Of the Preconyes of Holy Men and Seyntes of that Londe. Capitulum tricesimum sextum.
Giraldus rehersethe and seythe that like as men of that nacion be more impaciente afore other folke in this lyfe, and prompte to take vengeaunce, soe in like wise the seyntes of that cuntre be knowen to be of a moore vengeaunce then seyntes of other regiones. The clergy of that londe schynethe in chastite, ȝiffenge attendaunce to preier and to abstinence by the day artificialle, spendenge the nyȝhtes in surfettes and in ryette. Soe that hit may Page 379, vol.1 be seide as a myracle lecchery not to reigne in those places where wynes be moche vsede. And lyke as ylle men amonge theyme be moste wickede, soe in lyke wyse [folio 54b] goode men amonge theyme be moste holy, thawȝhe þer be but fewe goode men. The prelates of places in that cuntre be slawthefulle to do correccion for excesses, ȝiffenge attendaunce to ydlenesse, and not to predicaciones. Where of hit is causede that alle the seyntes of that cuntre be con|fessores, and noo martir. But meruayle defendethe lytelle þer of; for allemoste alle men exaltede in to grete dignites there be taken from monasteryes, whiche fullefille raþer the office of a clerke then the office of a prelate. Where|fore an obieccion was made in a tyme to the bischoppe Cassielense, how so mony seyntes myȝhte be in that londe, and alle confessores and noo martir, sythe the subiectes of that londe be so cruelle, and prelates there be soe slawe in correccion. That byschoppe answerede and seide, "Trawthe is that the peple of that cuntre be cruelle amonge theyme selfe, but not to the seruauntes of God, sythe thei Page 381, vol.1 worschippe and luffe theyme moste: but now the peple of Englonde is comen in to oure cuntre, whiche haue hade knowlege and exercise to make martires." ℞. That byschoppe seyde in that wyse, for kynge Henry the secunde was commen that tyme in to the costes of Yrlonde newely after the martirizacion of Seynte Thomas of Canterbery. Giraldus. Belles and crokede staves, and suche other thynges, be hade in that londe in grete veneracion, as thei vse in Wales and in Scotlande, in so moche that thei drede more to swere by theym then to swere on the masse booke. Amonge whom the staffe of Ihesus is as a thynge principalle, beenge at Dublynne, by whom thei say Seynte Paterike the firste to haue expellede serpentes and wormes owte from that londe with that staffe. Aug. de Civ., libro 16, ca o. 7. And if hit be inquirede how diuerse kyndes of bestes whiche be procreate of commixtion myȝhte be in yles after the grete floode of Noe, hit is to be ȝiffen to credence that auther thei come thider by swymmenge, Page 383, vol.1 other thei were brouȝhte thyder for cause of disporte by men saylenge in schippes, other by the precepte of Alle|myȝhty God, other elles by the helpe of angelles, or elles thei come of the erthe after the firste originalle, when God seyde commandenge the erthe to brynge furthe euery thynge hauenge the spirite of lyfe.