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Title: Arthur - A Short Sketch of His Life and History in English Verse of the First Half of the Fifteenth Century
Author: Furnivall, Frederick James, 1825-1910 [Editor]
Language: English
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A Short Sketch of His Life and History in English Verse of the First
Half of the Fifteenth Century

Copied and Edited From the Marquis of Bath's MS.


Frederick J. Furnivall, M.A., Camb.

Editor of De Borron's and Lonelich's "History of the Holy Graal,"
Walter Map's "Queste Del Saint Graal," Etc. Etc.

Published for the Early English Text Society,
by Trübner & Co., 60, Paternoster Row.




As one of the chief objects of the Early English Text Society is to
print every Early English Text relating to Arthur, the Committee have
decided that this short sketch of the British hero's life shall form one
of the first issue of the Society's publications. The six hundred and
forty-two English lines here printed occur in an incomplete Latin
Chronicle of the Kings of Britain, bound up with many other valuable
pieces in a MS. belonging to the Marquis of Bath. The old chronicler has
dealt with Uther Pendragon, and Brounsteele (Excalibur), and is
narrating Arthur's deeds, when, as if feeling that Latin prose was no
fit vehicle for telling of Arthur, king of men, he breaks out into
English verse,

  "Herkeneþ, þat loueþ hono_ur_,
   Of kyng Arthour & hys labo_ur_."

The story he tells is an abstract, with omissions, of the earlier
version of Geoffry of Monmouth, before the love of Guinevere for
Lancelot was introduced by the French-writing English romancers of the
Lionheart's time (so far as I know), into the Arthur tales. The fact of
Mordred's being Arthur's son, begotten by him on his sister, King Lot's
wife, is also omitted; so that the story is just that of a British king
founding the Round Table, conquering Scotland, Ireland, Gothland, and
divers parts of France, killing a giant from Spain, beating Lucius the
Emperor of Rome, and returning home to lose his own life, after the
battle in which the traitor whom he had trusted, and who has seized his
queen and his land, was slain.

  "He that will more look,
   Read on the French book,"

says our verse-writer: and to that the modern reader must still be
referred, or to the translations of parts of it, which we hope to print
or reprint, and that most pleasantly jumbled abstract of its parts by
Sir Thomas Maleor, Knight, which has long been the delight of many a
reader,--though despised by the stern old Ascham, whose Scholemaster was
to turn it out of the land.--There the glory of the Holy Grail will be
revealed to him; there the Knight of God made known; there the only true
lovers in the world will tell their loves and kiss their kisses before
him; and the Fates which of old enforced the penalty of sin will show
that their arm is not shortened, and that though the brave and guilty
king fights well and gathers all the glory of the world around him, yet
still the sword is over his head, and, for the evil that he has done,
his life and vain imaginings must pass away in dust and confusion.

Of the language of the Poem there is little to say: its dialect is
Southern, as shown by the verbal plural _th_, the _vyve_ for five, _zyx_
for six, _ych_ for I, _har_ (their), _ham_ (them), for _her_, _hem_;
_hulle_, _dude_, _ȝut_, for hill, did, yet, the infinitive in _y_
(_rekeny_), etc. Of its poetical merits, every reader will judge for
himself; but that it has power in some parts I hope few will deny.
Arthur's answer to Lucius, and two lines in the duel with Frollo,

  "There was no word y-spoke,
   But eche had other by the throte,"

are to be noted. Parts of the MS. have very much faded since it was
written some ten or twenty years before 1450, so that a few of the words
are queried in the print. The MS. contains a few metrical points and
stops, which I have here printed between parentheses (). The expansions
of the contractions are printed in italics, but the ordinary doubt whether
the final lined _n_ or _u_--for they are often undistinguishable--is
to be printed n_e_, n_ne_, or u_n_, exists here too.

I am indebted to Mr. Sims, of the Manuscript Department of the British
Museum, for pointing out the Poem to me, and to the Marquis of Bath for
his kind permission to copy it for printing.

                                  _3, Old Square, Lincoln's Inn,_
                                  _London, W.C., August 30, 1864._

                Arthur                                           [pg 1]

                From the Marquis of Bath's MS.

                                 BEF. 1450 A.D.

              [The Latin side notes in italics, and the stops
              of the text in parentheses (), are those of the MS.]

