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(fol. 80 b.)
While the Greeks lay at Tenedos
a council of war was held.
thus addressed the leaders:
First of all, we must have food for our soldiers;
and to supply
Therefore, let us
xiij Boke. How the Grekys sent Achilles and Thelefon for vitaill for the Ost into Messam.
5152 KYNGYS and knyghtes and other kyde Dukes, All the souerayns hade selly, as I said ere,
Of priam, the price Kyng, pat prudly hade saide.
Than gedrit were the grekes on a ground faire, 5156 Besyde tenydon truly, to talke of hor dedis. Ordant by the emperour opunly to holde A counsell in the case, with knowyng to all, And procede on hor purpos, as prise men of wer.
When the souerayns assemblit were, as I said first,
Agamynon, the gouernour, graithit hym to speike,
To po worthy thie3 wordis warpit anone :— "Noble sirs, in this note hit nedis vs to haue 5164 ffode till our folke, the formast of other,
þat no hongur vs happyn to harme in our werre, While our buernes in batell abiden here stille : hat we faint not in fight, ne feble of strenght. 5168 And mykyll is the mete so mony bus haue, If we shall proffet with proues, or any fose wyn: ffor pere as failes the fode, faint is the pepull; And þere hongur is hote, hertis ben febill. 5172 perfore, highly in hast, I hold for pe best,
COUNSEL OF AGAMEMNON.
send to Messana for a supply before we pass hence.
In that province there is
every kind of victual; let us send wise and trusty men with a suitable guard, to procure provisions,
(fol. 81 a.) and to forward
If ye deme it in dede, Dukes and other, hat we mightily to Messam our men send, To fecche vs som fode, or we firre passe. 5176 In pat prouyns is plenty all of prise vitell, Of corne, & of catell, & mony kyd Rewme; perfore, sone let vs send sum of our folke, Worthy to wale, & wise of hor dedis, To trie of the trewist, & turne into ship, And set furth to the se with soudiours ynow, Pas to pat prouyns, prese to be londe, And make puruiaunce plentie, while prese lastis, That may cum vs, by course, to comford our ost, And abundantly broght with buernes betwene, them as they may ffor to stall our astate and our strenght hold." When pis counsell was kyd, he carpis no ferr, Was alowet with the lordis, & all pe ledis after. The proposal is By assent of po souerains, & sithen of all, Achilles was chosyn chefe of pis erend; And Thelephus, pat tother, ton to his fere, Was Ercules aune son eldist for sothe. bes assignet for pe se, with soudiours ynogh, And fuerse men in fight a felle nowmber: pes drest for pe dede and droghen to ship, 5196 And merkit vnto Messam with a mekyll nauy. In þat yle was onest, an honerable kyng,
As men told in his tyme, and Teutras his name, þat his countre in kuit hade keppit full longe, 5200 And regnit in rest with riches ynogh.
He hade fightyng folke fele of his owne, And knightes full kene, & konyng of werre. Sum sain it for sothe, and for sure holdyn, 5204 The same yle I said you, Cicill is calt,
Ay abundand of blisse, & bret full of vitaill, And menyt was with men Messan to nome; ffor a cité in the same lond so gat was cald, 5208 Bild on a banke at a brode hauyn,
accepted, and Achilles with Telephus are chosen for the purpose.
With suitable men and a strong guard they set
sail for Messana.
Some say this island was called Sicily, and also Messana, from a city of that name in the island;
Achilles and Telephus, with 3000 knights and many ships,
arrive at the
The king of
Messana comes to
ffull longe, & large, louely with all,
hat comen for corne to contres aboute;
hat the Cité was so calld by a sure kyng,
5216 That biggit the burgh bigly hym-seluyn,
And callid it Messan be mowthe, in mynd of
But Dares, in his dyting, dewly noght tellus.
5220 But how po mighty were made to Messan to
ffode for to fecche to pe felle ost.
Som othir Cicill hit sothly myght be,
hat was geynde to grece, pen the grete yle,
With thre thowsand tristé all of pro knightes, 5228 And mony shippes full shene, shot o pe depe, þat hit into hauyn, houyt not longe,
But bounet to pe bonke po buernys anon.
Then the kyng of pe cuntre, with cumpany grete
oppose them with 5232 Of fell fightyng folke, pat on fote were,
a great army;
and a furious
Past to be port, pere the prinse lay.
The grekys, þat were gedrit & to grounde comyn,
5236 Segh the kyng of the cuntre cum hom agayne, With fele folke vppon fote, pat hom fray wold. bai wan to pere weppon wightly anon.
In defense of pe folke, pai fuersly were armyt, 5240 And girden to-gedur with mony grym dyntus. Bigge was the batell opon bothe haluys,
THE KING OPPOSES ITS LANDING.
Mony fallyn were fey of pe fell grekes,
But mo of the meny, þat mellit hom with.
5244 pof the grekes were grym & of grete myght,
Many fall on both sides, but the Greeks were unable to
pai hade no strenght to withstonde pe striff of withstand their
þat were pro men in threpe, & thretyms mo.
enemies, who were three times their number.
pere the grekes hade grymly ben gird vnto dethe, 5248 Hade not Achilles ben cheualrous & choise of Achilles boldly
He shot thurgh the sheltrone & shent of hor
Mony doughty were ded thurgh dynt of his hond.
All þat warnyt hym þe way he warpet to
5252 Till he come to þe kyng, be course as hym list,
5256 Woundid hym wickedly, warpit hym to ground.
He was wode of his wit, wild as a lione,
(fol. 82 a.) rushes to the fray and kills many of the bravest men.
He strikes the king to the ground fearfully wounded;
Wold haue brittonet the bold with a bare swerd. and is about to
Hof vp his hond heturly to strike,
5260 With a fouchon felle to ferke of his hede,
And Thelephus, pe tothir, titly persayuit
That Teutra with torfer shuld tynt haue his liff. He stert vnder the stroke with a store shild, 5264 And keppit by course the caupe of his sword; And Achilles the choise kyng cherly he prayit, To let the lorde haue his lyffe for lewté of hym, That woundit was wickedly to pe wale dethe ;5268 þat he graunt wold godly pat gome for to leue. ben to Thelaphus, þe tore kyng, tomly can say ;"What causes ye, by course, so kenly to pray, This syre for to saue, pat is our sad enmy; 5272 And has wackont vs wer burghe will of hym
kill him with a sword,
"Why spare the one who has caused this war?
Since he was
first to begin, let
him be first to fall."
"Once I came into this country a stranger, and
(fol. 82 b.)
he showed me
it would grieve
me to see him put to death."
"Do with him
then as you please."
And harmyt vs hogely with his hond one.
Thus the battle
on a litter.
He sank under his wounds; and
as death drew near, he sent for Achilles and Telephus.
At whose prayer, full prestly, po prise men two
And all daintethes hom dight dere for pe nonyst.
Se his dethe on hym drogh dressit hym perfore. 5304 He sent after, sothely, pe souerain Achilles,
And Thelaphe, pat tothir, vnto his owne chaumbur.
When pai comen to pe kyng, po curtes to-gedur, ben fond þai pat fre febill in his bed.