The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 1893
IMEV 1163
NIMEV 1163
He that oweth much and hath nought / and spendeth much and getteth nought
Proverbial rhymes on ‘Nought’ — two quatrains and a couplet
Note: Cf. 1892, 2217, 5597; cf. Tilley (1950), M 1275.
Subjects: proverbs; money
Versification: — four-line, two-line — aaaa, aa

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, p. 436
First Lines:
He þat owith mych & hath nowght
& spendith mych & gettith nowght…
Last Lines:
…He þat will venge euery wreth
Þe longer he levith þe lesse he hath
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 220.
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: 140.
2.Source: Oxford, Corpus Christi College 237, f. i
He that spendes myche & getes nothyng
And owthe myche & hathe nothyng
And Lokes in his porse & fyndes nothyng
he may be sorye And saue nothyng
Note: First quatrain only in this MS.
Attributed Author: Quothe R L S(?) (f. i)
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Secular Lyrics of the XIV and XV Centuries. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955: 81.
Luria, Maxwell Sidney, and Richard L. Hoffman, eds. Middle English Lyrics. New York: Norton, 1974: 118.
3.Source: London, British Library Harley 2252, f. 2r1
He þat spendes myche And getythe nowghte
And oweth myche And hathe nowghte
And lokys in hys purse And fynde nowghte
He may be sory Thowe he seythe nowghte
Note: First stanza.
Wright, Thomas, and James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, eds. Reliquiae Antiquae. 2 vols. London: Smith, 1845: 1.316.
Patterson, Frank A. “Shakspeare and the Medieval Lyric.” Shakesperian Studies by Members of the Department of English And Comparative Literature in Columbia University. B. Matthews, and A. H. Thorndike, eds. New York: Columbia University Press, 1916. 431-52: 450.
Tilley, Morris Palmer. A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, 1950: 483.
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Lyell 34 [olim John Speed Davies], back cover
He that spendyth muche & getyth noght
he that borwith much & haueth noht
he may be sory in hert & sey nouht
Note: 3 lines only.

Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 20954. Rhodes, Hugh, The Boke of Nurture for Men, Seruantes and Chyldren, with Stans Puer ad Mensam, A. Veale, [1560?] , f. E.3v
HE that spendeth much and getteth nought
He that oweth much and hath nought
He that looketh in his purse and fyndeth nought
He may be sorry and say nought
Note: First stanza.
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. The Boke of Norture, by John Russell, ab. 1460-70 A.D. Roxburghe Club 87. Bungay: J. Childs and Son, 1867: 49.
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: 107.