Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden maonachi Cestrensis; together with the English translations of John Trevisa and of an unknown writer of the fifteenth century.
Higden, Ranulf, d. 1364., Trevisa, John, tr. d. 1402., Caxton, William, ca. 1422-1491., Malverne, John, d 1415?, Babington, Churchill, ed. 1821-1889,, Lumby, J. Rawson ed. (Joseph Rawson), 1831-1895.

Capitulum octavumdecimum.

Eusebius in Cronica. In Aioth his tyme, nameliche in Grees ffables were i-founde, and*. [as, MS. (only.)] me seiþ þat Esopus fonde first fables for to hiȝte*. [So α. β. γ.; hiȝte wiþ, MS.] kyndeliche sooþnesse;*. [Sentence varied in Cx.] ffor þe Page  365, vol.2 priuite of kynde schulde nouȝt be despised: þerfore [by]*. [Added from conjecture only.] kynde of þinges and by dyuerse manere of doynge þey feyned names and worchynge of goddes. Alcyn.*. [So also α. β. γ., Cx. Read Alex|ander.]in Mythologia. And so he*. [he] om. MS.] feyned þat after þe flood men come of stoones and of trees; bote þat was i-feyned for þe manere wonynge of men in olde tyme; for, erc*. [So α.; here, MS.; Cx. omits twenty words.] housynge were i-made, men wonede in holownesse of treen oþer in dennes of erþe and of stones, and som wente aboute as it were bestes. Augustinus, libro 18o, capitulo 13o. After Iosue his deeþ anon to þe bataille of Troye fables were i-feyned in Grecia. As þat Vulcanus*. [Vlcanus, MS., α. β.; and so below (not γ.).] in grete hete and brennynge of leccherie wiþ Minerua gat Eructonius*. [So α. β. γ. (for Erichthonius); Eructorius, MS.; Eruconius, Cx.] i-foted as a dragon, þat is a fable and a poetes feynynge and sawe. But þe sooþ menynge is þat in þe citee Athene was oo temple of Vlcanus and of Minerua; in þat temple was a childe i-founde byclipped aboute wiþ a dragoun. Þat bytokened þat þe childe schulde be greet; and for þe childe was i-founde in here boþe temple, þerfore þe childe was i-cleped hir boþe sone. Also Tritholomus, þat was i-bore of fleynge addres in to nedy londes at þe heste of Cereres*. [So all MSS. (or Cerreres.) The error is certainly due to Trevisa.] and brouȝt hem whete, it is a fable. Also of Minotaurus,*. [So β.; Mynataurus, MS., α. γ.] þat was a best i-closed in laborintus, Dedalus his hous; and Page  367, vol.2 whan men wente into þat hous, þey were so i-briged*. [begyled, Cx.] þat þey couþe nouȝt come out. Also of Centaures, þat were i-medled of mankynde and of hors kynde. Also of*. [of] om. MS.] Cerberus þe hound of helle, þat þadde þre heedes. Also of Frixus and his suster Elle, þat were i-bore of a wether by þe ayer and flih*. [flewen, Cx.] as foules. Also of Gorgon þe hore,*. [strompet, Cx.] þat sche was i-hered wiþ addres and torned in to stones men þat byhelde her. Also of Bellifront, þat he was i-bore of a fleynge hors wiþ feþeres and wynges; his hors heet Pegasus. Also of Amphion, þat he plesed stoones, and drew hem to hym wiþ swetnesse of his*. [his] om. MS.] har|pynge. Also of Dedalus þe carpunter and his sone Icarus, þat made hem wynges of feþeres and fliȝe as foules. Also of Anteus; hym slowȝ Hercules. Anteus was þe sone of þe erþe; þerfore, whan he fel doun, he roos anon aȝen in wel more strengþe. Isidorus, libro 11o. Also Geryon, þe geant kyng of Spayne, þat was i-slawe of Hercules, and was descreued in þre liknesses and schappes, it is a fable. For þere were þre breþeren so wel acordynge to gedres þat it semed þat þey hadde oon soule, oon witte, and oon wil. Also þe hoores*. [strompettes, Cx.] Gorgons, i-hered as serpentes, hadde oon yȝe, and tornede in to stones men þat byhelde hem, it is a fable. But þere were þre sustres Page  369, vol.2 all of oon fairnesse; men þat byhelde hem [þei]*. [Added from β. and Cx.; γ. has and.] made hem as stille and as stedfast as stones. Also þe þre Sirenes, þat were half maydens, half foules, and hadde wynges and clawes*. [talentes, Cx.] as haukes; and oon of hem