                   Herkeneþ, þat loueþ hono_ur_,          [Fol. 42_b_]
                   Of kyng Arthour & hys labo_ur_;
How Arthur         And furst how he was bygete,
was begotten       As þ_a_t we in bok_is_ do rede.                     4
by Pendragon       Vther pendragon_e_ was hys fader,
on Ygerne.         And ygerne was hys Moder.
                   Pendragon_e_ ys in walysch_e_
Pendragon          'Dragones heed' on Englysch_e_;                     8
(_t.i._  Dragon's  He maked ypeynted dragon_e_s two;
Head) made         Oon schold byfore him goo
two painted        Whan he went to batayle,
dragons,           Whan he wold hys foes sayle;                       12
                   That other abood at wynchester,
                   Euermore stylle there.
and thence         Bretones ȝaf hym þ_a_t Name,
had his name.      Vther Pendragon_e_ þe same,                        16
                   For þat skyle fer & nere
                   Euer-more hyt to here.

How Uther loved    The Erles wyff of Cornewayle
the Earl of        He loued to Muche sanz fayle;                      20
Cornwall's wife,

              [Arthur Has the Round Table Made.]

                   Merlyn wyþ hys sotelnesse
                   Turned vtheris lyknesse,
                   And maked hym lyche þe Erl anone,
                   And wyþ hys wyff (:) his wyll_e_ to done           24
                   In þe cou_n_tre of Cornewell_e_:
                   In þe Castel of Tyntagell_e_,
and begat Arthur   Thus vther, yf y schall_e_ nat lye,
in adultery.       Bygat Arthour in avowtrye.                         28
                   Whan vther Pendragon_e_ was deed,
Arthur is          Arthour anon was y-crowned;
crowned,           He was courteys, large, & Gent
                   to alle puple verrament;                           32
                   Beaute, Myȝt, amyable chere
                   To alle Men ferre and neere;
                   Hys port (;) hys ȝyftes gentyll_e_
is loved of all,   Maked hym y-loved wyll_e_;                         36
                   Ech mon was glad of hys p_re_sence,
                   And drade to do hym dysplesau_n_ce;
is strong          A stronger Man of hys honde
                   was neuer founde on any londe,                     40
and courteous.     As courteys as any Mayde:--
                   Þus wryteþ of hym þ_a_t hym a-sayde.  [Fol. 42_b_,
                   At Cayrlyon_e_, wyt_h_oute fable,         col. 2.]
He makes the       he let make þe Rou_n_de table:                     44
Round Table,       And why þ_a_t he maked hyt þus,
                   Þis was þe resou_n_ y-wyss,--
that all at it     Þat no man schulde sytt aboue other,
might be equal.    ne haue indignaciou_n_ of hys broþ_er_;            48
                   And alle hadde (.)oo(.) seruyse,
                   For no pryde scholde aryse
                   For any degree of syttynge,
                   Oþer for any seruynge:--                           52
                   Þus he kept þe table Rou_n_de
                   Whyle he leuyd on þe grou_n_de.
After his first    After he hadde conquered skotlond
conquests          yrland & Gotland,                                  56

              [He Fights Frollo for France.]

he lives twelve    _Þan_ leuyd he at þe best
years in peace,    twelf ȝeeris on all_e_ reste
                   Wyþoute werre (:) tyll_e_ at þe laste
                   he þouȝt to make (.)a(.) nywe _con_queste.         60
and then invades   Into Frau_n_ce wyþ gode cou_n_ceyle
France.            he wolde weende (:) & hyt assayle,
                   Þat Rome þo kept vnder Myght,
                   Vnder Frollo (:) a worthy knyght                   64
                   Þ_a_t frau_n_ce hadde þo to kepe,
                   To rywle, defende, & to lede.
He beats Frollo    Arthour and Frollo fouȝt in feld;
back to Paris,     Þere deyde many vnder scheld.                      68
                   Frollo in-to Paryss fly,
                   W_y_th strenkthe kept hyt wysely:
and there          Arthour byseged þ_a_t Syte & town
besieges him,      Tyll_e_ þeire vytayl was y-doon.                   72
till Frollo        Frollo þat worthy knyght
challenges him     Proferyd w_y_t_h_ Artho_ur_ for to fyght
to single combat.  Vnder þis wyse & condiciou_n_,--
                   "Ho hadde þe Maystrie (:) haue þe crown;           76
                   And no mo men but þey two."
They fight:        Þe day Was sett (:) to-geder þey go:
                   Fayr hyt was to byholde
                   In suche two knyȝghteȝ bolde:                      80
                   Þer was no word y-spoke,
                   But eche hadde other by þe þrote;
                   Þey smote w_y_t_h_ trou_n_chou_n_ & w_y_t_h_ swerd;
                   Þat hyt seye were a-ferd;              [Fol. 43.]  84
                   Frollo fouȝt wyþ hys ax (:) as men dude se;
(Frollo with his   He hytt Arthour (:) so sore (:) þ_a_t he felle on kne.
axe)               He ros vp raply (:) and smot hym full_e_ sore;
                   He dude hym to grent a (.) soueȝ[1] þ_er_fore.     88
                   thus they hyw on helmes hye,          [1. ? soneȝ]
                   And schatered on wyþ scheldes.
                   Þe puple by-gan to crye
                   Þat stood on þe feldes;                            92

