HERE BEGYNNEZ ÞE BUKE OF JOHN MAUNDEUILL[folio 3]
SEN yt es so þat þe land beȝond þe see, þat es to say þe land of repromission, þat men calles þe Haly Land, amanges all oþer landes es þe maste worthy land and souerayne of all oþer, and es blissed and sacred and halowed of þe preciouse blude of oure Lorde Ihesu Criste; in þe whilk land it lyked him to take lief and blude of oure Lady Saint Marie and to enuirun þat land with his blissed fete.—And þare he didd many miracles and preched and teched þe faithe and þe lawe of vs Cristen men, as vnto his childer; and þare he sufferd many reprufes and scornes by vs. And he þat was King 1. [King, om. E.] of heuen and of erthe, of þe aer and of þe see, and of all thingz þat er contened in þam, wald be called all anely king of þat land, as þe prophete saise, "Noli timere, filia Syon: ecce, rex tuus venit tibi mansuetus", 2. [This quotation, made up of John xii. 15 and Matt. xxi. 5, only in E. C follows the French texts.] þat es to say, "þou doghter of Syon, drede þou noȝt; for, lo, þi kyng commes to þe, dulye mylde and meke"; and þat land he chose before all oþer landes as þe best and þe maste worthy of þe werld; for, as þe philosophere saise, "Virtus rerum in medio consistit", þat es to say, "þe vertu of thingez es in þe myddes." And in þat land he wald lede his lyf and suffer hard passioun and dede of þe Iews for vs synfull wormes, to by and delyuer vs fra deed withouten end, whilk was ordeyned til vs for þe synne of oure forme fader Adam and for oure awen also. For, as for himself, he desserued neuer nane euill; for he did neuer euill, ne thoght neuer euill. And he þat was king of glory and of ioy, mightiest and best, 3. [myghte best in that place suffre, C.] wald in þat place suffer þe deed titter þan in anoþer. For he þat willPage 2 [folio 3b] do any thing þat he will be knawen openly til all men, he will ger crie it openly in þe middell of a toune or of a citee, so þat it may be knawen til all þe parties of þe citee. On þe same wyse he þat was kyng of all the werld wald suffer deed at Ierusalem, þat es in middes of þe werld, so þat it might be knawen to men of all þe parties of þe werld how dere he boght man þat he had made til his awen liknes for þe grete luffe þat he had til him. For mare worthie catell myght he noȝt hafe sett for vs þan his awen blissed body and his precious blude, þe whilk he sufferd be schedd for vs. A, dere Godd! what lufe he had til his sugets, when he þat neuer didd trespas wald for trespassours suffer ded! Right wele aght men to lufe and serue swilk a lorde, and wirschepe and praise swilk a haly land, þat broȝt furthe swilk fruyte, thurgh whilk ilk man es saued, bot if it be his awen defaute. Þis es þe land þat es hight til vs in heritage; and in þat land he wald die and sesse þare in, to leefe it to his childer. For þe whilk land ilke a gude Cristen man þat may, and has wharoff, suld enforce him for to conquere oure right heritage and chace oute þerof þaim þat er mistrowand. For we er called Cristen men of Criste oure fader; and if we be riȝt childer of Criste, we awe for to chalange þe heritage þat oure fader left to vs, and for to do it oute of straunge men handes. Bot now pride enuy and couetise has so enflaumbed þe hertes of lordes of þe werld þat þai er mare bisie for to disherite þaire neghbours þan for to chalange or conquere þaire right heritage before said. And þe common pople, þat wald putte þaire bodys and þaire catell in iupardy for to conquere oure heritage, þai may na thing do withouten lordes. [folio 4] For assemblee of þe pople withouten lordes þat may gouerne þam es as a flokk of schepe þat has na schepehird, þe whilk departes sunder and wate neuer whider þai schuld ga. But wald Godd þat þir werldly lordes ware at gude accorde and, with oþer of þaire common pople, wald take þis haly viage ouer þe see, I trowe wele þat within a lytill tyme oure riȝt heritage before said schuld be recounsailed and putte in to þe handes of þe right heyers of Ihesu Criste.
And for als mykill as it es lang tyme passed sen þare was any general passage ouer þe see in to þe haly land, and men coueytes to here speke of þat land and of diuerse cuntreez þer aboute, and þeroff þai hafe grete solace and comforthe, I JOHN MAWNDEVYLE, Knyȝt, þof all I be vnworthy, þat was borne in Ingeland in þePage 3 toune of Saynt Albanes, and passed þe see þe ȝere of oure Lorde Ihesu Criste mlcccxxxij, 1. [So in four English manuscripts in the British Museum, viz. Harley MSS. 2386, 3954, and Royal MSS. 17 B. xliii., 17 C. xxxviii. All the French and Latin manuscripts have 1322, as well as the English version in C.] on Myghelmesday, and seyne hiderward has bene lang tyme ouer þe see, and has sene and gane thurgh many kingdomes, landes and prouincez and iles, and hase passed thurgh Turkye, Ermony þe lesse and þe mare, Tartarye, Perse, Sirie, Araby, Egipte þe hie and þe lawe, Liby, Caldee, and a grete party of Ethiope, Amazon, Inde þe lesse and þe mare a grete party, and thurgh many oþer iles þat er aboute Inde, whare dwelles many diuerse maners of folke of diuerse lawes and schappes—of whilke landes and iles I schall speke mare playnely, and I schall diuyse a party of þa thinges what þai er, when tyme commes, after þat it may comme to my mynde, and specially for þaim þat wil and er in purpose to visit þe haly citee of Ierusalem and the haly [folio 4b] placez þat er þare aboute; and I schall tell þe way þat þai schall hald þider, for I hafe many tymes passed and riden it in gude company of lordes. 2. [A passage about the language of the work, present in the French texts, is not found in E. A unique version of the passage, not precisely following the French but on the issue of language, occurs in C.]
[To teche ȝou the weye out of Englond to Constantynoble.]3. [The text in Egerton MS. 1982 not being divided into chapters, the headings are taken from C. They closely follow the headings in the French version in H and R.]
IN þe name of Godd allmyghty, he þat wil passe ouer þe see to Ierusalem, he may wende many ways, bathe on þe see and on þe land after þe cuntreez þat he commes fra, and many of þam commes all to ane end. Bot troues noȝt þat I will tell all þe tounes and citeez and castelles þat men schall ga by; for þan me must make to lang tale. Bot all anely sum cuntreez and maste principal stedes þat men schall ga thurgh to gaPage 4 þe riȝt way, schortly I think for to touche. For, if a man come fro þe west partys of þe werld, as Ingland, Ireland, Wales, Scotland or Norway, he may, if he will, wende thurgh Almayne and thurgh þe kyngdom of Hungary, þat marchez to þe land of Poialme 1. [Poland.] and to þe land of Pannony and of Alleseye. 2. [Silesia.] And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe kyng of Hungary es a full grete lord and a myghty, and haldes grete and mykill land. For he haldes þe land of Hungary, Sauoy, 3. [Slavonia.] Comany, a grete party of Bulgary, þat men calles þe land of Bulgers, and a grete party of þe kyngdom of Ruscy, and þat lastes to þe land of Nyfeland 4. [Lifland, Livonia.] and marchez apon Pruysse. And thurgh þe land of Hungary men gase to a cytee þat es called Chippron 5. [Cyperon, or Sempronium, now Oedenburg.] and thurgh þe castell of Newhurgh, 6. [C adds, "and be the evylle town, þat sytt toward the ende of Hungarye" (Cf. the French text, and see [commentary]).] and men passez by þe ryuer of Danuby. Þis es a full grete ryuer and gase in to 7. [gothe into, C. A misreading by the translator of "uaist (vait, va) en" for "naist en" (Vogels, Die ungedrukten Lat. Versionen Mandeville's, 1886, p. 12).] [folio 5] Almayne vnder þe hilles of Lumbardy, and it takes in to him xl. oþer ryuers; and it rynnes thurgh Hungary and Cresses 8. [Greece (as in C) and Thrace.] and Tracy and gase in to þe see so stalworthely and with so grete strenth þat þe water es fresch xx. myle within þe see. And efterward men gase to Bulgary and enters in to þe land of Bulgers, and þare passez men a brigg of stane þat es ouer þe ryuer of Marrok. 9. [River Morava.] And þan men passez thurgh þe land of Pynceras 10. [The Pincenati, or Petschenegs.] and commes to Grece to þe citee of Sternes 11. [Hesternit, now Sofia.] and to þe citee of Affynpayn 12. [Philippopolis.] and seyne to þe citee of Bradrenople 13. [Adrianople.] and seyne to þe citee of Constantynople, þe whilk was sum tyme called Bethsamaron, 14. [Byzantium.] and þare dwelles commonly þe emperour of Grece. Þare es þe best kirk of þe werld and þe fairest, and it es of saynt Sophie. And before þe kirk of saynt Sophie es ane ymage of Justinyane þe emperour, wele ouergilted; and it es made sittand apon a hors and coround. Þis ymage was wont to hald in his hand a rounde appel of gold; bot it es lang sen it fell oute of þe hand. And men saise þare þat þe fallyng oute of þe apple es a token þat þe emperour has lost a grete party of his lordschepe. For he was wont to be emperour of Romany, of Grece, of Asie þe lesse, of Surry, of þe land of Iudee, in þe whilk es Ierusalem, of þe land of Egipte, of Perse and of Araby; bot he has lost all, oute taken Greece, and þat land anely he haldes. Men wald meny tyme hafe putte þe appel in to þe ymage hand, bot it will noȝt habyde þerin. Þis apple betakens þe lordschepe þat he had ouerPage 5 all þe werld. Þe toþer hand he haldes lift vppe agaynes þe west, 1. [the east; aȝenst the est, C.] in taken for to menace mysdoers. Þis ymage standes on a piler of marble.
[Of the crosse and croune of oure Lord Ihesu Crist.]
AT Constantynople es þe spounge 2. [is the cros of oure Lord Ihesu Crist and his cote withouten semes, that is clept Tunica inconsutilis, and the sponge, etc., C.] and þe rede of whilk þe Iewes gafe oure Lord to drynke, when he hang on þe crosse. Sum men trowes þat halfe þe crosse of Criste be in Cypre in ane abbay of munkes [folio 5b] þat men calles þe Hill of þe Haly Crosse; bot it es noȝt so. For þat crosse þat es in Cypre es þe crosse on whilk Dismas þe gude theeffe was hynged. Bot all men wate noȝt þat; and þat es ill done. For by cause of getyng of offerandes þai say þat it es þe crosse of oure Lorde Ihesu Criste.
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe crosse of oure Lord was made of foure maner of treesse, as it es [supplied by ed.] contende in þis werse, whilk es here writen, "In cruce fit palma, cedrus, cypressus, oliua". For þe pece þat went vprightes fra þe erthe vnto þe heued was of cypresse; and þat pece þat went ouerthwert, to þe whilk his hend ware nailed, was of palme; and þe stock þat stude in þe erthe, in þe whilk was made a mortas, was of cedre; and þe table abouen his heued was a fote and a halfe lang, on þe whilk þe tytle was writen in Hebrew, in Grew and in Latyne, and it was of olyue. Of þise foure maner of treesz þe Iews made Cristes crosse for þai trowed þat he schuld hafe bene hingand apon þat crosse als lang as þat crosse myght last. And þerfore made þai þe fote of cedre; for cedre may noȝt rote in erthe ne in water. For þai wald þat it schuld hafe lang lasted. And for þai trowed þat Cristez body schuld hafe stynked, þai made þat pece þat went fra þe erthe vpward, on whilk his body hang, of cypresse, for it es wele smelland, so þat þe smell of his body schuld not greue to men þat come forby. And þat [folio 6] pece þat went ouerthwert, to whilk his hend ware nayled, was of palme; for in þe alde testament was it ordaynd þat, when any man had þe victory of his enmy, he schuld be cround with palme. And for þai trowed þat þaiPage 6 had þe victory of Criste, þai made þe ouerthwert pece of palme. And þe table of þe tytle was made of olyue; for olyue betakens pees, as þe story of Noe beres witness, whare þe doufe broght þe braunche of olyue in hir beek, whilk betakned pees made betwix Godd and man. And so trowed þe Iewes to hafe pees, when Criste was deed; for þai said þat he made stryffe amang þam. And ye schall vnderstand þat oure Lorde was nailed to þe crosse liggand, and þerfore he sufferd þe mare payne.
Men of Grece and oþer Christen men also þat dwelles beȝond þe see saise þat þe tree of þe crosse þat we call cypresse was of þat tree þat Adam ete þe appel off, and so þai fynd writen. And þai say also þat þaire Scripture saise þat Adam fell seke and said to his sone Seth, þat he schuld ga to Paradys and pray þe aungell þat kepes Paradys, þat he wald send him of þe oile of þe tree of mercy for to enoynt with his membres, þat he mygth hafe hele. And Seth went forth to Paradys; bot þe aungel wald noȝt late him in, bot said til him þat he myght noȝt hafe of þe oile of mercy. Bot he tuke him foure 1. [three, C; and so also in French texts.] graynes of þe same tree þat his fader ete þe appel off, and bad him, als sone as his fader ware deed, þat he schuld putte þase graynes vnder his tung and graue him so, and of þase foure graynes schuld spring trees þat schuld bere a fruyte thurgh whilk Adam schuld be saued. And, when Seth come hame agayne, he fand his fader nere deed; and he did with þe graynes as þe [folio 6b] aungel bad, of whilk sprang foure trees, wharof a crosse was made þat bare gude fruyte, Ihesu Criste, thurgh wham Adam and all þat comme of him er saued and delyuerd fra deed withouten end, bot if it be þaire awen defeute. Þis haly crosse had þe Iews hidd in þe erthe vnder þe roche of mount Caluarie; and it lay þare cc. ȝere and mare vnto þe tyme þat saynt Helyne fand it, þe whilk saynt Helyne was moder of Constantyne þe emperour of Rome. And scho was doghter of Coel, kyng of Ingeland, þat was þat tyme called þe mare Bretayne. And þe emperour of Rome, when he was in þat cuntree and sawe hir grete bewtee, he tuke hir to his wyfe and gatte on hir þe forsaid Constantyne. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe crosse of oure Lorde was of lenth viii. cubits; and þat tree þat was ouerthwert had in lenth three cubits and a halfe. A party of þe coroun of thornes wharwith oure Lorde was coround and ane of þe nayles, and þe spere heued, and many oþer relyques er in Fraunce in þe kynges chapell. And þe coroune lyes in a vessell of cristall, wele dight and richely. A kyng of Fraunce boght þise relyques sum tyme of þe Januenes, to wham þe emperour had layd þam in wedd for a grete soume of gold. And if all it be so þat men saise þat þis coroun be of thornes, ȝe schall vnderstand þat it was of iunkes of the see, þat ware whyte and prikked als scharpely as thornes. For I hafe many tymes senePage 7 bathe þat þat es at Parysch and þat þat es at Constantinople; for þai ware bathe of ane, made of junkes of [folio 7] þe see, bot men has departed þam in twa parties, of whilk a party es at Parysch and þe toþer party es at Constantinople. And I hafe a prikk þeroff, þat semes a whyte thorne; and þat was giffen me for grete frenschepe. For þare er many of þam broken and fallen doune in þe vessell whare in þe coroun es, ay as þai breke when men stirrez þe vessell to schewe þe coroun to grete lordes and to pilgrimes þat commes þider.
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat oure Lorde, þat nyght þat he was taken, he was ledd in til a gardyne, and þare he was opposed scharply; and þare þe Iews scorned him and sett a coroun on his heued and thrast it þeron so fast þat þe blude ran doune by many placez of his visage and his neck and his schulders. And þat coroun was made of braunches of albespyne; and þerfore has þe albespyne many vertuz. For he þat beres a braunche þeroff apon him, þer schall na thunder ne na maner of tempest dere him; ne þe hous whare it es in may nane ill spirit comme in, ne in na place whare it es. And in þe same gardyne sayne Petre forsuke oure Lord thryes. Afterward was oure Lord ledd before þe bischope and þe officers of þe lawe in anoþer gardyn of Annas; and þare he was opposed also and scorned and coround eft with a thorne þat men callez þe barbaren, þat growed in þat gardyn. And þat also has many vertuz. And afterward he was ledd in to a gardyn of Cayphas; and þare he was coround with ane engletere. And seyne he was ledd in to þe chaumbre of Pylate; and þare he was opposed and coround. For the Iews sette him in a chaier and cledd him in a [folio 7b] mantell; and þan made þai þe coroun of þe junkes of þe see, and þai knelid to him and coround him þerwith and said "Aue, rex Iudeorum", þat es at say, "Haile, kyng of Iews." And þis coroun, of whilk þe ta halfe es at Parisch and þe toþer at Constantinople, had Criste apon his heued when he was done on þe crosse. And þerfore men schuld maste wirschepe it, and hald it mare worthy þan any of þe oþer. Þe schaft of þe spere with whilk Criste was stanged to þe hert hase þe emperour of Almayne; bot þe heued þerof es at Parisch. Þe emperour of Constantinople saise þat he has þe spere heued; and þat spere heued hafe I oft sene, bot it es gretter þan þat of Parisch.Page 8
[Of the cytee of Costantynoble; and of the feithe of Grekes.]
ALSO at Constantinople lies saynt Anne, oure Lady moder, wham saynt Helyne gert be broght fra Ierusalem. And þar lies also þe body of Iohn Crisostom, þat was bischope of Constantinople. And þare lies sayne Luke, þe euangelist; for his banes ware broght fra Bethany, 1. [Bithynia.] whare he was grauen. And many oþer reliques er þare. And þare es of þe vesselles of stane, as it ware marble, whilk men callez ydrious, þat euermare droppes water and filles þaim self ilk a ȝere. And I do ȝow to wit þat Constantinople es riȝt a faire citee and a gude, and wele walled; and it es three cornerd. And þare es ane arm of þe see þat men calles Ellespount; and sum calles it þe Bouche of Constantinople, and sum Brace Sayne George. And þis water enclosez twa parties of þe citee. And vp toward þe see apon þe same water was wont to be þe grete citee of Troy in a faire playne; bot þat citee was destruyd with þaim of Grece.[folio 8]
Aboute Grece er many Iles, þat es to say Calcas, 2. [Chalce, now Carki.] Calistra, 3. [Calliste, Thera.] Oertige, 4. [Ortygia, Delos.] Teshiria, 5. [Lesbos?] Minca, 6. [Minois, Paros.] Flaxania, 7. [Naxos?] Melo, Carpateya, 8. [Carpathus, Scarpanto.] Lempnia. 9. [Lemnos.] And in þis ile es þe mount Caucase 10. [Athos, C.] þat passez þe clowdes. þare er also many oþer diuerse cuntreez and spechez þat er tributaries and obeyand to þe emperour, þat es at say Turcople, Pyncenard, Comange, Tracy, Macedoyne, of whilk Alexander was kyng, and many oþer. In this cuntree was Aristotle borne, in a citee þat men calles Strages, a litill fra Tracy. At Strages lyes Aristotle, and þare es ane awtere apon his toumbe. And þare make þai a solempne feste ilke a ȝere, as he ware a saynt. And apon his awter þai hald þaire grete counsaile and assemblee; and þai trowe þat thurgh inspiracion of Godd and him þai sall hafe þe better counsaile. In þat cuntree es riȝt grete mountaynes toward þe end of Macedoyne. And amanges oþer þer es ane þat men calles Olympus, þat departes Macedoyne and Tracy; and it es hye abouen þePage 9 clowdes. Þare es also anoþer hill þat men calles Athos; and þat es so hie þat þe schadowe þeroff rechez vnto Lempny, þe whilk es þerfra nere lxxvii. myle. Abouen on þir hilles es þe aer so clere and so sutill þat men may fele na wynd þare; and þerfore may na beste ne fewle liffe þare, so es þe aer drye. And men saise in þase cuntrees þat philosophirs sum tyme went vp on þir hilles and held to þaire noses spoungez moisted with water for to cacche aer, for þe aer þare was so drie. And also abouen on þir hilles in þe powder þai wrate letters [folio 8b] with þaire fingers, and at þe ȝere end þai went agayne and fand þe same letters þat þai had writen þe ȝere before als fresch as þai ware on þe first day withouten any defaute. And þerfore it semes wele þat þase hilles passez þe clowdes to the pure aere.
In þe citee of Constantinople es þe emperours palays riȝt faire and wele dight; and þare be syde es a fayre place ordaynd for iustyng. And þer er stagez made all aboute it and grecez, þat men may sit on, ilk ane abouen oþer, to see þe iustyng, so þat nane schall dere oþer ne lett oþer to see. And vnder þe stages er stables vowted wele for þe emperour hors; and all þe pilers er of marbill. And in þe kirk of saynt Sophy ane emperour on a tyme wald hafe layd þe body of his fader, when he was deed; and, als þai made a graue, þai fand a body in þe erthe, and apon þat body lay a grete plate of gold and þerapon was writen in Hebrew, in Grewe and in Latyne, "Ihesus Christus nascetur de virgine Maria; et ego credo in eum", þat es to say, "Ihesus Criste sall be borne of þe virgyn Mary; and in him trowe I." And þe date when þis was writen and layd in þe erthe was iim ȝere before þe incarnacioun of Criste. And ȝit es þat plate in þe tresoury of þe kirke; and men saise þat þat body was þe body of Ermogenes 1. [Hermogene, C. But see the French text.] þe wyse man.
And if all it be so þat þe Grekes be Cristen, ȝit þai vary fra oure faith. For þai say þat þe Haly Gaste commes noȝt oute of þe Sonne, bot anely of þe Fader; and þai er noȝt obeyand to þe kirke of Rome, ne to þe Pope. And þai say þat þaire Patriarke has als mykill power beȝond þe Grekis see as oure Pope hase on [folio 9] þis syde. And þerfore þe Pope Iohn þe xxii. sent letters to þaim schewand þam how þat þe cristen faith schuld be all ane, aud þat all cristen men schuld be obeyand to a pope, whilke es Cristez vicar in erthe, to wham Godd gaffe full powere for to bynd and to louse; and þerfore þai schuld be obedient til him. And þai sent to him many answers; and amanges oþer þai sent him ane, and said on þis wyse, "Potentiam tuam summam circa tuos subiectos firmiter credimus; superbiam tuam summam tollerare non possumus; auariciam tuam summam saciare non intendimus. Dominus tecum sit, quia Dominus nobiscum est. Vale". Þis es to say, "We trowe wele þi powere es grete apon þi subgets; we may noȝt suffer þi grete pride; we er noȝt in purpose to staunche þi grete couetise. Godd be with þe, for Godd es with vs. Fare wele." And oþer answere had he noȝt of þaim. Þe Grekes also makes þe sacrement of þe autere of leuaynd breed 1. [therf bred, C.]; for oure Lord made it of leuaynd breed, when be made his maundee. And þai say we erre þat makes þe sacrement of tharf breed. And on þe schire Thursday make þai þat breed in a takenyng of þe maundee, and dries it at þe soune, and kepez it all þe ȝere, and giffez it to seke men in steed of howsill. And þai make bot ane vnccioun, when þai cristen childer, ne dippes þaim bot anes in þe fount. Þai anoynt na seke men; and þai say þer es na purgatory, and þat saules sall nowþer hafe ioy ne payne before þe day of dome. Þai say also þt fornicacion es na dedly bot a [folio 9b] kyndely thing, and þat men and wymmen schuld noȝt be wedded bot anes, and, wha so weddes ofter þan anes, þaire childer er bastardes and geten in synne. Þaire prestes also er wedded. And þai say þat oker es na dedly synne. Þai sell benificez of haly kirk, and so duse men in oþer placez; and þat es grete sclaunder and grete harme. For now es symony kyng corouned in haly kirk. Godd may amend it, when his will es. Þai say also þat in lentyn men schuld noȝt synge messe bot on þe Setirday and on þe Sonounday. And þai fast noȝt þe Seterday na tyme of þe ȝere, bot it be ȝole euen or pask euen. Þai suffer na man þat,commes fra þis syde of þe Grekes see syng on þaire awters; and, if it fall þat þai do, þai wasche þe awter alsone with haly water. And þai say þat þer schuld bot a messe be sungen at ane awter on a day. Ouer þat þai say þat oure Lorde ete neuer bodily mete, bot he made signe of etyng and feyned as he had etyn, schewand taken of manhede. Þai say we synne dedly in þat we schaue oure berdes, for pai say þat þe berde es taken of manhede and þe gifft of Godd. And þa þat 2. [And þa þat … wyfes, om. C.] schafes þaire berdes, þai do it all anely for to plese þe werld and þaire wyfes. Þai say also þat we synne dedly in etyng of bestez þat ware forbedd in þe alde lawe, as swyne, hares and oþer bestez þat chewes noȝt cudde. Also þai say þat we synne in etyng of flesch in þe three days before Ask Wedensday, and also in etyng of flesch on Wedensdays, and when we ete whitmete on Frydays. And þai curse all þase þat etes na flesh on þe Saterday. Also þe emperour of Constantynople makes þe [folio 10] patriarkes, ercebischopes and bischopes, and he giffes all þe digniteez of haly kirk in þat cuntree; and he pryues þaim þat him think vnworthy. And so he es þare lorde bathe of temperaltee and of spiritualtee.Page 11
If ȝe wil wit of þe abce of Grew and what kyn letters þai hafe, here ȝe may see þam and þer names also:— alpha , beta , gamma , delta , e breuis , epissima , 1. [: the character used only as a numeral—6.] zeta , hetha , tetha , iota , kappa , mi , ni , xe , o breuis , pe , cope , 2. [, used as a numeral—90.] ro , sima , tau , gui, fi , xi , spi , o longa , encos , 3. [for .] chile . 4. [, the latter character for .]
[Of seynt John the euangelist; and of Ypocras doughter transformed from a womman to a dragoun.]
AND if all it be so þat þire thynges touche noȝt to teching of þe way to þe haly land, neuer þe les þai touche þat þat I hafe hight to schewe, þat es at say of þe customes and maners and diuersteez of cuntreez. And for þe land of Grece es þe next cuntree þat variez and es discordand in faith and lettres fra vs and oure faith, þerfore I hafe sette it here, þat ȝe may wit þe diuersetee þat es betwene oure trowth and þaires; for many men has grete lyking and comforth to here speke of straunge thinges.
Now comme I agayne for to teche þe way fra Constantinople to þe haly land. He þat will ga thurgh Turkye, he gase to þe citee þe whilk es called Nyke, 5. [Nicæa, in Bithynia.] and so thurgh þe ȝate of Chiuotot, 6. [Cibotus, Civitot, now Gemlik.] and to þe mount of Chiuotot, þat es riȝt hie; and it es oþer halfe myle fra þe citee of Nyke. Wha so will passe fra Constantinople to þe haly land by see, he schall ga by þe Brace of Sayn George, and so, sayland in þe Grekes see, by a place 7. [Myra, in Lycia.] whare sayne Nicholas lies and by many oþer places. And first men commes til ane ile þe whilk es called Sylo. 8. [Chios, Scio.] And in þat yle growes mastik apon smale treesse; and it springes oute of þam as it ware þe gum of plum tree or chiry tree.Page 12 [folio 10b]
Seyne men passez by þe ile of Pathmos, whare sayn Iohn þe euaungelist wrate þe apochalipse. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat, when oure Lorde died, sayn Iohn was of elde xxxii. ȝere, and he liffed after þe passioun of Criste lxii. ȝere. 1. [lxvii. ȝeer and in the c. ȝeer of his age he dyede, C.] Fra Pathmos men gase til Ephesum, a faire citee and nere to þe see; and þare died sayne Iohn, and was grauen behind þe awter in a toumbe. And þare es a faire kirk; for Cristen men ware wont for to hafe þat citee in hand. Bot now it es occupied with Turkes, and so es all Asy þe less; and þerfore es Asy þe lesse called Turky. In þe toumbe of sayne Iohn men may fynd na thyng bot manna; for sum men saise his body was translated in to paradyse. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat sayn Iohn gert make his graue þare in his lyfe and laid himself þerin all qwikk; and þerfore sum saise þat he dyed noȝt, bot þat he restez þare to þe day of dome. And forsothe þare es riȝt a grete meruaile; for men may see þare þe erthe of þe toumbe many a tyme stirre and moue, as þer ware a qwikke thing vnder.
Fra Ephesum men passez by many iles in þe see vnto þe citee of Pateran, 2. [Patera, in Lycia.] whare sayne Nicholas was borne, and so to the citee of Marc, 3. [Myra.] whare he was chosen to be bischope. Þare growes riȝt gude wyne and myghty, þe whilk men callez wyne of Marc. Fra þeine men passez to þe ile of Grece, 4. [Crete.] þe whilk þe emperour gafe sum tyme to þe Ianuynes. And fra þeine men wendes to þe ile of Cophos, 5. [Cos, another name for Lango, the birthplace of Hippocrates.] and so by þe ile of Lango, of whilk iles Ypocras was sum tyme lorde.[folio 11]
And sum saise þat in þe ile of Lango es Ypocras doghter in likness of a dragoun, þe whilk es a hundreth fote lang, as men saise, for I hafe noȝt sene it. And folk þare calles hir Lady of þat ile. Scho lies in ane alde castell, and schewes hir thries in þe ȝere; and scho duse na man harme. Scho was changed þus fra a faire damysell til a dragoun thurgh a goddess þat men called Diane. And men saise þat scho sall dwell so vnto þe tyme þat a knyght comme þat schall be so hardy þat he sall dare ga to hir and kisse hir mouth. And þan sall scho turne agayne to hir awen kynde and be a womman; bot scho sall liffe bot lytill while efter. And it es noȝt lang sithen a knyght of Rodes, the whilk was a doghty man and a hardy, said þat he wald kisse hir. And he leped on his coursere and went to þe castell and entred in to þe caue whare þe dragoun lay. And scho began to lift vp hir heued agayne him; and þe knyght 6. [So also in C. In the French it is the "chival," not "chivaler."] sawe it so hidous, and fast he fledd away. And þe dragoun folowed and tuke þe knyght and bare him maugree his til a cragg of þe see, and ouer þat cragg scho kest him in to þe see;Page 13 and so was þat knyght lost. Also a ȝong man, þe whilk wist noȝt of þat dragoun, went oute on a tyme of a schippe for to refresch him, and walked furth in þis ile til he come to þe castell, and entred in to þe caue. And so he fand a chaumbre, and þerin he sawe a damysell kemmand hir hare and loked in a mirrour, and scho had mykill tresoure aboute hir. And he supposed þat scho had bene a common womman, þat had dwelled þare to kepe men þat come thurgh þe cuntree; and he stude still þare behind hir till scho turned hir toward him and [folio 11b] asked him what he wald. And he said þat he wald be hir paramour. And scho asked him if he ware a knyght, and be said nay. And scho said þat þan myght he noȝt be hir lemman; bot scho bad him go agayne to his felawes and make him knyght and com agayne on þe morue, and scho schuld com oute of þe caue. And scho bad him þat he schuld kisse hir mouthe and hafe na drede of hir, what figure so euer he sawe hir, for scho schuld do him no harme, if all scho ware neuer so vggly ne so hidous til his sight. For, scho said, it was done by enchauntement, for scho was swilk as he sawe hir þat tyme. And scho said him þat, if he kissed hir, he schold hafe all þat tresour and be lord of hir and of þase iles. And he went fra hir and come to his felawes to þe schippe and gert make him knyght and went agayne apon the morue to kisse þe damysell. And, when he sawe hir comme oute of þe caue in liknes of a dragoun, he had so grete drede þat he fledd to þe schippe, and scho folowed him. And when scho saw þat he turned noȝt agayne, scho began to crie, as a thing þat had mykill sorowe. To þe schippe scho folowed him and, when he was entred in to þe schippe, scho turned agayne with a hidous crie; and sone after þe knyght died. And seyne hiderward myght na knyght see hir, þat ne he died sone after. Bot, when a knyght commes þat es so hardy þat he dare kisse hir, he schall noȝt die, bot he schall turne þat damysell in to hir riȝt schappe, and he schall be lord of hir and of þe iles beforesaid.
Fra þis ile men passez to þe ile of Rodes, þe whilk þe Hospitelers haldez and gouernes. And þis ile þai wan of þe emperour of Constantinople. And it was sum tyme called Colos, 1. [From the Colossus.] and so calles þe Turkes it ȝit. [folio 12] And sayne Paule in his pistle wrate to þam of þat ile ad Colocenses. Þis ile es viiic myle fra Constantinople, for to wende by þe see.Page 14
CHAPTER V. 1. [There is no division or rubric here in C, although the matter following is not covered by the rubric of chp. iv.]
[Of diversities in Cyprus; of the road from Cyprus to Jerusalem; and of the marvel of a fosse full of sand.]
FRA þis ile of Rodes men passez in to Cypre, whare er many vynes, of þe whilk es made noble wyne and myghty; þe whilk er þe first ȝere reed, and after a ȝere it turnez to whyte, and, ay þe elder it es, þe whittere it waxes and þe mare clere and mare myghty and þe better smell hase. Vnto Cypre men passez by a place þat es called þe Gulf of Cathaly, 2. [Satalia, or Adalia, on the mainland, N.W. of Cyprus.] þe whilk was sum tyme a grete cuntree and a faire, and a faire citee þerin, þat hight Cathaly. And all þat cuntree was lost thurgh foly of a ȝong man. For þer was a faire damysell whilk he luffed wele, and scho dyed sudaynely and was layd in a graue of marble; and for þe grete lufe þat he had to hir he went on a nyght til hir grafe and opned it and went in and lay by hir and ȝode his way. And at þe nynde moneth end a voice come to him on a nyght and said, "Ga to þe graue of þat womman and open it, and behald what þou has geten on hir. And, if þou ga noght, þou schall hafe grete harme and grete disese." And he went and opned þe grafe, and þer flewe oute a heued 3. [an eddere, C.] riȝt horrible and hidous to see, þe whilk flewe all aboute þe citee, and alssone it sank and all þe cuntree aboute it. And þare er many perilous passagez.
Fra Rodes to Cypre es nere vc myle; bot men may wende to Cipre and noȝt com at Rodes. Cypre es a gude ile and a grete; and þare er many gude citez, bot principally foure. Þare er also three bischopes and ane [folio 12b] ercebischope. Þe ercebischope see es at Nicosy. 4. [Nicosia, Lefkosia.] Þe principale citee of Cypre es Famagost 5. [Famagosta.]; and þare es þe best hauen of þe see in all þe werld, for þare arryues Cristen men and hathen and men of all naciouns. And in 6. [And in … Lymettes, om. C.] Cypre es anoþer hauen at þe citee of Lymettes. 7. [Limasol.] In Cypre also es þe hill of þe Haly Crosse; and þare es ane abbay of mounkes, and þare es þe [supplied by ed.] crosse of þe gude theeffe Dismas, as I hafe said before. And sum trowes þat þare es þe half of þe crosse of oure Lord, bot it es noȝt so. In Cipre lyes sayn Genouefe, of wham men of þat cuntree makes grete feste and grete sollempnytee. And in þe castell of Amours liez þe body of saynt Hillarion, and men kepes it full wirschipfully. In Cipre men huntes with papiouns, þe whilk erPage 15 lyke to leoperds; and þai take wylde bestes riȝt wele, ȝa better and mare swiftly þan hundes. And þai er sum dele mare þan lyouns. 1. [and þei taken more scharpelych the bestes and more delyuerly þan don houndes, C.] In Cipre es þe maner þat all men, bathe lordes and oþer, etez þaire mete apon þe erthe. For þai make pittes in þe erthe all aboute þe hall, depe to þe knee, and þai ger paue þam wele; and, when þai will ete, þai ga in to þa pittes and settes þam doune. And þis es þe cause, for to be mare fresche; for þat land es mare hate þan it es here. At grete festes, and for straunge men þat commez þider, þai sette burdes and fourmes, as men duse in þis cuntree; bot þai ware leuer sitte on þe erthe.
In Cipre 2. [In Cipre … þat salt, om. C.] þer es a laake half a myle fra þe see, þe water of þe whilk ilk a ȝere a certayne tyme congelez in to gude salt; and þerfor schippes þat commes fra þe Haly Land commes þer away for to fraght þam with þat salt.[folio 13]
Fra Cipre men may wende by ysee and by land to Ierusalem; and in a day and a nyght he þat has gude wynd may com to þe hauen of Tyre, þat now es called Surry, 3. [Sûr.] and it 4. [and it … Surrie, om. C.] es at þe entree of Surrie. Þare was sum tyme a faire citee of Cristen men, but Sarzenes hase destruyd it a grete party; and þai kepe þat hauen riȝt strangly, for drede þat þai hase of Cristen men. Men myght passe to þat hauen righter and better and com noȝt at Cipre, bot þai wende gladly to Cipre to rest þam þare on þe land and to refresch þam, and 5. [and … before, om. C.] also to fraght þer schippes with salt, as I talde ȝow before, and to by þam oþer thinges þat þai hafe nede off to þaire liffing. At Tyre euen apon þe see syde men may fynd many rubies. And þare es also þe well of whilk haly writte 6. [Canticles [Song of Solomon], iv. 15.] saise þus, "Fons ortorum, puteus aquarum viuencium". In þis citee of Tyre said þe womman Samaritane til oure Lorde þir wordes, 7. [Luke xi. 27.]"Beatus venter qui te portauit et vbera que suxisti", þat es at say, "Blissed be þe wambe þe bare and þe pappes þat þou sowked." And þare forgafe oure Lord þe womman of Cananee hir synnes. Before þe citee of Tyre was sum tyme þe stane whareon oure Lorde satte and preched; and on þat stane was founded þe kirk of saynt Saueour.
And viii. myle fra Tyre apon þe see syde es þe citee of Saphon, 8. [Sûrafend.] or Sarepte, toward þe este. Þare was þe prophete Helyas wont for to dwelle; and þare raised oure Lorde Iesus þe wydow son 9. [and þere reysed he [sc. Elijah] Jonas the widwes sone, C.] fra deed to lyue. And v. myle þeine es þe citee of Sydon, of whilk citee Dydo, þat was Eneas wyf after þe destruccion of Troy, was lady. And scho founded Cartage in Affryk; the whilk es now called Dydoncato. 10. [and now is cleped Sydon Sayete, C.] In þe citee of Tyre regned [folio 13b] Achilles, Dydon fader. And xviii. myle fra Sydon es þe citee of Beruch. 11. [Beirut.] And fra Beruch three day iourneez es þe cytee of Sardyne. And fyue myle þeine es þe citee of Damasc.Page 16
Qwha so wil ga langer tyme on þe see and com nere to Ierusalem, he schall go fra Cipre by see vnto porte Jaff, for þat es þe next hauen to Ierusalem. For fra þat hauen to Ierusalem es noȝt bot a day iournee and a half. Þare es þe citee of Joppe; bot it es called Jaffe after ane of Noe sones, þat hight Japhet, whilk founded it. And sum men saise it es þe eldest citee of þe werld, for it was made before Noe flude. And þare er banes 1. [irene cheynes, C, and otherwise following H literally.] of a geaunt, þat hight Andromedes; and ane of his ribbes es xl. fote lang. Wha so arrvues at þe first hauen of Tyre or of Surry, whilk I spakke off before, he may, if he will, ga by land to Ierusalem. And he sall ga to þe citee of Acon, 2. [Acre, Akka, or Acco Ptolemais, 27 miles south of Tyre.] þat was sum tyme called Tholomayda, a day iournee fra Tyre. And it was a citee of Cristen men sum tyme, bot now it es destruyd for þe maste party. And fra Venice til Acon es by see iim and iiijxx2080 [supplied by ed.] myle of Lumbardy; and fra Calabre, or fra Cicil, til Acon es im and ccc. myle. And þe ile of Grece 3. [i.e., Crete, as in C.] es riȝt in þe mydde way. Beside þe citee of Acon toward þe see, as it ware sex score [supplied by ed.] furlangs þeine, on þe riȝt hand toward þe south es þe hill of Carmele, whare Helyas þe prophete dwelled. And þare was þe order of frere Carmes first founded. Þis hill es noȝt riȝt grete ne hie. At þe fote of þis hill was sum tyme a gude cytee of Cristen men, þat men called Cayphas, 4. [Haifa, or Caiffa.] [folio 14] because þat Cayphas founded it; bot it es now all wasted. And at þe left syde of þe hill es a toune þat men calles Saffre, 5. [Sepphoris, Seffûrieh.] and it es sette apon anoþer hill. Þare was sayn Jame and sayn John borne; and in þe place of þaire birthe þer es a faire kirke standand. Also fra Acon til a hill þat men calles Scale de Tyre 6. [Scala Tyriorum, or Râs en Nâkûrah, north of Acre.] es a c. furlangs.
And be syde of Acon rynnes a litil riuer, þat men calles Belyon, 7. [Belus, Wâdy Abellin.] and þare nere es þe fosse of Mynon, all rounde, þe whilk es nere hand a c. cubites large; and it es all full of grauell. And if þer be neuer so mykil taken on þe ta day, on the morue it es als full as euer it was; and þat es a grete meruaile. And þer es euermare grete wynd in þat fosse, þat stirres all way þe grauell and makez it to buyle vp. And if a man putte þerin any metell, it turnez alssone in to glasse. Þis grauell es schynand, and men makes þeroff gude glasse and clere. Þe glasse þat es made of þis grauell, if it be putte agayne in to þe grauell, it turnes agayne in to grauell, as it was first. And sum saise þat it es a swelgh of þe Grauelly See. Men commes fra ferre cuntreez with schippes by see and with cartes by land to fecche of þat grauell.Page 17
Also fra Acon before said gase men three day iournez to þe citee of Palestyne, þat now es called Gaza, and it es a full faire citee and full of ricches and of folk. Fra þis citee til a hill withoute bare Sampson þe forte þe ȝates of þe citee, þe whilk ware made of brasse. And in þat citee he sloghe þe kyng in his palays and many oþer also aboute iijm, and himselfe with þam. For þai had taken him and putte oute bathe his eghen, and culled [folio 14b] off his hare, and putte him in prisoun. And at þaire festes þai broght him furth before þam and made dance before þam and make iapes. So on a hie feste day, when he was wery for þat he [supplied by ed.] danced before þam, he bad him þat ledd him þat he suld lede him to þe post þat bare vp all þe hous; and he tuke þe post in his armes and schoke doune all þe hous apon þam, and so he sloghe himself and all þat ware þerin, as it telles in þe bible in xvi. chapetre of Judicum. Fra þis citee 1. [i.e. Acre. The proper order, from north to south, of the places mentioned is Acre, Castellum Peregrinorum (i.e. 'Athlît), Cæsarea, Jaffa, Ascalon, and Gaza.] men may ga to þe citee of Gerare, and so to þe castell of Pilgrimes, and so to Ascalon, and þan to Iaff, and so to Ierusalem.
He þat will ga first to Babilone whare þe Sowdane dwelles to hafe leue for to passe mare surely thurgh þe cuntreez and for to ga to þe mount Synay before he com to Ierusalem and þan turne agayne to Ierusalem, he sall ga fra Gaza to þe castell of Ayre. 2. [Daron, Darum.] And þan a man passez oute of Surry and enters in til wildernes, whare þe way es riȝt sandy. And þat wildernes lastes viii. day iournez. Neuerþeles men schall fynd all way by þe way all þat þam nedes of vitailes. Þis wildernes es called Acchelek. And, when a man commes oute of þis deserte, he enters in til Egipte, whilk also es called Canopak; and in anoþer langage it es called Merfyne. And þe first gude toune þat men fyndes es called Balbeor; 3. [Belbays.] and it es at þe end of þe kyngdom of Halope. And fra þeine men gase til Babilon and to þe citee of Caire.Page 18
[Of manye names of Soudans; and of the Tour of Babiloyn.]
IN Babilon es a faire kirk of oure Lady, whare scho dwelled viii. ȝere, when scho fledd oute of þe land of Iudee for drede of Kyng Herode. And þare lies þe body of þe haly virgyn sayn Barbara, and þare [folio 15] dwelled Ioseph, when his breþer had salde him in til Egipte. And þare 1. [A confusion between Babylon of Egypt, or Cairo, and Babylon of Chaldæa.] also gert kyng Nabugodonosor putte þe three childer in þe fyre, forþi þat þai held þe riȝt beleue. And þase childer hight Anany, Azary and Mysael, as þe psalme saise of Benedicite. Bot Nabugodonosor called þam [supplied by ed.] oþer names, þat es at say Sydrak, Mysak and Abdenago, whilk er þus mykil to say, Godd glorious, Godd victoriouse, Godd ouer all kyngdomes; and þat by cause of þe myracle þat he sawe, when he sawe Goddes son ga with þase childer vp and doune in þe fire. At Babilon es comounly þe dwellyng of þe sowdan in a faire castell and a strang, sette apon a hie roche. In þat castell er all way dwelland, for to kepe þe castell and to serue þe sowdan, ma þan viiim men, 2. [vim persones, C; circa sex milia personarum, Boldensele.] þat takes all þaire necessaries of þe courte of þe sowdan. Þe maner of his courte schold I wele ynogh ken; for I dwelled a lang tyme with þe sowdan and was sowdiour with him in his weres agayne þe Bedoynes. And he wald hafe maried me richely with a grete prince doghter and giffen me many grete lordschepes, so þat I wald hafe forsaken my byleue and turned to þaires; bot I wald noȝt.
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe sowdan es lord of fyue kyngdomes, whilk he has geten by conquest and approperd vntil him. And þir er þai:— Egipte; and þe kyngdom of Ierusalem, of whilk Dauid and Salomon ware kynges sum tyme; Surry, of þe whilk þe citee of Damasc was cheeff; þe kyngdom of Halope in þe land of Dameth; and þe kyngdom of Araby, of whilk ane of þe three kynges þat made offerand til oure Lord, when he was borne, was kyng. And many oþer landes he haldes in his hand. And ȝit ouer þis he es called Caliphes, þat [folio 15b] es a name of grete dignitee and of grete worschepe, 3. [he holdethe Calyffes, þat is a fulle gret thing in here langage, C.] and it es als mykill at say as kyng; for þe sowdan es of als grete auctoritee amanges þaim as þe kyng es here amanges vs. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þare was sum tyme fyue sowdanes, after þe noumer of þe fyue kyngdomes þat langes to þe sowdan þat es now. Bot now þer es bot a sowdan, þe whilk es called þe sowdan of Babilon.Page 19
Þe first sowdan of Egipte was called Yaracon, and he was Saladyne fader; þe whilk was sowdan after Yaracon, þe same tyme þat kyng Richard was in þase cuntrez with his oste of Cristen men. After Saladyn regned his son Boradyn, and after him regned his neuew. Qwhen he was deed, þe comoun pople of Egipte thoȝt þam ouer mykill thralled and bun in awe, and sawe þat þai ware strang by cause of þe multitude of þam, and went and chose þam ane of þaim self for to be þaire sowdan; and he was called Melechsala. And in his tyme Lowice þe kyng of Fraunce went in to þe Haly Land and faght with þe sowdan; and þare þe king was taken and putte in prisoun. Þis same sowdan afterward was slayne with his awen seruands and anoþer was chosen in his steed, þe whilk was called Tympieman. And he raunsouned Kyng Lowice and deliuerd him oute of prisoun. Afterward ane of þe comouns, þat hight Cothas, slew Tympieman and was made sowdan for him; and he gert call him Melechomethos. Wham sone after anoþer of þe comouns, Bendochdaer by name, slewe and regned in his steed; and he was called Melechdaer. In his tyme þe gude kyng Edward went in to Surry and didd grete harme to þe Sarzenes. Þis same sowdan was puysond at Damasc and died þare. And after him his son wald [folio 16] hafe regned as next ayr, and gert call him Melechsayt. Bot sone þer come anoþer, þat hight Elphy, with mykill folk and drafe Melechsayt oute of þe land and made him self sowdan. He tuke þe citee of Triple and slewe many Cristen men þerin in þe ȝere of oure Lord mlcclxxix. 1. [mill cc. iiii. score and ix., C.] Afterwardes he, þis Elphy, was puysound thurgh anoþer þat coueited to be sowdan; and he also was slayne sone afterward. And þan þai chose til þaire sowdan þe son of Elphi and called him Melechesserak. He tuke þe citee of Acoun and schotte oute of it all þe Cristen men þat ware þerin. Afterward he died of puysoun, and his broþer regned for him and was called Melechinasser. Sone after ane þat hight Guytoga tuke þis sowdan and empresound him in þe castell of Mount Reall and regned in his steed as sowdan; and he was called Melechadell. He þis, by cause he was ane aliene, þat es at say a Tartarene, was putte oute of þe land; and anoþer, þat hight Bathyn, was made sowdan, and was called Melechynanser. Þe whilk on a day, as he playd with anoþer at þe chesse and his swerde standand drawen besyde him, fell at debate with þe toþer, and the toþer hent his awen swerde and slew him þerwith. And afterward þer was grete discorde amanges þam for the chesing of anoþer sowdan. At þe last þai ascented all þat þe forsaid Melechinasser, wham Guytoga had empresound before in þe castell of Mount Reall, schuld be þaire sowdan. Þis ilk Melechinasser regned a lang tyme and gouerned him wonder wysely, so þat, after þe decessePage 20 of him, his eldest son was chosen sowdan, and he was called Melechinader. Qwham his broþer gert sla priuely [folio 16b] and regned in his steed, and gert call him Melechimandabron. And he þat was sowdan when I parted oute of þat land.
Þe sowdan may lede oute of Egipte ma þan xxm men of armes; and oute of þe rewme of Surry and of Turky, and oute of oþer rewmes þat er vnder his subieccion he may bring ma þan l. thousand men of armes. And all þai take þaire wagez and all þat þaim nedes of þe sowdan, þat es to say ilk ane of þam takes ȝerely vixx florenes; bot ilk ane of þam buse hald three horses and a camell. And þare er ordaynd amanges þam in diuerse citeez and tounes certayne persouns, þe whilk er called admyralles; and ilk ane admyrall sall hafe at his ledyng foure or fyue or sex men of armes, and sum ma. And ilke ane admyrall sall take als mykill by him self as all þa þat er vnder him. And for þi, when þe sowdan lykes to avaunce any man of gude þat es with him, he makes him ane admyrall. And if any derth com in þe cuntree, þan pure knyghtes and sodyours selles þaire hernays for mischeeffe.
Þe sowdan has three wyfes, of þe whilke ane sall be a Cristen womman and þe oþer twa Sarezenes. 1. [iiii. wyfes, on Cristene and iii. Sarazines, C.] And ane of þir wyfes sall dwell in Ierusalem, anoþer at Damasc, and þe thridd at Ascalon. And, ay when him list, he gase to visit þam, and vmqwhyle ledes þam aboute with him. Noght forþi he has lemmanes, als many as him list haue; for, when he comes till any citee or toune, he gers bring before him all þe nobilest and þe fairest maydens of þe cuntree nere aboute, and he gers þam be keped honestly and wirschipfully. And, when he will [folio 17] hafe any of þam, he gers þaim all be broght before him, and wha so es maste lykand till him, he sendes till hir or takes þe ryng off his fynger and castez till hir. And þan sall scho be tane and waschen and bawmed and wirschipfully cledd and after souper be broght till his chaumbre. And þus he duse ay when he will. Before þe sowdan sall na straunger com þat he ne sall be cledd in clathe of gold or tars or in chamelet, a maner of clething whilk þe Sarzenes vsez. And als sone as he has sight of þe sowdan, be it at wyndow or elleswhare, him behoues knele doune and kisse þe erthe; for swilk es þe maner þare to do reuerence to þe sowdan, when any man will speke with him. And, when any straungers commes till him in message oute of ferre landes, his men sall stand aboute him with drawen swerdes in handes, and þer handes vp on loft, to stryke þam doune, if þai speke any thing þat displesez þe sowdan. Þare sall na straunger com before him for to ask him any thing þat ne his asked sall be graunted him, if it be resounable and noȝt agayne þaire lawe. And riȝt so duse all oþer princezPage 21 and lordes in þat cuntree; for þai say þat na man suld com before a prince þat he ne schuld passe gladder away þan he come þiderward.
And wit ȝe wele þat þis Babiloyne of whilk I speke now, whare þe sowdan es dwelland, es noȝt þe grete Babilon, whare þe confusioun of tunges was made, when þe toure of Babilon was in makyng; þe walles of þe whilk ware lxiiii. furlanges hye, and it es in þe desertes of Araby, as men gase toward þe kyngdom of Caldee. Bot it es lang sen any durst com nere þat wricched place; for it es waste and so full of dragouns and nedders and oþer venymous bestes, þat þare dare na man com nere it. Þe sercle of þe toure with þe compas of þe citee [folio 17b] þat was þare sum tyme contenes xxv. myle aboute, as þai say þare in þat cuntree. And if all it be called a toure, þare ware sum tyme within it many faire edificaciouns, þe whilk er now destruyd and noȝt bot wilderness. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat it was made foure square, and ilka1. [and þat tour conteyned gret contree in circuyt, for the tour allone conteyned x. myle sqware, C.] square contened sex myle and mare. Þis ilke toure made Nemprot, þat was kyng of þat land; and men saise þat he was þe first erthely kyng þat euer was. He gert also make ane ymage in mynde of his fader, and comaundid all his subgetes to wirschippe þat ymage. On þe same wyse did oþer grete lordes aboute; and on þis maner began ydolatry first. Þat ilke citee of grete Babilon was sette in a faire playne, þe whilk was called Sennaar felde, apon þe ryuer of Eufrates, þat ran thurgh þe citee þat tyme. And þe walles of þe citee ware cc. cubites hie and l. cubites thikk. Bot efterward Syrus, þe kyng of Perse, withdrew þe water and destruyd þe citee and all þe cuntree þare aboute. He departed þe grete riuer of Eufrates, and gert it rynne in ccc. and xl. diuerse ways. For he had made his grete athe and sworne so greuously þat he schuld bring it to swilke a state þat wymmen schuld mow wade ouer and noȝt wete þaire kneesse 2. [myghte wel passe þere withouten castynge of of hire clothes, C.]; and so he did. And þe cause was for in þat ryuer þer ware oft tymes many of his worthiest men drouned.
Fra þat Babilon þer þe Sowdan dwelles for to passe north este to þe grete Babilon er xl. day iourneez thurgh deserte. And þat Babilon es noȝt in þe subieccioun of þe Sowdan, bot within þe lordschippe of þe kyng of Perse. And it es halden of þe grete Caan, þe whilk es a grete emperour, ȝa þe grettest of þe werld, for he es [folio 18] lord of þe grete Ile of Cathay and of many oþer cuntreez, and of a grete party of Inde. His land marchez with Prestre Iohn land; and he has so grete lordschippes þat he knawes nane end of þam. He es gretter andPage 22 myghtier þan þe Sowdan withouten comparisoun. Of his grete state and magestee I think to speke afterwardes, when I com þerto.
