The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries
Richard Hakluyt

Part 4 out of 6

Jacob passed over, whan he cam fro Mesopotayme. This Flom Jordan is no
great ryvere; but it is plenteous of gode fissche; and it cometh out of the
hille of Lyban be 2 welles, that ben cleped Jor and Dan: and of tho 2
Welles hath it the name. And it passethe be a lake, that is clept Maron;
and aftre it passethe by the See of Tyberye, and passethe undre the hilles
of Gelboe: and there is a full faire vale, bothe on that o syde and on that
other of the same ryvere. And men gon the hilles of Lyban, alle in lengthe,
onto the desert of Pharan. And tho hilles departen the kyngdom of Surrye
and the contree of Phenesie. And upon tho hilles growen trees of cedre,
that ben fulle hye, and thei beren longe apples, and als grete as a mannes
heved. And also this Flom Jordan departeth the lond of Galilee, and the
lond of Ydumye and the lond of Betron: and that rennethe undre erthe a
grete weye, unto a fayre playn and a gret, that is clept Meldan, in
Sarmoyz; that is to seye, feyre or markett in here langage; be cause that
there is often feyres in that pleyn. And there becomethe the watre gret and
large. And that playn is the tombe of Job. And in that Flom Jordan
above-seyd, was oure Lorde baptized of seynt John; and the voys of God the
Fadre was herd seyenge. _Hic est Filius meus dilectus, &c._; that is to
seye, _This is my beloved sone, in the whiche I am well plesed; herethe
hym_. And the Holy Gost alyghte upon hym, in lyknesse of a colver: and so
at his baptizynge, was alle the hool trynytee. And thorghe that Flom
passeden the children of Israel, alle drye feet: and thei putten stones
there in the myddel place, in tokene of the myracle, that the watre
withdrowghe him so. Also in that Flom Jordan, Naaman of Syrie bathed him;
that was fulle riche, but he was meselle: [Footnote: Leprous.] and there
anon he toke his hele. Abouten the Flom Jordan ben manye chirches, where
that manye cristene men dwelleden. And nyghe therto is the cytee of Hay,
that Josue assayled and toke. Also beyonde the Flom Jordan, is the Vale of
Mambre; and that is a fulle fair vale. Also upon the hille, that I spak of
before, where oure Lord fasted 40 dayes, a 2 myle long from Galilee, is a
faire hille and an highe; where the enemye, the fend, bare oure Lord, the
thridde tyme, to tempte him, and schewede him alle the regiouns of the
world, and seyde, _Hic omnia tibi dabo, si cadens adoraveris me_; that is
to seyne, _All this schalle I zeve the, zif thou falle and worschipe me_.

Also fro the dede See, to gon estward out of the marches of the Holy Lond,
that is clept the Lond of Promyssioun, is a strong castelle and a fair, in
an hille, that is clept Carak, en Sarmoyz; that is to seyne, Ryally. That
castle let make kyng Baldwyn, (that was Kyng of France) whan he had
conquered that lond; and putte it in to cristene mennes hondes, for to kepe
that contree. And for that cause, was it clept the Mownt rialle. And undre
it there is a town, that hight Sobachie: and there alle abowte dwellen
cristene men, undre trybute. Fro thens gon men to Nazarethe, of the whiche
oure Lord berethe the surname. And fro thens, there is 3 journeyes to
Jerusalem: and men gon be the provynce of Galylee, be Ramatha, be Sothym
and be the highe hille of Effraim; where Elchana and Anna, the modre of
Samuelle the prophete, dwelleden. There was born this prophete: and aftre
his dethe, he was buryed at Mount Joye, as I have seyd you before. And than
gon men to Sylo; where the arke of God with the relikes weren kept longe
tyme, undre Ely the prophete. There made the peple of Ebron sacrifice to
oure Lord: and ther thei yolden up here avowes: and there spak God first to
Samuelle, and schewed him the mutacioun of ordre of presthode, and the
misterie of the sacrement. And right nyghe, on the left syde, is Gabaon and
Rama and Beniamyn; of the whiche holy writt spekethe offe. And aftre men
gon to Sychem, sumtyme clept Sychar; and that is in the provynce of
Samaritanes; and there is a fulle fair vale and a fructuouse, and there is
a fair cytee and a gode, that men clepen Neople. And from thens is a
jorneye to Jerusalem. And there is the welle, where oure Lord spak to the
woman of Samaritan. And there was wont to ben a chirche; but it is beten
doun. Besyde that welle, Kyng Roboas let make 2 calveren of gold, and made
hem to ben worschipt, and put that on at Dan, and that other at Betelle.
And a myle fro Sychar, is the cytee of Deluze. And in that cytee dwelte
Abraham, a certeyn tyme. Sychem is a 10 myle fro Jerusalem, and it is clept
Neople; that is, for to seyne, the newe cytee. And nyghe besyde is the
tombe of Josephe the sone of Jacob, that governed Egypt: for the Jewes
baren his bones from Egypt, and buryed hem there. And thidre gon the Jewes
oftentyme in pilgrimage, with gret devocioun. In that cytee was Dyne
Jacobes doughter ravysscht; for whom hire bretheren slowen many persones,
and diden many harmes to the cytee. And there besyde, is the hille of
Garasoun, where the Samaritanes maken here sacrifice: in that hille wolde
Abraham have sacrificed his sone Ysaac. And there besyde is the vale of
Dotaym: and there is the cisterne, where Josephe was cast in of his
bretheren, which thei solden; and that is a 2 myle fro Sychar. From thens
gon men to Samarye, that men clepen now Sebast; and that is the chief cytee
of that contree: and it sytt betwene the hille of Aygnes, as Jerusalem
dothe. In that cytee was the syttinges of the 12 tribes of Israel: but the
cytee is not now so gret, as it was wont to be. There was buryed seynt John
the Baptist, betwene 2 prophetes, Helyseus and Abdyan: but he was beheded
in the castelle of Macharyme, besyde the Dede See: and aftre he was
translated of his disciples, and buryed at Samarie: and there let Julianas
Apostata dyggen him up, and let brennen his bones; (for he was that time
Emperour) and let wyndwe [Footnote: Blow away.] the ashes in the wynd. But
the fynger, that schewed oure Lord, seyenge, _Ecce Agnus Dei_; that is to
seyne, _Lo the Lamb of God_: that nolde nevere brenne, but is alle hol:
that fynger leet seynte Tecle the holy virgyne be born in to the hill of
Sebast; and there maken men gret feste. In that place was wont to ben a
faire chirche; and many othere there weren; but thei ben alle beten doun.
There was wont to ben the heed of seynt John Baptist, enclosed in the
walle; but the Emperour Theodosie let drawe it out, and fond it wrapped in
a litille clothe, alle blody; and so he leet it to be born to
Costantynoble: and zit at Costantynoble is the hyndre partye of the heed:
and the for partie of the heed, til undre the chyn, is at Rome, undre the
chirche of seynt Silvestre, where ben nonnes of an hundred ordres; and it
is zit alle broylly, as thoughe it were half brent: for the Emperour
Julianus aboyeseyd, of his cursednesse and malice, let brennen that partie
with the other bones; and zit it schewethe: and this thing hathe ben
preved, both be popes and by emperours. And the Jowes benethe, that holden
to the Chyn, and a partie of the assches, and the platere, that the hed was
leyd in, whan it was smyten of, is at Gene: and the Geneweyes maken of it
gret feste; and so don the Sarazynes also. And sum men seyn; that the heed
of seynt John is at Amyas, in Picardye: and other men seyn, that it is the
heed of seynt John the Bysschop. I wot nere, but God knowethe: but in what
wyse than men worschipen it, the blessed seynt John holt him a payd.

From this cytee of Sebast unto Jerusalem, is 12 myle. And betwene the
hilles of that contree, there is a welle, that 4 sithes in the zeer
chaungethe his colour; sometyme grene, sometyme reed, sometyme cleer, and
sometyme trouble; and men clepen that welle Job. And the folk of that
contree, that men clepen Samaritanes, weren converted and baptized by the
apostles; but thei holden not wel here doctryne; and alle weys thei holden
lawes by hem self, varyenge from cristene men, from Sarrazines, Jewes and
Paynemes. And the Samaritanes leeven well in o Godi: and thei seyn wel,
that there is but only o God, that alle formed, and alle schalle deme: and
thei holden the Bible aftre the lettre: and thei usen the psawtere, as the
Jewes don: and thei seyn, that thei ben the righte sones of God: and among
alle other folk, thei seyn that thei ben best beloved of God; and that to
hem belongethe the heritage, that God behighte to hise beloved children:
and thei han also dyverse clothinge and schapp, to loken on, than other
folk han; for thei wrappen here hedes in red linnene cloth, in difference
from othere. And the Sarazines wrappen here hedes in white lynnene clothe.
And the Cristene men, that duellen in the contree, wrappen hem in blew of
Ynde; and the Jewes in zelow clothe. In that contree duellen manye of the
Jewes, payenge tribute, as Cristene men don. And zif zee wil knowe the
lettres, that the Jewes usen, as thei clepem hem, in manner of here _A. B.
C. Alephe, Bethe, Gymel, Delethe, He, Vau, Zay, Cy, Thet, Joht, Kapho,
Lampd [sic--KTH], Mem, Num, Samethe, Ey, Fhee, Sade, Cophe, Resch, Son,

Of the Province of Galilee, and where Antecrist schalle be born; Of
Nazarethe. Of the Age of oure Lady. Of the Day of Doom; and of the
Customes of Jacobites, Surryenes; and of the Usages of Gcorgyenes.

[Sidenote: Chap. IX.] From this contree of the Samaritanes, that I have
spoken of before, gon men to the playnes of Galilee. And men leven the
hilles, on that o partye. And Galilee is on of the provynces of the Holy
Land: and in that provynce is the cytee of Naym and Capharnaum and
Chorosaym and Bethsayde. In this Bethseyde was Seynt Petre and Seynt Andrew
borne. And thens, a 4 myle, is Chorosaym: and 5 myle fro Chorosaym, is the
cytee of Cedar, of the psautre spekethe: _Et habitavi cum habitantibus
Cedar_; that is for to seye, _And I have dwelled with the dwellynge men in
Cedar_. In Chorosaym schalle Antecrist be born, as sum men seyn; and other
men seyn, he schalle be born in Babyloyne: for the prophete seyth; _De
Babilonia Coluber exiet, qui totum mundum devorabit_; that is to seyne,
_Out of Babiloyne schal come a worm, that schal devouren alle the world_.
This Antecrist schal be norysscht in Bethsayda, and he schal regne in
Capharnaum: and therfore seythe Holy Writt: _Ve tibi, Chorosaym: ve tibi,
Bethsayda: ve tibi, Capharnaum_; that is to seye, _Wo be to the, Chorosaym;
wo to the, Bethsayda: wo to the, Capharnaum_. And alle theise townes ben in
the lond of Galilee. And also, the cane of Galilee is 4 myle fro Nazarethe:
of that cytee was Simon Chananeus, and his wif Canee; of the whiche the
holy evaungelist spekethe off: there dide oure Lord the first myracle at
the wedyng, whan he turned water in to wyn. And in the ende of Galilee, at
the hilles, was the arke of God taken; and on that other syde is the Mownt
Hender or Hermon. And there aboute gothe the Broke of Cison: and there
besyde, Barache, that was Abymeleche sone, with Delbore the prophetisse,
overcam the Oost of Ydumea, whan Cysera the kyng was slayn of Gebelle, the
wif of Aber; and chaced beyonde the Flom Jordan, be strengthe of sword, Zeb
and Zebec and Salmana; and there he slowghe him. Also a 5 myle fro Naym, is
the cytee of Jezreel, that sometyme was clept Zarym; of the which cytee
Jezabel the cursed queen was lady and queen, that toke awey the vyne of
Nabaothe, be hire strengthe. Faste by that cytee, is the Feld Magede, in
the whiche the Kyng Joras was slayn of the Kyng of Samarie, and aftre was
translated and buryed in the Mount Syon. And a myle fro Jezrael ben the
Hilles of Gelboe, where Saul and Jonathas that weren so faire, dyeden:
wherfore David cursed hem, as holy writt seythe; _Montes Gelboe, nec Ros
nec Pluvia, &c._; that is to seye, _Zee hilles of Gelboe, nouther Dew ne
Reyne com upon you_. And a myle fro the hilles of Gelboe, toward the est,
is the cytee of Cyrople, that was clept before Bethsayn. And upon the
walles of that cytee was the hed of Saul honged.

After gon men be the hille, besyde the pleynes of Galylee, unto Nazarethe,
where was wont to ben a gret cytee and fair: but now there is not, but a
lytille village, and houses a brood here and there. And it is not walled;
and it sytt in a litille valeye, and there ben hilles alle aboute. There
was our lady born: but sche was goten at Jerusalem. And be cause that oure
lady was born at Nazarethe, therefore bare our Lord his surname of that
town. There toke Josephe our lady to wyf, when sche was 14 zeere of age:
and there Gabrielle grette our lady, seyenge, _Ave Gratia plena, Dominus
tecum_; that is to seyne, _Heyl fulle of Grace, oure Lord is with the_. And
this Salutacioun was don in a place of a gret awteer of a faire chirche,
that was wont to be somtyme: but it is now alle downe; and men han made a
litylle resceyt, besyde a pylere of that chirche, for to resceyve the
offrynges of Pilgrymes. And the Sarrazines kepen that place fulle derely,
for the profyte that thei han there offe: and thei ben fulle wykked
Sarrazines and cruelle, and more dispytous than in ony other place, and han
destroyed alle the chirches. There nyghe is Gabrielles Welle, where oure
Lord was wont to bathe Him, whan He was yong: and fro that welle bare he
watre often tyme to his modre: and in that well sche wossche often tyme the
clowtes of hire sone Jesu Crist. And fro Jerusalem unto thidre, is 3
journeyes. At Nazarathe was our Lord norisscht. Nazarethe is als meche to
seye, as flour of the gardyn: and be gode skylle may it ben clept flour;
for there was norisscht the flour of lyf, that was Crist Jesu. And 2 myle
fro Nazarethe, it the cytee of Sephor, be the weye, that gothe from
Nazerethe to Acon. And an half myle fro Nazarethe, is the lepe of oure
Lorde: for the Jewes ladden him upon an highe roche, for to make him lepe
doun, and have slayn him: but Jesu passed amonges hem, and lepte upon
another roche; and zit ben the steppes of his feet sene in the roche, where
he allyghte. And therfore seyn sum men, whan thei dreden hem of thefes, on
ony weye, or of enemyes; _Jesus autem transiens per medium illorum ibet_;
that is to seyne, _Jesus forsothe passynge be the myddes of hem, he wente_:
in tokene and mynde, that oure Lord passed thorghe out the Jewes crueltee,
and scaped safly fro hem: so surely mowe men passen the perile of thefes.
And than sey men 2 vers of the psautre, 3 sithes: _Irruat super eos formido
et pavor in magnitudine Brachii tui, Domine, Fiant inmobiles, quasi Lapis,
donec pertranseat populus tuus, Domine; donec pertranseat populus tuus
iste, quem possedisti_. And thanne may men passe with outen perile. And zee
schulle undirstonde, that oure lady hadde child, whan sche was 15 zeere
old: and sche was conversant with hire sone 33 zeer and 3 monethes; And
aftre the passioun of oure Lord, sche lyvede 24 zeer.

Also fro Nazarethe, men gon to the Mount Thabor; and that is a 4 myle: and
it is a fulle faire hille, and well highe, where was wont to ben a toun and
many chirches; but thei ben alle destroyed; but zit there is a place, that
men clepen the scole of God, where he was wont to teche his disciples, and
tolde hem the prevytees of hevene. And at the foot of that hille,
Melchisedeche, that was Kyng of Salem, in the turnynge of that hille, mette
Abraham in comynge azen from the bataylle, whan he had slayn Abymeleche:
and this Melchisedeche was bothe kyng and prest of Salem, that now is
cleped Jerusalem. In that hille Thabor, oure Lord transfigured him before
seynt Petre, seynt John and seynt Jame; and there they sawghe gostly Moyses
and Elye the prophetes besyde hem: and therefore seyde seynt Petre,
_Domine, bonum est nos hic esse; faciamus tria Tabernacula_; that is to
seye, _Lorde, it is gode for us to ben here; make we here 3 dwellying
places_. And there herd thei a voys of the fadir, that seye, _Hic est
filius meus dilectus, in quo mihi bene complacui_. And oure Lord defended
hem, that thei scholde not telle that avisioun, til that he were rysen from
dethe to lyf. In that hille and in that same place, at the day of doom, 4
aungeles, with 4 trompes, schulle blowen and reysen alle men, that hadden
suffred dethe, sithe that the world was formed, from dethe to lyve; and
schnlle comen in body and soule in juggement; before the face of oure Lord,
in the Vale of Josaphate. And the doom schalle ben on Estre Day, suche tyme
as oure Lord aroos: and the dom schalle begynne, suche houre as oure Lord
descended, to helle and dispoyled it; for at such houre schal he dispoyle
the world, and lede his chosene to blisse; and the othere schalle be
condempne to perpetuelle peynes: and thanne schalle every man have aftir
his dissert, outher gode or evylle; but zif the mercy of God passe his

Also a myle from Mount Thabor, is the Mount Heremaon; and there was the
cytee of Naym. Before the zate of that cytee, reysed oure Lord the wydewes
sone, that had no mo children. Also 3 myle fro Nazarethe, is the Castelle
Saffra; of the whiche, the sones of Zebedee and the sones of Alphee weren.
Also a 7 myle fro Nazarethe is the Mount Kayn; andl andre that is a welle,
and besyde that welle, Lameche Noees fadre sloughe Kaym with an arwe. For
this Kaym wente thorghe breres and bosshes, as a wylde best; and he had
lyved fro the tyme of Adam his fadir, unto the tynme of Noe; and so he
lyvode nyghe to 2000 zeer. And this Lameche was alle blynd for elde.

