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Here Begynnes the xxxiij Boke: How Oreste toke vengianse for his fader dethe.

(fol. 197 b.)

Agamynons hawne sone abill of zeris, bat ydumius the dere kyng only had keppit ffor ferd of his fos, þat his fader slogh, 12940 Engestus with Iapis shulde Iuge hym to assist him to

Orestes, son of
Agamemnon,
desires king
Idomeneus to

recover his

dethe,

Was waxen full wele & wight of his dedis.
xxti wintur, I-wis, the wegh was of age,

And forther by foure, fuerse of his strenght.

12944 pan honered hym pat od kyng with ordur of

knight;

Gaf hym of his gold, & his gay stedis,

And hight hym of helpe with a hede pepull.
Orestes pat onerable oftymes prayet

12948 To ffilsyn hym with folke his fo to dystroy,

His cuntre to kouer, & his kid rewme,

And to deire for the dethe of his dere fader. The kyng grauntid agayne with a gode wille. 12952 A thowsaund pro knightes, prepond in wer, He assignet for hym-selfe to his sad helpe: And so luffet was the lede in the lond pan, bat as mony able men after was grauntid. 12956 pan Orestes full rad with his ronke knightes,

Come to the Croeze, the cuntre within
There Forenses the fre kyng fairly can dwell.

kingdom, and to avenge the murder of his father.

The king grants him a thousand brave knights: and his own influence raises another thousand.

Book XXXIII.

Forensis, an enemy of Ægisthus, offers to assist Orestes, and to bring three hundred knights with him.

(fol. 198 a.)

In the month of
May,

Orestes, Forensis, and their forces move upon Mycenae, and besiege it.

Apollo had promised that Orestes should succeed and should put his mother to death.

Orestes, on learning that Ægisthus nad

gone to procure aid, lays an

He was neghbur full negh to pe noble yle, 12960 There Agamynon the gode gouernaunce hade; And was Enmy full euyn to Engest with-all,

And held wer with pat wegh winturs full mony. This Forenses with fyne will faithfully prayet, 12964 þat he might ryde with pat Orest & his ranke

oste,

To Ioyne with Engest for his vniust werkes, With pre hundrith prifty, all of pr[i]ed knightes : And he priftely, with pro hert, panket the kyng. 12968 And so busket the bold fro the burgh sone.

Hit was the moneth of May when mirthes begyn;

The Sun turnyt into tauro, taried þere vnder; Medos & mountains mynget with floures; 12972 Greues wex grene, & the ground swete; Nightgalis with notes newit pere songe,

And shene briddes in shawes shriked full lowde.
Orestes full rad, with his ranke knightes,
12976 And Forenses, the fuerse kyng, faryn of toune.
pai meuit vnto messan with pere men hole.
All refusit hom the folke of pe fyne plase.
When he segh þat the Cité sate in defens,
12980 He besegit hit full sadly vppon sere halues,

hat no buerne of the burgh durst to bent come:
And so keppit he the close of his clene Cité.
He had answare of Appolyn abill before,

12984 þat he his fomen shuld fell & his folke wyn,
And his moder for hir malice martur to dethe,
ffor all the helpe pat ho hade & the hegh walles.
This Engest with Iolite & Iournay was gone,
12988 To secche hym sum frekes with hor fyn helpus,

Of Bachelers & bowmen the burgh to defend.
Orestes full radly the Renke hade aspiet,

What way þat he went, as weghes hym told. 12992 He purpast hym priuely in pathes to lye.

425

OF HIS FATHER, AGAMEMNON.

Book XXXIII.

Knightes, at his comyng to kacche hym olyue, bat mekill were of might, & of his men qwelle. ambush to The Cité he assailet with a sewte ofte, 12996 pat the folke to defend failet o sythes.

capture him as he returns.

Thai werit of pere werke pe wallis to kepe,
And no buerne of þe burgh þere aboue stode.
The XVtene day fuersly he felle to pe toune,
13000 He toke hit full tite, & tomly he entrid,

With all his company clene of kyd men of
armys.

He comaundit his knightes for keping the yatis, ffor Repaire at the port, or presyng the yatis. 13004 He past to the palas of his prise ffader,

There caght he Clunestra, þat closit was in.
He put hir in prison, prestly to kepe,

And all the Rebellis full rad rappit to dethe,
13008 þat were assent to the slaght of his sure fader.
The same day, sothely, the Cité was takyn,
Engeste with Ioly men aioynet agayne

The Cité for to socour with his sad help.

13012 Noght warre of the weghes, þat waited his

After fifteen days' siege the city is taken.

(fol. 198 b.) Clytemnestra is imprisoned and the rebels are put to death.

On the day the city was taken, Ægisthus attempts to succour it.

harme,

Past furth thurgh the pase with his proude
knightes:

A busshement of bold men breke hym vpon;
Kyld all his kant men, kaghtyn hym seluyn;
13016 His hond bounden at his backe, hym to burgh killed.

led.

