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COUNSEL OF AGAMEMNON.

169

Book XIII.

before we pass hence.

there is abundance of every kind of

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to procure

and to forward

Achilles with

If ye deme it in dede, Dukes and other,
bat we mightily to Messam our men send, send to Messana

for a supply
To fecche vs som fode, or we firre passe.
5176 In þat prouyns is plenty all of prise vitell, In that province

Of corne, & of catell, & mony kyd Rewme ;
perfore, sone let vs send sum of our folke,

victual ; let us

send wise and Worthy to wale, & wise of hor dedis,

trusty men with 6180 To trie of the trewist, & turne into ship, a suitable guard,

And set furth to the se with soudiours ynow, provisions,
Pas to þat prouyns, prese to pe londe,

And make puruiaunce plentie, while prese lastis,
5184 That may cum vs, by course, to comford our ost, (fol. 81 a.)
And abundantly broght with buernes betwene, them as they may

be required.” ffor to stall our astate and our strenght hold.”

When þis counsell was kyd, he carpis no ferr, 5188 Was alowet with the lordis, & all þe ledis after. The proposal is

accepted, and By assent of po souerains, & sithen of all,

Telephus are Achilles was chosyn chefe of þis erend;

And Thelephus, þat tother, ton to his fere,
5192 Was Ercules aune son eldist for sothe.

Þes assignet for þe se, with soudiours ynogh, With sritible
And fuerse men in fight a felle nowmber : guard they set

Bail for Messana.
Þes drest for þe dede and droghen to ship,
5196 And merkit ynto Messam with a mekyll nauy.

In þat yle was onest, an honerable kyng,
As men told in his tyme, and Teutras his name,

pat his countre in kuit hade keppit full longe,
6200 And regnit in rest with riches ynogh.

He hade fightyng folke fele of his owne,
And knightes full kene, & konyng of werre.

Sum sain it for sothe, and for sure holdyn,
5204 The same yle I said you, Cicill is calt,

Sicily, and also

Messana, from a Ay abundand of blisse, & bret full of vitaill, city of that namu

in the island; And menyt was with men Messan to nome;

ffor a cité in the same lond so gat was cald, 5208 Bild on a banke at a brode hạuyn,

chosen for the purpose.

men and a strong

Some say this island was called

Book XIII.

which was so
called, because
of its abundance
of corn : or by a
king of that name
who founded it.

ffull longe, & large, louely with all,
And a pesable port pight full of shippes,

pat comen for corne to contres aboute ;
5212 And because of the corne, cald was it Messan,

hat past fro the port to prouyns o fer.
And sum of hit sain, & for sure holdyn,

þat the Cité was so calld by a sure kyng,
5216 That biggit the burgh bigly hym-seluyn,

And callid it Messan be mowthe, in mynd of

(fol. 81 b.)

his nome;

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Achilles and Telephus, with 3000 knights and many ships, arrive at the harbour.

But Dares, in his dyting, dewly noght tellus

Of the Cité, for sothe, ne the selfe lond;
5220 But how po mighty were made to Messan to

wende,
ffode for to fecche to pe felle ost.
Som othir Cicill hit sothly myght be,

hat was geynde to grece, pen the grete yle,
5224 þat ferly was fer be-zond fele Rewmes.

Into this prouynce past þo pepull to-gedur,
Achilles the choise, and his chere felow,

With thre thowsand tristé all of þro knightes,
5228 And mony shippes full shene, shot o pe depe,

pat hit into hauyn, houyt not longe,

But bounet to be bonke po buernys anon. The king of

Then the kyng of be cuntre, with cumpany grete oppose them with 5232 Of fell fightyng folke, þat on fote were,

Past to be port, þere the prinse lay. battle ensues.

The grekys, þat were gedrit & to grounde comyn,
With all þere cumpany clene of the cloise

shippes,
5236 Segh the kyng of the cuntre cum hom agayne,

With fele folke vppon fote, þat hom fray wold.
pai wan to bere weppon wightly anon.

In defense of be folke, þai fuersly were armyt,
5240 And girden to-gedur with mony grym dyntus.

Bigge was the batell opon bothe haluys,

Messana comes to

a great army; and a furious

THE KING OPPOSES ITS LANDING.

171

Book XIII.

Greeks were unable to

enemies, who were three times their number,

!

He strikes the king to the

Mony fallyn were fey of þe fell grekes,
But mo of the meny, þat mellit hom with. Many fall on both

sides, but the 5244 bof the grekes were grym & of grete myght,

bai hade no strenght to withstonde pe striff of withstand their

þe pepull,
hat were pro men in threpe, & thretyms mo.

here the grekes hade grymly ben gird vnto dethe,
5248 Hade not Achilles ben cheualrous & choise of Achilles boldly

his dedis. He shot thurgh the sheltrone & shent of hor ?fol. 82 a.)

rushes to the fray knightes

and kills many of Mony doughty were ded thurgh dynt of his hond. the bravest men. All þat warnyt hym þe way he warpet to

ground,
5252 Till he come to be kyng, be course as hym list,

And flang at hym fuersly with a fyne swerde;
The baspes of his helme heturly brast;

ground fearfully

wounded;
Braid of his basnet to be bare hede;
5256 Woundid hym wickedly, warpit hym to ground.

