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Book XII,

I say not this

our success;
nor do I deem it

and with

Well wallit to wale, with water aboute ; 4868 And perfore sothly I say, hit semis vnto vs,

hai are feler of folke, & fuerser by the halfe,
With more plenty of pepull, & be province hor


And yche freike is þere frynd to filsom þere spede. Mulsum, to 4872 bis I say not, for sothe, supposyng in hert

þat of our dede shuld be doute,–I dem it not so. through doubt of Ne I put not vnpossible zon place for to take,

impossible to take And all þere folke in fight with forse to distroy; and destroy the

city ; but that we 876 Ne the Cité to sese and serche within,

may work wisely And all the toures of the toun tumbell to ground; discretion. But þat louyng & lose shuld lenge of our dedis,

And our werkes all wisely wroght by discrecioun, 4880 hat we fare with no foly ne fonnyng of pride.


Hit has fallyn vnto fele men, fer in tymes past,
hat hastely on hede has highit to a note,

And keppit no counsell, ne no clene rule, 4884 But put hom with pride a purpos vnto,

Hit rapit to repentaunse & mony ranke harmys.
This knowis all the company, þat the kyng

This assembly

us lately, and Noght leng sithen but late, a lede of his owne asked us only to 4888 Made on a message vnto our menes londis, sister Hesione;

and that, like ffor his sustor Exiona to send hym agayne : fools, we answered This couet the kyng, keppit he no more.

And we, as vnwise men, welt into pride ; 4892 Answarth hym awterwart with angur & skorne, ill-naturedly,

angrily.) With thretyng vnthriuand of our thro hertes ;

(fol. 76 b.) And manast his messanger with malicous pride.

Hade we herkont hym hyndly, hedit his wille, 4896 Done his dissyre, deiret not our seluyn,

The harme & the hardgrem, þat highet vs after, followed would
And this sorow in Sitheria had sothely not fallyn; us.

Ne Elan, ne other mo honer
4900 Had not laithly bene laght, & led vnto Troy ;

knows that Priam sent a message to

send back his

him with scorn.


Had we but listened to his request, the harms and sorrow that

not have befallen

ole of grece,

Book XII.

Ne we, þat are wonyn ouer the wale streames, pat worthy to wyn with weppon in fight,

Hade not faren so far our fos to distroy, 4904 Ne so long fro our londes lengit away.

And, what fall shalbe fortune, no freke can vs

And, what fortune shall befall us, no one can tell,

telle :

let us send a

if he will send . back Helen and the rest of our


Wethur worship or wo: wete we not all ?
Therefore, sirs, il Herfore, sirs, me semys, if you so like,
you wish to avoid
all the perils of 4908 Yf ye deme it be don, & in dede holde,
war, and to save
our people,

To put of all perells & our pepull saue ;
All chaunse to exchewe, & cheue vs the bettur

Our worship to wyn, & no wegh hurt;
4912 þat we may saile hom in sound & our sute haue;

Let make vs a message to the mon Priam, message to Priam, and promise to

bat is kyng of the coste & the kythe ow, grant him Hesione

And wilne hym wisely, þat worthy, to send

4916 Honerable Elan & other of our pepull : people; and redress the wrongs

And redresse vs the domage, þat he don has done to us by

By Paris his proude son, in our prise londis.

If þat souerayne accept this sothly with hert, 4920 And do it in dede, as our dissyre wille,

We may wend hom with worship & our wille


And saue so our seluyn & our sute hole; (MS. has' ruder.')

Nauther redur ne rape to pis rem do. refuse this offer,

4924 And if Priam with pride this purpos refuse,

Two frendes haue fully to fight in our cause : our cause: Right,

On is right, þat vs riches for rape of our godes ; goods, and Peace,

And pes, þat we proffer our pouer to extaint. that we proffer to 4928 Thurgh the world shall it wend our werke at prevent the exercise of our

þis tyme. Ay the mo, þat our mesure maynly may here,

The lengur vs luff shall till our last end ; (fol. 77 a.)

And the Troiens be told as for triet foles, The Trojans will

4932 Ne excusit of skathe & sklaunder of pride, fools; but never

To macche vs with monhede & might of our selfe,

And if Priam

we shall have two friends to fight in

that constrains us for the loss of our


be accounted

one will blame us.



Book XII.

• Devise now as ye think best.'

Diomede are sent as messengers to Priain.

And wyn hom in wer with weppon in fight.

Neuer buerne will vs blame, ne ban for our dede, 4936 Ne wegh will vs wite to þe worldes end.

Ses now, your seluyn, my saghis vnto,
And deuys of pis dede as you dere think.”

