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Title: Mediaeval Lore from Bartholomew Anglicus
Author: Bartholomaeus, Anglicus, 13th cent.
Language: English
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[Illustration: Philosophers on Mount Olympus.]






It is not long since the Middle Ages, of the literature of which this
book gives us such curious examples, were supposed to be an
unaccountable phenomenon accidentally thrust in betwixt the two
periods of civilisation, the classical and the modern, and forming a
period without growth or meaning--a period which began about the time
of the decay of the Roman Empire, and ended suddenly, and more or less
unaccountably, at the time of the Reformation. The society of this
period was supposed to be lawless and chaotic; its ethics a mere
conscious hypocrisy; its art gloomy and barbarous fanaticism only; its
literature the formless jargon of savages; and as to its science, that
side of human intelligence was supposed to be an invention of the time
when the Middle Ages had been dead two hundred years.

 The light which the researches of modern historians, archaeologists,
bibliographers, and others, have let in on our view of the Middle Ages
has dispersed the cloud of ignorance on this subject which was one of
the natural defects of the qualities of the learned men and keen
critics of the eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth centuries.
The Middle-class or Whig theory of life is failing us in all branches
of human intelligence. Ethics, Politics, Art, and Literature are more
than beginning to be regarded from a wider point of view than that
from which our fathers and grandfathers could see them.

For many years there has been a growing reaction against the dull
"grey" narrowness of the eighteenth century, which looked on Europe
during the last thousand years as but a riotous, hopeless, and stupid
prison. It is true that it was on the side of Art alone that this
enlightenment began, and that even on that side it progressed slowly
enough at first--_e.g._ Sir Walter Scott feels himself obliged,
as in the _Antiquary_, to apologize to pedantry for his
instinctive love of Gothic architecture. And no less true is it that
follies enough were mingled with the really useful and healthful birth
of romanticism in Art and Literature. But at last the study of facts
by men who were neither artistic nor sentimental came to the help of
that first glimmer of instinct, and gradually something like a true
insight into the life of the Middle Ages was gained; and we see that
the world of Europe was no more running round in a circle then than
now, but was developing, sometimes with stupendous speed, into
something as different from itself as the age which succeeds this will
be different from that wherein we live. The men of those times are no
longer puzzles to us; we can understand their aspirations, and
sympathise with their lives, while at the same time we have no wish
(not to say hope) to put back the clock, and start from the position
which they held. For, indeed, it is characteristic of the times in
which we live, that whereas in the beginning of the romantic reaction,
its supporters were for the most part mere _laudatores temporis
acti_, at the present time those who take pleasure in studying the
life of the Middle Ages are more commonly to be found in the ranks of
those who are pledged to the forward movement of modern life; while
those who are vainly striving to stem the progress of the world are as
careless of the past as they are fearful of the future. In short,
history, the new sense of modern times, the great compensation for the
losses of the centuries, is now teaching us worthily, and making us
feel that the past is not dead, but is living in us, and will be alive
in the future which we are now helping to make.

To my mind, therefore, no excuse is needful for the attempt made in
the following pages to familiarise the reading public with what was
once a famous knowledge-book of the Middle Ages. But the reader,
before he can enjoy it, must cast away the exploded theory of the
invincible and wilful ignorance of the days when it was written; the
people of that time were eagerly desirous for knowledge, and their
teachers were mostly single-hearted and intelligent men, of a
diligence and laboriousness almost past belief. The "Properties of
Things" of Bartholomew the Englishman is but one of the huge
encyclopaedias written in the early Middle Age for the instruction of
those who wished to learn, and the reputation of it and its fellows
shows how much the science of the day was appreciated by the public at
large, how many there were who wished to learn. Even apart from its
interest as showing the tendency of men's minds in days when Science
did actually tell them "fairy tales," the book is a delightful one in
its English garb; for the language is as simple as if the author were
speaking by word of mouth, and at the same time is pleasant, and not
lacking a certain quaint floweriness, which makes it all the easier to
retain the subject-matter of the book.

Altogether, this introduction to the study of the Mediaeval
Encyclopaedia, and the insight which such works give us into the
thought of the past and its desire for knowledge, make a book at once
agreeable and useful; and I repeat that it is a hopeful sign of the
times when students of science find themselves drawn towards the
historical aspect of the world of men, and show that their minds have
been enlarged, and not narrowed, by their special studies--a defect
which was too apt to mar the qualities of the seekers into natural
facts in what must now, I would hope, be called the just-passed epoch
of intelligence dominated by Whig politics, and the self-sufficiency
of empirical science.















THE BOOK AND ITS OBJECT.--The book which we offer to the public of to-
day is drawn from one of the most widely read books of mediaeval
times. Written by an English Franciscan, Bartholomew, in the middle of
the thirteenth century, probably before 1260, it speedily travelled
over Europe. It was translated into French by order of Charles V.
(1364-81) in 1372, into Spanish, into Dutch, and into English in 1397.
Its popularity, almost unexampled, is explained by the scope of the
work, as stated in the translator's prologue (p. 9). It was written to
explain the allusions to natural objects met with in the Scriptures or
in the Gloss. It was, in fact, an account of the properties of things
in general; an encyclopaedia of similes for the benefit of the village
preaching friar, written for men without deep--sometimes without any--
learning. Assuming no previous information, and giving a fairly clear
statement of the state of the knowledge of the time, the book was
readily welcomed by the class for which it was designed, and by the
small nucleus of an educated class which was slowly forming. Its
popularity remained in full vigour after the invention of printing, no
less than ten editions being published in the fifteenth century of the
Latin copy alone, with four French translations, a Dutch, a Spanish,
and an English one.

The first years of the modern commercial system gave its death-blow to
the popularity of this characteristically mediaeval work, and though
an effort was made in 1582 to revive it,  the attempt was
unsuccessful--quite naturally so, since the book was written for men
desirous to hear of the wonders of strange lands, and did not give an
accurate account of anything. The man who bought cinnamon at
Stourbridge Fair in 1380 would have felt poorer if any one had told
him that it was not shot from the phoenix' nest with leaden arrows,
while the merchant of 1580 wished to know where it was grown, and how
much he would pay a pound for it if he bought it at first hand. Any
attempt to reconcile these frames of mind was foredoomed to failure.

THE INTEREST OF BARTHOLOMEW'S WORK.--The interest of Bartholomew's
work to modern readers is twofold: it has its value as literature pure
and simple, and it is one of the most important of the documents by
the help of which we rebuild for ourselves the fabric of mediaeval
life. The charm of its style lies in its simple forcible language, and
its simplicity suits its matter well. On the one hand, we cannot
forget it is a translation, but the translation, on the other hand, is
from the mediaeval Latin of an Englishman into English.

One of the greatest difficulties in the way of a student is to place
himself in the mental attitude of a man of the Middle Ages towards
nature; yet only by so doing can he appreciate the solutions that the
philosophers of the time offered of the problems of nature. Our author
affords perhaps the simplest way of learning what Chaucer and perhaps
Shakespeare knew and believed of their surroundings--earth, air, and
sea. The plan on which his work was constructed led Bartholomew in
order over the universe from God and the angels--through fire, water,
air, to earth and all that therein is. We thus obtain a succinct
account of the popular mediaeval theories in Astronomy, Physiology,
Physics, Chemistry, Geography, and Natural History, all but
unattainable otherwise. The aim of our chapter on Science has been to
give sufficient extracts to mark the theories on which mediaeval
Science was based, the methods of its reasoning, and the results at
which it arrived. The chapter on Medicine gives some account of the
popular cures and notions of the day, and that on Geography resumes
the traditions current on foreign lands, at a time when Ireland was at
a greater distance than Rome, and less known than Syria.

In the chapter on Mediaeval Society we have not perhaps the daily life
of the Middle Ages, but at least the ideal set before them by their
pastors and masters--an ideal in direct relationship with the everyday
facts of their life. The lord, the servant, the husband, the wife, and
the child, here find their picture. Some information, too, can be
obtained about the daily life of the time from the chapter on the
Natural History of Plants, which gives incidentally their food-stuffs.

It is in the History of Animals that the student of literature will
find the richest mine of allusions. The list of similes in Shakespeare
explained by our author would fill a volume like this itself. Other
writers, again, simply "lift" the book wholesale. Chester and Du
Bartas write page after page of rhyme, all but versified direct from
Bartholomew. Jonson and Spenser, Marlowe and Massinger, make ample use
of him. Lyly and Drayton owe him a heavy debt. Considerations of space
forbid their insertion, but for every extract made here, the Editor
has collected several passages from first-class authors with a view to
illustrating the immense importance of this book to Elizabethan
literature. It was not without reason that Ireland chose justified,
when making a selection of passages from the work for modern readers,
in altering his text to this extent--and this only: he has modernised
the spelling, and in the case of entirely obsolete grammatical forms
he has substituted modern ones (_e.g._ "its" for "his"). In the
case of an utterly dead word he has followed the course of
substituting a word from the same root, when one exists; and when none
could be found, he has left it unchanged in the text. Accordingly a
short glossary has been added, which includes, too, many words which
we may hope are not dead, but sleeping. In very few cases has a word
been inserted, and in those it is marked by italics.

Perhaps we may be allowed to say a word in defence of the principle of
modernising our earliest literature. Early English poetry is, in
general (with some striking exceptions), incapable of being written in
the spelling of our days without losing all of that which makes it
verse; but there can be no reason, when dealing with the masterpieces
of our Early English prose, for maintaining obsolete forms of spelling
and grammar which hamper the passage of thought from mind to mind
across the centuries. Editors of Shakespeare and the Bible for general
use have long assumed the privilege of altering the spelling, and
except on the principle that earlier works are more important, or are
only to be read by people who have had the leisure and inclination to
familiarise their eyes with the peculiarities of Middle English, there
can be no reason for stopping there, or a century earlier. At some
point, of course, the number of obsolete words becomes so great that
the text cannot be read without a dictionary: then the limit has been
reached. But Caxton, Trevisa, and many others are well within it, and
it is good to remove all obstacles which prevent the ordinary reader
from feeling the continuity of his mother tongue.

THE AUTHOR.--The facts known of our author's life have been summarised
by Miss Toulmin Smith in her article in the _Dictionary of National
Biography_. In the sixteenth century he was generally believed to
date from about 1360, and to have belonged to the Glanvilles--an
honourable Suffolk family in the Middle Ages; but there seems to be no
authority whatever for the statement. We first hear of him in a letter
from the provincial of the Franciscans of Saxony to the provincial of
France, asking that Bartholomew Anglicus and another friar should be
sent to assist him in his newly-created province. Next year (1231) a
MS. chronicle reports that two were sent, and that Bartholomew
Anglicus was appointed teacher of holy theology to the brethren in the
province. We learn from Salimbene, who wrote the Chronicles of Parma
(1283), that he had been a professor of theology in the University of
Paris, where he had lectured on the whole Bible. The subject in
treating of which he is referred to was an elephant belonging to the
Emperor; and Salimbene quotes a passage on the elephant from his _De
Proprietatibus Rerum_. What may be a quotation from the _De
Proprietatibus_ can be found in Roger Bacon's _Opus Tertium_

THE DATE OF THE WORK.--The date of the work seems fairly easy to fix.
It cannot, as we have above seen, be later than 1267, and Amable
Jourdain fixes it before 1260 by the fact that the particular
translations of Aristotle from which Bartholomew quotes (Latin through
the Arabic), went almost universally out of use by 1260. On the other
hand, quotations are made from Albertus Magnus, who was in Paris in
1248. And that it was written near this year is evident from the fact
that no quotations are made from Vincent of Beauvais, Thomas Aquinas,
Roger Bacon, or Egidius Colonna, all of whom were in Paris during the
second half of the thirteenth century. The earliest known MS. is in
the Ashmole Collection, and was written in 1296. Two French MSS. are
dated 1297 and 1329 respectively.

As we said in the beginning of this chapter, the work had an immediate
and lasting success. Bartholomew Anglicus became known as "Magister de
Proprietatibus Rerum," and his book was on the list of those which
students could borrow from the University chest. It is probable that
much of this popularity was due to the fact that he was a teacher for
many years of the Grey Friars, and that these, the most popular and
the most human preachers of the day, carried his book and his stories
with them wherever they went.

SOURCES.--The chief sources of our author's inspiration are notable.
He relies on St. Dionysius the Areopagite for heaven and the angels,
Aristotle for Physics and Natural History, Pliny's Natural History,
Isidore of Seville's Etymology, Albumazar, Al Faragus, and other Arab
writers for Astronomy, Constantinus Afer's Pantegna for Medical
Science, and Physiologus, the Bestiarium, and the Lapidarium for the
properties of gems, animals, etc. Besides these he quotes many other
writers (a list of whom is given in an appendix) little known to
modern readers.

which we quote was made for Sir Thomas lord of Berkeley in 1397 by
John Trevisa, his chaplain. We owe this good Englishman something for
the works in English prose he called into existence--some not yet
printed; may we not see in him another proof of what we owe to
Chaucer--a language stamped with the seal of a great poet, henceforth
sufficient for the people who speak it, ample for the expression of
their thoughts or needs?

In selecting from such a book, the principles which have guided the
editor are these: To the general reader he desires to offer a fair
representation of the work of Bartholomew Anglicus, preserving the
language and style. To be fair, the work must be sometimes dull--in
the whole book there are many very dull passages. He has desired to
select passages of interest for their quaint language, and their views
of things, often for their very misrepresentations of matters of
common knowledge to-day, and for their bearing upon the literature of
the country. The student of literature and science will find in it the
materials in which the history of their growth is read. In conclusion,
the editor ventures to hope that the work will not be unwelcome to the
numerous and growing class who love English for its own sake as the
noblest tongue on earth, and who desire not to forget the rock from
which it was hewn, and the pit from which it was digged.

Our first selection will naturally be the translator's prologue in the
very shortened form of Berthelet. The present editor's work is, to
avoid confusion, printed in small type throughout.


True it is that after the noble and expert doctrine of wise and well-
learned Philosophers, left and remaining with us in writing, we know
that the properties of things follow and ensue their substance.
Herefore it is that after the order and the distinction of substances,
the order and the distinction of the properties of things shall be and
ensue. Of the which things this work of all the books ensuing, by the
grace, help, and assistance of all mighty God is compiled and made.

Marvel not, ye witty and eloquent readers, that I, thin of wit and
void of cunning, have translated this book from Latin into our vulgar
language, as a thing profitable to me, and peradventure to many other,
which understand not Latin, nor have not the knowledge of the
properties of things, which things be approved by the books of great
and cunning clerks, and by the experience of most witty and noble
Philosophers. All these properties of things be full necessary and of
great value to them that will be desirous to understand the
obscurities, or darkness of holy scriptures: which be given unto us
under figures, under parables and semblance, or likelihoods of things
natural and artificial. Saint Denys, that great Philosopher and solemn
clerk, in his book named the heavenly hierarchies of angels,
testifieth and witnesseth the same, saying in this manner:--What so
ever any man will conject, feign, imagine, suppose, or say: it is a
thing impossible that the light of the heavenly divine clearness,
covered and closed in the deity, or in the godhead, should shine upon
us, if it were not by the diversities of holy covertures. Also it is
not possible, that our wit or intendment might ascend unto the
contemplation of the heavenly hierarchies immaterial, if our wit be
not led by some material thing, as a man is led by the hand: so by
these forms visible, our wit may be led to the consideration of the
greatness or magnitude of the most excellent beauteous clarity, divine
and invisible. Reciteth this also the blessed apostle Paul in his
epistles, saying that by these things visible, which be made and be
visible, man may see and know by his inward sight intellectual, the
divine celestial and godly things, which be invisible to this our
natural sight. Devout doctors of Theology or divinity, for this
consideration prudently and wisely read and use natural philosophy and
moral, and poets in their fictions and feigned informations, unto this
fine and end, so that by the likelihood or similitude of things
visible our wit or our understanding spiritually, by clear and crafty
utterance of words, may be so well ordered and uttered: that these
things corporeal may be coupled with things spiritual, and that these
things visible may be conjoined with things Invisible. Excited by
these causes to the edifying of the people contained in our Christian
faith of almighty Christ Jesus, whose majesty divine is
incomprehensible: and of whom to speak it becometh no man, but with
great excellent worship and honour, and with an inward dreadful fear.
Loth to offend, I purpose to say somewhat under the correction of
excellent learned doctors and wise men: what every creature reasonable
ought to believe in this our blessed Christian faith.




The following selections will give an idea of the natural science of
the Middle Ages. In introducing them, the Editor will attempt to give
some connected account of them to show that though their study seems
to involve a few difficulties, their explanation is simple, and will
not make too great a demand on the reader's patience.

From the earliest times men have asked themselves two questions about
nature: "Why?" and "How?" Mediaeval science concerned itself with the
former; modern science thinks it has learnt that no answer to that
question can be given it, and concerns itself with the latter. It thus
happens that the more one becomes in sympathy with the thought of our
time, the less one can interest one's self in the work of the past,
distinguished as it is by its disregard of all we think important, and
by its striving for an unattainable goal.

It is, however, necessary, if we would enjoy Chaucer, Dante, and
Shakespeare, to obtain some notion of that system of the universe from
which they drew so many of their analogies. The symbolism of Dante
appears to us unnaturally strained until we know that the science of
his day saw everything as symbolic.

And how could we appreciate the strength of Chaucer's metaphor:

  "O firste moving cruel firmament,
  With thy diurnal swegh that croudest ay,
  And hurtlest all from Est til Occident,
  That naturally wold hold another way,"

without some knowledge of the astronomy of his day?

Our first extracts explain themselves. They deal with the mystery of
the constitution of substances, as fascinating to us as to the early
Greeks, and begin with definitions of matter and form.

The principal design of early philosophers in physics was to explain
how everything was generated, and to trace the different states
through which things pass until they become perfect. They observed
that as a thing is not generated out of any other indifferently--for
example, that marble is not capable of making flesh, all bodies cannot
be compounded of principles alone, connected in a simple way, but
imagined they could be made up of a few simple compounds. These
ultimate compounds, if we may so express it, were their elements. The
number of elements was variously estimated, but was generally taken as
four--a number arrived at rather from the consideration of the
sensations bodies awaken in us, than from the study of bodies
themselves. Aristotle gives us the train of thought by which the
number is reached. He considers the qualities observed by the senses,
classifying them as Heat, Cold, Dryness or Hardness, and Moistness or
Capability of becoming liquid. These may partially co-exist, two at a
time, in the same substance. There are thus four possible
combinations, Cold and dry, Cold and moist, Hot and dry, Hot and
moist. He then names these from their prototypes Earth, Water, Fire,
and Air, distinguishing these elements from the actual Earth, etc., of
everyday life.

The habit of extending analogies beyond their legitimate application
was a source of confusion in the early ages of science. Most of the
superstitions of primitive religion, of astrology, and of alchemy,
arose from this source. A good example is the extension of the
metaphor in the words _generation_ and _corruption_: words
in constant use in scientific works until the nineteenth century
began. Generation is the production of a substance that before was
not, and corruption is the destruction of a substance, by its ceasing
to be what it was before. Thus, fire is generated, and wood is
corrupted, when the latter is burnt. But the implicit metaphor in the
use of the terms likens substances to the human body, their production
and destruction implies liability to disease, and thus prepares the
way for the notion of the elixir, which is first a potion giving long
life, and curing bodily ailments, and only after some time a remedy
for diseased metals--the philosopher's stone.

It will be seen that the theory of the mediaeval alchemist was that
matter is an entity filling all space, on which in different places
different forms were impressed. The elements were a preliminary
grouping of these, and might be present--two, three, or four at a
time--in any substance. No attempt was ever made to separate these
elements by scientific men, just as no attempt is ever made to isolate
the ether of the physical speculations of to-day. The theory of modern
physicists, with its ether and vortices, answers almost exactly to the
matter and form of the ancients, the nature of the vortices
conditioning matter.

The extracts from Book XI. bring us to another class of substances.
All compound bodies are classified as imperfect or perfect. Imperfect
compounds, or meteors, to some extent resemble elements. They are
fiery, as the rainbow, or watery, as dew. Our extract on the rainbow
is somewhat typical of the faults of ancient science. A note is taken
of a rare occurrence--a lunar rainbow; but in describing the common
one, an error of the most palpable kind is made. The placing of blue
as the middle and green as the lowest colour is obviously wrong, and
is inexplicable if we did not know how facts were cut square with
theories in old days.

In the next extract Bartholomew's account of the spirits animating man
is quoted at length. It gives us the mediaeval theory as to the means
by which life, motion, and knowledge were shown in the body. Every
reader of Shakespeare or Chaucer becomes familiar with the vital,
animal, and natural spirits. They were supposed to communicate with
all parts of the body by means of the arteries or wosen, "the nimble
spirits in their arteries," and the sinews or nerves. The word sinew,
by the way, is exactly equal to our word nerve, and ayenward, as our
author would say. Hamlet, when he bursts from his friends, explains
his vigour by the rush of the spirit into the arteries, which makes

  "Each petty artery of this body
  As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve."

The natural spirit is generated in the liver, the seat of digestion,
"there where our nourishment is administered"; it then passes to the
heart, and manifests itself as the spirit of life; from thence it
passes to the brain, where it is the animal spirit--"spirit animate"
Rossetti calls it--dwelling in the brain.

In the brain there are three ventricles or chambers, the
_foremost_ being the "cell fantastike" of the "Knight's Tale,"
the second the logistic, and the third the chamber of memory, where
"memory, the warder of the brain," keeps watch over the passage of the
spirit into the "sinews" of moving. Into the foremost cell come all
the perceptions of sight, hearing, etc., and thus we have the
opportunity for

  That plays upon our eyesight,"

to freak it on us. The pedant, Holofernes, in _Love's Labour's
Lost,_ characteristically puts the origin of his good things in the
ventricle of memory.

As a specimen of the physical science of the time the Editor gives
extracts from the chapter on light.

The introduction of extracts enough to give some idea of the mediaeval
astronomy would have made such large demands on the patience of the
reader that the Editor has decided with some regret to omit them
altogether. The universe is considered to be a sphere, whose centre is
the earth and whose circumference revolved about two fixed points. Our
author does not decide the nice point in dispute between the
philosophers and the theologians, the former holding that there is
only one, the latter insisting on seven heavens-the fairy, ethereal,
olympian, fiery, firmament, watery, and empyrean.

The firmament, that

  "Majestical roof, fretted with golden fire,"

is the part of heaven in which the planets move. It carries them round
with it; it governs the tides; it stood with men for the type of
irresistible regularity. Each of the planets naturally has a motion of
its own, contrary in direction to that of the firmament, which was
from east to west. All the fixed stars move in circles whose centre is
the centre of the universe, but the courses of the planets (among
which the moon is reckoned) depend on other circles, called eccentric,
since their centre is elsewhere. Either the centre or the
circumference of the circle in which the planet really moves is
applied to the circumference of the eccentric circle, and in this way
all the movements of the planets are fully explained. Our author is
sorely puzzled to account for the existence of the watery heavens
above the fiery, they being cold and moist, but is sure from
scriptural reasons that they are there, and ventures the hypothesis
that their presence may account for the sluggish and evil properties
of Saturn, the planet whose circle is nearest them.

Having considered the simpler substances, those composed of pure
elemental forms, and those resembling them--the meteors--we turn to
the perfect compounds, those which have assumed substantial forms, as
metals, stones, etc. Our author retains the Aristotelian
classification--earthy, and those of other origin, as beasts, roots,
and trees. Earths may be metals or fossils; metals being defined as
hard bodies, generated in the earth or in its veins, which can be
beaten out by a hammer, and softened or liquefied by heat; while
fossils include all other inanimate objects.

A large number of extracts have been made from this part of the
subject, because the book gives the position of positive, as
distinguished from speculative, Alchemy at the time. It is the
Editor's desire to show that at this period there was a system of
theory based on the practical knowledge of the day.

Chemistry took its rise as a science about four hundred years before
our era. In the fragments of two of the four books of Democritus we
have probably the earliest treatise on chemical matters we are ever
likely to get hold of. Whether it is the work of Democritus or of a
much later writer is uncertain. But merely taking it as a
representative work of the early stage of chemistry, we remark that
the receipts are practicable, and some of them, little modified, are
in use to-day in goldsmith's shops. The fragments remaining to us are
on the manufacture of gold and silver, and one receipt for dyeing
purple. In this state of the science the collection of facts is the
chief point, and no purely chemical theory seems to have been formed.
Tradition, confirmed by the latest researches, associates this stage
with Egypt.

The second stage in the history of Chemistry--the birth of Alchemy in
the Western World--occurred when the Egyptian practical receipts, the
neo-Greek philosophies, and the Chinese dreams of an "elixir vitae"
were fused into one by the Arab and Syriac writers. Its period of
activity ranges from the seventh to the tenth centuries. Little is
really known about it, or can be, until the Arabic texts, which are
abundant in Europe, are translated and classified both from the
scholar's and the chemist's standpoint. Many works were translated
into Latin about the end of the tenth century, such as the spurious
fourth book of the _Meteorics of Aristotle_, the treatises of the
_Turta Philosophorum_, _Artis Auriferae_, etc., which formed
the starting-point of European speculation. The theoretical chemistry
of our author is derived from them.

