Thornton Manuscripts

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The prose life of Alexander

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The Brahnins to Alexander ; the ills of Heathendom.

which they offer to their gods. The gods become not their

helpers but their tor- mentors, egging them on to all evils. Yet they must

hearken to them.

Righteous punish- ment for the ill deeds of the Greeks.

The prayers of the Greeks are evil, so that they are harmed whether such be heard or not.

All the tor- ments of hell are in the Greeks through their own vices.

And the bodies of the Greeks are a living hell.

of Couetyse je enourne wit rose^. Atte '^our myghte & joure triste 5e putt in J^am )?at may 50W iia-tliyng helpe at nede. Now sothely ^e pray J^am) no^te to be 50wr helpers, Bot ^oure toMrmentoz^rs. For it byhoues nedis be f>at, als many goddes als 50 wircliipe & gyffe3 J^am) powere of '^our lymmes, als many towrmentej ^e suffere. Aue of '^our goddes stirres 50W to fornycacion. Ane o]>er to ete & drynke to mekitt, and anojjer to feglite & stryffe. Atl ere [jay i,our lordes, and to )?am) 56 obey & serues and wirchippes. So J>at wonder it es f)at 50wr wrechid' bodys fayles no^te for \>q many seruycej \>at 56 do to so many goddes. And gud ri^te it es J^at 56 serue swilke goddes bi-cause of f)e many wikkede dedis ]>at 5e do. And for ^e wilt no^te cesse of "^our itt dedis, ]?ar«fore 36 serue swilke goddes tilt 3owr awenn) harme, For euermare ]:?ay desyre fiat 3e do ilt. If •:^our goddes here 30W when) 5e pray to jjam, f>uy do 50W harme in ^oz^r co9^science. For J?at that 50 pray fore es ill. And if )?ay here 30W noghte, f)an) ere f>ay coTitrarye to 3owr desyres. Whare-fore whethir J^ay here 50W, or f)ay here 50W noghte, eu^r-mare f»ay do 50W disesse. pise ere )?a^ to^trmente5 ]?at oure doctours talde vs offe, ]?at here in this werlde towrmente^ 30W as ^e ware dede. For, and ^e cowsyder wele, \>are may no man suffere wers towrment Jjan) ^e doo. For all: f)e takens f>at oure doctcwrs telle^ vs ere in hette, and we see )?am) in ^owe.^ pare are many paynes in hette, 5e suffre paynes when ^e wake for to do advowtres, forny- cacions, & thiftes, man)-slawghters. And namely, "^pai 5e bee filled' of werldly reches ; 3a, & of worldly rechesse. For oure doctoz^rs says, '\>are es in helle so mekilt thriste, })at it may neuer be slokend''; and 3e haue so grete Couetyse of worldely reches \)ai 36 may neu^r be full, pay say also ]?at in heHe \>are es a hunde f)at es callede Cerberws Jje whilke base thre heuedes ; And if 3ee co?iseder ry3te, 3owr wambes are lyke Cerberws. For mekitt etywg & drynkkynge, f>ay say also, ]>are es ^ in hette a maner of nedder Jjat es called" Idra. And 3e for J^e many vice3, ]?at 3e hafe bicause of '^our full wambe3 may be callede Idra. Whare-fore & we bi-helde wele att ]?e illes ])ai

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36

' MS. reads/a.

^ in ^owe inserted in the right-hand margin by the same scribe.

' MS. twice over, ^are es.

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Alexander on the ivorthlessness of Brahmin austerity. 85

are in hette, J?ay duette in 30W. * Waa es 50W, wreches, J?at swilke * Leaf 35

a mysbileue haldes ; whare-fore after j^is lyfe, 50 mon) suffere Woe to the

paynes wit-owttefD nowmer.' When) Alexander hadd" redd" Jois ^[exand r

4 le^^re, he was wonder wrathe, be-cause of iniury of his goddes. is angry at

XT ,1 1 1 r> 1 i • , 1 r. , 1 . ^^^^^ letter,

JNeuer-pe-less, be-lyie he gart write anopr agayne 01 this and

tenoz^r. l^P^''^.^ ^^

Dindimus.

