How a Bird laid an Egg in Philip's Bosom at whose breaking there came forth a Serpent, which forthwith died.
And a few days after
this Philip the king was sitting in his palace, and there appeared
unto him a little and most gentle bird, which flew into his bosom and
laid an egg. And the egg, falling to the ground, was broken. And at
once there crept forth from it a very little snake. And it turned
around, wishful to go into the egg, but, before it might put in its
head, it was quenched. And Philip, seeing this, was heavily
distressed, and called to him Arideus, and showed him the monstrous
thing he had seen. And Arideus said to him, 'King Philip, a son shall
be born to thee, who shall reign after thy death, and shall fare forth
over the whole world and sway all peoples, and ere he come back to the
land of his birth, shall die by a most swift death.' And as
the time of child-birth was drawing nigh, Olympia began to feel pain,
and her womb was tormented, and she bade Arideus be called to her, and
spoke with him: 'Master, my womb is wrenched with very heavy labours.'
Anectanabus*. [sic in both editions 1489 and 1494] then spake:
'Raise thyself awhile from thy throne, for in this hour the elements
are troubled by the sun.' This was done, and the pain went from her.
And soon after, Anectanabus said to her, 'Sit down, O Queen!' and she
sate herself and bore a child. And as soon as the boy was fallen on
to the earth, a mighty thunderclap and thunderbolts, with tokens and
lightnings came about throughout the whole world. Then night was
spread forth and lasted, it reaching unto the last hour of day. Then
parts of the clouds fell down in Italy. And seeing these signs,
Philip the king was afrighted, and went in to Olympia, and said: 'I
deemed that this little babe should in no wise be fostered. For he is
not conceived of me, but of some god, for at his birth I beheld the
heavens changed. Yet let him be fostered in my memory, as though he
were my son, and follow in the stead of a son I begot through another
wife.' And when he said this, she handled the babe with great care.
And the boy's face had the likeness neither of father nor mother. The
hair on his headPage 7 was shaggy as a lion's. His eyes glistened
like the stars, but each beamed with its own hue, one black, the other
yellow. And his teeth were sharp, and his eager rush as a lion's.
His shape foreshadowed his energy and forethought. By his parents he
was called Alexander. In the schools, and wheresoever he sate, he
strove with them in letters and disputations, and by his keen
swiftness won the mastership. And when he was twelve years old, he
was beweaponed for battle, and excelled in arms. And Philip, seeing
how quick he was, praised him, and said: 'Son Alexander, I love thy
speed, and wit of mind for its work. But I am sore and feel foolish
that thy form is no unlike mine.' And Olympia heard this, and was
greatly afraid. And she called hither Anectanabus, and said: 'Master,
learn from me what Philip misdeemeth. For he said to Alexander, "Son,
I love thy speed and wit of mind. But, that thy shape is unlike mine,
I am saddened."' And Anectanabus began to think, and said: 'His
thought is nowise harmful.' And gazing aloft as he was wont, he
looked on a certain star, and riddled out his wish. And when
Alexander heard this, he spake: 'The star thou seest is seen in the
heavens?' And Anectanabus replied: 'My son, it is.' Alexander said:
'Canst thou show it unto me?' Anectanabus answered: 'Follow me in the
hour of night, and I will show it unto thee.' Alexander said: 'Thy
fate is not known to thee, or uncertain?' Anectanabus replied:
'Enough of this.' Alexander said: 'I would fain know it.'
Anectanabus answered: 'In truth know that from my son shall come my
death.' This said, as he went down from the palace, Alexander
followed him in the hour of the evening without the city. And when
they arrived up on to the ditch of the city, Anectanabus spake: 'Son
Alexander, gaze thou on the stars; look how the star of Hercules is
perplexed, and how Mercury's star is blithe. If I see Jove sparkling,
my doom telleth me of my coming death at the hands of my son.' At
this sight Alexander came up nigh to him, and made an onslaught on
him, making him fall
And a few days after this Philip the king was sitting in his palace, and there appeared unto him a little and most gentle bird, which flew into his bosom and laid an egg. And the egg, falling to the ground, was broken. And at once there crept forth from it a very little snake. And it turned around, wishful to go into the egg, but, before it might put in its head, it was quenched. And Philip, seeing this, was heavily distressed, and called to him Arideus, and showed him the monstrous thing he had seen. And Arideus said to him, 'King Philip, a son shall be born to thee, who shall reign after thy death, and shall fare forth over the whole world and sway all peoples, and ere he come back to the land of his birth, shall die by a most swift death.'
And as the time of child-birth was drawing nigh, Olympia began to feel pain, and her womb was tormented, and she bade Arideus be called to her, and spoke with him: 'Master, my womb is wrenched with very heavy labours.' Anectanabus*. [sic in both editions 1489 and 1494] then spake: 'Raise thyself awhile from thy throne, for in this hour the elements are troubled by the sun.' This was done, and the pain went from her. And soon after, Anectanabus said to her, 'Sit down, O Queen!' and she sate herself and bore a child. And as soon as the boy was fallen on to the earth, a mighty thunderclap and thunderbolts, with tokens and lightnings came about throughout the whole world. Then night was spread forth and lasted, it reaching unto the last hour of day. Then parts of the clouds fell down in Italy. And seeing these signs, Philip the king was afrighted, and went in to Olympia, and said: 'I deemed that this little babe should in no wise be fostered. For he is not conceived of me, but of some god, for at his birth I beheld the heavens changed. Yet let him be fostered in my memory, as though he were my son, and follow in the stead of a son I begot through another wife.' And when he said this, she handled the babe with great care. And the boy's face had the likeness neither of father nor mother. The hair on his headPage 7 was shaggy as a lion's. His eyes glistened like the stars, but each beamed with its own hue, one black, the other yellow. And his teeth were sharp, and his eager rush as a lion's. His shape foreshadowed his energy and forethought. By his parents he was called Alexander. In the schools, and wheresoever he sate, he strove with them in letters and disputations, and by his keen swiftness won the mastership. And when he was twelve years old, he was beweaponed for battle, and excelled in arms. And Philip, seeing how quick he was, praised him, and said: 'Son Alexander, I love thy speed, and wit of mind for its work. But I am sore and feel foolish that thy form is no unlike mine.' And Olympia heard this, and was greatly afraid. And she called hither Anectanabus, and said: 'Master, learn from me what Philip misdeemeth. For he said to Alexander, "Son, I love thy speed and wit of mind. But, that thy shape is unlike mine, I am saddened."' And Anectanabus began to think, and said: 'His thought is nowise harmful.' And gazing aloft as he was wont, he looked on a certain star, and riddled out his wish. And when Alexander heard this, he spake: 'The star thou seest is seen in the heavens?' And Anectanabus replied: 'My son, it is.' Alexander said: 'Canst thou show it unto me?' Anectanabus answered: 'Follow me in the hour of night, and I will show it unto thee.' Alexander said: 'Thy fate is not known to thee, or uncertain?' Anectanabus replied: 'Enough of this.' Alexander said: 'I would fain know it.' Anectanabus answered: 'In truth know that from my son shall come my death.' This said, as he went down from the palace, Alexander followed him in the hour of the evening without the city. And when they arrived up on to the ditch of the city, Anectanabus spake: 'Son Alexander, gaze thou on the stars; look how the star of Hercules is perplexed, and how Mercury's star is blithe. If I see Jove sparkling, my doom telleth me of my coming death at the hands of my son.' At this sight Alexander came up nigh to him, and made an onslaught on him, making him fall*. [The early Text begins.] [leaf 1] down̛ in to þe dyke, and thare he feƚƚe, & was aƚƚ to-frusched̛; and þan̛ Alexander said̛ vn-to hym one this wyse. 'FalsPage 8 wreche,' quoþ he, 'that presumeȝ to teƚƚ thyngeȝ þat ere to com̛, reȝte als þou were a prophete, and knewe þe preuateȝ of heuen̛. Now may þou see that þou lyeȝ, And þare-fore þou arte worthy to hafe swilke a dede.' And than̛ Anectanabus ansuerd̛, & said̛: 'I wyste wele ynoghe,' quoþ he, 'þat I scholde die swylke a dede. Talde I noȝte lange are to þe, that myn̛ awenn̛ son̛ schulde slae me ?' 'Whi, ame I thi son̛ ?' þan̛ quoþ Alexandire: 'ȝaa, for sothe,' quoþ Anectanabus, ' I gat the.' And wit þat word̛, he ȝalde þe gaste. And than̛ Alexander hert tendird̛ on̛ his Fader, And he tuke hym vp on his bakke, and bare hym to þe palace. And when̛ his moder Olympias saw hym, Scho said̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym. 'Son̛,' quoþ scho, 'what es that?' 'Als thi foly hase made it,' quoþ he, 'so it es.' And than̛ he gert berye hym wirchipfully.
In the mene tyme, a prynce of Macedoyne broghte þe kyng a horse vn-temed̛, a grete and a faire; & he was tyed̛ on̛ ilke side wit chynes of Iren̛, for he walde wery men̛ and ete þam̛. This ilke horse was called̛ Buktiphalas, bi-cause of his vgly lukynge, For he hade a heued̛ lyke a buƚƚe, & knottiƚƚs in his frount, as þay had hene þe bygynnyng of hournes. And when̛ þe kyng saw þe bewtee of this horse, he said tiƚƚ his seruandis, 'Takeȝ this horse and putteȝ hym in a stable, and makes barreȝ of yren̛ be-fore hym, that thefeȝ and oþer mysdoers, þat saƚƚ be done to dede, may be putt in-tiƚƚ hym, to be slaen̛ of hym. And þay didd̛ soo. In þe mene tyme þe kynge Philippe had̛ ane answere of his goddes, that hee schulde regne nexte after hym, the whilke myghte ryde that wylde horse wit-owtten̛ harme. So it feƚƚe þat Alexander þe whilke was þan̛ twelue ȝere alde, wexe strange & reȝte hardy, & was wysse and discrete; for he was wele lered̛ & connand̛ in aƚƚ þe seuen̛ sciences, þe whilke twa philosophirs had teched̛ hym : þat es to say, Arestotle & Calistene. And one a day, as Alexander passed̛ for-by þe place þare als þe foresaide stode, he luked in betwene þe barreȝ of yrnne and saw, bifore þe horse, mens hend̛ and fete, & oþer of þaire membris, liggand̛ scatered̛ here & thare, and he had̛ grete wonder þare-off. And he putt in hisPage 9 hande bitwene þe barreȝ, And þe horse [leaf 1 bk.] strekede oute his nekke, als ferre als he myghte, and likked̛ Alexander hand̛; and he knelid̛ doun̛ on̛ his kneesse, and bi-helde Alexander in þe vesage langly. And Alexander vnderstode wele þe wiƚƚ of þe horse, and opynd̛ the barreȝ, and went into þe horse, and straked̛ him softely on þe bakke wit his riȝte hand̛; And belyfe þe horse wexe wonderly meke tiƚƚ Alexander; and riȝte as a honde wiƚƚ couche when̛ his maister biddes hym, so dide he tiƚƚ Alexander; and Alexander lukede besides hym, & sawe a sadiƚƚ & a brydeƚƚ hyng thare; and he tuke & dyd̛þam̛ on̛ hym̛, & leppe one his bakke & rade furthe on̛ hym. And when̛ the kynge Philippe sawe hym do so, he said̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym 'Mi son̛ Alexander' quoþ he: 'Aƚƚ þe ansuers of our goddeȝ are fulfillede in the! For when̛ I ame dede, þou mon̛ regne after me' And Alexander ansuerd; & said̛ 'I pray the, Fader,' quoþ he, 'ordeyne me horse & men̛, for I gaa seke dedeȝ of armeȝ.' 'For sothe' quoþ þe kynge wit a glade chere, 'Take þe a hundreth horse, and xl thosandeȝ pounde of golde; and take wit the of þe worthieste knyghteȝ þat langeȝ to me, and wendis furthe.' And he didd̛so.
And he tuke wit hym also a philosopℏre þat highte Eufestius, whilke he traysted̛ mekiƚƚ in, And twelue childre þat he chese to be his playfers, and went hym furthe, and come in-tiƚƚ a contreth þat es called Polipone. And when̛ the kynge of þe land̛ herd̛ teƚƚ, þat swilke men̛ ware entred̛ in-to his rewme in swilke araye, he raysed̛ a gret Oste, and come agaynes Alexander for to feghte wit hym̛. And when̛ he come nerehand̛ hym, he said̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym. 'Teƚƚ me' quoþ he 'whatt þou ert ?' And Alexander ansuerd̛ 'I am Alexander' quoþ he 'þe son̛ of Philippe, þe kynge of Macedoyne.' 'And what hopeȝ þou þat I be ?' quoþ þe kynge tiƚƚ hym. And Alexander ansuerd̛. 'Þou ert kynge of Arridouns' quoþ he. 'Neuer-þe-lesse, if aƚƚ I do þe þat wirchippe þat I calle þe kynge, empride þe nathynge þare-of. For men̛ seeȝ ofte tymes men̛ þat ere in heghe astate com̛ to lawe degree, & men̛ þat ere in lawe degree, come tiƚƚ heghe astate.' 'Þou sais riȝte wele' quoþ þe kynge. 'Take hede to thyn̛ awen̛ selfe!' And Alexander ansuerd̛ & said 'Ga hethen̛ away fra me' quoþ he 'for þou can̛ say noghte to mee, ne I hafe noghte at do wit þe.' And þan̛ þe kyng was worder wrathe, And said tiƚƚAlexander Page 10 'Luke on me' [leaf 2] quoþ he 'þat spekes to the: Fore I swere the be my Fader hele, & I anes spitte in thi face, þou schale dye.' And wit þat he spitte at Alexander, & said̛: 'Take þe þare, þou biche whelpe, þat þe semeȝ tiƚƚ hafe.' And Alexander stepped̛ furthe, & said̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym̛. 'For þou' quoþ he 'hase dispised me, by-cause I ame littiƚƚ; I swere þe, bi þe pete of my Fader, & by my moders wambe, in þe whilke I was consayued of godd Amon̛, þat þou schaƚƚ see mee, are oughte lange, in þi rewme, redi to feghte wit þe; and owþer I schaƚƚ wyn̛ thi rewme wit dynte of swerd̛, & brynge it vnder my subieccionn̛, or þou schaƚƚ make me subiecte vn-to þe.' And þare þay assignede day of Bateƚƚe; and ayther of þam̛ went hame fra oþer.
