De insulis Oceani. Capitulum tricesimum primum.
Isidorus, libro quinto. Insule Fortunate, (þat beeþ þe gracious ilondes, and beeþ of good temprure of wynde and of weder i-sette in þe west occean and of som men i-holde paradys by cause of goodnesse of þe lond and of tempe|rure of weder,*. [of temperate weder, Cx.]) þere by*. [So MS. and α.; ben, Cx., which is equivalent.] gracious tymes; þe hulles beeþ i-heled, and corne*. [couerd with corne, Cx.] and herbes groweþ as it were gras. Þerfore by cause of plente of corne and of fruyt þey beeþ i-cleped Fortunat, þat is, gracious: for þere beeþ trees of seuen score foot of heithe.*. [hiȝe, α., Cx.] Þere is þe ilond Capr[ar]ia, þat is þe ilond of Geet; for þere beeþ meny geet and wetheris also. Þere is þe ilond Canaria, þat is þe ilond of Houndes, [for þerynne beeþ ful meny strong houndes].*. [The words in brackets added from α. (not Cx.)] Dacia, þat is Denmark, is an ilond þat ioyneþ to þe north side of Germania. Men of*. [of that, Cx.] Denmark were somtyme ful sturne and goode men of armes; þerfore þey occupied somtyme greet contrayes in Brytayne*. [So Cx.; Brutayne, MS.] and in Fraunce, and hatte Daci as it were Dagi, for þey come of [þe]*. [þe] Added from α. and Cx.] Gothes. Þere beeþ many men in Dacia, and beeþ faire Page 323, vol.1 of stature and semeliche of face and of here. And þouȝ*. [þeiȝ, α.] þey be sterne aȝenst here enemyes, þey beeþ to gode*. [to god boþe gode, MS.] men and trewe boþe esy and mylde:*. [they ben esy and mylde to good men and trewe, Cx.] but þat*. [þat þey, MS., α.] may not be forȝete, þat*. [but it may not be forgoten, that, Cx.] þey brouȝte grete drynkynge into Enge|lond. Wyntlandya, þat ilond, is by west Denmark, and is a barayne lond and*. [and] Added from Cx.] of men mysbyleued;*. [oute of byleue, Cx.] þei*. [þei] Added from Cx.] wor|schippeþ mawmetrie, and selleþ wynd to schipmen, þat seilleþ to hire hauenes,*. [that come to theyr portes, Cx.] as it were i-closed vnder knottis of þrede; and as þe knottes beeþ vnknette,*. [vnknytte, Cx.] þe wynde wexeþ at her owne wille.*. [theyr wille, Cx.] Islond, þat ilond, haþ in þe est side Norþwey,*. [Norwaye, Cx.] in þe north þe froren*. [frozen, α. not Cx.)] see, [that is,]*. [Added from Cx.] mare congelatum. Þe men of þat ilond beeþ schort of speche, trewe*. [and trewe, α., Cx.] of hir wordes, and i-cloþed in wylde bestes skynnes, and beeþ fissheres, and haueþ al*. [al] om. Cx.] oon man kyng and preost.*. [preest, Cx.] Þere beeþ girefaucouns and gentil haukes, and þere beeþ þe*. [þe] om. α. and Cx., which is perhaps better.] whyte beres, þat brekeþ þe yse for to drawe out fische. Þere beeþ no schepe in þat lond, and Page 325, vol.1 þat is for greet colde,*. [The six preceding words follow otes in Cx.] noþer corn but otes. Þat ilond is from Irlond and from Bretayne þre dayes seillynge. Soli|nus de mirabilibus. Tile*. [Tile or Tyle, MSS. and Cx., and so below.] is þe vttermost*. [otmeste, α.] ylond of occean, by twene þe norþ and þe west cost by ȝonde Bretayne, and wel*. [wel] om. Cx.] fewe men knoweþ þat ilond. Plinius, libro secundo.*. [Reference omitted in MS. (not Cx.)] Tile haþ þat name of þe sonne, for from springynge tyme whan þe day and þe nyȝt beeþ euen anon*. [at oon, MS.; vnto, Cx.] to heruest tyme, whan þe day and þe nyȝt be euene eft sones, it is all wey beschyne wiþ þe sonne; and eft from þat tyme anon to þe*. [þe] om. α.] springynge tyme aȝen, whan þe day and þe nyȝt beþ euene, it*. [about September, it, &c., Cx.] haþ no liȝt of þe sonne, but all wey derk nyȝt and no day. And þerfore þe lond is nouȝt couenable for men to wonye ynne in somer for hete and in wynter for colde and derk;*. [derknesse, α.; Cx.] and bycause þerof þere may no corn growe. Also þere the see is hard i-frore. By twene þat ylond and Bretayne beeþ þe ilondes þat hatte Scandia, Lingos, and Vergion. Noþeles Tyle is sixe dayes seillynge oute of Bretayne. Ranulphus, Giraldus in Topo|graphia.*. [So MS., α., and Cx.; but Ra|nulphus should be cancelled, or et added.] For Seint Austyn, vicesimo primo de Civitate Dei, spekeþ of Tyle, and seiþ þat it is an ylond of Inde, and seiþ þat þe treen*. [trees, Cx.] of Tyle leseþ neuere hire leues: but Page 327, vol.1 be war þat þou be nouȝt begiled by liknes of names: for þat ylond of Ynde hatte Tilis in þe nomenatyf caas; and þe*. [So Cx.; and in þe, MS.] ilond of occean hatte Tyle in þe nominatyf caas, and beeþ liche in oþer, as ȝif þou canst declyne þilke tweye names, and speke Latyn; so seiþ Isidre, Ethym., libro quinto decimo. Norway streccheþ somdel est toward Denmark and Gothia, and haþ in þe souþ side Scotlond and in þe northside Islond. Þe ilond is brood, byclipped aboute wiþ þe see, and is ful scharpe and colde, and haþ many hilles and woodes and*. [and] om. Cx.] wylde bestes, white beres, bausons, and brokkes, and scarsite of corne. Men*. [In þe norþ side men, MS. (not α. or Cx.)] of þat lond leueþ more by fisshynge and huntinge þan by brede and corn. In þe norþ side of þat lond meny nyȝtes in þe somer tyme aboute þe styntynge of þe sonne, þe sonne goþ nouȝt doun but schyneþ al nyȝt; and eft as many dayes in þe wynter aboute þe styntynge of þe sonne, the sonne ariseþ nouȝt for to ȝeue hem lyȝt; þer|fore al þat tyme þey moot do by candel*. [they muste werke by candel light, Cx.] what work þat hem nedeþ. In þat londe is a welle þat torneþ tree and leþer in to stoon, and it be þerynne from þe bygynnynge of a ȝere*. [aȝere, MS. conjunctim. Similar instances occur elsewhere, and are not always noticed.] to þe ȝeres ende.*. [and it abyde therinne a yeer hoole, Cx.] Þe men of þat lond beeþ Page 329, vol.1 schipmen and þeues of þe see. Treuisa. For to knowe what þe styntynge of þe sonne is to menynge, take hede þat þe sonne stynteþ twyes a ȝere; ones a somer, whan he goþ no heiȝer; and eftsones a*. [α] at, Cx.] wynter, whanne he gooþ*. [no heiȝer . . . gooþ] Added from α. and Cx.] no lower; and so in eiþer*. [So Cx.; neiþer, MS. absurdly.] tyme is þe styntynge of þe sonne.