The History of Jacob and his Twelve Sons


STC 14323
Ringler 14323 and TP 122. Ptd. from STC 14326 (1570?) by J. P. Collier, _Illustrations of Early English Popular Literature_ 1 (1863), no. 3. Damaged passages restored from STC 14324. Other eds.: STC 14323.3 1510?; 14323.5 c.1520; 14324.5 c.1530. UMI microfilm reel 53 (STC 14323, 14324)

Thystory of Iacoby and his twelue sones
London: Wynkyn de Worde,1510?.

Variant source 1: J. Skot, 1522-23 (STC 14324)

Composition Date: 1510?.

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¶Th'ystory of Iacoby and his twelue sones.

ALl yonge and olde that lyste for to here
Of dedes done in the olde tyme
By the holy patryarkes that there were
Whiche descended of olde Adams lyne
5 Often the sonne of grace on them dyde shyne
For to rede this story it wyll do you moche good
Of Abrahams sone that was syth Noes flood

Unto one Rebecca this Ysaac was maryed
Of aege the byble sayth he was .xl. yere
10 In-dede his maydenhede so longe with hym taryed
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And yet in longe tyme his wyfe no chylde bere
Than to our lorde god he made his prayere
For to sende hym fruyte this worlde to multeply
And than his wyfe conceyued as scrypture dooth specyfy

15 Two chyldren in-dede had Rebecca in her body
And whan they were quycke oftentymes they fought
This good woman than meruayled gretely
What it myght be and toke grete thought
Than mekely our lorde god she besought
20 To haue some knowlege what it myght sygnefye
She toke so grete sorowe that the teres fell fro her eye

Our lorde that all knoweth sawe how she fared
With sobbynge and syghynge euermore cryenge
Of his grete goodnes vnto her he appered
25 And sayd woman cease thy grete wepynge
Two maner of people ben in thy body spryngynge
That shall be delyuered fro thy wombe shortly
Of the whiche the feble shall ouercome the myghty

At the laste her tyme neyghed very nere
30 The throwes sore thrylled her thrugh with payne
All her body was faynt apalled was her chere
So delyuered she was of fayre chyldren twayne
The fyrst that yssued was rough Esau called by name
Than folowed Iacob his brothers fote holdynge
35 Fast in his hande this was a meruaylous thynge

Whan that they drewe to aege these two brether
Esau was a plowman a tyller of londe
And for pleasure ofte wolde be a hunter
To walke erly and late with bowe in his honde
40 Iacob was so symple at home wolde he stonde
Alwaye with his moder for she loued hym better
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Than euer she dyde Esau a thousande tymes swetter

Esau was best beloued yet with the fader
Bycause he ete ofte of the venyso[n] that he toke
45 And Iacob was in fauour with Rebecca his moder
Thus may ye it fynde yf that ye wyll loke
Esau wente a_huntynge thus sayth the boke
All a_daye togyder without mete or brede
That whan he came home for hunger he was nye deed

50 Whan he came to the hall he sawe Iacob stande
There to his dyner than was Esau fayne
Holdynge a dysshe of potage in his hande
Alacke sayd Esau for hunger now do I complayne
In all this worlde is no greter payne
55 I praye the brother of thy potage let me ete with the
Nay ywys quod Iacob thou getest none of me

But yf thou wylte sayd Iacob sell me thyn herytage
Ifayth of these thou getest neuer-a_dele
And yf thou wylte do so holde here this potage
60 For fayntnes than Esau to the grounde fell
And sayd rather than dye my patrymony wyll I sell
No-thynge wolde it profyte me yf I dyed for honger
For my bely weneth my throte is cut asonder

I am content sayd Esau that thou it take for thy potage
65 Well than quod Iacob yf thou wylte resyne
I wyll haue the swere that as for thyn herytage
Thou shalte neuer clayme and here lye hande in myne
Poore Esau thought it longe or that he myght dyne
And sayd vnto Iacob now take it for euer
70 Thy potage in my hande haue had I leuer

This bargayne was knytte bothe partyes were gladde
Esau ete the potage therof he was fayne
And I trowe Iacob had no cause to be sadde
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His broders herytage there dyde he clayme
75 These promyses made bytwene them twayne
And than Iacob thought to lyue full meryly
With the londe that Esau dyde set full lytell by

At the last theyr fader wexed blynde and myght not se
And on a daye he called Esau his sone
80 Ysaac sayd chylde Esau come hyther to me
For my lyue-dayes be nere-hande done
Therfore go forth and fette me some venysone
And as soone as thou doost it home brynge
Come to me and thou shalte haue my blessynge

85 Esau dyde on his harneys for drede of beestes wylde
By his gyrdell arowes and in his hande a bowe
And than by his owne moder Esau was begylde
For as soone as Rebecca dyde it knowe
Forth she called Iacob and to hym dyde showe
90 All-togyder and sayd sone yf thou wylte do after me
Esau shall lese his faders blessynge for he shal gyue it the