The third stage of chemistry begins with the fourteenth and ends with
the sixteenth century. It is characterized by an immense growth of
theory, a fertile imagination, and untiring industry. It reached its
height in England about 1440, and is represented by the reputed works
of Lully (vixit circ. 1300), which first appeared about this date. In
this period practical alchemy is on its trial.

The fourth stage begins with Boyle, and closes with the eighteenth
century. Still under the dominion of theoretical alchemy, practical
alchemy was rejected by it, and its interest was concentrated on the
collection of facts. It led up to modern chemistry, which begins with
Lavoisier, and the introduction of the balance in the study of
chemical change.

Chemical theory, then, in our author's time stood somewhat thus.
Metals as regarded their elemental composition were considered to
partake of the nature of earth, water, and air, in various
proportions. Fossils, or those things generated in the earth which
were not metals, were again subdivided into two classes--those which
liquefy on being heated, as sulphur, nitre, etc., and those which do
not. The metals were considered to be composed of sulphur and mercury.
These substances are themselves compounds, but they act as elements in
the composition of metals. Sulphur represented their combustible
aspect, and also that which gave them their solid form; while mercury
was that to which their weight and powers of becoming fluid were due.

This theory was due to two main facts. Most ores of metals, especially
of copper and lead, contain much sulphur, which can be either obtained
pure from them, or be recognised by its smell when burning. This gave
rise to the sulphur theory, while the presence of mercury was inferred
doubtless from the resemblance of the more commonly molten metals,
silver, tin, and lead, to quicksilver. The properties of each metal
were then put down to the presence of these substances. The list of
seven metals is that of the most ancient times--gold, electrum,
silver, copper, tin, lead, iron; but it is clearly recognised that
electrum is an alloy of gold and silver.

Most of the facts in this book are derived from Pliny through Isidore,
but, that the theory is Arab in origin, one fact alone would convince
us. A consideration of the composition of the metals shows us that tin
is nearest in properties of all metals to the precious ones, but tin
is precisely the metal chosen by Arab alchemists as a starting-point
in the Chrysopoeia.

Beside their scientific interest these passages have supplied many
analogies. When Troilus is piling up his lover's oaths to Cressida,
his final words are:

  "As iron to adamant, as earth to centre;"

our chapter on the adamant supplies the origin of this allusion in
part, astronomy gives the other. Diamonds are still, unfortunately,
the precious stones of reconciliation and of love our author bespeaks
them. The editor has not lengthened the chapter by extracts giving the
occult properties of gems, and has contented himself by quoting from
the chapter on glass a new simile and an old story.

Matter and form are principles of all bodily things; and privation of
matter and form is naught else but destruction of all things. And the
more subtle and high matter is in kind, the more able it is to receive
form and shape. And the more thick and earthly it is, the more feeble
is it to receive impression, printing of forms and of shapes. And
matter is principle and beginning of distinction, and of diversity,
and of multiplying, and of things that are gendered. For the thing
that gendereth and the thing that is gendered are not diverse but
touching matter. And therefore where a thing is gendered without
matter, the thing that gendereth, and the thing that is gendered, are
all one in substance and in kind: as it fareth of the persons in the
Trinity. Of form is diversity, by the which one thing is diverse from
another, and some form is essential, and some accidental. Essential
form is that which cometh into matter, and maketh it perfect; and
accordeth therewith to the perfection of some thing. And when form is
had, then the thing hath its being, and when form is destroyed nothing
of the substance of the thing is found. And form accidental is not the
perfection of things, nor giveth them being. But each form accidental
needeth a form substantial. And each form is more simple and more
actual and noble than matter. And so the form asketh that shall be
printed in the matter, the matter ought to be disposed and also
arrayed. For if fire shall be made of matter of earth, it needeth that
the matter of earth be made subtle and pured and more simple. Form
maketh matter known. Matter is cause that we see things that are made,
and so nothing is more common and general than matter. And natheless
nothing is more unknown than is matter; for matter is never seen
without form, nor form may not be seen in deed, but joined to matter.

Elements are simple, and the least particles of a body that is
compound. And it is called least touching us, for it is not perceived
by wits of feeling. For it is the least part and last in undoing of
the body, as it is first in composition. And is called simple, not for
an element is simple without any composition, but for it hath no parts
that compound it, that be diverse in kind and in number as some
medlied bodies have: as it fareth in metals of the which some parts be
diverse; for some part is air, and some is earth. But each part of
fire is fire, and so of others. Elements are four, and so there are
four qualities of elements, of the which every body is composed and
made as of matter. The four elements are Earth, Water, Fire, and Air,
of the which each hath his proper qualities. Four be called the first
and principal qualities, that is, hot, cold, dry, and moist: they are
called the first qualities because they slide first from the elements
into the things that be made of elements. Two of these qualities are
called Active--heat and coldness. The others are dry and wetness and
are called Passive.

The Rainbow is impression gendered in an hollow cloud and dewy,
disposed to rain in endless many gutters, as it were shining in a
mirror, and is shapen as a bow, and sheweth divers colours, and is
gendered by the beams of the sun or of the moon. And is but seldom
gendered by beams of the moon, no more but twice in fifty years, as
Aristotle saith. In the rainbow by cause of its clearness be seen
divers forms, kinds, and shapes that be contrary. Therefore the bow
seemeth coloured, for, as Bede saith, it taketh colour of the four
elements. For therein, as it were in any mirror, shineth figures and
shapes and kinds of elements. For of fire he taketh red colour in the
overmost part, and of earth green in the nethermost, and of the air a
manner of brown colour, and of water somedeal blue in the middle. And
first is red colour, that cometh out of a light beam, that touches the
outer part of the roundness of the cloud: then is a middle colour
somedeal blue, as the quality asketh, that hath mastery in the vapour,
that is in the middle of the cloud. Then the nethermost seemeth a
green colour in the nether part of a cloud; there the vapour is more
earthly. And these colours are more principal than others.

As Beda saith, and the master of stories, forty years tofore the doom,
the rainbow shall not be seen, and that shall be token of drying, and
of default of elements.

And though dew be a manner of airy substance, and most subtle outward,
natheless in a wonder manner it is strong in working and virtue. For
it besprinkleth the earth, and maketh it plenteous, and maketh flour,
pith, and marrow increase in corn and grains: and fatteth and bringeth
forth broad oysters and other shell fish in the sea, and namely dew of
spring time. For by night in spring time oysters open themselves
against dew, and receive dew that cometh in between the two shells,
and hold and keep it; and that dew so holden and kept feedeth the
flesh, and maketh it fat; and by its incorporation with the inner
parts of the fish breedeth a full precious gem, a stone that is called
Margarita. Also the birds of ravens, while they are whitish in
feathers, ere they are black, dew feedeth and sustaineth them, as
Gregory saith.

Fumosities that are drawn out of the waters and off the earth by
strength of heat of heaven are drawn to the nethermost part of the
middle space of the air, and there by coldness of the place they are
made thick, and then by heat dissolving and departing the moisture
thereof and not wasting all, these fumosities are resolved and fall
and turn into rain and showers.

If rain be temperate in quality and quantity, and agreeable to the
time, it is profitable to infinite things. For rain maketh the land to
bear fruit, and joineth it together, if there be many chines therein,
and assuageth and tempereth strength of heat, and cleareth the air,
and ceaseth and stinteth winds, and fatteth fish, and helpeth and
comforteth dry complexion. And if rain be evil and distemperate in its
qualities, and discording to place and time, it is grievous and noyful
to many things. For it maketh deepness and uncleanness and
slipperiness in ways and in paths, and bringeth forth much
unprofitable herbs and grass, and corrupteth and destroyeth fruit and
seeds, and quencheth in seeds the natural heat, and maketh darkness
and thickness in the air, and taketh from us the sun beams, and
gathereth mist and clouds, and letteth the work of labouring men, and
tarrieth and letteth ripening of corn and of fruits, and exciteth
rheum and running flux, and increaseth and strengtheneth all moist
ills, and is cause of hunger and of famine, and of corruption and
murrain of beasts and sheep; for corrupt showers do corrupt the grass
and herbs of pasture, whereof cometh needful corruption of beasts.

Of impressions that are gendered in the air of double vapour, the
first is thunder, the which impression is gendered in watery substance
of a cloud. For moving and shaking hither and thither of hot vapour
and dry, that fleeth its contrary, is beset and constrained in every
side, and smit into itself, and is thereby set on fire and on flame,
and quencheth itself at last in the cloud, as Aristotle saith. When a
storm of full strong winds cometh in to the clouds, and the whirling
wind and the storm increaseth, and seeketh out passage: it cleaveth
and breaketh the cloud, and falleth out with a great rese and strong,
and all to breaketh the parts of the cloud, and so it cometh to the
ears of men and of beasts with horrible and dreadful breaking and
noise. And that is no wonder: for though a bladder be light, yet it
maketh great noise and sound, if it be strongly blown, and afterward
violently broken. And with the thunder cometh lightning, but lightning
is sooner seen, for it is clear and bright; and thunder cometh later
to our ears, for the wit of sight is more subtle than the wit of
hearing. As a man seeth sooner the stroke of a man that heweth a tree,
than he heareth the noise of the stroke.

The lightning which is called Clarum is of a wonderful kind, for it
catcheth and draweth up wine out of the tuns, and toucheth not the
vessel, and melteth gold and silver in purses, and melteth not the

As wits and virtues are needed to the ruling of kind, so to the
perfection thereof needeth needly some spirits, by whose benefit and
continual moving, both wits and virtues in beasts are ruled to work
and do their deeds. As we speak here of a spirit, a spirit is called a
certain substance, subtle and airy, that stirreth and exciteth the
virtues of the body to their doings and works. A spirit is a subtle
body, by the strength of heat gendered, and in man's body giving life
by the veins of the body, and by the veins and pulses giveth to
beasts, breath, life, and pulses, and working, wilful moving, and wit
by means of sinews and muscles in bodies that have souls. Physicians
say that this spirit is gendered in this manner wise. Whiles by heat
working in the blood, in the liver is caused strong boiling and
seething, and thereof cometh a smoke, the which is pured, and made
subtle of the veins of the liver. And turneth into a subtle spiritual
substance and airly kind, and that is called the natural spirit. For
kindly by the might thereof it maketh the blood subtle. And by
lightness thereof it moveth the blood and sendeth it about into all
the limbs. And this same spirit turneth to heartward by certain veins.
And there by moving and smiting together of the parts of the heart,
the spirit is more pured, and turned into a more subtle kind. And then
it is called of physicians the vital spirit: because that from the
heart, by the wosen, and veins, and small ways, it spreadeth itself
into all the limbs of the body, and increaseth the virtues spiritual,
and ruleth and keepeth the works thereof. For out of a den of the left
side of the heart cometh an artery vein, and in his moving is departed
into two branches: the one thereof goeth downward, and spreadeth in
many boughs, and sprays, by means of which the vital spirit is brought
to give the life to all the nether limbs of the body. The other bough
goeth upward, and is again departed in three branches. The right bough
thereof goeth to the right arm, and the left bough to the left arm
equally, and spreadeth in divers sprays. And so the vital spirit is
spread into all the body and worketh in the artery veins the pulses of
life. The middle bough extendeth itself to the brain, and other higher
parts and giveth life, and spreadeth the vital spirit in all the parts
about. The same spirit piercing and passing forth to the dens of the
brain, is there more directed and made subtle, and is changed into the
animal spirit, which is more subtle than the other. And so this animal
spirit is gendered in the foremost den of the brain, and is somewhat
spread into the limbs of feeling. But yet nevertheless some part
thereof abideth in the aforesaid dens, that common sense, the common
wit, and the virtue imaginative may be made perfect. Then he passeth
forth into the middle den that is called Logistic, to make the
intellect and understanding perfect. And when he hath enformed the
intellect, then he passeth forth to the den of memory, and bearing
with him the prints of likeness, which are made in those other dens,
he layeth them up in the chamber of memory. From the hindermost parts
of the brain he pierceth and passeth by the marrow of the ridge bone,
and cometh to the sinews of moving, that so wilful moving may be
engendered, in all the parts of the nether body. Then one and the same
spirit is named by divers names. For by working in the liver it is
called the natural spirit, in the heart the vital spirit, and in the
head, the animal spirit. We may not believe that this spirit is man's
reasonable soul, but more soothly, as saith Austin, the car therof and
proper instrument. For by means of such a spirit the soul is joined to
the body: and without the service of such a spirit, no act the soul
may perfectly exercise in the body. And therefore if these spirits be
impaired, or let of their working in any work, the accord of the body
and soul is resolved, the reasonable spirit is let of all its works in
the body. As it is seen in them that be amazed, and mad men and
frantic, and in others that oft lose use of reason.

The sight is most simple, for it is fiery, and knoweth suddenly things
that be full far. The sight is shapen in this manner. In the middle of
the eye, that is, the black thereof, is a certain humour most pure and
clear. The philosophers call it crystalloid, for it taketh suddenly
divers forms and shapes of colours as crystal doth. The sight is a wit
of perceiving and knowing of colours, figures, and shapes, and outer
properties. Then to make the sight perfect, these things are needful,
that is to wit, the cause efficient, the limb of the eye convenient to
the thing that shall be seen, the air that bringeth the likeness to
the eye, and taking heed, and easy moving. The cause efficient is that
virtue that is called animal. The instrument and limb is the humour
like crystal in either eye clear and round. It is clear that by the
clearness thereof the eye may beshine the spirit, and air; it is round
that it be stronger to withstand griefs. The outer thing helping to
work, is the air, without which being a means, the sight may not be
perfect. It needeth to take heed, for if the soul be occupied about
other things than longeth to the sight, the sight is the less perfect.
For it deemeth not of the thing that is seen. And easy moving is
needful, for if the thing that is seen moveth too swiftly, the sight
is cumbered and disparcled with too swift and continual moving: as it
is in an oar that seemeth broken in the water, through the swift
moving of the water. In three manners the sight is made. One manner by
straight lines, upon the which the likeness of the thing that is seen,
cometh to the sight. Another manner, upon lines rebounded again: when
the likeness of a thing cometh therefrom to a shewer, and is bent, and
re-boundeth from the shewer to the sight. The third manner is by
lines, the which though they be not bent and rebounded, but stretched
between the thing that is seen and the sight: yet they pass not always
forthright, but other whiles they blench some whether, aside from the
straight way. And that is when divers manners spaces of divers
clearness and thickness be put between the sight and the thing that is

Aristotle rehearseth these five mean colours [between white and black]
by name, and calleth the first yellow, and the second citrine, and the
third red, the fourth purple, and the fifth green.

In the book Meteorics, a little before the end, Aristotle saith that
gold, as other metals, hath other matter of subtle brimstone and red,
and of quicksilver subtle and white. In the composition thereof is
more sadness of brimstone than of air and moisture of quicksilver, and
therefore gold is more sad and heavy than silver. In composition of
silver is more commonly quicksilver than white brimstone. Then among
metals nothing is more sad in substance, or more better compact than
gold. And therefore though it be put in fire, it wasteth not by
smoking and vapours, nor lesseth not the weight, and so it is not
wasted in fire, but if it be melted with strong heat, then if any
filth be therein, it is cleansed thereof. And that maketh the gold
more pure and shining. No metal stretcheth more with hammer work than
gold, for it stretcheth so, that between the anvil and the hammer
without breaking and rending in pieces it stretcheth to gold foil. And
among metals there is none fairer in sight than gold, and therefore
among painters gold is chief and fairest in sight, and so it
embellisheth colour and shape, and colour of other metals. Also among
metals is nothing so effectual in virtue as gold. Plato describeth the
virtue thereof and saith that it is more temperate and pure than other
metals. For it hath virtue to comfort and for to cleanse superfluities
gathered in bodies. And therefore it helpeth against leprosy and
meselry. The filings of gold taken in meat or in drink or in medicine,
preserve and let breeding of leperhood, or namely hideth it and maketh
it unknown.

Orpiment is a vein of the earth, or a manner of free stone that
cleaveth and breaketh, and it is like to gold in colour: and this is
called Arsenic by another name, and is double, red and citron. It hath
kind of brimstone, of burning and drying. And if it be laid to brass,
it maketh the brass white, and burneth and wasteth all bodies of
metal, out take gold.

Though silver be white yet it maketh black lines and strakes in the
body that is scored therewith. In composition thereof is quicksilver
and white brimstone, and therefore it is not so heavy as gold. There
are two manner of silvers, simple and compound. The simple is
fleeting, and is called quicksilver; the silver compounded is massy
and sad, and is compounded of quicksilver pure and clean, and of white
brimstone, not burning, as Aristotle saith.

Quicksilver is a watery substance medlied strongly with subtle earthly
things, and may not be dissolved: and that is for great dryness of
earth that melteth not on a plain thing. Therefore it cleaveth not to
thing that it toucheth, as doth the thing that is watery. The
substance thereof is white: and that is for clearness of clear water,
and for whiteness of subtle earth that is well digested. Also it hath
whiteness of medlying of air with the aforesaid things. Also
quicksilver hath the property that it curdeth not by itself kindly
without brimstone: but with brimstone, and with substance of lead, it
is congealed and fastened together. And therefore it is said, that
quicksilver and brimstone is the element, that is to wit matter, of
which all melting metal is made. Quicksilver is matter of all metal,
and therefore in respect of them it is a simple element. Isidore saith
it is fleeting, for it runneth and is specially found in silver forges
as it were drops of silver molten. And it is oft found in old dirt of
sinks, and in slime of pits. And also it is made of minium done in
caverns of iron, and a patent or a shell done thereunder; and the
vessel that is anointed therewith, shall be be-clipped with burning
coals, and then the quicksilver shall drop. Without this silver nor
gold nor latten nor copper may be overgilt. And it is of so great
virtue and strength, that though thou do a stone of an hundred pound
weight upon quicksilver of the weight of two pounds, the quicksilver
anon withstandeth the weight. And if thou doest thereon a scruple of
gold, it ravisheth unto itself the lightness thereof. And so it
appeareth it is not weight, but nature to which it obeyeth. It is best
kept in glass vessels, for it pierceth, boreth, and fretteth other

If an adamant be set by iron, it suffereth not the iron to come to the
magnet, but it draweth it by a manner of violence from the magnet, so
that though the magnet draweth iron to itself, the adamant draweth it
away from the magnet. It is called a precious stone of reconciliation
and of love. For if a woman be away from her housebond, or trespasseth
against him: by virtue of this stone, she is the sooner reconciled to
have grace of her husband.

Crystal is a bright stone and clear, with watery colour. Men trowe
that it is of snow or ice made hard in space of many years. This stone
set in the sun taketh fire, insomuch if dry tow be put thereto, it
setteth the tow on fire. That crystal materially is made of water,
Gregory on Ezekiel i. saith: water, saith he, is of itself fleeting,
but by strength of cold it is turned and made stedfast crystal. And
hereof Aristotle telleth the cause in his Meteorics: there he saith
that stony things of substance of ore are water in matter. Ricardus
Rufus saith: stone ore is of water: but for it hath more of dryness of
earth than things that melt, therefore they were not frozen only with
coldness of water, but also by dryness of earth that is mingled
therewith, when the watery part of the earth and glassy hath mastery
on the water, and the aforesaid cold hath the victory and mastery. And
so Saint Gregory his reason is true, that saith, that crystal may be
gendered of water.

In old time or the use of iron was known, men eared land with brass,
and fought therewith in war and battle. That time gold and silver were
forsaken, and gold is now in the most worship, so age that passeth and
vadeth changeth times of things. Brass and copper are made in this
manner as other metals be, of brimstone and quicksilver, and that
happeneth when there is more of brimstone than of quicksilver, and the
brimstone is earthy and not pure, with red colour and burning, and
quicksilver is mean and not subtle. Of such medlying brass is

Electrum is a metal and hath that name, for in the sunbeam it shineth
more clear than gold or silver. And this metal is more noble than
other metals. And hereof are three manners of kinds. The third manner
is made of three parts of gold, and of the fourth of silver: and kind
electrum is of that kind, for in twinkling and in light it shineth
more clear than all other metal, and warneth of venom, for if one dip
it therein, it maketh a great chinking noise, and changeth oft into
divers colours as the rainbow, and that suddenly.

Heliotrope is a precious stone, and is green, and sprinkled with red
drops, and veins of the colour of blood. If it be put in water before
the sunbeams, it maketh the water seethe in the vessel that it is in,
and resolveth it as it were into mist, and soon after it is resolved
into rain-drops. Also it seemeth that this same stone may do wonders,
for if it be put in a basin with clear water, it changeth the sunbeams
by rebounding of the air, and seemeth to shadow them, and breedeth in
the air red and sanguine colour, as though the sun were in eclypse and
darkened. An herb of the same name, with certain enchantments, doth
beguile the sight of men that look thereon, and maketh a man that
beareth it not to be seen.

Though iron cometh of the earth, yet it is most hard and sad, and
therefore with beating and smiting it suppresseth and dilateth all
other metal, and maketh it stretch on length and on breadth. Iron is
gendered of quicksilver thick and not clean, full of earthy holes, and
of brimstone, great and boisterous and not pure. In composition of
iron is more of the aforesaid brimstone than of quicksilver, and so
for mastery of cold and dry and of earthy matter, iron is dry and cold
and full well hard, and is compact together in its parts. And for iron
hath less of airy and watery moisture than other metals: therefore it
is hard to resolve and make it again to be nesh in fire. Use of iron
is more needful to men in many things than use of gold: though
covetous men love more gold than iron. Without iron the commonalty be
not sure against enemies, without dread of iron the common right is
not governed; with iron innocent men are defended: and fool-hardiness
of wicked men is chastised with dread of iron. And well nigh no
handiwork is wrought without iron: no field is eared without iron,
neither tilling craft used, nor building builded without iron. And
therefore Isidore saith that iron hath its name _ferrum_, for
that thereby _farra_, that is corn and seed, is tilled and sown.
For, without iron, bread is not won of the earth, nor bread is not
departed when it is ready without iron convenably to man's use.

Of lead are two manner of kinds, white and black, and the white is the
better, and was first found in the islands of the Atlantic Sea in old
time, and is now found in many places. For in France and in Portugal
is a manner of black earth found full of gravel and of small stones,
and is washed and blown, and so of that matter cometh the substance of
lead. Also in gold quarries with matter of gold are small stones
found, and are gathered with the gold, and blown by themselves, and
turn all to lead, and therefore gold is as heavy as lead. But of black
lead is double kind. For black lead cometh alone of a vein, or is
gendered of silver in medlied veins, and is blown, and in blowing
first cometh tin, and then silver, and then what leaveth is blown and
turneth into black lead. Aristotle saith that of brimstone that is
boisterous and not swiftly pured, but troublous and thick, and of
quicksilver, the substance of lead is gendered, and is gendered in
mineral places; so of uncleanness of impure brimstone lead hath a
manner of neshness, and smircheth his hand that toucheth it. And with
wiping and cleansing, this uncleanness of lead may be taken away for a
time, but never for always; a man may wipe off the uncleanness but
alway it is lead although it seemeth silver. But strange qualities
have mastery therein and beguile men, and make them err therein. Some
men take Sal Ammoniac (to cleanse it) as Aristotle saith, and
assigneth the cause of this uncleanness and saith, that in boisterous
lead is evil quicksilver heavy and fenny. Also that brimstone thereof
is evil vapour and stinking. Therefore it freezeth not well at full.
Hermes saith that lead in boiling undoeth the hardness of all sad and
hard bodies, and also of the stone adamant. Aristotle speaketh of lead
in the Meteorics and saith that lead without doubt when it is molten
is as quicksilver, but it melteth not without heat, and then all that
is molten seemeth red. Wonder it is that though lead be pale or brown,
yet by burning or by refudation of vinegar oft it gendereth seemly
colour and fair, as tewly, red, and such other; therewith women paint
themselves for to seem fair of colour.

