Bible (Early Wycliffe)/Eſter

A prolog on Þe booc of EſterEdit

Here bigynneþ a prolog on þe booc of Eſter.

Þe boc of Eſter to be maad vicious of dyuerſe tranſlatoures is knowen, whom I, of þe libraries of Ebrues takende vp, woord bi woord more openli tranſlatide; þe whiche boc þe comun making drawiþ along hider and þider wiþ þe torne draȝtis, addende þoo þingis, þat of tyme myȝten ben ſeid and herd; as it is wont to ſcoleris diſciplines, and a þeme taken, to out þenke what woordis he myȝte vſen, he þat ſuffride wrong, or he þat dide wrong. Ȝee forſoþe, O! Paule and Euſtache, þat onli han ſtudied to gon in to þe libraries of Ebrues, and þe ſtriues of interpretoures han knowen, holdende Eſter an Ebru boc, beholdeþ bi alle þe woordis oure tranſlacioun; þat ȝee moun knowen me no þing alſo to han encreſid addende, but wiþ trewe witneſſing ſimpleli, as it is had in Ebreu, þe Ebru ſtorie to han taken to Latin tunge. Ne we deſiren þe preiſingus of men, ne blamingus wee dreden. Forſoþe wee beſiende to pleſen to God, vtterli wee drede not þe þretis of men; for God ſcatereþ þe bones of hem þat deſiren to pleſen to men, and, after þe apoſtil, þey, þat ſuche men ben, moun not ben þe ſeruauns of Criſt. Ferþermor in þe boc of Eſter wee han maad an abece of red colour vnto þe eiȝþe lettre in diuers placis, willende, þat is, þe order of þe ſeuenti interpretoures bi þeſe þingus to ſhewen a wijs redere; we forſoþe after þe maner han leuere, and in þe making of þe ſeuenti remenoures, to purſue þe order of Ebrues.

Here endiþ þe prolog of Heſter, and now bigynneþ þe book.

Capitulum I.Edit

In þe daȝes of king Aſſueri, þat regnede fro Jude vnto Eþiope, vp on an hundrid and ſeuene and twenti prouynces, whan he ſat in þe ſee of his regne, Suſa cyte was þe begynnyng of his rewme. Þe þridde þanne ȝer of his empire he made a gret feſte to alle þe princis, and to his moſt ſtrong childre of Perſis, and of Meedis, to þe noble men, and to þe prefectus of prouincis, beforn hym, þat he ſhewe þe richeſſes of þe glorie of his regne, and þe mykilneſſe, and þe boſt of his power myche tyme, an hundrid, þat is, and foure ſcore daȝes. And whan þe daȝes of þe feſte weren ful endid, he bad al þe puple þat is founde in Suſys, fro þe moſte vnto þe leſte; and he comaundede ſeuene daȝes a feſte to be maad redi in þe veſtiarie of þe ȝerd and of þe wode, þat was ſett togidere wiþ þe kingis enournyng and hond. And þer heengen on eche ſide tentis of þe colour of þe eir, and of goldene colour, and of iacinctin, ſuſtened wiþ bijs cordis, and purper, þat weren inſet wiþ yuer cerclis, and þei weren vnderſet wiþ marbil pileeris; alſo goldene ſetis and ſiluerene vp on þe raied pament ſmaragd and pario ſtones weren diſpoſid; þe whiche þing þe peynteur wiþ wonder diuerſete made fair. Forſoþe þei, þat weren biden, drunken of goldene cuppis, and wiþ oþer and oþere veſſelis metis weren broȝt in; win alſo, as it was wrþi for þe kingis grete doing, plente and chef was ſet. And þer was not þat conſtreynede to drinke hem þat wolden not; but ſo þe king hadde ordeyned, befor ſettende ſunder men of his princis to þe bord, þat eche man ſhulde take þat he wolde. Alſo Vaſþi, þe quen, made a feſte of wymmen in þe paleis, wher king Aſſuer was wont to dwelle. And ſo þe ſeuenþe dai, whan he was gladere cherid, and after to myche drinking was chaufid wiþ win, he comaundede to Naumam, and Baracha, and Arbana, and Gabaþa, and Zaraþ, and Abgaþa, and Carþas, ſeuene geldingis, þat in his ſiȝte mynyſtreden, þat þei ſhulden bringen in Vaſþi, þe quen, befor þe king, put vp on hir hed a diademe, þat he ſhewe to alle princis and puplis þe fairneſſe of hir; forſoþe ſhe was ful fair. Þe whiche forſoc, and at þe kings heſte, þat bi þe geldingis he hadde comaundid, ſhe diſpiſide to comen. Wherfore þe king wroþ, and wiþ myche wodneſſe tend, aſkide þe wiſe men, þat of þe kingis maner euermor weren neeȝ to hym, and dide alle þingus bi þe counſeil of hem, kunnende þe lawe and þe riȝtis of more men; forſoþe þe firſte and þe nexte weren Carcena, and Secaba, Admaþa, and Tharſis, and Mares, and Marſana, and Mamucha, ſeuene dukis of Perſis and of Medis, þat ſeȝen þe face of þe king, and firſt after hym weren wont to ſitten; to what ſentence quen Vaſþi ſhulden vnderlyn, þat þe heſte of king Aſſuer, þe whiche bi geldingis he hadde ſent, ſhe wolde not do. And Manucha anſwerde, herende þe king and þe princis, Not onli quen Vaſþi haþ greued þe king, but alle þe princis and puplis, þat ben in alle þe prouyncis of king Aſſuer. Forſoþe þe woord of þe quen ſhal gon out to alle wymmen, þat þei diſpiſe þer huſbondis, and ſeyn, King Aſſuer comaundide, þat Vaſþi, þe quen, ſhulde gon in to hym, and ſhe wolde not. And bi þis exſaumple alle þe wiues of princis of Perſis and of Medis ſhuln diſpiſe þe heſtis of þer huſbondis; wherfore riȝtwis is þe kingis indignacioun. If it pleſe to þee, go þer out a maundement fro þi face, and be it writen after þe lawe of Perſis and of Medis, þe whiche to ouerpaſſen is vnleeful, þat no more Vaſþi go in to þe king, but his reume an oþer, þat is betere þan ſhe, take. And þis be pupliſhid in eche empire of þi prouynce, þat is moſt brod, þat alle wyues, boþe of more and of laſſe, bere to þer huſbondis wrſhipe. And his counſeil pleſide to þe king and to þe princis; and þe king dide after þe counſeil of Manucha, and ſente epiſtelis bi alle prouyncis of his reume, þat eche folc heren and reden myȝte, wiþ diuerſe tungis and lettris, men to be princis and more men in þer houſis; and þat bi alle puplis to be puppliſht.

