HOW ALEXANDER ENCAMPED BY THE STREAM GRANCUS.
Then he encamped with his host by the stream of Grancus, and wintered there some days. And there he offered up victims to the gods. And about the river there were palaces, and they were the fairest, raised up with greatest skill, and Xerxes the King of the Persians had built them. Alexander, seeing them, bade them be burned. And soon after this, stirred by ruth, he gave word none should dare touch them. And there too was a most fair and very wide field in which the Kings and Deemsters of Persia were of old buried. And digging into this field the Macedonians found in the graves gemmed vases. And there they found the grave of Ninus the King of Assyria and Persia, which was hollowed out of a single amethyst, and engraven on the outside with palm-leaves and sundry kinds of birds. And so bright was the amethyst that even from the outside the man's body appeared whole. And in this place was a narrow and evil tower on which stood many men, some with cut legs, some with broken thighs, some with torn hands, and some blinded. They hearingPage 52 the noise of the armed men cried out to Alexander, who bearing their cries, bade them be taken thence. And seeing them was struck with ruth and wept, and bade each one be given ten thousand drachmas, and be restored every one to his own. For Darius kept them in prison, since they were of noble birth, and awarded all their possessions to his thralls. In the meantime the messengers from Alexander to Darius told all that Alexander had said. And Darius hearing this began to get ready for the fight. And he wrote another letter to Porus King of India, which runneth as follows:THE LETTER SENT BY DARIUS TO PORUS KING OF INDIA.
'Darius King of the Persians to Porus King of Our Indians joy. We asked but lately of you, and again we ask you to come and help against those who strive to overthrow our palace. We know well also that the like harm will light on you. For this Alexander, who fighteth thus, hath an unquenchable and wild soul, which like a lion ceaseth not, and is like the sea when stirred by mighty winds. Furthermore, unwillingly though it be, we have gathered numberless races, and we have taken our counsel to fight with him to the very death. [leaf 20] better vs es for to dy manly in þe felde þan for to see þe mescheffe of oure pople & þe dissolacion̛ of oure rewme. Whare-fore, hafand̛ reward̛ and compassion̛ of oure disesse, we be-seke ȝow, þat ȝe late oure prayeres satteƚƚ in ȝour hert, & helpe for to succour vs now at oure nede, hafand̛ in ȝoure mynde þe grete noblaye of oure progenytours. And I seure ȝow þat [I sall] giffe ilke a fote-man̛ þat comeȝ wit ȝow, thre peceȝ of golde, And ilke a horse-man̛, fyve peceȝ of golde, And also mete & drynke ynoghe to ȝow & aƚƚ ȝour men̛. And whare so ȝe lugge ȝow, we schaƚƚe fynde ȝow a hundreth & fourscore tentes curyously wrogbte. And also we schaƚƚ gyffe ȝow Alexander horse Buktyphalas, and aƚƚe appairaiƚƚ, & þe araye þat langes tiƚƚ Alexander hallely schaƚƚ be ȝours and also aƚƚ þe spoylle of his folke saƚƚ be dalte amangeȝ ȝoure folke. Where-fore we beseke ȝow þat also son̛ als thisPage 53 lettre commeȝ to ȝow, ȝe haste ȝow tiƚƚ vs in aƚƚ þat ȝe may. For wite ȝe wele for certayne, that riȝte als he done tiƚƚ vs, so he purpose hym in tyme commynge for to do to ȝowe.'
In the men tyme, certane men̛ of Darius went fra hym & come tiƚƚ Alexander, & talde hym, þat Darius purposede hym for to feghte wit hym eftesones, and had sent tiƚƚ Porus, kyng of Inde, for to come in grete haste, for to helpe hym. When̛ Alexander herd þis, be-lyfe he remowed̛ his Oste to ward̛ Darius, thynkand in his herte þat he wolde on na wyse take apon̛ hym þe name of Emperour be-fore he hadd̛ wonn̛ Darius and his rewme one werre. And when Darius herde of þe commyng of Alexander, he dredd̛ hym gretly & þe percyenes also. Bot þare was two prynceȝ of Darius, of þe whilke þe tane highte Bisso & þe toþer Ariobarsantes, thir twa when̛ þair herd̛ of þe comyng of Alexander, conspyred̛ togedir for to slaa þaire lord̛ Darius, supposyng for tiƚƚ hafe a grete thanke of Alexander, and a gret reward̛ for þaire dede. And ayther of þam̛ ware sworne tiƚƚ oþer. And than̛ thay went to þe kynges palace, and come intiƚƚ his chamber wit drawen̛ swerdes in þaire handeȝ, and fand Darius bi hym ane. And when̛ Darius saw that, he trowed̛ wele þat þay wolde sla hym̛, And said vn-to þam̛: 'Dere frendeȝ, hedir to wardeȝ hafe I called ȝow my seruaundeȝ, bot now I call ȝow my lordes. What ayles ȝow at me þat ȝe wiƚƚ sla me ? Haes Alexander cheriste þe macedoynes mare þan̛ I hafe done ȝow? Hafe I noȝte sorow & disese ynoghe of enemyse wit-owtten̛ ? Bot if ȝe conspire agaynes me for to sla me wit owtten̛ gilt, I say for sothe, & ȝe sla me [leaf 20 bk.] thus preuelye, And Alexander may gete ȝow, he wiƚƚ take mare crueƚƚ vengeance one ȝow, then̛ on any theues. For sothely it es na comforthe ne lykyng tiƚƚ ane Emperour to fynd an oþer Emperour murthered̛ wit his awen̛ men̛.' Bot þay were na-thynge stirrede to petee, ne tendernesse, ne mercy, thurgℏ his wordeȝ, Bot went tiƚƚ ℏym and wit grete cruelnesse smate hym, & al-to magle hym, and went faste þaire waye, & lefte hym for dede.
And when̛ Alexander herd̛ teƚƚ þat Darius was slayne hePage 54 went ouer þe water of Graunt, and aƚƚ his Oste wit hym, and come to þe cetee of Susis. And alsone als þe percyenes saw hym, Thay Opened þe ȝates of þe citee, & rescheyued̛ hym̛ wit grete wirchipe. And when̛ þe prynceȝ þat slewe Darius wiste þat Alexander was comen̛ in̛-to þe citee þay went & helde þam̛ in hidils ay tiƚƚ þay myȝte gete knaweynge of Alexander wiƚƚ, as towchand̛ þat that þay hadd̛ done to Darius. Alexander þan̛ went in-to þe kynges Palace, and as he went þare-in he merueyled hym gretly of þe biggyng þare-off. For Cirus þe kyng of Perse gert bigg it ryally. And the pament þareoffe was made of stanes of dyuerse colours, & þe walles aƚƚ enueround wit fyne golde & precyous stanes & sternes lyke to þe firmament, and pelers of golde þat bare vp þe werke. When̛ Alexander saw aƚƚ this curious werke, he meruailed̛ hym gretly. And than̛ he went to þe chambre þare Darius laye halfe dede. And alsone als he saw hym̛ he hadd̛grete rewthe & compassion̛ of hym, and he tuke off his awenn̛ mantiƚƚ & couerd̛ [hym] þare-wit, & went and graped̛ his wondes and wepid̛ for hym riȝt tenderly, & said̛ un-til hym. 'Rise vp, sir Darius,' quoþ he, '& be of gude comforthe. And als frely as euer þou reioysede thyn̛ Empire, so mot þou ȝitt do, And be als myghty, & als gloryouse als euer þou was. I swere the here by oure myȝty goddes & by þe faythe in my body, þat here I resigne vn-to the aƚƚ thyn̛ empyre, desyrand̛ souerayngly for to hafe þe lyfe of the, as þe son̛ of þe Fader, For sekerly it es vnfittand̛ & unsemly tiƚƚ ane emperour for to be reioysede of an oþer emperours mescheffe & disesse, when̛ fortune hase forsaken̛ hym. Teƚƚe me, sir, what þay are þat hase thus faren̛ wit the, and I sewre þe als I am trew man̛ I saƚƚ venge the to þe uttereste.' And [leaf 21] when̛ Alexander had said̛ this & mekiƚƚ mare, Sare wepand̛ Darius putt furthe his hande, and layde his arme abowte Alexander nekke, and kyssed his breste, his nekke, & his hande, & saide thir wordeȝ, thare that here folowes. 'A, dere son̛ Alexander,' quoþ he, 'als thi heghe witt knawes wele, aƚƚ this werlde es corupt and sett in malice. For þe souerayne forluke of godd̛, aƚƚ thyngeȝ knawande fra þe begynnyng, and hafand̛ felyng of þe wirkyngeȝ for to come, made man̛ in that wyse, at þe Page 55begynnynge, þat nathyng es in hym stable ne faste. So þat aƚƚ thyngeȝ þat ere passande & werldely, fra þat he faile of gouernance, tournes alson̛ tiƚƚ hym in contrarye. For if godd̛ hadd̛ ordeyned̛ aƚƚ thyngeȝ esy to man̛ and alwaye wit-owtten̛ chaungynge sent hym prosperitee, man̛ schulde be lyftede vp so hie in pryde & in vayne glorye, þat he solde noȝte arett aƚƚe his wele-fare & his welthe vn-to godd, bot tiƚƚ his awenn̛ desert & his awenn̛ vertu. And so schulde men̛ gaa fra þaire makare. On þe toþer syde if þe heghe wyssedom̛ of godd̛ hadd̛ made þe werlde on̛ þat wyse þat aƚƚ illes and infelicytes feƚƚ apon̛ man̛ wit-owtten any maner of gudenesse, so many freletese sulde folow þe kynde of man̛, þat we schulde aƚƚ be drawen̛ in-to þe gilder of disparacion̛, so þat we solde hafe na triste in þe gudnes of godd̛. And þarefore grete godd̛ wolde so wisely skifte aƚƚ thynges, þat, when̛ a man̛ fuƚƚ of felicitee, thurgh his heghe pride wiƚƚ noȝte knawe his makere, Fra þe heghte of pride in-to þe pitte of mekenes & lawnes he mon̛ be plungede. So þat he þat thurgh pride & felicite forgatt his godd̛, thurgh fallynge in wrechidnesse & disesse hafe mynde of his godd̛. Reghte als þou may see bi me, my dere son̛ Alexander, þat was raysede vp so hye in- pride & vayne glorye, thurgh reches & prosperitee þat feƚƚe vn-to me, þat I trowed noȝte þat I was goddes creature bot goddes Felawe. And þan̛, thurgℏ blyndeness of pride, I couthe noȝte see that, þat now, thurgh scharpenesse of mekenes and mescheffe, I see clerely & knawes. Bot if it happen̛ þat any man̛ be vmbilappede wit grete infilicitee, so þat he, despairand̛ of þe grace of godd, supposse na remedy, ne nane lukes eftere; [leaf 21 bk.] þan̛ oure lorde godd̛ rayseȝ hym vp to þe heghte of prosperitee, so þat þan̛ he, þat bi-cause of wrechidnes & infelicitee, myȝte noȝte see godd̛ ne knawe hym, thurgh felicite & prosperitee knawes þat he, þat may bryng a man̛ to lawe state, may rayse a man̛ tiƚƚ heghe degree. And he þat may rayse a man̛ tiƚƚ heghe degree, may putt hym to lawnesse agayne, when̛ hym lyst, and þare-fore, son̛, late noȝte thy hert ryse to hye in pride, for þe victoryes þat godd̛ hase sent the, if aƚƚ þou may do now whate þe listriȝt as [ þou] were a godd̛. Bot alway thynke on thy laste ende. For þou ert a dedly man̛, and ilk a day if þou be-halde graythely þou may see thy dedd̛ bi-fore thyn̛ eghne. ConsedirsPage 56 þou noȝte how oure lyffe may be lykkened̛ to þe werke of Eranes, þat so sotelly makes þaire webbes? Bot alson̛ als a little blaste of wynde puffes apon̛ þam̛, þay breke, & falles to grownde. Behalde & see how glorius I was ȝisterday & how wrechede I am̛ to-day, & how law I am broghte. I was lorde nerehande of all þe werlde, & now I hafe na power of myn̛ awen̛ selfe. Now I be-seke the, son̛, þat þou will bery me wit thy benynge handes. And suffre for to come to myn̛ exequise bathe þe Macedoynes and þe persyenes. And fra this tyme forwardeȝ, þe empire of Macedoyne & þe empire of perse be bathe ane. Haffe recomend̛ vn-to the my Moder Rodogon̛, & trete hir wirchipfuily as thyn̛ awenn̛ Moder. And I be-seke þe also, þat þou be Mercyable to my wyfe. And if it be lykynge to þe, take Rosan̛ my dogheter to thi wyfe. For semely it es, þat ȝe be ioynede to-geder þat er comen̛ of so wirchipfuƚƚ progenitours, For þou of kyng Philippe, and scho of kyng Darius, And of ȝow twa may a wirchipfuƚƚ & a noble fruyte sprynge.' And riȝte as he had saide thir wordeȝ he swelt in Alexander armes. Kyng Alexander, þan̛, after þe custom̛ was for to bery emperours, gert araye Darius body als ryally as he couthe. And wit aƚƚ þe solempnyte and wirchipe þat myghte be done, he helped hym selfe for to bere þe bere, sare wepande, and gert þe Macedoynes & þe Percyenes gaa bi-fore þe bere. The persyenes also weped̛ wonder faste, noȝte allanly for þe dede of Darius, bot for petee of þaire hertis, þat þay saw Alexander wepe so enterely. And when̛ Darius was beried̛ Alexander went agayne to þe palace.
And one þe morne Alexander went and sett hym in a trone aƚƚ of golde & precyous stanes, the whilke Cyrus sumtyme gert [leaf 22] make þat was kynge of Perse. And the Macedoynes and þe Persyenes sett apon̛ his hede a coroune þat was Darius, þe whilke was so precious, þat men̛ knewe nane like it in na lande. For aƚƚ þe palace schane thurgℏ bryghtness of þe precyous stanes, þat were sett þare-in. And þe trone was aƚƚ of golde, & of precious stanes, & ofþe sege þare-offe was vii seuen̛ cubeteȝ heghe fra þe grounde, and a grece of seuen̛ greeȝ was madePage 57 þare-to, whare-by kynges ascended þare-to. And thir greeȝ were mede wonder craftyly & curyously. The firste gree was of ane amatist. The seconde gree was of a Smaragd̛. The thredd̛ gree was of a Topaȝ. The ferthe gree was of a granat. The fifte was of ane adamand̛. The sext was of fyn̛ golde. And the seuennt was of clay. And thay ware noȝt [wit-o]wtten̛ grete causeȝ ordeyned̛ one þis wyse.
For þe first gree w[as a]ne amatist, for amange aƚƚ oþer stanes it hase this vertu, that it represses & haldeȝ donne þe fumositee of wyne & þe myghte þare-offe, & suffers noȝte a man̛ þat bere it on̛ hym be troubbled̛ in his witt ne in his mynde thurgh drownkeness. And, on þe same wise, solde ilke a kyng be of perfite witt & mynde, & thurgℏ nane occasion̛ do na mysse. The secund̛ gree was of a Smaragd̛, þe whilke clarifyeȝ & kepeȝ þe sighte of hym þat beres [it] apon̛ hym, and so schulde a kynge hafe clere sighte of his hert, wysely for to see & discerne that þat es spedfull & profitable bathe for hym selfe & for þe comon̛ profit. The thirdd̛ gree was of a Topaȝ, þe whilke es so clere, þat & a man̛ bi-halde hym selfe þare-in, it saƚƚ seme tiƚƚ hym, as his hede ware tournede downwardeȝ, and his fete vpwardeȝ; And it be-takenes þat a kyng schulde alway take hede tiƚƚ his laste ende. The ferthe gree was of a Granat whilk passeȝ aƚƚ manere of precious stanes in reedness: & betakens þat a kyng suld be schamfuƚƚ for tiƚƚ consent tiƚƚ any thynge þat es vnlefuƚƚ. The fifte was of ane Adamande. Þe Adamande es so harde þat it may noȝte be broken̛ nowþer with yren̛ ne wit stane, bot if it firste be enoynted̛ wit gayte blode. On þe same wyse a kyng suld be of so grete constance & sadnesse þat, for na prayere, ne for na worldely gude, he solde noȝte bewgℏ fra þe way of ryght-wisnesse. The sexte gree was of fyne gold: for riȝte as gold̛ passeȝ all maner of metaƚƚe in bewtee, & in precioustee; riȝte so a kyng awe to be preferred̛ before oþer men̛ & gouernours of þam̛. [leaf 22 bk.] Þe seuent was of Clay, tiƚƚ þat entent þat a man̛ þat es raysed vp to þe dingnyte of a kyng sulde alway vmbythynk hym þat he was made of erthe, & at þe lastePage 58 to þe erthe he saƚƚ agayne. When̛ Alexander was sett apon̛ this trone, coronnde wit his diademe, & þe Macedoynes & þe persenes standyng abowte hym: be-fore þam̛ aƚƚe he gert write a lettre tiƚƚ aƚƚ cuntreeȝ, þat was of this tenour.
'Alexander the son̛ of godd̛ Amon̛ & qwene Olympias kyng of kynges & lorde of lordes, tiƚƚ aƚƚe Dukes, Prynceȝ, Erles, Baronns, maisters, & tiƚƚ aƚƚ þe folkeȝ of Perse: ioy & grace. Sen̛ it es plesynge to godd, þat I sitt one þe trone of Darius, & be lorde of þe persyenes, grete cause I hafe for to be reioyist gretely þare-offe, ne were it for þe gret multitude of folke þat ere slayne. Bot sen̛ it so es þat godd̛ hase ordeynede me to be ȝour lorde, and ȝour gouernour, þare-fore we commande ȝow þat in ilke a citee, thurghowte þe lordchipe of Perse, ȝe ordeyne prynceȝ and gouernours as þare was in Darius tyme, to þe whilke we commande ȝow þat ȝe be obeyande as ȝe before-tymes hafe bene, and that þay do riȝte tiƚƚ ilke a man̛ at þaire powere. Also it es oure wiƚƚ and oure commandement, þat ilke a man̛ welde & reioyse paysabily his landes and his possessiouns. We commande alsoo, þat fra this lande of perse vn-tiƚƚ Ellada, & fra thethyn̛ to Macedoyne, be redy way & open̛ so þat ilke a man̛ þat wiƚƚ may passe bathe in and owte, wit merchandyse or any oþer erandes þat þay hafe at do, and Joy & pese be vn-to ȝowe.'
Þan gert Alexander aƚƚ men̛ be stiƚƚ, and said one this wyse: 'Whilke of ȝow so slew myn̛ enemy Darius; comeȝ forthe be-for me, and I shaƚƚ giffe ȝow worthy mede, & conable wirchipe do þam̛, I swere bi oure goddeȝ þat ere Almyȝty, & bi my moste biloved̛ moder Olympias, þat I saƚƚ gyffe þam̛ worthy mede.' When̛ Alexander had saide thir wordes þe persyenes wepede wonderly sare. And than̛ þe twa man̛-morthireres Bisso and Aryobarȝantes come bi-fore Alexander, and sayde vn-tiƚƚ hym: 'Wirchipfuƚƚ emperour,' quoþ þay, 'we ere thase þat slew Darius thyne enemy wit oure Awenn̛ hende.' And when̛ Alexander saw þam̛, he bade his knyghtes belyfe ga & take þam̛, & bynde [leaf 23] þam, & lede þam̛ to Darius grafe, & þare smyte of þaire heuedes, And than̛ þay ansuerd̛, & saide vn-tiƚƚ Alexander: 'A, A, wirchipfuƚƚ emperour,' quoþ þay,Page 59 'swore þou noȝte tiƚƚ vs, bi oure goddeȝ þat ere Almyȝty, & bi þe hele of thi moder Olympias, þat þou solde gerre do vs na harme, bot þat þou solde giff vs a worthi reward̛.' And Alexander saide agayne vn-to þam̛: 'So aughte me wele for to swere, for to gette knawyng of þe slaers of Darius. For I solde neuer hafe getyn̛ knawyng þare-offe had I noȝte sworne so. And ȝitt I saƚƚ safe myn̛ athe wele ynoghe. For it was al-way myn̛ entent, þat if I myȝte wete what þay ware, þay solde hafe swilke a rewarde. For þay þat slaes þaire awenn̛ lorde it es a taken̛ þat þay wiƚƚ hafe na conscience to sla anoþer man̛.' And when þe perseyenes herde this þay by-gan̛ to prayse Alexander & to commende hym and blysse hym as he had bene a godd̛. Þan̛ kyng Alexander gert hede tha twa homycydes. And aƚƚ þe rewme he sett in gouernance of certayne lordes. Amanges oþer þare was ane alde lorde was eme to Darius, þe whilke highte Climitus, þat was gretly luffede wit þe persyenes; And Alexander at þe request of aƚƚ the persyenes ordeyned hym for to be chefe goueruour vnder hym of aƚƚ perse. And one þe morne Alexander sett hym in his trone, wit his coroun̛ on his hede, and efter þe biddynng of Darius he commande to brynge bi-fore hym Rosan̛, Darius doghter, wit a coroun̛ on̛ hir hede, sett fuƚƚ of precious stanes. And þare, as þe maner was of þe persyenes, he tuke hir to his wyfe, and made hir to sitt wit hym in his trone & command aƚƚ men̛ to wirchipe hir als quene. And þan̛ þe persyenes were wonderly glade, & onane þay broȝte þaire goddeȝ bi-fore Alexander, and bi-gan̛ to wirchipe hym, & loue hym riȝte als he hade bene a godd̛, and said̛ vn-till hym, hallely wit a voyce, 'þou thi selfe es a godd̛, For that þat es plesande tiƚƚ oure goddes alway þou dose.' And when̛ Alexander saw this, he was gretly troubled & riȝte ferde & said̛ vn-to þam 'Wirchipfuƚƚ sirs,' quoþ he, 'I pray ȝow þat ȝe wirchipe me noȝte as a godd̛, for sothely I am as ȝe are, a corupteble & a dedly man̛, and in me þare es na parceƚƚ of the godhede. And þarefore, I beseke ȝow, cesseȝ of this wirchipe þat ȝe do me'
Þan gert Alexander write a lettre tiƚƚ Olympias his moder & tiƚƚ Arestotle his maister, makand mencyon̛ of aƚƚ þe batayƚƚs & þe disesseȝ þat he hadd̛ suffred in Perse, and of þe grete rechesPage 60 þat he fande þare, of þe whilke he & aƚƚ his men̛ ware made riche. And also he wrate vn-to þam̛, [leaf 23 bk.] þat þay scholde make grete solempnytee lastyng aghte dayes be-cause of þe weddynge of Alexander & Rosan̛ Darius doghter. And so did̛ Alexander, in Perse, wit þe maceydoynes & þe persyenes, many a daye.
