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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."
('connse' comse, a beginning.)
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 pe Grekys, and þe gret yre,
How þai maintene pere malis with manas &
Uncertain of his Sister for seyng hir euer,
Ne redresse for pe dethe of his dere fader,— 2052 Ne to harmes pat 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 pan he purpost plainly with a proude ost,
ffor to send of his sonnes & oper sibbe fryndes,
2060 But say me, sir kyng, what set in þi hede;— What wrixlit þi wit & pi wille chaunget;
Or what happont thee so hastely with hardnes
To put pe to purpas, þat pynet þe after.
2064 What meuyt the with malis to myn on pi harme, And to cacche soche a connse, to combir pi
With daunger and drede of a dede hate,
(fol. 345.) "The injury was
2068 þat wold 3epely haue bene forzeton in yeres a few, light and long
And neuer menit with mowthe but þurgh mishap.
And oft happes to hit qwo so hede tas :
"You have forgot the proverbs:
2072 "He pat girdis with grete yre his grem for to Vengeance often
brings greater shame.'
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,— "He pat stalworthly stondes, stir not too swithe, He that stands Lest he faile of his fotyng and a falle haue;" 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 purgh his lip to pe low erthe.
But pou put þe, priam, to so proude Aunter,
2084 And pi fall was so fuerse with so fele other.
Thow dungen to dethe, and pi dere sonse ;-
2088 Thurgh vnwarnes of wit þat þi wirdis cast,
fforto speke of þi spede, & with spell herkyn
2092 Now what felle pe be fortune, & pi fre pepull,
Priam by purpos a perlament assignet,
high should not stir too quickly.'
'He that is low
needs fear no fall.'
But Priam, when in a rage, you determined to exalt yourself, and you lost all."
Now to my story
Priam calls a parliament of his lords.
2100 Then carpes the kyng and his cause tellus, Why the metyng was made at þe mene tyme: ffor to serche of pe sounde & to say ferre.
Now," quod the souerain, as your assent was,
sent to the Greeks 2104 The man pat with message meuyt fro vs all,
by your advice
and you know the treatment and the answers they gave him.
Let us send an
army into Greece
to waste the
country, and to
get my sister, or
By assent of my selfe, & sythen of pe lordes,—
2108 Ys knowen to pis 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 pere pompe and pere pride & pere pure
Our goddes with grace get vs perfro!
þat 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 into grese,-
Stir furthe with strenght, stroy of pere londes,-
some other great 2120 And wreke we full wele of weghes full nobill.
We have a strong city,
most famous knights, many men, and abund
ance of supplies;
and the time suits well.
(fol. 35 b.)
ffew folke to defende fro a fuerse ost;
2124 And are knightes in our cuntre kyddist in Armys,
Wele viteld, y wis, for wintors ynow,
THE COUNSEL ACCEPTED.
Pas into pere prouyns, pray in hor londys,
Dyng hom to deth er any dyn ryse;
2136 Er any batell be boune, hom to bale worthe,
þat vnwarnyt of our werkes or hom wo happon.
ffor to proffer our persons & our pure goodes,
That a victor of a victe is vilé ouercomyn :—
We may crush them before help can be obtained,
Fear not the chance of war;
for often the conqueror is overcome by the conquered."
WEN the kyng had his counsell declaret to The council adopt
2148 Hit likit all the legis þat the lorde said;
And affirmet it fast with pere fre wille,
To proue with pere persons & paire pure goodes.
2152 ponket hom proly, prappit no lengur ;
ffull glad of the graunt with a great joye,
More feruent to fight, fuerser in hert,
Myche comforth he caght of paire kynd speche:
2156 And þus pertid pe persons & presset to pere
OFF COUNSELL OF THE KINGES CHILDREN.
and Priam, glad at heart, thanks them.
When the pepull was depertid & the presse The council
having been dismissed, the king consults with his
Saue the kyng and pe courtte with his clene court and family.
hat he wan on his wiffe, as ye wist ere,
2160 And other sonnes vpon syde all with faire
ban Ector was one, as aunter befelle,
ffro the parties of payeme present at home,
By comaundement of pe kyng þat was his kynd
His sons standing 2164 And when pe sons all somyn were the Syre
round him, Priam
(fol. 36 a.)
"Do not the wrongs of your house sink into your soul?
It will be the
shame of our life if we do not
It grieves me,
kind children, that you should be
sorry for my sake.
And thou, Hector, my son, mine heir, ablest and boldest!--thou
shouldest 'hede to my harmes and pursew to my
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.
"Now synkes not in your sowle pe sorow of
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?
Hit is lure of our lyues, and we let sholde
ffor to wreke vs of wrathe for any wegh oute. 2176 And ye þat are 3epe knightes, & in yowthe alse, Shuld highly take hede in hert for to venge
The slaght of pe souerayne, þat was my sure fader;
my wille for to wirke, as ye wele aw. 2180 pat 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 hert.
2184 And pou my son, for sothe, sonest of other.
Ector the eldist, and heire to my selfe,-
Boldest in batell, and best of pi hondes ;
2188 Thou shuld hede to my harmes, herkon my wille,