Of the Wondres and Meruayles of hit. Capitulum tricesimum quintum.
Giraldus. Mony men afferme and say that ther is an yle in the northe parte of Yrlonde whiche is callede the yle of men lyvenge, in whiche yle a man may not dye, but after that thei be detente with longe infirmite thei be brouȝhte to another yle nye to hit. Also there is an other yle, in whom a woman may not be delyuerede; neuerthelesse thei may conceyve in Page 363, vol.1 hit. Also there is an other yle in whom the bodies of dedde men may not be putrefiede. Also there is a place in Vltonia, that is callede Vlster, conteynenge an yle par|tede in tweyne. That oon of theyme is wonte to be vsede with the visitacion of angelles. That other is expownede to the incursion of deuelles, in whiche parte the purgatory of Seynte Patrikke is, whiche he deseruede to obteyne by hys preiers to the confirmacion of his seyenge, when he prechede to reprobable peple of the ioyes of heuyn and of the peynes of helle. For, as hit is seide, if eny man sus|teyne the tormentes of that place by penaunce injoynede to hym, he schalle not suffre the peynes of helle with owte that he were inpenitente finally, as hit schalle be schewede more pleyneley in the ende of this chapitre. Also there is an Page 365, vol.1 yle in that cuntre, whiche was consecrate of Seynte Bren|dan, wontenge myce, where the bodies of men neither rote neither be beriedde, but lye with owte incorrupte. Also there is a welle in Manonia that and if a man wasche alle his body with that water, other elles parte, he schalle be made hoore. Also there is a welle in Vlster, where in a man waschenge hym schalle not wexe hoore afterwarde. Also there is a welle in Manonia whiche towchede of a man schalle cause alle the prouince to habunde in reyn, whiche schalle not sease vntille a preste beenge a virgyn from his natiuite syngenge masse in a chapelle nye to hit, makenge holy water, schalle reconsile that welle after the ryte of men of Barbre, castenge holy water abowte that welle with the mylke of a kowe that is of oon coloure. Also at a water callede Glynde, nye to the chyrche of Seynte Kexwyne, welo|trees bere apples more hollesom then thei appere to the savoure, whom that seynte causede to be brouȝhte furthe thro his preiers for the sawle healethe of his childe. Also Page 367, vol.1 there is a water in Vlster ful of fisches, hauenge xxxti m. passes in longitude and xv. m. in latitude, from whom the water, callede Banne, goethe furthe vn to the northe occean, to whiche place and water a meruellous chaunce happede, as hit is seide. For that abhominable vice of send|enge furthe of sede was vsede amonge men of that cuntre with brute bestes, where a welle vsede to be couerede for olde reuerence, laste at a tyme vncouerede that welle so habundaunte in water drownede alle that prouince. Where of hit happede a woman to haue goen to that welle for cause to drawe water, and leuenge hit vncouerede, makenge haste to here childe cryenge, the water was so habundante that hit pereschede þe woman with here childe, and makenge alle the prouince a water: an argumente and a probacion of this thynge dothe appere in that the fischer, vsenge to fische in that water, may see in the bryȝhte daies of somer vnder the waters hye towres and rownde of chirches, after the vse of that cuntre. Also at the sowthe parte of Irlonde, in Page 369, vol.1 the region off Ossirience, a man and a woman be constreynede to indue an other forme in the ende of vii. yere from that costes,*. [So Harl. MS., but the sen|tence is more or less corrupt.] thro the preier of an holy abbotte, whiche induede with the forme of a wulfe the space of vij. yere complete, if they be in lyve thei returne in to theire propre nature, other tweyne subrogate in to the places of theyme in lyke wyse. Also there is a water in that cuntre, in to whom if a staffe or a thynge of a tree be put by a certeyne tyme, the parte of that tre beenge in the erthe is yrne, that parte in the water is as the substaunce of a ston, that parte above the*. [that, MS.] water dothe remayne in that forme as when it was putte ynne. Also there is a lake in that cuntre, in to whom if thou putte a rodde