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SECUNDUS:  text is taken from Caxton's English version of the Golden Legend (Ellis edition)

Life of S. Seconde, Knight

Here beginneth the Life of S. Seconde, Knight.

S. Seconde was a noble and valiant knight and glorious martyr of our Lord Jesu Christ, and suffered his passion and was crowned with the palm of martyrdom in city of Astence. By whose glorious presence the said city was embellished, and for a singular patron ennobled. And this holy man Seconde was informed in the faith of the blessed man Calocerus, which was holden in prison by the provost Saprice in the said city of Astence. And when Marcianus was holden in prison in the city of Tredonence, Saprice the provost would go thither for to make him to sacrifice, and S. Seconde much desiring to see S. Marcian, went with him as it had been because of solace. And anon as they were out of the city of Astence a white dove descended upon S. Seconde's head, to whom Saprice said: See, Seconde, how our gods love thee, which send birds from heaven to visit thee. And when they came to the river of Tanaro, S. Seconde saw the angel of God going upon the flood and saying to him: Seconde, see that thou hast firm faith, and thus shalt thou go above them that worship idols. Then Saprice said: Brother Seconde, I hear the gods speaking to thee, to whom Seconde said: Let us walk unto the desires of our heart. And when they came to another flood that hight Burin, that same angel aforesaid said: Seconde believest thou in God or peradventure thou doubtest? To whom Seconde said: I believe verily the truth of his passion. Then said Saprice: What is that I hear? and Seconde said nothing. When they should enter into Tredonence, by the commandment of the angel, Marcianus issued out of prison and appeared to Seconde, saying: Seconde, enter into the way of truth and receive the victory of faith. Saprice said: Who is he that speaketh to us as it were in a dream? To whom Seconde said: It may be well to thee a dream, but to me it is admonition and a comfort. After this, Seconde went to Milan, and the angel of God brought Faustin and Jonathan, which were holden in prison, out of the city to Seconde, and of them he received baptism and a cloud ministered water for to baptize him with. And suddenly a dove descended from heaven, bringing unto Faustin and Jonathan the blessed sacrament, and Faustin delivered it to Seconde for to bear it to Marcian. Then Seconde returned when it was night, and went to the river named Pade, and the angel of our Lord took the bridle of the horse and led him over the river, and led him unto Tredonence, and set him in the prison where Marcian was. And Seconde delivered to Marcian the gift that Faustin had sent to him, and receiving it said: The blessed body of our Lord Jesu Christ be with me into everlasting life. Then, by the commandment of the angel, Seconde went out of prison and went unto his lodging. After this Marcian received sentence to have his head smitten off, and so it was done. And then Seconde took his body and buried it. And when Saprice heard thereof he did do call Seconde to him and said: By this that I see thee do, I see well that thou art a christian man. To whom Seconde said: Verily I knowledge me to be a christian man; then Saprice said: Lo! how desirest thou to die an evil death? To whom Seconde said: That death is more due to thee than to me; and when Seconde would not sacrifice to the idols he commanded him to be despoiled all naked, and anon the angel of God was ready, and clad him in a better clothing than he had tofore. Then Saprice commanded him to be hanged on an instrument named eculeus, of which two ends stand on the ground, and two upward like S. Andrew's cross, and thereon he was hanged till his arms were out of joint, but our Lord restored him anon to health. And then he was commanded to go in to prison, and when he was there the angel of our Lord came to him and said: Arise, Seconde, and follow me and I shall lead thee to thy maker. And he led him from thence unto the city of Astence, and brought him into the prison where Calocerus was, and our blessed Saviour with him. And when Seconde saw him he fell down at his feet, and our Saviour said to him: Be not afeard, Seconde, for I am thy Lord God that shall keep thee from all evil. And then he, blessing him, ascended to heaven. On the morn Saprice sent unto the prison which they found fast shut, but they found not Seconde. Then Saprice went from Tredonence the city unto Astence for to punish Calocerus, and when he was come he sent for him to be presented tofore him, and they said to him that Seconde was with him, and anon he commanded that they should be brought tofore him, to whom he said: Because that my gods know you to be despisers of them, they will that ye both die together. And, because they would not do sacrifice to his gods, he did do melt pitch and rosin, and commanded it to be cast upon their heads and in their mouths. They drank it with great desire, as it had been most sweetest water, and said with a clear voice: O Lord how thy words be sweet in our mouths. Then Saprice gave upon them sentence, that S. Seconde should be beheaded in the city of Astence and Calocerus should be sent to Albigany and there to be punished. When then S. Seconde was beheaded, the angels of our Lord took his body and buried it with much worship and praising. He suffered his death the third calends of April. Let us pray then that he pray for us to our Lord.

© The segmented texts, annotations and audio files at are copyrighted by Laura Gibbs, 2006. No copyright is claimed for any images.