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 quartumdecimum.

ABOUTE þat tyme lyvede Machometus*. [Macomete, β.; Machamet, Cx.] þe false prophete, duke and ledere of Saracenes*. [Sarsyns, β. et infra; Sarasyns, Cx.] and of Turkes. Þis*. [þis] His, α. and Cx.] storie is [y-*. [From α.]]brouȝte in þis manere, bote Stevene of Caunterbury and Girald of Cambria helpeþ moche*. [myche, β.] in þis manere. Somtyme while þe empere of Rome was in gret myȝt and strengþe, Cristendom was nyh wydder*. [and more] add. Cx.] þan þe empere of Rome, and is Page  17, vol.6 no wonder, ffor Cristendom was so encresed þat it conteyned Europa and meny provinces of Asia and wel nygh al Affrica wiþ ynne his merkes and boundes.*. [bondes, γ.] At þe laste, by discord and stryf of Cristen men bytwene hem self, it was i-do þat þe Agarenes wexe stronge. Þe Agarenes haueþ*. [habbeþ, γ.] þre names, and beeþ i-cleped Agarenes, Ismaelites,*. [Ismalytes, Cx.] and Saracenes.*. [Sararacenes in MS. Here by an error of the scribe wexe stronge is in|serted again from the previous line.] Of here empere propheciede Methodius þe martir, and seide þat Cristene religioun schuld litel*. [lyte, α. and γ.] have with oute þe endes of Europa. Also after þat errour of Saracenes hadde infecte al Affrica, hit defoulede also a grete deel of Spayne, and but Goddes grace and mercye hadde i-holde*. [holpe, α.; holpen, Cx.] it wolde have in|fecte and schend also Fraunce wiþ Spayne. Þanne after þe grete Gregories tyme þe empere of Rome, þat streccheþ*. [strechede, γ.] somtyme from*. [vram, γ.] þe occean of Bretayn anon to þe endes of Pers, was so destroyed wiþ tyrandise*. [tyrauntrie, β.; destruyed wiþ tyraundys, γ.; tyrauntrye, Cx.] and wiþ civil batailles, þat it was*. [a was, γ.] nouȝt of power to defende hym*. [hit, α.; hyt, γ.] self aȝenst enemyes. Þanne þe cruel*. [cruwel, β.; crewel, γ.] paynym oost of Pers gan to occupie meny provinces of þe lordschipe of Rome and of men of Cristene fey in the estlondes. Þanne as þe grete flye folweþ*. [vlye volweþ, γ.] þe tras Page  19, vol.6 of þe malschave,*. [malschawe, β.; trace of the mal|shawe, Cx.] so after oþer woo com þe*. [com þe] cometh, Cx.] pestilence of þe Ismaelites, þat was more grevous, and destroyed nygh þe Cristene men þat were i-left in þe estlondes by ledynge of þe province*. [p'uince (sic), MS., but clerical error for prince, which is in β. and Cx.] Machometis,*. [Machometes, α. and β.] and*. [in, α., β., and Cx.] Heraclius þe emperour his tyme. Þanne þe fifte*. [vyf þe, γ.] pope*. [pope] om. Cx.] Bonefas his tyme, while Hera|clius regnede, aboute þe ȝere of oure Lord sixe hondred and twenty, Machometis þe false prophete þe whiche*. [wychche, α.; and wicche, β; and wheche, γ.; prophete and witche, Cx.] bygiled þe Ismaelitis [and]*. [From Cx.] Agarenes in þis manere. A famous clerk was at the court of Rome and myȝt nouȝt spede at his wille, and passede [þe see, and plesede meny]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] men, and hadde hem*. [ham, γ.] at his assent. Among þe whiche*. [whoche, γ.] he byhet Machometis þat he wolde make hym prince of his peple*. [pupel, γ., et infra.] ȝif he wolde doo as he seide. Þanne