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The Secret of Secrets

Secretum Secretorum
“The Secret of Secrets”
translated from the Latin by Robert Copland and published in 1528. adapted and edited to Modern American English by Dr. Robert C. Worstell in 2007.


Robert C. Worstell

Table of Contents
Forward by Dr. Robert C. Worstell..........................................1 Prologue.......................................................................................3 The prologue of a Doctor in recommendation of Aristotle the prince of philosophers................................................... 3 An epistle that Aristotle sent to Alexander......................... 4 The prologue of a doctor named Phillip that translated this book in to Latin................................................................... 4 An epistle sent to King Alexander by Aristotle.................. 5 The manner of kings...................................................................8 Of the manner of kings as touching largess........................ 8 Of largess and avarice, and of many other vices.................9 Of virtues and vices, and of the doctrine of Aristotle....... 10 Of the understanding......................................................... 10 Of the final intention that a king ought to have................ 10 Of evils that follow fleshly desire..................................... 11 Of the wisdom and ordinance of a king............................ 11 Of the worthiness, religion, and holiness of a king...........12 Of the purveyance of a king.............................................. 12 Of the vestments of a king................................................ 13 Of the countenance of a king............................................ 13 Of the Justice of a king..................................................... 14 Of the worldly desires of a king........................................15 Of the chastity of a king.................................................... 15 Of the sporting of a king................................................... 15 Of the discretion of a king.................................................16 Of the reverence of a king.................................................17 How the king ought to remember his subjects.................. 18 Of the mercy of a king...................................................... 18 Of pains and punishments................................................. 19 Of the knowledge of the said pains................................... 19 How a king ought to keep his faith or oath....................... 20 Of study.............................................................................21 The governance of health.........................................................22 ii

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How a king ought to keep his body...................................22 Of the difference of astronomy......................................... 23 Of the governance of health.............................................. 24 Of the governance of sick people......................................24 In how many manners a man may keep his health........... 25 Of divers meats for the stomach....................................... 25 Of the stomach.................................................................. 26 The signs to knowledge the stomach................................ 26 An epistle of great value................................................... 26 Of the manner to travail.................................................... 28 Of the manner of eating.................................................... 28 Of abstinence of meat....................................................... 28 How pure water ought not to be drunken..........................28 Of the manner to sleep...................................................... 29 The keeping of custom or wont.........................................30 How one ought to change custom..................................... 30 Of the four seasons of the year................................................ 31 Of springtime, and what it is............................................. 31 Of summer, and what it is................................................. 32 Of Autumn, or harvest...................................................... 32 Of winter, and what it is....................................................33 Of natural heat..........................................................................34 Of things that fatten the body............................................34 Of things that lean the body.............................................. 35 Of the first part of the body...............................................35 Of the second part of the body.......................................... 35 Of the third part of the body..............................................36 Of the fourth part of the body........................................... 36 Of natural heat...................................................................37 Of the qualities of meats...........................................................38 Of the nature of fish.......................................................... 38 Of the nature of waters......................................................38 Of the nature of wine........................................................ 39 Of goodness and harm that comes of wine....................... 40 Of the form of Justice...............................................................42 iii

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Example............................................................................ 43 Another example............................................................... 43 Of kings secretaries........................................................... 46 Of a kings messengers.......................................................46 Of the governance of the people....................................... 47 Of the physiognomy of people................................................. 49 Small ears betoken folly, and lechery............................... 51 Deo gratis.......................................................................... 52 Reasons of the great philosopher Sedrac................................54 How one ought to utter his speech.................................... 54 The manner of anger......................................................... 54 To utter secrets.................................................................. 55 How you ought to sport with your friend..........................55 The manner to doubt and trust your enemy...................... 56 L'envoy and excuse of Robert Copland the translator of this book............................................................................................57 About the Author................................................................................. 60 Additional Books From this Author:................................................... 61 More Resources From this Author:......................................................62 Books in the Go Thunk Yourself Reference Library:..........................65


The Secret of Secrets

Forward by Dr. Robert C. Worstell
Welcome to probably the longest-running bestselling self-help book in known history. The Secret of Secrets was one of the most widely-read texts of the High Middle Ages. Medieval readers took the ascription to Aristotle as authentic and treated this work among Aristotle's genuine works. It was on the medieval "best-seller" list for hundreds of years. The “Secret of secrets”, or in Latin “Secreta secretorum” is a translation of the Arabic “Kitab sirr al-asrar”, fully “the Book of the science of government, on the good ordering of statecraft”. It takes the form of a letter supposedly from Aristotle (and considered as such by medieval readers) to Alexander during his campaign in Persia. There is another book called "Kitab al-asrar" (Book of Secrets) on practical technical recipes, classification of mineral substances, description of the alchemical laboratory, etc. by Abu Bakr Muhammed ibn Zakariya al-Razi. A Latin translation appears in Europe as “Liber secretorum”. This is a completely separate book entirely and is a common source of confusion because of the same names and similar subject matter and time period. The earliest known written copies were known to be circulating in Arabic before AD 940. It has been translated into all the major languages of the day and most modern ones. The Arabic version was translated into Persian, Ottoman-Turkish , Hebrew, Castilian Spanish and Latin. There are two Latin translations from the Arabic, the first one dating from around 1120 by John of Seville for a Portuguese queen, the second one from circa 1232 by Philippus Tripolitanus. It is this second Latin version that was translated into English by Robert 1

Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Copland and printed in 1528. The Latin Secretum secretorum was eventually translated into Czech, Croatian, Dutch, German, Icelandic, English, Castilian, Catalan, Portuguese, French, Italian and Welsh. We have a book which was a bestseller for 600 years, and was translated into all major languages – most of this done in a time before Gutenberg created his printing press. No modern text can claim such a continuing sales record, despite our modern printing and distribution lines. Secrets of Secrets takes the form of a letter supposedly from Aristotle to Alexander the Great during his campaigns in Persia. The text is wide-ranging, covering ethical questions a ruler faced and also astrology, pharmacology, and philosophy. This also gave it a popular appeal, since there was something in it for everyone to use. A later enlarged version appearing in the 13th century included some alchemical references and an early version of the Emerald Tablet. Copland's text has been interpreted with more modern American English, keeping the format true to their Middle English grammar and phrasing in order to preserve the original meaning as much as possible. Primarily, I've worked to keep this text to simple word-substitution. This book is being published as a beta version in order to add to our knowledge, not as a final and authoritative work. The reader will find some interesting terms with now-archaic (even obsolete) uses. However, you will find your self living and understanding the regal life of the Middle Ages, a time before modern chemistry, but not before physicians (or even lawyers). Good luck in your studies.


The Secret of Secrets

The prologue of a Doctor in recommendation of Aristotle the prince of philosophers

God Almighty save our king, and the glory of all his friends, and confirm his realm in the faith of God. And cause him to reign in the exaltation, praise and honor of his people. I which am servant to the king have put in execution the work of his commandment, in getting a book of good manners to his governance. The which book is called the Secret of Secrets, made by the prince of philosophers Aristotle the son of Mahonnet of Macedonia, to his disciple the emperor Alexander son of Phillip king of Macedonia the which Alexandre had two crowns. This said book Aristotle compiled in the oldnesses of his body because that he might no more travail nor ride to do such businesses as Alexander had put in to his charge. For Alexandre had made him governor and master above all other because he was a man of very good council, of great clarity, and subtle understanding. And incessantly studied good and gracious manners, and sciences spiritual, contemplatives, and charitables. He was a wise man, and meek, loving reason and Justice, and ever reported rightwiseness and truth. And therefore many philosophers repute him of the number of prophets. And say that they had found divers books of the Greeks which God had sent him by his most excellent angel, saying to him, `I shall make your to be called in the world more an angel than a man.' And wit you that Aristotle did in his life many signs which were strange in works and miracles which were to long to be accepted. Before his death he did many strange works. Wherefore a religion and company periodically said and held opinion that he had been in heaven in likeness of a dove of fire. And as long as he lived Alexander overcame all the world through his council. And all lands by the fame of him were put under the imperial commandment, and in likewise 3

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they of Perce, and Araby. And there was none that durst gainsay Alexander, in word nor deed. And you said Aristotle made many goodly epistles for the love that he had to Alexander, and for to cause him to know all the secrets, he made an epistle here under written, the which he sent to Alexander. And when Alexander had overcome the realm of Perce and set the most of them in his prisons, he sent an epistle to Aristotle which follows.

An epistle that Aristotle sent to Alexander.

If you can move and change the air from the earth and water, and the ordinance of your cities to accomplish your pleasure. If you cannot do it cease of and do it not, but govern them in your goodness and exalt them in benignity. And if you do thus I hope with the grace of God that they all shall be your friends to all your good pleasures and commandments. And for the love that they shall have in you, you shalt peaceably reign over them in great victory. And when Alexander had read this epistle, he did after his council, and they of Perce were more obedient to him than to any other nation.

The prologue of a doctor named Phillip that translated this book in to Latin.

Phillip that translated this book in to Latin was a child of Paris, and was a very wise interpretor and understander of languages, and he said thus, `I have not known nor seen time that the philosophers have helped, or have been accustomed to help or to make all works or all secrets but that I have sought, nor have known by no man by whom I knew that he had knowledge of the scriptures of Philosophers; but I 4

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have visited him unto the time that I came to the knowledge of council, the which was Estulapideus, and a man solitary and of great abstinence, and very wise in philosophy, to whom I made me diligently, requiring him hat he would show to me the scriptures of the knowledge of the Son, the which he gave unto me, with a right good will: And surely I found as much as I desired, and all that I had been about a whole year, and wherefore I had long time traveled. And I thus having my desire returned home with great joy, yielding thanks to God my creator. And than at the request of the most noble king with great study and labor I translated this book out of Greek language into Caldees tongue and since into the speech of Araby. The which book the most wise man Aristotle made, which answered always to all the requests of king Alexandre, as more plainly appears in this present book.

An epistle sent to King Alexander by Aristotle.

