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Let us therefore

.

Book XII.

Syn it haten thies hegh goddes & hogely withThe gods hate it;

stondyn, it spoils the best plans;

And ay the purpas enpayres with pride is be

gonen,

Hit is wit for to wayue or vs worse happon ; and proud men in 4840 ffor proude men in price haue playnly no fryndes, emprize have no friends.

But euery mon with enuy ertis hom skathe;
And who-so frend is & felow to þat foule vise,

Myche hate on hym highes & harmys with all, 4844 And makes fos of his frendes & fele þat hym

louys.

Let vs waive now wisely in our werkes all, walk wisely in this undertaking, And nomly in þis note, pat now is in honde, and be ruled by righteousness,

pat no pride fro our purpos put vs abacke; that no fault may 4848 And rule vs by rightwisnes in our Ranke dedis,

With a lyue of lewte, þat as a laump shynes, hat no fawte with vs founden be, ne fylyng of

pride. Ye all know, that Now wete ye right well, þat all þis wale pepull this great host has

4852 Are comyn to this cost with cumpany grete,

And pursuyt to pis prouynse in purpos to venge
Of harmys & hegh grem, with hethyng full

mekull,

bat Priam and his pepull hath plainly vs done.

4856 Syn we arofe in þis Rewme in a rad haste, (fol. 76 a.)

We haue ournyt hym with angur, ertid hym l'ournyt,' roused, enraged.)

mykill, (* erted,' emboldened.)

Yf he were fully our foo forwith this tyme,

To hate vs in hert, now here is our cause.

4860 This wot I full well, þai warnyt are before, Assuredly he is

And haue gedrit of gyngys mony grym batell. forewarned, and has collected great But þai wete not our werkes, ne our wilde fare ; forces ; but they

hat we be neghit so negh, ne noy þat is fallyn. 4864 ffor if þai might be so mony, & of mayne strenght,

We mut bye it full bitterly be baret we make. pay dearly for our

bai haue a Cité for sothe, a sure & a noble,

come hither to avenge us for the misdee is of Priam.

know not our
movements.
If all his forces
are ready we may

invasion.

THE COUXSEL OF AGAMEMNON.

159

Book XII.

our success;

und with

Well wallit to wale, with water aboute ; 4868 And perfore sothly I say, hit semis vnto vs,

I
bai are feler of folke, & fuerser by the halfe,
With more plenty of pepull, & be province hor

owne;
And yche freike is þere frynd to filsom þere spede. fulsum, to

= 4872 bis I say not, for sothe, supposyng in hert

further.)

I say not this bat of our dede shuld be doute, I dem it not so. through doubt of Ne I put not vnpossible zon place for to take, nor do I deem it

impossible to take And all þere folke in fight with forse to distroy; and destroy the

city : but that we 4876 Ne the Cité to sese and serche within,

may work wisely And all the toures of the toun tumbell to ground; discretion. But þat louyng & lose shuld lenge of our dedis,

And our werkes all wisely wroght by discrecioun, 4880 Dat we fare with no foly ne fonnyng of pride.

('fonnyng,

foolishness.)
Hit has fallyn vnto fele men, fer in tymes past,
bat hastely on hede has highit to a note,

And keppit no counsell, ne no clene rule, 4884 But put hom with pride a purpos vnto,

Hit rapit to repentaunse & mony ranke harmys.
This knowis all the company, þat the kyng

This assembly
Priam,

us lately, and Noght leng sithen but late, a lede of his owne asked us only to 4888 Made on a message vnto our menes londis, sister Hesione;

and that, like ffor his sustor Exiona to send hym agayne : fools, we answered This couet the kyng, keppit he no more. And we, as vnwise men, welt into pride;

(*atteriart.' 4392 Answarth hym awterwart with angur & skorne, ill-naturedly,

angrily.) With thretyng vnthriuand of our thro hertes ;

(fol. 76 6.) And manast his messanger with malicous pride.

Hade we herkont hyn hyndly, hedit his wille, listened to his 4896 Done his dissyre, deiret not our seluyn,

request, the harms The harme & the hardgrem, þat highet vs after, followed would

not have befallen And this sorow in Sitheria had sothely not fallyn;

Ne Elan, ne other mo honerable of grece, 4900 Had not laithly bene laght, & led vnto Try;

knows that Priam sent a messige to

send back his

him with scurn.

Had we but

and sorrow that

us.

Book XII.

shall befall us, no one can tell.

let us send a

if he will send back Helen and the rest of our

Ne we, þat are wonyn ouer the wale streames, pat worthy to wyn with weppon in fight,

Hade not faren so far our fos to distroy,

4904 Ne so long fro our londes lengit away. And, what fortune

And, what fall shalbe fortune, no freke can vs

telle :

Wethur worship or wo: wete we not all ?
Therefore, sirs, it Derfore, sirs, me semys, if you so like,
you wish to avoid
all the perils of 4908 Yf ye deme it be don, & in dede holde,
war, and to save
our people,

To put of all perells & our pepull saue ;
All chaunse to exchewe, & cheue vs the bettur

Our worship to wyn, & no wegh hurt;
4912 þat we may saile hom in sound & our sute haue ;

Let make vs a message to the mon Priam, message to Priam, and promise to

bat is kyng of the coste & the kythe ow, grant him Hesione

And wilne hym wisely, þat worthy, to send

4916 Honerable Elan & other of our pepull : people; and redress the wrongs

And redresse vs the domage, þat he don has done to us by

By Paris his proude son, in our prise londis.

