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Well wallit to wale, with water aboute; 4868 And perfore sothly I say, hit semis vnto vs, hai are feler of folke, & fuerser by the halfe, With more plenty of pepull, & pe province hor


And yche freike is þere frynd to filsom pere spede. 4872 bis I say not, for sothe, supposyng in hert

Hit has fallyn vnto fele men, fer in tymes past,
bat hastely on hede has highit to a note,


fulsum, to
I say not this

bat of our dede shuld be doute,-I dem it not so. through doubt of

our success;

nor do I deem it impossible to take

Ne I put not vnpossible 30n place for to take, And all pere folke in fight with forse to distroy; and destroy the 4876 Ne the Cité to sese and serche within,


city but that we
may work wisely
and with

And all the toures of the toun tumbell to ground; discretion.
But þat louyng & lose shuld lenge of our dedis,
And our werkes all wisely wroght by discrecioun,
4880 þat we fare with no foly ne fonnyng of pride.

And keppit no counsell, ne no clene rule, 4884 But put hom with pride a purpos vnto,

Hit rapit to repentaunse & mony ranke harmys.
This knowis all the company, þat the kyng


Book XII.

4896 Done his dissyre, deiret not our seluyn,

The harme & the hardgrem, þat highet vs after,
And this sorow in Sitheria had sothely not fallyn;
Ne Elan, ne other mo honerable of grece,
4900 Had not laithly bene laght, & led vnto Troy ;


This assembly knows that Priam sent a message to us lately, and asked us only to send back his sister Hesione; and that, like fools, we answered him with scorn.

Noght leng sithen but late, a lede of his owne 4888 Made on a message vnto our menes londis,

ffor his sustor Exiona to send hym agayne:
This couet the kyng, keppit he no more.
And we, as vnwise men, welt into pride;


4892 Answarth hym awterwart with angur & skorne, ill-naturedly,
With thretyng vnthriuand of our thro hertes;
And manast his messanger with malicous pride.


Had we but

Hade we herkont hym hyndly, hedit his wille, listened to his

request, the harms and sorrow that followed would not have befallen


(fol. 76 b.)

Book XII.

And, what fortune shall befall us, no one can tell.

Therefore, sirs, if you wish to avoid all the perils of war, and to save our people,

let us send a message to Priam, and promise to grant him Hesione if he will send back Helen and the rest of our people; and redress the wrongs done to us by Paris.

(fol. 77 a.) The Trojans will be accounted fools; but never one will blame us.

Ne we, pat are wonyn ouer the wale streames, bat worthy to wyn with weppon in fight, Hade not faren so far our fos to distroy, 4904 Ne so long fro our londes lengit away.

And, what fall shalbe fortune, no freke can vs telle :

Wethur worship or wo: wete we not all?
perfore, sirs, me semys, if you so like,

4908 Yf ye deme it be don, & in dede holde,

To put of all perells & our pepull saue;

All chaunse to exchewe, & cheue vs the bettur
Our worship to wyn, & no wegh hurt ;

4912 þat we may saile hom in sound & our sute haue;
Let make vs a message to the mon Priam,
hat is kyng of the coste & the kythe ow,
And wilne hym wisely, þat worthy, to send
4916 Honerable Elan & other of our pepull :

And redresse vs the domage, þat he don has By Paris his proude son, in our prise londis. If þat souerayne accept this sothly with hert, 4920 And do it in dede, as our dissyre wille,

We may wend hom with worship & our wille

And saue so our seluyn & our sute hole;
Nauther redur ne rape to pis rem do.

4924 And if Priam with pride this purpos refuse,

Two frendes haue fully to fight in our cause:

(MS. has ruder.')
And if Priam
refuse this offer,
we shall have two
friends to fight in
our cause: Right,
that constrains us
for the loss of our
goods, and Peace,

On is right, þat vs riches for rape of our godes;
And pes, þat we proffer our pouer to extaint.

that we proffer to 4928 Thurgh the world shall it wend our werke at

prevent the

exercise of our


pis tyme.

Ay the mo, pat our mesure maynly may here,
The lengur vs luff shall till our last end;
And the Troiens be told as for triet foles,

4932 Ne excusit of skathe & sklaunder of pride,

To macche vs with monhede & might of our selfe,


And wyn hom in wer with weppon in fight. Neuer buerne will vs blame, ne ban for our dede, 4936 Ne wegh will vs wite to pe worldes end. Ses now, your seluyn, my saghis vnto, And deuys of pis dede as you dere think." When the souerain hade said, pen sesit he here, 4940 And mony of po mighty menyt þer agayn, Noght semond, pai said, ne sittyng to do; And part of pat pepull prouyt hit for wit; And o sithin, all samyn assentid perto. 4944 Two chere men pai chese on pis choise erend,(Onest & abell Vlexes was one,

And Dyamede, pe derfe kyng demyt þat other)-
Aionet to pis iornay iustly to-gedre.

