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Book VI.

With daunger and drede of a dede hate, ffor a lure pat was light & of long tyme; 2068 þat wold 3epely haue bene forzeton in yeres a few, light and long

(fol. 345.) "The injury was


And neuer menit with mowthe but purgh mishap.
Thow se not pat sothely said ys of olde,

And oft happes to hit qwo so hede tas :-
"He pat girdis with grete yre his grem for to Vengeance often

"You have forgot
the proverbs:

brings greater shame.'


Ofte shapis hym to shote into shame ferre, With hoge harmes to haue, & his hert sarre." Hit is siker, for sothe, and a sagh comyn,— "He pat stalworthly stondes, stir not too swithe, Lest he faile of his fotyng and a falle haue;" ffor he pat set is full sad on a soile euyn, And pight has his place on a playn ground, 2080 Hym þar not hede to be hurt with no hegh falle, Ne be lost purgh his lip to be low erthe.

But pou put þe, priam, to so proude Aunter, ffor to heuyn on þi harme in a hegh yre; 2084 And þi fall was so fuerse with so fele other. Thy Cité and pi soile sesit of þi hond; Thow dungen to dethe, and pi dere sonse ;Thi lege men lost, and of lyue done.


'He that stands high should not stir too quickly.'


'He that is low needs fear no fall.'

But Priam, when in a rage, you determined to exalt yourself, and you lost all."

2088 Thurgh vnwarnes of wit pat pi wirdis cast,
Thow ges matir to men mony day after,
fforto speke of pi spede, & with spell herkyn
Of pi lure and pi losse for a high wille.

2092 Now what felle pe be fortune, & pi fre pepull,
All in coursse how it come I will carpe ferre,
And turne agayne to my tale, qwill I tome haue.

Priam by purpos a perlament assignet,
2096 And gedrit all pe grete in his grym yre :
Euyn into ylion pai entrid by dene,
There pe souerain was set in a scterioll,
And all pe lordes of pe lond, with his lefe childur.

Now to my

Priam calls a parliament of his lords.

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Book VI. (fol. 35 a.)

2100 Then carpes the kyng and his cause tellus,

Why the metyng was made at þe mene tyme: ffor to serche of pe sounde & to say ferre.


His speech;

"Now," quod the souerain, as your assent was,

"The messenger

sent to the Greeks 2104 The man þat with message meuyt fro vs all,

by your advice

By assent of my selfe, & sythen of pe lordes,

has returned,

He is comyn to pis courtte, as ye know wele; And pe Authwart answares pat Auntrid hym pere,

2108 Ys knowen to pis company be course of his tale. Thai hede not the hething, ne pe harde greme,

Ne the wronges pai wroght, ne wille to amend; But with sklaunder and skorne to skather agayn, 2112 In pere pompe and pere pride & pere pure

and you know the treatment and the answers they gave him.

Let us send an army into Greece

We have a strong city,

Let vs purpos a power pas into grese,-

to waste the

Stir furthe with strenght, stroy of pere londes,—'
Get my suster agayne, or sum grete other,

country, and to

get my sister, or

some other great 2120 And wreke we full wele of weghes full nobill.

lady instead.

We are bigger in batell, haue a burghe stronge,

Wele wallit for þe werre, watris aboute,

ffew folke to defende fro a fuerse ost;

2124 And are knightes in our cuntre kyddist in Armys,

ffell men to fight a full fuerse nowmber;—
Wele viteld, y wis, for wintors ynow,

Stuff of al maner store þat vs strenght may :

most famous knights, many men, and abund

ance of supplies;

and the time suits well.

(fol. 35 b.)


Our goddes with grace get vs perfro!

þat neuer vs happon so hard with hom to be spit. God will noght, y wis, our wirdis enpaire,

2116 Soche dedis to redresse & our dethe voide.

2128 We full of defense, & no faute, haue
Help vppon yche hond highond vs to.

And now sothly it sittes vs, as semith to me,
By assent of youre selfe, & ye so wille,
2132 ffor to purvey a pepull pruddest of werre,

And gird furthe into grese with a gret batell:


Pas into pere prouyns, pray in hor londys,
Dyng hom to deth er any dyn ryse;

2136 Er any batell be boune, hom to bale worthe,
þat vnwarnyt of our werkes or hom wo happon.
Thus, I say for my selfe, hit sittis vs all,
ffor to proffer our persons & our pure goodes,
2140 To venge of our velany and our vile harme,
And our state to restore with strokes of hond.
Let not fere you the fray, ne the felle chaunse,
That the Grekes vs greuyt, & to ground broght;
2144 ffor ofte sith hit is sene, and in sere londes,
That a victor of a victe is vilé ouercomyn :—
So I hope hit shall here with helpe of our

the ende,

2148 Hit likit all the legis þat the lorde said;

And affirmet it fast with pere fre wille,

To proue with pere persons & paire pure goodes.
Than was priam full proude, preyset his lordes,

2152 ponket hom proly, prappit no lengur ;

ffull glad of the graunt with a great joye,
More feruent to fight, fuerser in hert,


Myche comforth he caght of paire kynd speche:2156 And pus pertid þe persons & presset to pere


Book VI.