Go thou to the flocke and fette me kyddes twayne
The best that amonge them may be founde
Than Iacob of this counseyle was full fayne
95 To the felde hasted hym swyftly in that stounde
And chase the best that were goynge in that grounde
Than home to his moder he them brought
So poore Esau was begyled that no falshede thought

Than of the kyddes flesshe Rebecca sodde grete plente
100 And made Ysaac ete in-stede of venyson
Loo the blynde often drynketh many a flye
Than the moder made Iacob to take the kyddes skyn
To wrappe his handes his face and his necke therin
Well sayd Rebecca yf thy fader fele the rough of here
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105 He wyll byleue none other but that thou Esau were

Olde Ysaac the blynde began to wexe hongry
And called Rebecca and sayd that he wolde ete
Suche as she had prayed her swyftly
Hote or elles colde hym for to gete
110 Rebecca answered and sayd ye shall haue mete
For Esau hath brought plentye of venysone
Why quod Iacob is he come home so soone

Ye sayd Rebecca he is come ywys
Flesshe hath he brought I sawe neuer none better
115 In all my lyfe neuer fatter than it is
Syth ye were borne neuer ete ye swetter
I am gladde sayd Ysaac I loue hym the better
Than Rebecca fette therof Ysaac for to please
He was hongry and ete fast and made hym well at ease

120 Than Iacob spake to his fader for his blessynge
And on the grounde he kneled on his kne
Fader he sayd this venyson home dyde I brynge
Now I haue fulfylled that whiche ye badde me
Why sayd Ysaac arte thou Esau / and he sayd ye
125 To fele thy skynne quod ysaac I haue grete lust
And yf thou be Esau I shall the knowe I trust

Than Iacob rose and wente to his fadere
And sayd to hym wyll ye fele my hande
Than Ysaac felte it rough all of here
130 He wende it had ben Esau that by hym dyde stande
But alas he wandred ouer the lande
Amonge busshes and brambles he dyde ron
And no knowlege had he of this grete treason

I knowe well sayd Ysaac that thou arte Esau
135 And by speche I wolde take the for Iacob
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Now blessyd be this daye that euer I it knewe
For thou shalte be mayster of many a lande brode
And haue the blessynge of the heuenly lorde
Therfore come hyther let me kysse thy mouth
140 All men shall obey to the bothe by north and south

Where-euer thou become thou shalte haue plente
All the trybes shall euer worshyp thy name
With the peas wyll dwell and all prosperyte
They that the curseth shall be cursed agayne
145 The for to please men wyll be full fayne
And the sones of theyr moders shall bowe to the
Batayles many thou shalte wynne bothe by londe and see

Than Iacob rose and wente his waye
With that came Esa[u] that moche venyson brought
150 And bare it to his fader and thus dyde he saye
Fader this flesshe full ferre haue I sought
So sodeynly Ysaac was smyten with a thought
And sayd what arte thou fro whens doost thou come
Forsothe I am Esau your fyrst-begoten sone

155 Ysaac meruayled more than may be thought credybyll
And longe or he myght speke in a traunce laye
As the mayster of the story sayth so dyde he lye styll
Lyke as the soule from the body had ben awaye
Whan he dyde speke / o good lorde dyde he saye
160 Thy wyll is that Iacob sholde haue my blessynge
Yet loued I Esau aboue all erthly thynge

Who was that sayd Ysaac that brought me the venysone
Euen now that I had therwith dyde I dyne
I wende it had ben Esau myn owne sone
165 Alas sayd Esau fader that blessynge sholde be myne
Iacob hath me begyled now the seconde tyme
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Longe agone also for a mese of potage
He had my patrymony that was myn herytage

Alas sayd Esau my herte is very woo
170 And sayd fader haue ye not one blessynge for me
I truste that all from me be not agoo
Ysaac sayd sone there is no remedye
I haue ordeyned hym to be thy lorde ouer the
Thou shalte obey thy broder and lyue by thy swerde
175 All that beholdeth thy face shall be aferde

Rebecca wende that Esau Iacob wolde haue slayne
And badde hym hye and go out of his daungere
Unto thyn owne vncle that dwelleth in arayne
For and thou taryest thy lyfe standeth in fere
180 Esau wyll the kyll I herde hym so swere
Therfore in all the haste Iacob be gone
And whan his angre is past agayne come home

Than Iacob departed from Barsabe
And wente full faste towarde arayne
185 Ysaac and Rebecca wepte full pyteously
So Iacob hyed ouer hethe and playne
The sonne drewe downe / his rest he wolde haue fayne
And as he slepte hym thought that he dyde se
A longe ladder stretchynge to the skye

190 Aungelles goynge vpwarde he sawe also
And in the myddes almyghty god dyde stonde
That sayd to hym I wyll blysse the where-euer thou go
And to thy sede I wyll gyue this londe
That thou doost on slepe it shall be in thy honde
195 For I am the god of Abraham that thou doost se
And I caused Ysaac his blyssynge to gyue the

