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Title: The Legendary History of the Cross - A Series of Sixty-four Woodcuts from a Dutch Book Published - by Veldener, A.D. 1483
Author: Ashton, John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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+The Legendary History of the Cross.+

[Illustration: This Copy is



_The Legendary Hiſtory of the Croſs_


    Sixty-four Woodcuts

    _From a Dutch book publiſhed by_
    VELDENER, A.D. 1483


    Written and Illuſtrated




    _Old Style Printers_,



THE origin of the mediæval romance of the Croſs is hard to diſcover.
It was very popular. It occurs in a good number of authors, and is
depicted in a good many churches in ſtained glaſs.

I may perhaps be allowed here to repeat what I have ſaid in my article
on the Legend of the Croſs, in “Myths of the Middle Ages:”—

“In the churches of the city of Troyes alone it appears in the windows
of four: S. Martin-ès-Vignes, S. Pantaléon, S. Madeleine, and S.
Nizier. It is freſcoed along the walls of the choir of S. Croce at
Florence, by the hand of Agnolo Gaddi. Pietro della Franceſca alſo
dedicated his pencil to the hiſtory of the Croſs in a ſeries of
freſcoes in the chapel of the Bacci, in the church of S. Franceſco at
Arezzo. It occurs as a predella painting among the ſpecimens of early
art at the Accademia delle Belle Arti at Venice, and is the ſubject
of a picture by Beham, in the Munich Gallery. The Legend is told in
full in the ‘Vita Chriſti,’ printed at Troyes in 1517; in the ‘Legenda
Aurea’ of Jacques de Voragine; in a French MS. of the thirteenth
century, in the Britiſh Muſeum. Gervaſe of Tilbury relates a portion
of it in his ‘Otia Imperalia,’ quoting Peter Comeſtor; it appears in
the ‘Speculum Hiſtoriale’ of Gottfried of Viterbo, in the ‘Chronicon
Engelhuſii,’ and elſewhere.”

In the very curious Creation window of S. Neot’s Church, Cornwall, Seth
is repreſented putting three pips of the Tree of Life into the mouth
and noſtrils of dead Adam, as he buries him.

Of the popularity of the ſtory of the Croſs there can be no doubt, but
its origin is involved in obſcurity. It is generally poſſible to track
moſt of the religious and popular folk tales and romances of the Middle
Ages to their origin, which is frequently Oriental, but it is not eaſy
to do ſo with the Legend of the Croſs. It would rather ſeem that it was
made up by ſome romancer out of all kinds of pre-exiſting material,
with no other object than to write a religious novel for pious readers,
to diſplace the ſenſuous novels which were much in vogue.

We know that this was largely done after the third century, and a
number of martyr legends, ſuch as thoſe of S. Apollinaris Syncletica,
SS. Cyprian and Juſtina, the ſtory of Duke Procopius, S. Euphroſyne,
SS. Zoſimus and Mary, SS. Theophanes and Panſemne, and many others
were compoſed with this object. The earlieſt of all is undoubtedly the
Clementine Recognitions, which dates from a remotely early period, and
carries us into the heart of Petrine Chriſtianity, and in which many a
covert attack is made on S. Paul and his teaching. On the other hand,
we know that an Asiatic prieſt, as Tertullian tells us, wrote a romance
on “Paul and Thecla, out of love to Paul.” S. Jerome ſays that a
Pauline zealot, when convicted before his biſhop of having written the
romance, tried to exculpate himſelf by ſaying that he had done it out
of admiration for S. Paul, but the Biſhop would not accept the excuſe,
and deprived him. Unfortunately this romance has not come down to us,
though we have another on S. Paul and his relations to Thecla, who is
ſaid to have accompanied him on his apoſtolic rambles, diſguiſed in
male attire.

The Greek romance literature was not wholeſome reading for Chriſtians.
Some of the writers of theſe tales became Chriſtian biſhops, and
probably devoted their facile pens to more edifying ſubjects than the
difficulties of parted lovers.

Heliodorus, who wrote “Theagenes and Charicheia,” is ſaid to have
become Biſhop of Tricca, in Theſſaly. Socrates, in the fifth century,
in ſpeaking of clerical celibacy, mentions the ſeverity of the rule
impoſed on his clergy by this Heliodorus, “under whoſe name there are
love-books extant, called Ethiopica, which he compoſed in his youth.”

Achilles Tatius, author of the “Loves of Clitophon and Leucippe,” is
ſaid alſo to have become a biſhop. So alſo Euſtathius of Theſſalonica,
author of the “Lives of Hyſemene and Hyſmenias,” but this is more than

Three things conduced to the production of a Chriſtian romance
literature in the early ages of the Church:—(1) The neceſſity under
which the Church lay of ſupplying a want in human nature; (2) The need
there was for producing ſome light wholeſome literature to ſupply the
place of the popular love-romances then largely read and circulated;
(3) The fact that ſome biſhops and converts were experienced novel
writers, and therefore ready to lend their hands to ſome better purpoſe
than amuſing the leiſure and flattering the paſſions of the idle and

Much the ſame conditions exiſted in the Middle Ages. There was an
influx of ſenſuous literature from the Eaſt, through the Arabs of Spain
and Sicily; Oriental tales eaſily took Weſtern garb, in which the
caliphs became kings of Chriſtendom, and the fakirs and imauns were
converted into monks and Catholic prieſts. To counteract theſe ſtories,
collections of which may be found in Le Grand d’Auſſi and Von der
Hagen, and in Boccaccio, the Geſta Romanorum was drawn up, a collection
of moral tales, many of them of ſimilar Oriental parentage. But beſide
theſe ſhort ſtories, or novels, were long romances, ſome heroic, and
founded on early national traditions and ballads. To theſe belong the
Niebelungen Lied and Noth, the Gudrun, the Heldenbuch, the cycles of
Karlovingian and of Arthurian romance.

As it happens, we have two authors in the Middle Ages, living much
about the ſame time, one intenſely heathen in all his conceptions, the
other as entirely Chriſtian, each dealing with ſubjects from the ſame
cycle, and the one writing in avowed oppoſition to the tendency of
the other’s book. I allude to Wolfram of Eschenbach and Gottfried of
Straſſburg. The latter wrote the Triſtram, the former the Parzival. In
Gottfried, the moral ſenſe ſeems to be abſolutely dead; there is no
perception of the ſacredneſs of truth, of chaſtity, of honour, none of
religion. Wolfram is his exact converſe. Wolfram gives us the hiſtory
of the Grail, but he did not invent the myth of the Grail, he derived
it from pre-exiſting material. The Grail myth is almoſt certainly
heathen in its origin, but it has been entirely Chriſtianiſed. The holy
baſin is that in which the Blood of Chriſt is preſerved, and only the
pure of heart can ſee it; but the Grail was really the great cauldron
of Nature, the baſin of Ceridwen, the earth goddeſs of the Kelts, or,
among Teutonic nations, the ſacrificial cauldron of Odin, in which was
brewed the ſpirit of poeſy, of the blood of Mimer. The remembrance
of the myſterious veſſel remained after Kelt and Teuton had become
Chriſtian, and the poets and romanciſts gave it a new ſpell of life by
chriſtening it. It was much the ſame with the ſtory of the Croſs. In
the Teutonic North, tree worſhip was widely ſpread; the tree was ſacred
to Odin, who himſelf, according to the myſterious Havamal, hung nine
nights wounded, as a ſacrifice to himſelf, a voluntary ſacrifice, in
“the wind-rocked tree.”

That tree was Yggdraſill, the world tree, whoſe roots extended to hell,
and whoſe branches ſpread to heaven.

Northern mythology is full of alluſion to this tree, but we have,
unfortunately, little of the hiſtory of it preſerved to us; we know of
it only through alluſions. The Chriſtmas tree is its repreſentative; it
has been taken up out of paganiſm, and rooted in Chriſtian ſoil, where
it flouriſhes to the annual delight of thouſands of children.

Now the mediæval romanciſts laid hold of this tree, as they laid hold
of the Grail baſin, and uſed it for Chriſtian purpoſes. The Grail
cup became the chalice of the Blood of Chriſt, and the Tree of Odin
became the Croſs of Calvary. They worked into the romance all kinds
of material gathered from floating folk-tale of heathen anceſtry, and
they pieced in with it every ſcrap of alluſion to a tree they could
find in Scripture. It is built up of fragments taken from all kinds of
old ſtructures, put together with ſome ſkill, and built into a goodly
romance; but the tracing of every ſtone to its original quarry has not
been done by anyone as yet. The Grail myth has had many ſtudents and
interpreters, but not the Croſs myth. That remains to be examined, and
it will doubtleſs prove a ſtudy rewarding the labour of inveſtigation.

                                                S. BARING-GOULD.



_The Legendary Hiſtory of the Croſs._

[Sidenote: 1 _A.D. 326._]

[Sidenote: _Rufinus on the Invention._]

[Sidenote: 2 _Hadrian is ſaid to have done this._]

THE Croſs on which our Lord and Saviour ſuffered, would, naturally, if
properly authenticated, be an object of the deepeſt veneration to all
Chriſtian men, be their creed, or ſhade of opinion what it might; but,
for over 300 years it could not be found, and it was reſerved for the
Empreſs Helena in her old age (for ſhe was 79 years old) to diſcover
its place of concealment.[1] That this _Invention_, or finding of the
Croſs was believed in, at the time, there can be no manner of doubt,
for it is alluded to by St. Cyril, Patriarch of Jeruſalem (A.D. 350 to
386), and by St. Ambroſe. Rufinus of Aquila, a friend of St. Jerome,
in his _Eccleſiaſtical Hiſtory_, gives an account of its finding,
in the following words: “About the ſame time, Helena, the mother of
Conſtantine, a woman of incomparable faith, whoſe ſincere piety was
equalled by her rare munificence, warned by celeſtial viſions, went to
Jeruſalem, and inquired of the inhabitants where was the place where
the Divine Body had been affixed and hung on a gibbet. This place was
difficult to find, for the perſecutors of old had raiſed a ſtatue to
Venus,[2] in order that the Chriſtians who might wiſh to adore Chriſt
in that place, ſhould appear to addreſs their homage to the goddeſs;
and thus it was little frequented, and almoſt forgotten. After clearing
away the profane objects which defiled it, and the rubbiſh that was
there heaped up, ſhe found three croſſes placed in confuſion. But the
joy which this diſcovery cauſed her was tempered by the impoſſibility
of diſtinguiſhing to whom each of them had belonged. There, alſo,
was found the title written by Pilate in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew
characters; but ſtill there was nothing to indicate ſufficiently
clearly the Croſs of our Lord. This uncertainty of man was ſettled by
the teſtimoTny of heaven.” And then follows the ſtory of the dead woman
being raiſed to life.

[Sidenote: _Other Authorities._]

Not only did Rufinus write thus, but Socrates, Theodoret, and Sozomen,
all of whom lived within a century after the _Invention_, tell the ſame
ſtory, ſo that it muſt have been of current belief.

[Sidenote: _Puniſhment of the Croſs._]

The puniſhment of the Croſs was a very ordinary one, and of far wider
extent than many are aware. It was common among the Scythians, the
Greeks, the Carthaginians, the Germans, and the Romans, who, however,
principally applied it to their ſlaves, and rarely crucified free men,
unleſs they were robbers or aſſasſins.

Alexander the Great, after taking the city of Tyre, cauſed two thouſand
inhabitants to be crucified.

[Sidenote: _Puniſhment of the Croſs._]

Flavius Joſephus relates, in his _Antiquities of the Jews_, that
Alexander, the King of the Jews, on the capture of the town of Betoma,
ordered eight hundred of the inhabitants to ſuffer the death of the
Croſs, and their wives and children to be maſſacred before their eyes,
whilſt they were ſtill alive.

Auguſtus, after the Sicilian War, crucified ſix thouſand ſlaves who had
not been claimed by their maſters.

Tiberius crucified the prieſts of Isis, and deſtroyed their temple.

Titus, during the ſiege of Jeruſalem, crucified all thoſe unfortunates
who, to the number of five or ſix hundred daily, fled from the city to
eſcape the famine; and ſo numerous were theſe executions, that croſſes
were wanting, and the land all about ſeemed like a hideous foreſt.

[Sidenote: _The different ſorts of Croſſes._]

Theſe inſtances are ſufficient to ſhow that death by crucifixion was
a common puniſhment; but, ſingularly enough, the ſhape of the Croſs
has never been ſatiſfactorily ſettled; practically, the queſtion lies
between the _Crux capitata_, or _immiſſa_, which is the ordinary form
of the Latin Croſs, and the _Crux anſata_, or _commiſſa_, frequently
called the _Tau_ Croſs, from the Greek letter T. The _Tau_-shaped
Croſs is, undoubtedly, to be met with moſt frequently in the older
repreſentations; and the more ancient authorities, ſuch as Tertullian,
St. Jerome, St. Paulinus, Sozomen, and Rufinus, are of opinion that
this was the ſhape of the Croſs. After the fifteenth century, our Lord
is rarely depicted on the _Crux commiſſa_, it being reſerved for the
two thieves.

[Sidenote: _Antiquity of the Tau Croſs._]

M. Adolphe Napoleon Didron, in his _Iconographie Chretienne_, gives
a few illuſtrations of the antiquity of the _Tau_ Croſs: “The Croſs
is our crucified Lord in perſon; ‘Where the Croſs is, there is the
martyr,’ ſays St. Paulinus. Conſequently it works miracles, as does
Jeſus Himſelf: and the liſt of wonders operated by its power is in
truth immenſe. By the ſimple ſign of the Croſs traced upon the forehead
or the breaſt, men have been delivered from the moſt imminent danger.
It has conſtantly put demons to flight, protected the virginity of
women, and the faith of believers; it has reſtored men to life, or
health, inſpired them with hope or reſignation.

