500 Pages

Partonope of Blois.

[Addit. MS. 35,288, British Museum.]  HOo so luste olde stories to rede, [leaf 2]  He shalle ffynde, wyth-owten) Drede,  Meruellys and wonders mony and ffele  Off myrtħe, ioye, dyssese, and wele.  For ne had bokes ben) wryten in prose,  And eke in ryme, Of them þat be-fore vs were,  We shulde haue lytelle luste to lere  Or know of thynge that was be-fore  Wrogħte or do n ¯ , or Gode was bore. Ther-fore be wrytinge of olde storyes Ys now brogħte to owre memories The olde law and eke the newe; And ellys mygħte we alle rewe Vppo n ¯ owre-selfe, whylle we ben) here. For be wrytinge we moste lere How we moste gouernedι be To worshyppe Gode in trinite. And ther-fore Stories for to rede Wolle I conselle, wyth-owten drede, Botħe olde and yonge þat letterydι be. To the lewedι also, parde, Is goode sum-tyme for to here. For by herynge he * may lere Thynge þat fryste he ne knewe; And to socħe folke olde þynge ys new, Whanne hyt ys in gestes songe, Or els in prose tolde wytħ tonge.

Heading Partonape added by a later hand.

10. ov (?) crossed out after of. 23. he] MS. ye.








It is useful to read old stories.

2Seynte Paule, þat ys cheffe doctorʾ Off holy scrypture and pryncipalle auctorʾ, Talkynge a-monge þe clerge, Thes be n ¯ hys wordes playnlye, That alle þat euer ys y-wrytte In boke we owe welle to wytte, That alle to vs ys goode doctryne. For thorowgħe scrypture men) deuyne To parte the goode fromme the Ille; Thys preuetħ he wyth many a skylle. For be the Sentense neuer so lewydι, Yet þer-in moste nedes be shewydι Good and euelle botħe in ffere. For be Scrypture a man) may lere To do the goode, and the eueɫɫ Eschewe; And yeff aɫɫ scrypture were hyd in mewe, Men) shulde haue fuɫɫ lytelle knowynge Off goode and eueɫɫ the trew departynge. [leaf 2, back] The fole of byrtħ can no wytte ffynde But that he hatħ by taste of kynde. Off alle þat vnder heuen* ys The wyse taketħ wysdam I-wys. Eke euery man) may at the eye See The fly wycħe ys calludι the bee, Hys hony he drawetħ be hys kynde Off bytterʾ erbes, and the wyse can ffynde In folys tales sum-tyme wysdame. Ther-fore fulle ofte the wyse manne Wolle here the fole and eke the wyse, Where-thorowe he can) þe better deuyse To drawe wysdam) owte of ffoly, Where-fore y Sey yow sykerly : In thys boke shalle ye fynde wrytte Botħ goode and euelle. I do yow to wytte : The goode taketħ, the euelle leve, For aɫɫ goode moste welle preve. In thys boke ye may lere, And ye lyste hyt rede and here,

48. heuen] MS. he neuer.

64. MS. th (with t blotted) between In and thys.

St. Paul says that books teach us to discern good from evil.

The wise man derives profit from everything, even from a fool’s tales.











3Howe God hatħ departed on) thre Thys worlde in wycħe we aɫɫ be. That on) quarter namedι ys Euroupe, and the secunde I-wys Aufryke ys cleped, as bokes trete, And the thryde Asye the grete.  IN Asye stante þe Cyte of Troye  Fulfylledι of ryches and alle Ioye, Wher-of kynge Pryamus was lorde and syre. Alle Asye nygħe was hys Empere. Thys worthy kynge gate on) hys wyffe Fyve sonys, wycħe he in hys lyffe Seygħe þe worthyeste on) lyve. The names of thes worthy fyve Arn) thes : Ector and fayre Parys, Troylus, Elenus, Markomyrys.* Ector was hardy and þer-to fuɫɫ lygħte, Off aɫɫ þe worthyeste knyghte; Grette and stronge and fayre was he, Curtesse to þe pepulle and þer-to free. On the grekes he made grette a-sayes, So worthy was none after hys dayes. The kynge of Troy in hys age [leaf 3] Prydedι hym grettely of the lynage Off hys worthy sonys fyve. Hym thoȝte, whylle they were on) lyue, Hym durste not drede aɫɫ the worlde. He wax rygħte ferse in dede and worde; Hys pepuɫɫ he hated, he was so felle. They hym hated a-geyne as welle. In care, in pouerte, and in woo He hem helde, that they soo Wery were of hys tyrannye, They had euer gret espy, Yeff any pepuɫɫ hym werrye, Wytħ hym they thoȝte to lyfe and dye, So fully that when þe grekes were Come to Troye, alle here ffere

81. MS. Morkamyrys.










God divided the world into three parts.

Priam was king of Troy.

He had five sons.

Hector was a gallant knight.

Priam was a cruel tyrant.

4They had of there souereyne lorde, Was goo, and they be [on] a-corde To the grekes come wyth-outen ffayle A-geyne here kynge to holde batayle. For he had of a knave certayne Vn-know, and ouerʾ alle hys reygne, Chyffe Iustyce made; and he wex aɫɫ a fende. He toke non) hede but of hys ffrende, They shulde haue alle maner offyce. By the Ientylnes set he no pryce, But euer helde hem lowe and mate. That made the pepulle þe kynge to hate. Hys name was clepedι Anchyses. And hys cause hyt was, wyth-owten les, That Troye, the cyte rycħe and ryalle, Was for euer destroyed; for towre and walle To ertħe was throw, and aɫɫ was brente. Thorogħe thys traytoure þus was shente Thys worthy Cyte, þys nobeɫɫ towne. Wytħ grekes thus was vp so downe Throw and destroyedι for euer-moo Thys Cyte and pepulle also.  THys Cyte was of hye noblesse,  Fulle of worshyppe and gret ryches.  Of knygħthode eke hyt bare þe pryse Off aɫɫ the worlde; and of delyse Hyt had grette plente, þys ys no naye, Tylle hyt be-felle vppo n ¯ a day The kyngus Sone, þe noble Parys, Reueshydι on) Elyne, þat bare the prys Thorougħe the worlde of hye beaute. [leaf 3, back] Yette for aɫɫ thys, þys noble Cyte Mygħte neuer haue be destroyedι thus, Ne had be that kynge Pryamus Set hym in couetyse so grettely of goode. That made hys pepuɫɫ for wrathe so wodde That they hym hatedι a-bofe alle thynge. That was destruccion) of the kynge

134. Thorougħe] ug illegible.

He had made a man of low birth Chief Justice of the kingdom.

Auchises was the man’s name.

He caused the destruction of Troy.

Troy was a magnificent town, when Paris carried off Helen.











5And of the Cyte; for Elynes hosbande Durste neuer haue take on) honde To sette a-pon) the worthy Cyte; And yette a noble kynge was he. Menelaus was thys kyngus name. He sufferedι mekely alle thys shame. Thogħe he were worthy, yt to playne Durste he nogħte, alle-thowe Eleyne Were hys wyffe; he dredι So The Troyens; for what hym luste to do, Thys sparedι they noghte, þys ys no lye; They were so stronge of cheualrye. Tylle þat a knyghte, þe wycħe hyte Nestorʾ,* Wycħe for age was whyte and hore, That louedι Menelaus as hys lyffe, He grucchedι sore that hys wyffe Was take a-way thus wyth stronge honde. Thys Nestor eke helde hys londe Off Menelaus, and he hys lege lorde Was : where-fore in no wyse a-corde He wolde but hyt a-vengedι were, For he was a worthy man) of werre. An.c. yeres he had and moo Of age, and eke he was ther-to A goode clerke; of fayre Eloquens He had y-nogħe, for be experyens Throwe Greke hyt was weɫɫ knowe. Mony grette wysdomys had he Sowe* Throwoute the londe in euery contre; Ther-fore chyffe of conselle was he Wytħ euery lorde and euery kynge. Grettely to herte he toke thys thynge That was so shamefully do A-yens hys souereyne lorde, and tho He be-thoȝte hym in what wyse Hys wyttes cowde he beste deuyse To a-venge hys lordes Shame. [leaf 4] For þorowe þe worlde þys fowle ffame*

154. MS. Nostorʾ.

169. MS. Sawe.

179. MS. ffama.










Menelaus did not dare to seek vengeance.

But Nestor rewented the shame.

His wisdom was known throughout the country.

6Was so dryffe and fortħ I-blowe; Thorowe alle londys hyt was knowe. Then) thys wyse Nestor sente To any man) that seruice or rente Ougħte Menelaus her kynge, They shulde excuse hem for no-thynge To a-venge the shame of here lorde. Thus alle hys me n ¯ be o n ¯ a-corde A-grey n ¯ welle hym seruyse to do. And he off wysdome eke ther-to Sente vn-to Pryamus Ionde To wyth-holde in-to hys honde Alle tho that rebely n ¯ wylly were For to Susteyne the grette werre That Menelaus oughte to Troy make. To thys a-corde Nestor haþe take Inde, Capadoyne, Perce and Mede; And alle Crurenye thys werre spede; Lybens hadde n ¯ eke grette Ioye To ryse a-po n ¯ here kynge of Troye. Thus they assentydι be one a-corde To werre a-po n ¯ here souerayne lorde. Ector had a-spyedι alle thys; Hem to wytħ-stonde hys porpose ys. He Sende a-no n ¯ to alle the oryente For pepulle, and to hys commawndemente Alle were redy to Obey. They seyde wyth oo voyse they wolde dye And lyffe wyth Ector, the worthy knyghte, And helpe hym wyth alle here myghte A-geynes the grekes, þat were so stronge. And so they dydι eres fuɫɫ longe, And mony a yere, and euer so myghte, Ne had Anchises, þe fals knyghte, Solde hyt to Grekes for couetyse. Thus he be-trussedι hyt at hys deuyse. The troyans kepte hyt ix yere Mannely, and after ferther nere.

181. MS. th between Thorowe and alle.

He called the Greeks together, and encouraged Priam’s subjects to rebel against their king.

Hector assembled the peoples of the Orient.











7In the x yere Ector was slayne, Where-of þe grekes were glad and fayne, And the troyans were as sory, For in here werres he fuɫɫ knyghtly A-geyne the grekes hem dud defende, For mony a grette showre he hem sende. Tho Priamus thys Anchyses [leaf 4, back] Chyffe to hym of conselle hym ches,* No man) wyste of whens he was bore, Ne of hys kyn; but of tresoure He cowde welle geder to rycħe þe kynge. He hym louedι a-boue alle thynge, Off alle hys Ion de hym chef* Iustice He made, and as he wolde deuyse He aggreedι, and helde hym ther-to. Thys fals traytoure demenydι hym so He made the kynge the lordes hate. Euer he sette grette debate Be-twy n ¯ the lordes and the kynge, For mony a grette and stronge lesynge He made vppo n ¯ hem euer-moo. The kynge louyd golde and seluer soo, He fulle falsly in kowde hyt brynge. He and couetyse destroyedι the kynge. Thys Anehyses, thys fals traytoure, Vppon) þe master-yate he hadι a towre Off Troye, thys noble and worthy Cyte, Where, on a nyghte, pryuely he Hadde yn the grekes be hys assente, And accordedι wyth hem þat destroyedι and brente Shulde Troye, thys worthy Cyte, bee, On) thys condicione that he Shulde robbe and pylle eche neygħbore Off hys, for he knew aɫɫ there tresowre, Where hyt was, and they graunttedι weɫɫ Alle that he axedι, euery delle, Nowe preuely enterydι thes grekes be

225. MS. chesses.

230. MS. ches (short s).

252. he crossed out before where.










Troy withstood the Greeks for nine years. In the tenth Hector was killed.

Anchises, who had ‘ always behaved falsely, betrayed the Trojans.

8In-to Troye, thys worthy Cyte. Fryste they robbed and after brente, They no-thynge sparedι of mankynde. In-to þe towre, wycħ was þe dongeon), The kynge flede, and hys sones echeone. There was slayne kynge Pryamus And alle hys sonnes, saue Elenus, Wycħe in-to a botte dydι preuely skape, And yede where hym was Shape Shame; and a-nother chylde toke A man), hys name telletħ not [t]hys boke, And brogħte hym preuely, wyth-owte les, In-to a shyppe of Anchyses. When Anchyses had done thys tresone, To shyppe he wente wyth grette ffoysone Off golde and seluer . Wytħ hym was [leaf 5] Gone in-to the shyppe was noble Eneas. Off hys kyn no-þyng was he, For worthy and curtes in euery degre Eneas was, as seytħe the booke. Anchises aɫɫ a-nother way toke, For he was fulfylledι of couetyse, Prowde and envious in alle wyse. Yette Eneas was wytħ Anchises, In wele and woo, in prate of dyssece, He toke wyth on sonde and see, Tylle atte the laste aryuedι they be In-to the londe of Romenye,* Where-of they conquerydι the Senerye.  Whan) Markomyris, þys yonge kynge,  Wycħe was sone to Priamus þe kyng1,  Was scapedι frome Troye wyth Anchyses Fulle yonge and tender amonge þe pres, Thorowe helpe of o n ¯ wycħe was hys norry, Vn-wyste of Anchyses fulle priuely, Whan he was xv yere of age, He woxe semely, stronge, and had corage To do alle thynge; and þe pepulle Sykerly

279. prate] ? emend prece.

282. MS. Normandve.

The Greeks entered the city, and spared nobody.

Priam was slain.

Elenus, however, escaped.

Marcomiris was saved on board a ship of Anchises’ by his foster-father.

Anchises and Eneas fled in another ship.

They arrive in Romeny.

Marcomiris grows up.











9Whende he had ben) sone to hys norry. Yette he wyste welle hyt was not so, Butte yette hys Norry made hym so. Yette ofte wolde he say : “That ffelowne ! I shalle sle hym that dyd þys tresone To my fader and to my lynage.” And euer the more he waxetħ in age, To alle the pepuɫɫ, as they deuyse, He lyknedι mocheɫɫ Ector and Parys Off stature, of vysage, and off bonne. The pepulle ther-fore ofte gonne To hys Norry for to enquere Yeff thys chylde hys sone were; And euer he sayde sykerly ye. Where-fore thys man) thoȝte þat he Myghte notte welle a-byde there. He thoȝte he wolde goo yelse-where. And pryuely, when he had spase, He putte hym alle in Goddys grace, And pryuely be nyghte stale a-waye And in-to Fraunce toke hys waye. Nowe in-to Fraunce comyn) be Botħe Markomyrys And he. Fraunce was named tho ylke dayes [leaf 5, back] Galles, as myne auctor seyes. Ther-In was neyther Cyte, casteɫɫ, ne bcrowe. A man) mygħte ryghte welle haue ryde þorowe, In euery parte botħe of brede and lengħe, He shulde neyther haue fownde no strengħe. The pepuɫɫ were dysperplede here and there, They were no-thynge a-rayed for werre. Ther-In herbourgħede mony a wylde beste. Alle the londe was tho ny honde fforeste. Ther-In was neyther Erle, duke, ne kynge; Eche man) was lorde of hys owne thynge. Tylle hyt happened þat, at the entre* Off the londe, Markomirys Norrye Dyed, and þer-wytħ as ffaste

After 312 a line crossed out: Now in-to Frannse comyn) be thay.

327. oh crossed out before of.

328. MS. entrynge.










His foster-father, thinking it was not safe to stay there, takes him to France.

France was then in a wild state.

The foster-father dies.

10He brente hys bonus in grette haste, That [was] the vsage of that contre. In-to seruyse tho drogħe he. Thys yonge ma n ¯ , thys ylke Markomirys, He was manly, semely, and ryghte wyse; For hys seruyse hym ryghte goode wage. He seruyedι nonne but of lynage Where the grettes off alle þat ylke londe. Curteyse and lowly hys lorde hym euer fonde. On a Day when he luste for to talke Wytħ hys lorde, as he allone dyd walke, He tolde of Troye alle the case, Of the desstruccione, and eke how þat he was The kyngus sone of Troye Pryame, And preuely in-to a shyppe he came* Off Anchyses, vnwyste of any wyghte. Hys master tho wytħ hys* herte and myghte Was glade and Ioyfuɫɫ, and made hym grette chere, And made hym telle, þat alle men mygħte here, The processe a-gayne, and alle the case, And how kynge Pryame sone he was. They herde hys tale alle goodely, They helde hym trew, wyse, and eke redy. And then* he tolde hem fortħe of Eneas, Wycħe a man) of Armes that he was, And wycħe materyes he dyd in Ytalye, Howe he conquered by and bye. “He dotħe thurgħe-owte what hym luste,” sayde he, “Rydetħe and brennetħ and raunsometħe ecħe cuntre. Thys ys the cause for they haue no strengħe In alle the cuntre, neyther in brede ne lengħe. He maketħ the pepulle thralle and bownde ycħeone. [If. 6] Hyt ys fulle lyke he shalle yow yeke so donne, Butte yeffe ye ordeyne a-gayne hym other strengħe, He shalle yowe ouer-ryde in brede and lengħe.” He hem conselletħ they shalle strengħes make, And then he durste welle vnder-take,

332. contre or cuntre, apparently corrected from comtre.

345. he came] MS. come he.

347. hys] MS. hym.

354. then] MS. them.

Marcomiris speaks of his descent.

He warns the people against Eneas, and advises them to fortify their country.










11And they wolle to-geder hem in habyte, They shulde fynde ther-in grette [de]lyte, And walle here Cytees and borovs rownde a-bowte, Then myghte they slepe sykerly, and haue no dowte Off no Enemyes, whens so euer they were. In thys wyse he can) hem faste lere. They lyked welle hys conselie and hys rede. Cytees and castelles they made in grette spede, Welle I-walledι in the beste wyse. For hys wytte a-non) chyffe Iustyce They hym made, and sette hym vp as a lorde. They dyde no-thynge wyth-owte hys a-corde. A wyffe they geffe hym, borne of hye kynrede, And then they made hym lorde, wyth-owte drede, Alle hys lyffe vn-tyɫɫ hys endynge-daye, Off hem alle, thys ys wytħ-owten naye. When he wes dede, hys sone prynse they made Off hem alle, of whome they were fulle gladde. He hem gouernydι in weltħe and grette honowre; He was to hem a nobulle gouernowre. And after hym fro eyre to eyre hyt yede. Here names to telle I trowe hyt be no nede, They bytħe not putte yette in Remembraunce In thys cronycle wycħe I rede of Fraunce. Prynces they were so of here manerʾ. Butte the ffrensħe boke me dotħe lere That longe after a prynce syker they hadde, Wycħe in wele and prosperite hem ladde, Wycħe was of the ryalle blode of Troye. Off hym alle Fraunce hade so mucħe Ioye That they hym loued a-boue aɫɫ erthely thynge. He was the ffryste that euer was namedι kynge. He made lawes and mocħe other thynge, And made hem drawe wyth-owte lesynge To be obeysaunte* to here kynggus lawe, Botħe wytħ ffeyrnesse and eke wyth awe. He made the lawes, as y gesse, For batellus, for customys, and ffrauncheses,

391. co (or to) crossed out before cronycle.

402. MS. obeysaunce.











Marcomiris is made the ruler of the country.

His descendants reigned after him, and later on became kings of France.

12Off thefes and traytowres also here Iewy[s]es. Thus he made the lawes wytħe-owten lese. [leaf 6, back] In ryghte and trowtħe euer hys pepulle he ladde. Ther-fore alle hys lyfe-dayes he hade A-monge hem Ioye, weltħe, and prosperite. Yeres and dayes fulle mony regned he, And then after, when aɫɫ-mygħty Gode wolde, A sone he hadde, þat afterʾ hym rengne shulde.  LUdon) *hyghte thys chylde þat shulde be  Here kynge, þat of wytte lacked grette plente.  Off other goodes lytelle he hadde. Ther-fore mocħe hys pepulle he dradde, Wher-fore in chamber hym-selfe he hade. Fulle ofte hys peple lawes he ladde, Chorles he cheresede, and no-þynge Ientyle. He levyde notte butte a whyle. Affter hym came hys sone and eyre, And he made a-yen) to repeyre Aɫɫ þat contraryedι hys ffader lawe, Sum wyth ffeyrenes and some wyth awe. Hym to Crystes lawe seynte Remys Conuertedι, longe or than seynte Denys Kame in-to Fraunce; and eke the clergye He louedι, and cheresshyde chyuallerye. Cleouels thys nobelle kynge hyghte. He prouedι hym-selfe a nobelle knyghte. Grette werre he helde alle hys lyfe. Wyth Saliȝies he foughte mony a sytħe,* For setħen he the crowne namme, He so wyse and so rygħtefulle kynge be-came Ther was no manne of hym complayned Off ronge, a-none he hyt restrayne[d], And wolde se where the trowtħe stode. And then he wolde wyth esy mode Redresse hyt as resone were. And so he hadde a goode manere : The porallis ryghte esely here he wolde,

406. ad crossed out before &.

411. MS. possibly many.

414. MS. aNdon) or aUdon).

431. proued] o like e.

433. MS. sygħe.

Ludon was the second king.

His son, Clovis, was converted to Christianity by St.Remis.

He was an excellent king.










13A lorde also, yeff þat he shulde; To euery manne, after hys state were, He wolde redresse hyt in esy manere. Off knygħtehode fully he bare the pryse. Ther-to he was ryghte manly and wyse. So wysely hys remme gouernedι he That he lyuedι euer in prosperite. Thys nobelle kynge, þys nobelle conquerowre, Wanne many a Cyte wytħ many a towre, That ffro Chyrbron) in-to Russye Was ther neuer manne so hardye [leaf 7] To do n ¯ a-geynste hys commaundemente; And yeffe he dydι, he were butte shente. Off Arderne the towre also, Ther contraryedι no manne þat he wolde haue do. In thys Arderne, as seythe thys geste, Ther ys a grette and a huge fforeste. Hyt lyethe in lenghe botħe este and weste; Ther-In dwellutħe mony a wylde beste; The porsewte ys fulle large a-bowte. Ther-fore hyt ys, wyth-owten) dowte, Grette perelle a man) ther-In to come; Ther-In to herborougħe ys no man) wonne. For shyppes that passe by the See, For no nede dar notte he Arryue in-to the huge fforestes For drede of the wylde bestes. In olde bookes, as I rede, I fynde wryten), wyth-owten) drede, Off lyones and lebardes hyt ys ffulle. The wylde bore and eke the bulle Haue there here haunte destawntly. The cause I wolle telle yowe why That I thys fforeste thys deuyse, For owte of thys moste mocħe thynge ryse That longetħe vn-to my matere. Lystenetħe nowe, and ye shalle here.  THys kynge Cleouels, þys worthy manne,  Syn) ffryste þe tyme that he be-gan)  Crowne on) hedde ffryste to bere,











Nobody dared to oppose him, not even in the Ardennes.

In the Ardennes were all kinds of wild animals.

Clovis was fond of hunting there.

14Also for to holden) in honde a spere, Nexte dede of armes he louedι bestes To hunte in Arderne, thys huge fibreste, And wyth strengħe of howndes and men) The boore to chasse owte of hys den). So hyt be-ffeɫɫ that on) a daye To ffynde the boore he wolde assaye. Hys hvntes he* warnedι ryghte a-nonne That to thys foreste he wolde gon). Than) hadι thys kynge a suster there That was to hym fuɫɫ lefe and dere, Þat nexte hys owne weddute wyffe He louedι here as hys owne lyffe. Lucresse thys noble lady hygħte. A sone she had, that be goode ryghte Erle of Angowe shulde be And of Bloys, so telletħe me [leaf 7, back] The olde booke* fuɫɫ weɫɫ I-wrytedι, In ffrensħe also, and fayre endytedι. And ye wolle wytte what he hyte, Partonope be Gode almytħe Namedι he was, when he was bore, Of hys godfader atte the churcħe-dore. And playnely to teɫɫ yow of thys manne Thys tale trewly I be-gan). Thys yonge man) of whome I telle, Of Ientylnes he was the verey welle. The nobelle kynge hym louedι so That where þat euer he rydde or go, Nexte hym he ys of alle men), To hym also nygħe of kyn), That [nexte] hys suster or hys wyffe He loued hym beste of any lyffe. He was so genityɫɫ of worde and dede That thorowe aɫɫ Fraunce, where þat he yede, Off hys worshyppe men) myghte here. For off hys age he had no pere.

490. he] MS. we, perhaps only intended for warned.

500. booke] MS. boode.

The King had a nephew, named Partonope, who was to he Earl of Anjou and Blois and who was then eighteen years old.










15Hys age was forsotħe, as I gesse, xviij yere, neyther more ne lesse. What a-venture feɫɫ nowe of þys man) I wolle telle fortħe now as I can).  THys kynge of whome I of tolde,  He ys shape wyth baronys bolde  To [t]hys foreste for to ryde, Wytħ knygħt and squyer hym be-syde, And also wytħ nowmber of men), The bore to chasse owte of hys den). To thys foreste he ys come Wyth hvnte and hownde as he was won). Off thys hyt nedetħ no more to telle : The hornes sownen) as any belle, The howndes arne vncowpeled than). There loketħ vp fuɫɫ: mony a man) Here tryste on) euery syde to kepe, Hyt ys no tyme for hem to slepe. And nexte the kynge of any man) Stonde Partonope, hys tryste man). Ryghte sone after, wytħ-owten) more, [leaf 8] Fownde ys the wylde boore. The howntes to blowe spare notte then). The grette lymowres ere lette renne. A-bowte the wodde the boore ys broghte; Alle the day they spare noghte Hym to hvnte thorowe thyke and thynne, Tylle the boore, fulle wery of renne, A-yen) Euyn) the bay a-bodde. Partonope, there as he stode, Pullud owte hys swyrde lycħe a manne, And ffreshely to thys bore he ranne. Be-twyn) was then) a grette stryfe, Butte yet the boore there loste hys lyfe. Seynge, the kynge, there as he stode, Then) sayde he : “Be Goddys rode, Thys was welle don), as of a chylde,

529. chasse] hole in vellum for a.

555. go crossed out before goddys.











He accompanied the King to the Ardennes.

Partonope kills a boar

16To sle a boore so fers and wylde. Nowe Gode, I thanke the as I can). He ys rygħte lyke to ben) a man).” The kynge in talkynge as he stode, Sawe where ther come wytħ eger mode A-nother boore, alle ffreshe I-fownde. To hym the howndes dyd renne fuɫɫ rownde. The kynge comaundedι rygħte a-nonne The huntes they shulde euery-chone Drawe vp there howndus by and by; The cause shalle I telle yow why; For faste westwarde draweth þe sonne, The howndes ben) fulle wery for ronne. Also he sey hyt drew nere nyghte. To hys loggyng1 he wente fulle ryghte. The kyng1 commaundedι Partonope .T[h]at swytħe on horsebacke shulde he be, Prycke after faste, sette horne to mowtħe To drawe of the howndes, yeff þat he cowtħe. Thys Partonope no lettyng made, But dydι ryghte as the kynge hym bade. A-pon) hys horse a-none he lepe, Thorougħe thyke and thynne toke he no kepe The boore to folovve, I yowe plyghte, And draw yefter hym, yeff that he myghte. So faste hys hors he pryeketħ thanne That hym folowe myghte no manne. [leaf s, back] The boore was neuer owte of hys syghte, The sotħe to sayne, tylle darke nyghte So faste felle on) in that tyde, No ferther myghte he se to ryde. He wyste neuer where that he was, Thys was to hym a sory case. The kynge a-nonne loste had he. Thynge þat ys ordeynedι nedes moste be By ffortune vn-to euery manne. Partonope hys horne be-gan) In honde to take, and blewe hyt lowde.

561. MS. scarcely came.

583. fow crossed out before folowe.

Another boar is roused.

Partonope pursues the boar.

Night closes in.










17But for no crafte that euer he cowde, Men) ne horne cowde he non) here. Than) gan) he waxe of heuy chere, For he hadde don) a foly thynge So for to drawe hym fro hys kynge. Nowe wolle I leue thys manne so ynge, And telle yowe fortħe of the kynge, Þat homwarde to hys loggyng1 rydetħe. After hym for sotħe no manne a-bydetħe. He wenytħ Partonope were I-come. The hunte hys howndus hatħ vp nome, And come was to hys loggynge. A-none hym axedι thys worthy kynge After hys Neuowe Partonope. He cowde not telle whether þat he Were come home, or els be-hynde. A-none hyt ran) the kynge in mynde Howe he hym had bode gon) To drawe the howndus of echone. Then he comaundetħe wyth aɫɫ hys myghte That men) wytħe hornes alle þat nyghte Shulde noyse make on) euery syde, And in the foreste alle nyghte to ryde, Yeff any grace mygħte be Thys chylde to fynde in any degre. Now after hym euery man), as he ys bedyn), Vn-to the foreste ys he ryden). Grette noyse they make aɫɫ þat nyghte, Tylle on) the morowe þe sone bryghte Owte of the este gan) showe hyr so That euery manne myghte se to goo Or ryde where so euer hym luste. [leaf 9] Thorougħe thyke and thynne in þat fforeste Ryghte faste they soghte euerychone, Butte tydynges cowde they here nonne Off thys chylde in no degre. Gretter sorowe myghte not be

599. MS. for, or possibly far.

614. comaundetħe] hole in vellum for u.

616. alle þat crossed out before on).











The King rides home.

Partonope is lost.

18Then) was a-monge the mayne tho : “Allas ! ” they sayde, “thys chylde y[s] go And loste for euer, thys ys no nay.” There ys songe but welewaye. Thys grette boore of home I tolde, Thorowe the foreste ys bente fuɫɫ bolde, Tylle he come to the see-syde. There thoȝe he longe not to a-byde; Hys lyppe vn-to the see he nomme, And ffaste thorowe the see he swomme, And ouer see faste hym) hyede, Tylle he come in-to the other Syde. Whan) he was the perelle paste, He hyddι hym so wonder faste To the wyldernes, I darʾ weɫɫ Saye, And lyuedι there many a longe daye.  NOwe wolle I speke of Partonope.  Whatte to do wotte not he.  Hownde and horne hadι he loste; Hys horse for sothe ys alle-moste Dede for wery in that stonde, And sodenly ys falle to grownde. Alle drery stonte Partonope. “Lorde alle-myghty Gode,” sayde he, “Saue me nowe I be not lore, As thowe were of a mayden) bore.” “Allas,” he thogħte, “what may I do? For colde and honger I am fulle wo. A-ferde also nowe of my lyffe. Helpe me lorde Gode and eke seynte Sytħe That thes wylde and wodde bestes Deuowre me not in thes fforestes !” Thys yonge man) wyste not what to do, But at the laste he drewe hym to An) olde tre, an) holowe thynge, Ther-in to haue hys loggyng1. Alle nyghte ther-in he laye Tylle on) the morowe þat hyt was daye. Alle that nyghte fulle sore he wepte, For sorowe and drede slepe he no slepe.

The boar disappears.

Partonope is alone in the forest.











19Be-tyme a-morowe he gan) to ryse. [leaf 9, back] He loked a-bowte, and gan) to deuyse Wycħe cuntre homwarde he myghte beste Drawe owte of thys wylde fforeste. Vn-to hys horse he yede ffaste, And by the brydelle atte the laste Hym he dreue on) hys ffette. In-to the sadelle a-none he lepe,. Homwarde to drawe for sotħe he wende. Gode hym grace ther-to sende ! But alle for noghte, hyt wyɫɫ not be, Alle a-weywardys the wey taketħ he. Alle þat day he rode fulle ffaste, Mony a perlows water he paste. The ffrenshe boke thus dotħe me telle xx waters he passedι fulle ffelle. He rode as faste as euer he myghte Alle that day, tylle hyt was nyghte. When) nyghte was come, thys ys no nay, The mone shone as bryghte as day. He lokedι apon) the mone so bryghte : “Nowe, lorde,” he sayde, “that made thys lyghte Man) to comforte and also beste, Brynge me welle owte of thys fforeste !” He houyde stylle, he loked a-bowte. Than) sawe he, wytħ-owten) dowte, Where he was in a medow stronge, The grasse vp to hys styroppe longe Was grow on) heygħte, as I hope, For hyt hadι neuer be mow ne rope, But beddet fuɫɫ of bestes wylde. Fulle sore a-ferde tho was thys chylde. Forthe tho rode Partonope, Tylle atte the laste he sawe the see Ebbe and flowe and noyse make. Hys herte wytħ-In be-gan) to quake, He wende fully dedι to be, He thoȝte he myghte no ferther fle.

698. stronge] st and o indistinct; the t is apparently altered from an o.











The next day he tries in vain to find his way home.

At night the arrives at the seashore.

20And fferther lokedι he in-to the stronde, Hym thoȝte that faste by the londe A Shyppe he sawe there rydynge, Ryghte welle a-rayedι, tho any kynge There shulde haue passedι the See. And of thys shyppe ryghte glade was he; He thoȝte he shulde haue some comforte Off them þat ryuedι atte the porte, And wytħ hem conseile ho we he myghte beste [leaf 10] Scape owte of thys wylde foreste. He heydι faste tylle he was there, And sone he neȝhedι be shyppe fulle nere. When) he come vn-to the stronde, Owte of the shyppe vn-to þe londe A brygge was leyde fulle goode and stronge, Ryghte brodde hyt was and also longe, And man) thyder-in myghte go ryghte weɫɫ, And noȝte to wete hys fotte a delle. And when he to the brygge came, Then) thoȝte he : “My Gode and man), In wolle I go, what so be-tyde, No lenger here wolle I a-byde.” Downe of hys horse he lepte a-none, In-to the shyppe he gan) to gon), Hys hors he lede in by hys Syde, “And what so euer me be-tyde, He shalle not lefe be-hynde me, For then) I shulde hym neuer se.” Thys ys the sotħe, he luste welle slepe, But fryste of o thynge he toke gret kepe That man) on) lyife Sawe he non). Hys herte gan) colde as any stonne. To hym-selfe thus sayde he : “Thys ys a Shyppe of ffayre Or thynge made be Enchauntemente. Nowe helpe me, lorde Omnypotente, That the deuelle no power haue My sowle wyth hym to helle craue,

737. h crossed out before se.

740. h crossed out before non)

747. ca crossed out before craue.

There he sees a ship.

Partonope goes on board, leading his horse after him.

Nobody is to be seen on board.










21And saue me, lorde, yeffe hyt be thy wylle, That I neuer in thys shyppe spylle.” And when he had sayde thes wordes, He layde hym on) the shyppe-bordes, Whatte for honger and for slepe, Off hym-selfe toke he no kepe. When he for wery was downe layde, Vn-to slepe he feɫɫ a lyteɫɫ brayde. No ryghte goode slepe for sotħe he toke, But halfe wakynge, as seytħ þe boke, . And as he lay thy[s] in slummerynge, There befelle a wonder thynge. Thys ryalle shyppe of wycħe I tolde, The sayle a-non) gan) owte to folde. Ryghte a-pon) the toppe an hye The sayle ys pullud by and by. A mevable wynde then) had he, [leaf 10, back] He sawe the sayle vp in the see A-fore the wynde in water clere. A wonder thynge hyt ys to here Wytħ -owte n ¯ helpe a shyppe to sayle, The wynde so fulle vppo n ¯ the sayle, And helpe of man) ther-in non) ys. A fulle grette meruelle me thynketħ was thys. Partonope when he a-woke, A-bowte hym faste he gan) to loke, Be-thoȝte hym-selfe where þat he was : “Thys ys,” thoghte he, “a wonder case, A Shyppe to sayle wyth-outen) gyde. Gode helpe,” sayde he, “nowe in thys tyde.” He sawe no-þynge but water clere; For syghte of londe fer ne nere Cowde he a-spye in no wyse. Then) gan) he faste for to devyse Where thys fforeste was be-come, Owte of hys syghte hyt ys be-nome. “Nowe, goode Gode,” sayde Partonope, “Thowe fortune thus haþe shapen) me

762. non (?) crossed out before pon).

770. ys non crossed out before in.











Partonope falls asleep.

The ship sails.

When he awoke, he had lost sight of land.

22That I shalle dye in thys place, Allmyghty Gode, do me grace !” To hym-selfe he sayde thus : “O mercy, lorde, swete Ihesus, Man) wotte lyteɫɫ what ys hys beste. For when) I was in yender fforeste, Off my lyffe I was in dradι; For very fere I was ny madι. In-to þe shyppe for seker I came, And In wytħ me my horse I name. I howpet to haue a better yere; And nowe for soþe better me were In yender foreste to haue ben) Than) in thys shyppe, as I wene. For yette by possibilite Euery man) know may he A man) þat ys in dry lande Yet sum way may he fownde Hym-selfe to helpe owte of dyssece In mony a wyse, wyth-owten) lese. But in water for to be I can) for sotħe in no degre Devyse how any helpe to haue, Butte Gode allone he may me saue.” And thus he lyetħe and, sorow maketħ; He dar not Slepe, butte alle-wey waketħe [leaf 11] For drede of peresynge in the see. But alle for noghte, hyt wyɫɫ not be, Hys a-venture he moste a-byde, For nowe ys fortune for sotħιe hys gyde. And thus he sayletħe alle the nyghte, Tylle on) the morowe þat hyt was lyghte, Then) on) the shyppe gan) faste he Deuyse and loke howe hyt myghte be That hyt shulde sayle in any londe Wytħe-owten) helpe of mannus honde. But for to speke of thys shyppe, The more þer-of þat he toke keppe,

789. On margin of MS. in the same hand: Nota.

796. Does MS. yere stand for fere ?

Partonope prays to God.

The ship sails all that night and the following day.










23Euerʾ to hym hyt was more mervayle : Off clotħe and selke þen was þe sayle; Ther-to hyt was so welle graue That of entayle, so Gode me saue, Ther cowde no werkeman) hyt a-mende. The n ¯ prayde he Gode hym grace sende Hys lyffe to saue, yeff hys wyɫɫ be. And fortħe alle day thys sayletħ he, Tylle hyt was derke nyghte aɫɫ-moste, And then) þe shyppe vn-to a coste Helde euen hys course, as þat he By mannes honde gydedι had be. Wha n ¯ to þe londe the shyppe was come, Partonope, as he was won), Lokedι owte to se the tyde. Tha n ¯ sawe he where be-syde Ther stode a towne, wyth-owten) dowte, Ryghte welle I-walledι rownde a-bowte. A-myddes the towne, wytħ-in the walle, There stode a castelle þat was ryalle, Wytħ towres grette on) euery syde, For any kynge ther-In to a-byde. A grette mervayle þen sawe he, For nyghte hyt was vppon n ¯ þe see, And in þe Cuntre hyt was as bryghte As thowe hyt had be day lyghte. The brygge a-non) he toke in honde, And fro þe shyppe vn-to the londe He layde hyt owte, and þat a-none, That he myghte vn-to þe londe gon). When he to þe londe come was, He thonkedι Gode tho of hys grace, That alle thes perellys he hadι welle paste, [leaf 11, back] Butte yette fulle sore was he a-gaste, For he sawe no-þynge that [bare] lyffe, Man) ne chylde, wydo ne wyffe. And he also for thryste and hongerʾ Was ryghte febeɫɫ, hyt was no wonderʾ; And on) hys hors honger was sene, For lacke of mete he was ryghte lene.











In the evening it approaches a town.

Partonope goes ashore, but does not see any human being.

24 Bvtte when þys chylde Partonope  On) londe was come, a-non) gan) he  A-bowte hym loke on euery syde. He sawe the cuntre botħe large and wyde. Yette on) thys shyppe he be-gan) to holde, He sayde be hym that Iudas solde Thys shyppe was me[r]velus made. In alle hys lyffe he ne hadde Sey so cvryous a wrogħte thynge. He then trowedι þer was no man leuynge By crafte of honde cowde sucħe on) make, Butte yeffe a clerke cowde vnder-take By nygromansy to make hytte; For hyt passetħ mannes wytte. The towne, the casteɫɫ he be-helde, Howe curiusly they were bylde : Off blacke marbeɫɫ was made þe waɫɫ, Enchekerydι weɫɫ wyħ Crystalle, Wytħ Iasper also, þat was so bryghte. In-to the cuntre hyt gaffe grette lyghte. Thys grette meruayle he can be-holde; Hys lierte be-gan) faste to colde. He sayde : “Allas, what may þys be?” He thoȝte he was but in fayre, And wenetħ hyt were þe develles werke. For weɫɫ: he wyste þe nyghte ys derke, And nyghte hyt was vppon) þe see; On) londe hyt was so lyghte* þat he Myghte se to ryde alle a-bowte In alle the cuntre, thys ys no dowte. Also þe hauen was large and wyde, x thowsande shyppes þer-yn myghte ryde For any drede of þe see, Whatte wynde or wedder euer hyt be. When) he þe cuntre devysedι hadι, In herte he was no-þynge gladde, Butte fortħe wyth-alle hys hors he toke,

867. and written twice and the first crossed out.

868. loke crossed out before holde.

891. MS. adds to se after lyghte.

He thinks he has come to an enchanted country.

Partonope rides into the town.











25And streyghte to towne, as seyetħ þe boke, He rodde as faste as euer he myghte, And to the gate he came fulle ryghte. [leaf 12] Butte when) he to þe gate come, Hys eye he caste vppe ther-on), Be-helde hyt wysely alle a-bowte, And then he sayde wyth-owte dowte : “Thys ys of so grette an) heyghte, Ther can) no man) devyse be sleyghte Thys towre to wynne in no wyse.” And harde hyt was for to deuyse The curyous makynge þat þer-on) was. And In he rydetħe an) esy pas. The stretes were pauydι þat were fuɫɫ longe; On) euery syde howsynge stronge Off blacke marbeɫɫ fuɫɫ weɫɫ I-bake. A-bofe þer-on, I underʾtake, Pomelys þer stode of golde fuɫɫ fyne; Ther-on) by crafte and goode engyne Egelys of golde fflekerynge þer stode, Lebardes and lyonys also fulle goode Vppon) þe gabellys * of golde I-puredι, And other bestes dyuerse fyguredι, And alle, as they haden) ben) on) lyfe, By crafte þey meuyde wonder blyfe, Þat neuer, sethen) þat he was boren), Had he seyne sucħe a towne be-foren). Thys fayre towne of wycħ I tolde, The boke of ffrenshe, þat ys fulle olde, Hyt deuysetħ in sucħe degre Hyt were to longe as nowe for me Alle þat to telle, þys ys no naye. Þer-fore I lefe hyt in goode faye, And woɫɫ go fortħ vn-to my materʾ, And hyt lyke yow me to here.  Thys yonge chylde Partonope,  For thryste and honger wotte not he  What to don)—Gode be hys gyde— And fortħe fuɫɫ esely dotħe he ryde.