And agaynes þe day of Bateƚƚe, Alexander, bi ascent & ordynance of kynge Philippe, gadird a grete Oste, & went to the place þare þe Bateƚƚe was assigned, and fand aƚƚ redy þare, kyng Nicoƚƚ and his oste. And þay trumpped̛ vp appon̛ bathe þe parties, and bigan̛ to feghte, & many men̛ ware slaen̛ on̛ bathe þe sydeȝ. Bot at þe laste, Alexander hade þe felde, & tuke kyng Nichoƚƚ, & gart smytte of his heued̛, & went in-tiƚƚ his land, and conquered it; and his knyghtes went and coround̛ hym kynge þare-off. And sythen̛ he went hame tiƚƚ his fader, kyng Philippe, and fand̛ hym sittand̛ at the mete at a bridale: For he had put awaye fra hym his wyfe Olympias, Alexander moder, and taken̛ hym an-oþer þat highte Cleopatra; And Alexander went in-to þe hauƚƚe, and said vn-to þe kynge Philipp̛: 'Fader,' quoþ he, 'I pray ȝow, þat for a rewarde of my firste iournee þat I hafe now made, ȝee graunte me to take my Moder Olympias agayne vn-to ȝow, & do to hir as awe to be done to a qwenne, rathere þan̛ I gyffe hir to anoþer kynge; so þat I be noȝte ȝoure enemy for euer. For this weddyng, þat ȝe hafe now made here, es vnlefuƚƚ!' When̛ he hadd̛ said̛ thir wordes, ane of þe þat satt at þe kynges burde, whase name was Lesias, ansuerd̛ & said̛ to þe kyng: 'lord̛' quoþ he 'þou schall hafe a son̛ of Cleopatra, and he schaƚƚ regne after þe !' Alexander, than̛, was gretly greuede at his wordes, and wit a wardrere þat he hade in his hande, he wentPage 11 tiƚƚ hym and kellede hym. When̛ kyng Pℏilippe sawe this, he was gretly stirred̛, and rase vp, & gatt a swerde [leaf 2 bk.] & ranne to-wardeȝ Alexander, for to hafe smytten̛ hym̛. Bot onane he feƚƚe down̛; and ay þe nerre Alexander þat he drewe, þe mare he feƚƚe to the erthe riȝte as he bene ferd̛. And þan̛ Alexander said vn-tiƚƚ hym: 'Philippe' quoþ he 'how es it soo, that þou, þat hase wonn̛ wit dynt of swerde aƚƚe Grece, ne hase now na strenghe to stande on thi fete.' And þan̛ aƚƚ þe hauƚƚe was troubbled, and the brydale letted. And Alexander went abowte þe hauƚƚe, and keste doun̛ þe bourdeȝ wit þe mete, & þe drynke þat ware appon̛ þam̛, and tuke Cleopatra, and schotte hir oute at þe hauƚƚe dore. And the kynge Philippe, for sorowe þat he tuke tiƚƚ, feƚƚe grefe seke. And a littiƚƚ afterwardeȝ, Alexander went tiƚƚ hym for to vesett hym & comforthe hym, and said̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym 'Philippe,' quoþ he, 'if aƚƚ it be noȝte semely, þat I calle þe be þi propre name; neuere-þe-lesse, noȝte as þi son̛, bot as þi gud̛ frend̛, I saƚƚ teƚƚe the myn̛ avice. It es fully my consaile þat þou reconnselle agayne vn-to the my lady, my Moder Olympias, and at þou grefe þe na-thynge at þe dede of Lesias, ne take na heuynes to the þare-fore. For vnkyndely me thynnke þat þou didd̛, and vngudely, þat þou drewe þi swerde for to smytte me þare-wit.' And when̛ Philippe herd̛ þir wordes, his hert tendird̛, & he bigane to wepe. And þan̛ Alexander went tiƚƚ his Moder Olympyas, and said̛ vn-tiƚƚ hir: 'Be noȝte ferde' quoþ he 'ne be noȝte heuy to my fader, for if aƚƚe thi trespas be preuee, & noȝte knawen̛, neuer-þe-lesse þou erte in party to blame.' And when̛ be hade sayde thus, he ledd̛ hir furthe to þe kyng Philippe. And he tuk & kyssid hir, and thus was scho reconnselde vn-tiƚƚ hym agayne.
After þis, þare come messengers Fra Darius, þe emperour of Perse, to kyng Philippe, and asked̛ hym tribute And Alexander answerd̛ to thir messengers, & saide, 'Saise to Darius, ȝour lorde,' quoþ he, 'þat sen̛ þe tyme þat Philippe son̛ was waxen̛ of age þe hen þat ay es waxen̛ barayne & consumed̛ Page 12 awaye, and so es Darius pryuede of his trybute.' And [when] thir messengers herd̛ thir wordes; þay hade grete wounder of þam & of þe witt & þe wisedome of Alexander.
In þe mene tyme tythyngeȝ come to kyng Philippe, þat Ermonye, þe whilke bi-fore was suget vn-tiƚƚ hym, was rebeƚƚe & raysse agaynes hym. And he garte [leaf 3] semble a grete Oste, and sent Alexander thedir þare wit to feghte wit þam̛, and to putt þam̛ agayne vnder his subieccionn̛. Alexander than̛went wit this Oste tiƚƚ Ermony & broghte it agayne in subieccion̛, as it was bi-fore.
An in þe mene tyme, whils he was þare, a lorde of Macedoyne þe whilke highte Pansamy, a strange man̛ & a balde, suget vn-to Philippe, and bade of lange tyme couette for to hafe þe quene Olympias, conspirede agaynes þe kynge, and come with a grete multytude of folke appon̛ þe kynge, to for-do hym. And when̛ tythyngeȝ here of come to kyng Philippe, he went to mete hym in þe felde wit a fewe menȝee. And when̛ he sawe þe grete multitude þat Pansamy hade wit hym, he turned̛& fledd̛, and Pansamy persued̛ after hym̛, and ouerhied̛ hym, and strake hym thurghe wit a spere, and ȝitt ife aƚƚ he were greuosely wonded̛, he dyed̛ noȝte alsone, bot he laye halfe dede in the waye. And than þe Macedoynes, þat wenede he bade bane dade, made mekiƚƚ sorowe. And when þis iournee was done Pansamy was gretly empridede þare offe, & went in to þe kynges palace for to take þe qwene Olympias oute of it and hafe hir with hym. And euen̛ þe same tyme, Alexander come fra Hermony, & sawe swylke trouble & styrrynge in the rewme, and hyed̛ hym faste towarde þe kynges palace, and when Olympias herd̛ teƚƚe þat Alexander hir son̛ had þe victorye of his enemys, & was comande nere, Scho went furthe of þe palace at a preuee posterne to mete hir son̛, and to welcome hym hame. And alsone als scho come nere hym, scho criede appon̛ hym̛ & said̛.
'A A, my son Alexander, whare es þe grace & þe fortune þat oure goddes highte the, þat es to say, þat þou scholde alwaye ouercome thynn̛ enemys & noȝte be ouercomen̛, þat Pansamy hase one þis wyse slaen thi Fader.' And alsone the worde come to Pansamy þat Alexander was comen̛, and he went furthe of palace for to mete hym̛. And also faste als Alexander sawe hym, he oute wit a swerd̛ and clafe his heued̛Page 13 in to þe tethe, & slewe hym. And ane of þe Oste said̛ tiƚƚ Alexander: 'Philippe þi fader' quoþ he, 'lyas dade in þe felde.' And þan Alexander went thedir thare he laye, and saw hym euen̛ at þe dyinge. And þan̛ he began̛ faste for to wepe. And Philippe luked apon̛ hym̛, & said̛ 'A A, my dere son Alexander,' quoþ he, 'wit a glade hert [I] may now dye, for þat þou so soune hase venged̛ my dede,' & euen̛ wit [leaf 3 bk.] þat worde he ȝalde þe gaste. And Alexander wirchipfully gert hym be entered̛.
When kyng Philippe was entered, Alexander went and sett hym in his trone, and gerte calle by-fore hym alle þe folke þat was gaderd̛ thedir, lordes & oþer, and said̛ vn-to þam̛ on þis wyse. 'Men̛,' quoþ he, 'of Macedoyne of Tracy, and of Grece byhaldeȝ þe fegure of Alexander and putteȝ oute of ȝour hertes drede of aƚƚe ȝour enemys. For sekerly, and ȝe wiƚƚ take gude hertis to ȝow, thurghe þe helpe of oure goddis he schaƚƚ hafe þe ouerhande of aƚƚ ȝoure neghtebours, and ȝour name schaƚƚ spred̛ ouer alle the werlde. And þare-fore ilkane of ȝow þat hase Armour, makes it redy, and he þat hase nane come to my palace & I saƚƚ gerre delyuer hym̛ aƚƚ þat hym nedis, and ilk a man̛ make hym redy to þe werre.' And when̛ þe lordes and knyghtis þat ware of grete age, herd̛ thir wordes þay ansuerd̛ Alexander, & said̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym̛: 'lorde,' quoþ thaye, 'we hafe seruede ȝoure fader a longe tyme & traueld̛ wit hym in his werres, & þare-fore we ere now so bryssed̛ in armes þat þare [es] no myghte lefte in vs for to suffre disesse þat often̛ tymes falles to men̛ of werre. For we ere streken̛ in grete age. And þare-fore, if it be plesynge vn-to ȝow, we consaile ȝow & we beseken ȝowe, that ȝe chese ȝow ȝong lordes & ȝong knyghtes, þat ere listy men̛ & able for to suffre disesse for to be wit ȝow. For here we giffe vp att armes if it be ȝour wiƚƚ & forsakes þam̛ for euer.' And þan̛ Alexander answerd̛ & said̛: 'I wiƚƚ rathere,' quoþ he, 'chese þe sadnesse of an alde wyse man̛ than̛ þe vnavesy lightenesse of ȝonge men̛. For ȝong men̛ often tymes traystand̛ to mekiƚƚ in thaire awenn̛ doghtynes thurgh þaire awen̛ foly ere mescheued̛. Bot alde men̛ wirkes aƚƚ by consaile & by witte.' When̛ he had said thir wordes aƚƚ men̛ Page 14 alowed̛ his hie witte and hally þay assentede to hym for to do his lyste.
Sone after Alexander assemblede a grete Oste, & went bi Schippe to-wardeȝ Ytaly, and als he come by Calcedoyne, he assaylled̛ it reȝte strangly, and þe folke of Calcedoyne [leaf 4] went to þe walles of þe Citee and defendid̛ manly. Bot at the laste Alexander wan̛ the Citee, and fra thethyn̛ he Schippede in-tiƚƚ Italy. And alsone als þe Romaynes herd̛ of his comynge þay were wonder ferde for hym̛, and the grete lordes of þe lande tuke fourty thowsandeȝ of besandeȝ and Ic corounes of golde, and went vn-tiƚƚ hym̛, and presant hym wit þam̛ & bysoughte hym þat he scholde noȝte werrey appon̛ þam̛, ne do þam̛ na harme. And than Alexander tuke trybute of þe Romaynes, and of aƚƚe the folkes þat duelt bitwixe that & þe weste Occeane, þe whilke regione es callede Europe, & lefte þam̛ in gude pesse.
Fra thethyn he Schippede in-tiƚƚ Affrice, in thee whilke he fande bot fewe þat rebelled̛ agaynes hym and þare-fore als [men] swa saye, eneil sodeynly he conquerid̛ it & broghte it vnder his subieccion̛. And fra Affric he went by Schippe tiƚƚ ane Ile, þat es called̛ Frontides, for to consaile wit a godd̛ þat þay called̛ Amon̛. And as Alexander & his men̛ went to-wardeȝ þe temple of þis for-said̛ godd̛, þay mett in þe waye a grete hert þe whilke Alexander bad his men̛ sla wit arowes. And þay schott at hym; bet nane of þam̛ myghte hitt hym. And þan̛ Alexander tuke a bowe & schotte at hym & hitt hym & slewe hym. And þan̛ Alexander went in-to þe temple, & made sacrafyce of þis hert vn-to godd̛ Amon, and by-soughte hym þat he schulde gyffe hym ansuares. When̛ Alexander hade made his prayers þare to godd̛ Amon̛, he went wit his Oste in-tiƚƚ a place þat highte Taphoresey, In þe whilke were feftene gude townues, & þay bade twelne grete reuers þat rane in-to þe see, and at þe entree of þam̛ in-to þe see þare was drawen̛ ouer grete chynes of yryne, and thare Alexandir made Sacrafice tiƚƚ his goddeȝ. And on þe same nyghte, a godd̛ þat [hight] Serapis apperid vn-tiƚƚ hym in his slepe, cledd̛ in riche clothynge in ane horrible forme & a dredefuƚƚ, and said̛ vn-tiƚƚPage 15 hym. 'Alexander,' quoþ he, 'may þou take þis montayne on þi schulder & bere it a-way?' Quoþ Alexander, 'how myghte any man̛ do pat?' And Serapis ansuerd̛ & said̛, 'righte as þis montayne saƚƚ neuer wit-owten [leaf 4 bk.] end be remowed̛ hethen̛, so thi name & thi dedes schall be made mynde of to the worldes end̛.' And than̛ Alexander prayed hym þat he walde prophycye hym what kyns dede he scholde die. Serapis ansuerd and said, 'It es noghte spedfuƚƚ tiƚƚ a man to knawe his paynefuƚƚ endynge. For if he knewe it, perauenture, he scholde neuer hafe Ioye in his hert. Neuer þe lesse bi-cause þou hase prayede me to telle þe, I saƚƚ say the. After a drynke þou schall take thi dede. For in thi ȝouthe þou saƚƚ make thyn̛ endynge. Bot spirre me noþer þe tyme ne þe houre when̛ it schal be, For I will on na wyse teƚƚe it to the. For-whi goddeȝ of þe este partieȝ of þe werdle saƚƚ teƚƚe the aƚƚe thi werdeȝ.' When̛ Alexander wakkened̛ of his dreme, he was reghte heuy, and sent þe maste substance of his Oste to þe Cite of Askalon̛ and bad þaim̛ habide hym thare, and hym selfe & a certane of menȝe wit hym habade & thare he garte make a Citee & called̛ it Alexander after his awenn̛ name.
