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 vicesimum nonum.*. [Cap. 30, Cx., and it is so called in β. Cx. and this MS. divide the last chapter into two.]

WHANNE Alisaundre hadde i-goo*. [ygo, γ.] aboute þe laste clif*. [clef, γ.] of Occean, he arrayed*. [arayed, Cx.] hym to werre in þe ilond of*. [of] om. Cx.] Bragmans. Page  457, vol.3 Þey sente hym suche a lettre: "Kyng, we haveþ i-herd*. [habbeþ ihurd, γ.; haue herd, Cx.] of þy batailles and of þy victories, but what schal be*. [suffice the whom, Cx.] i-now to þe man to [þe]*. [From α.] whom al þe world*. [wordle, γ.] suffiseþ nouȝt. Rychesse we haveþ*. [habbeþ, γ., et infra.] noon for whiche*. [þe whoch, γ.] me schulde werre uppon*. [on, Cx.] us, al oure good is comoun*. [comyn, β.] to us alle; mete is oure richesse*. [ryches, Cx.]; vile*. [fyle, γ.] cloþinge and scars*. [sckars, Cx.] we haveþ in stede of gold and of greet array. Oure wommen beeþ nouȝt arrayed forto plese, for grete aray is acounted*. [acompted, Cx.] charge among us, and nouȝt hiȝenesse*. [hiȝtnes, β.; hyȝtnes, γ.] and fairnesse. Oure wommen desireþ namore fairenesse þan þey haveþ*. [han, β.] of kynde.*. [kuynde, γ., et infra.] Oure drie diches and dennes stondeþ us in double stede; [yn stede]*. [From α., γ., and Cx.] of oure har|borwe*. [herberowe, β. and Cx.; har|borghe, γ.] while we beeþ on lyve,*. [we lyue, Cx.] and instede of oure buri|els*. [graues, Cx.] whanne we beeþ dede. ȝif we haveþ somtyme a kyng, it is nouȝt forto doo riȝt but for honeste of kynde. We haveþ among us noþer doomes*. [domes, γ. and Cx.] ne plee, for we doþ nouȝt þat nedeþ to be redressed*. [do not thing that nedeth redresse, Cx.] by plee oþer by dome; we desireþ no more þan resoun of kynde axeþ; we holdeþ nedeful*. [necdfol, γ.] what Page  459, vol.3 we knoweþ þat it is i-now and nouȝt to meche.*. [ynowȝ . . . myche, β.; that we knowe is mesurable, and not to moche, Cx.] Evenes*. [Euenesse, Cx.] of povert makeþ us alle riche. Oure peple haþ oon lawe, and dooþ no þing aȝenst þe lawe of kynde; we useþ no tra|vaille þat schulde make us covetous. We schoneþ*. [We shone, Cx.] and for|sakeþ foule slewþe and leccherie, we dooþ no þing þat nedeþ*. [neodeþ, γ.] punschinge.*. [punysshyng, Cx.] Hit is unlaweful among us to woundy*. [wondy, γ.; wounde, Cx.] þe hilles wiþ culter*. [cultre, β.] and wiþ schare.*. [culture and with share, Cx.] We useþ no glotenye oþer*. [ne, Cx.] outrage of mete and drynke, and þerfore we beeþ nouȝt sike.