In þe grete desertes of Araby es þe citee of Meek, 1. [Mecca.] and þare ligges þe body of Machomete full wirschipfully in a temple þat þe Sarezenes calles Musket. 2. [Mosque.] And þis citee es fra Babilon whare the Sowdan dwelles xxxii. day iournees. And ȝe sall vnderstand þat þe rewme of Araby es riȝt large; bot it hase þerin many desertes, þe whilk may noȝt wele be inhabit for defaute of water. For þa desertes er so drie and sandy þat þar may na thing grow in þam. Bot þare whare þe land es inhabit þer er riȝt mykill folk. Araby strechez fra þe end of Caldee to þe last end of Affric, and it ioynes apon Ydumee toward Botron. 3. [El Buseirah, Bozra.] Þe cheeffe citee of Caldee es Baldak 4. [Baghdad.]; and of Affric þe cheeffe citee es Cartage, þe whilk Dydo founded, þat was þe wyf of Eneas, first kyng of Troy and seyne of Italy. Mesopotamy also marchez apon þe desertes of Araby; and it es a grete cuntree, in þe whilk es þe citee of Aran, whare Abraham þe patriarch dwelled sum tyme. Of þis citee was þe grete clerk Effrem and Teophill, whilk oure Lady delyuerd oute of þe thraldom of þe fende, as men may fynd writen in þe buke of þe [folio 18b] Miracles of oure Lady. Mesopotamy lastez fra þe ryuer of Eufrates to þe riuer of Tygre, for betwix þa twa riuers ligges þat rewme. And beȝond Tygre es þe kyngdom of Caldee, þe whilk es a grete cuntree and a large. In þat cuntree, as I said before, es þe citee of Baldak, in þe whilk Caliphes wont to dwell, þat was pope and emperour of þat folk, þat es at say lord of temperaltee and of spiritualtee. And he was successour of Macomete and of his kynredyn. Þis citee of Baldak was sum tyme called Susis, 5. [Susa. Its identification with Baghdad is, of course, an error.] and Nabugodonosor founded it. Þare dwelled Danyel þe prophete, and sawe oft tymes many visiouns of Godd; and þare he interpretid þe kynges dremes. Fra 6. [A passage in the French text is omitted here; it is given in C, beginning, "And in old tyme þere were wont to be iii. Calyffeez, he of Arabye and he of Caldeez; and þei dwelleden in the cytee of Baldak aboveseyd," and otherwise closely following H.] Saladyn þe Sowdan hiderward hase þe Caliphes bene called Sowdanes.
Babilon þe lesse, whare þe Sowdan dwelles, and þe citee of Caire, þat es negh þerby, er bathe grete citeez and faire. And þe tane of þam es sett apon þe tyuer Gyon, þat es also called Nilus, and it commes oute of Paradys terrestre. Þis ryuer ilka ȝere, when þe sonne entres into þe signe of Cancre, begynnes for to flow, and soPage 23 it flowes continuelly als lang as þe sonne es in þat signe and in þe signe of Lyoun. It flowes so þat sum tyme it es xx. cubites depe, and þan it ouerflowez all þe land and oft tyme duse mykill harme to placez pat ligges nere þe ryuer. For þer may na man þat tyme labour aboute tillynge of land, and swa þer falles oft sithes grete derth of corne in þat cuntree by cause of ouer mykill wete. And on þe same þer fallez grete derth, when þat ryuer rysez noȝt bot lytill, by cause of ouer mykil drught. And, when þe sonne entres þe signe of Virgyn, þan begynnes [folio 19] Nilus to decreesse vntil þe sonne entre in to þe signe of Libre, and þan it haldez it within þe bankes. Þis ryuer, as I said before, commes oute of Paradys and rynnes thurgh þe desertes of Inde, and þan it synkkes doune into þe erthe and rynnes so vnder þe erthe a grete cuntree and commes vp agayne vnder a mountayne þat hat Alloche, þe whilk es betwix Inde and Ethiope, as it ware fyue moneth iournees fra þe entree of Ethiope. And þan it rynnes all aboute Ethiope and Mauritane and so all þe lenth of Egipte to þe citee of Alexander; and þare it entres in to þe see at þe end of Egipte. Aboute þis ryuer er grete plentee of fewles þat er called in Latyne Ciconie or Ibices.
[Of the contree of Egipt; of the brid Fenix of Arabye; of the cytee of Cayre; of the connynge to knowen bawne and to prouen it; and of the gerneres of Joseph. 1. [This rubric, though found in C., is imitted in the edition of 1725 and in subsequent reprints, Ch. v. covering Ch. vi.-viii. as here printed]]
THE land of Egipte es lang, bot it es narowe; for men may noȝt inhabit it on brede for desertes, whare grete defaute es of water and þerfore it es inhabit on length endlang þe forsaid riuer. For þai hafe na moisture bot þat þe forsaid ryuer ministers; for it raynes noȝt þare, bot þe land es ower flowed þerwith certayne tymes of þe ȝere, as I said before. And for þare es na trubling of þe aer thurgh raynes, bot þe aer es þare all way faire and clere withouten cloudes, þerfore þer was wont to be þe best astronomyers of þe werld. Þe forsaid citee of Cayre, in þe whilk þe Sowdan dwelles, es besyde þe citee of Babilon, as I talde before, noȝt bot a lytill fra þe forsaid riuer of Nilus toward þe desertes of Surry. Egipte es diuysed in twa parties; þe ta party esPage 24 betwix Nilus and Ethiope, and þe toþer betwix Nilus and Arabie. In Egipte es þe cuntree of Ramesses and [folio 19b] þe cuntree of Gesen, whare Iacob þe patriarc and his offspring dwelt. Egipte es riȝt a strang cuntree; and many perlious *. [shrewede, C.] hauens er þerin, for þer lies in ilke a hauen many grete cragges of stane in þe entree of þam. Egipte hase on þe este syde þe Reed See, þat rynnes vnto þe citee of Couston. And on þe west syde es þe land of Liby, þe whilk by cause of ower mykill hete es barayne and beres na maner of fruyte. On þe south syde es Ethiopie, and on þe north es þe grete desertes, þat lastez vnto Surry. And þus is Egipte strang on ilke a syde. Þe land of Egipte hase on lenth xv. day iourneeȝ and on brede bot three, withouten desertes. Betwix Egipte and þe land þat es called Numid er xii. day iourneez in desertes. Þe folk þat wones in þat cuntree er called Numidianes, and þai are cristned. Bot þai er blakk of colour; and þat 2. [and þat … black withall; an interpolation, neither in the French texts nor in C.] þai hald a grete bewtee, and ay þe blakker þai er þe fairer þam think þam. And þai say þat, and þai schuld paynt ane aungell and a fende, þai wald paynt þe aungell black and þe fende qwhite. And, if þaim think þam noȝt black ynough when þai er borne, þai vse certayne medecynes for to make þam black withall. Þat cuntree es wonder hate, and þat makes þe folk þeroff so black.
In Egipte er v. cuntreez, ane þat es called Sahit, anoþer Demeser, þe thridd Resich, and it es ane ile in þe riuer of Nilus, þe ferthe es Alisaunder, þe fift es Damiete. Þe citee of Damyete was sum tyme riȝt strang; bot it was taken twys thurgh Cristen men, and þerfore afterwardes þe Sarezenes kest doune þe walles þeroff and of all [folio 20] þe castelles in þat cuntree. And þai made anoþer citee apon þe see syde 3. [more fer from the see, C.] and called it New Damyete. At þis cite of Damyete es ane of þe hauens of Egipte and anoþer at Alisaunder, þe whilk es a strang citee and a wele walled. Bot þai hafe na water bot þat commes in cundites fra þe riuer of Nilus. And þerfore, and men withdrew water fra þam, þai myght na while endure. In Egipte er bot fewe castelles for þe cuntree es strang ynogh of þe self.
In þe deserte of þe land of Egipte a haly hermite mette on a tyme a beste forschapen; for it had þe schappe of a man fra þe nauel dunward 4. [The words "dunward" and "vpward" should be transposed.] and fra þeine vpward þe schappe of a gayte, with twa hornes standand on þe heued. Þe hermite asked him in Goddes name, what he was; and þe beste answerd and said, "I am a creature dedly, 5. [So also in C; meaning "mortal."] as Godd hase made me, and in þis deserte I dwell and gase to gete my sustinaunce. Wharfore I pray þee, hermite, þat þou will pray to Godd for me, þat he þat come fra hauen till erthe for þe saluacioun of mannes saule, and was borne of a mayden, and sufferd hard passioun, thurgh wham we all liffe, stirres, and hase beyng, þat he hafe mercy on me." Ȝit es þe heued of þat beste with þe hornes halden and keped at Alisaunder for a miracle.Page 25
In Egipte also es a citee þat es called Eliople, þat es als mykill at say as þe citee of þe sonne. In þis citee es a temple round in þe maner of þe temple of Ierusalem. Þe preste of þe temple has writen in a buke þe date of a fewle þat men calles Fenix; and þer es bot ane in all þe werld. And þis fewle liffes fyue hundreth ȝere; [folio 20b] and at þe fyue hundreth ȝere end he commes to þe forsaid temple and apon þe awter he brynnes him self all to powder. And þe preste of þe temple, þat knawes by his buke þe tyme of his commyng, makes þe awter redy and lays þerapon diuerse spiceries and sulphure viue, and stikkes of þe iunipre tree, and oþer thinges þat will sone brynne. And þan the fewle commes, and lightes apon þe awter, and fannez with his wenges ay till þe forsaid thinges be sett on fire; and þare he brynnes him self all till asches. On þe morue þai fynd in þe asches as it ware a worme; on þe secund day þat worme es turned till a fewle perfitely fourmed; and on þe thridd day it flies fra þat place to þe place whare it was wont to dwell. And so þer es neuermare bot ane. Þis ilke fewle betakens oure Lord Ihesu Criste, in als mykill as þer es bot a Godd, þat rase on þe thridd day fra deed to lyfe. Þis forsaid fewle es oft tymes sene ayrand aboute, when 1. [when … fewle of heuen, not in C.] þe weder es faire and clere; and þai say þare þat, when þai see þat fewle sore in þe aer, þai sall afterward hafe gude ȝeres and miry, for þai say it es a fewle of heuen. And þis fewle es na mare þan ane egle of body. He has on his heued a creste as a pacok, bot it es mykill mare þan þe creste of a pacok. His nekke es ȝalow, and his back es ynde colour; his wenges er reed, and his taile es barred ouerthwert with grene and ȝalowe and reed. And in þe sonne he semes wonder faire, for þir er þe colours þat er fairest schewand.
In Egipte er placez whare þe erthe beres fruyt viii. tymes 2. [vii. tymes, C.] in þe ȝere. And þare þai fynd in þe erthe þe fairest smaragdes þat er ower whare; and þat es þe cause þat þai er so gude chepe þare, forby in oþer places. [folio 21] Also, if it fall þat it rayne anes in þe sumer, þan all þe land of Egipte es full of mysz. At þe citee of Caire þai bring to þe markett men and wymmen þat er of oþer cuntrees borne and sellez þam comounly, as men duse bestes in oþer cuntrees. Also þer es in þe citee of Caire a comoun hous ordaynd and made full of holes, 3. [of smale furneys, C.] as it ware hen nestes; and þider þe wymmen of þe cuntree bringes egges of hennes and geese and dukes, and layes þam in þe nestes. And certayne persones er ordaynd to kepe þat ilke hous and to couer þaim with warme hors dung; and thurgh þe hete of þe hors dung þe egges bringges furth briddes withouten sittyng of hen or any oþer fewle. And at þe end of iii. or iiii. wekes þe wemmen commes þat broȝt þider the egges, and beres away þe briddes and bringes þam vp as þe maner of þe cuntree askes. And þus es all þe cuntree replenyscht with swilk maner of fewles. And þus þai do als wele in winter as in somer.
In þat cuntree men selles in a certayn tyme of þe ȝere lang appels, þe whilk men of þat cuntree callez appelles of paradyse; and þai er swete and deliciouse in þe mouthe. And, when men scheres þam in diuerse partys, euermare in þe middes of þam es funden þe figure of þe crosse. Bot þai will be roten within viii. dayes; and þerfore þai may noȝt be caried into ferre cuntrees. The treessez that beres þam hafez lefes of a fute bredePage 26 and a halfe; and comounly men may fynd a c. of þase appells on a clustre. 1. [fynden the mountance of a hundred in a bascat to selle, C.] Þare er also oþer appels þat er called Adam appels; and ilke ane of þam hase in þe ta syde a merk of teeth, riȝt as þai ware biten with mannes teethe. Þer er also fige treezse þat beres neuer lefes; bot þai bere fruyte on þe bare braunches. And þai er [folio 21b] called Pharao fyges. A lytill fra þe citee of Caire es a felde whare in bawme growes apon smale brusches, as it ware of a fote height 2. [to a mannes breek girdill, C.]; and þai er lyke vnto wylde wynes. In þis felde also er vii. welles, whare 3. [þat oure Lord Ihesu Crist made with on of his feet, whan he wente to pleyen, etc., C.] Criste in his ȝouthede was wont for to play him with oþer childer; and þare he schewed diuerse meruailes. Þis felde es noȝt so wele closed þat ne men may go in þat will, oute taken þe tyme þat þe bawme growes; and þan þat felde es keped riȝt straytely. For it growes newer whare bot þare, nowþer in þat cuntree ne elleswhare. For, if all men take plantes or slyfynges þeroff and sett þam in oþer placez, þai may wele growe, bot þai sall neuer bere fruyte. The lefes of þe bawme smellis noȝt so wele as þe bawme self duse. 4. [and the leves of bawme ne fallen noughte, C.] Þai cutte away þe deed braunches with 5. [with a scharp flyntston [caillou aigu] or with a scharp bon, C.] ane instrument made þerfore, bot noȝt of yrne; and þat instrument es called gaylounagon. If þat instrument ware of yrne, it wald corrumppe þe vertu and þe kynde of þe treezse, as it has oft bene proued by experience. Men of þat cuntree, what tyme þat felde sall be tilled, getes þam Cristen men for to tille it and to geder it; and elles þa treesz schold bere na fruyte, as þe Sarzenes saise þaim self and oft tymes has bene assayd. Þe Sarzenes calles þe treessz þat beres þe bawme Enochbalse; and þe fruyt, þat es lyke vntill hostez, þai call Abebissam. Bot þe liquour þat distilles oute of þe braunches calle þai Oxbalse, þat es at say opobalsamum. Sum men saise þat þer growes bawme in Inde þe mare, in þe deserte þer þe treessz of þe sonne and þe mone spak till grete Alexaunder. [folio 22] Bot þat place hafe I noȝt sene by cause of þe perlious wayse þertill, and þerfore I can tell na soþe þeroff. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat men may lightly be begyled in þe bying of bawme, bot if þai hafe þe better connyng þerin. For sum selles a maner of gumme, þat es called Turpentyne, and puttes þerto a lytill bawme for to make it smell wele. Sum also puttes 6. [putten wax [cuire, cire] in oyle of the wode of the fruyt, etc., C.] þerto oile of þe tree or of þe beries of bawme and saise it es gude bawme. Sum distilles gariofles, spikenarde and oþer spiceries þat er wele smelland, and þe licour þat es distilled of þam þai sell in steed of bawme; and on þis wyse er many men dessayued, bathe lordes and oþer smaler men. For þe Sarezenes makes swilke sophisticaciouns for to dessayfe Cristen men withall, as I hafe oft tymes witen by experience. Marchandes also and apothecaries puttes þerto oþer sophisticaciouns afterward, and þan es it of lesse valu. Bot, if ȝow list, I sall schew ȝow how ȝe may proue and assay whilk es trewe bawme, and noȝt be dessaued. Ȝe schall vnderstand þat balme þat es kyndely and gude es riȝt clere and ȝalow and hase a strang reflaire and a gude. And, if it be thikk, reed or blak, þan es it sophisticate. Also take a litill bawme and lay it on þe lufe of þi hand and hald itPage 27 in þe sonne; and, if þou may noȝt endure it na while for hete, it es gude bawme. Take also a litill bawme on þe poynt of þi knyffe and touche þe fire þerwith; and, if it brynne, it es a gude taken. Ȝit take a drope of bawme and putte it in a dische or a coppe, and putte þerto gayte mylke; and, if þe balme be gude, alsone þe mylke sall [folio 22b] leper. 1. [anon it wole take and beclippe the mylk, C.] Putte also a drope þeroff in clere water in a pece or in a clene bacyn and stirre þe water and þe bawme togyder; and, if [supplied by ed.] þe water be clere after þe stirring, þe bawme es gude, and, if it be thikk and drubly, it es sophisticate. Þe gude 2. [This sentence translated literally in C.] bawme also es mykill stranger þan þat þat es sophisticate.
Now hafe I schortly talde ȝow sum what of bawme; and now will I tell ȝow of Joseph bernes, þat er ȝit in Egipte beȝond þe water of Nilus toward þe deserte þat es betwene Egipte and Affric. Þir er þe bernes of Joseph þat ware made for to kepe corne in for þe seuen barayne ȝeres þat ware betakned by þe seuen deed qwhete eres, whilk kyng Pharao sawe in swefnyng, as þe first buke of Bible telles. And þai er made wonder craftily of clene hewen stane. Twa of þam er wonder hie and wyde also, and þe remanand er noȝt so hie. Ilk ane of þam hase a porche at þe entree. Þir ilke bernes er now full of nedders; and men may ȝit see writen on pam withouten many scripturs of diuerse langagez. Sum men saise þat þai er graues of sum grete men in alde tyme; bot þe comoun voice es þare þat þai er þe bernes of Joseph, and þat find þai in þaire cronicles. And sothely it es noȝt likly þat þai schold be graues, in als mykill as þai er voyd within and hase porches before þam and ȝates. And also graues schold noȝt by resoun be so hie.
In Egipte er diuerse langagez and diuerse letters and of oþer schappe þan er in oper placez; and þerfore will I here sette bathe þe letters and þaire soune and þaire names, þat ȝe may knawe þe difference betwix þa letters [folio 23] and letters of oþer langagez:—a, Athomanus; b, Binchi; e, Chinok; d, Dynam; e, Em; f, Fiu; g, Gomor; h, Heket; i, Janiu; k, Karacta; l, Liuzamiu; in, Miche; n, Narme; o, Oldach; p, Pilon; q, Qyny; r, Rou; s, Sicheu; t, Thela; v, Vr; x, Xyron; y, Ypha; z, Zarum; thi, Thou.Page 28
[Of the yle of Cecyle; of the weye fro Babyloyne to the Mownt Synay; of the chirche of Seynte Kateryne; and of alle the meruaylles there. 1. [This rubric in C. is omitted in the printed editions.]]
AR I passe any forþer, I will turne agayne and tell oþer ways þat men may wende til Babilon whare þe sowdan dwelles, þe whilk es at þe entree of Egipte. For many pilgrymes wendes first þider and seyne to þe mount Synai, and so turnes to Ierusalem agayn, as I said before. For first þai make þaire ferrest pilgrimage and þan commes agayneward by haly placez þat er nerre, if all þai be not *. ["not" an insertion, the sentence originally running "if all þai be of mare dignitee."] of dignitee as Ierusalem es, to þe whilk na pilgrimage may be lyke. Bot, for to make all þaire iournees maste suerly and with leste labour, sum men gas first to þe ferrer placez and seyne to þe placez þat er on þis syde. Now he þat will go first to Babilon by anoþer way mare compendious þan I hafe tald off before fra þis cuntree or fra oþer þat er nere, he may go thurgh Fraunce and thurgh Burgoyne. And it nedes noȝt to tell all þe names of þe citeez and tounes by þe whilk men most go, for þe way es comoun and wele ynogh knawen with all men þat vsez trauaile. Bot þer er many hauens for to schippe at; for sum schippes at þe cite of Geen, sum at Venice and sailez thurgh þe see Adrias, þat es cald þe Gulff of Venice and partes Italy and Grece on þat syde, and sum wendez to Naples, [folio 23b] sum to Rome and swa til Brunduse 3. [Brundusium, Brindisi.] and schippes þare, or elles in sum oþer placez whare þai fynd hauens and redy schipping. Also sum wendez thurgh Tuscayne and Campayne and Calabre and Apuyle and þe Iles of Ytaly by Choos, 4. [Corsica.] Sardine and Cicile, þe whilk es a faire ile and a grete. In þat ile es a gardyne with diuerse maners of fruytes; and þat gardyne es all way grene and full of floures, bathe wynter and sumer. Þis ile es cccl. leeges aboute; and betwix Cicile and Italy es bot a litill arme of þe see, þe whilk es called Fare. 5. [The Faro; the Farde of Mescyne, C.] Þis ile of Cicile es betwene þe see Adriac and þe see of Lumbardie. Oute of Cicile into Calabre er viii. myles of Lumbardy. In Cicile es a maner of nedder, with whilk men of þat land vsez to proue þaire childer, wheder þai be geten in leel spousage or noght. For, if þai be geten in leel spousage, þe nedder will go aboute þam and do þam na harmePage 29 and, if þai be geten in advoutry, þe nedders will stang pam and venym þam. And on þis wise men of þat cuntree þat hase euill suspecioun to þaire wyfes prouez þaire childer, wheder þai be þairs or noȝt. In þis ile also es þe mount of Ethna, þe whilk by anoþer name es called Gebel. Þare er swelghes in þe erthe allway brynnand, and namely in seuen places, oute of þe whilk þer commes flawme of fire of diuerse colours. And by þe chaungeyng of the coloures men of þat cuntree knawes and coniectures wheder it schal be derthe of corne or gude chepe, [folio 24] wheder þe weder sall he calde or hate, rayne or faire weder; and many oþer thinges þai pronostic and diuines by þe colour of þa flawmes. Fra Italy to þa swelghes er noȝt bot xxv. myle; and þai say þare þat þai er 1. [ben weyes of helle (i.e. "chemins" for "cheminees"), C.] þe entreez and þe ȝates of hell.
He þat wendes by þe citee of Pisane, as sum men duse, whare þer es ane arme of þe see and twa hauens, and enters þe see þare, he schall wende by þe ile of Greff, þe whilk pertenes to þe Ianuenes. 2. [Greef, þat is at Gene, C. Corfu seems to be meant.] And seyne he aryfes in Grece at citee of Mirrok, or at þe citee of Valon, or at Duraz, þat es þe Dukes of Duraz, or at sum oþer hauens þat er on þa costes of þe see, and swa to Constantinople, and þan by see to þe iles of Grece, and to þe iles of Rodes and of Cipre. And so, for til hald þe riȝt way by see, fra Venice to Constantinople er imviiic and iiiixx miles of Lumbardy. Fra þe rewme of Cypre men may passe by see to þe porte Iaffe and so, lefyng all þat cuntree on þe left hand, till þe burgh of Alisaunder, þat standes apon þe see syde. In þat citee was Sayne Kateryne heued striken off; and in þat citee was Sayne Marc martird and grauen. Bot afterward þe emperour Leo gert his banes be broght and caried till Venice, and þare ligg þai ȝit. And ȝit es þare at Alisaunder a faire kirk all ouer whyte blaunched; and swa er all þe kirkes of Cristen men þare, for þe paynymes and þe Sarzenes gert blaunche þam on þat wyse to fordo þe paynture and þe ymages þat ware purtraid on þe walles. Þis citee of Alisaunder has in lenth [folio 24b] 30 furlanges and x. on brede; and it es riȝt a faire citee and a noble. At þis citee the ryuer of Nilus enters in to þe see, as I talde before. And in þat ryuer er oft tymes funden many precious stanes, and of þe tree þat men callez Aloes, þe whilk commes oute of Paradys. A medicinal thing it es for many euils, and it es salde wonder dere. Fra Alisaunder men wendez til Babilon whare þe sowdan dwelles; and it standes apon þe ryuer of Nile. Þis es þe lightest way þat men may wende to Babilon and þe schortest.
Now 3. [Preceded in C (f.26) by a rubric, as follows: "Of the weye that goth from Babiloyne vnto the mownt Synay and of the merueyles þere." The matter, however, is covered by the rubric of chp. viii.] will I tell what way men schall hald fra Babilon to þe mount Synai, whare þe body of Sayn Kateryne lyes. Men behoues passe thurgh þe desertes of Araby, whare Moyses and Aaron ledd þe folk of Israel. And in þat way þer es a well, to þe whilk Moyses ledd þam and gafe þam a drynk off, when þai made murmuracionPage 30 agaynes him by cause of thrist. Forþermare on þe way es anoþer well, þat es called Marrac, whare þai fand bitter water, when þai schold hafe drunken; and Moyses putt þerin a maner of tree, and alssone þe bitternes was away. Fra þeine men schall passe thurgh þis deserte to þe vale of Elym, whare er xii. welles and lxii. 1. [lxxii., C.] palme treesse berand dates, whare Moyses made þe childer for to loge. Fra þis vale vnto þe mount Synai es bot a day iournee.
Qwha so will go anoþer way fra Babilon to þe mount Synai, him behoues passe by þe Reed See, whilk es ane arme of þe west see, 2. [the see occean, C.] whare thurgh þe childer of Israel went drye fote, when kyng Pharao persued þam, [folio 25] and in [supplied by ed.] þe whilk he and all his oste ware drouned. And it es þer anentes vi. myle brade. Þe water of þat see es na redder þan oþer water es of þe see ellesqwhare; bot, for þer es mykill reed grauell be þe coste of þe see, þerfore men callez it þe Reed See. And it rynnes in to the marchez of Araby and Palestyne. By þis see may men passe mare þan foure day iourneez, and þan þai schall com to þe forsaid desertes and to þe forsaid vale of Elym and so to þe mount Synai. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat thurgh þa desertes may na man passe with horsez, for þer er no stablez ne esement for horsez of mete ne of drynk. And þerfor men makes þat pilgrimage with camellez; for þai may aywhare fynd bowghes of treessez in þe way þat þai may ete, for þat fude lufe þai wele, and þai may forbere drink twa dayes or three, and so may noght horsez do. Fra Babilon vnto þe mount Synai er xii. day iournez. Neuerþeles sum hastez þam so fast in þaire iournee þat þai wende it in less tyme. 3. [And sum men maken hem more, and sum men hasten hem and peynen hem and þerefore þei maken hem lesse, C.] And in þis iournee þam behoues hafe with þam sum men þat can speke Latyne 4. [latymeres (i.e. interpreters), to go with hem in the contrees and ferthere beȝonde, C.] ay till þai cun þe langage of þe cuntree; and so behoues þam hafe in oþer cuntreez toward þase partys. Þam behoues also trusse þaire vitailes with þam thurgh þe forsaid desertes, þat þai may liffe with.
Þe mount Synai es called þe deserte of Syn, þat es als mykill at say as Brynnand Busk; for þare sawe Moyses oure Lord Godd spekand till him in a busk brynnand. At þe fote of þe mount Synai es founded ane abbay of mounkes, wele enclosed with hie walles and yrne ȝates for drede of crowell wilde bestes and fell þat wonnes in þa desertes. Þe mounkes þat wonnes þerin er Arabites and Grekez, and þai er cledd lyke hermytes; and þer es [folio 25b] a grete couent of þam. Þai liffe with dates and rutes and herbes; þai drink na wyne comounly, bot on hegh feste days. Þai er deuote men and ledez pure lyf, and liffez in grete abstinence and in grete penaunce. Þare es þe kirk of Sayne Kateryne with many lawmpes brynnand. Oile of oliue vse þai als wele for metes as for lawmpesPage 31 brynnyng. Þat oile commes to þam as by miracle. For þer commes rukes and crakes 1. [the ravenes and the crowes and the choughes, C.] and oþer fewles flyand ilk ȝere aboute þat place in grete multitude togyder, als þai suld make pilgrimage in þaire maner; and ilk ane of þam bringes in þaire nebbe in steed of offerand a braunche of olyue 2. [a braunche of the bayes or of olyue, C.] and lefez þam þare, and on þat wise þer es grete plentee of olyuez left to þe sustynance of þe hous. Now, sen it es so þat fewles, þat na resoun can, duse swilk reuerence to þat glorious virgine, wele aght vs Cristen men to visit þat haly place with grete deuocioun. Behind þe hie awter of þat kirke es þe place whare Moyses sawe oure Lord in þe brynnand busk. And, when þe mounkes commez to þat place, þai putte off þaire hose and þaire schone by cause Godd said to Moyses, "Do off þi schone of þi fete, for þe place þat þou standes es haly erthe." Þat place es called þe schadow of Godd. And by syde þe hie awter er iiii. greez to gang vp at to þe toumbe of alabastre whare in þe body of þe haly virgyne Sayne Kateryne lyes. Þe prelate of þe mounkes schewes þe relyques of þis virgyn vnto pilgrymmes; and with ane instrument of siluer he stirrez þe banes of þe virgyne apon ane auter. And þan commez oute a litill oile, as [folio 26] it ware swete; bot it es lyke nowþer oile ne bawme, for it es mare blakk. Of þis liquour þai giffe a lytill quantitee til pilgrimes; for it es bot lytill þat commes oute. After þat þai schew þe heued of Sayne Kateryne, and þe clathe þat it was wonden in, when þe aungelles broght þe body vp to þe mount of Synai. And þare þai groue it with þat ilke clathe; and ȝit es it bludy, and euermare sall be. And þai schew also þe busk þat Moyses sawe brynnand, when oure Lord spakk vntil him. Þai schew also many oþer relyques. Ilk a mounke of þe hous has euermare a lawmpe brynnand; and, as it was talde me, when ane abbot dyes, his laumpe gase oute. And in chesyng of anoþer abbot his laumpe lightes by it self whilk by þe grace of Godd es maste worthy to be next Abbot. Ilk ane of þam hase his laumpe, as I said before; and þai wate by þe laumpe when any of þam sall sone dye, for agayne þat tyme will þe laumpe of him þat sall dye giffe litill light. It was talde me also þat, when a prelate es deed and schall be grauen, he þat singes þe hie messe schall fynd in a scrowe before him on þe awter þe name of him þat sall be chosen to be þaire prelate; and I asked þe mounkes if it ware so. Bot þai wald noȝt tell me, bot said sum tyme it fell swa; and ȝit þai wald noȝt say so mykill, before I said þam þat it fell noȝt to þam to hald counsaile ne to layne Goddes myracle and his grace, bot for to publisch it and schew it in apperte to excit men til deuocioun. And I said þam ower þat þai did grete synne for to layne it, as me thoȝt, for þe miracles þat Godd schewes er witness of his grete myght, as David saise in þe sawter. When I had said [folio 26b] þam swilk wordes, þan at þe first talde þai me þe wordes whilk I talde ȝow before; and mare wald þai noȝt graunt me of questiouns þat I asked þam. In þat abbay commes neuer fleess, ne flyes, ne nan oþer swilk vermyn of corrupcioun, thurgh myracle of Godd and of his moder Saynt Mary and of þe haly virgyn Sayne Kateryne.Page 32 For sum tyme þer was so grete multitude of swilke vnclene vermyn þat þe mounkes of þat abbay ware so tourmentid with þam þat þai left þe place and went away fleand þeine by cause of þam vp in to þe mountes. And riȝt so come þe blissed Virgyn and mett þam and badd þam turne agayne to þaire abbay, and þai schuld neuer hafe swilke greuaunce ne disese of þam mare. And þai did as scho bad þam and turned agayne, and neuer after þat day sawe þai in þat abbay flee ne flye, ne na maner of swilk corrupcioun to greue þam. Before þe ȝate of þat abbay es þe well whare Moyses strake on þe stane with his ȝerde, and it ran of water and sall do euermare.
Fra þis abbay men gas vp on many grecez to þe mount of Moyses; and þer es a kirk of oure Lady, whare scho mett þe mounkes, as I talde before. 1. [A passage in the French text, "Et pluis haut … staphis," is omitted here. It is translated literally in C.] And vppermare in to þe mount es Moyses chapell, and þe roche þat he fledd in to when he sawe oure Lord. In þe whilk roche es þe prynte and þe fourme of his body; for so fast he thrast his body þerto fleand þat þorow þe myracle of Godd þe fourme of his body was [supplied by ed.] left þerin. 2. [þat all his body was dolven withinne, C.] And þare fast by es þe place whare oure Lord gafe Moyses þe ten comaundementz of þe lawe writen in twa tables of stane with Goddez awen handes. And vnder a roche þare es a caue, whare Moyses dwelled when he fasted xl. [folio 27] days and xl. nyghtes. Bot he dyed in þe haly land, and na man wate whare he was grauen. Fra þis mount men gase ower a grete valay till anoþer grete mount, whare þe aungels groue þe body of Sayne Kateryne. In þat valay es a kirk of xl. martirs, whare þe mounkes of þe forsaid abbay synges oft tyme; and þat valay es riȝt calde. And þan men gase vp on þe mount of Sayn Kateryne; and it es mykill hyer þan þe mount Moyses. And þare whare Sayne Kateryne was grauen es na kirk, ne na chapell, ne oþer dwellyng place; bot þer es a hepe of stanes gaderd sammen on þe place þer scho was grauen. Þare was sum tyme a chapell, bot now it es all doune, and ȝit lies þe stanes þare. And, if all it be so þat þe colett of Sayne Kateryne say þat it es all a 3. [sc. one.] place whare oure Lorde gaffe þe lawe vnto Moyses and þar Sayn Kateryne was grauen, ȝe schall vnderstand þat it es all in a cuntree, or elles in twa steedes þat beres bathe a name. For þai er bathe called Mount Synai, bot it es a grete way betwene þam, and a grete valay and a depe.Page 33
[Of the desert betwene the chirche of Seynte Kateryne and Jerusalem; of the drie tre; and how roses cam first in the world.]
QWHEN men has visit þis haly place of Sayn Katerynes and will turne to Ierusalem, first þai take lefe at þe mounkes and recomaundes þam specially to þer praiers. And þase mounkes giffez with gude will vitailles to pilgrimes to passe with thurgh þe desertes toward Surry. And þat lastez nere xiii. day iournez or xiiii. In þa desertes dwellez mykill pople þat men callez Arabienes, Bedoynes and Ascopardes. Þai er folk of full euill condiciouns, and full of all maner of wickedness and malice. Housez hafe þai nane bot [folio 27b] tentes, whilk þai make of skynnes of camelles and oþer wylde bestes þat þai ete, and drinkez water when þai may any get. And þai dwell in placez whare þai may hafe water, as on þe Reed See and oþer placez whare þai find any water. And oft tymes it falles þat, whare men fyndez water a tyme of þe ȝere, anoþer tyme þer es nane funden; and þerfore make þai na house in a certayne place, bot now here now þare, as þai may fynd water. Þis folk, þat I speke off, trauailez noȝt aboute tillyng of land, for þai ete na breed comounly, bot if it be any þat dwellez nere sum gude towne, þat þai may ga to for to gete þam breed. Þai roste all þaire flesch, and þe fisch þat þai ete, apon stane thurgh þe hete of þe sonne. And noȝt forthy þai er strang men and wele feightand; and grete multitude þer es of þam. Þai do noȝt elles bot chacez wilde bestes, to take þam for þaire sustynaunce. And þai sett noȝt by þaire lyfes; and þerfore þai drede noȝt þe sowdan ne nan oþer prince of all þe werld, þat ne þai will feight with þam, and þai do þam any greuaunce. Þai hafe oft tymes foghten with þe sowdan, and namely þat same tyme þat I dwelled with him. Armour hafe þai nane to defend þam with, bot anely a schelde and a spere. Þai wynd þaire heuedes and þaire nekkes in a whyte lynnen clathe. Þai er riȝt foule folk and crowell and of euill kynde.
After þat men be passed þis deserte command toward Ierusalem, þai com til a citee whilk es called Bersabee, þat was sum tyme a faire citee and a gude and inhabited with Cristen men, and ȝit es þer sum of þaire [folio 28] kirkes standand. In þat citee dwelled sum tyme Abraham þe patriarke. Þis citee founded Bersabee þe wyf ofPage 34 Vry, and called it after hir self Bersabee. In þat citee 1. [on the whiche [sc. Bathsheba], C, omitting "on hir" below.] Dauid þe kyng gat on hir Salomon þe wyse, þat was kyng of Ierusalem xl. ȝere. And fra þeine gase men to þe vale of Ebron, whilk es fra þeine xii. myle 2. [ii. gode myle, C.]; and sum callez it þe Vale of Mambre, þat es at say þe Vale of Gretyng, 3. [Vale of Teres, C.] for als mykill as Adam oure forme fader made his lamentacioun in þat place a hundreth ȝere for þe deed of his son Abel, þat Cayn slew. In Ebron was sum tyme þe cheffe citee of þe Philistienes; and þare dwelled geauntz. It was also afterwardes þe citee of prestez þat ware of þe kynredyn of Iudas, Iacob son þe patriarc. And it had swilk a priuilege þat, what man so fledd þider for manslaghter or any oþer forfeture, he myght seurly dwell in þat citee withouten empeching of any man or any harme takyng. In Ebron Iosue and Caleph and þaire felyschepe come first to aspye how þai myght wynne þe land of promission. In Ebron kyng Dauid regned first vii. ȝere and a halfe; and in Ierusalem he regned xxxiii. ȝere and a halfe. In þe citee of Ebron er þe grauez of þe patriarches Adam, Abraham, Ysaach and Iacob, and of þaire wyfes Eue, Sara and Rebecca, and þai er in þe hingand of þe hill. And ower 4. [And ower … castell, om. C.] þaim es a riȝt faire kirke wele bretist aboute, as it ware a castell, þe whilk Sarzenes kepez riȝt wele. And þai hafe þat place in grete wirschippe for þe haly patriarkes þat lies þare. And þai suffer na Cristen men ne Iews com in [folio 28b] þare, bot if þai hafe special lefe of þe sowdan; for þai hald Cristen men and Iews bot as hundes, þat schuld comme in na haly place. Þat place es called Spelunca Duplex, or double caue, or double graue, for ane lyes on anoþer. And þe Sarzenes callez it in þaire langage Cariatharbe, þat es to say þe place of patriarches. And þe Iews calles it Arboth. In þat same place was Abraham hous þat tyme þat he sawe, sitand in his dore, þe three men and wirscheped ane, as haly writte witnessez, sayand "Tres vidit et vnum adorauit", 5. [The reference is to Gen. xviii. 1, 2; but see [commentary].] þat es to say, "He sawe three, and he wirschepid ane." And þare tuke Abraham aungelles in to his hous, in steed of gestez. And þare a lytill beside es a caue in a roche, whare Adam and Eue ware dwelland when þai ware dryfen oute of Paradys; and þare gat þai þaire childer. And, as sum saise, in þat same place was Adam made; for men called þat place sum tyme þe felde of Damasc, for it was in þe lordschippe of Damasc. And fra þeine he was translated in to Paradys, as þai sai; and afterward he was dryfen oute of Paradys and putt þare agayne. For þe same day þat he was putte in to Paradys þe same day he was dryfen oute; for als sone as he had synned, he was putt oute of þat ioyfull place. Þare begynnes þe vale of Ebron, and it lastez nere to Ierusalem. And þare þe aungell bad Adam þat he schuld dwell with his wyf; and þare þai engendred Seth, of whas lynage oure Lord Ihesu Criste was borne. In þat valay es a felde, whare men drawez oute of þe erthe a thing þat men callez Cambille; and þai etePage 35 þat thing in steed of spice, and oft tymes þai bere it to sell in þe cuntree aboute. Men may noȝt make þe pitte [folio 29] þer þai graue it vpp so depe ne so wyde þat it nes at þe ȝere end full agayne vp to þe brerdes thurgh þe grace of Godd.
Twa myle fra Ebron es þe grafe of Loth þe neuow of Abraham; and a lytill fra Ebron es þe mount Mambree, of whilk þat valay tuke his name. And þer es a tree of ake, þat þe Sarzenes callez Dyrpe, and it es of Abraham tyme. Þis es þe tree þat men callez þe drie tree; and þai say þare þat it has bene fra þe begynnyng of þe werld, and þat it was allway grene and bare lefes vnto þat tyme þat oure Lord died on þe crosse, and þan it dried. And so did, as sum men saise, all þe treesse in þe werld, or elles 1. [or elles … diuerse placez, om. C.] þai failed in þaire hertes and become holle within, of whilk þer er many ȝit standand in diuerse placez. Sum prophecies saise þat a grete lord of the west syde of þe werld sall conquer þe haly land with help of Cristen men, and he sall ger syng a messe vnder þat drie tree, and þan sall it wax grene agayne and bere leefes and fruyt, and thurgh vertu of þat miracle many Sarzenes and Iews sall be turned to Cristen faith. And forþi þat tree es halden þare in grete prys, and grete reuerence dose þe folk of þe cuntree þerto and kepez it riȝt bisily. And, if all it be called and es a drie tree, neuer þe les þer es grete vertu þerin; for, wha so beres any porcion þeroff apon him, he sall neuer be trauelled with þe falland euill, ne his hors sall neuer be afounded, whils he hase it apon him. And many oþer vertuz has þat drie tree, and þerfore it es halden riȝt precious.
Fra Ebron men gase to Bethleem in halfe a day, for it es bot fyue myle; and it es a faire way and a lykand, thurgh a playne and a wode. Bethleem es bot a lytill citee and a narow, bot it es wele lang, and it es wele [folio 29b] walled all aboute and dyked. And it was called in alde tyme Effrata, as haly writte saise, "Ecce, audiuimus eum in Effrata", 2. [Ps. cxxxi. 6, but with "eam."] þat es to say, "Loo, we herd him in Effrata." Toward þe este end of þat citee es a faire kirke with many kirnelles and toures and wele bretist all aboute; and within þat kirk er xliiii. pilers of marble, grete and faire. And betwene þis kirk and þe citee es þe Felde Floridus; and it es called Felde Florischt for als mykill as a faire ȝung maiden was blamed with wrang, þat scho schuld hafe done fornicacioun, for whilk cause scho was demed to be brint in þat place. To þe whilk place scho was ledd and bun by a stake and fagotes of thornes and oþer wode laid aboute hir; and, when scho sawe þe wodde begynne to brynne, scho made hir praier til oure Lord þat, as scho was noȝt gilty of þat thing, he wald helpe hir and saue hir, þat it myght be knawen till all men. And, when scho had þus prayd, scho went in to the fire; and als sone it was oute, and þase braunchez þat ware brynnand become reed roseres, and þase braunchez þat ware noȝt kindled become whyte roseres, full ofPage 36 roses. And þase ware þe first rosez and roseres þat any man sawe. And þus was þe mayden saued thurgh þe grace of Godd. Also by syde þe qwere of þat kirk, at þe riȝt syde as men commez dounward xvii. 1. [xvi., C.] greez, es þe place whare oure Lord was borne, þat is now full wele dight and richely depaynted with gold and siluer and azure and oþer diuerse coloures. And a lytil þeine, as it ware three paassez, es þe cribbe of þe ox and þe asse. And besyde þat es a pitte whare in þe sterne fell þat ledd þe three kynges till oure Lord; and þaire names ware Iasper, Melchior and Balthazar. Bot 2. [C here follows H literally.] men of Grece callez þam þus, Galgalath, Malgalath, and Seraphy. Þise [folio 30] three kynges offredd till oure Lord incense, gold and mirre. And þai come þider thurgh myracle of Godd, for þai mette sammen in a citee of Inde, þat men callez Chasak, 3. [Cassak, C.] whilk es liii. day iourneez fra Bethleem, and þai 4. [And þai … þe sterne, translated more literally in C.] ware at Bethleem þe ferthe day after þat þai had sene þe sterne. Also vnder þe cloister of þis kirke, xviii. greez at þe right syde, es þe Charnell of þe Innocentz, whare þaire banes lies. And before þat place whare Criste was borne es þe toumbe of sayne Ierome, þat was preste and cardinale, þe whilk did [supplied by ed.] translate þe Bible into Latyne oute of Hebrew. And withouten þe kirk es his chaier, whare in he satt when he translated þe Bible. A lytill fra þis kirk es anoþer kirk of sayn Nicholas, whare oure Lady restid hir when scho was delyuer of hir childe. And, for scho had to mykill mylke in hir pappes, whilk greued hir sare, scho mylked it oute apon þe reed stanes of marble þat ware þare; and ȝit þe spottes of þe qwhit mylk er sene apon þe stanes. And ȝe sall vnderstand þat nere hand all þat dwellez in Bethleem er Cristen men. And þer er faire vynes aboute þe citee and grete plentee of wyne thurgh þe ordynaunce and labouryng of Cristen; for þe Sarzenes laboures noȝt aboute vynes, ne þai drink na wyne. For þaire buke of lawe þat Machomete betuke þam, whilk þai call Alkaron, and sum callez it Massap, and sum callez it Harme, forbides þam to drink wyne. For in þat buke Machomete cursez all þase þat drinkez wyne and all þat sellez it. For sum men saise þat he sloghe anes a gude hermyte, whilk he lufd mykill, in his drunkenness, and þerfore he cursed þe wyne and þaim þat drinkez wyne. Bot his malisoun be [folio 30b] turned to him self, as haly writte saise, "Et in verticem ipsius iniquitas eius descendet", 5. [Ps. vii. 17.] þat es to say, "And intill his awen heued his wikkidness schall descend." Þe Sarzenes also bringes furth na grysez, ne þai ete na swyne flessch; for þai say it es broþer to man and þat it was forbedd in þe alde lawe. Also in þe land ofPage 37 Palestyne, ne in þe land of Egipte, þai ete bot lytill veel or beeff, bot if it be so alde þat it may ne mare trauaile ne wirk, noȝt for it es forbedd, bot þai kepe þam for tillyng of land. In þis citee of Bethleem was Dauid kyng borne; and he had syx 1. [syx, over erasure, E; lx., C.] wyfes, of whilk þe first was called Michol, þe doghter of kyng Saul. He had also many 2. [ccc., C.] lemmannes.
Fra Bethleem to Ierusalem er bot twa myle. And in þe way to Ierusalem, halfe a myle fra Bethleem, es a kirk, whare þe aungell said to þe schephirdes of þe birth of Criste. And in þat way es þe toumbe of Rachel, Ioseph moder, þe patriarc; and scho died als sone as scho had borne Beniamyn. And þare was scho grauen; and Iacob hir housband sette xii. grete stanes on hir, in takennyng of þe twelfe patriarkes. 3. [in tokene þat sche had born xii. children, C.] Halfe a myle fra Ierusalem apperde þe sterne agayne to þe three kynges. And in þis way to Ierusalem er many kirkes, by whilk pilgrimes gase to Ierusalem.
[Of the pilgrimages in Jerusalem; and of the Holy Places there abowte.]
FOR to speke of Ierusalem, ȝe schall vnderstand þat it standes faire amang hilles; and þer es nowþer ryuer ne well, bot þer commes water þerto by cundytes fra Ebron. And I do ȝow to wit þat þis citee was first called Iebus vnto þe tyme of Melchisedech, and seyne was it called Salem vnto þe tyme of kyng Dauid. And he sett þise twa names sammen and called it Iebusalem; and þan come Salomon [folio 31] and called it Ierusalem, and so es it ȝit called. And aboute Ierusalem es þe kyngdom of Surry; and þare by es þe land of Palestyne, and Ascalon. Bot Ierusalem es in þe land of Iudee; and it es called Iudee for Iudas Machabeus 4. [Machabeus, erased, E.] was prince of þat land. And it marchez estward on þe kyngdom of Araby, and on þe southe syde on þe land of Egipte, on þe west syde apon þe grete see, and on þe north syde apon þe kyngdom of Surry and þe see of Cypre. In Ierusalem was wont to be a patriark, and ercebischopes and bischopes aboute in þe cuntree. Aboute Ierusalem er þir citeez, Ebron at vii. myle, Iericho at vi. myle, Bersabee at viii. myle, Ascalon atPage 38 xviii. 1. [xvii., C.] myle, Iaff at xxvii., 2. [xvi., C.] Rames 3. [Ramatha, C.] at iii. myle, and Bethleem at ii. myle. And twa myle fra Bethleem, toward þe south, es a kirke of Sayne Markaritot, þat was sum tyme abbot þare, for wham þe mounkes made mykill sorowe at his dying. And ȝit es þare paynting, whare in þe grete dole þat þai made es representid and purtraid, 4. [and ȝit þei ben in moornynge in the wise þat þei maden here lamentacion for him the firste tyme, C.] and it es a piteous thing to behald.
Þis land of Ierusalem has bene in many diuerse naciouns handes, as Iews, Cananez, Assirienes, men of Perse, Medoynes, Massidoynes, Grekes, Romaynes, Cristen men, Sarzenes, Barbarenes, Turkes, and many oþer naciouns. For Criste will noȝt þat it be lang in þe handes of traytours ne synners, be þai Cristen er oþer. And now has mescreauncez halden þat land in þaire handes viixx ȝere 5. [xl. ȝere, C.] and mare; bot thurgh þe grace of Godd þai schall noȝt hald it lang.
And ȝe sall vnderstand þat, when men commez to Ierusalem, þai make þaire first pilgrimage to þe kirk [folio 31b] whare es þe sepulcre of oure Lorde, whilk was sum tyme withouten þe citee on þe north syde; bot it es now closed within þe wall of þe toune. And þer es a full faire kirk all rounde, thekid 6. [covered, C.] wele with leed; and on þe west syde of þe kirke es a faire toure and a strang, fore belles. And in þe myddes of þat kirke es a tabernacle, as as it ware a lytill hous made in maner of half a cumpas, dight riȝt wele and richely with gold and siluer and azour and oþer diuerse colours; and on þe ryght syde þeroff es þe sepulcre of oure Lord. Þis tabernacle es viii. fote lang, and fyue fote wyde, and xi. fote hegh. And it es noȝt lang sen þe sepulcre was all open, þat men myȝt kisse it and touche it. Bot for men þat come þider paynd þam to breke þe stane in pecez or pouder to bere with þam, þarfore þe sowdan has gert make a wall aboute þe graue, þat na man may touche it, bot on þe left syde. 7. [But in the left syde of the walle of the tabernacle is, wel the heighte of a man, a gret ston, to the quantytee of a mannes hed, þat was of the Holy Sepulcre, and þat ston kissen the pilgrymes þat comen þider, C.] Þat tabernacle has na wyndowes, bot þer es þerin many lawmpes light. Bot ymanges oþer þer es ane before þe sepulcre allway brynnand; and ilk a gude Fridday it gase oute by it self, and on þe Pasch day it lightez agayne by it self þat same hour þat oure Lord raise fra deed to lyf. Also within þat kirk on þe riȝt syde es þe mounte of Caluary, whare oure Lord was done on þe crosse. And þe crosse was sette in a mortays in the roche, þat es whyt of colour and a lytill reed melled þerwith. Apon þe roche dropped blode of þe woundes of oure Lorde, when he was pyned on þe crosse. And þat es now called Golgatha; and men gase vp þerto aponPage 39 [folio 32] grecez. And in þat mortays was Adam heued founden aftre Noe flode, in takne þat þe synnes of Adam schuld be boght in þat same place. And abouen on þat roche made Abraham sacrifice til oure Lord. And þare es ane awter; and before þat awter lyes Godfray de Boloon and Bawdewyne his broþer, and oþer þat ware Cristen and kynges of Ierusalem. And þare, whare oure Lord was done on þe crosse, es writen in Grew lettres, sayand þus, "Otheos basileon ysmon presemas ergaste sothias oys", and sum bukez saise þus, "Otheos basileon ymon proseonas ergasa sothias emesotis gis", þat es to say on Latyn þus, "Hic deus, rex noster, ante saecula operatus est salutem in medio terre", þat es to say, "Here Godd, oure kyng, before werldes has wroȝt hele in myddes of þe erthe." And also apon þe roche whare þe crosse was fitthed es writen þus, "Gros guist rasis thou pestes thoy thesmoysi", or þus, "Oyos iustiys basis thou pesteos thoy themosi", þat es to say in Latyn, "Quod vides, est fundamentum totius fidei mundi huius", þis es to say, "Þat þou seez es þe ground of all þe fayth of þis werld." And ȝe schall vnderstand þat oure Lord when he died was xxxiii. ȝere alde and three monethes. Bot þe prophecy of Dauid saise þat he schuld hafe xl. ȝere are he died, þare he saise on þis wyse, "Quadraginta annis proximus fui generacioni huic", 1. [Ps. xciv.10, but with "offensus" for "proximus."] þat es to say, "Fourty ȝere was I neghbour to þis kynde." And hereby schuld it seme þat haly writte ware noȝt trewe; bot sikerly it es trew ynogh, for in alde tyme men made ȝeres of ten [folio 32b] monethes, of whilk þe moneth of Marce was þe first and December þe last. Bot Iulius Cesar, þat was emperour of Rome, gert sette to þise twa monethes, Ianuere and Feuerere, and ordayned þe ȝere to be of xii. monethes, þat es to say of ccclxv. dayes, withouten lepe ȝere, after þe propre course of þe sonne. And þerfore, after accountyng of ten monethes to þe ȝere, he dyed in þe fourty ȝere, and after oure ȝeres of twelfe monethes he had xxxiii. ȝere and three monethes are he dyed. Fast by þe mount of Caluary, at þe riȝt syde, es ane awter, whare þe piler lyes to þe whilk oure Lord was bounden, when he was scourged. And foure fote þeine er foure stanes, 2. [pileres of ston, C.] whilk all way droppez water; and sum men saise þat þase stanes grette for oure Lordes deed. And nere to þis forsaid awter, in a place vnder þe erthe xlii. grecez depe, fand saynt Helene þe crosse of oure Lord Ihesu Criste, vnder a roche whare þe Iews had hidd it. And þare were founden also oþer twa crossez, þat þe twa thefez ware done apon, whilk hang on ayther syde Criste. And saynt Helen wist noȝt witerly whilk was þe crosse þat Criste was done apon; and þan scho tuke ilk ane efter oþer and layd þam apon a deed man, and, als sone as þe verray crosse þat Criste was done apon was laid apon þe deed body, þe cors rase fra deed to lyfe. And þare by in þe wall es þe place whare þe foure nayles þat Criste was nayled with thurgh fote and hand ware hidd; for he had twa nayles in his hend and twa in his fete. And of ane of þase nayles gert þe emperour Constantyne make him ane yrne till his brydill, 3. [made a brydill to his hors, C.] þe whilk he vsed ay when he went to bataile; for thurgh vertu þeroff he ouercome his [folio 33] enmys and conquerd many diuerse rewmes, þat es to say Asy þe less, Turkie, Ermony þe less and þe mare,Page 40 Surry, Ierusalem, Araby, Perse, Mesopotamy, þe rewme of Halope, and of Egipte, bathe þe ouermare and þe neþer mare, and many oþer landes vnto wele lawe in Ethiope and vnto Inde þe less, þat þan was Cristen for þe mare party. And þare ware in þat tyme many gode haly men and haly hermytes in þase cuntreez, of wham þe buke of Vitas patrum spekez. And now fore þe maste party þase landes er in payenes and Sarzenes handes. Bot , when Godd will, riȝt as þise landes er lost thurgh synne of Cristen men, so schall þai be wonnen agayne by Cristen men, thurgh helpe of Godd. In þe middes of þe qwere of þe forsaid kirk es a sercle, in þe whilk Ioseph of Aramathy layd þe body of oure Lord, when he had tane him off þe crosse; and men saise þat þat cumpas es in þe middes of þe werld. And in þat place wascht Ioseph þe woundes of oure Lord. Also in þe kirk of þe sepulcre, on þe north syde, es a place whare oure Lord was done in prisoun, for he was emprisouned in many placez. And þare es ȝit a porcioun of þe chayne wharwith he was bunden. And þare he appered first to Mary Mawdelayne, when he rase fra deed to lyfe, and scho wend þat he had bene a gardenere. In þe kirke of þe Sepulcre ware wont to be chanouns of þe ordre of saynt Austyne, and þai had a priour; bot þe patriarc was þaire souerayne. And withouten þe dore of þe kirke, at þe riȝt syde, as men gase vpp xviii. greez, sayd oure Lord till his moder, when he hang on þe crosse, apon þis wyse, "Mulier, ecce, filius tuus", 1. [John xix. 26.] þat es to say, [folio 33b] "Womman, loo, þare þi son," and he ment of sayne Iohn þat stode þare by syde. And till him he said, "Loo, þare þi moder." Vppe at þis grece went Criste with þe crosse on his bakk to þe place whare he was crucified. And vnder þis grece es a chapell, whare prestez synges, bot noȝt aftre oure lawe, bot aftre þaire awen lawe. And all way þai make þaire sacrement of þe awter of breed, sayand þe Pater noster and þe wordes of þe sacrement and lytill mare; for þai knawe noȝt þe addiciouns of papez, whilk oure prestez vsez for to say at messez. Neuer þe les þai syng þaire messez with grete deuocioun. And þare nere es þe place whare oure Lord rested him, when he was wery of bering of þe crosse. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat ynentes þe kirk of þe Sepulcre es þe citee maste wayke, for þe grete playne þat es betwene þe citee and þe kirke on þe este syde. And withouten þe walles toward þe est es þe vale of Iosaphat, þe whilk commes euen to þe walles. Abouen þat vale withouten þat citee es þe kirke of saynt Steuen, whare he was staned to deed. And þare by syde es þe ȝate whilke men callez Porta aurea, þe whilk may noȝt be opned. In at þat yhate come oure Lord Ihesu rydand on Palme Sunday apon ane asse; and þat ȝate opned agayne him, when he come to þe temple. And ȝit er þe steppes of þe asse sene in thre placez of þe grece of stane. Before þe kirke of þe Sepulcre cc. passez es a grete hospitale of saynt Iohn, of whilk þe hospitalleres hase þaire first fundacion. And to ga toward þe est fra þePage 41 [folio 34] hospitale es a riȝt fair kirke, þat men callez Nostre Dame le graunt. And a lytill þeine es anoþer kirke, þat es called Nostre Dame de Latynes. And þare stude Mary Mawdelayne and Mary Cleophe, makand sorow for oure Lord, when he was done to deed, and drawand off þaire hare. In 1. [This sentence in C is higher up, as in the French texts, and follows H more exactly.] þe forsaid hospitale of sayne Iohn es a grete hous ordaynd for seke folk, and þer er in þat hous vixxiiii. pilers of stane þat beres vp þe hous.
