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ARRIVAL AT CYTHERA.
2816 Ay boun to the banke, when hom best thoght, ffor to light on pe londe, & leng on hor ese. Now it felle hom by fortune, as þai fere so, Monolay for to mete, the mightiest of Grese,
2820 Come sayland by syde & the see held;
Purpost vnto Pyle by prayer of Nestor,
To solas hym a season, & soiourne with the Duke. This Menelay, þat I mene, the mighty before, 2824 To Agamenon the graithe was a gay brother;
And had weddit, I wis, & to wif held
Of hir feirehede & feturs is ferly to here,
2828 I shall telle you, when I tyme haue, tomly her
Ho was suster for sothe, as I said ere,
To Pollux the pert kyng, & his pere Castor,
bat soiournet the same tyme at the Cite Emscor, 2832 As legis in hor owne londes, a louely hom with,—
Ermonia, a Maydon þat þai moche louyt,
A doghter full dere of dame Elan the quene.
Menelaus passes the fleet on his way to Pylos.
(MS. has Pire)
He was brother of Agamemnon, and husband of Helen.
She was sister of
When the Grekes se the grete nauy, þai girdon The Greeks keep
2836 And meuyt fro pere metyng at the mene tyme. Nawther company by course hade Kennyng of
But past to pere purpos & no prise made,
And sailet vpon syde vnto sere costys.
2840 Parys and his pepull past by the stremys,
Sytrinos forsothe, with Sailers to nome.
away from the fleet.
Paris and his
company, with favourable winds, reach Cythera, now Cerigo.
(fol. 45 b.)
They land and go
to the temple of Venus,
whose chief festival was then being held by the people.
all parts came to that festival,
Paris joins a company on their way to the
(fol. 40 a.)
2848 Caste ancres full kene with cables to grounde; ffestonit the flete, as hom fayre thoght;
Buskys into botys, were borne to pe lond,
To solas hom a season, as hom selfe liked; 2852 And waited vppon hor wirdes for wynnyng of godys.
In Sythera, for sothe, was a solempne tempull,
Of Venus, I wis, þat worthy was holdyn,
2856 And enabit of old þere auntres were sene.
And lyuet after law of pe lell gentils,
2860 þat Venus the worthy worshippit for god,
2864 Thus tyd hit pat tyme, as I telle wille,
bat the principall & prise fest of pere pure goddys Was holdyn po high dayes with hom pat pere dwelt;
And other folke vpon fer fell thedur thicke, 2868 With mykull prese of pepull of prouynce aboute, Soght to pat solenité sacrifis to make.
Worthy wemen to wale, wete ye forsothe, bat prist are of pilgrymes to pas ouer lond 2872 To waite after wondres, & wilfull desyre More Janglyng of Japes pen any Juste werkes, And for solas & sight pen sacrifice to do. When parys persayuit had the pepull anon, 2876 He cacchis a compony clenely arayed,
And to the tempull full tyte toke he pe gate. ffull mylde on his maner meuit within.
On a side he hym set, as semyt for a straungior, 2880 In prayers full prist the pepull beheld.
HELEN LONGS TO SEE PARIS.
He offert onestly in honour of Venus,
A store man & a stoute, full stithe hym be semyt;
He offers "a gobet of gold."
2888 Wemen waited hym well, hade wondur of He is admired
That of shap for to shew was shene to beholde,
And clad as a kyng in clothys full fyne.
He was louyt with ladys, lappit in hert.
2892 As course is of kynd & comyn dessire,
Ich on fraynet at his fere pe frekys to know,
and loved by the
All wonder and inquire who he
Of what lond were po louely hit list hom to wete, is, &c. And prinsipall of Parys the pepull dessiret, 2896 Of þat comly to Ken, & his cause here.
And o sithen it was said, & for sothe tolde, That Parys was Pryam son, þat prinse is of Troy, By comaundement of his kyng comyn into Grese, 2900 With a company clene his cosyn to gete.
Exiona sothely he soght for to haue,
That Telamon hade takon & with tene held,
And set vnder seruage pat hom sore greuyt.
2904 This speche furth sprede & sprange vppo ferre,
The prishede of parys was praisit so mekyll,
Helen hears of his arrival,
and great beauty;
and longs to see him.
(fol. 46 b.)
Lust impels her to the Temple.
Book VII. 2916 This ho tolde hir entent, as pe tyme asket,
ness of women,
and what it ends in.
Fie on him, who first led such
(fol. 47 a.) Treason, war, and ruin
arc the fruits,
And to stare o po stoute, & hir astate shewe
2920 Hit is wondur to wit of wemen dissyre,
Rauisshe hom Radly & paire rede turnys;
Puttes hom to purpos pat pynes hom after.
2932 With Sossyngs, & Sotelte, Settyng of cases,
To falle vpon foly & hor fame lose:
Now fey be pe freike þat it first ordant.
Of yonge men & yenerus, þat yurnes to gaumes
2940 Gers maidnes be mart, mariage for done;
And ertes ay to euyll ende & ernyst by the last. Throgh whiche treason betydes, & ternys vn. qwhile
2944 Bolde men to batell and biker with hond:
pat draghes vnto dethe, & deris full mony.
Therfore saintes to seche and to sere halowes, And turne vnto Templis atyrit with pride, 2948 pof it be laifull to ladys and oper les wemen, 3et it ledis vnto laithnes and vnlefe werkes ; And shotis into shame as shene has ben ofte.
But thou, Helen,
But pou Elan, þat haldyn was hede of all ladys, first of all ladies, 2952 And the fairest of feturs formyt in erthe,
What wrixlit þi wit & pi wille chaunget,
In absens of þi souerayne, for saghes of pepull,
þat might faire haue refraynit with pi fre wille;
Hade pou holdyn þe at home, hedit þin astate, 2960 And not cayret fro court þere company was gedurt,
To waite aftur wondurs for a worde light.
Hit were sittyng for sothe, & semly for wemen,
what evil spirit possessed thee, &c.
It becomes women to abide at home, and strive to preserve
paire houses to haunt & holde hom with in; 2964 Kepe hom from company & comonyng of folke; their honour.
And, ouer all, pere onesty attell to saue,
Whethir a ship, þat is shot on pe shire wawes,
2968 Halyt into havyn, harlit with ropes.
Ne a woman, I wis, þat wisely will gouerne,
Thou dissyret full depely, dame Elan, þi seluon But, dame Helen,
2972 To pas fro pi palis & pi priuey chamber,
And seche to Sytheria with solempne Avowe;
In colour of þi cause pou couet to se
bat straunge, þat was stoute & stare hym vppon; 2976 So pou light in vnlefulnes, pat lefully semyt,
Thurgh pi Licrus lust þat Lurkit in pi hert. ffor pe sight of þat semely, sotheli, was venum, pat enfecte pi faire loue to pe fairist of Grise, 2980 And mony Greke with grem vnto grounde
(fol. 47 b.)
what disasters followed.