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Book VIII.

Antenor the Wise

was a tall, active,

but slender man: 3948 talkative but far


Polydamas, son of Antenor,

['favour.' countenance.]

was tall, agile,

and slender, like his father;

(fol. 62 a.)

Meriones, king of Crete, was a great, massive, broad


knight, with crisp

yellow hair, and

black eyelashes:

a fierce and famous warrior.

Hecuba, the

honest and

honourable queen, was broad and

massive, almost like a man.

She was learned

as became a lady,

meek and



Was non so riche of Renttes, ne of renke godes,
Of castels full close, & mony clene tounes.
Antenor also was abill man of wit,

Long man & large, lyuely & small.

Mony wordys hade the wegh, wise of his dedis,
In fele thinges forwise, & a fer caster.

Wele louyt of his lege, delited hym in myrthe,
Bourdfull among buernes, blithe of his wordis,
Hethyngfull to hathels, but it harmyt not.
Polidamas pe pert þat was his prise son,
ffull zener and 3epe, and a yong knight,
3956 ffaire man of faffure, & of fyn strenght,
Worshipfull in wer, wise of his dedis;

A large man of lenght, delyuer, & small,
Euyn fourmyt as his fader of feturs & other.
3960 A full strong man in stoure, sturnyst in Armys,
Wrothe with a worde & away sone:


His colour blent was in blake, with a blithe chere.
Merion the mighty kyng was massely shapen,

A faire man of fourme, & a fre knight.

Grete sydes to gripe growen full sad,
Brode shulders aboue, big of his armys,

A hard brest hade pe buerne, & his back sware.
3968 Crispe heris & clene, all in cours yelowe,
All the borders blake of his bright ene.


A felle man in fight, fuerse on his enimys,
And in batell full bigge, & myche bale wroght:
Grete worship he wan while the wer laste.
Ecuba, the onest & onerable qwene,

Was shewyng in shap of a shene brede,
Massily made as a man lyke.

3976 She hade a wonderfull wit a woman to bene,


Alse sad in þe syens as semyt for a lady
Wele norisshed perwith; wise of hir dedis,
Meke of hir maners, myldest of chere;
Onest ouerall, as aght hir astate,


An delited hir deply in dedis of charité.
Andromaca, auenonde abill of person,
Worthy Ector wyfe, was a we faire.


Book VIII.


wife of Hector,

was tall and


3984 Long body hade the burdde, bright of hir colour. with bright clear

Ho was mesurably made, as pe mylke white.
Hir ene flamyng fresshe, as any fyne stones.
Rud as pe Roose roikede in hir chekes.

3988 Hir lippes were louely littid with rede.
Gilde hores hade pat gay, godely to se.
Most onest of other euer in hir tyme,

And all hir dedis full duly done by a mesure.

3992 Cassandra the clere was a Clene Maydon,
Semely of a Sise, as the silke white,
Womonly wroght, waike of hir colour,
Godely of gouernaunce, and gleyit a litle.
Of wemen werkes wilnet ho none,


Most was hir mynde hir maidonhede to kepe. Mony cas for to cum ho be course wiste, By artys of astronomy, & ame of hir wit,4000 By staryng on the sternys thurgh hir stithe lore. Polexena the pert was prise of all other, Of feturs & fourme the fairest on lyue; ffull tendur of hir tyme, triet of hewe. Of hir fairnes fele may no freike telle, Ne no wegh has wit ne wordys perfore, ffor to labur so longe of hir lefe shap; But truly I telle as pe text sais,


4008 Ho was of bewte aboue all borne in hir tyme, To wale purgh the world of wemen bydene, Alse noble for pe nonest as natur cold deuyse, To paint in yche place thurgh his pure study, 4012 (pat errit not in anythyng of abilté per,


Saue he demyt hir dedly, when hir day come.)
And ay cheriste hir chastité with a choise wille,
To pat abundaunse of bewte ho was best norisshed.
Witté to wale, wantid no thewes ;

eyes, ruddy cheeks and lips, and golden hair.

(fol. 62 b.) Cassandra, daughter of Priam, was of seemly size and mould, but pale, and squinted a little.

She was well skilled in astronomy.

Polyxena was by far the fairest of Priam's daughters.

Her beauty baffles all description.