If þat souerayne accept this sothly with hert, 4920 And do it in dede, as our dissyre wille,

We

may wend hom with worship & our wille

haue;

And saue so our seluyn & our sute hole; (MS. has 'ruder.') Nauther redur ne rape to þis rem do. refuse this offer,

4924 And if Priam with pride this purpos refuse, friends to fight in

Two frendes haue fully to fight in our cause : our cause: Right,

On is right, þat vs riches for rape of our godes; goods, and Peace,

And pes, þat we proffer our pouer to extaint. that we proffer to 4928 Thurgh the world shall it wend our werke at prevent the

þis tyme. Ay the mo, þat our mesure maynly may here,

The lengur vs luff shall till our last end ; (fol. 77 a.)

And the Troiens be told as for triet foles, The Trojans will be accounted 4932 Ne excusit of skathe & sklaunder of pride, fools; but never

To macche vs with monhede & might of our selfe,

Paris,

And if Priam

we shall have two

that constrains us for the loss of our

exercise of our power.

one will blame us.

ULYSSES AND DIOMEDES SENT TO PRIAM.

161

Book XII.

• Devise now as

ye think best.'

The council is divided;

and some approve

Diomede are sent as messengers to Priam.

And wyn hom in wer with weppon in fight.

Neuer buerne will vs blame, ne ban for our dede, 4936 Ne wegh will vs wite to be worldes end.

Ses now, your seluyn, my saghis vnto,
And deuys of þis dede as you dere think.”

When the souerain hade said, ben sesit he here, 4940 And mony of po mighty menyt þer agayn, Noght semond, þai said, ne sittyng to do;

soine condemn, And part of þat pepull prouyt hit for wit ;

the proposal. At And o sithin, all samyn assentid þerto.

last all accept it,

and Ulysses and 4944 Two chere men þai chese on pis choise erend,

(Onest & abell Vlexes was one,
And Dyamede, pe derfe kyng demyt þat other) —

Aionet to pis iornay iustly to-gedre.
4948 Stiden vpon stithe horse stird to the Cité,

And wenton in wightly po worthy hom seluon.
Entred into Elion, þat honerable Palis,
Lightyn at the low, leftyn paire horses,

They arrive at the

palace and pass 4952 Gone vp by the greses all of gray marbill,

into the hall,
Hit into the halle of the high kynge.
Hade meruell full mekull of þat mayne place,

They are
Of the walles þat wroght were wondurly faire,

city ; its walls 4956 With high toures full torrit all the toun vmbe. and towers, &c. Yet meruelt hom more ymyddes the halle But they are

more astonished Was a tre, þat was tried, all of tru gold, by a tree of gold,

set in the centre Meruelous & mekyll men to be-hold.

of the great hall. 4960 The bole was of bright gold, bret to be myddes,

Largior þen a lawriall & lengur with all,
(xij cubettes by course all of clene heght)

cubits high, and pat fourmyt was full faire to be fre boghes. finely formed. 4964 The brede of his bowes borly to se,

(fol. 77 0.) Large and longe, (light as the sun)

The boughs

spread from the ffro the dese to the dorse doblit on brede

dais to the doors,

and from wall to And the sydys, by a sercle of pe same hall. 4968 The braunches were borly, sum of bright gold,

Some of the
Sum syluer for sothe, semlist of hew;

astonished at the greatness of the

It was twelve

wall.

gold, and some

branches are of

Book XII.

of silver ; with

: leaves of the same. The buds and fruit are of many kinds, and shimmer among the leaves like precious stones.

Ulysses and
Diomede are led
through many
long chambers,
till they reach the
one where Priam
was seated among
his lords.

With leuys full lufily, light of þe same;

With burions aboue bright to be holde; 4972 And frut on yt fourmyt fairest of shap,

Of mony kynd þat was kuyt, knagged aboue, hat shemert as shire as any shene stonys.

Long abodyn thies buernes in the bright hall, 4976 Or þai comyn to the kyng hy course for to

speike.
Led were po lordes þro mony long chaumburs,
Goand vp by degres þurgh mony gay Alys,
And past into a proude chaumbur þere Priam

was set,
4980 Among lordes of his londe & ledis of his owne.

hai salut not þat souerain with no sad wordes, Ne worshippit no wegh þat hym with stode;

But euyn agaynst þat gret þai gone for to sit,
4984 In the ffrount of po folke & þe fre kyng.

ben auntred Vlexes and his erund said,
And warpet þies wordes as ye wete shall.

They make no obeisance, and sit down before the king.

THE WORDES OF VLIXES TO THE KYNG PRIAM.

(M$. has " Sais")

Agamemnon asks you to restore Helen in safety,

“Sir Priam! thof we prise not þi person to

lailse,
4988 Ne worship the as worthy, no wonder pou haue;

ffor we haue þe in hate as our hede ffoo :
And an enmy to anoper nothing it semys,

Hailsyng ne hynd speche with no hede bare. 4992 Agamynon the gret, þat on þi ground lys,

Hase made vs as messengers at this mene tyme, -
Hyder send vs to say to þi selfe euyn,

He biddes the full barly the bright qwene Elan, 4996 That you caght fro his kyng, & oper kyd pepull,

Send hom in sound & safly to hym,
And stifly restore o the stithe harmys;

All Redurs to riche with pi Ranke goodes, 5000 That you pild in his prouynse by Paris þi son.

(fol. 78 a.)

and to make restitution for the harms done by your son Paris.

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