Art. 6, De seint Bartholomeu

Art. 6, De Seint Bartholomeu: EXPLANATORY NOTES


[Fols. 45vb–47vb. ANL 546 (3). Scribe: A, with title inserted by B (Ludlow scribe). Quire: 4. Initials: Unfilled space for opening initial C (five lines high). Layout: Two columns. Editions: D. Russell 1989, pp. 93–107. Other MSS: Paris, BnF MS français 19525, fols. 38vb–40vb (ed. D. Russell 1989, pp. 92–106); London, BL MS Egerton 2710, fols. 143v–144v. Latin Analogue: Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, trans. Ryan, 2:109–13. Translations: None.]

2-3 The “third India” is Armenia, the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion (ca. 301).

6 Astaroth. One of three named demons in this legend. The others are Berith (line 23) and Baldac (line 220), who preside in neighboring cities. These resident demons inhabit stone idols

9-17 The author carefully explains how devils pretend to be gods but have power only to cause harm or withhold the harm they cause. By this means, they create the illusion of “curing” those whom they themselves have afflicted. Compare the explanatory note to lines 141–48; and Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, trans. Ryan, 2:110.

75-82 In Saint Bartholomew’s sermon to King Polymius, he develops a wordplay on premeraine (“first” and “premiere, most excellent”). The former meaning follows from his repetition of comencement (“beginning”) in lines 75–79. But as the word comes to be applied fulsomely to the Virgin Mary, it shifts in meaning to “most excellent.”

83 Saint Bartholomew’s sermon constructs an implicit contrast between the situation of King Polymius’ daughter, wherein a vicious demon had occupied the princess’s body, and the Annunciation, wherein the angel Gabriel approached Mary, and Jesus was conceived.

141-48 A fascination with demonology prevails in this legend. Here the author explains again the limited operations of devils in the world. Compare the explanatory note to lines 9–17.

170-83 The lengthy prayer by Bartholomew, the angel’s physical description, and the cause-and-effect nature of prayer-and-then-angelic-coming are not in Jacobus de Voragine’s version (The Golden Legend, trans. Ryan, 2:111–12). Visualizing a resplendent winged angel pointedly precedes the revelation of Astaroth’s hideous features and wings (lines 188–91). Compare the importance of Bartholomew’s prayer to the pivotal prayer by Saint Peter in The Passion of Saint Peter (art. 7), lines 59–63.

Art. 6, De Seint Bartholomeu: TEXTUAL NOTES


AbbreviationsMS: MS Harley 2253; M: Meyer 1895; O: O’Connor; P: Perman; R: D. Russell 1989.

title MS: De S bartholomeu. Scribe B inserts this title in red ink on a blank line.

1 Çoe. So R. MS: oe (initial missing at beginning of text).

2 cele ki. MS, R: cele ke.

vers Ethyope. So MS. R: ver Ethyope.

13 que. MS, R: quil.

30 tere. So MS. R: terre.

37 ad en. So R. MS: en.

curneire. So R. MS: urneire.

46 facent. So R. MS: faz.

76 jurz. So MS. R: jur.

veables e. So MS. R: veables a.

94 la Virgine. So MS. R: Virgine.

101 la Virgine. So MS. R: Virgine.

110 debles. So MS. R: deables.

115 ad. MS, R: omitted.

121 deceut. So MS. R: deceit.

122 pechouent. So R. MS: prechouent.

127 regeier. So MS. R: regehir.

132 qui. So MS. R: que.

150 langurs. So MS (ur abbreviated). R: langors.

156 pires. So MS. R: pieres.

157 prerrai. So R. MS: prerra.

159 el nun. MS, R: el le nun.

161 fist, si. So R. MS: fist Dunc lapostre al pople si.

164 depece. So R. MS: pece.

171 Ysaac. So MS. R: Yssac.

186 pur. So MS (ur abbreviated). R: por.

194 conversatiun. So MS. R: conversaciun.

199 des. So MS. R: de.

200 u. So MS. R: ou.

207 purverté. So MS. R: purverti.

212 l’apostre. So R. MS: lpostre.

fait. So R. MS: omitted.

217 frere. So R. MS: omitted.

218 e qu’il. So R. MS: e | e qu’il (repetition occurs at column break).

219 agravanterai. So R. MS: agravanteri.
 
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De seint Bartholomeu [art. 6]

Çoe cuntent cels qui sevent deviser les parties del munde que treis Indes sunt. La
pramiere est cele ki s’estent vers Ethyope; la secund ki s’estent vers Mede; la tierce
qui est fin de tutes teres, kar de l’une part atuchie le regne dé teniebres u unkes jur
nen est, de l’altre part fine a la grant mer de occian utre la quel nient de tere nen ad.


En ceste drain Inde vint saint Bartholomeu l’apostre. Si entra en une temple u
aveit un ydle de Astaroth le diable. E si cum pelerin estrange mest iloec. En cel
ydle ert Astarot le diable, qui la gent deseit k’il sanout les langors e qu’il faseit les
cieus veir. Mes il ne feseit de nulz fors de ceals qu’il aveit avuglez.