              [Arthur Returns Victorious to Britain,]

till Arthur in     ther ne wyst no man, as y can ler_e_,
wrath takes        Who of ham two was þe better_e_ þer_e_.
Brownsteel,        Arthour was chafed & wexed wroth_e_,
_Caliburn_us       He hente brou_n_steell_e_ | and to Frollo goth_e_  96
_Arthuri Gladius_  Brou_n_stell_e_ was heuy & also kene;
[with a sketch     Fra_m_ þe schulder(:) to þe syde went bytwene
thereof in the     Off frollo | and þan he fell to þe grou_n_de
MS.] and strikes   Ryȝt as he moste | deed(.) in lyte stou_n_de.     100
Frollo dead.       Frensch_e_ men made doell_e_ & wept full_e_ faste;
                   Þeir Crowne of frau_n_ce þere þey loste.
Arthur takes       Than wente Arthour in-to paryse
Paris.             And toke þe castell_e_ & þe town at hys avyse.    104
                   Worschuped be god of hys grete grace
Glory to God.      Þ_a_t þus ȝeueþ fortune(:) and worschup to þe Reme;
                   Thanke ȝe hym all_e_ þ_a_t beþ on þis place,
Say ye a Pater     And seyeþ a Pater noster w_y_t_h_out any Beeme.   108
Noster therefore.
                 Pater noster.

                   Artho_ur_ fram paryse went w_y_t_h_ hys Rowte,
Arthur conquers    And co_n_quered þe Cou_n_tre on euery syde aboute;
the countries      Angeoy[2] , Peytow, Berry, & Gaskoyne,
around,            Nauerne, Burgon_e_ | Loreyn & Toreyne;            112
                   He dau_n_ted þe proude | & hawted þe poure;
                   He dwelt long in Paryss after in honoure;
                   He was drad and loued in cou_n_treis abowte;
                   Heyest & lowest hym Loved & alowte;               116
                   And vpon an Esto_ur_ tyme sone afterward
                   He fested hys knyght_is_ & ȝaf ham gret reward;
distributes        To hys styward he ȝaf Angers & Au_n_geye;
them among his     To Bedewer hys botyler he ȝaf Norma_n_dye;        120
knights,           He ȝaf to Holdyne flau_n_drys parde;
                   To Borel hys Cosyn, Boloyne þe cyte;
                   And eche man, after þe astat þat he was,
                   He rewarded hem alle, boþe More & lasse,          124
and returns to     And ȝaf hem reward, boþe lond and Fee,
Britain.           And turned to Breteyn, to Carlyo_n_e ayhe.

              [And then Holds a Great Feast.]

                   Artho_ur_ wolde of hono_ur_         [Fol. 43_b_,
Arthur gives an    Hold a fest at Eestour                  col. 1.]  128
Easter Feast       Of regalye & worthynesse,
                   And feede alle hys frendess;
                   And sende Messanger
                   To kynges ferre & neer                            132
                   Þat were to hym Omager,
                   to come to þis Dyner.
                   And alle at oo certeyn day
                   They come þyder in gode aray,                     136
                   And kept þeire Ceson_e_
at Carlyon,        At þe Castell_e_ Cayrlyon_e_.
greater than ere   Thys fest was Muche Moore
before.            Þan euere Artho_ur_ made a-fore;                  140
Ten kings were     For þere was Vrweyn þe kynge
there,             Of scottes at þat dynynge,
                   Stater þe kyng of south wales,
                   Cadwell_e_ þe kyng of north waleȝ,                144
                   Gwylmar þe kyng of yrland,
                   Dolmad þe kyng of guthland,
                   Malgan of yselond also,
                   Archyl of De_n_march þ_er_to,                     148
                   Aloth_e_ þe kyng of Norwey,
                   Souenas þe kyng of Orkenye,
                   Of Breteyn þe kyng Hoel,
and thirteen       Cador Erl of Cornewell_e_,                        152
earls              Morice þe Erl of Gloucestr_e_,
                   Marran Erl of Wy_n_chestre,
                   Gwergou_n_d Erl of herford,
                   Booȝ Erl of Oxenford,                             156
(including him     Of bathe vngent þe Erl also,
of Bath),          Cursal of Chestr_e_ þer-to,
                   Euerad Erl of salesbury[3],
                   Kynmar Erl of Canterbury,                         160
                   Jonas þe Erl of Dorcestre,

              [Arthur's Guests at Cayrlyone.]

