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JOHN WICLIF (D. 1384)
THE GOSPEL OF MATHEW (FIRST VERSION)
Jhesus forsothe,' seynge 2 cumpanyes, wente up in-to an hill; and when he hadde sete, his disciplis camen nighe to hym. And he, openynge his mouthe, taughte to hem, sayinge, “Blessid be the pore in spirit, for the kingdam in hevenes is heren. Blessid be mylde men, for thei shuln 5 welde the eerthe. Blessid be thei that mournen, for thei shuln 5 be comfortid. Blessid be thei that hungren and thristen rightwisnesse,7 for thei shuln ben fulfillid. Blessid be mercyful men, for thei shuln gete mercye. Blessid be thei that ben 8 of clene herte, for thei shuln see God. Blessid be pesible men, for thei shuln be clepid the sonys of God. Blessid be thei that suffren persecucioun for rightwisnesse, for the kyngdam of hevenes is herun.4 Yee shulen 5 be blessid, when men shulen curse you, and shulen pursue you, and shulen say al yvel 10 ayeins you leezing,12 for me. Joye 13 yee with-yn-forth, and glade yee with-out-forth, for youre meede 15 is plentevouse 16 in hevenes; forsothe so thei han 17 pursued and 18 prophetis that weren before you. Yee ben salt of the erthe; that yif 19 the salt shal vanyshe awey, wherynne shal it be saltid? To no thing it is worth over,20 no 21 bot 22 that it be sent out, and defoulid of men. Ye ben light of the world; a citee putt on an hill may nat be hid; nether men tendyn 23 a lanterne, and putten it undir a busshel, but on a candilstike, that it yeve 24 light to alle that ben in the hous. So shyyne 25 youre light before men, that thei see youre good werkis, and glorifie youre Fadir that is in hevens. Nyle 26 ye gesse, or deme,27 that Y came to undo, or distruye, the lawe, or the prophetis; I came not to undo the lawe,. but to fulfille. Forsothe 28 I say to you trewthe, til heven and erthe passe, oon i, that is leste 30 lettre, or titil, shal nat passe fro the lawe, til alle thingis be don. Therfore he that undoth, or breketh, oon of these leste 30 maundementis,31 and techith thus men, shal be clepid 32 the leste in the rewme 33 of hevenes;
THE GOSPEL OF MATHEU
And Jhesus, seynge 2 the puple, wente up into an hil; and whanne he was set, hise disciplis camen to hym. And he openyde his mouth, and taughte hem, and seide, "Blessed ben pore men in spirit, for the kyngdom of hevenes is herne. Blessid ben mylde men, for thei schulen 5 welde the erthe. Blessid ben thei that mornen, for thei schulen be coumfortid. Blessid ben thei that hungren and thristen rightwisnesse, for thei schulen be fulfillid. Blessid ben merciful men, for thei schulen gete merci. Blessid ben thei that ben of clene herte, for thei schulen se God. Blessid ben pesible men, for thei schulen be clepid Goddis children. Blessid ben thei that suffren persecusioun for rightfulnesse, for the kingdam of hevenes is herne. Ye schulen be blessid, whanne men schulen curse you, and schulen pursue you, and shulen seie al yvel 10 ayens you liynge, for me. Joie 13 ye, and be ye glad, for youre meede 15 is plentevouse 16 in hevenes; for so thei han 17 pursued also profetis that weren bifor you. Ye ben salt of the erthe; that if the salt vanysche awey, whereynne schal it be saltid? To no thing it is worth overe,20 no 21 but 22 that it be cast out, and be defoulid of men. Ye ben light of the world; a citee set on an hil may not be hid; ne me teendith 23 not a lanterne, and puttith it undur a busschel, but on a candilstike, that it yyve light to alle that ben in the hous. So schyne youre light befor men, that thei se youre goode werkis, and glorifie youre Fadir that is in hevenes. Nil 26 ye deme,27 that Y cam to undo the lawe, or the profetis; Y cam not to undo the lawe, but to fulfille. Forsothe Y scie to you, til hevene and erthe passe, o 29 lettir or o 29 titel shal not passe fro the lawe, til alle thingis be doon. Therfor he that brekith oon of these leeste 30 maundementis,31 and techith thus men, schal be clepid 32 the leste in the rewme 33 of hevenes; but he that doith, and techith, schal be clepid greet in the kyngdom of hevenes. And Y scie 21 22 but 23 light 24 give 25 Subj. of command 25 do not, literally, wish not (Lat. nolite) think verily 30 least 31 commandments one called 33 kingdom