La gent de cel pais ert sanz cunuissance de veir Deu. E pur çoe, les deseveient les
faus deables, que deus se feseient apeler, e sis charnissent pur çoe qu’il verrai Deu
nen aveient. E par tel art les deceverent qu’il lur feseient dolurz, e enfermetez, e
damages, e de|vers perilz. E si respondeient a la gent de lur demandes pur çoe
que lur deusent faire sacrifizez, e il quidouent qu’il lur repuns fust par la vertu de
Deu. E li fol malade creeient que eus les guarissent de lur enfermetez, kar quant
il cessouuent de faire lur mals e anguissez, dunc quidouent il qu’il fuissent par eus
guariz d’enfermetez. E quant les debles pas ne anguissouent, si esperouent qu’il les
guaresisent.


Mes puis ke saint Bartholomeu remist iloec, ne pout Astarot nul respuns duner ne
nul de ceus qu’il aveit encumbré deliverer. El temple ert ja plein des languissanz,
e nuls ne fust deliveré, ne d’iceus qui sacrifiouent, nuls ni fut de Astarot respundu.
E puis ke li malade ki de luintens cuntreez ierent aportez, ni purrunt guarisun
aveir, ne iceus qui sacrifiouent ni purrunt aveir respuns, si cum il erent acustumez.


Si alerent a un altre cité u l’um aurout un altre deble ki aveit a nun Berith, si li
demanderent purquei lur deu Astaroth ne lur pout duner respuns.


Respundi Berith, si lur dist: "Le vostre Astaroth est chaitif si lié e si estreint de
chaines fuines qu'iln'ose parler des icel hore puis que saint Bartholomeu, l'apostre
al verrai Deu, entrat el temple."

E il demanderent a Berith: “Ki est cel Bartholomeu?”

E Berith lur respundi: “Il est ami Deu le tut puissant. E pur destrure les deus que
les indiens cultivent, il est venu en ceste tere.”

Dunc distrent la gent a Berith: “Kar nus di alcun enseigne que nus le puissum
conuistre.”

Respundi Berith, si lur dist: “Les chevols de sun chief sunt neires e cresps, e sa char
est blanche. Si oil sunt grant; sun niez droit e lung. Ses oreiles sunt covert de ses
chevols. Sa barbe est grande, un poi est chanu. Il est d’uel estature, n’est trop grant
ne trop petit. Il est vestu de une blanche albe ki est de une purpre aurnee. Un
blanc mantel ad afublé que [ad] en chescune curneire un purpre gemme.

“Si ad vint e sis anz que ses dras ne soillierent ne nuvelz erent. Cent feiz de jurz e
cent feiz de nuit ad flechis genuilz ure a Deu. Sa voz est tele cum busine halte. Li
angle Deu vunt od li ki nel laisent estre alassé | ne faim aveir. Tuz jurz est de un
mesme hait e d’un mesme corage. Tute veie lié e halegre parmaint. Tutes choses
veit devant qu’eles aviengent. La language de tute gent parole e entent, e çoe
que vus demandez de li e çoe que vus di de li, seet il ja. Li angle Deu le servent, si
li funt tutes choses saver. E quant vus le verrez, s’il volt, vus le troverez. E se il ne
velt, vus nel troverez pas. Mes joe vus pri que vus li priez, quant vus le troverez,
qu’il pas ne vinge ça, e que li angle ki od li sunt ne me facent altretel cum il unt fait
a mun cumpaignun Astaroth!” E quant Berith le deble out çoe dit, si se tut.



Puis quant tut le pople fud repairé, si ecerchirent tuz les ostels as pelerins. Si
esguardouent tutes lur chieres, mes il nel porreint en dous jurz trover.

Dunc s’escria un home plein del diable, si dist: “Apostre Deu, saint Bartholomeu,
les tues oreisuns me ardent!”

Dunc li dist l’apostre: “Seiez mu, si t’en is d’icel home!” E aneire fud le home
deliveré del diable ki par mulz anz l’aveit travaillé.

Polimie, le rai de cele tere, out une file forsenee. E quant il oi dire que saint
Bartholomeu aveit guari cel home del diable ki mulz anz l’aveit travaillé, si
manda a saint Bartholomeu par grant amur qu’il venist guarir sa fille si cum il
aveit guari le home ki mult par le diable ert travaillé. E quant l’apostre aveit oi le
message, si ala maintenant a lui. E si tost cum il vit la meschine que nul home
n’osout aprecier, si comanda ke l’um la deliast des chaines dunt ele ert liee.


Dunc distrent cil serjant a ki il la comanda deslier: "Ki osereit mettre main en lui?"


E l’apostre lur dist: “Joel tienc ja lié le deable ki cest mal li ad fait, e uncore la
cremez. Alez,” dist l’apostre, “si la desliez si la faites beiner, e puis li faites duner
a manger, e le matin le m’amenez.”

E il alerent, s’il firent si cum l’apostre comanda. E puis ne la pout le deble plus
travailler.

Dunc fist le rai chargier chameils d’or e d’ar|gent e de preciusez vestemenz, si
enveia a l’apostre. E cels qui li dourent porter nel purreient en nul liu trover. Si
reporterent le present ariere al palais.