He is captured

by the ambush

of Orestes, and his knights are

Clytemnestra is brought to

The secund day suyng, sone in the morne, Orestes his renkes radly comaundet, Bare to the barre bryng hym his moder, 13020 Hir hondes bounden at hir backe bigly with Orestes naked ropes. Than he went to þat worthy in his wode yre, And the pappis of the pure puld fro hir brest With a knyfe þat was kene, cast hom away;

with her hands bound behind her back.

He cuts off her breasts, and kills her with a sword:

426

Book XXXIII.

then commands her body to be cast out as carrion.

Ægisthus is stripped naked, drawn through the city, and then hanged along with the other traitors.

Thus did Orestes avenge the death of his father,the good and great Agamem

non.

(fol. 199 a.)

Menelaus, after
many perils by
sea, arrives at

Crete with
Helen.

He is told of his brother's death, and of the murder of Clytemnestra.

The nobles of

Crete crowd to the city to see Helen.

DEATH OF CLYTEMNESTRA AND EGISTHUS.

13024 And with the swing of a swerd swappit hir to

dethe.

He comaund the corse cacche vp onone,
And hurle with a horse to the hegh feldys,
And cast hit as karyn vnto kene foles.
13028 There the lady on the lond lay for to rest,

Till the flesshe of þat faire was fret of the bones,
To draghen be with dogges & othir derfe briddes.
Engest he adiuget, for vniust werkes,

13032 Nakid thro the noble toune onone to be drawen,
pan in hast for to heng vppon hegh galowes,
With all the traitours vntru, þat he toke pere.
Thus he vengit the velany, & the vile grym
13036 of the dethe, þat hym deiret, of his dere fader.
Thus the lady was lost for hir lechir dedis,

þat vnhappely for horedam hastyd to sle Agamynon the goode, the grettist of kynges, 13040 And most worthy to wale while the world last. ffor ho keppit not hir klennes with a cloise hert, Thus fell hir by fortune to haue a foule end.

HOW MENELAY WAS WROTHE FFOR THE DETHE OF
CLUNESTRA.

When Menelay the mighty & his men all
13044 Were comyn out of care of the cold ythes,
With honerable Elan, þat was his aune wife,
To the cuntre of Crete pere the kyng dwellit,
Hit was told hym full tyte of his tru brother,
13048 pat done was to dethe with a derf traitor;
And how Orestes full rad, with a roid fare,
Hade marterid his moder for malice perof.
All the comyns of Crete & the kyd lordes,
13052 On the lady to loke longit full sore,

ffor whom the grekes so grymly were to ground broght.

So Eger were all men Elan to se,

THE TRIAL OF ORESTES THE MATRICIDE.

Book XXXIII.

ffor to waite on þat worthy went þai belyuc. 13056 Then the Seniour full sone, with seasonable From Crete

Menelaus sails to Mycenae to Orestes, whose cruel deeds, he said, should exclude him from holding his kingdom.

windes,

Cairet fro Crete with his clene nauy,

Meuit vnto Mecayne with his men all,
And faire Elan his fere ferkit hym with.
13060 To Orestes his aune cosyn angardly sade,
Noght to rest in his Rewme, ne by right haue
The heritage of auncetry after his fader,

ffor the murthe of his moder, he martired so foule. 13064 pan the grettist of grese were gedirt perfore, Bothe of kynges full clene, & of kid dukes, To Attens, pat abill toune, angardly mony,

The kings and nobles of Greece assemble at Athens, and

ffor to meue of pat mater, & make pere an end. decide that

Orestes should be
deposed and
exiled.

13068 Then prinses full prest, and the pure kinges,

Saydon Orestes be right shuld render his londes, And be exiled for euermore, as orible of dede, bat so doggetly had done to his dere moder. 13072 þan alleggit the lede to the leue prinses,

All the dere þat he did vnduly to hir, Was barly by biddyng of his bright goddes, þat enformet hym before of the fete euyn. 13076 The Duke of Attens full derffe dressit to say, ffor the right of Orestes radly he proffert

To proue with his person & his pure strenght,
To the boldest in batell with his bare hond,

427

13080 bat he had right to his rewme, & no renke ellis ;

And all the dedis he dyd were done vppon

13084 The right to derayne with the ranke duke.
By counsell of kynges & comyn assent,
Thai qwite claymit the qwerell, & qwit hym
pere all,

(fol. 199 b.)

Orestes declares he acted as his gods had commanded.

The Duke of
Athens offers
to be champion
in the cause

of Orestes.

reason,

Evyn wroght by the wille of hor wale goddes:

There was no buerne with pat bold the batell No one dares to take,

to accept the

wager, and Orestes is acquitted, and acknowledged as

king.

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