þis clerk fedde*. [vedde, γ.] up a colver*. [douve, Cx. semper.] and made hym fecche*. [vecche, γ.] his mete in Machometis ere, for þere he dede*. [dude, γ.; put, Cx.] þe corn þat the colver schulde ete, and þerof*. [þerof] of that same, Cx.] þe colver ofte schulde*. [wolde, α. and β.] fede*. [wolde vede, γ.] hym self. Þanne in a day þis clerk gadrede þe peple to geders,*. [pupel to gadders, γ.] and byheet þat he wolde make*. [makynge, α.] hym here Page  21, vol.6 prince whom þe Holy Goost wolde schewe in colveres liche,*. [in a colver hys lych, γ.; in lykenes of a douve, Cx.] and lete fle*. [vle, γ.] his colver anon, and þe colver, as he was i-woned, satte uppon Machometus his schuldres, and putte his bele*. [bile, β.; potte hys byle, γ.; bylle, Cx.] in Machometus his eres; þerfore Machometus was i-chose prince and ledere of þe peple. Þis þat is i-seide in þe comyn table,*. [comyn tale, α. and Cx.] but what now foloweþ is more alowed and apreved. A monk þat heet*. [hyȝt, γ.] Sergius was i-put out of þe companye of þe monkes þat he was among for he was i-falle*. [avalle, γ.] into Nistorius*. [Nestorius, Cx.] his errour. He com into Arabia, and putte hym self to Macho|metus, and enformed hym; þeiȝ it be i-rad þat þis Sergius were archedecon*. [archdekene, β.] of Antiochia oþer patriark of Ierusalem. Þanne Machometus faderles [and moderles]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] was in his emes kepynge in his childhode; he*. [and, α. and Cx.] worschipped mawmetrie som|what of tyme wiþ his contrey men of Arabia, and he ȝaf hym specialliche to worschippe Venus, and þerfore it is þat ȝit the Saracens holdeþ þe Fridy*. [Vryday, γ.; Fryday, Cx.] holy as þe Iewes dooþ*. [dooþ] don, Cx.] þe Satirday and we þe Soneday. After þat Machometus com to age, and was scharp of witte, and wente into meny londes Page  23, vol.6 by cause of marchaundise, and ofte was in companye of Iewes and of Cristen men, and lernede þe maneres and usages and customs*. [costome, γ.] of boþe*. [þe, added in β.] lawes of Cristen men and of Iewes, and kouþe boþe wicchecraft and nigromancie, and was a won|derfel*. [wonder felle, Cx.] man and fer castynge, and hadde nobil ffacounde and faire*. [veyr, γ.] speche. Þan he com to þe lady of þe province Coro|ȝonia, þe lady heet*. [hyȝte, γ.] Cadygan, and somdel wiþ spices*. [and with somme spyces, Cx.] þat he brouȝte, wiþ wicchecraft, and wiþ faire wordes, he made þe lady so mad and so nyce*. [nyse, α.] þat sche*. [heo, β. and γ.] worschipped hym as þe grettest prophete of God Almyȝty, oþer as it were Messyas þat þe Iewes abideþ,*. [abidiþ, β.; abiden, Cx.] and sche*. [heo, β.] desired hym to housbonde. It is þe usage of þat province to be [y-*. [From α.]]ruled*. [yreuled, γ.] also by wommen.