Fro Saffra, men gothe to the see of Galylee and to the cytee of Tyberye,
that sytt upon the same see. And alle be it, that men clepen it a see, zit
is it nouther see ne arm of the see: for it is but a stank of fresche
watir, that is in lengthe 100 furlonges; and of brede 40 furlonges; and
hathe with in him gret plentee of fissche, and rennethe in to Flom Jordan.
The cytee it not fulle gret, but it hathe gode bathes with in him. And
there; as the Flom Jordan partethe fro the see of Galilee, is a gret
brigge, where men passen from the lond of promyssioun, to the lond of
Baazan and the lond of Gerrasentz, that ben about the Flom Jordan, and the
begynnynge of the see of Tyberie. And fro thens may men go to Damask, in 3
dayes, be the kyngdom of Traconye; the whiche kyngdom lastethe fro mount
Heremon to the see of Galilee, or to the see of Tyberie, or to the see of
Jenazarethe; and alle is o see, and this the stank that I have told zou;
but it chaungethe thus the name, for the names of the cytees that sytten
besyde hem. Upon that see, went oure Lord drye feet; and there he toke up
seynt Peter, when he began to drenche with in the see, and seyde to him,
_Modice Fidei, quare dubitasti_? And aftre his resurrexioun, oure Lord
appered on that see, to his disciples, and bad hem fyssche, and filled alle
the nett fulle of gret fisshes. In that see rowed oure Lord often tyme; and
there he called to him, seynt Peter, seynt Andrew, seynt James and seynt
John, the sones of Zebedee. In that cytee of Tyberie, is the table, upon
the whiche oure Lord eete upon, with his disciples, aftre his resurrexioun;
and thei knewen him in brekynge of bred, as the gospelle seythe; _Et
cognoverunt cum in fractione Panis_. And nyghe that cytee of Tyberie, is
the hille, where oure Lord fedde 5 thousand persones, with 5 barly loves
and 2 fisshes. In that cytee, a man cast an brennynge dart in wratthe aftir
oure Lord, and the hed smot in to the eerthe, and wax grene, and it growed
to a gret tree; and zit it growethe, and the bark there of is alle lyk
coles. Also in the hed of that See of Galilee, toward the Septemtryon, is a
strong castelle and an highe, that highte Saphor: and fast besyde it, is
Capharnaum: with in the lond of Promyssioun, is not so strong a castelle:
and there is a gode toun benethe, that is clept also Saphor. In that
castel, seynt Anne our ladyes modre was born. And there benethe was
Centurioes hous. That contree is clept the Galilee of Folk, that weren
taken to tribute of Sabulon, and of Neptalym. And in azen comynge fro that
castelle, a 30 myle, is the cytee of Dan, that somtyme was clept Belynas,
or Cesaire Philippon, that sytt at the foot of the Mount of Lyban, where
the Flom Jordan begynnethe. There begynnethe the lond of Promyssioun, and
durethe unto Bersabee, in lengthe, in goynge toward the northe in to the
southe; and it conteynethe well a 180 myles: and of brede, that is to seye,
fro Jericho unto Jaffe, and that conteynethe a 40 myle of Lombardye, or of
our contree, that ben also lytylle myles. Theise ben not myles of Gascoyne,
ne of the provynce of Almayne, where ben gret myles. And wite zee welle,
that the lond of Promyssioun is in Sirye. For the reme of Sirye durethe fro
the desertes of Arabye, unto Cecyle, and that is Ermonye the grete, that is
to seyne, fro the southe to the northe: and fro the est to the west, it
durethe fro the grete desertes of Arabye onto the West See. But in the reme
of Syrie, is the kyngdom of Judee, and many other provynces, as Palestyne,
Galilee, litylle Cilicye, and many othere. In that contree and other
contrees bezonde, thei han a custom, whan thei schulle usen werre, and whan
men holden sege abbouten cytee or castelle, and thei with innen dur not
senden out messagers with lettres, from lord to lord, for to aske sokour,
thei maken here letters and bynden hem to the nekke of a colver, and leten
the colver flee; and the colveren ben so taughte, that threi fleen with tho
lettres to the verry place, that men wolde sende hem to. For the colveres
ben norysscht in tho places, where thei ben sent to; and thei senden hem
thus, for to beren here lettres. And the colveres retournen azen, where as
thei ben norisscht; and so thei doe comounly.



Secunda pars.

CAPVT. 24.

Persuasio ad non credentes terrarum diuersitates per orben terrŠ.

Mirabilis Deus mirabilia propter semetipsum creauit, vt scilicet ab
intellectualibus creaturis suis intelligeretur, et per hoc diligeretur,
atque in hoc ipse creator, et creatura se mutuo fruerentur. Mirabilis est
ergo Deus maximŔ in illo, qu˛d ipse solus sufficit sibi: et mirabilis in
altis Dominus, hoc est, in coelo et in coelestibus: sed et mirabilis in
terris, et in terrestribus: tamen si verum indicauerimus, nihil est
mirabile, quod mirum videri non debet, si ille qui omnipotens est, fecit
quŠcunque voluit in coelo et in terra. Sed ecce dum nobis contingit videre
rem quam pri¨s non vidimus, mirÓtur noster animus, non qu˛d simpliciter
mirum est, sed quod nobis id mirum et nouum. Deus vnus, simplex quidem est,
vt creaturŠ coelestes qu˛ Deo magis de propinquo sunt e˛ simpliciores
existunt. Terrestres autem qu˛d in situ remotiori sint, idcirc˛ magis
diuersŠ, magis contrariŠ inter se sunt.

[Sidenote: Reprehensio incredulorum qui nihil credunt, nisi quod domi
viderint.] Ergo quicunque sapiens est non stupet animo, dum in terrenis
respicit res varias, et diuersas, vel dum diuersa contingunt, seu
inuenÝuntur in partibus terrŠ diuersis: sed qui intellectum super sensum
non eleuant, et magis credunt oculo suo corporeo, quÓm spirituali, et qui
nunquam Ó natiuitatis suŠ loco recesserunt, isti vix volunt credere, seu
possunt alijs vera narrantibus de mundi diuersitatibus.

Attamen tales, si vellent, de facili videre possint suum errorem. Quia
quicunque natus in vna ciuitate, vel patria, si tantummodo moueat se ad
proximam ciuitatem, inueniet ibi procul dubio aliquam differentiam, vel
diuersitatem in idiomate linguŠ, vel in modo loquendi, in moribus hominum,
in occupationibus, in legibus, in consuetudinibus, vel etiam in agrorom
fructibus, in arborum frugibus, seu in his quŠ gignuntur in terra, in aere,
et in aquis.

Si ergo aliqualiter inueniri possit differentia in proximo, quanto maior
sit distantia, tanto maior differentia Šstimandi est in remoto, vel in
remotiori, seu remotissimo loco. Vnde ego, quia in prŠcedente parte
tractatus narrare coepi aliqua, quŠ in his, et in peregrinatione mea vsque
in terram promissionis sanctam vidi, de quibus etiam potest, et poterit
constare multis, qui in partibus nostris eadem peregrinatione me
prŠcesserunt, et secuti sunt, procedam in describendo aliqua illorum, quŠ
vidi et percepi in deambulatione mea, qua peragraui multas alias terras, et
perlegi multas vndas, vsque in multorum hoc tempus annorum, et propter
insipientes, et discredentes non tacebo. Sed nec propter credentes nec
sapientes satis mouebor; tamen vt diuersa Dei opera qui respicere non
possunt oculo, saltem legant, vel audiant ex hoc scripto. Pauca vtique vidÝ
horum quŠ sunt, sed pauca horum quŠ vidi, narrabo.

CAPVT. 25.

De Armenia, Persia, et Amazonia.

De regionibus quŠ IudeŠ contiguantur, scilicet Arabia, Aegypto et Syria,
statui modicum vltra narrare, relinquens hunc locum narrandi alijs
peregrinis. Et festinans ad terras remotiores, Armeniam minorem, non per
singulas ciuitates, sed celeriter transiens, vidi Ó remotis amplum cßstrum
vocatum Dei espoyer de quo mihi sustinui dici, quod sit vastum, et Ó
nemine, habitatum, nisi Ó fantastica quadam Domina, seruante in medio
maioris aulŠ super perticam, volucrem rapacem, quŠ dicitur LatinŔ
accipiter, vel huiusmodi: quam auem, si aliquis hominum ingrediens se
custodire peruigil absque vlla somnolentia per septem continuos dies et
noctes posset, ipsa Domina in fine facti apparens concederet illi
quantamcunque faceret petitionem terrŠ, commodi, vel honoris, sed si
obdormiret, periret. Huic tamen dicto par¨m curaui accommodare aurem, nisi
quod communiter dicebatur, in bene transacto tempore prŠdicta fuisse
tentata per duas personas, vnum Regem, et alterum Pastorem. Et Regi quidem
quod indebitam fecit petitionem, vile successit negotium, pastori peroptimŔ
successit negotium.

In Armenia maiori, est magna et bona ciuitas Artyron ad dietam prope
fluuium Euphratem. Et sunt ibi duo montes euecti valdŔ, vnus Sabissatele,
alter Ararath, quorum vltimus habet per anfractius, et periodos per
ascensum viŠ, ferŔ 7. leucas, et quasi omni tempore est plenus niue.

In illo loco fertur quicuisse Arca diluuii, cuius vnicus asser monstratur,
in Ecclesia Monachorum ad montis pedem habitantium; attamem nullus hominum
pro frigore nimio attentare prŠsumit ascensum.

Est autem et ibi ciuitas Landania, de qua nonnulli dicunt qu˛d Noe illam
fundauerat, et ciuitas magna Hany, in qua tempore Christianorum mille
habebantur EcclesiŠ.

In illa Armenia sub Imperio PersiŠ est famosa ciuitas Tauris, vbi de
mercimonijs ponderalibus fit inestimabilis mercatura. Hinc ad decem diates
ad Orientem habeatur ciuitas Zadona, in ea Imperator Persarum moratur, et
est in eodem imperio ciuitas valdŔ magna Cassach, quŠ recto itinere dicitur
store ab Hierosolymis 55. dietis. Geth ciuitas imperialis, et melior totius
PersiŠ in hac terra noscitur esse, cum tamen Carnaa sit satis maior.

Circa fines PersiŠ in terra Sennaar, est illa quŠ olim dicebatur Babylonia,
nec apparet ibi aliquid, quÓm ruinŠ grandis et vetustŠ cuitatis, quŠ ab
hominibus est deserta, sed Ó Draconibus inhabitata, et alijs animalibus, et
volucribus venenosis. Hanc terram tenet Imperator Persarum, vt suprÓ dixi.
Etiam intra fines PersiŠ, est terra, vbi sanctus Iob patiens morabatur, quŠ
modo dicitur terra Sues, in cuius montanis inuenitur Manna, quod venditur
in Apothecis. Hunc terrŠ Sues contiguatur ChaldŠa, quŠ non est magna,
quamuis nobilis regio habeatur. Et ab ista intratur Amazonia.

Amazonia est modica insula, quam absquŠ viris sofŠ regunt et inhabitant
mulieres: cuius rei prima causa hŠc fuit.

Olim cum insula communiter a viris, et mulieribus habitabatur, Rex eius
dictus Colopius cum omnibus nobilibus suis in bello contra Regnum ScithiŠ
occisus fuit. Audientes igitur nobilium vxores ipsius insulŠ se viduatas,
super his, in doloroso furore animi ad plures congressiones occiderunt et
fugauerunt omnes aliarum mulierum maritos, ne scilicet sua ingennitas
subiaceret voluntati, et potestati plebis. Et tandem post reformatam inter
se pacem mulieres inito consilio statuerum se solas absque viris dominari
in terra, atque ex tunc sumi sibi regimen per certam electionis formam quŠ
robusta, agilis, sapiens, iuuenis, ac valens apparet in armis.

Sciendum tamen est, extra hanc insulam flumen esse, et alias modicas
insulas, quarum vna dicitur Carmagite, de quibus licitum est ijs accessire
viros, et amasios bis in anno, ita vt nulla moram trahat septem dierum
naturalium sub poena indubitata occisionis. Infantem masculum nutrire licet
quoadusque per se comedat et gradiatur, tunc transmittendus est in domum
paternam. GenerosŠ natŠ puellŠ aufertur ignito cultro vber sinistrum pro
scuto gerendo, degeneri dextrum, ad sagittandum de arcu Turco.

Regina cum consÝliaribus et officialibus suis regit sapienter et benŔ
terrÓm, et seruat omnes sibi sub districta obedientia, per leges, et
poenas, et amendas conscriptas. Et cum circumiacentium insularum Reges
contra se ad inuicem proeliari solent, tunc Regina AmazoniŠ cum suis
Nobilibus ab vna parte pro magno stipendio vocari solet in adiutorium, vbi
et inuentŠ sunt sapientes in consilijs, probŠ in armis, acres in
conflictibus, et in omnibus CuriŠ actibus bene valentes.

CAPVT. 26.

De Aethiopia, et Diamantibus, et de infima India.

Aethiopia consistit Ó terra Chaldeorum in Austrum, quŠ distinguitur in
Orientalem Aethiopiam, et ['and' in source text--KTH] Meridionalem, quarum
prima in illis partibus vocatur Cush, propter hominum nigredinem, altera
Mauritania. [Sidenote: Mauritania. Regnum Saba.] Et est ibi Regnum Saba, de
quo legitur, quod Regi Salomoni Regis Arabum, et Saba, dona et tributa
adduxerunt. E˛que Regina Saba venit Ó finibus, hoc est, Ó longinquis terrŠ
partibus audire sapientiam Salomonis. Omnes in Aethiopia aquŠ in fluuijs et
riparijs, et fontibus sapiunt Sal, propter nimium calorem. [Sidenote:
Plinius.] Est ibi vnus aquŠ fons ita de nocte calidus, vt nemo in eo
sustineat manum, et ita de die frigidus, vt bibi vix possit.

Generaliter isti de Mauritania Aethiopes comedunt parum, de facili
inebriantur, fluxum ventris patiuntur nec diu viuunt.

[Sidenote: India triplex.] De Aethiopia intratur in Indiam, mediam, nam
triplex est videlicet infima, quŠ in quibusdam suis partibus est nimis
frigida ad inhabitandum: Media quŠ satis temperata est, et superior, quŠ
nimis calida. In India infima propter continuum et graue frigus generatur
christallum de aqua per gelu, sicut quidam asserunt. Sed certum est ibi
haberi rupes christalli, et in illis gigni optimos Diamantes, quos lingua
illius vocant Hamefht. [Sic. 'Hamese' in English version below--KTH.]

Est autem diamas paruus prŠciosus lapis, magnŠ virtutis, sicut pleni¨s
describitur in lapidariis. Quidam inueniuntur in magnitudine pisi, vel
etiam piso minores: alii ad quantitatem fabŠ, sed nullus maior auellana,
vel nuce. Et dicitur de eo in partibus illis quod si hic qui portat sit
continens, et sobrius reddit illum magnanimum et audacem, et iuuat in
causis iustis certantem, conseruat substantias corporales, aufert praua
somnia, depellit prauorum spirituum illusiones, sortilegia, et
incantationes, ac valet contra lunaticam passionem, vt dŠmonis obsessionem,
et venenosum quod illi appropinquauerit exsudat, et exhumescit.