“Such is the virtue of the Croſs, that a mere alluſion to that ſacred
ſign, made even in the Old Teſtament, and long before the exiſtence
of the Croſs, ſaved the youthful Isaac from death, redeemed from
deſtruction an entire people whoſe houſes were marked by that ſymbol,
healed the envenomed bites of thoſe who looked at the ſerpent raiſed in
the form of a _Tau_ upon a pole. It called back the ſoul into the dead
body of the ſon of that poor widow who had given bread to the prophet.

[Sidenote: _The Tau Croſs._]

“A beautiful painted window, belonging to the thirteenth century, in
the Cathedral of Bourges, has a repreſentation of Isaac bearing on
his ſhoulders the wood that was to be uſed in his ſacrifice, arranged
in the form of a Croſs; the Hebrews, too, marked the lintel of their
dwellings with the blood of the Paſchal lamb, in the form of a _Tau_
or Croſs without a ſummit. The widow of Sarepta picked up and held
croſſwiſe two pieces of wood, with which ſhe intended to bake her
bread. Theſe figures, to which others alſo may be added, ſerve to exalt
the triumph of the Croſs, and ſeem to flow from a grand central picture
which forms their ſource, and exhibits Jeſus expiring on the Croſs.
It is from that real Croſs indeed, bearing the Saviour, that theſe
ſubjects from the Old Teſtament derive all their virtue.”

[Sidenote: _Wood of the Croſs._]

[Sidenote: _Croſs made of pine._]

The wood of which it was made is as unſettled as its ſhape. The
Venerable Bede ſays that our Lord’s Croſs was made of four kinds
of wood: the inſcription of box, the upright beam of cypreſs, the
tranſverſe of cedar, and the lower part of pine. John Cantacuméne
avers that only three woods were employed: the upright, cedar; the
tranſverſe, pine; and the head in cypreſs. Others ſay that the upright
was cypreſs, the tranſverſe in palm, and the head in olive; or cedar,
cypreſs, and olive. Moſt authorities ſeem to concur that it was made of
ſeveral woods, but there is a legend that it was made from the aſpen
tree, whoſe leaves ſtill tremble at the awful uſe the tree was put to;
whilſt that veritable traveller, Sir John Maundeville, ſays: “And alſo
in Iheruſalem toward the Weaſt is a fayre church where the tree grew
of the which the Croſſe was made.” Lipſius ſays that it was made of
but one wood, and that was oak; but M. Rohault de Fleury (to whoſe
wonderful and comprehenſive work, _Mémoire ſur les Inſtruments de la
Paſſion de notre Sauveur Jeſus Chriſt_, I am deeply indebted, ſays, “M.
Decaiſne, member of the Inſtitut, and M. Pietro Savi, profeſſor at the
Univerſity of Piſa, have ſhewn me by the microſcope that the pieces in
the Church of the Holy Croſs of Jeruſalem at Rome, in the Cathedral at
Piſa, in the Duomo at Florence, and in Notre Dame at Paris, were of
_pine_.” And he adds, in a footnote, “Independently of the experiments
which M. Savi kindly made in my preſence, he wrote me the reſults of
other obſervations, which tended to confirm.”

Starting with the Invention of the Holy Croſs, the loving, but fervid,
imaginations of the faithful ſoon wove round it a covering of imagery,
as we have juſt ſeen in the caſe of the ſeveral woods of the Croſs,
and the ſacred tree became the ſubject of a legend (for ſo it always
was only meant to be), which was incorporated in the _Legenda Aurea
Sanctorum_, or _Golden Legend of the Saints_, of Jacobus de Voragine,
a collection of legends connected with the ſervices of the Church.
This book was exceedingly popular, and, when Caxton ſet up his
printing-preſs at Weſtminſter, he produced a tranſlation, the hiſtory
of which he quaintly tells us in a preface.[A]

[Sidenote: _Caxton’s Golden Legend_]

As this Golden Legend is the ſtandard authority on the ſubject, and as
it will much aſſiſt the intelligent appreciation of the wood-blocks, I
reproduce it, premiſing that I have uſed throughout the firſt edition,
20 Nov., 1483:—

[Sidenote: 3 _Page 39._]

[Sidenote: 4 _Laughed or ſmiled._]

[Sidenote: 5 _Obtained true mercy._]

[3] But alle the dayes of adam lyvynge here in erthe amounte to the
ſomme of +ixCxxx+[B] yere / And in thende of his lyf whan he ſhold
dye / it is ſaid but of none auctoryte / that he ſente Seth his ſone in
to paradys for to fetch the oyle of mercy / where he receyuyde certayn
graynes of the fruyt of the tree of mercy by an angel / And whan he
come agayn / he fonde his fader adam yet alyve and told hym what he had
don. And thenne Adam lawhed[4] firſt / and then deyed / and thenne he
leyed the greynes or kernellis under his faders tonge and buryed hym
/ in the vale of ebron / and out of his mouth grewe thre trees of the
thre graynes / of which the croſſe that our lord ſuffred his paſſion on
/ was made by vertue of which he gate[5] very mercy and was brought out
of darknes in to veray light of heven / to the whiche he brynge us that
lyveth and regneth god world with oute ende.

[Illustration: +Of thynuencyon of tholy croſſe / and firſt of thys woke

[Sidenote: 6 _Page 167._]

[Sidenote: 7 _Of old._]

THE[6] Invencion[C] of the holy croſſe is ſaid bycauſe that this day
the holy croſſe was founden / for to fore[7] it was founden of ſeth
in paradyſe tereſtre / lyke as hit ſhal be ſayd here after / and alſo
it was founden of ſalamon in the mounte of lybane and of the quene of
ſaba / in the temple of ſalamon / And of the Iewes in the water of
pyſcyne[D] / And on thys day it was founden of Helayne in the mounte of

Of the Holy Croſſe.

[Sidenote: 8 _Cured: French, guerir, to heal._]

[Sidenote: 9 _Whole._]

[Sidenote: 10 _Did ſo—cauſed to be: words of frequent occurrence._]

[Sidenote: 11 _Kingdom: French, royaume._]

[Sidenote: 12 _Ceaſe._]

[Sidenote: 13 _Dug, p. part. of delve._]

[Sidenote: 14 _Pond._]

[Sidenote: 15 _The Lăbărum, or Sacred Banner of Conſtantine._]

[Sidenote: 16 _Cauſed to be called together._]


[Sidenote: 17 _Know._]

[Sidenote: 18 _Grandfather._]

The holy croſſe was founden two hondred yere after the reſurrexyon of
our lord / It is redde in the goſpel of nychodemus[E] / that whan adam
wexyd ſeck / Seth hys ſone wente to the gate of paradyſe tereſtre, for
to gete the oyle of mercy for to enoynte wythal hys faders body /
Thenne apperyd to hym ſaynt mychel thaungel and ſayd to hym / travayle
not the in vayne / for thys oyle / for thou mayſt not have it till fyve
thouſand and fyve hondred yere been paſſed / how be it that fro Adam
unto the paſſyon of our lord were but fyve +MC+ and +xxxiii+ yere / In
another place it is redde that the aungel broughte hym a braunche / and
commaunded hym to plante it in the mounte of lybanye Yet fynde we in
another place / that he gafe to hym of the tree that Adam ete of / And
ſayd to hym that whan that bare fruyte he ſhould be guariſſhed[8] and
alle hoole[9] /. whan ſeth came ageyn he founde his fader deed / and
planted this tree upon his grave / And it endured there un to the tyme
of Salomon / and bycauſe he ſawe that it was fayre, he dyd[10] doo hewe
it doun / and ſette it in his hows named ſaltus / and whan the quene
of ſaba came to vyſyte Salamon / She worſhypped this tre bycauſe ſhe
ſayd the ſavyour of alle the world ſhold be hanged there on / by whome
the royame[11] of the Iewes that be defaced and ſeace.[12] Salomon for
this cauſe made hit to be taken up / & dolven[13] depe in the grounde.
Now it happed after that they of Ieruſalem (dyd do make a grete pytte
for a pyſcyne[14] / where at the mynyſters of the temple ſholde weſſhe
theyre beſtys / that they ſhold ſacrefyſe / and there founde thys tre
/ and thys pyſcyne had ſuche vertue, that the aungels deſcended and
mevyd the water / and the firſt ſeke man that deſcendyd in to the water
after the mevyng / was made hole of what ſomever ſekeneſſe he was ſeek
of. And whan the tyme approched of the paſſyon of our lord / thys
tree aroos out of the water and floted above the water / And of this
pyece of tymbre made the Iewes the croſſe of our lord / Thenne after
this hyſtorye / the croſſe by which we been ſaved / came of the tree
by whiche we were dampned. And the water of that pyſcyne had not his
vertue onely of the aungel / but of the tre/. With this tre wherof the
croſſe was maad / there was a tree that went over thwarte / on whiche
the armes of our lord were nayled/. And another pyece above which was
the table / wherin the tytle was wryten / and another pyece wherein the
ſokette or mortys was maad that the body of the croſſe ſtood in ſoo
that there were foure manere of trees / That is of palme of cypres
/ of cedre and of olyve. So eche of thyſe foure pyeces was of one of
thoſe trees/. This bleſſed croſſe was put in the erthe and hyd by the
ſpace of on hondred yere and more / But the moder of themperour which
was named helayne[F] which founde it in thys manere / For Conſtantyn
came wyth a grete multytude of barbaryns nygh unto the ryver of the
dunoe / whyche wold have goon over for to have deſtroyed alle the
contree / And whan conſtantyn had aſſembled his hooſt / He went and
ſette them ageynſt that other partye / But as ſone as he began to paſſe
the ryver / he was moche aferde / by cauſe he ſhold on the morne have
batayle / and in the nyght as he ſlepte in his bedde / an aungel awoke
hym / and ſhewed to hym the ſygne of the croſſe in heven / and ſayd to
hym / Beholde on hye on heven/. Thanne ſawe he the croſſe made of ryght
clere lyght / & was wryten there upon wyth lettres of golde / In this
ſygne thou ſhalte over come the batayle/ Thenne was he alle comforted
of thys vyſion / And on the morne / he put in his banere the Croſſe[15]
/ and made it to be borne tofore hym and his hooſt / And after ſmote in
the hooſt of his enemyes / and ſlewe and chaced grete plente / After
thys he dyd doo[16] calle the byſſhoppes of the ydolles / and demaunded
them to what god the ſygne of the croſſe apperteyned. And whan they
coude not anſwere / ſome criſten men that were there tolde to hym the
myſterye of the croſſe / and enformed hym in the faythe of the trynyte
/ Thenne anone he bylevyd parfytly (in) god / and dyd do baptyſe hym /
and after, it happed that conſtantyn his ſone remembred the vyctorye
of his fader / Sente to helayn his modre for to fynde the holy croſſe
/ Thenne helayne wente in to Iheruſalem / and dyd doo aſſemble all
the wyſe men of the contre / and whan they were aſſembled / they wold
fayn knowe wherfore they were called / Thenne one Iudas ſayd to them
/ I wote[17] wel that ſhe wyl knowe of us where the croſſe of Iheſu
criſte was leyed / but beware you al that none of you tell hyr / for
I wote wel then ſhall our lawe be deſtroyed / For zacheus my olde[18]
fader ſayde to ſymon my fader / And my fader ſayde to me at his dethe
/ be wel ware / that for no tormente that ye may ſuffre / telle not
where the croſſe of Iheſu criſte was leyde / for after that hit ſhal
be founden / the Iewes ſhal reygne no mour / But the criſten men that
worſhypped the croſſe ſhal then reygne / And verayly this Iheſus was
the ſone of god.

Then demaunded I my fader / wherfore had they hanged hym on the croſſe
ſythe it was knowen that he was the ſone of god / thenne he ſayd to me
fayre ſone I never accorded thereto / But gayn ſaid it alwaye / But the
Phariſees dyd it bycauſe he repreyvd theyr vyces / but he aroos on the
thyrd day / and his dyſciples ſeeing / he aſcended in to heven / Thenne
by cauſe that Stephen thy broder belevyd in him / the Iewes ſtoned hym
to dethe.

[Sidenote: 19 _Inform._]

[Sidenote: 20 _Burn._]

Then when Iudas had ſayd theyſe wordes to his ſelawes / they anſwerd
we never herde of ſuche thynges / never the leſſe kepe the wel if the
quene demaunde the therof / that thou ſay no thynge to hyr / Whan
the quene had called them / and demaunded them the place where our
lord Iheſu criſte had been crucefyed/ they wold never tell her nor
enſygne[19] her /. Then commaunded ſhe to brenne[20] them alle/. But
then they doubted and were aferde / & delyvered Iudas to hyr and ſayd
/ lady thys man is the ſone of a prophete and of a juſte man / and
knoweth right wel the lawe / & can telle to you al thynge that ye ſhal
demaunde hym/.

[Sidenote: 21 _More ado._]

Thenne the quene lete al the other goo, and reteyned Iudas without
moo[21]/. Thenne ſhe ſhewed to hym his life & dethe & bade hym cheſe
whyche he wold. Shewe to me ſayd ſhe the place named golgota where our
lord was crucefyed / by cauſe and to the end that we may fynde the
croſſe/. Thenne ſayd Iudas, it is two hondred yere paſſed & more / & I
was not thenne yet borne. Thenne ſayd to hym the lady / by him that was
crucyfyed / I ſhal make the periſſe for hungre/ yf thou telle not to me
the trouthe.

