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 decimum quartum.

LOTHARIUS, Lowys his sone, was kyng of West Fraunce, and deide wiþ oute children. In hym þe grete Charles his of|spring loste þe kyngdom. Som men meneþ*. [meeneþ, β.] þat þis Lotharius hadde children þat regnede not after hym, by help of Richarde duke of Normandye, þat was somtyme hugeliche*. [hongelyche, γ.] i-greved by Lotharius. Lotharius his sone*. [sones, α. and β.] was*. [were, α. and β.] i-take, and þe grete Hewe*. [Huge, β., et infra.] Capet was i-made kyng of Fraunce, and regned nyne ȝere. Þis Huwe Capet was þe sone of duke Huwe, whos suster duke Richard [hadde y-]*. [From α., β., and γ.] spoused. Seynt Oswalde, arche|bisshop of ȝork and of Wircestre, [also deyde, and was y-buryed Page  63, vol.7 at Wircetre].*. [From α., β., and γ.] Þe fifte Gregory was pope as it were þre ȝere; þis was to forehonde i-cleped Brunus, and was Otho þe em|perour his kynnesman. At his instaunce*. [instans, γ.] he was i-chose pope; bote aftirward, whanne þe emperour was absent, oon Crescencius, prefect of þe citee, took oon Plascentinus, a riche man of money, and putte hym in þe poperiche, and cleped hym þe sevenþe*. [seventeþe, β] Iohn. Bote þe emperour cam aȝe, and putte out þis Iohn, and brouȝt yn þe secounde Silvestre. Þat ȝere þe bis|shops Page  65, vol.7 see þat somtyme heet Lyndefarn*. [Lyndisfarn, β.] was i-chaunged to Durham, and seynt Cuthbert his body was i-translated þider*. [þuder, γ.] also, þe whiche body Ardulphus ladde aboute wiþ hym somtyme. Þe firste Richard, þe þridde duke of Normandye, is deed; after hym his sone þe secounde Richard was duke eyȝte and twenty ȝere;*. [wynter, α.] for his*. [grete, add. β.] goodnesse he was i-cleped þe goode Richard. He was devoute in Goddes service, and wise and redy to þe world ward,*. [worlward, γ.] and large and curtays of ȝiftes. On his firste wyf he gat þre sones, Richard, Robert, and William, and þre douȝtres; on his secounde wif he gat William, and Robert archebisshop of Rothomage. Oon of þis secounde Richard his knyȝtes staal a spone, and leyde it to wedde among oþer þinges; þe duke aspied it, and non oþer man, and lete quyte out al þe knyȝtes weddes; þe knyȝte aspied þat þe spone was so aspied, and was so aschamed þat he fliȝ priveliche awey. Þe kyng wente after þe knyȝt þat fliȝ,*. [vlyȝ, γ.] and brouȝte hym aȝe, and made hym riche, and loved hym afterward riȝt wel. Oon maister Bernard herde þe dukes lose,*. [loos, β.] and wolde be i-knowe to hym, and byþouȝte hym in every side how he myȝte best doo forto come þerto. He come at þe laste wiþ a bowe and an arwe*. [arowe, β.] to a Page  67, vol.7 wyndowe of þe castel, þere*. [þar, γ.] the duke was i-woned for to stond, and walkede hider and þider*. [huder and þuder, γ.] as þey he wolde have i-schote*. [y-schott, β.] to þe duke. Þe duke was war þerof, and aspye what þe cause was, and loved hym riȝt wel. After þat þe sevenþe*. [seventeþe, β.] Iohn was i-put out, þe secounde Silvestre was pope foure ȝere and twenty*. [twey, β.] monþes. Willelmus de Regibus, ubi supra. Þis heet first*. [vurst, γ.] Girebertus*. [Gerebertus, β. and γ., et infra.] by his name, and was of þe