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The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, - and Discoveries of The English Nation, Volume 9 - Asia, Part 2
by Richard Hakluyt
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THE PRINCIPAL Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, AND Discoveries OF THE ENGLISH NATION.

Collected by

RICHARD HAKLUYT, PREACHER

AND

Edited by

EDMUND GOLDSMID, F.R.H.S.

VOL. IX.

ASIA. PART II.



Nauigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoueries

OF THE ENGLISH NATION IN ASIA.



CAPVT. 38.

De territorio Cathay, et moribus Tartarorum.

Totum Imperium Imperatoris Grand Can distinctum est in 12. magnas prouincias, iuxta numerum duodecim filiorum primi Genitoris Can, quarum quaelibet in se continet circiter 6. millia ciuitatum, praeter villas non numeratas quae sunt Velut absque numero. Habent et singulae prouinciae regem principalem, hoc est 12. reges prouinciales, et horum quisque sub se reges Insularum plurimos, alij 50. alij centum, alij plures, qui omnes et singuli subiectissime obediunt Grand Can Imperatori. Harum prouinciarum maior, et nobilior dicitur Cathay, qui consistit in Asia profunda. Tres enim sunt Asiae, scilicet quae profunda dicitur, et Asia dicta maior quae nobis est satis propinquior et tertia minor intra quam est Ephesus beati Ioannis Euangelistae sepultura, de qua habes in praecedentibus. Audistis statum magnatum et nobilium esse permagnificum, et gloriosum, sed sciatis longe secus esse apud communes et priuatos homines tam in ciuitatibus quam in forensibus totius Tartariae. In prouincijs autem Cathay habetur tantum de mercimonijs specierum, et de operibus sericosis; quod multis facilius acquirere esset praetiosum indumentam, quam camisium de lino. Vnde et quicunque sunt alicuius honestatis non carent desuper precioso vestimento.

Omnes tam viri quam faemina similibus in forma vestibus inducuntur, videlicet valde latis, et breuibus vsque ad genua cum apertura in lateribus quam firmant (dum volunt) ansis quibusdam, nam vterque sexus est brachijs seu femoralibus plene tectus. Nunquam vtuntur toga aut collobio, sed nec caputio vnde nec per aspectum indumentorum potest haberi differentia inter virum et mulierem innuptam. Sed nupta (vt supra dictum est) gestat per aliquod tegumentum in capite formam pedes viri.

Nubit illic vir quotquot placet mulieribus, vt nonnulli habeant decem vel duodecim vxores aut plures. Nam quisque maritus iungitur licenter cuilibet mulieri, exceptis matre, et amita, sorore, et filia. Sicut viri equitant, tendunt, et currunt per patriam pro negotijs sic et mulieres, quoniam et ipse operantur omnia fere artificia mechanica sicut pannos et quicquid efficiter de panno, corio, sericoque, minantque carrucas, et vehicula, sed viri fabricant de ferro et de omni metallo, lapidibus atque ligno, nec vir nec mulier nobilis aut degener comedit vltra semel in die communiter. Multa nutriunt pecora sed nullos porcos, parum comeditur ibi de pane exceptis magnatibus et diuitibus, sed carnes edunt pecorum, bestiarum, et bestiolarum vtpote boum, ouium, caprarum, equorum, asinorum, canum, cattorum, murium, et rattorum, ius carnium sorbentes, et omnis generis lac bibentes.

Nobiles autem bibunt lac equarum, seu lamentorum, pro nobilissimo potu et pauperes aquam bullitam cum modico mellis, quia nec vinum ibi habetur, nec ceruisia confictur: et multi ac plurimi fontes consulunt in sua siti, per villas, et rura. Domus, et habitacula rotundae sunt formae, compositae et contextae paruis lignis, et flexilibus virgulis, ad modum cauearum quas nos facimus pro auiculis, habentes rotundam in culmine aperturam praestantem duo beneficia habitationi, quoniam et ignis quem in medio domus constituunt, fumum emittit, et pro aspiciendo lumen immittit. Intrinsecus sunt parietes vndique de filtro, sed et tectum filtreum est: has domus, dum locum habitandi mutare volunt, vel dum indiuitina expeditione procedunt, ducunt secum in plaustris quasi tentoria.

Multas superuacuas obseruant ceremonias, quia respiciunt in vanitates et insanias falsas: solem et lunam praecipue adorant, eisque frequenter genua curuant, et ad nouilunium, quicquid est magni estimant inchoandum.

Nullus omnino vtitur calcaribus in equitando, sed cogunt equum flagello scorpione, reputantes peccatum non leue si quis ad hoc flagellum appodiat, aut iumentum percuteret suo freno, pleraque similia, quae parum aut nihil nocent, ponderant vt grauia, sicut imponere cultellum in igne, os osse confringere, lac seu aliud potabile in terram effundere, nec non et huiusmodi multa.

[Sidenote: Mingere intra dominum peccatum capitale.] Sed super haec, tenent pro grauiori admisso mingere intra domum quae inhabitatur, et qui de tanto crimine proclamaretur assuetus, mitteretur ad mortem. Et de singulis necesse est vt confiteatur peccator Flamini suae legis, et soluat summam pecuniarum delicti. Et si peccatum deturpationis habitaculi venerit in publicum, oportebit reconciliari domum per sacerdotem, priusquam vllus audebit intrare. Insuper et peccatorem necesse erit pertransire ignem, semel, bis, dut ter iuxta iudicium Flaminis, quatenus per ignis acrimoniam purgetur a tanti inquinatione peccati.

Neminem hominum prohibent inter se habitare, sed indifferenter receptant, Iudaeos, Christianos, Saracenos, et homines cuiuscunque nationis, vel legis, dicentes se satis putare suum ritum non ita securum ad salutem, nisi quandoque; traherentur ad ritum magis salutarem, quem tamen determinate nunc ignorant, imo multi de nobilibus sunt iam in Christianitate baptizati.

Attamen qui illorum sunt curiales Imperatoris non vellent in palatio publicari.

Poene oblitus eram, quod nunc hic dico notandum, quia dum ab extra Imperium, quis veniens nuntius aut legatus cupit tradere proprijs manibus literas Imperatori [Marginal note: Seu Gubernatorum.], vel deponere coram illo mandata, non permittitur, donec prius in puris transeat liueas ad venum ad minus regurn pro sui purgatione, ne quid forsitan afferat cuius visu, vel odoratu seu tactu rex possit grauari.

[Sidenote: Arma Tartarorum.] Porro Tartari in praecincto expeditionis habent singuli duos arcus, cum magna pluralitate teloram: Nam omnes sunt sagittarij ad manum et cum rigida et longa lancea. Nobilis autem in equis preciose phaleratis ferunt gladios, ver spatas breues et latas, scindentes pro vno latere, et in capitibus galeas, de corio cocto, non altas, sed ad capitis formara depressas.

Quicunque de suis fugerit de praelio, ipso facto conseriptus est, vt siquando inuentus fuerit occidatur. Si Castrum vel ciuitas obsessa se illis reddere voluerit, nullam acceptant conditionem nisi cum morte omnium inimicorum, vel si quis homo singularis se dederit victum nihilominus absque vlla miseratione occidunt, detruncantes illi protinus aures, quas postea coquentes, et in aceto (dum habuerint) ponentes mittunt inuicem ad conuiuia pro extremo ferculo: [Sidenote: Tartari retro sagittantes.] dumque ipsi in bellis arte fugam simulant, periculosum est eos insequi, quoniam iaciunt sagittas a tergo, quibus equos et homines occidere norunt. Et quando in prima acie comparant ad bellandum, mirabiliter sese constringunt, vt media pars numeri eoram vix credatur.

Generaliter noueritis, omnes Tartaros habere paruos oculos, et modicam vel raram barbam: in proprijs locis raro inter se litigant, contendunt, aut pugnant, timentes legum pergraues emendas. Et inuenitur ibi rarius vespilio, latro, fur, homicida, iniurians, adulter, aut fornicarius, quia tales criminatores inuestigatione sollicita requiruntur, et sine redemptione aliqua perimuntur.

Dum quis decumbit infirmus figitur lancea iuxta illum in terra, et cum appropinquauerit morti, nullus remanet iuxta ipsum, cum vero mortuus esse scitur, confestim in campis, et cum lancea sepelitur.

The English Version.

And zee schulle undirstonde, that the empire of this gret Chane is devyded in 12 provynces; and every provynce hathe mo than 2000 cytees; and of townes with outen nombre. This contree is fulle gret. For it hathe 12 pryncypalle kynges, in 12 provynces. And every of tho kynges han many kynges undre hem; and alle thei ben obeyssant to the gret Chane. And his lond and his lordschipe durethe so ferre that a man may not gon from on hed to another, nouther be see ne lond, the space of 7 zeer. And thorghe the desertes of his lordschipe, there as men may fynde no townes, there ben innes ordeyned be every iorneye, to resceyve bothe man and hors; in the whiche thei schalle fynde plentee of vytaylle, and of alle thing, that hem nedethe, for to go be the contree.

And there is a marveylouse custom in that contree, (but is profitable) that zif ony contrarious thing, that scholde ben preiudice or grevance to the Emperour, in ony kynde, anon the Emperour hathe tydynges there of and fulle knowleche in a day, thoughe it be 3 or 4 iorneys fro him or more. For his ambassedours taken here dromedaries or hire hors, and thei priken in alle that evere thei may toward on of the innes: and whan thei comen there, anon thei blowen an horne; and anon thei of the in knowen wel y now that there ben tydynges to warnen the Emperour of sum rebellyoun azenst him. And thanne anon thei maken other men redy, in alle haste that thei may, to beren lettres, and pryken in alle that evere thei may, tille thei come to the other innes with here lettres: and thanne thei maken fressche men redy, to pryke forthe with the lettres, toward the Emperour; whille that the laste bryngere reste him, and bayte his dromedarie or his hors. And so fro in to in, tille it come to the Emperour. And thus anon hathe he hasty tydynges of ony thing, that berethe charge, be his corrours, that rennen so hastyly, thorghe out alle the contree. And also whan the Emperour sendethe his corrours hastyly, thorghe out his lond, everyche of hem hathe a large thong fulle of smale belles; and whan thei neyghen nere to the innes of other corroures, that ben also ordeyned be the iorneyes, thei ryngen here belles, and anon the other corrours maken hem redy, and rennen here weye unto another in: and thus rennethe on to other, fulle spedyly and swyftly, till the Emperours entent be served, in alle haste. And theise currours ben clept chydydo, aftre here langage, that is to seye, a messagere.

Also whan the Emperour gothe from o contree to another, as I have told you here before, and he passe thorghe cytees and townes, every man makethe a fuyr before his dore, and puttethe there inne poudre of gode gommes, that ben swete smellynge, for to make gode savour to the Emperour. And alle the peple knelethe doun azenst him, and don him gret reverence. And there where religyouse Cristene men dwellen, as thei don in many cytees in thei lond, thei gon before him with processioun with cros and holy watre; and thei seyngen, Veni Creator, spiritus, with an highe voys, and gon towardes him. And whan he herethe hem, he commaundethe to his lordes to ryde besyde him, that the religiouse men may come to him. And whan thei ben nyghe him, with the cros, thanne he dothe a down his galaothe, that syt upon his hede, in manere of a chapelet, that is made of gold and preciouse stone and grete perles. And it is so ryche, that, men preysen it to the value of a roialme, in that contre. And than he knelethe to the cros. And than the prelate of the religiouse men seythe before him certeyn orisouns, and zevethe him a blessynge with the cros: and he enclynethe to the blessynge fulle devoutly. And thanne the prelate zevethe him sum maner frute, to the nombre of 9, in a platere of sylver, with peres or apples or other manere frute. And he takethe on; and than men zeven to the othere lordes, that ben aboute him. For the custom is suche, that no straungere schalle come before him, but zif he zeve hym sum manere thing, aftre the olde lawe, that seythe, Nemo accedat in conspectu meo vacuus. And thanne the Emperour seythe to the religious men, that thei withdrawe hem azen, that thei ne be hurt ne harmed of the gret multytude of hors that comen behynde him. And also in the same maner don the religious men, that dwellen there, to the Emperesses, that passen by hem, and to his eldest sone; and to every of hem, thei presenten frute.

