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Book VII.

They land and go

to the temple of Venus,

whose chief festival was then being held by the people.

Worshippers from
all parts came to
that festival,
"worthy wemen.”

Paris joins a
company on their
way to the

(fol. 46 a.)

2848 Caste ancres full kene with cables to grounde; ffestonit the flete, as hom fayre thoght;

Buskys into botys, were borne to þe lond,

To solas hom a season, as hom selfe liked;

2852 And waited vppon hor wirdes for wynnyng of


In Sythera, for sothe, was a solempne tempull,

Of Venus, I wis, þat worthy was holdyn,
ffoundet before, fele yeres past,

2856 And enabit of old þere auntres were sene.
With Riches full Rife & myche Ranke godys,
The yle well enabit & onest with in,
And lyuet after law of pe lell gentils,

2860 pat Venus the worthy worshippit for god,

And most honouret of other with onesté pere.
There auntered hom oft, onsware to haue,
When pai put hom with prayer pat prise for to


2864 Thus tyd hit pat tyme, as I telle wille,

hat the principall & prise fest of pere pure goddys Was holdyn po high dayes with hom þat þere dwelt ;

And other folke vpon fer fell thedur thicke,

2868 With mykull prese of pepull of prouynce aboute,

Soght to pat solenité sacrifis to make.

Worthy wemen to wale, wete ye forsothe,

hat prist are of pilgrymes to pas ouer lond 2872 To waite after wondres, & wilfull desyre

More Janglyng of Japes pen any Juste werkes, And for solas & sight þen sacrifice to do. When parys persayuit had the pepull anon, 2876 He cacchis a compony clenely arayed,

And to the tempull full tyte toke he þe gate.
ffull mylde on his maner meuit within.

On a side he hym set, as semyt for a straungior, 2880 In prayers full prist the pepull beheld.


He offert onestly in honour of Venus,
A gobet of gold, þat gyngys might se;
And for-sothe on the same wise,

2884 ffor solempnite of sacrifice in sight of pe pepull.

Paris was pure faire, & plesaund in sight,

hym one,

That of shap for to shew was shene to beholde,
And clad as a kyng in clothys full fyne.
He was louyt with ladys, lappit in hert.
2892 As course is of kynd & comyn dessire,

A store man & a stoute, full stithe hym be semyt;
ffairest be ferre of his fre buernes,

2888 Wemen waited hym well, hade wondur of He is admired

and loved by the


Ich on fraynet at his fere pe frekys to know,
Of what lond were po louely hit list hom to wete, is, &c.
And prinsipall of Parys the pepull dessiret,
2896 Of pat comly to Ken, & his cause here.

And o sithen it was said, & for sothe tolde,
That Parys was Pryam son, pat prinse is of Troy,
By comaundement of his kyng comyn into Grese,
2900 With a company clene his cosyn to gete.

Exiona sothely he soght for to haue,

That Telamon hade takon & with tene held, And set vnder seruage pat hom sore greuyt. 2904 This speche furth sprede & sprange vppo ferre, Ouer all into yles, so aunter befelle,

Into the Eres of Elan hit entrid belyue.

Book VII.

He offers "a
gobet of gold."

The prishede of parys was praisit so mekyll, 2908 With ferly of his fairnes, & his fre buernes,

Sho was lappit in longyng þat louely to se,
And to wete of þat worthy with wilfull desyre.
As wemen are wount in Wantonhede yet,

2912 With a likyng full light in loue for to falle,

That hetys into hertys and hurtes sone after;
So longid this lady with lust to the Temple,
With Sacrafice solempne to seche vnto Venus.


All wonder and
inquire who he

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Book VII.

(Holardur, fornication.)

The shamelessness of women,

and what it ends in.

Fie on him, who first led such fashions!

(fol. 47 a.)

war, and ruin
are the fruits.

2916 This ho tolde hir entent, as pe tyme asket,
And to stare o po stoute, & hir astate shewe
To the folke of the frigie with a ffrike wille:
Holdur pen holynes happont so then.


