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Book III.

she then gives to destroy venom and fire :

a

and a ring with
a rich stone to
destroy all poison
or deadly power :

and a large roll which he must read:

Toke hit hym full tyte & tolde hym these

wordes :-
784 “This strongly distroy shall be strenght of þe

venym,
And fade all the ffyr and be furse lowe.”
Than ho raught hym a ring with a riche stone,

bat no poison enpaire might, þe power is soche :
788 And if it borne were in batell on his bare flesshe,

He shulde slyde forth sleghly & vnslayn worthe.
Achates it calde is with clene men of wit,

And in Cicill forsothe sene was it first :
792 Eneas it name & in note hade,

Whan he to cartage come vnknowen with sight.
And þan ho broght hym a bref all of brode letres,

hat was comly by crafte a clerke for to rede;
796 And enformyt him fayre how he fare shuld,
When he [h]is deuer hade done & drow to be

whethir,
ffor to knele on his knes to the cold erth,

And grete all his goddes with a good chere;
800 And the rolle for to rede or he rest thry,

As with sacrifice to shew & seruice to goddes,
pat hym grauntede of grace þat gifte for to haue,

þat he might worthely it welde, & away beire.
804 And þan sho gafe hym a glasse with a good

lycour,
And bade whan he buskyt to the bolde Exin,
To werke it with mesure, & in hor mouthe caste,
And pai clappe shall full clene, & neuer vnclose

aftur,
808 Ne neuer dere hym a dyse with no dede efte.

Thus enfourmet ho þat fre of pe fete euyn,
How he wyn shuld his worship, & his woche

and a glass containing liquor to be cast into the mouths of the monsters.

(fol. 15 a.)

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He then takes leave of Medea.

And þen lacches his leue & his loue kyst, 812 Past furth priuely and þat pert leuyt,

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Book III.

company and goes to ineet detes.

Enon lurkys to his loge, & laide hym to slepe.
By the renke hade hym restid ryses the sun,

Brightis all the burghe and the brode valis; 816 Meuyt ouer the mounteyns men to beholde.

Jason feynit with fare as he hade fast sleppit,
And now rapis hym to ryse & rom from his bede. Jason collects his

With Ercules and oper mo of his aune men, 820 He sues furth on þe soile to Chethes the kyng,

In company of kynges and oper clene burnes.
Whan he was ware of þe wegh, welcomed hym

faire,
And spird at hym specially what his spede were.
824 Than Jason vnioynid to the gentill speche :-
“Lord, and it like you, longe am I here !

permission to Wold ye graunt me your grase goodly to wende, depart. I wold boune me to batell, and take my bare

aunter, 828 Yon worthy wethir to wyn, & your wille be."

He asks

THE COUNSELL OF CHETES TO JASON.

Æetes advises Jason to abandon the enterprise :

The Kyng þan full curtesly karpes agayne :
Sais, “ Jason, this Jorney is no ioye in,

I am ferd, by my faith, of þi frele yowth, 832 þat hit lede pe to losse and þi lyffe tyne,

And me harme for to haue of thy hegh wille,
To be sclaundret of bi skathe, & pou skape noght.

Derfore ffrynd, by my faith, vppon faire wise, 836 I counsell þe in kyrt, kaire to þi londe,

And put of his purpos, for perille þat may folowe." but finding him
Jason carpes to the kyng, conyngly he said, proceed,

“Sir I hade counsaill in pis case er I come here, (fol. 156.) 840 And ye shall boldly be blameles, þof me bale

determined to

happyn,

bat I wilne of my wit & wilfull desyre.”
ban the kyng to be knight carpes these wordes;- he grants him
'ffrynd þou shall fully haue fauer to wend,

leave.

66

Book III.

844 And ouer goddes be graunt grace of þi hele."

He lowted the lege kyng, & his leue toke,
Dressit hym for his dede, dose hym to goo.

Jason seeks the island where the fleece is kept.

a

Medea, in terror during his absence, bewails her love.

In an yle þat was negh pe noble kynges sete, 848 This clene flese was inclosede all with clere water,

Euon a forlong þerfro, & fully nomore.
Jason to pis Jorney ioynes hym belyffe,

Bowes euyn to pe banke & a bote fonde,
852 Entris with armur & all his other gere,

ffore to be fer syde, noght aferd was :
Gird vp to be grounde, gripes his weppon,

Armur & all thing atlet before,
856 Dat Medea pe maiden myldly hym betaght,

And past furth prudly his pray for to wyn.
Mournyng the maiden made in hir thought,

Lest þe ffyre shuld hym fere of þe fuerse bestes, 860 bat was blasound of brunston with a brem lowo.

