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sea, and have seen and gone thorough many divers londs, and many provinces, and kingdoms, and isles, and have passed thorough Tartary, Persie, Ermonie the Little and the Great; thorough Libye, Chaldee, and a great part of Ethiop; thorough Amazoyn, Ind the Lass and the More, a great party; and thorough out many other isles, that ben abouten Ind; where dwellen many divers folks, and of divers manners and laws, and of divers shapps of men. Of which londs and isles I shall speak more plainly hereafter. And I shall devise you some party of things that there ben,d whan time shall ben after it may best come to my mind; and specially for hem that will and are in purpose for to visit the Holy City of Jerusalem, and the holy places that are thereabout. And I shall tell the way that they should holden thider. For I have often times passed and ridden the way, with good company of many lords, God be thonked.
And ye shull understond that I have put this book out of Latin into French, and translated it agen out of French into English, that every man of my nation may understond it. But lords and knights, and other noble and worthy men, that cong Latin but little, and han ben beyond the sea, knowen and understonden gif I err in devising, for forgetting or else; that they moweh redress it and amend it. For things passed out, of long time, from a man's mind, or from his sight, turnen soon into forgetting; because that mind of man ne may not ben comprehended ne withholden for the freelty of mankind.
Mandevil is said to have returned to England in 1356, or after an absence of thirty-four years; and, as he is recorded to have died at Liege in 1371, his book must have been written early in the latter half of the fourteenth century. Of the many copies of it which exist in manuscript, some are as old as the close of that century; so
that the language may be presumed to have been preserved nearly as he wrote it. Divested of the old spelling, it will be seen from the above specimen to be still very readily intelligible; indeed it is remarkable for its clearness and correctness. Our other extracts, however, shall be given with the spelling of the time, as exhibited in the Cottonian MS. Titus c. xvi., which is believed to have been written about the year 1400. The following is the Seventh Chapter, entitled 'Of the Pilgrimages in Jerusalem, and of the Holy Places thereaboute,' as contributed after that MS. to the Pictorial History of England by Sir Henry Ellis.
After for to speke of Jerusalem the holy cytee, zee schull undirstonde that it stont full faire betwene hilles, and there be no ryveres ne welles, but watar cometh by condyte from Ebron. And zee schulle understonde that Jerusalem of olde tyme, unto the tyme of Melchisedech, was cleped Jebus: and after it was clept Salem, unto the tyme of Kyng David, that put these two names to gider, and cleped it Jebusalem. And after that Kyng Salomon cleped it Jerosolomye. And after that men cleped it Jerusalem, and so it is cleped zit. And aboute Jerusalem is the kyngdom of Surrye. And there besyde, is the lond of Palestyne. And besyde it is Ascolon. And besyde that is the lond of Maritanie. But Jerusalem is in the lond of Judee; and it is clept Jude, for that Judas Machabeus was kyng of that contree. marcheth estward to the kyngdom of Arabye; on the south syde to the lond of Egipt; and on the west syde to the grete see. On the north syde toward the kyngdom of Surrye, and to the see of Cypre.
In Jerusalem was wont to be a Patriark and Erchebysshopes, and Bisshoppes abouten in the contree. Abowte Jerusalem be theise cytees; Ebron at seven
myle, Jerico at six myle, Bersabee _at_eyght myle, Ascalon at xvii myle, Jaff at xvi myle, Ramatha at iij myle, and Bethleem at ij myle. And a ij myle from Bethleem toward the southe is the chirche of Seynt Karitot that was abbot there, for whom thei maden meche doel amongs the monks whan he scholde dye, and zit be in-moornynge in the wise that thei maden her lamentacon for him the first tyme, and it is full gret pytee to beholde. This contree and lond of Jerusalem hath ben in many dyverse nacones hondes. And often therfore hath the contree suffred meche tribulacion for the synne of the people that duelle ther: for that contree hath be in the honds of all nacyonns: that is to seyne of Jewes, of Chananees, Assiryenes, Perses, Medoynes, Macedoynes, of Grekes, Romaynes, of Cristenemen, of Sarrazines, Barbaryenes, Turkes, Tartaryenes, and of manye othere dyverse nacyons. For God wole not that it be longe in the honds of traytours ne of synneres, be thei cristene or other. And now have the hethene men holden that lond in her honds xl zer and more. But thei schull not holde it longe zif God wold.