Capitulum II.Edit

And ſo þeſe þingus don, after þat þe indignacioun of king Aſſuer fro feruour hadde paſſid, he recordide of Vaſþi, and what ſhe hadde do, and what ſhe hadde ſuffrid. And þe childer and his mynyſtris ſeiden to þe king, Be þer ſoȝt to þe king child wymmen, maidenes and faire; and be þer ſent, þat beholden bi alle prouyncis faire child wymmen and maidenes; and bringe þei hem to Suſa cite, and take þei in to þe hous of wymmen, vnder þe hond of Egei, gelding, þat is prouoſt and kepere of þe kingus wymmen; and take þei wymmenus ournemens, and oþere þingus to vſe neceſſarie. And who euere among alle to þe eȝen of þe king ſhal pleſe, ſhe regne for Vaſþi. Þe woord pleſide to þe king; and ſo as þei hadden moued, he comaundide to be do. Þer was forſoþe a Jew man in þe cite of Suſis, Mardoche bi name, þe ſone of Jair, ſone of Semei, ſone of Cis, of þe linage of Gemyny; þat was tranſlatid fro Jeruſalem þat time þat Nabugodonoſor, king of Babiloyne, hadde tranſlatid Jeconye, þe king of Juda; þe whiche was þe nurſe of þe doȝter of his broþer, Ediſſe, þat bi an oþer name was clepid Eſter, and eiþer fader and moder hadde laft, ful myche fair, and ſemeli in face; and hir fader and moder dead, Mardoche clepid hir to hym in to doȝter. And whanne þe maundement of þe king more wex knowen, and after his heſte manye faire maidenes were broȝt to Suſem, and to Egeo, gelding, wer taken, Eſter alſo among oþere child maidenes is take to hym, þat ſhe wer kept in þe noumbre of wymmen. Þe whiche pleſide to hym, and fond grace in his ſiȝte, þat he ſhulde heȝen þe wymmen enournyng, and ȝeue to hir hir partis and ſeuene moſt faire child wymmen of þe hous of þe king; and boþe hir and hir dameſelis ſhe ſhulde enournen and araȝen. Þe whiche wolde not to hym ſhewe þe puple and hir kuntre; forſoþe Mardoche hadde comaundid to hir, þat of þis þing vtterli ſhe ſhulde holde hir pes. Þe whiche wente eche dai befor þe veſtiarie of þe hous, in þe whiche choſene maidenes weren kept, doende cure of þe helþe of Eſter, and willende to witen, what to hir ſhulde falle. And whan tyme was comen of alle þe child wymmen by order, þat þei ſhulden gon in to þe king, alle þingus fulfild þat to wymmenys enournyng pertende, þe twelfþe moneþ was turned ouer; ſo onli þat ſixe moneþis þei ſhulde ben enoynt wiþ myrtine oile, and oþere ſixe þei ſhulden vſe maner pimentis and ſwote ſpice. And goende in to þe king, whateuere þei hadden aſkid pertenende to ournyng, þei token; and, as it to þem hadde pleſid, enourned, of þe chaumbre of wymmen to þe kingus priue chaumbre wenten. And ſhe þat cam in at euen, wente oute at morn; and þennes in to þe ſecounde houſis weren broȝt, þat weren vnder þe hond of gelding Zagazi, þat ſtod before to þe ſecoundarie wyues of þe king; and ſhe hadde no power of turnyng aȝeen more to þe king, but if þe king wolde, and hir hadde comaundid to come bi name. Forſoþe þe tyme turned ouer bi order, þe dai ſtood, in þat Eſter, þe doȝter of Abihael, broþer of Mardoche, whom to hym he hadde clepid in to doȝter, ſhulde gon in to þe king; þe whiche ſoȝte not wymmenes enournyng, but whateuere þing wolde Egee, gelding, þe kepere of maidenes, þoo þingis to hir to enournyng he ȝaf; forſoþe ſhe was ful ſemeli, and wiþ vntrouable fairneſſe, and to þe eȝen of alle men gracious and looueſum was ſeen. And ſo ſhe is lad to þe priue chaumbre of king Aſſuer, þe tenþe moneþ, þat is clepid Thebeþ, þat is, Januer, þe ſeuenþe ȝer of his regne. And þe king loouede hir more þan alle þe wymmen, and ſhe hadde grace and mercy befor hym ouer alle þe wymmen; and he putte þe diademe of þe reume vp on hir hed, and he made her to regnen in þe ſtede of Vaſþi. And he comaundide a ful glorious feſte to be maad redi to alle þe princis and to his ſeruauns, for þe coupling and þe bridalis of Eſter; and he ȝaf reſte to alle prouyncis, and grauntide large ȝiftis aftir principal gret doing. And whan þe ſeconde maidenes weren ſoȝt, and gedered togidere, Mardoche dwelte at þe kingis ȝate. And ȝit not Eſter hadde told out þe kuntre and hir puple, after þe heſte of hym; what euere þing forſoþe he comaundide, Eſter kepte wel, and ſo alle þingus ſhe dide, as ſhe was wont þat tyme, þat he nurſhide hir a litil child. Þat time þanne þat Mardoche at þe kingus ȝate dwelte, ben wroþe Bagaþan and Thares, two geldingis of þe king, þat weren porteres, and in þe firſte entre of þe paleis dwelten; and wolden aȝen riſen in to þe king, and ſlen hym. Þe whiche þing was not vnknowen to Mardoche, and anoon he tolde to quen Eſter, and ſhe to þe king, of name of Mardoche, þat to hir þe þing hadde told. It is ſoȝt, and is founde, and eiþer of hem is hangid in þe iebet; and it is comaundid to þe ſtories, and taken to þe bokis of ȝeris deedis, befor þe king.

Capitulum III.Edit

Aftir þeſe þingus king Aſſuer enhauncide Aaman, þe ſone of Amadaþi, þat was of þe linage of Agag, and putte his ſete ouer alle þe princis þat he hadde. And alle þe ſeruauns of þe king, þat wiþinne þe paleis ȝatis dwelten, boweden kne, and honoureden Aaman; ſo forſoþe þe emperour hadde comaundid to hem; onli Mardoche bowede not kne, ne honourede hym. To whom ſeiden þe childer of þe king, þat to þe ȝatis of þe paleys ſeten before, Whi beſide oþer men þou kepiſt not þe heſtis of þe king? Whan þeſe þingus more often þei ſeiden, and he wolde not heren, þei tolden to Aman, coueitende to witen, wheþer he wolde ſtonde ſtedefaſt in þe ſentence; forſoþe he hadde ſeid to þem, hym to ben a Jew. Þe whiche þing whan Aman hadde herd, and bi experience proued, þat Mardoche bowide not kne to hym, ne honourede, he is wroþ ful gretli, and for noȝt tolde in to Mardoche on to putte hondis; forſoþe he hadde herd, þat he was of Jew kinrede, and more wolde leeſen al þe nacioun of Jewis, þat weren in þe reume of Aſſuer. Þe firſte moneþ, whos name is Nyſan, þe twelfþe ȝer of þe regne of Aſſuer, lot is leid in to a veſſel, þat Ebruli is ſeid fur, beforn Aman, what dai and what moneþ þe folc of Jewis ſhulde be ſlayn; and þe twelfþe moneþ wente out, þat is clepid Adar. And Aman ſeide to king Aſſuer, Þer is a puple bi alle þe prouyncis of þi reume ſcaterid, and fro þemſelf togidere ſeuered, newe vſende lawis and cerimoynes, ferþermor and þe ſtatutis of þe king diſpiſende; and beſt þou haſt knowen, þat it ſpedeþ not to þi reume, þat ouercuſtomed it waxe proud bi leeue. If to þee it pleſe, deme þat it perſhe, and ten þouſend of talentis I ſhal lei to treſories of þi richeſſe. Þanne þe king toc of his hond þe ring þat he vſide, and ȝaf it to þe enemys of Jewys, Aman, ſone of Amadaþi, of þe kinrede of Agag. And he ſeide to hym, Þe ſiluer þat þou behotiſt, be þin; of þe puple do þat to þee pleſiþ. And þe ſcribis of þe king ben clepid þe firſte moneþ of Nyſan, þe þrettenþe dai of þe ſame moneþ; and it is writen, as Aman hadde comaundid, to alle þe ſatrapis of þe king, and domyſmen of dyuerſe prouyncis and folkis, þat alle folc myȝten rede and heren, for þe diuerſite of tungis, of þe name of king Aſſuer. And þe lettris ſelid wiþ his ring ben ſent bi þe corouris of þe king to alle his prouyncis, þat þei ſhulde ſlen and don awei alle þe Jewis, fro child vn to old man, litle childer and wymmen, o dai, þat is, þe þrettenþe dai of þe twelfþe moneþ, þat is clepid Adar, þat is, March; and þer goodis þei ſhulden forfeten. Þe ſentence forſoþe of þe epiſtelis was þis, þat alle prouyncis ſhulden knowe, and go þemſelf to þe forſeide dai. And þei, þat weren ſent, heeȝeden to fulfillen out þe heſte of þe king; and anoon in Suſis heeng þe maundement fro þe king, and Aman ſolempneli makende a feſte, and alle þe Jewis, þat in þe cite weren, wepende.