Sho went vp wightly by a walle syde
To the toppe of a toure, & tot ouer the water

ffor to loke on hir luffe, longyng in hert.
864 So ferd was þat fre, & he faile shuld,

Sho brast out bright water at hir brode een.
Thus sykyng ho said with a sade wille :

“A! Jason my ioye & my gentill knight,
868 I am ferd lest þou faile of my fyn lore,

And for zenernes for-zete þat þe zeme shuld;
Thou dawly bes dede, & I to doll broght,

Neuer pe comly to kysse, ne clippe in myn armys. 872 Now full pristly I pray to my prise goddes,

hat I may see thee come sounde to pis sale enys, And me comford of thy coursse, kepe I no more."

When the knight was comyn into be cliffe ferre, 876 He waites vmbe hym wightly, & was ware sone

Of þe orible oxin, vgsome to see,
bat fyre out fnast with a fuerse lowe,

(fol. 16 a.) Jason gets his first view of the oxen that guard the golden fleece.

HOW JASON WON THE FLEECE.

31

Book III.

bat no buerne might abide but he brent were ; 880 Hit gird from the grym with so gret hete.

HOW JASON WAN THE FFLESE OF GOLDE.

and reads the

spear are burnt.

He casts the

monsters are

The tokyn hym taght was of a tru maiden
He forzet not, but zepely zarkit hym þerfore,
And anoyntide hym anon with his noble boyste, He anoints

himself; sets the 884 Bothe the face and pe fete, & all þe fore perte. sacred image;

His noble ymage at his necke for neghyng of fyre, roll.
And his rolle pan he rede as he to reste toke;

ffore evyn to be fight with þo felle bestes.
888 So be fuerse by-flamede all with fyre hote,
bai brent vp his brode shilde & his bigge speire ; His shield

and And Jason for all po Japes hade nere his ioy lost,

Hade his licour ben to laite, þat þe lede caght, 892 And caste it be course into the core hete :

liquor and the Hit stake vp the stith lippes as stiffe bounden, As pai chaltrede were choisly with chenys of closed.

yerne,

pat abatede the breme hete, brent it no more. 896 All cold it became & the course helde,

Bothe of ymur & aire, after I-wise.
ffayne was the freike & fore to þe hornes He leads them by

the horns : they Of þe balefull bestes, & hom aboute ladde ; meekly submit to

the yoke, and 900 pai were made als meke as maistur behouet, plough up a

And as bowande to be bowes as any bestes might.
3ynerly the zepe knight zokit hom belyue,

Pight hom into ploghe, pilde vp the vrthe, 904 Braid vp bygly all a brode ffeld : And all the gayre of the ground bere be gome (fol. 16 6.)

leuyt. Drow euyn to the dragon, dressit hym to fight, He attacks the

flerce dragon, As And he gird him agayne with a grym noyse:

him with flaine 908 Mony slecynges vnslogh throughe hys slote yode. And noise.

As pe welkyn shold walt, a wonderfull noyse
Skremyt vp to the skrow with a skryke ffelle.

broad field.

it rushes towards Book III.

a

Jason hastily
clutches his ring;
holds it aloft ;
and overcomes
the dragon with
the shining of the
bright stone.

With a smorther & a smoke smult through his

nase,
912 He rut out roidly with a rede hete,

pat all blasit the bent on a breme lowe;
And as he tilt out his tung with his tethe grym,

He straght fro hym stremes all of styth venym. 916 The freike was a-ferd of þat felle beste,

And raght to his Ryng in a rad haste,
Held it high in his hond, þat he behold might.
ffor chynyng of the chene stone he shont with

his hede,
920 And with-droghe the deire of his dere attur;

All dropet the dule as he degh wold.
his stone full of strenght, as pe story tellus,

Is erdand in Jud, as Isoder sais :
924 Be it smethe owþer smert, smaragden hit hat.

bere is no derffe dragon, ne no du edder,
Ne no beste so bold with no bale atter,

May loke on pe light, but he his lyffe tyne.
928 bis stone with his stremys stroyed all the venym,

And drepit the dragon to the dethe negh.
Jason grippede graithly to a grym sworde,

Dange on the deuyll with a derffe wille,
932 Tyll the stremys of stynke & of stythe venum

Past out in the place pyne to be-holde.
He laid on þat loodly, lettyd he noght,

With dynttes full dregh, till he to dethe paste, 936 And he Enfecte the ffirmament with his felle

noise.
Jason of his iorney was ioyfull ynoghe,
Gryppet a grym toole, gyrd of his hede,

Vnioynis the Jamnys þat iuste were to-gedur: 940 Gyrd out the grete tethe, grippet hom sone,

Sew hom in the soile or he sesse wold.
Stythe knightes and stoure stert vp agayne,
Armet at all peses abill to fight,

With a sword he deals it some dreadful wounds,

then cuts off its head, and sows the teeth.

(fol. 17 a.)

They start up armed knights, who fight till

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