La nuit aprés en la jurnee, si vint saint Bartholomeu en la chambre devant Polimie
le rei. Si que les us furent tuz closes, si estut devant le rei, si dist: “Purquai m’avez fait
quere od or, e od argent, e od gemmes, e od vestemenz? Icels duns sunt bosuinable
a ceus qui aiment terrenes choses. Mes joe ne desir nule terrene chose ne nule
charnele. Mes pur çoe ke jo voil que vus sachiez que le fiz Deu deigna prendre char
de la Virgine Marie, e qu’ele conçut ensemble Deu e home, qui fist ciel e tere, mier,
e quanque il i ad. E cel Deu nasqui od home e od home od comencement, ki tuz
jurz fud senz comencement, e ki de tutes choses fud comencement veables e
nunveables. Iceste Virgine Marie premeraine voua a Deu sa virginité, e si la guarda
bien. Si li rendi. Pur çoe di joe ‘premeraine’ que puis le premer home fud fait des
le comencement del siecle, nule ne fist unkes a Deu tel vou. E iceste premere entre
les femmes dist a Deu en sun corage: ‘Bel Sire, jo vus fas oblatiun de ma virginité.’
E cele de nul home ne l’aveit apris, ne de nul home par essample veu, mes
especialement pur amur Deu premiere virgine parmest.


“E a ceste vint Gabriel l’angle resplendissant cum solail, sul a sule en sa chambre.
E quant ele vit l’angle, si s’esperi e out pour. E Gabriel l’angle le dist: ‘N’aiez pour,
Marie, kar tu as trové grace envers Deu, et tu conceveras.’ E ele osta pour de sai.
Si respundi hardiement a l’angle, e dist: ‘Coment serra çoe ja? Unkes
charnelement vers home n’oi afaire, ne curage nen oi que joe i eusse afaire.’ E
l’angle li respundi: ‘Le Saint Esperit descendera en tei, e la vertu de l’Altisme
s’aumbra en tei. E pur çoe la sainte chose ki naistra de tei serra apelé le Fiz Deu.’
[Compare Luke 1:28–35.]


“E icestui qui nasqui de la Virgine suffri mort pur nus reindre de pardurable mort.
E il se suffri a tempter al Diable par qui tute hu|maigne ligne fud eissilé. E si cum
il dist al premer home par Eve qu’il deust manger de la pome, issi dist il a Jhesu
Fiz de la Virgine qu’il deust faire des pieres pain, e manger qu’il n’eust faim, aprés
çoe qu’il out juné quarante jurz. E Nostre Seignur Jhesu li respundi: ‘Home ne vit
nient par sul pain, mes par la parole de Deu se guarisient. Va ariere, Sathanas! Tu
ne tempteras pas Deu tun Seignur.’


“Icest diable ke le mangant Adam aveit vencu par le junant Jhesu fud vencu. Kar
dreit fud ke sil que le fiz de virgine aveit vencu, qu’il fust par le Fiz de la Virgine
vencu.”

Dunc li demanda le rei Polimie: “Coment dites vus que le Fiz de la Virgine venqui
le fiz de virgine?”

E l’apostre respundi: “A Deu rend joe graces que si volenters entendez ço ke jo vus
di! La tere dunt Adam le premer home fud fait, si cum jo vus dis, fud virgine, kar
ele ne fut uncore soillié de humaine sanc. Ne pur essevillir nul mort ne fud uncore
overte. E Marie la mere Jhesu fud virgine femme kar unkes charnelement vers
home n’out afaire ne corage n’en out. E pur çoe vus dis joe que cil qui le fiz de la
virgine aveit vencu, fust par le Fiz de la Virgine femme vencu. E cil Jhesu le Fiz de
la Virgine Marie, par qui le Deable est vencu, nus ad enveié par tutes teres que nus
ostums les menestrels as debles ki es ydles des temples abitent, e les homes ki
s’aurent seient de la poesté del Deble vencu e deliveré.


“E nus qui sumes serf Jhesu Crist despisum or e argent e tute terriene richeise si
cum il fist, kar iloec coveitum sulement a estre riches u nule richeise ne falt. E çoe
al regne Jhesu Crist, u nule langur n’en ad ne nule enfermeté, ne nule tristur, ne
mort ni [ad] nule poesté, la u ad pardurable boneurté e joie senz fin e perpetueles
delices.

“E joe qui sui serf cel rai ki cel regne ad e tele poesté, que puisque joe entrei en
vostre temple, le deable qui donouent respuns a la gent ne purrent parler, kar les
angles del rei qui ça m’enveia l’unt forment lié, si l’unt a mei liveré.


“E joe, si vus volez estre baptizez, jo le vus mustrai, e dunc purrez conuistre de quel
boisdie est le Deble ki deceut le primer ho|me, e par quel art il deceut la gent pur
çoe qu’il voleit aver poesté de eus — greignur d’icels ki plus pechouent. E quant
il les aveit par art fait enmaladir el cors, dunc lur amonestout qu’il deiscent as
peres e as metals, ‘Vus estes noz deus.’ E puis si guariseient les cors, si faseient
enmaladir les almes.

“E si vus volez prover ço ke jeo vus ai dit, joe li comanderai a entrer en cel ydle e
regeier cum jol tinc lié e cum il ne poet nul respuns doner si par mai nun.”


Dunc dist le rei a l’apostre: “Demain par matin serrunt li evesque apparaillé a
sacrifier a lui, e jo viendrai pur veer iceste merveille que vus dites.”

