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Book XIX.

Yet, because you slew my dear

friend Patroclus,

(MS. has where.')

before this year be past your blood shall pay for his."

My body hath pou brisit, & my blode shed, With thy strokes full store of þi stithe arme! pof my wille be so wilde to waite on pin end, 7932 ffor the sake of my selfe and othir sib fryndes, More feruent in faith pi falle I dessyre,

ffor Patroclus, my pure felow, pou put vnto dethe.

I louet hym full lelly, no les pen my seluyn; 7936 And pou partid our presens with pi prise wepyn, pat with faith and affynité [were] festinyt to

gedur ;

And dang hym to dethe pat deires me full euyll,
But trust me for tru, and þis tale leue,

7940 Er hit negh to an end of this next yere,

The dethe of pat doughty shalbe dere yolden With the blode of þi body, baldly me leue! And in so myche, for sothe, I say ye 3et ferre, 7944 pat I wot the in witte to waite on myn end, My wonsped to aspie in dispite ay,

And to deire me with dethe yche day new."

"Marvel not, Achilles, that I

seek to slay thee;

for I can have no love for him who seeks my life, and has come to my land to slay my people.

(fol. 128 b.)

7948

THE ANSWARE OF ECTOR TO ACHILLES.

Than Ector hym answared Esely agayn;
With wordis full wise vnto the wegh said :-
"If auntur be, sir Achilles, I am the to sle,
And hate pe in hert, as my hede foo,

Withouten couenable cause, or cast for þi dethe; 7952 Thow might meruell the mykell of my misrewle, But þat wottes in thi wit by wayes of right,

þat þere longes no loue ne lewte to ryse,

To hym pat dressis for my dethe with a ded hate, 7956 And pursewis to my prouyns my pepull to sle. ffor of werre by no way wackons pere loue, Ne neuer charité be cherisst þurghe a chele yre: Luff ingendreth with ioye, as in a iust sawle, 7960 And hate in his hote yre hastis to wer.

HECTOR CHALLENGES ACHILLES.

Now, I will pat pou wete, pi wordes me not

feryn,

Ne thy boste me abaistes with pi bold speche;

But I hope with my hond & my hard strokes,

7964 Thurgh might of oure mykell goddes, & of mayn

strenght,

Thy body to britton vnto bale dethe;

And all the grete of pe grekes, pat on oure

ground lyun,

ffor to fell in the feld fay with my hond! 7968 Grete folie, by my faithe, fell in your hedis, ffor to hent vppon hand soche a hegh charge, That passes youre pouer, & proffettes no more, But the losse of your lyues, & your ledis all.

7972 This wot I full well, bewar if þe lyste,

pou bes ded of my dynttes, & pi day past,
Er hit hap the with hond my harmys to forther,
To deire me with daunger, or to dethe put.

7976 And if pou hopys in hert, with pi hegh pride,
To oppresse me with power, & to payn bring,
Get graunt of the grekes, & the grete all,

Of kynges, & knightes, & other kyd dukes, 7980 pat all the deire of the ded be done on vs two, To vttranse & yssue vne at this tyme,

Withouten meuyng of moo, or marryng of pepull.

259

Book XIX.

Thy words do
not at all frighten
me; and I hope
to slay thee with
mine own hand.

What folly it is,

to undertake what you cannot accomplish.

If you think you
can vanquish me,
get the Greeks to
stake the result
of this war on our
single combat.

And if hap the pe herre hond to haue, in the plase If you vanquish

7984 Of me, thurgh pi might, by maistry of hond,
I shall fast the pis forward all with fyne othes,
All the londis to leue, pat longyn to Troy,
And our ground to pe grekes graunt as for right;
7988 And we exiled for euer-more our easement to

laite,

All our prouyns & parties put in your wille.
And if it falle me by fortune the feirer to haue,
Make vs sekur, on the same wise, oure soile for

to leue,

me, this land shall belong to Greece:

and if I shall vanquish you,

assure us that the Greeks will depart and

[blocks in formation]

7992 Of our prouyns to pas, & paire vs no more,

Ne neuer dere vs in dede, ne oure due londes."
Achilles was angret angardly sore;

Wrathet at his wordes, warmyt in yre;

7996 Chaunget his chere, chauffit with hete,

8000

That the droupes, as a dew, dankit his fas.
He approchet to pe prinse, presit hym ner,
And affyrmit with faithe & with fyn chere,
All po couenaundes to kepe with his cleane
trauthe:

This he sadly assurit at the same tyme.

