from Euphues and his England
by John Lyly

[Cassander's letter to Callimachus]

WIsedome is great wealth. Sparing, is good getting. Thrift consisteth not in golde, but grace. It is better to dye with-out mony, then to liue with out modestie. Put no more clothes on thy back, then will expell colde: neither any more meat in thy belly, then may quench hunger. Use not chaunge in attire, nor varietie in thy-dyet: the one bringeth pride, the other surfets. Each vaine, voyd of pietie: both costly, wide of profit.
    Goe to bed with the Lambe, & rise with the Larke: Late watching in the night, breedeth vnquyet: & long sleeping in the day, vngodlinesse: Flye both: this, as vnwholsome: that, as vnhonest.
    Enter not into bands, no not for thy best friends: he that payeth another mans debt seeketh his own decay, it is as rare to see a rich Surety as a black Swan, and he that lendeth to all that will borowe, sheweth great good will, but lyttle witte. Lende not a penny without pawne, for that will be a good gage to borowe. Be not hastie to marry, it is better to haue one plough going, then two cradells: and more profit to haue a barne filled then a bedde. But if thou canst not liue chastly, chuse such an one, as maye be more commended for humilitie, then beautie. A good huswife, is a great patrimony: and she is most honourable, that is most honest. If thou desire to be olde, beware of too much wine: If to be healthy, take heede of many women: If too be rich, shunne playing at al games. Long quaffing, maketh a short lyfe: Fonde lust, causeth drye bones: and lewd pastimes, naked pursses. Let the Cooke be thy Phisition, and the shambles thy Apothecaries shop: He that for euery qualme wil take a Receipt, and can-not make two meales, vnlesse Galen be his Gods good: shall be sure to make the Phisition rich, and himselfe a begger: his bodye will neuer be with-out diseases, and his pursse euer with-out money.
    Be not too lauish in giuing almes, the charitie of this Countrey, is, God helpe thee: and the courtesie, I haue the best wine in towne for you.
    Liue in the Countrey, not in the Court: where neither Grasse will growe, nor Mosse cleaue to thy heeles.
    Thus hast thou if thou canst vse it, the whole wealth of the world: and he that can-not follow good counsel, neuer can get commoditie. I leaue thee more, then my father left me: For he dying, gaue me great wealth, without care how I might keepe it: and I giue thee good counsell, with all meanes how to get riches. And no doubt, what so is gotten with witte, will bee kep with warinesse, and encreased with Wisedome.
    God blesse thee, and I blesse thee: and as I tender thy safetie, so God deale with my soule.


Bond, R. Warwick, M.A. The Complete Works of John Lyly, Vol II.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1902, 1967 repr., pp. 16-17.

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Created by Anniina Jokinen on October 24, 1996.
Last updated January 22, 2007.