The sapphire is a precious stone, and is blue in colour, most like to
heaven in fair weather, and clear, and is best among precious stones,
and most apt and able to fingers of kings. Its virtue is contrary to
venom and quencheth it every deal. And if thou put an addercop in a
box, and hold a very sapphire of Ind at the mouth of the box any
while, by virtue thereof the addercop is overcome and dieth, as it
were suddenly. And this same I have seen proved oft in many and divers

Tin in fire departeth metals of divers kind, and it departeth lead and
brass from gold and silver, and defendeth other metals in hot fire.
And though brass and iron be most hard in kind, yet if they be in
strong fire without tin, they burn and waste away. If brazen vessels
be tinned, the tin abateth the venom of rust, and amendeth the savour.
Also mirrors be tempered with tin, and white colour that is called
Ceruse is made of tin, as it is made of lead. Aristotle saith that tin
is compounded of good quicksilver and of evil brimstone. And these
twain be not well medlied but in small parts compounded, therefore tin
hath colour of silver but not the sadness thereof. In the book of
Alchemy Hermes saith, that tin breaketh all metals and bodies that it
is medlied with, and that for the great dryness of tin. And destroyeth
in metal the kind that is obedient to hammer work. And if thou
medliest quicksilver therewith, it withstandeth the crassing thereof
and maketh it white, but afterward it maketh it black and defileth it.
Also there it is said that burnt tin gendereth red colour, as lead
doth; and if the fire be strong, the first matter of tin cometh soon
again. Also though tin be more nesh than silver, and more hard than
lead, yet lead may not be soon soldered to lead nor to brass nor to
iron without tin. Neither may these be soldered without grease or

Brimstone is a vein of the earth and hath much air and fire in its
composition. Of brimstone there are four kinds. One is called
_vivum_, the which when it is digged, shineth and flourisheth,
the which only among all the kinds thereof physicians use. Avicenna
means that brimstone is hot and dry in the fourth degree, and is
turned into kind of brimstone in part of water, of earth, and of fire,
and that brimstone is sometimes great and boisterous and full of
drausts, and sometimes pure white, clear and subtle, and sometimes
mean between both. And by this diverse disposition, divers metals are
gendered of brimstone and of quicksilver.

Glass, as Avicen saith, is among stones as a fool among men, for it
taketh all manner of colour and painting. Glass was first found beside
Ptolomeida in the cliff beside the river that is called Vellus, that
springeth out of the foot of Mount Carmel, at which shipmen arrived.
For upon the gravel of that river shipmen made fire of clods medlied
with bright gravel, and thereof ran streams of new liquor, that was
the beginning of glass. It is so pliant that it taketh anon divers and
contrary shapes by blast of the glazier, and is sometimes beaten, and
sometimes graven as silver. And no matter is more apt to make mirrors
than is glass, or to receive painting; and if it be broken it may not
be amended without melting again. But long time past, there was one
that made glass pliant, which might be amended and wrought with an
hammer, and brought a vial made of such glass tofore Tiberius the
Emperor, and threw it down on the ground, and it was not broken but
bent and folded. And he made it right and amended it with an hammer.
Then the emperor commanded to smite off his head anon, lest that his
craft were known. For then gold should be no better than fen, and all
other metal should be of little worth, for certain if glass vessels
were not brittle, they should be accounted of more value than vessels
of gold.

All the planets move by double moving; by their own kind moving out of
the west into the east, against the moving of the firmament; and by
other moving out of the east into the west, and that by ravishing of
the firmament. By violence of the firmament they are ravished every
day out of the east into the west. And by their kindly moving, by the
which they labour to move against the firmament, some of them fulfil
their course in shorter time, and some in longer time. And that is for
their courses are some more and some less. For Saturn abideth in every
sign xxx months, and full endeth its course in xxx years. Jupiter
dwelleth in every sign one year, and full endeth its course in xii
years. Mars abideth in every sign xlv days, and full endeth its course
in two years. The sun abideth in every sign xxx days and ten hours and
a half, and full endeth its course in ccclxv days and vi hours.
Mercury abideth in every sign xxviii days and vi hours, and full
endeth its course in cccxxxviii days. Venus abideth in every sign 29
days, and full endeth its course in 348 days. The moon abideth in
every sign two days and a half, and six hours and one bisse less, and
full endeth its course from point to point in 27 days and 8 hours. And
by entering and out passing of these 7 stars into the 12 signs and out
thereof everything that is bred and corrupt in this nether world is
varied and disposed, and therefore in the philosopher's book Mesalath
it is read in this manner: "The Highest made the world to the likeness
of a sphere, and made the highest circle above it moveable in the
earth, pight and stedfast in the middle thereof; not withdrawing
toward the left side, nor toward the right side, and set the other
elements moveable, and made them move by the moving of 7 planets, and
all other stars help the planets in their working and kind." Every
creature upon Earth hath a manner inclination by the moving of the
planets, and destruction cometh by moving and working of planets. The
working of them varieth and is diverse by diversity of climates and
countries. For they work one manner of thing about the land of blue
men, and another about the land and country of Slavens.... In the
signs the planets move and abate with double moving, and move by
accidental ravishing of the firmament out of the East into the West;
and by kindly moving, the which is double, the first and the second.
The first moving is the round moving that a planet maketh in its own
circle, and passeth never the marks and bounds of the circle. The
second moving is that he maketh under the Zodiac, and passeth alway
like great space in a like space of time. And the first moving of a
planet is made in its own circle that is called Eccentric, and it is
called so for the earth is not the middle thereof, as it is the middle
of the circle that is called Zodiac. Epicycle is a little circle that
a planet describeth, and goeth about therein by the moving of its
body, and the body of the planet goeth about the roundness thereof.
And therefore it sheweth, that the sun and other planets move in their
own circles; and first alike swift, though they move diversely in
divers circles. Also in these circles the manner moving of planets is
full wisely found of astronomers, that are called Direct, Stationary,
and Retrograde Motion. Forthright moving is in the over part of the
circle that is called Epicycle, backward is in the nether part, and
stinting and abiding or hoving is in the middle.



The sixth book of our author deals with the conditions of man, passing
in review youth and age, male and female, serf and lord. Our extracts
from it fall into three groups. The first deals in great measure with
the relations of family life. We have an account of the boy and the
girl (as they appeared to a friar "of orders grey"), the infant and
its nurse. However we may suspect Bartholomew of wishing to provide a
text in his account of the bad boy, it is consoling to find that the
"enfant terrible" had his counterpart in the thirteenth century, as
well as the maiden known to us all, who is "demure and soft of speech,
but well ware of what she says."

The second group presents mediaeval society to us under the influence
of chivalry. Suitably enough, we have beside each other most lifelike
pictures of the base and superstructure of the system. This, the man--
free, generous; that, the serf--vile, ungrateful, kept in order by
fear alone, but the necessary counterpart of the splendid figure of
his master. One of our writers today has regretted the absence of a
chapter in praise of the good man to set beside Solomon's picture of
the virtuous woman. Bartholomew has certainly endeavoured in the two
chapters quoted here, "Of a Man," and "Of a Good Lord," to picture the
ideal good man of chivalrous times. It may, however, be permitted
those of us who look at the system from underneath, to sympathise with
our fellows who struggled to free themselves from bondage under Tyler
and John Ball at least as much as with their splendid oppressors, and
to recognise that the feudal system, however necessary in the
thirteenth century, lost its value when its lords had ceased to be
such good lords as our author describes.

The third group would naturally consist of passages illustrating the
daily life of our ancestors, but the editor has found some difficulty
in getting together passages enough for the purpose without trenching
on the confines of other chapters. He has accordingly left them
scattered over the book, persuaded that the reader will feel their
import better when they are seen in their context. Such a book as this
is not open to the objections urged against pictures of mediaeval life
drawn from romances, that the situations are invented and the manners
suited to the situation. Here all is true, and written with no other
aim than that of utilising knowledge common to all. Everywhere through
these extracts little statements--a few words in most cases--crop up
giving us information of this kind; but it would be impossible to do
more than allude to them. Leaving our reader to notice them as they
are met with, the description of a mediaeval dinner concludes the
chapter. The chapter describing a supper which follows it in the
original is too long for quotation, and is vitiated by a desire to
draw analogies. But one feature is noteworthy: Among the properties of
a good supper, "the ninth is plenty of light of candles, and of
prickets, and of torches. For it is shame to sup in darkness, and
perillous also for flies and other filth. Therefore candles and
prickets are set on candlesticks and chandeliers, lanterns and lamps
are necessary to burn." This little touch gives us the reverse of the
picture, and reminds us of the Knight of the Tower's caution to his
daughters about their behaviour at a feast.

SUCH children be nesh of flesh, lithe and pliant of body, able and
light to moving, witty to learn. And lead their lives without thought
and care. And set their courages only of mirth and liking, and dread
no perils more than beating with a rod: and they love an apple more
than gold. When they be praised, or shamed, or blamed, they set little
thereby. Through stirring and moving of the heat of the flesh and of
humours, they be lightly and soon wroth, and soon pleased, and lightly
they forgive. And for tenderness of body they be soon hurt and
grieved, and may not well endure hard travail. Since all children be
tatched with evil manners, and think only on things that be, and reck
not of things that shall be, they love plays, game, and vanity, and
forsake winning and profit. And things most worthy they repute least
worthy, and least worthy most worthy. They desire things that be to
them contrary and grievous, and set more of the image of a child, than
of the image of a man, and make more sorrow and woe, and weep more for
the loss of an apple, than for the loss of their heritage. And the
goodness that is done for them, they let it pass out of mind. They
desire all things that they see, and pray and ask with voice and with
hand. They love talking and counsel of such children as they be, and
void company of old men. They keep no counsel, but they tell all that
they hear or see. Suddenly they laugh, and suddenly they weep. Always
they cry, jangle, and jape; that unneth they be still while they
sleep. When they be washed of filth, anon they defile themselves
again. When their mother washeth and combeth them, they kick and
sprawl, and put with feet and with hands, and withstand with all their
might. They desire to drink always, unneth they are out of bed, when
they cry for meat anon.

Men behove to take heed of maidens: for they be tender of complexion;
small, pliant and fair of disposition of body: shamefast, fearful, and
merry. Touching outward disposition they be well nurtured, demure and
soft of speech, and well ware of what they say: and delicate in their
apparel. And for a woman is more meeker than a man, she weepeth
sooner. And is more envious, and more laughing, and loving, and the
malice of the soul is more in a woman than in a man. And she is of
feeble kind, and she maketh more lesings, and is more shamefast, and
more slow in working and in moving than is a man.

A nurse hath that name of nourishing, for she is ordained to nourish
and to feed the child, and therefore like as the mother, the nurse is
glad if the child be glad, and heavy, if the child be sorry, and
taketh the child up if it fall, and giveth it suck: if it weep she
kisseth and lulleth it still, and gathereth the limbs, and bindeth
them together, and doth cleanse and wash it when it is defiled. And
for it cannot speak, the nurse lispeth and soundeth the same words to
teach more easily the child that cannot speak. And she useth medicines
to bring the child to convenable estate if it be sick, and lifteth it
up now on her shoulders, now on her hands, now on her knees and lap,
and lifteth it up if it cry or weep. And she cheweth meat in her
mouth, and maketh it ready to the toothless child, that it may the
easilier swallow that meat, and so she feedeth the child when it is an
hungered, and pleaseth the child with whispering and songs when it
shall sleep, and swatheth it in sweet clothes, and righteth and
stretcheth out its other. A man hath so great love to his wife that
for her sake he adventureth himself to all perils; and setteth her
love afore his mother's love; for he dwelleth with his wife, and
forsaketh father and mother. Afore wedding, the spouse thinketh to win
love of her that he wooeth with gifts, and certifieth of his will with
letters and messengers, and with divers presents, and giveth many
gifts, and much good and cattle, and promiseth much more. And to
please her he putteth him to divers plays and games among gatherings
of men, and useth oft deeds of arms, of might, and of mastery. And
maketh him gay and seemly in divers clothing and array. And all that
he is prayed to give and to do for her love, he giveth and doth anon
with all his might. And denieth no petition that is made in her name
and for her love. He speaketh to her pleasantly, and beholdeth her
cheer in the face with pleasing and glad cheer, and with a sharp eye,
and at last assenteth to her, and telleth openly his will in presence
of her friends, and spouseth her with a ring, and giveth her gifts in
token of contract of wedding, and maketh her charters, and deeds of
grants and of gifts. He maketh revels and feasts and spousals, and
giveth many good gifts to friends and guests, and comforteth and
gladdeth his guests with songs and pipes and other minstrelsy of
music. And afterward, when all this is done, he bringeth her to the
privities of his chamber, and maketh her fellow at bed and at board.
And then he maketh her lady of his money, and of his house, and
meinie. And then he is no less diligent and careful for her than he is
for himself: and specially lovingly he adviseth her if she do amiss,
and taketh good heed to keep her well, and taketh heed of her bearing
and going, of her speaking and looking, of her passing and ayencoming,
out and home. No man hath more wealth, than he that hath a good woman
to his wife, and no man hath more woe, than he that hath an evil wife,
crying and jangling, chiding and scolding, drunken, lecherous, and
unsteadfast, and contrary to him, costly, stout and gay, envious,
noyful, leaping over lands, much suspicious, and wrathful. In a good
spouse and wife behoveth these conditions, that she be busy and devout
in God's service, meek and serviceable to her husband, and fair-
speaking and goodly to her meinie, merciful and good to wretches that
be needy, easy and peaceable to her neighbours, ready, wary, and wise
in things that should be avoided, mightiful and patient in suffering,
busy and diligent in her doing, mannerly in clothing, sober in moving,
wary in speaking, chaste in looking, honest in bearing, sad in going,
shamefast among the people, merry and glad with her husband, and
chaste in privity. Such a wife is worthy to be praised, that entendeth
more to please her husband with such womanly dues, than with her
braided hairs, and desireth more to please him with virtues than with
fair and gay clothes, and useth the goodness of matrimony more because
of children than of fleshly liking, and hath more liking to have
children of grace than of kind.

A man loveth his child and feedeth and nourisheth it, and setteth it
at his own board when it is weaned. And teacheth him in his youth with
speech and words, and chasteneth him with beating, and setteth him and
putteth him to learn under ward and keeping of wardens and tutors. And
the father sheweth him no glad cheer, lest he wax proud, and he loveth
most the son that is like to him, and looketh oft on him. And giveth
to his children clothing, meat and drink as their age requireth, and
purchaseth lands and heritage for his children, and ceaseth not to
make it more and more. And entaileth his purchase, and leaveth it to
his heirs.... The child cometh of the substance of father and mother,
and taketh of them feeding and nourishing, and profiteth not, neither
liveth, without help of them. The more the father loveth his child,
the more busily he teacheth and chastiseth him and holdeth him the
more strait under chastising and lore; and when the child is most
loved of the father it seemeth that he loveth him not; for he beateth
and grieveth him oft lest he draw to evil manners and tatches, and the
more the child is like to the father, the better the father loveth
him. The father is ashamed if he hear any foul thing told by his
children. The father's heart is sore grieved, if his children rebel
against him. In feeding and nourishing of their children stands the
most business and charge of the parents.

Some servants be bond and born in bondage, and such have many pains by
law. For they may not sell nor give away their own good and cattle,
nother make contracts, nother take office of dignity, nother bear
witness without leave of their lords. Wherefore though they be not in
childhood, they be oft punished with pains of childhood. Other
servants there be, the which being taken with strangers and aliens and
with enemies be bought and sold, and held low under the yoke of
thraldom. The third manner of servants be bound freely by their own
good will, and serve for reward and for hire. And these commonly be
called Famuli.

The name lord is a name of sovereignty, of power, and of might. For
without a lord might not the common profit stand secure, neither the
company of men might be peaceable and quiet. For if power and might of
rightful lords were withholden and taken away, then were malice free,
and goodness and innocence never secure, as saith Isidore. A rightful
lord, by way of rightful law, heareth and determineth causes, pleas,
and strifes, that be between his subjects, and ordaineth that every
man have his own, and draweth his sword against malice, and putteth
forth his shield of righteousness, to defend innocents against evil
doers, and delivereth small children and such as be fatherless, and
motherless, and widows, of them that overset them. And he pursueth
robbers and rievers, thieves, and other evil doers. And useth his
power not after his own will, but he ordaineth and disposeth it as the
law asketh.... By reason of one good king and one good lord, all a
country is worshipped, and dreaded, and enhanced also. Also this name
lord is a name of peace and surety. For a good lord ceaseth war,
battle, and fighting; and accordeth them that be in strife. And so
under a good, a strong, and a peaceable lord, men of the country be
secure and safe. For there dare no man assail his lordship, ne in no
manner break his peace.

Meat and drink be ordained and convenient to dinners and to feasts,
for at feasts first meat is prepared and arrayed, guests be called
together, forms and stools be set in the hall, and tables, cloths, and
towels be ordained, disposed, and made ready. Guests be set with the
lord in the chief place of the board, and they sit not down at the
board before the guests wash their hands. Children be set in their
place, and servants at a table by themselves. First knives, spoons,
and salts be set on the board, and then bread and drink, and many
divers messes; household servants busily help each other to do
everything diligently, and talk merrily together. The guests be
gladded with lutes and harps. Now wine and now messes of meat be
brought forth and departed. At the last cometh fruit and spices, and
when they have eaten, board, cloths, and relief are borne away, and
guests wash and wipe their hands again. Then grace is said, and guests
thank the lord. Then for gladness and comfort drink is brought yet
again. When all this is done at meat, men take their leave, and some
go to bed and sleep, and some go home to their own lodgings.



The seventh book of the "De Proprietatibus" treats of the human body
and its ailments. At first glance it might seem that such a subject
would be repulsive, either in matter or handling, to the general
reader of today, but it will, we think, be found that there are many
points of interest in it for us, some of which we proceed to indicate.
Mankind has always felt a deep interest in certain diseases, to which
we are even now subject, and so parts of the chapters on leprosy and
hydrophobia have been reproduced. The accounts given of frenzy and
madness interest us both as a picture of the change in manners, as an
example of the methods of cure proposed, and as throwing light on many
passages. Thus Chaucer, speaking of Arcite, describes his passion as
compounded of melancholy which deprives him of reason, overflowing
into the foremost cell of his brain, the cell fantastic, and causing
him to act as if mad.

  "Nought oonly lyke the loveres maladye
  Of Hereos, but rather lyk manye,
  Engendered of humour malencolyk
  Byforen in his selle fantastyk."
                           K. T., 515, etc.

Physicians recommend music as a cure in mental troubles, but that it
is no new discovery is attested by Shakespeare and our author. Compare
what Bartholomew says of the voice, with Richard's speech:

  "This music mads me, let it sound no more,
  For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
  In me it seems it will make wise men mad."

The origin of the brutality towards madmen warred against by Charles
Reade, and described in "Romeo and Juliet"--

  "Not mad, but bound more than a madman is,
  Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
  Whipp'd and tormented"--

is seen in our extracts, which recall, too, in their insistence on
bleeding the "head vein," Juvenal's remark on his friend about to
marry: "O medici, mediam pertundite venam."

Some space has already been devoted (p. 28) to the physiology of the
human body, but this chapter would not be complete if we did not
devote some space to the explanations given of the working of the
heart, veins, and arteries, at a time when the circulation of the
blood was unknown. It may not be amiss to remind the reader that
arteries carry blood from the heart, to which it is returned by the
veins, after passing through a fine network of tubes called the

Turning to what may be called the popular physiology of the time, we
may note the change, since mediaeval times, in the allocation of
properties to the organs of the body. In our days, the heart and brain
set aside, we find no organ mentioned in connection with the various
faculties of the body, while up to Shakespeare's time each organ had
its passion. Some of these emotions have much changed their seats.
True love, which now reigns over the heart, then took its rise in the
liver. The friar in "Much Ado about Nothing" says of Claudio, "If ever
love had interest in his liver"; and the Duke in "Twelfth Night,"
speaking of women's love, says:

  "Alas, their love may be call'd appetite,
  No motion of the liver, but the palate."

The heart, on the other hand, was considered as the seat of wisdom.

The spleen is now almost a synonym for bitterness of spirit, but it
used to be regarded as the source of laughter. Isabella in "Measure
for Measure," after the well-known quotation about man dressed in a
little brief authority who plays such apish tricks as make the angels
weep, says they would laugh instead if they had spleens:

  "Who, with our spleens,
  Would all themselves laugh mortal."

The brain in mediaeval times was regarded only as the home of the
"wits of feeling"--the senses.

Some other points of interest in mediaeval medicine are the strange
remedies prescribed, and the way in which they were hit upon. The
Editor has not made many selections to illustrate this, nor has he
sought out the most strange. And lastly, in this, as in most of the
other chapters, much may be learnt of the customs of the time from the
indications of the text.

These be the signs of frenzy, woodness and continual waking, moving
and casting about the eyes, raging, stretching, and casting out of
hands, moving and wagging of the head, grinding and gnashing together
of the teeth; always they will arise out of their bed, now they sing,
now they weep, and they bite gladly and rend their keeper and their
leech: seldom be they still, but cry much. And these be most
perilously sick, and yet they wot not then that they be sick. Then
they must be soon holpen lest they perish, and that both in diet and
in medicine. The diet shall be full scarce, as crumbs of bread, which
must many times be wet in water. The medicine is, that in the
beginning the patient's head be shaven, and washed in lukewarm
vinegar, and that he be well kept or bound in a dark place. Diverse
shapes of faces and semblance of painting shall not be shewed tofore
him, lest he be tarred with woodness. All that be about him shall be
commanded to be still and in silence; men shall not answer to his nice
words. In the beginning of medicine he shall be let blood in a vein of
the forehead, and bled as much as will fill an egg-shell. Afore all
things (if virtue and age suffereth) he shall bleed in the head vein.
Over all things, with ointments and balming men shall labour to bring
him asleep. The head that is shaven shall be plastered with lungs of a
swine, or of a wether, or of a sheep; the temples and forehead shall
be anointed with the juice of lettuce, or of poppy. If after these
medicines are laid thus to, the woodness dureth three days without
sleep, there is no hope of recovery.

Madness is infection of the foremost cell of the head, with privation
of imagination, like as melancholy is the infection of the middle cell
of the head, with privation of reason.

Madness cometh sometime of passions of the soul, as of business and of
great thoughts, of sorrow and of too great study, and of dread:
sometime of the biting of a wood hound, or some other venomous beast:
sometime of melancholy meats, and sometime of drink of strong wine.
And as the causes be diverse, the tokens and signs be diverse. For
some cry and leap and hurt and wound themselves and other men, and
darken and hide themselves in privy and secret places. The medicine of
them is, that they be bound, that they hurt not themselves and other
men. And namely, such shall be refreshed, and comforted, and withdrawn
from cause and matter of dread and busy thoughts. And they must be
gladded with instruments of music, and somedeal be occupied.

Our Lord set a token in Cain, that was quaking of head, as Strabus
saith in the gloss: "Every man (saith Strabus) that findeth me, by
quaking of head and moving of wood heart, shall know that I am guilty
to die."

Among all the passions and evils of the wits of feeling, blindness is
most wretched. For without any bond, blindness is a prison to the
blind. And blindness beguileth the virtue imaginative in knowing; for
in deeming of white the blind deem it is black, and ayenward. It
letteth the virtue of avisement in deeming. For he deemeth and
aviseth, and casteth to go eastward, and is beguiled in his doom, and
goeth westward. And blindness over-turneth the virtue of affection and
desire. For if men proffer the blind a silver penny and a copper to
choose the better, he desireth to choose the silver penny, but he
chooseth the copper.

The blind man's wretchedness is so much, that it maketh him not only
subject to a child, or to a servant, for ruling and leading, but also
to an hound. And the blind is oft brought to so great need, that to
pass and scape the peril of a bridge or of a ford, he is compelled to
trust in a hound more than to himself. Also oft in perils where all
men doubt and dread, the blind man, for he seeth no peril, is secure.
And in like wise there as is no peril, the blind dreadeth most. He
spurneth oft in plain way, and stumbleth oft; there he should heave up
his foot, he boweth it downward. And in like wise there as he should
set his foot to the ground, he heaveth it upward. He putteth forth the
hand all about groping and grasping, he seeketh all about his way with
his hand and with his staff. Seldom he doth aught securely, well nigh
always he doubteth and dreadeth. Also the blind man when he lieth or
sitteth thereout, he weeneth that he is under covert; and ofttimes he
thinketh himself hid when everybody seeth him.

Also sometimes the blind beateth and smiteth and grieveth the child
that leadeth him, and shall soon repent the beating by doing of the
child. For the child hath mind of the beating, and forsaketh him, and
leaveth him alone in the middle of a bridge, or in some other peril,
and teacheth him not the way to void the peril. Therefore the blind is
wretched, for in house he dare nothing trustly do, and in the way he
dreadeth lest his fellow will forsake him.

Universally this evil [leprosy] hath much tokens and signs. In them
the flesh is notably corrupt, the shape is changed, the eyen become
round, the eyelids are revelled, the sight sparkleth, the nostrils are
straited and revelled and shrunk. The voice is hoarse, swelling
groweth in the body, and many small botches and whelks hard and round,
in the legs and in the utter parts; feeling is somedeal taken away.
The nails are boystous and bunchy, the fingers shrink and crook, the
breath is corrupt, and oft whole men are infected with the stench
thereof. The flesh and skin is fatty, insomuch that they may throw
water thereon, and it is not the more wet, but the water slides off,
as it were off a wet hide. Also in the body be diverse specks, now
red, now black, now wan, now pale. The tokens of leprosy be most seen
in the utter parts, as in the feet, legs, and face; and namely in
wasting and minishing of the brawns of the body.