Optimi Diamantes de India assimulantur in colore multum christallo, sed
sunt aliquantulum magis citrini, et pro sui duritie poliri non possunt.
Inueniuntur autem ibi nonnulli subnigri ad colorem violŠ: Alii nascuntur in
Arabia nigri, et tenuiores prŠdictis, alii in Macedonia, et quidam in
Cypro, sed in mineriis auri, dum prima massa in minutias confringitur,
interdum reperÝuntur. Sciendum enim est, sŠpŔ plures simul crescere, nec
non generant, et concipiunt inuicem de rore coeli, quemadmodum et
MargaritŠ: quod ego pluries tentans, accepi de rupe cespitem cum diamante
masculo, et femella, plantans in pratello, et frequentans, focillans
madefeci de rore Maii. Et ecce in breui, paruulus ex iis gignebatur,
nascebatur, et adolescebat ad debitam quantitatem: fiunt ver˛ omnes per
naturam cum pluribus angulis vt trium vel quatuor, aut quinque laterum, et
nonnulli cum lateribus senis. E contra omnes margaritŠ nascuntur in forma
sphŠrica, seu rotunda.

Et notandum qu˛d mercatores, pro diamantibus frequenter aliud vendunt: Nam
solet commixtio fieri de christallo Crochee, de Saphiro, de Lonpes Citrino,
de lapide Yri, et de paruis petris ex murium nidis. Probatio veri diamantis
haberi potest his modis.

Prim˛ si ita inuenitur tener, vt se poliri dimittat non est verus.

Item si de eo non potest scindi vitrum cristallum, non est verus.

Item accipe paruum quantitatis lapidem Adamantem, qui solet sibi attrahere
acum et ferrum, et pone verum diamantem, super adamantem, t˙ncque si
ministraueris adamanti acum, videbis adamantem operari nihil, vero diamante
prŠsente, dum tamen adamas non sit diamante maior.

Item si cultellum laminŠ tenuis, habentem in manubrio inclusum vel
alligatum verum diamantem in mensa vel assere erexeris, protinus vt ipsi
venenum appropinquabit, stabit tremulans atque sudans. Et notandum, qu˛d
per luxuriosum, seu gulosum qui ferret diamantem amitteret virtutem ad

Terra IndiŠ appellatur ab Indo ibi currente fluuio, cuius anguillŠ
inueniuntur quandoque vltra 20. pedes in longitudine. In media India
transitur per multas insulas vsque ad mare Oceanum, in insulam Ormuz, vbi
Mercatores VenetiŠ sŠpŔ tendunt, sed viri, qui assueti non sunt tantum
sustinere calorem, ne exeant perpendicula de corporibus propŔ ad genua, ibi
se contra hoc debitŔ inuoluunt, et ligant, nec audent ibi transire nauibus
ferrum continentibus, ne teneantur de rupibus adamantum.

Hic in aliquibus AethiopiŠ partibus habitant publicŔ, inhonestorum
vtriusque sexus hominum consuetudinem inhonestam gerentes, et in Šstu
meridiano refrigerandi causa exeunt circa ciuitatem ad riparias iacere, et
discurrere nudis prorsus corporibus omni pudore reiecto, ex quo procul
dubio inhonesta vitia sequuntur.

Est et non longŔ ab ista insula regio seu insula Caua vel Chaua, quŠ Ó
primo statu mult¨m est minorata per mare. Hi sunt infidelissimi Paganorum.
Nam quidam adorant Solem, alij Lunam, ignem, aquam, et terram, arborem, vel
serpentem, vel cui de mane prim˛ obuiant. Ibi magni mures, quos nos dicimus
rattas, sunt in quantitate paruorum canum. Et quoniam per cattos capi non
possunt, capiuntur per canes maiores.

Corpora mortuoram non sepeliuntur ibi, nec cadauera quŠlibet bestiarum
operiuntur, qu˛d ad aeris Šstum carnes in breui tempore consumuntur, nam et
tota insula consistit sub zona torrida. Inde transiri potest per mare in
Indiam superiorem, sine maiorem, videlicet Imperium Presbyteri Ioannis ad
portum ciuitatis Zarke, quŠ est elegans et bona satis. In ea habitant
plurimi CatholicŠ fidei Christiani: et habentur plurimŠ AbbatiŠ
religiosorum, quas olim Dux Danorum Ogerus constituit, vnde et vsque nunc
dicuntur EcclesiŠ Dani, atque ex hoc nauigari potest in terram Lombe.

CAPVT. 27.

De foresto Piperis, et fonte iuuentutis.

Regio seu insula dicta Lombe, spatiosa quidem est, continens forestum
dictum aliÓs Tombar, longum per dietas 18. In orbe vniuerso non noscimus
crescere piper, prŠterquÓm in hoc foresto. In quo et habetur duŠ,
ciuitates, vna Flandrina, (et illa ciuitas inhabitata est Ó IudŠis, et
Christianis, inter quos sŠpŔ magna seditio oritur) altera Singlant: quas
quondam Danus fertur fundasse Ogerus, vocans vnam Flandrinam, nomine auiŠ
suŠ ex parte patris sui, alteram Florentam nomine auiŠ ex parte matris suŠ,
quŠ mutato nomine nunc vocatur Singlant.

Sciendum est autem, piper ibi crescere in hunc modum: sicut nos plantamus
vites aut quercus arbores robustas, vt vitis cum fructibus se spargat, vt
supportetur per ramos, sic coluntur arbusta piperis ad arbores foresti, et
sparguntur per ramos, et dependent fructus vt botri. Et venit in eodem
arbusto triplex piper in anno.

Primum est quod vocatur longum piper, et venit priusquam nascuntur folia in
arbustis, quemadmodum nos in arbore videmus corylo in hyeme ante folia
prŠcedere quasdam caudulas longas, quo circa initium vindemiato, nascuntur
cum foliis botri piperis viridis ad similitudinem paruarum vuarum. Quod
quidem circa tempus Iulii in eadem viriditate vindemiatum in Šstu feruido
siccatur ad Solem, vt accipiat nigredinem, et rugarum contractionem.

PosteÓ exurgit piper album in granis minoribus, et in abundantia satis
minori, quo tanquam preciosiori vtuntur in partibus illis et rar˛ vendunt
ad partes istas.

Primum piper appellatur Sorbotyn, secundum Fulful, tertium ver˛ Bauos.

Sunt autem per nemus istud fera animalia, et venenosa, sicut parui
serpentes, colubri, et huiusmodi, de quibus nescio quis famam diffundit per
nostras partes, quod vindemiatores piperis tales vermes fugant per ignem:
sed non est ita, im˛ vngunt brachia manus, tibias, et pedes cum quodam
succo herbŠ dictŠ Limonse, Ó quo cito diffugit omne venenum.

In huius foresti capite sub monte Polembo, est ciuitas dicta Bolemba, et
sub eodem monte fons qui dicitur Iuuentutis. Aqua huius fontis reddit
odorem et saporem quasi de omni genere aromatum, nam singulis penŔ horis
immutat odorem, et saporem. Et quisquis per aliquos dies potat ieiuno
stomacho sanatur in breui tempore, Ó quacunque interiori infirmitate,
languore duntaxat mortis excepto: et sanŔ illorum qui propŔ sunt, et
frequenter bibunt apparet per totum vitŠ tempus mira iuuentus. Ego autem
ter vel quater bibi, quamobrem et vsque hodiŔ arbitror potius me
corporaliter valere. Putatur enim fons ille immediatŔ per poros
subterraneos eliquari de fonte paradisi terrestris, ita qu˛d nulla via
decurrentium super terram fluentium vitietur. In ista etiam regione, et in
insulis circumquaque crescit gingiber valdŔ bonum, vnde et mercatores sŠpŔ
ibi tendunt de Venetia pro emendo pipere et gingibere. Gentes ver˛ huius
insulŠ peruersŠ et stollidissimŠ sunt superstitionis adorantes bouem
tanquam animal beatissimum, propter eius simplicitatem mansuetudinem,
patientiam, et vtilitatem.

Multitudo cuiuslibet ciuitatis vel uillŠ vnum specialem nutrit bouem, quem
postquam laborauit in aratro per sex annos immolant manducantes pariter cum
maxima solemnitate. Et quicunque inde minimam minutiam comedit, reputat se
sanctificatum totum.

Porro apud Regem tenetur bos singularis, cuius custos diligentissimŔ vrinam
in uase aureo accipit simpliciter, et de fimo in vase consimili: et
quotidie venit summus eorum prŠlatus quem dicunt Archiprotoplaustum, offert
personaliter in prŠdictis preciosis vasis, Domino Regi de bouis vrina et
fimo, atque in vrina, quam appellant Gaul, tingens manus, defricit, et
perungit Regis pectus et frontem, deinde similiter de fimo in multa cordis
attentione, ad finem vt possint assequi quatuor virtutes bouis prŠfati.

Post regem cum reuerentia accedunt, et vnguntur Barones, principes, et post
ipsos cŠteri ordinati quic˙nque attingere possint, putantes se sanctificari
per rem penitus non valentem, imo nimis foetidam, et inhostem.

PrŠterea populi isti colunt Idola facta ad medium in forma humana, et ad
medium in forma bouis. In quibus permissione Dei per eorum perfidiam
maligni spiritus habitant dantes de interrogatis responsa. Et hijs Idolis
offerunt infinita donari aquandoque, et sacrificant interdum proprios
infantes, ipsorum sanguine Idola respergentes.

Dum hic maritus moritur, vxor comburitur cum marito, nisi de illo habeat
sobolem cum quo viuere solet, et vilet. QuŠ sibi eligit cum prole
superuiuere, non habebitur de cŠtero fide digna.

Attamen in simili causa, si vir non vult cremari cum vxore mortua, non
minuit ei honorem.

Et forte vinum nascitur ibi: quod mulieres bibunt, et non viri, vt sic
mulieribus crescant barbŠ, sed mulieribus raduntur, et viris minime.

CAPVT. 28.

De Ecclesia et corpore Saneti ThomŠ Apostoli.

Hinc Meridiem pluribus exactis Insulis per viam decem dietarum venitur in
Regnum Mabron. Illic in ciuitate CalamiŠ, seruatur in magno templo corpus
beatissimi ThomŠ Apostoli Domini nostri Iesu Christi in capsa honorificata.
In quo loco et martirizatus fuit, licet dicunt quidam, quod in Edissa
ciuitate. Iste populus non est multum tempus transactum, quin fuit totus in
fidei religione, sed nunc est ad pessimos Gentilium ritus peruersus, nec
attendit, nec veneratur relliquias sancti corporis Apostoli ibidem
contentas, quamuis ijs euidens, ac vtile, et mirificum prŠstare solebat
beneficium, quod infra narrabo.

Per certas historias habetur Ducem Danorum Ogerum conquisiuisse has terras,
et in exaltatione sanctarum Apostoli relliquiarum fecisse fieri prŠfatam
spectactilem Ecclesiam, ac intra, eum reponi in nobilissimo loculo gemmis
auro, argentoque decenter ornato Sanctum corpus, ac deinde post annorum
tempus trecentorum Assyrios abstulisse feretrum cum ipso corpore sancto in
Edissam ciuitatem MesopotamiŠ, in qua et fuit martyrizatus secundum
quosdam, rursumque post sexaginta et tres annos recuperatum corpus in suam
fuisse Ecclesiam restitutum, videlicet in Calamia, atque in eiusdem
recuperationis signum certum dimiserunt isti, et dimittunt extra feretri
loculum dependere brachium dextrum, cum manu quŠ tetigisse creditur pia
resurgentis vulnera Christi.

Eadem quoque manus solet vsque hodie suŠ verŠ poenitentiŠ tale manifestere
miraculum vt dum partes quŠlibet litigantes velint vtrŠque suas causas
iuramento confirmare, conscriptis hinc inde causis ponantur ambŠ cartulŠ in
Apostili manu. QuŠ cuntis [Footnote: Interea dum exirent, Monachi suos
dolos potuerunt exercere.] exeuntibus Ecclesiam protinus sub vnius horŠ
tempore reiecta longius falsitate, veritatem sibi reseruat: sed nunc sicut
dicere coepi isti populi huic beneficio Dei ingrati, et diabolica illusione
excŠcati mirabiliter paganizant.

Nam et in hac ipsa beati ThomŠ Ecclesia statuerunt multa mirŠ magnitudinis
simulachra, ex quibus vnum quod maius est multo alijs apparet sedens homo
in alto solio adoperto aureis sericis, et lapidibus prŠciosis, habensque ad
collum suspensa pro ornatu multa cinctoria prŠciose gemmis, et auro
contexta. Ad hoc autem Idolum adorandum confluunt peregrini Ó remotis
partibus, et propinquis, in satis maiori copia, et valdŔ feruentiori
deuotione quÓm Christiani, ad sanctum Iacobum in Galizia quia multi eorum
per totum peregrinationis iter, non audent erigere palpebras oculorum, ne
forte propter hoc deuotio intermittatur.

Alij de propŔ venientes superaddunt labori itinerandi, vt ad tertium vel ad
quartum passum semper cadant in genibus. Nonnulli quoque demoniaca
inspiratione semetipsos per viam peregrinationis lanceolis, et cultellis
nunc minoribus, nunc maioribus sauciant vulneribus per singula corporis
loca, et dum ante Idolum perueniunt, excisum frustum de carne propria
proijciunt ad Idolum pro offerenda, ac plagis durioribus se castigant, et
quandoque spontaneŔ penitus se occidunt: in solemnitatibus ver˛, sicut in
dedicatione, et sicut in thronizatione simulachrorum, fit conuentis populi,
quasi totius Regni. Et ducitur cum processione maius Idolum per circuitum
ciuitatis, in curru preciosissimo, modis omnibus perornato, et prŠcedunt in
numero magno puellŠ cantantes binŠ, et binŠ ordinatissimŔ, succeditque
pluralitas Musicorum cum instrumentis varijs simphonizantes, quos continuŔ
subsequitur currus, cuius lateribus coniungit se peregrinorum exercitus,
qui et venerunt de remotis.

Ibique cernitur miserabilis actus vltra modum. Nam aliqui victi vltrÓ modum
diabolica deuotione proijciunt se sub rotis currus prŠcedentis, vt
frangantur sibi crura, brachia, latera, dorsa, nec non et colla in
reuerentiam Dei sui (vt dicunt) a quo remunerationem sperant, venire ad
Paradisum terrestrem.

Et post processionem postquam statuerunt Idolum in templo suo loco,
multiplicatur coram simulachris numerus sŠpŔ plangentium, et occidentium
vltrÓ quam credi sit facile. Ita quod quandoque in illa vnica solemnitate
inueniuntur ducenta corpora, vel plura occisorum. Et adstantes propinqui
amici talium diaboli martyrum, eum magna musicorum melodia decantantes in
sua lingua offerunt. Idolis corpora ac demum accenso rogo omnia corpora
comburunt in honorem Idolurum, assumentes sibi singuli aliquid de ossibus
aut cineribus pro reliquiis, quas putant sibi valituras contra quŠlibet
infortunia, et tempestates. Et habetur ante templum aquŠ lacus, velut
seruatorium piscium, in quo proijcit populus largissimŔ suas oblationes,
argentum, aurum, gemmas, cyphos, et similia, quibus ministri certis
temporibus exhibentes prouident EcclesiŠ, ac simulachro, ac sibi ipsis
abundantŔr. Quoddam fabulosum scriptum exiuit per partes nostras, quod in
prŠdicta processione circumferatur cumpheretro corpus beati ThomŠ, qui et
in fine processionis populu compopulo communicaret proprijs manibus de
EucharistŠ sacramento, sed non est ita, et nunquam fuit.

CAPVT. 29.

De Iaua, et quibusdam aiijs meridionalibus Insulis, et de farina, melle et
piscibus Ogeri Ducis Danorum.

Inde vlterius procedendo in Austrum per multas et mirabiles terras
quinquaginta duarum diŠtarum spacio, habetur magna Insula Lamori. Illic
omnes nudi incedunt, et ferŔ omnia sunt singulis communia, nec vtuntur
priuatis clauibus siue seris, imo et omnes mulieres sunt communes omnibus
et singulis viris, dummodo violentia non inferatur: Sed et peior est ijs
consuetudo, qu˛d libentŔr comedunt teneras carnes humanas: vnde et
negotiatores adferunt eis crassos infantes venales: quod si non satis
pingues afferuntur, eos saginant sicut nos vitulum, siue porcum.

Hic apparet in bona altitudine polus Antarcticus, et incipit mod˛ apparere
in alta Lybia, ita quod in alta Ăthiopia eleuatur octodecim gradibus, prout
ipse prohaui Astrolabio.

Ad meridiem terrŠ Lamori est Insula bona, Sumebor, cuius gentes reputant se
nobiliores alijs, signantes se in facie certo cauterio. Isti semper guerras
geerunt contra prŠfatus gentes nudas de Lamory.

Ad modicam inde destantiam habetur Insula Rotonigo abundans in bonis
pluribus: sed et in Austrum sequuntur aliŠ plures regiones et InsulŠ, de
quibes prolixum narrare fuisset.

Et est valde grandis regio Iaua, habens in circuitu ambitum leucarum duarum
millium. Huius rex est valdŔ potens, et imperans septem insularum vicinarum
regibus. Terra ista est populosa valdŔ, et crescunt in ea species, et
abundantia gingiberis, canella, gariofoli, nuces muscata, et mastix cum
aromatibus multis. Sed et quod ibi nascatur vinum, non habent: aurum et
argentum est ibi in copia immensa, qu˛d patet in regis IauŠ palatio, cuius
palatij nobilitas non est facilŔ scribenda.

