Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/676

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Polyglot of Cardinal Ximenes at Alcalä (Complutum) which, however, did not appear until 1520.

The earliest Bibles printed in any modern language were in German, issued by Mentelin and Eggesteyn of Strassburg not later than 1466. In 1471 appeared at Venice two Italian translations, the first by Malermi, a Camaldulese monk who died as far back as 1421, the second by Nicholas Jenson. Buyer at Lyons is responsible for the first French New Testament in 1477; the Old Testament in Dutch came out at Delft the same year. In 1480 the Low German Bible appeared at Cologne. The entire Bible, done into French paraphrase by Guiars de Moulin in the thirteenth century, was committed to type in 1487, and went through sixteen editions. The Bohemian version belongs to 1488. The Spanish had been made about 1405 by Boniface, brother of St Vincent Ferrer; it was printed at Valencia in 1478, and republished in 1515, of course with the imprimatur of the Inquisition. The standard French version of Jacques Lefevre (1512 to 1523-7) was revised by Louvain theologians and passed through forty editions down to the year 1700. Fourteen translations of the Vulgate into German, and five into Low Dutch, are known to have existed before Luther undertook the task; from a collation of these with his Bible, it is evident that the reformer consulted previous recensions, and that his work was not entirely original. Prior to his first complete edition in 1534 no fewer than thirty Catholic impressions of the entire Scriptures or portions of them had appeared in the German vernacular. Eleven full Italian editions, with permission of the Holy Office, are counted before 1567. The Polish Bible was printed at Cracow in 1556 and many times afterwards with approbation of the reigning Popes.

Translations of the Psalms and Sunday Gospels had long been in use. From the Council of Constance, or even earlier, provincial synods laid the duty on priests of explaining these portions during Mass; and Postils or Plenaria which comment upon them in the vernacular meet us everywhere. Metrical versions, such as that of de Moulins in France, or of Maerlant in the Netherlands (1225-1300), were well-known among all classes. But to what an enormous extent the Bible was now read the above dates and figures may indicate, not to mention the forms in which it was speedily issued, pocket or miniature editions for daily use. It is not until we come within sight of the Lutheran troubles, that preachers like Geiler of Kaisersberg hint their doubts on the expediency of unrestrained Bible-reading in the vernacular. One remarkable fact would seem to tell the other way. In this extensive catalogue we have not been able to discover a solitary English Bible. How did it happen, we must ask, that before Tyndale's New Testament of 1526 none was printed in our native tongue?

A dense darkness hangs over the origin and authorship of the translation ascribed to Wyclif. It is certain that Archbishop Arundel, at