In the mene tyme , Egipcyens herd̛ of þe comynges of Alexander, & þay went agaynes hym & submytt þam̛ vn-tiƚƚhym & resayffed̛ hym wirchipfully. And when̛ Alexander come in-tiƚƚ Egipte, he fand ane ymage of a kyng made of blake stane curiousely coruen̛, and he askede þe Egipciens whase ymage it was, and þay ansuerd̛ & said, 'It es þe ymage,' quop þay, 'of Anectanabus that was kynge of Egipte noȝte lange sythen̛ gane, þe wyseste & þe worthiest þat euer was þare-in̛.' For sothe quoþ Alexander, 'Auectanabus was my Fader.' And þan he knelid doun̛ with grete reuerence & kyssed̛ þe ymage. Fra thethyn̛ he went wit his Oste to Surry. But þe Surriens agayne-stude hym and faghte wit hym̛ and slewe many of his knyghtes. Neuer þe lesse Alexander had þe victorye. And þan̛ he went to Damaske, & Ensegged̛ it & wanne it, and fra thethyn̛ he went to Sydon & wan it. And þan̛ he went vnto þe Citee of Tyre and layde Ensegge abowte it, and [in] þis Ensegge he laye many a day. And thare Page 16 his Oste suffred̛ many dysesseȝ. For þat Cite was so strange in it-selfe by-cause of þe ground̛, þat it was sett apon̛, and by-cause of grete towres & many þat ware abowte it, and also bicause it was so enclosed̛ wit the see þat it myghte noghte lightly [leaf 5] be wonnen̛ by nane assawte. Alexander þan̛ vmbithoghte hym, one what wyse he myghte best com̛ to for to destruy þis citee, and he gerte make a grete basteƚƚ of tree, and sett it apon̛ schippes in þe see euen̛ forgaynes þe cete, so þat þare myghte no shippeȝ come nere the hauen̛ for to vetaille þe Citee or suppoeƚƚ it wit men̛ by-cause of þe basteƚƚe. In þe mene tyme Alexander Oste hade grete defawte of vetayƚƚs, and þan̛ he sent lettres vnto Iadus, þat at that tyme was bischoppe & gouernoure of þe Iewes, and prayede hym for to suppoeƚƚ hym wit som̛ men̛, and also þat he walde send̛ sum̛ vetails for hym & his Oste, and he scholde pay for þam̛ wit a glade chere, and þat he scholde also send̛ hym the tribute þat he scholde gyffe Darius þe emperour of Perse. For hym ware better, he said̛, hafe his frenchippe þan̛ þe frenchipe of Darius. The Bischope þan̛ of þe Iewes ansuerd̛ þe messangers þat broghte hym þe lettres & said̛ 'I hafe,' quoþ he, ' made athe to Darius, þat, whils he leffeȝ, I schaƚƚ neuer bere armes agaynes hym̛, and þarefore I ne may noȝte do agaynes myn̛ Athe.' The Messagers þan̛ went till Alexander & talde hym þe bischopes ansuere, and he was greued̛ & said̛ 'I make myn̛ avowe,' quþ he, 'vntiƚƚ oure goddes, þat I schaƚƚ take swilke vengeance on þe Iewes þat I saƚƚ make þam̛ to knawe, whethir it es better to þam̛ to be obeisant vn-to [my ?] commandement, or vn-to þe kynges of Perse.' And he callede a duke, þat highte Melagere, and wit vc men̛ of armes, and badd̛ þam̛ gaa in to þe vale of Iosaphat, þe whilke was fuƚƚ of besteȝ & brynge of thase besteȝ to þe Oste for to vetaiƚƚe þam̛ wit. And ane Sampson, þat knewe þe cuntre wele was þaire gyde. Þay went in to þe vale, and gadird̛ to gedir catell wit-owte nombir & be-gan̛ for to dryfe on̛ þam̛. And he þat was lorde of þe cuntre, Theosellas bi name, raysed̛ a grete multitude of folke and mett þam̛ & faughte wit þam̛ & slewe many of þam̛. Bot Melagere & his felaws at þat tym̛ had þe better. And ane þat highte Caulus went baldly to Theosellas, & smate of his heued̛. Aƚƚ this was done bot a littiƚƚ fra þe citee of Gadir. And þan̛ Bertyne,Page 17 lorde of þe citee, seand̛ this, was gretely stirrede and ischewede owte of þe citee & wit xxx feghtyng men̛ and sett vp a schowte apon̛ the [5 bk.] Macedoynes aƚƚe at anes, that aƚƚe þe erthe trembled̛ wit-aƚƚe. And̛ when̛ þe Macedoyns saw that grete multytude of folke com̛ appon̛ þam̛, þay were reȝte ferde. And þan Melagere walde hafe sent a Messangere to þaire lorde Alexander, for to come & socoure þam̛, bot he mygte fynd̛ na man̛ þat walde vndertake þe Message. Than thir twa batalles met Samen̛ & faughte to-gedir, and thare was Sampson slaen, and Bertyne. And þe Macedoyns wit þe grete multitude of þaire enemys ware dreuen̛ abakke, and lyke for to be dreuen̛ abakke & discomfites. And ane of þe grekkes, þat highte Arttes, seynge þe meschefe þay stode In, wann̛ hym owte of the Bataile & went in alle þe haste, þat he myghte, tiƚƚ Alexander & talde hym þat þe Grekkes & þe Macedoynes ware in poynte to be mescheuede, bot if he suppoellde þam̛ þe tittere. And than Alexander lefte þe segge of Tyre, and went wit his Oste to þe vale of Iosaphat, and fand̛ his men̛ riȝte harde by-stadde wit þaire enemys. And he and his Oste vmbylapped̛ alle þaire enemys, and daunge þam̛ doun̛ & slewe þam̛ ilke a moder son̛. And when̛ he had so done he turned̛ agayne vn-to Tyre, and fande the Bastelle, þat he hade made in þe See, dongen̛ doune to þe grounde. For alson̛ als Alexandere was gane fra Tire to þe vale of Iosaphat, Balan̛ þat was lorde of Tyre ischewid̛ oute of þe citee wit thee folke þare-of, & assailled̛ the basteƚƚ manfully, and tuk it & dange it doune. And when̛ Alexander sawe that, he was gretly angerde, and his hert wonder heuy, and so ware aƚƚe þe Macedoynes and the Grekes. In so mekiƚƚ thay ware nerehand̛ in dispeire for to wyn̛ þe citee, and ware in poynte to hafe riffen up þe segge. And one þe nyghte nexte suande, Alexander, als he laye & slept, dremyd̛ þat he hadd̛ in his hand̛ a grape, þe whilke hym thoghte he keste downe vnder his fete, and trade þare-one, & alsone þare ran̛ oute of it a grete dele of wyne. And when̛ Alexander wakned̛, he called̛ tiƚƚ hym̛ a Philosophre & talde hym his dreme. And þe Philosophre ansuerde, 'be balde,' quoþ he, '& lefe noȝte to ensegge Tyre, for þe grape þat þou Page 18 helde in thi hand̛, and keste vnder thi fete, and trade þare-one, es þe Citee of Tyre, þe whilk þou saƚƚ wynn̛ thurgℏ strentℏ and trede it with thi fote, and þare-fore be na-thynge abaiste.' When Alexander herd̛ thire wordes, he was gretly comforthed̛, and vmbithoghte hym̛ one whate wyse he myghte gette this Citee.
And than̛ he [leaf 6] garte make anoþer basteƚƚe in þe see, grettere, & hyere, and strangere þan þe toþer was. For it was hiere þan̛ þe hegheste towre of þe citee. And þis basteƚe was tyede wit a hundrethe ankers. Þan̛ Alexander gert armede hyn̛ suerely & wele, & wente by hym ane vp apon̛ this basteƚƚe, and badd̛ aƚƚ his men̛ þat þay schulde make þam̛ redy for to feghte & to giffe assawte to þe citee. And alsone als þay sawe hym entire in to þe citee, þay scholde aƚƚ at anes presse to þe walles, and scale þam̛, and clymbe ouer þe walles baldely & wyn̛ þe citee. And when̛ aƚƚ men̛ weren̛ redy, hee gerte smyte soundere þe cabiƚƚs þat þe basteƚƚe was tyed̛ wit, & þe wawes of þe see bare it to þe walles of þe Citee. And Alexander delyuerlye stert apon̛ [þe] walles, whare Balan̛ stode, and ran̛ apon̛ hym & slew hym and keste hym ouer þe walles in-to þe dyke of þe citee. And when̛ þe Macedoyns & þe Grekes sawe Alexander entir in-to þe citee, þay schouffed̛ to þe walles aƚƚ at anes, and clambe ouer, sum̛ wit leddirs sum̛ on oþer wyse wit-owtten̛ any resistence. For þe Tyreyenes was so ferde bycause of þe dedde of Balan̛ þaire duc þat þay ne durste noghte turne agayne no defende þe walleȝ. And on̛ this wyse was þe citee taken̛ and doungen̛ doune to þe erthe.
Fra þe segge of Tyre Alexander & his men̛ went to þe citee of Gaȝa and assailed̛it, & wit schorte while þay wan̛ it. And Fra thethyn̛ hyed̛ hym towardeȝ Ierusalem for to ensegge it.
Qwhen̛ þe Bischoppe of þe Iewes herde teƚƚe þat Alexander was commaund toward̛ Ierusalem, he gert caƚƚ bifore hym̛ aƚƚ þe iewes þat ware in þe citee, and talde þam̛ þe tythyngeȝ þat ware talde hym. And sythen̛ he commandid̛ þam̛ þat þay schuld̛ com̛ to þe temple, and be þare in praynge Fastyngeȝ and wakynge & in sacrafice makyng vn-to godd̛, bisekand hym of helpe & socoure. And þay did̛ soo. And on þe nyghte nextePage 19 after, when þe Bischoppe hadd̛ made his sacrafice, and was lyand̛ in prayers, he feƚƚ on slomeryng and ane Angeƚƚe appered̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym, and sayd̛, 'Be noȝte ferd̛,' quoþ he, 'bot swythe gere araye honestly aƚƚ þe stretis of (þe) citee, and caste open̛ the ȝates, and warne aƚƚ þe folke þat þay aray þam̛ in whitte clethynge, and thi-selfe & aƚƚe þe prestis reuesteȝ ȝow solempnely, and to-morne arely wendeȝ furthe of þe citee agaynes Alexander in processioun̛. For hym by-houeȝ [leaf 6 bk.] regne & be lorde of aƚƚe þe werlde. Bot at þe laste þe wrethe of godd̛ saƚƚ falle apon̛ hym.' When̛ þe bischoppe wakened̛ of his slepe, he called̛ tiƚƚ hym þe iewes and talde þam̛ his reuelacion̛, and bad þam̛ do aƚƚ als þe Angelle hade schewed̛ hym̛. And þay did̛ so. For þay arayed̛ þe streteȝ of þe cetee and cledde þam̛ in whitte clethynge, and the bischope & þe prestis reueste þam̛, and bathe thay and alle þe folke went furthe of þe citee tiƚƚ a place whare þe temple & aƚƚ þe citee may be seen̛. And þare þay habade þe comynge of Alexander. And when̛ Alexander come nere þis foresaid place, and sawe be-for hym̛ swilke a multitude of folke, cledd̛ aƚƚe in whitte, and þe presteȝ arayed̛ solempnely in riche vestymentis, and þe byschope also in his pontyfycales and a mytir one his heued̛, and þare-apon̛ a plate of golde, whare-one was wretyn þe name of grete godd̛ Tetragramaton, he commaunded aƚƚ his men̛ þat þay schulde halde þam̛ by-hynd̛ hym, and habyde tiƚƚ he com̛ to þam̛. And he lighte off his horse, and went bi hym ane to þe iewes, And knelid̛ down̛ to þe erthe and wirchippede þe hye name of godd, þat he saw þar wretyn̛ apon̛ þe bischopes heued̛. And þan̛ alle þe iewes knelid̛ doun̛ & saluste Alexander and cried aƚƚ wit a voyce: 'lyff lyffe,' quoþ þay, 'grete Alexander, lyffe, lyffe the gretteste Emperour of þe werlde, lyffe he þat saƚƚ ouer-com̛ aƚƚ men̛ and noȝte be ouercomen̛. Prynce maste gloryous and maste worthy of aƚƚ þe princeȝ þat regneȝ apon̛ erthe.' When̛ þe kyngeȝ of Surry saw þis, þay hadd̛ grete wonder þare-off. And a prynce of Alexanders, þat highte Parmenon̛, said̛ vn-tiƚƚ Alexander: 'Mi lorde þe Emperour,' quoþ he, 'we mervelle vs gretely þat þou, wham̛ aƚƚ men̛ wirchippeȝ and lowteȝ, wirchippeȝ here þe bischope of þe Iewes.' And Alexander ansuered̛, 'I wirchipe noȝ hym,' þis quoþ he, 'Bot Gdd̛, whase state he presenteȝ. For when̛ I was in Macedoyne, and vmbithoghte me, on̛ what Page 20 wyse I myȝte conquere Assye, I saw hym slepand̛, in swilk habite & in swylke araye; and he lete as he sett noȝte by me, bot went baldely furthe bi me. And for I see nane in swilke arraye bot hym, I suppose it be he þat I saw in my slepe. And þare-fore I trowe þat thurgℏ þe helpe of Godd̛ I saƚƚ ouercom̛ Daryus, þe kyng of Perse, and his grete pryde fordo. And aƚƚ thyngeȝ þat I caste in my hert fo[r] to do, it es my fuƚƚ triste þat thurgℏ his helpe I saƚƚ fulfiƚƚ it, and wele bryng it to end̛. And þis es þe cause I wirchipped hym.' And when̛ he hadd̛ said̛ thies wordes, he went in-to þe citee wit the bischope & þe presteȝ, and went in-to þe temple þat Salamon̛ made. And as þe bischope teched̛ hym̛ he offred̛ sacrafice un-to Godd̛. And þe bischope tuke Alexander in hande a buke of þe prophicye of Daniel [leaf 7] , in þe whilke he fande wretyn̛, þat a man̛ of Grece sulde distruy þe powere of Perse. And Alexander was reghte gladde, supposynge þat it was hym-selfe. And þan̛ he gaffe þe bischoppe & þe oþer presteȝ grete gyfteȝ & riche & precyous, And badd̛ þe bischope ashe of hym what so he walde. And the bischope askede þat he walde giffe þam̛ leue to vse þe same lawes þat þaire faderes vsed̛ bifore þam̛, and he graunted̛ it. And þan̛ [ pe ] bischoppe askede þat walde giffe þe Iewes þat ware in Medee & in Babyloyne, leue for to vse þaire lawes, & he graunted̛ hym þat & aƚƚ oþer thyngeȝ þat he walde aske.
Alexander than̛ went fra Ierusalem, & lefte thare Andromac his Messagere, and hym selfe & his Oste went to þe oþer citeȝ þat ware in þe lande of Iudee, and at ilke a citee þat he come to, he was wirchipfully ressayued̛. In þe mene tyme þe Surryens þat fledd̛ fra Alexander, went to Perse, and̛ talde þe emperour Darius how Alexander hadd̛ done to þam̛. And Darius spirred̛ thaym̛ of his stature & of his schappe, and þay schewed̛ hym purtrayed̛ in a parchemyn̛ skynn̛ þe ymage of Alexander. And alsone als Darius sawe it, he dispysed̛ Alexander bycause of his littiƚƚ stature, and be-lyfe he gertePage 21 write a lettre and sent it till Alexander. And þare-wit he sent hym a handbaƚƚ & oþer certane Iapeȝ in scorne. And þis is þe tenour of þe lettre þat he sent tiƚƚ hym.
