Mike Corthell

Mike Corthell
Editor & Publisher at Fryeburg Free Press MEDIA

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Detours on the Road to Happiness

Mike Corthell, Editor



In my opinion happiness isn't something that you are born with. Happiness is something that happens through a series of experiences, habits and realizations over the course of your life.  This isn't a guide to try and fix people who are clinically depressed, but a series of things I have learned over my life that have shaped the way I look at life and the world.  It is my experience that the more positive habits you have in your life, the more emotional happiness you will experience.  Instead of telling you things you should do to increase your emotional satisfaction, I’ve created a list of bad habits you should try to correct.  Not only will they make you happier, they will also make you a better person.

Chronic Complaining

Complaining

 The one thing that happy, successful people don't do a lot of is complaining. While it is psychologically beneficial to vent when you are under stress, there is a difference between small venting sessions and being a chronic complainer. The chronic complainer tends to always have something wrong in their life, their issues are more important than everybody elses, and when you have something to vent about yourself, they aren't very interested in listening. Everybody gets dealt a hand in life. Some get dealt better hands than others, but at the end of the day this is the hand of cards that is yours.   Chronic complainers tend to complain about their job, their significant other, how little money they make or how something wasn't fair.  I have news for you, anybody anywhere has hundreds of things they could complain about at any given time.  If you are a chronic complainer, quit whining and talk about the things that are positive in your life and focus on what is good.  If you have a problem, sit down and work out a solution.  Constant complaining does nothing but push your friends away and keep you in that dark unhappy place. You have good in your life, find it, and share it.

Retail Therapy

 Shopping

 Life is about experiences, however so many people get caught up in materialistic items that they forget what truly makes us happy.  Sure the latest gadget may make you feel good for the evening, but that high is temporary, and you will be back chasing that retail high shortly after.  Get out and experience the world.  If you can't afford to get away, become a tourist in your own city.  Skydive, bungee jump, go to the beach alone, take a hike on an unknown trail, go up to a complete stranger and invite them for coffee, hell… read a book; there are so many things you could be doing that will enrich your life that doesn't involve buying things.

Binge Drinking


Binge Drinking

 Alcohol can be hard to avoid. It is present in almost every social situation.  As most people know alcohol is a depressant.  While alcohol can help loosen you up in these social situations, drinking excessively on a regular basis can cause all sorts of havoc on your life.  Since alcohol is a depressant, the following day after drinking yourself silly usually results in a pretty unproductive day.  Not only does this lead to the feeling like you have wasted a day, it also leads to poor eating decisions and lack of exercise.

Worrying About the Future

The Future

 No matter what you do, you only have so much impact on what the future has in store for you.  Could you get laid off? Maybe.  Could you catch a life threatening disease? Yup.  The thing is, you have very little control over whether or not these things happen, so why spend your time worrying about it.  As long as you have a reasonable game plan and are living responsibly you should be focused on what is going on in your life now.  Focus on what you are doing this second, if you hate it, do something else. Right now I'm looking outside, it is sunny and my cat is rubbing up against my leg. I couldn't be happier.


Waiting for the Future

Waiting on the Future


Much like worrying about the future, many people focus on future events instead of what is going on right now. The chain of thought usually starts like this:
When you are in high school, you think you will be happy when you graduate. Once you've graduated, you think you will be happy once you land a good job.  Once you have the dream job, you think you will be happy when you are married.   Next you think you will be happy when you have kids.  Once you have kids, you think you will be happy when they move out of the house. Next it will be when they have kids.  Before you know it you will have spent your entire life waiting for events to bring you happiness just to realize life (and happiness) has passed you by.

Lack of Hobbies

 Guitar

 Before I even get started, your job, house cleaning and watching TV are NOT hobbies.  Hobbies are activities that you can become passionate about.  Hobbies are something that you can do when you have three hours of free time on a Thursday night.  Hobbies are skills that could potentially earn you money if you become good enough at them.  Happy people tend to have hobbies, whether your hobby is kick boxing, playing the guitar, or even basket weaving.  Hobbies give you something to do with your free time and give you some time for YOU. This is time you are investing in yourself. Group hobbies also have the added benefit of giving you additional socializing time.

Talking Poorly of Others


Whispers

Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about other people.

Next time you go out, listen to what people talk about.  Are you spending your time gossiping or talking about other people.  Unhappy people get caught up talking about other people instead of talking about things such as ideas or current events.
Unhappy people also have a tendency to judge others.  "Look what that idiot is doing!. "Can you believe what she is wearing".  If you catch yourself judging somebody you don't know, bite your tongue.  Trashing somebody else might make you feel better for a moment, but all you are doing is masking your insecurities by trying to put them beneath you.  Instead, try complimenting others, at first it might be hard, but it will make you feel good and will make you a much more desirable person to be around.

Holding Grudges



Holding a Grudge


 Harbouring animosity towards somebody is like carrying around a backpack full of rocks.  You don't have a problem carrying it, but it is a load on your back, and life sure would be easier if you could just take it off.  Do yourself a favour, forgive.  This doesn't mean you need to become best buds with whomever has done you wrong, but come to terms with what has happened and understand that people make mistakes.  Forgiving will help free you of anxiety,  stress and depression and allow you to have happier relationships. Free yourself of the hate, and move on.

Stop Learning

 Learning

“The moment you stop learning, you stop leading.”

It isn't hard to become complacent in life.  You've spent so much time going to school to eventually get a job that learning sometimes takes a backseat to life.  Learning doesn't need to be a chore.   Just like hobbies, get out there and learn about something you are passionate about.  Like mexican food? Sweet, start reading about it and practice making five star restaurant quality mexican food.  Learning new things not only gives you things to talk about in social environments, it also helps improve your self worth, which leads to happiness.

Not Following Through


Couch Potato

 It is easy to sit on the couch and make a list of things you want or plan to do.  Actually getting up off the couch and doing them takes a lot more energy. They say that taking the first step is always the hardest part with any plan.  Quit making excuses and walk the walk, nobody is going to do it for you.  Want to go back to school? Pick up the phone and register.  Want to lose 10 lbs? Get in your car and drive to the gym. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Quit letting the first step hold you back.