nacioun of Frensche men, and was i-schore monk at Floriac, besides Aurelians. Whanne he com to Pictagoras his double*. [dubel, γ.] wey, he was i-cauȝt wiþ noye*. [noys, γ.] of his ordre, oþer wiþ covetise of wor|schippe, Page  69, vol.7 and lefte his abite*. [abbyte, α.] in a nyȝt, and fliȝ into Hispalys, a citee of Spayne, forto lerne curious and sotil*. [The adjectives are in the re|verse order in β.; sutyl, γ. (where these adjectives are transposed).] artes and sciens þere. [As Cristen men haveþ Tolet for lore so Sarsyns haveþ Hispalis.]*. [From β.; Þare as Cristene men habbeþ Tolet for lore, Sarsyns habbeþ Hispalis, γ.; þat Cristene men haveþ tolde it for lore Sarsyns haveþ his, MS.] [Þere Gerebertus lernede, and pas|sede]*. [From α., β., and γ.] Ptholomeus in astronomye, and Alcandrius in þe space*. [spase, γ.] bytwene þe sterres, and Iulius Firmicus in destenye. Þere he lerneþ*. [lerned, β.; lurnde, γ.] what bodeth song and fliȝt of foules; what þe curiouste of mankynde*. [kunde, γ.] may take þat carfouk ich leve;*. [leeve, β.] but he drank þerof þat he passed alle oþere. He was þe firste þat took*. [touk, γ.] abacus*. [Agabus, MSS.] of Sarsyns, and ȝaf rules*. [reules, γ.] þerynne, þat mowe unneþe be understonde of þe kunnyngeste men of þe craft, þe whiche*. [whoche, γ.] craftes men beþ cleped abaciste. Marianus.*. [Marianus] Trevysa, γ.] Abacus is a table wiþ þe whiche*. [whoche, γ.] schappes beþ portrayed and i-peynt in powdre, and abacus is a craft of geometrie. Þan it foloweþ in þe storie:*. [Marianus . . . storie] om. β.] Gerebertus was at inne wiþ oon þat was most connynge philosofer, þat was i-bend wiþ byhestes*. [biheestis, β.] and wiþ ȝiftes. Gerebertus hadde i-write and i-copied al þis philo|sofres bookes, outake oon þat conteynede al þe privete of þe craft, ffor þat book myȝte [he]*. [From α., β., and γ.] nouȝt begete*. [gete, α., β., and γ.] by no manere sleiþe.*. [sleiȝþe, β.] Bote þe philosofer was oþerwhile dronke; and so Gerebertus awaytede his tyme, and took þe book þat was under Page  71, vol.7 þe philosofer [his heed],*. [From α., β., and γ.] and fliȝ awey þerwiþ. Þanne he awook and pursewed*. [pursywede, γ.] Gerebertus by craft [of the sterres, in þe whiche craft]*. [From α., β., and γ.] he was perfit inow.*. [ynowȝ, β.] By þe same craft he þat fliȝ was war of þe peril, and dressed hym under a treen brugge*. [brigge, β.] þat was þere next, and heng*. [hyng, γ.] by þe armes, so þat he touchede noþer erþe noþer*. [ne, α., β., and γ.] water; and so by þat craft he was begiled þat souȝte hym wel besiliche, and wiþ drowe hym, and tornede home aȝen. Þanne Girebertus come to þe see, and cleped forþ þe fend,*. [vorþ þe vend, γ.] and byhet hym homage ȝif he wolde bere hym over þe see, and save hym from hym þat pursewed hym; and so it was i-doo. Þanne he come aȝen into Fraunce, and hilde open scole, and hadde wiþ hym Constantyn þe abbot of Seynt Maximum,*. [Maximin, α. and β.; Maxmin, γ.] bysides Aurelians; to hym he made and ȝaf a rule*. [reul, γ.] of abacus. Also he tolde þe skile and resoun of þe dyameter above Macrobius. Trevisa. Þe dyameter is*. [is] of, γ.] [of]*. [From β.] a figure oþer of [a]*. [From α. and