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Maistur in magesté, maker of Alle,

Endles and on, euer to last!

Now, god, of pi grace graunt me pi helpe,

4 And wysshe me with wyt pis werke for to end! Off aunters ben olde of aunsetris nobill,

And slydyn vppon shlepe by slomeryng of Age:

Of stithe men in stoure strongest in armes, 8 And wisest in wer to wale in hor tyme,

hat ben drepit with deth & pere day paste,
And most out of mynd for þere mecull age,

(fol. 2 a.) Invocation.

Of the noble deeds of our ancestors,

and of the stout

and wise in war,

true stories have been all but

Sothe stories ben stoken vp, & straught out of forgotten; while


12 And swolowet into swym by swiftenes of


Ffor new pat ben now, next at our hond,
Breuyt into bokes for boldyng of hertes;
On lusti to loke with lightnes of wille,
Cheuyt throughe chaunce & chaungyng of


Sum tru for to traist, triet in pe ende,
Sum feynit o fere & ay false vnder.
Yche wegh as he will warys his tyme,
20 And has lykyng to lerne pat hym list after.

But olde stories of stithe pat astate helde,
May be solas to sum þat it segh neuer,

of those of more modern times, recorded in books "for boldyng of hertes,

some are true and some are false.

Each desires to learn what he likes best.

But old stories of renowned deeds

recorded by men who witnessed them may delight some who never saw them.

The Poet declares his subject and

the authors from whom he has drawn his information.

(fol. 2 b.)

Homer, who is

not to be trusted, tells how the

gods fought like men, and

other such trifles.

Guido de Colonna

is the author of

the following


Be writyng of wees þat wist it in dede, 24 With sight for to serche, of hom pat suet after, To ken all the crafte how pe case felle,

By lokyng of letturs pat lefte were of olde.

Now ow of Troy forto telle is myn entent euyn, 28 Of the stoure & pe stryfe when it distroyet was. hof fele yeres ben faren syn þe fight endid,

And it meuyt out of mynd, myn hit I thinke Alss wise men haue writen the wordes before, 32 Left it in latyn for lernyng of vs.

But sum poyetis full prist þat put hom perto,
With fablis and falshed fayned pere speche,

And made more of þat mater þan hom maister


36 Sum lokyt ouer litle and lympit of the sothe. Amonges pat menye,-to myn hym be nome,— Homer was holden haithill of dedis.

Qwiles his dayes enduret, derrist of other

40 pat with the Grekys was gret & of grice comyn. He feynet myche fals was neuer before wroght, And traiet pe truth, trust ye non other.

Of his trifuls to telle I haue no tome nowe,
44 Ne of his feynit fare þat he fore with :

How goddes foght in the filde, folke as pai were,
And other errours vnable pat after were knowen,
That poyetis of prise have preuyt vntrew :
48 Ouyd and othir þat onest were ay,
Virgill þe virtuus, verrit for nobill,
Thes dampnet his dedys & for dull holdyn.
But pe truth for to telle & pe text euyn
52 Of þat fight how it felle in a few yeres,

hat was clanly compilet with a clerk wise,
On Gydo, a gome, pat graidly hade soght,
And wist all þe werks by weghes he hade,
56 That bothe were in batell while the batell last,


And euper sawte & assemely see with pere een. Thai wrote all þe werkes wroght at þat tyme, In letturs of pere langage, as þai lernede hade : 60 Dares and Dytes were duly pere namys.

Dites full dere was dew to the Grekys,

A lede of pat lond & loged hom with: The tothyr was a Tulke out of Troy selfe, 64 Dares, pat duly the dedys be-helde.

Aither breuyt in a boke on pere best wise,
That sithen at a cité somyn were founden
After at Atthenes as aunter befell;

68 The whiche bokes barely bothe as þai were,

A Romayn ouerraght & right hom hym-seluyn, That Cornelius was cald to his kynde name. He translated it into latyn for likyng to here, 72 But he shope it so short pat no shalke might Haue knowlage by course how pe case felle; ffor he brought it so breff, and so bare leuyt, þat no lede might have likyng to loke perappon,

76 Till pis Gydo it gate, as hym grace felle,

And declaret it more clere & on clene wise.


which is compiled

from the works of

Dares and Dictys the historians.

(fol. 3 a.)

Dares, who was present at the deeds which he recorded, wrote his history of the Trojan war in Greek.

Cornelius Nepos translated it into Latin, but so briefly that the work had to be amended by


In this shall faithfully be founden to the fer In this history


All ре

dedes by dene as pai done were ;

80 How be groundes first grew, & pe grete hate,

Bothe of torfer and tene pat hom tide aftur.

there is a faithful account of the

deeds as they

were done;

progress of the war; of the Kings, Dukes, and Earls who fought on either side;

And here fynde shall ye faire of þe felle peopull, of the origin and What kynges pere come of costes aboute : 84 Of Dukes full doughty, and of derffe Erles, That assemblid to pe citie pat sawte to defend : Of pe grekys pat were gedret how gret was pe



How mony knightes pere come & kynges enarmed,

And what Dukes thedur droghe for dedis of


What Shippes pere were shene, & shalkes with in,


of the ships and barges that were brought from Greece; of the

battles that were fought, and

those who fell in battle; of the truces and

(fol. 3 b.) treasons that took place; in short, of every event from first to last.

Bothe of barges & buernes pat broght were fro

grese :

And all the batels on bent pe buernes betwene. 92 What Duke þat was dede throughe dyntes of


Who ffallen was in ffylde, & how it fore aftur : Bothe of truse & trayne pe truthe shall þu here, And all the ferlies pat fell vnto the ferre ende. 96 ffro this prologe I passe & part me per with, ffrayne will I fer and fraist of þere werkes, Meue to my mater and make here an ende.

Explicit Prologue.

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Here begynnes the first Boke. How Kyng
Pelleus exit Eason to get pe files of Golde.

In Tessaile hit tyde as thus in tyme olde, 100 A prouynce appropret aperte to Rome, An yle enabit nobli and wele

With a maner of men, mermydons called:

There was a kyng in pat coste pat pe kithe ought, 104 A noble man for pe nonest is namet Pelleus.

That worthy hade a wyfe walit hym-seluon, The truthe for to telle, Tetyda she heght: bes gret in pere gamyn gate hom betwene, 108 Achilles by chaunce chiualrous in armes.

(More of thies Myrmydons mell I not now,
Enabit in (pat aile,) [ne] Etill will I ferre,
How Mawros were men made on a day

112 At þe prayer of a prinse pat peopull hade lost.)
This Pelleus pert, prudest in armys,

Hade a broper of birthe born or hym-seluyn,
That heire was & Eldist, and Eson he hight.
116 Till it fell hym by fortune, faintyng of elde,
Unstithe for to stire, or stightill the Realme,
And all were, & weike, wantide his sight,
Of Septur and soile he sesit his brothir,
120 And hym crownede as kyng in pat kithe riche.
Eson afterwarde erdand on lyffe,

Endured his dayes drowpyaite in age,

As Ovid openly in Eydos tellus,

124 How Medea the maiden made hym all new,

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