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Here begynnes the Sext Boke: How Kyng Priam toke counsell to Werre on pe Grekys.

Now Priam persayuit all þese proude wordes, 2048 The greme of þe Grekys, and be gret yre,

How þai maintene bere malis with manas &

Uncertain of his Sister for



euer,Ne redresse for þe dethe of his dere fader,2052 Ne to harmes þat he hade was no hede takyn;

Soche a sorow & a sourgreme sanke in his hert,
þat his harme, as a hote low, het hym with in

More frike to pe fight, feller of wille.
2056 Þan he purpost plainly with a proude ost,

ffor to send of his sonnes & oper sibbe fryndes,
The Grekes for to greve, if hom grace

felle; To wreke hym of wrathe & his wrong


Priam becomes more revengeful, and purposes to send his sons with a great army to harass the Greeks.


“ Tell me truly,
O King, what put
it into your heart
to undertake such
a war."

2060 But say me, sir kyng, what set in þi hede;

What wrixlit þi wit & þi wille chaunget;
Or what happont thee so hastely with hardnes

of wille,

To put þe to purpas, þat pynet be after. 2064 What meuyt the with malis to myn on þi harme,

And to cacche soche a connse, to combir þi

('connse' = comse, a beginning.)


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Book VI.




• He that stands high should not


With daunger and drede of a dede hate,
ffor a lure þat was light & of long tyme ;

(fol. 345.)

“The injury was 2068 Dat wold zepely haue bene forzeton in yeres a few, light and long

And neuer menit with mowthe but þurgh mishap.
Thow se not þat sothely said ys of olde,
And oft happes to hit qwo so hede tas :-

“You have forgot

the proverbs : 2072 “ He þat girdis with grete yre his grem for to Vengeance often

brings greater venge, Ofte shapis hym to shote into shame ferre, With hoge harmes to haue, & his hert sarre.”

Hit is siker, for sothe, and a sagh comyn,2076 “He þat stalworthly stondes, stir not too swithe,

Lest he faile of his fotyng and a falle haue;" stir too quickly.' ffor he þat set is full sad on a soile euyn,

And pight has his place on a playn ground,
2080 Hym þar not hede to be hurt with no hegh falle,

Ne be lost þurgh his lip to be low erthe.
But pou put þe, priam, to so proude Aunter,

But Priam, when ffor to heuyn on þi harme in a hegh yre; determined to

exalt yourself, 2084 And þi fall was so fuerse with so fele other. and you lost all."

Thy Cité and pi soile sesit of þi hond;
Thow dungen to dethe, and þi dere sonse ;

Thi lege men lost, and of lyue done.
2088 Thurgh vnwarnes of wit þat þi wirdis cast,

ges matir to men mony day after, fforto speke of þi spede, & with spell herkyn

Of þi lure and þi losse for a high wille.
2092 Now what felle be be fortune, & þi fre pepull,

All in coursse how it come I will carpe ferre,
And turne agayne to my tale, qwill I tome haue.

He that is low needs fear no fall.'

in a rage, you

Now to my story

Priam by purpos a perlament assignet, 2096 And gedrit all be grete in his grym yre :

Euyn into ylion pai entrid by dene,
There be souerain was set in a seterioll,
And all þe lordes of þe lond, with his lefe childur.

Priam calls a parliament of his lords,

Book VI.

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2100 Then carpes the kyng and his cause tellus, (fol. 35 a.)

Why the metyng was made at þe mene tyme :

ffor to serche of be sounde & to say ferre. His speech;

• Now," quod the souerain, as your assent was, sent to the Greeks 2104 The man þat with message meuyt fro vs all, by your advice has returned,

By assent of my selfe, & sythen of þe lordes,

He is comyn to þis courtte, as ye know wele; and you know the

And þe Authwart answares þut Auntrid hym treatment and the answers they gave

þere, 2108 Ys knowen to þis company be course of his tale. Thai hede not the hething, ne pe harde

greme, Ne the wronges pai wroght, ne wille to amend;

But with sklaunder and skorne to skather agayn, 2112 In þere pompe and þere pride & pere pure

angur. Our goddes with grace get vs þerfro ! pat neuer vs happon so hard with hom to be spit.