'Darius, kyng of kynges, and lord̛ of aƚƚ erthely lordes euen̛ like vnto sonne schynande, wit þe goddeȝ of Perse, vntiƚƚ Alexander oure seruand̛ we send̛. We hafe vnderstanden̛ now on late, whare-of we meruelle vs gretely, þat þou ert so raysed̛ in pride and vayne glorye, þat þou hase semblede togedir a company of robbours and thefeȝ oute of þe weste parties, and casteȝ þe for to com̛ in-tiƚƚ oure partieȝ, supposynge thurgℏ þam̛ for to ouer-sett and constreyne þe grete myghte & þe vertue of þe percyens, whase strenghte þou may neuer sloken̛ ne ouercome, suppose þou gadirde & sembled̛ togedir aƚƚ þe werlde. For I do þe wele to wiete þou myghte nerehand̛ alsonne nommer þe sternes of heuen̛, as þe folke of þe empire of Perse. Oure goddeȝ also, [leaf 7 bk.] by whaym̛ aƚƚ þis werlde es gouerned̛ & sustened̛, praysseȝ & commendeȝ oure name passyng aƚƚ oþer nacyons. 'Bot noȝte wit-standynge þis; þou as a littiƚƚ bisne & a dwerghe, a halfe man̛ & orteȝ of aƚƚe men̛, desyrand̛ to ouerpasse þi littiƚƚnesse, riȝte as a mouse crepeȝ oute of hir hole,so þou ert cropen̛ out of þe lande of Sethym̛, wenynge wit a few rebawdeȝ to conquere & optene þe landeȝ of Perse brade & lange, & to ryotte & playe the in thaym̛ as myesse douse in þe house whare na cattes ere. Bot I þat priualy hase aspied̛ thi gateȝ, when̛ þou weneȝ moste seurely for to stertle abowte, I saƚƚ sterte apon̛ þe & take þe; & so in wrechidnes saƚƚ thi dayes fouly hafe an̛ ende. 'A grete Foly þou dide for to take apon̛ the swylke a presumpcyon. It ware fuƚƚ faire to þe, if þou myghte bi oure lefe, wit oure beneuolence, ocupie aƚƚ anely þe rewme of Macedoyne, ȝeldynge þarefore tiƚƚ vs ȝerely a certane tribute, if aƚƚ þou couetid̛ noȝte oure empire. Þare-fore it es gude þat þou lefe thi fonned̛ purposse, and wende hame agayne, and sett the in thi moder knee. And lo, I sende the here a littiƚƚ baƚƚe, wit þe whilke als a childe þou may play the. For þou ert bot a childe. It es mare semely þat þou vse childeȝ gammeȝ þan dedeȝ of armes. 'We knawe wele thi pouert and thi nede, and Page 22 þat þou hase vnnethes whare wit þou may sustene thi caytyfde corse. Weueȝ þou, than̛, to brynge vnder thi subieccion̛ the empyre of Darius. I say the by my Fader saule, þat in the rewme of Perse þare es so grete plente of golde, þat, & it were gadirde to gedir on a hepe, It schulde passe þe clerenes of þe son̛. Whare-fore we commande the, and straitely enioyneȝ the, þat þou leue thi fole pride and thi vayne glory, & tourne hame agayne to Macedoyne. And if þou wiƚƚ noȝte soo, we saƚƚ sende to þe a multitude of men̛ of armeȝ swilke ane saw þou neuer, þe whilke saƚƚ take þe, and hynge þe hye on̛ a gebett as a traytour and a mayster of theefeȝ: and noȝte as þe son of Philippe.'
When̛ þe messangers þat were sent fra Darius come to king Alexander, þay gaffe hym the lettres, and þe baƚƚe & oþer certane Iapes, þat þe emperour sent hym in scorne. And Alexander tuke þe lettres, and gert rede it openly by-fore alle men̛, and Alexander knyghtes when þay herde þe tenour of þe lettres ware gretly astonayde and wonder heuy. And when̛ Alexander sawe þam̛ so heuy by cause of þe lettre, he saide vn-to þam: 'a a, my worthy knyghtis,' quoþ he, 'are ȝe fered̛ for þe prowde wordeȝ þat are contened in Darius lettres, wate ȝe noghte wele þat hundeȝ, þat berkes [leaf 8] mekiƚƚ, byteȝ men̛ noghte so sone, als doeȝ hundes þat commeȝ one men̛ wit-outten berkynge. We trewe wele þe lettre says sothe of some thyngeȝ, þat es to saye, of þe grete plentee of golde, þat Darius sais he hase. And þarefore late vs manly feghte wit hym and we saƚƚ hafe þat golde. For þe grete multitude of his golde, als me thynke, schulde gare vs be balde and hardy for to fighte wit hym manly.'
When Alexander had̛ saide thir wordeȝ he bade his knyghtis take the messangers of Darius and bynd̛ þaire handeȝ bi-hynde þam̛, & lede þam̛ furthe to the galowes, & hynge þam̛. And þay tuke þe messangers & bande þam̛, and began for to lode þam furthe to þe galowes-warde, and þan̛ þe messengers bigan̛ for to crye rewfully vntiƚƚ Alexander & sayd̛: 'A, A wirchipfuƚƚ lorde & kynge', quoþ þay, ' whate hafe we trespaste, þat we schaƚƚ be haungede for oure kynges dedis'. And þan̛ kyng Alexander ansuerd̛: 'þe wordeȝ of ȝour Emperour', quoþ he, ' gers me do þis, þat sent ȝow vn-to me, as vnto a theeffe, as þePage 23 lettre whilke ȝe broghte witnesseȝ': 'A, A lorde', quoþ þay, 'oure emperour sent thus to ȝou: for ȝour powere & ȝour myghte was unknawwen vn-tiƚƚ hym. Bot we be-seke ȝow lateȝ vs gaa, and we schaƚƚ mak aknawen̛ vntiƚƚ hym ȝour grete glory, ȝour ryaltee, & ȝour noblaye.'
Þan̛ kyng Alexander badd̛ his knyghtis lowse þam̛, and bryng þam̛ in-tiƚƚ his hauƚƚe, to þe mete. And thare he made þam̛ a grete feste & a ryaƚƚ. And as þay satt at the mete, þir messangers saide vn tiƚƚ Alexander, 'lorde,' quoþ þay, 'if it be plesynge to ȝour hye maiestee sendeȝ with vs a thowsand of doghty men̛ of armes, and we saƚƚ delyuer þam̛ þe Emperour Darius,' and Alexander ansuerde agayne & said̛ 'Sittes stiƚƚe', quoþ he, '& makes ȝow mery. For I teƚƚ ȝow in certayne, for þe betrayinge of ȝour kynge, I wiƚƚ noghte graunt ȝow a knyghte wit ȝow'. Apon þe morne, Alexander gart write a lettre vn-to Darius, whareoffe þe tenour was this.
'Alexander, the son̛ of Philippe & of qwene Olympias, vn-to Darius, kyng of þe land̛ þat schynes wit þe goddeȝ of Perse, we sende. If we graythely & sothefastly be-halde oure selfe þare es na thynge þat we here hafe þat we may bi righte caƚƚe ours, bot aƚƚ it es lent vs for a tyme. For aƚƚe we þat ere whirlede aboute wit þe whele of fortune, now ere we broghte fra reches in-to pouerte: now fra myrthe & ioy in-to Sorowe & heuynssse; and agaynwardeȝ : and now fra heghte, we are plungede in-to lawnesse. Þare-fore þare schulde na man̛ þat es sett in hye degre triste to mekiƚƚ in his hyenesse, that, thurgh pride & vayne glorye, he schulde despyse þe dedis of oþer men̛ lesse [leaf 8 bk.] þan he. For he wate neuer how sone þe whele of fortune may turne abowte, and caste hym doune to lawe degree, þat sitteȝ hye on̛-lofte: and rayse hym to hye wirchipe and grete noblaye þat bifore was pore and in lawe degree. And þarefore the aughte to thynke grete schame, þat swilke a worthy emperour as men̛ haldeȝ the, schulde sende swylke Page 24 a message vnto me so littill a man̛ and so pore. For þou ert euen lyke to þe sonne, as thi selfe says, sittande in þe trone of Nitas wit þe goddeȝ of Perse. Bot goddeȝ þat euermare are liffaunde & neuermare dyeȝ, deyneȝ noȝte for to hafe þe felachipe of dedely men̛. Sekerly I am a dedely man̛; and to þe I come as to a dedely man, for to feghte wit the. Bot þou þat arte so grete & so gloryous & calleȝ thi selfe vndedely, Þou saƚƚ wynne na thynge of me, if aƚƚe þou hafe þe ouerhande of me. For þou hase ouercommen̛ bot a littiƚƚ man̛, and a theeffe als þou sayse. And if I hafe þe ouerhande ouer the, It saƚƚ be to me þe gretteste wirchipe þat euere byfeƚƚ me, for als mekiƚƚ als I saƚƚ hafe þe victorye of þe worthieste emperour of þe werlde. Bot þare þou saide, þat, in þe rewme of Perse, es so grete plentee of golde, þou hase scharpede oure hertiȝ, and made mare balde for to feghte with the, & for to wynne þat golde; for to relefe oure pouerte wit-aƚƚ, & putte awaye our nede whilke þou says we hafe. In þat also, þat þou sent vs a hande-baƚƚe and oþer barne-laykaynes, þou prophicyed riȝte, and betakend̛ bi-fore, thynges þat we trewe, thurgℏ goddeȝ helpe, saƚƚ faƚƚe vn-tiƚƚ vs. By þe rowndenes of þe baƚƚe, we vnderstande all the werld̛ aboute vs, þe whilke saƚƚ faƚƚe vnder oure subieccion̛. Bi þe tane of þe laykanes þat þou sent vs, þe whilke es made of wandeȝ and crukeȝ donwardeȝ at þe ouerend̛, we vnderstand þat aƚƚ þe kynges of þe werlde, and aƚƚ þe grete lordeȝ, saƚƚ lowte tiƚƚ vs. Bi þe toþer laykan̛, þat es of golde, and hase apon it, as it ware, a manneȝ hede, we vnderstande þat we saƚƚ hafe þe victorye of aƚƚ men̛ and neuer be ouercommen̛. And þou þat ert so grete & so myghty hase now onwardeȝ sent vs trybute, in als mekeƚƚ als þou sent vs a handbaƚƚe, and þir oþer thynges þat I rehersed by-fore, the whilke conteneȝ in þam̛ so grete dignyteȝ.'
When̛ þis lettre was wreten̛, Alexander called̛ till þe messangers of þe Emperour of Perse, and gaffe þam̛ riche gyftes and betuke þam þe lettre, and badd̛ þam̛ bere it to þaire lorde. And þan̛ Alexander sembled̛ his Oste, and by-gan̛ for to wende towarde Perse. When the messangers of Perse come to þe emperour þay talde hym of þe grete ryaltee of kyng Alexander [leaf 9] and tuke hym the letters þat Alexander sent hym̛. AndPage 25 þe emperour garte rede þam̛. And when he herd̛ þam̛ redde he was wonder wrathe, and sent a lettre belyue vn-tiƚƚ twa grete lordeȝ that hadd̛ þe gouernance of þe empire vnder hym sayand̛ to þam on this wiese.
'Darius kyng of kynges and lorde of lordes vntiƚƚ oure trewe legeȝ Primus & Antyochus, gretynge and ioy. We here teƚƚ þat Alexander, Philippe sonne of Macedoyne, es so heghe raysede in pryde, þat he es rebeƚƚe agaynes vs, & es commen̛ in-tiƚƚ Asye, and hase distroyed̛ it vtterly. And ȝitt hym thynke noȝte this ynoghe, bot he purposeȝ hym for to come nere vs, and do þe same tiƚƚ oþerre cuntreȝ of oure empire as he hase done tyƚƚ Asye. Whare-fore we comande ȝowe o payne of ȝour legeance, þat ȝe semble þe grete men̛ & þe worthy of ours empyre, wit oþer of our trewe legeȝ; and, in aƚƚ þe haste þat ȝe may, gase & counters ȝone childe, takand̛ hym, and bryngand̛ hym bi-fore oure presence, þat we may lasche hym wele, als a wanton̛ childe schulde be: and clethe hym in purpoure; & so send̛ hym tiƚƚ his moder Olympias wele chastyede. For it semeȝ noȝte to be a feghter: but for to vse childe gammeȝ.
Thire twa lordes Primus and Antyochus, when þay hadde redde this lettre of þe emperour, þay wrate agayne vntiƚƚ him on this wyse.
'Vn-to Darius, kyng of kyngeȝ, grete godd̛, Primus & Antiochus, seruyce þat þay kan̛ do. To ȝour heghe maieste we make it aknawen̛, þat þe childe Alexandere, whilke ȝe speke off, hase aƚƚ vtterly distroyed̛ ȝour cuntree. And we sembled̛ a grete multytude of folke, and faughte wit hym; bot he hase discomfit vs, and we were fayne for to flee. For unnethe myghte any of vs wynne awaye wit þe lyfe. Þare-fore we þat ȝe say ere helpers vnto ȝowe, besekeȝ ȝour hye maiestee that ȝe send̛ sum̛ socoure tiƚƚ vs ȝour trewe leges.'
' Darius, kyng of kynges, and lorde of lordeȝ, vn-tiƚƚ oure seruande Alexander. Thorowte aƚƚ þe werlde þe name of Page 26 Darius es praysed̛ & commended̛. Oure goddeȝ also hase it wreten̛ in thaire bukes. How than̛ durste þou be so balde, for to passe so many waters, and seeȝ, Mountaynes & craggeȝ, for to werraye agaynes oure royaƚƚe maiestee. A grete wirchip̛ me thynke it [leaf 9 bk.] ware to þe, if þou myghte mawgre oures, hafe in possessioun̛ þe kyngdome of Macedoyne aƚƚ anely, wit-owtten mare. Thare-fore the es better amend̛ þe of thi mysededis, þan we take swilke wreke appon̛ the, þat oþer men̛ take bisne þareby, sen̛ aƚƚe þe erthe wit-owtten oure lordchipe, may be callede wedowe. Torne agayne þare-fore, we consaile þe, in-to thyn̛ awenn̛ cuntree, are oure wrethe and oure wreke faƚƚe apon̛ þe. Neuer-þe-lesse, þat oure wirchippe & oure grete noblaye be sumwhate knawen̛ to þe, we sende the a malefuƚƚ of cheseboƚƚe sede, in takennyng þare-of. Luke if þou may nombir & teƚƚe aƚƚ þir chesseboƚƚe sedeȝ, & if þou do þatt þan̛ may þe folke of oure oste be nowmerd̛. And if þou may noȝte do þat oure folke may noȝte be nowmerd̛. Þarefor turnee hame agayne in-to þi cuntree and lefe þi foly þat þou hase bygun̛, and take na mare apon̛ þe swilke a presumpcion, for I teƚƚ þe we haffe men̛ of armes wit-oute nowmmere'.