Hating Your Job


I hate my job

 The average full time work week is 40 hours.  With two weeks vacation most people work 1920 hours per year.
If you are going to spend 1920 hours per year working, please make an attempt to like your job.  Since you will be spending 22.4% of your entire year (yes that includes sleeping hours) you better like what you are doing.  Now, before you jump to conclusions that you hate your job, think to yourself, "Do I really hate my job, or have i just complained about it to others so much that I think I do?".
So many people love their job when they first start.  As time goes on, co-workers start to complain about things, and then you start to find little things that bother you, then soon enough everybody's complaining has amalgamated into this giant ball of hate.  Next thing you know you are blaming your job for your unhappiness.  If this is your situation, you can either A) Start telling yourself something you love about your job daily, and make sure you relay this to your co-workers in an attempt to learn to re-love your job or B) If it is too late, and the damage is done, move on to a similar job elsewhere and do everything you can to keep things positive from the get go.
In the event you genuinely hate your job and doing it another day is going to cause you endless grief, simply take the plunge, and move on.  Being unhappy for close to a quarter or your life just isn't worth it.

Letting Negative Thoughts Enter Your Mind

 The Human Mind
 In the past I had this problem.  Negative thoughts would enter my  mind and I would let them stick around.  They would then sit there, fester and take control of my emotions and my happiness.  This got to the point I actually spoke to my doctor about it and he gave me this advice.  When these thoughts enter your head, immediately think of something else.  You choose what you think about, and the longer you entertain a negative thought, the more it is going to stay in focus.  We are all human, and bad thoughts will enter our heads from time to time, but by being conscious of what you thinking about you can push them out of your head before they take you over.

Jumping to Conclusions

 Jumping

Jumping to conclusions is a huge source of not only unhappiness but also anxiety for people.  Jumping to conclusions usually comes in one of two forms; Fortune telling and mind reading.
Fortune Telling is when a situation arises and you automatically predict that things are going to turn our poorly.  Because of this fortune telling, you often take yourself out of these situations, which for the most part would end in a great experience.  You lose out by having jumped to conclusions and predicting an unsatisfactory outcome.
Mind reading is when you automatically assume that others are negatively reacting to you or something you've done when there is no definite evidence.  This can and will make you feel like a victim and can result in unfounded resentment towards these imaginary reactions.

Magnification

Magnifying

 Often times unhappy people have a tendency to blow small things out of proportion.  Take a step back before you deal with an issue and try to look at it objectively.  Often times if you try to take yourself and your emotions out of the equation and think it through you will realize that you are making a big deal out of nothing.  If you still aren't sure, ask somebody you trust what they would do in this situation before losing sleep over it.

Minimization

 Minimization

The exact opposite of magnification is minimization.  Minimization is when you take real problems and instead of dealing with them, tell yourself they are insignificant.  Unfortunately you can only sweep your problems under the rug for so long before they explode.  People tend to ignore problems like debt, infidelity, obesity amongst other things.  If this sounds like you, stop ignoring your ongoing problems, become actionable and take steps to fix them.  Much like grudges, you will feel much better once these problems have been resolved.

Self Labelling

Self Labelling

 How you talk to yourself can seriously affect your self image.  When you make a mistake, tell yourself "You made a mistake, next time you will do better".   Saying things like "You are an idiot", or "You are a piece of crap" does nothing but lower your self worth.  This might sound insignificant, but you need to believe in yourself to be happy, and calling yourself names prevents you from moving on after you've made a mistake.

Not Having a Goal


 Crossing the finish line

One of the most exciting things in life is setting a goal and accomplishing it.  Happy people have a tendency to make both short and long term goals.  Short term goals give you mini accomplishments that build self confidence and keep you motivated for the big picture.  These goals can be related to anything that is important to you. Fitness, finance and hobby related goals are examples of goals you can set immediately.  Successful people are constantly setting and accomplishing goals.
While lack of ambition has a tendency to lead to mediocracy and limited emotional satisfaction,  unhappy people often set goals too.  The problem with unhappy people's goals, is they tend to be unachievable. One study shows that people suffering from depression often set goals that they are incapable of accomplishing  When these goals don't come to fruition, negative self reflection begins.  For this reason, incremental goals are extremely important to build self confidence and positive reinforcement for the goal setter.  Start small, and build up steam, you are the only thing that stands in the way.

WORRYING WHAT OTHERS THINK

 Worrying What Others Think

 So many people spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to please others.  This generally stems from the insecurity that other people are judging them.  People do their hair a certain way, dress a certain way, and act a certain way in an attempt to fit in.  All these things take so much energy yet in most circumstances the people you are friends with would like you regardless if you did the things you do to try and impress them.  Stop doing things for other people and do things that make you happy. Go out with your hair a mess, wear a pair of torn up sweat pants in public and do it with a smile on your face.  Your friends will like you regardless and if you don't know somebody, why do you care what they think.

Let Strangers Affect Your Mood


Stranger

 The world is a scary place.  There are lots of pissed off people and people who want to drag you down to their level.  If somebody gives you the middle finger while driving, smile back at them and let them spend their energy being cranky. Don't let somebody else's bad day control the outcome of yours. If you have to deal with a grumpy person, kill them with kindness.  Often times your unfounded happiness will make them realize how big of a jerk they are being.

WANTING MORE MONEY

 American Money

 Money, everybody wants it, nobody seems to have enough of it; Or do they?  Most people think that if they had more money, their happiness would increase accordingly.  Unfortunately, much like "Waiting for the future" above, the illusion that more money will solve all your problems and make you happy is nothing more than just that, an illusion. According to a Princeton University study, emotional well being  and happiness does rise with income, but only to an annual household income of $75,000. (2014) If your household income is already over $75,000 it might be time to re-evaluate your happiness, more money is probably not going to make you that much happier.

(source: IBOriginals)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Night Before Christmas, Down At the Lodge


The Night Before Christmas, Down At the Lodge
'Twas the Night before Christmas, and down at the Lodge
Not a gavel was stirring, and in the hodge-podge

Of aprons and jewels and chairs East and West
you could savor the silence, most gladly divest

All metal and mineral, it mattered not,
since Christmas was nigh and the coals were still hot

In the hearth of your homestead, all Masons abed,
as visions of trestle boards danced in their head;

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter,
Our Tiler jumped up to see what was the matter!

He picked up his sword and ran fast to the door,
three knocks shook the panels - he wondered 'What for?'
He answered the knocking with, raps of his own,
and once the door opened he saw, with a moan

Of delight it was Santa, all jolly and red
Except for one notable feature Instead!

Upon his large finger lie wore what we knew
was compass and square on a background of blue!

