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A hundreth good pointes of husbandrie (1557).

Thomas Tusser.

Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text was transcribed by Risa Bear, May 2003, from the Dobell edition of 1909. The text is in the public domain. Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 2003 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only.

Paragraph markA hundreth good
pointes of husbandrie.

    A hundreth good pointes, of good husbandry,
maintaineth good household, with huswifry.
Housekeeping and husbandry, if it be good:
must loue one another, as cousinnes in blood.
The wife to, must huband as well as the man:
or farewel thy husbandry, doe what thou can.

A hundreth good poyntes of husbandry.
Concordia parvæ rescrescunt
Discordia maximæ dilabuntur.
1  Where couples agree not, is rancor and poysen:
    where they two kepe house than, is neuer no foysen.
    But contrary, lightly where couples agree:
    what chaunseth by wisdom, looke after to see.

2  Good husbandes that loueth, good householdes to keepe:
    be sometime full carefull, when others do slepe.
    To spend as they may, or to stop at the furst:
    For running behinde hand, or teare of the wurst.

3  Then count with thy purse, when thy haruest is in:
    thy cardes being tolde, how to saue or to win.
    But win or els saue, or els passe not to farre:
    For hoping to make, least thou happen to marre.

4  Make money thy drudge, for to folow thy warke:
    and Wisdom thy steward, good Order thy clarke.
    Prouision thy cator, and all shall goe well:
    for foysen is there, where prouision doth dwell.

5    With some folke on sundayes, their tables do reke:
    and halfe the weke after, their diners to seke.
    At no tyme to much, but haue alway ynough:
    is housholdly fare, and the guyle of the plough.

6  For what shal it profet, ynough to prouide:
    and then haue it spoiled, or filched a side.
    As twenty lode busshes, cut downe at a clappe:
    such hede may be taken, shall stoppe but a gappe.

7  Good labouring threshers, are worthy to eate:
    Good husbandly ploughmen, deserueth their meate.
    Good huswiuely huswiues, that let for no rest.
    should eate when they list, and should drinke of the best.

8   Beware raskabilia, slouthfull to worke:
     proloiners and filchers, that loue for to lurke.
     And chreishe well willers, that serueth thy nede:
     take time, to thy Tutor, God sende the good spede.

          Paragraph mark August.

9  When haruest is done, all thing placed and set:
     for saultfishe and herring, then laie for to get.
     The byeng of them, comming first vnto rode:
     shal pay for thy charges, thou spendest a brode.

10 Thy saultfishe well chosen, not burnt at the stone:
     or dye them thy selfe, (hauing skill is a lone.)
     Brought saife to thy house, would be packed vp drie:
     with pease strawe between, least it rot as it lie.

11 Or euer thou ride, with thy seruauntes compound:
      to carry thy muckhilles, on the barley ground.
      One aker wel compast, is worth akers three:
      at haruest thy barne, shall declare it to thee.

12 This good shalt thou learne, with thy riding about:
      the prises of thinges, all the yeere thoroughout.
      And what time is best, for to sell that thou haue:
      And how for to bye, to be likely to saue.

13 For bying and selling, doth wonderfull well:
     to him that hath wit, how to by and to sell.
     But chopping and chaungeing, may make such a breck:
     that gone is thy winninges, for sauing thy neck.

14 The riche man his bargaines, are neuer besought:
     the seller will fynde him, ne nede not take thought.
     But herein consisteth, a part of our text:
     who byeth at first hand, and who at the next.

15 He byeth at first hand, that ventreth his golde:
     he byeth at second, that dare not be bolde.
     He byeth at third ha[n]d, that nedes borrow must:
     who byeth of him, shall pay for his lust.

16 When euer thou bargain, for better or wurse:
     let alway one bargain, remain in thy purse.
     Good credit doth well but good credit to kepe:
     is pay and dispatch him, or eder thou slepe.

17 Be mindful abrode, of thy Michelmas spring:
     for theron dependeth, a maruellous thing.
     Whe[n] gentiles vse walking, with hawkes on their handes:
     Good husbandes with grasing, doe purchase their landes.

18 And as thou come homeward, bye xl. good crones:
     and fatte me the bodies, of those sely bones.
     With those and thy swine, or and shrouetyde be past:
     thy folke shal fare well, where as others shall fast.