When̛ þe Messangers of Darius come tiƚƚ Alexander, þay tuk hym þe lettre and þe malefuƚƚ of chesseboƚƚe sedeȝ. Alexander þan̛ gerte rede þe letter. And sythen̛ he putt his hand̛ in þe male, and tuke of þe chesseboƚƚe sedeȝ & putt in his mouthe, & chewed̛ it, & said, 'I see wele', quoþ he, 'þat he hase many men̛, bot þay are riȝte softe as this sedeȝ are.' In þe mene tyme þare come a Measanger tiƚƚ Alexander fra Macedoyne: and talde hym þat his Moder Olympias was grefe seke. And [when] Alexander herd̛ þis, he was wonder heuy. Neuer þe lesse, he wrate vn to Darius a lettre, þat spakke on̛ this wyse.
'Alexander þe son̛ of Philippe & of qwene Olympias vn-to Darius kynge of Perse, we sende. We do þe wele to wiete þat we hafe herde certane tythyngeȝ, whilke gers vs agayneȝ oure wiƚƚ do þat we now saƚƚ saye. Bot trow þou noȝte þat we for fere or dowte of thi pride and þi vayne glorye turne hame agayne now tiƚƚ oure awenn̛ cuntre, Bot aƚƚ anely for to vesettPage 27 oure Moder Olympias, whilke lygges grefe seke. Bot wete pou wele, wit in schorte tym̛, we schaƚƚ haste vs agayne, wit a grete nowmere of fresche knyghtis. And riȝte als þou sent vs a malefeƚƚ of chessobolle sedeȝ; so we sende þe here a littiƚƚ peper. For þou schulde witte þat riȝte as þe scharpenes of þis littiƚƚ peper passeȝ þe multitude of þe chesseboƚƚe sedeȝ, riȝte so þe grete multitude of þe Persyenes saƚƚ be ouer-comen̛ wit a fewe knyghtis of Macedoyne.'
This lettre be-kende Alexander to þe knyghtis of Darius, þe peper also, & bad̛ þam̛ bere þam̛ to þe emperour. And he gaffe þam̛ grete gyftes and riche, and sent þam̛ furthe. And þan̛ he turnede [leaf 10] agayne wit his Oste towarde Macedoyne.
Thare was þe same tyme a wonder wyse man̛ of werre þe whilke highte Amorca, and he was prynce-werres in Araby, and lay þare wit a grete multitude of men̛ in awayte of Alexander & his Oste. And when̛ he herde teƚƚ of þe commyng of Alexander, he redied̛ hym for to kepe hym. And when̛ þay mett, þay faught to-geder aƚƚ þe daye fra þe morne tiƚƚ þe euen̛. And so þay dide aƚƚ þase thre deyes. And þare was so mekiƚƚ folke dede in þat bataile, þat þe sone wexe eclipte & wit-drewe his lighte, vggande for to see so mekiƚƚ scheddynge of blude. Bot at laste þe Percyenes ware so thikke-falde felled̛ to þe grounde, þat þaire prynce Amorca turned̛ þe bakke & fledd̛, and vnnetheȝ myghte wynn̛ awaye, and a fewe wit hym. So hastyly fledd̛ Amorca, þat he come nerehand̛ alsone to Darius, as his measagers did̛ þat come fra Alexander, and fand̛ Darius haldand̛ þe lettre in his hande, þat Alexander sent hym̛, and spirrande what Alexander did̛ wit þe chessbolle sedeȝ. And þe messangers ansuerd̛ & said̛: ' He tuke of þo chessboƚƚe sedeȝ', quoþ þay, 'and chewed̛ of þam̛, & said̛. I see wele,' quoþ he, 'þat Darius hase many men̛, bot þay are wonder softe'; And than Darius tuk of þe peper, þat Alexander sent, and putt in his mouthe and chewed̛ it. And when he felide þe strenghe of it, and þe grete hete, he syghede sare, and saide: 'Alexander knyghtis', quoþ he, 'are bot fewe, bot and þay be als strange in þam̛ selfe, as þis peper es in it selfe, þay saƚƚ fynde nane in þis werlde þat may agaynestande þam̛.' And þan ansuerde Amorca & saide, 'Forsothe, lorde', quoþ he, 'ȝe Page 28 say sothe, Alexander hase few knyghtis, bot þay ere strange, þat hase slaen̛ my knyghtis þat ware so many, so þat vnnetheȝ myghte I eschappe owte of þaire handeȝ.' Alexander, if aƚƚe he hade þe victorye of his enemys, he bare hym neuer þe hiere þare-fore, ne empridede hym noȝte þare-of. Bot bathe Percyeneȝ & the Macedoyns þat ware slaen̛, he gert brynge to beryeƚƚ. And þan̛ he come wit his Oste in-to Ceciƚƚ, whare many Citeȝ submyt þam̛ vn̛-tiƚƚ hym, and of that rewme, þare went wit hym̛: xvij. M. *. [In printed text, "ƚ" inserted superscript above "M."] feghtynge men̛. And fra thethyn̛ he come tiƚƚ Ysaury, þe whilke, wit-owtten̛ any agayne standynge, was ȝolden vntiƚƚ hym. And Alexander went vp apon̛ þe Mounte Taurus, and fande þare a citee þat men̛ callede Persypolis, and thare he tuk wit hym a certane of men̛ of Armes, and went so thurgh Asye, and wan̛ many Citeȝ. And so he come in-to Frigy, and went in-to þo temple of þe son̛, and thare he made sacrafyce to þe son̛. Fra thethyn̛, he come to a reuere, þat es called̛ Stamandra, and þare he said̛ tiƚƚ his men. 'Blyste mote ȝe be', [leaf 10 bk.] quoþ he, 'þat hase getyn̛ þe comendacions & þe praysyngeȝ of þe gude doctour Homerus', and ane of his men̛ ansuerde & said̛, 'Mi lorde kyng', quoþ he, 'Me thynke I may sauely writte ma praysyngeȝ, & lonyngeȝ of the, þan̛ Homerus did̛ of þam̛ þat distruyede þe Citee of Trayane. For þou hase done in þi tyme ma wirchipfuƚƚ thyngeȝ, þan̛ euer did̛ þay.' And Alexander [ansuerd,] & said̛ 'Me ware leuer,' quoþ he, 'be a wyse manes disciple þan for to hafe þe lonyngeȝ of Achilleȝ.' After this he remonede wit his Oste into Macedoyne, & fande his Modir Olympias wele couerd̛ of hir sekenes, and suggournede þare wit her a while. And than̛ he ordeyned hym̛ for to wende agayne into Persy, And keste hym for to logge at a Citee, þat men̛ calleȝ Abandryan̛. The men̛ of þe Citee, when̛ þay herde telle of his commynge, þay sperede þe ȝates of þe Citee, and wachede þe citee one ilke a syde. And when̛ Alexander saw þat, he went & assaillede þe Citee. And þe burgeȝ of þe Citee, when̛ þay sawe þat þe citee was noȝte strange ynoghe of þe selfe, for to agaynstande þe assawte of þaire enemys, þay criede tiƚƚ Alexander & saide: 'Kyng Alexander,' quoþ þay, 'we spered̛Page 29 noȝte þe ȝates of [the] citee to þat entent for to agaynestande the, Bot allanly for þe drede of Darius, kyng of Perse, þe whilke as it was tolde tiƚƚ vs, es purpossede for to send̛ his men̛ hedir, for to destruye vs & oure citee.' And þan̛ Alexander said̛ vnto þam̛ agayn̛. 'Iffe ȝe wiƚƚ,' quoþ he, 'þat we distruy ȝow noghte, openeȝ ȝour ȝates, and when̛ I hafe made an ende wit Darius, þan̛ saƚƚ I come agayne, & speke wit ȝowe.' And þan̛ þe Citaȝenes opened̛ þe ȝates. Fra thethen̛ þay went to Comnoliche. And fra thethyn̛ to Bihoy, and so to Caldiple. Syne þay come tiƚƚ a grete reuere, whare Alexander Oste hadd̛ grete defaute of vetaƚƚs, and þan̛ his knyghtis murnede gretely and said, 'Oure horses,' quoþ þay, 'fayleȝ vs ay mare & mare.' Alexander ansuerd̛ & said̛, 'A A, my doghty knyghtis,' quoþ he, 'þat ȝitt heder-towardeȝ hase in werreȝ suffred̛ many periƚƚs & mekiƚƚ disesse, ere ȝe nowe in despeyre of ȝour hele for þe failynge of ȝour horseȝ, Saƚƚ we noȝte gete horseȝ ynowe, and we lyffe & hafe qwert, and if we dye we saƚƚ hafe na nede of horse, na þay may do us na prophete. Haste we vs þare-fore in aƚƚ þat we maye to þe place whare we saƚƚ gete horseȝ wit-owtten̛ nowmer, and vetaiƚƚs also, bathe for oure selfe & for oure horseȝ.' When̛ he hadd̛ aƚƚ saide, þay went furthe and come tiƚƚ a place þat es called Luctus, þat es to saye wepynge, [leaf 11] whar þay fande vetails ynoghe, and mete ynoghe for þaire horse. Fra thethyn̛ þay remoued̛ & come tiƚƚ a place þat hatt Trigagantes, and þare þay luged̛ þam̛. And Alexander went in-to a temple of Apollo; whare als he aghteled̛ to hafe made Sacrafice, and hafe hadd̛ ansuere of that godd̛ of certane thynges þat he walde hafe aschede. Bot a woman þat hiȝte Ȝacora, whilke was preste of þat temple, talde Alexander þat þan̛ was noȝte þe tyme of ansuere. On þe Morne Alexander come to þe temple & made his sacrafice. And Apollo said̛ tiƚƚ Alexander, 'Hercules,' quoþ he. And Alexander ansuered̛, & said̛, 'Now þat þou calleȝ me Hercules,' quoþ he: 'I see wele þat aƚƚ thyn̛ ansuers ere false.' Fra thethyn Alexander went till a citee þat es called̛ Thebea, and said vn-to þe folke of þe citee: 'Sendeȝ me furthe,' quoþ he, 'foure hundreth knyghtis, wele armed̛ for to wend wit Page 30 vs in suppoellyng of vs.' And when̛ þe Thebeans herd̛ thir wordeȝ, þay spered̛ þe ȝates of þe citee, for to agayne-stande Alexander, and went to þe walleȝ, and cried̛ lowde þat Alexander myghte here: 'Alexander,' quoþ þay, 'bot if [þou] gaa hethyn̛ fra vs, we saƚƚ do the a velany, & thi knyghtis also.' When Alexander herde this, he smyled̛& saide: 'ȝe Thebeens,' quoþ he, 'þat ere so mekiƚƚ praysed̛ & commended̛ of strenghe, Spere ȝe ȝour ȝates & saise ȝe wiƚƚ feghte wit me; þare es na doghety man̛ of armeȝ þat coueteȝ for to haue wirchip̛ and loos; þat wiƚƚ close hym̛ witin walles, bot fightes wit his enemys manly in þe felde.' When̛ he hadd̛ saide thir wordeȝ, he bad þat foure thowsandeȝ archers sulde gaa abowte þe citee wit þaire bowes, & lay apon̛ þam̛ wit arowes þat stode apon̛ þe walleȝ. And he bad two hundreth men̛ of armes ga to þe walles, and myne þam̛ doune, and a hundrethe he bad take fyrebrandeȝ, & gaa to þe ȝates & brynne þam̛. And he ordeynde oþer foure hundreth men̛, for to bett doun̛ þe walles wit Sewes of werre, Engynes and Gonnes & oþer maner of Instrumenteȝ of werre. And hym selfe, and þe remenant of þe oste lay nere þam̛ to socour þam̛ when̛ þay hadd̛ nede. And belyfe fra þay hadd̛ gyffen̛ assawte to þe citee, þe ȝates ware brynt, & mekiƚƚ folke was slayne witin þe citee, Sum̛ wit arowes, sum̛ wit stanes of Engynes; þe Fire also by-gan̛ for to sett in houseȝ wit-in þe citee, & rayse a grete lowe. In þe Oste of Alexander was, þe same tyme, a man̛ þe whilke highte Cicesterus, a grete enemy to þe citee. He, when̛ he sawe þe citee bryne, made righte mery. [leaf 11 bk.] Bot a man̛ of the citee þat highte Hismon̛, when̛ he saw his cuntree þusgates be distruyed, come and feƚƚe one knees be-fore Alexander, and bigan̛ for to synge a sange of Musyke & of murnyge wit an Instrument of Musike, Supposyng þare-by for to drawe Alexanders herte to Mercy, & styrre hym to hafe rewthe on þe citee. Alexander be-helde hym, & sayde: 'Maister,' quoþ he, 'whareto syngeȝ þou me þis sange ?' 'A Alorde,' quoþ Hismon, 'to luke ȝife I myȝte styrre þi herte to hafe mercy on̛ þe citee.' And þan̛ Alexander was wonder wrathe, and bad dynge þe walles of þe cetee doun̛ to þe harde erthe. And when̛ þay had so done þay remoued̛ & went þaire way, and ane of þe worthieste men̛ of þe citee, þe whilke hyghte Clitomarus, went wit þam̛ in company. Bot þe Thebeens þat ware lefte aftire þe birnyngePage 31 of þe citee went to þe temple of Apollo, and askede weþer euer mare þaire citee sulde be repaireld agayne. Apollo ansuerde, & said̛, 'he þat schaƚƚ bygge þis citee agayne saƚƚ hafe thre victories. And when̛ he hase geten̛ thre victories, he saƚƚ onane come & repareƚƚ this citee, and bigge it agayne, also wele, als euer it was.'