Hit is wondur to wit of wemen dissyre,
hat shunt not for shame to shake ouer lande,
To glogh vppon gomes at gedering of folke,
And prese vnto playes pepull to beholde,
þat ledis vnto loue with lustes pat folowes.
Yong men & yepe, yenerus in hert,
Rauisshe hom Radly & paire rede turnys;
Puttes hom to purpos þat pynes hom after.
2928 Soche stirrynges ger stumble, pat stidfast wold be.
With sight at assemblis, & sythen with speche,
With flatery, & faire wordys fallyn to gedur,
Acoyntyng hom with kissyng & clippyng in



2932 With Sossyngs, & Soteite, Settyng of cases,
The willes of wemen wightly pai chaunge,
To falle vpon foly & hor fame lose:
Now fey be pe freike þat it first ordant.
2936 Soche Riot & Revell so ryuely to haunt,

Of yonge men & yenerus, þat yurnes to gaumes
To daunse amonge damsels; drawing of glovis,
With comonyng in company, pat comes but to

2940 Gers maidnes be mart, mariage for done; Brynges wyues into wondur paire worship to


And ertes ay to euyll ende & ernyst by the last. Throgh whiche treason betydes, & ternys vmqwhile

2944 Bolde men to batell and biker with hond:

bat draghes vnto dethe, & deris full mony.


Therfore saintes to seche and to sere halowes, And turne vnto Templis atyrit with pride, hof it be laifull to ladys and oper les wemen, 3et it ledis vnto laithnes and vnlefe werkes; And shotis into shame as shene has ben ofte. But pou Elan, þat haldyn was hede of all ladys, 2952 And the fairest of feturs formyt in erthe,

What wrixlit þi wit & pi wille chaunget,

In absens of þi souerayne, for saghes of pepull,
To pas of þi palays & pi prise chamber,
2956 To loke on any lede of a londe straunge?

hat might faire haue refraynit with pi fre wille;
Haue sauyt thy septur & pi selfe alse.

Hade pou holdyn þe at home, hedit pin astate, 2960 And not cayret fro court pere company was gedurt, To waite aftur wondurs for a worde light.


And, ouer all, pere onesty attell to saue,
Whethir a ship, þat is shot on pe shire wawes,
Shuld drowne in the depe, & it drye stode,
2968 Halyt into havyn, harlit with ropes.

Ne a woman, I wis, þat wisely will gouerne,
Shall not into fame but of hir fre wille.

Hit were sittyng for sothe, & semly for wemen,

It becomes

paire houses to haunt & holde hom with in;

women to abide at home, and strive to preserve

2964 Kepe hom from company & comonyng of folke; their honour.

2972 To pas fro pi palis & pi priuey chamber,

And seche to Sytheria with solempne Avowe;
In colour of pi cause pou couet to se

bat straunge, þat was stoute & stare hym vppon; 2976 So pou light in vnlefulnes, pat lefully semyt,

Book VII.

Thou dissyret full depely, dame Elan, þi seluon But, dame Helen,

under pretence

Thurgh pi Licrus lust þat Lurkit in pi hert. ffor pe sight of pat semely, sotheli, was venum, bat enfecte pi faire loue to pe fairist of Grise, 2980 And mony Greke with grem vnto grounde



But thou, Helen, first of all ladies, what evil spirit possessed thee, &c.

of worshipping at Cythera, you sought to see Paris:

(fol. 47 b.)

what disasters followed.

Book VII.

Servants and horses are made ready for the pilgrimage to Cythera.

Tidings of her arrival reach Paris:

he enters the
(fol. 48 a.)

The lady full louely was lifte vppon on,
A palfray of prise, prudly atyrit,

2996 And glod on full gayly, pe gaynist to the bonke.
There light pai full lyfely, lept into bote,

And were set ouer soundly into the same yle

Right with a Rother, and Rayket to bonke.

At the temple she 3000 In hir atire to be tempull tomly ho yode,

offers gold and precious stones.

here onestly sho offert, honourt hir goddes

and is entranced with her beauty.

All the frigies vnfaire vnder fight endit.
Now furder how it felle I will faire telle.—

Sho assemblid hir seruandes with a sad wille, 2984 Hade hom radly arayed for pe rode furth ; Bryng horses to grounde and hernes anon, To seche to Sitheria for solempne avowe; And Venus to worship, as hir wele awe, 2988 As ho heghly hade het for helping before. This Sitheria, for sothe, from þe same yle Of Menelay þe mighty was but a mene spas, And he souerain hym selfe & pe soile aght. 2992 Tite, with outyn tariyng, atirit were all, Horses in haste & to hond brought;


With giftes of golde & of gode stones;
Tariet in the tempull, tentit to goumes;

3004 Ho segh not pat semly, pen set hir to ground
And proffert hir prayers to pe prise goddes.
These tythandes full titely told were to Parys,
þat honerable Elan was entrid in þe tempull,
3008 Menelay mody wife þat he most louyt.

He araiet hym full riolly with a route noble,
And past thurgh be prese into pe proud tempull
He was enformyt before of þat fre lady,
bat ho to Castor pe kyng accounttid was euon,
And to Pollux: pure suster pristly to bothe.
Of hir fairehede feltymes hade pe freike herd.
ffro he be semly hade sene he set so his egh,

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