Mandeville's travels : the Egerton version
Mandevill, John, Sir, British Library. Manuscript. Egerton 1982.
Warner, George F. (George Frederic), Sir, 1845-1936.


[Of the contrees and yles that ben beȝonde the lond of Cathay, and of the frutes there; and of xxii. kynges enclosed within the mountaynes.]

AND now will I tell ȝow of landes and cuntreez and iles þat er beȝond þe land of Cathay. And þarfore he þat will ga fra Cathay til Inde þe less and þe mare, 2. [toward the highe Ynde and toward Bacharye, C.] he schall ga [supplied by ed.] thurgh a kyngdom þat es called Cadhilhe, þe whilk es a grete land. And þare growez a maner of fruyte grete as gourdes; and, when it es rype, þai open it and fyndez þerin a beste with flesch and blude and bane, and it es lyke to a lytill lambe withouten wolle. And men of þat cuntree etez þat beste, and þe fruyt also. And þat es a grete meruaile. 3. [Of þat frute I haue eten, adds C.] Neuerþeles I said þam þat me thoght it na grete meruaile, for in my cuntree I said þam ware treesse berand a fruyte þat becommez briddez flyand, þe whilk men callez Bernakes, and þer es gude mete of þam; and þase þat fallez in þe water liffez and fliez furth, and þase þat fallez on þe land dyez. And, when I had talde þam þis, þaiPage  131 meruailed þam gretely þeroff. In þis land also er grete appils of noble smell and noble sauour; and men may fynd of þam on a clustre c. and ma, and þe lefez of þe treez er twa fote lang and sum langre. And in þat cuntree er treesse berand gariofiez and nute mugez and grete nuttez of Inde and oþer diuerse spiceriez. And þare er vynes þat beres so grete bobbes of grapez þat a wyght man may vnnethez bere ane of þam.

[folio 109b]