916. I crossed out before weɫɫ.

922. MS. garbellys.










Description of its splendour.

26He þoȝte of þys fay re syghte, Hys herte sum-what be-gan) to lyghte, And sum-tyme he thoȝte a-yen) Alle þys ne was butte fantayne. Then) sawe he where þe palys-yate Stode wyde open), and in þer-atte He rodde, and downe frome hys horse he lyghte, For ferther ryde he ne myghte. And when) he of hys hors lyghte, [leaf 12, back] Hym thoghte he sawe mocħe lyghte Off torches and off ffyre also. In-to the halle wente he thoo, Fayre clothes he sawe þer layde Thorowe þe halle on) euery syde. Off brede and wyne he sawe grette plente, Off mete there lackedι no maner of deynte. He sawe stonde on) þe cuppe-borde Cuppes of golde for any lorde, Sponys of golde and of Syluer also. “Nowe, lorde,” sayde he, “what may I do? For dedι I am ney for honger.” Also he hadι mocħe wonder To se of Ryches so grette plente, And no man) on) lyfe butte he. Fortħe thorowe þe halle walkedι he The palys wyth-In forþe for to See. When) he was n þorowe þe halle gon), He sawe be-fore hym ryghte a-non) A towre of marbelle ryghte fayre þer stode; The yates of Iron) were fulle goode. Vppon n ¯ the towre the n ¯ lokedι he. “O lorde,” he sayde, “what may thys be?” Stylle he stode, and hyt be-helde, In what wyse hyt was bylde. Then) was hyt a castelle stronge. A-bowte þe walle fulle brode and longe A dycħe þer was of water clere. The brygge there-ouer was fulle nere An c ffote, I trowe, of lengħe;

955. maner deynte gives a better reading.

Partonope enters a house, but observing a castle, he decides on continuing his way.











27Hyt wolle be drawe wyth lytelle strenghte. The fayre towne he sawe a-ffore Hys grette bewte hadι I-lore. Thys place was wonder fayre to se. Than) þoȝte thys chylde Partonope Þys place shulde be goode Resone Be chyffe palys of the towne. And to hym-selfe sayde he : “Whatte [ys] ther-In I shalle se.” In atte the gate he made a loppe; Thys was the sotħe, hyt [was] wyde ope, Hys herte wexe lyghte as leffe on) lynde, For he supposetħ” ther-In to fynde Men) I-nowe hym) to dysporte, And wyth mete hym to comforte. In-to the halle vp wente he, [leaf 13] A ryghte goode fyre þer myghte he see. The halle also fulle ryally Wytħe golden) cloþes and attaby Was hongydι fulle welle, wytħ-owten dowte, Off ryghte grette heyghte rownde a-bowte. Off o þynge meruelydι grettely he : Man) ne chylde cowde he non) see. He sawe þer laye boþe cloþe and borde,* Þoȝe hyt hadι ben) a-fore a lorde, That setħe be tyme þat he was borne So fayre sawe he neuer be-fforne. Than) þoȝte þys chylde : “What may þys be ? Thys ys deuyllys werke,” seyde he. And as he stode þus in thys thogħte, A-none be-fore hym were I-broghte A peyre of bassennys fayre I-curydι, Off ffyne golde ryghte welle puredι. Alle thys be-helde Partonope. Vn-to hym-selfe þys sayde he : “These bassennys curyd þat I see, For sotħe be resone þynketħ” me Ther-of to wassħe hyt arne broghte.”

1002. MS. brede.

1004. MS. possibly sethen.











The gate was open and Partonope enters the hall.

The tables were spread.

Invisible hands bring him basins to wash.

28And to wassħe was he be-thoghte.* He wasshedι hys hondes ryghte a-none. To soper þoȝte he for to gone, As he þat was for wery honger Loste, for sotħe, hyt was no wonder. Whan) he hys hondes waeshe hadde, He sawe no wyghte þat ones hym bade To soper sytte in no place. Þen thoȝte he, be Goddys grace, To soper sytte þen) he wolde. A-none hym-selfe wyth herte bolde A-myddes þe bencħe downe he sette. The borde* a-none, wyth-owte lette, Be-fore hym lay ryghte weɫɫ a-rayedι. Off þys syghte he was dysmayedι So ryalle seruyse for to see, And no man) on) lyfe þer butte he. Ryghte a-none, when) he was sette, Mete grette plente þer was fette. Torches be-fore þe mete In come, Off lyghte ther was fuɫɫ mykel * wone. Torches of brocħe by-fore* hym stode, [leaf 13, back] Cuppys of golde wyth wyne fulle goode, For sotħe hym to yete ryghte welle. Butte yette he was a-ferde sum delle. A-bowte þe halle faste lokedι he, On) grette meruayle he myghte see : He sawe þe hordes in þe halle, Welle I-coverydι botħe grette and smale; Fulle of mete stode euery borde. But thorowe þe halle ther was no worde, For man) ne woman) sawe he none In þe place but he allone. Butte neuer the later, so seytħe þe boke, To hys mete ffresshely he toke; And for sotħe hyt ys no wonder, For þer-to droffe hym very hongerʾ. And when) he hadι yete ryghte welle,

1017. be] MS, bo.

1029. MS. borne.

1037. MS. myker.

1038. fore written twice.

Partonope sits down to table.

No word is spoken.










29Fayne wolde he haue dronke hys fylle. Alle-thoȝe he hadι grette thruste, For sothe drynke he ne druste : For in drynke, he seyde, be resone Myghte welle be herberowedι poysone. For alle þat he sawe wyth hys eye, Hym þoȝte hyt was but fantasye. Cuppys of golde be-fore hym stode Wyth dynerse wynes, and þat fulle goode, And wyth þat weɫɫ to drynke for soþe hym luste, For he was Inly sore a-thruste. A-pon) þe ryghte syde of þe dese He sawe seruedι a ryalle messe, As thoȝe a queue þer hadι bene; And þat was ryghte weɫɫ a-sene, For hyt was seruydι in hey deuyse Wyth metes and drynkes in dyuerse wyse. Partonope hyt faste can) be-holde, He sawe þe vesseɫɫ were aɫɫ of golde. A-monges pes vesseɫɫ he sawe wyne stode In a ryche cuppe þat was fulle goode. Thys cuppe was of safer ffyne, Hyt moste nedes showe weɫɫ wyne. Þe couacle was of Rube redde, Thys chylde þer-of toke grette hede. Wytħ-In hym-selfe he gan) to þynke Off þat cuppe he wolde drynke. Ther-to þoȝte hym he had a skylle, For the ssafer for sotħe ne wylle Suffer in hym no poysone to a-byde. [leaf 14] “For soþe,” he thoȝte, “what euer me tyde Ther-of I wolle drynke a draghte.” And wyth hys honde þe cuppe he rawghte. To hys mowthe he gan) hyt sette, Hym þoȝte þey were ryghte weɫɫ I-mette. There he dranke wyne fuɫɫ goode, Hym þoȝte hyt comforte welle hys blode.

1061. MS. santasye (long s).

1074. n crossed out after þes; stode written above stonde, which is crossed out.










Partonope is afraid of drinking, but at last overcomes his fear.

30And when) he had dronke þys drawghte, To hys mete ffresshely he rawghte, And to hym goode comforte toke, Thys seyetħe my auctor, þe ffrenshe boke. Sytħe he hadι dronke of þys cuppe, He þoȝte he myghte þe Safer sowpe; For thys was hys Opynion), That cuppe wolle holde no poyson). And he sowpetħe alle in ese, And maketħ hym-selfe welle at ese. When he had so sowpedι aɫɫ hys wylle, And of þe cuppe dronke hys ffylle, Than) hym luste no more to sowpe. Vppe gope þe mete and eke þe cuppe, The clotħe vp-drawe, þe towayle layde. A-non) ryghte in a lytelle brayde He wasshe hys hondes, and vppe he stode. Than) gan) chaunge alle hys blode, He lokedι a-bowte, he myghte þer see Off torches and lyghte grette plente, Butte man) on) lyfe sawe he none. “Lorde,” sayde he, “what may I done ? I not,” he sayde, “what me ys beste. But he þat made botħe Este and weste, Safe me, yeff hyt be hys wylle, In thys myschyffe þat I ne spylle.” And when he hadι all þys I-þoȝte, “Be Gode,” he sayde, “þat me hatħ wroȝte, I wolle as ny as euer I can) Take herte to me, and be a man). And what so euer me be-tyde, Whyther so þat thys lyghte me gyde, After I wolle, what euer be beste, For sone ys tyme to go to reste.” And so after wyth-In a lyteɫɫ whyle, I trowe þe mowntans of a myle, To chamber the torches toke þe waye. Than) thoȝte the chylde : “Now, by my ffaye, [leaf 14, bk.]

1096. MS. possibly sythen.

1097. ss crossed out before Safer.

1128. thorches crossed out before torches.

The tables are cleared.

Torches show him the way to a bed-room.











31Folowe I wolle, what so be-tyde. Gode of heuen), be nowe my gyde !” When he was come in-to þe chamber, The walles were as bryghte as ambere. A bedι þer-In ther henge fulle ffyne, Hyt was hongedι be goode engyne. The Couertowre was of Ermone goode. Thys chylde be-helde, and stylle stode, And sayde : “Lorde, what may thys be?” And faste a-bowte he gan) to See. He blessydι hym thryes wyth goode entente. Þen) sayde he : “Lorde Omnipotente, Þat haste me sauedι alle thys waye, Be nowe my helpe, lorde, I þe praye; For I wot neuer what to do, Yeffe thy grace go nowe me ffro.” He gan) fulle faste loke a-bowte, Howe he myghte do he hadι grette dowte. Then) In þe chymneye he sawe a ffyre, And to þe ffyre he drewe hym nere, Þe ryaɫɫ fyre and þe bed he gan) be-holde, Cloþes he sawe fulle mony a ffolde Off golde fulle ryche, hyt ys no drede. The grette rycħe[s] ys nowe no nede Me to deuyse, ne hyt to telle, Hyt were fuɫɫ longe for me to dwelle. Owte of þe chamber þe lyghte fortħ yede, Then) gan) þys chylde haue mykeɫɫ drede, And þoȝte: “Allas, what may I do, Nowe þys lyghte ys gonne me fro ?” A Shete of raynes fuɫɫ fayre I-sprade Vppon) a forme ryghte by þe bedde He sawe, and downe þer-on) hym sette, And þoȝte he wolde wyth-owte lette Make hym redy. What shulde he do ? He þoȝte he wolde to bedde go. Hys Spores a-none were of I-take, No lenger þoȝte he for to wake. Off gowne, of hosen), of gon) hys shone; In-to þe bedde he yede a-none;











The torches disappear.

Partonope goes to bed.

32Þe cloþes to hym fulle softe he drowe. I trowe of fere he had I-nowe, For þen he sawe þe chamber aɫɫ derke, He þoȝte thys was a wonder werke. [leaf 15] For fere he dryste not ryglite weɫɫ slepe, He was In better poynte to wepe.  Thys lay he stylle aɫɫ in a traunse;  He was a-ferde of some myschaunse  Shulde hym be-falle or hyt was daye. And as he was In thys a-ffraye, And hys herte fulle nere quappynge, In þe flore he herde comynge A þynge fulle softely what euer hyt were, Where-off fully he gan) to fere. Meruayle he hadι what hyt myghte be. “Allas þe tyme,” then) sayde he, “That euer I was of woman) bore, For welle I Avotte I am) butte lore.” Vnder þe cloþys he can) hym hyde, And drow hym to þe beddys syde, Weny[n]g1 hyt had ben) sum euylle þynge That he herde in þe flore comynge. And þen) hyt was, wyth-owten drede, A yonge mayde, ho so luste to rede The story in frenshe, þer shalle he se She was a laydy of grette degre, That homely to hyr owne bedde come. And wytħ hyr hondes vppe she nome The cloþys alle, and In dyd crepe, For þer she wolde, she þoȝte, slepe. Whether she were fayre or ellys no, Nere þe chylde she dressydι here tho. Stylle sho lay, and no-þynge sayde, A grette whyle after þat she was layde; For she ne herde ne felte no-þynge Off Partonope þat was so yenge. Fulle stylle he lay and durste not stere, Hys herte was so fulle of ffere, For he ne wyste what þynge hyt was. Me þynketħe he stode in a wonder case :

The room becomes dark.

A lady joins him in the bed.

Both lie still.











33In bedde they be thes to yonge, They neyther to other sayde no-þynge. The to n ¯ dar not for very fere, Þe tother for shame can no chere. A-shamed she ys for wommanhede, Thynkenge þat she haþe in here bedde A lusty man), and she I-wys [leaf 15, back] Wettynge welle a mayde she ys, Here maydenhode so yonge for to lese, Supposyng welle she may not chese, As she þat had in socħe plygħte Here-selfe broghte; for alle here delyte And aɫɫ here plesaunce was hym to haue To here husbande, and so to saue Here worshyppe; for fully þys was her þoȝte. Off alle þe worlde no-þynge she Roghte, Off kyn), ne ffrynde, ne creature, But þynkyng1 howe sho myghte endure Euer of hym to haue plesauns; For she wytħ-owten) varyauns Purposyd euer to ben) hys. What say ye loueres, was hyt not thys A gentylle herte of here þys was, Off hygħe borne, and in sucħe case Had broȝte here-selfe in blame and balawnce, That here honowre lay in sucħe chaunse ? But here-after she fownde hym vntrewe. Alle here lyffe she myghte welle rewe Vppon) hyr-selfe, and ecħe man) haue rowtħe, That euer so fayre on) for here trowþe Falssely shulde deseyuedι be Off here lofe in eny degre. Butte atte þys tyme I wolle no more Speke of þys mater, ne trete be-fore Off parellys after þat may be-falle. But to þat* lady I clepe and calle That Venus ys calledι, goddas of loue, Þat in heuen sytteste a-boue,

1231. On margin of MS. in the same hand: notatur.

1245. MS. adds day before lady.











The Translator’s, or an Interpolator’s, reflections on the situation.

34Brynge þys lady to here desyre, Þat haste so sore sette on) ffyre In here serues þys her trowbeɫɫ herte, Þat she here-after fele no smerte For here trowþe, ne for here kyndenes. Alle nyghte þus In grette dystresse Lyetħe þys goodely lady ffre. For alle þys worlde not not she In what wyse she myghte beste Be acquontede wyth here geste, Wyth here loue þat was so dere. Ofte þer-fore she chawngetħ chere, And In here-selfe thynketħe thys : “Yeffe I make hym chere, I-wysse, [leaf 16] I am a-ferde leste he wolle wene, And here-efter of me deme Other-wyse þen godely were, Thys ys alle my moste ffere, And falle here-after in Ielosye, And parauenture þynke þat I Off a-nother wolle be wonne As lyghtely, and þen were be-gonne An endeles sorowe for euer-moo, Then) were my Ioye for euer goo.” Thus laye þys lady arguynge In here-selfe and sore fferynge, Prayinge Gode of hys grace To be here conselle In þys case. Thus caste she perellys, and In grette fere Lyetħe alle nyghte, and I dar swere On) the toder syde Partonope Ys so a-ferde þat trewly he Wenetħe fully for to be dedde. He can) no concelle ne no redde, But lyetħe as stylle as any stone. He not to home to make hys mone, But wenytħe hyt were Illusione

1251. fle crossed out before fele.

1264. of me seems to be crossed out before þen.

1273. sore] e (or u ?) corrected from some other letter.

The lady is afraid that the guest should think her too forward.

Partonope fears the devil is at work.











35Off þe deuylle and of conivrysone, Dar he not speke In no wyse. Lette se nowe ho can beste deuyse Þes tweyne to make a-quentydι to be. For sotħe I dar welle seye þat she For shamefaste dar noȝte saye, The toder wenetħ for to dye.  Off alle þys fere make we a fyne.  Þe ffrenshe boke fulle welle In Ryme  Telletħe hyt shortely, and noȝte in prose. Ther-fore fully I me purpose After myn) auctorʾ to make an) ende. Thy[s] fayre lady þat was so hende, Streyghte forþe here legge, and happedι to ffele, Trewly þe ffrenshe boke seyetħ þe hele Off þys wofulle Partonope. “Owte ! alias þen! “sayde [s]he, And In a maner gan to crye, For sotħe I wolle not lye, Myne auctor seyetħe hyt was not lowde. Hyt semedι welle for soþe she cowde [leaf 16, back] Mykelle goode, and þer-fore she Spake fulle softe, for þer shulde be No grette a-ffray, ne no sterynge. She þoȝte þys mater In to brynge That here worshyppe sauydι were, For þat euer was here moste ffere. As In anger tho she sayde thys: “Owte of my bedde, thow mester man), Hye þe faste, and þat a-none! Hoo may þou be ? what doste þou here ? Hyt were better for þe þou were An hunderdι thowsande myle henne. For and hyt were wyste of my men), Thowe sholde not skape, þou shuldeste be dedde. Hey þe faste owte of my bedde. For and I crey and make a-ffray, Or yeffe þou ly stylle tylle hyt be daye, Haddeste thowe an honderde mennes lyves,

1317. MS. scarcely thowsonde.










The lady happens to touch Partonope.

She orders him angrily to leave the bed.

36Thowe shuldeste ben) alle to-hewe wyth knyves. Hey þe faste þat þou were hennes ! Ey mayde Mary ! of what contre or whennes Arte þou come so boldely In-to thys contre ? I telle þe I Am quene and lady of þys londe. How dorste þou euer take on) honde In-to bedde onus thy ffote to sette Wyth-owte my leve ? Fulle euelle mette Shalte þou be or to-morowe nonne; For þou shalte se þan) fulle sone Thowe shalte wyth ffeterys be harde knytte, And depe þrowe downe In-to a pytte, Where þou shalte neuer þy hondes see As longe on) lyve as þowe shalte be. Allas, allas ! betrayedι I am Of a comelynge straunge, a stronge man).”  Thys yonge man, þys Partonope,  A-ffrayde he was, but yet was he  Comfortedι weɫɫ in oo þynge. He wyste welle, wyth-owte lesynge Hyt was ne deuelle ne no ffynde For he herde her haue in mynde Crystes moder, the mayden) Mary. [leaf 17] And be þat worde he gan) a-spy Hyt was a woman), what euer she were, But of o thynge he was to lere Whether she were wydo, mayden), or wyffe. But glade was he þat of hys lyffe He howpetħe fully to be in swerte, For he wyste welle syker þat she Was of so hye kynrede borne, Alle-þo she hadι spoke be-fforne Wordes of malys and cruelte, Yette fully trustetħ and howpetħ he That he shalle haue of hyr fulle grace. And þer-wyth-alle he pynketħ to enbrace Thys ffayre lady in hys armes too. Then) he be-thoȝte hym, and I do soo, I notte þer-of what harme myghte falle.

She is the Queen of the country.

Partonope hopes to obtain the lady’s favour.











37And ryghte a-non) þer-wyth-alle He gan) to Sygħe fulle pytuosly: “Medame,” he sayde, “I axe mercy Off yow þat arne so mercyable, For I wolle make to yow no ffabelle, Butte telle yow playnely my desece, In howpe yowre wratħe to a-pese And stoppe alle yowre malencoly. Thys ys þe soþe, medame, þat I Happed to chase a wylde beste Yender in Arderne, þat huge foreste. A bore hyt was, I wolle not ly, After hym so faste I ganne to hy, Tylle derke nyghte felle vppo n ¯ me; And þen I myghte no lenger see Thys wylde borre fortħ to chase. And þen I poȝte to chese a place Where-In þat I myghte be Herberowedι; an hy vppon) a tre I me sette for very ffere, For I sawe alle a-bowte me where Wylde bestes fulle þyke layen). I was fulle Sore a-ferde to dyen) Alle þat nyghte, tylle hyt was daye. And In þe mornynge for soþe I saye [leaf 17,back] A shyppe rydynge in þe see. Thyder þoȝte to hye me, And [when] I to þe shyppe kame, Off þe fayrenes grette kepe I name, And þer I howpedι refresshydι to be. Theder-In þerfore I hyedι me Wyth myne hakeney in my honde. And þus, medame, in-to thys londe I am come and in-to þys cyte, Where-of ye clayme lady to be, And in-to bedde wyth-owten) leve. Ther-fore I pray yowe noȝte to greue. For alle þys day in þe towne I haue go botħ vppe and downe.

1382. any crossed out before an.











He relates his adventure, and how he has come to the country

38Man) ne chylde cowde I non) see; And þus my-selfe I herborowedι me; Where-fore, my lady, mercy I cry. For truly, medame, þoȝe I shulde dy, And I shulde departe yowe fro, I notte to home ne wheder to go. I knowe no cuntre fer ne nere, And þus I am yowre presonere. Blessydι be fortune þat wyth hys whele Hatħ alle my sorowe turnedι to wele, For þer I wende wyth wylde beste Haue be deuowredι in yon) fforeste, Haþe me sende in-to yowre honde, Þat arne chyffe lady of alle þys londe, To be my lady and my gyde. What euer ye wolle þat me be-tyde, I wolle þe same, what euer hyt be, My dere lady, haue mercy on) me.”  “SIr,” sayde þys lady, - “I haue not to do  Off þyne ese ne of þyne woo,  Butte faste I bydde þe hey þe henne. For wytte ryghte weɫɫ þat I haue men) Þat wolle a-raye the fulle Ille, And þer-fore wytħ þy goode wylle I conselle þe faste hens to gone. Wette ryghte welle I am not allone.” “MAdame,” he sayde, “hyt ys no skylle, Ne resone neyþer, but by yowre wylle, [leaf 18] That euer I shulde here he[r]borowde be, Saue onely þorowe yowre benygnite And yowre gracius homanhede, Where-of I truste ye wolle take hede.”  “Syr, hyt nedytħe no man) yowe teche  Off fantesy ne of ffayre speche,”  Sayde thys lady. “I fele ryghte welle, Butte alle þys helpetħ þe neuer a delle, For þoȝe þowe were as worthy a knyghte As euer was moste worthy, be nyghte I haue knyghtes faste me be-syde

1436. s crossed out before of.

The lady repeats her command.

Partonope asks her permission to stay.

She threatens him.











39That shulle a-bate alle thy pryde.”  “MAdame,” sayde Partonope,  “Gode for-bede þat euer shulde be  In me founde suche a-vyse, Ye myghte welle saye I were to nyse, Yowe to showen) dysdayne or pryde. For I woɫɫ neuer be but glade to a-byde And stonde to yowre ordynaunce, And what euer so be my happe or chawnce, Þoȝe yowre knyghtes shulde me slene, I wolle no ferther, I may not flene. I say for me I wolle not ryse. I can) not þynke In what wyse I myghte owte of þys chamber passe. I putte me holy in yowre grace.”  “Syr,” she sayde, “ryse vppe a-none,  And I my-selfe woɫɫ wyth þe gone,  And to þe dore I wolle þe lede. Thy[s] ys my conselle and my rede. Yeffe of my conselle ye geffe no forse, To-morowe ye shulle wyth wylde horse Be alle to-drawe as sone as daye, Thys ys fulle sotħe, wyth-owten) nay.”  “MEdame,” he sayde,“truly,  I may not go, I am so wery,  Ther-fore yowre mercy euer I crye. And yeff so be þat I shalle dye, And wyth my detħe I may yowe plese, Thys ys to me a ryghte grette ese. For yeff ye woɫɫ I drawe be Wyth hors and hongedι on) a tre, Rather þen) we de-parte a-twy n ¯ , [leaf 18, back] I geffe yowe lefe wytħ-owte sy n ¯ Thys to sle me, so Gode me saue, Recke I not yowre mercy to haue.”  Thys yonge man), thys Partonope,  What more to sey wotte not he  But suffer hys payne pacyently, In truste, in howpe to haue her mercy.

1419. to yowre crossed out before stonde.











Partonope insists on staying.

The lady orders him once more to rise.

Partonope refuses

40He sykedι softely, he lyetħe fulle stylle, As he þat dar not say owte hys wylle. When thys lady þys sykynge herde, Here herte wyth-in her body fferde Lyke as þe leffe dotħe on) a tre, When hyt ys blowe, as þou may see, Wyth hydowesse wynde and tempaste grette. Here body was colde, yette dydι she swete; Hyt semedι as þowe hyt hadι be Travelydι wyth þat in-ffyrmyte That ffefer ys clepedι, or else þe agwe. She gan) her repente and also rewe Off thys desese þat sho had do To þe chylde; sho þoȝte also He was but yonge and tender of age, Borne and brogħte forþe of heye parage. “Allas,” she þoȝte, “þe ylke nyghte and whyle Þat euer I shulde hym so fowle revyle, As þowe he were of no degre.” In here herte she gan) to haue pyte. Faste vppon) hym þe mastery take, Sho þoȝte fully a-mendes to make. And wyth þat she be-gan) to wepe; The ters ranne downe by here cheke. Sho sobbed, she sykedι petuesly, Sho porposedι her to aske mercy Off hym þat fayne wolde mercy haue. Nowe me þynketħ, so Gode me saue, Sho owte of very homanhede Off hys desese to take grette hede. And so sho dydι, þys ys no naye; For also syker as any daye, Ther ys in ertħe no-þynge * so kynde As be þys wymmen), ther as þey fynde Here serwandes trewe and stydfaste. [leaf 19] Ther-fore þys lady at the laste þoȝte fulle on) hym to haue pyte.

1506. s crossed out after to.

1513. MS. þyngo.

The lady takes pity on him.










41She haþe loste here wordes of cruelte, And syketħe and wepytħ tenderlye. And þen) a-none fulle softely, Ther as sho fryste to hym warde laye, On) here ryghte syde, þys ys no naye, Fro hym sho turned to þe lyfte syde. So nye hym sho þoȝte sho nolde not abyde. And þus sho lyetħe as stylle as a stonne. Then) þoȝte þys chylde : “What shalle I done? Sho ys turnedι a-way fro me. I wolle here folowe, what euer Sho be.” Fro hym) he putte fortħe hys honde. He soghte faste, tylle þat he fonde Thys yonge lady, I yowe ensewre. But sucħe a-nother creature He ffelte neuer of flesche and bonne, And nere þys lady he gan) to gonne. Ouer here hys arme he gan) to laye, Thys ys soþe as I yowe saye. So softe, so clene she was to fele Þat where he was he wyste not welle. Plesaunee had hym ouer-come Þat aɫɫ hys wyttes were fro hym nome.  Whan þys lady hys honde can) fele,  Whatte to done sho wotte not welle;  But ferssely hys honde sho put a-gayne, Turnedι her to hym warde, and sayde : “Lette ben)! Be warre,” sho sayde, “whatte woɫɫ ye do?” Thys chylde no-þynge durste say þer-to For very shame, but stylle he laye Ney alle þe nyghte tylle on) þe daye. Thys laye þey stylle be on) a-corde, He durste not speke for alle þe worlde. Thys lay þey stylle, tylle at þe laste After hys lady he gan) to graspe Wytħ hys honde fuɫɫ cowardely. And forth wyth-aɫɫ fuɫɫ faste bye Thys ffayre lady he can) hym laye. [leaf 19, back]

1554. S crossed out after fuɫɫ.










Partonope approaches her.

He embraces the lady.

42For shame he durste no worde seye Tylle longe and late, and atte þe laste Hys arme ffreshely he ouer her caste, And she hyt sufferedι pasyentlye. Than) sayde sho to hym fuɫɫ mekely : “For þe loue of Gode, I praye yowe lette be.” And wyth þat worde a-none ganne he In hys armes her faste to hym brase. And fulle softely þen) sho sayde : “Allas !” And her legges sho gan) to knytte, And wyth hys knees he gan) hem on)-shote. And þer-wyth-aɫɫ she sayde : “Syr, mercy !” He wolde not lefe ne be þer-by; For of her wordes toke he no hede; But þys a-way her maydenhede Haþe he þen) rafte, and geffe her hys. Thus Entergamynydι they I-wys. Suche game a-fore he neuer a-sayde. Thys yonge lady was alle dysmayde Off her-selfe, for trewly she In suche a plyȝte had neuer erste be.* Thus haþe she sufferydι, sho seyetħ ryȝte noȝte, Butte lyetħe fulle stylle alle in a thoȝte, Tylle atte þe laste, wyth voyse fuɫɫ basse, Twyes she sayde : “Allas, allas, That I am sore and also wery ! For, syr, I telle yowe truly, Had I had strenghte or ells myghte, I dar welle say In aɫɫ þys fflyghte Ye shulde not haue had þat now ye haue. But welle I wotte, so Gode me safe, Myne a-mendes ys aɫɫ I-made.” And wyth þat worde she wox aɫɫ sadde, And tenderly she gan) to wepe. “My sorowe,” sho sayde, “ys not to seke.” Þat worde herde Partonope. “My dere herte,” þen) sayde he, “Be not heuy, ne be not wrotħe, For I wolle make to yow an) wotħe,

1566. on] o like a.

1576. MS. ben).

She is sad, and begins to weep.

Partonope comforts her.











43As sore as euer ye wolle me charge. Þoȝe I were ryghte nowe at large, As I am yowre presonere, I wolle be botħe ferre and nere       at youre Off mony a semely manne they me tolde, [leaf 20] Off knyghtes þat were in batayle fuɫɫ bolde, Off mony on) fulle of gentylnes. Butte for to speke of more or lesse, They that in Fraunce haue be, Toke grette hede in euery degre Wycħe beste shulde be for my prowe. Than) had they moste Ioye of yowe. Þey tolde me they had fownde A man), to secħe þe worlde so rownde, Sucħe a-nother myghte nonne be Fownde ther-In in alle degre. Semely he was and also yonge, And cosyn) he was vn-to þe kynge, Broghte forþe and borne of hey degre. Hys name [they sayde] ys Partonope. Off yowe they tolde so grette goodenesse, Off hey bewte so grette noblesse, Of curtesy so grette abondans, Þat þorowe alle þe remme of Fraunce Off gentylnes ye bere þe pryse, As off yowre age also ryghte wyse.

1598. Catch-word At youre. The vellum ends here, the rest of the MS. is written on paper. One leaf, scarcely more, is lost in the middle. The Lady here makes herself known as Queen of Byzantium. As the Lords of the Empire wished her to marry, she had sent envoys round all the world.

1606. hod ? crossed out before had.

1620. As] MS. a kind of inverted short s, somewhat like a d. It may have been meant for as or and.








The envoys sent to France had seen Partonope, and praised him so much, that she at once fell in love with him, and determined to go to France.

Univ. Coll. MS.

1 A man), To seche the worlde Rounde,

Of yow tolde so grete goodenesse,

Swicħe a-nother mygħt none be 1609

So hygħ beaute, so mocheɫɫ nobylnesse,

Founde as he was in alle degree.

Of curtasy so grete habundaunce, 1617

Semely he was and also ying, [1 leaf 1]

That thurgħ-oute alle the Rewme of Fraunce

And cosyn) nygħ vn-to the kyng, 1612

Brougħt fortħe and brone of hygħ degree.

Of gentylnesse ye berytħ the pryse,

Hys name they sayde ys Partanope.

And as of yong age also Rygħt wyse.

44Thys was proclaymedι þe hey renowne Off yowre manhode þorowe euery towne. Of yowre hey worshyppe when I hyt herde, Trewly, my Ioye, myn) herte fferde As [thoȝe] hyt hadde ffully be For euer rauesshydι [awey] fro me. And gode of lone þer-wyth a-none So sharpely shotte hys fyre flone Thorowte myne ere in-to myne herte þat In no wyse I myghte a-sterte To yowe onely for to obeye me To loue yowe beste in alle degre. Þen porposydι I me a-none Þat In-to Fraunce I wolde gon) To haue knowlage of yowre persone, And thus my-selfe aɫɫ a-lone Shope me for to passe þe see. Wyth me þer were [but] maydenes iij. And streyghte in-to Normande [leaf 20, back] Ouer the see, not for to lye, I Sayledι, and ryuedι atte a porte, Wycħe hauen) [ys] I-namedι Tresporte. Frome thens streyghte in-to Fraunce I yede to see the Ordynaunce Off þe kynge and of hys mayne. And ther I sawe, my loue, howe ye Were moste playinge wyth þe kynge. Hyt semedι weɫɫ he louydι yowe a-bofe aɫɫ þynge;

She landed at Tresport.








Univ. Coll. MS.

Thus was proclamed the hygħ renown)

To haue knowlecħ of youer persone,

Of youre manhode thurgħ euery thown).

And thus my-self alle alone 1636

Of youre hye worshi p ¯ when I hit herde,

Shope me for to passe the See.

Wytħ me were but mayndens thre,

Trewly, my Ioye, myn) hert ferde 1624

And streygħt in-to Normandye

As thogħ hit hadde fully be

Ouer the See, not for to lye, 1640

For euer ravesshed a-way fro me.

I sayled, and Ryved at a porte,

And god of love therwitħ a-none

Whicħ haven) ys named Tresporte.

So sharply shotte hys fyry flone 1628

From) thenuys streigħt in-to Fraunce

Thurgħ-oute myn) Ere in-to my hert

I yede to see the ordynaunce 1644

That in no wyse I mygħt astert

Of the kyng and of his meyne,

But onely for to obey me

And there I sawe, my love, how ye

To love yow best in alle degree. 1632

1 Were moost Plesyng witħ the kyng.

And than) I purposid me a-none

Hyt semed he loved yow a-boue alle thyng; [l leaf 1, back] 1648

That I wolde in-to Fraunce gone

1628. MS. flome.

45Alle þat ye dydι was hys a-corde, Ye were be-louydι wyth alle þe worlde. There sawe I yowe ffryste, my nowne Ioye. Heuy I was to departe yowe ffro. xv dayes I sogernydι ther; And þat tyme myne herte dydι lere A-boue alle other to loue yowe beste. And streyghte fro thens to þe fforeste Off Arderne þe kynge shope hym to come To chasse þe boore,* as he was wonne. Alle thys dydι I þorowe my crafte, Tylle I hadde yowe frome hym rafte. The boore I made so faste to ffle, For I wyste welle, my loue, þat ye Wyth cruelle herte ye wolde hym chasse. And so ye dydι, tylle in sucħe place He yowe broghte, tylle ye ne wyste Where þat ye were in þat fforeste. Thys borre aɫɫ day chassedι ye, Tylle nyghte ffylle on), ye myghte not se. And* on) the morowe, when hyt was daye, I made yowe se a shyppe fulle gaye By an) anker rydynge on) the see. Alle þys was made by crafte of me. Thys crafte I dydι, yette more I can). In alle þys tyme sawe [me] no man), Ne noghte shalle vn-to þe daye Þat I be weddydι, þys ys no naye.

1658. boore] MS. dere.

1669. And] MS. Tylle.








Through her witch-craft she made Partonope follow the boar.

She sent the enchanted ship, herself being invisible all the time.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Alle that ye dyd was his a-corde,

Wytħ crueɫɫ hert wolde hym chaace.

Ye were be-lovyd of alle the worlde.

And so ye dyd tylle in swche place

There see I yow first, myn) owne Ioye.

He yow brought, tyl ye ne wyst 1665

Hevy I was to departe fro yow away.

Where that ye were in that forest.

Fyftene dayes I soiourned there; 1653

This boore alle day thus chased ye,

And in this tyme myn) hert did bere

Tylle nygħt fylle on), ye mygħt not see.

A-boue alte other to love yow best.

And in the morow, whan) hit was day,

And streygħt from) thens to the forest

I made yow see a Ship p ¯ fuɫɫ gay 1670

Of Ardern) the kyng shope hym) to come

By Ankyr rydyng in the See.

To chaace the Boore, as he was wonne.

Alle this was made thorow crafte of me.

Alle this dyd I thurgh my crafte,

Thys crafte dyd I, yet more I canne.

Tylle I had yow from) hym) rafte. 1660

Of alle this tyme say me no man),

The Boore I made so fast flee,

Ne not ne shaɫɫ in-to that day 1675

For wele I wyst, my love, that yee

That I be weddyd, thys ys no nay.

46Where-fore, my loue, I yowe praye That ye neuer here-after þynke ne saye That I shulde euer to hasty bee [leaf 21] To loue lyghtely, in no degre, To parforme any other hys plesyre, Alle-thowe I suffer yowre desyre. For when ye enterydι in-to thys eyte, I hadι ordeynedι, my loue, þat ye Shulde haue byn) herberydι at yowre ese. For alle þynge þat myghte yowe plese, As ferforthe as Gode sende me wytte, I hadde fully ordeynedι hyt In a palys fulle delectabelle— Leuytħe hyt weɫɫ, þys ys no ffabelle— Ther I had ordaynedι ye shulde haue be Seruydι worehypfully for yowre degre, Tylle I hadι holde my parlemente, And alle my lordes, be on) a-sente, Hadden) fully a-cordette be That ye shulde haue weddedι me. And I þoȝte be on) a-corde Ye shulde haue be my souerayne lorde. In-to a palys, þat ys large and wyde, I sawe yowe enter, and þer-In a-byde Wolde ye notte; but In þe palys Þat pryncipalle was, a-pon þe deyse, Homely ye sate, my nowne swete.

She had made everything ready for him in the city, but he proceeded on his way, till at last she finds him in her bed.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Where-fore, my love, I yow pray 1677

That I had ordeynyd ye shulde haue be

That neuer here-after ye thynk ne say

Servyd worshi p ¯ fully for youre degree,

That I shulde euer to hasty be

Tylle I had holde my parlament, 1693

To love lygħtly in ony degree 1680

And alle my lordys, by one assent,

To parfourme now alle my desyre,

Hadde fully therto accorded be

Therfore I suffer alle youre plesyre.

That ye shulde haue weddyd me. 1696

For whan) ye entred in-to this Citee,

And thus I thougħ[t] by her accorde

I had ordeynyd, my love, that yee

Ye shulde haue ben) my souerayn) lord.

Shulde haue ben) herbowred at youre ease. [1 leaf 2] 1685

In-to a paleys, that ys large and wyde,

1 For alle thyng that mygħt yow please,

I say yow entre, and theryn) a-byde

As ferfortħ as euer God sent me wytte,

Wolde ye not / but in the paleys, 1701

I hadde fully ordeynyd hite 1688

That principaɫɫ was / there vppon) the days

In a paleys fuɫɫ delectable—

Leuytħ weɫɫ this ys no fable—

Homely ye seeten), myn) owne swete.

47There sawe I yowe botħe drynke and ete. And after þat, when þat ye luste, To a chamber ye wente to haue yowre reste. Ye sparedι not In-to ray bedde Homely to* gonne, alle on)-ledde. On)-ware of me I fynde yowe here. Ryghte welcome be ye, my herte dere, My hertes Ioy, myn) erthely make. In euylle I pray yowe ye ne take Thoȝe I sufferʾ yowrʾ plesauns. I se þat hyt ys the ordynauns Off gode of loue, howe sore me smerte. Hyt was me shape or then) my serke.”  “MI dere lady,” sayde Partonope,  “By yowre wordes I fele þat ye  Haue byseedι yowe botħe ferre and nere Off myne astate besely for to enquere. Ey yowre wordes I fele ryghte welle [leaf 21, back] Ye knowe my conselle euery delle, Wheder hyt haþe ben) wysdome oþer foly. Ther-fore wyth alle my herte nowe I Thanke yowe, my nowne herte dere, Off thys plesauns þat I hadι here. Where-fore I pray yow euer þat ye Wolle þynke þat I shalle euer be Trewe to yowe wyth-owten varyans,

1708. to] MS. ye.

1718. fl crossed out before fele.

1724. MS. alle twice.








Partonope thanks the Lady for the welcome she has given him, and protests that he will always be faithful to her.

Univ. Coll. MS.

There say I yow bothe drynk and ete.

“MY dere lady,” sayde Partanope,

And afterwardι, when) ye lyst, 1705

“By youre wordes I see that yee

To chambyr ye went to haue youre Rest.

Haue besyed yow botħe ferre and nere

Of myn) astate besyly to enquere. 1720

Ye spared not in-to my bedde

For by youre wordes I fele rygħt wele

Homely to gone alle vnbeede, 1708

That ye know my gouernaun[c]e euery dele,

Vnware of me I fynde yow here.

Rygħt welcome ye be, myn) hert dere,

Whether hyt hatħ be wisdom) or ellys foly, [1 leaf 2, back]

Myn) hertys Ioye, myn ertħly make,

In euyɫɫ I pray yow that ye ne take

There-fore wytħ alle myn) hert now I

Thougħ I suffre alle youre plesaunce,

1 Thank yow, myn) owne herte dere,

Sythen) I see hyt ys the ordynaunce

Of this plesaunce that I haue now here.

Of god of love, how sore I smert.

Where-fore thogħ that euer ye

Hyt was me shape rather than) my shert.” 1716

Wylle thynk that I shaɫɫ euer be 1728

Trew to yow wythouten) varyaunce,

48And euer-more gladde to do yowe plesauns A-bofe alle other creature; Thys I am redy yowe to ensewre By othe or bonde, or in whatte wyse Yowre gentylle herte can) beste deuyse. Welle I wotte I am yowe dere, Setħe ye haue chose me to be yowre ffere.* Ne trewly I can) not þynke þat ye Wolle euer in any wyse be Wonne lyghtely frome me in any wyse, Sucħe thoȝte in me shalle neuer ryse. Ne In yowre herte lette no ffoly Brynge to yowre mynde þat Ielosy Shulde euer sucħe a master be Þat I shulde þynke, my lady, þat ye In yowre herte cowde be vntrewe, Or lyghtely chaunge [me] for a newe. For welle I wotte here be-fore I haue dradι Ielosy, butte [n]euer-more Efter thys day haue hym in mynde Þat ffals traytore þat ofte reste vnkynde, That loueres made vnstydfaste Tylle here loues, tyɫɫ at þe laste Here grette loue was broghte to hate, And after þat for euer debate.

1736. MS. setħe (or sethen) I haue chose yowe to be my ffere.

1746. Second chaunge crossed out.

1749. myn crossed out before mynde.

1752. loueres crossed out before loues.

Partonope warns against jealousy.







Univ. Coll. MS.

And euer-more gladde to do yow plesaunce

Bryng to youre mynde that Ielowsy

Shaɫɫ euer so ouer-maystry me

A-boue any ertħly creature;

That I shulde thynk, my lady, that ye

This am I redy yow to ensure 1732

In youre hert couth be vntrew, 1745

By othe or bonde in what wyse

Or lygħtly chonge me for ony new.

Youre gentyle hert best canne devyse.

For wele I wote here be-fore

And welle I wote I am) youre dere,

I haue dredde Ielowsy, but neuer-more

Sytħ ye haue chose me to youre feere,

After this day haue hym in mynde 1749

Ne trewly I canne not thynk that ye

That fals traytoure that ofte ys vnkynde,

Wolde euer in ony wyse be 1738

Hatħ lovers made and vnstedfast

Wonne lygħtly in me in ony wyse

To her loves, tylle at the last, 1752

Swycħ thougħt fro me shaɫɫ neuer aryse. 1740

There grete love was / hatħ brougħt in hate,

Ne in youre hert let no foly

And afterwarde euermore a debate.