Than Iacob rose on the mornynge erly
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And sayd that there was the gate of heuen
Of all the erth that place was moost holy
200 And thanked god for that whiche he had sene
And vnder his heed a stone that was full clene
He rered vp and set it on the ende
There prayed he god good fortune hym to sende

Than Iacob wente forth in-to the eest
205 Tyll he came to a grete pyt of water
Thre flocke of shepe with many an-other beest
He sawe how they laye all in that corner
Than he thought they wolde drynke of that water
[A] custome men had to roll awaye the stone A] And 1510, A 1522-23
210 The beestes sholde go in and drynke euerychone

Iacob sawe shepeherdes fro hym not very for
And asked of whens they were / and they sayd of Arayne
Knowe you Laban quod Iacob sone of Nachor
They all answered ye we knowe hym for certayne
215 Loo syr yonder co[m]eth Rachell we tell you playne
That is Labans doughter with his flocke of shepe
God saue that kynrede sayd Iacob and fro care them kepe

Than Iacob wente and kyssed Rachell full swetely
And tolde her that Rebecca was his moder
220 Rachell was gladde of that tydynge truly
Eche of them made grete Ioye of other
Of curtesy Iacob coude do none other
With strength pulled the stone fro the pyttes brynke
That Rachelles shepe therof myght drynke

225 Than Rachell bare tydynges to her fader
That Iacob Rebeccas sone was come Rebeccas] Rebeccaes 1510, 1522-23
Laban was gladde that tydynge to here
And for to mete hym hastely he dyde ronne
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The foules were neuer gladder of the lyght of the sonne
230 Than were they twayne for eche salewed other
For Laban was Iacobs vncle Rebeccas owne brother

There Iacob dyde them playnly to vnderstonde
That he had wonne his faders blessynge
The gladder was Laban to haue hym in that londe
235 He thought that plente sholde growe of euery-thynge
Bothe corne and grasse grete plente wolde sprynge
Laban prayed Iacob there to lede his lyfe
And he wolde gete hym Rachell to be his wyfe

There Iacob promysed to serue them .vii. yere
240 With hym to abyde and be bothe true and playne
And for to haue Rachell to be his fere
Eyther of that bargayne was full fayne
All his yeres he serued bothe in colde and ra[yne] 1510 defective; 1522-23 reads "rayne".
And on a day Laban maryed Iacob to Rachel his childe
245 But as they were in bedde brought Iacob was begylde

The elder doughter that was called Lea
They brought to Iacobs bedde vnknowynge
To hym and all nyght by his syde laye
But whan he sawe her in the mornynge
250 He sayd there was vnkynde delynge
To brynge hym Lea for fayre Rachell
Iacob sayd to Laban this dede lyketh me not well

Fayre syr sayd Laban it is the lawe of this lande
That the elder doughter fyrst maryed sholde be
255 Bothe Lea and Rachell thou shalte haue in thy hande
But other seuen yere thou must dwell with me
Therto I graunt quod Iacob these yeres wyll I serue the
And the nexte weke agayne wyll I be maryed
Unto fayre Rachell for her longe haue I taryed

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260 To bothe was he maryed Rachell bode longe barayne
But Lea conceyued and bare her chylde Rubyne
For Iacob loued Rachell in euery vayne
Better than euer he dyde Lea for all her chyldren
For she was somwhat blere-eyed and had sore eyen
265 Yet she bare hym .x. sones the boke sayth playne
Where-as Rachell brought hym forth but twayne

Iacob thought in that countre he had longe taryed
With labour he bode out full .xiiij. yere
Than whan his hole terme he had out-serued
270 He sayd to Rachell I wyll tary no lenger here
Now to Barsabe wyll I go I nede not to fere
As for Esau my broder I trust wyll be my frende
What-euer me betyde to my countre wyll I wende

Iacob sayd to Laban that to barsabe he wolde
275 Laban badde hym byde with hym that yere
And what-euer he asked haue it he sholde
I desyre quod he the lambes of dyuers coler
And yf thou wylte graunt me that to my hyer
With all other beestes that blacke-spotted be
280 And for all this twelue monethes I wyll byde with the

Bothe beestes and lambes I gyue the sayd Laban
All that euer blacke-spotted be
Clayme them for thyn whan they come fro the dame
Than sayd Iacob for this hyre I wyll abyde with the
285 In fayth sayd Laban it shall not be broken for me
So Iacob pylled roddes where the shepe sholde gone
Bestes and lambes were spotted that yere nye euery-chone

The next yere after Laban sayd he wolde
Haue all the spotted and Iacob than the whyte
290 To his parte in-dede he haue sholde
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Our lorde for Iacob shewed his myght
That all the beestes or lambes that fell daye or nyght
They were clene whyte the moost parte ywys
Than was he wrath that his flocke was bygger than his

