Capitulum vicesimum quintum. Aylon. Abdon.
AYLON, of þe lynage of Zabulon, was iuge of Israel ten ȝere. Noþeles þe Seuenty acounteþ hem nouȝt, and þerfore Eusebius acounteþ his ȝeres of Iosue, of Samuel, and of Saul; for þe Scripture spekeþ nouȝt of here ȝeres. Noþeles þey setteþ moo ȝeres þan beeþ i-founde by Iosephus. So þat from þe goynge out of Egipte anon to Salaman his temple were foure hondred ȝere and foure score. Abdon, þat heet Lapdon, was also iuge of Israel eiȝte ȝere. In his þridde ȝere Troye was i-take, eiȝte hondred ȝere and foure and fourty after Abraham his burþe, þre hondred ȝere and fourty after þe goynge out of Egipt, þe ȝere of kyng Latyn in Italy fyue and twenty, to fore þe buldynge of Rome aboute an*. [an] So MS., α. β. γ.; om. Cx.] foure hondred ȝere and two and þritty.*. [twenty, Cx.]Augustinus, libro octavodecimo, capitulo sexto|decimo. After þat Troye was destroyed, ȝit while kyng Latyn regned in Itali, þe Grees þat tornede aȝen and*. [This word should be cancelled apparently, though found in all the four MSS.] hadde in þe Page 421, vol.2 weie many myshappes. For Varro,*. [So β. γ., Cx.; Farro, MS., α.] libro tertio de historia, seiþ þat Diomed his felawes were i-torned in to foules, and Diomedes hym self was na more i-seie; so þat he was i-holde a god. His temple is solempne in þe ilond Diomedia, nouȝt fer from Mont Gargan in Apulia.*. [So α. and Cx.; Ampula, MS.] Me seiþ þat foules woneþ and fleeþ about þis temple, and serueþ wonderliche, and springeþ water. Ȝif þe Grees or*. [So also Cx.; oþer, α. (or is very frequently oþer in α.)] eny oþer of þe kynde of [þe]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] Grees comeþ þeder, þe bryddes makeþ*. [make, α.] hem good semblaunce;*. [semblaunt, α., Cx.] and ȝif eny oþer comeþ, þey woundeþ hem wiþ hire grete beeles. And forto conferme þe same Varro*. [So α. and Cx.; Farro, MS.] telleþ nouȝt a fable lesynge, but soþenesse of storie of þat famous wicche*. [dyuyncresse, sorceresse, and wytche, Cx.] Circe, þat tornede*. [transfourmede, Cx.] and chaungede Vlixes his felawes into bestes; and of þe Arcades*. [Archades, MSS. and Cx.] þat by lot swam ouer a pool and þan were i-torned into wolfes and leuede wiþ wylde bestes, and ȝif he*. [they, Cx. (a frequent variation.)] ete þere no manis flesche, þey schulde after nyne ȝere swymme home ouer þe pool and torne aȝen in to schap of mankynde. [He sayth also that Demenetus, whan he had Page 423, vol.2 tasted of the sacrifice of Archad,*. [Read Arcas; but the error may safely be ascribed to the translators themselves.] was torned in to a wolf; and after nyne yere he was restored ayene to his owne shappe of mankynde,]*. [Added from β. γ., Cx. (γ. omits of mankynde).] and vsede afterward geauntes dedes, and hadde þe maistrye in a tornement*. [tornyng, Cx.] of Olympus.*. [Olymp, α. β.]Plinius, libro sextodecimo, capitulo vicesimo secundo. Þat men torneþ in to*. [be transformed into, Cx.] wolfes and eft*. [oft, Cx.] in to hire owne schap, we troweþ it be false. Noþeles auctoures of Grees telleþ þat*. [þat þe, α. (not Cx.)] Arcades were i-lad to a pool in þe same lond, and heng hire cloþes on an ook, and swam ouer þe pool, and in wildernesse tornede into wolues, and nyne ȝere wonede among wolfes; and ȝif þey kepte hem al þat tyme and ete no manis flesche, þey schulde swymme home aȝe, and take here owne cloþes and hire owne schap, and be nyne ȝere eldere*. [older, Cx.] þan þey were whan they wente out: but þere is no lesynges so grete þat is wiþ oute witnesse.