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Book II.

She sits beside Jason; and while the company are eagerly listening to Hercules, the lovers are left to themselves.

508 And he assignet hir a seite, pat hir-selfe liket, With chere for cherys the chiualrus Knightes,

As maner was of Maidones, with hir myld chere. His comaundment to kepe sho hir course held, 512 And Joynet by Jason iustly to sit;

And he welcomed þat worthy as he well kouthe:
A litill set hym on syde, & a seet leuet,

ffor to mele with pat maidyn & hir mode here. 516 The Kyng with other knightes hade comford to


Ercules of armes, & auntres to telle

Of chiualry & chaunce, pat cheuyt hym before, pat no lede was lelly po louers betwene, 520 But pai might say by hom-self all pere sad wille.

Medea excuses herself to Jason for speaking to him so freely.

(fol. 10 b.)

Such courtesy is due to him as a stranger.


The woman was war þat no wegh herd,

And vnder shadow of shame shewid forth hir


With a compas of clennes to colour hir speche. 524 In sauyng hir-seluen and serche of his wille,

"Now frynd," quod pat faire, "as ye bene fre holden,

Will ye suffer me to say, and the sothe telle? Voidis me noght of vitius, [ne] vilaus of tunge ; 528 Ne deme no dishonesty in your derfe hert, hof I put me pus pertly my purpos to shewe. Hit sittes, me semeth, to a sure knyghte, bat ayres into vnkoth lond auntres to seche, 532 To be counseld in case to comfford hym-seluyn, Of sum fre þat hym faith awe, & pe fete knoweth ; This curtysy he claymes as for clere det,

And be chaunce may chere hym & cheue to pe

536 I wot ssir, ye are wight & a wegh nobill,
Auntrus in armes, & able of person;


A storre man of strenght & of stuerne will, That wilnes for to wyn this wethur of gold, 540 And puttes you to perell in pointis of armes,

And likly for litle your lyffe for to tyne.

I haue pittye of your person & your pert face,

Book II.


She pities Jason, and promises to

And zenernes of 30wthe, pat 30mers in my hert, assist him to win

544 hat causes me with counsell to caste for your



And put you in plite your purpos to wyn,
In sound for to saile home & your sute all,
Both the whethir & pe wolle a-way for to lede,
On a forward before, þat ze me faith make,
In dede for to do as I desyre wille,

And my wille for to wirke, if I wele serue."

TH[E] ONSUARE OF JASON TO MEDEA. Jason was full ioly of hir iuste wordys, 552 And pat comly can clip in his close armes. He onswared hir onest[1]y opynond his hert,"Now louely and leell, for your lefe specho I thanke you a thowsaund tymes in my thro hert,


bat ye kythe me suche kyndnes withouten cause


the golden fleece,

if he will do as she desires.

Jason thanks her a thousand times,

And here I put me full plainly in your pure and submits to her


To do with me, damsell, as your desyre thynke,
ffor this gloriose graunt glades me mekyll."


560 Than saide pat semely to be sure knyght,

"pure will."

(fol. 11 a.)

"Sir, wete ye not the wochis þat this wethir Unless he is


The keping in case is vnknowen to yowe,

And the truthe of the tale vntold to your ere?

564 The perlouse pointtes pat passe you behoues,

thoroughly acquainted with all the difficulties he has

Book II.

to overcome, she advises him to abandon the enterprise.

Jason rejects such advice: were he to follow it he

would for ever be accounted a coward.

(MS. has "ylke a")

(fol. 11 b.)

Medea, on finding

Hit is vnlike any lede with his liffe pas,
Syn it is gate with a gode & no gome ellis,

And ye may strive with no stuerne but of your
strenght nobill.

568 Wo shuld pas out of perell fro po proude exin,
bat with flamys of fyre han so furse hete?
Woso bydis pere bir is brent into askys.

