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Book I.

He therefore accepts the

undertaking with heartiness.

Thurghe hardynes of hond hopit to spede;
He put noght vnpossible pelleus wordes,

Ne the kynges couetous cast not before :
260 hen he grauntis to go with a grete chere,
And all thies fferlyes to fraist he fursly awouet.

Pelias is glad, and hurries on the preparations for the enterprise.

He commands Argus, a son of Danaus, to build a great ship, which is called Argo.

Many noble men join the

expedition, chief of whom is

(fol. 6 b.)


Pelleus of the proffer was proude at his hert, And glad of pe graunt before the grete lordys; 264 He ertid to an end egurly fast,

bat no tarying shuld tyde ouer a tyme set; And pet ffortune vnderfonges pat he feile shall, And will put hym fro purpos þat he presys after. 268 He consydret þat Calcos was closet in an yle, bat no creature might keuer for course of the



But with ship pat shapon were for pe shyre waghes.

pan he comaundet to come of þe crafte noble, A wright þat was wise pis werke for to ende; And Argus pat after was abill of his crafte, Sone he dressit to his dede & no dyn made, And made vp a mekyll ship, pe most vpon erthe, 276 bat after hym awne selfe Argon was cald. Sum sayn full sure & for sothe holdyn, Hit was þe formast on flete pat on flode past, bat euer saile was on set vpon salt water, Or euer kairet ouer cost to cuntris O fer.


Now ordant was althing onestly pere,

And abundantly broght pat hom bild might,
With all stuff for pe stremes, þat hom strenght

284 Mony noble for pe nonest to be note yode,
Tryed men þat were taken of tessayle rewme,
To this Journey with Jason, as the gest tellus:
All entred into Argon after anon.



of wille,

288 There was honerable Ercules equr ow
As poyetes haue pricked of his prise fader:
He was getton of a god on a gret lady,

bat ajoinet was Iobeter to his iuste nome,
292 And his moder full mylde Almena was clepid:
She was wyffe as I wene to worthy Amphitrio.
This Ercules euermore egur & nobill,

The worde of his werkes thurghe pe worlde


296 So mony groundes he for-justede & of ioy broght,
That no tung might hom telle pof it tyme hade.
Hit is tolde in his tyme, wo pat trawe lyst,
In his hastines he highyt vnto helle yates,
300 A pre hedet hounde in his honnd coght,


That was keper of the close of pat curset In:
So dang he pat dog with dynt of his wappon,
þat þe warlag was wete of his wan atter,
And thurgh voidyng of venym with vomettes

Mony prouyns and perties were put out of helle.
All pat poites haue pricket of his prise dedis,
I haue no tome for to telle ne tary no lengur.
308 But he wonders þat he wroght in þis world here,
In yche cuntré ben knowen vnder Criste euyn.
Tow pyllers he pight in a place lowe,
Vppon Gades groundes, þat he gotton hade:
312 Too whiche pyllers priste as prouyt is before,
The mighty Massidon Kyng maister of All,
The Emperour Alexaunder Aunterid to come :
He wan all the world & at his wille aght.

Book I.


Hercules, son of

Jupiter and
Alcinene, wife of

who dragged the three-headed dog Cerberus from


and set up two pillars at Gades, which were called the Pillars of Hercules.

A hiatus occurs here in the MS. of perhaps two or three pages. The extent of the obvious gap at the beginning of Book II. was not suspected, till it was ascertained that the work was a translation from Guido de Colonna. The following extracts, from the Strasburg edition, 1489, continue the story.

Book I.

Jason allowed to
go, with Hercules
and company,
sails away from
the shores of

Thessaly, and
speedily reaches
unknown seas,
under the conduct
of Philotetes, a
skilful pilot.
They reach the
shores of Troy,
and land at the
port of Simois.

Obtenta ergo a rege Peleo Iason nauigandi licentia nova sulcat maria cum Hercule et suis complicibus navi nova cujus vela dum secundus ventus imbuit et ejus inflat afflatus loca Thesalie cognita deserit valde cito et ad incognita maris loca citius dissilit velocissimo cursu suo. Multis itaque diebus ac noctibus navigantibus illis sub ducto Thesalici Philotete eis discrete notantibus stellarum cursum visibilium existentium juxta polum majoris urse scilicet et minoris que nunquam occidunt. *


Noverat enim Philotetes stellarum cursus et motum si aliquis est in illis tanquam ille qui causa navigationis erat multum expertus. et imo aura secunda perflante tamdiu recto remige navigavit donec ad oras phrigias regni Trojani videlicet pertinentias nova navis applicuit in portum scilicet qui tunc dicebatur ab incolis Simoenta.

