Capitulum vicesimum quartum.
ARISTOTILES, the prince of philosophres, succedede Plato, a noble man in fame and in doctrine, excellente of witte, but not like to Plato in eloquence, but more noble then he in the arte of techenge and of suasion. This Aristotille made the secte of philosophres callede Peripatetici, in that he was wonte to dispute walkenge. The seide Aristotille deseruede by the excellence of his science the name of a philosophre, as a poete Virgille, a cite Page 361, vol.3 Rome: whome somme men affermede to be geten by a spiritte, for the agilite of his body, for thexcellence of witte, and for the appetite of glory, in whom he precellede other men. Alexander de natura. Aristotille the noble clerke tauȝhte eloquency amonge other thynges specially, as his Omericalle commentes declare and expresse, and the dialogge of poetes, and a tretes of rethorike. Aristotille beenge of xviij. yere in age, was sente to Athenes, where he drawede to Socrates by iij. yere, and after the dethe of Socrates he was con|uersaunte with Plato. For the seide Plato callede the howse of Aristotille the lectory or redenge place, and seide ofte in this wise, "Goe we to the reders howse;" and Aristotille absente he was wonte to say, "The auditory is domme." The seide Aristotille lyvede by xxiiijti yere after that Plato was dedde; in parte of those yeres techenge kynge Alexander and goenge Page 363, vol.3 with kynge Alexander thro mony londes and regiones, and in makenge bookes, and otherwhile attendenge to the doctrine of his discipulles, and so he contynuede in lyfe by lxiij. yere. This Aristotille movede kynge Alexander to reedifye a cite [folio 153a] callede Stagerica, destroyede by Philippe his fader and kynge of Macedony: wherefore men of that cite halowe a certeyn tyme in the yere, whiche feste thei calle Aristotileia, and the monethe Stagerites, in whom thei halow that feste. Also Aristotille dienge in Calcides was brouȝhte and beriede to Stagerica. This seide Aristotille did not absteyne from makenge of bokes when he wente with kynge Alexander to ȝiffe batelle to men of Persida, for in that tyme he made a story of ije and lti politikes, and added to the etikes felicite, provenge felicite not to be in thynges exterialle, and to philosophy the vthe essence. Also he made problemes medicinalle and phisicalle in lxxx. Page 365, vol.3 bookes, and problemes perspective and metaphisicalle, and iustificationes of cites of Grewe, with whom Philippus kynge off Macedonia determinate the debates of þe Grekes. This Aristotille left after hym his son Nichomachus and Pithaida his doȝhter, with mony other disciples, amonge whom Theofrastus was moste excellente, which made a noble processe de nuptiis. The tretis and bokes whiche Aristotille made be a ml in nowmbre; whiche hade euer de|lectacion to serche the trawthe, and not to discede from thynges open. Whom Auicenna commendethe, iijo libro Methaphysices; and Rabi Moyses, libro primo, capitulo 4o; and Agellius, libro octauo, capitulo 3o; and Iohn in his Policronicon, libro octavo. Also Plinius, libro septimo. The noble conqueror Alexander, Page 367, vol.3 inflammede with a feruente luffe and appetite to know the natures of bestes, sende to Aristotille, his maister, certeyne ml of men of Grece, of Tracia, and of Asia, with mony kyndes and diuersites of bestes, whiche scholde norische þose bestes in his cowrte, that noo thynge geten naturally scholde remayne unknowen to hym. Wherefore Aristotille [folio 153b] laborenge to know the natures of bestes, made allemoste lti noble volumes of bestes. Wherefore hit is seide de naturis rerum, libro secundo. Somme men ascribe to veyne glory and to envye that Aristotille wrote his bokes so breve and so hardely. Other elles hit may be seide that Aristo|tille made his bookes vnder such brevenesse and difficulte for the utilite of goode students, whiche is abowte a goode thynge and harde. Also this noble clerke Aristotille, a Page 369, vol.3 litelle afore his dethe commaundede alle his subtile werkes to be putte in his grave with hym, that thei scholde not profite his successores, whiche after his dethe appropriate so to hym his beryalle, y dar not say by nigromancy, other wheþer he did that thynge by eny other arte, soe that noo man may entre in to that place in to thys tyme. Mony men say that Anticriste schalle knowe that place, and to beholde those writenges: but what man wolde ȝiffe fidelite and credence to thynges incerteyne and dowtefulle. The grete clerke Gregorius Naȝanȝenus rehersethe of the dethe of Aristotille in a tracte that he made specially on þis texte of thapostle, "Sapientia hujus mundi stultitia est apud Deum:" seyenge in this wise: Aristotille goenge in to a place in the londe of Grece, callede on Englische the blake brigge, willenge to knowe the cause of the floenge and of the see þer as at oon tyme and refloenge to gedre; þis clerke Aristotille inquirenge the cause of Page 371, vol.3 hit, and not fyndenge hit, spake to the water as with in|dignacion, seynge, "For cause y mȝhte not take the cause of thy floenge and refloenge, thow schalle take me;" and*. [Of þe dethe of Aristo|tille.] with that he felle in to the water and drownede hym selfe. Theofrastus was his successore, callede by that name of excellence of speche, as the maister rehersethe in the storys on the boke of Machabees. This Theofrastus made a boke of weddenges, whom he callede Aureolus Theophrasti, Page 373, vol.3 where he disputethe nobly of the grevons of weddenges, of whom Seynte Ierom takethe moche ageyn Iouinian. Also he made an other boke of frendeschippe, whom he preferrede [folio 154a] above other thynges terrestrialle. This Theofrastus is seide to haue accusede nature, in that hit ȝiffethe longe life to bestes vnresonable, and schorte life to man.