295 Iacob spyed that Laban frowned of chere
And tolde pryuely his wyfe Rachell
That he wolde be gone for he Laban dyde fere
Than he conuayed all his herdmen softely and styll
And bad them hye with theyr beestes to galard that hye hyll
300 Bothe with asses and camelles thyder make hyenge
And my wyues with my .xij. sones after wyll I brynge

So forth wente Iacob bothe with good and catell
And sent worde that he was comynge to Esau his broder
Laban myssed Iacob and had grete meruell
305 He knewe that he was gone and se it wolde be none other
Yet wolde I kysse my doughters for I am theyr fadre
It was tolde hym by a man of that countrey
That Iacob was at mountgalard / of .vij. dayes Iourney

Than Laban rode after thus sayth the boke
310 On a good camell bothe nyght and daye
Yet at the laste he Iacob ouertoke
He asked of hym whether he wolde that waye
Unto my countre sayd Iacob who wyll saye naye
Not I sayd Laban but my chyldren kysse I wolde
315 And thy twelue sones also I loue better than golde

There of all his kynrede Laban toke his leue
And asked Iacob why he wente so hastely
You were wrothe quod Iacob and that dyde I preue
Yet twenty yere I haue serued the besyly
320 In colde and in rayne attende to thy husbandry
And to go from the sodeynly I was full fayne
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Lest thou by some treason me sholde haue slayne

Nay nay sayd Laban I wolde not do so
But for all the treasour in Egypte
325 I am sory that thou wylte from vs go
With thy asses camelles and thy shepe
I praye the Iacob my doughters well to kepe
And I trust than our lorde god wyll blysse the
That thy graundfader worshypped (one) in-stede of thre

330 So Iacob and Laban toke leue eche of other
And departed there with full heuy chere
Laban prayed Iacob to recommaunde hym to his brother
So forth they wente / and whan Esau dyde here
That towarde that countree Iacob drewe nere
335 Esau mette hym with foure hondred of men
So sore afrayde was neuer Iacob as he was then

He wende that Esau wolde hym haue slayne
And with his chyldren fell to his brothers fete
Aryse sayd Esau of your comynge I am fayne
340 Whose be these women these chyldren and these shepe
With asses and camelles all th[is] herde of gete this] these 1510, this 1522-23
They be myn sayd Iacob I gyue them to you
Kepe them thyselfe sayd Esau for I haue ynow

Than was Iacob and his wyues glad
345 That his brother Esau was so good and kynde
In that countree mete and drynke they had
For as god hym promysed so dyde he fynde
Ysaac his fader was deed that he lefte there behynde
Whan that he to the countree of aaron fledde
350 Rebecca his moder also was dede

Than Iacob in that countre lyued at his ease
With bothe his wyues Rachell and Lea
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Yonge and olde fayne were hym to please
So they contynued in Ioye many a longe daye
355 At the laste Iacobs sone in a bedde laye
Whiche was broder to Beniamy
Bothe were Rachelles sones she had no more truly

This Ioseph in his slepe dyde dreme
That the sone and the mone bothe bowed to his fete
360 And fayre bryght sterres to the nombre of a_leuen
Bowed to hym all this dyde he mete
Also he sawe a wonder that many sheues of whete
Folowed hym thrugh-out the londe
And his fader and moder at his fete dyde stonde

365 Yonge Ioseph meruayled what that myght be
And on a daye he asked Iacob his fader
What that the dreme dyde sygnefye
And tolde his fader all as is rehersed before
Blessyd be the tyme sone sayd Iacob that thou were bore
370 For whyle that I lyue that daye shall we se
That I with thy .xi. bretherne for nede must seke the

The sonne and the mone betokeneth me and thy moder
And the aleuen sterres be thy bretherne all
We shall haue nede of the I can se none other
375 By my lyue-dayes this ventur[e] shall befall venture] ventura 1510, aduenture 1522-23
All his sones than Iacob dyde forth call
And whan they this knewe at Ioseph they had enuye
Than they comprysed his deth and sayd that he sholde dye

Not longe after as I vnderstande
380 The .xi. bretherne kepte theyr faders shepe
With many other beestes in theyr owne lande
As asses camelles and also gete
Aboute tyde of the daye Iacob sente them mete
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Therwith to dyne by Ioseph theyr owne broder
385 And all they entended that yonge chylde to murder

Poore Ioseph toke theyr dyner and wente to the felde
His bretherne to seke the nexte waye dyde he go
He loked on euery syde and behelde
Them he coude not fynde he wepte than for wo
390 The teres ran from his eyen / and not ferre hym fro
He sawe a man that asked what he had brought
My brethernes dyner for them haue I sought

Thy bretherne sayd the man be on dotayne
There they all syt on the hye hyll
395 Beware thou ladde I tell the playne
If thou be Ioseph they wyll the kyll
Therfore tourne home agayne and let them be styll
Without thou be wery of thy lyfe
One sayd for thy dreme thou sholdest dye on a knyfe

