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Now voucheth sauf this day, or hit be nyght, and lady and sovereign of all other lands, and is

That I of you the blisful soun may here, blessed and hallowed with the precious body Or see your colour lyk the sonnė bright

and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; in the That of yelownesse haddė never pere. Ye be my lyf! ye be myn hertės stere!1

which land it pleased him to take flesh and Quene of comfort and of good companye!

5 blood of the Virgin Mary, to environ ? that Beth hevy ageyn, or ellės mot I dye.

holy land with his blessed feet; and there he

would of his blessedness shadow him in the said Now, purse, that be to me my lyvės light blessed and glorious Virgin Mary, and become

And Savėour, as doun in this worlde here, Out of this toun help me thorogh your myght,

man, and work many miracles, and preach and

10 teach the faith and the law of Christian men Syn that ye wole not been my tresorére; For I am shave? as nye as is a frere.

unto his children; and there it pleased him to But yet I pray unto your curtesye,

suffer many reprovings and scorns for us; Beth hevy ageyn, or ellės mot I dye!

and he that was king of heaven, of air, of earth,

of sea, and of all things that are contained in

15 them, would only be called king of that land, THE BALLAD OF GOOD COUNSEL OR

when he said, “Rex sum Judeorum,” that is to TRUTH

say, I am king of the Jews; and that land he (After 1386)

chose before all other lands, as the best and most

worthy land, and the most virtuous land of all Flee fro the prees, and dwelle with sothefast

20 the world; for it is the heart and the middle of nesse Suffice unto thy thyng though hit be smal;

all the world; by witness of the philosopher, For hord hath hate and clymbyng tikelnesse,

who saith thus, “Virtus rerum in medio conPrees hath envye, and welė blent i overal;

sistit;" that is to say, “The virtue of things is Savour ? no more than thee bihove shal;

in the middle;' and in that land he would lead Werk wel thy-self, that other folk canst rede, 25 his life, and suffer passion and death from the And trouthé shal delivere, it is no drede.

Jews for us, to redeem and deliver us from the Tempest thee - noght al crokėd to redresse

pains of hell, and from death without end, In trust of hir that turneth as a bal:

which was ordained for us for the sin of our Greet restė stant in litel besynesse;

first father Adam, and for our own sins An eek be war to sporne ageyn an al;

30 also: Stryve noght, as doth the crokkė 8 with the wal. Wherefore every good Christian man, that is Dauntė 7 thy-self, that dauntest otherės dede.

of power, and hath whereof, should labour with And trouthe shal delivere, it is no drede.

all his strength to conquer our right heritage, That thee is sent, receyve in buxumnesse.

and drive out all the unbelieving men. For The wrastling for this worlde axeth a fal. 35 we are called Christian men, after Christ our Her nis non hoom, her nis but wildernesse. father. And if we be right children of Christ, Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out of thy we ought to claim the heritage that our father stal,

left us, and take it out of heathen men's Know thy contree, look up, thank God of al; hands. Hold the hye wey, and let thy gost thee lede, 20

And forasmuch as it is long time passed that And trouthé shal delivere, it is no drede.

there was no general passage or voyage over the sea, and many men desiring to hear speak

of the Holy Land, and have thereof great solace THE VOYAGES AND TRAVELS OF SIR

and comfort, I, John Maundeville, knight, JOHN MANDEVILLE 1

45 albeit I be not worthy, who was born in Eng

land, in the town of Saint Albans, passed the THE PROLOGUE

sea in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 1322, on Forasmuch as the land beyond the sea, that the day of St. Michael; and hitherto have been is to say, the Holy Land, which men call the a long time over the sea, and have seen and land of promise or of behest, passing all other 50 gone through many divers lands, and many lands, is the most worthy land, most exc ent, provinces, and kingdoms, and isles, and have 1 Rudder. 2 Close.

passed through Tartary, Persia, Ermony 1 Makes blind.

3 Advise.

(Armenia) the Little and the Great; through 4 Distress thyself. 5 Awl.

