Book Of Tobias

BOOK OF TOBIAS: EXPLANATORY NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: CA: Gower, Confessio Amantis; CM: Cursor mundi; CT: Chau­cer, Canterbury Tales; DBTEL: A Dic­tionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature, ed. Jeffrey; HS: Peter Comes­tor, Historia Scholastica, cited by book and chapter, followed by Patrologia Latina column in paren­theses; K: Kalén-Ohlander edition; MED: Middle English Dictionary; NOAB: New Oxford Annotated Bible; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; OFP: Old French Paraphrase, British Library, MS Egerton 2710, cited by folio and column; Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Pro­verbial Phrases; York: York Plays, ed. Beadle. For other abbreviations, see Textual Notes.

Unlike the preceding book of Job, the book of Tobias (or Tobit) can be found paraphrased by Comestor in HS, though it is uncertain if the poet truly used Comestor as a source for this section of his text. For instance, whereas HS dutifully follows the Bible (Tobias 3:7–17) in introducing Raguel’s daughter Sarah and her torments at the hands of the demon Asmodeus between Tobit’s prayer and Tobit’s instruction to Tobias concerning the monies left in Media, the Paraphrase omits Sarah until after Tobias has left home. The result is a more streamlined and focused text, unwaveringly following the actions of father and son. Also of note: there are significant differences between the Vulgate text of Tobias and that found in many other versions of the Bible, like the NRSV. The latter version, for instance, has the book partially told from the first-person point of view of Tobit, whereas the Para­phrase joins HS and the Vulgate in keeping to third-person. Other points of difference can be found within the explanatory notes below. Regarding the non-Vulgate order of pre­senting Tobias immediately following Job, Morey characterizes both main characters as men “tried by God” (Book and Verse, p. 152).

15227–28 To love God lowd and styll, / what soynd so He wyll send. The presumed moral — to love God regardless of God’s actions toward you — is especially poig­nant given the ordering of the books in the Paraphrase: surely no better exam­ple of such humility under discussion can be had than Job (lines 14531–32), which the poet echoes here.

15331 Sevyn hunderth and twenty libras weyd thei. The weight of the ten talents left with Gabael is not given in the Bible or HS; it apparently derives from the Catholicon men­tioned in line 15336.

15336 Catholicon. K notes (1:cxciii) that these facts cannot be found in the 1483 Catholicum Anglicum. Compare Liljegren, Review of A Middle English Metrical Paraphrase, p. 228.

15404 to werke his wyll. Compare line 15495. One central topic of the story is the seeking of a way to work one’s will (effect one’s desire). Gower hits on the same idea, noting that, once Tobias and Sarah complete their prayers, “Tho­­bie his wille hadde” (CA 7.5361).

15440 swolws nest. In certain translations of Tobias 2:10 (e.g., NRSV), the birds are sparrows. HS Tob. 1 (1433) agrees with the Vulgate, however, in having a swallow’s nest (ex nido hirundinum).

15469–70 This wo I wott I am worthy / for weked werkes that I have wroyght. The humility of Tobit’s response demands comparison with the preceding book of Job, a connection made explicitly in HS Tob. 1 (1433). See explanatory note to lines 15227–28.

15661–68 A lytyll hund . . . wold stably with hym stand. K notes (4:53) that “the dog has caught the poet’s fancy in a way that has no correspondence in the Bible.” Indeed, Tobias 6:1 notes only that when Tobias goes to the river Tigris “the dog followed him.” HS Tob. 1 (1434) adds little more. The poet seems to be building on the intimate portrayal of the dog at 11:9 of the Vulgate (this latter verse lacks the dog in some traditions; see, e.g., NRSV), here paral­leled in lines 16209–12 and 16219–20, which corresponds to HS Tob. 1 (1436): “Tunc praecurrit canis, qui simul fuerat in via, et quasi nuntius ad­veniens blandimento suae caudae gaudebat.”

15767 or thei neghed hyr nere. The phrase, appearing similarly at line 15944, is rather blunt and to the point. MED (neighen, v.1, 7a) gives such definitions as “have sexual intercourse with” and “impregnate.” But a glance at the other examples listed points out the “dirtiness” with which the word is often used, a crudity that certainly fits well with the context here. A better gloss, then, might be “before they fucked her” since it drives home both the moral and physical implications of the act.

15791–92 Thus dyd scho days thre / withoutyn drynke or mette. These details, which appear in the Vulgate (3:10), are missing from some versions of the Bible (e.g., NRSV).

15833 maw. Rather than the fish’s stomach, Tobias 6:5 gives the third portion as the liver.

15913–36 Raphael’s instructions to Tobias are far more detailed from those found in the Bible. His somewhat amusing explanation that the smoke and stench is the active agent driving away the demon, for instance, has no parallel in 6:19, which makes no effort to provide a realistic mechanism for such a super­natural event.

16063 That the couple decides together (following Raphael’s advice to Tobias) to spend their first three nights together in prayer before they consummate the marriage is found in the Vulgate (Tobias 8:4), which is followed by HS Tob. 1 (1435). It is absent, however, in some other versions (e.g., NRSV).

16209–20 See the explanatory note to lines 15661–68.

16303–04 K notes “the humorously popular style sometimes affected by the poet” in these lines (4:70).

16381–88 Something has clearly gone wrong somewhere in the textual tradition. Line 16388 tells us that Tobit lived to be 102, a fact confirmed by Tobias 14:2. We are also told in lines 16381–86, however, that he went blind at the age of seventy and remained blind for fifty-three years, after which he could see for another forty-two, making him an entirely contradictory 165 years old when he died. The num­bers in Tobias 14:1–3, on the other hand, add up correctly: Tobit lost his sight at fifty-six, gained it back at sixty, and had forty-two years of restored sight before his death at 102. L is no help here, as it agrees with the numbers in S with the ex­ception of Tobit’s age when he lost his sight: rather than sixty, L reads an even more unlikely seventeen. So the error lies somewhere behind both existing texts of the Paraphrase, an unsurprising fact given the dis­crep­ancies even in bib­lical texts concerning his age — NRSV gives the age at which he lost his eyesight as sixty-two, while still others read fifty-eight. HS Tob. 1 (1437–38) gives 56.

16434 That Tobias died at the age of ninety-nine is consistent with both Tobias 14:14 and HS Tob. 1 (1438). Other authorities give different numbers however: e.g., the AV gives 127, and the NRSV gives 117.


BOOK OF TOBIAS: TEXTUAL NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: L: MS Longleat 257; H: Heuser edition (partial); K: Kalén-Ohlander edition; O: Ohlander’s corrigenda to K; P: Peck edition (partial); S: MS Selden Supra 52 (base text for this edition).

15217 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 140r): Thobie.
15217, 19 Lines indented to leave space for an initial capital; first letter of line 15217 writ­ten in the middle of the space.
15217 trew. So L, K. S omits.
we. S: e inserted above the line.


15223 kynred. S: r inserted above the line.

15224 connyng. S: n2 inserted above the line.

15250 foylies. S: i inserted above the line.

15254 or. So L, K. S: r of.

15255 cum furth. S: written above canceled comforth.

15269 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 140v): Toby.
went withoutyn. S: written twice, neither canceled.


15277 Ana, as. So L, K. S: Analas.

15278 hyre. S: corrected from here.

15302 gold. So L, K. S: gald.
gyfyn. So L, K. S: yfyn.


15313 the. So L, K. S omits.

15317 not sese. So L, K. S: no se.

15325 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 141r): Toby.

15326 wherfor. So L, K. S: whefor.

15339 therto. S: ther inserted above the line.

15385 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 141v): Thoby.

15395 of. So L, K. S: on.

15436 of swylke werke. So L, K. S: swylke were.

15441 eyelyddes. S: hee eye liddes.

15443 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 142r): Thoby.
brydes. So K. S: byrdes, but compare line 14422, bryth. L: birds.


15452 ded. So L, K. S: dyd.

15462 he. So L, K. S omits.

15477 dysesse. So L, K. S: hym dysessed.

15479 That. So L, K. S: þei.
them. S: inserted above hym.


15480 then. So L, K. S: þou.

15484 in. So L, K. S: an.

15488 feche. So L, K. S: seche.

15499 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 142v): Thoby.
myn. S: nyn myn.


15504 lorn. S: for lorn.

15508 to. S: inserted above the line.
the lordes that. So L, K. S: þat lordes.


15513 I. So L, K. S: he.

15517 sone. So L. S: sone sun. K: sun.

15518 a. So L, K. S: I.

15550 tyll. So L, K. S: tyll þat.

15556 to take. So L, K. S: tyll takent.

15557 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 143r): Thobie.

15568 leyn. S: inserted above canceled leuyt.

15573 saw unsoght. So L, K. S: sone hym soght.

15574 the. So L, K. S: to.

15595 then. S: corrected from þem.
me to. So L, K. S: vn to me to, with vn inserted above the line.