400 Syr I trust my bretherne better than so
Yet vnto dotayne theyr dyner he bere
Loo yonder cometh Ioseph they all sayd tho
Whiche by nyght is so ryall a dremere
All they sayd his herte ought to be in fere
405 For his fader shall he neuer se ne none of his kyn
Yet now do after my counseyle than sayd Rubyn

Rubyne sayd bretherne he is of our owne blode
Let vs not kyll hym with swerde nor knyfe
But bynde we his handes and laye hym on the flode
410 Soone the streme wyll bereue hym of his lyfe
So toke they Ioseph that thought on no stryfe
And wrapped his sherte aboute his face
And layde hym on the fome there was no grace

But as god wolde it was ebbynge water
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415 Soone wente they to dyner and after to theyr playe
And as they loked from them a_ferre
They sawe poore Ioseph sprawlynge where he laye
All arayed in foule ose and claye
Let vs go they sayd and kyll hym out-ryght
420 We nede not than to fere that he dremed the last nyght

Thyder they wente and toke vp that yonglynge
Haue mercy on me bretherne Ioseph gan saye
With that they sawe a chapman come rydynge
Had many hors lode and to Egypte toke the waye
425 They asked the chapman yf he wolde bye Ioseph or nay
And he sayd ye and ye wyll hym sell
To you .xxx. pens for hym gyue I wyll

Let vs se money sayd they all than
And as for the boye shall go with the
430 With all my herte sayd the chapman
He layde the pens in theyr handes shortly
And thought that he had made a good dayes Iourney
So toke his leue and wente his waye
But Ioseph weped and wayled euery daye

435 Now god helpe poore Ioseph for yonge was he solde
All his bretherne therof were gladde in theyr mode
Nyght drewe on fast homewarde they wolde
Theyr mete-cloth they besprange all with gotes blode
Iacob theyr fader in his dore stode
440 Why come ye home so soone he to them dyde saye
They answered that they ete nor dranke to_daye

Iacob sayd I sente Ioseph to you longe before none
With mete brede and drynke good plente
They sayd fader homewarde as we dyde come
445 This mete-cloth here we founde all blody
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A pot there lyeth broken also in peces thre
Alas alas sayd Iacob I trowe Ioseph be deed
And yf it be so with sorowe I shall ete my breed

Rachell tare her heere and fell downe to the grounde
450 And tare her clothes in peces small
Iacob also ofte-sythes he swownde
And sayd Ioseph is gone my chefe Ioye of all
But Rachell often wepynge wolde she fall
And bete her brest agayne the herte with a colde stone
455 Pyte it was to here her crye and grone

Now leue we of and speke we of the chapman
That past ouer the see in-to Egypte londe
But truly or he thyder came
The wynde styfly agayne them dyde stonde
460 And yet at the laste an hauen they fonde
The chapman ledde Ioseph with a rope in the strete
Hym for to bye came many a lorde grete

Knyghtes and ladyes came ferre that chylde to se
With many grete men of pharaos londe
465 It was talked abrode that he was so goodly
And whan that pharaos stewarde that dyde vnderstonde
He asked the chylde that to the chapman was bo[n]de
If he wolde be his man and dwell with hym
Than Ioseph answered I wyll be at your byddynge

470 The stewarde to the chapman an .C. pounde payd
Of lytell Ioseph that of face was bryght
I haue lost no money than the marchaunt sayd
Yet for his beaute he is worth of golde his wyght
And euery-body that of Ioseph had a syght
475 They thought he had ben an aungell of pleasaunce
He was so fayre and louely of countenaunce

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Ladyes and maydens they loued Ioseph all
And men dyde blysse hym whan they dyde se
So goodly a chylde carued in the hall
480 And meruayled of what countre he myght be
The stewarde had a syster beyonde the see
She sente hym a serket and a mantell of golde
The rychenesse therof may not be tolde

Couched with perles and stones precyous
485 With saphers rubyes and other stones of y[n]de
Of many dyuerse colour[s] set full curyous colour] colour 1510, colours 1522-23
Costly broudred with arres as I fynde
Chaungeable of colour before and behynde
These ryche clothes this lady sente to her brother
490 In all the worlde there was not suche an-other

The stewarde behelde this costly werke
And on his body ware it but one daye
By a large fote for hym it was to shorte
If it wolde serue Ioseph he thought he wolde assaye
495 And cladde the chylde in that costly araye
And it was as well made for hym
As euer was vesture to the emperours kyn

On a daye the stewarde wolde on huntynge ryde
Than the quene called Ioseph in-to her boure
500 And made hym to syt downe by her syde
She wolde haue kyssed hym and behelde his colour
And sayd that she loued hym as her paramour
And besought hym of her to take his pleaser
Nay god forbede quod he to dye were me leuer

505 She profred hym fayre bothe castelles and toures
And all the pryce of egypte he sholde haue
This sayd she to hym with halles and boures
sig: [B3v]
And more rychesse yf he wolde it craue
Fro sekenes she sayd his body wolde she saue
510 And asked therof yf he graunte wolde
He answered shortly that no-thynge do he sholde