And zee schulle undirstonde, that the people, that he hathe so many hostes offe, abouten hym and aboute his wyfes and his sone, thei dwelle not contynuelle with him: but alle weys, whan him lykethe, thei ben sent fore; and aftre whan thei han don, thei retournen to hire owne housholdes; saf only thei that ben dwellynge with hym in houshold, for to serven him and his wyfes and his sones, for to governen his houshold. And alle be it, that the othere ben departed fro him, aftre that thei han perfourmed hire servyse, zit there abydethe contynuelly with him in court, 50000 men at horse, and 200000 men a fote; with outen mynstrelles, and tho that kepen wylde bestes and dyverse briddes, of the whiche I have tolde zou the nombre before.

Undre the firmament, is not so gret a lord, ne so myghty, ne so riche, as the gret Chane: nought Prestre Johan, that is Emperour of the highe Ynde, ne the Sowdan of Babylone, ne the Emperour of Persye. Alle theise ne ben not in comparisoun to the grete Chane; nouther of myght, ne of noblesse, ne of ryaltee, ne of richesse: for in alle theise, he passethe alle erthely princes. Wherfore it is gret harm, that he belevethe not feithfully in God. And natheles he wil gladly here speke of God; and he suffrethe wel, that Cristene men duelle in his lordschipe, and that men of his feythe ben made Cristene men, zif thei wile, thorghe out alle his contree. For he defendethe no man to holde no lawe, other than him lykethe.

In that contree, sum man hathe an 100 wyfes, summe 60, mo, somme lesse. And thei taken the nexte of hire kyn, to hire wyfes, saf only, that thei out taken hire modres, hire doughtres, and hire sustres on the fadir syde, of another womman, thei may wel take; and hire bretheres wyfes also aftre here dethe; and here step modres also in the same wyse.

Of the Lawe and customs of the Tartarienes, duellynge in Chatay; and how that men don, whan the Emperour schal dye, and how he schal be chosen.

[Sidenote: Cap. XXIII.] The folk of that contree usen alle longe clothes, with outen furroures. And thei ben clothed with precious clothes of Tartarye; and of clothes of gold. And here clothes ben slytt at the syde; and thei ben festned with laces of silk. And thei clothen hem also with pylches, and the hyde with outen. And thei usen nouther cappe ne hood. And in the same maner as the men gon, the wommen gon; so that no man may unethe knowe the men fro the wommen, saf only tho wommen, that ben maryed, that beren the tokne upon hire hedes of a mannes foot, in signe that thei ben undre mannes fote and undre subieccioun of man. And here wyfes ne dwelle not to gydere but every of hem be hire self. And the husbonde may ligge with whom of hem, that him lykethe. Everyche hathe his hous, bothe man and womman. And here houses ben made rounde of staves; and it hathe a rounde wyndowe aboven, that zevethe hem light, and also that servethe for delyverance of smoke. And the helynge of here houses, and the wowes and the dores ben alle of wode.

And whan thei gon to werre, thei leiden hire houses with hem, upon chariottes; as men don tentes or pavyllouns. And thei maken hire fuyr, in the myddes of hire houses. And thei han gret multytude of alle maner of bestes, saf only of swyn: for thei bryngen non forthe. And thei beleeven wel, o God, that made and formede alle thinges. And natheles zit han thei ydoles of gold and sylver, and of tree, and of clothe. And to tho ydoles, thei offren alle weys hyre first mylk of hire bestes, and also of hire metes, and of hire drynkes, before thei eten. And thei offren often tymes hors and bestes. And the clepen the God of Kynde, Yroga. And hire Emperour also, what name that evere behave, thei putten evermore therto Chane. And whan I was there, hire Emperour had to name Thiaut; so that he was clept Thiaut Chane. And his eldeste sone was clept Tossue. And whanne he schalle ben emperour, he schalle ben clept Tossue Chane. And at that tyme, the Emperour hadde 12 sones, with outen him; that were named, Cuncy, Ordii, Chahaday, Buryn, Negu, Nocab, Cadu, Siban, Cuten, Balacy, Babylan and Garegan, And of his 3 wyfes, the firste and the pryncypalle, that was Prestre Johnes doughtre, hadde to name Serioche Chan; and the tother Borak Chan; and the tother Karanke Chan.

The folk of that contree begynnen alle hire thinges in the newe mone: and thei worschipen moche the mone and the sonne, and often tyme knelen azenst hem. And alle the folk of the contree ryden comounly with outen spores: but thei beren alle weys a lytille whippe in hire hondes, for to chacen with hire hors. And thei had gret conscience, and holden it for a gret synne, to casten a knyf in the fuyr, and for to drawe flessche out of a pot with a knyf, and for to smyte an hors with the handille of a whippe, or to smyte an hors with a brydille, or to breke o bon with another, or for to caste mylk or ony lykour, that men may drynke, upon the erthe, or for to take and sle lytil children. And the moste synne, that ony man may do, is to pissen in hire houses, that thei dwellen in. And who so that may be founden with that synne, sykerly thei slen hym. And of everyche of theise synnes, it behovethe hem to ben schryven of hire prestes, and to paye gret somme of silver for hire penance. And it behovethe also, that the place, that men han pissed in, be halewed azen; and elles dar no man entren there inne. And whan thei han payed hire penance, men maken hem passen thorghe a fuyr or thorghe 2, for to clensen hem of hire synnes. And also whan ony messangere comethe and bryngethe lettres or ony present to the Emperour, it behovethe him, that he with the thing that he bryngethe, passe thorghe 2 brennynge fuyres, for to purgen hem, that he brynge no poysoun ne venym, ne no wykked thing, that myght be grevance to the lord. And also, zif ony man or womman be taken in avowtery or fornycacyoun, anon thei sleen him. Men of that contree ben alle gode archeres, and schooten right welle, bothe men and women, als wel on hors bak, prykynge, as on fote, rennynge. And the wommen maken alle thinges and alle maner mysteres and craftes; as of clothes, botes and other thinges; and thei dryven cartes, plowes and waynes and chariottes; and thei maken houses and alle maner of mysteres, out taken bowes and arwes and armures, that men maken. And alle the wommen weren breech, as wel as men. Alle the folk of that contree ben fulle obeyssant to hire sovereynes; ne thei fighten not ne chiden not, on with another. And there ben nouther thefes ne robboures in that contree; and every man worschipethe othere: but no man there dothe no reverence to no straungeres, but zif thei ben grete princes. And thei eten houndes, lyounes, lyberdes, mares and foles, asses, rattes and mees, and alle maner of bestes, grete and smale; saf only swyn, and bestes that weren defended by the olde lawe. And thei eaten alle the bestes, with outen and with inne, with outen castynge awey of ony thing, saf only the filthe. And thei eten but litille bred, but zif it be in courtes of grete lordes. And thei have not, in many places, nouther pesen ne benes, ne non other potages, but the brothe of the flessche. For littile ete thei ony thing, but flessche and the brothe. And whan thei han eten, thei wypen hire hondes upon hire skirtes: for thei use non naperye, ne towaylles, but zif it be before grete lordes: but the common peple hathe none. And whan thei han eten, thei putten hire dissches unwasschen in to the pot or cawdroun, with remenant of the flessche and of the brothe, till thei wole eten azen. And the ryche men drynken mylk of mares or of camaylles or of asses or of other bestes. And thei wil ben lightly dronken of mylk, or of another drynk, that is made of hony and of watre soden to gidre. For in that contree is nouther wyn ne ale. Thei lyven fulle wrecched liche; and thei eten but ones in the day, and that but lyttle, nouther in courtes ne in other places. And in soothe, o man allone in this contree wil ete more in a day, than on of hem will ete in 3 dayes. And zif ony straunge messagre come there to a lord, men maken him to ete but ones a day, and that fulle litille.

And whan thei werren, thei werren fulle wisely, and alle weys don here besynes, to destroyen hire enemyes. Every man there berethe 2 bowes or 3, and of arwes gret plentee, and a gret ax. And the gentyles han schorte speres and large, and fulle trenchant on that o syde: and thei han plates and helmes, made of quyrboylle; and hire hors covertoures of the same. And who so fleethe fro the bataylle, thei sle him. And whan thei holden ony sege abouten castelle or toun, that is walled and defensable, thei behoten to hem that ben with inne, to don alle the profite and gode, that it is marveylle to here: and thei graunten also to hem that ben with inne, alle that thei wille asken hem. And aftre that thei ben zolden, anon thei sleen hem alle, and kutten of hire eres, and sowcen hem in vynegre, and there of thei maken gret servyse for lordes. Alle here lust and alle here ymaginacioun, is for to putten alle londes undre hire subieccioun. And thei seyn, that thei knowen wel be hire prophecyes, that thei schulle ben overcomen by archieres, and be strengthe of hem: but they knowe not of what nacioun, ne of what lawe thei schulle ben offe, that schulle overcomen hem. And therfore thei suffren, that folk of alle lawes may peysibely duellen amonges hem.

Also whan thei wille make hire ydoles, or an ymage of ony of hire frendes, for to have remembrance of hym, thei maken alle weys the ymage alle naked, with outen any maner of clothinge. For thei seyn, that in gode love scholde be no coverynge, that man scholde not love for the faire clothinge, ne for the riche aray, but only for the body, suche as God hathe made it, and for the gode vertues that the body is endowed with of nature; but only for fair clothinge, that is not of kyndely nature.

And zee schulle undirstonde, that it is gret drede for to pursue the Tartarines, zif thei fleen in bataylle. For in fleynge, thei schooten behynden hem, and sleen bothe men and hors. And whan thei wil fighte, thei wille schokken hem to gidre in a plomp; that zif there be 20000 men, men schalle not wenen, that there be scant 10000. And thei cone wel wynnen lond of straungeres, but thei cone not kepen it. For thei han grettre lust to lye in tentes with outen, than for to lye in castelle or in townes. And thei preysen no thing the wytt of other naciouns. And amonges hem, oyle of olyve is fulle dere: for thei holden it for fulle noble medicyne. And alle the Tartarienes han smale eyen and litille of berd, and not thikke hered, but schiere. And thei ben false and traytoures: and thei lasten noghte that thei behoten. Thei ben fulle harde folk, and moche peyne and wo mow suffren and disese, more than ony other folk: for thei ben taughte therto in hire owne contree, of Zouthe: and therfore thei spenden, as who seythe, right nought.

And whan ony man schalle dye, men setter a spere besyde him: and whan he drawethe towardes the dethe, every man fleethe out of the hous, tille he be ded; and aftre that, thei buryen him in the feldes.

CAPVT. 39.

De sepultura Imperatoris Grand Can, et creatione successoris.

Imperator Grand Can postquam eius cognita fuerit defunctio defertur mox a paucis viris in parco palatij, ad praeuisum locum vbi debeat sepeliri. Et nudato prius toto illo loco a graminibus cum cespite figitur ibi tentorium, in quo velut in solio regali de ligno corpus defuncti residens collocatur, paraturque mensa plena coram eo cibarijs praeciosis, et potu de lacte iumentorum. Instabulatur ibi et equa cum suo pullo, sed et ipse albus, nobiliter phaleratus, et onustatus certo pondere auri et argenti. Et est totum Tentorij pauimentum de mundo stramine stratum.

Tuncque effodiunt in circuitu fossam latam valde, et profundam vt totum tentorium cum omnibus contentis descendat in illam. Eoque facto ita equaliter terram planificantes adoperiunt graminibus, vt in omni tempore locus sepulturae non valeat apparere. Et quoniam ignorantiae nubilo turpiter excaecati putant in alio seculo homines delectationibus frui, dicunt quod tentorium erit ei pro hospitio, cibi ad edendum, lac ad potandum, equus ad equitandum, aurum et argentum ad respiciendum, sed et equa lac semper praestabit, et pullos equinos successiue generabit.

Post has itaque Imperatoris defuncti miseras exequias, nullus omnino audebit de ipso loqui coram vxoribus et filijs, et propinquis, sed nec nominare, quia per hoc putarent derogari paci, et quieti illius, qua non dubitant eum dominari, in maiori satis gloria Paradisi quam hic stetit.

Igitur Imperatore Grand Can sepulto obliuioni tradito, conueniunt quam cito nobiles de septem tribubus prouinciae Cathay, et cui Imperium ex propinquitate competit, dicunt sic.

Ecce volumus, ordinamus, atque precamur, vt sis noster Dominus et Imperator.

Qui respondet

Si vultis me super vos, sicut et iuris mei est, imperare, oportebit vos fore mihi obedientes tam ad mortem quam ad vitam.

Et respondentes dicunt.

Nos faciemus quicquid praeceperitis.

Tuncque Imperator addit haec verba: Ergo scitote, quod ex nunc verbum meum acutum et scindens erit vt meus ensis: [Sidenote: i. cathedra.] Pergit quoque sessum in suo Philtro nigro super pauimentum in conspectu throni expanso, et cum ipso Philtro eleuatur ab omnibus, et infertur Imperij solio, ac coronatur diademate praecedentis Imperatoris.

