And Men seye in theise Contrees, that Philosophres som tyme wenten upon theise Hilles, and helden to here Nose a Spounge moysted with Watre, for to have Eyr; for the Eyr above was so drye. And aboven, in the Dust and in the Powder of tho Hilles, thei wroot Lettres and Figures with hire Fingres: and at the zeres end thei comen azen, and founden the same Lettres and Figures, the whiche thei hadde writen the zeer before, withouten ony defaute.
And Men say in these Countries, that Philosophers some time went upon these Hills, and held to their Noses a Sponge moisted with Water, to have Air; for the Air above was so dry. And above, in the Dust and in the Powder of those Hills, they wrote Letters and Figures with their Fingers. And at the Year's End they came again, and found the same Letters and Figures, the which they had written the Year before, without any Default.
This Ryvere comethe rennynge from Paradys terrestre, betwene the Desertes of Ynde; and aftre it smytt unto Londe, and rennethe longe tyme many grete Contrees undre Erthe: And aftre it gothe out undre an highe Hille, that Men clepen Alothe, that is betwene Ynde and Ethiope, the distance of five Moneths Journeyes fro the entree of Ethiope. And aftre it envyronnethe alle Ethiope and Morekane, and gothe alle along fro the Lond of Egipte, unto the Cytee of Alisandre, to the ende of Egipte; and there it fallethe into the See.John Mandeville
For fro what partie of the Erthe, that men duelle, outher aboven or benethen, it semethe always to hem that duellen, that thei gon more righte than ony other folk. And righte as it semethe to us, that thei ben undre us, righte so it semethe hem, that wee ben undre hem.John Mandeville
The work deserved its success for its own merits, for despite the narration of many marvellous sights, the author remained urbane and tolerant. He was a superb storyteller with a vivid imagination, who was able to combine the novel with the familiar, and moral exhortation with entertainment.John Mandeville
I trust my readers will join me in grandly ignoring the complaints of sour-faced and grumpish scholars that "no such person" ever existed and that his Boke of Voiages and Travailes is a hoax and a forgery. What do they know, the old frumps, who have never dared emerge from their dusty libraries to tread the heaving quarterdeck and raise sail for Golden Ind, and Far Cathay, and the Islands of Prester John?John Mandeville