15604 prove. S: pr proue.

15605 it. So L, K. S: he.

15613 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 143v): Thoby.

15619 I. So L, K. S: he.

15626 me. So L, K. S omits.

15637 The. S: An þe.

15653 them. So L, K. S: þen.

15658 moyder. So L, K. S: his moyder.

15665 hym. So L, K. S: þem.

15666 he. So L, K. S omits.

15671 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 144r): Thoby.

15689 mowrne. S: w inserted above the line.

15716 falys. S: y inserted above the line.

15727 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 144v): Thoby.

15750 on. So L, K. S: of.

15766 worthy. So L, K. S, O: worthly.

15769 the. So L, K. S omits.

15770 swylke. S: swylke swylke.

15772 in. So L, K. S omits.
them. So L, K. S: þan.


15774 she. So K. S: he. L omits.
not fare. So L, K. S: no ferre.


15775 sevyn husbandes dy. L, K: VII husbandes dy. S: þi husbandes VII be.

15778 foles. So L, K. S: felos.

15781 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 145r): Thoby.

15782 hyr. S: inserted above canceled yt.

15814 whyls thei. So L, K. S: whyls þat þei.

15831 Undoo. So L, K. S: vnder.

15833 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 145v): Thoby.

15835 Salt. So L, K. S: Salt of.

15846 thei. So L, K. S: þi.
medsyn. So S. L: medicyn. K: medcyn.


15872 outt. So S, L. K: out.

15875 for. So L, K. S: furth.

15876 that. S: y that.

15884 wold. So L, K. S: wold þat.

15887 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 146r): Thoby.
than. S: euyn þan.


15894 thi. So L, K. S: þe.

15904 scherwes. So K. S: scherwrs. L: shrews.

15906 weddyng. So L, K. S omits.

15908 that. So L, K. S omits.

15914 graydly. So S. L: grathly. K: gradly.
go. So L, K. S: lyge.


15916 non. So L, K. S: no.

15941 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 146v): Thoby.

15949 dede. So L, K. S: dele.

15950 course. So L, K. S: coure.

15955 enogh. S: enoght.

15985 Sen. So L, K. S omits.

15989 ys. S: inserted above canceled is.

15991 Then. S: inserted above canceled Our cosyn.
ferleys. So L, K. S: felows.


15997 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 147r): Thoby.
ever. S: inserted above canceled neuer.


16012 maryed. S: y inserted above the line.

16014 he wold not. So L, K. S omits.

16023 of. So L, K. S: on.

16033–36 Lines 16033–34 and 16035–36 are transposed in S, but marked for cor­rec­tion in the margin.

16049 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 147v): Thoby.

16060 hyr. So L, K. S omits.
his. So L, K. S: þis.


16069 hend. So L, K. S: hand, corrected from hond.

16070 maw. S: inserted above canceled mawys.

16080 noyght. So L, K. S: and noy3t.

16082 angel. So L, K. S: Ange.

16085 Asmodeus. So L, K. S: Asmodus.
at. So L, K. S: a.


16101 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 148r): Thoby.

16102 thei knaw. S: was þei knew knaw.

16105 then. S: thens.

16107 forto. So L, K. S: for.

16115 Go. So L, K. S: To.

16119 Thoby. So L, K. S omits.

16123 wele. S: inserted above canceled weld.

16126 all ther. So L, K. S: all þat þer.

16141 made. So L, K. S omits.

16154 lete. S: inserted above canceled lett.

16156 fader. So L, K. S omits.

moyder. So L, K. S: hyr moyder.


16157 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 148v): Thoby.

16165 nete. So L. S, K: nawte.

16166 and. So L, K. S omits.

16172 when. S: letter (m?) canceled before.

16174 in werld. So L, K. S: inwardly.

16182 in. So L, K. S omits.

16184 parfytt. S: rr parfytt.

16205 eyne. S: weyne.

16213 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 149r): Thoby.

16215 wrast. So L, K. S: wratht.

16218 moght. S: t inserted above the line.

16247 wentt. S: went wentt.

16269 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 149v): Thoby.

16270 ryches. So L, K. S: ryche.

16276 had spede. S: inserted above canceled was wede.

16286 untyll. S: vn- written above canceled þer.

16289 syne. So L, K. S: sone.

16298 his. So L, K. S: hyr.

16303 weyne. S: may weyne.

16304 qwer. S: inserted above canceled qwyl.
stewerd. So L, K. S: stewer.


16312 to. So L, K. S: two.

16315 we. S: we l.

16324 has. S: has P.

16325 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 150r): Thoby.

16326 ar grayd. So L, K. S: agrayd.

16336 ye. S: letter (I?) canceled before.

16365 beforne. So L, K. S: before.

16367 that. S: inserted above the line.

16375 kepe. So L, K. S omits.

16379 then. So L, K. S: þe.

16381 sevynty. So L, K. S: seynty. See explanatory note to lines 16381–88.

16383 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 150v): Thoby.

16388 in. So L, K. S: and.

16398 that. S: fro þat.

16409 agayn. So L, K. S: agayn agayn.

16410 send. S: inserted above the line.

16412 that. So L, K. S: of.
be. So L, K. S: to be.


16422 were then. So L, K. S: vnto.
so were. So L, K. S: þen ere.


16441 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 151r): Hester.
 
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Book Of Tobias



 
THOBIE.
 

 
[TOBIT’S BACKGROUND, FAMILY, AND CHARITY (1:1–22)]
 




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1269.
Of trew Thoby now tell wyll we,
   of whom the word hath went full wyd,
How he was born in Galalé,
   a cuntré nere the est seesyd,
And noryscht in a ryche cyté
   that Neptalym was named that tyde;
And of that same kynred come he,
   als connyng clerkes hath clarefyde.
Who wyll take tent ther tyll
   by this tale may be kend
To love God lowd and styll,
   what soynd so He wyll send.

1270.
Jeroboam we have herd tell
   of the Ebrews was crowned kyng,
And all the land of Israel
   had he to led at his lykyng.
And whyls he wold with God dwell,
   he had welth of all werdly thyng;
Bot sythyn in fowle folys he fell,
   so dyd his pepyll, old and yyng.
He made them calfys of gold
   and sayd tho myght them mend,
Bot sythyn that bargan bold
   broyght hym to have yll end.

1271.
Jeroboam wyll we leve at hame
   and nevyn another nere therby.
Salmanaser was his name,
   and he was kyng of all Assery.
Als Jeroboam dyd, he used the same,
   maynteinyng his men in mawmentry.
Therfor gud folke he shent with schame,
   bot God saved His servant Toby.
Thys ylk Kyng Salmanaser,
   his foylies to fulfyll,
Wold wyt yf any were
   that wold not werke his wyll.

1272.
He commawnd all men lese and mare
   that hym with sewt or servyce soght
That thei suld cum furth hym before
   and wrschep goddes that he had wroght.
Bot Toby kyn wold not come thore,
   therfor in bondag were thei broyght.
And he, all yf he yongest wore,
   ever wrschept God with wyll and toyght.
He fled fro his enmys
   to Jerusalem in hye
And made therfor sacrafyce
   to God Allmightye.

1273.
The kyng of wyll was so otrayge,
   all tho that wold groch hym agayn,
All wore yt man or woman or page,
   he commawnd that thei suld be slayn.
Then Toby went withoutyn wage,
   to bery them he was full bayn,
And all that lyfes of his lynag
   forto dyffend was he full fayn.
Bot sone fro frendes he fled
   of ferre for dred of dede,
And thore a wyf he wede
   comyn of his awn kynred.

1274.
That wyfe heyght Ana, as I herd say,
   that ever in hyre trewth was trew,
And unto God so con thei pray.
   scho bayre a sun semly of hew.
The fader, that lyfyd by Moyses Lay,
   wold make his sun aftur hym to sew
And named hym Toby; then ware thei
   two of an name, both old and new.
The fader with luf and aw
   lernd hym, whyls he was yyng,
To lyfe by Moyses Law
   and luf God over all thyng.

1275.
Sythyn was the kyng assent certayn,
   ryght evyn als God wold that yt were,
That Toby suld com home agayn
   and have his sted and all his store.
Of that fayre was his frendes full fayn,
   and Toby ordand fast therfore.
So was he putt in power playn
   als mekyll os he ever was before.
The kyng commawnd to loke
   that he had his all hale,
And unto hym he toke
   tresour withoutyn tale.