Capitulum IIII.Edit

The whiche þingis whan Mardocheus hadde herd, he cutte his cloþis, and is clad wiþ a ſac, ſprengende aſkis to his hed, and in þe ſtrete of þe myddil cite wiþ gret vois criede, ſhewende þe bitterneſſe of his inwit, and wiþ þis weping vnto þe ȝatis of þe paleis goende; forſoþe it was not leful a man clad wiþ a ſac to entre þe kingis halle. Alſo in alle prouyncis, burȝ townes, and placis, to þe whiche þe cruel bidding of þe king hadde ful comyn, gret weiling was anentis þe Jewis faſtende, and ȝellende, and wepende, manye men vſende for bed ſac and aſkis. Forſoþe þe childer wymmen of Eſter, and þe geldingus, wenten in, and tolden to hir; þe whiche herende is ſtoneid, and ſente a cloþ, þat þe ſac don awei, he ſhulde cloþin hym; þe whiche taken he wolde not. And Aþac, gelding, clepid, whom þe king hadde ȝiue to hir ſeruaunt, ſhe comaundide, þat he ſhulde go to Mardoche, and lernen of hym, whi þat þing he dide. And Aþac gon out, wente to Mardoche ſtondende in þe ſtrete of þe cyte, beforn þe dore of þe paleis; þe whiche ſhewide to hym alle þingus þat hadden falle, hou Aman hadde behoten, þat he ſhulde bringe ſiluer in to þe treſories of þe king for þe Jewis deþ. Alſo þe ſaumple of þe maundement, þat heeng in Suſis, he ȝaf to hym, þat to þe quen he ſhulde ſhewen, and warnen hir, þat ſhe go in to þe king, and preȝe hym for hir puple. And Aþac, gon out, tolde Eſter alle þingus, þat Mardoche hadde ſeid. Þe whiche anſwerde to hym, and ſeide, þat he ſhulde ſey to Mardoche, Alle þe ſeruauns of þe king, and alle prouyncis þat ben vnder his comaunding, knowen, þat ouþer man or womman not clepid entre þe innermor porche of þe king, wiþoute aȝeen cleping anoon he be ſlain, but if perauenture þe king þe goldene ȝerde to hym ſtrecche for ſigne of mercy, and ſo he may lyuen; I þanne what maner ſhal moun entre to þe king, þat now þretti daȝis am not clepid to hym? Þe whiche þing whan Mardoche hadde herd, eft he ſente to Eſter, ſeiende, Ne wene þou, þat þi lif onli þou deliuere, for in þe hous of þe king þou art, for alle Jewis; if þou holde þi pes, bi an oþer ocaſioun þe Jewis ſhul be deliuered, and þou and þe hous of þi fader ſhul perſhen; and who knew, wheþer þerfore to þe reume þou came, þat in ſuch a time þou ſhuldeſt be redi? And eft Eſter þeſe woordis ſente to Mardoche, Go, and gedere alle þe Jewis, þat in Suſis þou findiſt, and preȝeþ for me; ne eteþ, ne drinkiþ þre daȝes and þre nyȝt, and I wiþ myn hond wymmen lic maner ſhal faſten; and þanne not clepid I ſhal gon in to þe king, aȝen þe lawe doende, takende me to deþ and to perile. And ſo Mardoche wente, and dide alle þingus, þat Eſter hadde comaundid to hym.

Capitulum V.Edit

Forſoþe þe þridde dai Eſter was clad wiþ kingus cloþis, and ſtod in þe porche of þe kingus hous, þat was wiþinne forþ aȝen þe kingis hous; and he ſat vp on his ſee, in þe conſtorie of þe paleis, aȝen þe dore of þe hous. And whan he hadde ſeen Eſter, þe quen, ſtondende, ſhe pleſide to his eȝen, and he ſtraȝte out aȝen hir a goldene ȝerde, þat he heeld wiþ hond; þe whiche neȝhende kiſte þe ouermor of his ȝerde. And þe kyng ſeide to hir, What wilt þou, quen Eſter? what is þin aſking? Alſo if þe half part of þe reume þou aſke, it ſhal ben ȝiue to þee. And ſhe anſwerde, If to þe king it pleſe, I beſeche, þat þou come to me to dai, and Aman wiþ þee, to þe feſte, þat I haue greiþid. And anoon þe king, Clepeþ, he ſeiþ, Aman anon, þat he obeſhe to þe wil of Eſter. And ſo þe king and Aman camen to þe feſte, þat þe quen hadde maad redi to hem. And þe king ſeide to hir, after þat he hadde drunke win plenteuouſly; What aſkiſt þou, þat be ȝiue to þee, and for what þing preȝiſt þou? Alſo if þe half part of my reume þou aſke, þou ſhalt gete. To whom anſwerde Eſter, Myn aſking and my preȝeeris ben þeſe. If I haue founde grace in þe ſiȝte of þe king, and if to þe king it pleſe, þat he ȝiue to me þat I preȝe fore, and fulfille myn aſking, come þe king and Aman to þe feſte, þat I haue maad redi to hem; and to morn I ſhal opene to þe king my wil. And ſo Aman wente out þat dai glad and merie. And whan he hadde ſeen Mardoche ſittende at þe ȝatis of þe paleis, and not onli not to han riſe to hym, but ne moued forſoþe of þe place of his ſitting, he endeynede gretli; and þe wraþe feyned, turnede aȝeen in to his hous, clepide to gidere to hym frendis, and Sares, his wif, and expounede to hem þe mychilneſſe of his richeſſis, and þe cumpanye of ſones, and wiþ hou myche glorie vp on alle þe princis and his ſeruauns þe king hym hadde rerid. And after þeſe þingus he ſeiþ, Þe quen alſo Eſter noon oþer man clepeþ wiþ þe king to þe feſte, ſaue me, anent whom alſo to morn wiþ þe king I am to ete. And whan alle þeſe þingus I haue, no þing I wene me to han, as longe as I ſee Mardoche, Jeu, ſittende at þe kingis ȝatis. And Sares, his wif, and oþere frendis anſwerden, Comaunde to ben maad redi an heiȝ bem, hauende of heiȝte fifti cubitis; and ſei erli to þe king, þat Mardoche be hangid vp on it; and ſo þou ſhalt go wiþ þe king glad to þe feſte. And þe counſeil pleſide, and he comaundide to be maad redi an heiȝ cros.