*. [be not seke, Cx.] We woneþ*. [dwelle, Cx.] in drie diches; hevene fyndeþ us helynge,*. [keueryng, Cx.] and þe*. [þe] om. Cx.] erþe*. [eorþe, γ.] fyndeþ us beddyng. We werreþ*. [werriþ, β.] not*. [We be no werriours, Cx.]; we makeþ pees wiþ good levynge*. [liuyng, Cx.] and nouȝt wiþ strengþe; also no fader folweþ þe offys*. [foloweth thoffyce, Cx.] of his sones deeþ. Comittatur exequias. We secheþ no pleies*. [seche no playes, Cx.] and iapes, for it is ful*. [fol, γ.; right, Cx.] likynge to us to beholde þe welkene*. [wolkene, γ.; firmament, Cx.] and þe sterres of hevene. We beeþ*. [ben, β.] men of symple speche; hit is comoun*. [comyn, γ.] to us alle nouȝt*. [not to lye, Cx.] for to lye. God of alle is Page  461, vol.3 oure God, for he haþ likynge in wordes and in bedes*. [beedes, Cx.] by a manere liknesse of love; he is a worde, spirit, and þouȝt, and is nouȝt i-plesed with worldly richesse, but wiþ holy werkes and þonkynges*. [thankynges, Cx.] of his grace." Responsio Alexandri. "ȝif it is*. [hyt ys soþ, γ.; be, Cx.] as þou seist, Dindimus, Bragmans alone beeþ acounted*. [allone be acompted, Cx.] in þe nombre and tale of mankynde; þey*. [hy, γ. passim.] beeþ wiþ oute vices and riches; þey acounteþ*. [acompte, Cx.] wrongful al þe dedes þat we dooþ; þey acounteþ*. [acompte, Cx.] grevous þe benefice þat God haþ i-graunted to þe help of mankinde*. [mankunde, γ. et infra.]; helpe and service of craftes þey acounteth*. [acompte, Cx.] synful; and at þe laste þey destroyeþ*. [distruyeþ, β.] the lawes of levynge. Þanne oþer þey seieþ*. [seyn, β. et infra; hy seggeth, γ. et infra.] þat þey beeþ goddes oþer þat þey haveþ*. [han, β.] envie*. [hy habbeþ envye, γ.; han enuye, Cx.] to God, and by cause þerof þey blameþ þe fairest of creatures."*. [creaturis, β.]Responsio Dindimi. "We beeþ nouȝt at home in þis worlde, but from home and gistes*. [gystes, α. and γ.; as gestes, Cx.]; we come nouȝt to dwelle here, but to wende hens*. [hennes, α.]; we beeþ nouȝt [aleyde]*. [From α., β., γ. and Cx.] wiþ no charges*. [with charge, Cx.] of synnes; but wiþ oute suche manere charges we neigheþ*. [neiȝiþ, β.; neyȝheþ, γ.; drawe nyghe, Cx.]Page  463, vol.3 toward oure oure*. [owne, α., β., and Cx.] hous, and draweþ*. [hye, Cx.] faste homward. We seieþ nouȝt*. [siȝȝeþ nouȝt, γ.; say not, Cx.] þat we be goddes; we haveþ non envie to God; but we seieþ þat we wil nouȝt mysuse þe*. [þe] om. Cx.] goodnesse of God almyȝty. We seieþ nouȝt þat alle þing is semeliche þat is laweful. God haþ putte þe use of þinges in manis fredom*. [freodom, γ.]; þan he þat leveþ þe wors and foloweþ þe bettre is nouȝt God, but he is i-made Goddes frend. Whanne þe swellynge of welþ haþ i-bolled*. [hath bolned, Cx.] up pryde, þanne ȝe for|ȝeteþ þat ȝe beeþ men, and seieþ*. [seyn, Cx.] þat God reicheþ*. [recchiþ, β.; rechcheþ, γ.; rek|keth, Cx.] nouȝt of mankynde*. [mankugnde, γ.]; ȝe buldeþ temples*. [templis, β.] to ȝoure self, in þe whiche*. [whuch, γ.] ȝe schedeþ*. [sheden, Cx.] blood, þerfore I clepe ȝow wood,*. [I call you woode, Cx.] for ȝe weteþ nouȝt*. [wytte not, Cx.] what ȝe dooþ; and ȝif ȝe despiseþ God wytyngly,*. [wyttyngly, Cx.] þanne ȝe beeþ i-holde in þe synne of sacrelegy."