49And alle hys crafte ys but fals ymagynacion) Off þat was neuer put in exsecucione; As ofte tyme a man) shalle dreme a þynge Þat ys in-possibeɫɫ, and yet in slepynge He shalle wene hyt myghte be ryghte weɫɫ, And þat hyt were as soþe as þe gospelle. Thys case felle onus in thys same londe [leaf 22] Off a man) þat bare hys wyffe on) honde Þat he was Cokoolde, and sho was to hym vntrewe, For euery day þat he wolde loue a newe. Yette cowde he neuer put þys þynge in preve. Þat he was cokoolde, hyt was hys fulle be-leve, And euer hys wyffe wepte and sayde naye. The sely woman) was In grette affraye, And he so sore ymagenedι of þys thynge That on) a nyghte, as he lay slepynge, Ielosy þoȝte he wolde make hym a-fferde. He þoȝte he sawe hys neyȝbore drawe owte hys swerde, And fulle hys scawbarte he þoȝte þat he pyssedι. When he had don), where he be-come he nyste. Owte of hys slepe woddely he a-woke, For-ferde of Ielosy aɫɫ hys body quoke. “Owte, allas !” sayde he, “þat I was boore ! Nowe hyt ys worse þen ever hyt was be-fore. For welle I wotte be myne ymaginacion) The dede ys done and put in exsecucion). My dreme haþe showedι me by expereauns He þat pyssedι he[re]in my presauns In my scawbarde, he haþe don) þe dede.” And þus Ielosy haþe quytte þe fole hys mede. And þerfore putte Ielosy owte of mynde; For In þat case ye shalle me neuer ffynde, Þat euer mystrustye shalle I to yowe be. And do þe same, whylle þat ye lyffe, to me; And þen shalle owre hertes stonde in reste, And eche of vs shalle welle oþer truste.










An example of the effects of jealousy.

Univ. Coll. MS.

And alle hys crafte ys but fals Imaginaeion)

And ther-fore puttytħ Ielowsy oute of mynde; 1785

Of thyng that neuer was putt in execucion); 1756

For in that caas ye shuɫɫ me neuer fynde

That euer mystrusty shaɫɫ I to yow be.

As ofte tyme a man) shaɫɫ dreme of thyng

And do the same, whyle ye lyve, to me; [leaf 3]

That is vnpossyble, and yett in slepyng

And than) shulde bothe oure hertys stonde in rest, 1789

He shaɫɫ wene hyt mygħt be rygħt wele,

And that hit were as sotħe as gospeɫɫ.

For eche of vs sharɫɫ other welle trest.



50But yff I yowe louydι, for soþe I were vnkynde. To do my plesauns euer redy I yowe ffynde. Ther-to so softe, so fayre shape ye be, Þat and hyt lyke yowe I myghte yowe onus see, Ye shulde þer-wyth do me so hey plesauns, Hyt shulde neuer- passe owte of my remembrauns.”  “MI swete loue,” sayde þys lady fre,  “Ye shalle not fayle no nyghte to haue me  Redy to parforme yowre hertes desyre. In kyssynge, in felynge, and in aɫɫ þat may be plesyre, To yowe, my herte, I wolle euer redy be; Safe onely syghte desyre þat noghte of me, [leaf 22, back] Tylle tyme come, wyche ys neyder fer ne nere Butte too yere hen) and eue n ¯ halfe a yere. Thys shalle to yowe be no hevy a-bydynge. Off me ye shalle haue playe, specħe, and ffelynge, Howndes [and] hawkes ye shalle haue eke I-nowe, Mules and stedes also to bere yowe Botħe in foreste and eke also In ryvere, Where euer ye luste, ferre or else nere. Clothes of sylke ye shalle haue goode and fyne, Fyshe and fflesshe, goode bredde and eke goode wyne, Fayre townes and castelles to heɫɫ In your hede, And euery nyghte a favre* and a softe bedde,

1807. MS. perhaps ek.

1814. MS. adds fyre after fayre.

Partonope wishes to see the Lady, but she cannot comply with his desire till one year and a half has passed.

In the meantime he may have all kinds of pleasures.







Univ. Coll. MS.

But I yow loued, for sothe I were vnkynde.

But two yere henne and one half a yere, 1804

To my plesaunce euyr redy I yow fynde.

This shaɫɫ to yow be none hevy abydyng.

Therto so softe, so fayre shapte be ye,

That and hit lykyd yow I mygħt yow onys see,

Of me ye shulle haue speche, play, and felyng.

Ye shulde do me therwitħ so hye plesaunce,

Howndys and hawkys ye shuɫɫe haue y-now, 1807

Hyt shulde neuer passe oute of my remembraunee.” 1796

Mulys and Stedys redy to bere yow

Botħe in-to forest and in-to Ryuere,

“MY swete loue,” sayde this lady free,

Where euer ye lust, ferre or ellys nere.

“A nygħtys ye shulle redy haue me

Clothis of Sylk ye shaɫɫ haue goode and fyne,

To parforme alle youre hertys desyre.

In kyssyng, in feelyng at alle youre plesyre 1800

Fysshe and flessħ, goode Brede and rygħt goode wyne, 1812

To yow, my hert, I wylle euer redy be;

Fayre townes and Castellys to hylle in youre hede,

Saue onely sygħt desyre ye not of me,

Tylle tyme come, whicħ ys nother ferre ne nere

And euery nygħt a fayre and a softe bedde,

51And me þer-In redy yowe to comforte, Wyth alle my herte to make yowe dysporte. Otherʾ company gete ye non) but me Off no man) ne woma n ¯ , tyɫɫ þese yeres be Passedι and go n ¯ and fully broghte to ende. And be þat tyme þynge þat ys nowe blynde, Shalle be to yowe ryghte opon) I-nowe. Ye shaɫɫ se aɫɫ folke, and aɫɫ folke shaɫɫ se yowe. Be conseɫɫ of my kynges* ye shalle þen se I shaɫɫ be weddedι vn-to yowe, Partonope.* In thys mene whyle hyt shalle so ordenyte be Þys loue be-twyn) vs shaɫɫ be kepte preve. Be then shalle aɫɫ þe londe be [on] a-corde Assente ye shalle be my souerayne lorde. [Thynkytħ not this tyme shaɫɫ be to longe;] Þys ys þe acorde be-twyn) my lordes and me, Þat alle þys tyme sene shalle ye not be, Tylle I haue chosen) sucħe on) þat lyketħ me. Nowe haue I chose socħe on) as me luste to haue. Alle þys dydde I for yowe, so Gode me safe. Þe order of knyghtehode in þys tyme shaɫɫ ye take, Þe pepufɫɫ may yowe þen in no wyse for-sake. Hyt shaɫɫ on) yowe þen be so semely a syghte Þat þorowe þe worlde Þey cowde not chese a knyghte

1823. kynges] MS. knyghtes.

1824. MS. Partonape.







She will join him every night; otherwise he is to be alone.

When the time has expired, he is to marry the Queen by the assent of all her lords.

Univ. Coll. MS.

And me ther-in redy yow to Comforte,

Wytħ alle my herte to make yow dysporte. 1816

Other company gete ye none but me

Of man) ne woman), tylle these yeres be

Passyd and gone and fully brougħt to ende.

And by that tyme thyng that now ys blynde, 1820

Shaɫɫ be thenne to yow rygħt opyn) y-nowe.

Ye shulle see alle folke, and they shaɫɫ see yow.

Be Counsayle of alle my kyngys ye shaɫɫ than) see

I shaɫɫ be weddyd to yow, Partanope.

In this meane while hit shaɫɫ so ordeynyd be 1825

This love betwen) vs shaɫɫ be kept pryvee.

Be than) shaɫɫ alle my londe by one a-corde [leaf 3, back]

Assent that ye shaɫɫ be my souerayn) lorde. 1828

Thynkytħ not this tyme shaɫɫ be to longe;

This ys the agrement of my londe,

That say aɫɫ this tyme I shal not be

Weddyd / tylle I haue chose suche as lyketħ me. 1832

Now haue I chosen) one as me lyketħ to haue.

Alle this I dyd for yow, so God me save.

The ordre of knygħt in this tyme shaɫɫ ye take, 1835

The peple than) may not yow forsake.

Of yow than) shaɫɫ be so semely a sygħt

That in the worlde they cowde not chese a knygħt

52A more a-beller to be here gouernowre, Þoȝe þey wolde haue here lorde an) Emperowre. Off Ectorys blode ye be þat worthy knyghte, Where euer [he were] In batelle or in fyghte Off knyghte-hode euer he bare þe pryse a-waye. Ye know thys wylle, hyt may neuer be sayde nay. [leaf 23] Alle-way he louyde cheualrye. Þys was on) cause, my dere herte, þat I Chesse yowe to be my lorde and eke my loue, Þys ys trowþe be Gode þat syttetħe a-bofe. And setħe ye be come of gentylle blode, Off Ector of Troye, þat sette no pryse be goode, Butte sette hys loue euer in knyghte-hode, Loke ye sewe forþe þat no-belle blode, And sette yowre herte euer in cheualry. Loke In yowre persone fayle no curtesy, And be lowly to smale as welle as to grete, Þat men) mowe say þat passe by þe strete : “Loo, yender goþe the welle of gentylnes.” Þus shaɫɫ ye bere the name of hey nobles. Thys þorowe þe londe of yowe shalle ryse a fame, Þat þorowe þe worlde Enhaunsed shaɫɫ be your name, Wycħe shalle be so hey a Ioye to me Þat I may þonke Gode þat I may see

1849. MS. possibly sethen.

Being of Hector’s blood, he must show himself an accomplished knight.







Univ. Coll. MS.

A more able to be her governoure.

But sette his lust in higħ knygħthode,

Thougħ they wolde haue to her lorde an Emperoure. 1840

Loke yow sew fortħ that manhode,

And sette youre hert euer in cheualry.

Of Ectors blode ye be that worthi knygħt,

And in youre persone lat fayle no curtasy 1854

Where euer he were in batayle or fygħt,

And lowlynesse botħe to smalle and grete,

Of knygħthode he bare the pryse a-wey.

That they may say, as ye passe by strete:

Ye knowe this; hit may not be sayde nay.* 1844

“Loo, yonder gothe the welle of gentylnesse.” 1857

A-boue alle thyngys he loved cheualry.

Thus shaɫɫ ye bere the name of nobylnesse.

This was oo cause, myn) hert, that I

Chese yow to my lorde and eke my love,

Thorow the lande of yow shaɫɫ ryse a fame,

This ys troutħ by God that syttetħ aboue. 1848

And enhaunced shal be youre name,

Whicħ shaɫɫ so hye Ioye to me be

And sytħ be come of gentyle bloode,

That I mygħt thank God that day to see 1862

Of Ector that sette no pryse by goode,

1844–45. Inverted order of lines in MS.

53Þat ylke daye þat y was so fuɫɫ of grace Þat I be-sette my loue In so goode a place, To se my loue þe worthyeste of þe worlde. And goode, sw[e]te herte, beþe* nowe of myn) a-corde, And be not heuy, thowe ye may* notte se As yet my persone; for trewly hyt shaɫɫ not be Here after-warde owre botħes beste. Lette no socħe þoȝtes reve yowe of your reste, And loke here-after ye neuer desyrious be Be crafte of Nygromansy to haue þe syghte of me, Vn-to þe tyme þe day be come and goo Þat we mowe openly showe vs botħe too. For yeff ye do, trewly ye shalle be dedde. Ye mowe not scape, to ley a lasse wedde, And I shulde lese my name for euer-moo. My goode, dere herte, loke ye do neuer Soo. Alle socħe fantasyes, for Goddys loue, lette be; A-bofe aɫɫ þynge haue mercy, my swete loue, on) me !  MI fayre loue, my goode, swete herte dere,  Off my persone haue ye no ffere.  Demy tħe me not to be an) eueɫɫ þynge That shulde be crafte yowre sowle In synne brynge, Hytte to departe frome heuen) blysse.” [leaf 23, back] And wyth þat worde she can) hym kysse, Wyth wepynge, and sayde : “For soþe I am)

1866 MS. keþe.

1867. may] MS. me.

1869. A letter crossed out after beste.







If he tries to see her, it will prove fatal to both of them.

He has nothing to fear; she is a true Christian, and will not sin against Jesus.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Ye to haue goodely so moche grace;

And I shulde leese my name for euermoo.

Therto God send yow botħe tyme and space. 1864

My dere hert, loke ye do neuer soo.

And swete hert, be now of myn) a-corde,

Alle suche fantasyes now lat be;

1 As I haue yow chosen) for my lorde,

A-bove alle thyng save my worshi p ¯ and me. 1880

And be not hevy thogħ ye may not see

My persone /yet truly hit shaɫɫ be 1868

My fayre love, my swete hert dere,

Here-after for oure bothes best. [1 leaf 4]

Of me feere ye not in no manere;

Let no suche thougħtes reve youre Rest,

Ne demytħ that I shulde- be an evyɫɫthyng

And here-after ye neuer desyrous be

By ony crafte to haue the sygħt of me,

That shulde youre soule to myschief bryng, 1884

In-to the tyme that day be come and goo 1873

Hyt to departe fully fro hevyn) blysse.”

That we may opinly shew vs bothe two.

And with that worde She gan hym fast kysse.

And yf ye do otherwyse ye shaɫɫ be dede.

Ye mow not scape, thogħ ye wolde lay other wed 1876

Wytħ wepyng She sayde : “For sothe I am)

54Borne and broghte for-þe a trewe crysten) woman), And my lefe ys fully In Crystes lore, And euer haþe ben) setħe I was bore. Truste hyt weɫɫ, my dere loue, I woɫɫ not lye, I truste I[n] Cryste þat was borne of Marye, Þat boghte vs frome heɫɫ wyth hys presious blodde. I aske of yowe, my herte, neuer more goode Butte for hys loue þat ye wolle loue me beste. Þan) may I þynke my herte ys sette atte reste. For ye shalle neuer wytte me do any þynge To Ihesu Cryste þat shulde be dysplesynge; Þat ys euer and shalle be rayne entente Fully to kepe hys commawndemente. I Pray yowe, loue, þat ye woɫɫ do þe same. A-boue alle þynge I loue Ihesu name. Off alle þe worlde he ys lorde and syre; He made ertħe, water, Eyre, and ffyre. He ys maker of euery creature; He made man) euen) after hys ffygure.”  Whan sho had sayde, þus onsweredι Partonope :  “I am) ryghte gladde þat I may knowe and see  Þat ye truste and loue Gode almyghte. But sory I am) I may not haue þe syghte Off yowe þat ben) my souereyn) lady dere. I shalle fulle longe þynke* on) þys ij. yere And other halfe. Howe shaɫɫ I “þus endure ?

1890. MS. possibly sethen.

1912. MS. þynge.

Partonope is sorry that he is not allowed to see her.








Univ. Coll. MS.

Borne A trew Crystyn) woman), 1888

A-boue alle thing I love Ihesu ys name.

And my beleve ys fully Crystes lore,

Of alle the worlde he is lorde and Syre;

And euer hatħ ben) sytħ 1 was bore.

He made erthe, water, Eyre, and fyre.

My love, trustetħ wele, I welle not lye,

1 He ys maker of euery creature; 1905

I be-leve on) Cryste that was borne of Mary, 1892

And made man) after his fugure.”

That bougħt vs wytħ hys precious bloode,

Whan) She had saide, Thus answerid Partanope : [1 leaf 4, back]

I aske ol yow neuer no more goode

“I am) rygħt gladde that know and see

But for his love that ye love me best.

That ye trust and leeve on) God almygħt. 1909

Than) may I think that I am) in rest.

For to me ye shaɫɫ do that thyng 1897

But sory I am) that I may not haue the syght

That to Ihesu Cryst shulde be dysplesyng;

This ys and euer shaɫɫ be myn) entent

Of yow that be my lady souerayn) dere.

Fully to kepe his comaundement.

I shaɫɫ long think on) this two yere

I pray yow, love, that ye wylle do the same. 1901

And other half. How shaɫɫ I thus endure ? 1913

55Lette me yowe se, and I yowe ensvre.”— “Speketħ not of syghte, let aɫɫ þes wordes be. I pray yowe fully ye woɫɫ haue mercy on) me, And byse yowe aɫɫ-way myne honowre to saue, And saue your-selfe, þat ye no harme haue.” Partonope ys no we faste falle on) slepe. Hys fayre lady than) taketħe on) hym grette kepe, And kyssetħe hym swete, and þynketħ fully þat sho In other heuen) kepte neuer for to be. Offte sho was In porpose hym to wake To haue more plesauns of hym þat ys her make. Wytħ hym to play was aɫɫ her moste delyte. Yette alle her luste sho woɫɫ putte In respyte. [leaf 24] She þoȝte grette trauayle aɫɫ þat nyȝte hadι he; Hym to wake, hyt had ben) grette pyte. Stylle sho lay, tylle hyt was opyn) daye, That she myghte, In bedde as sho laye, Se þe sonne he[r] bemus sprede In so bryghte Þat aɫɫ þe chamber was laugħynge lyghte. Thys Partonope owte of hys slepe a-woke. As he caste vp hys ey, sodenly he gan) loke Alle a-bowte þe chamber; he sey so gret a lyghte, Alle þe dayes of hys lyffe he seye neuer socħe a syghte. Grette Ioye had he of þys chamber, as he myghte welle. Butte yette was þer on) pynge þat lykedι hym no delle: He lokedι after hys lady þat he louydι soo.








Partonope falls asleep.

When he awakes the next morning, the Lady is gone.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Lat me yow seen), and I yow ensure.”

She thougħt grete trauaile that nygħt had he;

“Spekytħ of no sewerte, lat alle this be.

I pray yow fully to haue mercy on) me,

Hym) to wake had She grete pyte. 1928

And besy yow myn) honoure for to save,

Stylle She lyetħ, tyɫɫ hit was vpon) day

And youre-self, that ye none ha[r]m haue.” 1918

That Beemys of the sonne than) She say.

Partanope ys now softe faɫɫ on) sleepe.

This Partanope of his sleepe a-woke*.

This fayre lady of hym) takytħ keepe,

As he cast vp his eye, sodenly gan) he loke 1934

And kyssith hym) swte, and thinkytħ that She 1921

A-boute the chamber, he sawe grete lyght;

In other hevyn) kepitħ neuer to be.

Ofte She was in purpose hym) to a-wake

In his lyffe sawe he neuer suche a sygħt,

To haue more plesaunce of hym), hir make. 1924

As he had of the chambre as mygħt wele.

Witħ hym) to play was hir moost delyte.

Yet oo thyng lyked hym) neuer a dele:

Yet alle hir lust she put in respyte.

He loked after his lady that he louyd soo. 1939

1933. MS. adds to before a-woke, which was first written a-wake.

56Hys lokynge seruyde hym not, for sho ys frome hym goo, That feletħe thys wofulle Partonope. “Allas,” he sayde, “what may thys be ? My Ioye ys gonne, whyder I ne wotte, And what to do for soþe I notte.” And soþe to sey and not to lye, Vppon) þe hedde he caste hys eye, And seye þe chamber so rycħe a-rayedι Þat off þe bewte he was Dysmayedι. He mervelytħe grettely of þe bryghtnes. And þer-wyth he be-gynnetħe hym-selfe to dresse Owte of hys bedde, þys ys no dowte. And as he lokedι thys a-bowte, Vppon) þe bedde he seye where laye A gowne alle newe, þys ys no naye. He þoȝte þat þys [noble] garmente Was layde there to þat entente Þat he shulde hyt on) hym do, And, shorte tale to make, he dydι so. And when he hadde hyt on) hys backe, In the gowne fownde he no lacke. For to hym hyt was as welle I-shape As thowe þe mesure hadι ben) I-take For hym verely off Porpose. And þer-wyth-alle a-non) he rosse. Hosen) and shone a-none he fonde ther A-rayde for hym in þe beste manere. Whan) he was redy and a-rayedι, Off hys newe cloþes he was welle payde. [leaf 24, back]

1958. Two letters crossed out after to.

New clothes lie ready for him.

He dresses, and goes to breakfast in the hall.









Univ. Coll. MS.

Hit servyd of nougħt, for than) She was goo. 1940

Vppon) the bedde he sawe where lay

A Gown) alle new, this ys no nay,

Than sayde this woofuɫɫ Partanope :

He thougħt that this noble garment

“Allas, what may this be?

Was layde there to that intent 1956

My Ioye ys goo, whider I ne note.

That he shulde hit vpon) hym) doo,

And I shaɫɫ do I note wele wote.” 1944

And, short tale to make, he dyd soo.

He saw the chamber so ryche a-rayed

And whan) he had hit do vpon) his bakke,

1That of the beaute he was dysmayed.

He mervayled gretely of the brygħt-nesse. [1 leaf 5] 1949

In that gowne fonde he no lakke. 1960

Hosyn) and shone than) fonde he there

And there-wiħall he gan) hym) dresse

Arayed for hym) in the best manere.

Oute of his bedde, this ys no doute.

Whan) he was redy and fuɫɫ araiedι,

And as he loked thus now a-boute, 1952

Of his new clothes he was weɫɫ payedι.

57Owte of the chamber he þoȝte to goo. Then) Soudenly was broghte hym too A newer of water and a bassyne, Botħe hyt were of golde fulle ffyne, A towelle þer-wyth of Parys werke. Thys seruyse was to hym fuɫɫ derke, For man) ne chylde cowde he non) See. He wysshe hys hondes, and owte yede he Off: þys chamber, þat was so gaye, In-to þe halle, and þer he Saye The bordes couerydι wyth cloþes fyne. Hyt was made redy for he shulde dyne. Than) þys yonge Partonope þoȝte : “Alle thys a-raye ys for me broghte.” A-myddes þe bencħe downe he hym sette, Þer was no wyghte hym for to lette. Off mete and drynke hadι he plente, Þus seyetħe þe boke, þer lackedι no deynte. Off on) þynge he was heuy and sadde : þer sayde to hym no man)‘ be gladde,’ Ne bade hym ne mery be and blytħe. He sawe no-þynge þat euer bare lyve. When he had dynedι, he þoȝte tho : “Alle þys day whatte may I do ?” And streyghte he rose vp fro þe deyse; And þorowe þe halle and downe by þe gryse In-to þe cowrte streyghte yede he.







He goes down into the palace yavd, where a black horse is brought to him.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Oute of the chamber he thougħt to goo.

Amyddes the benche he down) hym) sett,

Than) sodenly was brougħt hym) tho

There was [no] wigħt hym) to lett. 1984

An) ewer wytħ watyr and a basyn),

Of mete and drynke had he plente,

Botħe they were of golde fuɫɫ fyne, 1972

Thus saytħ the Booke, he lakked no deynte. [1 leaf 5, back]

A toweɫɫ therwytħ of Parys werke.

This servyce was to hym) fuɫɫ derke,

Of oo thyng was he hevy and sadde :

For man) ne childe cowde he none see.

There sayde to hym) no man) be gladde,

He wasshitħ his handes, and oute yede he 1976

Ne bad hym) ete merily ne blyve. 1989

He saw no-thing that euer bare lyffe.

Oute of this chamber, that was so gay,

1 Whan) he had dyned, he thougħt tho:

In-to the halle, and there he say

“Alle this day what may I doo ?”

The Bordes couered with clothis fyne.

And streygħt vp he rose fro the dees.

Hit was made redy for he shulde dyne.

Thorow the halle and down) by the grees

Than) thougħt this yonge Partanope :

“Allethis aray ys made for me.” 1982

In-to the court streygħt yede he. 1995

58He lokedι a-bowte, he cowde not se Off hys wery and lene hakeney That he þer lafte yesterdaye. He lokedι a-bowte, and faste be-helde Þys castelle ryalle, howe hyt was bylde. And as he ceste hys eye a-bowte, He sawe where stode, wyth-owten) dowte, A Corser þat was botħe fayre and able For any kynge, þat streyghte owte of þe stabelle Was broghte for he shulde on) hym ryde. He was a-ferde hym for to be-stryde, Or for to lepe vppo n ¯ hys backe, Be-cause þat he was so blacke. Some euelle thynge he wende hyt had be, [leaf 25] And stylle stante thys Partonope, And off þys courser toke grette kepe, And atte þe laste vppon) hym lepe. Nowe ys yonge Partonope Vppo n ¯ hors-backe, and streyghte rydetħe he Thorowte þe cowrte ryghte to þe gate. When he was þer, he þoȝte alle-gate That fayre towre he wolde See. Fro horsebacke lyghtely lepytħe he. Vppe þorowe þe towre he goþe wyth-alle. He lafte not tylle he was o n ¯ þe walle, There as he myghte se rownde a-bowte, The castelle wytħ-In, þe cyte wyth-owte. Towarde þe sonne þan loketħe he.

Partonope rides to the tower.

From its top he looks about him.

To the south is the sea.








Univ. Coll. MS.

He loked a-boute, he cowde not see

For blak hit was / stylle stode Partanope,

Of his leene and wery hakney 1997

That he now left there but yesterday.

And of this courser toke grete kepe,

He lokyd a-boute, and fast be-heelde

Yet atte last on) hym) he leepe. 2012

This castyɫɫ, how hit was by elde. 2000

And thourow the courte vn-to the yate

And as he cast his eye weɫɫ a-boute,

Rydetħ he, and thougħt algate 2016

He sawe where stode alle withoute

That fayre Toure he wolde see.

A courser that was fayre and able

From) horsbak lygħtly lepetħ he.

For ony kyng / that streygħt oute of

Vp thorow the toure he gothe witħalle.

stable 2004

He levetħ not tylle he was on the walle, 2020

Was brougħt that he shulde on) hym) ryde.

There as he mygħt see rounde a-boute,

He was a-ferde hym) to be-stryde,

The casterɫɫ wytħin) / the citee withoute.

Som) evyɫɫ he wenytħ hit had be, 2009

To-warde the Svnne that loked he.

59Alle þe coste* was notte but see, Thorowe wycħe he sawe be resone By shyppe come marchandyse in-to þe towne, Cloþes of golde and Spycery Frome Alysaunder and fro Surry, Clowys, macys, and Galyngale, Off suger and canelle fuɫɫ mony a bale, Off medecynes boþe more and lesse To hele folke of here Sekenes. On) þe toder syde þen lokedι he : A Mɫ Erberys þer myghte he see Þat longen) to þe Cyteȝines of þe towne, There mygħte he se hem walke vp and downe. Ther-to he sawe so mony gardynes, And by þe [see-]syde * no-þynge but vynes. On) þe thryde quarter gan) he loke Off þe castelle, as seyetħe þe boke, Þat ys of ffrenshe, wycħe ys myn) auctorʾ Ther as he lokedɭ ouer þe towre, As fferre as euer he myghte see, Hyt was butte corne alle þe cont[r]e, And medowe wyth gras so weɫɫ I-growe, And euyn) redy for to mowe. On þe iiij quarter of þe castelle He loketħe owte, and vysetħe hym welle. Many fayre syghtes sawe he there, Hem shalle I telle and ye wolle here : Ther sawe he þe haven) large and wyde. [leaf 25, back]

2024. MS. castelle.

2031. A letter crossed out before boþe.

2038. MS. sydes.








In the opposite direction are gardens, on the third side meadows.

On the fourth side is the port, beyond which there is a castle, surrounded by large fields and a huge forest.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Alle that Cooste was nougħt but see,

1 Of the Casteɫɫ, as saytħ the Booke,

Thurgħ whicħ he sayled by reson)

That ys frencħ, whicħ ys myn) auctoure.

Be Ship p ¯ come Merchandyse to the town). 2026

There as he loked than) ouer the Toure,

As ferre as he euer mygħt see, [1 leaf 6]

On the tother syde then loked he: 2033

Hyt was Corne aɫɫ that contree 2044

A thousand herbers there mygħt he see

And medowe witħ grasse so weɫɫ by- growe,

That longyd to Citeȝenis of the town),

There mygħt hem) see walk vp and down). 2036

And evyn) redy for to mowe.

On) the fourtħ quarter of this Casteɫɫ

Ther-to he saw so many gardynes,

He loked oute and a-vysed hym) weɫɫ.

And by the See-syde no-thing but vynes.

Many fayre sygħtys say he there. 2049

Hem) shaɫɫ I telle yf ye wylle here :

On the thirde quarter gan he loke

There saw he the haven) large and wyde.

60A Mɫ shyppes þer-on) myghte ryde Saffe I-nowe for any tempaste, Thus telletħe me þe ffrenshe geste. Ouer thys hauen þen sawe he A brygge of stonne and not of tre, Wyth towres and cornellys so weɫɫ I-made, On) them to loke hys herte dydι glade. Atte þe ende of þe brygge in þe eontre A castelle aɫɫ Newe þer myghte he se So welle I-towredι, so large a-bowte, Ther-In myghte herborowe, wyth-owten) dowte, Mony a knyghte and mony a squyer, A kynge hym þoȝte wyth alle hys power. He myȝte see no-þynge x myle a brede Butte alle was corne and grene mede; Off lengħe hyt was mony a myle. Þys towre be-helde he a ryghte grette whyle. Be-ende aɫɫ þys was huge fforeste, No-þynge þer but brydde and beste. Thys yonge man) alle þys be-helde, The towne, þe castelle, so weɫɫ I-bylde, Þe See, þe vynes, þe gardynes large, The hayen) so fulle of shyppe and barge, Off corne, of mede so grette plente. He þoȝte þys was a delectabeɫɫ contre. Thys droffe he fforþe wyth ffayre syghte The longe day, tylle hyt was nyghte.

2054. gr crossed out before geste.

At nightfall, Partonope rides back to the palace.








Univ. Coll. MS,

A thousand Shippys theryn) mygħt ryde

Many a knygħt and many a Squier

Satfe ynogħ for any tempest, 2053

And a lorde of fuɫɫ grete power. 2064

Thus tellytħ now the frencħ geest.

He mygħt see then myle on) breede

Ouer this haven) then) sawe he

But alle Corne and grene meede;

A brygge of Stone and not of tree,

Of lengħt hit was many a myle.

Wytħ Towres and cornellis so weɫɫ y-made,

He by-helde than) a grete whyle.

Be-yonde alle this was huge forest,

On) hit to loke his hert was glade.

No-thyng theryn) but whilde best. 2070

Atte ende of the brygge in-to the Contree 2059

Thus the vynes and gardynes large,

The havyn) fuɫɫ of Shippes and barge,

A castell alle new there mygħt he see

Of Corn), of mede so grete plente, 2075

Weɫɫ towred, and so large a-boute,

He be-heelde wele alle the contree,

Theryn) mygħt be herbowred, witħoute doute,

So delectable vn-to his sygħt

That welny comytħ vn)-to nygħt. 2078

61Downe fro þe towre now* þynketħe he goo. When he was downe, þer founde he þo The fayre corser þat was so blacke. And streygħte he lepetħe vppon) hys backe, And rydeth fortħe to þe halle dore, There as he fownde þys hors be-fore. Frome hors he lepetħ wyth-owten) moo; In-to þe halle þen) doþe he goo, That was cheffe of þe palys. There as þe fyre was a-fore þe deyse, In a cheyer homely he hym sette. Whatte he wolde haue, a-none was fette. And þus he warmetħe hym by þe fyre, Tylle tyme was to goo vn-to sopere. And when) hys soper was redy dyghte, [leaf 26] He rysetħ a-none ryghte, And sette hym euen) a-myddes þe deyse, And sowpetħe alle in goode pesse. Ther was no wyghte þer-of hym lette, Ne atte hys soper hym onus grette. And thus he sowpetħe atte goode ley sere. Whew he had done, streyghte vn-to þe ffyre He gotħe, and warmetħe hym atte þe beste, Tylle hyt was tyme to go to reste. And when) tyme was to go to bedde, wyth torches he was thyder ledde, In-to þe chamber þat was so bryghte. In shorte tyme after voydedι þe lyghte.

2079. now] MS. he.

2099. s (?) crossed out before he.








After supper the torches guide him to the bedroom.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Downe of the Toure now thenketħ he goo, 2079

Witħ no man) he there mette.

And thus he warmytħ hym) by the fyre,

The fayre Courser he fonde redy tho,

Tille tyme was to goo vn-to Sopere. 2092

1That he there lefte, and vpon) he leepe,

Than) he syttetħ a-myddys the dees,

And so rydetħ here and there, and toke goode kepe [1 leaf 6, back]

And Soopetħ meryly and ys in pees. 2096

Welle ys he servid in alle mauere degree,

Of that fayre Paleys, and atte last before the halle

Yett neyither man) ne woman) sawe he.

Whan) he hatħ Sooped at his leysyr,

There he lygħt, and went in att dore witħ-aɫɫ,

He rose vp, and went to the fyre. 2100

Lygħt of Torches he saw in that stede.

Where he fonde a fyre be-fore the deys

And whan) tyme was to go to bedde,

In the halle of that fayre Paleys.

In-to the Chambyr went the Torchis.

In a chayre homely he hym) sette 2089

He folowetħ after and thydyr approchis.

62He made hym redy wyth-owte moo Streyghte in-to þe hedde to goo. And when he was in bedde layde, Sone after, wyth-In a lytelle brayde, Cometħe hys ladye fayre and ffre. Her In hys Armes þen taketħe he, And kyssetħe her, and maketħe her feste, And wyth her doþe what euer hym leste.  Than) seyde þys ladye, þys ys no naye :  “My loue,” quod sho, “howe haþe þys daye  Bynne spente, and In whatte manere ? Telletħe me nowe, myne owne herte dere.”— ‘ Madame,” Sayde Partonope, “I haue hyt spente in þys degre : Ouer þe yate I haue be, On) þat grette towre, where I myghte see The towne, þe castelle rownde a-bowte, And alle þe contre, wyth,-owte n ¯ dowte, So plentuos of wyne and corne. I sawe neuer sucħe a syghte be-forne.”  “Syr,” sayde þe lady, “þys is soþe.  As Her as any man) rydetħ or goþe  Thorowe þe worlde þat ys so rownde, So ffayre a place may neuer be ffownde Þat haþe In hym so grette delyte, And þer-to stante in so ffayre a syghte. When ffryste I herde of yowe tydynge,

The Lady joins him.

She asks her lover how he has spent the day, and tells him that she has arranged this beautiful place for their secret love.








Univ. Coll. MS.

He made hym redy to go to bedde;

“Trewly,” sayde he, “I had grete comforte. 2119

Hit was redy and fayre spredde.

And whan) he was in bedde layde, 2109

For on) the grete Toure atte yate a-ferre

The lygħt was voyded at a brayde.

I haue be this day at my layser,

To hym) come his lady fayre and free.

Where I mygħt see the town) a-boute,

Hir in his armes than) taketħ he, 2112

The Casteɫɫ and the Contre, withouten) doute, 2124

And hir clyppitħ swetely, and kyst,

And dothe with hyr what hym) fyst.

So plentevous of grasse, vyne, and Corne.

THanne sayde this lady in hyr manere: 2115

I sawe neuer sucħ a sygħt be-forne.”

“Telle me, my- love, my swete and dere,

“Love,” She sayde, “for oure bothe profyte [1 leaf 7]

How this day ye haue be rewlid in dysporte ?”

1I made this place Plesaunt in delyte.

Whan) I of yow had fryst tydyng, 2133

63I lefte besynes of other þynge,* And made þys place so fresshe and gaye, Thynkynge, my herte, þat ye yowre playe [leaf 26, back] Shulde haue þer-In and I also, Wytħ-owten) knowlage of any moo. And þer-fore nowe, my herte dere, Sytħe ye nowe haue ensuredι me here Þat ye shulle neuer by crafte me see, Yowre ensurawnce in no wyse breke ye, But kepetħe tenderly vn-to my daye, Tylle ecħe of vs of other maye Vn-grucchede of eny haue plesaunce; Ellys myghte þer ffalle grette dystaunce For euer be-twyn) yowe and me, Wycħe Gode for-bede þat euer shulde be. And þer-fore doþe fully by my rede; Ye myghte fulle lyghtely ellys be dede, And I shamed for euer-moo. My goode swete, doþe neuer Soo; Ye wolde, I trowe, holde me to blame. Butte I tolde yowe the name Off þe see and eke of þys castelle. My loue, nowe vnderstonde me welle, Thys grette see ys namedι Doyre, The cyte ys calledι Cbyffe De Oyre.

2134. MS. þynger.

2140. MS. possibly sythen.

2154. the written above y my, which is crossed out.

2158. Oyd crossed out before Oyre.







The name of the city is Chef d’Oire.

Univ. Coll. MS.

For hit shulde be to youre plesyng,

Whicħ God forbede that ye shulde be so nyce, [vyce;

Thinkyng that ye and I alle oure dysporte,

And there-fore dothe fully by myn) a-

And to vs no man) haue resorte.

For yf ye do Contrary, hit shaɫɫ turne to shame 2149

And therefore now, myn) hert fuɫɫ dere,

Of vs bothe / and lesyng of my name

Sytħ ye haue ensured me here 2140

For euer and yow to shenship p ¯ also.

That ye shaɫɫ neuer by crafte me see

Therfore lat it be neuer so do.

Tylle that we shaɫɫ weddyd be,

And yf ye wylle wete of this casteɫɫ

Youre suraunce kepitħ vnto that day;

And of this See, I wylle yow teɫɫ, 2154

And than) freely ye me see may.

And of thie Names, How they be called :

Ellys mygħt there falle grete dystaunce

This Casteɫɫ that ys welle walled

And of youre myrtħ shrewde dysplesaunce, 2146

Men) calle hit Chief doire

And the See ys named Doyre. 2158

2155. MS. thie or this?

64Thys Casteɫɫ sette I in þys fayre syghte, Þat we twayne myghte haue delyte For euer In thys lusty place; Ther-to I pray Gode sende vs grace. Here, In þe dycħe, for soþe I haue, Þat ys harde rocke, fulle mony a cave Hewedι and made by goode engyne, On caue þat ys alle of marbryne, Where-In on) hyghte Hernelus Dwelled, þat hadι to hys spowse One Betyryce, wycħe was hys wyffe, Þat broghte hym forþe in here lyffe .v. ssonnys, and alle had order of knyghte. Bolde and harde þey were in ffyghte. When þe gailyottys on) þe See Hadde robbyd marchandes, þen wolde he Owte off fyghte wyth hem gonne. Off hem he toke fulle mony onne, And In-to presone made hem dye, [leaf 27] And toke fro hem Robbery. So of þys see the name ys Doyre, The castelle hate Chyffe De Oyre, Thatt ys y-bylte wytħ mane towre. And, my leue, my name ys Meliowre. And leuyd Ryȝtħ welle, þer ys no thynge Thatt ys or may be ynne [my] kepynge, Redy ytte schalle euer vnto yow be, Yff ȝe ordeyne no crafte to see

2171. ode crossed out before order.

2175. MS. perhaps syghte, but the passage is evidently corrupt.

2181. Here begins a new hand.

Outside is Marbreon, where Ernoul used to live with his five sons.

Her own name is Melior.








Univ. Coll. MS.

In the casteɫɫ Dyche forsotħe I haue

Had robbed Merchauntȝ of the contre,

In harde Roche fuɫɫ many a kave 2164

Than) wolde they oute and fygħt witħ hem). [l leaf 7, back]

Hewyn) and made by goode engyne,

Of wnicħe oone ys Called Marbryne,

And thus they toke many men),

Where dwellyd oone that bight Hernelous

And fro hem) had grete robbery, 2178

And in preson) wolde make hym) dye.

Sumtyme / and he had a spouse, 2168

1And trustitħ wele, there ys no thyng

One Beatryce, that bare him) Sones fyve

That ys or may be in my kepyng, 2184

That after were knygħtys in her lyve.

Redy hit shaɫɫ euer to yow be,

And whan the Galyotħys vpon) the See

Yf ye ordeyn) no crafte to see

65My person) by-fore the assyngned day.” Partonope* answeryd and sayde : “Nay, In me ther schalle neuer be fownd [such] fowly. Trewly, my lady, y hade leuer dye.”— “Speke we no more of thus matere,” Sey[d]e thus lady, “butt tellytħ me where To-morewe ye wylle desporte yowe Wytħ howndys or hawkys. Tellytħ me nowe, Wylle ȝe to Reuer or to wode goo ? Ye mowe now chese of bothe too. Yff ȝe wylle to the wode gonne, Affter dyner to yow anone An horn) ther schalle to yow be brogtħe. Thowe a man) hadde Parys sogtħte, Sucche an horn) cowde no man) fynde. Loke ye leue ytte noȝtħ. be-hynde. And whenne ye be the medowys passyd, Sette horn) to mowthe, an blowe ytt faste. Be-fore yow ȝe schalle see anone Rennynge* howndys fulle many wone, Fayre grayhowndes and grete lymores. And yeffe ye* luste to see Reueres, In a chamber here be-hynde I schalle yow bryngge ther ȝe schalle fynde Sacrys, lanard[s], Tarcellys gentylle, Gerfawkones, ffawkonys, thatt fleytħ so hye

2188. MS. Partompe.

2206. MS. Renygnynge.

2208. ye] MS. the.








She asks Partonope whether he would like to go to the forest or to the river.

Univ. Coll. MS.

My persone be-fore this assygned day.”

An) horne shaɫɫ be brougħt in) youre sygħt.

Partanope answeryd and saide, “Nay,

In me shaɫɫ ther [never] be founde suche foly. 2189

Take hit and go fortħe fuɫɫ rygħt.

And whan) ye be the medowes past,

Forsotħ, lady, me had leuer to dye.”—

Sett hit to youre moutħ, and blowe hit fast. 2204

“Speke we no more of this matere,”

Seid this lady, “but telle me where

Be-fore yow ye shaɫɫ see a-none

To-morow ye wylle dysporte yow

Rennyng houndes fuɫɫ many one,

Witħ houndes or hawkes, telle me now,

Fayre Grehoundes and grete lymours.

Wylle ye to the Ryvere or to the woode go ?

