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COUNSEL OF AGAMEMNON.
If deme it in dede, Dukes and other, hat we mightily to Messam our men send, To fecche vs som fode, or we firre passe. 5176 In pat prouyns is plenty all of prise vitell, Of corne, & of catell, & mony kyd Rewme; perfore, sone let vs send sum of our folke, Worthy to wale, & wise of hor dedis,
5180 To trie of the trewist, & turne into ship,
bes assignet for pe se, with soudiours ynogh,
5196 And merkit vnto Messam with a mekyll nauy.
And set furth to the se with soudiours ynow,
(fol. 81 a.) and to forward
And make puruiaunce plentie, while prese lastis, 5184 That may cum vs, by course, to comford our ost, And abundantly broght with buernes betwene, them as they may ffor to stall our astate and our strenght hold."
In þat yle was onest, an honerable kyng,
As men told in his tyme, and Teutras his name, hat his countre in kuit hade keppit full longe, 5200 And regnit in rest with riches ynogh.
He hade fightyng folke fele of his owne,
Ay abundand of blisse, & bret full of vitaill,
send to Messana for a supply before we pass hence.
When pis counsell was kyd, he carpis no ferr,
5188 Was alowet with the lordis, & all pe ledis after. The proposal is
accepted, and Achilles with
By assent of po souerains, & sithen of all, Achilles was chosyn chefe of pis erend; And Thelephus, pat tother, ton to his fere, 5192 Was Ercules aune son eldist for sothe.
Telephus are chosen for the purpose.
In that province there is abundance of every kind of victual; let us send wise and trusty men with a suitable guard, to procure provisions,
With suitable men and a strong
guard they set sail for Messana.
Some say this island was called Sicily, and also Messana, from a city of that name in the island;
ffull longe, & large, louely with all,
And a pesable port pight full of shippes,
which was so
of its abundance 5212 And because of the corne, cald was it Messan,
of corn or by a king of that name who founded it.
(fol. 81 b.)
3000 knights and
many ships, arrive at the harbour.
pat past fro the port to prouyns o fer. And sum of hit sain, & for sure holdyn, hat the Cité was so calld by a sure kyng, 5216 That biggit the burgh bigly hym-seluyn, And callid it Messan be mowthe, in mynd of his nome;
But Dares, in his dyting, dewly noght tellus
5220 But how po mighty were made to Messan to
ffode for to fecche to pe felle ost.
Som othir Cicill hit sothly myght be,
hat was geynde to grece, pen the grete yle, 5224 þat ferly was fer be-3ond fele Rewmes. Into this prouynce past po pepull to-gedur, Achilles the choise, and his chere felow, With thre thowsand tristé all of pro knightes,
5228 And mony shippes full shene, shot o pe depe,
hat hit into hauyn, houyt not longe,
But bounet to pe bonke po buernys anon.
Then the kyng of pe cuntre, with cumpany grete
The king of
Messana comes to
oppose them with 5232 Of fell fightyng folke, þat on fote were,
a great army; and a furious
Past to pe port, pere the prinse lay.
The grekys, þat were gedrit & to grounde comyn, With all pere cumpany clene of the cloise shippes,
5236 Segh the kyng of the cuntre cum hom agayne, With fele folke vppon fote, pat hom fray wold. pai wan to pere weppon wightly anon.
In defense of pe folke, pai fuersly were armyt, 5240 And girden to-gedur with mony grym dyntus. Bigge was the batell opon bothe haluys,
THE KING OPPOSES ITS LANDING.
Mony fallyn were fey of pe fell grekes,
But mo of the meny, þat mellit hom with. 5244 pof the grekes were grym & of grete myght, pai hade no strenght to withstonde pe striff of withstand their
Many fall on both sides, but the Greeks were unable to
enemies, who were three times their number.
hat were pro men in threpe, & thretyms mo. pere the grekes hade grymly ben gird vnto dethe, 5248 Hade not Achilles ben cheualrous & choise of Achilles boldly
He shot thurgh the sheltrone & shent of hor
(fol. 82 a.)
rushes to the fray and kills many of
knightes Mony doughty were ded thurgh dynt of his hond. the bravest men. All þat warnyt hym þe way he warpet to
5252 Till he come to be kyng, be course as hym list,
5256 Woundid hym wickedly, warpit hym to ground.
He was wode of his wit, wild as a lione,
He strikes the king to the ground fearfully wounded;
Wold haue brittonet the bold with a bare swerd. and is about to
kill him with a sword,
5264 And keppit by course the caupe of his sword; And Achilles the choise kyng cherly he prayit, To let the lorde haue his lyffe for lewté of hym, That woundit was wickedly to pe wale dethe;5268 þat he graunt wold godly pat gome for to leue.
pen to Thelaphus, þe tore kyng, tomly can say ;"What causes ye, by course, so kenly to pray, This syre for to saue, pat is our sad enmy; 5272 And has wackont vs wer purghe will of hym
Hof vp his hond heturly to strike,
5260 With a fouchon felle to ferke of his hede,
And Thelephus, pe tothir, titly persayuit
when Telephus starts under the
That Teutra with torfer shuld tynt haue his liff. stroke, receives it
on his shield,
He stert vnder the stroke with a store shild,
and begs Achilles to spare the king.
"Why spare the one who has caused this war?
Since he was
first to begin, let
him be first to fall."
"Once I came
into this country a stranger, and
(fol. 82 b.) he showed me great kindness: it would grieve
me to see him put to death."
"Do with him
then as you please."
And harmyt vs hogely with his hond one.
"He was a frynde to my fader, & a fyn louer,
And he worship me worthely, & his weghes all.
To se pat doughty be dede & don out of lyue."
5288 And wirke with pat worthy, as ye wele likes.”
Thus the battle
was brought to an
end, and Teut has 5292 The grekes hade pe gre & gone into ship,
was carried home
And Teutra the true kyng was trust on a litter,
He sank under his wounds; and
as death drew near, he sent for Achilles and Telephus.
At whose prayer, full prestly, po prise men two
And all daintethes hom dight dere for pe nonyst. 5300 When few dayes faren were pe fre kyng Teutra Wex weike of his wound & widrit to dethe: ffeblit full fast of his fyn strenght,
Se his dethe on hym drogh dressit hym perfore. 5304 He sent after, sothely, þe souerain Achilles,
And Thelaphe, pat tothir, vnto his owne chaumbur.
When pai comen to þe kyng, po curtes to-gedur, ben fond þai pat fre febill in his bed
5312 I say you now sothely, as my sad fryndes, My lif is not long lastand in erthe.
Done are my dayes, I draw to an end;
And non eire of myn own neuer yet I hade, 5316 pat I my londes might leue, lyuely to kepe, That I getton haue & gate with moche gret trauell,
SENDS FOR TELEPHUS.
All in point for to pas with paynes of dethe.
And holdyn of hard, & with my hond werit
5324 Ercules, pat honerable, edist of my knightes.
Most doughty of dedis, dreghist in armys,
And the strongest in stoure, pat euer on stede
When at the point of death he addressed them thus:
"I am now drawing to my end, and there is no heir to whom I may leave my lands.
Lands which would have been
Hade not helpe ben of hym, was hardiest of lost long ago, but
for the help of Hercules, the bravest of my knights.
(fol. 83 a.)
When my foes