And zee schull undirstonde that whan men comen to Jerusalem her first pilgrymage is to the chirche of the Holy Sepuler wher oure Lord was buryed, that is with oute the cytee on the north syde. But it is now enclosed in with the ton wall. And there is a full fair chirche all rownd, and open above, and covered with leed. And on the west syde is a fair tour and an high for belles strongly made. And in the myddes of the chirche is a tabernacle as it wer a lytyll hows, made with a low lityll dore; and that tabernacle is made in maner of a half a compas right curiousely and richely made of gold and azure and othere riche coloures, full nobelyche made. And in the ryght side of that tabernacle is the sepulcre of oure Lord. And the tabernacle is viij fote long and v fote wyde, and xj fote in heghte. And it is not longe sithe the sepulcre was all open, that men myghte
b Dolour, sorrow.
kisse it and touche it. But for pilgrymes that comen thider peyned hem to breke the ston in peces, or in poudr; therefore the Soudan hath do make a wall aboute the sepulcr that noman may towche it. But in the left syde of the wall of the tabernacle is well the heighte of a man, is a gret ston, to the quantytee of a mannes hed, that was of the holy sepulcr, and that ston kissen the pilgrymes that comen thider. In that tabernacle hen no wyndowes, but it is all made light with lampes that hangen befor the sepulcr. And there is a lampe that hongeth before the sepulcr that brenneth light, and on the Gode fryday it goth out be him self, at that hour that our Lord roos fro deth to lyve. Also within the chirche at the right syde besyde the queer of the churche is the Mount of Calvarye, wher our Lord was don on the cros. And it is a roche of white colour, and a lytill medled with red. And the cros was set in a morteys in the same roche, and on that roche dropped the woundes of our Lord, whan he was pyned on the cros, and that is cleped Golgatha. And men gon up to that Golgatha be degrees." And in the place of that morteys was Adames hed found after Noes flode, in tokene that the synnes of Adam scholde ben bought in that same place. And upon that roche made Abraham sacrifise to our Lord. And there is an Awter, and before that Awtier lyzn Godefray de Boleyne, and Bawdewyn, and othere cristene Kyngs of Jerusalem. And ther nygh wher our Lord was crucyfied is this writen in Greew, Otheos basilion ysmon psionas ergasa, sothias emesotis gye, that is to seyne in Latyn, Hic Deus noster Rex, ante secula, operatus est salutem in medio terre;' that is to seye This God oure Kyng, before the worldes, hath wrought hele in mydds of the Erthe.' And also on that roche where the cros was sett, is writen with in the roche these wordes, Cyos myst ys
In the printed editions the Greek is ὁ θεὸς βασιλεὺς ημιῶν προ αιώνων ειργάσατο σωτηρίαν εν μέσῳ τῆς γῆς.
basis toupisteos they thesmofy, that is to sayne in Latyn, 'Quod vides est fundamentum tocius fidei Mundi hujus ;' that is to seye, That thou seest is ground of all the world and of this feyth.' And zee schull vndirstonde that whan oure Lord was don upon the cros, he was xxxiij. zer and iij. monethes of elde. And the prophecye of David sayth that, Quadraginta annis proximus fui generacioni huic;' that is to seye, 'Forty zeer was I neighbore to this kynrede.' And thus scholde it seme that the prophecyes ne wer not trewe, but thei ben bothe trewe for in old tyme men maden o zeer of x. monethes, of the whiche March was the firste and Decembr was the last. But Gayus that was Emperour of Rome putten theise ij. moneths there to Janyuer and Feverer, and ordeyned the zeer of xij. monethes, that is to seye ccc.lxv. dayes, without leep zeer, after the propre cours of the Sonne. And therefore after cowntynge of x. monethes of the zeer, he dyede in the xl. zeer as the prophete seyde: and after the zeer of xij. monethes he was of age xxxiij. zeer and iij. monethes. Also within the Mount of Calvarie, on the right side, is an Awter, wher the piler lyzth that oure lord Jhesu was bounden to whan he was scourged; and there besyde iiij. fote, ben iiij. pilers of ston that allweys droppen water. And summe seyn that thei wepen for our Lordes deth. And nygh that awtier is a place under erthe xlij. degrees of depnesse, wher the holy croys was founden be the wytt of Seynte Elyne, under a roche wher the Jewes had hidde it. And that was the verray croys assayed. For thei founden iij. crosses, on of our Lord, and ij. of the ij. thefes. And Seynte Elyne preved hem on a ded body that aros from deth to lyve, whan that it was leyd on it that our Lord dyed on. And there by in the wall is the place wher the iiij. nayles of our Lord were hidd, for he had ij. in his honds, and ij. in his feet : and of on of theise the Emperour of Constantynople
- In the printed editions, ὅ δεις, εστὶ βάσις τῆς πίστεως ὅλης τοῦ κόσμου τοῦτου.