[Of the temple of oure Lord; of the crueltee of kyng Heroud; of the mount Syon; of Probatica Piscina; and of Natatorium Siloe.]
FRA þe kirke of þe sepulcre, toward þe est, ane aght score passez es þe temple Domini, whilke es riȝt a faire hous. And it es all rounde and riȝt hye and wele thekid with leed, and it es wele paued with whyte marble. Bot þe Sarzenes will suffer na Cristen men ne Iews comme þerin; for þai say þat so foule men schuld noȝt comme in to so haly place. Neuerþeles I come in þare, and in oþer placez whare I wald; for I had lettres of þe sowdan with his grete seele, in þe whilk he commaunded straitely til all his subiectes, þat þai schuld late me see all þe placez whare I come, and þat þai schuld schew me þe relykes and þe placez at my will and þat þai schuld lede me fra citee to citee, if miste ware, 2. [ȝif it were nede, C.] and benignely ressayue me and all my felaws, and be obeischaunt to myne askynges in all thing þat was resounable, bot if it ware agaynes þe reall dignitee of þe sowdan, or elles agayne þaire lawe. Till oþer þat askes leue of þe sowdan and grace to passe by þe placez before said he giffez comounly bot his signet; þe whilke pilgrimes beres before þam thurgh þe cuntree hingand apon a spere or apon a rodd, to þe whilke þe folk of þat land dose grete reuerence. Bot to me, by [folio 34b] cause I was lang in his courte and in his seruice, he didd speciale grace. Till his forsaid signet swilk reuerence þai do, þat, when þai see it passe before þam, þai knele doune þerto, as we do when þe preste passez by vs with þe pyxe. 3. [þe pyxe, over an erasure, E; and knelen þereto as lowly as wee don to Corpus Domini, C.] And till his lettres also þai do grete reuerence; for, when þai comme till any lorde or til any oþer man, als sone as he seez þam, he inclynes þerto reuerently and ressayfez þam and lays þam apon his heued, and seyne he kissez þam and redez þam kneland and þan proferes him to do all thing þat þe bringer will efter þe tenenour of þam. In þis forsaid temple Domini ware wont to be chanouns reguleres; and þai had ane abbot toPage 42 wham þai ware obedient. And in þis temple was Charlemayne, when þe aungell broght him þe prepuce of oure Lord, when he was circumcised; and afterward kyng Charles gert bere it to Parysch. 1. [to Parys into his chapelle; and after þat he leet brynge it to Peyteres [Poitiers] and after þat to Chartres, C.] And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þis es noȝt þe temple þat Salomon made; for þat temple lasted bot a thousand cii. ȝere. For Tytus, Vaspasiane son, þat was emperour of Rome, layd ensege vnto Ierusalem for to destruy þe Iews, for þai did Criste to deed withouten leue and ascent of þe emperour. And, when he had taken þe citee, he gert brynne þe temple and cast it doune and destruyd it and tuke all þe Iews and slew of þam elleuen hundreth thowsand; and þe remenaunt he putte in presoun and salde of þam xxx. for a peny, for he had herd tell þat þai salde Criste for [folio 35] xxx. penys. 2. [and he made of hem bettre cheep, adds C.] Lang after þis þe emperour Iulyan Apostata, whilk renayd and forsuke Cristen fayth, gafe þe Iewes leue to make agayne þe temple in Ierusalem, for þe hatredyn þat he had till Cristen men, if all he ware a Cristen man before. And when þai had made þe temple, þer come ane ertheqwakyng, as Godd wald, þat kest all doune þat þai had made. And seyne þe emperour Adrian, þat was of þaim of Troy, reparailed þe citee of Ierusalem and restored þe temple and made it new agayne in þe maner þat Salomon made it, reall and noble. Bot he wald suffer na Iew com þerin, bot al Cristen men; for, if all it ware so þat he ware noȝt Cristen, he lufed Cristen men mare þan any oþer men, saue men of his awen fayth. And þis emperour gert enclose þe kirk of þe sepulcre with a wall and made it to be within þe citee, þat before was withouten. And he chaunged þe name of þe citee and called it Helyam, 3. [Ælia Capitolina.] bot þat name lasted noȝt lang. To þe temple Domini duse þe Sarezens grete reuerence, and saise þat þat place es riȝt haly. And, when þai gang in to it, þai do off þaire schone and knelez oft sythez with grete reuerence. And, when my felawes and I sawe þam do so, we didd off oure schoos and thoȝt it ware mare skill þat we Cristen men didd swilke wirschepe þare to at þe reuerence of Godd þan mistrowand. Þis temple hase lxiiii. cubites of wydeness, and als many of lenth, and of heyght vixx and fyfe 4. [vixx cubites, C.]; and it es within all aboute of pilers of marble. And ymiddez of þe temple es a stage of xxiiii. grecez hie, and gode pilers all aboute. Þis place callez þe Iews Sancta Sanctorum. And in þat place come nane bot all anely [folio 35b] þe bischope of þaire lawe, when he made þaire sacrificez. And þe folke stude all aboute in diuerse stagez after þat þai ware of dignytee and wirschepe. And þare er in to þis temple foure entreez; and þe dures er of cipresse, craftily made and wele. And within þe est dore oure Lord said, "Here es Ierusalem." And on þe north syde, within þe dore, es a well, bot þare rynnes na water oute of it, of whilk Haly Writte 5. [Cp. Ezekiel 47.1; see also Warner's commentary.] spekes þus, "Vidi aquam egredientem de templo, &c". And on þe toþer syde es a roche, þat men called sum tyme Moriac, bot seyne was it called Bethel, whare þe ark of Godd stude and oþer reliques of þe Iews. Þis ark gert Titus lede with þe reliques vnto grete Rome, when he had discumfit þe Iews. In þat arc ware Moyses tables, wharin þe ten comaundementz ware writen, and Aaron wand, and þe ȝerde of Moyses, with þe whilk he departid þe Reed See, when þe childer of Israel passed thurgh it drie fote and kyng Pharao folowed þam. And with þat ilke ȝerde Moyses smate on þe drie roche, and þan water come oute rynnand at grete fuysoun. And with þat same wand he didd many wonders. In þe forsaid ark also was a vessell of gold full of manna, þat men callez aungelles fode, with many oþer ournementz and clething of Aaron and of þe tabernacle. And þare was a table of gold, euen sqware, with xii. precious stanes, and a boist of grene iasper with foure figures and viii. names of oure Lord þerin, and vii. candelstiks of gold, and xii. fiolles of gold, and foure encensours of gold, and ane awter of gold, and foure lyouns of gold, apon whilk þai had cherubyn of gold xii. span lang, a cercle with þe xii. signez [folio 36] of þe firmament, 1. [and the cercle of swannes of heuene, C. A confusion between "signes" and "cignes."] and a tabernacle of gold, and xii. 2. [ii., C.] trumppes of siluer, and a table of siluer, vii. haly lafes, and many oþer reliques and precious thinges þat pertende to Goddes seruice before þe incarnacioun of Criste. And also apon þis roche sleped Iacob, when he sawe aungelles steigh vpp and doune by a stye, and said on þis wyse, "Vere locus iste sanctus est, et ego nesciebam", 3. [Vere Dominus est in loco isto, et ego nesciebam, Gen. xxviii. 16.] þat es to say, "Forsothe, þis place es haly, and I wist noght." And þare held Iacob þe aungell still, 4. [an aungel helde Iacob stille, C.] þat chaunged his name and called him Israel. And in þat place sawe Dauid þe aungell smytand þe folk with a swerde and seyne puttand it all bludy in þe schethe. And 5. [The omitted sentences [i.e., found in the French text but not here] given in C.] on þis roche oure Lord sette him, when þe Iews wald hafe staned him to deed, and þe roche clafe in twa, and in þat rift he hidd him; and a sterne come doune and gafe him light. And on þis roche satt oure Lady and lerned hir sawter. And þare oure Lord forgafe synnes to þe womman þat was taken in avoutry. And þare was Criste circumcised. And þare schewed þe aungell þe natiuitee of sayn Iohn Baptist. And þare offerd Melchisedech breed and wyne till oure Lord in takennyng of þe sacrement þat was to come. And þare kneled Dauid, prayand til oure Lord þat he wald hafe mercy of him and of his folke; and oure Lord herd his praier. And þare he wald hafe made þe temple; bot oure Lord forbedd him by ane aungell, for he had done treyson, when he slogh Vry, a gude knyght, by cause of his wyf. And þerfore all þat he had ordaynd to þe makyng of þe temple he tuke it to Salomon his son; and he made it. And he prayd oure Lorde, þat all þase þat prayd in þat placePage 44 [folio 36b] deuotely and with gude hert, þat he wald here þaire praier and graunt þat þai asked riȝtwisely; and oure Lord graunted it. And þerfore Salomon called it þe temple of counsaile and helpe of Godd and of þe grace of Godd. Withouten þe dore of þe temple es ane awter, whare þe Iewes ware wount to offer dowfes and turtils. 1. [The sentence [in the French text] omitted here, also omitted in C.] And in þat temple was þe prophete Zachary slayne. And off a pynnacle of þis temple kest þe Iews sayne Iame doune, þe whilk was þe first bischope of Ierusalem. And at þe entree of þis temple es þe ȝate þat es called Speciosa, whare 2. [whare … for to go, om. C.] sayne Petre heled þe cruked man and made him for to ga. A lytill fra þis temple, on þe right syde, es a kirk theked with leed, þat es called þe Scole of Salomon. And toward þe south es þe temple Salomon, þe whilk es a full faire place; and it standez in a faire playne and a large. 3. [temple of Salomon, þat is right fair and well pollisscht, C.] And in þat place dwelled knyghtes, þat ware called Templeres; and þat was þe fundacioun of þe Templeres and of þaire ordre. And, riȝt as þar was þare dwelland knyghtes, so was þer chanounes dwelland in þe temple Domini. Fra þis temple toward þe este at vixx pascez in a nuke of þe citee es þe bathe of oure Lord; and in to þis bathe was water wount for to comme oute of Paradys. A lytill þerfra es oure Lady bedd; and nere þare es þe toumbe of saynt Symeon. And withouten þe temple, toward þe north, es a faire kirke of saynt Anne, oure Lady moder; þare was oure Lady consayued. And before þat kirke es a tree þat began to growe þat same nyght. And, as men gase doune fra þat kirke xxii. grecez, lyes Ioachim, oure Lady fader, in a toumbe of stane. And þare besyde him lay sum tyme [folio 37] saynt Anne; bot saynt Helyne gert translate hir to Constantynople. In þis kirke es a well in maner of a cisterne, þe whilk es called Probatica Piscina; and it had sum tyme v. entreez. In þat cisterne ware aungels wont to bathe þam and stirre þe water, and, what man so first bathed him þerin after stirring of þe water, he was made hale, what sekenes so he had. And þare was þe man made hale þat was seke xxxviii. ȝere. And þare oure Lorde said vntil him, "Tolle grabatum tuum et ambula", 4. [John v. 8.] þat es at say, "Take þi bedd and ga." And a lytil þeine was þe hous of Pilate, and also þe hous of Herode, þe kyng þat gert slae þe Innocentz. Þis ilke Herode was a ful wikked man and a fell. For first he gert sla his wyf, whilk he luffed passand all oþer creatures; and for þe grete lufe þat he had till hir, when he sawe hir deed, he went oute of his witte and so was he lang. Afterward, when he was commen agayne to his witte by processe of tyme, he gert sla his childer þat he had geten of hir. And þan he gert sla his oþer wyf, and a son þat he had of hir, and his awen moder. And so he wald hafe done his broþer, bot he dyed are he myght com til his purpose. And, when he sawe þat he suld dye,Page 45 he sent after his sister and all þe grete lordes of his land, and when þai ware commen, he gert putte all þe lordes in a toure and said vnto his sister he wist wele þat men of his land schuld make na sorow for him, when he ware deed, and þerfore he gert hir swere þat scho suld gere do to deed all þise lordes, als sone as he ware deed, [folio 37b] and þan schuld all þe cuntree make sorowe at my deed. And þus he made his testament and dyed sone after. Bot his sister fulfilled noȝt his will; for, als sone als he was deed, scho delyuerd þe lordes oute of þe toure and talde þam hir broþer will and lete ilk ane ga whare he wald. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þare ware three Herodes, þe whilk ware wikked men and cruell. He, þis of wham I speke off, was called Herode Ascalonyte; and he þat gert smyte off sayne Iohn Baptist heued was called Herode Antipater 1. [Antypa, C.]; and Herode Agrippa gert sla sayne Iame, sayne Iohn broþer þe euangelist, and putte sayne Petre in prisoun.
Forþermare in þe citee of Ierusalem es a kirk of saynt Saueour, and þare es þe left arme of sayne Iohn Crisostom, and þare es þe mare party of sayn Steuen heued. And a lytill þeine toward þe south, as men gas to mount Syon, es a faire kirke of sayne Iame, whare his heued was smyten off. And þan es þe mount Syon; and þare es a faire kirke of Godd and oure Lady, whare scho was dwelland and dyed. And þare was sum tyme ane abbot, with chanounes regulers. And fra þat place was oure Lady borne with þe apostils to þe vale of Iosaphat. Þare es also a stane broȝt till oure Lady by aungelles fra þe mount of Synai; and it es lyke in all thinges to þe roche of þe mount sayne Kateryne. And þare nere es þe ȝate þat oure Lady went furth att to Bethleem. Also in þe entree of mount Syon es a chapell; and in þat chapell es þe stane, grete and large, with whilk þe sepulcre of Criste was couerd, when he was layd þerin; whilk stane þe three Mariez saw turned vpward and tumbled off þe [folio 38] graffe, when þai come to þe sepulcre. And þare es a lytill pece of þe piler to þe whilk oure Lord was bunden, when he was scourged. And þare was Annas hous, þat was bischope of þe Iews in þat tyme. And þare es a party of þe burde 2. [table, C.] on þe whilk Criste made his maundee with his disciples and gafe þam his body in fourme of breed and wyne. And þare denyed Petre oure Lord thryess are þe cokk crewe. Vnder þis chapell, for to ga doune xxxii. grecez, es þe place whare oure Loud wascht his disciples fete; and ȝit es þare þe vessell þat þe water was in. And þare nere es þe place whare sayne Steuen was grauen. And þare es ane awter, whare oure Lady herd aungelles syng mess. Þare apperde Criste first to his disciples after his resurreccioun, and þe dures sperde, 3. [the ȝates enclosed, C.] and said vnto þam, "Pax vobis". And on þe mount Syon apperde Criste to sayne Thomas and bad him fele hisPage 46 woundez; and þan trowed he first and said, "Dominus meus et Deus meus". In þe forsaid chapell behind þe hye awter ware all þe apostils togyder on Whitsonondy, when þe Haly Gaste descended on þam in likness of fyre. And þare made Criste pasch with his disciples; and þare sleped sayn Iohn þe euaungelist in oure Lordes knee 1. [breeste, C.] and sawe slepand many priuee thinges of heuen.
Þe mount Syon es within þe citee, and it es sumwhat hyer þan oþer placez of þe citee. And þe citee es stranger on þat syde þan on anoþer syde; for at þe fote of mount Syon es a faire castell and a strang, þe whilk þe sowdan gert make. On mount Syon was kyng Dauid and Salomon and oþer many grauen. And þare es þe [folio 38b] place whare sayne Petre grette full tenderly, when he had forsaken Criste. And a lytil þeine, as it ware a fynger stane cast, es anoþer chapell, whare oure Lord was demed to deed; and þare was Cayphas hous. Fra þis chapell, toward þe est, a viixx passez es a depe caue vnder a roche, whilk es called Galilea Domini 2. [the Galylee of oure Lord, C.]; and þare hidd sayne Petre him after þat he had denyed Criste thrys. Betwene temple Salomon and þe mount Syon es þe place whare oure Lorde raised þe mayden fra deed to lyfe. Vnder þe mount Syon, toward þe vale of Iosaphat, es a well, þat men callez Natatorium Syloe. Þare was oure Lord waschen after þat he was baptized; and þare he made þe blynd to see. Þare also was þe prophete Ysai grauen. A lytill þeine, euen ouerynentes þe forsaid well, es ane ymage of stane of alde werk, whilk Absalon gert make; and it es called Absalon hand. And a lytill þeine es þe tree on whilk Iudas hanged him self, when he had salde Criste. And þan es þe synagog whare þe bischope of þe Iewes and þe Pharisenes come sammen to hald þaire counsailes agaynes Ihesus. And þare Iudas kest þe xxx. penys before þam and said, "Peccaui, tradens sanguinem iustum", 3. [Matt. xxvii. 4.] þat es to say, "I hafe synned, betrayand riȝtwyse blude." And on þe toþer syde of mount Syon, toward þe south, a stane cast es þe felde þat was boght with þase xxx. penys; and it es called þare Acheldemak, þat es to say, þe Felde of Blude. In þis felde er many grafez of Cristen pilgrimes; for þare ware pilgrimes wont to be grauen. Þare er also many kirkes and chapelles and hermytages, whare hermytes ware wount for to dwell. And a c. pascez þeine, toward [folio 39] þe este, es þe charnell of þe hospitale of sayne Iohn.
A myle fra Ierusalem, toward þe west, es a fayre kirke, whare þe tree growed of whilk þe Haly Crosse was made. And twa myle þeine es a faire kirke, whare oure Lady mette with Elizabeth, when þai ware bathe withPage 47 childe, and sayne Iohn stirred in his moder wambe and did wyrschepe till oure Lorde his maker. And þare vnder þe awter es þe place whare sayne Iohn Baptist was borne. And bot a myle þeine es þe castell of Emaus, to þe whilk twa of Cristez disciples went after þe resurreccioun; and þare þai knew oure Lord in breking of breed. And 1. [The passage found in H, "Item dautre … voluntee divine," omitted here, is given in C.] twa myle fra Ierusalem es þe Mount Ioy, whilk es a faire place and a lykand; and þare lyes Samuel þe prophete in a faire toumbe. And it es called Mount Ioy, for þare may pilgrimes first see to Ierusalem, of whilk sight þai hafe grete ioy and comforth after þaire grete trauaile. Betwene Ierusalem and þe mount of Oliuete es þe vale of Iosaphat vnder þe walles of þe citee, as I said before; and ymiddes of þe vale es a lytill bekk, þat es called Torrens Cedron. And ouer þis bekk lay þe tree þat þe haly Crosse was made off, for a plaunchoure to men at gang on ower þat bekk. And noȝt bot a lytill þeine es a pitte in þe erthe; and þare in es þe base of þe piler to whilk Criste was bunden þat tyme þat he was scourged. And in þe myddez of þe vale es a kirke of oure Lady; and þare es oure Lady graue. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat oure Lady was, when scho dyed, lxxii. ȝere alde. And þare nere hir grafe es þe place whare oure Lorde forgafe sayne Petre all his synnes. And bot a lytill þeine, toward þe west, vnder ane awter es a well þat commes fra ane of þe ryuers of Paradys. And it es for to wit [folio 39b] þat, þof þis kirke seme now lawer þan þe erthe aboute it, at þe first fundacioun þeroff it was noȝt swa; bot of breking of þe walles of þe citee þat hase fallen doune þe erthe aboute þe kirk es risen, and so it es now hegher þan þe kirk þat at þe first tyme þat þe kirk was made was euen þerwith. Neuerþeles þe comoun opinioun es þat þe erthe es waxen heghe swa of þe self, sen þe tyme þat oure Lady was grauen þare, and ȝit waxez day by day. In þis kirk ware wont to be blakk mounkes, þe whilk had ane abbote. Besyde þis kirk es a chapell, nere þe roche þat es called Gethsemany, whare Iudas kissed oure Lorde, when he was taken of þe Iews. And þare left Criste his disciples before his passioun, when he went to pray and sayd, "Pater, si fieri potest, transeat a me calix iste", that es to say, "Fader, if it may be done, lat þis passioun ga fra me." And ȝit may men see in þe roche þe prynte of oure Lorde hend, þare he thrast þam to þe roche, when þe Iews tuke him. And a stane cast þeine, toward þe south, es anoþer chapell, whare oure Lord swette blude. And þare nere es þe toumbe of king Iosaphat; of wham þat vale tuke his name, for he was king of þat cuntree. 2. [and was conuerted by an heremyte þat was a worthi man and dide moche gode, C.] And a bow schote fra þeine, toward þe south, es a kirk, whare saynePage 48 Iame was grauen and Zachary þe prophete. On þe ta syde of þe vale of [f.40] Iosaphat es þe mount of Olyuete; and it es called so by cause þare growes many olyues. And it es hegher þan þe citee of Ierusalem, and þerfore fra þeine may men see [supplied by ed.] in to all 1. [manye of, C.] þe stretez of Ierusalem. Betwene þat hill and þe citee es noȝt bot þe vale of Iosaphat, þe whilk es noȝt full large. Apon þat hill stode oure Lord when he steigh in till heuen; and ȝit may men see þe steppe of his left fote in a stane þat he stode on. And þare was sum tyme ane abbay of black chanouns, bot now es þer noȝt bot a kirk. And a lytill þeine, xxviii. paassez, es a chapell, and þare es þe stane on whilk oure Lord satte and prechid to þe folk, sayand þus, "Beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum celorum, &c.", 2. [Matt. v. 3.] þat es to say, "Blissed be þai þat er pouer in spirit, for þaires es þe kingdom of heuen." And þare he taght his disciples þe Pater noster, wrytand þare in þe stane; þe whilk wryting 3. [þe whilk wryting … þis day, om. C.] schewez ȝit to þis day. And þare nere es a kirk, whare Mary Egipciane lyes in a toumbe. And a lytill þeine, toward þe est, es Bethphage, whare oure Lorde sent twa of his disciplez to fecche him ane asse on Palme Sonounday. A lytil fra þe mount of Olyuete, toward þe est, es a castell þat men callez Bethany. Þare dwelt Symon þe leprous, þat herberd oure Lord and his disciples. He, þis Symon, afterwardes was baptized of þe Apostils, and called Iulyan, and seyne made a bischope. Þis Iulyan es he þat men callez on for gude herbery. In þat same place forgafe oure Lord Mari Mawdelayne hir synnes; and þare scho wescht his fete with teres of hir eghen and dried þam with hir hare. And þare was Lazare raised fra deed to lyfe, whilk had lyggen foure daies stinkand in graue. Ana þare was þe hous of Lazare and of Martha his sister. Þare also dwelt Mary Cleophe. Þis castell es bot a myle fra Ierusalem. And a lytill þeine es þe place whare oure Lord was, when he wepid for þe citee of Ierusalem. And [folio 40b] þare nere es þe place whare oure Lady gafe sayn Thomas hir gyrdle after hir Assumpcioun. And a lytill þeine es a stane wharon oure Lord satt and preched; and in þe same place he sall appere on þe day of dome. A lytill fra þe mount of Olyuete es þe mount of Galile, whare þe apostels ware all togyder when Mary Mawdelayne talde þam of Cristes rysing fra deed to lyfe. And in mydd way betwene mount Olyuete and mount Galile es a kirk, whare þe aungell talde oure Lady before of hir dying.
Fra Bethany to Iericho er fyue myle. Iericho was sum tyme a faire citee; bot it es destruyd, and so þer es now bot a lytill village. Þis citee tuke Iosue thurgh þe miracle of Godd, and kest it doune, and made it euen playne with þe erthe, and commaunded þat it schuld neuer be bigged agayne; and also he weried all þa þat bigged it agayne. Of þis citee was Zacheus, þat þe Gospell spekez off, þat clambe vp in til a sycomour tree for to see oure Lord because he was a lytill man. Of þis citee also was Raab þe comoun womman, þat ressayued þePage 49 messangers of Israel, whilk come for to aspye þe cuntree, and feled þam in hir hous amang towe of lyne and said þai ware went oute of þe citee are þe ȝates ware spered, and afterwards by nyght scho lete þam ouer þe wall of þe citee by a rape and saued þam fra þe deed. Wharfore afterward, when þe citee was wonne, scho was wele rewarded, as scho was wele worthy. For Haly Writte saise, "Qui recipit prophetam in nomine prophete, mercedem prophete accipiet", 1. [Matt. x. 41.] þat es to say, "He þat ressayuez a prophete in name of me, he schall take hyre of a prophete." [folio 41] And þerfore scho had a speciale gift of Godd; for scho prophecied to þe forsaid messangers þat þai schuld wynne all þat land, 2. [Josh. ii. 9.] and so it befell. And afterward wedded hir Salmon, þat was prince of þe kynredyn of Iuda; and 3. [and fro þat tyme was sche a worthi womman and serued God wel, C.] of þaire kynredyn by processe of tyme come oure Lady saynt Mary, þe moder of oure Lord Ihesu Criste.
Fra Bethany men gase to þe flum Iordan thurgh deserte; and it es nere a day iournee. Fra Bethany also til a hill whare oure Lord fasted xl. days and xl. nyghtes er sex myle; and men callez þat hill Quarentane. And þare þe fende come to tempte oure Lord and said vntill him þus, "Dic, ut lapides isti panes fiant", 4. [Matt. iv. 3.] þat es to say, "Bidd þat þir stanes be breed." Apon þat hill in þat same place was sum tyme a faire kirke; bot now þer es na thing left bot ane hermytage, whare a maner of Cristen men dwellez þat er called Georgienes, for sayn George conuerted þam. And apon þat hill dwelled Abraham a grete whyle. Betwene þis hill and þe flum Iordan rynnes a lytill bekk, of whilk þe water was sum tyme wonder bitter; bot, fra þe prophete Helizeus had blist it, it was swete ynogh and hable for to drink. At þe fote of þis hill toward þe playne es a grete well, whilk rynnes in to Iordan. Fra þis hill vnto Iericho es bot a myle, as men gas dounward to þe flum Iordan. And in þe way as men gase to Iericho satt þe blynd man, cryand, "Ihesu fili Dauid, miserere mei", 5. [Mark x. 47.] þat es to say, "Ihesu, Dauid son, hafe mercy on me." 6. [The passage in the French text omitted here is given in C, following H literally.]Page 50
[Of the Dede See, and of the flom Jordan; of the hed of seynt John the Baptist; and of the vsages of the Samaritanes.][folio 41b]
THREE myle fra Iericho es þe Deed See. Betwene Iericho and þat see es þe cuntree of Engaddy. And þare growed bawme sum tyme; bot it was translated fra þeine in till Egipte, whare ȝit þe treessez þat þe bawme growez on er called þe vynes of Engaddy. On þe ta syde of þis see, as men commes doune fra Araby, es a hill of Moabites, whilk es called Arnon. 1. [mounte of þe Moabytes, where there is a cave þat men clepen Karua, C.] Apon þis hill ledd Balach, Beor son, þe prophete Balahaam for to wery þe childer of Israel. Þis ilke Deed See departez þe land of Iudee and of Arabie; and it lastez fra Zorea 2. [Soara, C. The same as Segor.] vntill Araby. Þe water of þis see es full bitter and salt þarwith; and, if þe erthe be sprenged þerwith, it sall wax barayne and neuer bere fruyt. Þis water chaungez þe coloure oft sythez. Þis see castez a thing oute of it whilke men callez asfaltum. And men may find ilk a day on ilke syde of þis see grete lumppes þaroff, ȝa als grete as a hors, casten vp on þe land; and it es lyke pikk. And þerfor sum men callez it þe Lac Asfaltit, þat es to say, þe Lac of Pikke. It es also called a see, for þe greteness þeroff; for it es viic and foure score furlanges on lenth and cl. on brede. And it es called þe Deed See for it rynnes noȝt, ne nowþer ebbez ne flowez, bot standez ay still, and also for it bringes furth ne nurischez na qwikk thing. For it will ressayfe na maner of qwikk thing in to it, nowþer man ne beste, fisch ne fewle. And þat hase bene proued; for men hase oft tymes casten þerin misdoers, þat hase bene foringged for þaire trespass, 3. [that han disserved to ben dede, C.] and it kest þaim oute agayne alssone. Schippes 4. [schippes … to þe ground, not in C or French texts.] may nane ga þeron, bot if þai be wele enoynted with pikk; for þer may na thing þat es deed comme [folio 42] þeron þat ne it sinkes to þe ground als sone as it commes þeron, bot if it be enoynted with pikk. If men caste in to it a lanterne light, it fletez abouen; and, if it be casten þerin vnlight, alssone it synkez to þe ground. Also, if men cast yrne þerin, it commes vp agayne and fletez abouen; and, if men cast a fether þerin, it synkez to þe grund. And þat es agaynes kynde. And riȝt so for synne agaynes kynde ware fyue citeez, whilk stode þarePage 51 sum tyme, sunken and fordone, þat es to say Sodom and Gomorre, Aldama, Sobeym and Segor. Bot Segor at þe praier of Loth was saued for þe mare party, for it stude on a hill; and ȝit in clere weder men may see of þe walles þeroff abouen þe water. Nere þis see dare na man dwell, ne drink of þe water þeroff. Sum men, as I said before, callez it þe Lac Asfaltit, and sum þe Fendez Lac, 1. [the Flom of Develes, C.] sum þe Stynkand Flum, for þe water þeroff es stynkand. By þis see syde growez tressez þat berez appels faire of coloure and delitable to behald; bot, when a man brekez þam or scherez þam, he fyndes noȝt in þam bot aschez and poudre and coles, in taken of þe vengeaunce þat Godd tuke on þa fyue citeez and þe cuntree aboute þam, brynnand þaim with þe fire of hell. At 2. [The passage about Lot and his daughters [in the French text], omitted here, is given in C, which in other respects also closely follows H.] þe riȝt side of þis see was Loth wyf turned intil a salt catte, 3. [dwelleth ȝit the wif of Loth in lyknesse of a salt ston, C. The reading "salt catte" is probably unique!] because scho luked behind hir agaynes þe bidding of þe aungell þat tyme þat Godd fordidd þe forsaid citeez. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat Loth was Aram son, þe whilk Aram was Abraham broþer; and Sara, Abraham wyf, and Melcha, Nachor wyf, ware Loth systers. Sara what tyme þat [folio 42b] scho bare Ysaach was fourscore ȝere alde and ten. Abraham also had anoþer son, þat hight Ismael; and he was circumcized when he was xiiii. ȝere alde. Bot Ysaach was circumcized when he was viii. days alde; and þai ware bathe circumcized on a day. 4. [Wherefore the Jewes þat comen of Ysaacces lyne ben circumcyded the viii. day and the Sarrazines þat comen of Ysmaeles lyne ben circumcyded whan þei ben xiiii. ȝeer of age, add C.]
Þe flum Iordan rynnes into þe Deed See; and þare it endez, for ferrer rynnes it noȝt. And it es bot a myle fra a kirk of sayne Iohn Baptiste toward þe west, whare sayne Iohn baptized oure Lord; and þare vsez Cristen men to bathe þam comounly. And a myle fra Iordan es anoþer water, þat men callez Iaboth, whilk Iacob passed ouer, when he come oute of Mesopotamy. Þe flum Iordan es na grete water, bot it es riȝt plentifous of fisch; and it commez fra þe mount Liban of twa welles þat springes vp þare, of whilk þe tane hat Ior and þe toþer Dan; and of þir twa welles takez it þe name. And it rynnez thurgh a cuntree þat es called Maran, 5. [a lake, þat is clept Maron (Merom), C.] and seyne thurgh þe see of Tiberias and vnder þe hilles of Gelboe; and þare es a faire playne on ayther syde þe ryuer. Þe mount of Lyban lastes on lenth to þe deserte of Pharan; and þai departe þe kyngdom of Surry and þe cuntree of Fenice. 6. [Phœnicia.] Apon þir hilles growez cedres wonder hye, and þai bere lang appels, whilk er als grete as a mannes heued. Þe flum Iordan departez Galilee and þe land of Ydumee and þe land of Betron; and in sumPage 52 place it rynnez vnder þe erthe vntil a faire playne þat men callez Meldan, 1. [Meldan in Sarmoyz, þat is to seye feyre or markett in here langage, be cause þat þere is often feyres in þat playn, C.] and þare es Iordan riȝt brade. In þat playne es þe sepulcre of Iob. In þis flum was Criste baptized of sayne Iohn; and þare was herd þe voice of þe [folio 43] Fader sayand, "Hic est filius meus dilectus, in quo michi bene complacui", þat es to say, "Here es my son þat I luffe, of wham I am wele payd. Heres him." And þare þe Haly Gaste descended on him in likness of a douffe 2. [a colver, C.]; and so was þare at his baptizing all þe Trinytee. Thurgh þat flum Iordan passed þe childer of Israel drye fote; and þai sett grete stanes in myddes of þe water in taken of þe miracle. Also in þat flum Naaman of Siry bathed him seuen sythes, and he was clensed of lepre and made fisch hale. 3. [toke his hele, C.] Aboute þe flum Iordan er many kirkes, and cristen men dwelland at þam. And a lytill þerfra es a citee þat es called Hayla, 4. [Ai. "Hayla" (Haylla, C) seems to represent "Hay la quelle" of the French text.] þe whilk Iosue enseged and tuke. Beȝond Iordan es þe vale of Mambree, and it es riȝt a faire vale. Also twa myle fra þe hill þat I spakk off before, whare oure Lord fasted xl. days and xl. nyghtes, toward Galile es a hie hill and vp on þat hill ledd þe fende oure Lord, and schewed him all þe kyngdommes of þe werld and said vntill him, "All þir," quod he, "salle I giffe þe, with þi þou will falle doun and adoure me."
And ȝe sall vnderstand þat for to ga fra þe Deed See estward oute of þe marchez of þe land of promission es a strang castell and a faire, standand on a hill þat men callez Carras, þat es to say Mount Real. 5. [Carak en Sarmoyz, þat is to seyne Ryally, C.] Þis castell gert Bawdewyne make, þat was king of Ierusalem 6. [France, C.] and conquerde all þat land, and inhabited it with Cristen men. And vnder þat castell es a faire toune, þat men calles Soboach, wharin many Cristen men dwellez suerly ynogh [folio 43b] vnder tribute. Fra þeine men gase to Nazareth, wharoff oure Lord had his o toname. And fra þeine to Ierusalem es iii. day iourneez. And men gase thurgh þe cuntree of Galile thurgh Ramathaim Sophim and by þe hilles of Effraym, whare Helchana dwelt and Anna, Samuel þe prophete fader and moder. Þare was Samuel borne; bot he was grauen on þe Mount Ioy, as I said before. And þan commes men to Sylo, whare þe arke of Godd was keped vnder Hely þe preste of þe lawe. And þare made þe folk of Ebron sacrifice till oure Lord. And þare spak oure Lord first vnto Samuel. And þare nere, at þe left syde, es Gabaon and Rama Beniamyn, of whilk Haly Writte spekez. Fra þeine men gase to Sychem, þat by anoþer name es called Sychar; and it es in þe cuntree of Samary, and it es x. myle fra Ierusalem. Sum men callez it Neopolis, þat es to say þe new citee.Page 53 Þare fast by es Iacob well, whare oure Lord spak to þe womman Samaritane. And þare was sum tyme a kirk; bot it es now destruyd. Þare be syde þat well gert Ieroboam kyng of Israel make twa calfez of golde, and sent þe tane of þam to Dan and þe toþer to Bethel, and comaunded þe folk þat þai schuld wirschepe þam in steed of goddes. A myle fra Sychar es a citee þat men callez Luza, 1. [cytee of Deluze (sc. cite de Luze), C.] whare Abraham dwelled sum tyme. And a lytill þeine es þe sepulcre of Ioseph Iacob son, þat gouerned Egipte; and fra Egipte ware his banes broght and grauen þare. In þe citee of Sychem was Dyna Iacob doghter rauyst; for wham hir breþer sloghe mykill of þe folk of þat citee. A lytill fra þat citee es þe mount Garisym, whare þe Samaritanes makes þaire sacrificez. In þat hill [folio 44] schuld Abraham hafe offerd his son Ysaach til oure Lorde. And þare nere es þe vale of Dothaym. And in þat vale es þe cisterne, wharin Ioseph was casten of hys breþer before þai salde him to þe Ismaelites; and it es twa myle fra Sychar. Fra þeine men gase to a citee of Samary þat es called Sebaste 2. [gon men to Samarye, þat men clepen now Sebast, C.]; and it es þe chieff citee of þat cuntree, and it standez amanges hilles, 3. [betwene þe hille of Aygnes (entre montaignes!), C.] as Ierusalem duse. Bot þat citee es noȝt now so grete as it was sum tyme. Þare was sayne Iohn Baptist grauen betwene twa prophetez, þat es to say Helizeus and Abdias. Bot he was heueded in þe castell of Macheron beside þe Deed See; and his disciples bare him to Sebaste. And þare gert Iulyan Apostata take his banes and brynne þam, for he was emperour þat tyme; and þe askes of him ware casten in þe wynd. Bot þe finger with whilk sayne Iohn schewed oure Lord, sayand, "Ecce Agnus Dei, &c.", myght noȝt be brynt. Þis fynger sayne Tecle þe virgyn gert bere in to mountes 4. [in to the hille of Sebast, C.]; and þare es done grete wirschepe þerto. In þat place was sum tyme a faire kirke; bot now it es destruyd, and many oþer kirkes also þat ware þare. Þare was þe heued of sayne Iohn closed in a wall. Bot þe emperour Theodosius gert take it oute; and he fand it lapped in a clathe all blody. And so gert he bere it to Constantinople; and þare es ȝit þe ta half þeroff, and þe toþer half es at Rome in þe kirke of sayne Siluestre. 5. [C adds, "where be nonnes of an hundred orders (the translator mistaking "cordelers" for "c. ordres"), and it is ȝit all broylly as þough it were half brent. For the emperour Iulianus aboueseyd, of his cursedness and malice, let brennen þat partie with the oþer bones, and ȝit it scheweth."] And þe vessell whare in his heued was layd, when it was smyten off, es at Geen, and men dos grete wirschepe þarto. Sum men saise þat sayne Iohn heued es at [folio 44b] Amyas in Pykardy; and sum saise þat it es þe heued of sayn Iohn þe bischope. I wate noȝt; Godd wate.
Fra Sebaste to Ierusalem er xii. myle. And betwene þe hilles of þis cuntree es a well þat chaungez hisPage 54 coloure foure tymes in þe ȝere. For sum tyme it es grene and sum tyme reed, sum tyme trublee and sum tyme clere; and men callez þat well Iol. Þe folk of þat cuntree er called Samaritanes, and þai ware conuerted and baptized thurgh þe apostels. Bot þai hald noȝt þe apostels techinges, and so þai er fallen in errours and haldez a secte by þam self and a lawe diuerse fra þe lawe of Cristen and of Iewes, Sarzenes and Payenes. Neuerþeles þai trowe in a Godd, and saise þer es nane bot he, þat made all and all schall deme. Þai kepe þe fyue bukes of þe Bible efter þe letter, and vsez þe sawter as þe Iews duse. Þai say þai er verray Goddes childer and better luffed with Godd þan any oþer men. Þaire clething also es diuerse fra oþer men, and þaire heuedes þai wende in a reed lynnen clathe to be knawen fra oþer. For þe Sarzenes lappez þaire heuedes in whyte, and Cristen men þat dwelles þare in blewe, and Iews in ȝalow clathe. For þare dwellez many Iews, payand tribute as Cristen men duse. And if ȝe will witt what kyn lettres þe Iews vsez, here ȝe schall fynd þam sette all redy and þe names of þe lettres also, as þai call þam:—Aleph, Beth, Gymel, Deleth, He, Vau, Zai, Heth, Theth, Ioth, Caph, Lameth, Mem, Nun, Sameth, Ain, Fe, Sade, Coph, Res, Sen, Tau. 1. [Over these letters are placed those of the English alphabet in regular order from a to y, excluding j and w. The forms of the Hebrew characters are too corrupt to be worth reproducing.] Now will I sette þe figures of þe lettres þat þai vse …
[Of the prouince of Galilee, and where Antecrist schall be born; of Nazareth; of the age of oure Lady; of the day of doom; and of the customes of Jacobites, Surryenes; and of the vsages of Georgyenes.][folio 45]
FRA þis cuntree þat I hafe spoken off men gase to þe playne of Galilee and lefes þe hilles on þe ta syde. Galile es a cuntree of þe land of promissioun; and in þat cuntree es þe citee of Naym and þe citee of Capharnaum and of Corozaim and of Betsayda, whare sayne Petre and saynt Andrew was borne. 2. [The sentence [from the French text] omitted here is translated in C.] And at Corsaym sall Antecriste be borne. Bot sum men sayse he schall be borne in Babiloyne, and þerfore saise þe prophecie þus, "De Babilonia exiet Coluber, qui totum mundum deuorabit", þat es to say, "OfPage 55 Babiloyne sall a nedder 1. [a worm, C.] comme, þat sall deuoure all þe werld." And he þis antecriste sall be nurischt in Bethsaida, and he sall regne in Corozaym; and þerfore saise Haly Writte of þaim þus, "Ve tibi, Corozaym! Ve tibi, Bethsaida! Ve tibi, Capharnaum!" þat es to say, "Wa be to þe Corozaym ! Wa be to þe, Bethsaida! Wa be to þe, Capharnaum." Also þe Cane of Galilee es þare, iiii. myle fra Nazareth; and þare was sayn Symon borne. Þare also did oure Lord þe first miracle at þe wedding of Architriclyne, 2. [sc. architriclinus, the governor of the feast, John ii. 8.] when he turned water in to wyne. In þe marchez of Galilee betwene þe mountaynes was þe arch of Godd taken. And on þe toþer syde es þe hill of Endor in Hermon. 3. [mownt Hendor or Hermon. And þere about goth the broke of Torrens Cison, þat somtyme was clept the broke Radumu, C.] And a lytill þeine Barach, Abymalech son, and þe prophetisse Debbora ouercome þe oste of Ydumee, when Cisara þe kyng was slayne thurgh Iabel, Aber wyf, as tellez þe Byble. And in þat same place [folio 45b] Gedeon and ccc. men with him discoumfit three kynges, þat es to say Zeb, Zebee, and Salmana, and pursued ouer þe flum Iordan and slew þam and þaire folk for þe maste party. Fyue myle fra Naym es þe citee of Iesrael, þe whilk also es called Zaraym. Of þat citee was Iesabel, þe wikked qwene, þat gert sla vnriȝtwisely Naboth for his vyneȝarde. A lytill fra þis citee es þe felde of Mageddo, whare þe kyng of Samary slewe Iosias þe kyng of Iuda, þe whilk efterward was broght to þe mount Syon and grauen þare. Also a myle fra Iesrael er þe mountes of Gelboe, whare kyng Saul and Ionathas his son and a grete noumer of þe childer of Israel ware slayne in bataile. Wharfore kyng David weried þe forsaid mountes. 4. [cursed hem, as holy writt seyth, Montes Gelboe nec ros nec pluuia, &c. (ii. Sam. i. 21), þat is to seye, "ȝee hilles of Gelboe mouþer dew ne reyn com vpon ȝou," C.] And a myle þeine, toward þe este, es a citee þat men callez Citople or Bethsaym. Apon þe walles of þat citee hinged þe Philistenes þe heued of kyng Saul.
Fra þeine men gase thurgh þe playne of Galile to Nazareth, whilk was sum tyme a grete citee; bot now þer es noȝt bot a lytill village, and it es noȝt walled aboute. In Nazareth was oure Lady borne, bot scho was consayued at Ierusalem. Of Nazareth tuke oure Lord his to name. And þare wedded Ioseph oure Lady, when scho was xiiii. ȝere alde. And þare þe aungell Gabriel grette oure Lady, sayand þus, "Aue, gratia plena! Dominus tecum", þat es to say, "Hayle, Mary, full of grace! Godd es with þe." And in þat same place es a chapell, bigged by syde a piler of a kirk þat was þare in alde tyme; and þare es grete offering of Cristen [folio 46] pilgrimes. 5. [And this salutacioun was don in a place of a gret awteer of a faire chirche þat was wont to be som tyme, but is now all downe; and men han made a lityll resceyt besyde a pylere of þat chirche for to resceyue the offrynges of pilgrimes, C.] Þis chapell gers þe Sarzenes kepe riȝt straytely by cause of auauntage of þe offerandes. And þare er wonder euill Sarzenes, and mare cruell þan er in any oþer place; for þai hafe destruyd all þe kirkez þat warePage 56 wount to be þare. And þare es þe well of Gabriell, whare oure Lord was wont to bathe him, when he was ȝung; and at þat well was he wount to fecche his moder water; and þare was scho wount to wasch his clathez. 1. [clowtes, C.] Fra Ierusalem to Nazareth er iii. day iourneez. And þare was oure Lord nurischt. Nazareth es als mykill at say as Floure of Gardyne; and it may wele be called so, for þare was nurischt þe Floure of Lyf, þat es to say oure Lord Ihesu Criste. And twa myle fra Nazareth, in þe way as men gase to þe citee of Acon, es þe citee of Sephor. And halfe a myle fra Nazareth es þe leep þat oure Lord leped fra þe Iews, when þai ledd him apon a hie roche to hafe casten him downe and slayne him; bot he passed thurgh þam and leped till anoþer roche, whare his steppes er ȝit sene. And þerfore saise sum men, when þai hafe drede of thefez, þis verse þat es writen here, "Ihesus autem transiens per medium illorum ibat", 2. [Luke, iv. 30.] þat es to say "Ihesus furth passand ȝode thurgh þe middes of þam." And þai say also þir versez of þe sawter buke, "Irruat super eos formido et pauor in magnitudine brachii tui, Domine. Fiant immobiles, quasi lapis, donec pertransiat populus tuus, Domine, donec pertransiat populus tuus iste, quem possedisti", 3. [Exod. xv. 16.] þat es to say, "Fall on þaim drede in þe greteness of þine arm, Lord. [folio 46b] Be þai vnmouand as a stane vnto þat tyme þat þi folk passe, Lord, vnto þi folk passe, whilk þou boght." And when þis es said, a man may ga seurly withouten lettyng. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat oure lady saynt Mary, when scho bare Criste, was of xv. ȝere elde, and with him scho was in erthe xxxiii. ȝere and iii. monethes. And after his passioun scho liffed xxiiii. ȝere, and so scho liffed in þis erthe lxxii. ȝere and three monethes.
Fra Nazareth to þe mount Thabor es iii. myle, and it es a faire hill and a hie. And þare was sum tyme a toune and many kirkes, bot now þai er all destruyd. Bot ȝit þer es a place þat þai call þe Scole of oure Lord, whare he teched his disciples þe priuetez of heuen. And at þe fote of þat mount Melchisedech, þat was kyng of Ierusalem and Goddes preste, mette Abraham in þe commyng doune fra þat mount, when he come fra þe descomfiture of his enmys. And on þat hill oure Lord transfigured him self before Petre, Iames and Iohn, whare þai sawe him spekand with 4. [sawghe gostly, C] Moyses and Helyas. And þerfore said Petre, "Bonum est nos hic esse. Faciamus hic tria tabernacula", 5. [Matt. xvii. 4.] þat es to say "It es gude to be here. Late vs make three tabernacles." And Criste bad þam þat þai suld tell na man þat visioun vnto þe tyme þat he ware risen fra deed to lyfe. And apon þat same hill and in þat same place apon þe day of dome sall foure aungels blawe þaire bemes 6. [trompes, C.] and raise all þat er deed vnto [folio 47] þe lyf. And þai schall com in body and saule before Godd þe souerayne Iugge in þe vale of Iosaphat, to take þaire dome apon Pasch day, in þe tyme of Cristes resurreccioun. For, as doctoures saise, þe same tyme þat hePage 57 went till hell and heried it, þe same tyme sall he spoile þe werld and take his frendes and lede þam to ioy withouten end, and dampne þe wikked til ay lastand payne. 1. [and þanne schall euery man haue after his dissert, ouþer gode or euyll, but ȝit the mercy of God passe his rightwisnesse, adds C.]
Also a myle fra þe mount Thabor es þe mount Hermon; and þare was þe citee of Naym before þe ȝates of whilk oure Lorde raised þe widow son fra deed to lyfe. Also three myle fra Nazareth es þe castell of Saffra, whare Zebedeus and Alpheus childer ware borne. And seuen myle fra Nazareth es þe mount Cain; and vnderneth it es a well, whare Lamech slew Cayn with ane arowe, supposing he had bene a wylde beste. 2. [For this Kaym wente þorgh breres and busshes as a wylde best. And he had lyued fro the tyme of Adam his fadir vnto the tyme of Noe; and so he lyuede nygh to mlml ȝeer. And this Lamech was all blynd for elde, C.]Fra Saffra gase men to a citee þat es called Tyberias, þe whilk standez apon þe see of Galile. And, if all it be called a see, neuerþeles it es na see ne arme of þe see, bot a staunke of fresch water; and it es nere a hundreth furlanges lang and fourty on brede, and þer er many gude fischez þerin, and it commes oute of Iordan and rynnez thurgh þe myddes of þe citee. 3. [and hathe with in him gret plentee of gode fissche, and renneth in to flom Iordan. The cytee is not full gret, but it hath gode bathes with in him, C.] And it es riȝt profitable for þe cuntree. And þare þare it and Iordan partes es a grete brigg, by þe whilk men wendez oute of þe land of beheste in to þe land of Basan and in to þe land of Gerassen, þe whilk marchez apon Iordan.
And fra þeine may men wende to Damasc on three days, thurgh þe cuntree of Traconye, 4. [Trachonitis.] þe whilk lastez fra Hermon to þe see of Galilee, þe whilk also es called þe see of Tyberias or þe Staunkes of Genasareth. And [folio 47b] þis diuersetee of names it hase of þe citez þat standes þer apon. Apon þis see ȝode oure Lord drie fote, when he said to Petre, "Modice fidei, quare dubitasti?"5. [Matt. xiv. 31.] þat es to say, "Þou man of litil faith, whi had þou doute?" And þat was when he went to Criste on þe water, and was in poynt to drowne, and Criste tuke him by þe hand and said þe wordes þat I said before. And also Criste apperde til his disciples after his resurreccioun fischand in þis see and filled þaire nettes full of fisch, and þai broȝt him parte of a roste fisch and a hony cambe. In þis see also fisched Petre and Andrew, Iames and Iohn, when Criste called þam and bad þam folow him, and þai alssone left schippe and nettes and folowed him. In þis cite of Tiberias es þe tabil on whilk oure Lord ete with his disciples after his resurreccioun, of whilk etyng Haly Writte saise þus, "Cognouerunt Dominum in fractione panis", 6. [Luke xxiv. 35.] þat es to say, "Þai knew oure Lord in breking of breed." Besyde þis citee es a hill whare oure Lord fedd vm men with fyue laues and twa fisches. In þis citee also a wikked man on a tyme kest a brynnand fyrebrandPage 58 at oure Lord for to stirre him til ire and hitt him on þe heued, þe whilk brand efterwardes hitt on þe erthe and stakk still þerin and growed, and by process of tyme it wex a grete tree, and ȝitt it growes þare. 1. [and the bark þere of is all lyk coles, adds C.] Also at þe heued of þis see of Galile, toward þe north, es a castell þat [supplied by ed.] es called Sephor nere Capharnaum, and in all þe [folio 48] haly land es þer noght a stranger castell þan it es. In þat castell es a gude litil toune, whilk hase þe same name þat þe castell hase. 2. [and þere is a gode toun benethe, þat is clept also Saphor, C.] And in þat castell was saynt Anne oure Lady moder borne; and þare was þe hous of Centurio. Þat cuntree es called Galilea Gentium, and it fell in þe lote 3. [Galille of folk þat weren taken to tribute, C.] of Zabulon and of Neptalim. And as men commez fra þis castell at xxx. myle es þe citee of Dan, þe whilk also es called Cesarea Philippi; and it standez at þe fote of þe mount Liban, whare þe flum Iordan begynnez. And þare also begynnez þe land of beheste and lastez vnto Bersabee in lenth for to ga fra þe north toward þe south, and it es nere ixxx myle. And on brede it lastes fra Iericho to Iaffe, and þat es fourty myle of þe mylez of Lumbardy, or of oure cuntree, for þai er bath ane. Bot I speke noȝt of leeges of Fraunce, Gascoyne, Prouince, or Almayne, 4. [myles of Gascoyne, ne of the prouynce of Almayne, C.] whare þai hafe grete myles.
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe Haly Land es in Surry. For Surry lastez fra þe desertes of Araby vnto Cicil, þat es to say Ermony þe mare, for to ga fra þe south to þe north; and fra þe este syde to þe west syde it lastez fra þe grete desertes of Araby vnto þe west see. Bot in þis rewme of Surry er many rewmes contende, þat es to say Iudee, Palestine, Galile, Sem Cecil and many oþer cuntreez. And in þat cuntree and many oþer aboute it þer es swilk a custom þat, when twa rewmes er at were and owþer party ensegez citee, toune or castell, [folio 48b] þan, in steed of messangers to ga betwene þe partys, þai ordayne dowfes for to bere lettres, and bindez þam aboute þe nekkes of þe dowfes, and þan þai late þam flie furth; and þai, thurgh comoun custom and vsage þat þai er wont vnto, fliez to þe toþer party, and when þe letters er tane fra þaire neckes þai flie agayne whare þai ware nurischt.