*. [wymmen, α.] Þanne he wedded þe wymmen*. [widewe, β.; wydewe, γ. and Cx.] þat was quene, and so he was i-made lorde of þe province. Þanne he drowȝ to hym þe Arabes, and occupiede þe est empere anon to Alexandria aȝenst Heraclius þe emperour. Þanne he took þe manere spekinge of trewe prophetes, as þey God hadde i-spoke in hym, and spak in þis manere in his bookes þat he made: "Oure Lord spak to his prophete Machomete*. [Machometus, α.; om. Cx.] and seide;" Page  25, vol.6 for so þe bookes þat he feyned gylfulliche schulde be i-trowed*. [itrowed] bylevyd, Cx.] as þouȝ þey were i-made by auctorite of God Almyȝti. Whan*. [Whan] Thenne, Cx.] nouȝt onliche his owne men but also men of fer londes fil*. [vulle, γ.] to hym and bowed*. [bowide, β.] to hym in every side, he hadde greet likynge to have*. [habbe, γ.] gretter lordschipe; and as it were for to brynge men into good manere lyvynge, and as it were by heste*. [commaundement, Cx.] of God Almyȝte, he assailede*. [assaylide, β.; assoyled, Cx.] þe naciouns þat wonede*. [dwellyd, Cx.] nyȝ hym, and dede by crafte and by gile what he myȝte nouȝt doo by dedes of armes. Þerfore whan Egipt, Libia, Arabia, and Siria were suget,*. [subgett, Cx.] [for he wolde seme þe more holy, he drouȝ þe peple þat were suget]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] to his false lawe, and made hem forsake*. [ham vorsake, γ.] þe usages and þe lawes here forfadres.*. [vorþvadres, γ.; fornfaders, Cx.] And he forbeed*. [vorbud, γ.] þe paynyms mametrie, and graunted circumcisioun to þe Iewes*. [huy, γ.] as þeyȝ he hadde i-used it,*. [as they had used, Cx.] and i-feyned of his some*. [some] owne self somme, Cx.] newe lawes, and alleide*. [alleyde, β.; alleged, Cx.] witnes of eiþer testament. Þe Saracenes clepeþ þat lawe his lawe ȝit anon to þis tyme, and be heet þe Saracenes circumcide hem as þe Iewes doþ,*. [doþ] don, Cx.] and forbeed hem þat wil folwe hym etynge of swynes*. [swynyssh, Cx. bis.] flesche. And Makometus wolde telle þe cause why he forbeed þe Page  27, vol.6 etynge*. [þe etynge] þeim, β.] of swynes [flesche],*. [From α., β., and Cx.; vlesch, γ.] and seide þat swyn come of camels*. [a kamyles, α.] drit*. [dryt, γ.; dirt, Cx.] after Noe his flood, and þerfore clene men schulde schonye it as mete þat is unclene; and [as]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] it were to acorde with Cristen men in þe manere of cristenynge,*. [follouȝt, β.; vollouȝt, γ.] he ordeyned ofte wasshynge of lemes*. [lymmes, Cx.] in water, as it were for clensynge of synnes. And for to brynge þe peple þat was [so]*. [From α. and Cx.] bygiled þe faster in snarl,*. [vaster in þe snar, γ.; to snarle, Cx.] what he knewe þat was most plesynge*. [playsaunt, Cx.] to manis likynge, he ordeyned for lawe, and so he ordeyned þat a man schulde have as many wifes and concubynes as he myȝte susteyne*. [susteyny, γ.] wiþ his catel. Also þat a man myȝte have wifes of his owne kynrede*. [kynrad, β.] anon to þe noumbre of foure, and þat a man myȝte four siþes forsake his wif and take hir aȝe, þat he suffrede, and also þat*. [þat] that, Cx.] he*. [he] a, γ.] myȝte [have as meny concubinus as a wolde of wymmen þat were yboȝt oþer prisoners, and also þat a myȝte]*. [From γ.; have als many concu|bynes as he wolde of wymmen þat were bouȝt oþer prisoners, and also that he myȝt, β.; have as many con|cubynes as he wolde of wymmen that were bought prisoners, Cx.] selle*. [sille, β.] hem but ȝif he hadde i-brouȝt eny of hem wiþ childe; and ordeyned hem to use sobernesse in mete and in drinke, and forbeed hem mete and*. [mete and] om. α.]Page  29, vol.6 