And yf ye lust to see the Revours,

In a Chamber here be-hynde

Ye mowe now chese of bothe two. 2196

I shaɫɫ you teche were ye shaɫɫ fynde

If ye wole to the woode gone,

Sacres, laners, Tercelles many, 2211

After youre dyner to yow a-none

Gerfawcon), ffawcon), that fle so hye


66In-to the skye thatt Ioye ys to see. Of alle these dysportes now chese* ye.”— “Madame,” he sayde, “me luste beste To-morewe to hunte yn) the foreste.”— “Nowe, sere,” sche sayde, “do as ye luste.” [leaf 27, back] And there-wytħ-alle sche hym kyste, And [sone] affter they fylle onne slepe, Wat they dydde more toke y no kepe. In bedde thay laye, thus ys no naye, Tylle onne the morewe ligtħ daye Into the chamber yeff sucche a lyȝtħte Thatt welle to ryse see he mygthte. Vppe he rose, for ytte was tyme. He made hym) redy for to dyne. Wanne he hadde dynyd, he toke the horne, Thatt onne the walle henge hym be-forne, Lepte vppe on) hys hors, and rydytħ faste Tylle he was alle the medawys paste. He blewe hys horn), thus ys no dowte; He was welle herde ij myle abowte. Whenne he hadde blowe, thenne mygtħ he see [M]ywtes of howndes come nygheynge nere, Copelud wytħ sulke and noȝtħ wytħ here. Lemers to hym) thenne come lepynge, They where as soffte as eny selke, And ther-to whyte as eny mylke.

2214. MS. cheses.

He prefers hunting in the forest.

They fall; asleep.

After breakfast Partonope mounts his horse.

He blows his horn, and hounds of various kinds come running towards him.







Univ. Coll. MS.

In-to the Skye that Ioye ys to see. 2213

And whan) he had dyned, he toke the horne 2227

Of alle these dysportys now chese ye.”

“Madame,” he sayde “me lyketħ best

That on) the walle heng hym) be-forne,

To-morow to hunt in the forest.”—

Lepetħ vpon) hors, and fortħ he rydetħ

“Now Syr “she sayde “do as yow lest.” 2217

Tylle he was past the medowes sydes.

He blew his horn), this ys no doute,

And so therwitħ She hym) kyst,

Hyt was wele herd two myle a-boute.

And sone after they feɫɫ on) sleepe,

Mutes of houndes of alle degree 2233

Of other Ioye toke they no kepe. 2220

Came towardι hym), as he mygħt see,

And Thus in play and sleepe thay lay

Coupled with Sylk and not wytħ heere.

Tylle on) the morow that hit was day,

Lemours a-boute her nekkes bere

Than) his lady was fortħ past. [l leaf 8]

Her lees were as softe as sylk,

He Oowde no Better but rose at last.

And therto whyte as ony Mylk. 2238

2235. u in coupled has one stroke too many; similarly 2243. in Vncoupletħ.

67Into the foreste he rydythe apase; Anone fownde alle ffreschely the trace, Off a passyng1 wylde bore. Thys Partonope, wytħ-owte more, Vnkowpelyd hys howndes, and taketh in lesse These fayre lemers, and thay not sesee Alle the howndes to seke the foreste, Tylle fownde ys the wylde beste. Now ys the wylde bore fownde. The howndes to hym) now Rennytħ fulle rownde, The grete as welle as do the * leste. The crye to here yt were a feste For an emperowrʾ an for a lorde. So hole they Renne by one acorde To thys bore, thus ys no naye, So ffresche thay Renne alle the daye, Tylle he ganne wery, thus ys no dowte, They broghte [hym] so faste abowte. Atte the laste thus wylde beste [leaf 28] For-sakethe clene the thycke foreste. Vnto the lande drawyth he, There as stode Partonope Wythe the lemers ynne hys lesse. He lette hem slyppe, and faste they presse To-ward the beste; and þat seytħ he. Wythe alle hys myȝthe he gynnytħ flee. Hys flyȝthte may hym serue of nowȝthte;

2243. w underdotted before &.

2249. do the] MS. dothe, for dothe the ?

2255. he] MS. ye.








The hounds find the track of a boar.

They follow the boar, till he becomes exhausted, and stands at bay.

Univ. Coll. MS.

In-to the fforest he rydetħ a paas, 2239

Tylle he wex wery of hys way. 2255

A-none he fonde alle fressħ the traas

They brougħte hym) so thykke a-boute

Of a passyng sterne, wylde Boore.

That he was fayne of alle that route.

This Partanope, withouten) more,

And atte last this wylde greete beest

Vncoupletħ his houndes in-to the forest

For-saketħ the thykke forest,

And to the launde than) drawetħ he,

Forto fynde now this wylde Beest.

There as ys stondyng Partanope 2260

Wh[e]n) this Boore was y-ffounde, 2247

Than) witħ the lymours in) hys lees,

They rvnne to hym) hoole and sounde

He lettitħ hem) slyppe, and fortħ thay prees

Bothe the moost and eke the leest.

The crye to here hit ys a feest

Toward that Boore. and that sawe he.

For an) emperoure or for a lorde.

Wytħ alle hys mygħt he gynnetħ to fle, 2264

So cloos they ranne by one a-corde, 2252

So fressħly they rvnne alle that day,

But hys flygħt servitħ hym) of nougħt;

68For ynne sucche pleyte thay haue hem) broȝthte, He myȝthte noȝtħ couer yn)-to hys denne. Ther-to he was so wery off Renne, He myȝhte no ferther, thys ys no naye. Stylle he standythe, and bydythe the baye. There-to come anone fulle Rownde Alle the racches, and down) to grownde They haue hym drawe wytħ grete stryffe, And thus the bore [hath] loste hys lyffe. Wat dothe thenne Partonope ? Hys swerde anone drawytħ owte he, And alle to-brekytħ the wylde beste, And wyth yt makyth hys howndes a feste. Be than) alle thys thynge was done, Hytte was hye tyme to drawe home, There as he thoȝthte to haue hys Reste. He bare noȝth wytħ hym off thus beste; Hys hors he toke, and onne hym) lepe*, More of hys howndes toke he no kepe, Saue ij lemers, thus ys no naye, Wytħ hym he toke, and Rode hys waye, That onne dayly he myȝthte dysporte. For tylle nyȝthte come hadde he no sporte. Nowe Rydyth he strawȝte to the castelle, Where as he fownde alle thyng1 Ryȝth welle, Hys soper redy and welle y-made.

2272. MS. ratches ?

2282. bare] a like o.

2283. MS. lepte.

2290. fownde] o like a.

Partonope kills the boar, and rides home.

He takes with him two hounds that are to keep him company in the day-time.







Univ. Coll. MS.

For in sucħe plyte they haue hym) brougħt, [1 leaf 8, back]

Be than) alle thys thyng was done,

Hyt was tyme to drawe home, 2280

1He mygħt not Cover to hys denne.

There as he thougħt to haue his rest.

Therto he was so wery of renne, 2268

He bare not wytħ hym) of this beest;

He mygħt no further, this ys no nay.

Hys hors he toke and on) hym) leepe.

Stylle he stont, and bydetħ a-bay.

More of these houndes toke he no kepe

Therto come a-none fuɫɫ rounde 2271

Save two lymers, this ys no nay, 2285

The Racches, and doun) to the grounde

With hym) he toke, and rode his way,

They haue hym drawe witħ grete stryfe,

That on) day-lyght mygħt hym) dysporte.

And thus the Boore hatħ lost hys lyfe.

What dothe than) this Partanope ?

For tylle nygħt he had no more comforte.

Hys Swerde a-none oute drawetħ he,

And alle to-bryttenytħ this wylde best,

Now ry detħ he streygħt to the casteɫɫ,

And witħ hit makitħ hys houndes feest. 2278

Where he fonde alle thyng rygħt weɫɫ,

Hys Sope redy and weɫɫ y-made, 2291

69He sopyd freschely and makeȝth hym gladde. From soper Rysyth Partonope, And ynne-to Chamber thenne gothe he, Weder thatt the torches streyȝtħ hym) ledde. He makytħ hym) redy and gothe to bedde, Where as he fyndytħ fayre Meliowre, Thatt ys chefe lady of the towre, Wyche thatt he ffeynte euer ynne* O pleyte. [leaf 28, back] For here Ioye and here delyte Ys hym to make Ioye and playe. That ffeynte he bothe nyȝtħ and daye. Nowe may thys man) grete Ioye make, That loue hath sende hym sucche a make That he may bathe* ynne so hye a blysse. Alle nyȝthte they leye and clyppe and kysse,* And she hym) tellytħ nobeɫ storyes, Offe loue of knyȝthode olde victoryes. Hym) to dysporte faste besyetħ sche. Alas, thus story schendytħ me. For alle my loue canne y haue noȝthte Butte cawse of care and sorow and thoȝthte. Now wolde God hytte myȝtħ be soo Thatt sche loued me as y here doo.  Partonope stonde in blessed plyte,  For of hys lady he hathe hys delyte.  He lackytħ no-thyng1 of here grace,  And y stonde euen) in contraryys case.  He seyth here noȝth, but he hath leyser

2299. MS. adds a second yn.

2305. MS. bothe.

2306. MS. clypte and kyssyde.








He goes to bed, and there finds fair Melior.

The Poet complains of the cruelty of his Lady.

Univ. Coll. MS.

He soopetħ fressħly and maketħ hym) glade. 2292

They lye botħe in Ioye and blysse, 2305

Alle nygħt they clyppe and kysse,

From) Soper rysetħ than) Partanope,

And She hym) telletħ noble storyes

And in-to Chamber so gootħ he,

Of love and knyg[t]ħode olde storyes.

Whider as the Torches streygħt hym) ledde, 2295

PArtanope stont in Blessid plyte,

He maketħ hym) redy and gotħ to bedde,

1 For of here ladyshyppe he hatħ fuɫɫ delyte. [1 leaf 9]

Where as he fyndeħ fayre Melyoure,

He lakkitħ no-thyng of her grace,

That ys chief lady of that Toure,

But hatħ hys tyme and space 2318

Whicħ maketħ hym) grete plesaunce.

To speke, to play alle in the derke.

She hym) lovetħ withoute varyaunce.

He may be Ioyfuɫɫ in his werke,

After 2309 catchwo rd: ffor of here.

70 To fele, to kysse, and to haue hys plesowr).  And y se my lady day be daye,  Here gracyous wortħ ys euer naye. [I] Have the euyl and [he] the gode, Where-fore me thynkytħ myn) herte-bloode Fulle offte tyme away dothe mylte. I fare thenne as y ne felte Gode ner hylle, but lye ynne a trawnce. Thys hathe fortune caȝthte me ynne a chanse Vppon) hys dyce thatt neuer wylle turne. Thus muste y euer yn) wo soiorne. Butte playnely excusytħ me, I am) noȝth in thus in-firmyte. God schelde me euer fro that mischaunce To hoppe so ferre ynne loue-ys dawnce. For y am comawndyt of my souereyne Thys story to drawe fulle and playne, Be-cawse yt was ful vnkowthe and lytet knowe, Frome frenche ynne-to yngelysche, that beter nowe Hyt myȝtħ be to euer-y wyȝthte. There-fore y do alle my myȝthte To saue my autor ynne sucche wyse As he that mater luste devyse, [leaf 29] Where he makytħ ynne grete compleynte In frenche so fayre thatt yt to paynte In Engelysche tunngge y saye for me My wyttys alle to dullet bee. He tellyth hys tale of sentament1, I vnder-stonde noȝth hys entent1, Ne wolle ne besy me to lere. There-fore strayȝthte to the matere I wylle go of Partonope. Fulle xij mo[n]thys hathe he now be In hert-ys Ioye fulle playnere,* One day to hunte, another to þe Reuere. Thys hatħ he broȝtħ the ȝere to ȝende,

2343. ynne emend an ?

2353. playnere] MS. of plesowere.

The Translator is commanded by his Sovereign to do the French story into English.

Twelve months have passed.










Univ. Coll. MS.

Thus in hertys Ioye fuɫɫ playnere, 2353

And so hatħ he brougħt the yere to ende. 2355

O day to hunt, a-nother in the Ryvere.

71That canne remembraunce put* hym) in mynde In wat pleyte he ys broȝthte ynne. He hath for-ȝete alle hys kynne; He thynckytħ [on no-thyng] ferre ne nere, Butt on) howndes and hawkes for the reuere, And onne hys lady fayre and bryȝthte, Tylle ytte be-ffelle vppon) a nyȝthte Thatt ynne [the] monytħe that was of Septembere Thatt can he ffully hym remembre Off Cleobolys, the gode [kyng] of France, And off hys moder, that ynne grete dystawnce And ynne werte stote of hys lyffe. Hys dethe* wytħ euery man) was Ryffe, No man) cowde speke of hys welefare. There-fore he wote welle yn) grete care Stante hys moder ffor hys sake. Where-fore he purposytħ amendys to make, Now thynckytħ ynne hys hert Ryȝtħ hye : “I wolle take leue to goo and see My moder, the kynge my Emme alle-soo.” There-wytħ he makytħ hym) redy to goo Straygtħte to bedde, so ytte was Eue. For there he thoȝthe to take hys leue. In-to the bedde nowe goytħ hee, Where as he ffeynte hys lady ffre, Redy to make hym gode chere. [leaf 29, back] Here lesson) was not newe to lere. Now be-gynnytħ to speke Partonope

2356. put] MS but.

2368. MS. denthe or deuthe.

2371. or stonte ?








Then Partonope happens to think of Clovis and his mother.

He asks his Lady’s leave to go home.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Than) he gan) to put in his mynde 2356

And in werousnes stoode of hys lyffe.

In what plyte he ys brought ynne.

Hys detħ wytħ euery man) was ryffe, 2368

He hatħ forgeten) alle hys kynne;

He thynketħ on) no-thyng ferre ne nere

For no man) of hys Contre cowtħ telle

But on) hundes and hawkes for the Ryvere, 2360

Whether he fared evyɫɫ or welle.

And on) his lady fayre andι brygħt,

Therfore he wote welle in grete care

Tylle hyt be-fell onys on) a nygħt,

Stont hys moder of hys welfare. 2372

In the monetħ that was of Septembrʾ

Now in) his hert thynketħ he :

Than) he ganne hym) to remenbrʾ 2364

“I wole take leve to go and see

Of Cleobelys, the goode kyng of Fraunce,

My moder, the king myn) erne also.”

And of hys modyr that in grete dystaunce

And whan) he had leyser therto, 2376

Than) to speke begynnetħ Partanope

72To hys lady: “Madame,” seyde hee, “I praye yow thatt ȝe in no wyse greve Off my wordys, for trewly of leue I muste praye yow, thus ys no naye; For ytte ys go fulle money a daye Offe my fryndys thatt y ne herde. I wolde ffayne wete howe they ferde.”— “My nowne loue,” thenne sayde sche, “Ye schalle haue gode leue of me; And lokytħ alle-way thatt ȝe be trewe To me, and chanchetħ for no newe : For Fraunce stonde in sucche plyte nowe, Hytte [hath] ryȝtħte grete nede of yow; For kynge Cleobolys hathe loste hys lyffe; * In Fraunce ys not hut werre and stryffe. The power of Fraunce ys dyscumfyte. And y schalle telle yow yn) wate plyte Yowrʾ fader stande, for he ys dede. Yowrʾ moder leuyth, an canne no rede; And Bloys stante thus wytħ-owten) dowte, Hytte ys beseget Rownde abowte. Drawe yow to armes and knygtħode, And loke there lacke ynne yow no manhode. Loke ȝe be large and geuytħ faste. Where to haue goode be not agaste; Ye schalle haue y-nowe of me. And [yf] ye canne aspye ther be

2397. MS. wyffe.

2403. or stonte ?

Melior grants his request, adding that King Clovis is dead, and that enemies have invaded France.

“Be brave and generous,” she says.








Univ. Coll. MS.

To hys lady : “Madame,” sayde he,

In Fraunce ys but werre and stryffe.

I pray yow that ye in no wyse greve

The power of Fraunce is dyscomfyte,

Of my wordes that I shaɫɫ meve. 2386

And I shaɫɫ telle yow in what plyte

I must pray yow of leve, this ys no nay;

Youre fadyr stont, for he ys dede. 2401

For hit gone ys fuɫɫ many a day

Youre Modyr lyvyth, and can) no rede,

Of my frendes that I ne herde. [1 if. 9, bk.]

And Bloys stont thus wytħouten) doute :

I wolde fayne wytte how they ferde.”—

“Myn) owne love,” then) sayde She,

Hyt ys seeged rounde a-boute. 2404

“Ye shaɫɫ haue goode leve of me; 2392

Drawe yow to armes and to knyg[t]ħode,

1And loke Alwey That ye be Trew

And loke ye lakke no manhode.

To me, and chonge not for a New.

Looke ye be large and gevytħ fast.

For Fraunce stont in suche plyte now

Where to haue goode be not a-gast;

Hyt hatħ rygħt grete nede of yow; 2396

Ye shaɫɫ haue ynougħ of me. 2409

For kyng Cleouelys hatħ lost hys lyffe;

Any yf ye can) espye that ther be

73Any worthy knygthtys thorow the londe, In alle the haste loke that ye fownde, There as they bene yn) armes bolde, Wytħ gode y-now hem) to wytħ-holde. Loke thatt ye begentyɫɫ, lowly, and meke, And geuytħ to hem) gode clothys eke. Alle-so of speche beytħ fayre and lowlyche As wele to the pore as to the Reche. Affter my cowncel loke thatt ye* wyrke, [leaf 30] And louytħ* welle God and holy chyrche. Ye mowe notte fayle of hye cheualrye, Yff ȝe loue God and owrʾ lady. And o thyng1, my loue, y praye * yowe That yn) no wyse ye* ne besy yow howe By craffte of nygromansy me to see. For yt wolle for yowrʾ worse be. Whenne ȝe hane y-broȝthte thus worke to a ȝende— Ther-to sone yow Gode grace sende— In Fraunce loke affter dwelle not ȝe, Butte faste hye yow agayne to me. Tylle ye be [at] Doyre loke ȝe not cesse For yowrʾ worchypp and myne ese.”— “Medame,” sayde he, “thus gode lesson) Schalle y welle kepe and thys sermone. Nor neuer for kunny[n]ge thatt here speke*

2419. ye] MS. thow.

2420. MS. louyd.

2423. MS. adds the before yowe.

2424. ye] MS. of.

2435. MS. spepe.







“Above all, beware of treason; and come back to me as soon as the war is over.”

Partonope assures her that he will never break his word.

Univ. Coll. MS.

And worthy knygħtys thurgħ the londe,

That in no-thyng ye be besy now 2424

By crafte of Nygromansy me to see.

In alle the haast looke ye foonde 2412

For hit wolle for youre worst be.

There as they been in armes bolde

Whan) ye haue brougħt this werre to ende—

Wytħ goode ynowgħ hem) to witħ-holde.

Looke ye be gentyɫɫ, lowly, and meeke,

Therto God yow grace sende— 2428

And gyffe to hem) clothis eke. 2416

In Fraunce longe after dwelle not ye,

Also of speche botħ free and lowlycħ

But fast hye yow ayen) to me.

As wele to poore as to Ryeħ.

Tylle ye be at Doyre loke ye not cees

After my counseɫɫ looke ye wyrche,

1 For youre worshi p ¯ and myn) ease.”—

And love wele God and holy Chirche.

“Madame,” sayde he, “this goode lesson) 2433

Ye may not fayle of hye chevalry, 2421

If ye love God and worshi p ¯ oure lady.

Shaɫɫ I kepe for my sermon). [1 leaf 10]

And oo thyng love, I pray yow

And for no-thyng that I can) here speke

74Schalle y neuer my Couenaunte breke, Ne yn) no wyse besy me Er the day sette yow to see.” Nowe haue thay bothe lafte talkynge And falle ynto grete thynckynge. Thys lyytħ. Partonope tylle yt ys day, Thenne he abowte hym) se welle may To ryde or go where so hym) luste. In bedde he thynekytħ no lengger reste. He rysytħ vppe ynne grete haste, An on) hys Iorney hyythte hym) faste. He toke hys cowerser that was Coole blacke, And lyȝthtely lepytħ apon) hys backe, And takytħ wytħ hym) hys lemers too; Off meyne wytħ hym) taketħ he no moo. Hyt nedytħte noȝth telle how he toke hys leve, He dydde yt preuely ouer eve. Off oder thyng1 takethe he no kepe, Butte straygtħ he rydytħ forthe to the [s]chyppe, Wyche furste hym)broȝthte to thatt Cetee. Wytħ-owten) more there-in gothe he, [leaf 30, back] And takytħ hys horse wytħ hym in honde. Wanne he was there-ynne he* fownde A bedde alle redy and clenly made, Where-of he was Ryȝthte ynly gladde. He made hym redy, and ynne dide crepe, He hadde grete nede forto slepe. Off thus fayre schyppe alle the mayne,

2458. he] MS. y.

The following day Partonope embarks with his black steed and his two hounds.








Univ. Coll. MS.

My covenaunt wole I not breke.” 2436

For it was do prevely over eve. 2452

Now haue they bothe left talkyng

Of other thyng toke he no kepe,

And falle in-to grete thenkyng. 2440

But streygħt he rydetħ to the Shippe,

Thus lyetħ Partanope tylle hit was day

Whycħ fyrst hym) brougħt to that cytee.

That the lygħt verryly he say.

In bedde he wole no longer rest.

Wytħoute more theryn) gotħe he, 2456

To ryse vp hem) semytħ best; 2446

And taketħ hys hors witħ hym) on) honde.

And toke hys courser that was blak,

And lyghtly lepitħ vpon) hys bak,

Whan) he was yn) there, he fonde

And taketħ wytħ hym) his lymers twoo.

A bedde redy, alle clennely made,

Wherof he was rygħt Inly glade. 2460

Of meyny takytħ wytħ hym) no moo.

He made hym) redy, and yn) dyd crepe,

Hit nedyd not to take more leve,

He had grete nede for to slepe.

75Off wyche he myȝħte noȝtħ on see, Vppe drowe angker yn) alle the haste. The schyppe anone begynnytħ sayle faste, Thatt er thatt day was comen) to ende— The schyppe so saylythe afore the wynde— He hadde alle passyd the grete see, And ynne to Lyere was comyn) hee, Where as he muste nedys abyde; He mygthte no ferther for thatt tyde. The schyppe was grete, he myȝthte noȝtħ passe. The water of Leyre alle-so was Butte strayte, and eke yt was scholde.* There thay can) faste owte folde The gabelle, on) wyche the anker was Tyed, owte, and a grete pas The grete anker they lette owte slyde, Be wyche thys grete schyppe schulde Ryde. The schyppemen) alle bothe more and lesse Owte of the schyppe the bote gan dresse In-to the watere thatt hatythe Leyre. [A bed] Thay hym) dressyd welle and ffayre In-to the bote, and yt was arayede Wythe clennely clothys, and þer-in they leyde Alle slepyng Partonope. Off thus araye nothynge wyste he. Thys was me thenketħ a wonder reyse. Whenne he woke, then) faste be Bloyse Aryved thus ȝonge Partonope,

2475. MS. schalde, scarcely scholde.








The invisible crew heave anchor.

The ship sails up the Loire.

Partonope is landed, while still asleep.

He awakes near Blois.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Vp was the ankyr drawe in haste,

For the water so shalow was 2474

And the Sayle ys crosse the maste. 2465

Therfore the cable they gan) oute folde

Who hyt takeledι he cowde not see,

By which the anker was y-folde. [i if. 10, back]

But in pees so stylle lyetħ he.

1 The anker They leete oute slyde

This Shyppe saylletħ and passitħ the See,

To make the Shippe to ryde. 2480

Anone a boote was sette in to Leyre, 2483

And in-to the water of Lyer they comen) be, 2470

And a bedde theryn) goode and fayre.

On) thys bedde Partanope slepyng

Where as he must nedes a-byde;

Was leyde, therof not wetyng. 2488

He mygħt no further for the tyde.

This was now a wondyr reys.

The Ship p ¯ was grete, he mygħt not passe,

Whan) he woke, then) fast by Bloys

Aryvedι this yong Partanope,

76Wyche he knewe [welle] for hys contre. [leaf 31] Wan) he was landyd, then) ganne he blyve Hym) loke abowte, butte thynge on) lyve Saue horse and grehowndys cowthe he non) se, Wyche he broȝthte wytħ hym to the see. The bote no lengger there wolde soiorne, Butte to hys schyppe gan) faste returne. Butte ho was gyde kowde he nott see Off thus bote, and stylle stode he And thyncketħ on) Melioure, hys hert swete. For pety of here the terys a-downne crepe Owte off hys eyen) down) by hys cheke. Hys hert tenderyd, and ganne to wepe, And thynkethe sone to turne a-yenen) To se hys lady, hys hertes quene. Here-to he prayytħe God sende grace; And onne hys Iorney he gynnytħ to pace. Off the Cuntre he nymmyȝthte grete garde, And seytħ where Bloys stante, and thedyrwarde The way fulle preuely taketh he; He wolde nogtħ blythely aspyed be. And as he nyed Bloys nere, In the way he sawe [how and] where Agayne hym) come xii somerys, Charged wytħe golde and Ryche auerys*.

2505. MS. thymkethe.

2516. MS. arayes.

He thinks of Melior and bursts into tears.

Proceeding on his journey he meets twelve black sumpter-horses, laden with gold, and led by-twelve young men.








Univ. Coll. MS.

Whicħ he knew wele for his Contree.

Hys hert tendred, andι gan) to wepe, 2504

Whan) he was landed, than) gan) he blyve 2493

And thenkitħ soone to turne a-yen)

To see hys lady and his Queen).

Hym) loke a-boute, but thyng on) lyve

Here-to he prayetħ God send hym) grace;

Save hors and grehoundes coutħe he none see,

And on) his Journey forthe he gan) passe. 2508

Whicħ he brougħt wytħ hym) to the See. 2496

Of the contree he taketħ grete garde,

The Boote no lenger wolde sogeourn)

He seetħ where Bloys stont, and thyderwarde

But to his Shippe fast gan) retourne.

But who was gyde coutħ he not se

The way fuɫɫ pryvely taketħ he;

Of this Boote, and stylle stont he 2500

He wole not blely aspyed be. 2512

And thenketħ on) Melior, his hert swete.

And as he come then) Bloys nere,

In the wey he sawe how and where

For pyte of hir hys teres doun) crepe

Agayn) hym) Come xij Somers, 2515

Oute of his eyen) doun) by his cheeke.

Charged wytħ golde and ryche auerys.

77The horse were blacke euery-chone, Ryȝth fayre courserys; and wytħ hem) come xij ȝonge men) thatt hem) dede lede, Welle cladde yn) sylke, wytħ-owten drede. Alle be-hynde there come a knyȝthte Thatt was ther master, and thatt was Ryȝthte, For he [had] large of the message. He was very whyte for age; He was fulle semely, of stature longe; In ȝowthe hytte semed he hadde bene stronge. Wanne he hadde syȝthte of Partonope, [leaf 31, back] Hys message ynne thus wyse sayde he : “Syr,” he sayde, “y saye yow gretynge Fro [s]wyche onne thatt aboue alle thynge Thatt Ertheiy ys, to yow hathe geffe Here body, here herte, and alle here loue. And as ye* ben) [here] herte swete, Sche prayytħe ye schulde not here for-gete. Alle thys tresowre sche hathe yow sente, And as to here loue, to thus entente To mayntayne yowrʾ warres, and that in armes Ye schulde be worchyppfuɫɫ, and of Charmes Be Ryȝthte ware, that ȝe ne be Wythe [hem] be-gyled.” Thenne seyde he To thus knyȝthte : “God me defende Here ynne sucche wyse to offende.”—

2533. ye] MS. he.







Their master, an old knight, tells him that these treasures have been sent by Melior to defray the expenses of war.

The knight warns him against charms.

Univ. Coll. MS.

The hors were blake euerychone,

Fro suche one that a-bove alle thyng

Rygħt fayre coursers; and witħ hem come 2518

That erthly ys, to yow hath yove

Hir body, hyr hert, and hir love. 2532

Twelve young men) that dyd hem) lede,

And as ye byn) hir hert swete,

Wele cladde in sylke, withouten) drede.

She prayetħ yow that ye wol not hyr foryete.

Alle be-hynde there Come a knygħt

That was her mayster, and that was rygħt, [leaf 11]

Alle this tresoure She hatħ yow sent

As to hyr love, for this entent 2536

For he had charge of the message.

To mayntene youre werres, and that in armes

He was alle white for verray age; 2524

He was fuɫɫ semely, of stature longe;

Ye shulde be worthy / and of charmes

In youth hit semyd he had be stronge.

Be weɫɫ ware that ye ne be 2539

Whan) he had sygħt of Partanope,

With hem) begyled.” / Then sayde he

His message in this wyse sayde he: 2528

To this knyght: “God me defende

“Sir,” he sayde, “I say yow gretyng

Euer in suche wyse her to offende.”—

78“Welle,” seyde thys knyȝtħte, “yette haue I to sayen To yow yett more. Sche dothe praye In armes and tur[n]ewmentys ye lusty to be, In Iustys alle-so; butte lokytħe thatt ȝe Be ware thatt knyȝthte no man) yow make. Thatt dede wolle sche vppon) here take Thatt day thatt ȝe weddyd schulde bee. Wythe yowrʾ swerde an one wolle sche Yow gyrde yn alle pepuɫɫ sy3thte. Sche schalle yow geue the worder of knyȝthte. And kepe yow welle for God-ys sake That by no Craffte Eny man yow make To se yowrʾ lady er tyme be.” And wythe thatt worthe alle wepyng1 he Turned hym) and gothe hys waye. These ȝonge men), thatt yn) selke so gaye Were clothyd, to hym) they come anone To take ther leue; for they muste goone Wytħ here master home agayne. And then) they seyde : “Syr, loke ȝe bene Euer-more to yowre lady trewe, [leaf 32] Ellys yt wylle yow bothe rewe, And thatt ȝe not to longe solorne, Butte to yowrʾ lady sone returne.” And wyth thatt worthe sodenly they be ! Vanaschyd away, that trewly he

2545. tur[n]ewmentys] u or n written above r.

2568. vanaschyd] second a like o.

Partonope is to be knighted by Melior, and by no other.

The messengers take their leave, and disappear.








Univ. Coll. MS.

“Wele,” saytħ this knygħt, “yet haue I to say

Be no crafte no man) yow make

To see youre lady or tyme be.” 2555

To yow more. She dothe yow pray 2544

And witħ that worde alle wepyng he

In armes, in turnementes ye lusty be

Turned hym) and gothe his way.

And in Iustes loke that be ye.

These yonge men) in sylke so gay 2558

Be ware that yow knygħt no man) make.

Were clothid / to hym) they come a-none

To take theire leve, for they muste gone

That dede wole She vpon) hir take 2548

1Witħ hyr maister home a-yen).

That day that ye shulle weddyd be.

And they sayde : “Syr, looke ye ben)

With youre Swerde a-none wylle She

Euer to youre lady fuɫɫ trew, [1 if. 11, bk.]

Yow gyrd in alle the peples sygħt.

And that ye not longe sogeourne, 2565

She shaɫɫ yow gyffe the ordre of knygħt. 2552

But to youre lady sone returne.”

And witħ that worde sodenly they be

And kepe yow weɫɫ for Goddys sake,

Vanesshid a-way, that trewly he 2568

79Wote neuer were thay bene [be]come. To Bloys hathe he the waye nome. A-ffore hym) gothe thus xij somerys Streyȝthte to the gate, where as the porterys Stode to-gydere and sawe thus syȝthte, And thanckyd hyely God alle-myȝtħte. They sawe the somerys Charged wytħ Ryccħes. The Casteɫɫ stode ynne grete dystresse; They thoȝtħ yt come by God-ys grase. Inne they lette the somerys pace. Sone affter came Partonope. [And whan) they aspyed hit was he, And they mygħt redyly hym) know, Down) on) knees they gan) falle low, And welcomed hym) witħ alle her hert. And in alle hast one in ded stert, And to the lady, his moder, saide he: “Youre Son) ys come, Partanope.”] Sche gan) to fraye of sodente, Butte yette ynne haste vppe Rysytħ sche, And gothe here sone for to mete. Whanne sche hym) sawe, sche gynnytħe to wepe For very Ioye, and ther-wytħ-alle Here armes, thatt were long1 and smale, Abowte hys necke sche dede leye. Sche myȝthte for Ioye no worthe seye,

2579. MS. scarcely come.

Partonope arrives at Blois.

The Porters, recognizing him, fall down on their knees.

His mother comes to welcome him.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Wote neuer where they be become.

And they mygħt redyly hym) know,

To Bloys hath he the way nome.

Down) on) knees they gan) falle low,

Aforne hym) gone these xij Somers

And welcomed hym) witħ alle her hert.

Streygħt to the yate, whe[re] as the porters 2572

And in alle hast one in ded stert, 2584

Stode to-gyder and sawe this sygħt,

And to the lady, his moder, saide he :

And thanked hygħly God almygħt.

“Youre Son) ys come, Partanope.”

They sawe the Somers charged witħ rychesse.

She gan) affray of this sodeyn) caas,

And rysetħ vp in a grete raas, 2588

The casteɫɫ stode in grete distresse; 2576

And gothe hir Son) for to mete.

They thought hit come by Goddys grace;

Whan) Sye She gynnetħ to wepe

For verray Ioye, and therewith-aɫɫ

And in they lete these Somers passe.

Her armes, that were longe and smaɫɫ,

Sone after come this Partanope,

A-boute his nekke She dyd lay. 2593

And whan) they aspyed hit was he, 2580

She mygħt no worde for Ioye say,

80And kyssed hym) wytħ dedely chere. Sche ferde as thow sche weste neuer where Sche hadde bene, and ther-wytħ downe To grownde sche fylde onne a sownne. And sone affter sche dydde awake Owte off here sownynge, and gynnytħte take Here hert to here fully agayne. And then) sche seyde: “Where haue ȝe bene, My dere sone, my Erthely Ioye, Thatt neuer y hadde tokyn) fro the, Letter ne worthe thatt me myȝtħ ese, To me thus hathe bene grette dyssese. Kynge Cleobollys he ys dede, [leaf 32, back] Yowrʾ fader alle-so; thus ys the threde I stande, an am) ynne grete dowte. My ney3thbowrys here rownde abowte Haue Rebellyd and dysheryed me Off fayre castellys no lesse thenne thre, Thatt stonden) here ynne the moresse Rownde abowte the casteɫ of Bloys.”  “Madame,” sayde thus Partonope,  “Bethe off gode comfort; y hope that ȝe  In schorte tyme schalle stonde yn) ese. Y knowe Ryȝthte welle alle yowrʾ dyssese. Butte dothe dyscharge alle thys somerys, And sendytħ abowte for knyȝtes and squyers.

2609. stande] a fairly distinct.

2613. MS. possibly maresse.

She asks where he has been this long time, and complains of her distress.

Partonope comforts her.








Univ. Coll. MS.

And kessed hym witħ a dedely chere.

And youre fader also/thus in drede 2608

She ferd as thogħ She wist not where

I stonde, and am) in grete doute.

She had be, and therwitħ down)

Myn) neygħbours here a-boute

To grounde She fallitħ in swoune. 2598

Haue rebellid and disherited me 2611

And whan) after She was a-wake

Of ffayre castellis no lesse than) thre,

Oute of hir swownyng and gynnetħ take

That stonde here in this Marreys

Hir hert fully to hir a-yen), [leaf 12]

Rounde a-boute this Casteɫɫ of Bleys.”

And then) She sayde: “Where haue ye ben),

“M Adame” sayde this Partanope,

My dere Son), myn) herthly Ioye,

“Betħ of goode comforte; I hope that ye 2616

That neuer letter ne worde sent witħ oye, 2604

In short tyme shaɫɫ stonde in ease

I know rygħt wele youre dyssease,

That myn) hert gretly mygħt ease.

But dothe discharge alle these Somers,

This hatħ be to me a grete dyssease.

And sendytħ a-boute for knyghtis and Squyeris. 2620

King Cleouelys now ys dede,

81I schalle noȝthte spare for no gyffte Hem) to wytħ-holde by my thryffte To saue yow yowrʾ herytage, And c. Mɫi y wolle welle wage.” In alle the haste thenne dothe sche Here letterys sende alle the Cuntre [For knygħt, yomen), and goode Squyer A certeyn) day to come to dyner. Tydyng ranne thorow the contree] Thatt home was comen) Partonope. The tythyngys to hys fryndys butħe gladde, Hys Enmyys ther-off no Ioye made. Whenne the cheualrye of the Cuntre Herde saye thatt Partonope In very trowthe* was come home, Faste to hym) warde they gynne gone. He hym) reseuyd wythe goodely chere, They be Ryȝtħ gladde to feynde hym) there.* To thowsand knyȝtħtys there he wytħ-helde, Thatt redy were to go to the fylde, When) thatt euere hym) lesste to Ryde. Partonope wolde no lenger abyde, Butte to the stronge Castellys thre The streyȝtħte way anon) wylle he*.

2635. MS. trawthe.

2638. MS. They feynde be Ryȝtħ gladde off hym) there.

2644. wylle he] MS. taketħ he, which properly belongs to 1. 2648, the scribe having dropped four lines, here supplied from Univ. Coll. MS.







The knights of the country, hearing that Parton ope has returned, hasten to Blois.

Partonope regains his mother’s castles, and then goes to succour the King at Pontoise.

Univ. Coll. MS.

I shaɫɫ not spare now for no yefte

Whan) the cheualry of that contree

Hem) to witħ-holde now by my thrifte

Herde say how that Partanope

ln verray troutħ was come home,

To saue yow and myn) heritage, 2623

Fast to hym) ward they gan) gone. 2636

And hundretħ thousand I wol wage.”

He hem) resseyvid witħ goodely chere.

In alle the hast than) dotħe She

They be rigħt glade to fynde hym) here.

Hir letters send alle the Contree

For knygħt, yomen), and goode Squyer

Two thousand knyghtes there [he] witħ-helde, [1 leaf 12, back]

A certeyn) day to come to dyner. 2628

Tydyng ranne thorow the contree

1That redy were to go to feelde, 2640

That home was come Partanope.

Whan) that euer hym) lyst to ryde.

These tydyngis to his frendys were glade,

Partanope wole no lenger byde,

But to these stronge Casteles thre

His enemyes herof no Ioye made. 2632

The streygħt way a-n one wylle he.



82 [Short tale to make, this ys no lees, The castellys, the Contree he sett in pees. Wythoute more lette than) Partanope Streigħt to the kyng the way] taketħ he To a stronge Casteɫɫ men) callytħe Pvntyfe. There lyythe the kynge, thatt of hys lyffe [leaf 33] Ys fulle wery, thus ys no * drede; For he hathe nother Cownseɫ ne rede Off kynne, off frynde, ne off hys lyggys. There-fore ynne grete drede hys he. And there ys a kynge hathe Agysor Come in-to Fraunce, thatt as a bore Or lyon) or wolffe ys ravennous.* He scleyth, he rubbythe, he leuytħ no howse Vnbrente, saffe Castelle and wallyd townys. He hathe wythe* hym) dyuerse nacionys And grete Numbere of Cheualrye Off Norway, of Glygland, of Orcanye, Off Erlond, off Fresselond, of Denmarke, Thatt fully destroyen) alle thatt marche. He hopytħ fully to conquere Fraunce; Agaynyste hym) ther ys no resistaunee. Another ys there a grete werrowre, A kynge thatt ys namyd Surnegowre,

2651. no] MS. to.

2657. MS. revenaunce or revenauuce.

2660. wythe written twice.

2663–64. Denmarke : marche] a like o.

The heathen king Agisor is devastating the country.

Another heathen king is Sornegour, a worthy young knight.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Short tale to make, this ys no lees,

Come in-to Fraunce lyke as a Boore

The castellys, the Contree he sett in pees. 2646

Or a wolf that ys ravennous. 2657

Wythoute more lette than) Partanope

H[e] sleetħ, robbetħ, and levetħ none hous

Streigfct to the kyng the way taketħ he

Vn)-brent but castellis and wallid towrs.

To a stronge castelle men) calle Pountyfe.

He hatħ witħ hym) dyuers Chyvalours

There lyetħ the kyng, that of his lyfe

Of Norwey, Glytlond, and Denmark nacion), 2662

Is fuɫɫ wery, this ys no drede;

For he ne hatħ Counsayle ne rede 2652

That the marches put in) confusion).

Of kynne, nor frendι, ne of his leeges.

He hopitħ fully to conquerre Fraunce;

Therfore in grete drede he now is.

Ayen) him) ys no resistaunee. 2666

For there ys a kyng that highteth Agysore

A-nother ther ys a grete werrioure,

A king named Sir Sornogoure,

83Yonge, hardy, manly yn) fyȝthte, And ther-to a passynge semely knyȝthte. For and he hadde bene off Crystys lore, I trowe men) haue neuer* by-fore In Romaunce herd a worthyer kynge. He loued knyȝthhode aboue alle thynge. The kyng of Fraunce ys onne Pvntyfe. Tydyng1-ys he herytħ* of werre and stryffe Thorowe alle Fraunce yn) euery Cuntre. In thus Casteɫɫ wytħ hym) there be Offe frenche an flemysche, as y wene, Butte x Mɫi; and there agaynys bene An) .c. Mɫi wytħ kynge Surnegowre, There-fore off Cheualrye he ys namyd folowre. And alle thus herytħ Partonope, A-none to the kynge faste hyythe he, And wythe hym brynggythe a ffayre mayne, [leaf 33, back] Fyffe Mɫi knyȝthtes, wyche thatt be In armes fresche and welle arayde; Here wagys he hathe hem welle payde. Nowe tythynggyste of Partonope To the kynge ys come, and gladde ys he, And gothe agaynys hym) owte of hys towre, And reseuyd hym) wytħ grete honowre, And hys desese tellytħ in haste To Partonope, and how sore agaste

2672. neuer] MS. here.

2676. MS. berytħ.







The King of France has only ten thousand men; Sornegour has one hundred thousand.

Partonope brings with him five thousand knights.

The King explains his hopeless position.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Yong, hardy, and fuɫɫ ffeers in fygħt, *

A-none to the kyng fast hyetħ he, 2684

And therto a passyng semely knygħt.

And witħ hym) bryngitħ a fayre meyne

The kyng of Fraunce ys now in Pountyfe. 2675

Feve hundredι knygħtis, whiche that he [leaf 13]

Tydynges he herytħ of werre and stryfe

In armes fressħ and weɫɫ a-rayde;

They be of her wages weɫɫ payde. 2688

Thorow alle Fraunce in euery Contre.

Now tydynges of this Partanope

In this casteɫɫ witħ hym) ther be Of ffrencħ,

Are come to the kyng, and gladde ys he,

of fflemmynges, as I wene,

But ten) thowsand; and there a-yenst bene 2680

And gothe a-yenst him) oute of his toure,

An) hundred thowsand witħ kyng Sornogoure,

And hym) resseyvitħ witħ grete honoure, 2692

That of chevalry ys named the floure.

And his dyssease he tellith in hast

Alle this heritħ yonge Partanope.