Affter this kyng Alexander sembled̛ a grete Oste, bathe of macedoyns & of persyenes, and went towarde Inde for to werre apon̛ Porus, kyng of Inde, þe whilke ordeynede hym for to come & helpe kyng Darius. And, when Alexander was entered in-tiƚƚ Inde, he went thurgℏ wildernes & waste cuntree, whare in ware grete reuers and many grete caues & cauernes. And þan̛ Alexander & his men̛ wex wery, & irkede riȝte sare. And þe prynces Of macedoyne & of grece murmourede amangeȝ þam̛ gretly, & saide ilkan̛ tiƚƚ oþer: 'It myȝte hafe sufficed̛ tiƚƚ vs, þat we hafe ouer-sett kyng Darius, & conqerred̛ þe kyngdom̛ of Perse. Where-be seke we forthire in-tiƚƚ Inde, þe whilke es fuƚƚ of wilde besteȝ, and leues oure awenn̛ landeȝ. Ne þis Alexander nane oþer thyngeȝ desyreȝ, bot for to wende abowte and thurgh werre to brynge aƚƚ þe worlde vndere his subieccion. For werre & debate unrescheȝ his body so fer furth þat, and he ristede any lange tyme witowten̛ werre, riȝte als it were for defaute of mete he schulde faile & dye. Leue we hym þarefore, and turne we agayne vn-tiƚƚ oure awenn̛ cuntree, and late hym wende furthe wit the persyenes, if he wiƚƚ.' When Alexander herde þis, he garte aƚƚ þe Oste habide, and he went and stodde in ane heghe place amangeȝ þam̛, & sayde one this wise: 'Departis ȝow in twaa, so þat þe persyenes be by þam̛-selfe and þe Macedoynes and þe grekes bi þam̛-selfe.' And when̛ þay hadd̛ so done, Alexander saide to þe Macedoynes and þe grekes: 'A A, myne owenn̛ dere knyghtis,' quoþ he, 'wele [ȝe] knawe þat thir persyenes, vn-to þis day, hase bene contrary & rebeƚƚes vn-to ȝow & to me, and ȝe wiƚƚ now lefe me here wit þam̛, and tourne agayne to ȝour awenn̛ cuntree. Wele ȝe wate, þat when ȝour hertes were troubblede, & fered, for þe wordes þat ware contened̛ in Darius lettres, I thrugℏ my speche & my conseƚƚ comforthed̛ ȝour hertis. And afterwarde, when we come in-to þe felde agaynes oure enemys, I went bi-fore ȝow aƚƚ.Page 61 And I by myn̛ ane was þe firste man̛ þat entrede þe batayƚe. And ȝitt more-ouer, as ȝe wele wate, I tuke apon̛ me for to be ȝoure allere messangere vn-to kynge Darius. And þare, for ȝow, I putt my selfe in many grete [leaf 24] periƚƚs. And þarefore, witteȝ wele for certayne, þat, riȝte as hedirtowardeȝ, we hafe ouercomen̛ oure enemys and hade þe better of þam̛, riȝte so fro heþein-forwardeȝ, thurgh þe helpe of oure goddeȝ we saƚƚ ouercome oure enemys, & hafe þe victorye of þam̛. And þare-fore I say ȝow forsothe, þat, aƚƚ if ȝe will tourne agayne to grece & macedoyne, I saƚƚ noȝte tourne agayne on̛ na wyse, þat ȝe may knawe þat, wit-owtten̛ gouernance of a kynge, nane Oste may wynne na wirchipe.' When̛ Alexander had said̛ þus, aƚƚ þe prynceȝ of Macedoyne and of þe grekes schamede gretely, and askede mercy & forgifnesse, sayande one this wyse: 'Moste wirchipfuƚƚ emperour, oure lyfe lyes hallely in ȝour hande. Whedir so euer ȝe wiƚƚ goo we wiƚƚ gladly felowe ȝour hye maiestee; þofe we schulde aƚƚ dye for ȝow on̛ a daye, we saƚƚ folow ȝow & neuer lefe ȝow.' And þan̛ þay remowed̛ fra þeinne and come in-tiƚƚ a cuntree of Inde þat es called̛ Phisiacen̛, in þe laste ende of July. And þare mette hym þe embassatours of Porus kyng of Inde, and broghte hym lettres fra Porus, þat said on̛ this wyse.
' Porus kyng of Inde: vn-to þe theeffe Alexander, þat thurgℏ thifte & robbery many citeeȝ wynneȝ, biddyng we send̛. Sen̛ þou ert dedely: wharto weneȝ þou þat þou ert of powere to agaynstande godd̛ þat es vn-dedely. A grete fole, me thynke, þou ert þat hase eghne, and cane nott see. Trowes þou we be lyke vn-to þe percyenes þat þou hase made subiecteȝ vn-to the ? Þou hase foughten̛ hedir-towarde wit softe men̛ & cowardeȝ, & for þou hase ouercomen̛ þam̛, þou weneȝ, þat thi littillness saƚƚ brynge oure hye maiestee vnder thi subieccion; þe whilke es vnpossyble for to bee, bot if goddeȝ submytt þam̛ vn-to men̛, and þe erthe be euen lyke to þe heuen̛. I late the wiete, þat I may noȝte be ouercommen̛ for noȝte allanly men̛ bot also goddeȝ doeeȝ seruyce to my name. Wate þou noȝte wele, þat ane Dynise, þe fader of Bachus, come in-tiƚƚ Inde, wit a grete Oste for to feghte, bot onane he tournede þe bakke & fledd, for hePage 62 was noȝte of powere to agaynstande þe vertu of men̛ of Inde. And þarefore, or any schame or mischeffe com̛ to þe; we con-seƚƚ the & commandeȝ the, þat in aƚƚ þe haste þat þou may, þou tourne hame agayne to thyne awen̛ lande. Fore wele þou knawes, þat, bi-fore ȝerses was kynge of Perse, þe macedoynes gaffe tribute tiƚƚ Inde. Bot, by-cause þat þaire lande es barayne & vnprofitable, & na thyngeȝ þer-in plesande tiƚƚ a kynge: þe men̛ of Inde sett noȝte þare-by. For ilke a man̛, desyres mare a large lande & a plenteuous: þan [leaf 24 bk.] a strayte lande & a barayne. And þarefore, ȝitt the thirde tourne, I comaunde the that þou tourne hame to thyne awenn̛ lande. And neuer, in thi lyfe, couette to hafe Lordschipe þare þou may nane gete.'
When̛ þis lettre was comen̛ tiƚƚ Alexander, he gerte rede it be-fore aƚƚ men̛. And when̛ his knyghtis hadd̛ herde þe tenour of þis lettre, þay were trublede. And Alexander sayde vn-to þam̛: 'My wirchippfull knyghtis,' quoþ he, 'late noȝte ȝour hertis be trublede ne fered̛ for Porus lettre. Hafe ȝe noȝte in mynde, wit how grete pride Darius wrate vn-tiƚƚ vs dyuerse tymes ? I say ȝow sotheley þat all þe folke of thyse Este parties hase þaire hertis & þaire wittis lyke vn-to þe bestes þat þay dueƚƚe wit-aƚƚ, þat es at say, Tygres, Pardes, & oþer wilde bestis, whilke fuƚƚ selden̛ ere slaenn̛ of men̛, and þare-fore þay triste aƚƚ in þaire strengthe.' And when̛ Alexander hade said thir wordes, he garte writte a lettre vn-to Porus kynge of Inde whare-of this was the tenour.
'Kyng of kynges and lorde of lordes, Alexander þe son̛ of godd̛ Amon̛ & þe quene Olympias, vn-to Porus we sende. Þou hase scharpede oure wittes, & gyffen̛ vs hardynesse for to feghte agaynes þe, whare þou says þat macedoyne es bot a littiƚƚ lande & barayne of aƚƚ thyng þat gude es. And Inde, þou says, es large, & plenteuous of aƚƚ gudeȝ & reches. And þare-fore we saƚƚ enforce vs to feghte wit the at aƚƚ oure myghte, for to con-quere thi landeȝ þat, þou sais, es so fuƚƚ of reches. And, for þou haldeȝ vs pouer, & of na reputacion̛, þare-fore we desire for to ascende to þe heghte of thi majestie. And also þare þou says, þat noȝte allanly vn-to men̛, bot also vn-to goddeȝ þou erte emperour, I saƚƚ come to the, for to feght wit þe, as wit an̛Page 63 haythen̛ man̛ fuƚƚ of Pompe & pride and vayne glory, & noȝte as wit a godd̛ For aƚƚ þe werlde may noȝte agaynstand̛ þe wrethe of a godd̛. Þer-fore, sen̛ þe elementis of this aere, þat es at say Thunners, leuenyngeȝ and water, may noȝte bere þe indygnacion of goddeȝ, how schulde þan̛ dedely men̛ mowe agaynstande þaire wrethe? And þare-fore I late the [leaf 25] wele witte þat þi founde proudde speche trubbleȝ me noȝte ne moueȝ me neuer a dele.'
When̛ Porus hadd̛ this lettre, he was wondere wrathe & assemblede a grete Oste of men̛, and a grete multitude of Olyphanntes wit þe whilke þe men̛ of Inde ere wount for to feghte, and went agaynes Alexander. This Oste of Porus was riȝte grete & strange, for þare ware þer in xiiij. cartes of were and viijc Oliphannteȝ, and ilk an Olyphanthadd̛ a toure of tree apon̛ his bakke, & in ilke a toure xxx men̛. Þare ware also oþer feghting men̛ on horse and on fote wit-owten nowmer. And when̛ þe Macedoynes and þe persyenes sawe þe grete multitude bathe of men̛ & of Olyphaunteȝ, þay were fered̛, & gretely stonayde. Neuer þe lesse, bathe þe partyes ordayned̛ þam̛ to bateƚƚ, and arayed̛ þaire bateƚƚs, Alexander on his syde, and Porus on his syde. And Alexander lepe vp-on̛ his horse Buktiphalas & prikkede bi-fore aƚƚ his men̛, and comanded̛, þat þe Medoynes & þe persyenes sulde firste begynn̛ to feghte. And so þay did̛; & hym selfe wit þe grekes, and þe macedoynes stode on þe toþer syde, redy to succour þam̛ when̛ myster ware. And for þe Olyphaunteȝ also, Alexander gert make suylke an̛ ordynance. He gert make xxiiij ymageȝ of brasse, and gert fiƚƚ þam̛ faƚƚ of dry wodde. And he gerte make also cartes of yren̛, for to bere thir ymageȝ before þe Olyphaunteȝ and when̛ þe Osteȝ came nere to-gedir he gert sett fyre in þe wodd̛ þat was in þe ymages. And when̛ þe Olyphaunteȝ saw þir ymages, þay wende þat þay hadd̛ bene men̛ and schott owte þaire groynes, as þay were wount for to do for tiƚƚ hafe weryed þam̛. And alsone thurgh þe grete hete, þay were brynned̛ and than̛ thay gaffe bakke, & fledd̛ for drede to brynne þayre groynes. And þare-fore þe men̛ þat were abown̛ in þe toures myghte noȝte wyn̛ to for to feghte. And when̛ Porus saw that he was reghtePage 64 sary. Þan̛ þe Medoynes & þe persyenes, wit arowes and speres & oþer dyuerse wapynes of werre, slewe thykfalde of þe men̛ of Inde. And thus þay faghte contenuelly xxxti days, & mekiƚƚ pople of bathe þe parties ware dede. And at þe laste þe Medoynes, & þe persyenes, began̛ faste for to fayle. And when̛ Alexander saw that, he was wondere wrathe, and entrede in-to þe bateƚƚe, sittand̛ on his horse Buctiphalas, [leaf 25 bk.] and faghte mannfully, & þe grekes & þe macedoynes wit hym. And his horse also helped̛ hym̛ gretely. And than̛ belyfe þe Indyenes began̛ gretely for to fayle. And when̛ Porus saw that he turned̛ þe bakke & fledd̛ And þan̛ þe Indyenes þat ware lefte on̛ lyfe fledd̛ also. And Alexander luged̛ hym thare wit his Oste and made Sacrafice tiƚƚ his goddeȝ and commaunded̛ for to bery þe dedd̛ bodys, bathe of Indyenes & of þe persyenes & þe Macedoynes.
Sone after, apon̛ a day, Alexander ensegedd̛ Porus citee & wann̛ it, and went in-tiƚƚ Porus Palace, whare-In̛ he fande mare reches þan̛ any man̛ wiƚƚ trowe. For he fande þare-in xƚ pelers of Massy golde, ilkan̛ of a grete thikness & a grete lenthe, wit þaire chapytraƚƚes. And bitwene þe pelers of golde, ware hyngande venetteȝ of golde & syluere, wit leues of golde. And þe brawncheȝ of this venett ware sum̛ of cristaƚƚe, sum̛ of Margariteȝ, sum̛ of Smaragdes, & sum̛ of Onyches, and þay semed̛ as þay hade bene verray vynes. Þe walles also of þe palace ware couerde aƚƚ ouer wit plates of golde, þe whilke when̛ þe Macedoynes cutte in soundre & brakke, þay fande þat þay ware a gret ynche thikke. And þir walles ware sett fuƚƚ of diuerse precious stanes, þat es at say, of charebuncles, Smaragdes, Margarites & Amatistes. And þe ȝates of þe Palace ware of Euour wonder whitt, & þe bandeȝ of þam̛, & þe legges of Ebene. Þe chambirs, also, of þis Palace, were aƚƚ of Cipresse, and þe beddeȝ in þam̛ ware sett fuƚƚ of Margariteȝ, Smaragdeȝ, & charebuncles. Þe hauƚƚ, also, of þis Palace, was sett fuƚƚ of ymages of golde, & bi-twix þam̛ stode perlatanes of golde, in þe branches of whilke þare were many manners of fewles & ilke a fewle was colourede, & paynted̛ after his kynde asked̛, þe bekes of þam̛, & þe clowes ware aƚƚ of fyne golde. And ay,Page 65 when̛ Porus liste, thir fewles thurgℏ crafte of music walde synge after þaire kynde askede & was. He fande also in þat Palace veselles wit-owten̛ nowmer, sum̛ of golde, sum̛ of Cristaƚƚe, Sum̛ of oþer maneres of precyouse stanes, sum̛ of Suluere, and þat aƚƚ maner of veseƚƚ þat men̛ sulde be serued̛ offe. Bot þare were bot fewe of þam̛ of Siluere.
Fra thethyn̛, Alexander remowede his Oste & come to þe ȝates of Caspee, and þare he luged̛ hym̛. It was a noble lande & a gude. Bot þare ware þare-In many maners [leaf 26] of nedders and of wilde besteȝ. Fra þeine Alexander sent a lettre tiƚƚ Talifride quene of Amaȝon̛, of þis tenour.
' Kyng of kynges, and lorde of lordes, Alexander, þe son̛ of godd̛ Amon̛, & þe quene Olympias, vn-to Talifride þe quene of Amaȝon̛, ioy. The grete Batayƚƚes þat we hafe hadd̛ wit kyng Darius, & how we hafe conquered̛ aƚƚ his rewme, and his lordchipes, we trowe he noghte unknawen̛ vn-to ȝow. And also how we hafe foghten̛ with Porus þe kyng of Inde & his cheeffe citee wonnen̛. And also wit many oþer folkes, & þay ware neuer of powere to agaynestande vs, þe whilke we suppose be noȝte vnknawen̛ vn-to ȝowe. Whare-fore we sende ȝow worde, & commandeȝ ȝow, þat ȝe sende vs tribute, if ȝe wiƚƚ þat wee com̛ noȝte to ȝow to do ȝow disesse.'
And vn-to this lettre Talifride made ansuere by lettre one this wyse.
' Talyfride quene of Amazon̛ wit oþer grete ladys of oure rewme, vn-tiƚƚ Alexander, kynge of Macedoyne, joy. We hafe wele herde teƚƚe of þe bye witt þat es in the, thurgℏ whilke þou hase in mynde thyngeȝ þat ere passede, and disposeȝ thynges þat ere present, and knaweȝ thyngeȝ þat ere to come. Avyse the wele þarefore are þou come tiƚƚ vs, what trebulacionneȝ & disesse may faƚƚe the in thi commynge. For þare was neuer nane ȝit þat werreyed agayneȝ vs þat ne he had̛ schame þare-offe at þe ende. And þare-fore take hede to thi last ende. For grete schame it es tiƚƚ a wyse man̛ thurgℏ indiscrecion̛ to faƚƚe in mescheffe. Bot if it be lykynge to þe, to knawe our conuersacyon̛, and oure habitacion̛, we declare it vn-to þe be ourePage 66 present lettres, þat oure habitacion̛ es in ane Ile, þat es closede abowte wit a grete reuer þat noþer hase bygynnynge nor endynnge. Bot on a syde we hafe a strayte entree. And the nowmer of women̛ þat duelleȝ þer-in es ccxiiiim þat ere noȝte filed wit men̛. For oure husbandeȝ duelleȝ noȝte amangeȝ vs ne no noþer man̛, Bot on þe toþer syde of þe reuer. And ilke a ȝere we make a solempne feste in the wirchipe of Iubiter xxx days. And þan̛ we go till oure husbandes, and duelleȝ wit þam̛ oþer xxx dayes & hase oure luste and oure disporte [leaf 26 bk.] to-gedir as kynde askes. And if any of vs consayfe & bere a childe if it be a male þe modere kepis it seuen̛ ȝere and than̛ sendeȝ it to þe fadere. And if scho bere a mayden̛ childe þe moder haldeȝ it wit hir & techeȝ it oure maners. When̛ we goo to werre agayne ȝoure enemys we ere cm rydand̛ one horse wele armede. And sum̛ of vs hase bowes & arowes, and sum̛ speres, and oþer diuerse wapyne. And þe remanent kepeȝ oure Ile. And when̛ we come wit the victorye oure husbandeȝ does vs grete wirchipe. And þare-fore if þou come agaynes vs we late the witt þat we wiƚƚ feghte wit the at aƚƚ oure myȝte. And if it happen̛ þat þou hafe þe victory of vs, wirchipe saƚƚ it nane be to the bi-cause þou hase discomfit women̛. And if we discomfit the, it saƚƚ be an heghe wirchippe tiƚƚ vs, þat we may discomfit so wirchipfuƚƚ an emperour; and to the it saƚƚ be a hye reproue. Where-fore we sygnifie vn-to þe by oure lettres þat þou come noȝte agaynes vs for sekerly þare may grete dysese come þare-offe, þat perauenture þou knaweȝ noȝte now offe at þis tymme.'
When̛ Alexander hadd̛ redd̛ þis lettre, he began̛ to lawghe. And onane he garte writte anoþer lettre, and sent it to Talyfride, whare-offe þe tenour was this.
'Alexander kyng of kynges and of lordeȝ, the son̛ of godd̛ Amon̛ & þe qwene Olympias, to Talyfride quene of Amaȝon̛ and þe oþer ladys of þe same rewme: ioy. We late ȝow weite þat thre parties of þe werlde, þat es to say, Asye, Affric, & Europe we hafe conquered̛ and made subiects vn-tiƚƚ vs, & þare was neuer nane of þam̛ þat myȝte agaynstande oure powere. And if we now suld noȝte be of powere, to feghte with ȝowe it ware ane heghe schame tiƚƚ us. Neuer-þe-lesse for als mekiƚƚPage 67 als we lufe ȝour conuersacion̛ we conseƚƚ þat ȝe come forthe of ȝour Ile & ȝour husbondeȝ wit ȝow, and appere in oure presence. For we swere ȝow bi god̛ Amon̛ oure Fader, & by aƚƚ oure goddeȝ þat ȝe saƚƚ hafe na disesse of vs. Bot gyffeȝ vs sumwhat in name of tribute and we schaƚƚ fynd ȝow and ȝoure Amaȝonns þat come [leaf 27] wit ȝow horse ynowe. And when̛ ȝou listees for to wende hame agayne, ȝe schaƚƚ hafe gude leue.'
