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Book XVII.

causes Paris,
who was unarmed,
to be led into
the eity

Hector rushes on Menelaus, and tries to capture him: the Greeks prevent him.

And so went he to wer wilfully hym selfe, 7536 bat wist well the wale kyng, þat waited hym so,

To haue slayn hym full sleghly with sleght of

his hond.
Eneas eftir, with abill knightes mony,

Send hym to be Cité for the same cause,
7540 ffor marryng of Menelay at þe mene tyme.

ben Ector come egurly, euyn vpon-one,
Merkit hym to Menelay, the mon for to take ;
But pe multitude was so mekill, þat marrit hym

7544 And put hym fro purpos with a prese hoge,

That he lcuit the lede, launchit aboute,
Gird doun of pe grekes grymly with strokes,

ffrusshit þurgh the frount, fell hom to dethe! 7548 Thurghe the pouer of be prince, & his pert

Den fled all in fere, & the fild leuit ;
Turnit to þere tenttes with tеne at þere

Thai sesit of þe sute, pe sun was to rest,
7552 And turnyt to be toune, taried no lengur !

The Greeks are put to fight : night ends the battle,

Xblijt Boke of the tfyuet Batell in the ffelde.

Priam determines that his army shall rest for one

As hit happit of þes hynd, herkyn a while ! (fol. 1176.)
When the derke was don & the day sprang,

Thes kynges and knightes, kid men of arms, 7556 Were assemblit full sone in hor sure wedis. The Trojans are

arrayed; but Then Priam full plainly purpos hade takon, That no freike to be fight shold fare out of toun,

But yche renke take his rest right as hym liked. day. 7560 And of maters to mene in þe mene tyme, The kyng sent for his sons and souerains of He sends for

Hector, Æneas, Troy,

Paris, Troilus, Ector, & Eneas, and Alexsaunder Paris,

Deiphobus, and

Polydamas : Troilus þe tru knight, tristy of hond, 7564 Deffebus pe doughty, & derfe Palidamas.

When the knightes were comyn, þus the kyng

said :

“Wot ye not worthy, þe wale kyng Toax

Is put in our pouer, our prison within,
7568 bat myche harme with his hond happont to do,

And with his pouer hath preset oure pepull to sle,
Oure Citie to sese and oure side londes !

ffor his hardines here, & his hegh malis, 7572 He shold be done to be dethe by domys of right, - and proposes to

To be hangit in hast, or his hede tyne :
Thus me semyth for certain, now sais me your

witte !"

put Thoas to death,


that such would

In return for

own sons.

The[n] answard Eneas casely agayne :-
Æneas answered, 7576 “ Lord, with your leue, þat were a laithe dede !
be a wicked deed

Syche a chaunse for to chefe choisly of you,
The noise of your nobilté were noyet for euer !

Syne he is gret of degre, groundit of old,
7580 And mony syb to hym selfe of souerans & other,

Ye haue ledis, þat ye loue, & lightly may happyn
which, the Greeks
might put some

Of your sons to be sesit, or sum sib other: noble Trojan to

hen the grekes for grem in hor grete yre, death : it might be one of Priam's 7584 Wold dight hym to dethe, your dole to increse.

Hit might sothely be siche on, as your self

ffor mykill of pis medill erthe þat myschefe to se:

Therfore, sothely me semeth, sauyng your wille,
That he should

Hit is bettur þis bold kyng in the burgh hold. be kept as a prisoner for

He may be chaungit by chaunse for sum choise exchange.

hat is takon of Troy, if hit tyde so;

And the lure be pe les þen the lyfe tyne." (fol. 118 a.) 7592 Ector to Eneas egerly assentid,

And confermyt his counsell in cas for þe best ;

And lowet the lede for his leue speche. Priam answered,

Then Priam to pe purpos prestly can say :would deem them 7596 “If we leue hym on lyue, & the lede kepe,

Oure fomen, in faith, for faint will vs deme; kept as they had

And hold vs vnhardy oure harmys to venge! proposed.

