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

Cap. xxvj.

After þe tyme þat þes .iij. kyngis were go fro bethleem forþ in to her contrey, than þer bygan to wex a grete fame of oure lady and of her childe and of þes .iij. kyngis alle aboute. wherfore oure lady for drede of þe Iwes fledde oute of þat litil hows þat crist was bore in, and went in to an oþir derke Cave vndir erþe: and þere sche abode with her childe til þe tyme of her Purificacioun. and, as goddis wiƚƚ was, diuers men and wommen lovid oure lady seynt Marie and her soone, and myni [supplied by ed.] strid to hem aƚƚ maner of necessaries þat were nede*. [r. nedeful] to hem. and afterward, whan þe feiþ bigan to wexe & encrese, þan þere was made a chapel in þe same cave in þe worschippe of þe .iij. kyngis and of seynt Nicholas. and in þis Chapel is a stone vppe þe wich oure lady seynt Marie was wonte to sitte whan sche ȝaf her childe sowke. ¶ And on a tyme as sche sat on þis stone and ȝaf her sone sowke, þer fiƚƚ adowne from her tete a litil melk̘ on þe same stone: þe wich melk is seiȝe þere ȝit in to þis day, and þe more hit is scraped with knyfes þe more hit wexeþ; and þis melk is bore in to diuerss places of pilgrimes. also whan oure lady was go oute of þe litil hows and come in to þe*. [r. þis] cave, sche hed forȝete byhynde her her smok and the clothis þat crist was wrappyd Inne, I-folde all-to-gidre and leide [supplied by ed.] *. [added from MS. Tit.] in þe heiȝe in þe manger: and so þere þei were hoole and fresshe in þe same place in to þe tyme þat seint Elene, þe worschepeful Quene, þat was modir to þe kyng̛ Constantyn, com þedir in to þe same place.// Page  90 ffor þe Iwes of envie heelde þat place þer*. [MS. þat] crist was bore a fowle and a cursed place, In so mochel þat [supplied by ed.] þei wolde [leaf 14a] noȝt suffre man ne womman, childe ne beest to go in to þe place. fferthermore whan oure lady was come in to þe tempil and offrid her childe with turtlis or dowes after Moyses lawe, as holy writ telleþ, and Symeon toke hym in his armes and seyde, Nunc dimittis seruum tuum, &c., ¶ That is to seye: Now lorde, lat þi seruant be in pees aftir þi worde: The same tyme Symeon and anne, þe olde womman, in presence of þe scribys and þe pharisees prophecied many thyngis of oure lord ihesu crist, as holy writ telleþ. and so grete a name was aryse of oure lady and of her soone among̛ þe Iwes þat sche myȝt noȝt ne also durst noȝt abide no lenger in þat place for drede of kyng̛ herodes and of þe Iwes. and, as þe gospel seiþ: Angelus domini apparuit in sompnis Ioseph dicens surge accipe puerum, &c.;, ¶ That is to seye: a aungeƚƚ of godd aperid to Ioseph in his slepe and seyde: "aryse and take þe childe and his modir and fle in to Egipte and be þere til y telle þe; ffor hit is to come þat herodes schal seke þe childe to lese*. [Tit. and Harl. slee] hym." than Ioseph arose and toke þe childe and his modir and ȝede in to Egipt in þe nyȝt; and þere he was til herodes was dede. and ȝe schul vndirstonde þat oure lady seynt Marie and her soone dwellid in Egipt .vij. ȝere. and Egipt is fro Bethleem .xij. dayes iourney. ¶ And in þis wey þat oure lady seynt Marie ȝede in to Egipt, and in þe weye þat sche come aȝene, growe drye roses þe wich be cleped þe roses of Ierico, and þes roses growe in no place of aƚƚ þe contrey but onlich in þe same weye. and þes rosys Page  92 scheperdis of þe contrey þat go aboute with her schepe, þei gadir hem in tyme of ȝere and selle hem for brede to pilgrimes and to oþir men of þe contrey aboute;*. [Here is a fol. missing in Harl.] and so þei be bore in to diuers londis aboute. ¶ fferthermore in þe same place þere oure lady dwellid with her soone, is now a gardyn in þe wich groweþ bawme; and þis gardyn is*. [MS. as] noȝt fullich as longe and as brode as a man may cast a stone. ¶ And þer be also in þis gardeyn .vij. wellis*. [MS. weƚƚ] of water, in þe wich oure lady seynt Mary wasshed her soone and bathed hym, and vysshe her clothis and her sonys clothis. and ȝe schulle vndirstonde þat in þis gardyn be many busshis of bawme, and þei be mochel liche to busshes of rosys; and þes busshes be litil hiȝer þan a fathome of lengþe, and þe leuys be liche treyfoyles. and to euery busshe a cristyn man, of þe sowdan̄s prisoners, is assigned, to kepe hit and to make hit clene. and þere is a grete merveyle and a grete miracle of þes busshes of bawme: ffor þer may no man