Here followeth the history of Saint Pelagius the Pope, with many other histories and gestes of the Lombards, and of Mahomet, with other chronicles.
Pelagius the Pope was of much great holiness, and demeaned him laudably in the See of Rome, and in his last end he ended in our Lord full of virtues; but this was not that Pelagius the predecessor of Saint Gregory but another tofore him. To this Pelagius succeeded John the Third, and to John, Benedict, to Benedict, Pelagius, to Pelagius, Gregory. In the time of this Pelagius came the Lombards into Italy, and because many know not this history I have ordained it to be set here like as it is set in the history of the Lombards which Paul, the historiographer of Lombards, hath compiled and expounded in divers chronicles. He saith that there was a multitude of people of Germany issued from the rivage of the sea ocean, and sailed towards the north from the isle of Scandinavia, and environed many countries and made many battles, and at the last they came into Pannonia, and durst not go farther, and there established to hold their perpetual habitation. These men were called Huns, and afterwards they were called Lombards.
And yet as they were in Germany, Agilmud, king of the Lombards, found seven children cast into a piscine for to be drowned, which were born at one burden of a common woman. And when the king had found them by case of adventure, he marvelled much, and with his spear he began to turn and move them, and one of the children took and held the spear with his hand, and when the king saw that he was abashed, and made him to be taken and nourished, and called him great Lamissio, and said that he should be of so great puissance that after the death of the king of the Lombards he should be made king of them. About that same time, in the year of our Lord four hundred and eighty, there was a bishop of the heresy Arian, as saith Eutropius, which would have baptized one named Barnabas, and when he said Barnabas, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, by the Son with the Holy Ghost, by which he would show the Son and the Holy Ghost to be less than the Father, and anon the water vanished away, and he, that should have been baptized, fled to the church for to be baptized.
In that time flourished Medard and Gildard brethren, both of one burden and born in one day, and both made bishops in one day, and in one day both they died in our Lord. And tofore this time it is said in a chronicle about the year of our Lord four hundred and one, as the heresy Arian grew in France, the unity of the substance of three persons was showed by open miracle like as Philibert rehearseth. For as the bishop sang mass in the city of Vasacence he saw three drops right clear, all of one greatness, which were upon the altar, and all three ran together into a precious gem, and when they had set this gem in a cross of gold all the other precious stones that were there fell out. And this gem was clear to them that were clean out of sin, and it was obscure and dark to sinners, and it gave health to them that were sick, and increased them that worshipped the cross.
After this reigned a king upon the Lombards which was named Alboin, a strong man and a noble, which had a battle with the king of the Gebidains, and destroyed their host and slew their king, wherefore the son of the king that was slain succeeded his father, and came with a great puissant army against Alboin for to avenge his father. And Alboin moved his strength against him and surmounted him and slew him, and led away with him Rosamond his wife in captivity, but after he took her to his wife, and he did do make a cup of the skull of that king and closed it in fine gold and silver, and drank out of it. In that time Justinian the Less governed the empire, which had a prince chaste named Narses, which was a noble man and strong, which went to battle against the Goths that then had taken all Italy. And he surmounted them and slew their king and made peace in all Italy, and after, yet for all his great victory and weal he suffered great envy of the Romans, for he was falsely accused unto the emperor, and the wife of the emperor, named Sophia, did to him so great despite that she sent him word that she should make him to spin and clip wool with her chamberers. To whom Narses sent her answer, saying: I shall so purchase to set such a cloth in thy looms that during thy life thou shalt not finish it ne take it down. Then Narses went to Neapolin, and sent to the Lombards that they should leave that poor land of Pannonia, and that they should pursue the right plenteous land of Italy. And when Alboin heard this thing he Ieft Pannonia and entered with his Lombards into Italy the year of our Lord six hundred and sixty eight, and they were accustomed to have long beards, wherefore on a time, as it is said, certain spies came to espie them, whereof Alboin had knowledge, and commanded that all the women should unbind their hair and bind it under their chins in such wise that they should seem men. And therefore were they called Longebards, and so after, Lombards, and all because of long beards. And others say when they ought to fight with the Vandelians or Vandals, they went to a man that had a spirit of prophecy for to pray for them, and that he should bless them, and by counsel of his wife they should put them by the window whereas he prayed towards the orient. And the women put their hair about their chins instead of beards, and when he opened his window and saw them, he escried and said: Who be these longbeards? And then his wife said to him that he should give the victory to them that he had named. Then entered they into Italy and took almost all the cities, and slew all the inhabitants and assieged three years Pavia and at the last they took it. And the king Alboin had sworn that he should slay all the christian men. And as he should enter into Pavia his horse kneeled tofore the gate of the city, and could not make him to arise with his spurs, ne in none other manner, till by the warning of a christian man he had changed his oath. And from thence came the Lombards to Milan, and in a little time they subdued to them all Italy save Rome and Romaniole, which always was adherent to Rome, for it held always with Rome. And when the king Alboin came to Verona and had ordained a great feast, he commanded to bring forth the cup that he had do make of the head of the king, and did drink thereof, and gave it to Rosamond his wife, and said: Drink with thy father, and when Rosamond knew it, she had great disdain and hate toward the king. And the king had a duke which held and lay by a damsel of the queen, and on a time she was out, and the queen entered into her chamber and sent for the duke in the name of the same damsel. And when he was come and had done his will, she said to him: Wotest thou who I am? and he said: Ye are my love, and she said: Nay, I am Rosamond the queen, wherefore my husband shall be angry, but I pray thee that thou wilt avenge me on him, for he hath slain my father, and hath do make a cup of his head, and hath made me for to drink thereof. And he would not grant her, but promised to her that he should find one that should do it. Then when he should come she took away the king’s arms, and bound fast his sword in the sheath so that he might not draw it out, which hung at his bed’s head, and when the king was asleep in his bed, the homicide enforced him to enter into the chamber, and when the king felt him he sprang up and took his sword, but he might not draw it out, and began strongly to defend him with a stool. But that other which was well armed prevailed on the king and slew him and took all his treasure, and went with Rosamond to Ravenna.
