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Book VI.

I went into the wood on a Friday

to hunt with my people.

Till midday we found nothing: but when evensong was past,

I beheld a hart feeding on a plain all alone.

Fast from my
fellows I rode,
and soon left them
all behind.

On through the wood I worked till I came to a dusky place and lost the deer.

Hit fell me on a fryday to fare vppon huntyng. With myrthe in the mornyng & mony other pepull,

All went we to wod the wilde for to cacche; 2348 And laburt full long, laytyng Aboute.

Till mydday and more myght we not fynde, ffor to wyn as for waithe in þat wode brode; Tyll hit entrid to euyn, & euynsong was past. 2352 Then it fell me by fortune, fer on a playne, As I beheld þurgh a holte, a hert for to se, hat pastured on a playn pertly hym one: And I cast me be course to cum hym before.

2356 ffast fro my felowes & fuersly I rode,

Euper lede hade I lost, & left me behynde,
And swaruyt out swiftly, might no swayne folo.
So I wilt in the wod and the wilde holtis,
2360 ffer fro my feres, and no freike herde,

Till I drogh to a derke, and the dere lost.
He prong into picke wodes, pester with in,
ffor thornes and tres I tynt hym belyue.

Then I ceased and 2364 Than I sesit of my sute, & softly doun light,
Beheld to my horse, pat hote was of Rennyng,


All weary I became; and

seizing the reins,

I bound my horse

to a bough:

All swoty for swyme and his swift course,

That stremys from hym straght, & stert vppon þe erthe,

2368 And dropis as dew or a danke rayne.

All wery I wex and wyll of my gate,

And raght to my reyne, richet o lenght,
Bound vp my blonke to a bogh euyn ;

then stretched me 2372 And graithed me to grounde as me gode liked,

on the ground

under the bright


and placing my

bow and quiver

In a shadow of shene tres & of shyre floures,

Ouer hild for pe hete hengyng with leues.
My bow þat was bigge, & my bright qwyuer,

as a pillow, I soon 2376 Arowes and other geire atled I anon,

fell asleep.

Pight as a pyllow, put vnder my hede;

And sleghly on slepe I slypped be lyue.


I drow into a dreme, & dreghly me thought.

2380 That mercury the mykill God, in pe mene tyme,

Thre goddes hade gotten goyng hym bye,


That come in his company clere to beholde :-
Venus the worthy, þat wemen ay plesyn ;

Book VI.

I dreamed that


Mercury and the three goddesses,

(fol. 39 a.)

Venus, Pallas, and Juno, stood

2384 And Palades, with pure wit pat passes all other; before me.
And Jono, a iustis of ioyes in erthe.
These ladis he lefte a litill besyde,

And sothely hym seluyn said me thies wordes.
2388 To the, Paris, I appere with pre prise goddes,
That are stad in a strife here stondyng besyde;
And haue put hom full plainly in þi pure wit,
To deme as pe dere thinke & þai in dede holde,
2392 When treuthe is determynet & tried by the.
Thus it be fell hom by fortune, faire as I telle :-
As pai sate in hor solas samyn at a fest,


That Mercury spoke thus:

Paris! I appear these three

before thee with

goddesses, that are stad in a strife, which

you are to decide.

As they sat at a

feast, an apple of

An appull of a new shap, þat neuer man hade sene, a new shape was

2396 Coyntly by crafte was cast hom amonge.

Hit was made of a mater meruell to shew,
With grete letturs of Grece grauyn þere vmbe.
To rede it by reson rankes might se,

2400 That the fairest of po fele shull þat fe haue :
And duly this dome haue pai done o pi selfe,
And put on pi person hor pese for to make.
The is hight for to haue highly by me,

2404 A mede of po mighty to mend the with All,
As in rewarde for to ricche of hir þat right has
That ye faithfully shall falle & not faile of.


cast among them.

The inscription bore that the fairest should have it.

You must make their peace; and

such they promise

as your reward.

Yf pou Juge it to Jono, this ioye shall pou If you adjudge it


to Juno, you shall

become the mightiest on -earth.

2408 To be mightiest on molde, & most of all other :This ho grauntis ye to gyffe of hir good wille. And if pou put it to Palades, as for your prise If to Pallas;


Thou shalbe wisest of wit,-this wete pou for

thou shalt be the 'wisest of wit.'


Book VI.

If to Venus;

thou shalt have

the fairest lady

in Greece.'

I answered ;

'I cannot

determine, unless

I see them

(fol. 89 b.)

naked and all together.'

Mercury said;

'Be it as you


And all stood

naked before me.

2412 And know all the conyng, þat kyndly is for men.
Iff pou deme it in dede duly to Venus,

Hit shall falle the, to fortune, pe fairest of Grice
To haue and to holde, to pi hegh mede.'

2416 When mercury hade menyt this mater to ende,
And graunt me pise gyftis hit gladit my hert.
I onswaret hym esely euyn vponon :—
'This dome is in dowte to demyng of me,

2420 The certayn to say, but I hom segh naked;
And waited hom wele, po worthy togedur,
The bodies aboute with my bright Ene.

