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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.

"Unworthy wretch that I

am! The bravest

and sternest

in battle, even
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 pe 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, pat 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

9188 A ffrele woman me fades, & fas chaunges,
And has gird me to ground, & my gost feblit!
Syn ho is cause of my care, &
my cold
Att what leche vppon lyue might I laite hele ?
9192 There is no medcyn on mold, saue the maiden


bat 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, pat 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.

9212 ffor to wyn to his will, if werdis noght let.

hen 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.


(fol. 142 a.)

What hard fate
has made me love
her who hates

9204 Of Rent, & of Riches, rankir þan I,

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

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

bed and weeps.

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

hen he driet vp the dropes, & dreghly can syle.
On all wise in this world he his wit cast,

Book XXII.

Achilles sends a message to Hecuba


Polyxena to wife; (fol. 142 b.)

and promises
if his request be
granted, that he
will cause the
siege to be raised.

The Queen answers the


"Tell your lord,
that I will do
what I can to
further his suit:

but, I must consult with the king and my




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,
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,
To pas fro þat prouyns, payre hom nomore;
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, pat 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 :-


9240 "ffrend, pou shall fairly fare to pi lord,

And say hym vpon sewertie thy-seluyn with

In þat at menys to me, with my might hole
I shall filsyn þis forward, in faith, þat I can;
9244 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.




Book XXII.

ffull onsware, in faith I forme pe not here,
But come the thrid day, full proly, withoutyn Three days hence

he shall have

my answer.'

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,
Meuit to his maistur, & the mater told.
ben comford he caght in his cole hert,


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


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 þe main kyng.
When Priam persayuit the proffer of þe 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 pat honerable euyn to his wif:-
"A! how hard were my hert, to hold hymn as "It is a hard thing


to hold him as
my friend, who
has taken away.
the light of
mine eyes.

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,

(fol. 143 a.)

Hecuba recounts the matter to Priam and Paris.

Priam is sore perplexed: but at length


But to eschew further evils,

I assent to pi sagh, vpon soche wise,
hat he pis forward fulfille, & before do,
And with no gawdes me begile, ne to greue ferre." honestly fuifl

I assent to the
provided that he


Book XXII.

Paris assents on condition that

Helen should not be returned to her sovereign.

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.

9280 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

9284 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,
9288 And asket of þat onerable onsware to haue.
Thus said hym pat souerain with a softe

"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,
9296 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
9300 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,

9304 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 pat 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

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

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