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Jason, son of Aeson, seeks his father's throne.
Pelias devises the plan of sending
Jason in search of the golden
(fol. 4 b.)
Where and how
the golden fleece vas kept.
(MS. has "as.")
By crafte pat she kouth of hir coint artys.
Hade a son of hym-selfe semly to wale,
As meke as a Mayden, & mery of his wordis.
And he as bainly obeyede to the buerne his Eme, 136 As pof his syre hade the soile & septure to yeme. Pelleus persayuit the people anone,
That the londe so hym louede, lorde as he were,
140 Lest he put hym from priuelage & his place take,
The freike vpon faire wise ferke out of lyue,
152 In a cuntre was cald Colchos by name,
HOW THE FLEECE WAS GUARDED.
He was mighty on molde & mekull goode hade, 160 His pride well ouerput, past into elde.
This whethur and be wole were wonderly keppit
164 Thus coyntly it kept was all with clene art,
These balfull bestes were, as pe boke tellus,
Eetes, king of
The wether guarded by two oxen and a fiery
172 And wo this wethur shuld wyn bude wirke as Whoever would
Ayre euyn to pe Oxen, entre hom in yoke,
win the fleece
must seize the oxen, enter them
in the yoke and
With striffe or with stroke till þai stonde wold; plough up the
Aftur ayre vp the erthe on ardagh wise.
176 Sythen drawe to pe dragon, & pe derfe qwelle,
Girde out the grete teth of the grym best,
And alse sede in pe season sowe it on pe erthe, Than a ferlyfull frute shall he fynde after : 180 The tethe shall turne tite vnto knightes
Armyt at all peses, able to were
He must then quell the dragon; tear out his teeth and sow them like seed.
The teeth will turn into armed
knights, who will fight till they destroy each
Thai to falle vpon fight as fomen belyne,
184 All thes perels to passe with-outen payne other,
That the flese wold fecche & ferke yt away.
(fol. 5 a.)
Why the fleere was so carefully guarded. Æetes had a great sum of money hid
in the earth, and thus kept it.
get Jason away from Iolcus.
At a great feast arranged for the purpose,
he entices him to
go to Colchis for
the golden fleece.
(fol. 5 b.)
192 And for to get of this gold & the grete sommys,
196 Iff he might sleghly be sleght & sletyng of wordes,
He were seker as hym semyd for sight of him
And most likly be loste & his los keppit.
200 He purpast hym plainly in his pure wit
And be way for to wylne with wilfull desyre. 204 He cast hym full cointly be cause of this thyng, In a Cité be-syde to somyn a fest,
With princes and prelates & prise of the lond, Thre dayes to endure with daintes ynogh. 208 The iijd day throly he thoght in his hert
ffor to mele of this mater, þat he in mynde hade:
"Cosyn, it is knowen þat I am Kyng here,
But more it Joyes me, Jason, of þi just werkes, hat so mighty & meke & manly art holdyn: 216 Now pi fame shall go fer & pu furse holdyn, And all prouyns & pertes pi pes shall desyre. To tessayle a tresure tristy for euer,
Thy selfe to be sene and in suche fame, 220 By pi name pus anoisyt & for noble holden, Whyle you rixlis in this Reame no riot we drede, But all fferd be perfore and frendship dyssire. Hit wold sothely me set as souerayne in Joye, 224 Iff our goddes wold graunt þat þu grace hade,
THE REWARDS PROMISED.
That the fflese pat is ffreshe flamond of gold
I shall spare for no spence & pu spede wele,
Thou shalt haue holly my hert & my helpe alse, 236 And be lappid in my luffe all my lyffe after.
þu may be glad for to get such a good name, And haue for pi hardynes a full hegh mede: Leve pis for lell, me list it perfourme, 240 And to hold it with hert pat I hete nowe, I will fayne pe [no] faintis vnder faith wordes. When my dayes be done pu shalt be Duke here, And haue pe Crowne to kepe of pis Kyd Realme; 244 And while I liffe in this londe, no less þan my selfe,
Halfe for to haue & hold for þi name,
And with all weghis to be worshipt to pe worldes
The rewards promised if he should be successful.
WHEN PELLEUS his proses hade puplishit on Jason undertakes
248 And all soburly said with a sad wille,
Jason was Joly of his Juste wordes,
bat in presens of the pepull po profers were made,
mony stythe of astate stonding aboute. 252 He hedit not the harme pat in his hert lurkyt, -Ne the ffalshed he faynit vnder faire wordes ; He drede no dissayet of his dere vncle, But hooped full hertely it come of hegh loue. 256 pen he trist hym full tyte in his tried strenght,
(fol. 6 a.)
and has no suspicion of harm, falsehood, or deceit on the part of his uncle,
He therefore accepts the
undertaking with heartiness.
Thurghe hardynes of hond hopit to spede;
Pelias is glad, and hurries on the preparations for the enterprise.
He commands Argus, a son of Danaus, to build a great ship, which is called Argo.
Many noble men join the
of whom is
(fol. 6 b.)
Pelleus of the proffer was proude at his hert, And glad of pe graunt before the grete lordys; 264 He ertid to an end egurly fast,
þat no tarying shuld tyde ouer a tyme set; And pet ffortune vnderfonges þat he feile shall, And will put hym fro purpos pat he presys after. 268 He consydret þat Calcos was closet in an yle, bat no creature might keuer for course of the
But with ship pat shapon were for pe shyre waghes.
han he comaundet to come of pe crafte noble, 272 A wright þat was wise pis werke for to ende; And Argus þat after was abill of his crafte, Sone he dressit to his dede & no dyn made, And made vp a mekyll ship, pe most vpon erthe, 276 þat after hym awne selfe Argon was cald. Sum sayn full sure & for sothe holdyn, Hit was þe formast on flete pat on flode past, bat euer saile was on set vpon salt water, 280 Or euer kairet ouer cost to cuntris O fer.
Now ordant was althing onestly pere,
And abundantly broght þat hom bild might,
284 Mony noble for pe nonest to pe note yode,
Tryed men þat were taken of tessayle rewme,