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HECTOR CHALLENGES ACHILLES.
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
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,
7976 And if pou hopys in hert, with pi hegh pride,
7980 pat all the deire of the ded be done on vs two,
7984 Of me, thurgh þi might, by maistry of hond,
I shall fast the pis forward all with fyne othes,
And our ground to pe grekes graunt as for right; 7988 And we exiled for euer-more our easement to
Thy words do
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
All our prouyns & parties put in your wille.
And if it falle me by fortune the feirer to haue, and if I shall
Make vs sekur, on the same wise, oure soile for
assure us that the Greeks will depart and
trouble us no more."
(fol. 124 a.)
to submit to
Of the Trojan leaders, all but
Priam refuse the terms.
7992 Of our prouyns to pas, & paire vs no more,
That the droupes, as a dew, dankit his fas.
This he sadly assurit at the same tyme.
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,
TROILUS AND BRISEIS.
He put of his purpos, & passis perfro.
8024 Turnit fro the tenttes and to toune yode : Past to his palais, & his pale entrid.
THE SOROW OF TROILUS FOR BREISAID HIS LOUE.
When hit tolde was Troilus the tale of his loue,
With shedyng of shire water of hir shene chekes;
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
to be returned to
Ne ses hym of sorow sothely pat tyme !
That the blode out brast, & on brest light;
"I hade leuer my lyf leue in this place,
Hector returns to Troy.
(fol. 124 b.)
Briseis pines and droops;
tears her hair
and her cheeks;
and swoons again and again.
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.
convoyed to the
Grecian camp by
Diomedes, captivated by Briseis,
makes love to her:
8052 Ne of the feynit fate of þat faire lady;
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,
And myche more pat man is meuyt into age,
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.
BRISEIS AND CALCAS.
"Nauther list me my luff lelly the graunt,
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.
THE WORDYS OF BREISAID TO CALCAS HIR FADER.
When the burde in hir boure was broght with
Thes wordes ho warpet with wateryng of Ene :—
8104 That was so conyng of clergy, & knowen in Troy,
Myche louet with the lordes, & the ledis all;
Now art pou trewly hor traitour, & tainted for fals!
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