Right glorious Son and righteous, God conserve you in the walk of knowledge the ways of truth and virtues, and withdraw your carnal and beastly desires, and confirm your realm to his service, and to your honor. Letting you wit dear son that I have received your epistle reverently and honorably as it appertains, and plainly have understood the great desire that you have that I were personally with you. Reproving me of that I care but little for your busynesses. For the which cause I have ordained and hasted me to make a book for you, the which shall weigh and contain all my works, supplying my absence and defaults, and shall be to you a right certain rule and doctrine in all things that you wills. The which I will show as I were presently with you. Dear Son you ought not to reprove nor blame me, for you knows well that for no thing of the world, but that I would go to you, and if were not that I am so sore grieved, and laden with age and weakness of my person, whereby in no wise I can go to you. And wit you, that the thing which you have demanded of me, and that you so much desires 5

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to know and have is the secrets that nature humans thought scantly can comprise nor sustain. How than may in the heart of mortal man be written or understand that thing that he ought not to know. And that thing that is not necessary nor suitable to be spoken of. Albeit I am bound by very duty to answer to that, that you demands. I shall never other thing show you, but that which is written in this book. For if you read it diligently, and understand it plainly, and that you may know that is contained in it, without doubt you shalt have all that that you desires. For God shall give you such grace, such understanding, and subtlety of great wit and science, and also by the doctrine that I have given the afore time, that by your self you may know and conceive that which you desire. And the cause why that I have opened and related my secrets figuratively and somewhat darkly, and that I have put obscure examples, and by figures, is that I doubt, and fear much that this book should come to the hands of infect persons, and in the power of arrogant and evil folks, which might know the secrets of God. And God knows well that they be not worthy. Certainly I make great doubt, that I in this trespass not the will and the grace of God. I do relate and discover this thing, as it has been revealed by God unto you. Wit you then right dear son that I have discovered to you, the things that been to be had And if you discover these secrets, you shalt have shortly evil fortunes, and may not be sure from great harms that shall be coming toward you. But Almighty God keep you and me from such things, and from all dishonest things. And after all these things have in your mind this noble and profitable doctrine, that I make reedy to you, and intend to expose your noble heart, to inform it to your great solace, as mirror of health if you will apply you thereto most dear son it behooves every king to have two things to sustain him and his realm. But he may not steadfastly have it, but if he have good and great governance of them that ought to govern And he that reigns so is obeyed one of his subjects And his subjects equally with one courage, and by one self form shall be obedient to the lord for by the disobedience of the subjects the power of the lord is greatly enfeebled. And if the subjects reign, the governance may nothing do. And I shall shows you, the cause wherefore the subjects been stirred and encouraged to obey their lord Two things there is. The one is outward and the other inward It is not long since I declared to the that that is outward That is to wit, when 6

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the lord spends wisely his riches among his subjects, and that he in them work liberally and that he give to everyone as they be worthy. And therewith the king behooves to have awhile, whereof I shall make mention in the chapter of vices and helps. That is so wit that the king ought to enforce him to get the hearts of his subjects by good works. And this is the first degree and foundation in dong of his deeds by first things. One inward and the other outward. The cause outward is that the king do, and maintain Justice, the possessions and riches of his subjects, and that he be piteous and merciful. The cause inward is that he nourishes great learned men, and that he have them for recommended. For God has recommended them their science And I recommends you this secrete principally with divers other, which you shalt find in other chapters of this book, wherein you shalt find great wisdom and doctrine and the content of the final cause whereby you shalt find your principal purpose. For in it you shalt learn the significance, of the words, and obscurities of the examples. Than you shalt plainly and perfectly have that, that you desire. Wherefore pray to God most wise and glorious king that he will lighten your reason and understanding to the end that you may know and perceive the secrets of this science. And in the same you may be my heir and successor, and that he will grant the largess of goods, to give abundance to the living of wise men and students, with grace to know that which is difficult, and without the same nothing can be done.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

The manner of kings

Of the manner of kings as touching largess

There be three manner of kings. There is a king that is liberal to him self, and liberal to his subjects There is a king that is liberal to him self and having to his subjects. The Italians say that it is no vice to a king that is having to himself, and liberal to his subjects. The Indians say that the king is good that is having to himself, and to his subjects. The Persians say the contrary, and been of opinion that the king is not worthy that is not large to himself and having to his subjects. But among all the kings above said it is the worst, and ought in no thing to be praised that is not liberal to himself and to his subjects. For he that is having to himself and to his subjects, his realm shall be clean destroyed. That it behooves us to inquire of the virtues and vices above said, and to show what thing largess is, and wherein the error of largess lies, and what harms come for lack of largess. It is evident that the qualities been to be reproved when they go for the mean, and be avaricious or foolish liberal. But if you will inquire or seek largess, regard and consider your power, and the time of the necessity, and the merits of men. And than you aught to give as your power will (by measure) to them that have need, and be worthy of it. For he that giveth other wise he breaks the rule of largess and sins. And he that giveth his goods to him that has no need, he gets no thanks And all that he giveth to them that be not worthy, is lost. And he that spends his goods outrageously, shall soon come to the wild brims of poverty, and is like him that giveth victory to his enemies over him. But a king that giveth his goods measurably to them that have need, is liberal to himself and his subjects And his realm shall come to great prosperity, and his commandment shall be fulfilled And he that spends the goods of his realm without order, and gives to them that be not worthy, and to them that have no need, such a king destroys his people, and the 8

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commonwealth, and is not worthy to reign as a king. And the name of avarice is an over foul name to a king, and to much harm comes to his regal majesty. Therefore if a king will reign honorably, him behooves not to have the one nor the other of these vices, that is to wit, that he be not to liberal, nor to covetous And if the king will be counseled, he ought with great diligence to purvey him of a wise man, which shall be chosen among all other, to whom he shall commit his doings of the realm, and the governance of the riches of the same as they ought to be spent.

Of largess and avarice, and of many other vices

King Alexander most dear son I tell you certainly that if any make greeter expense than his realm can sustain, that he inclines to foolish largess and avarice Such a king without doubt shall be destroyed. But if he inclines to liberality, he shall have perpetual glory of his realm, if he draw him from taking the goods and possessions of his subjects. And wit you dear son that I find written of a great doctor named Hermogines which says that the greatest and sovereign goodness, brightness of understanding, and plenty of law, science and perfection of a king, is that it behooves to keep him for taking of the goods and possessions of his subjects. It has been the undoing of many realms. For divers kings have made greater and outrageous expenses than the stint of their realms could extend, wherefore they took the goods and lands of their subjects. For the which injuries doing the people cried to God, while he sent vengeance on the said kings. In such wise that their people rebelled against them and put them to destruction. And without the great mercy of God that sustained them the realms should have been utterly destroyed with the people. Thou then ought to abstain you from outrageous expenses, and ought to keep temperance in liberality. And get not the dark secretiveness and reproaches that you shalt have, for it belongs not to them that be good.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Of virtues and vices, and of the doctrine of Aristotle.

The substance of all virtuous reigning is to give to them that be good, and pardon injuries, honor and bear reverence to them that be worthy, and have mind of them that be meek, and amend the faults of them that be simple, and with good will save the people, and keep you for to much speaking, let injuries pass till you see the time of defense that you know not the folly of fools. Dear son I have taught you and shall teach you many things the which you shalt keep in your heart. And I ensure you that the said teachings shall always be there in all your doings and works. Bright and sufficient science of physic shortly comprised you shalt have. And I would never have showed you any thing, but that the said science with the teachings that follow ought to suffice you and your works in this world and in the other.

Of the understanding.

Dear son know you that the understanding is the chief of the governance of man and health of the soul, keeper of virtues, and of vices. For in you says understanding we behold the things that be to be chosen. It is the key of virtues, and the rote of all laudable goods. And the best instrument thereof is to have good fame. And if it be contrarily done, it shall be confounded at the last by ill fame. A king ought principally seek to have a good fame. More for the governing of his realm than for himself.

Of the final intention that a king ought to have.

For the beginning of largess that a king ought to have, is to have good fame, whereby the great realms and great lordships be gotten. And if you desire to get realms of lordships, if it be not by 10

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good fame, you shalt get none other thing but envy. And envy breeds lies, which is matter and rote of all vices. Envy breeds ill speech, ill speech breeds hate: hate breeds injustice, injustice breeds battle, battle breaks all law, destroys cities, and is contrary to nature. Than think dear son and set your desire to get good fame, and you shalt have in the truth, and all things laudable, for it is cause of all wealth For it is contrary to lies, which is mother of all vices, as it is said And truth engenders the desire of Justice. Justice engenders good faith. Good faith engenders familiarity. Familiarity engenders friendship Friendship engenders counsel and help And for this cause all the world was ordained, and the laws made which be covenable to reason and nature. It appears than that the desire to have good fame is honorable and perdurable life

Of evils that follow fleshly desire.

Alexander fair son leave your beastly desires of your fleshly appetite, for they be corruptibles. The fleshly desires draws your heart to beastly corruption of the soul without any discretion, and dries the body of man. Wot you what fleshly love breeds? It breeds avarice, avarice breeds desire, desire breeds riches, and makes a man without care, to be a proud man, without law, and a thief. Theft brings a man to shame, and final destruction of his body.

Of the wisdom and ordinance of a king.

It behooves and is right that the good fame of a king, be in honorable science and worthiness (throughout all realms) to be shed from his realm, and have communication of their wise counsel with his. And thereby he shall be praised, honored, and doubted of his 11

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subjects, when they see that he speaks and does his works wisely. For easily is perceived the wisdom or folly of a king, for when he governs him in worthiness toward his subjects, he is worthy to reign honorably. But he that puts his realms in servitude or thralldom, of evil customs, he breaks the way of verity And despises the good way and law of God. And at the last be dispraised of all folks, as he has deserved.

Of the worthiness, religion, and holiness of a king.

And yet again well beloved son I tell you that the philosophers have spoken and said It behooves that the royal majesty be governed by right-wiseness, and not by faint appearance, but in deed, to the end that every man may see and know clearly the goodness of a king, and that he fear God. And will be governed in godly ways, than shall he be honored and doubted. And if he shows him self faining to be good, and is naught to his subjects, his ill works can not be hid, nor it may not be but his people shall know it. He shall be despised of God and shamed in the world And his deeds shall be lessened, and the honor of the crown of his realms shall fail. What shall I tell the more? there is no treasure in this world to good fame. And moreover dear son, it seems that you worship clerks, and poverty of good men of religion, and exalt wise men and speak oft with them. And question often of doubts with them. And demand many things of them. And answer wisely to their questions And honor noble men as each of them is worthy.

Of the purveyance of a king.

It behooves that a wise king think often of things to come that he may provide for such things as be contrary to him. And that he may the easier bear the adversities and contrary adventures. And the king ought to be wisely hid, and refrained, to the end that without deliberation he come not to the deed that he purposed in his anger. 12

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And he ought reasonably knowledge his anger and error, and appease him self easily For the most sovereign wisdom and virtue that a king may have, is to rule himself wisely And when he sees any thing that is good and profitable for him to be done, he should do it with great diligence, and discretion because the people shall not say that he has done his business foolishly, or to negligently

Of the vestments of a king.

It seems well to the royal majesty that the king be clothed honorably And that he shows himself alway in fair and royal clothes. And ought in beauty of robes to surmount all other clothing. Also he ought with great prerogative and dignity use fair, dear, and strong vestures. For thereby is his dignity more excellent and his might more exalted. And more reverence is made to him. And also it beseems a king to be fair spoken, with soft and kind words, specially in time of war.
Of the countenance of a king.