Thenne made ſhe hym to be caſte into a drye pytte / and there tormented
hym by hungre / and evyl reſte / whan he had been ſeuen dayes in that
pytte / thenne ſayd he yf I myght be drawen out / he ſhold ſay the
trouthe / Thenne he was drawen out / and whan he came to the place /
anone the erthe moevyd and a fume of grete ſwettneſſe was felte in
ſuche wyſe that Iudas ſmote his hondes togyder for ioye / and ſayd / in
trouthe Iheſu criſte thou art the ſavyour of the worlde.

[Sidenote: 22 _Twenty Paces._]

It was ſo that adryan the Emperour had doo make in the ſame place where
the croſſe laye a temple of a goddeſſe by cauſe that all they that
come in that place ſhold adoure that goddeſſe/. But the quene did doo
deſtroy the temple / Thenne Iudas made hym redy and began to dygge /
and whan he came to +xx+ paas[22] depe / he fonde three croſſes and
broughte them to the quene / And bycauſe he knewe not whiche was the
croſſe of our lord / he leyed them in the myddel of the cyte / and
abode the demonſtraunce of god / and aboute the houre of none / there
was the corps of a yonge man brought to be buryed / Iudas reteyned the
byere / and layed upon hit one of the croſſes / and after the ſecond /
and whan he leyed on hit the third / anone the body that was dede came
ageyn to lyf/.

[Sidenote: 23 _Everlaſting._]

Thenne cryed the devyll in the eyre Iudas what haſt thou doon / thou
haſt doon the contrarye that thother Iudas dyd/. For by hym I have
wonne many ſowles / and by the I ſhal loſe many / by hym I reygned on
the peple / And by the I have loſt my royame / never the leſſe I ſhal
yelde to the this bountee/. For I ſhal ſend one that ſhal punyſſhe the
/ and that was accomplyſſhed by Iulian the apoſtata / which tormented
hym afterward whan he was byſſhop of Iheruſalem / and whan Iudas herde
hym he curſed the devyl and ſayd to hym / Iheſu cryſte dampne the in
fyre pardurable[23]/. After this Iudas was baptyzed and was named
quyryache[G]/. And after was made byſſhop of Iheruſalem/. Whan helayn
had the croſſe of Iheſu criſte / and ſaw ſhe had not the nayles /
Thenne he dyd dygge in therthe ſo longe / that he founde them ſhynyng
as golde/. thenne bare he them to the quene / and anone as ſhe ſawe
them ſhe worſhypped them wyth grete reverence/.

Thenne gafe ſaynt helayn a part of the croſſe to hir ſone / And that
other parte ſhe lefte in Iheruſalem cloſyd in golde / ſylver and
precious ſtones/.

[Sidenote: 24 _Euſebius, Biſhop of Ceſaræa._]

[Sidenote: 25 _Killed._]

And hyr ſone bare the nayles to themperour / And the emperour dyd do
ſette them in hys brydel and in hys helme whan he wente to batayle/.
This referreth Euſebe whiche was byſſhop of Cezayr[24]/ how be it that
other ſay otherwyſe/. Now it happed that Iulyan the appoſtate dyd
doo[25] ſlee quyriache that was byſſhop of Iheruſalem / by cauſe he had
founde the croſſe / for he hated hit ſoo mooche / that where ſomever he
founde the croſſe / he dyd hit to be deſtroyed / For whan he wente in
batayle ageynſte them of perſe / he ſente and commaunded quyriache to
make ſacrefyſe to thydolles / and whan he wold not doo hit / he dyd do
ſmyte of his right honde / and ſayd wyth this honde haſt thou wryten
many letters / by whyche thou repellyd moche folke fro doynge ſacrefyſe
to our goddes/.

[Sidenote: 26 _Mad dog._]

[Sidenote: 27 _Since._]

[Sidenote: 28 _Turn this evil_]

Quyriache ſayd thou wood hounde[26] thou hiſt doon to me grete
prouffyte / For thou haſt cut of the hande / wyth whiche I have many
tymes wreton to the ſynagoges that they ſhold not byleve in Iheſu
criſte / and now ſythe[27] I am criſten / thou haſt taken from me that
whiche noyed me / thenne dyd Iulyan do melte leed, and caſte it in his
mowthe / and after dyd doo brynge a bedde of yron / and made quyriache
to be layed and ſtratched theron / and after leyed under brennyng
cooles / and threwe therein grece and ſalte / for to torment hym the
more / and whan quyriache moved not / Iulyan themperour ſaid to hym /
outher thou ſhalt ſacrefyſe (to) our goddes / or thou ſhalt ſay at the
leſte thou art not criſten/. And whan he ſawe he wolde not do never
neyther / he dyd doo make a depe pytte ful of ſerpentes and venemous
beſtys / and caſte hym therein / & whan he entred / anone the ſerpentes
were al deed/. Thenne Iulyan put hym in a cawdron ful of boylyng oyle /
and whan he ſhold entre in to hit / he bleſſyd it & ſayd / Fayre lord
torne thys bane[28] to baptyſm of marterdom / Thenne was Iulyan moche
angry / and commaunded that he ſhould be ryven thorough his herte with
a ſwerde / and in this manere he fynyſſhed his lyff.

The vertue of the croſſe is declared to us by many miracles / For it
happed on a tyme that one enchantour had dyſceyved a notarye / and
brought hym to a place / where he had aſſembled a grete companye of
devylles / and promyſed to hym to have muche rycheſſe / and whan he
came there / he ſaw one perſone blacke ſyttynge on a grete chayer
/ And all aboute hym al ful of horyble people and blacke whiche
had ſperes and ſwerdes / Thenne demaunded thys grete devyll of the
enchantour / who was that clerke / thenchantour ſayd to hym / Syr he is
oures / thenne ſayd the devyl to hym yf thou wylte worſhyp me and be my
ſervaunte / and denye Iheſu cryſte / thou ſhalt ſytte on my right ſyde
/ The clerke anone bleſſyd hym wyth the ſygne of the croſſe / and ſayd
that he was the ſervaunte of Iheſu criſte / his ſavyour / And anone as
he had made the croſſe / that grete multitude of devylles vanyſſhed
aweye. It happed that this notarye after this on a tyme entryd with
hys lord in the chyrche of ſaynt ſophye / & knelyd doun on his knees
to fore the ymage of the crucyfyxe / the which crucifyxe as it ſemed
loked moche openly and ſharpelye on hym/. Thenne his lord made hym to
go aparte on another ſyde / and alleweye the crucifixe torned his eyen
toward hym/. Thenne he made hym goo on the lefte ſyde / and yet the
crucifixe loked on hym / Thenne was the lord moche admerveyled / and
charged hym & commaunded hym that he ſhold telle hym wherof he had ſo
deſerved that the crucifyxe ſo behelde and loked on hym / Thenne ſayde
the notarye that he coude not remembre hym of no good thynge that
he had doon / ſaufe that one tyme he wold not renye nor forſake the
crucifixe tofore the devyl/.

Thenne late us ſo bleſſe us with the ſygne of the bleſſyd croſſe that
we may therby be kepte fro the power of our ghooſtly and dedely enemye
the devyl / and by the glorious paſſyon that our ſaveour Iheſu cryſt
ſuffred on the croſſe after this lyf we may come to his everlaſtyng
blyſſe amen/.

Thus endeth thynvencion of the holy croſſe.


[Illustration: +Here foloweth the Exaltation of the holy Croſſe.+]

[Sidenote: 29 _The Roman and Engliſh Churches celebrate this Feſtival
on February 14._]

[Sidenote: 30 _Carrion._]

[Sidenote: 31 _Vileneſs._]

[Sidenote: 32 _Reſourced or repleniſhed._]

Exaltation of the holy Croſſe[29] is ſayd / bycauſe that on this daye
the hooly croſſe & faythe were gretely enhaunced/. And it is to be
underſtonden that tofore the paſſion of our lord Iheſu cryſte / the
tree of the croſſe was a tree of fylthe / For the croſſes were made
of vyle trees, & of trees without fruyte / For al that was planted on
the Mount of Calvarye bare no fruyt. It was a fowle place / for hit
was the place of torment of thevys / It was derke / for it was in a
derke place and without any beaute / It was the tree of deth / for men
were put there to dethe / It was alſo the tree of ſtenche / for it was
planted amonge the caroynes[30] / & after the paſſyon the Croſſe was
moche enhaunced / For the Vylte[31] was tranſported into preciouſyte /
Of the whiche the bleſſyd ſaynt Andrewe ſayth / O precious holy Croſſe
god ſave the / his bareynes was torned into fruyte / as it is ſayd in
the Cantyques / I ſhall aſcende up in to a palme tree / et cetera /
His ignobylyte or unworthynes was tourned into ſublymyte and heyght
/ The Croſſe that was tormente of thevys is now born in the front of
themperours / his derkenes is torned into lyght and clereneſſe/ wherof
Chryſoſtom ſayth the Croſſe and the Woundes ſhall be more ſhynyng than
the rayes of the Sonne at the jugement / his deth is converted into
perdurabylyte of lyf / whereof it is ſayd in the preface / that fro
hens the lyf reſourded[32] / and the ſtenche is torned into ſwetenes
/ canticorum /. This exaltacion of the hooly croſſe is ſolempnyſed
and halowed ſolempnly of the Chirche / For the faythe is in hit moche
enhaunced /.

[Sidenote: 33 _Choſroes II., who reigned in the ſeventh Century._]

For the yere of oure lord five honderd & +xv+ / our lord ſuffred
his people moche to be tormentyd by the cruelte of the paynyms /
And Coſdroe[33] Kynge of the Perceens ſubdued to his empyre all the
Royaumes of the world / And he cam into Iheruſalem and was aferd and
a dred of the ſepulcre of our lord & retorned / but he bare with hym
the parte of the hooly Croſſe / that ſaynte Helene had left ther. And
then he wold be worſhiped of alle the peple / as a god / & dyd do make
a tour of gold and of ſylver wherein precious ſtones ſhone / and made
therein the ymages of the ſonne and of the mone and of the ſterres /
and made that by ſubtyle conduytes water to be hydde / and to come
doune in the maner of rayne / And in the laſte ſtage he made horſes to
draw charyotes round aboute lyke as they had mevyd the toure / and made
it to ſeme as it had thondred / and delyvered his Royaume to his ſone.
And thus this curſyd man abode in this Temple / and dyd doo ſette the
croſſe of our lord by hym and commaunded that he ſhold be callyd god
of alle the peple / And as it is redde in libro de mitrali[H] officio
the ſaid Coſdroe reſydent in his trone as a fader / ſette the tree of
the Croſſe on his ryght ſyde in ſtede of the ſonne / and a cock in the
lyft ſyde in ſtede of the hooly ghooſt / & commaunded / that he ſhold
be called fader /. And then Heracle[I] themperour aſſembled a grete
hooſt / and cam for to fyght wyth the ſonne of Coſdroe by the ryver of
danubie / & thenne hit pleaſyd to eyther prynce / that eche of them
ſhold fyght one ageynſte that other upon the brydge / & he that ſhold
vaynquyſſhe & overcome his adverſarye ſholde be prynce of thempyre
withoute hurtyng eyther of bothe hoſtes / & ſo hit was ordeyned & ſworn
/ & that who ſomever ſhold helpe his prynce ſhold have forthwith his
legges & armes cut of / & to be plonged / & caſt in to the Ryver.

[Sidenote: 34 _Throne, or ſeat; French, ſiège._]

[Sidenote: 35 _Astoniſhed._]

[Sidenote: 36 _Shoen—shoes._]

[Sidenote: 37 _Beſprinkled._]

[Sidenote: 38 _Invited._]

[Sidenote: 39 _Pacified, appeaſed._]

[Sidenote: 40 _Ampullæ, bottles or flaſks._]

[Sidenote: 41 _Conſecrated._]