God will noght, y wis, our wirdis enpaire, 2116 Soche dedis to redresse & our dethe voide. Let vs purpos a power pas


grese,-army into Greece

Stir furthe with strenght, stroy of þere londes,— country, and to

Get get my sister, or


suster agayne, or sum grete other, some other great 2120 And wreke we full wele of weghes full nobill. lady instead. We have a strong

We are bigger in batell, haue a burghe stronge, city,

Wele wallit for þe werre, watris aboute,

ffew folke to defende fro a fuerse ost;

2124 And are knightes in our cuntre kyddist in Armys, knights, many men, and abund

ffell men to fight a full fuerse nowmber ;ance of supplies ;

Wele viteld, y wis, for wintors ynow,

Stuff of al maner store þat vs strenght may:
2128 We full of defense, & no faute, haue

Help vppon yche hond highond vs to.
And now sothly it sittes vs, as semith to me,

By assent of youre selfe, & ye so wille,

2132 ffor to purvey a pepull pruddest of werre, (fol. 35 1.)

And gird furthe into grese with a gret batell :

Let us send an

to waste the

most famous

and the time suits well.



Book VI.

can be obtained,

Pas into pere prouyus, pray in hor londys,
Dyng hom to deth er any dyn ryse ;

We may crush

them before help 2136 Er any batell be boune, hom to bale worthe,

pat vnwarnyt of our werkes or hom wo happon.
Thus, I say for my selfe, hit sittis vs all,

ffor to proffer our persons & our pure goodes,
2140 To venge of our velany and our vile harme,

And our state to restore with strokes of hond.
Let not fere you the fray, ne the felle chaunse, Fear not the

chance of war; That the Grekes vs greuyt, & to ground broght; 2144 ffor ofte sith hit is sene, and in sere londes, for often the conThat a victor of a victe is vilé ouercomyn : come by the

conquered." So I hope hit shall here with helpe of our


queror is over

QWEN the kyng had his counsell declaret to the council adopt

the proposal, the ende, 2148 Hit likit all the legis þat the lorde said ;

And affirmet it fast with pere fre wille,
To proue with pere persons & þaire pure goodes.
Than was priam full proude, preyset his lordes,

and Priam, glad at 2152 Donket hom þroly, prappit no lengur;

ffull glad of the graunt with a great joye,
More feruent to fight, fuerser in hert,

Myche comforth he caght of þaire kynd speche:2156 And bus pertid pe persons & presset to þere


heart, thanks them.


consults with his

When the pepull was depertid & the presse The council

having been disvoidet,

missed, the king Saue the kyng and þe courtte with his clene court and family.

bat he wan on his wiffe, as ye wist

2160 And other sonnes vpon syde all with faire


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Book VI.

with tears

ban Ector was one, as aunter befelle,
ffro the parties of payeme present at home,
By comaundement of þe kyng þat was bis kynd

fader. His sons standing 2164

And when þe sons all somyn were the Syre round him, Priam

vmbe, addresses.

Euyn stondyng full still, as paire astate askyt,

carpes the kyng to his clene childur,
With weping and wo, wateryng of ene,

2168 Sobbyng and sikyng, Syling of terys.(fol. 36 a.) “Do not the

“Now synkes not in your sowle pe sorow of wrongs of your house sink into

your graunser,
And the dulfull dethe of your dere fryndes,

The seruage of Exina, þat is in syn holdyn,
2172 And hade in horedam for hethyng of vs;
And we

so mighty on molde & of mayne

strenght? It will be the

Hit is lure of our lyues, and we let sholde shame of our life

ffor to wreke vs of wrathe for any wegh oute. if we do not avenge them,

2176 And ye þat are zepe knightes, & in yowthe alse,

Shuld highly take hede in hert for to venge
The slaght of þe souerayne, þat was my sure

your soul ?


It grieves me,
kind children, that
you should be
sorry for my

And my wille for to wirke, as ye

wele aw.
2180 bat greuys me full gretly, & to ground bringes,

Hit shuld come you by course, as of kynd childer,
To be sory for my sake, & soner þen I;
And part-taker of my payne with prickyng in

2184 And þou my son, for sothe, sonest of other.


And thou, Hector,
my son, mine heir,
ablest and bold.
shouldest 'hede to
my harmes and
pursewo to my
pui pos.

Ector the eldist, and heire to my selfe,-
Antrus in armys, ablist of person,-
Boldest in batell, and best of þi hondes ; -
Thou shuld hede to my harmes, herkon my wille,


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