Capitulum VI.Edit

That nyȝt þe king ladde wiþoute ſlep, and he comaundide to be broȝt to hym ſtories, and þe bokis of ȝeris deedis of raþere times. Þe whiche þingus whan, hym preſent, weren rad, it is come to þat place, wher was write, hou Mardoche hadde told þe aſpies of Gabaþan and Thares, geldingis, coueitende to ſle king Aſſuer. Þe whiche þing whan þe king hadde herd, he ſeiþ, What for þis feiþ of wrſhipe or of mede Mardoche haþ goten? And his ſeruans and myneſtres ſeiden to hym, No þing of mede vtterli he toc. And anoon þe king, Who is, he ſeiþ, in þe porche? Aman forſoþe wente in þe innere porche of þe kingus hous, þat he make ſuggeſtioun to þe king, þat he comaunde Mardoche to be ficchid on þe iebet, þat to hym was maad redi beforn. And þe childer anſwerden, Aman ſtant in þe porche. And þe king ſeide, Come he in. And whan he was comyn, he ſeide to hym, What owiþ to be do to þe man, whom þe king deſireþ to honouren? Aman þenkende in his herte, and trowende, þat noon oþer man but hym þe king wolde honouren, anſwerde, Þe man, whom þe king coueitiþ to honouren, owiþ to be clad wiþ kingus cloþis, and to be put vpon an hors þat is of þe kingus ſadil, and to take þe kingus diademe vp on his hed; and þe firſte of þe kingus princis and knyȝtis holde his hors, and bi þe ſtretis of þe cite goende, crie he, and ſeie, Þus ſhal ben honoured, whom euere þe king wile honoure. And ſo þe king ſeide to hym, Heeȝe, and, þe ſtole taken and an hors, do, as þou haſt ſpoke, to Mardoche, Jew, þat ſit befor þe ȝatis of þe paleis; bewar, leſt any þing of þo, þat þou haſt ſpoken, þou leue of. And ſo Aman toc a ſtole and an hors, and Mardoche clad in þe ſtrete of þe cite, and ſet vp on þe hors, wente beforn, and criede, Þis wrſhipe he is wrþi, whom euere þe king wile honoure. And Mardoche is turned aȝeen to þe ȝate of þe paleys, and Aman heeȝede to gon in to his hous, weilende, and þe hed couered. And he tolde to Sari, his wif, and to frendis, alle þingus þat hadden falle to hym. To whom anſwerden þe wiſe men, whom he hadde in counſeil, and his wif, If of þe ſed of Jewis is Mardoche, befor whom þou begunne to fallen, þou ſhalt not moun wiþſtonde to hym, but þou ſhalt falle in his ſiȝt. Ȝit hem ſpekende, þe geldingis of þe king camen, and anon hym to þe feſte, þat þe quen hadde maad redi, þei conſtreyneden to gon.

Capitulum VII.Edit

And ſo þe king cam in and Aman to þe feſte, þat þei ſhulde drinke wiþ þe quen. And þe king ſeide to hir alſo in þe ſeconde day, aftir þat he was chaufid wiþ wyn, What is þin aſking, Eſter, þat it be ȝiue to þee, and what wilt þou to be do? Alſo if þe half part of my reume þou aſke, þou ſhalt gete. To whom ſhe anſwerd, If I haue founde grace in þin eȝen, O! king, and if to þee it pleſe, ȝif to me my lif, for þe whiche I preȝe, and my puple, for þe whiche I beſeche. Forſoþe wee ben taken, I and my puple, þat wee be totreden, ſlain, and perſhen; and wolde God in to þrallis and þralleſſis wee were ſold, and it were tolerable euel, and weilende I ſhulde holden my pes; now forſoþe oure enemy is, whos cruelte reboundeþ in to þe king. And king Aſſuer anſwerende ſeiþ, Who is he þis, and of what power, þat þeſe þingus he be hardi to do? And Eſter ſeide, Enemy and oure werſte enemy is þis Aman. Þe whiche þing he herende anoon ſtoneȝede, not ſuffrende to bern þe chere of þe king and of þe quen. Forſoþe þe king ros wroþ, and fro þe place of þe feſte wente in to a ȝerd ſet wiþ trees. Alſo Aman ros for to preȝen Eſter, þe quen, for his lif; forſoþe he vnderſtod euel maad redi to hym of þe king. Þe whiche whan was comen aȝeen fro þe ȝerd ſet wiþ wodis, and he hadde comyn in to þe place of þe feſte, he fond Aman vpon þe bed to han fallen doun, in þe whiche lai Eſter; and ſeiþ, Alſo þe quen he wile opreſſe, me preſent, in myn hous. Ne ȝit þe woord of þe kingus mouþ hadde gon out, and anon couereden his face þe ſeruauns of þe king. And Arbona, oon of þe geldingus þat ſtoden in þe ſeruyſe of þe king, ſeide, Lo! þe tree þat he hadde maad redi to Mardoche, þat ſpac for þe king, ſtant in þe hous of Aman, hauende of heiȝte fifti cubitis. To whom ſeide þe king, Hangeþ hym in it. And ſo Aman is hangid in þe iebet, þat he hadde maad redi to Mardoche, and þe kingis wraþe reſtide.