*. [sacrilege, γ.; Cx. has ye holden in the synne sacrylege, apparently for ye be holden. . .]Epistola Alexandri. "Þow clepest þy self a man of welþe, for þow wonest*. [dwellest, Cx.] þere no man may come to þe; ȝe preyseþ þe levynge and þe*. [þe] om. Cx.] doynge of ȝoure scarste,*. [scarsete, Cx.] but by þe Page  465, vol.3 same skile*. [skylle, Cx.] þey beþ in welþe þat beeþ in perpetuel prisoun, for þey haveþ*. [habbeþ, γ.] non use of richesse, but þey beeþ wiþ oute richesse riȝt as ȝe beeþ; lawe of kynde dooþ to ȝow as prisoun dooþ to hem. Þat ȝe techeþ*. [tyleþ, α.; tileþ, β.; teleþ, γ.; telle, Cx.] noþer gardyns ne feeldes, þat makeþ defaute of yren,*. [defawte of yre, Cx.] þat kynde voucheþ nouȝt saaf*. [saf, β.; kunde focheþ noȝt saf, γ.; not sauf, Cx.] to ȝeve ȝow. Þat ȝe leveþ*. [That yet (error for ye) lyue, Cx.] by rootes, so ȝe mote*. [moot, γ.; muste, Cx.] nedes, for ȝe mowe*. [maye, Cx.] not saille*. [seyle, γ.; sayle, Cx.] in to oþer londes to gete ȝow oþer liflode.*. [lyuelode, Cx.] Somtyme bestes lyveþ*. [lyued, β.] by rootes, so mote ȝe nedes*. [so mote ȝe nedes] om. α, β., γ., and Cx.] riȝt as ȝe dooþ; þerfore it is good to lyve in good rule*. [reul, γ.] and in plente, and nouȝt in streiȝtnesse, scarsite, and meschief*. [in strayte skarste and meschyef, Cx.]; elles blyndenesse and poverte schulde be noble vertues allone; blyndenesse for he*. [α (quater), γ.] seeþ nouȝt what he coveyteþ,*. [coveitiþ, β.] and povert*. [poverte, Cx.] for he haþ nouȝt what he desireþ. Þat ȝoure wommen beeþ not likyngeliche arrayed, I graunte, for ȝe haveþ*. [han, β. et infra.] neyþer konnynge ne wher|wiþ. Þat ȝe haveþ no grete fleschely likynge hit is no wonder, for þat makeþ ȝoure grete nede*. [neode, γ.] and meschif,*. [meschyef, Cx.] and Page  467, vol.3 foule siȝt of nakednesse. Þat ȝe haveþ no lawes and domesmen, and studieþ*. [studeþ, γ.] in non*. [no, Cx.] lettrure, and axeþ noþer graunteþ mercy, þereon*. [axen neyther graunt mercy ther|inne, Cx.] ȝe accordeþ with fisshes and un|skilful bestes. Mannys*. [Mannes, β. and Cx.] soule in dyverse tyme for dyvers happes of causes is able to dyvers manere of doynge; dyvers manere of soules*. [sowles, Cx.] torneþ and chaungeþ wiþ [the]*. [Cx.] chaungenge of hevene, and beeþ witted*. [wyttet, γ., and above in a later hand, quyk.] in a cleer day, and dul*. [dol, β.] witted*. [dol wyttet, γ.] in an*. [in an] and, α., β., γ., and Cx.] hevy, whan þe day is dym and clowdy. Also þe resoun of wittes as it may be in many manere wise, so it is chaungeable and nouȝt only [by dyverste of oþer þynges],*. [Added from α., β., and Cx.] but [also by]*. [Added from α., β., and Cx.] dyversite of age.