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And þat hope we full hertely thurgh helpe of your one."
THE ANSWARE OF ACHILLES TO VLYXES THE KYNG.
To pat honerable onestly answaret Achilles,
Achilles answers 9744 With wordis full wise in his wit noble :
that it was great
folly for them to
come to Troy on such an errand.
(fol. 150 b.)
"It would have been wiser had Palamedes remained in his
own land, than to come here to be
Hector himself was slain;
"If vs auntrid, Vlyxes, thurgh angard of pride, To pis kith for to come, & oure kyn leue, Hit was folly, by my faith, & a fowle dede. 9748 Masit were our myndes & our mad hedis, And we in dotage full depe dreuyn, by faith, ffor the wille of a woman, & no whe ellis, All our londes to leue, & to laite hedur, 9752 Oure kynges be kild, & oure kide dukes, All oure londes to lose, and oure lyf als, In a cuntre vnkynd to be cold ded.
Hade not Palomydon, the prise kyng, provet the bettur,
9756 To haue lengit in his lond, & his lyf hade,
And haue deghit in his Duché, as a duke noble, Then be britnet on bent with a buerne strang: And fele other fre kynges frusshet to dethe, 9760 pat might haue leuyt as lordes in pere lond yet? Syn the worthiest of pe worle, to wale hom by
Are assemblit to pis sege in a sad ost,
If hit happyn hom here with hond to be slayn,
9768 Was not honerable Ector, oddist of knightes,
And lightly his lif lost in a stound:
ffor all his fursnes, in faith, had a febill end?
and the same fate 9772 be sam to my-self, sothli, may happyn,
LIFE DEARER THAN FAME.
bat am febiller be fer pen þe fre prinse,
Both of myght, & of makyng, & of mayn strenkith. may befall
pis trauell is tynt, I tel you before,
9776 Me to preve with your praier prestly to feld,
ffor to boun me to batell per buernes schal fight,
Hit is wit soche wildnes wayne out of mynd,
9784 And pas ouer a purpos enparis at pe end."
me, who am far
I will fight no
Rather will I lose my fame than my life."
Pen Diamed, pe derf kyng, and the Duke Diomedes,
Tretid hym trietly, all with tru wordis,
ffor to turne his entent & his tyme kepe;
9788 But all paire wordis pai wast, & paire wynd alse.
Ne the prayer of the prinse, pat the prise hade,
9792 Noght meuyt his mynd for no myld speche,
9796 All þai toldyn hym (tite), as þai tide euyn,
By assent of hym-selfe, pe soueraine vnto; 9804 And how he counceld the kynges to kayre into
Nestor, and Agamemnon entreat him to return; but in vain.
(fol. 151 a.)
(MS. has 'tale')
summons a council of the leaders; informs them of the
Achilles; and asks their advice.
that they could succeed without Achilles.
Nestor and Ulysses declare that Troy is not to be so easily
(fol. 151 b.)
that Troilus is
nearly as great as
and, that the
Greeks ought to
With the Troiens to trete, & tene hom no more ;
"Lakys now, ledys, what you lefe think,
9808 And what ye deme to be done at this du tyme."
When the souerain hade said, sone opponon,
9812 Ne no worship, I-wis, but a wit feble.
Syn Ector ded is of dynt, & Deffibus the knight, And other kynges ben kyld, þat cleane were of hond,
The Troiens full truly trusten no bettur, 9816 But dernly to degh: þai demyn non other. I am sekir, for-sothe, and sadly beleue, Withouten helpe of þat hathell vs hastis an end." Then Nestor pe noble duke, another-Vlixes, 9820 Saidon to the souerayn sadly agayn:
"pof pow wylne to be wer, wonders vs noght, Syn pi hert is holly the harmys to venge; Thy wyf for to wyn, þat þou well loues, 9824 And to grefe hom agayne, yf þou grace hade: But yet trust not pat Troy will titly be wonyn, hof derfe Ector be ded, and Deffibus alse.
There is another als noble & nait of his strenght, 9828 & als wondurly werkes in wer vppon dayes; That is Troilus the triet, pat tenes vs full euyll, And fuersly in fight fellis our pepull.
hof Ector were eftsones ordant alyue,
9832 He kylles our knightes, kerues hom in sonder:
Therefore, sirs, vs semyth sothely the best,
treat with Priam, 9836 With the Troiens to trete & turne to our londes,
and return home,
With the harme, þat we haue, of our hede kynges,
A COUNCIL OF WAR.
In sauyng of our-selfe & our sure knightes."
Then Calcas the curset, þat was the kyde traytour,
"Ah! noble men of nome, nayet of your werkes, them that the
9844 Worthiest in worde, wanttis no hertte!
What thinke ye so proly this prepe for to leue;
gods have promised them victory.
He urges them to take heart,
till the city is captured.
9852 Wackyns vp your willes, as worthy men shuld; and desist not Bes fuerse on your fos to the ffer end, And lette no dolnes you drepe, ne your dede let; ffares with no faintyng till your fors lacke!
9856 Tristis me full truly, you tydes the bettur,
Yonder won for to wyn, and your wille haue;
At the wordes, I-wis, of this wickyde traytor,
The leaders are encouraged and determine to fight on.
(fol. 152 a.)
xxv Boke: off the Sextene & pe xvij Batell.
When the truce was ended, the battle is renewed.
Troilus, in revenge for the death of
The Greeks are driven back to their tents.
Night ends the battle.
9864 When the Monethis were meuyt of the mene tru,
9868 pan soght fro the Cité, with a sum hoge,
9872 And mony lede on the laund out of lyfe past.
Mony grekes vnto ground he gird out of lyue, 9876 And fele with his fauchon pat fyn knight slogh. As Dares of his dedis duly me tellus,
A thowsaund thro knightes prong he to dethe pat day with his dynttes, of the derffe grekes.
9880 All ffrickly his fos fled at the last;
bai turnyt to pere tenttes with tene at þai hade: The ffrigies hom folowet, fell hom with swordes. pan the day ouerdrogh to pe derke night, 9884 The Troiens turnyt to toun, & the toile leuyt.
When the sun with his soft beames set vp