Than shuld I full sone say, as me thought,
2424 And telle you the truthe, & tary no lengur.'
Then mercury with mowthe pus menyt agayne;—
'Be it done euyn in dede as pi dissire is.'
Than nakuet anon full naitly were all,

2428 And broght to me bare :-I blusshet hom on. I waited hom witterly, as me wele thoght,

All feturs in fere of po fre ladys.

Hit semit me for certayn, & for sothe dom,

Truly, Venus was 2432 pat Venus the vertuus was verely the fairest,

the fairest, and I

awarded her the apple.

Then I awoke.

I am certain,

that, if I am
sent into Greece,
I shall bring
home the

brightest lady of
that land."

Most excelent of other, and onest to wale:
And I duli, be dom, demyt hir the appull.
And ho fayn of pat faire, & frely me het

2436 That the mede shuld be myne, þat mercury saide.
þen wightly pai went. I wackonet with pat,
And grippet my gayre & my gate helde.
Now, howpe ze not hertely, pat pis hegh goddes
2440 Will faithly fulfille paire forward to ende?
I am certen and sure, be I sent forthe,
The brightiest lady to bryng of po brode londys.
Now, meke fader and mylde! pis message to do,
2444 Ye deme your dere son, & dresse me perfore:
Hit shall glade you full godely agaynes your

gret anger,

And fille you with faynhed, in faithe I you hete."



When he told hade his tale tomly to the ende,
He enclinet the kyng, and Carpit no more.



Book VI.

Then Deffebus drogh negh, dressit hym to say,- (Deiphobus.)
Com before the Kyng, & Carpit on highe:

All soberly, for sothe, & sylens he hade.

2452 "Now, dere fader yppon dese, & our due Kynge! "Dear father! Suffers your son to say at this tyme :

And pe dome of yche dede were demyt before, To grepe at þe begynnyng, what may grow after; 2456 To serche it full suerly, and se to be ende,


suffer me to

If the result of
each deed were
known before-

(fol. 40 a.) who would undertake any heavy charge ?

With due deleberacion for doutis of Angur; Who shuld hastely on hond an heuy charge take? And he cast be course what shuld come after, 2460 Shuld neuer purpos vnperisshit be putto A Ne neuer no man no note to no end bryng. Iff tylmen toke tent what shuld tynt worth, Of sede pat is sawen, be sesyng of briddes, 2464 Shuld neuer corne for care be caste vppon erthe: none should ever Ne neuer dede shuld be done but drese furth to


If husbandmen considered how much seed the birds destroy,

be sown.

Therfore, fader, it is fairest, þat ye a flete ordan, Therefore, father,

With a nauy full nobill, þis note to begynne;

2468 Puttis it to Parys, & let hym passe furthe,

As he said you hym seluyn, is sothely the best:
No pure man may pertly preue it for other.

send forth a fleet, and give Paris charge.

And if it happon hym to haue any hynde lady, And if he win any

2472 Or any worthy to wyn & Away lede,

noble lady,

Hit may chese you, be chaunse, to chaunge hir you may choose


Your suster to sese and in sound wyn,

pat our fame so defoules, & is in filthe holdyn." 2476 When Deffebus hade done, he dressit hym to


By leue of the lordes, pat liket his wordes.

to exchange her for your sister."

Book VI.


"Ah! comely king, work not

unwisely in your wild ire!

By the gift of
God, I know all

that will happen:
and you have

found that

all my prophecies

have come to


(fol. 40 b.) Put off this purpose: on no wise let Paris go on this venture.

Else this city shall be taken by the Greeks, and destroyed, &c.

Abstain, then,

lest ye be overwhelmed with woe; you and your sons slain;

and Hecuba, your

wife, left in misery."


Then Elinus, eftesones, (was Eldist of birthe
After Deffebus, by destyny) he drest hym to


2480 Come before the kyng, declarit his wit,
And warpet these wordes, as ye wete shall.
"A! comly kyng coronid, pat pis kith aw!
Let no blyndnes you blenke, ne your blisse faide,

2484 Vnwisely to wirke in your wilde yre.

I know me so konyng in the clene Artis, Thurgh gifte of god, & your goode fyndyng, þat I wot all the wordys, & the wilde Angres, 2488 hat be course are to come, & the cause why. Your seluyn sothely asayet haue before,

I told you neuer tale in tyme pat is past, But ye faithfully haue found it fore as I said. 2492 Therfore, putte of this purpos; Let Paris not go On no wise in this world, for woo pat may happyn.

I say you for certen, & it so worthe,

That Paris be put furthe his purpos to holde,
2496 Gird vp into Grese, & any grem wirke;
This Cite full solempne sesit be þen,

With the Grekes to ground gird vnder fote,
And we exiled for euer: this Aunter shall

2500 Abstene pen stithly, pat no stoure happon,
bat drawghes to our dethe, vndoyng for euer.
Soche bargens are bytter, þat hafe a bare end.
Turne your entent, lest it tyde after,

2504 þat ye be drepit with dole, and done out of

And Ecuba, your owne wife, angur to pole;
Your sones vnsoberly slayne in the place.
All thies cases shall come, I know it full wele,
2508 Y Paris pas furth, as purpos is takon.

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