                   Valence þe Erl of sylchestr_e_,
                   Jugeyn of Leyccer [?] þ_er_to,
                   Argal of warwyk also,--                           164
                   Kynges & Erles Echon
with many other    Þes wer_e_; & many anoþ_er_ goom
gentles great,     Gret of astaat, & þe beste,
                   Þes were at þe Feste.                             168
                   Other also gentyls grete
                   Were þere at þat Meete,
                   Sauer appon Donand,
                   Regeym & Alard,                                   172
                   Reyneȝ fitȝ Colys,
                   Tade_us_ fitȝ Reis,
                   Delyn fitȝ Dauid,
                   Kymbelyn le fitȝ Gryffith,                        176
                   Gryffitȝ þe Sone of Nagand,
                   Þes were þer_e_ also theoband:
besides the        Alle þes were þere w_y_t_h_oute fable,
Round Tablers,     W_y_t_h_oute ham of þe rou_n_de table.            180
Archbishops,       Thre archebusschopes þ_er_ wer_e_ also,
Bishops,           And other busschopes many mo--
                   All_e_ þis mayne were nat al-oone;
                   W_y_t_h_ ham com many a Goome.                    184
                   Þis feste dured dayes þre
                   In reuell_e_ & sole_m_pnite.
and many from      Of by ȝonde þe See also
beyond the sea.    Many lordez[?] were þere þo.                      188
                   Now resteþ alle wyþ Me,
                   And say a Pater & Ave.

                 Pater noster.

                   The þrydde day folowyng
                   The_n_ coom nywe tydynge,                         192
                   Þe whyle þey sete at þe Mete
To the feasters    Messagers were In ylete;
came messengers    Well_e_ arayd forsoþe þey come,
from the           & send fram cite of Rome                          196

              [Lucius's Message to Arthur.]

Roman Emperor,     Wyþ l_ett_res of þe Emp_er_oures
_luci_us.          Whas name was Lucies.
                   Þes l_ett_res were opened & vnfold,
                   And þe tydyng_e_ to alle men told,                200
                   Whas sentence, yf y ne lye,
                   Was after þ_a_t y can aspye:
L_ite_ra Lucii     ¶ Luci_u_s þe grete Emp_er_our
i_m_p_er_at_oris_. To hys Enemy Arthour:--                           204
                   We woundereþ of þi wodeness
                   And also of þy Madnesse!
                   How darst þow any wyse
saying, that to    Aȝenst the Emp_er_o_ur_ þ_u_s aryse,              208
have invaded       And ryde on Remes on eche wey,
France, etc., and  And make kyngeȝ to þe obey?
made kings,        Þu art wood on þe Nolle!
Arthur must be     Þu hast scley owre cosyn frolle;                  212
mad in his noll;   Þu schalt be tawȝt at a schort day      [Fol. 44,
                   for to make such_e_ aray.                col. 1.]
                   Oure cosyn Iuli_us_ cesar
                   So_m_me tyme conquered þar;                       216
that he must pay   To Rome þu owest hys trybut;
his tribute,       We chargeþ þe to paye vs hyt.
                   Thy pryde we woll_e_ alaye
                   Þat makest so gret aray:                          220
                   We co_m_mandeþ þe on haste
                   To paye owre trybut faste;
                   Þu hast scley frolle in frau_n_ce
                   Þat hadde vnder vs þer_e_ gou_er_nau_n_ce,        224
                   And wyþholdest oure tribute þ_er_to:
                   Þu schalt be tawȝt þu hast mysdo:
                   We co_m_mandeþ þe in haste soone
and come to        Þat þu come to vs at Rome                         228
Rome to be         To vnd_er_fang our_e_ ordynau_n_ce
punished for       For þy dysobediau_n_ce;
his disobedience.  As þu wold nat leze þy lyf,
                   Fulfylle þys w_y_t_h_oute stryff."                232

              [Arthur's Answer to Lucius.]

The Britons        When þis l_ett_re was open & rad;
purpose to kill    Þe bretou_n_s & all_e_ men wer_e_ mad,
the messengers,    And wolde þe messager scle:--
but Arthur         "Nay," seyd Arthour, "per de,                     236
forbids it,        That were aȝenst alle kynde,
                   A messager to bete or bynde;
                   y charge alle men here
                   for to make ham good chere."                      240
                   And after Mete sanz fayl
                   Wyþ hys lordes he hadde cou_n_sayl;
                   And alle asented þer to,
and resolves to    Artho_ur_ to Rome scholde go;                     244
invade Rome.       And þey ne wolde in hys t_ra_uayle
                   Wyþ strenkþ & good neuer fayle.
                   Than Artho_ur_ wroot to Rome a l_ett_re,
                   Was sentence was so_m_m-what bytter_e_,           248
                   And sayde i_n_ þis manere
                   As ȝe may hure here:--