^ ' Kyng of kynges, and lorde of lorde^, Alexander Ipe son) of 8 godd" Amon) and of J)e quene Olympias, to Dindimi«s, kyng if it be as of J^e Bragmayns, gretyng. If alt be fun) trew amanges ^^^^^^imus 50W f)at Ipou base sent wretyn) in thy le^^res, J^an) allanly ^e truly the are gude men) in J^is werlde ; for as pou says ^e do nafD ill. only are

12 Bot wit j^ou wele^ for certayne, Ipat pis maner of lyffyng Y^t^th cowime^ no^te of vertu bot of custom). Alt thynge^ |?at we do, Brahmins ^e saye es synn). And att pe crafte5, J^at ere amangej vs on Ipe through same wyse; 50 say, ]?ay ere sy^znes. 3® wilt distroye alt ]pe custom,

16 customs J?at man)-kynde hedir-towarde base hadd" & vsed". allciviliza-

Owther ^e schew bi ^our worde^, J?at 50 are godde^, or elts tilt envy of

goddes 5e bafe envy. And pare-iore 56 say, as ^e say, I may no^t *^® ^°*^^-

write to 50W att J^e order of '^our lyffyng. Bot als mekitt Ipare-of^e ing^j^ess'an'd

20 als I may vnderstande at this tyme, I salt writte vn-to 50W. virtues

« . JO, T 1 come from

3ee say 56 vse no^te for to tiit pe erthe, ne sawe na corne, ne their

plante na vynes, ne sett na trees, na to make na faire howse^. ^nd^the And J^e cause here-of as it wele semes es for ^e hafe na IrefD, poorness of

24 whare-of 50 myghte make 50W tuyles for to wirke with-alte. country. And bare-fore 50W by-houes nedes ett herbes & lede an harde They are lyfe, ry^te as beste^. For 50 may nowfer gette brede ne flesche wolves, ne fysche. Does no^t wolfes on) pe same wyse, pe whilke, when) If they

28 ]:)ay may no^te gete J^aire filt of flesche, ]?ay filt J)aire belys of Greece the pe erthe "i And it ware lefult or lykande to 50W to come tilt ^^®^}\^ oure cuntree, we sulde lere na wisdom) of 5oure nede. And pare- learn fore late '^our hunger babyde at hame in '^our awenn) cuntree. them so let

32 pat mafD es no^te mekills at commend? J>at alwayes lyffes in *^®^ ^^^^^®

disesse. Bot he es gretly to commend', J?at in reches lyffe^ poverty is

attemperally. Bot and men) schulde be commendid" bat are i^^* *o ^^

T,-iT 11111 praised, but

oppressed* wit disesse, pan) sulde blynd men), leprouse men), temperance

36 & oper swilke ouer att oper be coy/imendid'; pe blynde, for he ^^or are^the sees noit at desyre ; be pouer, for he base noste at do. And we maimed to

b© i3i'£iis6d walde make oure duellynge in '^oicr cuntree we sulde suffere that they

* Five lines spaced red capital K with '^ Jfot wit^ou toele repeated in MS.

small k in the margin beside.

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Alexander on the foolishness of Brahmin austerity.

do no ill, since their defect

* Leaf 36. hinders them.

Their chas- tity is due to want of food. But the Brahmins live as mere beasts.

pouert & wrechidnes ri^te as ^e do. ^e say also })at ^oyr wyfes

vse5 na prowde aray for to plese j^aire husbande^, and pe cause

es for })ay hafe na noj^er * thyng for titt araye ]?ani) wit} Also 56

say 5e do nane advowtries ne fornycacions. And )?at es na

meruaile! For-whi, how sulde. pa,j hafe luste to lechery ]:)at

etes no^te. Luste of lechery es no^te comonly, hot yf it come

of hete of ])e leuer or ells of habudance of mete & drynke.

Bot 5e ete na-thynge hot herbes & rote^, as 50 ware swyne;

& drynkes wat^r & vnnethes may 56 sloken) '^our hunger and

j^arefore ^e hafe nan) ajDpitite to women).

* 3e hafe na liste to studie aboute lerynge, ne 5e seke na

mercy ne dees nane till oper. And all this 56 hafe in comon)

w^t beste^. For rijte as beste^ base nowj^er reson) ne discrecion),

ne base na felynge of gude, ri5te so f)ay hafe na delite in gode.

