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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,

here 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 loud;
perfore gentils aiugget, & for iuste held,

4272 pat in pat bare yle bothe borne were þai first.
bat 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, pai menyt to hat
Ortigia, ouer all honouret with grekes.

Of pis 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.

hof 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

4292 Spekand to specyals, pat spede for to aske, Thurgh falshede of fyndes pe folke to dissayue, And to ert hom in errour euermore to lenge.

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


Book X.


(fol. 67 a.)

Delos signifies "open."

The sun and the moon sprang from Delos.

Idolatry the
result of ignor-
ance, and the
means by which

With worship on all wise as weghis vppon lyue; "ends" deceive
bat no pouer hade plainly but of pale fyndes,
bat entrid into ymagis euer for dissayet,


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 wold,

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 cleane


All maumentre in myddelerthe myrtlit to peses
And wastid away þurgh 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 þat was a tokyn, he tellus, fro tyme of his come,
bat 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 anoper,
Prometheus, principall of þat pure art,
pat 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 þai borne were, bydon þai 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 þe boke says, (bothe were his namys)
Hade a son þat hym sewit, sesit in his lond,
Nine was his name, & his next heire.








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,
With worship on all wise, þat 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


Book X.

He brought hym to berynes on his best wise,
As be-come for a kyng, closit hym faire

With solempne sepulcre, sothely wroght.

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

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

Entrid in þat ymage, & onswaret the pepull. Who pat any thing asket after his dissyre, bere onswaret opunly the aungell of helle: And so the ledis of the lond lyuely hym cald, 4356 Sum beall, sum belus, sum bell þe god,

Sum belphegor, & belsabub, as hom best likes.

Ninus, son of
Delus, or Belus,

(fol. 68 a.)

bat the gome was a god groundet in blisse.

And so the ffigur of his fader was falsly honouryt,

By assent of hym selfe pat the soile aght;

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

entered into this


image and answered the people:

hence, some called it Baal;

some, Belus; some, Bel the god, &c.

Book X.

The sun was called Apollo, and was so worshipped in Delos.

Then the chief

planets were

called Venus and Mercury;

(fol. 68 b.) and the moon

was called Diana.







At Naxos,

At Delphos,

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

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,
Delphon, or Delos, dem as ye list.

And pan Venus the worthy is worshippit with



hat of planettes of prise has hor pure nome. þen mercury, a mighty god, is most in honour, 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 hai 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
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.




Thus purgh falshed of pe fendes pe folke was

4392 Vnder daunger of pe dule droupet full longe,
Of whose falshede & fourme in his first makyng
Will I somwhat say, & sithen of his falle.

God fourmet hym so faire, as I fynd here, 4408 pat mony legions his light launchet aboue.

(But pe fader, þat first fourmyt all thinge,—

God, who made the angels his

4396 Both the ayre, & Element, & Angells in heuyn, ministering


Water, & wynde, & welkyn aboue,

In the highest heuyn, as holy writ sais,
He ordant angels after his deuyse,

4400 And set hom in seruice hym seluyn to honour.

But on the oddist of other ordant our lord,
Brightest of bemes in blisse for to dwelle.

Of whom the proffet of prise plainly can say,
4404 here was no sterne in astate stode hym aboue,
Ne no pert tre in peradise apperith to hym,
Ne burione ne braunche to his beamys like.)

4416 Mony legion pere light vnto laithe fendes With lucifer, pat lyuet in delites aboue, bat wofully welt & woundid to the dethe.


Book X.

Thus the gospell of God of pat grym tellis,— 4420 'I segh satan hym selfe slippe out of heuyn, As pe leuenynges light, þat laches to ground.' This fende was the first þat felle for his pride, And lost has his lykyng, pat lyuyaton is cald. 4424 And for the case is vnknowen be course to pe


(Ps. ciii. 20, 21.)
(Ps. civ. 4, 5.)
(fol. 69 a.)
set Christ above

(Heb. i. 4.)

God set Lucifer highest of the angels, but through pride he fell from that

Thurgh his fairhede as fast he felle into pride,
When he said of hym selfe his sete he wold make high estate:
ffull noble in þe north, þat non shuld be here
4412 Like to pe lord, þat the light made;

Euynyng in all thing euyn with hym selfe,
Sone he fell of his faire-hede, & fele of his peres,
bat assentid to pat syn, sonkyn in fire.

(Is. xiv. 13.)
(Ezek. xxxi. 8, 9.)

and many legions
fell with him.
(Rev. xii. 7-9.)

(Luke x. 18.)

Satan is called
(Is. xxvii. 1.)

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