_L_ite_ra Reg_is_  "Knoweþ well_e_ ȝe of Romayne,
Arthuri._          Y am kyng Artho_ur_ of Bretayne.                  252
Arthur's answer    Frau_n_ce, y haue conquered hyt,
to the Emperor     Y schall_e_ defende & kepe hyt Ȝut,     [Fol. 44,
Lucius,            Y come to Rome, as y am tryw,            col. 2.]
claiming tribute   To take my trybut (.) to me dywe,                 256
from him.          But noon þere-for to paye,
                   By my werk ȝe schall_e_ asay;
                   For þe Emp_er_our Constantyne
                   Þat was þe Soone of Elyne,                        260
                   Þat was a Breton_e_ of þis lond,
                   Co_n_quered Rome w_y_t_h_ hys hond,
                   And so ȝe oweþ me tribut:
                   Y charge ȝow þat ȝe pay me hyt.                   264
                   Also Maximian kyng of Bretaigne
                   Co[_n_]quered al frau_n_ce & Almayne,
                   Lombardye Rome & ytalye--

              [The Messenger's Report of Arthur.]

                   By ȝoure bok_is_ ȝe may a-spye.                   268
                   Y am þeir Eyr & þeyre lynage,
                   Y aske ȝow my trywage."

                   Þis l_ett_re was celyd fast,
                   Y-take the Messagerez on hast;                    272
                   Arthour ȝaf ham ȝyftez grete,
                   And chered ham wyþ drynk and Mete.
Lucius's           Þey hasted ham to come hoom;
messengers         Byfor þe Emp_er_o_ur_ þey beþ coom;               276
return to him.     Saluted hym as resou_n_ ys,
                   And toke hym þes letterys.
                   Þey seyde to þe Emp_er_our
                   "We have be wyþ kyng Artho_ur_;                   280
                   But such anoþ_er_ as he ys oon,
                   Say neuer no Man.
                   He ys s_er_ued on hys howshold
                   Wyþ kynges, Erles, worthy & bold;                 284
                   Hys worthynesse, sur Emp_er_our,
                   Passeþ Much_e_ all_e_ ȝowre;
and give him       He seyde he wolde hyder come
Arthur's message.  And take trywage of all_e_ Rome,                  288
                   We dowteþ last he wel do soo,
                   For he ys Myghty ynow þer-too."
                   Now, erst þan we goo ferþer,
                   Every man þat ys here                             292
                   Sey a Pater noster
                   And ave wyþ gode chere; Ame_n_.

                       Pater noster

                       Ave Maria.

                   Now stureth hym self Artho_ur_      [Fol. 44_b_.]
                   Þenkyng on hys labo_ur_,                          296
Arthur prepares    And gaderyþ to hym strenghth aboute,
for his            Hys kynges & Erles on a rowte--
expedition         A fayr syȝt to Mannes ye
to Rome.           to see suche a cheualrye,--                       300

              [The Number of Arthur's Host.]

Has five kings,    The kyng of Gotland,
                   Also þe kyng of Irland,
                   the kyng of ysland | & of Orkenye,
                   Þis was worthy Maynye;                            304
                   The kyng of Denmark also was þer_e_,
                   Þis was a worthy chere:
                   Eche of þese vyve at her venyw
                   Brouȝt zyx þousand at har retenyw;                308
with 30,000men,    xxx{ti} þowsand, yc_h_ vnderstand,
                   Þes vyf kyng_is_ hadde on honde.
80,000 Normans     Than hadde he out of Normandye,
and                Of Angeoy & of Almanye,                           312
                   Boloyne(.) Peytow & flau_n_dres
                   Fowre skore þowsand harneys--
12,000 from        Geryn of Chartez .xij. þowsand
Chartres,          þat went wyþ Arto_ur_ euer at honde;              316
10,000 Bretons.    Hoel of bretayn, þowsandez ten
                   Of hardy & well_e_ fyghtyng Men;
                   Out of Bretaygne hys owne land
and 40,000         He passed fourty þowsand                          320
British:           Of Archerys & off Arblastere
                   Þ_a_t Cowþ well_e_ þe craft of werre.
                   ¶ In Foot other Many a Man Moo
                   Able to feyght(:) as well_e_ as þo:               324
in all 200,000.    Two hunderd þousand
                   Went wyþ hym out of lond,
                   And Many moo sykerly
                   That y can[4] not nombrye.     [4. ? MS. y-tan.]  328
                   Artho_ur_ toke þan þe lond
Britain is left    To Moddredes owne hond;
in Mordred's       He kept al oþer þyng
charge.            Saue þo Corowne weryng;                           332
                   But he was [fals] of hys kepynge,
                   As ȝe schall_e_ hure here folewynge.
Arthur ships       Now than_ne_ ys Arto_ur_ y-Come
at Southampton,    And hys Ost to Sowthamptone:                      336

              [The Giant that Ravished Fair Elayne.]

