Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader/It is better to suffer an Injury than to inflict one

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[From the Alfredian version of Beothius's De Consolatione Philosophiae, according to MS. C (Cotton, Otho A. 6); with variants from MS. B (Bodl. 180, formerly marked NE. C. 3. 11), and from J (Bodl. Jun. 12), which is Junius's transcript of B.]

Ic þē wolde gīet reccan sume swīðe rihte race, ac ic wāt þæt þis flc his nele gelȳfan: þæt is, þæt ðā bīoð gesǣligran þe mon wītnað, þonne þā bīon þe hī wītniað. Ðā wundrode ic ðǣs, on cwæð, 'Ic wolde þæt þū mē gereahte hū hit swā bīon meahte.' Ða cwæð hē, 'Hwæðer þū ongite þæt ǣlc yfelwillende mon ond yfelwyrcende sīe wītes wyrðe?' Ðā cwæð ic, 'Genōg sweotole ic þæt ongite.' Ðā cwæð hē, 'Hū ne is sē ðonne yfelwillende ond yfelwyrcende ðe þone unscyldigan wītnað?' Ða cwæð hē, 'Hwæðer þū wēne þæt ðā sīen earme ond ungesǣlige þe wītes wyrðe bīoð?' Ðā cwæð ic, 'Ne wēne ic his nō, ac wāt geare.' Ðā cwæð hē, 'Gif þū nū dēman mōste, hwæðerne woldes þū dēman wītan wyrðran, þe ðone þe ðone unscyldan wītnode, ðe ðone þe þæt wīte þolade?' Ðā cwæð ic, 'Nis þæt gelīc; ic wolde helpan þæs ðe ðǣr unscyldig wǣre, ond hēnan þone þine hine yflode.' Ðā cwæð hē, 'Þonne þē ðincð sē earmra, sē [þe] þæt yfel dēð, þonne sē þe hit þafað?' Ðā cwæð ic, 'Þæs ic gelēfe, þætte ǣlc unriht wītnung sīe þæs yfel þe hit dēð, næs þæs ðe hit ðafað, for ðǣm his yfel hine gedēð earmne. Ond ic ongite ðǣt þis is swīðe riht racu þæt þū nū recst, ond swīðe anlīc þǣm þe þū ǣr reahtes; ac ic wāt þēah þæt þīs folce swā ne þincð.'

Ðā cwæð hē, 'Wel þū hīt ongītst. Ac ðā þingeras þingiað nū hwīlum þǣm þe lǣssan þearfe āhton; pingiað þǣm þe þǣr man yflað, ond ne þingiað þǣm þe þæt yfel dōð. Þǣm wǣre māre ðearf þe þā ōðre unscyldige yflað, þæt him mon þingode tō ðǣm rīcum, ond bǣde þæt him mon dyde swā micel wīte swā hī þǣm ōðrum unscyldgum dydon. Swā swā sē sīoca āh þearfe þæt hine mon lǣde tō þǣm lǣce þæt hē his tilige, swā āh sē þe ðæt yfel dēð; þæt hīne mon lǣde tō þǣm rīcum, þæt mon þǣr mæge snīðan ond bærnan his unþēawas. Ne cweðe ic nā þæt þæt yfel sīe þæt mon helpe þæs unscyldgan, ond him foreþingie, ac ic cweðe þæt hit is betere þæt mon wrēge þone scyldgan; ond ic secge þæt sīo foresprǣc ne dyge nāuðer nē þǣm scyldgan nē ðǣm þe him foreþingað, gif hī þæs wilniað þæt him heora yefel unwrecen sīe be ðæs gyltes andēfne. Ac ic wāt gif ðā scyldgan ǣnigne spearcan wīsdōmes hæfden, ond be ǣnigum dǣle ongēaten þæt hī meahten heora scylda þurh þæt wīte gebētan þe him hēr on weorulde on becōme, þonne noldon hī nā cweðan þæt hit wǣre wīte, ac woldon cweðan þæt hit wǣre heora clǣnsung ond heora betrung; ond noldon nǣnne þīngere gesēcan, ac lustlīce hī woldon lǣtan þā rīcan hī tūcian æfter hiora āgnum willan. For ðǣm ne scyle nān wīs man nǣnne mannan hatian. Ne hatað nān mon þone gōdan, būtan sē eallra dysgosta, nē þæt nis nān riht þæt mon þone yflan hatige, ac hit is rihtre þæt him mon miltsege: þæt is þonne hiora mildsung, þæt mon wrece hiora unðēawas be hiora gewyrhtum. Ne scyle nān mon sīocne monnon ond gesārgodne swencan; ac hine mon sceal lǣdan tō þǣm lǣce, þæt hē his tilige.