De prœrogativis huius insulœ attollendis. Capitulum quadragesimum primum.
Giraldus in Topographia.*. [topicis, MS., and similarly elsewhere.] As Fraunce passeþ Bretayne, so Bretayne passeþ Irlond in faire weder and nobilte, but nouȝt in helþe. Beda. For þis ilond is beest and bringeþ*. [is best to brynge forth, Cx.] forþ trees and fruyt and reþeren*. [ruthern, Cx.] and oþer bestes, and wyn groweþ þere in som place. Þe lond haþ plente of foules and of bestes of dyuers manere kynde; þe lond is þlentevous and þe see also. Þe lond is noble, copious, and riche of nobil welles and of nobil ryueres wiþ plente of fische; þere*. [So α. and Cx.; þat, MS.] is grete plente of small fische, of samon, and of elys.*. [eles, α.]Wil|lelmus de Pontificibus, libro tertio. So þat cherles*. [the peple, Cx.] in som place fediþ sowes*. [their swyne, Cx.] with fische. Beda, libro primo. Þere beeþ ofte i-take dolphyns, and see calues, and baleynes, Page 15, vol.2 grete fisches as hit were of whales kynde, and dyuers manere schelfische. Among þe*. [whiche, Cx.] schelfisch beeþ muskles*. [moskles, α.] þat haueþ wiþ ynne hem margery perles of alle manere colour and hewe, of rody and rede, of purpur and of blew, and special|liche and moste of whyte. Þere is also plente of schellefische þat me dyeþ wiþ reed fyn;*. [that men dyen ther with fyn reed, Cx.] þe redenesse þerof is wonder fyn*. [fayr, Cx.; fayn, α.] and stable, and steyneþ neuere wiþ colde ne with hete, wiþ wete ne wiþ drie; but euere þe eldere*. [older, Cx.] þe hewe is þe*. [þe] om. α. (not Cx.)] fairer. Þere beeþ also salt welles and hote welles; þer of renneþ stremes of hote bathes i-deled*. [to deled, α.; departed, Cx.] in dyuers places, acordynge for man and womman, and for alle manere age, olde and ȝonge. Basilius seiþ þat [þe water þat]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] renneþ and passeþ by veynes of certayn metal takiþ in his cours grete hete. Þis ilond is plentevous of veynes of metals, of bras, of iren, of leed, of tyn, of siluer also. Plinius, libro sexto|decimo, capitulo sexto. In þis ilond vnder þe torf of þe lond is good marl i-founde; þe þrift of þe fatnesse drieþ himself þeryn: so þat euere þe þickere þe felde is i-marled, þe better corn it wil bere. Þere is also anoþer manere white marle, þat þe lond is þe better foure score ȝere þat þere wiþ is Page 17, vol.2 i-marled. Solinus.*. [Reference added from α. and Cx.] In þis ilond groweþ a stoon þat hatte gagates; ȝif me axeþ*. [yf ye wil knowe, Cx.] of*. [of] om. α.] his fairenesse, he is blak as gemmes beeþ; [ȝif me axeth his kynde, hit brenneþ in water and quencheþ in oyle].*. [Added and restored from β. and Cx.] Ȝif he is i-froted and i-het,*. [chauffed, Cx.] he holdeþ what hym neiȝheþ; ȝif me axeþ his goodnesse, hit heleþ þe dropesy and hit be i-dronke. Beda. I-tend in þe fire hit feseþ awey serpentes; if*. [ȝif, α.] hit is hotter,*. [hatt, α.] hit holdeþ what hym neigheþ, as succinis, a stoon þat so hatte.*. [Cx. (who prints succuns) has considerable omissions in the pre|vious sentence.]Isid., libro quinto|decimo. Þere beeþ schepe þat bereþ good wolle, þere beeþ meny hertes and wylde bestes and fewe wolues; perfore þe schepe beeþ þe more sikerliche wiþ oute [kepynge]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] i-lefte in þe folde.*. [So α. and Cx.; felde, MS.] In þis ilond also beeþ many citees and townes, faire and noble and riche; many grete ryueres and stremes wiþ grete plente of fische; many faire wodes*. [So α. and Cx.; wordes, MS.] and grete wiþ wel*. [wel] right, Cx.] many bestes tame and wylde. Þe erþe of that lond is copious of metal ore and of salt welles; of quarers*. [quareres, α.; quareis, Cx.] of marbel of dyuers manere stones, of reed, of whyte; of nesche,*. [soft, Cx.] of hard; of chalk*. [chark, α.] and of whyte lyme.*. [lym, α.] Þere is also white cley and reed forto make of crokkes*. [make poties, crokkes, Cx.] and stenes and oþer vessel and brent*. [brand, α.] tyle to hele*. [couere, Cx.; and so often.] wiþ hous and cherches as hit Page 19, vol.2 were in þe other Samia, þat hatte Samos also. Flaundres*. [So α. and Cx.; Flaundreþ, MS.] loueþ þe wolle*. [loueth wel the wulle, Cx.] of þis lond, and*. [So α.; in, MS.] Normandie*. [Holand, Cx.] þe skynnes and þe velles;*. [felles, Cx.] Gasquyn*. [Guyan, Cx.] þe iren and þe leed; Irlond þe ore and þe salt; [al]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] Europa loueþ and desireþ þe white metal of þis lond. Alfridus.*. [So α. and Cx.; Gir., MS.] Bretayne haþ i-now of alle matire*. [So α. and Cx.; manere, MS.] þat þere nedeþ begge*. [bye, Cx.; bigge, β.] and selle, oþer þat*. [þer, α.] is nedeful to manis vse;*. [vys, α.] þere lakkeþ neiþer*. [neuere, α, β.] salt ne iren. Þerfore a versifioure in his metre preyseþ the lond in þis manere: Engelond is good lond, fruytful of þe wolle, but*. [but it is, Cx.; and similarly else|where.] a corner; Engelond ful of pley, fremen well worþy to pleye; fre men, fre tonges, hert fre; free beeþ al þe leden;*. [ledyn, α.; lyden, β.; alle theyr thynges, Cx.] here hond is more fre, more better*. [and better, Cx.] þan here tonge. Also Henricus:*. [Henre, α.; Henr, β.; Her., MS. Cx. omits the word.] Engelond hiȝt of lond,*. [is beauteuous (sic) of lond, Cx. Perhaps of lond in the text should be simply cancelled.] floure of londes al aboute; þat londe is ful payde wiþ fruyte and corn*. [good, α. β. and Cx.] of his owne.*. [From this point Trevisa seems to have intended verse.]