β. (not in γ).] schap of þe lengest even lyne þat is de|vysed*. [dyvided, β.] þerynne, take who þat may. Þanne it foloweþ in þe storie: Gerebertus hadde scolers, Robert*. [Robart, β., et infra.] þe sone of Huwe Page  73, vol.7 Capet, kyng of Fraunce, and [Otho]*. [From α., β., and γ.] Otho þe emperoures sone. Bote Robert was afterward kyng of Fraunce, and made þis Gerebertus archebisshop of Remensis: ȝit in þat chirche is mynde of his lore, for þere is an orloge*. [horolegge, γ.] i-made by craft of honde, and water organs þat sowneþ by ayer*. [eyr, β.; aer, γ.] and water; þere by strengþe of [hot water þe wynd brekeþ out and fylleþ*. [vulleþ, γ.]]*. [From α., β., and γ.] þe holownesse of þe organs, and þanne by schapliche drauȝtres*. [drauȝtes, β. and γ.] þe brasene pipes sendeþ out swete cry and noyse of melodye. Þerafter Otho was emperour, and made Girebertus bisshop of Ravenna, and sone þerafter pope. Marcianus. Of þat hap is vers i-made: "Scandit ad R. Gerebertus ab R., post papa vigens in R." Þat is, Gerebertus passeþ up to R. out of R., and is þerafter pope in his floures in R. ℞. He passeþ*. [passed, β.] out of Ramens to Ravenna, and þe þridde tyme to Rome. Willelmus de Regibus. Favour of þe fend droof*. [drof, β.] forþ his fortune. For by helpe of þe fende and by craft of nygromancie he fonde*. [vond, γ.] tresour þat was i-hidde*. [y-hud, γ.] of olde tyme. In þat feelde þat hatte Campus Marcius, bysides Rome, was an ymage [þat tyme]*. [From β.] þat hilde*. [huld, γ.] streiȝt out þe fynger*. [vynger, γ., et infra.] of his riȝt honde, þe whiche fynger som men clepeþ likpot,*. [lykpot, α.; lykepot, γ.] þat is þe fynger next þe thombe; and on*. [oon, β.] þe ymages heed it was i-write "Smyte here." Men of olde tyme wende and trowede tresour [þer]*. [From α.]Page  75, vol.7 to fynde,*. [vynde, γ.] and brak som what of þe ymage wiþ many harde strokes; Gerebertus blamede hem þerfore, and evene at myd|day, whan þe sonne was hiȝest,*. [heiȝest, β.] he took hede*. [touk hyde, γ.] where þe schadowe of þat fynger fil*. [vul, γ.] on þe grounde, and piȝte þere a stake. And at nyȝt he took wiþ hym [his chamberlayn alone, þat bar wiþ him]*. [From α., β., and γ.] liȝt, and oponed þe erþe þere þe stake was i-pight, and wente inne, and sigh þere a kynges hous of gold, and knyȝtes of golde, pleyenge*. [pleyyng, β.; pleyng, γ.] wiþ dees of gold, and kynge and queene of metall,*. [metayl, γ.] sittynge at þe borde, and i-served wiþ mete i-set on þe borde, servauntes stondynge to fore hem, and cuppes*. [coppes, γ.] of greet weyȝte*. [wiȝt, β.] and pris; in þe ynnere*. [ynne, α.] place*. [inner plas, γ.] of þe hous a carbuncle stoon þat schoon cleerliche, and dede awey al the derkenes of þe nyȝt. In þe oþer side stood a ȝongelynge wiþ a bowe i-bent. But among al þis*. [þues, γ.] myȝte no þing be touched, þeyȝ it myȝte be i-seie. ȝif*. [Ef, γ.] eny man ȝede nere for to be handeled*. [for to handle, α] eny þing hereof, it semede þat al þe ymages wolde on hym rese. Gerebertus was war þerof, and absteynede hym, and with stood*. [wiþstode, β.] his covetise, and de|sire; but þe chamberlayn absteynede nouȝt at þe fulle, Page  77, vol.7 for he took a knyf þat lay