1276.
When Thoby thus had gettyn grace
   and gold was gyfyn hym grett plenté,
He went abowt fro place to place
   to cumforth folke of his cuntré.
And no spense spared he in that space
   to tho that ware thrall to make them free.
Tho folk ware fayn to folow his trace,
   for all that sorow had socurd he.
He beryd all that ware ded
   whore he them fand before;
Into the provynce of Mede,
   and thus befell yt thore,

1277.
In the rych cyté of Rages,
   a frend of his before he fand
That lely lyfyd withoutyn lese.
   Than had he lorn both lyth and land.
Toby hym saw and myght not sese,
   bot for his sake he was sorowand
And bed his comforth to encrese
   at his power with hert and hand.
Gabell heyght that gud man
   that was so stratly sted.
Tyll Thoby told he than
   how his land was layd in wede,

1278.
And he had noyght therfor to pay,
   wherfor he trowd yt forto tyne.
Then to Toby thus con he say,
   “Ser, save me and yt sall be thine.”
Thor Toby toke to hym that day
   ten talentes of gold fayr and fyne.
Sevyn hunderth and twenty libras weyd thei
   forto be wayred in wax and wyne.
For ylke talent of tho,
   forto tell by trew payse,
Weyd twenty libras and two;
   Catholicon yt so says.

1279.
This gud toke Toby to Gabell
   by sewrty mad betwyx them two,
And Gabell sett therto his seall
   by wyttenesyng of mony moo.
Both in ther law thei ware full lele,
   as afturward was fundun so.
Than wund Thoby with werdly wele
   and warescht all that ware in wo.
And so betyd that tyd,
   als God ordand therfore,
Kyng Salmanaser dyed
   and past with payns sore.

1280.
When Salmanaser so was deyd
   and broyght unto his bereyng bowne,
Hys sun Senacheryb on hed
   resayved the kyngdom and the crowne.
Tho that the fader with wekyd red
   mad to be ponyschyd in presown,
The sun wold byd no bettur bede,
   bot bad that men suld dyng them down.
So ware full mony slayn
   of Ebrews old and yyng,
And Toby was full bayn
   at bere them to bereyng.

1281.
When the kyng herd that he dyd so,
   he had no daynteth of that dede.
He commawnd that men suld hym slo
   and all that Ebrews lyf con lede.
Bot Toby was wernd of that wo
   and conseld forto flee for dred.
So was he fayn to flytt them fro;
   his wyfe and his sun with hym yede.
And allway was he bowne
   to helpe all that had nede,
And namly his nacion
   both forto cloght and fede.

1282.
The kyng persewyd with payns strang
   all Ebrews kynd, wher he them kend,
That to his fals goddes wold not gang
   to wrschep them with hert and hend.
Therfor God wold not suffer hym lang
   in wekyd lyf so forto lend.
He mad hym with his warkes wrang
   at pase to wo withoutyn end:
With his suns was he slayn.
   Than be commun acorde
Was Thoby gettyn agayn
   and of hys guddes restored.
 

Tobit; (t-note)
fame
Galilee
eastern seaside (i.e., Dead Sea)
brought up
Naphtali
family (the Naphtali); (t-note)
(t-note)
Whoever will also listen
shown
publicly and privately; (see note)
whatever message








then in foul foolishness








mention; near
Shalmaneser
Assyria

idolatry
destroyed


follies; (t-note)
know




suit; (t-note)


Tobit’s family

even if


haste





work against him
Regardless if it were; child

payment; (t-note)
ready

glad

of fear for dread of death

own kindred


was called Anna; (t-note)

(t-note)
beautiful of appearance
Mosaic Law
follow
Tobias

fear
taught







home; goods





his [old goods] in full

beyond measure



(t-note)

comfort
expense
slaves
path
succored
buried

[Even]; Media



(t-note)

loyally; lies
lost; people
delay; (t-note)
sorrowful
determined

Gabael
placed in such straits
To
was mortgaged


(t-note)
believed it to be lost; (t-note)




720 pounds weighed; (see note)
converted into

accurate weight
Weighed twenty-two pounds
(see note)


These goods
agreement
seal; (t-note)

loyal
shown clearly
departed; worldly possessions
protected
it happened at that time






burying place
Sennacherib precipitately

Those; wicked counsel
punished in prison
allow; reward
ordered; strike


ready
bear; burial



pleasure

left alive
warned

flee
went
prepared


clothe



wherever he knew of them
go









 
[TOBIT’S CHARITY RESULTS IN HIS BLINDNESS (2:1–10)]
 

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1283.
Then was he sted withoutyn stryf;
   full fayn were all his frendes fre
With his yyng sun and with his wyfe
   and other mo of his awn meneye.
He rewled them by reson ryfe
   and governd them in gud degré
Aftur the law to lede ther lyfe
   and to Goddes bydyng bowsom to be.
So fell on a dere day
   Thoby ordand to make
A fest of gud aray
   for his gud frendes sake.

1284.
Thei had daynthes of drynke and mette;
   he mad them myrth with all his myght.
Hymselfe wold ocupye no sett,
   bot to his sun thus sayd he ryght,
“Gud sun, go loke yf thou may geyte
   any of our lyne to make us lyght,
And bryng them in with us to ete.”
   The chyld to werke his wyll was wyght.
He went and com agayn
   and sayd he fand ryght none
Bot on sodanly slayn
   and levyd lygand alon.

1285.
“And, ser,” he says, “I herd men tell
   that he of myse nothyng had made,
Bot for he was of Israel,
   with fals Phylysteyns was he fade.”
Then Thoby wold no langar dwell.
   He left gud men his geystes to glade.
He and his sun, them two omell,
   toke the body withoutyn bade.
In a howse thei yt hyde
   and mad ther geystes gud chere.
At evyn dewly thei dyd
   to bery yt in best manere.

1286.
Allthof Thoby were well ocupyd,
   yett other wayte to werke hym wo;
And all his counsell thei ascryd
   and in grett teyn thei told hym to,
“This ylk that thou helpes to hyde,
   he had his ded for he dyd so;
And thou was fayn before this tyde
   therfor to flee thi frendes fro.
And yett thou dose the same;
   and bot thou lefe yt soyne,
Thou sall beyr byttur blame
   for dedes that thou has doyne.”

1287.
Bot for oght thei cowth to hym say,
   to bery this ded ay toyght hym best.
And so fell on a somers day,
   when he of swylke werke was werest,
In his howse syd a lytter lay,
   theron he reid hym forto rest.
And thor hym fell a full grett affray:
   abowve hym was a swolws nest.
Als he lyft up his eyelyddes
   to loke agayns the lyght,
Hate fylth of swolows brydes
   fell down and lost his syght.

1288.
This werke was wroyght withoutyn wene,
   for God wold so his pacience prove,
Wheder he wold turn for any teyne
   or to be lastand in hys love.
Sum of his frendes fast con hym meyne,
   and sum to malyce wold hym move.
Thei sayd, “Now is thi servyce sene
   that thou the ded so gladly grove
And dyde grett almus dede
   tyll all folke that wold frayn.
Lett se now in thi nede
   who gyfes thee oght ogayn!”

1289.
Thei say, “We hald them wers then wode —
   and so thiself sall say certayn —
That gyfes away his werldly gud
   and puttes hymself to povert playn.”
Bot Thoby ever full stably stud,
   of ther faygyng he was not fayn.
Ther malyce moved nothyng his mode;
   he loved ay God with all his mayn.
He sayd, “Ye do on myse
   in vayn your speche to spend.
My Lord that sent me this
   has myght me forto mend.

1290.
“This wo I wott I am worthy
   for weked werkes that I have wroyght.
I do me hale in his mercy
   that mad me new when I was noght.”
Thei left hym thore and lett hym lye.
   He thanked God with wyll and toyght.
His wyfe and his sun were redy
   to mend his myrth all that thei moght.
Thus when men have dysesse,
   both kynred and counsayll
That in welth wold them plese
   wyll then full fayntly fayll.
 

(t-note)


own company




it befell

(t-note)



pleasures; food




kin; merry

glad; (see note)

found
one [man]
left lying alone



wrongdoings none

slain
remain
guests to gladden
together
delay


eventide dutifully



Although
others waited
reported it
distress
This man

occasion


unless you stop it soon
bear



could


weariest; (t-note)

arrayed himself
terror
swallow’s
(t-note)

Hateful filth; birds; (t-note)
took


without doubt

sorrow
lasting (faithful)
pity


dead; buried; (t-note)
alms deeds
ask [for it]

anything in return


worse than crazy

worldly possessions


attention; glad; (t-note)

strength
do amiss





know; (see note)

put myself completely


heart and head


(t-note)

(t-note)
(t-note)

 
[TOBIT SENDS HIS SON TOBIAS TO GABAEL (4:1–5:3)]
 





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1291.
Thus was Thoby in langor lent.
   He loved ay God both lowd and styll
Of all the saynd that He to hym sentt,
   and groched never in word ne wyll.
Then on that mone has he ment
   that Gabell borowd of hym by byll.
Therfor he wold that sum man went
   to feche yt and forward to fulfyll.
He cald Thoby hym to,
   his sun, and sayd thus suyn,
“I have errandes to do
   qwylke I wold were wele doyne.”

