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Book XXIV.

And þat hope we full hertely thurgh helpe of your one."


To pat honerable onestly answaret Achilles,

Achilles answers 9744 With wordis full wise in his wit noble :

that it was great

folly for them to

come to Troy on such an errand.

(fol. 150 b.)

"It would have been wiser had Palamedes remained in his

own land, than to come here to be


Hector himself was slain;

"If vs auntrid, Vlyxes, thurgh angard of pride, To pis kith for to come, & oure kyn leue, Hit was folly, by my faith, & a fowle dede. 9748 Masit were our myndes & our mad hedis, And we in dotage full depe dreuyn, by faith, ffor the wille of a woman, & no whe ellis, All our londes to leue, & to laite hedur, 9752 Oure kynges be kild, & oure kide dukes, All oure londes to lose, and oure lyf als, In a cuntre vnkynd to be cold ded.

Hade not Palomydon, the prise kyng, provet the bettur,

9756 To haue lengit in his lond, & his lyf hade,

And haue deghit in his Duché, as a duke noble, Then be britnet on bent with a buerne strang: And fele other fre kynges frusshet to dethe, 9760 pat might haue leuyt as lordes in pere lond yet? Syn the worthiest of pe worle, to wale hom by


Are assemblit to pis sege in a sad ost,

If hit happyn hom here with hond to be slayn,
9764 And paire londis to lose lightly for ay,
All þe world shall haue wondur of hor wit febill;
And Carles paire cuntre cacht as þaire aune,
To weld all be worchip po worthy men aght.

9768 Was not honerable Ector, oddist of knightes,
In this batell on bent britnet to deth ;

And lightly his lif lost in a stound:

ffor all his fursnes, in faith, had a febill end?

and the same fate 9772 be sam to my-self, sothli, may happyn,


bat am febiller be fer pen þe fre prinse,


Book XXIV.

Both of myght, & of makyng, & of mayn strenkith. may befall

pis trauell is tynt, I tel you before,

9776 Me to preve with your praier prestly to feld,
any troien to tene, trist ze non other.
Hit is playnly my purpos neuer in plase efte,

ffor to boun me to batell per buernes schal fight,
9780 Ne per as doute is of deth, ffro pis day efte.
Me is leuer for to lyue with losse þat I haue,
þen ani person be put vnto pale deth.

Hit is wit soche wildnes wayne out of mynd,

9784 And pas ouer a purpos enparis at pe end."

me, who am far
more feeble.
Your labour is in
vain: for

I will fight no


Rather will I lose my fame than my life."

Pen Diamed, pe derf kyng, and the Duke Diomedes,


Tretid hym trietly, all with tru wordis,

ffor to turne his entent & his tyme kepe;

9788 But all paire wordis pai wast, & paire wynd alse.
Noght stird hym po stith in his stalle hert,

Ne the prayer of the prinse, pat the prise hade,
Agamynon the gret, þat the gomes sent,

9792 Noght meuyt his mynd for no myld speche,
Ne put of his purpos ffor prayer ne other.
pan laght þai hor leue, po lordes, in fere,
Ayryn to the Emperoure angardly fast,

9796 All þai toldyn hym (tite), as þai tide euyn,
Of paire answare, in ordur, those od men to-gedur.
Agamynon full graidly gedrit all somyn,
Dukes, and derfe Erles, doughty of hond,
9800 Caght hom in councell, and the cause told,
The authwart answares of Achilles the kyng,
And the prayer of the prinses, pat prestly were


By assent of hym-selfe, pe soueraine vnto; 9804 And how he counceld the kynges to kayre into


Nestor, and Agamemnon entreat him to return; but in vain.

(fol. 151 a.)

(MS. has 'tale')


summons a council of the leaders; informs them of the

conduct of

Achilles; and asks their advice.

Book XXIV.

Menelaus advises,
that it would
be a shame to
treat with the

Trojans, now
that Hector and
Deiphobus are
slain: and

that they could succeed without Achilles.

Nestor and Ulysses declare that Troy is not to be so easily


(fol. 151 b.)

that Troilus is

nearly as great as
Hector; and
Paris as

and, that the

Greeks ought to

With the Troiens to trete, & tene hom no more ;
All hor lond for to leue, & hor lyue saue.