Sweet son Alexander it is a goodly thing precious, and honorable when the king speaks but little. But if over great need require it. It is better that the ears of the people be willing to here the words of a king, than to be weary of his to much speaking For when you ears be glutted with the kings speech their hearts be weary to see him. And also the king ought not to shows himself to often to his people, nor haunt to much the company of his subjects, and especially of villains. And therefore the Indians have a good custom in the ordinance of their realms. For their manner is that their king shows himself but ones in the year And than he is clothed in vesture royal And all the barons and knights of his realms been richly armed and arrayed about him. And he is set upon a steed the scepter in his hand armed with rich armures royales, and all his people a good way before 13

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the barons and other noble men. And there they show the divers perils and adventures that be passed. And how that he and his council is well ordered And the king as than is wont to pardon great offenses to some of them. And when the parliament is ended the king sets him in a chair and anon rises one of the most wisest men and speaks to the people, sprays and commending the wit and good governance of the king. In yielding thanks to God that has so well ruled and maintained the Indians' king, and that they are purveyed of so wise and honorable a king to reign and guide them. And then he confirms the said people in one will and courage to the obedience of the king. And then he commends the people and allows them greatly of their good manners and conditions which be reports do them. And shows them goodly words and examples, the better to put them in grace and obeisance, with meekness in the good will of the king. And when this wise prince has thus spoken, the people enforce them to exalt the praisings, and commendations, and good manners of this said king, in praying God heartily for him. And by this mean by their good manners and wisdom of their king they cause countries and cities to be obedient to them. And thus been the children brought up in their youth, and taught in the honor and reverence of the king. And the good fame of the king secretly and manifestly is spread and known And the rich and poor been thereby sustained throughout the realms of India. And the kings possessions and tributes increase thereby

Of the Justice of a king.

A king ought to order him so that he do no wrong, nor harm to merchants, but ought to cherish them. For they go throughout all the world, and by them is reported the good and all renowns of lords and princes. And a king ought by very Justice to yield every man his. And so his lands and cities shall be garnished with all wealths. And the kings works shall multiply to his honor and glory, and shall be the more redoubted of his foes, and shall live and reign at his will and desire in quietness. 14

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Of the worldly desires of a king.

Alexander right worthy son, covet not always worldly things, for they be corruptible. And think that you must leave all. Demand than such things as can not be corrupted That is the life that can not change and the realm perdurable. And rise your thoughts in goodness, and therein keep you strong and glorious And leave the life of beasts that always live in their filthiness Believe not lightly all thing that is told to you. And be not inclined to pardon them, against whom you have had victory And think of the time and of things that may happen. For you knows what is to come. And set not your desires in meats and drinks, in lechery, nor to much sleep, nor in carnal desires

Of the chastity of a king.

Sovereign Emperor incline not to lechery of women, for it is a swinish life And no glory shall be to you if you govern yourself after the living of beasts without reason. Dear son believe me, for without doubt lechery is destruction of the body, the abridgment, and corruption of all virtues, the death of a man self, and makes the man feminine And at the last brings him to all evils

Of the sporting of a king.

Soothly, it is beseeming to a king to take his pastime and sport with his princes and lords And that he have many and divers manners of minstrels, and sundry instruments, dances and songs For the 15

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humane creature naturally annoys. And in such instruments and pastimes nature deletes and the body taketh force and vigor. Than if you wilt delete in such things, do it the most honestly and secretly that you may. And when you are in your pastimes beware for drinking of wine. And let the other sport them as long as they lust. And than you shalt have many secrets disclosed. And make not this pastime often, but twice or thrice in the year. Also it behooves you to have nigh to you some of your familiar servants that shall tell and report to you what is said in the realms. And when you are among your barons and subjects, honor wise men and bear reverence to every man as they be worthy. And every man in his estate, maintain and let them eat with you sometime, one after another. And give gowns sometime to one and sometime to another, after their estate, and as they be worthy. And in any wise see that there be none of your knights and familiars, but that he feel of your liberality and of your grace. And thus overall shall appear your largess and greatness of your courage and honor.

Of the discretion of a king.

Most worthy son it is good that a king have liberality, goodly gesture, and countenance, and that he laugh not to much. For overmuch laughing causes many to be less set by, and to be less honored And finally, overmuch laughing makes a person to seem older than he is. Also a king ought to love his people in his court and of his council more than in other parties. And if any do villainy to another, he ought to punish him as he has deserved, that other may take example thereby, and eschew them from ill doing. And in that punishing you ought to regard the person that has done amiss. For else should a high and noble man be punished as another. And if you do so you shalt not be allowed of the people. And it is good sometime to do rigorous and strait Justice, and sometime no, to the end not that difference of the persons be known. For it is written in the book of Maccabees that a king ought to be praised and loved, if he be like the eagle, which has lordship over all fowls. And not as he which will be 16

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like another fowl that is subject to the eagle. Wherefore if any do villainy to any other in the presence of the king's majesty, it ought to be regarded and considered if the offense were done in game or for to cause the king to laugh, or to make him or other glad of it, or if he did it in despite, and shame of the royal majesty. For the first deed he ought to be corrected, and for the second to suffer death.

Of the reverence of a king.

Worthy king Alexander dear son the obedience to a king comes by three things. That is for the virtuous living of the king. Because he makes him to be beloved of his subjects. Because he is courteous. And for the honor and reverence, that he does to them that be most worthy of it. My dear son do so much that you may draw to you the courages of your subjects, and avenge them of all wrongs and injuries done to them. And beware that you give not to your subjects cause and mater to speak against you. For speech of people many times may do hurt. Than have in your mind such wise that nothing may be said against you. And so you shall eschew the ill will and deeds of them that had ill will against you. And forsooth the largeness of the glory of your dignity and reverence, and exaltation of your realms, and that rebounds most to your honor is to have the hearts of your subjects. It is found in holy scriptures, that the king is over a realms as the rain is over the earth which is the grace of God and blessing of the heavens and comes on the earth, and all living creatures. For the rain is called the way of merchants, and help of builders. How be it that in the rain falls sometime thunder and lightning, swelling of the sea, and floods with tempests and many other evils comes thereby, wherewith meadows and verdures has perished. For God made it so of his great goodness, benignity, and grace. The which self example you may find in winter and summer. In the which the sovereign largess gives and ordains coldness and heat, engendering and increasing of all new things. How be it many evils and perils comes by the rigor of great coldness of winter, and great heats of summer. In likewise dear son is it of a king. 17

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For many times the king does many griefs and evils to his subjects, and makes them to bear great heart against him. But when the people sees that by the grace and good governance of the king they be in peas and well ruled they forget the above said evils, and thank the glorious God that has purveyed them of so wise a king.

How the king ought to remember his subjects.

I require the sweet son that you of your goodness think and inquire often of your poor subjects, and know their necessities. And set among them such men as be virtuous and that loves God and Justice and that knows their manners, and understand their speeches, and can govern them peaceably and in love. And if you do thus, you shalt do the pleasure of your creature. And it shall be safeguarded to your realms, and gladness of the and your people.

Of the mercy of a king.

Dear son I counsel you that you make great provision of corn and vitals in such wise that your countries may have abundance, in eschewing (as it chances often) to have scarcity, and famine. In so much that by the great prudence you may save and maintaining your subjects, and thought ought to have your garners stuffed, and to proclaim throughout all your realms and cities, how you have gathered and stored the of grains and other vitals. And that you kept them to the provision of your realms, and to utter them with plenty to the salvation of your subjects. The which doing will cause your people to be courageous to do your commandments. And so you shalt prosper, and every man will mention of your great liberality, and of the providence afore hand in your businesses. And they will repute the as holy, and 18

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laud and magnify your worthiness. And every man will fear to displease you.

Of pains and punishments.

My dear son Alexander, I admonish, and also prays the to keep my doctrines and you shalt come to your purpose. And your realms shall be durable and in good estate. That is to wit, above all thing that you keep you from shedding of mans blood. For it belongs only to God, which knows the secrets of men. Than take not on you, the office that belongs only to almighty God, wherefore as much as you may withdraw your hand therefor. For the doctor Hermogines says, that who that slays the creature like unto him, all the stars of the sky cease not to cry to the majesty of God, lord, lord, your servant will be like unto you. For surely God will take vengeance on him that slays a man, and specially without reasonable cause. For God answers to the virtues of heaven saying, Leave you, for in me lies the vengeance, and I can yield it. And wit you that the virtues of heaven without cease do present before the face of God, the death and blood of him that is deed, till that God has taken vengeance for it.

Of the knowledge of the said pains.

O most loving son, of all such pains with the knowledge thereof, wit you that I have seen much harm, and many evils often come thereby. Do so that you may have in your mind the deeds or works of poets. And think how they have lived. And thereby you may see and learn many goodly examples. And their thoughts shall give the great documents in time coming. And also I pray the my dear son, that you grieve nor dispraise none lesser than you. For it happens often that the small estate rises right soon in to great riches and honors, and may


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be so mighty that he may protect you. Many examples thereof has been seen as philosophers rehearse.

How a king ought to keep his faith or oath.

Above all thing (dear son) beware that you break not your faith and oath that you have made. For it is belonging to strumpets, and also to people that keep not, nor do not care for their faith and oath. Wherefore keep your faith that you have promised, for and if that you do otherwise, it will come to an evil end at the last. And if by adventure or fortune, it chances that any wealth comes by faith breaking, the trust thereof should not be good, but very evil and reproachable, and such a man is put in the numbers of them that be naught. wit you then that by keeping of faith is made the goodly assembling of men. Cities have been inhabited with commons, and so is the good signories of kings. By keeping of faith castles have been holden and kept in lordships. And if you break your faith you shalt be reputed of every man as a child or a brute beast than beware thereof. And keep also the others, and alliances that you have made, though that they be grievous and damageable to you. Wot you not that you have two sprites always with you, one on the right side and the other on the left side, which know and keep all your works. And report to your creator all that you have done. Of a truth you ought only to abstain you from all dishonest works. And constrain none to swear, but he be much required and prayed. And if you wilt wit what was the destruction of Nubia, and of the Assyrians. I certify the that their king made oaths gleefully, to deceive the men and citizens next by. And brake his alliances and promises that he had made, because they were profitable to his realms. And also to his subjects he made many false oaths to destroy their next neighbors. The rightwise Judge could sustain nor suffer them no longer. most dear son I will that you know, that for the governing and ordinance of your realms I have made you some new doctrines, the which specially is for the profit of your own familiars and you. But as yet it is not time to give them to you. I will 20

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give you them in a certain place of this book shortly abridged. The which if you keep for your self profitably, with the help of God you shalt have prosperity, and that that you desire. sweet son repent you not of things that be passed, for that belongs to women which been weak of condition. Let your goodness, your faithfulness, and conscience be all whole, and manifest. And they shall be safeguard of your realms and destruction of your enemies.