Capitulum VIII.Edit

That dai king Aſſuer ȝaf to Eſter, þe quen, þe hous of Aman, aduerſarie of Jewis. And Mardoche wente in befor þe face of þe king; Eſter forſoþe knoulechide to hym, þat he was hir em. And ſo þe king toc þe ring, þe whiche of Aman he hadde comaundid to be reſceiued, and toc to Mardoche. Eſter forſoþe ſette Mardoche vp on hir hous. Ne wiþ þeſe þingus paȝed, ſhe fel doun at þe feet of þe king, and wepte, and ſpac to hym, and preȝede, þat þe malice of Aman Agachite, and his werſte caſtis, þat he hadde þoȝt out aȝen þe Jewis, he comaunde to be maad voide. And he of maner þe kingus goldene ſeptre ſtrauȝte out wiþ þe hond, wiþ þe whiche a tocne of þe kingys mercy was ſhewid. And ſo ſhe riſende ſtod before hym, and ſeiþ, If it pleſe to þe king, and if I haue founde grace in his eȝen, and my preȝeere be not ſeen to ben contrarie to hym, I beſeche, þat wiþ newe epiſtelis þe olde lettris of Aman, ſpiere and enemye of Jewis, wiþ þe whiche he hadde comaundid þem to perſhen in alle þe kingus prouyncis, be mendid; hou forſoþe ſhal I moun ſuffre þe deþ and þe ſlaȝter of my puple? And king Aſſuer anſwerde to Eſter, þe quen, and to Mardoche, Jew, Þe hous of Aman I haue grauntid to Eſter, þe quen, and hym I haue comaundid to be ficchid on þe cros, for he was hardi to putte hond in to þe Jewis. Þanne writeþ to þe Jewis, as it pleſiþ to ȝou, in þe kingus name, ſelende þe lettris wiþ my ring. Forſoþe þis was þe cuſtum, þat to þe epiſtolis, þe whiche of þe kingus name weren ſent, and weren ſelid wiþ his ring, no man ſhulde ben hardi to wiþſeyn. And þe ſcribis and þe librarijs of þe king clepid; forſoþe time was of þe þridde moneþ, þat is clepid Ciban, þat is, June, þe þre and twentiþe dai of it; ben write þe epiſtolis, as Mardoche wolde, to þe Jewis, and to þe princis, and procuratoures, and iugis, þat in an hundrid and ſeuene and twenti prouyncis, fro Ynde vnto Eþiope, befor ſeten, to prouynce and prouynce, to puple and puple, aftir tungis and þer lettris, and to þe Jewis, þat þei myȝte reden and heren. And þo epiſtolis, þat in þe kingus name wer ſent, wiþ his ring ben ſelid, and ſent bi meſſageris, þat bi alle þe prouyncis rennende ſhulde come before þe olde lettris wiþ þe newe meſſageris. To whom þe king comaundide, þat þei ſhulden gadere togidere þe Jewis bi alle þe cites, and þei ſhulden comaunden in oon to be gedered, þat þei ſtonde for þer liues; and alle þeir enemys, wiþ þer wiues and fre childer, and alle þer houſis, þei ſhulden ſlen, and don awei. And þer is ſet bi alle prouyncis o dai of veniaunce, þat is, þe þrettenþe dai of Adar, þe twelfþe moneþ. And þe ſhorte ſentence of þe epiſtil was þis, þat in alle londis and puplis, þe whiche vnderleȝen to þe empire of king Aſſuer, it ſhulde be maad knowen, Jewis to be redi to be take veniaunce of þer enemys. And þer wenten out meſſageris, berende beforn meſſagis; and þe maundement of þe king heng in Suſis. Mardoche forſoþe of þe paleis and of þe ſiȝte of þe king goende out, ſchynede in kingis cloþis, iacinctine, þat is, and of eir colour, berende a goldene coroun in þe hed, and wrappid wiþ a ſilkene pal and purper; and al þe cite ful out ioȝede, and is glad. Forſoþe to þe Jewis is ſeen to ben ſprungen a newe liȝt, ioȝe, wrſhiping, and dauncing, anentis alle puplis, cites, and alle prouyncis, whider euere þe kingus maundemens camen, merueilouſe out ioȝingis, metys plenteuous, and feſtis, and feſte daȝes, in ſo myche, þat manye of þe toþer folc and ſect to þer religioun and cerimoynes weren ioyned; gret forſoþe drede of Jewis name alle men hadde aſalid.

Capitulum IX.Edit

Thanne of þe twelfþe moneþ, whom Adar to be clepid now beforn wee ſeiden, þe þrettenþe day, whanne to alle þe Jewis ſlaȝter was greiþid, and enemys waiteden to þe blod of hem, þe while turned, þe Jewis begunne to ben ouer heiȝere, and hem of þe aduerſaries to venge. And þer ben gedered bi alle cites, burȝ tounys, and placis, þat þei ſhulde ſtrecchen out hond aȝen enemys and þer purſueris; and no man was hardi to wiþſtonde, for þi þat þe fer of þe gretneſſe of hem alle puplis hadde perſid. For and of prouyncis þe iugis, dukis, and procuratoures, and al dignete, þat to alle placis and werkis weren beforn, ful out enhauncide þe Jewis, for drede of Mardoche, whom to be prince of þe paleis and of myche power þei knewen; alſo þe fame of his name wex eche dai, and bi þe mouþis of alle men ofte fleiȝ. And ſo þe Jewis ſmyten þer enemys wiþ a gret veniaunce, and ſlowen hem, ȝeldende to hem þat þei to þem hadden maad redi to do, in ſo miche, þat alſo in Suſis fiue hundrid men þei ſlowen, wiþ oute þe ten ſonys of Aman Agagite, enemy of þe Jewis, of whom þeſe ben þe namys; Faſondaþa, Delfon, and Esfata, and Forata, and Dalia, and Aridaþa, and Efermeſta, and Ariſai, and Aridai, and Vaiſaþa. Whom whan þei hadde ſlain, þei wolden not purſue praies of þe ſubſtauncis of hem. And anon þe noumbre of hem, þat weren ſlain in Suſis, is told to þe king. Þe whiche ſeide to þe quen, In þe cite of Suſis þe Jewis ſlowen fiue hundrid men, and oþere ten ſones of Aman; hou myche ſlaȝter weneſt þou þem to enhaunten in alle prouyncis? what more aſkiſt þou? and what wilt þou, þat I comaunde to be don? To whom ſhe anſuerde, If to þe king it pleſe, be þer ȝiue power to þe Jewis, þat as þei diden to day in Suſis, ſo and do þei to morn, and þe ten ſones of Aman be þei hangid in iebetis. And þe king comaundide, þat ſo it ſhulde be do; and anon in Suſis heeng a maundement, and þe ten ſonus of Aman ben hangid. Þe Jewis gederede togidere, þe fourtenþe dai of þe monyþ of Adar, and þer be ſlain in Suſis þre hundrid men, ne þer ſubſtaunce fro þem is raueſhid awei. But and bi alle þe prouyncis, þat vnder leȝen to þe maundement of þe king, þe Jewis ſtoden for þer liues, þe enemys ſlain and þer purſueris, in ſo miche, þat fiue and ſeuenti þouſend of ſlaine men weren fulfild, and no man of þer ſubſtaunce any þing touchide. Forſoþe þe þrettenþe dai of þe monyþ Adar was of o ſlaȝter anentis alle, and þe fourtenþe dai þei lafte to ſlen; whom þei ordeyneden to be ſolempne, þat in þat time eche ȝer þerafter þei ſhulden voiden to plenteuous metis, and to ioȝe, and to feſtis. And þeſe, þat in þe cite of Suſys hadden hauntid þe ſlaȝter, þe þrettenþe and þe fourtenþe dai of þe ſame moneþ ben ocupied in þe ſlaȝter. Þe fiftenþe forſoþe dai þei laften to ſmyte; and þerfore þe ſame dai þei ordeyneden ſolempne of plenteuous metis and of gladneſſe. Þeſe forſoþe Jewis, þat in burȝ tounys not wallid and tounes duelten, þe fourtenþe daie of þe moneþ of Adar, of feſtis, and of ioȝe demeden, ſo þat þei ful out gladen in it, and ſenden to hemſelf togidere partis of plentes and of metis. And ſo Mardoche wrot alle þeſe þingus, and comprehendid in lettris ſente to þe Jewis, þat in alle þe prouyncis of þe king dwelten, boþe in neeȝh ſet and afer, þat þe fourtenþe and þe fiftenþe dai of þe moneþ of Adar þei ſhulden take for feſtis, and euermor, þe ȝer turnende aȝeen, wiþ ſolempne wrſhipe þei ſhulden halewe; for in þo daȝis þe Jewis vengide þem of þer enemys, and weiling and ſorewe in to ioȝe and gladneſſe ben turned; and þeſe daȝes ſhulde ben daȝes of plenteuous metis, and of gladneſſe, and þei ſhulden ſende to þemſelf partis togidere of þe metis, and to pore men þei ſhulden graunt litle ȝiftis. Forſoþe þe Jewis token in to a ſolempne cuſtum alle þingus, þat þei hadde begunne þat time to do, and þat Mardoche in lettris hadde ſent to be do. Aman forſoþe, þe ſone of Amadaþi, ſtoc of Agag, enemy and aduerſarie of Jewis, þoȝte aȝen hem euel, þat he ſhulde ſle þem and don awei, and leide fur, þat in oure tunge is turned in to lot. And afterward Eſter wente in to þe king, beſechende, þat his ententis wiþ þe lettris of þe king ſhulden be maad voide, and þe euel, þat aȝen Jewis he hadde þoȝt, ſhulde be turned aȝeen in to his hed. Afterward and hym and his ſonus þei ficcheden to þe cros. And fro þat time þeſe daȝis be clepid Furim, þat is, of lotis, forþi þat fur, þat is, lot, in to a pot was put; and alle þingus þat ben don ben contened in þe volume of þe epiſtil, þat is, of þis boc; alle þingus þat þei ſuffreden, and þat þer after ben chaungid, Jewis and þer ſed token vp on hem, and vp on alle þat wolden to þer religioun be couplid, þat to no man it be leful þeſe two daȝes wiþ oute ſolempnete to ouerpaſſe, whom ſcripture witneſſeþ, and oþere tymes aſken, þe ȝeres to þemſelf continueli comende aftir oþer. Þeſe ben þe daȝis, whom neuer any forȝeting ſhal don awei, and bi ſunder ieneraciouns alle prouyncis, þat in alle þe world ben, ſhuln halewen; ne þer is any cite, in þe whiche daȝis of Furim, þat is, of lotis, be not kept of þe Jewis, and of þer progenye, þat wiþ þeſe cerimoynes is obliſht. And Eſter, quen, þe doȝtir of Abihael, and Mardoche, Jeu, writen alſo þe ſecounde epiſtil, þat wiþ alle beſyneſſe þis dai ſolempneli ſhulde ben halewid þer afterward. And þei ſente to þe Jewis, þat in an hundrid and ſeuene and twenti prouyncis of king Aſſuer dwelten, þat þei ſhulden han pes, and reſceyue treuþe, kepende wel þe daȝes of lotis, and in þer tyme wiþ ioȝe ſhulden halewe; as hadden ordeyned Mardoche and Eſter, þei to be kept hadden taken, of hemſelf and of þer ſed, faſtingis, and clamoures, and daȝes of lotis, and alle þingus þat ben contened in þe ſtorie of þis boc, þat is clepid Eſter.