drynkenge of wyn but it were in certeyne solempne dayes in þe ȝere. And*. [An, MS.] for he wolde somdel varie from*. [varye vram, γ.] þe Iewes þat worschippeþ God [westward, and from Cristen men þat wor|schippeþ God]*. [From α. and Cx.] estward, he tauȝte his peple to worschippe God souþward with ofte knelynges, for in þe souþ is plente of liȝt. He ordeyned hem to worschippe the goddes*. [godas, α. and γ.; goddesse, Cx.] Venus, and to holde þe day þerof solempne and holy, þat is Friday.*. [Vryday, γ.] He heet worschippe [on]*. [From α., β., and γ.; one, Cx.] Almyȝti God, Creatour and Makere of alle þinges, and seide þat Moyses and Iohn*. [Johan, Cx.] were prophetes, but þat Crist was grettere, and grettest of alle prophetes, and þat he was i-bore of þe mayde Marie by vertu of God wiþ oute mannys mone,*. [seede, Cx.] as he seiþ in his book þat hatte Alcoranum.*. [Alkaron, Cx.] Noþeles he melled*. [medled, β.] som false sawes with sooþ sawes, and seide þat Crist was [afterward]*. [From γ.] i-hove*. [i-hove] afterwarde born, Cx.] up into hevene, and nouȝt i-slawe; for he seiþ þat Iudas þe traytour souȝte Crist in a den, and chaungede into þe likenesse of Crist, and so was i-take and i-nayled to þe cros in stede*. [stude, α.] of Crist. Also he hete þat þe men of his lawe schulde every ȝere, ȝif þey myȝte, goo in to Goddis hous þat is in Matha for to bidde here bedes, [and]*. [From α., β., and Cx.]Page  31, vol.6 whanne þey were i-come þider*. [þuder, γ.] þey schulde be bygoo aboute and*. [bygoo aboute and] om. Cx.] i-cloþed in oon manere cloþynge, and þey schulde þrowe out stones þorow*. [þurȝ, β.] holes of þe walles, as it were for to stene the devel;*. [develen, γ.] and seide þat Abraham made þat hous for his children Ismaelites, for þey schulde þere bidde here*. [hare, γ.] bedes. Also by Machometus his lawe he þat were i-take with a womman in spousebreche*. [spousebriche, β.; spousebruche, γ.] schulde be stened to deþe, and ȝif he dede*. [a dude, γ.] ffornicacioun wiþ a sengle*. [sengel, γ.] woman he schulde have foure score lasshes.*. [lasches, γ.] A þeef þe firste tyme and þe secounde schulde be i-bete, and þe þridde tyme he schulde lese*. [luse, γ. bis.] his hondes, and þe ferþe*. [fourth, Cx.] tyme he schulde lese*. [luse, γ. bis.] his feet. And he seiþ þat who þat holdeþ al þis and oþere hestes of his lawe God Almyȝti byhoteþ*. [promysed, Cx.] hym paradys, þe orchard of likynge,*. [plesyre, Cx.] þere is noon*. [no, α., β., and Cx.] distemperure*. [dystemper, γ.; distemprure, Cx.] noþer peyne, þere is no manere greef,*. [gryef, Cx.] but al manere of welþe and of likynge; þere is likynge mete for to ete, and cloþes to werie,*. [werye, β.] and maydens to beclippe*. [tembrace, Cx.] faire*. [veyr angels, γ.] schal serve hem þere; þe aungels beeþ so huge*. [hoge, γ.] and so greet þat from þe*. [þe] þat, Cx.] oon yȝe*. [ye, γ.] to þat oþer is þe Page  33, vol.6 space of a day his iornay.