Capitulum vicesimum quartum. Abessa.
ABESSA of Bethleem was iuge in Israel seuene ȝere. In his secounde ȝere Priamus kyng of Frigia, þat is kyng of Troye, sente Antenor to þe Grees,*. [Grekes, Cx.; and so below.] and seide þat he wolde gladliche forȝeue al trespas þat was doo to forehonde,*. [trespasses that they had deo bifore, Cx.] ȝif þey wolde Page 409, vol.2 sende aȝen his suster Hesiona, þat þey hadde i-rauesched. Þe Grees wolde nouȝt. Priamus arrayed for þe bataille and made his eldest sone Hector*. [So β., Cx.; Ector, MS., here and below.] ledere of oþere men. Alisaundre, þat heet Paris also, Hector his broþer, assenteþ her to, and seiþ þat whanne he hontede some tyme in þe woode þat hatte Ida,*. [So α., Cx.; Yda, MS.] he sleep*. [slept, Cx.] and mette*. [dremed, Cx.] þat Mercurius brouȝte abowe to fore hym Iuno, Venus, and Minerua, for he schulde deme whiche of hem was fairest; and Minerua by heet hym wisdom, [Iuno worship, and Venus behete him]*. [Added from Cx. (only); wyt and wysdom and the fayreste wyf, γ.] þe fairest wif of þe worlde, ȝif he wolde deme þat*. [So α. and Cx.; yf, MS.] sche were þe fairest. Helenus þe oþer broþer prophecied þe contrarie; and seide þat ȝif Alisaundre, þat heet Paris, took a wyf of Grees,*. [Grece, Cx.] [þe Grees]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] wolde come and destroye Ilium, þat is Troye. Þat womman Cassandra propheciede þe same. Noþeles schippes were arrayed, and Alisaundre, þat heet Paris, wiþ Antenor*. [Anthenore, MS., but Antenor above.] sent*. [and Paris with Anthenor were sente, Cx.] into Grecia, and whenne wommen come*. [tho men came, Cx.] into þe ilond Cythera to þe feste of Iuno, Helena kyng Menelaus his wif come forto see þe fairnesse of Paris, [and Paris]*. [Added from α. β. γ., Cx.; MSS. sometimes have Parys.] rauesched hire and took hir wiþ hym and torned home aȝen.*. [and toke hir with hym in to Troy, Cx. (omitting the rest.)] Þan was Priamus glad i-now, Page 411, vol.2 as þey he schulde rekke neuere and haue aȝen his suster He|siona.*. [as þey . . . Hesiona] wenyng therby recouer his sister Hesiona, Cx.] Þan Menelaus kyng of Lacedemonia made a greuous*. [greet and greuous, Cx.] playnt to his broþer Agamemnon,*. [Agamenon and Agamynon, MSS., and so below.] kyng of Messenes,*. [Mescenes, β. γ.] of þe rauyschinge of his wif, and gadrede passyng strong men, Achille, Patroclus, Vlixes,*. [So β. γ., Cx.; Flixes, MS., α., and so below.] Aiax, Nestor, wiþ oþere stalworþe men, seuen and fourty; and hadde schippes redy in þe hauene of Athene*. [of Athene] om. Cx.] in nombre of a þowsand and two hondred, and hadde answere of Appolyn Delphicus, þat Ilium, þat is Troye, schulde be destroyed in þe tenþe ȝere. Þe Grees took vp here ancres and seillede on þe see, and took grete prayes, and tornede home aȝe. In þe mene tyme Agamemnon sende messangers Vlixes and Diomedes to kyng Priamus, ȝif he wolde ȝelde vp Helene, and sende hir home aȝen. Þanne Priamus byþouȝt hym, and hadde anon in mynde þe wrong of þe Argonautes,*. [Argenautes, MS.] þe deth of his fader, þe rauyschynge of his suster, þe displesynge of his messager Antenor. Þerfore he forsook pees, and heet array*. [heet array] ordeyned, Cx.] for þe werre. Þan whan þe oost was i-gadred in eiþer side, Hector slow Protesilaus*. [Prothesilaus, MS.; Prothesalaus, Harl. MS.] and Menon,*. [So MSS. here and below. The translators had Menonem (i.e. Memnon) in their text.] and slow and felde to þe*. [þe] om. α. β.] grounde meny men Page 413, vol.2 forto*. [forto] til, Cx.] þat his cosyn Hesiona sone, Aiax Telamonius,*. [Thelamonius, MS.] knowleched kynrede bytwene hem, and so lette hym of his rees. Þe mene tyme were truyse i-take for two ȝere, þat þey myȝte burye hir men þat were i-slawe.