To Partanope, and how sore a-gast

2669. MS. sygħt.

84He ys of kynge Sornagowre, For he ys so stronge a werrowre. He thynckytħ thus lond to conquere. “I may not slepe for sorowe and fere : He brennyth and wastytħ alle the londe, I haue no power hym) to wytħ-stonde.” Alle thus herytħ Partonope. He seyytħ butte lyteɫɫ, butte more thynckytħ he. Atte the laste he sayde to the kynge : “Me mervelytħ gretely off on) thynge. Why sende ȝe noȝthe for alle menne Thatt to yowrʾ Crowne lege bene?”— “So haue y do,” thenne seyde the kynge. “They wylle obbeye me nothynge. Y canne ynne no wyse trewly see Butt thatt they neyder holde me For kynge, for souereyne, ne for no lorde.” Partonope answeryd atte thatt worthe : “Thenne sethen) ytte wolle no beter be, Pray God of helpe, and he wolle see To hys seruand euer yn) nede. I canne no more butte thus I rede.” The kynge now leuytħ alle thys mater, And streyȝthte gothe in to [hys] dyner, And wytħ hym) takytħe Partonope. Ryȝth gladde of hym) for sothe ys he.* [leaf 34] Thys Pvntyfe ys a Casteɫɫ Ryalle,

The first four lines of leaf 34 are a repetition of 11. 2702–5, with the following differences of spelling: seyythe, lyteɫ, thynkytħ, seyde, mervelythe, of O thyynge, noȝthte.

His liegemen will not obey him.

Pontoise is strongly fortified, but is threatened every day by sornegour’s warriors, thousands of whom are left partly at Chars. partly with Agisor.








Univ. Coll. MS.

He ys of this kyng Sornogoure,

Prayetħ God of helpe, and he wole see

For he ys so ffeers a werrioure. 2696

Partanope answeritħ the kyng: 2703

To his Seruaunt at euery nede.

“Me merveylitħ gretly of 00 thing.

I canne no more, but thus I rede.”

Why sende ye not ffor alle men)

The kyng levetħ alle this matere, 2717

That to youre crown) lyege been) ?”—

And comytħ in-to the halle,

“So haue I do,” then) sayde the kyng,

And rygħt a-none therwitħ-alle,

“They wolle a-bey me no-thyng, 2708

And streygħt gotħe in to his dynere,

Ne know me for her souereyn) lorde.”

And witħ hym) taketħ Partanope.

Partanope answeritħ at that worde :

Ryght gladde of hym) forsothe ys he.

“What yf yt wolle no better be, 2713

This Pountyfe ys a Casteɫɫ ryaɫɫ, 2721

85Closyd welle wytħ Ryȝtħ a stronge walle, Fulle of towres wytħ-owten) dowte. A deche ryȝthe depe goythe Rownde abowte, Fulle of water, and harde to wynne. Ther-to the Casteɫ ys wyħt-ynne Off men) of armes stuffet welle. Off warre vesture hyt* lackethe neuer a delle. Nowe hadde these hethen) men) in costome Euery day armed ffreschely to come To profere skermesche to thys castelle. Thay spare noȝthte to come Ryȝthte to the walle. And these were knyȝthtes of kynge Sornagowre, Wyche off cheualrye bare the flowre, Where-of he lafte hadde atte the Castelle of Chanarde A Mɫi knyȝthtys and neuer a cowarde. xxti Mɫi he lafte be-hynde Wyth kynge Agysor* soior[n]ynge. No wonder ys thowe the kynge be Off Fraunce aferde, for fewe folke hathe he. There-fore he comawndytħ ynne grete haste The porterys to sparre the gatys faste, Thatt ther schulde no man) owte Isse, Knyȝthte ne squyer, butte be hys avyse. The Ethen) wytħ grete boste and cryynge To the Castelle-gate for Scarmesynge Eny day comen) wyth grette pryde, The Cuntre prayden) yn) euery syde.

2728. hvt] MS. hys.

2729. MS. costonne.

2734. MS. bore ?

2738. MS. Caysar.








Univ. Coll. MS.

Wele closyd witħ water and walle. 2722

1 Witħ kyng Gysore sogeournyng.

The hethen) men) had in custom) 2729

No wondyr ys thogħt the kyng be 2739

Armed fresshly euery day to come

Of Fraunce a-ferde, for few folke had he; [1 leaf 13, back]

To profer Skyrmyssħ to this Casteɫɫ.

They spare hit not neuer a dele, 2732

Wherfore he comaundetħ that none shulde be nyse

And thise were knyghtes of Sornogoure,

Whiche of cheualry bare the floure,

To passe the yates but hit be at his a-vyse. 2744

Where-of he had left at Casteɫɫ Chaynard

The hethen) with grete booste and crying

Ten) thowsand knyghtes to kepe the warde. 2736

To the Casteɫɫ-gate for skermysshing

Euer they come witħ grete pryde, 2747

And twenty thowsand he lefte be-hynde

And take grete pray on) euery syde.

86Watte euer ther prayes where nette, schepe, or horse, Thay sende alle to kynge Agysores. Atte Chars lyethe kynge Sornegowre [leaf 34, back] As fers ynne batyɫ as eny bore Thatt wylde ys, and lyythe ynne Denne. He comawndythe sertayn) of hys men) To Ryde to hys re[re]warde, Thatt thay schulde geue hym) in charge To euery man) in hys degree Thatt they algate schulde be Wytħe hym) atte synt lames ffeste, Thatt hathe Baptyste bothe moste and leste. Thys was vppon) wytsoneday That kynge Sornegowre at Chars leye, Hys Rennerys dyscoueryd the Cuntre, There herde he fyrste of Partonope. Wanne thatt tythyngys they ganne here, Off Partonope thenne dydde they ffere. The saryȝynys ganne here cownceɫɫ take, And charged alle men) they schulde make Hem redy and arme hym) faste, For they wolde ryde yn) alle haste. A none x Mɫi redy were Onne horse-backe armed wytħ schelde and spere. v. c. off these, as I rede, Helden) hole to-gyder wytħ-owten) drede. The oder v. c. owte of araye Ranne and pryckyd the Cuntre alle daye.*

2749. prayes] s like r.

2763. MS. Remerys.

On leaf 34, back, the last nine lines (after 2776) are crossed out in MS. Then follows catch-word: ranne and prykedι, and at the top of leaf 35 is repeated : Ranne and prekyde the Cuntre alle daye.

The booty is all sent to Agisor.

Sornegour himself is at Chars.

He commands his rear to join him on Saint James’s day.

Ten thousand men ride at once to Pontoise, without waiting for their king.








Univ. Coll. MS.

At Chaise lyetħ kyng Sornogoure 2751

The Saraȝyns than) they gonne feere,

As feers in batayle as any Boore. 2752

And a Counsaile then) makyn) there.

He senditħ to his reward e tho 2755

Anone ten) thowsand redy were 2771

That they shuɫɫ make hem) redy and come hym) to.

On horsbak armed witħ Sheelde and Spere.

This was vpon) the whitsonday 2761

Fyve hundred of these, as I rede,

That Sornogouore made this a-ray.

Helde hole to-gyther witħouten) drede.

His Renners dyscoueredι alle the contree,

The tother oute of aray than)

And there they herde first of Partanope. 2764

Alle day the Countree pryked and ranne; 2776

87Thay rafte maney man) hys lyffe. [leaf 35] Thay cesyd nott tylle thay where atte Pvntyffe. Thorow the Contre thenne Rose the crye. The frenchemen) onne the casteɫ onne hye, Owte of the Cuntre herde grette afraye, Whytħ hym)-sylfe hadde grette dysmaye. The hethen) luste notte to abyde here kynge, The ffrenehe men) thay dradde no-thynge. A-none as euer Partonope Thys noyse herytħ, watt dothe he Paste butte armethe hym in alle haste ? And Comaw[n]dytħe hys sowdyowres faste They make hem) redy, for he wolle Ryde, He thynckytħ no lenger for to abyde. v. c. now on) horse-backe [he hade] Welle armed; and thenne hee bade * The porterys faste vndo the ȝate. Butte he wolle lette no man) passe ther-ate, Tylle tyme thatt he the kynge muȝthte y-see Redy to ryde and hys mayne. The kyng1 ys armed and Redy to Ryde. Affter hym) ther wolle no man) abyde. Two Mɫi men) alle redy he Armed hadde, and thenne Partonope Spake to the kyng1 ynne thus wyse : [“Sir, I pray yow, lat me devyse] Howe thatt ȝe gouernyd schalle be. Kepythe to-gedyr alle yowrʾ mayne,

2788. MS. sawdyowres.

2792. Lee bade] MS. bade hee.








Partonope arms himself.

He bids the porters open the gate.

Two thou. sand men are ready to sally.

The King is to remain behind.

Univ. Coll. MS.

They refte many a man of his lyfe.

But to hym) ys redy for to ryde. 2790

They sees not tylle they come to Pountyfe. 2778

He bade the porters vndo the yate, 2793

Thus they made a sudeyn) affray. 2781

But they wolde not late none oute therate, 2794

They in the Casteɫɫ gan) dysmay.

Tylle the kyng were redy to ryde. 2797

Anone as euer this Partanope 2785

Than) after hym, he dothe a-byde. 2798

This noyse heritħ, what dothe he ?

1He spake to the kyng in This wyse :

ι hym) in alle that hast,

“Sir, I pray yow, lat me devyse 2802

And witħ alle his soudiours as fast

How that ye shaɫɫ governed be. [1 If. 14]

He thenketħ no lenger for to a-byde,

Kepetħ hole to-gydyr youre meyne,

88And y schalle go affore and mete Wytħ these hethen); butte locke ȝe lete None off yowrʾ hoste fro yow goo. Butte ȝyff ȝe se ytte stonde soo Thatt of helpe y haue grete nede, Me * to Rescowe than) faste ȝe spede.”  Now [of] the kynge Partonope  Hys leue takytħ, and ffreschely Rydytħ he  Ouer the brygge yn-to the fylde, To hym war[d] comyng1 he be-helde Freschely armed an) hethen) knyȝtħte Thatt hym) asawylett wytħ alle hys myȝtħte. Partonope pulletħ owte hys swerde, As he [that] was no-thynge aferde. [leaf 35, back] He gaffe the hethen) knyȝth a dynte Wytħte hys swerde thatt neuer stynte, Tylle cleuen) was hede and helme anone, Streyȝthte vnto the breste bone. He ffelle downe dede yn) alle here syȝthte. Heldines hyȝtħ* thus knyħthte. He was of grete* reputacon) Amonge the hethen), for here gownfanon) He bare euer-more ynne Batayle. Thus sayytħ myn) Autor wytħ-owten) fayle. Thys hathe Heldynes harde y-hent Off thus skarmosche the fyrste dent1. Partonope wolde noȝth sese Off grete strokys, butte yn) be-gynnythe to prese,

2810. Me] MS. ye.

2824. MS. bryȝtħ.

2825. MS. crete.

Partonope rides into the field, and is at once attacked by a heathen knight.

Partonope cleaves his head.

This knight’s name was Heldin.








Univ. Coll. MS.

And I shaɫɫ goo a-fore and meete 2805

Partanope pulletħ oute his Swerde,

Witħ these hethen); but looke ye leete

And of hym) is no-thyng a-ferde. 2818

He gaff that knygħt suche a dynt

None of youre Oost from) yow goo.

That thurgħ his hede hit glynt.

But yf ye wyle see het stant soo 2808

He fylle doune dede alle in her sygħt.

That I of helpe haue grete nede,

Heldenes was the name of this knygħt.

Me to rescow than) fast ye spede.”

He was a man) of grete reputacion) 2825

NOw of the kyng this Partanope

Amonge the hethen), for he her ganfanon)

His leve takitħ, and forthe rydetħ he

Bare euermore in any Batayle.

Over the Brygge in-to the feelde, 2813

Thus saytħ myn) autoure witħoute fayle. 2828

Where he sawe and be-heelde

How that an) hethen) knygħt

Now Partanope wole not sees 2831

Be-gan) hym to assayle witħ his mygħt.

To gyff grete strokes in that prees,

89As he thatt was bothe hardy and bolde. Sucche a stroke he gaffe Burnolde, An hethen) man), thatt alle myȝtht see. The quarter wythe the harme he made flee From) the body in-to the fylde. Sucche strokys men) haue y-sen butte sylde. Partonope cryed : “O Crysten) men)! Leye onne faste, thatt the hethen) Neuer mowe thatt day se Thatt we schulle of them) be Dyscumfyte, or ellys be wytħ-drawe Off sucche pepelle of false lawe.” The hethen) hertys gan) faste colde Be-cawse of Heldine and of Burnolde Where so deden); for bothe too Were gode knyȝthtys; and Partonope ther-to So fersely leyytħ onne rownde abowte; Moche folke he sleythe of the hethen) Rowte. Amonge the hethen) he so pressythe, And of fyȝthtyng1 neuer sessythe. He leyytħ on) the hethen) soo They mow nott chese, away th[e]y goo, Alle blody and beten) owte of the fyȝthte*, Thus buth thay thus day alle scumfyte; A-way they flee an huge pace. Partonope* folewytħ wythe the chase [leaf 36] Wythe alle hys power by hys syde.

2836. MS. quorter ?

2855. MS. flyȝthte.

2858. MS. Partonotope.







Partonope then slays Burnold.

He encourages his men to fight valiantly.

The enemies retreat.

Univ. Coll. MS.

For he was bothe hardy and boolde.

Were dede so; for bothe they two

And suche a stroke he gaffe Bornolde

Were worthey knygħtes/but now ys so

That a hethen) knygħt was he. 2835

That Partanope feersly hym) a-boute

The quarter witħ the arme he made flee [1 leaf 14, back]

Sleetħ folke of the hethen) rowte. 2850

Amonge the hethen) he so presed,

Fro the Body in-to the feelde.

And of fygħtyng he neuer sesed,

Su[c]he strookes men) haue sey seelde.

But overledde the hethen) soo

Partanope cryed : “O ye cristen) men),

Th[e]y may not chese, a-way they goo,

Lay on) fast vpon) the hethen), 2840

Alle blody and bethyn) oute of fyght,*

That they se not vs witħdrawe. 2843

Thus be they this day dyscomfyte. 2856

Kelle these people of fals lawe !”

A-wey they flee an) huge paas.

The hethen) hertes gam faste Coolde

Partanope feersly pursuetħ the Chaas

1Be-cause of Hildenes and Bornolde

With alle his power be his syde.

2855. MS. sygħt.

90There was sene he cowde beste ryde. The hethen) for fere ganne quake, Partonope hathe hem* ouer-take. Now enter-mellyd aȝen) they be. The Crysten) lyen) onne, thatt hyt to* see Or here, hyt was, me thynkythte, grete Ioye. Partonope thatt day dydde grete noye To the saryȝynys; for trewly abyde Durste they neuer not; for wonde[r] wyde Dysparcled ynne the felde they bee. Many an helme ther men) myȝthte y-see Alle to-clatered and scheldes schake. The sarȝynes effte sone he ganne make To leue ther grownde, and to flyȝthte He putte hem) alle; and ther a knyȝthte Ho slowe, hose name was Farrees*, He sclowe as he rode thorow the presse. He mette anoder hygtħ Maroes, He sclow hym alle-so, thus ys no lese. Owte of the presse nowe dothe he Ryde Hym to brethe, butte there abyde He wolle noȝtħ long1, butte ynne agayne. Thatt sawe the sarȝynes, and faste to flene They ganne echone* wytħ-owten) lette. Amonge hem was on) hygthte bele Sawrette, A sarȝyne, a luste man), an a ȝonge. He was Newoo vnto Surnegowre the kynge.

2862. hem] MS. bene.

2864. to] MS. may.

2868. abyde underdotted before wyde.

2875. MS. Marrees.

2883. MS. euchene, emend echone or eurychone.

Partonope overtakes them, and the battle begins afresh.

He slays the heathen knights Fares and Mares, and Bel Sauiet, nephew of king Sornegour.








Univ. Coll. MS.

There hit was seen) who cowde ryde.

Alle to-clateryd and broken) be. 2871

The hethyn) for feere they gan) quake,

The hethen) her grounde gan) for-sake;

Partanope hatħ hem) now overtake.

Her flygħt a-way they dyd make.

Now entermedlid a-yen they be.

There Partanope in that fyght

The Crysten) fygħten, loye hit ys to see; * 2864

Slow many a dougħty knyght.

He slow the lorde Mores 2875

And the hethen) drust not a-byde, 2867

And a knygħt that hyght Fores. 2877

For Partanope made hym) sparble wyde.

Amonge hem) was oon) Bele Soret, 2884

A lusty Sara3yn), wythoute lette.

And many an) helme there men) mygħt see

Strong he was and wele lykyng,

Nevew to Sornogoure the kyng. 2886

91Welle horsyd and ffreschely armyd was hee. Off hym toke kepe Partonope. He spowrytħe hys stede wytfħ alle hys myȝthte, He thoȝtħte thatt sarȝyne schulde alyȝthte. And wytħ grete haste wytħe hym) he mette, And so sore hym) wytħ -sette, The sarȝyne mowȝth yn) no wyse chese. Partonope made hym) there to lese Hys lyffe; ther-wytħ Partonope Lokythe abowte affter hys mayne, And to hym drawyth a sowffte pace. [leaf 36, back] The hethen) cryed alas alas,* Off hys dethe thay hadde grete pety. “Watte manne hy[s] thus Partonope ?” They sayde alle, in Crystyante Was nott sucche anoder as hee. Partonope ys nowe wythe hys mayne. Hem to-geder nowe drawetħ hee; And dothe off hys helme hem to abrethe. He loked be-hynde, and on a hethe The kynge of Fraunee ther sawe he comynge Wythe alle hys Oste, wyehe was gode tythyngge To alle the power of Partonope. For nothyng1 lengger abyde wolde he. Onne goythe the helme, forthe Rennytħe the stede Amonge alle the bodyys thatt there laye dede, Tylle he was, wytħ-owte lese,

2898. MS. The cryed alas alas hethen) sayd alas.








The heathen are seized with fear.

Partonope pulls off his helmet to recover breath. He then sees the King of France approaching.

Partonope attacks the Saracens again, and kills a knight named Lugan.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Wele horsed and armed was he. 2887

Was not suche a-nother as he.

Of hym) toke heede this Partanope.

Partanope ys now witħ his meyne,

In grete hast with hym) he mette, 2891

For they now to-gyder be. 2904

And suche a stroke on) hym) he sette

He dothe of his helme for to a-brethe.

He loked be-hynde. and vnnethe

That he mygħt in no wyse chese,

The kyng of Fraunee he saw comyng

But his lyfe dyd tho leese. [1 leaf 15]

Witħ alle his Oste; that was goode tydyng 2908

1And therwitħ this goode Partanope

Loketħ a-boute for his meyne, 2896

To alle the power of Partanope.

And to hem) draweth a softe paas.

For no-thyng lenger a-byde wolde he.

The hethen) cryed alias alias,

On) gothe the helme, forthe rennetħi the Stede

Of his detħ they had grete pytee.

“What man)ys this Partanope?”/ 2900

Amonge the bodyes that there lye dede,

They sayde in alle Crystyante

Tylle he was, withouten) lees, 2913

92Amyddes the sarȝynes yn) alle the prese. He leyytħ abowte hym) wytħ hys brande. Many an hethen) there loste hys hande, The arms fro the body clene He made flee ynto the grene. Whan) the sarȝynes thus dyd see, Alle atte ons thay gan) [to] flee. Amonges these [hethen] was a man), A worthy [knyght], thatt hygtħ Lugan). Wyth hym mette Partonope. Hys hede anone he made flee From the body ynto the fylde. Many a sarȝyne hytte be-helde. Off thus stroke they were aferde; They cursed hym) sore and eke hys swerde. Partonope leyytħ [onne] ynne euery syde. Now gynnytħe the hethen) faste on) hym Ryde, And wytħ fers hert hym to asayle. Now at Erste be-gynnytħe the Batayle. Ther-wytħ -alle comytħe the kynge Off Fraunce, and wytħe hym) alle prekynge To Mɫi of hys lege men), [leaf 37] Thatt freschely the prees of* the ethen) Wytħe sturdy speres and swerdes [br]eke. Onne grownde of the hethen) falletħ maney freke.

2930. or an)?

2936. the prees of] MS. pressytħ vppon).

The king of France arrives with two thousand of his liegemen.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Amydde the Saraȝyns in alle the prees.

Of this stroke they were a-ferde;

They cursid hym) sore and eke his swerde. 2928

He laythe a-boute hym) witħ his brond.

Partanope lyetħ on) vpon) euery syde.

Many an) hethen) there lost his hond.

Now gynne they faste on) hym) ryde,

The armes fro the body clene 2917

And witħ feerse hert hym) assayle.

He made flyng vn-to the Grene.

Now at eerst be-gynnetħ the batayle.

Whan) the Sara3yns this dyd se,

1 Therwitħaɫɫ now Comytħ the kyng

Alle at onys they gan) to flee. 2920

Of Fraunce, and witħ hym) fast prekyng

Amonge these hethen) was a man),

Two thowsand of his lyegemen), 2935

A worthy knygħt that hygħt Lugan).

That fresly the prees of the hethen)

Witħ hym) mette this Partanope.

Witħ sturdy Speres and Swerdes breke. [l leaf 15, back]

His heede anone he made flee 2924

From the body in-to the feelde.

To grounde of the hethen) fylle many a freeke.

Many a Sara3yn) hit byhelde.

93The ȝonge kynge hym)-sylffe dothe fyȝthte, Off hym ytte was a ryȝtħ gode syȝthte. There bydetħ notte onne, butte faste thay flee To Chars,* here Casteɫ; and Partonope Charchet hem streyȝthte to the castelle, Where-ynne was many a sarȝyne felle, Thatt to the gate faste* Ranne. A-none owte gothe the grete gunne. There-wyth they made an huge shryche; Partonope hurlythe hem in-to the deche. The bowes of brake er bent1 ynne haste; They bent here arowblastys and stones caste. Partonope thatt day vnder hys schelde xx hethen) he hathe slayn) yn the fylde. Wythe thatt he hadde of money moo Broken) the armes and leggys a-twoo. The frenche men) thatt were leffte in Pvntyffe, Felle sodenly yn) grete stryffe. And alle was for here abydynge, Thatt they schulde leue be-hynde here kynge. They armed hym) yn grete haste, And affter the kynge hyed faste. Eche man) schaped hym to gone; And thus ys Pvntyffe leffte alone. Whenne Surnegowrʾ, the hethen) kynge,

2942. MS. Iars.

2944. or mony ?

2945. MS. farste.







The Saracens flee to Chars.

The French left at Pontoise also take part in the battle.

When Sorne gour hears the noise and the shouting of his men, he arms himself and hurries to the gate.

Univ. Coll. MS.

The yong kyng hym-selfe dothe fygħt.

Partanope that day vndyr his Sheelde

The hethen) in hast are put to flygħt,

Twenty hethen) hat slayn) in the feelde.

There bydetħ. not one / but fast gan) flee

Witħ that he had of many moo 2953

Broken) the legges and armes in two.

To Charse her Casteɫɫ; and Partanope

The frencħ that were left in Pountyfe,

Chasetħ hem) fast to the Casteɫɫ,

Where was many an) hethen) feɫɫ, 2944

Fylle sodenly in a grete stryfe. 2956

That to the yate fast tho rvnne.

And alle was for her a-bydyng

Anone oute gothe the grete gvnne.

To longe be-hynde after her kyng.

Therwitħ they made an) huge slyrke

They armed hem) in grete haste,

Partanope hurlytħ hem) in-to the dyke.

And after the kyng they highedι faste.

The bowes of brake are bent in hast;

Eche man) shapetħ hym) for to gone;

They bend her arow-blastes and stones cast. 2950

And thus ys Pountyfe left allone.

Whan) Sornogoure, the hethen) kyng,

94Herde the noyce and the cryinge Off thus mayne, he* armed hym faste, An to the ȝate he ganne haste. Whenne he to the baryerys come, Hys stede freschely ther he nome. He wente to haue an issue fre*, Butte of hys purpose lette was he. The kynge off Fraunee was atte that Res, And Partonope the erle of Bloys; There was eke the kynge-ys oste. [leaf 37, back] Partonope hadde atte hys coste v Mti men) armed welle Wytħ helmes Burneschyd wytħ bryȝthte style. Thay schette the Barryers anone Ryȝthte, Thatt the hethen) hathe no myȝthte Owte of the Casteɫɫ forder to Isse. There ȝede strokes fulle thycke y-wysse. The ffrenche there wytħe the hethen) [dyd] fyȝthte, Tylle aponne hym felle durke nyȝthte, Thatt [n]onne* off them) myȝthte oder see.

2965. he] MS. here.

2969. an issue fre] MS. Partonope.

2983. MS. onne with nne underdotted; the dots may have been put inadvertently, a letter (o ?) before off having been blotted and marked for erasure.

Five thousand French keep the bars, so that the Saracens cannot get out of the castle.

At night the fight ceases.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Herde this noyse and this crying 2964

1H . . de þis noyse and þis cryinge

Of his meyne, he armed hem) fast,

. f his meyne, he armede hym faste,

And to the yate he hyed in hast.

And to þe yate he hyede in haste.

And whan) he to the Barres come,

When) he to þe barres come, [1 leaf 8]

His steede feersly there he nome. 2968

His stede freshly þer he nome. 2968

He wende to haue and Issue free,

He wende to haue hade issue fre,

But of his purpose lette was he.

But of his porpose let was he.

The kyng of Fraunee at that reys,

The kynge of Fraunce at þat reyse,

1 And Partanope, The Erle of Bloys,

And Partonope, þe erle of Bloysse, 2972

And therwitħaɫɫ the kyngis Ooste.

And þer-with-aɫɫ þe kynges oste.

Partanope had there at his coste [1 if. 16]

Partonope hade þer at his coste

Fyve thowsand men) armedι wele 2975

Fyve þousonde armede weɫɫ

In armoure brygħt made of Steele,

In armore bright made of steɫɫ, 2976

That shette the barres a-none rygħt,

That shet þe barres anone rigħt

That the hethen) had no mygħt 2978

That þe hethyn hade no mygħt

Oute of the Casteɫɫ further to goo.

Out of þe casteɫɫ forþer to goo.

There yede strokes many tho. [fygħt

There yede strokes manye þo. 2980

The frencħ witħ the hethen) there dyd

The frencħe with þe hethyn dede figħt

Tylle vpon) hem) fylle derke nygħt,

Tiɫɫ vppon) fiɫɫ dyrke nyght,

That none of hem) mygħt other see.

That none of hem myght oþer se. 2984

Between 2970 and 2971 MS. adds: The kynge of Fraunce let was he.

95The kynge comawndyd hys men) lette be Off thus skermysche and thus stryve, And takethe the way to Pvntyffe. The hethen) taketħe Surnegowre, Here kynge, and streyȝthte in-to the towre— For ytte was nyȝthte—thay hym ladde. They conseld hym), and they hym) redde To kepe thatt casteɫ yn) saue garde, Tylle he hadde alle hys reerwarde.  To Pvntyffe ys now reden) the kynge;  And Partonope, bothe luste and ȝonge,  In thus Iornay hathe geten) hym) a name, Thatt alle men) be-gynne to proclame Hys grete name and worthynys. Ther-to there spake bothe more and lasse, And seyden), sethen) the worle be-ganne, Was ther neuer bore a sucche a mane Off manhode, of worthynys, of fredome and of lowlynys. For so hym) preysythe bothe more and lesse; For he helde sucche opyn) husholde Thatt wellcome was ho euer come wolde. And grete gyftys gaue he, and thatt was ofte,







The French king rides back to Pontoise.

The Saracens counsel their king to remain in the castle.

Partonope’s fame spreads throughout all France.

Whoever comes to him is welcome.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

The kyng comaundetħ his men) let be

The kynge comondyth his men let be

Alle this skyrmyssħ and alle this stryfe,

Aɫɫ þis skyrmyshe and aɫɫ þis stryfe,

And taken) the way to Pountyfe. 2986

And toke þe wey to Pountyfe.

The hethen / taketħ Sornogoure,

The hethyn take Sornogoure,

Her kyng / and streygħt to the Toure,

Her kynge, and streight to þe toure,

For hit was nyght / they hym ledde.

For it was nyght, þey hym lede. 2989

And alle they counsayle and redde

Aɫɫ bey counseɫɫ hym and rede

To kepe that Casteɫɫ in safe garde,

To kepe be casteɫɫ in safe garde.

Tylle he had alle his rewardι. 2992

To Pountyfe ys now rydde the kyng;

¶ To Pountyfe is rede þe kynge;

And Partanope, bothe lusty and yeng,

And Partonope, bothe lusty and yonge,

In this Iuiney hatħ a grete name,

In þis Iorney hathe grete name,

That Thourgħ alle Fraunce they gan) proclame 2996

That þorwe Fraunce þey proclame 2996

His grete manhode and his worthinesse.

His grete manhode and his worthynes.

Therof they speke bothe more and lesse;

There-of þey speke bothe more and lesse; 3002

For he helde suche opyn) householde

For he helde soyche oppyn housolde

That welcome was that come wolde.

That welcome was þat come wolde.

Grete gyftes gaff he had that was ofte

Grete gyftes gafe he and ofte 3005

3002. MS. spoke?

96Off clothes, off golde, and velavet soffte. There-to so lowly [eke] was he Notte onely to lordys butte to euery degre, Thatt euery man) of hym) hadde Ioye; They lekened hym) to worthey Ector of Troye. Thatt lady here loue cowde welle Chese Thatte sucche onne chese, and cownde so plese [leaf 38] Alle the worle, and loued here beste; Me thyncketħ [here] herte stante ynne grete Reste. Thys he ys spoken) off thorow alle Fraunce, Thatt of hys wytte and of hys gouernaunce Kame neuer no sucche yn-to thatt Cuntre. The pepele desyryd hym gretely to see, And drewe to hym fro* euery syde. Knyȝthte ne squyer wolde non) abyde, Butte alle drew to Partonope. Hem so godely thenne reseuyd he Thatt gladde of hym) ys euery wyȝthte. He was so plesawnt yn) here syȝthte Thatt ther was neyder knyȝthte ne squyer Thatt for hys loue or for hys favowrre Throw-owte alle Frawnce was gladde to be A-queyntyd wythe Partonope. And tho thatt comytħe he dothe wytħ-holde He yeuytħ hem) plenty of syluer and golde.

3019. fro] MS. fers.

He gives them plenty of gold and silver.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Of clothes, of golde, and welwettes softe. 3006

1 Of clothis of golde, velwet softe. [1 leaf 8, back]

And therto lowly eke was he

And þer-to lovely eke was he

Not onely to lordys but to alle degree

Not only to lordes but to aɫɫ degre 3008

That euery man) of hym hadι Ioye;

That euery man) of hym hade Ioye;

They lykned hym to Ecctor of Troye.

They lekenede hym to Ectore of Troye,

Thus ys he spoken of thorow alle Fraunce, 3015

Thus is he spokyn) of In Fraunce, 3015

That of hys witte and of his gouernaunce

That of his wyte and his gouernaunce

Come neuer sucħe in that contree.

Come neuer soyche In þat contre.

The people desyretħ hym) gretly to see,

The pepiɫɫ desyrethe hym gretly to se,

1 And drawe to hym) from) euery syde.

And drewe to hym fro euery syde.

Knygħt nor Squyer wylle not a-byde,

Knyght, squyre wiɫɫ not abyde. 3020

And alle that comen) he dothe witħ-holde [1 leaf 16, back] 3029

And aɫɫ þat come he dyde with-holde.

He gyffe hem) plente of his golde.

3021. On margin is added by another hand: Knyght squior ȝong & oolde.

97To piece hom alle he dothe hys myȝthte, Hys worchyppe to saue, and eke the * Ryȝthte Off Fraunce and of hys lege lorde. Fro maney partyes of the worlde Moche pepele to hym ys comande, Now a .c, now ij c., now a thosande. To Fraunce was he a stronge poste; [Day by day encresitħ the Ooste. Or than) a monetħ was alle past] Chyualrye to hym can dr[a]we faste, Thatt there were numberyd in the fylde An) .c. Mɫi wythe spere and schylde. The re[re]ward of kynge Surnegour Ys now y-come, where-ynne the flowre * Ys herborewed of thus Chyualrye. Where-fore anone he made do crye Thatt they schulde alle y-armed bee The nexte day, thatt he myȝthte y-see

3031. MS. hom or ham.

3032. the] MS. hys.

3044. flowre] MS. towre.






His army increases by thousands.

Within a month he has a hundred thousand men.

The rearguard of king Sornegour having arrived, the heathen army numbers more than two hundred thousand men.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

To please hem) alle he dothe his mygħt

To plese hem aɫɫ he dothe hys mygħt,

Hys worshi p ¯ to save and the rygħt

His worchipe to saue and þe rigħιt 3032

Of Fraunce and of his lyege lorde.

Of Fraunce and his lege lorde.

Fro many partyes of the worlde 3034

From many partes of þe worde

Moche people come to hym) warde,

Moche pepiɫɫ come to hymwarde,

Bothe by thousandes and hundredι.

Bothe be þousonde and by honderde.

To Fraunee was he a stronge poste;

Of France was he a stronge poste; 3037

Day by day encresitħ the Ooste.

Day be day encreseth his oste.

Or than) a monetħ was alle past

Ore þen a month was aɫɫ paste

Chevalry to hym) drow wel fast, 3040

Chevalry to hem drewe faste, 3040

That there were nomberd in the feelde

That þer were nomberde In þe felde

An) hundred thousand witħ Spere and Sheelde.

An honderde with spere and shelde.

The rerewardι of kyng Sornogoure

¶ The rerewarde of kynge Sornogoure

Ys now comyn), wherin) the floure 3044

Ys nowe come, where-in þe floure 3044

Is herbowred of his cheualrye.

Ys herberwyde of chevallrye.

Wherefore a-none he made do crye

Where-fore anone he made do crye

That they shulde alle armed be

That þey shulde aɫɫ armede be

The next day, that he mygħt see 3048

The nexte day þat he myght se 3048

3036. b (?) erased before poste.

3042. miɫɫ written above honderde (by another hand ?).

3044. whe erased before where.



98Whatt pepele he hadde onne the fylde. The herodes ther nummberyd wytħ spere and schylde ij hunderyd Mɫi* wytħ-owten) alblasterys, Wythe-owte gyldenys and archerys,* Were-of the numbere they cownde notte telle. [leaf 38, back] Sornegour the kynge, thatt was so felle, Whenne alle these pepele he dyd see, The kynge of Fraunce thenne manasyd* he, And sayde prowdely he wolde noȝthe fayle To holde the fylde and gene hyin batayle. Partonope herytħ alle thus; And to hym comyng1 sodenly ys Moehe pepele of Loreyne and of Freslonde, Wythe-owte letter of hym or [any] sonde, The poytowys, the aunguys,* the Gascon), The frenche, the almayne, the Breton). Moche pepele come of Pavy, And alle-so owte of Lumbardy.

3051 MS. ii Mɫ1 hunderyd, 11. 3051–52 are in inverse order in MS.

3056. manasyd] MS. namyd.

3063. MS. paytowys? MS. amguys.

From various countries men gather round Partonope.





Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

What people he had in the feelde,

What pepiɫɫ he hade In þe felde,

Whiche were nombred of Spere and Sheelde

Wheche were nomberde of spere and Sheelde

An hundred thousand withouten arblasters,

An . c. þousonde with-out arblastes,

Witħoute gyldenes and archers, 3052

With-out gildenes and archeres, 3052

Where-of the nombre they cowde not teɫɫ.

Where-of þe nombir þey couthe not teɫɫ.

Sornogoure the kyng, that was rygħt feɫɫ,

Sornogoure þe kynge, þat was feɫɫ,

Whan) alle these peple he dyd see,

When) aɫɫ þis pepiɫɫ he dyde se,

The kyng of Fraunce then) manased he,

The kynge of France manassede he,

And sayde proudely: “I wole not fayle

And seyde proudly : “I wiɫɫ not faiɫɫ

To holde the [feelde] and gyff hym) batayle.” 3058

1To holde þe felde and gyf bataiɫɫ.” 3058 [1 leaf 9]

Partanope by spyes herytħ alle this;

P[ar]tonope be spyes hereth aɫɫ þis;

And to hym) sodenly comen) ys

And to hem sodenly come is

Moche people of Loreyege andι Fryse londe

Moche pepiɫɫ of Loryn and of Frys-londe

Withoute letter or any sonde, 3062

With-out letter ore ony sonde, 3062

The Pyetes, the aungyus, the Gascouns,

The perres, þe aungoyoyes, þe gas-covnes,

The frencħ, the almayns, the Bretouns.

The frenche, þe almaynes, þe bruttons.

Moche people there come of Pavy, 3065

Moche pepiɫɫ þer come of Pavy,

And also in Lombardy. [leaf 17]

And also out of Lombardy. 3066

99Be-twene these kynges wytħ-owten) fayle Ys sette a day of Batayle, Wyche ordinaunce, wytħ-owten) naye, Shulde be holde apon) a twysdaye, Wyche yn olde tyme, I wolde noȝtħ lye, The day of Batayle dothe synefye. The kynge of Fraunce comaw[n]dytħe by wrytte Erche-byscoppes and Byschopys, and heyly hem bytte * To abbotys and priorys and eke to frerys To come a prosescon) and make here prayerys For hym and alle hys cheualrye. To do hys comawndement faste they hye. Atte Chars schalle the Batayle be, Where the hardy schalle make the coward flee.  Ytte was onne a twysday,  Whenne the sonne ys * bemus fulle gaye  Schowed, wyche browȝthte forthe meny a flowrʾ, Kynge Agysowrʾ* and kynge Surnegowre, Vnder the schadowe of a nappell tree, Here cownseɫɫ helde yn) alle degrees Off here lordes and of here knygħthode,*

3074. bytte] MS. wytte.

3082. MS. sonnys with an e written above last n.

3084. MS. Kuysowrʾ.

3087. MS. cheualryes.






A Tuesday is fixed for the day of battle.

The heathen kings hold a council.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Bytwene these kynges, saunȝ fayle,

Be-twe-ne þis kynges samfaiɫɫ

Is sette the day of her batayle, 3068

Ys set þe day of þer bataiɫɫ, 3068

Witħ ordynaunce, withouten) nay,

Wyth ordenance, with-out nay,

Shulde be holde on) the Tuesday,

Shulde holde vpon þe thursday,

Whiche in olde tyme, not for to lye,

Whiche In olde tyme, not for to lye,

The day of batayle to signifye. 3072

The day of bataiɫɫ to sygnefye. 3072

The kynge of Fraunce comaundetħ by wryte,

¶ The kynge of Fraunce comondyth be wryte,

And Bysshops and clergy hem) hyly bytte 3074

And bysshoppus and clergye truly byte

To go on) precession) for alle his Chevalrye. 3077

To goo on pressession for his chevalrye.

To do his comaundement fast they hye.

To do his comondement faste þey hye.

At Charse shaɫɫ now this batayle be;

At Charse shaɫɫ nowe þis bataiɫɫ be;

He than) hatħ the wros must nedys flee. 3080

He þat hathe þe worse moste nedes fle. 3080

These hethen) kiyges Sornogour 3084

This heigh kynge Sornogoure 3084

Witħ the worthy Syr Agysour,

With þe worthy sir Agysoure,

Vndyr Shadow of appyɫɫ trees,

Vnder þe sha[d]we of appiɫɫ trees,

Her counsayle holde with alle degrees

Here counseɫɫ helde with aɫɫ degres

Of her lordys and of her knyghtħode,

Of þer lordes and of þer knyghthode,

100And .c. knyȝthtys [that] of alle manhode Where hyly cownted they hadde there, Thatt kowde welle dele wytħe schelde and spere. They were as stylle as eny stone, One worde ne spake of hem nott one. Kynge Sornegowre hem faste be-helde : [leaf 39] “Lordynggys,” he sayde, “to-morewe the felde We mutte holde and ȝeue Batayle To the frenche, thys ys no fayle. ȝe buthe alle bothe ware and wyse. Lete euery man) seye now hys devyse To sette owre Batayle in ordynaunce, And se hoo schalle haue the gouernaunce Off owre slyngges and of owre archerye.” Firste spake Loemers* in wordes hye. Off Norway he was lord and kynge; The Northwayys er atte hys ledynge. “Ser,” he seyde, “hyt may nott fayle To-morewe we schalle haue Batayle,

3102. MS. Leoners.

Sornegour invites the assembly to give their opinions.

King Loemer of Norway points out that the French army is growing rapidly; the king of France has offered rich gifts on the condition that the Saracens leave the country; they ought to accept that offer.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

And hundred knygħtes, that of manhode

An honderde knyghtes þat of manhode

Were higħly acounted, they had there,

Were highly accountyde þey hade þer,

That cowde dele weɫɫ with Shelde and Spere. 3090

That couthe weɫɫ dele with shelde and spere. 3090

Kyng Sornogoure hem fast by-helde :

Kynge Sornogoure hem faste be-helde :

“Lordinges,” he sayde, “to-morow the feelde 3094

“Lordynges,” he seyde, “to-morwe þe felde

We must holde and gyffe batayle

We moste holde and gyfe bataiɫɫ

To the ffrench, this may not fayle.

To þe frenche, þis may not faiɫɫ 3096

Ye be alle / bothe ware and wyse. 3097

Ye be aɫɫ bothe ware and wyse.

Lat Eche man) say now his advyse

Let iche man) sey his avyse

To sette oure batayle in ordynaunce,

To set oure bataiɫɫ In ordenaunce,

And se who shaɫɫ haue the gouernaunce

And se who shaɫɫ haue þe gouernaunce

Of oure wynges and of oure Archery.”

Of oure wynges and oure archerye. 3101

First spake kyng Loemers wordes hye.

1 Firste spake kynge Loemers wordes hye. [l leaf 9, back]

Of Norwey he was lord and kyng;

Of Norwey he was lorde and kynge;

The norweys are at his ledyng. 3104

The Norweyes are at his bydynge.

“Sir,” he sayde, “hit may not fayle

“Sir,” he seyde, “it may not faiɫɫ

To-morow we shhaɫɫ haue batayle

To-morwe we shaɫɫ haue bataiɫɫ 3106

3088. Above honderde is added mħ in another hand.

3094. in added above þe.

3104. bydyd crossed out before bydynge.