6 Earthen pot. 7 Subdue. 8 Submission. Beast.

Lybia, Chaldea, and a great part of Ethiopia; * This famous travel book and collection of marvels 55 through Amazonia, India the Less and the was long supposed to be the composition of one, Sir Greater, a great part; and throughout many John Mandeville, who had actually travelled in the countries he mentions. It is now known to be a trans- other isles that are about India; where dwell lation of a French original, supposedly by Jean de Bur

many divers folks, and of divers manners and gogne (d. 1372), which in turn was a compilation from various classical and medieval writers.

2 Go about in.




? Taste.


laws, and of divers shapes of men. Of which other isle are people that go upon their hands lands and isles I shall speak more plainly and feet like beasts, and are all skinned and hereafter. And I shall devise you

feathered, and would leap as lightly into part of things that are there, when time shall trees, and from tree to tree, as squirrels or be as it may best come to my mind; and es- 5 apes. And in another isle are people pecially for them that will and are in pur- that go always upon their knees, and at pose to visit the holy city of Jerusalem, and every step they go it seems that they would the holy places that are thereabout. And I fall; and they have eight toes on every foot. shall tell the way that they shall hold thither; Many other divers people of divers natures for I have ofttimes passed and ridden the 10 there are in other isles about, of the which way, with good company of many lords: God it were too long to tell. be thanked! And ye shall understand that I have put this

KING ALEXANDER AND THE ISLE OF book out of Latin into French, and translated it

BRAGMAN again out of French into English, that every 15 man of my nation may understand it; and that And beyond that isle is another isle, great and lords and knights and other noble and worthy rich, where are good and true people, and of men that know Latin but little, and have been good living after their belief, and of good faith, beyond the sea, may know and understand, if I and although they are not christened, yet by err from defect of memory, and may redress it 20 natural law they are full of all virtue, and and amend it. For things passed out of long eschew all vices. time from a man's mind or from his sight turn soon into forgetting; because a man's mind may And that isle is called the isle of Bragman, not be comprehended or withheld, on account and some men call it the Land of Faith; of the frailty of mankind.

25 and through it runs a great river called


And in general all the men of those isles, and

of all the borders thereabout, are truer than in From that isle, in going by sea towards the any other country thereabout, and more just south, is another great isle, called Dondun, in 30 than others in all things. . . which are people of wicked kinds, so that the father eats the son, the son the father, the And because they are so true, and so just, husband the wife, and the wife the hus- and so full of all good conditions, they are band.

never grieved with tempests, nor with thunder The king of this isle is a great and powerful 35 and lightning, nor with hail, nor with pestilence, lord, and has under him fifty-four great isles, nor with war, nor with famine, nor with any which give tribute to him; and in every one of other tribulation, as we are many times amongst these isles is a king crowned, all obedient to us for our sins; wherefore it appears evident that king. In one of these isles are people of that God loveth them for their good deeds. great stature, like giants, hideous to look upon; 40 They believe well in God that made all and they have but one eye, which is in the mid- things, and worship Him; and they prize no dle of the forehead; and they eat nothing but earthly riches; and they live full orderly, and raw flesh and fish. And in another isle towards so soberly in meat and drink, that they live the south dwell people of foul stature and cursed right long. And the most part of them die nature, who have no heads, but their eyes are 45 without sickness, when nature faileth them for in their shoulders.

In another isle are people who have the face And it befell, in king Alexander's time, that all flat, without nose and without mouth. In he purposed to conquer that isle; but when another isle are people that have the lip above they of the country heard it, they sent messenthe mouth so great, that when they sleep in the 50 gers to him with letters, that said thus:sun they cover all the face with that lip. And What may we be now to that man to whom in another isle there are dwarfs, which have no all the world is insufficient? Thou shalt find mouth, but instead of their mouth they have a nothing in us to cause thee to war against us; little round hole; and when they shall eat or for we have no riches, nor do we desire any; drink, they take it through a pipe, or a pen, or 55 and all the goods of our country are in common. such a thing, and suck it in. And in another Our meat, with which we sustain our bodies, is isle are people that have ears so long that they our riches; and instead of treasure of gold and hang down to their knees. And in another silver, we make our treasure of acorns and peas, isle are people that have horses' feet. In an- and to love one another. .

old age.