songe, þat oþer pipede, and þe þridde harpede, and drowȝ to hemward schipmen þat seilled in þe see in to shipbruche;*. [So α. and Cx. (shipwreke); þe shippe to breke, MS.] it is a fable. But þere were þre hoores*. [So α. and Cx.; hors, MS.] þat brouȝte men þat vsede hem in to meschief; and þerfore me seide þat þey brouȝte hem to shipbreche. Also [þat]*. [Added from α. β. γ. and Cx.] me feyneþ þat Scylla*. [Scilla, MS., and Silla below.] was a womman byclipped aboute wiþ hedes of houndes and wiþ grete berkynge of houndes, þat is i-seide for þe*. [þe] om. MS.] wawes of þe*. [þat, α. β. γ. and Cx.] see Siculus, þat flascheþ and wascheþ vppon a*. [α] that, α. β. γ. and Cx.] rokke þat hatte Scylla, makeþ suche manere noyse þat men þat seilleþ þerby beeþ so aferd þat þey weneþ þat þe wawes berkeþ þat wascheþ on þat rokke.*. [So α. and Cx.; rokkes, MS.] So þey feyneþ þat þe serpent Ydra wiþ*. [Probably we should read was wiþ, or if not, cancel þat.] nyne hedes; and if oon hede were i-smyte of, þanne grewe vp þre for þat oon. Þe sooþ tale is þat Ydra was somtyme a place þat wonderliche and perilous|liche caste vp water; and ȝif oo water wey were i-stopped, þe water brak vp in meny places and weyes. Hercules seigh þat, and destroyed the swolwe and closede alle þe weies; þer|fore Page  371, vol.2 me feynede*. [feyneþ, α. β. γ.] þat he destroyed Ydra þe serpent. Isidorus, libro primo, capitulo 13o. Fables beeþ i-seide of fando, þat is spekynge; nouȝt for þei beþ sooþ indede, but i-feyned in spekynge. Poetes brouȝte in fables for þre skiles; for likynge of*. [So α. β. γ. Cx.; and, MS.] talkynge and of fayre spekinge; suche beeþ þe fables [of Plautus and of Terentius and fables]*. [Added from α. β. γ. and Cx.] þat beeþ comoun|liche i-tolde. Also for helynge and hiȝtinge*. [helthe and enhauncing, Cx.] of kynde; so me seiþ þat Vulcanus*. [Vlcanus, MS., here and below.] halteþ, for*. [for me seiþ, MS., α. (not β. γ.)] þe fuyre is neuere euene; Vulcanus is i-feyned god of fuyr. So Chimera is i-feyned a beest of þre manere schappe and kynde, and bytokeneþ þe ages of mankynde; þe firste ȝowþe of manhede*. [manhod, α.] is cruel as a lyoun; þe secounde age of manhode is scharp of siȝt as a goot, oþer stynkeþ by leccherie as a goot; þe þridde age is elde and boweþ as a dragoun, and wasteþ alle away. And so þe fable of Ypocentaurus,*. [Read Hippocentaurus, but the barbarous form indicates the false derivation; cf. Ypocras, Ypolita, &c.] þat was feyned i-medled of hors kynde and of mankynde, bytokeneþ þe swift passynge of manis lyf. Also fables beeþ i-feyned for derke and faire manere speking of þewes; as whan me feyneþ þat þinges þat konneþ no resoun spekeþ hem self, þat by þe tale þat is i-feyned þe sooþ by tokenynge may be remeued [to þat]*. [Added from α. β. γ. Cx.] þat is soþeliche i-doo in dede. So Oras*. [Orace, Cx.] spekeþ of þe Mous and þe Wesel, and Esopus and Avenet of þe Fox and of þe Wolf, and in libro Iudicum Page  373, vol.2 of þe treen of Libanus; and so spekeþ Demosthenes*. [Demostenes, MSS.] of wolfes and houndes i-feyned for þe delyueraunce of þe advoketes and ditoures.*. [lawers, Cx.] ℞. And þat is þat Seynt Austyn seiþ in his book De Mendacio. Fables, as seiþ Seynt Austyn, þeyȝ þey haue no soþenesse in ham self, noþeles þey makeþ soþenesse in þing þat þei*. [hit, α.; a., γ.] betokeneþ.*. [netheles they represente and en|duce to mannes mynde sothnesse that they bitokene and signefye, Cx.]Augustinus, libro 3o, capitulo 3o. By auctorite of þe Romayns it was affermed þat þe goddes Venus was Enyas his moder, and þat god Mars was Romulus his fader. But I trowe not so; Varro*. [So Cx.; Farro, MS.] troweþ it nouȝt, þe writere of stories of Rome, þat seiþ priueliche, it were profitable to citeseyns þat stronge men and orpede trowe*. [trowed, Cx.] þat þey ben i-gete*. [were bigeten, Cx.] of goddes, þeyȝ it be false; þat in þat manere þe men hertes schulde be þe boldere, and haue trust in þe lynage*. [lignage, Cx.] of goddes, and auntre*. [auenture, Cx.] hem to þe grettere dedes, and doon*. [do, α. β. γ. and Cx.] grete dedes wiþ þe more boldenesse and myȝt in trist of gracious ende by cause þat þey holdeþ hem self of þe kynde of goddes.