E al matin quant il furent apparaillez de sacrefier, si vint le rei, si
a sacrifier. Si cria Astaroth le deble: “Cesset, chaitifs! Cesset a sacrifier a mai,
kar les angles Jhesu Crist, qui li Judeu crucifierent e qu’il
mort, m’unt issi lié dé funés chaenes que joe ne me puis aider. Icil Jhesu qu’il
quiderent tenir a mort, par sa mort destruit cele Mort ki ert reine de nus, e nostre
prince qui est mari de Mort lia il des chaines fuinés. E al tierz jur venqueur de
Mort e de Deble resuscita. E si seina ses disciples del signe de la sainte croiz e sis
enveia par totes les parties del siecle — dunt cestui est un ke me tient lié. Mes joe
vus pri que vus li praiez qu’il me deslit e si me laist aler en un autre contré.”


Dunc dist seint Bartholomeu: “Tu treis suil deable, regehis ore ki fist a ces homes
aveir l’enfermeté k’il unt.”

Dunc respundi le deble: “Nostre prince qui Jhesu Crist lia nus envei as homes ke
nus lur façums deverses enfermetez en la char, kar es almes ne pouum nus nient
de poesté aver devant çoe qu’il eient sacrifié a lui e a nus. Mes puis qu’il nus unt
fait sacrefice, si cessum de nuisir as cors, kar des idunc, començum nus a aveir
poesté as almes. E pur çoe ke nus cessum dunc de nuisir as cors, si quident que nus
les guarissum. Si nus aurent cum lur deus, ki sumes vilz debles que Jhesu le Fiz
de la Virgine liad, ki fud mis en croiz. Des le jur que sun discipleBartholomeu vint
ça, sui joe lié dé ardantes cheines, e si n’osai parler de çoe qu’il me comanda.”


Dunc dist l’apostre: “Purquei ne guaris ces languissanz qui sa sunt venuz a tei?”

E le deble respundi: “Quant nus avums les cors encumbrez de langurs, ne poum
pas desencumbrer devant çoe que nus aium encumbré les almes.”

Dunc li dit l’apostre: “Coment poez vus les almes encumbrer?”

E li deble respundi: “Quant il unt sacrifié a nus e il creient ke nus sumes lur deus,
dunc s’esloine nostre seignur d’els, e nus cessum de nusir as cors.”

Dunc dist seint Bartholomeu al pople: “Ore poez veer quel deu vus avez auré! Mes
ore creez en Deu vostre Creatur ki maint el ciel, e ne mie | as metals ne as pires,
e joe li prerrai pur tuz les languissanz, qu’il lur duinst santé. E vus ostés ces ydles
sis despicez. E quant vus averez çoe fait, joe sacrerai cest temple el nun Nostre
Seignur Jhesu Crist e vus tuz el nun de lui baptizerai.”


Dunc comanda le rei a tut le pople qu’il liassent cel ydle od cordes sil traissent jus.
E le pople si fist, si n'el porreient en nule manere remuer.

Dunc dist l'apostre al pople: "Ostez tutes ces cordes." E quant il les orent ostez, si
dist al deble qui ert en cel ydle: “Si tu voilz ke joe ne te face descendre en abysme,
iz hors d’icest ydle, s’il depece tut en peces, si t’en va en aucun desert u nul home
ne habite.”

E si tost cum l’apostre l’out comandé, eissi fors si depesça tut cel ydle e tuz
les autres ki erent el temple, e neis une pece ni leissa.


Dunc cria tut le pople a une voiz: “Uns Deus est tut puissant, ke saint Bartholomeu
cultefie!”

Dunc espandi ses mains saint Bartholomeu a Nostre Seignur, si dist: “Le Deu
Abraham e le Deu Ysaac e le Deu Jacob, qui enveias Jhesu Crist tun Fiz ki nus
reinst de sun precius sanc de la poesté al Deable e del servage de pecché, e qui es
un Deu od le Fiz e od le Seint Esperit, ki descendit de tei e est enluminer des almes,
e ki meint en tun Fiz e en tei, Nostre Seignur Jhesu Crist, en qui nun nus avum tele
poesté que nus sanum les malades e les paralitikes, e les debles jetum hors des cors,
e les morz resuscitum; e il nus dist que quanque nus demanderum de vus en sun
nun, nus serreit otrié. Ore vus pri joe, en sun nun, que tuz te puissent reconustre
que tu es un Deu, el ciel, e en tere, e en mer, e qu’il seient salvé par cel meme
Jhesu Crist Nostre Seignur, a qui seit honur ore e tute veie.”


E quant le pople out respundu “Amen,” si apparut un angle el temple,
resplendissant si cum solail e od els resplendisantes. E si vola par les quatres angles
del temple e od sun dei fist le signe de la croiz en quatre peres en quatre parz de
temple. E puis si dist oiant tuz: “Si cum cil qui furent ici sunt guariz de lur
enfermeté, si ai joe cest temple mundé de la puur d’icels qui abiterent e de celui,
nomeement, que l’apostre comanda aler el desert, mes que joe voil primes ke vus
le veez einz qu’il s’en voist. Mes pur çoe que vus n’aiez pour quant vus le verrez,
faites en voz frunz le signe ke vus me veistes fere as pierez, e tut le mal vus fuira.”