Capitulum X.Edit

King forſoþe Aſſuer al þe lond and alle þe ilis of þe ſe made tributaries; whos ſtrengþe and empire and dignete and heiȝneſſe, þat he enhauncide Mardoche in, ben writen in þe bokis of Medis and of Perſis; and hou Mardoche of Jeu kinrede were þe ſecounde fro king Aſſuer, and gret anentis þe Jewis, and acceptable to þe folc of þer breþern, ſechende goodis to his puple, and ſpekende þo þingus, þat to þe pes of his ſed ſhulden pertene.

Þe whiche ben had in Ebru in pleyn feiþ I expreſſede; þeſe þingus forſoþe, þat folewen, I fond write in þe comun making, þe whiche in Grekis tunge and lettris ben contened; and eft after þe ende of þe boc þis chapitre was ſeid, þat after oure conſuetude wiþ obelo, þat is, wiþ a ſtric, wee han befor notid.

And Mardoche ſeide, Of God þeſe þingus ben don. I am recordid of a ſweuene, þat I ſaȝ, magnefiende þeſe ſame þingus, ne of þo any þing was voide. A litil welle, þat grew in to a flod, and in to liȝt and ſunne is turned, and in to manye watris reboundide, is Eſter, þat þe king toc wif, and wolde to be quen. Two forſoþe dragounes, I am and Aman; þe folc þat camen togidere, þeſe ben, þat enforceden to don awei þe name of Jewis. Forſoþe my folc is Irael, þat criede to þe Lord; and þe Lord made ſaaf his puple, and deliuerede vs fro alle euelis, and made grete ſignes and wondris among þe Jentilis; and comaundide two lotis to ben, oon of þe puple of God, and an oþer of alle Jentilis. And eiþer lot cam in to þe ſet dai befor God now fro þat time to alle Jentilis. And þe Lord recordide of his puple, and rewide of his eritage. And þeſe daȝes ſhul be kept in þe moneþ of Adar, þe fourtenþe and þe fiftenþe dai of þe ſame moneþ, wiþ alle biſyneſſe and ioȝe of þe puple gedered in to o cumpanye, in to alle þer aftirward ieneraciouns of þe puple of Irael.

Capitulum XI.Edit

The ferþe ȝer, regnende Pþolome and Cleopatra, Doſiþeus, þat a preſt and of Leuy kinrede ſeide hymſelf to be, and Pþolome, his ſone, broȝten þis epiſtil of furim, þe whiche þei ſeiden, Silimacum, þe ſone of Pþolome, in Jeruſalem to han remened. Þis forſoþe was þe begynnyng in þe comun tranſlacioun, þat nouþer in Ebru, ne anent any of þe remenours is told. Þe ſecounde ȝer, regnyng Artaxerſe þe moſte, þe firſte dai of þe moneþ Nyſan, Mardoche, þe ſone of Jari, ſone of Semei, ſone of Cis, of þe linage of Beniamyn, a man Jeu, þat dwelte in þe cite of Suſis, a gret man, and among þe firſte of þe kingus halle, ſaȝ a ſweuene. Forſoþe he was of þe noumbre of caityues, whom Nabugodonoſor, king of Babiloyne, hadde tranſlatid fro Jeruſalem wiþ Jeconye, king of Jude. And þis was his ſweuene. Þere ſemeden voiſis, and noiſis, and þundris, and erþe quaues, and diſturbing vp on þe erþe. And lo! two grete dragounes, redi aȝen hemſelf in to bataile; at whos cri alle naciouns ben ſtirid togidere, þat þei fiȝte aȝen þe folc off riȝtwis men. And þat dai was of dercneſſis, and of perile, of tribulacioun, and of anguyſh, and gret fer vp on erþe. And diſturbid is þe folc of riȝtwis men, dredende þer euelis, and maad redi to þe deþ. Þei crieden to God; and hem criende out, a litle welle wex in to þe moſte flod, and in to manye watris redundede. Liȝt and þe ſunne is ſprungen; and meke men ben enhauncid, and þei deuoureden þe gloriouſe. Þe whiche þing whan Mardoche hadde ſeen, and riſen of þe bed, he þoȝte, what God wolde do, and ficchid he hadde in þe inwit, coueitende to wite, what þe ſueuene ſhulde betocne.

Capitulum XII.Edit

Forſoþe he dwelte þat time in þe halle of þe king, wiþ Bagaþa and Thara, geldingus of þe king, þat porteris weren of þe paleis. And whan he hadde vnderſtonde þe þoȝtis of hem, and þe beſyneſſis mor diligentli hadde ſeen before, he lernede þat þei enforciden to putten hond in to king Artaxerſen, and tolde vp on it to þe king. Þe which, of eiþer queſtioun had confeſſid, he comaundede to ben had to deþ. Þe king forſoþe þat was don, wrot in librarijes, but and Mardoche þe mynde of þe þing toc to lettris. And þe king comaundide to hym, þat in þe halle of þe paleis he ſhulde duelle, ȝiftis ȝiue to hym for þe telling. Aman forſoþe, þe ſone of Amadaþy, gelding, was moſt glorious befor þe king, and wolde noȝen to Mardoche, and his puple, for þe two geldingus of þe king þat weren ſlain.

