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To geder schal sitte at the mete.
And when thay have al most y ete,
I wole say wassayle to the kyng,
And sle hym with oute any leyng'.
And loke that in this manere
Eche of gow sle his feret."
And so sche dede thenne,
Slowe the kyng and alle hys men.
And thus, thorowgh here queyntyse",
This londe was wonne in this

wyse.
Sythw a non sone an swythe
Was Englond deled on fyve,
To fyve kynggys trewelyche,
That were nobyl and swythe ryche.
That one hadde alle the londe of Kente,
That ys free and swythe gente.
And in hys lond bysshopus tweye.
Worthy men where theye.
The archebysshop of Caunturbery,
And of Rochestore that ys mery.
The kyng of Essex of renona
He hadde to his portion
Westschire, Barkschire,
Soussex, Southamptshire.
And ther to Dorsetshyre,
All Cornewalle and Devenshire,
All thys were of hys anpyreb.,
The king hadde on his hond
Five bysshopes starke and strong,

Of Salusbury was that on.
As to the Mirabilia Mundi, mentioned in the statutes of
New College at Oxford, in conjunction with these Poemata and
Regnorum Chronica, the immigrations of the Arabians into
Europe and the Crusades produced numberless accounts,

lye. companion. stratagem.
after.
very [quickly].

empire.

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were.

y divided.
a

renown.

b

partly true and partly fabulous, of the wonders seen in the eastern countries; which falling into the hands of the monks, grew into various treatises, under the title of Mirabilia Mundi. There were also some professed travellers into the East in the dark ages, who surprised the western world with their marvellous narratives, which could they have been contradicted would have been believed". At the court of the grand Khan, persons of all nations and religions, if they discovered any distinguished degree of abilities, were kindly entertained and often preferred.

In the Bodleian library we have a superb vellum manuscript, decorated with antient descriptive paintings and illuminations, entitled, Histoire de Graunt Kaan et des MERVEILLES DU MONDEd. The same work is among the royal manuscripts. A Latin epistle, said to be translated from the Greek by Cornelius Nepos, is an extremely common manuscript, entitled, De situ et Mirabilibus Indiæf. It is from Alexander the Great to his preceptor Aristotle : and the

• The first European traveller who luyt cites a friar, named Oderick, who went far Eastward, is Benjamin a Jew travelled to Cambalu in Cathay, and of Tudela in Navarre. He penetrated whose description of that city

corresponds from Constantinople through Alexan- exactly with Pekin. Friar Bacon about dria in Ægypt and Persia to the fron- 1280, from these travels formed his geotiers of Tzin, now China. His travels graphy of this part of the globe, as may end in 1173. He mentions the immense be collected from what he relates of the wealth of Constantinople; and says that Tartars. See Purchas Pilgr. iii. 52. its port swarmed with ships from all And Bac. Op. Maj. 228. 235. countries. He exaggerates in speaking MSS. Bodl. F. 10. fol. prægrand. of the prodigious number of Jews in that ad calc. Cod. The hand-writing is about city. He is full of marvellous and ro the reign of Edward the Third. I am mantic stories. William de Rubruquis, not sure whether it is not Mandeville's a monk, was sent into Persic Tartary, book. and by the command of S. Louis king € Brit Mus. MSS. Bibl. Reg. 19 D of France, about the year 1245. As i. 3. was also Carpini, by Pope Innocent the [The royal manuscript is a magnificent Fourth. Their books abound with im- copy of the French translation of Marco probabilities. Marco Polo a Venetian Polo's travels, which it affirms to have nobleman travelled eastward into Syria been made in the year 1298.--Edit.) and Persia to the country constantly f It was first printed à Jacobo Catalacalled in the dark ages Cathay, which nensi without date or place. Afterwards proves to be the northern part of China. at Venice 1499. The epistleisinscribed : This was about the year 1260. His book Alexander Magnus Aristoteli præceptori is entitled De Regionibus Orientis. He suo salutem dicit. It was never extant mentions the immense and opulent city in Greck. of Cambalu, undoubtedly Pekin. Hak.

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Greek original was most probably drawn from some of the fabulous authors of Alexander's story.

There is a manuscript, containing La Chartre que Presire Jehan maunda a Fredewik l'Empereur de MERVAILLES DE SA TERRES. This was Frederick Barbarossa, emperor of Germany, or his successor; both of whom were celebrated for their many successful enterprises in the Holy Land, before the year 1230. Prester John, a Christian, was emperor of India. I find another tract, DE MIRABILIBUS Terræ Sanctæh. A book of Sir John Mandeville, a famous traveller into the East about the year 1340, is under the title of Mirabilia Mundii. His Itinerary might indeed have the same titlek. An English title in the Cotton library is, “ The Voiage and Travailes of Sir John Maundevile knight, which treateth of the way to Hierusaleme and of the MARVEYLES of Inde with other ilands and countryes.” In the Cotton library there is a piece with the title, Sanctorum Loca, MirabilIA MUNDI, &c.' Afterwards the wonders of other countries were added : and when this sort of reading began to grow fashionable, Gyraldus Cambrensis composed his book De MIRABILIBUS Hibernian.