Bot tin vs resonable men) fat has free will of kynde ere many

lykyng^s & blandeschynge^ granted! For it es im-possible f)at

J^is werlde wyde & brade sulde no5te hafe sum) chaungynge of

gouernance ; So J>at ne after heuyness & sorowe, loy & myrthe

sulde no^te folowe.'^ For-why manes wilt es variable & chaunge-

able pat chaunge5 wit pe heuen) abownn). On pe same wyse

manes hert es dyucrse. For when) pe day es clere, manes hert

even as the es gladde & blythe. And when) pe day es derke, manes wittis

are derke & dulte & heuy. Also men) chaunge^ thurgh dyuerse

ages. For barnehed'' reioyse it in sympiluesse, 50uthede in

presumptuosnes, And grete elde in stabilnes. For wha wilt

luke efter wysdome in a childe, In a 5unge man) stabittnes, or

in an aide man) wildenes 1 Many delitable thynges comej tilt

and old age oure mvnde. For sum) we See w^t oure eghne ; Sum) we hafe

stable.

Who will thurgh herynge ; Suin) we fele thurgh smellyng ; Sum) thurgh

tastynge; and Suin) thurgh towchynge. Sumtyme we Kafe

delite in salutacions & swete sange5 & melodys of dyuerse

Instrwmente^. Of J^e erthe we hafe al maner of gud fruytej ;

of j^e see we hafe habundance of fysche, and of pe ayere delyte

given us by of fewles of dyu^rse kyndis. If pou. abstene pe fra alt thies

and sky. ' owthir it es for pride or for envy. For pride, pat pon dispyse^

from thisTs ^w^^^® precyouse gifte^. For envy bi-cause Jjay ere no5te gyffen)

50W, as J)at fay ere to vs. Bot efter myn) opynyon) I deme fat

J

The Brah- mins seek no learn- ing, having beastlike no feeling or delight in good. But men can rejoice through free will. The

changes of the world and of the ages of man are

brightens and

darkens, even as a child is simple, youth pre sumptuous.

look for the opposite ? The de- lights of the senses and of those things

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36 I

^ lie&f ^e, J>am wit ; leaf 36 /am mif.

' The second vowel infolowe is diflBcult to read.

It looks like fbleive.

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87

Dindionus to Alexander. Of the goodly ways of the Brahmins. 87

'^our lyffyng and '^our maners cowmes mare of foundnesse J^afi) due either to

of wysdoifD. For sen) 50 are men) ^e schulde hafe Ipe vertu^ of peevishness.

a resonable creatt^re, and f»at hafe ^e no5hte.' When Dindim2<s He deems the

4 hadd redd' f>is lettre, onane he wrate anoj^er to kyng Alexander go^th^ugh^^

of pis ienour. ^°^^y-

^ ' Dyndimw5, J^e mayst^r of J?e Bragmayus, vn-titt Alexander, Dindimus to gretyng. We hafe vndirstand be ienour of bi letires & bus we 8 ansuere. We er no5te * lorde^ of this werlde, as we sulde euermare ®^ ^

lyffe pare in. But we ere pilgrymes in ]:)is werlde, and when) loS^of this

dede comme^ we wende titt oper habytacions. Oure Synne5 world, but a

greue5 vs no^te, ne we duelle no^te in pe tabernacles of r^j^g virtue of

12 synners.'^ We do na thyfte. And for pe conscjence pat we the Brahmms.

haue, we gaa no^te furthe in open). We say no5te f>at we ere ^.^ maAe

goddes, ne nane envy base vn-to J)am). Godd' pat made att pai verse so that

es in })is werlde, he ordeyned" many diuerse thyngej. For ^ight endure.

16 warne dyuersitees ware of thynge^ pe werld my^te noghte

stande. Godd" gaffe man) fre will, for to discerne of alt thynge^ He gave man

T 'n 1 1 TTTI r ^^®® 'Will to

pat ere i7i pe werld", and chese whilke nym lyste. Wnare-iore choose of all

he pat leues pe itt & chese^ pe gude, no^te godd", but goddes h^m list^^^ot

20 frende he may be called". Be-cause bat we lyffe contenently, they, but the

and in qmete & reste, ^e say pat we ere godde^, or elles envious of

pai we hafe envy to godde5. But this suspeccion) pai ^e ^^^^s^^s.

hafe of vs, pertenej to 50W. For je pai ere blawen) fuH of 24 pe wynde of pride ^e aray jowr bodys wit gloijous clefhyng,

and on ^our fyngers, ^e putt iowelts of golde & iprecjous

stanes.