And then Heracle commaunded hym all to god and to the hooly croſſe wyth
all the devocion that he myght. And thenne they fought longe / And at
the laſt our lord gaf the vyctory to Heracle and ſubdued hym to his
empyre / The hooſt that was contrary / and alle the peple of Coſdroe
obeyed them to the Cryſten faythe / and receyved the hooly baptyſme /
And Coſdroe knew not the end of the batayll / For he was adoured and
worſhiped of alle the peple as a god / ſo that no man durſt ſay nay to
him / And thenne Heracle came to hym / and fonde hym ſyttinge in his
ſyege[34] of golde / and ſayd to hym / For as moche as after the manere
thou haſt honoured the Tree of the Croſſe / yf thou wyld receyve baptym
and the faythe of Iheſu Cryſt / I ſhal gete it to the / and yet ſhalt
thow holde thy crowne and Royamme with lytel hoſtages / And I ſhall
lete the have thy lyf / and yf thou wylt not / I ſhall flee the wyth
my ſwerde / and ſhalle ſmyte of thyne heed / and whanne he wold not
accorde therto / he did anon do ſmyte of his hede / and commaunded
that he ſhold be buryed / by cauſe he had be(en) a Kynge /. And he
fonde with hym one his ſone of the age of ten yere / whome he dyd doo
baptyſe and lyft hym fro the fonte / and left to hym the Royaume of
his fader / and then he dyd doo breke that Toure / And gaf the ſylver
to them of his hooſte / and gaf the gold and precious ſtones for to
repayre the chirches that the tyraunt had deſtroyed / and tooke the
hoole croſſe / and brought it ageyne to Ieruſalem / and as he deſcended
from the mount of Olyvete / and wold have entryd by the gate by whiche
our ſavyour wente to his paſſyon on horſbacke adourned as a Kynge /
ſodenly the ſtones of the gates deſcended / and ioyned them togyder in
the gate like a wall & all the peple was abaſhed[35] / and thenne the
Aungel of oure lord appyeryd upon the gate holdyng the ſigne of the
ſigne (_sic_) of the Croſſe in his honde / and ſayd / Whanne the Kynge
of heven went to his paſſion by this gate / he was not arayed like
a Kynge / ne on horſbake / but cam humbly upon an aſſe / in ſhewynge
thexample of humylite which he left to them that honoure hym. And when
this was ſayd / he departed and vanyſſhed aweye / Thenne th’emperour
took of his hoſen and ſhone[36] himſelf in wepynge / and deſpollyed
hymſelfe of alle his clothes in to his ſherte / and tooke the croſſe
of oure lord / and bare it moche humbly into the gate / and anone the
hardnes of the ſtones felte the celeſtyalle commaundement / and remeved
anone / and opened and gaf entree unto them that entred / Thenne the
ſweete odour that was felt that day whanne the hooly Croſſe was taken
fro the Toure of Coſdroe / and was brought ageyne to Iheruſalem fro ſo
ferre countre / and ſo grete ſpace of londe retourned in to Iheruſalem
in that moment / and replenyſſhed it with al ſwetnes / Thenne the
ryght devoute Kyng beganne to ſaye the prayſynges of the Croſſe in
this wyſe / O Crux ſplendydior / et cetera / O Croſſe more ſhynynge
than alle the Sterres / honoured of the world / right holy / and moche
amyable to alle men / whiche only were worthy to bere the raunſon of
the world Swete tree / Swete nayles / Swete yron / Swete ſpere berynge
the ſwete burthens / Save thou this preſent company / that is this daye
aſſembled in thy lawe and prayſynges /. And thus was the precious tree
of the Croſſe re eſtablyſſhed in his place / and the auncient myracles
renewed /. For a dede man was reyſed to lyf / and foure men taken with
the palſey were cured and heled / +x+ lepres were made clene / and
fyften blynde receyved theyr ſyghte ageyn / Devylles were put out of
men / and moche peple / and many / were delyvered of dyverſe ſekenes
and maladyes /. Thenne themperour dyd doo repayre the Chirches / and
gaf to them grete geftes / And after retorned home to his Empyre / And
hit is ſaid in the Cronycles that this was done otherwiſe / For they
ſay that whanne Coſdroe hadde taken many Royammes / he took Iheruſalem
/ and Zacharye the patriarke / and bare aweye the tree of the Croſſe
/ And as Heracle wold make pees with hym / the Kyng Coſdroe ſwore a
grete othe / that he wold never make pees with Cryſten men and Romayns
/ yf they denyed not hym that was crucyfyed / and adoured the ſonne
/. And thenne Heracle / whiche was armed wythe faythe / brought his
hooſte ageynſt hym / and deſtroyed and waſted the Perſyens with many
batayles that he made to them / and made Coſdroe to flee unto the Cyte
of thelyfonte /. And atte the laſte Coſdroe hadde the flyxe in his bely
/ And wolde therefore crowne his ſone Kynge / which was named Mendaſa
/. And whenne Syroys his oldeſt ſone herde thereof he made alyance with
Heracle / And purſewed his fader with his noble peple / and ſet hym in
bondes / And ſuſteyned him with breede of trybulacion / and with water
of anguyſſhe / And atte laſt he made to ſhote arowes at him bycauſe he
wold not bileve in god & ſo deyde / & after this thynge he ſente to
Heracle the patriarke the tree of the Croſſe and all the pryſoners /
And Heracle bare into Iheruſalem the precious tree of the Croſſe /. And
thus it is redde in many Cronycles alſo/. Sybyle ſayth thus of the tre
of the Croſſe / that the bleſſyd tree of the Croſſe was thre tymes with
the paynyms / as it is ſayd in thyſtorie trypertyte O thryſe bleſſyd
tree on whiche god was ſtratched / This peradventure is ſayd for the
lyf of Nature / of grace / and of glorye / which cam of the croſſe /.
At Conſtantynople a Iewe entyred in to the chirche of ſeynt ſophye /
and conſydered that he was there allone / and ſawe an ymage of Iheſu
cryſte / and tooke his ſwerde and ſmote thymage in the throte / and
anone the bloode guyſſhed oute / and ſprange in the face and on the
hide of the Iewe / And he thenne was aferd and took thymage / and caſt
it into a pytte / and anone fledde awey /. And it happed that a Cryſten
man mett hym / and ſawe hym al blody / and ſayd to hym / fro whens
comeſt thou / thou haſt ſlayne ſoume man / And he ſayd I have not / the
cryſten man ſayd Veryly thou has commyſed ſomme homycyde / for thou art
all beſprongen[37] with the blood. And the Jewe ſaid / Veryly the god
of Cryſten men is grete and the faythe of hym is ferme and approved in
all thynges / I have ſmyten no man / but I have ſmyten thymage of Iheſu
Cryſte / and anone yſſued blood of his throte /. And thenne the Jewe
brought the Cryſten man to the pytte / and then they drewe oute that
hooly ymage /. And yet is ſene on this daye the wounde in the throte of
thymage / And the Iewe anone bycam a good Cryſten man, & was baptyſed
/ In Syre in the cyte of baruth there was a criſten man / which had
hyred an hous for a yere / & he had ſet thymage of the crucifixe by
his bedde to whiche he made dayly his prayers and ſaid his devocions
/ & at the yeres ende he remeved and tooke another hous / & forgate &
lefte thymage behynde hym / and it happed that a Iewe hyred that ſame
hows / & on a daye he had another Iewe one of his neyghbours to dyne
/ & as they were at mete it happed hym that was boden[38] in lookyng
on the walle to eſpye this ymage whiche was fyxed to the walle and
beganne to grenne at it for deſpyte / and ageynſt hym that bad hym / &
alſo thretned & menaced hym bycauſe he durſt kepe in his hous thymage
of Iheſu of nazareth / & that other Iewe ſware as moche as he myght /
that he had never ſene it / ne knewe not that it was there / & thenne
the Iewe fayned as he had been peaſyd[39]. / & after went ſtrayt to
the prynce of the Iewes / & accuſed that Iewe of that whiche he hadde
ſene in his hous / thenne the Iewes aſſembleden & cam to the hous of
hym / & ſawe thymage of Iheſu Cryſt / and they took that Iewe and bete
hym / & did to hym many iniuryes / & caſte hym out half dede of their
ſynagoge / & anone they defowled thymage with their feet / & renewed
in it all the tormentes of the paſſion of oure lorde / & and when they
perced his ſyde with the ſpere / blood and water yſſued haboundauntly /
in ſo moche that they fylled a veſſel / whiche they ſet therunder / And
thenne the Iewes were abaſſhhed & bare this blood in to theyr ſynagoge
& and alle the ſeke men and malades that were enoynted therwyth / were
anone guaryſſhed & made hool / & thenne the Iewes told & recounted al
this thynge by ordre to the biſhop of the countre / & alle they with
one wyll receyved baptyſm in the faythe of Iheſu Cryſt / & the biſſhop
putt the blood in ampulles[40] of Cryſtalle & of glas for to be kepte
/ & thenne he called / the Cryſten man that had lefte it in the hows
/ & enquyred of hym / who had made ſo fayr an ymage / & he ſaid that
Nychodemus had made it / And when he deyde / he lefte it to gamalyel
/ And Gamalyel to Zachee and Zachee to Iaques / and Iaques to Symon
/ and hadde ben thus in Ieruſalem unto the deſtruction of the Cyte /
and fro thennes hit was borne in to the Royamme of Agryppe of Cryſten
men / and fro thennes hit was brought ageyne into my countreye / & it
was left to me by my parentes by rightful herytage / & this was done
in y^e yere of our lord ſeven honderd and fifty / and thenne alle the
Iewes halowed[41] their ſynagogues in to chirches and therof cometh the
cuſtoume that Chirches ben hallowed / For tofore that tyme the aultres
were but halowed only / and for this myracle the chirche hath ordeyned
/ that the fyfte Kalendar of december / or as it is redde in another
place / the fyfthe ydus of Novembre ſhold be the memorye of the paſſyon
of oure lord / wherfor at Rome the chirche is halowed in thonoure of
our ſavyour whereas is kepte an ampulla with the ſame blood / And there
a ſolempne feſte is kepte and done / and there is proved the ryght
grete vertue of the croſſe unto the paynyms and to the myſbylevyd men
in alle thynges /.

[Sidenote: 42 _Fiend._]

[Sidenote: 43 _Power._]

[Sidenote: 44 _Each or every one._]

[Sidenote: 45 _Attendants._]

[Sidenote: 46 _Drew._]

[Sidenote: 47 _Jeſt._]

[Sidenote: 48 _Kiſs._]

[Sidenote: 49 _In this wiſe._]

And ſaynt Gregory recordeth in the thirdde booke of his dyalogues /
that whanne andrewe Biſſhop of the Cyte of Fundane ſuffred an holy
noune to dwelle with him / the fende[42] thenemy beganne temprynte
in his herte the beaulte of her / in ſuch wiſe / that he thought in
hys bedde wycked and curſyd thynges / and on a daye a Iewe cam to
Rome / and whanne he ſawe / that the day fayled / and myghte fynde no
lodgynge / he wente that nyght / and abode in the Temple of appolyn /.
And bycauſe he doubted of the ſacrylege of the place / how be hit /
that he hadde no faythe in the Croſſe / yet he markyd and garnyſſhed
hym wyth the ſigne of the Croſſe / then at mydnyght whan he awoke /
he ſawe a companye of evylle ſprytes / whiche went to fore one / like
as he hadde ſomme auctoryte puyſiance[43] above thother by ſubiection
/ and thenne he ſawe hym ſytte in the myddes among the others / and
beganne to enquyre the cauſes and dedes of everyche[44] of theſe evylle
ſprytes / whyche obeyed hym / and he wold knowe / what evylle everyche
had doo / But Gregory paſſyth the maner of this vyſyon / bycauſe of
ſhortnes / But we fynde ſemblable in the lyf of faders / That as a man
entryd in a Temple of thydolles / he ſawe the devylle ſyttynge / and
all his meyny[45] aboute hym. And one of theſe wycked / ſprytes cam /
and adouryd hym / and he demaunded of hym / Fro whens comeſt thow /
and he ſayd / I have ben in ſuch a provynce / and have moeved grete
warres / and made many trybulacions and have ſhedde moche blood / and
am come to telle it to the / and Sathan ſayd to hym / in what tyme
hath thow done this / and he ſayd in thyrtty dayes and Sathan ſayd /
why haſt thow be ſoo longe there aboutes / and ſayd to them that ſtode
by hym / goo ye and bete hym / and all to laſſhe hym / Thenne cam the
ſecond and worſſhiped hym / & ſayde Syre I have ben in the ſee / and
have moeved grete wyndes and tormentes / & drowned many ſhippes / &
ſlayn many men / and Sathan ſayde how longe haſt thow ben aboute thys /
& he ſayd +vvii+ dayes / & Sathan ſayd haſt thou done no more in this
tyme / & commanded that he ſhold be beten / and the third cam / & ſaid
/ I have ben in a Cyte & have mevyd ſtryves and debate in a weddynge /
and have ſhed moche blood / & have ſlayne the hoſbond / & am come to
telle the / & ſathan ſayd / in what time haſt thou done this / & he
ſaid in ten dayes / & he ſayd haſt thou done no more in that time / &
commanded them that were aboute hym to bete hym alſo / Thenne cam the
fourth & ſayd / I have ben in the wylderneſs fourty yere / and have
laboured aboute a monke / & unnethe at the laſte I have throwen & made
hym falle in the ſynne of the fleſſhe / & when ſatan herd that / he
aroos fro his ſete / & kyſſed hym / & tooke hys crowne of his hede /
& ſet it on his hede / & made hym to ſytte with hym / & ſayde / thou
haſt done a grete thynge / & haſt laboured more / than all thother /
and this may be the maner of the vyſyon / that ſaynt gregorye leveth /
whan eche had ſayd / one ſterte up in the myddle of them alle / & ſeyd
he hadde mevid Andrewe ageynſte the name / & had mevyd the fourth part
of his fleſhe agenſt her in temptacion / & therto / y^t yeſterday he
drough[46] ſo moche his mynde on her / that in the hour of evenſonge he
gaf to her in Iapping[47] a buſſe[48] / & ſeid pleynly y^t ſhe muſt
here it that he wold ſynne with her / thenne the mayſter commanded hym
that he ſhold perform y^t he had begonne / & for to make hym to ſynne
he ſhold have a ſyngular Vyctory and reward among alle the other /. And
thenne commaunded he that they ſhold goo loke who that was that laye
in the Temple / And they wente / & loked / And anone they were ware
/ that he was marked with the ſigne of the croſſe / And they levynge
aferd eſcaped / and ſayd / veryly this is an empty veſſel / alas / alas
/ he is marked /. And with[49] thus wys alle the company of the wykked
ſprytes vanyſſhed awaye / And thenne the Iewe al amoevyd cam to the
biſſhop / and told to hym all by ordere what was happend / And whan
the biſſhoppe herd this / he wept ſtrongly / and made to voyde all the
wymmen oute of his hows / And thenne he baptyſed the Iewe.