kepe hem and diȝt hem but he be a cristen man--and þat haþ of-time be previd: ffor whan a Iwe or a paynym kepeþ hem, anoon þe [leaf 14b] busshes wexen drye and growe nomore. and in þe monthe of Marche*. [MS. Marthe]þe sowdan is allewey abydyng̛ in þis gardyn: and than þe roddys be kytte as a wyne, and whan þei be kitte, þei be bounde aboute with cotoun, and vndir þe kittyng̛ of þe roddys and þe cotoun be sette disshes of syluer. and so the bawme renneþ downe in to þes vessels oute of þe [supplied by ed.] kittyng̛*. [Tit. kuttynges] and þorwe þe [supplied by ed.] cotoun, as water renneþ oute atte þe vyne. and oute of þes disshes þe bawme is put in to a grete potte of syluer, and þat potte is more þan .vj. galouns. // And þan þe sowdan takeþ alle þis bawme in to his owne kepyng̛ specialich; but whan any messanger is sent from any kyng̛ for bawme, þan þe sowdan ȝif hym a litil viol ful of bawme. and whan þe bawme is aƚƚ gadrid and dropped oute of þe roddys, þan þe sowdan goþ home: and þan Page  94euery cristenman þat haþ a busshe to kepe, he takeþ þe roddes þat be kitte, and seeþ hem in water in a clene potte: and þe bawme swymmeþ aboue þe water as hit were fatnesse of flesshe: and þis bawme is goode for alle maner of brusours, and ȝif a man be woundid, hit wil make hym hoole anoone. and þis bawme is solde to pylgrymes of diuers contreys, and so hit is bore þorwe diuers londys aboute. ¶ But þis bawme is no-thyng so vertuous ne so goode as þe bawme þat droppeþ oute of þe roddys whan þey be kitte. ffor, an a man take a drope of þis*. [MS. þe] bawme and ley hit on a mannys*. [Tit. on his] honde, anoon hit renneþ þorwe-oute on þat oþer syde, and þat place schal neuer be corrupt ne rote aftir. and þis bawme is as þouȝ it were thynne grene wyne, a litil troublid. and this bawme is [supplied by ed.] *. [added from Tit.] cleped rawe bawme and the toþer is callid soden bawme. Manye moo vertues ben̄ of this bawme [supplied by ed.] ,*. [added from Tit.] þe wicℏ were longe to telle here. but aƚƚ þe men in þe eest byleve trewlich þat þis place haþ swich a vertue of growyng of bawme bycause oure lady dwelled in þe same place .vij. ȝere and, as hit is aforseyde, sche wisshe and bathed her sone in þe same wellys and also visshe his clothis and her owne in þe same water. // fferthermore ȝe schul vndirstonde, as hit is aforseyde, þat Melchior, kyng̛ of Nubye and of arabie, offrid to godd a rounde appil of gold and .xxx. gilt penyes. of þes .xxx. gilt penyes ȝe schul here þe first bygynnyng̛ and þe last ende. // Thara, þat was fadir to abraham, did make þes .xxx. gilt penyes in þe name of þe kyng̛ of Mesopotamye þe wich was cleped Nynus. and þus.*. [r. þis] abraham, whan he ȝede a pilgrimage oute of þe londe of Chaldee in to Ebron, þat in þat tyme was cleped arabie, he bare þes .xxx. gilt penyes with hym and bouȝte with hem a place for his sepulture and for his wyf̘ [supplied by ed.] *. [added from Tit.] and for his childryn, ysaac and Iacob Page  96 aftirward Ioseph was solde of his breþerin in to Egipt to Marchauntys þat were of hismahely for þes same .xxx. gilt penyes. Aftirward̛ whanne Iacob was dede, thanne were thes xxx gilt penyes [supplied by ed.] *. [added from Tit.] sent to þe londe of Saba for diuers spycys and oynementys for þe sepulture of Iacob: and so þei were putte in to þe kyngis [leaf 15a] tresory. þan by processe of tyme in kyng̛ Salemons tyme þe quene of Saba offrid þes .xxx.*. [MS. iij] gilt penyes, with many oþir riche Iewels, in þe tempil of godd in Ierusalem. so aftirward, in þe tyme of Roboam, þat was kyng̛ Salemons soone, whan Ierusalem was destruyed and þe tempil of godd despoiled, þan þes .xxx. gilt penyes were brouȝt to þe kyng̛ of arabie: and so þei were put in to his tresory, with many oþer riche ornamentys þat were brouȝt oute of þe tempil of god. Than aftirward, whan crist was bore in bethleem, þan Melchior, þat was kyng̛ of Nubye and of arabie, toke þes .xxx. gilt penyes, and many oþir riche ornamentys and Iewels, with hym, by-cause hit was þe fynest gold and þe best þat he had in his tresory; þerfore he toke þes same with hym and offrid hem to godd in bethleem þer as he was bore. ¶ Than aftirward̛, whan oure lady seynt Marye ȝede oute of bethleem in to Egipte for drede of kyng̛ herodes, þan sche lost aƚƚ þes ȝiftes þat were offrid in þe weye, and þei were aƚƚ bounde in a clothe togedir. so aftirward hit happed, þer was a schepherde