De inde singuli principes, et singuae ciuitates, oppida, et villae per vniuersum imperium mittunt ei munera iocalia, vasa, pannos, equos, elephantes, aurum, argentum, et lapides preciosos, quorum, qualium, et quantorum vix vel in numero haberi potest aestimatio.

CAPVT. 40.

De multis regionibus Imperio Tartariae subiectis.

Breuiter et nunc intendo cursum describere aliquarum magnarum regionum et Insularum Imperij Tartariae. Et primo illas quae descendunt a prouincia Cathay per septentrionalem plagam, vsque ad fines Christianitatis Prussiae, et Russiae.

Ergo prouincia Cathay descendens in sui oriente a regno Tharsis iungitur ab occidente regno Turquescen, in quo et sunt plurimae ciuitates, quarum formosior dicitur Octopar. Ipsum autem Turquescen regnum iungitur ad occidentem sui regno, seu Imperio. Persiae, et ad septentrionem regno Corasinae, quod spaciosum este valde, habens versus orientem sui vltra centum diaetas deserti: hoc regnum est multis bonis abundans, et appellatur eius melior ciuitas etiam Corasine.

Isti quoque regno iungitur in occidente versus partes nostras regnum Commanorum, quod et similiter longum est, et latum, sed in paucis sui locis inhabitatum: Nam in quibusdam est frigus nimium, in alijs nimius calor, et in nonnullis nimia muscarum multitudo.

De istis Commanis venit olim fugata quaedam pluralitas populi vsque in terram AEgypti quae ibidem succreta nunc ita inualuit, vt suppressis indigenis videatur regnare: Nam et de seipsis constituerunt hunc, qui modo est Soldanus, Melech Mandibron. Per Commanorum regnum decurrit Grandis fluuius Echil, qui omni hyemali tempore in magna spissitudine gelatur; in superiori quoque parte huius regni inter duo freta Caspiae, et Oceani, mons sublimis est valde Chocas. Nota quod a nostris partibus non possit vsque in Indiam superiorem duci magnus exercitus per terras, nisi per tres tantummodo transitus, quorum iste est vnus, qui tamen non valet transiri nisi tempore glaciei, et hic appellatus est Lodekonc.

Alter per Turquescen, et per Persiam, tamen ibi sunt deserta plurium dietarum, in quibus nisi esset exercitus bene prouisus, posset perire.

Tertius ad primos fines regni Commanorum, transfretando tamen mare vsque in regnum Abchaz: principalis ciuitas Commanorum dicitur Sarach.

Ab hoc regno versus partes nostras inuenitur regio Laiton quae est vltima paganismi, iungitur iste finis terrae Christianitatitis regno Prussiae, et Russiae.

Post potestatem Imperij Tartariae descendendo a prouincia Cathay in Australem plagam venitur versus Persiam, Syriam, et Greciam. Versus terram Christianorum possum aliqualiter in summa (quantum conuenit huic scripto) connotare. Dixi supra iam prouinciam Cathay iungi regno Turquescen ad occidentem, et illud quoque iungi regno seu Imperio Persiae. Ad quod sciendum, quamuis rex Persiae habet etiam ab olim nomen Imperatoris; quia (cum tenet aliquas terras sui Imperij ab Imperatore Tartarorum) necesse est vt in tanto subiectus sit illi.

Sunt autem in Persia duae regiones: vna altae Persiae, quae a regno Turquescen descendens, iungitur ad occidentem sui fluuis Pyson. In ista habentur renominatae ciuitates, quarum meliores duae dicuntur Bocura et Seonargant, quam aliqui appellant Samarkand. Et altera Regio bassae Persiae, descendens a flumine Pyson, qui ad sui occidentem iungiter regno Mediae et terrae minoris Armeniae, et ad Aquilonem mari Caspio, et ad Austrum terrae minoris Indiae.

In hac bassa Persia tres principaliores ciuitates sunt Aessabor, Saphaon, Sarmasaule. In terra autem maioris Armeniae quondam habebantur quatuor regna quae nunc dicuntur subesse Imperio Persarum, habetque famam terrae nobilis, et ad occidentem sui iungitur Regno Turciae.

Hec Armenia multas valde bonas continet ciuitates, quarum famosior est Taurisa. Regnum Mediae quod subest Regi Persarum quamuis non latum est, tamen longum est, et ad occidentem sui regno Chaldeae coniunctum. In Media meliores duae ciuitates sunt, Seras, et Keremen.

[Sidenote: Georgia. Abchas, alias Alchaz.] Hinc ad occidentem sui, iuncta est regio Georgiae, quae modo constat diuisa in duo regna: Nam pars superior, quae iungitur Mediae, reseruauit sibi nomen Georgiae, sed inferior pars dicitur regnum Abchaz. Ambo haec regna, et regis eorum, sunt de fide Christiana, et homines ita deuoti vt ad minus semel in hebdomada communicent sacramentis, iuxta ritum Graecorum confectis. Et quidem regnum Georgiae subiacet imperio Grand Can: sed Abchaz nunquam ab ipso Imperatore Tartariae, neque Persarum, neque Medorum domino subdi potuit, eo quod munitum est aquis et rupibus et alijs prouisionibus contra impugnationes hostiles.

[Sidenote: In parte regni Georgiae sunt tenebrae.] Iuxta hoc regnum Abchaz habetur vnum minum et mirabile, nam magnus est territorij locus dictus Hamson, et continens in circuitu spacium viae quatuor diaetarum: videter semper opertus tenebris densis vt nemo audeat illic intrare profunde, quoniam si qui presumpserint, non sunt visi reuerti. Attamen fatentur vicini sub illis se tenebris audisse nonnunquam clamores hominum, hinnitus, mugitus, rugitus, et boatus pecudum, et bestiarum, sed et cantus gallorum, vt per haec et alia signa constet ibi habitare gentes: nam et fluuius decurrens monstrat signa saepe certissima in suo exitu: ignoratur tamen si tenebrae per totum territorium sint eiusdem densitatis, an forte sint in circuitu per aliquod spacium, et intrinsecus plus luminosum.

Dicuntur autem tenebrae istae olim per diuinum miraculum aduenisse. Saboere enim Imperatore Persarum, circa annum Gratiae ducentessimum quinquagessimum in persecutione Christianorum tendente cum pleno exercitu per hunc locum, et Christianis tyrannidem eius fugientibus, contigit ex improuiso eos ita arctari, vt se effugere desperarent, quapropter statim ad orationis refugium omnes se sternentes clamauerunt ad Christum auxiliatorem suum: Et deus, qui pro puro corde Christianos ad se orantes semper exaudit, expleuit illic literam vaticinij Isaiae: quia ecce tenebrae operient terram et caligo populos, monstrans per tenebram terrenam, quam eis superduxit, quas passuri essent inimici nominis Christi tenebras infernales, indicansque per temporalem vitam, quam sibi fidelibus conseruauit, eam quam possessuri sunt viri Christiani vitam perpetuam, et coelestem.

Itaque hoc regnum Abchaz ad occidentem sui iungitur regno Turciae, quod in longo et lato valde extensum multas continet prouincias scilicet Iconiae, Cappadociae, Saurae, Brike, Besicon, Patan, et Gennoch; hij omnes Turci, cum tota Syria et Arabia vsque ad Galliziam Hispaniae, subsunt Imperatori Babyloniae Soldano, et sunt in singulis prouinciis et regionibus ciuitates magnae, ac multae nimis. Consequenter huic regno Turciae ad Occidentem sui in ciuitate Cathasa [Marginal note: Vel Sathata.] iungitur per mare Greciae superior pars potestatis Imperatoris Constantinopolitani, et quasi ad Aquilonem contiguatur regno Syriae: cuius vna prouincia est terra promissionis, prout hoc satis dictum est supra. Sunt et aliae terre, et Insulae, et patriae latae, et spatiosae, continentes in se multa regna, et reges, et gentes diuersas, de quibus nunc per singula pertractare non est consilij.

Ad supradictam Chaldaeam iungitur Mesopotamia, et minor Armenia, et velut ad Austrum eius AEthiopia, Mauritania, Lybia alta et bassa, et Nubia. [Sidenote: Extensio Imperij Grand Can.] Excepto ergo duntaxat districtu Imperij Persiae, et potestate Soldani, omnes saepe pertractatae terrae, regiones, regna et Insulae descendendo tam par Aquilonem, quam ad Austrum a prouincia Cathay, vsque ad Christianitatem sunt de Imperio Tartariae Grand Can. [Sidenote: Distantia a Roma ad Cathayam per Institores.] Et notandum de spacio distantiae, quod institores de Roma, vel Venetia festinantes tam per terras, quam per mare, expendunt de tempore 11. menses, et quandoque duodecim, priusquam in Cathay valeant peruenire.

Hijs itaque visis describam saltem aliquas a prouincia Cathay in orientem terras Imperij Tartarorum. [Sidenote: Cadilla Regio orientalior Cathay. Angli nostri hanc bestiolam nuper viderunt in Persia.] Illic habetur regio Cadilla spaciosa multum, simul et speciosa: crescunt namque in ea fructus ad quantitatem magnorum Cawardorum, in quibus inuenitur vna bestiola, in carne et sanguine ad formam agnelli absque lana, et manducatur totus fructus cum bestiola. Sunt et alij plures diuersi fructus, quorum penes nos non est respectus nec vsus. Nam et sunt ibi nonnullae speciales vites ferentes botros incredibiliter magnos, quorum vnum vix virilis vir valet in hasta portare.

Et deinde in meridiem per aliquas diaetas, potest perueniri ad primas Caspiae alpes, quae descendendo descendunt vsque ad Amazoniam, insulam mulierum, de qua tractatum est. Inter has Alpes retinetur maxima multitudo Iudaeorum decem tribum Israel, per Dei voluntatem ita inclusa, vt in copiosa numerositate non possint a nostra parte exire, quamuis aliqui pauci nonnunquam sunt visi transisse. Haberent autem competentem exitum circa insulam Amazoniae, sed illum diligenter regina obseruat.

[Sidenote: Bacchariae Regnum vel Boghariae.] Porro de regione Cadilla in orientem venitur ad regnum Backariae, in qua mali et multum crudeles habitant homines, nec est securum itinerare per illam, quod ad modicam occasionem (si Deus non conseruaret) occiderent viatorem et manducarent. [Sidenote: Arbor Lanifera.] Illic sunt arbores ferentes lanam velut ouium, ex qua texunt pannos ad vestimenta. Hypocentauri sunt ibi pro media superiori parte in forma humana, et pro inferiori figura equorum, seu taurorum, venantes in terris, et piscantes in aquis quod comedunt, et super omnia carnes hominum, quos capere possunt. [Sidenote: Gryphones, de quibus Paulus Venetae] Nec non et gryphi illic apparent pro media posteriori parte in forma leonis, pro anteriori in forma aquilae. Sed sciatis, corpus magni gryphi maius esse octo leonibus de partibus istis. Nam postquam equum, bouem vel hominem, etiam asinum occiderit, leuat et asportat pleno volatu: tanquam cornua bouis aut vaccae sunt illi vngulae, de quibus etiam fieri solent ciphi ad bibendum, qui plurimum reputantur preciosi. Fiunt quoque de pennis alarum eius arcus rigidi, et fortes ad iaciendum missilia et sagittas. Ad istius regni Baccariae extremitates in Orientum finitur terra potestatis Grand Can: Et iungitur ei terra potestatis magni Imperatoris Indiae, qui semper vocatur Praesbyter Ioannes. Notandum, quoties per prouincias totius Imperij Grand Can, quicquam accidit, quod Imperatorem non oportet latere, confestim mittuntur per reges aut barones nuncij in dromedarijs aut equis, qui celerrime festinant ad certa hospitia, ad hoc ipsum, velut absque numero per imperium instituta: Isque nuncius hospitio appropinquans, et cornu resonans, dum auditor paratur minicius alter, qui de manu suscipiens literas, per recentem dromedarium festinat ad aliud hospitium, et sic in breui tempore perferuntur rumores ad curia aures. [Sidenote: Cursores, Chidibo Tartarice dicti.] Similique modo nuncij pedites permutantur de hospitio in hospitium, vt citius percipiatur negocium huius nuncij: appellantur sua lingua Chidibo.