But, neuertheles, as you list, of þat lord wirke; 7600 And, as yo counsell in the cas, I comaund be


When this speche was sped, speke þai no fferre. Æneas, Troilus,

Eneas to Elan Etlit to wend,

To se hir in sight, and solas þat fre.
7604 He toke with hym Troilus & trusty Antenor,

And went in full wightly into a wide halle.
There was Ecuba be honerable, & Elan to-gedur,
With women of worship, the worthiest of Troy:

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To this coursel
Hector assents.

that the Greeks

cowards : but he would command that Troas be

and Antenor go
to comfort Helen.

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bewail their sad

account themselves fools for having engaged in this war.

A great storm of thunder and rain

fierce winds,

7608 There segh þai þat semly, & with soft wordys,

Comford hur kyndly with carpyng of mowthe.
The grekes for þe greuaunce & the grete harmys, The Greeks

ffor the tene, þat hom tyde, & tynyng of pepull, fates ; und 7612 Made myche murmur & menit hom sore,

As folis, þat folily hade faren fro home
To put hom in perell to perysshe pere lyues ;

Myche gold & goodes vngraidly dispendit,
7616 With mony harmys, þat hom hepit of bor hede

And might haue lengit in hor lond, & þe lak

The same night was a note, noyet hom all ;-
A thondir with a thicke Rayn thrublit in þe comes down, with

7620 Ouershotyng with shoures thurgh þere shene

As neuer water fro the welkyn hade waynit

The flode was so felle, with fallyng of Rayn,

Hit was like, by the lest, as oure lord wold 7624 With water haue wastid all be world efte:

So kene was þe course of the cold shoures !
And more greuit the grekes by þe grym windes,

bat wacknet so wodely, walt ouer the logges ; 7628 Ouertyrnit the tenttes, teghit vp the ropes; (fol. 1180.)

to pieces, or And alto rafet & rent all the riche clothes. When the derke ouerdrogh, & þe dym voidet,

The stourme wex still, stablit the course ; 7632 The sun in his sercle sette vpo

All clerit the course, clensit the aire;
The grekes hor geire grippit anone,

Next morning

the Greeks array Bounet vnto batell, and to bent droghe ! 7636 Achilles, of all men auntrid hym first,


euyn to the fild with a felle pepull :
Then Diomede the doughty, & derfe Menelaus,

The tents of the
Greeks are torn



themselves for battle.


Agamynon the grete,[&] Þe goode dukeof Athens. Achilles slays tne 7640 With the kyng of Larris full cantly caupit king of Larissa.

Achilles, þat he droffe hym to dethe with the dynt of a

speire. Hector slays

Antoneus on Ector full egerly met, Anthoneus.

But, er he past fro the prinse, he was pale ded. Diomedes slays 7644 Then Diomede, the derfe kyng, deghit out of lyue Antiphus.

Xantipus, þe same tyme, þat was a sure kyny.
Two kynges þere come, þat were kyde brether,-

Epistafus pe pert was propurly þat one,
Epistrophus and 7648 And Tedius, þat tothir,—tydé men bothe:

Vppon Ector ernistly pos egir men set.
Ephistafus hym presit with his proude wordes,

As a ribold with reueray in his Roide speche, 7652 Sythen spurnit hymdispitously with a speire felle;

But he hurt not þat hynd, ne hade hym to ground;
Ne the deire of his dynt dasit hym but litle.

Tedius set upon


a thousand

the death of

Ector, wrathed at his wordis, waynit at the kyng, 7656 Dat he gird to be ground and the gost yald :

Hen warpid he þes wordis in his wild hate :"Since you love

“ffor þou of flytyng was fuerse with frekes vppon fiting so well; go, flite on the

lyue, dead!'

Go dresse pe to dedmen, & dyn þere a while." Tedius summons 7660 This, Tedius the tothir full tomly beheld. knights to arenge

Gret pytie with payne persit his hert; Epistrophus.

ffor the dethe of þat dere doublit his sorow. (fol. 119 a)

He cald of his knightes of clene men a thowsaund, 7664 That all hastid to þat hend hertly & mo.

He bade hom full boldly, for bale vpon erthe,
All folow to pat freke, þat his fere slogh.

On his broder bale dethe baldly to venge,
Eagerly they 7668 All suyt on þat syre in a sad hast,
over the field,

And laited aftur þe lede with a light wille ;

follow Hector

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