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat amanges þe Sarezenes in diuerse placez þer dwellez many Cristen men vnder tribute, þe whilk vsez diuerse lawez and custommes after þe constitucioun and þe ordinaunce of þe rewmes whare þai dwell. Neuerþeles all er þai baptized and trowez in Godd, Fader and Sonne and Haly Gaste. Bot ȝit þai faile in sum articles of oure beleue. Þare er sum Cristen men þat er called Iacobynes, þe whilk sayn Iame þePage 59 apostel conuerted, and sayn Iohn þe evaungelist baptized þam. And þai say and affermez þat confessioun suld be made all anely to Godd and noȝt to man. For þai say Godd bad neuer þat a man schuld schryfe him till anoþer man, and þerfore Dauid saise in þe sawter, "Confitebor tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo", 1. [Ps. ix. 2.] þat es to say, "Lord, I sall schryfe me to þe in all my hert." And in anoþer place he saise þus, "Delictum meum tibi cognitum feci", 2. [Ps. xxxi. 5.] þat es to say "Lord, to þe I sall make aknawen my trespas." And also he saise þus, "Deus meus es tu, et confitebor tibi", 3. [Ps. cxvii. 28.] þat es to say, "Þou ert my Godd, and to þe I sall be schrifen." And ȝit he saise in anoþer place, "Quoniam cogitacio hominis confitebitur tibi", 4. [Ps. lxxv. 11.] þat es to say, "For thoght of man sall schryfe to þe." For þai say [folio 49] þat a man schuld all anely ask him forgifnes wham he trespast to. Bot Godd ordayned neuer, ne na prophete, as þai say, þat a man suld schew his synnes til any bot all anely to Godd. And þerfore þai alegge þe auctoritez of þe sawter þat I talde ȝow before. Þai say also þat saynt Austyne and sayne Gregore and oþer doctours affermez þe same. For saynt Austyne saise on þis wyse, "Qui scelera sua cogitat et conuersus fuerit, veniam sibi credat", þat es to say, "Wha so knawez his synnez and es turned, he may trowe to hafe forgifnes." And sayn Gregore sayse on þis maner, "Dominus potius mentem quam verba considerat", þat es to say, "Oure Lord takes mare hede to thoȝt þan to word." Saynt Hilari also saise, "Longorum temporum crimina in ictu oculi perient, si corde nata fuerit contempcio", 5. [compunccio, C.] þat es to say, "Synnez þat er done of lang tyme sall perisch in twynkelyng of ane egh, if despysing of þam be borne in a mannes hert." Swilk auctoritez þai alegge in þaire awen langage and noȝt in Latyne; and for þir auctoritez þai say þat men schall schryfe þam all anely to Godd and noȝt to man. And þerfore, when þai will schryfe þam, þai make a fyre besyde þam and castez þerin encense, and, when þe reke gase vp, þai say, "I schryfe me to Godd and askez forgifnes of my synne." And, noȝt forþi in alde tyme þis was þe maner of schryfing, bot sayn Petre, and oþer apostels þat come seyne, thurgh gude skille has ordaynd þat men sall schryue þam to prestez, þat er men as þai er. For þai considred þat men may giffe na gude medecyne to a [folio 49b] man þat es seke bot if þai knawe þe kynde of þe sekeness; and riȝt so a man may gyffe no couenable penaunce bot if he knawe þe qualitee and þe quantitee of þe synne. For a maner of synne es mare greuous þan anoþer, and in sum place mare þan in sum oþer, and in sum tyme mare þan in sum oþer; and þerfore it es nedefull þat a man knawe þe synne with þe circumstauncez þat sall enioyne couenable penaunce.
Oþer Cristen men þer er þat er called Surrianez. Þai hald a lawe in meen betwene vs and þe Grekez. And þai late þaire berdes grow as þe Grekez dus, and makes þe sacrement of þe awter of soure bred as þe Grekez duse, and vsez þe lettres of Grewe, 6. [And in here langage þei vsen lettres of Sarazines; but after the misterie of holy chirche thei vsen lettres of Grece, C.] and schryfez þam as þe Iacobynes duse. Also þer er oþer þat er calledPage 60 Georgienes, whilk sayn George conuerted; and him þai honoure and wirschepes before all oþer halowes. And all þai hafe þaire crownes schauen, þe clerkes rownde and þe lawed men foure cornerd. And þai hald þe lawe of Grekez. Ȝit es þare anoþer of folk, þe whilk er called Cristen men of gyrdils, for þai er gyrdid as frere menoures er. Sum also er called Nestorianes, sum Arrianes, sum Nubienes, sum Gregorienes, 1. [summe of Grees, C.] sum Indynes, whilk er of Prestre Iohn land. All er þai called Cristned men; and many of þe articles of oure beleue þai hald and vsez, bot neuerþeles in many poyntes þai vary fra vs and fra oure faith. All þaire variaunce ware to mykil to tell.
[Of the cytee of Damasce; of iii. weyes to Jerusalem, on be londe and be see, another more be londe than be see, and the thridde weye to Jerusalem all be londe.]
SEN I hafe talde ȝow of many maners of men þat dwellez in cuntrez beforesaid, now will I turne agayne [folio 50] to my way and tell how men sall comme fra þase cuntreez vnto þise cuntreez agayne. Qwha so will comme fra þe land of Galile þat I spakk off before, he schall ga by Damasc, whilk es a faire citee and full of gude marchandyse. And it es three iournez fra þe see, and fra Ierusalem fyue iournes. Bot þai cary marchandyse apon camels, mules, dromedaries and hors, and oþer maner of bestez; and þase marchandisez er broght by see fra Inde, fra Persy, fra Caldee, fra Ermony, and fra many oþer regiounes. Þis citee founded Eleazar of Damasc, þat was þe son of þe steward 2. [þat was ȝoman and despenser, C.] of Abraham þe patriark, and þerfore was þe citee called Damasc after his surename; for he wend to hafe bene lord of þat cuntree after Abraham, for Abraham þat tyme had noȝt geten his son Ysaac. In þat place slew Cayn his broþer Abel. Besyde Damasc es þe mount Seyr. In Damasch er many welles, bathe within þe citee and withouten; and þer er also many faire gardyns riȝt plentifous of fruyte. Þer es nower whare swilke anoþer citee of gardynes and of fruyte. In þat citee also es wonder mykill folk, and it es wele walled aboute with a dowble wall. In þat citee also dwellez many phisicienes; and þare vsed sayn Paule sum tyme þe craft of phisic, before þat he was conuerted, and sayne Luc was his disciple toPage 61 lere phisic, and many oþer ma. For in þat citee held he scole in þat science, bot efterwardes he was a phisiciene of saules. In Damasc was he conuerted and dwelled þerin three days and three nyghtes, and nowþer ete ne [folio 50b] drank ne sawe na sight with his bodily eghen, bot in spirit he was rauischt intill heuen, whare he sawe heuenly priuetez. A litill fra Damasc es a castell þat es called Arkes; and it es a gude castell and a strang. Fra Damasc men commes by a place þat es called Nostre Dame de Sardenake, 1. [Oure Lady of Sardenak, C.] fyue myle on þis syde Damasc; and it es apon a roche. And it es a faire place and a delitable, and þer semez, as it ware, a castell, and so þare was sum tyme. And þare es a faire kirk, whare Cristen mounkes and nonnes dwellez. Vnder þe kirk also es a vowte, whare Cristen men dwellez. And þai hafe þare right gude wyne. And in þe kirke behind þe hie awter in þe wall es a table of tree, 2. [a table of blak wode, C.] on þe whilk ane ymage of oure Lady was depaynted sum tyme, þe whilk oft tymes turned into flesch; bot þat ymage nowe es bot lytill sene. Neuerþeles 3. [Three leaves beginning at this point are lost in C (after f. 53), the lacuna ending at the words "þei ete," p. 64 below. The text in the edition of 1725 is taken from Royal MS. 17 B. xliii. f.46b. The readings of this MS. are very inferior, and are seldom worth quoting.] þat table euermare droppez oel, as it ware of oliue; and þare es a vessell of marble vnder þe table to ressayue þe oel. Þaroff þai giffe to pilgrimes, for it heles of many sekeness; and men saise þat, if it be keped wele seuen ȝere, 4. [a ȝere, B. A confusion of "vn" and "vii."] efterwardes it turnes into flesch and blud.
Fra 5. [This paragraph not in B.] Sardenak men commez thurgh þe vale of Bochar, þe whilk es a faire vale and a plentifous of all maner of fruyte; and it es amanges hilles. And þer er þarin faire ryuers and grete medews and noble pasture for bestez. And men gas by þe mountes of Libane, whilk lastez fra Ermony þe mare towardes þe north vnto [folio 51] Dan, þe whilk es þe end of þe land of repromissioun toward þe north, as I said before. Þir hilles er riȝt fruytfull, and þare er many faire welles and cedres and cipressez, and many oþer treesse of diuerse kyndes. Þare er also many gude tounes toward þe heued of þir hilles, full of folk.
Betwene þe citee of Arkez and þe citee of Raphane es a riuer, þat es called Sabatory; for on þe Seterday it rynnez fast, and all þe weke elles it standes still and rynnez noȝt, or elles bot fairely. Betwene þe forsaid hilles also es anoþer water þat on nyghtes fresez hard and on days es na frost sene þeron. And, as men commez agayne fra þase hilles, es a hill hier þan any of þe oþer, and þai call it þare þe Hegh Hill. Þare es a grete citee and a faire, þe whilk es called Tryple, 6. [Tripoli.] in þe whilk er many gude Cristen men, ȝemaund þe same rytes and custommes þat we vsen. Fra þeine men commez by a citee þat es called Beruch, 7. [Beyrout.] whare sayne George slew þe dragoun; and it es a gude toune, and a faire castell þerin, and it es iii. iournez fra þe forsaid citee of Sardenak.Page 62 At þe ta syde of Beruch xvi. myle, to comme hiderward, es þe citee of Sydon. At Beruch entres pilgrimes in to þe see þat will comme to Cipre, and þai aryfe at þe porte of Surry or of Tyer, and so þai comme to Cipre in a lytill space. Or men may comme fra þe porte of Tyre and comme noȝt at Cipre and aryfe at sum hauen of Grece, and so comme to þise partyse, as I said before.[folio 51b]
I hafe talde ȝow now of þe waye by whilk men gase ferrest and langest to Ierusalem, as by Babilon and mount Synay and many oþer placez whilk ȝe herd me tell off, and also by whilk ways men schall turne agayne to þe Land of Repromission. Now will I tell ȝow þe rightest way and þe schortest to Ierusalem. For sum men will noȝt ga þe toþer; sum for þai hafe noȝt spending ynogh, sum for þai hafe na gude cumpany, and sum for þai may noȝt endure þe lang trauail, sum for þai drede þam of many perils of desertes, sum for þai will haste þam hameward, desirand to see þare wifes and þare childer, or for sum oþer resonable cause þat þai hafe to turne sone hame. And þerfore I will schew how men may passe tittest, and in schortest tyme make þaire pilgrimage to Ierusalem. A man þat commes fra þe landes of þe west, he gas thurgh Fraunce, Burgoyne, and Lumbardy, and so to Venice or Geen, or sum oþer hauen, and schippes þare and wendez by see to þe ile of Greff, þe whilk pertenez to þe Ianuenes. And seyne he aryuez in Grece at Porte Mirrok, or at Valoun, or at Duras, or at sum oþer hauen of þat cuntree, and ristez him þare and byez him vitailes and schippez agayne and sailez to Cipre and aryuez þare at Famagost and commez noȝt at þe ile of Rodes. Famagost es þe chieff hauen of Cipre; and þare he refreschez him and puruays him of vitailes, and þan he gase to schippe and commez na mare on land, if he [folio 52] will, before he comme at Porte Iaffe, þat es þe next hauen to Ierusalem, for it es bot a day iournee and a half fra Ierusalem, þat es to say xxxvi. myle. Fra þe porte Iaffe men gase to þe citee of Rames, þe whilk es bot a lytill þeine; and it es a faire citee and a gude and mykill folk þerin. And withouten þat citee toward þe south es a kirk of oure Lady, whare oure Lord schewed him till her in three cloudes, þe whilk betakned þe Trinitee. And a lytill þeine es ane oþer citee, þat men calles Dispolis, bot it hight sum tyme Lidda, a faire citee and a wele inhabited; þare es a kirk of sayne George, whare he was heuedid. Fra þeine men gase to þe castell of Emaus, and so to þe Mount Ioy; þare may pilgrimes first see to Ierusalem. At Mount Ioy liggez Samuel þe prophete. Fra þeine men gase to Ierusalem. Beside þir ways es þe citee of Ramatha and þe mount Modyn;Page 63 and þeroff was Matathias, Iudas Machabeus fader, and þare er þe graues of þe Machabeez. Beȝond Ramatha es þe towne of Techue, wharoff Amos þe prophete was; and þare es his grafe.
I hafe talde ȝow before of þe haly placez þat er at Ierusalem and aboute it, and þerfore I will speke na mare of þam at þis tyme. Bot I will turne agayne and schewe ȝow oþer ways a man may passe mare by land, and namely for þaim þat may noȝt suffer þe sauour of þe see, bot es leuer to ga by land, if all it be þe mare payne. Fra a man be entred in to þe see he schall passe till ane of þe hauenes of Lumbardy, for þare es þe best making [folio 52b] of purueaunce of vitailes; or he may passe to Ieen or Venice or sum oþer. And he sall passe by see in to Grece to þe porte Mirrok, or to Valoun, or to Duras, or sum oþer hauen of þat cuntree. And fra þeine he sall ga by land to Constantinople, and he sall passe þe water þat es called Brace Sayne George, þe whilk es ane arme of þe see. And fra þeine he sall by land ga to Ruffynell, whare a gude castell es and a strang; and fra þeine he sall ga to Pulueral, and seyne to þe castell of Synople, and fra þeine to Capadoce, þat es a grete cuntree, whare er many grete hilles. And he sall ga thurgh Turky to þe porte of Chiutok and to þe citee of Nyke, whilk es bot vii. myle þeine. Þat citee wanne þe Turkes fra þe emperour of Constantinople; and it es a faire citee and wele walled on þe ta syde, and on þe toþer syde es a grete lake and a grete riuer, þe whilk es called Lay. Fra þeine men gase by þe hilles of Nairmount and by þe vales of Mailbrins and straite felles and by þe toune of Ormanx or by þe tounes þat er on Riclay and Stancon, þe whilk er grete waters and noble, and so to Antioche þe lesse, whilk es sett on þe ryuer of Riclay. And þare aboutes er many gude hilles and faire, and many faire wodes and grete plentee of wylde bestes for to hunt at.
And he þat will ga anoþer way, he schall ga by þe playnes of Romany costayand þe Romayn See. On þat coste es a faire castell þat men callez Florach, and it es right a strang place. And vppermare amanges þe [folio 53] mountaynes es a faire citee, þat es called Toursout, and þe citee of Longemaath, and þe citee of Assere, and þe cite of Marmistre. And, when a man es passed þase mountaynes and þase felles, he gase by þe citee of Marioch and by Artoise, whare es a grete brigg apon þe riuer of Ferne, þat es called Farfar, and it es a grete riuer berand schippes and it rynnes riȝt fast oute of þe mountaines to þe cite of Damasc. And besyde þe citee of Damasc es anoþer grete riuer þat commes fra þe hilles of Liban, whilk men callez Abbana. At þe passing of þis riuer saynt Eustace, þat sum tyme was called Placidas, lost his wyf and his twa childer. Þis riuer rynnesPage 64 thurgh þe playne of Archades, and so to þe Reed See. Fra þeine men gase to þe cite of Phenice, whare er hate welles and hate bathez. And þan men gase to þe cite of Ferne; and betwene Phenice and Ferne er x. myle. And þare er many faire woddes. And þan men commez til Anthioche, whilk es x. myle þeine. And it es a faire citee and wele walled aboute with many faire toures; and it es a grete cite, bot it was sum tyme gretter þan it es nowe. For it was sum tyme twa myle on lenth and on brede oþer half myle. And thurgh þe myddes of þat citee ranne þe water of Farphar and a grete brigg ower it; and þare ware sum tyme in þe walles aboute þis citee ccc. and fyfty toures, and at ilk a piler of þe brigg was a toure. Þis es þe cheeffe cite of þe kyngdom of Surry. And ten myle fra þis cite es þe porte of Saynt Symeon; and þare gase þe water off Farphar in to þe see. Fra Antioche men gase to a cite þat es called Lacuth, and þan to Gebel, and þan to Tortouse. And þare nere [folio 53b] es þe land of Channel; and þare es a strang castell þat es called Maubek. Fra Tortouse passez men to Tryple by see, or elles by land thurgh þe straytes of mountaynes and felles. And þare es a citee þat es called Gibilet. Fra Triple gase men til Acres; and fra þeine er twa ways to Ierusalem, þe tane on þe left half and þe toþer on þe riȝt half. By þe left way men gase by Damasc and by þe flum Iordan. By þe riȝt way men gase by Maryn and by þe land of Flagramy and nere þe mountaynes vnto þe cite of Cayphas, þat sum men callez þe Castell of Pilgrimes. And fra þeine to Ierusalem er iii. day iournez, in þe whilk men schall ga thurgh Cesaria Philippi, and so to Iaffe and Rames and þe castell of Emaus, and so to Ierusalem.
Now hafe I talde ȝow sum ways by land and by water þat men may ga by to þe Haly Land after þe cuntreez þat þai comme fra. Neuerþeles þai comme all til ane ende. Ȝit es þare anoþer way to Ierusalem all by land, and passe noȝt þe see, fra Fraunce or Flaundres; bot þat way es full lang and perlious and of grete trauaile, and þerfore few gase þat way. He þat schall ga þat way, he schall ga thurgh Almayne and Pruyss and so to Tartary. Þis Tartary es halden of þe Grete Caan of Cathay, of wham I think to speke efterward. Þis es a full ill land and sandy and lytill fruyt berand. For þare growes na corne, ne wyne, ne beenes, ne peese, ne nan oþer fruyt couable to man for to liffe with. Bot þare er bestez in grete plentee; and þerfore þai ete bot flesch withouten [folio 54] breed and soupez þe broo, and þai drink mylke of all maner of bestez. Þai ete 1. [The lacuna in C ends here.] cattes and hundes, ratouns and myesse, and all oþer maner of bestez; and, for þai hafe lytill wode, þai dight 2. [warmen and sethen, C.] þaire mete with dung of bestez dried at þe sonne. Þai ete bot anes on þe day, nowþer prince nor oþer; and ȝit þat anes þai ete bot riȝt lytill. Þai er riȝt foule folk and fell and full of malice. Þat cuntree es selden withouten grete tempestez. And inPage 65 somer es þer grete thundres and leightens, þat slaez mykill folk and many bestez. And riȝt sodaynely es þare chaungeyng of þe aer, nowe grete calde and now grete hete; and so þare es euill dwelling. Þe prince þat gouernes þat land es called Baco, and he dwellez in a citee þat men callez Orda. Sothely þare will na gude manne dwell in þat land; for it es gude to sawe in humbloks and nettles and swilk oþer wedes, and oþer gude nane, 1. [For the lond and the contree is not worthi houndes to duell inne. It were a gode contree to sowen inne thristell and breres and broom and thornes and breres, and for non oþer þing is it not good, C.] as I hafe herd say, for I hafe noȝt bene þare. Bot I hafe bene in oþer landes þat marchez þeron, as þe land of Russy and Nyfland and þe kingdom of Crakow and Lettow and in þe kingdom of Graften and many oþer placez. Bot I went neuer by þat way to Ierusalem, and þerfore I may noȝt wele tell it. 2. [But, ȝif this matiere plese to ony worthi man þat hath gon be þat weye, he may telle it, ȝif him lyke, to þat entent þat þo þat wolen go by þat weye and maken here viage be þo costes mowen knowen what weye is þere, adds C.] For, as I hafe vnderstanden, men may noȝt wele ga þat way bot in wynter for waters and maracez þat er þare, whilk a man may noȝt passe, bot if he hafe riȝt hard frost and þat it be wele snawen abouen. For warne þe snawe ware, þare schuld na man passe ower þe ysz. Of swilk way schall a man ga iii. day iournez fra Pruyss are [folio 54b] he comme to þe land of Sarezens habitable, whare Sarzenes dwellez. And, if all it be so þat Cristen men ilk a ȝere passe þare, þai cary þaire vitailes with þam apon þe ysz with sleddes and carres withouten wheles 3. [carres þat haue no wheles, þat þei clepen scleyes, C.]; for þare schall þai fynd nane bot þat þai bring with þam. And, als lang as þaire witailes lastes may þai habyde þare and langer noȝt. And, when spyes of þe cuntree seez Cristen men com to werray apon þam, þai rynne to þe tounes and criez riȝt lowd "Kera, Kera, Kera"; and alssone þai aray þam for to kepe þam. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe frost and þe ysz es mykill harder þare þan here; and þerfore ilk a man þare hase a stewe in his hous, þare he etez and drinkes. For þare es owtrage calde, by cause it es at þe north syde of þe werld, whare comounly es mare intense calde þan in oþer placez, for þe sonne schynez bot lytill þare. And on þe south syde of þe werld es it in sum place so hate þat na man may dwell þare for þe owtrage hete.Page 66
[Of the customes of Sarasines and of hire lawe; and how the Soudan arresond me, auctour of this book; and of the begynnynge of Machomete.]
FOR als mykill as I hafe spoken of Sarzenes and of þaire landes, I will now tell ȝow a party of þaire lawe and þaire belefe, after þat it es contende in þe buke of þaire lawe, þat es called Alkaron. And sum callez it Messaph, and sum Harme, after langagez of diuerse cuntreez. Þe whilk buke Machomete gafe to þam. In þat buke amanges oþer thinges es contende, as I hafe oft tymes redd þerin and sene, þat gude men, when þai er deed, sall ga vnto Paradys and þai þat er wikked sall ga to þe payne of hell. And þis trowez stedfastly all Sarzenes. And, if a man ask þam of whilk paradys þai mene, þai say it es a place of delytez, [folio 55] whare a man schall fynd all maner of fruytez all tymes of þe ȝere, and riuers rynnand with wyne, mylke and hony, and fresch water; and þai schall hafe faire palaycez and grete and faire housez and gude, after þai hafe disserued, and þase palacez and housez er made of precious stanes, gold and siluer; and ilk a man sall hafe iiiixx wyfes of faire damiselles, and he schall hafe at do with þam ay when him list, and he sall euermare fynd þam maydens. Þis trowe þai all þat þai sall hafe in paradys; and þis es agayne oure lawe. Also þe Sarzenes trowez þe incarnacioun, and gladly will þai speke of þe Virgin Mary and saise þat scho was lerned by 1. [taughte of, C.] þe aungell and þat þe aungell Gabriell said to hir þat scho was chosen of Godd before þe begynnyng of þe werld for to consayfe Ihesu Criste and for to bere him, wham scho bare and scho mayden efter as scho was before; and þis witnessez wele þe buke of Alkaron. And þai say þat Criste spak alssone as he was borne, and þat he was and es a haly prophete and a verray in worde and in dede, and meke and riȝtwise to all and withouten vice. Þai afferme also þat, when þe aungell grette oure Lady and talde hir of þe incarnacioun, by cause scho was ȝung, scho was gretely aschamed and astonayd of his wordes, and principally, as þai say, by cause of a mysdoer þat was þat tyme in þat cuntree, þe whilk hight Takyna, þat delt with sorcery and thurgh his enchauntementz feyned him ane aungell and begyled ȝung damyselles oft sythes and lay by þam. And þerfore was Marie fered and coniured þe aungell þat he suld say hir wheþer he ware Takyna or noȝt. And þe aungell answerd hir and bad [folio 55b] hir hafe na drede, for he was verray messanger of Godd. Also þaire buke of Alkaroun saise þat, when MaryPage 67 was delyuer of hir childe vnder a palme tree, scho was gretely aschamed and weped and said scho wald scho ware deed. And alssone þe childe spakk and comforthed hir and said, "Be noȝt affered, for in þe Godd hase his sacrement 1. [hath hidd in þe his preuytees, C.] for þe saluacioun of þis werld." And in many oþer placez witnessez þaire buke of Alkaron þat Ihesu Christ spakk alssone as he was borne. And þat buke saise þat Criste was sent fra Godd all myghty in til erthe for to be ensaumple and mirroure til all men. Þat buke also spekez of þe day of dome, how þat Godd schall comme and deme all men; þe gude he sall drawe on his party and gorifie þam in ioy withouten end, and þe wikked he sall dampne till ay lastand paynes of hell. Amanges all prophetes þai say þat Criste es þe best, þe worthiest and next to Godd, and þat he made þe Ewangels, in þe whilk es helefull teching and sothefastnes and preching til þaim þat trowes in Godd, and þat he was mare þan prophete, liffand withouten syn, þat gafe sight to þe blynd and heled meselles 2. [lepres, C.] and raised men fra deed to lyf and went all qwikk in to heuen. And, when þai may get þe Gospels writen, þai do grete wirschepe to þam and namely þe gospell of Missus est, whilk gospell þai þat er letterd amanges þam kissez with grete deuocioun, and saise it oft tymes amanges þaire praiers. Þai fast ilk a ȝere a hale moneth, and etez na mete bot at euen, and abstenez þam fra þaire wyfez all þat moneth. Bot þai þat er seke er noȝt constreyned to þat fast. Also þe buke of Alkaron spekez of þe Iewes, and saise þat þai er [folio 56] wikked and cursen, for þai will noȝt trowe þat Ihesus was sent fra Godd; and þat þai lye falsly on Mary and hir son Ihesu Criste, when þai say þat þai didd him on þe crosse. For þai crucified noȝt Ihesus, as þai say, for Godd tuke him vp til him 3. [sc. le fist Dieu monter, cf. French text; God made him to stye vp to him, C.] withouten deed and transfigured þe fourme and þe likness of his body in to Iudas Yscarioth, and him didd þe Iews on þe crosse and wend it had bene Ihesus. Bot Ihesus was taken all qwikk, þai say, in til heuen, and so 4. [and so … werld, om. C.] sall he comme to deme all þe werld. And þis wate noȝt Cristen men; and þerfore þai say þai er noȝt right belefand, when þai trowe þat Ihesu Criste was done on þe crosse. All þir poyntes er contende in þe buke of Alkaron. Þe Sarzenes saise also þat, if Ihesu Criste had bene crucified, Godd þan had done agayne his riȝtwisness for to suffer swilk ane innocent die withouten gylt; and in þat þai say we erre. Neuerþeles in þat erre þai. Þai graunt wele þat all þe werkes of Criste and all his wordes and his techings and his ewaungelles er gude and trewe, and his myracles verray and clere; and þat þe Virgyne Mary was a gude mayden and a haly before þe birth of Criste and efter also and vnwemmed; and þat þase þat trowes perfitely in Godd sall be sauf. And,Page 68 for als mykill as þai ga þus nere oure faith in þir pointes and many oþer, me think þat mykill þe titter and þe lightlier þai schuld be conuerted till oure lawe thurgh preching and teching of Cristen men. Þai say þai wate wele and findez by þaire prophecies þat Machometes lawe sall faile, as þe Iewez lawe es failed, and þat þe Cristen lawe schall last to þe werldes end. And, if a man ask þam of þaire beleue and how þai trowe, þai [folio 56b] answere and saise, "We trowe in Godd, þat made heuen and oþer thinges of noght, and withouten him es na thing made. And we trowe þe day of dome schall comme, whare ilk man schall hafe his mede after his disserte. We trowe also verraily þat all es sothe þat Godd has spoken thurgh þe mouthes of his haly prophetez, whils þai welk in erthe." Also þai say þat Machomete bad and commaundid in þe buke of Alkaron, þat ilk a man schuld hafe three or foure wyfes. Bot now take þai ma, for sum of þam hase nyne; bot of concubines ilke man takes als many as he may sustene of his gudes. And, if any of þaire wyfes do amisse agaynes hir husband and lat anoþer man lye by hir, þan is it leuefull till hir husband to putte hir away fra him and take anoþer in hir steed; bot him behufez gyffe hir a porcioun of his gudes. Also, when men spekes to þam of þe Trinytee, þai say þai er three Persones, bot noȝt a Godd. For þaire buke of Alkaron spekes noȝt of Trinitee. Neuerþeles þai graunt and sais þat Godd has worde, and elles ware he dumbe; and þat he hase a spirit, and þat elles behufed him be withouten lyf. And, when men spekes to þam of Cristez incarnacioun, how by þe worde of þe aungell Godd sent wisdom in til erthe and lightid in Virgin Mary, and thurgh þe worde of Godd þai þat er deed schall be raised apon þe day of dome, þai say þat all þis es sothe, and all þis þai trowe, and þat Goddes worde has grete vertu, and he þat knawez noȝt Goddes worde he knawez noȝt Godd. Þai say also þat Criste was Goddes worde; and so saise þaire Alkaron, þare it saise þat þe aungell spakk to Mary and said, [folio 57] "Mary, Godd sall send to þe worde of his mouthe, and his name sall be called Ihesu Criste." Also þai say þat Abraham was Goddes frende, and Moyses Goddez forspeker, and Ihesu Criste was þe worde and þe gaste of Godd, and þat Macomete was þe verray messanger of Godd; and of all þir foure Ihesus was þe worthiest and maste excellent. And þus it semez þat þe Sarzenes has many articles of oure trouth, þof it be noȝt perfytely; and þarfore it ware þe lighter to conuerte þam and to bring þam till oure trouth, and namely þase þat er letterd and has knawyng of Scriptures. For þai hafe amanges þam þe Euaungelles and þe Prophetes and all þe Bible writen in Sarzene langage. Bot þai vnderstand noȝt haly writte spiritually, bot after þe letter, as þe Iews does; and þerfore saise sayne Paule, "Litera occidit, spiritus autem viuificat", 1. [II. Cor. iii.6.] þat es to say, "Þe lettre slaez, and þePage 69 spirit qwikkens." And þerfore þe Sarzenes saise þat þe Iewes er wikked men and cursed, for þai hafe broken þe lawe þat Godd gafe þam thurgh Moyses; and Cristen men þai say er wikked and ill, for þai kepe noȝt þe commaundement of þe Gospell, whilk Ihesus Criste bad þam.
Now will I tell ȝow what þe Sowdan did tell me apon a day in his chaumbre. He gert all men void his chaumbre, bathe lordez and oþer þat ware þerin; for he wald speke with me in priuetee betwene vs twa. And, when all ware gane furth, he asked me how Cristen men gouerned þam in oure cuntreez. And I said, "Lord, wele; thanked be Godd." And he answerd and said, "Sikerly, nay. It es noght so. For ȝour prestez," quod [folio 57b] he, "seruez noȝt Godd duely in gude liffyng, as þai schuld do. For þai schuld giffe to lewed men ensaumple of gude liffyng, and þai do euen þe contrary; for þai giffe þam ensaumple of all wikkidness. And þerfore on haly days, when þe folk schuld go to þe kirke to serue Godd, þai go to þe tauerne and occupiez all þe day and perchaunce all þe nyght after in drinkyng and in glotry, as þai ware bestez oute of resoun, þat knawez noght when þai hafe ynoghe. And afterwardes thurgh drunkenness þai fall at grete wordes and feyghtes and flytez till ilk ane of þam sla oþer. Þe Cristen men also vsez ilkane to begyle oþer and falsely to swere grete athes. And þerwith þai er so bolned in pride and vayne glory, þat þai wate neuer how þai may clethe þam, bot now þai vse schort clathes, now syde, now strayte, now wyde." 1. [now long, now schort. now streyt, now large, now swerded, now daggered, and in alle manere gyses, C.] "Ȝe schuld," he said, "be symple, meke and sothfast, and almous gerne, 2. [fulle of almes dede, C.] as Criste was, in wham ȝe say ȝe trowe. Bot it es all oþerwise. For Cristen men er so prowde, so enuyous, so grete glotouns, and so licherous, and þerto so full of couetise, þat for a lytill siluer þai will sell þaire doghters, þaire sisters, ȝa and þaire awen wyfes, to lat men lye by þam. And ilk ane takes oþer wyf, and nane haldez his fayth till oþer; and so þe lawe þat Criste gaffe ȝow wikkidly and ill ȝe despise and brekez it. And certaynely for ȝour synne ȝe hafe lost all þis land, þe whilk we hafe and haldez. For by cause of ȝour ill liffing and ȝour synne and noȝt of oure strenth Godd has giffen it intill oure handes. And we wate wele þat, when ȝe serue ȝour Godd duely and wele and plesez him with gude werkes, na man schall mow agaynestand ȝow. We knawe wele also by oure prophecyes þat Cristen men schall recouer þis land agayne in tyme [folio 58] commyng, when ȝe serue ȝour Godd wele and deuotely. Bot als lang as ȝe liffe, as ȝe do, in wikkednes and in synne, we hafe na drede of ȝow; for ȝour Godd will noȝt helpe ȝow." When I had herd þe sowdan speke þir wordes and many ma whilk I will noȝt tell at þis tyme, I asked him with grete reuerence, how he come to þus mykill knawyng of þe state of Cristiantee. And þan he gert call in agayne all þe grete lordes and þe worþi þat he sent furth of þe chaumbre before; and he assigned foure of þam, þat ware grete lordes, for to speke with me.Page 70 Þe whilk rekned me all þe maner of my cuntree and descryued me þe maners of oþer cuntrees of Cristendon als graythely and als verraily as þai had bene euer ȝit dwelland in þam. And bathe þe sowdan and þai spakk Fransch wonder wele, and þerof I meruailed me gretely. And at þe last I vnderstude þat þe sowdan sent of his lordes in to diuerse rewmes and diuerse landes in gyse of marchandes, sum with preciouse stanes, sum with clathez of gold, and sum with oþer iowelles, þe whilk in swilk maner visitez all rewmes for to aspie þe maners of vs Cristen men and to knawe oure febilnes. And þan me thoȝt grete schame þat Sarzenes, whilk hase nowþer riȝt beleue ne perfite lawe, schuld þus reproue vs of oure inperfiteness and kepez þaire vayne lawe better þan we do þe lawe of Ihesu Criste; and þai þat schuld be turned thurgh oure gude ensaumple to þe faith and þe lawe of Ihesu Criste, þai er drawen away thurgh oure wikked liffing. And þerfore it es na wonder if þai call vs synfull and [folio 58b] wikked, for it es sothe. Bot þai er riȝt deuote in þaire lawe and riȝt trewe, and wele kepez þe commaundementz of þaire Alkaron, whilk Godd sent to þam by his messanger Machomete, to wham, as þai say, þe aungell Gabriell spakk oft tymes and talde him þe will of Godd.
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat Machomete was borne in Araby, and first he was a pouer knafe, þat keped hors and camelles and went with marchaunds intil Egipte, þe whilk was þat tyme inhabited with Cristen men. And in þe desertes of Araby by þe hie way toward Egipte was a chapell and ane hermyte dwelland þerat. And in to þis ilke chapell went Machomete for to speke with þe [supplied by ed.] hermyte. And, when he entred þe chapell, þe dure, whilk was riȝt lawe, sudaynely it wex als hie as it had bene þe ȝate of a grete palace; and þis, as þai say, was þe first myracle þat he didd, when he was ȝung. After þat began Machomete to be wyse and riche, and he was a grete astronomyer. And þe prince of þe land of Corodan made him keper and gouernour of his land; and he gouerned it wisely and graciousely, so þat, when þe prince was deed, he wedded þe princesse, whilk was called CadrigeKhadija. [supplied by ed.] And þis ilke Machomete had þe falland euill, and oft tymes he fell by violence of þat sekeness; and þe lady had mykill sorow þat scho had wedded him. Bot he made hir at vnderstand þat ilke a tyme þat he fell so þe aungell Gabriell apperid till and spak with him, and for þe grete briȝtness of þe aungell he fell doune. And þerfore saise þe Sarzenes þat þe aungell Gabriell spakk oft tymes with him. Þis Machomete [folio 59] regned in Araby þe ȝere of oure lord vic and twenty; and he was of þe kynde of Ismael, þat was Abraham sonne, whilk he gatte apon Agar his chaumberere. And þerfore sum Sarzenes er called Ismaelitez, sum Agarrenes of Agarre, and sum Ammonytes after twa sonnes of Loth, whilk he gat on his twa doghters. And sum er properly called Sarzenes, after þe citee of Sarras. 1. [Sarrazines of Sarra, C.] Also Machomete lufed wele sum tyme a gude hermyte þat dwelled in þe wildernes a myle fra þe mount Synai in þe way as men gase fra Araby to Caldee andPage 71 till Inde, a day iournee fra þe see, whare marchaunds of Venice commez oft tymes for to by marchandyse. And Machomete went so oft to þis hermyte to here him preche þat his seruands wex heuy þerwith and euill apaid. 1. [alle his men weren wrothe, C.] For he went so oft þider and so gladly herd þis hermyte preche þat many tymez he gert his men wake all þe nyght ouer; and his men thoȝt þai wald fayne þis ilke hermyte had bene deed. So it befell apon a nyght þat Machomete was drunken of wyne and fell on slepe; and, whils he sleped, his men drew oute his awen swerde of þe schethe and with þat swerde þai slew þe hermyte, and, when þai had done, þai putte vp þe swerde agayne in to þe schethe all bludy. And at morue, when Machomete wakned and fand þe hermyte deed, he was wonder wrathe and wald hafe slayne his men, for he said þai had murtherd him amang þam. Bot þai all with ane accorde and ane ascent said þat him self had slayne him in his slepe, when he was drunken, and þai schewed him his swerde all bludy, and þan trowed he þat þai said sothe. And þan he cursed wyne and all þase þat it [folio 59b] drinkez; and þerfore Sarzenes þat er deuoute in þaire lawe will drynke na wyne. Bot þai hafe ane oþer maner of drinke gude and delicious and riȝt nurischand, þe whilk es made of diuerse spiceries and namely of calamel, wharoff gude sugur es made. 2. [þat men maken sugre of, þat is of right gode sauour and it is gode for the breest, C.] Neuerþeles sum Sarzenes will drinke wyne gladly in priuetee, bot noȝt in apperte; for, if þai drink wyne openly, þai schall be blamed þerfore. Also it fallez sum tyme þat sum Cristen men becommez Sarzenes, owþer for pouert or sympless or for wikkedness of þam self; and he þat es þe cheeff maister and keper of þaire lawe, 3. [the archiflamyn or the flamyn, as oure echebisshopp or bisshopp, C.] when he ressayuez þam to þaire lawe, saise on þis wyse,
Sen I hafe talde ȝow sum what of þe Sarzenes lawe, and of þaire maners and custommes, now will I tell ȝow of þaire letters whilk þai vse, 4. [The characters in both MSS. [Egerton and Cotton] are too corrupt to be worth reproducing.] with þe names and þe maner of þaire figures:—Almoy, Betach, Cathi, Delphoi, Ephoti, Fothi, Garophi, Hethim, Iocchi, Kacchi, Lothyn, Malach, Nahalet, Orthi, Porizeth, Qutholath, Routhi, Salathi, Tothintus, Vzazot, Yrtim, Theth. Þir er þe names of þaire letteres, and now will I sett þe figures of þam … Here will I sett þaire letters on anoþer maner, as I hafe sene þam made in sum oþer bukes; and þis maner payes me better þan þe toþer:—Almoy, Bethath, Cathi, Delphoi, Ephothi, Fothi, Garophi, Hechim, [folio 60] Iocchi, Kaythi, Lothim, Malach, Nahalot, Orthi, Corizi, Ȝoch, Rutolath, Routhi, Salathi, Thatimus, Yrthom, Azazoth, Arotthi, Ȝotipin, Ichetus. And þir er þe letters … Þir foure letters hafe þai mare þan we hafe for diuersitee of þaire langage, by cause þai speke so in þaire throtes; as we hafe in oure speche in Ingland twa oþer letters þan þai hafe in þaire abce, þat es to say, þ and ȝ, whilk er called þorn and ȝok.Page 72
[Of the londes of Albanye and of Libye; of the wisshinges for wacchinge of the Sperhauk; and of Noes schippe.]
HERE hafe I talde ȝow and declared of þe Haly Land and of cuntreez þer aboute, and of many ways þider and to þe mount Synai, to Babiloine and oþer placez, of whilk I hafe spoken off before. And now will I passe forþermare, and speke of diuerse landes and iles þat er beȝond þe Haly Land. For þer er many diuerse kingdommes and cuntreez and iles toward þe este party of þe werld, wharin er many diuerse folk and diuerse kyndez of bestes, and many oþer meruailous thinges. And þase cuntreez er departed with þe foure fludes þat commez oute of Paradys terrestre. For Mesopothamy and þe kyngdomme of Caldee and Araby er betwene þir twae fludes, þat es at say Tygre and Eufrates; and þe kingdom of Medie and of Perse er betwene Tygre and Nilus; and þe kingdom of Surry, of Palestine and of Phenice er betwene Eufrates and þe see Mediterrany, þe whilk see lastez on lenth fra þe citee of Marrok, þe whilk standes apon þe Spaynisch see, vnto þe grete see. So þat it lastez beȝond Constantinopil iiim and fourty myle of Lumbardy. And toward þe see þat [folio 60b] es called Occiane es þe kingdom of Scithy, whilk es all enclosed with hilles. Vnder Scithi, fra þe see of Caspy vnto þe flude of Thanay, es þe land of Amazoun, and þat es þe land of wymmen, 1. [Femynye, C.] whare wymmen dwellez by þam self and na men amanges þam. And þan es þe rewme of Albany, a grete land; and it es called swa for þe folk of þat land er whitter þan þe folk of oþer landes aboute it. And in þat land er wonder grete dogges and wight, þe whilk feight with any lyouns and sla þam. And þan es þe land of Hircany, of Bactrice 2. [Bactrye, Hiberye and C.] and many oþer. And betwene þe Reed See and þe grete see Occiane, toward þe south, es Ethiopi and Libi þe vppermare. For Liby þe neþermare begynnez at þe Spaynisch see, whare þe pilers er of Hercules, and lastez til Egypte and Ethiopy. In Liby þe see semez mykill hegher þan þe land, and it es like as it schuld ouerflowe all þe land, and ȝit it passez noȝt þe bankes. 3. [his markes, C.] In þat land es a grete hill, þe whilk men may see on ferrum, bot þai may noȝt comme nere it. In Libi, when a man turnez him to þe est, his schadow es on his riȝt syde, as it es here in þis cuntree on oure left syde. In þe Liby see er na fischez fun; for þare may nane liffe þerin by cause of þe owtragePage 73 hete of þe sonne. For þe water þare by cause of grete hete es euermare as it ware buylland. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þer er many ma cuntreez and iles in þase parties of þe werld, whilk ware to mykill to tell all; bot of sum sall I tell mare playnely afterwardes.
Now he þat will passe in to Tartari, or Perse, or to Caldee, or Inde, he schall entre þe see at Geen, or at [folio 61] Venice, or at sum oþer hauen before nefned, and so passe þe see and arryue at þe hauen of Trapazonde, whilk es a gude citee and was sum tyme called Le Porte de Pounce. 1. [and it was wont to ben the hauene of Pountz. Þere is the hauene of Persanes and of Medaynes and of the marches þere beȝonde, C.] In þis citee lyes saynt Athanase, þat was bischope of Alisaundre, and he made þe psalme Quicunque wlt. Þis Athanase was a grete doctour of diuinitee, and for he preched mare profoundely of Haly Writte þan oþer didd, þerfore he was accused to þe pape of heresy; and þe pape sent for him and gert putte him in presoun. And, whils he was in presoun, he made þe psalme beforsaid and sent it to þe pape and said, "If I be ane heretyc," quod he, "þan es all heresy þat here es writen, for þis es my trouthe." And, when þe pape sawe þat, he said it was all hally oure beleue and gert deliuer him oute of presoun and comaunded þat psalme to be said ilk a day at prime; and he held Athanase for a gude man and a haly. Bot Athanase wald neuer after ga to his bischoperyke agayne, for þat wikked men had thurgh hatredyn accused him to þe pape. Trapazedy was sum tyme halden of þe emperour of Constantinople; bot a myghty man and a riche, wham þe emperour sent to kepe it agayne þe Turkes, held it still vntill him self and gert call him emperour of Trapazedy.
Fra þe citee of Trapazedy men gase to Lytill Hermony. In þat cuntree es ane alde castell sett apon a roche, whilk es called in Fransch Le Chastel Despuere, þat es to say on Inglish, "þe Castell of þe Sperhawke." 2. [the whiche is cleped the Castelle of the Sparrehawk, C.] And it es betwene þe citee of Larrais 3. [Layays, C.] and þe citee of Percipre, 4. [Pharsipee, C.] þe whilk es þe lordes of Croke 5. [Cruk, C.]; and he es a riche [folio 61b] man and a gode Cristen man. In þat castell men fyndes a sperhawke sittand apon a perke, and a faire lady of Fairye sittand þerby and kepand it. And wha so will com and kepe þat sperhawke, wakand it continuelly vii. days and vii. nyȝtes, or, as sum men saise, iii. days and iii. nyghtes, withouten company and withouten sleping, þis faire lady sall com to him at þe seuend day, or þe thridd day, end, and scho sall graunt him what sum euer he askez of erthely thing; and þat hase bene many a tyme assayd. For þare come sum tyme a kyng of Ermony, a myghty lorde and a worþi, and woke þis hawke to þe end of þe days; and þan þe lady come to him and bad him ask what erthely thing as he wald, as he þat wele had done his deuer. Þe kyng answerd and said, "I am," quod he, "a lord riche ynogh; forþi I will nan oþer thing ask bot þi body to hafe it at my will." And schoPage 74 answerd and said, "Vnhappily," quod scho, "and vnwisely has þou asked. For my body may þou noȝt hafe, by cause I am noȝt erthely, bot spirituall." "Certes," quod þe kyng, "I will ask no thing elles." "Now fra þi foly," quod þe lady, "may I noȝt drawe þe. Bot I schall giffe þe vnasked þat es riȝtwyse; for þou and all þat of þee sall com sall hafe were withouten1. [withouten pees, C.] ferme pees all way vnto þe nynde degree and all ways be in þe subieccioun of ȝoure enmys and hafe defaute of all maner of gude." And riȝt so it es befallen; for þe king of Ermony had neuer pes, bot ay were, sen þat tyme, and he and all his er ay pure and nedy and liffez vnder þe tribute of þaire enmys. 2. [of the Sarrazines, C.] Anoþer tyme þer come a symple mannes son and woke þe sperhawke. And he asked [folio 62] of þe lady þat he myȝt be riche and happy in marchandyse for to gete werldly gudes; and scho graunted him. And he become þe ricchest marchand of all þat land, so þat he knew noȝt þe thowsand parte of his gude; and so he was wyser þan þe kyng before. After þis þer come a knyght of þe Templers and woke þis sperhawke wele and asked þat he myght hafe euermare his purs full of gold; and þe lady graunted him his asking. Bot scho said þat he asked þe destruccioun and þe vndoyng of his order, for þe grete pride of his ricches and þe grete trist of þat purs; and so it befell afterward. Forþi it es gude to him þat schall wake þis hawke þat he be wele warre þat he slepe noȝt; for, if he slepe, he bese lost for euer, and neuermare comme whare men er. Þis ilke castell es noȝt in þe riȝt way to þe cuntrez before neuend; bot he þat will see swilk meruailes, him behoues sum tyme þus wende oute of þe way.
Þe riȝt way fra Trapazedy til Ermony þe mare es to a citee þat men calles Artiron, þe whilk was wont to be a gude citee and a riche and a faire, bot þe Turkes hase destruyd it. Aboute it growez bot lytill wyn [supplied by ed.] or lytill oþer fruyt, for þe land es hegh and calde; bot þer er many riuers and gude welles þat commes vnder þe erthe fra Eufrates, þe whilk es fra þat citee a day iournee. And þis riuer of Eufrates commes vnder þe erthe toward Inde, and afterward it commez vp in þe land of Allazar. Thurgh þis Ermony þe mare men passez and commez to þe see of Perse. Fra þe forsaid citee of Artiron men gase to a hill þat es called Sabissebella or [folio 62b] Sabissacolle. And þare nere es anoþer hill þat men callez Ararath, bot þe Iews callez it Thano, whare Noe schippe restid after þe flude. And ȝit es it þare, and may be sene on ferrom in clere weder. Þat hill es seuen myle hegh. Sum saise þai hafe bene þare att and putte þaire fyngers in þe hole whare þe fende ȝode out, when Noe said Benedicite; bot þai say noȝt sothe. For þer may na man ga vp on þat hill for snawe, þat es all wayPage 75 þer apon, bathe wynter and somer. Ne þer come neuer man þerat sen Noe was, bot a mounk, þat thurgh grace of Godd ȝode þider and broȝt þeine with him a burde of þe schippe, þe whilk es ȝit in ane abbay at þe fote of þe hill. Þis ilke mounke desired gretely to ga vp on þat hill; and so apon a day he afforced him þerto and went vpward on þe hill. And by he had gane þe thridd parte of þe hill, he was so wery þat he myȝt na ferther, and he rested him þare and fell on slepe. And, when he wakned, he fand him doune agayne at þe fote of þe hill. And þan he besoght Godd þat he wald suffer him ga vp; and ane aungell come to him and bad him ga vp. And he did so, and broght þeine þe forsaid plaunke. And seyne come neuer man þare; and þerfore þai say wrang þat saise þai hafe bene þare.
A lytill 1. [A lytill … kirkes, in C higher up, as in the French text.] þeine es þe citee of Dayne, þe whilk Noe founded; and also a lytill þeine es þe cite of Anye, in þe whilk ware wont to be im kirkes. Fra þe forsaid hill men gase to a cite þat es called Taurizo, and it es a faire [folio 63] cite and a gude. Besyde þat citee es a hill of salt, and þeroff may ilke man take what he will. And þare dwellez many Cristen men, payand tribute to þe Sarzenes. Þe citee of Taurizo was sum tyme called Faxis; and it es ane of the gude citez of marchandisez in þe werld, and þider commez marchandez oute of many landes. For þare may þai fynd for to sell all maner of marchandise þat þai will spirre efter. Þis cite es in þe emperour land of Persy, and men saise þat þe emperour takez mare of þat citee to customez of marchandise þan þe ricchest Cristen king of þe werld may dispend.
Fra þis cite men gase by many tounes and castelles and many iournez toward Inde and commez to a cite þat men calles [supplied by ed.] Sodonie, þe whilk es x. day iournez fra Taurizo; and it es a faire cite and a noble. And þare dwellez þe emperour of Perse all þe somer, by cause þe cuntree es calde. And þare er many grete riuers, þat will bere grete schippez. Seyne men gase toward Inde many day iournez thurgh many cuntreez, and commez to a cite þat es called Cassach, þe whilk es a gude citee and a riche and plentifous of corne and oþer maner of vitailes. At þat citee, as men saise, mette þe three kynges þat went to make offerand to Criste in Bethleem; and it es fra Bethleem three and fyfty day iourneez. Fra þis citee men gase til anoþer cite, þat es called Beth; and it es a day iournee fra þe Grauelly See. Þis es þe nobillest within þe empire of Perse; and sum callez it Cardabago, and sum Vapa. 2. [And þei clepen flessch þere Dabago and the wyn Vapa, C.] Þe Sarzenez þare saise þat þer may na Cristen men dwell [supplied by ed.] in þat citee na while þat [folio 63b] ne þai schall dye; þe cause why, wate na man. Fra þeine men gase many iourneez by many citez, þe whilk ware ouerlang to rekken, to þai comme til a citee þat es called Carnaa, þat was wont to be so grete þat þe wallePage 76 aboute was xxv. myle; and þare endez þe land of þe emperour of Perse And, 1. [And ȝif ȝee wole knowe the lettres of Persaynes and what names þei han, þei ben suche as I last deuysed þou, but not in sownynge of here wordes, C. Over the letters in E are those of the English alphabet in regular order.] if ȝe will wit whatkyn letters þai vse, here ȝe may here þam:—Alma, Bem, Cem, Dem, Ethin, Folthin, Gith, Hith, Iothin, Kinyn, Lathin, Moin, Nichoin, Ozeph, Phisan, Quinth, Yr, Seth, Toith, Vith, Xith, Ya, Zofin.
[Of the lond of Job, and of his age; of the aray of men of Caldee; of the lond where wommen duellen withouten companye of men; of the knouleche and vertues of the verray dyamaunt.]
FRA men passe fra Carnaa þai entre in to þe land of Iob; and it es a faire cuntree and a gude, and grete plentee þerin of fruytz and oþer ricches. And þat land es called Sweze. In þat land es þe citee of Theman. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat Iob [supplied by ed.] was Are son of Gosra, and he was prince and lord of þat cuntree. And he was so riche þat he knew noȝt þe end of his gudez by a hundreth partes. And if all he ware a paynymme, neuer þe latter he serued Godd full deuoutely after þe custom of his lawe, whas seruyse was acceptable to Godd. Afterward it befell thurgh þe sufferaunce of Godd þat sudaynely he fell to grete mischeffe and grete pouert, when he was of elde iiixx ȝere and ten. 2. [corrected to "xviii."] Bot Godd, hafand reward til his grete pacience and his mekeness, sent him agayne mare ricches þan euer he had before and mare wirschepe. Þe whilk efterward, when þe kyng of Ydumee was deed, was made kyng of Ydumee, and, as sum saise, his name was chaunged and [folio 64] called Iobab. And þare he liffed clxx. ȝere; and, when he dyed, he was of age cc. ȝere and xlviii. In þe land of Iob es na defaute of thing þat es nedefull to þe liffyng of man. Þare er hilles whare men findez manna mare plentifously and better þan in any oþer place. Manna es called breed of aungels, and it es a thing riȝt whyte and swete, ȝa swetter þan sugur or hony. And it commez of þe dew of heuen, þat fallez on þe herbes, and þare it coagules and waxez white. And men duse it in medecines for grete men and riche for costyfnes and for clensing of corrupte blude.Page 77
Þis land of Iob marchez on þe land of Caldee, þe whilk es a grete land; and þaire langage es gretter and mare generall þan of any land on þat syde þe see. And men gase þider by þe toure of Babilon, as I said before, whare þe first chaungeyng of tunges was made; and it es fra Caldee foure day iournez. In þe rewme of Caldee er riȝt faire men and wele apparailed in clathes of gold and precious stanes. Bot þe wymmen er riȝt layth and ill araid, 1. [righte foule and euylle arrayed, C.] and þai ga barfote. And þai hafe on ane vnthrifty garement, wyde and schort by þe knee, and it has lang slefez and wyde, as it ware of blak mounkes, hingand to þaire fete. Þaire hare of þaire heueds es blak and grete, and hingez doune aboute þaire scholdres. And þir wymmen er riȝt blak and vggly to behold and of euill nurture. In þe rewme of Caldee es a citee þe whilk es called Vr, wherin Thare, Abraham fader, dwelled sum [folio 64b] tyme; and þat was in þe tyme of Ninus, þat was king of Babiloyne, of Araby and of Egipte. He, þis Ninus, made þe cite of Niniue, bot Noe began it first; and by cause þat Ninus endid it, þerfore is it called Niniue after his name. In Niniue was Thoby grauen, of wham Haly Writte spekez. Oute of þe citee of Vr went Abraham at þe bidding of Godd, after þat his fader was deed, and tuke with him Sara his wyf and his broþer son Loth, for þat tyme he had na childer him self, and come in to þe land of Canaan and dwelled þare in a place þat es called Sychem. Þis Loth was he þat was saued at þe subuersioun of Sodom and Gomorre. Þe folk of Caldee has a propre langage and propre lettres and figures; and þir er þe figures of þaire lettres … 2. [Twenty-two characters here follow, but they are too corrupt to be recognisable.]
