The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 2594
IMEV 1540
NIMEV 1540
In the beginning of this little work
Peter Idley’s Instructions to His Son in rhyme royal: divided into two Books, of which the Second is based on Robert of Brunne’s Handlyng Synne — rhyme royal.
Note: For extracts see 2146, 6137; Idley’s epitaph is 6838.
Author(s): Peter Idley
Title(s): Instructions
Subjects: manners, treatises on; precepts; instruction, religious
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 416 (SC 1479), ff. 1-35
First Lines:
Now be side thise iije ar many Alegioun
Of dremys full vnsure and stable…
Last Lines:
…God gyf vs grace our defautes to amend
And welth and prosperite Ayen vs to send
Note: Begins imperfectly in Bk I; Bk II begins f. 35. At the end: ‘Explicit the x comaundementis’. On f. 35: ‘Here begynnyth a tretyce of the vij dedly synnes’, followed by, ‘Of the vij dedly synnys now will I telle / The maister of hem and gouernaunce is callid pride / …And no tendir hert had vpon þe poure / Wher for þou art with out help or socoure’.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Digby 181 (SC 1782), ff. 10v-30v
First Lines:
In the begynnyng of this litle werke
I pray god my penne to lede…
Last Lines:
…Safe only nature þe which doth me spede
To the my Childe to þis simple dede
Note: Book I only; begins with a Latin prologue which ends with: ‘Volens igitur ego Petrus Idyllearte filium meum Thomam bonis operibus ac moribus conformare ac de amore dei et proximi ac aliarum rerum necnon de forma vite instruere sic incipio’. At the end: ‘Explicit liber consolaconis & consilii’.
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ee.4.37, ff. 1-108
First Lines:
In the begynnyng of this litell werke
Pray to god my penne he leede…
Last Lines:
…As in her errour appresyng for to wynne
As to fore god lecherie were noo synne
Note: Incomplete at end.
D’Evelyn, Charlotte. Peter Idley’s Instructions to His Son. Boston: Modern Language Association of America; and London: Oxford UP, 1935: 81-210.
Meissner, F. “Peter Idel.” Diss. Greifswald, 1903: 34-50 (stanzas 1-50 only).
4.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 2030, ff. 19-132v
First Lines:
…Late not thy tonge clak as a mylle
Medyl not off eche mannys mater…
Last Lines:
…But inwerde slethe be hert and wylle
And thou touche pyche it clevyth stylle
Note: Stanzas 1-7 wanting, not quite complete at end.
Attributed Author: Pers Ideley (RT; ff. 20-43)
Attributed Title: The Commandementis (RT; ff. 45-92, passim); Sinnis (RT; ff. 97-132, passim)
Jones III, Harold G. “Peter Idley’s Instructions to His Son.” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 74 (1973): 686-9: 686 [lost leaf, now in University of Missouri].
5.Source: London, British Library Arundel 20, ff. 43-70v
First Lines:
The fyrst comandment off all þe lawe
ys þu xalt haue no mo godd but on…
Last Lines:
…þat seynt gregory tellys þe pope off rome
Of a Iew conuertyd was to crystyndome
Note: Some text missing: begins with Book 2.
6.Source: London, British Library Harley 172, ff. 21-51v
First Lines:
IN the begynnyng of thys lytill werke
late vs pray to god my penne soo to lede…
Last Lines:
…Save only nature the whiche dothe me leed
To the myn own child for this symple deed
Note: Bk I only.
Attributed Author: Peter Idle Esquire of Kent (f. 21, added by a hand of sixteenth century, possibly John Stow); quod peter Idle Esquire (f. 51v, added by a hand of sixteenth century, possibly John Stow)
Attributed Title: Explicit liber consolacionis et consilii (f. 51v, by scribe)
7.Source: Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 160, Part I, ff. 14-56v
First Lines:
Let not thy tong clake as a mylle
Medle not of yche mannes matier…
Last Lines:
…dayly payne woo and sorrowe and neuer Rest
Now men make her mettyng and sec her steuen…
Note: Begins imperfectly at st.8; ends imperfectly; some leaves missing.
8.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Eng. poet. d.45 [olim Frampton Court], ff. 1-37v
First Lines:
By twee the ij partyes the body laye
A mervelous sight hit was to see…
Last Lines:
…ffor if ye do your almes is in vayne
[ ] thanke but maugre this is [ ]
Note: Begins and ends imperfectly because of the loss of folios.

Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 23876. The Floure of the Commaundements of God, de Worde, 1510