Liber Secundus.

De Grecis applicantibus in pertinencias Troja, et de Laomedonta rege licentiante Iasonem et Herculem de locis illis.

The Greeks, tired

land, refresh

themselves, intend
to stay a while,
but without

harming the
A course of
mishaps brings
ruin upon Troy,

its citizens, and
their families.

Greci autem maris fatigatione lassati ut pervenerunt in of the sea, eagerly terram in ipsam descendere quietis causa sitienti animo moliuntur et descendentes ibidem recentes aquas a fontibus hauriunt et ibidem pro majoris refrigerationis gratia moram per dies aliquos statuerunt non ut incolis molestiam inferre disponerent nec nociuis dispendiis eos ledere aliquatenus attemptarent. Sed invida fatorum series quæ semper quiete viventibus est molesta ab inopinatis insidiis sine causa inimicitiarum et scandali causas traxit propter quas tante cladis diffusa lues orbem terrarum infecerit ut tot reges et principes bellicosa nece succumberent et tanta et talis civitas qualis extitit magna Troja versa fuisset in cinerem tot viduatis mulieribus viris suis orbatis parentibus et tot pueris et tot puellis et demum jugo servitutis addictis. Subsequenter describit historia quod Jasone et Hercule cum suis in portu quiescentibus Simoente de eis ad Laomedontam regem Trojanum fama pervenit, quod gens quædam Trojanis incognita scilicet gens græcorum novo remigi Frigias partes intravit exploratura forte archana regni Trojani vel potius Troja provinciam vastatura. Erat autem diebus illis Troja

News brought to
Laomedon of the

arrival of

strangers come to spy out the land.

Troy not then so great as latterly.

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Book II.


sends a mes

King Laomedon

senger, who tells the king's surprise at the entrance

within his realm

of strangers

unbidden. They must depart the very next day, or

be attacked and spoiled.

Jason, thoroughly enraged,addresses his companions; comments on the

non tantæ magnitudinis qualis fuit postmodum de novo firmata, et in ea regnabit tunc rex predictus Laomedon nomine qui sumpto damnoso consilio quod utinam non fuisset legatum suum in comitia multorum ad Iasonem destinavit; quo ad Iasonem veniente legationem suum explicat in hæc verba. Rex Laomedon hujus regni dominus de adventu vestro valde miratur quare terram suam intravistis ab eo licentia non obtenta cujus est intentio sub tranquilla pace eam tenere; hoc instantissime mandat vobis ut incontinente debeatis terram ejus exire ita quod adveniente die sequenti sciat vos ab omnibus terræ suæ finibus recessisse ; quod si mandatorum suorum sentiet vos contemptores pro certo noveritis ipsum jubere suis in offensionem vestram irruere et depopulationem rerum et vestrarum finale dispendium personarum. Postquam Iason totam seriem legationis audivit totus in ira et dolore cordis exacerbatus intrinsecus antequam ad legationis dicta verba mutuata retorqueret, conversus ad suos sic locutus est eis. Laomedon rex hujus insulting disregni dominus mirabilis dedecoris injuriam nobis infert cum missal. absque alicujus offensionis causa nos ejici a sua terra mandavit. Itaque si eum regia nobilitas animasset nos mandare debuisset honorari. Nam si casus similis illum in Græciam Laomedon would adduxisset scivisset sibi illatum a Græcis non dedecus sed ho- have been otherwise treated in norem. Sed ex quo magis sibi dedecus quam honor applausit, Greece;-will yet nos etiam applaudimus ut illi et ab ejus regni finibus recedamus dearly abide his cum posset contingere et leve sit quod ejus enormæ consilium unseemly consit carissimo pretio redempturus. Deinde continuatis verbis duct. conversus ad nuntium dixit, Amice! legationis tuæ verba diligenter audivimus et dona quæ per regem tuum nobis more nobilium sunt transmissa recepimus sicut decet, deos nostros in dei veritate testamur non ex proposito terram tui regis intrasse ut offensam ingereremus in aliquem more predonio violentiam illaturi. Sed cum ad remotiores partes conferre nos nuperrime intendamus necessitas in hunc locum divertere necessario nos coegit. Dic ergo regi tuo nos de sua terra sine mora postposita recessuros scituro pro certo quod etsi non per nos poterit forte per alios qui presentem injuriam nobis illatam audierint non lucra sed pressuras et dampna infallibiliter obtinere. Hercules vero verbis Iasonis non contentus regis nuncio refudit hæc verba. Amice quisquis es secure referas regi tuo quod ad plus die crastina de terræ suæ statione penitus discedemus, sed sequentis tertii anni dies non erit exitura dic illi quam nos videbit si vivet in terram suam velit nolit anchoras injecisse et de danda nobis tunc recedendi licentia non erit sibi plena libertas cum talis litis ad presens inchoaverit questionem quod priusquam de eo possit superare victoriam ignominiosi dedecoris pondere depremetur. Cujus regis nuncius respondendo sic dixit. Turpe satis est et nobili et precipue strenuo minarum sagittas immittere nec mihi qui sum missus, est commissum a rege ut erga vos litigiosis verbis insistam. Dixi vobis quæ mihi commissa fuerunt, si sapienter agere placet vobis do consilium bonum ut ab hac terra recedere non sit grave priusquam possitis incurrere graviora, cum leve non sit personas perdere quæ se possunt consilio salubri tueri. Et post hæc a Græcis petita licentia suum remeavit ad regem.