In þe mene tyme it was talde Alexander, þat Porus, þe kyng of Inde, was in Bactricen̛, and assembled̛ a grete Oste for to feghte eftsonns wit hym. And when̛ Alexander herde this, he remowede his Oste, and chese owte c.l of duyercs þat knewe þe cuntree, for to hafe þe gouernance of his Oste, and to lede þam̛ seurly thurgh þat strange cuntree. In þe Monethe of Auguste, when̛ þe son̛ es maste hate, þay bigan̛ for to take þaire iournee. And thay went thurgℏ a dry cuntree, sandye, & wit-owtten̛ water. And nedlyngeȝ þam̛ byhoued̛ wende armede, þare was so grete plentee of neddirs, and crueƚƚ wylde bestes. For thies forsaid gydeȝ ware mare fauorable to Porus, þan̛ tiƚƚ Alexander & his Oste, and þare-fore þay ledd̛ þam̛ thurgh swilke barrayne and perilous cuntreeȝ. And when̛ Alexander saw it schope thus, and that his conseƚƚ byfore had sayd þe sothe, þat es at say, bathe his awnn̛ frendeȝ and men̛ of Caspy, þat conseld̛ hym þat he suld noȝte hye hym ouerfaste, ne triste to mekiƚƚ to stranȝgers; þau he commanded̛ þat aƚƚ men̛ schulde wende armed̛: & so þay did̛. And þan̛ aƚƚ þe Oste schane riȝte as it had̛ bene sternes, for sum of þaire armours ware of golde, sum̛ of siluer, and sum̛ of precious stanes. And when̛ Alexander saw þe araye of his Oste, and þaire baners bi-fore þam̛ Schynande so faire, he was riȝte gladde. Neuer-þe-les grete disese he hadd̛, þat nowþer he, ne his men̛, myȝte fynde na water.Page 68
So it feƚƚe þat a knyghte of Macedoyne þat hyȝte ȝephilus fand̛ water standynge in an holle stane, þat was gadird̛ þare of þe dewe of þe heuen̛, the whilke þis forsaide knyghte putt in his Bacenett, & broȝthe it till Alexander for to drynke. And Alexander saide un-tiƚƚ hym, 'I suppose,' quoþ he, 'þat I drynke þis water, saƚƚ þe Macedoynes & þe persyenes be any thynge refreschede þareby, or I saƚƚ hafe aƚƚ þe refreschyng be my selfe.' And he ansuerd, & saide, 'Þou aƚƚ ane lorde,' quoþ he, 'saƚƚ be comforthed þareby.' Quoþ Alexander þan̛, 'And̛ if ȝe [leaf 27 bk.] saƚƚ aƚƚ perische trowes þou þat it solde be lykand̛ to mee, for to lyfe in sorowe & disese seynge þe dedd̛ of þe Macedoynes & þe persyenes ?' And be-lyue he garte heƚƚe downn̛ þe water on þe erthe be-fore aƚƚ his men̛. And when̛ his knyghtis saw that, þay were hugely comforthede þare-by riȝte als Ilkan̛ of þam̛ hadd̛ dronken̛ a grete draughte of water, and þan̛ went furthe þaire waye. And on̛ þe morne, þay come tiƚƚ a reuere whase bankes was growand̛ fuƚƚ of grete redys & þay ware als hye as pyne-treese; ȝa, for þe maste partie of xƚ fote lange. Than badd̛ [he] that þay drawe of þe water and brynge to þe Oste. Bot aƚƚ þat dranke þare-offe it keste þam̛ in-tiƚƚ a flux, and slewe a grete hepe of þam. For þat water was wonder scharpe, and als bittire als any mekiƚƚ gyrse. Bot þan̛ was Alexander gretly disessedd̛ & aƚƚ his Oste noȝte allanly of þam̛-selfe, bot also for þaire horseȝ & þaire besteȝ þat þay ledd̛ wit þam̛ þe whilke bi-gan̛ for to faile for thryste. Alexander hadd̛ wit hym a thowsande Olypℏanteȝ þat bare his golde, And foure hundreth cartes of werre and jm & cc wayneȝ. He hadd̛ also in his Oste cccm horse men̛ and muyles & camelles witowten̛ nowmer, þat bare þaire vetails, and oþer thyngeȝ þat was necessarye to þe Oste; also oxen̛ and kye, schepe and swyne, wit-owten̛ nowmer, þe whilke perischt for defaute of drynke. Sum̛ of Alexander knyghtes lykked̛ Iren̛, Sum̛ dranke oyle, & sum ware at so grete meschefe þat þay dranke þaire awen̛ stalynge. And thare was so grete habundance of nedders & oþer venymous besteeȝ, þat þam byhoued̛ nedeȝ traueƚƚe armed, and þat was a grete nuy to þam & an̛ heghe disese. Þan̛ was Alexander wonder sorye & namely for þe disese þat his Oste suffrede.Page 69
And̛ as þay went endlande þis reuere, abowte þe viii houre of þe day, þay come tiƚƚ a casteƚƚ þat stode in a littiƚƚ Ile in þis forsaid̛ ryuere; Aud this casteƚƚ was made of þe forsaid̛ redeȝ. Þe brede of this ryuer was foure furlange lentℏ. And in þat casteƚƚ þay sawe a few men̛. And þan̛ Alexander bad his men̛ spirre þam̛ þat ware in þe casteƚƚ in þe langage of Inde whare þay myghte fynde any swete watir able for to drynke. And also son̛ als þay spake to þam̛ þay with-drewe þam̛ & hidd̛. And Alexander gerte schotte arowes in-to þe casteƚƚ and þan̛ þay hidd̛ þam̛ wele þe mare. And when Alexander saw [leaf 28] that þay walde one na wyse speke wit hym, he hadd̛ a certane of his knyghtes nakne þam & swyme ouer þe water to þe casteƚƚ. And þan̛ xxxvii balde knyghtis & hardy of Macedoyne nakned̛ þam̛, and tuke ilkan̛ of þam̛ a swerde in his hande & went in-to þe water & swame it to þay were passede þe fertbe parte þare-offe. And sodeynly thare rase oute of þe water a grete multitude of besteȝ, þat ere called̛ ypotaynes, grettere of body than̛ an̛ olypℏant, and deuored̛ thir knyghtis euer-ilkanne. And þan̛ was Alexander riȝte sare greuede, and be-lyfe garte take þe forsaid̛ guydeȝ cl & caste þam̛ in-to þe water. And onane þe ypotaynes deuored̛ þem.
And Alexander thoghte it was noȝte spedfuƚƚ langare to stryffe wit thase monstres, and garte tromppe vp and remowed̛ his Oste fra þeine, and went so aƚƚ þat day wondere wery for thriste. And also þay hadd̛ grete disese & nuye of wilde Beste þat come apon̛ þam̛, þat es to say, of lyones, beres, vnycornes, tygres, and pardeȝ, wit þe whilke þay faughte & grete traueƚƚ hade.
And as þay went on̛ þis wyse wit grete angere & disese aboute þe elleued̛ houre þay saw a littiƚƚ bate in þe riuere made of rede and men̛ rowande þare-in. And Alexander gert spirre þam̛ in þe langage of Inde, whare þay myȝte fynde any fresche water. And þay talde whare & schewed̛ þam̛ a place a littiƚƚ þeine whare-in þay saide þay scholde fynde a grete staunke of swete water and gude. And þan̛ Alexander & hys Oste went aƚƚ aboute þat ryuere, & come tiƚƚ þis forsaid̛ stanke and luged̛ þam̛ aboute it. And Alexander comanded̛ þat þay sulde feƚƚePage 70 a wodd̛ þat growed̛ faste þare-by three myle on lenthe, & aƚƚs mekiƚƚ on brede. Þat wodde was aƚƚ of þe redeȝ þat I spak of bi-fore, and þe stanke was a myle on̛ lentℏ. Þan̛ Alexander comanded̛ þat þay sulde make many fires in þe Oste, and gerte trompe to þe mete. Ald alson̛ þe mone be-gan̛ to schynne þare come a grete multitude of scorpyons to-warde þe stanke for to take þam̛ a drynke. And þan̛ þare come oþer manere of nedders, and dragones wonder grete of dyuerse colours. And aƚƚ þat cuntree resounned̛ of þe noyse & þe hissȝingeȝ þat þay made. Þir dragones come dounne fra þe hye mountaynes for to drynke of þe stanke, and þay hadd̛ crestis one þaire heddeȝ & þaire bresteȝ ware bryghte lyk golde, & þaire mowthes open̛. Þaire aande slewe any qwikk thynge þat it smate apon̛, and oute of þaire eghne þare come flammes of fyre. And when̛ Alexander & his Oste saw þam̛ þay ware riȝt [leaf 28 bk.] fered̛ for þam̛. For þay wende þay schulde hafe weried̛ þam̛ ilkan̛. And þan̛ Alexander comforthed̛ þam̛ and saide vn-to þam̛: 'Mi wirchipfuƚƚ knyghtes,' quoþ he, 'bees noȝte agaste of þam̛, bot does ilkane as ȝe see me do.' And þan̛ he tuk a nett & sett it bi-twixe hym & þam̛ and tuke his schelde & his spere & faughte wit þam̛ manfully. And when̛ his knyghtes saw þat þay ware gretly comforthed̛ & be-lyfe tuke þaire wapynneȝ & didd̛ als þay sawe Alexander doo, and slewe of þam̛ a grete multitude, whatt thurgℏ dyuerse wapynneȝ, what in þaire fyres. And of Alexander knyghtes þe dragones slewe xxti & xxxti fotemen̛. After þam̛, þare come owte of þe forsaide wodde of redeȝ, Crabbes of a wonderfuƚƚ greteness; and þaire bakkes ware harder þan̛ cocadrilleȝ. And when̛ þe knyghtis smate þam̛ one þe bakkes wit þaire speres, þay myȝte noȝte perche þam̛, ne na harme do þam̛. Neuer-þe-lesse þay slewe many of þam̛ in þaire Fires and þe remenant of þam̛ gatt in-to þe staunke. And aboute þe sexte houre of þe nyghte þare come apon̛ þam̛ whytt lyones grettere þan̛ Bulles, and þay schoke þaire heuedeȝ at þam̛ & grete manace made in þaire manere. Þan̛ þe knyghtes keped̛ þam̛ in þaire nettis and slew þam. After this þare com̛ apon̛ þam̛ þan̛ a grete multitude of swynne þat ware aƚƚ of a wonderfuƚƚ mekilness, wit tuskes of a cubett lenthe. And wit þam̛ þare come wilde men̛ & women̛ of þe whilke ilkan̛ hadd̛ sex hende. Bot Alexander & his knyghtes keped þam̛ in þairePage 71 nettis & slewe many of þam̛. And on þis wyse Alexander & his Oste was gretly disesed. Þan̛ comanded̛ Alexander þat þay schuld̛ make many fyres wit-owtten̛ þe Oste abonte þe stanke. After this þare come apon̛ þam̛ a wondere grete beste, grettere & strangere þan̛ an̛ Olyphaunt, and he hadde in his frunte three lange hornes. And he was schapen̛ lyke a horse & he was aƚƚ blakke. And þis beste was called̛ in þe langage of Inde 'Anddontrucion̛'. And or he went to þe water at drynke, he assailled̛ þe Oste. Bot Alexander went here & þare amangeȝ þe oste & comforthed̛ þam̛. This ilke beste slewe of his knyghtes xxviij and bare donne lij and at þe laste it feƚƚe in þe nettis and was slayne. After þis þare come oute of þe redeȝ a grete multi-tude of mysȝ als grete als foxes, and ete up þe dede bodys. Þare was na qwike thyngeȝ, þat þay bate þat ne also son̛ it dyed̛. Bot harme did̛ þay nane [leaf 29] to þe oste. Þan̛ come þare flyande amangeȝ þam̛ bakkes, grettere þam̛ wilde dowfes, and þaire tethe ware lyke men̛-tethe. And þay didd̛ men̛ mekiƚƚ disese and hurte many men̛. Of sum̛ þay bate offe þe nese; of sum þe eres. In þe mornenynge arely þare come many fewlis als grete as wlturs, reed̛ of colour, and þaire fete & þaire bekes aƚƚ blakke. Bot þay didd̛ na disese to þe oste, bot went to þe stanke-syde & drewe fisches & eleȝ oute of þe water, & ete þam̛.
Þhan̛ lefte Alexander þir perilous placeȝ, and come wit his Oste, in-to þe cuntree of Bactricen̛, þe whilke was fuƚƚ of golde & oþer reches. And þe men̛ of þe cuntree resayfed̛ hym benyngly & wirchipfully and gaffe hym and his Oste grete giftes. And þare he habade xxti dayes. In þat cuntree þay sawe trees þat, in-stedde of leues, bare woƚƚe; þe whilke folkeȝ of þe cuntree gaderd̛ & made clathe þare-offe. Þe knyghtes of Alexander wex wonder balde & strange of hert because of þe victoryes þay hadd̛ wonnen̛ of þe wilde besteȝ before neuenned.
Fra thethyn, Alexander remowed̛ his Oste and come to þe place whare Porus lay wit þe folke þat he hadd̛ assembled̛. And one þe morne bathe Alexander and Porus tuke þaire grounde & arayed̛ þaire bateƚƚs for to feghte. And than̛Page 72 Alexander lepped apon̛ his horse Buktiphalas and went bifore his Oste & þan̛ þay trumpede up & þe bateƚƚs joyned̛ samen̛, & faghte to-gedir riȝte sare. Bot þe Indienes feƚƚ thikfalde in þe bateƚƚ as corne dose in þe felde be-fore þe sythe. And when̛ Porus saw that, he went and stode bi-fore aƚƚ his men̛, and cryed̛ vn-tiƚƚ Alexander, & saide on this wyse: 'It sitteȝ noȝte tiƚƚ an emperour,' quoþ he, 'to lose his men̛ þus in vayne. Bot it sitteȝ tiƚƚ hym for to determyne his cause with his awenn̛ handeȝ. And þarefore late thi folke stand stiƚƚ on þe ta syde, & myn̛ on þe toþer & late the & me feghte to gedir hand̛ for hand̛. And if it happen̛ þat þou ouer-come me, my folke & I saƚƚ be subiecteȝ vn-to þe. And if I ouer come the, than̛ thou & thi folkeȝ be subiecteȝ vn-to me.' Thir wordeȝ said Porus dispysand̛ Alexander, bi-cause þat he was a man̛ of littiƚƚ stature. For he was bot three cubites hye, & Porus was fyfe cubetes hye & mare. And þarefore he traysted̛ hym aƚƚ in strenghe of his body, noȝte knawande þe vertu & þe hardnes þat was hidd̛ in Alexander. [leaf 29 bk.] And than bathe þe ostes stode stiƚƚ ant lete þe twa kyngeȝ feghte samen̛, Porus gaffe Alexander a grete str[a]ke on̛ þe hede, & was in poynte to hafe felled̛ hym̛. And then̛ Porus knyghtes sett vp a grete Schowte. And Porus tourned̛ hym to þam̛-warde for to reproue þam̛ for þaire schowttyng. And Alexandsr went tiƚƚ hym manfully & tuke his swerd̛ in bathe his handeȝ & lete flye at hym & hitt hym fullbott one þe heued̛ & slew hym. And when̛ þe Indienes saw that þay bi-gan scharply for to fighte wit Alexander & his oste. Vnto whayme Alexander spake & sayde: 'Wrechis,' quoþ he, 'wharto feghte ȝe sen̛ ȝour kynge es dede. Wate ȝe noȝte wele that thare na gouernour es þe folke are sparpled̛ be-lyfe als schepe þat ere wit-owtten̛ ane hirde.' Þe Indienes ansuerd̛ & saide: 'Vs es leuer,' quoþ þay, 'fighte manfully, and dye in the felde, þan̛ for to see þe dissolacion̛ of oure folke, and oure lande be distroyed̛ & wasted̛.' 'Leues ȝour feghtynge,' quoþ Alexander, '& wendeȝ hame to ȝour howseȝ pesaybly & seurely. For I swere ȝow bi oure goddeȝ, if ȝee wiƚƚ do so, ȝe saƚƚ hafe no harme, ne ȝour lande saƚƚ noȝte be distroyed̛ ne spoyled̛, bicause þat ȝe hafe foghten so manfully for ȝour kynge.' And when̛ þe IndienesPage 73 herde thir wordes þay keste fra þam̛ þaire wapyneȝ & thanked̛ Alexander and wirchiped̛ him riȝte als he hadd̛ bene a godd̛. Than kyng Alexander luged̛ hym þare & his Oste wit hym, & he command̛ to bery þe dede corseȝ þat ware slayne in þe Bateƚƚ, and offred̛ sacrafice tiƚƚ his goddeȝ. Also he garte Entere Porus þe kynge of Inde wirchipfully.
Fra thethyn̛ Alexander remowed̛ his Oste & come tiƚƚ a cuntree þat was called̛ Oxidraces. The folkes of þat cuntree are wonder Symple men̛, and noȝte prowde, & þay are called̛ Gumnosophiste. Þay feghte neuer mare ne stryfes. Þay ga alway naked̛ & citez ne townnez hafe þay nane, Bot duellez in lugeȝ & in caues. When̛ þe kyng of þis folke herd̛ teƚƚ of þe commyng of Alexander he wrate a lettre, & sent vn-tiƚƚ hym whare- offe this was the tenour.
[leaf 30] 'The coruptible Gumnosophist vn-tiƚƚ Alexander a man̛ wee wryte. We here teƚƚ þat þou commeȝ to werre apon̛ vs, whare of we merueylle vs gretly. For wit vs saƚƚ þou fynd nathyng þat þou may spoyle vs offe. For we hafe na thyng elles amangeȝ vs, bot allanly whare with we may sustene oure wafuƚƚ bodys. What may þou þan̛ take fra vs. Bot if þou come for to feght wit vs, feghte on̛. For I late the wele witt, þat oure symplenes wiƚƚ we on na wyse lefe.'
Anoþer day, he come wit his Oste tiƚƚ a place wharee twa ymageȝ ware, þe whilke Ercules gart make & sett in þat place. And þe tane of þam̛ was of fyne golde and þe toþer of fyne Siluere, & the lenthe of aythir of þam̛ was twa cubettis. When̛ Alexander saw þir ymageȝ, [leaf 30 bk.] he gert perche þam̛ for to witt, wheþer þay ware holle or massy. And he fand̛ þat þay were a party hoƚƚe. And he garte stoppe þe hole agayne and putt in þam̛ a thowsande nobles, & fyve hundreth. And fra þeine he remowed his Oste, and entrede in-tiƚƚ a wildirnesse calde & myrk, so þat þay myghte vnnethes an̛ knawe anoþer or see anoþer. And fra thythin̛ þay went seuen̛ daye iournee and entred̛ in-tiƚƚ a wildirnesse, and come tiƚƚ a grete reuere. And bi-ȝonde þat riuere þay saw wonder faire & wele vesaged̛ women̛ cledd̛ in foule clethyng & horrible; and þay hadd̛ in þaire handeȝ wapne made aƚƚ of siluere, bicause þay hadd̛ noþer Iren̛ ne stele. And þay rade one horse. And men saw þay nane amangeȝ þam̛. And when̛ þe Oste walde hafe passede ouer this ryuere, þay myȝte noȝte be cause it was riȝte brade and fuƚƚ of dragones and oþer monstres.
Fra thethin þay went aboute towardeȝ þe lefte party of Inde and come till a dry Marras fuƚƚ of gret redeȝ. And as þay passed thurgh þat Marras, be-lyue þare come owte of þe redeȝ a beste lyke ane ypotayne, whase breste was lyke to þe cocadriƚƚe, and his bakke lyk a sawe, and his tethe wonder grete, & als scharpe as a suerde; bot in his gangyng he wasPage 75 als slaw als a snyle. And, in his oute - come, he slew twa knyghtis of Alexander. This ilke beste myȝte þay on na wyse perche wit þaire speres. Bot wit mellis of yren̛ þay slew it.
And fra þeine þay trauelde thritty day iourneȝ and come to þe vttermaste iles of Inde, & þare þay luged̛ þam̛ besideȝ a ryuere þat es callede in þat langage of Inde Hemmahurer. And aboute þe Eleuend̛ houre þar come owte of þe woddeȝ a grete multitude of Olyphanteȝ & come apon̛ þam̛ wit a gret birre & þaire groynes opyn̛. And onane Alexander lepe apon̛ his horse Buktiphalas and busked̛ hym agaynes þam̛ and badd̛ þe macedoynes þat þay solde tak þaire horse and ilk a man̛ a swyne in a bande, & wende agaynes þe olyphantis. And when̛ þe oliphantes saw þam̛, þay come gapande wit þaire groyneȝ redy te tak þam̛. And when̛ þe Macedoynes saw þat þay ware fered̛ and durste noȝte go to þam̛. And Alexander saide vn-to þam, 'My wirchipfuƚƚ knyghtes,' quoþ he, 'bese of gud comforthe and dredeȝ ȝow na-thynge. For, and ȝe wiƚƚ gare ȝoure swyne crye faste [leaf 31] ȝe schall see aƚƚ þir Olyphantes flee anon̛.' And alsone als þe Olyphantes herde þe crye of þe swyne, and þe noyse of þaire trompes, þay fledd̛ and durste noȝte habyde. And Alexander & his men̛ pursued̛ tham̛, and what wit nettis, whatt wit swerdes & speres, þay slewe of þam̛ a grete multitude, and come agayne to thaire tentis.
Anoþer day þay removed̛ þeine, and trauelde thurgℏ the same woddeȝ of Inde. And þay fande þare women̛ with berdis rechande downn̛ to þaire pappes, & þaire heuedeȝ playne abownne, and þay ware cledd̛ aƚƚ in skynnes. Þay chasede thir women̛ and sum of þam̛ þay tuke & broghte þam̛ tiƚƚ Alexander. And he gart spirre þam in the langage of Inde, how þay liffed in thase woddes, whare na duellyng was of men̛. And þay ansuered̛ & said, 'We lyffe aƚƚ,' quoþ þay, 'wit venyson̛ þat we take in thir woddes thurgℏ huntynge.'
When̛ þay ware passed̛ oute of thir woddeȝ þay come in-tiƚƚ a faire felde vn-tiƚƚ a place whare this forsaid̛ riuere ran̛. And þare þay fande bath men̛ & women̛ aƚƚ naked. And þay ware Page 76 als rugℏe of hare as þay hade bene bestes. Whase kynde & custom̛ it was als wele to be in þe water, als on̛ þe lande. And als sone als þay saw Alexander Oste onane þay fledd̛ to þe water, and dowked in-till it. Fra þeine þay traueld̛ xv day iournee, and entred̛ in-tiƚƚ woddes þat ware fuƚƚ of cynocephals, þe whilke als son̛ als þay saw Alexander & his oste onane þay assaillede þam. Bot Alexander & his men̛, what wit arowes whate wit speres & nettes slew a grete multitude of þam̛, and þe remenaunt of þam̛ fledd̛ here and thare in þe woddeȝ.
