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Here Begynnes the xxxiij Boke: How Oreste toke vengianse for his fader dethe.
Agamynons hawne scne abill of 3eris,
bat ydumius the dere kyng only had keppit
(fol. 197 b.)
Orestes, son of
12940 Engestus with Iapis shulde Iuge hym to assist him to
Was waxen full wele & wight of his dedis.
And forther by foure, fuerse of his strenght.
12944 pan honered hym þat od kyng with ordur of
Gaf hym of his gold, & his gay stedis,
And hight hym of helpe with a hede pepull.
12948 To ffilsyn hym with folke his fo to dystroy,
And to deire for the dethe of his dere fader.
The kyng grauntid agayne with a gode wille. 12952 A thowsaund pro knightes, prepond in wer,
He assignet for hym-selfe to his sad helpe: And so luffet was the lede in the lond pan, bat as mony able men after was grauntid. 12956 pan Orestes full rad with his ronke knightes, Come to the Croeze, the cuntre within
There Forenses the fre kyng fairly can dwell.
kingdom, and to
avenge the murder of his father.
The king grants him a thousand brave knights: and his own influence raises another thousand.
Forensis, an enemy of
to assist Orestes,
and to bring
three hundred knights with him.
(fol. 198 a.)
In the month of
and their forces move upon Mycenae, and besiege it.
Apollo had promised that Orestes should succeed and should put his mother to death.
Orestes, on learning that Ægisthus nad
gone to procure aid, lays an
He was neghbur full negh to be noble yle, 12960 There Agamynon the gode gouernaunce hade ; And was Enmy full euyn to Engest with-all,
And held wer with þat wegh winturs full mony. This Forenses with fyne will faithfully prayet, 12964 þat he might ryde with pat Orest & his ranke oste,
To Ioyne with Engest for his vniust werkes, With pre hundrith prifty, all of pr[i]ed knightes : And he priftely, with pro hert, panket the kyng. 12968 And so busket the bold fro the burgh sone. Hit was the moneth of May when mirthes begyn;
The Sun turnyt into tauro, taried pere vnder; Medos & mountains mynget with floures; 12972 Greues wex grene, & the ground swete; Nightgalis with notes newit pere songe,
And shene briddes in shawes shriked full lowde. Orestes full rad, with his ranke knightes, 12976 And Forenses, the fuerse kyng, faryn of toune. þai meuit vnto messan with pere men hole. All refusit hom the folke of pe fyne plase. When he segh þat the Cité sate in defens, 12980 He besegit hit full sadly vppon sere halues, hat no buerne of the burgh durst to bent come: And so keppit he the close of his clene Cité. He had answare of Appolyn abill before, 12984 þat he his fomen shuld fell & his folke wyn, And his moder for hir malice martur to dethe, ffor all the helpe þat ho hade & the hegh walles. This Engest with Iolite & Iournay was gone, 12988 To secche hym sum frekes with hor fyn helpus, Of Bachelers & bowmen the burgh to defend. Orestes full radly the Renke hade aspiet,
What way þat he went, as weghes hym told. 12992 He purpast hym priuely in pathes to lye.
OF HIS FATHER, AGAMEMNON.
Knightes, at his comyng to kacche hym olyue,
capture him as he returns.
þat mekill were of might, & of his men qwelle. ambush to The Cité he assailet with a sewte ofte, 12996 pat the folke to defend failet o sythes.
Thai werit of pere werke pe wallis to kepe,
With all his company clene of kyd men of
He comaundit his knightes for keping the yatis, ffor Repaire at the port, or presyng the yatis. 13004 He past to the palas of his prise ffader,
There caght he Clunestra, þat closit was in.
And all the Rebellis full rad rappit to dethe, 13008 þat were assent to the slaght of his sure fader.
The same day, sothely, the Cité was takyn,
The Cité for to socour with his sad help.
13012 Noght warre of the weghes, pat waited his harme,
Past furth thurgh the pase with his proude
A busshement of bold men breke hym vpon ;
After fifteen days' siege the city is taken.
(fol. 198 b.) Clytemnestra is imprisoned and the rebels are put to death.
On the day the city was taken, Ægisthus attempts to succour it.
He is captured by the ambush of Orestes, and his knights are
13016 His hond bounden at his backe, hym to burgh killed.
The secund day suyng, sone in the morne,
Orestes his renkes radly comaundet,
Bare to the barre bryng hym his moder,
Clytemnestra is brought to
13020 Hir hondes bounden at hir backe bigly with Orestes naked
Than he went to þat worthy in his wode yre,
with her hands bound behind her back.
He cuts off her breasts, and
kills her with a sword:
then commands her body to be cast out as carrion.
Ægisthus is stripped naked, drawn through
the city, and
along with the other traitors.
Thus did Orestes
avenge the death of his father,
the good and
(fol. 199 a.)
Menelaus, after many perils by sea, arrives at Crete with Helen.
He is told of his brother's death, and of the murder of Clytemnestra.
The nobles of
Crete crowd to the city to see Helen.
DEATH OF CLYTEMNESTRA AND EGISTHUS.
13024 And with the swing of a swerd swappit hir to
He comaund the corse cacche vp onone,
13032 Nakid thro the noble toune onone to be drawen,
þat vnhappely for horedam hastyd to sle
Agamynon the goode, the grettist of kynges, 13040 And most worthy to wale while the world last. ffor ho keppit not hir klennes with a cloise hert, Thus fell hir by fortune to haue a foule end.
HOW MENELAY WAS WROTHE FFOR THE DETHE OF
When Menelay the mighty & his men all
With honerable Elan, þat was his aune wife,
13052 On the lady to loke longit full sore,
ffor whom the grekes so grymly were to ground broght.
So Eger were all men Elan to se,
THE TRIAL OF ORESTES THE MATRICIDE.
ffor to waite on þat worthy went pai belyue.
13056 Then the Seniour full sone, with seasonable From Crete
Cairet fro Crete with his clene nauy,
Noght to rest in his Rewme, ne by right haue
ffor the murthe of his moder, he martired so foule.
Menelaus sails to Mycena to Orestes, whose cruel deeds, he said, should exclude him from holding his kingdom.
The kings and nobles of Greece assemble at
ffor to meue of pat mater, & make pere an end. decide that 13068 Then prinses full prest, and the pure kinges,
Saydon Orestes be right shuld render his londes, And be exiled for euermore, as orible of dede, bat so doggetly had done to his dere moder. 13072 þan alleggit the lede to the leue prinses,
All the dere pat he did vnduly to hir,
13076 The Duke of Attens full derffe dressit to say,
Evyn wroght by the wille of hor wale goddes:
Orestes should be deposed and exiled.
(fol. 199 b.)
Orestes declares he acted as his gods had commanded.
The Duke of
There was no buerne with pat bold the batell No one dares
13084 The right to derayne with the ranke duke.
By counsell of kynges & comyn assent,
Thai qwite claymit the qwerell, & qwit hym
to accept the wager, and Orestes is
acquitted, and acknowledged as