* Bot I pray 50W, what profit does )?is 50W : Golde and silu^r Gold and

, ^ . . 1 1 -n i silver save

28 saues no5te a manes saule, ne sustene5 no^te mens bodys. Bot j^^j^g -jj^ey

we pai knawes J^e verray profitt of golde, and pe kynd" J?are- despise it as

ofie, when vs thriste^, & gase to pe ryuere for to take vs a quenching

drynke, if we fynde golde in pe way, we trede apon) it wit oure hunger nor

32 fete. For golde noj^^r fille^ vs when) we hunger, ne slokens ^^l^i^^st. oure thriste, ne it hele5 no5te a man) Jjat es seke. If a man) thriste & drynke water, it putte5 away his thriste. Also if a

man) hunger & ete mete, it does away his hunger. Bot and Neither does

36 golde ware of pe same kynde, als son) als a man) hadd' it, pe vice yice^of ^

of Couetyse suld be slokynde in hym. Be f>is cause es golde ill. covetousness.

^ Two lines with small red capital D and ^ MS. synners with a contraction mark

small cursive d in the margin beside. over the y.

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Alexander to the Brahmins. The pillars he raises.

The more one has the more one desires. The Greeks worship wicked men, being themselves wicked, offering up beasts to their idols. Thus do they, who shall die, honour themselves.

* Leaf 37. Alexander to Dindi- mus.

The Brah- mins live as they do because they do not mingle with other men, but are shut off from them. They suffer even as those who lie in prison. He holds them as wretched fools, and could he but do it would march to- wards them with an army to make them leave their miserable life and become warriors.

12

For ay Ipe mare ]>at a man) base Jjare-offe, ]?e mare he couetes. Wikkede men) are wyrchippede amange^ 50W. For comonly a man) luffes hym ])at es lyke tilt hym selfen). 3® say Ipat godcT takes nane hede titt dedly thynges. And neu6r-f)e-lesse ^e bygge 4 temples, and makes aiitres in J?am), and settis vp mawmettes abownfD J^am), and grete delyte base when) bestes ere offerde, & in J)am, and at ^our name es noysede, ))is was done to )?i fader, to tbyn) Eldfader, & tilt alt tbi progenytoiirs. And pe 8 same also es bighte on-to pe. AVit swilke wircbipes f»ay ere rewarded", pat knawes no^te ]?am) selfe dedly.' Wben Alexander badd" redd" f> is le^^re onane be sente anoj^er agayne and tbat was of tbis tenour pe wbilk f)at folowes.^

^ * ' Alexander, pe son) of godd" AmofD & of pe quene Olympias, kyng of kynge^ & lorde of lorde^, vn-to Dyndymi^s kynge of J^e Bragmayns we sende. For als mekilt als '^our duellynge es in ]:»at partye of pe werlde fra pe begynynge, wbare na strangers 16 may com) to 50W, bot if it be ri^te fewe, ne 56 may nojte passe forthe of ^our cuntree, but als swa say je, are parred?in, and na ferrere may passe ; parefore 56 magnyfye ^owr manere of lyffynge and suppose^ J>at ^e are blyssed? be-cause J)at 50 er so spered'in, 20 f)at if 56 walde iieuer so gladly passe furtbe for to lere pe customes f>at oper men) vse5, 50 may no^te ; and nytt-5e wilt-^e, 30W by-boue5 nedis suffere psit caytefftee f)at 50 lyffe in. Wbare- fore it seme5 bi '^our tecbynge, tbat J^ay f^at liggej in presonn), 24 are als mekilt at comend' als 5e, pe wbilke vn-to Jjaire lyues ende suffres sorowe and nede. And as me tbynke, J^e gudnesse ]5at 5e ruse 50W offe, may wele be lykkened" to pe paynes of p8iim pat ere in pr^sonn). And so fat tbat oure lawe demes to be done t[i]ll wikked? 28 men), ^e suffere kyndely. And J^ar^-fore hym pat we halde wyse, 56 balde an Ebbere fule ^. Sotbely me tbynk '^our lyffynge es no5te blyssed" bot wrecbid? and as it ware a cbastying to jowe. I swere 50W by oure godde^ of mygbte, j^at, & I mygbte come 32 to 50VV witb an oste, I sulde gare 50W leue "^our wrecbid? lyfe, and by-come men) of armes, als many of 30W als ware able.' AVhen Alexander had" sent tbis lettre tilt Dyndim^ts he gart

1 The second vowel of folowes is often written so small as to render it uncertain whether it is an o or e.

^ Four lines with red capital A.

' fou written in MS. before fule and scratched out. This word fon or fou was complete and not a half-written word, as the MS. shows.

