De gentibus hujus moribus. Capitulum sexagesimum.
Giraldus in Itinerario. For þe maneres and þe doynge of Walsche men and of Scottes beeþ to fore honde somdel declared, now of þe maneres and of þe doynges of þe medled*. [melled, α.] peple of Engelond nedeþ forto telle. But þe Flemynges þat beeþ in þe westside of Wales beeþ now by torned as þough þey were En|glische by cause of companye wiþ Englische men, and þey beeþ stalworþe*. [myghty, Cx., who has also many slight variations.] and stronge to fiȝte, and beeþ þe moste enemyes þat Walsche men haþ,*. [haueþ, α.] and vseþ marchaundyse and cloþynge, and beeþ ful redy to putte hem self to auentures and to peril in þe see and in þe*. [þe] om. α.] lond, by cause*. [and by cause, MS. (not α. or Cx.)] of greet wynnynge, and beeþ redy for to goo somtyme to þe plowȝ and somtyme to dedes of armes whan tyme and place axeþ. Hit semeþ of þis*. [these, Cx.] men a grete wonder*. [þis crafte ys nat usyd þer now as y trow. Note in MS.] þat in a boon of a wethres riȝt schuldre, whan þe flesche is aweye i-sode*. [i-sode] So α.; is sode, MS.] and nouȝt i-rosted, þey knoweþ what haþ be do, is i-doo, and schal be doo, and as hit were by a spirit of prophecie and a wonderful craft þey telleþ what me doþ in fer contrayes, tokens of pees and of werre, þe staat of þe reeme,*. [reame, α.; royamme, Cx.] sleynge of men, and spouse|breche; soche þey declareþ certeynliche by schewynge of tokenes and of synnes*. [synes, α.] þat beeþ in suche a schulder boon. ℞. But þe Englische men þat woneþ in Engelond, þat beeþ i|medled*. [i-medled or medled is generally melled in α.]Page 167, vol.2 in þe ilond, þat [beþ]*. [Added from α.] fer i-spronge from þe welles*. [places, Cx., who has a few other slight variations.] þat þey spronge of first, wel liȝtliche wiþ oute entisynge of eny oþer men, by here owne assent tornen*. [torne, α.] to contrary dedes. And so*. [So α. and Cx.; Also, MS.] vnesy, also ful vnpacient of pees, enemy of besynesse, and wlatful of*. [on, α.; ful of, Cx.] sleuþe, (Willelmus de Pontificibus, libro tertio,) þat whan þey haueþ destroyed here enemyes al to þe grounde, þanne þey fiȝteþ wiþ hem self, and sleeþ eueriche oþer, as a voyde stomak and a clene worcheþ in hit self. [℞.]*. [Reference added from Cx.] Noþeles men of þe souþ beeþ esier and more mylde; and men of þe north be*. [beþ, α.] more vnstable, more cruel, and more vnesy; þe myddel men beeþ somdele partyners wiþ boþe: also þey woneþ*. [vse, Cx.; who has also various slight deviations throughout the extract.] hem to glotonye more þan oþer men, and beeþ more costlewe in mete and in drynke*. [and in drynk] om. α. and Cx.] and in cloþynge. Me troweþ*. [Me supposeth, Cx.] þat þey took þat vyce*. [vse, MS. (not α. or Cx.)] of kyng Hardeknute þat was a Dane, for he sette twyes double messe and also at soper.*. [souper, α.; at dyner and at soper also, Cx. (but the improvement seems to be his own. See the text.)] Þese men been speedful boþe on hors and on foote, able and redy to alle manere dedes of armes, and beeþ i-woned*. [wonte, Cx.] to haue the victorie and þe maistrie in euerich Page 169, vol.2 fiȝt wher no treson is walkynge; and [beþ]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] curious, and kunneþ wel i-now telle dedes and wondres þat þei haueth i-seie. Also þey gooþ in dyuers londes, vnneþe beeþ eny men richere in her owne londe oþere more gracious in fer and in straunge*. [So Cx.; strounge, MS.] londe. Þey*. [þy, α.] konneþ betre wynne and gete newe þan kepe her owne heritage; þerfore it is þat þey*. [þeyȝ, α.] beeþ i-spred so wyde and weneþ þat euerich oþer*. [oþer] om. α. and Cx.] londe is hir owne heritage.