Besyde Caldee es þe land of Amazoun, whilk 3. [þat is the lond of Femynye, C.] we call þe mayden land or þe land of wymmen; for þare dwellez na men þerin, bot all anely wymmen. Noȝt, as sum men saise, for þat na men may liffe in þat land, bot forþi þat wymmen will noȝt suffer men for to hafe gouernaunce of þe rewme. For þare was sum tyme a kyng in þat land, þe whilk hight Colopheus, and men dwelland þerin as duse in oþer cuntrez. And it befell þat þis kyng had were with þe kyng of Sithy, and so befell þat he went ane tyme to bataile agaynes þe grete kyng his [folio 65] aduersary, and was slayne in þe stoure and all þe grete men of his rewme with him. And, when þe qwene and oþer ladys of þat land herd tell þat þe kyng and þe lordes ware þus slayne, þai gadred þam togyder with ane asscent and armed þam wele and tuke with þam grete company of wymmen and slewgh doune clenly all þe men þat ware left amanges þam. And sen þat tyme hiderward wald þai neuer late men dwell with þam ower seuen days, ne neuer suffer knafe childe be nurisched amanges þam. Bot, when þai will hafe felischepe of men, þaiPage 78 drawe þam to þe syde of þe land, whare þaire lemmans dwellez, and þare þai dwell with þam viii. or ix. days and þan wendez hame agayne. And, if any of þam be with childe and hafe a son, þai kepe it till it can speke and ga and ete by it self and þan sendez it to þe fader, or elles slaez it. And, if it be a mayden childe, þai schere away hir a pappe, 1. [þei don awey with on pappe with an hote hiren, C.] of a womman of grete astate hir left pappe, and brynnez it, for scho sall þe better bere hir schelde; and, if þai be of lawe degree, þai schere away þe riȝt pappe, for 2. [for to scheten with bowe turkeys, C.] it sall noȝt lette þam to schote, for þai can riȝt wele þe craft of schotyng. Þare es euermare in þat rewme a qwene þat has þe gouernaunce of þe land, and til hir þai er all obeyand. And þis qwene es euermare chosen by eleccioun, for þai chese hir þat es þe doghtyest in armes. Þir wymmen er noble werrayours and wys; and þerfore kynges of oþer rewmes neghe þam wagez þam for to helpe þam in þaire weres. Þis land of Amazoun is bot ane ile, closed all aboute with water, oute taken twa [folio 65b] placez, whare er twa entreez; and beȝond þir waters dwellez þaire forsaid lemmannes, to þe whilk þai may ga, when þam list, for to hafe bodily lyking of þam. Be syde þe land of Amazoun es a cuntree þat es called Termegutte, a faire cuntree and a lykand; and for þe grete bewtee and bountee of þis cuntree kyng Alexander wald hafe sett þare þe first citee of Alysaunder. For in þat land he made xii. Alysaunders, of þe whilk þis es þe first; bot now it es called Celsite.
On þe toþer syde of Caldee, toward þe southe, es þe land of Ethiopy, þe whilk es a grete land and lastez vntil Egipte. Ethiopy es diuised in twa principale parties, þat es to say in þe south party and þe northe [deleted in MS]est. 3. [written over "northe."] Þe south party es called Mauritayne, and þe folk of þis party es blacker þan of þe este party. 4. [and þei ben clept Mowres, adds C.] In þis party also es a well þat on þe day es so calde þat na man may drink þaroff, and on þe nyght so hate þat na man may suffer his hand þerin. Beȝond Mauritayne, for to wende by see toward þe southe, es a grete cuntree, bot it es inhabitable by cause of þe owtrage hete 5. [the feruent brennynge, C.] of þe sonne. In Ethiopy all þe waters er so trublee and so salt for ouermykill hete of þe sonne, þat na man dare wele dele with þam. And þe folk of þat land will lightly be drunken; and þai hafe lytill appetite to þaire mete; and þai hafe comounly þe flux; and þai liffe bot schort tyme. And in þat land er folk of diuerse schappes. For þare er sum þat hase bot a fote; and þai will rynne so fast apon þat a fote þat it [folio 66] es wonder to see. And þat ilke fote es so mykill þat it will couer and oumbre all his body for þe sonne. In Ethiopy 6. [In Ethiope, whan the children ben ȝonge and lytill, þei ben all ȝalowe; and whan þat þei wexen of age, þat ȝalowness turneth to ben all blak, C.] er ȝung childer white hared, and, when þai er of elde, þaire hare waxez blakk. In þis land of Ethiopy es þe citee of Saba, of whilk ane of þe three kynges þat offerd till oure Lord was kyng.Page 79
Fra Ethiopy men gase intill Inde thurgh many diuerse cuntrez. 1. [and men clepen the high Ynde Emlak, adds C.] And ȝe schall vnderstand þat Inde es diuised in three partys, þat es to say in Inde þe mare, þe whilk es a hegh cuntree and a hate; and in Inde þe lesse, þe whilk es a temperee land, and it es toward þe south; þe thridd parte es toward þe northe, and it es so calde a cuntree þat for þe grete calde and continuele frost þe water congelez in to cristall. And apon þe roche of cristall growez gude dyamaundes, þat er of þe colour of cristall, bot þai er mare dymme coloured þan þe cristall and broune as oile. And þai er so hard þat þare may na metell pulisch þam ne breke þam. Oþer dyamaundes fyndez men in Araby, þat er noȝt so gude, whilk er mare tendre. And sum er fun in Cypre, þat er mare tendre þan þe toþer; and þerfor may þai þe lyghtlyer be pulischt. Also men fyndez sum in Macedoyne; bot þase of Inde er þe best. And sum er fun oft tymes in a masse þat commez oute of þe myne, whare men fyndez gold, and þase er als hard as þase of Inde. And, if all it be so þat men fyndez gude dyamaundes in Inde apon þe roche of cristall, also men fyndez dyamaundes gude and hard apon þe roche of þe adamaund in þe see [folio 66b] and apon hilles also, of þe mykilnes of hesill nuttes. And þai er foure cornerd of þaire awen growyng and foure squarre. And þai growe sammen, male and female; and þai er nurischt with dew of heuen. And þai engender and consayuez, as it ware, in þaire kynde and bringes furth smale childer, and so þai multiply and growez all way. I haue many tymes assaied and sene, þat, if a man take þam with a lytill of þe roche þat þai growe on, so þat þai be taken vp by þe rutes and oft sythes wette with þe dew of May, þai growe ilke a ȝere visibilly, so þat þe smale waxez grete. 2. [For right as the fyn perl congeleth and wexeth gret of the dew of heuene, right so doth the verray dyamand. And right as the perl of his owne kynde taketh roundness, right so the dyamand be vertu of God taketh squareness, adds C.] A man sall bere þe dyamaund at his left syde; and þan es it of mare vertu þan on þe riȝt syde, for þe strenth of his growyng es toward þe north, whilk es þe left syde of þe werld and þe left syde of a man, when he turnez his visage toward þe este.
And, if ȝe will knawe þe vertuz of þe dyamaund, I sall tell ȝow as 3. [as men may fynden in the lapidarye, þat many men knowen noght, I schall telle ȝou as þei beȝonde the see seyn and affermen, of whom all science and all philosophie cometh from, C.] Ysidre libro 16 Ethicorum, capitulo de cristallo, and Bertilmew De Proprietatibus Rerum, libro 16, capitulo de adamante, saise. Þe dyamaund giffez to him þat berez it on him hardyness, if it be freely giffen him, and it kepez þe lymmes of a man hale. It giffez him grace to ouercomme his enmys, if his cause be riȝtwys, bathe in were and in motyng. It kepez him in his riȝt witte. It kepez him fra stryfez, debates, ryotes, and fra ill dremes and fantasies, and fra wikked spirits.Page 80 And if any man þat deles with sorcery or enchauntementz wald grefe him þat beres þe dyamaund, he schall noȝt dere him. Also þer sall na wylde beste assayle him þat berez it, ne ȝit na venymmous beste. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe dyamaund schuld be giffen freely, noȝt couaited ne boght, and þan it es of mare vertu and makes [folio 67] a man mare stalworth agayne his enmys. It helez him þat es lunatyc; and, if venym or puyson be broȝt in place whare þe dyamaund es, alsone it waxez moyst and begynnez to swete, and men may wele polisch it. Bot sum werkmen for malice will noȝt polisch it, for þat men schuld trowe þat þai myȝt noȝt be pulischt. In Inde also may men fynd dyamaundz of violet colour and sum what browne, þe whilk er riȝt gude and full precious. Bot sum men luffez þam noȝt so wele as þir oþer þat I hafe spoken off before. Neuerþeles me think þam als gude and as precious as þe oþer; for sikerly I hafe oft sythez sene þam assaid. Þai hafe oþer also, þe whilk er white as cristall, bot þai er mare dymme and trublee; neuerþeles þai er riȝt gude and of grete vertu. And þai er nere hand all foure sqware and poynted, bot sum of þam er of þaire awen kynde three cornerd and sum sex.
Ȝit will I tell ȝow mare of þis stane, and 1. [þat þei þat knowen hem not be not disceyued be gabberes, þat gon be the contree þat sellen hem, C.] namely for þaim þat berez þis stane to diuerse cuntreez for to sell. He þat will by þis stane, it es nedefull till him þat he cunn perfitely knawe þat stane for þe dessait of þam þat sellez þam. For oft tymes þai sell to þaim þat hase na grete knawyng of stanes in steed dyamaundez cristalles pale and oþer maner of stanes, þe whilk er noȝt so hard as dyamaundes, and comounly þaire poyntes er broken off and þai will lightly be polischt. Neuerþeles sum werkmen will noȝt polisch þam fully, for to gere men wene [folio 67b] þat þai may noȝt be polischt forhand. Neuerþeles men may assay þe dyamaund in þis manere. First for to take þe dyamaund and rubbe it on þe safir or on cristall or sum oþer precious stanez or on clene burnyscht stele. And seyne take 2. [men taken the ademand þat is the schipmannes ston, þat draweth the nedle to him, C.] þe adamand, þat drawez þe nedill til him, by þe whilk schippe men er gouerned in þe see, and lay þe dyamaund apon þe adamaund and lay a nedill before þe adamaund. And, if þe dyamaund be gude and vertuous, þe adamand drawes noȝt þe nedill to him, whils þe dyamand es þare. And þis es þe assay whilk þai make beȝond þe see. Bot it fallez oft tymez þat þe gude dyamaund losez his vertu by defaute and incontinence of him þat beres it. And þerfore it es nedefull to make it to hafe his vertu agayne or elles it es of lytill prys.Page 81
[Of the customs of yles abouten Ynde; of the difference betwix ydoles and simulacres; of iii. maner growynges of peper vpon o tree; of the welle that chaungethe his odour euery hour of the day, and that is meruaylle.]
IN Inde er many diuerse cuntreez; and it es called Inde by cause of a water þat rynnez thurgh þat land, þe whilk men callez Inde. In þat water men fyndez elez of xxx. fote lang. And folk þat dwellez nere þat water er ill coloured, ȝalow and grene. In Inde er ma þan vm iles þat men dwellez in, gude and grete, withouten oþer þat men dwellez noȝt in. And in ilke ane of þase iles er many citez and tounes and mykill folk. For men of Inde er of þat condicioun þat þai passe noȝt comounly oute of þaire awen land, for þai dwell vnder a planett þat es called Saturnus. And þat planet makes his turne by þe twelfe signes in xxx. ȝere; and þe mone, þe whilk es oure planet, passez by þe xii. signes in a moneth. And for Saturnus es [folio 68] of so late mouyng, þerfore men þat dwellez vnder him and in þat climate hase na gude will to be mykill stirrand aboute, bot for to dwell still in þaire awen land and to couaite nan oþer. Bot in oure cuntree es euen þe contrary. For we er in a clymate þe whilke es vnder þe gouernaunce of þe moone, þat es a planet of light mouyng; and it es þe planet of way. And þerfore it giffez vs will to be mykill stirrand aboute and to ga in to diuerse cuntrez of þe werld; for it passez aboute þe world mare lightly þan anoþer planet.
Also men gase thurgh Inde by many cuntreez vnto þe grete see Occean; and þan þai fynd þe ile of Chermes, whider marchandes of Venice, of Geen and of many oþer cuntreez commez to bye marchandysez. Bot it es so hate þare in þat ile þat men ballokes hyngez doune to þaire schankes for þe grete violence of hete, þat dissoluez þaire bodys. And men of þat cuntree þat kennez þe manere byndez þam vp and vsez certayne oynementz calde and restrictiue to hald þam vpp, or elles myȝt þai noȝt liffe. In þis land and in Ethiopy and many oþer cuntrez men and wymmen gase comounly to waters and lays þam in þam all naked fra vndrun of þe day to it be passedPage 82 none, for þe grete hete of þe sonne; and þai ligg all vnder þe water bot þe heued. And wymmen þare schamez noȝt þof men see þam naked. And þare may a man see mykill dishonestee. 1. [many foule figure assembled, and namely nygh the gode townes, C.] In þis ile er schippes made withouten nayles or bandes of yrne; and þat es by cause of roches of adamaundez þat er in þe see, whilk wald [folio 68b] drawe schippes to þam. And þare es so grete plentee of þase rochez in þase parties þat, if any schippes passed þer away in þe whilk ware any maner of yrne, þai schuld be drawen [supplied by ed.] to þe rochez by þe vertu of þe adamaund, so þat þai schuld eschape on na wyse.
Fra þis ile men wendez by see to þe ile of Cana, whare es grete plentee of wyne and of corne. It was sum tyme a grete ile, and a gude hauen þerin; bot it es destruyd by þe see for þe mare party. Þe kyng of þat ile was sum tyme so grete and so myghty þat he faght with grete Alexander. Folk of þat ile hase diuerse lawes; for sum wirschepez þe sonne in steed of Godd, sum þe fire, sum nedders, sum treessez, sum þe first thing þat þai mete at morne, sum wirschepez simulacres, sum ydoles. Betwene simulacres and ydoles es a grete difference. For simulacres er ymages made to þe liknes of sum thing þat es kyndely; and ydoles er ymagez made to þe liknes of what thing a man will þat es noȝt kyndely. For amanges all maner of bestes ȝe schall fynd nane þat hase three heueds, ane of a man, anoþer of a hors, anoþer of ane ox or of sum oþer beste, as þai make þaire ydoles. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þai þat wirschepes simulacres wirschepes þam for sum worthy men, þat ware sum tyme doghty men in armes, as Hercules, Achilles and swilk oþer, whilk didd many meruailes in þaire [folio 69] tymes. For þai say þai wate wele þai er noȝt Godd of kynde, þat made all thing, bot þai er riȝt wele with Godd for meruailes þat þai didd. And so say þai of þe sonne; for it chaungez oft þe tymes of þe ȝere and giffez hete to nurisch all thinges of þe erthe. And, for it es of so grete profit, þai say þai wate wele þat it es wele with Godd and þat Godd lufes it mare þan any oþer thing; and þerfore þai wirschepe it. And þe same þai say of oþer planets and of þe fyre, by cause of þe grete profit þat commes of þam. And of ydoles þai say þat þe ox es þe halyest beste þat es in erthe and maste profitable, for he duse mykill gude and nane ill. And þai wate wele, þai say, þat may noȝt be withouten speciale grace of Godd; and þerfore þai make þaire godd half man and half ox, for man es þe fairest and þe best creature þat Godd made and þe ox þe halyest. Þai do wirschepe also to nedders and oþer bestez whilk þai mete first at morne, and namely to þase bestez þat er gude and happy to mete,Page 83 after whaym þai spede wele all þe day efter, whilk þai hafe proued of lang tyme. And þerfore þai say þis gude metyng commez of Godd; and þerfore hafe þai gert make ymagez lyke to þase in þaire houses, þat þai may wirschepe þam before þai mete with any oþer thinges. 1. [The passage following in the French text, down to "esperance en nostre Seignur," omitted here, is translated in C (see [commentary]).] In þis ile of Cana er many wylde bestez, as lyouns, leoperds, beres and swilk oþer. 2. [lyouns and many oþer wylde bestes, C.] And þare er ratouns als grete as hundes er here; and þai take þam with grete mastyfes, for cattes er to smale to take þam. In þis cuntree and in many oþer, when men er deed, þai graue þam noȝt; for þer es so grete hete þat alssone þe flessh es consumed euen to þe bane.[folio 69b]
Fra þeine men commez to a citee þat es called Sarchie, and it es a faire citee and a gude. And þare dwellez many gude Cristen men of gude beleue; and þare er many men of religioun, and namely of freres. 3. [mendyuantes, C.] Fra þeine men gase to þe land of Lombe by see. In þat land growez peper in a forest, whilk es called Combar; and it growez in na place of þe werld bot anely in þat forest. Þat forest es xxiiii. iournez on lenth. And þare er twa gude citez, of þe whilk þe tane hat Flabryne and þe toþer Ȝinglauns; and in bathe þir citez dwellez Cristen men and Iews in grete noumer, for þe cuntree es right plentifous and gude. Bot it es riȝt hate, and þerfore þer es grete haboundance of diuerse nedders and wormes. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat pepre growez in maner of wilde wynes be syde þe treesse of þe forest, for to be suppoweld by þam. Þe fruyt þeroff hinges in grete clustres in maner of bobbes of grapes 4. [in manere as reysynges, C.]; and þai hing so thikk þat, bot if þai ware suppoweld by oþer treesse, þai myght noȝt bere þaire fruyt. Qwhen þe fruyt es rype, it es all grene lyke þe berys of wodbind 5. [as it were iuy beryes, C.]; and þan þai gader þe fruyt and driez it at þe sonne and seyne layez it apon a flure 6. [owven, C.] til it becom blakk and runklid. And so þai hafe þare three maners of peper growand on a tree, þat es to say lang peper rype of þe awen kynde, whyte peper noȝt brynt ne birstlid with fyre ne with hete of þe sonne, and blak peper dried with hete of þe fyre or of þe sonne. Lang peper call þai Spotyn, 7. [sorbotyn, C.] blakk Fulphul, 8. [fulfull, C.] and whyte Bonoile. 9. [bano, C.] First commez oute þe lang peper, when þe lefez begynnez to spring; and it es lyke vnto þe floure of þe hesill, 10. [chattes of hasell, C.] [f.70] þat springes oute before þe lefes.Page 84 Þan commez oute white peper with þe lefes in grete clustres, as 1. [at, MS] it ware grene grapes; þe whilk, when it es gaderd, es whyte, and it es sum what lesse þan blakk peper. Seyne springes oute blak peper in grete haboundaunce. Of þe white peper sell þai bot lytill til oþer cuntrez or elles noȝt, bot kepez it till þaire awen vse; for it es better and mare profitable and of mare attemperee wirkyng þan þe oþer, and langer will be [supplied by ed.] kepid in his vertu. And ȝe 2. [And ȝe … fresch and new, not in French text or in C.] sall vnderstand þat, ay þe heuer peper es, þe better it es and þe newere. Neuerþeles it fallez oft tyme þat marchands sophisticatez peper, when it es alde, as Ysidoris tellez. For þai take alde peper and stepez it and strewez apon it spume of siluer or of leed and driez it agayne, and so by cause of þe weight it semes fresch and new. And þai hafe of nane of þir three maners of peper so grete haboundaunce as of þe blakk. In þat cuntree, as I said before, er many diuerse maners of nedders and of oþer wormes by cause of þe grete hete of þe cuntree and also of þe peper. And sum men saise þat a certayne tyme of þe ȝere, when þai ga for to gader þis peper, þai make fyres here and þare, for to brynne þe nedders or elles make þam to flee þeine. Bot, saue þaire grace, it es noȝt so. For, if þai þus made fires aboute þe peper, þai schuld brynne þe peper and þe treess þat it growez on, or elles drie þam so þat þai schuld na mare bere fruyt; and þat es noȝt trew. Bot þai [folio 70b] enoynt þaire hend and þaire fete and oþer placez of þaire bodys with ane oynement made of þe iuys of a fruyte þat þai call lymons 3. [þei enoynten here hondes and here feet [with a juice] mad of snayles, C. A confusion between "limons" and "limaçons."] menged with oþer certayne thinges, and þan þai ga baldely for to gader þe peper. And þe nedders and venymmous wormes, when þai fele þe reflaire of þe oynement, fleez away; and on þis wyse in sothefastnes get þai þe peper.
At þe heued of þis ilk forest es þe citee of Polombe; and besyde þat citee es a mountayne, wharoff þe citee takez þe name, for men callez þe mountayne Polombe. And at þe fote of þis mountayne es a well, noble and faire; and þe water þeroff has a swete sauour and reflaire, as it ware of diuerse maner of spicery. And ilke houre of þe day þe water chaungez diuersely his sauour and his smell. And, wha so drinkes fastand thryes of þat well, he sall be hale of what maner of malady þat he hase. And forþi þe þat wonnez nere þat well drynkez þeroff þe ofter, and þerfore þai hafe neuermare sekeness, bot euermare þai seme ȝung. I, Iohn Maundeuill, sawe þis well and drank þeroff thrys and all my felawes, and euermare sen þat tyme I fele me þe better and þe haler and supposez for to do till þe tyme þat Godd of his grace will make me to passe oute of þis dedly lyf. 4. [I haue dronken þere of iii. or iiii. sithes, and ȝit me thinketh I fare the better, C.] Sum men callez þat well Fons iuuentutis, 5. [welle of ȝouthe, C.] þat es for to say, þe well of ȝowthehede; for þai þat drinkez þeroff semez all way ȝung. And þai say þis well commez fra Paradys terrestre, for it es so vertuous. Thurgh oute all þis cuntree þer growes þe best gynger þat es ower whare; and marchaunds commez þider fra ferre cuntreez for to bye it.Page 85 [folio 71]
And in þis 1. [An þis, MS.] cuntree þe folk þeroff wirschepez þe ox, in steed of Godd, for þe sympilnes and þe gudeness þat commez of him. And þai say þare þat þe ox es þe halyest best of þe werld and many vertuz has in him; for sex ȝere or seuen þe ox will drawe in þe plugh and helpe to labour for mannes sustynaunce, and efter þat men may ete him. Þe king of þat land hase euermare ane ox with him, whare so euer he be, and honoures it as his godd. And he þat kepez þis ox gaders þe dung of him in a vessell of gold and þe vryne in anoþer; and all þat euer he gaders on þe nyght on þe morue he beres to þaire prelate, whilk es called Archiprothopapaton, and he berez it to þe kyng and makes þar ower many blissings. And þan þe kyng puttez his handes in þe vryne of þe ox, þe whilk þai call gaul, and þerwith he rubbez his frunt and his breste. And þan with grete reuerence he takez of þe dung and rubbez it on his visage and his breste, as he did with þe vryn, in þat entent þat he be fulfilled with þe vertu of þe haly ox and þat he be blissed with þat haly thing. And after þe kyng oþer lordes and princez dose on þe same maner; and efter þaim seruandes and oþer men, ilk ane in þaire degree, als lang as oght lastez þeroff. In þat cuntree þaire ydoles, þat es þaire fals goddes, hase half schappe of man and half of ane ox; and in þase ydoles þe fende spekez to þam and giffes answere of what so þai ask. Before þise fals goddes þai sla þaire childer many tymes in steed of sacrifice, and takes þaire blude aud sprenklez it apon þaire mawmets, [folio 71b] and þus þai make þaire sacrifice to þam. And, when any man dies in þat land, þai brynne his body, for þat he suld suffer na payne, when he es in his graue, thurgh etyng of wormes. And, if he hafe na childer, þai brynne his wyf with him. For þai say þat it es resoun þat scho bere him cumpany in þe toþer werld as scho did here in þis werld. And, if scho hafe childer, þai late hir liffe for to bring þam vp, if scho will. And, if it be swa þat scho chese rather to liffe with hir childer þan to be brynned with hir housband, þan sall scho be arettid vntrew and vnkynde, 2. [men holden hire for fals and cursed, C.] and scho sall neuer be praised, ne na man sall efter þat tyme trist on hir. And, if þe wyf dye before hir husband, he schall noȝt be brynt with hir agayne his will; bot, if him list, he may take him anoþer wyf. In þat cuntree also growez gude wynes; and þare sall þe wymmen drinke wyne, and noȝt þe men. And wymmen schafez þer beerdes, and noȝt men.Page 86
[Of the domes made be seynt Thomas hond; of deuocioun and sacrifice made to ydoles there in the cytee of Calamye; and of the processioun in goynge aboute the cytee.]
FRA þis land men gase by many diuerse placez to a cuntree þat es called Mabaron; and it es fra þe forsaid land x. day iourneez. And it es a grete rewme and a large, and many gude citeez and tounes þerin. In þat land of Mabaron liez sayne Thomas þe apostle, and his body all hale, in a faire toumbe in þe citee of Calamy; for þare was he martird and grauen. Bot afterwardes þe Assirienes tuke his body and [folio 72] bare it to a citee in Mesopotamy þat es called Edisse. Bot eft sones it was translated agayne to þe forsaid citee and layd in þe forsaid toumbe; and his arme with his hand þat he putt in oure Lordes syde after his resurreccioun, when he said, "Noli esse incredulus, sed fidelis", lyez withouten in a vessell. And by that hand men of þat cuntree giffez þaire iugementz, to wit wha has riȝt. For, if any stryf be betwene twa parties and ayther party affermez þat he has riȝt in his cause, þan þai ger write in a scrowe 1. [in ii. billes, C.] þe riȝt of ayther party and puttez þase billes in þe hand of sayne Thomas; and als fast þe hand castez oute þe bille þat contenez þe fals cause, and þe toþer it haldez still. And þerfore men commez oft tymes oute of ferre cuntreez þider, for to declare a riȝtwys cause betwene party and party, þe whilk es in doute. Þe kirke whare sayne Thomas lyes es mykill and faire and full of ymagery of þaire mawmets; 2. [fulle of grete sumulacres, C.] and þase ymagez er ilk ane of þe stature of twa men at þe leste.
Bot þare es ane þat passez all oþer of stature; and þat es richely and really enourned with gold and precious stanes all aboute 3. [and þat ydole is the god of false Cristene þat han reneyed hire feythe, adds C.] and sittez in a chaier nobelly arraied. And he has aboute his nekk as it ware brade gyrdils of silke, 4. [of silke, om C.] wele hernayst with gold and preciouse stanes. 5. [And this chirche is full richely wrought and all ouer gylt withinne, adds C.] To þat ymage men commez fra ferre in pilgrimage with grete deuocioun, als comounly als Cristen men commez to sayne Iames. And sum of þam, for þe grete deuociounPage 87 þai hafe to þat mawmet, ay as þai ga, er lukand douneward to þe erthe and will noȝt luke aboute þam, for þai [folio 72b] schuld see na thing þat schuld lette þaire deuocioun. Þare commez sum also þider in pilgrimage þat beres scharpe knyfes in þaire handes, with whilk, ay as þai ga by þe way, þai wound þam self in þe legges and þe armes and in oþer placez of þaire body, þat þe blude rynnez doune fra þer woundes in grete fuysoun. And þis þai do for lufe of þat ydole, and saise þat he es full blissed þat will dye for þe lufe of his mawmet. And sum of þam bringez with þam þaire childer and slaez þaim and makes sacrifice of þam to þaire mawmet; and þai take þe blude of þaire childer and sprenklez it apon þe ymage. Sum also, fra þai passe oute of þer housez til þai comme before þaire mawmet, at ilke a thridd passe knelis doune apon þe erthe with grete deuocioun. And þai bring with þam incense and oþer thinges swete smelland for to turify 1. [sensen, C.] þat ymage, as we do here to Goddes body. And þare es before þat ymage, as it ware, a poonde or a vyuer, full of water; and in to þat pilgrimes castez gold and siluer and precious stanes withouten noumer in steed of offerand. And forþi þe mynisters þat kepez þat ilk mawmet, when þai hafe mister of any monee for reparailyng 2. [neden to maken ony reparacion, C.] of þaire kirk or for any oþer thing þat fallez to þat ilke mawmet, þai ga to þat ilke poonde and takez oute þeroff als mykill as þam nedez. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat, when grete festez commez of þat mawmet, as þe dedicacioun of þe kirk or þe tronyng of þat mawmet, all þe cuntree assemblez þider; and þai sett þis mawmet with grete wirschepe in a chariot, wele arraid with clathez of [folio 73] gold and of silke, 3. [of tartarye, of camacaa and oþer precyous clothes, C.] and ledez him with grete sollempnitee aboute þe citee. And before þe chariot gase first in processioun all þe maydens of þe cuntree, twa and twa togyder; and þan all þe pilgrymmes þat commez þider fra ferre cuntreez, of whilke sum for þe grete deuocioun þai hafe to þat mawmet fallez doune before þe chariot and latez it gang ouer þam. And so er sum of þam slayne, sum þaire armes and sum þaire schankes broken; and þai trowe þat, þe mare payne þai suffer here for lufe of þaire mawmet, þe mare ioy in þe toþer werld sall þai hafe and þe nerre þaire godd sall þai be. And sikerly þai suffer so mykill payne and martirdom apon þaire bodys for þe lufe of þat ilke mawmet þat vnnethes will any Cristen man suffer half so mykill, ne þe tende parte, for þe lufe of oure Lorde Iesu Criste. For sum tyme þare slaez þam self for luffe of þat mawmet cc. or three apon a day, whas bodys er broȝt before þat mawmet and accounted in nowmer of sayntes. For, riȝt as a man amanges vs wald think it a grete wirschepe, if þer ware in his kyn canonized a haly martir or a confessour and his vertuzPage 88 and his myracles writen in bukes, riȝt so think þaim it a grete wirschepe, when any of þer cusyns or of þer frendes slaez þam self for lufe of þer mawmet, and writez þaire dedes and þer names in bukes and in þaire letanys. And, ay þe ma of þer kyn þat slaez þam self on þis wise, þe mare glad þai er, and saise ilk ane of þam till oþer, [folio 73b] "We hafe ma sayntes in oure kynne þan ȝe haue." And, when any of þam purposez him to sla him self for his mawmet lufe, he callez all his frendez togyder and gers many mynstralles ga before þam with grete sollempnytee; and so þai comme before þe mawmet. And he þat sal sla him self standes before þe mawmet with a scharpe drawen knyf in his hand, and with þat knyf he cuttez oute a pece of his flesch and castez it in þe visage of þe mawmet and saise deuote praiers 1. [in the face of his ydole, seyenge his orysounes, C.] and commendez him till his godd, and seyne he smytez him self with þe knyf in diuerse placez ay till he fall doune deed. And þan his frendez offers his body to þe mawmet, syngand and sayand, "Loo how þi lele seruand has done for þe! He hase forsaken wyf and childer and all þe ricches and solacez of þe werld and his awen lyf for þi lufe and made sacrifice vnto þe of his flesch and his blude. Wharfore, we pray þe, þat þou sett him by syde þe amanges þi dere frendez in þe ioy of paradys, for he hase wele disserued it." And, when þai hafe þus done, þai brynne his body and ilke ane of þam takez a porcioun of þe aschez and kepez þam in steed of relyques. And þai say it es a haly thing and þat thurgh þe vertu of þase aschez þai schall be saued and keped fra all maner of perils. And, 2. [This passage higher up in C, as in the French texts.] when þai lede þaire mawmet aboute þe citee, as I talde before, with processioun, next before þe chariot gase all þe mynistralles of þe cuntree with all maner of [folio 74] instruments of music, and þai make a grete melody. And, when þai hafe þusgates ledd him all aboute þe citee with grete sollempnytee, þai lede him agayne vnto þe temple and settez agayne in his place þare he was wont to be. And þan for wirschepe of þat mawmet and of þe feste diuerse persones slaez þam self with scharpe knyfes in grete nowmer, as I said before.Page 89
[Of the euyll customs vsed in the yle of Lamary; and how the erthe and the see ben of rownd forme and schappe, be pref of the sterre that is clept Antartyk, that is fix in the south.]
FRA þis cuntree men gase by þe grete see Occean thurgh many iles and diuerse cuntrez, whilke ware lang to tell. At þe last after lii. day iournez men commez till a land, a large and a mykill, þe whilke es called Lamory. In þat land es wonder grete hete; and þe custom es þare þat men and wymmen gase all naked and schamez noȝt for to schew þam as Godd made þam. And þai scorne oþer þat er cledd; for þai say þat Godd made Adam and Eue naked, and þat men schuld hafe na schame of þat þat Godd made, for na thing þat es kyndely es foule. Þai say also þat men þat vsez clathez er of anoþer werld, or elles þai trowe noȝt in Godd, þat made all þe werld. In þat cuntree es na mariage betwene man and womman; bot all þe wymmen of þat land er comoun till ilke man. And þai say, if þai did oþer wyse, þai did grete synne, by cause Godd said till Adam and Eue, "Crescite et multiplicamini, et replete terram", þat es to say, "Waxez and beese multiplied and fillez þe erthe." And forþi na man þare saise, "Þis es my wyfe"; ne na womman, "Þis es my [folio 74b] housband." And when wymmen er delyuer of childer, þai giffe þam to wham þai will of men þat hase lyen by þam. And on þe same wyse þe land es comoun till ilke man. For þat þat a man hase a ȝere anoþer hase anoþer ȝere; and ilke man takez what him list, now here now þare. For all thinges er comoun, as I said before, bathe cornes and all oþer gudes; for þare es na thing vnder lokk, and als riche es a man as anoþer. Bot þai haue ane euill custom amanges þam; for þai will gladlier ete mannes flesch þan any oþer. Neuer þe latter þe land es plentifous ynogh of flesch and fisch and of corne, and also of gold and siluer and many oþer gudes. And þider bringes marchandes childer for to sell; and þe men of þat cuntre byes þam. And þase þat er fatte þai ete; and þase þat er noȝt fatte þai fede to þai be fatte, and þan slaez þam and etez þam. And þai say it es þe best and þe swettest flesch of þe werld.Page 90
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat in þis land, and in many oþer þare aboute, men may noȝt see þe sterne þat es called Polus Articus, 1. [þe Sterre of þe See, þat is vnmevable and þat is toward the north, þat wee clepen þe Lode Sterre, C.] whilk standes euen north and stirrez neuer, by whilk schippe men er ledd, for it es noȝt sene in þe south. Bot þer es anoþer sterne, whilke es called Antartic, and þat es euen agayne þe toþer sterne; and by þat sterne er schippe men ledd þare, as schippe men er ledd here by Polus Articus. And, riȝt as þat sterne may noȝt be sene here, on þe same wyse þis sterne may noȝt be sene þare. And þare by may men [folio ] see wele þat þe werld es all rounde; for parties of þe firmament whilk may be sene in sum cuntree may noȝt be sene in anoþer. And þat may men proue þus. For, if a man myght fynd redy schipping and gude company and þerto had his hele and wald ga to see þe werld, he myght ga all aboute þe werld, bathe abouen and benethe. And þat prufe I þus, after þat I hafe sene. For I hafe bene in Braban and sene by þe astrolaby þat þe pole artyc es þare liii. degreez hegh, and in Almayne towardes Boem 2. [sc. Bohemia; more forþere in Almayne and Bewme, C.] it has lviii. degrez, and forþermare toward þe north it has lxii. degrez of height and sum mynutes. All þis I persayued by þe astrolaby. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat in þe south, euen ynentes þis sterne, es þe sterne þat es called Pole Antartic. Þise twa sternes stirrez neuer mare; and aboute þaim mouez þe firmament, as a qwhele duse aboute ane axeltree. And so þe lyne þat es betwene þise twa sternez departez all þe firmament in twa partes, ayther ylike mykill. Afterwardes I went toward þe south, and I fand þat in Liby seez men first þe sterne Antartyke; and, as I went ferrer, I fand þat in hie Liby it hase in height xviii. degreez and sum mynutes, of whilke mynutes lx. makez a degre. And so, passand by land and by see toward þe cuntree þat I spakk off are, and oper landes and iles þat er beȝond, I fand þat þis sterne Antartik had in height xxxiii. degreez. 3. [and mo mynutes, adds C.] And, if I had had cumpany and schipping þat wald hafe [folio 75b] gane ferrer, I trow forsothe þat we schuld hafe sene all þe roundeness of þe firmament, þat es to say bathe þe emisperies, þe vppermare and þe nedermare. For, as I sayd ȝow before, halfe þe firmament es betwene þise twa sternes; þe whilk I hafe sene. And of þe toþer I sawe a party toward þe north, þat es to say lxii. degreez and x. mynutes, vnder þe pole Artyk 4. [under the Transmontane, C.]; and anoþer party I sawe toward þe south, þat es to say xxxiii. degreez and xvi. mynutes, vnder þe pole Antartyke. And halfe þe firmament contenez bot nyne score degreez, of whilk I hafe sene lxii. degreez of Artyk and ten mynutes, and of Antartyk toward þe south I hafe sene xxxiii. degreez and xvi. mynutes. Þise er iiiixx and xv. degreez and nere half a degree. And so þer lakkez bot iiiixx and fourePage 91 degreez and mare þan halfe a degree, þat I ne hafe sene all þe firmament. For þe ferthe parte contenes iiiixx and x. degreez. And so þe three partes hafe I sene and v. degreez mare and nere a half. And þerfore I say sikerly þat a man myght go all þe werld aboute, bathe abouen and bynethe, and comme agayne to his awen cuntree, so þat he had his hele, gude schipping, and gude company, as I said before. And all way he schuld fynd men, landes and iles and citeez and townes, as er in þir cuntrees. For ȝe wate wele þat þase men þat dwellez euen vnder þe pole Antartyk er fote agayne fote to þase þat dwellez euen vnder þe þole Artyke, als wele as we and [folio 76] þase men þat dwellez agaynes vs er fote agayne fote; and riȝt so it es of oþer parties of þe werld. For ilke a party of þe erthe and of þe see hase his contrary of thinges, whilk er euen agaynes him. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat, as I coniecture, þe land of Prestre Iohn, emperour of Inde, es euen vnder vs. For, if a man schall ga fra Scotland or Ingland vnto Ierusalem, he sall ga all way vpward. For oure land es þe lawest party of þe west, and þe land of Prestre Iohn es in þe lawest party of þe este. And þai hafe day when we hafe nyght, and nyght when we hafe day. And, als mykill as a man ascendes vpward oute of oure cuntreez to Ierusalem, als mykill schall he go dounward to þe land of Prestre Iohn; and þe cause es for þe erthe and þe see er rounde. For it es þe comoun worde þat Ierusalem es in myddes of þe erthe; and þat may wele be proued þus. For, and a man þare take a spere and sett it euen in þe erthe at midday, when þe day and þe nyght er bathe ylyke lang, it makez na schadowe till na party. And Dauid also beres witnes þeroff, þare he saise, "Deus autem rex noster ante secula operatus est salutem in medio terre", 1. [Ps. lxxiii. 12.] þat es to say, "Godd oure kyng before þe begynnyng of þe werld wroght hele in myddes of þe erthe." And þerfore þai þat gase oute of oure cuntreez of þe west toward Ierusalem, als many iournez as þai make to ga þider vpward, als many iournez sall þai make to ga in to þe land of Prestre Iohn dounward fra Ierusalem. And so he may ga in to þase iles enuirounand all þe roundness of þe erthe [folio 76b] and of þe see till he com euen vnder vs. And þerfore I hafe oft tymes thoght on a tale þat I herd, when I was ȝung, how a worthy man of oure cuntree went on a tyme for to see þe werld; and he passed Inde and many iles byȝonde Inde, whare er ma þan vm iles, and he went so lang by land and by see, envirounand þe werld, þat he fand ane ile, whare he herd men speke his awen langage. For he herd ane dryfe bestez sayand to þam swilke wordes as he herd men say til oxen in his awen cuntree gangand at þe plugh; of whilk he had grete meruaile, for he wist noȝt how it myght be. Bot I suppose he had so lang went on land and on see, envirounand þePage 92 werld, þat he was commen in to his awen marchez; and, if he had passed forþermare, he schuld hafe commen euen to his awen cuntree. Bot for he herd þat meruaile and myght get schipping na ferrere, he turned agayne as he come; and so he had a grete trauaile. 1. [and so he loste moche peynefull labour, as him self seyde a gret while after þat he was comen hom, C.] And it befell efterward þat he went in to Norway; and a tempest of wynd in þe see drafe him, so þat he arryued in ane ile. And, when he was þare, he wist wele it was þe ile in whilk he had bene before and herd his awen speche, as men drafe bestez. And þat myght right wele be; þof all it be þat symple men of cunnyng trowe noȝt þat men may ga vnder þe erthe bot if þai fall vnto þe firmament. For as vs think þat þase men er vnder vs, so think þaim þat we er vnder þaim. For, if a man myghte fall fra þe [folio 77] erthe to þe firmament, by mare skill þe erthe and þe see, þat er so heuy, schuld fall vnto þe firmament. Bot þat may noȝt be, as Godd witnessez him self þare he saise, "Non timeas me, qui suspendi terram ex nichilo", 2. [Apparently a misquotation of Job xxvi. 7.] þat es to say, "Hafe na drede of me, þat hynged þe erthe of noȝt."
And, if all it be possible þat a man may ga all aboute þe erthe, neuerþeless of a thowsand perauenture ane schuld noȝt do it in all his lyf, for to take þe riȝt way all aboute þe erthe til he come till his awen cuntree agayne þat he come fra. For þer er so many wayes and cuntreez þat a man schuld lightly faile, bot if it ware by special grace of Godd. For þe erthe is riȝt grete and large, and it contenes in roundeness aboute, abouen and bynethe xxmiiiic and xxv. myle, after þe opinioun of alde wyse men þat saise it, whilke I will noȝt reproue. Bot after my feble witte me thinke, saue þaire grace, þat it es mykill mare aboute. And for to make ȝow to vnderstand how, I ymagyne a figure of a grete compas; and aboute þe poynt of þat compas, whilke es called þe centre, be anoþer lytill compas departed by lynes in many parties and þat all þase lynes mete sammen on þe centre, so þat als many parties or lynes as þe grete compas hase be on þe lytill compas, if all þe space be less. Now be þe grete compas sette for þe firmament, þe whilk by astronomyeres es diuided in twelfe signez, and ilke a signe es diuided in xxx. degreez; þis es ccc. and lx. degreez þat it es aboute. Now be þe less compas sett for [folio 77b] þe erthe and departid in als many parties as þe firmament, and ilkane of þase parties answere to a degree of þe firmament; þise er in all dcc. and xx. 3. [and wyteth it wel þat after the auctoures of astronomye dc. furlonges of erthe answeren to a degree of the firmament and þo ben iiiixxvii. miles and iiii. furlonges, C.] Now be þise all multiplied ccc. tymes and lx. and it schall amountPage 93 in all til xxxim myle and fyue, ilke a myle of viii. furlangs, as myles er in oure cuntree. And so mykill hase þe erthe in roundeness all aboute after myne opinioun and myne vnderstanding. And ȝe schall vnderstand after þe opinioun of alde wise philosopheres and astronomyeres þat Ingland, Scotland, Wales ne Ireland er noȝt rekned in þe height of þe erthe, as it semez wele by all þe bokes of astronomy. For þe height of þe erthe es departed in vii. parties, þe whilk er called vii. climates after þe vii. planetes, þat er called climates; and til ilk ane of þa planets es approperd ane of þe climatez. And þise cuntreez þat I spakk of er noȝt in þase climatez, for þai er dounward toward þe west. And also iles of Inde, whilke er euen agaynes vs, er noȝt rekned in þe climates, for þai er toward þe est. Þise climatez envirouns all þe werld. Neuerþeles 1. [From here to the end of the chapter not in the French text, nor in C.] sum astronomieres appropers þise forsaid countreez to þe mone, whilk es þe lawest planet, and swiftliest makez his course. Now will I turne agayne to my mater þare I left, and tell ȝow of ma cuntreez and iles, whilke er in Inde and beȝond.
[Of the palays of the kyng of the yle of Jaua; of the trees that beren mele, hony, wyn and venym; and of othere meruaylles and customs vsed in the yles marchinge there abouten.]
NERE þis ile of Lamory whilke I spakk off es anoþer ile, þat men callez Somober. Þis es a grete ile and [folio 78] a gude, and a noble kyng þerin and a myghty. Þe folk of þis cuntree gers merk þam in þe visage with a hate yrne for grete noblay, to be knawen fra oþer folk; for þai hald þam selfe þe maste worþi folke of þe werld. And þai hafe were euermare agaynes þe naked men whilk I spakk off before. And nere þis ile es anoþer ile, þe whilk es called Boteniga, a gude ile and full replenischt of many maners of ricches. And aboute þis ile er many oþer iles and diuerse cuntreez, and diuerse maners of men, of whilk it ware to mykill to speke of all.Page 94
Bot to passe a lytill þeine by see men schal fynd a grete ile, þat es called Iaua. And þe kyng of þis ile es a grete lorde and a myghty, and hase vii. oþer kinges vnder him of vii. iles, whilke er aboute þat ile. In þe ile of Jaua es wonder mykill folk; and þare growez diuerse maners of spicery in mare plentee þan in oþer placez, þat es to say gynger clowes, canell, 1. [clowegylofres, canelle, zedewall, C.] nutemuges, macez, and many oþer. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe macez er þe huskes of þe nutemug. 2. [For right as the note of þe hasell hath an husk withouten, þat the note is closed in til it be ripe, and after falleth out, right so it is of the notemuge and of the maces, C.] In þis ile es grete plentee of all thing. Þe kyng of þis land hase a faire palays and a riche. For all þe grecez in to his hall and his chaumbres er ane of gold, anoþer of siluer. Þe flurez also of þe hall and þe chaumbres er of gold and siluer. And all þe walles within er couerd with plates of gold and siluer; and in þase platez er storys of kynges and knyghtes and batales, with corounes and cercles on þaire [folio 78b] heuedes of precious stanes. Þare will na man trowe þe noblay and þe richess of þis palaise, bot if he hafe sene it. Þe kyng of þis ile es so grete and so myghty þat he hase oft tymes discomfit þe Grete Caan of Cathay in bataile, whilk es þe myghtiest emperour of all þe werld. For þai hafe oft bene at were by cause þe Grete Caan wald hafe made þe forsaid kyng to hald his land of him; bot þe kyng hase all way agaynestanden him and putt him off mannely.
And for to ga forthe by see, men findez anoþer ile, þat es called Thalamass, and sum callez it Pathen. And it es a grete kingdom, with many faire citeez and tounes. In þis land growes treesse þat beres mele, of whilke men makes breed, faire and whyte and of gude sauour; and it semez as it ware of wheet, bot it es noȝt allinges of þe same sauour. Þare er also oper treessez þat berez venym, agayne whilke es na medecyne bot ane; and þat es to take þe lefes of þe same treessez and stampe þam and tempre þam with water and drink it, or elles a man schuld dye onane, for tiriacle may noȝt helpe ne nan oþer medecyne. With þis venym had þe Iews casten on a tyme for to hafe poysond all Cristendom, as ane of þam confessed vnto me; bot, blist be allmyȝty Godd, þai failed of þaire purpose. And, if ȝe will wit how þe treessez berez mele, I say þat men hewez with a hacchet aboute þe fote of þe tree nere þe erthe in many placez, so þat þe barke be perched; and þan commezPage 95 [folio 79] oute a licour thikk, whilk þai kepe in vessell and settez it to þe sonne at drye. And, when it es drie, þai do it on þe mylne to grind; and þan it es faire mele and whyte. And wyne, hony, and venym er drawen on þe same maner oute of treessez and done in vessell to kepe. In þat ile also es a deed see; and it es in maner of a lowgh, and it has na ground. In þe whilk what thing so is casten, it sall neuer be funden agayne. Beside þat logh growez redez of a wonderfull lenth; and þai call þaim þare Thaby. 1. [þat ben xxxti fadme long, adds C.] And of þir redez þai make þare houses and maneres and schippez and þaire oþer necessaries, as we do here of akez and oþer treesse. Na man say þat þis es feyned thing or fable, for sikerly I sawe with myne eghen liggand apon þis see syde many of þir redez, of þe whilk xx. men of my felyschepe myght noȝt bere ane ne wele raise it fra þe erthe. Þare er also oþer redez 2. [þat ben not so longe, þat growen nere the lond and han so longe rotes þat duren wel a iiii. quarteres of a furlong or more, C.] of less quantitee; and vnder þaire rotes men findes precious stanes of grete vertu. For he þat beres ane of þase stanes apon him, þer may na maner of yrne dere him ne drawe blude of him. And þerfore men of þat cuntree feightes riȝt baldely bathe on water and on land by cause of þir precious stanes. Bot þaire enmys, þat knawez þe manere and þe vertu of þer stanes, gerres make arowes and quarelles withouten yrne, and with þase þai wounde þam and slaez þam.
Fra þis ile men wendez till anoþer ile by see, þe whilk men callez Calanok; and it es a grete land and [folio 79b] plentyuouse of gudes. Þe kyng of þat land hase als many wyfes as he will. For he gers seke all þe faire wymmen of þe land and bring þam before him and takez ane of þam a nyght, anoþer anoþer nyght; and swa sum of þa kynges will hafe by diuerse tymes a thousand or ma. And scho þat es with him a nyght commez na mare at him, bot if he send for hir. 3. [bot ȝif þat on happene to ben more lusty to his plesance þan another, C.] And þerefore hase he a grete nowmer a sonnes and doghters; for sum kynges hase a c. childer, sum cc., sum ma. Þe kyng also has xiiiim of tame olyfauntes, whilk he gers kepe at ilk a toune in his rewme. And, when he hase were with any lord aboute him, he gers make castelles and brace þam on þe olyfauntes; in þe whilk castelles he puttes men of armes for to feight agaynes þaire enmys. And on þe same wyse duse þaire enmys; for þat es þe maner of feighting amanges lordes in batailes in þase landes. And þase olyfauntes þai call Warkes in þaire langage.
In þat land also es a meruaile þat es noȝt in oþer landes. For all maner of fischez of þe see commez at a certayne tyme of þe ȝere, ilke a maner of fisch after oþer, and lays þam nere to þe land, and sum apon þe land. And þare þai lye three dayes; and men of þe cuntree commez þider and takes of þam what þai will. And þanPage 96 wendez þat maner of fischez away, and anoþer maner of fische commez and lyes nere þe land oþer three dayes; and men takez of þam. And þus duse all maner of fischez til all hafe bene þare, and men hafe taken of þam [folio 80] what þai will. And na man knawez þe cause. Bot men of þat land saise þat Godd schewez þam þat grace at þe reuerence of þaire kyng, as þe maste worthy lord of þe werld, for he hase so many wyfes and getes so many childer on þam and multiplies þe werld, as Godd commaundid till Adam and Eue, when he said, "Crescite et multiplicamini et replete terram", þat es to say, "Waxez and multipliez and fillez þe erthe, and beese lordes of þe fischez in þe see." And þis think me ane of þe grettest meruailes þat I hafe sene in any land, þat fischez þat hase all þe see at will to swymme in schall with þaire awen gude will com þider and profre þam self to þe deed withouten constreynyng of any creature. And sikerly I wate wele it es noȝt done withouten a grete significacion and a grete cause.
Also þer er in þat land so grete snyles þat in þaire schelles three men or foure may be herberd, 1. [many persones may loggen hem, C.] as it ware in a lytill hous or a luge. Þare er oþer also of less quantitee, as 2. [And of þeise snayles and of gret white wormes þat han blake hedes, þat ben als grete as a mannes thighe and some lesse, as grete worms þat men fynded þere in wodes, men maken vyaunde rialle, etc., C.] it ware of þe mykill of a mannes thee; and bathe þe tane and þe tother er all whyte, safe þe heued, and þat es blakk. And ȝit es þare þe thridd maner of snyles; and þai er mykill lesse þan owþer of þe oþer. And of þam þai make a meet for þe kyng and oþer grete lordes. In þat land es a custom þat, when a man dyes, his wyf es grauen with him all qwikk; for þai say it es gude skille þat scho bere him company in þe toþer werld, as scho did in þis.[folio 80b]
Fra þis land men passez thurgh þe grete see Occiane til ane oþer ile þat es called Caffilos. And þare þai hafe a custom þat, when þaire frendes er grefe seke, þai hing þam apon treesse, þat þai may be wiried and eten with fewles; for þai say þat it es better þai be eten with fewles, whilk er aungelles of Godd, þan foully to be eten in þe erthe with wormes.
Fra þeine men wendez to anoþer ile, whare folk er of ane euill condicion; for þai nurisch grete hundes for to wiry men. 3. [to strangle here frendes, C.] And, when þaire frendez drawez to þe deed ward and þat þai trowe þai may liffe na langer, þai gerre þase hundes wiry þam; for þai will noȝt lat þam dye kyndely in þaire beddes by cause þai schuld noȝt suffer to grete penaunce in þaire dying. And, when þai er deed, þai ete þaire flesch in steed of venysoun.
And fra þis ile men wendez by many iles in þe see til ane ile þat es called Melk; and þare er also wikkedPage 97 folk and cruell. For þai hafe nere hand na lyking, bot in slaughter of men for to drink þaire blude; and he þat may slae mast noumer of men es of grettest name amanges þaim and maste wirschipfull. Þare es na drink þat þai lufe so wele as mannes blude, and þat þai say es Godd. 1. [þei clepen Dieu, C.] And, if any debate be amanges þam, þer may na full sawghtling 2. [accord, C.] be made till ilkane hafe drunken oþer blude; and on þe same wyse es it of affinitee makyng amanges þam. For accorde or affinitee amanges þam [supplied by ed.] es noght, bot if it be made on þat wyse.[folio 81]
Fra þis ile men passez to anoþer ile by see, þe whilk es called Tracota, whare þe folke er as bestez withouten resoun. And þai dwell in cafes, for þai hafe na witte to make þam housez; and, when þai see any straunge men passe thurgh þe cuntree, þai rynne to þaire cafes and hydes þam. Þai ete nedders, and þai speke noȝt, bot hisszes ane till anoþer, as nedders duse. And þai make na force of, na recches, nowþer of gold, ne of siluer, ne of oþer werldly gude, bot all anely of a precious stane, þe whilk hase lx. colours; and it es called traconit, after þe ile. Þis ilke stane lufe þai wonder mykill, þof all þai knawe noȝt þe vertu þeroff, bot þai coueit it for þe fairness þeroff.
Fra þat ile men gase by see to anoþer ile, whilk men callez Natumeran; and it es a grete ile and a faire; and þe vmgang 3. [it is in kompas aboute, C. Odoric makes it "duo milia miliarium."] þeroff es nere a thowsand myle. Men and wymmen of þat ile hase heuedes lyke hundes; and þai er called Cynocephales. Þis folk, þof all þai be of swilk schappe, ȝit þai er full resonable and sutill of witte. And þai wirschepe ane ox for þaire godd; and ilkane of þam beres ane ox made of gold or of siluer in his front, in taken þat þai lufe þaire godd wele. And þai gang all naked bot a lytill clathe before þaire priuee membres. Þai er large of stature and gude werrayours; and þai bere a grete target, with whilk þai couer all þaire body, and a lang spere in þaire hand, and on þis maner arayd þai ga baldely agayne þaire enmys. And, if [folio 81b] þai take any man in bataile, þai ete him. Þe kyng of þat land es a grete lorde and a myghty and a riche and full deuote after his lawe; and he hase aboute his nekke a corde of silke, on whilke er ccc. precious stanes, grete and orient, 4. [abouten his nekke ccc. perles oryent, C.] in maner of bedes of laumbre. And riȝt as we say oure Pater Noster and oure Auez apon oure bedes, riȝt so þe kyng sayse ilk day apon his bedes ccc. praieres to his godd before he ete. And he beres also aboute his nekk a ruby, fyne and gude and orient, þe whilke es nere a fote lang and v. fyngers on brede. Þis ruby giffe þai him, when þai make him kyng, to bere it in his hand, and so he rydez aboute þe citee and þai er all obeyand vntil him. And fra þeine forward he beres it aboute his nekk all way; for, if he bare it noȝt, he schuld na langer be halden kyng. Þe grete Caan of Cathay hase mykill coueitid þat ruby, bot he myȝt neuer get it by were, ne by bying, ne by nanoþer maner. Þis kyng es full riȝtwys man and a trewe in his lawe; for hePage 98 punyschez all þase þat duse any wrang till any man within his rewme. And þerfore men may ga sauely and sikerly thurgh his land and na man be so hardy to disturbe þam, ne robbe þam, ne take fra þam any maner of gude.