Of study.

Take heed that you have studies and schools in your cities. And cause all your people to learn their children letters and noble sciences, and use them to study. For you ought to help and succor the governance of studies and poor scholars. And give advantages and prerogatives to good students that profit to their learning, and this wise you shalt give an example to them that be lay, exalt their prayers and receive their writing meekly, praise them that ought to be worshiped. give your goods to them that be worthy. Cherish clerks and stir them to praise you. And put you and your works in goodly writings, which by them shall be perpetually praised.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

The governance of health.

How a king ought to keep his body.

Most beloved son King Alexander, trust not in women, nor in their works, nor services, and company not with them. And if necessity were that you must have company of a woman, do so that you may know that she is true to you, and wholesome of her body. For when your person is between the arms of a woman, you are as a Jewell put, and resting in the hands of a merchant, that cares not to whom it is sold. And being between her hands, is the poison of your welfare, and also the destruction of your body. Beware therefore dear son, of such women, for they be venomous and deadly. For it is no new thing to know that by their venom many men have died. Thou knows well that many kings have hindered and shortened their lives and have died by poison. Also dear Alexander beware that you put not your trust in one physician only. For one physician may hurt you, and shortly do you much harm. And therefore if you may, do so that you have many physicians. And that they be of one agreement. And if you wilt have any medicine, take it not but by the counsel of them all. And that they be such as knows the quality and nature of the things that been put, and necessary in the medicine. And that it be of a certain weight and measure, as the medicine requires it. For by equal portions of weight and measure the art of physic is compounded. And think on dear son that when you was in the parties of India, many people made to the great presents and fair. Among you which was sent a fair maiden which in her childhood had been nourished with venom of serpents, Whereby her nature was converted in to the nature of serpents. And than if I had not wisely beholden her and by my arts and wit known her, because that continually, and without shame-fastness ever she 22

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looked in the faces of the people, I perceived that with ones biting she would have put a man to death as surely you have seen the experience before you. And if I had not known her nature, at the first time that you had meddled with the said maiden you had been deed without remedy. Fair son keep your noble soul, which is gives to you and sent from the company of angels the which is taken to you of God for to keep. Not that you soil and mar it, but that it be put among the wise and glorified spirits.

Of the difference of astronomy.

Alexander fair son, I pray you, that if you may do it, that you rise not, nor eat, nor drink, nor do any other thing, but by the counsel of some that knows and has the science in knowing the stars and astronomy. And you shalt wit my dear son that Almighty God has made nothing without cause, but has done every thing reasonably. And by certain sciences and ways, the wise philosopher Plato sought and felt the operations of all things composed of the four elements, and the humors contrary. And had also the knowledge of the things created and formed. And also my dear son Alexander I pray you believe not such fools which say that the science of the planets is so hard to be known, and that none may come thereto. Surely they be fools and wot not what they say. It is a noble thing to know things which be to come. If you knows the things which be to come, you and other persons may put remedy by good prayers. And require the creature that has ordained them to return their malice, and ordain them otherwise. Think not dear son that God has ordained and predestined such things, but that by his power he may change them otherwise when he pleases. Wit you dear son that the good people pray to our creator with orisons and devout petitions, by fasting and sacrifices, by alms and other manner, asking of pardon of their sins, and doing penance, that our lord may return and remember such predestinations which other do fear so much. Return we dear son to our first purpose, wit you that astronomy is devised in three parts. That is to wit in ordnance of stars. In the 23

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disposition of signs, and of their elongations. Of the moving of the sun. And this part is called astronomy. And is the worthiest, of stars, planets, and signs. And there is 1028 planets signed, and formed, of the which we shall speak more plainly.

Of the governance of health.

Health among all things is to be gotten and has more than any might of riches. For the keeping of health is by using of equal things conjoined to the body, as by temperance of humors. For the glorious God has ordained them, and given divers remedies to the temperance of the humors to the keeping of health. And has shewed it to his holy men and prophets, and to many other Just men which he did choose and illuminated with the holy ghost, in his sapience divine, and mighty. And has given them the gifts of the science, of these things here after following. That is to wit they of India, of Greece, and of Athens. which philosophers were Just and perfect, and their writings were the beginning of science and secrets. For in their writings is nothing found to be reproved nor split, but approved of all wise men.

Of the governance of sick people.

All wise and natural philosophers say that man is made and composed of four contrary humors, the which have alway need to be sustained with meat and drink. The substance whereof behooves to issue and be corrupt if any do alway eat and drink, and he should wax weak and fall in great diseases, and have many inconveniences. But if he eat and drink temperately and reasonable, he shall find help of life, strength of body, and health of all the members. The wise philosophers says that if any man trespass the God of nature, and the good manner of living, be it in to much eating and drinking, or to much sleeping, or waking, in to much walking or resting, being to laxity, or to much 24

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letting of blood or to little, it can not be but he must fall in many diseases, and grieves. Of the which diseases I have briefly found, and therein will I shows you my counsel, and remedy for the same. All wise philosophers are in accord in one saying. Who so keeps him for overmuch eating and drinking and from that excesses aforesaid and keeps temperance, he shall be healthful of his body, and live long. For I can find no man but he is of this opinion, and will says that all delectable things of the world, be it in pleasure of the body, it is but for to live the longer in them. But for a more secrete you ought to enforce you to do such things as been belonging to long life, and not to follow the appetite, that is to wit, not to lie meat upon meat. And dear son I have heard often spoken of Ipocras which kept many times diet to the end that he might live and endure the longer. Not for to live and endure for the meat and drink. Also dear son it is great wholesomeness to be purged of superfluities and evil humors which been in the body.

In how many manners a man may keep his health

Good son I pray you have in your mind steadfastly these certain instructions and keep them. know you that health is chiefly in two things. The first is let a man use such meats and drinks as he has been nourished with. The second that he purge him of ill humors that be corrupt and grieve him. For the body of man is fed with meats and drinks which nourish it by natural heat that dry, nourish and feed the moistness thereof

Of divers meats for the stomach.

When the body is fat and full of vapors gross meats is good for it. and of the nourishing of such a body, the digestion is gross, and of great quantity for the great heat, and vapors of the body. And when the body is slender and dry, subtle and moist meats be good for it. And the 25

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digestion thereof is of small quantity for the strictnesses of the conduits And it is great wisdom and science for a man to use such meats as been good and appurtenant to his complexion, that is to wit if he feed him with hot meats temperately But if the heat be to grievous and burning within the body by over strong wines and hot meats, or other accidents, than contrary meats and drinks will do great ease and profit, that is to wit such as been cold

Of the stomach.

If your stomach be to hot then hot and course meats be good. For such a stomach is like a mighty fire for to burn great weight of logs. But when the stomach is cold and feeble than it is good to have light and subtle meats

The signs to knowledge the stomach.

The signs of a stomach that is of an ill and week digestion is when the body is not lusty, heavy, and slothful, the face is swollen, and yawns often, and has pain in his eyes, and breaks wind often and rudely, and the breaking is sour and unsavory, watery and stinking, and thereby is breeding winds and swelling of the belly and the appetite of meat is lessened. Therefore sweet son beware of meats and drinks that may hurt or be contrary to your health

An epistle of great value.

Most dear son Alexander saith it is so that the body of man is corruptible by diversity of complexion, and of contrary humors that 26

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been in it, whereby often there comes corruption to it, I thought to deliver the some thing that shall be necessary and profitable to you. In the which I will treat of the secrets of physic which shall please you. For certain diseases come to a king which be not honest to shows to physicians And if you will observe this lesson, you shalt have no need of physicians, except in causes that may come in battle, the which may be eschewed Alexander fair son, when you rise from your sleep, walk and stretch your members equally and comb your head, for stretching of the limbs gives force, and combing rises the vapors that been come in sleeping and puts them from the stomach. In summer wash your heed in cold water, which shall yield the natural heat, and shall be cause of appetite to meat Than clothe the with goodly and rich apparel. For the heart of man delights in the beholding of precious meats and clothing Than rub your teeth with some course linen, or other thing that is hot and dry of complexion, and sweet of smell for it is wholesome for the teeth, and keeps them clean, cleans the stench of the mouth, and clears the voice, and giveth appetite to eat. And rub your heed often in the same wise for it opens the clusters of the brain, and thickens the neck and other members, and cleans the face and the sight, and prolongs stopping of age, and amends the blood. Also anoint the same with sweet smelling ointments, as the time requires, for in such sweetness your heart takes great pleasure, and is nourished thereby. And the spirit of life takes refection in good odors: and the blood runs merrily through the veins of the body. After that take sometime an electuary of a wood called Aloes, and of Rhubarb which is a precious thing, to the price of four pens. Which you shalt find written in the book of physic, and this shall do the much good, for it voids the heat of the mouth of the stomach, and warms the body and wastes winds, and makes good taste and savor. After this I counsel the that you be often with your noble and wise men of your realms, and speak to them of your businesses that you have to do. And govern them sadly according to their good customs.

Of the manner to travail.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Or ever you eat or your appetite comes at your hour accustomed do some travail, that is to wit walk or ride a little, or do some other work, for it helps the body much, it voids all flatulence, and makes the body lighter, stronger and energizes the stomach, and wasted evil humors of the body and makes the phlegm of the stomach descend.

Of the manner of eating.

Fayre son when your meat is set afore you, eat of such as you desire most, reasonably, with well leavened breed. And eat [first] of such as ought to be first eaten. For there be to manners of digestion of meat in a man that is to wit, soft, and hard For in the bottom is most heat for to make [digestion of] meat, because it is most fleshly, and nighest the heat of the liver wherewith the meat is sodden and digested.

Of abstinence of meat.

When you eat, eat by leisure, though you have great appetite to eat. For if you eat greatly naughty humors do multiply, the stomach is laden, the body is grieved, the heart is hurt, and the meat remains in the stomach's bottom undigested

How pure water ought not to be drunken.

Also beware dear son that you drink no pure water, specially when you haste eaten meat. But if you be wont thereto For as soon as the water is upon the meat, it cools the stomach, and quenches the heat 28

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of the digestion and comfort of the meat. It lets digestion and grieves the body. If you must need drink water alone, take it the most temperately, and as little as you may.