'Why Santa!' he shouted and lowered his blade
'I see you're a Mason!' the Tiler relayed.
He looked toward the Master's most dignified chair
and said, voice near trembling, 'Most Worshipful there

Is a Gentleman properly clothed at the gate!'
The Master replied, 'Let's allow him - but wait!

You tell me a Gentleman, but I don't see
His Apron beneath that red suit, can it be

Our visitor hasn't been properly raised?
Must we offer a test that is suitably phrased?

'I do beg your pardon,' old' Santa said quick
As he pulled up his coat and displayed not a stick

But a cane with, engraving, two balls did appear
and oh, what an apron, he wore and held dear!

Adorned like the Master' complete with a sign
Of "Lodge Number One, the North Pole" on one line!

"Now let man enter," the Master declared,
and once in the Lodge room the Brethren all stared,

For Santa was wearing a jewel not seen
for many a century - there in between

The fur of his coat and the splendid red collar
gleamed two golden reindeer that shone like a dollar!

"It's Donner and Blitzen, who, I must confess
Are actually images brought from the West

By my Warden, a craftsman like none in the world!"
And with a great laugh from his bag he unfurled

An ear of fine corn and some oil from the east,
"My friend I have plenty, tonight we will feast

On all that is good! We are Masons, kind sir!"
A murmur went throughout the Lodge, quite a stir,

As presents and promises flew from his sack
This Santa, a Mason, showed he had a knack

For making this Christmas the best you could glean,
And soon even Deacons were laughing, they'd seen

On this very night only happiness reigned!
This jolly Saint Nicholas quickly explained

That only a Mason could be so inclined
to make all kids happy, make all people find

A Christmas so special, yes, Santa was right!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! 

I don't know where this came from originally, the author is unknown.

I'm passing it along.
Merry Christmas!
Bro. Mike Corthell, Editor

Friday, December 19, 2014

The 47th Problem

 