101And wythe God-ys grace the victorye Of here cheualrye, butte the frenche trewly Encrese faste, and alle-so y seye Moche pepuɫɫ to hym) gynnythe to obeye. The frenche erne yn) here own) Cuntre, And wythe hym ys one Partonope, Thatt to seke the worl[d]e fur and nere A worthyer may ther non) be preuyed yn) werre, And of the frenche, y dar vndertake, Beste; and alle-so he dothe make Alle thus pepele agaynys vus to come. They be nowe more streyngger thenne they were wone They haue more folke then have* we, And knowytħ the Cuntre beter in eche degre. The kynge hathe made vsse grete proferys ij .c. to fylle of owre Cowferys Wythe golde and syluer and grete Ryches, Off mules of Spayne a Mɫi no lesse, A Mɫi horse and XXti lyones, A Mɫi gosse-hau-kys and a thowsand ffawconys.

3119. have] MS. halffe.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

And witħ Goddys grace the victory

And with Goddes grace þe victorye

Of the french, but her Chevalry 3108

Of þe frenche, but hir cheualrye 3108

Encresitħ fast, and also I say [1 if. 17, bk.]

Encreseth faste, and also I sey

Moche people to hem) gynnetħ to obey.

Moche pepiɫɫ to him gynnyth to obey.

1The ffrencħ arne in her owne Contree,

The frenche are In þer owne contre,

And witħ hem ys one Partanope, 3112

And with hem is on Partonope, 3112

That to seke the worlde nye and ferre,

That to seke þe worlde n[i]għ. and ferre,

A worthier ys not preved in werre.

A worthy ere is not prevyde no-where.

Of alle the frencħ, dare I vndertake,

Of aɫɫ þe frenche, I vnderstonde,

He ys best / and also he dotħe make

He is þe beste, I dare vnderfonge,

Alle these people a-yenst vs to come.

Aɫɫ þis pepiɫɫ a-yenste vs come.

They be more strenger then) they were wonne. 3118

They ben more strenger þen þey were wone. 3118

They haue now more folk then) we,

They haue more better þe degre. 3120

And know the Contree better in eche degree. 3120

Afore this the kyng hatħ made grete profre

Afore þis þe kynge hath made grete profre

Two hundredι to fylle of oure cofre

Two honderde to feɫɫ of oure coffere

Witħ golde and Seluer and grete rychesse,

With golde and syluer and grete Rychesse,

Of mules of Spayne to thousand no lesse, 3124

Of mvlis of Spayne a þousonde no lesse, 3124

A thousandι hors and twenty lyons,

A þousonde hors and XXti lyouns,

And a thousand Goshaukes and faucons.

And a þousonde gosshawkes and faucouns.

102And oder [that be] off owre concelle Schulde be rewarded alle-so Ryȝtħ welle Wythte cuppys of syluer and cuppys of goolde, Onne thus conduscon) wytħ thatt we wolde In-to owre cuntre faste returne, And ynne Fraunce no lengger soiorne. And yette thus profere yeffe ȝe haue mowe*, [leaf 39, back] I cowncelle yow for hys crowne [nowe] Ye stryue no more; lette* hym) ytte haue. Thys ys my rede,* so God me saue.” When) he hadde seyde, alle stylle they satte A Ryȝthte grete whyle or any ys wytte Owte wolde schewe or ytte declare. Thatt sawe kynge Faburneys,* and wolde noȝtħ spare To telle ys wytte and hys aduyse. He was Ryȝthte semely, and therto wyse, And kynge he was of Glyglandι; Money a Iorney toke he on hande. “Syr,” he seyde, “dame Loemers * In armes ys bothe myȝthty and fers,

3132. no] MS. rather na.

3133. mowe] MS. nowe.

3135. MS. lette twice.

3136. rede] MS. Bede.

3140. MS. Baburneys.

3144. or Maney ?

3145. MS. leoners.

Faburin, king of the Wends, will give battle.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

And other that be of oure Counsayle

And oþer þat be of oure counsaiɫɫ

Shulde also be reward rygħt wele 3128

Shulde also be rewardyde weɫɫ 3128

With cuppis of sy[l] vir and eke of golde,

With coppus of syluer and golde fyne,

Vpon) this condycion) that we wolde

Vppon) þis condicion þat we willyne

In-to oure contre fast retourne, 3131

In-to oure contre faste retorne,

And in Fraunce no lenger sogeourne.

And In France no lenger soiorne. 3132

And yet this yf ye haue mowe,

And yet þis ye haue mowe.

I counseɫɫ this for his crown) now

I counseɫɫ you for youre crowne nowe

Ye stryve nomore / lat hym) hit haue.

Ye stryfe no more, let hym it haue.

This ys my rede, so God me saue.”

This is my rede, so God me save.” 3136

Whan) he had sayde, alle stylle they sette 3137

When) he hade seyde, steɫɫ he satte

A rygħt grete while, or any his wette

A ryght grete while, ore ony mate

Oute wolde shew or more declare.

Out wolde shewe ore more declare.

Than) kyng Faburnys wolde not spare 3140

Then) kynge Baburris wolde not spare 3140

To telle his witte and his a-vyce.

To teɫɫ his wyte and his avyse.

He was rygħt semely, and also wyse,

He was Right symly and also wyse,

And kyng he was of Glytlonde;

And kynge he was of Glytlonde;

Many a Iurney toke he on honde. 3144

1Many a Iorney he toke on honde. 3144

“Sir,” he sayde, “my brother Loemers

“Sir,” he seyde, “my broþer Loemeres [l leaf 10]

In armes ys bothe mygħty and feers,

In armes is bothe myghty and fers,

103And welle hathe seyde towchyng1 yowrʾ werre. Butte welle ȝe wytte we arne come fro ferre The crowne of thus land for to haue. My rede ys there-fore, so God me saue, Owre oste to-morewe redy bee In the fylde, there yow may see

[After 3152 lacuna of 60 lines in Brit. Mus. MS.]



Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

And weɫɫ hatħ sayde towchyng youre werre, 3147

And weɫɫ hathe seyde toychynge youre warre, 3147

But we ye wote are comen) fro ferre

But weɫɫ ye wot we come fro ferre

The Coroun) of this lond for to haue.

The crowne of his londe fore to haue.

My rede therfore, so God me save, [if. 18]

More þer-for, so God me saue,

Youre Ooste to-morow now redy be

Youre oste to-morwe redy be

In the feelde, and there may ye se 3152

In þe felde, and þer may ye see 3152

Univ. Coll. MS.

That [they] be sette in ordenaunce,

What euer falle after of happe or chaunce.

For we are ferre oute of oure Contree

Amonge oure enemys, this know ye.


Better were vs manly to dye

Than) in tretyse trust her curtesy.”

His witte hatħ sayde kyng Faburnys.

There answeritħ kyng Marukenes.


Manikin, king of the Orkneys, agrees with Loemer.

Kyng he ys and lorde of Orkeney.

“I wole not spare,” quod he, “to say

My fuɫɫ reson) and myne a-vyce.

Kyng Loemers ys bothe manly and wyse;


His counsaile may vs moche a-vaile.

Ye know wele that we haue grete trauayle,

And ferre are oute of oure Contre.

The frencħ in a Casteɫɫ restid be,


And beter are lernedι of the werre

Rawl. MS.

That þey be set Iu ordenaunce 3153

“I wiɫɫ not spare,” quod he, “to sey

What euer saɫɫ hape ore chaunce.

For we are ferre out of oure contre

My fuɫɫ reson and myn avyse.

Amonge oure enemys, þis knowe ye.

Kynge Loemeres is manly and wyse;

Beter were vs manly to dye 3157

His counseɫɫ may vs meche avaiɫɫ, 3165

Then) In tretyse truste þer cotirtesye.”

Ye knowe we haue moche travaiɫɫ,

His wyte hathe seyde kynge Fabrus.

And ferre out of oure contre.

Then answerde kynge Markenes. 3160

The frenche In casteɫɫ restede be, 3168

Kynge he is and lorde of Orkenye.

And beter are lernede of þe warre

104Thanne we that come so ferre; And euery day they wex more stronge. They haue the rygħt and we the wronge. To eschew fighting / or swiche dystresse I consayle we take of her Rychesse, And leve hem) her contre / and nomore werre, Sitħ we not mowe hem) conquerre.” Now hatħ this kyng sayde his a-vyce. Hym) answerid a kyng holden) rygħt wyse— He higħt Fursyn,* kyng of Syre londe. Many a vyage hathe he take on) honde— Seyng : “Kyng Marukyns hatħ” wele sayde, Saue of oo thyng I holde not me a-payde. For thogħt myn) heers be woxen) white, I wole truly yet me acquyte In this matere; for ye saide oo thing That wysely hatħ Loemers thy kyng. Of that wysedom) canne I no skylle. Yonge men) a-dayes now echone wylle Take vpon) hem) to be hye Counsellers, [leaf 18, back] And say that men) witħ white herys Dote and wote neuer what they mene. But in the ende hit wole be seene. And so to yonge men) the olde are loothe. I wote nevyr how this Counsayle gothe. But whan) the kyng was at home in his contre,

3179. MS. Sursyn.

3187. MS. wysedonn).

3195. contre] r written on an erased y.

King Fursin of Syria protests against such opinions; when the King was at home, they were all for war.







Rawl. MS.

Then) we þat come so ferre; 3170

Safe of o thynge I holde me payde.

And euery day þey wex more stronge.

For þougħ myne heyeres be wex whyte,

They haue þe right and we þe wronge.

I wiɫɫ truly yet me aquyte [leaf 10, back]

To esschewe fightynge ore soych dysstres

In þis maner; for ye seyde o thynge

That wysly hathe Loemeres þe kynge.

I counseɫɫ we take þat Rychesse,

Of þat wysdom can) I no skiɫɫ. 3187

And leue hem þer contre and no more warre, 3175

Yonge men a-dayes nowe iche weɫɫ

Take vppon) hem to yeve counseɫɫ,

Sethe we may not hem conquerre.”

And sey þat men) with whyte heres

Nowe is þis kynge holde right wyse.

Dothe and wot not what þey mene.

He hight Sursyn, kynge of Surre londe.

But in þe ende it wiɫɫ be sene, 3192

Many a vyage hathe take on honde,

And so to yonge þe olde are lothe.

Seynge : “Kynge Markenes hathe weɫɫ seyde, 3181

I wot neuer howe þis counseɫɫ gothe.

When þe kynge was In his contre,

3183. MS. perhaps wox.

105In peas and wele at ease was he. Ye cowde not suffre hym) to a-byde there, He must gone oute algate and conquere. And now ye counsayle hym) to goone, And say he shaɫɫ haue with hym) grete woone Of horse, of golde, and of Rychesse, Of lyons, fawkons, Goshawkes, and Mules. The kyng of Fraunce mygħt none other do thenne, For be-cavse he had no power of men). Now his alleaunce and alle his kynne With grete power to hym) come ben). They be now strenger of knyg[t]hode then) we, For alle his Ioye and comforte ys Partanope, And now he wole not make sucħe profers. I trowe he wole not one of his cofers Opyn) to gyffe vs of his Rychesse or goode. Me thinketh he were than) worse then) woode.

Rawl. MS.

In pese and weɫɫ at eyse was he. 3196

With grete poure to hym come bene.

Ye couthe not suffer hym abyde þere,

They be strenger of knyghthode þen we,

He moste gon out algate to conquere.

For aɫɫ his Ioye and comfort is Partonope. 3208

And nowe ye counseɫɫ hym to gon,

And say he shaɫɫ haue grete wone

Nowe he wiɫɫ not make soyche proferes.

Of hors, of golde, and of ryches. 3201

The kynge of France myght uone oþer do þen,

I trowe he wiɫɫ not on of his cofferes

Oppyn to gyffe vs of his goode.

For he hade no poure of men). 3204

Me thynke he were þen worse þen wode. 3212

Nowe his alyance and aɫɫ hia kyne

3200. MS. perhaps sey.

British Museum MS.

Off my Reson) y wolle make a fyne.

A gode Reson) seyde kynge Fabryne;

He sayde* we werre yn the ronge;

There-fore be reson) the lesse stronge


3215. MS. soyde.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Of my reson) I wole make fyne. 3213

Of my reson I wiɫɫ make fyne. 3213

But wysdam) ys goode sayde kyng Sabryne.

But good wysdome seyde kynge Fabryne.

He sayde we were in the wronge;

He seyde we were In þe wronge;

Therfore be reson) lesse stronge 3216

There-for be reson þe lesse stronge






106Schulde we be, sythte thay haue Ryȝthe. For trewly me* werre leuer fyȝthte In Ryȝthte and for to haue lesse Thenne in ronge to haue encresse.” Kynge Fursyn) hathe seyde and holde hys pese. An Erle then) spake woo-ys name ys Marres. He was Cheffe Iustyce yn) thatt Cuntre, Moche lawe yn hys hede hadde he. In hys Cowneɫɫ a-boue alle thyngge Trusted moste Sornegowrʾ the kynge. “Syr,” he seyde, “herethe nowe my worde. A noreis* tolde yow thatt wytħ-owten) lorde And gode gouernauns alle Fraunce stode. There was none leffte of the Ryalle blode Butte a chylde thatt was tendere of age. He cownselyd* yow men) for to wage To sette alle Fraunce yn grette werre, [leaf 40] Ye mowte noȝthte fayle hym) to co[n]quere. Butte he made yow a grete lesynge.

3218. me] MS. we.

3228. A noreis] MS. Amories.

3232. MS. cawnselyd.

Earl Marres, chief justice of his country, counsels to take the field; the French king might then be induced to stand by his offer.





Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Shulde we be, sitħ they haue rygħt.

Shuɫɫ we be, for þey haue rigħt. 3217

For trewly me had lever to fygħt

For truly me hade leuer to figħt

In rygħt and for to haue the lesse

In Rigħt and for to haue þe lesse

Than) in wronge and to haue encres.”

Then In wronge to haue encresse.” 3220

Kyng Sursyn) had sayde and helde hys pees. 3221

Kynge Sursyn hade seyde and helde his pesse.

An Erle than) speketh whose name ys Marres.

An erle þen spekyth, hight Marres.

He was cheyf Iustyse of his Contree.

He was chyfe Iustyce of his contre.

Moche lawe in his hede had he. 3224

Moche lawe In his hede hade he. 3224

To his counsayle a-boue alle thing

To his counseɫɫ aboue aɫɫ thynge

Trusted moost Sornogoure the kyng.

1Trustede moste Sornogour þe kynge,

“Syr,” he saide, “here now my worde,

“Sir,” he seyde, “here nowe my worde. [1 leaf 11] 3227

A norreis tolde yow That witħouten lorde [leaf 19] 3228

Amies tolde you þat with-out lorde

And goode governaunce/ Fraunce stode.

And good gouernaunce France stode.

There was none left of the reyaɫɫ bloode

There was none lefte of þe Royaɫɫ blode

But a childe was tendred of age.

But a childe tender of age.

He counsayled yow men) for to wage

He counsellede you men to wage 3232

To sette alle Fraunce in grete werre tho, 3233

To set Fraunce In grete warre þoo,

But hit had be better to be vndoo.

But it hade ben beter it hade ben vndo.

For yow he made a grete lesyng.

For you he made grete lesynge. 3235

107Ye knowe welle y-nowe the frenche kynge Fulle manly gouernyd hym) in werre, And alle-so ther ys onne nowe come fro ferre Thatt owte of Fraunce waste summe-tyme loste, Wyche ys to hym) Ryȝthte a grete* poste. Hys name ys clepyd Partonope. So manly yn) armes gouernyd ys he Thatt alle the worlde* begynnytħe to hym) drawe, By yowrʾ power he settytħ noȝtħ an hawe. Neuer the later y cownsel thatt yee In the fylde euer* redy be, Welle arayed to [y]eve hym) Batayle. Paraventure hytt may yow gretely avayle. For yff he se yow redy to fy3thte, He wolle þaraventure anon) Ryȝthte Proffere yow gretely of hys tresowre. Thus mowe ȝe wythe worchepp and honore Escheue the harme of thys Batayle. Thow hys proferys may lyteɫɫ avayle, And yff hym luste nothynge to proferre,

3240. MS. grece.

3243. MS. wordle.

3246. MS. ouer.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Ye know wele now the ffrencħ kyng

Ye knewe weɫɫ nowe þe frenche kynge

Fuɫɫ manly gouernetħ hym) in werre,

Fuɫɫ manly gouernese hym In warre,

And also there ys one come fro ferre

Also þer is on come fro ferre

That oute of Fraunce was somtyme lost,

That out of Fraunce was loste somtyme,

Whiche ys to hym) a grete post. 3240

Whiche is to hym a grete frende. 3240

His name ys clepid Partanope.

His name is clepyde Partonope.

So manly in Amers gouerned ys he

So manly In armes gouer[n]de is he

That alle the worlde to hym) gynne drawe, 3243

That aɫɫ þe worlde to hym dothe drawe,

By youre power he sett not an) hawe.

Of youre poure he set not an hawe.

Neuer the latter I Counseɫɫ that ye

Neuer be later I counseɫɫ þat ye 3245

In the feelde euer redy to be,

In þe felde euer redy be,

Wele arayed to gyff hym) batayle.

Weɫɫ armede to gyffe bataiɫɫ.

Paraventure hit may yow avayle. 3248

Paraventer it may you avaiɫɫ. 3248

For yf they see yow redy to fygħt,

He wole paraventure a-none rygħt

Profer yow gretly of his tresoure.

Thus mow ye with worship and grete honoure 3252

Thus with worchipe and honoure 3252

Eschew the harme of this batayle.

Eschewe þe harme of þis bataiɫɫ.

Thogħ his profres may lytyll a-vayle,

Thougħ his poure may lytiɫɫ avaiɫɫ,

And gyff hym) lust no-thyng to profre,

And yef hym lyste to nothyn[g] to profere,

108Ytte schalle y * make hym to opene hys cofere. Betyr hytt ys to wyrke by charme Thenne to leve, and haue more harme.” Thys ys playnely Marres ys conselle. Ther-to acordythe the hethen) Ryȝthte welle, Saue kynge Fabowrys and kynge Fursyn) Thoȝtħ hys Cownseɫɫ was false engyne. When* Sornegour the kynge herde [t]hys conselle Off Marres hys Iustyce, ytt was nott Ryȝthte welle Plesynge to hym, ne to hys entente. Yette for the tyme he dydde consente To Marres cownseɫɫ; for hys corage To lorde, to knyȝthte, yeman) ne page, He nolde * dyscowuere, wythe-owten lese. He sayd certayne he wolde haue pes Wythe alle Fraunce to make * a fyne [leaf 40, back] Off hys werre; and thenne the wyne He axethe, and drynckethe wyth hem anone. He comawndethe alle hys lordes echone On the more thatt thay nott fayle

3256. y] MS. ȝe.

3263. When] MS. kynge.

3269. nolde] MS. wolde.

3271. to make written twice.

They had better resort to stratagem.

This proposal was agreed on.

But Sornegour was not pleased.

He feigns, however, to consent, and says that he wants peace with France.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Yett shaɫɫ I make hym opyn) his cofre.

Yet shaɫɫ ye make oppyn his coffere.

Better ys to wirke the charme 3257

Better is to worke þe charme 3257

Than to leve and haue more harme.”

Then) to leue and haue more harme.”

Thus playnly Marres dothe Counsele.

Thus playnly Marras counsellyth everye deɫɫ. 3259

Her-to the hethen) acorde rygħt wele,

Hereto þe hethyn acorde Rigħt weɫɫ,

Saue kyng Faburs and kyng Sursyne

Safe kynge Fahrus and kynge Sursyne

Thought his Counseɫɫ was fals engyne.

Thorwe his counseɫɫ and his engyne.

WHan) Sornogoure herde this consayle 3263

¶ When Sornogoure herde þis counseɫɫ 3263

Of Marres his Iustyce, hit was not wele [1 leaf 19, back]

Of Marras þe Iustyse it was not weɫɫ,

Plesyng to hym), ne to his entent.

Plesynge to hym, ne to his entente.

Yett for the tyme he did Consent

Yet for þe tyme he dyde consente 3266

1 To Marres Counsaile; for his corage

1 To Marras counseɫɫ; for his corage

To lorde, knygħt, yoman), ne page, 3268

To lorde, knyght, ye-man) ne page, 3268

He wolde discouer, witħouten) lees.

He nolde dyscouer, with-out lesse.

He sayde certeyn) he wolde haue pees

He seyde serten) he wolde haue pesse

Witħ alle Fraunce, and make a fyne

With aɫɫ France and make a fyne

Of his werre; and then) the wyne 3272

Of his warre, and þen þe wyne 3272

He asked, and drinketħ witħ hem anone.

He askyth, and drynketh with hem anone. [1 leaf 11, back]

He comaundetħ his lordes echone

He comondyth his lordes iehon)

On) the morow that they not fayle

On) þe morwe þat þey ne faiɫɫ

109Hem) to araye “to ȝeffe Batayle To the frenche hem ryȝthte to the playne Affore Chars, watte euer we sayne. And [that] owre Batayɫɫ yn gode araye Be sette in ordynaunce y yow praye. Thenne be we redy for to fyȝthte Yff nede be.” And thenne gode nyȝthte He bade hys cownseɫɫ euery-chone; For he wolde to hys reste gone. He yede to bedde to haue hys reste; Butte ȝette to slepe lyteɫɫ hym leste. For whenne he was a-bedde alone, “Alas,” sayde he, “whatt may y done ? I am schamed, thus ys no lees*, And alle throw conseɫ off Marres * And hys false cowardye. He hadde made alle my mayny Wytħe-drawe here hertes and lothe to fyȝthte.” Thus lyetħe the kynge alle the nyȝthte, Wepynge and waylynge and makynge woo. “My worchypp for euer ys alle agoo,” Seyde he, “and nowe I wote Ryȝthte welle

3289. lees] MS. dowte.

3290. MS. here adds owte.







But having retired for the night he gives vent to his indignation.

“Mares has disgraced me.”

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Hem to aray “to gyf Batayle 3276

Hem to array “to gyfe bataiɫɫ 3276

Vnto the frencħ, rigħt on) ther playn)

Vnto þe frenche, on þe playne

Afore Charse, what euer we now sayn).

Afore Charse, what euer we seyne.

And that oure batayles in goode aray

And þat oure bataiɫɫes in good array

Be sette in ordynaunce I yow pray. 3280

Be set In ordenance [I] you praye. 3280

Than be redy we / with hem) to fygħt

Then be we redy with þem to figħt

Yf nede be /” and then) goode nygħt

Yef nede be.” And þen good nyght

He had his counsayle euerychone;

He bade his counseɫɫ euerychone;

For he wolde to his rest goone. 3284

For he wolde to his reste gon. 3284

He yode to bedde to haue his rest;

He yede to bede to haue his reste;

But yett to slepe lytiɫɫ hym lyst.

But yet to slepe lytiɫɫ hym lyste.

For when) he was to bedde allone,

For when) he was on bede alone,

“Allas,” sayde he, “what may I done ?

“Allas,” he seyde, “what may I done ?

I am) shamed, this ys no lees, 3289

I am shamede, þis is no lese, 3289

And alle thorow counseɫɫ of Marres

And aɫɫ þorwe counseɫɫ of Marras

And of his fals Cowardy.

And of his false cowardye.

He hatħ made alle my meyny 3292

He hathe made aɫɫ my meyne 3292

Witħdraw her hert and lothe to fygħt.”

With-drawe þer hertes and lothe to fight.”

Thus leitħ the kyng alle that nyght,

Thus lyth þe kynge aɫɫ þis nygħt,

Waylyng and makyng moche woo.

Waltrynge and makynge moche mone.

“My worshi p ¯ for euer ys now goo,” 3296

“My worchipe for euer is gon),” 3296

He sayde, “and now I wote rygħt wele

He seyde, “and nowe I wot right weɫɫ

110I haue harme hadde thorow hys Cownseɫɫ. Ther-affter to werke y haue be gladde. Off a Ryȝthte pore man) y hym made My Ieffe Justyce an eke an Erle, There he was born) a chorle. Butte sethen) [of] a chorle I turned the name In-to an Erle, no wonder thow * schame In the ȝende be my rewarde, Sethen) he ys false and eke a cowarde Preuyd alle-so, and a traytor felle. Fro thys day forthe off conseɫɫ Schalle he be neuer, [ne] of thatt ys-state. No wondere ys thow my men) me hate. [leaf 41] For watte so euer he wolde haue do*, Thow ytte were ronge, ytte schulde be so. I sufferyd hym) [my] men) to prisone, And off a trew man) to make a felone. [And that he dyd me thougħt was lawe.] There-fore me seytħe an olde * sawe : He to home a man) dothe tryste,

3302–3. MS. chorle or charle.

3304. MS. throw.

3311. MS. done.

3316. seytħe an olde] MS. semythe and holde.

“I shall dismiss the false traitor, whom I suffered to do wrong.”






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

I haue had harme thorow his Counseɫɫ.

I haue hade harme þorwe his counseɫɫ.

Therafter to wirke I haue be gladde.

There-after to worke I haue ben glade.

Of a rygħt poore man) I hym) made 3300

Of a Ryght poure man I hym made

My chif lustyce and eke an) erle,

My chefe Iustyce and eke an erle. 3301

And he of birth but a cherle.

But sigħt of a Cherle I turned the name

But sethe of a chirle I turnede þe name,

In-to an) Erle, no wonder thogħ shame

In-to an erle, no wonder þougħ shame

In the ende be my rewarde, [leaf 20] 3305

In þe ende be my rewarde, 3305

Sytħ he ys suche a flas Cowarde

1 Sethe he is soyche a false cowarde

Provid, and also a Traytour feɫɫ.

Provyde, and also a trayture feɫɫ.

Fro this day forth of counseɫɫ 3308

Fro þis day furthe of my counseɫɫ 3308

Shaɫɫ he neuer be, ne of that estate.

Shaɫɫ he neuer be, ne of þat esstate.

No wonder ys thogħ my men) me hate.

No man haue wonder þougħ my men me hate. [1 leaf 12]

For what that euer he wolde haue do,

For what þat heuer he wolde me haue do, 3311

Thougħ hit were wronge, hit shulde be so. 3312

Thougħ it were do, it shulde be so.

I suffred hym) my men) to pryson),

I sufferde hem myne men to presone,

And of a trew man) to make a felon).

And of a trewe man) to make a felonde.

And that he dyd me thougħt was lawe.

That he dyde me þought it lawe. 3315

Ther-fore men saitħ an) olde sawe : 3316

There-for men) seyth an olde sawe :

He to whom) a man) do trest,

He to whom a man) dothe truste,

111Euer may dyseue hym) beste. Hys bonde kyndrede y made fre, And sette hem alle in hye degre, And yff hym casteɫɫ[es] and eetye[s], And toke hem nexte me of alle my priueȝ. Off no gentylle toke he * no hede To, butte alle to make ys owne kynrede And hem) in-hawnse to grette estate. Thys hathe made my gentyl so mate, And so wery offe here lyffe, Thatt they be euer yn care and stryffe. And fryste they loued me as ther kynge; Nowe they hate me aboue alle thyncke. Y may se ytte wele by here chere, Alle-thow they kepe ytte ynne preuey manere. For be thay pay yd welle off ther wage, For to fyȝthte haue they * no corage. Thay loue more ese and for to haue pes Thanne myne honour; and thatt hathe Marres Made wythe hys hyenys of pryde. Gode ȝeue me grace O day to abyde

3318. On margin of MS. notatur bene.

3323. he] MS. I. 3334. they] MS. thus.






“The nobles were oppressed.”

“Now they hate me, and do not care to fight.”

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Euermore may dysceyve hym best.

Euer-more may defende hym beste.

The bonde kynred I made free,

The bonde kenrede he made fre,

And sette hem alle in her degree, 3320

And set hem aɫɫ In hye degre, 3320

Gaffe hem) Castellis and eke cytees,

Gafe hym casteɫɫes and Cettes,

And made hem) chyeef of my privetees.

And made chef of my prevetes.

Witħ no gentylman) toke henoneheede,

With no gentiɫɫ men toke he no hede,

But alle to make his owne kynrede,

And hem) enhaunce to grete estate. 3225

This hatħ made my gentyles so mate,

But aɫɫ to make my Ientilles so mate,

And so wery they be of her lyfe 3327

And so wery þey be of þer lyfe 3327

That they bene euer in care and stryfe.

That þey be euer In care and stryfe.

And first they lovid me as her kyng;

Firste þey louyde me as þer kynge;

Now they hate me a-bove alle thing.

Nowe þey hate me aboue aɫɫ thynge.

I may see wele by her chere, 3331

I may se weɫɫ be þer chere, 3331

Thogħ they kepe hit in prive manere.

Thougħ þey kepe it In preve manere.

For be they payde weɫɫ of thayre wage,

For be þey payde weɫɫ of þer wage,

For to fygħt haue they no corage.3334

For to fight haue þey no corage. 3334

They love more to sette and to haue pees

They loue more to syte In pese

Than) myn) honoure/that hath Marres

Than myne honoure, þat hath Marras

Made witħ hygħnes and witħ pryde. 3337

Made with his highnes and with his pryde. 3337

God gyfe me grace to-day to a-byde

God yef me grace oo day to abyde

112To saue my worchypp ynne thus viage! And y schalle quyte hym so hys wage, Thatt alle my knyȝthte-hode there-wytħ schalle plese And alle here hertes sette ynne ese.”  Nowe lyethe he stylle, and sayythe no more  A ryȝthte grete whyle, butte wonder sore  He sekethe and wepethe tenderlye : “Alas,” he sayde, “how maye I Beste yn thys case my honor saue ? Wythe me ther ys neyder knyȝthte no knaue Thatt ynne my quarelle* leste to fyȝthte. [leaf 41, back] They seyne playnely y haue no Ryȝthte. These wordes to me bethe heuy and harde. For an y fyȝthte notte, a very cowarde The ffenche for euer wolle me holde. I hadde leuer a thowsand folde For to dye thenne for to be schamed. For thow y seye [hyt] y haue be named The worthyyste nowe onne lyffe.” And [he] ther-wythe anone as blyve

11. 3340–41. originally inverted in MS., but the correct order is indicated by a, b, in the margin.

3345. d crossed out before tenderlye. 3349. MS. distinctly quorelle.

“How am I to defend my honour?”






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

To save my worshi p ¯ e in this vyage !

To saue my worchipe and þis vyage !

I shaɫɫ quyte hym) alle his wage, 3340

I shall quyte hem aɫɫ hir wage, 3340

That alle my knygħthode therwitħalle shaɫɫ please,

That aɫɫ my knyghthode þer-with shaɫɫ plese,

And alle her hertis sette in ease.” *

And aɫɫ þer hertes sette In eyse.”

Now lyetħ he stylle, and saytħ nomore,

Nowe lyth he stiɫɫ and seyth no more,

Butt in hym-self moorned sore. 3344

In his herte he is wonder sore. 3344

He syghed and sorowed fuɫɫ tendyrly :

He sighede and sorwyde fuɫɫ tenderly :

“Alas,” he sayde, “how may I

1 “Allas,” he seyde, “howe may I

Best in this caas myn) honoure save ?

Beste in þis case my honour saue ?

With me ys ther knygħt ne knave 3348

With me is þer noþer knyght ne knave [1 leaf 12, back] 3348

That in my quareɫɫ lust to fygħt.

That In my quareɫɫ lyste to figħt.

They say playnly I haue no rygħt.

They sey playnly I haue no rigħt.

These wordes to me be hevy and harde.

This wordes to me fuɫɫ harde. 3351

For and I fygħt not / a verry cowarde

For and I fight not, a veryere cowarde

The frencħ for euer wole me holde.

This frenche for euer wiɫɫ me holde.

I had lever a thousand folde 3354

I hade leuer a þousonde folde 3354

For to dye then to be ashamed.

For to dye þen be shamyde.

For thougħ I say hit, I haue be named

For þough I sey it, I haue be namyde

The wortyest that ys now a-lyve.” 3357

The worthyeste þat nowe is on lyve.”

And he a-none therwitħ as by-lyve

And he anone þer-with as blyve

11. 3343–44 are inverted in MS.

113Sende affter a clerke off hys cowncelle, Wyche thatt he trustetħ and loued welle. “My frynde,” he sayde, “haste thow noȝthte herde How Marres wythe myne Oste hathe ferde, And how falsely he hathe me be-trayed, And alle my power gretely dysmayed ?”— “Syr,” sayde thus clerke, “yowe noȝthte dysplese Off: thatt y schalle saye, hytte ys non) lese. Alle the worlde, so God me saue, Grette mervayle hathe thatt thys knaue, Thatt was the sone of a chorle, Ye haue en-haunsed and made an Erle. For thus ys sothe, wytħ-owten) naye, He loued yow neuer an howre of a daye Butte for hys vantage and hys prowe. Thatt haue ye preued welle y-nowe. For thus ys euer * chorles kynde : He thatt he dredythe, schalle hym fynde Curteyse, esy, and debonowre, Tylle thatt he may haue tyme and leysowrʾ Hys master to do summe fowle dyspyte;

3369. or charle ?

3375. MS. neuer; charles ?






Sornegour sends for a clerk.

The clerk tells him all about the falsehood of Mares.

A churl will always try-to bring evil on his master.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Sentt after a clerke of his counseɫɫ,

Sent after a clerke of his counseɫɫ,

That he lovid and trusted weɫɫ. 3360

That he louyde and trustede weɫɫ. 3360

“My frend,” he sayde, “hast thow not herde

“My frende,” he seyde, “haste þou not herde

How Marres witħ myn) Ooste hatħ ferde,

Howe Marris with myne oste ferde,

And how flasly he hatħ me be-trayed,

And howe falsly he hathe me betrayede,

And alle my power mygħtyly dysmayde ?”— 3364

And aɫɫ my poure myghtly dysmayed ?” — 3364

“Syr,” sayde this clerke, “yow not dyspleese

“Sir,” seyde þis clerke, “you not dyssplese

Of that I shaɫɫ say, hit ys no lees.

Of þat I shaɫɫ sey, it is no lese.

Alle the worlde, so God me save, 3367

Aɫɫ þe worlde, so God me saue,

Grete mervayle hatħ/that tħus a knave,

Grete merveɫɫ hathe þat þus a knawe,

That was the Son) of a lewde Cherle,

That was þe sone of an chirle, 3369

Ye haue enhaunsed and made an Erle.

Ye haue enhancede and made an erle.

For this ys sothe, withouten) nay,

For þis is sothe, with-out nay,

He lovid yow neuer the houre of day.

He lovyde you neuer þe oure of on day. 3372

Thogħt he be curteys, easy, and debonayre, 3377

Thougħ he to you be deboneure, 3377

He waytetħ to haue tyme and layser

He wayth to haue tyme and leysere

His Mayster to do som) foule dyspyte;

His maister to do som dysspyte;



114Hys kendenes ther-wythe he wolle aquyte. Thus hathe Marres quytte hym to yow, And y schalle telle yow trewly howe : He dothe yowrʾ knyȝthte-hode to vnderstonde Hytte ys yowrʾ wylle they voyde thus londe, For wythe the ffrenche ye wolle nott Batayle, And thatt manhode yn) yow dothe ffayle. Lo, syr, wyche lotie ye ynne hym) fynde. [leaf 42] Sucche frendes were gode to leue be-hynde. Whanne he hym purposethe to do fals thyngge, Thys ys worde : thus wolle the kynge. Alle the defawte he puttethe yn) yow; Thatt hatthe he playnely preued nowe. Thus hathte he fa[l]ssely yow be-trayed. Wythe hys wordes [he] hathe demayed Alle yowrʾ kiryȝthtes and alle yowrʾ oste. By hys doyng1 ys alle yowrʾ coste Loste, as towchynge thys viage. For euer[y] * knaue and euer[y] page

3398. Before knaue is written knyȝt with a stroke above the y.

Mares spreads false reports.

When he does wrong, he throws the blame on the King.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

His kyndenes so he wole hym) quyte.

His kendenes so wiɫɫ he quyte. 3380

Thus hatħ Marres quytte hym) to yow,

Thus hathe Marras quyte hym to you,

And I shaɫɫ truly telle yow how :

And I shaɫɫ truly teɫɫ you howe : 3382

He dothe youre knytgħode to vndyr-stonde

He dothe youre knyghthode vnder- stonde

Hit ys youre wylle they voyde this londe, 3384

Hit is youre wiɫɫ þey voyde þe londe,

For witħ the freneħ they wole baytale,

With þe frencħe þey wiɫɫ not bataiɫɫ,

And that yn) yow manhode dothe fayle. [leaf 21.]

And þat In you manhode dothe faiɫɫ.

Loo, Syr, what love in hym) ye fynde,

Loo, sir, what love In hym I fynde.

Suche frendys were goode to leeve behynde. 3388

Soyche frendes were goode to leue behynde.* 3388

Whan) he purposytħ to doo flas thyng,

When he porposeth to do false thynge,

This ys hys worde: Thus wole the kyng.

1 This is þe wordes : þus wiɫɫ þe kynge.

Alle the fawte he puttetħ in yow;

Aɫɫ þe faute he putteth In you; 3391

That hatħ he playnly proved now. 3392

That hathe he playnle provyde nowe.

Thus he yow hatħ falsly be-trayed

Thus he hathe you be-trayede. [l leaf 13]

With his wordes, and he hatħ dysmayed

With his wordes he hathe dyssmayde

Alle youre knygħthode and youre Ooste.

Aɫɫ youre knyghthode and youre oste.

And by hys doyng is alle youre coste

And be his doynge is aɫɫ youre coste

Lost, as towchyng this viage. 3397

Loste, as tochynge þis vyage. 3397

For euery knave and euery page

For euery knawe and euery page

1. 3388 after 1. 3389 in MS.

115Spare nott to speke, and sey thatt ȝe Dar nott do butte Ryȝthte as he Wolle yow cancelle; and furder-more They [sey] thatt ȝe haue seyde be-fore Thys londe ye wolle frely conquere, And nowe thus cowarly ende yowrʾ warre, To hem grete harme, to yow grete schame. Off alle thus dede ye bere the blame.” And wythe thatt worde the clerke can wepe So tenderly, he cowde notte lette Off a grete whyle, tylle thatt the kynge Badde hym) be pes, [for of] a thyngge He hym) be-thoȝth, and thatt Ryȝthte thoo. “My frynde,” he sayde, “thou schalte goo On) my erande to the kynge Off Fraunce, and seye hym) my plesynge, Where yffe thatt he * wolde Thatt ij knyȝthtes fyȝthte scholde For thus Ryȝthte and do thus batayle. For welle y wote hytte myȝthte nott fayle, And eche of vs bryngge to the fylde hys oste,*

3412. MS. tħu.

3415. he] MS. ȝe.

3419. MS. este.






He has made all believe that Sornegour dare not fight.

Sornegour bids the clerk go with a message to the King of France, proposing to settle the war by single combat between a French knight and himself.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Sparetħ not to speke, and saythe that ye

Sparyth not to speke, and seyth þat ye

Dare not do but rygħt as he 3400

Dare not do but right as he 3400

Wole yow counsayle; and furthermore

Wiɫɫ you counseɫɫ; and forþer-more

They seyn) / that ye haue here be-fore

They seyn þat ye haue here be-fore

Seyde / this londe ye wole conquere,

Seyde þis londe ye wolde conquere

And now cowardly wole ende youre werre, 3404

And cowardly nowe wiɫɫ ende your warre, 3404

To hem grete harme and yow shame.

To hem grete harme and you shame.

Fuɫɫ his wylleys to put yow in blame.”

His wiɫɫ is to put you In blame.”

And witħ that worde the clerk gan) wepe

And with þat worde þe clerke gan wepe

So tendyrly, he couthe not lete 3408

So tenderly, he couthe not lette 3408

Of a grete whylle, tyɫɫ that the kyng

Of a grete while, tiɫɫ þat þe kynge

Bad hym) be pees; for of a thing

Bade hym be pese; for of o thynge

He hym) be-thougħt, and rygħt thoo

He hym be-þought, and right þo

“My frende,” he sayde, “thow shaɫɫt goo 3412

“My frende,” he seyde, “þou shaɫɫ goo 3412

On) myn) erande to the kyng

On my erende to þe kynge

Of Fraunce, and say my plesyng,

Of Fraunce, and sey my pleseynge,

Whether now yf that he wolde

Wheþer nowe yeff þat he wolde

That two knygħtes fygħt shulde 3416

That ii knyghtes fight shulde 3416

For oure rygħt In þis batayle.

For oure right and do this bataiɫɫ.

For wele I wote I mygħt not fayle,

For weɫɫ I wot I myght not faiɫɫ,

And eche of vs bryng forthe oure Oost,

And iche of vs brynge oure oste,

116Many a gode man) ther schalle be loste. Where-fore my wylle were fully thys, Thatt he wolle ordeyne a knyȝte of hys, Be he genteɫɫ man) or other, And y my-sylffe wolle be the tother. [leaf 42, back] Yff y be slayne yn) thatt fyȝthte, There ys neyther kynge, squyer, ne knyȝthte In my oste, thatt þey ne schalle * do To hym) omage er thatt they goo, Onne thus condicon) thatt they haue leue Thys londe to passe wytħ-owten) greue, And vnder hys cundite thatt they may be, Tyll the[y] be passed alle thus cuntre. And y schalle make hem swere [al]so Heder to sende my sone to do Homage to hym) ynne the same degre, And alle-so, yff ytte appe be me To sle hys champyon) wythe myne hande, Thatt he schalle holde alle hys lande Of me by omage, and sucche seruyce As y my-sylffe nowe [wolle] devyce

3427. MS. schallo.

3430. or lande ?

The party whose champion is slain, is to do homage to the other.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Many a goode man) there shaɫɫ be lost.

Many a good knyght þer shaɫɫ be loste. 3420

Wherfore my wylle were fully this, 3421

Where-fore my wiɫɫ were fully þis,

That he wolde ordeyn) a knygħt of his,

That he wolde ordeyne a knygħ[t] of his,

Be he gentylman) one or other,

Be he Ientiɫɫ man) oon ore oþere,

And I my-self wole be the other. 3424

And my-selfe wiɫɫ be þat oþer. 3424

If I be slayn) in that figħt, [leaf 21, back]

Yef I be slayne In þat figħt,

Ther ys nether kyng, Squyer, nor knygħt

Ther is noþer kynge, squyre, ne knyght [1 leaf 13, back]

In myn) Ooste but that they shuɫɫ doo 1

In my oste but þat þey shuɫɫ do

To hym) homage or than) I goo, 3428

To hym omage ore þen I goo, 3428

On this condycion) that they haue leve

On þis condicion þat þey haue leue

This londe to passe withoute greve,

This londe to passe with-out greue,

And vndyr his condyte that they be,

And vnder his condyte þat þey be,

Tylle they be passid alle his contree.

