ere followeth of Saints Prime and Felician, and of the interpretation first of their names.
Primus is as much to say as sovereign and great, and Felician is as much to say as a blessed or happy old man. Primus is said sovereign and great in dignity, for suffering of his martyrdom, and puissant for the operation of miracles, holy for the perfection of his life, and blessed for his glorious fruition. Felician is said happy old man, not only for the ancient of time, but for the reverence of dignity, for the ripeness of wisdom, and for the weight of his manners.
Of Saints Prime and Felician.
Prime and Felician were accused to the emperors Diocletian and Maximian, of the priests and bishops of the idols, to the end that they should do sacrifice, and they said but if they so did their gods would do nothing for them. Then, by the commandment of the emperors, they were shut in prison and bound with chains of iron, but anon after, the angel unbound them and presented them tofore the emperor, and when he found them fast and firm in the faith he did do beat them, and after that departed one of them from that other, and then said the provost to Saint Felician that he should have pity on his old age, and that he should sacrifice to their gods. Then answered he: Lo! I am four score years old, and it is thirty years since I knew the truth, and that I have purposed to serve God, which may well deliver me from thy hands. Then the provost did him be bounden, and made nails to be driven into his feet and hands, and said to him: Thou shalt be in this point so long till thou consent to us and shalt do our wills. And when the provost saw that he suffered his martyrdom so gladly and so joyously, he did him to be tormented again, and commanded that nothing should be ministered to him to eat. After this he made Saint Prime to come tofore him and said to him: Lo! thy brother hath consented to the saying of the emperor and therefore he is worshipped greatly in his palace, do thou the same wise. To whom he said: Though thou be the son of the devil yet in part thou sayest the truth that my brother hath consented to the decree of my heavenly emperor. Then the provost was angry, and commanded to set fire and burn his sides, and to pour boiling lead in to his mouth in the presence of Felician, to fear him withal, and he drank it as sweetly as it had been cold water. Then the provost, being all angry and enraged, commanded two lions to be put to them, which anon as they were put to them fell down to their feet and stood afore them like meek lambs. Then after, he sent two cruel bears which anon became as mild and debonair as the lions. There were in the place that saw this well twelve thousand men, of whom five hundred believed in Jesu Christ. Then the provost did the saints to be beheaded, and threw their bodies to dogs and to birds, but they never touched them, and after this christian men buried them. And these blessed saints were thus martyred the year of our Lord two hundred and eightyseven. Then let us pray to these saints that we may come to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.