"Our wives are not arrayed to make any man that is towards the east, at the beginning of pleased. When men labour to array the body, the earth. But this is not that east that we to make it seem fairer than God made it, they call our east, on this half, where the sun rises do great sin; for man should not devise nor ask to us; for when the sun is east in those parts greater beauty than God hath ordained him to 5 towards Terrestrial Paradise, it is then midhave at his birth. The earth ministereth to us night in our parts on this half, on account of the two things; our livelihood, that cometh of the roundness of the earth of which I have told earth that we live by, and our sepulchre after you before; for our Lord God made the earth our death.

We have been in perpetual peace all round, in the middle of the firmament. till now that thou art come to disinherit us; and 10 And there have mountains and hills been, and also we have a king, not to do justice to every valleys, which arose only from Noah's flood, man, for he shall find no forfeit among us; but that wasted the soft and tender ground, and to keep nobleness, and to show that we are fell down into valleys; and the hard earth and obedient, we have a king. For justice has the rock remain mountains, when the soft among us no place; for we do to no man 15 and tender earth was worn away by the water, otherwise than we desire that men do to us, and fell, and became valleys. so that righteousness or

vengeance have

Of Paradise I cannot speak properly, for nought to do among us; so that thou mayest I was not there. It is far beyond; and I repent take nothing from us but our good peace, that not going there, but I was not worthy. But always hath endured among us.” And when 20 as I have heard say of wise men beyond, I king Alexander had read these letters, he shall tell you with good-will. Terrestrial thought that he should do great sin to trouble Paradise, as wise men say, is the highest place them.

of the earth; and it is so high that it nearly

touches the circle of the moon there, as the The Hills OF GOLD AND THE TERRESTRIAL 25 moon makes her turn. For it is so high that PARADISE

the flood of Noah might not come to it, that

would have covered all the earth of the world Towards the east of Prester John's land 1 is a all about, and above and beneath, except Paragood and great isle called Taprobane, and it dise. And this Paradise is enclosed all about is very fruitful; and the king thereof is rich, 30 with a wall, and men know not whereof it is; and is under the obeisance of Prester John.

for the wall is covered all over with moss, as And there they always make their king by it seems; and it seems not that the wall is election. In that isle are two summers and natural stone. And that wall stretches from two winters; and men harvest the corn twice the south to the north; and it has but one a year; and in all seasons of the year the gar- 35 entry, which is closed with burning fire, so dens are in flower.

that no man that is mortal dare enter.

And in the highest place of Paradise, exactly Beside that isle, towards the east, are two in the middle, is a well that casts out the four other isles, one called Orille, the other Argyte, streams, which run by divers lands, of which of which all the land is mines of gold and silver. 40 the first is called Pison, or Ganges, that runs And those isles are just where the Red Sea throughout India, or Emlak, in which river separates from the Ocean Sea.

are many precious stones, and much lignum

aloes, and much sand of gold. And the other In the isle, also, of this Taprobane are river is called Nile, or Gyson, which goes great hills of gold, that ants keep full dili- 45 through Ethiopia, and after through Egypt. gently.

And the other is called Tigris, which runs by And beyond the land, and isles, and deserts Assyria, and by Armenia the Great. And the of Prester John's lordship, in going straight other is called Euphrates, which runs through towards the east, men find nothing but moun- Media, Armenia, and Persia. And men there tains and great rocks; and there is the dark 50 beyond say that all the sweet waters of the region, where no man may see, neither by day world, above and beneath, take their beginning nor night, as they of the country say. And from the well of Paradise; and out of that well that desert, and that place of darkness, lasts all waters come and go. The first river is from this coast unto Terrestrial Paradise, called Pison, that is, in our language, Aswhere Adam, our first father, and Eve were 55 sembly; for many other rivers meet there, and put, who dwelt there but a little while; and go into that river. And some call it Ganges,

from an Indian king, called Gangeres because 1 Prester John was a supposed Christian king of a great land in Asia, the extent and location of which were 2 Aloes-wood, a soft, aromatic wood, often burnt for a very vague.