[Sidenote: Charita Mandeuilli.] Ergo per praemissa satis elucet magnam esse nobilitatem, potestatem, reuerentiam, et dominationem Imperatoris Tartariae Grand Can de Cathay, et quod nullus ab ista parte Imperator nec Persiae, nec Babylonia, nec Greciae, sed nec Romae est illi comparandus. Vnde et multum miserandum est, quia ipse cum toto Imperio nec est fide Catholica illustratus, nec salutari lauachro regeneratus: et hoc oremus vt in breui eueniat, per Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum.

Explicit pars secunda huius opens.

The English Version.

And whan the emperour dyethe, men setten him in a chayere in myddes the place of his tent: and men setten a table before him clene, covered with a clothe, and there upon flesche and dyverse vyaundes, and a cuppe fulle of mares mylk: And men putten a mare besyde him, with hire fole, and an hors saddled and brydeled; and thei leyn upon the hors gold and silver gret quantytee: and thei putten abouten him gret plentee of stree: and than men maken a gret pytt and a large; and with the tent and alle theise other thinges, then putten him in erthe. And thei seyn, that whan he schalle come in to another world, he schalle not ben with outen an hows, ne with owten hors, ne with outen gold and sylver: and the mare schalle zeven him mylk, and bryngen him forthe mo hors, tille he be wel stored in the tother world. For thei trowen, that aftre hire dethe, thei schulle be etynge and drynkynge in that other world, and solacynge hem with hire wifes, as thei diden here. And aftre tyme, that the emperour is thus entered, no man schalle be so hardy to speke of him before his frendes, And zit natheles somtyme fallethe of manye, that thei maken hem to ben entered prevylly be nyghte, in wylde places, and putten azen the grasse over the pytt for to growe: or elle men coveren the pytt with gravelle and sond, that no man schalle perceyve where, ne knowe where the pytt is, to that entent, that never aftre, non of his frendes schulle han mynde ne rememberance of him. And thanne thei seyn, that he is ravissht in to another world where he is a grettre lord, than he was here. And thanne aftre the dethe of the emperour, the 7 lynages assemblen hem to gidere, and chesen his eldest sone, or the nexte aftre him, of his blood: and thus thei seye to him; wee wolen and wee preyen and ordeynen, that zee ben oure lord and oure emperour. And thanne he answerethe, zif yee wile, that I regne over zou, as lord, do eyeryche of zou, that I schalle commanden him, outher to abyde or to go; and whom soever that I commaunde to ben slayn, that anon he be slayn. And thei answeren alle with o voys, what so evere zee commanden, it schalle be don. Thanne seythe the emperour, now undirstondethe wel, that my woord from hens forthe, is scharp and bytynge as a swerd. After men setten him upon a blak stede, and so men bryngen him to a cheyere fulle richely arrayed, and there thei crownen hym. And thanne alle the cytees and gode townes senden hym ryche presentes; so that at that iourneye, he schalle have more than 60 chariottes charged with gold and sylver, with outen jewelles of gold and precyouse stones, that lordes zeven hym, that ben withouten estymacioun: and with outen hors and clothes of gold and of Camakaas and Tartarynes, that ben with outen nombre.

Of the Roialme of Thurse and the Londes and Kyngdomes towardes the Septentrionale parties, in comynge down from the Lond of Cathay.

This lond of Cathay is in Asye the depe. And aftre, on this half, is Asyetthe more. The kyngdom of Cathay marchethe toward the west, unto the kyngdom of Tharse; the whiche was on of the kinges, that cam to presente our Lord in Betheleem. And thei that ben of the lynage of that kyng, arn somme Cristene. In Tharse, thei eten no flessche, ne thei drynken no wyn. And on this half, towardes the west, is the kyngdom of Turquesten, that strecchethe him toward the west, to the kyngdom of Persie; and toward the Septrentionalle, to the kyngdom of Chorasme. In the contre of Turquesten, ben but fewe gode cytees: but the beste cytee of that lond highte Octorar. There ben grete pastures; but fewe Coornes; and therfore, for the most partie, thei ben alle herdemen: and thei lyzn in tentes, and thei drynken a maner ale, made of hony.

And aftre, on this half, is the kyngdom of Chorasme, that is a gode lond and a plentevous, with outen wyn. And it hathe a desert toward the est, that lastethe more than an 100 iourneyes. And the beste cytee of that contree is clept Chorasme. And of that cytee, berethe the contree his name. The folk of that contree ben hardy werryoures. And on this half is the kyngdom of Comanye, where of the Comayns that dwelleden in Grece, somtyme weren chaced out. This is on of the grettest kyngdomes of the world: but it is not alle enhabyted. For at on of the parties, there is so gret cold, that no man may dwelle there: and in another partie, there is so grete hete, that no man may endure it. And also there ben so many flyes, that no man may knowe on what syde he may turne him. In that contree is but lytille arberye, ne trees that beren frute, ne othere. Thei lyzn in tentes. And thei brenen the dong of bestes for defaute of wode.

This kyngdom descendeth on this half toward us, and toward Pruysse, and toward Rossye. And thorghe that contree rennethe the ryvere of Ethille, that is on of the grettest ryveres of the world. And it fresethe so strongly alle zeres, that many tymes men han foughten upon the Ise with grete hostes, bothe parties on fote, and hire hors voyded for the tyme: and what on hors and on fote, mo than 200000 persones on every syde. And betweene that ryvere and the grete see ocean, that thei clepen the see maure, lyzn alle theise Roialmes. And toward the hede benethe in that Roialme, is the mount Chotaz, that is the hiest mount of the world: and it is betwene the see Maure and the see Caspy. There is fulle streyt and dangerous passage, for to go toward Ynde. And therfore Kyng Alysandre leet make there a strong cytee, that men clepen Alizandre, for to kepe the contree, that no man scholde passe with outen his leve. And now men clepen that cytee, the Zate of Helle. And the princypalle cytee of Comenye is clept Sarak, that is on of the 3 weyes for to go in to Ynde: but be the weye, ne may not passe no gret multytude of peple, but zif it be in wyntre. And that passage men clepen the Derbent. The tother weye is for to go fro the citee of Turquesten, be Persie: and be that weye, ben manye iourneyes be desert. And the thridde weye is that comethe fro Comanye, and than to go be the grete see and be the kyngdom of Abchaz.

And zee schulle undirstonde, that alle theise kyngdomes and alle theise londes aboveseyd, unto Pruysse and to Rossye, ben alle obeyssant to the grete Chane of Cathay; and many othere contrees, that marchen to other costes. Wherfore his powere and his lordschipe is fulle gret, and fulle myghty.

Of the Emperour of Persye, and of the lond of darknesse and of other Kyngdomes, that belongen to the grete Chane of Cathay, and other Londes of his, unto the See of Greece.

[Sidenote: Cap. XXV.] Now sithe I have devysed zou the londes and the kyngdoms toward the parties septentrionales, in comynge down from the lond of Cathay, unto the londes of the Cristene, towardes Pruysse and Rossye; now schalle I devyse zou of other londes and kyngdomes, comynge doun be other costes, toward the right syde, unto the see of Grece, toward the lond of Cristene men: and therfore that, aftre Ynde and aftre Cathay, the Emperour of Persie is the gretteste lord. Therfore I schalle telle zou of the kyngdom of Persie. First, where he hathe 2 kyngdomes; the firste kyngdom begynnethe toward the est, toward the kyngdom of Turquesten, and it strecchethe toward the west, unto the ryyere of Phison, that is on of the 4 ryveres, that comen out of paradys. And on another syde, it strecchethe toward the septemtrion, unto the see of Caspye: and also toward the southe, unto the desert of Ynde. And this contree is gode and pleyn and fulle of peple. And there ben manye gode cytees. But the 2 princypalle cytees ben theise, Boyturra and Seornergant, that sum men clepen Sormagant. The tother kyngdom of Persie strecchethe toward the ryvere of Phison, and the parties of the west, unto the kyngdom of Mede: and fro the grete Armenye, and toward the septemtrion, to the see of Caspie; and toward the southe, to the land of Ynde. That is also a gode lond and a plentefous; and it hath 3 grete princypalle cytees, Messabor, Caphon and Sarmassane.

And thanne aftre is Armenye, in the which weren wont to ben 4 kyngdomes: that is a noble contree, and fulle of godes. And it begyinnethe at Persie, and strecchethe toward the west in lengthe, unto Turkye. And in largenesse, it durethe to the cytee of Alizandre, that now is clept the Zate of Helle, that I spak offe beforn, undre the kyngdom of Mede. In this Armenye ben fulle manye gode cytees: but Tanrizo is most of name.

Aftre this, is the kyngdom of Mede, that is fulle long: but it is not fulle large, that begynnethe toward the est, to the land of Persie, and to Ynde the lesse. And it strecchethe toward the west, toward the kyngdom of Caldee, and toward the septemtrion, descendynge toward the litille Armenye. In that kyngdom of Medee, ther ben many grere hilles, and litille of pleyn erthe. There duellen Sarazines, and another maner of folk, that men clepen Cordynes. The beste 2 cytees of that kyngdom, ben Sarras and Karemen.

Aftre that, is the kyngdom of George, that begynnethe toward the est; to the gret mountayne, that is clept Abzor; where that duellen many dyverse folk of dyverse naciouns. And men clepen the contree Alamo. This kyngdom strecchethe him towardes Turkye, and toward the grete see: and toward the south, it marchethe to the grete Armenye. And there ben 2 kyngomes in that contree; that on is the kyngdom of Georgie, and that other is the kyngdom of Abcaz. And alle weys in that contree ben 2 kynges, and thei ben bothe Cristene: but the Kyng of Georgie is in subieccioun to the grete Chane. And the King of Abcaz hathe the more strong contree: and he alle weyes vigerously defendethe his contree; azenst alle tho that assaylen him; so that no man may make him in subieccioun to no man. In that kyngdom of Abcaz is a gret marvaylle. For a provynce of the contree, that hathe wel in circuyt 3 iorneyes, that men clepen Hanyson, is alle covered with derknesse, with outen ony brightnesse or light; so that no man may see ne here, ne no man dar entren in to hem. And natheles, thei of the contree seyn, that som tyme men heren voys of folk, and hors nyzenge, and cokkes crowynge. And men witen wel, that men duellen there: but thei knowe not what men. And thei seyn, that the derknesse befelle be myracle of God. For a cursed Emperour of Persie, that highte Saures, pursuede alle Cristene men, to destroye hem, and to compelle hem to make sacrifise to his ydoles; and rood with grete host, in alle that ever he myghte, for to confounde the Cristene men. And thanne in that contree, dwellen manye gode Cristene men, the whiche that laften hire godes, and wolde han fled in to Grece: and whan they weren in a playn, that highte Megon, anon this cursed emperour mett with hem, with his hoost, for to have slayn hem, and hewen hem to peces. And anon the Cristene men kneleden to the grounde, and made hire preyeres to God to sokoure hem. And anon a gret thikke clowde cam, and covered the emperour and alle his hoost: and so thei enduren in that manere, that thei ne mowe not gon out, on no syde; and so schulle thei ever more abyden in derknesse, tille the day of dome, be the myracle of God. And thanne the Cristene men wenten, where hem lykede best, at hire own plesance, with outen lettynge of ony creature; and hire enemyes enclosed and confounded in derknesse, with outen ony strok. Wherfore we may wel seye, with David, A Domino factum est istud; et est mirable in oculis nostris. And that was a gret myracle, that God made for hem. Wherfore methinkethe, that Cristene men scholden ben more devoute, to serven oure Lord God, than ony other men of ony other secte. For with outen ony drede, ne were cursednesse and synne of Cristene men, thei scholden be lordes of alle the world. For the banere of Jesu Crist is alle weys displayed, and redy on alle sydes, to the help of his trewe lovynge servauntes: in so moche, that o gode Cristene man, in gode beleeve, scholde overcomen and out chacen a 1000 cursed mysbeleevynge men: as David seyth in the Psautere, Quoniam persequebatur unus mille, et duo fugarent decem milia. Et, Cadent a latere tuo mille, et decem milia a dextris tuis. And how that it myghte ben, that on scholde chacen a 1000, David himself seythe, folewynge, Quia manus Domini fecit haec omnia. And oure Lord himself seythe, be the prophetes mouth, Si in viis meis ambulaveritis, super tribulantes vos misissem manum meam. So that wee may seen apertely, that zif wee wil be gode men, non enemye ne may not enduren azenst us. Also zee schulle undirstonde, that out of that lond of derknesse, gothe out a gret ryvere, that schewethe wel, that there ben folk dwellynge, be many redy tokenes: but no man dar not entre in to it.