Of the manner to sleep

When you have taken your refection and have lust to sleep, lye down on a soft bed and sleep temperately And first lie down on the left side, and sleep thereon a reasonable space, for the left side is cold and has need to be warms. And if you feel any pain in your belly or in your stomach, than lay thereto a sovereign medicine, that is a warm linen cloth lade thereon wit you dear son that travail is good, and giveth heat to the stomach. But after dinner it is a naughty thing, for the meat abides undigested in the bottom of the stomach, and thereof be breed many diseases And sleep before feeding is not good, for it makes the body lean and dries the humors. But sleeping after feeding is good, for it fulfills the body and giveth force, and nourishing thereto For when the body of man rests, then the natural heat draws the heat that was spread in all the members in to the bottom of the stomach, and gives strength thereto upon the refection of the meat. And heat requires rest. therefore some philosophers have said that it is better and wholesome to eat at night than in the morning, for the eating in the morning because of the heat of the day grieves the stomach, and the body is more travailed therewith And moreover the person shauffeth in traveling doing his business, in going and speaking, and many other things that belongs to the body of man, by the which heat that is outward toward none, the natural heat that is inward is waked and appeared, and the meat is hard to digest But at night it is more easy and less grieved with the heat of travel. And the heart and members of man been more in quiet by the coldness of the night, that giveth natural heat to the stomach.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

The keeping of custom or wont.

Thou shalt understand my dear son that he that is wont to eat but one meal often is diseased, for the stomach is without digestion and the body has small nourishing. And he that is accustomed to eat at one time ones another time twice he shall lightly perceive that it does him harm, for custom charges nature.

How one ought to change custom.

And if need constrain you to change your custom, do it wisely, that is to wit by little and little. And so by the grace of God your changing shall be good. But above all things beware that you eat not till you feel your stomach empty and that it has made good digestion of the first meal. And this you may know by the desire that you shalt have to your meat: and by your spittle that turns subtly in your mouth. And if you eat without need or appetite the heat of your stomach shall be made cold as is. And if necessary be that you must eat, and have an appetite thereto, the kind heat of your stomach will be as hot as fire, and of good digestion. And beware that when your appetite comes that you eat not forthwith, for it will gather ill humors of your body in to your stomach, which will hurt your brain. And if you tarry overlong as you eat, it will feeble your stomach, and the meat will do your body no good. And if so be that you may not eat as soon as your appetite requires, and that your stomach be full of ill humors, do so that you may vomit or you eat, and after the vomit take an electuary, and eat surely.

Of the four seasons of the year.


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Our intention is to treat in this book of the four seasons of the year, with the quality, propriety, contrariety, and difference of each of them. And they been certain seasons of the year divided as follows. That is to wit [first] springtime or vere. [Springtime or vere begins when the sun enters in the sign of Aries, and lasts four score and eight. days, and nine hours, and the fourth part of an hour That is to wit from the tenth day in the end of March, to the four and twenty day of June.] And in this season the days and nights been equal of length. The weather is fair. The warm weather comes. The snows melt, rivers run swift and clear and wax warm, the moistness of the earth rises to the height of trees, and causes them to smell sweet. Meadows and grains sprout and corn grows, and all flowers take color, birds have been clothed with new robes, and enforce them to sing. Trees been decked with leaves and flowers, and the lands with seeds. Beasts engender and all people take strength and lust. The earth is arrayed goodly, and is a fair bride clothed with Jewels of divers colors because she should seem the fairer at her wedding.

Of springtime, and what it is.

The springtime is hot and moist temperately as the air. This season the blood moves and spreads to all the members of the body, and the body is parfait in temperate complexion. In this season chickens, kids, and poached eggs ought to be eaten, with lettuces and goats milk in these three months. Springtime begins when the sun enters the sign of Aries and lasts ninety-two days, an hour and a half for the tenth day of March to the tenth day of June. In this season is the best letting of blood of any time. And than is good to travail and to be laxative. And to be bathed. And to eat such things as will purge the belly. For all diseases that comes, ether by purging or bleeding, return anon in this springtime.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Of summer, and what it is.

Summer begins when the sun enters the first point of the crevice, and lasts ninety-two days, and an hour and a half. That is to wit for the tenth day of June to the .x. day of September. In this season the days be long, and the nights short. And in all regions increase and abate their heat and the sea is calm, and the air meek and fair. The flours wither and serpents increase and shed their venom, and spreed their strength. The mights of man's body be fortified. And all the world is full of wealth, as the fair bride that is goodly stature and in perfect age. The season of some hot and dry, and than cooler is moeved. And in this season is good to beware of all things that be hot and dry of complexion. And take heed of to much eating or drinking for thereby is the kindly heat quenched. In this season eat meats of cold and moist complexion, as veal, milk with vinegar, and pottages made with barley meal. Eat fruit of eager savor, as pomegranates, and drink small wines, and use not the company of women. In this season let you not blood, but if great need compel you. Use little travel, and seldom bathing.

Of Autumn, or harvest.

Harvest enters when the sun forms into the first degree of the balance and lasts ninety-one days and an hour and a half. That is to wit for the tenth day of September to the tenth. day of December. In this season the day and night be of one length. And than the days wax short and the nights long. The air is dark, and the winds enter the northern regions or Septentrion. The weather changes, and the rivers and springs wax less. The orchards and fruits wither. The beauty of earth fade. Birds cease their singing. Serpents seek their holes where they assembled their living in summer for the time of winter. The earth is as an old naked woman that goes for youth to age. This season of harvest is cold and dry, this time black choler is moved. In this season is good to eat meats that be hot and moist as chickens, lamb, and drink old wines, eat sweet raisins. And keep you from all things that breed black 32

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choler, as lying with women more than in summer, nor bath you not but if great need require it to be done. In this season if a man have need of vomiting, do it at none in the hottest of the day. For at that time all the superfluities of man's body gather together. Also it is good to purge the belly with a medicine ordained therefore and other things that been to expunge black choler and to refrain humors.

Of winter, and what it is.

Winter comes when the sun enters the first degree of the sign of Capricorn and lasts seventy. days and an hour and a half. And begins the tenth day of December, and continues to the tenth day of March. In this season the nights be long and the days short; it is very cold. The wines be in the press, and the leaves fall, and herbs loose all their strength, for the most part. All beasts hide themselves in caves and pits of hills. The air and the weather is dark. And the earth is like as old decrepit person, that by great age is naked and nigh to the death. Winter is very cold and moist, and than behooves the use hot meats, as chickens, hens, mutton, and other hot and fat flesh, eat figs, nuts, and drink green wines. And beware of to much lax and bleeding, and eschew company of women, for it will feeble your stomach, and baths be good. And for the great code the natural heat enters in to the body, and therefore the digestion is better in winter than in summer. And in harvest the belly is cold, and than the pores been open by heat of the season, and reproves the natural heat of all the parts of the body. And therefore the stomach has but little heat, whereby the digestion is enfeebled, and the humors assemble there.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Of natural heat.
son Alexander I pray the keep the kindly heat of your body, and you shalt have long health. For the body of man dies in two manners. One is by great age the which overcomes the body and destroys it. The other is accidentally, as by weapon, sickness, or other adventure.

Of things that fatten the body.

Right dear son these been things that fatten the body. That is to wit ease of the body and filling it with dainty meats and drinks, and milk, and than to sleep on a soft bed. All sweet smelling flowers in their season, and bathing in fresh waters. But if you bathe you, tarry not long in it, and have sweet smelling things in the bath. And never drink wine but it be well tempered with water. And specially in winter make water of flowers called Assynini and put it in to your wine, for it is hot of nature. And in summer use violets and flours of mallows and other things that be cold, and use to vomit ones in a month specially. For vomits wash the body and purges it of wicked humors and stink that is in it. And if there be but few humors in the stomach, it comforts the natural heat. And when you have vomit willingly, the body will full it with good humidity and be of good disposition to digest. And if you govern you thus, you shalt be merry at your heart, lusty with reasonable health and good understanding, glory and honor, and over all your enemies victory. Also I will that you delight in the beholding of goodly persons, or in reading of delectable books, or in wearing of precious garments, and goodly Jewels, as the time requires.


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Of things that lean the body.

These been the things that makes the body to be lean, weak, and dry: to much eating, to much traveling, to much walking in the son, to much gong, to much sleeping afore noon, melancholy, fear, to bathe in water of the nature of brimstone, eating salt meats, too much drinking of old wine, to be to lax, and overmuch letting of blood. For Ipocras says that he that bathes him with a full belly, or lies with a woman shall have sickness in his entrails. And also to run, or to ride, or to much travail after meat breeds a great disease called palsy. And much eating of fish, or milk and wine together Ipocras says it will make one lazy.

Of the first part of the body.

Of the three parts of the body the head is the first. For in the heed gathers all superfluities, and evil humors, which you shalt feel and know by these signs following. The eyes have been troubled, the hearing is thickened and the nostrils been stopped. If you feel such a disease take an herb called wormwood, and set it in sweet wine till the half be wasted, than hold it in your mouth and wash it many times therewith till you feel that it does the good, and eat white mustard seed powdered with your meat. And if you do not thus you may happen to have some disease, and specially in your eyes, in your brain, and in other parts of your body.

Of the second part of the body.

The second part of the body is the bulk. If disease come there you shalt know it by these signs following. The tongue is tired, the mouth is salt, bitter, and unsavory. The mouth of the stomach is sour 35

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with grief in all your members. It behooves the to eat but little and to vomit, than eat a little sugar of roses with aloes and take good comforting spices and eat an electuary named Dionisium. And if you do not thus, you may fall in disease of the side, of the rains, and fevers, and specially of the tongue whereby you shalt not properly speak, and divers other maladies. Decotion of hyssop is good.

Of the third part of the body.

The third part of the body is the womb, if it be combed with evil humors you shalt know it by these signs. The belly will swell with pain and stiffness in the knees going a slow pace. It behooves to use some subtle and light meats, as is said before with the governing. And if you do not thus there will follow ache in the hips, in the spleen, in the back, and other joints, and in the liver, with ill digestion.

Of the fourth part of the body.

The fourth part of the body been the genitals. If superfluity and naughty humors gather in them you shalt know it by these signs. The appetite will wax code, and redness will appear upon them and upon the share. Than must you take a seed called Apij with fennel seed and the rote of mug wort, and of another called Acham, and atracies. And with these herbs put the rotes in good white wine, and drink a quantity of it every morning with a little water and honey and eat not much after it. And if you do not thus you shalt have pain in the bladder, and liver, and shalt not piss, and shalt have grief in the entrails and lunges with breaking of the stone. sweet son Alexander I have read also the histories of a mighty king, which assembled all the best philosophers that were in India and Greece. And commanded them to make a medicine so profitable that he should need none other for his health. The Greeks said he that drinks every morning twice his mouthful of 36

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warm water shall have a good end, and shall need none other medicine. The physicians of India said that it is good to eat every day fasting a quantity of grains of white honey. And beseems that who so taketh one of these said medicines by reason shall not have pain in his womb, nor ought not to fear palsy, nor gout, nor ache in his Joints. And who so eats every morning seven drachmas of clusters of sweet wine grapes, shall not fear the disease of phlegm, and it will amend his mind, and clarify his understanding, and he needs not to doubt fever quartaynes. And who so eats in the morning a fig with nuts and a quantity of leaves of rue, that day shall not need to fear venom.

