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Book X.

Ere we pass hence, let us

(fol. 66 b.)

To withstond vs with strenght & stroy of our


4228 And paire cuntre to kepe with cumpany grete.
perfor, sotly me semys, & yow so lyke,

Er we passe fro pis port, or pull vp our saylys,
That we make vs a message of men of astate,

inquire of Apollo 4232 Duly to Delphon deuoutly to wende,

at Delphos what

will be the result

of our expedition."

All assent to the proposal.

Achilles and Patroclus are sent to Delphos.

They set sail without delay.

Not Delphos, but

To the yle pere Appolyn erdis with in,

In hast forto herkyn of po hend goddes,

What shall falle vs by ffortune, er we ferre pas, 4236 Of þis mater þat vs meuys, & mo of our dedys. his is clerely my counsell; conceyuis hit all."

When the souerayn hade said, he sesit anone.
Of hor willes to wete, po worthy by dene,
4240 Bothe kynges, & knightes, & other kyde Dukes,
All assentid hom sone, þat his saw herd.

This message to make po mighty deuyset
Achilles the cheualrous, by pere choise wittes,
4244 And Patroculus the proude, his pere for to be.
ffor proffet of po prinses and hor prise folke,
hai were demyt vnto Delphon this dede to per-

Of pere noyus note, & an onsware to haue,

4248 With offeryng at appolyn, if aunter might falle,
Worship to wyn and wreke on hor fos.

With out tarying, full tite pai turnyt into hauyn,
Achilles full chere and his choise felow,

4252 And saylet furth soberly as hom selfe lyket ;
Hade wedur at pere wille, & the water calme,
Dryuon vnto Delphyn & no deire polet.

Vmclosit with a course of the colde ythes, 4256 With a serkle of the se pat soght pere aboute, Not Delphon but Delos sum demyt hit to het, hat is the myddis & pe most of mony smalle yles, Set in a sercle þe same place vmbe,

4260 As pai are fourmet with the flode : fyfté & thre,


To reckon by row, pe rodys is the moste.

In þat yle, sais ysidir, euyn on a hylle,
Ys Appolyn honouret and also Diana.

4264 There was foundyt a faire temple of a fyn werke,
With wallis vp wroght, wyn to beholde,

pere Appollo, the pure god, was principally


Delos, who demys hit, is duly to say

4268 Shortly to shalkes, a shewyng on opun';
And fro pat soile, for sothe, the sun first aperit,
And the mone in the merke, to men of pe lond;
perfore gentils aiugget, & for iuste held,

4272 pat in pat bare yle bothe borne were pai first.
pat lede in pere langage lyuely can call
The pure sun in hir pride, appollus doughter;
And Ediana, also, þai amyt hit to nome.
4276 The mone in his myldnes, þai menyt to hat
Ortigia, ouer all honouret with grekes.

Of his mater nomore but meue to our tale.---
In this Temple was a tor ymage, all of triet gold,

4280 In honour of Appolyn, þat I ere saide.

pof it defe were & doumbe, dede as a ston,
The gentils hit aiugget as a iuste god,

With errour vnable pat erst hom began,

4284 And worshippit hom wofully, for hom wit lacket
Of pe Godhed giffen, pat grew from the sun,
þat all mightylé made & merket of noght.

ffor lacke of beleue pai light into errour,

4288 And fellen vnto fals goddes, & faithly honourt

Book X.


(fol. 67 a.)


Delos signifies open."

The sun and the moon sprang from Delos.

Idolatry the

result of ignorance, and the

means by which

With worship on all wise as weghis vppon lyue; "ends" deceive

hat no pouer hade plainly but of pale fyndes,
bat entrid into ymagis euer for dissayet,

4292 Spekand to specyals, þat spede for to aske,

Thurgh falshede of fyndes pe folke to dissayue,
And to ert hom in errour euermore to lenge.

I wi
will tell here a tale, er I turne ferre,


Book X.

Through the

glorious gift of (fol. 67 b.)

Christ all idolatry will pass away.

(MS. has "pes.")

་ 'gabs not,”lies not.)

("in Cœlo.")

When Christ

came into Egypt

the false gods

fell to the ground.

The Jews held that Ishmael was the first who made idols; and the Gentiles, that it was Prometheus.

But no one in particular is to be

blamed; for all

men are naturally

given to idolatry.


4296 Of pe fyndyng of false goddes, & the foule vse; How sprittis in hom spake to qwho pat spirre


And how fowle þat þai faylit at the ferre end.
Throgh the glorious gyfte of goddes son of heuyn,

4300 That come to our kynde throgh a


All maumentre in myddelerthe myrtlit to peses
And wastid away purgh wit of hym one,

As the gospell of God, pat gabbis not, says.
4304 When Heraude in Anger atlede to sle

Cryste purgh his curstnes, as pe clause tellus,
An angell anon neghed to Jasep,

Sent fro pe souerayn þat in Celé dwelles,

4308 To take the childe for a chaunse & his choise


And euyn into Egypt entre on his way.

