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of the noble deeds
true stories have been all but
Maistur in magesté, maker of Alle,
(fol. 2 a.) Endles and on, euer to last !
Now, god, of þi grace graunt me pi helpe, 4 And wysshe me with wyt bis werke for to end ! Off aunters ben olde of aunsetris nobill,
of our ancestors, And slydyn vppon shlepe by slomeryng of Age: Of stithe men in stoure strongest in armes, and of the stout
and wise in war, 8 And wisest in wer to wale in hor tyme,
pat ben drepit with deth & þere day paste,
mind, 12 And swolowet into swym by swiftenes of yeres, Ffor new pat ben now, next at our hond, of those of more
modern times, Breuyt into bokes for boldyng of hertes ;
recorded in books
"for boldyng of On luisti to loke with lightnes of wille, 16 Cheuyt throughe chaunce & chaungyng of
some are false.
Each desires to 20 And has lykyng to lerne þat hym list after. likes best. But olde stories of stithe pat astate helde,
renowned deeds May be solas to eum þat it segh neuer,
some are true and
learn what he
But old stories of recorded by men who witnessed them may delight some who never saw them.
Be writyng of wees þat wist it in dede,
To ken all the crafte how pe case felle,
The Poet declares his su bject and the authors from whom he has drawn his information.
(ful. 2 6.)
ow of Troy forto telle is myn entent euyn,
Hof fele yeres ben faren syn þe fight endid,
Alss wise men haue writen the wordes before, 32 Left it in latyn for lernyng of vs.
But sum poyetis full prist þat put hom þerto,
Homer, who is not to be trusted, tells how the
gods fought like men, and
other such trifleg.
36 Sum lokyt ouer litle and lympit of the sothe.
Amonges þat menye,—to myn hym be nome, –
Qwiles his dayes enduret, derrist of other
He feynet myche fals was neuer before wroght,
Of his trifuls to telle I haue no tome nowe,
How goddes foght in the filde, folke as pai were,
That poyetis of prise have preuyt vntrew :
Virgill be virtuus, verrit for nobill,
But be truth for to telle & þe text euyn
þat was clanly compilet with a clerk wise,
And wist all þe werks by weghes he hade,
Guido de Colonna is the author of the following story,
from the works of
deeds which he
translated it into Latin, but so
work had to he
And euþer sawte & assemely see with pere een. which is compiled
In letturs of þere langage, as pai lernede hade : 60 Dares and Dytes were duly þere namys.
Dares and Dictys
(fol. S a.) The tothyr was a Tulke out of Troy selfe, 64 Dares, pat duly the dedys be helde.
Dares, who was
present at the Aither breuyt in a boke on þere best wise,
recorded, wrote That sithen at a citė somyn were founden
his history of the
Trojan war in After at Atthenes as aunter befell ; 68 The whiche bokes barely bothe as þai were,
A Romayn ouerraght & right hom hym-seluyn,
briefly that the 72 But he shope it so short þat no shalke might
pat no lede might have likyng to loke þerappon, 76 Till bis Gydo it gate, as hym grace felle,
And declaret it more clere & on clene wise.
there is a faithful ende,
deeds as they All be dedes by dene as þai done were ;
were done; 80 How þe groundes first grew, & pe grete hate,
Bothe of torfer and tene þat hom tide aftur.
What kynges þere come of costes aboute : war; of the Kings, 84 Of Dukes. full doughty, and of derffe Erles,
who fought on That assemblid to be citie þat sawte to defend : Of be grekys þat were gedret how gret was pe
nowinber, How mony knightes bere come & kynges enarmed, 88 And what Dukes thedur droghe for dedis of
account of the
progress of the
Dukes, and Earls
either side :
What Shippes þere were shene, il shakes with in,
of the ships and
(fol. 8 d.) treasons that took place; in short, of every event from first to last.
Bothe of barges & buernes þat broght were fro
grese : And all the batels on bent be buernes betwene. 92 What Duke þat was dede throughe dyntes of
hond, Who ffallen was in ffylde, & how it fore aftur : Bothe of truse & trayne pe truthe shall þu here,
And all the ferlies pat fell vnto the ferre ende. 96 ffro this prologe I passe & part me þer with,
Here begynnes the first Boke. How Kyng
The scene of the following story is laid in the province of Thessaly.
In Tessaile hit tyde as thus in tyme olde, 100 A prouynce appropret aperte to Rome,
An yle enabit nobli and wele
There was a kyng in þat coste þat þe kithe ought, 104 A noble man for þe nonest is namet Pelleus.
That worthy hade a wyfe walit hym-seluon,
Des gret in pere gamyn gate hom betwene, 108 Achilles by chaunce chiualrous in armes.
(More of thies Myrmydons mell I not now,
How Mawros were men made on a day
This Pelleus pert, prudest in armys,
That heire was & Eldist, and Eson he hight. 116 Till it fell hym by fortune, faintyng of elde,
Unstithe for to stire, or stightill the Realme,
Of Septur and soile he sesit his brothir,
Eson afterwarde erdand on lyffe,
As Ovid openly in Eydos tellus,