Of natural heat.

Most mighty king I require you to study the manner to keep the natural heat of your body, with the moisture thereof, in you which two things lie the health of your person. And know you that the destruction of the body comes in two things, one is natural, and the other against nature. And for the contrariety of the complexion of man, and when age surmounts the body it behooves for to die. Other wise unnaturally by adventure, as by weapon, or stones, or by sickness and lack of help, or by venom, and other chances.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Of the qualities of meats.
Furthermore it is good that you know the nature of meats, for some been gross, or coarse, and some been light and subtle. The subtle breeds thin blood, and good, as pure wheat, chickens, and newly laid eggs. Gross meats been good for such as been of hot humors, laborers, fasting, and that sleep after meals. Mean meats breeds no hot nor superfluous humors, as the flesh of lambs, young pork, and other that been hot and moist, but such meats change often in roasting to hardness, to heat, and dryness. And they ought to be eaten forthwith after the roasting, and been good if they be so taken with good spices. Some meats breed melancholy, as beef, cows flesh, and all flesh that is course and dry. Other that breed and feed in moist and watery, and shadowy places been more subtle, better and wholesome.

Of the nature of fish.

Fishes that be of small substance, and thin skins, easy of eating, bred in running waters nigh the see been better and lighter than they that breed in the see or fresh rivers. But fish that breed in the sea is more wholesome than fresh river fish. therefore beware of fish of great substance with hard skins for such been commonly venomous.

Of the nature of waters.

Thou ought to know that clear running waters that been night to cities in pure ground as small brooks be the best and lightest. Water 38

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that comes out of stony earth where as is much fulmosities is heavy, contagious, and noisome. Water of puddles or fens full of frogs, adders, and other venomous worms be unwholesome. The signs of good water is to be clear, light, and of good color, that lightly doth sooth and lightly cool. In such waters nature delights. Salt water of the see is fumish and laxes the womb, and water of the sea is hot and heavy because is moves not (stagnant), and the sun is daily over it, and it breeds choler, and increases the milt and the lung. The drinking of waters with a cold stomach fasting afore dinner grieves the body, and quenches the heat of the stomach. But drinking of water after dinner warms the stomach and breeds phlegm. And much of it corrupts the meat in the stomach. Thou ought to drink cold water in summer and warm water in winter, and not contrary wise. For warm water in summer mollifies and weakens the stomach, and wastes the appetite. And in winter cold water quenches the heat, and destroys the instruments of the breast, it annoys the lights and lung and breeds many grieves.

Of the nature of wine.

The nature of wine that grows on mountains nigh to the sun is dryer than that, that grows on the plain ground, in moist places, and shadows. Wine is good for aged people, and such as be moist and phlegmy. And annoys them that be young and hot. And wine warms and delivers cold and course superfluities. The redder and thicker that wine is the more it breeds blood. But if it be strong and bitter, than it is called the first blood and the first nourishing, and has the nature of drink and medicine. And often drunken it annoys the body and nourishes it not. And when wine is naturally sweet, it annoys the stomach with smells and winds, but such wine is commonly sweet of complexion, and such as grows in large fields stretching toward the mountains and valleys having sweet clusters, and ripe, and be not gathered till the might of the substance of the berry is gone with the moistness, and that the vine and the grape be somewhat withered. And 39

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you shalt know that wine ought to be of an eager taste sharp and pleasant, and have thick lyes on the bottom of the vessel, and fair and clear above, and when you have fair and good wine drink temperately thereof to the ease of your body, as the time requires. For it strengthens the stomach and the heats of the body, and helps digestion and keeps from corruption, and ripens the meat in the members, purifying it, and works in them till it be conjunct in good blood, and nourishing, and travails and raises the heat of the body temperately. And keeps a man sure of wicked humors, it gladdens the heart, and makes fresh color in the face. It quickens the mind and supples the tongue, and destroys all melancholy, and make a man bold, and to have good courage and appetite. And has many other good properties. But if wine be outrageously taken many inconveniences come thereby. It troubles the brain, the mind, the wits, the understanding. It makes the virtue of natural heat wild, and causes forgetfulness. It encumbers the tongue and weakens all the sinews and limbs of the body. It makes the eyes reed and bleared. It changes the color, and destroys the body, and makes coarse and naughty blood. It mars digestion. It causes to many words, and to much sleep. It makes the mouth stinking. It lets the going, and destroys the seed of man and breeds leprosy, Beware therefore that you drink not wine outrageously, but move and change the nature thereof with rhubarb which causes the liver to live. And wine with Rhubarb has many virtues as is found plainly in books of physic. Howbeit Rhubarb and wine be both deadly venom if they be outrageously taken. And surely all evils comes of wine unmeasurably drunken.

Of goodness and harm that comes of wine.

Noble king Alexander, forget not to take tart syrups in the morning fasting when phlegmatic humors abound too much. For it is profitable and wastes them much. Also I marvel that any man may die or be sick that eats bread of clean and good wheat, wholesome and good flesh, and drinks good wine of grapes temperately. And if he 40

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keep him for to much drinking, eating, and travail. If sickness overcome such a man he must be healed as a drunken man. That is to wit he must be washed with warm water, and than set over a running water between two green willows, and his stomach anointed with an ointment of sandres, or sandalles, and have a fumigation of frankincense: and other sweet spices, and it will do him huge good. And if any man will forsake holly the drinking of wine he ought not to leave it suddenly at ones but little and little, and to mingle it every day with water more and more, till at the last there be nothing but clear water. And so he may keep his health and good complexion. Thus govern your body if you will live long. And keep my doctrines, and consider these things following wherein nature comforts greatly. That is to wit: Goodly pastimes, sight of great riches, great reverence, victory over enemies, feeding on good meats, noise of minstrels, sight of precious garments, often hearing of good tidings, speech of wise men, to inquire of things past and to come, and communication with fair gentlewomen.


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Of the form of Justice.
O most discrete king Justice can not be praised to much, for it is of marvelous sharp nature, like to the most glorious God. And he ordained it over his angels, over his works, and over all realms. And you ought to keep Justice, and defend the wits, the riches, and possessions of your subjects and all their works, for so does Almighty God. And any lord acting in like case is like to God. For by maintaining of Justice he follows God, and you ought to follow him in all needful works. And this is the form of understanding the which God created, and granted to his creatures. By Justice the earth was made, and kings ordained to keep and maintain Justice, for it makes subjects meek and obedient, proud men lowly, and keeps all persons in safe from wrongs and damages. And therefore they of India says that the Justice of a good lord is better than the rain that falls in the evening. And there was once found written in a stone in the speech of Chaldea that wise kings been brethren having need each of other, and one may not be without the other. For all the kings of the world be to rule, and maintain Justice, which is the health of Justice. therefore if you have any thing for to do ask counsel, for you are but one man. And shows not all your courage to your counselors nor let them not know what is in your will to do. For if you show your mind at the beginning you shalt be dispraised. Than temper your heart, and your will, but hear counsel first. And manifest not that, that lies at your heart till you come to put it in effect. Consider well the counsel of every man, and which of them has Judged your matter and counseled the best for you, and with the best love that he has towards that. And when you have thus recorded your council, put your mind in effect without delay. For the greatest destruction that may come to a king is to be slow in his works and to lose time. And if so be that a young man of small estate give the good counsel, despise it not, for it is possible


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that a man may be borne in such constellation that naturally he shall have wisdom.


There was upon a time a child borne in the parties of India. In the house where this child was borne were certain wise men lodged, which found that the said child was borne under such a constellation, planet, and sign that he should be wise, meek, courteous, amiable, fresh of wit, and should be loved of kings and great lords. which thing they would not show to the father which was a weaver. When the child came to age the father and moder set him to their occupation, but he could never learn for any beating nor chastisement. At the last they let him do as he list, and he set his mind to learn sciences, and the movements of the skies, and of all things above nature. Also he learned good conditions and manners to the governance of princes and kings. And finally by his wit and wisdom he was ruler of all the country.

Another example.

In the realms of India were two children. When one of them came to age the king set him to school for to learn science, and all the studies of India and had the best teachers in all the provinces for to teach him in all the speed that could be possible as to a kings son belonged. But all the diligences of his father and other teachers availed nothing nor could make him incline neither by his master nor by his nature to learn any science nor are but only forging or smiths craft, whereof the king marveled, and sore troubled sent for all the wisest of his realms, and demanded of them how it might be that his son would learn nothing but only smiths craft. And they answered that the kind of


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the child was of such complexion, and that he was inclined to that art and to none other. Therefore dear son Alexander despise no man of low birth nor of small stature if you see any science or any wisdom in him, and that he have also good conditions and manners in him, and doth eschew vices. Such one so well mannered is worthy to be loved of princes and kings. And you ought for to do nothing without counsel. And I pray the dear son that you love him that loves truth and that counsels the faithfully and sometime contrary to your opinion. For such a man is steadfast of courage, faithful and Just to you and your subjects. And the counsel of such a man is good to the governance of the king and of his realms. furthermore let not your businesses that should by first done be the last, etc., But do every thing by council and order. For counsel is the shower of all things to come. It behooves therefore that you do all your works by counsel of faithful and secret counselors. For your wisdom by the counsel of them shall increase, as you see increase by the rivers and floods that fall in to it. And the better you may win by the might of warriors. It is found written that a great wise man of India wrote letters to his son in this wise: `My well beloved son, it behooves you believe counsel in all your businesses, for you art but one man. Take counsel therefore of such as you knows can give the good. And above all things spare not your enemy, but when you may show your victory over him. And ever be ware of the power of your enemy. Trust not in your own wit nor in the great height of your estate, but ever take counsel of other, which if you seem good and profitable accept it, and else not. And also I admonish you and counsel you chiefly that you never make none of your officers your lieutenant only, nor give him your might, for his counsel may destroy you, your realm, and your subjects. And seek alway to his own profit and your undoing. But you ought to have divers officers, and if you will assay and prove any of them you must fain that you have great need of money. And if he counsel you to take of your treasure and Jewels for to spends he loves you and is faithful to you. And if he counsel you to take the money of your subjects to make them poor he is corrupt and hates you much. But if he be such one that will offer you his own goods and say, 44

