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Book XXI.

That they should

send to Priam to obtain a truce for two months, that their dead may be buried and their wounded healed.

(Soundismen,'= sondesmen,



And pat shall douteles be done in dayes a few.
And syn vs botis notto batell but vs bale worthe,
Withoutyn the helpe and the hondes of herty

8856 Hit is best þat we byde, barly, me thinke,
Tyll he be hole of his hurt, hast we no ferr.
Let vs puruay to Priam prise men of wit,
ffor to trete of a tru in trist of the bettur,
8860 Till two monethes & more be meuit to end,
ffor to bery pies bodies, pat brittnet are to dethe,
That storis vs with stynke, & our state harmys;
And our hurt men to hele, pat harmys haue kaght."
8864 When his speche was spokyn, & sped to pe last,
All the lordes hit alowet, & lowten perto.

Then sent were pere sone soundismen two,
To Priam, the prise kyng, purpos to hold;

Priam grants the 8868 And he grauntid vngright with a good chere,
And affirmet hit with faith to pe frekis all.


murmurs against Agamemnon.

Agamemnon replies;

"I never even

desired the

command of the Greek forces;

nor have I

any profit


Within the tyme of pis tru, as the trety sais, Palomydon the proud kyng playnet hym ofte, 8872 Of Agamynons gouernaunce in a grete yre.

And as hit tid on a tyme, þes triet kynges hoole
Were somyn at a semly the souerain before,
Palomydon put hym full prestly to say,
8876 And meuit of his mater, þat I mynnet are.


pan Agamynon, full godely, agayn to hym said, Before po kynges in comyn on a cleane wise :"Now Palomydon, pure ffrende, pertly I aske, 8880 Whethur pou hope it in hert, or hold in pi mynd, That I am glad of pis gouernaunce, to be gyde


Syn I with prayer, ne with pursuet, preset not peraftur,

Ne desyret hit in dede pe dayes of my liffe.

8884 Ne neuer fortherit me a ferthing to fylsy my



But oft wandrit, & woke, & in my wit caste;
And my person enpayret, pynet me sore,

ffor thes lordes pat I lede, and the ledis all, 8888 And my suete all somyn, sound for to kepe Out of daunger and dole, & fro dethe hold. And yf this power be putto any prise kyng,


Book XXI.

(fol. 137 b.)

And I shall be

well pleased to be

any lord in oure land, hit likes me full well under the
8892 His biddyng to obey, and his bone here ;

And be gouernyt by that graithe, as his degre

Wele I hope in my hert, & heghly Suppose,

I haue not errit in anythyng of all my tyme yet, 8896 In any cas to acount, þat comyn is before,

government of another.

bat hase skapet vs to skathe, ne to skyre harme.
Syn me to chose as for cheftan pou no charge I was chosen two


Meruell the not mekell, ne in mynd haue;

8900 ffor pou apperit not in presens, ne preuyt not pi


Ne entrid not the ost till after two yeres.

If we barly hade abiden with oure buernes hole,
We hade ass [em]eld ben at Attens, all oure ost


8904 And not past out of port, ne oure purpos haldyn.
Ne, non hertly shalle hope pat I am here fayn,
Of his gouernaunce be glad, ne haue gret Joye;
ffor hit is lykyng, by my lyf, & lusty for me,
8908 To chose another cheftan by charge of vs all;
And his alligiaunce lelly I will loute to,
With all the might þat I may to maintene our


Ne, þi self may not say, ne for sothe telle, 8912 Without assent of all somyn, sothely till now,

þat any dede has be don, or to dom past,

years before you joined us.

Had we waited

your coming we

would still have

been at Athens.

I shall rejoice if another commander be chosen :

and you cannot point to a single deed which has been done without the consent of the

But pou in person aprevit, & all oure prise leaders, and of

[blocks in formation]

yourself among the rest."

Book XXI.

Agamemnon calls

a council of the


(fol. 138 a.)

and thus addresses

them :

"Till this day, I

have acted as

And by agrement of the gret, & pe graunt


8916 When the souerain hade said, pen he sest here; And of this mater no more was menyt at pat


he same day, Sothely, sais me the lyne,
At euensangtyme afterward, Agamynon hym

8920 Somond all po souerains somyn to appere,
And the knightes by course, comyns & other,
In presens of pat prinse with pere pure wittes.
The secund day sewyng, before hym-self euyn,
8924 ben gedret were the grete with pere gyng all,
Comyn to pe kyng and pere course held.

ben be worthy pes wordes warpit hom too :-
"Now, fryndes & ffelowes, fayrly to pis,

your commander; 8928 I haue ben chargit as cheftain, be chaunse of

and, through the

help of our gods,

everything has prospered.

