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of the noble deeds

true stories have been all but

Maistur in magesté, maker of Alle,

(fol. 2 a.) Endles and on, euer to last !

Now, god, of þi grace graunt me pi helpe, 4 And wysshe me with wyt bis werke for to end ! Off aunters ben olde of aunsetris nobill,

of our ancestors, And slydyn vppon shlepe by slomeryng of Age: Of stithe men in stoure strongest in armes, and of the stout

and wise in war, 8 And wisest in wer to wale in hor tyme,

pat ben drepit with deth & þere day paste,
And most out of mynd for þere mecull age,
Sothe stories ben stoken vp, & straught out of forgotten; while

mind, 12 And swolowet into swym by swiftenes of yeres, Ffor new pat ben now, next at our hond, of those of more

modern times, Breuyt into bokes for boldyng of hertes ;

recorded in books

"for boldyng of On luisti to loke with lightnes of wille, 16 Cheuyt throughe chaunce & chaungyng of

Sum tru for to traist, triet in be ende,

some are false.
Sum feynit o fere & ay false vnder.
Yche wegh as he will warys his tyme,

Each desires to 20 And has lykyng to lerne þat hym list after. likes best. But olde stories of stithe pat astate helde,

renowned deeds May be solas to eum þat it segh neuer,


some are true and

learn what he

But old stories of recorded by men who witnessed them may delight some who never saw them.

Be writyng of wees þat wist it in dede,
24 With sight for to serche, of hom þat suet after,

To ken all the crafte how pe case felle,
By lokyng of letturs þat lefte were of olde.

The Poet declares his su bject and the authors from whom he has drawn his information.

(ful. 2 6.)


ow of Troy forto telle is myn entent euyn,
28 Of the stoure & pe stryfe when it distroyet was.

Hof fele yeres ben faren syn þe fight endid,
And it meuyt out of mynd, myn hit I thinke

Alss wise men haue writen the wordes before, 32 Left it in latyn for lernyng of vs.

But sum poyetis full prist þat put hom þerto,
With fablis and falshed fayned þere speche,
And made more of þat mater þan hom maister

were :

Homer, who is not to be trusted, tells how the

gods fought like men, and

other such trifleg.

36 Sum lokyt ouer litle and lympit of the sothe.

Amonges þat menye,—to myn hym be nome, –
Homer was holden haithill of dedis.

Qwiles his dayes enduret, derrist of other
40 bat with the Grekys was gret & of grice comyn.

He feynet myche fals was neuer before wroght,
And traiet be truth, trust ye non other.

Of his trifuls to telle I haue no tome nowe,
44 Ne of his feynit fare þat he fore with :

How goddes foght in the filde, folke as pai were,
And other errours vnable þat after were knowen,

That poyetis of prise have preuyt vntrew :
48 Ouyd and othir þat onest were ay,

Virgill be virtuus, verrit for nobill,
Thes dampnet his dedys & for dull holdyn.

But be truth for to telle & þe text euyn
52 Of þat fight how it felle in a few yeres,

þat was clanly compilet with a clerk wise,
On Gydo, a gome, þat graidly hade soght,

And wist all þe werks by weghes he hade,
56 That bothe were in batell while the batell last,

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Guido de Colonna is the author of the following story,

from the works of

the historians,

deeds which he


translated it into Latin, but so

work had to he


And euþer sawte & assemely see with pere een. which is compiled
Thai wrote all þe werkes wroght at þat tyme,

In letturs of þere langage, as pai lernede hade : 60 Dares and Dytes were duly þere namys.

Dares and Dictys
Dites full dere was dew to the Grekys,
A lede of þat lond & loged hom with :

(fol. S a.) The tothyr was a Tulke out of Troy selfe, 64 Dares, pat duly the dedys be helde.

Dares, who was

present at the Aither breuyt in a boke on þere best wise,

recorded, wrote That sithen at a citė somyn were founden

his history of the

Trojan war in After at Atthenes as aunter befell ; 68 The whiche bokes barely bothe as þai were,

A Romayn ouerraght & right hom hym-seluyn,
That Cornelius was cald to his kynde name. Cornelius Nepos
He translated it into latyn for likyng to here,

briefly that the 72 But he shope it so short þat no shalke might

amended by
Haue knowlage by course how þe case felle ;
ffor he brought it so breff, and so bare leuyt,

pat no lede might have likyng to loke þerappon, 76 Till bis Gydo it gate, as hym grace felle,

And declaret it more clere & on clene wise.
In this shall faithfully be founden to the fer in this history

there is a faithful ende,

deeds as they All be dedes by dene as þai done were ;

were done; 80 How þe groundes first grew, & pe grete hate,

Bothe of torfer and tene þat hom tide aftur.
And here fynde shall ye faire of pe felle peopull, of the origin and

What kynges þere come of costes aboute : war; of the Kings, 84 Of Dukes. full doughty, and of derffe Erles,

who fought on That assemblid to be citie þat sawte to defend : Of be grekys þat were gedret how gret was pe

nowinber, How mony knightes bere come & kynges enarmed, 88 And what Dukes thedur droghe for dedis of

account of the

progress of the

Dukes, and Earls

either side :


What Shippes þere were shene, il shakes with in,

of the ships and
barges that were
brought from
Greece; of the
battles that wero
fought, and
those who fell in
battle; of the
truces and

(fol. 8 d.) treasons that took place; in short, of every event from first to last.

Bothe of barges & buernes þat broght were fro

grese : And all the batels on bent be buernes betwene. 92 What Duke þat was dede throughe dyntes of

hond, Who ffallen was in ffylde, & how it fore aftur : Bothe of truse & trayne pe truthe shall þu here,

And all the ferlies pat fell vnto the ferre ende. 96 ffro this prologe I passe & part me þer with,

ffrayne will I fer and fraist of þere werkes,
Meue to my mater and make here an ende.

Explicit Prologue.

Here begynnes the first Boke. How Kyng
Pelleus exit Iason to get pe files of Golde.

The scene of the following story is laid in the province of Thessaly.

In Tessaile hit tyde as thus in tyme olde, 100 A prouynce appropret aperte to Rome,

An yle enabit nobli and wele
With a maner of men, mermydons called :

There was a kyng in þat coste þat þe kithe ought, 104 A noble man for þe nonest is namet Pelleus.

That worthy hade a wyfe walit hym-seluon,
The truthe for to telle, Tetyda she heght:

Des gret in pere gamyn gate hom betwene, 108 Achilles by chaunce chiualrous in armes.

(More of thies Myrmydons mell I not now,
Enabit in (þat aile,) (ne) Etill will I ferre,

How Mawros were men made on a day
112 At þe prayer of a prinse pat peopull hade lost.)

This Pelleus pert, prudest in armys,
Hade a broßer of birthe born or hym-seluyn,

That heire was & Eldist, and Eson he hight. 116 Till it fell hym by fortune, faintyng of elde,

Unstithe for to stire, or stightill the Realme,
And all were, & weike, wautide his sight,

Of Septur and soile he sesit his brothir,
120 And hym crownede as kyng in pat kithe riche.

Eson afterwarde erdand on lyffe,
Endured his dayes drowpyaite in age,

As Ovid openly in Eydos tellus,
124 How Medea the maiden maile hym all new,

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