And when Rosamond was in Ravenna she saw a fair young man which was provost of the town, and desired to have him to her husband, and she gave to her husband to drink, and anon he felt the bitterness of the venom and commanded to Rosamond for to drink the residue; which she refused. And he took his sword and constrained her to drink it, and thus they perished and died both together. And after this the Lombards made a king named Adalaoth which was baptized, and received the faith of Christ. And Theodolina, queen of the Lombards, a devout and most christian lady, ordained at Modena a much fair oratory. To whom Saint Gregory sent the books of dialogues, and she converted Agisulphe, her husband, to the faith, which had first been Duke of Turin, and after was king of the Lombards. And he made peace to be had with the emperor and with the church. And the peace was made between the Romans and the Lombards the day of the feast of Saint Gervase and Saint Prothase, and therefore established Saint Gregory to sing the office in the mass: Loquetur dominus pacem. And in the nativity of Saint John Baptist the peace was all confirmed, and this Theodolina had a special devotion to the blessed Saint John, and said that by the merit of him her people was converted, and to him she made the said oratory at Modena, and it was shewed by revelation, unto a holy man, that Saint John was patron and defender of her people. And when Gregory was dead Sabine succeeded after him, and to him succeeded Boniface the third, and to him Boniface the fourth, at whose request Phocas the emperor gave to the church of Christ the temple of Pantheon, about the year of our Lord six hundred and ten, and he, at the request of the third Boniface, established the See of Rome to be chief and head of all the church. For tofore, the church of Constantinople wrote herself greatest of all other churches. And when Phocas was dead Heraclius reigned. And about the year of our Lord six hundred and ten Mahomet the false prophet, and an enchanter, deceived the Hagarenes or Ishmaelites, that is to say the Saracens, in this manner as it is read in a history of him in a certain chronicle. There was a clerk much renowned at Rome which could not come to the worship that he desired, and in great disdain departed thence in to the parts over the sea, and drew to him by his simulation much people, and found Mahomet, and said to him that he would make him lord and chief of all the people. And after, he nourished a dove, and laid wheat and other corn in the ears of Mahomet, and set the dove upon his shoulder, and fed him out of his ear, and was so used and accustomed that always when he saw Mahomet he flew on his shoulder and put his bill or beak in his ear, and then this clerk called the people and said that he would make him lord over them all on whom the Holy Ghost should descend in the likeness of a culver or a dove. And then he let the dove fly secretly, and he flew upon the shoulder of Mahomet which was among the others, and put his beak in his ear. And when the people saw this thing they supposed that the Holy Ghost had descended on him, and had showed unto him in his ear the word of God, and thus deceived Mahomet the Saracens, which with his adherents assailed the realm of Persia and all the parts of the Orient unto Alexandria.
Thus it is said commonly, but this that shall here follow is had from more truer history. For then Mahomet made and feigned his laws to be made of the Holy Ghost, which in the sight of the people oft came unto him in the form of a dove, and in his laws he put some things of the Old and New Testament. For when he was in his first age he haunted Egypt and Palestine, and was a merchant and led camels, and conversed oft with Jews and with christian men, of whom he had taken the Old Testament and the New. And after the custom of the Jews the Saracens be circumcised, and eat no swine’s flesh. And Mahomet told them that the cause was that the swine was made of the dung of the camel after Noah’s flood, and therefore it ought to be eschewed as an unclean beast, of clean people. And to christian men they accord whereas they believe on God Almighty Maker of all things. And this false prophet, meddled and affrmed some true things with the false. He said that Moses was a great prophet, but Christ was greater and most sovereign of the prophets, and was born of the Virgin Mary without seed of man. And he saith in his book, that is called Alkoran, that when Christ was a child he made birds of the slime of the earth. But he meddled venom with his words, for he said that Jesu Christ was not verily dead, ne arose not again, but that it was another in likeness of him that he had put in his stead. There was a lady named Cadygam which was lady of a province named Corocania, and saw that this Mahomet was keeper and governor of a great company of Saracens and Jews and supposed that divine majesty had been in him hid. And she was a widow, and she took Mahomet to her husband, and thus was Mahomet prince of all that province. And after, by false demonstrances, he deceived not only this lady, but he deceived Jews and christian men, so that he said to them openly that he was Messias that was promised in their law. And after this Mahomet fell oft in the epileptical passion, and when the lady his wife saw him oft fall, she was much sorrowful that she had wedded him. And he thought to please her, and appeased her in this wise, and said that he oft saw the angel Gabriel which spake to him, and that he might not suffer the brightness of him, wherefore he must fall because he might not sustain him, and his wife and others supposed and believed that it had been true. And in another place it is read that it was a monk named Sergius, a heretic, that introduced Mahomet, which monk because he fell into the heresy of Nestorius was expulsed from his monastery, and came into Arabia, and abode with Mahomet. Howbeit, it is said in another place that he was archdeacon in Antioch, and as some say he was a Jacobite and preached the circumcision, and said that Christ was not God but he was a ho]y man conceived only of the Holy Ghost and born of a virgin, and that believe the Saracens.
