Travels of Josafa Barbaro.
Whan I consider the state of foreyn cuntreys, and do compare this yor Ma’s realme to the rest of the worlde as well for justice and civilitie as for wealth and commodities, I do so much reioice in my cuntrey that as I do yelde contynuall and most hertie thanks unto God for His goodness unto us that are born in it, so I wishe all other Englishemen to do, seeing that nombers there be who, puffed up wth wealthe, wote not why they whyne. For undoubtedly if the whole worlde were divided into ix partes, as the quarter of the spheare is into nynetie degrees, and that viii of those ix partes shulde be iudged to be evill cuutreys, the ixth parte only remaining good, this realme of Englande must needes be taken into that one good parte for all respects. The heat is never extreame, and the colde seldome fervent, because we are little further than mydde waye between the sunne and the northe. We have grayne of all kindes necessarie, fyshe, fowle, and fleshe, and some fruites. The sea environeth the cuntrey, to serve us both for carieng out of our owne habundance, and also for fetching of strange comodities hither, in such sort as beside the nedeful we wante nothing to serve us for pleasre. Our justice cannot be amended if the faulte be not in the ministers. The subiects are the King’s children, and not sklaves, as they be other-wheare. And finally or civilitie is great, and wolde be p’fict if some mennes barbarousenes did not nowe and then corrupt 2it. So that wthout affection me seemeth, I may by good reason advaunce my cuntrey for goodness to be one of the best p’ts of that ixth parte if it shulde be divided againe. For the better proof whereof to thentent it may appeare what barbarouse people are in other regions, what wante of good foode they have, what miserable lyves they leade, what servitude and subiection they endure, what extremities of heate and colde they suffer, what sup’stitions they folowe, and what a nombre of other inconveniences do hange upon them, the least whereof is ferre from us.