forsothe, this1 that doth, and techith, shal be clepid grete in the kyngdame of hevenes. Forsothe Y say to you, no-but-yif youre rightwisnesse shal be more plentevouse than of scribis and Pharisees, yee shulen not entre in-to kyngdam of hevenes. Yee han herde that it is said to olde men, Thou shal nat slea; forsothe he that sleeth, shal be gylty of dome. But I say to you, that evereche 5 that is wrothe to his brother, shal be gylty of dome; forsothe he that shal say to his brother, Racha, that is, a word of scorn, shal be gylty of counseile; sothly he that shal say, Fool, that is, a word of dispisynge, shal be gylti of the fijr of helle. Therfore yif thou offrist thi yift at the auter, and there shalt bythenke,10 10 that thi brother hath sum-what ayeins thee, leeve there thi yift before the auter, and go first for to be recounseilid, or acordid, to thi brother, and thanne thou cummynge shalt offre thi yifte. Be thou consentynge to thin adversarie soon, the whijle thou art in the way with hym, lest peraventure thin adversarie take11 thee to the domesman,12 and the domesman take thee to the mynystre,13 and thou be sente in-to prisoun. Trewely I say to thee, Thou shalt not go thennes, til thou yelde the last ferthing. Ye han herd, that it was said to olde men, Thou shalt nat do lecherye. Forsothe Y say to you, forwhy 15 every man that seeth a womman for to coveite hire, now he hath do lecherie by hire in his herte. That yif thi right eiye sclaundre16 thee, pulle it out, and cast it fro thee; for it speedith 17 to thee, that oon 18 of thi membris perishe, than al thi body go in-to helle. And yif thi right hond sclaundre thee, kitt 19 it awey, and cast it fro thee; for it spedith to thee, that oon of thi membris perishe, than that al thi body go in-to helle. Forsothe it is said, Who-evere shal leeve his wyf, yeve he to hir a libel, that is, a litil boke, of forsakyng. Sothely Y say to you, that every man that shal leeve his wyf, outaken 21 cause of fornicacioun, he makith hire do lecherie and he that weddith the forsaken wijf, doth avoutrie. Efte-soonys 23 yee han herd, that it was said to olde men, Thou shalt not forswere, sothely 24 to the Lord thou shalt yeeld thin oethis.25 Forsothe Y say to you, to nat
6 the council 7 fire
1 he 2 unless 3 have 4 judgement every one
to you, that but your rightfulnesse be more plentevouse than of scribis and of Farisees, ye schulen not entre into the kyngdom of hevenes. Ye han herd that it was seid to elde men, Thou schalt not slee; and he that sleeth, schal be gilti to doom. But Y seie to you, that ech man that is wrooth to his brothir, schal be gilti to doom; and he that seith to his brother, Fy! schal be gilti to the counseil; but he that seith, Fool, schal be gilti to the fier of helle. Therfor if thou offrist thi yifte at the auter, and ther thou bithenkist, that thi brothir hath sum-what ayens thee, leeve there thi yifte bifor the auter, and go first to be recounselid to thi brothir, and thanne thou schalt come, and schalt offre thi yifte. Be thou consentynge to thin adversarie soone, while thou art in the weie with hym, lest peraventure thin adversarie take thee to the domesman,12 and the domesman take thee to the mynystre,13 and thou be sent in-to prisoun. Treuli Y seie to thee, thou shalt not go out fro thennus, til thou yelde 14 the last ferthing. Ye han herd that it was seid to elde men, Thou schalt do no letcherie. But Y seie to you, that every man that seeth a womman for to coveite hir, hath now do letcherie bi hir in his herte. That if thi right iye sclaundre 16 thee, pulle hym out, and caste fro thee; for it spedith 17 to thee, that oon 18 of thi membris perische, than that al thi bodi go in-to helle. And if thi right hond sclaundre thee, kitte 19 hym aweye, and caste fro thee; for it spedith to thee that oon 18 of thi membris perische, than that al thi bodi go in-to helle. And it hath be seyd, Who-evere leeveth his wiif, yyve he to hir a libel of forsakyng. But Y scie to you, that every man that leeveth his wiif, outtakun cause of fornycacioun, makith hir to do letcherie, and he that weddith the forsakun wiif, doith avowtrye. Eftsoone ye han herd, that it was seid to elde men, Thou schalt not forswere, but thou schalt yelde thin othis to the Lord. But Y seie to you, that ye swere not for ony thing; nethir bi hevene, for it is the trone of God; nether bi the erthe, for it is the stole of his feet; nether bi Jerusalem,