"Lakys now, ledys, what you lefe think,

9808 And what ye deme to be done at this du tyme."

When the souerain hade said, sone opponon,
Menelay meuyt vp, & with mouthe saide:-
"fforto trete with the troiens ys no tyme now,

9812 Ne no worship, I-wis, but a wit feble.

Syn Ector ded is of dynt, & Deffibus the knight, And other kynges ben kyld, þat cleane were of hond,

The Troiens full truly trusten no bettur, 9816 But dernly to degh: þai demyn non other. I am sekir, for-sothe, and sadly beleue, Withouten helpe of þat hathell vs hastis an end." Then Nestor pe noble duke, another-Vlixes, 9820 Saidon to the souerayn sadly agayn:

"pof pow wylne to be wer, wonders vs noght, Syn pi hert is holly the harmys to venge; Thy wyf for to wyn, þat þou well loues, 9824 And to grefe hom agayne, yf þou grace hade: But yet trust not pat Troy will titly be wonyn, hof derfe Ector be ded, and Deffibus alse.

There is another als noble & nait of his strenght, 9828 & als wondurly werkes in wer vppon dayes; That is Troilus the triet, pat tenes vs full euyll, And fuersly in fight fellis our pepull.

hof Ector were eftsones ordant alyue,

9832 He kylles our knightes, kerues hom in sonder:
And Paris, a prise man, pert of his dedis ;
Was neuer Deffibus so doughty & derfe of his


Therefore, sirs, vs semyth sothely the best,

treat with Priam, 9836 With the Troiens to trete & turne to our londes,

and return home,

With the harme, þat we haue, of our hede kynges,


In sauyng of our-selfe & our sure knightes."

Then Calcas the curset, þat was the kyde traytour,
9840 The Bysshop of the burgh, þat I aboue said,
Negh wode of his wit, walt into sorow,
Brast out with a birr & a bale noise.



Book XXIV.

The traitor
Calcas reminds

"Ah! noble men of nome, nayet of your werkes, them that the

9844 Worthiest in worde, wanttis no hertte!

What thinke ye so proly this prepe for to leue;
Your goddis to greue, pat graunttes you an end?
Leuys hit full lelly, the laike is your avne,
9848 And the prise of the play plainly to ende,
Thurgh the graunt of your goddes, & no grem pole.
What! thinke ye so proly pis prepe for to leue?
Heyue vp your herttes, henttes your armys;

gods have promised them victory.

He urges them to take heart,

till the city is captured.

9852 Wackyns vp your willes, as worthy men shuld; and desist not Bes fuerse on your fos to the ffer end, And lette no dolnes you drepe, ne your dede let; ffares with no faintyng till your fors lacke!

9856 Tristis me full truly, you tydes the bettur,

Yonder won for to wyn, and your wille haue;
And perfore greue not your goddes for grem pat
may folow."

At the wordes, I-wis, of this wickyde traytor,
9860 All the grekes with grem gedret pere herttes,
Noght charget Achilles, ne his choise helpe,
But were frekir to pe fight pen at the first tyme;
And pus in Rigour pos Renkes Restyn tyll efte.

The leaders are encouraged and determine to fight on.


(fol. 152 a.)

xxv Boke: off the Sextene & pe xvij Batell.

When the truce was ended, the battle is renewed.

Troilus, in revenge for the death of

Deiphobus, slays

a thousand


The Greeks are driven back to their tents.

Night ends the battle.

9864 When the Monethis were meuyt of the mene tru,
The Grekes with a grym fare gedrit to felde
Mony bold vppon bent in hor bright wedys,
All ffuerse to the fight, felle men of hondes.

9868 pan soght fro the Cité, with a sum hoge,
Troiell the triet knight, & pe toile entrid.
The stoure was full stith, starf mony knightes;
Dedmen with dynttes droppit full thicke,

9872 And mony lede on the laund out of lyfe past.
ffor tene of his tru brother, Troiell the knight,
Dressit hym the dethe of Deffibus to venge.

Mony grekes vnto ground he gird out of lyue, 9876 And fele with his fauchon pat fyn knight slogh. As Dares of his dedis duly me tellus,

A thowsaund thro knightes prong he to dethe pat day with his dynttes, of the derffe grekes.

9880 All ffrickly his fos fled at the last;

bai turnyt to pere tenttes with tene at þai hade: The ffrigies hom folowet, fell hom with swordes. pan the day ouerdrogh to pe derke night, 9884 The Troiens turnyt to toun, & the toile leuyt.

When the sun with his soft beames set vp


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