Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden maonachi Cestrensis; together with the English translations of John Trevisa and of an unknown writer of the fifteenth century.
Higden, Ranulf, d. 1364., Trevisa, John, tr. d. 1402., Caxton, William, ca. 1422-1491., Malverne, John, d 1415?, Babington, Churchill, ed. 1821-1889,, Lumby, J. Rawson ed. (Joseph Rawson), 1831-1895.
Page  203, vol.2

Capitulum secundum.

Augustinus de Civitate Dei, libro 16o, capitulo 7o. Off broodes, þat beeþ wonderliche i-schape, me axeþ ȝif þey come of Adam and Noe. Som of hem hatte Cyclopes, and haueþ but oon eyȝe in þe for heed. Some haþ*. [haveþ, α.] eiþer schap of man and of womman, and gendreþ to gidres and geteþ, and conceyueþ and bereþ child,*. [childer, Cx. (with other slight variations.)] as þe cours comeþ aboute. For ones he schal gete a childe, and sche*. [he, α., Cx.] schal eftsones conceyue and goo with childe, euerich in his tyme as hit gooþ aboute. Som wommen conceyueþ at fyue ȝere olde, and lyueþ nouȝt over eiȝte yere. Somme haueþ þighes with oute hammes, and beeþ wonderliche swift, an*. [and, α.] hatte Sciopodes;*. [Cyopodes, MS., &c.] for þei liggeþ neuelinge*. [nyuelynge, α.; neuelynge, β.] and doun riȝt in þe somer tyme, and defendiþ hem self wiþ þe schadewe of here feet from þe hete of þe sonne. Herto*. [Wherto, Cx.] we answereþ and seiþ þat it nedeþ nouȝt to trowe þat þere beeþ so many manere schape men*. [mishappen men, Cx.] as me spekeþ of. Noþeles resoun as it is y-ȝoue of wonder schappe children þat beeþ among vs, suche resoun me may ȝeue of dyuers manere peple þat Page  205, vol.2 beeþ wonderliche i-schape. For God knoweþ where and whanne it needeþ to make eny manere þing, he knoweȝ þe fairenesse of al creatures, and wiþ what liknesse and vnlik|nesse of parties þey beeþ i-medled*. [melled, α.] to gidres. Certeynliche in oure tyme was aman i-bore in þe est þat hadde tweie bodies aboue anon to þe myddel of þe wombe, and byneþe but oon; but ȝit for al þat we schal trowe þat he com*. [come, α., Cx.] of Adam. Þerfore, suche þat beeþ wonderliche i-schape oþer þey beeþ nouȝt; oþer þey beeþ no men; oþer ȝif þey beþ men, wiþ oute doute þey come of Adam his kynde.*. [Text as in α. and Cx.; clauses transposed in MS.] Touch|inge Antipodes þat men spekeþ of and seiþ*. [syngeth, Cx.] þat þey beeþ men in þe oþer side of þe erþe, and here feet toward oure,*. [owres, Cx.] and hire heed ȝonward and tredeþ hiderward, þat may be trowed by no resoun, þere is no storie þat makeþ vs haue knowleche; but onliche by gessynge of mankynde suche a tale is i-founde. Þey þe erþe be rounde al aboute and somdel honginge wiþ ynne þe holownesse of heuene, neuerþeles þe erþe is nouȝt bare in þat side, for he is byclipped and i-closed wiþ ynne Page  207, vol.2 þe water. And þey he were bare*. [baar, α.] and nouȝt so i-closed, ȝit it foloweþ nouȝt that men schulde wonye þere. ℞. But we*. [he, Cx.] wolde mene, as Marcianus seiþ in his Astrologie, þat Capricornus þe goot makeþ somer to þe Antipodes, and þe Crabbe*. [the cancer, the signe, Cx.] makiþ to hem wynter; and þat is acounted byȝonde þe side of Ethiopia, blew men*. [mennes, Cx. (twice.)] londe; þere men torneþ wel nigh here feet towarde men*. [mennes, Cx. (twice.)] feet þat woneþ aboute þe ilond Tyle vnder þe norþ sterre. Trevisa. Here take hed þat þe cercle þat*. [So Cx. (that); of, MS.] þe sonne holdeþ his cours ynne by the ȝere is i-deled in twelue parties, and eueriche partie þerof is i-cleped a signe, and euerich signe haþ his owne name.*. [a propre name, Cx.] Þese beeþ þe names of þe signes: þe Wether, þe Boole, þe Twynnes, þe Crabbe, þe Leon, þe Mayde, þe Balaunce, þe Scorpion, þe Archer, þe Goot, þe Sceen,*. [sceene, α.γ.; scene, β; stewe, Cx. There is very little doubt that scenc (Germ. Schenk) is the true reading. See Glossary.] þe Fisshe. Also twelue monþes ben*. [beþ, α.] in þe ȝere, and eueriche monþe þe sonne entreþ in to a signe,*. [So α.; assigne, MS.] as it falleþ for þe monþe. And so in Marche þey entreþ into þe Weþer; in Averel*. [Aprile, Cx.] in to the Boole; in May in to þe Twynnes; in Iuyn into þe Crabbe; and so forþ arewe by monþes and signes, so þat in Decembre þe sonne is in þe Goot. Þanne Marcianus wil mene whan he seiþ þat þe Goot makeþ somer [to Antipodes, þat whanne þe sonne is in þe Goot þan hit is somer]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] wiþ hem. But in Decembre it is mydwynter monþe; and whanne he seiþ þat þe Crabbe makeþ hem wynter, he meneþ þat whanne þe sonne is in þe Crabbe þan it is wynter wiþ ham, þat is in Iuyn, þat is mydsomer monþe: and so hit is i-clared*. [declared, Cx., α.] what it is to mene, þe Goot makeþ hem somer, and þe Crabbe wynter. Isidorus, Etymolog., libro xj o. Som tyme burþes beeþ i-bore wonderliche and*. [and] om. α.] wonderliche i-schape for to be bodynge Page  209, vol.2 and forto*. [to] om. α.] comynge*. [and to kenning, Cx., who has also various slight alterations.] of wondres þat schal bifalle, but þanne þey lyveþ nouȝt l[o]nge.*. [longe, α.] As in Xerxes*. [Excerses, MS., &c.] kyng of Pers his tyme a mare foled [a fox],*. [Added from α. and Cx.] and boded þat þe kyngdom schulde be vndoo.*. [vndo, α., Cx.] And in þe grete kyng Alisaundres*. [Alisaundre his, α.] tyme was i-brouȝt forþ a beest wonderliche i-schape, [for þe ouer parties of hym were i-schape]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] as þe parties of a man, but þey were dede, and [þe]*. [Added from Cx. (the).] neþer parties were i-schape as þe parties of dyuers manere bestes, and were onlyue,*. [alyue, Cx.] and bode*. [bodede, α.; betokened, Cx.] sodeyn sleynge of þe king,*. [So α. and Cx.; kyngdom, MS.] for þe worse parties lyuede lengere þan þe bettre. Trevisa.*. [Reference added from α.] William Wayte of Berkeley sigh a childe wiþ tweye hedes and tweye nekkes i-bore and i-fulled*. [cristened, Cx.] at Mese in Loreyn, þe ȝere of oure Lord a þowsand þre*. [So. α. and Cx.; sixe, MS.] hondred and sixe and fifty, þat ȝere þe kyng of Fraunce was i-take at þe batayle of Peyters. Þis child hadde tweie armes*. [So Cx.; names, MS., and α.] and tweie legges, as oþer children haueþ, and he hadde þe þridde legge growynge oute aboue þe buttokkes byhynde, and þe þridde arme bytwene þe tweie schuldres. Item Isidorus, libro ij o, capitulo 3o. Somtyme is grisliche and wonderliche chaungynge and schapynge*. [wonderfully chaungyng of schappes, Cx.] of men in to bestes, and is i-doo by wordes oþer by wichecraft. Som haþ and som*. [som] om. α.] fongeþ suche chaungynge by þe same kynde, somme by corrupcioun passeþ and chaungeþ in to oþer kynde, and so of calues Page  211, vol.2 i-rooted comeþ bees, and of hors i-roted comeþ harnettes.*. [cheaffers, α.; chauers, Cx.] Þerfore Ouyde seiþ—

