And Then We Entered Fourteen Persons; But At Our Going
Out We Were But Nine.
And so we wist never, whether that our
fellows were lost, or else turned again for dread.
But we saw them
never after; and those were two men of Greece, and three of Spain.
And our other fellows that would not go in with us, they went by
another coast to be before us; and so they were.
And thus we passed that perilous vale, and found therein gold and
silver, and precious stones and rich jewels, great plenty, both
here and there, as us seemed. But whether that it was, as us
seemed, I wot never. For I touched none, because that the devils
be so subtle to make a thing to seem otherwise than it is, for to
deceive mankind. And therefore I touched none, and also because
that I would not be put out of my devotion; for I was more devout
then, than ever I was before or after, and all for the dread of
fiends that I saw in diverse figures, and also for the great
multitude of dead bodies, that I saw there lying by the way, by all
the vale, as though there had been a battle between two kings, and
the mightiest of the country, and that the greater part had been
discomfited and slain. And I trow, that unnethe should any country
have so much people within him, as lay slain in that vale as us
thought, the which was an hideous sight to see. And I marvelled
much, that there were so many, and the bodies all whole without
rotting. But I trow, that fiends made them seem to be so whole
without rotting. But that might not be to mine advice that so many
should have entered so newly, ne so many newly slain, with out
stinking and rotting. And many of them were in habit of Christian
men, but I trow well, that it were of such that went in for
covetise of the treasure that was there, and had overmuch
feebleness in the faith; so that their hearts ne might not endure
in the belief for dread. And therefore were we the more devout a
great deal. And yet we were cast down, and beaten down many times
to the hard earth by winds and thunders and tempests. But evermore
God of his grace holp us. And so we passed that perilous vale
without peril and without encumbrance, thanked be Almighty God.
After this, beyond the vale, is a great isle, where the folk be
great giants of twenty-eight foot long, or of thirty foot long.
And they have no clothing but of skins of beasts that they hang
upon them. And they eat no bread, but all raw flesh; and they
drink milk of beasts, for they have plenty of all bestial. And
they have no houses to lie in. And they eat more gladly man's
flesh than any other flesh.
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