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Book XII.

forgive all

injuries, if you

would restore my


Ye dishonoured my legate and

despised my name.

I will not now yield to your demand because of a wild threat.

Be it known to Agamemnon and his people that I seek not their peace, but, as

mine enemies,

that they may


(In MS. lines 5048

and 5049 are


Diomedes laughed
and said:-
"If we two cause
you such anger,

you shall have

abundance of

it when a hundred

thousand Greeks

surround you.

(fol. 79 a.)


And sent for my Sustor, sothely, to you ;
And all giltes for-gyffen & greuans of old.
And of the awthwart onswares & angur to hym,
All the wise how it was ye wetyn your selfe.
Hit is knowen to your kynges & comyn with all,
Of the dishonour ye did to my dere legat,
And with spite in your speche dispiset my


5040 Here is plainly no place in pis plit now,
Your wille for to wirke for no wild threte.

I hope the grekes in hor grem shall neuer so gret

To oppresse me with power, ne my plas take, 5044 Ne my godis to gripe agaynes my wille.

I will Agamynon hit wete, & his weghes all,
hat for pes to his pepull pray will I neuer,
Ne folowe on hor frendship, þat me so foule

5048 But I wond for my worship as wetheruns shuld



die !

And ye, so rebell and roide with your rugh speche,
Wynnes yow now wightly for woche of my


While I se you in certain I sourde full of yre,
And bolne at þe brest all for bale angre!"

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When the worthy hade his wordes warpit to end,
Diamede full depely drough out a laughter,
And said to pat suffrayn sittyng agayne :-
"Now kyng, yf we be cause of þi kene yre,
And pou vnsaght of þi sight sothely of vs two,
While pou lyues in pis londe, leue for trew,

Withouten noy be pou neuer, & pin ene opon, 5060 Syn the grekes on the ground are of so gret



And pou faithly shall fynd, in a felle haste,
A hundrith thowsaund pro men priuand in


The weghes to wound & warpe vnto dethe. 5064 And if pou sothely of sorow set be so full, ffor two buernes all bare & of body nakyd, I hope your bolnyng with brest, & your brethe leue Toqwhiche pouer, playnly, pou proues no strenght,

5068 Ne no suertie, may saue fro pere sid harmys."


Book XII.

And if your

sorrow be so full

on account
of two unarmed
men, I hope

your bursting
breast may save
you from the
harms of such

Mony knightes in the courte, pat by the kyng an army."


Wex wroth at his wordes, walt into yre;

Warpit out wordes full swice at the kyng,

5072 And drogh taward Diamede to dere hym anon, ffor to britton pat buerne for his bolde speche.






Priam pen presit vp fro his proude sete,

Bade hom blym of hor brathe or hor bare lyues,

bat no gome shuld hym greue with no grym


Ne negh hym with noy for noght þat he said.
"Syn the wit of no wise man shuld walt into yre,
Ne be fuerse on a fole, pat foutly hath wroght;
ffor it falles to a fole his foly to shew,

And a wise man witterly his wordes to suffer.
As it is fre to a fole foly to carpe,

Enraged by the speech of Diomedes, the

knights of the

court threaten to kill him.

Priam prevents them.

should not be angry with a fool,

"A wise man

who has done foolishly.

So is it wit, a wiseman his wordis to listyn,—
Laghe at it lightly and let it ouer pas ;
ffor in speche may men spie the speker to know,
And wete, by his wordes, the wit þat he beires.
I wold sothely, my-seluyn, suffer full harde,
Or any messanger were mysdon, or marrit with messenger were


Within my courtte, or my cumpany, for


I would suffer much before any

injured within my court, or in my company.

cause here.

Book XII.


compose yourselves, and do

him no injury."

(fol. 79 b.)

Eneas, who sat next the king,

then angrily


"Sir King! a
fool must not be
favoured to speak

You would doon

me to death for

such bold words; and any o e,

except your Majesty, who should dare to

speak so, ought to die.

I therefore

command him to leave this place

on pain of his



ffor lightly a litil thyng, a lose may be tynt,
And a fame be defoulede, & fatid for euer;
perfore set you full sone, sober your wille,
And non proffer, apon payne, to prese hym no


Ne to warpe hym no worde, þat worship may hyndur."

ben set pai sone, as said hom the kyng.


5096 And Eneas efterward etlid to say,


bat sete by the souerayne, non sothely betwene,-
Breke out full boldely all in breme wordis,
And spake full dispitously with a sprete felle :-
"Sir kyng, it sittes not, sothely, for right,
A fole to be fauoret folili to speke.