Ȝf þou craft habbe,
Take armes holow*. [holw, α.] for þe crabbe.
Scorpio bryngeþ*. [springaþ, γ. (not α or β.)] haile,
To stynge with croked tayle.

Augustinus, libro 18o, capitulo 6o. In þe manere of wonder|ful tornynge, chaungynge, and schappinge of men and wommen hit is to holdynge þat fendes and euel men mowe make no kynde, noþer chaunge þat is i-made. Neuerþeles Almyȝti God soffreþ liknesse of þinges dyuersliche forto seme,*. [sene, MS. (not α. or Cx.)] so þat þe fantasie of a man þat gadreþ liknesse of dyuerse þinges in þouȝt, and in sweuenynge*. [dreamyng or sweuenyng, Cx. (who has various slight alterations.) Trevisa's translation is not very in|telligible, and may be a little cor|rupt.] whanne þe wittes beeþ i-lette and takeþ noon hede, makeþ to seme likenesse of bodies þat is nouȝt present, also of ymages and of dyuers liknesse and schappes of þinges þat neuere were i-made; and so men takynge semeþ þat þey seeþ liknesse and schappe of dyuers þinges and of bestes, as men semeþ slepynge and metynge wonderful sweuenes, and semeþ somtyme þat þey bereþ many ful heuy burþenes; [bote and þei ben berþennes]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] fendes bereþ hem, and so God þat demeþ riȝtfulliche suffreþ mankynde be ofte so bigiled. ℞. Of þis matire loke*. [lokeþ, MS. (not α.)] wiþ ynne more pleynliche after þe batayle of Troye.