19 Thy saffron plot pared, in saint mary daies:
     for pleasure and profit, shal scrue many waies.
     With twenty foote square, knowing how for to doo:
     shall stede both thine own house, and next neighbour too.

          Paragraph mark September.

20 Threshe sede and go fanne, for the plough may not lye:
     September doth bid, to be sowing of rye.
     The redges well harrowde, or euer thou strike:
     is one poynt of husbandry, rye land do like.

21 Geue winter corne leaue, for to haue full his lust:
     sowe wheate as thou mayst, but sowe rye in the dust.
     Be carefull for sede, for such sede as thou sowe:
     as true as thou liuest, loke iustly to mowe.

22 The sede being sowne, waterforow thy ground:
     that rain when it cummeth, may runne away round.
     The diches kept skowred, the hedge clad with thorne:
     doth well to drain water, and saueth thy corne.

23 Then furth with thy slinges, and thine arowes & bowes:
     till ridges be grene, kepe the corne from the crowes.
     A good boye abrode, by the day starre appere:
     shall skare good man crowe, that he dare not come nere.

24 At Michelmas, mast would be loked vpon:
     and lay to get some, or the mast time be gon.
     It sa[u]eth thy corne well, it fatteth thy swyne:
     In frost it doth helpe them, where els they should pine.

          Paragraph mark October.

25 The rye in the ground, while September doth last:
     October, for wheate sowing, calleth as fast.
     What euer it cost thee, what euer thou geue:
     haue done sowing wheate before halowmas eue.

26 The mone in the wane, gather fruit on the tree:
     The riper the better, for grasse and for thee.
     But michers that loue not, to bie nor to craue:
     make some gather sooner, els fewe should they haue.

27 Or winter doe come, while the weather is good:
     for gutting thy grounde, get the home with thy wood.
     Set bauen alone, lay the bowghes from the blockes:
     the drier, the les maidens, dablith their dockes.

28 For rooting thy grounde, ring thy hogges thou hast nede:
     the better thou ring them, the better they fede.
     Most times with their elders, the yong ones kepe best:
     then yoke well the great knaues, and fauour the rest.

29 But yoke not thy swine, while thine akorne time last:
     for diuers misfortunes, that happen to fast.
     Or if thou loue eared, and vn mauned hogges:
     giue eie to thy neighbour, and eare to his dogges.

          Paragraph mark Nouembre.

30 Get vp with thy barley lande, dry as thou can:
     at March (as thou layest it) so loke for it than.
     Get euer before hande, drag neuer behinde:
     least winter beclip thee, and breake of thy minde.

31 At Hallowmas sla[u]ghter time, sone commeth in:
     and than doth the husbande mans, feasting begin.
     From that time to Candlemas, weekely kill some:
     their offal for household, the better shall come.

32 All soules that be thursty, bid threshe out for mawlt:
     well handled and tended, or els thou dost nawt.
     Thencrease of one strike, is a peck for thy store:
     the maker is bad els, or pilfreth the more.

33 For Easter, at Martilmas hange vp a biefe:
     for pease fed and stall fed, play pickpurse the thiefe.
     With that and fat bacon, till grasse biefe come in:
     thy folke shall loke cherely, when others loke thin.

34 Set gardeine beanes, after saint Edmonde the king:
     the Moone in the wane, theron hangeth a thing.
     Thencrease of one gallonde, well proued of some:
     shall pleasure thy householde, ere peskod time come.

35 Except thou take good hede, when first they apere:
     the crowes will be halfe, grow they neuer so nere.
     Thinges sowne, set or gratt, in good memory haue:
     from beast, birde and weather, to cherishe and saue.

          Paragraph mark Decembre

36 A hode for the raine, when thou canst do no good;
     then go let thy flayles, as the threshers were wood.
     Beware they threshe clene though the lesser they yarne:
     and if thou wilt thriue, loke thy selfe to thy barne.

37 If barne rome will serue, lay thy stoouer vp drye:
     and eche kinde of strawe, by hit selfe let it lie.
     Thy chaffe housed sweete, kept from pullein and dust:
     shall serue well thy horses, when labour they must.