[Sidenote: 50 _Bit._]

Seynt Gregory reherceth in his dyalogues that a nonne entryd into a
gardyne / and ſawe a letuſe / and coveyted that / and forgate to make
the ſigne of the Croſſe / and bote[50] it glotonouſly / And anone
fylle doune and was ravyſſhed of a devylle / And ther cam to her ſaint
Equycyon[J] / And the devylle beganne to crye and to ſaye / What have I
doo / I ſatte uppon a lettuſe / and ſhe cam / and bote me / and anone
the devylle yſſued oute by the commaundement of the holy man of god /.
It is redde in thyſtorye Scolaſtyke / that the paynyms had peynted on a
walle the armes of Serapis / And Theodoſyen dide doo putt them oute /
and made to be paynted in the ſame place the ſigne of the Croſſe / And
when the paynims & prieſtes of thydolles ſawe that / anone they dyde
them to be baptyſed / ſayenge / that it was gyven them to underſtonde
of their olders / that thoſe armes ſhold endure tyll / that ſuche a
ſigne were made then / in whiche were lyf / And they have a lettre / of
whiche they uſe / y^t they calle holy / & had a forme that they ſaid it
expoſed and ſignyfyed lyf perdurable.

Thus endeth the exaltacion of the holy Croſſe.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having read theſe extracts from the Golden Legend, we ſhall be able to
underſtand the accompanying illuſtrations, which repreſent ſome freſcos
of the fifteenth century, which formerly adorned the walls of the /
Chapel of the Gild of the Holy Croſs, at Stratford-upon-Avon; which
ſtands cloſe by New Place, Shakeſpeare’s houſe. Theſe freſcos, alas! no
longer exiſt, for, in 1804, the Chapel underwent conſiderable repair,
during which, under the whitewaſh, were diſcovered traces of paint, and
theſe, being ſcraped, a ſeries illuſtrating the legend of the Croſs
was found in the chancel, which was built in 1450. In other parts of
the Chapel were found repreſentations of the Reſſurection, and the day
of Judgment, St. George and the Dragon, and the death of St. Thomas a
Becket, beſides others.

Luckily, a gentleman from London, a Mr. Fiſher, was then ſtaying at
Stratford-on-Avon, and he drew, and painted them—afterwards, in 1807,
publiſhing them—and it is from his ſketches that theſe illuſtrations
are taken. The barbarians of Stratford hacked the plaſter on which the
Holy Croſs ſeries was painted to bits, and whitewaſhed all the other
paintings. It is preſumed they ſtill exiſt, for, when the Chapel was
thoroughly reſtored in 1835, traces of the other pictures were viſible
under the whitewaſh.

Theſe pictures of the Invention, and Exaltation, of the Holy Croſs are
eſpecially intereſting, not only on account of their age and artiſtic
merit, but from the fact that they are of Engliſh work, and ſhow the
Engliſh idea of treating the ſubject. I have reproduced them all but
two; one, the fight on the bridge over the Danube between Heraclius and
the ſon of Choſroes, and the other repreſenting Heraclius ſmiting off
Choſroes’ head.


[Illustration: A]

Plate =A= repreſents the viſit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon. Her
name was Balkis, and, in her legendary hiſtory, it is reported that
Solomon, having heard of her riches and power, ſent her a peremptory
meſſage to ſubmit herſelf to his rule. She, dreading war with ſo potent
a ſovereign, ſent an embaſſy to try and find out whether Solomon was
as wiſe as he was repreſented to be. With this object ſhe dreſſed five
hundred boys as girls, and a like number of girls as boys, and, among
other preſents, ſent a pearl, a diamond cut through in zigzags, and a
cryſtal box; and ſhe ſhould be able to judge of his wiſdom and power,
if he could tell the boys from the girls, pierce the pearl, thread the
diamond, and fill the goblet with water that came neither from the
earth nor the ſky.

Needleſs to ſay, Solomon paſſed through the ordeal triumphantly. He
ordered ſilver baſins to be brought, ſo that the ambaſſadors’ ſuite
might waſh their hands after their long journey, and the boys were
eaſily diſtinguiſhed from the girls, for they dipped their hands only
in the water, whilſt the girls tucked up their ſleeves and waſhed
their arms as well as their hands. Then he opened the box containing
the pearl, diamond, and goblet, and, taking out the pearl, he applied
his magic ſtone, Samur, or Schamir, which a raven had brought him,
and which had the power of cleaving anything, and lo! the pearl was
pierced; then he examined the diamond, which was ſo pierced that no
thread could be paſſed through it; ſo he took a worm, and having
placed a piece of ſilk in its mouth, it wriggled through, and the
diamond was threaded. The next taſk was to fill the goblet, which he
gave to a negro ſlave, and bade him mount a wild horſe and gallop it
till it ſtreamed with ſweat, and then to fill the goblet with it, thus
fulfilling the impoſed conditions. He then gave back theſe preſents to
the ambaſſadors, who ſpeedily returned to Queen Balkis. She at once ſaw
that it would be uſeleſs to oppoſe the powerful will of Solomon, and
immediately ſet out on her journey to that monarch.

It is here that her connection with the holy Croſs comes in, for its
wood, which Solomon had cut down in order to incorporate it into his
Temple, and which had the inconvenient property of fitting in nowhere,
being either too long or too ſhort for any purpoſe, was in conſequence
thrown aſide, and ultimately was uſed as a foot-bridge acroſs a brook.
Acroſs this plank the Queen had to paſs, but ſhe, recogniſing its holy
virtue, refuſed to walk acroſs it, preferring to wade the brook, which,
having done, ſhe expounded its value to Solomon, and propheſied that
out of it ſhould be made the Croſs on which Jeſus ſhould ſuffer.

She afterwards became one of Solomon’s wives, and bore him a ſon, and
then returned to her own land, and from this ſon are deſcended the
kings of Abyſſynia.

The legend on the label is, as far as is legible, REGINA SABA FAMA

[Illustration: B]

Plate =B= is, virtually, two; one ſhowing the angel appearing to
Conſtantine when, early in the fourth century, he was advancing towards
Rome againſt Maxentius; but the legend of the miraculous inſcription
which appeared in the ſky, “IN HOC SIGNO VINCES,” does not appear. The
other, and larger portion, repreſents his victory over Maxentius, and
he is repreſented as ſpearing and killing that monarch; but this is not
hiſtorically correct, for, after his defeat, as Maxentius fled towards
Rome, eſſaying to croſs the Tiber over a rotten bridge, it gave way,
and he was drowned. It is noticeable that the Chriſtian flag bears the
Tau Croſs.

[Illustration: C D]

_The Plates_ =C= _and_ =D= _run into each other, although they portray
different ſubjects,_ =C= _being the departure of St. Helena for
Jeruſalem on her queſt of the holy Croſs. The label in this freſco is
utterly illegible._

Plate =D= ſhows Judas (called Julius in the label) Cyryacus (the
Quyryache of the Golden Legend) being releaſed, after having been
forced, through impriſonment and ſtarvation, into confeſſing where the
holy Croſs lay buried. In the upper part St. Helena is receiving the
holy Croſs, whilſt labourers are uncovering the Tau Croſſes of the two

The legend is mutilated, but enough remains to make its meaning clear:
CYRYACUS (saith that he knew w)HERE HETE WAS.”

[Illustration: E F]

_The legend in Plate_ =E= _is nearly perfect, and accurately deſcribes

Here all the Croſſes are of the Tau type, and the ſcene is laid in a
foreſt, where an old labourer, and a bill-man, and the deer nibbling
the trees, give a rural aſpect, inſtead of in the City of Jeruſalem, as
ſaith the Golden Legend.

Plate =F= evidently conſiſts of two ſeparate paintings—one, where St.
Helena is reverently carrying the Croſs into Jeruſalem, whilſt the
angels in heaven are diſcourſing celeſtial muſic; and the other, its
reception either in Jeruſalem or Byzantium, whither St. Helena ſent
a portion as a preſent to her ſon. And this latter ſeems the more
probable, if we imagine the King, who, with St. Helena, is adoring the
Crucifix, to be the emperor Conſtantine, a fact which might have been
ſettled had the label been legible.

The legend at the bottom is unfortunately mutilated, but that evidently
relates to that portion of the Croſs which remained at Jeruſalem,
becauſe it ſpeaks of Choſroes: “HERE THE HOLE CROS WAS BROUGHTE
THE TYME OF (King Codſd)ROE.

[Illustration: G H]

Plates =G= and =H= repreſent the ſtory told in the Golden Legend, of
Heraclius bearing the Croſs into Jeruſalem, how the gate miraculouſly
cloſed, and an angel appeared in the heavens and reproved Heraclius for
riding in ſtate on the very ſpot where Jeſus had gone in all meekneſs,
and lowlineſs, to His paſſion. The legend is eraſed in parts, the
unmutilated portion reading, “AS THE NOBUL KYNGE ERACLYUS COM RYDYNG
WHERE Y^E....”

Naturally, the poſſesſion of a piece of the true Croſs would be
eſteemed as a moſt precious property. No matter how ſmall, it would
be reverentially encloſed in cryſtal and gold, and was more than a
preſent fit for an emperor or king, and we cannot marvel that ſmall
pieces were diſtributed all over Chriſtendom. Poſſibly ſome of the
relics ſhown as pieces of the very Croſs might not have been what they
were ſuppoſed to be, but it is hard to believe what John Calvin[K]
wrote about it:—

“And fyrſt of all let us begynne to ſpeake of his croſſe, whereupon
he was hanged. I know that it is holden for a certaintie that it was
founde of Heline the mother of Conſtantine the Romaine Emperour. I
knowe alſo what certaine Doctours have written touching the approbation
hereof, for to certifie that the croſſe which ſhe found was without
doute the ſelfe ſame on the whiche Ieſus Chriſt was hanged. Touchynge
all this I reporte me to the thynge it ſelfe, ſo much is there that
it was but a foliſh curioſitie of her, or at the leaſt a foliſhe and
unconſidered devotion. But yet put the caſe it had ben a worke worthy
of prayſe to her, for to have taken paynes to fynde the trewe croſſe,
and that our lord had then declared by myracle that it was his croſſe
which ſhe found; Yet let us onely conſider that which is of our time.
Every one doeth holde that this croſſe which Helene founde is yet at
Ieruſalem, and none doeth doute thereof. Although the Eccleſiaſticall
hiſtory againſt ſayeth the ſame notablye. For it is ther recited that
Helene toke one part thereof to ſend to the Emperour her ſonne, who put
the ſame at Conſtantinople upon a fyne pyller of Marble in the myddeſt
of the market. Of the other part, it is ſayde that ſhe did locke the
ſame in a copher of ſilver, and gave it to the Biſhop of Ieruſalem to
kepe. So then eyther we ſhall augment the hiſtorie of a lie or els that
which is holden at this daye of the true Croſſe, is but a vayne and
triflyng opinion.

[Sidenote: 51 _Blocks—billets_]

“Let us conſider on the other part howe many peeces there are thereof
throug out the worlde. Yf I would onely recite that whiche I coulde ſay
there woulde be a regiſter ſufficient to fyl a whole boke. There is not
ſo little a town where there is not ſome peece thereof, and that not
onelye in cathedrall churches, but alſo in ſome pariſhes. Likewiſe ther
is not ſo wicked an abbey where there is not of it to be ſhewed. And in
ſome places ther are good great ſhydes:[51] as at the holye chappell of
Paris, and at Poitiers & at Rome, where there is a great crucifix made
thereof as men ſaye. To be ſhort, yf a man woulde gather together all
that hath bene founde of this croſſe, there would be inough to fraighte
a great ſhip. The Goſpell teſtifieth that the croſſe myght be caried of
one man. What audacitie then was this to fyll the earth with pieces of
wod in ſuche quantitie, that thre hundred men can not cary them,” &c.

Calvin was full of zeal, and could not ſtoop to particulariſe. Witneſs
his aſſertion that the Croſs would freight a ſhip, and yet that three
hundred men could carry it. M. Rohault de Fleury has gone very minutely
into this matter. Knowing, from microſcopical examination, that
ſeveral of the relics of the Croſs were of pine, he accepts this wood
as his baſis, and, from its probable ſize, he deduces a weight of 100
kilogrammes, equal to about 240 Engliſh lbs.; and, taking the average
denſity of pine, he eſtimates that this would give 178 millions of
cubic millimetres. He then deſcribes all the known pieces in Europe,
Jeruſalem, and Mount Athos, with their meaſurements, and he puts the
outcome at 3,941,975 cubic millimetres; thus, according to his ſhewing,
there is but a very ſmall portion of the Holy Croſs in exiſtence. I
ſubjoin his liſt of the places in which pieces of the Croſs are known
to exiſt, as it is moſt intereſting, ſhowing the comparative bulk of
the pieces, in cubic millimetres:—

    Aix la Chapelle             150
    Amiens                    4,500
    Angers                    2,640
    Angleterre               30,516
    Arles                     8,000
    Arras                    10,314
    Athos (le Mont)         878,360
    Autun                        50
    Avignon                     220
    Baugé                   104,000
    Bernay                      375
    Beſançon                  1,000
    Bologne                  15,000
    Bonifacio                47,960
    Bordeaux                  3,420
    Bourbon l’Archambault    29,275
    Bourges                  22,275
    Bruxelles               516,090
    Chalmarques                 “
    Châlons                    200
    Chamirey                   605
    Chatillon                   ”
    Cheffes (Anjou)            100
    Chelles                     “
    Compiègne                1,896
    Conques                    108
    Cortone                  3,000
    Courtrai                   200
    Dijon                   33,091
    Donawert                12,000
    Faghine                     ”
    Florence                37,640
    Fumes                    5,250
    Gand                   436,450
    Gênes                   26,458
    Gramont                  5,000
    Jancourt (Aube)          3,500
    Jeruſalem                5,045
    Langres                    200
    Laon                        “
    Libourne                 3,000
    Lille                   15,112
    Limbourg               133,768
    Longpont                 1,136
    Lorris                      ”
    Lyon                     1,696
    Mâcon                    2,000
    Maeſtricht               10,000
    Marſeille                   150
    Milan                    1,920
    Montepulciano              500
    Naples                  10,000
    Nevers                     176
    Nuremberg                   “
    Padoue                      64
    Paris                  237,731
    Piſa                      8,175
    Poitiers                   870
    Pontigny                12,000
    Raguſe                  169,324
    Riel les Eaux              671
    Rome                   537,587
    Royaumont                   ”
    Saint Dié                   99
    Saint Florent              400
    Saint Quentin            5,000
    Saint Sepolcro             200
    Sens                    69,545
    Sienne                   1,680
    Tournai                  2,000
    Trèves                  18,000
    Troyes                     201
    Turin                    6,500
    Venice                 445,582
    Venloo                      “
    Walcourt                 2,000
    Wambach                     ”
        TOTAL            3,941,975

According to this table we are credited in England with 30,516 cubic
millimetres of the holy Croſs, and it is intereſting to know where
they are ſituated. M. Rohault de Fleury, writing in 1870, ſays there
were pieces at Isleworth; St. Gregory, Downſide, near Bath; in the
poſſesſion of Lord Petre; at Bergholt Eaſt, in Suffolk; at Plowden;
at the convent of St. Mary, York; at Weſt Grinſtead; at St. George’s,
Southwark; and Slindon, Suſſex.

