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The prose life of Alexander

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^0 The adventures with wondrous beasts.

pond. Alex- a wodcT bat growecT faste hare-hy three niyle on lenthe, 8c atts ander bids ^ '%x t t v» . i i x^ /. , i , i x ^ o

that they mekm on brede. pat wodde was an of pe rede^ pat 1 spak ot

wood of ^** bi-fore, and J?e stanke was a niyle on) lenth. pan) Alexawc^er

huge reeds comauded" fat j^ay sulde make many fires in be Oste, and gerte 4

that grow , a i i t i

around it. trompe to pe mete. And alsofi) ])Q more be-gaiD to schynne

When the )pare come a grete multitude of scorpyons to-warde ]>q stanke

a great ^^r to take f)am) a drynke. And )?an) J?are come o\>er manere

crowd of Qf nedders, and dragones wonder grete of dyuerse colo?/rs. 8 scorpions ' ° ^ •' ^ ,

come down And att j^at cuntree resounded? of ]?e noyse & j^e hiss3inge5

And there V^^ t'^J ^i^de. pir dragon^s come dounwe fra )?e bye moun-

^°^if taynes for to drynke of )?e stanke, and f)ay hadd" crestis one

and many- J?aire hedde^ & Ji^aire breste^ ware brygbte lyk golde, & ]?aire 1 2

dragons. mowthes opefD. paire aande slewe any qwikk thynge \>2X it

These have gmate apon), and oute of f>aire eghne )?are come flammes of fyre.

heads with And wben) A\ey.ander Sc his Oste saw J>am) ]?ay ware ri^t

♦Leaf 28 *fered' for ]^am). For f)ay wende J)ay schulde hafe weried" J^am) 16

' ilkafD. And ban) Alexander comforthed" bain) and saide vn-to golden / ^

breasts and ]:am) : 'Mi wirchipfutt knyghtes/ quo]) he, 'bees no^te agaste of

mouths. f>am), bot does ilkane as ^e see me do.' And ]?an) he tuk a nett

!J^®\^, , & sett it bi-twixe bym & bam) and tuke his schelde & his spere ao breath slew . .

any quick & faughte Wit f)am) manfully. And when) his knyghtes saw ]:>at

sm^oteupon P^J ware gretly comforthed' & be-lyfe tuke J)aire wapynne^ &

and out of didd" als ]?ay sawe Alexander doo, and slewe of )5am) a grete

came fiery multitude, wbatt thurgH dyu<?rse wapynne^, what in fjaire fyres. 34

Alexander ^^^ ^^ Alexa?2c?er knyghtes "pe dragones slewe xxti & xxxti

comforts fotemefD. After ]:>am), Ipare come owte of pe forsaide wodde of

ened rede^, Crabbes of a wonderful! greteness ; and J)aire bakkes ware

Alexander harder f)an) cocadrille^. And when) pe knyghtis smate )?am) one 28

+^fi^r,?°^ J^e bakkes wit j^aire speres, f)ay my^te no^te p^rche ]?ain), ne na

thiem with harme do J^am). Neu^r-J^e-lesse psty slewe many of J)am) in slays many P^^^^ Fires and J^e remenant of J)am) gatt in-to ]?e staunke. And of them. aboute pe sexte houre of pe nyghte pare come apon) ]?am) whytt 33

m

How many

men of lyones grettere ]?an) Bulles, and ))ay schoke J^aire heuede^ at

felUliere- 1^^^ ^ grete manace made in J?aire manere. pafD pe knyghtes

^y- keped? J^arn) in )?aire nettis and slew )?am. Aft^r this Jjare com)

drous crabs apon) ))am) ])an) a grete multitude of swynwe pat ware all of a 36

ntfflpk ^^ wonderful! mekilness, wit tuskes of a cubett lenthe. And wit

attack

them.

Then c.^...^^ , 111 • •

white Liona sex hende. Bot Alexander & his knyghtes keped J?am) m )?aire

them. bam) bare come wilde men) & women) of be whilke ilkan) hadd?