38 When pasture is gone, and the fildes miet and weate:
     then stable the plough horse, and there geue them meate.
     The better thou vse them, in place where they stande:
     more strength shall they haue, for to breake vp thy lande.

39 Giue cattell their fodder, the plot drie and warme:
     and count them, for miring or other like harme.
     Trust neuer to boyes, if thou trust well to spede:
     be serued with those, that may helpe at a nede.

40 Serue first out thy rie strawe, then wheate & then pease:
     then otestrawe then barley, then hay if thou please.
     But serue thein with haye, while thy strawe stoouer last:
     they loue no more strawe, they had rather to fast.

41 Kepe neuer such seruantes, as doth thee no good:
     for making thy heare, growing thorough thy hood.
     For nestling of verlettes, of brothels and hoores:
     make many a rich man, to shet vp his doores.

          Paragraph mark Christmas.

42 Get Iuye and hull, woman deck vp thyne house:
     and take this same brawne, for to seeth and to souse.
     Prouide as good chere, for thou knowst the old guise:
     olde customes, that good be, let no man dispise.

43 At Christmas be mery, and thanke god of all:
     and feast thy pore neighbours, the great with the small.
     yea al the yere long, haue an eie to the poore:
     and god shall sende luck, to kepe open thy doore.

44 Good fruite and good plenty, doth well in thy loft:
     then lay for an orcharde, and cherishe it oft.
     The profet is mickell, the pleasure is mutch:
     at pleasure with profet, few wise men will grutch.

45 For plantes and for stockes, lay afore hand to cast:
     but set or remoue them, while twelue tide doe last.
     Set one from another, full twenty fote square:
     the better and greater, they yerely will bare.

          Paragraph mark January.

46 When Christmas is done, kepe not Christmas time still:
     be mindefull of rering, and loth for to kill.
     For then what thou rerist, thou nede not to dout,
     will double thy gaine, ere the yere come about.

47 Be gredy to spende all, and careles to saue:
     And shortly be nedy, and redy to craue.
     Be wilfull to kill, and vnskilfull to store:
     and sone giue vp housekeping longe any more.

48 Thy calues then that come, betwene new yere and lent:
     saue gladly for those, lest thou after repent.
     For all things at that time, that colde feleth some:
     shall better beare colde, when the next winter come.

49 Weane no time thy calfe, vnder .xl daies olde:
     and lay for to saue it, as thou sauest golde.
     yet calues that doe fal, betwene change and the prime:
     pas seldome to rere them, but kill them in time.

50 For stores of the swine, be thou carefull betwix:
     of one sow at a time, rere seldome past six.
     The few that she kepe, much the better shalbee:
     of all thing one good, is worth steruelinges three.

51 Geld vnder the dame, within fornight at least:
     and saue both thy money, and life of the beast.
     But gelde with the gelder, as many one doe,
     and of halfe a dosen, of geld away two.

52 Thy coltes for the sadle, geld yong to be light:
     for cart doe not so, if thou iudgest a right.
     Nor geld not, but when they be lusty and fat:
     for there is a point, to be learned in that.

53 Geld marefoles but titts, ere and nine dayes of age:
     they die els of gelding, some gelders wil gage.
     But marefoles, both likely, of bulke and of bone:
     kepr such to bring coltes, let their gelding alone.

54 For gaining a trifle, sell neuer thy store:
     for chaunsing on worse, then thine owne were before.
     More larger of body, the better for brede:
     more forward of growing, the better they spede.

55 Thy sowes great with fare, that come best for to rere:
     loke dayly thou seest them, and count them full dere.
     For that time the losse, of one fare of the sowe:
     is greater, then losse of two calues of thy kowe.

[56] A kow good of milk, big of bulke, hayle and sounde:
     is yerely for profet, as good as a pounde.
     And yet by the yeere, haue I proued ere now:
     as good to the purse, is a sow as a kow.

57 Kepe one and kepe both, so thou maist if thou wilt:
     then all shall be saued, and nothing be spilt.
     Kepe two beafe and one sow, and liue at thine ease:
     and no time for nede, bye thy meat but thou please.

58 Who both by his calues, and his lambes will be knowne:
     may well kill a neate, and a shepe of his owne.
     And he that will rere vp, a pig in his house:
     shall eate sweeter bakon, and cheaper fed sowse.