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it ran through his land. And its water is in many thousands to be lost that night, some in some places clear, and in some places troubled; water, some in fire, some by sudden death, in some places hot, and in some places cold. and some to be damned without end. And The second river is called Nile, or Gyson, for for these goodnesses and mercies thank thy it is always troubled; and Gyson, in the lan- 5 God with all thine heart, and pray him to guage of Ethiopia, is to say Trouble, and in give thee grace to spend, in that day and everthe language of Egypt also. The third river, more, all the mights of thy soul, as mind, called Tigris, is as much as to say, Fast Run- reason, wit, and will, and all the mights of thy ning; for it runs faster than any of the others. body, as strength, beauty, and thy five wits, The fourth river is called Euphrates, that is 10 in his service and worship; and in no thing forto say, Well Bearing; for there grow upon that feit again his commandments, but (be) ready river corn, fruit, and other goods, in great to perform works of mercy, and to give good plenty.

example of holy life, both in word and in deed, And you shall understand that no man that to all men about thee. is mortal may approach to that Paradise; for 15 Look afterwards that thou be well occupied, by land no man may go for wild beasts, that and in no time idle for temptation. Take meat are in the deserts, and for the high mountains, and drink in measure, not too costly nor too and great huge rocks, that no man may pass licorouse,' and be not too curious ? thereabout, by for the dark places that are there; and by but such as God sendeth, with truth take it, the rivers may no man go, for the water runs 20 in such measure that thou be fresher in mind so roughly and so sharply, because it comes and wits to serve God, and algates : thank him down so outrageously from the high places for his gift. Over this, look thou do right and above, that it runs in so great waves that no equity to all men, both to sovereigns,“ peers, 5 ship may row or sail against it; and the water subjects, or servants; and stir all men to love roars so, and makes so huge a noise, and so 25 truth and mercy, and over these charity; and great a tempest, that no man may hear an- suffer no man be at dissension, but accord other in the ship, though he cried with all the them 6 if thou mayest in any good manner. might he could. Many great lords have es- Also most of all things dread God and his sayed with great will, many times, to pass by wrath, and most of all things love God and those rivers towards Paradise, with full great 30 his law and his worship; and ask not princicompanies; but they might not speed in their pally worldly meed, but in all thine heart devoyage; and many died for weariness of rowing sire the bliss of heaven, through the mercy of against the strong waves; and many of them God and thine own goodness of life. . . . And became blind, and many deaf, for the noise of in the end of the day think where thou hast the water; and some perished and were lost in 35 offended God, and how much and how often, the waves; so that no mortal man may ap- and therefore have entire sorrow, and amend proach to that place without special grace of it while thou may. ... If thou be a priest, God; so that of that place I can tell you no and especially a curate, live thou holily, pass

ing others in holy prayer and holy desire and 40 thinking, in holy speaking, counselling, and

true teaching, and ever that God's hests 8 and John Wyclif

his gospel be in thy mouth, and ever despise

sin, to draw men therefrom. And that thy c. 1324-1384

deeds be so rightful, that no man shall blame

45 them with reason, but thine open deeds be a A SHORT RULE OF LIFE

true book to all sogettis' and lewd men, 10 to A SHORT RULE OF LIFE FOR EACH MAN IN serve God and do his hests thereby. For enGENERAL, AND FOR PRIESTS AND LORDS AND sample of good, and open and lasting, stirreth LABOURERS IN SPECIAL, HOW EACH MAN SHALL rude men more than true preaching by the BE SAVED IN HIS DEGREE, IF HE WILL HIMSELF. 50 naked word. And waste not thy goods in First, when thou risest or fully wakest, think great feasts of rich men, but live a mean 11 life on the goodness of God; for his own goodness of poor men's alms and goods, both in meat and none other need he made all things of and drink and clothes; and the remnant give naught, both angels and men, and all other truly to poor men that have naught of their creatures good in their kind. The second time 55

i Dainty, tempting to the appetite. 2 Fastidious. think on the great passion and wilful death

3 Always, in all circumstances.

4 Superiors. that Christ suffered for mankind. .. And • Equals.

6 Reconcile them.

Commands. think the third time, how God hath saved thee

Subject, i. e. lowly.

10 Unlearned. from death and other mischiefs, and suffered 11 Moderate.


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7 Reward.




own, and may not labour for feebleness or FIFTEENTH AND EARLY SIXsickness, and then thou shalt be a true priest

TEENTH CENTURIES both to God and man.