*. [ages, α. and Cx.] Þerfore child|holde*. [childehode, Cx.] is mylde, and ȝonge men beeþ wilde, and olde men beeþ softe and wexeþ feble. Also alle þe wittes beeþ i-plesed wiþ þinges þat longeþ to her owne felynge." Trevisa. ȝe may knowe how þe wittes haveþ*. [han, Cx.] liking in þinges þat longeþ to here owne felynge ȝif he*. [ȝe, β.] takeþ*. [yf ye take, Cx.] hede how þe siȝt haþ likynge in faire hewe*. [huw, γ.] and colour; þe herynge in swete voys*. [noyse, γ.] and sown; þe nose in swete odour and smyll*. [smylles, α.; smelles, β. and Cx.]; þe mowþe in swete tast*. [smak, γ.] and savoure; þe gropynge in hoot and colde, drye and wete, nesche*. [nayssche, γ. et infra.] and softe*. [nessh and hard, Cx.]; but nesche*. [nessh, Cx.] is i-knowe by meny wittes, for it is Page  469, vol.3 knowe boþe by gropynge and by siȝt. Þanne it foloweþ in þe storie.*. [thystorye, Cx.] "Þe elementis ȝeveþ us mater*. [matier, Cx.] of wittes and of al þat we feleþ; þe stature of þe body of mankynde*. [mankunde, γ.] is made of þe elementes i-medled*. [ymelled, γ.] to gidres, for everych*. [every, α. and Cx.] schulde make good for his owne partie, and ȝeve us special helpe and subsidie by his owne dispensacioun. Þanne ȝif þou wilt nouȝt use þe benefice þat we haveþ by þe ele|mentes, þe whiche benefice beeþ*. [benefics beþ, β.; benefyces ben, Cx.] seedes, fisches,*. [fysshes, Cx.] and foules, and meny oþere, þow schalt be accused of pride,*. [pruyte, γ.] for þou forsakest ȝiftes, oþer of*. [for, Cx.] envie, for þey beeþ*. [a buþ, γ.] i-ȝeve of hym þat is bettre þan þou." Responsio Dindimi. "ȝe meoveþ*. [moeue, Cx.] werres and batailles, and werreþ outward aȝenst men, for ȝe haveþ nouȝt overcome ȝoure enemyes wiþ ynne; but we Bragmanes haveþ*. [han, β.; Bragmans had, Cx.] overcome þe ynnere batailles of oure owne membres,*. [membrys, Cx.] and resteþ sikerliche and haveþ no bataille*. [bataylles, Cx.] outward. We byholdeþ þe wolken*. [welkene, β.; wolkon, γ.; be|holden the firmamente, Cx.] and the sterres of hevene, and hire*. [hyres, α.; hereþ, β.; hyreþ, γ.; her, Cx.] foules synge.*. [song, Cx.] We beeþ i-heled and i-fed wiþ leves and fruit of treen*. [trees, Cx.]; we drynkeþ water, and syngeþ songes in worschepe of God, Page  471, vol.3 and takeþ hede and þinkeþ of þe lyf þat is to*. [to] om. Cx.] comynge; we beeþ apayed wiþ fewe wordes, and beeþ sone stille, and holdeþ oure pees. ȝe seyen*. [seiþ, α.; seyn, β.; say, Cx.] what schulde be doo, but ȝe doth it nouȝt.*. [doo it not, Cx.] ȝour witte and wisdom is in ȝoure lippes; ȝe beeþ an hongred and aþurst*. [anhongered and afurst, γ.; ye be hongry and thyrsty, Cx.] after gold; ȝow nedeþ*. [neodeþ, γ.] hous and servauntes; ȝe coveyteþ reverence and worschipe. Water quencheþ oure kynde*. [kunde, γ.] þurst*. [kinde thirst, Cx.]; gold heleþ nouȝt*. [heeleþ, β.; heeleth not, Cx.] ȝoure woundes, noþer wiþ|draweþ and*. [ne, Cx.] refreyneþ ȝoure covetise, but makeþ it more. Þerfore it is opounliche i-knowe*. [openly knowen, Cx.] þat ȝif*. [ȝif] om. Cx.] þurst and honger*. [thyrste and hongre, Cx.] of golde come of kyndeliche nede,*. [neode, β.; kundelych neode, γ.] whan it were ones i-had, it wolde somtyme quenche suche honger and þurst.