When Criste in pat contre come with his dame,
The false goddes in fere fell to pe'ground;

4312 Bothe Mawhownus & maumettes myrtild in


Isai also oponly tellus,

When Jesu Egipte Joynit with in,

All Symylacres for sothe soghten to ground. 4316 bat was a tokyn, he tellus, fro tyme of his come, pat sacrifice shuld sese vnto ser goddis. pus the Jewes aiugen, & for iust holdyn, þat ysmaiell, of all men erst hom, began 4320 Maumettes to make of moldes & clay. And the gentils aiuggen Justly anoþer, Prometheus, principall of þat pure art, bat folke are fourmyt faithly to gentils. ffor no law in hor lede list hom to holde, But folowit pere foule wille as fyndis hom taght; Nawther cercumsiset sothely in sort with the




Ne comyn with cristenmen, ne on Criste leuyn;
4328 But barly, as pai borne were, bydon pai stille,
And nauther law ne belefe lenton hom to.
The furst þat was founden of þes fals goddes,
Was wroght on pis wise, as weghes can tell.


4332 On Delus, a derfe Kyng þat deghit in eld,
Or Belus, as pe boke says, (bothe were his namys)
Hade a son þat hym sewit, sesit in his lond,

Nine was his name, & his next heire.

4336 He brought hym to berynes on his best wise,

As be-come for a kyng, closit hym faire

With solempne sepulcre, sothely wroght.

Book X.


Ninus, son of
Delus, or Belus,

(fol. 68 a.)

And for his fader shuld faithly be fer in his that he might


4340 An ymage a noble anon gert he make,

All grauyn of gold, & of good stonys,

Vne of mesure & mykyll, of his myld fader.
ffull solemly set in the sight of the pepull,
4344 With worship on all wise, pat worthy comaundit
To all the pepull of his prouyns, as a prise god.
That ymage to honour he ordant hym seluyn,
And gert the ledis to beleue, pat in his lond

4348 pat the gome was god groundet in blisse.
And so the ffigur of his fader was falsly honouryt,
By assent of hym selfe þat the soile aght;

duly honour and commemorate his father, erected a golden image of life size; and commanded the people to worship it as a god.

And pen the fynde, with his falshed & his fer The “fiend


4352 Entrid in þat ymage, & onswaret the pepull.

Who pat any thing asket after his dissyre,
here onswaret opunly the aungell of helle:
And so the ledis of the lond lyuely hym cald,

4356 Sum beall, sum belus, sum bell pe god,

Sum belphegor, & belsabub, as hom best likes.

entered into this image and

answered the people:

[blocks in formation]

Book X.

The sun was called Apollo, and was so

worshipped in


Then the chief planets were called Venus and Mercury;

(fol. 68 b.)

and the moon

was called Diana.

(Mesopotamia.) (Faunus.)


(Paphos.) (Lemnos.)


At Naxos,

At Delphos,

In ensample of pat same sithyn other folke Haue feynit mony fals goddes, pat pe fynde plesit,

4360 Did honour to dedemen, & for dere holdyn. And pe sun the saidon sothely a god,

hat appollo the pepull put into nome,

hat is honouret in the yle, pat I of telle,

4364 Delphon, or Delos, dem as ye list.

And pan Venus the worthy is worshippit with


hat of planettes of prise has hor pure nome. ben mercury, a mighty god, is most in honour, 4368 þat þai saidon was sun sothely to Jobiter.

Then the mone was most made for to please,
That Diana full duly pai demyt to hat.
And pus in costes & cuntreis of pe cursit gentils,
4372 pai sought with sacrifice vnto sere goddes.
In Egipt was honourt Ysum as god,

An in the cuntre of Crete cald vpon Jubiter. The men of Mawsom most honret ymbane, 4376 And pe latyn lede loutid to faawn.

At Rome pai Reuerenst vppon riche wise
One qwirion, a qwicke fynde, & qwemly did serue;
At attens all folke aykewardly worshippid
4380 Minerva, a maument & most on hym leuyt;
At pauy, a pure god the pepull cald Venus;
At Lemno pai loutid to a laithe fynde,

On Volcaun þai worshippit on pere wise most. 4384 At Vaxor þe vayn pepull voidly honourit Bachian, a bale fynde, as a blist god.

And at Delphon, duly, for derrest of other,
Appollyn was honourit, as I here said.

4388 In yche yle vppon erthe, eftur hor deuise,
Thai made mowmettes of mold in mynd of hor

And honourit ouer all thyng as pere belefe askit.

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