If thou be a lord, look thou live a rightful ENGLISH FOLLOWERS OF CHAUCER life in thine own person, both anent God and 5 man, keeping the hests of God, doing the works From A PRAISE OF WOMEN of mercy, ruling well thy five wits, and doing

For this ye knowé well, though I would lie, reason and equity and good conscience to all

In women is all truth and steadfastness; men. The second time, govern well thy wife, For in good faith I never of them syel thy children, and thy homely meyne 12 in 10 But much worship, bounty, and gentleness, God's law, and suffer no sin among them, Right comyng, fair, and full of mekėness, neither in word nor in deed, upon thy might,

Good and glad, and lowly, I you ensure, that they may be ensamples of holiness and

Is this goodly angelic créature. righteousness to all others. ... The third And if it hap a man be in disease, 2 time, govern well thy tenants, and maintain 15 She doth her business and her full fain them in right and reason, and be merciful to

With all her might, him to comfort and please them in their rents, and worldly merciments, 18

If fro his disease she mightė him restrain; and suffer not thy officers to do them wrong

In word nor deed, I wis, she will not ign, 145

But with all her might she doth her businéss nor extortions, and chastise in good manner

To bringe him out of his heavinéss. them that rebel against God's hests and vir- 20 tuous living, more than for rebellion against

Lo, what gentleness these women have, thine own cause or person.

If we could know it for our rudėness!
If thou be

How busy they be us to keep and save, a labourer, live in meekness, and truly and

Both in health, and also in sickness! wilfully 14 do thy labour; that if thy lord or And always right sorry for our distress, thy master be an heathen man, that by thy 25 In every manner; thus they shewė ruth, meekness and wilful and true service, he have That in them is all goodnessé and truth. not to gruche 15 against thee, nor slander thy

And since in them are gentleness and trouth, 155 God nor Christendom. 16 And serve not to

Worship, bounty, and kindness evermore, Christian lords with gruching," nor only in Let ne'er this gentylnessė through your slouth their presence, but truly and wilfully in their 30 In her kind truth be aught forlorė,3 absence, not only for worldly dread nor worldly That in woman is, and hath been full yorė; reward, but for dread of God and good con

For in reverence of the heaven's Queen, science, and for reward in heaven. For that

We ought to worship all women that been. God that putteth thee in such service wots 18 For of all creatures that e'er were born, what state is best for thee, and will reward 35 This wot ye well, a woman was the beste: thee more than all earthly lords may, if thou

By her recovered was the bliss that we had

lorne, 4 doest it truly and wilfully for his ordinance.

And through the woman shall we come to And in all things beware of grucchyng 17

reste, against God and his visitation, in great labour

And be y-saved, if that our selfė lest; and long, and great sickness, and other adversi- 40 Wherefore, me thinketh, if that we had grace, ties; and beware of wrath, of cursing and wary- We oughten honour women in every place. ying, 19 or banning, of man or of beast. And

Therefore I read that, to our lives ende, ever keep patience, and meekness, and charity,

Fro this time forth, the while that we have both to God and man. And thus each man in

space, these three estates oweth 20 to live, to save 45 That we have trespassed, pursue to amend, himself and help others; and thus should good Praying our Lady, well of allé grace, life, rest, peace, and charity be

among Christian

To bringė us untó that blissful place, men, and they be saved, and heathen men Where she and all good women shall be inferes soon converted, and God magnified greatly in

In heaven above, among the angels clear. all nations and sects, that now despise him 50

MERCILES BEAUTE and his law, for the wicked living of false Christian men.

Your eyen two wol slee me sodenly,

I may the beautė of hem not sustene, 12 Home-retinue, household.

So woundeth hit through-out my herté kene. 13 Fines, amercements. 14 Willingly.

And but your word wol helen hastily 15 Complain.

My hertės wounde, whyl that hit is grene, 16 Christianity.

Your eyen two wol slee me sodenly,
17 Complaining, grudging.
13 Knows.

I may the beauté of hem not sustene.
18 Cursing, condemning.





i Saw. 2 Discomfort. 3 At all lost or diminished. Ought.


4 Lost.

5 Pleases.

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