*. [þat . . . witnesse] but it may be confermed, Cx.]Augustinus, libro 18o.,*. [So α. and Cx.; 16, MS.]capitulo 16.*. [So α. and Cx.; 22, MS.] Þan what schal we saye to alle þese sawes?*. [sayngys, Cx.] Certeynliche whanne we were in Italy we herde i-now of wommen hostelers of þat lond, þat vsede to ȝeue chese þat was bywicched to men þat Page 425, vol.2 trauailled by þe weie, and anon*. [to þe, MS. (not α. or Cx.)] þe men tornede into bestes and bar heuy charges, and hadde kyndeliche witte and resoun; and whan þey hadde i-doo hir seruice þey tornede aȝen into*. [to, α.] hir owne schap. Also Apule[i]us in his book knowlechede*. [knowlecheþ, α. β.; sayth, Cx.] þat so hit happed hym self, þat he toke suche venym, and hadde his witte and resoun, and was i-made an asse.*. [Some words erroneously re|peated in MS. (which omits ℞)., and α.; (text as β. γ. and Cx.)] ℞. Wil|lelmus de Regibus, libro secundo, telleþ suche*. [þat suche, MS. (not Cx.)] doynge of tweyne wicches þat wonede in þe hiȝe weye þat ledeþ to Rome;*. [wey to Romeward, Cx.] and ȝif eny gest come allone, þey torneþ*. [torned, α. β.] hym in to a beest; and so come by ham a mynstral þat couþe moche merþe, and þey tornede hem in to an asse, and solde hym to a riche man for a grete somme of monay. Noþeles wiþ suche warnynge þat he schulde neuere passe water, and his wardeyn kepte hym besiliche longe tyme. Noþeles in passynge of tyme he took lasse hede to his asse; and þe asse scaped to water, and torned aȝen in to þe schappe of mankynde. Þe wardeyn of þe asse folowede after, and asked*. [axed after, Cx.] his asse of euerich man þat he mette; and he, þat hadde ben an asse [and]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] was torned to Page 427, vol.2 man aȝen, seide þat he hadde ben an asse and was by come a man. And his wardeyn ladde*. [led, α., Cx.] hym to his lorde, and þe lorde ladde hem boþe to Leon þe pope, and þe olde wicches were conuycte tofore þe pope, and knowleched þe dede. Þe pope dowted*. [doute, α.] of þis þing, and Petrus Damianus,*. [Damyanus, MS.; also Symon and Fastinus below. Other MSS. read as in text, but Faustinus is the mistake of Trevisa.] a connynge man of lettrure,*. [letture, Cx.] confermede þe manere doynge by ensample of Simon Magus, þat tornede Faustinus in to his owne schappe, and made his owne children*. [childer, Cx.] drede hym ful sore. Augustinus ubi supra. Hit is to trowynge,*. [It is to be bileuyd, Cx.] þat fendes mowe nouȝt doo but at Goddis suffraunce; and so þei mowe make no manere kynde, noþer body chaunge.*. [ne chaunge bodyes, Cx.] Noþeles it semeþ somtyme þat þey chaungeþ liknes and schappe of þinges, þat God made and wrouȝte; so þat þe ffantasie of man*. [α man, Cx.] þat chaungeþ in þouȝt and in metynge of sweuenes by dyuers manere þinges, and takeþ þe lyknesse of bodyes wiþ a wonder swiftnesse, þey no body be present. Whan þe wittes of þe body beeþ absent*. [astent, α. (not Cx.)] and i-lette*. [i-sette, MS. (not α. or Cx.)] of here worchynge, and þe ymage and*. [So α. and Cx.; in, MS.] liknesse, þat is in þouȝt and in fantasie, is as it were i-peynted*. [i-prented, α. β. γ. and