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folly for them to come to Troy on such an errand.
To þat honerable onestly answaret Achilles,
Achilles answers 9744 With wordis full wise in his wit noble :
that it was great
(fol. 150 b.)
"It would have been wiser had Palamedes remained in his own land, than to come here to be slain.
And pat hope we full hertely thurgh helpe of your one."
Hector himself was slain;
THE ANSWARE OF ACHILLES TO VLYXES THE KYNG.
"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,
9760 pat might haue leuyt as lordes in pere lond yet?
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 lightly his lif lost in a stound:
ffor all his fursnes, in faith, had a febill end?
and the same fate 9772 pe sam to my-self, sothli, may happyn,
LIFE DEARER THAN FAME.
þat am febiller be fer þen þe fre prinse,
Both of myght, & of makyng, & of mayn strenkith. may befall
me, who am far
9776 Me to preve with your praier prestly to feld,
Hit is wit soche wildnes wayne out of mynd, 9784 And pas ouer a purpos enparis at pe end."
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,
9792 Noght meuyt his mynd for no myld speche,
9796 All þai toldyn hym (tite), as pai tide euyn,
Pen Diamed, pe derf kyng, and the Duke Diomedes,
Nestor, and Agamemnon entreat him to return; but in vain.
Dukes, and derfe Erles, doughty of hond,
9800 Caght hom in councell, and the cause told,
By assent of hym-selfe, pe soueraine vnto; 9804 And how he counceld the kynges to kayre into
I will fight no
Rather will I lose
my fame than my life."
(fol. 151 a.)
(MS. has 'tale')
summons a council of the leaders; informs them of the conduct of Achilles; and asks their advice.
that they could succeed without Achilles.
that Troy is not
(fol. 151 b.)
that Troilus is nearly as great as Hector; and
With the Troiens to trete, & tene hom no more;
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: pai demyn non other. I am sekir, for-sothe, and sadly beleue, Withouten helpe of pat hathell vs hastis an end." Then Nestor pe noble duke, another-Vlixes, 9820 Saidon to the souerayn sadly agayn:
'pof how 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.
pof 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
and, that the Greeks ought to
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,
A COUNCIL OF WAR.
In sauyng of our-selfe & our sure knightes."
9844 Worthiest in worde, wanttis no hertte!
"Ah! noble men of nome, nayet of your werkes, them that the
What! thinke ye so proly this prepe for to leue;
9856 Tristis me full truly, you tydes the bettur,
Yonder won for to wyn, and your wille haue;
Thurgh the graunt of your goddes, & no grem pole.
He urges them to
9852 Wackyns vp your willes, as worthy men shuld; and desist not
till the city is
Bes fuerse on your fos to the ffer end,
At the wordes, I-wis, of this wickyde traytor,
promised them victory.
The leaders are encouraged and determine to fight on.
(fol. 152 a.)
When the truce was ended, the battle is renewed.
Troilus, in revenge for the
a thousand knights.
The Greeks are driven back to their tents.
Night ends the battle.
xxv Boke: off the Sextene & he xvij Batell.
9864 When the Monethis were meuyt of the mene tru,
9876 And fele with his fauchon þat fyn knight slogh.
A thowsaund thro knightes prong he to dethe
hat day with his dynttes, of the derffe grekes. 9880 All ffrickly his fos fled at the last;
pai turnyt to pere tenttes with tene at þai hade: The ffrigies hom folowet, fell hom with swordes. han 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