A good provision when a man is at Venice and purposeth, by the grace of God, to pass by the sea unto Port Jaffa in the Holy Land
and so to the sepulchre of our Lord Christ Jesu in Jerusalem. He must dispose him in this wise:
First, if ye go in a galley, make your covenant with the patron betimes and choose you a place in the said galley in the overest stage [top deck], for in the lowest under it is right smouldering hot and stinking. And ye shall pay for your galley and for your meat and drink to Port Jaffa and again to Venice forty ducats for to be in a good honest place and to have your ease in the galley and also to be cherished.
Also, when ye shall your covenant take, take good heed that the patron be bound unto you, afore the duke or lords of Venice, in an hundred ducats, to keep all manner covenants with you. That is to say, that he shall conduct you to certain havens by the way to refresh you and to get you fresh water and fresh bread and flesh. Also, that he shall not tarry longer at none haven than three days at the most, without consent of you all. And that he shall not take into the vessel, neither going nor coming, no manner of merchandise without your will, to distress you in your places and also for tarrying of passage by the sea. And by the havens he shall lead you, if you will: in the water also. Also, that your patron give you every day hot meat twice, at two meals: in the morning at dinner and after noon at supper, and the wine that ye shall drink be good and your water fresh (if ye may come thereto) and also biscuit.
Also, ye must ordain for yourself and your fellow, if ye have any, three barrels, each of a quarter, which quarter holdeth ten gallons: two of these barrels shall serve for wine and the third for water. In the one barrel take red wine and keep it ever in store, and tame [broach] it not if ye may till ye come homeward again without sickness cause it or any other need. For ye shall this in special note: an ye had the flux, if ye would give twenty ducats for
Page 226a barrel ye shall none have after ye pass much Venice. And that other barrel shall serve when ye have drunk up your drinking wine, to fill again at the haven where ye next come unto.
Also, ye must buy you a chest to put in Your things; and if ye may have a fellow with you, two or three. I would then buy a chest that were as broad as the barrel were long. In the one end I would have lock and key and a little door, and lay that same barrel, that I would spend [use] first at the same door-end -- for if the galleymen or Pilgrims may come there, too many will tame and drink thereof and steal your water, which ye would not miss ofttimes for your wine. And in the other part of the chest ye may lay Your bread, cheese, spices, and all other things.
Also, ye must ordain you biscuit to have with you, for though ye shall be at the table with your patron, notwithstanding, ye shall ofttime have need to your victuals, bread, cheese, eggs, fruit, and bacon, wine, and other, to make your collation. For sometime ye shall have feeble bread, wine, and stinking water: many times ye shall be full fain to eat of your own. Also, I counsel You to have with you out of Venice confections, cornfortatives, laxatives, restoratives, ginger, rice, figs, raisins great and small (which shall do you great ease by the way), pepper, saffron, cloves, maces (a few as ye think need) and powder-duke. Also, take with you a little cauldron and fryingpan, dishes, platters, saucers of tree [wood], cups of glass, a grater for bread, and such necessaries.
Also, when ye come to Venice, ye shall buy a bed by St. Mark's church: ye shall have a feather bed, a mattress, two pillows, two pair sheets, and a quilt, and ye shall pay three ducats: and when ye come again, bring the same bed to the man that ye bought it of and ye shall have a ducat and half again, though it be broke and worn.
Also, make your change at Venice, and take with you at the least thirty ducats of groats and grossines: ye shall have at Venice twenty-eigbt of new grossets and a dime for when ye pass Venice ye shall have in some places twenty-six grossets or twenty-four. And also take with you three or four ducats of sous, that be galley-halfpence of Venice -- for every grosset four sous. Take also with You fro Venice a ducat or two of Tournois: it is brass money of Candia -- it will go by all the way -- ye shall have eight for a sou at Venice: at Modin (and Candia oftentime) but four, five, or six at the most for a sou.
Page 227Also, buy you a cage for half a dozen of hens or chicken to have with you in the galley, for ye shall have need unto them many times: and buy you half a bushel of millet seed of Venice for them. Also, take a barrel with you, closed, for a siege [commode] for your chamber in the galley: it is full necessary if ye be sick that ye come not in the air. Also, when ye come to haventowns, if ye will, ye may buy eggs if ye come betimes to land, for then ye may have good cheap; for they be full necessary in the galley, sometimes fried with oil-olive and sometimes for a caudel [mixed drink].
Also, when ye come to haven-towns, if ye shall tarry there three days, go betimes to land, for then ye may have lodging before others, for it will be taken up anon; and if any good victual be, be ye sped afore others. Also, when ye come to divers havens, be well ware of divers fruits, for they be not according to your complexion and they gender a bloody flux: and if an Englishman have that sickness, it is a marvel and scape-it but be die thereof. Also, when ye shall come to Port Jaffa, take with you out of the galley into the land two gourds, one with wine, another with water, each of a pottle at the least, for ye shall none have till ye come to Ramleh, and that is right feeble and dear: and at Jerusalem it is good wine -- and dear. Also, see that the patron of the galley take charge of your harness [baggage] within the galley till ye come again to the galley.
Ye shall tarry in the Holy Land thirteen or fourteen days. Also, take good heed of your knives and other small things that ye bear upon you, for the Saracens will go talking with you and make good cheer but they will steal fro you what ye have, an they may. Also, when ye shall take your ass at Port Jaffa, be not too long behind your fellows; for, an ye come betimes, ye may choose the best mule or ass, for ye shall pay no more for the best than for the worst. And ye must give your asman [guide] a courtesy [tip]>, a groat or a grosset of Venice. And be not too much before, neither too far behind, your fellows, for dread of shrews.
Also when ye shall ride to flume Jordan, take with you out of Jerusalem bread, wine, water, hard cheese, and hard eggs, and such victuals as ye may have for two days, for there neither by the way is none to sell. Also keep one of your bottles or gourds with wine, and ye may when ye come from flume Jordan to Monte Quarentine. And if ye go up to the place where our Lord
Page 228Jesu Christ fasted forty days and forty nights, it is passing hot and right high: when ye come down again, for nothing drink no water, but rest you a little, and then eat bread and drink clean wine without water -- after that great beat, water gendereth a great flux or a fever, or both; then a man may haply lose his life thereby.
Keep all these things afore-writ and ye shall, with the grace of God, well speed in your journey to go and come, to the pleasure of God and increase of your bliss -- the which Jesus grant you. Amen.
From The Itineraries of William Wey, London, Roxburghe Club, 1857.Back to Geoffrey Chaucer Page | (Or use your browser's back button to return to the previous page.)
Last modified: July 9, 2006
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