Then come ^ ^ ^

I

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71

Wondrous beasts. 71

nettis & slewe many of pami. And on j^is wyse Alexander & his greater

Oste was gretly disesect. pan) comanded" Alexander' f'at f)ay r^i^^ ^ ^'

schiild' make many fyres wtt-owtten) be Oste aboute be stanke. follow huge

•^ " ■• ' swme with

4 After this "pare come apofD J^afn) a wondere grete beste, grettere great tuska.

& strangere )?an) an) Olyphaunt, and he hadde m his frunte th^mTix-

three lange homes. And he was schapen) lyke a horse & he handed

. . men and

was att bhikke. And f)is beste was called? in Ipe langage of Inde women.

8 ' Anddontrneion) '. And or he went to pe water at drynke, he '^^^^^ ^^^^

assailled" j^e Oste. Bot Alexander went here & f^are amange5 Ipe around the

oste & comforthed" J>aiTii. This ilke beste slewe of his knyghtes comes a

xxviij and bare donne lij and at pe laste it fette in Ipe nettis and ^^g^st

13 was slayne. After Ipis pare come oute of pe rede^ a grete m^dti- greater

tude of mys5 als grete als foxes, and ete up pe dede bodys. pare elephant.

was na qwike thynge^, J^at J?ay bate ]?at ne also son) it dyedl -'Alexander

Bot harme did' f>ay nane *to J^e oste. pan) come J)are flyande * Leaf 29.

16 amangej f?am) bakkes, grettere J^am) wilde dowfes, and J^aire rallies

tethe ware lyke men)-tethe. And ]?ay didd' men) mekitt disese it slays*

and hurte many men). Of sum) ]?ay bate offe pe nese ; of sum ^^""^' ^^*

pe eres. In j^e morneny^^ge arely pare come many fewlis als slain.

30 grete as wlturs, reed' of colour, and J^aire fete & J)aire bekes big as foxes

att blakke. Bot J^ay didd" na disese to pe oste, bot went to ^g* J^ *^^

pe stanke-syde & drewe fisches & ele^ oute of pe water, & bodies.

, , — ^ Whatso-

ete pam). ever they

34 ^ phafD lefte Alexander J)ir perilous place5, and come w^t his ^^f^ *^^°®

Oste, in-to pe cuntree of Bactricen), pe whilke was full of Then come

golde & oper reches. And pe mefD of pe cuntree resayfed* hym greater

benyngly & wirchipfully and gaffe hym and his Oste grete giftes. *^^^ "^^^^

38 And fare he habade xx^i dayes. Jn p&i cuntree f^ay sawe They

trees fat, in-stedde of leues, bare wotte; pe whilke folke5 of Bactria

pe cuntree gaderd? & made clathe far^-offe. pe knyghtes of where they

Alexanc?«r wex wonder balde & strange of hert because of ceived.

33 pe victoryes fay hadd? wonnen) of f e wilde bestej before bea^ring^ "

neuenned. ^,®®^'

^ Fra thethyn, Alexander remowed? his Oste and come to f e knights

place whare Porws lay wtt fe folke fat he hadd" assembled, courage be-

36 And one fe morne bathe Alexander and Porws tuke faire cause of the

. All strange

grounde & arayed? faire batens for to feghte. And than) beasts they

^ Four lines with red ornate capital p, ' Four lines space with red capital S and

but small t scribbled in the margin beside. small s written in the margin beside.

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The combat of Poms and Alexander.

have con- quered. The armies of Porus and Alex- ander are arrayed against each other. The In- dians fall heavily. iPorus challenges Alexander to single combat. The king- ship of the nations to abide by the out- come. For Porus being a great man scorned Alexander.

* Leaf 29 bk.

Porus hits Alexander on the head.

Alexander slays Porus by a trick. The In- dians fight on for their dead king. Alexander chides them for fighting when their leader is dead.

Alexander bespeaks them peace and surety.