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The ivonders of India. 89

rayse vp a pelare of Marble a wonder grete, & an heglie, and Alexander gart writt Ipare-a-pon this title wit le^^res of grewe, of latyne, a^pifiarand and of be lanffaefe of Inde. 'I Alexander, Philipp) son of wrote his

r t> b ^ 3 ^ ftr victories

4 Macedoyne, aft(?r ])e discomfyto-i^r & pe deddT of Dariws & Torus on it in

. ,1 • 1 t Greek,

come on werre vn-to this place. Latin and

^ Fra beine kynsr Alexander & his Oste remowed' & come in- ^^ ^^^ ^^'^-

guage of

tilt a felde, J^at was called" Actea & J>are J^ay lugedl Abowte India.

8 f'at felde was a thikke wodd"" of treesse berand" fruyte ; of J^e ^^^ ^i^rSt

whilke wilde men) bat duelt in be Same wodd"" vsede for titt hafe ^^il ^^ '^}^^ . ■• ' . men eating

paire fude, wliase bodyes ware grete as geaunte^, and Jjaire fruit and

clethynge ware made of skynnes of dyuersc beste^. And when) ^^^ skins^of

12 Ip^J saw Alexa9i^^r Oste luee bare, onane bare come oute of be 'beasts.

jj, . &r' ^ . . , ^ They fight

wodd) a grete mi^ltitude of J>am) w^t lange roddes in fjaire hand^ & Alexander

bi-gan) for to feghte wit J)e oste. And J^an Alexa^ic^er cowimanded* ^^^^he^r ^

f»at all: [pe~\ oste schulde sette vp a schowte at anes. And also hands.

i6 sone als pe wylde* mefD herde pai^ noyse, ]^ay were wondere feredT *J^^^^^^ be-cause fay had neu^r be-fore herde swilke a noyse. And than) r^j^^ Greeks J?ay be-gan) to flee hedir & thedir in pe wodd. And Alexander & v^^^ t^em his men) persued? f)am) and slewe of ]?afn) vi^ xxx iiij. And J^ay slew shouting,

2o of Alexander knyghtes xxvij. In Jjat felde Alexanc^er & his ^^^^^^f oste leuged* iij dayes and vetailed? J>am of ]?at fruyte pat growed" them, in pe woddl

^ Fra J)eine pay remowed" and come till a grete ryuer, & luged' They come

24 pdiin. Jjare. And as it ware abowte none, J^are come apon) pam river and a wilde man), als mekitt als a geaunte. And he was rusfhe of stay there.

' . ° . . =• There they

hare att ouer, and his hede was lyke titt aswyne, And'his voyce meetawon- also. And when) Alexander saw hyw, he bad his knyghtis tak ^^an^^th

28 hyffi) & bryng hym bi-for hyifD. And when) })ay come abowte a swine's hym, be was nathynge fered, ne fledd" no^te, bot stodd" baldly bi- voice, fore pB,m). And when AlexfmcZer saw that, he comanded" Jjat ]?ay They tempt sulde take a jonge damesett & nakkefi) bir & sett hir bi-fore hym. nSeddam-

32 And ]pay did" soo. And onane, he ranne apon) bir romyandd" as sel and he hadd" bene woddl Bot pe knyghtes wit grete deficcultee refte hyr fra hym. And ay he romyed"" & made grete mane. And efte pSij broghte hym tilt Alexanc^^r and sett hym bi-fore hym.

36 And Alexander wonderd' gretly of his figure. And J^an) he

* Four lines with red capital F. * Five lines with large red F, small /

^ ^at at the bottom of leaf 37 and/f^ at beside, the top of leaf 37 bk.

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then burn him alive. They come to a won- drous wood- land with trees that spring up in the day- time and at sunset sink back into the earth, with fruit of sweet smell but of bitter taste. A knight takes of this, but is smitten dead by an evil spirit, and a voice proclaims the same to any that come nigh. In that * Leaf 38.

place are tame birds, and who touches them is scorched by fire. They come to a moun- tain, climb for 8 days, and at the top they fight dragons, etc. Going down they come into a dark val- ley with wondrous trees and streams, and a mountain with thick air.