1292.
The sun answerd full curtasly
   and sayd, “Fader, I am all bown
To werke your wyll, als is worthy,
   bothe nere and fere, in feld and towne.”
The fader was full fayn forthi
   and sayd, “Sun, in my benesowne
All myn entent tell thee sall I,
   take gud reward to my reson.
Sun, Salmanazer the kyng,
   or tyme that thou was born,
He ordand in all thyng
   to have our lynge lorn.

1293.
“Thore saw we mony sakles slayn,
   for of sere sydes thei ware out soght.
To bery them I was full bayn,
   bot to the lordes that lyked noght.
Then forto flee I was full fayn
   tyll all that bale tyll end was broyght.
Then gatt I gud enoght agayn;
   evyn als God wold, so was yt wroyght.
Full yapely then I yode
   abowt to cytes sere
To helpe them that had nede
   and of our nacion nere.

1294.
“And sone aftur thi bryth yt befell
   I fand on in a fare cuntré,
Born of our blod and heyght Gabell.
   In preson herd haldyn was he.
Thore made we menyng uus omell
   how my monay myght make hym free.
Ten talentes con I to hym tell
   to gyf agayn by gud sewrtyé.
He made a lettur lele
   of that payment exprese,
And selyd yt with his seall
   befor full gud wyttenese.

1295.
“That same lettur withoutyn lese
   have I here forto send certayn.
I wott full wele he wyll not sese
   thorwith to make my payment playn.
For I here tell of his encrese,
   how he hath gotyn his gud again.
In a ryche cyté, Rages,
   ys his wonnyng withoutyn trayn.
Thidder wold I that thou wende
   and thou couth ken that place.
That monay now myght mend
   to spend whyls we have space.”

1296.
The sun sayd, “Ser, so God me sayve,
   I wold full gladly do this dede.
Bot aftur that cuntré forto crave
   I wott not whore my spech suld spede.”
“Gud sun,” he sayd, “go seke sum knave
   that wyll wend with thee for his mede,
That thou of hym may helpyng have
   into that land thee forto lede,
And that con understand
   the way tyll ye come thore.”
Thoby went furth and fand
   a fare chyld hym before.
 

remaining in illness
publicly and privately
trials
complained; (t-note)
remembered
Gabael; bill (promissory note)

(t-note)
Tobias
quickly

which; done rightly



ready


very glad therefore
benison
(t-note)

Shalmaneser
before the time

lineage destroyed; (t-note)


innocents
from many sides
bury; prepared
(t-note)


goods enough

promptly; journeyed; (t-note)





birth; (t-note)
a man; (t-note)

prison
among ourselves


firm assurances
legal letter

sealed



without a lie



hear


dwelling without doubt
There I want
know









payment



(t-note)


 
[RAPHAEL WILL GUIDE TOBIAS TO GABAEL (5:4–6:1)]
 



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1297.
Iff he ware fare of flesch and fell,
   no ferly, for God had hym sent,
His awn archangell, Raphell,
   tyll yong Toby to take entent,
And mornyng that was them omell
   forto amend, so has he ment.
He sayd, “I knaw full wele Gabell,
   for to Rages oft have I wentt.”
Yong Toby was fayn than,
   and to his fader he sayd,
“Fader, I have fun a man
   to gang all redy grayd.

1298.
“He says he knaws that cuntré clere
   and the gud man and that same cyté,
And all the way he wyll me lere.”
   Toby sayd, “Sun, God leyn so be!
Bot sen thou says he is so nere,
   pray hym come and speke with me,
So that I may the sothe enquere
   of this that he hath told to thee.”
Yong Thoby saw unsoght
   the angell hym to byd,
And so in he hym broyght
   to his fader bed-syd.

1299.
So als thei stod that bed before,
   the angell thus unto Toby bade,
“Be myrry, man, and mowrne no more,
   bot in thi God thou suld be glad.
All yf thou sytt and sofer sore,
   sone may He seyse thi sorow sade
And to thi state thee wele restore
   to have more hele than ever thou had.”
When the angell thus had sayd,
   yf Thoby febyly ferd,
In hert he was wele payd,
   bot all thus he answerd:

1300.
“What myrth may unto me avayle
   that syttes in derknes evyn and morn?
I byde here blynd as best in bale
   that bettur ware have bene unborn.
All folke I fele now fayntly fayle
   that ware my frendes full fast beforn.
Tho that then com me to consayle,
   now come thei more me forto scorn.
Thus am I sett certayn
   in dole both nyght and day;
Therfor I wold full fayn
   be fro this werld away.”

1301.
The angell sayd, “Thoby, take tent,
   swylk maters may non mend to move.
God hath this seknes to thee sent
   thi pacience so forto prove.
Yf thou Hym love that it has lent
   and be lele lastand in His love,
I hette thee than in hast to hent
   full gud hele to thi sawle behove.”
Thoby sayd, “Graymercy!
   This is full frendly red,
Bot grett hast now have I
   of thyng I wold wore sped.

1302.
“My sun says that thou wyll wend
   and teche hym to the land of Mede.
Thor dwels Gabell, my faythfull frend,
   and unto hym I wold ye yede.”
The angell then with wordes hend
   sayd, “To that land I sall hym lede.
For in Rages thor can I lend,
   and to Gabell than toke I hede.
I sall bryng thi sun ydder
   and sayve hym sownd in qwerte,
To he com agayn hydder.
   This hete I here with hert.”

1303.
Than Thoby says, “Ser, yf thou may
   bryng me my sun withoutyn blame,
I hete thee trewly forto pay
   thi hyre in hand when thou comys hame.
And also, ser, I wold thee pray
   that thou wold tell to me thi name,
That I may, whyls ye dwell away,
   thynk on my sun and on that same.
And thi kyn more and lese
   wold I have in my mynde.
For wele I wott thou ys
   cumyn of full curtase kynd.”

1304.
The angell sayd, “Ser, for certayn,
   now thynke me selcowth of thi saw,
And thi wordes thynke me wroyght in vayn
   by sere resons to red by raw.
I hette to bryng thi sun agayn
   werly and wele withoutyn aw.
Thee nedes no ferther forto frayn
   my kynred, ne my name to knaw.
Bot neverthelese yett,
   ser, to fulfyll thi fantasy,
I reke not who yt wytt:
   my name is Azary.

1305.
“My fader in his lyfe was leve
   to love his lord both lowd and styll.”
Toby says, “Take yt to no greve,
   for sertes I asked yt for non yll.”
He toke them a boyst with that brefe
   that thei suld beyre Gabell untyll,
And sayd, “God sayve yow fro myschefe!
   Wendes now furth when so ye wyll.”
Yong Thoby than kneled down;
   his fader and moyder he prays.
To blese hym were thei bown,
   and so thei wend ther ways.

1306.
A lytyll hund at hame thei had
   that went abowt not bun in band.
What yong Toby unto hym bad
   he wold take hed unto his hand;
And to wend with hym was he glad
   bycause that he hym frendly fand.
In ylka a stede wher thei ware sted
   the hound wold stably with hym stand.
Now leve we Raphaell,
   that yong Thoby furth lede,
And of old Thoby tell,
   that was full stratly sted.

1307.
The moyder drowped ever ylka day
   when scho wyst wele hyr sun was went;
And to Thoby oft con scho say,
   “All our sele has thou fro us sent,
Our sun, that suld us wysch all way
   when we in any bales war bent.
Thou told ther was monay to pay,
   bot other maters has thou ment.
Yt was never for moynay
   that thou so sone suld send
Hym that our beld suld be

1308.
“Alas, that ever thou lerned that lore
   at send our sun so to Gabell!
That man may say, when he comys thore,
   he knaws of thi noyte never a dele.”
Thoby sayd then, “Wyfe, mowrne no more,
   for sertanly all sall be wele.
He sall fynd gud frendes hym before,
   so that he sall no fawtes fele.
I trow withoutyn trayn
   that Goddes angell sall hym lede
And bryng hym save agayn
   full fayre als thei furth yode.”
 

fair; skin
wonder
Raphael
(t-note)
among them; (t-note)
told


glad

found
go; prepared




guide
grant [it] so [to] be; (t-note)


truth

(t-note)
(t-note)






mourn

Even; suffer sorely
end




pleased





live; beast



(t-note)


sadness




pay attention
such matters (complaints)

(t-note)
(t-note)
faithfully loyal
assure


advice

done quickly


(t-note)
guide
Gabael
went
courteous

(t-note)

there
health
Until; here
promise



blemish; (t-note)
promise
wages




family

know you are
courteous (noble) family


(t-note)
I think your speech strange

many; counsel in turn
promise
worldly; fear
question
family


care; knows it
Azaraiah


glad
publicly and privately


box; letter; (t-note)
carry

Journey

prays [for]; (t-note)
bless; ready



dog; (see note)
not bound in confinement
instructed

(t-note)
found; (t-note)
each place; lodged
faithfully


(t-note)
in such straits


drooped
knew well

happiness
direct
with any problems are humbled


money
quickly
comfort



that sent

no part of your troubles
mourn; (t-note)



believe without doubt




 
[ANNA AND THE GOAT (2:19–3:6)]
 




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1309.
Thus mekly mesyd he hyr mode
   and was full fayn hyr forto styll;
And ever he thanked God of all gude
   and of all the saynd He send hym tyll.
The wyf to wefyng craft scho yode
   and wroyght that werke with full gud wyll;
And thorwith fand scho thayr fode
   hyr husband and his folke to fyll.
So in a tyme betyde,
   for monay evyn to marke,
Hyr was gyfyn a yong kyd
   in reward for hyr werke.

