« PreviousContinue »
343. Peeren, appear; Fr. paroir.
345. Wratheth, is angry with, wraths, provokes ; A.-S. wrathian. Hym is object of wratheth, ver. 330. Cf. Wycliffe, Heb. iii. 16. "For summen heryinge wratheden," provoked.
347. Shonye, shun; A.-S. scun ian, to shun.
352. Reaume, realm; Old Fr. realme, reaume; New Fr royaume; Spanish realme (regalme).
353. Dorste, durst; A.-S. dear, dare; 3 past tense, dorste.
354. Cattes, old gen. with connecting vowel.
855. Hals, neck; A.-S. hals, cf. Lat. coll um.
362. Kouthe knew; A.-S. cunn an, past tense cuthe.- -Me thoughte. See ver. 330.
366. Reherced, rehearsed; apparently a hybrid comp. of A -S. her an, to hear and Lat. prefix re.
370. Cropen, should creep; A.-S. creop an, past tense, plu. crup an.
872. Worthe, be; A.-S. weorth an, to become, to be.
877. Ther, when. The A.-S. demonstratives thaer, ther, and thaer, as well as se, seo, thaet, and the, were commonly used as relatives
Kitone, & diminutive from
cat, with change of vowel. Cf. chicken, from cock. the diminutive.
The n, not the o, is the sign of
378. Elenge, ailing; A.-S. egli an, and eli an, to ail.
881. "Wo to the land where the king is a child!"-Eccl. x. 16.
382. Renk, man ; —“ a word used chiefly in the metrical romances and in popular poetry."- Wright, "Dictionary."
384. Cacceth, catcheth. See ver. 214.- Conynges, rabbits; Old Fr. conil, conin, Lat. cuniculus, Dan. kanin.
385. Caroyne, carrion, from Lat. caro.
389. Sorwe, sorrow; A.-S. sorg, sorh.
390. Maze, wonder, of doubtful etymology; A.-S. mase, whirlpool, and missian, to miss, to err, have been suggested.
391. Theigh, though; A.-S. theh, theah.-Sherewe, a shrew, a perverse person, from the verb, to screw meaning a screwed, twisted person. See J. C. II. i. 396. Nere, were not; A.-S. neom (=ne and eom), am not; past tense, subj. naere, were not.
401. Muchel, much; A.-S. mycel.
406. Catel, goods, property; Anglo-Norman catal, Lat. capitale.
407. Bi-knowen, acknowledge. - Nolde, would not; A.-S nolde, past tense ɔf nyll an, to be unwilling, to will.
413. Wite, know; A.-S. wit an.
414. Metels, dream; A.-S. maet an, to dream.
3. SIR JOHN MANDEVILLE, 1300-1372.
SIR JOHN MANDEVILLE was born in St. Albans, a borough in Hertfordshire, about ten miles northwest of London, in 1300. He was highly educated and became proficient in theology, natural philosophy, and medicine. In 1322 he "passed the sea" and "went thorough many divers lands, and many provinces, and kingdoms, and isles," Tartary, Persia, Armenia, Lybia, Chaldea, Ethiopia, India, etc. Thirtyfour years after, in 1356, he wrote a narrative of his travels in Latin, which he translated into French, and "translated it again out of French into English." His book, which is a singular collection of personal observations and fabulous hearsays, was very popular, and many manuscript copies of it were in circulation It is regarded
as the oldest proper English work in prose. The diction is, however ess antique than the poetry of his contemporaries, Langlande and Chaucer. It contains, as would be supposed, many more French words and idioms. He died in Liége, Nov. 17, 1372.
The following extract is from chapter xv. in the London edition of 1839, by O. Halliwell. It is paragraphed for convenience of reference.
1. In that Lond, ne in many othere bezonde that, no man may see the Sterre transmontane, that is clept the Sterre of the See, that is unmevable, and that is toward the Northe, that we clepen the Lode Sterre. But men seen another Sterre, the contrarie to him, that is toward the Southe, that is clept Antartyk. And right as the Schip men taken here avys here, and governe hem be the Lode Sterre, right so don Schip men bezonde the parties, be the Sterre of the Southe, the whiche Sterre apperethe not to And this Sterre, that is toward the northe, that wee clepen the Lode Sterre, ne apperethe not to hem.