And the said Sergius taught to Mahomet many things of the Old and New Testament. And when Mahomet was orphan of father and mother he was under the governance of his uncle, and by long time adored idols with the people of Arabia, as he witnesseth in his Alkoran that God should say to him: Thou wert an orphan and I have taken thee. Thou abodest long in the error of idolatry and I brought thee out thereof. Thou wert poor and I have enriched thee. All the people of Arabia, with Mahomet, worshipped Venus for a goddess, and thereof cometh it that the Saracens hold the Friday in great honour, like as the Jews do the Saturday, and christian men the Sunday. And when Mahomet was enriched with the riches of this widow Cadygam, he mounted in so great folly of thought that he thought to usurp to him the realm of Arabia. And when he saw he might not do it by violence, and also that he was despised of his fellows, which had been always great with him, then he feigned him to be a prophet, and them that he might not draw to him by might he drew to him by feigned holiness. And then he began to believe the counsel of that Sergius, which was a much subtle man, and inquired all that he should do secretly, and reported it to the people, and called him Gabriel. And thus Mahomet in feigning himself to be a prophet held all the seigniory of all that people, and all believed by their agreement, or for fear, or for doubt of sword. That thing is more true than that which is said of the dove and is more to be holden. And because that this Sergius was a monk, he would that the Saracens should use the habit of a monk, that is to wit a gown without a hood, and in the guise of monks they should make many kneelings, and that they should adore ordinately. And because that the Jews worship towards the west, and the christian men towards the east, therefore he would that his people should adore towards the south, and so do yet the Saracens. And Mahomet published to them many of the laws that the said Sergius taught him, and took many of Moses laws. For the Saracens wash them oft, and specially when they should pray, for then would they wash all the members of their body, because they should pray the more clean, and in their praying they confessed one only God to whom is none like, and they say that Mahomet is his prophet. And they fast every year a whole month, and when they fast they eat nothing but in the night, and fast all the day. And as soon as the day cometh, as when they may discern black from white, they begin to fast, and fast till the sun be down, and night. And in that while none of them dare eat ne drink, ne have to do with his wife, but they that be sick be not constrained to this. It is also commanded to them that once a year they should come unto the house of God for to adore, and in vestments without seam to go about, and cast stones between their thighs for to stone the devil therewith. Which house they say that Adam made it for all his children for to pray in, and left it to Abraham and Ishmael, and at the last it was left to Mahomet and to all his people. They might eat all manner of flesh, save swine’s flesh, and blood, and flesh that had been strangled or found dead. Each man might have four wives wedded at once, and refuse and repudiate three times and take them again, but not the fourth time. And he might have no more than four wives lawfully, but he might have concubines and such women, as many as he may buy and as many as he might keep, and them he may sell but if she be with child. And it is granted to them that they may have wives of their own lineage that their kindred may be the stronger among them in friendship. And as to their possessions, he that demandeth must have witness to prove his demand, and the defendant shall be believed by his oath. When they be found in adultery they be stoned both together, and when they do fornication they shall have four score lashes.
Mahomet said that the angel Gabriel had showed to him that it was granted to him of our Lord that he might go to others men’s wives for to engender men of virtue, and prophets. And one of his servants had a fair wife, and he defended and forbade his wife that they should not speak with his lord, Mahomet. And on a day he found her speaking with him, and then anon he put her from him, and Mahomet received her and set her among his other wives. And then he doubted the murmur of the people, and feigned that a writing was sent to him from heaven, in which was written: If any man repudiated his wife that he that received her should have her to his wife which thing the Saracens keep for a law to this day. A thief that is taken among them is beaten the first and second time, the third time his hand is cut off, the fourth time his foot is smitten off. It is forbidden to them to drink wine, and as they affirm, our Lord hath promised paradise to them that keep these laws and others, that is to wit a garden or a place of delices environed with running water. In which paradise they shall have seats perdurable, ne they shall have neither overmuch heat ne cold, and they shall use and eat all manner meats, and whatsomever they desire they shall anon find ready tofore them. They shall be clad in clothes of silk of all colours, they shall be conjoined to right fair virgins, and always they shall be in delices, and the angels shall come as butlers with vessels of gold and silver, and shall give in them of gold, milk, and in them of silver, wine, and they shall say to them eat and drink in gladness. And Mahomet saith they shall have three floods or rivers in Paradise, that one of milk, that other of honey, and the third of right good wine, with right precious spices. And that they shall see there right fair angels and so great that from that one eye to that other is the space of a day’s journey. Unto them that believe not to God and Mahomet, as they affirm, is ordained the pain of hell without end, and to them that in whatsomever sin have sinned and been bounden therein, if in the hour of their death they believe in God and to Mahomet, in the day of doom when Mahomet shall come, they shall be saved. And the Saracens, enveloped in darkness, affirm that Mahomet, the false prophet, to have had the spirit of prophecy above all other prophets, and they say that he had ten angels obedient to him, which kept him. And they say yet that, tofore God created heaven and earth the name of Mahomet was tofore God, but if Mahomet should not have been, heaven, ne earth, ne paradise, had never been made. Also they lie saying that the moon came to him, whom receiving into his bosom he departed into two parts, and after joined them again together. And they say that there was a lamb of flesh offered to him, which spake unto him, and said: Beware that thou eat me not, for there is venom within me. And yet nevertheless after certain years there was venom given by which he died.