on þe boorde. Anoon as he hadde i-take þe knyf alle þe ymages gonne*. [gunne, γ.] to grucche*. [groche, γ.] and to aryse, and þe childe losed and schette,*. [loused and schott, β.; loused and scheet, γ.] and hitte þe char|buncle*. [carbuncle, β.] stoon wiþ a reed,*. [reode, β.; rued, γ.] and made al þe hous ful*. [vol, γ.] of derkenesse. So þat but he hadde i-leide doun his knyf, as þe loord heet hym, boþe schul have i-payde þe payne. So it is i-rad þat Ioseph dalf wiþ his fader moche*. [myche, β.] tresour in þe erþe, and Hircanus took up*. [op, γ.] þre þowsand talentes of kyng David his*. [Daviþes, β.] grave for to breke up*. [op, γ.] þe sege of Ierusalem. Also it is comyn fame þat þis Gerebertus, by certeyne craft of þe sterres, dede ȝote*. [ȝeote, β.] an hede þat spak nouȝt but whanne me axede of hym, and seide nouȝ but*. [but] om. γ.; bot, α.] sooþ. Þe*. [þat, α.] heed warnede Gere|bertus þat he schulde be pope, and þat he schulde nevere dei or*. [er, β.] he hadde*. [ar a hadde, γ.] i-songe a masse in Ierusalem. But he was nouȝt war þat in Rome was a chirche þat heet in*. [in] om. α.] Ierusalem, þere þe pope syngeþ þe masse þre Sondayes*. [Sondawes, γ., et infra.] in þe ȝere in þe stacioun tyme. In þat chirche he arrayede hym to masse Page  79, vol.7 warde in oon of þe*. [þese, α.; þues, γ.] Sondayes, and was i-take wiþ strengþe of siknes, and lay seek on his bed, and counsailed with his ymage, and knewe þat he was begiled, and was war of his owne deth. He sente for þe cardinalles, and knowleched*. [knewlechede, γ.] his evel dedes, and weep ful*. [wep fol, γ.] sore. And as it were a wood*. [wode, β.; wod, γ.] man for sorwe of his synnes, he made men kutte hym*. [Here MS. Addit. 24194 (i.e. α.) ceases for several chapters, and MS. Harl. 1900 i.e. β., (f. 248 a, three lines from bottom) varies very much from the text which is here printed. For instance, taking up the text where MS. Addit. leaves off: "he made men kitt hym self lym|mele, and þrowe out his lymmes, and seide, 'Lete hym have þe office of þe lymes þt axide homage of hem, and lete þe spirit go to God þt made hym of nouȝt. Marc'. Þanne he bade do þe stok of his body uppon a cart, and burye hit where þe bestes wolde abide, and it was so doon," &c. &c. β., γ., and Cx. also vary so much at this point from the printed text, that it has been thought better to print the text of β. in an Appendix, and collate γ. and Cx. therewith in this varying passage. For an account of the varying passage, see Introduction.] and his membres membre by membre, and caste hem out. "Have ȝe þay," quod þe officer, "of þe membres þat desiren hem, and souȝte þe homage of þaym, and þe spirit goo unto God þat made it." Martinus. Þanne commanded he his body, þat was bote a stok, to be putte in a carte, and where so evere þe bestes rested, þere for to be buryed; þe whiche was i-doo; for why þe oxen stood stille at Seint Iohn Laterens cherche, where þat he is i-buried; wherefore also, in tokene of forgifnes folwynge, his grave also wele of the noyse of þe bones þat conteyned as of þe swetynge of þe gravestone þere is taken a forwetynge or tokenynge of þe pope sone for to deie, as þere is wreten in lettres.