They are right glad and wor-

AXtxander lepped apon) his horse Buktiphalas and went bifore his Oste & f>an) j^ay trumpede up & ]?e batetts joyned" samen), & faghte to-gedir ri5te sare. Bot ]pe Indienes felt thikfalde in J)e batett as corne dose in J)e felde be-fore \>e sythe. ^And when) Vqyus saw that, he went and stode bi-fore att his men), and cryed" vn-titt Alexander, & saide on this wyse : ' It sitte5 no5te tilt an emperowr,' (\uo]) he, ' to lose his men) J)us in vayne. Bot it sitte; tilt hym for to determyne his cause with his awenn) hande^. And ])areioYQ late thi folke stand stilt on J>e ta syde, & myn) on fe id^er & late the & me feghte to gedir hand" for handl And if it happen) J>at J^ou ouer-come me, my folke & I salt be subiecte5 vn-to \>q. And la if I ouer come the, than) thou & thi folke^ be subiecte^ vn-to me/ Thir worde^ said Voyus di spy sand" Alexander, bi-cause J)at he was a man) of littilt stat2tre. For he was bot three cubites hye, & Porws was fyfe cubetes hye & mare. And ])are- 16 fore he traysted" hym alt in strenghe of his body, no^te knawande J>e vertu & J?e hardnes J>at was hidd* in Alexander. *And than bathe pe ostes stode stilt ant lete Ipe twa kynge^ feghte samefi), Toyus gaffe Alexander a grete str[a]ke 20 on) J^e hede, & was \n poynte to hafe felled' hym). And then) FoYus knyghtes sett vp a grete Schowte. And Foyus towrned' hym to ]?aifi)-warde for to reproue )?am) for J?aire schowttyng. And Alexander went tilt hym manfully & tuke his swerd" in 24 bathe his hande^ & lete flye at hym & hitt hym fullbott one J^e heued? & slew hym. And when) pe Indienes saw that J^ay bi-gan scharply for to fighte wit Alexander & his oste. Vn- to whayme Alexander spake & sayde : ' Wrechis,' quo]) he, 28 ' wharto feghte 56 sen) ^our kynge es dede. Wate ^e nojte wele that thare na gouernour es pe folke are sparpled' be-lyfe als schepe pat ere wet-owtten) ane hirde.' pe Indienes ansuerd? & saide : ' Vs es leuer,' quop pay, 'fighte manfully, and dye in the 32 felde, f)an) for to see J^e dissolacion) of oure folke, and oure lande be distroyed'& wasted".' ' Leues '^our feghtynge,' quop Alexander, ' & wende3 hame to ^owr howsej pesaybly & seurely. For I swere 50W bi oure godde^, if 5ee witt do so, 50 salt hafe no harme, ne 36 ^our lande salt no^te be distroyed" ne spoyled', bicause pat je hafe foghten so manfully for ^our kynge.' And when) pe Indienes

^ Robert Louson is scribbled here in the right-hand margin.

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Alexander and the Gymnosophists. 73

herde thir wordes J^ay keste fra J?am) J»aire wapynej & thanked" ship Alex- Alexander and wirchiped" him ri5te als he hadd? bene a godd". ^^^^ ^^ ^ Than kyng Alexander luged" hym J^are & his Oste wit hym, King Aiex- 4 & he command' to bery pe dede corse^ J?at ware slayne in J>e offers sacri- Batett, and offred" saerafice titt his e'oddes. Also he garte ^^^ ^^^

. . buries

Entere Vorus Ipe kynge of Inde wirchipfully. Porvis wor-

^Fra thethyfD Alexander remowed'his Oste & come titt a cuntree K/ng^iex-

8 l^at was called? Oxidraces. The folkes of bat cuntree are wonder ander

. comes to

Symple meiD, and no^te prowde, & paj are called? Gumnosophiste. theGymno-

pay feghte neuer mare ne stryfes. pay ga alway naked", & stranffe^' *

citez ne townnez hafe f)ay nane, Bot duellez in luge^ & in people.

12 caues. When) pe kyng of ]?is folke herd? tett of Ipe commyng of Alexander he wrate a le^^re, & sent v.n-titt hym whare- offe this was the tenowr.

^ * ' The coruptible Gumnosophist vn-titt Alexander a man) wee * Leaf 30.

16 wryte. We here tett pat pou. comme^ to werre apon) vs, The letter

whare of we merueylle vs gretly. For wit vs salt pou. fynd king to

nathyng ]5at pou may spoyle vs offe. For we hafe na thyng elles teUhTg^him

amange5 vs, bot allanly whare with we may sustene oure wafutt ^® ^^^

20 bodys. What may pou J^an) take fra vs. Bot if pou come for win of to feght wit vs, feghte on). For I late the wele witt, pat oure ^^' symplenes witt we on na wyse lefe.' WhefD Alexander had redd