But now let us return to the history of the Lombards, for then the Lombards were much contrary to the church of Rome, and to the empire, how be it they had received the faith, and then Pepin, the greatest prince of the house of France, was dead, and Charles his son succeeded him, which was also named Eutides, and he did many battles, and had many victories, and left two sons, princes of the royal hall, Charles and Pepin. But Charles, leaving the pomp of the world, was made a monk of Cassinense and Pepin governed much nobly and worshipfully the house of France. And forasmuch as Childeric the king was not profitable, Pepin came unto the Pope and asked counsel whether he should be king that had but only the name of the king, or he that governed the realm. And then the Pope answered that he ought to have the name of the king that governed well the realm. And the Frenchmen were enharded with this answer, and made Pepin king, and closed Childeric in a monastery, about the year seven hundred and fifty. And then when Astolphus, king of the Lombards, had despoiled the church of Rome of her possessions and seigniory, Stephen the Pope, which came after Zachary required aid and help of Pepin the king of France against the Lombards, and came himself into France. And then Pepin assembled a much great host, and came into Italy, and besieged the King Astolphus, and vanquished him, and took of him forty hostages that he should restore again to the church of Rome all that he had taken away, and that he should no more torment it. But when Pepin was departed he did nothing of that he had promised, and soon after as he went on hunting he died suddenly, and Desiderius succeeded him, about the year of our Lord seven hundred and fifty-six.
Dagobert, king of France, as it is contained in a chronicle, which had reigned long time tofore Pepin, began from his childhood to have Saint Denis in great reverence, for when he feared the anger of his father Lothair he fled anon to the church of the blessed Saint Denis, and after, when he was made king, he loved and honoured him strongly, and after, when he was dead, it was showed to a holy man in a vision that his soul was brought to the judgment, and many saints opposed against him that he had robbed her churches, and as the wicked spirits would have ravished and led him to pain, the blessed Denis came and delivered him, or peradventure the soul of him was restored to the body and did penance. The King Clodoveus of France uncovered Denis more dishonestly than he ought to do, and brake the bones of his arm and bare them away covetously, and anon he waxed mad.
In that time was Bede the honourable clerk in England, and how be it that he is accounted in the catalogue of saints, yet he is not called of holy church Saint Bede, but worshipful Bede, and this for double cause. The first is, for his old age he was blind, and he had one that led him by towns and castles, whereas he preached the word of our Lord in every place, and on a time he led him by a valley full of great stones, and his leader mocking him said that there were assembled much people that were still for to hear his predication. And then began he to preach much ardently, and at the last end he concluded with: Per omnia secula seculorum, and anon the stones answered with a high voice: Amen, our honourable father; and because that the stones called him honourable so the church may say well that he is honourable. The second cause is that after his death, a much devout clerk desired to make a verse to set on his tomb, and began in this wise: Hac sunt in fossa, and was ended with Bedae sancti ossa, but it was no true verse, and when he could not bring it to a true metre he was full of thought all a night, and on the morn he found graven on his tomb by the hands of angels the verse full made in this manner:
Hac sunt in fossa
Bedae venerabilis ossa.
Whose body is worshipped by great devotion in Genoa.
In the time of about the year of our Lord seven hundred, Rachortus, King of Frisia, should have been baptized, and had then one foot in the fontstone and that other without, and demanded whether the more part of his predecessors were in hell or in heaven, and when he heard that more of them were in hell than in heaven, he said: It is more holy to follow the more part than the less, and withdrew his foot that was in the font, and so was he deceived of the devil, which promised unto him goods without number, and the fourth day he died suddenly and perished perdurably.
In the campagna of Italy wheat, barley, and corn fell down from heaven like rain. It is read that in the same time, the year of our Lord seven hundred and forty, when the body of Saint Benedict was brought into the monastery of Floriacence and the body of Saint Scolastica his sister was brought to Ceromane, Charles the monk would have borne the body to the castle of Cassinense, but by miracles that were showed it was forbidden. In that time was a great trembling of the earth by which cities were turned and sunken, and others, with mountains and hills, were borne and transported whole and safe seven miles thence. The body of Saint Pernelle, daughter of Saint Peter the apostle, was transported from thence where it was, and was found written in marble by the hand of Saint Peter: This is the tomb of the golden Petronelle my daughter. And as Sigebert saith they of Tyre tormented them of Armenia, and when the pestilence had been sometime in their land, they of the country, by the admonishments of christian men, shaved their heads in manner of a cross, and because that by that sign they received their health they retained that manner of shaving.
At the last Pepin after many victories was dead, and Charles the Great, his son, succeeded him in his reign. And in his time Adrian the pope sat in his See at Rome and sent messengers to Charles the Great and required him of help against Desiderius, king of the Lombards, which tormented strongly the church like as Astolphus his father did. And Charles obeyed to the Pope and assembled a great host and entered by the mountains into Italy, and assieged puissantly the royal city of Pavia and took Desiderius, and his wife, and his princes, and sent them in exile into France and re-established to the church all the droits and rights that had been taken from them. In that time were in the host of Charlemagne, Amys and Amelion, which were two right noble knights of our Lord Jesu Christ, of whom be read marvellous acts, which fell and died at Mortaria whereas Charles overcame the Lombards. And there then failed the reign of the Lombards, for after that time they had never king, but such as the emperors gave to them. And then went Charles to Rome, and the pope assembled a synod of one hundred and fifty-three bishops, in which synod the pope gave to Charles power to choose the pope and to ordain the See of Rome, and also he granted to him the investiture to give to archbishops and bishops tofore their consecration. His sons were made kings, and were all anointed at Rome, that is to wit, Pepin, King of Italy, and Louis, King of Aquitaine or Guienne; and then flourished Alcuinus master of Charles. And then Pepin, son of Charles, began to rebel against his father, whereof he was convicted, and was shorn a monk.