Cuncti gradus ascendentes ad palatij aulas, et aularum cameras, et ad
thalamos Camerarum sunt solidi de argento vel auro, sed et omnis stratura
pauimentorum in alijs habetur ad similitudinem scacarij, vnam quadratam
argenti, alteram auri, laminis valdŔ crassis, et in ipsis pauimentis, sunt
exsculpta gesta, et historiŠ diuersŠ. In principali ver˛ aula, est plenariŔ
expressa Dani Ducis Ogeri historia, Ó natiuitate ipsius, quousque in
Franciam fantasticŔ dicatur reuersus, cum tempore Caroli magni regis
FranciŠ, ipse Ogerus armata manu conquisiuit Christianitati ferŔ omnes
partes transmarinas Ó Ierosolymis vsque ad arbores solis et LunŠ, ac propŔ
paradisum terrestrem.

Pro hac Regione Iaua, (quŠ tangit fines Imperij TartariŠ) sibi subiuganda,
Imperator Grand Can multoties pugnauit, sed nunquam valuit expugnare. Hinc
per mare venitur ad regnum ThalamassŠ, [Footnote: Vel Tholomassi.] qu˛d et
Panchon [Footnote: Vel Paten.] dicitur, in quo habetur magnus numerus
bonarum ciuitatum. Intra hanc Insulam, quatuor sunt genera arborum, de
quarum vna accipitur farina ad panem, de secunda mel, de tertia vinum, et
de quarta pessimum venenum. Extrabitur autem farina de suis arboribus isto

Certo tempore anni percutitur stipes arboris vndique propŔ terram cum
securi, et cortex in locis pluribus vulneratur, de quibus recipitur liquor
spissus, qui desiccatus ad solis Šstum et contritus reddit farinam albam,
ac si de frumento esset confectus, attamen hic panis non est triticei
saporis, sed alterius valdŔ boni.

Simili modo de suis arboribus mel elicitur, et vinum liquitur: excepto quod
illa non sicut gramina prima desiccantur. Fertur quoque ibidem,
extractionem huius farinŠ, mellis, et vini, per Angelum primitus fuisse
ostensam prŠdicto Danorum Duci, illic fame cum suo exercitu laboranti.
Contra venenum quod de quarto arboris genere stÝllat, solum est intoxicato
remedium, vt de proprio fimo per puram aquam distemperato bibat.

Et est in hac Insula quoddam mare mortuum, velut lacus foetidus, cuius in
plerÝsque locis fundus, humano ingenio non valet attingi: mirŠ magnitudinis
arundines crescunt super hunc lacum, in altitudine cedrorum aut abietum
pedum ducentorum, ita vt viginti socij mecum nequiuimus vnius caput
iacentis arundinis subleuare de terra. Minores etiam arundines nascuntur ad
fluuii ripam, habentes in terra radices longitudinis trecentorum cubitorum
aut plurium, Ad quarum nodos radicum, inueniuntur gemmŠ preciosŠ, de quibus
expertum est, siquis vnam habuerit in pugno suo, ferrum corpori suo non
nocebit: vnde si quis ibi pugnans, petat aduersarium, ac inimicum hac gemma
munitum aggreditur eum cum fustibus non ferratis.

De hac intratur in Insulam Calanoch, [Marginal note: Vel Alcnak.] magnam et
refertam bonorum omnium. Rex eius potens est multum, et licitum est ei,
quandocunque, et quibuslibet in regno vti mulieribus, de quibus interdum
magnum numerum tenet puerorum. Mille quadringentos habere solet ad
prŠliandum elephantes, quos sibi nutriunt villani per regnum. Elephantes
vocant verkes.

In littore maris miraculosŔ veniunt ibi semel in anno, per tres continuos
dies, quasi de omni genere piscium marinorum, in maxima abundantia: et
prŠbent se omnibus liberŔ capiendos ad manum. Nam et ego ipse cepi
quamplures. Vnde notandum, quod eodem tempore anni quo super dicta
extrahitur farina, mel, et vinum, conueniunt in hoc isti pisces: qua ambo
mirabilia fecit vno tempore Deus olim producere suo Ogero, quŠ et in
memoria illius, vsque nunc, singulis annis innouantur.

Et sunt in hoc territorio testudines terribilis quantitatis, fitque de
maioribus Regi ac nobilibus delicatus ac preciosus cibus: mentior, si non
quasdam ibidem viderim testudinum conchas, in quarum vna se tres homines
occultarent, suntque omnes multum albi coloris.

Si hic vir vxoratus moritur, sepelitur et vxor vna cum eo, quatenus, sicut
ibi credunt, habeant eam statim sociam in seculo altero.

The English version.

And zee schulte undirstonde, that amonges the Sarazines, o part and other,
duellen many Cristene men, of many maneres and dyverse names; and alle ben
baptized, and han dyverse lawes and dyverse customes: but alle beleven in
God the Fadir and the Sone and the Holy Gost: but alle weys fayle thei, in
somme articles of oure feythe. Some of theise ben clept Jacobytes: for
seynt Jame converted hem, and seynt John baptized hem. They seyn, that a
man schal maken his confessioun only to God, and not to a man: for only to
Him, scholde man zelden him gylty of alle, that he hathe mys don. Ne God
ordeyned not, ne never devysed, ne the prophete nouther, that a man scholde
schryven him to another, (as thei seyn) but only to God: as Moyses writethe
in the Bible, and as David seythe in the Psawtre boke; _Confitebor tibi,
Domine, in toto Corde meo_: and, _Delictum meum tibi cognitum feci_: and,
_Deus meus es tu, et confitebor tibi_; and, _Quoniam cogitatio hominis
confitebitur tibi_; &c. Fot thei knowen alle the bible, and the psautere:
and therfore allegge thei so the lettre: but thei alleggen not the
aucthoritees thus in Latyn, but in here langage, fulle appertely; and seyn
wel, that David and othere prophetes seyn it. Natheles seynt Austyn and
seynt Gregory seyn thus: Augustinus; _Qui scelera sua cogitat, et conversus
fuerit, veniam sibi credat_. Gregorious; _Dominus potius mentem quam verba
respicit_. And seynt Hillary seythe; _Longorum temporum crimina, in ictu
Oculi pereunt, si Cordis nata fuerit compunctio_. And for suche
auctoritees, thei seyn, that only to God schalle a man knouleche his
defautes, zeldynge him self gylty, and cryenge him mercy, and behotynge to
him to amende him self. And therfore whan thei wil schryven hem, thei taken
fyre, and sette it besyde hem, and casten therin poudre of frank encens;
and in the smoke therof, thei schryven hem to God, and cryen him mercy. But
sothe it is, that this confessioun was first and kyndely: but seynt Petre
the apostle, and thei that camen aftre him, han ordeynd to make here
confessioun to man; and be gode resoun: for thei perceyveden wel, that no
syknesse was curable, by gode medycyne to leye therto, but zif men knewen
the nature of the maladye. And also no man may zeven covenable medicyne,
but zif he knowe the qualitee of the dede. For o synne may be grettere in o
man than in another, and in o place and in o tyme than in another: and
therfore it behovethe him, that he knowe the kynde of the dede, and
thereupon to zeven him penance.

There ben othere, that ben clept Surienes; and thei holden the beleeve
amonges us, and of hem of Grece. And thei usen alle berdes, as men of Grece
don: and thei make the sacrament of therf bred: and in here langage, thei
usen lettres of Sarrazines; but aftre the misterie of Holy chirche, thei
usen lettres of Grece; and thei maken here confessioun, right as the
Jacobytes don.

There ben othere, that men clepen Georgyenes, that seynt George converted;
and him thei worschipen, more than ony other seynt; and to him thei cryen
for help: and thei camen out of the reme of George. Theise folk usen
crounes schaven. The clerkes han rounde crounes, and the lewed men han
crownes alle square: and thei holden Cristene lawe, as don thei of Grece;
of whom I have spoken of before.

Othere there ben, that men clepen Cristene men of Gyrdynge: for thei ben
alle gyrt aboven. And ther ben othere, that men clepen Nestoryenes; and
summe Arryenes, sume Nubyenes, sume of Grees, same of Ynde, and sume of
Prestre Johnes Lond. And alle theise han manye articles of oure feythe, and
to othere thei ben varyaunt. And of here variance, were to longe to telle;
and go I wil leve, as for the tyme, with outen more spekynge of hem.

Of the Cytee of Damasce. Of 3 Weyes to Jerusalem; on be Londe and be See;
another more be Londe than be See; and the thridde Weye to Jerusalem,
alle be Londe.

[Sidenote: Chap. XI] Now aftre that I have told zou sum partye of folk, in
the contrees before, now wille I turnen azen to my weye, for to turnen azen
to this half. Thanne whoso wil go fro the lond of Galilee, of that that I
have spoke, for to come azen on this half, men comen azen be Damasce, that
is a fulle fayre cytee, and fulle noble, and fulle of alle merchandises,
and a 3 journeyes long fro the see, and a 5 journeyes fro Jerusalem. But
upon camaylles, mules, hors, dromedaries and other bestes, men caryen here
merciandise thidre: and thidre comethe marchauntes with merchandise be see,
from Yndee, Persee, Caldee, Ermonye, and of manye othere kyngdomes. This
cytee founded Helizeus Damascus, that was Zoman and Despenser of Abraham,
before that Ysaac was born: for he thoughte for to have ben Abrahames heir:
and he named the toun aftre his surname Damasce. And in that place, where
Damasc was founded, Kaym sloughe Abel his brother. And besyde Damasc is the
Mount Seyr. In that cytee of Damasce, ther is gret plentee of welles: and
with in the cytee and with oute, ben many fayre gardynes, and of dyverse
frutes. Non other citee is not lyche in comparisoun to it of faire
gardynes, and of faire desportes. The cytee is gret and fulle of peple, and
wel walled with double walles. And there ben manye phisicyens. And seint
Poul him self was there a physicyen, for to kepen mennes bodies in hele,
before he was converted: and aftre that, he was phisicien of soules. And
seynt Luke the Evaungelist was Disciple of seynt Poul, for to lerne phisik;
and many othere. For seynt Poul held thanne scole of phisik. And neere
besyde Damasce, was he converted: and aftre his conversionn, he duelte in
that cytee 3 dayes, with outen sight, and with outen mete or drinke. And in
tho 3 dayes he was ravisscht to hevene, and there he saughe many prevytees
of oure Lord. And faste besyde Damasce, is the Castelle of Arkes, that is
bothe fair and strong. From Damasce, men comen azen, be oure Lady of
Sardenak, that is a 5 myle on this half Damasce; and it is sytt upon a
roche, and it is a fulle faire place, and it semethe a castelle; for there
was wont to ben a castelle; but it is now a fulle faire chirche. And there
with inne, ben monkes and nonnes Cristene. And there is a vowt, undre the
chirche, where that Cristene men duellen also: and thei han many gode
vynes. And in the chirche, behynde the high awtere, in the walle, is a
table of black wode, on the whiche somtyme was depeynted an ymage of oure
Lady, that turnethe into flesche; but now the ymage schewethe but litille:
but evermore thorewe the grace of God that table droppeth as hyt were of
olyve. And there is a vessel of marbre, undre the table, to resseyve the
oyle, thare of thay yeven unto pylgrymes: for it heleth of many sykenesses.
And he that kepeth it clanly a yere, aftre that yere, hyt turneth yn to
flesche and bloode.

By twyne the cytee of Darke and the cytee of Raphane, ys a ryvere, that men
clepen Sabatorye. For on the Saturday, hyt renneth faste; and alle the
wooke elles, hyt stondeth stylle, and renneth nouzt or lytel. And there ys
a nother ryvere, that upon the nyzt freseth wondur faste; and uppon the
day, ys noon frost sene. And so gon men by a cytee, that men clepen
Beruche. And thare men gon un to the see, that schal goon un to Cypre. And
thay aryve at Porte de Sure or of Tyrye; and than un to Cypre. Or elles men
mowen gon from the Porte of Tyrye ryzt welle, and com not yn to Cypre; and
aryve at som haven of Grece; and thanne comen men un to theis countrees, by
weyes, that I have spoken of by fore.

Now have I tolde you of wayes, by the whyche men gon ferrest and longest;
as by Babyloyne and Mounte Synay and other places many, thorewe the whyche
londes, men turne azen to the lande of promyssyoun. Now wul y telle the
ryzt way to Jerusalem. For som men wyl nouzt passe hyt, som for thay have
nouzt despence of hem, for they have noon companye, and other many causes
reasonables. And thare fore I telle you schorttely, how a man may goon with
lytel costage and schortte tyme. A man that cometh from the londes of the
weste, he goth thorewe Fraunce, Borgoyne and Lumbardye, and to Venys and to
Geen, or to som other havene of the marches, and taketh a schyppe thare,
and gon by see to the Isle of Gryffle; and so aryveth hem yn Grece or in
Port Myroche or Valon or Duras, or at som other havene, and gon to londe,
for to reste hem; and gon ayen to the see, and aryves in Cypre; and cometh
nouzt yn the Ile of Roodes; and aryves at Famegoste, that ys the chefe
havene of Cypre, or elles at Lamatoun. And thenne ynto the schyp ayen, and
by syde the havene of Tyre, and come nouzt to lande; and so passeth he by
alle the havens of that coast, until he come to Jaffe, that ys the neyest
haven unto Jerusalem: for it is seven and twenty myle. And from Jaffe men
goon to the cytee of Rames: and that ys but lytel thenne, and hyt is a
fayre cytee. And by syde Rames, ys a fayre churche of oure Lady, whare oure
Lord schewede hym to oure Lady, in thys lykenesse, that he tokeneth the
Trynyte. And thare fast by, ys a churche of Seynt George, whare that hys
heed was smyten of. And thanne un to the Castel Emaus; and thanne unto
Mounte Joye: and from thenne, pylgrymes mowen fyrste se un to Jerusalem.
And thanne un to Mount Modeyn: and thanne unto Jerusalem. And at the Mount
Modeyn lythe the prophete Machabee. And overe Ramatha, ys the town of
Douke; where of Amos the goude prophete was.

A nother way. For alse moche as many men ne may not suffre the savour of
the see, but hadden lever to gon by londe, they that hyt be more payne; a
man schal soo goon un to on of the havenes of Lumbardye, als Venys or an
other; and he schal passe yn to Grece, thorwe Port Moroche, or an other;
and so he schal gon un to Constantynople. And he schal so passe the wature,
that ys cleped the Brace of Seynt George, that ys an arm of the see. And
from thens he schal cum un to Pulveralle; and sythen un to the Castelle of
Cynople. And from thens schal he gon unto Capadose, that ys a grete
countree, whare that ben many grete hylles. And he schal gon thorewe
Turkye, and unto the cytee of Nyke, the whyche they wonne from the
Emperoure of Constantynople. And hyt is a fayre cytee, and wounder wel
walled: and thare ys a ryvere, that men clepen the laye: and thare men goon
by the Alpes of Aryoprynant, and by the Valez of Mallebrynez, and eke the
Vale of Ernax; and so un to Anthyoche the lesse, that sytteth on the
Ryehay. And there aboute ben many goude hylles and fayre, and many fayre
woodes, and eke wylde beestes.

And he that wylle goon by an other way, he mote goon by the playnes of
Romayne, costynge the Romayne see. Uppon that cost, ys a woundur fayre
castelle, that men clepen Florathe. And whanne that a man ys oute of that
ylke hylles, men passen thenne thorewe a cytee, that ys called Maryoche and
Arteyse, whare that ys a grete brygge upon a ryvere of Ferne, that men
clepen Fassar: and hyt ys a grete ryvere, berynge schyppes. And by syde the
cytee of Damas, ys a ryvere that cometh from the mounteyne of Lybane, that
men hyt callen Albane. Atte passynge of this ryvere, seynt Eustache loste
hys two sones, whanne that he hadde lost hys wyffe. And yt gooth thorewe
the playne of Arthadoe; and so un to the Reed See. And so men moten goon un
to the cytee of phenne, and so un to the cytee of Ferne. And Antyoche ys a
ful fayre cytee and wel walled. For hyt ys two myle longe and eche pylere
of the brygge thare ys a goud toure. And thys ys the beest cytee of the
kyngdom of Surrye. And from Antyoche, men moten so forth goon un to the
cytee of Lacuthe; and thanne un to Geble; and thanne un tyl Tourtous: and
thare by ys the lande of Cambre, whare that ys a stronge castelle, that men
clepen Maubeke. And from Tourtouse men goon up to Thryple, uppon the see.
And uppon the see, men goon unto Deres; and thare ben two weyes un to
Jerusalem: Uppon the lyfte way, men goon fyrst un to Damas, by Flome
Jordane: uppon the ryzt syde, men goon thorewe the lande of Flagam, and so
un to the cytee of Cayphas: of the whiche Cayphas was Lord: and som clepeth
hyt the castelle Pellerynez: And from thens ys foure dayes journeyes un to
Jerusalem and they goon thorewe Cesarye Phylyppum and Jaffe and Ramys and
Emaux, and so unto Jerusalem.

