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Book XVII.

causes Paris,

who was unarmed,

to be led into the city.

Hector rushes on Menelaus, and tries to capture him: the Greeks prevent him.

The Grecks are put to flight: night ends the battle.

And so went he to wer wilfully hym selfe,

7536 þat wist well the wale kyng, þat waited hym so,

To haue slayn hym full sleghly with sleght of

his hond.

Eneas eftir, with abill knightes mony,

Send hym to pe Cité for the same cause, 7540 ffor marryng of Menelay at þe mene tyme. ben Ector come egurly, euyn vpon-one,

Merkit hym to Menelay, the mon for to take;
But pe multitude was so mekill, þat marrit hym


7544 And put hym fro purpos with a prese hoge,
That he leuit the lede, launchit aboute,

Gird doun of pe grekes grymly with strokes, ffrusshit þurgh the frount, fell hom to dethe! 7548 Thurghe the pouer of pe prince, & his pert


ben fled all in fere, & the fild leuit;

Turnit to pere tenttes with tene at þere hertis.
Thai sesit of pe sute, pe sun was to rest,

7552 And turnyt to be toune, taried no lengur!

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xviijt Boke of the ffyuet Batell in the ffelde.

As hit happit of þes hynd, herkyn a while! When the derke was don & the day sprang, Thes kynges and knightes, kid men of arms, 7556 Were assemblit full sone in hor sure wedis.

Then Priam full plainly purpos hade takon,
That no freike to pe fight shold fare out of toun,

But yche renke take his rest right as hym liked.

7560 And of maters to mene in þe mene tyme,

7564 Deffebus pe doughty, & derfe Palidamas.

(fol. 117 b.)

The kyng sent for his sons and souerains of He sends for

Hector, Æneas,


Ector, & Eneas, and Alexsaunder Paris,
Troilus pe tru knight, tristy of hond,

Paris, Troilus,
Deiphobus, and

When the knightes were comyn, þus the kyng

The Trojans are arrayed; but Priam determines that his army

shall rest for one


"Wot ye not worthy, pe wale kyng Toax
Is put in our pouer, our prison within,

7568 pat myche harme with his hond happont to do,

And with his pouer hath preset oure pepull to sle,
Oure Citie to sese and oure side londes!

ffor his hardines here, & his hegh malis,

7572 He shold be done to pe dethe by domys of right, and proposes to

put Thoas to

To be hangit in hast, or his hede tyne :
Thus me semyth for certain, now sais me your

witte !"


The[n] answard Eneas easely agayne:

Eneas answered, 7576 "Lord, with your leue, þat were a laithe dede!

that such would

be a wicked deed.

Syche a chaunse for to chefe choisly of you,

The noise of your nobilté were noyet for euer!
Syne he is gret of degre, groundit of old,

7580 And mony syb to hym selfe of souerans & other,

Ye haue ledis, þat ye loue, & lightly may happyn

In return for which, the Greeks

Of your sons to be sesit, or sum sib other:

might put some

noble Trojan to death: it might

hen the grekes for grem in hor grete yre,

be one of Priam's 7584 Wold dight hym to dethe, your dole to increse.

own sons.

Hit might sothely be siche on, as your self


That he should be kept as a prisoner for exchange.

(fol. 118 a.)

To this coursel
Hector assents.

that Thoas be kept as they had proposed.

Anens, Troilus,

and Antenor go

to comfort Helen.

ffor mykill of þis medill erthe pat myschefe to se: Therfore, sothely me semeth, sauyng your wille, 7588 Hit is bettur þis bold kyng in the burgh hold. may be chaungit by chaunse for sum choise other,


hat is takon of Troy, if hit tyde so;

And the lure be pe les pen the lyfe tyne." 7592 Ector to Eneas egerly assentid,

Priam answered,

Then Priam to be purpos prestly can say :

that the Greeks

would deem them 7596 "If we leue hym on lyue, & the lede kepe,

cowards but he would command

Oure fomen, in faith, for faint will vs deme;

And hold vs vnhardy oure harmys to venge! But, neuertheles, as you list, of pat lord wirke; 7600 And, as yo counsell in the cas, I comaund be


When this speche was sped, speke pai no fferre.
Eneas to Elan Etlit to wend,

And confermyt his counsell in cas for þe best;
And lowet the lede for his leue speche.