Containing more real food for thought, and impressing on the receptive mind a greater truth than any other of the emblems in the lecture of the Sublime Degree, the 47th problem of Euclid generally gets less attention, and certainly less than all the rest.  Just why this grand exception should receive so little explanation in our lecture; just how it has happened, that, although the Fellowcraft’s degree makes so much of Geometry, Geometry’s right hand should be so cavalierly treated, is not for the present inquiry to settle.  We all know that the single paragraph of our lecture devoted to Pythagoras and his work is passed over with no more emphasis than that given to the Bee Hive of the Book of Constitutions.  More’s the pity; you may ask many a Mason to explain the 47th problem, or even the meaning of the word “hecatomb,” and receive only an evasive answer, or a frank “I don’t know - why don’t you ask the Deputy?” The Masonic legend of Euclid is very old - just how old we do not know, but it long antedates our present Master Mason’s Degree.  The paragraph relating to Pythagoras in our lecture we take wholly from Thomas Smith Webb, whose first Monitor appeared at the close of the eighteenth century.
It is repeated here to refresh the memory of those many brethren who usually leave before the lecture:
“The 47th problem of Euclid was an invention of our ancient friend and brother, the great  Pythagoras, who, in his travels through Asia, Africa and Europe was initiated into several orders of Priesthood, and was also Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. This wise philosopher enriched his mind abundantly in a general knowledge of things, and more especially in Geometry.  On this subject he drew out many problems and theorems, and, among the most distinguished, he erected this, when, in the joy of his heart, he exclaimed Eureka, in the Greek Language signifying “I have found it,” and upon the discovery of which he is said to have sacrificed a hecatomb.  It teaches Masons to be general lovers of the arts and sciences.” Some of facts here stated are historically true; those which are only fanciful at least bear out the symbolism of the conception.  In the sense that Pythagoras was a learned man, a leader, a teacher, a founder of a school, a wise man who saw God in nature and in number; and he was a “friend and brother.”  That he was “initiated into several orders of Priesthood” is a matter of history.  That he was “Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason” is of course poetic license and an impossibility, as  the “Sublime Degree” as we know it is only a few hundred years old - not more than three at the very outside.  Pythagoras is known to have traveled, but the probabilities are that his wanderings were confined to the countries bordering the Mediterranean.  He did go to Egypt, but it is at least problematical that he got much further into Asia than Asia Minor.  He did indeed “enrich his mind abundantly” in many matters, and particularly in mathematics. That he was the first to “erect” the 47th problem is possible, but not proved; at least he worked with it so much that it is sometimes called “The Pythagorean problem.”   If he did discover it he might have exclaimed “Eureka” but the he sacrificed a hecatomb - a hundred head of cattle - is entirely out of character, since the Pythagoreans were vegetarians and reverenced all animal life.
Pythagoras was probably born on the island of Samos, and from contemporary Grecian accounts was a studious lad whose manhood was spent in the emphasis of mind as opposed to the body, although he was trained as an athlete.  He was antipathetic to the licentiousness of the aristocratic life of his time and he and his followers were persecuted by those who did not understand them.  Aristotle wrote of him:  “The Pythagoreans first applied themselves to mathematics, a science which they improved; and penetrated with it, they fancied that the principles of mathematics were the principles of all things.”
It was written by Eudemus that:  “Pythagoreans changed geometry into the form of a liberal science, regarding its principles in a purely abstract manner and investigated its theorems from the immaterial and intellectual point of view,” a statement which rings with familiar music in the ears of Masons.
Diogenes said “It was Pythagoras who carried Geometry to perfection,” also “He discovered the numerical relations of the musical scale.” Proclus states:  “The word Mathematics originated with the Pythagoreans!”
The sacrifice of the hecatomb apparently rests on a statement of Plutarch, who probably took it from Apollodorus, that “Pythagoras sacrificed an ox on finding a geometrical diagram.”  As the Pythagoreans originated the doctrine of Metempsychosis which predicates that all souls live first in animals and then in man - the same doctrine of reincarnation held so generally in the East from whence Pythagoras might have heard it - the philosopher and his followers were vegetarians and reverenced all animal life, so the “sacrifice” is probably mythical.  Certainly there is nothing in contemporary accounts of Pythagoras to lead us to think that he was either sufficiently wealthy, or silly enough to slaughter a hundred valuable cattle to express his delight at learning to prove what was later to be the 47th problem of Euclid.
In Pythagoras’ day (582 B.C.) of course the “47th problem” was not called that.  It remained for Euclid, of Alexandria, several hundred years later, to write his books of Geometry, of which the 47th and 48th problems form the end of the first book.  It is generally conceded either that Pythagoras did indeed discover the Pythagorean problem, or that it was known prior to his time, and used by him; and that Euclid, recording in writing the science of Geometry as it was known then, merely availed himself of the mathematical knowledge of his era.
It is probably the most extraordinary of all scientific matters that the books of Euclid, written three hundred years or more before the Christian era, should still be used in schools.  While a hundred different geometries have been invented or discovered since his day, Euclid’s “Elements” are still the foundation of that science which is the first step beyond the common mathematics of every day.  In spite of the emphasis placed upon geometry in our Fellowcrafts degree our insistence that it is of a divine and moral nature, and that by its study we are enabled not only to prove the wonderful properties of nature but to demonstrate the more important truths of morality, it is common knowledge that most men know nothing of the science which they studied - and most despised - in their school days.  If one man in ten in any lodge can demonstrate the 47th problem of Euclid, the lodge is above the common run in educational standards!
And yet the 47th problem is at the root not only of geometry, but of most applied mathematics; certainly, of all which are essential in engineering, in astronomy, in surveying, and in that wide expanse of problems concerned with finding one unknown from two known factors.  At the close of the first book Euclid states the 47th problem - and its correlative 48th - as follows:
“47th - In every right angle triangle  the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.” “48th - If the square described of one of the sides of a triangle be equal to the squares described of the other two sides, then the angle contained by these two is a right angle.”
This sounds more complicated than it is.  Of all people, Masons should know what a square is!  As our ritual teaches us, a square is a right angle or the fourth part of a circle, or an angle of ninety degrees.  For the benefit of those who have forgotten their school days, the “hypotenuse” is the line which makes a right angle (a square) into a triangle, by connecting the ends of the two lines which from the right angle.
For illustrative purposes let us consider that the familiar Masonic square has one arm six inches long and one arm eight inches long.  If a square be erected on the six inch arm, that square will contain square inches to the number of six times six, or thirty-six square inches.  The square erected on the eight inch arm will contain square inches to the number of eight times eight, or sixty-four square inches.
The sum of sixty-four and thirty-six square inches is one hundred square inches.
According to the 47th problem the square which can be erected upon the hypotenuse, or line adjoining the six and eight inch arms of the square should contain one hundred square inches.  The only square which can contain one hundred square inches has ten inch sides, since ten, and no other number, is the square root of one hundred.  This is provable mathematically, but it is also demonstrable with an actual square.  The curious only need lay off a line six inches long, at right angles to a line eight inches long; connect the free ends by a line (the Hypotenuse) and measure the length of that line to be convinced - it is, indeed, ten inches long.
This simple matter then, is the famous 47th problem.   But while it is simple in conception it is complicated with innumerable ramifications in use.
It is the root of all geometry.  It is behind the discovery of every unknown from two known factors.  It is the very cornerstone of mathematics.
The engineer who tunnels from either side through a mountain uses it to get his two shafts to meet in the center.
The surveyor who wants to know how high a mountain may be ascertains the answer through the 47th problem.
The astronomer who calculates the distance of the sun, the moon, the planets and who fixes “the duration of time and seasons, years and cycles,” depends upon the 47th problem for his results.  The navigator traveling the trackless seas uses the 47th problem in determining his latitude, his longitude and his true time.  Eclipses are predicated, tides are specified as to height and time of occurrence, land is surveyed, roads run, shafts dug,   and bridges built because of the 47th problem of Euclid - probably discovered by Pythagoras - shows the way.
It is difficult to show “why” it is true; easy to demonstrate that it is true.  If you ask why the reason for its truth is difficult to demonstrate, let us reduce the search for “why” to a fundamental and ask “why” is two added to two always four, and never five or three?”  We answer “because we call the product of two added to two by the name of four.”  If we express the conception of “fourness” by some other name, then two plus two would be that other name.  But the truth would be the same, regardless of the name.  So it is with the 47th problem of Euclid.  The sum of the squares of the sides of any right angled triangle - no matter what their dimensions - always exactly equals the square of the line connecting their ends (the hypotenuse).  One line may be a few 10’s of an inch long - the other several miles long; the problem invariably works out, both by actual measurement upon the earth, and by mathematical demonstration.
It is impossible for us to conceive of a place in the universe where two added to two produces five, and not four (in our language).  We cannot conceive of a world, no matter how far distant among the stars, where the 47th problem is not true.  For “true” means absolute - not dependent upon time, or space, or place, or world or even universe.  Truth, we are taught, is a divine attribute and as such is coincident with Divinity, omnipresent.
It is in this sense that the 47th problem “teaches Masons to be general lovers of the art and sciences.”  The universality of this strange and important mathematical principle must impress the thoughtful with the immutability of the laws of nature.  The third of the movable jewels of the entered Apprentice Degree reminds us that “so should we, both operative and speculative, endeavor to erect our spiritual building (house) in accordance with the rules laid down by the Supreme Architect of the Universe, in the great books of nature and revelation, which are our spiritual, moral and Masonic Trestleboard.”
Greatest among “the rules laid down by the Supreme Architect of the Universe,” in His great book of nature, is this of the 47th problem; this rule that, given a right angle triangle, we may find the length of any side if we know the other two; or, given the squares of all three, we may learn whether the angle is a “Right” angle, or not.  With the 47th problem man reaches out into the universe and produces the science of astronomy.  With it he measures the most infinite of distances.  With it he describes the whole framework and handiwork of nature.  With it he calcu-lates the orbits and the positions of those “numberless worlds about us.”  With it he reduces the chaos of ignorance to the law and order of intelligent appreciation of the cosmos.  With it he instructs his fellow-Masons that “God is always geometrizing” and that the “great book of Nature” is to be read through a square.
Considered thus, the “invention of our ancient friend and brother, the great Pythagoras,” becomes one of the most impressive, as it is one of the most important, of the emblems of all Freemasonry, since to the initiate it is a symbol of the power, the wisdom and the goodness of the Great Articifer of the Universe.   It is the plainer for its mystery - the more mysterious because it is so easy to comprehend.
Not for nothing does the Fellowcraft’s degree beg our attention to the study of the seven liberal arts and sciences, especially the science of geometry, or Masonry.  Here, in the Third Degree, is the very heart of Geometry, and a close and vital connection between it and the greatest of all Freemasonry’s teachings - the knowledge of the “All-Seeing Eye.”
He that hath ears to hear - let him hear - and he that hath eyes to see - let him look!  When he has both listened and looked, and understood the truth behind the 47th problem he will see a new meaning to the reception of a Fellowcraft, understand better that a square teaches morality and comprehend why the “angle of 90 degrees, or the fourth part of a circle” is dedicated to the Master!

 http://njfreemason.net/dev/

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Regius Poem: A Poem of Moral Duties (1390 A.D.)