About the year of our Lord seven hundred and eighty-three in the time of Irene, Empress, and of her son Constantine, there was a man digging in a long wall, as it is read in a certain chronicle, and he found a chest of stone, and found therein a man Iying and letters containing this following: Christ shall be born of Mary the virgin, and I believe in him; under Constantine and Irene the Empress, 0 son, thou shalt see me again. And when Adrian was dead Leon was set upon the See of Rome and was Pope, and a man right honourable in all things. And the kinsman of Adrian had and bare heavy heart towards him, and on a time as he read the greater Litanies, they moved the people against him, and drew out his eyes and cut off his tongue, but God by miracle reestablished again his tongue and his sight, and after, he fled to Charles and he remised him in his seat and punished the culpables.
Then the Romans by admonishments of the pope, the year of our Lord seven hundred and eighty-four left the empire of Constantinople, and they made Charles emperor, and crowned him by the hand of Leo the pope, and called him Cæsar Augustus. And anon, after Constantine the great, the see imperial was in Constantinople, and because the foresaid Constantine had given and left Rome to the vicars of Saint Peter the apostle, and had ordained the same for their see, nevertheless for the dignity they be called Emperors of Rome, and so were they till the Empire of Rome came to the kings of France and after that the others were called Emperors of Constantinople, or Emperors of the Greeks, and the others be called Emperors of Rome. And it was much marvel of this Emperor Charles, for as long as he lived he would never marry none of his daughters, and said he might in no wise forbear their company. And Alcuin, his master, wrote unto him upon this thing, and said: Howbeit that thou be blest in other things, yet in this thou art unhappy in fortune, and declared to him what he would say upon that matter. And nevertheless the Emperor did by dissimulation so as there should be no suspicion thereof, but nevertheless it was much spoken among the people, and wheresomever he went he led them with him.
In the time of this Charles, the office of Saint Ambrose was much left, and the office of Saint Gregory was solemnly published, and the authority of the emperor helped much thereto. For as Saint Austin rehearseth, in his book of Confessions, Saint Ambrose had many persecutions of Justina the Empress, which was of the heresy Arian, and was awaited in the church, both he and his folk catholic, and therefore established he to sing the hymns and the psalms after the custom of them of the Orient, lest the people should abide in the slough of error, and afterwards it was ordained through all the church. And then Gregory came forward and changed many things and added some thereto, and some he took away. The holy fathers might not see all that longed at the beginning to the beauty of the office, but divers fathers ordained divers things. For the mass hath three beginniogs. For it began sometime at the lesson, as it is done on the holy Saturday on Easter Even.
Celestine the pope ordained to sing a psalm at the introit of the mass, and Saint Gregory ordained the introit of the mass to be sung, and a verse of the psalm that was sung. And sometimes they sang psalms about the altar, and was environed of clerks in manner of a crown, and sang by accord together, and thereof was said chorus, a quire or company. But Flavianus and Theodorus established that there should be sung on one side one verse, and another on that other side, and this held they of Ignatius which was divinely taught. Saint Jerome ordained psalms, epistles and gospels, and for the more part the daily service and office and nightly, save the song. Ambrose, Gelasius, and Gregory added thereto collects and songs to the lessons and gospels. Grails, tracts and Alleluia, Ambrose, Gelasius, and Gregory, established to be sung at the mass. Hilarius added to Gloria, In excelsis Deo: Laudamus te, and so forth as followeth. Nocherius, Abbot of Saint Gall, made the sequences psalms instead of pneuma of Alleluias, and Pope Nicholas ordained that they should be sung at mass. Hermanus of Almaine made: Rex omnipotens, Sancti Spiritus assit nobis gratia, Ave Maria, et antiphonam: Alma redemptoris mater et Simon Bariona. Peter, Bishop of Compostella made Salve Regina, and as Sigebert saith, Robert king of France made the sequence of Sancti Spiritus nobis assit gracia, etc.
And as Turpin rehearseth, Charles was fair of body, cruel of sight, eight foot long of his stature, his face a palm and a half long, his beard a palm long, his forehead a foot large, he smote with one stroke a man armed on horseback from the top of his head unto the sengles or girths of the horse. He drew, and stretched out of length lightly, four horses shoes of iron. He would lift up from the earth, with his one hand, an armed man right up to his head. He would eat a hare all whole, or two hens, or a whole goose, he drank little or nothing, and that was wine with water. He drank so little at his dinner that he would drink but three times. He founded many abbeys and monasteries, and at the last he made Jesu Christ heir of all his goods, and finished his life laudably. And Louis his son succeeded him in the empire, which was a man right debonair, about the year of our Lord eight hundred and fifteen. In whose time the bishops and the clerks left their girdles tissued with gold, and their outrageous and disguised clothing and array they put off, and laid it apart. And Theodulphus, Bishop of Orleans, was falsely accused to the emperor and was sent to Angiers to prison, and, as it is contained in a chronicle, on Palm Sunday as the procession passed tofore the house where he was in prison, he opened the window, and when he heard that they were in peace and sang not, he began to sing the fair verses that he had made, that is to wit: Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit rex Christe. And the Emperor was present, and it pleased so much to the Emperor that he took him out of prison and re-established him into his see.