                   Ther was Many a Man of Myghte
                   Strong & bold also to fyghte.
                   Eche man hath take his schuppynge,
                   And ys at hys loghynge.                           340
                   Vp goþ þe sayl(:) þey sayleþ faste:
                   Arthour owt of syȝt ys paste.
                   Þe ferst lond þat he gan Meete,
and lands at       Forsoþe hyt was Bareflete;                        344
Barfleet.          Ther he gan vp furst aryve.
                   Now well_e_ Mote Artho_ur_ spede & thryve;
God speed him!     And þat hys saule spede þe better,
                   Lat eche man sey a Pater noster.                  348

                 Pater noster.

                   Now god spede Artour well_e_!
A new foe          hym ys comyng a nyw batell_e_.
appears, a         Ther coom a gyant out of spayne,
Spanish Giant,     And rauasched had fayr Elayne;                    352
                   He had brouȝt heor_e_ vp on an hulle--
                   Mornyng hyt ys to hure or telle--
                   Cosyn heo was to kyng hoell,
                   A damesel fayr and gentell_e_;                    356
                   And ȝut ferþ_er_more to,
who has slain      He rauasehed heore Moder also.
fair Elayne.       He dude þe damesel for to dye
                   for he myght not lygge heor bye.                  360
                   Whan þis was told to Artour,
                   He maked Much dolour,
Arthur sends       And send Bedewer for to spye
Bedwere first      How he myght come hym bye;                        364
as a spy,          And he was nat sclowh,
                   But to þe hulle hym drowh
                   Þat Closed was wyþ wat_er_ stronge,
                   Þe hulle a-Mydde gret & longe;                    368
                   He went ouer to þe hulle syde,
                   And þere a fonde a wo_m_man_e_ byde
                   Þat sorwedd & wept Mornynge

              [Arthur's Fight with the Giant.]

                   For Eleynes deþ & dep_ar_tynge,                   372
                   And bad Bedewer to fle also
                   Last he were ded more to;
                   "For yf þe Gyant fynde þe,
                   W_y_t_h_oute dowte he wyll_e_ þe scle."           376
                   Bedwer wyþ all_e_ hastynge
                   Tolde Artho_ur_ all_e_ þis þynge.
                   Amorwe whan þat hyt was day
and then (with     Arthour toke þyder hys way,                       380
Bedwere and Key)   Bedewer wyþ hym went, & keye,--
starts on his      Men þat cowþe well_e_ þe weye,--       [Fol. 45.]
adventure.         And broute Artho_ur_ Meyntenau_n_t,
                   Euen byfore þe Gyant.                             384
                   Arthour fowȝt wyþ þat wyght;
                   He had almost ylost hys Myght:
                   Wyþ Muche peyne, þruȝ goddez grace
He kills the       He sclowh þe Geant in þat place,                  388
Giant,             And þan he made Bedewere
                   To smyte of hys heed þere.
                   To þe Ost he dude hyt brynge,
                   And þ_er_on was gret wou_n_drynge,                392
whose horrible     Hyt was so oryble & so greet,
head is shown to   More þan any Horse heed.
the host,          Than hadde hoel Ioye ynowh
                   For þat Arthour so hym sclowh;                    396
                   And for a p_er_petuel Memorie
and St. Mary's     He Made a chapell_e_ of seynt Marye
Chapel is built    In þe hulle vpon þe pleyne,
in honour of the   Wyþ-Inne þat (:) þe t_um_be* of Eleyne;           400
victory.           And þat name wyþoute nay               [* to_m_be]
                   Hyt bereþ ȝut in-to þis day.
                   Now ys an ende of þis þynge,
News of Lucius's   And Artour haþ nyw tydynge,--                     404
approach is        Lucy þe Emp_er_our wyþ hys host
brought,           Comeþ fast in gret bost;
                   Þey helyþ ouer all_e_ þe lond,

              [Arthur's Men-- Pray to God.]