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Wondrous trees, mountains, and valleys.

gerte byncT hym titt a tree & make a fyre abowte hym & brynne hym. And so J^ay didcT. ^ Fra j^eine J?ay remowed' & come tilt aiioj^er felde in j^e whilke ^pare ware growand? treesse, of a wonder- futt heghte, and fay bigan) for to sprynge vp at ]?e son) rysynge ; 4 And? bi J>e son) settynge f)ay wyted* a-way in-to f)e erthe agayne. At )?e firste houre of )?e day fay bi-gan) to sprynge oute of f e erthe, & so fay wex ay to myddaye, and fan) fay bi-gafi) to decresse. And by f e son) settynge fay ware in f e erthe agayne, g And was na thyng of fain) sene bi-fore on) f e morne. pir treesse bare a fruyte wonder swete of reflayre bot fay [ware] bitter of taste. "When Alexander saw fat fruyte he bade a knyghte

bryng hym fareoffe. And he went & tuk fare-offe, and onane 12
fay herd' a voyce in f e ayer fat said" on f is wyse : ' What man) so neghes fir treesse he satt dye onane/ pare was also in fat felde fewles wonder meke & tame. Bot what man) so layde 16 ^ nande on any of f am, onane fare come fire oute of fam), & S brynt hym ri^te greuosly.

* ^ Than fay remowed" fra f eine, And come tilt a Mountayne, fat was so hye, fat fay ware viij dayes in gangyng ar fay ao my5te wyne to f e heghte fare-offe. And when) fay come to f e heghte of it, fare come agaynes fain) a grete multitude of dragones, Serpentes, and lyones f e whilke turmentid'' Alexawc^er & his men) reghte gretely. And at f e laste, fay askaped" f aire 24 daungere, and went doune of f e mountayne and come i^i-titt a vaylay fat was so myrke fat vnnethes myghte ane of fam) See anofer. In fat depe valay ware treesse growand'of whilke fe fruyte & f e lefes ware wonder sauory in f e tastynge, and reuelts 28 of water faire & clere. Aghte dayes co9itenuelly fay saw na son). And at f e viij days end" fay come to f e fote of a mountayne whare att f e Oste thurgh a wikked thikk ayer ware so gretley disessed'fat fay ware \n poynte to hafe bene choked' 32 f are-offe. And when) fay come a-bowii) on fe mountayne, fay fande f e ayer mare sotelt, and f e lighte of f e day mare clere. And fws fay ware wendand" vpwarde, on) fis Mountayne Elleuen), xj, days wtt grete trauaile. And when) fay come to f e 36

* Four lines with red capital F and small y beside.

* Four lines with red capital T and

a dragon within, and the head of a dragon above with sting out.

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The vwuntains that border the sides. The battle ivith the Basilisk. 91

hegheste of f>is Mountayne, J^ay saw on J?e tof)er syde faire weder

& bryghte. And bail) bay went down) of bis Mountayne, and Thoy climb

come \n tin a grete playne oi wnilke pe ertne was wonder rede, for eleven days

4 And in })is playne ]>are ware growande treesse wi^-owtten) com^throu^lf

nowm^r ; and fay passed no^te a cubit in heghte, & J^aire fruyte clear weather

& jpaire lefes ware passandly swete as ]:»ay had benefyges. And redearthgrow-

J3ay fande J:are reuetts ri^te many, of clere water as cristatte. i^gdwarftrees

8 And it was als nureschand? to manes body, as it hadd? bene fully sweet

niylke wzt-outen) eny oj^er mete. Thurgh f»at ilk playne J?ay here they

went fourty .xl. days and ban) bay com titt wonder hesjhe ^^^ crystal

'J J i I J o streams whose

Moimtaynes ; and it semed as ])q toppes had towched J?e firma- waters nourish

12 ment. And ]?ir Mountaynes ware als brant vp-ri^te as f'ay had ^ere milk,

bene walles. So ])ai pare was na clymbyng vpon) J?am. And at ^^ou^h^that

Ipe laste J)ay fande twa passagej be-twix, f ase Mountaynes, of plain forty

whilke, Ipe tane streched" to-warde pe west, and pe toper towarde they 'come to

1 6 be Este. Than Alexander demed" hat that dyuyson) be-twix base »aountams

^ J -J '^ i whose tops

Mountaynes was made thurgh Noye flode. And f)an) ]:>ay went reach the skies

by pat passage pat streched to warde pe Este Seuen) days, ^e^e ^wo

And on) pe heghteii) .viij. day J^ay fande a Basilisc }?at meiD passages, one

2o calle^ a Cocatrys, a grete & ane horrible. And bicause of his west and the

grete elde he was foult stynkand". * Dis ilke Basilisc was so ^ ^^^^ „f,

. '^ Leaf 38 bk.