this lettre he sent ane ansuere agayne on) this wyse. * Paisably,' Alexander

24 quop he, ' witt we coin) to 50W and no violence do 50W.' And thSn^and^

ban) he wente in-to be cuntree whare bay duelled. And he comes

saw f)aifD ga naked & duelle in luges & in caues, & J^aire to them,

wyfes & f)aire childre away fra J^affD, walkand wit wilde beste^. them lead-

28 And he hadd grete marueytte, & asked pain) if f)ay hadd any ^^s tlie life oper howse^. And J?ay ansuerde & said, * Nay. Bot in thir

holette^ duette we alwaye & in ]?ir caues.* And Alexander He admires

commendid gretely }>aire symplenesse, and bad J^ain) aske hyin) tlieir ways

32 whate-so J)ay walde. And paj ansuerd & sayde, ' Gyffe vs,' offers them

quop paj, ' vndedlynesse, so pat we mow no^te dye ; for oper rpj^^y ^^

reches couet we nane.' Quop AlexaTider, ' I am dedely my [^^ death-

X6SSI16SS*

selfe, how })afD may I giffe 50U vndedlyness 1 ' And when) f»ay They chide herd hym say soo J^afD J^ay ansuerd & sayde on) this wyse. ambition ^^ ' A, A, wreched man),' quop j^ay, ' whare to wende^ pou pus ^^^^^ *^6y

* Five lines with red capital F and small ^ Four lines with red capital T.

/written in the margin beside.

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The pillars of Hercules and the uttermost islands.

hear he also must die.

He says he is driven on to con- quer by the might of God, which will not allow him to rest. He goes thenee.

He comes to the pillars of Hercules, which are statues,

* Leaf 30 bk.

one of gold and one of silver. He finds them

hollow and puts money therein. He

marches thence into a cold and miirky wil- derness. They come to a great river, on the other side of which are fair women foully clad, who bear weapons of silver since other metal have they none.

There were no men amongst them.

aboiite, & quellej so many men), & soo many ilke dedi5 dooes sen \>o\x wate wele \>ai J^ou salt dye.' * For sothe,' qwoj) he, ' ))e cause whi I do it es of J^e proiiydence of godd. For hys mynystre I am), doand' J>e ccmmandement of hjm. ^ee wate 4 wele [3at J>e see es no5te trubbled? of hym selfe. Bot when) J^e wynde entres in-tilt hym, f)an) it stirre^ hym & trublej hym. f I walde hafe ristedd? and lefte all werre. Bot ]?are es ano]?er spyryte & suffres it no5te be in reste.' And when) AXexander 8 hadde said' thir worde^ he lefte J?am) & went tilt anoJ?er cuntree.

^ A.nd\>er day, he come w^t his Oste tiK a place wharee twa ymage5 ware, ])q whilke Ercules gart make & sett in fjat place. 12 And )?e tane of ]:>am) was of fyne golde and J)e to})er of fyne Siluere, & the lenthe of aythir of fam) was twa cubettis. When) Alexander saw J)ir ymage5, * he gert perche ^ f)aiTn) for to witt, whe]:)(2r J>ay ware holle or massy. And he fand" 16 })at '\)2ij were a party hotte. And he garte stoppe }>e hole agayne and putt in f)am) a thowsande nobles, & fyve hundreth. And fra ]?eine he remowed his Oste, and entrede in-titl a wildirness^ calde & myrk, so ]?at fay myghte vnnethes an) 20 knawe anoper or see anoj'er. And fra thythin) j^ay went seuen) daye ioitrnee and entred' in-tilt a wildirnesse, and come tilt a grete reuere. And bi-5onde \>at riuere f)ay saw wonder faire & wele vesaged? women) cledd'in foule clethyng & horrible ; and 24 J>ay hadd" in J^aire hande^ wapne made att of siluere, bicause J^ay hadd" n6\>er IrefD ne stele. And ]?ay rade one horse. And men saw f)ay nane amange^ f)am). And when) Jje Oste walde hafe passede ouer this ryuere, J?ay my^te no^te be cause it was 38 ri5te brade and futt of dragon^s and o\>er monstres.

'Fra thethin J>ay went aboute towarde^ J^e lefte party of* Inde and come till a dry Marras futt of gret rede^. And as J)ay passed thurgh f)at Marras, be-lyue ^iare come owte of )?e 3 a rede^ a beste lyke ane ypotayne, whase breste was lyke to \>g cocadritte, and his bakke lyk a sawe, and his tethe wonder grete, & als scharpe as a suerde ; bot \n his gangyng he was

* Three lines with red capital A and small a in the margin beside.