swere on al manere; neither by hevene, for it is the trone of God; nether by the erthe, for it is the stole of his feet; neither by Jerusalem, for it is the citee of a greet kyng; neither thou shalt swere by thin heved,' for thou maist not make oon heer whyt or blak; but be youre word yea, yea; Nay, nay; forsothe that that is more than this, is of yvel. Yee han herde that it is said, Eiye 2 for eiye,2 toth for toth. But Y say to you, to nat ayeinstonde yvel; but yif any shal smyte thee in the right cheeke, yeve to hym and the tother; and to hym that wole stryve with thee in dome,5 and take awey thi coote, leeve thou to hym and thin over-clothe; and whoevere constrayneth thee a thousand pacis, go thou with hym other tweyne. Forsothe yif to hym that axith of thee, and turne thou nat awey fro hym that wol borwe of thee. Yee han herd that it is said, Thou shalt love thin neighbore, and hate thin enmy. But Y say to you, love yee youre enmyes, do yee wel to hem that haten you, and preye yee for men pursuynge, and falsly chalengynge 10 you; that yee be the sonys of youre Fadir that is in hevenes, that makith his sune to springe up upon good and yvel men, and rayneth upon juste men and unjuste men. For yif ye loven hem that loven you, what meed 11 shul 12 yee have? whether and puplicans don nat this thing? And yif yee greten, or saluten, youre bretheren oonly, what more over 13 shul yee don? whether and paynymmys 14 don nat this thing? Therfore be yee parfit,15 as and youre hevenly Fadir is parfit. Take yee hede, lest ye don your rightwisnesse before men, that yee be seen of hem, ellis 16 ye shule nat han meed at youre Fadir that is in hevenes. Therfore when thou dost almesse,17 nyle 18 thou synge byfore thee in a trumpe, as ypocritis don in synagogis and streetis, that thei ben maad worshipful of men; forsothe Y saye to you, thei han resceyved her 19 meede. But thee doynge almesse,17 knowe nat the left hond what thi right hond doth, that thi almes be in hidlis,20 and thi Fadir that seeth in hidlis, shal yelde 21 to thee."
but be youre word, yhe, yhe; Nay, nay; and that that is more than these, is of yvel. Ye han herd that it hath be seid, Iye for iye, and tothe for tothe. But Y seie to you, that ye ayenstonde not an yvel man; but if ony smyte thee in the right cheke, schewe to him also the tothir; and to hym that wole stryve with thee in doom,5 and take awey thi coote, leeve thou to him also thi mantil; and whoever constreyneth thee a thousynde pacis, go thou with hym othir tweyne. Yyve thou to hym that axith of thee, and turne not awey fro hym that wole borewe of thee. Ye han herd that it was seid, Thou shalt love thi neighbore, and hate thin enemye. But Y seie to you, love ye youre enemyes, do ye wel to hem that hatiden you, and preye ye for hem that pursuen, and sclaundren you; that ye be the sones of your Fadir that is in hevenes, that makith his sunne to rise upon goode and yvele men, and reyneth on just men and unjuste. For if ye loven hem 8 that loven you, what mede " schulen ye han? whether pupplicans doon not this? And if ye greten youre britheren oonli, what schulen ye do more? ne doon not hethene men this? Therfore be ye parfit, as youre hevenli Fadir is parfit."
[It will be observed that the Second Version agrees with the Authorized Version in the division into chapters, while the First Version contains a few verses usually assigned to Chapter VI.]
12 shall 13 besides 14 heathen do not 19 their 20
also 5 a lawsuit give alms 10 accusing 11 reward
perfect secret pay
Stifest under stel-gere 12 on stedes to ryde, 260 The wyghtest 13 and the worthyest of the worldes kynde,
Preve 14 for to play wyth in other pure laykez;15 And here is kydde 16 cortaysye, as I haf herd carp And that hacz wayned 18 me hider, iwyis, at this tyme.
Ye may be seker 19 bi this braunch that I bere here
That I passe as in pes, and no plyght seche.20 For, had I founded in fere, in feghtyng wyse, I have a hauberghe 22 at home and a helme 23 bothe,
A schelde, and a scharp spere, schinande bryght,
Ande other weppenes to welde, I wene wel als.25
Bot for I wolde no were,26 my wedez
Bi ryght." Arthour con onsware 30
And sayd, "Syr cortays knyght, If thou crave batayl bare,
Here faylez thou not to fyght."
Bot if thou be so bold as alle burnez 11 tellen, Thou wyl grant me godly 28 the gomen 29 that I ask,
"Nay, frayst 31 I no fyght, in fayth I the telle; Hit arn 32 aboute on this bench bot berdlez chylder.
If I were hasped 33 in armes on a heghe 34
Here is no mon me to mach,35 for myghtez so
know alight graciously 2 remain 4 dwell while place 7 errand because 9 fame 10 people
11 knights 12 steel-gear, armour 13 stoutest proven 15 fine sports 16 shown 17 declare 18 has drawn