*. [Clause slightly varied in Cx.]Alexander in Mytho|logia. Macrobius super somnium Scipionis seiþ þat som fables beeþ i-feyned by cause of likynge; suche beeþ of Menander and Terentius, and suche longeþ nouȝt to philosofres. And som fables beeþ i-feyned by cause of profiȝt in excitynge and con|forte; in þe whiche fables þe matiere, þat me spekeþ of, oþer þe Page  375, vol.2 ordre of tellynge of þe þing þat is i-feyned is feynyngliche i-tolde; þat is to menynge, oo fals is tolde by a noþer false. So it fareþ in Esopus his fables and in Auian his fables also; and þese fables longeþ nouȝt to philosofres.*. [Clause varied in Cx.] Also somtyme a soþ sawe is i-tolde by a feynyng*. [feyned, Cx.] tale; and soche were þe feynynges of Hesiodus*. [Esyodus, MS.] and of Orpheus, whan he spekeþ*. [they spak, Cx.] of dyuers dedes and kynde of goodes;*. [Goddes, Cx.; the more usual orm in MS. also.] and such a tale is no fable, but a tale liche a fable. And if suche a tale is i-tolde by lik|nesse of foule þing and harlotrie, þan it longeþ nouȝt too phi|losofres [neþer to dyuynes; but siche as beþ tolde by liknesse of feirnesse and of honeste perteyneþ to filosophris].*. [Added from β. γ.] So Plato feynede þat a knyȝt, þat heet Er, aros from*. [som, MS.] deþ to lyue, and tolde meny þinges of þe euerlastynge lyf of manis soule. ℞. And Boys*. [Boece, β. Cx.] feynede þat Philosofye appered to hym in þe lyknesse of a mayde; in þis manere may a deuyn*. [dyuyne, Cx.] vse ensamples manerliche in his talkynge and spekynge. Petrus. In Ayoth his tyme þe lattre Apollo,*. [Appollo, MSS.] þat was Latona his*. [Latonaes, Cx.; both forms are instructive.] sone, as þe Grees telleþ, fond vþ þe art of phisik and made harpe.*. [harpes, Cx.] ℞. Noþeles Isidorus, libro 3o, Etym., seiþ þat Mercu|rius Page  377, vol.2 afterward in Gedeon*. [So γ. Cx.; Gedion, MSS.] his tyme putte seuene strenges to þe harpe, þat was to fore honde i-founde; and þey putte to þe strenges and streyned hem in þis manere. Þe ryuer Nilus*. [Salus, MS.] had be vppe and byflowe þe lond and was a falle*. [was ebbed, Cx.] into þe chanel aȝen, þan lay many beestes dede on þe feeldes, and among oþere lay a dede snayle. Whan þis snayl was i-roted, þe senewes*. [senwes, α.] were i-streyned with ynne þe skyn of þe snayles hous, and sownede as þe wynde blewe þerynne*. [þeron, α. β. γ. and Cx.] esiliche and softe|liche. Þan Mercurius took hede*. [hede] om. MS.] þerto and made an harpe to þe liknesse þerof, and took hit to Orpheus þe harpour. Tre|visa. I rede among þe wondres of Ynde, þat snayles beeþ þere so grete and so huge þat a man may be herborwed in a snayles hous. Petrus.*. [Reference added from Cx.] Also þat tyme þe forseide Mercurius fonde vp an instrument of musyk þat hatte Syringa [by the name of that woman Syringa]*. [Added from β. γ. Cx.] þat was Cadmus*. [Cadynus, MS. (not Cx.) Va|rious slight errors in spelling proper names have been tacitly corrected in this and the following chapters.] his wif. She*. [he, α.; heo, β. γ.] wente away from hire housbonde for loue of musyk and melodie. It is vn|certeynte whiche Mercurius þis was; wheþer Mercurius Hermes, oþer Mercurius Trimegistus þe philosofre, oþer þe [grete]*. [Added from β. γ.] Mercurius; for Iosephus spekeþ of þre, of þe whiche eueriche heet Mercurius. Isidorus, libro quinto.*. [So α. and Cx. (who has sexto); Petrus, MS.] Also þat tyme in Gres Page  379, vol.2 was i-founde vp an instrument of musyk þat hatte chorus. Petrus. Strabus seiþ þat þat instrument is a skynne*. [is a skynne] om. Cx.] wiþ tweie pipes; by oon pipe þe ayer gooþ yn, and by þe oþer þe soun gooþ out.