He turns to the envoy:-they had not come to do harm; necessity had forced them

to land; they
would forthwith

be gone-others
might avenge
their ill treatment.
Hercules adds his
say. "Friend,
tell your king, we
go to-morrow,
but not a day of
the third year

hence will pass
ere, if living, he
shall see us anchor
on his shores,
with no power
then to bid us go
or stay."
The envoy
replies,—it is

base to threaten-
not sent to bandy
words, he had
delivered his

message, and would counsel

them to depart in peace ere worse happened.

He returns to the king.

Book II.

Jason and Hercules forthwith weigh anchor; knowing that they could

not cope with the Phrygians, they set sail, and soon reach their desired haven-the island of Colchos.

Iason vero et Hercules nulla mora protracta Philotete vocato jubet anchoram a mari subtrahi et omnia colligere quæ in terram adduxerant causa quietis. Sciebant enim si voluissent in Phrigios insultare non esse eis in congressu pares vel equales in viribus nec in potentia fortiores. Ergo Argon ascendunt et elevatis velis diis ducibus Frigia deserunt littora et sulcantes maria ventis afflantibus prosperis non post multos dies in Colcos insulam salvi perveniunt et desideratum feliciter portum intrant. In insula igitur Colcos erat tunc temporis quædam civitas nomine Iaconites caput regni pro sua magnitudine constituta.

(fol. 7 a.)

Jason arrives at

The city was
well walled and
watered: great
towers all round:
well built and

Around it lay fair fields and great meadows, girt with trees and abounding with deer.

316 That was Jocund and Joly and Jacomede' hight, Hit was pe souerayne Citie of the Soyle euer, Of lenght & largenes louely to see,

Well wallit for werre, watrit aboute.
320 Grete toures full toure all þe toune vmbe,
Well bilde all aboute, & mony buernes In,
With proude pals of prise & palys full noble.
There was the souerayne Cytie of Shetes þe kyng,
324 With his baronage bolde & buernes full noble ;
Mony Knightes in his courtte & company grete.
Ther were fyldes full faire fast pere besyde,
With grete medoes & grene, goodly to showe,
328 With all odour of herbis pat on vrthe springes;
The bourderis about abasshet with leuys,

With shotes of shire wode shene to beholde :
Grete greues full grene, grecfull of dere,

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All round the city was a plain

full of fresh

flowers, and leafy

(or lef-sales.)

shades, "folk to refresh for faint

ing of heat."


Vppon laundes pai lay likyng to see.

Vmbe the sercle of the Citie was sothely A playne, ffull of floures fresshe fret on pe grounde, With lefs-ales vppon lofte lustie and faire, ffolke to refresshe for faintyng of hete, With voiders vnder vines for violent sonnes. 340 There was wellit to wale water full nobill,

In yche place of the playne with plentius stremes,

Probably for Ea, the capital of Colchis.

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