59 But eate vp thy veale, pig and lambe being troth:
     and twise in a weeke, go to bed without broth.
     As that man that pas not, but self away sell:
     shall neuer kepe good house, where euer he dwell.

60 Spende none but thyne owne, howsoeuer thou spende:
     nor hast not to god ward, for that he doth send.
     Tythe truly for al thing, let pas of the rest:
     the iust man his dealinges, god prospereth best.

61 In January husbandes, that powcheth the grotes:
     will breake vp their lay, or be sowing of otes.
     Sow Janiuer Otes, and lay them by thy wheate:
     in May bye thy hay, for thy cattel to eate.

          Paragraph mark Februarij

62 In Feuerell, rest not for taking thine ease:
     get into the grounde, with thy beanes and thy pease.
     Sow peason betimes, and betimes they will come:
     the sooner, the better they fill vp a rome.

63 In euery grene, where the fence is not thine:
     the thornes stub out cleane, that the grasse may be fine.
     Thy neighbours wil borow, els hack then beliue:
     so neither thy grasse, nor the bushes shall thriue.

64 Thy seruant in walking, thy pastures aboute:
     for yokes, forkes and rakes, let him loke to finde out.
     A[n]d after at leyser, let this be his hier:
     to trimme them and make them, at home by the fier.

65 When frostes will not suffer, to ditche nor to hedge:
     then get the an heate, with thy betul and wedge.
     A blocke at the harthe, cowched close for thy life:
     shall helpe to saue fier hote, and please well thy wife.

66 Then lop for thy fewel, the powlinges well growen;
     that hindreth the corne, or the grasse to be mowen.
     In lopping and cropping, saue Edder and stake:
     thyne hedges where nede is, to mende or to make.

67 No stick nor no stone, leaue vnpicked vp clene:
     for hurting thy sieth, or for harming thy grene.
     For sa[u]ing of al thing, get home with the rest:
     the snow frozen hardest, thy cart may goe best.

68 Spare meddowes at shroftide, spare marshes at paske:
     for feare of a droughth, neuer longer time aske.
     Then hedge them and ditche them, bestow thereon pence:
     for meddowes and corne, craueth euer good fence.

69 And alway let this, be a part of thy care:
     for shift of good pasture, lay pasture to spare.
     Then seauer thy groundes, and so keping them still:
     finde cattel at ease, and haue pasture at will.

          Paragraph mark Marche.

70 In Marche sow thy barley, thy londe not too colde:
     the drier the better, a hundreth times tolde.
     That tilth harrowde finely, set sede time an ende:
     and praise and pray God, a good haruest to sende.

71 Sow wheate in a meane, sow thy Rie not to thin:
     let peason and beanes, here and there, take therein.
     Sow barley and otes, good and thick doe not spare:
     giue lande leaue her sede, or her wede for to bare.

72 For barley and pease, harrow after thou sowe:
     for rye harrow first, seldome after I trowe.
     Let wheat haue a clodde, for to couer the hedde:
     that after a frost, it may out and goe spredde.

               Paragraph mark A digression from husbandrie:
               to a point or two of huswifrie.

     Now heere I think nedeful, a pawse for to make:
     to treate of some paines, a good huswife must take.
     For huswifes must husbande, as wel as the man:
     or farewell thy hubandrie, do what thou can.

     In Marche and in Aprill, from morning to night:
     in sowing and setting, good huswiues delight.
     To haue in their gardein or some other plot:
     to trim vp their house, and to furnish their pot.

     Haue millons at Mi[c]helmas, parseps in lent:
     In June, buttred beanes, saueth fish to be spent.
     With those and good pottage, inough hauing than:
     thou winnest the heart, of thy laboring man.

          Paragraph mark Aprill.

     From Aprill begin, til saint Andrew be past:
     so long with good huswiues their dairies doe last.
     Good milche beafe and pasture, good hubandes prouide:
     good huswiues know best, all the rest how to guide.

     But huswiues, that learne not to make their owne cheese:
     with thusting of others, haue this for their feese.
     Their milke slapt in corners, their creame all to sost:
     their milk pannes so [soltie?], that their cheeses be lost.

