The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 3134
IMEV 1920
NIMEV 1920
Little children here you may lere / Much courtesy that is reckoned here
‘The Lytylle Childrenes Lytil Boke’ — fifty-four couplets
Note: For another version see 6666.
Title(s): ‘The Lytylle Childrenes Lytil Boke’
Subjects: children, instructions for behavior of; manners, treatises on; courtesy books; instruction
Versification: — two-line — aa
Macaronic: French

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, pp. 289-291
First Lines:
Litill children here may ye lerne
petitz enfanz icy vous pouez aprendre…
Last Lines:
…& in his last end with þe swete Ihesus
& en la dereniere fin auec le doux Ihesus
Attributed Title: The boke of / Curtasie (p. 289); Here endith þe boke of Curtasie (p. 291)
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 151-6.
Dyboski, R. “Englisch-französisches aus einem MS des 16 Jarhunderts.” Bausteine: Zeitschrift für neuenglische Wortforschung 1 (1905-6): 329-52: 1.335-42.
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ee.4.35, Part I, ff. 22v-23v
First Lines:
Lytyl Childernhere yow may lere
Meche cortesey þat ys rekeyd here
ffor clarkys þat the vij artes con…
Last Lines:
…And ȝyff hem & vs gras yn gey to be
sey all amen ffor chereyte
Attributed Title: Expleycyt the Boke of cortesey (f. 23v)
3.Source: London, British Library Egerton 1995, ff. 58v-60
First Lines:
LItylle chyldrynne here may ye lere
Moche curtesy that ys wretyn here…
Last Lines:
…And vs graunte in Ioy to a byde
Say ye alle Amen for charyde in euery syde
Attributed Title: HEre endythe the boke of Curtesy that ys fulle necessary vnto yonge chyldren that muste nedys lerne the maner of curtesy (f. 60)
4.Source: London, British Library Harley 541, ff. 210; 211
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: orig. ed. 16-24; rev. ed. 265-73.
5.Source: London, British Library Addit. 8151, ff. 201v-203v
First Lines:
Lytyll cheldryn here ȝe may lere
Moche curtesye þat is wrytyn here…
Last Lines:
And ȝeue us grace in ioye to be…
Seythe all Amen for charyte
Gray, Douglas. The Oxford Book of Late Medieval Verse and Prose. Oxford: Clarendon, 1985: 133-4.
6.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 19.3.1, ff. 84v-86v
First Lines:
Lytyll chyldur heremay ye lere
moche curtesy is wryten here…
Last Lines:
…And hus all in Iowe to bee
Amen Amen for charite
Hardman, Phillipa. The Heege Manuscript: A Facsimile of National Library of Scotland MS Advocates 19.3.1. Leeds Texts and Monographs, n.s. 16. Leeds: School of English, 2000.
Breul, Karl. “The boke of Curtesy.” Englische Studien 9 (1886): 51-63: 58-63.

Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 24866. Here begynneth a lytell treatyse for to lerne Englysshe and Frensshe, [Emprynted at Westmynster: By my Wynken de Worde, [1497]]
Note: 103 lines.
Gessler, Jean. Deux Manuels de Conversation imprimés en Angelterre aux XVe siècle. Brussells: édition de la Librairie encyclopédique, 1941: 32.
2.Source: STC 24867. A Lytell Treatyse for to Lerne Englysshe and Frensshe, Pynson, c. 1500
Note: 93 lines.
3.Source: STC 24868. a good boke to lerne to speke french, [R. Wyer? c. 1533]
Note: Fragment.