We may crush them before help can be obtained.


WEN the kyng had his counsell declaret to The council adopt

the proposal,

Fear not the chance of war;

for often the conqueror is overcome by the conquered."

and Priam, glad at heart, thanks



When the pepull was depertid & the presse The council

having been dis


missed, the king consults with his

Saue the kyng and pe courtte with his clene court and family.


hat he wan on his wiffe, as ye wist ere,

2160 And other sonnes vpon syde all with faire


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Book VI.

ban Ector was one, as aunter befelle,

ffro the parties of payeme present at home,

By comaundement of pe kyng þat was his kynd fader.

His sons standing 2164 And when pe sons all somyn were the Syre

round him, Priam
with tears



(fol. 36 a.)

"Do not the
wrongs of your
house sink into
your soul?

It will be the

shame of our life

if we do not
avenge them.

It grieves me,
kind children, that
you should be
sorry for my

And thou, Hector,
my son, mine heir,
ablest and bold-
shouldest 'hede to
my harmes and

pursew to my

Euyn stondyng full still, as paire astate askyt,
Thus carpes the kyng to his clene childur,
With weping and wo, wateryng of ene,
2168 Sobbyng and sikyng, Syling of terys.-

"Now synkes not in your sowle pe sorow of

your graunser,

And the dulfull dethe of your dere fryndes,

The seruage of Exina, þat is in syn holdyn, 2172 And hade in horedam for hethyng of vs ;

And we so mighty on molde & of mayne strenght?

Hit is lure of our lyues, and we let sholde

ffor to wreke vs of wrathe for any wegh oute. 2176 And ye þat are 3epe knightes, & in yowthe alse,

Shuld highly take hede in hert for to venge

The slaght of pe souerayne, þat was my sure


And my wille for to wirke, as ye wele aw.

2180 pat greuys me full gretly, & to ground bringes,

Hit shuld come you by course, as of kynd childer,
To be sory for my sake, & soner þen I;

And part-taker of my payne with prickyng in

2184 And pou my son, for sothe, sonest of other.


Ector the eldist, and heire to my selfe,-
Antrus in armys, ablist of person,—

Boldest in batell, and best of pi hondes ;-
2188 Thou shuld hede to my harmes, herkon my wille,


Pursew to my purpos, present myn astate;
To lede all my legis with likyng in werre.
Thy brether obey shall thy biddyng vnto;-
2192 All þe Renkes of my rewme will pi red folowe,
As storest of strenght to stightill thy foose,

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And soche tyrandes to tame, pat vs tene wirkes. With hardynes of hond, & with hole might, 2196 Ger hom bowe as a berslet & pi blithe seche.


This burthen pou beire shall, bigger þen I, 2200 Wightur in werre, and of wale strenght, Lusty and likyng, and of lite yeres, Mighty and monfull, maistris to wirke.

And I, ournand in elde with arghnes in hert, 2204 My floures bene fallen, & my frike age,

I graunt thee pe gouernaunse of pis gret mode, And shake it on þi shulders, shape pe perfore." THE ONSUARE AND THE COUNSELL OF ECTOR TO PRIAM HIS FFADER.

When Priam hade his prologe preched to ende, 2208 Ector hym answarede esely and faire,

With wordys full wise vnto his wale kyng,
Vnder shadow of shame shewed in his chere.-
"Most worshipfull fader, & my fre kyng!

2212 Hit is kendly by course & custome of men,
bat any hardlaike has, or a hede shame,
ffor to wreke in hor wrathe of wranges before.
And if we, þat are worthy, & wight men in

Book VI.

I Aioyne thee this iorney with ioy for to take,
And the charge of pe chaunse, chef as pou thee as chief; and

I commit this
undertaking to

thou shalt bear the burden of it!"


2216 Take harme, other hethyng, or hurtys vnzoldyn,

Of any erdyng in erthe euenyng to vs,

Hit were shortly a shame & a shire greme.
ffor pe more he is mighty, þat the mysse tholis,

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Thy brothers
shall obey thee,
and all the knights
of my realm shall
follow thy

(fol. 36 b.)

"Most worshipful father! men who have any hardship, or cause for shame, seek


And if we, who

are worthy, take

an insult from any

equal on earth, it

be, indeed,

a shame.

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