In þis same land er þe hillez of Caspy, whilk men callez Vber. And amang þase hilles er þe Iewes of þe ten kynredens enclosed, whilk men callez Gog and Magog; and þai may comme oute at na syde. For kyng Alysaundre chaced þam þider, for he wend to hafe enclosed þam þare thurgh wirking of man; and, when he sawe þat he myght noȝt, he praid to Godd þat he wald fulfill þat he had begon. And, if all he ware a haythen man, Godd of his speciall grace herd his praier and closed þa hilles sammen, þe whilk er so grete and so heghe þat na man may passe þam. And on þe toþer syde es1. [est (the "est" of the French text), MS.] þe see of Caspye; bot 2. [Now may sum men asken, "Sith þat the see is on þat o syde, wherfore go þei not out on the see syde, for to go where þat hem lyketh?" But to þis questioun I schal annswere, etc., C.] on þat syde may þai noȝt wynne oute for þis cause, for þat see commez vp oute of þe erthe vnder þe forsaid hillez and rynne on þe ta syde þe cuntree thurgh a grete deserte and fra þeine it lastez to þe land of Perse. And if all it be called a see, neuerþeles it es nane, bot it es a lake, þe grettest in þe werld. And if all þe folk þat er enclosed þare myght, and þai wald, passe ouer þat see by schippe, neuer þe latter þai wate noȝt whare þai myght aryfe, and also þai schuld noȝt vnderstand þer langage. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe Iewes has now na land of þaire awen to dwell in in all þe werld, bot anely amang þir hilles. And ȝit þai pay tribute þarfore to the quene of Amazoun, and scho [folio 110] gers þase forsaid hilles wonder wele be keped, þat þai þasse noȝt oute ouer þam to þaire awen cuntree, þe whilk marchez apon þase hillez. And noȝt forþi sum tyme it happens þat sum of þam clymbez ouer þase hilles and gase oute, bot þare may na grete nowmer of þam clymbe ouer þam togyder by cause of þe grete height of þam and þe ill clymbyng. And þare es nan oþer passage oute, bot at a narowe stie, 3. [a litill issue, C.] þe whilk was made thurgh sleight and wirking of men. And þat passage es bot foure myle lang, and þan es þare a grete deserte, whare men may fynd na water ne na dwellyng for men, by cause of dragouns and nedders and oþer venymous bestez, so þat na man may passe þare away, bot if it be in þe wynter. And þis strayte passage call þai þare Clyrem; and þe qwene of Amazoun gers kepe it wele, as I said before. And, if it hapne þat any of þam passe oute, þai can spekePage  132 na langage bot Ebrew, ne þai noȝt speke with oþer men, when þai comme amang þam. And men in þe cuntree þare nere saise þat in þe tyme of Antecriste þir Iewes schall comme oute and do mykill harme to Cristen men. And þerfore all þe Iews þat dwellez in diuerse partys of þe werld lerez for to speke Hebrew, for þai trowe þat þir Iewes þat er enclosed amanges þe hillez schall comme oute and schall knawe þam by þaire speche þat þai er Iews as þai er. And þan schall þai lede þam in to Cristendom for to destruy Cristen men. For þir Iews saise þai knawe by þaire prophecys þat þe Iews þat er closed amanges þe hilles sall comme oute and Cristen men [folio 110b] schall be vnder þaim, as þai hafe bene vnder Cristen men. And if ȝe will wit how þai schall fynd a place for to wynne oute at, I schall tell ȝowe, after þat I hafe herd say before tymes. In þe tyme of Antecriste a foxe schal make his den 1. [make þere his trayne and mynen an hole, C.] in þe same place whare kyng Alysaundre gert make þe ȝates of þase hillez, when he enclosed þis forsaid folk. And so lang sall þis fox wirk in þe erthe þat at þe last he schall comme oute amang þis folk; and, when þai see him, þai schall hafe grete meruaile of him, for þai sawe neuer are na swllke beste. Neuerþeles þai hafe all maner of oþer bestez, owt taken þe fox, amanges þam. And þai sall hafe so grete meruaile of þis fox þat þai sall chace him hider and þider; and so lang sall þai pursue him þat at þe last þai schall dryfe him to þe hole whare be come oute. And þan schall þai grafe after him so lang vnto þai comme to þe ȝates þat Alysaundre gert stoppe with grete stanes and syment, and þai schall breke þise ȝatez and so sall þai fynd þe passage oute.

Fra þis land men sall ga to þe land of Bachary, whare er many wikked men and fell. In þis land er treesse þat berez wolle, as it ware of schepe, of whilke þai make clathe. In þis land also er many ypotams, þat dwellez sun tyme apon land and sum tyme on þe water; and þai er half man and halfe hors. And þai ete men whare so þai may get þam, na mete gladlier. And in þat land er many griffouns, ma þan in any cuntree elles. And sum [folio 111] men saise þat þai hafe þe schappe of ane egle before, and behind þe schappe of a lyoun; and sikerly þai say sothe. Neuerþeles þe griffoun es mare and stranger þan viii. lyouns of þise cuntreez, and gretter and stalworther þan a hundreth egles. For certaynely he will bere til his nest flyand a grete hors and a man apon him, 2. [Cf. French text, note 17; a gret hors ȝif he may fynde him at the poynt or ii. oxen, etc., C.] or twa oxen ȝoked togyder, as þai ga sammen at þe plogh. For he has nailes apon his fete als grete and als lang as þai ware oxen hornes, bot þai er wonder scharpe. And of þase nailes men makez coppez for to drink off, as we do of þe hornes of bugles; and of þe bakkez of his fethers 3. [and of hire ribbes and of the pennes of hire wenges, C.] þai make strang bowes for to schote with.

Fra þe land of Bachary men gase many day iourneez to þe land of Prestre Iohn, þat es emperour of Inde; and his land es called þe Ile of Pentoxere.