To heal or to hide leprosy, best is a red adder with a white womb, if
the venom be away, and the tail and the head smitten off, and the body
sod with leeks, if it be oft taken and eaten. And this medicine
helpeth in many evils; as appeareth by the blind man, to whom his wife
gave an adder with garlick instead of an eel, that it might slay him,
and he ate it, and after that by much sweat, he recovered his sight

The biting of a wood hound is deadly and venomous. And such venom is
perilous. For it is long hidden and unknown, and increaseth and
multiplieth itself, and is sometimes unknown to the year's end, and
then the same day and hour of the biting, it cometh to the head, and
breedeth frenzy. They that are bitten of a wood hound have in their
sleep dreadful sights, and are fearful, astonied, and wroth without
cause. And they dread to be seen of other men, and bark as hounds, and
they dread water most of all things, and are afeared thereof full
sore, and squeamous also. Against the biting of a wood hound wise men
and ready used to make the wounds bleed with fire or with iron, that
the venom may come out with blood, that cometh out of the wound.

Then consider thou shortly hereof, that a physician visiteth oft the
houses and countries of sick men. And seeketh and searcheth the causes
and circumstances of the sicknesses, and arrayeth and bringeth with
him divers and contrary medicines. And he refuseth not to grope and
handle, and to wipe and cleanse wounds of sick men. And he behooteth
to all men hope and trust of recovering of health; and saith that he
will softly burn that which shall be burnt, and cut that which shall
be cut. And lest the whole part should corrupt, he spareth not to burn
and to cut off the part that is rotted, and if a part in the right
side acheth, he spareth not to smite in the left side. A good leech
leaveth not cutting or burning for weeping of the patient. And he
hideth and covereth the bitterness of the medicine with some manner of
sweetness. He drinketh and tasteth of the medicine, though it be
bitter: that it be not against the sick man's heart, and refraineth
the sick man of meat and drink; and letteth him have his own will, of
the whose health is neither hope nor trust of recovering.

The veins have that name for that they be the ways, conduits, and
streams of the fleeting of the blood, and sheddeth it into all the
body. And Constantine saith, that the veins spring out of the liver,
as the arteries and wosen do out of the heart, and the sinews out of
the brain. And veins are needful as vessels of the blood to bear and
to bring blood from the liver, to feed and nourish the members of the
body. Also needly, the veins are more tender and nesh in kind than
sinews. Therefore that they be nigh to the liver may somewhat change
the blood that cometh to them. And all the veins are made of one
curtel, and not of two, as the arteries and wosen. For the arteries
receive spirits, and they keep and save them. And the veins coming out
of the liver, suck thereof, as it were of their own mother, feeding of
blood, and dealeth and departeth that feeding to every member as it
needeth. And so the veins spread into all the parts of the body, and
by a wonder wit of kind, they do service each to other.

Also among other veins open and privy, there is a vein, and it is
called Artery, which is needful in kind to bear and bring kindly heat
from the heart to all the other members. And these arteries are made
and composed of two small clothings or skins, called curtels, and they
be like in shape, and divers in substance. The inner have wrinkles and
folding overthwart, and their substance is hard, and more boystous
than the utter be. And without they have wrinkles and folding in
length: of whom the substance is hard for needfulness of moving,
opening, and closing. For by opening, itself doth receive from the
heart and that by the wrinklings and folding in length; by closing,
itself doth put out superfluous fumosity, which is done by wrinkling
and folding the curtels overthwart and in breadth, in the which the
spirit is drawn from the heart. Wherefore they be harder without than
all the other veins, and that is needful lest they break lightly and
soon. Also these veins spring out of the left hollowness of the heart.
And twain of that side are called Pulsative, of which one that is the
innermost hath a nesh skin, and this vein is needful to bring great
quantity of blood and spirits to the lungs, and to receive in air, and
to medley it with blood, to temper the ferventness of the blood. This
vein entereth into the lungs and is departed there in many manner

The other artery is more than the first, and Aristotle calleth it
Horren; this artery cometh up from the heart, and is departed in
twain, and the one part cometh upward, and carrieth blood, that is
purified and spirit of life to the brain; that so the spirit of
feeling may be bred, nourished, kept, and saved. The other part goeth
downward, and is departed in many manner wise toward the right side
and toward the left.

Then mark well, that a vein is the bearer and carrier of blood, keeper
and warden of the life of beasts. And containeth in itself the four
bloody humours clean and pure, which are ordained for feeding of all
the parts of the body. Moreover, a vein is hollow to receive blood the
more easily, and as it needeth in kind, that one vein bring and give
blood to another vein. Also a vein is messager of health and of
sickness. For by the pulse of the arteries and disposition of the
veins, physicians deem of the feebleness and strength of the heart.
Also if a vein be corrupt, and containeth corrupt blood, it corrupteth
and infecteth all the body, as it fareth in lepers, whose blood is
most corrupt in the veins, of the which the members are fed by sucking
of blood, and seeketh thereby corruption and sickness incurable. Also
the vein of the arm is oft grieved, constrained and wranged, opened
and slit, and wounded, to relieve the sickness of all the body by
hurting of that vein.

The spittle of a man fasting hath a manner strength of privy
infection. For it grieveth and hurteth the blood of a beast, if it
come into a bleeding wound, and is medlied with the blood. And that,
peradventure, is, as saith Avicenna, by reason of rawness. For raw
humour medlied with blood that hath perfect digestion, is contrary
thereto in its quality, and disturbeth the temperance thereof, as
authors say. And therefore it is that holy men tell that the spittle
of a fasting man slayeth serpents and adders, and is venom to venomous
beasts, as saith Basil.

A discording voice and an inordinate troubleth the accord of many
voices. But according voices sweet and ordinate, gladden and move to
love, and show out the passions of the soul, and witness the strength
and virtue of the spiritual members, and show pureness and good
disposition of them, and relieve travail, and put off disease and
sorrow. And make to be known the male and the female, and get and win
praising, and change the affection of the hearers; as it is said in
fables of one Orpheus, that pleased trees, woods, hills, and stones,
with sweet melody of his voice. Also a fair voice is according and
friendly to kind. And pleaseth not only men but also brute beasts, as
it fareth in oxen that are excited to travail more by sweet song of
the herd, than by strokes and pricks.

Also by sweet songs of harmony and accord or music, sick men and
frantic come oft to their wit again and health of body. Some men tell
that Orpheus said, "Emperors pray me to feasts, to have liking of me;
but I have liking of them which would bend their hearts from wrath to
mildness, from sorrow to gladness, from covetousness to largeness,
from dread to boldness." This is the ordinance of music, that is known
above the sweetness of the soul.

Now it is known by these foresaid things, how profitable is a merry
voice and sweet. And contrariwise is of an unordinate voice and
horrible, that gladdeth not, nother comforteth; but is noyful and
discomforteth and grieveth the ears and the wit. Therefore Constantine
saith that a philosopher was questioned, why an horrible man is more
heavy than any burden or wit. And men say that he answered in this
manner. An horrible man is burden to the soul and wit.

The lungs be the bellows of the heart. It beateth in opening of itself
that it may take in breath, and thrusting together may put it out, and
so it is in continual moving, in drawing in and out of breath. The
lungs be the proper instrument of the heart, for it keleth the heart,
and by subtlety of its substance, changeth the air that is drawn in,
and maketh it more subtle. The lungs shapeth the voice, and ceaseth
never of moving. For it closeth itself and spreadeth, and keepeth the
air to help the heat in its dens and holes. And therefore a beast may
not live under the water without stifling, but as long as he may hold
in the air that is gathered within. The lungs by continual moving
putteth off air that is gathered within, cleanseth and purgeth it, and
ministereth continual and convenable feeding to the vital spirit. And
departeth the heart from the instruments of feeling, and breedeth
foamy humours, and beclippeth aside half the substance of the heart.
And when the lungs be grieved by any occasion, it speedeth to death-

The liver hath name, for fire hath place therein, that passeth up anon
to the brain, and cometh thence to the eyen, and to the other wits and
limbs. And the liver by its heat, draweth woose and juice and turneth
it into blood, and serveth the body and members therewith, to the use
of feeding. In the liver is the place of voluptuousness and liking of
the flesh. The ends of the liver hight fibra, for they are straight
and passing as tongs, and beclip the stomach, and give heat to
digestion of meat: and they hight fibra, because the necromancers
brought them to the altars of their god Phoebus and offered them
there, and then they had answers.

The liver is the chief fundament of kindly virtue, and greatest helper
of the first digestion in the stomach, and the liver maketh perfectly
the second digestion in the stomach, in the hollowness of its own
substance, and departeth clean and pured, from unclean and unpured,
and sendeth feeding to all the members, and exciteth love or bodily
lust, and receiveth divers passions. Then the liver is a noble and
precious member, by whose alteration the body is altered, and the
liver sendeth feeding and virtues of feeding to the other members, to
the nether without mean, and to the other, by mean of the heart.

Some men ween, that the milt is cause of laughing. For by the spleen
we are moved to laugh, by the gall we are wroth, by the heart we are
wise, by the brain we feel, by the liver we love.



The fourteenth and fifteenth books of the "De Proprietatibus" are
treatises on the geography of the time. Very few words of the editor's
are needed to introduce them to modern readers. They may be divided
into two classes: one, interesting because of the legends they
preserve for us, the other, as reflecting the social life of the time.
The first class is represented here by the accounts of the Amazons, of
India, of Ireland, and of Finland. Here we have the outlines of the

    "Of antres vast, and deserts idle,
  Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven,
  And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
  The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
  Do grow beneath their shoulders"--

told by Othello to Desdemona.

In the other we class such accounts as those of France and of Paris,
of the Frisians, Flanders, Scotland, and Iceland. Such countries as
these were well known in the thirteenth century, and the feelings of
our author about them can be gathered easily enough. The tone of the
chapters about England and Scotland would be enough alone to prove
that Bartholomew was an Englishman, it there were no other reason to
think it.

THERE is a lake that hight lake Asphaltus, and is also called the Dead
Sea for its greatness and deepness: for it breedeth, ne receiveth, no
thing that hath life. Therefore it hath nother fish ne fowls, but
whensoever thou wouldst have drowned therein anything that hath life
with any craft or gin, then anon it plungeth and cometh again up;
though it be strongly thrust downward, it is anon smitten upward. And
it moveth not with the wind, for glue withstandeth wind and storms, by
which glue all [the] water is stint. And therein may no ship row nor
sail, for all thing that hath no life sinketh down to the ground; nor
he sustaineth no kind, but it be glued. And a lantern without its
light sinketh therein, as it telleth, and a lantern with light
floateth above.

As the Master of Histories saith, this lake casteth up black clots of
glue. In the brim thereof trees grow, the apples whereof are green
till they are ripe: and if ye cut them when they are ripe, ye shall
find ashes within them. And so it is said in the gloss; and there grow
most fair apples, that make men that see them have liking to eat of
them, and if one take them, they fade and fall in ashes and smoke, as
though they were burning.

Olympus is a mount of Macedon, and is full high, so that it is said,
that the clouds are thereunder, as Virgil saith. This mount departeth
Macedonia and Thracia, and is so high, that it passeth all storms and
other passions of the air. And therefore philosophers went up to see
the course and places of stars, and they might not live there, but if
they had sponges with water to make the air more thick by throwing and
sprinkling of water: as the Master of Histories saith.

Amazonia, women's land, is a country part in Asia and part in Europe,
and is nigh to Albania, and hath that name of Amazonia, of women that
were the wives of the men that were called Goths, the which men went
out of the nether Scythia, and were cruelly slain, and then their
wives took their husbands' armour and weapons, and resed on the
enemies with manly hearts, and took wreck of the death of their
husbands. For with dint of sword they slew all the young males, and
old men, and children, and saved the females, and departed prey, and
purposed to live ever after without company of males. And by ensample
of their husbands that had alway two kings over them, these women
ordained them two queens, that one hight Marsepia, and that other
Lampeta, that one should travail with a host, and fight against
enemies, and that other should in the mean time, govern and rule the
communities. And they were made so fierce warriors in short time, that
they had a great part of Asia under their lordship nigh a hundred
years: among them they suffered no male to live nor abide, in no
manner of wise. But of nations that were nigh to them, they chose
husbands because of children, and went to them in times that were
ordained, and when the time was done, then they would compel their
lovers to go from them, and get other places to abide in, and would
slay their sons, or send them to their fathers in certain times. And
they saved their daughters, and taught them to shoot and to hunt. And
for the shooting of arrows should not be let with great breasts, in
the 7th year (as it is said), they burnt off their breasts, and
therefore they were called Amazons. And as it is said, Hercules
adaunted first the fierceness of them, and then Achilles. But that was
more by friendship than by strength, as it is contained in deeds and
doings of the Greeks, and the Amazons were destroyed and brought to
death by great Alexander. But the story of Alexander saith not so. But
it is said that Alexander demanded tribute of the Queen of the
Amazons, and she wrote to him again by messengers in this manner.

"Of thy wit I wonder, that thou purposest to fight with women, for if
fortune be on our side, and if it hap that thou be overcome, then art
thou shamed for evermore, when thou art overcome of women, and if our
gods be wroth with us, and thou overcomest us, it shall turn thee to
little worship, that thou have the mastery of women."

The noble king wondered on her answer, and said, that it is not seemly
to overcome women with sword and with woodness, but rather with
fairness and with love: and therefore he granted them freedom and made
them subject to his empire, not with violence but with friendship and
with love.

England is the most island of Ocean, and is beclipped all about by the
sea, and departed from the roundness of the world, and hight sometimes
Albion: and had that name of white rocks, which were seen on the sea
cliffs. And by continuance of time, lords and noble men of Troy, after
that Troy was destroyed, went from thence, and were accompanied with a
great navy, and fortuned to the cliffs of the foresaid island, and
that by revelation of their feigned goddess Pallas, as it is said, and
the Trojans fought with giants long time that dwelled therein, and
overcame the giants, both with craft and with strength, and conquered
the island, and called the land Britain, by the name of Brute that was
prince of that host: and so the island hight Britain, as it were an
island conquered of Brute that time, with arms and with might. Of this
Brute's offspring came most mighty kings. And who that hath liking to
know their deeds, let him read the story of Brute.

And long time after, the Saxons won the island with many and divers
hard battles and strong, and their offspring had possession after them
of the island, and the Britons were slain or exiled, and the Saxons
departed the island among them, and gave every province a name, by the
property of its own name and nation, and therefore they cleped the
island Anglia, by the name of Engelia the queen, the worthiest duke of
Saxony's daughter, that had the island in possession after many
battles. Isidore saith, that this land hight Anglia, and hath that
name of Angulus, a corner, as it were land set in the end, or a corner
of the world. But saint Gregory, seeing English children to sell at
Rome, when they were not christened, and hearing that they were called
English: according with the name of the country, he answered and said:
Truly they be English, for they shine in face right as angels: it is
need to send them message, with word of salvation. For as Beda saith,
the noble kind of the land shone in their faces. Isidore saith,
Britain, that now hight Anglia, is an island set afore France and
Spain, and containeth about 48 times 75 miles. Also therein be many
rivers and great and hot wells. There is great plenty of metals, there
be enough of the stones Agates, and of pearls, the ground is special
good, most apt to bear corn and other good fruit. There be, namely,
many sheep with good wool, there be many harts and other wild beasts;
there be few wolves or none, therefore there be many sheep, and may be
securely left without ward, in pasture and in fields, as Beda saith.

England is a strong land and a sturdy, and the plenteousest corner of
the world, so rich a land that unneth it needeth help of any land, and
every other land needeth help of England. England is full of mirth and
of game, and men oft times able to mirth and game, free men of heart
and with tongue, but the hand is more better and more free than the

Cedar is the name of the country in which dwelled the Ishmaelites,
that were the children of Kedar, that was Ishmael's eldest son. And
more truly they be there clept Agareni than Saraceni, though they
mistake the name of Sarah in vain, and be proud thereof, as though
they were gendered of Sarah. These men build no houses, but go about
in large wildernesses, as wild men, and dwell in tents, and live by
prey and by venison. Yet hereafter, as Methodius saith, they shall
once be gathered together, and go out of the desert, and win and hold
the roundness of the earth, eight weeks of years, and their way shall
be called the way of anguish and of woe. For they shall overcome
cities and kingdoms. And they shall slay priests in holy places, and
lie there with women, and drink of holy vessels, and tie beasts to
sepultures of holy saints, for the wickedness of the Christian men
that shall be in that time. These and many other things he doth
rehearse that Ishmaelites, men of Kedar, shall do in the world wide.

Ethiopia, blue men's land, had first that name of colour of men. For
the sun is nigh, and roasteth and toasteth them. And so the colour of
men showeth the strength of the star, for there is continual heat. For
all that is under the south pole about the west is full of mountains,
and about the middle full of gravel, and in the east side most desert
and wilderness: and stretcheth from the west of Atlas toward the east
unto the ends of Egypt, and is closed in the south with ocean, and in
the north with the river Nile. In this land be many nations with
divers faces wonderly and horribly shapen: Also therein be many wild
beasts and serpents, and also Rhinoceros, and the beast that hight
Cameleon, a beast with many colours. Also there be cockatrices and
great dragons, and precious stones be taken out of their brains,
Jacinth, and Chrysophrase, Topaz, and many other precious stones be
found in those parts, and cinnamon is there gathered. There be two
Ethiopias, one is in the east, and the other is in Mauritania in the
west, and that is more near Spain. And then is Numidia, and the
province of Carthage. Then is Getula, and at last against the course
of the sun in the south is the land that hight Ethiopia adusta, burnt;
and fables tell, that there beyond be the Antipodes, men that have
their feet against our feet. The men of Ethiopia have their name of a
black river, and that river is of the same kind as Nilus, for they
breed reeds and bullrushes, and rise and wax in one time. In the
wilderness there be many men wonderly shapen. Some oft curse the sun
bitterly in his rising and downgoing, and they behold the sun and
curse him always: for his heat grieveth them full sore. And other as
Trogodites dig them dens and caves, and dwell in them instead of
houses; and they eat serpents, and all that may be got; their noise is
more fearful in sounding than the voice of other. Others there be
which like beasts live without wedding, and dwell with women without
law, and such be called Garamantes. Others go naked, and be not
occupied with travail, and they be called Graphasantes. There be other
that be called Bennii, and it is said, they have no heads, but they
have eyes fixed in their breasts. And there be Satyrs, and they have
only shape of men, and have no manners of mankind. Also in Ethiopia be
many other wonders, there be Ethiops, saith Plinius, among whom all
four-footed beasts be brought forth without ears, and also elephants.
Also there be some that have a hound for their king, and divine by his
moving, and do as they will. And other have three or four eyes in
their foreheads, as it is said, not that it is so in kind, but that it
is feigned, for they use principally looking and sight of arrows. Also
some of them hunt lions and panthers, and live by their flesh, and
their king hath only one eye in his forehead. Other men of Ethiopia
live only by honeysuckles dried in smoke, and in the sun, and these
live not past forty years.

In the over Egypt be many divers deserts, in whom are many monstrous
and wonderful beasts. There be Pards, Tigers, Satyrs, Cockatrices, and
horrible adders and serpents. For in the ends of Egypt and of Ethiopia
fast by the well where men suppose is the head of Nilus that runneth
by Egypt, be bred wild beasts, that hight Cacothephas, the which beast
is little of body, and uncrafty of members and slow, and hath a full
heavy head. And therefore they bear it always downward toward the
earth, and that by ordinance of kind for the salvation of mankind, for
it is so wicked and so venomous, that no man may behold it right in
the face, but he die anon without remedy.

Fraunce hight Francia and Gallia also, and had first that name Francia
of men of Germany, who were called Franci: and hath the Rhine and
Germayn in the east side, and in the north-east side the mountains
Alpes Pennini: and in the south the province of Narbonne, in the
north-west the British ocean, and in the north the island of
Britain.... This land of France is a rank country, and plentiful of
trees, of vines, of corn, and of fruits, and is noble by the affluence
of rivers and fountains; through the borders of which land run two
most noble rivers, that is to wit, Rhone and Rhine. Therein be noble
quarries and stones both to build and to rear buildings and houses
upon, and therein be special manner stones, and namely in the ground
about Paris, that is most passing, namely in a manner stone that is
hight Gypsum, that men of that country call Plaster in their language,
for the ground is glassy and bright, and by mineral virtue turneth
into stone; this manner stone burnt and tempered with water, turneth
into cement, and so thereof is made edifices and vaults, walls and
diverse pavements. And such cement laid in works waxeth hard anon
again as it were stone; and in France be many noble and famous cities,
but among all Paris beareth the prize; for as sometime the city of
Athens, mother of liberal arts and of letters, nurse of philosophers,
and well of all sciences, made it solemn in science and in conditions
among Greeks, so doth Paris in this time, not only France, but also
all the other deal of Europe. For as mother of wisdom she receiveth
all that cometh out of every country of the world, and helpeth them in
all that they need, and ruleth all peaceably, and as a servant of
soothness, she sheweth herself detty to wise men and unwise. This city
is full good and mighty of riches, it rejoiceth in peace: there is
good air of rivers according to philosophers, there be fair fields,
meads, and mountains to refresh and comfort the eyen of them that be
weary in study, there be convenable streets and houses, namely for
studiers. And nevertheless the city is sufficient to receive and to
feed all others that come thereto, and passeth all other cities in
these things, and in such other like.

Though this province be little in space, yet it is wealthful of many
special things and good. For this land is plenteous and full of
pasture, of cattle, and of beasts, royal and rich of the best towns,
havens of the sea, and of famous rivers, and well nigh all about is
moisted with Scaldelia. The men thereof be seemly and fair of body and
strong, and they get many children. And they be rich of all manner
merchandises and chaffer, and generally fair and seemly of face, mild
of will, and fair of speech, sad of bearing, honest of clothing,
peaceable to their own neighbours, true and trusty to strangers,
passing witty in wool craft, by their crafty working a great part of
the world is succoured and holpen in woollen clothes. For of the
principal wool which they have out of England, with their subtle craft
be made many noble cloths, and be sent by sea and also by land into
many diverse countries.

The men of Germany call men of this land Frisons, and between them and
the Germans is great difference in clothing and in manner. For
wellnigh all men be shorn round; and the more noble they be, the more
worship they account to be shorn the more high. And the men be high of
body, strong of virtue, stern and fierce of heart, and swift and
quiver of body. And they use iron spears instead of arrows.... The men
be free, and not subject to lordship of other nations, and put them in
peril of death by cause of freedom. And they had liefer die than be
under the yoke of thraldom. Therefore they forsake dignity of
knighthood, and suffer none to rise and to be greater among them under
the title of knighthood; but they be subject to Judges that they chose
of themselves from year to year, which rule the community among them.
They love well chastity, and punish all the unchaste right grievously:
And they keep their children chaste unto the time that they be of full
age, and so when they be wedded, they get manly children and strong.

And, as it is said, some of the Indians till the earth, and some use
chivalry, and some use merchandise and lead out chaffer; some rule and
govern the community at best; and some be about the kings, and some be
Justices and doomsmen, some give them principally to religions and to
learning of wit and of wisdom. And as among all countries and lands
India is the greatest and most rich: so among all lands India is most
wonderful. For as Pliny saith, India aboundeth in wonders. In India be
many huge beasts bred, and more greater hounds than in other lands.
Also there be so high trees that men may not shoot to the top with an
arrow, as it is said. And that maketh the plenty and fatness of the
earth and temperateness of weather, of air, and of water. Fig trees
spread there so broad, that many great companies of knights may sit at
meat under the shadow of one tree. Also there be so great reeds and so
long that every piece between two knots beareth sometime three men
over the water. Also there be men of great stature, passing five
cubits in height, and they never spit, nor have never headache nor
toothache, nor sore eyes, nor they be not grieved with passing heat of
the sun, but rather made more hard and sad therewith. Also their
philosophers that they call Gymnosophists stand in most hot gravel
from the morning till evening, and behold the sun without blemishing
of their eyes. Also there, in some mountains be men with soles of the
feet turned backwards, and the foot also with viii toes on one foot.
Also there be some with hounds' heads, and be clothed in skins of wild
beasts, and they bark as hounds, and speak none other wise: and they
live by hunting and fowling: and they be armed with their nails and
teeth, and be full many, about six score thousand as he saith. Also
among some nations of India be women that bear never child but once,
and the children wax whitehaired anon as they be born. There be satyrs
and other men wondrously shapen. Also in the end of East India, about
the rising of Ganges, be men without mouths, and they be clothed in
moss and in rough hairy things, which they gather off trees, and live
commonly by odour and smell at the nostrils. And they nother eat
nother drink, but only smell odour of flowers and of wood apples, and
live so, and they die anon in evil odour and smell. And other there be
that live full long, and age never, but die as it were in middle age.
Also some be hoar in youth, and black in age. Pliny rehearseth these
wonders, and many other mo.