of an haselle tre hit is turnede in to an asche, and in contrary wyse. Also there be in Yrlonde iij. weres, whiche be in latitude of the hiȝhte of a spere, ageyne a hille ouer whom salmones wylle passe þro a sprentenge. Also there is a water in Legennia, where [be] the bryddes of Seynte Page 371, vol.1 Colomanne, whiche be callede cercelle, wonte to the hondes of men: if iniury be doen to those bryddes, they comme not ageyne; and also the waters þer wexe bytter and make an ylle savour; and the doer of the iniury schalle not escape vengeaunce, vn tille that he have doen dewe satisfaccion. Also hit is to be attendede abowte the purgatory of Seynte Patrik, that Seynte Patrik the secunde, whiche was an abbot and not a byschoppe, when he prechede in Yrlonde, studiede to calle ageyne and brynge to the weye of sawle healethe the sawles of the bestialle peple in that cuntre from the peyne of helle, and to confirme the myndes of theyme in goodenesse thro the promission of the ioyes of paradise. The men of that cuntre seide they wolde not be conuertede, but if somme of theym myȝhte haue ex|perience in this lyfe in a parte of the ioyes of paradise and of the peynes of helle: wherefore Seynte Patrike makenge his preyers for that cause, oure Lorde Iesus Criste apperede to hym, ȝiffenge to hym a texte of the gospelle Page 373, vol.1 and a staffe, whiche remayne ȝitte in the cuntre with the archibischoppe. After that oure Lorde ledde furthe Seynte Patrike in to a deserte place, where he schewede to hym a lytulle rownde dyche, obscure and derke with ynne, seyenge*. [Of þe pur|gatory of Seynte Patryk.] that if a man, beenge truly penitente, abyde in hit by a day and a nyȝhte, he schalle see the tormentes of ylle men and also the ioies of blessede men. Then Criste euaneschede*. [Seynte Patrik was a chanon.] awey, and Seynte Patrike made a chirche there, ordeynenge in hit chanones reguler, compassenge abowte that dyche with a walle, whiche is now in the chirche yerde at the este parte of the chirche, and kepenge hit with grete diligence vnder a locke, leste eny man scholde entre in to hit in foly, withowte licence of the byschoppe and of the prior of that place. Mony men entrede in to þat place in the tyme of Seynte Patrik, whiche commenge ageyne tellede of the peynes and of the ioyes that thei hade seen; þro whiche thynge mony men were conuertede to the feithe of Criste: and mony men entrenge in to that place come neuer ageyne. But in the daies of Steven kynge of Englonde, Page 375, vol.1 a knyȝhte, Owyne by name, entrede in to hit, whiche returnenge ageyne was made a monke of the ordre Cister|ciens, in the monastery of Ludense, whiche taryede þer after alle the tyme of his lyfe, tellenge thynges that he hade seene: that place is callede the purgatory of Seynte Patrikke. Truly eny man is not movede to entre in to that place, but he hathe cownselle in the begynnenge that he scholde not entre in to hit. But and if a man wille entre into hit, in eny wyse he schalle goe firste to the bischoppe of that place, whiche ȝiffethe cownselle to hym that he scholde not entre in to hit; but and if he remayne in that purpose, he takethe to hym a letter to goe to the prior of that place, whiche cownsellethe hym also that he schalle not entre in to hit, movenge hym to take other penaunce. And if the man be perseuerante in his purpose, and wylle to entre in to that place, the prior bryngethe hym in to the chirche that he may applye hym selfe in fastenges and preiers by xv. daies. After that the prior, causenge the man to receyve the blessede sacramente, bryngethe hym furthe with procession, the conuente syngenge the letany, vn to the durre of the purgatory, where the prior of that Page 377, vol.1 place movethe hym ageyne that he scholde not entere in to hit. But and if the man be perseuerante in that purpose, he openethe the durre with a benediccion, makenge the durre sure after hym, goethe ageyne in to the place, vn tylle the morowe followenge, whiche commenge to that place with the conuente, and fyndenge the man commen ageyne, bryngethe hym in to the chyrche with procession, where he taryethe afterwarde by xv. dayes in fastenges and preiers.