Mike Corthell, Editor


[The earliest extant record which is undeniably "Masonic" is a document called the Halliwell Manuscript, or Poem, which dates to roughly 1390. This is, presumably, a copy of a much older document.This old poem tells a lot about the ancient craft, and specifically tells a legend about its origins.The legend of the "York Rite" begins in the English city of York in 926. This is sometimes termed the "Athelstane legend" and at other times termed the "Edwin Legend."Athelstane was the King of England at this time and his son, the Prince, Edwin was the Master of the Craft of Masonry.]

Here begin the constitutions of the art
of Geometry according to Euclid.

Whoever will both well read and look
He may find written in old book
Of great lords and also ladies,
That had many children together, certainly;
And had no income to keep them with,
Neither in town nor field nor enclosed wood;
A council together they could them take,
To ordain for these children's sake,
How they might best lead their life
Without great disease, care and strife;
And most for the multitude that was coming
Of their children after great clerks,
To teach them then good works;

And pray we them, for our Lord's sake.
To our children some work to make,
That they might get their living thereby,
Both well and honestly full securely.
In that time, through good geometry,
This honest craft of good masonry
Was ordained and made in this manner,
Counterfeited of these clerks together;
At these lord's prayers they counter-
feited geometry,
And gave it the name of masonry,
For the most honest craft of all.
These lords' children thereto did fall,
To learn of him the craft of geometry,
The which he made full curiously;

Through fathers' prayers and mothers' also,
This honest craft he put them to.
He learned best, and was of honesty,
And passed his fellows in curiosity,
If in that craft he did him pass,
He should have more worship than the less,
This great clerk's name was Euclid,
His name it spread full wonder wide.
Yet this great clerk ordained he
To him that was higher in this degree,
That he should teach the simplest of wit
In that honest craft to be perfect;
And so each one shall teach the other,
And love together as sister and brother.

Futhermore yet that ordained he,
Master called so should he be;
So that he were most worshipped,
Then should he be so called;
But masons should never one another call,
Within the craft amongst them all,
Neither subject nor servant, my dear brother,
Though he be not so perfect as is another;
Each shall call other fellows by friendship,
Because they come of ladies' birth.
On this manner, through good wit of geometry,
Began first the craft of masonry;
The clerk Euclid on this wise it found,
This craft of geometry in Egypt land.

In Egypt he taught it full wide,
In divers lands on every side;
Many years afterwards, I understand,
Ere that the craft came into this land.
This craft came into England, as I you say,
In time of good King Athelstane's day;
He made then both hall and even bower,
And high temples of great honour,
To disport him in both day and night,
And to worship his God with all his might.
This good lord loved this craft full well,
And purposed to strengthen it every part,
For divers faults that in the craft he found;
He sent about into the land

After all the masons of the craft,
To come to him full even straight,
For to amend these defaults all
By good counsel, if it might fall.
An assembly then could let make
Of divers lords in their state,
Dukes, earls, and barons also,
Knights, squires and many more,
And the great burgesses of that city,
They were there all in their degree;
There were there each one always,
To ordain for these masons' estate,
There they sought by their wit,
How they might govern it;

Fifteen articles they there sought,
And fifteen points there they wrought,

Here begins the first article.

The first article of this geometry;-
The master mason must be full securely
Both steadfast, trusty and true,
It shall him never then rue;
And pay thy fellows after the cost,
As victuals goeth then, well thou knowest;
And pay them truly, upon thy faith,
What they may deserve;
And to their hire take no more,
But what that they may serve for;
And spare neither for love nor dread,

Of neither parties to take no bribe;
Of lord nor fellow, whoever he be,
Of them thou take no manner of fee;
And as a judge stand upright,
And then thou dost to both good right;
And truly do this wheresoever thou goest,
Thy worship, thy profit, it shall be most.

Second article.

The second article of good masonry,
As you must it here hear specially,
That every master, that is a mason,
Must be at the general congregation,
So that he it reasonably be told
Where that the assembly shall be held;

And to that assembly he must needs go,
Unless he have a reasonable excuse,
Or unless he be disobedient to that craft
Or with falsehood is overtaken,
Or else sickness hath him so strong,
That he may not come them among;
That is an excuse good and able,
To that assembly without fable.

Third article.

The third article forsooth it is,
That the master takes to no 'prentice,
Unless he have good assurance to dwell
Seven years with him, as I you tell,
His craft to learn, that is profitable;

Within less he may no be able
To lords' profit, nor to his own
As you may know by good reason.

Fourth article.

The fourth article this must be,
That the master him well besee,
That he no bondman 'prentice make,
Nor for no covetousness do him take;
For the lord that he is bound to,
May fetch the 'prentice wheresoever he go.
If in the lodge he were taken,
Much disease it might there make,
And such case it might befall,
That it might grieve some or all.

For all the masons that be there
Will stand together all together.
If such one in that craft should dwell,
Of divers disease you might tell;
For more ease then, and of honesty,
Take a 'prentice of higher degree.
By old time written I find
That the 'prentice should be of gentle kind;
And so sometime, great lords' blood
Took this geometry that is full good.

Fifth article.

The fifth article is very good,
So that the 'prentice be of lawful blood;
The master shall not, for no advantage,

Make no 'prentice that is deformed;
It is mean, as you may hear
That he have all his limbs whole all together;
To the craft it were great shame,
To make a halt man and a lame,
For an imperfect man of such blood
Should do the craft but little good.
Thus you may know every one,
The craft would have a mighty man;
A maimed man he hath no might,
You must it know long ere night.

Sixth article.

The sixth article you must not miss

That the master do the lord no prejudice,
To take the lord for his 'prentice,
As much as his fellows do, in all wise.
For in that craft they be full perfect,
So is not he, you must see it.
Also it were against good reason,
To take his hire as his fellows do.

This same article in this case,
Judgeth his prentice to take less
Than his fellows, that be full perfect.
In divers matters, know requite it,
The master may his 'prentice so inform,
That his hire may increase full soon,
And ere his term come to an end,
His hire may full well amend.

Seventh article.

The seventh article that is now here,
Full well will tell you all together,
That no master for favour nor dread,
Shall no thief neither clothe nor feed.
Thieves he shall harbour never one,
Nor him that hath killed a man,
Nor the same that hath a feeble name,
Lest it would turn the craft to shame.