Fra thethyn̛ þay went fourty dayes & come in-tiƚƚ a champaynne cuntree, þat was aƚƚ Barayne, and na hye place ne na hilles myghte be sene on na syde. And as it ware aboute þe xj houre of þe day, þare bigan̛ so grete a wynde to blawe oute of þe Este þat it blew doune to þe erthe aƚƚ thaire tentis & þaire luges. And þare was grete disese ymang þe oste. For þe wynde tuk fire-brandes oute of fyres þat þay hadd̛ made, and smate dyuerse men̛ & brynte þam̛. And þan̛ Alexander knyghtes mournurede gretly & said amangeȝ þam, 'Þe wrethe & þe wreke of oure goddeȝ,' quoþ þay, 'falleȝ apon̛ vs, Bicause we seke to ferre towarde þe son̛ rysynge.' 'My wirchipfuƚƚ knyghteȝ,' quoþ Alexander, 'bese [leaf 31 bk.] of gud comforthe and no thyng ferde for this tempeste es noȝtee fallen̛ thurgℏ wrethe of oure goddes bot be-cause of equinox of heruest.' When̛ þe wynde was cessed̛ þay gadirde te-gedir þat þe wynd̛ hadd̛ sparpled̛.
Fra þeine þay went xxv days and come in-tiƚƚ a grene valay, and þare þay luged̛ þam̛. Than commanded̛ Alexander þat þay schuld make many fyres. For it began̛ for to be vnsufferable calde. And thare be-gan for to falle grete flawghtis of snawe, as þay had bene grete lokkes of woƚƚe. When̛ Alexander saw that, he was ferde þat it schuld̛ noȝte hafe cessed̛ sone, aud bad his men̛ þat þay suld tred doun̛ þe snawe & fuƚƚ it wit þaire fete. And þaire fyres also helpe þam̛ gretly. Neuer-þe-lesse þare ware fyve hundrethe of þe Oste dedd̛ thurghþat snawe, þe whilk Alexander gart bery. Þan̛ þare felle a passand̛ grete rayne, and þe snaw cessed. Wit þe rayne, also, þare come so thikke a myste, þat contenually three days to gedir þayPage 77 saw na sonn̛. And oute of þe clude þat hange abown̛ þam̛ þer feƚƚ as it hadd̛ bene grete fyrebrandeȝ þe whilk brynt many of thaire tenttis and of þaire luges. And onane Alexander offred̛ sacrafice tiƚƚ his goddeȝ and bad his knyghtis put alde ryuen̛ clatheȝ wate bi-fore þe fire, and he made his prayere. And also son̛ the whedir wexe clere & faire.
Fra thethin, þay remowed̛ and come tiƚƚ a grete ryuere þat es called̛ Ganges & þare þay luged þam̛. And as þay luked̛ ouer on the toþer syde, þay saw twa or thre men̛ walke up & downn̛ þare. And Alexander badd̛ his men̛ spirre þam̛ in þe langage of Inde what þey ware. And þay ansuered̛ & said̛. 'We are Bragmayns,' quoþ þay. Alexander hadd̛ grete desyre to speke wit þe Bragmayns. Bot he myȝte noȝte wynn̛ ouer þe water; it was so depe & so brade Bot if it had bene in þe monethe of July and Auguste. And also it was fuƚƚ of ypotaynes & scorpyones and cocadrilles, out taken̛ in þe forsaid̛ monethes And when̛ he saw þat he myghte on na wyse wynn̛ ouer he was reȝte heuy. And belyfe he garte make a lyttiƚƚ bate of redis, & couerde it wit nowtte hydis & gerte pykk it wele bathe wit-in & wit-owtten̛. And when̛ þe bate was made, he gert a knyght of his gang in-to it, and gaffe hym a lettre wit hym for to bere [leaf 32] to Dindimus, þat was kyng of þe Bragmayns, of whilk lettre þis was þe tenour.
' Kyng of kynges and lorde of lordeȝ, Alexander þe son̛ of godd̛ Amon̛ & of þe quene Olympias, vn-to Dindimus kyng of Bragmayns, ioy. Euer sen̛ we were comen̛ to þat age þat we couthe discerne by-twix gud & iƚƚ we hafe desyred̛ soueraynly for to hafe wysdomme & konnyng, & for to putt away fra vs ignorance & vnconnynge. For as þe wise techynge of oure philosopℏres declares opynly, Eloquence wit owtten̛ witt & wisdom̛ dose ofte-sythes mare skathe þan̛ gude. Þarefore we hafe wele vnderstanden̛ by relacion̛ of dyuerse men̛, þat ȝour lyfe & ȝour maners are diuised̛ and diuerse fra aƚƚ oþer men̛; so þat noþer on̛ þe See ne on þe lande ȝe seke na helpe and þat ȝe ȝeme anoþer manere of doctryne þan̛ we hafe lerende of oure doctours. Whare-fore we pray ȝow þat ȝe wiƚƚ certyfye vs bi ȝour lettres of ȝour lyffe and ȝour maners and ȝour doctryne. ForPage 78 perauenture we may take þare of sum̛ gud Ensample, and ȝour wysdome & ȝour gudnesse neuer be þe lesse. For it es na harme tiƚƚ a man̛ thurgℏ his gudnes to make anoþer man̛ gude as he es. The whilk I may proue bi this simylitud̛�I supposse a man̛ hadd̛ in his hand̛ a lyght candiƚƚ, many oþer candiƚƚs may be lyghted̛ þare at, it lose na-thynge of his lyghte. And riȝte so it es of þe gudnesse of a man̛. For many men̛ may take gude ensample of hym & his gudnesse be na thynge enmenuste þareby. Where-fore ȝitt eft-sons we pray ȝow þat wit-owtten̛ any taryinge or delay, ȝe schowe vs þe maners of ȝour lyffyng.'
' Dyndimus maister of þe Bragmayns vn-to kyng Alexander ioy & gretynge. We hafe wele vndirstanden̛ by þe tenour of thi lettres, þat þou desyres gretly for to hafe verray connynge and perfitt wysdom̛; þe whilke are mekiƚƚ better þan̛ any kyngdom̛; for þay may neuer be boghte wit na pryce, whare-fore I comend̛ þe gretly, knawyng þat þou arte a wyse man̛. For ane Emperour wit-owtten̛ [leaf 32 bk.] wisdom̛, es noghte lorde of his subiectis, Bot his sugettis ere lordes of hym. ȝe wrate vntiƚƚ vs, praying vs for to schewe ȝowe oure maners of lyffynge, ilke a poynte efter oþer, þe whilke we halde inpossible for to doo. For oure maner of lyffynge es fuƚƚ ferre dyuerse fra ȝours. For noþer we wirchipe þe goddes þat ȝe wirchipe, ne ledis þe lyfe þat ȝe lede. And if I writte ȝowe oughte of oure maner of lyffyng, ȝe may hafe na sauoure þare in, be-cause ȝe are besily ocupied̛ wit dedis of armes. Neuer-þe-lesse þat ȝe say noȝte þat I layne oure lyfe fra ȝow for envy, Als mekiƚƚ as comeȝ to my mynde at þis tyme I saƚƚ writt vnto ȝow of oure maners.
' We Bragmayns ledeȝ a symple lyfe & a clene and þe wirchipyng of many goddes we eschu. We do na synnes ne we wiƚƚ hafe na mare þan̛ reson̛ of kynde asches. Aƚƚ thyngeȝ we suffer & þat, say we, es necessary & ynogℏe, þat es noȝte ouermekiƚƚ. We tiƚƚe na lande, ne eryes, ne sawes, ne ȝokes noþer ox ne horse in plughe ne in carte. Ne nett caste we nane in þe see, for to take fysche; Ne hunttynge ne fewlynge vse wePage 79 nanne. Mete & drynke hafe we ynoghe, and oþer mete seke we nane, bot þat þe erthe oure allere moder wit-owtten̛ mannes labour brynges furthe. Wit swilke metis we fiƚƚ oure wambes, whilke nuȝes vs noȝte, ne na harme dose. And ȝit of swilke metis we fiƚƚ noȝte oure bodis to fuƚƚ. For amangeȝ vs it es an vn-semely thynge & an vn-leefuƚƚ to see a grete-belyed̛ man̛. And þare-for ere we aƚƚ oure lyfe tym̛ wit-owtten̛ sekenesse & lyffeȝ lang & alwaye are in gude hele tiƚƚ oure lyffes ende. We vse neuer-mare na medcyns ne sekes na helpe for þe hele of oure bodys. At a terme of deede endes oure lyfes, for ane of vs leues na langere þan̛ an̛-oþer, Bot efter þe order of þe birthe of man̛, þe terme of deede comes tiƚƚ ilke a man̛. Thare comeȝ nane of vs at na fire for na calde, ne clatheȝ comeȝ þare nane apon̛ vs, Bot alway we ga naked̛. We fulfiƚƚ neuer þe desyres of oure bodys. Thurgℏ pacyence we suffree aƚƚ thyngeȝ. Aƚƚ oure inwarde enemys we slaa, So þat we drede nane enemys wit-owtten̛. For lightlyer es a citee or a casteƚƚe taken̛ þat es ensegged̛ bathe wit inwarde enemys & wit-owtten̛, þan̛ þat þat es ensegged̛ allanly wit owtwarde enemys. Bot þou, emperour, feghtes agaynes owtwardeȝ enemys for [to] foster & nuresche thyn̛ inwardeȝ enemys, þe whilke ere fendes of heƚƚe. We Bragmayns has slayne aƚƚ oure inwardeȝ enemys and þarefore we drede nane owtwarde enemys ne nane helpe sekes for to hafe agayneȝ þam̛ [leaf 33] noþer be see ne be land̛. Bot we ere always sewre ynoghe, and lyffeȝ wit-owtten̛ any drede. Oure bodys we hiƚƚ wit þe leues of trees and þe fruyte of þam̛ we ete. We ete mylke also and drynkes water of a gude ryuere or of swete welles. We wirchippe a godd̛, and tiƚƚ hym alwaye we ȝelde lonyngeȝ. We desire þe life of þe werlde þat es to come, and vs liste noȝte here þe þyng þat turneȝ to na profett. We spekke noȝte mekiƚƚ, Bot when̛ we ere artede for to speke we say noȝte bot þe sothe, and onane we halde vs stiƚƚ. Reches luffe we noȝte. Couetise es a thynge þat may noȝte be filled̛, þe whilke oftesytheȝ bryngeȝ a man̛ tiƚƚ a mescheuous ende. Wrethe ne envie es þare nane amangeȝ vs, ne nane of vs es strangere þan̛ anoþer. Of the pouert þat we hafe we ere riche, for we hafe it in comon̛. We strife neuer mare, ne beres neuer wapen̛. We bere peesse ilkan̛ tiƚƚ oþer of custom̛, noȝte thurgℏ vertu. Domes hafe we nane amanges vs, for we do nane iƚƚ, whare-fore Page 80 we schulde be called̛ vn-to dome. A law þare es þat es contrary til oure kynde. For we do na mercy, bi-cause we do no thyng whare-fore we sulde aske mercy. We do na labour þat perteneȝ to couetise or auarice. We giffe noȝte oure bodyse to lechorye, we do nane advowtrye, ne we do na synn̛ whare-fore vs sulde nede to do penance. We fynde na fawte in na thynge, For we aƚƚ does that þat righte es. We dye na sodeyne dede, For thurgℏ foule dedis we corupte noȝte þe ayere. We vse na clathes þat are littede of dyuerse coloures. Oure wiffes ne are noȝte gayly arayed̛ for to plese vs. Ne wit þam̛ we comon̛ noȝte bi-cause of luste of lecherye, bot bi-cause of childre getynge. Our wyffes sekes na noþer clethynge, þan̛ þe forluke of godd̛ hase granted̛ þam̛. And whaa dare take apon̛ hym for to chaunge his wirkynge, an heghe syn̛ vs thynke it ware till any man̛ for to presume to do it. Baththis vse we nane, ne warme water to wasche oure bodys wit aƚƚ. Þe Son̛ mynistres vs hete, and þe dewe of þe ayer ministreȝ vs moyster & wete. We hafe na thoghte of na thynge, ne we schewe na lordechipe abownn̛ oþer men̛ þat ere lyke vn-tiƚƚ us. For a grete crueltee we halde it to constreyne a man̛ to serue vs, whayme kynde & þe forluke of godd̛ hase made oure broþer als fre als we are. We brynne na stanes for to make lyme off and þare-wit to make vs howses at dueƚƚe in, and curiouse palaseȝ: ne vessell make we nane. In caues or creuyceȝ of cragges we duelle, whare thare comeȝ na noyse of wyndes [leaf 33 bk.] ne whare vs thare drede na rayne. On þe erthe we slepe wit-owtten̛ any besynesse. Swilk howses we hafe; in þe whilke, whils we lyffe, we dueƚƚe, and when̛ we dye, þay ere oure graues. We sayle noȝte in þe see aboute na merchandyse, in þe whilke þay suffre many perills þat sayles þarein & many meruaylles can̛ teƚƚ offe. The crafte of Eloquence & faire speche, lere we noȝte for to polishe oure wordes; Bot thurgh þe sympilnesse þat we hafe þat suffres vs noȝte to lye, aƚƚ oure speche we speke. Scoles of philosophres haunt wee noȝte, whase techechyngeȝ es alway discordand & na thynge certayne, ne stabiƚƚ diffines, bot for þe mare partye lyes. Bot þa scoles we haunte in þe whilke we lere to lyffe vertuosly and also thynges þat teches vs for to do no wrange to no man̛. Bot after verray rightwisnesse to helpe ilk man̛ at oure powere. Plays lufe we nane.Page 81 Bot if vs liste hafe any disporte we take & redeȝ þe lyfes & þe dedis of oure Auncestres, and oure predicessours. And if we fynde any thynge in þam̛ þat es cause of laughtre þar-at we wepe & makes dole. Neuer-þe-lesse we behalde oþer thynges of þe whilke oure hertis ere gladdide and grete lykyng has, þat es at say, heuen̛-schyne wit sternes wit-owt nowmer; þe son̛ faire & bryghte, of whase bryghtnesse aƚƚ þe werlde takes lyghte and hete. The see we se alwaye of purpour coloure, and when̛ tempesteȝ ryseȝ þare-in̛ it distruyes noȝte þe land̛ þat es nere it, as it does in ȝoure partes. Bot he embraceȝ it as his sister and gase abuoute it. And in þe se we see many dyuerse kyndeȝ of Fisches, Delphines & porpaseȝ layke þam̛. We hafe lykyng also for to bihalde faire feldes alouer floresched̛ wit flores of þe whilke a swete reflaire enters in-tiƚƚ oure noseȝ, in þe whilke a sensible saule hase maste delite. Also we delit vs in faire placeȝ of woddeȝ & of swete welles whare we here swete sangeȝ of fewles. This customs hafe we al-way, þe whilke, & þou walde halde noȝte bot a while, we trowe þou suld thynke þam̛ riȝte hard̛. Blame noȝte me, for aƚƚ þat þou requerede me be þi lettres I send þe wretyn̛. Neuer-þe-less, and it sulde noȝt displese the, I walde teƚƚ þe a littiƚƚ of oure doctryne þe whilke makes oure lyfe to seme harde vn-to þe. Ȝee hafe wit-in a schorte while conquered̛ & made sugete vn-to ȝour empire aƚƚ Asy, Europe, & Affryke. As ȝour selfe hase sayde [leaf 34] ȝe make þe lighte of þe son̛ to faile, when̛ ȝe seke þe termes of his course thurgℏ werre. Ȝe ete aƚƚ manere of thynges þat corneȝ tiƚƚ hande, And ȝour vesages semeȝ as ȝe ware fastande & hungry. Ȝe slaa ȝour childre makande sacrafice of þam̛ to Mawmetes. Ȝe sawe discorde bi-twix kynges and thase þat schulde be meke ȝe stirre for to be prowde. Ȝe make men̛ to thynke þat grete space of landes suficeȝ þam̛ noȝte And so þay seke duellynge placeȝ of heuen̛.
'Also thurgℏ ȝour goddes ȝe do many iƚƚ dedis, as þay didd̛ þam̛ selfe, Ensample of Iubiter ȝour godd̛ & of Proserpyna þat ȝe wirchipe as a goddesse. For Iubiter defouled̛ many mensPage 82 wyfes, and Proserpyna made many men̛ to do advowtry wit hir. Fuƚƚ wreched̛ & fuƚƚ hye fules þay ere, þat swilke goddes wirchipes. Ȝee wiƚƚ noȝte suffer men̛ lyfe in þaire awenn̛ libertee bot makes þam̛ ȝour thralles & ȝour sugetes. Ȝe deme noȝte riȝtwisly, ȝe gerre ȝour iugeȝ change ȝour lawes as ȝow liste. Ȝe say many thyngeȝ þat sulde be donne, bot ȝe do þam̛ noȝte. Ȝe halde na man̛ wysse bot hym þat hase Eloquence of speche. Ȝe hafe aƚƚ ȝour witt in ȝour tungeȝ, and aƚƚ ȝour wysdome es in ȝour mouthe. ȝe lufe golde & siluer & gaders þam to-gedir and desyreȝ to hafe grete howseȝ & hye, and grete multitude of seruandeȝ. Ȝe ete & drynk to mekiƚƚ, so þat oftymes ȝour stomake thurgh grete repleccion̛ es greued̛ & many sekenesse þare-thurgℏ ȝe faƚƚ in, & so ofte sythes dyes before ȝour tyme. Ȝe wolde euer-mare halde ȝour reches and aƚƚ thyngeȝ þat ȝe may gete. Bot aƚƚ thyngeȝ at þe laste leues ȝow. Þe wysdom̛ allanly of þe Bragmayns passeȝ as ȝour witt & ȝour wysdom̛. For, & we wele consedere, þe me moder þat broghte forthe stanes & trees, of þe same was bathe oure bygynnyng & ȝours. Ȝe honowre ȝour Sepultours curyousely wit golde & syluer, and in vesseƚƚe made of precyouse stanes ȝe putt þe asse of ȝour bodys, when̛ þay ere brynned̛. And what may be werre þan̛ for tiƚƚ take þe banes, þat þe erthe sulde hafe, for to ga bryn̛ þam̛, and noȝte suffere þe erthe resayffe his element þe whilke he broghte forthe.
'We sla na besteȝ in þe wirchipe of goddeȝ. Nee temples make we nane, for to sett in ymageȝ of golde or of siluere in þe name of false goddeȝ, as ȝe do; ne awters of golde and of precious stanes. Ȝe hafe swilke a lawe for to honoure ȝour goddeȝ wit ȝour gudes for þat þay saƚƚ here ȝour prayers. Bot we vndirstande & wate wele þat noþer for golde ne siluer; ne for þe blode of calues nor gayte ne schepe Godd̛ heres any man̛. Bot for gude werkes þe whilke Godd̛ lufes, and thurgℏ þe wordes of deuote prayere. Godd̛ wiƚƚ here a man̛ for þe worde. For thurgℏ worde we ere lyke to Godd̛. For Godd̛ es worde, [leaf 34 bk.] and þat worde made aƚƚ þe werlde aud thurgℏ þat worde aƚƚ thyngeȝ hase beyng, Mouyng & lyfe. That worde wirchipe wee and luffes & honowres. Godd̛ es a spirite. And he lufes na-thyng bot þat that es clene. Whare-fore we halde ȝow fuƚƚ grete foles, that weneȝ ȝour kynde be heuenly, and þat ȝe hafePage 83 communicacion̛ with Godd̛, And neuer-þe-less files ȝour kynde wit advowtries & fornicacions & seruyce of Mawmettis & false goddis, and many oþer wikkede dedis: ilke a day þis ȝe do. Þis ȝe luffe, and þarefore when̛ ȝe ere dede ye saƚƚ suffere tourmentis wit-owtten̛ nowmer. Ȝe wene þat Godd̛ wiƚƚ be mercyable vn-to ȝow bi-cause þat ȝe offre hym blode & flesse of dyuerse besteȝ. Bot we on þe contrarye wyse luffeȝ clennesse bathe of Body & of saule, so þat we mowe ℏafe after þis lyfe ioy þat neuer saƚƚ ℏafe ende.