Now have I told yow som of the wayes, by the land, and eke by water, how
that men mowen goon unto Jerusalem: they that hyt be so, that there been
many other wayes, that men goon by, aftur countrees, that thay comen fram,
nevere the lasse they turne alle un tylle an ende. Yet is thare a way, alle
by lande, un to Jerusalem, and pass noon see; that ys from Fraunce or
Flaundres; but that way ys fulle lange and perylous, of grete travayle; and
thare fore fewe goon that ylke way. And who so gooth that, he mote goon
thorewe Almayn and Pruys; and so un to Tartarye. This Tartarye ys holden of
the great Chan, of whom y schal speke more afterwarde. For thydur lasteth
hys Lordschup. And the Lordes of Tartarye yeldeth unto the grete Chan
trybute. Thys ys a ful ille lande, and a sondye, and wel lytel fruyt
beryng. For thare groweth lytel goude of corne or wyn, ne benes ne pese:
but beestes ben thare y nowe, and that ful grete plente. And thare ete thay
nought but flesche with outen brede; and thay soupe the brothe there of:
and also thay drynke the mylk. And alle manere of wylde beestes they eten,
houndes, cattes, ratouns, and alle othere wylde bestes. And thei have no
wode, or elle lytylle. And therfore thei warmen and sethen here mete with
hors dong and cow dong, and of other bestes dryed azenst the sonne. And
princes and othere eten not, but ones in the day; and that but lytille. And
thei ben righte foule folk and of evyl kynde. And in somer, be alle the
contrees, fallen many tempestes and many hydouse thondres and leytes, and
slen meche peple and bestes also, fulle often tyme. And sodeynly is there
passynge hete, and sodeynly also passynge cold. And it is the foulest
contree, and the most cursed, and the porest, that men knowen. And here
prince, that governethe that contree, that thei clepen Batho, duellethe at
the cytee of Orda. And treuly no gode man scholde not duellen in that
contre. For the lond and the contree is not worthi houndes to dwelle inne.
It were a gode contree to sowen inne thristelle and breres and broom and
thornes; and for no other thing is it not good. Natheless there is gode
londe in sum place; but it is pure litille, as men seyn. I have not ben in
that contree, ne be tho weyes: but I have ben at other londes, that marchen
to tho contrees; and in the lond of Russye, and in the lond of Nyflan, and
in the reme of Crako, and of Letto, and in the reme of Daresten, and in
manye other places, that marchen to the costes: but I wente never be that
weye to Jerusalem; wherfore I may not wel telle zou the manere. But zif
this matiere plese to ony worthi man, that hathe gon be that weye, he may
telle it, zif him lyke; to that entent, that tho that wole go by that weye,
and maken here viage be tho costes, mowen knowen what weye is there. For no
man may passe be that weye godely, but in time of wyntir, for the perilous
watres, and wykkede mareyes that ben in tho contrees; that no man may
passe, but zif it be strong frost, and snowe aboven. For zif the snow ne
were, men myght not gon upon the yse, ne hors ne carre nouther. And it is
wel a 3 journeys of suche weye, to passe from Prusse to the lond of Sarazin
habitable. And it behovethe to the Cristene men, that schulle werre azen
hem every zeer, to bere here vitaylles with hem: for thei schulle fynde
there no good. And than most thei let carye here vitaylle upon the yse,
with carres that have no wheeles, that thei clepen scleyes. And als longe
as here vitaylles lasten, thei may abide there, but no longer. For there
schulle they fynde no wight that will selle hem ony vitaille or ony thing.
And whan the spyes seen ony Cristene men comen upon hem, thei rennen to the
townes, and cryen with a lowd voys, Kerra, Kerra, Kerra; and than anon thei
armen hem and assemblen hem to gydere.

And zee schulle undirstonde, that it fresethe more strongly in tho contrees
than on this half; and therefore hathe every man stewes in his hous, and in
tho stewes thei eten and don here occupatiouns, alle that they may. For
that is at the northe parties, that men clepen the septentrionelle, where
it is alle only cold. For the sonne is but lytille or non toward tho
contreyes: and therefore in the Septentryon, that is verry northe, is the
lond so cold, that no man may duelle there: and in the contrarye, toward
the southe, it is so hoot, that no man ne may duelle there: because that
the sonne, whan he is upon the southe, castethe his bemes alle streghte
upon that partye.

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.

[Sidenote: Cap. XII.] Now because that I have spoken of Sarazines and of
here contree, now zif zee wil knowe a party of here lawe and of here
beleve, I schalle telle zou, aftre that here book, that is clept Alkaron,
tellethe. And sum men clepen that book Meshaf: and sum men clepen it Harme,
aftre the dyverse langages of the contree. The whiche book Machamete toke
hem. In the whiche boke, among other thinges, is written, as I have often
tyme seen and radd, that the gode shulle gon to paradys, and the evele to
helle: and that beleven alle Sarazines. And zif a man aske hem, what
paradys thei menen; thei seyn, to paradys, that is a place of delytes,
where men schulle fynde alle maner of frutes, in alle cesouns, and ryveres
rennynge of mylk and hony, and of wyn, and of swete watre; and that thei
schulle have faire houses and noble, every man aftre his dissert, made of
precyous stones, and of gold, and of sylver; and that every man schalle
have 80 wyfes, alle maydenes; and he schalle have ado every day with hem,
and zit he schalle fynden hem alle weys maydenes. Also thei beleeven and
speken gladly of the Virgine Marie and of the Incarnacioun. And thei seyn,
that Marye was taughte of the angel; and that Gabrielle seyde to hire, that
sche was forchosen from the begynnynge of the world; and that he schewed to
hire the incarnacioun of Jesu Crist; and that sche conceyved and bare
child, mayden: and that wytnessethe here boke. And they seyn also, that
Jesu Crist spak als sone as he was born; and that he was an holy prophete
and a trewe, in woord and dede, and meke and pytous and rightefulle and
with outen ony vyce. And thei seyn also, that whan the angel schewed the
Incarnacioun of Crist unto Marie, sche was zong, and had gret drede. For
there was thanne an enchantour in the contree, that deled with wycche
craft, that men clepten Taknia, that he his enchauntementes cowde make him
in lyknesse of an angel, and wente often tymes and lay with maydenes: and
therfore Marie dredde, lest it hadde ben Taknia, that cam for to desceyve
the maydenes. And therfore sche conjured the angel, that he scholde telle
hire, zif it were he or no. And the angel answerde and seyde, that sche
scholde have no drede of him: for he was verry messager of Jesu Crist. Also
here book seythe, that whan that sche had childed undre a palme tree, sche
had gret schame, that sche hadde a child; and sche grette, and seyde, that
sche wolde that sche hadde ben ded. And anon the child spak to hire and
comforted hire, and seyde, Modir, ne dismaye the noughte; for God hathe
hidd in the his prevytees, for the salvacioun of the world. And in othere
many places seythe here Alkaron, that Jesu Crist spak als sone as he was
born. And that book seythe also, that Jesu was sent from God alle myghty,
for to ben myrour and ensample and tokne to alle men. And the Alkaron
seythe also of the day of doom, how God schal come to deme alle maner of
folk; and the gode he schalle drawen on his syde, and putte hem into
blisse; and the wykkede he schal condempne to the peynes of helle. And
amonges alle prophetes, Jesu was the most excellent and the moste worthi,
next God; and that he made the Gospelles, in the whiche is gode doctryne
and helefulle, fulle of charitee and sothefastnesse, and trewe prechinge to
hem that beleeven in God; and that he was a verry prophete, and more than a
prophete; and lyved withouten synne, and zaf syghte to the blynde, and
helede the lepres, and reysed dede men, and steyghe to hevene. And whan
thei mowe holden the boke of the Gospelles of oure Lord written, and
namely, _Missus est Angelus Gabriel_; that Gospel, thei seyn, tho that ben
lettred, often tymes in here orisouns, and thei kissen it and worschipen
it, with gret devocioun. Thei fasten an hool monethe in the zeer, and eten
noughts but be nyghte, and thei kepen hem fro here wyfes alle that monethe:
but the seke men be not constreyned to that fast. Also this book spekethe
of Jewes; and seythe, that thei ben cursed; for thei wolde not beleven,
that Jesu Crist was comen of God; and that thei lyeden falsely on Marie and
on hire sone Jesu Crist, seyenge that thei hadden crucyfyed Jesu the sone
of Marie: for he was nevere crucyfyed, as thei seyn; but that God made him
to stye up to him with outen dethe, and with outen anoye: but he
transfigured his lyknesse into Judas Scariothe, and him crucyfyden the
Jewes, and wenden that it had ben Jesus: but Jesus steyge to hevenes alle
quyk; and therfore thei seyn, that the Cristene men erren and han no gode
knowleche of this, and that thei beleeven folyly and falsly, that Jesu
Crist was crucyfyed. And they seyn zit, that and he had ben crucyfyed, that
God had don azen his rightewisnesse, for to suffre Jesu Crist, that was
innocent, to ben put upon the Cros, with outen gylt. And in this article
thei seyn, that wee faylen, and that the gret rightewisnesse of God ne
myghte not suffre so gret a wrong. And in this, faylethe here feythe. For
thei knoulechen wel, that the werkes of Jesu Crist ben gode, and his wordes
and his dedes and his doctryne by his Gospelles, weren trewe and his
meracles also trewe; and the blessed Virgine Marie is good, and holy
mayden, before and aftre the birthe of Jesu Crist; and that alle tho, that
beleven perfitely in God, schul ben saved. And because that thei gon so nye
oure feythe, thei ben lyghtly converted to Cristene lawe, whan men prechen
hem and schewe hem distynctly the lawe of Jesu Crist, and tellen hem of the
prophecyes. And also thei seyn, that thei knownen wel, be the prophecyes,
that the lawe of Machomete schalle faylen, as the lawe of the Jewes dide,
and that the lawe of Cristine peple schalle laste to the day of doom. And
zif ony man aske hem, what is here beleeve; thei answeren thus, and in this
forme, Wee beleven God formyour of hevene and of erthe and of alle othere
things, that he made. And we beleven of the day of doom, and that every man
schalle have his meryte, aftre he hathe disserved. And we beleve it for
sothe, alle that God hathe seyd be the mouthes of his prophetes. Also
Machomet commanded in his Alkaron, that every man scholde have 2 wyfes or 3
or 4; but now thei taken unto 9, and of lemmanes als manye as he may
susteyne. And zif ony of here wyfes mys beren hem azenst hire husbonde, he
may caste hire out of his house; and departe from him, and take another:
but he schalle departe with hire his godes. Also whan men speken to hem, of
the Fadre and of the Sone and of the Holy Gost, thei seyn, that thei ben 3
persones; but not o God. For here Alkaron spekethe not of the Trynyte. But
thei seyn wel, that God hathe speche, and elle where he dowmb; and God
hathe also a Spirit, thei knowen wel, for elle thei seyn, he were not in
lyve. And whan men speken to hem of the Incarnacioun, how that be the word
of the angel, God sente his wysdom in to erthe, and enumbred him in the
Virgyne Marie: and be the Woord of God, schulle the dede ben reysed, at the
day of doom; thei seyn, that it is sothe, and that the Woord of God hathe
gret strengthe. And thei seyn, that whoso knew not the Woord of God, he
scholde not knowe God. And thei seyn also, that Jesu Crist is the Woord of
God; and so seythe here Alkaron, where it seythe, that the angel spak to
Marie and seyde, Marie, God schalle preche the Gospel be the woord of his
mowthe, and his name schalle be clept Jesu Crist. And thei seyn also, that
Abraham was frend to God, and that Moyses was famileer spekere with God;
and Jesu Crist was the Woord and the Spirit of God; and that Machomete was
right messager of God. And thei seyh, that of theise 4, Jesu was the most
worthi and the most excellent and the most gret; so that thei han many gode
articles of oure feythe, alle be it that thei have no parfite lawe and
feythe, as Cristene men han; and therfore ben thei lightly converted; and
namely, tho that undirstonden the Scriptures and the prophecyes. For thei
han Gospelles and the prophecyes and the Byble, writen in here langage.
Wherfore thei conne meche of Holy Wrytt, but thei undirstonde it not, but
aftre the lettre: and so don the Jewes; for thei undirstonde not the lettre
gostly, but bodyly; and therfore ben thei repreved of the wise, that gostly
understonden it. And therfore seythe seynt Poul; _Litera occidit; Spiritus
vivificat_. Also the Sarazines seyn, that the Jewes ben cursed: for thei
han defouled the lawe, that God sente hem be Moyses. And the Cristene ben
cursed also, as thei seyn: for their kepen not the commandementes and the
preceptes of the Gospelle, that Jesu Crist taughte hem. And therfore I
schalle telle zou, what the Soudan tolde me uppn a day, in his chambre. He
leet voyden out of his chambre alle manner of men, lordes aad othere: for
he wolde speke with me in conseille. And there he asked me, how the
Cristene men governed hem in oure contree. And I seyde him, righte wel:
thonked be God. And he seyde me, treulyche, nay: for zee Cristene men ne
recthen righte noghte how untrewly to serve God. Ze scholde zeven ensample
to the lewed peple, for to do wel; and zee zeven hem ensample to don
evylle. For the comownes, upon festyfulle dayes, whan thei scholden gon to
chirche to serve God, than gon thei to tavernes, and ben there in glotony,
alle the day and alle nyghte, and eten and drynken, as bestes that have no
resoun, and wite not whan thei have y now. And also the Cristene men
enforcen hem, in alle maneres that thei mowen, for to fighte, and for to
desceyven that on that other. And there with alle thei ben so proude, that
thei knowen not how to ben clothed; now long, now schort, now streyt, now
large, now swerded, now daggered, and in alle manere gyses. Thei scholden
ben symple, meke and trewe, and fulle of almes dede, as Jhesu was, in whom
thei trowe: but thei ben alle the contrarie, and evere enclyned to the
evylle, and to don evylle. And thei ben so coveytous, that for a lytylle
sylyer, thei sellen here doughtres, here sustres and here owne wyfes, to
putten hem to leccherie. And on with drawethe the wif of another; and non
of hem holdethe feythe to another; but thei defoulen here lawe, that Jhesu
Crist betook hem to kepe, for here salvacioun. And thus for here synnes,
han thei lost alle this lond, that wee holden. For, for hire synnes there
God hathe taken hem in to oure hondes, noghte only be strengthe of our
self, but for here synnes. For wee knowen wel in verry sothe, that whan zee
serve God, God wil hepe zou: and whan he is with zou, no man may be azenst
you. And that knowe we wel, be oure prophecyes, that Cristene men schulle
wynnen azen this lond out of oure hondes, whan thei serven God more
devoutly. But als longe als thei ben of foule and of unclene lyvynge, (as
thei ben now) wee have no drede of hem, in no kynde: for here God wil not
helpen hem in no wise. And than I asked him, how he knew the state of
Cristene men. And he answered me, that he knew alle the state of the
comounes also, be his messangeres, that he sente to alle londes, in manere
as thei weren marchauntes of precyous stones, of clothes of gold and of
othere things; for to knowen the manere of every contree amonges Cristene
men. And than he leet clepe in alle the lordes, that he made voyden first
out of his chambre; and there he schewed me 4, that weren grete lordes in
the contree, that tolden me of my contree, and of many othere Cristene
contrees, als wel as thei had ben of the same contree: and thei spak
Frensche righte wel; and the Sowdan also, where of I had gret marvaylle.
Alas! that it is gret sclaundre to oure feythe and to oure lawe, whan folk
that ben with outen lawe, schulle repreven us and undernemen us of oure
synnes. And thei that scholden ben converted to Crist and to the lawe of
Jhesu, be oure gode ensamples and be oure acceptable lif to God, and so
converted to the lawe of Jhesu Crist, ben thorghe oure wykkednesse and
evylle lyvynge, fer fro us and straungeres fro the holy and verry beleeve,
schulle thus appelen us and holden us for wykkede lyveres and cursed. And
treuly thei sey sothe. For the Sarazines ben gode and feythfulle. For thei
kepen entierly the commaundement of the holy book Alkaron, that God sente
hem be his messager Machomet; to the whiche, as thei seyne, seynt Gabrielle
the aungel often tyme tolde the wille of God. And zee schulle undirstonde,
that Machamote was born in Arabye, that was first a pore knave, that kept
cameles, that wenten with marchantes fur marchandize; and so befelle, that
he wente with the marchandes in to Egipt: and thei weren than Cristene, in
tho partyes. And at the desertes of Arabye, he wente in to a chapelle,
where a Eremyte duelte. And when he entred in to the chapelle, that was but
a lytille and a low thing, and had but a lityl dore and a low, than the
entree began to wexe so gret and so large and so highe, as thoughe it had
ben of a gret mynstre, or the zate of a paleys. And this was the firste
myracle, the Sarazins seyn, that Machomete dide in his zouthe. Aftre began
he for to wexe wyse and riche; and he was a gret astronomer: and aftre he
was governour and prince of the lond of Cozrodane; and he governed it fully
wisely, in suche manere, that whan the prince was ded, he toke the lady to
wyfe, that highte Gadridge. And Machomete felle often in the grete
sikenesse, that men callen the fallynge evylle: wherfore the lady was fulle
sorry, that evere sche toke him to husbonde. But Machomete made hire to
beleeve, that alle tymes, whan he felle so, Gabriel the angel cam for to
speke with him; and for the gret lighte and brightnesse of the angelle, he
myghte not susteyne him fro fallynge. And therfore the Sarazines seyn, that
Gabriel cam often to speke with him. This Machomete regned in Arabye, the
zeer of oure Lord Jhesu Crist 610; and was of the generacioun of Ysmael,
that was Abrahames sone, that he gat upon Agar his chamberere. And therfere
ther ben Sarazines, that ben clept Ismaelytenes; and summe Agaryenes, of
Agar: and the othere propurly ben clept, Sarrazines, of Sarra: and summe
ben clept Moabytes, and summe Amonytes; fro the 2 sones of Lothe, Moab and
Amon, that he begat on his doughtres, that weren aftirward grete erthely
princes. And also Machomete loved wel a gode heremyte, that duelled in the
desertes, a myle fro Mount Synay, in the weye that men gon fro Arabye
toward Caldee, and toward Ynde, o day journey fro the See, where the
marchauntes of Yenyse comen often for marchandise. And so often wente
Machomete to this heremyte, that alle his men weren wrothe: for he wolde
gladly here this heremyte preche, and make his men wake alle nyghte: and
therfore his men thoughten to putte the heremyte to dethe: and so it
befelle upon a nyght, that Machomete was dronken of gode wyn, and he felle
on slepe; and his men toke Machometes swerd out of his schethe, whils he
slepte, and there with thei slowghe this heremyte: and putten his swerd
alle blody in his schethe azen. And at morwe, whan he fond the heremyte
ded, he was fulle sory and wrothe, and wolde have don his men to dethe: but
they alle with on accord seyd, that he him self had slayn him, when he was
dronken, and schewed him his swerd alle blody: and he trowed, that thei
hadden seyd sothe. And than he cursed the wyn, and alle tho that drynken
it. And therfore Sarrazines, that be devout, drynken nevere no wyn: but
sume drynken it prevyly. For zif thei dronken it openly, thei scholde ben
repreved. But thei drynken gode beverage and swete and norysshynge, that is
made of galamelle: and that is that men maken sugar of, that is of righte
gode savour: and it is gode for the breest. Also it befallethe sumtyme,
that Cristene men becomen Sarazines, outher for povertee, or for
symplenesse, or else for here owne wykkednesse. And therfore the
archiflamyn or the flamyn, as oure erchebisshop or bisshopp, whan he
receyvethe hem, seythe thus, _La ellec, Sila. Machomete rores alla_; that
is to seye, _There is no God but on, and Machomete his messager_.