Eighth article.

The eighth article sheweth you so,
That the master may it well do.
If that he have any man of craft,
And he be not so perfect as he ought,
He may him change soon anon,
And take for him a more perfect man.
Such a man through recklessness,
Might do the craft scant worship.

Ninth article.

The ninth article sheweth full well,
That the master be both wise and strong;
That he no work undertake,
Unless he can both it end and make;
And that it be to the lords' profit also,
And to his craft, wheresoever he go;
And that the ground be well taken,
That it neither flaw nor crack.

Tenth article.

The tenth article is for to know,
Among the craft, to high and low,
There shall no master supplant another,
But be together as sister and brother,
In this curious craft, all and some,
That belongeth to a master mason.
Nor shall he supplant no other man,
That hath taken a work him upon,
In pain thereof that is so strong,

That weigheth no less than ten pounds,
but if that he be guilty found,
That took first the work on hand;
For no man in masonry
Shall not supplant other securely,
But if that it be so wrought,
That in turn the work to nought;
Then may a mason that work crave,
To the lords' profit for it to save
In such a case if it do fall,
There shall no mason meddle withal.
Forsooth he that beginneth the ground,
If he be a mason good and sound,
He hath it securely in his mind

To bring the work to full good end.

Eleventh article.

The eleventh article I tell thee,
That he is both fair and free;
For he teacheth, by his might,
That no mason should work by night,
But if be in practising of wit,
If that I could amend it.

Twelfth article.

The twelfth article is of high honesty
To every mason wheresoever he be,
He shall not his fellows' work deprave,
If that he will his honesty save;
With honest words he it commend,

By the wit God did thee send;
But it amend by all that thou may,
Between you both without doubt.

Thirteenth article.

The thirteenth article, so God me save,
Is if that the master a 'prentice have,
Entirely then that he him tell,
That he the craft ably may know,
Wheresoever he go under the sun.

Fourteenth article.

The fourteenth article by good reason,
Sheweth the master how he shall do;
He shall no 'prentice to him take,
Unless diver cares he have to make,
That he may within his term,
Of him divers points may learn.

Fifteenth article.

The fifteenth article maketh an end,
For to the master he is a friend;
To teach him so, that for no man,
No false maintenance he take him upon,
Nor maintain his fellows in their sin,
For no good that he might win;
Nor no false oath suffer him to make,
For dread of their souls' sake,
Lest it would turn the craft to shame,
And himself to very much blame.

Plural constitutions.

At this assembly were points ordained more,
Of great lords and masters also.
That who will know this craft and come to estate,
He must love well God and holy church always,
And his master also that he is with,
Whersoever he go in field or enclosed wood,
And thy fellows thou love also,
For that thy craft will that thou do.

Second Point.

The second point as I you say,
That the mason work upon the work day,
As truly as he can or may,

To deserve his hire for the holy-day,
And truly to labour on his deed,
Well deserve to have his reward.

Third point.

The third point must be severely,
With the 'prentice know it well,
His master's counsel he keep and close,
And his fellows by his good purpose;
The privities of the chamber tell he no man,
Nor in the lodge whatsoever they do;
Whatsoever thou hearest or seest them do,
Tell it no man wheresoever you go;
The counsel of hall, and even of bower,

Keep it well to great honour,
Lest it would turn thyself to blame,
And bring the craft into great shame.

Fourth point.

The fourth point teacheth us also,
That no man to his craft be false;
Error he shall maintain none
Against the craft, but let it go;
Nor no prejudice he shall no do
To his master, nor his fellow also;
And though the 'prentice be under awe,
Yet he would have the same law.

Fifth point.

The fifth point is without doubt,
That when the mason taketh his pay
Of the master, ordained to him,
Full meekly taken so must it be;
Yet must the master by good reason,
Warn him lawfully before noon,
If he will not occupy him no more,
As he hath done there before;
Against this order he may no strive,
If he think well for to thrive.

Sixth point.

The sixth point is full given to know,
Both to high and even low,

For such case it might befall;
Among the masons some or all,
Through envy or deadly hate,
Oft ariseth full great debate.
Then ought the mason if that he may,
Put them both under a day;
But loveday yet shall they make none,
Till that the work-day you must well take
Leisure enough loveday to make,
Hinder their work for such a fray;
To such end then that you them draw.

That they stand well in God's law.

Seventh point.

The seventh point he may well mean,
Of well long life that God us lend,
As it descrieth well openly,
Thou shalt not by thy master's wife lie,
Nor by thy fellows', in no manner wise,
Lest the craft would thee despise;
Nor by thy fellows' concubine,
No more thou wouldst he did by thine.
The pain thereof let it be sure,
That he be 'prentice full seven year,
If he forfeit in any of them
So chastised then must he be;
Full much care might there begin,
For such a foul deadly sin.

Eighth point.

The eighth point, he may be sure,
If thou hast taken any cure,
Under thy master thou be true,
For that point thous shalt never rue;
A true mediator thou must needs be
To thy master, and thy fellows free;
Do truly all that thou might,
To both parties, and that is good right.

Ninth point.

The ninth point we shall him call,
That he be steward of our hall,
If that you be in chamber together,
Each one serve other with mild cheer;
Gentle fellows, you must it know,
For to be stewards all in turn,
Week after week without doubt,
Stewards to be so all in turn about,
Amiably to serve each one other,
As though they were sister and brother;
There shall never one another cost
Free himself to no advantage,
But every man shall be equally free

In that cost, so must it be;
Look that thou pay well every man always,
That thou hast bought any victuals eaten,
That no craving be made to thee,
Nor to thy fellows in no degree,
To man or to woman, whoever he be,
Pay them well and truly, for that will we;
Therof on thy fellow true record thou take,
For that good pay as thou dost make,
Lest it would thy fellow shame,
And bring thyself into great blame.
Yet good accounts he must make
Of such goods as he hath taken,

Of thy fellows' goods that thou hast spent,
Where and how and to what end;
Such accounts thou must come to,
When thy fellows wish that thou do.

Tenth point.

The tenth point presenteth well good life,
To live without care and strife;
For if the mason live amiss,
And in his work be false I know,

And through such a false excuse
May slander his fellows without reason,
Through false slander of such fame

May make the craft acquire blame.
If he do the craft such villainy,
Do him no favour then securely,
Nor maintain not him in wicked life,
Lest it would turn to care and strife;
But yet him you shall not delay,
Unless that you shall him constrain,
For to appear wheresoever you will,
Where that you will, loud, or still;
To the next assembly you him call,
To appear before his fellows all,
And unless he will before them appear,

The craft he must need forswear;
He shall then be punished after the law
That was founded by old day.

