1 Esdras 3

1 Kyng Darius made a gret soper to alle his seruauntis, and to alle the maister iuges of Medes and of Persis,

2 and to alle that wereden purpre, and to gouernours, and to counselers, and to prefectis vndir him, fro Ynde vn to Ethiope, to an hundrid and seuen and twenty prouyncis.

3 And whanne thei hadden eten and drunken, and weren fulfillid, thei turneden ayen. Thanne kyng Darius stiede vp in his litil bed place, and slepte, and was waken.

4 Thanne thilke thre younge men, kepers of the bodi, the whiche kepten the bodi of the kyng, seiden oon to an oother,

5 Sey we ech of us a word, that bifore passe in kunnyng; and whos euer word seme wiser than of an oother, kyng Darius schal yiue to him grete yiftis,

6 and to be kouered with purpre, and to drynke in gold, and to slepe upon gold; and he schal yiue him a golden chare, with the bridil, and a mytre of bijs, and a bie aboute the necke;

7 and he schal sitte in the secounde place fro Darius, for his wisdom; and he schal be clepid Daryus cosyn.

8 Thanne ech of hem thre writinge his word, seleden, and putten tho vndir the pelewe of kyng Daryus;

9 and seiden, Whanne the king hath risen, thei wil take to him her thingis writen, and what euer thing the kyng shall deme of thre, and the maistir iuges of Persis, forsothe the word of him is wiser than of the othere, to him schal be youen the victorie, as it is writen.

10 Oon wrot, Wyn is strong.

11 An oother wrot, The kyng is strenger.

12 The thridde wrot, Wymmen ben strengiste; treuthe ouercomith forsothe ouer alle thingis.

13 And whanne the kyng had resen up, thei token her thingis writen, and youen tho to him, and he radde.

14 And he sende and clepede alle the maistre iuges of Persis, and of the lond Medis, and the clothid men in purpre, and the rewlers of prouynces, and prefectis;

15 and thei seten in counsel, and the writingis weren red bifore hem.

16 And the kyng seide, Clepeth the younge men, and thei schul schewe her wordis. And thei weren clepid, and thei camen yn.

17 And Darius seide to hem, Schewe ye to us of thes thingis that ben writen. And the firste, that had seid of the strengthe of wyn, he biganne, and seide to hem, Men!

18 ful passynge strong is wyn; to alle men that drynken it it berith doun the mynde; also it makith the mynde veyn,

19 bothe of kyng and of the fadirles child; also of seruaunt and of fre men, of pore and of riche; and it turnith al the mynde in to sikirnesse,

20 and to gladnesse; and it remembrith not ony serewe and dette;

21 and it makith alle the entrailes honest; and it remembrith not kyng, ne maistir iuge; and alle thingis it makith speke bi talent;

22 and whanne thei han drunken, thei remembren not frendschip ne brotherhed, and not longe aftir thei taken swerdis;

23 and whanne thei han be drowned of wyn, and rijsen, thei han no mynde what thinges thei diden.

24 O men! whether wyn is not passyngly strong, that thus constreynith men to do? And this thing seid, he hilde his pes.