He sayd madame I wyll be true to my lorde
Traytour wyll I neuer be to my souerayne
Therfore byleue me at a worde
515 Rather than do so had I leuer be slayne
With that loude dyde she crye and brake her lace in twayne
And smote her nose that it gusshed all on blode
And rente downe her serket that was of sylke full good

She tolde the knyghtes that Ioseph wolde by her layne
520 And that he tare her robes all asonder
And helpe had not come this thefe had me slayne
Than all the courte therof dyde wonder
That he durste pull her lace asonder
God wote it came neuer in his thought
525 But full grete treason by women hath be wrought

At nyght it was shewed to the kynge
How suche a trespasse to the quene was done
He commaunded Ioseph in pryson than to brynge
I charge you sayd Pharao that traytour fette soone
530 Than downe to the towne Ioseph was gone
They toke and put hym in a dongeon grete
Comfortles there he laye without drynke or mete

Than the baker and the butler that had be seruauntes longe
Wrathed Pharao that was theyr lorde and kynge
535 Also they were brought to that pryson stronge
Where Ioseph gyltles alone laye therin
Grete hongre he suffred with wepynge and waylynge
At the last bothe butler and baker bare hym company
sig: [B4]
For in the same pryson by hym dyde they lye

540 Than these two men that in-to the dongeon were brought
They had meruaylous dremes there on a nyght
The butler in a vyneyarde a cup of wyne he thought
He had in his hande all in Pharaos syght
Lordes and ladyes dranke therof bothe squyer and knyght
545 And euer he had thre grapes in his cup holdynge
All the people dranke and [neuer the les] was the wyne neuer the les] neuertheles 1510, 1522-23

The baker thought that he had holde on his sholder
A lepe full of brede that was newe bake
Than came there wylde foules that fro hym dyde it bere
550 And euen with that bothe sodeynly gan wake
So vnto Ioseph these wordes than they spake
Of theyr dremes and all the trouth tolde
They prayed hym to shewe what it sygnefye sholde

Ioseph sayd baker thou shalte be hanged hye
555 And byrdes shall bere thy flesshe awaye
Deth must thou suffre there is no remedye
And the butler nede not to fraye
For his olde offyce euen as I saye
He shall haue and for euer kepe it styll
560 And of kynge Pharao to haue all his wyll

Butler quod Ioseph yet remembre me
Whan that thou comest to thyn offyce agayne
Where thou shalte of euery-thynge haue plente
Forgete not poore Ioseph that lyeth here in payne
565 And yf thou here ony man on me do playne
In chambre or hall at bedde or borde
I praye the gentyll butler gyue me thy good worde

The baker and the butler kynge Pharao se wolde
On the morowe he sente for them bothe
sig: [B4v]
570 Than founde they true all that Ioseph tolde
The butler to his offyce that daye he gothe
But the poore baker to tell you the sothe
On a gybet he made his ende
And the butler in pharaos courte than had many a frende

575 So on a nyght kynge Pharao in his bedde laye
He thought in his slepe that myghty beestes seuen
Fayrer nor fatter sawe he neuer before that daye
They ete corne and grasse of them dyde he dreme
And euer he thought that they came fro a streme
580 That was in the west and than downe by a stone
These fayre beestes layde them to rest euerychone

Than out of the streme comynge he sawe as many m[o] letter broken
That came and ete vp all theyr corne clene
So feble than they were that they myght not go
585 For all that they had corne yet were they lene
Than sodeynly Pharao waked of his dreme
And called to his men this dreme to expounde
They wyst not what it ment all that were in that grounde

My lorde quod the butler there is one in your prysone
590 That ye do hate / your dreme can he tell
If it be Ioseph sayd Pharao go fette hym soone
And of this mater yf he can shewe me well
I wyll forgyue hym my malyce euery-dell
Than was lytell Ioseph to the kynge brought
595 He wende he sholde dye therfore he toke grete thought

Than Pharao to Ioseph all his dreme tolde
And sayd canst thou tell me what it dooth mene
And thou shalte haue plente sayd Pharao of golde
Syr sayd Ioseph I wyll shewe the of thy dreme
600 What dyde sygnefye the fayre fatte beestes seuen
sig: [B5]
Thou shalte haue seuen plenty[full] yeres of whete plentyfull] plenty 1510, plentyfull 1522-23
And as many moo there shall be none to gete

The last beestes that thou sawe on whiche thou doost wonder
That ete vp all the corne and yet were they lene
605 It betokeneth that there is comynge .vij. yeres of honger
And all the other plente they shall ete vp clene
As I tell the this it dooth mene
Well sayd kynge Pharao this dreme is well expounde
Therfore wyll I make the stewarde of my grounde

