 418 and followed by 6554; signed, ‘quod quho to quhome’ (f. 122).
Facsimiles:
Fox, Denton, and William A. Ringler. The Bannatyne Manuscript: National Library of Scotland Advocates’ MS. 1.1.6 London: Scolar Press, in Association with The National Library of Scotland, 1980.
12.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 1.1.6 [Bannatyne MS], f. 147
Transcription:
Bettir is to suffer and fortoun abyd
Than haistely to clym and soddonly to slyd
Note: Third occurrence in MS; immediately preceded by 418; signed ‘quod quhay to quhome’ (f. 147).
Facsimiles:
Fox, Denton, and William A. Ringler. The Bannatyne Manuscript: National Library of Scotland Advocates’ MS. 1.1.6 London: Scolar Press, in Association with The National Library of Scotland, 1980.



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 17030. Lydgate, John, Stans puer ad mensam, [Westminster: Printed by William Caxton, 1476?] , f. 4v
Transcription:
Better is to suffre and fortune tabyde
Than hastely to clymbe and sodenly to slyde
Note: Printed in a sequence comprising 6621.7.
2.Source: STC 4851. Paruus Catho [et] Magnus Catho, [Caxton, 1476] , f. 37v
Transcription:
Better is to suffre and fortune tabyde
Than hastely to clymbe and sodenly to slyde
Note: Huntington R. B. 62364; in a group of six couplet aphorisms at the end of printed copy of Cato.