Of the Londes of Albanye, and of Libye. Of the Wisshinges, for Wacchinge of
the Sperhauk; and of Noes Schippe.

[Sidenote: Cap. XIII.] Now sithe I have told zou beforn of the Holy Lond,
and of that contree abouten, and of many weyes for to go to that lond, and
to the Mount Synay, and of Babyloyne the more and the lesse, and to other
places, that I have spoken beforn; now is tyme, zif it lyke zou, for to
telle zou of the marches and iles, and dyverse bestes, and of dyverse folk
bezond theise marches. For in tho contrees bezonden, ben many dyverse
contrees, and many grete kyngdomes; that ben departed be the 4 flodes, that
comen from Paradys terrestre. For Mesopotayme and the Kyngdom of Caldee and
Arabye, ben betwene the 2 ryveres of Tygre and of Eufrates. And the kyngdom
of Mede and of Persye, ben betwene the ryveres of Nile and of Tigres. And
the kyngdom of Syrie, where of I have spoken beforn, and Palestyne and
Phenycie, ben betwene Eufrates and the See Medyterrane: the whiche see
durethe in lengthe, fro Mayrok, upon the See of Spayne, unto the grete See;
so that it lastethe bezonde Costantynople 3040 myles of Lombardye. And
toward the see occyan in Ynde, is the kyngdom of Shithie, that is alle
closed with hilles. And aftre undre Schithie, and fro the See of Caspie,
unto the Flom Thainy, is Amazoyne, that is the lond of femynye, where that
no man is, but only alle wommen. And aftre is Albanye, a fulle grete reme.
And it is clept Albanye, because the folk ben whitere there, than in other
marches there abouten. And in that contree ben so gret houndes and so
stronge, that thei assaylen lyouns, and sleu hem. And thanne aftre is
Hircanye, Bactrye, Hiberye, and many other kyngdomes. And betwene the Rede
See and the see occyan, toward the southe, is the kyngdom of Ethiope, and
of Lybye the hyere. The which lond of Lybye, (that is to seyne Libye the
lowe) that begynnethe at the See of Spayne, fro thens where the Pyleres of
Hercules ben, and durethe unto aneyntes Egipt and towards Ethiope. In that
contree of Libye, is the see more highe than the lond; and it semethe that
it wolde covere the erthe, and natheles zit it passethe not his markes. And
men seen in that contre a mountayne, to the whiche no man comethe. In this
lond of Libye, whoso turnethe toward the est, the schadewe of him self is
on the right syde: and here in oure contree, the schadwe is on the left
syde. In that See of Libye, is no fissche: for thei mowe not lyve ne dure,
for the gret hete of the sonne; because that the watre is evermore
boyllynge, for the gret hete. And many othere londes there ben, that it
were to long to tellen or to nombren: but of sum parties I schal speke more
pleynly here aftre.

Whoso wil thanne gon toward Tarterie, toward Persie, toward Caldee, and
toward Ynde, he most entre the see, at Gene or at Venyse or at sum other
havene, that I have told zou before. And than passe men the see, and
arryven at Trapazond, that is a gode cytee; and it was wont to ben the
havene of Pountz. There is the havene of persanes and of medaynes and of
the marches there bezonde. In that cytee lythe Seynt Athanasie, that was
Bishopp of Alisandre, that made the Psalm _Quicunque vult_. This Athanasius
was a gret Doctour of Dyvynytee: and because that he preched and spak so
depely of Dyvynytee and of the Godhede, he was accused to the Pope of Rome,
that he was an Heretyk. Wherfore the Pope sente aftre hym, and putte him in
presoun: and whils he was in presoun, he made that Psalm, and sente it to
the Pope, and seyde: that zif he were an heretyk, that was that heresie;
for that, he seyde, was his beleeve. And whan the Pope saughe it, and had
examyned it, that it was parfite and gode, and verryly oure feythe and oure
beleeve, he made him to ben delyvered out of presoun, and commanded that
Psalm to ben seyd every day at Pryme: and so he held Athanasie a gode man.
But he wolde nevere go to his bisshopriche azen, because that thei accused
him of heresye. Trapazond was wont to ben holden of the Emperour of
Costantynople: but a gret man, that he sente for to kepe the contree azenst
the Turkes, usurped the lond, and helde it to himself, and cleped him
Emperour of Trapazond.

And from thens, men gon thorghe litille Ermonye. And in that contree is an
old castelle, that stont upon a roche, the whiche is cleped the Castelle of
the Sparrehawk, that is bezonde the cytee of Layays, beside the town of
Pharsipee, that belongethe to the lordschipe of Cruk; that is a riche lord
and a gode Cristene man; where men fynden a sparehauk upon a perche righte
fair, and righte wel made; and a fayre lady of fayrye, that kepethe it. And
who that wil wake that sparhauk, 7 dayes and 7 nyghtes, and as sum men
seyn, 3 dayes and 3 nyghtes, with outen companye, and with outen sleep,
that faire lady schal zeven him, whan he hathe don, the first wyssche, that
he wil wyssche, of erthely thinges: and that hathe been proved often-tymes.
And o tyme befelle, that a kyng of Ermonye, that was a worthi knyght and
doughty man and a noble prince, woke that hauk som tyme: and at the ende of
7 dayes and 7 nyghtes, the lady cam to him, and bad him wisschen: for he
had wel disserved it. And he answerde, that he was gret Lord y now, and wel
in pees, and hadde y nowghe of worldly ricchesse: and therfore he wolde
wisshe non other thing, but the body of that faire lady, to have it at his
wille. And sche answerde him, that he knew not what he asked; and seyde,
that he was a fool, to desire that he myghte not have; for sche seyde, that
he scholde not aske, but erthely thing: for sche was non erthely thing, but
a gostly thing. And the kyng seyde, that he ne wolde asken non other thing.
And the lady answerde, sythe that I may not withdrawe zou fro zoure lewed
corage, I schal zeve zou with outen wysschinge, and to alle hem that
schulle com of you. Sire kyng, zee schulle have werre withouten pees, and
alle weys to the 9 degree, zee schulle ben in subjeccioun to zoure enemyes;
and zee schulle ben nedy of alle godes. And nevere sithen, nouther the kyng
of Ermoyne, ne the contree, weren never in pees, ne thei hadden never
sithen plentee of godes; and thei han ben sithen alle weyes undre tribute
of the Sarrazines. Also the sone of a pore man woke that hauke, and wisshed
that he myghte cheve wel, and to ben happy to merchandise. And the lady
graunted him. And he becaam the most riche and the most famouse marchaunt,
that myghte ben on see or on erthe. And he becam so riche, that he knew not
the 1000 part of that he hadde: and he was wysere, in wisschynge, than was
the king. Also a knyght of the temple wooke there; and wyssched a purs
evere more fulle of gold: and the lady graunted him. But sche seyde him,
that he had asked the destruccioun of here ordre; for the trust and the
affiance of that purs, and for the grete pryde, that they scholde haven:
and so it was. And therfore loke, he kepe him wel, that schalle wake: for
zif he slepe, he is lost, that nevere man schalle seen him more. This is
not the righte weye for to go to the parties, that I have nempned before;
but for to see the merveyle, that I have spoken of.

And therfore who so wil go right weye, men gon fro Trapazond toward Ermonye
the gret, unto a cytee that is clept Artyroun, that was wont to ben a gode
cytee and a plentyous; but the Turkes han gretly wasted it. There aboute
growethe no wyn ne fruyt, but litylle or elle non. In this lond, is the
erthe more highe than in ony other; and that makethe gret cold. And there
hen many gode watres, and gode welles, that comen undre erthe, fro the flom
of paradys, that is clept Eufrates, that is a jorneye besyde that cytee.
And that ryvere comethe towardes Ynde, undre erthe, and restorethe into the
lond of Altazar. And so passe men be this Ermonie, and entren the see of
Persie. Fro that cytee of Artyroun go men to an hille, that is clept
Sabissocolle. And there besyde is another hille, that men clepen Ararathe:
but the Jewes clepen it Taneez; where Noes schipp rested, and zit is upon
that montayne: and men may seen it a ferr, in cleer wedre: and that
montayne is wel a 7 myle highe. And sum men seyn, that thei han seen and
touched the schipp; and put here fyngeres in the parties, where the feend
went out, whan that Noe seyde _Benedicite_. But thei that seyn suche
wordes, seyn here wille: for a man may not gon up the montayne, for gret
plentee of snow that is alle wayes on that montayne, nouther somer ne
wynter: so that no man may gon up there; ne never man dide, sithe the tyme
of Noe; saf a monk, that, be the grace of God, brought on of the plankes
doun: that zit is in the mynstere, at the foot of the montayne. And besyde
is the cytee of Dayne, that Noe founded. And faste by is the cytee of Any,
in the whiche were 1000 chirches. But upon that montayne, to gon up, this
monk had gret desire; and so upon a day, he wente up: and whan he was
upward the 3 part of the montayne, he was so wery, that he myghte no
ferthere, and so he rested him, and felle o slepe; and whan he awook, he
fonde him self lyggynge at the foot of the montayne. And than he preyede
devoutly to God, that he wolde vouche saf to suffre him gon up. And an
angelle cam to him, and seyde, that he scholde gon up; and so he dide. And
sithe that tyme never non. Wherfore men scholde not beleeve such woordes.

Fro that montayne go men to the cytee of Thauriso, that was wont to ben
clept Taxis, that is a fulle fair cytee, and a gret, and on of the beste,
that is in the world, for marchandise: and it is in the lond of the
Emperour of Persie. And men seyn, that the Emperour takethe more gode, in
that cytee, for custom of marchandise than dothe the ricchest Cristene kyng
of alle his reme, that livethe. For the tolle and the custom of his
marchantes is with outen estymacioun to ben nombred. Beside that cytee, is
a hille of salt; and of that salt, every man takethe what he will, for to
salte with, to his nede. There duellen many Cristene men, undir tribute of
Sarrazines. And fro that cytee, men passen be many townes and castelles, in
goynge toward Ynde, unto the cytee of Sadonye, that is a 10 journeyes fro
Thauriso; and it is a fulle noble cytee and a gret. And there duellethe the
Emperour of Persie, in somer: for the contree is cold y now. And there ben
gode ryveres, berynge schippes. Aftre go men the weye toward Ynde, be many
iorneyes, and be many contreyes, unto the cytee, that is clept Cassak, that
is a fulle noble cytee, and a plentyous of cornes and wynes, and of alle
other godes. This is the cytee, where the 3 kynges metten to gedre, whan
thei wenten to sechen oure Lord in Bethtem, to worschipe him, and to
presente him with gold, ensence, and myrre. And it is from that cytee to
Bethleem 53 iourneyes. Fro that cytee, men gon to another cytee, that is
clept Bethe, that is a iourneye fro the see, that men clepen the gravely
see. That is the best cytee, that the Emperour of Persie hathe, in alle his
lond. And thei clepen it there Chardabago; and others clepen it Vapa. And
the Paynemes seyn, that no Cristene man may not longe duelle, ne enduren
with the lif, in that cytee: but dyen with in schort tyme; and no man
knowethe not the cause. Aftre gon men, be many cytees and townes, and grete
contrees, that it were to longe to telle, unto the cytee of Cornaa, that
was wont to be so gret, that the walles abouten holden 25 myle aboute. The
walks schewen zit: but it is not alle enhabited. From Cornaa, go men be
many londes, and many cytees and townes, unto the lond of Job: and there
endethe the lond of the Emperour of Persie.

Of the Lond of Job; and of his Age. Of the Aray of men of Caldee. Of the
Lond where Wommen duellen with outen companye of men. Of the knouleche
and vertues of the verray Dyamant.

[Sidenote: Chap. XIV.] Aftre the departynge fro Cornaa, men entren in to
the lond of Job, that is a fulle faire contree, and a plentyous of alle
godes. And men clepen that lond the lond of Sweze. In that lond is the
cytee of Theman. Job was a Payneem, and he was Are of Gosre his sone, and
held that lond, as prynce of that contree and he was so riche, that he knew
not the hundred part of his godes. And alle thoughe he were a Payneem,
natheless he served wel God, aftre his lawe: and oure Lord toke his service
to his plesance. And whan he felle in poverte, he was 78 zeer of age. And
aftre, whan God had preved his pacyence, and that it was so gret, he
broughte him azen to richesse, and to hiere estate than he was before. And
aftre that he was kyng of Ydumye, aftre Kyng Esau. And whan he was kyng, he
was clept Jobab. And in that kyngdom, he lyvede aftre 170 zere: and so he
was of age, whan he dyede, 248 zeer. In that lond of Job, there nys no
defaute of no thing, that is nedefulle to mannes body. There ben hilles,
where men getten gret plentee of manna, in gretter habundance, than in ony
other contree. This manna is clept bred of aungelles; and it is a white
thing, that is fulle swete and righte delicyous, and more swete than hony
or sugre; and it comethe of the dew of hevene that fallethe upon the
herbes, in that contree; and it congelethe and becomethe alle white and
swete: and men putten it in medicynes for rich men, to make the wombe lax,
and to purge evylle blood: for it clensethe the blode, and puttethe out
malencoyle. This lond of Job marchethe to the kyngdom of Caldee. This lond
of Caldee is fulle gret: and the langage of that contree is more gret in
sownynge, that it is in other parties bezonde the see. Men passen to go
bezond, be the Tour of Babiloyne the grete: of the whiche I have told zou
before, where that alle the langages weren first chaunged. And that is a 4
jorneyes fro Caldee. In that reme, ben faire men, and thei gon fulle nobely
arrayed in clothes of gold, or frayed and apparayled with grete perles and
precyous stones, fulle nobely: and the wommen ben righte foule and evylle
arrayed; and thei gon alle bare fote, and clothed in evylle garnementes,
large and wyde, but thei ben schorte to the knees; and longe sleves doun to
the feet, lyche a monkes frokke; and here sleves ben hongyng aboute here
schuldres: and thei ben blake women, foule and hidouse; and treuly as foule
as thei ben, als evele thei ben. In that kyngdom of Caldee, in a cytee,
that is cleped Hur, duelled Thare, Abrahames fadre: and there was Abraham
born: and that was in that tyme, that Nunus was Kyng of Babiloyne, of
Arabye and of Egypt. This Nunus made the cytee of Nynyvee, the whiche that
Noe had begonne before: and be cause that Nunus performed it, he cleped it
Nynyve, aftre his owne name. Ther lythe Thobye the prophete, of whom Holy
Writt spekethe offe. And fro that cytee of Hur Abraham departed, be the
commandement of God, fro thens, aftre the dethe of his fadre; and ladde
with him Sarra his wife and Lothe his brotheres sone, because that he hadde
no child. And thei wenten to duelle in the lond of Chanaan, in a place,
that is clept Sychem. And this Lothe was he, that was saved, whan Sodom and
Gomorre and the othere cytees weren brent and sonken doun to helle; where
that the dede see is now, as I have told zou before. In that lond of
Caldee, thei han here propre langages, and here propre lettres.