Alexander fra þe citee of Thebe, went to Corynthe, and þare come tiƚƚ hym certane lordes, prayand̛ hym þat he walde come & see a wrestillynge. And he graunted̛ þam̛. And to þis Ilke wrestillynge þare come folke witowtten̛ nowmer. And when̛ aƚƚ men̛ were gadirde, Alexander saide: 'whilk of ȝowe,' quoþ he, 'saƚƚ gaa & be-gynn̛ þis playe'. Clitomarus þan̛, of whaym̛ I spake bifore, knelid̛ bi-fore þe kyng, & saide : 'lorde,' quoþ he, '& ȝe wolle vouche-saffe to giffe me leue, I wiƚƚ be-gyn̛.' And Alexander bad hym ga to. And Clitomarus went in-to þe place, and þe firste man̛ þat come in his hande, at the first tourne he threwe hym wide open̛. And Alexander said vntiƚƚ hym: 'Caste thre men̛,' quoþ he, '& þou saƚƚ be coround̛'. Þan̛ þare come anoþer man̛ to Clitomarus and vnnetheȝ he come in his handeȝ, when̛ he was casten̛ wyde open. And one þe same wyse he seruede þe thirde. And þan Alexander gart sett on̛ his heuede a precious coroun̛, and þe kyngeȝ seruaundeȝ spirrede hym what his name was. 'My name,' quoþ he, ' es wit owtten̛ citee'. When Alexander herde þat he saide vn-tiƚƚ hym: 'Thou noble wristiller,' quoþ he, 'whi arte þou callede wit owtten̛ citee.' 'Wirchipfuƚƚ emperour,' quoþ he, be-fore þat ȝe werede þe emperours Dyademe, I hadde a citee fuƚƚ of folkeȝ & of reches. Bot now, sene ȝe come to this astate & þis dignytes, I am spoylede & priuede of my citee.' And when̛ [he] herde this, he wiste wele þat he ment of þe citee of Thebe. And þan he garte his sergeanteȝ [leaf 12] make a crye that [he] hadd̛ giffen Clitomarus leue for to repairelle þe citee of Thebes. Fra Corinthe, Alexander and his oste remowed̛ tiƚƚ a citee þat highte Platea, of þe whilke a man̛ þat highte Scrassageras was prynce. And Alexander went to þe temple of Diane, and fande þare a woman̛ preste, þe whilke was a mayden̛, & scho was araied̛ lyke presteȝ of þat tymme. And when̛ [scho] sawe Alexander, scho saide vn-tiƚƚ hym: 'Alexander,' quoþ scho, 'þou Page 32 arte welcomme. Þou schaƚƚ conquere aƚƚ þe werlde.' One þe morne Scrassageras went to þe same temple, and alsone als þe preste sawe hym, scho saide vn-tiƚƚ hym: 'Scrassageras, quoþ scho, ' what thou wit-in a schorte while þou schaƚƚ be priued̛ of þe lordchip þat þou now hase ?' And when̛ he herde þis he was righte wrathe wit hir, & saide, 'þou arte noȝte worthy,' quoþ he, 'for to be preste here. Alexander come to þe ȝisterdaye, and þou prophicyed̛ hym gude; And to me þou sais, þat I schaƚƚ lose aƚƚ my lordechip̛e.' And scho ansuerd; & saide, 'Beeȝ noȝte angry to me,' quoþ scho: 'for aƚƚ þis buse be fulfilled̛, and nathynge þare of lefte ne ouerhippede.' A littiƚƚ after it feƚƚe þat Alexander was gretely angrede at Scrassageras, and tuke fra hym his lordchipe, & Scrassageras went to þe cite of Atheneȝ, and sare wepande he complenede hym to þe citaȝenes of Atheneȝ & talde þam̛ how þat Alexander hadd̛ priued̛ hym of his lordechipe. And þan̛ þe Atheneanes ware wonder [wrathe] towardes Alexander, and made grete boste & manace, þat þay schold̛ ryse agaynes hym, bot if he restorede Scrassageras agayne tiƚƚ his lordechipe. Alexander remowed̛ his Oste fra Platea to þe citee of Athenes, and when̛ [he] herde teƚƚe þat þe Athenens ware wrathe tiƚƚ hym-warde, and manaced̛ hym, he wrate vn-to þam̛ a lettre þat spak one this wyse.
' Alexander, þe son of Philippe and of qwene Olympias, vn to the Athenenes, gretynge. Fra þe tyme þat oure Fadir was dedde, & we were sett in þe Trone of his dingnytee, we went into þe weste Marches, whare aƚƚ þe folkeȝ þat duelleȝ thare for þe maste party ȝalde þam̛ vn-tiƚƚ vs wit-owtten stresse. Fra þe citee of Rome to þe weste see occyane, aƚƚ men̛ submytte þam̛ vn-tiƚƚ vs þat wit oure awen fre wiƚƚ we hafe taken þam̛ tiƚƚ oure grace. And thase þat walde noȝte submytt þam̛ tiƚƚ vs wit fairenes, we hafe distruyed̛ þam̛ & þaire citeȝ, and doungen̛ þam̛ down̛ to þe erthe. And now þis oþer daye as we went fra Macedoyne & passed thurgℏ Asye: bi þe cite of Thebe, þe Thebeyens despysed̛ vs, & lete as þay sett noȝte by vs. Bot onane we garte þair pryde faƚƚe, and de-Page 33 struyed̛ bathe þam̛ & thaire citee. And þare-fore we write vn-to ȝow; that ȝe sende vs ten̛ philosopℏres þat be wyse, [leaf 12 bk.] by þe whilke we may be encensede and conselled̛. For oþer thyng wiƚƚ we nane aske ȝow, Bot aƚƚe anely þat þe halde vs for ȝour lorde & ȝour kynge. And ȝif ȝe wiƚƚ noȝte submytt ȝowe vn-tiƚƚ vs, ȝow buse oþer be strangere þan̛ we, or eƚƚs submytt yow to sum lordechip̛, þat be strangere þan̛ oures.'
The Athenyenes redd̛ þis lettre and þan þay bigan to crye one highte. And ane, þat highte Eschiƚƚe, stode vp amangeȝ þam̛, and said̛: 'It es fully my conseƚƚ,' quoþ he, 'þat we on̛ na wise assent [to thise] wordeȝ of Alexander.' Alle þe folke þan̛ þat was gadirde þare, prayed þe philosophre Demostines, þat he walde teƚƚ þam̛ his conselle, as touchynge þat matere. And he stude vp, & badd̛ aƚƚ men̛ be stiƚƚ. And þan̛ he said̛ vn-to þam̛. 'Sirs,' quoþ he, 'I pray ȝow takes tent vn-to my wordeȝ & herkenes gudly what I saƚƚ say. If ȝe fele ȝow of power, for tiƚƚ agayne-stande Alexander, & to supprise hym, þan̛ feghtes wit hym manly, and obeys noȝte tiƚƚ his wordeȝ. And if ȝe suppose ȝe be noȝte strange ynoghe to feghte wit hym̛ þan hereȝ hym̛, and obeys vn-tiƚƚ hym̛. ȝe knawe wele, þat als oure eldirs telles vs, Ȝerses was a grett kynge, & a myghty, and many victories he gatt. And neuer þe lesse in Ellada he suffrede grete meschefe. Bot he, this Alexander, hase done many bataiƚƚes, in þe whilke he suffrede neuer disese bot alwaye had þe ouerhande. Þe Thirienes, I pray ȝow, ware [þai] noȝte balde knyghtes and strange, and aƚƚ þaire lyfe hade bene excercysede in Armes ? And whate profitede þam̛ þaire strenghe? Þe Thebienes also þat were so wyse, and so grete exercyse hadde in armes, fra þe firste tyme þat þe citee was bygged̛, whare-off seruede þaire grete witt þam̛, and þaire grete strength, when̛ Alexander assailede þam̛? Þe Poliponiens faghte wit Alexander, bot þay myghte na while agayne-stande his men of armes. Bot alson̛ þaire ware disconfit and slaen̛. It es noȝte vnknawen vn-to ȝowe, how many citeeȝ casteƚƚs & townneȝ for fere submittis þam̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym̛ wit-owtten̛ any assawte gyffyng. Þarefore, it es noȝte my consaile þat ȝe be heuy, ne wrathe tiƚƚ Alexander Page 34 for Scrassageras. For aƚƚ men knawes wele þat Alexander es a wonder wyse man̛ & a warre, & a man̛ þat gouernes hym by reson̛; and þare-fore ȝe may wele wete, he walde noȝte putt Scrassageras oute of his lordechipe upon̛ lesse þan̛ forfett vn-tiƚƚ hym.' When̛ þe Athenyenes had herde þir wordeȝ, þay commedid̛ gretly the conseiƚƚe of Demostines, and than̛ they ordeyned̛ a coroun̛ of golde þe weghte of .1. pounde, and sent Messangers þarewit, and wit tribute vn-tiƚƚ Alexander, bot philosophres sent þay nane. [leaf 13] And when̛ þire Messangers come tiƚƚ Alexander, þay gaffe hym þe coroun̛. and þe tribute, þat þe Athenyenes sent hym̛, and talde hym þat þay had̛ highte hym a grete nowmer of cateƚƚe. And when̛ Alexander had herd̛ þam, he vnderstode wele þe conceƚƚ of Eschilus þat conceƚƚd̛ þe Athenyenes to agaynestand̛ hym̛, and also þe conceƚƚ of Demostenes that conceƚƚde þam̛ þe contrary, and þan̛ he wrate a lettre to þam̛ whare-of the Tenoure was this.
'Alexander þe son of Philippe and quene Olympias, for þe name of kynge wiƚƚ we noȝte take apon vs, before we hafe oure enemys vnder oure subieccion: vn-to þe Athenyenes gretyng. It es noȝte oure entent to come in ȝour citee wit oure oste, Bot allanly to come & dispuyte wit ȝour philosophres, and to asche þam̛ certane questyons, Oure purposse was also to hafe declared̛ for oure trewe leggeȝ & oure gude Frendeȝ. Bot ȝour dedeȝ proues þe contrary, as it done vs tiƚƚ vnderstande. Oure goddeȝ we take to witnesse, þat whilke of ȝow so ryseȝ agayneȝ vs, we saƚƚ take swilke wreke apon̛ hym þat oþer men̛ saƚƚ take ensample þare-by. Bot ȝe ale schrewes, and euyƚƚ men, euer mare troweȝ iƚƚ, and thynkes iƚƚ. Wate ȝe noȝte wele þat þe Thebienes þat raise agaynes vs, hadd̛ þaire mede als þay disserued̛. And ȝe haffand̛ in vs a wrange consayte, blameȝ vs, For we putt Scrassageras owte of his Office the whilke forfett gretly agaynes oure maieste. We sent vn-to ȝow bi lettre for ten̛ philosophres, bot ȝe, noȝte knawande oure grete powere & oure myghte, despysed̛ oure maundement and walde noȝte fulfiƚƚ it. Neuer þe les if aƚƚ ȝe hafe offendid agaynesPage 35 vs whider-towarde and bene disobeyande tiƚƚ oure maiestee, we forgiffe ȝow aƚƚ ȝour gilt, and þe greuance þat ȝe hafe don vs, so þat ȝe be obeyande vn-tiƚƚ vs, fra þis tyme forwarde. Comforthes ȝow þarefore & beeȝ mery, for of vs ȝe schaƚƚ hafe na greuance ne na disesse be-cause ȝe did̛ after þe conceƚƚ of Demostynes.
When̛ þe Athenyenes herd̛ þis lettre redd̛, þay ware riȝte gladd̛, and þan̛ Alexander & his Oste went fra thethyn̛ vn-to Lacedoyne. Bot þe Lacedouns walde one na wyse obey vn-tiƚƚ Alexander, bot said̛ ilkan̛ of þam̛ tiƚƚ oþer, 'latt vs noȝte be lykke þe Athenyenes,' quoþ þay, 'þat drede þe manaschynge, and þe boste of Alexander bot late vs schewe oure myȝte, and oure strenghe and manly defende [leaf 13 bk.] oure citee agayneȝ hym.' When̛ þay hadd̛ saide, þay spered̛ þe ȝates of þe cetee faste, and went manly to þe walles. And a grete nowmer of þam̛ tuke þam̛ schippeȝ & went to þe see, a grete nauy, to feghte wit Alexander are he come to lande. And when̛ Alexander saw this, he sent a lettre to þam̛ sayand on this wyse.
'Alexander þe son̛ of Philippe and of þe quene Olympias vn-to þe Lacedounes we sende. We conceƚƚ ȝow, þat þat, that ȝour elders hase lefte ȝow, ȝe kepe hale & sound & in sauetee and lyfteȝ noȝte ȝour hende ouer hie to þe thyngeȝ þat þe may noȝte reche to. And if ȝe desire for to hafe ioy of ȝour strenthe, dose swa þat ȝe be worthy to hafe wirchipe of vs. Þarefore we comande ȝow, þat ȝe turne agayne wit ȝour schippeȝ, and leueȝ þam̛, & gase to lande by ȝour awenn̛ fre wiƚƚ; or sekirly I saƚƚ sett fire in tham̛ & brynne þam̛. And if ȝee dispice oure commandement, blameȝ na man̛ bot ȝour selfe, if we wreke vs one ȝowe.'
The Lacedounes redd̛ þis lettre, and when̛ it was redd̛, þay ware wonder heuy. Noȝte for-thi þay redied þam̛ to feghte. Bot Alexander arryued̛ in an oþer coste, and come to þe citee are þay wiste and vmbylapped̛ þe citee one ilke a syde, and assaillede it strangly & dange þe Lacedouns of þe walles & slewe many of þam̛ & wounded̛ many, and sett fyre in þaire schippeȝ & brynt þam̛. Þe remanant of þam̛ þat ware leftePage 36 appon lyfe, when̛ þay saw this grete meschefe come owte of þe citee vn-tiƚƚ Alexander, & feƚƚe doun̛ at his fete, & besoughte hym of mercy & of grace. And Alexander ansuerd, 'I come to ȝow,' quoþ he, 'meke & mylde, bot in þat degre ȝe walde noȝte ressayffe me, þarefore now are ȝour schippeȝ brynned̛, and ȝour citee distruyed̛, & ȝour folkeȝ slayne. Warned̛ I noȝte be-fore þat ȝe schulde noȝte heue ȝour handeȝ ouer-hye to þe sternes, to þe whilke nane erthely man̛ may wynn̛. For wha so euer clymbeȝ hier, þan̛ his fete may wynn̛ to sum̛ halde, he saƚƚ falle onane doun̛ to þe grounde. And þarefore es þare a commone prouerbe: Þat "wha sa hewes to hie, þe chippes wiƚƚ faƚƚe in his egh." Ȝe wende hafe done tiƚƚ vs as ȝour eldirs didde sumetyme tiƚƚ kynge ȝerses, bot ȝour wenyng dessayued̛ ȝow. For ȝe myghte noȝte agayne-stande vs when̛ we assaillede ȝow.' Whan [leaf 14] he hadd̛ saide on this wise, he gaffe þam̛ leue to gaa whare þay walde. And than̛ he remouede thethyn̛ & went to-warde Ciciƚƚ. And when̛ þe emperour Darius herd̛ tell of þe comyng of Alexander, he was gretly abaiste and sent after aƚƚ his princeȝ, Dukes & Erles, & oþer grete lordes, & went tiƚƚ a consaile. And he saide vn-to þaim̛, 'I see wele,' quoþ he, 'þat he, this Alexander, þat gase thus abowte werrayand̛, waxeȝ gretly in wirchipe, and ay-whare whare he commeȝ he hase þe victory. I wende he hadd̛ bene a theeffe & a robbour, þat hadde went tiƚƚ cuntreȝ þat ere wayke & feble, and durst noȝte agayne-stande hym̛, & robbed̛ þam̛ & spoyled̛ þam̛. Bot now, I see wele, he es a doghty man̛ of Armes, & a noble werrayour. And ay þe mare þat I hafe depraued̛ hym̛ and despysed̛ hym; þe mare ryseȝ his name, & his wirchipe. I sent hym a balle, a toppe, & a scourge, for to lere barne-laykes; bot hym þat I called̛ a disciple, he semeȝ a mayster & whare-so-euer he gase, Fortune gase wit hym. Þare-fore vs byhoueȝ to trete of oure hele, & of oure popleȝ, and pute awaye all pride & aƚƚ foly: & namare despisse Alexander, saynge þat he es noghte, by cause we are emperour of Perse. For his littiƚƚnes waxes and ours gretnes decresseȝ. I hafe grete dowte, þat goddeȝ forluke helpeȝ hym, so þat whils we ere abowte, & weneȝ to putte hym out of Ellada, we be spoyled, by hym, of þe rewme of Perse.'