venymous, J?at no5te alt anely thurgh his stynke, bot also the east which

thurgh his sighte allane, whayin) so he luked" on), he sulde dy Alexander

^ o ' J ' -' thinks were

24 onane ; ]pan) pe Macedoynes and pe persyenes, as ]:?ay passede made by the

thurgh pe stray t way dyed" thikk-falde thurgh j^e sighte of )?at ^ east seven "^ ^*^

Basilisc. And when) Alexander knyghtis saw that pmtt, ]?ay f^^^'

durste passe na forther bot sai J amange^ J?am) : ' pe vertue of eighth day

28 oure goddes,' quoth p?ij, 'es bifore vs, pat schewes vs pat we Ba^gniskthat

schulde ga na forthir.' Bot Alexander went bi hym ane vppon) ^^^y^ through

° J ri look alone,

an heghe cragge, where he myghte see on ferrome fra hym. He kills many.

And ))afD he saw this pestellencitts beste pe Basilisc lygg veysMm from

32 slepande in myddes of j^e passage, pe kynde of hym was J>at, ^^^^ ^^'

als so sone als he felid" a man) or a beste coin) nere hym,

for to open) his eghne & stare appoiD J^aiii), and als many

als he luked oil), solde sudaynly fatte doun) & dye. When

36 Alexander had sene hym, Be lyfe he went dounwe of pe *

cragge, and gart sett a merke pat na man) sulde passe. And

^ J)at inserted above the line by scribe.

2 g first turned into c, then finally erased between ^e and cragge.

Last edit about 5 years ago by Ben Brumfield
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92

92

Theivoiidrous mountain and the palace of the sun.

Alexander approaches him

shielded by a mirror, so that the Basilisk slays him- self with his own glances.

The Basi- lisk being slain they burn him, and praise Alexander.

At last they found their way barred, and must come back to the plain. Then they went west- ward fifteen days and then to the left.

They come to a moun- tain of adamant hung

* Leaf 39.

around with chains of gold and with sapphire steps.

Alexander goes up the mountain with twelve princes, and finds a wondrous palace of precious

})an) he gart a pavysse be made seuen) cubites of lenghte & foure ofD brede ; and oiD Ipe vtter syde Jjare-offe he gart sett a grete Mirroure, And a large. And at pe nethir ende of Ipe pavisse he gart nayle a burde pe lenthe of a cubit for to couere 4 wit his legges, and his fete, so pat na party of hym myjte be sene. And )?an Alexander tuk J?is pavisse in his handis, and went towarde this Basilisc, and warned his men) pat nan) of fjam) sulde passe his iermes. And when) he come nere pe 8 basilisc, pe basilisc opynde his eghne. And wit a grete ire he bi-helde pe Mirroure and saw hym-selfe pare-in. And of J^e refleccion) of pe hemes of his sighte strykande appofD hym-selfe Sudanly he was dede. And when) Alexander knewe wele ]?at 12 he was dede, he called? titt his knyghtis ; And bad )?ain) come see hym) J?at slewe f)aire felawes. Ajid when) J>ay come titt hym), psij saw pe Basilisc dede. And ]:)an) )?ay comended* & prayssed? gretly.his hardynesse and his hye witt, And went & 16 brynede pe Basilisc at pe commandement of Alexander.

^ Fra J>eine pay went titt pej come to pe ferreste of pat waye ; and ferrere my5te pSij no5te wynn). For J^are ware so hye Mountaynes agaynes f»ain) and cragges like walles J>at fay 20 my^te passe no forj^er. And Jpan) f>ay turned? agayne, and come to pe forsaide playne ; and went by J?at way pat streched" to- warde pe weste fyvftene .xv. days. And j^an) f>ay lefte J>at way. And turnede on) pe lefte hande. And so )?ay went foure score 24

XX

iiij days, and at pe laste Jjay come titt a Mountayne of adamande; and at pe fute pare-offe pare hange chynes of golde. pis Mountayne hadd" made * of saphyres twa thowsande 28 greej & a halfe, by pe whilke mefD ascendid" to pe summit of pe Mountayne. And J?are Mexander & his Oste luged J^ain).