To se hir in sight, and solas þat fre.

7604 He toke with hym Troilus & trusty Antenor,

And went in full wightly into a wide halle.
There was Ecuba pe honerable, & Elan to-gedur,
With women of worship, the worthiest of Troy:


7608 There segh þai pat semly, & with soft wordys,
Comford hur kyndly with carpyng of mowthe.
The grekes for pe greuaunce & the grete harmys,
ffor the tene, pat hom tyde, & tynyng of pepull,
7612 Made myche murmur & menit hom sore,
As folis, pat folily hade faren fro home

To put hom in perell to perysshe pere lyues;
Myche gold & goodes vngraidly dispendit,
7616 With mony harmys, þat hom hepit of hor hede


And might haue lengit in hor lond, & pe lak


The same night was a note, noyet hom all ;-
A thondir with a thicke Rayn thrublit in pe


7620 Ouershotyng with shoures thurgh pere shene


As neuer water fro the welkyn hade waynit


The flode was so felle, with fallyng of Rayn, Hit was like, by the lest, as oure lord wold 7624 With water haue wastid all þe world efte:

So kene was pe course of the cold shoures! And more greuit the grekes by pe grym windes, bat wacknet so wodely, walt ouer the logges; 7628 Ouertyrnit the tenttes, teghit vp the ropes; And alto rafet & rent all the riche clothes. When the derke ouerdrogh, & pe dym voidet, The stourme wex still, stablit the course; The sun in his sercle sette vpo lofte e; All clerit the course, clensit the aire; The grekes hor geire grippit anone, Bounet vnto batell, and to bent droghe! 7636 Achilles, of all men auntrid hym first, ffore euyn to the fild with a felle pepull: Then Diomede the doughty, & derfe Menelaus,



The Greeks
fates; and

bewail their sad

account themselves fools for having engaged in this


A great storm of thunder and rain comes down, with fierce winds.

The tents of the Greeks are torn (fol. 118 b.) to pieces, or overturned.

Next morning the Greeks array themselves for battle.


Agamynon the grete, [&] pe goode duke of Athens.

Achilles slays the 7640 With the kyng of Larris full cantly caupit king of Larissa.


hat he droffe hym to dethe with the dynt of a


Hector slays

Diomedes slays

Epistrophus and
Tedius set upon

'Since you love fliting so well; go, flite on the dead!'

Tedius summons a thousand knights to avenge the death of Epistrophus.

(fol. 119 a)

Eagerly they follow Hector over the field,

Antoneus on Ector full egerly met,

But, er he past fro the prinse, he was pale ded. 7644 Then Diomede, the derfe kyng, deghit out of lyue

Xantipus, pe same tyme, þat was a sure kyng.

Two kynges pere come, þat were kyde brether,—
Epistafus pe pert was propurly pat one,

7648 And Tedius, pat tothir,-tydé men bothe:
Vppon Ector ernistly pos egir men set.
Ephistafus hym presit with his proude wordes,
As a ribold with reueray in his Roide speche,
7652 Sythen spurnit hym dispitously with a speire felle;
But he hurt not pat hynd, ne hade hym to ground;
Ne the deire of his dynt dasit hym but litle.


Ector, wrathed at his wordis, waynit at the kyng, 7656 þat he gird to þe ground and the gost yald:

ben warpid he pes wordis in his wild hate :-
"ffor pou of flytyng was fuerse with frekes vppon

Go dresse pe to dedmen, & dyn þere a while.” 7660 This, Tedius the tothir full tomly beheld.

Gret pytie with payne persit his hert;

ffor the dethe of þat dere doublit his sorow.
He cald of his knightes of clene men a thowsaund,
7664 That all hastid to pat hend hertly & mo.

He bade hom full boldly, for bale vpon erthe,
All folow to pat freke, pat his fere slogh.
On his broder bale dethe baldly to venge,
All suyt on pat syre in a sad hast,

And laited aftur þe lede with a light wille;


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