And wytethe well, that in the kyngdoms of Georgie, of Abchaz and of the litile Armenye, ben gode Cristene men and devoute. For thei schryven hem and howsele hem evermore ones or twyes in the woke. And there ben many of hem, that howsele hem every day: and so do wee not on this half; alle be it that Seynt Poul commandethe it, seyenge, Omnibus diebus dominicis ad communicandum hortor. Thei kepen that commandement: but wee ne kepen it not.

Also aftre, on this half, is Turkye, that marchethe to the gret Armenye. And there ben many provynces, as Capadoche, Saure, Brique, Quesiton, Pytan and Gemethe. And in everyche of theise ben many gode cytees. This Turkye strecchethe unto the cytee of Sachala, that sittethe upon the see of Grece; and so it marchethe to Syrie. Syrie is a gret contree and a gode, as I have told zou before. And also it hathe, aboven toward Ynde, the kyngdom of Caldee, that strecchethe fro the mountaynes of Calde, toward the est, unto the cytee of Nynyvee, that sittethe upon the ryvere of Tygre: and in largenesse, it begynnethe toward the northe, to the cytee of Maraga; and it strecchethe toward the southe, unto the see occean. In Caldee is a pleyn contree, and fewe hilles and few ryveres.

Aftre is the kyngdom of Mesopotayme, that begynnethe toward the est, to the flom of Tygre, unto a cytee that is clept Moselle: and it strecchethe toward the west, to the flom of Eufrate, unto a cytee that is clept Roianz: and in lengthe it gothe to the mount of Armenye, unto the desert of Ynde the lesse. This is a gode contree and a pleyn; but it hathe fewe ryveres. It hathe but 2 mountaynes in that contree: of the whiche, on highte Symar, and that other Lyson. And this lond marchethe to the kyngdom of Caldee.

Zit there is, toward the parties meridionales, many contrees and many regyouns; as the lond of Ethiope, that marchethe, toward the est, to the grete desertes; toward the west, to the kyngdom of Nubye; toward the southe, to the kyngdom of Moretane; and toward the north to the Rede See. Aftre is Moretane, that durethe fro the mountaynes of Ethiope, unto Lybie the hize. And that contree lyzth a long fro the see ocean, toward the southe; and toward the northe, it marchethe to Nubye, and to the highe Lybye. (Theise men of Nubye ben Cristene.) And it marchethe fro the londes aboveseyd to the desertes of Egypt. And that is the Egypt, that I have spoken of before. And aftre is Libye the hye, and Lybye the lowe, that descendethe down lowe, toward the grete see of Spayne. In the whiche contree ben many kyngdomes and many dyverse folk. Now I have devysed zou many contrees, on this half the kyngdom of Cathay: of the whiche, many ben obeyssant to the grete Chane.

Of the Contrees and Yles, that ben bezonde the Lond of Cathay; and of the Frutes there; and of 22 Kynges enclosed within the Mountaynes.

[Sidenote: Cap. XXVI.]

Now schalle I seye zou sewyngly of contrees and yles, that ben bezonde the contrees that I have spoken of. Wherfore I seye zou, in passynge be the lond of Cathaye, toward the highe Ynde, and toward Bacharye, men passen be a kyngdom, that men clepen Caldilhe; that is a fulle fair contree. And there growethe a maner of fruyt, as thoughe it weren gowrdes: and whan thei ben rype, men kutten hem a to, and men fynden with inne a lytylle best, in flessche, in bon and blode, as though it were a lytylle lomb, with outen wolle. And men eten bothe the frut and the best: and that is a gret marveylle. Of that frute I have eten; alle thoughe it were wondirfulle: but that I knowe wel, that God is marveyllous in his werkes. And natheles I told hem, of als gret a marveylle to hem, that is amonges us: and that was of the Bernakes. For I tolde hem, that in oure contree weren trees, that beren a fruyt, that becomen briddes fleeynge: and tho that fellen in the water, lyven; and thei that fallen on the erthe, dyen anon: and thei ben right gode to mannes mete. And here of had thei als gret marvaylle, that summe of hem trowed, it were an impossible thing to be. [Footnote: The Barnacle-bearing trees are said to have grown in Ireland.] In that contree ben longe apples of gode savour; where of ben mo than 100 in a clustre, and als manye in another; and thei han gret longe leves and large, of 2 fote long or more. And in that contree, and in other contrees there abouten, growen many trees, that beren clowe gylofres and notemuges, and grete notes of Ynde and of canelle and of many other spices. And there ben vynes, that beren so grete grapes, that a strong man scholde have y now to done, for to bere o clustre with alle the grapes. In that same regioun ben the mountaynes of Caspye, that men clepen Uber in the contree. Betwene the mountaynes, the Jewes of 10 lynages ben enclosed, that men clepen Gothe and Magothe: and thei mowe not gon out on no syde. There weren enclosed 22 kynges with hire peple, that duelleden betwene the mountaynes of Sythye. There Kyng Alisandre chacede hem betwene tho mountaynes; and there he thoughte for to enclose hem thorghe werk of his men. But whan he saughe, that he myghte not don it, ne bryng it to an ende, he preyed to God of Nature, that he wolde parforme that that he had begonne. And alle were it so, that he was a Payneme and not worthi to ben herd, zit God of his grace closed the mountaynes to gydre: so that thei dwellen there, alle faste y lokked and enclosed with highe mountaynes alle aboute, saf only on o syde; and on that syde is the see of Caspye. Now may sum men asken, Sithe that the see is on that o syde, wherfore go thei not out on the see syde, for to go where that hem lykethe? But to this question, I schal answere, That see of Caspye gothe out be londe, undre the mountaynes, and rennethe be the desert at o syde of the contree; and aftre it strecchethe unto the endes of Persie. And alle thoughe it be clept a see, it is no see, ne it touchethe to non other see; but it is a lake, the grettest of the world. And thoughe thei wolden putten hem in to that see, thei ne wysten never, where that thei scholde arryven. And also thei conen no langage, but only hire owne, that no man knowethe but thei: and therfore mowe thei not gon out. And also zee schulle undirstond, that the Jewes han no propre lond of hire owne for to dwellen inne, in alle the world, but only that lond betwene the mountaynes. And zit thei zelden tribute for that lond to the Queen of Amazoine, the whiche makethe hem to ben kept in cloos fulle diligently, that thei schalle not gon out on no syde, but be the cost of hire lond. For hire lond marchethe to tho mountaynes. And often it hathe befallen, that summe of the Jewes han gon up the mountaynes, and avaled down to the valeyes: but gret nombre of folk ne may not do so. For the mountaynes ben so hye and so streghte up, that thei moste abyde there, maugre hire myghte. For thei mowe not gon out, but be a littille issue, that was made be strengthe of men; and it lastethe wel a 4 gret myle. And aftre, is there zit a lond alle desert, where men may fynde no watre, ne for dyggynge, ne for non other thing. Wherfore men may not dwellen in that place: so it is fulle of dragounes, of serpentes and of other venymous bestes, that no man dar not passe, but zif it be strong wyntre. And that streyt passage, men clepen in that contree, Clyron. And that is the passage, that the Queen of Amazoine makethe to ben kept. And thoghe it happene, sum of hem, be fortune, to gon out; thei conen no maner of langage but Ebrow: so that thei can not speke to the peple. And zit natheles, men seyn, thei schalle gon out in the tyme of Antecrist, and that thei schulle maken gret slaughtre of Cristene men. And therfore alle the Jewes, that dwellen in alle londes, lernen alle weys to speken Ebrew, in hope that whan the other Jewes schulle gon out, that thei may undirstonden hire speche, and to leden hem in to Cristendom, for to destroye the Cristene peple. For the Jewes seyn, that they knowen wel, be hire Prophecyes, that thei of Caspye schulle been undre hire subieccioun, als longe as they had ben in subieccioun of hem. And zif that zee wil wyte, how that thei schulle fynden hire Weye, aftre that I have herd seye, I schalle telle zou. In the time of Antecrist, a fox schalle make there his trayne, and mynen an hole, where Kyng Alisandre leet make the Zates: and so longe he schalle mynen and perce the erthe, till that he schalle passe thorghe, towardes that folk. And whan thei seen the fox thei schulle have gret marveylle of him, be cause that thei saughe never suche a best. For of alle other bestes, thei han enclosed amonges hem, saf only the fox. And thanne thei schullen chacen him and pursuen him so streyte, tille that he come to the same place, that he cam fro. And thanne thei schullen dyggen and mynen so strongly, tille that thei fynden the zates, that Kyng Alisandre leet make of grete stones and passynge huge, wel symented and made stronge for the maystrie. And tho zates thei schulle breken, and so gon out, be fyndynge of that issue.

Fro that lond, gon men toward the lond of Bacharie, where ben fulle cruelle. In that lond ben trees, that beren wolle, as thoghe it were of scheep; where of men maken clothes, and alle thing that may ben made of wolle. In that contree ben many Ipotaynes, that dwellen somtyme in the watre, and somtyme on the lond: and thei ben half man and half hors, as I have seyd before: and thei eten men, whan thei may take hem. And there ben ryveres of watres, that ben fulle byttere, three sythes more than is the watir of the see. In that contree ben many Griffounes, more plentee than in ony other contree. Sum men seyn, that thei han the body upward, as an eagle, and benethe as a Lyoun: and treuly thei seyn sothe, that thei ben of that schapp. But o griffoun hathe the body more gret and is more strong thanne 8 lyouns, of suche lyouns as ben o this half; and more gret and strongere, than an 100 egles, suche as we han amonges us. For o griffoun there will bere, fleynge to his neste, a gret hors, or 2 oxen zoked to gidere, as thei gon at the plowghe. For he hathe his talouns so longe and so large and grete, upon his feet, as thoughe thei weren hornes of grete oxen or of bugles or of Kyzn; so that men maken cuppes of hem, to drynken of: and of hire ribbes and of the pennes and of hire wenges, men maken bowes fulle stronge, to schote with arwes and quarelle. From thens gon men, be many iourneyes, thorghe the lond of Prestre John, the grete Emperour of Ynde. And men clepen his Roialme, the Yle of Pentexoire,

END OF PART II.



MANDEVILLE'S VOYAGES.

PART III.

Tertia pars.

CAPVT. 41.

De magnificentia Imperatoris Indiae et preciositate Palatij.

[Sidenote: Seu Pentoxoria Ciuitas Nyse] Cum in praecedentibus Imperator Indiae dictus sit magnus, restat de illius magnificentia aliquid poni hoc loco: cuius vtique gloria, nobilitas, et potestas, dici non habetur minor, est tamen in aliquibus satis maior, quia omne aequale non est idem cum illo cui aequatur: itaque a finibus regni Bachariae supradicti vbi contiguatur Imperio Indiae, eundo per multas diaetas intratur in Pentoxyriae quod est magnae latitudinis, et abundantiae in multis bonis: huius nominatior ciuitas, dicitur Nyse, et in ea habet Imperator palatium Imperiale, in quo residet dum sibi placet. Imperator iste semper vocitatus est Praesbyter Ioannes, cuius nominis causam audieram quandoque non veram: sed in illis partibus accepi rationem indubitatam, quam breuiter hic enarro. [Sidenote: Narratio de rebus gestis Ogeri Ducis Daniae.] Circa annum ab incarnatione Domini octingentessimum, dux Ogerus de Danemarchia, cum quindecim cognationis suae baronibus, et armatis viginti milibus transiuit mare Greciae, et fauente sibi Deo conquisiuit Christianitati per multa praelia pene omnes terras, regiones, et insulas, quas esse de potestate Grand Can praedixi, nec non et omnes, quae sunt de potestate Imperij huius Imperatoris Indiae. Eratque inter Barones vnus denominatus Ioannes filius Goudebucf, regis Frisonum: qui dictus Ioannes Deo deuotus fuit, et dum licuit Ecclesiarum limina iniuit, vnde et barones ei dabant quasi per iocum Praesbyter Ioannes vocabulum. [Sidenote: Vnde Presbyter Ioannis sit dictus. 4000. Insulae.] Dum ergo Ogerus dictas regiones expugnatas diuideret in hijs quindecim suis cognatis, et quemlibet eorum in suo loco constitueret regem, quatenus Christiana religio in illa orbis superficie semper stabilis permaneret, tradidit isti Praesbytero Ioanni superiorem Indiam, cum 4000. insulis, regionibus, et ipsum praefecit Imperatorem super reliquos cognatos, vt ei certa tributa impenderent, et in omnibus obedirent, atque ex tunc omnes successores Indiae sunt vocati Praesbyter Ioannes et vsque in hodiernum tempus boni manserunt Christiani, et religionis aemulatores. Interim cum causa matrimoniorum aut procurationis filiorum dispersa est primi Imperij integritas, et multae de insulis conuersae vel potius peruersae retrocesserunt ad vetustum squalorem paganismi primi. Nota. Recedens a Cambalu versus orientem post 50. dietas ad terram Praesbyteri Ioannes, principalis ciuitas terrae vocatur Cosan, satis parua sicut Vincentia: habet etiam sub se multas alias ciuitates. Ex pacto semper habet in vxorem vnam de filiabus Grand Can.

