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Jason, son of Aeson, seeks his father's throne.
Pelias devises the
(fol. 4 d.)
Where and how the golden fleece vas kept.
(MS. has "as.")
By crafte pat she kouth of hir coint artys.
As meke as a Mayden, & mery of his wordis.
All worshipped put worthy inwones aboute,
And he as bainly obeyede to the buerne his Eme,
136 As pof his syre hade the soile & septure to yeme.
That the londe so hym louede, lorde as he were,
140 Lest he put hym from priuelage & his place take,
The freike vpon faire wise ferke out of lyue,
Of a fame pat fer in fele kynges londes,
And borne was a brode for a bare aunter.
152 In a cuntre was cald Colchos by name,
Was (an) aunter in a nyle þat I nem shall,
HOW THE FLEECE WAS GUARDED.
He was mighty on molde & mekull goode hade, 160 His pride well ouerput, past into elde.
This whethur and be wole were wonderly keppit
164 Thus coyntly it kept was all with clene art,
These balfull bestes were, as pe boke tellus,
And alse sede in þe season sowe it on þe erthe, Than a ferlyfull frute shall he fynde after: 180 The tethe shall turne tite vnto knightes
172 And wo this wethur shuld wyn bude wirke as Whoever would
win the fleece must seize the
oxen, enter them in the yoke and
Ayre euyn to þe Oxen, entre hom in yoke,
With striffe or with stroke till pai stonde wold; plough up the ayre vp the erthe on ardagh wise.
176 Sythen drawe to pe dragon, & pe derfe qwelle, Girde out the grete teth of the grym best,
Armyt at all peses, able to were
Thai to falle vpon fight as fomen belyue,
Book I. Metes, king of Colchis.
184 All thes perels to passe with-outen payne other,
That the flese wold fecche & ferke yt away.
That Chethes the same Kyng had a som hoge
The wether guarded by two oxen and a fiery dragon.
He must then quell the dragon; tear out his teeth and sow them like seed.
The teeth will
turn into armed knights, who will fight till they destroy each other.
(fol. 5 a.)
Why the fleece
At a great feast arranged for the purpose,
he entices him to go to Colchis for the golden fleece.
(fol. 5 b.)
192 And for to get of this gold & the grete sommys,
Gar Jason with any gyn the iorney vndertake :
And most likly be loste & his los keppit. 200 He purpast hym plainly in his pure wit
ffor to tyse hym perto, if it tyde might,
To take it hertely on hond in a high pride,
And þe way for to wylne with wilfull desyre.
204 He cast hym full cointly be cause of this thyng,
With princes and prelates & prise of the lond,
208 The iij day throly he thoght in his hert
ffor to mele of this mater, þat he in mynde hade :
"Cosyn, it is knowen pat I am Kyng here,
But more it Joyes me, Jason, of þi just werkes,
And all prouyns & pertes þi pes shall desyre.
Thy selfe to be sene and in suche fame,
THE REWARDS PROMISED.
That the fflese pat is ffreshe flamond of gold
I shall spare for no spence & pu spede wele,
þu may be glad for to get such a good name,
I will fayne pe [no] faintis vnder faith wordes. When my dayes be done þu shalt be Duke here, And haue pe Crowne to kepe of pis Kyd Realme ; 244 And while I liffe in this londe, no less þan my
Halfe for to haue & hold for pi name,
And with all weghis to be worshipt to pe worldes
highe, 248 And all soburly said with a sad wille, Jason was Joly of his Juste wordes,
bat in presens of the pepull po profers were made,
But hooped full hertely it come of hegh loue.
The rewards promised if he should be successful.
HEN PELLEUS his proses hade puplishit on Jason undertakes
(fol. 6 a.)
and has no suspicion of harm, falsehood, or deceit on the part of his uncle,
He therefore accepts the undertaking with heartiness.
Pelias is glad, and hurries on the preparations for the enterprise.
He commands Argus, a son of Danaus, to build a great ship, which is called Argo.
Many noble men join the expedition, chief of whom is (fol. 6 b.)
Thurghe hardynes of hond hopit to spede;
Pelleus of the proffer was proude at his hert,
hat no tarying shuld tyde ouer a tyme set;
But with ship pat shapon were for pe shyre
pan he comaundet to come of pe crafte noble,
284 Mony noble for pe nonest to be note yode,
Tryed men þat were taken of tessayle rewme,