with an army of    Fowre hundred þowsand                             408
400,124 men.       An hunderd and foure & twenty,
                   Thus herawdes dude ham rekeny;
                   Thus he hadde gadered to hym
                   Of cristien and of Sarasyn,                       412
                   Wyþ all_e_ hys wytt & labour
                   To destroyen Arthour.
                   Arthour dude wyselye,
                   And hadde euer gode aspye                         416
                   Of lucyes gouernynge
                   And of hys þyder comynge;
Some advise        But so_m_me seyde hyt wer_e_ folye
Arthur to          To fyght aȝenst Emp_er_o_ur_ lucie,               420
turn and flee,     For he hadde sepe[5] euer_e_ aȝenst oon,
                   & cou_n_ceyled Artho_ur_ to fle & goon.
                   Wyþ þe Emp_er_o_ur_ come kynges Many oon,
                   And all_e_ þeire power hooll_e_ & soom;           424
                   Stronger men Myȝt no man see,
                   As full_e_ of drede as þey myght be;
                   But Arthour was not dysmayd,
but he trusts      He tryst on god, & was wel payd,                  428
in God,            And prayd þe hye trynyte
                   Euer hys help forto be;
                   And all_e_ hys Men wyþ oo voyse
                   Cryde to god wyþ Oo noyse,                        432
to whom his        "Fader in heuene, þy wyll_e_ be doon;
soldiers pray      Defende þy puple fram þeire foon,
                   And lat not þe heþon_e_ Men
                   Destroye þe puple crystien:                       436
                   Haue Mercy on þy se[r]uantis bonde,
to keep them       And kepe ham fram þe heþon_e_ honde;
from the           Þe Muchelnesse of Men sainfayle
heathen's hands.   Ys nat victorie in Batayle;                       440

              [The Battle Between Arthur and Lucius.]

                   But after þe wyll_e_ þ_a_t in heuene ys,
                   So þe victorie falleþ y-wys."
Arthur's           Than seyd Arthour, "hyt ys so:
"Forward!"         Auau_n_t Baner, & be Goo."                        444
                   Now frendes all_e_, for goddes loue,
                   Rereþ ȝowre hertes to god aboue,
                   And seyeþ ȝowre prayeris faste,
                   Þ_a_t we well_e_ spede furst & laste.             448

                 Pater noster.

                   The emp_er_our tryst on hys men,
                   And þ_a_t h_a_þ bygyled hym;
                   Forsothe hyt most nedez be so,
                   For þey beþ cursed þat well_e_ hyt do,            452
_Maledict_us_      Such_e_ all_e_ myght comeþ of god;
q_ui_              To tryst on hym, y hold hyt good.
_con_fid_e_t in    Lucye haþ pyght his pauelou_n_
ho_m_i_n_e._       And sprad wyþ pryde his gu_n_fanou_n_;            456
                   His claryou_n_s blastes full_e_ grete blywe,
                   Archeris schot(:) Men ouer-thrywe;
The battle         Bowes, arwes, & arblastere
begins.            Schot sore alle y-vere;                           460
                   Quarels, arwes, þey fly smerte;
                   Þe fyched Men þruȝ heed & herte;
                   Axes, sperys, and gysarmes gret,
                   Clefte Many a prowt Ma_n_nes heed:                464
                   Hors & steedes gan to grent,
                   And deyde wyþ strok_is_ þ_a_t þey hente;
                   Many a man þ_er_e lost hys lyf,     [Fol. 45_b_.]
                   Many on was wedyw þ_a_t was wyff;                 468
Men are wetshod    Þere men were wetschoede
with brains and    All_e_ of Brayn & of blode;
blood.             Gret rywth_e_ hyt was to seyn
                   Þe feltes full_e_ of men y-scleyn;                472
Lucius is          Lucy þe Emp_er_our also was dede;
slain,             But ho hym sclowh, y can nat rede;
                   He, for all_e_ hys grete Renou_n_,

              [Arthur Wins, and Buries the Dead.]

not able to        Aȝenst Arthour hadde no fusou_n_,                 476
stand against      No more þan haue twenty schep
Arthur.            Aȝenst vyve wolfez greet.
                   To god be euere alle hono_ur_ez!
                   The falde was hys & Arthourez.                    480
Arthur sends       Arthour, as he scholde done,
Lucius's body      Sende lucyes body to Rome;
to Rome,           Whan þe Romeynes say þis,
                   Þo þey dradde Artho_ur_ & hys.                    484
buries Bedwere     Also he buryed Bedewere
and others         Hys frend and | hys Botyler,
                   And so he dude other Echon
in Abbeys,         In Abbeys of Relygyou_n_                          488
                   Þat were cristien of name;
                   He dude to alle þe same;
                   And dude for ham Masse synge
                   w_y_t_h_ sole_m_pne song & offrynge,              492
                   And bood þere for to rest,
and stays the      Tyll_e_ þat wynter was past,
winter,            Boþe he (.) hys Men echone
                   Seruyd god in deuocione,                          496
thanking God       Þankyng god of hys Myȝt
                   Þat kepeþ hys seruau_n_tez ryȝt,
                   And suffreþ noon for to spylle
for His honour     Þ_a_t hym loueþ & tryste wylle:                   500
to England.        Þus worschup god dude certeyn
[Of the            To Englond, þat þo was Bretayn;
difference         Þe More Breteyn Englond ys--
between More       As men may rede on Cronyclys--                    504
(or Great)         Byȝend þe See Bretayne þ_er_ ys,
Britain and        Þat haþ hys name forsoþe of þis,
Little Britain.]   For þe kyng Maxymyan,--
                   Þe next after Octauyan,--                         508
                   He conquered all_e_ Armoryk,
                   And to þe Reme named hyt lyk:
_Armorica_.        Amorica on latyn me cl[e]ped þ_a_t lond,

              [Of the Welsh and Stinking Saxons.]