1310.
That broyght scho home unto ther mette
   in hope to have gud thanke forthi.
Thoby lay blynd and herd yt blette,
   and in his hert had he grett ferly.
“Bese ware,” he sayd, “both small and grett,
   of that best how ye com ther by.
Yt is not lefull us to ete
   nothyng that falys to felony.
I warn yow yt is full wath
   with stolne fode forto dele.”
Than was the wyfe full wrath,
   and langer hyr lyst not hele.

1311.
Bott out scho brast with byttur brayd
   and sone begane barett to brew.
With a sowre sembland scho sayd,
   “Aftur thi dedes thi saws persew
That trowes that we have thee betrayd,
   whom thou has fun full trest and trew.
And God ware of thi pennans payd,
   thou wold nevyn non swylke note of new.
Bot be thi sawys is seyn,
   aftur this tale is tald,
That thou before has bene
   mystrowand yong and ald.

1312.
“Thou releved all men lese and more,
   now hath thou mornyng to thi mede.
For all folke that thou fed before
   now fyndes thou few thee forto fede.”
When Thoby this herd, his hert was sore,
   bot softly spake he for his spede,
“Sertes, woman, and thou wytty wore,
   thou wold not deme so of my dede.
For yf I wroyght Goddes wyll,
   to welth He wyll me wys,
And all thof I dyd yll,
   He may amend all myse.

1313.
“And, Lord,” he sayd, “sen Thou me wroyght
   to wander in this werld so wyde,
Now in myn eld forsake me noyght,
   bot take entent to me this tyd.
Sen sorows sere ar to me soyght
   with sere assawtes on evere syd,
Vochsave that I myght sone be broyght
   out of this bale that I in byde.
I wott I am worthy
   with more dole to dele,
Bot, Lord, in Thi mercy
   ys all my hope of hele.”
 

calmed
very glad

trials
women’s work she went

thereby she found there food

it happened
(i.e., in lieu of money)
young kid (goat)



food
therefore
heard it bleat
wonder
Beware
beast
lawful
is stolen; (t-note)
dangerous


she desired to keep silent no longer


burst; anger
trouble
bitter countenance

beliefs
found; trustworthy
If; pleased; (t-note)
speak no such words anew
by your words is seen


mistrusting



for your reward

few to feed you

advantage
if you were smart
judge


if instead
sin




old age
heed to me at this time
Since many sorrows
(t-note)

abide
know



 
[SARAH AND THE DEMON (3:7–17)]
 




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1314.
Now in the same tyme so befell,
   als men may rede by resons ryfe:
Sara, the doyghtur of Raguell,
   that aftur was yong Thoby wyfe,
With hyre than dwelled a damsell
   that styrd hyr maystryse oft to stryfe
By tenfull tayles that scho wold tell
   of hyr that lad ever honest lyfe
For sevyn husbandes all sere
   weded that worthy wyyght,
And or thei neghed hyr nere,
   thei ware ded the fyrst nyght.

1315.
And this was the encheson why
   the fend of them had swylke pausté:
Thei wede for lust of lechery,
   and in that sted them strangeld he.
Hyr servant was full fell forthi.
   “Thou sall,” she sayd, “not fare with me
Als thou has done sevyn husbandes dy,
   qwylk I wott wele were wed with thee.”
And clarkes declarys yt thus:
   that fend that foles so fels
Ys named Asmodyus.
   of swylke maters he mels.

1316.
Bot Sara was full sory then
   that hyre servand so to hyr sayd.
Into a prevay place scho wan.
   Ther prevely to God scho prayd:
“Lord God, of whom all gud began,
   Thou bryng me owt of this upbrayd,
Als I never cofuett erthly man
   with me in lust forto be layd.
Have mercy, Lord, on me
   to sese my grevance grette.”
Thus dyd scho days thre
   withoutyn drynke or mette.

1317.
So when thre days tyll end war went,
   full sore wepand withoutyn weyne
To Myghty God hyr mayne scho ment:
   “Lord, sen Thou has ay keped me clene,
Lett never my sawle to syn assent
   bot als Thi servand to be seyne
And to Thi Laws trewly to tent,
   or to take me sone owt of this teyne.”
Thus ware thei sore assayd,
   both Sara and trew Thoby.
Therfor God has purvayd
   to mend them with mercy.
 




afterwards; Tobias’ wife

stirred her mistress
harmful tales
who led
altogether
wedded that worthy person; (t-note)
before they had sex with her; (see note)
dead


explanation; (t-note)
demon; such power; (t-note)
They wedded
place; (t-note)
cruel therefore
(t-note)
[to] die; (t-note)


demon that so killed the fools; (t-note)
Asmodeus
deals


(t-note)
(t-note)
secret; went
privately

reproach
coveted


end
(see note)
food


had passed
weeping without doubt
moan
always; pure

unless; seen
listen
difficulty
sorely tested



 
[TOBIAS AT THE RIVER TIGRIS (6:1–9)]
 

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1318.
To them He sent His archangell
   als a man semand to ther syght.
Bot in ther dole we lett them dwell
   to aftur that we rehers them ryght;
And of yong Thoby wyll we tell,
   how he went with the angell bryght,
And what ferlys to them befell,
   whore thei ware loged in the fyrst nyght.
Thei had harber full gud
   and beld, whyls thei wold abyd,
Evyn fast besyd a flode
   that heyght Tygres that tyde.

1319.
Thor went Thoby to wesch his fete;
   his felow folowd full fast in fere.
A mekyll fysch thore gart hym grette,
   that rose up owt of that ryver.
That it wold lose that chyld yt lette.
   He cald fast, “Azari, com nere!
Bot yf thou helpe my bale to bette,
   this fysch is lyke to lose me here.”
The angell sayd, “Be styll!
   Wherfor is thou dredand?
Take hym boldly by the gyll
   and lay hym up to the land.”

1320.
Als the angell bad he dyd ylk dele;
   ane other craft than he hym kend:
“Undoo his wome warly and wele
   and take hys hert owt in thi hend.
His gall and his maw men may fele
   for medsyns may thei mekyll amend.
Salt the fysche than for thi yele
   furth in our fare forto be spend.”
All this was done in dede,
   and thore thei rest that nyght;
And on the morn thei yede
   the way to Rages ryght.
 


looking like a man
grief
until


marvels
lodged
shelter
protection; (t-note)
river
Tigris


There (into the river); wash his feet
together [with him]
A mighty fish; did him greet

destroy; intended

Unless


fearful
gills



instructed; each part
another; showed him
gut carefully; (t-note)
heart
gall; stomach; eat; (see note); (t-note)
many things
welfare; (t-note)



journeyed

 
[RAPHAEL INSTRUCTS TOBIAS AS THEY JOURNEY (6:10–22)]
 





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1321.
And als thei cayred so in cuntré,
   Thoby sayd, “Tell me, I thee pray,
The vertu of ther thynges thre
   thou bad me yeme yisterday.”
The Angell says, “Thiself sall see
   in what maner thei medsyn may
Both to thi fader and to thee
   and to Sara, als I sall say,
And to hyr fader Raguell,
   that wuns here fast beforn;
For with hym wyll we dwell
   this nyght or els tomorn.

1322.
“Thor be we sted withoutyn stryfe
   and ryght welcom, I wot full wele.
For he has rent and ryches ryfe
   and hape and hele fro hed to heyle.
His doyghtur sall thou take to wyfe
   and be his heyre of ylka dele.
And same sall ye lede your lyfe
   with mekyll myrth at ylka mele.
I undertake to thee
   this forward sall not fayle,
And, ser, than sall thou se
   qwat medsyns may avayle.”

1323.
Thoby than hard and thynkes in hye
   this bargan all tyll end is broyght.
He says, “My brother Azari,
   this is nedlese, nevyn yt noyght.
For of that woman hard have I
   what wo be hyr wedyng was wroyght.
I pray thee, gud felow, forthi:
   putt all swylk thyng outt of thi toyght.
Yt is not myn entent
   forto be weded so sone.
Thynke that we ware for sent,
   that wold I fyrst ware done.