Fra þis ile menne gas to anoþer ile þat es called Silha; and þe vmgang þeroff es viiic myle. A grete party of þis cuntree es waste and wilderness and noȝt inhabitid; and þerfore þer es grete plentee of dragouns and [folio 82] cocodriles and oþer maner of nedders, so þat þare may na man dwell þare. Þe cocodrille es a maner of nedder, browne abouen on þe backe, with foure fete and schort legges and twa grete eghen. 1. [schorte thyes and grete nayles, C.] And þe body þeroff es so mykill and so lang þat, whare it hase gane in þe sand, it es lyke as men had drawen a grete tree þare. In þat wilderness also er many oþer maners of wilde bestez, and namely olyfauntes. And in þat ile es a grete mountayne, and euen abouen on þe toppe 2. [in mydd place of the mounte, C. So Odoric, "in medio montis"; but one MS. reads "in … cacumine."] þeroff es a grete lowgh full of water. And men of þat cuntree saise þat Adam and Eue wepid apon þat hill a hundreth ȝere efter þat þai ware dryfen oute of Paradys, and of þaire teeres þat þai weped was þat water gaderd. In þe grund of þat lac er funden faire precious stanes; and aboute þat lowgh growes grete plentee of redez, amanges whilk er many cocodrilles and oþer diuerse nedders dwelland, and þare er in þe lowgh hors iles 3. [sc. eels; grete water leches, C.] of wonderfull greteness. Þe kyng of þat ile anes in þe ȝere giffez all þe pouer folk of þe land lefe for to gang in to þe lac and gader þam precious stanes for almous and for þe lufe of Adam and Eue Godd; and þer es ilk a ȝere fun ynew of þa precious stanes. Þis þouer folk when þai ga in to þis lowgh for to gader þe precious stanes, þai enoynt þam all ouer with þe ius of þe fruyt þat es called lymons, 4. [lyche smale pesen, adds C, "pesen" being over an erasure.] and þan þai drede noght þe cocodrilles ne þe oþer venymous vermyn [supplied by ed.] . 5. [The bottom of the leaf is torn away at this point. The missing words here and below are supplied as far as possible, with the help of C.] Þe water of þis lowghe renneth flowynge and ebbynge [supplied by ed.] downe a syde of þe mountayne. And [supplied by ed.] by that ryuer er perles and [supplied by ed.] many precious stanes fun. Þai say in þat cuntree þat nedders and oþer venymous bestez of þat cuntree duse na diseese to na straungers ne pilgrimes þat passez thurgh þe land, bot all anely til men of þe same cuntree and þaim þat dwellez nere. Also þare er [supplied by ed.] in þat ile wylde geesse with twa heuedes; and þare er whyte wolfes 6. [lyouns alle white, C.] als grete of body as oxen, and many oþer diuerse bestes. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe see whilk es aboute þis ile and oþer iles aboute it semez so hye abouen þe land þat it es lyke to men þat behaldez it as it hang in þe aere and schuld fall doune alssone and couer all þe erthe; and þat es a wonder thing, as þe prophete saise, "Mirabiles elaciones maris", 7. [Ps. xcii. 4.] þat es to say, "Wonderfull er þe rysings of þe see."Page 99
[How men knowen be the ydole ȝif the sike schall dye or non; of folk of dyuerse schap and merueylously disfigured; and of the monkes that ȝeuen hire releef to babewynes, apes and marmesettes, and to other bestes.]
FRA þis ile men wendez by see toward þe southe to anoþer ile, þe whilk es called Dundeya, and it es a large ile and a mykill. In þis ile dwellez a maner of folk þat es of euill condiciouns, for þe fader etez þe son and þe son þe fader, þe husband his wyf and þe wyf hir husband. For, if it fall þat a mannes fader be seke, þe sonne gase to þe preste of þe lawe and praies him þat he will ask þaire godd, whilk es a [folio 83] mawmet, whedir his fader sall dye of þat sekeness. And þan þe preste and þe seke mannez sonne knelez before þe mawmet deuoutely [supplied by ed.] and askes him wheder þe seke man schall liue or [supplied by ed.] die. And þe fende þat is within þe mawmet answeres þat he schall not die at þat tyme, and showes [supplied by ed.] þam medecynes for to hele him with; and þan þe son turnez hame to þe fader and duse til him as he was teched before vntil he be hale. And, if he say þat he schall dye, þe preste and þe son and þe wyf of þe seke man commez till him and castez a clath 1. [putten here hondes ("main" for "pain"), C.] on his mouth and stoppez his wynde, and so þai slae him. And, when he es deed, þai take his body and hewes it in small pecez and callez all his frendez togyder, and all þe mynstralles þat may be geten, and makes þam a sollempne feste and etes þe deed mannes body. And, when þai hafe eten all þe flesch, þai gader all þe banes togyder and grafez þam on þaire maner with grete sollempnitee and lowd sang. And þus duse ilke frende till oþer; and, if it be swa þat any man þat es sibbe vnto þe deed withhald him fra þis feste and commez noȝt to þe sollempnitee, all þe kynreden will reproue him as of a notable blame, and neuer efter þat sall he be accountid amanges his frendez. Þai say þat þai ete þe flesch of þaire frende by cause þat wormes schuld noȝt ete him in þe erthe, and for to delyuer him of þe grete payne þat his saule suld suffer, if wormes gnew him in þe erthe. Þai say also, when þai fynd his flesch leen by cause of lang sekeness, þat it ware a grete synne to suffer him liffe langer or to suffer payne withouten cause. And, if þai fynd his flesch fatte, þai say þai hafe done wele þat þai hafe slaen him so sone and sent him to paradys and sufferd him noȝt overlang be tourmentid in þis werld. ÞePage 100 [folio 83b] kyng of þat land es a grete lord and a myghty, and he hase vnder him liiii. iles mykill and large; and in ilkane of þam es a coround kyng, þe whilk er all obeyand till him.
And in þase iles er many maners of folk of diuerse condiciouns. In ane of þam es a maner of folk of grete stature, as þai ware geauntz, horribill and foule to þe sight; and þai hafe bot ane egh, and þat es in myddes þe forheued. Þai ete rawe flesch and rawe fisch. In anoþer ile er foule men of figure withouten heuedes, and þai hafe eghen in ayther schulder ane; and þaire 1. [and þaire—schulders, omitted in the printed text of C., but contained in the MS, in much the same form as here given.] mouthes er round schapen, lyke a hors scho, ymiddes þaire brestez. In ane oþer ile er men withouten heuedes; and þaire eghen and þaire mouthes er behind in þaire schulders. In anoþer ile es a maner of folk þat hase a platte face, withouten nese or eghen; bot þai hafe twa smale holes in steed of eghen, and þai hafe a platte mouth, lippless. In anoþer ile er foule men þat hase þe ouer lippe so grete þat, when þai slepe in þe sonne, þai couer all þe visage with þat lippe. In anoþer ile er folk of lytill stature, as þai ware dwerghes; and þai er sumwhat mare þan pigmez. Þai hafe na mouth; bot þai hafe in steed of þaire mouth a lytill hole, and þerfore, when þai schall ete, þam behoues souke it with a rede or a pype. Tunges hafe þai nane; and þerfore þai speke noȝt, but hizssez and makez signes as mounkes duse, ilke ane till oþer, and ilkane of þam wate wele what oþer menez. In anoþer ile er folk whas eres er so syde 2. [þat han grete eres and longe, C. For "syde," meaning "long" (cf. A.S. síd), see above, p. 69.] þat þai hing doune [folio 84] to þe kneesse. In anoþer ile er folk þat hase fete lyke hors, and on þaim þai will rynne so swythe þat þai will owertake wylde bestes and sla þam to þaire mete thurgh swyftnes of fote. In anoþer ile er folk whilke gase on þaire hend and on þaire fete, as þai ware foure foted bestez; and þai er rowgh and will clymbe in to treesse als lightly as þai ware apes. 3. [And þei ben alle skynned and fedred, and þei wole lepen als lightly in to trees and fro tree to tree as it were squyrelles or apes, C.] Þare es anoþer ile whare folk er þat er bathe men and wymmen, and hase members of bathe þe tane and þe tother, and ilkane of þam hase a pappe on þe ta syde. And, when þai vse þe member of man, þai get childer; and, when þai vse þe membre of womman, þai bere childer. Anoþer ile þer es whare þe folk gase on þaire kneesse wonderfully, and it semez as þai schuld fall at ilke a passe; and þai hafe on ayther fote viii. taasse. Ȝit es þer 4. [ȝit es þer … schuld dye, not in French text, nor in C.] anoþer ile whare þe folke has bot a fote, and þat fote es so brade þat it will couer all þe body and owmbre it fra þe sonne. Apon þis fote will þai rynne so fast þat it es wonder [supplied by ed.] to see. Also þer es anoþer ile whare þe folk liffez all with þe sauour of a maner of apple; and, if þai tharned 5. [sc. were deprived of.] þat sauour, alssone þai schuld dye. Many oþer maner of folk þer er in oþer iles þer aboutes, whilk ware to lang to tell all.Page 101
For to ga fra þise iles by see toward þe este many day iournez men fyndes a grete kyngdom, þe whilk es called Mancy. And it es in Inde þe mare; and it es þe best land and maste lykand and plentifousest of all [folio 84b] gudes þat es in þe power of man. In þis land dwelles many Cristen men with Sarzenes, for it es a grete land and a gude. And þer er þerin ma þan iim of noble citeez, withouten oþer gude townes. And þe land of Inde es þe maste plentifous land of folk þat es owerwhare, by cause of þe grete commoditez þat it has þerin. In þat land es na beggar, ne na pouer man. And þe folk of þat land er riȝt faire, outetaken þat þai er pale of colour. And þe men of þat land has schyre berdes 1. [thynne berdes, C.] with few hares in þam; for a man schall vnnethes fynd in ane of þaire berdes l. hares. Þai er few, here a hare and þare a hare, as it es in þe berde of a lebard or of a catte, and þa harez er riȝt lang. In þat land er þe fairest wymmen þat er in any land beȝond þe see; and þerfore sum callez þat land Albany, by cause þat þe folk þat wonnes þerin er so white.
Þe first citee of þis land, and þe next þe see, es called Latoryn; and it es mare þan Parisch. And thurgh þis citee rynnez a grete water, hable for to bere schippes; and it rynnez into þe see a lytill fra þe citee, þat es to say a day iournee. Þare es na citee in þe werld better ordayned, ne ma schippes langand to, ne better ne larger and stranger hauen hase þan þis citee. All þe folk of þat citee and of þe cuntree aboute wirschepez mawmetes. Þare er all maner of fewles gretter by þe half þan þai er in þis cuntree. 2. [In þat contree ben double sithes [more briddes than ben] here, C. The words in brackets are only in the  printed text, the MS. having a lacuna. See the French text.] Þare er geesse all whyte, als grete as swannez in þis cuntree; and þai hafe on þaire heuedes a reed spotte euen round. Þare es grete plentee and [folio 85] grete cheep of all maner of vitaile, and also grete plentee of nedders, of whilke þai make grete festes and delicious metes. For, if a man make a grete feste and had giffen all þe best metes þat myght be geten owerwhare and he gyffe þam na nedders, he has na thank of all his feste.
Þare er many oþer faire citees in þis land, and grete plentee of vitaile; and þare er also many kirkez and housez of religioun efter þaire lawe. And in þa kirkes er grete ydoles, as þai were geauntz, þe whilk þai giffe mete and drink vnto on festiual days apon þis wyse. Þai bring before þam metes als hate as þai come fra þe fire, and þai late þe smoke of þam ascend vp towardes þe ydoles, and þan þai say þat þai er fedd wele ynoghe; and, when þai hafe so done, þe men of religioun etez þe metes. In þis cuntree er whyte hennes withouten fethers, bot þai hafe whyte woll on þam, as scepe hase in oure cuntree. Wymmen of þat cuntree þat er weddid 3. [þat ben vnmaryed … to ben knowen for vnmaryed, C. See [commentary].] beres crownes apon þaire heuedes, þat þai may be knawen by forby þaim þat er vnweddid. InPage 102 þis land þai take a beste þat es called Loyres, and þai teche it to ga in to waters and viuers, and alssone he bringes oute grete fischez, als many and as oft as þai will.
Fra þeine men gase by land many day iournez til anoþer citee þat es called Cassay, þe whilk es þe maste citee of þe werld; and it es als mykill at say as þe Cytee of Heuen. Þis citee es of l. myle vmgang, and þer es [folio 85b] wonder mykill folk þerin. 1. [in so moche þat in on hous men maken x. housholdes, adds C.] Þis citee hase xii. grete ȝates; and before ilke a ȝate, as it ware a three myle or foure, es a grete toune and a gude. Þis citee es bigge on þe same manere þat Venice es bigged; and þer er þerin xiim brigges and ma. And on ilke a brigg es a gude toure at ayther end, and men of armes 2. [wardeynes, C.] in þam for to kepe þe toune agayne þe Grete Caan, for it marchez apon his land. And apon a syde of þe citee rynnes a grete ryuer endlang þe citee. And þare dwellez many Cristen men and many marchandes of diuerse naciouns, for þe cuntree es wonder plentifous and gude and full of all maner of ricches. Þare growes wonder gude wyne, whilke þai call Bygon; and it es riȝt myghty wyne and lykand 3. [gentylle, C.] in þe drinkyng. In þis citee was þe kyng of þat land wont to dwell; and þare es a hous of Cristen freres.
Fra þis citee may men ride in schippe or in bate by þat riuer 4. [solacynge and disportyne hem, adds C.] till ane abbay of mounkes a lytill fra þe citee; and þai er wonder religious after þaire lawe. In þat abbay es a grete gardyne and a faire, and þare growez þerin many treesse of diuerse kyndes. And in þat gardyne er many diuerse bestez, as marmusetes, apes 5. [apes, marmozettes, babewynes, C. Odoric has "symiæ, catti, maymones."] and oþer many vntil iiim or iiiim. And, when þe couent hase eten, a munke takez þe relefe and berez it to þe gardyn; and he knyllez a lytill bell of siluer 6. [and he smytethe on the gardyn ȝate with a clyket of syluer, C.] þat he hase in his hand, and þan commez oute all þise bestez till [folio 86] him of þaire clapers. 7. [sc. burrows; used by Chaucer of cronies, "that comyn out of her clapers" (Rom. of Rose, 1405).] And he mase þam to sitt on rawe and delez þam þis relefe in faire siluer vessell ouer gylt, and þai ete it. And when þai hafe done, he knyllez þe bell agayne, and þai ga þare þai come fra. Þir mounkes saise þat þase bestez whilk er faire and gentill er saules of lordes and gentillmen, 8. [soules of worthi men, C.] and þase bestes whilk er noȝt so er saules of oþer men. 9. [soules of pore men and of rude comouns, C.] And þai say and affermes þat þe saules of men, when þai passe oute of þe bodys, entrez in to þase bestez; and þat es fully þaire belefe, and þer may na man turne þam fra þat opinioun. Þe saules of grete men, þai say, entrez in to gentill bestez and faire bestez, and þe saules of meen men entrez in to foule bestez; and þerfore giffe þai þaim mete and almous for þe lufe of Godd. I asked þe mounk þat delt þePage 103 almous, if it had noȝt bene better to hafe giffen þat relefe to pouer men þan to þase bestez, and he answerd and said þat in þat cuntree es na pouer man and, if þer ware, ȝit it ware mare almous to giffe it to þase saules þat suffers þaire penaunce þare and may ga na ferrere to get þaire mete þan to þe pouer þat hase 1. [þat hase … liffing, om. C.] þaire witte and can and may laboure and get þaire liffing. Þir ilke bestez take þai when þai er ȝung and bringez þam vpp and vsez þam to comme to take þe forsaid almous. Many oþer meruailes sawe I in þat cuntre, þe whilk at þis tyme I speke noȝt of, by cause of schortyng of my buke.
Fra þis citee men gase forþermare in þis land vi. day iournez and commez to anoþer grete cite, þe whilk es [folio 86b] called Chibense. Þis citee es xx. myle aboute þe walles; and within þe citee er lx. brigges faire and gude, all of stane, wele and curiously wroght. In þis citee was first þe see of þe kyng of Mancy, for it es a faire citee and a gude.
Fra þeine men gase ouer a grete riuer, þe whilk es called Dalay; and it es þe fairest and þe grettest riuer in þe werld of fresch water, for it es in þe narowest place þerof mare þan foure myle brade. And þan men entres agayne in to þe Grete Caan land. Þis ilke riuer of Dalay rynnez thurgh þe middes of þe land of þe Pigmens, whilk er men of litill stature, for þai er bot iii. span lang; bot þai er riȝt faire and wele proporciound of þaire mykill. Þai er weddid when þai er a half ȝere alde and getez childer; and þai liffe comounly vii. ȝere or viii. 2. [vi. or vii., C.] And, if þai liffe ix. 3. [viii., C.] ȝere, þai er halden wonder alde folke amanges þam. Þise smale men wirkez wonder wele silk and bombe 4. [gold, syluer, cotoun, sylk, C.] and swilke oþer sutill werkes, ȝa mare sutilly þan oþer men. And þai feight with craanes 5. [with the bryddes of the contree, C.] comounly, and hase allway were with þam; and, when þai may sla any of þam, þai ete þaim. Þai trauaile noȝt aboute telyng of land ne oþer grete laboures; bot þai hafe amanges þam men of oure stature, þe whilk telez þe land and dightez vynes and duse all oþer grete laboures þat er nedefull to þam. And þise smale men hase als [folio 87] grete scorne at þe grete men and wonders als mykill of þam as we wald do of geauntz amanges vs. In þat land es a gude citee amanges oþer, wharin dwellez grete multitude of þir smale men. And amanges þaim dwellez myklll men also and men of comoun stature, þe whilk, if þai get childer, when þai er borne þai er smale as þe childer of þe Pigmenz er; for þe kynde of þe cuntree es swilk þat þare er nane engendred þerin bot swilk smale thinges. Þis citee gers þe Grete Caan kepe wonder wele, for he es lord þeroff. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þir Pigmenz, if all þai be lytill, þai er riȝt resonable after þaire elde, and wonder sutill of witte and can discerne betwix gude and euill.
Fra þis cite men gase thurgh þe forsaid cuntree by many citeez and tounes till þai comme to a citee þat esPage 104 called Iamcaly; and it es a faire citee and a riche. Þider commez marchauntz fra diuerse landes for to by all maner of marchandys. Þis citee ȝeldez ȝerely to þe Grete Caan, as citesenez þeroff talde me, 1. [as þei of þe cytee seyn, C.] l. thousand comacyes 2. [cumantz, C.] of florenes of gold. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat a comacy contenes xm florenes; and so þe somme þat þis citee ȝeldez ȝerely commez to fyue hundreth thowsand florenez of gold. Þe kyng of þat land es a grete lord and a myghty, bot he es subget to þe Grete Caan; and he has vnder him xii. grete princes. 3. [prouynces, C.] In þat land es a gude custom vsed in ilke a gude toune. For, if a man will make a feste till his frendez, þare er in ilk a gude toune certayne innes grete and faire; and þan he þat schall make þe feste commez to þe hostiller and saise, [folio 87b] "Puruay me in þine inne for so many men," and he tellez him þe nowmer of þe men, and what maner of metes he will hafe, and what he will spend. And þan þis hostiller gase and ordaynez all maner of thinges þat er nedefull, so þat þare lakkes na thing; and he ordaynez mykill better þarfore þan he þat makez þe feste schuld do in his awen hous.
Foure myle fra þe citee of Iamcaly, toward þe heued of þe riuer of Dalay, es anoþer citee, þat es called Menke. In þe whilk citee es a grete nauee of schippez, and þai er all whyte as snawe of kynde of þe wodde þat þai er made off. And þai er made as it ware grete houses, with hallez and chaumbres and oþer esementz.
Fra þeine men gase by many tounes of þat cuntre to anoþer citee þat es called Lanteryn; and it es fra Menke viii. day iournez. Þis citee standez apon a grete riuer þat es called Caremoran, or Caromosan; and it rynnez thurgh þe cuntree of Cathay. And oft tymez it duse grete harme to þe cuntre by ouerflowyng, when it es grete.Page 105
[Of the Grete Chane of Chatay; of the rialtee of his palays, and how he sitt at mete; and of the grete nombre of officeres that seruen hym.]
THE land of Catay es a grete cuntree, faire and gude and riche and full of gude marchandyse. And þider commez marchauntz ilk a ȝere for to fecche spicery and oþer maner of marchandys mare comounly þan till oþer cuntrees. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat marchandes þat commez fra Venice or Geen, or oþer placez of Lumbardy or Romany, þai trauaile by see and by land xi. monethes or xii. are þai [folio 88] comme to Catay, whilk es þe cheeffe rewme of þe Grete Caan. 1. [E omits a passage here which is thus given in C (f. 89): "Fro Cathay go men toward the est be many iorneyes, and þan men fynden a gode cytee betwene þeise oþere, þat men clepen Sugarmago; þat cytee is on of the beste stored of sylk and oþer marchandises þat is in the world. After go men ȝit to anoþer old cytee toward þe est, and it es in the prouynce of Cathay. And besyde þat cytee the men of Tartarye," etc.] And toward þe este es ane alde citee, and nere to þat citee þe Tartarenes has made anoþer citee, whilk þai call Gaydon. Þis citee hase xii. ȝatez, and euer betwix a ȝate and anoþer es a myle, and so all þe vmgang of þis citee es xx. myle and foure. In þis citee es þe sege and þe see of þe Grete Caan in a riȝt faire palays, of whilk þe walles aboute er twa myle and mare; and within þase wallez er many oþer faire palays. And in þe gardyn of þe grete palays es a hill, apon whilk es anoþer palays, a faire and a riche; þer es noȝt swilk anoþer in all þe werld. And all aboute þe palays and þe hill er many treesse, berand diuerse maners of fruyt; and withouten þaim er depe dykes and brade, and withouten þaim er many vyuers and stankes, whare on er many fewles of riuer, as swannes and cranes, herouns, butours and mawlardes 2. [wylde gees and gandres and wylde dokes and swannes and heirouns, C.] and swilk oþer. Withouten þaim also er all maner of wylde bestez of wenery, as hertez and hyndez, bukk and da, and rae, and many oþer. And, ay when þe Grete Caan will hafe his disporte in ryuaying or huntyng, he may wylde fewle slayne with hawkes and dere slaen with hundes or oþer gynnez and passe noȝt his chaumbre. Þis palays with his see er wonder faire and grete; and þe hall of þat palays es richelyPage 106 dight. For within þe hall er xxiiii. pilers of gold; and all þe walles er couerd with reed skynnes of bestez, þat er called Panters. And þai er wonder faire bestez and wele smelland, and by cause of þe gude smell of þe [folio 88b] skynnes þer may na wikked aer comme þerin. Þase skynnes er als reed as any blude, and so faire schynand agayne þe sonne þat men may vnnethes luke on þam or behald þam for grete briȝtness. Þe folk of þat cuntree wirschepez þat beste, whare þai see it, 1. [whan þei meeten hem first at morwe, C.] for þe grete vertu and þe swete sauour þat commez þeroff; and þai praise þe skynne þeroff als mykill as it ware of fyne gold. In þe midward of þe palays es made ane ascensory 2. [mountour, C. ascensorium, Harl. MS. 175.] for þe Grete Caan, enourned with gold and precious stanes; and at þe foure corners er made foure dragouns of gold. And þis ascensory es couerd abouen with clathez 3. [large nettes, C.] of silk, barred ouerthwert with gold and siluer, and many grete precious stanes er hingand aboute it. And vnder þe ascensory er cundytes full of drink, þat þai þat er of þe emperours courte drynk off; and be syde þe cundytes er vessell sett of gold, þat men may drink off when þai will. Þis hall es nobilly and wirschepfully arayd and ordaynd in all thinges. First, vp at þe hie deesse, 4. [at the chief of the halle, C.] euen in þe middes, es ordaind þe trone for þe emperour, whare he sittes at his meet, wele hye fra þe pament. His table, on whilk he etez, es made of precious stanes sett in fyne gold, and it es wele bordured aboute with fyne gold sette full of precious stanes. And þe greece, whare he gase vp till his trone, es all of precious stanes, endentid in gold. 5. [medled with gold, C.] And at þe left syde of his trone es þe seete of his first wyf, a gree lawer þan his trone; and it es of iasper, with sydes of fyne gold sett full of precious stanes, and hir burde es of iasper bordurde with gold sett full of precious stanes. Þe seet of his secund wyf es a gree lawer þan þe toþer; and bathe hir seet and [folio 89] hir burde es enourned wirschipfully as þe toþer es. Þe seet also of þe thrid wyf and hir table er a gree lawer þan þe secund. For he hase euermare three wyfes with him, whare so euer he ryde, ferre or nere. Next his thridd wyf apon þe same syde sittez oþer ladys of þe emperoure kynne, ilkane a gree lawer þan oþer, efter þai er nere of blude to þe emperour. All þe wymmen of þat cuntree þat er weddid hase standand on þaire heuedes as it ware a mannez fote, made of gold and precious stanes and pacok fethers þat er schynand curiousely and wele dight, in takennyng þat þai er vnder mannez subieccioun; and þai þat er noȝt weddid hase nane swilke. Apon þe riȝt hand of þe emperour sittez his eldest sonn, þat schall regne after him, a grece lawer þan his fader. His seet and his borde es araid in all thing as þe empericez es. And þan sittez oþer lordes of þe emperoure kynne, ilkane as þai er of degree, as ladys duse on þe toþer syde. And ilkane of þam has a burde by him self, and riȝt so has þe ladys; and þai er owþer of iasper or of cristall or of amatist or of lignum aloes, whilk commezPage 107 oute of Paradys, or of euour. 1. [In C, as in the French text, this is the description of the emperor's table only.] And all þir burdez er bordured aboute with gold sett full of precious stanes, so þat þer es nane of þam þat þai ne er worthe a grete tresoure. Vnder þe emperour table at his fete sittez foure clerkes, þat wrytez all þe wordes þat he spekez at his mete, wheder þai be gude or ill. For all þat euer he saise behoues be halden and done in dede; for his worde may noȝt be agayne called for na thing.[folio 89b]
Þare er broght furth apon solempne days before þe emperoure tablez of gold, faire and grete, in þe whilk standez pacokes of gold and many oþer maners of fewles of gold, curiousely and sutilly wroȝt. 2. [richely wrought and enameled, C.] And þir fewles er so wonderfully made by craft of man þat it semez as þai leped and daunsed and bett with þaire wengez and playd þam on oþer diuerse wyse; and it es riȝt wonderfull to þe sight, how þat swilk thinges may be done. By what craft þai moue so, can I noȝt say; bot a thing wate I wele, þat þat folk er wonder sutell of witte towchand any thing þat þai will do, forby any oþer folk of þe werld. For þai passe all þe naciouns of þe werld in suteltee of witte, wheder it touche ill or gude; and þat knawez þaim self wele. And þerfore þai say þat þai luke with twa eghen and Cristen men with ane; for þai hald Cristen men maste sutell and wys after þaim selfen. Folk of oþer naciouns þai say er blynd withouten eghen, as ynentes kunnyng and wirking. I bisied me gretely for to wit and persayfe by what craft þir forsaid thinges ware done; bot þe mayster of þe werk sayd me þat he was so boun by vowe til his godd þat he myght schew þat craft to na man bot till his eldest sonne. Abouen þe emperour table and aboute a grete party of þe hall es made a grete vyne of fyne gold; and it es wonder curiousely wroȝt with many braunchez and grapez lyke vnto grapez of vynes growand, of whilk sum er whyte, [folio 90] sum ȝalow, sum reed, sum blakk, sum grene. All þase þat are reed er made of rubies or cremas or alabauncez 3. [of grenaz and of alabaundynes, C.]; þe whyte er made of cristall or of berill 4. [of berylle and of iris, C.]; þe ȝalow er made of topazes or crisolytez 5. [of perydos and of crisolytes, C, after "emeraudes."]; þe grene of emeraudez; þe blak of onichyns or geraudes. 6. [garantez, C.] And þis vyne es þus made of precious stanes so properly and so curiousely þat it semez as it ware a vyne growand. 7. [a verry vyne, berynge kyndely grapes, C.]
And before the emperoure table standez grete lordes and barouns for to serue the emperoure; and nane of þaim er so hardy to speke worde, bot if þe emperour speke first to þaim, oute taken minstralles þat singez him sanges, or saise him gestes, or tellez iapez or bourdez 8. [gestes or oþer desportez, C.] for solace of þe emperour. All þe vessell þat er serued in to his hall or his chaumbre, and namely at his awen burde or at burdez þare grete lordes sittez, er of iasper or of cristall or of amatistes or of fyne gold. And all þaire coppes er of smaragdez or of saphires, of topacez or ofPage 108 oþer precious stanes. Vessell of siluer make þai nane, ne settez na prys by siluer. For þai will nowþer ete ne drink of þe vessell þat er made þeroff; bot þai make þeroff grecez, pilers and pamentes to halles and chaumbres. Before þe hall dure standez certayne lordes and many oþer knyghtes for to kepe þat nane entre in at þe dure bot þai þat þe emperour will, oless þan he be of þe houshald or a mynstrall; oþer dare þer nane comme nere.
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat my felawes and I ware dwelland sodeours with þe Grete Caan xvi. monethes [folio 90b] agaynes þe kyng of Mancy, for þai ware at were when we ware þare. And þe cause of oure dwellyng with him was for þat we desired gretely to see his grete nobillay and þe state and þe ordinaunce of his courte, and þe grete excellence of his ricches, to wit wheder it ware swilk as we had herd tell before. And sikerly we fand it mare riche and noble þan we herd say þeroff; and we schuld neuer haf trowed it, if we had noȝt sene it with oure eghen. Þare es na swilk courte here in þis land. For kynges and lordes in þir parties haldes als fewe men in þaire courtes as þai may 1. [han folk of certeyn nombre, als þei may suffise, C.]; bot þe Grete Caan hase ilke a day in his courte at his coste folk withouten nowmer. Bot ȝe sall vnderstand þat mete and drynk es mare honestly araid in oure cuntree þan it es þare; and also in þis cuntree men sittez mare honestly at þe mete þan þai do þare. For all þe comouns of his courte hase þaire mete laid on þaire kneesse, when þai ete, withouten any clathe or towail, and for þe maste party þai ete flesche, withouten breed, of all maner of bestez; and, when þai hafe eten, þai wype þaire hend on þaire skirtez. And þai ete bot anes on þe day. Þis es þe aray and þe maner of þe comouns of þe courte of þe Grete Caan. Bot þe aray of him self and oþer lordes þat sittez with him es nobill and reall, passand all erthely mennez. For sikerly 2. [For sikerly … leue on, not in French text or C.] vnder þe firmament es noȝt so grete a lorde ne sa riche ne na so myghty as es þe Grete Caan of Tartre. Noȝt [folio 91] Prestre Iohn þat es emperour of Inde þe less and þe mare, ne þe sowdan of Babiloyn, ne þe emperoure of Pers, ne nan oþer may be made comparisoun off till him. Certez it es mykill harme þat he ne ware a Cristen man; and noȝt forþi he will gladly here speke of Godd and suffer Cristen men dwell in his empire. For na man es forboden in his land to trowe in what lawe þat him list leue on. And if all sum men perauenture will noȝt trowe me of þis þat I hafe said, and will say it es bot truflez 3. [holden it for fable, C.] þat I tell of þe noblay and þe grete excellence and ricches of þe Grete Caan and of his courte and þe multitude of men þerin þat I spakk off before, I recke noȝt mykill. Bot he þat will trowe it, trowe it; and he þat will noȝt, lefe. For I will neuer þe latter tell sum what þat I sawe with myne eghen of him and of his folk and of þe ordinaunce of his courte, wheder þai will trowe it or þai nil. Neuerþeles I wate wele þat, and any had bene þare or in cuntrez þat marchez þer apon, if all he had noȝt bene in his courte, he schuld hafe herd of his noblay and his excellence so mykill þat he schuld lightly trowe me of þat þat I hafe said. And þerfore I will noȝt lette þat ne I will tell thinges þat I knawe wele er sothe for þaim þat knawez þam noȝt ne will noȝt trowe þam. Now will I tell ȝow mare of þe Grete Caan and of his state and his ordinaunce, when he will passe oute of a cuntree in to anoþer, and when he makes his grete festez.Page 109
[Wherfore he is clept the Grete Chane; of the style of his lettres; and of the superscripcion abowten his grete seall and his pryuee seall.]
BOT first will I tell ȝow why he es called Grete Caan. Ȝe schal vnderstand þat all þe werld was [folio 91b] fordone thurgh Noe flude, oute taken a few menyee, þat es to say Noe and his wyf, his sonnes and þaire wyfes. For Noe had three sonnes Sem, Cham and Iaphet. Cham was he þat sawe his fader priuee membres naked, as he lay and sleped, and went till his breþer and schewed þaim þam in scorne; and þerfore his fader efterward, when he wist, gaf him his malisoun. Bot Iaphet went bakward till his fader and couerd his priuee membres. Þir three sonnes of Noe after þe diluuy parted amanges þam all þe erthe. Seem, 1. [Seem, over an erasure] by cause he was þe eldest broþer, chose 2. [Cham for his crueltee toke, C, following R literally both here and below.] þe best party and þe grettest, whilk es toward þe este, and it es called Asy. Cham 3. [Cham, over an erasure.] tuke Affryk, and Iaphet tuke Europe. Cham was þe myȝtiest of þir breþer and þe ricchest; and of him come many generaciouns ma þan of his oþer breþer. Of ane of his sonnez þat hight Chus come Nemproth þe geaunt, þe whilk was þe first king þat euer was; and he began to bigg þe toure of Babilon. In whas tyme þer come many fendez in liknes of men and lay by wymmen of his kynreden and gatt on þam geauntz and oþer monstres of horrible figure, sum withouten heuedes, sum with hund heuedes, and many oþer disfigured and misschapen men. Of þe kynreden also of Cham come þe payenes and diuerse maner of men of þe iles of Inde. And for he þis Cham was so myghty þat na man myght agayne stand him, he gert call himself Goddes sonne and lorde of all þe werld. And þerfore saise sum men þat þe emperour of Tartare gert call him Cham, [folio 92] for he es halden þe maste excellent emperour of þe werld and occupies þe same land þat he was lorde off. And of Sem, as þai say, come þe Sarezenes; and of Iaphet þe folk of Israel and we þat dwellez in Europe. Þis es 4. [And þough þat wee duellen in Europe, this is, etc., C.] þe opinioun of þe Sarzenes and of þe Samaritanes; and þus made þai me at vnderstand, ay till I come to Inde; and, fra I come þare, I knewe wele þat it was oþerwise. Neuerþeles it es sothe þat þe folk of Tartre come of þePage 110 kynreden of Cham, and all þase þat dwellez in Asy þe mare. Bot þe emperour of Cathay hat Caan and noȝt Cham, and for þis skill.
It es noȝt ȝit gane viiixx ȝere sen all þe folk of Tartre was in subieccioun and thrall till oþer naciouns aboute þam, and ware made hirdmen and kepers of bestez. Bot amanges þam ware vii. principall kynredens; of whilk þe cheeffe kynreden and þe maste worthy was called Tartre, þe secund was called Tangut, þe third Eurac, þe ferthe Valair, þe fyft Semok, þe sext Menchy, þe seuent Tobak. Now it befell so, þat in þe first kynreden was ane alde man, þe whilk was in his tyme a wyght man and a hardy, bot he was noȝt ryche; and his name was Chaanguys. Þis man lay on a nyght in his bedd, and þer came til him in a visioun a knyght all whyte armed, sittand apon a whyte hors, þe whilk said vntil him, "Caan," quod he, "slepez þou?" And he answerd and said, "Nay." "Godd," quod he, "þat es all myghty, sent me to þe, to schew þe his will. His will es þat þou say to [folio 92b] þe seuen kynredens, þat þou schall be þaire emperour. And þou schall conquere and wynne all þe landes þat er about ȝow; and þai 1. [þei þat marchen (sc. border) vpon ȝou, C.] schall be in ȝoure subieccioun, as ȝe hafe bene in þaires. For þis es þe will of Godd all myghty." Apon þe morue he went to þe vii. kynredens and talde þam his visioun, and þai scorned him and held him a fule; and he went fra þam schamed and confused. And on þe nyght next folowand þe same whyte knyght appered to þe vii. kynredens and bad þam on Goddes behalf þat þai schuld make Chaanguys þaire emperour, for he schuld delyuer þaim oute of þe subieccioun of oþer naciouns and conquere and wynne many rewmes. And apon þe morue þai made Chaanguys þaire emperour by comoun ascent, and sett him in a chaier and didd him all þe wirschepe and reuerence þat þai myght, and called him Chaan, as þe whyt knyght called him before. And, when he was chosen on þis wyse and made emperour, he thoȝt he wald proue þaire trewth and bowsoumness, wheþer he myght seurly trist in þam or noȝt; and he made many statutez and lawes, whilk þai call Ysachan. Þe first statute was þat þai schuld be obedient to Godd all myghty and trowe þat he schuld delyuer þam oute of all thraldom, and þat þai schuld call apon him in all þaire nede. Anoþer statute was þat all men þat myght bere armes schuld be armed and be nowmbred, and to ilk ten schuld be a mayster, and to ilk xxti a maister, and to ilk hundreth a maister, and to ilk thowsand a maister, and to ilk ten thousand a maister, and to ilk xxm a maister. And after þis he comaunded to all þe grettest and þe ricchest of þe vii. kynredens þat þai schuld forsake all þat [folio 93] þai had in heritage and lordschepe, and þat þai schuld fra þeine forward hald þam payd of þat he wald gyffe þam of his grace; and þai did so. Also he bad þat ilkane of þam schuld bring his son before him and slae hisPage 111 awen son with his awen handes and smyte off his heued; and þai did so, withouten any tariing. And when he sawe þai made na lettyng of þat he bad þam do, þan he bad þam folowe his banere. 1. [to make hem redy and to sewen his banere, C.] And þan he wan all þe landes aboute him and made þam subiettes till him.
Afterwardes it befell on a day þat þe Chaan rade with a lytill cumpany of men to see þe landes þat he had wonnen; and euen sudaynly he mette with a grete multitude of his enmys. And he, as a doghty man, for to giffe his men ensaumple and will to feight, went baldely before all his men apon his enmys; and þare was he smyten doune of his hors and his hors slaen. And, when his men sawe him at þe erthe, þai wend he had bene deed and fledd away, and þaire enmys folowed þam and wist noȝt þat þat was þe kyng þat was so smyten fra his hors. And, when Chaan sawe his enmys ware ferre fra him, he went til a wodde þat was nere besyde and hidd him in a thikk busk. And, when þe enmys ware commen agayne fra þe chace, þai went to seke in þe wodde, if any ware hidd þerin, and þai fand many and slewe þam ilkane. So it fell þat þai come nere þe place whare þe kyng was hidd and sawe a fewle sitte apon a tree vnder þe whilk þe king lay in hidels; and þat fewle men callez [folio 93b] ane owle. And, when þai sawe þat fewle sitte so still, ilk ane of þam said till oþer þat þare was na man. And so þai went þaire way; and þus was þe kyng saued fra deed and went away on þe nyght and come to his men. And, when þai sawe þaire lord on lyfe, þai ware wonder gladd and thanked allmyȝty Godd and þe forsaid bridd þat had saued þaire lord fra þe deed and delyuerd him oute of þe handes of his enmys. And euer sen þat tyme men of þat cuntree has done grete wirschepe to þat fewle forby all oþer fewles, and luffez it so mykill þat, wha so may get a fether þeroff, he kepez it wirschepfully, as it ware a relyque, and beres it on his heued with grete reuerence, supposing to be blissed þerby and delyuerd fra all maner of perils. Afterwardes þe emperour Chaan assembled all his men and rade apon his enmys and destruyd þam to þe vtterest.
And, when he had wonnen all þe landes aboute him vnto þe mount Belyan, þe white knyght appered to him agayne and said vntil him, "Chaan, þe will of Godd es þat þou passe þe mount Belyan, and þare schall þou conquere þat land and many oþer and make þam subiettes vnto þine empire. And, for þou sall fynd na gude passage þider, ga to þe mount Belyan, þe whilk es apon þe see syde, and knele þare nyne sythes agayne þe este in þe wirschepe of Godd allmyghty, and he sall schew þe a way how þou schall passe." And þe Chaan did as he badd; and, alsone as he come þare, þe see, þat before bette apon þe mount, withdrewe it and schewed a fairePage 112 [folio 94] way of ix. fote brade betwene þe mount and þe see. And so passed he and all his men and conquerd all þe land of Cathay, whilk es þe maste land of þe werld. And by cause of þir ix. knelings and ix. fote of way þe Chaan and þe men of Tartre haldez þe nowmer of ix. in grete wirschepe. And þerfore, when any man makez a presand of horsez or of fewles, or of bowes, or of arowes, or of any oþer thing þat þai vse to send to þe emperour, if þai make þat presand of þe forsaid nowmer, þai sall hafe mare thank þeroff, and mare acceptable sall it be to þe emperour þan if he gafe him a hundreth falde so mykill in oþer nowmer. For þam think þe nowmer of nyne þe halyest nowmer þat es, by cause þe messangere of Godd expressed þat nowmer so specially.
Qwhen þe Grete Chaan had conquerd and wonnen þe land of Chatay, and many oþer landes had putte ynder his subieccioun, he fell greeffe seke and feled wele þat he myght noȝt couer of þat sekeness, bot þat him most nedez dye þeroff. And þan he gert call byfore him his xii. sonnes, and bad þat ilkane of þam schuld bring him ane arowe; and þai did so. And he bad þam fast togyder with three bandez, and þai did as he bad þam. And, when þai ware so bunden, he bad his eldest son þat he schuld breke þam so bunden togyder; and he assayd, and myȝt noȝt breke þam. And þan he bad anoþer of his sonnez ga to and breke þam, and he myght noȝt. Þthorn;us he bad til xi. of his sonnez, bot nane of þam myght breke þe arowes whils þai ware so bunden togyder. [folio 94b] At þe last he said till his ȝungest son, "Son," quod he, "ga and louse ȝone arowes, ilkane fra oþer, and breke þam ilkane by þam self"; and he did as he bad and brakk þam ilkane after oþer. And þan þe kyng asked his oþer sonnez, why þai myght noȝt breke þam; and þai answerd agayne þat, for þai ware so fast bunden togyder, þai myȝt noȝt breke þaim. Þan answerd þe emperour, "How myȝt ȝour ȝungest broþer breke þam so lightly and so wele?" "For þai ware lowsed," quod þai, "and twynned ilkane fra oþer." "Right so," quod þaire fader, "will it fare of ȝou. For, als lang as ȝe er knytt togyder with þir three bandes, þat es to say, of lufe and lewtee and of accorde, þer may na man of þis werld stryfe ne disese ȝow; bot, alssone as þe knotte is lowsed of þir bandes, þat es to say, alssone as ȝe er diuised and stryfez ilkane with oþer, alssone ȝe schall be confused and schent and destruyd. And, if ȝe luffe stedfastly togyder, ȝe schall be lordes of all naciouns." And, when he had teched his sonnes on þis wyse and had ordayned for his empire thurgh þe counsaile of þe grete lordes of his rewme, sone after he dyed. And after him regned Cichota his eldest sonne and was called Chaan, as his fader was. And his oþer breþer went furth and conquerd many landes and rewmes, euen vnto Pruysse and Russy; and ilkane of þam gert call him Chaan. Bot all ware þai subiettes to þe eldest broþer; and þerfore was he called þe Grete Chaan, and all his successours after him. After Cichota regned his eldest broþer Guys Chaan; and after him regned Mango Caan, þe whilk was baptized and worthed till a worthy and a deuote Cristen man and a gude. He [folio 95] graunt his lettres of perpetuele peess till all Cristen men for to wonne in his rewme, and sent his broþer HalaonPage 113 with a grete oste for to wynne þe Haly Land oute of þe Sarzenes handes in to Cristen mennez handes, and for to destruy Machomete lawe, and also for to take Calaphes of Baldac, þat was emperour and lord ower þe Sarzenes. Halaon went furth and tuke Calaphes and fand with him grete plentee of tresoure, so grete þat him thoȝt þare schuld noȝt hafe bene mykils mare in all þe werld as was funn with him. 1. [men fownden him of so highe worschipe, þat in alle þe remenant of þe world ne myghte a man fynde a more reuerent man, ne highere in worschipe, C.] And þan Halaon said vntill him, "Qwhy," quod he, "wald þou noȝt wage men ynew with þi tresoure for to agaynstand me and defend þi land?" And he answerd and said, "I had men ynew of myne awen," quod he. And þan said Halaon, "Þou was þe Godd of þe Sarzenes, and Godd hase na mister of mete ne drink 2. [it is conuenyent to a god to ete no mete, þat is mortalle, C.]; and þerfore þou schall neuer for vs hafe mete ne drink, bot ete, if þou will, þi precious stanes and þi tresoure, þat þou gaderd so fast togyder and luffed so mykill." And þan he spered him in amanges his tresour withouten mete or drink; and so he died for hunger and for thrist. He, þis ilk Halaon, conquerd and wan all þe Haly Land in to Cristen men handes. In þe meen tyme þe Grete Caan died; and forþi þe iournee chaunged efter to þe werse. 3. [and þat was gret sorwe and losse to alle cristen men, C.] After Mango þe gude regned anoþer þat hight Chebysa and was called Caan; and he was a gude Cristen man also, and regned xlii. ȝere. He [folio 95b] foundid a gude citee and a grete in þe kyngdom of Chatay, þe whilk es called Iong; and it es mare þan Rome. Anoþer Caan regned after him, and he renayed þe Cristen lawe and become a Sarzene, 4. [a payneme, C.] and all þe Caanes after him vnto þis tyme.
And wit ȝe wele þat þe rewme of Chatay es mare þan any rewme in þis werld; and so es he þat es Grete Caan þe grettest kyng of all oþer kynges and ricchest of gold and all maner of tresoure and of grettest astate. Þe style of his lettres es þis, "Caan, filius dei excelsi, omnium vniversam terram colencium summus imperator et dominus dominancium", þat es to say "Chaan, Goddes son all myghty, and þe souerayne emperour of all þase þat tillez þe erthe and lord of all lordes." Þe circumscripsioun of his grete seel es þis, "Deus in celo, Caan super terram, eius fortitudo. Omnium hominum imperatoris sigillum", þat es to say, "Godd in heuen, and Caan apon erthe, his strenth. Þe seel of þe emperour of all men." And þe wrytyng aboute his priuee [seel] es þis, "Dei fortitudo. Omnium hominum imperatoris sigillum", þat es to say, "Þe strenth of Godd. Seel of þe emperoure of all men." Þis emperour and all þe folk of his land, þof þai be na Cristen men, neuerþeles þai trowe in grete Godd, þat made heuen and erthe; and, when þai will manace any man, þai say on þis wyse, "Godd wate þat I schall do þe ane euill turne."Page 114
[Of the gouernance of the Grete Chanes court, and whan he maketh solempne festes; of his philosophres; and of his array, whan he rideth be the contre.]
HERE hafe I talde ȝow why he es called þe Grete Caan, and now will I tell ȝow of þe aray and þe [folio 96] gouernaunce of his courte, when he makez grete festez; and þat es principally at foure tymes in þe ȝere. Þe first es at þat tyme þat þe Grete Caan was borne; þe secund es at þat tyme þat he was presented in to þaire tempill, þe whilk es called Moseak, whare he was circumcised; þe oþer twa festez er of þaire mawmet. 1. [ydoles, C.] Þe first of þam es at þat tyme þat þaire mawmet was first sett in trone in þaire temple; and þe toþer es at þat tyme þat þaire mawmet began first to speke and giffe answere and to do myracles. Oþer festez makez noȝt þe emperour so sollemply, bot if it be at þe weddinges of his sonnez. At ilkane of þir festez es wonder grete multitude of folk gaderd; and þai er all wele arayd and ordaynd by thowsands, hundreths and vintaynes, and ilkane wate what he schall do and bisily tentez till þaire officez, þat þare be na defawt funn. First er ordaynd iiiim riche barouns and myghty, for to hafe þe gouernaunce and þe ordinaunce of þe feste and to serue þe emperour. And all þir barouns has corouns of gold apon þaire heuedes wele dight with precious stanes and perle; and þai er cledd in clathez of gold and cammaca and swilk oþer, and þai er als riche as þai may be made. 2. [and alle þo robes ben orfrayed alle abouten, and dubbed fulle of precious stones and of grete oryent perles, fulle richely, adds C.] And þai may wele hafe swilk clathes, for þai er of lesse prys þare þan wollen clathez er here. 3. [ben gretter chep þere a gret del þan ben clothes of wolle, C (cf. [French texts]).] And þir festez er made in tentes made of clathes of gold or of tartarene or camaca; and þai er so curiousely made [folio 96b] þat na man may ymagyn mare curious. Þir foure thowsand barouns er departed in foure companys; and ilk a company es cledd in a suyt by þam self of a colour diuerse fra þe oþer companys. Þe first 4. [This description is more literally rendered in C.] company es of dukes, erles, markysez and amyrals; and þai er cledd in clathez of gold and of silk of grene colour, þe secund of reed colour, þe thrid of blew colour, þe ferthe of ȝalow colour. And þaire garmentz er all so curiousely andPage 115 so craftily ebrowded and dight with gold and precious stanez and perle þat, what man of oure land as had ane swilk, men myȝt sauely say he ware na pure man; for gold and precious stanes es of mykill gretter prys here þan it es þare. 1. [And whan þei ben þus apparaylled, þei gon, ii. and ii. togedre, fulle ordynatly before the emperour, withouten speche of ony woord, saf only enclynynge to him, adds C.] And ilkane of þir barouns beres before him a table of iaspre, or of euour, or of cristall; and before þaim gase mynstrallez, playand on diuerse instrumentes of music. And, when þe first thowsand es passed and hase done þaire seruys, þai draw þam o syde; and þan commez þe secund thowsand, and þan þe thridd, and so þe ferthe, and duse þaire seruise as þe first thowsand didd. And nane of þam spekez a worde; and þus þai ga aboute þe hall.
At a syde of þe emperour table sittez many philosophers and grete clerkez of diuerse sciencez, sum of astronomy, sum of nigromancy, sum of geomancy, sum of pyromancy, sum of ydromancy, and many swilk oþer sciencez. And sum has before þam astrolabres of gold, sum speres 2. [sc. spheres; speres, C.] of precious stanes, sum þe scalpe 3. [brayn panne, C.] of a deed man, sum vessell of gold full of hate coles, sum vessell of gold with water and wyne and oile. Sum also has [folio 97] orlogez wonder craftily made, sum vessell of gold full of sand, and oþer of þam diuerse instrumentes occordand for þaire science. And at certayne houres, when þai see tyme, þai say to men þat standez before þam, "Makez now peesse"; and þan ane of þase men saise to all þe hall with a lowd voice, "Non. peesse." And þan saise ane of þe philosophers, "Now ilk man do reuerence and howghe him to þe emperour, whilk es Goddes sonne and lord of all þe werld, for now es tyme." And þan ilk man enclynez his heued toward þe erthe; and þan saise þe philosopher to þam, "Liftez vp ȝotire heuedes agayne." And at anoþer houre saise anoþer philosopher, "Ilk man putte his lytill fynger in his ere"; and þai do so. And at anoþer houre saise anoþer philosopher, "Ilke man lay his hand before his mouth"; and þai do so. And sone after anoþer philosopher biddes ilk man lay his hand apon his heued; and þai do so. And þus ilk houre þir philosopheres biddez diuerse thinges; and þai say þase thinges hase grete betaknyngs. 4. [han dyuerse significaciouns, C.] And I ast priuely what þise thinges myght bemene; and ane of þe philosophers said þat þe enclynyng of þe heued þat tyme betaknez þat all þase þat louted þan schall be obedient and trew to þe emperour, so þat for na giftez ne for na hetyng þai schall neuer be fals ne traytours to him. And puttyng of þe fynger in þe ere bemenez þat nane of þase schall here ill be spoken of þe emperour, nowþer of fader ne broþer, sibbe ne fremmed, þat ne he schall schew it to þe emperoure, or to his counsail. Þe [folio 97b] laying of þe hand before his mouth bemenez þat nane of þam sall speke euill of þe emperour. And on þe same wyse of all the oþer thinges þat þai bidd do, þai say þat þai hafe grete betakenyng. And ȝe schall ynderstand þatPage 116 men dyghtez ne makez na thing to þe emperour, þat es to say nowþer clathez, mete, ne drink, ne nane oþer thing, bot at certayne tyme when þe philosophers tellez, þe whilk thurgh þaire science and calculacioun aspiez and considerez certayne houres couable for to do swilk thingez. And, if any man begynne were agayne þe emperour in any cuntree, alssone þe philosophers knawez it and tellez þe emperour and his counsaile, and he sendez his oste þider to restreyne þe malice of his enmys.
Qwhen þe philosophers hase bidden all thinges þat langes to þam for to hidd, þan þe mynstrallez begynnez to do þaire melodys agayn, ilkane after oþer. And, when þai hafe done þaire mynstralcy a grete while, þan ane of þe emperoures officers gase vp apon a stage, richely made and curiously, and criez with a lowde voiee, "Peesse," and þan er all men still. And þan all þase þat er of þe emperour kynne gase and araiez þam wele and richely in clathez of gold, and ilkane of þam commez with many whyte hors wele araied and richely on þe best maner þat þai may. And þan saise þe steward of þe courte þat lord and þat lorde, and neuens þaire names, "Comme and [folio 98] do reuerence to þe emperour of all þe werld." And þus he neuens þam all on rawe, ilkane in þaire degree; and þan commez ilkane of þam after oper before þe emperoure and presendez him whyte horsez in þe noumer of nyne. 1. [presenten the white hors to the emperour and þan gon hire wey, C.] And efter þaim commez grete barounes and presandez him with sum iowell or sum oþer riche gyft, ilk ane after his degree aschez. 2. [Warner's note here reads: "So MS., with doubtful sense; after þat þei ben of estate, C." Yet in his Glossary (p. xlv), evidently prepared later, he renders aschez as "requires," and the phrase after his degree aschez as "according to his rank." He also includes a footnote (p. xlv) explaining, "In the note to p. 116, l. 10 [commentary], I have inexcusably taken this word to mean 'ashes'." See MED asken v., 6: "Of things: to require as appropriate or necessary; require, demand, call for."] And, when þai hafe all on þis wyse made þaire presandez to þe emperoure, þan makez prelatez of þaire lawe þaire presandez. And efterwardes þe cheeffe prelate giffez a grete benysoun, sayand ane orisoun of þaire lawe. And þan begynnez þe mynstralles þaire melody agayne. And, when þai hafe made mynstralcy a whyle, þai er bidden be still, and þan men bringez before þe emperour lyouns, lebardes and oþer maner of bestez and briddez and fischez and nedders, for to do wirschepe to þe emperoure; for þai say all thing þat has lyf schall do wirschepe to þe emperour and be obedient to him. And þan commez iugillours and enchantours and dose many meruailes; for þai make to comme in þe aere as it semez þe sonne and þe mone to do him reuerence, whilk schynes so bright þat men may noȝt behald þam. And seyne þai make so grete myrknes þat it semez nyght; and efterwardes þai make þe light to appere agayne. And þan þai make damysels to comme in carolland, as men thinkes þat seez. Seyne þai make oþer damysels to comme in, bringand cowpez of gold full of meere 3. [sc. mare's; mylk of dyuerse bestes, C.] mylk, and proffers lordes and ladys to drink off. And after þis þai make knyghtes to iust in þe aere welePage 117 [folio 98b] armed; and þai smyte so sammen with þaire speres þat þe trunschouns of þam flyes aboute all þe tablez in hall. 1. [and þei rennen togidre a gret raundoun, and þei frusschen togidere fulle fiercely, and þei breken here speres so rudely þat the tronchouns flen in sprotes and peces alle aboute þe halle, C.] And, when þis es done, þai make hertez and wylde bares comme and hundez persuand þam. Þise and many oþer meruailes þai do, ay to þe emperour hafe eten.[folio 99]
Þs emperour, þat es called þe Grete Caan, hase many men kepand 2. [kepand, erased.] in his courte, as I said before, and mynstralles to þe nowmer of xiii. comacies. I talde ȝow before how mykill a comacye contenez. Bot ȝe schall vnderstand þat all þir mynstrallez dwellez noȝt continuelly in the emperours courte, bot what mynstrall so commez before him, of what nacioun so euer he be, he es ressayued in his courte and his name writen. And þerfore, whare so euer he go fra þat tyme furward, he claymez him self for ane of his mynstralles, and þerfore es þare sa grete nowmer of þam. He hase also xv. comaciez of men ordaynd for noȝt elles bot for to kepe fewles of diuerse kyndes, as gerfawcouns, gentill fawcouns, laneres, sagres, sperhawkes, nyghtgales syngand, and papeiays spekand. He hase also a thowsand olyfauntes. 3. [and also of wylke bestes, as of olifauntz, tame and othere, babewynes, apes, marmesettes, and oþere dyuerse bestes, the mountance of xv. cumancz of ȝomen, C.] And he hase [supplied by ed.] 4. [hase, om. MS., with "haues" interlined later.] many phisiciones, of whilk cc. er Cristen men, and xxti Sarzenes; bot he traistez maste in Cristen men. 5. [And of phisicyens Cristene he hath cc.; and of leches þat ben Cristene he hath cc. and x., and of leches and phisicyens þat ben Sarrazines xx., but he trusteth more in the Cristene leches þan in the Sarazines, C.] Þare er also in his courte many barouns and oþer officers þat er cristend and conuerted to Cristen faith thurgh preching of gude Cristen men þat dwellez þare; bot þer er many þat will noȝt be aknawen, ne late men wit þat þai er Cristen men.