Dunc vint avant un grant neir home od un agu | vis e od une grante barbe e les
chevols tresque as piez, od uns oilz flambanz si cum ruge fer estencelant. E de ces
narilz e de sa buche issi une fumee sulphirine. E si out elez des dous parz e
espinuses cum ostruse, e les mains derire le dos liez od cheines ardantes.

E dunc li dit l’angle Nostre Seignur: “Pur çoe que tu obeis al comandement de
l’apostre e pur çoe que tu as tuz les ydles depecé, te deslierai joe ore si cum
l’apostre te pramist. Si te comant ke tu alges la u nule conversatiun de genz n’en
ad ne aveir ne poet, si seiez iloec tresqu’al Jur de Juise.” E quant il fut deslié, si cria
treslaidement si s’en vola que nuls ne sout qu’il devint. E l’angle Deu veant tuz ala
el ciel.


Dunc vint le rei Polimie od sa femme e ces dous fiz e od tote la gent de sa tere e
des cités proceines. E, od tuz cels qui apartineient a sun regne, se fist baptizer. Si
osta sa corune e sun purpre vestement si siwi l’apostre la u il alout.


Dunc s’asemblerent les eveskes del temple si vindrent a Astrige le rei, l’einzné frere
Polimie le rai. Si li distrent: “Vostre frere Polimie est devenu disciple a un
enchanteur qui destruit nos temples e nos deus fait tresbucher.” Dunc se coruça le
rei Astriges forement. Si enveia mil homes armez od les eveskes des temples. Si lur
comanda qu’il preisent l’apostre u ke unkes le trovassent si li amenassent.


E quant il eurent pris e amené devant li, si li demanda Astriges le rei: “Es tu çoe
ki as purverté mun frere de sa lei qu’il teneit e de ces deus k’il aureit?”


Dunc respundi saint Bartholomeu l’apostre: “Joe ne l’ai pas purverti; einz, l’ai
converti de la fause lai a la verraie lai Jhesu Crist. E as debles ke vus apelez deus,
donai joe cungé qu’il entrassent es ydles u il soleient habiter, e qu’il destruissent
ke la gent ki par els furent deceuz puissent creire en le verrai Deu qui est el ciel.”


Dunc dist Astriges le rei a l’apostre: “Si cum tu as [fait] a mun frere sun deu
relinquir e creire en tun Deu, si te frai joe le tuen Deu relinquir e craire en le mien
deu e sacrifier a lui.”

Dunc respundi saint Bartholomeu: “Si tu puez faire al mien Deu çoe ke joe fiz al
deu ke vostre frere aurout, dunc me purras tu faire sacrefier as tes deus. Kar joe
liai le deble ke vostre [frere] aurout sil mustrai lié devant le pople, si li comandai
qu’il s’en alast, e | qu’il depesçast le ydle u il esteit. E si tu ne poez çoe craire u
faire al mien Deu, e joe agravanterai tuz les deus.”


Si cum il diseit ces paroles, si sunt un message qui dist al rei ke Baldac sun
deu ert chaiet e tut depescé en menues peces. Dunc decira le rei sun purpre
vestement qu’il aveit vestu, si fist prendre saint Bartholomeu, s’il comanda batre
de gros pels. E puis se fist tut vif escorcher enblee. E, al derain, li fist la teste
trencher.

Dunc vint tut le pople de doze citéz ki par li creirent en Deu, ensemble od lur rei.
Si pristrent le cors saint Bartholomeu si l’emporterent od ymnes e od chans. Si
l’ensevelirent gloriusement en une grante iglise qu’il edifierent en l’onur de sun nun.


El trentime jur aprés çoe qu’il fud oscis, si entra el cors al rei Astriges l’Enemi e as
cors a tus les evesques. E quant il furent issi suspris, si vint le rei Astriges e tuz les
evesques al temple u le cors saint Bartholomeu fut ensevili. Si crierent merci e
cunuerent ke sa predicatiun aveit esté verrei. Si creirent en Deu, e mururent tuz
ensemble. E quant cest aventure fut avenue, si orent merveilluse pour tuz les
mescreanz, si creirent tuz en Deu. Si se firent baptizer as prestres ke saint
Bartholomeu aveit ordené.


Dunc avint aprés çoe, par l’eslectiun Nostre Seignur, e del clergié, e de tut le
pople, qu’il ordinerent le rei Polimie a evesque, si fist mut signes e mult vertuz. Si
vesqui en l’avesqué vint anz. E quant il out la gent d’iloec ben governé, e en la lai
Jhesu Crist ben confermé, e tute la cristianeté de sun regne ben ordiné, si en ala
a Nostre Seignur, a qui est glorie e honur el secle des secles. Amen.

 
The Life of Saint Bartholomew [art. 6.]

Those who know how to distinguish the regions of the world explain that there are
three Indias. The first extends toward Ethiopia; the second extends toward Medea;
the third is at the limit of all lands, for on one side it borders the kingdom of
darkness where there’s never day, and on the other side it ends at the great sea of
ocean beyond which there’s no land at all.

To this furthest India came Saint Bartholomew the apostle. And he went into a
temple where they had an idol of Astaroth the devil. And he lived there like a
foreign pilgrim. Inside this idol was Astaroth the devil, of whom people said he
cured illnesses and made the blind to see. But he did this only to those whom he
had blinded.