2. For whiche cause, men may wel perceyve, that the Lond and the See ben of rownde schapp and forme. For the partie of the firmament scheweth in o contree, that schewethe not in another contree. And men may well preven be experience and sotyle compassement of wytt, that if a man fond passages be Schippes, that wolde go to serchen the world, men myghte go be Schippe alle aboute the world, and aboven and benethen.
3. The whiche thing I prove thus, aftre that I have seyn. For I have ben toward the parties of Braban, and beholden the Astrolabre, that the Sterre that is clept the Transmontayne, is 53 degrees highe. And more forthere in Almayne and Bewme, it hathe 58 degrees. And more forthe toward the parties septemtrioneles, it is 62 degrees of heghte, and certeyn Mynutes. For I my self have mesured it by the Astrolabre. Now schulle ze knowe, that azen the Transmontayne, is the tother Sterre, that is clept Antartyke; as I have seyd before. And the 2 sterres ne
4. And be hem turnethe alle the Firmament, righte as dothe a Wheel, that turnethe be his Axille Tree: So that tho sterres beren the Firmament in 2 egalle parties; so that it hathe als mochel aboven, as it hathe benethen. Aftre this, I have gon toward the parties meridionales, that is toward the Southe; and I have ¡ounden, that in Lybye, men seen first the Sterre Antartyk. And 10 fer I have gon more forthe in tho Contrees, that I have founde hat Sterre more highe; so that toward the highe Lybye, it is 18 degrees of heghte, and certeyn Minutes (of the whiche, 60 Minates maken a Degree).
5. Aftre goynge be See and be Londe, towards this Contree, of that I have spoke, and to other Yles and Londes bezonde that Contree, I have founden the Sterre Antartyk of 33 Degrees of heghte, and mo mynutes. And if I hadde had Companye and Schippynge, for to go more bezonde, I trowe wel in certeyn, that wee scholde have seen alle the roundnesse of the Firmament alle aboute. For as I have seyd zou be forn, the half of the Firmament is betwene tho 2 Sterres; the whiche halfondelle I have seyn.
6. And of the tother halfondelle, I have seyn toward the Northe, undre the Transmontayne 62 Degrees and 10 Mynutes; and toward the partie meridionalle, I have seen undre the Antartyk 33 Degrees and 16 Mynutes: and thanne the halfondelle of the Firmament in alle, ne holdethe not but 180 Degrees. And of tho 180, I have seen 62 on that o part, and 33 on that other part, that ben 95 Degrees, and nyghe the halfondelle of a Degree, and so there ne faylethe but that I have seen alle the Firmament, saf 84 Degrees and the halfondelle of a Degree; and that is not the fourthe part of the Firmament.
7. For the 4 partie of the roundnesse of the Firmament holt 90 Degrees so there faylethe but 5 Degrees and an half, of the fourthe partie. And also I have seen the 3 parties of alle the roundnesse of the Firmament, and more 3it 5 Degrees and an half. Be the whiche I seye 3ou certeynly, that men may envirowne alle the Erthe of alle the world, as wel undre as aboven, and turnen azen to his Contree, that hadde Companye and Schippynge and Conduyt; and alle weyes he scholde fynde Men, Londes, and Yles, als wel as in this Contree.
8. For 3ee wyten welle, that thei that ben toward the Antartyk, thei ben streghte, feet azen feet of hem, that dwellen undre the transmontane; als wel as wee and thei that dwellyn under us, ben feet azenst feet. For alle the parties of See and of Lond han here appositees, habitables or trepassables, and thei of this half and bezond half. And wytethe wel, that aftre that, that I may parceyve and comprehende, the Londes of Prestre John, Emperour of Ynde, ben undre us. For in goynge from Scotlond or from Englond toward Jerusalem, men gon upward alweys.
9. For oure Londe is in the lowe partie of the Erthe, toward the West and the Lond of Prestre John is the lowe partie of the Erthe, toward the Est: and thei han there the day, whan wee have the nyghte, and also highe to the contrarie, thei han
the nyghte, whan wee han the Day. For the Erthe and the See ben of round forme and schapp, as I have seyd beforn. And that that men gon upward to o Cost, men gon downward to another Cost. Also see have herd me seye, that Jerusalem is in the myddes of the World; and that may men preven and schewen there, be a Spere, that is pighte in to the Erthe, upon the hour of mydday, whan it is Equinoxium, that schewethe no schadwe on no syde. And that it scholde ben in the myddes of the World, David wytnessethe it in the Psautre, where he seythe, Deus operatus est salute in medio Terre. [Ps. lxxiv., 12.]