'Ȝee serue noȝte a Godd̛ þat regneȝ in heuen̛, Bot ȝe do seruyce to many false goddis. For als so many membris, als ȝe ℏafe on̛ ȝour bodys, als many goddis ȝe wircℏipe & serues. For ȝe caƚƚe a man̛ þe lesse werlde, and riȝte as a man̛ here hase many lymmes, so ȝe say þare are many goddes in heuen̛. Ȝe say Iuno es godd̛ of þe hert, bi-cause he was wonder angry; and Mars ȝe say es godd̛ of þe breste, bi-cause he was prynce of Bateƚƚs. Mercury ȝe caƚƚe godd̛ of þe tung, bicause he was wonder euloquent in spekyng. Hercules ȝe trowe be godd̛ of þe armes, Bi-cause he did̛ twelfe passande dedes of armes. Ȝee trowe Bacus be godd̛ of þe tℏrotte, for he fande firste drounkynnesse. Couetise, ȝe sauy, es godd̛ of þe lyuer, for he was þe firste lechoure þat euer was. And ȝe say þat he ℏase in his hande a byrnand fyrebrande whare-wit he styrres þe luste of lechery. Cereris ȝe caƚƚe godd̛ of þe wambe, bi-cause scℏo was þe firste Fynder of wheete. And Venus, be-cause scho was moder of lecℏery, ȝe say scho es godd̛ of þe preuee membres of man̛ & woman̛. Mynerua, bi-cause scho was fynder of many werkes, ȝe say wisdome risteȝ in her, and þare-fore ȝe caƚƚ hir godd̛ of þe heued̛. And on̛ þis wyse aƚƚ þe body of man̛ ȝe deuyde in goddes, & na party þareoffe ȝe lefe in ȝour awen̛ powere. Ne ȝe trowe noȝte that a godd̛ þat es in heuen̛ made ȝour bodys of noghte. False goddes ȝe wirchipe þat saƚƚ brynge ȝow to thralledome & schame & schenchipe, and to thaym̛ ȝe make sacrafice & tribute payes. Vn-to Mars ȝe offere a Bare. To Bacus ȝe offere a gayte ; To Iune a pacoke; To Iubiter a Bulle; To Appollo [leaf 35] a swane; To Venus a doufe; To Mynerua ane owle; To Cereris floure; To Mercury hony. And Hercules ȝe onowren̛ wit floures & grene braunches of treesseȝ. Þe templePage 84 of Couetyse ȝe enourne wit roseȝ. Aƚƚe ȝour myghte & ȝoure triste ȝe putt in þam þat may ȝow na-thyng helpe at nede. Now sothely ȝe pray þam̛ noȝte to be ȝour helpers, Bot ȝoure tourmentours. For it byhoues nedis be þat, als many goddes als ȝe wirchipe & gyffeȝ þam̛ powere of ȝour lymmes, als many tourmenteȝ ȝe suffere. Ane of ȝour goddes stirres ȝow to fornycacion. Ane oþer to ete & drynke to mekiƚƚ, and anoþer to feghte & stryffe. Aƚƚ ere þay ȝour lordes, and to þam̛ ȝe obey & serues and wirchippes. So þat wonder it es þat ȝour wrechid̛ bodys fayles noȝte for þe many seruyceȝ þat ȝe do to so many goddes. And gud riȝte it es þat ȝe serue swilke goddes bi-cause of þe many wikkede dedis þat ȝe do. And for ȝe wiƚƚ noȝte cesse of ȝour iƚƚ dedis, þarefore ȝe serue swilke goddes tiƚƚ ȝour awenn̛ harme, For euermare þay desyre þat ȝe do iƚƚ. If ȝour goddes here ȝow when̛ ȝe pray to þam, þay do ȝow harme in ȝour conscience. For þat that ȝe pray fore es iƚƚ. And if þay here ȝow noghte, þan̛ ere þay contrarye to ȝour desyres. Whare-fore whethir þay here ȝow, or þay here ȝow noghte, euer-mare þay do ȝow disesse. Þise ere þa tourmenteȝ þat oure doctours talde vs offe, þat here in this werlde tourmenteȝ ȝow as ȝe ware dede. For, and ȝe consyder wele, þare may no man suffere wers tourment þan̛ ȝe doo. For aƚƚ þe takens þat oure doctours telleȝ vs ere in heƚƚe, and we see þam̛ in ȝowe. Þare are many paynes in heƚƚe, ȝe suffre paynes when ȝe wake for to do advowtres, fornycacions, & thiftes, man̛-slawghters. And namely, þat ȝe bee filled̛ of werldly reches ȝa, & of worldly rechesse. For oure doctours says, þare es in helle so mekiƚƚ thriste, þat it may neuer be slokend̛; and ȝe haue so grete Couetyse of worldely reches þat ȝe may neuer be fuƚƚ. Þay say also þat in helle þare es a hunde þat es callede Cerberus þe whilke hase thre heuedes; And if ȝee conseder ryȝte, ȝour wambes are lyke Cerberus. For mekiƚƚ etyng & drynkkynge, þay say also, þare es in heƚƚe a maner of nedder þat es called̛ Idra. And ȝe for þe many viceȝ, þat ȝe hafe bicause of ȝour fuƚƚ wambeȝ may be callede Idra. Whare-fore & we bi-helde wele aƚƚ þe illes þatPage 85 are in heƚƚe, þay dueƚƚe in ȝow. [leaf 35 bk.] Waa es ȝow, wreches, þat swilke a mysbileue haldes; whare-fore after þis lyfe, ȝe mon̛ suffere paynes wit-owtten̛ nowmer.'
'Kyng of kynges, and lorde of lordeȝ, Alexander þe son̛ of godd̛ Amon̛ and of þe quene Olympias, to Dindimus, kyng of þe Bragmayns, gretyng. If aƚƚ be fun̛ trew amanges ȝow þat þou hase sent wretyn̛ in thy lettres, þan̛ allanly ȝe are gude men̛ in þis werlde; for as þou says ȝe do nan̛ iƚƚ. Bot wit þou wele for certayne, þat þis maner of lyffyng commeȝ noȝte of vertu bot of custom̛. Aƚƚ thyngeȝ þat we do, ȝe saye es synn̛. And aƚƚ þe crafteȝ, þat ere amangeȝ vs on þe same wyse, ȝe say, þay ere synnes. Ȝe wiƚƚ distroye aƚƚ þe customs þat man̛-kynde hedir-towarde hase hadd̛ & vsed̛. Owther ȝe schew bi ȝour wordeȝ, þat ȝe are goddeȝ, or eƚƚs tiƚƚ goddes ȝe hafe envy. And þare-fore ȝe say, as ȝe say, I may noȝt write to ȝow aƚƚ þe order of ȝour lyffyng. Bot als mekiƚƚ þare-offe als I may vnderstande at this tyme, I saƚƚ writte vn-to ȝow. Ȝee say ȝe vse noȝte for to tiƚƚ þe erthe, ne sawe na corne, ne plante na vynes, ne sett na trees, na to make na faire howseȝ. And þe cause here-of as it wele semes es for ȝe hafe na Iren̛, whare-of ȝe myghte make ȝow tuyles for to wirke with-aƚƚe. And þare-fore ȝow by-houes nedes ett herbes & lede an harde lyfe, ryȝte as besteȝ. For ȝe may nowþer gette brede ne flesche ne fysche. Does noȝt wolfes on̛ þe same wyse, þe whilke, when̛ þay may noȝte gete þaire fiƚƚ of flesche, þay fiƚƚ þaire belys of þe erthe ? And it ware lefuƚƚ or lykande to ȝow to come tiƚƚ oure cuntree, we sulde lere na wisdom̛ of ȝoure nede. And þare-fore late ȝour hunger habyde at hame in ȝour awenn̛ cuntree. Þat man̛ es noȝte mekills at commend̛ þat alwayes lyffes in disesse. Bot he es gretly to commend̛, þat in reches lyffeȝ attemperally. Bot and men̛ schulde be commendid̛ þat are oppressed̛ wit disesse, þan̛ sulde blynd men̛, leprouse men̛, & oþer swilke ouer aƚƚ oþer be commendid̛; þe blynde, for he sees noȝt at desyre; þe pouer, for he hase noȝte at do. And we walde make oure duellynge in ȝour cuntree we sulde sufferePage 86 pouert & wrechidnes riȝte as ȝe do. Ȝe say also þat ȝour wyfes vseȝ na prowde aray for to plese þaire husbandeȝ, and þe cause es for þay hafe na noþer [leaf 36] thyng for tiƚƚ araye þam̛ wit. Also ȝe say ȝe do nane advowtries ne fornycacions. And þat es na meruaile! For-whi, how sulde þay hafe luste to lechery þat etes noȝte. Luste of lechery es noȝte comonly, bot yf it come of hete of þe leuer or eƚƚs of habudance of mete & drynke. Bot ȝe ete na-thynge hot herbes & roteȝ, as ȝe ware swyne, & drynkes water & vnnethes may ȝe sloken̛ ȝour hunger and þarefore ȝe hafe nan̛ appitite to women̛.
'Ȝe hafe na liste to studie aboute lerynge, ne ȝe seke na mercy ne dees nane tiƚƚ oþer. And aƚƚ this ȝe hafe in comon̛ wit besteȝ. For riȝte as besteȝ hase nowþer reson̛ ne discrecion̛, ne hase na felynge of gude, riȝte so þay hafe na delite in gode. Bot tiƚƚ vs resonable men̛ þat has free wiƚƚ of kynde ere many lykynges & blandeschyngeȝ granted̛. For it es im-possible þat þis werlde wyde & brade sulde noȝte hafe sum̛ chaungynge of gouernance; So þat ne after heuyness & sorowe, Ioy & myrthe sulde noȝte folowe. For-why manes wiƚƚ es variable & chaungeable þat chaungeȝ wit þe heuen̛ abownn̛. On þe same wyse manes hert es dyuerse. For when̛ þe day es clere, manes hert es gladde & blythe. And when̛ þe day es derke, manes wittis are derke & duƚƚe & heuy. Also men̛ chaungeȝ thurgℏ dyuerse ages. For barnehed̛ reioyse it in sympilnesse, ȝouthede in presumptuosnes, And grete elde in stabilnes. For wha wiƚƚ luke efter wysdome in a childe, In a ȝunge man̛ stabiƚƚnes, or in an alde man̛ wildenes ? Many delitable thynges comeȝ tiƚƚ oure mynde. For sum̛ we See wit oure eghne; Sum̛ we hafe thurgh herynge; Sum̛ we fele thurgℏ smellyng; Sum̛ thurgℏ tastynge; and Sum̛ thurgh towchynge. Sumtyme we hafe delite in salutacions & swete sangeȝ & melodys of dyuerse Instrumenteȝ. Of þe erthe we hafe al maner of gud fruyteȝ; of þe see we hafe habundance of fysche, and of þe ayere delyte of fewles of dyuerse kyndis. If þou abstene þe fra aƚƚ thies owthir it es for pride or for envy. For pride, þat þou dispyseȝ swilke precyouse gifteȝ. For envy bi-cause þay ere noȝte gyffen̛ ȝow, as þat þay ere to vs. Bot efter myn̛ opynyon̛ I deme þatPage 87 ȝour lyffyng and ȝour maners commes mare of foundnesse þan̛ of wysdom̛. For sen̛ ȝe are men̛ ȝe schulde hafe þe vertuȝ of a resonable creature, and þat hafe ȝe noȝhte.'
'Dyndimus, þe mayster of þe Bragmayns, vn-tiƚƚ Alexander, gretyng. We hafe vndirstand þe tenour of þi lettres & þus we ansuere. We er noȝte [leaf 36 bk.] lordeȝ of this werlde, as we sulde euermare lyffe þare in. But we ere pilgrymes in þis werlde, and when̛ dede commeȝ we wende tiƚƚ oþer habytacions. Oure Synneȝ greueȝ vs noȝte, ne we duelle noȝte in þe tabernacles of synners. We do na thyfte. And for þe conscyence þat we haue, we gaa noȝte furthe in open̛. We say noȝte þat we ere goddes, ne nane envy hase vn-to þam̛. Godd̛ þat made aƚƚ þat es in þis werlde, he ordeyned̛ many diuerse thyngeȝ. For warne dyuersitees ware of thyngeȝ þe werld myȝte noghte stande. Godd̛ gaffe man̛ fre wiƚƚ, for to discerne of aƚƚ thyngeȝ þat ere in þe werld̛, and chese whilke hym lyste. Whare-fore he þat leues þe iƚƚ & cheseȝ þe gude, noȝte godd̛, but goddes frende he may be called̛. Be-cause þat we lyffe contenently, and in quiete & reste, ȝe say þat we ere goddeȝ, or elles þat we hafe envy to goddeȝ. But this suspeccion̛ þat ȝe hafe of vs, perteneȝ to ȝow. For ȝe þat ere blawen̛ fuƚƚ of þe wynde of pride ȝe aray ȝour bodys wit gloryous clethyng, and on ȝour fyngers, ȝe putt ioweƚƚs of golde & precyous stanes.
'Bot I pray ȝow, what profit does þis ȝow: Golde and siluer saues noȝte a manes saule, ne susteneȝ noȝte mens bodys. Bot we þat knawes þe verray profitt of golde, and þe kynd̛ þareoffe, when vs thristeȝ, & gase to þe ryuere for to take vs a drynke, if we fynde golde in þe way, we trede apon̛ it wit oure fete. For golde noþer filleȝ vs when̛ we hunger, ne slokens oure thriste, ne it heleȝ noȝte a man̛ þat es seke. If a man̛ thriste & drynke water, it putteȝ away his thriste. Also if a man̛ hunger & ete mete, it does away his hunger. Bot and golde ware of þe same kynde, als son̛ als a man̛ hadd̛ it, þe vice of Couetyse suld be slokynde in hym. Be þis cause es golde iƚƚ. Page 88 For ay þe mare þat a man̛ hase þare-offe, þe mare he couetes. Wikkede men̛ are wyrchippede amangeȝ ȝow. For comonly a man̛ luffes hym þat es lyke tiƚƚ hym selfen̛. Ȝe say þat godd̛ takes nane hede tiƚƚ dedly thynges. And neuer-þe-lesse ȝe bygge temples, and makes autres in þam̛, and settis vp mawmettes abownn̛ þam̛, and grete delyte hase when̛ bestes ere offerde, & in þam, and at ȝour name es noysede, þis was done to þi fader, to thyn̛ Eldfader, & tiƚƚ aƚƚ thi progenytours. And þe same also es highte on-to þe. Wit swilke wirchipes þay ere rewarded̛, þat knawes noȝte þam̛ selfe dedly.'
[leaf 37] ' Alexander, þe son̛ of godd̛ Amon̛ & of þe quene Olympias, kyng of kyngeȝ & lorde of lordeȝ, vn-to Dyndymus kynge of þe Bragmayns we sende. For als mekiƚƚ als ȝour duellynge es in þat partye of þe werlde fra þe begynynge, whare na strangers may com̛ to ȝow, bot if it be riȝte fewe, ne ȝe may noȝte passe forthe of ȝour cuntree, but als swa say ȝe, are parred̛ in, and na ferrere may passe; þarefore ȝe magnyfye ȝour manere of lyffynge and supposeȝ þat ȝe are blyssed̛ be-cause þat ȝe er so spered̛ in, þat if ȝe walde neuer so gladly passe furthe for to lere þe customes þat oþer men̛ vseȝ, ȝe may noȝte; and nyƚƚ-ȝe wiƚƚ-ȝe, ȝow by-houeȝ nedis suffere þat caytefftee þat ȝe lyffe in. Whare-fore it semeȝ bi ȝour techynge, that þay þat liggeȝ in presonn̛, are als mekiƚƚ at comend̛ als ȝe, þe whilke vn-to þaire lyues ende suffres sorowe and nede. And as me thynke, þe gudnesse þat ȝe ruse ȝow offe, may wele be lykkened̛ to þe paynes of þaim þat ere in presonn̛. And so þat that oure lawe demes to be done t[i]ll wikked̛ men̛, ȝe suffere kyndely. And þare-fore hym þat we halde wyse, ȝe halde an Ebbere fule . Sothely me thynk ȝour lyffynge es noȝte blyssed̛ bot wrechid̛ and as it ware a chastying to ȝowe. I swere ȝow by oure goddeȝ of myghte, þat, & I myghte come to ȝow with an oste, I sulde gare ȝow leue ȝour wrechid̛ lyfe, and by-come men̛ of armes, als many of ȝow als ware able.'
Fra þeine kyng Alexander & his Oste remowed̛ & come in-tiƚƚ a felde, þat was called̛ Actea & þare þay luged̛. Abowte þat felde was a thikke wodd̛ of treesse berand̛ fruyte; of þe whilke wilde men̛ þat duelt in þe Same wodd̛ vsede for tiƚƚ hafe þaire fude, whase bodyes ware grete as geaunteȝ, and þaire clethynge ware made of skynnes of dyuerse besteȝ. And when̛ þay saw Alexander Oste luge þare, onane þare come oute of þe wodd̛, a grete multitude of þam̛ wit lange roddes in þaire handȝ & bi-gan̛ for to feghte wit þe oste. And þan Alexander commanded̛ þat aƚƚ [þe] oste schulde sette vp a schowte at anes. And also sone als þe wylde men̛ herde þat [leaf 37 bk.] noyse, þay were wondere fered̛ be-cause þay had neuer be-fore herde swilke a noyse. And than̛ þay be-gan̛ to flee hedir & thedir in þe wodd̛. And Alexander & his men̛ persued̛ þam̛ and slewe of þam̛ vic xxx iiij. And þay slew of Alexander knyghtes xxvij. In þat felde Alexander & his oste leuged̛ iij dayes and vetailed̛ þam of þat fruyte þat growed̛ in þe wodd̛.
Fra þeine pay remowed̛ and come tiƚƚ a grete ryuer, & luged̛ þam þare. And as it ware abowte none, þare come apon̛ þam a wilde man̛, als mekiƚƚ als a geaunte. And he was rughe of hare aƚƚ ouer, and his hede was lyke tiƚƚ a swyne, And̛ his voyce also. And when̛ Alexander saw hym, he bad his knyghtis tak hym̛ & bryng hym bi-for hym̛. And when̛ þay come abowte hym, he was na thynge fered, ne fledd̛ noȝte, bot stodd̛ baldly bi-fore þam̛. And when Alexander saw that, he comanded̛ þat þay sulde take a ȝonge dameseƚƚ & nakken̛ hir & sett hir bi-fore hym. And þay did̛ soo. And onane, he ranne apon̛ ℏir romyandd̛ as he hadd̛ bene wodd̛. Bot þe knyghtes wit grete deficcultee refte hyr fra hym. And ay he romyed̛ & made grete mane. And efte þay broghte hym tiƚƚ Alexander and sett hym bi-fore hym. And Alexander wonderd̛ gretly of his figure. And þan̛ he Page 90 gerte bynd̛ hym tiƚƚ a tree & make a fyre abowte hym & brynne hym. And so þay didd̛. Fra þeine þay remowed̛ & come tiƚƚ anoþer felde in þe whilke þare ware growand̛ treesse, of a wonderfuƚƚ heghte, and þay bigan̛ for to sprynge vp at þe son̛ rysynge; And̛ bi þe son̛ settynge þay wyted̛ a-way in-to þe erthe agayne. At þe firste houre of þe day þay bi-gan̛ to sprynge oute of þe erthe, & so þay wex ay to myddaye, and þan̛ þay bi-gan̛ to decresse. And by þe son̛ settynge þay ware in þe erthe agayne, And was na thyng of þam̛ sene bi-fore on̛ þe morne. Þir treesse bare a fruyte wonder swete of reflayre bot þay [ware] bitter of taste. When Alexander saw þat fruyte he bade a knyghte bryng hym þareoffe. And he went & tuk þare-offe, and onane a wikked̛ spirit smate hym, and be-lyfe he was dede. And þan̛ þay herd̛ a voyce in þe ayer þat said̛ on þis wyse: 'What man̛ so neghes þir treesse he saƚƚ dye onane.' Þare was also in þat felde fewles wonder meke & tame. Bot what man̛ so layde nande on any of þam, onane þare come fire oute of þam̛, & brynt hym riȝte greuosly.
[leaf 38] Than þay remowed̛ fra þeine, And come tiƚƚ a Mountayne, þat was so hye, þat þay ware viij dayes in gangyng ar þay myȝte wyne to þe heghte þare-offe. And when̛ þay come to þe heghte of it, þare come agaynes þam̛ a grete multitude of dragones, Serpentes, and lyones þe whilke turmentid̛ Alexander & his men̛ reghte gretely. And at þe laste, þay askaped̛ þaire daungere, and went doune of þe mountayne and come in-tiƚƚ a vaylay þat was so myrke þat vnnethes myghte ane of þam̛ See anoþer. In þat depe valay ware treesse growand̛ of whilke þe fruyte & þe lefes ware wonder sauory in þe tastynge, and reueƚƚs of water faire & clere. Aghte dayes contenuelly þay saw na son̛. And at þe viij days end̛ þay come to þe fote of a mountayne whare aƚƚ þe Oste thurgℏ a wikked thikk ayer ware so gretley disessed̛ þat þay ware in poynte to hafe bene choked̛ þare-offe. And when̛ þay come a-bown̛ on þe mountayne, þay fande þe ayer mare soteƚƚ, and þe lighte of þe day mare clere. And þus þay ware wendand̛ vpwarde, on̛ þis Mountayne Elleuen̛, xj, days wit grete trauaile. And when̛ þay come to þePage 91 hegheste of þis Mountayne, þay saw on þe toþer syde faire weder & bryghte. And þan̛ þay went down̛ of þis Mountayne, and come in tiƚƚ a grete playne of whilke þe erthe was wonder rede. And in þis playne þare ware growande treesse wit-owtten̛ nowmer; and þay passed noȝte a cubit in heghte, & þaire fruyte & þaire lefes ware passandly swete as þay had bene fyges. And þay fande þare reueƚƚs riȝte many, of clere water as cristaƚƚe. And it was als nureschand̛ to manes body, as it hadd̛ bene mylke wit-outen̛ eny oþer mete. Thurgh þat ilk playne þay went fourty .xl. days and þan̛ þay com tiƚƚ wonder heghe Mountaynes; and it semed as þe toppes had towched þe firmament. And þir Mountaynes ware als brant vp-riȝte as þay had bene walles. So þat þare was na clymbyng vpon̛ þam. And at þe laste þay fande twa passageȝ be-twix þase Mountaynes, of whilke, þe tane streched̛ to-warde þe west, and þe toþer towarde þe Este. Than Alexander demed̛ þat that dyuyson̛ be-twix þase Mountaynes was made thurgℏ Noye flode. And þan̛ þay went by þat passage þat streched to warde þe Este Seuen̛ days. And on̛ þe heghten̛ .viij. day þay fande a Basilisc þat men̛ calleȝ a Cocatrys, a grete & ane horrible. And bicause of his grete elde he was fouƚƚ stynkand̛. [leaf 38 bk.] Þis ilke Basilisc was so venymous, þat noȝte aƚƚ anely thurgℏ his stynke, bot also thurgℏ his sighte allane, whaym̛ so he luked̛ on̛, he sulde dy onane; þan̛ þe Macedoynes and þe persyenes, as þay passede thurgℏ þe strayt way dyed̛ thikk-falde thurgh þe sighte of þat Basilisc. And when̛ Alexander knyghtis saw that periƚƚ, þay durste passe na forther bot said̛ amangeȝ þam̛: 'Þe vertue of oure goddes,' quoth þay, 'es bifore vs, þat schewes vs þat we schulde ga na forthir.' Bot Alexander went bi hym ane vppon̛ an heghe cragge, where he myghte see on ferrome fra hym. And þan̛ he saw this pestellencius beste þe Basilisc lygg slepande in myddes of þe passage. Þe kynde of hym was þat, als so sone als he felid̛ a man̛ or a beste com̛ nere hym, for to open̛ his eghne & stare appon̛ þam̛, and als many als he luked on̛, solde sudaynly faƚƚe doun̛ & dye. When Alexander had sen hym, Be lyfe he went dounne of þe cragge, and gart sett a merke þat na man̛ sulde passe. And Page 92 þan̛ he gart a pavysse be made seuen̛ cubites of lenghte & foure on̛ brede; and on̛ þe vtter syde þare-offe he gart sett a grete Mirroure, And a large. And at þe nethir ende of þe pavisse he gart nayle a burde þe lenthe of a cubit for to couere wit his legges, and his fete, so þat na party of hym myȝte be sene. And þan Alexander tuk þis pavisse in his handis, and went towarde this Basilisc, and warned his men̛ þat nan̛ of þam̛ sulde passe his termes. And when̛ he come nere þe basillsc, þe basilisc opynde his eghne. And wit a grete ire he bi-belde þe Mirroure and saw hym-selfe þare-in. And of þe refleccion̛ of þe bemes of his sighte strykande appon̛ hym-selfe Sudanly he was dede. And when̛ Alexander knewe wele þat he was dede, he called̛ tiƚƚ his knyghtis; And bad þam̛ come see hym̛ þat slewe þaire felawes. And when̛ þay come tiƚƚ hym̛, þay saw þe Basilisc dede. And þan̛ þay comended̛ & prayssed̛ gretly his hardynesse and his hye witt, And went & brynede þe Basilisc at þe commandement of Alexander.