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``Sir by the gift and grace of God I have gotten some goods I give them to you,'' such ought to be praised and loved best, as he which had lever to give his goods away than the poor subjects should be taxed and destroyed. Prove also your officers and if you see that any of them does his office diligently, and more for your honor than he is committed, you ought greatly to trust in him. And if there be any that delights in taking of gifts and grasps for promotion, and to gather treasure, put not your trust in him. For such a man is like a huge pit without bottom, for the more that he has the more he covets to have. And such one is the destruction of a realm many ways. For peradventure the burning desire that he has to get riches may move him to many evils, and may chance the procurement of your death. If you perceive such an officer, let him not be far from your presence. And suffer him not to make treaty with strange lord's nor princes, nor write no news to them. And if you doubt that he does the contrary, change him without any delay. For the courage of many men be soon changed, and lightly inclined to do contrary things.' Also dear son you ought to cherish the officer that loves and moves your subjects to love you. And that puts his person and goods to your honor, and that has these properties following. That is to wit that he be perfect in his limbs for to travail in his office that he is chosen to. That he be courteous, lowly, and eloquent, and that his word accord with his heart. That he be a clerk wise and well conditioned, laborious and sober of mouth in eating and drinking, not lecherous, nor player at dice and other disordinate games. That he be hardy, and set not his mind on gold nor silver, nor other thing of the world, but that, that belongs to the governance of you, and the realm That he love the wealth of his neighbors as of them that be fair. And that he hate all wrongs, and by Justice yields every man his own That he be angry with them that do injuries and exertions, and that he grieve no man wrongfully. And that he be persevering and steadfast in his purpose which is behooving. That he be without fear and in good will. That he know the stint of his expenses And that he prolong nothing that may be profitable to the realm And that gives not your subjects cause to complain of him in doing against the commonweal. That he be not full of words, nor a great laugher. That none be refused coming to his house And that he


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be diligent to here and inquire of news and tidings. That he comfort the subjects and correct their works, and help them in their adversities.

Of kings secretaries

Dear son it behooves to choose you a secretary for to write and know your secrets; he must be a man of great wisdom and well learned, for to understand your mind. He ought to be trusty and eloquent and that can speak divers languages for to put your busynesses in goodly ordnance and seemly speech. For as a fair garment honors the body of a king, so goodly speech arrays and endows a letter And also he must be trusty to hide and keep close your doings. And that he suffer none to come to the place where your writings be and that none see them. Sweet son such persons ought to be cherished and well rewarded for their services. And exalt them in such wise that they be always diligent in your necessities and needs For in them is contained your glory and honor, or your life and destruction

Of a kings messengers.

Mighty emperor the messages alway shows the wisdom of him that sends them. They been the eyes, the ears, and the mouth of their lord. It behooves for your messages or ambassadors to choose such as been most sufficient, of clear understanding, wise, honorable, and trusty, which loves your honor, and hates your dishonor. (For in your court you may find them both) And if you find such discover and shows your courage to them. And if you find none such or better, find one that will trustfully bear your letters, and bring you an answer of them. And if you find that messenger be covetous to do his own profit and to get gifts, trust not in him, but entirely forsake him. And also make no man your messenger that will be drunk, for by such one it 46

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shall be said and known that the lord is not wise. And furthermore make not your messenger of your greatest officer, and let him not be far from you, for it may well be the undoing of you and the realm. And if you send messengers by whom any treason come to you, I tell you not the measure of pain that they ought to suffer, but do therein as you seem best.

Of the governance of the people.

Fair son you know that your people and subjects be the house of your mind, and the treasure whereby your realm is comforted. For your realm and subjects be as an orchard wherein be divers trees bearing fruit, the which trees have divers roots and seeds for to bear, grow, and multiply the fruit, and be the defense and durable treasure to your realm, and of your might. It behooves then that your subjects be well governed, and that you take thought and care to that, that is needful for them, and to beware that no violence nor wrongs be done to them, and after their conditions and wants to order them. Than give to them a good officer that intends not to their undoing, but that intends to rule them well, Justly and in quiet. And see that such a good officer be wise, full of good manners, well conditioned, and patient. For if he be not such one, wit you that the wise men that were good before, will become evil and rebel against you. Also see that you have good and discrete Judges, and that shall be worship to you, and increase of your court, and of your realm. And that the said Judges be not corrupt with gifts and mead, and that they have good notorious scribes, and equal solicitors and advocates that will not take bribes as it happens seldom. Dear son I pray you and admonish you that you put yourself often in battle, and take often the counsel of them of your court. But put the not with them that only by envy and avarice enters presumptuously in battle. And blame not nor despise your men of war, but use fair words among them, and often promise them gifts and honors. And in no wise put your self in battle till you be purveyed of all necessary arms and other things thereto belong. And when you see 47

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your enemy run suddenly upon him, and not slowly, and ever have good outriders and watches about your host. And lodge you always as nigh as you may to hills, woods and waters. And have alway more abundance of vitality than needs. And above all things great quantity of trumpets, drummers and other minstrels. For they give force, might, and rejoice them that be with you, and make diversion and fear to your enemies. And be not alway armed in one harness, but with divers. And be well stored with archers and handguns. And ordain some of your men to run, and other to stand steadfastly in your battlements. Comfort your men with fair words and give them courage, and hearty them to fight. And above all things dear son beware of treason with all your power, and have ever good knights about the well and swiftly horsed that if chance happen that you must needs flee, that by them you may save your person. But if you see any of your enemies flee haste you not to chase them but keep your folk alway together the most that you may. And if you will assault castles or towns have great quantity of guns, and artillery for to break the walls. And survey you of cunning miners, and great number of archers and crossbows. And do so that you may take away the water from them of the fortress. And ever keep some of your enemies for to know their doings within. And if you can not have it but by battle do it. For alway the last end of your works ought to be battle. And this ought to be done when you can not have them otherwise. And do all your works by council and not hastily.


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Of the physiognomy of people.
Among all other things of this world I will that you know a noble and marvelous science that is called physiognomy by the which you shalt know the nature and condition of people. And it was found by a philosophy named Phisonomias, the which sought the qualities of the nature of creatures. In the time of the said Phisonomias reigned the most wise physician Ipocras. And because the fame of Phisonomias and his wisdom was so greatly spread, the disciples and servants of Ipocras took his figure secretly, and bare it to Phisonomias to here how he would judge and say by the said figure of Ipocras. And bade him say and tell the quality thereof. When Phisonomias had well beholden it, he said: `This man is a wrangler lecherous and rude.' This hearing the disciples of Ipocras they would have slain Phisonomias, and said to him: `Verily this is the figure of the best man of the world.' when Phisonomias saw them thus moved, he appeased them the best way that he could with fair words saying. I know well that this is the figure of the wise man Ipocras. And I have shewed you by science as I know. when the disciples were come to Ipocras they told him what Phisonomias had said. And Ipocras said, `Truly Phisonomias has told you the truth, and has left nothing of my complexion in the which been all my vices. But reason in me overcomes and rules the vices of my complexion.' Dear Sire, I have shortly abridged to the rules of this science of Physiognomy, the which shall inform you greatly. If you see a man with sallow color, flee his company, for he is inclined to the sin of lechery, and to many evils. If you sees a man that smiles lightly, and when you beholds him he will look shamefacedly and will blush in his face and sigh, with tears in his eyes if you blame him for any thing, surely he fears you and loves your person Beware of him as your 49

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enemy that is tokened in his face, and of him also that is misshapen The best complexion that is, is he that is of mean color with brown eyes and hair, and his visage between white and reed, with an upright body, with a head of meaty bigness, and that speaks not but of need be, with a soft voice, such a complexion is good, and such men have about your. If the ears be plain and smooth the man is courteous and meek, and his brain is cold hard hair and curled is a token of folly, and lewdness much hair on the breast and on the belly betokens very ill or very good complexion naturally and is very amorous, and kept in his heart the injuries that has been done to him. Black here betokens to love reason and Justice Dusky eyes betokens folly, and lightly to be angry. Gray eyes betoken honesty, and loving peas. big eyes betokens to be envious, shamelessness, slow and disobedient. Eyes mean between black and yellow is of good understanding, courteous, and trusty. wide ranging eyes and a long face betokens a man malicious and ill. Eyes like an ass alway looking down is of hard nature and naught. Wavering eyes with a long face betokens guile, running mind and untrustworthy. Red eyes betokens to be strong and of a great courage. He that has speckles about his eyes, white, black, or red, is the worst of all other men. Thick eye lids is an ill speaker, he that has them hanging long to his eyes, is neither true nor clean. He that has hair enough between his two brows and be thin and not to long, is of a good and great understanding. A slender nosed man is soon angry. A long nose hawked to the mouth, is a token of honesty and hardiness. A snotted nose is a token of a token to be soon vexed. Wide nostrils in a man is sloth and boisterousnesses and soon angered. A broad nose in the middle is a great speaker, and a liar. But the best is he that is mean neither to wide nor to close. The visage that is full and flat, and that is not swollen nor to big is a token of an ill person, envious, injurious, and a wrangler. But he that has a mean visage of form of cheeks and eyes, neither to fat nor to lean, he is trusty, loving, and of great understanding, wise and full of service and wit. 50

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He that has a wide mouth loves battle and is hardy. He that has thick lips is foolish. And he that has a wrinkled face is a liar, and cares not of many debates. He that has a slender face is of great reason. He that has a little visage and yellow of color is a deceiver, drunken, and evil. Full eyes and smooth cheeks is soon angry.

Small ears betoken folly, and lechery.

He that has a small voice and speaks thick loves feinting. He that has a mean voice, neither to big, nor to little, is foolish and unreasonable. And he that speaks to much with a slender voice, is not over honest, and of small care. He that has a feminine voice is soon angry, and of ill nature. A soft voiced man is often angry and envious. He that has a fair voice, is foolish, and of high courage. He that speaks lightly, lies often, and is a deceiver. And he that speaks without moving his hands, is of great wisdom and honest. He that has a slender neck, is hateful, deceitful, and foolish. He that has a great belly is proud, lecherous, and unwise. He that has a large breast, thick shoulders, and big fingers, is hardy, wise, gentle, and of good wit. He with a slender back agrees never with any other. He that has his breast and back equal, is a token of honesty. High raised shoulders, is a token of little fidelity, naught, and sharp. He that has long arms reaching to the knee, is of great boldness, sadness, and liberality. Short arms betoken that he loves succor, and is foolish.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Long palmed hands with long fingers, is ordained to learn many sciences, and arts, and special handy crafts, and to be of good governance. fingers short and thick, betoken folly. Short thick feet and fleshy, betokens to be foolish, and full of injury. A little light foot, is a man of small understanding. A slender foot shows a man to be simple, and of small knowledge. He that has a thick foot is hardy and foolish. The length of the legs, and the heels, betoken strength of the body. A thick fleshy knee, is soft and week. A man that goes at a great pace, is willing in all things, and to hasty. He is of a good nature and complexion, that has soft flesh and moist, meanly smooth and rough, and that is kindly between red and white. He that has a smooth countenance, soft here and plain, with mean eyes of bigness, with a well proportioned heed, a good neck and sufficient in length, with shoulders subtly low, and his legs and knees meatily fleshed, his voice competent clear, the palms of his hands and fingers long, and not thick, and that he laugh but little, and that is no mocker, with a smiling cheer and merry, is of good complexion. Howbeit dear son I command you not to Judge all upon one sign, but consider all the tokens of a man which most abound and shows the folly in him, and hold you to the best and most profitable party.