The people of this country were without knowledge of the true God. And on
account of this, the false devils, who had themselves called gods, deceived them
and mocked them because they didn’t possess the true God. And with such guile
would they deceive them that they gave them pains, illnesses, harms, and var|ious
dangers. And then they answered the people’s requests so that they had to make
offerings to them, and they believed that the answer came to them by the power
of God. And the ignorant invalids believed that they’d cured them of their
illnesses, for when they stopped causing them misfortune and anguish, then they
believed that they were cured by them of their illnesses. And when the devils didn’t
cause pain, then they felt confident that they had been cured by them.

But when Saint Bartholomew dwelled there, Astaroth was unable to give any
answers or set free any of those whom he’d afflicted. And the temple was at this
point filled with the sick, and none were cured, nor did Astaroth answer any of
those who made offerings. And when the sick coming from distant lands were
carried in, they couldn’t be cured, nor were those who made offerings able to
receive answers, as they’d been used to.

Then they went to another city where the people worshiped another devil named
Berith, and they asked him why their god Astaroth was unable to give them
answers.

Berith answered, and he said to them: “Your Astaroth is captive and boundand so
constrained by fiery chains that he’s dared not speak ever since Saint Bartholomew,
apostle of the true God, entered the temple.”

And they asked Berith: “Who is this Bartholomew?”

And Berith answered them: “He’s a friend of Gaod Almighty. And in order to
destroy the gods that the Indians worship, he has come to this land.”

Then the people said to Berith: “So tell us some token by which we may recognize
him.”

Berith answered, and he said to them: “The hair of his head is black and curly, and
his skin is white. His eyes are large; his nose straight and long. His ears are covered
by his hair. His beard is full, a little bit white. He’s of moderate stature, neither too
big nor too small. He’s dressed in a white alb adorned with purple. He wears a
white cloak with a purple jewel upon each corner.

“For twenty-six years his clothes have been neither soiled nor replaced. A hundred
times each day and a hundred times each night he kneels in praise of God. His
voice is like a loud trumpet. With him come angels of God who permit him to be
neither tired | nor hungry. He’s always of the same humor and the same
temperament. He stays happy and in good spirits at all times. He sees all things
before they happen. He speaks and understands the languages of all people, and
what you ask of him and what you say of him, he already knows. The angels of God
serve him, and they inform him of everything. And when you would see him, if he
wishes, you will find him. And if he doesn’t wish it, you won’t find him. But I ask
you that when you find him, you ask him that he not come here, and that the
angels accompanying him not do to me what they’ve done to my companion
Astaroth!” And when Berith the devil had spoken this, he was silent.

Then when all the people came back, they searched all the inns for pilgrims. And
they looked at all their faces, but for two days they couldn’t find him.

Then a man filled with the devil cried out, and he said: “Apostle of God, Saint
Bartholomew, your prayers cause me to burn!”

Then the apostle said him: “Be silent, and leave this man!” And immediately the
man was freed from the devil who’d tormented him many years.

Polymius, king of this land, had an insane daughter. And when he heard it said that
Saint Bartholomew had cured this man of the devil who’d tormented him many
years, he earnestly summoned Saint Bartholomew to come cure his daughter as he
had cured the man much tormented by the devil. And when the apostle heard the
message, then he immediately went to him. And as soon as he saw the girl whom
no one dared approach, he ordered her released from the chains by which she was
bound.

Then the servants said to him who'd ordered them to release her: "Who would
dare lay a hand on her?"

And the apostle said to them: “I’ve already bound the devil who performed this
wickedness, and still you fear him. Go,” said the apostle, “and unbind her and have
her bathed, and then have her fed, and in the morning bring her to me.”

And they went out, and they did as the apostle ordered. And then the devil could
no longer torment her.

Then the king had camels loaded with gold and sil|ver and precious garments,
and he sent them to the apostle. And those who were supposed to carry it couldn’t
find him anywhere. So they brought the gift back to the palace.

On the next evening, Saint Bartholomew came to the chamber before King Polymius.
And when all the doors were shut, he stood before the king, and he said: “Why have
you sought me with gold, silver, gems, and garments? These gifts are necessary to
those who love earthly things, but I desire no earthly or fleshly things. Yet I wish
you to know that the Son of God deigned to take flesh from the Virgin Mary, and
that she conceived God together with man, who made heaven and earth, sea, and
all there is. And this God was born of man and for man in the beginning, who was
forever without beginning, and who was the beginning of all things visible and
invisible. This Virgin Mary first promised her virginity to God, and then she
guarded it well. Then she rendered it to him. The reason I say ‘first’ [premeraine]
is that ever since the first man was made at the beginning of the world, no one ever
made such a vow to God. And she first/most excellent [premere] among women said
to God in her heart, ‘Dear Lord, I make offering to you of my virginity.’ And she
had not learned this from anyone, nor had she seen example of it in anyone, but
expressly for the love of God she remained the most excellent [premiere] virgin.

“And to her came the angel Gabriel shining like the sun, he alone to her alone in
her chamber. And when she saw the angel, then she was startled and afraid. And
the angel Gabriel said to her: ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace in
the sight of God, and you will conceive.’ And she lost fear of him. And she
answered the angel boldly, and said: ‘How will that ever be? Never have I done
anything carnally with a man, nor do I have any desire to do so.’ And the angel
answered her: ‘The Holy Ghost will descend upon you, and the power of the
Highest will be conceived in you. And for this reason the holy person who is born
of you will be called the Son of God.’ [Compare Luke 1:28–35.]