     Where some of a kowe, maketh yeerely a pounde:
     These huswiues crye creake, for their voice will not sounde.
     The seruauntes suspecting, their dame lye in waighte:
     with one thing or other, they trudge alway straight.

     Then neighbour (for gods sake) if any such bee:
     if you know a good seruant, waine her to mee.
     Such maister suche man, and such mistres such mayde:
     such husbandes and huswi[u]es, suche houses araide.

     For flax and for hemp, for to haue of her owne:
     the wife must in May, take good hede it be sowne.
     And trimme it and kepe it, to serue at a nede:
     the semble to spin, and the karle for her sede.

     Good husbandes abrode, seketh al well to haue:
     good huswiues at home, seketh al well to saue.
     Thus hauing and sauing, in place where they meete:
     make profit with pleasure, suche couples to greete.

          Paragraph mark May

73 Both Philip and Jacob, bid put of thy lammes:
     That thinkest to haife any milke of their dammes.
     But Lammas aduiseth thee, milke not to long:
     for hardnes make pouerty, skabbed among.

74 To milke and to folde them, is much to require:
     except thou haue pasture, to fill their desire.
     But nightes being short, and such hede thou mayst take:
     not hurting their bodies, much profit to make.

75 Milke six ewes, for one kowe, well chosen therefore:
     and double thy dayrie, els trust me no more.
     And yet may good huswiues, that knoweth the skill:
     haue mixt or vnmixt, at their pleasure and will.

76 For greedy of gaine, ouerlay not thy grownde:
     and they shall thy cattell, be lusty and sownde.
     But pinche them of pasture, while sommer time last:
     and plucke at their tailes, ere & winter be past.

77 Pinche weannels at no time, of water nor meate:
     if euer thou hope, for to haue them good neate.
     In sommer at al times, in winter in frost:
     if cattel lacke drinke, they be vtterly lost.

78 In May at the furdest, twy fallow thy lande:
     much drougth may cause after, thy plough els to strande.
     That tilth being done, thou hast passed the wurste:
     then after, who plougheth, plowgh thou with the furste.

          Paragraph mark June

79 In June get thy wedehoke, thy knife and thy gloue:
     and wede out such wede, as the corne doth not loue.
     Slack no time, thy weding, for darth nor for cheape:
     thy corne shall reward it, or euer thou reape.

80 The may wede doth burne, and the thistle doth freate:
     the Tine pulleth downe, both the rie and the wheate.
     The dock and the brake, noieth corne very much:
     but bodle for barley, no weede there is such.

81 In June washe thy shepe, where the water doth runne:
     and kepe them from dust, but not kepe them from sunne.
     Then share them and spare not, at two daies anende:
     the sooner the better, their bodies amende.

82 Rewarde not the shepe, when thou takest his cote:
     with two or three patches, as brode as a grote.
     The flie than and wormes, will compel it to pine:
     more paine to thy cattell, more trouble is thine.

83 But share not thy lammes, till mid July be worne:
     the better their cotes, will be growne to be shorne.
     The pie will discharge thee, for pulling the reste:
     the lighter the shepe is, then feedeth it beste.

84 Saint Mihel byd bes, to be brent out of strife:
     saint Iohn bid take honey, with fauour of life.
     For one sely cottage, set south good and warme:
     take body and goodes, and twise yerely a swarme.

85 At Christmas take hede, if their hiues be to light:
     take honey and water, together well dight.
     That mixed with strawes, in a dish in their hiues:
     They drowne not, they fight not, thou sauest their liues.

86 At midsommer, downe with thy brimbles and brakes:
     and after abrode, with thy forkes and thy rakes.
     Set mowers a worke, while the meddowes be growne
     the lenger they stande, so much more to be mowne.

87 Prouide of thine owne, to haue all thing at hande:
     els worke and the workman, shall oftentimes stande.
     Loue seldome to borow, that thinkest to saue:
     who lendeth the one, will take two thinges to haue.

88 Good husbandes that laye, to saue all thing by right:
     for Tumbrels and cartes, haue a shed redy dight.
     A store house for trinkets, kept close as a tayle:
     that nothing be wanting, the worthe of a nayle.

89 Thy cartes would be searched, withoute and within,
     well cloughted, and greased or hay time begin.
     Thy hay being caried, though carters had sworne:
     the cartes bottome boarded, is sauing of corne.