1324.
“This woman that I here thee nevyn
   at fang to fere wold I be fayn.
Bot scho was wed with husbandes sevyn,
   and sodanly all were thei slayn.
And thou hath heyght with stabyll stevyn
   at bryng me to my fader agayn.
Me thynke thou ordance all unevyn
   that wold I were put to slyke payn.
I knaw not that man
   that hyr fader suld be.”
The angell answerd than
   and full sothly sayd he:

1325.
“Thoby,” he sayd, “to me take hed:
   thi fader sall no fawtes fele,
For safe agayn I sall thee lede
   and do his desyre ylka dele.
My spekyng is all for thi spede
   and sal be for thi soveran sele.
For all that weddes with luf and dred
   withoutyn fayle thei sall fare wele:
With lufe both lowd and styll
   to lyf in Goddes Lay,
And with dred to do yll
   both by nyght and day.

1326.
“Of hyr sevyn husbandes wele wott I
   how thei were for done with a fende.
And his ryght name is Asmody;
   he has power swylke scherwes to shende
That weddes for lust of lechery
   and takes weddyng unto non other ende.
For that werke ware thei wele worthy
   furth with that warlow forto wende.
Of thos sevyn was none seyn
   in bed with hyr to be.
So God has keped hyr cleyne
   to be weded with thee.

1327.
“Therfor take kepe to my counsayle,
   and styth than sall thou graydly go.
When thou is broyght within hyr bale
   and non togeydder bot ye two,
To have a fyre lok thou not fayle,
   and loke that thou flytt not ferr therfro.
Thor sall my medsyn mekyll avayle,
   and therfor take gud tent therto.
Take the hert and the maw,
   of ather a remnand ryght,
And in the fyre them thraw
   when yt is byrnand bryght.

1328.
“And the vertu sall I thee tell,
   how yt sall be beld to yow bathe:
The smoke therof and als the smell
   with reke that sall ryse up full rath,
May dryfe owt all the dewls of Hell,
   that thei do nother scorne ne scath.
Dewle Asmody then may not dwell;
   so sall ye wun withoutyn wath.
And what ye sall do more,
   now sall I tell thee tyll.
And loke, when thou comys thore,
   that ye both yt fulfyll.

1329.
“When this is done thus als I say,
   owt of all bale ye both ere broyght.
Then sall ye go your God to pray
   with hertly wyll and stabyll toyght
That He ordand your werke all way
   aftur His wyll forto be wroyght.
Comforth that maydyn now wele thou may,
   bot loke yett at thou neght hyr noyght.
Thre nyghtes ye sall lyf chast
   and be in prayers prest
Evyll wyghtes away to wast,
   and God sall be your gest.

1330.
“Sythyn may ye do all lefull dede,
   as course of matrimon hath kend.
Whyls ye your God wyll lufe and drede,
   fro all defawtes He wyll yow fend.
Then sall He multyplye your sede
   and in this erth slyke socour send
To have enogh and never nede
   and sythyn the welth withoutyn end.”
When Thoby herd this tale,
   hym lyked yt wounder wele
And sayd, “Forsoth I sall
   do this ever ylka dele.”
 

traveled

these three things
look after

(t-note)



dwells; close before [us]

tomorrow


dwelling
know [it] very well

happiness and health from head to toe

heir of every part

every meal






haste


unnecessary, mention
heard

therefore
(t-note)


Things; (t-note)
(t-note)


hear you name
that catch to espouse; glad


have promised; speech


(t-note)


(t-note)
very truthfully


heed


each part
safety
good fortune; (t-note)
for love and fear

public and private
Law
evil



I know well
demon

such rogues to destroy; (t-note)

(t-note)

warlock (demon); (t-note)
seen

pure (virginal)



heed; (see note)
undeterred; quickly; (t-note)
room
(t-note)
start a fire
leave not far from it

take good heed
stomach
remnant

burning



protection
also
reek; quickly
devils
harm

live; danger






also
tragedy; are

faithful thought
(t-note)


take care not to have sex with her yet

eager




lawful deeds; (t-note)
matrimony; (t-note)

defend
seed

(t-note)


wondrously well

each part

 
[TOBIAS, WELCOMED BY RAGUEL, DEMANDS SARAH AS HIS WIFE (7:1–20)]
 





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16055

 
1331.
To Raguell howse thei com in hye
   whore the angell sayd thei suld be.
He cald them in full curtasly
   and welcomed them with wordes free.
And als sone as he saw Thoby,
   unto his wyfe sothly sayd he,
“This chyld be face forto dyscrye
   is lyke to Thoby of Nynevé,
My cosyn. And he lyf yytt,
   than wold I be full fayn,
And, sertes, the sothe to wytt
   his felow sall I frayn.”

1332.
He toke the angell on the morne
   and sayd, “Sun, tell me, and thou may,
Of what kynred this chyld was born,
   and als wher he hath wund allway.”
The angell sayd, “His frendes beforn,
   in Nynevé wunand wer thei.
Thor were thei lyke forto be forlorn,
   for thei wold maynteyn Moyses Lay,
His fader befor hym
   and other of his kynred.
Of the lyne of Neptalym
   ware thei both born and bred.”

1333.
Raguell says, “Sen ye thore wun,
   knaw ye oght on Thoby be his name?”
The angell says, “That bus uus kun,
   for we dwell in his howse at hame.
The chyld ye se here ys his sun,
   and I am servand to that same.”
Then Raguell thynkes here ferleys fun
   and cald his wyf, “Com hydder, dame!
Our cosyn have we here,
   the sun of Thoby trew.”
Then made thei all gud chere
   when thei ther cosyn knew.

1334.
Sara was ever of sembland sad
   for grevance that scho had full grette.
Bot of this gam scho was full glad,
   and ylkon hertly con other rehete.
Then Raguell to his servand bad
   to sett up bordes and go to mette.
Bot Thoby sayd other hast he had
   “That bus be done or ever I ete.”
Raguell says, “Tell me!
   Yt sall be done be lyve.”
He says, “Then aske I thee
   thi doyghtur to be my wyfe.”

1335.
Raguell unto hym answerd noyght
   bot stod styll stodeand in that sted.
He wold full fayn his doyghtur myght
   be maryed in hyr awn kynred.
Bot on that other syde he toght
   he wold not yong Thoby were dede.
For and thei were togeydder broyght,
   he trowed to here no bettur bede.
And when the angell saw
   how that he stud so styll,
He sayd, “Ser, have non aw,
   for yt is Goddes wyll

1336.
“That this man sall thi doyghtur wedd
   and weld hyr wynly to his wyfe.
Full blessed frut bees of them bred,
   als men sall red be reson ryfe.
Tho sevyn that fyrst with hyr ware sted,
   no wounder yf thei went with stryfe,
For dome of God nothyng thei dred
   bot ever in lust to lede ther lyfe.
That was wele on them seyn.
   God wold that yt ware so,
And He hath keped hyr cleyn
   in maydynhede this man unto.”

1337.
Then were thei full fayn all in fere
   that God wold gare ther grace so grove.
Bot Sara mad most mery chere
   to be relessyd of hyr reprove.
Raguell bad them both com nere.
   He layd hyr hand in Thoby love
And sayd, “Fully I feyst yow here
   to wun same for your sawles behove.
Grett God, that sum tyme spake
   tyll our elders beforn,
To Abraham and to Ysaac,
   He yeme yow evyn and morn

1338.
“And bynd yow same in His blessyng
   lely to lyf aftur His Law
And thrugh this blessed band yow bryng
   His Commawndment clerly to knaw.”
Then were thei blyth, both old and yyng,
   and sayd Amen all to that saw.
When thei had endyd all this thyng,
   to mette than satt thei ryght by raw.
With all kyns daynthes dere
   full fayre thore were thei fede,
And sone aftur sopere
   ylkon busked to bede.
 

Raguel’s house; haste

courteously
generous


by the face to be described

If he still lives
very joyful

inquire



if you can

also; lived

living
destroyed



Nepthali



lived; (t-note)
by
[one] must be our kin

(t-note)

astonishments; (t-note)
hither






countenance; (t-note)

amusement
each one heartily did the other cheer
ordered
tables; meal

must; before

quickly





perplexed
glad
wedded; kindred; (t-note)

(t-note)
if
hear no better news


awe




pleasantly
will be from them bred; (t-note)
counsel
Those seven [men]

judgment

revealed


maidenhood (virginity); until


together; (t-note)
cause; grow



Tobias’ palm
pledge




protect



loyally


joyful; (t-note)
that speech

meal; as was proper
delicacies


prepared themselves for bed

 
[TOBIAS AND SARAH, WITH RAPHAEL, DEFEAT ASMODEUS (8:1–24)]
 




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1339.
A chambre was wynly wroyght
   for Thoby and for his wyf in fere.
And when thei were togeydder broyght,
   he mad hyr myrth on his manere,
And sone he told to hyr his toyght,
   how that his gud frend con hym lere
The fyrst thre nyghtes to do ryght noyght
   bot be in pennance and prayer.
In hert grett joy scho hade
   when scho herd hym say so.
For Goddes sake was scho glad
   to do that and swylke two.