610 Lo than was Ioseph stewarde of Egypte londe
He gadereth in the corne bothe daye and nyght
All men hym pleased bothe free and bonde
Unto Ioseph dyde bowe bothe squyer and knyght
Yet fayne wolde he haue knowlege and he myght
615 Whether his fader and his moder were on_lyue
He threwe moche chaffe on the water that was lyght
That in-to Israell the wynde myght it dryue

In Israell than was there honger grete
Iacob that was Iosephs fader with his sones all
620 Coude not gete in theyr countre brede nor mete
So grete scarsenes amonge them was fall
As for corne had they none and mete but s[m]all small] shall 1510, small 1522-23
At the last the .xi. bretherne by the see-syde gan gone
They sawe where the chaffe came fletynge on the fome

625 Than home to theyr fader these bretherne dyde ronne
And of the chaffe shewed hym that they dyde fynde
Out of what countree sayd Iacob sholde it come
Can ye tell / and whiche waye cometh the wynde
It came out of Egypte they answered by theyr mynde
630 In fayth sayd his chyldren that by hym dyde stande
Now wolde to god sayd Iacob that we were in that lande

My sones all thyder I wyll you sende
sig: [B5v]
For you ryght soone I shall ordeyne a galye
Also ye shall haue golde ynough for to spende
635 Haste ye thyder and come agayne lyghtly
If ye tary longe for hongre I shall dye
Than they toke theyr shyppe and sayled forth in-dede
I praye god sayd Iacob to be your good spede

The shyppe was swyfte that they in rode
640 God dyde them sende also a fayre wynde
And soone they passed ouer the see brode
So acras hauen forsothe gan they fynde
They kest an ancre soone to the londe they gan wynde
The fyrst man they mette was a harper
645 That knewe Israell for he trauayled fer

This mynstrell shewed them the custome of the countree
Bycause they wolde to the courte he gaue them a rynge
And badde them bere it to the porter my broder is he
The more fauour ye may haue there at your comynge
650 And to the stewarde for my sake he wyll you brynge
So they toke theyr leue eche at other
Farewell sayd the mynstrell recommaunde me to my broder

At the last these bretherne with the stewarde dyde mete
And prayed hym to haue some whete for theyr golde
655 Lowe on theyr knees all they gan sytte
The stewarde lyked theyr fauour and them gan beholde
And sayd out of this lande no whete shall be solde
Ye yonge men quod Ioseph of what countree are ye
Of Israell londe one Iacobs sones be we

660 For Ioye than the teres fell fro his eye
And sodeynly loked asyde
Bycause his bretherne sholde hym not spye
So forth togyder they all dyde ryde
sig: [B6]
And sayd that in Israell grete hongre dyde byde
665 Ioseph asked yf they had ony moo bretheryn
And they sayd ye his name is Beniamyn

Than he gaue them whete theyr sackes euen full
And they payed for it to hym all theyr golde
Ioseph sayd ye shall haue as moche as ye wull
670 These bretherne thanked hym many-folde
At the last came Rubyne his sacke vp to holde
Than Ioseph let fall a cuppe amonge the whete
So knytted vp that bagge and badde them go to mete

So they toke theyr leue they wolde no lenger byde
675 And whan they were gone thus a dayes Iourney
Ioseph badde men after them to ryde
And sayd brynge them agayne or they go to theyr galey
For they haue borne the kynges cuppe awaye
The men after-rode at the last them ouertoke
680 And made them so aferde that pyteously they loke loke] dyde loke 1522-23

Abyde ye theues the men to them sayd
Ye haue stolen a cuppe that longeth to the kynge
Fro theyr backes theyr bagges downe they layde
All they on other stode heuyly lokynge
685 Good syrs we haue none sayd chylde Rubyne
Than they sought the sackes as they stode on the grounde
And in Rubynes bagge the cuppe they founde

God wote / than that they all were wo
And loked as pale as the asshes dede
690 To gete helpe or comforte they wyst not how to do
Lo ye theues the men to them sayde
In pryson shall ye and there to ete your brede
And bounde theyr handes and ledde them to theyr brother
Wenynge for to dye they knewe all none other

sig: [B6v]
695 Than Ioseph sayd syrs how is this befall
That this cuppe of golde is amonge you found
Forsothe sayd they we kn[o]we it not at all knowe] knewe 1510, knowe 1522-23
And than fell on theyr knees to the grounde
Hens ye go not yet sayd Ioseph for a .M. pounde
700 But yf ye wyll brynge me Beniamyn
That is your brother fayne I wolde se hym

Tyll ye haue hym brought sayd Ioseph tho
One of you to pledge here shall abyde
How saye ye are ye agreed therto
705 And they answered hym ye in that tyde
Than go whan ye wyll sayd Ioseph god be your gyde
So they toke theyr shyppe and sayled ouer the stronde

On a daye lytell Beniamyn that was lefte at home
To his fader for brede he dyde praye
710 Iwys sone sayd Iacob I haue none
And therfore I may saye well-awaye
For now I lacke my fode and none gete I may
Alas sayd the chylde agayne fader I wolde haue breed
My bely is sore for hunger alas I wolde be deed