Cx.] in þe liknesse of som beest, and semeþ to*. [to] þat, MS. (not α.)] oþer men wittes in þe*. [in þe] so β. γ., Cx.; þe, MS., α.] same liknesse. And so a man may seme to hym self suche as he semeþ in metynge of sweuenes; and so Page 429, vol.2 hym may seme þat he bereþ burþenes and charges; [but if þey beeþ verrey burþens and charges],*. [Added from α. β. and Cx.] fendes bereþ hem, þat men mowe so be bygiled. For oon Prestantius tolde þat suche an happe byfel his owne fader, þat he took suche venym by chese in his owne hous, and lay in a bed, as he were slep|ynge; and no man myȝte hym awake, but after many dayes he wook,*. [So α.; awoke, Cx.; toke, MS.] and tolde as it were a sweuene how hym was byfalle; for hym þouȝte þat he was i-made an hors, and bare corne among oþer bestes to knyȝtes þat were at Retica;*. [Rethica, MSS.] and it was i-founde, þat riȝt as he tolde it was i-doo in dede. He seide also þat he say a philosofre at home in his hous; þe whiche philo|sofre*. [Words erroneously repeated in MS. and α.; text as β. γ., Cx.] expowned hym*. [to him, Cx.] many þinges*. [secretes, Cx.] of Plato his bookes, þe whiche þinges he hadde i-bede hym expowne to fore honde, and he wolde not. And whan me axed of þe philosofre, why he wolde expowne in anoþer manis hous þat [he]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] hadde denyed in his owne, "Nay," quod he, "I dede nouȝt so, but I mette þat I dede." And in þat manere by þe ymage and liknes of fantasie it was schewed to þat oon waking what þat oþer mette in his slepe. Þerfore þat þe Arcades torned in to wolfes by wicchecraft of Circa,*. [So MSS. and Cx., for Circe; but correctly above; Sirces, Harl. MS.] me semeþ it myȝte bee in þis manere, noþeles yf it were sooþ. But for Diomedes his felawes vanschede sodeynliche awey, and were neuere after i-founde, me troweþ þat wicked aungels took wreche of hem, and torned hem in to anoþer foules liknesse,*. [torned hem in to oþer foules, α. β. γ.] þat were i-made and i-brouȝt Page 431, vol.2 þider by craft of fendes in stede of þe men,*. [Clauses varied in Cx.] as hit is i-knowe þat an hynde was i-brouȝt and i-put in stede of Iphigenia,*. [Ephigenia, MSS. and Cx.] Agamemnon*. [Agamenon, MSS. and Harl. MS.] his douȝter; and sche was i-lad away. Þat foules at Diomedes temple springeþ water, and flatereth wiþ þe Grees, þat is by excitynge of þe deuel for to brynge men in witte for to trowe*. [for to trowe, &c.] to believe Dio|mede to be made a god, Cx.] þat Dyomede is i-made a god, þat men be so begiled in worschippynge of false goddes. ℞. Loke more of þis mattere in þe firste book, capitulo Hibernia. Giraldus in Topographia. Fendes and wicked men mowe not chaunge kynde but by suffraunce of God; þei mowe chaunge liknesse and schappe and lette manis wittes and bygile men, so þat þinges semeþ nouȝt as þey beeþ. But by strengþe of fantasie and of wicchecraft men haueþ semynge by feyned schappes; but it is nouȝt vnsittynge*. [Sic MS.; and so α. β. γ., Cx.] þat we trowe þat God as he makeþ þinges of nouȝt, so he chaungeþ hem oon into anoþer,*. [oþer, α. β. γ.] forto take riȝtful wreche oþer forto schewe his myȝt oþer mercie. So he tornede Loth is wyf in to an ymage of salt, and water in to wyn; oþer chaunge þe liknesse wiþ oute and leue þe kynde vnchaunged wiþ ynne.