Off the Yles of the Occean. Capitulum tricesimum primum. Plinius, et Isidorus libro quinto decimo.*. [Both versions are wrong; the true reference is to lib. xiv. c. 6, § 8.]
THE Yles Fortunate be temperate, putte in the weste occean, supposede of mony men to be paradise for the temperaunce of the aier and fecundite or plentuosenes of the soyle; the hilles of those yles be clothede as by for|tunable enchaunce with herbes and other commodites, for whiche cause men inhabitenge theyme calle theym the [folio 48b] yles fortunate or happy. Where trees be extente in alti|tude by a c. and xlti foote. Where is an yle callede Capraria, namede soe of the multitude of stronge dogges. Dacia, that is callede Denmarke, is an yle contiguate or adnecte to the northe parte of Germayne, the peple of whom was cruelle somme tyme and bellicose, in so moche that thei entrede þe prouinces or costes of Fraunce and of Englonde; callede Daci, as Dagi, for thei come of the kynde of Gothes. The peple of hit is copious, of semely stature, Page 323, vol.1 beatuous of face; thauȝhe that peple be cruelle ageyne theire enmyes, neuerthelesse hit is meke ageynes innocentes. Also oon thynge is attendede specially of the Danes, that thei brouȝte firste in to Englonde the excesse and surfette in drynkenge. Wytlandia is an yle at the weste parte of Denmarke, a bareyn grownde, inhabite with peple of barbre worschippenge ydoles; whiche be wonte to selle wynde to men commenge to theire portes as inclusede vnder knottes of threde, causenge the wynde to be encreasede after theire pleasure thro that threde. Islandia is an yle, hauenge on the sowthe to hit Norweye, on the northe the see conge|lede; hauenge also peple of schorte langage, couerede with the skynnes of wilde bestes, ȝiffenge theire labour to fisch|enge, hauenge to theire kynge whom thei have to theire priste. There be grete fawkunnes and gentylle gossehawkes, white beres brekenge the water congelede to drawe owte fysches. That londe noryschethe not schepe for habundance Page 325, vol.1 of colde, neither cornes, otes excepte. Whiche yle is from Breteyne by the saylenge off iij. daies. Solinus de mira|bilibus mundi. Tyle is the laste yle of the occean after Briteyne, betwene the northe plage and the weste, the knowlege of whiche yle is hade vnnethe of men. Plinius, libro secundo. That yle takethe the name of hit of the son, for from the equinoccialle of Ver on to the equinoc|cialle of herveste the son is allewey presente there, and neuer nyȝhte, and the son is absente also alleweyes from the equinoccialle of herveste to the equinoccial of Ver. Wherefore hit is inhabitable in the somer, for the con|tinualle presence of the son beynge there, and also in wynter, for contynualle coldenes beenge there, and for the absence of the son. Wherefore corne may not growe there. Betwene whom and the yle of Briteyne be oþer yles, callede Scandia, Lingo, and Virgion. That Tyle is from Breteyne by the saylenge of vj. dayes. Giraldus in Top. Seynte Austyn, xxjo. libro, de Civitate Dei, seythe that Tilis is an yle of Ynde, the trees of whom suffre not theire leves Page 327, vol.1 to falle. Therefore, who so euer dothe rede this processe, y wylle he aduertise that there be yles, the oon of theyme is callede Tilis, and that other is callede Tile, leste equi|uocacion of the names deceyve hym. That yle in Ynde is callede Tilis, and that yle in the weste is callede Tile in the nominatiue case, Isidorus wittenesse, Eth., xxo. Nor|guegia, that is callede Norway, is nye to Dacia and Gothia, hauenge on the sowthe to hit Scotlande, of the northe Island; a grete yle, and compassede abowte with the see, a colde londe, a bareyne cuntre, and fulle of hilles. There is litelle corne, mony beeres and brockes. The peple þer of lyve more by fyschenge then by huntenge, eitenge but lytelle brede. In the northe parte of that cuntre the son goethe not down in the solstice of somer by mony daies, and is not seen to aryse ageyn in the solstice of wynter by mony dayes. In whiche tyme hit behouethe men labor|enge to worche by lyȝhte of candeles. In that londe is a welle in whom woodde putte or wolle by a yere be con|gelede in to a ston. The peple of hit, serchenge the Page 329, vol.1 occean, exercise the lyfe of schippemen; þe victory and spede of theim is by fiȝhte in schippes on the see.