1340.
He toke the hert then in his hend
   and furth also of the fysch maw.
In myddes the fyre he lett them lend,
   and to Sara he sayd this saw:
“This medsyn is made us to mend
   all dewls werke away to draw.
Fro all ther fare yt wyll us fend
   ay whyls we luf God and His Law.”
That nyght thei ware full prest
   to do pennance and pray.
In schort tyme toke thei rest
   noyght fere befor the day.

1341.
Bot als the fend so fled for schame,
   the angel werly with hym mette
And asked hym what was hys name
   and for what servyce he was sett.
“Asmodeus we hatte at hame,
   a multitude when we are mett.
Our offyce is of wyld and tame
   that wedes for lust ther lyfes to lett,
And shamly them to shende
   that ar noyght ferd therfor.”
Then the angell gart hym wende
   never forto noye man more.

1342.
Bot Raguell, that gentyll Jew,
   and his gud wyfe sore hertes thei have
For yyng Thoby, ther cosyn trew,
   for thei wyst not what suld hym save.
And als sone as the kok crew,
   he gart his men go make a grave
To hyd hym als thei costom knew;
   non other counsayle cowd he crave.
Evyn as he demed was done;
   the costome wele thei knaw.
And aftur then full sone
   the day begane to daw.

1343.
The mother sent then prevely
   unto the chambre a fayr servand
Ther countenance thor forto spy
   and tell to hyr what fare scho fand.
Scho went and com agayn in hy
   and sayd scho saw them sownd slepand.
The wyf then was full glad forthi
   and told that tale to hyr husband.
Then Raguell was full fayn
   and bad, whyls yt was derke,
“Go fyll the grave agayn
   that none wytt of our werke.”

1344.
Then loved all God with hert and hend
   that fro the fend had mad them free.
Then Thoby lykyd thor forto lend
   and lyf in prayers tho nyghtes three.
He prayd his felow forto wende
   unto Rages, that ryche cyté,
And to Gabell, that he wele kend,
   to foche home his fader monye.
The lettur he toke hym tyll
   how all ther maters ment.
The angell with gud wyll
   that way full wyghtly went.
 

pleasantly
together



did him instruct
(see note)







the [fish’s] heart
stomach; (t-note)
be set
speech

devils'
their fare; defend

eager

For [a] short time
long; (t-note)


demon
(t-note)


are called; (t-note)

over everything
desires
destroy
afraid
made him leave
trouble



sore hearts

knew
cock


imagine
(t-note)
(t-note)




secretly; (t-note)



haste
sleeping soundly
therefore



(t-note)




demon
remain; (t-note)

journey

well knew; (t-note)
fetch; father’s money

(t-note)


 
[RAPHAEL BRINGS GABAEL TO TOBIAS (9:1–12)]
 


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1345.
To Gabels howse full herd he hyde,
   and to hym sone he bed his boke.
Then Gabell wold no langer byde,
   bot ten talentes to hym he toke.
The angell told to hym that tyde
   how yong Thoby was wed that woke.
Then radly he rayd hym to ryde
   and sayd he suld onys on them loke.
And so ryght furth he rode
   evyn with the angell ydder.
Full mekyll myrth thei made
   when thei were all togeydder.

1346.
And Raguell made grett fest forthi
   with mette and drynke when thei ware mette,
With all maner of mynstralsy
   and other game that thei myght gete.
Then to the angell sayd Thoby,
   “Sen we have done dewly our dette,
My fader wyll have full grett ferly
   and we oversytt the tyme that was sett.
I wold we hasted us hame
   for ferd hym forto greve.”
The angell sayd the same:
   “Sone sall we take our leve.”
 

hastened
offered his letter
delay

time
week
quickly he arrayed himself
once

together; there




feast therefore; (t-note)
food

entertainments

duly our duty
astonishment
if we overstay

for fear; upset


 
[TOBIAS TAKES HIS LEAVE WITH SARAH, RAPHAEL, AND NEW RICHES (10:1–13)]
 



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16200
 
1347.
Sone on the morn thei made them bown,
   no lenger forto lend thei lete.
Then Sara softely kneled down
   befor hyr fader and moyder fete
And mekly asked ther benysown.
   Then other frendes full fast con grete,
Bot Raguell, or thei trusse of town,
   ordandes bettur ther bale to bete.
Thresour withoutyn tale
   he toke them or thei yode,
And muls with mony a male
   with them furth forto lede.

1348.
He gaf them catell, schepe, and nete
   and all maner of foran fee,
And servantes graydly them to gete
   and bryng them safe whor thei suld be.
With all ryches thei them rehete,
   and unto Thoby all thus says he,
“Sun, all my gudes, both small and grette,
   when I am gone I gyf them thee,
And my blessyng allwas
   in werld myght with yow wend.”
“Graymercy, ser,” he says,
   “and fayrs wele, ylka frend.”

1349.
Now here we how this angell,
   that Azary to his name chese,
Of whom the ryght name is Raphaell,
   send fro his Lord withoutyn lese
Forto bryng yyng Thoby unto Gabell
   in the ryche cyté that heyght Rages
And forto releve gud Raguell
   and sett Sara in parfytt pese,
Now sall we here in hy
   how he, or ever he sese,
Ordand for old Thoby
   his comforth to encrese.

1350.
Als thei went furth in ther jornay
   with wyf and servandes and ther store,
The angell con to yyng Thoby say,
   “I rede we two wende home before,
For yt is sum dele past the day
   qwylke we heyght forto have bene thore.
Lett our meneye com als thei may,
   for that may ese them mekyll more.”
Then Thoby was wele payd,
   and for he wold sho wyst,
Unto Sara he sayd,
   “Cums aftur als yow lyst.”
 

ready
remain; (t-note)

feet; (t-note)
benison; (t-note)

before they left the town
sorrows to beat down
treasure uncountable
before they went
mules



cows; (t-note)
exotic livestock; (t-note)


comfort

possessions
(t-note)

go; (t-note)
Thank you



hear
Azariah for; chose

without lies

was called; (t-note)
relieve
perfect peace; (t-note)
haste
before he ceased [his work]





goods

advise; go; before [the others]
some time
which; promised
company

very glad
understood


 
[RAPHAEL ADVISES TOBIAS; THEY RETURN HOME (11:1–21)]
 





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1351.
The angell says, “Thoby, thou sall
   tent to my sawys now for thi sele.
Now is tyme to take the fysch gall,
   thi fader of yt sall favour fele.
Enoynt his eyne wele ther with all,
   so by Goddes saynd he sall se wele.”
He was full fayn so suld be fall,
   and sayd yt suld be done ylk dele.
His lytyll hund toke hede
   his herber was nere hand.
Before full fast he yede
   and wold no lenger stand.

1352.
Old Thoby lay and lyked yll
   because that tyme was so overpast.
The wyf was wrast outt of hyr wyll
   and sayd hyr welth away was kast.
Ylk day sho went to a hegh hylle
   to loke als lang os scho moght last.
Ther come the hund evyn hyr untyll
   and fayned hyr with his tayle full fast.
Then gradly sho aspyde
   and saw wele how thei come.
To hyr husband sho hyed
   and sayd, “Our sun cums home.”

1353.
Than was that husband hert full glad
   and for gladnes begane to wepe.
“Do lede me furth belyve,” he bad,
   “my blessed sun I wyll go kepe.”
Thei mett als thei ware massed and made,
   so ylkon wold on other crepe.
So sone was all ther sorows sad
   turned unto wele and to wrschepe.
The sun his medsyn layd
   unto his fader eyne in hy.
Than had he syght and sayd,
   “I love God Allmighty,

1354.
“That ay sall be, and ever was,
   fulfylled of gudnese and of grace.
I have not lufed Thi Law, alas,
   ne trewly tent to take Thi trace.
And Thou mekly for my trespase
   hath ponyscht me here in this place,
And now thus hendly heled me has
   forto loke in my lyfes space
On my sun that was sent,
   and here his course declared,
And the man that with hym wentt
   forto be wele reward.”

1355.
Full mekyll myrth thei mad omell.
   then the sun to his fader sayd
Of all ther fare how yt befell:
   fyrst with the fysch how he was flayd;
And sythyn of the gud man Gabell
   how he ther monay full prestly payd;
Then how thei rested with Raguell
   and how ther wedyng was arayd.
“Thus all that myght avayle
   was done withoutyn dystance
By my felows consayle
   and his gud governance,

1356.
“Wherfor he is wele worthy his wage.”
   The fader sayd, “Els God forbede!”
Sone aftur then come ther careayge
   with the yyng wyf worthy in wede,
With charged mulys and mony a page
   ther catell forto fend and fede.
Thei ware mendyd by this message
   in grett lykyng ther lyf to lede.
So when thei neghed nere
   with all this ryches ryght,
The fader and all in fere
   had ferly of that syght.