*. [thyrst, Cx.] Oon Calamus fliȝ*. [fledde, Cx.] from us to ȝow; we despiseþ*. [despeseþ, β.; despysed, Cx.] hym, and ȝe worschippeþ*. [worship, Cx.] hym." Þanne Ali|saundre sente oon Onesicritus to Dindimus, þat lay in a wode uppon leves of trees, wiþ þose*. [þeos, γ.] wordes: "Alisaundre, þe grete god Iubiter his*. [his] om. α.] son,*. [Jupiters sonne, Cx.] and lord of þe worlde, hoteþ*. [chargith, Cx.] and commaundeþ þe þat þou spede and come*. [that withoute delaye thou come, Cx.] to hym; and ȝif þou comest he wil*. [a wol, γ.; wold, Cx.] ȝeve þe meny grete ȝiftes; and ȝif þou Page  473, vol.3 comest*. [come, Cx.] nouȝt þow schalt þyn [hede and]*. [thi hede and thy, β. and Cx.] lyf for-goo." Dindimus lay stille, and answered hym in þis manneres*. [manere, γ.]: "Sooþfast God ȝeveþ men riȝt,*. [lyȝt, α. and γ.; liȝte, β.; lyght, Cx.] and dooþ no man wrong; he voideþ*. [foydeþ, α.; auoydeth, Cx.] manslauter,*. [manslauȝt, α. and γ.; man|slauȝte, β.; manslaughter, Cx.] and arereþ no strif noþer bataille.*. [ne werre, Cx.] But Alisaundre schal deie*. [dye, Cx.]; þan he is no god. What he byhoteþ to me is nouȝt*. [he promyseth to me is not, Cx.] nedeful*. [neodfol, γ. et infra.] to me. Me nedeþ non*. [neodeþ no, γ.; noo, Cx.] suche þinges. I goo freliche whider*. [frely wheder, Cx.] me likeþ. ȝif Ali|saundre smyte of myn*. [my, Cx.] hede and sleeþ me, he may nouȝt slee myn soule. Þe gronynge of hem þat suffreȝ*. [suffren, Cx.] wrong is bygynnynge of payne and tormentes of hem þat greveþ and*. [greveþ and] om. Cx.] dooth [the]*. [Cx.] wrong. Say þanne [to]*. [From α. and Cx.] Alisaundre þat I drede nouȝt my deth; ȝif he wil*. [wole, β.; wol, Cx.] ouȝt of myne, lete*. [lette, Cx.] hym come to me." Þaune Alisaundre lefte of al pompe and pride,*. [boste, Cx.] and come to Dindimus his feet; and Dyndimus to hym seide: "Why destourbist þou oure pees*. [peas, Cx.]? What desirest þou*. [what þu desyrest we . . . β. and γ.; þou, om. Cx.]? We haveþ nouȝt, and what we haveþ is nouȝt nedeful to þe. We worschippeþ God and loveþ*. [love, α. and Cx.] men; we Page  475, vol.3 reccheþ nouȝt*. [rek not, Cx.] of gold; we despiseþ deth. ȝe loveþ golde, and hateþ men, and despiseþ God." Þan Alisaundre seide to hym: "Teche þou me wit and wisdom, þat þou hast fonge*. [receyued, Cx.] of God, as it is i-seide." Þan Dyndimus answerde and seide: "Þou hast not wereynne*. [whereon, β.; wharon, γ.; wheron, Cx.] to doo suche a ȝifte, for þyn*. [thy, Cx.] soule is ful of covetise; þan how schal I suffice to þe, to whom*. [whome, Cx.] al þe world suffiseþ nouȝt? God haþ made þe litel*. [lytil, Cx.]; and þey*. [though, Cx.] þou desire al þe world, it nedeþ to þe have at þe laste as litel lond as þou sixte me ligge*. [seest me lye, β. and Cx.; sest me lygge, γ.] on, oþer