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THE COUNSEL OF AGAMEMNON.
Well wallit to wale, with water aboute ; 4868 And perfore sothly I say, hit semis vnto vs,
hai are feler of folke, & fuerser by the halfe,
And yche freike is þere frynd to filsom þere spede. Mulsum, to 4872 bis I say not, for sothe, supposyng in hert
þat of our dede shuld be doute,–I dem it not so. through doubt of Ne I put not vnpossible zon place for to take,
impossible to take And all þere folke in fight with forse to distroy; and destroy the
city ; but that we 876 Ne the Cité to sese and serche within,
may work wisely And all the toures of the toun tumbell to ground; discretion. But þat louyng & lose shuld lenge of our dedis,
And our werkes all wisely wroght by discrecioun, 4880 hat we fare with no foly ne fonnyng of pride.
And keppit no counsell, ne no clene rule, 4884 But put hom with pride a purpos vnto,
Hit rapit to repentaunse & mony ranke harmys.
us lately, and Noght leng sithen but late, a lede of his owne asked us only to 4888 Made on a message vnto our menes londis, sister Hesione;
and that, like ffor his sustor Exiona to send hym agayne : fools, we answered This couet the kyng, keppit he no more.
And we, as vnwise men, welt into pride ; 4892 Answarth hym awterwart with angur & skorne, ill-naturedly,
angrily.) With thretyng vnthriuand of our thro hertes ;
(fol. 76 b.) And manast his messanger with malicous pride.
Hade we herkont hym hyndly, hedit his wille, 4896 Done his dissyre, deiret not our seluyn,
The harme & the hardgrem, þat highet vs after, followed would
Ne Elan, ne other mo honer
knows that Priam sent a message to
send back his
him with scorn.
Had we but listened to his request, the harms and sorrow that
not have befallen
ole of grece,
Ne we, þat are wonyn ouer the wale streames, pat worthy to wyn with weppon in fight,
Hade not faren so far our fos to distroy, 4904 Ne so long fro our londes lengit away.
And, what fall shalbe fortune, no freke can vs
And, what fortune shall befall us, no one can tell,
let us send a
if he will send . back Helen and the rest of our
Wethur worship or wo: wete we not all ?
To put of all perells & our pepull saue ;
Our worship to wyn, & no wegh hurt;
Let make vs a message to the mon Priam, message to Priam, and promise to
bat is kyng of the coste & the kythe ow, grant him Hesione
And wilne hym wisely, þat worthy, to send
4916 Honerable Elan & other of our pepull : people; and redress the wrongs
And redresse vs the domage, þat he don has done to us by
By Paris his proude son, in our prise londis.
If þat souerayne accept this sothly with hert, 4920 And do it in dede, as our dissyre wille,
We may wend hom with worship & our wille
And saue so our seluyn & our sute hole; (MS. has' ruder.')
Nauther redur ne rape to pis rem do. refuse this offer,
4924 And if Priam with pride this purpos refuse,
Two frendes haue fully to fight in our cause : our cause: Right,
On is right, þat vs riches for rape of our godes ; goods, and Peace,
And pes, þat we proffer our pouer to extaint. that we proffer to 4928 Thurgh the world shall it wend our werke at prevent the exercise of our
þis tyme. Ay the mo, þat our mesure maynly may here,
The lengur vs luff shall till our last end ; (fol. 77 a.)
And the Troiens be told as for triet foles, The Trojans will
4932 Ne excusit of skathe & sklaunder of pride, fools; but never
To macche vs with monhede & might of our selfe,
And if Priam
we shall have two friends to fight in
that constrains us for the loss of our
one will blame us.
ULYSSES AND DIOMEDES SENT TO PRIAM.
• Devise now as ye think best.'
Diomede are sent as messengers to Priain.
And wyn hom in wer with weppon in fight.
Neuer buerne will vs blame, ne ban for our dede, 4936 Ne wegh will vs wite to þe worldes end.
