Of Which Lands And Isles I Shall Speak More
Plainly Hereafter; And I Shall Devise You Of Some Part Of
that there be, when time shall be, after it may best come to my
mind; and specially for them,
That will and are in purpose for to
visit the Holy City of Jerusalem and the holy places that are
thereabout. And I shall tell the way that they shall hold thither.
For I have often times passed and ridden that way, with good
company of many lords. God be thanked!
And ye shall understand, that I have put this book out of Latin
into French, and translated it again out of French into English,
that every man of my nation may understand it. But lords and
knights and other noble and worthy men that con Latin but little,
and have been beyond the sea, know and understand, if I say truth
or no, and if I err in devising, for forgetting or else, that they
may redress it and amend it. For things passed out of long time
from a man's mind or from his sight, turn soon into forgetting;
because that mind of man ne may not be comprehended ne withholden,
for the frailty of mankind.
TO TEACH YOU THE WAY OUT OF ENGLAND TO CONSTANTINOPLE
IN the name of God, Glorious and Almighty!
He that will pass over the sea and come to land [to go to the city
of Jerusalem, he may wend many ways, both on sea and land], after
the country that he cometh from; [for] many of them come to one
end. But troweth not that I will tell you all the towns, and
cities and castles that men shall go by; for then should I make too
long a tale; but all only some countries and most principal steads
that men shall go through to go the right way.
First, if a man come from the west side of the world, as England,
Ireland, Wales, Scotland, or Norway, he may, if that he will, go
through Almayne and through the kingdom of Hungary, that marcheth
to the land of Polayne, and to the land of Pannonia, and so to
And the King of Hungary is a great lord and a mighty, and holdeth
great lordships and much land in his hand. For he holdeth the
kingdom of Hungary, Sclavonia, and of Comania a great part, and of
Bulgaria that men call the land of Bougiers, and of the realm of
Russia a great part, whereof he hath made a duchy, that lasteth
unto the land of Nyfland, and marcheth to Prussia. And men go
through the land of this lord, through a city that is clept Cypron,
and by the castle of Neasburghe, and by the evil town, that sit
toward the end of Hungary. And there pass men the river of Danube.
This river of Danube is a full great river, and it goeth into
Almayne, under the hills of Lombardy, and it receiveth into him
forty other rivers, and it runneth through Hungary and through
Greece and through Thrace, and it entereth into the sea, toward the
east so rudely and so sharply, that the water of the sea is fresh
and holdeth his sweetness twenty mile within the sea.
And after, go men to Belgrade, and enter into the land of Bougiers;
and there pass men a bridge of stone that is upon the river of
Marrok. And men pass through the land of Pyncemartz and come to
Greece to the city of Nye, and to the city of Fynepape, and after
to the city of Dandrenoble, and after to Constantinople, that was
wont to be clept Bezanzon. And there dwelleth commonly the Emperor
of Greece. And there is the most fair church and the most noble of
all the world; and it is of Saint Sophie. And before that church
is the image of Justinian the emperor, covered with gold, and he
sitteth upon an horse y-crowned. And he was wont to hold a round
apple of gold in his hand: but it is fallen out thereof. And men
say there, that it is a token that the emperor hath lost a great
part of his lands and of his lordships; for he was wont to be
Emperor of Roumania and of Greece, of all Asia the less, and of the
land of Syria, of the land of Judea in the which is Jerusalem, and
of the land of Egypt, of Persia, and of Arabia. But he hath lost
all but Greece; and that land he holds all only. And men would
many times put the apple into the image's hand again, but it will
not hold it. This apple betokeneth the lordship that he had over
all the world, that is round. And the tother hand he lifteth up
against the East, in token to menace the misdoers. This image
stands upon a pillar of marble at Constantinople.
OF THE CROSS AND THE CROWN OF OUR LORD JESU CHRIST
AT Constantinople is the cross of our Lord Jesu Christ, and his
coat without seams, that is clept TUNICA INCONSUTILIS, and the
sponge, and the reed, of the which the Jews gave our Lord eysell
and gall, in the cross. And there is one of the nails, that Christ
was nailed with on the cross.
And some men trow that half the cross, that Christ was done on, be
in Cyprus, in an abbey of monks, that men call the Hill of the Holy
Cross; but it is not so. For that cross that is in Cyprus, is the
cross, in the which Dismas the good thief was hanged on. But all
men know not that; and that is evil y-done. For for profit of the
offering, they say that it is the cross of our Lord Jesu Christ.
And ye shall understand that the cross of our Lord was made of four
manner of trees, as it is contained in this verse, - IN CRUCE FIT
PALMA, CEDRUS, CYPRESSUS, OLIVA.
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