“And the one who was born of the Virgin suffered death in order to redeem us
from eternal death. And he permitted himself to be tempted by the Devil by whom
all the hu|man race was exiled. And as he said to the first man through Eve that
he ought to eat of the apple, so he said to Jesus Son of the Virgin, after he had
fasted forty days, that he should turn stones into bread and eat so that he not be
hungry. And Our Lord Jesus answered him: ‘Man does not live wholly by bread
alone, but by the Word of God he protects himself. Go back, Satan! You will not
tempt God your Lord.’

“This Devil who had conquered the feasting Adam was conquered by the fasting
Jesus. For it was right that he who conquered the son of a virgin be conquered by
the Son of the Virgin.”

Then King Polymius asked him: “What do you mean that the Son of the Virgin
conquered [him who conquered] the son of a virgin?”

And the apostle answered: “I thank God that you listen so willingly to what I say
to you! The earth of which Adam the first man was made, as I told you, was virgin,
for it was not yet soiled by human blood. Nor had it yet been opened to bury
anyone dead. And Mary the mother of Jesus was a virgin woman for she had never
had anything to do with a man carnally nor the desire to do so. And therefore I say
to you that he who conquered the son of the virgin was conquered by the Son of
the Virgin woman. And this Jesus Son of the Virgin Mary, by whom the Devil was
conquered, has sent us throughout all lands so that we may oust the minions of
devils who dwell in the idols of temples, and men who so worship may be
conquered and freed from the Devil’s power.

“And we who are servants of Jesus Christ despise gold and silver and all worldly
wealth as he did, for we covet to be rich only where no riches are needed. And this
is the realm of Jesus Christ, where no one has illness or any infirmity or any
sorrow, nor does death have any power, where one has everlasting happiness and
endless joy and perpetual delights.

“And I am servant of the king who possesses this kingdom and this power, so that
when I entered your temple, the devils who answered the people were unable to
speak, for the angels of the king who sent me there had bound them strongly and
delivered them to me.

“And I, if you wish to be baptized, I will show this to you, and then you’ll be able
to recognize the deception of the Devil who deceived the first ma|n, and the tricks
by which he deceives the people because he wants to have power over them —
more so over those who sin more. And when he has by tricks made them sick in
body, then he urges them that they should say to stone and metals, ‘You are our
gods.’ And then their bodies are cured, but their souls are made sick.

“And if you wish to test what I’ve told you, I’ll order him to enter into this idol and
confess that I’ve held him bound and that he’s unable to give any answer unless I
grant it.”

Then the king said to the apostle: “Tomorrow morning the bishops will prepare
to sacrifice to him, and I’ll come see this wonder that you describe.”

And in the morning when they prepared to sacrifice, the king came, and they began
to sacrifice. Then Astaroth the devil cried out: “Stop, wretches! Stop sacrificing to
me, for the angels of Jesus Christ, whom the Jews crucified and whom they thought
to detain in death, have bound me here with fiery chains so that I cannot save
myself. This Jesus whom they thought to hold in death, by his death destroyed that
Death who was our queen, and he bound with fiery chains our prince who is
husband of Death. And on the third day arose the conqueror of Death and the
Devil. And then he marked his disciples with the sign of the holy cross and sent
them throughout the world — he who holds me bound is one of them. But I pray
you to pray to him that he unbind me and allow me to go to another country.”

Then Saint Bartholomew said: “You very filthy devil, confess now who made these
men have the infirmities that they have.”

Then the devil answered: “Our prince whom Jesus Christ bound sent us to men so
that we might give them various fleshly sicknesses, for we’re utterly unable to have
power over their souls before they’ve sacrificed to him and us. But once they’ve
made offerings to us, we cease to afflict their bodies, for from that point on, we
begin to have power over their souls. And thus because we’ve ceased to afflict their
bodies, they think that we’ve cured them. Then they worship us as their gods,
we who are wicked devils bound by Jesus Son of the Virgin, who was put on the
cross. Since the day that his disciple Batholomew came here, I am bound by
burning chains, and thus I dare say only what he orders me.”

Then the apostle said: “Why do you not cure the sufferers who’ve come to you here?”

And the devil answered: “When we’ve burdened their bodies with illness, we cannot
unburden them until we’ve encumbered their souls.”

Then the apostle said: “How are you able to encumber their souls?”

And the devil answered: “When they’ve sacrificed to us and believe that we’re their
gods, then our lord leaves them, and we cease to afflict their bodies.”

Then Saint Bartholomew said to the people: “Now you can see what god you’ve
worshiped! But now believe in God your Creator who dwells in heaven, and not at
all | in metals or stones, and I shall pray to him for all the sick, that he may give
them health. And remove these idols and smash them. And when you’ve done this,
I shall consecrate this temple in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and baptize
you all in his name.”

Then the king ordered all the people to bind the idol with ropes and draw it
outside. And the people did this, but they weren’t able to move it in any way.

Then the apostle said to the people: “Remove all these ropes.” And when they had
removed them, then he said to the devil who was inside the idol: “If you wish that
I not make you descend into the abyss, leave this idol and then smash it all to
pieces, and go to some wilderness where no one lives.”

