The following "RVLES" are from a book of penmanship printed in 1611 by Richard Field.
The complete title of the book is "A New Booke, containing all sorts of Hands usually written at this day in Christendome, as the English and French Secretary, the Roman, Italian, French, Spanish, high and low Dutch, Court and Chancerie hands: with Examples of each of them in their proper tongue and Letter. Also an Example of the true and iust proportion of the Romane Capitals."
TO make common Inke of wine take a quart,
Two ounces of Gumme let that be a part,
Fiue ounces of Gals, of Copres take three,
Long standing doth make it the better to be.
If wine ye do want, raine water is best,
And then as much stuffe as aboue at the least.
If Inke be too thicke, put vineger in:
For water doth make the colour more dim.
Take wooll, or wollen to stand you in steed.
Which burnt in the fire, the powder beat small,
With vineger or water make Inke withall.
Put bay salt therein, and it will not hore.
Some lampblacke thereto with gumme water grind:
Each painter can tell how it should be done,
The cleaner out of your pen it will runne:
The same to be put in horne or in lead,
No cotton at all:when long it hath staid,
The bottome will thicke,put more common Inke,
And it will be good, well stirred, as I thinke.
And twise as much Rosin beaten withall:
With that in a faire clout knit very thinne,
Rub paper or parchment, before ye beginne.
The third or fourth in wing to be found:
And if sometime of those ye do want,
Take pinion as next, when Rauens quill is scant,
And riue it iust in the backe as may be,
For ragged your slit else shall you see,
Amid the slippe that runs vp the quill,
Were it of gander,ye do it not spill.
The feather shaue off,the quill do not pare,
The stronger your pen in hand you may beare.
Thinner, and shorter, on right hand regard:
The clift somewhat long, the nebbe somewhat short,
Then take it in hand in most comely sort.
The forefinger next, the middle below:
And holding it thus in most comely guise,
Your body vpright, stoope not with your head,
Your breast from the boord if that you be wise,
Lest that you take hurt when ye haue well fed.
The mettall too soft nor too hard is best:
Too sharpe it may be, and so cut too fast,
If it be too dull, a shrewd turne for hast :
For whetstone hard touch, that is very good,
Slate or shoe sole is not ill, but good.
Your breast from the boord when you haue well fed.
Inke alwayes good store on right hand to stand,
Browne paper for great hast, or else boxe with sand :
Dip pen, and shake pen, and touch pen for haire;
Waxe, quils and pen-knife see alwayes yee beare.
Who that his paper doth blurre or else blot,
Yeelds me a slouen, it fals him by lot.
In learning, full slow write at the beginning,
For great is your losse and small is your winning,
If at the first time an ill touch yee catch:
Vse onely is cause of speedy dispatch.
Dish,dash,long taile flie, false writing eschew:
Neatly and cleanly your hand for to frame,
Strong stalked pen, is best of a rauen,
And comely to write, and giue a good grace,
Leaue betweene each word a small letters space,
That faire and seemely your hand may be read,
Keepe euen your letters at foote and at head,
With distance alike betweene letter and letter,
One out of others shewes much the better.
Scholler to learne, it may do you pleasure,
To rule him two lines iust of a measure:
Those two lines betweene to write very iust,
Not aboue or below write that he must:
The same to be done is best with blacke lead,
Which written betweene is cleansed with bread.
Your pen from your booke but seldome remoue,
To follow strange hand, with drie pen first proue:
Many one writeth, the Example lying by,
Who so on the same doth neuer set eye:
But he that will learne with speed for to write,
To marke his example must haue his delight,
Letter and tittle to make as the same ,
And so shall the scholler be voide of all blame.
That none but best hands may alwaies best please :
Both farre off and neare for faire hands do seeke,
And them safe as gold, see that you well keepe :
And neuer let rest thy hand for to frame,
Vntill that thou write as faire as the same.
To writing belongs good things two or three,
As drawing and painting , and eke Geometrie :
The which I would wish each wight should obtaine,
But sure to some it were too great paine.
So faire you well, without booke well learne
These few rules I giue , which are as the sterne,
To rule a good scholer, which doth his mind bend
To follow good counsell, and so I do end.