Fra þeine þay went tiƚƚ þey come to þe ferreste of þat waye ; and ferrere myȝte þay noȝte wynn̛. For þare ware so hye Mountaynes agaynes þam̛ and cragges like walles þat þay myȝte passe no forþer. And þan̛ þay turned̛ agayne, and come to þe forsaide playne; and went by þat way þat streched̛ to-warde þe weste fyvftene .xv. days. And þan̛ þay lefte þat way, And turnede on̛ þe lefte hande. And so þay went foure score iiij *. [In printed text, "xx" inserted superscript above "iiij"] days, and at þe laste þay come tiƚƚ a Mountayne of adamande; and at þe fute þare-offe þare hange chynes of golde. Þis Mountayne hadd̛ made [leaf 39] of saphyres twa thowsande greeȝ & a halfe, by þe whilke men̛ ascendid̛ to þe summit of þe Mountayne. And þare Alexander & his Oste luged þam̛.
And on þe morne Alexander Offerd̛ sacrafice tiƚƚ his goddes, And þan̛ he tuk with hym xij twelue prynceȝ of þe wyrchip-fulleste þat he hade, and went vp bi þe forsaid̛ greeȝ till he come aboun̛ on̛ þe Mountayne. And þare he fande a palace wonder faire and curiously wroghte; and it hade twelve ȝates and thre score & ten̛ wyndows. And þe lyntaƚƚs bathe of þe durs and of þe wyndows ware of fyn̛ golde, wele burnescht, and þat Palace was called̛ þe howse of þe son̛. Þare was alsoPage 93 a temple aƚƚ of golde & of precious stanes, And bi-fore þe dores þare-offe þare was a vyne of golde, berande grapes of charbuncles, of Rubyes, Dyamandeȝ, and many oþer maneres of precyous stanes. Þan̛ kyng Alexander & his princeȝ went in-to þe palace; and fande þare a man̛ liggand̛ in a bedd̛ of golde, and couerd̛ wit a riche clathe of golde. And he was riȝte a mekiƚƚ man̛ and a faire, And his berde & his heued̛ ware als whitt als any woƚƚe; and hym semed̛ lyke a Bischoppe. Als son̛ als Alexander & his prynceȝ saw þis alde man̛ þay knelid̛ dounne on þaire kneesse and saluste hym̛. And he ansuerd̛ & saide: 'Welcom̛ Alexander,' quoþ he, 'I teƚƚe the þou saƚƚ see, þat neuer flescly man̛ bi-fore this tyme sawe; And þou saƚƚ here þat neuer erthly man̛ herde are.' And Alexander ansuerd̛ & sayd̛: Maste blyssed̛ alde man̛,' quoth he, 'how hase þou knawyng of me ?' 'For sothe,' quoth he, 'bi-fore Noy flode couerde aƚƚ þe erthe, knewe I bathe the, & thi dedis. I wate wele þou desyres for to See þe haly treeȝ of þe Son̛ And þe Mone þe whilke telleȝ thyngeȝ þat ere to come.' 'Ȝaa for sothe,' quoþ Alexander, 'þer es na-thynge þat I desyre mare, þan̛ for to see þam̛.' And he was riȝt gladd̛. Þan̛ saide þe alde man̛ tiƚƚ hym: 'And ȝe be clene of flescly dede wit women̛, þan̛ es it leefuƚƚ to ȝow to see þam̛ and to entir in-to þat haly place þat es a sette of godd̛. And if ȝe be noȝte clene, it es noȝte leefuƚƚ to ȝow.' 'Ȝis, sir, sothely,' quoþ Alexander, 'we ere clene.' Þan̛ raise þe alde man̛ vp of þe bedd̛ þat he lay in, and said̛ vn-to þam̛: 'Putteȝ offe ȝour ryngeȝ,' quoþ he, 'and ȝoure clathes, & ȝour schone, and folowes me.' And þay dyd̛ so. And þan̛ Alexander tuk wit hym tholomeus and Antiochus, & folowed̛ þe alde man̛, and went thurgℏ þe wodd̛ þat was aboun̛ on̛ þe Mountayne closed̛ with mannes handeȝ. Þe [leaf 39 bk.] treesse of þat wodd̛ ware an hundreth .c. fote lange & hye, and þay ware lyke lorers or Olyue treesse; And out of þam̛ þare ran̛ rykyles & fynne bawme. And as þay went thurgℏ þat wodd̛ þay saw a tree wondere hye, in þe whilke þare satt a mekiƚƚ fewle. Þat tree hadd̛ noþer þare-on̛ lefes ne fruyte. Þe fewle þat satt þare-on̛ hadd̛ on̛ his hedd a creste lyk tiƚƚ a pacokke, & his beeke also crested̛. Abowte his nekke, he hadd̛ fethirs lyke golde. Þe hynder of hym was lyk purpure;Page 94 and þe tayle was ownnded̛ ouerthwert, wit a colour reede as rose & wit blewe. And his fethers ware riȝte faire schynand̛. When̛ Alexander saw þis fewle he was gretely meruailled̛ of þe faired̛ of hym; þan̛ saide þe Alde man̛: 'Alexander,' quoþ he, 'þis ilke fewle þat þou here seese es a fenix.' And þan̛ þay went forþer thurgℏ þe forsaid̛ wodd̛, And come to thiese haly treeȝ of þe son̛ & þe mone þat growed̛ in myddeȝ of þe wodde. And þan̛ þe alde man̛ saide tiƚƚ Alexander: 'Luke vp,' quoþ he, 'to ȝone haly treeȝ, and thynke in thi hert what preuatee so þe liste, and þou saƚƚ hafe a trewe ansuere. Bot luke þat þou speke na worde in opyn̛. And þare-by saƚƚ þou witt þat it es a gude spiritt, þat knawes thi thoghte.' Thir twa treeȝ were wonder hye. And þe tree of þe Son̛ had̛ leues lyk fyne golde, reed & faire schynande. And þe tree of þe mone had lefes whitt als syluer & faire schynande. And þan̛ walde Alexander hafe Offrede Sacrafyce to þir treeȝ. Bot þe alde man̛ walde noȝte suffre hym̛, bot said̛: 'It es noȝte leuefuƚƚ,' quoþ he, 'in þis haly place, nowþer to offre encense, ne to slaa na besteȝ, Bot to knele doun̛ to þe boles of þir treeȝ & kysse þam̛ & pray þe son̛ & þe mone to giffe trew ansuers.' And þan Alexander spirred̛ þe alde man̛, in what langage þe treeȝ sulde giffe þaire answers. And þe alde man̛ ansuerd̛ & said̛: 'The tree of þe Son,' quoþ he, 'answers owþer aƚƚ in þe langage of Inde or eƚƚs of grewe. And þe tree of þe Mone begynneȝ wit þe langage of grewe & endeȝ wit þe langage of Inde.'
And as þay stode þus spekande, Sudaynly þare come a bryghte beme fra þe weste þat schane ouer aƚƚ þe wodde. And þan̛ Alexander kneled̛ doun̛, and kyssede þe treeȝ an thoght þus in his hert: 'Saƚƚ I conquere aƚƚ þe werlde, and efterwardeȝ wit þe victorye wende hame to Macedoyne tiƚƚ my moder Olympias, and my sisters? And [leaf 40] þan̛ þe tree of þe son̛ ansuerd̛ softly in þe langage of Inde, And said þir verseȝ: 'Tu dominatorum orbis dominus simul et pater extas,Set patrum rignum per tempora nulla videbis;'þat es at say, 'þou ert bathe lorde & fader of aƚƚe þe werlde, Bot þe Rewme of thy Fadyrs saƚƚ þou neuer see wit thyn̛ eghne.' Þan̛ bygan̛ Alexander to thynke how lange he sulde lyffe,Page 95 and whate dedd̛ he sulde dye. And þe tree of þe Mone ansuerd̛ by þir twa verseȝ: 'Anno completo viues & mensibus octo,De quo confidis tibi mortis pocula dabit.' Þat es at saye, 'A twluemonthe & aughte monethes saƚƚ þou lyffe. And þan̛ he þat þou traisteȝ on̛, saƚƚ giffe þee a drynke of dedd̛.' Þan̛ bi-gan̛ Alexander to thynke in his hert on̛ þis wyse,
Apon þe morne Alexander & his Oste remowed̛ þeine & went agayneward̛ fyftene days, And come agayne to þe forsaid̛ playne & þare þay luged þam̛. And þare at þe entree of þa twa forsaid̛ ways, Alexander gart rayse vp twa pelers of Marble, and by-twixe þam̛ he haude a table of golde, on þe whilke was wretyn in þe langage of grewe, hebrew, of latyne, and of Inde, one this wyse: 'I, Alexander, Phillipp̛ son̛ of Macedoyne, Page 96 sett thir pelers here, after þe dedd̛ of Darius kyng of Perse and of Porus kynge of Inde. What man̛ so wiƚƚ passe forþer late hym̛ [leaf 40 bk.] tourne one þe lefte hand. For wha so tourneȝ one þe riȝte hande he saƚƚ fynde many obstacleȝ & greuanceȝ þat saƚƚ perauenture lett his agayne-commynge.
Fra þeine þay remowed̛ thurgℏ þat playne and lefte þase strayte wayes, takand̛ þe way westeward̛ þe gayneste towarde Macedoyne. And at þe laste þay come tiƚƚ a cuntree þat highte Prasiac, And þare þay luged̛ þam̛. And when̛ men̛ of þat cuntree herd̛ of þe commynge of Alexander, wit grete wirchipe þay broghte hym grete presanteȝ of swilk thyngeȝ as þay hadd̛ in þaire lande, þat es at say, skynnes of fischez lyke vn-to þe skynnes of pardes, or of lyouns also, and lawmpray skynnes of sex cubites lange. In þat cuntree was a noble citee aƚƚ of precyous stanes made wit-owtten̛ ƚyme or sande, sett apon̛ an hiƚƚ. Of þe whilke citee, a wirchipfuƚƚ lady and a faire hadd̛ þe lordechipe. Þis lady was wedowe and scho hadd̛ three sones. The firste of þam̛ highte Candeolus, þe secand̛ Marcipius, And þe thirde hight Carator. To þis lady Alexander sent a lettre of þis tenour:
'Alexander þe son̛ of godd̛ Amon̛ & of þe quene Olympias, kyng of kynges & lorde of lordes vn-to quene Candace of Meron̛ ioy & gretyng. We sende ȝow ane ymage of godd̛ Amon̛ aƚƚ of fyne golde; And þarefore comeȝ tiƚƚ vs þat we may wende togeder to þe Mountayne for to make sacrafyce þare to godd̛ Amon.' When̛ þe Qwene Candace hadd̛ redd̛ þis lettre, Scho sent hir embassatours tiƚƚ kyng Alexander wit grete presanteȝ and with a lettre of this tenour:
'Candace, quene of Meron̛, vn-tiƚƚ Alexander, kyng of kyngeȝ, ioy. Wele we knawe þat ȝe hafe by reuelacion̛ of godd̛ Amon̛ þat ȝe schulde couquere Perse, Inde and Egipte, and subiecte vn-to ȝow aƚƚ oþer nacions. And aƚƚ þat ȝe hafe done, noȝte allanly was graunted̛ bot also of aƚƚ oþer goddeȝ. Tiƚƚ vs þat hase faire saules & bryghte it nedeȝ noghte to make sacrafyce to godd̛ Amon̛ in þe Mountaynes. Neuer-þe-lesse bicause we wiƚƚ noȝte offende ȝowere maiestatee, we sende tiƚƚPage 97 Amon̛ ȝoure godd̛ a Coron̛ of golde and precyouse stanes, And ten̛ chynes of golde sett fuƚƚ of precious stanes. And vn-to ȝow we sende a hundrethe Besaunteȝ of golde; And twa hundreth papeiayes closed̛ in cageȝ [leaf 41] of golde, c childer of Ethipes, cc apes, cccc Olyphantis, xxxiiii *. [In printed text, "xx" inserted superscript above "xxxiiii," i.e., thirty-four score.] vnycornes, iij *. [A tilde appears above "iij" in printed text, i.e., three hundred?]panters skynneȝ, of pardeȝ & lyounes cccc, and we beseke ȝowre hye maieste þat ȝe wiƚƚ notyfye vn-tiƚƚ vs bi ȝour wirchipfuƚƚ lettres, wheder ȝe haue conquered̛ aƚƚe þe werlde and made it subiecte vn-to ȝow or noȝte.'
After þis ane of þe quene sonnes þat hight Candeolus went furthe of þe Citee wit his wyfe and a fewe of his menȝee for to take þe sporte. And onane þe kyng of þe Bebrikes, knawyng þe fairehed̛ of Candeolus wyfe, come appon̛ þam̛ with a grete multitude of men̛, and slew many of Candeolus menȝee and refte hym his wyfe & went his way. And þan̛ Candeolus and his men̛ þat ware lefte on lyfe went tiƚƚ Alexander Oste for to be-seke hym of helpe agaynes þe kynge of Bebrikes. And þe waches of þe oste tuke Candeolus & broghte hym bi-fore Tholomeus, þat was þe secund̛ person̛ after Alexander. And Tholomeus spirred̛ hym what he was, & what he did̛ þare. 'I am,' quoþ he, 'quene Candace son̛ and þis day als I went wit my wyfe & a preuee menȝee for to take þe sporte, þe kynge of þe Bebrikes come apon̛ vs wit a grete multitude of men̛ uand hase slayne many of my menȝee & refte me my wyfe. And þare-fore I am comen̛ heder for to beseke my lord̛, þe Emrerour, of helpe & socoure.' When Tholomeus had herd̛ þis onane he garte take kepe of Candeolus & went tiƚƚ Alexander tentis and wakkned̛ Alexander & talde hym & talde ilk a dele þat Candeolus had talde hym. And when̛ Alexander hadd̛ herde Page 98 his tale he badd̛ hym gange agayne tiƚƚ his tent and do a coroun̛ on̛ his hede and putt apon̛ hym̛ þe kyngeȝ clothynge, [leaf 41 bk.] and sett hym in the kyngeȝ trone & say Vn-to Candeolus þat he was kyng Alexander. 'And bidd̛ an of thi men̛,' quoþ he, 'feche vn-to þe Antyochus, And̛ late hym bryng me to þe insteedd̛ of Antyochus, and when̛ I come bi-for thee telle me bi-fore Candeolus aƚƚ þat he talde the. And̛ aske me conseƚƚ, als I ware Antyochus, what es beste to do in þat mater.' Tholomeus went and didd̛ aƚƚ als Alexander badd̛ hym. And̛ he asched̛ Alexander in stedd̛ of Antyochus be-fore Candeolus what was beste to do. And Alexander ansuerd̛ & sayde on herand̛ Candeolus: 'Wirchipfuƚƚ Emperour,' quoþ he, 'if it be plesynge to ȝour maiestee I wiƚƚ go wit Candeolus þis same nyghte to þe kynge of þe Bebrikes, and comande hym one ȝour byhalue þat he ȝelde Candeolus his wyfe agayne. And if he wiƚƚ noȝte do soo, I saƚƚ late hym witt þat ȝe saƚƚ sende a grete powere to his Citee & bryne it vp stikke & stourre.' When Candeolus hadd̛ herde hym say þus, he knelyd̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym & said̛: 'A a, wirchipfuƚƚ Antyochus,' quoþ he, ' wele walde it seme þe for to be a kyng for þe hye witt and̛ þe manhede þat es in the.' Than̛ kyng Alexander tuke wit hym a grete powere and went apon̛ þe same nyghte wit Candeolus vn-to þe Citee, whare þe kyng of þe Bebrikes lay. And̛ whan̛ þay come to þe citee, þe waytes cryed̛ apon̛ þam̛, and askede what þay ware. And Alexander ansuerd̛ & sayd̛: 'Candeolus,' quoþ he, 'es here wit ane Oste of men̛, and þe cause of his commynge es to be restorede agayne of his wyfe þe whilke ȝour kynge raueste away fro hym̛ þis same day. And my lord̛ kyng Alexander commandeȝ ȝow þat ȝe delyuer hir anone, or sewrely we saƚƚ brynne this citee & ȝour selfe are we passe hethyn̛.' And when̛ þe men̛ of þe citee herde this, þay ware ferde ynoghe and onane went to þe kyngeȝ palace & brakke vp þe ȝates, & tuke Candeolus wyfe & delyuerd̛ hir tiƚƚ hir lorde. Þan̛ Candeolus kneled̛ doun̛ tiƚƚ Alexander & saide vn-tiƚƚ hym: 'A a, my dere frende,' quoþ he, 'wirchipfuƚƚ Antyochus, Blyssed mot þou be for þis grete gudnes þat þou hase schewed̛ mee. And I beseke the nowe þat Page 99 þou wiƚƚ vouche-saffe for to wende with me vn-to my moder quene Candace, þat scho may rewarde þe for þis þat þou hase done for me.' And when̛ Alexander herde this he was riȝte gladde. For he had gretely desyrede for to see quene Candace & hir citee also. And þan he sayd̛: 'Goo we,' quoþ he, 'to þe emperour and asche hym leue.' And þay did̛ soo; and when̛ he had leue, he went wit Candeolus. And as þay went to-gedir þay come tiƚƚ heghe mountaynes þat reched vpto þe clowdes and apon̛ þam þare growed̛ trees of a wonderfuƚƚ heghte lyke [leaf 42] vn-to cedres þat bare appiƚƚs of Inde riȝte grete, Of þe whilk Alexander wonnderde hym gretly. Þay saw also þare vynes growe wit wondere grete bobbis of grapes; for a man̛ myȝte vnnetheȝ bere an̛ of þam̛. Þare ware also trees þat bare nutteȝ als grete als gourddeȝ. And þare ware also many apes. Fra þeine þay went & come to þe citee of quene Candace.
And when̛ Candace herd teƚƚ þat hir son̛ Candeolus and his wyfe ware comande and ware safe & sounde, And̛ at a messangere of kyng Alexander come wit þaim̛, scho was wonder gladde; and onane scho arayed̛ hir ryally as a quene suld be, and sett apon̛ hir hedde a croun̛ fuƚƚ ryche aƚƚ of golde sett fuƚƚ of precyouse stanes, and̛ went furthe wit hir lordes to þe ȝates of hir palace, for to mete hir son̛ Candeolus and̛ Alexander messanger. This quene was a wondere faire lady & a semely; And when̛ Alexander saw hir, hym thogℏte als he hade sene his moder Olympias. Hir palace was wonder ryaƚƚe & precyouse and̛ aƚƚ þe ruffe þare-of schane wit golde & precyouse stanes. Than̛ quene Candace tuke Alexander bi þe hande, And ledd̛ hym vp tiƚƚ hir chambir, whare þare ware beddes arayed̛ wit þe fyneste clathes of golde þat myghte be getyn̛; And þat chambir was of golde & precyous stanes, þe whilke are called̛ Onychyns & þe burdeȝ & þe bynkes of euour & Smaragdeȝ & Amatistes. Þe Pelers of þe Palace ware aƚƚ of Marble, And̛ þar ware grauen̛ in þam̛ cartes of werre, þat semed̛ to mannes sighte as þay hadd̛ bene rynnand̛; And Olyphanntes tredand̛ men̛ vnder þaire fete. Vndernethe þat Palace rane a water wonder swete, & clere as any cristaƚƚe. Page 100 Þat day Alexander ete wit quene Candace & hir childire.