But wo vnwisely with wordis walis his speche, Hit is skille for his skorne, þat he scathe thole, 5104 And not cherist, but chastist, by charge of his foly. I might sothely so say, here syttyng yow by, hat ye wold deme to dethe for my derfe wordes, pat right wold & reason by rewle of my-seluyn. 5108 And, saue your magiste so mykell, þat men will


He, þat warpes thies wordes in his wild foly, Shuld degh, for his'derfenes, by domys of right; hat so dispitously hath spoken in spit of your


5112 And meuyt your magesty with his mad wordes,
And angert vs all angardly sore,

With presumpcoun & prise of his proude hert.
I bid perfore barly, þat he bove herchyn,

5116 And pas fro this place o payn of his lyfe.
If he faine will foly for a fyn wit,

And gyrt on no grete wordis to greue vs no




Then Dyamed, the derfe kyng, withoutyn dyn


Book XII.

"You, frynde, with pi fare, what freike so pou be, "Friend, I
I wote, by your wordes, pou ert no wise juge;
But I deply dissyre in dedis to come,


desire to thank thee for thy friendship and thy threat.

(fol. 80 a.)

I see now plainly, that the king is

hat I may fynd þe before pi frendship to ponke, 5124 And mede the after mesure of þi meke wille, To thanke the of þi thret and þi pro wordis. Now I se well, for-sothe, sely is the kyng, bat kepis the for counsell clene for hym seluyn, sily, who keeps 5128 þat well con his worship wisshe hym to saue, And rede hym to redurs, pat rixles to shame!" ben Vlixes, with vtterans vne vpponone, The derfe wordis of Diamede dullit with speche;

5132 And wysely he waynet all his wild yre,

you as a counsellor."

To prevent strife,
Ulysses then

þat he nomore in þe mater shuld mene at pat addressed the



(MS. has "to") "We clearly understand

And to Priam [the] price kyng prestly he said:"Kyng, we haue clenly consaiued þi wille. 5136 To Agamynon agayne we go with our onsware, All þi saghes, for-sothe, pat souerain to telle !" And so pai past fro pat pales, preset vnto horse, Agamemnon."

Lepyn on lightly, launchet on hor way,

5140 Gone to be grekes in a grete hast;

Lighten at pere logges, leuyn þere horses,
And ferdon on fote fairly to-gedur;

Into the Emperours awne tent entrid belyue,

5144 Ther all the grete were gedrit Agamynon before And toldyn all tomly, as hom tide hade,

The purpas of Priam tho prinses vntill.

Thai hade meruell full mekyll in hor mynd all, 5148 Of his authwart onswares, þat hym arghet no


Then po Kynges in counsell castyn hom anon,
And ordant on all wise paire enmeis to greue
Be wiles of wer, as ye shall wete after.

your answer, and we shall now go

to report it to

Ulysses and Diomedes ride with all haste to the tent of Agamemnon and

report the

answer of Priam.

The council determine to

prosecute the



(fol. 80 b.)

While the Greeks lay at Tenedos

a council of war was held.

thus addressed the

"Noble sirs! First of all, we

must have food for our soldiers;

and to supply
so large an army,
we must have it
in abundance.

Therefore, let us

xiij Boke. How the Grekys sent Achilles and Thelefon for vitaill for the Ost into Messam.

5152 KYNGYS and knyghtes and other kyde Dukes,
All the souerayns hade selly, as I said ere,
Of priam, the price Kyng, pat prudly hade


Than gedrit were the grekes on a ground faire, 5156 Besyde tenydon truly, to talke of hor dedis. Ordant by the emperour opunly to holde A counsell in the case, with knowyng to all, And procede on hor purpos, as prise men of wer.


When the souerayns assemblit were, as I said


Agamynon, the gouernour, graithit hym to speike,

To po worthy thiez wordis warpit anone :"Noble sirs, in this note hit nedis vs to haue 5164 ffode till our folke, the formast of other,


bat no hongur vs happyn to harme in our werre, While our buernes in batell abiden here stille : hat we faint not in fight, ne feble of strenght. And mykyll is the mete so mony bus haue, If we shall proffet with proues, or any fose wyn: ffor pere as failes the fode, faint is the pepull; And pere hongur is hote, hertis ben febill. 5172 perfore, highly in hast, I hold for pe best,

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