Tiɫɫ þey be passede aɫɫ þis contre. 3432

And I shaɫɫ make hem) swerre also 3433

And I shaɫɫ make hem swere also

Hider to sende my Son to do

Heþer to sende my son to do

Homage to hym) in the same degree,

Homage to hym In þe same degre,

And also, yf hit nappe me 3436

And also, yef it happe me 3436

To slee his champion) with my ħonde,

To sle his champyon with my honde,

That ye shaɫɫ holde alle his londe

That he shaɫɫ holde aɫɫ his londe

Of me my homage / and whicħ servyse

Of me by omage and by seruyse

As I my-self now wole devyse 3440

As I my-selfe wiɫɫ devyse 3440

117My owne mayne to hym to do. The same to me he motte [do] alleso. Go wryte a letter off thus matere, And to the kynge faste thow ytte bere.”— “Syr,” seyde the clerke, “y schalle do wryte Alle thus matere and ytte endyte, And to the kynge of Fraunce hytte bere. A, Gode mersy ! ynne grete fere Stande alle yowrʾ pepele, and namely ye Thatt bene a lord of so hye degree, Thatt sucche a batayle onne yow wolle take. Yowre mannely herte alle thus dothe make.” And wythe thatt worthe the * clerke dydde turne, And went hys way; for lengger soiorne Wythe the kynge wolde noȝtħ he, Sethe hytte motte no beter bee. He wrote hys letter, and went hys way. He come to Pvntyffe be thatt daye Was so dawed thatt he mowȝth see Alle abowte, and streyȝthte yed he [leaf 43] To the brygge, and faste dyd calle.

3453. the written twice. After

3459. catch-word aɫɫ abowte.






The clerk writes the message, and carries the letter to Pontoise.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl MS.

Myn) owne meyne to hym) to doo.

Myn owne mene to hym to do.

The same to me he must do alsoo.

The same to me he moste do also.

Go write a letter of this matere,

Go wryte a letter of þis mater,

And to the kyng fast thow hit bere.”—

And to þe kynge faste it bere.”— 3444

“Syr,” sayde the clerke, “I shaɫɫ go wryte 3445

“Sir,” seyde þe clerke, “I shaɫɫ goo wryte

Alle the matere and hit endyte,

Aɫɫ þe mater and it endyte,

And to the kyng of Fraunce hit bere.

And to þe kynge of France it bere.

A, God mercy ! now in grete feere 3448

A, God mercy ! in grete fere 3448

May stonde youre people, and namely

May stonde youre pepiɫɫ, and namly

To that be lordes of hye degree truly,

Tho þat be lordes of þe gre truly,

That suche a batayle on) yow wole take.

That soyche a bataiɫɫ on you wiɫɫ take.

Youre manly hert alle this dothe make.” 3452

Youre manly hert aɫɫ þis doth make.”

And witħ that worde the Clerk dyd turne,

And with þat worde þe clerke dyde turne,

And went hys way; for lenger sogeourne

And went his wey; for lenger soIorne

Witħ the kyng wolde then not he,

With þe kynge wolde þen not he,

Sytħ hit mygħt no better be. 3456

Sethe it myght no better be. 3456

He wrote this letter, and went his way.

He wrote þis letter, and went his wey.

He come to Pountyff by the day

He come to Pountyfe be þe day

Was I-dawed, that he mygħt se

Was dawyde, þat he myght see

Alle a-boute, and streygħt yode he

Aɫɫ aboute, and streight yede he 3460

To the kyng, and fast dyd calle. 3461

To þe kynge, and faste dyde caɫɫ.

118The porter lete the drawȝthte down) falle. He axed anone who was there. The Clerke hym answeryd : “A messyngere, Thatt nedys muste speke wytħ yowr kynge; For a letter off credens I hym) brynge. The porter lette hym) ynne anone. To-geder ynto the alle they gone. There they fonde the kyngys [s]t[e]werde; A knyȝthte he semyd and no cowarde. To hym) anone seyde the porter : “Sere, here ys come a messyngere, And seyytħe he mutte for eny thynge Speke wytħ owre lege lorde the kynge.” The steward seyde he was welle-come, And by the honde he hathe hym) nome, And to [the] chamber he hym) ledde. There was the kynge thatt tyme a-bedde. In-to the chamber the stewarde yede, The messynger no ferther wolde he lede. “Gode morwe,” he seyde vnto the kynge. “Syr, y hope gode tythynge, And ye wylle Ryse, ye schalle here.

The porter lets down the drawbridge, and leads him to the steward, who informs the King.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

The porter lete the draugħt doun) falle,

The porter let þe bryge downe faɫɫ.

He askyd anone who was there. [leaf 22]

He askede anone what he myght be.

The Clerk hym) answerd : “A Messangere, 3464

The clerke seyde a mesengere he, 3464

That nedes must speke with the kyng;

That nedes moste speke with þe kynge;

For letters of credens I Bryng.”

1 “For letteris of credence I hym brynge.’’

The porter lete hym) in anone.

The porter let hym In anone [1 leaf 14]

To-gydyr in-to the halle they gone. 3468

To-geder In-to þe haɫɫ þey gon. 3468

There they fonde the kyngis Styward;

Ther þey fonde þe kynges stewarde;

A knygħ[t] he semyd and no coward.

A knyght he semyde and no cowarde.

To hym anone sayde the porter :

To hym anone seyde þe porter :

“Syr, here ys come a Messanger, 3472

“Sir, come is a mesyngere, 3472

And sayth he must for any thyng

And seyth he moste for ony thynge

Speke witħ oure lorde the kyng.” 3474

Speke with oure lorde þe kynge.”

The Styward sayde he was welcome,

The stewarde seyde he was welcome,

And by the hond he hatħ hym) nome,

And be þe honde he hathe hym nome,

And to the chambre dore hym) ledde.

And to þe chambir dore hym lede. 3477

Yett was the kyng that tyme a-bedde.

Then was þe kynge In his bede.

In-to the chambrʾ the Styward yede,

In-to þe chambir þe stewarde yede.

The messanger no further wolde he lede. 3480

The mesengere no forþer he lede. 3480

“Goode morw,” he sayde to the kyng.

“Gode morwe,” he seyde to þe kynge.

“Syr, I ho n ¯ rygħt goode tydyng,

“Sir, I hope Right good tydynge,

And ye wolde ryse, ye shulde here.

And ye wiɫɫ ryse, ye shaɫɫ here.

119For here ys come a messyngere Fro onne off the hethen) kynges. Letterys he hattħ wytħ new tythynges. I hope to God thatt they bene gode.”— “Syr,” seyde the kynge, “nowe hy the rode ! They bene welle-come watt euer they be.” To the steward anone seyde he: “Go for my Cownceɫɫ, and þat anone; And bryngge hem wytħ the euerychone.” These * tythynges herde Partonope, To the kynge faste hyyde he. [Bysshoppis and moche clergy Toward the kyng faste ganne hye.] Dukes, and Barons, and erlys mony one, Where euer they were yn fylde or townne, To the kynge faste canne they hye. [leaf 43, back] Whenne knyȝthtes and squyerys thatt dydde aspye, They made hym redy ynne alle haste, To-ward the kynge they spedde hem faste.

3493. MS. thethe.

3497. or many?






The King commands the steward to call his council.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

For here ys come a messangere 3484

For here is come a mesengere 3484

From) one of the hethen) kingis.

Fro oon of þe hethyn kynges.

Letters he hatħ with new tydyngis.

Letteris he hathe with newe tydynges.

I hope to God they be goode.”—

I hope to God þat þey be goode.”—

“Syr,” sayde the kyng, “now by the roode! 3488

“Sir,” seyde þe kynge, “be þe rode ! 3488

They be welcome, what so euer they be.”

They be welcome, what euer þey be.”

To the Styward a-none sayde he :

To þe stewarde anone seyde he :

“Go for my counsayle, and that anone;

“Goo for my counseɫɫ, and þat anone;

And bryng them witħ the euerychone.”

And brynge hem with þe euery chone.” 3492

These tydyngis herd Partanope. 3493

This tydynges herde Partonope.

To the kyng fast hyed he.

To þe kynge faste hyede he.

Bysshoppis and moche clergy

Bysshoppus and moche clergye

Toward the kyng fast ganne hye. 3496

To-warde þe kynge dyde hye. 3496

Dukes, Erles, and many Baroun),

Dukes, erlis, and many a baroune,

Where euer they were in feelde or town)

Where euer þey were In felde ore towne,

To the kyng fast gan) they hye.

To þe kynge faste gan þey hye.

Whan) Knyħtes and Squyers that dyd aspye, 3500

When knyghtes and squyeres dyde asspye, 3500

They made hem) redy in alle the hast,

They made hem redy In aɫɫ haste,

Towardι the kyng they spedde hem) fast.

Towarde þe kynge þey spede hym faste.

120Nowe ys the Cownceɫɫ to the kynge come, Into a chamber where they be wone Alle to-geterʾ for to mete. The kynge anone was made to wete Thatt hys Cownceɫɫ alle redy were. The kynge sente for hys messyngere, And the kyng1 ther-wytħ dyde gone In to hys Cownsɫɫ ryȝthte anone. Wythe alle hys lordes thatt he myȝth speke and mete, And reuerently hem) alle he grete. God morewe he hem badde by and bye, And onne hys cheyer hym sette onne hye, And he seyde : “Serys, why I Haue sente for yow thus hastelye, Thus ys the cawse, echeman) here : To me ys come a messyngere Fro the hethen) kynge Sornegour. Watte he menythe, why ne where-ffore, I wote neuer; butte there-ffore I Haue sent for yow thus hastelye Thatt ȝe schulde heyre hys entente As welle as y”; and ther-wytħ he sente To thys Clerke, wythte-owten) lette. Anone he come, and downe hym sette Vppon) hys knee fulle Reuerently,

The King advises the council of the messenger and the letter.

The clerk delivers the letter, and going to the window, the King reads it.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

1 Now ys the kyngis Counsayle y-come

Nowe is þe kynges counseɫɫ come,

In-to the chambre where they were wone [1 leaf 22, back] 3504

1 In-to þe chambir þey were nome 3504 [1 leaf 14, back]

Alle to-gydyr goodely to mete.

Aɫɫ to-geder goodly to mete.

The kyng a-none therof had weete

The kynge anone þer-of hade wete,

That hys counseɫɫ alle redy were.

The kyng sent for his Messangere, 3508

The kynge sent for þe mesengere, 3508

And to his counseɫɫ he gan) hym hye,

Then to chambir he gan hye,

Sayng : “Syres, I shaɫɫ teɫɫ yow why

Seynge : “Siris, I shaɫɫ teɫɫ you why

I haue sent for yow now here :

I haue sent for you nowe here :

To me ys come a messangere 3518

To me is come a mesengere 3518

From the hethen) kyng Sornogoure.

Fro þe hethyn kynge Sornogoure.

What he menytħ, why ne wherfore,

What he menyth, why ne where-fore

I wote neuer; but therfore now I

I wot neuer; but þer-fore I

Haue sent for yow thus hastely 3522

Haue sent for you hastely 3522

That ye shulde here his entent

That ye shaɫɫ here his entente

As wele as I”; and therwitħ he sent

As weɫɫ as I”; and þer-with assente

For this Messanger, which that reueren[t]ly

For þis mesenger, whych þat reuerently

121And salyed the kynge and seyde : “Syr, I Am) come fro Sornegour a messyngere, And brynge yow letterys. Loo, syr, here They bene redy. Wolle ye hem) see ?” The kyngge hym) answeryd : “Take hem mee.” The letterys the kynge toke of the Clerke, And by-cawse the howse was alle derke, Vppe he rose, and streyȝthte he wente To the wendowe, and thenne he sente [leaf 44] For serten) lordys that were moste preve, Off wyche onne was Partonope. When) they were come, the letter he toke, And brake the seale, and there-onne gan) loke, And redde hytte ouer, and sawe the entente Off kynge Sornegour, and watt he mente. They yeve hym) pryse of hys knyȝthode. In) hym, they seyde, ther lacked no manhode. A-none ther-wytħ Partonope Knelyd adowne apon) hys knee, And to the kynge seyde : “Yeff me * myne honowre Love, lette me wythe Sornegowrʾ For yow to do now thys batayle.”

3547. me] MS. ye.







Partonope kneels down, and asks the King’s permission to do battle with Sornegour.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Salued the kyng, and sayde : “Syr, truly, 3528

Saluede þe kynge and seyde : “Sir, truly, 3528

I am sent from Sornogourea messangere,

I am sent fro Sornogoure a mesengere,

And bring yow letters. Loo, Syr, here

And brynge you letteris. Lo, sir, here

They be redy. Wole ye hem) see ? “

They be redy. Wiɫɫ ye hem see ?”

The kyng answeryd: “Take hem) me.”

The kynge answerde : “Take hem me.” 3532

To he hem) brakke, and they were redde

Tho he hem brake and þey were rede

Amonge the lordes that he there hadde

Amonge þe lordes þat he þer hade

Of his Counsɫɫ that were pryve,

Of his counseɫɫ þat were preve,

Of whicħ one was Partanope, 3538

Of which on was Partonope, 3538

And sawe than) what Sornogoure entent,

And sawe þer what Sornogour mente,

Alle his matere that he had sent.

Aɫɫ his mater he hade sente.

They gytf hym) pryce of hye knyght-hode,

They gaf hym prys of higħ knygthode,

In hym they sye no lacke of manhode.

In hym þey se no lake of manhode.

Anone therwitħ Partanope 3545

Anone þer-with Partonope 3545

Kneled doun) vpon) his knee,

Knelyde downe vppon his knee,

Seyd to the kyng : “Gyff me myn) honoure,

Seyde to þe kynge: “Gyf me my honoure

That I may fygħt witħ Sornogoure.

That I may fight with Sornogoure.

For yow wole I do this batayle.” 3549

For you wiɫɫ I do þis bataiɫɫ.” 3549

122The kynge anone wytħ-owten) fayle Thancked hyely Partonope, And seyde : “Y wote Ryȝthte welle thatt ye Haue manhode y-nowe and eke Corage. Butte for to speke off mannys agee, Ye er butte yonge, nott gretely asayde— Off thatt y sayde butħ not dysmayed— And he ys preuyd a manly knyȝtħte; For yn) many a perilows fyȝthte Hathe he done masteres wytħ hys honde, Mo thenne eny man) yn) thys londe. Anne there-fore [cosyn] I praye yowe Hertely, off thus matere nowe To me ye speke neuer more. For hytte schulde greue me so sore Yff there ffylle eny messawnter. Y hadde leuer my dethe endure, Or me helde as a prysonere, Thanne grawnte yow thus, my own) fere.” Thanne answeryd the kynge Partonope : “Syr,” he sayde, “trewly yeff ȝee Wolle notte graunte me thus Batayle, I saye yow playnely, wytħ-owten) fayle,

3560. or lande?

The King objects that Partonope is rather young, and asks him to speak no more of the matter.

Partonope insists on fighting.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

The kyng anone witħouten) fayle

The kynge anone with-out faiɫɫ

Thanked hygħly Partanope,

Thankede higħly Partonope:

And sayde : “I wote rygħt weɫɫ that ye 3552

“I wot right weɫɫ þat ye 3552

Haue manhode ynougħ and corage.

Haue manhode I-nowe and corage.

After 1. 3553 one leaf has been torn out.

But for to speke of mans age,

Ye be but yonge, not gretly assayde—

Of þat I sey be not mysspayde— 3556

And he is provyde a manly knygħt;

For In many a perlus figħt [leaf 15]

He hathe don maistres with honde,

Mo þen ony man) with-In his londe.

And þer-fore, cossyn, I praye you 3561

Hertly, of þis mater nowe

To me ye speke no more.

For I hade leuer soffer grete sore 3564

Then harme shulde come you nere.

I wiɫɫ not you graunt, my owne fere.”

To þis answerde Partonope : 3569

“Sir,” he seyde, “truly yef þat ye

Witt not graut me þis bataiɫɫ,

I sey you pleynly, saunȝ faiɫɫ, 3572

123Yowrʾ seruyce for euer y refuse.” [leaf 44, back] Onne thus worde the kynge gretely ganne muse, And answeryd * wytħ wepyng1 chere : “Myne owne Cosy n ¯ , myne owne fere ! Alle myne owne truste stonte yn) yowe. And yff ye wylle alle-gate nowe Thys perielys Batayɫɫ take yn) honde, Ye be cheffe Cownceɫɫ of thus londe, And as ye wylle so motte hytt bee. For trewly, Cosyn), ne hadde ye Come ynto Fraunce atte thus tyme, I wote welle y and alle myne Hadde bene Chassed owte of Fraunce. Butte my tryste and myn) adffyawnce, My ffayre Cosyn), ys alle onno yow. Onne vs alle haue mersy nowe. For y excuse me for euer-more, And seye playnely hytt goytħ fulle sore Aȝens alle reson) and alle skele. Butte loo, y putte me yn) yowrʾ wylle.”  In thus wyse answeryd Partonope :  “Alle-myȝthty God, y praye thatt ye  Helpe me ynne yowrʾ ownne Ryȝthte. Onne [me] y take thus ylke afyȝthte Yowrʾ lawe fully to defende. There-to [oure] lord me grase sende.”— “Nowe,” sayde the kynge, “Partonope, As ye wolle saye hytte muste nedys be.” And there-wythe ffrendely he hym) kyste, And seyde : “Y hope for yowrʾ beste Yowrʾ vndertakynge schalle nowe bee. There[-to] yow helpe the trinite !”

3575. MS. adds the kynge before wytħ.









The King still tries to dissuade him, and reminds him how valuable his services are in France; but as Partonope is still tirm in his resolution, the King finally assents.

Rawl. MS.

Youre seryse for euer I refuse.”

We hade be In grette peyne.”

At þis worde þe kynge gan mvse,

Then seyde Partonope þe worthy:

And at þe laste seyde : ‘‘In affyaunce,

“The yelde God almygħty, 3594

Yef ye wiɫɫ so you avaunce,

And he helpe me In youre rigħt;

As ye woɫɫ, so mot it be. 3581

For on me I take þis fight 3596

For truly, cossyn, hade not ye

Youre enemys fuɫɫ for to defende,

Come In-to Fraunce at þis tyme,

That grace oure lorde me sende.”

124And ther-wytħ-alle streyȝte he wente To hys cheyre, and faste sente For alle hy[s] hole Cheualrye, And thenne he sayde : “the cawse whye I haue atte thus tyme sende for yow. Kynge Sornegour hathe send me nowe A letter—here stant the messengere— And seyythe, yeffe I wolle, hys wylle were, [leaf 45] Forto trye owre bothe Ryȝthtes, Thys batayɫɫe to stonnde be-twyn) ij knyȝthtes. Thys ys the cause* of his menynge, For to Eschewe grete blode schedynge. For thus ys seker, wytħ-owten) fayle, Yeffe we bothe come to batayle, Thatt bothe owre ostes to-geder mete, Many a man) schalle ther hys lyffe lete. Inne hys cawse hym)-sylffe wylle fyȝthte, For he hym)-sylffe schalle be hys knyȝthte. And y another knyȝthte motte sende Wythe hym) to fyȝthte, ther to defende The Ryȝthte thatt longethe to thus londe. [For he hathe fully take on honde,] Yeff he ynne thus Batayle slayne bee, Knyȝthtes and Duckes of thatt Cuntree And other lordes alle eke ther-too, Schalle do me Omage, er thatt they goo, And olde ther londes euer of me. And eke ther-to they schulle swore bee

3615. the cause written twice.

The King summons his knights, and informs them that, in order to avoid bloodshed,a single combat is to take place between Sornegour and a French knight.

The defeated party is to do homage to the other.








Rawl. MS.

The kynge set hym amonge his chevalrye,

And bothe our ostes to-geder mete,

1Many a man his lyfe shaɫɫ lete. 3620

And seyde : “Siris, I teɫɫ you cause why 3608

In þis case hym-selfe wiɫɫ figħt,

For he wiɫɫ be þe too knyght. [11.15 back]

I haue do rede þis nobiɫɫ letter,

And I anoþer knyght moste fynde

Whiche seyth þus and no better :

With hym to fight and defende 3624

Yef I wiɫɫ, his fuɫɫ entente were 3612

The Ryght þat longyth to þis londe.

For to trye out In þis manere

For he hathe fully take on honde,

The cleyme of oure bothe rightes

Yef he In þis bataiɫɫ slayn be,

To be In bataiɫɫ be-twyx ij knyghtes.

Kynges and dukes of his contre, 3628

This is þe cause of his meny[n]ge 3615

And aɫɫ his lordes of his contre þer-to

For to esschewe grete blode shedynge.

Shuɫɫ do me omage, ore þey goo,

For þis is sekere, with-out faiɫɫ,

And holde þer londes euer of me.

Yef we bothe come to bataiɫɫ,

Ther-to þey shaɫɫ ensurede be 3632

125To sende me hys Eldyste sone; And eke he schalle do as they haue done. And so happe thatt my knyȝthte * bee Dyscumfyte or slayne yn) the degre, I and thus Reme motte stonde To do hym) Omage, and holde owre londe Ryȝthte off hym) as he schulde of mee, Yffe he slayne or dyscumfyte bee. To Partonope y grawnte thus Batayle. I Charge yow alle thatt ȝe nott fayle To-morew be-tyme redy to bee Wytħ my Cosyn), and eke wytħ mee, Armed be-fore the Casteɫɫ of Chars. Hytt ys gode afore to be warys. For yf he mene vntrewly, Thenne er we redy Boldely Vs to defente, yffe he assayle. [leaf 45, back] And yffe so falle thus Batayle He parforme wytħ trewe entente, I wolle ȝe alle, by onne asente, Vn)-arme yow ynne preue manere, And make non) ado butte as no3tħ were. I Charge yow alle eke ther-too,

3635. my knyȝthte] MS. myȝthte.

3637–38. or lande : stande ?






He has granted the venture to Partonope.

The French army is to meet the next morning in arms before Chars, and act according to circumstances.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

To sende me his eldyste sone;

And he shaɫɫ do as þey haue done.

And it hape þat my knyght be 3635

Dysscomfyte ore slayne In þat degre,

And I also with my reme moste stonde

To do hym omage, and oure londe

Holde of hym as he shulde of me.

And I teɫɫ you with-out faiɫɫ

To Partonope I haue gyfe þe bataiɫɫ. 3641

To-morwe ye moste redy be 3643

To go with my cossyn and me,

Armede be-fore þe casteɫɫ of Chare.

Hit is good fore to be ware.

Then) are we redy fuɫɫ boldly 3648

Vs to defende yef he assaiɫɫ.

And yef he truly þis bataiɫɫ

Parforme as he hathe mente,

That þen) ye may, be on assente, 3652

Vn-arme hem In preve manere,

1 And make no noyse as noght were. 3654

And make noyse as nought were.

I charge yow alle eke therto, [1 leaf 23]

I charge you aɫɫ eke þer-to,

126Whenne euen) comythe, that ȝe goo Barefutte yn) prosescione To euery Churche ynne thus towne, And praye the holy trinite To owre worchyppe thatt he wolle see, And Crystes lawe euer he saue A[nd] on vs alle mersy to haue.”  The kynge atte thys tyme seyytħ no more  Ne alle the lordes, but wonder sore  They syke, and many tenderly Wepe and waylythe * fulle hevelye. The kynge anone a letter lete wryte, And bade the secreatory ytte welle endyte, Thatt Sornegour myȝthte knowe hys entente. The se[c]ratory forthe ynne haste wente Thys letter fully to endyte, And alle the kynge-ys entente to wryte. Thys letter in haste ys wrete and made. The kynge comawndytt anone and bade The hethen) clerke hytte to take, And that he schulde no tarrynge make,

3662. After a a blot in MS. and then onne crossed out; on vs is written above alle.

3666. MS. walkythe. 3670. sar underdotted after The.

In the evening prayers should be read everywhere.

The King orders his secretary to write the reply.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Whan) evyn) cometħ, that ye goo 3656

When evyn) comyth, þat ye goo 3656

Bare-foote lowly on) procession)

Barfoote lowly on pressission)

To euery cherche now in this town),

To euery chirche In þis towne,

And pray we to the Holy Trynyte

And praye we to þe holy trenyte

To oure worshi p ¯ that he wole see, 3660

To oure worchipe þat he wiɫɫ see, 3660

And Crystes lawe euer he save,

And Crystes lawe euer he save,

And on) vs alle mercy to haue.”

And on vs aɫɫ mercy haue.” [1 leaf 16]

THe kyng at this tyme saythe nomore,

1 The kynge at þis tyme seyth no more,

Ne alle the lordes, but wondyr sore

Ne aɫɫ þe lordes, but wonder sore 3664

They sygħ, and many one fuɫɫ tendyrly

They sigħ, and many fuɫɫ tenderly

Wepid and weylid rygħt hevyly. 3666

Wepte and waylede fuɫɫ petuously.

The kyng anone a letter gan) wryte,

HEre þe kynge a letter dyde wryte,

And bad the Secretary hit weɫɫ endyte,

And bade þe secretory it endyte,

That Sornogoure mygħt know hys entent.

That Sornogoure myght knowe his entente. 3669

The Secrytary now forthe ys went. 3670

This letter in hast ys wryten) and made.

This leter is wretyn in haste. 3673

The kyng anone comaundyd and bade

The kynge comondyde faste

The hethen) clerk hit to take, 3675

The hethyn clerke it to take,

And that he shulde no taryng make

And þat he shulde no taryinge make,

127Butte bere hytte to kynge Sornegour, And seye hym) thatt “the cheffe fflowre Off my knyȝthode wytħ hym schalle fyȝthte, Wythe Goddys grase, and saue my Ryȝthte.” Thys letter thys Clerke hatthe taken) ynne haste, And to hys kynge hyed hym) faste. Thys Clerke to Chars ys come. The kynge [hym] seythe, and sayde : “Welcome.” The clerke downe knelythe afore the kynge : [leaf 46] “Syr,” he seyde, “letterys y brynge Vnder the kynge-ys seale off Fraunce. Redythe hym) ouer, for gode purviaunce For thys Batayle hytte nedythe make. For sucche one hathe ytte vnder-take, Hytte nedythe welle now avysed to be.” Thanne sayde the kynge : “Canste thow telle me Wo ys the man), and wate ys hys name?” Thenne seyde the Clerke : “Gretely to blame Ellys where I. I dyd hym see. Hys name ys syr Partonope, Inne wħomme the kynge hathe grete affyaunce, And affter alle the reme* off Fraunce.” * Then) answeryd kynge Sornegour :

3698. reme] MS. kynge. After this line the MS. adds: I motte fyȝthte wate happe or Chaunce, cf. 1. 3702.






The heathen clerk hastens back to Chars, and delivers the letter, with warnings of Partonope’ s prowess.

Sornegour is delighted to fight with the flower of knighthood.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

But bere hit to Sornogoure the kyng,

But heryth Sornogoure þe kynge,

And say to hym) “a knygħt ying

And sey to hym a knyght yenge 3678

Of myne witħ hym) shaɫɫ fygħt,

Of myn) with hym shaɫɫ figħt,

With Goodys grace, and save my rygħt.” 3680

With Goddes leue, to saue my rigħt.”

The letter this clerk hatħ take in hast,

The letter þe clerke hathe in haste,

And to his lorde hym) hyed fuɫɫ fast.

And to his lorde hym hyede faste.

And whan) he had hym) in seyng :

When) he hade hym In syinge : 3683

“Syr,” he sayde, “letters now I bryng

“Sir,” he seyde, “letter nowe I brynge

Vndyr the kynges Seale of Fraunce.

Vnder þe kynges seaɫɫ of Fraunce.

Redytħ hem) and make purvyaunce,

Redyth hem and make purvyaunce,

For this batayle hit nedytħ to make.

For þis bataiɫɫ is nedyth to make.

For suche oon) hatħ hit vndyrtake 3690

For soyche on hathe it vnder-take

Whoos name ys Partanope, 3696

Whose name is Partonope, 3696

Floure y-callid of that Contree,

Floure I-callede of þat contre,

In whom) the kyng hatħ grete affyaunce,

In whom he hathe his affyaunce, 3697

And so hatħ all the Rewme of Fraunce.”

And so hathe aɫɫ þe reme of Fraunce.”

Than) answerid kyng Sornogoure : 3699

Then) answerde kynge Sornogoure :

128“I thanke God hyely, for wythe the fflowrʾ Off alle knyȝghthode of alle the Reme off Fraunce I motte fyȝthte, wate happe * or chaunce Me euere ffalle ynne thys fyȝthte. I hope, lorde, thorow thy myȝthte To saue my worchypp and myne honowrʾ, Sethen) he off Cheualrye ys the fflowre, Off alle Fraunce eke the Gentyleste. So mutte y fyȝthte wythe [the] beste, Wyche to me ys grete honowre.” Thus answeryd the Clerke kynge Sornegour. And at * þat worde he sent anone For alle hys cownsayle be one and one. To hym) come kynge Fursyne,* Kynge Loemer,* and kyng Fab[u]rynne, And Marukyn),* and false Marres Comethe forthe wytħ hem) ynne the presse. “Lordynges,” he sayde, “hytt ys my wylle My cownseɫɫ yow telle, for hytte ys skelle Ye ytte wete : for yesterd-day dy-verse * I fownde yow alle; for eche man) dyd trauerse [1f. 46, bk.] 3720

3702. MS. happte.

3711. at] MS. thatt.

3713. MS. furfyne.

3714. MS. leomer.

3715. MS. Mavrekyn).

3719. MS. ey werse.

He calls his council, and informs them of his decision.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl MS.

“I thanke God highly, for witħ the floure [1 leaf 23, back] 3700

“I thanke God highly, for with þe floure 3700

Of knyghthode now in Fraunce

Of knyghthode nowe In Fraunce

I must fygħt, what happe or chaunce

I moste fight, what hape ore chaunce

Me euer falle this day in fygħt. 3703

Me euer faɫɫ at þis tyme In figħt.

Yett I hope, lorde, thorow they mygħt

Yet I hope, lorde, þorwe þy mygħt

To save now myn) honoure,

To save nowe myne honoure, 3705

Thogħ I fygħt with this gay floure.”

Thougħ I figħt with þe gay floure.”

And witħ that worde he sent anone

And with þat worde he sent anone

For alle hys counsayle by one and one.

For aɫɫ his counseɫɫ by on and on. 3712

To hym) ther come king Sursyn), 3713

To hym þer comyth kynge Sursyn,

Kyng Loymer, and kyng Fabouryn),

Kynge Loemere and kynge Fabryne,

And Marukyn), and fals Marres 3715

And Marken, and false Marras 3715

Come forthe witħ hem) in-to the prees.

1 Come furthe with hym In-to þe prese.

“Lordyngis,” he sayde, “hit ys my wille

“Lordynges,” he seyde, “it is my Wiɫɫ [1 leaf 16, back]

My counsɫɫ yow to telle, as yt ys skylle.

My counseɫɫ you to teɫɫ, it is skitɫɫ.

Ye wote welle that yesterday diuers

Ye wot weɫɫ þat yesterday deuerse

I founde yow alle / for eche man) dyd travers 3720

I founde you aɫɫ; fro iche travers 3720

129Other-ys wette, ther as to cownseɫɫ I dyd yow calle to se ynne watte perelle We stodde ynne, and in watte dystawnnce, There-agayne to make gode ordynaunce. Whenne ye were come, ye toke non) hede To my worcheppe ne to my manhede. [M]I cowncelle there-fore y take; For no man) y wolle ytte neuer for-sake. Be hytt gode or ylle, ytte ffalletħ on* me. The kynge-ys letterys off Fraunce here they be, Sythe howe he wrytethe, and ynne wate forme, For alle the couenauntes* y wylle parforme.” They brake the letter, and dyd hyt rede. [They seye] The sentence, and ynne grete drede Alle these lordes stode euerychone. Off hem) alle ther was* nott one Thatt here-to therste saye a worthe, Butte stoden) alle stylle be one acorde. To hem) thenne seyde the [stowte] kynge:

3729. on] MS. for.

3732. MS. comawmentes.

3736. alle ther was] MS. ther was alle.





He reproves their past conduct.

The letter is read.

They are silent.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Others witte, there as to counseɫɫ

Oþer wyte þer as to counseɫɫ

I calde yow to teɫɫ what pereɫɫ

We stande in, and in what dystaunce,

We stonde In, and In what þis-staunce.

And there-ayen) to make goode ordynaunce. 3724

When) ye were come, ye toke none heede

When) ye were come, ye toke none hede 3725

To my worshi p ¯ ne to my manhede.

To my worchipe ne to my manhede.

Myn) owne Counseyle therfore I take;

Myne owne counseɫɫ þer-for I take;

For no man) I wylle hit neuer for-sake.

For no man) I wiɫɫ it neuer for-sake.

Be hit goode or evyɫɫ hit fallitħ on) me.

Be it good ore iɫɫ it faɫɫ on me, 3729

The kynges letres of Fraunce here they be. 3730

The kynges letter of Fraunce here þey be.

Seetħ how he wrytetħ, and in wħat fourme,

Sethe howe he wryth, and In what forme, 3731

For alle the covenauntis I wylle parforme.”

For aɫɫ þe covenantes I shaɫɫ parforme.”

They brake the letters, and them) dyd rede.

They brake þe letter, and hem dyde rede.

Theysygħt the sentens, and in grete drede

They sawe þe sentence, and In grete drede

Alle these lordes than) stode echone.

Aɫɫ þis lordes þey stode ichone.

Of hem) alle there was not one 3736

Of hem aɫɫ þer was but on 3736

That there durst say a worde,

That þer durste sey on worde,

But stode alle stylle by one acorde.

But stode aɫɫ stiɫɫ at on acorde.

To hem) than) sayde this stowte kyng :

To hem seyde þis stoute kynge:



130“I warne yow, seres, off one thynge : Fro thus entent to a Newe None off yow schalle me remeve.” Fyrste off alle thenne spake syr Fursynne : * “Sythe off yowrʾ wylle thus ys the fyne Thatt fro thus prosses ȝe wylle not goo, I canne no more saye ther-too, Butte erly to-morewe thatt alle men) be In the ffylde armed to make yowr asemele, Thatt ye mowe stonde ynne saue garde, And euery man) kepe hys owne warde.” Alle they agreyd hem to thus worde, And to hys herbrow went euery lorde.  [At] Morewe anone as hytte was day,  The sonne here bemus schewyd fulle gaye.  The mynstrallys here Trumpes gan) sowne. There-wythe there Oste they dyde some [leaf 47] To arme hem) faste, and redy make Anone the fylde for to take. By thowsandys they drawytħ to the felde Wytħ maney an * helme and many a schylde.

3743. MS. furfynne.

3760. an] MS. and.

Fursin proposes that all should go armed to camp, to safeguard the king.

At sunrise, the Saracens assemble, with helm and shield.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

“I warne yow, Syres, of oo thyng :

“I ware you, seris, of on thynge :

Fro this entent vnto a new 3741

Fro þis entente vnto a newe 3741

None of yow alle shalle me renew.”

None of you shaɫɫ me remeve.”

Fyrst of yow alle than) spake Sursyn).

Firste of aɫɫ þen) spake Sursyn :

“Sethe of youre wiɫɫ þis is þe fyne 3744

That fro þis porpose ye wiɫɫ not goo,

I can) no more sey þer-to,

1 But Erly to-morow lat alle men be 3747

But erly to-morwe let aɫɫ men be 3747

In þe felde armed and make youre assemble, [1 leaf 24] 3748

In felde armede at youre essemble,

That ye may stonde in safe garde,

That ye may stonde In safe garde,

And euery man kepe his owne warde.”

And euery man kepe his owne warde.”

Alle they a-greed hem to this oo worde,

At þat tyme þey seyde no mo worde, 3751

And to her herburgħ went euery lorde.

To þer loggynge went euery lorde. *

AT morow whan hit was day, 3753

¶ At morwe when it was day,

The Svnne her bemes shewed gay.

The son here bemys shewyde gay. 3754

The Mynstralles her trvmpes gvnne sown.*

The menstreɫɫes þer trompus gan sounne.

Therwytħ the Ooste they dyd somoun)

There-with þe oste þey dyde somoune

To arme hem fast and redy make 3757

Anone þe felde freshly to make, 3757

Anone the felde frely to take.

To arme hem faste and redy make.

Be thousandis they draw to the feelde

By þousondes þey drewe to þe feldes

Wytħ many helme and brygħt Sheelde.

With many helmes and bright sheldes [leaf 17]

After 3743 catch-word But erly.

11. 3755–56 are inverted in MS.

11. 3751–52 are inverted in MS.

131The kynge hym armed, and as seythe [the] bocke, In grete haste, and wytħ hym toke Faburine, Fursynne,* and Marres, Loemere,* Marukyn),* and moche prese. Wythe hym come mony a spere and schelde. Anone as they come to the fylde, Here Bataylys ffaste they dyd araye. I-armed they were fulle ffresche and gaye. Onne the tother syde come the kynge of Fraunce Wythe alle hys kynne and alle hys affyaunce, And wytħ hym Broȝthte Partonope. And heven)[-ly] ytte was hym) to see, So ȝonge, so fresche, so welle be-sene. To praye for hym) eche man) was fayne. The ffrensche dem[en]ed hym) fulle eselye, And prayyd God fulle besely To saue here worchyppe and here Ryȝthte. So hadde they do be-ffore alle nyȝthte, Leyne ynne prayerys and ynne wepynge. On) the ffylde to hem warde come prekynge

3763. MS. Fabrune, furfynne(?).

2764. MS. leomere, Mavrekyn).






Sornegour comes to the field accompanied by his vassals and Mares.

The King of France arrives with Partonope, and they pray all night.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

The kyng hym armed, as saytħ the booke,

The kynge hym armede, as seth þe boke,

In grete hast, and wytħ hym toke

In grete haste, and with hym toke

Sursyn, Fabur, and eke Marres,

Sursyn, Fabris, and eke Marras, 3763

Loemer, Marukyn), and Sarres. 3764

Loemers, Markyn, and eke Surris.

“Wytħ hem come many Spere and Shelde.

with hem come many spere and shelde.

As sone as they come to the feelde,

As sone as þey come In-to þe felde,

Her Bataylles fast they dyd aray.

Here bataiɫɫes faste dyde array.

Armed they were bothe fressħ and gay.

Armede þey were freshe and gay. 3768

On that tother syde come the kyng of Fraunce 3769

On þat oþer syde þe kynge of Fraunce

“Wytħ alle hys kynne and alleaunce,

With aɫɫ his kyne and alyaunce,

And wytħ hym brougħt Partanope.

And with hym brought Partonope.

Hevenly hit was hym to see, 3772

An hevynly sight it was hem to see,

So yonge, so fressħ, so wele be-seen.

So yonge, so freshe, so weɫɫ be-sene.

To pray for hym they besy been.

To praye for hym þey besy bene.

The frencħ demenyd hem ful esyly,

The french deynede hem eysely,

And prayde to God fuɫɫ hertyly 3776

And prayede to God fuɫɫ hertly 3776

To save her worsshy p ¯ and her ryght.

To save þer worchipe and þer rigħt.

So had they do be-fore alle nygħt.

So hade þey do aɫɫ þe nyght.

Ouer the feelde to hem came prikyng

Ouer þe felde to hem come pre-kynge

3764. MS. snrris (i indistinct).

132Kynge Loemers* and Erle Marres Owte fro amonge the hethen) presse To the kynge of Fraunce streyȝthte To wete yff thus ylke affyȝthte Schulde be holden) and alle the Cownandes. To hem) answeryd the kynge of Fraunse : “Say* kynge Sornegour* thatt y haue y-sayde Schalle so be holde thatt wele apayed He and alle hys schulde bee. Where-ffore y wolle anone thatt hee Take wytħ hym an .c. knyȝthtes, And come downe streyȝte to the lyystys, Owte ffrome hys oste; and thenne schalle I [leaf 47, back] Do the same, and there by and bye Schalle the Cownauntes rehersyd be Be-twyn) hym) and Partonope. There we schalle [holde] owre parlement And schewe playnely owrʾe eythyr entente.” To thus ther was no more to do; They were alle greyd ther-too. And ynne thus wyse anon) they mette, And Curtesly* eche oder grette.

3781. MS. leomers; kynge seems marked for erasure before Erle.

3787. say] MS. Syr.

3794. D in Do written like an S.

3802. MS. Curstely.

Loemer and Mares repair to the French camp to hear the covenant.

The King proposes to bring a hundred armed knights to the lists, and to rehearse the covenant there.

The Kings meet courteously, and Fursin rehearses the covenant.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Erle Marres and Loemer the kyng

Erle Marras and Loemers þe kynge

To hem of Fraunce then fuɫɫ streygħt

To hem of France þen fuɫɫ streigħt

To wytte yf that this noble fyght 3784

To wyte yef þis nobiɫɫ fight 3784

Shulde be holde and

Shulde be holde and aɫɫ covenauntes.

To hym answeryd the kyng of Fraunce :

To hem answerde þe kynge of France :

“Say kyng Sornogour that I haue sayde [1 leaf 24, back]

“Sey kynge Sornogoure þat I haue seyde [1 leaf 17, back]

1In no wyse for me shaɫɫ be renayed. 3788

In no wyse shaɫɫ be renayede. 3788

Therfore he wytħ an) hundred knyghtes

There-fore he with an honderde knyghtes.

Lat hym come downe to the lystes 3792

Let hem come downe to þe lystes 3792

Oute from) hys Ooste; and than shaɫɫ I

Out fro his oste, and þen shaɫɫ I

Do the same, and there by and by

Do þe same, and þat by and by

Shaɫɫ alle the Covenauntes rehersyd be

Shaɫɫ aɫɫ þe cov[en]auntes rehersede be

Be-twix hym and Partanope. 3796

Be-twyx hym and Partonope. 3796

There we shaɫɫ holde oure parlament

There we shaɫɫ holde oure parlement

And shew playnly alle oure entent.”

And shewe playnly oure entente.”

To this there was nomore to do;

To þis þer was no more to do;

They were alle a-greed therto. 3800

They were aɫɫ gaderde þerto. 3800

And in this wyse anone they mete,

1And In þis wyse a-none þey mete,

And curtesly other goodely grete.

And courtesly eyþer oþer grete.

3788. MS. remayed.

133Schortely off thus to make a ffyne, The hethen) putte up Fursyne* To reherse the Covenauntes Thatt holde schulde be be-twyn) hem and * Fraunce. Kynge Fursyne,* thus worthy knyȝthte, Rehersyd the Covenauntes off thus fyȝthte, And tolde the trowthe off the recorde, In sucche wysse that euery worde Acordyd to here bothe wrytynge. Where-ffore the lordes made grete praysynge Off hys dyscrescon) and off hys wytte, And seyde to fulle-fylle ytte As he had sayde, alle redy were. The hethen) knyȝthtes anone dyd swere Vppon) sucche relakys as they hadde These Covenauntes to holde suerly and sadde. The kynge of Fraunce yn) the other syde Alle[-so] swore, watte so euer be-tyde, The Covenauntes thatt he wolde trewly Holde, as they* ther-to by and bye

3804. MS. furfyne.

3806. MS. & written above off, omitted in the text.

3807. MS. Furfyne.

3822. as they] MS. and.