Ector toke hit full tyd with a triet wille,

More dessyrous to the dede, pen I dem can. 8004 But Agamynon was gayn at þis gret dyn,

8008

With other kynges in company comyn to the tent, hat hasted for the high noise, & hopit in haste Of po mighty full mony the mater to here. When the knewen all the cause, po kynges bydene,

All denyede it anon ;—no mon assentid,

þat Achilles in chaunse shuld be chosen for hem all,

With pat fuerse for to fight purgh folye of hym
seluyn ;

8012 Ne so mony & so mighty men of astate,
ffor to coupull of hor cause on a knight one,
Bothe of londes & lyffe for lure pat might happon.
And the Troiens, on the tothir syde, torely with
stode,-

8016 Dysasent to pe dede, Dukes & other;

Saue Priam, the prise kyng, pat the prinse knew,
Bothe his strenght & his stuerne wille stondyng

in hert,

Wold haue put hym to pe plit for perell of all, 8020 ffor pe will & be worship of his wale strenght: But for so mony & mighty menit pere agaynes,

TROILUS AND BRISEIS.

He put of his purpos, & passis perfro.

261

Book XIX.

pen tho prinse at the prise kynges prestly toke The combat is

leue,

8024 Turnit fro the tenttes and to toune yode :

Past to his palais, & his pale entrid.

put off.

Hector returns to Troy.

THE SOROW OF TROILUS FOR BREISAID HIS LOUE.

When hit tolde was Troilus the tale of his loue,
How þat faire, by his ffader, was fourmet to
wende

8028 To the grekes, by graunt of po grete kynges,

8032

(fol. 124 b.)

Briseis:

ffor Bresaide the bright vnblithe was his chere;
ffor he louit hir full lelly, no lesse þen hym seluyn, Troilus loves
With all the faithe and affection of hys fyn hert.
Myche sykyng and sorow sanke in his brest;
He was tourment with tene, tynt was his hew; because she is
All wan was the weghe for his wete teres;
With lamentacion & langour vnlusty to se;

8036 Was no knight in the court kouthe comford
hym oght,

8040

Ne ses hym of sorow sothely pat tyme!
And Bresaid, the bright, blackonet of hew;
With myche weping & waile, waterid hir ene ;
All fadit that faire of hir fyn coloure,
With shedyng of shire water of hir shene chekes;
All-to tugget hir tresses of hir triet here;
Hir faire fyngurs with forse femyt of blode,
8044 And all-to rafet the rede chekys, ruthe to be

8048

holde,

That the blode out brast, & on brest light;

And ay swonit in swyme, as ho swelt wold
In pere hondes, þat hir helde & halp hir to stond;
And pes wordes ho warpit as hir wo leuit :--
"I hade leuer my lyf leue in this place,
Than any lengur to lyffe & my luff tyne !"
No lengur of thies louers list me to carpe,

is overcome
with grief

to be returned to her father.

Briseis pines and droops;

tears her hair and her cheeks;

and swoons again and again.

Book XIX.

Whoever desires more about these

lovers, turn to the story of Troilus.

All women are fickle.

If one eye weeps, the other laughs.

(fol. 125 a.)

A fool is that youth, and a greater fool is that old man, who relies on the word of a woman.

Brisels is
convoyed to the

Grecian camp by
Troilus and

others.

Diomedes, captivated by Briseis,

makes love to her:

8052

Ne of the feynit fate of pat faire lady;
Who-so wilnes to wit of paire wo fir,
Turne hym to Troilus, & talke pere ynoghe!

Hit is a propertie apreuit, & put hom of kynd. 8056 To all wemen in the world, as þe writ saythe,

To be vnstable & not stidfast, styrond of wille : ffor yf the ton ee with teres trickell on hir chekes, The tothur lurkes in lychernes, & laghes ouer

thwert!

8060 So full are po faire fild of dessait,

8064

And men for to mad is most pere dessyre,

There is no hope so vnhappy, þat hastes to noght,
Ne so vnsikur at a say, as to set vppon wemen!
A foole is pat freike in his frele yowthe,
And myche more pat man is meuyt into age,
That in wordes of wemen wastyn þere hope,
Or in faire hotes of po fre fully will trust.

8068 This Breisaid, the burde, by byddyng of þe kyng, In apparell full prowde purpost to wend;

Troilus, the true knight, with triet men other, ffro the Cité with pat semely soghtyn on pe gate. 8072 Then the grekes com girdond fro the gay tentes, Resayuit hir with Reuerense, & Riden furthe

somyn;

And the Troiens to the towne turnyt agayne. The derf kyng Diamede drughe the lady ner, 8076 Beheld hur full hertely, het hir in loue; With venus woundit, I-wis, in his wild hert, He rode to pat Riall, and the Reyne toke. Then he said to pat semly all on soft wise, 8080 All his corage by corse of his cold hert,

With full speciall speche to spede of his erend.
Then Breisaid, the bright, bainly onswart,
ffor to hold hym in hope & hert hym the bettur:-

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