" And on J^e morne Alexander Offerd' sacrafice titt his goddes. And J^an) he tuk with hym xij twelue prynce^ of pe wyrchip- 32 fulleste ]5at he hade, and went vp bi pe forsaid? gree^ till he come aboun) on) pe Mountayne. And J?are he fande a palace wonder faire and curiously wroghte ; and it hade twelve 5ates and thre score & ten) wyndows. And pe lyntatts bathe of pe 36 durs and of pe wyndows ware of fyn) golde, wele burnescht, and )?at Palace was called" pe howse of pe son), pare was also

I

1 Four lines with red capital F and small/ beside.

^ Four lines with red capital A .

Last edit about 5 years ago by Ben Brumfield
93

93

Then Alexander meets the ivavden of the holy trees. 93

a temple aft of golde & of precious stanes, And bi-fore \>e metal and

dores J>a?'e-offe ])are was a vyne of golde, berande grapes of

cliarbuncles, of E-ubyes, Dyamande^, and many o})er maneres of

4 ^recyous stanes. pan) kyng Alexander & his prince^ went in-to He goes

Jje palace ; and fande J^are a man) liggand" in a bedd' of golde, and p^i^ce.^

couerd'wit a riche clathe of golde. And he was riste a mekitt He finds an

aged man man) and a faire, And his berde & his lieueo' ware als whitt there of

8 als any woHe ; and hywi semed? lyke a Bischoppe. Als son) als ^ppear^ ^ ^

Alexander & his pryncej saw J>is aide man) )3ay knelid' dounwe ance.

on Jjaire kneesse and saluste hym). And he ansuerd" & saide : and salutes

' Welcom) Alexander/ qwof) he, ' I tette the ]?ou salt see, f>at neuer T^'a^ed

1 2 flescly man) bi-fore this tyme sawe ; And bou salt here bat neuer i^an speaks

ertnly maiD herde are. And Alexander ansuertf & sayd?: ' Maste him he

blyssed? aide man),' quoth he, ' how base f>ou knawyng of me ? ' and he?r

' For so the,' ({uoth he, * bi-fore Noy flode couerde alt fe erthe, what never

1 6 knewe I bathe the, & thi dedis. I wate wele J^ou desyres for man did

to See fe haly tree^ of \>q SofD And \>e ^lone J?e whilke tellej g^all lia ^^

thynge^ J?«t ere to come.' ' 3^^ ^or sottie,' <\ud^ Alexander, his desire

' J?er es na-thynge J>at I desyre mare, ]?an) for to see f am).' the future.

2o And he was rijt gladd; pan) saide ]?e aide man) tilt hyw : ^ethehol"^

' And 50 be clene of flescly dede wit women), J?an) es it leefutt trees of the

to 50W to see ]:ain) and to entir in-to Jjat haly place })at es moon if

a sette of godd". And if 5e be no5te clene, it es no^te leefull ^^®^ ^^

24 to 30W.' ' yis, sir, sothely,' (\uo\> Alexander, ' we ere clene.' deeds.

pan) raise f)e aide man) vp of J>e bedd" J»at he lay in, and put off

said? vn-to }?am) : ' Putte3 offe ^owr rynge^,' qwoj? he, ' and 5oure ?7®^"^"

clathes, & '^our schone, and folowes me.' And J)ay dyd?* so. them.

28 And ban) AlQ^ander tuk w^t hym tholomews and Antiochits, Alexander, ^ "^ Ptolemy,

& folowed' fe aide mafD, and went thurgh J?e wodd? f»at and Anti-

was aboun) on) ]?e Mountayne closed" with man7^es hande^. j^^^the^ '

pe * treesse of \>at wodd? ware an hundreth .c. fote lange & * Lg^f 39

32 bye, and J>ay ware lyke lorers or Olyue treesse ; And out ^^•

of ]?ani) J»are ran) rykyles & fynne bawme. And as J^ay went through the

thurgh bat wodd" bay saw a tree wondere bye, in be whilke wood on the

i./Ti V, 1,-h 1,. mountain,

J^are satt a mekitt fewle. pat tree hadd" no])er )?are-on) lefes ne through

a5 fruyte. pe fewle J^at satt J?ard-ofD hadd" on) his hedd a creste ^eesthat

lyk till a pacokke, & his beeke also crested". Abowte his nekke, shed in-

he hadd* fethirs lyke golde. pe hynder of hym was lyk pwrpure ; balm.

^ The scribe first wrote cU and then changed the e into a y, making it into dyd.

Last edit about 5 years ago by Ben Brumfield
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