Deo gratis.


The Secret of Secrets

Thus ends the abstract of the secrete of secrets of Aristotle prince of Philosophers. Here follow certain reasons of the great philosopher Sedrac to the king Boctus, which I have translated out of the Picardes speech, thinking it necessary in this said treatise.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Reasons of the great philosopher Sedrac

How one ought to utter his speech.

If you have any matter of gravity or sadness of reason, to shows and declare before noble and wise audience, tell it bravely and wisely, with a good bold courage and will, and than they will take it heartily, and will give credence to your words and allow your saying. For wise men will gladly give ears to wise and short information. And therefore be nor shame-fast nor afraid to tell the truth. For many one have lost their right by shame-fastness and fear of their utterance of words, though their causes were good.

The manner of anger.

Thou ought not to be angry through your brother or friend as show the heavy cheer sometime, for peradventure he has some cause wherefore he can show you, nor none other good cheer or countenance, and so it is with him. And if you have had any words with any man, and he shows the ill countenance, therefore yet you ought not to be angry with him. For perchance he is too lewd or witless of himself that he can do no better, and yet he believes that he does well, for ever the lewdest shows most anger. For when a wise man is angry, he shows it not outward by his reason. A man ought more to fear the anger of a wise man than of a fool, for the wise man can better revenge his anger than a fool, howbeit that a fool's anger is often cumbersome.


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To utter secrets.

In one manner only you ought to show your secrets, that is to wit to Almighty God that knows all thing, that is to be understand, to his lieutenant in earth, and otherwise not. For if you discover it to your friend, and if your friend be but lewd, and has another friend that he loves, to whom he tells him the same, and so from one to another till a great many do know it, and so your secrete may come out to your great shame and rebuke. For while you keep your secret within you, it is sure. For you may show your secrete to such one that when he knows it will do the some wrong, and for fear that you have of him you dare not gainsay him lest he betray you. And if you can none otherwise but that you must utter it by your folly, and that your stomach will swell for to tell it, go out of company and tell it to your self as if you would tell it to another man, and your heart will cool and your stomach assuage. And for only need that you have to discover it, take heed to whom, but if it be to such one that for any anger that you does to him will not rebuke you with it. And never let your neighbor know your need, for thereby you mayest be the less set by in places where you dwell.

How you ought to sport with your friend.

Look wisely how you plays or boards with your friend (or other) with your hands or with your mouth, for if you do him harm, harm may come to you. With sporting with hands comes anger and murder, whether it be your brother or friend. For if you hurt him or wring his hand, or cast him down, or smite him otherwise, it shall grieve him, and shame him in his mind, albeit that he be little and weak, for each in him self counts him strong, bold and fierce, and yet he will praise him self though he be a coward and naught. And if you 55

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mock him, you shalt spite him to the heart, for he will think that you despises him, and that you reputes him at naught. And if you mock him before people, you do him yet more spite, and he comes with anger and great hate, though it be your brother or other friend. But you ought to pastime with fair words, and to show goodly authorities and reasons to draw their love to you, for by that patience you may come to the goodness, love and courtesy of people.

The manner to doubt and trust your enemy.

Whether your enemy be strong or week, you ought not to doubt him to mock, nor trust to mock to him, for he that is overcome today, may be victor tomorrow. And he that is victor today may be overthrown to morrow And he that doubts none, none will have doubt of him To much doubt makes to much trust, and to much trust makes to much damage. For he that bears doubt always with him, has a greet burden and pain. And he that trust in him self, bears his own damage, and his death. For you ought to doubt when time is to doubt, and to trust when time is to trust.



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L'envoy and excuse of Robert Copland the translator of this book
In humble manner, and most due reverence Trembling for dread before your sovereign If your chance be to come in presence Where only person shall you there retained Submit your self as one that would be fain His grace to please in all manner degree And of your rudeness for to pardon you. And where as you art but as an abstract As touching the actors complexion If I therefore be own wise detract In default of your abbreviation Lay you the blame in the finished translation which I have followed as nigh as I can Under correction of every wise man. If one may despise the language rude which barren is, of pured eloquence Desire them that they do not delude your frontage matter full of sentence


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

But in their hearts, imprint your moral sense, Which compiled is, by wisdom natural Of prudent men, the very governed. Where many weeds be in a field of corn All though the weeders think to weed it clean Some shall remain, when the field is shorn. Drake or cock, yet there will be seen The faults thereof, is in the hands and eyes Likewise where many words and letters be No marvel is, though I some oversee. If by impression, any thing be amiss In word, in sense, or in orthography I you require, to mend where the fault is In the best wise, it for to Justify For though all be not to your fantasy In formal manner, do you it discuss Save only God, nemo est perfectus. Deo gratis Dytee du translateur Tost ou tard, pres ou loing A le fort du foible besoing. 58

The Secret of Secrets

Thus ends the secret of secrets of Aristotle with the governance of princes and every manner of estate with rules of health for body and soul very profitable for every man, and also very good to teach children to learn to read English. [Newly translated and printed by Robert Copland at London in the Fleet-street at the sign of the Rose garland the year of our lord 1527, the 6th day of August the 20th year of the reign of our most dread sovereign and natural king Henry the 8th defender of the faith]


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

About the Author
Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Rev. Dr. Robert C. Worstell, M.Msc, MBA, PhD is an independent researcher and the author of several self-help and selfimprovement books, Thinking at Internet Speed, How Self-Help Authors Write Bestsellers, Go Thunk YourselfTM, Go Thunk Yourself, Again!, Go Thunk Yourself, S'more!, and Go Thunk Yourself, Compleat!, He has also edited several publications: The Thomas Troward Collection, Haanel's Master Key System, and the Go Thunk Yourself Companion CD, among others. Worstell also maintains several blogs which support these books. He is perhaps the first to invite audience participation in writing several books, through posting the entire book to his blog and simultaneously publishing to the Print-on-Demand Publisher Lulu. This arrangement enables correction and updates to hardcopy versions within minutes. He has certificates in Computer Networking and Wireless Broadband, as well as degrees in Marketing, Comparative Religions and Computer Science, with specialist studies in User Interfaces. Worstell lives on a working farm in rural Missouri and is continually involved in research to improve the quality of life. He has spent over 35 years researching the human condition through personal studies of counseling, education, and self-improvement.


The Secret of Secrets

About the Author
Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Rev. Dr. Robert C. Worstell, M.Msc, MBA, PhD is an independent researcher and the author of several self-help and selfimprovement books, Thinking at Internet Speed, How Self-Help Authors Write Bestsellers, Go Thunk YourselfTM, Go Thunk Yourself, Again!, Go Thunk Yourself, S'more!, and Go Thunk Yourself, Compleat!, He has also edited several publications: The Thomas Troward Collection, Haanel's Master Key System, Conceive, Believe, Achieve, and the Go Thunk Yourself Companion CD, among others. Worstell also maintains several blogs which support these books. He is perhaps the first to invite audience participation in writing several books, through posting the entire book to his blog and simultaneously publishing to the Print-on-Demand Publisher Lulu. This arrangement enables correction and updates to hardcopy versions within minutes. He has certificates in Computer Networking and Wireless Broadband, as well as degrees in Marketing, Comparative Religions and Computer Science, with specialist studies in User Interfaces. Worstell lives on a working farm in rural Missouri and is continually involved in research to improve the quality of life. He has spent over 35 years researching the human condition through personal studies of counseling, education, and self-improvement.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Additional Books From this Author:
Go Thunk Yourself!TM Rich, Famous, A Success!
What do Napoleon Hill - author of Think and Grow Rich, Norman Vincent Peale - author of The Power of Positive Thinking, Dale Carnegie - author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, and Stephen Covey - author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People all have in common? They all THUNK the same way. These and other authors discovered the same basic secrets behind wealth, success, and fame. Each of these authors became wealthy, successful, and famous by applying these secrets. You can too. This book's simple 14-day program allows you to re-create your own life, just the way you want it to be! All you have to do is invest some time each day to read these simple chapters and do the exercises. You can learn these secrets and start taking control over your own life, to start achieving the riches, fame and success you've always dreamed of.

Your Dreams CAN BECOME Reality!

The Secret of Secrets

More Resources From this Author:
The Go Thunk Yourself Student Handbook
The student handbook which accompanies and completes the Go Thunk Yourself series. This is used in conjunction with the earlier books in the Go Thunk Yourself series, or can be used alone. This handbook contains all the steps needed in the exact sequence which will place you firmly on the road to achieving your goals. At full letter-size, with spiral binding and ample margins, this is a perfect study book – lots of room for highlighting and notes. Contains text by Wallace Wattles, Napoleon Hill, Charles F. Haanel, and Serge Kahili King. Also now available in an inexpensive trade paperback size (perfect for studying over lunch).

Go Thunk Yourself Companion CD
Get the key referenced works from the Go Thunk Yourself books series, each compiled into PDF format for easy on-screen viewing. This CD contains all the beta versions of the three GTY books, as well as the masterworks of Haanel, Hill, Troward, Allen, Wattles, plus authors: Franklin, Ghazzali, Barnum, and many more. Have all the references for your self-help studies in one place for ready reference.


Dr. Robert C. Worstell

Books in the Go Thunk Yourself Reference Library:
Haanel's Master Key System
A classic self-help work published in 1912 which had sold over 200,000 copies by 1933. This is based on a course which had 24 lessons. Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) credits Haanel and this book with his success. This is one of the principle sources for literature, describing and detailing many of the basics which later authors (Hill, Covey, Peale, among others) used to write their own best sellers. The hardcover edition is also available.

Conceive, Believe, Achieve!
There are perhaps five authors in the American self-help genre who have blazed the path for all others to follow. Four of these authors are represented in this single volume: James Allen, Wallace Wattles, Charles F. Haanel, and Napoleon Hill. All of these achieved their fame and fortune through applying the same principles they wrote about. Through reading and studying these key authors, you can start yourself onto a path of making your own dreams become reality!

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The Secret of Secrets