Apon̛ þe morne quene Candace tuk Alexander by þe right hande & ledd̛ hym in-tiƚƚ hir bedd̛-chambir, and nane wit þam̛, Bot þay twa allan̛. Þis chambir was couerde aƚƚ ouer wit-in wit golde & precious stanes. And it schane wit-in, as it had bene þe sonne. And oute of þis chambir scho ledd̛ hym in-tiƚƚ a wit-drawyng chambir made of cypresse. Þis chambir was sett apon̛ foure wheles by crafte of clergy; And twenty xxti Olyphauntis drewe it whedir as scho wolde hafe it. And when̛ Alexander & þe quene ware entrede in-to þat chambir, onane it stirredd̛ & by-gan for to remowe. And þan̛ Alexander was astonayde & meruaylled̛ hym̛ gretly & said vn-to þe quene : For sothe,' quoþ he, ' & þir meruaiƚƚs ware in oure cuntree þay ware riȝte commendable & mekiƚƚ worthy [leaf 42 bk.] to be praysede.' The quene answerde: 'Þou saise sothe, Alexander,' quoþ scho, 'þay ware mare commendable amangeȝ þe Grekeȝ, þan̛ amangeȝ vs. And also sone als Alexander herde hys name be neuenede, he was gretly trubblede, and his vesage bi-gan̛ to waxe pale, and his chere to change. And than the quene said efte vn-to hym: 'Alexander,' quoþ she, 'for to schewe þe mare verrayly þat þou ert Alexander, com̛ with me.' And þan̛ scho tuk hym̛ by þe hande & leedde hym in-tiƚƚ anoþer chambir, and schewed̛ hym þare his awenn̛ Fygure purtrayed̛ in a parchemyn̛ skyne. And when̛ Alexander saw þat, he wex pale & wanne & biganne to tremblee. And þan̛ þe quene said vn-tiƚƚ hym: 'Alexander,' quoþ scho,' where-fore ert þou ferde, & why chaungeȝ þou chere. Thou þat hase distroyed̛ aƚƚ þe werlde; conquerour of Perse, of Inde, of Mede, and many oþer rewmes & landeȝ, Now arte þou witowtten̛ scheddynge of blode fallen̛ in þe dawngere & in þe handeȝ of quene Candace vnauysyli. And þare-by may þou wele knawe þat a manes hert sulde on na wyse be enhanced̛ in pride. For if aƚƚ it bee þat ofte tymmes grete prosperitee faƚƚ to man̛, Sodaynly falleȝ adversitee tiƚƚ hym when̛ he leste wenes.' When̛ Alexander herde þis he bigan̛ to grayste wit þe teethe and to torne his hede hedir & thedir, And quene Candace saide vn-tiƚƚ hym̛: 'Whare to angers þou þe,' quoþ scho, '& trubleȝ thi selfe? What may now thi grete Imperiaƚƚ glory, thi witt & thi mighte seruePage 101 the offe?' Alexander ansuerde & said̛: Forsothe,' quoþ Alexander, 'resonably I am angry at my selfe bi-cause I hafe na swerde here.' Quoþ þe quene: 'I suppose þou hadd a swerde, nowe, what walde do þare-wit?' 'Sothely,' quoþ he, 'bi-cause I hafe wilfully betrayed̛ my-selfe vn-to þe. First I solde sla þe and þan̛, I dowte it noȝt, I sulde be slayne for þe.' 'Now for sothe,' quoþ scho, 'þis was wisely & man̛fully sayde. Neuer-þe-less be nathynge heuy. For as þou delyuerde my son̛ wyfe Candeolus oute of þe daungere of þe kyng of Bebrikes Swaa saƚƚ I delyuer the oute of þe daungere of thyn̛ enemys þat þou hase here. For I say þe in certayne, and it ware knawen̛ þat þou ware here vn-to my menȝee, onane þay walde slaa þe by-cause þou slewe Porus þe kynge of Inde. For my son̛ wyfe Carator was his doughter.' And when̛ scho had said þis, Scho tuk Alexander bi þe hande & ledd̛ hym forthe in-tiƚƚ hir forchambire and said̛ vntiƚƚ hir sones: 'My dere sonnes,' quoþ scho, 'I pray ȝow late vs make þis knyghte of Alexander gude chere, and schew hym̛ aƚƚ þe humanytee þat we can̛. For Alexander has schewed̛ vs grete frendchipe and grete gudnesse.' And þan̛ hir ȝongeste ansuerde & said̛: 'Moder,' [leaf 43] quoþ he, 'sothe it es þat he es a messangere of Alexanders, & a knyghte of his, and þat he delyuerde my broþer wyfe of þe handeȝ of þe kynge of þe Bebrikes and broghte hym & hir hame vn-tiƚƚ vs bathe safe & sownde. Neuer-þe-lesse my wyfe constreyneȝ me for to do Antyochus to dede bi-cause of þe dede of hir Fadir Porus, whilke Alexander slewe, So þat Alexander may hafe sorow for his knyghte. Quoþ quene Candace þan̛: 'Lefe son̛, what wirchip̛ may we get þare-offe if we slaa this knyghte þus traytourusly.' And þan̛ Candeolus sayde wit a grete Ire, 'Þis knyghte,' quoþ he, 'saued̛ me & my wyfe & broghte vs hedir safe & sonde; And als saffe saƚƚ I hafe hym, agayne tiƚƚ his lorde, or I saƚƚ be dede þarefore.' And Carator ansuerde & saide: 'Broþer,' quoþ he, 'what says þou? wiƚƚ þou þat aythere of vs here slaa oþer?' 'In gud faythe broþer,' quoþ he, 'it es noȝte my wiƚƚ, ne my liste. Neuer-þe-lesse if it be thi liste, I am redy, rather þan̛ þis knyghte be dedde.' And when̛ þe quene saw þat hir sonnes walde ayther of þam̛ slaa oþer, scho was wonder sary, and tuk Alexander on̛ syde, and saide vn-tiƚƚ hym preualy: 'A, a, kyng Alexander,' Page 102 quoþ scho, 'whi wiƚƚ þou noȝte schewe thi witt, and helpe thurgℏ thi wisdom̛ þat my sonnes slaa noȝt ayther of þam̛ oþer ?' And Alexander answerde and said̛: 'Late me goo speke wit þam,' quoþ he. And scho lete hym goo. And he went to þam̛ and sayde vn-to Carator: 'For sothe, Carator,' quoþ he, 'I late þe wite þat if þou slaa me, þou saƚƚ wynne bot lyttiƚƚ wirchipe þareoffe. For I say þe, kyng Alexander hase many worthyer knyghtis wit hym þan̛ I am̛; And þare-fore he wiƚƚ hafe littiƚƚ sorowe for my dede. Trowes þou þat and Alexander hadd̛ lufed me wele þat he walde hafe sent me hyder to be killed̛ amangeȝ ȝowe. Bot if þou wiƚƚ þat I beken̛ the Alexander þe slaere of þi wyfe fader & bryng hym bi-for the, Swere me þat what so I asche þe, þou saƚƚ graunte mee it, And I sure þe bi þe faythe of my body, I saƚƚ bryng Alexander in-to þis palace be-fore þe.' And when̛ Carator herde this, he was riȝte glade, and trowed þat that Alexander said̛. And so ware þe twa breþer pesede, And highte Alexander þat his askynge sulde be fulfilled̛ als ferforthe als þaire powere reched, if so ware þat he helde couenant. Þan̛ quene Candace leedd Alexander on syde & sayd̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym in preuatee: 'Wele ware me,' quoþ scho, 'myghte I ilke day hafe þe present be-fore myn̛ eghne as I hafe myn̛ awenn̛ childere. For thurgh the sulde I ouercome aƚƚ myn̛ Enemys.' And þan̛ [scho] gaffe Alexander a coroun̛ of golde sett fuƚƚ of precyous dyamandeȝ, and a mantiƚƚ Imperiaƚƚ of a clathe of golde [leaf 43 bk.] wit sternes wofen þare-in̛, and sett fuƚƚ of precyouse stanes. And þan̛ scho kyssed̛ hym & oþer preuee thyngeȝ didd̛ tiƚƚ hym, And badde hym goo in hir blyssynge.
Than kyng Alexander and Candeolus went furthe aƚƚ that daye, And come tiƚƚ a grete spelunc, and þare þay herberde þam̛. And Candeolus saidetiƚƚ Alexander: 'In this spelunc,' quoþ hee, 'þat you here seeȝ aƚƚ goddeȝ ere wount for to ete and halde þaire consaiƚƚ.' And þan̛ onane Alexander made sacrafyceȝ tiƚƚ his goddeȝ and enterde in-to þe caue by hym ane. And þare he sawe a myrke clowde, & in þat myrknesse, he sawe as it ware bryghte sternes, and amangeȝ þase sternes he saw a grete godd̛ sitt, And his eghne lyke twa lanternes. And when̛ Alexander saw hym̛ he was so fered̛ þat he was as it hadd̛ benePage 103 in a transynge. And þan̛ þe godd̛ said vn-to hym̛: 'Haile, Alexander,' quoþ he. And Alexander ansuerde & said̛: 'Lorde,' quoþ he, 'what art þou ?' 'I am,' quoþ he, 'Senson̛chosis þat gouerneȝ þe kyngdom̛ of þe werlde and þat hase made men̛ sugettes vn-to the. And þou hase bigged̛ þiselfe many ryaƚƚe citeeȝ. Bot temple walde þou nane make in þe wirchippe of me.' And Alexander ansuerd̛ & said̛: 'Lorde,' quoþ he, '& þou wiƚƚ graunt me þat I saƚƚ wit prosperitee come in-to Macedoyne I saƚƚ ordeyne the a temple þare saƚƚ noȝte be swilke anoþer in aƚƚ þe werlde.' And he ansuerd̛ agayne & saide: 'For sothe,' quoþ hee, 'Macedoyne saƚƚ þou neuer see wit thyn̛ eghne. Neuer-þe-lesse walke Innermare & luke what þou seeȝ.' Alexander þan̛ went forthirmare & saw anoþer myrke clowde and saw a godd̛ sitt in a trone lyke a kynge, and Alexander said vn-tiƚƚ hym: 'Lorde,' quoþ he, 'what art þou ?' 'I am,' quoþ he, 'þe begynnynge of aƚƚ goddeȝ and Serapis es my name. I sawe the in þe lande of liby & nowe I see þe here.' 'Serapis,' quoþ Alexander, 'I beseke þe teƚƚe me wha it es þat sall sla me.' Quod Serapis: 'I talde þe bi-fore, þat and þe cause of a manes dede ware knawen̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym, he solde dy for sorowe. Þou hase bygged a glorious citee agaynes þe whilke many emperours saƚƚ fighte. Þare-in saƚƚ thi graue be made and þare-in saƚƚ þou be beried̛.' And þan̛ Alexander come oute of þe caue, and tuke his leue at Candeolus and went tiƚƚ his Oste.
One þe morne he remowed̛ his Oste And come tiƚƚ a valay þat was fuƚƚ of grete serpentes þe whilk hade in þaire heuedis Grete smaragdeȝ. Thir serpenteȝ [leaf 44] lyffede aƚƚ wit gyngere and pepir þat growede in þe valaye. And ilke a ȝere þay feghte to-gedir and many of þam̛ slaeȝ oþer. Off þe forsaid Smaragdes tuk Alexander sum̛ wit hym of þe gretteste þat he couthe gett.
Fra þeine þay remowed̛ & come in-tiƚƚ a place in þe whilke þare ware besteȝ þat hade one ilke a fote twa clees as swyne hase, and þase clees ware three fote brade wit þe whilke þay smate Alexander knyghtes. Þay had also heuedes lyke swyne & tayles lyke lyouns. Þare ware also amangeȝ þam̛ grypes þe Page 104 whilke smate [ kynghtes ] in þe vesageȝ reghte felly. Þay ware so strange þat ane of þam̛ wolde bere away an armed̛ knyghte & his horse also. Þan̛ kynge Alexander rade hedir & þedir amangeȝ his men̛ and comforthed̛ þam̛ and badd̛ þam̛ feghte manly agaynes þam̛ wit speres and wit arowes. And so þay did̛. Bot þare was slayne of Alexander knyghtes ccviii.
And fra þeine þay remowed̛ and come tiƚƚ a grete ryuer þe whilke was twenty furlange on brede fra þe ta banke to þe toþer. And on þase bankes þare growed̛ redis wonder grete and hye. Of þase redes garte Alexander mak bates & anoynte þam̛ wit terre & talgℏ of besteȝ, And badd̛ his knyghtis row ouer þe water in þase bates. And þay did̛ soo. And when̛ þe [pople] of þe cunntree herde teƚƚ of þe commynge of Alexander & his Oste, þay sent hym gyftes of swylk thyngeȝ als was in þaire cuntree, þat es at say Grete spoungeȝ bathe whitte & purpure & schelles of þe see so grete þat an of þam̛ walde halde twa pekkes or three. Þay sent hym also wormes þat þay drew owte of þat ryuer grettere þan̛ a manes thee, and þay ware swetter of taste þan̛ any fysche. Þay gaffe hym Cukstoles aƚƚ rede þat ware of a wonderfuƚƚ gretnesse. In þat ryuer ware womans þat ware wonder faire & þay hade on̛ þam̛ mekiƚƚ here þat rechedd̛ doun̛ to thaire fete. Þir women̛, when þay saw any straunge men̛ swymme in þat riuer, owþer þay drownned̛ þam̛ in þe water, or eƚƚs þay walde lede þam̛ to þe redeȝ þat growed̛ on̛ þe water bankes and garre þam̛ lye by þam̛ ay tiƚƚ any lyfe was in þam̛. Þe Macedoynes persued þam̛ & tuke twa of þam̛ and broghte þam̛ tiƚƚ Alexander, [leaf 44 bk.] and þay ware als white as any snawe, and þay ware ten fote lange and þaire teethe ware lyke dogge teethe.
Efter this Alexander went and closed̛ in a maner of folkee þat are called̛ Gog & Magog, with-in þe hilleȝ of Caspy. Þis folkeȝ were of þe ten kyndeȝ of Israel, and þay ware leedd̛ owte of þaire awenn̛ land̛ bi a kyng of Perse be-cause of þaire synneȝ and halden in thralledom̛. And þay asched̛ Alexander leue for to wende furtℏ of þat cuntree. And Alexander gert spirre þe cause of þaire thraldom̛, and he was encensed̛ þat be-cause þayPage 105 hadd̛ forsaken̛ þaire goddeȝ lawe, þat es at say, godd̛ of Isrƚ, and wirchiped̛ Calues & oþer Mawmettes, þare-fore þay ware ledd̛ oute of þaire awenn̛ lande & halden̛ in thralldom̛, and þat prophetes had prophiced̛ be-fore þat þay sulde neuer come oute of thraldom̛ bi-fore agayne þe day of dome. And þan̛ Alexander ansuerde & said þat he sulde sperre þam̛ In̛ mare seurely. And þan̛ he garte close aƚƚ þe entreeȝ wit stane & lyme & sand̛, Bot aƚƚ þat he garte make on þe day was fordone on̛ þe nyghte. And when̛ Alexander saw þat mannes laboure myghte noȝte stande in stede, he bi-soghte godd̛ of Isrƚ þat if it ware his liste þat þay habade þare, þat he walde close þam̛ in. And þe nexte nyghte aftir ilk a cragge feƚƚe tiƚƚ oþer, and so þare may nathynge passe in nor owte. And þare-by it semeȝ þat it es noȝte goddeȝ wiƚƚ þat þay come oute. Neuer-þe-lesse abowte þe Ende of þe werlde þay saƚƚ breke oute and do mekiƚƚ schathe & slaa many men̛.
Fra þeine þay remowed̛ & come to þe grete See Occeane. In þat See þay sawe ane Ile a littiƚƚ fra þe lande. And in þat Ile þay herde men̛ speke grewe. And þan̛ Alexander commanded̛ þat sum̛ of his knyghts sulde do off þaire clathes and swyme ouer to þe ile. And þay did̛ soo. And als sone als þay come in þe See þare come gret crabbes vp oute of þe water & pullede þam̛ downne to þe grounde & drownned̛ þam̛.
Thanne remowed̛ þay fra thethyn̛ and went ay endlande þe See syde to-warde þe solstice of wynter trauellande xƚ days; and at þe laste þay come to a reede See, and þare þay lugede þam̛. Þare was faste by a Mountayne wonder hye, One þe whilke Alexander went vp. And when̛ he was abown̛ on̛ þe heghte þare-offe, hym thoghte þat he was nerre þe Firmament þan þe erthe; þan̛ he ymagned̛ in his hert swilk a gynn̛ how he myghte make [leaf 45] grippes bere hym vp in-to þe ayere. And onane he come doune of þe Mountayne and garte come bi-fore hym̛ his Maistre wrightes and comandid̛ þam̛ þat þay sulde make hym a chayer and trelesse it wit barreȝ of Iren̛ one ilk a syde so þat he myȝte sauely sitt þare-in. And þan̛ he gart brynge foure gripes and tye þam̛ faste wit Iren̛ cheynes vn-to þe chayere, and in þe ouermare party of þe chayere he gart putt Page 106 mete for þe grippes. And pan̛ he wente and sett hym̛ in þe chayere. And onane þe grippes bare hym vp in þe ayer so hye þat Alexander thoghte aƚƚ þe erthe na mare þan̛ a flure þare men̛ thresscheȝ corne, and þe See lyke a dragon̛ abowte þe erthe. Þan̛ sodaynly a specyaƚƚ vertu of godd̛ vmbilapped þe grippes þat gart þam̛ discende douue to þe erthe in a felde: ten .x. day iournee fra þe Oste, and he hadd̛ na hurt ne na schathe in þe chayere. Bot wit grete disesse at þe laste he come tiƚƚ his Oste.
After þis Alexander ymagened in his hert þat he walde knaw þe preuates þat are in þe see. And onane he gart come bifore hym̛ aƚƚ þe Maister glasyers þat ware in þe Oste, And comandede þam̛ to make hym a grete tounne of passandly clere glasse þat he myghte thurgℏ it clerely see aƚƚ maner of thynge þat ware wit-owtten̛ it. And when̛ it was made he gart trelesse it al abowte witowtten̛ wit barres of yren̛ and feste þare-to lang cheynes of yren̛, and gart a certane of þe strangeste & maste tristy knyghtes þat langed̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym halde þir cheynes. And þan̛ he went in-to þe tounne & gart pykke wele þe entree whare he went in, and þan̛ late it doun̛ into þe See. And þare he sawe dyuerse schappes of fisches of dyuerse colours; and sum̛ he sawe hafe þe schappe of dyuerse besteȝ here one þe lande, gangande on fete as besteȝ dose here & etande fruyte of treesse þat groweȝ on þe See grunde. Þir besteȝ come tiƚƚ hym. Bot onane as þay saw hym thorow þe glasse þay fledde fra hym. He sawe þare also many oþer meruaylous thyngeȝ, þe whilke he walde teƚƚ na man̛ bi-cause men̛ walde noghte hafe trowed̛ þam̛ if he had talde þam̛, and at a certayne houre þase þat he hadd̛ assyngned be-fore, his knyghtes drewe hym vp oute of þe See.
Fra þeine þay Remowed̛ Folowande þe bankes of þe Rede See, and luged þam̛ in a place, whare þare ware wylde Besteȝ that hade on̛ þaire heuedis hornes lyke vn-to [leaf 45 bk.] sawes, and þay ware als scharpe als swerdeȝ. And with thire hornes þay slewe & hurte many knyghtis of Alexanders & cloue þaire cheldes in sonder. Neuer-þe-lesse Alexander knyghtis slew of þam̛ ccccli.
And fra beine þay remowed̛ and come in-tiƚƚ wildernessPage 107 bitwex þe reed̛ See and Araby, whare grete multitude of Pepir growed̛; And þare ware many grete nedders wit hornnes on þaire hedes lyke tuppe hornes, wit þe whilke þay smate Alexander knyghtis riȝt felly. Off þase nedderes slew þe Macedoynes a grete party.
Þeine þay remowed̛ and luged̛ in a place whare many Rynosephales ware, þe whilke hade heuedes & manes lyke horseȝ. And þay hade grete bodys, and wonder grete teethe and lange, and oute of þaire mouthes þay schotte flawmeȝ of fyre. And when̛ þay saw þe Oste luge þare þay come & assaylled̛ þam̛. And Alexander ran̛ hyder and thedir amangeȝ þe oste and comforthed̛ his knyghtes and bad þam̛ feghte manly wit þase monstres. And so þay didd̛. Neuer-þe-lesse þare ware a grete multitude of his knyghtis slayne of þase besteȝ. Bot of þe Rynocephales þare was slayne an hugge multitude.
Þan̛ þay remowed̛ fra þeine and come in-tiƚƚ a champayne cuntree and luged̛ þam̛ þare, And lay þare a certane days, Bi-cause of his horse Buktyphalas þat feƚƚ seke þare; of þe whilke sekenesse he dyed̛. And when̛ Alexander saw hym dedd̛ he made grete dole for hym and weped̛ for hym riȝt sare. For he hadd̛ borne hym in many a Bateƚƚe, and broghte [hym] oute of many pereƚƚs. And þare-fore when̛ he was dede Alexander gart doo aboute hym grete exequyes and gart make hym a fuƚƚ riche toumbe & a hye and did̛ hym þare-in and made a grete citee þare, þe whilke in mynde of his horse he gart caƚƚ Buktyphalas.
Fra þeine þay remowed̛ and come tiƚƚ a ryuere þat was called̛ Cytan or Deciracy whare men̛ of þe cuntree broghte hym̛ ṽ Olyphantes and ṽ cartes of werre. And fra þeine þay remowed̛ & come tiƚƚ kynge ȝerses palace. And in þat Palace þay fande beddeȝ of clene golde many a thowsande. Þare ware also grete fewles white als doufes, þe whilke had knawyng be-fore of a seke man̛ wheder he schulde lyffe or dye. For if þay by-helde þe seke man̛ in þe vesage, he schulde mende & fare wele. And if þay tourned̛ þam awaywarde witowtten̛ Page 108 doute he schulde dye, [leaf 46] and if þay tourned hym þe bakke wit owtten̛ dowte he sulde dye.
