Bible (Early Wycliffe)/Prologue to þe Books of Eſdras

Wycliffe's Bible
Prologue to þe Books of Eſdras

Prologue to þe Books of EſdrasEdit

Now bigynneþ þe proloog on þe þree bookis of Eſdre.

Wheþer it be hardere to do þat ȝee aſken, or to denyen, I haue not ȝyt demed; for nouþer to ȝou any þing comaundende is of ſentence to forſaken, and þe gretneſſe of charge put vpon oure nollis bereþ doun, þat raþere it be to fallen doun vndir þe berþene, þan to reren. Þe ſtudies of enuyouſe men neȝhen to þis, þat alle þing þat we wryten, weenen repref wrþi, and oþer while concience repugnende aȝen hemſelf, opinli þei to-tern þat þei reden priueli; in ſo myche þat I am conſtreyned to crien, and ſein, Lord, deliuere my ſoule fro wicke lippis, and fro a trecherous tunge. Þe þridde ȝer is þat euer mor ȝee wrijten and aȝeen wrijten, þat þe boc of Eſdre and Eſter I tranſlate to ȝou fro Ebrue, as þof ȝee han not Grekis and Latynes volumus, or what euere þing þat is þat of vs is turned, not anon of alle men it be to be diſpiſid. In vein forſoþe, as ſeiþ ſum man, to enforcen, ne oþer þing in trauailing ſechen but hate, is of vttermoſt wodneſſe. And ſo, I beſeche ȝou, my derworþeſt Domynyon and Rogacian, þat ȝe apaȝed bi priuat leſſoun, ber not out þe bokiſin to comun, leſt ȝee profre metis to vggli men; and eſchewe ȝee þe pride of hem, þat onli to demen of oþere, and þei þemſelue knewen no þing to do. If any forſoþe of breþern ben, to whom ouren diſpleſen not, to þem ȝiueþ a ſaumpler, amoneſtende þat þe Ebrue namus, of þe whiche in þis volume is gret plente, diſtinctli and bi ſpacis þei tranſcryue; forſoþe no þing it profitide to han amendid bokis, but þe amending be kept bi diligence of writeris. Ne any man moue it, þat o boc is maad of vs, ne delite he in þe ſweuenes of þe writen þingus wiþoute autorite of þe þridde and of þe ferþe boc; for and anentis þe Ebrues þe woordis of Eſdre and of Noemye in o volume ben togidere drawen, and þoo þingus þat ben not had anentis hem, ne ben not of þe foure and twenti olde men, ben worþi to be caſt awei aferr. If any man forſoþe aȝen legge to vs þe ſeuenti remenoures, of whom þe ſaumpleris þe diuerſete ſhewiþ hem to-torn and turned vpſodoun, ne forſoþe it mai not ben afermed ſoþ þat þat is diuers, ſendeþ hym to þe euangelies, in þe whiche many þingus ben put of þe olde teſtament, þe whiche anent þe ſeuenti remenoures ben not had, as þat, For Nazare he ſhal ben clepid; and, Fro Egipt I clepede my ſone; and, Þey ſhul ſeen in whom þei pungeden; and manye oþere þingus, þe whiche we reſeruen to a braddere werc; and aſkeþ of hym, where þei ben writen; and whan þei ſchul not moun tellen, rede ȝee of þoo ſaumpleris, þe whiche, ſum time maad of vs, ben ſtikid eche dai wiþ þe tungus of euele ſpekeris. But þat to ſhort tretee I come; certis þat I am to concluden is moſt riȝtwiſ; haue I maad any þing þat is not had in Greec, or þat oþerwiſe is had þan off me is turned? Wherto þe remenour þei to-tern? Aſke þei þe Ebrues, and bi þoo autouris, to my tranſlacioun or ȝiue þei feiþ or wiþdrawe. Certis anoþer is, for þei wiln myſſein to me, þat it is ſeid, wiþ cloſid eȝen, and þei folewen not þe ſtudie and þe weel willing of Greekis, þe whiche aftir þe ſeuenty remenoures, now ſhinende þe euangelie of Criſt, and curiouſli reden Jewis and Hebionytis, remenoures of þe olde lawe, Aquilam, þat is, Symachum, and Theodocian, and bi þe trauaile of Origenes þei halewiden to chirchis in ſixe maner tranſlaciouns. Myche more Latin men aȝten to be kinde, þat þei beholden Grece gladende of hem any þing to borewen. Þe firſte forſoþe is of gret coſtis and of difficulte wiþoute ende, to moun han alle þe exſaumpleriſ; alſo þeraftir þei þat han, and ben vnkunnende of Ebrue ſpeche, more ſhuln erren, vnknowende who of manye trewliere ſeiþ. Þe whiche alſo fel ſum time to a moſt wis man amongis þe Grekis, þat oþerwhile leuende þe ſens of ſcripture he folewide þe errour of eche remenour. Wee forſoþe þat nameli of Ebru tunge han a litil kunnyng, and Latin ſpeche ȝit hider to failiþ not to vs, þat of oþere more we moun demen, and þoo þingus þat wee vſſelf vnderſtonden, in oure owne tunge ſhewin. And ſo þof þe ſerpentt hiſſe and þe ouercomere if he þrowe not brennyngus vp, neuer my ſpeche ſhal be ſtille, Criſt helpende; alſo þe tunge kut of it ſhal blaberen. Rede þei þat wiln; þat wiln not, caſte þei awei. And ſerche þei out þe letteris, and falſli acuſe þei þe lettriſ; more bi ȝoure charite I ſhal ben ſtirid to ſtudie, þan I ſhal ben agaſt bi þe hate and þe bacbiting of hem.

Anoþer PrologEdit

Eſdras and Neemye, helpere, þat is, and coumfortour fro þe Lord, in o volume ben drawen. Þei enſtoren þe temple; þe wallis of þe cite þei maken vp. And al þat cumpanye of þe puple turnende aȝeen in to þe kuntre, and þe deſcripcioun of preſtus, and of Leuitus, and of þe conuertide to þe folc of Irael, and by alle þe meynes of þe wallis and touris þe werkis deuidid, oþer þing bern in þe rinde, oþer þing þey holdin in þe marȝ. Þis aftir Jude brend vp of þe Caldeis, whil þe Jewis weren turned aȝeen into Jeruſalem, alle þe bokis of þe olde teſtament reparaileide, and enſpirid wiþ Godis Spirit alle þe volumys of profetis, þat weren of þe Jentilis corupt amendide; wherfore it is writen, Eſdras ſteȝide vp fro Babiloyne, and he a ſwift ſcribe in þe lawe of Moiſes, ſwift, þat is, for more redi figuris of lettris, þan þe Ebrues beforhond hadden, he fond.