It is proper that you discharge

me, and elect another to be your chief."

our goddes;

And haue traueld with tene, oft turnyt my wit, All oure wayes to wale, pat worship might folow; þat the grete on this ground, & paire gomys hole, 8932 Might suerly be sauyt, & paire sute haue.

Hit has happont me hiderward, thurgh help of our goddes,

þat all oure fare & oure fortune hath fallyn to þe best.

Syn hit is Reason & right, pat renkes so mony, 8936 Noght ay obaye to on buerne, ne his bone kepe, hat are so mony, & mighty, & more of astate; Now is tyme in this tru, or any toile rise,

To discharge me as cheftain, & chaunge my lif, 8940 That have maintenede with monhode mony yere


Let sum kyng of oure company, or sum clene



By assent of all somyn, set hym þerto,


Book XXI.

And gouerne vs with graithnes & with gret wit, 8944 To be charget as cheftain by choise of vs all." ben assentid full sone souerain & other, And were glad of þe graunt, þat the grete said; assent to the

ffor hit is couyt by a comyn, by corse of pere wit, 8948 Ay hor cheftain to chaunge, þof hit chefe wors;

And ay fayne of the freike in his first tyme,

pof hit worthe to be worse: wete ye for sothe.
pan pes lordys to Election lyuely þai went,

8952 To chese hom a cheftan with charge of hom all,
Who shuld falle it by fortune of the fre kynges.
Palomydon for prise the pert kynges toke,
And ordant hym Emperour by oppyn assent,
8956 The ost for to honour, & agh hym as lord:
And his alligiaunce to loute liked hom all.

When cause of thies kynges was comyn to an

The leaders are pleased, and


Palamedes is
chosen :
and acknowledged
as commander.
(fol. 138 b.)

All turnyt to pere tenttes, when the tyme asket. 8960 Then hit chaunsit þat Achilles of pe choise herd, Achilles is That Palomydon was prinse, & put doun the the choice; tother:

Hit heuet hym hogely of pat hard chaunce.

Hit was vnfittyng, he said, pere souerain to voide; 8964 ffor the graithnes of Agamynon, & the gret wit, Was passand Palomydon & the prinses all;

And a choise shuld in chaunge be chosen for

the bettur.

But it comyn was be course of comyn assent,

dissatisfied with

8968 And confirmit by the kynges, he keppit hit for but submits to it.

goode :

No more in the mater mellit hym as then,

But past furth to his pale, & here a pase endis.

To avenge the

death of Hector, Priam himself arranges the

Trojan forces,

and leads them to battle.

(fol. 139 a.)

First Deiphobus

leads forth his

division; then Paris, then

Priam ;

then Eneas,

Memnon, and


(MS. has Mirion)

Here Begynneth the xxij Boke: the Elleuynt

Batell of the Citie.

Euery Wegh, þat will wete of this werke ferr,

8972 Lengis here a litle, lysten my wordes!

When tyme of this tru turnyt was to end,-
Two monethes meuyt, as I ment first,

Priam, the prise kyng, purpast hym-seluyn
8976 for to deire for the dethe of his dere son.
He bounet hym to batell on his best wise,
And assignet hym-self souerains aboute,
Tho ledis to lede, as hym lefe thoght.
xx. M. thro knightes, pryuond in armys,
He assignet for hym-selfe at the same tyme,
(As Dares breuyt in his boke, & barly can tell)
& x. M. pro men, pristy of hond;


8984 And ffyfty M. fere, fell men of will,

Turnyt out of Troy with the triet kyng.

Deffibus drogh furth with his derfe pepull,
Then Paris with prise put next after,

8988 pen the souerain hym-selfe, the sure kyng Priam ;
Eneas afterward etlit anone,

ben [Menon], the mighty kyng, meuit to feld: Polidamas, the pert knight, presit on the last. 8992 When thies batels full bold were to bent comyn, Thay hurlit furth hard to the hegh laund, ffrickly pere fos found for to greue.

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