Or þat dragon so derfe, as pe deuyll felle ?
572 There is no gome vnder gode, pat hym greue may.
And if ye highly haue het in your hote yowthe,
And folily be ffaryn out of fer londes,

3et turne your entent, & betyme leue;

576 Wirkes as a wise man, & your wille chaunge, ffor pere is doutles no dede but pe dethe tholc."



The wegh at hir wordes wrathit a litill,
And Swiftly to pat swete swagit his yre.
"A! damsell full dere, with your derffe wordys,
What lure is of my lyfe & I lyffe here:

I hope ye found me to fere & my faith breike;
And if destyny me demys, hit is dere welcum
584 Or it were knowen in my contry & costis aboute,
That I faintly shuld fle and pe fight leue;
Among knightes accounted coward for euer,
Me were leuer here lefe & my life tyne,
588 pan as a lurker to lyue in (ylka) lond after.
I wole put me to perell and my payne thole,
Do my deuer yf I dar, & for no dethe wonde.
ffor yche wise man of wit, þat wilfully hetis
592 Any dede for to do, and dernly avowes,

Shuld chose hym by chaunce to chaunge out of lyue,

Ere he fayne any faintes & be fals holdyn."


Medea full myldly vnto pe mon said :—


596 "It is playnly your purpos to put you to dethe,

With suche fyndes to fight till ye fay worthe:

I haue pitie full playn of your proude wille,
And I shall fonge you to forther, & my faith

600 I will shunt for no shame of my shene fader,
Ne no hede to my heale, pat I thee helpe shall;
But this forward to fille, first ye me sweire,
And with no gaudys me begyle, ne to grein

604 But in dede for to do, as I desyre wille."


"Moste worshipfull woman, wisest on erthe,

Book II.


him determined, promises to aid him on one


What-euer ye deme me to do, & my days laste, Jason accepts

I hete you full highly with hert to fulfille,

608 And your wille for to wirke: wittenes our goddes."

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ben Medea with mowthe motys pus agayne :

the offer.

"And ye wede me with worship & to wiffe holde, If he will wed Lede me with likyng into your lond home;

612 No gatis me begyle, ne to grem brynge,

I hete you full hertely, pat I you helpe shall
The flese for to fecche, and ferke it away;
And withstond all the stoure pat it strait yemys;
616 Ouercome hom by crafte, and no care thole.
I haue only pat aunter of all þat are quycke,
The mightes of Mars make to distroy,
And hir keping by crafte out of cours bryng."


620 "Ah! this glorius gyste & this grete mede,

her, she will help him to get the fleece, and to overcome all his dangers.

(fol. 12 a.)

Jason praises

Medea, and

That ye hete me so hyndly to haue at my wille! promises to fulfil

(Your-selfe, pat is sothely the semliest on lyue, And pe fresshist and fairest fed vpon erthe; 624 As the Roose in his Radness is Richest of floures,

all her desires.

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In the moneth of May when medowes are grene,
So passis þi propurty perte wemen all)
And help me to haue pat I hidur seche;
628 Out of daunger & drede deliuer me too:
I wot me vnworthy pis wirdis to ffall.
He pat sadly for-soke soche a sure proffer,
And so gracius a gyste, þat me is graunt here,
632 He might faithly for-fonnet be a fole holdyn.
Wherfore I beqwethe me to your qweme spouse,
To lyue with in lykyng to my lyfes ende;
As wyfe for to wede in worship and Joye :
636 And þis forward, in faith, I festyn with hond.”




Medea was mery at this mene graunt,

And to pat souerayn full soberly said o this

wise :

"ffrynd, I am ffayne of þis faire heste,

640 And wele I hoope pu will holde pat pu here said:
More suerty, for sothe, yet I sue fore;—
Yow swiftly shall sweire vppon swete goddes,
This couenaunt to kepe & for no case chaunge.
But this tyme is so tore & we no tome haue,
We will seasse till, now sone, the sun be at rest,
All buernes into bede on hor best wise,
And yche lede, as hym list, lullit on slepe.
I wull send to you sone by a sure maydon:
Bes wakond and warly; wyn to my chamber,
pere swiftly to sweire vpon swete (haloghes),
All this forward to fulfill ye fest with your hond:
652 So may ye surely & sounde to my-selfe come,
With daliaunce to dele as your dere wyffe.
I will you faithfully enforme how ye fare shall,
Your worship to wyn and be wethur haue:
656 All your gate and your gouernaunse graidly to

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