Theſe pieces of the holy Croſs are not large, as the following table,
in cubic millimetres, ſhows:—

    At Isleworth                              1,000
     “ College of St. Gregory                 6,120
    Lord Petre (two relics)                   8,287
    At St. Mary, Bergholt Eaſt                1,008
     ” Plowden Hall, Salop                      262
     “ St. Mary, York (two relics)            5,600
     ” Weſt Grinſtead      “                      38
     ” St. George’s, Southwark (four relics)     63
     “ St. Richard, Slindon                   8,100
              TOTAL                          30,516

One relic at St. Mary’s Convent, York, is very fine; it is ornamented
with ſcroll-work of the tenth century, and bears three impreſſions of
the ſeal of the Vicar Capitular of the dioceſe of Saint Omer, 1657 to
1662. It is a pectoral croſs that is ſuppoſed to have belonged to the
patriarch Arnulph, who was with Robert, Duke of Normandy.

The other is ſuppoſed to have been attached to the above, and to have
belonged equally to Arnulph, patriarch of Jeruſalem. This is kept in a
ſilver reliquary, which alſo contains relics of SS. Ignatius Loyola and
François Xavier.

We ſee by the Golden Legend, that St. Helena, after finding the Croſs,
feeling certain that the nails were not far off, proſecuted a further
ſearch for them, and they were diſcovered “shynyng as gold.” As with
the faſhion of the Croſs, whether it was _immiſſa_ or _commiſſa_, there
is, and was, a controverſy with regard to the nails, whether three or

Boſius in his learned and exhauſtive book, _Crux Triumphans et
Glorioſa_,[L] gives ſeveral authorities for three nails only—foremoſt,
Gregory Nazianzen; but he does not give the paſſage where it may be
found; the quotation, however, is

                Γυμνὸν τρισήλῳ κείμενον ξύλῳ λαϐών,

“having taken from the three-nailed wood the dead (or hanging) body.”
Thus clearly ſhowing the number of nails he conſidered right.

Boſius then goes on to quote Apollinaris Laodicenus, who, in his
tragedy entitled _Chriſtus patiens_, called the holy Croſs by the ſame
words, τσισηλον ξυλω, “three-nailed wood”; and he alſo quotes from the
_Meditat. vitæ Chriſti_ of Bonaventura, “_Illi tres clavi ſuſtinent
totius corporis pondus_.” Nonnus, the Greek poet, writing in the fifth
century, alſo ſays that our Lord’s feet overlapped each other, and
were faſtened by only one large nail. So that there is a very fair
amount of antiquity in favour of three nails.

Againſt this theory may be quoted the authority of St. Cyprian,
St. Auguſtine, St. Gregory of Tours, Pope Innocent III., Rufinus,
Theodoret, and others, who ſay four nails were uſed in the Crucifixion
of our Saviour. The battle waged pictorially; but perhaps the earlieſt
known repreſentation of the Crucifixion, that found in the Cemetery of
St. Julian, Pope, or of St. Valentine in Via Flaminia at Rome, ought to
bear moſt weight. Our Saviour is repreſented as being clothed in a long
ſleeveleſs robe, which reaches to His ankles; the feet are ſeparate,
and are each nailed. It is ſaid that Cimabue was the firſt to paint
the feet overlapping, and one nail. His example, however, was much
followed, and hence the controverſy.

Of theſe nails, univerſal tradition ſays that St. Helena ſent two to
her ſon Conſtantine, and, as the Golden Legend has it, “the emperour
dyd do ſette them in hys brydel and in hys helme when he wente to
batayle.” One can underſtand one of theſe ſacred nails being worn
in the Emperour’s helmet as a preſage of victory and as a ſafeguard
againſt danger, but the utility of incorporating one of ſuch priceleſs
relics in a horſe’s bridle is not ſo eaſy to comprehend; but the
fathers of the Church, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Ambroſe, Theodoret,
and St. Gregory of Tours, recogniſe in it the fulfilment of the
prophecy of Zecharius, chap. xiv. 20: “In that day ſhall be upon the
bridles of the horſes, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.”

This bridle, or rather bit, is now ſaid to be in exiſtence in France
at Carpentras, department of Vaucluſe. How it got there is not clearly
known, but probably it was taken at the time of the Cruſades—as leaden
ſeals on which it is engraved exiſt, attached to parchments of the
dates 1226 and 1250, and it was mentioned in an inventory of relics in
the year 1322.

[Illustration: ^1 The iron crown of Lombardy. ^2 The holy bridle
at Carpentras. ^3 Nail at Venice. ^4 Nail at Rome in Sta. Maria in
Campitelli. ^5 Nail at Arras. ^6 Nail at Colle. ^7 Nail in the Church
of the Holy Croſs of Jeruſalem, at Rome. ^8 Portion of nail at Toul. ^9
Nail at Trèves.]

I have reproduced it, as well as the Iron Crown of Lombardy and the
nails, from M. Rohault de Fleury’s work, and, as will be ſeen, it is
undoubtedly of great antiquity, cloſely reſembling the bits of the

According to Boſius, who quotes Gregory Nazianzen, a third nail was
thrown by St. Helena into the Adriatic Sea, in order to calm a tempeſt;
and the ſame authority ſays that the fourth was depoſited in the head
of a ſtatue of Conſtantine, but this militates much againſt the number
of holy nails ſaid to be in exiſtence. Calvin notices this, and is down
upon it with ſledge-hammer force:—

“Yet there is a greater combat of the nayles. I wyll recite them only
that are come to my knowledge. Thereupon there is not ſo lytle a childe
but wyll judge that the Devyll hath to much deluded the worlde in
takyng from it both underſtandyng and reaſon, that it coulde diſcerne
nothynge in this matter. If the auncient writers ſaye trewe, and
namely Theodorite Hiſtoriographer of the auncient churche, Helene
cauſed one to be nayled on her ſonne’s helmet, the other two ſhe put
in his horſe bitte. How be it Sainct Ambroſe ſayeth not fully ſo. For
he ſayeth that one was put in Conſtantine’s crowne, of the other his
horſebit was made, and the thirde Helene kept. Wee ſe y^t already more
than twelve hundred yeres agone this hath bene in controverſie, to wit,
what was become of the nayles. What certentie can be had of them then
at this preſent time?

“Now at Millan they boſte that thei have y nayle that was put in
Conſtantine’s horſe bitte. To the whiche the towne of Carpentras
oppoſeth herſelfe, ſayinge that it is ſhe that hath it. Nowe S. Ambroſe
doth not ſaye that the nayle was knit to the bitte, but that the bitte
was made thereof. Whiche thynge can in no wyſe be made to agre eyther
w^t their ſaying of Milan or w^t theirs of Carpentras.

“Moreover there is one in Rome at Sainct Helenes; another alſo at
Sene, another at Veniſe. In Germany two: at Collyne one, at the three
Maries: another at Triers, one in Fraunce at the holy chappell of
Paris, another at y^e Carmes, one alſo at Sainct Denis in France: one
at Burges: one at Tenaill, one at Draguine.

“Beholde here fourteene, whereof account is made; in every place they
alledge good approbation for themſelves, as they ſuppoſe. And ſo it is
that everye one hath as good right as aunother. Wherefor there is no
better way then to make them all paſſe under one fidelium. That is to
ſaye, to repute all that they ſaye hereof to be but lyes, ſeying that
otherwiſe a man ſhoulde never come to an ende.”

What would Calvin have ſaid if he had ſeen the formidable liſt of holy
nails enumerated by Guiſto (or Juſtus) Fontanini, Archbiſhop of Ancyra?
which is as follows:—

     1. Aix la Chapelle.
     2. Ancona, in the Cathedral.
     3. Bamberg.
     4. In Bavaria, Convent of Audechſen.
     5. Carpentras. The Holy Bit.
     6. Catania, Sicily.
     7. Colle, in Tuſcany.
     8. Cologne.
     9. The Escurial in Spain.
    10. Milan.
    11. Monza. The Iron Crown.
    12. Naples. Monaſtery of S. Patricius.
    13. Nuremberg. Church of the Holy Virgin.
    14. Paris.
    15. Rome. Two Nails. Church of the Holy Croſs of Jeruſalem;
            Church of Santa Maria in Campitelli.
    16. Sienna. Hoſpital Sainte Marie de de l’Echelle.
    17. Spoleto.
    18. Torcello, near Venice. Church of S. Anthony.
    19. Torno, on the Lake of Como.
    20. Toul.
    21. Trèves.
    22. Venice. Three nails.
    23. Vienna.

But this liſt is further ſupplemented by M. Rohault de Fleury, who
gives ſix more:—

    1. Arras, according to M. le Chev. de Linas.
    2. Compiègne. A point.
    3. Cracow, in Poland, according to M. Goſſelin.
    4. Florence.
    5. Lagney.
    6. Troyes.

So that no leſs than twenty-nine towns claim the poſſesſion of
thirty-two nails, all differing in form, the number of which can only
be accounted for by the ſuppoſition that only a portion of the holy
nails has been incorporated into each of them.

[Illustration: _The Title of the Croſs._]

One of the moſt intereſting relics in connection with the holy nails is
the Iron Crown of Lombardy. This, as may be ſeen by reference to the
illuſtration (Fig. 1), is a circlet of gold, ornamented with precious
ſtones, and it is indebted for its name of “Iron” to a thin band (=A=)
of that metal, which is inſide the gold circlet. The Crown itſelf is of
very antique form, being even devoid of rays, and is too ſmall to go on
the head. Charlemagne was crowned with it in 774, and Napoleon did not
think himſelf King of Italy until he had placed this precious diadem
on his head, in 1805. It is kept at Monza, nine miles from Milan, in
the Cathedral, which is of great antiquity. There it repoſes in a huge
croſs placed over the altar.

Of the relics of the Croſs there now remains but two ſpecks of the
title or inſcription thereon, and here, again, I am indebted to M.
Rohault de Fleury for the illuſtration on page xciv., as it ſeems to me
to be the beſt yet publiſhed.

The Evangeliſts, although agreeing in the ſpirit of the inſcription,
vary as to the letter.

    Says St. Matthew: “This is Jeſus the King of the Jews.”
     “  St. Mark: ”The King of the Jews.“
     ”  St. Luke: “This is the King of the Jews.”
     “  St. John: ”Jeſus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.“

Neither St. Matthew nor St. Mark note the tri-lingual character, and
SS. Luke and John vary as to the order of the different languages; the
former ſaying it was in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew—the latter that it
was in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. The latter is the generally accepted
form, and the reaſon given is, that Hebrew, being the common language,
it would naturally come firſt, as we ſhould do in an Engliſh notice,
firſt in Engliſh, then, ſay in French and German, for the benefit of
foreigners, as were the Greeks and Romans in Jeruſalem.

The tradition is that, along with the Croſs, St. Helena found the
inſcription, and that ſhe ſent it, together with a piece of the Holy
Croſs and a number of other ſacred relics, to Rome, where it was
depoſited in the baſilica of Santa Croce. Here it remained until
Valentinian, fearing that it might fall into the hands of the Goths and
Huns, hid it in the wall of the building, until it was found in 1492.

Valentinian died A.D. 375, and Antoninus Martyr, in his _De Locis
Sanctis_ (sec. 20), written about A.D. 570, ſays he ſaw the inſcription
which had been placed on the Croſs, and that the words were, “Ieſus
Nazarenus Rex Iudæorum.” He ſays that he held it in his hand, and
kiſſed it, in the Church of Conſtantine at _Jeruſalem_. Hence it is
evident that either tradition is incorrect, or that Antoninus did not
tell the truth.

But the claim is that it is, and always has been, in Rome, and Boſius,
in his _Crux Triumphans_ (p. 60), gives an account of its re-diſcovery.
He ſays that in February, 1492, Monſeigneur Pedro Gonſalvo de Mendoza,
Cardinal Sanctæ Crucis, was repairing and cleanſing his church, and on
the firſt day of that month, when the workmen reached the top of the
arch which was in the middle of the baſilica, and near the roof, they
ſaw two ſmall columns; and finding a ſpace, they diſcovered a niche
in which they found a leaden box, well cloſed, and on its lid was a
tablet of marble, on which were engraved theſe words: HIC EST TITVLVS
VERÆ CRUCIS. In this box was found a little board, about a hand’s
breadth and a half, much corroded on one ſide by time, and bearing, in
grooved, engraved characters, which were coloured red, the following
inſcription: IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDÆORVM. But the word IVDÆORVM was
not entire, the laſt two letters VM having crumbled to pieces by reaſon
of old age. The firſt line was written in Latin characters, the ſecond
in Greek, and the third in Hebrew.

