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Here begynnes the first Boke. Wow Kung
Story of the
In Tessaile hit tyde as thus in tyme olle, The scene of the
following story is 100 A prouynce appropret aperte to Rome,
vince of Thessaly. 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.
bes gret in þere gamyn gate hom betwene, 108 Achilles by chaunce chiualrous in armes.
(More of thies Myrmydons mell I not now,
golden fleece 112 At þe prayer of a prinse þat peopull hade lost.)
This Pelleus pert, prudest in armys,
That heire was & Eldist, and Eson he hight. 116 Till it fell hym by fortune, faintyng of elde, fol. 4 a.)
Unstithe for to stire, or stightill the Realme,
Of Septur and soile he sesit his brothir,
Eson afterwarde erdand on lyffe,
As Ovid openly in Eydos tellus,
Pelias, King of Tolcus: Aeson his brother.
Jason, son of Aeson, seeks his father's throne.
By crafte þut she kouth of hir coint artys.
Hade a son of hym-selfe semly to wale,
A faire man of feturs, & fellist in armys,
This Jason for his gentris was ioyfull till all, 132 Well louit with þe lordes & the londe hole;
All worshipped pat worthy inwones aboute,
And he as bainly obeyede to the buerne his Eme, 136 As þof his syre hade the soile & septure to yeme.
Pelleus persayuit the people anone,
Of Tessaile, as truthe wold, to be trew kyng.
ffull egurly with enuy, & euer hym bethoght, 144 With a course of vnkyndnes he caste in his
thoghte, The freike vpon faire wise ferke out of lyue, And he no daunger nor deire for þut dede haue.
He bethoght hym full thicke in his throo hert, 148 And in his wit was he ware of a wyle sone,
Of a fame þat fer in fele kynges londes,
Out in the Orient Orible to here,
Was (an) aunter in a nyle þat I nem shall,
There was a wonderfull wethur weghes to be-holde, 156 With a flese þut was fyne, flamond of gold ;
And þe Kyng of þat coste callid was by name
Pelias devises the
(fol. A b.)
Where and how the golden fleece vas kept.
(MS. has "ax.")
HOW THE FLEECE WAS GUARDED.
win the fleece must seize the oxen, enter them in the yoke and
He was mighty on molde & mekull goode hade, 160 His pride well ouerput, past into elde.
Æetes, king of
guarded by two By too oxen oribull on for to loke,
oxen and a fiery
dragon. And a derfe dragon drede to be-holde.
These balfull bestes were, as þe boke tellus, 168
ffull flaumond of fyre with fuastyng of logh,
ffor the birre it abide, but he brente were. 172 And wo this wethur shull wyn bude wirke as Whoever would
plough up the Aftur ayre vp the erthe on ardagh wise. 176 Sythen drawe to pe dragon, & þe derfe qwelle,
quell the dragon Girde out the grete teth of the grym best, And alse sede in þe season sowe it on þe erthe,
seed. Than a ferlyfull frute shall he fynde after : 180 The tethe shall turne tite ynto knightes Armyt at all peses, able to were
knights, who will
fight till they Thai to falle vpon fight as fomen belyne,
destroy each With depe woundes and derfe till all be dede other.
euyn. 184 All thes perels to passe with-outen payne other, That the flese wold fecche & ferke yt away.
(fol.5 a ) Of this wonderfull wethur for to here more,
Why it kept was by craft on so coynt wyse ; 188 Hit was said oft sythes and for sothe holden, Why the fecro That Chethes the same Kyng had a som hoge
was so carefully
guarded. Aetes Of grete gobbottes of gold in the ground hid,
of money hid And so kepid it with craft of his coynt artys :
in the earth, and thus kept it.
He must thien
; tear out his teeth and sow them like
The teeth will turn into armed
had a great sum
At a great feast arranged for the purpose,
192 And for to get of this gold & the grete sommys,
ffor couetous þere come knightes full ofte,
This Pelleus with pyne printed in hert
Gar Jason with any gyn the iomey vndertake:
ffor to tyse hym þerto, if it tyde might,
And þe way for to wylne with wilfull desyre.
In a Cité be-syde to somyn a fest,
Thre dayes to endure with daintes ynogh.
ffor to mele of this mater, þat he in mynde hade :
buerne said, -
hat so mighty & meke & manly art holdyn :
And all prouyns & pertes þi pes shall desyre.
Thy selfe to be sene and in suche fame,
Whyle you rixlis in this Reame no riot we drede,
Hit wold sothely me set as souerayne in Joye,
he entices him to go to Colchis for the golden fleece.
(fol. 3 b.)
THE REWARDS PROMISED.
The rewards promised if he should be successful
That the filese þat is ffreshe flamond of gold
And þat wold doutles be done & no dere In, 228 Wold þu afforce pe perfore and þe fight take,
Be of gouernance graithe & of good wille.
Thou shall arayit be full ryolle with a route noble 232 Of my Baronage bolde & my best wise.
I shall spare for no spence & þu spede wele,
Thou shalt haue holly my hert & my helpe alse, 236 And be lappid in my luffe all my lyffe after.
bu may be glad for to get such a good name,
Leve pis for lell, me list it perfourme,
I will fayne þe [no] faintis vnder faith wordes.
And haue pe Crowne to kepe of pis Kyd Realme ; 214 And while I liffe in this londe, no less þan my
Jason was Joly of his Juste wordes,
And mony stythe of astate stonding aboute. (fol. 6 a.) 252 He hedit not the harme þat in his hert lurkyt,
picion of harm, Ne the ffalshed he faynit vnder faire wordes ; falsehood, or He drede no dissayet of his dere vncle,
part of his uncle But hooped full hertely it come of hegh loue. 256 ben he trist hym full tyte in his tried strenght,
and has no sus.
deceit on the