The prose life of Alexander

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Alexander dreams a dream and conquers Tyre.

held in thy hand', and caste under thy feet, and trade thereon, is the City of Tyre, which thou shall win through strength and tread it with thy foot, and therefore be nothing abased.' When Alexander heard these words, he was greatly comforted and [unbethought] him on what ways he might get this City. And then he [Great] make another battle in the see, greater, & higher, and stranger than the tother was. For it was here the highest tower of the city. And this bastelle was tied with a hundred anchors. Then Alexander Great armed him surely and well, & went by him on upon this bastelle, and bade all his men that they should make them ready for to fight & to give assault to the city. And also as they saw him enter into the city, they should all at once press to the walls, and scale them, and climb over the walls boldly & win the city. And when all men were ready, he [the Great] smite soundly [the cabills that the battle was tied with, & the waves of the see bare it to the walls of the City. And Alexander [deliberately?] start upon the walls, where Baal stood, and ran upon him & slew him and cast him over the walls into the dike of the city. And when the Macedonians & the Greeks saw Alexander enter into the city, they scaled the walls all at once, and clambered over, some with ladders, some on otherwise without any resistence. For the Tyrenes was so feared because of the death of Baal, their duke, that they dare not turn again and defend the walls. And in this way was the city taken and [doungen] down to the earth. From the siege of Tyre, Alexander & his men went to the city of Gaza and assailed it, & [in a] short while they won it. And from [therein?] hied him toward Jerusalem for to ensiege it. When the Bishop of the Jewes heard that Alexander was coming toward Jerusalem, he [Great] call before him all the Jews that were in the city and told them the things that were told him. And since he commanded them that they should come to the temple, and be there in praying, fasting and waking & in sacrifice making unto god, beseeching him of help & succor. And they did so. And on the night next

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The Bishop of the Jews' dream.

after, when the Bishop hadd made his sacrifice, and was lyand in prayers, he fell on slomeryng and ane Angel appered vn-till hym, and sayd, 'Be noyte ferd,' quoth he, 'bot swythe 4 gere araye honestly all the stretis of (the) citee, and caste open the yates, and warne all the folk that thay aray tham in whitte clethynge, and thi-self & alle the prestis reuestey yow solempnely, and to-morne arely wendey furthe of the citee agaynes Alexander 8 in processioun. For hym by-houey * reign & be lord of alle the werlde. But at the laste the wrethe of gode sall falle apon hym.' When the bischoppe wakened of his slepe, he called till hym the iewes and talde tham his reuelacion, and bad tham do all als the Angelle hade schewed hym. And they did so. For they arrayed the streets of the city and clad them in white clothing, and the bishop & the priests request them, and both they and all the folk went further of the city to a place where the temple & all the city may be seen. And there they have bade the coming of Alexander. And when Alexander come near this foresaid place, and saw before him such a multitude of folk, clad all in white, and the priests arrayed solemnly in rich vestments, and the bishop also in his pontificals and a mitre on his head, and thereupon a plate of gold, whereon was written the name of great god [YHWH?], he commanded all his men that they should hold them behind him, and abide till he come to them. And he lighted off his horse, and went by him on to the jewes, And knelt down to the earth and worshipped the high name of god, that he saw there written upon the bishop's head. And then all the jews knelt down & saluted Alexander and cried all with a voice: 'live, live,' quoth they, ' great Alexander, live, live the greatest Emperor of the world, live he that shall overcome all men and not be overcome. Prince most glorious and most worthy of all the princes that reign upon earth.' When the kings of Surrey saw this, they had great wonder thereof. And a prince of Alexanders, that [highte] Parmenion, said unto Alexander: ' My lord the Emperor,' quoth he, ' we marvel it greatly that thou, whom all men worship and [lowtey,] worship here the bishop of the Jews.' And Alexander answered, ' I worship not him,' this quoth he, 'But God whose state he presents. For when I was in Macedonia, and unbethought me, on what

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20 Alexander worships Jehovah.

ways I might conquer [Assye], I saw him sleeping in such habit & in such array; and he [lete] as he set not by me, but went boldly further by me. And for I see none in such array but him, I suppose it be he that I saw in my sleep. And therefore I know that through the help of God I shall overcome Darius, the king of Persia, and his great pride [fordo]. And all things that I cast in my heart for to do, it is my full trust that through his help I shall fulfill it, and will bring it to end. And this is because I worshipped him.' And he had said these words, he went into the city with the bishop and the priests and went into the temple that Solomon made. And as the bishop taught him, he offered sacrifice unto God. And the bishop took Alexander in hand a book of the prophecy of Daniel , in which he found written, that a man of Grece should destroy the power of Persia. And Alexander was right glad, supposing that it was himself. And then he gave the bishop & the other priests great gifts & rich & precious, And bade the bishop ask of him what so he would. And the bishop asked that he would give them leave to use the same laws that their fathers used before them, and he granted it. And then the bishop asked that would give the jews that were in Medea & in Babyloyn, leave for to use their laws, & he granted him that & all other things that he would ask.