FRa þeine þay remowed̛ and come to þe grete Citee of Babiloyne and wanne it oo werre and slew þe kynge þare-offe & þe Captayne also. And pare he duelled̛ vn-tiƚƚ his lyffes end̛, and pat was Bot vij seuen̛ Monethes. In þat mene tyme Alexander sent a lettre tiƚƚ Olympias his Moder and tiƚƚ his Mayster Arestotle, latand̛ þam̛ witte of þe Bateƚƚs and þe dyssese þat þay suffred̛ bathe wynters and Somers in Inde and oþer cuntreeȝ, and also of þe Bateƚƚs þat þay had̛ hadd̛ wit dyuerse Monstres. And þan̛ Arestotle wrate anoþer lettre tiƚƚ Alexander agayne þe whilke was of this tenour:
'Un-tiƚƚ Alexandere þe grete kynge of kyngeȝ Arestotle sendeȝ ioy and seruyce. When̛ I hade redde ȝour wyrchipfuƚƚ lettres I was gretly astonayd̛. For whilke cause I desyre with aƚƚ myn̛ hert for to fynde lonynge þat I myghte ȝelde vn-to þe. I take witnesse at oure goddeȝ þat for þe passande hardenesse of þi ℏert & þe grete auentours þat þou hase put þe in, þou erte wele worthy for to be loued̛ & praysede. For þou hase sene & assayed̛ thyngeȝ þat neuer man̛ or þis durste assaye. Whare-for thankynge & lonynge I ȝelde to þe makere of aƚƚ þis wyde werlde þat swylke victoryes hase grantede vn-to þe. For þou hase ouercommen̛ aƚƚ & nane hase ouercomen̛ þe. Fuƚƚ blyssede are aƚƚ thy prynceȝ þat hase bene obeyande vnto þe, and helped̛ þe in aƚƚ thi disesseȝ.'
Afftir þis Alexander gart make in Babyloyne a wonder curious trone of golde, þare was noȝte swilke anoþer in þe werlde. For þe grekeȝ broghte so mekiƚƚ golde oute of perse & oute of Inde, þat it ware wonder for to telle. Þis ilke toure was twlue cubyteȝ hye and by twelue greceȝ men̛ ascended̛ þare-too, and þase greeȝ ware aƚƚ of golde. Þis trone was wonderfully wroghte and sett apon̛ twelue ymageȝ of golde, þe whilke trone þe forsaid̛ ymageȝ helde vp wit þaire hende. And on þase twelue ymageȝ ware wretyn̛ þe names of þe twelue prynceȝ of Macedoyne. Þe seet of þe trone was of a Smaragde,Page 109 & þe sydeȝ þare off ware of Topaȝes & in ilkan̛ of þe greeȝ ware sett dyuerse maneres of precyouse stanes. In þe summyt of þis trone þare wassett a ruby þat schane on þe nyghte as it hade bene þe Mone. In þis trone also was þare sett on̛ ilke a syde dyuerse ymageȝ on þe whilke ware wretyn̛ bathe in latyne & in grew [leaf 46 bk.] verseȝ þat contened̛ aƚƚ þe nammes of þe rewmes & cuntreeȝ þat Alexandere had conquered̛ and ware sugetes vn-tiƚƚ hym.
After þis Alexander gert make a coron̛ of golde sett fuƚƚ of aƚƚ maner of precyouse stanes, and gert wryte apon̛ it a tytle in grew & in latyn̛: 'Ortus & occasus, Aquilo michi seruit & Auster.' Þat es at saye: 'Est & weste, Northe & southe dose seruyce vn-to me.' In the mene tyme whils Alexander was in babyloyne, a woman̛ was delyuer of a knaue childe þe whilke fra þe heuede to þe nauyƚƚ hadd̛ schappe of man̛, & was borne dedd̛. And fra þe nauyƚƚ downwardeȝ it had lyknesse of dyuerse besteȝ and was qwykke. Þis Monstre was taken̛ & broghte tiƚƚ Alexander; and als son̛ als he saw it he meruaylled̛ gretly þare-off, and gart come bi-fore hym̛ a philosopher þat couthe of wiche-crafte, & aschede hym what it sygnyfyed̛. And when̛ þe philosopher saw it, he syghede, & saye wepand̛ sayde vn-to hym: 'Sothely wirchipfuƚƚ emperour,' quoþ he, 'þe tyme commeȝ nere that þou saƚƚ passe oute of this werlde.' 'Telle me,' quoþ Alexander, 'whareby þou knawes þat.' And þe philosophre ansuerde & sayde: 'My lorde,' quoþ he, 'þe halfe of þis Monstre þat hase þe schappe of man̛ & es dedd̛, betakens þat þou saƚƚ passe out of þis werlde in haste. And þe toþer party þat hase þe lyknes of dyuerse besteȝ & es on lyfe, betakynges þe kynges þat saƚƚ come after þe. Bot þare saƚƚ nane of þam̛ be lyke vn-to þe, na mare þan̛ a beste es lyke vn-tiƚƚ a man̛.' When̛ Alexander herde þis he was wonder heuy, and sare wepand̛ he sayde on þis wyse: 'O Aƚƚmyghty Iubiter,' quoþ he, 'what meneȝ it þat my dayes saƚƚ be so schortte ? Me thynke þat it had bene semely þat I had leffed̛ langere for tiƚƚ haf endid̛ thyngeȝ þat are in my thoghte. Bot for als mekiƚƚ als it es noȝte plesande vn-to þe, I beseke the þat þou resayffe me when̛ I saƚƚ passe hethen̛ als thyn̛ awen̛ seruante.'
In this mene tyme þare was in Macedoyne a lorde þat highte Page 110 Antipater, þe whilke of langetyme be-fore hadd̛ casten for þe dedde of Alexander; And wit many oþer þat he hadd̛ confedred̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym̛ he conspyred̛ for to brynge it tyƚƚ ende, bot he myghte neuer come aboute þer-with. For Olympias, Alexander moder, wrate vn-tiƚƚ hym ofte-sythes and warned̛ hym þat he scholde be warre wit Antipater & his childre, and here-fore was Antypater wonder sary. So apon̛ a tyme he vmbythoghte hym þat he myghte neuer come aboute wit his purpose for to slaa Alexander, bot if it ware thurgℏ enpuysonynge. [leaf 47] And so apon̛ a daye he went tiƚƚ a Soteƚƚ leche, and boghte of hym̛ a maner of drynke made of puyson̛ that was so feƚƚe & se ranke þat þare myghte no vesseƚƚe halde it Bot a vesseƚƚ made of Iren̛; and þare-in he putt it. And þan̛ he gaffe it his son̛ Cassandre, and bad̛ hym bere it tiƚƚ his broþer Iobas and byd̛ hym, quoþ he, gyffe it to kyng Alexander in his drynke, when̛ he seeȝ his tyme. This ilk Iobas was a faire ȝong man̛ & was duellyng with Alexander, and gretly by-luffede & cheriste of hym. Bot so it be-feƚƚe apon̛ a tyme þat Alexander smate Iobas on þe heued̛ wit a warderere for na trespasse. Whare-fore Iobas was gretly angred̛ and greued̛ at Alexander and consented̛ tiƚƚ his dede, and tuke þe puyson̛ of his broþer þat was ordeyned̛ for Alexander dede þat luffed̛ hym̛ so mekiƚƚ.
And apon̛ a daye Alexander gart ordeyne a grete reueƚƚe in Babyloyne and called̛ þare too aƚƚ his prynceȝ on̛ ilke a syde. And as he satt at þe mete Imange his prynceȝ he was wonder mery & gladde & iocund̛, and reheted̛ his lordeȝ & prayed̛ þam̛ þat þay schulde be mery. Þan̛ Iobas þat serued̛ þe kyng of his coupe tuke of þe puyson̛ a porcyon̛, and putt it vnder þe nayle of his thowme, and broghte þe coppe to þe kynge fuƚƚ of wyne. And as he gaffe it to þe kynge, he lete þe puyson̛ faƚƚe in þe wyne priualy. And als sone als þe kyng hadd̛ dronken̛ þe puyson̛, Sudaynly he gaffe a grete scryke, and lened̛ hym downn̛ towarde þe riȝte syde. For hym thoghte reghte als a man̛ hadd̛ smyten̛ hym in-to þe lyuere wit a suerde. Neuer-þe-lesse he feyned̛ & forbare a while & suffred̛ a grete penance, and when̛ he myȝte na langere habyde, he rase vp fra þe burde and saide tiƚƚ his lordeȝ & his knyghtes: 'Lordyngis,' quoþ he,Page 111 'I pray ȝow sitt ȝe stiƚƚ & eteȝ & drynkeȝ & beeȝ mery.' Bot þay ware gretly troubbled̛ and rase vp fra þe burdeȝ and stode witowtten̛ for to see þe ende. And Alexander went in-tiƚƚ his chambir gretly tourmentid̛ and soghte a fethir for to putt in his throtte for to garre hym hafe a vomet of þe puyson̛ þat he hadd̛ resayffed̛. And Iobas, þat was cheffe of aƚƚ this hye treson̛, gatt a fethir & enoynt it wit þe same puyson̛ & broghte it tiƚƚ Alexander; and he tuk it & putt it in his throtte, and belyfe [leaf 47 bk.] þe puyson̛ vexed̛ hym ay mare & mare. And þan̛ Alexander bade ane gange & open̛ þe palace ȝates þat ware on Eufrates banke. And aƚƚe þat nyȝte he woke in grete payneȝ & tourment. And aboute mydnyȝthte he rase oute of þe bedde þat he lay in and putt oute þe lyghte þat brynt by-fore hym, and for he myghte noghte ga vprighteȝ, he creped̛ one hende & one fete doune to-warde Eufrateȝ for tiƚƚ hafe drownned̛ hym selfe, þat þe strenth of þe water myȝth hafe borne hym away whare neuer man̛ solde hafe fun̛ hym.
And Rosan̛ his wyfe folowed̛ as faste as scho myghte. And when̛ scho come to hym scho feƚƚe vpon̛ hym & enbraced̛ hym in hir armes & said̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym: 'Allas, my lorde Alexander,' quoþ scho, 'wiƚƚ þou now leue me & gaa slaa thi-selfe.' And scho wepe þat it was dole to see; and Alexander ansuerde & sayde: 'I beseke þe Rosan̛,' quoþ he, 'þat ert so dere to me & so swete, late nane wit of myn̛ Endynge, if aƚƚ it be þat we may na langare hafe ioy togedir.' And þan̛ Rosan̛ ledd̛ Alexander agayne to his bedd̛, and layde her armes aboute his nekke and kyssede hym many a tyme, and sare wepand̛ said̛ vn-tiƚƚ hym̛: 'A, A, my swete lorde,' quoþ scho, 'if þine ende be nowe commen̛, ordayne firste for vs or ȝe passe heþine.' And onane he callede vn-tiƚƚ hym Iobas & bade hym feche vn-tiƚƚ hym Semyon̛ his notary. And when̛ he was comen̛ he garte bere hym down̛ in-to þe hauƚƚe, and he garte come by-fore hym aƚƚ his prynceȝ & bade his notary wryte his testament bi-fore þam̛ aƚƚ on̛ þis wyse.
' ARestotle oure dere Maister, we comande the & prayse the, þat of oure awen̛ tresour þou sende to þe presteȝ of Egipt þat ministreȝ in þe temple, whare-in oure body saƚƚ be beryed Page 112 & entered̛, j̃ besandeȝ of golde. Also I wiƚƚ that Tholomeus þat es kepare of oure body be ȝour Gouernour, And forgetis noghte my laste wiƚƚ, Bot lateȝ my testament be alway bi-fore ȝour eghne so þat it be fulfilled̛ & noghte forgetyn̛. My wiƚƚ es also þat if Rosan̛ my wyfe be delyuer of a knafe childe þat he be ȝour Emperour and gyffeȝ hym what name so ȝow liste, and if scho be delyuer of a mayden childe, þan̛ es it my wiƚƚ þat the Macedoynes chese þam̛ a kynge, and þat my wyfe be lady of [leaf 48] aƚƚ my mobles. Also I wiƚƚ þat Tholomeus be kyng of Egipt, and þat he tak tiƚƚ his wyfe Cleopatra, þat my Fader wedded̛ sum-tyme here bi-fore, and þat he be lorde & prynce ouer aƚƚ þe lordeȝ of þe Este euen̛ vn-to Bactrian̛. Also I wiƚƚ þat my broþer Arrideus be kynge of þe Pelopones, also þat Cleopater be kyng of Perse, Mellagere kyng of Ethopy, And Anthiochus be kyng vn-to þe landeȝ of Gog & magoge, Aresteȝ kynge of Inde, Lissymacus lorde of Seleuce, Lythamon̛ kyng of hungary, Caulus kyng of Ermony, Illicus kyng of Dalmace. Symeon̛ my Notary, wiƚƚ I, be Kyng of Capadoce & Pamphily, Cassander & Iobas be lordeȝ vn-to þe Ryuer þat es called̛ Soƚƚ, Antipater þaire Fader be kyng of Cicile.' When̛ this testament was in wrytynge bi-fore Alexander Sodeynly þare come a thonnere & a leuennynge & ane erthedoun̛ riȝte a hedous, so þat aƚƚ babyloyne qwoke þare-wit. And than thorowte aƚƚ Babyloyne þe noyse rase þat Alexander was dede. And þan̛ aƚƚ þe Macedoynes rasse hallely and come armed̛ to þe Palace, and cryed̛ on þe prynceȝ & said̛ vn-to þam̛ : 'Sothely,' quoþ þay, 'but if ȝe onane schewe vs oure Emperour we saƚƚ slaa ȝow ilk ane.' And when̛ kyng Alexander herde swilke noyse he askede whate it ment, and þe prynceȝ ansuerde & sayde: 'Þe Macedoynes,' quoþ þay, 'are comen̛ armede hedir before þe ȝates, & says sekerly bot if þay see ȝow þay saƚƚ slaa vs aƚƚe are þay passe heþine.' And when̛ Alexander herde þis, he badd̛ his knyghtis þat þay scholde take hym vp, and bere hym in-to þe consistorye. And þay did soo. And þan̛ he garte open̛ þe Palace ȝates þat þe Macedoynes myȝte come by-fore hym. And þan̛ kyng Alexander be-gan̛ to comend̛ þam̛ of þaire strenth & þaire grete doghtynes, and charged þam̛ þat þay scholde be in pesse & reste ilkane wit oþer. Þan̛ þe Macedoynes, sare wepande, sayde vn-tiƚƚ Alexander: 'A, A, wirchipfuƚƚ,' quoþ þay, 'ordayne & teƚƚe vs are ȝe passePage 113 heyne wham̛ ȝe wiƚƚ þat be oure emperour efter ȝow.' And Alexander ansuerd̛ & sayde, ' A, A, my dere knyghtis,' quoþ he, ' when̛ I am dede whaym̛ so ȝe wiƚƚ chese, be ȝour emperour efter mee.' And þay ansuerde, ' Lord,' quoþ þay, ' we beseke ȝowe þat ȝe wiƚƚ graunt vs Perdic to be oure Emperour.' 'I vouche wele saffe,' quoþ Alexander, 'þat Perdic be ȝour Emperour. Gers hym come be-fore mee.' And when̛ he was comen̛ by-fore hym he gaffe hym þe kyngdome [leaf 48 bk.] of Macedoyne wit þe Emperourchipe. And he gaffe hym also Rosan̛ for to be his wyffe, and prayed̛ hym þat he walde be gude & gentiƚƚ tiƚƚ hir. And þan he kyssede aƚƚ þe lordeȝ & þe knyghtis of Macedoyne ilkane after oþer, and sighed and weped̛ wonder sare. Þare was þan̛ so grete dole & wepynge, þat it was lyke a thonere. For men̛ Supposeȝ þat noȝte allanly men̛ made Sorow for þe dede of so worthy ane Emperour, Bot also þe son̛ and aƚƚ þe oþer planetis and elementes ware troubled.
A prynce of Macedoyne stode nere Alexander bedd̛ þat highte Seleucus, & wit grete dole & wepynge he sayd̛: 'A, A, þou wirchipfuƚƚ emperour,' quoþ he, 'what saƚƚ we do when̛ þou ert dede. Philippe þi fader gouerned̛ vs wele & aƚƚe oure rewme, Bot þe gentilnes & þe largesse of the na tunge may teƚƚ.' And þan̛ Alexander sett hym vp in his bedd̛ and gaffe hym̛ selfe a grete flappe on þe cheke and by-gan̛ for to wepe riȝte bitterly, and in þe langage of Macedoyne, he sayde on þis wyse:
'Fuƚƚ waa es me vnhappy wreche,' quoþ he, 'þat euer I was borne to man̛. For now Alexander dyes and Macedoyne saƚƚ waxe ay lesse & lesse and emenische day bi day.' Than̛ aƚƚ þe Macedoynes wit an hye voyce and bitter wepynge sayd vn-tiƚƚ hym: 'Better it ware tiƚƚ vs,' quoþ þay, ' for to dy wit þe þan̛ for to se þe dy in oure presence. For wele we wate þat, efter þe dede of the, þe kyngdom̛ of Macedoyne es vndone for euere. Allas oure wirchipfuƚƚ Alexander, why lefes þou vs here and wendeȝ away be thyn̛ ane, withowten̛ thi Macedoynes ?' Than̛ kyng Alexander alway sighand̛ & wepand̛ said vn-to þam: 'A, A, my dere Macedoynes,' quoþ he, 'fra this tym̛ forwarde saƚƚ neuer ȝour name hafe lordchipe ouer þe Barbarenes.' And ban̛ þe Macedoynes cryed̛ and sayde: 'O wirchipfuƚƚ lorde,' quoþPage 114 þay, 'þou ledd̛ vs in-to Perse, Arraby, and Inde, and vn-to the werldeȝ ende, and in-to what cuntree þat þe liste wende; why, lorde, fleeȝ þou now fra vs ? Lede vs wit the whedir so þou gase.' Þan̛ kyng Alexander sent to þe templee of Appollo in̛ Athenes many riche iowels, and on þe same wyse tiƚƚ aƚƚ oþer temples. And þan̛ he commanded̛ þat when̛ he ware dede, þay schulde enoynte his body and embawme it wit riche oynementes, þe whilke kepis menes bodys in graues wit-owtten̛ corupcioun̛. Þan̛ he badde Tholomeus þat he scholde [take] a c̃ besantes of golde, & þare-off gere make hym a tombe in Alexander. And onane [leaf 49] as he had̛ commanded̛ hym þus, one-seeand̛ þam̛ aƚƚ, he swelt. And þan̛ his prynceȝ lifte vp his body, and did̛ apon̛ his clethyng of astate and putt a riche coron̛ on̛ his heued, and sett hym in þe emperours chayer, þe whilke twelue prynceȝ drewe wit þaire bresteȝ fra Babiloyne tiƚƚ Alexander. Tholomeus went alway bi-fore þe chayere wepande & sayande one þis wyse: 'Fuƚƚ waa es me, My lord̛ Alexander, waa es me. For in aƚƚ thi lyfe slew þou neuer so many men̛ as þou dose nowe after þi dede.' Aƚƚ Alexanders knyghtis also weped̛ & made grete dole & sayde on̛ þis wyse: 'Waa es vs weches ! whatt schaƚƚ wee now do after þe dede of oure lorde Alexander ? Whedir saƚƚ we now gaa or whate partye may we now chese? Whare schaƚƚ we now get any helpe tiƚƚ oure lyfelade?' One þis wyse þay went wepand̛ after Alexander, tiƚƚ þay come tiƚƚ þe citee of Alexander. And þare þay beryed̛ hym in a toumbe þat was riȝte hye and wonder curyouslye wroghte. Þis tombe was aƚƚ of fyne golde sett fuƚƚ of precyous stanes, and on̛ þat toumbe þer was sett xxx ymages of golde wonder craftily made.
Alexander was a man̛ bot of a comon̛ stature, wit a lange nekke, Faire eghne & glad̛, his chekes ruddy, and aƚƚ þe remenant of his lymmes ware faire & semely & lyke vn-tiƚƚ a lorde. He ouercome aƚƚ men̛ & neuer was ouercomen̛. The lenthe of his lyffe was xxxij ȝere, twa & thritty ȝere & seuen̛ monethes. Fra þe twentyd̛ ȝere of his birthe he gaffe hym to werre, and in twelue ȝere he conquered̛ aƚƚ þe werlde, and made subiect un-tiƚƚ hym alkyn̛ nacyonns. Seuen̛ monethes he ristede hym. He was borne on þe vij kƚ of January, and dyed̛ on̛ þe vij kƚ of August.Page 115 He byggid̛ also in his lyfe xij grete citeeȝ þat hider-to-wardeȝ bene enhabyt, and þis are þaire names. Firste Alexander þat es called̛ yprysilicas, þe secund Alexander es called̛ Bepyporum, þe thrid̛ Alexander es callede Sithia, þe ferthe Alexander es called̛ Bicontristi, þe fifte Alexander es called Þeraucton̛, þe sext Alexander es called̛ Buctiphalon̛, þe seuent es called̛ vnder þe ryuer of Tygre, þe aghtend̛ New Babiloyne, þe nyend̛ Aptreadam̛, þe tend̛ Messagetes, þe elleuend̛ Ypsyacon̛, þe twelfed̛ es called Egipt.
Explicit vita Alexandry magni conquestoris.
Here endeȝ þe lyf of gret Alexander conquerour of aƚƚ þe worlde.