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Now, I will pat pou wete, pi wordes me not

Ne thy boste me abaistes with pi bold speche; But I hope with my hond & my hard strokes, 7964 Thurgh might of oure mykell goddes, & of mayn


Thy body to britton vnto bale dethe;

And all the grete of pe grekes, pat on oure

ground lyun,

ffor to fell in the feld fay with my hond! 7968 Grete folie, by my faithe, fell in your hedis, ffor to hent vppon hand soche a hegh charge, That passes youre pouer, & proffettes no more, But the losse of your lyues, & your ledis all. 7972 This wot I full well, bewar if þe lyste,

pou bes ded of my dynttes, & pi day past,
Er hit hap the with hond my harmys to forther,
To deire me with daunger, or to dethe put.

7976 And if pou hopys in hert, with pi hegh pride,
To oppresse me with power, & to payn bring,
Get graunt of the grekes, & the grete all,
Of kynges, & knightes, & other kyd dukes,

7980 pat all the deire of the ded be done on vs two,
To vttranse & yssue vne at this tyme,
Withouten meuyng of moo, or marryng of pepull.

7984 Of me, thurgh þi might, by maistry of hond,

I shall fast the pis forward all with fyne othes,
All the londis to leue, pat longyn to Troy,

And our ground to pe grekes graunt as for right; 7988 And we exiled for euer-more our easement to



Book XIX.

Thy words do
not at all frighten
me; and I hope
to slay thee with
mine own hand.

What folly it is, to undertake what you cannot accomplish.

And if hap the pe herre hond to haue, in the plase If you vanquish

me, this land

shall belong to Greece:

If you think you
can vanquish me,
get the Greeks to
stake the result
of this war on our
single combat.

All our prouyns & parties put in your wille.

And if it falle me by fortune the feirer to haue, and if I shall

vanquish you,

Make vs sekur, on the same wise, oure soile for

to leue,

assure us that the Greeks will depart and

Book XIX.

trouble us no more."

(fol. 124 a.)

Achilles, chafed
with these words,
accepts the
challenge and
the terms.

and other Greek
leaders refuse

to submit to
such terms.

Of the Trojan leaders, all but

Priam refuse the terms.

7992 Of our prouyns to pas, & paire vs no more,
Ne neuer dere vs in dede, ne oure due londes."
Achilles was angret angardly sore;
Wrathet at his wordes, warmyt in yre;
7996 Chaunget his chere, chauffit with hete,

That the droupes, as a dew, dankit his fas.
He approchet to pe prinse, presit hym ner,
And affyrmit with faithe & with fyn chere,
8000 All po couenaundes to kepe with his cleano


This he sadly assurit at the same tyme.
Ector toke hit full tyd with a triet wille,
More dessyrous to the dede, pen I dem can.
8004 But Agamynon was gayn at þis gret dyn,

With other kynges in company comyn to the tent, hat hasted for the high noise, & hopit in haste Of po mighty full mony the mater to here. 8008 When the knewen all the cause, po kynges by


All denyede it anon ;-no mon assentid,

bat Achilles in chaunse shuld be chosen for hom all,

With pat fuerse for to fight þurgh folye of hym seluyn ;

8012 Ne so mony & so mighty men of astate,


ffor to coupull of hor cause on a knight one, Bothe of londes & lyffe for lure pat might happon. And the Troiens, on the tothir syde, torely with stode,

8016 Dysasent to pe dede, Dukes & other;

Saue Priam, the prise kyng, þat the prinse knew, Bothe his strenght & his stuerne wille stondyng in hert,

Wold haue put hym to pe plit for perell of all, ffor pe will & pe worship of his wale strenght: But for so mony & mighty menit pere agaynes,



Book XIX.

He put of his purpos, & passis perfro.
pen tho prinse at the prise kynges prestly toke The combat is

put off.

8024 Turnit fro the tenttes and to toune yode : Past to his palais, & his pale entrid.


When hit tolde was Troilus the tale of his loue,
How pat faire, by his ffader, was fourmet to

With shedyng of shire water of hir shene chekes;
All-to tugget hir tresses of hir triet here;


Hir faire fyngurs with forse femyt of blode, 8044 And all-to rafet the rede chekys, ruthe to be

8028 To the grekes, by graunt of po grete kynges,


ffor Bresaide the bright vnblithe was his chere; ffor he louit hir full lelly, no lesse pen hym seluyn, Troilus loves With all the faithe and affection of hys fyn hert. 8032 Myche sykyng and sorow sanke in his brest; He was tourment with tene, tynt was his hew; because she is All wan was the weghe for his wete teres ; With lamentacion & langour vnlusty to se; 8036 Was no knight in the court kouthe comford

is overcome
with grief

to be returned to
her father.

hym oght,

Ne ses hym of sorow sothely pat tyme !
And Bresaid, the bright, blackonet of hew;
With myche weping & waile, waterid hir ene;
8040 All fadit that faire of hir fyn coloure,


That the blode out brast, & on brest light;
And ay swonit in swyme, as ho swelt wold
In pere hondes, pat hir helde & halp hir to stond;
8048 And pes wordes ho warpit as hir wo leuit:-


"I hade leuer my lyf leue in this place,
Than any lengur to lyffe & my luff tyne !"
No lengur of thies louers list me to carpe,

Hector returns to Troy.