The messengers of Michael the Emperor of Constantinople brought gifts to Louis the son of Charles, and among all others they brought the books of Saint Denis of the Hierarchy of Angels, translated out of Greek into Latin, and he received them with great joy. And then were there about twenty sick men of divers maladies, which all were healed that night in the church of Saint Denis.
And when Louis was dead, Lothair held the empire. And Louis and Charles his brethren made a battle against him, where there was so great occision of one and other that there had never tofore been such in no time in France. And at last it was accorded that Charles should reign in France, and Louis in Almain, and Lothair in Italy, and in the part of France which is named Lorraine. And after that he left the empire to Louis his son, which was emperor after him, and he took the habit of a monk.
And it is said in a chronicle that Sergius was then pope which tofore was named Osporci, that is to say the mouth of a swine, but his name was changed, and was called Sergius, and from then forthon it was ordained that all the popes should change their names because our Lord changed the name of him that he chose to be prince of the apostles. For as they be changed in name, so should they be changed in perfection of life, and because that this man was chosen into a noble office, he should not be defouled by a dishonest name.
In the time of this Louis, in the year of our Lord eight hundred and fifty-six, as it is said in a chronicle, in the parish of Magonce a wicked spirit smote on the walls of the houses as it had been with hammers, and spake openly in sowing discords, and tormented so the people that in what house he entered, anon the house burned. And when the priests said the litanies, he cast at them stones and grieved them cruelly, and at the last he confessed that, when holy water was cast, he hid him under the cope of a certain priest as his familiar, accusing him that he had sinned with the daughter of the procurour.
In that time the king of Bulgaria was converted unto the faith, and was of so great perfection that he made his oldest son king, and he himself took the habit of a monk, but his son governed him so youngly that he took again the rite and law of the paynims. And then his father reprised his knighthood and pursued his son, and took him and put him in prison, and then he ordained his other son to be king, and reprised his habit again.
It was said that in Italy that time in the city of Brescia it rained blood three days, and that same time came into France, breezes or locusts innumerable which had six wings, six long feet, and two teeth harder than any stone, and fled by companies, as armed men, by the space of a day’s journey, stretching a four or five miles broad, and they devoured all thing that was green in trees and in herbs, and came unto the sea of Brittany, but in the end they were drowned in the sea by force of the wind, but the heat of the ocean sea threw them on to the rivage, and the air was corrupted of their rotting, and thereof ensued a great famine and great mortality, that almost the third part of the people perished and died.
And after this, the first Otto was emperor, in the year of our Lord nine hundred and thirty-eight. And as this Otto, on an Easter day, had ordained a great feast to his princes, tofore they were set, a son of one of the princes, in the manner of a child, took one of the messes of the meat from the board, and the carver smote the child with his fist and slew him. And he that had the child in keeping saw that, and slew him anon that had slain the child. And when the emperor would have condemned him without audience, he took the emperor and threw him to the ground, and would have strangled him, and with great pain he was taken from his hands. And after, the emperor made him to be kept, and said that he himself was culpable and to blame, and for the honour of the feast he let the man go freely his way.
And after this first Otto, the second Otto succeeded, and when the Italians had oft-times broken the peace between them and the Romans, he came and made a great common feast to all the barons, bishops, and great lords. And when they were all set at dinner he environed them all with men of arms, and then he made his complaint and did do name them that were culpable by writing, and anon did do smite off their heads there, and unto all the others he made good cheer, and much honoured them.
And Otto the third came after him, the year of our Lord nine hundred and ninety, and he had to surname: The Marvel of the World. And, as it is said in a chronicle, he had a wife which would have been love or leman unto an earl, and he would not consent to her. Wherefore she had so great malice unto him that she defamed him in such wise unto her husband the emperor that he commanded to smite off his head without having any audience. But tofore he was beheaded he prayed his good wife that she should show him innocent and not guilty by the proof of hot iron. And then after, came a day that the emperor should do right to widows and to orphans. And then this widow came and brought the head of her husband between her arms, and demanded of what death he ought to have that had slain a man wrongfully. And he said that he ought to have his head smitten off, and then she said: Thou art he that hast slain my husband by the false enticements of thy wife, innocently, and that I shall prove that I say truth by the bearing of this burning iron. And when the emperor saw that, he was all abashed and gave himself to be punished into the hands of the woman. Nevertheless by the prayer of the bishops and of the barons, the emperor took term of ten days, and after of eight, and after of seven, and after of six, till the cause was examined and the truth known. Then the emperor the cause examined and the truth known, did do burn his wife all quick, and gave to the widow four castles for his redemption, which castles be in the bishoprics of Lunensis, and be called the terms of the days, ten, eight, seven, six.
After this emperor reigned Henry, which was duke of Bavaria in the year ten hundred and two, and gave his sister named Ghisela to the king of Hungary in marriage. And that same king and all his people she converted to the faith, and the king was named Stephen, which was of so great holiness that God ennobled him by many miracles. And this Henry the emperor and his wife Cunegonde were both clean virgins, and lived a holy life, and rested after in peace. And him succeeded Conrad, a duke of France, which had wedded the niece of Saint Henry. In that time was seen a beam in heaven full of fire burning, and was much great, and was above the sun, which was seen falling to the earth. This emperor put some of the bishops in prison, and burnt the suburbs of Milan because that the archbishop of Milan fled out of prison. And on Whitsunday, as the emperor was crowned in a little church, there was so great thunder and so horrible, that some issued out of their wit, and others died for fear, and Bruno, the bishop, that sang the mass, and the secretary of the emperor, said that they had seen Saint Ambrose right in the secret of the mass, which menaced and threatened the emperor.