*. [slayn, Cx.] But after two ȝere þey fenge in a strong bataille. Hector slowȝ ten stal|worþe dukes, and Achilles in þe oþer side slow foure stalworþe men and noble; and þe bataile durede foure score dayes contynueliche in harde fyȝtinge and stronge. And after þat were*. [was, Cx.; but were (trewes) just below.] trewes i-take for þre ȝere, and after þe trewes þey fenge on forto fiȝte and slowȝ ful meny men in eiþer side,*. [Sentence slightly varied in Cx.] and Andromach, Hector his wif, warned Hector by here sweuene*. [dreame, Cx.] þat he schulde*. [not þat, α. and Cx.] þat day nouȝt*. [nouȝt] om. α. and Cx.] wende in to batayle.*. [þe batayle, α., here and below.] Noþeles Hector wente in to bataile and was i-slawe of Achilles. And whan Hector was i-buried, were trewes i-take for a ȝere. Whan Hector his mynde day was i-holde, Achilles was þerat, and loued hugeliche Polyxena,*. [Polixena, MSS.; Policena, Cx.] kyng Priamus his douȝter, and axede and had*. [and had] to have, Cx.] hir to his wif, and wiþdrowe hym from þe bataille, and seide þat it was euel i-doo*. [done, Cx.] forto destourbe*. [destrouble, Cx.] al Europa for þe raueschynge of Helen. But at Page 415, vol.2 þe laste he wente forþ at þe prayere of þe Grees, and was i-wounded of Troilus,*. [Troylus, MS. and Cx.] þat hadde i-slawe meny Grees. Þerfore he was angri and wrooþ, and slow Troilus and Menon also. Þan was Hecuba wonder wrooþ, Priamus his wif, and by þouȝte [here of gyle],*. [Added from α. β. and Cx.] and sette Achilles a day whan he schulde come and fecche home his wyf Polyxena, þat was hir owne douȝter. And whanne þe day was i-come,*. [comen, Cx.] Alisaundre, þat het Paris, slow Achilles gilefulliche. Þerfore þey hadde answere of goddes, þat þe Grees schulde haue þe victorie by Achilles his lynage. Neoptolemus,*. [Neoptholomus, MSS., and so be|low; Neoptholomeus, Harl. MS.] Achilles his sone, wente forþ into bataille; in þe whiche bataile Alisaundre*. [Paris, Cx.] and Aiax were i-wounded to þe deth eiþer of oþer. Þanne þe seuenþe ȝere of þe bataille*. [siege, Cx.] come Penthesilea,*. [Pentasilia, or Pentisilia, MSS.] queene of Amazones,*. [Amosons, Cx.] in help and socour of þe Troians, and brak þe sege of þe Grees, and brende meny of hir schippes. Noþeles sche was i-slawe of Neoptolemus þat sche hade i-wounded. After þat Antenor*. [So Cx.; Anthenore, MS., as often; Anthenor, Harl. MS.] and Eneas counsaillede forto delyuere hoom Eleyne, and forto axe*. [desire, Cx.] pees. Priamus took grete indignacioun [of here Page 417, vol.2 counsail, and seide he schulde dey ȝif euere he were so wood to counsail þat eftsones. Þerfore þey took greet indignacioun,]*. [Added from α. and Cx. (β. has þei for he twice.)] and sente Polydamas to þe Grees forto betraye þe citee for hire owne sauacioun. The Grees grauntede pees to þese þre, [to]*. [Added from α. β. and Cx.] Antenor, to Eneas, to Polydamas, and to alle hires,*. [to alle theyr retinue, Cx.] and þe citee was i-oponed by nyȝte to þe enemyes.*. [Grekes, Cx.] Þanne Priamus fliȝ to auters of goddes, and Neoptolemus pursued hym and slow hym stan deed.*. [stan deed] om. Cx.] Eneas hidde Polyxena at his fader Anchises at þe prayer of Helene. Andromache hadde fredom i-graunted. Polyxena was longe i-souȝt, and at þe laste i-founde and i-slawe of Neoptolemus at here fader tombe. Eneas, for he hadde hidde Polyxena, was i-hote be agoo. Þe londe was i-lefte to Antenor. Helen wente home aȝen wiþ Menelaus. Me hadde i-fouȝte at Troye ten ȝere and sixe monþes, and were i-slawe of þe Troians, or þe citee was bytrayed, sixe hondred þousand þre skore and sixtene; and whan þe citee was betrayed, þre score þowsand and eiȝten þowsand.*. [Sentence recast by Cx.] Þanne Eneas wente out of þe contray wiþ foure and twenty schippes, and wiþ hym þre þowsend men and þre Page 419, vol.2 hondred, and wiþ Antenor two*. [thre, Cx.] þowsand, wiþ Andromache*. [Adromache, MS. A few similar trivial errors of orthography have been tacitly corrected in this chapter.] and Helenus two þowsand.