& Ibid. MSS. Reg. 20 A xii. 3. And vels, gave to the high altar of S. Alban's in Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Bodl. E 4. 3. “Li- abbey church a sort of Pater brought teræ Joannis Presbiteri ad Fredericum from Ægypt, now in the hands of an inImperatorem, &c.

genious antiquary in London. He was MSS. Reg. 14. C xiii. 3.

a native of the town of S. Alban's, and i MSS. C. C. C. Cant. A iv. 69. We a physician. He says that he left many find De Mirabilibus Mundi Liber, MSS. MERVAyles unwritten; and refers the Reg. ut supr. 13. Eix. 5.

And again,

curious reader to his Mappa Mundi, De Mirabilibus Mundi et Viris illustribus ehap. cviii. cix. A history of the TarTractatus 14. C vi. 3.

tars became popular in Europe about * His book is supposed to have been the year 1910, written or dictated by interpolated by the monks. Leland ob- Aiton a king of Armenia, who having serves, that Asia and Africa were parts traversed the most remarkable countries of the world at this time “ Anglis de sola of the East, turned monk at Cyprus, and fere nominis umbra cognitas. Script. published his travels; which, on account Br. p. 366. He wrote his Itinerary in of the rank of the author, and his amazFrench, English, and Latin. It extends ing adventures, gained great esteem. to Cathay, or China, before mentioned. I Galb. A xxi. 3. Leland says, that he gave to Becket's m It is printed among the Scriplores shrine in Canterbury cathedral a glass Hist. Angl. Francof. 1602. fol. 692. globe enclosing an apple, which he pro Written about the year 1200.

It was so bably brought from the East. Leland favourite a title that we have even De saw this curiosity, in which the apple re MIRABILIBUS Veteris et Novi Testamenti. mained fresh and undecayed. Ubi supr. MSS. Coll. En. Nas. Oxon. Cod. 12. Maundeville, on returning from his tra- f. 190. a.

There is also another De MIRABILIBUS Angliæ“. At length the superstitious curiosity of the times was gratified with compilations under the comprehensive title of MIRABILIA Hiberniæ, Anglia, et Orientaliso. But enough has been said of these infatuations. Yet the history of human credulity is a necessary speculation to those who trace the gradations of human knowledge. Let me add, that a spirit of rational enquiry into the topographical state of foreign countries, the parent of commerce and of a thousand improvements, took its rise from these visions.

I close this section with an elegy on the death of king Edward the First, who died in the year 1307.

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Alle that beoth of huert trewe P

A stounde herkneth to my song,
Of duel that Deth hath diht us newe.

That maketh me syke ant sorewe amonge :
Of a knyht that wes so strong

Of wham God hath done ys wille;
Me thuncheth' that Deth has don us wrong

That hes so sone shall ligge stille.

II.

Al Englond ahte forte knowe:

Of wham that song ys that y synge,
Of Edward kyng that lith so lowe,

Zent" al this world is nome con springe :
Trewest mon of al thinge,
Ant in werre war and

wys;
For him we ahte oure honden W wrynge,

Of Cristendome he ber the pris.

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* Bibl. Bodi. MSS. C 6.

some monk in the twelfth century, acAs in MSS. Reg. 13 D. i. 11. I must cording to Voss. Hist. Latin. üi. p. 721. not forget that the Polyhistor of Julius P « be of true heart." Solinus appears in many manuscripts 9 a little while. 'methinks. under the title of Solinus de Mirabilibus the king.

ought for to. Mundi. This was so favourite a book, through. Sax. zent. Yent. as to be translated into hexameters by

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W hands.

III.

Byfore that oure kyng wes ded

He speke ase mon that 'wes in care “ Clerkes, knyhtes, barouns, he sayde

Ycharge ou* by oure sware y That

ye to Engelonde be trewe, Y deze? y ne may lyven na more; Helpeth mi sone, ant crowneth him newe,

For he is nest to buen ycorea.

JV.

Iche biquethe myn hirte aryht,

That hit be write at mi devys, Over the sea that hue be diht,

With fourscore knyghtes al of pris, In werre that buen war ant wys,

Agein the hethene forte fyhte, To wynne the croiz that lowe lys,

Myself ycholde zef that y myhte.”

V.

Kyng of Fraunce! thou hevedest sunne',

That thou the counsail woldest fonde,
To latted the wille of kyng Edward,

To wende to the holy londe:
That oure kyng hede take on honde,

All Engelond to zeme and wysse',
To wenden in to the holy londe

To wynnen us heveriche blisse.

VI.

The messager to the pope com

And seyde that our kyng was ded,

y oath.

you.

h He died in Scotland, July 7, 1307. deze. Deye, die.

The chroniclers pretend, that the Pope * “next, to be chosen."

knew of his death the next day by a vione of his officers (it).

sion or some miraculous information. So let, hinder.

geme, protect. Robert of Brunne, who recommends this govern (instruct, teach]. every. tragical event to those who “ Singe and

b

c sin.

6

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