Eleventh point.

The eleventh point is of good discretion,
As you must know by good reason;
A mason, if he this craft well know,
That seeth his fellow hew on a stone,
And is in point to spoil that stone,
Amend it soon if that thou can,
And teach him then it to amend,
That the lords' work be not spoiled,
And teach him easily it to amend,

With fair words, that God thee hath lent;
For his sake that sit above,
With sweet words nourish his love.

Twelfth point.

The twelfth point is of great royalty,
There as the assembly held shall be,
There shall be masters and fellows also,
And other great lords many more;
There shall be the sheriff of that country,
And also the mayor of that city,
Knights and squires there shall be,

And also aldermen, as you shall see;
Such ordinance as thy make there,

They shall maintain it all together
Against that man, whatsoever he be,
That belongeth to the craft both fair and
free.
If he any strife against them make,
Into their custody he shall be taken.

Thirteenth point.

The thirteenth point is to us full lief,
He shall swear never to be no thief,
Nor succour him in his false craft,
For no good that he hath bereft,
And thou must it know or sin,
Neither for his good, nor for his kin.

Fourteenth point.

The fourteenth point is full good law
To him that would be under awe;
A good true oath he must there swear
To his master and his fellows that be there;
He must be steadfast be and true also
To all this ordinance, wheresoever he go,
And to his liege lord the king,
To be true to him over all thing.
And all these points here before
To them thou must need be sworn,
And all shall swear the same oath
Of the masons, be they lief be they loath.
To all these points here before,

That hath been ordained by full good lore.
And they shall enquire every man
Of his party, as well as he can,
If any man may be found guilty
In any of these points specially;
And who he be, let him be sought,
And to the assembly let him be brought.

Fifteen point.

The fifteenth point is full good lore,
For them that shall be there sworn,
Such ordinance at the assembly was laid
Of great lords and masters before said;
For the same that be disobedient, I know,

Against the ordinance that there is,
Of these articles that were moved there,
Of great lords and masons all together,
And if they be proved openly
Before that assembly, by and by,
And for their guilt's no amends will make,
Then must they need the craft forsake;
And no masons craft they shall refuse,
And swear it never more to use.
But if that they will amends make,
Again to the craft they shall never take;
And if that they will no do so,
The sheriff shall come them soon to,

And put their bodies in deep prison,
For the trespass that they have done,
And take their goods and their cattle
Into the king's hand, every part,
And let them dwell there full still,
Till it be our liege king's will.

Another ordinance of the art of geometry.

They ordained there an assembly to be hold,
Every year, wheresoever they would,
To amend the defaults, if any were found
Among the craft within the land;
Each year or third year it should be held,

In every place weresoever they would;
Time and place must be ordained also,
In what place they should assemble to,
All the men of craft there they must be,
And other great lords, as you must see,
To mend the faults the he there spoken,
If that any of them be then broken.
There they shall be all sworn,
That belongeth to this craft's lore,
To keep their statutes every one
That were ordained by King Althelstane;
These statutes that I have here found

I ordain they be held through my land,
For the worship of my royalty,
That I have by my dignity.
Also at every assembly that you hold,
That you come to your liege king bold,
Beseeching him of his grace,
To stand with you in every place,
To confirm the statutes of King Athelstane,
That he ordained to this craft by good reason.

The art of the four crowned ones.

Pray we now to God almighty,
And to his mother Mary bright,

That we may keep these articles here,
And these points well all together,
As did these holy martyrs four,
That in this craft were of great honour;
They were as good masons as on earth shall go,
Gravers and image-makers they were also.
For they were workmen of the best,
The emperor had to them great liking;
He willed of them an image to make
That might be worshipped for his sake;
Such monuments he had in his day,
To turn the people from Christ's law.

But they were steadfast in Christ's law,
And to their craft without doubt;
They loved well God and all his lore,
And were in his service ever more.
True men they were in that day,
And lived well in God's law;
They thought no monuments for to make,
For no good that they might take,
To believe on that monument for their God,
They would not do so, though he was furious;
For they would not forsake their true faith,

And believe on his false law,
The emperor let take them soon anon,
And put them in a deep prison;
The more sorely he punished them in that place,
The more joy was to them of Christ's grace,
Then when he saw no other one,
To death he let them then go;
By the book he might it show
In legend of holy ones,
The names of the four-crowned ones.

Their feast will be without doubt,
After Hallow-e'en eighth day.
You may hear as I do read,
That many years after, for great dread
That Noah's flood was all run,
The tower of Babylon was begun,
As plain work of lime and stone,
As any man should look upon;
So long and broad it was begun,
Seven miles the height shadoweth the sun.
King Nebuchadnezzar let it make
To great strength for man's sake,
Though such a flood again should come,
Over the work it should not take;
For they had so high pride, with strong
boast
All that work therefore was lost;
An angel smote them so with divers speech,
That never one knew what the other should
tell.
Many years after, the good clerk Euclid
Taught the craft of geometry full wonder wide,
So he did that other time also,
Of divers crafts many more.
Through high grace of Christ in heaven,
He commenced in the sciences seven;

Grammar is the first science I know,
Dialect the second, so I have I bliss,
Rhetoric the third without doubt,
Music is the fourth, as I you say,

Astronomy is the fifth, by my snout,
Arithmetic the sixth, without doubt,
Geometry the seventh maketh an end,
For he is both meek and courteous,
Grammar forsooth is the root,
Whoever will learn on the book;
But art passeth in his degree,
As the fruit doth the root of the tree;

Rhetoric measureth with ornate speech among,
And music it is a sweet song;
Astronomy numbereth, my dear brother,
Arithmetic sheweth one thing that is another,
Geometry the seventh science it is,
That can separate falsehood from truth, I know
These be the sciences seven,
Who useth them well he may have heaven.
Now dear children by your wit
Pride and covetousness that you leave it,
And taketh heed to good discretion,
And to good nurture, wheresoever you come.
Now I pray you take good heed,

For this you must know needs,
But much more you must know,
Than you find here written.
If thee fail therto wit,
Pray to God to send thee it;
For Christ himself, he teacheth us
That holy church is God's house,
That is made for nothing else
But for to pray in, as the book tells us;
There the people shall gather in,
To pray and weep for their sin.
Look thou come not to church late,
For to speak harlotry by the gate;

Then to church when thou dost fare,
Have in thy mind ever more
To worship thy lord God both day and night,
With all thy wits and even thy might.
To the church door when thou dost come
Of that holy water there some thou take,
For every drop thou feelest there
Quencheth a venial sin, be thou sure.
But first thou must do down thy hood,
For his love that died on the rood.
Into the church when thou dost go,
Pull up thy heart to Christ, anon;

Upon the rood thou look up then,
And kneel down fair upon thy knees,
Then pray to him so here to work,
After the law of holy church,

For to keep the commandments ten,
That God gave to all men;
And pray to him with mild voice
To keep thee from the sins seven,
That thou here may, in this life,
Keep thee well from care and strife;
Furthermore he grant thee grace,
In heaven's bliss to have a place.