All the city went to ſee it; and three days afterwards, Pope Innocent
went alſo, and ordered the relic to be preſerved in its box, and
covered with a ſheet of glaſs. Every one was convinced that they had
before their eyes the inſcription which Pilate placed upon the Croſs
over our Saviour’s head, and which Saint Helena had depoſited in the
church at the time of its building.

The relic, as now ſeen, is very worm-eaten, but the letters are ſtill
viſible, and have been cut with a ſmall gouge. They read from right
to left, as Hebrew does, thus lending great plauſibility to the idea
that it was done by ſome Jewiſh artificers; and it ſeems to be of ſome
cloſe-grained wood. Taking the piece now at Santa Croce, the whole
inſcription, if reſtored, would be thus:

[Illustration: _The Inſcription at Santa Croce, reſtored._]




_Notes on the Woodcuts._


THE Hiſtory of the Legend of the Holy Croſs which is here reproduced,
is ſomewhat fuller than the Golden Legend of Caxton, there being
particulars about Moſes, David, and Solomon not to be found therein;
but they may be found in other verſions of the Legend, ſome in the
Latin of Jacobus de Voragine, others in two MSS. in the Britiſh

The engravings are taken from a very rare book, of which, as far as
is known, there are but three copies in exiſtence: one is in the
Royal Library at Bruſſels, another at the Hague, in the collection of
Mr. Schinkel, and the third is in the poſſesſion of Lord Spencer at
Althorp. It is from this book that theſe fac-similes (made by M. J. Ph.
Berjeau) were taken. The book itſelf has one woodcut on each page, with
a verſe in Dutch, at the bottom, explanatory of each engraving. It is
called indifferently _Hiſtoria Sanctæ Crucis_ or _Boec van den houte_
(Book of the wood or tree).

It was printed at Kuilenburg on March 6th, 1483, by John Veldener,[N]
who had juſt removed from Louvain. Theſe ſixty-four engravings were
originally on thirty-two blocks,[O] and evidently belonged to ſome much
older block book, now loſt. Theſe, Veldener cut in half, as he had
already treated a _Speculum_, and brought them out as a freſh book.

The Legend as told by theſe engravings is as follows:—

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 1._]

[Sidenote: _No. 2._]

[Sidenote: _No. 3._]

[Sidenote: _No. 4._]

[Sidenote: _No. 5._]

[Sidenote: _No. 6._]

[Sidenote: _Nos. 7, 8._]

Adam, feeling himſelf about to die, ſent Seth to Paradiſe to beg for
ſome of the oil of mercy,[1] which, however, the Archangel Michael
refuſed to give him, but, inſtead, preſented him with three ſeeds of
the tree of life.[2] On his return, he found Adam dead, and, being
unable to adminiſter theſe ſeeds to his father in any other manner,
he put them under his tongue, and then buried him.[3] Preſently theſe
ſeeds germinated and ſhot through the ground, and are traditionally
ſaid to have been a cedar, a cypreſs, and a pine.[4] They grew until
Moſes had led the Israelites out of Egypt, when he found them in the
Valley of Hebron, and he recognized them as typifying the Trinity. He
removed them, and they were his conſtant companions.[5] With them he
ſmote the rock, and the waters guſhed out,[6] and the bitter waters of
Marah became ſweet.[7, 8]

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 9._]

[Sidenote: _No. 10._]

[Sidenote: _No. 11._]

[Sidenote: _No. 12._]

[Sidenote: _No. 13._]

He then planted them in the land of Moab,[9] and there they remained,
until an angelic viſion appeared unto David, and commanded him to go,
and take them up, and bring them to Jeruſalem.[10] On his return the
three rods worked miracles, healing the ſick,[11] and the leprous,
with a touch;[12] nay, more, on being applied to three black men, they
inſtantly became white.[13]

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 14._]

[Sidenote: _No. 15._]

[Sidenote: _No. 16._]

[Sidenote: _No. 17._]

Arrived at Jeruſalem, they wiſhed to plant them, but for the night
they left them in a ciſtern, by the Tower of David,[14] and lo!
during the night, they ſtruck root, and, entwining themſelves, became
but one ſtem,[15] which, when David ſaw, he had a wall built round
it.[16] And the tree grew for thirty years, David ornamenting it with
rings of ſapphire and other precious ſtones, adding one for every
year, and under this tree he compoſed the Psalms, and praiſed God

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 18._]

[Sidenote: _No. 19._]

[Sidenote: _No. 20._]

[Sidenote: _No. 21._]

[Sidenote: _No. 22._]

[Sidenote: _No. 23._]

But Solomon, who muſt needs have all that was rare and coſtly to adorn
his temple, caſt his eyes upon this precious tree, and ordered it to
be cut down.[18] It was duly felled, and ſquared, and trimmed, and it
meaſured thirty cubits in length.[19] But when the carpenters came
to put it into a place of that length, it was a cubit too ſhort, and
when it was fitted into a place of twenty-nine cubits, lo! it meaſured
thirty, and the carpenters marvelled much, and were greatly aſtoniſhed,
and ſo, being uſeleſs, it was laid aſide.[20] Yet the people came to
ſee this wonderful tree, and amongſt them was a maid named Maximilla,
who ſat down upon it, and inſtantly her clothes were in a blaze.[21]
Then ſhe began to lift up her voice, and propheſy, crying, “My God, and
my Lord Jeſu Chriſt.”[22] Then the Jews took her, and ſcourged her to

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 24._]

[Sidenote: _No. 25._]

[Sidenote: _No. 26._]

[Sidenote: _No. 27._]

[Sidenote: _No. 28._]

[Sidenote: _No. 29._]

[Sidenote: _No. 30._]

The Jews, not knowing what to do with this miraculous tree, laid it
acroſs a brook,[24] and, when the Queen of Sheba came to viſit Solomon,
ſhe recognized the virtue of the wood; and, refuſing to defile it
with her feet, ſhe diſmounted, and adored it, and waded through the
brook.[25] Then, when ſhe met Solomon, ſhe reproved him, and told him
that on that tree would the Saviour of the world ſuffer death.[26] And
Solomon commanded the holy wood to be taken up,[27] and cauſed it to
be carried into the Temple, there to be placed over the door, ſo that
all men might bleſs, and adore it, and he coated it over with gold and
ſilver.[28] There it remained until Abias ſtripped it of its coſtly
coverings,[29] and the Jews buried it deep in the earth.[30]

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 31._]

[Sidenote: _No. 32._]

There it remained for many years, until the Jews wiſhed to make a pool,
where the prieſts might waſh the beaſts, to purify them, previous to
ſacrificing them, and, unknowingly, they dug over the burial-place of
the Holy Croſs.[31] This imparted ſuch a virtue to the water of that
pool, which was called Betheſda, that the ſick were healed thereat, and
an angel at times deſcended from heaven, and ſtirred the waters, and
then whoever could get firſt into the waters was ſtraightway healed of
any infirmity he might have.[32]

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 33._]

[Sidenote: _No. 34._]

[Sidenote: _No. 35._]

[Sidenote: _No. 36._]

We now come to the Crucifixion, and there was a lack of wood to make
Chriſt’s croſs—when, ſuddenly, from the depths of Betheſda, leaped up
the tree of the Croſs, and floated gently to land. One ran to the High
Prieſt,[33] and told him of the timely find of ſuitable wood, and he at
once gave orders for it to be faſhioned into a Croſs.[34] Then comes
the mournful proceſſion to Calvary, with our Saviour fainting under the
weight of the Croſs, and Simon the Cyrenean is preſſed into the ſervice
to help Jeſus.[35] And then the Crucifixion.[36]

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 37._]

[Sidenote: _No. 38._]

[Sidenote: _No. 39._]

[Sidenote: _No. 40._]

[Sidenote: _No. 41._]

[Sidenote: _No. 42._]

[Sidenote: _No. 43._]

[Sidenote: _No. 44._]

And whilſt the croſſes were ſtill ſtanding, the diſciples came to
them and prayed, and many were healed of their infirmities, and many
devils were caſt out.[37] This ſo angered the Jews that they took the
croſſes down, and buried them,[38] and there they remained until their
invention by St. Helena, A.D. 326. On her arrival at Jeruſalem,[39] ſhe
convened a meeting of the principal Jews, and they denied all knowledge
of it, but, on threat of being burnt, they ſaid that one of their
number, named Judas, knew where the croſſes were buried.[40] Judas,
however, refuſed to tell, and, to compel him to impart his knowledge,
St. Helena had him lowered into a dry well, “and there tormented hym
by hongre and evyl reſte.”[41] Seven days of this treatment made him
ſubmiſſive, and at the end of that time he capitulated. He was then
drawn up,[42] and prayed to God to direct him to the right ſpot.[43]
His prayer was heard, and after ſome digging, the croſſes were

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 45._]

[Sidenote: _No. 46._]

[Sidenote: _No. 47._]

[Sidenote: _No. 48._]

[Sidenote: _No. 49._]

[Sidenote: _No. 50._]

The news was brought to St. Helena, who viſited the ſpot,[45] but
although there were certainly three croſſes, no one knew which was the
one upon which Jeſus ſuffered. A teſt, however, was applied, which
proved to be ſatiſfactory. The body of a maid was being borne on a bier
for burial, but the funeral proceſſion was ſtopped, and the body was
touched by the different croſſes. The two firſt produced no effect,[46]
but when the third touched the dead maiden, ſhe was at once reſtored
to life.[47] Here, then, was proof poſitive; this was the very Croſs;
and St. Helena, mindful of her ſon Conſtantine, divided the ſacred
wood; part ſhe encloſed in a caſe of precious metal, and kept at
Jeruſalem;[48] and part ſhe ſent to her ſon, at Byzantium, who received
it with due reverence,[49] and depoſited it in the church, with great

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 51._]

Here it remained, until it was taken away, with other ſpoil, by
Choſroes, the King of Perſia, who, aware of the ſanctity of the relic,
had it placed on the right hand of his throne. He was ſo puffed up with
pride, that he ordered himſelf to be adored. His people, hitherto,
had worſhipped the ſun, but now he ordained that henceforth he was to
be conſidered the principal Perſon in the Trinity (the Father), and
that the relic of the Croſs was to be looked upon as the Son, whilſt a
golden cock which he had made was to repreſent the Holy Ghoſt.[51]

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 52._]

[Sidenote: _No. 53._]

[Sidenote: _No. 54._]

Then Heraclius made war againſt Choſroes, and meeting with a Perſian
army under one of the ſons of that monarch, it was agreed that, in
order to prevent a uſeleſs effuſion of blood, the two commanders
ſhould fight it out between them, and whoever was vanquiſhed ſhould
ſubmit.[52] The duel was fought on a bridge over the Danube, and
Heraclius vanquiſhed and killed the ſon of Choſroes.[53] The Perſian
army then made their ſubmiſſion,[54] and the penance impoſed upon them
by the conqueror was that they ſhould all be baptized, which was duly

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 55._]

[Sidenote: _No. 56._]

[Sidenote: _No. 57._]

[Sidenote: _No. 58._]

[Sidenote: _No. 59._]

[Sidenote: _No. 60._]

[Sidenote: _No. 61._]

[Sidenote: _No. 62._]

Heraclius then went to Choſroes, and told him what he had done,
offering him his life if he too would embrace Chriſtianity,[55] but
the Perſian monarch refuſed, and Heraclius ſmote off his head.[56] He
then crowned a ſon of Choſroes, and cauſed him to be baptized,[57]
himſelf ſtanding ſponſor, and buried the ſlain king with befitting
honours.[58] Then, taking poſſesſion of the holy relic,[59] he ſet out
with it for Jeruſalem. But, as he was bearing it in great ſtate, he
came to that gate of the City through which Jeſus went to His paſſion,
worn, buffeted, ſcorned, and weary, carrying the heavy burden of His
croſs. And ſuddenly the gateway became ſolid maſonry, ſo that he could
not paſs through, and an angel appeared in the heavens, and reproved
him for his oſtentatious diſplay in a place which his Saviour had
previouſly trodden in ſuch deep humility.[60] Heraclius diſmounted
from his horſe, and, ſtripping himſelf of all the trappings of royalty,
barefoot, and in his ſhirt,[61] he meekly bore the Croſs to its
appointed place,[62] the maſonry diſappearing as ſoon as he had humbled

[Sidenote: _Woodcut No. 63._]

[Sidenote: _No. 64._]

A piece of the Croſs was afterwards ſent to Rome, where it duly arrived
after a very ſtormy voyage,[63] and it was there preſerved for the
adoration of the faithful.[64]

                                                JOHN ASHTON.



[A] “And for as moche as this ſayd worke was grete & over chargeable to
me taccompliſſhe, I feryd me in the begynnynge of the tranſlacion to
have contynued it / bycauſe of the longe tyme of the tranſlacion / &
alſo in thenpryntyng of y^e ſame and in maner halfe deſperate to have
accompliſſd it / was in purpoſe to have lefte it / after that I had
begonne to tranſlate it / & to have layed it aparte ne had it be(en)
at thynſtance & requeſte of the puyſſant noble & vertuous erle my lord
wyllyam erle of arondel / whych deſyred me to procede & contynue the
ſaid werke / & promyſed me to take a reſonable quantyte of them when
they were acheyeued & accompliſſhed / and ſente to me a worſhypful
gentylman a ſervaunt of his named John Stanney which ſolycyted me in
my Lordes name that I ſhold in no wyſe leve it but accompliſſhe it
promyſyng that my ſayd lord ſhold duringe my lyf geve & graunt to me a
yerely fee / that is to wete a bucke in ſommer / & a doo in Wynter /
with whiche fee I holde me wel contente,” &c.