Yrlonde hight Hibernia, and is an island of the Ocean in Europe, and
is nigh to the land of Britain, and is more narrow and straight than
Britain, but it is more plenteous place.... In this land is much
plenty of corn fields, of wells and of rivers, of fair meads and
woods, of metal and of precious stones. For there is gendered a six
cornered stone, that is to wit, Iris, that maketh a rainbow in the
air, if it be set in the sun. And there is jet found, and white
pearls. And concerning the wholesome air, Ireland is a good temperate
country. There is little or none passing heat or cold; there be
wonderful lakes, ponds, and wells. For there is a lake, in which if a
staff or a pole of tree be pight, and tarrieth long time therein, the
part that is in the earth turneth into iron, and the part that is in
the water turneth into stone, and the part that is above the water,
abideth still in its kind of tree. There is another lake in which in
that thou throwest rods of hazel, it turneth those rods into ash: and
ayenward if ye cast ashen rods therein, they turn into hazel. Therein
be places in which dead carrions never rot: but abide there always
uncorrupt. Also in Ireland is a little island, in which men die not,
but when they be overcome with age, they be borne out of that island
to die without. In Ireland is no serpent, no frogs, nor venomous
addercop; but all the land is so contrary to venemous beasts that if
the earth of that land be brought into another land, and spronge on
the ground, it slayeth serpents and toads. Also venomous beasts flee
Irish wool, skins, and fells. And if serpents or toads be brought into
Ireland by shipping, they die anon.

Solinus speaketh of Ireland, and saith the inhabitants thereof be
fierce, and lead an unhuman life. The people there use to harbour no
guests, they be warriors, and drink men's blood that they slay, and
wash first their faces therewith: right and unright they take for
one.... Men of Ireland be singularly clothed and unseemly arrayed and
scarcely fed, they be cruel of heart, fierce of cheer, angry of
speech, and sharp. Nathless they be free hearted, and fair of speech
and goodly to their own nation, and namely those men that dwell in
woods, marshes, and mountains. These men be pleased with flesh,
apples, and fruit for meat, and with milk for drink: and give them
more to plays and to hunting, than to work and travail.

The land Scotia hath the name of Scots that dwell therein, and the
same nation that was sometime first in Ireland, and all according
thereto in tongue, in manners, and in kind. The men are light of
heart, fierce, and courageous on their enemies. They love nigh as well
death as thraldom, and they account it for sloth to die in bed, and a
great worship and virtue to die in a field fighting against enemies.
The men be of scarce living, and many suffer hunger long time, and eat
selde tofore the sun going down, and use flesh, milk, meats, fish, and
fruits more than Britons: and use to eat the less bread, and though
the men be seemly enough of figure and of shape, and fair of face
generally by kind, yet their own Scottish clothing disfigures them
full much. And Scots be said in their own tongue of bodies painted, as
it were cut and slit. For in old time they were marked with divers
figures and shapes on their flesh and skin, made with iron pricks. And
by cause of medlying with Englishmen, many of them have changed the
old manners of Scots into better manners for the more part, but the
wild Scots and Irish account great worship to follow their forefathers
in clothing, in tongue, and in living, and in other manner doing. And
despise somedeal the usages of other men in comparison to their own
usage. And so each laboureth to be above, they detract and blame all
other, and envy all other: they deride all other, and blame all other
men's manners; they be not ashamed to lie, and they repute no man, of
what nation, blood, or puissance so-ever he be, to be hardy and
valiant, but themselves. They delight in their own; they love not
peace. In that land is plenteous ground, merry woods, moist rivers and
wells, many flocks of beasts. There be earth-tillers for quantity of
the place enow.

Thanet is a little island of ocean, and is departed from Britain with
a little arm of the sea, and hath wheat fields and noble grounds, and
hath its name of death of serpents. For the earth of that land carried
into any country of the world, slayeth serpents forthwith, as Isidore

Finland is a country beside the mountains of Norway toward the east,
and stretcheth upon the cliff of ocean: and is not full plenteous, but
in wood, herbs, and grass. The men of that country be strange and
somewhat wild and fierce: and they occupy themselves with witchcraft.
And so to men that sail by their coasts, and also to men that abide
with them for default of wind, they proffer wind to sailing, and so
they sell wind. They use to make a clue of thread, and they make
divers knots to be knit therein. And then they command to draw out of
the clue unto three knots, or mo or less, as they will have the wind
more soft or strong. And for their misbelief fiends move the air, and
arise strong tempests or soft, as he draweth of the clue more or less
knots. And sometimes they move the wind so strongly, that the wretches
that believe in such doings, are drowned by rightful doom of God.

Iceland is the last region in Europe in the north beyond Norway. In
the uttermost parts thereof it is always ice and frozen, and
stretcheth upon the cliff of ocean toward the north, where the sea is
frozen for great and strong cold. And Iceland hath the over Scythia in
the east side, and Norway in the south, and the Irish ocean in the
west, and the sea that is far in the north, and is called Iceland, as
it were the land of ice and of glass. For it is said that there be
mountains of snow froze as hard as ice or glass; there crystal is
found. Also in that region are white bears most great and right
fierce; that break ice and glass with their claws, and make many holes
therein, and dive there-through into the sea, and take fish under the
ice and glass, and draw them out through the same holes, and bring
them to the cliff and live thereby. The land is barren, out-take a few
places in the valleys, in the which places unneth grow oats. In the
places that men dwell in, only grow herbs, grass, and trees. And in
those places breed beasts, tame and wild. And so for the more part men
of the land live by fish and by hunting of flesh. Sheep may not live
there for cold. And therefore men of the land wear, for cold, fells
and skins of bears and of wild beasts that they take with hunting.
Other clothing may they not have, but it come of other lands. The men
are full gross of body and strong and full white, and give them to
fishing and hunting.



The seventeenth book of the "De Proprietatibus" deals with the
properties of plants. The sources from which Bartholomew derives his
information are Aristotle and Albertus Magnus' Gloss on the "De
Vegetalibus," Albumazar, Pliny, Isaac on Foods, Hugo, and the
Platearius. The text professes to deal with those trees and plants
alone which are mentioned in the Gloss, but many others are
incidentally mentioned, and we are thus enabled to learn the chief
food-stuffs of our ancestors. The cereals of the time are wheat,
barley, oats, and rye, just as at present; but the dinner-table of the
day had neither turnip, cabbage, nor potato, and supplied their place
with the parsnip, cole, and rape. Garlic, radishes, and lettuce were
widely used, the former being valued in proportion to its power of
overcoming any other odour. Flax seems to have been widely grown, and
rushlights were then a luxury.

The subject of trees and plants does not so readily lend itself to
fables as some other parts of natural history, but we refer the reader
to the accounts of aloes, pepper, and mandragora as a specimen of the
tales told, as our author says, "to make things dear, and of great

Aloes is a tree with good savour, and breedeth in India, and sometime
a part thereof is set afire upon the altar in the stead of incense. It
is found in the great river of Babylon, that joineth with a river of
Paradise. Therefore many men trow that the aforesaid tree groweth
among the trees of Paradise, and cometh out of Paradise by some hap or
drift into [the] river of Ind. Men that dwell by that river take this
tree out of the water by nets, and keep it to the use of medicine, for
it is a good medicinal tree.

Of Cannel and of Cassia men told fables in old time, that it is found
in birds' nests, and specially in the Phoenix' nest. And may not be
found, but what falleth by its own weight, or is smitten down with
lead arrows. But these men do feign, to make things dear and of great
price; but as the sooth meaneth, cannel groweth among the Trogodites
in the little Ethiopia, and cometh by long space of the sea in ships
to the haven of Gelenites. No man hath leave to gather thereof tofore
the sun-rising, nor after the sun going down. And when it is gathered,
the priest by measure dealeth the branches and taketh thereof a part;
and so by space of time, merchants buy that other deal.

Of this tree [Bays] speaketh the Master in History, and saith that
Rebecca (Gen. xvii.) for trembling of nations she had seen in them
that perished, laid a manner laurel tree that she called Tripodem
under her head, and sat her upon boughs of an herb that hight Agnus
Castus, for to use very revelations and sights and not fantasies.

The Emperor Tiberius Caesar in thundering and lightning used a garland
of Laurel Tree on his head against dread of lightning, as it is said.
Also Plinius telleth a wonder thing, that the emperor sat by Drusilla
the empress in a certain garden, and an eagle threw from a right high
place a wonder white hen into the empress' lap whole and sound, and
the hen held in her bill a bough of laurel tree full of bays, and
Diviners took heed to the hen, and sowed the bays, and kept them
wisely, and of them came a wood, that was called Silva Triumphans, as
it were the wood of worship for victory and mastery.

The green leaves thereof, that smell full well if they be stamped,
heal stinging of bees and of wasps, and do away all swellings, and
keep books and clothes there it is among from moths and other worms,
and save them fro fretting and gnawing. The fruit of laurel trees are
called bays, and are brown or red without, and white within and

It is said that a hind taught first the virtue of diptannus, for she
eateth this herb that she may calve easilier and sooner; and if she be
hurt with an arrow, she seeketh this herb and eateth it, which putteth
the iron out of the wound.

And ash hath so great virtue that serpents come not in shadow thereof
in the morning nor at even. And if a serpent be set within a fire and
ash leaves, he will flee into the fire sooner than into the leaves.

Beans be damned by Pythagoras' sentence, for it is said, that by oft
use thereof the wits are dulled and cause many dreams. Or else as
other men mean, for dead men's souls be therein. Therefore Varro saith
that the bishop should not eat beans. And many medley beans with bread
corn, to make the bread more heavy.

The stalk [of wheat] is called Stipula as ustipula, and hath that name
of usta, burnt. For when it is gathered some of the straw is burnt to
help and amend the land. And some is kept to fodder of beasts, and is
called Palea: for it is first meat that is laid tofore beasts, namely
in some countries as in Tuscany. As Pliny saith, if the seed be
touched with tallow or grease it is spoilt and lost. Among the best
wheat sometimes grow ill weeds and venomous, as cockle and other such,
also there it is said, of corrupt dew that cleaveth to the leaves
cometh corruption in corn, and maketh it as it were red or rusty.
Among all manner corn, wheat beareth the prize, and to mankind nothing
is more friendly, nothing more nourishing.

Flax groweth in even stalks, and bears yellow flowers or blue, and
after cometh hops, and therein is the seed, and when the hop beginneth
to wax, then the flax is drawn up and gathered all whole, and is then
lined, and afterward made to knots and little bundles, and so laid in
water, and lieth there long time. And then it is taken out of the
water, and laid abroad till it be dried, and twined and wend in the
sun, and then bound in pretty niches and bundles. And afterward
knocked, beaten, and brayed, and carfled, rodded and gnodded, ribbed
and heckled, and at the last spun. Then the thread is sod and
bleached, and bucked, and oft laid to drying, wetted and washed, and
sprinkled with water until that it be white, after divers working and

Flax is needful to divers uses. For thereof is made clothing to wear,
and sails to sail, and nets to fish and to hunt, and thread to sew,
ropes to bind, and strings to shoot, bonds to bind, lines to mete and
to measure, and sheets to rest in, and sacks, bags, and purses, to put
and to keep things in. And so none herb is so needful, to so many
divers uses to mankind, as is the flax.

Ryndes thereof [_i.e._ of Mandragora] sodden in wine cause sleep,
and abate all manner of soreness, and so that time a man feeleth
unneth though he be cut, but yet Mandragora must be warily used: for
it slayeth if men take much thereof.... They that dig Mandragora be
busy to beware of contrary winds while they dig, and make three
circles about with a sword, and abide with the digging unto the sun
going down, and trow so to have the herb with the chief virtues.

Papyrus is a manner rush, that is dried to kindle fire and lanterns,
and hight the feeding of fire. And this herb is put to burn in
prickets and in tapers. The rind is stripped off unto the pith, and is
so dried, and a little is left of the rind on the one side, to sustain
the tender pith; and the less is left of the rind, the more clear the
pith burneth in a lamp, and is the sooner kindled. And about Memphis
and in Ind be such great rushes, that they make boats thereof, as the
Gloss saith. And Alexander's Story saith the same.

And of rushes are charters made, in the which were epistles written,
and sent by messengers. Also of rushes be made paniers, boxes, and
cases, and baskets to keep letters and other things in. And also they
make thereof paper to write with.

Pepper is the seed or the fruit of a tree that groweth in the south
side of the hill Caucasus, in the strong heat of the sun. And serpents
keep the woods that pepper groweth in. And when the woods of pepper
are ripe, men of that country set them on fire, and chase away the
serpents by violence of fire. And by such burning the grain of pepper
that was white by kind, is made black and rively.

Woods be wild places, waste and desolate, that many trees grow in
without fruit, and also few having fruit. In these woods be oft wild
beasts and fowls, therein grow herbs, grass leas, and pasture, and
namely medicinal herbs in woods be found. In summer woods are beautied
with boughs and branches, with herbs and grass. In woods is place of
deceit and hunting. For therein wild beasts are hunted, and watches
and deceits are ordained and set of hounds and of hunters. There is
place of hiding and of lurking, for oft in woods thieves are hid, and
oft in their awaits and deceits passing men come, and are spoiled and
robbed, and oft slain. And so for many and divers ways and uncertain,
strange men oft err and go out of the way, and take uncertain ways,
and the way that is unknown tofore the way that is known, and come oft
to the place there thieves lie in await, and not without peril.
Therefore be oft knots made on trees and in bushes, in boughs and in
branches of trees, in token and mark of the highway, to show the
certain and sure way to wayfaring men; but oft the thieves in turning
and meeting of ways, change such knots and signs, and beguile many
men, and bring them out of the right way by false tokens and signs.

It hath many hard twigs and branches with knots, and therewith often
children are chastised and beaten on the bare buttocks and loins. And
of the boughs and branches thereof are besoms made to sweep and to
clean houses of dust and of other uncleanness. Wild men of woods and
forests use that seed in stead of bread. And this tree hath much sour
juice, and somewhat biting. And men use therefore in springing time
and in harvest to slit the rinds, and to gather the humour that cometh
out thereof, and drink it in stead of wine.

Hards is the cleansing of hemp or of flax. For with much breaking,
heckling, and rubbing, hards are departed fro the substance of hemp
and of flax, and is great when it is departed, and more knotty, short,
and rough. And is therefore not full able to be spun for thread
thereof to be made, nathless thereof is thread spun that is full
great, uneven, and full of knobs, and thereof are made bonds and
bindings, and matches or candles; for it is full dry and taketh soon
fire and burneth.

A board hight table, and is areared and set upon feet, and compassed
with a list about. And, in another manner, table is a playing board,
that men play on at the dice and other games; and this manner of table
is double, and arrayed with divers colours. In the third manner it is
a thin plank and plane, and therein are letters writ with colours, and
sometimes small shingles are planed and made somedeal hollow in either
side, and filled full of wax, black, green, or red, to write therein.

Boards and tables garnish houses, nathless when they be set in solar
floors, they serve all men and beasts that are therein. Then they be
dressed, hewed, and planed, and made convenable to use of ships, of
bridges, of hulks, and coffers, and many other needful things of
building. Also in shipbreach men flee to a board, and are oft saved in

Roofs are trees areared and stretched fro the walls up to the top of
the house, and bear up the covering thereof. And stand wide beneath,
and come together upwards, and so they nigh nearer and nearer, and are
joined either to other in the top of the house. It holdeth up heling,
slates, shingle, and laths. The lath is long and somewhat broad, and
plain and thin, and is nailed thwart over to the rafters, and thereon
hang slates, tiles, and shingles. The rafters are strong and square,
and hewn plain And are made fair within with fair joists and boards.

A vineyard is busily tilthed and kept, and purged and cleaned of
superfluities, and oft visited and overseen of the earth tilthers and
keepers of vines, that it be not apaired neither destroyed with
beasts, and is closed about with walls and with hedges, and a wait is
there set in a high place to keep the vineyard that the fruit be not
destroyed. And is left in winter without keeper or waiter, but in
harvest time many come and haunt the vineyard. In winter the vineyard
is full pale, and waxeth green and bloometh in springing time and in
summer, and smelleth full sweet, and is pleasant with fruit in harvest
time. The smell of the vineyard that bloometh is contrary to all
venomous things, and therefore when the vineyard bloometh, adders and
serpents flee, and toads also, and may not sustain and suffer the
noble savour thereof.

Foxes lurk and hide themselves under vine leaves, and gnaw covetously
and fret the grapes of the vineyard, and namely when the keepers and
wards be negligent and reckless, and it profiteth not that some unwise
men do, that close within the vineyard hounds, that are adversaries to
foxes. For few hounds, so closed, waste and destroy more grapes than
many foxes should destroy that come and eat thereof thievishly.
Therefore wise wardens of vineyards be full busy to keep, that no
swine nor tame hounds nor foxes come in to the vineyard. From fretting
and gnawing of flies and of other worms, a vineyard may not be kept
nor saved, but by His succour and help that all thing hath and
pursueth in His power and might, and keepeth and saveth all lordly and

The worthiness and praising of wine might not Bacchus himself describe
at the full, though he were alive. For among all liquors and juice of
trees, wine beareth the prize, for passing all liquors, wine
moderately drunk most comforteth the body, and gladdeth the heart, and
saveth wounds and evils. Wine strengtheneth all the members of the
body, and giveth to each might and strength, and deed and working of
the soul showeth and declareth the goodness of wine. And wine breedeth
in the soul forgetting of anguish, of sorrow, and of woe, and
suffereth not the soul to feel anguish and woe. Wine sharpeth the wit
and maketh it cunning to enquire things that are hard and subtle, and
maketh the soul bold and hardy, and so the passing nobility of wine is
known. And use of wine accordeth to all men's ages and times and
countries, if it be taken in due manner, and as his disposition asketh
that drinketh it.

Red wine that is temperate in its qualities, and is drunk temperately
and in due manner, helpeth kind and gendreth good blood, and maketh
savour in meat and in drink, and exciteth desire and appetite, and
comforteth the virtue of life and of kind, and helpeth the stomach to
have appetite, and to have and to make good digestion. And quencheth
thirst, and changeth the passions of the soul and thoughts out of evil
into good. For it turneth the soul out of cruelness into mildness, out
of covetousness into largeness, out of pride into meekness, and out of
dread into boldness. And shortly to speak, wine drunk measurably is
health of body and of soul.

And nothing is worse passing out of measure. And so Andronides, a
clear man of wit and of wisdom, wrote to the great Alexander, to
restrain wine kind in drinking, and said in this manner:--"King, have
mind that thou drinkest blood of the earth, for wine drinking
untemperately is to mankind heavy and venomous." And if Alexander had
done by his counsel, truly he had not slain his own friend in
drunkenness. If wine be often taken, anon by drunkenness it quencheth
the sight of reason, and comforteth beastly madness, and so the body
abideth as it were a ship in the sea without stern and without
lodesman, and as chivalry without prince or duke.



In following out his plan of describing the productions of each
element before considering the next in order, Bartholomew was led to
consider air and its products early in his scheme. Accordingly his
twelfth book is devoted to birds, and his thirteenth to the
inhabitants of the waters. There is hardly any reason in these books
for omitting any part more than another except space, but the editor
hopes that those chosen will put the reader in possession of a key to
the more common allusions in pre-Restoration literature.

When the editor spoke of the wholesale way in which our author is
conveyed by Elizabethan poets, he had in mind this and the following
chapters. A single example will show this. Let the reader compare the
account of the peacock with the following stanza from Chester's
"Love's Martyr":

  "The proud sun-braving peacocke with his feathers,
  Walkes all along, thinking himself a king,
  And with his voice prognosticates all weathers,
  Although, God knows, but badly he doth sing;
    But when he looks downe to his base blacke feete,
    He droopes and is asham'd of things unmeet."

Our author's knowledge of birds is largely derived--the authentic from
Aristotle; the legendary from the Fathers, Ambrose, Austin, Basil, and
Gregory,--the Gloss,--and from Pliny. Some of these legends seem to be
pointed at in the Hebrew Scriptures. Thus Ps. ciii. 5, "Thy youth is
renewed like the eagle's," either gave rise to, or refers to, the
tradition quoted in our account of the eagle: and likewise Job
xxxviii. 41, and Ps. cxlvii. 9, seem to be responsible for the
tradition in the account of the raven. It would be interesting to
learn whether any independent traditions of this nature exist.

It is worth pointing out that our author has contributed to the "Gesta
Romanorum" several stories. The "wild tale," as Warton calls it, of
the elephant and the maidens, as well as the story of "the storke
wreker of avouterie" mentioned by Chaucer in the "Assemblie of
Foules," and derived from Neckham, and the similar tale of the
lioness, obtained their wide circulation through the popularity of
Bartholomew's book. It would be an interesting task to trace these
tales to their origin, but this is neither the place nor the time to
do so; and the editor similarly leaves to lovers of Shakespeare the
pleasure of proving to themselves his intimate acquaintance with the

In the part of the chapter quoted from the thirteenth book, the editor
has tried to get together some of those stories which impressed
people's minds most. Such a one is the tale of the remora. We remember
Jonson's use of it in the "Poetaster":

  "Death, I am seized here
  By a land remora; I cannot stir
  Nor move, but as he pleases."

Other tales remind us of Olaus Magnus, and some of them are plainly

Now it pertaineth to speak of birds and fowls, and in particular and
first of the eagle, which hath principality among fowls. Among all
manner kinds of divers fowls, the eagle is the more liberal and free
of heart. For the prey that she taketh, but it be for great hunger,
she eateth not alone, but putteth it forth in common to fowls that
follow her. But first she taketh her own portion and part. And
therefore oft other fowls follow the eagle for hope and trust to have
some part of her prey. But when the prey that is taken is not
sufficient to herself, then as a king that taketh heed to a community,
she taketh the bird that is next to her, and giveth it among the
others, and serveth them therewith.

Austin saith, and Plinius also, that in age the eagle hath darkness
and dimness in eyen, and heaviness in wings. And against this
disadvantage she is taught by kind to seek a well of springing water,
and then she flieth up into the air as far as she may, till she be
full hot by heat of the air, and by travail of flight, and so then by
heat the pores are opened and the feathers chafed, and she falleth
suddenly in to the well, and there the feathers are changed, and the
dimness of her eyes is wiped away and purged, and she taketh again her
might and strength.

The eagle's feathers done and set among feathers of wings of other
birds corrupteth and fretteth them. As strings made of wolf-gut done
and put into a lute or in an harp among strings made of sheep-gut do
destroy, and fret, and corrupt the strings made of sheep-gut, if it so
be that they be set among them, as in a lute or in an harp, as Pliny

Among all fowls, in the eagle the virtue of sight is most mighty and
strong. For in the eagle the spirit of sight is most temperate and
most sharp in act and deed of seeing and beholding the sun in the
roundness of its circle without blemishing of eyen. And the sharpness
of her sight is not rebounded again with clearness of light of the
sun, nother disperpled. There is one manner eagle that is full sharp
of sight, and she taketh her own birds in her claws, and maketh them
to look even on the sun, and that ere their wings be full grown, and
except they look stiffly and steadfastly against the sun, she beateth
them, and setteth them even tofore the sun. And if any eye of any of
her birds watereth in looking on the sun she slayeth him, as though he
went out of kind, or else driveth him out of the nest and despiseth
him, and setteth not by him.

The goshawk is a royal fowl, and is armed more with boldness than with
claws, and as much as kind taketh from her in quantity of body, it
rewardeth her with boldness of heart. And two kinds there be of such
fowls, for some are tame and some are wild. And she that is tame
taketh wild fowls and taketh them to her own lord, and she that is
wild taketh tame fowls. And this hawk is of a disdainful kind. For if
she fail by any hap of the prey that she reseth to, that day unneth
she cometh unto her lord's hand. And she must have ordinate diet,
nother too scarce, ne too full. For by too much meat she waxeth
ramaious or slow, and disdaineth to come to reclaim. And if the meat
be too scarce then she faileth, and is feeble and unmighty to take her
prey. Also the eyen of such birds should oft be seled and closed, or
hid, that she bate not too oft from his hand that beareth her, when
she seeth a bird that she desireth to take; and also her legs must be
fastened with gesses, that she shall not fly freely to every bird. And
they be borne on the left hand, that they may somewhat take of the
right hand, and be fed therewith.

And so such tame hawks be kept in mews, that they may be discharged of
old feathers and hard, and be so renewed in fairness of youth. Also
men give them meat of some manner of flesh, which is some-deal
venomous, that they may the sooner change their feathers. And smoke
grieveth such hawks and doth them harm. And therefore their mews must
be far from smoky places, that their bodies be not grieved with
bitterness of smoke, nor their feathers infect with blackness of
smoke. They should be fed with fresh flesh and bloody, and men should
use to give them to eat the hearts of fowls that they take. All the
while they are alive and are strong and mighty to take their prey,
they are beloved of their lords, and borne on hands, and set on
perches, and stroked on the breast and on the tail, and made plain and
smooth, and are nourished with great business and diligence. But when
they are dead, all men hold them unprofitable and nothing worth, and
be not eaten, but rather thrown out on dunghills.

The properties of bees are wonderful noble and worthy. For bees have
one common kind as children, and dwell in one habitation, and are
closed within one gate: one travail is common to them all, one meat is
common to them all, one common working, one common use, one fruit and
flight is common to them all, and one generation is common to them

Also maidenhood of body without wem is common to them all, and so is
birth also. For they are not medlied with service of Venus, nother
resolved with lechery, nother bruised with sorrow of birth of
children. And yet they bring forth most swarms of children.