*. [a day journeye, Cx.] And to hem þat holdeþ*. [holdeþ] holde ne kepe, Cx.] nouȝt his lawe, he byhoteþ*. [promyseth, Cx.] hem fuyre and peyne of helle wiþ outen ende. And also in his book þat hatte Alcoranum he preyseþ al þe fadres of þe Olde Testament, and specialliche Moyses, Iohn*. [Johan, Cx.] Baptiste, Crist, and Machometus. Also he preyseþ al þat troweþ in God and dooþ riȝtwisnesse; but it is nouȝt þere i-rad what is þe riȝt fey, noþer what men beeþ of riȝtbileve [noþer what men beþ of misbileve].*. [From β.; noþer what men beþ of mysbyleve, add. γ.; ne what men ben of mysbyleve, add. Cx.] Also þere is i-write*. [wreton, Cx.] þat fyve*. [vyf, γ.] bookes com doun from heven for informacioun of mankynde, þe Sauȝter, Moyses bookes, þe bookes of prophetes, þe gospel,*. [þe gospel] om. Cx.] of*. [and, α., β., and Cx.] Machometus his Alcoranum.*. [Alcaron, Cx.] In þat Al|coranum*. [Alcoron, Cx.] it is i-wrete þat Almyȝti God wolde rule*. [reule, γ.] and lede mankynde into þe wey of savacioun, and after Abra|ham he ȝaf þe children*. [a ȝaf þe childern, γ.] of Israel lawe, by whiche lawe þey schulde knowe God and worschippe hym; but for þey tolde nouȝt of þis lawe, God ȝaf the gospel to oþer men. And also þey mysused his lawe. And þe Arabies þat com of Abraham by Ismael were moo men and gretter peple þan þe Iewes þat come of Abraham by Isaac, and the Arabes þat were i-left*. [laft, α.] were i-left wiþ oute lawe. Þerfore out of þe concistorie*. [consistorye, Cx.] of Page  35, vol.6 Goddis riȝtwisnesse com a decre þat a prophete of here owne peple schulde be i-sent to Ismaellites wiþ a lawe, þe whiche*. [whoche, γ.] prophete and lawe þe Saracenes [shold folowe as the Jewes folowed Moyses, and Crysten men Cryst; and therfore the Sarasyns]*. [From Cx.; schulde folowe, as the Jewes Moyses, and Cristen men Crist. And therefore the Sara|synes, β.; scholde volwe as þe Iewes Moyses, and Cristene men Cryst, and þare vore þe Saracenes, γ.] holdeþ hem self bettre þan Iewes and Cristene men; for þey holdeþ holiche*. [hollich, β.; for hy holdeþ ho|lyche, γ.] here lawes, and Iewes and Cristen men ofte trespasiþ*. [trespacen, Cx.] aȝenst here owne lawe. For to brynge þis aboute Machometus norsched*. [norysshed, Cx.] and fedde a faire*. [vedde a veyr, γ.] camel in a prive place, so þat þe camel hadde no mete but of his owne honde; and Machometus wayted his tyme, and heng þat corsede book*. [bok, γ.] Alcoranum*. [Alcaron, Cx.] aboute þe camel his nekke; [in þat book were þe forsayd*. [vorseyde, γ.] lawes y-write; and Machometus let goo þe camel*. [Cx. inserts forsayd before camel.] into þe feeldes*. [veldes, γ., et infra.] wiþ þe book aboute his nekke]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] to fore þe day lyȝt. Þanne þe camel, as it was no wonder, gan to lepe and [to]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] sterte, and made grete ioye for he was*. [vor a was, γ.] at large, and fliȝ*. [vly, γ.] eche*. [fled every, Cx.] man, and wolde come nyh no manis hond. Speche of þis wonder sprang out in feeldes and townes, and þe peple gadrede þider*. [þuder, γ.] on*. [out of, α. and Cx.] everyside. Page  37, vol.6 But whan Machometus was i-come*. [comen, β.] þe beest sigh hym afer þat ȝaf hym alwey mete, and ran to hym anon riȝt, and bowed a doun*. [a doun] to hym, Cx.] and likked his hondes as he was i-tauȝt. Þanne þe peple cride and seide, in þis dede is i-schewed þe holynesse of