in þat contrey þat kept schepe; þe wich had so grete infirmite and so grete dissese þat þer myȝt no leche hele hym, and aƚƚ þe goode þat he hadde he ȝaf to diuers lechys to be hole, and hit myȝt noȝt be. ¶ Than on a tyme as he ȝede in þe felde with his schepe now in o place now in an oþir, he fonde þes .xxx. gilt penyes, with encense Page  98 and Mirre, bounde alle in a clowte togedir. and whan he had founde þes ȝiftes, he kept hem priuelich to hym-self, til a litil afore aȝens*. [om. aȝens] þe tyme þat god ȝede to his passyoun. and whan þis scheperde herde speke of swich a holy prophete þat helid aƚƚ men of her infirmites with a worde, þan he com to god and preide hym of grace and of help: and þan god aƚƚmyȝty anoon helid hym, and enfourmed hym of þe feiþ. þan þe scheperde offerid to god with goode deuocioun þes .xxx. penyes, with encense and Mirre, as þei were aƚƚ bounde togedir in a clowte. and whan god sayȝe þes .xxx. gilt penyes, with encense and Mirre, he knewe hem wel, and bad þe scheperde þat he scholde go in to þe tempil and offre aƚƚ þes thynges vppon þe autere. and so þe scheperde did, aftir þe commandement of god, and offryd vppon þe autere in þe tempil þes .xxx. gilt penyes, with encense and mirre, with grete deuocioun. // And whan þe preest þat in þat tyme kept þe tempil sayȝe swich oblacions*. [r. oblacioun] offrid on þe autere, in þe worschep of þis oblaciouns*. [r. oblacioun] he was reuested and ensensed þe autere; and bycause þat oblaciouns were seelde seye in þe tempil, þe preest of þe tempil tok aƚƚ þes .iij. þingis and put hem in to her comune tresory. and a litil while aftir, þat is to seye þe thrid daye tofore cristes passyoun, Iudas Skariot com in to þe temple to þe princys of þe lawe and to þe Iwys, and made couenaunt with hem to betraye his maister god aƚƚmyȝty: & [leaf 15b] for his trauayle þe princys of þe Iwys toke oute of her tresory þes .xxx. gilt penyes and ȝaf hem to Iudas Skariot, and so þis Iudas sold godd almyȝty his maister for þes .xxx. gilt penyes. than whan aƚƚ þis was do and crist, goddis sone of heuen, was betrayed þorwe his discipil and scholde be dede for aƚƚ mankynde, as his wiƚƚ was: þan þis Iudas repent hym and was sory for his mysdede, and ȝede in to þe tempil aȝene to þe princys of þe Iwys Page  100 and cast downe to hem þese .xxx. gilt penys. ¶ Than whan aƚƚ þes was done,*. [Tit. and Harl. and, instead of Than--done] as þe gospeƚƚ seiþ, he ȝede & henge hym-self. so þan þe Iwys bouȝte with .xv. of þes gilt penyes a feelde for sepulture of pilgrymes, as þe gospeƚƚ telleþ, and þe*. [MS. and with þe] oþir .xv. penyes þe Iwys ȝaf to þe knyȝtys þat kept þe sepulcre of crist. ¶ Also ȝe schulle vndirstonde þat þe liknesse of þes .xxx. gilt penyes were*. [Tit. and Harl. was] vsed in aƚƚ þat contrey boþe in name and in money from abrahams tyme in to þe [supplied by ed.] destruccioun of Ierusalem, þe wich was do by Tytus and Vaspasianus. But from þe tyme of abraham in to cristys passyon þes .xxx. gilt penyes were neuer desseueryd ne departed, but euermore þei were bore hoole togedir; and whan crist was solde for hem, þan anoon þei were disseueryd and departed aboute in diuers placys. fferthermore þe cause why þes .xxx. gilt penyes were cleped syluer in þe godspeƚƚ, noȝtwithstondyng̛ þei were fyne gold, is þis: ffor hit is þe comune name and þe comune vsage in aƚƚ þat contrey so for to clepe hem, as men clepe in þis contrey gold of biȝende þe see Scutys, Motouns or floryns. ¶ And ȝit in þe eest þe same preent is made, boþe in gold and in siluer and in copir, and kept among̛ grete lordys of þe contrey. and þe preent of one of þes .xxx. gilt penyes is þis: on þat o side is a kyngis hed corouned, and in*. [r. on] þat oþer side be write lettres of Chaldee, þe wich men kunne noȝt rede now.*. [MS. corr. now rede] and one of hem is as [supplied by ed.] mochel worþ in weight and in valwe as. iij. floreyns. and many merueiles be tolde of þes .xxx. gilt penyes, þe wich were longe to telle.--¶ Also whan oure lady and Ioseph were warned to come oute of egipt by a aungeƚƚ, as þe gospeƚƚ telleþ, þan þei were bode go in to galilee: and þere þei dwelled in a cite þat is cleped Naȝareth--and so þe prophecie was fulfilled quoniam Naȝareus vocabitur, þat is to seye: he schal Page  102be cleped a man of Naȝareth. and what crist wrouȝt and did in erþe fro þis tyme to his passioun, þe euangelistys declaryn openlich in þe gospeƚƚ.