Bees make among them a king, and ordain among them common people. And
though they be put and set under a king, yet they are free and love
their king that they make, by kind love, and defend him with full
great defence, and hold [it] honour and worship to perish and be spilt
for their king, and do their king so great worship that none of them
dare go out of their house, nor to get meat, but if the king pass out
and take the principality of flight. And bees chose to their king him
that is most worthy and noble in highness and fairness, and most clear
in mildness, for that is chief virtue in a king. For though their king
have a sting yet he useth it not in wreck. And also bees that are
unobedient to the king, they deem themselves by their own doom for to
die by the wound of their own sting. And of a swarm of bees is none
idle. Some fight, as it were in battle, in the field against other
bees, some are busy about meat, and some watch the coming of showers.
And some behold concourse and meting of dues, and some make wax of
flowers, and some make cells now round, now square with wonder binding
and joining, and evenness. And yet nevertheless, among so diverse
works none of them doth espy nor wait to take out of other's travail,
neither taketh wrongfully, neither stealeth meat, but each seeketh and
gathereth by his own flight and travail among herbs and flowers that
are good and convenable.

Bees sit not on fruit but on flowers, not withered but fresh and new,
and gather matter of the which they make both honey and wax. And when
the flowers that are nigh unto them be spent, then they send spies for
to espy meat in further places. And if the night falleth upon them in
their journey, then they lie upright to defend their wings from rain,
and from dew, that they may in the morrow tide fly the more swifter to
their work with their wings dry and able to fly. And they ordain
watches after the manner of castles, and rest all night until it be
day, till one bee wake them all with twice buzzing or thrice, or with
some manner trumping; then they fly all, if the day be fair on the
morrow. And the bees that bring and bear what is needful, dread blasts
of wind, and fly therefore low by the ground when they be charged,
lest they be letted with some manner of blasts, and charge themselves
sometimes with gravel or with small stones, that they may be the more
stedfast against blasts of wind by heaviness of the stones.

The obedience of bees is wonderful about the king, for when he passeth
forth, all the swarm in one cluster passeth with him. And he is
beclipped about with the swarm, as it were with an host of knights.
And is then unneth seen that time for the multitude that followeth and
serveth him, and when the people of bees are in travail, he is within,
and as it were governor, and goeth about to comfort others for to
work. And only he is not bound to travail. And all about him are
certain bees with stings, as it were champions, and continual wardens
of the king's body. And he passeth selde out, but when all the swarm
shall go out. His outgoing is known certain days tofore by voice of
the host, as it were arraying itself to pass out with the king.

The culvour is messager of peace, ensample of simpleness, clean of
kind, plenteous in children, follower of meekness, friend of company,
forgetter of wrongs. The culvour is forgetful. And therefore when the
birds are borne away, she forgetteth her harm and damage, and leaveth
not therefore to build and breed in the same place. Also she is nicely
curious. For sitting on a tree, she beholdeth and looketh all about
toward what part she will fly, and bendeth her neck all about as it
were taking avisement. But oft while she taketh avisement of flight,
ere she taketh her flight, an arrow flieth through her body, and
therefore she faileth of her purpose, as Gregory saith.

Also as Ambrose saith, in Egypt and in Syria a culvour is taught to
bear letters, and to be messager out of one province into another. For
it loveth kindly the place and the dwelling where it was first fed and
nourished. And be it never so far borne into far countries, always it
will return home again, if it be restored to freedom. And oft to such
a culvour a letter is craftily bound under the one wing, and then it
is let go. Then it flieth up into the air, and ceaseth never till it
come to the first place in which it was bred. And sometimes in the way
enemies know thereof, and let it with an arrow, and so for the letters
that it beareth, it is wounded and slain, and so it beareth no letter
without peril. For oft the letter that is so borne is cause and
occasion of the death of it.

The crow is a bird of long life, and diviners tell that she taketh
heed of spyings and awaitings, and teacheth and sheweth ways, and
warneth what shall fall. But it is full unlawful to believe, that God
sheweth His privy counsel to crows. It is said that crows rule and
lead storks, and come about them as it were in routs, and fly about
the storks and defend them, and fight against other birds and fowls
that hate storks. And take upon them the battle of other birds, upon
their own peril. And an open proof thereof is: for in that time, that
the storks pass out of the country, crows are not seen in places there
they were wont to be. And also for they come again with sore wounds,
and with voice of blood, that is well known, and with other signs and
tokens and show that they have been in strong fighting. Also there it
is said, that the mildness of the bird is wonderful. For when father
and mother in age are both naked and bare of covering of feathers,
then the young crows hide and cover them with their feathers, and
gather meat and feed them.

The raven beholdeth the mouths of her birds when they yawn. But she
giveth them no meat ere she know and see the likeness of her own
blackness, and of her own colour and feathers. And when they begin to
wax black, then afterward she feedeth them with all her might and
strength. It is said that ravens' birds are fed with dew of heaven all
the time that they have no black feathers by benefit of age. Among
fowls, only the raven hath four and sixty changings of voice.

The swan feigneth sweetness of sweet songs with accord of voice, and
he singeth sweetly for he hath a long neck diversely bent to make
divers notes. And it is said that, in the countries that are called
Hyperborean, the harpers harping before, the swans' birds fly out of
their nests and sing full merrily. Shipmen trow that it tokeneth good
if they meet swans in peril of shipwreck. Always the swan is the most
merriest bird in divinations. Shipmen desire this bird for he dippeth
not down in the waves. When the swan is in love he seeketh the female,
and pleaseth her with beclipping of the neck, and draweth her to him-
ward; and he joineth his neck to the female's neck, as it were binding
the necks together.

Phoenix is a bird, and there is but one of that kind in all the wide
world. Therefore lewd men wonder thereof, and among the Arabs, there
this bird is bred, he is called singular--alone. The philosopher
speaketh of this bird and saith that phoenix is a bird without make,
and liveth three hundred or five hundred years: when the which years
are past, and he feeleth his own default and feebleness, he maketh a
nest of right sweet-smelling sticks, that are full dry, and in summer
when the western wind blows, the sticks and the nest are set on fire
with burning heat of the sun, and burn strongly. Then this bird
phoenix cometh willfully into the burning nest, and is there burnt to
ashes among these burning sticks, and within three days a little worm
is gendered of the ashes, and waxeth little and little, and taketh
feathers and is shapen and turned to a bird. Ambrose saith the same in
the Hexameron: Of the humours or ashes of phoenix ariseth a new bird
and waxeth, and in space of time he is clothed with feathers and wings
and restored into the kind of a bird, and is the most fairest bird
that is, most like to the peacock in feathers, and loveth the
wilderness, and gathereth his meat of clean grains and fruits. Alan
speaketh of this bird and saith, that when the highest bishop Onyas
builded a temple in the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, to the likeness
of the temple in Jerusalem, on the first day of Easter, when he had
gathered much sweet-smelling wood, and set it on fire upon the altar
to offer sacrifice, to all men's sight such a bird came suddenly, and
fell into the middle of the fire, and was burnt anon to ashes in the
fire of the sacrifice, and the ashes abode there, and were busily kept
and saved by the commandments of the priests, and within three days,
of these ashes was bred a little worm, that took the shape of a bird
at the last, and flew into the wilderness.

The crane is a bird of great wings and strong flight, and flieth high
into the air to see the countries towards the which he will draw. And
is a bird that loveth birds of his own kind, and they living in
company together have a king among them and fly in order. And the
leader of the company compelleth the company to fly aright, crying as
it were blaming with his voice. And if it hap that he wax hoarse, then
another crane cometh after him, and taketh the same office. And after
they fall to the earth crying, for to rest, and when they sit on the
ground, to keep and save them, they ordain watches that they may rest
the more surely, and the wakers stand upon one foot, and each of them
holdeth a little stone in the other foot, high from the earth, that
they may be waked by falling of the stone, if it hap that they sleep.

A griffin is accounted among flying things (Deut. xiiii.) and there
the Gloss saith, that the griffin is four-footed, and like to the
eagle in head and in wings, and is like to the lion in the other parts
of the body. And dwelleth in those hills that are called Hyperborean,
and are most enemies to horses and men, and grieveth them most, and
layeth in his nest a stone that hight Smaragdus against venomous
beasts of the mountain.

A pelican is a bird of Egypt, and dwelleth in deserts beside the river
Nile. All that the pelican eateth, he plungeth in water with his foot,
and when he hath so plunged it in water, he putteth it into his mouth
with his own foot, as it were with an hand. Only the pelican and the
popinjay among fowls use the foot instead of an hand.

The pelican loveth too much her children. For when the children be
haught, and begin to wax hoar, they smite the father and the mother in
the face, wherefore the mother smiteth them again and slayeth them.
And the third day, the mother smiteth herself in her side, that the
blood runneth out, and sheddeth that hot blood on the bodies of her
children. And by virtue of that blood, the birds that were before dead
quicken again.

Master Jacobus de Vitriaco in his book of the wonders of the Eastern
parts telleth another cause of the death of pelicans' birds. He saith
that the serpent hateth kindly this bird. Wherefore when the mother
passeth out of the nest to get meat, the serpent climbeth on the tree,
and stingeth and infecteth the birds. And when the mother cometh
again, she maketh sorrow three days for her birds, as it is said. Then
(he saith) she smiteth herself in the breast and springeth blood upon
them, and reareth them from death to life, and then for great bleeding
the mother waxeth feeble, and the birds are compelled to pass out of
the nest to get themselves meat. And some of them for kind love feed
the mother that is feeble, and some are unkind and care not for the
mother, and the mother taketh good heed thereto, and when she cometh
to her strength, she nourisheth and loveth those birds that fed her in
her need, and putteth away her other birds, as unworthy and unkind,
and suffereth them not to dwell nor live with her.

The peacock hath an unsteadfast and evil shapen head, as it were the
head of a serpent, and with a crest. And he hath a simple pace, and
small neck and areared, and a blue breast, and a tail full of eyes
distinguished and high with wonder fairness, and he hath foulest feet
and rivelled. And he wondereth of the fairness of his feathers, and
areareth them up as it were a circle about his head, and then he
looketh to his feet, and seeth the foulness of his feet, and like as
he were ashamed he letteth his feathers fall suddenly, and all the
tail downward, as though he took no heed of the fairness of his
feathers. And as one saith, he hath the voice of a fiend, head of a
serpent, pace of a thief. For he hath an horrible voice.

In this bird [the vulture] the wit of smelling is best. And therefore
by smelling he savoureth carrions that be far from him, that is beyond
the sea, and ayenward. Therefore the vulture followeth the host that
he may feed himself with carrions of men and of horses. And therefore
(as a Diviner saith), when many vultures come and fly together, it
tokeneth battle. And they know that such a battle shall be, by some
privy wit of kind. He eateth raw flesh, and therefore he fighteth
against other fowls because of meat, and he hunteth fro midday to
night, and resteth still fro the sunrising to that time. And when he
ageth, his over bill waxeth long and crooked over the nether, and [he]
dieth at the last for hunger.

And some men say, by error of old time, that the vulture was sometime
a man, and was cruel to some pilgrims, and therefore he hath such pain
of his bill, and dieth for hunger, but that is not lawful to believe.

Jorath saith, that there is a great fish in the sea, that hight
Bellua, that casteth out water at his jaws with vapour of good smell,
and other fish feel the smell and follow him, and enter and come in at
his jaws following the smell, and he swalloweth them and is so fed
with them. Also he saith that Dolphins know by the smell if a dead
man, that is on the sea, ate ever of Dolphin's kind; and if the dead
man hath eat thereof, he eateth him anon; and if he did not, he
keepeth and defendeth him fro eating and biting of other fish, and
shoveth him, and bringeth him to the cliff with his own working?

Enchirius is a little fish unneth half a foot long: for though he be
full little of body, nathless he is most of virtue. For he cleaveth to
the ship, and holdeth it still stedfastly in the sea, as though the
ship were on ground therein. Though winds blow, and waves arise
strongly, and wood storms, that ship may not move nother pass. And
that fish holdeth not still the ship by no craft, but only cleaving to
the ship. It is said of the same fish that when he knoweth and feeleth
that tempests of wind and weather be great, he cometh and taketh a
great stone, and holdeth him fast thereby, as it were by an anchor,
lest he be smitten away and thrown about by waves of the sea. And
shipmen see this and beware that they be not overset unwarily with
tempest and with storms.

The crab is enemy to the oyster. For he liveth by fish thereof with a
wonderful wit. For because that he may not open the hard shell of the
oyster, he spieth and awaiteth when the oyster openeth, and then the
crab, that lieth in await, taketh a little stone, and putteth it
between the shells, that the oyster may not close himself. And when
the closing is so let, the crab eateth and gnaweth the flesh of the

It is said that the whale hath great plenty of sperm, and after that
he gendereth, superfluity thereof fleeteth above the water; and if it
be gathered and dried it turneth to the substance of amber. And in
age, for greatness of body, on his ridge powder and earth is gathered,
and so digged together that herbs and small trees and bushes grow
thereon, so that that great fish seemeth an island. And if shipmen
come unwarily thereby, unneth they scape without peril. For he
throweth as much water out of his mouth upon the ship, that he
overturneth it sometime or drowneth it.

Also he is so fat that when he is smitten with fishers' darts he
feeleth not the wound, but it passeth throughout the fatness. But when
the inner fish is wounded, then is he most easily taken. For he may
not suffer the bitterness of the salt water, and therefore he draweth
to the shoreward. And also he is so huge in quantity, that when he is
taken, all the country is better for the taking. Also he loveth his
whelps with a wonder love, and leadeth them about in the sea long
time. And if it happeth that his whelps be let with heaps of gravel,
and by default of water, he taketh much water in his mouth, and
throweth upon them, and delivereth them in that wise out of peril, and
bringeth them again into the deep sea. And for to defend them he
putteth himself against all things that he meeteth if it be noyful to
them, and setteth them always between himself and the sun on the more
secure side. And when strong tempest ariseth, while his whelps are
tender and young, he swalloweth them up into his own womb. And when
the tempest is gone and fair weather come, then he casteth them up
whole and sound.

Also Jorath saith, that against the whale fighteth a fish of serpent's
kind, and is venomous as a crocodile. And then other fish come to the
whale's tail, and if the whale be overcome the other fish die. And if
the venomous fish may not overcome the whale, then he throweth out of
his jaws the whale throweth out of his mouth a sweet smelling smoke,
and putteth off the stinking smell, and defendeth and saveth himself
and his in that manner wise.



The eighteenth book of the "De Proprietatibus" is devoted to the
properties of animals. It is composed of selections from Pliny and
Aristotle, from the works of the mediaeval physicians and romancers,
from Magister Jacobus de Vitriaco, from the "Historia Alexandri Magni
de Proeliis," from Physiologus and the Bestiarium.

The editor has been obliged to reduce some of these extracts to make
room for others. Among these the reader will find many examples of
those legends, which made up the popular Natural History of early
days, originally imported from the East through Spain and Italy. The
memory of these survives even now in our popular locutions. "Licked
into shape" refers to the tale we give in our account of the bear. The
royal nature of the lion is a commonplace: Jonson and Spenser speak of
the sweet breath of the panther. Drayton, in his "Heroical Epistles,"
quotes the siren and the hyena as examples:

  "To call for aid, and then to lie in wait,
  So the hyena murthers by deceit,
  By sweet enticement sudden death to bring,
  So from the rocks th' alluring mermaids sing."

Trevisa has invented an adjective for us that expresses the midnight
caterwaul--"ghastful." Bartholomew probably suffered from those two
minor curses of humanity--the amorous cat and the wandering cur. But
he has preserved for us a noble eulogy of the dog, and has a reference
to the tale of the dog of Montargis, the standing example of canine
fidelity among a chivalrous folk.

It is said, that in India is a beast wonderly shapen, and is like to
the bear in body and in hair, and to a man in face. And hath a right
red head, and a full great mouth, and an horrible, and in either jaw
three rows of teeth distinguished atween. The outer limbs thereof be
as it were the outer limbs of a lion, and his tail is like to a wild
scorpion, with a sting, and smiteth with hard bristle pricks as a wild
swine, and hath an horrible voice, as the voice of a trumpet, and he
runneth full swiftly, and eateth men. And among all beasts of the
earth is none found more cruel, nor more wonderly shape, as Avicenna
saith. And this beast is called Baricos in Greek.

The boar is so fierce a beast, and also so cruel, that for his
fierceness and his cruelness, he despiseth and setteth nought by
death, and he reseth full piteously against the point of a spear of
the hunter. And though it be so that he be smitten or sticked with a
spear through the body, yet for the greater ire and cruelness in heart
that he hath, he reseth on his enemy, and taketh comfort and heart and
strength for to wreak himself on his adversary with his tusks, and
putteth himself in peril of death with a wonder fierceness against the
weapon of his enemy, and hath in his mouth two crooked tusks right
strong and sharp, and breaketh and rendeth cruelly with them those
which he withstandeth. And useth the tusks instead of a sword. And
hath a hard shield, broad and thick in the right side, and putteth
that always against his weapon that pursueth him, and useth that brawn
instead of a shield to defend himself. And when he spieth peril that
should befall, he whetteth his tusks and frotteth them, and assayeth
in that while fretting against trees, if the points of his tusks be
all blunt. And if he feel that they be blunt, he seeketh a herb which
is called Origanum, and gnaweth it and cheweth it, and cleanseth and
comforteth the roots of his teeth therewith by vertue thereof.

The ass is fair of shape and of disposition while he is young and
tender, or he pass into age. For the elder the ass is, the fouler he
waxeth from day to day, and hairy and rough, and is a melancholy
beast, that is cold and dry, and is therefore kindly heavy and slow,
and unlusty, dull and witless and forgetful. Nathless he beareth
burdens, and may away with travail and thraldom, and useth vile meat
and little, and gathereth his meat among briars and thorns and
thistles.... And the ass hath another wretched condition known to nigh
all men. For he is put to travail over-night, and is beaten with
staves, and sticked and pricked with pricks, and his mouth is wrung
with a bernacle, and is led hither and thither, and withdrawn from
leas and pasture that is in his way oft by the refraining of the
bernacle, and dieth at last after vain travails, and hath no reward
after his death for the service and travail that he had living, not so
much that his own skin is left with him, but it is taken away, and the
carrion is thrown out without sepulture or burials; but it be so much
of the carrion that by eating and devouring is sometimes buried in the
wombs of hounds and wolves.

And such [adders] lie in await for them that sleep: and if they find
the mouth open of them or of other beasts, then they creep in: for
they love heat and humour that they find here. But against such adders
a little beast fighteth that hight Saura, as it were a little ewt, and
some men mean that it is a lizard; for when this beast is aware that
this serpent is present, then he leapeth upon his face that sleepeth,
and scratcheth with his feet to wake him, and to warn him of the
serpent. And when this little beast waxeth old, his eyen wax blind,
and then he goeth into an hole of a wall against the east, and openeth
his eyen afterward when the sun is risen, and then his eyen heat and
take light.

This slaying adder and venomous hath wit to love and affection, and
loveth his mate as it were by love of wedlock, and liveth not well
without company. Therefore if the one is slain, the other pursueth him
that slew that other with so busy wreak and vengeance, that passeth
weening. And knoweth the slayer, and reseth on him, be he in never so
great company of men and of people, and busieth to slay him, and
passeth all difficulties and spaces of ways, and with wreak of the
said death of his mate. And is not let, ne put off, but it be by swift
flight, or by waters or rivers. Marcianus saith that the asp grieveth
not men of Africa or Moors; for they take their children that they
have suspect, and put them to these adders: and if the children be of
their kind, this adder grieveth them not, and if they be of other
kind, anon they die by venom of the adder.

An oxherd hight Bubulcus, and is ordained by office to keep oxen: He
feedeth and nourisheth oxen, and bringeth them to leas and home again:
and bindeth their feet with a langhaldes and spanells and nigheth and
cloggeth them while they be in pasture and leas, and yoketh and maketh
them draw at the plough: and pricketh the slow with a goad, and maketh
them draw even. And pleaseth them with whistling and with song, to
make them bear the yoke with the better will for liking of melody of
the voice. And this herd driveth and ruleth them to draw even, and
teacheth them to make even furrows: and compelleth them not only to
ear, but also to tread and to thresh. And they lead them about upon
corn to break the straw in threshing and treading the flour. And when
the travail is done, then they unyoke them and bring them to the
stall: and tie them to the stall, and feed them thereat.

The cockatrice hight Basiliscus in Greek, and Regulus in Latin; and
hath that name Regulus of a little king, for he is king of serpents,
and they be afraid, and flee when they see him. For he slayeth them
with his smell and with his breath: and slayeth also anything that
hath life with breath and with sight. In his sight no fowl nor bird
passeth harmless, and though he be far from the fowl, yet it is burned
and devoured by his mouth. But he is overcome of the weasel; and men
bring the weasel to the cockatrice's den, where he lurketh and is hid.
For the father and maker of everything left nothing without remedy.
Among the Hisperies and Ethiopians is a well, that many men trow is
the head of Nile, and there beside is a wild beast that hight
Catoblefas, and hath a little body, and nice in all members, and a
great head hanging always toward the earth, and else it were great
noying to mankind. For all that see his eyen, should die anon, and the
same kind hath the cockatrice, and the serpent that is bred in the
province of Sirena; and hath a body in length and in breadth as the
cockatrice, and a tail of twelve inches long, and hath a speck in his
head as a precious stone, and feareth away all serpents with hissing.
And he presseth not his body with much bowing, but his course of way
is forthright, and goeth in mean. He drieth and burneth leaves and
herbs, not only with touch but also by hissing and blast he rotteth
and corrupteth all things about him. And he is of so great venom and
perilous, that he slayeth and wasteth him that nigheth him by the
length of a spear, without tarrying; and yet the weasel taketh and
overcometh him, for the biting of the weasel is death to the
cockatrice. And nevertheless the biting of the cockatrice is death to
the weasel. And that is sooth, but if the weasel eat rue before. And
though the cockatrice be venomous without remedy, while he is alive,
yet he loseth all the malice when he is burnt to ashes. His ashes be
accounted good and profitable in working of Alchemy, and namely in
turning and changing of metals.

Nothing is more busy and wittier than a hound, for he hath more wit
than other beasts. And hounds know their own names, and love their
masters, and defend the houses of their masters, and put themselves
wilfully in peril of death for their masters, and run to take prey for
their masters, and forsake not the dead bodies of their masters. We
have known that hounds fought for their lords against thieves, and
were sore wounded, and that they kept away beasts and fowls from their
masters' bodies dead. And that a hound compelled the slayer of his
master with barking and biting to acknowledge his trespass and guilt.
Also we read that Garamantus the king came out of exile, and brought
with him two hundred hounds, and fought against his enemies with
wondrous hardiness.

Other hounds flee and avoid the wood hound as pestilence and venom:
and he is always exiled as it were an outlaw, and goeth alone wagging
and rolling as a drunken beast, and runneth yawning, and his tongue
hangeth out, and his mouth drivelleth and foameth, and his eyes be
overturned and reared, and his ears lie backward, and his tail is
wrinkled by the legs and thighs; and though his eyes be open, yet he
stumbleth and spurneth against every thing. And barketh at his own
shadow.... Pliny saith that under the hound's tongue lieth a worm that
maketh the hound wood, and if this worm is taken out of the tongue,
then the evil ceaseth.... Also an hound is wrathful and malicious, so
that for to awreak himself, he biteth oft the stone that is thrown to
him: and biteth the stone with great woodness, that he breaketh his
own teeth, and grieveth not the stone, but his own teeth full sore.
Also he is guileful and deceivable, and so oft he fickleth and fawneth
with his tail on men that pass by the way, as though he were a friend,
and biteth them sore if they take none heed backward. And the hound
hateth stones and rods, and is bold and hardy among them that he
knoweth, and busieth to bite and to fear all other, and is not bold
when he passeth among strangers. Also the hound is envious, and
gathereth herbs privily, and is right sorry if any man know the virtue
of those herbs, as is also evil apaid if any strange hounds and
unknown come into the place where he dwelleth; and dreadeth lest he
should fare the worse for the other hound's presence, and fighteth
with him therefore. Also he is covetous and scarce, and busy to lay up
and to hide the relief that he leaveth. And therefore he commoneth
not, nor giveth flesh and marrow-bones that he may not devour to other
hounds: but layeth them up busily, and hideth them until he hungereth
again.... And at the last the hound is violently drawn out of the
dunghill with a rope or with a whip bound about his neck, and is
drowned in the river, or in some other water, and so he endeth his
wretched life. And his skin is not taken off, nor his flesh is not
eaten or buried, but left finally to flies, and to other divers worms.

In Pontus is a manner kind of beasts, that dwelleth now in land and
now in water, and maketh houses and dens arrayed with wonder craft in
the brinks of rivers and of waters. For these beasts live together in
flocks, and love beasts of the same kind, and come together and cut
rods and sticks with their teeth, and bring them home to their dens in
a wonder wise, for they lay one of them upright on the ground, instead
of a sled or of a dray, with his legs and feet reared upward, and lay
and load the sticks and wood between his legs and thighs, and draw him
home to their dens, and unlade and discharge him there, and make their
dwelling places right strong by great subtlety of craft. In their
houses be two chambers or three distinguished, as it were three
cellars, and they dwell in the over place when the water ariseth, and
in the nether when the water is away, and each of them hath a certain
hole properly made in the cellar, by the which hole he putteth out his
tail in the water, for the tail is of fishy kind, it may not without
water be long kept without corruption.