10. Thanne thei that parten fro the parties of the West, for to go toward Jerusalem, als many iorneyes as thei gon upward for to go thidre, in als many iorneyes may thei gon fro Jerusalem, unto other confynyes of the Superficialitie of the Erthe bezonde And whan men gon bezonde tho iourneyes, toward Ynde and to the foreyn Yles, alle is envyronynge the roundnesse of the Erthe and of the See, undre oure Contrees on this half. And therfore hathe it befallen many tymes of o thing, that I have herd cownted, whan I was 3ong; how a worthi man departed somtyme from oure Contrees, for to go serche the World.
11. And so he passed Ynde, and the Yles bezonde Ynde, where ben mo than 5000 Yles: and so longe he wente be See and Lond, and so enviround the World be many seysons, that he fond an Yle, where he herde speke his owne Langage, callynge on Oxen in the Plowghe, suche Wordes as men speken to Bestes in his owne Contree: whereof he hadde gret mervayle: for he knewe not how it myghte be. But I seye, that he had gone so longe, be Londe and be See, that he had envyround alle the Erthe, that he was comen agen envirounynge, that is to seye, goyinge aboute, unto his owne Marches, 3if he wolde have passed forthe, til he had founden his Contree, and his owne knowleche.
12. But he turned azen from thens, from whens he was come fro; and so he loste moche peynefulle labour, as him self seyde, a gret while aftre, that he was comen hom. For it befelle aftre, that he wente in to Norweye; and there Tempest of the See toke him; and he arryved in an Yle; and whan he was in that Yle, he knew wel that it was the Yle, where he had herd speke his owne Langage before, and the callynge of the Oxen at the Plowghe and that was possible thinge. But how it semethe to symple men unlerned, that men ne mowe not go undre the Erthe, and also that men scholde falle toward the Hevene, from undre.
13. But that may not be, upon lesse, that wee mowe falle toward Hevene, fro the Erthe, where wee ben. For fro what parties of the Erthe, that men duelle, outher aboven or benethen, it semethe alweys to hem that duellen, that thei gon more righte than ony other folk. And righte as it semethe to us, that thei ben undre us, righte so it semethe hem, that wee ben undre hem. For if a man myghte falle fro the Erthe unto the Firmament; be grettere resoun, the Erthe and the See, that ben so grete and so hevy, scholde fallen to the Firmament: but that may not be; and therfore seithe oure Lord God: Non timeas me, qui suspendi Terrā ex nichilo? [Job xxvi. 7.]
14. And alle be it that it be possible thing, that men may so envyronne alle the World, natheles of a 1000 persones, on ne myghte not happen to returnen in to his Contree. For, for the gretnesse of the Erthe and of the See, men may go be a 1000 and a 1000 other weyes, that no man cowde redye him perfitely toward the parties that he cam fro, but if it were be aventure and happ, or be the grace of God. For the Erthe is fulle large and fulle gret, and holt in roundnesse and aboute envyroun, be aboven and be benethen 20,425 Myles, aftre the opynyoun of the olde wyse Astronomeres. And here seyenges I repreve noughte.
15. But aftre my lytylle wytt, it semeth me, savynge here reverence, that it is more. And for to have bettere understondynge, I seye thus: Be ther ymagyned a Figure, that hathe a gret Compas; and aboute the poynte of the gret Compas, that is clept the Centre, be made another litille Compas; than aftre, be the gret Compas devised be Lines in manye parties; and that alle the Lynes meeten at the Centre; so that in as many parties, as the grete Compas schal be departed, in als manye schalle be departed the litille, that is aboute the centre, alle be it that the spaces ben lesse.
16. Now thanne, be the gret compas represented for the firmament, and the litille compasse represented for the Erthe. Now thanne the Firmament is devysed, be Astronomeres, in 12 Signes; and every Signe is devysed in 30 Degrees, that is 360 Degrees, that the Firmament hathe aboven. Also, be the Erthe devysed in als many parties, as the Firmament; and lat every partye answere to a Degree of the Firmament; and wytethe it wel, that aftre the auctoures of Astronomye, 700 Furlonges of Erthe answeren to a Degree of the Firmament; and tho ben 87 Miles