Per multas peruenitur ad prouinciam Casan, quae est secunda melior de mundo, vbi subtilior est, habet dietas 50. longior, 60. et est vna de duodecim partibus Imperij Grand Can. Odericus. Vide infra capitulo 49. de Cassan, et de Epulone. Deinde venitur in Thebeth prouinciam, quae India est confinis. Itaque Rex et Imperator iste tenet spatiosissimum Imperium plenum valde multis Regionibus et Insulis amplis, diuisum inter quatuor flumina magna de Paradiso terrestri descendentia, Pyson, Gyon, Tygrim, et Euphratem. Nam vltra fines orientales eius Imperij, et terrestram Paradisum, nullus hominum habitat vel domitatur.

Praeterea imperat multis alijs regionibus et insulis quae distinguntur per brachia maris Oceani, et in quibus singulis continetur grandis numerositas ciuitatum ac villarum, et multitudo innumera populorum prae abundantia, et praeciositate omnium terrenorum bonorum.

Imperium Indiae habetur famosum per vniuersum orbem. Sed et famosius haberetur si mercatores mundi communiter possint et auderent adire sicut Cathay, Nostratibus enim perrarus est illic accessus, tam prae longinquitate, quam prae marinis periculis. Nam exceptis alijs sunt ibi quamplures Adamantini colles, ad oram maris, et intra mare, qui sua virtute attrahunt sibi naues ferrum continentes. Quoniam et mihi nauiganti monstrabatur per nautas a remotis quasi paruula Insula in mari, quam asserebant totaliter ab antiquis temporibus paulatim ibi cumulatam de nauibus per Adamantes retentis.

[Sidenote: Latitudo Imperij Praesbyteri Ioannis est 4. mensium iter.] Estimatur autem latitudo huius Imperij per dietas quatuor mensium, sed longitudini non datur estimatio, eo quod tenditur vsque Paradisum vbi nullus accedit.

Distinctum est Imperium per duodecim prouincias, quibus totidem praesunt reges principales seu prouinciales, et quorum singuli habent sub se Reges, Duces, Marchiones, et Barones, praestantes atque reddentes Praesbytero Ioanni promptam obedientiam, et certa tributa. Saepius et communiter tenet Sedem Imperator in palatio vrbis Imperialis Suse. Hoc autem Palatium tale et tantum est, vt per me non credatur debite estimandum. Istud tamen dico audenter in summa, quod grandius, nobilius, preciosius, et placidius est, in auro, gemmis, structuris, et schemate supra descripto palatio Grand Can in Caydo.

Et ex speciali sciatis, istius palatij principales portas esse de Sardonico, vndique in ebore circumcluso: sed et transuersae lineae sunt omnes Eburneae, aularum et cubiculorum fenestrae christallinae. Mensarum quaedam Smaragdinae, aliquae Haematistinae, caeterorumque lapidum preciosorum per aurum sibimet coniunctorum. Et nonnullae in toto aureae vel gemmunculis disseminatae, et vnaquaeque de mensis cum stabilimento proprij generis. De throni quoque preciositate, quia meae demonstrationis excellit modum, solummodo dico, singulos ascensionis gradus esse singulorum lapidum preciosorum: Primum onychis, secundum christallai, tertium iaspidis, quartum haematisti, quintum sardij, sextum cornelij. Et septimus qui est sub sedentis Imperatoris pedibus, ipse est, chrysolitus, omnes circumfusi, et inclusoria arte formati, auro splendida relucentes. Sed et ambo throni reclinatoria ex smaragdis auro combinatis, eoque distincto nobilissimis granis, et gemmis: cuncti pilarij in camera Regis dormitoria consistunt de auro fuluo, disseminati baccis, et quampluribus carbunculorum rubetis, totum de nocte habitaculum illustrantibus.

Et nihilominus in ea christallina lampas plena balsamo pistico sed ardens et lucens, tam pro augendo lumine, quam pro corrigendo aere, tamen etiam pro ministrando optimo odore.

Forma lecti Imperatoris compacta est de puris et nobilissimis Saphyris, conclusi vtique aureis vel eburneis ligaturis, vt virtute lapidum capiat suauem somnum, motusque carnis inhonesti stimuli, in eo refrenentur. Nunquam enim iungitur mulieri nisi soli coniugi propriae, sed nec illi nisi quatuor quindenis anni videlicet in capite hyemis, veris, aestatis, et autumni causa sobolis generandae.

Vtque breuiter transeam de multa huius palatij nobilitate, mirabile hoc solummodo praemissis super addo. Quia circa medium illius in summo apice turris maioris, duo sunt nodi seu pomella de decoctissimi auri metallo mirae magnitudinis, et serenae resplendentiae, et in ipsis formati duo carbunculi grandes, et lati, sua virtute tenebras effugantes, et velut splendorem plenilunij nocturno tempore mentientes.

The English Version.

Of the Ryalle estate of Prestre John; and of a riche man, that made a marveyllous Castelle, and cleped it Paradys; and of his Sotyltee.

[Sidenote: Chap. XXVII.] This Emperour Prestre John holt fulle gret lond, and hathe many fulle noble cytees and gode townes in his royalme, and many grete dyvene yles ond large. For alle the contree of Ynde is devysed in yles, for the grete flodes, that comen from Paradys, that departen alle the lond in many parties. And also in the see, he hathe fulle manye yles. And the beste cytee in the yle of Pentexoire is Nyse, that is a fulle ryalle cytee and a noble, and fulle riche. This Prestre John hathe undre him many kynges and many yles and many dyverse folk of dyverse condiciouns. And this lond is fulle gode and ryche; but not so riche as is the lond of the grete Chane. For the marchauntes come not thidre so comounly, for to bye marchandises, as thei don in the lond of the gret Chane: for it is to fer to travaylle to. And on that other partie, in the yle of Cathay, men fynden alle maner thing, that is nede to man; clothes of gold, of silk, and spycerie. And therfore, alle be it that men han grettre chep in the yle of Prestre John, natheles men dreden the longe wey and the grete periles in the see, in tho parties. For in many places of the see ben grete roches of stones of the adamant, that of his propre nature drawethe iren to him. And therfore there passen no schippes, that han outher bondes or nayles of iren with in hem: and zif there do, anon the roches of the adamantes drawen hem to hem, that never thei may go thens. I my self have seen o ferrom in that see, as thoughe it hadde ben a gret yle fulle of trees and buscaylle, fulle of thornes and breres, gret plentee. And the schipmen tolde us, that alle that was of schippes, that weren drawen thidre be the adamauntes, for the iren that was in hem. And of the rotenesse and other thing that was with in the schippes, grewen suche buscaylle and thornes and breres and grene grasse and suche maner of thing; and of the mastes and the seylle zerdes; it semed a gret wode or a grove. And suche roches ben in many places there abouten. And therfore dur not the marchauntes passen there, but zif thei knowen wel the passages, or elle that thei han gode lodes men. And also thei dreden the longe weye: and therfore thei gon to Cathay; for it is more nyghe: and zit is not so nyghe, but that men moste ben travayllynge be see and lond, 11 monethes or 12, from Gene or from Venyse, or he come to Cathay. And zit is the lond of Prestre John more ferr, be many dredfulle iourneyes. And the marchauntes passen be the kyngdom of Persie, and gon to a cytee that is clept Hermes: for Hermes the philosophre founded it. And aftre that, thei passen an arm of the see, and thanne thei gon to another cytee that is clept Golbache: and there thei fynden marchandises, and of popengayes, as gret plentee as men fynden here of gees. And zif thei will passen ferthere, thei may gon sykerly i now. In that contree is but lytylle whete or berley: and therfore thei eten ryzs and hony and mylk and chese and frute.

This Emperour Prestre John takethe alle weys to his wif, the doughtre of the grete Chane: and the gret Chane also in the same wise, the doughtre of Prestre John. For theise 2 ben the grettest lordes undir the firmament.

In the lond of Prestre John, ben manye dyverse thinges and many precious stones, so gret and so large, that men maken of hem vesselle: as plateres, dissches and cuppes. And many other marveylles ben there; that it were to cumbrous and to long to putten it in scripture of bokes.

CAPVT 42.

De frequentia palatij et comitatu Imperatoris.

Seruiunt et praesto sunt iugiter Domino Imperatori septem reges, qui in capite singulorum mensium, alijs septem regibus pro illis palatium ingredientibus recedunt ad propria, donec reuoluatur eis tempus statutum. Hij curam habent de gubernatione administrationum in aula maiori per subiectos eis 72. duces, et 300. et 63. comites seu barones, quorum vnusquisque optime nouit et diligenter intendit proprio ministerio.

Nam isti sunt Imperatoris Cubicularij, isti Camerarij, isti scindunt Regi morsellos: alij de apponendis curam gerunt ferculis et deponendis, deafferendis, deasportandis, alij pincernae, Archimandritae, ostiarij, et sic de singulis.

Nec non absque iam dictis, manducant omni die in aula coram Imperatore, duodecim Archiepiscopi, 220. Episcopi, quibus etiam alij totidem certis temporibus succedunt per vices. Verumtamem ad quotidianas expensas vsque praemissas, veniunt de Curia 300. millia personarum, sed non amplius: sed sicut praedixi de Curia praecedentis Imperatoris sic nullus hic, cuiuscunque sit status, aut sexus, comedit vltra semel in die, et hoc ipsum sobrie satis: quoniam prout aestimare possum, expensae duodecim hominum de nostris communiter compensarent triginta hominum in partibus illis.

Dum Ioannem Presbyterum contingit procedere cum exercitu in plena exhibitione, non deferuntur vexilla, sed tredecim cruces magnae altitudinis et grossitudinis, de auro distincto pretiosissimis petris, in honorem Christi et suorum Apostolorum duodecim. Hae vectantur in singulis curribus, et singularum ad hoc maximis curribus cum custodia cuiuscunque crucis, decem mille equitum, et centum mille peditum, nec tamen hic numerus auget vel minuit principalem exercitum Paganorum.

Tempore pacis per terras proprias de palatio ad palatium, aut de regno ad regnum, dum tendere ei placet, comitatur vtique magna multitudine hominum ante et retro, et ex vtroque laterum.

Tuncque portantur coram eo tria valde notabilia, quae tam illi quam omnibus ea digne notantibus esse possunt salutaria. Praecedit enim eum in spatio circiter octodecim passuum discus onustus velut omni genere pretiosorum vasorum auri et argenti, gemmarum, et inaestimabilis artificij. Illumque discum subsequitur propinquius Imperatori ad spatium centum passuum, alia crux lignea nullo penitus auro, nulloue colore aut preciositate artificialis operis adornata.

Dehinc ad sex passuum succedit ibidem propinquans Imperatori discus aureus terra nigerrima plenus. Sunt enim praedicti comitatus in custodiam et honorem personae Imperatoris, discus vassorum in ostensionem diuitiarum, et maiestatis Imperialis. Crux in recordatione passionis et mortis, quam in cruce ligni simplice Christus passus est pro nobis. Et terra nigra in memoriam dirae mortis, qua caro ipsius Imperatoris, quae terra est, in terram ibit corruptionis.

The English Version.

But of the princypalle yles and of his estate and of his lawe, I schalle telle zou som partye. This Emperour Prestre John is Cristene; and a gret partie of his contree also; but zit thei have not alle the articles of oure feythe, as wee have. Thei beleven wel in the Fadre, in the Sone and in the Holy Gost: and thei ben fulle devoute, and righte trewe on to another. And thei sette not be no barettes, ne by cawteles, ne of no disceytes. And he hathe undre him 72 provynces; and in every provynce is a kyng. And theise kynges han kynges undre hem; and alle ben tributaries to Prestre John.

CAPVT. 43.

De quibusdam miris per regiones Indiae.