Oaths are sworn on relics by both sides.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Shortly of this to make a fyne, •

Shortly of þis to make fyne,

The hethyn put vpon) Sursyn 3804

The hethyn put vppon Sursyn) 3804

To reherce alle the covenauntes

To reherse þe couenauntes

That shulde be holde be-twyxt hem and Fraunce.

That shulde be holde be-twyx þem and vs.

Kyng Sursyn, that worthey knyght,

Kynge Sursyn, þis worthy knyght,

Rehersed the covenauntes of this fygħt,

Rehersyde þe couenauntes of þis figħt,

And tolde the trouthe of the a-corde,

And tolde þe trouth of þe acorde, 3809

In which wyse that euery worde 3810

In whiche wyse þat euery worde

Was agreed to her bothe wrytyng.

Were a-greede to þer bothe wrytynge.

Where-fore the lordis made grete prays-yng 3812

Where-fore þe lordes made grete preys-ynge 3812

Of his discresion) and of his wytte,

Of hys dysscression) and of his wyte,

And sayde alle they wolde fulfelle hyt

And seyde aɫɫ þey woɫɫ fully it

As he had sayde they redy were. 3815

As he hede seyde þey redy were. 3815

The hethen knygtes anone dyd swere

The hethyn knyghtes anone dyde swere

Vpon) suche Relyk as they hadde

Uppon) soyche relykes as þey hade

These covenauntes to holde surely and sadde.

Cou[en]auntes to holde surely and sade.

The kyng of Fraunce on) the other syde

The kynge of France on þat oþer syde

Also sware, what euer betyde, 3820

Also sware, whateuer so be-tyde, 3820

The covenauntes he wolde fuɫɫ truly

Holde hem, as they there by and by

3818. On margin Couenantes added by a later hand.

11.815–16 inverted in MS.

134Were rehersyd by kynge Fursyne.* Thus off here Covenauntes thus ys the fyne. Thanne made they herodes stonde on) hye To make an) Oye and a crye, Onne payne off losynge off lyffe and leme, Eche man) schulde on)-arme hym). Somegour comawndyd off hys knyȝthtes A thowsand welle armed to kepe the lyystes, Thatt no man) scholde so hardy bee [leaf 48] In-to [the] lyestes to make entre, Ne alle-so no man) to go owte. Onne the ffrenche seyde a Mɫi knyȝthtes stowte * Where armed to kepe thus affyaunce, And thatt the worthyeste off alle Fraunce, Redy onne horse-backe wytħ spere and schylde, Where ordeyned to kepe the ffrenche fylde, Thatt no Ryott schulde aRyse. Thus fylde was ryalle to devyse

3823. MS. Furfyne.

3825. or stande ?

3834. stowte] MS. stode.

The heralds impose disarming.

A thousand aimed knights of either army shall guard the lists.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Where rehersyd by kyng Sursyn).

Were rehersyde be kynge Sursyn).

Thus of these covenauntes here ys the fyne. 3824

Thus of þe cou[en]auntes here is þe fyne.

Than made they an) herawde stond an hye

Then an heroude stode vp an hye 3825

To make a certayn noyes and crye

To make serten oyes and crye

In payne of lesyng lyfe and lymme

In peyne of lesynge of lyfe and lyme

Eche man shulde vnarme hym. 3828

Eicħe man) [un-]arme heme. 3828

Sornogour commaundyd of his knygħtes

Sornogour comondyde of his knyghtes

A thowsand weɫɫ armed to kepe the lystys, [leaf 25]

A þousonde weɫɫ armede to kepe lystes,

That no man shulde so hardy be

That no man) shulde so hardy be

In-to the lystes to make entree, 3832

In-to þe lystes to make entre, 3832

Ne also no man to gone oute.

Ne also no man to gon oude. *

On) the frencħ syde also a thousand stoute

On þe frenche syde a þousonde stoude

Were armed knygħtes to kepe this affiaunee,

On þe french syde to kepe þis affyaunce,

And that the wordyste of alle Fraunce,

And þat þe worthyeste of aɫɫ France

Redy on horsbak wytħ Speere and Sheelde, 3837

Redy onhors-bake with spere and shelde

Were ordeyned to kepe the frencħ feelde,

Were ordeynede to kepe þe french felde,

That no Ryot shulde eny wyse a-ryse.

That no ryote shulde in ony wyse be.

Thus was hit ryaɫɫ to devyse 3840

Thus was it arrayde to þe avyse 3840

3828. MS. vnarne.

3826. On margin To make Certayn: Oyes : and crye, added by a later hand.

3833–34. Inverted order of lines in MS

135Thatt so y-wardett was abowte Wythe ij Mɫi knyȝthtes stowte. The ffrenche kynge browȝtħte Partonope In-to the lyestys, and ther toke hee Off hym leue fulle sore wepynge, And comendyd hym)* to the blessynge Off the blessyd trinite. And thus from) hym departed hee. Kynge Fursyne* onne the other seyde Was kynge Sornegour ys gyde In-to* the lyestys, and ther hym broȝthte Wytħ heuy chere and grete thoȝthte. Wyth wepynge eyen) he toke hys leve, And prayed hys god he schulde welle preue In thy[s] Batayle and ynne hys Ryȝthte, And saue hym) schameles ynne hys fyȝthte  Nowe the hethen) kynge Sornegour,  Wyche off Cheualrye bare the flowre  Off alle the sette of hethen) laye, In-to the leystys fulle fresche and gaye Onne horse-backe ys comen) y-armed welle

3846. MS. adds sylfe after hym).

3849. MS. Furfyne.

3851. to written twice.

3858. bare] a like o.






The French King brings Partonope into the lists, and commends him to God.

Fursin with heavy cheer conducts Sornegour.

Sornegour is splendidly armed, He is mounted on a white steed with trappings ornate with gold.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

That so vyrounde was a-boute

That so verry rounde was aboute

“Wytħ two thousand knygħtes stoute.

With ij þousonde knyghtes stoute.

The frencħ kyng brougħt Partanope

1 The frenche kynge brought Partonope

In-to the lystis, and there toke he 3844

In-to þe lystes and þer toke he 3844

Of hym leve fuɫɫ sore wepyng,

Of hym leve fuɫɫ sore wepynge, [1 leaf 18]

And recomaunde hym to the blessyng

And recomondyde hym to þe blyssynge

Of oure lorde, the blessyd trinite.

Of oure lorde, þe blyssede creature.

And so fro hym departed then he. 3848

And so departyde, I you ensure. 3848

Kyng Sursyn) on) the hethen syde

Kynge Sursyn on þe hethyn syde

Was kyng Sornogours gyde.

Was kynge Sornogoure gyde.

In-to the lystis to hym brougħt

In-to þe lystes he hym brougħt

Wytħ euy chere and grete thougħt. 3852

With hevy hert and grete þougħt. 3852

Whitħ wepyng eyen he toke his leve,

With wepynge eyen he toke his leue,

And prayde his god he shulde weɫɫ preve

And prayede his god he shulde hym saue

In this batayle and in this rygħt,

In þis bataiɫɫ and In his right, 3855

And save hym shameles in fygħt. 3856

And save hym shameles In þis fight.

NOw this hethen kyng Sornogour,

¶ Nowe þis hethyn kynge Sornogoure,

Whicħ of chevalry berytħ the flour

Whiche of chevalry beryth þe floure

Of alle the sette in hethen lay,

Of aɫɫ þo þat set In hethyn lay,

In-to the lystis full fressħ and gay

In-to þe lystes full fers and gay 3860

On) horsbak ys comen armed wele 3861

On hors-bake is come armede weɫɫ

136Wythe hosen) of mayle and fyne style, Welle y-lased wytħe fyne sylke. Hys stede was whyte as eny mylke, Armed ynne mayle fulle fresche and gaye, Suer[l]y I-nowe for alle asaye, And there a-bowte a fresche trappure, Welle y-schape and of gode measure, [leaf 48, back] Wythe golde welle bete and of hys devyse. Thys lorde, thatte was bothe manly and wyse, Above sate armed ffreschely and welle Inne an habrygon) of fyne style, Abowte hys necke henge a schylde So bryȝthte off style thatt alle the fylde Was Elumyed of the bryȝtħnysse. Ther-to hytte was weldely, [y] gesse. Vppon) hys hede a helme fulle gaye, S[u]ere y-nowe atte alle asaye. Above a Cerkeɫɫ of stones Reche, A gode ytte hadde bene for a churche. For the marchandys hynnes to Humbere The valewe ther-off cowthe not nummbere. Aboue his arnes* he toke a cote, Enbrowderyd wytħ pereɫɫ weɫɫ yfrote *

3883. MS. armes.

3884. weɫɫ yfrote] MS. and not wytħ slote.

He is clad in a habergeon of steel, with a shield about his neck and a helmet on his head.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl MS.

Wytħ hosyn of mayle made of stele,

With hosyn of maiɫɫ made of steɫɫ,

Wele lasyd wytħ fyne Sylke, 3863

Weɫɫ I-lastede with fyne sylke.

Hys stede was white as any mylke,

His stede was whyte as ony mylke, 3864

Armed in mayle fuɫɫ fressħ and gay,

Armede In mayiɫɫ freshe and gaye

Surely ynougħ for alle assay, [1 lf. 25,bk.]

Surely ynougħ for aɫɫ assay.

And there a-bove fressħ trappure

There above fresshe trappure

1 Welle y-shape and of good mesure, 3868

Weɫɫ I-shape and of good mesure, 3868

Wytħ golde wel bete at his devyse,

With golde weɫɫ bete at his devyse.

This lorde was manly and wyse,

This lorde þat was manly and wyse,

Above sett fresshly armed and wele

Above sat freshly armede weɫɫ

In an) hawberk of rygħt fyne Steele.

In an haubreke of good steɫɫ. 3872

A-boute hys nekk heng a sheelde 3873

A-boute his nyke henge a shelde

So brygħt of Steele that alle the feelde

So bright of steɫɫ þat aɫɫ þe felde

Was enlymed wytħ the bryghtnesse,

Was enlamyde with þe brightnes.

And hit was fuɫɫ weeldy, as I gesse.

Hit was weɫɫ dight, as I gesse. 3876

Vpon) his hede and helme fuɫɫ gay 3877

Uppon) his hede an helme gay

Sure ynougħt at alle maner assay.

Sure I-nowe at aɫɫ maner assay.

Above that a Cerche of stonys rycħe,

A-bove þat a shelde of stonys Ryche,

Rygħt goode they had be for a cherche.

Good þey hade ben for a chirche. 3880

A-bove hys arneys he had a cote 3883

Above his harnes he hade a cote 3883

Enbrowded wytħ peerle wele y-frote,

Enbrowdede with perle and weɫɫ I-frote,

137Off hys armes fulle Kechely Wythe Rubyys and sauerys by and bye. Onne eche sehulder off style a besgue, A swerde he hadde fresche and newe Abowte hym) gurde, bothe harde and longe, And [in] hys honde a spere fulle * stronge. And by hys sadeɫ apon) hys arsyone Hynge a gleyue thatt nye hande downe To the grownde the alffe toke; And Ioye onne hym hytt was to loke, As thoȝtħ the hethen) thatt ylke daye. Off kynge Sornegour thus was the araye.  Onne the ffrenche seyde Partonope  Onne horsebacke [ffreschely] y-armed sette hee,  In hosen) of mayle shape rygħt weɫɫ,* I-lased wytħe sylke wytħ poleyns of stele. * And hauberke he hadde of gode mesure, Myȝthty and strong and off gode temp[er]ure, A Cote off armes he hadde above, Welle Enbrowderyd which* thatt hys loue

3889. or lange?

3890. or hande ? MS. adds longe before stronge.

3891. or opon?

3899. MS. Freschely y-armed in hosen of mayle weɫɫ fyne.

3900. MS. here adds clene. 3904. which] MS. for.






He wears a battle-axe and a sword and holds a spear in his hand.

Another sword is fastened to the saddle.

Partonope has a strong armour, helmet and shield, and a coat of arms ordained by his love, but only one sword, and a spear in his hand.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Of armes done fuɫɫ rychely 3885

1 Of armys don fuɫɫ Rychly

Wytħ Rybyes and Saphires by and by.

With Rubyes and sapheres by and by.

On) eche Shulder of Steele a besagew,

On euery styde of steɫɫ he sawe

A Swerde he had fressħ and new 3888

A swerde he hade freshe and newe 3888

A-boute hym gyrde, bothe long and brode,

About hym gyrde, both longe and brode, [1 leaf 18, back]

And in hys hand a Spere fuɫɫ goode.

And In his honde a spere fuɫɫ good.

And hys sadytt vpon the arsoun)

And his sadiɫɫ vppon) his arson) 3891

Heng a gleyve that nyhand doun) 3892

Hynge a gleve þat nye hande downe

To the grounde the helve toke;

To þe grounde þe helfe toke;

And Ioy hit was on) hym to loke. 3894

And Ioye it was on hym to loke. 3894

ON the fre[n]ssħ syde Partanope 3897

¶ On þe french syde Partonope 3897

On) horsbake armed syttytħ he

On hors-bake armede syttyth he

In hosyn of mayle shape rygħt wele,

In hosyn) of maiɫɫ made weɫɫ,

Lased wytħ Sylk wytħ polayn) of Steele.

Lasede of sylke of polyn steɫɫ. 3900

Hawbrek he had on) of goode mesure,

Haubreke he hade of good mesure,

Migħty and strong and of good temperure. 3902

Mighty and stronge, of good temperure.

A coote of armes he had bove,

A cote of armes he hade above,

Wele enbrowdyd wycħ * his love 3904

Weɫɫ embrowderde whiche his love 3904

3904. wych] MS. wyth.

138Hadde ordeynyd afore yn) the beste manere; A beter be sayne was ther non) no-where. Hys belme was sette fulle off precyous stones. Hym-syhie was myȝthty and begge of bonys. [leaf 49] A-bowte hys necke enge hys schylde, So ffreschely, hytte gladethe alle the fylde, Welle I-feteryd wytħ plate and style, Syr wythte hys swerd, wyche was Ryȝtħ welle Wytħ golde and pereɫɫ Reche be-gone. Swerdes he ne hadde more butte one, Ne wepyn) were-onne he myȝtħt tryste, Saue a spere he hadde onne hys feste. Off axe ne Glayue made he no forse. As blacke as Cole thenne was hys horse, Thus ys the sotħe, wytħ-owten) lesse. He was welle y-armed to hys ese. And ynne hys sadeɫ he ganne hym) dresse, And to hys Enmy e gan) to presse. Vnder hys arme hys spere he kaste, Hys hors he prekyd feressly and faste. Sornegowre he smote amydde the schylde

His steed is black.

Partonope couches his spear, and smites Sornegour on the shield so violently that the King’s helmet touches the crupper of the horse.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Had ordeyned a-fore in the best manere;

Hade ordeynede In þe beste manere;

A better be seen) was no-where.

A beter be sen was no-where.

His helme sette fuɫɫ of Precious stones.

His helme fuɫɫ of precious stonys.

Hym-selfe myghty and byge of bonnys.

Hym-selfe was mygħty and bygge of bones. 3908

A-boute his nyke hys shelde, 3909

Weɫɫ couchide with perle I-melede.

1 Tryed his swerde was rygħt wele,

Gyrde his swerde was right weɫɫ,

That was made of Iren and Steele,

That was made of Iron and steɫɫ, 3912

“Wytħ pe and perle rychely begone. [1 leaf 26]

With golde and perle rychely be-gon).

Swerdes had he no moo but one,

Swerdes hade he no mo but on),

Ne wepyn where-in he mygħt tryst,

Ne wepyn where-In he myght truste,

Save a Speere he had in his fyst. 3916

Save a spere he hade In his fyste. 3916

Of axe ne gleve made he no force.

Of ax ne gleve made he no force.

Blak as cole than was his hors,

Blake as a coile þen was his hors,

This ys the sothe wytħouten lees.

This is þe sothe, with-out les.

He was armed wele to his ese. 3920

He was armede weɫɫ to his eyse. 3920

And in hys sadyɫɫ he gan) hym dresse,

In his sadiɫɫ he gan hym dresse,

And to his enemy warde gan pre esse.

And to his enemy gan prese.

Vndyr his arme hys spere he cast, 3923

Vnder his arme his spere he caste,

Hys hors he pryked fressħly and fast.

His hors he prekede freshly and faste. “3924

Sornogour he hytt amydde the Sheelde

Sornogoure he hit amede þe shelde

139Wythe hys spere, alle men) be-hylde. Hys helme twyched hys horse cropon).* Ne hadde [he] hym helde by the arson), Fro hys sadeɫ he hadde fallen) to grownde. Hytt apped hys stede was myȝthty and sownde, And ellys men) myȝthte saye wytħ-owten) fayle He hadde bene dedde for stuffe or mayle. Sornegour smote hym) fersely agayne Wytħ hys spere, gretely ytte was sene, For fowle rased was hys schelde. And wytħ thus Curse forthe yn) the fylde Eche off hem departed from) other. The ffrenche be-helde, and sucche anoder Corse onne horse-backe neuer afore They hadde sene, sethe they were bore. Sornegour thatt felde bothe sore and smerte, Schowed welle he lacked no herte. Hys horse he turned ynne agayne, And schope hys Corse, Ioye ytte was to sene. [leaf 49, back] He thoȝthte to quyte Partonope, Butte he was ware as welle as hee.

3927. MS. cropen.






Sornegour returns the blow.

In the next encounter Sornegour strikes Partonope’s shield, but does not make him move in the saddle.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Wytħ his spere, alle men be-heelde.

With his spere, aɫɫ men) behelde.

His helme towchid his hors cropoun).

His helme tochede his hors cropon.

Ne had he holde hym by the arsoun)

1 Ne hade he holde hym be þe arson) 3928

Of his sadyɫɫ, he had falle to the grounde. 3929

Of his sadiɫɫ, he hade faɫɫ to gronde.

Than) Sornogoure in that stounde

Then Sornogour In þat stounde [l leaf 19]

Him feersly smote wytħt his spere agayn),

Hym freshly smote with his spere agayne, 3933

And thougħt hym to overthrow wytħ mayne, 3934

And þought hym to ouer-throwe with mayne,

For foule arayed was his sheelde.

For foule arrayde was his shelde.

And wytħ this Cours fortħ in the feelde

And with his course In-to þe felde 3936

Eyther of hem departed fro other.

Eyþer of hem departyde fro oþer.

The frenssħ sayde that suche a-nother

The frenche seyde þat soych anoþer

Cours / on) horsbak neuer a-fore 3939

Course on hors-bake afore 3939

They had seen, sytħ they were bore.

They hade not sen, sen þey were bore.

Sornogoure that felt bothe sore and smert, 3941

Sornogour felt bothe sore and smerte,

Sheved wele that he lakkyd no hert.

Shewede weɫɫ þat þer lakede no herte.

Hys hors he torned ayen,

His hors he turnede ayene,

And shope hys cours, Ioye was to seen.

And shope his course, Ioye was to sene. 3944

He thougħt to a-quite Partanope. 3945

He þought to aquyte Partonope

But he was ware as wele as he,

But he was ware as weɫɫ as he,

140He made hys Curse wythe-owten) lette. Amydde the lyystes euen) they mette. Sornegour hytte hym amydde the [s]chylde Wythe hys spere, thatt alle the fylde Dyneed off thatt grete stroke. Hytt ferde as ther hadde [be] felde an) eoke. The spere was stronge and wolde not breke. Partonope was a myȝthty freke, And luste nott the spere Escheue, Hytt made hym) not onys to remeue.* In hys sadeɫɫ: he sette fulle welle. Sornegour thatt was bothe fers and felle, And eke yn) armes fulle welle y-leryd, Turned hys horse, and owte wytħ hys swerd. There-off toke hede Partonope, And owte drowe hys swerde as welle as hee. Fersely anone to-gedyr they mette. Many a grete stroke there was smete. And ynne thus hurlynge Partonope Wytħe hys swerde a stroke smote he Apon) kynge Sornegour hys helme so * gaye,

3956. MS. reneue. 3967. MS. sa.

Both draw their swords.

Stunned by Partonope’s blows, Sornegour turns his horse about, and is smitten again.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

And made his cours withoute lette.

And made his cours with-out lete.

A-mydde the lystes then they mette.

Amyde þe lystes þey mette. 3948

Sornogoure hytte hym a-medde the Sheelde 3949

Sornogoure hit hym amyde þe shelde

Wytħ his spere, that alle the feelde

With his spere, þat aɫɫ þe felde

Demed veryly of that stroke

Demyde verryle þat stroke

1 That there had be ffalle a grete Ooke.

That þer hade be faɫɫ an oke. 3952

The Spere was storng and wolde not breke. [1 leaf 26, back] 3953

The spere was stronge and will not breke.

Partanope was a mygħty freeke,

Partonope was a myghty freke,

In his Sadeɫɫ stylle sate and weɫɫ. 3957

In his sadiɫɫ stiɫɫ sat and weɫɫ. 3957

Sornogour that was ferse and felle,

Sornogour þat was fers and feɫɫ,

And eke in armes fuɫɫ wele y-lered,

And eke In armes weɫɫ I-lerede,

Turnyd hys horns, and oute wytħ his swerde. 3960

Turnyth his hors, and out with his swerde. 3960

Therof toke hede goode Partanope,

There-of toke hede Partonope,

And wytħ hys Swerde oute as weɫɫ as he.

And with his swerde out as weɫɫ as he.

Fressħly a-none to-gydyr they mette.

Fryshly anone þey mete.

Many a grete stroke there was sette.

Many a grete stroke þer þey sette. 3964

And in this hurlyng Partanope 3965

And In [t]his hurlynge Partonope

Wytħ hys Swerde a stroke smote he

With his swerde a stroke yafe he

Vpon) Sornogoure helme so gay,

Vppon) Sornogour helme so gay,

141So dyspetuusly, the kynge gan) affraye, And stonyed there-wythe he was so gretelye, Thatt there-wytħ hys horse fulle lyȝthlye He turned fro Partonope. There-wythe aȝenne the kynge smote hee Wythe hys swerde, wytħ alle hys myȝthte. He was pwynte to haue made hym) lyȝthte Owte of hys sadeɫɫ sodenlye. Butte as he helde hym) myȝthtelye By the here of hys stede-ys necke, Partonope sparythe nott, butte leyytħ on) thycke. The kynge ynne hys arnes waxed alle hotte. Wytħ hys spores hys stede he smote; [leaf 50] And ynne thus wyse departed bee * Kynge Sornegour and Partonope. They hadde bothe nede hym) to brethe. A whyle they Reste hem) on) thatt ethe. A-monge the ffrenche was made a grete noyse. They seyde Partonope, the Erle of Bloyse, Hadde welle quytte hym) in thys fyȝthte A-gaynyste kynge Sornegour, thatt worthy knyȝthte Onne the hethen) syde the Danes

3981. bee] MS. hee.







The combatants are obliged to take breath.

Partonope is praised by friends and foes.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

So spetuosly that he gan affray, 3968

So spyttuosly þat In þat affray 3968

And stonyed ther-wytħ he was gretly.

A-stonyde þer-with he was gretly.

There-wytħ his hors fuɫɫ lygħtly

1 There-with his hors fuɫɫ lightly

He turned froward Partanope.

He turnyde frowarde Partonope.

Than the kyng a-gayn) smote he. 3972

Then þe kynge agayne smote he. 3972

And that wytħ alle his mygħt.

And þat wyth aɫɫ his myght. [1 1f. 19, bk.]

He made hym welny to lygħt

He made hym weɫɫ nye to ligħt

Oute of his Sadyɫɫ fuɫɫ sodenly,

Out of his sadiɫɫ fuɫɫ sodenly.

But as he helde hym mygħtly 3976

But as he helde hym myghtyly 3976

By the heere of hys stedys nekk,

Be þe heres of hys stedes nyke,

Partanope Spared hym not, but layde on) thykk.

Partonope sparede, but leyde on thyke.

The kyng in his armes wexytħ hoote.

The kynge In his harnes wax hote.

Wytħ his Spurres his stede he smote;

With his spores his stede he smote;

And in this wyse departed be 3981

And in þis wyse departyde be 3981

Kyng Sornogoure and Partanope.

Kynge Sornogour and Partonope.

They had bothe nede hem to a-brethe.

They hade nethe hem to brethe.

A whyle they rest hem on) the hethe.

A while þey reste hem on þe hethe. 3984

Amonge the frensħ was made grete noyse. 3985

A-monge þe french was grete noyse.

They sayde Partanope, Erle of Bloys,

They seyde Partonope, erle of Bloys,

Hatħ wele quyte hym in this fygħt

Hathe weɫɫ quyte hym In þis figħt 3988

Agayn) Sornogoure, that worthy knyght,

Agayne Sornogour, þat worthy knyght,

142Alowed gretely the Erle [of] Bloys, And seyde ynne armes he was ryȝthte parfyte. Butte Sornegour for sothe hadde grete dyspyte Off thus yonge Partonope. He thoȝtħ welle quytte he schulde be. And ynne hys sadelle he ganne hym) dresse. He thoȝthte, were hym-sylffe beter or worse, * He wolde asayle Partonope. [There-wytħ his lenger swerd toke he.] Anone ffreschely bothe they mette. And ther as Sornegour wente to haue smette Vnder the schelde Partonope, Off thatt stroke fulle fayled hee : The swerdes pwynte he bare to lowe. For euen) amydde the sadeɫ-bowe Off hys swerde he smote the pomelle. Thys hethen) kynge thatt was so felle, Thoȝthte haue reuenen) throwe hys Corse. Off hym) he ffaylett and smote hys horse In-to the Brayne thorow the panne. [This blake steede there-wytħ be-ganne] To staker, as he nede mutte falle.

3996. worse] r very indistinct.

They fight again, and Sornegour uses his longer sword. but bears it too low, and pierces the skull of Partonope’s horse.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

But Sornogoure, in his amies fuɫɫ parfyte,

But Sorogour In armes fuɫɫ parfytly

Had of Partanope grete dispete. 3992

Hade of Partonope grete dysspyte. 3992

And in his sadeɫɫ he gan hym dresse.

In his sadiɫɫ he gan) hym dresse.

He thought, falle hyt better or worse,

He þought, faɫɫ it better ore worsse,

1 He wold ones assayle Partanope. 3997

He wolde onys assaiɫɫ Partonope. 3997

There-wytħ his lenger swerd toke he.

Ther-with his longe swerde toke he.

A-none feersly to-gedyr they mette;

A-none freshly to-geder þey met,

And Surnagour wold haue Smette 4000

And Sornogoure wolde haue smyte 4000

Vndyr the Shelde Partanope. [1leaf 27]

On) þe [s]childe Partonope.

Of that Stroke foule fayled he :

Of þat stroke foule faylede he :

The Swerdes poynt he bare so lowe,

The swerdes poynt he bare so lowe.

For even a-mydde the Sadyɫɫ bowe 4004

For evyn amyde þe sadiɫɫ bowe 4004

Of his Swerd he Sette the pomeɫɫ.

Of his swerde he set þe pomeɫɫ.

The hethen kyng was so feɫɫ,

The hethyn kynge þat was so feɫɫ,

And wold haue bore hym throw the Corse.

He wolde a bore hym þorwe þe corse.

Of hym he fayled, and Smotte the horse

Of hem he faylede and smote þe horse.

In-to the brayn) throght the panne, 4009

In-to þe brayne þorwe þe panne. 4009

This blake steede there-wytħ be-ganne

The blake stede þer-with be-gan)

To Staker, as he that nedysmuste falle.

To stagir, as he nedes moste faɫɫ.

143Partonope anone lyȝthtely wytħ-alle Lepte ffro hys horse, bothe hole and sownde. Hys stede dyed, and felle to grownde. There myȝthe a man the ffrenche see Grete sorowe make for Partonope. “Mercy, lord Ihesus,” sayde hee, “Now saue myn) honor and my frynde, And suffere notte thus hethen) fynde Off thus batayle to haue the victorye, [leaf 50, back] Thatt neuer here-after he hadde ynne memorye Thatt thy seruantes dyscumfyte schulde be. O mysiaw[n]che thatt neuer dyd þe Plesauns, ne worchypp, ne seruyce. Lord! lette thy wrathe nowe notte aryse For owre synnes, butte saue thy Ryȝthte !” Partonope onne fote was redy to fyȝtħte. He Coverd hym knyȝthtely vnder hys schelde, Alle redy d[r]awe hys swerde he helde. Summe-wate aschamed was Partonope Thatt thus lyȝthtely vnhorsed was hee. The danes onne the other syde In [here] hert hadde grete pryde Off thus Chaunee thatt was be-falle, And wytħ one voyse they seyden) alle Here lorde and here kynge Sornegour

4022. seruantes] a like o.








Partonope leaps from the saddle, while the horse falls to the ground and dies. The French are grieved, and the King prays Jesus to protect his friend.

Partonope is ready to fight on foot.

The Danes praise their King.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Partanope a-lygħt there-wytħ-alle, 4012

Partonope alight anone with-aɫɫ, 4012

Leepe from his hors botħ hole and Sownde.

Lepe fro his hors hole and sounde.

His swerd dyed, and fyɫɫ to grounde.

1 His stede dyede and fiɫɫ to grounde.

The frenche kyng wytħ grete dolor

The french kynge with grete doloure

Prayde Jhesu to saue his honoure,

Prayede Ihesu to save his honoure,

And sayd : “Lord God in trynyte !

And seyde : “Lorde God In trenyte !

Suffre not they seruaunt to scomfyte be

Suffer not þy seruant scomfyte be

Of this Cursyd hethen fynd.

Of þis coursede hethyn fende. [1 leaf 20]

But lorde, saue my erysten frynd

But lorde, save my crystyn frende

And of myn honor the ryght!”

And my honoure and þe right!”

Partanope on fote to fyght 4027

Partonope on foote to figħt 4027

He was redy couered vndyr Shelde,

He was redy, and couerde his shelde,

And knygħtly his swerd he heeld,

And knyghtly his swerde he helde.

But Sumwhat a-shamed was Partanope

But ashamede was Partonope

That thus lyghtly vn-horsed was he.

That þus lightly vnhorsede was he. 4031

4018. On margin added by a later hand: suffer not thy saruant discomforted to he.

144Off alle krȝthode yette bare the flowre, And wende for thus sory chaunce They hadde conqueryd the Realme of Fraunce. Onne horse-backe sette kynge Sornegour As felle, as fers as eny bore; And streyȝthte he Rydythe to Partonope: “My frynde,” he sayde, “er thatt thatt yee Be dede, my wylle were on) thynge Thatt ȝe schulde speke wytħ yowr’ kynge, And cownselle hym) to haue pes wytħ me. And seye* so mersyabeɫ wolle y be,* And seye hym) hys worchypp schalle y saue. Off hys gode kepe y none to haue, Butte thatt he wolle [holde] hys heretage Offe me, and ther-fore do me Omage, And be redy atte euery tyme Atte myn) comawndement1 as onne of myne. To hys y schalle do, and eke to hym, So welle thatt he and alle hys kynne Schulde seye hys Omage ys welle y-sette, He myȝthte ynne no wyse for hym) do bette. He schalle fryste be swore to me. To hym also swore wolle I be. [leaf 51] Off hym axe I no more A-vawntage, But onely that he do me homage Here In thys place be-fore myn) oste, Thys ys to hym no rygħte grette coste. Thus I mene to saue myne honowre, That no Iyer ne no gabbowre

4047. seye] MS. seyde; be] MS. me.

After 1. 4058 follows catch-word: to hym also swore. On leaf 51, top, the first hand resumes.

Sornegour offers peace upon condition that the French King will do.him homage, so that he may leave the country honourably.








Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

On horse-bake sate kyng Sornogoure

On horshake sat kynge Sornogoure

As feɫɫ and feerse as ony bore; 4041

As feɫɫ as fers as ony bore; 4041

And streyght he rydetħ to Partanope :

And streight he rydyth to Partonope.

“Myn frend,” he sayd, “or than that ye

“My frende,” he seyde, “ore þat ye

Be dede, my wyɫɫ were oo thyng 4044

Be dede, my wiɫɫ were o thynge 4044

That ye Shuld speke wytħ our kyng,

That ye shulde speke with your kynge,

And counsayle hym) to haue pese wytħ me.”

And counseɫɫ hym to haue pes with me.”

145May say that I shulde chacedι be Shamfully owte of þys cuntre, And I mygħte no-þynge conquere, Towne ne cyte, and þus of my werr’ Shulde make an) ende shamfully. Thys ys þe cause why that I Desyre no more off alle hys goode.” Partonope fulle stylle stode And herde þe keynge sey aɫɫ hys wylle, And thys wyse he spake hym tylle: “Syr, yeff þe kynge of Fraunce shulde be Thys wyse homagere, then) mygħte weɫɫ ye Seyne ye had made a fayre conqueste, And I had falsly my be-heste Performed in myne owne a-corde, Sytħ to fygħte for my lorde I swore, and eke to safe hys honowre. But of on) þynge, Surnegowre, I am gladde, for yowre cruelte Ys turned fully to humylyte, For ye se me atte dysavawntage. I trowe ye haue loste yowre grette corage.”  When) kynge Surnegowre herde þys scorne,  Yeffe he were wodde or feɫɫ be-forne,  Then) wex he feller then) euer he was, And prycked hys stede a fuɫɫ grette pas; And wyth hys swerde fully was he








Partonope refuses the proposal.

Inflamed with anger, Sornegour pricks his horse, and strikes at Partonope.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Than) answeryd good Partanope : 4075

Then answerde good Partonope : 4075

“Yf the kyng of Fraunce shuld be

“Yef þe kynge of France shulde be

1Youre homagere, than myght weɫɫ ye

Youre omagour, þen myght he

Sey ye had made a fayre conquest,

Sey ye hade made a fayre conqueste,

And falsely had I performyd my behest. [1 leaf 27, back.]

And falsly had I parformyde my heste.

I am redy to saue his honor. 4082

I am redy to saue his honoure. 4082

But oo thyng, kyng Sornogour,

But o thynke, kynge Sornogoure,

I am gladde that your cruelte

I am glade þat youre creweɫɫte

Ys now turned to humilite,

Ys nowe turnede to humylete,

For ye se me atte this auauntage.

For ye se me at dyssavantage.

Y trow ye haue lost your Corage.”

I trowe ye haue loste your corage.”

WHan Sornogour herd this Scrone,

When Sornogour herde þis scornne, 4088

He was woddyr than he was be-forne. 4089

He was woder þen he was beforne.

And wytħ that word purposed was he

And with þat worde porposede was he



146Porposed to stycke Partonope. Atte hym he smotte on) þe rygħte syde. Hys stroke hym þoȝte not to a-byde, But to þe lyfte syde lygħtely leppe, Where of hys stede he toke grette kepe, And fownde welle hys hedde was bare. There hym to smyte wolde he not spare. So sore hys strocke ther he sette; [leaf 51, baek] A-mydde the hedde þe stede he smette, That hedde and necke þorowe he cleffe, And wyth þe dynt þe sadyɫɫ reffe. The stede felle vpon) Surnegowre, Where-of grette parte of hys honowre He loste at þat ylke ffalle. Ne had he be delyuer wyth-alle, He had ben) ded wyth-owten) more. Thys falle hym greved wonder sore. The danys on) þe hethenne syde Hatħ loste a parcelle of here pryde. The ffrenshe a-no n ¯ wyth alle here herte Preyseden) Gode þat so gan) verte Wele and woo, rygħte as hym lyste. The kynge hym-selfe halpe at þe beste,

4113. w crossed out before verte.

But Partonope swerves aside, and with a mighty stroke cleaves the head of Sornegour’s horse.

Horse and man tumble to the ground.

The Danes are dismayed, the French rejoice.

Sornegour springs to his feet, and gives his adversary such a violent blow on the shield, that the sword sticks in it, and he is not able to pull it out.






Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Sharpely to smyte this Partanope. 4093

Sharply to smyte Partonope. 4093

At hym he smote on the rygħt syde;

At hym he smote on þe right syde;

His stroke he thought shuld a-byde.

His stroke he þought shulde abyde.

But to the lyfte syde Partanope leep,

But to þe lefte syde Partonope lepe,

And of his steede toke grete kepe, 4097

1 And of his stede toke grete kepe, 4097

That his hede was aɫɫ bare.

That his hede was aɫɫ bare. [l leaf 20, b.]

Therto smyte he wold not spare. 4099

Ther-to smyte he wolde not spare, 4099

The hede throw-out he clefe,

The hede þorwe-out he clete,

The steede of there he refe :

The stede of his lyfe he reffe.

Where-fore kyng Sornogour 4104

Where-for kynge Sornogoure 4104

Was in doute of his honor,

Was In doute of his honoure,

Aud wytħ fyɫɫ wytħ-outen more. 4108

And þer-with fiɫɫ with-out more. 4108

That faɫɫ greved hym fuɫɫ sore.

That faɫɫ grevyde hym fuɫɫ sore.

Tho that were on the hethen syde,

Tho þat were on þe hethyn syde,

Haue lost a parceɫɫ of her syde.

Haue loste a parceɫɫ of þer pryde.

The frenche a-non with good hert 4112

The frenche an one with good herte 4112

Thanked God that so gan) werk

Thankede God þat so gan werke

Wele and wo, ryght as hym lyst.

Weɫɫ and wo, right as hym lyste.

Sornogour than aɫɫ in a myst

Sornogour þen In a myste

147And lygħte vp lygħtely on) hys fette, As that pogħte fully to mete Wyth hys enmy Partonope. For a grette [stroke] þen gaffe hym he Vppon) the cornere of hys shylde. Hyt dyimedι ouer alle the fylde; Stele ne mayle wolde hyt not holde. Thys swerde was temperedι, and wolde not folde. In the shylde hyt enterydι a ffote; And wyth the poynte yet was hys cote Fowle I-raced, and eke I-rente. And wyth boþe hondys þe kynge þen hente The swerde þat faste was yn) þe shylde. Many a man) thys case be-helde. He pullud so, hyt wolde not be. To hys horse-warde þen drowe hym he. Partonope gan) hym folow so faste, Hys porpose fayledι that he had caste. For he þoȝte, yeffe he had mon), To haue take a swerde þat by þe arso n ¯ Off hys sadyɫɫ þen hynge. But Partonope so fersly gan) swyng1 After hym, and layde on) ffaste,







He draws near to his dead steed, to take the sword that is hanging at the saddle.

Hotly pursued by Partonope, he stumbles over the horse. But he catches his axe, and starts lightly up.

Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

Lepe vp lyghtly vp his feete,* 4116

Lepte vp lightly on his feete, 4116

And thought fully for to mete

And þought fully for to mete

Wytħ his enemy Partanope.

with his enemy Partonope.

And a grete stroke than gafe hym he

A grete stroke þen gafe he

Vpon the corner of his sheeld. 4120

Vppon) þe corner of his shelde. 4120

Hit dennyd gretely aɫɫ the feld;

Hit denyde gretly In þe felde;

Steele ne nerfe wold hit hold.

Steɫɫ ne Irone wolde it non holde.

The Swerde was herd, and wold not fold.

The swerde was harde, and wolde not folde.

1In-to the Sheld hit entred a fote,4124

In-to þe shelde it entyrde a foote. 4124

And wytħ the poynt Partanopes Cote

with þe poynte Partonopes cote

Was foule rasyd, and eke I-rent.

Was foule rasede, and eke rente.

Than) Sornogoure ganne to hent

Then Sornogoure gan to hente

The Swerd that fast was In the sheld.

The swerde þat faste was In þe shelde.

Many a man this case be-helde. 4129

Many a man þis case be-helde. 4129

He pulled sore, hit wold not be.

He pullede furthe, it wolde not be.

Than to his his hors ward drew he.

Then to his hors drewe he.

Hys purpose in that flenge

His porpose was In þat fleynge

To had the gleyve that be his sadyɫɫ heng. [1 leaf 28] 4136

To haue þe glayue þat by his sadiɫɫ hynge. 4136

But Partanope aɫɫ in hast

But Partonope aɫɫ In haste

Foulowed hym feersly and fast,

Followide hym fersly and faste,

4116. MS. seete.

148And on) hym so fersly gan) laste That on) hys horse he stombelde and felle. And þer-wyth he happed to take hys bylle, The wycħe some men) do a gleyue calle. [leaf 52] A-shamed he was of þys grette falle, And ther-wyth lygħtely vppon) hys fette He lepe, and þogħte he wolde mete Wytħ hys Enemy Partonope. But so hyt happed þat botħ he For wery of fygħte nedyd of bretħ; And botħe a-reste hem on) þe hetħe. Partonope had grette encombrawnee Off Sornegour ys swerde, þat fowle myschawnce, The wycħe henge so faste in hys shylde, He mygħte not lygħtely hym be-welde. And þat sawe welle kynge Sornegowre, And fersly, as he had ben) a bore, Leyetħe* on) hys Enemy wyth hys gleyve. Partonope faste þe strokes doþe weyfe. Thus they ley o n ¯ alle þe day, Þat alle men), that hyt be-helde and say, Sayde þat perylouse was þys batayle, So fersly ecħe other dotħe sayle.

4156. Leyetħe] MS. Lygħtely.

They pause again, spent of breath.

Partonope is hampered by the sword that is sticking in his shield.

The onlookers witness a terrible fight between two worthy knights.







Univ. Coll. MS.

Rawl. MS.

And gafe hym strokes many.

And gafe hym strokes manye.

Ytt his hors he came ny,

Yet his hors he come nye,

Where he had a grete faɫɫ.

Where he hade a grete faɫɫ

And yit there wytħ hast and hylle

And yet þer with haste and aɫɫ

His gleyve he Caught fuɫɫ smert,

1 His gleyve he caught smerte,

And on his feete vp he stert,

And on his feete vpe he sterte, 4145

Thenkyng he wold meete wytħ Partanope, 4146

Thyukyrjge he wolde mete Partonope. [1 leaf 21.]

But so hit happyd that they botħ be

But so it happede þat þey bothe be

So wery of fyght / hit neded to bretħ;

So werye of fight, it nedyth to brethe;

And botħ, they rested him on the hetħ.

And bothe þey reste on þe hethe.

Partanope had grete en-Comberaunce

Partonope hade grete encombraunce

Of the Swerd, that foule myschaunce,

Of þe swerde, þat foule myschaunce,

Whicħ hen