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And gude it is for many thụnges,
For to here be dedis of kynges,
Whilk were foles & whilk were wyse,
& whilk of þąm couth mast quantýse;
And whilk did wrong & whilk rýght,
& whilk mayntend pes & fýght.
Of þare dedes salle be my sawe,
In what tyme & of what lawe,
I salle zow schewe fro gre to gre,
Sen þe týme of sir Noe,
Fro Noe ynto Eneas,
& what betwix þam was,
And fro Eneas tille Brutus týme,
þat kỳnde he telles in þis rýme.
Fro Brutus tille Cadwaladres,
þe last Brýton þat þis lande lees.
Alle þát kỳnde & alle the frute,
þat come of Brutus þat is þe Brute;
And þe ryght Brute is told nomore,
þan the Brýtons týme wore.
After þe Bretons þe Inglis camen,
þe lordschip of þis lande þai namen ;
South & North, West & Est,
þat calle men now þe Inglis gest.
When þai first amang þe Bretons,
þat now ere Inglis pan were Saxons,.
Saxons Inglis hight alle oliche.
þai aryued vp at Sandwöche,
In þe kynge's týme Vortogerne,
þat þe lande walde þam not werne.
þat were majsters of alle þe topire,
Hengist he hight & Hors his bropire.
þes were hede, als we fjnde,
Where of is comen oure Inglis kỳnde.
A hundrethe & fifty gere þai com,
Or þat receyued Cristendom;
So lang woned þai bis lande in,
Or þa herde out of Saynt Austýn,.
Amang þe Bretons with mykelle wo,
In sclaundire, in threte & in thro.
þes Inglis dedes ze may here,
As Pers telles alle þe manere.
One majster Wace pe Frankes telles,
þe Brute alle þat þe Latýn spelles,
Fro Eneas tille Cadwaladre,
bis majster Wace per leues he.
And right as majster Wace says,
I telle myn Inglis pe same ways.
For mayster Wace pe Latýn alle rymes,
at Pers ouerhippis maný týmes.
Majster Wace be Brute alle redes,
& Pers tellis alle þe Inglis dedes.
þer majster Wace of þe Brute left,
Ryght begynnes Pers eft,
And tellis forth be Inglis story,
& as he says, þan say I.
Als þai haf wrýten & sayd,
Haf I alle in myn Inglis layd,
In sỹmple speche as I couithe,' 1 :9!
þat is lightest in manne's mouthe.
I mad noght for no disours,
Ne for no seggers no harpours,
Bot for þe luf of symple men,
þat strange Inglis can not ken...
For many it ere bat strange Inglis
In ryme wate neuer what it is,
And bot þai wist what it mente,
Ellis me thoght it were alle schente.
I made it not forto be praysed,
Bot at þe lewed men were aýsed,
If it were made in rụme couwee,
Or in strangere or enterlace,
þat rede Inglis it ere inowe, and
þat couthe not haf coppled a kowe,
þat outhere in couwee or in baston
Som suld baf ben fordon,
So þat fele men þat it herde,
Suld not witte howe þat it ferde.
I see in song in sedgeyng tale
Of Erceldoun & of Kendale,
Non þam says as þai þam wroght
& in þer sayng it semes noght.
þat may þou here in Sir Tristrem,
Ouer gestes it has be steem,
Quer all þat is or was,"
If men it sayd as made. Thomas.
Bot I here it no man so say,
þat of som copple som is awaj.
So þare fayre saying here beforne,
Is þare trauayle nere forlorne.
þai sayd it for pride & nobleģe,
þat non were suýlk as þei,
And alle þat þai wild ouerwhere,
Alle þat ilk wille now forfare,
þai sayd in so quainte Inglis,
þat manyone wate not what it is,
þerfore heuyed wele be more
In strange ryme to trauayle sore,
And my witte was oure thỳnne,
So strange speche to trauayle in,
And forsoth I couth noghti
So strange Inglis as þai wroght,
And men besoght me maný a týme,
To turne it bot in light rýme,
þai sajd, if I in strange it turne,
To here it manjon suld skurne.
For it ere names fulle selcouthe,
þat ere not vsed now in mouthe.
And perfore for be comonalte,
þat blythely wild listen to me,
On light lange I it began
For luf of pe lewed man
To telle þam þe chaunces bolde,
þat here before was don & tolde.
For bis makỳng I wille no mede,
Bot gude prayere, when ze it rede.
þerfore, ye lordes lewed,
For wham I haf þis Inglis schewed,
Prayes to God he gyf me grace,
I trauayled for your solace. .
Of Brunne I am, if any me blame,
Robert Mannýng is my name,
Blissed be he of God of heuene,
þat me Robert with gude wille neuene,
In þe thrid Edwarde's týme was I,
When I wrote alle pis story.
In be hous of Sixille I was a tkrowe,
Danz Robert of Maltone þat ze know
Did it wrýte for fela wes sake,
When þai wild solace make.
Num. VI. Vide Præf. S. X, XIX. Extract of a Letter, relating to Robert of Brunne
and Peter de Langtoft, written from London to the Publisher by the late learned John Bridges, Esq;. Nov. 28. 1723.
- This day, by Godfrey the Oxford Carrier, there goes a Packett, directed to Willmott the Bookseller, in which there is the MS. of Robert of Brunne. It belongs to the Inner