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Here begynnes the first Boke. Wow Kung
Pelleus exit Fason to get be files of Golde.

laid in


Story of the

In Tessaile hit tyde as thus in tyme olle, The scene of the

following story is 100 A prouynce appropret aperte to Rome,

vince of Thessaly. An yle enabit nobli and wele With a maner of men, mermydons called :

There was a kyng in þat coste þat þe kithe ought, 104

A noble man for þe nonest is namet Pelleus.
That worthy hade a wyfe walit hym-seluon,
The truthe for to telle, Tetyda she heght:

bes gret in þere gamyn gate hom betwene, 108 Achilles by chaunce chiualrous in armes.

(More of thies Myrmydons mell I not now,
Enabit in (þat aile,) [ne] Etill will I ferre, (MS. has

How Mawros were men made on a day

golden fleece 112 At þe prayer of a prinse þat peopull hade lost.)

This Pelleus pert, prudest in armys,
Hadle a broßer of birthe born or hym-seluyn,

That heire was & Eldist, and Eson he hight. 116 Till it fell hym by fortune, faintyng of elde, fol. 4 a.)

Unstithe for to stire, or stightill the Realme,
And all were, & weike, wantide his sight, (all =auid, old.)

Of Septur and soile he sesit his brothir,
120 And hym crownede as kyng in þut kithe riche.

Eson afterwarde erdand on lyffe,
Endured his dayes drowpyaite in age,

As Ovid openly in Eydos tellus,
124 How Medea the maiden maile hym all new,

Pelias, King of Tolcus: Aeson his brother.

Book 1.

Jason, son of Aeson, seeks his father's throne.

By crafte þut she kouth of hir coint artys.
Eson, þat elde man þat I er said,

Hade a son of hym-selfe semly to wale,
128 And Jason, þat gentill aioynet was to name :

A faire man of feturs, & fellist in armys,
As meke as a Mayden, & mery of his wordis.

This Jason for his gentris was ioyfull till all, 132 Well louit with þe lordes & the londe hole;

All worshipped pat worthy inwones aboute,
No les þan þe lege. þat hom lede shuld :

And he as bainly obeyede to the buerne his Eme, 136 As þof his syre hade the soile & septure to yeme.

Pelleus persayuit the people anone,
That the londe so hym louede, lorde as he were,
And ay drede hym on dayes for doute þat might

140 Lest he put hym from priuelage & his place take,

Of Tessaile, as truthe wold, to be trew kyng.
Thus Pelleus with payne was pricket in hert,

ffull egurly with enuy, & euer hym bethoght, 144 With a course of vnkyndnes he caste in his

thoghte, The freike vpon faire wise ferke out of lyue, And he no daunger nor deire for þut dede haue.

He bethoght hym full thicke in his throo hert, 148 And in his wit was he ware of a wyle sone,

Of a fame þat fer in fele kynges londes,
And borne was a brode for a bare aunter.

Out in the Orient Orible to here,
152 In a cuntre was cald Colchos by name,

Was (an) aunter in a nyle þat I nem shall,
Beyonde the terage of Troy as þe trety sayse,

There was a wonderfull wethur weghes to be-holde, 156 With a flese þut was fyne, flamond of gold ;

And þe Kyng of þat coste callid was by name
Chethes, for sothe, as souerayne & lord :

Pelias devises the
plan of sending
Jason in search
of the golden

(fol. A b.)

Where and how the golden fleece vas kept.

(MS. has "ax.")



Book 1.


The wether

win the fleece must seize the oxen, enter them in the yoke and

He was mighty on molde & mekull goode hade, 160 His pride well ouerput, past into elde.

Æetes, king of
This whethur and be wole were wonderly keppit
By the crafte & the cure & conyng of Mars,
That with charmes & enchauntementes was chefe

164 Thus coyntly it kept was all with clene art,

guarded by two By too oxen oribull on for to loke,

oxen and a fiery

dragon. And a derfe dragon drede to be-holde.

These balfull bestes were, as þe boke tellus, 168

ffull flaumond of fyre with fuastyng of logh,
That girde thurgh ther gorge with a grete hete
A nelue brode all Aboute, pat no buerne might

ffor the birre it abide, but he brente were. 172 And wo this wethur shull wyn bude wirke as Whoever would


Ayre euyn to þe Oxen, entre hom in yoke,
With strifle or with stroke till þai stonde wold; lands

plough up the Aftur ayre vp the erthe on ardagh wise. 176 Sythen drawe to pe dragon, & þe derfe qwelle,

quell the dragon Girde out the grete teth of the grym best, And alse sede in þe season sowe it on þe erthe,

seed. Than a ferlyfull frute shall he fynde after : 180 The tethe shall turne tite ynto knightes Armyt at all peses, able to were

knights, who will

fight till they Thai to falle vpon fight as fomen belyne,

destroy each With depe woundes and derfe till all be dede other.

euyn. 184 All thes perels to passe with-outen payne other, That the flese wold fecche & ferke yt away.