^ Bottom of leaf 30 right-hand side reads as above gert perche ; top of leaf 30 turn- ing over to the left-hand side reads garte

perche.

^ Four lines with red capital F and smaliy written in the margin beside.

4 MS. of twice.

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and women.

They go thence fif- teen days till they meet the Cynoce- phali

whom they overcome.

They march forty days to a barren land with no hills, and a terrible east

wind blows over it and causes fires and disease throughout the camp. They fear it is be- cause of Alex-

* Leaf 3 1 bk.

ander's ambition. He tells them it is because of the Equinox. Then they go thence twenty-five days to a green valley where is fearful cold. They light fires against the snow- storms. Bain comes and the snow stops, but five

Strange beasts and fearful storms.

als rugtie of hare as Tp&y hade bene bestes. Whase kynde & custom) it was als wele to be in J^e wat^r, als ofi) j^e lande. And als sone als f>ay saw Alexander Oste onane J?ay fledd" to Ipe waiter, and dowked in-till it. Fra J?eine Ipaj traueld" xv day iowrnee, and entred" in-titt woddes ]?at ware futt of cynocephals, Ipe whilke als son) als J)ay saw Alexander & his oste onane Jjay assaillede J?am. Bot Alexander & his men), what wit arowes whate w^t speres & nettes slew a grete multitude of )?am), and pe remenawnt of J?am) fledd' here and thare in j^e woddej.

^ Fra thethyn) )?ay went fourty dayes & come iTi-titt a cham- paynne cuntree, J?at was alt Barayne, and na hye place ne na hilles myghte be sene on na syde. And as it ware aboute Ipe xj houre of Ipe day, ]:»are bigafD so grete a wynde to blawe oute of J^e Este Jjat it blew doune to Ipe erthe alt thaire tentis & ]:'aire luges. And pare was grete disese ymang pe oste. For pe wynde tuk fire-brandes oute of fyres pSit pSij hadd? made, and smate dyuerse men) & brynte ]?am). And J?an) Alexander knyghtes mowrnwrede gretly & said amange5 Jjam, ' pe wrethe & pe wreke of oure godde^,' quop )?ay, ' falle5 apon) vs, Bicause we seke to ferre towarde pe son) rysynge.' * My wirchipfuH knyghte^,' quop Alexander, ' bese * of gud comforthe and no thyng ferde for this tempeste es no^tee fallen) thurgh wrethe of oure goddes bot be- cause of eqwinox of heruest.* When) pe wynde was cessed' J^ay gadirde to-gedir J?at pe wynd' hadd" sparpledl

^Fra feine J?ay went xxv days and come in-titt a grene valay, and ]?are f)ay luged" ]?am). Than commanded? Alexander j^at J?ay schuld make many fyres. For it began) for to be vn- sufferable calde. And thare be-gan for to falle grete flawghtis of snawe, as J^ay had bene grete lokkes of wotte. When) Alex- ander saw that, he was ferde pat it schuld' no5te hafe cessed' sone, and bad his mefD pat J>ay suld tred doun) pe snawe & futt it wit J^aire fete. And J>aire fyres also helpe J^am) gretly. Neuer- J)e-lesse ]?are ware fyve hundrethe of j^e Oste dedd" thurgh pat snawe, J^e whilk Alexander gart bery. pan) pare felle a pass- and? grete rayne, and pe snaw cessed. Wit pe rayne, also, ]?are come so thikke a myste, pat contenually three days to gedir J?ay

1

il

12

i6

20

24

28

3a

36

^ Four lines with red capital F and small ^ in margin beside.

"^ Four lines with red capital F and gnialiy in the margin beside.

\

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79

Dlndimus letter to Alexander. 79

iianne. Mete & drynke hafe we yiioghe, and olper mete sake we to mother

naiie, bot pat pe erthe oure allere moder wit-owtteiD inan?ies They use

labow?* brynges furthe. Wit swilke metis we filt oure wambes, ^^^^ meats *' ® ' as do them

4 whilke nu^es vs no^te, ne na harme dose. And ^it of swilke no harm, metis we fill nojte oure bodis to full. For amange3 vs it es an ©at too vn-semely thyiige & an vn-leefutt to see a grete-belyed" mafi). ^^^' ^^^ And J:ar6-for ere we att oure lyfe tyin) w^t-owtteii) sekeuesse no great-

