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Book XII.

do so, see what

Iff yow do pus in dede, hit doghis the bettur:
And yf bou set noght our saghe, se what will if you will not

will befall you!" Of harme in a hond qwhile highand the to! 5004 Thou bes ded for þe dede dernly þi selfe ;

All þi pepull be perisshit & put out of lyue;
Thy Cité & þi Sid londe sesit in were,

Betyn and brent doun vnto bare askes; 5008 The Rewme burgh Riden, robbed þi goodis,

Set vnder seruage & sorow for euer !”


the cause of all

When Priam persayuit had all his proude wordes,

He onswared Vlixes vne vponone, 5012 Withouten counsell of knightes or any kyde Priam replied :

lordis. ffull soberly he said all in sad speche, “ Me meruells full mekill of your mayne þrete, * I marvel at your

threat, and at And angers me full euyll your angard desyre,

your demand for

satisfaction; 5016 When ye couet by course, with vnkynd fare,

seeing that ye are Satisfaccioun to be sent fro my selfe


this trouble. Syn ye are cause of bis care, & curstly haue don.

My souerayn ye slogh, & my sybbe fryndes; 5020 My folke put into pyne, pild all my Rewme ;

Moche disseese ye me did, no redresse made.
Exiona, my suster, in seruage ye put,

And fele of my ffryndes into fer londes, 5024 In hordam & harlatry vnhyndly to lye ;

Not keppit hir kyndly, as a kynges doughter,
But laithly in lechery, lengyng to dwelle :

And menen me with manas Amendes to bede! 5028 I wold sothely, my Selfyn, sittyn with the harme (fol. 78 b.)

Of the dethe & the dole of my dere fader, For myself, I
In obryggyng of batell, & blode to be spilt.

the loss of my And on message I made a mon of myn owne, 5032 Antinor I ordant þat erende to wende,

would have borne

promising to

father; and I sent Antenor to you,

Book XII.

forgive all injuries, if you would restore iny sister.

And sent for my Sustor, sothely, to you ;
And all giltes for-gyffen & greuans of old.
And of the awthwart onswares & angur

to hym, 5036 All the wise how it was ye wetyn your selfe.

Hit is knowen to your kynges & comyn with all,
Of the dishonour ye did to my dere legat,
And with spite in your speche dispiset my

Ye dishonoured my legate and despised my name.


I will not now yield to your demand because of a wild threat.

Be it known to
Agamemnon and
his people that I
seek not their
peace, but, as
mine enemies,
that they may
(In MS. lines 5048
and 5049 are

5040 Here is plainly no place in þis plit now,

Your wille for to wirke for no wild threte.
I hope the grekes in hor grem shall neuer so gret


To oppresse me with power, ne my plas take, 5044 Ne my godis to gripe agaynes my wille.

I will Agamynon hit wete, & his weghes all,
pat for pes to his pepull pray will I neuer,
Ne folowe on hor frendship, þat me so foule

5048 But I wond for my worship as wetheruns shuld

die ! And ye,so rebell and roide with your rugh speche, Wynnes yow now wightly for woche of my


While I se you in certain I sourde full of yre, 5052 And bolne at þe brest all for bale angre !”


Diomedes laughed
and said:
“ If we two cause
you such anger,
you shall have
abundance of
it when a hundred
thousand Greeks
surround you.

When the worthy hade his wordes warpit to end,
Diamede full depely drough out a laughter,

And said to bat suffrayn sittyng agayne :
5056 “Now kyng, yf we be cause of þi kene yre,

And þou vnsaght of þi sight sothely of vs two,
While pou lyues in his londe, leue for trew,

noy be bou neuer, & pin ene opon, 5060 Syn the grekes on the ground are of so gret


(fol. 79 a.)

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Book XII.

And if your

Borrow be so full
on account
of two unarmed

And pou faithly shall fynd, in a felle haste,
A hundrith thowsaund pro men priuand in


The weghes to wound & warpe vnto dethe. 5064 And if pou sothely of sorow set be so full,

ffor two buernes all bare & of body nakyd,
I hope your bolnyng with brest, & your brethe leue men, I hope

Toqwhiche pouer, playnly, þou proues no strenght, your bursting 5068 Ne no suertie, may saue fro þere sid harmys."

Mony knightes in the courte, þat by the kyng an army.”

Wex wroth at his wordes, walt into yre ;

Enraged by the
Warpit out wordes full swice at the kyng, Diomedes, the

knights of the 5072 And drogh taward Diamede to dere hym anon,

ffor to britton pat buerne for his bolde speche.

breast may save yon from the harms of such

speech of

court threaten to kill him.



“A wise man

who has done

Priam þen presit vp fro his proude sete,

Priam prevents Bade hom blym of hor brathe or hor bare lyues, 5076 bat no gome shuld hym greue with no grym

Ne negh hym with noy for noght þat he said.