He was wode of his wit, wild as a lione,
Wold haue brittonet the bold with a bare swerd. and is about to
Hof vp his hond heturly to strike,

sword,
5260 With a fouchon felle to ferke of his hede,
And Thelephus, pe tothir, titly persayuit

when Telephus That Teutra with torfer shuld tynt haue his liff.

on his shield, He stert vnder the stroke with a store shild,

and begs Achilles

to spare the king. 5264 And keppit by course the caupe of his sword ;

And Achilles the choise kyng cherly he prayit,
To let the lorde haue his lyffe for lewté of hym,

That woundit was wickedly to be wale dethe ;-
5268 þat he graunt wold godly þat gome for to leue.

ben to Thelaphus, pe tore kyng, tomly can say ;-
“What causes ye, by course, so kenly to pray,

Why spare the This

syre for to saue, þat is our sad enmy;
5272 And has wackont vs wer þuryhe will of hym

seluyn,

kill him with a

starts under the stroke, receives it

one who has caused this war?

Book XIII.

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him be first to

fall."

"Once I came

to my

And harmyt vs hogely with his hond one. Since he was

Syn be boldly with bate bis baret began, first to begin, let

Gode faithe will he first fall in his turne.” 5276 ben Thelaphus tomly talkyt agayne :

“ He was a frynde to my fader, & a fyn louer, Worshippit hym on allwise & his will did.

Hit felle me, be fortune, forwith pis tyme, into this country a stranger, and 5280 Into this coste for to come, vnknowen my selfe; (fol. 82 b.)

And he worship me worthely, & his weghes all. he showed me great kindness :

With giftes full gay & of his gode mekyll, it would grieve

Assignet me soueraines, sure men ynogh. me to see him put to death." 5284 Hit sothely with sorow sounys

hert, To se þat doughty be dede & don out of lyue.”

ben Achilles to þat chere choisly can say : "Do with him

“ Take hym here tyt, & tent as ye list, then as you

5288 please."

And wirke with þat worthy, as ye wele likes.”
Thus halpe he þat hynd fro hond of Achilles,
And dro hym fro dethe, as for þat due tyme :

So the batell was barly broght to an end.
end, and Teuthas 5292
The grekes hade þe gre

&
gone

into ship,
And Teutra the true kyng was trust on a litter,
Had hom to his halle, halfe out of lyue.

At whose prayer, full prestly, þo prise men two 5296 Wentte with þat worthy vnto his won riche,

Receyuit with reuerence & renke of astate,
Honouret with all men onestly & well,

And all daintethes hom dight dere for þe nonyst.

5300 When few dayes faren were pe fre kyng Teutra his wounds; and as death drew

Wex weike of his wound & widrit to dethe:

ffellit full fast of his fyn strenght, Telephus.

Se his dethe on hym drogh dressit hym þerfore. 5304 He sent after, sothely, þe souerain Achilles,

And Thelaphe, þat tothir, vnto his owne

chaumbur. When þai comen to be kyng, þo curtes to-gedur, ben fond þai þat fre febill in his bed

Thus the battle was brought to an

was carried home on a litter,

He sank under

near, he sent for Achilles and

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Book XIII.

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of death he
addressed them
thus:-

“I am now

lands.

is myn end

Lands which
would have been

5308 All in point for to pas with paynes of dethe.

Then Teutra þo triet men tretid o bis wise :- When at the point
“Ye worshipfull weghes, well be you euer,
And gode hele mot ye haue with hop of your

lyues !
5312 I say you now sothely, as my sad fryndes,
My lif is not long lastand in erthe.

drawing to my Done are my dayes, I draw to an end ;

end, and there is

no heir to whoin And non eire of myn own neuer yet I hade,

I may leave my 5316 bat I my londes might leue, lyuely to kepe,

That I getton haue & gate with moche gret (fol. 83 a.)

trauell,
And holdyn of hard, & with my hond werit
Vnto now, pat

with
noy

comyn.
5320 The whiche lond I hade lost long tymes past,
Hade not helpe ben of hym, was hardiest of lost long ago, but

for the help of othir,

Hercules, the

bravest of my Most doughty of dedis, dreghist in armys, knights. And the strongest in stoure, þat euer on stede

rode,
5324 Ercules, þat honerable, edist of my knightes.

He was þi fader so fuerse, þat me faithe eght,
hat preset at my prayer to this pure rewme,

In hast me to helpe with his hede strenght,
5328 When my fos were so fell, & fuerse me agayn,
þat þai occupiet ouer all, euyn as hom list, When my foes

occupied my And I vncertayn, for-sothe, to sese it on lyue. lands, and all But he sothely, hym-selfe, of his sad strenght,

bands, put them 5332 Thurgh hardynes of hond & helpe of hym one,

to flight, and
All my fos in fight felly distroyit ;
Breke all þere batells, britned hom to dethe,
And so rid he this rewme of my ranke fos,
Euer sythen, for sothe, to pis same tyme,
And deliuert me þis lond, & left it in pes.
Thus the septur & the soile sithyn haue I

seemed to be lost,
he broke their

zemyt,

delivered the Lund from their sway.

5336

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