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Book XXII.

gazes, the more he is wounded.

She leaves the temple; and

Achilles, with

love look, gazes after her.

He returns to his

tent, and goes to rest;

but thoughts of Polyxena keep him awake.


wretch that I

am! The bravest and sternest

in battle, even Hector

himself, could

not vanquish me:

9156 The sarre woundit he was, & his wille hatter. Lo, so sodainly with sight in a sad hast,

A whe may be woundit purgh wille of hym seluyn !

Thus, Achilles by chaunse is chaltrid in grym, 9160 With loue of this lady, pat ledis to pe dethe. All the care of his cure the kyng has forgeton, And all meuit out of mynd saue the maidon one !

When be day ouerdrogh to be due tyme, 9164 Ecuba the honerable, & hir awne doghter, Turnyt from the temple and to toune yode; Wentton hom wightly, weppit nomore.

The lede loked hir after with a loue egh,

9168 ffolowand on fer, þat fre to beholde,

hat was cause of his combranse & his cold dethe: pan with langur of lust, & of loue hote,

He was stithly astondid, stird into poght. 9172 So he passid the port, & his pale entrid, Turnyt into tent, takon full hard.

The buerne into bed busket anon,

Seke & vnsound, set out of hele:

9176 Mony thoghtes full pro prang hym within,
And was laburt full long in his lefe saule.

He feld in his fare, & his fell hert,

bat the cause of his combraunse was the clere

9180 Thies wordes, in his wo, witturly he said,
Soberly to hym-selfe, pat no saule here:-
"Now wrecche full vnworthy, wo mot I pole,
bat mony stalworth in stoure, & stuerne men


haue kyld,

9184 Might non abate of my blysse, ne my ble


Noght Ector of all other, oddist of knightes,

Hade no sleght me to sle, ne to slyng vnder,


Ne ouercome


me by course with his clene

A ffrele woman me fades, & my fas chaunges, And has gird me to ground, & my gost feblit! Syn ho is cause of my care, & my cold angur, Att what leche vppon lyue might I laite hele? 9192 There is no medeyn on mold, saue the maiden one,

hat my sors might salue, ne me sound make. The whiche pof I loue, & langwisshe to dethe, With prayer, with prise, ne with pure strenght, 9196 Ne for worthines of wer, ne of wale dedis.

What wildnes, or worship, waknet my hert
ffor to hap her in hert, þat hates my-seluyn ?
In hir cuntre to come, & hir kyn sle,

9200 Hir fadur & hir fryndis, fond to distroy,

And hir brother haue britnet, pe best vpon erthe?
On what wise in this world wilne shuld I hir,
Most exilent of other, onerable of kyn,


Book XXII.

but a frail
woman has.

(fol. 142 a.)

What hard fate
has made me love
her who hates

Or, why should I desire her, so far above me?

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And passes of pertnes pure wemen all?

Hit semith me vnsertain, all serchyng of wayes; But I see no

Ys stokyn vp full stithly, shuld streche to my



bed and weeps.

9208 pen he turnys in his tene, & terys on his chekes He turns on his Ronen full rifely, for his ranke sorow.

pen he driet vp the dropes, & dreghly can syle.

On all wise in this world he his wit cast,

9212 ffor to wyn to his will, if werdis noght let.
ben he rose fro his rest in a Rad hast,

Asket water at his weghes, wesshed hym anone,
Refresshing his face for facyng of teres,

9216 And dride vp his dropes for dymyng his ene.

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Anon as the night passid, & neghid the day,
Yet lastoon the lell tru the lordes betwene,
He ordant to Ecuba, the honerable qwene,
A message for the maiden by a mene frynd,
Priuely to passe to the prise lady,
hat worthy to wilne to his wif euyn,
And mell with a mariage & matremony hole,
9224 As a lady to liue to hir lyues end:

On suche couenaund to kepe, yf þat dere wold,
He shuld procour the prinse, & the prise grekes,
pas fro þat prouyns, payre hom nomore;
9228 And nought tary on the towne, ne no tene wirke,
Withoute condiscoun, or cause, for to come after.

The mon, þat this message meuit for to do,

Was a seruond full sure of the same kynges.