In the time of this Conrad, the year ten hundred and twenty-five, as it is said in a chronicle, that the Earl Leopold and his wife fled into a forest dreading the ire of the king, and there hid them in a little house. And as the emperor went for to hunt in the same forest the night came upon him, and he must needs abide there in that little house all night. And the lady, being great with child, as well as she might administered such thing as was necessary, the best wise that she might. And that night she was delivered of a son, and a voice came to the emperor, which said to him three times: Conrad, the child that is now born shall be shine heir and gendre, that is son-in-law. And when he arose in the morning, he called to him two of his squires and said to them: Go ye and take away this child from the mother by force and hew it in pieces and bring them to me; and anon they went hastily, and took away the child from the mother’s lap. And when they saw the child of so fair a form, they had pity and were moved with mercy, and laid him upon a tree that he should not be devoured of wild beasts. And they took a hare and slit him, and took out his heart, and brought it to the emperor. And the same day a duke passed by the forest and heard the child cry, and did it to be brought to him, and because he had no son he made it to be borne to his wife, and made it to be nourished, and feigned that he had engendered it, and named him Henry. And after, when he was nourished, he grew and was of right fair form and well bespoken, and gracious and courteous to everybody. And when the emperor saw him that he was so fair and wise, he required him of his father, and made him to dwell in his court. And when he saw that this child was so gracious and courteous that he was praised of every man, he doubted that he should reign after him, and it were he whom he had commanded to have been slain, and wrote letters to his wife with his own hand, and they contained these words following: As much as thou lovest thy life, as soon as thou hast received this letter, that thou slay this child. And as he went he was lodged in a church, and he being weary rested him upon a bench, and his purse hung down in which his letters were. Then there was a priest there which desired much to see what was in his purse, and opened it and saw the letters sealed with the king’s seal, and without breaking off the seal he opened them, and reading the felony, he abhorred it, and subtly he erased it. And whereas it said: Thou shalt slay him, he wrote: Thou shalt give our daughter to this child for to be his wife. And when the queen saw these letters, sealed with the king’s seal, and that they were written with his own hand, she called the princes and solemnised the matrimony, and gave her daughter to him to be his wife. And the marriage was done at Aix-la-Chapelle. And when it was told to the emperor that the marriage of his daughter had been solemnly made, he was much abashed, and when he knew the truth of the two esquires and of the duke that found the child, and of the priest that had set in the letter the things above said, he apperceived well that the ordinance of God ought not to be contraried. And anon he sent for the child, and retained him as his son, and established him for to be his heir and to reign after him. And in the place where this child was born he founded a noble nnonastery, which is at this day named Ursine.
This Henry put out of his court all the jongleurs, and gave to poor men all that was wont to be given to minstrels. In that time was so great discord in the church that there were three chosen to be pope, and a priest named Gratian gave to the others much money, and they left the See to him and he was pope. And as Henry the emperor came to Rome for to appease the strifes, Gratian came against him and offered to him a crown of gold for to be to him debonair. And he passed forth by and feigned all these things, and did do hold a cene in which he condemned Gratian of simony, and set another in his place. Howbeit, it is said in another place, in a letter that he sent to Matilda the countess, that the said priest was much simple, and that he had by money gotten to him the papacy, and that after, he knew his error, and by the means of the emperor, he deposed himself.
And after this Henry, was emperor the third Henry, and in his time Bruno was chosen to be pope and was called Leo, and as he went to Rome for to take the See, he heard the voice of angels singing: Our Lord saith: I am he that knoweth the thoughts of peace. This pope made the life of many saints.
In that time the church was troubled by Berengarius, which affrmed the body and blood of our Lord not to be verily in the altar, but figuratively, against whom wrote Lanfranc, prior of Beccanse. And Anselm came to him out of Burgundy for his doctrine, which was much adorned with virtue and wisdom, and was there prior after him.
In this time was Jerusalem taken of the Saracens, and after was recovered by christian men, and the bones of Saint Nicholas were brought into Bari. Thereof it is said: When there should be sung a new history of Saint Nicholas, in a church which was of the holy cross, and was subject to the church of our Lady of Tarentino, the brethren prayed much instantly their prior that they might sing this new history, which he in no wise would grant to them, and said they ought not change their old for no new. And yet the brethren prayed him more instantly, and he in despite said: Go your way, for in no manner shall ye never have licence of me that this new song shall be sung. And when the feast of Saint Nicholas came, the brethren said their matins all in heaviness, and their vigils. And when they were all in their beds, Saint Nicholas appeared visibly and much fearfully to the prior, and drew him out by the hair, and smote him down on the pavement of the dortour, and began to sing the history: O pastor eterne; and at every note he smote him with a rod that he held in his hand right grievously on his back, and sang melodiously this anthem unto the end, and then the prior cried so loud that he awoke all his brethren, and was borne to his bed as halt dead, and when he came to himself, he said: Go ye and sing the new history of Saint Nicholas from henceforth.
In that same time the abbot of the convent of Molesine, and twenty-one monks with him, went for to dwell in desert for to keep more straitly the profession of their pale, and there established a new order out of the old.