[Sidenote: _Length of Adam’s life._]

This apparently long life of Adam is admitted on all hands, even in the
Reviſed Verſion of the Bible. The Talmud ſays that God promiſed him one
thouſand years of life, and it is recorded that he begat Seth when he
was a hundred and thirty years old. On this the Talmud (_Eruvin_, fol.
18, col. 2) has the following comment: “Rav Yirmyah ben Elazer ſaid:
All thoſe years, which Adam ſpent in alienation from God, he begat evil
ſpirits, demons, and fairies; for it is ſaid, ‘And Adam was an hundred
and thirty years, and begat a ſon in his own likeneſs, after his
image’; conſequently, before that time, he begat after another image.”

This term of one hundred and thirty years ſeems to have been a period
in Adam’s exiſtence, for we again find (_Eruvin_, fol. 18 b.): “Adam
was a Chaſid, or great ſaint, when he obſerved that the decree of death
was occaſioned by him; he _faſted_ a hundred and thirty years, and all
this time he abſtained from intercourſe with his wife.”

[Sidenote: _Talmud legends reſpecting Adam’s length of life._]

There is a Talmudical tradition that God ſhowed the future to Adam
(Avoth d’Rab. Nathan, chap. 31): “The Holy One—bleſſed be He!—shewed
unto Adam each generation, and its preachers, its guardians, its
leaders, its prophets, its heroes, its ſinners, and its ſaints, ſaying,
‘In ſuch and ſuch a generation ſuch and ſuch a _King_ ſhall reign, in
ſuch and ſuch a generation ſuch and ſuch a wife man ſhall teach.’” This
is amplified in Midraſh Yalkut (fol. 12), where it is ſaid that God
ſhowed Adam all future generations of men, with their leaders, learned
and literary men, and there he obſerved that David was credited with
only three hours of life, and he ſaid, “Lord and Creator of the world,
is this unalterable?” “Such was my firſt intention,” was the reply.
“How many years have I to live?” aſked Adam. “One thouſand.” Then Adam
ſaid, “I will lend him ſome of my years.” And a document was drawn up
whereby Adam tranſferred ſeventy years of his life to David.

S. Baring-Gould, in his legends of _Old Teſtament Characters_, vol
i. p. 77, referring to a Muſſulman legend, ſays: “Finally, when Adam
reached his nine hundred and thirtieth year, the Angel of Death
appeared under the form of a goat, and ran between his legs.

“Adam recoiled with horror, and exclaimed, ‘God has given me one
thouſand years; wherefore comeſt thou now?’

“‘What!’ exclaimed the Angel of Death, ‘haſt thou not given ſeventy
years of thy life to the prophet David?’

“Adam ſtoutly denied that he had done ſo. Then the Angel of Death drew
the document of tranſfer from out of his beard, and preſented it to
Adam, who could no longer refuſe to go.”

[C] The Feſtival of the Invention, or finding of the Croſs, is kept in
the Roman and Engliſh Churches on May 3.

[D] Piſcina, a fiſh-pond: _Lat_. In this inſtance it is ſuppoſed to be
the Pool of Betheſda.

[E] Nicodemus, chap. 14:—

[Sidenote: _v._ 1.]

But when the firſt man our father Adam heard theſe things, that Jeſus
was baptized in Jordan, he called out to his ſon Seth, and ſaid,

[Sidenote: _v._ 2.]

Declare to your ſons, the patriarchs and prophets, all thoſe things
which thou didſt hear from Michael the Archangel, when I ſent thee to
the gates of Paradiſe to entreat God that he would anoint my head when
I was ſick.

[Sidenote: _v._ 3]

Then Seth, coming near to the patriarchs and prophets, ſaid: I, Seth,
when I was praying to God at the gates of Paradiſe, beheld the angel of
the Lord, Michael, appear unto me, ſaying, I am ſent unto thee from the
Lord; I am appointed to preſide over human bodies.

[Sidenote: _v._ 4.]

I tell thee, Seth, do not pray to God in tears, and entreat him for the
oil of the tree of mercy, wherewith to anoint thy father Adam for his

[Sidenote: _v._ 5.]

Becauſe thou canſt not by any means obtain it till the laſt day and
times, namely, till five thouſand and five hundred years be paſt.

[Sidenote: _v._ 6.]

Then will Chriſt, the moſt merciful Son of God, come on earth to raiſe
again the human body of Adam, and at the ſame time to raiſe the bodies
of the dead, and when he cometh he will be baptized in Jordan;

[Sidenote: _v._ 7.]

Then with the oil of his mercy he will anoint all thoſe that believe on
him; and the oil of his mercy will continue to future generations, for
thoſe who ſhall be born of the water and the Holy Ghoſt unto eternal

[Sidenote: _v._ 8.]

And when at that time the moſt merciful Son of God, Chriſt Jeſus, ſhall
come down on earth, he will introduce our father Adam into Paradiſe, to
the tree of mercy.

[Sidenote: _v._ 9.]

When all the patriarchs and prophets heard all theſe things from Seth,
they rejoiced more.

[F] Alban Butler, in _The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and
other Principal Saints_, denies that St. Helena was an Innholder
(_Stabularia_) in Bithynia, when Conſtantius married her, and ſays: “We
are aſſured by the unanimous tradition of our Engliſh hiſtorians that
this holy empreſs was a native of our iſland. William of Malmeſbury,
the principal hiſtorian of the ancient ſtate of our country after Bede,
and before him, the Saxon author of the life of St. Helen, in 970,
quoted by Usher, expreſſly ſay that Conſtantine was a Briton by birth.”
Leland, in his _Commentarii de Scriptoribus Britannicis_, ſays that St.
Helena was the only daughter of King Coilus, the King Cöol who firſt
built walls round Colcheſter, and the Engliſh Church has generally
recogniſed her Britiſh origin. Her feſtival is kept on Auguſt 18.

When her huſband, Conſtantine Chlorus, entered into an arrangement with
Diocletian, by which he had the countries this ſide the Alps, namely,
Gaul and Britain, he was obliged, as part of the bargain, to divorce
St. Helena, and marry Theodora, the daughter-in-law of Maximinianus.
According to Euſebius, ſhe was not converted to Chriſtianity at the
ſame time as her ſon Conſtantine, who, when he came to the throne,
paid her the greateſt deference, and gave her the title of Auguſta,
or empreſs. After the Council of Nice, in 325, he wrote to Macarius,
Biſhop of Jeruſalem, concerning the building of a ſplendid church upon
Mount Calvary, and St. Helena, although ſhe was then 79 years of age,
undertook to ſee it carried out.

It was then that the reputed Invention of the Croſs, together with the
nails, took place, and ſhe ſoon afterwards died, but the exact year is
uncertain, ſome authorities giving A.D. 326, others 328.

[G] Other accounts ſay the Croſſes were found by Macarius, then Biſhop
of Jeruſalem.

[H] The book of the office of Mithras or Mithra, the Sun, worſhipped by
the Perſians.

[I] Heraclius, Emperor of the Eaſt, who from A.D. 622 to 627 fought
Choſroes II., defeated him, and concluded peace.

[J] St. Equitius was a hermit, and looked after the welfare of other
hermits and monks. He took a ſpecial intereſt in a convent of young
virgins; died about A.D. 540.

[K] I quote from the tranſlation by Steven Withers, 1561.

[L] From this book I have taken the head and tail piece here given.—J.

[M] Arundel, No. 507, and Add. MSS. 6524.

[N] His life and labours may be read in Mr. Hottrop’s _Monuments
Typographiques des Pays-bas_—.

[O] See _The Woodcutters of the Netherlands in the 15th Century_, by W.
M. Conway, and an article by him in the _Bibliographer_ of May, 1883,
p. 32.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: 1

_Adam ſends Seth to Paradiſe for ſome of the Oil of Mercy._]

[Illustration: 2

_The Archangel Michael gives Seth three ſeeds of the Tree of Life._]

[Illustration: 3

_Seth buries Adam and puts the three ſeeds of the Tree of Life under
his tongue._]

[Illustration: 4

_The three ſeeds ſpring up._]

[Illustration: 5

_Moſes always has the three rods with him._]

[Illustration: 6

_With them he makes water flow from the Rock._]

[Illustration: 7

_An Angel tells Moſes how to ſweeten the bitter waters._]

[Illustration: 8

_Moſes, by dipping the rods in the waters of Marah, ſweetens them._]

[Illustration: 9

_Moſes plants the rods in the land of Moab._]

[Illustration: 10

_An Angel appears to David and tells him to bring the rods to

[Illustration: 11

_The rods heal the ſick._]

[Illustration: 12

_The rods heal a leper._]

[Illustration: 13

_The rods turn three black men white._]

[Illustration: 14

_David leaves the rods for the night._]

[Illustration: 15

_In the morning he finds the rods have taken root and have become one

[Illustration: 16

_David builds a wall round the miraculous tree._]

[Illustration: 17

_David compoſes the Pſalms and praiſes God, under the ſhadow of the

[Illustration: 18

Solomon orders the tree to be cut down and uſed in the Temple.]

[Illustration: 19

_Artificers faſhion the tree._]

[Illustration: 20

_The holy wood will fit nowhere._]

[Illustration: 21

_St. Maximilla ſitting on the wood, her clothes catch alight._]

[Illustration: 22

_St. Maximilla propheſies concerning the wood._]

[Illustration: 23

_St. Maximilla ſcourged to death._]

[Illustration: 24

_The wood uſed as a foot-bridge over a brook._]

[Illustration: 25

_The Queen of Sheba prefers wading through the brook, to walking over
the holy wood._]

[Illustration: 26

_The Queen of Sheba tells Solomon of the holy nature of the wood._]

[Illustration: 27

_The holy wood is taken up._]

[Illustration: 28

_The holy wood is carried into the Temple._]

[Illustration: 29

_Abias deſpoils the holy wood of its precious covering._]

[Illustration: 30

_The Jews bury the holy wood._]

[Illustration: 31

_Digging the Pool of Betheſda._]

[Illustration: 32

_The ſick being healed at the Pool of Betheſda._]

[Illustration: 33

_The High Prieſt told of the diſcovery of the holy wood._]

[Illustration: 34

_The holy wood is made into the Croſs._]

[Illustration: 35

_Chriſt bearing the Croſs._]

[Illustration: 36

_The Crucifixion._]

[Illustration: 37

_Diſciples adore the Croſs, the ſick are healed, and devils caſt out._]

[Illustration: 38

_The Jews bury the Croſſes._]

[Illustration: 39

_St. Helena comes to Jeruſalem._]

[Illustration: 40

_St. Helena calls together the Chief Jews._]

[Illustration: 41

_Judas is put into a dry well._]

[Illustration: 42

_Judas is liberated from confinement._]

[Illustration: 43

_Judas prays for Divine direction._]

[Illustration: 44

_The Croſſes are diſcovered._]

[Illustration: 45

_St. Helena views the Croſſes._]

[Illustration: 46

_Trial of the true Croſs._]

[Illustration: 47

_A dead maiden raiſed to life by being touched by the true Croſs._]

[Illustration: 48

_St. Helena depoſits a portion of the Croſs in Jeruſalem._]

[Illustration: 49

_St. Helena gives a portion of the Croſs to Conſtantine._]

[Illustration: 50

_Conſtantine depoſits his portion of the Croſs in Byzantium._]

[Illustration: 51

_Choſroes commands his people to adore him._]

[Illustration: 52

_Meeting of Heraclius and Choſroes’ ſon._]

[Illustration: 53

_Heraclius fights the ſon of Choſroes and kills him._]

[Illustration: 54

_The Perſian army ſubmit to Heraclius._]

[Illustration: 55

_Heraclius viſits Choſroes._]

[Illustration: 56

_Heraclius kills Choſroes._]

[Illustration: 57

_Heraclius crowns and baptizes the ſon of Choſroes._]

[Illustration: 58

_Burial of Choſroes._]

[Illustration: 59

_Heraclius takes poſſesſion of the relic of the Croſs._]

[Illustration: 60

_Heraclius, attempting to enter Jeruſalem, is miraculouſly prevented,
and is reproved by an angel._]

[Illustration: 61

_Heraclius diveſts himſelf of ſtate._]

[Illustration: 62

_Heraclius places the relic of the Croſs in its appointed place._]

[Illustration: 63

_A portion of the Croſs is ſent to Rome, the veſſel bearing it meeting
with a ſtorm._]

[Illustration: 64

_The relic of the Croſs expoſed for adoration._]

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Edits made:

Page ix, number added to sidenote (2 _Hadrian is said to_)

Page xxii, number added to sidenote (7 _Of old._)

Page xxxvii, anchor for sidenote [28] added to text (torne thys

Page lii, anchor for sidenote [39] added to text. (had been peasyd[39])

Page lxxvii and following, the totals were removed until the final one.
Each page ended with a total, such as:

    Chalmarques                 "
        Carried forward   1,674,145

The following page began with something similar to:

       Brought forward   1,674,145
    Châlons                    200

Page cii and following, the sidenotes listing the woodcut numbers were
originally formed with the first sidenote of each page including the
word _Woodcut_. As this sometimes landed in the middle of paragraphs
and the notes were moved to the start of paragraphs, the form was
changed to listing the word _Woodcut_ in the first sidenote of each
paragraph instead of each page.

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