Besyde the lond of Caldee, is the lond of Amazoyne. And in that reme is
alle wommen, and no man; noght, as summe men seyn, that men mowe not lyve
there, but for because that the wommen will not suffre no men amonges hem,
to ben here Sovereynes. For sum tyme, ther was a kyng in that contrey; and
men maryed, as in other contreyes: and so befelle, that the kyng had werre,
with hem of Sithie; the whiche kyng highte Colopeus, that was slayn in
bataylle, and alle the gode blood of his reme. And whan the queen and alle
the othere noble ladyes sawen, that thei weren alle wydewes, and that alle
the rialle blood was lost, thei armed hem, and as creatures out of wytt,
thei slowen alle the men of the contrey, that weren laft. For thei wolden,
that alle the wommen weren wydewes, as the queen and thei weren. And fro
that tyme hiderwardes, thei nevere wolden suffren man to dwelle amonges
hem, lenger than 7 dayes and 7 nyghtes; ne that no child that were male,
scholde duelle amonges hem, longer than he were noryscht; and thanne sente
to his fader. And whan thei wil have ony companye of man, than thei drawen
hem towardes the londes marchynge next to hem: and than thei have loves,
that usen hem; and thei duellen with hem an 8 dayes or 10; and thanne gon
hom azen. And zif thei have ony knave child, thei kepen it a certeyn tyme,
and than senden it to the fadir, whan he can gon allone, and eten be him
self; or elle thei sleen it: and zif it be a femele, thei don away that on
pappe, with an hote hiren; and zif it be a womman of gret lynage, thei don
awey the left pappe, that thes may the better beren a scheeld: and zif it
be a woman of symple blood, thei don awey the ryght pappe, for to scheeen
[sic--KTH] with bowe Turkeys: for thei schote wel with bowes. In that lond
thei have a Queen, that governethe alle that lond: and alle thei ben
obeyssant to hire. And alweys thei maken here queen by eleccioun, that is
most worthy in armes. For thei ben right gode werryoures, and wyse, noble
and worthi. And thei gon often tyme in sowd, to help of other kynges in
here werres, for gold and sylver, as othere sowdyoures don: and thei
meyntenen hem self right vygouresly. This lond of Amazoyne is an Yle, alle
envirouned with the see, saf in 2 places, where ben 2 entrees. And bezond
that watir, duellen the men, that ben here paramoures, and hire loves,
where thei gon to solacen hem, whan thei wole. Besyde Amazoyne, is the lond
of Tarmegyte, that is a gret contree and a fulle delectable: and for the
godnesse of the contree, kyng Alisandre leet first make there the cytee of
Alisandre; and zit he made 12 cytees of the same name: but that cytee is
now clept Celsite. And fro that other cost of caldee, to ward the southe,
is Ethiope, a gret contree, that strecchethe to the ende of Egypt. Ethiope
is departed in 2 princypalle parties; and that is, in the est partie and in
the meridionelle partie: the whiche partie meridionelle is clept Moretane.
And the folk of that contree ben blake y now, and more blake than in the
tother partie; and thei ben clept Mowres. In that partie is a welle, that
in the day it is so cold, that no man may drynke there offe; and in the
nyght it so hoot, that no man may suffre his hond there in. And bezonde
that partie, toward the southe, to passe by the see occean, is a gret lond
and a gret contrey: but men may not duelle there, for the fervent brennynge
of the sonne; so is it passvnge hoot in that contrey. In Ethiope alle the
ryveres and alle the watres ben trouble, and thei ben somdelle salte, for
the gret hete that is there. And the folk of that contree ben lyghtly
dronken, and han but litille appetyt to mete: and thei han comounly the
flux of the wombe: and thei lyven not longe. In Ethiope ben manye dyverse
folk: and Ethiope is clept Cusis. In that contree ben folk, that han but o
foot: and thei gon so fast, that it is marvaylle: and the foot is so large,
that it schadewethe alle the body azen the sonne, whanne thei wole lye and
reste hem. In Ethiope, whan the children ben zonge and lytille, thei ben
alle zelowe: and whan that thei wexen of age, that zalownesse turnethe to
ben alle blak. In Ethiope is the cytee of Saba; and the lond, of the whiche
on of the 3 kynges, that presented oure Lord in Bethleem was kyng offe.

Fro Ethiope men gon to Ynde, be manye dyverse contreyes. And men clepen the
highe Ynde, Emlak. And Ynde is devyded in 3 princypalle parties; that is,
the more, that is a fulle hoot contree; and Ynde the lesse, that is a fulle
atempree contrey, that strecchethe to the lond of Mede; and the 3 part
toward the Septentrion, is fulle cold; so that for pure cold and
contynuelle frost, the watre becomethe cristalle. And upon tho roches of
cristalle, growen the gode dyamandes, that ben of trouble colour. Zallow
cristalle drawethe colour lyke oylle. And thei ben so harde, that no man
may pollysche hem: and men clepen hem dyamandes in that contree, and Hamese
in another contree. Othere dyamandes men fynden in Arabye, that ben not so
gode; and thei ben more broun and more tendre. And other dyamandes also men
fynden in the ile of Cipre, that ben zit more tendre; and hem men may wel
pollische. And in the lond of Macedoyne men fynden dyamaundes also. But the
beste and the most precyouse ben in Ynde. And men fynden many tymes harde
dyamandes in a masse, that comethe out of Gold, whan men puren it and fynen
it out of the myne; whan men breken that masse in smale peces. And sum tyme
it happenethe, that men fynden summe as grete as a pese, and summe lasse;
and thei ben als harde as tho of Ynde. And alle be it that men fynden gode
dyamandes in Ynde, zit natheles men fynden hem more comounly upon the
roches in the see, and upon hilles where the myne of gold is. And thei
growen many to gedre, on lytille, another gret. And ther ben summe of the
gretness of a bene, and summe als gret as an haselle note. And thei ben
square and poynted of here owne kynde, bothe aboven and benethen, with
outen worchinge of mannes hond. And the growen to gedre, male and femele.
And thei ben norysscht with the dew of hevene. And thei engendren comounly,
and bryngen forthe smale children, that multiplyen and growen alle the
zeer. I have often tymes assayed, that zif a man kepe hem with a litylle of
the roche, and wete hem with May dew ofte sithes, thei schulle growe
everyche zeer; and the smale wole wexen grete. For righte as the fyn perle
congelethe and wexethe gret of the dew of hevene, righte so dothe the
verray dyamand: and righte as the perl of his owne kynde takethe
roundnesse, righte so the dyamand, be vertue of God, takethe squarenesse.
And men schalle bere the dyamaund on his left syde: for it is of grettere
vertue thanne, than on the righte syde. For the strengthe of here growynge
is toward the Northe; that is the left syde of the world; and the left
parte of man is, whan he turnethe his face toward the est. And zif zou lyke
to knowe the vertues of the dyamand, (as men may fynde in the lapidarye,
that many men knowen noght) I schalle telle zou: as thei bezonde the see
seyn and affermen, of whom alle science and alle philosophie comethe from.
He that berethe the diamand upon him, it zevethe him hardynesse and
manhode, and it kepethe the lemes of his body hole. It zevethe him victorye
of his enemyes, in plee and in werre; zif his cause be rightefulle: and it
kepethe him that berethe it, in gode wytt; and it kepethe him fro strif and
riot, fro sorwes and from enchauntementes and from fantasyes and illusiouns
of wykked spirites. And zif ony cursed wycche or enchauntour wolde bewycche
him, that berethe the dyamand; alle that sorwe and myschance schalle turne
to him self, thorghe vertu of that ston. And also no wylde best dar
assaylle the man, that berethe it on him. Also the dyamand scholde ben
zoven frely, with outen coveytynge and with outen byggynge: and than it is
of grettere vertu. And it makethe a man more strong and more sad azenst his
enemyes. And it helethe him that is lunatyk, and hem that the fend
pursuethe or travaylethe. And zif venym or poysoun be broughte in presence
of the dyamand, anon it begynnethe to wexe moyst and for to swete. There
ben also dyamandes in Ynde, that ben cept violastres; (for here colour is
liche vyolet, or more browne than violettes) that ben fulle harde and fulle
precyous; but zit sum men love not hem so wel as the othere: but in sothe
to me, I wolde loven hem als moche as the othere; for I have seen hem
assayed. Also there is an other maner of dyamandes, that ben als white as
cristalle; but thei ben a litylle more trouble: and thei ben gode and of
gret vertue, and alle thei ben square and poynted of here owne kynde. And
summe ben 6 squared, summe 4 squared, and summe 3, as nature schapethe hem.
And therefore whan grete lordes and knyghtes gon to seche worschipe in
armes, thei beren gladly the dyamaund upon hem.

I schal speke a litille more of the dyamandes, alle thoughe I tarye my
matere for a tyme, to the ende that thei that knowen hem not, be not
disceyved be gabberes, that gon be the contree, that sellen hem. For whoso
wil bye the dyamande, it is needefulle to him, that he knowe hem; be cause
that men counterfeten hem often of cristalle, that is zalow; and of
saphires of cytryne colour, that is zalow also; and of the saphire loupe,
and of many other stones. But I telle zou, theise contrefetes ben not so
harde; and also the poyntes wil breken lightly, and men may easily
pollische hem. But summe werkmen, for malice, will not pollische hem, to
that entent, to maken men beleve, that thei may not ben pollischt. But men
may assaye hem in this manere; first schere with hem or write with hem in
saphires, in cristalle or in other precious stones. Aftre that men taken
the ademand, that is the schipmannes ston, that drawethe the nedle to him,
and men leyn the dyamand upon the ademand, and leyn the nedle before the
ademand; and zif the dyamand be gode and vertuous, the ademande drawethe
not the nedle to him, while the dyamand is there present. And this is the
preef, that thei bezonde the see maken. Natheles it befallethe often tyme,
that the gode dyamande losethe his vertue, be synne and for incontynence of
him, that berethe it: and thanne it is nedfulle to make it to recoveren his
vertue azen, or elle it is of litille value.

Of the customs of Yles abouten Ynde. Of the differences betwixt Ydoles and
Simulacres. Of 3 maner growing of Peper upon a Tree. Of the welle, that
chaungethe his odour, every hour of the day: and that is mervaylle.

[Sidenote: Cap. XV.] In Ynde ben fulle manye dyverse contrees: and it is
cleped Ynde, for a flom, that rennethe thorghe out the contree, that is
clept Ynde. In that flomme men fynden eles of 30 fote long and more. And
the folk that duellen nyghe that watre, ben of evylle colour, grene and
zalow. In Ynde and abouten Ynde, ben mo than 5000 iles, gode and grete,
that men duellen in, with outen tho that ben inhabitable, and with outen
othere smale iles. In every ile, is gret plentee of cytees and of townes
and of folk, with outen nombre. For men of Ynde han this condicioun of
kynde, that thei nevere gon out of here owne contree: and therfore is ther
gret multitude of peple: but thei ben not sterynge ne mevable, be cause
that thei ben in the firste clymat, that is of Saturne. And Saturne is
sloughe and litille mevynge: for he taryethe to make his turn be the 12
signes, 30 zeer; and the mone passethe thorghe the 12 signes in o monethe.
And for because that Saturne is of so late sterynge, therfore the folk of
that contree, that ben undre his clymat, han of kynde no wille for to meve
ne stere to seche strange places. And in oure contree is alle the
contrarie. For wee ben in the sevenethe climat, that is of the mone. And
the mone is of lyghtly mevynge; and the mone is planete of weye: and for
that skylle, it zevethe us wille of kynde, for to meve lyghtly, and for to
go dyverse weyes, and to sechen strange thinges and other dyversitees of
the world. For the mone envyrounethe the erthe more hastyly than ony othere

Also men gon thorghe Ynde be many dyverse contrees, to the grete see
occean. And aftre men fynden there an ile, that is clept Crues: and thidre
comen marchantes of Venyse and Gene and of other marches, for to byen
marchandyses. But there is so grete hete in tho marches, and namely in that
ile, that for the grete distresse of the hete, mennes ballokkes hangen doun
to here knees, for the gret dissolucioun of the body. And men of that
contree, that knowen the manere, lat bynde hem up, or elle myghte thei not
lyve; and anoynt hem with oynementes made therfore, to holde hem up. In
that contree and in Ethiope and in many other contrees, the folk lyggen
alle naked in ryveres and watres, men and wommen to gedre, fro undurne of
the day, tille it be passed the noon. And thei lyen alle in the watre, saf
the visage, for the gret hete that there is. And the wommen haven no schame
of the men; but lyen alle to gidre, syde to syde, tille the hete be past.
There may men see many foule figure assembled, and namely nyghe the gode
townes. In that ile ben schippes with outen nayles of iren or bonds, for
the roches of the Ademandes: for thei ben alle fulle there aboute in that
see, that it is merveyle to speken of. And zif a schipp passed be tho
marches, that hadde outher iren bondes or iren nayles, anon he scholde ben
perisscht. For the Ademand, of his kynde, drawethe the iren to him: and so
wolde it drawe to him the schipp, because of the iren: that he scholde
never departen fro it, ne never go thens.

Fro that ile, men gon be see to another ile, that is clept Chana, where is
gret plentee of corn and wyn: and it was wont to ben a gret ile, and a gret
havene and a good; but the see hathe gretly wasted it and overcomen it The
kyng of that contree was wont to ben so strong and so myghty, that he helde
werre azenst King Alisandre. The folk of that contree han a dyvers lawe:
for summe of hem, worschipe the sonne, summe the mone, summe the fuyr,
summe trees, summe serpentes, or the first thing that thei meeten at
morwen: and summe worschipen symulacres, and summe Ydoles. But betwene
symulacres and ydoles, is a gret difference. For symulacres ben ymages made
aftre lyknesse of men or of wommen, or of the sonne or of the mone, or of
ony best, or of ony kyndely thing: and ydoles, is an ymage made of lewed
wille of a man, that man may not fynden among kyndely thinges; as an ymage,
that hathe 4 hedes, on of a man, another of an hors, or of an ox, or of sum
other best, that no man hathe seyn aftre kyndely disposicioun. And thei
that worschipen symulacres, thei worschipen hem for sum worthi man, that
was sum tyme, as Hercules and many othere, that diden many marvayles in
here tyme. For thei seyn wel, that thei be not goddes: for thei knowen wel,
that there is a God of kynde, that made alle thinges; the which is in
hevene. But thei knowen wel, that this may not do the marvayles that he
made, but zif it had ben be the specyalle zifte of God: and therfore thei
seyn, that he was wel with God. And for be cause that he was so wel with
God, therfore the worschipe him. And so seyn thei of the sonne; be cause
that he chaungethe the tyme and zevethe hete and norisschethe alle thinges
upon erthe; and for it is of so gret profite, thei knowe wel, that that
myghte not be, but that God lovethe it more than ony other thing. And for
that skylle, God hath zoven it more gret vertue in the world: therfore it
is gode resoun, as thei seyn, to don it worschipe and reverence. And so
seyn thei, that maken here resounes, of othere planetes; and of the fuyr
also, because it is so profitable. And of Ydoles, thei seyn also, that the
ox is the moste holy best, that is in erthe, and most pacyent and more
profitable than ony other. For he dothe good y now, and he dothe non
evylle. And thei knowen wel, that it may not be with outen specyalle grace
of God; and therfore maken thei here God, of an ox the on part, and the
other halfondelle of a man: because that man is the most noble creature in
erthe; and also for he hathe lordschipe aboven alle bestes: therfore make
thei the halfendel of ydole of a man upwardes, and the tother half of an ox
dounwardes: and of serpentes and of other bestes, and dyverse thinges, that
thei worschipen, that thei meten first at morwe. And thei worschipen also
specyally alle tho that thei han gode meetynge of; and whan thei speden wel
in here iorneye, aftre here meetynge; and namely suche as thei han preved
and assayed be experience of longe tyme. For thei seyn, that thilke gode
meetynge ne may not come, but of the grace of God. And therefore thei maken
ymages lyche to tho thinges, that thei han beleeve inne, for to beholden
hem and worschipen hem first at morwe, or thei meeten ony contrarious
thinges. And there ben also sum Cristene men, that seyn, that summe bestes
han gode meetynge, that is to seye, for to meete with hem first at morwe;
and summe bestes wykked metynge: and that thei han preved ofte tyme, that
the hare hathe fulle evylle meetynge, and swy, and many othere bestes. And
the sparhauk and other foules of raveyne, whan thei fleen aftre here praye,
and take it before men of armes, it is a gode signe: and zif he fayle of
takynge his praye, it is an evylle sygne. And also to suche folk, it is an
evylle meetynge of ravenes. In theise thinges and in suche othere, ther ben
many folk, that beleeven; because it happenethe so often tyme to falle,
aftre here fantasyes. And also ther ben men y nowe, that han no beleve in
hem. And sithe that Cristene men han suche beleeve, that ben enformed and
taughte alle day, be holy doctryne, where inne thei schold beleeve, it is
no marvaylle thanne, that the Paynemes, that han no gode doctryne, but only
of here nature, beleeven more largely, for here symplenesse. And treuly I
have seen of Paynemes and Sarazines, that men clepen Augurynes, that whan
wee ryden in armes in dyverse contrees, upon oure enemyes, be the flyenge
of foules, thei wolde telle us the prenosticaciouns of thinges that felle
aftre: and so thei diden fulle often tymes, and profreden here hedes to
wedde, but zif it wolde falle as thei seyden. But natheles ther fore
scholde noght a man putten his beleeve in suche thinges: but always han
fulle trust and beleeve in God oure Sovereyn Lord. This ile of Chana, the
Sarazines han wonnen and holden. In that ile ben many lyouns, and many
othere wylde bestes. And there ben rattes in that ile, als gret as houndes
here: and men taken hem with grete mastyfes: for cattes may not take hem.
In this ile and many othere, men berye not no dede men: for the hete is
there so gret, that in a lityle tyme the flesche wil consume fro the bones.