When the souerain hade said, þen sesit he here, 4940 And mony of þo mighty menyt þer agayn, The council is

divided; Noght semond, pai said, ne sittyng to do;

some condemn,

and some approve And part of þat pepull prouyt hit for wit;

the proposal. At

last all accept it, And o sithin, all samyn assentid perto.

and Ulysses and 4944 Two chere men þai chese on þis choise erend,

(Onest & abell Vlexes was one,
And Dyamede, pe derfe kyng demyt þat other) —

Aionet to pis iornay iustly to-gedre. 4948 Stiden


stithe horse stird to the Cité,
And wenton in wightly po worthy hom seluon.
Entred into Elion, þat honerable Pulis,
Lightyn at the low, leftyn þaire horses,

They arrive at the

palace and pass 4952 Gone

all of

into the hall.
Hit into the halle of the high kynge.
Hade meruell full mekull of þat mayne place,

They are
Of the walles pat wroght were wondurly faire,

city ; its walls 4956 With high toures full torrit all the toun vmbe. and towers, &c. Yet meruelt hom more ymyddes the halle

But they are

more astonished Was a tre, þat was tried, all of tru gold,

by a tree of gold,

set in the centre Meruelous & mekyll men to be-hold.

of the great hall. 4960 The bole was of bright gold, bret to pe myddes,

Largior pen a lawriall & lengur with all,
(xij cubettes by course all of clene heght)

cubits high, and þat fourmyt was full faire to pe fre boghes. finely forined. 4964 The brede of his bowes borly to se,

(fol. 77 b.) Large and longe, light as the sun)

The boughs

spread from the ffro the dese to the dorse doblit on brede

dais to the doors, And the sydys, by a sercle of pe same hall. 4968 The braunches were borly, sum of bright gold, Sum syluer for sothe, semlist of hew;

by the


astonished at the greatness of the

It was twelve

gold, and some

and from wall to wall. Some of the branches are of

Book XII.

of silver ; with
leaves of the saine.
The buds and
fruit are of
many kinds, and
shimmer among
the leaves like
precious stones.

Ulysses and
Diomede are led
through many
long chambers,
till they reach the
one where Priam
was seated among
his lords.

With leuys full luffly, light of þe same;

With burions aboue bright to be holde ; 4972 And frut on yt fourmyt fairest of shap,

Of mony kynd þat was kuyt, knagged aboue, bat shemert as shire as any shene stonys.

Long abodyn thies buernes in the bright hall, 4976 Or þai comyn to the kyng by course for to

Led were po lordes þro mony long chaumburs,
Goand vp by degres purgh mony gay Alys,
And past into a proude chaumbur þere Priam

was set,
4980 Among lordes of his londe & ledis of his owne.

Hai salut not þat souerain with no sad wordes,
Ne worshippit no wegh þat hym with stode;

But euyn agaynst þat gret þai gone for to sit, 4984 In the ffrount of þo folke & þe fre kyng.

ben auntred Vlexes and his erund said,
And warpet þies wordes as ye wete shall.

They make no obeisance, and sit down before the king.


(MS. has " Sais")

Agamemnon asks you to restore Helen in safety,

“Sir Priam ! thof we prise not þi person to

4988 Ne worship the as worthy, no wonder pou haue;

ffor we haue þe in hate as our hede ffoo :
And an enmy to anoper nothing it semys,

Hailsyng ne hynd speche with no hede bare. 4992 Agamynon the gret, þat on pi ground lys,

Hase made vs as messengers at this mene tyme, -
Hyder send vs to say to þi selfe euyn,

He biddes the full barly the bright qwene Elan, 4996 That you caght fro his kyng, & oper kyd pepull,

Send hom in sound & safly to bym,
And stifly restore o the stithe harmys;

All Redurs to riche with bi Ranke goodes, 5000 That you pild in his prouynse by Paris þi son.

(fol. 78 a.)

and to make restitution for the harms done by your son Paris.

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Book XII.

Iff yow do pus in dede, hit doghis the bettur:
And yf þou set noght our saghe, se what will if you will not


do so, see what will befall you!"

Of harme in a hond qwhile highand the to ! 5004 Thou bes ded for þe dede dernly þi selfe ;

All þi pepull be perisshit & put out of lyue ;
Thy Cité & þi Sid londe sesit in were,

Betyn and brent doun vnto bare askes; 5008 The Rewme þurgh Riden, robbed þi goodis,

Set vnder seruage & sorow for euer !”


“I marvel at your

your demand for

the cause of all

When Priam persayuit had all his proude wordes,

He onswared Vlixes vne vponone, 5012 Withouten counsell of knightes or any kyde Priam replied :

ffull soberly he said all in sad speche,
“ Me meruells full mekill of your mayne þrete,

threat, and at And angers me full euyll your angard desyre,

satisfaction; 5016 When ye couet by course, with vnkynd fare,

seeing that ye are Satisfaccioun to be sent fro


this trouble.
Syn ye are cause of bis care, & curstly haue don.

My souerayn ye slogh, & my sybbe fryndes ; 5020 My folke put into pyne, pild all my

Moche disseese ye me did, no redresse made.
Exiona, my suster, in seruage ye put,

And fele of my ffryndes into fer londes, 5024 In hordam & harlatry vnhyndly to lye ;

Not keppit lir kyndly, as a kynges doughter,
But laithly in lechery, lengyng to dwelle :

And menen me with manas Amendes to bede! 5028 I wold sothely, my Selfyn, sittyn with the harme (fol. 78 6.)

Of the dethe & the dole of my dere fader, For myself, I
In obryggyng of batell, & blode to be spilt.

father; and I sent And on message I made a mon of myn owne 5032 Antinor I ordant þat erende to wende,

would have borna the loss of my

promising to

Antenor to you,

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