If the crocodile findeth a man by the brim of the water, or by the
cliff, he slayeth him if he may, and then he weepeth upon him, and
swalloweth him at the last.

The Dragon is most greatest of all serpents, and oft he is drawn out
of his den, and riseth up into the air, and the air is moved by him,
and also the sea swelleth against his venom, and he hath a crest with
a little mouth, and draweth breath at small pipes and straight, and
reareth his tongue, and hath teeth like a saw, and hath strength, and
not only in teeth, but also in his tail, and grieveth both with biting
and with stinging, and hath not so much venom as other serpents: for
to the end to slay anything, to him venom is not needful, for whom he
findeth he slayeth, and the elephant is not secure of him, for all his
greatness of body. Oft four or five of them fasten their tails
together, and rear up their heads, and sail over sea and over rivers
to get good meat. Between elephants and dragons is everlasting
fighting, for the dragon with his tail bindeth and spanneth the
elephant, and the elephant with his foot and with his nose throweth
down the dragon, and the dragon bindeth and spanneth the elephant's
legs, and maketh him fall, but the dragon buyeth it full sore: for
while he slayeth the elephant, the elephant falleth upon him and
slayeth him. Also the elephant seeing the dragon upon a tree, busieth
him to break the tree to smite the dragon, and the dragon leapeth upon
the elephant, and busieth him to bite him between the nostrils, and
assaileth the elephant's eyen, and maketh him blind sometime, and
leapeth upon him sometime behind, and biteth him and sucketh his
blood. And at the last after long fighting the elephant waxeth feeble
for great blindness, in so much that he falleth upon the dragon, and
slayeth in his dying the dragon that him slayeth. The cause why the
dragon desireth his blood, is coldness of the elephant's blood, by the
which the dragon desireth to cool himself. Jerome saith, that the
dragon is a full thirsty beast, insomuch that unneth he may have water
enough to quench his great thirst; and openeth his mouth therefore
against the wind, to quench the burning of his thirst in that wise.
Therefore when he seeth ships sail in the sea in great wind, he flieth
against the sail to take their cold wind, and overthroweth the ship
sometimes for greatness of body, and strong rese against the sail. And
when the shipmen see the dragon come nigh, and know his coming by the
water that swelleth ayenge him, they strike the sail anon, and scape
in that wise.

Horses be joyful in fields, and smell battles, and be comforted with
noise of trumpets to battle and to fighting; and be excited to run
with noise that they know, and be sorry when they be overcome, and
glad when they have the mastery. And so feeleth and knoweth their
enemies in battle so far forth that they a-rese on their enemies with
biting and smiting, and also some know their own lords, and forget
mildness, if their lords be overcome: and some horses suffer no man to
ride on their backs, but only their own lords. And many horses weep
when their lords be dead. And it is said that horses weep for sorrow,
right as a man doth, and so the kind of horse and of man is medlied.
Also oft men that shall fight take evidence and divine and guess what
shall befall, by sorrow or by the joy that the horse maketh. Old men
mean that in gentle horse, noble men take heed of four things, of
shape, and of fairness, of wilfulness, and of colour.

In his forehead when he is foaled is found Iconemor, a black skin of
the quantity of a sedge, that hight also Amor's Veneficium; and the
mother licketh it off with her tongue, and taketh it away and hideth
it or eateth it. For women that be witches use that skin in their
sayings, when they will excite a man to love.... The colt is not
littered with straw, nor curried with an horse comb, nor arrayed with
trapping and gay harness, nor smitten with spurs, nor saddled with
saddle, nor tamed with bridle, but he followeth his mother freely, and
eateth grass, and his feet be not pierced with nails, but he is
suffered to run hither and thither freely: but at the last he is set
to work and to travail, and is held and tied and led with halters and
reins, and taken from his mother, and may not suck his dam's teats;
but he is taught in many manner wise to go easily and soft. And he is
set to carts, chariots, and cars, and to travel and bearing of
horsemen in chivalry: and so the silly horse colt is foaled to divers
hap of fortune. Isidore saith, that horses were sometime hallowed in
divers usage of the gods.

Among beasts the elephant is most of virtue, so that unneth among men
is so great readiness found. For in the new moon they come together in
great companies, and bathe and wash them in a river, and lowte each to
other, and turn so again to their own places, and they make the young
go tofore in the turning again; and keep them busily and teach them to
do in the same wise: and when they be sick, they gather good herbs,
and ere they use the herbs they heave up the head, and look up toward
heaven, and pray for help of God in a certain religion. And they be
good of wit, and learn well: and are easy to teach, insomuch that they
be taught to know the king and to worship him, and busy to do him
reverence and to bend the knees in worship of him. If elephants see a
man coming against them that is out of the way in the wilderness, for
they would not affray him, they will draw themselves somewhat out of
the way, and then they stint, and pass little and little tofore him,
and teach him the way. And if a dragon come against him, they fight
with the dragon and defend the man, and put them forth to defend the
man strongly and mightily: and do so namely when they have young
foals, for they dread that the man seeketh their foals. And therefore
they purpose first to deliver them of the man, that they may more
securely feed their children and keep them the more warily....
Elephants be best in chivalry when they be tame: for they bear towers
of tree, and throw down sheltrons, and overturn men of arms, and that
is wonderful; for they dread not men of arms ranged in battle, and
dread and flee the voice of the least sound of a swine. When they be
taken, they be made tame and mild with barley: and a cave or a ditch
is made under the earth, as it were a pitfall in the elephant's way,
and unawares he falleth therein. And then one of the hunters cometh to
him and beateth and smiteth him, and pricketh him full sore. And then
another hunter cometh and smiteth the first hunter, and doth him away,
and defendeth the elephant, and giveth him barley to eat, and when he
hath eaten thrice or four times, then he loveth him that defended him,
and is afterward mild and obedient to him. I have read in Physiologus'
book that the elephant is a beast that passeth all other four-footed
beasts in quantity, in wit, and in mind. For among other doings
elephants lie never down in sleeping; but when they be weary they lean
to a tree and so rest somewhat. And men lie in wait to espy their
resting places privily, for to cut the tree in the other side: and the
elephant cometh and is not aware of the fraud, and leaneth to the tree
and breaketh it with the weight of his body, and falleth down with the
breaking, and lieth there. And when he seeth he may not help himself
in falling he crieth and roareth in a wonder manner: and by his noise
and crying come suddenly many young elephants, and rear up the old
little and little with all their strength and might: and while they
arear him with wonder affection and love, they bend themselves with
all their might and strength. ... Also there is another thing said
that is full wonderful: among the Ethiopians in some countries
elephants be hunted in this wise: there go in the desert two maidens
all naked and bare, with open hair of the head: and one of them
beareth a vessel, and the other a sword. And these maidens begin to
sing alone: and the beast hath liking when he heareth their song, and
cometh to them, and licketh their teats, and falleth asleep anon for
liking of the song, and then the one maid sticketh him in the throat
or in the side with a sword, and the other taketh his blood in a
vessel, and with that blood the people of the same country dye cloth,
and done colour it therewith.

Satyrs be somewhat like men, and have crooked nose and horns in the
forehead, and like to goats in their feet. Saint Anthony saw such a
one in the wilderness, as it is said, and he asked what he was, and he
answered Anthony, and said: "I am deadly, and one of them that
dwelleth in the wilderness." These wonderful beasts be divers: for
some of them be called Cyno[ce]phali, for they have heads as hounds,
and seem by the working, beasts rather than men, and some be called
Cyclops, and have that name, for one of them hath but one eye, and
that in the middle of the forehead, and some be all headless and
noseless, and their eyen be in the shoulders, and some have plain
faces without nostrils, and the nether lips of them stretch so, that
they hele therewith their faces when they be in the heat of the sun:
and some of them have closed mouths, in their breasts only one hole,
and breathe and suck as it were with pipes and veins, and these be
accounted tongueless, and use signs and becks instead of speaking.
Also in Scythia be some with so great and large ears, that they spread
their ears and cover all their bodies with them, and these be called
Panchios.... And other be in Ethiopia, and each of them have only one
foot so great and so large, that they beshadow themselves with the
foot when they lie gaping on the ground in strong heat of the sun; and
yet they be so swift, that they be likened to hounds in swiftness of
running, and therefore among the Greeks they be called Cynopodes. Also
some have the soles of their feet turned backward behind the legs, and
in each foot eight toes, and such go about and stare in the desert of
Lybia. The griffin is a beast with wings, and is four footed: and
breedeth in the mountains Hyperborean, and is like to the lion in all
the parts of the body, and to the eagle only in the head and wings.
And griffins keep the mountains in which be gems and precious stones,
and suffer them not to be taken from thence.

The hyena is a cruel beast like to the wolf in devouring and gluttony,
and reseth on dead men, and taketh their carcase out of the earth, and
devoureth them. It is his kind to change sex, for he is now found
male, and now female, and is therefore an unclean beast, and cometh to
hoveys by night, and feigneth man's voice as he may, for men should
trow that it is a man. Pliny saith: It is said he is one year male and
another female. And she bringeth forth her brood without male, as the
common people trow. But Aristotle denieth that. And hath the neck of
the adder, and the ridge of an elephant, and may not bend but if he
bear all the body about. And herds tell that among stables, he
feigneth speech of mankind, and calleth some man by his own name, and
rendeth him when he hath him without. And he feigneth oft the name of
some man, for to make hounds run out, that he may take and eat
them.... And his shadow maketh hounds leave barking and be still, if
he come near them. And if this beast hyena goeth thrice about any
beast, that beast shall stint within his steps. Pliny saith that the
hyena hateth the panther. And it is said that if both their skins be
hanged together, the hair of the panther's skin shall fall away. This
beast hyena fleeth the hunter, and draweth toward the right side, to
occupy the trace of the man that goeth before: and if he cometh not
after, he telleth that he goeth out of his wit, or else the man
falleth down off his horse. And if he turn against the hyena, the
beast is soon taken, as magicians tell. And also witches use the heart
of this beast and the liver, in many witchcrafts.

Some lions be short with crisp hair and mane, and these lions fight
not; and some lions have simple hair of mane, and those lions have
sharp and fierce hearts, and by their foreheads and tails their virtue
is known in the beast, and their stedfastness in the head: and when
they be beset with hunters, then they behold the earth, for to dread
the less the hunters and their gins, that them have beset about: and
he dreadeth noise and rushing of wheels, but he dreadeth fire much
more. And when they sleep their eyes wake: and when they go forth or
about, they hele and hide their fores and steps, for hunters should
not find them.... It is the kind of lions, not to be wroth with man,
but if they be grieved or hurt. Also their mercy is known by many and
oft examples: for they spare them that lie on the ground, and suffer
them to pass homeward that were prisoners and come out of thraldom,
and eat not a man or slay him but in great hunger. Pliny saith that
the lion is in most gentleness and nobility, when his neck and
shoulders be heled with hair and main. And he that is gendered of the
pard, lacketh that nobility. The lion knoweth by smell, if the pard
gendereth with the lioness, and reseth against the lioness that
breaketh spousehood, and punisheth her full sore, but if she wash her
in a river, and then it is not known. The lion liveth most long, and
that is known by working and wasting of his teeth: and when in age he
reseth on a man: for his virtue and might faileth to pursue great
beasts and wild. And then he besiegeth cities to ransom and to take
men: but when the lions be taken, then they be hanged, for other lions
should dread such manner pain. The old lion reseth woodly on men, and
only grunteth on women, and reseth seldom on children, but in great
hunger.... In peril the lion is most gentle and noble, for when he is
pursued with hounds and with hunters, the lion lurketh not nor hideth
himself, but sitteth in fields where he may be seen, and arrayeth
himself to defence. And runneth out of wood and covert with swift
running and course, as though he would account vile shame to lurk and
to hide himself. And he hideth himself not for dread that he hath, but
he dreadeth himself sometime, only for he would not be dreaded. And
when he pursueth man or beast in lands, then he leapeth when he reseth
on him. When he is wounded, he taketh wonderly heed, and knoweth them
that him first smiteth, and reseth on the smiter, though he be never
in so great multitude: and if a man shoot at him, the lion chaseth him
and throweth him down, and woundeth him not, nor hurteth him.... He
hideth himself in high mountains, and espieth from thence his prey.
And when he seeth his prey he roareth full loud, and at the voice of
him other beasts dread and stint suddenly: and he maketh a circle all
about them with his tail, and all the beasts dread to pass out over
the line of the circle, and the beasts stand astonied and afraid, as
it were abiding the hest and commandment of their king.... And he is
ashamed to eat alone the prey that he taketh; therefore of his grace
of free heart, he leaveth some of his prey to other beasts that follow
him afar.... And the lion is hunted in this wise: One double cave is
made one fast by that other, and in the second cave is set a whiche,
that closeth full soon when it is touched: and in the first den and
cave is a lamb set, and the lion leapeth therein, when he is an
hungered, for to take the lamb. And when he seeth that he may not
break out of the den, he is ashamed that he is beguiled, and would
enter in to the second den to lurk there, and falleth smell, if the
pard gendereth with the lioness, and reseth against the lioness that
breaketh spousehood, and punisheth her full sore, but if she wash her
in a river, and then it is not known. The lion liveth most long, and
that is known by working and wasting of his teeth: and when in age he
reseth on a man: for his virtue and might faileth to pursue great
beasts and wild. And then he besiegeth cities to ransom and to take
men: but when the lions be taken, then they be hanged, for other lions
should dread such manner pain. The old lion reseth woodly on men, and
only grunteth on women, and reseth seldom on children, but in great
hunger.... In peril the lion is most gentle and noble, for when he is
pursued with hounds and with hunters, the lion lurketh not nor hideth
himself, but sitteth in fields where he may be seen, and arrayeth
himself to defence. And runneth out of wood and covert with swift
running and course, as though he would account vile shame to lurk and
to hide himself. And he hideth himself not for dread that he hath, but
he dreadeth himself sometime, only for he would not be dreaded. And
when he pursueth man or beast in lands, then he leapeth when he reseth
on him. When he is wounded, he taketh wonderly heed, and knoweth them
that him first smiteth, and reseth on the smiter, though he be never
in so great multitude: and if a man shoot at him, the lion chaseth him
and throweth him down, and woundeth him not, nor hurteth him.... He
hideth himself in high mountains, and espieth from thence his prey.
And when he seeth his prey he roareth full loud, and at the voice of
him other beasts dread and stint suddenly: and he maketh a circle all
about them with his tail, and all the beasts dread to pass out over
the line of the circle, and the beasts stand astonied and afraid, as
it were abiding the hest and commandment of their king.... And he is
ashamed to eat alone the prey that he taketh; therefore of his grace
of free heart, he leaveth some of his prey to other beasts that follow
him afar.... And the lion is hunted in this wise: One double cave is
made one fast by that other, and in the second cave is set a whiche,
that closeth full soon when it is touched: and in the first den and
cave is a lamb set, and the lion leapeth therein, when he is an
hungered, for to take the lamb. And when he seeth that he may not
break out of the den, he is ashamed that he is beguiled, and would
enter in to the second den to lurk there, and falleth into it, and it
closeth anon as he is in, and letteth him not pass out thereof, but
keepeth him fast therein, until he be taken out and bound with chains
till he be tame.... The lion is cruel and wood when he is wroth, and
biteth and grieveth himself for indignation, and gnasheth with his
teeth, and namely when he hungreth, and spieth and lieth in wait, to
take beasts which pass by the way. He hideth himself in privy caves,
and reseth on beasts unawares, and slayeth them with his teeth and
claws, and breaketh all their members, and eateth them piecemeal: and
if he see any come against him to take away his prey, then he
beclippeth the prey, and grunteth and smiteth the earth with his tail,
and if he nigheth him he leapeth on him, and overcometh him, and
turneth to the prey. First he drinketh and licketh the blood of the
beast that he slayeth, and rendeth and haleth the other-deal limb-
meal, and devoureth and swalloweth it.

The leopard is a beast most cruel, and is gendered in spouse-breach of
a pard and of a lioness, and pursueth his prey startling and leaping
and not running, and if he taketh not his prey in the third leap, or
in the fourth, then he stinteth for indignation, and goeth backward as
though he were overcome. And he is less in body than the lion, and
therefore he dreadeth the lion, and maketh a cave under earth with
double entering, one by which he goeth in, and the other by which he
goeth out. And that cave is full wide and large in either entering,
and more narrow and straight in the middle. And so when the lion
cometh, he fleeth and falleth suddenly into the cave, and the lion
pursueth him with a great rese, and entereth also into the cave, and
weeneth there to have the mastery over the leopard, but for greatness
of his body he may not pass freely by the middle of the den which is
full straight, and when the leopard knoweth that the lion is so let
and holden in the straight place, he goeth out of the den forward, and
cometh again into the den in the other side behind the lion, and
reseth on him behindforth with biting and with claws, and so the
leopard hath often in that wise the mastery of the lion by craft and
not by strength, so the less beast hath oft the mastery of the strong
beast by deceit and guile in the den, and dare not rese on him openly
in the field, as Homer saith in the book of the battles and wiles of

Churls speak of him [the wolf] and say that a man loseth his voice, if
the wolf seeth him first. Therefore to a man that is suddenly still,
and leaveth to speak it is said, "Lupus est in fabula," "The wolf is
in the tale." And certainly if he know that he is seen first, he
loseth his boldness, hardihood, and fierceness. The wolf is an evil
beast, when he eateth, and resteth much when he hath no hunger: he is
full hardy, and loveth well to play with a child, if he may take him;
and slayeth him afterward, and eateth him at the last. It is said,
that if the wolf be stoned, he taketh heed of him that threw the first
stone, and if that stone grieveth him he will slay him: and if it
grieveth him not, and he may take him that throweth that stone, he
doth him not much harm, but some harm he doth him as it were in wrath,
and leaveth him at last.... The wolf may not bend his neck backward in
no month of the year but in May alone, when it thundereth. And when he
goeth by night to a fold for to take his prey, he goeth against the
wind for hounds should not smell him. And if it happeth in any wise
that his foot maketh noise, treading upon anything, then he chasteneth
that foot with hard biting.... I have read in a book that a string
made of a wolf's gut, put among harp strings made of the guts of
sheep, destroyeth and corrupteth them, as the eagle's feathers put
among culvours', pulleth and gnaweth them, if they be there left
together long in one place.

He [the cat] is a full lecherous beast in youth, swift, pliant, and
merry, and leapeth and reseth on everything that is to fore him: and
is led by a straw, and playeth therewith: and is a right heavy beast
in age and full sleepy, and lieth slyly in wait for mice: and is aware
where they be more by smell than by sight, and hunteth and reseth on
them in privy places: and when he taketh a mouse, he playeth
therewith, and eateth him after the play. In time of love is hard
fighting for wives, and one scratcheth and rendeth the other
grievously with biting and with claws. And he maketh a ruthful noise
and ghastful, when one proffereth to fight with another: and unneth is
hurt when he is thrown down off an high place. And when he hath a fair
skin, he is as it were proud thereof, and goeth fast about: and when
his skin is burnt, then he bideth at home; and is oft for his fair
skin taken of the skinner, and slain and flayed.

Physiologus speaketh of the Panther and saith that he hateth the
dragon, and the dragon fleeth him: and when he hath eat enough at
full, he hideth him in his den, and sleepeth continually nigh three
days, and riseth after three days and crieth, and out of his mouth
cometh right good air and savour, and is passing measure sweet: and
for the sweetness all beasts follow him. And only the dragon is a-
feared when he heareth his voice, and fleeth into a den, and may not
suffer the smell thereof; and faileth in himself, and looseth his
comfort. For he weeneth that his smell is very venom.

All four-footed beasts have liking to behold the divers colours of the
panther and tiger, but they are a-feared of the horribleness of their
heads, and therefore they hide their heads, and toll the beasts to
them with fairness of that other-deal of the body, and take them when
they come so tolled, and eat them.

The mermaid is a sea beast wonderly shapen, and draweth shipmen to
peril by sweetness of song. The Gloss on Is. xiii. saith that sirens
are serpents with crests. And some men say, that they are fishes of
the sea in likeness of women. Some men feign that there are three
Sirens some-deal maidens, and some-deal fowls with claws and wings,
and one of them singeth with voice, and another with a pipe, and the
third with an harp, and they please so shipmen, with likeness of song,
that they draw them to peril and to shipbreach, but the sooth is, that
they were strong hores, that drew men that passed by them to poverty
and to mischief. And Physiologus saith it is a beast of the sea,
wonderly shapen as a maid from the navel upward and a fish from the
navel downward, and this wonderful beast is glad and merry in tempest,
and sad and heavy in fair weather. With sweetness of song this beast
maketh shipmen to sleep, and when she seeth that they are asleep, she
goeth into the ship, and ravisheth which she may take with her, and
bringeth him into a dry place, and maketh him first lie by her, and if
he will not or may not, then she slayeth him and eateth his flesh. Of
such wonderful beasts it is written in the great Alexander's story.

The tiger is the swiftest beast in flight, as it were an arrow, for
the Persees call an arrow Tigris, and is a beast distinguished with
divers specks, and is wonderly strong and swift. And Pliny saith that
they be beasts of dreadful swiftness, and that is namely known when he
is taken, for the whelp is all glimy and sinewy; and the hunter lieth
in await, and taketh away the whelps, and fleeth soon away on the most
swift horse that he may have. And when the wild beast cometh and
findeth the den void, and the whelps away, then he reseth headlong,
and taketh the fore of him that beareth the whelps away, and followeth
him by smell, and when the hunter heareth the grutching of that beast
that runneth after him, he throweth down one of the whelps; and the
mother taketh the whelp in her mouth, and beareth him into her den and
layeth him therein, and runneth again after the hunter. But in the
meantime the hunter taketh a ship, and hath with him the other whelps,
and scapeth in that wise; and so she is beguiled and her fierceness
standeth in no stead, and the male taketh no wood rese after. For the
male recketh not of the whelps, and he that will bear away the whelps,
leaveth in the way great mirrors, and the mother followeth and findeth
the mirrors in the way, and looketh on them and seeth her own shadow
and image therein, and weeneth that she seeth her children therein,
and is long occupied therefore to deliver her children out of the
glass, and so the hunter hath time and space for to scape, and so she
is beguiled with her own shadow, and she followeth no farther after
the hunter to deliver her children.

Avicenna saith that the bear bringeth forth a piece of flesh imperfect
and evil shapen, and the mother licketh the lump, and shapeth the
members with licking.... For the whelp is a piece of flesh little more
than a mouse, having neither eyes nor ears, and having claws some-deal
bourgeoning, and so this lump she licketh, and shapeth a whelp with
licking.... And it is wonder to tell a thing, that Theophrastus saith
and telleth that bear's flesh sodden that time (of their sleeping)
vanisheth if it be laid up, and is no token of meat found in the
almery, but a little quantity of humour.... When he is taken he is
made blind with a bright basin, and bound with chains, and compelled
to play, and tamed with beating; and is an unsteadfast beast, and
unstable and uneasy, and goeth therefore all day about the stake, to
the which he is strongly tied. He licketh and sucketh his own feet,
and hath liking in the juice thereof. He can wonderly sty upon trees
unto the highest tops of them, and oft bees gather honey in hollow
trees, and the bear findeth honey by smell, and goeth up to the place
that the honey is in, and maketh a way into the tree with his claws,
and draweth out the honey and eateth it, and cometh oft by custom unto
such a place when he is an-hungered. And the hunter taketh heed
thereof, and pitcheth full sharp hooks and stakes about the foot of
the tree, and hangeth craftily a right heavy hammer or a wedge tofore
the open way to the honey. And then the bear cometh and is an-
hungered, and the log that hangeth there on high letteth him: and he
putteth away the wedge despiteously, but after the removing the wedge
falleth again and hitteth him on the ear. And he hath indignation
thereof, and putteth away the wedge despiteously and right fiercely,
and then the wedge falleth and smiteth him harder than it did before,
and he striveth so long with the wedge, until his feeble head doth
fail by oft smiting of the wedge, and then he falleth down upon the
pricks and stakes, and slayeth himself in that wise. Theophrastus
telleth this manner hunting of bears, and learned it of the hunters in
the country of Germany.

A fox is called Vulpes, and hath that name as it were wallowing feet
aside, and goeth never forthright, but always aslant and with fraud.
And is a false beast and deceiving, for when him lacketh meat, he
feigneth himself dead, and then fowls come to him, as it were to a
carrion, and anon he catcheth one and devoureth it. The fox halteth
always, for the right legs are shorter than the left legs. His skin is
right hairy rough and hot, his tail is great and rough; and when an
hound weeneth to take him by the tail, he taketh his mouth full of
hair and stoppeth it. The fox doth fight with the brock for dens, and
defileth the brock's den, and hath so the mastery over him with fraud
and deceit, and not by strength.... The fox feigneth himself tame in
time of need, but by night he waiteth his time and doeth shrewd deeds.
And though he be right guileful in himself and malicious, yet he is
good and profitable in use of medicine.