8 & lyffe^ king & alwaye are in gude hele titt oure lyffes ende. amongsT^" We vse neu«r-mare na medcyns ne sekes na helpe for be hele of *^®"^- They

'' ^ ' have no

oure bodys. At a terme of deede endes oure lyfes, for ane of vs sickness leues na langere )?an) an)-oJ?(?r, Bot efter pe order of pe birtlie of cines. They

la mafD, be terme of deede comes tiK ilke a man). Thare eome^ live the

•■ ■' nxed term

nane of vs at na fire for na calde, ne clathej comej pare nane of life.

apon) vs, Bot alway we ga naked". We fulfill neuer pe desyres ^o^Xe for of oure bodys. Thurgfi pacyence we suffree att thynge^. Att ^^l^. They

i6 oure inwarde enemys we slaa, So pat we drede nane enemys themselves, wtt-owtten). For ligbtlyer es a citee or a castette taken) pat es conquers^ ensegged" bathe w^t inwarde enemys & w^t-owtten), J^an) pat J^at pthers and es ensegged" allanly wit owtwarde enemys. Bot pou, emperour, quered by

ao feghtes agaynes owtwarde; enemys for [to] foster & nuresche thyn) ^iemS^ inwarde; enemys, pe whilke ere fendes of hette. We Bragmayns Therefore has slayne alt oure inwarde; enemys and pare^ore we drede nane Brahmins owtwarde enemys ne nane helpe sekes for to hafeagayne; J^afn)* * ^©^^ 33

24 noper be see ne be landl Bot we ere always sewre ynoghe, foes. They and lyffe; wit-owtten) any drede. Oure bodys we hitt wit ieaves\nd pe leues of trees and pe fruyte of pam) we ete. We ete mylke ^^^^ also and drynkes water of a gude ryuere or of swete welles. They wor-

a8 We wirchippe a godcr, and tilt hym alwaye we jelde lonynge;. god'a^d

We desire be life of be werlde bat es to come, and vs liste noste desire eter-

r \ I nallife.

liere pe pyng pat twrne; to na profett. We spekke no5te They love

mekilt, Bot when) we ere artede for to speke we say no;te bot ^peech^Sor

32 be sothe, and onane we halde vs stilt. Heches luffe we no5te. covetous- ' . . ness.

CouetiBe es a thynge pat may no^te be filled", pe whilke ofte- They are

sythe; brynge; a man) tilt a mescheuows ende. Wrethe ne might^and^

env.ie es pare nane amange; vs, ne nane of vs es strangere J)an) riches, and

36 ano]:>er. Of the pouert J?at we hafe we ere riche, for we hafe it weapons.

in comofD. We strife neuer mare, ne beres neuer wapen). We ^ave the

here peesse ilkan) titt oj^er of custom), no;te thurgh vertu. dooms, for

Domes hafe we nane amanges vs, for we do nane ilt, whare-fore m.

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80

80

Dindimus letter to Alexander.

Neither need they mercy. They have no avarice, adul- tery, or lechery, and have therefore no penance or sudden death.

They are ar- rayed in no bright clothes.

They always keep to the same trades.

They use no baths.

They will make no other man serve them.

They have no houses nor vessels, but live in caves and crags. They sleep on the earth. * Leaf 33 bk. Their houses become their graves. They sail not the seas for trade.

They seek no eloquence but rather sim- plicity of speech. They have no philo- sophers, for such are liars and of un- steadfast speech. But in their schools they learn wisdom and righteous- ness.

They love not plays.

