73 Alexander and the Gymnosophists.




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Alexander and the Gymnosophists. 73

herde thir wordes they keste fra tham thaire wapynes & thanked
Alexander and wirchiped him rigte als he hadd bene a godd.
Than kyng Alexander luged hym thare & his Oste wit hym,
& he command to bery the dede corses that ware slayne in the
Batell, and offred sacrafice till his goddes. Also he garte
Entere Porus the kynge of Inde wirchipfully.

Fra thethyn Alexander removed his Oste & come till a cuntree
that was called Oxidraces. The folkes of that cuntree are wonder
Symple men, and noghte prowde, & thay are called Gumnosophiste.
Thay feghte neuer mare ne stryfes. Thay ga alway naked, &
cites ne townez hafe thaty nane, Bot duellez in luges & in
caues. When the kyng of this folke herd tell of the commyng
of Alexander he wrate a lettre, & sent un-till hym whare-
offe this was the tenour.

2* 'The coruptible Gumnosophist un-till Alexander a man wee
wryte. We here tell that thou commes to werre apon us,
whare of we merueylle us gretly. For wit us sall thou fynd
nathyng that thou may spoyle us offe. For we have na thyng elles
amanges us, bot allany whare with we may sustene oure wafull
bodys. What may thon than take fra us. Bot if thon come for
to feght with us, feghte on. For I late the wele witt, that oure
symplenes will we on na wyse lefe.' When Alexander had redd
this lettre he sent ane ansuere gayne on this wyse. 'Paisably,'
quoth he, 'will we com to sow and no violence do sow.' And
than he wente in-to the cuntree ware thay duelled. And he
saw tham ga naked & duelle in luges & in caves, & thaire
wyfes & thaire childre away fra tham, walkand wit wilde bestes.
And he hadd grete marueylle, & asked tham if thay hadd any
oper howses. And that ansuerde & said, 'Nay. Bot in thir
holettes duelle we always & in thir caves' And Alexander
commendid gretely thaire symplenesse, and bad tham aske hym
whate-so that walde. And thay ansuerd & sayde, 'Gyfe us,'
quoth thay, 'undedlynesse, so that we mow noghte dye; for other
reches couet we nane.' Quoth Alexander, 'I am dedely my
selfe, how than may I giffe you undedlyness?' And when thay
herd hym say soo than they ansuerd & sayde on this wyse.

'A, A, wreched man,' quoth thay, 'whare to wendes thou thus

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