When̛ Darius hadd̛ said thir wordeȝ, his broder CoriatherPage 37 ansuerd̛ & said̛, ' þou hase here,' quoþ he, 'gretly magnified̛ & commendid̛ Alexander, in that, þat þou sais he es mare feruent for to come in-to Perse, þan̛ we in-tiƚƚ Ellada. And þarefore if it be plesyng vn-to ȝour maiestee, vse ȝe þe maners of Alexauder, and so saƚƚ [ȝe] wele & peysably welde ȝour empire & couquere many oþer rewmes. Alexander, when̛ he gase to bataile and saƚƚ feghte, he lates [nane] of his prynceȝ ne his oþer lordeȝ gaa be-fore, & hym selfe come by-hynde, bot he gase bi-fore þam̛ aƚƚe, and so riseȝ his wirchip̛ & his name.'
Quod̛ Darius, 'wheþer awe me to take sa ensample at Alexander, or Alexander at me.' A prynce ansuerde & saide, ' Alexander,' quod̛ he, 'es a warrer man̛ & a wyse, & hase trespaste in na degree & þarefore he duse manly by hym selfe aƚƚ þat he doeȝ. For he hase taken þe fourme of þe lyonn̛.' 'Whare-by knawes þou þat,' quoþ Darius, [leaf 14 bk.] and he ansuerd̛ & saide, 'whate tyme,' quoþ he, 'þat I was sent to Macedoyne for til aske tribute of kyng Philippe, I saw, bi his Figure & his wise ansuere, þat he schuld be a passyng man̛, bathe of witt, & of doynges. Thare-fore, if it be plesyng vn-to ȝow, I conseƚƚ þat ȝe sende tiƚƚ aƚƚ þe landeȝ & cuntreȝ þat langeȝ to ȝour empire, þat es to say to Parthy & Medy, Appollamy, Mesopotamy, Ytaly, Bactri, and tiƚƚ aƚƚ þe remenant for þay ere subieteȝ vn-to ȝow a hundreth : c. and fifty l. of dyuerse folke. To þe lordes of all thire, I rede ȝe sende comnandyng þam̛, þat þay come to ȝow, in aƚƚ þe haste þat þay may, with aƚƚ þe men̛ þat þay may gett whilk ere able to ga to werre . And when̛ þay [ere] aƚƚ sembled̛ to gedir late vs beseke oure goddis of helpe. And þan̛ Alexander when̛ he seeȝ swilk a multitude of folke agaynes hym, his hert saƚƚ faile hym̛, and his mens also. And owþer he saƚƚ for fere turne hame agayne tiƚƚ his awen̛ cuntree, or eƚƚs submytt hym vn-to ȝow.' And þan̛ ansuerd̛ anoþer prynce, & sayde, 'This es a gud conceƚƚ,' quoþ he, 'bot it es noȝte profitable. Wate þou noȝte wele þat a wolfe Page 38 chaseȝ a grete floke of schepe & gerse þam̛ sparple. Righte so, and þe wysdome of þe grekes passeȝ oþer nacyons.'
In this mene tym̛, Alexander sembled̛ a gret multitude of folke to þe nowmer of cc of feghtynge men̛, and remewed to warde Perse, & come tiƚƚ a reuere þat es called̛ Mociona, of whilke þe water was wonder calde, & faire, & clere. And Alexander hadd̛ a grete lyste for to be bathede þare-in, and went in-to it & bathed hym, & waschede hym þare-in, and also son̛ he feƚƚe in a feuer and a heued-werke þare-wit, so þat he fure wonder iƚƚ. And when̛ þe Macedoyns saw þaire lorde so grefe seke, þay were wonder heuy and reghte dredand̛ and said amanges selfe: 'And Darius,' quod þay, 'wete þat oure lorde Alexander be þus seke, he saƚƚ come & falle apon̛ vs sodaynly, & fordo vs ilkan̛. For, and we hadd̛ þe hele of oure lorde Alexander, we hadd̛ comforth ynoghe & dredde no nacyon̛.' Than kyng Alexander called̛ tiƚƚ hym his Phicisiene þaf highte Philippe & badd̛ hym ordeyne hym a Medcyne for his sekenes. Þis ilk Phicisiene [leaf 15] was bot a ȝong man̛, bot he was a passyng kunnyng man̛ and a soteƚƚ in aƚƚ þe poyntes þat langed to phisic. And he highte Alexander, þat [by] a certane drynke he sulde onane make hym aƚƚ hale. Nowe feƚƚ it, þat was wit Alexander a prynce, þat highte Parmenius & was lorde of hermony. This prynce hade grete envy to þis phicsiene, bi-cause þat Alexander luffede hym so passandly wele & belyfe he wrate tiƚƚ Alexander, and warned̛ hym þat he schulde be warre wit Phillippe his phicisiene, and on na wyse resayfe þat drynke þat he walde gyffe hym. For he said̛ þat Darius had highte to giffe hym his doghter to wyffe & his kyngdom̛ after his dissesse if swa ware, þat he myghte be any crafte make ane ende of hym̛. When̛ Alexander hadda redd̛ þis lettre he was na thynge trubbled̛, so mekiƚƚ he tristede of þe conscience of his phisician.
In þe mane tyme, þis Phisician come tiƚƚ Alexander wit þe forsaid drynke, and Alexander tuk þis drynke in a hande & þe forsaid lettre in his oþer hande and biheld̛ þe Phisician in þe vesage riȝte scharpely. To whome þe Phisician saide:Page 39 'wirchipfuƚƚ Emperour,' quoþ he 'be na thyng fered̛ bot drynke þe medcyne baldely,' and þan̛ onane Alexander tuk this drynke, & schewed̛ Philippe þe lettre. And when̛ Philippe had redde þe lettre, he said tiƚƚ Alexander: 'Now for sothe, my lorde,' quoþ he, 'I take oure goddes to witnesse þat I ne am noȝte gilty of this treson̛, þat here es wretyn̛.' Alexander þan̛ was aƚƚ hale als euer he was, & called̛ vn-tiƚƚ Philyppe his phisician & enbraced̛ hym in his armes & said̛: Philippe,' quoþ he, 'knawes þou how mekill luffe & triste I hafe in the. Firste I dranke thi medecyne, & syne I schewede þe þe lettre þat was sent me agaynes the.' 'Mi lorde,' quoþ Philippe, 'I beseke ȝow þat ȝe wolle vochesaffe to send after myn̛ accusour, and do hym come bi-fore ȝour presence þat þis lettre sent vn-to ȝow, and hase lered̛ me for to do swilk a hie treson̛. Be-lyfe þan̛ gerte Alexander send after Parmeny for to come vn-tiƚƚ hym, and gerte þe sothe be serched̛, & fande þat he was worthy þe dede. And þan̛ he gert girde of his heued̛.
Fra þeine kyng Alexander remowed̛ his Oste tiƚƚ hermony þe mare & onane he conquered̛ it, & put it vnder his subieccion̛. And fra þeine he trauailed̛ many a day [leaf 15 bk.] wit his Oste, and at þe last e come tiƚƚ a cuntre wonder drye, & fuƚƚ of creuesceȝ of cauerneȝ, & alde cisternes whare na water myghte be funden̛. And Fra þeine þay passede thurgℏ a cuntree, þat es called̛ Andrias, to þe Reuere of Eufrates. And þare þay lugede þam̛. Þan Alexander garte brynge many grete treeȝ, for to make a brygge of ouer þat water, appon̛ schippeȝ, and garte tye þam̛ Samen̛ wit chenys of Iren̛ & iren̛ nayleȝ. And when̛ þe brigge was aƚƚ redy, he badde his knyghtes wende ouer apon̛ it. Bot whan̛ þay saw þe grete reuer ryne so swiftely and with so a grate a byrre, thay dred þam̛ þat þe brygge schulde faƚƚe. For þay supposede þe chenys schuld breke be-cause of grete weghte. And, when Alexander saw þam̛ dredand̛ on this wyse, he gert hirde-men̛, þat were þare kepand̛ katell, wend̛ oner before, and warnede þat þe Oste schulde folowe þam̛. Bot ȝit þe knyghtis ware ferde & durste noghte wende ouer. Than̛ was Alexander riȝte wrathe and callede vntiƚƚ hym aƚƚ his prynces, & grete lordeȝ, and firste he went hym selfe ouer Page 40 þe bryges, & aƚƚ his prynceȝ folowed̛ hym, and sythen̛ aƚƚ þe Oste. Twa grete ryuers rynnes thurgℏ Medee, Mesopotamy and Babiloyne, þat es to say Tygre & Eufrates, and soo rynneȝ in-to þe reuere of Nilus. When Alexander & aƚƚ hys Oste ware past ouer Eufrates, he gert smyte sonder þe brygge þat he hadd̛ gert make bifore, and dissolue ilk a pece þare-off fra oþer. And when his knyghtis sawe that, þay ware reghte heuy and murnede gretly þarefore, and said̛ emanges þam selfe, 'What saƚƚ we now doo,' quoþ þay, 'when we are harde by-stadde wit oure enemys & walde flee. For ouer þis reuere may we noȝte wyun̛.' And when Alexander perceyued̛ þat murmoure of his folke, he said vn-to þam̛. 'What es þat,' quoþ he, 'þat ȝe say amangeȝ ȝow, "If it faƚƚe þat we flee owte of þe bataile." Sothely, I late ȝow wele wite, þat þis is þe cause whi I garte for-do þis brygg, þat I gert make; For-thi, þat owþer we schulde feghte manly or eƚƚs if [we] walde flee, we schulde aƚƚ perische at anes and aƚƚ drynke of a coppe. For-whi þe victorye es noȝte aretted̛ to þam̛ þat flieȝ, Bot to þam̛ þat habydeȝ, or folowes on þe chace. Þare-fore comfortheȝ ȝow wele, & bese balde of hertis, and thynke it bot a playe stalworthly to feghte. For I say ȝow sekerly; we ne schaƚƚ neuer see Macedoyne, be-fore we hafe ouercomen̛ aƚƚ oure enemys, And þan̛ wit þe victorie we saƚƚ tourne hame agayne.
In þis mene tyme, kyng Darius gadirde a grete multitude of men̛ agaynes Alexander, and ordeyned̛ ouer þam̛ fyve-hundreth [leaf 16] chyftaynes of grete lordes and luged hym wit his men̛ apon̛ þe reuere of Tygre. And one a day thir twa kynges wit þaire bather Ostes mett to-gedir apon̛ a faire felde and faughte to-gedir wonder egerly. Bot sone Darius men̛ hadd þe werre & ȝode to grounde thikkfalde, slayne in þe felde. And when̛ þe remenante saw þat, þay tuk þam̛ to þe flighte. In Darius oste was a man̛ of Perse, a doghety, & a balde; to whaym Darius highte for to giffe his doghter to wyfe, if so were, þat he myghte, by any way, sla kyng Alexander. This man̛ gatt hym clethyng and Armour like vn-to þe macedoyns, and went amangeȝ þam̛, as þay faghte, ay tiƚƚ he come by-hynd kyng Alexander. And alson̛ als he come nere hym, he lifte hisPage 41 swerde on heghte, & lete flye at hym̛ wit aƚƚ þe myghte þat he hade, and hitt hym on þe heued̛ so fercely, þat he perched his bacenett, and drewe þe blode of hym. When̛ Alexander knyghtis saw that: þay tuke hym anone, & broghte hym bifore Alexander, and Alexander, supposyng þat he hadde bene a macedoyne, saide vn-till hym. 'Wirchipfuƚƚ man,' quoþ he, '& doghety & strange what ayled þe at me, for to giffe suylke a strake, knewe þou noȝte wele þat it was I, Alexander ȝour helpere & ȝour allere seruande.' And [the] Percyene ansuerd̛, & said̛, 'Wiete þou wele wirchipfuƚƚ emperour,' quoþ he, 'I ne ame na macedoyne, bot I am a man̛ of Perse; and this dede I didd̛. For kyng Darius made me a promysse of his doghetir to wife, if I myghte brynge hym thi heid̛.' Than kyng Alexander called bi-for hym all his knyghtis and askede þam̛ what þam̛ thoghte was for to do wit this man̛. Sum̛ ansuerde & saide þam̛ thoghte it beste to gerre smyte of his heid̛, Sum for to putt hym to þe fire for to brynne, Sum to gare drawe & hang hym. And when Alexander had herde þaire conceƚƚ, he ansuerd̛ & said: 'Sirs,' quoþ he, 'what wrange or what defawte can̛ ȝe fynde in þis man̛, Sen̛ he hase besied̛ hym tiƚƚ obey tiƚƚ his lordes commandement, and at his power fulfilled̛ it. Whilke of ȝow, so demeȝ hym worthy to be dedde, es worthy in tyme commynge to hafe þe same dome. For if I commande ane of ȝow for to ga & sla Darius, þe same payne, that ȝe deme þis man̛ for to suffre, ware ȝe worthy for to suffre ȝourselfe of Darius, if ȝe myȝte be getyn̛.' And [leaf 16 bk.] þan he commanded̛ þat he schulde wende hame to his felawes wit-owtten̛ any harme. When Darius herde þat his lordes ware slayne in grete nowmer, he gadered̛ a grete multitude of knyghtis and of fotemen̛, and went vp on a hiƚƚ þat es called̛ Taurisius, and thare he made his mustre of his men̛, supposynge þat he schuld ouercome Alexander thurgℏ multitude of folke. Bot alson̛ als þay mett wit þaire bathere osteȝ, and bigan̛ for to fighte, Darius men̛ fledd̛ and hymselfe also. And Alexander persuede hym vn-to þe citee of Bactrian̛, and þare he luged hym, and offerde Sacrafice tiƚƚ his goddeȝ. And on þe morne he garte assaile þePage 42 citee, and wanne it on werre. And in þe cheffe place þare-of he sett his trone. And aƚƚ þir oþer citeȝ þat were abowte it, he wann̛ þam̛ o werre, & putt þam̛ vnder his subieccion̛. In þis ilke citee of Bactrian̛, he fande tresour wit-owtten̛ nowmer, and also his moder, and his wyfe.