Licet plurima mira habeantur in terra Imperij Presbyteri Ioannis, ne materia operis nimium proteletur, multa tego silentio: et solum de quibusdam in principalibus Insulis narro. [Sidenote: Magnum mare arenosum] Ergo in primis dico vidisse me magnum mare arenosum, quod de solum minuta arena sine vlla aqua cum lapillorum granellis currit, et fluit per altas eleuationes, et depressiones ad similitudinem maris aquae, nec vnquam quiescit: et quod ipse non cesso stupere, inueniuntur pisces ad littus proiecti, qui cum sint alterius formae et speciei, quam de nostro mari, videntur tamen gustui in edendo delicatiores. [Sidenote: In orientali India vsque hodie venti anniuersarij arenis ostia fluminum suffocant.] Nullo tamen humano ingenio videtur hoc mare transuadari, aut nauigari, aut illo piscari, sed nec propter sui longitudinem, et plura impedimenta de prope circuiri.

Item ab hoc latere maris per tres dietas habentur magnae montium alpes, inter quas venit quasi oriens de Paradiso fluuius decurrentibus petris, nihil penitus habens aquae, in quibus aestimandae sunt plurimum magnarum esse virtutum, quamuis de singulis humanae scientiae constare non potest.

Hic petrarum fluuius currit ad intercisum tempus, quasi in tribus septimanae diebus, per spatium deserti Indiae plurium dietarum, velut fluuius, quousque tandem se perdat in mare arenosum praedictum, atque ex tunc ipsi lapides penitus non comparent. Tempore autem sui cursus nullus appropinquare praesumit, prae strepitu eius et motu: sed tempore quietis aditur sine periculo vitae.

In Orientem versus fluuij originem ad ingressum deserti magni inter quosdam de montibus, cernitur grandis terrae planicies tanquam spatiosi campi totaliter arenosi, in quo videntur ad Solis ortum exurgere de arena, et secundum eleuationem Solis excrescere quaedam virgulta, atque in feruore meridiei producere fructum. Ac de illo in Solis decliuo fructus cum arbustulis paulatim minui, et in occasu penitus deperire, vnde et nullus hominum audet illorum vti fructibus, ne sit quid fantasticum et nociuum.

In huius deserti interioribus, vidi homines in toto syluestres, qui etsi in superioribus formam praetendere videantur humanam, descendunt in subterioribus ad formam bestiae alicuius.

Horum quidam frontes gerunt cornibus asperatas, grinientes vt ferae vel apri: alij nonnulla vti videntur loquela, quam nemo rationalium nonit, et quibusdam signis concepta depromunt. Et est illic pluralitas syluestrium canum, qui dicuntur papiones, quibus postquam edomiti, et ad venandum instructi fuerint, valent capi multae bestiae per desertum. [Sidenote: Papagalli.] Est et copiositas papingonum auium viridium in colore quas appellant phicake, et quarum diuersa sunt genera, nobiliores habent latas in rostro linguas, et in vtroque pede digitos duos. Et quaedam ex istis naturaliter loquuntur verba aut prouerbia, seu salutationes, in patriae idiomate, vt euidenter salutes, concedant, et reddant viatoribus, et nonnunquam debitum iter errantibus per desertum ostendant. Minus autem nobiles non loquuntur ex natura, sed si latas habent linguas, et non sunt vltra duorum annorum aetatis, possunt per assiduitatem instrui ad loquelam.

Aliae nec loquuntur, nec eradiuntur, sed solum clamitant pro voce milui, et nisi tres digitos habent in pede.

Nota: in quarta orientali Deus dedit fratribus minoribus magnam gratiam, vnde in magna Tartaria ita expellunt ab obsessis daemones, sicut de domo canes: vnde quandoque per decem dietas ad eos adducuntur daemoniaci alligati, et statim fratribus praecipientibus in nomine Iesu Christi, exeunt, et liberati baptizantur, et comburunt idola, et plures credunt, et quandoque exeunt idola de igne, et fratres proijciunt aquam benedictam, et clamat daemon, Vide, de meo habitaculo expellor propter fratres minores. Ita multi credunt, et baptizantur. Odericus.

[Sidenote Melescorde Regio. Vel regionis.] Item nota: dum recederem de terra Praesbyteri Ioannis versos occidentem, applicui ad contratam vnam, quae dicitur Melescorde, quae pulchra est, et multum fertilis: inter montes duos huius contratae fecerat quidam murum circundantem montem, et in eo fontes nobilissimos, et omne detectabile. Et hunc locum dicebant paradisum, sicut hic fere continetur. Ideo Odericus, qui postea narrat de valle infausta in hoc se terminat.

[Sidenote: Mischorach.] Ad supradictum Indiae regnum Pentexoriae satis prope, et lata est et longa Insula, Mischorach, bonis copiose referta, de qua vnum scribo praeteritum mirum.

Ante paucos hos annos, villanus ditissimus, sibi valde preciosum construxerat palatium, quasi pro Paradiso terrestri, circundatum, munitum fortalitijs, ac repletum omnibus corporalibus delicijs.

Illic areae, turres, camerae, cubicula, cum alijs aedificijs, in multo numero, et gloria permagnifica, ac historiarum picturis, inter quas, nonnunquam prodigioso artificio bestiae et bestiolae, aues et auiculae discurrebant, volitibant, et per pugnas, garritus, collusiones, mentiebantur viuere.

[Sidenote: Ditissimi villani paradisus fictitius.] Illic prata, et pometa, et seruatoria circa deliciosi collis congestum, distincta velut omni genere florum, arborum, et herbarum, cum multis fontibus et riuulis, quorum perspicuitas, et fluxus in glaris suauem et auditui praestabant refectionem, et super aliquos fuerunt exceptioris artificij, circumstructi auro, et argento, et gemmis, et tres principales fontes emittentes ad palatium Domini per occultas conductas, riuulos vini, lactis, et mellis.

Copiosus quoque numerus formosorum puerorum, et puellarum, aetatis inter decem et sex decem annos, indutorum torquibus, et cycladibus exauratis, exercentium inter iocos cantus et spectacula, ac seruientium suo Domino prope nutum. Audiebantur ex turrium custodibus, nec non videbantur dulcisonae, symphoniae, generum diuersorum, vt certissime putares, non hominum, sed Angelorum: et in istis, ac similibus, deliciebatur iste villanus.

Sed et aurum liuido nil iuuat, imo nocet: quia enim hic inuidiae et otij facibus super ingenuitatem mentis omnium generaliter nobilium principum verebatur in corde: (ingenuitas enim, et rusticitas nunquam cohabitant in cordis vno domicilio) Composuerat ista sibi in hunc finem, vt per se singulos aduocaret aliquos vasallos corpore robustos, menteque audaces, atque ad omnem proteruiam bene procliues: et cuilibet pro placitis muneribus commisit vt illum seu illum principem seu Baronem, quem dicebat sibi aduersarium, clam per insidias vel impetum, occideret, promittens quenquam post factum ad se recepturum perpetuo in hunc locum: sed et velut vaticinans pseudo praedicauit, si quem illorum pro his flagitijs contigeret corporaliter tradi morti, nihilominus animam eius in hunc amoenum Paridisum recipi, et viuere in aeeternum.

[Sidenote: Mandeuillus oculatus testis.] Per hunc igitur modum nonnulis nobilibus occisis, et interfectis, tandem nudabatur eius nequitia tanta, et congregati regionis Barones miserum occiderunt, eius opera destruentes. Ipse ego inibi ductus vidi fontium loca, et multa rei vestigia.

CAPVT. 44.

De loco et dispositione vallis infaustae.

Huius ad insulae extremitates non procul a fluuio Pyson, habetur locus mirabilis pariter et terribilis, vltra omne mundanum, pene et procul: de euentibus, ac laboribus infinitis, quae mihi meisque in tempore itinerationis acciderunt hucusque subticui, cum iam vnum de maioribus ecce narro.

Est illic in alpibus vallis infausta, quatuor ferme leucarum: longitudo vallis, quasi ad quatuor milliaria Lombardica, appellata vallis incantationis, seu periculosa, seu propius daemoniosa: intra quam diebus ac noctibus resonant boatus et tumultus tonitruorum, tempestatum, clamorum, et stridorum, diuersique generis sonituum terribilium, quos illic exercet multitudo spirituum malignorum.

Prope ad vallis medium sub vna rupium, apparet omni tempore visibiliter integrum ac maximum caput daemonis vsque ad humeros tantum, cuius speciem prae horrore nullus pleno intuitu humanus audet diu oculus sustinere: nam respicientes contra aspicit truculenter, agitans oculos minaciter, tanquam ex palpebris eiecturus (quae et scintillant) flammas in altum. Totumque caput sese rotat ad minas, et variat terribiliter modum et continentiam sub repente diuersis maneriebus. Exitque de illo per totum ignis obscuratus fumo, et foetor, tantus, quod per magnum spatium viae pessimam vallem infectat.

Ingredi autem volentibus, apparet semper ad introitum vallis, magna copia auri, argenti, vasorum, vestium, et rerum pretiosarum, quas proculdubio ibi daemones confingunt, quibus et ab olim multi insipientium hominum concupiscentia tracti intrarunt, et vsque nunc intrant pro colligendo thesauro: sed de Infidelibus paucissimi reuertuntur, imo nec de Christianis, qui auaritiae causa ingrediuntur: per vallis autem semitam, quae inter montes et monticulos, tortuosa et aspera est, gradientes vident, et audiunt, daemoniacos spiritus multos volutantes, et imaginibus corporum visibilium, serpentum, volucrum, vlularum, lamiarum, et huiusmodi specierum horribilium dentibus minitantes, vngulas erigentes, incognitos sibilos spirantes prope super capita ad aures transgredientium. Semperque minuitur lumen aeris, donec ventum fuerit ad terribilissimum locum capitis antedicti.

Si quis autem sincerae fidei Christianus per contritionem veram et confessionem, se posuerit in statu saluationis, munitus corporis Christi mysterijs, ac signo crucis, cum intentione ibidem agendi poenitentiam de admissis, et cauendi de admittendis, putatur posse hanc transire vallem securus quidem a morte, non tamen liber a laboribus, horroribus, et tormentis, et exire, de omnibus culpis praeteritis corruptis, ac de futuris magis solito cautus, sicut scriptum est, territi purgabuntur.

Nota aliud mirabile magnum. Vidi cum irem per vnam vallem positam iuxta flumen quod egreditur de paradiso, vidi in ea multa corpora mortuorum, in qua etiam audiui multa genera Musicorum, qui ibi mirabiliter pulsabant: tantus erat ibi tinnitus Musicorum, quod incussit mihi timorem horribilem.

Est autem longitudo illius vallis quasi ad quatuor milliaria Lombardica, in qua si vnus Infidelis intrat, nunquam egreditur, sed sine mora moritur: Et licet sciui, quod intrantes moriuntur, tamen acceptaui intrare, vt viderem quid ibi esset. Dum intrassem tot humana cadauera ibi vidi, quod nisi quis videret, credere non posset.

In hac valle, ab vno eius latere, vidi faciem hominis valde horribilem, qui tantum horrorem mihi incussit, quod putaui me spiritum exhalare, propter quod saepe repetij verbum vitae, scilicet, verbum Caro factum est.

Ad illam faciem non audebam accedere, nisi ad distantiam octo passuum: postea iui ad caput vallis, et ascendi super montem arenosum, in quo vndique circumspiciens, nihil videbam, nisi instrumenta musicalia, quae audiebam fortiter pulsare. Cum fuissem in capite montis, reperi multum argentum congregatum ibi in similitudinem squamarum piscium, vnde posui in gremio, sed quod de ipso non curabam, dimisi illud, et sic illaesus transiui Deo concedente.

Sarraceni cum hoc scirent, reuerebantur me esse baptizatum, et sanctum: mortuos nunc in valle dicebant, homines infernales.

Odericus ad literam hic terminat suum librum: non fuit tot perpessus in valle, sicut ego. Anno Domini 1331. Ianuarij nono, migrauit ad Christum, in conuentu Minorum: cuius vitam statim in fine, et vsque nunc claris miraculis diuina prouidentia approbat, et commendat, prout continebatur in quaterno, a quo concordantias hic superseminaui.

CAPVT. 45.

De periculo et tormentis in valle eadem.

Itaque dico vobis, cum sodalibus, qui simul eramus, quatuordecim diuersarum nationum ante ingressum huius tanti periculi peruenissemus, nos tractatu longo, et deliberatione acuta consiliabamur, vtrumnam ingredi deberemus, et quidam affirmabant, alii vero negabant. Erant autem in numero duo deuoti fratres, de religione beati Francisci, natione Lombardi, qui videbantur pro seipsis non multum curare ingressum, nisi quia noluerunt nos animare ad ingressum, dicentes, si qui nostrum per confessionem, et Eucharistiae susceptionem se ibidem praemunirent, ingrederentur cum illis: quo, ab omnibus mediante debita prouisione, quam ipsi fratres penes se gerebant peracto, parauimus mentes nostras cum pedibus ad intrandum.