1357.
Bot sone als he couth Sara see,
   he welcomd hyr and with hym lede.
Grett gladnes in his hert had hee
   that his yyng sun so wele had spede.
Scho had servandes in sere degré
   that wund with hyr or sho was wede,
And with hyr come to that cuntré
   to beld hyr both at burd and bede.
Old Thoby wyfe, Dame An,
   that are lyfyd full heve lyf,
With all comforth sho can
   welcomyd sho hyr sun wyfe.

1358.
And derly dyght sho them to dyne,
   ther travell toke sho tent untyll.
Sho broyght them furth both bred and wyne
   and other fode all folke to fyll.
Old Thoby asked of his sun syne
   who aght tho guddes by ryght and skyll.
He sayd, “Ser, thei ar Goddes and myne
   and sall be yours evyn at your wyll.”
Then on his knese he kneled
   and loved God of all thyng,
That so wold be his beld
   and owt of bale hym bryng.

1359.
And for he wold Sara were seyne
   and knawn with all his kynred clere,
He gart make a fest fayr and cleyne
   and bad therto his frendes in fere.
The angell ordand all be dene,
   both mete and drynke with meré chere.
Thor wanted noyght, wele may we weyne,
   qwer swylke stewerd was to stere.
And when this fest was done
   dewly in all degré,
Ylkon were ordand sone
   whore them likyd best to be.
 


listen to my words now for your own sake


Anoint his eyes; (t-note)
God’s grace; see well

each part
dog; (see note)
home was near at hand
Before [them]; went



(t-note)

wrested out of her wits; (t-note)


(t-note)
unto
fawned
promptly she looked

hastened



husband’s heart

quickly
attend
amazed and astonished
embrace

happiness; honor

eyes in haste







attended; path

punished
nobly healed


set forth
(t-note)



together








dispute





God forbid [it be] otherwise
carriage
young; worthily clothed
laden mules



came near; (t-note)
(t-note)
together
wonder





prospered; (t-note)
of many kinds
dwelled; before she was married

comfort; table
Anna





prepared
travails; attention unto; (t-note)


ten; (t-note)





protection



revealed
(t-note)
feast
altogether
straightway

believe; (see note); (t-note)
when such a steward; direct [matters]; (t-note)




 
[RAPHAEL REVEALS HIMSELF (11:1–22)]
 


16310




16315




16320






16325




16330






16335




16340






16345




16350




16355






16360




16365






16370




16375




16380
 
1360.
Then sayd old Thoby, “My sun, take hede
   and tell me now betwyx us two
What we may gyf this man to mede
   that went with thee thus to and fro.”
Yyng Thoby sayd, “For his gud dede
   he hath servyd ther gudes and mo.
Bot the on halfe we wyll hym bede
   and vowche them safe yf he wyll so,
My wyfe and hyr meneye
   to have the tother half clere.
That is enogh for me
   to fynd them fayre in fere.”

1361.
Thei cald the angell prevely,
   and old Thoby thus to hym sayd,
“We thanke thee hertly, Azary,
   for all our hele has thou purvayd.
We wott that thou were worthy
   to have all guddes that here ar grayd,
Bot we pray thee, my sun and I,
   to take thee half and hald thee payd.
And all that fallys us tyll
   of mobyls more and lese
Sall ever be at thi wyll,
   als full wele worthy ese.”

1362.
The angell then with wordes playn
   sayd, “All the soth I sall yow tell,
Me lykes no langer forto layn:
   wytt ye wele I am an archangell.
Fro God thus was I send certayn
   to mend all myschefes yow omell.
Now is tyme I turn agayn
   in blyse of Hevyn with Hym to dwell.
I sayd yow here at hame
   my name was Azary.
Raphaell is my ryght name,
   this sall ye trow trewly.

1363.
“In all aray I have bene ryght
   als erthly man of flesch and bonne
To ete and drynke both day and nyght,
   bot of your mete I ete ryght none.
For my mete is the verray syght
   of the Godhed that sall never be goyne,
And my cloghyng is hevenly lyght,
   and my werke is lovyng allon.
All that lelly lyfe has led
   and endes in Goddes servyce,
Thei sall be cled and fed
   and werke in that same wyse.

1364.
“And for thi werkes were to His pay,
   in all wathes was He thi warrand
And sent His saynd thee to assay
   yf thou wold fayle or stably stand.
And for thou groched noyght nyght nor day
   when thou sych fell defautes fand,
Now has He wast thi wo away
   and sent thee welth to weld in land.
Do os thou dyd beforne:
   gyf almus with gud chere
And that yt be up born
   with pennance and prayere.

1365.
“Also, yyng Thoby, to me take tent,
   sen thou has wyf and welth at wyll.
Luf thou thi Lord that yt has lent,
   and love His Law both lowd and styll.
And loke that thou never to syn assent
   bot ever have drede forto do yll,
And kyndly kepe His Commawndment,
   els may thou sped thiself to spyll.”
Thus lernd he als hym lyst
   how thei suld trewly trow,
And then he was ravyschett
   away, thei wyst not how.
 



reward
(t-note)
good deeds
these
the one; (t-note)

company


together





(t-note)
(t-note)
prepared; (t-note)



movable goods






hold back
(t-note)

among you
return










food I ate

gone
clothing

loyally life





because; satisfaction
dangers; defender
trial; test

complained

taken

(t-note)
alms
(t-note)



take heed
since

publicly and privately


(t-note)

taught; desired

ravished; (t-note)

 
[TOBIT LIVES WELL AND DIES HAPPY, AS DOES TOBIAS (13:1–14:17)]
 





16385




16390






16395




16400






16405




16410




16415






16420




16425






16430




16435




16440






16445




16450     


 
1366.
Thoby was sevynty yeres of eld
   when he began blynd to be.
That same defawt then furth he felyd
   all fully fyfty yere and thre.
Then was he broyght to bettur beld
   in two and faurty forto wele see.
So in this werld he myght hym weld
   fyfe score and two in sere degré.
Then saw he that he suld dy
   and the tyme to fulfyll.
He cald his sun Thoby,
   and thus he told hym tyll.

1367.
He sayd, “Sun, I sall sone make end,
   to bere me loke thou not byd.
Thi moyder, sun, sall eftur wende,
   and bere hyr then me fast besyde.
Pray thou then God with hert and hend
   that He fro harme thee hape and hyde.
And kepe His Law als I have kend,
   then sall no torfure thee betyde.
Full grett defawttes sall fall
   to folke of Nenevyé,
And therfor, sun, thou sall
   do als I consayle thee.

1368.
“This cyté sone sall synke certayn
   for syn bot thei ther myse amend.
Therfor, when we ere past with payn,
   no lenger here loke that thou lend,
Bot wende unto Raguell agayn
   with all the gudes that God has yow send.
All Israel folke wyll be ful fayn
   that our kynred with them be kend.”
Old Thoby and his wyfe
   thus ferd als folke may fynd.
His tym and his trew lyfe
   mun ever be made in mynd.

1369.
Yyng Thoby wold no langer dwell
   for tayls his fader told hym to.
He dyd to carry all his catell,
   his wyf, and ther servandes also,
And all that to his fader fell
   were then his awn, so were thei mo;
And raked ryght to Raguell,
   his wyfe fader, that thei went fro.
Thor ware thei welcomd fare,
   both man, wyfe, and page.
Then was Thoby sun and ayre
   of all ther herytage.

1370.
For Raguell be reson ryfe
   sone aftur out of this werld was tone.
Then Thoby and his worthy wyfe
   had chylder fayr and welth gud woyne,
And when he had lyfed in his lyfe
   one hunderth wyntur all bot one,
He went away withoutyn stryfe.
   We trow he had full graythly goyne.
His wyf sone aftur sesyd,
   als God wold behoved to be.
His chylder furth encressed
   and governd grett degree.

1371.
Full blessed barns furth of them bred,
   als sythyn was sene on ylka syde.
And so ther lynag sprang and spred,
   als ys wyttenest in werldes wyde.
This story is rehersed and red
   us forto tech in ylka tyde,
Yf we in stourys be stratly sted,
   all bowsomly all bale to byde
And love God of His grace,
   what saynd so He wyll send.
God graunt us spech and space
   our myse here to amend!
 

Tobit; years of age; (see note); (t-note)

felt; (t-note)


to see well

102 [years]; (t-note)


Tobias




bury; delay
go
bury

protect and conceal; (t-note)
taught
hardship; befall







unless; sin

remain
(t-note)
(t-note)

(t-note)

fared

must







(t-note)
went



heir




taken

in plenty

ninety-nine winters (years); (see note)

believe; a very quick passing
ended (died)





children; (t-note)
then

witnessed
read
to teach in each place
hardships; placed in straits
obediently; grief to endure

whatever trial

misdeeds

 

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