And in þe mene tyme, whils Alexander lay at Batran: þare come a prynce of Darius oste vn-tiƚƚ Alexander, & said vn-tiƚƚ hym̛, 'Wirchipfuƚƚ emperour,' quoþ he, ' I hafe a lang tyme bene a knyght of Darius, and done hym grete seruyce; and ȝitt to this day I had neuer na reward̛ of hym. And þare-fore if it like vn-to ȝowre maieste; take me ten̛ thowsande of ȝour men̛ of armes; and I hete ȝow, for to brynge to ȝour hande kyng Darius, & þe maste parte of his oste.' And when̛ Alexander had herde þis, he said vn-tiƚƚ hym. 'Frende,' quoþ he, 'I thanke þe mekiƚƚ of thi faire promys. Neuer þe lesse, I late þe wite my men̛ wiƚƚ noȝte beleue þat þou wiƚƚ feghte agaynes thyn̛ owenn̛ peple.' In þe mene tyme a Prynce of Darius oste sent vn-till hym a letter, of whilk þis was þe tenour.
'To Darius, grete kyng of kynges, his lordes whilke he hase ordeyned cheftaynes vnder hym Sendeȝ meke seruyce. Oftymes be-fore this hafe we wreten̛ to ȝour maieste, and now agayne we writte vn-to ȝow, & lateȝ ȝow wite þat þe macedoynes & kyng Alexander, as wode lyouns ere enterde [leaf 17] oure landeȝ, and aƚƚ oure strenthes, as a wilde raueschande beste he hase destruyed: & oure knyghtes slayne. And oppressed we are wit so grete tribulacionns, þat we [may] na lengare suffre his mawgree, ne his malece bere. Whare-fore, mekly we be-seke ȝour benyngne maiestee, þat ȝe wiƚƚ drawe to ȝoure mynde oure meke seruyce, and swilke socoure vouchsaffe to send̛ vs, þat we put off and agaynestande þe violence & þe malice of oure fore-said enemys.' When̛ Darius had redde þis lettre, on ane he gert writte a lettir to kyng Alexander, sayand on þis wyse.
' Daryus kyng of Perse and kyng of kyngeȝ, vn-to my seruande Alexander, I say. Now late þare es commen̛ tiƚƚ oure eres tythyngeȝ: þat þou weneȝ to euen̛ thi littilhede tiƚƚ oure heghe magnificence. Bot Sen̛ it es inpossible tiƚƚ a heuy asse, witPage 43 owtten̛ wenges, or oþer instrumenteȝ of flying, for to be lifte vp to þe sternes, late noȝte thyn̛ hert be raysede to hye in pride for þe victories þat þou hase geten̛. We hafe wele herd teƚƚ þat þou hase done gentilly, and schewed̛ grete humanytee tiƚƚ oure moder, oure wyfe, & oure childre, and þarefore I late þe wele wite þat, als lang als þou dose wele to þam̛, þou saƚƚ fynde me nane enemy to the. And if þou do iƚƚ to þam̛ þou saƚƚ hafe þe enemytee of me, and þare-fore spare þam̛ noghte, bot do to þam̛ as þe liste. For somtyme þou saƚƚ see & fele þe sentence of oure ire lighte apon̛ thi heghe pride.'
'Alexander þe son̛ of Philippe & qwene Olympias to Darius kyng of Perse we write. Pride & vayne glorie hase oure goddeȝ aƚƚ way hated̛; and takeȝ vengeance of dedly men̛ þat takes apon̛ þam̛ þe name of immortalitee. Bot þou, als I wele see, cesseeȝ noȝte ȝitt hider-to for to blasfeme in aƚƚ þat þou may. Bot of that þat þou blameȝ me for þe benygnytes that I schewed þi moder, þi wyfe, & þi childre; þou ert moued̛ on a lewed̛ fantasye. For I late þe wele wyte, I did it noȝte [leaf 17 bk.] for to be thanked̛ of the, ne for to hafe thi Beneuolence þare-fore. Bot it come of a gentilnes of oure awenn̛ hert, fownded in vertu. Of thee victories also whilke þe forluke of godd̛ hase sent vs, ere we na-thyng enpriddede. For we knawe wele þat oure goddis alwaye helpes vs, whilke þou ilk a daye dispyseȝ & setteȝ at noȝte. And this saƚƚ be þe laste letter þat I saƚƚ writte vn-to þe. Beware if þou wiƚƚ, For I say the sekerly, I come to þe onane.'
' Alexander, þe son̛ of Philippe & of þe quene Olympias vn-to þe prynceȝ & þe lordeȝ vnder our subieccion̛ in Capadoce, In laodice, or ells whare duelland̛, gretyng, & gude grace. We charge ȝou & commandeȝ ȝow straytly þat ilkan̛ of ȝow ordayne vs in aƚƚ þe haste þat ȝe may jm nete-hydes barked̛, & send þam̛ tiƚƚ Alexander, þat we and oure knyghtis may gerePage 44 make vs of þam̛ clethyng, & schoees; And wit cameles þat ȝe haue at Alexsander gerre cary þam̛ to þe water of Eufrates.'
'To Darius þe wirchipfull grete godd̛ his seruande Nostand̛ law seruyce. Me aughte noȝte to sende swylk tythynge to ȝour ryalle maiestee, bot grete nede gers me do it. Þare-fore be it knawen̛ vn-to ȝour hie lordchipe, þat twa grete prynceȝ of ȝours,& I, hase foghten̛ wit kyng Alexander, And hym̛ es fallen̛ þe victorie, & slayne he hase thir twa worthy prynceȝ, & mekill oþer folke, and I fleed̛ greuously wonded̛. And many worthi knyghtis of ȝours hase for-saken ȝour lordchipe & ioyned þam̛ tiƚƚ Alexander oste, þe whilk he hase wirchipfully, and hase giffen grete lord-chipes of ȝours.'
' Porus, kyng of Ynde, vn-to Darius, kyng of Perse, gretyng. For þou hase prayed vs to come to the in helpynge [leaf 18] of the agaynes thyn enemys, we late the wete, þat we are redy & alwaye hase bene, for to com̛ to helpe ȝow. Bot as at þis tyme we are lettede to com̛ to ȝow, be-cause of grete seknesse þat we ere stadd̛ in, Neuer þe lesse, sekerly, it es riȝte heuy vn-tiƚƚ vs, & greuous, vn-tiƚƚ [vs to] here of þe grete injury þat es done vn-tiƚƚ ȝow. And þarefore we late ȝow wite, þat wit-in schorte tym̛, we saƚƚ come for to helpe ȝow wit ten̛ legyouns of knyghtis.'
'To kyng Darius, hir moste biloued̛ son, Rodogorius, his modir sendeȝ gretyng & ioy. I hafe vnderstanden̛ þat ȝe hafe assemblede ȝour men̛, & mekiƚƚ oþer folke also, for to feghtePage 45 eftsones wit Alexander. Bot I late þe wite it wiƚƚ availe þe nathynge. For þoghe ȝe hadd̛ gadirde to gedir alle þe men̛ in þe werlde duellyng, ȝit ȝe ware vnable to agayne-stande hym. For þe foreluke of godd̛ maynteneȝ hym, & vphaldeȝ hym. And þarefore dere son̛, it es my conseƚƚ, ȝour heghenesse of herte ȝe lefe, & faƚƚ sumwhate fra ȝour glory, and bese fauorable to þe gretnes of Alexander. For better it es to forga þat at ȝe may noȝte halde, and haffe in pesse þan þat at ȝe may halde, þan for too couett aƚƚ and be excluded̛ & for-ga aƚƚ.'
In the mene tyme kyng Alexander remowed̛ his oste, and drew nere þe cite of Susis, in þe whilke Darius was lengand̛ the same tyme, so þat he myȝte see aƚƚ þe heghe hilleȝ þat ware abownn̛ þe citee. Þan Alexander commanded̛ aƚƚ his men̛, þat ilkan̛ of þam̛ suld cutte down̛e a brawnche of a tree, and bere þam̛ furth wit þam̛ & dryfe bi-fore þam̛ aƚƚe manere of besteȝ þat þay myȝte fynde in þe way. And when the Percyenes saw þam̛ fra þe heghe hilleȝ þay wondred̛ þam gretly. And Alexander come wit his oste to þe citee of Susis and luged hym nere besyde þe citee. And than̛ he called̛ bis prynnceȝ & his oþer lordeȝ and said vn-to þam̛, 'Late vs,' quoþ he, ' send a messangere to kyng Darius & bidd̛ hym̛ owþer & com̛ feghte wit vs or eƚƚs [leaf 18 bk.] submyt hym vn-tiƚƚ vs.' The nexte nyghte after, Godd̛ Amon̛ apperede vntiƚƚ Alexander in his slepe bryngand̛ hym þe figurre of Mercuri & a mantiƚƚ, and anoþer manere of garment of Macedoyne, and saide vn-tiƚƚ hym. 'Alexander, son̛,' quoþ hee, 'euer mare when̛ þou hase nede, saƚƚ I helpe the. And þarefore luke þou sende noghte to Darius þat messangere þat þou spake off. For I wiƚƚ þat þou thi selfe clethe thee wit my figure & wende thedir þi selfe; if aƚƚe it be perilous for to do, Dred þe na thynge, for I saƚƚ be thi helpe, so þat þou saƚƚ hafe na maner of disesse.
On þe morne when̛ Alexander rase fra slepe, he was gretly comforthed̛ of his dreme & called tiƚƚ hym his prynceȝ and talde þam̛ alle his dreme, and þay assentede aƚƚe, þat he schulde wende to Darius in his propir person. And onane he called̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym ane of þe princeȝ, þe whilke highte Emulus. ThisPage 46 prynce was a wyghte man̛, & an hardy & wonder trewe tiƚƚ Alexander. And þan̛ Alexander bad hym lepe one a horse, and brynge wit hym a noþer horse & folow hym. And he didd̛ so. And when̛ þay come to gedir to þe water of Graunte, þat in þe langage of Perse es called̛ Struma, þay fande it frosen̛ ouer, and Alexander onane chaunged he wede, & lefte þe foresaid̛ prynce wit twa horse at þe water-syde and hym selfe, wit þe horse þat he satt apon̛, went ouer þe water apon̛ þe Ysȝ, towarde þe citee of Susis. And his prynce besoghte hym þat he walde suffre hym wende wit hym, ne perauenture any disesse feƚƚe hym by þe waye. And Alexander ansuerd̛ & sayde, 'Habyde me here,' quoþ he, 'For he saƚƚ be my helpere, wham̛ in dremeȝ I sawe appere vn-to me.' This ilke water I spake of bi-fore, aƚƚ þe wynter seson ilke a nyghte was frosen̛ aƚƚ ouer; bot tymely in þe mornynge als sone als þe warme son̛ smate apon̛ it, þan̛ it dissoluede agayne, & ran̛ wonder swiftely; þe brede of þat water es þe space of a furlange. When Alexander come to þe ȝate of þe citee the Perciens, when þay saw hym, hadd̛ grete wonder of his figure, and wend̛ he hadd̛ bene a godd̛, and onane þay asked̛ hym what he was ? And he ansuerd̛ and said̛ he was a messangere sent fra kyng Alexander to þaire lorde Darius, and be-lyfe þay broghte hym til hym. Darius, when Alexander come bi fore hym, said vn-til hym. 'Whethyn̛ ert þou,' quoþ he ? 'I ame,' quoþ Alexander, 'sent vn-to þe fra kyng Alexander to wiete where to þou taries to come tiƚƚ hymu to gyffe hym bateƚƚe. Owthir come & feghte manfully wit thyne enemys or eƚƚs submitte þe tiƚƚ hym̛ & [leaf 19] pay hym tribute.'
And Darius heard him and said, ' Art thou then the Alexander who with such madness shaped thy speech, for I see thou holdest thyself not from words as a messenger doth, but art bold as a king. Yet know that by thy words I am not frightened at all. Come dine with me this day.' And with these words, he reached out his hand to him and took him by his right, and led him into the palace. And Alexander, musing, began to say: 'A right good token hath this barbarian wrought me when he clasped my right hand and drew me intoPage 47 the palace, because, as the gods say sooth, ere long the palace shall be mine.' And going in, Darius and Alexander lay by a table, and the daintiest feast was laid out. And Darius' marshall gazed hard at Alexander face to face. And the table was wreathed in cleanest gold. But the Persians, seeing Alexander's shape, yet knew nothing of what wisdom, doughtiness, and strength lurked in this small body. The dishes and tables and seats were wrought of the finest gold. The cup-bearers bore cups in golden vessels and rarest jewels. And when a cup was handed to Alexander, he hid it in his breast. And another cup was brought to him and he did the same, and thus too with a third. And those who bore the cups, seeing this, gave the news to the Emperor Darius. And he, hearing of it, rose up; saying: 'Friend, what is this that thou doest, hiding the cups in thy breast?' And Alexander: 'In our king's feasts the guests are wont, whenever they will, to take their drinking-vessels. But, as this seemeth to you unworthy, I will give them back forthwith.' And with these words he gave them back to the cup-bearers. But the Persians who sate at the feast said each to each, 'a good custom, indeed, and one to be praised.' And some lords, too, praised this way and exalted it. But one of the Princes of Darius, called Anapolus, sitting at the feast, gazed hard at Alexander and his face. For he had seen him when, at Darius' bidding, he went into Macedonia to take tribute of Philip. He, knowing his voice and looking on his face, began to think to himself and say: 'Is this not Alexander?' And rising at once he drew near to Darius, saying: 'This messenger whom thou beholdest is Alexander, the son of Philip of Macedon.' And Alexander, seeing them with each other in talk, knew they were speaking of him and he was known. And at this he rose up from his place and leapt away from the board. And taking a blazing torch from a Persian's hand, himself mounted his palfrey, which he found ready outside Darius's palace, and fled in the swiftest flight. And the Persian seeing this, taking weapons, mounted their steeds with a mighty stir, and quickly followed after Alexander. And in the darkness of the nightfall, they began to stray, some scratched their faces by the tree-boughs, some falling into ditches. But Alexander, bearing his blazing torch in hand, fared straightPage 48 forward. Now, Darius sate on his throne and thought of Alexander and how great his daring was. He saw a statue of gold of Xerxes the Persian king, who sate below the high-seat in the hall. And at once the statue broke and was all scattered asunder. And Darius seeing this was smitten with heaviness of heart and began to weep sorely and long. And he said: 'This foretokeneth the wasting of my life, and the utter downfall of the Persian kingdom.' Alexander, however, coming to the river Grancus, found it swollen, and leapt athwart it. But ere he was over the stream burst its banks, and swept his horse away; with great hardship Alexander escaped and met Eumulus, his lord. And thus he went back to his army and told them of Darius, how he had dealt with him, and the torch with which he had fled away.