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A man that cometh from the londes of the weste, he goth thorewe Fraunce, Borgoyne and Lumbardye, and to Venys and to Geen, or to som other havene of the marches, and taketh a schyppe thare, and gon by see to the Isle of Gryffle; and so aryveth hem yn Grece or in Port Myroche or Valon or Duras, or at som other havene, and gon to londe, for to reste hem; and gon ayen to the see, and aryves in Cypre; and cometh nouzt yn the Ile of Roodes; and aryves at Famegoste, that ys the chefe havene of Cypre, or elles at Lamatoun.

In that See of Libye, is no fissche: for thei mowe not lyve ne dure, for the gret hete of the sonne; because that the watre is evermore boyllynge, for the gret hete. And many othere londes there ben, that it were to long to tellen or to nombren: but of sum parties I schal speke more pleynly here aftre.

And there were in that tyme many gode holy men and holy heremytes; of whom the book of fadres lyfes spekethe: and thei ben now in Paynemes and Sarazines honds. But whan God alle myghty wole, righte als the londes weren lost thorghe synne of Cristene men, so schulle thei ben wonnen azen be Cristen men thorghe help of God.

And whan he had wonnen and putt alle the londes and contrees, on this half the Mount Belyan, in subieccioun, the whyte knyght cam to him azen in his sleep, and seyde to him, Chan, the wille of God immortalle is, that thou passe the Mount Belyan; and thou schalt wynne the lond, and thou schalt putten many nacyouns in subieccioun: and for thou schalt fynde no gode passage for to go toward that contree, go to the Mount Belyan, that is upon the see, and knele there 9 tymes toward the est, in the worschipe of God immortalle; and he schal schewe the weye to passe by.

Sir John, wit you well that men holden you but light, and some clepen you a Liar. And they say that you never were born in Englond, in the town of Seynt Albones, nor have seen and gone through manye diverse Londes. And there goeth an old knight at arms, and one that connes Latyn, and hath been beyond the sea, and hath seen Prester John's country.

Be the which I seye zou certeynly, that men may envirowne alle the erthe of alle the world, as wel undre as aboven, and turnen azen to his contree, that hadde companye and schippynge and conduyt: and alle weyes he scholde fynde men, londes, and yles, als wel as in this contree.

Now have I tolde you of wayes, by the whyche men gon ferrest and longest; as by Babyloyne and Mounte Synay and other places many, thorewe the whyche londes, men turne azen to the lande of promyssyoun. Now wul y telle the ryzt way to Jerusalem. For som men wyl nouzt passe hyt, som for thay have nouzt despence of hem, for they have noon companye, and other many causes reasonables.

And whan thei wil have ony companye of man, than thei drawen hem towardes the londes marchynge next to hem: and than thei have loves, that usen hem; and thei duellen with hem an 8 dayes or 10; and thanne gon hom azen. In that lond thei have a Queen, that governethe alle that lond: and alle thei ben obeyssant to hire. And alweys thei maken here queen by eleccioun, that is most worthy in armes.

Also in the lond of Palestyne and in the lond of Egypt, thei eten but lytille or non of flessche of veel or of beef; but he be so old, that he may no more travayle for elde; for it is forbode: and for because the have but fewe of hem, therfore thei norisschen hem, for to ere here londes.

Hence the close political tie between England and Flanders, the one needing a customer, the other an essential raw material; for, as a fifteenth century poet said, the lytelle londe of Flaundres is But a staple to other londes, iwys, And alle that groweth in Flaundres, greyn and sede, May not a moneth fynde hem mete and brede.

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