Ses now, your seluyn, my saghis vnto,
When the souerain hade said, þen sesit he here, 4940 And mony of þo mighty menyt þer agayn, The council is
divided; Noght semond, pai said, ne sittyng to do;
and some approve And part of þat pepull prouyt hit for wit;
the proposal. At
last all accept it, And o sithin, all samyn assentid perto.
and Ulysses and 4944 Two chere men þai chese on þis choise erend,
(Onest & abell Vlexes was one,
Aionet to pis iornay iustly to-gedre. 4948 Stiden
stithe horse stird to the Cité,
They arrive at the
palace and pass 4952 Gone
into the hall.
city ; its walls 4956 With high toures full torrit all the toun vmbe. and towers, &c. Yet meruelt hom more ymyddes the halle
But they are
more astonished Was a tre, þat was tried, all of tru gold,
by a tree of gold,
set in the centre Meruelous & mekyll men to be-hold.
of the great hall. 4960 The bole was of bright gold, bret to pe myddes,
Largior pen a lawriall & lengur with all,
cubits high, and þat fourmyt was full faire to pe fre boghes. finely forined. 4964 The brede of his bowes borly to se,
(fol. 77 b.) Large and longe, light as the sun)
spread from the ffro the dese to the dorse doblit on brede
dais to the doors, And the sydys, by a sercle of pe same hall. 4968 The braunches were borly, sum of bright gold, Sum syluer for sothe, semlist of hew;
astonished at the greatness of the
It was twelve
gold, and some
and from wall to wall. Some of the branches are of
of silver ; with
With leuys full luffly, light of þe same;
With burions aboue bright to be holde ; 4972 And frut on yt fourmyt fairest of shap,
Of mony kynd þat was kuyt, knagged aboue, bat shemert as shire as any shene stonys.
Long abodyn thies buernes in the bright hall, 4976 Or þai comyn to the kyng by course for to
Hai salut not þat souerain with no sad wordes,
But euyn agaynst þat gret þai gone for to sit, 4984 In the ffrount of þo folke & þe fre kyng.
ben auntred Vlexes and his erund said,
They make no obeisance, and sit down before the king.
THE WORDES OF VLIXES TO THE KING PRIAM,
(MS. has " Sais")
Agamemnon asks you to restore Helen in safety,
“Sir Priam ! thof we prise not þi person to
ffor we haue þe in hate as our hede ffoo :
Hailsyng ne hynd speche with no hede bare. 4992 Agamynon the gret, þat on pi ground lys,
Hase made vs as messengers at this mene tyme, -
He biddes the full barly the bright qwene Elan, 4996 That you caght fro his kyng, & oper kyd pepull,
Send hom in sound & safly to bym,
All Redurs to riche with bi Ranke goodes, 5000 That you pild in his prouynse by Paris þi son.
(fol. 78 a.)
and to make restitution for the harms done by your son Paris.
Iff yow do pus in dede, hit doghis the bettur:
do so, see what will befall you!"
Of harme in a hond qwhile highand the to ! 5004 Thou bes ded for þe dede dernly þi selfe ;
All þi pepull be perisshit & put out of lyue ;
Betyn and brent doun vnto bare askes; 5008 The Rewme þurgh Riden, robbed þi goodis,
Set vnder seruage & sorow for euer !”
THE ONSWARE OF PRIAM TO VLEXES.
“I marvel at your
your demand for
the cause of all
When Priam persayuit had all his proude wordes,
He onswared Vlixes vne vponone, 5012 Withouten counsell of knightes or any kyde Priam replied :
threat, and at And angers me full euyll your angard desyre,
satisfaction; 5016 When ye couet by course, with vnkynd fare,
seeing that ye are Satisfaccioun to be sent fro
My souerayn ye slogh, & my sybbe fryndes ; 5020 My folke put into pyne, pild all my
And fele of my ffryndes into fer londes, 5024 In hordam & harlatry vnhyndly to lye ;
Not keppit lir kyndly, as a kynges doughter,
And menen me with manas Amendes to bede! 5028 I wold sothely, my Selfyn, sittyn with the harme (fol. 78 6.)
Of the dethe & the dole of my dere fader, For myself, I
father; and I sent And on message I made a mon of myn owne 5032 Antinor I ordant þat erende to wende,
would have borna the loss of my
Antenor to you,