9232 When he hade told hym pis tale, toght hym

to go,

He made hym redy full rad, ron to the toun,

Esely to Ecuba etlit he anon,

And all his charge, to pat chefe, choisly he said. 9236 The worthy, to þat wegh, þat was of wit noble, Depe of discrecioun, in dole pof sho were,



Sho herknet hym full hyndly, & with hert gode,
And onswaret hym esely, euyn on this wise:-
"ffrend, pou shall fairly fare to pi lord,
And say hym vpon sewertie thy-seluyn with

In pat at menys to me, with my might hole
I shall filsyn þis forward, in faith, þat I can;
But, I will say the, my son, or pou sew ferre,
I most wete all the wille of my wale kyng,
And my sonnes, for sothe, or I say more,
Yf þai graunt will pis grace, with a goode wille.



full onsware, in faith I forme pe not here,



Book XXII.

But come the thrid day, full proly, withoutyn Three days hence

prepe more,

Sew to my selfe, & I the say wille

Vne faithly before, as hit fare shall."

When the messanger hade melit with pe myld


Than he lut to pe lady, & his leue toke,

he shall have

my answer.'

(fol. 143 a.)

Meuit to his maistur, & the mater told.

ben comford he caght in his cole hert,

9256 Thus hengit in hope, & his hele mendit :
More redy to rest, ricchet his chere.

This honerable Ecuba, eft, when hir liked,
Preset vnto Priam, and Paris hir son;
9260 Caght hom in counsell, & hir cause told,—
All the maner of the message from pe main kyng.
When Priam persayuit the proffer of pe greke,
Long he stode in a stody, or he stir wold,

9264 Doun hengond his hed, herkonyng the qwene:
Mony thoghtes full pro prang hym within!
Thus onswart þat honerable euyn to his wif :—

Hecuba recounts the matter to Priam and Paris.

Priam is sore perplexed: but at length answers:

"A! how hard were my hert, to hold hym as "It is a hard thing


9268 That so highly me hyndret, & my hate seruet !

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All the leght has he lost fro my leue ene,

Thurgh slaght of my son, þat my sore ekys!

ffor whose dethe, vppon dayes, all the derfe


9272 Hertyn hom full hogely, my harmes to encres. But to fle all the offence, & fortune to come,

In sauyng of my selffe & my sons als;

hat I may lyff in my lond in my last dayes,

9276 Out of batell & baret in my bare eld, I assent to pi sagh, vpon soche wise,

bat he pis forward fulfille, & before do,

to hold him as my friend, who

has taken away the light of mine eyes.

But to eschew further evils,

I assent to the

proposal, provided that he " honestly fulfil his part."

And with no gawdes me begile, ne to greue ferre."

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On the third day

the messenger returns.

(fol. 143 b.)

Hecuba states that Achilles

shall have

Polyxena when

he performs what he has promised.

Achilles rejoices that his suit has been accepted;

and plans how

he may accomplish what

he has promised.




The prise wordes of Priam Paris alowet,
And demet to be don, as the duke said,

So pat his wiffe, o nowise,-worshipfull Elan,-
Shuld be sent to hir souerain, ne seche vnto


But leng in þat lond to hir lyues end.
The prid day, full proly, priuond Achilles
Sent his message, full mekely, to be myld qwene.
He past to hir priuely, and the pert fond,
And asket of pat onerable onsware to haue.
Thus said hym þat souerain with a softe
speche :-

"I haue wetyn the wille of my wale kyng,
And of Paris, my pure son, prestly also:
9292 Bothe assenton to pis sound, sothely, to me,
On suche couenaunt to kepe, þat the kyng shall
All po forwardes fulfill, first, of hym-seluyn.
All ys holly in hym, hold yf hym lyst,
ffor to sew hit hym-seluyn, say hyt fro me:
So hit keppit be in cource, carpit no ferre,
Tyll yssu be ordant, after his deuyse."
ben be leue of pe lady, the lede on his way
Past at the port, & the pale entrid :
To his maistur of his mater menit anon,
All the truthe of the tale, tomly to end.
Achilles was choise fayne, cherit hym the bettur,
And now hatnis his hert all in hote loue:
Myche myndit the mater, in the mene tyme,
And to bryng hit aboute besit hym sore.
Hit heuet his hert of his hegh proffer,
9308 þat passit his pouer, to Priam the kyng;
ffor hit longis to a louer soche a light vice,



In the hete of his hert, for his hegh lust,

To proffer soche prise thing, pat passis his


9312 And festyn in forward, þat hym for-thinkes after.

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