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Book VIII.

the message.

every part.)

To all the grete of Grece, fro Agamynon & hym,
Vnder sailes of those souerains, samyn to wend Couriers are

despatched with 3648 By currouris to yche cost, kynges to warne :

And all agreit to be gate with a gode wille.
The first of þo freikes, þat to the fight come,
Was Achilles, a choise kyng & cheuallrus in Achilles.

3652 And Patroculus the proude,a prise mon of werre; Patroclus.

With Diomed, a doughti mon & dernist of hond,- Diomedes.
A stronge man in stoure & stuernist in fight.

Sone the cause was declaret with a clene wit, 3656 Of the dede, ilke-a-dele, to po derfe kynges;

(" ilka-dele,"
And opunly, by one assent þai ordant hom all,
With grym ost for to go & a grete nauy,

(fol. 57 b.) Elan fuersly to fecche, and hor fos qwell, 3660 And venge on pere velany & þere vile harme.

And for explait of þere spede, þai spekyn in fere
To chese hom a cheftayn to be chefe of þem all,

To be prinse in pat prise and be prese haue; 3664 All the ost for to honour & his hest kepe,

And be gouernett by this grete by grement

of hom.
Hen by assent of þose souerans somyn, þai yode

And walit hom a wegh by wit, as hom thoght. 3668 To Agamynon þai giffen þe gouernaunce hole, Agamemnon is

ffor worthiest of wit þat worship to haue ; the expedition. And ordant hym Emperour by opyn assent,

With power full playn þe pepull to lede, 3672 And obey to pat bolde his biddyng to wirke.

chosen to lead


Pollux the pert kyng and his pere Castor,
When hor sister was sesit, saies me the story,

In hope for to hent hir, highit to þe se
3676 With a nauy full noble anon by hom seluyn ;- Trojans.

The Troiens to take was pere intent euyn,

Castor and Pollux pursue the

Book VIII.

A storm bursts over them,

And hor sister to sese, with sailyng þai wend.

Sum tellyn þis tale, & for true holdyn, 3680 þat þai bode not the biddyng of pe buerne

Menelay; But when tithyng was told of hor triet sister, pai fore to þe fome, as I before saide.

But how it tide of þat tale this is tru sothe,3684 To be water pai went, po weghis to gedur,

Paris to pursew with prise men of Armes.
Thai sailit not sounde, sothely to telle,

Two dayes by dene, as hom dere felle,
3688 When the heuyn in hast hepit with cloudis,

Wex merke as pe mydnight; mengit þe ayre; (fol. 58 a.)

No light but of Laite, þat launchet aboue ;

Thunret full throly; thrappit the windes; (M8. has " sailes.") 3692 Sodenly þo sail[er]es were sorely bestad.

With a ropand rayne rugh was the se.
The wyndes full wodely wackont anon,

vр the rughe se on rokkes aboute;
3696 As hilles hit hepit in a hond while.

So be bre and the brethe burbelit to gedur, pat hit spirit vp spitiously fyue speire lenght

With walter and wawes, þat þe wynd dryues 3700 All fore as a fyre pe firmament ouer.

With an ugli noise noye for to here, Sails and ropes

Hit sundrit þere sailes & þere sad ropis ;

Cut of þere cables were caget to gedur. ("tylude"=tilde, 3704 All þere takyll was tynt, tylude ouer borde ; )

The nauy wex nakit; noy was on honde.
The shippis with shire wynd shodert in twyn,

Dryuen furth on the depe dole to be-holde.
3708 The two brether were abidyng bothe in a shippe,

hat was stird with the storme streght out of

warde; The ships are

Rut on a Rocke, rof all to peces. rocks ; Castor

The bordes all to brast, brusshet in the water ;

are torn away.

shattered on the



Book VIII. and Pollux and all their company perish.

Fables concerning
Castor and

3712 The Dukes were drounet, & oper dere folke.

All the sort þat hom suet sunkyn ground
A brode in the breme se, barges & other.
And syn the dethe was in doute of þo dere

3716 Ne non certayn cold say, ne for sothe telle,

What worth of po wight in the wilde se ;
The gentils aiuges hom two iuste goddis,

Lyuond in the lofte with lordships in heuyn, 3720 Tran[s]late truly into triet ioy.

And poites haue put of po prise brethir,
bat bai Rauichit were radly into pe red ayre,

And set in a seigne pat zodias is callid ; 3724 That demyt is to his day duly with clerkes,

Gemini Aiugget in þere iuste artis.
ffor the sun vnder zodias settis hym to leng

Two dayes betwene, & dryues no ferre 3728 Mo in his mouyng þen any mone other.

But, what is sothely be said of þo sure brethur,
ffor þe sute of þere sister somyn were pai drounyt.
Let Poyetis go play hom, & passe to our tale.

(fol. 58 d.)

