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England in the Age of Wycliffe

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The priests' quotations and commentaries in the pulpit were not quite all the instruction in the Bible that the ordinary layman received. The history there recorded was taught, not out of the original, but in the form of separate tales, mixed up with later traditions and popular fables. Probably there was no distinction in the mind of the laymen between what we call * Bible stories * and much other matter. A literature of this sort existed in the vernacular both in prose and verse, but these ma
...nuals were of very little value as intellectual or spiritual training, compared to the original from which they were supposed to be drawn. An example from the ' Metrical Paraphrase of Genesis and Exodus ' will illustrate the charac- ter of this class of popular instruction. When Thermutis brought Moses before Pharaoh, this King became to him in heart mild.
So very fair was this child ; And he took him on son's stead, And his crown on his head he did, And let it stand a stound ; The child it threw down to the ground, Hamon's likeness was thereon ; This crown is broken, this is misdone.


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