          Paragraph mark Iulij.

90 Then muster thy folke, play the captaine thy selfe:
     prouinding them weapon, and such kinde of pelfe.
     Get bottels and bagges, kepe the field in the heate:
     the feare is not muche, but the daunger is great.

91 With tossing and raking, and setting on cox:
     the grasse that was grene, is now hay for an ox.
     That done, leaue the tieth, lode thy cart and awaye:
     the battell is fought, thou hast gotten the daye.

92 Then doune with thy hedlondes, thy corne rounde about:
     leaue neuer a dalop, vnmoune or had out.
     Though grasse be but thinne, about barley a[n]d pease:
     yet picked up clene, it shall do thee good ease.

93 Thry fallowe betime, for destroying of weede:
     least thistle and dock, fall a blooming and seede.
     Such season may hap, it shall stande the vpon:
     to till it againe, or the somer be gone.

94 And better thou warte, so to doe for thy hast:
     then (hardnes) for slougth make thy land to lie wast.
     A redy good forehorse, is dainty to finde:
     be hindred at first, and come alway behinde.

95 Thy houses and barnes would be loked vpon:
     and all thing amended, or haruest come on.
     Thinges thus set in ordre, at quiet and rest:
     thy haruest goeth forwarde and prospereth best.

96 Saint Iimes willeth husbandes, get reapers at hande:
     the corne being ripe, doe but shead as it stande.
     Be sauing and thankfull, for that god hath sent:
     he sendeth it thee, for the selfe same entent.

97 Reape well scatter not, gather cleane that is shorne:
     binde fast, shock apace, pay the tenth of thy corne.
     Lode saife, carry home, lose no time, being faier:
     goife iust, in the barne, it is out of dispaier.

98 This done, set the pore ouer all for to gleane:
     and after thy cattel, to eate it vp cleane.
     Then spare it for pasture, till rowen be past:
     to lengthen thy dayrey, no better thou hast.

99 Then welcome thy haruest folke, seruauntes and all:
     with murth and good chere, let them furnish th[i]ne hall
     The haruest lorde nightly, must geue the a song:
     fill him then the blackeboll, or els he hath wrong.

100 Thy haruest thus ended, in myrth and imoye:
     please euery one gently, man woman and boye.
     Thus doing, with alway, such helpe as they can:
     thou winnest the name, of a right husband man.

     Nowe thinke vpon god, let thy tonge neuer cease:
     from thanking of him, for his mighty increase.
     Accept my good wil, finde no fault tyll thou trye:
     the better thou thryuest, the gladder am I.

          Paragraph mark A sonet, or brief rehersall of the properties
          of the twelue monethes afore rehersed.

     As Ianeuer fryse pot, broth corne kepe hym lowe:
     And feuerell fill dyke, doth good with his snowe:
     A bushel of Marche dust, worth raunsomes of gold:
     And Aprill his stormes, be to good to be tolde:
     As May with his flowers, geue ladies their lust:
     And Iune after blooming, set carnels so iust:
     As Iuly bid all thing, in order to ripe:
     And August bid reapers, to take full their gripe.
     September his fruit, biddeth gather as fast:
     October bid hogges: to come eat vp his mast:
     As dirtie Nouember, bid thresh at thine ease:
     December bid Christmas to spende what he please:
       So wisdom bid kepe, and prouide while we may:
       For age crepeth on as the time passeth away.

     Thinges thriftie, that teacheth the thriuing to thriue;
     teache timely to trauas, the thing that thou triue.
     Transferring thy toyle, to the times truely tought:
     that teacheth the temperaunce, to temper thy thought.
       To temper thy trauaile, to tarrye the tide:
     this teacheth the thriftines, twenty times tride.
     Thinke truely to trauaile, that thrinkest to thee:
     the trade that thy teacher taught truely to the.
       Take thankfully thinges, thanking tenderly those:
     that teacheth thee thriftly, thy time to transpose.
     The trouth teached two times, teache thou two times ten:
     this trade that thou takest, take thrift to the then.

Paragraph markImprinted at London in fleete strete
within Temple barre, at the sygne of the
hand and starre, by Richard Tottel
the third day of February. An. 1557.

RELogotype for Renascence Editions
Renascence Editions