*. [heritage] om. α. and Cx.] Þe men beeþ able to al manere sleiþe and witte, but to fore þe dede blondrynge and hasty, and more wys after þe dede, and leueþ ofte*. [of, α., Cx.] liȝtliche what þey haueþ bygonne. Polycraticon, libro sexto. Þerfore Eugenius þe pope seide þat Englisshe men were able to do what euere þey wolde, and to be sette and putte to fore alle oþere, nere*. [ne were that light wytte, Cx., just after.] þat liȝt wiþ letteþ. And as Hannibal*. [Hanyba, MS.] saide þat þe Romayns myȝte nouȝt be ouer|come but in hir owne cuntray: so Englische men mowe not be ouercome in straunge londes, but in hir own cuntray þey beeþ liȝtliche ouercome. ℞. Þese men despiseþ hir owne, and preiseþ oþer menis, and vnneþe beeþ apaide wiþ hir owne estate; what byfalleþ and semeþ oþer men, þey wolleþ glad|lyche Page 171, vol.2 take to hem self; þerfore hit is þat a ȝeman*. [ȝymman, α.] arraieþ hym as a squyer, a squyer as a knyȝt, a kniȝt as a duke [and]*. [Added from α.] a duke as a kyng. Ȝit som gooþ a boute to alle manere staate and beeþ in noon astaat,*. [no stat, α.] for þey þat wole take eueriche degree beeþ of non degre, for in berynge*. [beryng outward, Cx.] þey beeþ menstralles and heraudes,*. [herowdes, Cx.] in talkynge grete spekeres, in etynge and in drynkynge glotouns, in gaderynge of catel hoksters*. [hucksters, Cx.] and tauerners, in aray tormentoures, in wynnynges Argi, in trauaile Tantaly, in takynge hede Dedaly, and in beddes Sardanapally, in chirches mamettes, in courtes þonder, onliche in privelege of clergie and in prouendres*. [prebendis, Cx.] þey knowlecheþ hem silf clerkes. Trevisa. In wynnynge þey beeþ Argy, in trauaile Tantaly, in takynge hede Dedaly, and in beddes Sardanapally. For to vnderstonde þis reson ariȝt foure wordes [þerof]*. [Added from α.] moste be declared, þat beeþ þese foure, Argi, Tantaly, Dedaly, and Sardanapally; þerfore take hede that Argus in an herde, Argus a schippe, a schipman, and a chap|man. But here it is more to purpos þat poetes feyneþ oon þat was somtyme al ful of eyȝen in eueriche side*. [So α; a side, MS.] and heet Argus, so þat this Argus myȝte see*. [So Cx.; i-see, MS.] to fore and byhynde, vpwarde and dounward, and al aboute in eueriche side, and by a manere likenesse of þis Argus, he þat is war and wys, and kan see and be war in eueriche side is i-cleped Argus, and ful of yȝen as Argus was. Þan forto speke to meny such he moste be i-cleped Argi in þe plural nombre. Þan in þat cronyke he seiþ þat þey beeþ Argy in wynnynge, hit is to mene þat þey beeþ ware and seeþ aboute in euery side where wynnynge may arise. Þat oþer word is Tantaly; þerfore take hede þat þe poete feyneþ þat Tantalus was a man and slowh*. [slow, α.] his owne sonne, þerfore he was i-dampned to perpetual penaunce, as þe poete feyneþ þat Tantalus stondeþ*. [stondes, α.] alway in a water vp anon to þe*. [þe] om. α.] ouer Page 173, vol.2 brerde*. [brered, α.] of þe neþer lippe, and haþ all way euene at his mouþ*. [mouþ] om. α.] ripe apples and noble fruyt, ne water comeþ wiþ ynne his mouþ, he is so i-holde vp; and so he stondeþ in þat array bytwene mete and drynke, and may noþer ete ne drynke, and is an hongred and aþirst þat woo is hym on lyue. By a manere likeness of þis Tantalus þey þat dooþ riȝt nouȝt, þere*. [So MS. α. and β.; but where seems to be required. See p. 187.] moche þing is to doo in euery side, beeþ i-cleped Tantaly. Hit semeþ þat þis sawe is to mene, in trauaille þey beeþ Tantaly, for þey dooþ riȝt nouȝt þerto. Þe þridde word is Dedaly; take hede þat Dedalus was a wel sligh*. [subtyl and a slye, Cx.; who has very much re-cast the whole extract from Trevisa.] man, and by likness of hym men þat beeþ sliȝe beeþ i-cleped Dedaly in þe plurel noumbre, so it is to mene as hit semeþ in þis sawe, in takynge hede and in cry*. [kuyre, α.] þey beeþ Dedaly, þat is fel and sly. The ferþe word is [Sardanapalli; þerfore take hede þat],*. [Added from α.] Sardanapallus was a kyng, rex Assyriorum, and was ful vnchast, and by a manere liknesse of hym þey þat beeþ swiþe vnchast beeþ i-cleped Sardanapally. ℞. But among alle Englische i-medled to giders is so grete chaungynge and diuersite [of cloþinge and]*. [Added from α.] of array [and so many manere and dyuerse shappes, that wel nyghe is there ony man knowen by his clothynge and his arraye]*. [Added from Cx., who may have somewhat amplified his text.] of what degre he is. Þerof prophecied an holy anker to kyng Egilred his tyme in þis manere. Henricus, libro sexto. Englisshe men for þey woneþ hem to dronkelewnesse, to tresoun, and to rechelesnesse of Goddes hous, first by Danes and þanne by Normans, and at þe þridde tyme by Scottes, þat þey holdeþ most wrecches and leste worþ of alle, þey schulleþ be Page 175, vol.2 ouercome; þan þe worlde schal be so vnstable and so dyuers and variable þat þe vnstabilnesse of þouȝtes schal [be]*. [Added from α.] by|tokened by many manere dyuersite of cloþinge. Explicit Liber Primus.