we schulde be called^vn-to dome. A law ])are es ]>ai 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 Isibour pat p«rtene5 to couetise or auarice. We giffe no3te oure bodyse to lechorye, we do nane advowtrye, ne we do na synn) whare-fore vs sulde nede to do penance. AVe fynde na fawte in na thynge, For we alt does that ]?at righte es. We dye na sodeyne dede, For thurgti foule dedis we corupte no^te J»e ayere. We vse na clathes pat are littede of dyuerse coloures. Oure wiffes ne are nojte gayly arayed* for to plese vs. Ne wit J^am) we comon) no5te bi-cause of luste of lecherye, bot bi-cause of childre getynge. Our wyfPes sekes na noper clethynge, ]?afD pQ forluke of goddT base granted' Jjam). And whaa dare take apon) hym for to chaunge his wirkynge, an heghe syn) vs thynke it ware tilt any mafD for to presume to do it. Baththis vse we nane, ne warme wat^r to wasclie oure bodys wit att. pe Son) mynistres vs hete, and pe dewe of pe ayer ministre5 vs moyster & wete. We hafe na thoghte of na thynge, ne we schewe na lordechipe abownn) oper men) pat ere lyke vn-titt us. For a grete crueltee we halde it to constreyne a man) to serue vs, whayme kynde & pe forluke of godd' base made oure broJ>er als fre als we are. We brynne na stanes for to make lyme off and pare-wit to make vs bowses at duette in, and curiouse palasej : ne vessett make we nane. In caues or creuycej of cragges we duelle, whare thare comej na noyse of wyndes * ne whare vs thare drede na rayne. On pe erthe we slepe wit-owtten) any besyness^. Swilk how^ses we hafe; in pe whilke, whils we lyffe, we duette, and wliefD we dye, psij ere oure graues. We sayle no^te in pe see aboute na merchandyse, in J^e whilke J^ay suffre many p^ritts pat sayles pare'm & many m^ruaylles can) tett offe. The crafte of Eloquence & faire speche, lere we no^te for to polishe oure wordes ; Bot thurgh pe sympilnesse pat we hafe pat suffres vs no3te to lye, alt oure speche we speke. Scoles of philosophres haunt wee no3te, whase techechynge^ es alway discordand <fe na thynge certayne, ne stabitt diffines, bot for pe mare partye lyes. Bot f)a scoles we haunte in pe whilke we lere to lyffe vertuosly and also thynges pat teches vs for to do no wrange to no man). Bot aft^r verray right- wisnesse to helpe ilk man) at oure powere. Plays lufe we nane.

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Dindimus letter to Alexander. 81

Bot if vs liste hafe aii}^ disporte we take & redej }>e lyfes But they

&, pe dedis of oure Auncestres, and oure \)redicessours. And of the lives

if we fynde any thynge in f>am) )?at es cause of laugbtre and deeds

4 par-tit we wepe & makes dole. Neuer-]:>e-lesse we behalde forefathers

olper thynges of Ipe whilke oure hertis ere gladdide and grete if th^T^'

lykyng has, pat es at say, lieuen)-scliyne wit sternes w^t-owt ^® ^^y

nowm^r; pe son) faire & bryghte, of wliase bryghtnesse att laughter.

8 pe werlde takes Ij^gbte and hete. The see we se alwaye giaTin^the

of pw?'powr coloure, and when) tempestej ryse^ pare-ii^ it dis- brightness

truyes no^te pe land? pat es nere it, as it does in joure and its

partes. Bot he embrace5 it as his sister and gase aboute it. ^g wilAell

12 And in be se we see many dyue?*se kynde3 of Fisches, '^^?f^^^®'^

Delphines & porpase3 layke fam). We hafe lykyng also for their doe-

to bihalde faire feldes alouer floresched? wit flores of pe whilke Alexander

a swete reflaire enters in-titt oure noses, in be whilke has con-

... quered the

i6 a sensible saule base maste delite. Also we delit vs in faire world,

place^ of wodde^ & of swete welles whare we here swete ^^g g^^^^^ ^

sange^ of fewles. This customs hafe we al-way, pe whilke, & ^^^

poll walde halde nojte bot a while, we trowe J^ou suld thynke visages

2o ftam) ri^te hard". Blame no3te me, for att pat pon reqwerede ^^^ ^^^^

me be bi le^^res I send be wretyiD. Neuer-be-less, and it t^^

' I -J r ' hungry.

sulde no3t displese the, I walde tett pe a littitt of oure They offer

doctryne pe whilke makes oure lyfe to seme harde vn-to pe. children to

24 2ee hafe wz't-in a schorte while conquered" & made sugete Maumets.

vn-to ^our empire att Asy, Europe, & Affryke. As '^our selfe sows base ^ sayde * ^e make pe lighte of pe son) to faile, when) 56 .^®^^ 34-

seke pe t^rmes of his course thurgh werre. 3^ ^^^ ^^ manere between

28 of thynges^ pat come^ till hande. And jour vesages semej as J^^^^

je ware fastande & hungry. 3® slaa ^our childre makande more

sacrafice of J^am) to Mawmetes. }e sawe discorde bi-twix Ihe^gods

kynges and thase pat schulde be meke je stirre for to be ^^^?

