From Manx Soc vol IV,VII & IX



IN olden time there was a great dissension between the King of Irelaard and the King of Scotland for disseisin of the Isle of Mann, which of them ought to be lord of the Island aforemid. There were men skilled in the law, alleging various reasons and arguing on both sides. After many and various disputations had been held upon the said business, the kings could in no way agree, but that champions should be chosen, and that whosoever's champion should be victor, the same should be esteemed the true lord of the island. But one among the wise men there congregated, whose wisdom exceeded that of the others, as it seemed, thus spoke: "O kings, set aside the war appoint Ed between us, and yield to my council. Is not the land of Ireland free from venomous reptiles, wherefore there is neither serpent, nor toad, nor &-c. But the land of Scotland is much defiled with reptiles ; send therefore messengers to the Island [of Mann], faithful explorers, who may inspect the Island; if indeed venomous reptiles may there be found, in truth, the Island shall more properly belong to thee, King of Scotland, than to thee, O King of Ireland. But if no serpent or other poisonous thing be there, in the smallest degree found, in truth, to thee O King of Ireland, does the Island deservedly belong." This opinion pleased all; men were sent to explore, and the Island adjudged to remain to the kingdom of Scotland. Beloved as this Island is, situated in the midst of the sea, so is the human soul hemmed in, in this world, because at the first this mighty sea, etc. . . . . . . . these kings pleading and earnestly disputing for possession of this Island, are as Christ and the devil, who incessantly strive one with the other for possession of the human soul, herein+ .. . or in the general judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be searched, nothing venomous should be found, that is, any mortal sin, without doubt it is due to the kingdom of heaven; this island is the soul where nothing venomous has ever entered or been found. But if anything venomous should be found in the soil, it is the due of the kingdom of Hell.




[note the given latin script kept the abbreviated hand and used characters not representable within the HTML latin alphabet - as the resulting scan is not usable I have decided to omit it ]

*The MS. is in the handwriting of the time of Ed. I., circ 1272

+ The above passage, which is probably a quotation, is defective in the original, and may be thus supplied :-Because at the first this mighty sea, which threatened to overwhelm all things by its influence was restrained, so these kings, by their striving and earnestly disputing for possession of this Island, are as Christ and the devil, who incessantly strive one with the other, for possession of the human soul herein prefigured


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