And as soon as the apostle had ordered him, he came forth and utterly smashed
this idol and all the others that were in the temple, and he did not leave even one
piece.

Then all the people cried out in one voice: “One God is almighty, whom Saint
Bartholomew worships!”

Then Saint Bartholomew spread out his hands to Our Lord, and he said: “The
God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, who sent Jesus Christ
your Son who redeemed us with his precious blood from the power of the Devil
and from the servitude of sin, and who is one God with the Son and with the Holy
Ghost, who descended from you and is the illuminator of souls, and who dwells in
your Son and in you, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name we have such power
that we cure the sick and the paralyzed, and throw the devils out of bodies, and
raise up the dead; and he says to us that whatever we ask of you in his name, it will
be granted to us. Now I pray to you, in his name, that all people may recognize
that you are one God in heaven, on earth, and on sea, and that they may be saved
by that same Jesus Christ Our Lord, to whom may there be honor now and forever.”

And when the people had answered “Amen,” there appeared an angel in the
temple, shining like the sun and with resplendent wings. And he flew past the four
corners of the temple, and with his finger he made the sign of the cross on four
stones in four parts of the temple. And then he said in the hearing of all: “As those
who were here were cured of their sickness, so have I cleansed from this temple the
fear of those who dwelled here and, namely, of that one whom the apostle ordered
to go to the wilderness, except I wish first that you see him before he leaves. But
so that you not be afraid when you see him, make on your foreheads the sign that
you saw me make on the stones, and all evil will flee from you."

Then came forth a huge black man with a pointed | face and a large beard and
hair almost to his feet, with eyes burning like sparkling red fire. And from his
nostrils and his mouth issued a sulfurous smoke. And also he had wings on both
sides as thorny as an ostrich, and hands bound behind his back with burning chains.

And then the angel of Our Lord said to him: “Because you obeyed the apostle’s
command and because you have smashed all the idols to pieces, I’ll unbind you
now as the apostle promised you. And I order that you go where no conversion of
people ever has been nor ever can be, and [that you] remain there till the Day of
Judgment.” And when he was unbound, then he shrieked horribly and flew away
so that no one knew what became of him. And the angel of God rose into the sky
in the sight of all.

Then came King Polymius with his wife and two sons and all the people of his land
and the neighboring cities. And, along with all those who belonged to his kingdom,
he had himself baptized. And he removed his crown and his purple vestments and
followed the apostle wherever he went.

Then the high priests of the temple assembled and came to King Astyages, the
elder brother of King Polymius. And they said to him: “Your brother Polymius has
become a disciple of a magician who destroyed our temples and had our gods
thrown down.” Then King Astyages became extremely enraged. And he sent a
thousand armed men with the high priests of the temples. And he ordered them
to seize the apostle wherever they found him and bring him to him.

And when they had seized him and brought him before him, then King Astyages
asked him: “Are you he who led my brother astray from the faith he held and the
gods he worshiped?”

Then Saint Bartholomew the apostle answered: “I’ve not led him astray; rather, I’ve
converted him from false faith to the true faith of Jesus Christ. And as to the devils
that you call gods, I’ve given them permission to enter the idols where they were
wont to dwell and to destroy them so that the people deceived by them may believe
in the true God who’s in heaven.”

Then King Astyages said to the apostle: “As you have made my brother forsake his
god and believe in your God, so shall I make you forsake your God and believe in
my god and sacrifice to him.”

Then Bartholomew responded: “If you can do to my God what I did to the god
your brother worshiped, then you’ll be able to make me sacrifice to your gods. For
I bound the devil that your brother worshiped and displayed him bound before the
people, and I ordered him to go away and | smash the idol where it stood. And if
you’re not able to believe in or do this to my God, then I’ll throw down all your
gods.”

As he said these words, there came a messenger who told the king that Baldac his
great god had fallen and broken utterly into small pieces. Then the king tore the
purple vestments he wore, and he had Saint Bartholomew seized, and he ordered
that he be beaten with large sticks. And then he had him flayed alive in secret.
And, last, he had his head cut off.

Then from the twelve cities came all the people who because of him believed in
God, together with their king. And they took the body of Saint Bartholomew and
carried it off with hymns and with songs. And they buried it gloriously in a large
church that they built in honor of his name.

On the thirtieth day after he was killed, the Enemy entered into the body of King
Astyages and the bodies of all the high priests. And when they were thus struck
down, King Astyages and all the high priests came to the temple where Saint
Bartholomew’s body was buried. And they cried out for mercy and acknowledged
that his preaching had been true. And they believed in God, and they died all
together. And when this event occurred, all the unbelievers had wondrous fear,
and they all believed in God. And they had themselves baptized by the priests
whom Saint Bartholomew had ordained.

Then it happened afterwards, by the election of Our Lord, the clergy, and all the
people, that they consecrated King Polymius as bishop, and he performed many
signs and many miracles. And he lived in the bishopric twenty years. And when he
had governed well the people of that place, and confirmed them well in the faith
of Jesus Christ, and set in good order all the Christian people of his kingdom, then
he went to Our Lord, in whom is glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.


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Go To Art. 7, Passioun seint Piere, Introduction
Go To Art. 7, Passioun seint Piere, Text