Alexander then went from Jerusalem & left there Andromac, his Messenger, and himself & his Oste went to other cities that were in the land of Judaea, and at [ilke] a city that he come to, he was worshipfully [ressayued]. In the meantime the Syrians that fled from Alexander, went to Persia, and told the emperor Darius how Alexander had done to them. And Darius spurred them of his stature & of his shape, and they showed him portrayed in a parchment skin the image of Alexander. And also as Darius saw it, he despised Alexander because of his little stature, and belief the great

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Darius's letter to Alexander.

write a letter and sent it to Alexander. And therewith he sent him a handball: & other certain [lapey] in scorn. And this is the tenor of the letter that he sent to him.

'Darius, king of kings, and lord of all earthly lords even like unto sunshine, with the gods of Persia, unto Alexander our servant we send. We understand now on late, whereof we marvel us greatly, that thou art so raised in pride and vain glory, that thou has assembled together a company of robbers and thieves out of the west parties, and cast them for to come into our parties, supposing through them for to overset and constrain the great might & the virtue of the Persians, whose strength thou may never slacken nor overcome, suppose thou gathered & assembled together all the world. For I do the will to wait thou might nerehand [alsonne nommer] the sterness of heaven, as the folk of the empire of Persia. Our gods also, by whom all this world is governed & sustained praise & commend our name passing all other nations. 'But notwithstanding this; thou as a little [bisne] & a dwarf, a half-man & [ortey] of all men, desiring to overpass thy littleness, right as a mouse crept out of her hole, so thou art creeping out of the lande of Sethym, winning with a few [rebawdey] to conquer & open the land of Persia broad & long, & to riot & play in them as mice does in the house where no cats are. But I that [privately?] has aspied thy [gayety?], when thou went most securely for to startle about, I shall start upon them & take them; & so in wretchedness shall thy days fully have an end. 'A great Folly thou died for to take upon such a presumption. It were full faire to them, if thou might be our lefe, with our benevolence, occupy all only the room of Macedoyne, yielding therefore till vs yearly a certain tribute, if all thou coveted not our empire. Therefore it is good that thou leave thy fond purpose, and went home again, and set thee in thy mother's knee. And lo, I send thee here a little ball, with which as a child thou may play. For thou art but a child. It is more seemly that thou use child's games than deeds of arms. 'We know well thy [pouert] and thy need, and

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Alexander and the ambassadors of Darius,

that thou hast [vnnethes] wherewith thou may sustain thy [caytyfde corse. Wene^ thou than], to bring under thy subjection the empire of Darius. I say that by my Father Saul, that in the room of Persia there is so great plenty of gold, that, & it were gathered together on a heap, It should pass the [clearness?] of the sun. Wherefore we command them, and straightly enjoins them, that thou leave thy full pride and thy vain glory, & turn home again to Macedonia. And if thou will note so, we shall send to them a multitude of men of arms such as saw thou never, the which shall take them, and hang them high off a gibbet as a traitor and a master of thief: and not as the son of Philippe.'

When the messengers that were sent for Darius come to king Alexander, they gave him the letters, and the bane & other certain [lapes], that the emperor sent him in scorn. And Alexander took the letters, and the Great read it openly before all men, and Alexander knights when they heard the tenor of the letters were greatly astounded and wonder [heuy]. And when Alexander saw them so [heuy] because of the letters, he said unto them: * a a, my worthy knights,' quoth he, 'are thee feared" for the proud words that are contained in Darius letters, [wate 3e noghte well that hundreds, that break much, bites men noghte so sone, as does hundreds that comes on men without breaking. We true well the letter says [sothe] of something, that is to say, of the great plenty of gold, that Darius says he has. And therefore let us manly fight with him and we shall have that gold. For the great multitude of his gold, as methink, should [gare] us be bold and hardy for to fight with him manly.'

When Alexander had said their words, he bade his knights take the messengers of Darius and bind their hands behind them and lead them forth to the gallows-ward, and then the messengers began for to cry ruefully until Alexander said: "A, A worshipful lord & king', quoth they, 'what have we trespassed, that we shall be hanged for our king's death'. And then king Alexander answered': 'the words of our Emperor', quoth he, [augurs?] me do this, that sent thou unto me, as unto a thief, as the

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