The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 3514
IMEV 2183.5
Mine high estate power and authority
The preface to the Book of Fortune, on the cast of the dice, by Thomas More — thirty-seven stanzas rhyme royal
Note: Ringler Jr. (1992), TM 205; bad key, TP 180.
Author(s): Thomas More
Title(s): Book of Fortune
Subjects: dice; prefaces
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, pp. 213-217
First Lines:
Myne high estate power & auctoryte
Yf ye ne know enserche & ye shall spie…
Last Lines:
…In euery poynt eche answere by & by
As ar þe Iugementis of Astronomye
Note: In three parts; heading to Part I: ‘The wordis of / ffortune to þe people’ (p. 213).
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 142.
Flügel, Ewald, ed. Neuenglisches Lesebuch. 1 Bd. Halle: Niemayer, 1895: 140-1 (Pro., 3 st. & 2 st. tailpiece only).
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: 72-80.

Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 18078.5. More, Thomas, The boke of the fayre genty[l]woman that no man shulde put his truste, or confydence in that is to say, Lady Fortune, flaterynge euery man that coueyteth to haue all, and specyally, them that truste in her, she deceyueth them at laste, [London]: Imprinted by me Robert Wyer dwellynge, in Saynt Martyns parysshe, in the Duke of Suffolkes tentes, besyde Charynge Crosse, [ca. 1540] , sigs. A.1v; A.2v; A.3-B.4
First Lines:
(A.1v) As often as I consydre, these olde noble clerkes
Poetis, Oratours, & Phylosophers sectes thre…
(A.2v) FOrtune, O myghty & varyable
What rule thou claymest, with thy cruel power…
(A.3) Myne hyghe estat power and auctoryte
If ye ne knewe enserche and ye shall spye…
Last Lines:
…Begynnes lustely the browes to set vp
And at the last concludeth, in the good ale cup (A.1v)
…Neyther for euer cheryssheynge, whom she taketh
Nor foreuer oppressynge, whom she forsaketh (A.2v)
…In euery poynt, eche answere by and by
As are the iudgementis of Astronomye (B.4)
Note: The print edition includes a Prologue (three rhyme royal stanzas, sig. A.1v), followed by two French verses (sig. A.2), and two more rhyme royal stanzas stanzas (sig. A.2v) before the text congruent with that in Oxford, Balliol College 354 commences on A.3. Further editions include bad key; Campbell (1927), 338-44 (facs. and ed.).
Attributed Author: quod T. M. (A.1v); finis quod T. M. (A.2v); quod Tho. Mo. (A.3)
Attributed Title: The Boke of the fayre Genty[l]woman, that no man shulde put his truste, or confy=dence in: that is to say, Lady Fortune: flaterynge euery man that couyteth to haue all, and specyally, them that truste in her, she decey=ueth them at laste. (A.1); Finis Prologus (A.1v); The words of Fortune to the people. (A.3); To them that trusteth in Fortune (A.3v); Here fineth Lady Fortune (B.4)
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Captain Cox., His Ballads and Books. Ballad Society 7 (1871); repr. New Shakespeare Society, 1890: xcv-vi (Pro.).
Huth, Henry. Fugitive Tracts, written in Verse. Compiled by William Carew Hazlitt. Vol. 1: 1493-1600. 2 vols. London: Wittingham, 1875.
Arber, Edward. The Surrey and Wyatt Anthology, 1509-1547 A.D. London, New York: Frowde, 1900: 112-24.