3732 Here Darys in his dyting duly anisys

ffor to telle in his tale pe tulkes of Grece ;
Of þere shap for to shew and þere shene colour,

Of the worthiest þere were, to wale hom be nom. 3736 bus he breuyt in his boke of po breme kynges,

ffor he segh hom in sight at sembles full ofte,
(As in tymes of tru, þaire tentes with in)

And waited hom wele ; for þe wegh thoght 3740 To myn hom in makyng in maner as pai were.


Agamynon pe gay was of a gode mykull;
His colour of þat kyng all of clene qwite.
He was store man of strenght, stoutest in armes,

Agamemnon was tall, large-limbed, noble, and free.

Book VIII.

3744 With lymes full large; light of his will,

Meke as a maiden, mery with all ;
Wode in his wrathe, wild as a lion,

He was witty per with, & wegh hardy,

3748 And of faciund full faire, fre of his speche. Menelaus was of

Menelay the mighty was of meane shap, middle size; bold, daring, and

Noght so large of his lymes as his lefe brother; determined.

In mesure was made of a medull size, 3752 Betwene the large & the litill ; likyng of colour

Auntrus in armys, eger of wer,

A bolde man in batell, & of breme wille. Achilles was a

Achilles the choise was of chere faire, large, burly, broad-shouldered 3756 Likyng & luffly, a large man with all. man, with crisp hair and project

Crispe herit was the kyng, colouret as gold. ing eves. (fol. 59 a.)

Stokyn ene out stepe with a streught loke;

His loke was full louely, when ledys were opyn. 3760 With a brest þat was brode, byg of his shulders;

Grete armys in the gripe, growen full rounde ;

A large man of lenght with limis full brode. Among the

A stythe man in stoure, storest of wille, Greeks he liad no equal in strength 3764 Was no greke on þat grounde of so great strenght,

Ay bowne vnto batell, boldist in armys,
Godely of giftes, grettist in expense,

Ay furse on his fos, and to fight Redy. Tantalus, a huge, 3768 Tantelus the tore kyng was a tulke hoge, burly, strong

Borly of brede, & of big strenght; well coloured; and had large

Wele colouret by course, clene of his face, equinted.

Rede roicond in white, as pe Roose fresshe ; 3772 With grete Ene & gray, gleyit a litill ;

Meke of his maners, & manly in werre. Ajax Elius, a

Aiax oelius was outrage grete, very tall, largelimbed man:

Brode of his brest, byg in his armys; given to lying.

3776 A large man of lyms, lengest of stature.

Costius clothyng ay þe kyng weiret;
Noght lowrand with laithe chere lese for to


or in battle.

man, was

gray eyes that



Book VIII.

Diomedes the

strong, well-build man, with a

Telamon truly was a tulke full faire, 3780 Blake horit, aboue breghis and other

Telamon the

beautiful; his Serklyt of hom seluyn, semly with all.

black hair in

ringlets over his A Sotell man of

mony sere notys, brow; a great

lover of music. And mellit hym with musike & myrthes also. 3784 He was doughty of dedys, derfe of his hond ;

Pompe and proude wordis ay be prinse hated.
Ulexes the lefe kyng was loueliest of other, Ulysses, the

loveliest, the
He was the fairest by ferre of all the felle grekes, fairest, the falsest

of the Greeks; 3788 And falsest in his fare, and full of disseit.

none could equal Vndertaker of treyne, of talkyng but litill,

him in eloquence. Neuer myrth in his mouthe meuyt with tong : Sad of his semblaundes, sober of chere.

(fol. 59 6.) 3792 And of facound fairest with a fre speche,

He hade no make of po men in meuyng of wordye.
Dyamede pe doughty was a dere kyng,

doughty was a Stronge of his stature, stithe in his

armys, 3796 Brode in his brest, byg in his shulders,

scowling look.

He was false, With a loke þat was laithe like out of wit. cruel, quarrel

some, lecherous, ffals of his forward, felle of his hond,

A derffe man in dede, dyssirus of batell. 3800 Vnsober with seruaundes, sorofull in hert,

Dredfull in dole for dissait þat he vsit.
Lusty to lechery, vnlell of his trouthe,

And mony harmes hepit for hete of his loue. 3804 Off Duke Nestor to deme, doughty in werre,

Nestor, the brave

and wise, was He was long & large, with lemys full grete. tall, strong, and

well-built; A ffreike þat was fre, and a feire speiker, truthful, trusty,

Wise in his wordys, witté of counsaille ; 3808 Tru of his trowthe, tristy to loue,

Meke of his maners malise to pese ;
And if he walte into wrathe, wode as a lyon,

But he lengit not long in his lothe hate ; 3812 ffaithfull of frendship to frekys þat he lonyt,

The hertist to helpe of all the high kynges.
Protheselus the pert kyng was of pure shap, Protesilaus, a

and deceitful,

and faithful.

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