Fro thens, men gon be see toward Ynde the more, to a cytee that men clepen
Sarche, that is a fair cytee and a gode; and there duellen many Cristene
men of gode feythe: and ther ben manye religious men, and namely of
Mendynantes. Aftre gon men be see, to the lond of Lomb. In that lond
growethe the peper, in the forest that men clepen Combar; and it growethe
nowhere elle in alle the world, but in that forest: and that dureth wel an
18 iourneyes in lengthe. In the forest ben 2 gode cytees; that on highte
Fladrine, and that other Zinglantz. And in every of hem, duellen Cristene
men, and Jewes, gret plentee. For it is a gode contree and a plenteyous:
but there is over meche passynge hete. And zee schulle undirstonde, that
the peper growethe, in maner as dothe a wylde vyne, that is planted faste
by the trees of that wode, for to susteynen it by, as dothe the vyne. And
the fruyt thereof hangethe in manere as reysynges. And the tree is so
thikke charged, that it semethe that it wolde breke: and whan it is ripe,
it is all grene as it were ivy beryes; and than men kytten hem, as men don
the vynes, and than thei putten it upon an owven, and there it waxethe blak
and crisp. And there is 3 maner of peper, all upon o tree; long peper, blak
peper, and white peper. The long peper men clepen sorbotyn; and the blak
peper is clept fulfulle, and the white peper is clept bano. The long peper
comethe first, whanthe lef begynhethe to come; and it is lyche the chattes
of Haselle, that comethe before the lef, and it hangethe lowe. And aftre
comethe the blake with the lef, in manere of clustres of reysinges, alle
grene: and whan men han gadred it, than comethe the white, that is somdelle
lasse than the blake; and of that men bryngen but litille into this
contree; for thei bezonden with holden it for hem self, be cause it is
betere and more attempree in kynde, than the blake: and therfore is ther
not so gret plentee as of the blake. In that contree ben manye manere of
serpentes and of other vermyn, for the gret hete of the contree and of the
peper. And summe men seyn, that whan thei will gadre the peper, thei maken
fuyr, and brennen aboute, to make the serpentes and cokedrilles to flee.
But save here grace of alle that seyn so. For zif thei brenten abouten the
trees, that beren, the peper scholden ben brent, and it wolde dryen up alle
the vertue, as of ony other thing: and han thei diden hemself moche harm;
and thei scholde nevere quenchen the fuyr. But thus thei don; thei anoynten
here hondes and here feet with a juyce made of snayles and of othere
thinges, made therfore; of the whiche the serpentes and the venymous bestes
haten and dreden the savour: and that makethe hem flee before hem, because
of the smelle; and than thei gadren it seurly ynow.

Also toward the heed of that forest, is the cytee of Polombe. And above the
cytee is a grete mountayne, that also is clept Polombe: and of that mount,
the cytee hathe his name. And at the foot of that mount, is a fayr welle
and a gret, that hathe odour and savour of alle spices; and at every hour
of the day, he chaungethe his odour and his savour diversely. And whoso
drynkethe 3 tymes fasting of that watre of that welle, he is hool of of
alle maner sykenesse, that he hathe. And thei that duellen there and
drynken often of that welle, thei nevere han sekenesse, and thei semen alle
weys zonge. I have dronken there of 3 or 4 sithes; and zit, me thinkethe, I
fare the better. Sum men clepen it the Welle of Zouthe: for thei that often
drynken there of, semen alle weys zongly, and lyven with outen sykenesse.
And men seyn, that that welle comethe out of paradys; and therfore it is so
vertuous. Be alle that contree growethe gode gyngevere: and therfore thidre
gon the marchauntes for spicerye. In that lond men worschipen the ox, for
his symplenesse and for his mekenesse, and for the profite that comethe of
him. And thei seyn, that he is the holyest best in erthe. For hem semethe,
that whoso evere be meke and paycyent, he is holy and profitable: for
thanne thei seyn, he hathe alle vertues in him. Thei maken the ox to
laboure 6 zeer or 7, and than thei ete him. And the kyng of the contree
hathe alle wey an ox with him: and he that kepethe him, hathe every day
grete fees, and kepethe every day his dong and his uryne in 2 vesselles of
gold, and bryngen it before here prelate, that thei clepen
archiprotopapaton; and he berethe it before the kyng, and makethe there
over a gret blessynge; and than the kyng wetethe his hondes there, in that
thei clepen gaul, and anyntethe his front and his brest: and aftre he
frotethe him with the dong and with the uryne with gret reverence, for to
ben fulfilt of vertues of the ox, and made holy be the vertue of that holy
thing, that nought is worthe. And whan the kyng hathe don, thanne don the
lordes; and aftre hem here mynystres and other men, zif thei may have ony
remenant. In that contree thei maken ydoles, half man, half ox; and in tho
ydoles, eville spirites speken and zeven answere to men, of what is asked
hem. Before theise ydoles, men sleen here children many tymes, and spryngen
the blood upon the ydoles; and so thei maken here sacrifise. And whan ony
man dyethe in the contree, thei brennen his body in name of penance, to
that entent, that he suffre no peyne in erthe, to ben eten of wormes. And
zif his wif have no child, thei brenne hire with him; and seyn, that it is
resoun, that sche make him companye in that other world, as sche did in
this. But and sche have children with him, thei leten hire lyve with hem,
to brynge hem up, zif sche wole. And zif that sche love more to lyve with
here children, than for to dye with hire husbonde, men holden hire for fals
and cursed; ne schee schalle never ben loved ne trusted of the peple. And
zif the womman dye before the husbonde, men brennen him with hire, zif that
he wole; and zif he wil not, no man constreynethe him thereto; but he may
wedde another tyme with outen blame and repreef. In that contree growen
manye stronge vynes: and the wommen drynken wyn, and men not: and the
wommen schaven hire berdes, and the men not.

Of the Domes made be seynt Thomas. Of Devocyoun and Sacrifice made to
Ydoles there, in the Cytee of Calamye; and of the processioun in goynge
aboute the Cytee.

[Sidenote: Cap. XVI.] From that contree men passen be many marches, toward
a contree, a 10 iourneyes thens, that is clept Mabaron: and it is a gret
kyngdom, and it hathe many faire cytees and townes. In that kyngdom lithe
the body of Seynt Thomas the apostle, in flesche and bon, in a faire tombe,
in the cytee of Calamyee: for there he was martyred and buryed. But men of
Assirie beeren his bodye in to mesopatayme, in to the cytee of Edisse: and
aftre, he was broughte thidre azen. And the arm and the hoond, (that he
putte in oure Lordes syde, whan he appered to him, aftre his resurrexioun,
and seyde to him, _Noli esse incredulus, sed fidelis_) is zit lyggynge in a
vesselle with outen the tombe. And be that hond thei maken alle here
juggementes, in the contree, whoso hathe righte or wrong. For whan ther is
ony dissentioun betwene 2 partyes, and every of hem meyntenethe his cause,
and seyth, that his cause is rightfulle, and that other seythe the
contrarye, thanne bothe partyes writen here causes in 2 billes, and putten
hem in the hond of seynt Thomas; and anon he castethe awey the bille of the
wrong cause, and holdethe stille the bille with the righte cause. And
therfore men comen from fer contrees to have juggement of doutable causes:
and other juggement usen thei non there. Also the chirche, where seynt
Thomas lythe, is bothe gret and fair, and alle fulle of grete simulacres:
and tho ben grete ymages, that thei clepen here goddes; of the whiche, the
leste is als gret as 2 men. And among theise othere, there is a gret ymage,
more than ony of the othere, that is alle covered with fyn gold and
precyous stones and riche perles: and that ydole is the god of false
Cristene, that han reneyed hire feythe. And it syttethe in a chayere of
gold, fulle nobely arrayed; and he hathe aboute his necke large gyrdles,
wroughte of gold and precyous stones and perles. And this chirche is fulle
richely wroughte, and alle over gylt with inne. And to that ydole gon men
on pylgrimage, als comounly and with als gret devocioun, as Cristene men
gon to seynt James, or other holy pilgrimages. And many folk that comen fro
fer londes, to seche that ydole, for the gret devocyoun that thei han, thei
loken nevere upward, but evere more down to the erthe, for drede to see ony
thing aboute hem, that scholde lette hem of here devocyoun. And summe ther
ben, that gon on pilgrimage to this ydole, that beren knyfes in hire
hondes, that ben made fulle kene and scharpe; and alle weyes, as thei gon,
thei smyten hem self in here armes and in here legges and in here thyes,
with many hydouse woundes; and so thei scheden here blood, for love of that
ydole. And thei seyn that he is blessed and holy, that dyethe so for love
of his God. And othere there ben, that leden hire children, for to sle, to
make sacrifise to that ydole; and aftre thei han slayn hem, thei spryngen
the blood upon the ydole. And summe ther ben, that comme fro ferr, and in
goynge toward this ydole, at every thrydde pas, that thei gon fro here
hows, thei knelen; and so contynuen tille thei come thidre: and whan thei
comen there, thei taken ensense and other aromatyk thinges of noble smelle,
and sensen the ydole, as we wolde don here Goddes precyouse body. And so
comen folk to worschipe this ydole, sum fro an hundred myle, and summe fro
many mo. And before the mynstre of this ydole, is a vyvere, in rmaner of a
gret lake, fulle of watre: and there in pilgrymes casten gold and sylver,
perles and precyous stones, with outen nombre, in stede of offrynges. And
whan the mynystres of that chirche neden to maken ony reparacyoun of the
chirche or of ony of the ydoles, thei taken gold and silver, perles and
precyous stones out of the vyvere, to quyten the costages of suche thing as
thei maken or reparen; so that no thing is fawty, but anon it schalle ben
amended. And zee schulle undirstonde, that whan grete festes and
solempnytees of that ydole, as the dedicacioun of the chirche, and the
thronynge of the ydole bethe, alle the contree aboute meten there to
gidere; and thei setten this ydole upon a chare with gret reverence, wel
arrayed with clothes of gold, of riche clothes of Tartarye, of Camacca, and
other precyous clothes; and thei leden him aboute the cytee with gret
solempnytee. And before the chare, gon first in processioun alle the
maydenes of the contree, 2 and 2 to gidere, fulle ordynatly. And aftre tho
maydenes, gon the pilgrymes. And summe of hem falle doun undre the wheles
of the chare, and lat the chare gon over hem; so that thei ben dede anon.
And summe han here armes or here lymes alle to broken, and summe the sydes:
and alle this don thei for love of hire god, in gret devocioun. And he
thinkethe, that the more peyne and the more tribulacioun, that thei suffren
for love of here god, the more ioye thei schulle have in another world. And
schortly to seye zou; thei suffren so grete peynes and so harde
martyrdomes, for love of here ydole, that a Cristene man, I trowe, durst
not taken upon him the tenthe part of the peyne, for love of oure Lord
Jhesu Crist. And aftre, I seye zou, before the chare, gon alle the
mynstrelles of the contrey, with outen nombre, with dyverse instrumentes;
and thei maken alle the melodye, that thei cone. And whan thei han gon alle
aboute the cytee, thanne thei retournen azen to the mynstre, and putten the
ydole azen in to his place. And thanne, for the love and in worschipe of
that ydole, and for the reverence of the feste, thei slen himself, a 200 or
300 persones, with scharpe knyfes, of the whiche thei bryngen the bodyes
before the ydole; and than thei seyn, that tho ben seyntes, because that
thei slowen hemself of here owne gode wille, for love of here ydole. And as
men here, that hadde an holy seynt of his kyn, wolde thinke, that it were
to hem an highe worschipe, right so hem thinkethe there. And as men here
devoutly wolde writen holy seyntes lyfes and here myracles, and sewen for
here canonizaciouns, righte so don thei there, for hem that sleen hem self
wilfully, for love of here ydole; and seyn, that thei ben gloriouse
martyres and seyntes, and putten hem in here wrytynges and letanyes, and
avaunten hem gretly on to another of here holy kynnesmen; that so becomen
seyntes; and seyn, I have mo holy seyntes in my kynrede, than thou in thin.
And the custome also there is this, that whan thei that han such devocioun
and entent, for to sle him self, for love of his god, thei senden for alle
here frendes, and han gret plentee of mynstrelle, and thei gon before the
ydole ledynge him, that wil sle himself for such devocioun, betwene hem
with gret reverence. And he alle naked hath a ful scharp knyf in his hond,
and he cuttethe a gret pece of his flesche and castethe it in the face of
his ydole, seyenge his orysounes, recommendynge him to his god: and than he
smytethe himself, and makethe grete woundes and depe here and there, tille
he falle doun ded. And than his frendes presenten his body to the ydole:
and than thei seyn, syngynge, Holy God, behold what thi trewe servant hath
don for the; he hathe forsaken his wif and his children and his ricchesse
and alle the godes of the worlde and his owne lyf, for the love of the, and
to make the sacrifise of his flesche and of his blode. Wherfore, Holy God,
putte him among thi beste belovede seyntes in thi blisse of paradys: for he
hathe well disserved it. And than thei maken a gret fuyr, and brennen the
body: and thanne everyche of his frendes taken a quantyte of the assches,
and kepen hem in stede of relykes, and seyn, that it is a holy thing. And
thei have no drede of no perile, whils thei han tho holy assches upon hem.
And thei putten his name in here letanyes, as a seynt.

Of the evylle Customs used in the Yle of Lamary: and how the Erthe and the
See ben of round Forme and schapp, be pref of the Sterre, that is clept
Antartyk, that is fix in the Southe.

[Sidenote: Chap. XVII.] Fro that contree go men be the see occean, and be
many dyverse yles, and be many contrees, that were to longe for to telle
of. And a 52 iorneyes fro this lond, that I have spoken of, there is
another lond, that is fulle gret, that men clepen Lamary. In that lond is
fulle gret hete: and the custom there is such, that men and wommen gon alle
naked. And thei scornen, whan thei seen ony strange folk goynge clothed.
And thei seyn, that God made Adam and Eve alle naked; and that no man
scholde schame, that is of kyndely nature. And thei seyn, that thei that
ben clothed ben folk of another world, or thei ben folk, that trowen not in
God. And thei seyn, that thei beleeven in God, that formede the world, and
that made Adam and Eve, and alle other thinges. And thei wedden there no
wyfes: for all the wommen there ben commoun, and thei forsake no man. And
thei seyn, thei synnen, zif thei refusen ony man: and so God commannded to
Adam and Eve, and to alle that comen of him, whan he seyde, _Crescite et
multiplicamini, et replete terram_. And therfore may no man in that contree
seyn, this is my wyf: ne no womman may seye, this is myn husbonde. And whan
thei han children, thei may zeven hem to what man thei wole, that hathe


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