Mandeville's travels : the Cotton version
Mandeville, John, Sir., British Library. Manuscript. Cotton Titus C.16.
Hamelius, Paul, 1868-1922.

Mandeville's Travels.


[folio 2a] FOR als moche as the lond beȝonde the see þat is to seye the holy lond þat men callen the lond of promyssioun or of beheste passynge aƚƚ oþere londes it is the most worthi lond most excellent and lady & soucreyn of aƚƚ oþere londes & is blessed & halewed of the precyous body & blood of oure lord jhssu crist; jn the whiche land it lykede him to take flesch & blood of the virgyne Marie to envyrone þat holy lond with his blessede feet; And þere he wolde of his blessedness enoumbre him in the seyd blessed & gloriouse virgine Marie & become man & worche many myracles and preche and teche the feyth & the lawe of crystene men vnto his children. And þere it. lykede him to suffre many repreuynges and scornes for vs And he þat was kyng of heuene of eyr of erthe of see & of aƚƚ thinges þat ben contayned in hem wolde aƚƚ only be cleped kyng of þat lond whan he seyde: "REX SUM IUDEORUM": þat is to seyne: I am kyng of Jewes. And þat lond he chees before aƚƚ oþer londes as the beste & most worthi lond & the most vertuouse lond of aƚƚ the world. For it is the herte and the myddes of all the world, Wytnessynge the philosophere þat seyth thus: "VIRTUS RERUM IN MEDIO CONSISTIT" that is to seye: the vertue of thinges is in the myddes. And in þat lond he wolde lede his lyf & suffre passioun & deth of jewes for vs for to bye & to delyuere vs from peynes of helle And from deth withouten ende, the whiche was ordeynd for vs for [folio 2b] the synne of oure formere fader Adam & for oure owne synnes also. For as for himself he hadde non euyƚƚ deserued for he thoughte neuere euyƚƚ ne did euyƚƚ.Page  1:2 And he þat was kyng of glorie & of ioye myghte best in that place suffre deth because he ches in þat lond rathere þan in ony othere þere to suffre his passioun & his deth. For he þat wil pupplische ony thing to make it openly knowen he wil make it to ben cryed & pronounced in the myddel place of a town so þat the thing þat is proclamed & pronounced may euenly strecche to aƚƚ parties. Right so he þat was formyour of aƚƚ the world wolde suffre for vs at ierusalem þat is the myddes of the world to þat ende & entent þat his passioun & his deth þat was pupplischt þere myghte ben knowen euenly to aƚƚ the parties of the world. See now how dere he boughte man þat he made after his owne ymage & how dere he aȝenboght vs for the grete loue þat he hadde to vs & we neuere deserued it to him. For more precyous cateƚƚ ne gretter raunsoun ne myghte he put for vs þan his blessede body his precious blood & his holy lyf þat he thralled for vs & aƚƚ he offred for vs þat neuere did synne. Dere god, what loue hadde he to vs his subiettes whan he þat neuere trespaced wolde for trespassours suffre deth! Right wel aughte vs for to loue & worscipe to drede & serue such a lord and to worschipe & preyse such an holy lond þat brought forth such fruyt þorgh the whiche euery man is saued but it be his owne defaute. Wel may þat lond be called [folio 3a] delytable & a fructuouse lond þat was bebledd & moysted with the precyouse blode of oure lord jhesu crist, the whiche is the same lond þat oure lord behighte vs in heritage. And in þat lond he wolde dye as seised for to leve it to vs his children. Wherfore euery gode cristene man þat is of powere & hath whereof scholde peynen him with aƚƚ his strengthe for to conquere oure right heritage & chacen out aƚƚ the mysbeleeuynge men. For wee ben clept cristene men after crist oure fader And ȝif wee be right children of crist we oughte for to chalenge the heritage þat oure fader lafte vs & do it out of hethene mennes hondes. But now pryde couetyse & envye han so enflawmed the hertes of lordes of the world þat þei arePage  1:3 more besy for to disherite here neyghbores more þan for to chalenge or to conquere here right heritage before seyd. And the comōūn peple þat wolde putte here bodyes & here cateƚƚ for to conquere oure heritage þei may not don it withouten the lordes. For a semblee of peple withouten a cheuenteyn or a chief lord is as a flok of scheep withouten a schepperde the which departeth & desparpleth & wyten neuer whider to go. But wolde god þat the temporel lordes & aƚƚ worldly lordes were at gode acord & with the comoun peple wolden taken this holy viage ouer the see þanne I trowe wel þat within a lityl tyme oure right heritage before seyd scholde be reconsyled & put in the hondes of the right heires of jhesu crist. And for als moche as it is longe tyme passed þat þer was no generaƚƚ passage no vyage ouer the see & many men desiren for to here [folio 3b] speke of the holy lond & han þere of gret solace & comforte, I Joℏn Maundevylle knyght aƚƚ be it I be not worthi þat was born in Englond, in the town of seynt Albones & passed the see in the ȝeer of oure lord jhesu crist .Miƚƚ ccc & xxij. in the day of seynt Micheƚƚ & hiderto haue ben longe tyme ouer the see & haue seyn & gon þorgh manye dyuerse londes & many prouynces & kyngdomes & jles And haue passed þorghout Turkye Ermonye the lityƚƚ & the grete þorgh Tartarye Percye Surrye Arabye Egypt the high & the lowe thorgℏ lybye Caldee & a gret partie of Ethiope þorgh Amazoyne Inde the lasse & the more a gret partie & thorgh out many othere jles þat ben abouten Inde where dwellen many dyuerse folk & of dyuerse maneres & lawes and of dyuerse schappes of men Of whiche londes & jles I schaƚƚ speke more pleynly here after And I schaƚƚ devise ȝou sum partie of thinges þat þere ben whan tyme schaƚƚ ben after it may best come to my mynde. And specyally for hem þat wiƚƚ & are in purpos for to visite the holy citee of Ierusalem & the holy places þat are þereaboute. And I schaƚƚ teƚƚ the weye þat þei schuƚƚ holden thider For I haue often tymes passed & ryden þat way with gode companye of many lordes, god be thonked.Page  1:4 And ȝee schuƚƚ vndirstonde þat I haue put this boke out of latyn in to frenscℏ & translated it aȝen out of frenscℏ in to Englysscℏ þat euery man of my nacioun may vnderstonde it. But lordes & knygℏtes & othere noble & worthi men þat conne not latyn but lityƚƚ & han ben beȝonde the see knowen & vnderstonden ȝif I seye trouthe or non. And ȝif I [folio 4a] err in deuisynge for forȝetynge or eƚƚ þat þei mowe redresse it & amende it. For thinges passed out of longe tyme from a mannes mynde or from his syght turnen sone in to forȝetynge because þat mynde of man ne may not ben comprehended ne witℏ ℏolden for the freeltee of mankynde.