4948 Stiden vpon stithe horse stird to the Cité,
And wenton in wightly po worthy hom seluon.
Entred into Elion, pat honerable Palis,

Lightyn at the low, leftyn paire horses,

4952 Gone vp by the greses all of gray marbill, Hit into the halle of the high kynge.

Hade meruell full mekull of pat mayne place,
Of the walles pat wroght were wondurly faire,
4956 With high toures full torrit all the toun vmbe.
Yet meruelt hom more ymyddes the halle
Was a tre, þat was tried, all of tru gold,
Meruelous & mekyll men to be-hold.

4960 The bole was of bright gold, bret to pe myddes, Largior pen a lawriall & lengur with all,

(xij cubettes by course all of clene heght) hat fourmyt was full faire to be fre boghes. 4964 The brede of his bowes borly to se,


Large and longe, (light as the sun)

ffro the dese to the dorse doblit on brede

And the sydys, by a sercle of þe same hall.
The braunches were borly, sum of bright gold,
Sum syluer for sothe, semlist of hew;


Book XII.

'Devise now as ye think best."

The council is divided; some condemn, and some approve the proposal. At last all accept it, and Ulysses and Diomede are sent as messengers to Priam.

They arrive at the palace and pass into the hall.

They are astonished at the greatness of the city; its walls and towers, &c.

But they are more astonished by a tree of gold, set in the centre

of the great hall.

It was twelve cubits high, and finely formed.

(fol. 77 b.) The boughs spread from the dais to the doors, and from wall to wall.

Some of the branches are of gold, and some

Book XII.

of silver ; with leaves of the same. The buds and

fruit are of many kinds, and shimmer among

the leaves like precious stones.

Ulysses and
Diomede are led

through many

long chambers, till they reach the

one where Priam

was seated among his lords.

They make no obeisance, and sit down before the king.

(MS. has "Sais")

"Agamemnon asks you to restore Helen in safety,

(fol. 78 a.)

and to make

restitution for

the harms done

by your son Paris.

With leuys full luffly, light of þe same; With burions aboue bright to be holde; 4972 And frut on yt fourmyt fairest of shap,

Of mony kynd þat was kuyt, knagged aboue, hat shemert as shire as any shene stonys. Long abodyn thies buernes in the bright hall, 4976 Or pai comyn to the kyng by course for to


Led were po lordes pro mony long chaumburs,
Goand vp by degres purgh mony gay Alys,

And past into a proude chaumbur pere Priam
was set,

4980 Among lordes of his londe & ledis of his owne.
bai salut not pat souerain with no sad wordes,
Ne worshippit no wegh pat hym with stode;
But euyn agaynst þat gret þai gone for to sit,
4984 In the ffrount of po folke & pe fre kyng.

ben auntred Vlexes and his erund said,
And warpet pies wordes as ye wete shall.


"Sir Priam! thof we prise not þi person to

4988 Ne worship the as worthy, no wonder pou haue ;
ffor we haue þe in hate as our hede ffoo:
And an enmy to anoper nothing it semys,
Hailsyng ne hynd speche with no hede bare.
4992 Agamynon the gret, pat on þi ground lys,

Hase made vs as messengers at this mene tyme,—
Hyder send vs to say to þi selfe euyn,

He biddes the full barly the bright qwene Elan,
That you caght fro his kyng, & oper kyd pepull,
Send hom in sound & safly to hym,

And stifly restore o the stithe harmys;
All Redurs to riche with pi Ranke goodes,

5000 That you pild in his prouynse by Paris þi son.


Of harme in a hond qwhile highand the to!
5004 Thou bes ded for pe dede dernly pi selfe ;
All þi pepull be perisshit & put out of lyue;
Thy Cité & pi Sid londe sesit in were,
Betyn and brent doun vnto bare askes;

Book XII.

Iff yow do pus in dede, hit doghis the bettur:
And yf pou set noght our saghe, se what will If you will not

do so, see what
will befall you!

5008 The Rewme purgh Riden, robbed pi goodis, Set vnder seruage & sorow for euer!”

ffull soberly he said all in sad speche,

"Me meruells full mekill of your mayne prete, And angers me full euyll your angard desyre, 5016 When ye couet by course, with vnkynd fare, Satisfaccioun to be sent fro my selfe euyn,



When Priam persayuit had all his proude wordes,
He onswared Vlixes vne vponone,

5012 Withouten counsell of knightes or any kyde Priam replied:


Syn ye are cause of þis care, & curstly haue don.
My souerayn ye slogh, & my sybbe fryndes;

5020 My folke put into pyne, pild all my Rewme;
Moche disseese ye me did, no redresse made.
Exiona, my suster, in seruage ye put,
And fele of my ffryndes into fer londes,
5024 In hordam & harlatry vnhyndly to lye ;

Not keppit hir kyndly, as a kynges doughter,
But laithly in lechery, lengyng to dwelle:
And menen me with manas Amendes to bede!
I wold sothely, my Selfyn, sittyn with the harme
Of the dethe & the dole of my dere fader,
In obryggyng of batell, & blode to be spilt.

And on message I made a mon of myn owne,


5032 Antinor I ordant pat erende to wende,


"I marvel at your threat, and at your demand for satisfaction; seeing that ye are the cause of all this trouble.

(fol. 78 b.)

For myself, I would have borne the loss of my father; and I sent Antenor to you, promising to

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