ADAMANTIUS (fl. 258). Origen it quoted under this name. His
commentaries on the Old Testament are the works quoted from.

AEGIDIUS CORBOLIENSIS, of Corbeil (d. 1220). A doctor at Montpellier,
and Canon of Paris.

ALANUS DE INSULIS, OR DE RYSSEL (d. 1202). A monk of Canterbury, most
probably an Englishman. His principal work is a poem in 9 books,
called ANTI-CLAUDIANUS, largely quoted by all Middle Age writers. An
account of it is given in the notes on the Secreta Secretorum
(E.E.T.S.). He also wrote DE PLANCTU NATURAE, PARABOLAE, etc.

ALBERTUS MAGNUS (1193-1280). A famous doctor in the University of
Paris and a Dominican Theologian. The works quoted are commentaries on
the Natural Histories of Aristotle. They have often been printed. He
was teacher of Thomas Aquinas and a contemporary of our author.

ALBUMAZAR (d. 886). An Arab astronomer.

ALCUIN (735-804). An English theologian: the work quoted is his "De
Septem Artibus."

ALEXANDER NECKHAM, OR NEQUAM (1157-1217). His principal work is "De
Naturis Rerum," a book little known on the Continent. Its use by
Bartholomew is thus another proof of his English birth.

ALFARAGUS (9th cent.). An Arab astronomer, whose work is notable as
being the chief source of the celebrated astronomical treatise, "The
Sphere," of Johannes Sacrobosco (John of Halifax), a contemporary
Englishman. It was the popular text-book for over three centuries, and
was as well known as Euclid.

ALFREDUS ANGLICUS (fl. 1200). A physician and translator of Aristotle.
See JACOB'S AESOP for a discussion on his works.

AL GHAZEL (1061-1137). A sceptic opponent of Averroes.

AMBROSE (d. 397). The Hexameron is the work used.

ANSELM (1033-1109). Theologian, Archbishop of Canterbury. The inventor
of Scholasticism.

ARCHELAUS. A Greek geographer.

ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.). I would refer the reader to BRÈCHILLET
mine of information on the works of this writer used in the Middle

AUGUSTINE (d. 430).

AURORA, THE. A metrical version of the Bible by PETRUS DE RIGA, Canon
of Rheims (d. 1209).

AVERROES (d. 1217). Moorish commentator on Aristotle.

AVICEBRON (d. 1070), OR IBN GEBIROL. A Spanish Jew. Author of the
FONTIS VITA. A work translated by Gundisalvi, of the greatest
influence on the Metaphysic of the Middle Age. See MUNCK, MÉLANGES.

AVICENNA (980-1036). An Arab physician, and commentator on Aristotle.

AYMON, OR HAYMON (d. 1244). An English Franciscan, afterwards General
of the Order, who revised the breviary and rubrics.

BASIL (329-379). In HEXAMERON.

BEDE (673-735). The work by which he was best known in the thirteenth
century was not his History but the works on the _Calendar_, etc.

BELETH, JOHN (before 1165). A French writer on ecclesiastical matters.

BERNARD (1091-1153).

BESTIARIUM. A collection of early myths on animals; of Eastern origin.
There are many different forms of this work. All are founded on

BOETHIUS (470-526). His treatise on arithmetic is the work quoted
here. His "Consolation" was almost unknown in the early Middle Age,
his popularity resting on his translations of Aristotle and his
treatises on Music and Arithmetic, the latter being a very important
work in the history of the science.

PRELIIS. See BUDGE'S Syriac Version of this work.

CASSIODORUS (480-575). DE SEPTEM DISCIPLINIS. One of the favourite
Middle Age Text-Books.

CATO (233-151 B.C.). On AGRICULTURE.

CHALCIDIUS (3rd cent.). A commentator on the TIMAEUS of Plato. Only a
part of this is preserved.


CONSTANTINUS AFER (d. 1087). A Benedictine monk of Monte Cassino, and
most probably the introducer of Arab medicine into Italy. He wrote the
VIATICUM and the PANTEGNA (20 books). He introduced Arab medicine into
Europe through the School of Salerno, translating many Arab authors.

CYPRIAN (d. 285). A Syriac astrologer, afterwards Bishop of Antioch,
and Martyr in the Diocletian persecution.

DAMASCENE (11th cent.). Quoted by Constantinus Afer. A physician.

DAMASCENE, JOHN (end of 12th cent.). An Arab physician.

DAMASCIUS (circ. 533). A Syrian commentator on Aristotle, who took
refuge in Persia. Author of a work on wonders quoted by Photius.



DONATUS (333). A Grammarian.

EUFICIUS (circ. 600). A disciple of Gregory.

FULGENTIUS (circ. 550). A grammarian.

GALEN (131-210).

GILBERTUS (circ. 1250). A celebrated English physician in France;

GREGORY (circ. 590). On Job.

HALY (circ. 1000). A Jewish physician. Wrote a PANTEGNI or
COMPLEMENTUM MEDICINAE. The first medical work translated by
Constantius Afer.

HERMES. In ALCHEMIA (not now extant).

HIPPOCRATES (460-351 B.C.).

HUGUTION PIZANUS (d. 1210). A jurisconsult and writer on Grammar.

HYGINUS, PSEUDO- (6th cent.). Writer on Astronomy.

INNOCENT III. (d. 1216). Wrote "De Contemptu Mundi," etc.

ISAAC (circ. 660). An Arab physician, who translated many Greek
authors into Arabic.

ISIDORE (d. 636). Bishop of Seville. He wrote a work on Etymology in
20 books, one of the most popular works of the Middle Age.

JACOBUS DE VITRIACO (d. 1240). A Crusading Bishop, afterwards Cardinal
legate. Wrote an EXEMPLAR, and 3 books of Eastern and Western History.

JEROME (340-420).

JOSEPH BEN GORION (900). Abridgment of Jewish History containing many

JOSEPHUS (37-95). Jewish historian.

JORATH. DE ANIMALIBUS. A Syriac writer (?).

LAPIDARIUM. See MARBODIUS DE GEMMIS. There are many treatises under
this name.

LEO IX. (1054). See Migne, Patrologia.

LUCAN (d. 65). One of the most popular Latin poets of the Middle Age.


MACROBIUS (circ. 409). His commentary on the dream of Scipio was a
favourite work in Medieval times.

AND PHILOLOGIA, treating of THE SEVEN LIBERAL ARTS, which was the
standard text-book from the 5th century for the schools.

MESSAHALA (circ. 1100).


MICHAEL SCOT (circ. 1235). At this time concerned in the translation
of some Arabic works on Astronomy, and Aristotle's DE COELO and DE


PAPIAS (circ. 1053). Grammarian. [Milan, 1467, etc.]

PERSPECTIVA SCIENCIA. I cannot say whether this is Bacon's, Peckham's,
or Albertus Magnus', but I believe it to be Peckham's, who was an
Englishman, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury.

Histories, wrote an account of the world from the Creation, which,
when translated into French, was called the "Mer des Histoires." A
favourite Medieval book.

PHILARETUS (1100). A writer on Medicine.

PHYSIOLOGUS. A Syriac compilation of moralities on animal myths. It
first appears in Western Europe as THEOBALDUS DE NATURIS XII.
ANIMALIUM. Of Alexandrian origin, it dates from before the fourth
century, and appears to have been altered at the will of each writer.

PLATEARIUS SALERNITANUS (circ. 1100) was Johannes, one of a family of
physicians at Salerno. His work is called the PRACTICA. A book on the
virtues of herbs. [Lugd., 1525, etc.]

PLATO (430-348 B.C.). The TIMAEUS is quoted, probably from Chalcidius.

PLINY (d. 79). Natural History. This and Isidore's work are the two
chief sources of medieval knowledge of Nature.

PRISCIAN (circ. 525). Grammarian and physicist.

PTOLEMY (circ. 130). An Alexandrian astronomer, known through Arabic
translations only at that time. [Ven., 1509, etc.]

RABANUS MAURUS (776-856) of Fulda, pupil of Alcuin. A Benedictine,
afterwards Archbishop of Mayence, who wrote DE UNIVERSO MUNDO. [1468;
Col., 1627, etc.]

RASIS (d. 935). An Arab physician, perhaps the greatest of the School.
[Ven., 1548, etc.]

REMIGIUS (d. 908). A teacher of Grammar in the School of Paris. His
grammar remained in use there four centuries. He wrote a gloss on
Marcianus Capella.

RICARDUS DE ST. VICTOR (d. 1173). A Scottish theologian, Prior of St.
Victor. A mystic of considerable acuteness. [Ven., 1506, etc.]

RICARDUS RUFUS (circ. 1225). A Cornishman who was a doctor in great
renown, both at Oxford and Paris. He afterwards joined the

ROBERTUS LINCOLN., GROSTÊTE (d. 1253), the celebrated Bishop of
Lincoln and patron of Bacon. Taught at Paris and at Oxford.
Commentaries on Aristotle.

SALUSTIUS (d. 363?). DE DIIS ET MUNDO. A geographer.

SCHOLA SALERNITANA (circ. 1100). A treatise on the preservation of
health in leonine verse for popular use, said to be addressed to
Robert of England. It has been translated and commented on hundreds of
times. The Middle Age very sensibly thought preservation from disease
a branch of medicine equally important with the cure of it.

SECUNDUS. A writer on Medicine.

SOLINUS (circ. 100). Wrote an account of things in general--

STEPHANUS (circ. 600). Commentary on Galen.

STRABUS (d. 847). A Benedictine, Abbot of Reichenau, near Constance.
One of the authors of the Gloss.


VARRO, M. T. (116-26 B.C.). Most celebrated grammarian.

VIRGIL (70-19 B.C.).

WILLIAM CONCHES (d. 1150). Lectured at Paris, 1139, on Grammar, wrote

ZENO (circ. 400), A writer on Medicine, and teacher at Alexandria.

_This list of Authorities cited is that given at the end of the
complete work of Bartholomew._


_Latin Editions_

                           Date.         Place    Printer. Remarks.

HC *2500 Pr 8530 Pell 1867 1480 July 29  Lyon  .  Philippi & Reinhard.
HC  2501    1048      1868 1481          Köln  .  Koelhoff
HC  2502    8573      1869 1482 Nov. 21  Lyon  .  Petrus of Hungary
HC  2503    8531a     1870 1482 Dec. 10  Lyon  .  Philippi & Reinhard.
HC *2504    1055      1871 1483 Jan. 19  Köln  .  Koelhoff.
H   2505    2036      1872 1483 May  30  Nürnberg Koberger
H   *2506    592      1873 1485 Feb. 14  Strassburg Press xv.
HC *2507    3130      1874 1488 May  23  Heidelberg Press i.
H   2508     ..        ..  1488          Strassburg (Panzer I 36, 139)
HC *2509     665      1875 1491 Aug. 11  Strassburg Press xv.
HC *2510    2073      1876 1492 June 20  Nürnberg   Koberger
H   2511     ..        ..  1495          Strassburg (Panzer I 52, 286)
HC *2498    1105      1865  n.d.         Köln  Press viii. [circ 1473]
                                         formerly attributed to Zell.
HC *2499    7452      1866  n.d.         Basel      Ruppel.[circ 1468]
           10003       ..  1505 Aug. 11  Strassburg Husner.
           11131       ..  1519 May  11  Nürnberg  Peypus f.J.Koberger
                       ..  1571          Venezia     (Graesse III. 92)
                       ..  1574          Paris.      (Graesse III. 92)
                       ..  1575          Strassburg  (Graesse III. 92)
                       ..  1601          Frankfurt  Richter     B.M.
                       ..  1609          Frankfurt  Stein    Bib. Nat.

_Dutch Version_

H   2521                   1479             ?          ?
HC  2522    9173      1886 1485          Haarlem    Bellaert

Note--Pr. = Proctor.

_French Version by Jehan Corbichon in_ 1372

                             Date         Place Printer    Remarks
HC  2514 Pr 8556 Pell 1880 . 1482 Nov.12     Lyon  Huss.
HC  2518    8561      1882 . 1485 Oct.23     Lyon  Huss.
HC  2515     ..       1881 . 1485-[6],Jan.26 Lyon  Le Roy
H   2516     ..       1883 . 1487, April 7   Lyon  Huss.
HC  2517    8564      1884 . 1491-[2],Mar.15 Lyon  Huss.
             ..       1885 . 1496-[7]        Lyon  Huss. (Cop. II 884)
HC 2519      ..        ..  . 1500            Lyon  Le Diamantier
HC 2513     8540      1879 . n.d.            Lyon  Siber      (c.1482)
             ..       1877 .  ?              Lyon?          Imperfect
HC 2512      ..       1878 . n.d.            Paris for A. Verard
             ..              1510            Paris for Petit& Lenoir
                                             (Brunet II 1622)
             ..              1512            Rouen n.p. (Brunet II
             ..              1518            Paris for Petit & Lenoir
             ..              1525            Paris P. Lenoir    B.M.
             ..              1528,May 5      Paris Gandoul   Voynich.
             ..             c. 1530          [Paris]            B.M.
             ..              1539            Paris Longis     B.M.
             ..              1556            Paris L'Anglier
(Brunet II 1623), Grasse says 1566
             ..              1556            Paris Groulleau Bib. Nat.
             ..              1556            Paris De Banville Bib.
             ..              1556            Paris M.Boursette B.M.
Bib Nat.

_Spanish Version by Fr. Vincent de Burgos_

HC  2523 Pr 8722  Pell 1887  1494,Sep.18     Toulouse  Mayer
                             1556            Toledo    De Avila B.M.

_English Version by John of Trevisa in_ 1397

HC 2520  Pr 9725             n.d.            Westminster W. de Worde
                             1535            London  Berthelet    B.M.
                             1582            London  East         B.M.


The first edition of this selection was published at London in 1893.

The 1535 edition has 8 unpaged leaves (title, table, prologue, and
Book I.), 338 numbered leaves, and printer's mark of Lucretia. The
following errors in pagination are noted: 181 for 189, 197 for 187,
201 for 200, 203 for 201, 211 for 209.

The chief point of interest in the Bibliography is the question raised
by Wynkyn de Worde's positive statement in his edition in his

  And also of your charyte call to remembraunce
  The soule of William Caxton first prynter of this boke
  In latin tonge at Coleyn hymself to avaunce
  That every well disposyd man may theron loke
  And John Tate the yonger Joy mote he broke
  Which late hathe in Englond doo make this paper thynne
  That now in our Englyssh this boke is prynted Inne.

Mr. Gordon Duff is disposed to think that Caxton may have worked on
the undated Cologne edition (H.C. *2498), which must in that case be
put before 1476, finding a link between his Bruges type and the
Cologne presses in a work printed at Louvain in 1475 which contains
type of both descriptions.

Most of these editions are in the British Museum. The copy of the
Berthelet edition there has an autograph of Shakespeare in it--one of
the Ireland forgeries.


Accord, _n._, harmony
According, _part._, punning, or in harmony
Adamant, _n._, a diamond
Addercop, _n._, a spider
Afeard, _part._, affrighted
Afore, _prep._, before
Almery, _n._, a cupboard, a buttery
Anon, _adv._, immediately
Apaid, _v._, served, repaid
Apaired, _adj._, injured, impaired
Areared, _adj._, upright
Assay, _v._, to try
Aught, _n._, anything
Avisement, _n._, forethought, counsel
Away with, _v._, to suffer
Awreak, _v._, revenge
Ayencoming, _n._, returning
Ayenge, _prep._, against
Ayenward, _adv._, vice versa

Bate, _v._, _hawking_, to flutter the wings as if preparing
for flight
Bays, _n._, the fruit of the laurel
Because, _conj._, in order that
Beclip, _v._, embrace, enfold
Behind forth, _adv._, from back to front
Behooteth, _v._, advises, gives
Behove, _v._, to be necessary
Bernacle, _n._, a bridle
Beshine, _v._, to illuminate
Bisse, _n._, a second
Blemish, _v._, shrink, blench
Blow, _v._, to obtain lead, etc., from ores in a furnace
Boisterous, boystous, _adj._, thick, strong, solid
Bourgeon, _v._, to bud, burst forth
Bray, _v._, to pound
Brock, _n._, a badger
Buck, _v._, to wash
Busily, _adv._, carefully
But, _prep._, except

Car, _n._, means or instrument
Carfle, _v._, to pound
Carrions, _n._, corpses
Cast, _v._, to intend
Chaffer, _n._, trade
Chine, _n._, chink, cleft
Clarity, _n._, clearness
Clepe, _v._, call
Cliff, _n._, shore
Clue, _n._, a clew or hank (of yarn)
Comfort, _v._, to strengthen
Common, _v._, to share one's food with others and ayenward
Conject, _v._, conjecture
Coverture, _n._, covering
Craftily, _adv._, skilfully
Culvour, _n._, pigeon
Curtel, _n,_, a kirtle, a short coat, a covering

Deadly, _adv._, mortal
Deeming, _n._, judgment, opinion
Default, _n._, deficiency
Depart, _v._, to separate, share out
Despiteously, _adv._, contemptuously
Detty, _adj._, generous
Disperple, _v._, to scatter, destroy
Do, done, _v._, to put, to don
Doomsman, _n._, judge
Draust, _n._, dross, impurity

Ear, _v._, to reap
Else, _adv._, otherwise
Enform, _v._, to make
Even tofore, _adv._, opposite to
Expert, _adv._, tried

Fare, _v._, to happen
Fear, _v. a._, to frighten
Fell, _n._, an undressed skin
Fen, _n._, clay
Fine, _n._, a boundary
Fleet, _v._, to float, to swim; _cf_. "to flit"
Flux, _n._, a flow, a catarrh
Fore, _n._, trail, spoor; _cf_. "foor"
Frot, _v._, to rub
Fumous, _adj._, vaporous, cloudy
Fumosity, _n._, vapour
Fundament, _n._, foundation

Gentle, _adj._, noble, high-minded
Gesses, _n._, jesses, cords for fastening the legs of a hawk
Gete, _n._, goats
Ghastful, _adj._, frightful
Gin, _a._, machine
Glad, _v. a._, to please
Glimy, _adj._, slimy
Gloss, _n._, the comment on Scripture, compiled in the ninth
century from the fathers
Glue, _n._. any glutinous substance
Gnod, _v._, to rub?
Grieve, _v._, to hurt
Grutching, _n._, growling
Gutter, _n._, drop

Hale, _v._, to drag
Hap, _n._, chance
Hards, hirds, _n._, tow
Haught, _part._, hatched
Heckle, _v._, to straighten out lint by a coarse comb
Hele, _v._, to cover; _cf._, heling
Hight, _v._, is called
Hoar, _adj._, feathered

Hop, _n._, the seed case of the flaxplant
Horrible, _adj._, unpleasant to hear
Housebond, _n._, husband
Hovey, _part._, hovel, cottage
Hoving, _part._, staying

Infect, _adj._, spotted, injured
Intendment, _n._, understanding

Jape, _v._, to cry out

Kele, _v._, to cool
Kind, _n._, nature
Kindly, _adj._, natural; _adv._, naturally

Langhaldes, _n._, ropes connecting the fore and hind legs of a
horse or cow to stay it from jumping
Latten, _n._, a kind of brass
Lea, _n._, pasture land
Lesings, _n._, untruths
Let, _v._, to hinder
Lewd, _adj._, ignorant
Liefer, _adv._, rather
Likelihood, _n._, resemblance
Limb, _n._, an instrument; _cf._, "limb of the law"
Limbmeal, _adv._, limb by limb; _cf._, "piecemeal"
List, _n._, a limit, border
Lodesman, _n._, pilot
Lowte, _v._, to trumpet

Make, _n._, a mate
Manner, _adj._, manner of, kind of
Mawmet, _n._, an idol or toy
Mean, _n._, intermediary, means
Mean, _v._, to assert, consider
Medley, _v._, to mix
Meinie, _n._, domestics, household
Merry, _adj._, fortunate
Meselry, _n._, leprosy Mess,_n._, portion
Messager, _n._, messenger
Mete, _v._, measure, apportion
Mews, _n._, originally a place in which hawks were kept "mewed
Mildness, _n._, generosity
Minish, _v._, to narrow
Mirror, _n._, seems to have been used only when the surface was
curved, the word "shewer" being used for a plane mirror
Mistake, _v._, to take wrongly

Namely, _adj._, especially
Nathless, _con._, nevertheless
Ne, _con._, nor
Needly, _adj._, necessarily
Nerve, _n._, sinew
Nesh, _adj._, soft
Nether, _adj._, lower
Nice, _adj._, silly, small, trifling
Nicely, _adv._, sillily
Nother, _con._, neither
Noyful, _adj._, noxious, hurtful
Noying, _n._, harm

Ordinate, _adj._, ordered, prescribed
Otherdeal, _adv._, otherwise
Overthwart, _adj._, crossed over on itself

Passing, _adj._, surpassing
Patent, _n._, a plate or paten (patine)
Pight, _adj._, put, pitched
Powder, _n._, dust of any kind
Pricket, _n._, a spike used for candlestick, hence a candle
Principles, _n._, indecomposable elements
Pure, _v.a._, to purify
Pursueth, _v_, suiteth?

Quicken, _v.i._, to come to life
Quiver, _adj._, nimble, active

Ramaious, _adj._, (_hawking_), slow
Ravish, _v._, to snatch
Reclaim, _n._, (_hawking_}, the calling back of a hawk
Refudation, _n._, a process in which vinegar is poured on lead,
distilled off, and again suffered to act on it
Relief, _n._, a dessert
Rese, _v._, to rush on anyone
Resolve, _v._, to loosen, weaken, to dissolve
Rheum, _n._, salt humour
Ribbed, _adj._, beaten with a "rib," in dressing flax
Ridge, _n._, the back bone
Riever, _n._, a violent, robber, a raider
Rivelled, _adj._, wrinkled
Rively, _adv._, wrinkled, shrunk
Rodded, _adj._, separated from tow--"redded"
Routs, _n._, crowds
Ruthful, _adj._, sorrowful

Sad, _adj._, steadfast, solid
Sanguine, _adj._, blood-like
Scarce, _adj._, sparing, avaricious
Seethe, _v._, to boil
Selde, _adv._, seldom
Sele, _v._, to cover
Shamefast, _adj._, shamefaced
Sheltrons, _n._, palisades
Shern, _adj._, shore
Shewer, _n._, a looking-glass
Shingle, _n._, in _roofing_, brushwood, or small boards
Shipbreach, _n._, shipwreck
Shore, _adj._, shorn (of the hair)
Shrewd, _adj._, bitter; _cf._, shrew
Silly, _adj._, blessed, _hence_ innocent, _hence_
Sinew, _n._, a nerve
Slubber, _v._, to do anything carelessly
Smirch, _v._, to soil
Sod, _adj._, stewed
Solar, _n._, an upper floor
Solemn, _adj._, celebrated, earnest
Somedeal, _adv._, somewhat
Sometime, _adv._, once
Sooth, _n._, truth
Spanells, _n._, ropes connecting the fore or hind feet of an
animal to impede its movements

Spousehood, _n._, marriage
Spousebreach, _n._, adultery
Spronge, _adj._, sprinkled
Stare, _v._, to stay
Startling, _part._, leaping and jumping
Stint, _v._, to stop
Stint, _adj._, stopped
Straight, _adj._, confined
Straited, _adj._, narrowed
Sty, _v._, to climb
Suspect, _adj._, in suspicion

Tatch, _n._, spot
Tatched, _adj._, spotted
Tewly, livid
Tilth, _v._, to cultivate
Tilth, _n._, tillage
Tofore, _prep._, before
Toll, _v._, to entice
Trow, _v._, to believe; _cf._, trust

Unmighty, _adj._, unable
Unneth, _adv._, hardly
Uplandish, _adj._, rustic
Utter, _adj._, outer

Very, _adj._, true

Wait, _n._, a guard
Wanhope, _n._, despair
Warily, _adv._, carefully
Ween, _v._, consider, think
Wem, _n._, blemish, fault
Wend, _adj._, wound up
Werish, _adj._, insipid
Whelk, _n._, a swelling
Whet, _v._, to sharpen
Whiche, _n._, a wicket-gate _cf._, "wych gate"
Wilful, _adj._, of set purpose
Wit, _n._, a sense; _cf_ "out of his wits"
Witty, _adj._, sensibly
Wonder, _adj._, wondrous
Wonderly, _adv._, wondrously
Wood, _adj._, crazy, frantic
Woodness, _n._, madness
Woose, _n._, fluid
Worship, _n._, reverence, authority
Wosen, _n._, the arteries
Wot, _v._, knew
Wrang, _adj._, injured, wrung
Wreak, _n._, revenge
Wreck, _v._, to revenge
Wrecker, _n._, avenger

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mediaeval Lore from Bartholomew Anglicus" ***

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