Goddis prophete, and prayed hym þat he wolde undo þe book wiþ his holy hondes. And whan þe book was i-opened, "Loo," quod Mahometus, "here is ȝoure lawe, nouȝt i-write wiþ manis ynke, but wiþ angelis hondes, and i-sente from hevene for to by holde*. [be y holde, α.; be holden, Cx.] evere wiþ oute [eny]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] ende. In þis book ȝe be i-tauȝt how ȝe schal worship God, and how grete mede ȝe schal hope to fonge*. [fang, β.; vonge, γ.; resseyve of hym, Cx.] of hym*. [of hym, from α.; hym of, MS.] for kepynge of þis lawe." Þe dey*. [day, γ.] þat þis was i-doo ynne is every ȝere i-made solempne and holy, and i-cleped þe feste of þe camel. And þei fasteþ*. [hy vasteþ, γ., et infra.] a moneþ to fore þat feste in þis manere: everiche day of þat moneþ from þe firste*. [vram þe vurste, γ.] liȝt of þe day, whanne me*. [men, Cx.] may knowe [bytwene]*. [From γ.; bitwene, Cx.] white and blak, anon to þe goynge doun of þe sonne, þey fasteþ and eteþ nouȝt, noþer deleþ*. [deliþ, β.; ne delen, Cx.] wiþ hir wifes, bote seke men and feble,*. [bote . . . feble] om. α., β., and Cx.] but beeþ alwey in Page  39, vol.6 here bedes;*. [prayers, Cx.] but after þe goynge doun of þe sonne anon to þe dawenynge aȝen þey eteþ and drinkeþ and liggeþ*. [ete, drynke, and lye, Cx.] by here wifes: bote seke men and feble*. [febel, γ.] beeþ*. [buþ, β.] nouȝt i-holde so for to faste. Þis Machometus displesede ofte his wif, for he hadde ofte*. [ofte] om. α.] þe fallynge evel,*. [vor he hadde þe vallyng evel, γ.] [and in þat evel]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] he fel doun ofte to grounde. [Bote he plesed here and oþere þat had y-fonge*. [resseyved, Cx.] his lawe in þis mannere, and seide þat he fil*. [a vul, γ.] to þe grounde]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] for þe wordes of Seint Mychel*. [Miȝhel, β.] the archangel þat spak wiþ hym ofte.*. [ofte] so ofte, Cx.] For a fleschelich*. [Vor a vleschliche, γ.] man, he seide, may nouȝt suffre an aungels wordes but ȝif he falle.*. [ȝef a valle, γ.] He hated wyn dronkenes, ribaudye,*. [riboudry, γ.; as rybawdrye, Cx.] and harlottie;*. [harlottrye, α. and Cx.] uppon caas for*. [oppon cas vor, γ.] hete of þe contray he wolde have it i-spared. But in a nyȝt he was dronke, and fel*. [vul, γ.; fylle, Cx.] doun in þe strete, and þere swyn hete*. [ete, α. and Cx.] hym, þat he hylde*. [heelde, β.; reputed, Cx.] unclene bestes; þerfore þey þat holdeþ his lawe spareþ wyn and swynes flesch.*. [swyn his vlesch, γ.] In þe firste poynt it semeþ þat þei folweþ*. [hy volweþ, γ., et infra.] þe Iewes; in þe secounde poynt it semeth þat þey Page  41, vol.6 foloweþ þe philosofy*. [philosofy, from α. and γ.; philo|sofye, β.; philosophye, C.; philo|sofer, MS.] of hir maister. Also after þe deþ of Machometus þat cursede secte encresede so faste*. [vast, γ.] þat it drouȝ myȝti men of Pers*. [that it caused so myghty men of Perce to drawe, Cx.] to þe corsed law of þe Arabes. Al*. [Also, α. and Cx.] þat sette*. [secte, Cx.] haþ infecte anon to þis tyme al Affrica and a greet deel of Spayne.