Syn the wit of no wise man shuld walt into yre, should not be

Ne be fuerse on a fole, þat foutly hath wroght; angry with a fool, 5080 ffor it falles to a fole his foly to shew,

And a wise man witterly his wordes to suffer.
As it is fre to a fole foly to carpe,

So is it wit, a wiseman his wordis to listyn,5084 Laghe at it lightly and let it ouer pas ;

ffor in speche may men spie the speker to know,
And wete, by his wordes, the wit þat he beires.
I wold sothely, my-seluyn, suffer full harde,

much before any 5088 Or any messanger were mysdon, or marrit with messenger were

injured within my hond Within my courtte, or my cumpany, for any

I would suffer

cause here.

court, or in my company.

Book XII.

Therefore compose yourselves, and do him no injury."

sone, sober

your wille,

ffor lightly a litil thyng, a lose may be tynt,

And a fame be defoulede, & fatid for euer ; 5092 Derfore set you

full And non proffer, apon payne, to prese hym no

Ne to warpe hym no worde, þat worship may

ben set þai sone, as said hom the kyng.

(fol. 79 b.)


Æne:Ls, who sat next the king, then angrily said:

“ Sir King! a
fool must not be
favoured to speak

You would doom me to death for such bold words; and any one, except your Majesty, who should dare to speak so, ought to die.

5096 And Eneas efterward etlid to say,

hat sete by the souerayne, non sothely betwene,Breke out full boldely all in breme wordis,

And spake full dispitously with a sprete felle : 5100 “Sir kyng, it sittes not, sothely, for right,

A fole to be fauoret folili to speke.
But wo vnwisely with wordis walis his speche,

Hit is skille for his skorne, þat he scathe thole, 5104 And not cherist, hut chastist, by charge of his foly.

I might sothely so say, here syttyng yow by,
hat ye wold deme to dethe for my derfe wordes,

hat right wold & reason by rewle of my-seluyn. 5108 And, saue your magiste so mykell, þat men will

obey, He, þat warpes thies wordes in his wild foly, Shuld degh, for his derfenes, by domys of right; hat so dispitously hath spoken in spit of your

5112 And meuyt your magesty with his mad wordes,

And angert vs all angardly sore,
With presumpcoun & prise of his proude hert.

I bid þerfore barly, þat he bove herchyn,
5116 And pas fro this place o payn of his lyfe.

If he faine will foly for a fyn wit,
And gyrt on no grete wordis to greue vs


I therefore comunand him to leave this place on pain of his life.”


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Book XII.

desire to thank

you as a

Then Dyamed, the derfe kyng, withoutyn dyn

said :5120 “You, frynde, with þi fare, what freike so pou be, "Friend, I I wote, by your wordes, pou ert no wise juge ; thee for thy

friendship and But I deply dissyre in dedis to come,

thy threat.
hat I may fynd þe before și frendship to þonke,
5124 And mede the after mesure of þi meke wille,

To thanke the of þi thret and þi þro wordis. (fol. 80 a.)
Now I se well, for-sothe, sely is the kyng, I see now plainly.

that the king is bat kepis the for counsell clene for hym seluyn, silly, who keeps 5128 þat well con his worship wisshe hym to saue,

And rede hym to redurs, þat rixles to shame!”
ben Vlixes, with vtterans vne vpponone,
The derfe wordis of Diamede dullit with speche;

To prevent strife, 5132 And wysely he waynet all his wild yre,

Ulysses then þat he nomore in þe mater shuld mene at þut addressed the

king. tyme. And to Priam (the) price kyng prestly he said:- (MS. has " to ") “Kyng, we haue clenly consaiued þi wille.

“We clearly 5136 To Agamynon agayne we go with our onsware,

All þi saghes, for-søthe, þat souerain to telle !"
And so þai past fro þut pales, preset vnto horse, Agamemnon.”

Lepyn on lightly, launchet on hor way, 5140 Gone to be grekes in a grete hast;

Ulysses and

Diomedes ride Lighten at bere logges, leuyn bere horses,

with all haste to And ferdon on fote fairly to-gedur;

the tent of

Againemnon anel Into the Emperours awne tent entrid belyue, 5144 Ther all the grete were gedrit Agamynon before

And toldyn all tomly, as hom tide hade,
The purpas of Priam tho prinses vntill. .

Thai hade meruell full mekyll in hor mynd all, 5148 Of his authwart onswares, þat hym arghet no

Then þo Kynges in counsell castyn hom anon,
And ordant on all wise paire enmeis to greue
Be wiles of wer, as ye shall wete after.

your answer, and
we shall now go
to report it to

report the
answer of Priam.

The council determine to prosecute the war,

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