Sed ecce quinque de nobis, duo Graeci et tres Hispani, semetipsos ab alijs segregantes, visi sunt alium requirere introitum nos praecedere cupientes, et certe nos illos exinde non vidimus, et quid eis acciderit an periculum subierint, velne ignoramus.

Nos autem nouem per vallem processimus in silentio, et cum cordis ea deuotione, quam quisque sibi potuerit obtinere: et ecce in breui transacto spatio apparuerunt cumuli massarum auri et argenti, et preciosorum copia vasorum. Sed dico vobis pro parte mea, quia nihil horum tetigi, reputans id fallaciam daemonum confinxisse ad mittendum concupiscentiam in cor nostram, imo sine intermissione conabar cor meum custodire ad deuotionem inceptam.

Procedentibus igitur nobis lux coeli minuebator paulatim et augebatur horror, quoniam prope nos vndique etiam sub pedibus nostris apparebant iacere cadauera mortuorum hominum penitus defuncta: alia adhuc spirantia, et nonulla semiuiua, super quae dum nos aliquando calcare contingeret, conquerebantur, ac dolorose submurmurabant.

Et licet non certum id habebam, aestimaui hoc fieri in parte vel in toto fictione daemonum, reputans in breui tempore tantam multitudinem hominum spontanee vallem intrasse, et si a longo tempore in ea perijssent putrefactos fuisse.

Ergo in initio nostri processus quasi prope leucam inuenitur iter sub pedibus satis promptum, sed lumine tanquam ad medium nobis sufficiente, via torquebatur nimis, et asperabatur: et ecce figurae daemonum, circum et supra in aere se ferentium, ad imagines horribilium luporum, leonum, laruarum, megerarum, iuxta cuiuscunque genus vlulantium, rugentium, stridentium, gannientium, hiantes ore, intentantes dentibus, rostris, ac vnguibus, nos terrere, mordere, discerpere, deglutire.

Quapropter pro breui interdum soluto silentio nos inuicem hortabamur, ne quis pro pusillanimitate terrori cederet, et tanto deficeret in agone. Hoc igitur modo per secundam leucam expirante nobis vsque ad tenebras lumine, quousque quis vix vmbram proximi agnoscere possit, praeter praedicta in aere tormenta, incurrebant nobis ad tibias, et pedes pluralitas quasi porcorum, vrsorum, et caprarum grinnientium, et impellentium nos ad lapsum, quod vel ad tertium, vel quartum, aut sextum passum solatenus cadebamus in palmas, seu genua, vel prosternebamur in faciem, aut supini.

Ac superuenere praeter hoc ventorum turbines, fulgurum coruscationes, tonitruorum boatus, drandium casus et exundatio pluuiarum, quantas et quales nunquam accepimus in hoc mundo, quibus iactabamur, ruebamus, quassabamur, et periclitati fuimus extra narrandum.

Interdum quoque sensimus tanquam graues baculorum ictus, per humeros, dorsa, latera, et ad renes, alij quidem grauiores, alij vt puta secundum demeritum vniuscuiusque. Et certe dum per tanta tormenta, quasi exhaustis totis viribus, iam prope medium locum vallis erat ventum, accidit repente, sub vnico instanti temporis, quibusdam nostrum expalmatio ita dura, vt omnes pariter collisi, et prostrati iaceremus in extasi per vnam vul duas forsitan horas.

Et isto defectu vidit quilibet suo modo spiritualem visionem supermirabilem, et excedentem omne dictum, et scriptum.

Ego vero de visione mea nihil ausus sum scribere, vel loqui, quia et fratres singuli inhibuerunt, nisi de his, quae corporaliter intuebamur, et passi sumus.

Grauissimum singuli sustinuimus ictum per corporis loca diuersa, vnus in facie, alius in pectore, ad costas, in dorso, vel ad humerum, et mansit cuique signum percussurae nigerrimum, ad formam virilis manus humanae:

[Sidenote: Mirabilis ictus.] Ictum autem meum in colli ceruice tali ac tanta passione, vt putabam caput abscissum de corpore auolare: et hinc ad octodecimum annum mansit mihi in prima magnitudine signum: sed et vsque nunc variato colore locus ille demonstrat penissime cicatricem, donec cum cadauere tota mutabitur in sepulchro: porro vbi nos ab extasi in his tenebris separauimus singuli per diuinam gratiam respirando, loquendo, palpando, erigendo nos ipsos mutua humanitate, vt potuimus, recollegimus, et cohortabamur, cum subito nobis apparuit sub tenebroso lumine, vel potius fumosa caligine, locus ille spatiosus mediae vallis, continens antedictum horribile caput daemonis, plenus foetore inaestimabili, et iugi occupatus exercitatione innumerorum spirituum malignorum.

Hunc ergo locum ineptum cum vitare vellemus in toto nequiuimus extremitatem eius, quocunque girantes, nullus nostrorum perfecto aspectu audebat respicere quae gerebantur ibidem, quia inuadens tremor statuebat horripilationem extrahebat, sudorem, et pudorem omnes extinguere videbantur. Nec tamen potuit esse consilium de reuertendo, ne propter immutatum propositum confestim a daemonibus strangularemur.

Transiuimus, Dei gratia nobis opitulante, sed non sine maximo horroris, foetorisque tormento: rursumque ex tunc procedentes nos apprehendebat tenebrosa, validaque tempestas, ventorum, coruscationum, tonitruum, grandinum, et pluuiarum, cuius, quassatione collabebamur in facies, et in dorso dextrorsum, et sinistrorsum, interuoluente ad tibias, sicut prius multitudine grinnientium bestiarum, nec dubito scribere quoque amplius, quam 500. vicibus per hanc vallem quisque nostrum sternebatur ad terram.

Post vero exactam tertiam leucam, coepit nobis augeri lux aeris, ex quo animosiores effecti, in vno tranquilliori loco nos parum pausantes, gratias Deo palmis extensis in caelum, reddidimus immensas, et praecipue quod nullus deesset de nouenario numero sociorum.

Nihilominus tamen spiritus in aere nobis minari non cessabant, pretendentes in derisionem sua pudenda simul, et foeda virilia et posteriora.

Pro certo ergo habeatis de his quae vidi, et sensi, nullam possum vobis tradere aequipollentiam verborum, cum quia grauissima erant, tum quia, singulis ne mihi deuotionem minueret non attendebam, tum etiam, quod prae horrore, labore, et dolore multa memoriae non commendabam.

Per quartam autem leucam (ductrice gratia) leuius transeuntes, sustinuimus tamen sub pedibus hominum cadauera mortuorum, prope vallis exitum rerum tentamina preciosarum.

Nunc itaque obsecro magno cordis effectu, haec legentes et audientes ego, qui in illa hora quid erga me agebat misericordissimi Dei pietas ignorabam, vt velitis pro me, simul et mecum ex mentis intimo collaudare ipsum Dominum, qui tunc de potestate tenebrarum illarum eripuit me indignum, et prout confido, a delictis iuuentutis me purgauit, quatenus de postea commissis, et committendis, mihi propitius fore dignetur, cum iam senior sim effectus. Quoniam etsi ex tunc proposui mores corrigere, ex nunc statuo in melius emendare, per filium eius Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum.

Ad hoc, addo breuiter, quod non auderem hortari quenquam, me consulentem, vt spontanee ingrederetur hanc vallem infaustam, quamuis ego curiosus intraui. Venientes posthac ad proximas habitationes, necesse fuit nobis intendere ad recreandum corpora cibarijs, et balneis, et ad medendum vulneribus, et quassaturis, donec per aliquod tempus vnusquisque acciperet deliberationem super suo futuro.

CAPVT. 46.

De quibusdam alijs admirandis per Indorum insulas.

[Sidenote: Gigantes Anthropophagi.] Vt modo procedam in tractatu. Sciatis ad paucas inde dietas grandem insulam haberi gigantum, ad straturam altitudinis viginti quinque pedum nostrorum, de quibus ipse vidi nonnullos, sed extra terram eorum, et audiuimus esse intrinsecus quosdam triginta pedum, et vltra: hi operiuntur non vestibus, sed bestiarum pellibus vtcunque sibi appensis, comedentes animalium carnes crudas, et lac pro potu sorbentes, atque appetentes super omnem esum carnes humanas.

Istorum non curaui intrare insulam: nam et audiui quod ad maris littus solent insidiari nauigantibus, nauesque submergere, nisi interdum redimantur tribus aut quatuor per sortem hominibus sibi datis.

[Sidenote: Letiferi aspectus mulierum.] Versus Austrum hinc in mari Oceano, habetur inter alias insulas vna, vbi crudelibus quibusdam mulieribus nascitur in oculis lapis rarus, et malus, quae si per iram respexerint hominem, more Basilisci interficiunt solo visu.

Et vltra hanc insulam alia maior et populosior, vbi cum multi sint vsus nobis insueti, vnum describo.

[Sidenote: Insula vbi virgines vitiantur antequam nubant.] Dum desponsauerit vir puellam, virginem, mandat hominem incompositum, velut ribaldum, qui sua idonea claue per expertos super hoc diligenter considerata, si reputatur idonea reseret et vestiget sub nocte vnica virginalem conclauem, pro mercede sibi tradita competenti. Et si postera nocte accedens sponsus ita non inuenerit, poterit, et consueuit hominem impetere ad mortis iudicium indeclinabile. Cumque huius moris discere voluissem causam, accepi responsum, pro certis temporibus apud eos, virgines habuisse in matricibus paruos serpentes, quibus nocebantur primi ad illas intrantes.

Ideoque et viri, que pro mercede tantum subeunt periculum, vocant sua loquela cadibrum, est, stultos desperatos.

Ex hac, apparet Insula in qua inter alios vsus, peruersae sunt matres contra naturam et scripturam, cum pepererent contristantur, et dum proles moritur iocundantur, iactantes in magno igne cum conuiuio et exultatione, dumque maritus ante vxorem decidit, patebit vxoris plena dilectio, si cum corpore mariti, quod rogo traditur se iactat cremandum, vt quia in isto seculo steterunt amoris vinculo colligati, non sint alio separati.

Nec tamen intelligunt illud seculum, nisi quod sibi confingunt terrestrem Paradisum. Purum aut minorem annis, trahet mater secum si placet, sed aetatis puer perfectae, eliget pro proprio placito viuere superstes, aut mori iuxta parentes.

Hic etiam non succedunt Reges per generationem sed per electionem, vt assumatur non nobilior, aut fortior, sed morigeratior, et iustior, 50 ad minus annorum, nullam habens sobolem aut vxorem, seruaturque illic iusticiae rigor in plena censura, in omnibus et contra omnes, etiamsi forefecerit ipse Rex, qui nec eximitur a traditis legibus pro concupiscentia vel contemptione quarumlibet personarum.

Veruntamen Rex si peccauerit non occiditur ob reuerentiam, sed quod sub poena mortis, publice inhibetur, ne quispiam in Regione ei verbo vel vllo facto communicet, et quoniam sui loco alter rex constituitur, necesse est illi breui vita degere vel perpetuo exulare. Constat post ipsam, et alia Insula, multis bonis locuples, et hominibus populosa, de qua recolo scribendum, quod nulla occasione comedunt tria genera carnium, gallinarum, leporam, et aucarum, quas etsi nutriant in copijs, vtuntur duntaxat pellibus aut plumis.

Caeterarum vero bestiarum et animalium licite vescuntur carnibus pro victu, et lacte pro potu. Ibi quisque vir licite potest coniungi cuique mulieri; quantumcunque propinquet, exceptis progenitoribus, patre matre. Nam cohabitatio, et commixtio omnium virorum ad singulas mulieres apparet ibi communis, vnde mater natum paruulum suum, adicit pro sui placito cuicunque viro, qui circa generationis tempus secumn dormierit, nec valet vllus virorum esse certus de proprio generato, quem modum exlegem arbitror et turpem.

Sicut ergo praefatus sum, multa mira videntur per Regiones Indorum, mira quidem nobis, sed illis assueta, quibus si nostra recitarentur assueta, audirent pro miris. Nam et dum quibusdam dixi aucas viuas apud nos nasci in arboribus, admirati sunt satis. In multis locis seminatur singulis annis sementum de Cothon, quod nos dicimus lanam arboream, exurgunt ei modica arbusta, vel potius arbustula de quibus talis lana habetur: est arbor luniperus, de cuius ligno desiccato, si carbones viuos sub proprijs cineribus tenueris diligenter opertos, igniti seruabuntur ad annum.

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