*. [Cx. adds as Gernarde after Spayne.] And þe archebisshop Turpius*. [Torpynus, α.; Turpinus, γ. and Cx.] telleþ þat Mako|metus his ymage of latoun,*. [latone, β. and Cx.; laton, γ.] þat he made wiþ his owne hondes, stondeþ in þe see stronde, and haþ his face toward þe souþ. In þat ymage Machometus by wichecraft closed a legioun of fendes: a Cristen man þat comeþ þere liȝtliche i-persed,*. [yperisched, β.; ypersed, γ.; lyghtly perysshed, Cx.] but Page  43, vol.6 a Saracen gooþ awey hole and sound; a bridde*. [byrde, Cx.] þat comeþ þere deieþ anone. Þe ymage holdeþ a mace in his riȝt hond, and þat mace schal first falle*. [vurst valle, γ.; fallen, Cx.] whanne a kyng is*. [is] shal be, Cx.] i-bore in Gallia þat schal renewe al Spayne wiþ Cristene lawe. And whanne þe mace is i-falle,*. [avalle, γ.] þanne þe Saracens schal flee*. [vle, γ.] and leve here tresorie. Þe famous nory*. [norry, β.; nory, from γ.; norye, Cx.; norþ, MS.] of þis cursede secte, Saladinus, duke of Turkes, þe strong hamer of Cristen men, aboute þe ȝere of oure Lord eleven hondred foure score and ten, he herde*. [hurde, γ.] þat Cristen men used meny messes*. [messe, γ.; of mete, add. Cx.] at oon mele, and seide þat*. [þat] om. α.] men*. [that Cristen men, Cx.] were nouȝt worþy to have þe holy lond. Also he was fel and sliȝ*. [felle and slyhe, Cx.] for to preise his owne secte, and to blame and despise oure lawe, and þat is i-knowe by þis ensample. In a tyme were tweie*. [two, Cx.] white monkes i-brouȝt to fore hym, þat þeeves*. [þueves, γ.] of Torkes hadde i-take, and he knewe by here straunge cloþinge þat þey were philosofres and Cristen men; and he axede by oon þat knewe boþe longages of hem*. [ham, γ.] boþe what men þey were, and of what con|dicioun Page  45, vol.6 and professioun; and þey seide þat þey*. [hy seyde þat hy, γ.] were monkes, and hadde i-made*. [i-made] don, Cx.] here professioun to Seint Benet his*. [Benetes, β.] rule.*. [reule, γ.] Þanne he axede besiliche of meny poyntes of þat rule, [and specialliche among oþer he axede by here rule]*. [From α. and β.] ȝif þey schulde ete flesche oþer drinke wyn. Þey*. [hy, γ., et semper.] answerde and seide þat þey hadde at al tyme somwhat of wyn for to drynke, but flesche schulde þey noon ete but it were for sekenesse oþer for grete nede.*. [neode, γ., et infra.] Þoo þy*. [the, Cx.] tyraunt heet þat þey schulde have*. [habbe, γ.] more large kepyng, and have tweye faire ȝong wommen to serve hem, and heet þat þey schulde ete flesche and drynke water; and so þey ete flesche and dronke water, and took ensaumple of*. [of] by, Cx.] Seint Iob, and made covenant wiþ hir eyȝen*. [yene, γ.] þat þey wolde nouȝt þenke of folye ne*. [folye ne] om. α., β., γ., and Cx.] filþe*. [vylþe, γ.] [and]*. [From α., β., and γ.] of synne, and were besy alwey in here bedes.