Thornton Manuscripts

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The prose life of Alexander



The Bishop of the Jews' dream.

after, when the Bischoppe hadd made his sacrafice, and was of thelyand in prayers, he fell on slomeryng and ane Angelle appered vn-till hym and sayd, 'Be nowte ferd,' quoth he, ' bot swythe

4 gere araye honestly all the stretis of (the) citee, and caste open the yates, and warne all the folke that thay aray tham in whitteclethynge, and thi-selfe & alle the prestis reuestey yow solerapnely,and to-morne arely wendey furthe of the citee agaynes Alexander

8 in processioun. For hym by-houey regne & be lorde of allethe werlde. Bot at the laste the wrethe of godd sall falle aponhym.' When the bischoppe wakened of his slepe, he called tillhym the iewes and talde tham his reuelacion, and bad tham do

12 all als the Angelle hade schewed hym. And thay did so. Forthay arayed the stretey of the cetee and cledde tham in whitteclethynge, and the bischope & the prestis reueste tham, andbathe thay and alle the folke went furthe of the citee till a place

16 whare the temple & all the citee may be seen. And thare thayhabade the comynge of Alexander. And when Alexander comenere this foresaid place, and sawe be-for hym swilke a multitudeof folke, cledd alle in whitte, and the prestey; arayed solempnely

20 in riche vestymentis, and the byschope also in his pontyfycalesand a mytir one his heued, and thare-apon a plate of golde,whare-one was wretyn the name of grete godd Tetragramaton, hecommaunded all his men that thay schulde halde tham) by-hynd

24 hym, and habyde till he com to tham. And he lighte off hishorse, and went bi hym ane to the iewes, And knelid down tothe erthe and wirchippede the hye name of godd, that he sawthare wretyn apon the bischopes heued. And than alle the iewes

28 knelid doun & saluste Alexander and cried all wit a voyce:'lyff lyffe,' quoth thay, ' grete Alexander, lyffe, lyffe the grettesteEmperour of the werlde, lyffe he that sall ouer-com all men andnoyte be ouercomen. Prynce maste gloryous and maste worthy

32 of all the princey that regney apon erthe.' When the kyngey ofSurry saw this, thay hadd grete wonder thare-off. And a prynceof Alexanders, that highte Parmenon, said vn-till Alexander:' Mi lorde the Emperour,' quoth he, ' we mervelle vs gretely that

36 thou, wham all men wirchippey and lowtey, wirchippey here thebischope of the Iewes.' And Alexander ansuered, ' I wirchipenoyte hym,' this quoth he, 'Bot Godd whase state he presentey.For when I was in Macedoyne, and vmbithoghte me, on what

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Darius's letter to Alexander.

write a letter and sent it till Alexander. And thare-wit he senthym a handball: & other certane lapey in scorne. And this is thetenour of the lettre that he sent till hym.

4 'Darius, kyng of kynges, and lord of all erthely lordes euenlike vnto sonne schynande, wit the goddey of Perse, vntillAlexander oure seruand we send. We hafe vnderstanden nowon late, whare-of we meruelle vs gretely, that thou ert so raysed

8 in pride and vayne glorye, that thou hase semblede togedira company of robbours and thefey oute of the weste parties, andcastey the for to com in-till oure partiey, supposynge thurghtham for to ouer-sett and constreyne the grete myghte & the

12 vertue of the percyens, whase strenghte thou may neuer sloken neouercome, suppose thou gadirde & sembled togedir all the werlde.For I do the wele to wiete thou myghte nerehand alsonne nommerthe sternes of heuen, as the folke of the empire of Perse. Oure

16 goddey also, by whaym all this werlde es gouerned & sus-tened prayssey & commendey oure name passyng all othernacyons. 'Bot noyte wit-standynge this; thou as a littill bisne &a dwerghe, a halfe man & ortey of alle men, desyrand to ouer-

20 passe thi littillnesse, riyte as a mouse crepey oute of hir hole, sothou ert cropen out of the lande of Sethym, wenynge wit a fewrebawdey to conquere & optene the landey of Perse brade & lange,& to ryotte & playe the in thaym as myesse douse in the house

24 whare na cattes ere. Bot I that priualy hase aspied thi gatey,when thou weney moste seurely for to stertle abowte, I sall sterteapon the & take the; & so in wrechidnes sall thi dayes foulyhafe an ende. 'A grete Foly thou dide for to take apon the

28 swylke a presumpcyon. It ware full faire to the, if thou myghtebi oure lefe, wit oure beneuolence, ocupie all anely the rewme ofMacedoyne, yeldynge tharefore till vs yerely a certane tribute, ifall thou couetid noyte oure empire. Thare-fore it es gude that

32 Thou lefe thi fonned purposse, and wende hame agayne, and settthe in thi moder knee. And lo, I sende the here a littill balle,wit the whilke als a childe thou may play the. For thou ert bota childe. It es mare semely that thou vse childey gammey than

36 dedey of armes. * We knawe wele thi pouert and thi nede, and

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