Hider to þe prohemy; þoo þingus, þat folewen, in þat place weren put, wher is write in þe volume, And þei waſteden þe goodis or þer ſubſtauncis; þe whiche onli in þe comun tranſlacioun we han founden.

Capitulum XIII.Edit

Of þe epiſtil forſoþe þis was þe ſaumpler. Þe moſte king Artaxerſes, fro Ynde vnto Eþiope, of an hundrid and ſeuene and twenti prouyncis, to princis and dukis, þat to his empire ben ſoget, greting ſeiþ. Whan to manye folkis I ſhulde comaunden, and al þe world hadde ſogetid to my comaunding, I wolde not þe mykilneſſe of my power myſuſen, but wiþ mercy and ſofteneſſe gouerne þe ſogetis, þat, wiþ oute any drede ouerpaſſende þe lif in ſilence, þei ſhulden vſe þe pes deſirid to alle deadli men. Me forſoþe ſechende of my counſeileris, hou þat myȝte be fulfild, oon, þat in wiſdam and feiþ oþere men paſſide, and was after þe king þe ſeconde, Aaman bi name, tolde to me in al þe world of londis to ben a puple ſcaterid, þat newe ſhulde vſen lawis, and, aȝen þe cuſtum of alle Jentilis doende, þe heſtis of þe kingis diſpiſe, and þe oon acord of diuerſe naciouns wiþ þer deſcencioun defoule. Þe whiche þing whan we hadden lerned, ſeande o folc rebel aȝen alle kinde of men to vſe ſhreude lawis, and to oure heſtis to gon aȝen, and to diſturbe þe pes and þe acord of þe prouyncis ſoget to vs, wee comaundeden, þat who ſo euere Aman, þat is prouoſt to alle prouyncis, and ſecounde fro þe king, and whom in ſtede of a fader wee wrſhipen, ſhal ſhewyn, wiþ wiues and fre childer be þei don awei of þer enemys, and no man haue mercy of þem, þe fourtenþe dai of þe twelfþe moneþ Adar, of þe ȝer preſent; þat wicke men, o dai to helle goende doun, ȝelde to oure empire þe pes, þat þei han diſturbid. Hider to þe ſaumple of þe epiſtil; þoo þingus, þat folewen, after þat place writen I fond, wher is rad, And goende Mardoche dide alle þingus, þat Eſter hadde comaundid to hym; and ner þe latere þei ben not had in Ebru, and anent no man of þe remenoures þei ben vtterli told. Mardoche forſoþe preȝede þe Lord, myndeful of alle his werkis, and ſeide, Lord, Lord, king almyȝti, in þi power alle þingis ben ſet, and þer is not, þat mai wiþſtonde to þy wil; if þou deme to ſauen Irael, anoon wee ſhul be delyuered. Þou madiſt heuene and erþe, and alle þing þat is contened in þe cumpas of heuene. Lord of alle þingus þou art, ne þer is þat wiþſtonde to þi mageſte. Alle þingus þou knewe, and woſt, þat not for pride and ſtrif and any coueitiſe of glorie I do þis, þat I honoure not þe moſt proud Aman; forſoþe gladli for þe helþe of Irael alſo þe ſteppis of his feet I were redi to kiſſe, but I dradde, leſt þe wrſhipe of my God I ſhulde bern ouer to man, and leſt any man I ſhulde honoure out take my God. And now, Lord king, God of Abraham, haue mercy of þi puple, for oure enemys wiln leeſen vs, and þin eritage don awei; ne diſpiſe þou þi part, þat þou haſt aȝeen boȝt fro Egipt. Heere my preȝeere, and merciful be þou to þe lot, and þe litle corde of þin eritage; and turne oure weiling in to ioȝe, þat liuende we preiſe þi name, Lord; and ne cloſe þou þe mouþis of men preiſende þee. And al Irael lic mynde and beſeching criede to þe Lord, for þi þat to hem ſhulde hange in certeyn deþ.

Capitulum XIIII.Edit

Eſter alſo þe quen fleiȝ to þe Lord, dredende þe perile, þat wex aboue. And whan ſhe hadde do doun hir kingus cloþis, ſhe toc couenable cloþis to wepingis and to weiling; and for diuers oynemens wiþ aſkis and drit ſhe fulfilde þe hed, and hir bodi mekide wiþ faſtingus; and alle placis, in þe whiche ſhe was wont to gladen, wiþ to-tering of heris ſhe fulfilde. And ſhe preȝede þe Lord God of Irael, ſeiende, My Lord, þat art king alone, help me ſolitarie, and of whom ſaue þee is noon oþer helpere; my perile is in myn hondis. I haue herd of my fader, þat þou ſhuldeſt han taken Irael fro alle Jentilis, and oure fadris fro alle þer more behinde, þat þou ſhuldiſt welde þe euermor durende eritage; and þou didiſt to hem, as þou ſpeke. Wee han ſynned in þi ſiȝte, and þerfore þou haſt taken vs in to þe hondis of oure enemys; forſoþe wee han heried þe godis of hem. Riȝtwis þou art, Lord; and now it ſuffiſeþ not to þem, þat wiþ moſt hard ſeruyſe þey oppreſſen vs, but, þe ſtrengþe of þer hondis wijtende to þe power of maumetis, wiln chaunge þin heſtis, and don awei þin eritage, and cloſe þe mouþis of men preiſende þee, and quenchen out þe glorie of þe temple and of þin auter, þat þei opene þe mouþis of Jentilis, and preiſe þe ſtrengþe of maumetis, and prechen a fleſhli king in to euermor. Ne take þou, Lord, þi kingus dignete to þem, þat ben not, leſt þei laȝhen at oure falling; but turne þe counſeil of hem vp on hem, and hym þat in vs began to waxe feers, ſcatere. Haue mynde, Lord, and ſheuȝ þee to vs in time of oure tribulacioun; and ȝif to me troſt, Lord, king of Jewis and of alle power; ȝif a ſemeli woord in my mouþ in þe ſiȝte of þe leoun, and ber ouer þe herte of hym in to þe hate of oure enemy, þat and he perſhe, and oþere þat conſenten to hym. Vs alſo deliuere in þin hond, and help me, noon oþer hauende helpe but þee, Lord, þat haſt kunnyng of alle þingis. And þou haſt knowen for I hatide þe glorie of wicke men, and wlate þe bed of vncircumcidide men, and of alle heþene. Þou knowiſt infirmyte and my nede, þat I wlate þe ſigne of pride and of my glorie, þat is vpon myn hed in þe daȝis of my ſhewing, and I wlate it as þe cloþ of þe womman in flux of blod, and I bere not in þe daȝis of my ſilence, and þat I eet not in þe bord of Aman, ne to me pleſide þe feſte of þe king, and I dranc nott win of ſacrifiſes; and neuere gladide þin hond womman, ſiþen hider I am tranſlatid vnto þe preſent dai, but in þee, Lord God of Abraham. Strong God ouer alle, heere þe vois of hem, þat noon oþer hope han, and delyuere vs fro þe hond of wicke men, and pul out me fro my drede.