32 prowde. ^e make men) to thynke ]:»at grete space of landes do ill deeds

suficej psi,m) nojte And so paj seke duellynge placej of heuen). ^^g f^^^ ' Also thurgh ^our goddes je do many ill dedis, as j^ay didd" *hat serve

J?am) selfe, Ensample of lubiter ^our godd" & of Proserpyna J^at The Greeks

36 36 wirchipe as a goddess^. For lubiter defouled? many mens ^^^ ^^^'

^ Scribblings at the bottom of leaf 33 ^ Scribe originally wrote ihi/nkes, but

bk. : — * P.', ' G.' below the P., then ' H. changed the k into a ^, thus thynges. Amen. Do For '.

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The Brahmhis to Alexander. Their better ness.

quer other men,

They change their laws, and do bvit hold with fine speech, loving gold and silver and rich things. The Greeks live in glut- tony and fall sick.

The wisdom of the Brahmins surpasses all that of the Greeks. They burn the bodies of the dead and do not give back to earth what earth has given forth. The Brah- mins slay no beasts in the worship of God, neither do they have gold nor silver nor precious things in His service, since for none of these things does God hear man, but only for his good works. Prayer is the word and the word is God. Therefore are the Greeks fools, holding themselves * Leaf 34 bk. heavenly and thinking they communicate with God whilst they defile

wyfes, and Proserpyna made many men) to do advowtry wit hir. FuH: wreched' & futt hye fules ]:>ay ere, J^at swilke goddes wirchipes. ^qq witt no5te suffer men) lyfe in J^aire awenn) libertee bot makes J>am) ^owr thralles & '^our sugetes. 3^ deme no3te ri^twisly, ^e gerre jowr iuge^ change '^our lawes as 30W liete. 3^ say many thynge^ )?at sulde be donwe, bot 36 do J^am) no3te. 3c balde na man) wysse bot hym )?at base Eloquence of speche. 3® ^^.fe att 3oitr witt in 5owr tunge5, and att "pur wysdome es in '^our mouthe. 3® ^^^^ golde & silu^r & gaders J^am to-gedir and desyre3 to bafe grete howse5 ^ ^^^ ^^^ grete multitude of seruande5. 3® ^^^ ^ drynk to mekitt:, so ]?at oftymes 5ottr stomake thurgli grete repleccion) es greued" & many sekenesse J^aris-tburgli 56 fatt in, & so ofte sythes dyes before 30'wr tyme. 3^ wolde euer-mare halde 30wr reches and alt thynge^ Jjat 3e may gete. Bot att thynge5 at J?e laste leues 30W. pe wysdoin) allanly of ]?e Bragmayns passe3 att '^our witt & 30itr wysdom). For, & we wele coTisedere, J^e same moder \>ai broghte forthe stanes & trees, of j^e same was bathe oure bygyn- nyng & "^ours. 3® honowre 301*^ Sepultowrs curyousely wit golde & syluer, and in vessette made of precyouse stanes 36 putt J^e asse of 30t^r bodys, when) J^ay ere brynnedl And what may be werre J?an) for titt take )^e banes, ]?at f>e erthe sulde hafe, for to ga bryn) J>am), and no5te suffers \>q erthe resayffe his element \>Q whilke he broghte forthe.

'We sla na beste5 in J^e wirchipe of goddej. Nee temples make we nane, for to sett in ymage5 of golde or of siluere in })e name of false godde3, as 3e do ; ne awters of golde and of preciows stanes. 3^ ^^-fe swilke a lawe for to honoure '^our godde5 wit 50wr gudes for f)at f»ay salt here '^our prayers. Bot we vndirstande & wate wele ]>at noJ?er for golde ne silu^r ; ne for )?e blode of calues nor gayte ne schepe Godd" heres any man). Bot for gude werkes ]>e whilke Godd' lufes, and thurgh J>e wordes of denote prayere. Godd" witJ here a man) for J)e worde. For thurgti worde we ere lyke to Goddl For Godd* es worde,* and J^at worde made alt J^e werlde aud thurgh \>at worde att thynge3 base beyng, Mouyng & lyfe. That worde wirchipe wee and luffes & honowres. Godd' es a spirite. And he lufes na-thyng bot ]?at that es clene. Whare-fore we halde 30W fult grete foles, that wene5 50wr kynde be heuenly, and \>ai 50 hafe

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