Þis emperour may dispend als mykill as him list spend, for he makez na monee bot owþer of lether, or of papire, or of barkez of treesse. 6. [or of barkez of treesse, not in French text or C.] And, when þis monee es waxen alde, and þe prynte þeroff defaced by cause of vsyng, it es broȝt to þe kynges tresoury, and his tresourer giffez new for alde. Þis monee es prynted on bathe þe sydes, as monee es of oþer cuntreez, and it gase [supplied by ed.] 7. [gase, om. MS., with "gos" interlined later.] thurgh all þe Grete Caan landes. For þai make na monee þare of gold ne siluer, when it es broght þider fra oþer landes by diuerse naciouns, bot þe emperour gers enourae his palace þerwith and gers make þeroff oþer necessaries at his awen list. In his chaumbre on a piler of gold es a ruby and a charbuncle, ayther of a fote lang 8. [of half a fote long, C.] and þis charbunele lightnez all þe chaumbre on þe nyght. He hase also many oþer precious stanes and rubies in his chaumbre; bot þir twa er þe grettest and maste precious of all oþer.Page 118
Þe Grete Caan dwellez in somer in a citee toward þe north, þat es called Saduz, whare þe aer es riȝt calde; and in wynter he dwellez in þe citee of Camalach, whare þe aer es riȝt hate. Bot þe place whare he es comounly dwelland es at Gaydoun, 1. [Gaydo or in Iong, C.] whare þe aer es atemperee after þe qualitee of þat cuntree. Neuerþeles til men of þis cuntree it ware ouer hate. And, when þis Grete Caan schall ryde fra a cuntree to anoþer, þare er ordaynd foure ostez for him, riȝt grete of folk, of whilk ane oste wendez before him a day iournee. And þis oste liggez ilke ane nyght whare þe emperour schall ligg on þe morue; and þare er all things fun redy puruayd þat [folio 99b] þam nedez. In þat oste er fyfty comacy of men, what of hors men, what of fote men; and ilke a comacy contenez xm, as I talde ȝow before. Anoþer oste es on his riȝt syde, as it ware half a day iournee fra him, and þe thridd on his left syde als ferre fra him. And þe ferthe commez bebind him, as it ware ane arow draght; and in þat oste er ma men þan in þe oþer three. Ilkane of þir ostez hase þaire iourneez limited; and þare þer þai. schall luge ilk a nyght, þai schall fynd before þam redily puruayd all maner of thinges þat er necessary to þam. And, if it hapne þat any man of þir ostea dye by þe way, alssone þai putte anoþer in his steed, þat þe forsaid noumer be all way keped hale.
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe Grete Caan rydez neuernare apon a hors, bot if he ryde till any place with a priuee meneȝee. Bot be rydez in a chariot with foure whelez; and þerapon es a chaumbre made of a tree þat men callez lignum aloes, þe whilk commez oute of Paradys terrestre at certayne tymes with fludes þat rynnez oute of Paradys. And by cause of þe kynde of tree þat it es made off þis chaumbre es of noble smell; and it es couerd all ouer within with plates of gold sett full of precious stanes. And foure olyfauntes and foure whyte stedez 2. [grete destreres alle white, C.] trapped with riche clathez drawez þis chariot. And fyfe or sex grete lordes in riche apparaile rydez aboute þe chariot, so þat na man schall come nere him bot lordes, o less þan be call any man till him. And [folio 100] abouen on þat chaumbre in a lytill caban sittez men with foure or fyue gerfawcouns, 3. [ben sett vpon a perche iiii. or v. or vi. gerfacouns, C.] þat, if þai fynd any wilde fewle by þe way as þai ryde, þai may late þam flie for to make þe emperoure gammen. And before þis chariot rsydez na man nere it by a bowe schote, bot þir forsaid lordes. And on þe same aray of chariotes and of men er þe empericez ledd thurgh þe cuntree, ilkane of þam by þam self; bot þai haue nower nere so many men in þaire hostez as þe emperoure hase. Also þe eldest sonne of þe emperour rydez by anoþer way in his chariot on þePage 119 same aray, with a grete multitude of folk. For þare es so mykill peple in þat land þat it es wonder to see. Sum tyme it fallez, when þai wende noȝt ferre, þat þe empericez and þe em erours childer wendez togyder in a company, and þaire men menged owerheued; neuerþeles þai er departid in foure ostez, as I said before.
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe land of þe Grete Caan es diuided in xii. prouincez 1. [C has here the sentence "ilkane … withouten nowmer" (below, l. 26) and otherwise follows the French text.]; and in ilk a prouince es a kyng reall. And þase kynges hase oþer smaler kynges vnder þaim, and all þase kynges er subiectes to þe Grete Caan, whas empire es so large þat a man wende þe vmgang þeroff by water and by land in vii. ȝere. For þer many grete desertes thurgh whilk men most nedez passe, in þe whilk men schall fynd nowþer citee ne towne. Bot þer er in certaynez placez comoun ostriez ordaynd, whare trauaillyng men may fynd all thinges þat er nedefull to þam in þaire iournee. And þer es a wondefull custom in þat land, bot it es riȝt profitable. For, [folio 100b] when any tythings er herd in þe cuntree, and namely þat er noyouse or any thing agaynes þe emperour, he schall hafe worde within a day and a nyght, if all it be ferre þeine, þa three day iourneez or foure. For he has all way embassatours and messangers in ilk a prouince aboute him, þe whilk, alssone as any rumour begynnez to ryse þat touchez þe emperour, þai take dromedarys or oþer horsez þat þai can gett and in all þe haste þat þai may þai prike till ane of þir forsaid ostriez. And when þai comme nere it, þai blawe in a horne, and þe messangers þat er þare when þai here þe horne, knawez wele þat þer es sum tythings to bere to þe emperour and makez redy þaire dromedaries or þaire horsez for to bere þe lettres with þe tythings furth till anoþer ostrie. And þare do þai on þe same wyse, and þus þai do fra ostrie to ostrie till þai comme at þe emperour; and on þis wise hase þe emperour within a schort while all þe tythings þat er in any cuntree aboute him. And on þe same wyse es it of þe emperour curroures, when þer es any hasty tythings for to make. For ilke a curroure hase a lang corde full of belles, when he commez with þe emperouse lettres nere any of þir forsaid ostriez, by þe ringyng of þe belles þe currour þat es ordaynd for to be þare knawez wele þat þare commez lettres for to be borne hastily to þe emperour and he makez redy for to ga. And, when þe toþer commez, he delyuers þis currour þe lettres, and him self restez him þare, and þe toþer rynnez furth in all þe haste he may till þe thridd ostrie and restez him þare, as þe toþer didd; and þus þai do do fra ostrie to ostrie to þai comme at þe emperour. Þir curroures er called in þaire langage Chidibo, þat es als mykill at say in þaire langage as messangere.[folio 101]
Ilkane of þir forsaid twelfe prouincez hase þerin twa thowsand citeez and ma, and townes withouten nowmer. Also, when þis emperour rydez thurgh any citee or toune, ilke man makez a fyre before his dore whare þe emperour schall comme, and þai caste þerin encense or oþer thinges þat may giffe gude smell to þe emperour. And, if Cristen men of religioun dwell nere whare he schall passe, as þai do in many citeez in þatPage 120 land, þai go agayn him with procession with crosse and haly water, syngand with a hye voice, "Veni, Creator spiritus". And, when he seez þam comme, he commaundez þe lordes þat rydez nere him to make way þat þa men of religioun may comme to him. And, alssone as he seez þe crosse, he doffez his hatte, 1. [his galaoth, þat sitte syt vpon his hede, in manere of a chapelet, C. [DR: "sitte" should be omitted.]] whilke es made full richely with perlez and precious stanes, and þai say þare þat þat hat es worthe a kyngdom. And þan he lowtez deuotely to þe crosse; and þe prelate of þase religious men saise twa orisouns before him and giffez him benysoun with þe crosse, and be lowtes to þe benisoun full deuotely. And þan þat same prelate giffez him sum maner of fruyt, as appels or peres or swilk oþer, to þe nowmer of nyne on a plate of gold. For the maner es swilk þare þat na straunge man schall comme before þe emperour bot if he giffe him sum thing, after þe alde lawe þat saise, "Nemo apparebit in conspectu meo vacuus", 2. [Non apparebis, etc., Exod. xxiii. 15.] þat es to say, "Na man comme in my sight tome hand." And þan ga þai hame agayne to þaire place. 3. [and þanne the Emperour seyth to the religious men, þat þei withdrawe hem aȝen, þat þei ne be not hurt ne harmed of the gret multytude of hors þat comen behynde him, C.] And on þis same maner dose men of religioun þat dwelles whare þe emperice asid þe emperour eldest sonne commes.[folio 101b]
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat all þir men þat er in þe forsaid ostez of þe Grete Caan, of his wyfes and of his eldest sonne er noȝt all way dwelland in his courte; bot, ay when þai er bidden go with him, þai er redy at his comaundement, and, when þe iournee es done, þai wende hame agayne to þaire awen howsez, all safe þa þat er of þe emperour courte, and þat es a grete nowmer, þe whilk er ordaynd for to serue þe emperour and his wyfez and his childer, and for gouernaunce of þe courte. For þare er contynuelly with him in his courte l. thowsand men at hors and cc. thowsand fote men, withouten diuerse ministres 4. [mynstrelles, C.] of þe palace and withouten þase also þat er ordaynd for to kepe certayne wylde bestez and fewles of diuerse kyndez, whilk I spakk of before. Vndre This passage, omitted in E, is given from C. the firmament is not so gret a lord, ne so mighty, ne so riche, as is the Grete Chane; nought Prestre Iohan, þat is emperour of the highe Ynde, ne the sowdan of Babyloyne, ne the emperour of Persye. Alle þeise ne ben not in comparisoun to the Grete Chane, nouþer of myght ne of noblesse, ne of ryaltee, ne of ricehesse for in alle þeise he passeth alle erthely princes. Wherfore it is gret harm þat he beleueth not feithfully in God. And natheles he wil gladly here speke of God, and he suffreth wel þat Cristene men dwelle in his lordschipe and þat men of his feith ben made Cristene men, ȝif þai wile, þurgh out alle his contree; for he defendeth no man to bolde no lawe other þan him lyketh. [supplied by ed.]
In þe land of þe Grete Caan has ilk man als many wyfes as him list, for sum hase c., sum xl., sum ma, sum less. And þai wedd þare þaire sibbe wymmen, all safe moders and doghters and sisters; half sisters of þer fader syde wedd þai, bot noȝt of þer moder syde. Also þai wedd þe wyfez of þaire breþer, when þai er deed, and þaire stepdames efter þe deed of þaire faders.Page 121
[Of the lawe and the customs of the Tartarienes duellynge in Chatay; and how that men don, whan the Emperour schal dye; and how he schal be chosen.]
THAI vse wyde garments in þase parties withouten pelure 1. [furroures, C.] and þai er of purpure or of tartarene or chamelet. 2. [and þei ben clothed with precious clothes of Tartarye and of clothes of gold, C.] And þai er open at þe sydes and laced togyder with lacez of silke. And sum vsez garmentz of pelour, 3. [pylches, C.] and þe bare turned outeward; budes vsez þam nane. And on þis same maner er wymmen of þat cuntree cledd, so þat vnnethes may men knawe þe tane forby toþer, outaken þat wymmen þat er [folio 102] wedded beres takyns on þaire heueds, as I talde ȝow before. Þiare wyfez dwellez noȝt togyder, bot ilkane of þam by þam self; and þaire hushandes gase now till ane of þam now till anoþer, as him list. Þaire housez er made of stikkes, aad þai er rounde and hase bot a wyndowe, whare at þe light commez in and þe reke gase oute 4. [and also þat serueth for delyuerance of smoke, C.]; and þe thakk of þam and þe walles er of filtre, and þe dores also. 5. [and the helynge of here houses and the wowes and dores ben alle of wode, C.] And, when þai ga to þe were, þai cary þaire housez with þam apon cartes, as men in oþer cuntreez duse tentes and pafeliouns. And þai make þaire fyre in myddes of þir housez. Þai hafe grete plentee of all maner of bestes, oute taken of swyne; and þat es for þai brede nane. 6. [bryngen non forth, C.] Þai trowe all in a Godd, þat made all thing; bot neuerþeles ȝit hafe þai mawmets of gold and of siluer, of filtre and of clathe, to þe whilke þai offer þe first mylke of þaire bestez and þe first of þaire mete and þaire drink before þai ete or drink any þeroff. And sum tyme þai offer to þam horsez and oþer diuerse bestez. Godd of kynde call þai Yroga; and, what name so euer þe emperour hase, þai eke þerto Caan. Þat tyme þat I was þare þe emperour name was Thyak, and þai called him Thyak Caan. And his eldest sonne hight Theophue, and, when be schal be made emperour, he schal be called Theophue Caan. Þe emperour had þat tyme oþer twelfe sonnes withouten Theophue, of whilk ane hight Cunnyt, anoþer Ordu, þe thridd Chahadoy, þe ferthe Burgu, þe fyft Vengu, þe sext Nachaly, þe seuent Cadu, þe viii. Syban, þe ix. Creten, þe x. Balac, þe xi. Babilan,Page 122 [folio 102b] and þe xii. Carygan. And he had three wyfes, of whilk þe first and þe principall was Prestre Iohn doghter, and scho was called Serioth Caan; þe secund hight Borach Caan, and þe thridd Charauk Caan.
Þe men of þat cuntree begynnez all þat þai do in þe newe mone, and wirschepez it mykill; and þai do grete wirschepe also to þe sonne, and mase many knelinges þerto. And þai ryde comounly withouten spurres; bot þai hase owþer in þaire hand a whippe or a wand or sum oþer thing for to cacche 1. [chacen with, C.] þaire horsez with. Þai hald it a grete synne to putte a knyffe in þe fire, or to take oute flessch of a potte or a caldron with a knyffe, or to smyte a hors with a brydle, or to breek a bane with anoþer, or to cast mylke or any oþer liquor þat men may drynke apon þe erthe. 2. [or for to take and sle lytil children, adds C.] And þe maste synne þat man may do, þai say, es to pisse in þaire housez whare þai dwell. And he þat pissez þare and þai may wit it, þai will slae him; and þat place þat a man has pissed in bose be halowed or elles dare na man entre in to it. And of þir sȝnnes bus þam schryfe þam to þe prestes of þire lawe; and, when þai er schrifen, þai giffe a grete sonme of monee for to bye oute þaire penaunce withall. And, when þai hafe þus boght þaire penaunce, þai schall passe thurgh a fyre to make þam clene of þaire synnes. And on þe same maner a messanger, when be bringez a presand to þe emperour, he schall passe thurgh a fyre with þe presand þat he bringez for to make it clene, so þat he bring na venym ne oþer thing for to grefe þe emperour. What man amanges þaim þat es taken in avowtry, or womman owþer, þai slayne, and all 3. [and who þat steieth ony thing, anon þei sle him, C.] thefez and robbours þat [folio 103] er taynted þeroff. All þe men and þe wymmen of þat land er gude archers; and als gude werrayours er þe wymmen as þe men, and als fast will þai rynne. And þai do all maner of craftez, þat es to say talyour craft and sowter craft and swilk oþer. Bot namely þai vse to dryue þe ploghe and þe cart and þe wayne; and þai er wriȝtes, als wele as men, and makes housez and all oþer necessaries, out takne howes and arowes and oþer wapnez, þe whilke men all anely makez. Wymmen þare vsez breke, als wele as men. All þe folk of þat land er wonder obedient to þaire soueraynes, and þai feight neuermare amanges þam self; ne þai er na thefez ne na robbours, bot ilke ane of þam lufez oþer and wirschepez oþer. Þai vse noȝt comounly to do reuerence ne wirschepe to straunge men, if all þai be men of grete astate. Þai ete hundes and lyouns, meres and foolez, mys and ratouns, and all oþer bestez grete and smale, oute takne swyne and bestez þat ware forbedd in þe alde lawe. And þai ete all þat commez of þe beste, safe þe dung. And þai ete riȝt lytill breed, bot if it be in lordez courtes.Page 123 And in many placez þai hafe nowþer peise ne wortes, 1. [nouþer pssen ne benes, C.] ne oþer maner of potagez; bot in for þaire potage þai vse broth and sothen flesch. For þai ete nerehand nane oþer mete bot flesch and þe broth þeroff. And, when þai hafe eten, þai wype þaire hend on þaire clathez vnhonestly; for þai vse nowþer burde clath ne sawnape, 2. [non naperye, ne towaylles, C.] bot anely in lordez howsez. And also, when þai hafe eten, þai putte þaire dischez and þaire dublers agayne vnwesched in þe pottez or þe caldrouns with þe flesch þat þai lefe, ay till þai [supplied by ed.] will ete eftsones. And riche men drinkez mylk [folio 103b] of meeres and of camels and assez and oþer bestez; and of þat mylke will þai be riȝt drunken. Þai hafe also anoþer maner of drinke made of water and hony; for in þat cuntree es na wyne, and namely amanges comouns, for þai lede bot a wreched lyf. Þai ete bot anes on þe day, and at þat tyme þai ete riȝt litill. For a man of þis cuntree etez mare on a day þan twa of þaim on three days. And, if a messanger comme oute of a straunge cuntree vnto þe emperour, be schall hafe na mete þare bot anes on þe day and riȝt lytill þat anes.
Qwhen þai ga to were, þai hafe þam riȝt warly and wysely, and duse all þe bisynes þat þai may to conquere and wynne and ouercomme þaire enmys. And ilke ane of þame beres with him twa bowes or three, and many arowes and a grete ax. And þe gentils hase schorte swerdez scharpe on ta syde; and þai hafe platez made of coerbuille 3. [quyrboylle, C.] and helmes of þe same on þaire heuedes and trappour to þaire hors. And he þat fleez in bataile, þai slee him. When þai ensege a castell or a walled toune, þai behete þaim þat er enseged so faire proffers þat it es wonder; for þai will graunt þam what sum euer þai asch. Bot, als sone as þai hafe ȝolden þam, þai slae þam and cuttez off þaire eres and layes þam in vynegre for to sowce and makez of þaim a dayntee meet for grete lordes. 4. [and sowcen hem in vynegre, and þereof þei maken gret seruyse for lordes, C.] And it es þaire entent and þaire purpose 5. [Alle here lust and alle here ymaginacioun is, C.] to bring all landes in þaire subieccioun. For þai say þaire prophecy tellez þam þat þai schall be ouercommen with schotte of archers, and þat þase men sall turne þam to þaire lawe. Bot þai wate noȝt what men þai schall be, and þerfore þai suffer all maner of nacions dwell amanges þam [folio 104] and men of all maner of lawes and sectez withouten any lettyng. Þis folk, when þai will make þaire ydoles or þe ymage of any of þaire frendez for to hafe þam in mynde euermare, þai make þam naked; for þai say þat trew lufe hase na couering, ne þare schuld na man luffe a creature for þe bewtee withouten, bot all anely for affeccioun of þe persoun and for þe gude vertuz þat þe body es enourned with of kynde. 6. [of nature, C.] It es grete peril to pursue þe Tartarenes, when þai flee oute of bataill; for þai will schote behind þam fleand and slae men als wele as beforePage 124 þam. When þai schall feight, þai hald þam so nere togyder and so thrang 1. [wille schokken hem togidre in a plomp, C.] þat, whare þer er xxm men, sum men wald suppose þer ware noȝt xm. Þai conquere oþer landes wele and mannfully, bot, when [supplied by ed.] þai hafe conquered þam, þai kepe þam noȝt wele. Þai lufe better to ligg in þe felde in tentez þan owþer in [supplied by ed.] tounes or in castelles. Þai commend bot lytill any men witte bot þaire awen. Amanges þaim es oile of 2. [de, MS] olyfe of grete valu, for þai say it es soueraynly medecinale. All þe Tartarenes hase smale eghen and lytill berdes and thynne. 3. [not thikke hered, but schiere, C.] And þai er cumounly fals, for þai hald na thing þat þai hete. Þai may wele suffere penaunce and discese and hardness of trauaile, forby all oþer folk; for þai lered it at hame in þer awen cuntree, whare þai liffe with grete wricchedness and scantness.
Qwen any of þam schall dye, þai stikke a spere by him in þe erthe; and, when he drawez nere to þe deed, [folio 104b] ilke man fleez oute of þe hous ay till he be deed; and, when he es deed, þai bere him in to þe felde and puttez him in þe erthe. And, when þe emperour es deed, þai sett him in a chaier in þe middes of his tent; and þai sette before him a table couerd with a clathe, and þai sette þer apon breed and flesch and oþer metez and a coupe full of mere mylke. And þai sette by him a mere with hir foole and a hors sadled and brydled; and þai lay apon þe hors als mykill gold and siluer as he may bere. 4. [and þei putten abouten him gret plentee of stree, adds C.] And be syde þis tente þai make a grete grafe, and puttez þerin þe tent with þe emperour and all þe oþer thinges and grauez þam togyder. And þai say þat, when he commez to þe toþer werld, he schall noȝt be withouten a hous, hors, gold ne siluer; and þe meere, þai say, schall giffe him mylke for to drink and bring him furth many horsez, so þat he be wele stored in þe toþer werld of all thing þat him nedez. For þai trowe þat, when þai er deed, þai schall in anoþer werld ete and drinke and hafe dalyaunce with wymmen, as þai hafe here. And fra þe tyme þat þe emperour be layd in þe erthe na man schall be so hardy to speke of him in presence of any of his frendez. And ȝit And ȝit … was here, from C; omitted in E. natheles somtyme falleth of manye þat thei maken hem to ben entered preuylly be nyghte in wylde places, and putten aȝen the grasse ouer þe pytt for to growe; or elle men coueren the pytt with grauell and sond, þat no man schall perceyue where ne knowe where the pytt is, to þat entent þat neuer after none of his frendes schull han mynde ne remembrance of him. And þanne þai seyn þat he is ravissht in to anoþer world, where he is a gretter lord þan he was here. [supplied by ed.]
And, when þis emperoure es deed and grauen in þe maner þat I talde ȝow before, þe seuen kynredens gaders þam togyder and chesez his sonne or þe next of his blude for to be emperour. And þai say on þis wyse, "We will and we pray and we ordayne þat þou be oure emperour and oure souerayne lorde." And þan he answers and saise, "Will ȝe be obeyaunt vnto my comaundementes in all thinges þat I bidd ȝow do withoutenPage 125 any agaynsaying?" And þai say agayne, all with a voice, "We will." And he saise to þaim, "Wit ȝe þan þat [folio 105] fra heyne forward my worde sall be of als grete strenth, and als scharpe and scherand, as my swerde." And þan es he sette apon a blak filtre, 1. [sc. felt; a blak stede, C.] with þe whilk þai lift him vppe and settez him in his trone and corounes him. And þan all þe citeez and gude tounes of þat land sendez him presandes; and he schall hafe at þat tytne three score cartefulles and ma of gold and siluer, withouten iowels and gold and precious stanes þat grete lordes giffez him, þe whilk passez mannez estimacioun, and also withouten horsz and clathez of gold and cammaca and tartarene withouten nowmer.
[Of the roialme of Tharse and the londes and kyngdoms towardes the septentrional parties, in comynge down from the lond of Chathay.]
THIS land of Catay es in Asie þe depe, and it marchez toward þe west apon þe kyngdom of Tarse, whare off ane of þe three kynges þat soght oure Lorde in Bethleem was kyng sum tyme. And all þa þat er commen of his lynage er Cristen. In þe land of Tarse þai ete neuermare na flesch ne drinkez na wyne. On þis syde þat rewme, towardes þe west, es þe land of Turquesten; and it lastez toward þe west vnto þe kyngdom of Persy and toward þe north vnto þe kyngdom of Corasme. In þe cuntree of Turquesten er bot few citeez, and þe best citee þeroff es called Eceozar. Þare er large pastures and mykill, bot þer es bot lytill corne; and þerfore þe comouns of þat land er all hird men and lyez þeroute in logez and drinkez a maner of drink made of water and hony. 2. [a maner ale made of hony, C.]
On þis syde þat land es þe land of Corasme, þe whilk es a plentifous cuntree and a gude, bot þer es na wyne. [folio 105b] And it hase on þe este syde a grete deserte, þat lastes mare þan c. day iourneez. Þe best citee of þat land es called Corasme, and after it es þe land called. Folk of þat cuntree er gude werrayours and riȝt hardy. On þisPage 126 syde es þe land of Comany, oute of þe whilk ware putte a folk þat er in Grece and er called Comany. And it es ane of þe grete kyngdommes of þe werld, bot it es noȝt all inhabit; for in a place of þat land it es [supplied by ed.] so calde, and in anoþer party so hate, þat þare tnay na man dwell in þam. And þer es so grete plentee of fliez in þat land þat men wate neuer whare þai may turne þam. In þat land also er bot few treesse berand fruyt. 1. [is but lytille arberye ne trees þat beren frute ne oþere, C.] And in þat land men liggez in tentes and in loogez and driez bestez dung and brynnez for defaute of fewaile.
Þis land comez dounward toward Pruys and Ruscy. And thurgh þis land rynnez þe riuer of Ethill, whilk es ane of þe grete riuers of þe werld; and it es sum tyme of þe ȝere so hard frosen þat men fyghtes þerapon in grete batailes 2. [bailes, MS] on horsez and on fote ma þan a cm at anes. And a lytill fra þat ryuer es þe grete see Oceean, þat þai call Maure. And betwene þaim twa liggez þe maste parte of þe land of Corasme. And toward þe heued of þat land es þe mount Caspye. 3. [sc. Caucasus.] And betwene þat mount and þe grete see [supplied by ed.] of Maure es a strayte way and straite passage to ga toward Inde. And þerfore kyng Alysaundre gert make þare a citee, þat was called [folio 106] Alysaundre, to kepe þe cuntree, þat na man schuld passe þare bot if he had leue; bot now es þat citee called Porte de fer. 4. [the ȝate of hell (i.e. "d'enfer," for "de fer"), C.] Þe principall citee of Comany es called Sarak or Sarachy. And þis es ane of þe ways to ga in to Inde. Bot by þis way may noȝt many men ga, bot if it be in wynter; and þis passage es called Berhent. Anoþer way þer es for to ga fra5. [Warner's note here reads: "thurgh, corrected to 'fra.'" It's not clear to me who made this, or the next, correction; I've treated them as editorial.] þe land of Turquesten thurgh6. [Warner's note here reads: "and thurgh, corr. to 'thurgh.'" It's not clear to me who made this, or the preceding, correction; I've treated them as editorial.] Persy; bot in þat way schall men ga many iourneez thurgh wilderness. Þe thridd way es to ga fra Comany by þe grete see Occean and thurgh þe kyngdom of Abcaz. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat all þise kyngdommes and landes vnto Pruysse and Ruscy er halden of þe Grete Caan of Catay, and many oþer þat marchez on þam. And þerfore he es a grete lord of myȝt and of landes.Page 127
[Of the emperour of Persye; and of the lond of derknesse; and of other kyngdomes that belongen to the Grete Cane, and other londes of his vnto the see of Grece.]
HERE hafe I talde ȝow of landes and kyngdommes toward þe north, to comme doune fra þe land of Catay vnto þe landes of Pruysse and Ruscy, whare Cristen men dwellez; and now will I tell ȝow of oþer landes and kyngdommes in commyng doune fra Catay to þe see of Grece toward Cristen land on toþar syde. And for als mykill as, next þe Grete Caan of Catay and Prestre Iohn þe emperoure of Inde, þe emperour of Perse es þe grettest londe, þertore I will first speke of him and of his kyngdom. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat he has twa kyngdommes, of whilk ane begynnez estward at þe kyngdom of Turquesten and it lastez westward to þe ryuer of Phison, þe whilk es ane of þe foure fludez þat commez oute of Paradyse. And [folio 106b] toward þe north it lastez to þe see of Caspye; and southward it lastez to þe desertes of Inde. And þis land es gude and plentifous, and mykill folk þerin and many citeez. Bot twa principall citeez of þat land er called Bactria aad Seormegraunt. Þe toþer kyngdomme lastez fra þe ryuer of Phisoun toward þe west vnto þe land of Medy and Ermony þe mare, and toward þe north vnto þe see of Caspy, and southward to þe land of Inde. And þis es a plentifous cuntree and a gude. And þare er þarin three principall citeez, þat es to say Nessabon, Saphaon, and Sarmassane.
And þan es þe land of Ennony, þe whilk was sum tyme diuided in foure kyngdommes. Þis es a grete land and a plentifous and gude. And it begynnes at Perse and lastez toward þe west on lenth vnto þe land of Turky; and on brede it lastez fra þe citee of Alisaundre, þat now es called Porte de Fer, 1. [ȝate of Helle, C.] vnto þe land of Medy. In þis land of Ermony er many faire citeez, bot Taurisius es maste of name.
Þan es þe land of Medie, þe whilk es riȝt lang, bot noȝt full brade. And it begynnez estward at þe land of Perse and Inde þe less, and lastez westward to þe kyngdom of Caldee, and northward to Lytill Ermony. In þis land of Medy er many grete hilles and lytill playne. And þare dwellez Sarzenes and anoþer maner of folk, þat men callez Cordynes. Þe principall citeez of þat land er called Seras and Kermen.Page 128 [folio 107]
And þan next es þe kyngdom of Georgy, þe whilk begynnez estward at a grete hill þat es called Abior. In þis land dwellez many diuerse naciouns; and þis land es called Halamo. And it lastez vnto Turky and to þe grete see; and southeward it marchez apon Ermony þe mare. In þis land er twa cuntreez; þe tane es called Georgy and þe toþer Abcaz. And ayþer of þam has a kyng, and bathe er þai Cristen; bot þe kyng of Georgee es vnder þe subieccion of þe Grete Caan. Bot þe kyng of Abeaz es subiecte till na man, for his land es riȝt strang of þe self and þerfore he defendez him wele agayne all men.
In þis land of Abcaz es a grete meruaile; for þare es a cuntree þe whilk es nere three day iourneez vmgang, and it es called Hamson. And þat cuntree es couerd all ouer with mirkness, 1. [derkness, C.] so þat men þat er withouten may noȝt [supplied by ed.] see anything 2. [any, erased, and "no" interlined.] þerin; and þer dare na man ga in to þat cuntree for þe mirkness. And neuerþeles men þat dwellez in þe cuntree nere aboute it saise þat þai may sum tyme here þerin þe voice of men, and horsez nye, and cokkes crawe, and þareby wate þai wele þat sum maner of men dwellez þare, bot þai wate noȝt whatkyn men þai er. And þai say alsso þat þis mirkness come thurgh myracle of Godd, þat he schewed þare for Cristen men; and þat fynd þai writen in alde storyes amanges oþer wonders and meruailes. For are was sum tyme a wikked tiraunt þat was emperour of þe land of Perse, and he was called Taures. Þis emperour persued Cristen men in his tyme, all þat ware within his empyre; and he went aboute ferre and nere with a grete oste for to destruy [folio 107b] þam, or elles to gerre þam make sacrifice to his mawmetz. And in þat cuntree dwelled many Cristen men, þe whilk forsuke all þaire gudes and þaire ricchess and fledd by cause of þe persecucioun of þat tiraunt, and wald hafe gane in to Grece. And, when þai ware all gadred sammen in a faire playne, þe whilk es called Megon, þe emperour þat was warned of þaire fleyng lay before þam with his oste for to fall apon þam and sla þam. And, when þe Cristen men sawe þam com to þam wardes, þai ware riȝt ferde, and þai sette þam all apon þaire kneesse and besoght Godd to helpe þam and saue þam fra þaire enmys. And alssone come a thikke mirkness and vmbelapped þe emperour and all his oste, so þat þai myȝt nower go away; and so dwell þai ȝet in þat mirkness and euermare schall. 3. [and so schulle þei euermore abyden in þat derknesse tille the day of dome be the myracle of God, C.] And þe Cristen men went whare þai wald; and þerfore may þai say with þe prophete Dauid on þis wyse, "A Domino factum est istud et est mirabile in oculis nostris", 4. [Ps. cxvii. 23. C omits the English translation as usual.] þat es to say, "Of oure Lorde es þis done, and it es wonderfull io oure sight." And me think þat þis miracle and swilke oþer schuld stirre Cristen men to be mare deuote ynentez Godd þan þai er now on days 5. [þan ony other men of ony other secte, C.] for withouten doute, ware ne þer ware so mykill wikkednes and syn amanges Cristen men, þai schuld be lordes of all þe werld and soueraynes. For Godd es euermare redy for to succoure and helpe his lele seruandes, þat seruez him duely with a clene hert, soPage 129 þat he will send þam þe ouerhand of þaire enmys, as þe prophete saise, "Quomodo persequebatur vnus mille, et duo fugarent decem milla", 1. [Deut. xxxii. 30, with "persequatur" and "fugent" (cf. French text).] þat es to say, "Ane of þi trewe seruandes pursued a thousand mescreauntes 2. , and twa chaced xm." And Dauid saise on þis wyse, "On þine a syde sall fall a thowsand, and on þine oþer syde xm." And how þis may be he tellez efterward in Haly Wrytte, "Quia manus Domini fecit hoc", þat es to say, "For þe myght of oure Lorde Godd duse all þis." 3. [And oure Lord him self seyth (Ps. lxxx. 15), be þe prophetes mouth, etc. (cf. French text), adds C.] And þus it may appertely be proued þat, and we will be gude men, oure enmys may noȝt agayne stand vs. 4. [enduren aȝenst vs, C.] Oute of þis land commez a riuer þat by certayne taknez schewez hat men dwellez þerin; neuerþeles þare dare na man comme þerin.
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat in þir forsaid rewmes of Georgy and Abcaz and of Ermony þe less er dwelland gude Cristen men and deuote. For þai schryue þam ilke a woke 5. [ones or twyes in the woke, C.] and er howseld; and sum of þam er schryuen and howseld ilke a day. And 6. [And so do wee not on this half, alle be it þat seynt Poul commandeth it, seyenge, etc. (cf. French text). Thei kepen þat commandement, but wee ne kepen it not, C. The passage quoted is not from St. Paul.] in þis þai schewe mare deuocioun þan we do, þat er vnnethez anez in a ȝere schryfen and howseld.
Next þis land es þe rewlm of Turky, þe whilk marchez apon Grete Ermony. And þare in er many cuntreez, as Lycony, Saure, Capadoce, Bryke, Quificion, Pytan and Geneth. In ilkane of þir cuntreez er many citeez faire and gude. Þis land of Turky lastez to þe citee of Sakara, þe whilke standes apon þe Grekez see; and also it marchez apon Surry, þe whilke es a grete cuntree and a gude, as I talde ȝow before. Also [folio 108b] amanges þir forsaid landes towardes Inde es þe land of Caldee, þe whilk lastez fra þe hilles of Caldee estward vnto þe citee of Niniue, þat standez apon þe riuer of Tygre, on lenth; and on brede it begynnez northward at þe citee of Maraga and lastez southward to þe grete see Occian. Þe land of Caldee es a playne cuntree, and þare bot few riuers þerin.
And next þe land of Caldee es þe land of Mesopotamy, þe whilk begynnez estward at þe riuer of Tygre at a citee þat men callez Mosell, and it lastez westward to þe riuer of Eufrates at a citee þat men callez Rochays; and on brede it lastez fra þe mountez of Ermony vnto þe desertez of Inde þe lesse. And it es a playne cuntree and a gude and plentifous, and few riuers þerin. And twa hie mountaynez er þerin, 7. [It hath (il y a) but ii. mountaynes in þat contree, C.] of whilk þe tane es called Symar and þe toþer Lyson. And it marchez to þe land of Caldee.Page 130
And ȝe schall vnderstand þat Ethiopie marchez 1. [ȝit þere is toward the parties meridionales many contrees and many regyouns, as the lond of Ethiope þat marcheth, etc., C.] estward to þe grete deserte, westward to þe land of Numidy, southward to Mauritane, and northward to þe Reed See. And Mauritane lastez fra þe hillez of Ethiopie vnto Liby þe hye; and it liggez on lenth endlang þe grete see Occeane southward, and northward it marchez apon Numidy and Liby þe hie. In Namidy dwellez Cristen men; and it marchez apon þir forsaid landez and to þc deserte of Egipte, of whilk I spak before. And þan es Liby, þe hie and þe lawe, þe whilk commez [folio 109] doune toward þe Spaynisch see. In þe whilk cuntree er many diuerse folk and diuerse naciouns. Here hafe I talde ȝow of many cuntreez þat er on þis syde of þe grete kyngdom of Catay, of þe whilk many er obeischaunt to þe Grete Caan.
[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.Page 133
[Of the ryalle estate of Prestre John and of a riche man that made a merueyllous castelle and cleped it Paradys; and of his sotyltee.]
THIS emperour Prestre Iohn has many diuerse cuntreez vnder his empire, in þe whilk er many noble citeez and faire tounes and many iles grete and large. For þis land of Inde es departed in iles by cause of þe grete fludez þat commez oute of Paradys and rynnez thurgh his land and departez it. And also in þe see he has many grete iles. Þe principal citee of þe ile of Pentoxore es called Nise; and þare es þe emperour see, and þerfore it es a noble citee and a riche. Prestre Iohn has vnder him many kynges and many diuerse folk; and his land es gude and riche, bot noȝt so riche as þe land of þe Grete Caan of Cathay. For marchands commez noȝt so mykill to þat land as to þe land of Cathay, for it ware to lang way. And also [folio 111b] marchandes may fynd in þe ile of Cathay all þat þai [supplied by ed.] hafe nede of, as spicery, clathes of gold, and oþer riche thinges; and þai lette also for to ga þider by cause of lang way and grete periles in þe see. 1. [And þerfore, alle be it þat men han greter chep in the yle of Prestre Iohn, natheles men dreden the longe weye and the grete periles in the see in þo partyes, C.] For þer er in many placez in þe see grete roches of þe stane þat es called Adamaunt, þe whilk of his awen kynde drawez to him yrne; and, for þer schuld passe na schippes þat had nayles of yrne þare away by cause of þe forsaid stane, for he schuld drawe þam till him, þarfore þai dare noȝt wende þider. Þe schippes of þat cuntree er all made of wode and nane yrne. I was ane tyme in þat see, and I sawe as it had bene ane ile of treesse and bruschez growand; and þe schippe men talde me þat all þat was of grete schippes þat þe roche of þe adamand had gert dwell þare, and of diuerse thinges þat ware in þe schippez ware þase treesse and þase brusches sprungen. And 2. [and of the rotenesse and oþer thing, C.] for þir perils and swilke oþer, and also for þe lang way, þai wende to Cathay. 3. [and þerfore dur not the marchauntes passen þere, but ȝif þei knowen wel the passages, or elle þat þei han gode lodes men, etc. (following R), C.] And ȝit Cathay es noȝt so nere þat ne þaim behoues fra Venice or fra Ieen or oþer placez of Lumbardy be in trauaillyng by see and by land xi. monethes or xii. are þai may wynne to þe land of Catay. And ȝit es þe land of Prestre Iohn mykill ferrer by many a day iournee. And marchandes þat wendez þider wendez thurgh þe land of Perse and commez to a citee þat menPage 134 callez Hermes, for a philosopher þat men called Hermes foundid it. And þan þai passe ane arme of þe see and [folio 112] commez to anoþer citee þat es called Soboth or Colach; and þare fynd þai all maner of marchandyse, and papeiays als grete plentee as es in oure cuntree of larkes. 1. [gees (i.e. "owes," for "alowes"), C.] In þis cuntree es lytill qwheet or barly, and þerfore þai ete milet and rysz, hony and milk and chese and oþer maner of fruytes. 2. [ryzs and hony and mylk and chese and frute, C.] And fra þeine may marchandes passe suerly ynogh, if þam list. In þat 3. [In þat … three taas, repeated lower down, in its proper place according to the French text and C.] land er many papeiais, þi whilk þai call in þaire langage Psitakes; and þai speke of þaire awen kynde als properly as a man. And þase þat spekez wele has lang tunges and large, and apon ayther fote fyfe taas; and þai þat spekez noȝt or elles lytill hase bot three taas.
Þis ilk reall kyng Prestre Iohn and þe Grete Caan of Tartary er euermare alyed togyder thurgh mariage; for ayther of þam weddez oþir doghter or oþer sister. In þe land of Prestre Iohn er grete plentee of preciouse stanes of diuerse kyndez, sum of þam so grete and so large þat þai make of þam vessell, as dischez, dublers, coppes, and many oþer thinges þat lang ware to tell.
Now will I speke of sum of þe principall iles of Prestre Iohn land, and of þe realtee of his state and what lawe and belefe he and his pople haldez. Þis emperour Prestre Iohn es a Cristen man, and þe maste party of of his land also, if all it be so þat þai hafe noȝt all þe articles of oure beleue so clerely as we hafe. noȝt forþi þai trowe in Godd, Fader and Son and Haly Gaste; and full deuote men þai er and trewe ilkane til oþer, and [folio 112b] þare es nowþer with þam fraude ne gyle. 4. [and þei sette not be no barettes, ne by cawteles, ne of no disceytes, C.] Þis emperour hase vnder his subieccioun lxxii. prouinces; and in ilk ane of þam [supplied by ed.] es a kyng. And þase kynges hase oþer kynges vnder þaim, and all er þai tributaries to þe emperour Prestre Ionn. In þe land of Prestre Iohn er many meruailes. Bot amanges oþer þare es a grete see all of grauell and sande, and na drope of water þerin. And it ebbez and flowes as þe grete see duse in oþer cuntreez with grete wawes, and neuermare standez still withouten mouyng. Þat see may na man passe, nowþer by schippe ne oþer wyse; and þerfore it es vnknawen till any man whatkyn land or cuntree es on þe toþer syde of þat see. And, þof þer be na water in þat see, neuerþeles þare es grete plentee of gude fischez taken by þe see bankes; and þai er riȝt sauoury in þe mouth, bot þai er of oþer schappe þan fischez er of oþer waters. 5. [and þei ben of right goode tast and delicyous to mannes mete, C.] I Iohn 6. [I Iohn … es soth, not in French text or C.] Maundeuill ete of þam, and þarfore trowez it for sikerly it es soth.
And three day iournez fra þat see er grete hilles, oute of þe whilk commez a grete riuer þat commez fra Paradise; and it es full of preciouse stanes, and na drope of water. And it rynnez with grete wawes thurgh wilderness in to þe Grauelly See, and þan er þai na mare sene. And þis riuer rynnez ilke woke three days so fastPage 135 þat na man dare com þarin; bot all þe oþer days may men gang in to it, when þai will, and gader of þe precious stanes. And byȝond þat riuer toward þe wilderness es a grete playne amanges hilles, all sandy and grauelly, in [folio 113] þe whilk playne er treesse as it semez, þe whilk at þe sonne rysing begynnez to growe and a fruyte to spring oute of þam; and þai growe so vnto it be midday, and þan begynne þai to dwyne and turne agayne in to þe erthe, so þat by þe sonne be sette þer es naþing sene of þam, and þus þai fare ilke a day. Bot of þis fruyt dare na man ete ne negh it, for it semez as it ware a fantom and a dessayuable thing to þe sight. 1. [but no man dar taken of þat frute, for it is a thing of fayrye, C.] And þis es halden a meruailous thing, and so it may wele.
And in þe forsaid wildernes er many wylde men with hornes apon þaire heueds; and þai dwelle in wodes as beste: and speke: noȝt, bot gruntils as swyne duse. Also in sum wodes of þat land er wylde hundes, þat neuer 2. [þat neuer … cuntree, not in French text or C. After this follows in C the passage about "popegayes."] will com to man mare þan foxez will do in þis cuntree. And þare er fewles also spekand of þaire awen kynde; and þai will hails 3. [saluen, C.] men þat com thurgh þe desertez, spekand als openly as þai ware men. Þir fewles hase large tungez and on ayther of þaire fete v. nayles. And þare er oþer þat has bot three nayles on ayther fote, and þai speke noȝt so wele ne so openly. 4. [for þei cone not but cryen, C.] Þir fewles call þai þare Psitakes, as I said before.
Þis ilke grete kyng and emperour Prestre Iohn, when he wendez to bataile agaynes his enmys, he hase na banere borne before him, bot in steed of baner þare er borne before him three crosses of fyne gold, þe whilk er grete and hie and wele dyght with preciouse stanes. 5. [and euery of þo crosses ben sett in a chariot, fulle richely arrayed, adds C.] And to þe kepyng of ilke a crosse er ordaynd and assigned xm men of armes and ma þan a hundreth thousand men on fote, on þe same maner as men kepez a baner or a [folio 113b] standard in bataile in oþer placez. And þis nowmer of men es all way assigned to þe keping of þe forsaid crossez ay when þe emperour wendez to bataile, withouten þe principall oste and withouten certayne lordes and þaire men þat er ordaynd for to be in his awen bataile, and also withouten certayne scales þat er ordaynd for forraying. 6. [and this nombre of folk is withouten the pryncypalle hoost and withouten wenges ordeynd for the bataylle, C.] And, when he rydes in tyme of peesse with his priuee menȝee, þar es borne before him a crosse of tree, withouten gold or paynture or precious stanes, in remembraunce of Cristez passioun þat he sufferd on a crosse of tree. Also he hase borne before him a plate of gold full of erthe, in taken þat for all his grete noblay and his lordschepe he come fra erthe and intill erthe sall he turne. And þer es borne before him anoper vessell full of gold and of iowailes and precious stanes, as rubies, dyamaundes, saphires, emeraudes, topazes, crisolites and oþer many, in taknyag of his grete noblay, lordschepe and myght.Page 136
Now will I tell ȝow the aray of Prestre Iohnes palays, þe whilk es comounly 1. [He duellethe comounly, C.] at þe citee of Suse. And þat palays es so riche, so delitable and so noble, þat it es wonder to tell. For abouen þe principall toure er twa pomelles of gold; and in ayther of þaim er twa charbuncles grete and faire, þe whilk schynez riȝt clere apon þe nyght. And þe principall ȝates of þe palays er of precious stanes, þat men calles sardones, and þe barrez of þam er of euour; and þe wyndows of þe hall and þe chaumbres er of cristall. And all þe tables on whilk þai ete er of emeraudes, amatistes and sum of gold, sett full of precious stanes; and þe pilers þat beres þe tablez er of [folio 114] þe same maner of precious stanes. And þe grecez, 2. [degrees, C.] on whilk þe emperour gase vp to his trone whare he sittez at þe mete, er ane of oniche, anoþer of cristall, anoþer of iaspre, anoþer of amatist, anoþer of sardone, anoþer of corall 3. [corneline, C.]; and þe hiest gree, whare on he settez his fete at þe mete, es of crisolytez. And all þir greez er bordurde with fyne gold, frette full of perle and oþer precious stanes aboute þe sydez and þe endez. And þe sydes of his trone er of smaragdes, 4. [emeraudes, C.] bordured with fyne gold, sett full of precious stanes. Þe pileres in his chaumbre er of fyne gold, sett full of precious stanes, of whilk many er charbunclez þat giffez grete light on nyghtez; and ȝit neuer þe latter he hase ilk a nyght brynnand in his chaumbre xii. vessell 5. [a vessell, C.] of cristall full of bawme, to giffe gude smell and swete and to dryfe away wikked aere. And þe fourme of his bedd es all of saphires, wele bunden with gold, for to make him to slepe wele and for to destruy lichery; for he will noȝt lye by his wyfez, bot at foure certayne tymez in þe ȝere, 6. [after the iiii, cesouns, adds C.] and þan all anely for to gete childre.
Þis emperour hase also anoþer palays, riche and noble, in þe citee of Nise, and þare he suggeournes when him list; bot þe aer es noȝt so gude þare ne so halesome as it es at Suse. Thurgh oute all þe land of Prestre Iohn þai ete bot anez on þe day, as þai do in þe courte of þe Grete Caan. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat Prestre Iohn hase ilk a day in his courte etand ma þan xxxm of folke, withouten commers and gangers; bot nowþer xxxm [folio 114b] þare ne in þe courte of þe Grete Caan spendez so mykill mete on a day as xiim in oure cuntree. Þis emperour hase also euermare vii. kyngez in his courte, for to serue him; and, when þai hafe serued him a moneth, þai wende hame and oþer vii. kynges commez and seruez anoþer moneth. And with þa kinges seruez all way lxxii. dukez and ccclx. erles, and many oþer lordez and knyghtes. And ilke a day þare etez in his courte ii. ercebischopes and xx. bischopes. And þe Patriarch of sayn Thomas es þare as it ware pape. All ersbischopes and bischopes and abbotes þare er kynngez and 7. [And euerych of þeise grete lordes knowen wel ynow the attendance of hire seruyce. The on is mayster of his houshold, etc. (literally following R), C.] grete lordes of feez. And ilkane of þam hase sum office in þe emperour courte; for a kyng es porter, anoþer hawler, anoþer chaumberlayne, anoþer steward of howshalde, anoþer buteler,Page 137 anoþer sewer, anoþer marschall, and so furth of all oþer officez þat langes till his courte; and þerfore es he full richely serued and wirschipfully. His land lastez on brede foure monethes iournez; and on lenth it es withouten mesure. 1. [þat is to seyne, alle the yles vnder erthe þat wee supposen to ben vnder vs, C.] Trowez 2. [Trowez … for to tell, not in French text or C.] all þis, for sikerly I sawe it with myne eghen and mykill mare þan I hafe talde ȝow. For my felaws and I ware dwelland with him in his courte a lang tyme and saw all þis þat I hafe talde ȝow and mykill mare þan I hafe layser for to tell.
Besyde þe ile of Pentoxore, þe whilk es Prestre Iohnez, es anoþer ile bathe lang and brade, þe whilk es called Mulstorak; and it es vnder þe lordschepe of Prestre Iohn. In þis ile es grete plentee of all maner of [folio 115] gudes and ricchess. And in þat land was sum tyme a riche man þat was called Catolonabes, and he was a grete man and a wonder wyly. And he had a faire castell and a strang, standand apon a hill, and he gert make aboute it strang wallez and hie. And within þase wallez be gert make a faire gardyn and plant þerin all maner of treez berand diuevse fruytz. He gert plant þerin also all maner of erbez of gude smell and þat bare faire floures. Þare ware also in þat gardyne many faire welles, and besyde þaim ware many faire halles and chaumbres, paynted with gold and azure wele and curiousely with diuerse storys, and with diuerse maners of briddes, þe whilk semed as þai sang and turned by engyne as þai had bene all quikke. He putte also in þat gardyne all maner of fewles þat he myght get, and all maner of bestez þat he myght fynd, to make a man solace and disporte. And he putte also in to þat gardyne faire damysellz within þe elde of xv. ȝere, þe fairest þat he myȝt fynd, and knafe childre 3. [ȝonge striplynges, C.] of þe same elde; and þai ware all cledd in clathes of gold. And þase he said ware aungelles. Also he gert make in þe forsaid gardyn three faire welles of precious stanes, closed aboute with iasper and cristall, wele bunden with gold, and oþer precious stanes. And he gert make cundytes vnder þe erthe, so þat, when he wald, ane of þir wellez ran of wyne, anoþer of mylke, anoþer of hony, thurgh þir forsaid cundytes. And þis place called he Paradys. And, when any ȝung bachelere of þe cuntree come to him, he ledd him in to þis Paradys and [folio 115b] schewed him all þise forsaid thingez. And he had diuerse mynstralles priuely in hye toure þat þai myght noȝt be sene, playand on diuerse instrumentez of music. And he said þat þai ware Goddes aungelles, and þat þat was Paradys þat Godd graunted to þase þat he lufes, sayand on þis wyse, "Dabo vobis terram fluentem lac et mel", þat es to say, "I sall giffe to ȝow land flowande mylke and hony." And þan þis ryche man gafe to þise men a maner of drinke, of whilke þai ware drunken alssone; and þan þai ware mare blinded þan þai ware before, and wend þai had bene in full blisse. And he said þam þat, if þai wald putte þaim in iuperdy of deed for his sake, whenPage 138 þai ware deed, þai schuld com in to his Paradys and þai schuld euermare be of þe elde of þe forsaid damyselles and þai schuld euermare dwell with þam and haue lyking and dalyaunce of þam and euermare be maydens, and after a certayne tyme he schuld putte þam in a fairer Paradys, whare þai schuld see Godd in his maiestee and in his blisse and ioy. And þan þai graunted at do all þat he wald bidd þam do. And þan he bad þam ga to swilk a place and sla swilke a lorde or man of þe cuntree whilk was his enmy, and þat þai schuld hafe na drede, for, if þai ware deed, þai schuld be putte in to þat Paradys. And þus gert he sla many lordes 1. [And þus wenten many dyuerse lusty bacheleres for to sle grete lordes, C.] of þe cuntree; and also many of þise men ware slaen in hope to hafe þis Paradys þat he hight þam. And þus he venged him on his [folio 116] enmys thurgh þis dessayte. And when lordes and riche men of þe cuntree persayued þis malice and wyle of him, þis Catolonabes, þai gadred þam togyder and assailed þis castell, and slew Catolonabes, and destruyd all his ricchess and faire thinges þat ware in his Paradys, and kest doune his castell; and ȝit er þe welles þare and sum other thinges, bot na ricchess. It es noȝt lang sen it was destruyd.
[Of the deueles hede in the Valeye Perilous; and of the customes of folk in dyuerse yles that ben abounten in the lordschipe of Prestre John.