Hildebrand, prior of Cluny, was made pope and called Gregory, and when he was in the lesser orders, and was sent as a legate, he convanquished marvellously at Lyons the archbishop of Ebronycence of simony. For this archbishop had corrupted all his accusers so that he might not be convanquished. And then the legate commanded him that he should say: In nomine Patris et Filii, and he might not say: et Spiritus Sancti, because he had sinned in the Holy Ghost. And then he confessed his sin and was deposed, and named then the Holy Ghost with clear voice. And this miracle rehearseth Bruno in his book, that he made to Matthew the emperor. And when this Henry was dead it was written on his tomb whereas he was buried with other kings: Here lieth Henry, the son of Henry the father, Henry the belfather, Henry the old belfather. And after this Henry, reigned Henry the fifth, in the year of our Lord eleven hundred and seven, which took the pope with the cardinals, and let them go when he had of them right of investiture of bishops and of abbots with the ring and the staff pastoral. In that time Bernard and his brethren took the religion of Citeaux. In the parish of Liege a sow bare a pig having the visage of a man, and a hen had a chicken with four feet.
And after this Henry, succeeded Lothair, in whose time a woman in Spain childed a monster which had a double body and that one joined to that other by the backs, and tofore had the semblance of a man whole of body and members ordinately, and behind was the semblance of a woman whole in all properties.
After Lothair reigned Conrad, the year eleven hundred and thirty-eight. That time died Hugh of Saint Victor, which was a right excellent doctor in all science and devout in religion, of whom it is said that when he was in his last infirmity, and that he might retain no meat, yet he required always to have the body of our Lord with great devotion. And then his brethren would please him and brought to him a simple host unsacred in manner of the body of our Lord, and he knew it well in spirit, and said: God forgive you, brethren, wherefore would ye deceive me? This is not my Lord that ye bring to me. And anon they were abashed, and ran and fetched to him the body of our Lord, and then he saw him whom he might not receive, and lifted up his hands to heaven and said: Now I see the Son ascend to the Father, and the spirit to God that made him, and with these words he gave up his spirit and the body of our Lord vanished away from them that held him.
Eugene, Abbot of Saint Anastasius, was established pope, but he was put out of the city because the senators had made another pope. And then he came into France and sent Saint Bernard tofore him which preached the way of our Lord, and did many miracles. And then flourished Gilbert Porretanus. Frederick, nephew of Conrad, was emperor in the year of our Lord eleven hundred and fifty-four, and at that time flourished Master Peter Lombard, Bishop of Paris, which compiled the book of sentences, the gloss of the psalter, and of the epistles of Paul, much profitably. And in that time were seen three moons in heaven, and in the midst of the three was the sign of the cross, and it was not long after that three suns were seen also. And then was Alexander chosen rightfully for to be pope, and against him were chosen Octavian, Johannes Cremensis of the title of Saint Calixtus, and Johannis Strumetensis, successively to the papacy, and were ennoblished, by the favour of the emperor, to the See, and this discord and schism endured eighteen years, within which time the Almains, which dwelled in Tusculum for the emperor, assailed the Romans, which were at Mountport, and slew from noon to evensong so much people that there were never so many Romans slain, howbeit that in the time of Hannibal there were so many slain that three bushels were filled with gold rings that were taken off their fingers, which Hannibal did do send to Carthage.
And many of them were buried at Saint Stephen’s and Saint Laurence’s. And it was written upon their sepulchre that they were ten times a thousand and ten thousand, and ten times sixteen hundred and a half. And when the emperor Frederick visited the Holy Land and washed him in a river, there he perished and died, and as others say he watered his horse, and his horse fell down in the water and so he died.
Henry was emperor after him in the year eleven hundred and ninety. In that time was so great rains, thunders, and lightnings, and tempests, that never had been so great that any man might remember. For stones fell as great as eggs and were square, which were meddled with the rain, and destroyed the vines, trees, and the corn, and slew men, beasts, crows, and other birds, and some fowls were seen flying by the air in that tempest, which bare coals burning in their bills and beaks, and set fire on houses. And this Henry was always a tyrant against the Church of Rome, and therefore when he was dead, Innocent the Pope, opposed against Philip his son that he should not be emperor, and held with the party of Otto, son of the Duke of Saxony, and make him to be crowned King of Almain at Aix-la-Chapelle. In that time many barons of France went over the sea for the deliverance of the Holy Land, and they took Constantinople. In that time began the order of friars preachers and of the minors.
Innocent the Third sent messengers to Philip, King of France, for to assail the land of the Albigeois for to take from them the heresies, and he took them all and did do burn them. And after this, Innocent the Third crowned Otto emperor and took of him an oath that he should keep the rights of holy church, and anon he did against his oath that same day, and did do rob and despoil them that came to Rome on pilgrimage, wherefore the pope cursed him and deposed him from the empire.
In that time was Saint Elisabeth, daughter of the King of Hungary, which was wife to the Landgrave of Thuringia and Hesse, which, among other innumerable miracles, she raised sixteen dead men and gave sight to one that was born blind, out of whose body oil floweth unto this day.
When Otto was deposed, Frederick, son of Henry, was chosen, and was crowned of Honorius the Pope. And this man made right noble laws for the liberty of the church and against heretics, and this emperor abounded above all others in glory and in riches, but he abused them evilly by pride, and was a tyrant against the church, and set two cardinals in prison, and such prelates as Pope Gregory had do be assembled at the council, he took them, and therefore he was accursed of the same pope. And after Gregory died, which was oppressed with many grievous tribulations. And then was Innocent the Fourth made pope, which was of the nation of Genoa, and he assembled a council at Lyons where he deposed the emperor, and then was the empire void.