*. [theyr prayers, Cx.] Þanne Saladinus was war þerof, and took fro hem þat*. [þat] the, Cx.] flesche and þe water, and heet serve hem wiþ fische and wiþ wyn. And [ȝef]*. [From γ.] he badde i-doo so to þat entent þat Salamon meneþ,*. [moeveth, Cx.] and seiþ, "ȝeveþ wyn to hem þat beeþ in greet sorwe, þat þey*. [hy, γ., et semper.] mowe*. [may, Cx.]Page  47, vol.6 drynke and forȝete*. [vorȝete, γ.] here sorwe and her nede," þanne he hadde i-do goodliche and as he schulde; but*. [þanne . . . but] whan he had thus done, Cx.] he caste gilful|liche*. [gylfolliche, γ.; om. Cx.] to begile symplenes by falshede and by gilful crafte,*. [to . . . crafte] to begyle by symplenes these two monkes, Cx.] for he wolde ȝif he myȝte þerby þe secte*. [þe secte] sette, α.; sett, β.] chalenge*. [for . . . chalenge] for he wold yf they myghte therby sette cha|lenge, Cx.] and blame upon [þe]*. [From β. and γ.] religioun. Þanne þe monkes dronke wyn, and wex mery*. [mury, α.] and glad, and forȝat*. [vorgate, γ.] þat þey schulde have in mynde, and fil*. [vulle, γ.] to and lay by þe wommen. Þanne amorwe,*. [on the morowe, Cx.] whanne þe wyn was defied,*. [diffyede, β.; dyffyed, γ.] þey þouȝt on here trespas, and gonne*. [gan, Cx.] for to wepe ful*. [fol, γ.] sore. Þe tyraunt sigh hem wepe, and seide, "Why beeþ ȝe more sory þan ȝe were i-woned to be?" "For we haveþ i-synned grevously,"*. [habbeþ ysynwed grevousliche, γ.] quod þey, "and were*. [were, from α., β., γ., and Cx.; we, MS.] overcome wiþ wyn." Þan he seide, "While ȝe ete flesche and drank water ȝe helde*. [heelde, β.] forþ*. [hulde vorþ, γ.] ȝoure purpos rediliche inow,*. [redyly ynowgh, Cx.] but whanne ȝe were overcome with wyn wiþ oute flesche ȝe brake ȝoure rule*. [reule, γ., et infra.] and ȝoure purpos, þerfore it is i-knowe þat Benett, þe auctor of ȝoure rule, was unwys to forbede*. [vorbude, γ.] ȝow etynge of flesche, þat destourbeþ*. [distourbled, Cx.]Page  49, vol.6 not a manis wit, and grauntede [ȝow to drynke wyn, þat roteþ up þe strengþe of resoun, as ȝe haveþ assayed*. [habbeþ asayed, γ.] by newe assaye. Þanne he þat made oure lawe, Machometus, þat forbeed us wyn þat destourbeþ mannis wyt, and graunted]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] us þe use of flesche, was wiser þan ȝoure Benet. But what may be ȝoure remedie*. [remedyes, Cx.] and clensynge of þis synne, now ȝe haveþ [y-broke]*. [From α., β., γ.; broken, Cx.] ȝoure rule and ȝoure purpos?" "Penaunce," quoþ they,*. [quaþ hy,.] "and satisfaccioun, by ordynance of oure elder*. [elþer, α.] fader."*. [vader, γ.] "Þanne," quod he, "mowe ȝe nouȝt be clensed among us, gooþ*. [gooþ] goo ye, Cx.] to ȝoure owne and beeþ i-clensed in ȝoure [owne]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] manere wise;" and so he lete hem goo. Þis man was ful of olde pestilence of sleiþe*. [sleyght, Cx.] and wyles, and what þe wily schrewe myȝte nouȝt have savour*. [saveour, Cx.] ynne, he gan to despice, ffor he wolde blame þe holy man Seint Benett. Of þe which Seint*. [whoche Seynt, γ.] Benet þe grete Gregorie seiþ þat he wroot the rule of monkes ful*. [vol, γ.] of wit and of wisdom, and open and cleer in wordes; for it was a wys dede to wiþdrawe [fro]*. [From Cx.] hem þat gooþ to holy chevalrie*. [chyvaylry, Cx.] likynge of metes þat wiþdraweþ þe soule from holynesse of dedes and of þouȝtes; and by the apostles lore he graunted hem [a litel what of wyn forto strengþe Page  51, vol.6 somwhat þe febelnesse of þe flesche, and graunted hem]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] but litel, for it*. [bote lyte vor hyt, γ.] schulde nouȝt greve þe scharpnesse of þe soule.