A LYTILL fra þat place toward þe water of Phison es a grete meruaile. For þare es a vale betwene twa hilles þat es foure myle lang; and sum men callez it þe Vale of Enchaunting, sum þe Vale of Deuilles, and sum þe Vale Perillous. In þis vale er oft tymes herd many tempestes and voices vggly and hidous, bathe on nyghtes and on days. And sum tyme þer es herd noyse as it ware of trumppes and tawburez and of nakers, as it ware at festez of grete lordez. Þis vale es full of deuilles and all way hase bene; and men saise in þat cuntree þat þare es ane entree to hell. In þis vale es mykill gold and siluer; and for to gete þeroff þare commezPage 139 many men, bathe Cristen and haythen, and entres in to þat vale. Bot þare commez bot fewe oute agayne, and namely of mescreauntes 1. , for all þase þat gase þider by cause of couetise er strangled with deuills and fordone. In myddes of þe vale vnder a roche es schewed openly þe heued and þe visage of a deuill, riȝt hidous and dredefull to see; and þer es na thing sene þeroff bot þe heed fra þe schulders vpward. And þer es na man in þis werld, Cristen ne [folio 116b] oþer, þat ne he schuld hafe grete drede to behald it, it es so horrible and so foule. And he behaldez ilke man so scharpely and so felly, and his eghen er so fast stirrand and sprenkland as fyre, and be chaungez so oft his countenaunce, and oute of his mouthe and his neese commez so grete plentee of fyre of diuerse colours with so grete stynk, þat na man may suffere it. Bot all way gude Cristen men, þat er stable in þe faith, may ga in to þat valay withouten grete harme, if þai be clene schriffen and blisse þam with þe taken of þe Crosse; for þan schall deuils noȝt dere þam. And if all þai eschape withouten harme of body, neuerþeless þai eschape noȝt withouten grete drede; for fendez apparez to þam openly and manacez þam and fliez vp and doune in þe aer with grete thunders and leuennynges and hidous tempestez, þat mykill drede schall þai hafe, þat þare furth passez als well gude men as euill, supposand þat Godd for þaire alde synnes will perchaunce take wreke on þam and vengeaunce. My felawes and I, when we come nere þat valay and herd speke þeroff, sum of vs kest in oure hertes to putte vs all halely in þe mercy of Godd to passe thurgh þat valay and sum forsuke it and said þai wald noȝt putte þam in þat perill. And þare was in oure company twa frere meneours of Lumbardy, þat said þai wald ga thurgh þat valay, if we wald go with þam; and so, thurgh comforth of þire wordes and þe excitacioun of þaim, we schrafe vs clene and herd messe and comound vs and went in to þe valay, xiiii. felawes sammen. Bot at þe commyng [folio 117] oute we ware bot ix. We wist neuere what worthed of þe remenaunt, whedir þai ware lost or þai turned agayne; bot we sawe þam na mare; twa of þam ware Grekez, and three ware Spanyols. Oure oþer felawes þat wald noȝt passe þe Valay Perillous went aboute by anoþer way for to mete vs. And my felawes and I went thurgh þe valay, and sawe many meruailous thingez and gold and siluer and precious stanes and many oþer iowels on ilke a syde vs, as vs thoght; bot whedir it ware as it semed, or it was bot fantasy, I wate noȝt. Bot for þe drede þat we had, and also for it schuld noȝt lette oure deuocioun, we wald lay hand on na thing þat we sawe; for we ware mare deuote þan þan euer we ware before or efter, for ferdeness of deuils þat appered till vs in diuerse figures and for þe multitude of deed men bodys þat lay þare in oure way. For if twa kynges with þire ostez hadPage 140 foghten togider and þe maste parte of bathe þe sydez had bene slaen, þer schuld noȝt hafe bene so grete noumer of deed bodys as was þare. And, when I sawe so many bodys ligg þare, I had grete meruaile because þai ware so hale withouten corrupcioun, and so fresch as þai had bene euen new deed. Bot I dare noȝt say þat þai ware all verray bodys þat I sawe in þat valay, bot I trowe þat fendez gert þare seme so many bodys for to fere vs with; for it es noȝt semely þat so grete a multitude of folk schuld verrayly hafe bene deed þare so fresch withouten stynk or corrupcioun. And many of þase bodys þat I sawe þare semed in clething of Cristen men; bot I trowe [folio 117b] full wele þat þai come þider for couetise of gold and oþer iowels þat er in þat valay, or for fals hert myght noȝt bere þe grete drede and fere þat þai had for þe horrible siȝtes þat þai sawe. And I do ȝow to witte þat we ware oft tymes striken doune to þe erthe with grete hidous blastez of wind and of thouner and oþer tempestez; bot thurgh þe grace of Almyghty Godd we passed thurgh þat valay hale and sounde.
Beȝond þat valay es a grete ile, whare þe folk þat wonnez þerin er als mykill of stature as þai ware geauntes of xxviii. or of xxx. fote lang. Clathez hafe þai nane to were, bot skynnez of bestez, whare with þai couer þaire bodys. Breed ete þai nane; bot þai ete raw flesh and drinkez mylke, for þare es grete plentee of bestez. Housez hafe þai nane to dwell in; and þai will gladlyer ete mannez flesch þan any oþer. Þis ile dare na pilgrim come in ne nere it, þaire thankes; for, if þai see a schippe in þe see with men þerin, þai will wade in to see for to take þe men to þaire men. And men talde vs þat þare es anoþer ile beȝond þat, whare geauntz er, mykill mare þan þir, for sum of þam er fyfty fote lang, sum sexty. 1. [summe of xlv. fote or of l. fote long, and as somme men seyn, summe of l. cubytes long, C.] I had na will to see þam, for þer may na man com in to þat ile þat ne he schall alssone be strangled with þa monstres. In þase iles amang þa geauntz er schepe als mykill as oxen, bot þe woll of þam es grete and sture. 2. [þei beren gret wolle and rough, C.] Of þir schepe hafe I oft sene; and sum men [folio 118] hase oft tymes sene of þir geauntz take men in þe see and com to land with twa in þe ta hand and twa in þe toþer, etand of þaire flesch rawe. 3. [etynge hem goynge, all rawe and all quyk, C.]
Þare 4. [The paragraph in the French text (and in C) omitted here will be found lower down.] es anoþer faire ile and a gude and full of folk, whare þe maner es swilk þat, when a womman es new wedded, scho sall noȝt þe first nyght lye with hir hushand, bot with anoþer ȝung man, þat sall assay hir þat nyght and hafe hir maydenhede, takand on þe morue a certayne monee for his trauaile. And þare er ordaynd in ilke a toune certayne ȝung men for to do þat seruise, þe whilk þai call Gadlibiriens, þat es to say, "Foles despaired." 5. [Cadeberiz, þat is to seyne the Foles of Wanhope, C.] And þai say þare and affermes for sothe þat it es a full perilous thing to take þe maydenhede of a mayden; for,Page 141 as þai say, wha so duse, puttez him self in perill of dede. And, if þe husband of þe womman fynd hir mayden on þe nyght next suand (for perauenture he þat schuld hafe had hir maydenhede was drunkyn, or for any oþer skille did noȝt his deuere to þe womman), þan hir hushand sall hafe his actioun agaynes him before þe iusticez of þe land, als fortherly as he had bene aboute for to slae him. Bot after þe first nyght þat þase wymmen er so defouled þai er kepid so straitely þat þai schall noȝt speke ne com in company of þase men. 1. [þat þei ben not so hardy to speke with no man, C.] I asked þam what was þe cause and þe skill þat swilke a custom was vsed þare. And þai talde me þat in alde tyme sum men ware deed in þat cuntree thurgh þe defloracioun of maydens, for þai had within þam nedders, þat taanged þe husbands [folio 118b] on þe ȝerdez in þe wymmen bodys; and so ware many men slayne, and þerfore vsed þai þare þat custom to make oþer men to assay þe passage before þai putted þam self to þat auenture.
Anoþer ile 2. [See above, p. 140, note 4.] þer es southward 3. [toward þe north, C.] in þe grete see Occian, whare in er wikked wymmen and fell, þat in þaire eghen has precious stanes growand. And þai er of swilke a kynde þat, if þai luke apon a man with ane irous will, 4. [with wrathe, C.] thurgh þe vertu of þa stanes þai sla him with þaire lukyng, as þe basilisc duse.
Nere þat ile es anoþer ile, whare wymmen makez mykill sorowe when þaire childer er borne, and mykill ioy when þat þai er deed, and callez þaire frendez and makez feste and takez þe deed childe and castez it in a grete fyre and brynnez it. And wymmen also þat luffed þaire husbandez wele, when þai er deed, þai putte þam self in to þe fire with þaire childer for to brynne. And it es þaire opinioun þare þat on þat wise þai er purged thurgh þe fire, so þat na corrupcioun neuer efter sall com of þam, bot, purged and clene of all vice and alkyn deformitee, þai sall passe to þaire hushandes in þe toþer werld. Þe cause why þai wepe and makez sorow at þe birth of þaire childer and makez ioy when þai dye es for, when þai er borne in to þis werld, þai com to sorow and to trauaile, and, when þai dye, þai go to þe ioy of Paradys, whare riuers er of mylke and hony and plentee of all maner of gudes and lyf withouten sorowe. In þis ile es euermare þe kyng made by eleccioun; and þai chese noȝt þe ricchest man ne þe nobilest, bot him þat es best of condiciouns and maste rightwys and trewe þai make þaire [folio 119] kyng. And also þai luke þat he be ane aunciene man and noȝt ȝung of age. 5. [of gret age, and þat he haue no children, C.] In þat ile also er wonder rightwise iuggez; for þai do resoun and trewth to ilke man, als wele to pouer as to riche, and demez ilke man efter his trespas and noȝt after his state ne his degree. Þe king also may do na man to deed withouten þe counsaile and þe ascent of all his baronage. And, if it be so þat þe kyng do a trespasse, as sla a man or swilke anoþer notable thing, he schall be deed þerfore. Bot he schall noȝt be slaen with mannez hand, bot þai schall forbede þat na man be so hardy to make him company, ne speke with him, ne com to him, ne giffe him mete ne drink; and soPage 142 for euen pure nede and hunger and thrist and sorow þat he schall hafe in his hert he schall dye. 1. [and so schall he dye in myschef, C.] Þare es nane spared þat es taken with a trespas, nowþer for ricches, ne hie state, ne dignite, ne for hie blude, ne for na maner of gift, þat ne ilke man schall hafe after his werkes.
Beȝond þis ile es anoþer ile in þe see, whare es grete plentee of folk. And þai ete neuermare flesch of hares, ne of hennes, ne of geezsse; and noȝt forþi þai hafe many of þam and bringez vp many of þam all anely for þaire solace and for þe sight of þam. Bot þai ete flesch of oþer bestez and drinkez mylke. In þis ile þai wedd þaire awen doghter and þer sisters and þer sibbe wymmen, and dwellez togyder in a hous ten or twelf or ma. [folio 119b] And ilke mannez wyf sall be comoun till oþer þat wonnez þare; and ilkane of þam takez oþer wyfez, ane a nyght, anoþer anoþer nyght. And, when any of þir wyfes beres a childe, it sall be giffen to him þat first lay by hir þat es þe moder 2. [sche may ȝeue it to what man þat sche list þat hath companyed with hire, C.]; and so es þer nane þat wate wheþer þe childe be his or anoþer mannez. And, if a man say to þam þat on þis wise may þai [supplied by ed.] 3. [om. MS.; ȝou, inserted later.] fader anoþer mannez childe, þai answere agayne þat so duse oþer men þaires.
In þat cuntree and thurgh oute all Inde es grete plentee of cocodrilles; and it es a maner of neddere lang of body, as I talde ȝowe before. And on nyghtes it es in waters, and on days in þe erthe in creuicez or in craggez 4. [roches and in caues, C.]; and in wynter ete þai na mete, bot liggez as þai ware half deed. 5. [as in a drem, as don þe serpentes, C.] Þis nedder will sla men and deuoure þam; and, when he etez, he mouez þe ouer chaft 6. [þe ouer jowe, C. For "chafte" see Cursor Mundi, l. 1073, "wit þe chafte ban of a ded has (sc. ass)."] and noȝt þe neder, and he has na tung. In þat cuntree þai sawe ilke ȝere a maner of sede, and it growez vp in smale bruschez; and of þaim þai gader boumbe 7. [cotoun, C.] in grete quantitee. Þare es also a maner of tree, þe whilk es so hard and so strang þat, if a man brynne it and couer þe coles þeroff with aschez, þai will hald in quikk a twelfmonth and mare. Þis tree hase wonder many leefes. 8. [as the gynypre hath, adds C.] And þer er sum treez þat will nowþer brynne ne rote. Þare er also hesils 9. [note trees, C.] þat berez nuttez as grete as a mannez heued. Þare er 10. [þare er … cuntreez, in C (cf. French text) forming part of the passage on cotton (boumbe) higher up.] treez þat berez cotoun; and so es þare in many oþer cuntreez. And þare er bestez whilk þai call orafles; and in Araby þai call þam gyrfauntz. And it es a faire beste, wele dappled, of þe height of a grete [folio 120] stede or hier; and his nekk es xx. cubites lang, and his crupoun and his taile er lyk to a hert. And he may wele ynogh stand on þe erthe and luke ouer a hie hous. In þat cuntree also er many cameliouns, 11. [camles, C.] þe whilk es a lytillPage 143 beste of þe mykilnes of a raa 1. [a goot þat is wylde, C.]; and it nowþer etez ne drinkez, bot gase all way with þe mouth open, for it liffez with þe aer. And it chaungez oft þe colour in all maner of colours, safe white and reed, for nowe it will be of a colour, and sodaynely of anoþer. Þere From C.; omitted in E. ben also in þat contree passynge grete serpentes, summe of vixx fote long, and þai ben of dyuerse coloures, as rayed, rede, grene and ȝalowe, blewe and blake, and all spekelede. [supplied by ed.] Þare er also nedderes with cambez on þaire heeds, as it ware a cokk; and þai er of foure fote 3. [a iiii. fadme (sc. fathom), C.] lang or mare, and gase on fete nerehand vprightes. And þai er comounly dwelland in rochez and cragges and hillez. And þai er euermare gapand, redy for to schote þaire venym. 4. [And þei han all wey the throte open, of whens þei droppen venym all weys, C.] And þer er also wilde swyne, als grete as oxen and dappeld and spotted, as it ware founez of daes. And From C., omitted in E. þere ben also vrchounes als grete as wylde swyn here; wee clepen hem Porcz de Spyne. [supplied by ed.] And þare er lyouns all whyte, grete and strang. And þare er also oþer maner of bestez, als grete as stedez 6. [als grete and more gretter þan is a destrere, C.]; and þai er called Louherans, and sum 7. [and sum … Toutes, not in French text or C.] callez þam Toutez, and sum Odenthos. Þai hafe blak heuedes and three hornes euen in þe frunt, als scharpe as any swerde; and þe bodys of þam er ȝalow. 8. [sclendre, C.] And þai er wonder cruell bestez, and þai chace and slaez þe olyfaunt. Þare es also oþer maner of bestez noyand and fell, of þe mykilnes of beres; and þaire heuedes er lyke bare 9. [sc. boar; han the hed lych a bore, C.] heueds. Þai hafe sex fete, and on ilk a fote er twa nailes, grete and lang and scharpe. And of body þai er lyke vnto beres, bot þaire [folio 120b] tailes er lyke lyoun tailes. Þare er also ratouns mare þan 10. [myse als grete as houndes, and ȝalowe myse als grete as ravenes, C.] hundes; and geessez all reed, oute taken þe heued and þe nekk, þe whilk er blakk, and þai er mykill mare þan oure geezse. Þare er also many oþer maner of bestez in þat cuntree and in cuntreez þare aboute, of whilke it ware to lang to tell all the kyndez and þe schappez.Page 144
[Of the godenesse of the folk of the yle of Bragman; of Kyng Alisandre; and wherfore the Emperour of Ynde is clept Prestre John.]
BEȜOND þis ile es anoþer ile gude and grete and full of folk; and þai er gude folk and trewe and of gude faith and gude lyf after þe maner of þaire conuersacioun. And if all it be swa þat þai er na Cristen men, noȝt forþi by lawe of kynde þai liffe a commendable lyf, and er folk of gude vertuz and fleez all vicez and synne and malice, and þai kepe wele þe ten commaundementz. For þai er nowþer proude, ne couetous, ne licherous, ne glotouns; and þai do noght to anoþer man bot as þai wald ware done to þaitn self. Þai sette noȝt by ricchesse of þis werld, ne by hafyng of erthely gudes. 1. [þei ȝif no charge of aveer ne of ricchesse, C.] Þai make na lesyngs, ne sweres nane athes for nathing, bot symply saise it es or it es noȝt; for þai say he þat sweres es aboute to begile his neghboure. Þis ile þat þis folk dwellez in es called þe ile of Bragmans; and sum men callez it þe Land of Fayth. And thurgh þis ile rynnez a grete riuer, þe whilk es called Thebe. And generally all þe men of þat ile and of oþer iles þarby er trewer and riȝtwiser þan er in oþer cuntreez. In þis ile er na thefez, ne men murthereres, ne commoun wymmen, ne lyers, ne beggers; bot þai er als clene men of conuersacioun and als gude as þai ware men of [folio 121] religioun. And, for als mykill as þai er so trew folk and so gude, þer es neuermare in þat cuntree nowþer thunner ne leuenyng, haile ne snawe, ne oþer tempestez of ill weders; ne hunger, ne pestilence, ne were, ne oþer tribulaciouns commez þare nane amanges þam, as duse amanges vs because of oure synne. And þerfore it semez þat Godd luffez þam wele and es wele payd of þaire liffyng and of þaire fayth. Þai trowe in Godd þat made all thing, and him þai wirschepe at all þaire myght; and all erthely thingez þai sette at noȝt. And þai liffe so temperately and so soberly in meet and drink þat þai er þe langest liffand folk of þe werld; and many of þaim diez for pure elde withouten sekeness, when þe kynde failez. 2. [whan nature fayleth hem for elde, C.]Page 145
Qwhen Alysaunder þe conquerour reyned and conquerde all þe werld, in þat tyme he come by þat ile and sent his lettres to þaim þat dwelled in þat ile and said þat he wald com and destruy þaire land, bot if þai wald be vnder his subieccioun, as oþir landes ware. And þai wrate lettres agayne till him in þis maner: "Qwhat thing myght suffice to þat man, to wham all þe werld may noȝt suffice? Þou schall fynd na thing with vs wharfore þou schuld werray apon vs; for we hafe na ricchesse of þis werld, ne nane couetez for to hafe. All þe placez of oure land and all oure gudes mobill and vnmobill er commoun till ilke man. All oure ricches þat we hafe es oure meet and oure drink, wharwith we sustene oure bodys; oure tresoure es peess and accorde and luffe þat es amanges vs. In steed of aray of oure bodys we vse a vile clathe 1. [a sely lityll clout, C.] for to couer with oure caytiff carayne. Oure [folio 121b] wyfez also er noȝt proudely ne richely arayd to plesing of oure eghen, for we hald awilk enournement grete foly to putte to þe wricched body mare bewtee þan Godd has kyndely giffen it; oure wyfez couetez na mare bewtee þan kynde has giffen þam. Oure land seruez vs of twa thinges, þat es to say of oure lyfelade, whilk we liffe with, and of sepulture, when we er deed. And ay to þis tyme hafe we bene in peess, of þe whilk þou will now dispoile vs and disherit vs. A kyng we hafe amanges vs, noȝt for to do right to any man, for amanges vs na man duse wrang till oþer bot all anely to lere vs to be obedient. Iuggez nedez vs nane to hafe amanges vs, for nane of vs duse till oþer bot as he wald ware done till him. Forþi fra vs may þou refe na thing bot peess, þe whilk hase ay vnto þis tyme bene amanges vs." And, when kynge Alysaunder had sene þir lettres and redd þam, him thoght in his hert þat it ware grete harme and grete vnmannhede to grefe swilk folk or truble þam; and he graunt þam suertee of peess, and bad þat þai schuld continue furth þaire gude maners and vse þaire gude custommes withouten drede hauyng of him, for he schuld noȝt dere þam.
Nere be syde þat ile es anoþer ile þat men callez Oxidrace, and anoþer þat es called Gynoscriphe, whare for þe maste party þai hald þe maneres of þe Bragmans, liffand innocently in lewtee and in luffe and charitee ilk ane till oper; and þai ga euermare naked. In to þir iles come Alysaunder þe conquerour; and, fra þe tyme þat [folio 122] he sawe þaire conuersacioun and þaire lewtee and luffe ilkane till oþer, he said he wald noght grefe þam, bot bad þam ask [supplied by ed.] of him what so þai wald, and he schuld graunt þam. And þai answerd and sayd þat werldly ricchesse wald þai nane asche ne hafe, bot all anely meet and drink wharwith þe feble body myght be susteynd. For þe gudez and þe ricches of þis werld, quod þai, er noȝt lastand bot dessayuable. Bot and he myght giffe þam thinges þat ware aylastand and noȝt dedly, 2. [but ȝif it were in his powere to make hem immortall, C.] þan wald þai thank him mykill. Þe kyng answerd þam and sayd þat þat myȝt he noȝt do, for he was dedly 3. [sc. mortal; mortell, C.] him self, als wele as þai. "Qwhare to þan," quod þai, "gadersPage 146 þou þe ricches of þis werld, þat er transitory and may noȝt last; bot, wheþer þou will or noȝt, þai schall leve 1. [leve, C., om. E.] þe or elles þou þaim, as it has befallen to þaim þat ware before þe. And oute of þis werld schall þou bere na thing with þe, bot naked as þou come hider sall þou passe heyne, and þi flesch sall turne agayne to erthe þat þou was made off. And þerfore schuld þou think þat na thing may last euermare, bot Godd þat made all þe werld. And ȝit, noȝt hafand reward 2. [sc. regard.] hereto, þou ert so presumptuous and so proude þat, riȝt as þou ware Godd, þou wald make all þe werld subiecte vnto þe, and þou knawez noȝt þe terme of þi lyf ne þe day ne þe houre." When Alisaundre had herd þir wordes and swilke oþer, he had grete wondre þeroff and was gretely compuncte and went fra þam and did þam na disese. And if all it be so þat þise maner of folk hafe noȝt þe articles of oure [folio 122b] beleue, neuerþeles I trowe þat for þaire gude fayth þat þai hafe of kynde 3. [for hire gude feyth naturell, C.] and þaire gude entent Godd luffez þam wele and haldez him wele payd of þaire liffing, as he did of Iob, þe whilke was a payen, and noȝt forþi his dedez ware acceptable to Godd as of his leel seruandes. And if all þare be many diuerse lawes and diuerse sectez in þe werld, neuer þe latter I trowe þat Godd euermare luffez wele all þase þat luffez him in sothefastness and seruez him mekely and trewly and settez noȝt by þe vayne glory of þe werld, as þis folke duse and as Iob did. And þerfore said oure Lord by þe prophete Ysai, 4. [Hosea viii. 12, but with "scribam."]"Ponam eis multiplices leges meas", þat es to say, "I schall putte to þaim my lawes manyfalde." 5. [And also in another place Qui totum, etc. (cf. French text), adds C.] And also in þe Gospell he saise, "Alias oues habeo, que non sunt ex hoc ouili", 6. [John x. 16.] þat es to say, "I hafe oþer schepe, whilk er noȝt of þis falde," as if he said, "Oþer seruandes I hafe þan er vnder Cristen lawe." And hereto accordes þe visioun þat was schewed to saynt Petre in þe citee of Iaffe, how ane aungell come fra heuen and broght with him all maner of bestez and neddres and fewles, and bad him take and eet; and sayne Petre answerd and said, "I ete neuer of vnclene bestez." And þe aungell said agayne to him, "Quod Deus mundauit, tu ne immundum dixeris", 7. [Acts x. 15.] þat es to say, "Call þou noȝt vnclene þat þat Godd hase clensed." Þis was done in takyn 8. [altered to "taknyng," with "sould noȝt" in the margin, before "despise."] þat men despise na men for þe diuersetee of þaire lawes. For we wate noȝt wham Godd [folio 123] luffez ne wham he hatez; and þerfore, 9. [And for þat ensample, whan men seyn De profundis, þei seyn it in comoun and in generall with þe Cristene, pro animabus, &c. (cf. French text), C.] when I pray for þe deed and sayse my De profundis, I say it for all Cristen saules and also for all þe saulez þat er to be prayd fore. And of þis folk I say þus mykill, þat I trowe þai er full acceptable to Godd, þai er so trew and so gude. And þare er many prophetez amanges þam and hase bene of alde tyme; for in þir iles was sum tyme þe incarnacioun of Criste prophecied, how he schuld be borne of a mayden, ȝa iiim ȝere and mare before þe tyme of his incarnacioun. And þai trowe wele þe incarnacioun of Criste; bot þai knawe noȝt þe maner of his passioun.Page 147
Beȝond þir iles es anoþer ile, þat es called Pytan, whare þe folk nowþer tillez ne sawez na land, ne nowþer etes ne drinkez. And neuerþeless þai er riȝt faire folk and wele coloured and wele schapen after þe stature þat þai er off; for þai er lytill, lyke dwerghs, sum what mare þan þe pigmens. Þis folk liffes with þe smell of wylde appels þat growez þare; and, if þai gang owere ferre fra hame, þai take with þam of þase appels, for alssone as þai forga þe smell of þam þai dye. Þis folk es noȝt full resonable, bot riȝt symple and as it ware bestez.
Þare nere es anoþer ile, whare þe folk er all full of feþers and rugh, 1. [ben all skynned rough heer, as a rough best, C.] oute taken þe visage and þe palmez of þe hend. Þise men gase als wele apon 2. [vnder, C.] þe water as apon þe land; and þai ete flesh and fisch rae. In þis ile es a grete riuere þe brede of twa myle; and it es called Wymare. 3. [a ii. myle and an half of brede, þat is clept Buemare, C.] Beȝond 4. [This sentence is translated literally in C.] þat riuer es a grete wilderness, as men talde me, for I sawe it noȝt ne come noȝt beȝond þe riuere. Bot men þat dwellez nere þe riuer talde vs þat in [folio 123b] þase desertes er þe treesse of þe Sonne and þe Mone, whilk spakk till kyng Alisaunder and talde him of his deed. 5. [sc. death; dethe, C.] And men saise þat folke þat kepez þa treesse etes of þe fruyte of þam and of þe baume þat growez þare and þai liffe iiiic ȝere or fyfe thurgh þe vertu of þat fruyt and of þat baume. For þare growez grete plentee of baume and nowere whare elles þat I couthe here off, oute taken in Egipte besyde Babiloyne, as I talde ȝowe before. My felawes and I wald fayne hafe gane þider; bot, as men talde vs, a hundreth thousand men of armes schuld vnnethez passe þat wilderness because of þe grete multitude of wilde bestez þat er in þat wilderness, as dragouns and diuerse maners of nedders and oþer rauyschand bestez, þat slaez and deuourez all þat þai may get. In þis forsaid ile er many olyfauntz all whyt and sum all blewe and of oþer colour withouten nowmer; þare er also many unicornes 6. [white olifantes withouten nombre and of vnycornes, C.] and lyouns and many oþer hidous bestez. Many oþer iles þer er in þe lordschepe of Prestre Iohn, and many meruailez and also mykill ricches and nobillay of tresour and precious stane and oþer iowailes, þe whllk ware ower lang to tell.
Now will I tell ȝow why þis emperour es called Prestre Iohn. Þare was sum time ane emperour in þat land whilk was a noble prince and a doȝty; and he had many knyghtez with him þat ware cristned, as he hase þat now es emperour þare. And on a tyme þis emperour thoght þat he wald see þe maner of þe seruice in Cristen [folio 124] kirkez. And þat tyme occupied Cristen men many cuntreez toward þase partiez, þat es to say, Turky, Surry, Tartary, Ierusalem, Palestyne, Araby, Halope and all Egipte. And so it fell þat þis emperour and a Cristen knyght with him come in to a kirke in Egipte apon a Seterday in Whisson woke, when þe bischope gaffe ordres.Page 148 And þe emperour beheld þe seruice and þe maner of þe makyng of prestez, how sollempnely and how bisily and deuotely þai ware ordaynd. And þan he asked þe knyght þat was with him what maner of folk þase ware þat ware so ordayned and what þai hight; and he said þat þai ware prestez. And þan þe emperour said he wald na mare be called kyng ne emperour bot preste, and also he wald hafe þe name of þe first preste þat come oute of þe kirke. So it fell þat þe first preste þat come first oute of þe kirke hight Iohn; and þarfore þat emperour and all oþer emperoures seyne hase bene called Prestre John, þat es als mykill at say as Preste Iohn. In þe land of Prestre Iohn er many gude Cristen men and wele liffand, and men of gude fayth and of gude lawe, and namely of men of þe same cuntree. And þai hafe prestez amanges þam þat singez þam messez; bot þai make þe sacrement of leuaynd breed, as þe Grekez dose. And also þai say noȝt þaire messez in all thingez as oure prestez duse; bot þai say all anely þe Pater Noster and þe wordes of þe consecracioun with whilk þe sacrement es made, as sayne Tbomas þe apostill taght þam in alde tyme. Bot of þe ordynauncez and addiciouns of þe courte of [folio 124b] Rome whilk oure prestez vsez can þai noȝt.
[Of the hilles of gold that pissemyres kepen; and of the iiii. flodes that comen from Paradys terrestre.]
TOWARD þe este fra þe land of Prestre Iohn es ane ile mykill and large and gude, þe whilk es called Taprobane. And in þat ile es a noble king and a riche, whilk es subiecte vnto Prestre Iohn. Þis kyng es chosen by eleccioun. In þis ile er twa someres and twa wyntres in a ȝere, and heruest also twys in þe ȝere. And all þe tymes of þe ȝere er þaire gardynes flurisched and þaire mydews grene. In þis ile es gude folk dwelland and resonable; and þer er many gude Cristen men amangez þam þat er so riche þat þai knawe nane end of þaire gudes. In alde tyme, when men went fra þe land of Prestre Iohn vnto þis forsaid ile, þai vsed swilk maner of schippez þat þaim behoued nedez be in sayling þider xx. dayes 1. [xxiii. dayes or more, C.]; bot in swilke maner of schippes as men vsez nowe men may saile it in seuen days. And as þai saile þai may oft tymez see þe ground of þe see in diuerse placez, for it es noȝt full depe.Page 149
Nere þis ile toward este er twa iles, of whilk þe tane es called Oriell and þe toþer Arget; in þir twa iles all þe erthe es full of myne of gold and siluer. And þai er anentz þe Reed See, whare it entrez in to þe grete see Occean. In þase iles may men see nerehand na sternes schynand, bot ane þat þai call Canapos; ne þe moone may noȝt be sene þere, bot in þe secund quartere. In þe forsaid ile of Taprobane er grete hilles of gold, þe whilk pissemyres kepez bisily and pures þe gold and disseuerez þe fyne gold fra þe vnfyne. And þase [folio 125] pissemyres er als grete as hundes er here, so þat na man dare com nere þese hilles for drede þat þase pissemyres schuld assaile þam; noȝt forþi men getez of þat gold by sleyghtez. For þe kynde of þe pissemyres es þat, when þe wedir es hate, þai will hyde þam in þe erthe fra vndrun of þe day til efter noone; and þan þe men of þat cuntree commez with camelles and dromedaries and horsese, and chargez þam with of þat gold, and gase away þerwith are þe mowres 1. [sc. mires; pissemyres, C.] com oute of þaire holes. Oþer tymes of þe ȝere, when þe wedir es noȝt hate ne mowres hydez þaim noȝt in þe erthe, þai vse anoþer wyle for to get þis gold with. For þai take meres þat hase ȝung fooles and lays apon ayther syde of þir meres a tome vessell 2. [voyde vesselles, C.] and þe mouth vpward trayland nere þe erthe and latez þam furth arely at morne to þaire pasture aboute þe hillez whare þe gold es and haldez þe foolez at hame. And þan þir pissemyres, when þai see þe toome vessellez, þai ga and fillez þam with gold; for it es þe kynde of þe pissemyre to lefe na thing void besyde þam, nowþer hole ne creuice ne nanoþer thing þat ne þai will fill it. And when men trowez þat þe meres er full charged with þe gold, þai late þe fooles furth, þe whilk nyez after þaire moderes, and þan þe meres herez þaire foolez nye and hiez þam fast to þam wele charged with gold. And on þis wyse þai get grete plentee of þis gold; for þe pissemyres will wele suffer all maner of bestez besyde þam bot man.[folio 127]
Beȝond þir ilez 3. [The following long passage about the island of Thule and a miracle of St. Thomas of Canterbury (Beȝond þir ilez … ferrest end of þe werld) is unique to E. Warner does not include it in the body of his text, printing it instead in his commentary (p. 220).] toward þe este es ȝit anoþer ile, þat es called Tile; and it es þe ferrest ile of þe werld inhabited with men. Of þis ile spekez the poete and saise, "Tibi seruiet vltima Tile", 4. [Virgil, Georg. i. 30.] "To þe," he saise, "sall serue Tile, þe ferrest ile of the werld." At þe ȝonder syde of þis ile toward þe est rynnez a grete water, beȝond þe whilk es noȝt bot waste land and wildernes. In þat wildernes es na thing dwelland bot dragouns and oþer wilde bestez, cruell and fell. Oute of þis ilke wildernes þare was sum tyme wont for to com ilke a ȝere owere þe grete water in to þis forsaid ile a grete multitude of cruell bestez, þe whilk did mykill harme are þai went agayne. Fore þai wald sum ȝere wiry im men and wymmen and sum tyme ma. And þir bestez ware schapen on þis wise. Behind þai ware schapen lyke horsez, and all þe forþermare party was lyke vnto lyouns. And þir bestez ware so cruell and so swift of fote þat þer myȝt na man flee fra þam, ne agaynstand þam. Bot þe commyng of þir bestez in to þis ile was restreyned by a myracle of sayn Thomas of Caunterbiry, so þat sen þat tyme hiderward þer come nane of þase bestez on þis syde þat water. And þis myracle will I tell ȝow after þat I hafe herd and sene writen in diuerse bukes. Þare was on a tyme a Cristen kyng of þat ile, as þer es ȝit. So it fell þat þis kyng was greeffe seke and was lyke as he schuld hafe died within þe thridd day. And it hapned þat þe ercebischepe of þe land was þare with þe kyng þat same tyme, and he enioyned all men þat þai schuld fast þa three days and pray deuotely vnto Godd þat he wald [grant] þam þat grace þat þaire kyng myght liffe and hafe his hele ay till his son and his ayre ware of elde, þe whilk þat tyme was bot a ȝung childe and noȝt hable ne sufficeaunt for to gouern þe rewme. Þai fasted and þai prayed, bot þe kyng mendid noȝt, bot his sekeness encressed ay mare and mare till all men wend he had bene euen at þe dying. And, as he lay in transing and nowþermyght speke ne fully vnderstand what oþer men said aboute him, sayn Thomas of Caunterbiry appered vntill him. And he held furth his hand to þe kyng as he was dyand and blissed him with þe takne of þe Crosse, and bad þat he schuld noȝt drede him. And þan alssone þe kyng began to gader his spiritz agayne and answerd to sayne Thomas, "Lord," quod he, "now þat I see þis glorious takne of lyf with whilk þou hase blissed me, I hafe na drede. Bot I beseke þe þat þou will tell me what þou ert, þat þus has comforthed me in my nede." "I was," quod he, "sum tyme arcebischope of þe citee of Caunterbiry in Bretayne þe mare, wham þe kyng of þat land ouercommen with wikked counsaile, gert wrangwisely do to deed. And now þou seez me here, in þe same fourme and þe same stature þat I was in þe werld liffand, for to bring þe hele and for þe mynde of me schuld be had in þi rewme to þe wirschippe and louyng of oure Saueour. And alsoþase cruell bestez þat ware wont ilke a ȝere for to comme owere þe riuer in to þi land and deuoured þi men schall neuer fra þis tyme forward comme on þis syde of þe water. And þat all þis þat I hete þe es soth, I giffe þe þis takne þat, what tyme þat þou gers make a kirk in þi rewme in mynde of me, alssone as þe first stane es layd in þe grund þeroff þou schal be all hale." And, when he had said þir wordez, he vanyscht away, and þe kyng reuertid oute of tanssing and talde þam all his vision; and þai ware wonder ioyfull and fayne. And þanne þe king commaundid þam þat in all þe haste þai myght þai schuld gegynne to bigg a kirk in þe wirschepe of sayne Thomas. And arely on þe morue þai hyred mazsouns and beganne to bigg þis kirk. And, alssone as þe ercebischope had layd þe first stane, þe kyng rase oute of his bedd als hale as euer he was and went and helped þam for to wirk with his awen handes. And afterward he sent vnto Caunterbiry of þe grettest lordes of his rewme with riche giftes and noble of gold and precious stanes to wirschepe with and enourne þe schryne of þis haly martir. And þase lordes talde þat þai ware twa ȝere and mare are þai myght wynne til Caunterbiry fra þaire awen cuntree, what for þe lang way and what for þe empediment þat þai had by cause of waters and wikked wedirs. Here may ȝe see how glorious þis martir es in heuen, whas vertuz Godd wald publisch and schew in þe ferrest end of þe werld.
Beȝond þir ilez þat I hafe talde ȝow off and þe desertez of þe lordschepe of Prestre Iohn, to ga euen est, es na land inhabited, as I said before, bot wastez and wildernessez and grete rochez and mountaynes and a myrk land, whare na man may see, nyght ne day, as men of þas cuntreez talde vs. 5. [as þei of the contree seyn, C.] And þat mirk land and þase desertez laste riȝt to Paradyse terrestre, whare in Adam and Eue ware putte; bot þai ware þare bot a lytill while. And þat place es toward þe este at þe þe begynnyng of þe erthe. Bot þat es noȝt oure este, whare þe sonne risez till vs; for, when þe sonne risez in þase cuntreez, þan es it midnyght in oure cuntree, because of þePage 150 roundness of þe erthe. For, as I said before, Godd made þe erthe all rounde in myddez of þe firmament. Bot þe hillez and þe valays þat er now on þe erthe er noȝt bot of Noe flude, thurgh þe whilk þe tendre erthe was remowed fra his place and þare become a valay, and þe hard erthe habade still and þare er now hilles.
Off Paradys can I noȝt speke properly, for I hafe noȝt bene þare; and þat forthinkez me. 1. [It is fer beȝonde; and þat forthinketh (sc. repenteth) me; and also I was not worthi, C.] Bot als mykill as I hafe herd of wyse men and men of credence of þase cuntreez, I will tell ȝow. Paradys terrestre, as men saise, es þe hiest land of þe werld; and it es so hye þat it touchez nere to þe cercle of þe moone. For it es so hye þat Noe flode myght noȝt com þerto whilk flude couerd all þe erthe bot it. Paradys es closed all aboute [folio 127b] with a wall; bot whare off þe wall es made, can na man tell. It es all mosse begrowen and couerd so with mossse and with bruschez þat men may see na stane, ne noȝt elles wharoff a wall schuld be made. Þe walle of Paradys strechez fra þe south toward þe north; and þer es nane entree open in to it, because of fire euermare brynnand, þe whilk es called þe flawmand swerde þat Godd ordaynd þare before þe entree, for na man schuld entre.
In þe middes of Paradys es a well oute of þe whilke þer commez foure flodez, þat rynnez thurgh diuerse landez. Þir flodez sinkez doune in to þe erthe within Paradyse and rynnez so vnder þe erthe many a myle, and afterwardes comme þai vp agayne oute of þe erthe in ferre cuntreez. Þe first of þir flodez es called Physon or Ganges, springez 2. [springez … Orcobares, with more of this description of the four rivers, not in French text or C.] vp in Inde vnder þe hilles of Orcobares, and rynnez esteward thurgh Inde 3. [Ynde or Emlak, C.] in to þe grete see Occeane. In þat riuer er many precious stanes and grete plentee of þe tree þat es called lignum aloes, and mykill grauell of gold. Þis riuer es called Phison by cause many waters gaders sammen and fallez intill it, for Phison es als mykill at say as Gadering. 4. [Assemblee, C.] It es also called Ganges for a kyng þat was in Inde, þe whilke men called Gangaras; and for it rynnez thurgh his land it was called Ganges. Þis riuer es in sum place clere, in sum place trubly, in sum place hate, in sum place calde. Þe secund riuer es called Nilus or Gyon; and it risez vp [folio 128] oute of þe erthe a lytill fra þe mount Atlant. And noȝt ferr þeine it sinkez doune agayne in to þe erthe and rynnez so vnder þe erthe till it comme at þe Reed See bank, and þare it risez vp agayne oute of þe erthe and rynnes all aboute Ethiopy, and so thurgh Egipt ay till it com at Grete Alexandre, and þare it rynnez in to see Mediterrany. Þis riuer es euermare trublee and þerfore es it called Gyon; for Gyon es als mykill at say as Trublee. Þe thridd riuer es called Tigris, þat es to say Fast Rynnand; for it es ane of þe swythest rynnandPage 151 waters of þe werld. And it es called Tigris after a beste þat has þe same name, and it es þe swiftest beste of fote of þe werld. Þis riuer begynnez in Ermony þe grete vnder þe mounte of Parchoatra and rinnez so thurgh Ermony and Asy toward þe south, and so turnez in to þe see Mediterrany. Þe ferthe riuer es called Eufrates, þat es als mykill at say as Wele Berand; for þare growez many gude thingez apon þat riuer. Þat riuer rynnez thurgh Medy, Ermony and Perse. And men saise þare þat all þe fresch waters of þe werld takez þaire begynnyng of þe forsaid well þat springez vp in Paradys.
And ȝe schall wele vnderstand þat na man liffand may ga to Paradys. For by land may na man ga þider by cause of wilde bestez þat er in þe wilderness and for hillez and roches, whilk na man may passe, and also for mirk placez, of whilk þer er many þare. By water also may na man passe þider, for 1. [for the water renneth so rudely and so scharpely, because þat it cometh doun so outrageously from the high places abouen, þat it renneth in so grete wawes þat no schipp may not rowe ne seyle aȝenes it. And the water roreth so, and maketh so huge noyse and so gret tempest, þat no man may here oþer in the schippe, þough he cryede with all the craft þat he cowde in the hieste voys þat he myghte, C.] þas riuers commez with so grete a course and so grete a birre and wawes þat na schippe may ga ne saile agayne þam. Þare es also so grete [folio 128b] noyse of waters þat a man may noȝt here anoþer, crie he neuer so hie. Many grete lordes has usayd diuerse tymes to passe by þase riuers to Paradys, bot þai myght noȝt spede of þaire iournee; for sum of þam died for weryness of rowyng and ower trauaillyng, sum wex blind and sum deeff for þe noise of þe waters, and sum ware drouned by violence of þe wawes of þe waters. And so þer may na man, as I said before, wynne þider, bot thurgh speciall grace of Godd. And þerfore of þat place can I tell ȝowe na mare; bot I will turne agayne and tell ȝow of thingez þat I hafe sene in iles and landes of þe lordschepe of Prestre Iohn, þe whilk as vntill vs er vnder þe erthe.Page 152
[Of the customs of kynges and othere that dwellen in the yles costynge to Prestre Johnes lond; and of the worschipe that the sone doth to the fader, whan he is dede.]
OTHER iles þare er, wha so wald pursue þam, by þe whilk men myght ga all aboute þe erthe, wha so had grace of Godd to hald þe riȝt way, and com riȝt to þe same cuntreez þat þai ware off and come fra, and so ga all aboute þe erthe, as I hafe sayd before, by processe of tyme. Bot for it schuld be a lang tyme are þat vaiage ware made, and also so many perils of tymez fallez to men þat passez thurgh straunge cuntreez bathe by water and by land, and semely ware to fall to men þat wald make þat vayage, þerfore few men assays þat passage; and neuerþeles ȝit myght it be done wele ynogh thurgh Goddes grace. Bot men lefes þat passage and turnez agayne fra þir forsaid iles by oþer iles costayand þe land of Prestre Iohn and iles þat er of his lordschepe. And [folio 129] in commyng so, þai comme till ane ile þat men callez Casson; and þat ile es nere lx. day iournez lang and mare þan l. on brede. And it es þe best ile in þase parties, safe Cathay; and, if marchandes come þider als comounly as þai do to Cathay, it schuld be better þan Cathay. For citeez and gude tounes er þare so thikk þat, when a man gase oute of a citee, he seez alssone anoþer citee or a gude toune before him on what syde so he turne him. Þis ile es full and plentifous of all maner of spicery and of all maner of oþer gudez, and namely þat partenez to mannez lyflade; and þare er many grete woddez full of chestaynes. 1. [sc. chestnuts; chesteynes, C.] Þe king of þis ile es full riche and myghty, and he haldez his land of þe Grete Caan of Cathay; for þat es ane of þe xii. prouineez þat þe Grete Caan has vnder him withouten his awen land and oþer smale iles, as I talde ȝow before. Fra þis ile men commez til anoþer ile þat men callez Ryboth or Gyboth; and þat es also vnder þe Grete Caan. Þis es a gude land and a plentifous of corne, of wyne, and of many oþer thingez. Men of þis land hase na housez to dwell in, bot þai dwell all in tentez made of blakk filtre. 2. [sc. felt; blak ferne, C.] Þe principall citee of þat land es walled aboute with blakk stanes and whyte; and all þe stretez er paued with swilk maner of stanes. And in þat citee es na man so hardy to schedd blude, nowþer of man ne of beste, for lufe of a mawmet þat es wirschipped þare. In þis citee dwellez þe papePage 153 [folio 129b] of þaire lawe, wham þai call Lobassi. And he giffez all þe digniteez and beneficez þat fallez to þaire mawmetes; and all þe prestez and ministres of ydoles er obedient to him as oure prestez er till oure pape.
In þis ile þai hafe a custom thurgh oute all þe land þat, when any mannez fader es deed and his son will do him wirschepe, he sendez after all his kynredyn and his gude frendez, prestez of þaire lawe, minstralles and many oþer; and þai bere þe body to a hill with grete sollempnytee and grete myrth. And, when it es þare, þe grettest prelate smytet off þe deed mannez heued and lays it apon a grete plater of siluer, or of gold if he be a riche man, and giffez it to his son. And þan all his frendez singez and saise many orisouns, and þan þe prestez and religious men of þaire lawe hewez þe body all in smale pecez and saise many orisouns. And fewles of þe cuntree, þat knawez þe custom commez þider and houers abouue þam, as vowltures, egles, rauyns, and oþer fewlez of rauyne; and þe prestez castez þis flesch to þam, and þai bere it a lytill þeine and etez it. And þan, riȝt as prestez in oure cuntree syngez for saulez Subuenite, sancti Dei, so þase prestez þare singez with a hie voice on þaire langage on þis wyse "Takez tent now and seez how gude a man þis was, wham þe aungelles of Godd commez to fecche and bere in to Paradys." And þan thinkes þe sonne and and his frendez þat his fader es gretely wirschipped, when fewles hase þus eten him. And ay þe ma fewles þar commez, þe mare ioy hase all his frendez, and þe mare think þam þe deed man es wirschipt. And þan wendez þe sonne hame and takez with [folio 130] him all his frendez aad makez þam a grete feste; and ilke ane of þam tellez till oþer in þaire myrth how þare come x. fewles, þare xvi., þare xx., riȝt as it ware to þam grete cause of myrth. And þe sonne gers sethe his fader heued, and þe flesch þeroff he partez amang his speciale frendez, ilke man a lytill, for a dayntee. 1. [in stede of entremesse, or a sukkarke, C.] And of þe scalpe 2. [brayn panne, C.] of þe heued he gers make him a coppe, and þeroff he drinkez all his lyf tyme in remembraunce of his fader.
Fra þis land for to comme hiderward thurgh þe land of þi Grete Caan x. day iournez es ane oþer gude ile, whare off þare es a riche king and a myghty. And in þat ile þare es a lord amanges oþer þat es wounder riche; and ȝit he es nowþer prince, ne duke, ne erle. Neuerþeles þare haldez many a man þaire landes of him, and he es a lorde of grete ricchess. For he has ilke a ȝere broght till him cccm hors lade of corne and als many of ryess. And þis lorde ledez a meruailous lif. For he has fyfty damyselles þat seruez him ilk a day at his mete and hisPage 154 bedd, and dose what he will. And, when he sittez at þe mete, þai bring him mete and euermare fyfe meessez togyder: and in þe bringyng þai sing a faire sang. And þai schere his mete before him and puttez it in his mouth, as he ware a childe; for he scherez nane ne touchez nane with his handez, bot haldez þam before him on þe table. For he has so lang nayles on his fyngers þat he may hald na thing with þam. And þat es a grete noblay in þat cuntree and a grete wirschepe to hafe so lang nayles. And þerfore þai late þaire nayles growe [folio 130b] als lang as þai may and cuttez þam noȝt. And sum latez þam growe so lang to þai growe all aboute þaire hend; and þat think þaim es a grete noblay and a grete gentry. And þe gentry of wymmen þare es to hafe smale fete; and þerfore alssone as þai er borne, þai bynd þaire fete so straite þat þai may noȝt waxe so grete as þai schuld. Þir forsaid damyselles, als lang as þaire lorde es sittand at þe mete, er nerehand all way singand; and, when he has eten ynogh of þe first course, þai bring before him oþer fyfe meessez, syngand as þai didd before. And þus þai do ay, till þe end of þe mete. And on þis wise ledez þis lorde his lyfe by alde custom of his auncestres, þe whilk custum on þe same wyse his successoures will vse. And þus þai make þaire godd of þaire wambe, so þat na worthyness ne doghtyness þai vse, bot all anely liffez in lust and lyking of þe flesch, as a swyne fedd in stye. Þis riche man also hase a full faire palays and riche, whare he dwellez, of whilke þe walle es twa myle vmgang. And þerin er many faire gardynes; and all þe pament of hallez and chaumbres er of gold and siluer. And in myddes of ane of þe gardynez es a lytill hill, whare apon es a lytil palace made with toures and pynnacles 1. [is a lytill mountayne, where þere is a lityll medewe, and in þat medewe is a lityll toothill, with toures and pynacles, C.] all of gold; and þare in will he sitt oft for to disporte him and take þe aer, for it es made for noȝt elles.
Fra þis land men commez thurgh þe land of þe Grete Caan, of þe whilk I talde ȝow before and þerfore it [folio 131] nedez noȝt to reherce it here agayne. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat in all þir landes, rewmes and naciouns, outaken þase þat er inhabited with vnresonable men, es na folk þat ne þai hald sum articlez of oure beleue. If all þai be of diuerse lawes and diuerse trowyngs, þai hafe sum gude poyntes of oure trowth. And generally þai trowe in Godd þat made þe werld, and him call þai Godd of Kynde 2. [God of Nature, C.]; and þus es þe prophecy verified þat saise, "Et metuent eum omnes fines terre", 3. [Ps. lxvi. 8.] þat es to say, "And all þe endes of þe erthe schall drede him." And in anoþer place "Omnes gentes seruient ei", 4. [Ps. lxxi. 11.] þat es to say, "All folk schall serue him." Bot þai can noȝt properly speke of Godd, and namely of þe Trinytee, by cause þai hafe na teching. Þai can noȝt of þe Sonne, ne of þePage 155 Haly Gaste; bot þai can speke wele of þe Bible and specially of þe buke of Genesis and oþer bukes of Moises, and sum tyme of þe xii. Prophetez sayinges. And þai say þat þase creatures þat þai wirschippe er na goddes, bot þai wirschippe þam for þe grete vertuz þat er in þam, whilk þai say may noȝt be withouten speciall grace of Godd. And of ydoles and simulacres þai say þat þer es na folk þat þai ne hafe simulacres; and þat say þai principally for þai see Cristen men hafe crucifixez and ymages of oure Lady and of oþer sayntes and do wirschepe to þam. Bot þai wate noȝt þat we wirschepe noȝt þase ymagez of stane or of tree for þam self, bot in remembraunce of þe sayntz for whaim þai er made; for, riȝt as letterure and bukez techez clerkes, so ymagez and payntures [folio 131b] techez lawd men to wirschepe þe sayntes for whaim þai er made. Þai say also þat aungelles spekez to þam in þaire mawmetes and dose miracles. And þai say sothe, for þai hafe ane aungell within þam; bot þar er twa maner of aungelles, þat es at say ane gude, anoþer ill, as men of Grece saise, Chaco and Calo. Chaco es þe ill aungell and Calo es þe gude. Bot þat es na gude aungell þat es in þe mawmetz, bot ane ill, þat es to say a fende þat answeres þam and tellez þam many thinges, for to dessayfe þam with and for to mayntene þam in þaire mawmetry and þaire errour.
Þare 1. [These concluding paragraphs are more literally rendered in C than here. See [commentary].] er many oþer cuntrcez and oþer meruailes whilk I hafe noȝt sene, and þerfore I can noȝt speke properly of þam; and also in cuntreez whare I hafe bene er many meruailes of whilk I speke noȝt, for it ware owere lang to tell. And also I will tell na mare of meruailes þat er þare, so þat oþer men þat wendez þider may fynd many new thingez to speke off, whilk I hafe noȝt spoken off. For many men hase grete lykyng and desyre for to here new thinges; and þerfore will I now ceesse of tellyng of diuerse thingez þat I sawe in þase cuntreez, so þat þase þat couetez to visit þase cuntrez may fynd new thinges ynewe to tell off for solace and recreacioun of þaim þat lykez to here þam.
And I, IOHN MAWNDEUILL, knyght, þat went oute of my cuntree and passed þe see þe ȝere of oure Lord Ihesu Criste mlcccxxxii, and hase passed thurgh many landes, cuntreez and iles, and hase bene at many [folio 132] wirschipfull iourneez and dedez of armez with worthy men, if all I be vnworþi, and now am commen to rest, as man discomfitt for age and trauaile and febilness of body þat constraynez me þarto, and for oþer certayne causez, I hafe compiled þis buke and writen it, as it coome to my mynde, in þe ȝere of oure Lord Ihesu Criste mlccclxvi, þat es for to say in þe foure and thrittyde ȝere efter þat I departed oute of þis land and tuke my way þiderward.Page 156
And for als mykill as many men trowez noȝt bot þat at þai see with þaire eghen, or þat þai may consayue with þaire awen kyndely wittes, þerfore I made my way in my commyng hamward vnto Rome to schew my buke till oure haly fader þe Pape. 1. [Pape, erased and rewritten, MS.; and so below, l. 8.] And I tald him þe meruailes whilk I had sene in diuerse cuntreez, so þat he with his wyse counsaile wald examyne it with diuerse folke þat er in Rome, for þare er euermare dwelland men of all naciouns ofþi werld. And a lytill after [supplied by ed.] , 2. [This word and portions of a few others at the edge of the leaf have been cut away.] when he and his wyse counsaile had examynde it all thurgh, he said to me for certayne þat all was soth þat was þerin. For he [supplied by ed.] said þat he had a buke of Latyn þat conteyned [supplied by ed.] all þat and mykill mare, after whilk buke the Mappa [supplied by ed.] Mundi es made; and þat buke he schewed me. And [supplied by ed.] þerfore oure haly fader þe Pape hase ratified and [supplied by ed.] confermed my buke in all poyntes.
Qwherfore [supplied by ed.] I pray til all þase þat redez þis Buke or heres it redd, þat þai will pray for me, and I schall [folio 132b] pray [supplied by ed.] for þaim. And all þase þat saise for me deuotely a Pater Noster and ane Aue, þat Godd forgife me my synnez, he graunt þam parte of all my pilgrimage and all oþer gude dedis þat I hafe done or may do in tyme commyng vnto my lyfez end. And I, in þat in me es, makez þam parceneres of þam, prayand to Godd, of wham all grace commez, þat he fulfill with his grace all þase þat þis buke redez or heres, and saue þam and kepe þam in body and saule, and after þis lyf bring þam to þe cuntree whare ioy es and endles rest and peesse with outen end. Amen.