þy self sitte on. ȝif þou lernest*. [leornest, γ.; lerne, Cx.] þis wisdom*. [wysedome, Cx.] of me, Al þou schalt have ȝif þou desirest nouȝt,*. [though thou desire nought, Cx.] for covetise is moder of povert. God is my frend; I*. [ych, β.] have hevene for my roof, þe erþe in stede of*. [þe eorþe in stude for, γ.] my bede; þe ryver fyndeþ [me]*. [Cx.] drynke, [and]*. [Cx.] þe wode is my mete borde; flesche of bestes*. [flesshe of beestys, Cx.] roteþ nouȝt wiþ ynne my gottes*. [guttes, Cx.]; I*. [y, β.] am nouȝt buriels*. [not buryels, Cx.] of dede bodyes. I leve and*. [as, β., γ., and Cx.] I am i-made*. [maad, γ.]; I knowe Goddes privetees,*. [pryuytees, Cx.] for God Page  477, vol.3 wole*. [wol, γ.; wil, Cx.] þat I be partiner*. [pertener, β., γ., and Cx.] of his workes. Þan wheþer seist þou is þis*. [þis] om Cx.] more riȝtful, [to]*. [Cx.; ueither word in γ.] mysbede*. [mysbeode, γ.] men oþer*. [eþer, β.] [to]*. [Cx.; ueither word in γ.] defende hem and do hem right; to schede*. [scheede, γ.; shede, Cx.] and to schifte, oþer to kepe and to save? ȝif þou sleest*. [slee, Cx.] me, I goo to God, and þow myȝt nouȝt askaþe*. [maist not escape, Cx.] his hond; þanne destroy*. [destree, β.] þou nouȝt þat God haþ i-wrouȝt and i-made." Þanne Alisaundre seide: "Þou comest of God, and lyvest in a place of pees and of*. [of] om. Cx.] reste. I leve in grete drede and affray*. [effray, Cx.]; myne owne wardeyns I drede, I drede more myn*. [my, β. and Cx.] frendes þan myn enemyes; I may not leve hem noþer truste on oþer*. [to oþer, α.; triste to oþere, β.; ne trust to other, Cx.] of hem. A day I greve men, and am a greved anyȝt,*. [at nyght, Cx.] and drede ful sore. ȝif I slee hem*. [him, Cx.] þat I drede, þan I am sory and ful of woo; and if I am esy*. [be easy, Cx.] and softe, þanne I am de|spised; and ȝif I wolde dwelle wiþ þe in valeyes and in dennes*. [dales, γ.; dennys, Cx.] I myȝt nouȝt endure." Whanne þese*. [þeose, γ.] tales were i-tolde, Alisaundre profrede*. [profered, Cx.] to Dindimus gold, silver, cloþes, breed, and oylle;*. [oyle, Cx.] and Dyndimus seide to him: "Myȝt*. [May, Cx.] þou Page  479, vol.3 make the briddes þat here syngeþ*. [syngiþ, β.; singe, Cx.] synge*. [to synge, β.; synge] om. Cx.] þe bettre for gold and silver? and ȝif þou myȝt nouȝt,*. [maye not, Cx.] why wilt*. [wolt, Cx.] þou make me worse þan þe briddes, and make me fong*. [receyue, Cx.] þing þat may nouȝt stonde me in stede,*. [stude, γ.] but of a fre*. [freo, γ.] man make me a bonde?*. [boonde, β.] but for I wil*. [wold, Cx.] not greve þe to swiþe,*. [swyth, Cx.] þis oyle I*. [ych, β.] wole*. [wil, α.; wol, γ.; wolle, Cx.] fonge.*. [receyue, Cx.] And whan Dindimus hadde i-seide so, he þrewe þe oyle in a woode fuyre, and song*. [a fyre of wode, and sang, Cx.] an ympne to God alle myȝty. And Alisaundre sigh*. [sawe, Cx.] þat, and wente his way