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Third Boke: how Medea enformed fason to

get the flese of Golde.

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Medea longs for


(fol. 13 a.)

Here tellus þe tale, woso tentis after,
How the wethir was wonen, & away borne

The grete goldyn fiese with a greke noble,
668 Thurghe wyles of [a] woman, þat þe wegh louet.

Whan Medea the maidon, þat I mynt have,
Was chosyn into chamber, & on hir charge thoght,

Of hir Janglyng with Jason & hir iuste wordys,
672 Hit neght to þe night & the none past :

Sone the day ouerdroghe & the derke entrid,
And all buernes vnto bed as hom best liked.

Medea full myldly movede aboute,
676 Waynet up a window, the welkyn beheld,

Persauyt pertly, with hir pure artis,
When the dregh was don of þe derke night,

hat all sad were on slepe, seruond & other.
680 flayn was pat fre and forper ho went,

Waknet vp a wydow, þat hir with dwellit,
And sent to pat semly, as ho said first.

He busket from his bede & be burde folowid,
684 Till he come thurghe a cloyster to a clene halle,

pere Medea the mylde met hym hir one,
And with myrthe at þere metyng mowthet to

gethir ;
ben suet þai with solas into a sure chamber.

She gends a
widow to guide
Jason to her



Book III.

688 The old wedo on hir way wendys belyne,

And þo louers ho leuyt lightly to-gedur.
Medea the maidon meuyt to be dore,

Barret it bygly on hir best wise;
692 ban she brought forth be bold to hir bedde syde

In solas full soberly he set hym þeron.
She went from þat worthy into a wale chambur,
A triet Image she toke all of true golde, Medea brings an

image of pure 696 Halowet was hertly in a highe nome

Of Joue, þat gentillis held for a iust god,
And broght to the buerne on pe beddis syde,

With light that was louely lemyng þer-In
700 Of suergys semly, þat set were aboute.
ban wightly thies wordes to þat worthy ho

said : Here I aske you hertely þat ye may het here, and asks Jason to

With a solemne sacrement on this sure gode, 704 All be forward to fulfille, þat ye first made,

And þo couenaundes to kepe with a clene hert;
And for your felow & fere me faithfully hold,

Euer from this owre to the ende of your lyffe ; (fol. 13 b.) 708ffor no chaunce, þat may cheue, chaunge your

wille :
And I heghly shall holde, I het you before."
Jason grauntede full goodly with a glad chere,
And swiftly he sware on þat (Shene) god ;

“Shete.") 712 All tho couenaundes to kepe, & for no cause let,

Whill hym lastes the lyffe: he laid on his hond,

swear that he will fulfil all his promises,

(MS. has


On the falsity and dishonour of Jason,

But vnfaithfull freke, with þi fals cast,

bat such a lady belirt with pi lechur dedes, 716 bat put hur so plainly bi power vnto,

All þi wille for to wirke, þi worship to saue :
And þow hedis not the harme of þat hend lady,
Ne tentes not thy trouth þat þou tynt has.

Book III.

To mar such a maiden, who forsook all for thee,

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720 Soche a maiden to mar þat þe most louet,

hat forsec hir fader & hir fre londe,
When the soile & þe Septur was sothely hur

And pe tresure she toke vntruly for thee;
724 Auntrede hir to Exile euer for þi sake;

Wan þe thy worship & wilfull desire :
Keppit pe fro combraunse & fro cold deth,

Storet thee to strenght & þi stythe londes,
728 And dawly hir distitur of hir dere fader.

With shame may pou shunt fro þi shire othes,
So fals to be founden, & þi faithe breike,

To betraut soche a trew, þat þe trust In:
732 And þi god has pou greuit with pi grete filth.

Wete for þi werke þat þe shall wo happyn,
And myschefe full mekill, þou art mansworne :

pou failes not in faith of a fowle end.
736 And þow Medea so mad, what myndes had pou


shame on thee, Jason! Thou art

man sicorne; and a foul end awaits thee!


(fol. 14 a.) And thou, Medea, where was then thy foresight, and skill in the arts?