(fol. 124 b.)

Briseis pines and droops;

tears her hair

and her cheeks;

and swoons again and again.

Book XIX.

Whoever desires more about these lovers, turn to the story of Troilus.

All women are fickle.

If one eye weeps, the other laughs.

(fol. 125 a.)

A fool is that youth, and a greater fool is that old man, who relies on the

word of a woman.

Brisels is

convoyed to the

Grecian camp by

Troilus and


Diomedes, captivated by Briseis,

makes love to her:

8052 Ne of the feynit fate of þat faire lady;
Who-so wilnes to wit of paire wo fir,
Turne hym to Troilus, & talke pere ynoghe!

Hit is a propertie apreuit, & put hom of kynd. 8056 To all wemen in the world, as pe writ saythe, To be vnstable & not stidfast, styrond of wille: ffor yf the ton ee with teres trickell on hir chekes, The tothur lurkes in lychernes, & laghes ouerthwert!

8060 So full are po faire fild of dessait,

And men for to mad is most pere dessyre,
There is no hope so vnhappy, pat hastes to noght,
Ne so vnsikur at a say, as to set vppon wemen!
8064 A foole is pat freike in his frele yowthe,

And myche more pat man is meuyt into age,
That in wordes of wemen wastyn þere hope,
Or in faire hotes of po fre fully will trust.

8068 This Breisaid, the burde, by byddyng of pe kyng, In apparell full prowde purpost to wend; Troilus, the true knight, with triet men other, ffro the Cité with pat semely soghtyn on pe gate. 8072 Then the grekes com girdond fro the gay tentes, Resayuit hir with Reuerense, & Riden furthe


And the Troiens to the towne turnyt agayne. The derf kyng Diamede drughe the lady ner, 8076 Beheld hur full hertely, het hir in loue; With venus woundit, I-wis, in his wild hert, He rode to pat Riall, and the Reyne toke. Then he said to pat semly all on soft wise, 8080 All his corage by corse of his cold hert,

With full speciall speche to spede of his erend.
Then Breisaid, the bright, bainly onswart,
ffor to hold hym in hope & hert hym the bettur:-



"Nauther list me my luff lelly the graunt,

Book XIX.

Ne I refuse the not fully pi frendship to voide; which Briseis ffor my hert is not here holly disposit,


To onsware on otherwise, ne ordant perfore! 8088 At hir wordes, I-wis, the worthy was glad; Hengit in hope, held hym full gayne. At hir fader fre tent fongit hir in armys, And set hir on pe soile softely with hond. 8092 A gloue of pat gay gate he belyue,

Drogh hit full dernly the damsell fro: None seond but hir-selfe, pat suffert full well. Hit pleaside hir priuely, playntyde ho noght, 8096 Let hit slip from hyr slyly, slymyt þerat. Than Calcas, the clerke, came fro his tent, ffongit hir faire and with fyne chere,

Toke hir into tent, talket with hir fast, 8100 And menit of hir maters, as pai in mynd hade.

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When the burde in hir boure was broght with
hir fader,

Thes wordes ho warpet with wateryng of Ene :—
"How fader, in faithe, failet pi wit,

8104 That was so conyng of clergy, & knowen in Troy,

Myche louet with the lordes, & the ledis all;
And worshippit of yche we as a wale god!
All the gret of pe ground gouernit by the,
8108 And pou riches full riffe, renttes ynow?

Now art pou trewly hor traitour, & tainted for fals!
Thy kyn & thy cuntre vnkyndly forsakyn,

bat pou shuld faithly defend with a fre hert; 8112 And fro woches haue werit, & pi wit shewed. Hit is cheuit the a chaunse of a choise febull! Leuer forto lyf in a lond straunge,

In pouerte & penaunce with thy pale fos, 8116 Then as a lord in þi lond lengit at home.


At her father's tent she is lifted from horseback by Diomedes. He pulls off one of her gloves.

(fol. 125 b.)

Calcas receives her with great joy.

"Why, O father, have you, who were so honoured at Troy, turned her traitor ?

Why prefer to
live in exile
among your
enemies; when
you might be as a
lord in Troy."

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