Book VIII,

Thus Dares

represents those

noted ones of

Greece and Troy:

(fol. 63 a.)

and now to our story of what befell them.

Voidet all vanities, & virtus dissyret.
pus Dares in his dyting deuyses þe shap
Of pese freikes in fere, pat I before tolde;
4020 Of kynges & knightes & oper clene ladies;
Of Dukes by-dene, þat were dere holden;
Of the gretist of Grece, & of gret Troy,

hat he hade comyng with in company, & knew
well be persons,

4024 As the worthiest to wale & wildest in Armys. Of these nomly to neuyn, & nobill men other, How þai bere hom in batell, I buske me to say; And telle how hom tyde, whill I tyme haue.-4028 Stir fuorth to our story, & stynt here a while.

Neynt Boke. Of the Nowmber of Shippes and the Nauy of the Grekes.

Comyn was by course pat the cold wyntur

Was wastid & went with his wete shoures. ffrostes were faren, and the fell cold; 4032 The slippond slete slidon of the ground;

fflodys were fallyn into furse vales,

And into caues be course cleufit the erthe.
Wyndis wastid away, warmyt the ayre;

4036 The rede beames aboue blusshet with hete ;

Ver entrid full euyn, eger with all.

The sun in his serkyll set in pe last,
Passyng fro pisshes vnder playn course;

4040 ffeueryere faryn with his fuerse windes
At the metyng of Marche with his mayn droghte.
The grete Nauy of Grekes with a grym oste,
Entrid into Attens, euyn at hor wille;
And holly in hauyn þere houyt þai to-gedur,
ffor to rest in þe Rode & hor rede take.
Now wete yche wegh, þat writyng beholdis,
Or þat stares vpon stories, & stirs in bokys,


4048 bat syn the firmament was fourmed, & folke


vpon erthe,

Syche a Nauy was neuer of nowmber to-gedur;
Ne soche a company clene of knightes & other;
Ne so fele feghtyng men in a fflete somyn.
Of the worthy pere were, thus pe write sais :-

Winter was now past,

and Spring had opened,

and the great navy of the

Greeks entered the harbour of Athens.

Never had such a collected.

fleet been

(fol. 63 b.)

Book IX.

Agamemnon had 100 ships;

Menelaus from Sparta had 60 ships.

(Sparta) (Bootia)

Arcesilaus from

Boeotia and king

Protheus had 50 ships.


Ascalaphus and his brother Ialmenus with 30 ships.

Epistrophus, king of Phocis,

and his brother Tedius, with

50 ships.

Telamon, king of

Salamis, with

50 ships.

Diores, and

Nestor from

Pyles, with

50 ships.

(fol. 64 a) Thoas from


Agamynon the gret, was gide of hom all,
Leder of po lordis, fro his lond broght

A hundrith shippes full shene with sharp men
of armys,

4056 Pight full of pepull & mony prise knight.

Menelay the mighty, þat was his mete brother,
Come fro his kingdom with clene shippes Sixti,
With nobill men for þe nonest a nowmber full

4060 And sped hym fro spart his awne spilte Rewme.
Out of boyse was pere brought with bold men


Archisalus was an, auntrus in werre,

And Protheno, a prise kyng, prestly pat other.
4064 In hor company come clene shippes fyfté,
With abill men of armys, auntrus in fight.
per suet of Siche semly men two,—
Ascalaphus, a skathilduke & skant mon in wer,
4068 And Helminus, a hede vrle, hadyn to-gedur
Thretty shippes full shene o pe shire water,
With barons of the best & bold men within.
Ephistaphus, a pert kyng & prinse out of focce,
4072 And Tedius pat tothir, þat was his trew felowe:
ffyfty shippes in fere folowet hom two,

With a company of knightes cast for the wer.
Telamon, the tore kyng, tide for to haue.

4076 ffyfty shippes full faire of his fuerse Rewme;
And of the Cité of Salame, pat suyt hym after,
In his company come mony clene Dukes,

And Erles also, with mony gret lordis.

4080 The Duke of Teucor, to telle truly, was pere; Amphimakus also, auntrus in wer;

Donori, the derfe Erle, & doughty Theseus.

Nestor, the nobill Duke, þat was an old man, 4084 ffore out of Phylon with fyfti gret shippes. Toax fro toylé, þat was a true kyng,

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