Syn pou wist thurgh wit werdis to come,
What seruit it your sciense of þe seuon artes,

That pou sogh not your sorow, þat thee suet after ?
740 But pou sothely may say þat your sight failed,

And þow loket not large, for lust þat þe blyndit.
And oft in astronamy hit auntres to falle,

bat domes men dessauis & in doute bringes.
744 ffor hit passis þe power of any pure mon,

All þe course for to know, þat is to cum after :
Saue God, þat all gouernes with grase of his honde.
Now turne to our tale, take bere we lefte.

They pass into an inner chamber.

748 When he swiftly hade sworne to þat swete

pai entrid full evyn into an Inner chamber,
hat was rially arayed with a riche bede;
And bothe all bare busket pere-in.

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Book III,

Jason bids Medea

is to win the fleece.

752 Hai solast hom samyn, as hom-seluon liket,

With venus werkes, þat hom well pleasid :
bat sorily dessauis, & men to sorow bringes.

Whan pe day vp droghe & the dym voidet,
756 Thus Jason full ioyfull to pat gentill said :-
“ Hit is best þat we buske & of bede rise,

At daybreak Lest þe day vs be-daghe & our dedes knowen,

tell hin how he
And we founden in fere & oure fame loste;
760 And I vnformet in faith how I fare shall,


dedes to do, as ye me dere heght.
Iff þe any thing have amyt abill me to,
bat pe me faithfully informe, & let me fare

76! My deuer for to do & my deth voide ;

hat I might lede be with luff into my londe home,
Wede ye with worship, and to wiffe hold.”

Medea to pat mighty myldly answarit :
768 “A! my lord & my loue, more lefe þan my

I have mynde of youre mater most of all other :
I will fully enforme yow or ye fare hethyn,

How ye dewly shall do, & no drede haue.
772 Ryse we now full radly, rest here no longer,

And I shall tell you full tyte, & tary no thing.” (fol. 14 6.)
Than þai cladde hom clenly vppon clese wise :
The burd bowet from þe bede, broght hym in Medea brings to


ymage full nobill, þat he naite shulde,
pat qwaint was & qwem, all of white siluer,
Charmet with enchauntment, & chargit hym to

Hit was wroght all by wit & wiles to helpe,
780 And myghty suche mawmentry made to distroy :
Sho bade hym kepe it full close on his clene

An oyntment þat was noble, anon she hym set, A noble ointment

him charined image, and bids him wear it next his heart.

776 An

Book III,

she then gives to destroy renom and fire :

and a ring with
a rich stone to
destroy all poison
or deadly power :

and a large roll which he must read:

Toke hit hym full tyte & tolde hym these

wordes :784 “This strongly distroy shall þe strenght of þe

venym, And fade all the ffyr and pe furse lowe." Than ho raught hym a ring with a riche stone,

pat no poison enpaire might, þe power is soche : 788 And if it borne were in batell on his bare flesshe,

He shulde slyde forth sleghly & vnslayn worthe.
Achates it calde is with clene men of wit,

And in Cicill forsothe sene was it first :
792 Eneas it name & in note hade,

Whan he to cartage come vnknowen with sight.
And þan ho broght hym a bref all of brode letres,

þat was comly by crafte a clerke for to rede ; 796 And enformyt him fayre how he fare shuld, When he [h]is deuer hade done & drow to be

ffor to knele on his knes to the cold erth,

And grete all his goddes with a good chere; 800 And the rolle for to rede or he rest thry,

As with sacrifice to shew & seruice to goddes, þat hym grauntede of grace þat gifte for to haue,

hat he might worthely it welde, & away beire. 804 And þan sho gafe hym a glasse with a good

And bade whan he buskyt to the bolde Exin,
To werke it with mesure, & in hor mouthe caste,
And þai clappe shall full clene, & neuer vnclose

808 Ne neuer dere hym a dyse with no dede efte.

Thus enfourmet ho þat fre of pe fete euyn,
How he wyn shuld his worship, & his woche

pas :
And þen lacches his leue & his loue kyst,
812 Past furth priuely and þat pert leuyt,

and a glass containing liquor to be cast into the mouths of the monsters.

(fol. 15 a.)

He then takes leave of Medea,

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