715 Iacob wept so dyde Rachell also
To se theyr chylde for his brede crye
Alas they sayd now were we neuer so wo
Our whete is all gone and none can we bye
A good god sayd Iacob for faute now I dye
720 My sones from egypte I wolde were come full fayne
For all the worlde hongre is the gretest payne

And as soone as they these worde spoken [had] corner of leaf torn away here and in the next two lines; text completed from 1522-23
All his sones brought whete in-to the ha[ll]
Than Iacob and his wyfe wexed [very glad]
sig: [B7]
725 And lytell Beniamyn well knewe them all
So they shewed theyr fader what dyde them befall
And sayd that they must cary Beniamyn ouer the see
Nay that shall ye not quod Iacob he shall byde with me

We were troubled for a cuppe they all sayd
730 That was founde in Rubyns bagge
And we had wende veryly that we sholde all haue dyed
Grete sorowe and trouble therfore we had
Than Iacob theyr fader was very sadde
And asked for Asser that was theyr brother
735 He is yet in egypte they sayd it wyll be none other

Tyll we brynge Beniamyn there must he byde
He fareth well ynough they sayd and hath his lyberte
Therfore we wyll hye vs thyder this nexte tyde
And brynge home whete grete plente
740 Alas sayd Iacob none other can I se
Now shall I lese Beniamyn after Ioseph
In sorowe shall I lyue all the dayes of my lyfe

So ouer in-to egypte Beniamyn they ladde
And before the stewarde they dyde hym brynge
745 Than was Ioseph I trowe full gladde
Whan he sawe all his bretherne before hym knelynge
So Ioseph prayed them in ebrewe to synge
And euer his eye he cast on lytell Beniamyn
Be ye sure he was gladde for to se hym

750 Than they all songe ebrewe as theyr broder badde
I trowe Ioseph therof was fayne
And than he called them bretherne and bad them be gladde
For I am he sayd that you solde in dottayne
Remembre ye not that ye me wolde haue slayne
755 Alas sayd Rubyne vnto his bretherne tho
sig: [B7v]
For that same dede to deth now shall we go

Not so quod Ioseph I forgyue you all
And than he kyssed them euerychone
In this countree bretherne now ye abyde shall
760 But fyrst agayne ye must go home
And fette all my kynrede of them leue not one
Bothe my fader and my moder brynge hyder to me
And in this lande they shall lyue full meryly

Home they wente in-to Israhell londe
765 And tolde theyr fader good tydynges haue we brought
Ioseph our broder agayne haue we fonde
Whete in Egypte in a good tyme we sougnt
God wote that Iacob was gladde in his thought
And than all the bretherne to theyr fader tolde
770 How for .xxx. pens to a chapman they hym solde

And now fader he prayeth you to come to that lande
With all your kynne vnto the nynth degre
And there shall ye haue all-thynge at your hande
With a good wyll quod Iacob thyder wyll we
775 To shyppe they wente in all the haste that myght be
And shortly landed in Egypte the kyngdome
Ioseph was gladde whan he herde they were come

At the laste they mette Ioseph in pharaos hall
There he welcomed his fader and Rachell his moder
780 So for to wasshe to mete for water he dyde call wasshe] wasshed 1510, wasshe 1522-23
Iacob toke the lauer in one hande and the basen in the other
And Rachell in her hande a fayre towell dyde bere
And so to theyr sone it helde for to wasshe his handes
Nay not so quod Ioseph this not with reason standes

785 Than at the table his fader he dyde set
With his moder Rachell and many other mo
sig: [B8]
Theyr .xij. sones there serued them of mete
On his dreme Ioseph thought tho
How that he out of Israhell dyde go
790 So whan they had eten thus he gan sayne
Now are my dremes true that I had in dotayne

Now dooth the sonne and the mone bowe to my hande
And the .xi. sterres that in my dreme I dyde se
With sheues of whete thrugh-out the lande
795 Now in-dede they do folowe me
And now in egypte our lyfe lede we
So than he prayed his fader to be gladde
God hath so prouyded ye haue no cause to be sadde

Styll there they lyued in that countre
800 In grete rychesse they dyde all habounde
Of shepe and catell they had plente
With gotes asses and camelles full theyr grounde
Theyr kynrede encreased aboute them rounde
Tyll it befell at last that all-thynge shall haue ende
805 God his messenger deth vnto them dyde sende

Now ye that shall this boke se and rede
Do not thynke that it is contryued of ony fable
For it is the very byble in-dede
Wherin our fayth is grounded full stable
810 Now god gyue vs grace that we may be able
By meryte of his passyon to heuen assende
For of this mater here I make an ende
¶Here endeth Iacob and his .xij. sones. Enprynted at London in Fletestrete at the sygne of the sonne / by Wynkyn_de_Worde.
sig: [B8v]