In holy church leave trifling words
Of lewd speech and foul jests,
And put away all vanity,
And say thy pater noster and thine ave;
Look also that thou make no noise,
But always to be in thy prayer;
If thou wilt not thyself pray,
Hinder no other man by no way.
In that place neither sit nor stand,
But kneel fair down on the ground,
And when the Gospel me read shall,

Fairly thou stand up from the wall,
And bless the fare if that thou can,
When gloria tibi is begun;
And when the gospel is done,
Again thou might kneel down,
On both knees down thou fall,
For his love that bought us all;
And when thou hearest the bell ring
To that holy sacrament,
Kneel you must both young and old,
And both your hands fair uphold,
And say then in this manner,

Fair and soft without noise;
"Jesu Lord welcome thou be,
In form of bread as I thee see,
Now Jesu for thine holy name,
Shield me from sin and shame;
Shrift and Eucharist thou grand me both,
Ere that I shall hence go,
And very contrition for my sin,
That I never, Lord, die therein;
And as thou were of maid born,
Suffer me never to be lost;
But when I shall hence wend,

Grant me the bliss without end;
Amen! Amen! so mote it be!
Now sweet lady pray for me."
Thus thou might say, or some other thing,
When thou kneelest at the sacrament.
For covetousness after good, spare thou not
To worship him that all hath wrought;

For glad may a man that day be,
That once in the day may him see;
It is so much worth, without doubt,
The virtue thereof no man tell may;
But so much good doth that sight,

That Saint Austin telleth full right,
That day thou seest God's body,
Thou shalt have these full securely:-
Meet and drink at thy need,
None that day shalt thou lack;
Idle oaths and words both,
God forgiveth thee also;
Sudden death that same day
Thee dare not dread by no way;
Also that day, I thee plight,
Thou shalt not lose thy eye sight;
And each foot that thou goest then,

That holy sight for to see,
They shall be told to stand instead,
When thou hast thereto great need;
That messenger the angel Gabriel,
Will keep them to thee full well.
From this matter now I may pass,
To tell more benefits of the mass:
To church come yet, if thou may,
And hear the mass each day;
If thou may not come to church,
Where that ever thou dost work,
When thou hearest the mass toll,

Pray to God with heart still,
To give thy part of that service,
That in church there done is.
Furthermore yet, I will you preach
To your fellows, it for to teach,
When thou comest before a lord,
In hall, in bower, or at the board,
Hood or cap that thou off do,
Ere thou come him entirely to;
Twice or thrice, without doubt,
To that lord thou must bow;
With thy right knee let it be done,

Thine own worship thou save so.
Hold off thy cap and hood also,
Till thou have leave it on to put.
All the time thou speakest with him,
Fair and amiably hold up thy chin;
So after the nurture of the book,
In his face kindly thou look.
Foot and hand thou keep full still,
For clawing and tripping, is skill;
From spitting and sniffling keep thee also,
By private expulsion let it go,
And if that thou be wise and discrete,

Thou has great need to govern thee well.
Into the hall when thou dost wend,
Amongst the gentles, good and courteous,
Presume not too high for nothing,
For thine high blood, nor thy cunning,
Neither to sit nor to lean,
That is nurture good and clean.
Let not thy countenance therefor abate,
Forsooth good nurture will save thy state.
Father and mother, whatsoever they be,
Well is the child that well may thee,
In hall, in chamber, where thou dost go;

Good manners make a man.
To the next degree look wisely,
To do them reverence by and by;
Do them yet no reverence all in turn,
Unless that thou do them know.
To the meat when thou art set,
Fair and honestly thou eat it;
First look that thine hands be clean,
And that thy knife be sharp and keen,
And cut thy bread all at thy meat,
Right as it may be there eaten,
If thou sit by a worthier man,

Then thy self thou art one,
Suffer him first to touch the meat,
Ere thyself to it reach.
To the fairest morsel thou might not strike,
Though that thou do it well like;
Keep thine hands fair and well,
From foul smudging of thy towel;
Thereon thou shalt not thy nose blow,
Nor at the meat thy tooth thou pick;
Too deep in cup thou might not sink,
Though thou have good will to drink,
Lest thine eyes would water thereby-

Then were it no courtesy.
Look in thy mouth there be no meat,
When thou begins to drink or speak.
When thou seest any man drinking,
That taketh heed to thy speech,
Soon anaon thou cease thy tale,
Whether he drink wine or ale,
Look also thou scorn no man,
In what degree thou seest him gone;
Nor thou shalt no man deprave,
If thou wilt thy worship save;
For such word might there outburst.

That might make thee sit in evil rest.
Close thy hand in thy fist,
And keep thee well from "had I known."
Hold thy tongue and spend thy sight;
Laugh thou not with no great cry,
Nor make no lewd sport and ribaldry.
Play thou not but with thy peers,
Nor tell thou not all that thou hears;
Discover thou not thine own deed,
For no mirth, nor for no reward;
With fair speech thou might have thy will,
With it thou might thy self spoil.

When thou meetest a worthy man,
Cap and hood thou hold not on;
In church, in market, or in the gate,
Do him reverance after his state.
If thou goest with a worthier man
Then thyself thou art one,
Let thy foremost shoulder follow his back,
For that is nurture without lack;

When he doth speak, hold thee still,
When he hath done, say for thy will,
In thy speech that thou be discreet,
And what thou sayest consider thee well;
But deprive thou not him his tale,
Neither at the wine nor at the ale.
Christ then of his high grace,
Save you both wit and space,
Well this book to know and read,
Heaven to have for your reward.
Amen! Amen! so mote it be!
So say we all for charity.