Þeſe þingus alſo addid I fond in þe comun tranſlacioun.

And no doute þat Mardoche ſente to hir, þat Eſter ſhulde gon in to þe king, and preȝe for hir puple, and for hir kuntre. Myndeful, he ſeiþ, be þou of þe daȝes of þi mecneſſe, hou þou art nurſhid in myn hond; for Aman, ordeined þe ſecounde of þe king, ſpac aȝen vs in to deþ; and þou inwardli clep þe Lord, and ſpec to þe king for vs, and deliuere vs fro deþ.

Alſo and þeſe þingus, þat ben vnderleid, in þe comun tranſlacioun I fond.

Capitulum XV.Edit

Forſoþe þe þridde dai ſhe dide doun þe cloþis of hir enournyng, and hir owne glorie is don aboute. And whan wiþ þe kingis abite ſhe ſchyned, and inwardli hadde clepid þe Gouernour of alle þingus and ſauere God, ſhe toc two ſeruauntes, and vp on þe oon forſoþe ſhe lenede, as for delicis and ful myche tenderneſſe not ſuffrynde to bern hir owne bodi; þe toþer forſoþe of þe dameſelis folewede þe ladi, berende vp þe cloþys flowende doun in to þe erþe. She forſoþe þurȝſhed þe chere wiþ roſe colour, and freeli, and wiþ briȝte eȝen ſhe couerede þe dreri inwit, and drawe togidere wiþ ful myche drede. Þanne ſhe gon in alle þe doris bi ordre, ſtod aȝen þe king, wher he ſat vp on þe ſee of his regne, cloþid wiþ kingus cloþis, and ſhinende wiþ gold and precious ſtones; and he was ferful in ſiȝte. And whan he hadde rerid vp þe face, and wiþ brennende eȝen þe wodneſſe of þe breſt hadde ſhewid, þe quen fel doun; and þe colour chaungid in to paleneſſe, þe weeri hed vpon þe hond maide ſhe bowide doun. And God turnede þe ſpirit of þe king in to debonerneſſe, and heeȝende and dredende he ſtirte out of þe ſee; and ſuſtenende hir wiþ his armys, to þe tyme ſhe turnede aȝeen to hirſelf, wiþ þeſe woordis gloſide, What haſt þou, Eſter? I am þi broþer; wile þou not drede, þou ſhalt not die; forſoþe not for þee, but for alle þis lawe is ordeyned. Cum hider þanne, and touche þe kingus ȝerde. And whan ſhe heeld hir pes, he toc þe kingus ȝerde, and putte vp on hir necke, and kiſte hir, and ſeiþ, Whi to me ſpekiſt þou not? Þe whiche anſwerde, I ſaȝ þee, lord, as þe angil of God, and myn herte is diſturbid for drede of þi glorie; forſoþe, lord, þou art gretli merueilous, and þi face is ful of gracis. And whan he ſpac, eft ſhe fel doun, and uttirli ſwounede. Þe king forſoþe was diſturbid, and alle his myneſtris coumfortiden hym.

Þe ſaumple of þe epiſtil of king Artaxerſes, þat for þe Jewis he ſente to alle þe prouyncis of his reume; þe whiche and it is not had in Ebrue volume.

Capitulum XVI.Edit

Artaxerſes, þe grete king, fro Ynde vnto Eþiope, of an hundrid and ſeuene and twenti prouyncis, to dukis and princis, þat to oure comaunding obeſhen, ſeiþ greeting. Manye þe goodneſſe of princis and wrſhipe, þat in to hem is ȝiuen, han mys vſid in to pride; and not onli enforcen to opreſſe þe ſogetis to þe king, but þe glorie ȝiue to hem not berende, in to þem þat ȝiuen waiten aſpies; ne ben not paȝid to not do gracis to benefetis, and defoule þe riȝtus of humanyte in to þem; but alſo demen hemſelf to moun flee þe ſentence of God demende alle þingus. And in ſo myche to wodneſſe breken out, þat to hem þat beſili kepen þe offis taken to hem, and ſo alle þingus don, þat þei ben wrþi þe preiſing of alle men, wiþ þe priue and ſotile flateringus of leſingus þei enforſen to turne vp ſo doun, whil þe ſymple eris of princis and of þer kinde oþer men eymende wiþ fel gile deſceyuen. Þe whiche þing and of olde ſtories is proued, and of þeſe þingus þat ben don eche dai; hou bi euele ſogeſtiouns of ſumme men þe ſtudies of kingus ben depraued. Wherfore it is to purueye to þe pes of alle prouyncis. Ne ȝee ſhul not wene, if diuers þingus we comaunde, to come of liȝtneſſe of oure inwit; but for qualite and neceſſite of tymes, as þe profit of þe comun þing aſkeþ, to do ſentence. And þat ȝee more openli vndirſtonde þat wee han ſeid; Aaman, þe ſone of Amadaþi, wille and kinrede of Macedo, and alien fro þe blod of Perſis, and oure pite wiþ his cruelte defoulende, a pilgrim is taken of vs; and ſo myche humanyte expert in hymſelf, þat oure fader he were clepid, and honoured of alle men þe ſecounde after þe king; þe whiche in ſo myche ſwelling of pride is born, þat he enforcide to priuen vs þe reume and ſpirit. For Mardoche, bi whos feiþ and benefetis wee liuen, and þe felawe of oure reume Eſter, wiþ al hir folc, wiþ newe maner and vnherd engynes ful out aſkide in to deþ; þeſe þingus þenkende, þat, hem ſlain, he ſhulde aſpie to oure onlihed, and þe reume of Perſis to ouerbern in to Macedoynes. Wee forſoþe outerli finden in no blame þe Jewis, ordeyned to deþ of þe werſte man of deadli men; but aȝeenward vſende riȝte lawis, and þe ſones of þe heȝeſt, and þe moſte, and euermor liuende God, þurȝ whos benefet and to oure fadris and to vs þe reume ys taken, and vnto to dai is kept. Wherfore þo lettris, þat vnder oure name he ȝaf forþ, witeþ to ben as none. For þe whiche hidous gilte befor þe ȝatis of þis cite, þat is, Suſis, and he þat caſte, and al his kinrede, hangeþ in iebetis; not vs, but God to hym ȝeldende þat he deſeruede. Þis forſoþe maundement, þat wee now ſenden, in alle cites be purpoſid, þat it be leful to Jewis to vſe þer lawis. To whom ȝee ſhul be to helpe, þat þo men, þe whiche hemſelf to þer deþ hadden maad redi, þei moun ſlen, þe fourtenþe dai of þe twelfþe moneþ, þat is clepid Adar; þis forſoþe dai of ſorewe and of weiling þe Almyȝti God turnede to hem in to ioȝe. Wherfore and ȝee among oþer feſte daȝis þis dai haueþ, and halewiþ it wiþ alle gladneſſe; and herafter alle men knowe, þat feiþful obeſhen to Perſis, for feiþ to take wrþi mede; þei forſoþe þat waiten to þe regne of hem, to perſhe for þe hidous gilte. Eche forſoþe prouynce and cite, þat wil not of þis ſolempnete ben parcener, bi ſwerd and fyr perſhe he; and ſo be he don awei, þat not onli to men but to beſtis wiþ oute wei be in to euer mor, for exſaumple of diſpiſing and vnobeiſaunce.

Explicit.