Three Kings of Cologne : an early English translation of the "Historia Trium Regum"
by John of Hildesheim
edited from the MSS., together with the Latin text, by C. Horstmann
Page  48

Capitulum xiiijm.

Affterward, whan þes .iii. worschippeful kynges had araied hem with riche tresoure and riche ornamentis and with grete multitude of pepil, as hit is aforsaide, and were [supplied by ed.] passed forþ oute of her kyngdoms; thow hit so were þat noon of hem wist of oþir ne knewe of othirs purpos neþer intencioun--bycause of þe longe weye and fer weye þat was bitwix euery kyngdom--ȝit þe sterre euenlich ȝede tofore euery kyng̛ and aƚƚ her pepil; and whan þei [supplied by ed.] stode stille or rested, þe sterre stode stille, and whan þei ȝede or riden, the sterre aƚƚwey ȝede forþ tofore hem in his vertue and in his strenghe and ȝaf liȝt to aƚƚ her weye. and, as hit is write afore, in þe tyme þat crist was bore, it was pees in alle þe worlde, wherfore in aƚƚ þe citees and townes þat þei ȝede by, þer was no gate schet, neþir by nyȝt no by daye: but hit semed to hem þat þe nyȝt was to hem daye. wherfore alle men of þe citees and townes þat þes worþi kyngis ȝede by in þe nyȝt, were wonderlich agast and passynglich merveyled þerof: ffor þei seyȝe kyngis with grete multitude of peple and beestys passe by hem with grete haast in þe nyȝt, but þei wist naȝt what þei were ne fro what place þei come ne whider þei scholde go. ffor on þe morwe þei siȝen þe weye gretlich Page  50defowled*. [MS. defolwed] with hors fete and oþir beestys. wherof þei were in grete dowte what hit scholde be, and grete altercacioun was among hem in aƚƚ þe contrey longe tyme. // fferthermore, whan þes kyngis riden þorwe diuers londys, kyngdoms, citees and townes, þei riden forþ ouer hillys, waters, waleys, pleynes and oþer diuers and perlous placys withoute any dissese or lettyng̛: for aƚƚ þe weye þat þei riden, was semyng to hem playn and euene; and þei toke neuer no herborwe by þe weye, nyȝt ne daye, ne neuer rested hem, ne þei hemself ne her hors ne oþer beestys þat were in her cumpany neuer etyn ne drank̘, after þe tyme þat þei hadde take her weye til þei come in to bedleem; and aƚƚ þis tyme semed to hem*. [MS. hym] but a day. and þus, þorwe þe grete mercy of god and ledyng of þe sterre, þei come oute of her londys and kyngdoms in to Ierusalem þe xiij. day þat crist was bore, in þe vpperisyng̛ of þe sunne--wherof is no doute: ffor þei foundyn oure lady seint Marie and her soone in þe same place and in þe cave þere crist was bore and leyde in þe manger. // Also many bokys telle þat þei cam in to Ierusalem and in to bedleem in þe mydde of þe daye,*. [Lat. in dromedariis(C. C. in die meridiano)] and oþir bokys seyen þat þei com þus hastilich in þis wyse and þus in to Ierusalem and in to bedleem. wherof ȝe schulle vndirstonde, as seynt Gregory seiþ in an omely, þus: [leaf 8b] Si diuina operacio humana racione comprehendi posset, non esset admirabilis, nec fides haberet meritum, cui humana racio prebet experimentum et cetera,that is to seye: ȝif þe werkis of god myȝt be comprehendit in mannys wit or reson, hit were no wondir, also byleue hath no mede þat*. [Tit. where, Harl. yf] kyndely resoun scheweth hit to a man. ffor þat lord gode þat in þe olde testament ledde abacuk þe prophete by a here of his hede oute of Iury in to babiloyne and Chaldee, þe wich is a .C. daies iourney bitwix goyng and comyng, to danieƚƚ þat was in þe pitte amonge þe leouns, and anoon restored Page  52þe same abacuk in to his place aȝene: þat same lorde god in þe newe testament was myȝty to lede and to bringe þes .iij. worschippeful kyngis oute of þe eest and oute of her kyngdoms in to þe londe of Iury in xiij. daies withoute [supplied by ed.] any dissese or lettyng̛. // Also, as oure lorde ihesu crist aftir his resurreccioun ȝede to his disciplys in to a hows withoute openyng of any gate or lok, and as þe fyre brent noȝt*. [Harl. brent & did] ne dede no harm to þe .iij. childryn whan þey were putte in þe fourneys of fuyre, ne no sauour of smoke was founde in hem: riȝt so in þe tyme of þes [supplied by ed.] .iij. glorious kyngis oure lady seynt Marie bare oure lorde ihesu crist, þat was verrey god and man, and ȝit sche was tofore and euer after a clene Mayde. and ȝe schuƚƚ vndirstonde þat god almyȝty myȝt haue brouȝt þes .iij. worthi kynges and aƚƚ her folk̘*. [MS. folkis] oute of þe eeste in to Iury in a moment, as he brouȝt abacuk þe prophete aforseyde. But, thow god almyȝty meked*. [MS. maked] and lowed hym-self̘ and was bore in gret pouert and toke vppon hym mankynde and mannys freelte, ȝet he wolde merveilouslich*. [MS. merveislouslich] schewe his berthe to aƚƚ þe worlde, in heuene and in erþe, with þe myȝt of his godhede and of his [supplied by ed.] mageste.