(fol.5 a ) Of this wonderfull wethur for to here more,

Why it kept was by craft on so coynt wyse ; 188 Hit was said oft sythes and for sothe holden, Why the fecro That Chethes the same Kyng had a som hoge

was so carefully

guarded. Aetes Of grete gobbottes of gold in the ground hid,

of money hid And so kepid it with craft of his coynt artys :

in the earth, and thus kept it.

He must thien

; tear out his teeth and sow them like

The teeth will turn into armed

had a great sum


Pelias plans
get Jason away
from Tolous.


At a great feast arranged for the purpose,

192 And for to get of this gold & the grete sommys,

ffor couetous þere come knightes full ofte,
And endit in Auerys to ay lastand sorowe.

This Pelleus with pyne printed in hert
196 Iff he might sleghly be sleght & sletyng of wordes,

Gar Jason with any gyn the iomey vndertake:
He were seker as hym semyd for sight of him

And most likly be loste & his los keppit.
200 He purpast hym plainly in his pure wit

ffor to tyse hym þerto, if it tyde might,
To take it hertely on bond in a high pride,

And þe way for to wylne with wilfull desyre.
204 He cast hym full cointly be cause of this thyng,

In a Cité be-syde to somyn a fest,
With princes and prelates & prise of the lond,

Thre dayes to endure with daintes ynogh.
208 The iija day throly he thoght in his hert

ffor to mele of this mater, þat he in mynde hade :
He cald Jason in his Japis with a Joly wille.
Before the baronage at ther burde thus þe

buerne said, -
212 Cosyn, it is knowen þat I am Kyng here,
And mekyll comfordes me the crowne of this

kyde realme;
But more it Joyes me, Jason, of þi just werkes,

hat so mighty & meke & manly art holdyn :
216 Now þi fame shall go fer & þu furse holdyn,

And all prouyns & pertes þi pes shall desyre.
To tessayle a tresure tristy for euer,

Thy selfe to be sene and in suche fame,
220 By þi name bus anoisyt & for noble holden,

Whyle you rixlis in this Reame no riot we drede,
But all fferd be perfore and frendship dyssire.

Hit wold sothely me set as souerayne in Joye,
24 Iff our goddes wold graunt þat þu grace hade,

he entices him to go to Colchis for the golden fleece.

(fol. 3 b.)



Book 1.


The rewards promised if he should be successful

That the filese þat is ffreshe flamond of gold
Were brought throw pi boldness into pis byg yle

And þat wold doutles be done & no dere In, 228 Wold þu afforce pe perfore and þe fight take,

Be of gouernance graithe & of good wille.
Yiff þu puttes þe pristly þis point for to do,

Thou shall arayit be full ryolle with a route noble 232 Of my Baronage bolde & my best wise.

I shall spare for no spence & þu spede wele,
And do pi deuer duly as a duke nobill:

Thou shalt haue holly my hert & my helpe alse, 236 And be lappid in my luffe all my lyffe after.

bu may be glad for to get such a good name,
And have for þi hardynes a full hegh mede :

Leve pis for lell, me list it perfourme,
240 And to hold it with hert þat I hete nowe,

I will fayne þe [no] faintis vnder faith wordes.
When my dayes be done þu shalt be Duke here,

And haue pe Crowne to kepe of pis Kyd Realme ; 214 And while I liffe in this londe, no less þan my

Halfe for to haue & hold for þi name,
And with all weghis to be worshipt to be worldes


HEN PELLEUS his proses hade puplishit on Jason undertakes

the journey,
248 And all soburly said with a sad wille,

Jason was Joly of his Juste wordes,
bat in presens of the pepull þo profers were made,

And mony stythe of astate stonding aboute. (fol. 6 a.) 252 He hedit not the harme þat in his hert lurkyt,

picion of harm, Ne the ffalshed he faynit vnder faire wordes ; falsehood, or He drede no dissayet of his dere vncle,

part of his uncle But hooped full hertely it come of hegh loue. 256 ben he trist hym full tyte in his tried strenght,

and has no sus.

deceit on the

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