                   Tyl Maxymyan co[_n_]queryd hyt w_y_t_h_ honde,    512
                   And called hyt lyte bretayne þan,
                   So hyȝt þis lond þat he coom fram;
Little Britain     For p_er_petuell_e_ Mynde of grete Bretayne
is called after    He called hyt lyte Bretayne,                      516
Great Britain.     Þat Men schulde kepe in Mynde & wytt
                   How þis lond conqueryd hytt;
                   For Walsch_e_ Men beþ Bretou_n_s of kynde--
                   Know þat well_e_ fast on Mynde--                  520
                   Englisch_e_ men beþ Saxoynes,
                   Þat beþ of Engistes Soones;
                   There-fore þe walsch man Bretou_n_
                   Seyþ & clepeþ vs "Sayson"                         524
                       [ Þat ys to seye vpon a reess,
                       "Stynking Saxou_n_, be on pees." ]
How the Welshmen   And seyþ (.) "taw or (.) peyd Sayson brou_n_t"[6]
call the English   Whan he ys wroth (;) or ellys drou_n_ke;
"stinking          Hauyng Mynde of Engystis Men
Saxons."           Þat w_y_t_h_ gyle sclow þeyre kyn:                528
                   At þe place of þe Stonehenge
                   Ȝut þey þenkeþ for to venge:
                   And þat hyt neuere be so,
                   Seyþ a Pater noster more to.                      532

                 Pater noster.

Arthur is          Now turne we to oure labo_ur_
preparing to       And lat vs speke of Arthour:
cross the          He cast on herte sone
mountains to       After þat to go to Rome,                          536
Rome,              And spak of Passage & hys wey
                   Forth ouer Mou_n_t Ioye.
when he hears      And sone after vpon an owr
of Mordred's       He horde of Mordred the treto_ur_                 540
treachery;         That hadde all_e_ þis loud on warde--

              [Of Mordred's Treachery and Arthur's Return.]

                   Euyll_e_ moot such_e_ fare, and harde.
                   Who may best bygyle a man
                   But such_e_ as he tryst vpon?                     544
                   Þer ys no man wel nye, y tryste,
                   Þat can be waar of hadde wyste.--
                   Mordred þis falss Man
                   Much_e_ sorw þo bygan;                            548
                   He stuffed alle castelle
                   Wyþ armyre & vytelle,
                   And strenghthed hym on eche syde
                   W_y_t_h_ Men of cou_n_treys ferre & wyde:         552
how the traitor    He toke þe qwene, Arthoureȝ wyff,
had seized the     Aȝenst goddes lawe & gode lyff,
queen, his         And putte heore to soiourne þo
(Arthur's) wife,   At Euerwyk: god ȝyf hym wo.                       556
and put her at     Yhork ys Euerwyk:
York.              & so me calleþ hyt.
Arthur then comes  Artho_ur_ aryved at Whytsond
home,              W_y_t_h_ gret Myght & strong hond,                560
fights Mordred,    And Mordred sainz fayl
                   Ȝaf hym þo a strong batayl;
                   Many a man, as y rede,
                   Þat day was þere dede;                            564
                   Arthoures nevew Waweyn
and Gawain is      Þat day was þere y-sclayn,
slain.             And oþer knyȝtes Many moo:
                   Þan Arthour was heuy & woo.                       568
Mordred flies      Mordred fly toward Londou_n_;
to London,         He most not come in þe tou_n_:
                   Þan fled he to wy_n_chester
                   And w_y_t_h_ hys Mayn_e_e kep [?] hym þer_e_;     572
                   And Arthour on gret haste
                   Pursywed after hym faste.
                   Mordred w_y_t_h_oute fayle
and then to        Fled in-to Cornewayle.                            576
Cornwall.          The qwene wyþoute lesyng

              [Arthur's Last Battle with Mordred.]

                   Hurde of þis tydyng,
                   And how Mordred was flow,
                   And how to Cornewale he hym drow.                 580
                   Heo of Mercy hadde noon hoope,
The Queen          Ther-for he dude on a Russet cote,
turns nun at       And to Carlyou_n_ ys preuyly Rou_n_ne,
Carlyon.           And made heore self þo a Nou_n_ne;                584
                   Fro þat place neuer heo wende,
                   But of heore lyf þere made an ende.
Gawain             Waweynes body, as y reede,
                   And other lordes þat weere deede,                 588
is buried in       Arthour sente in-to skotlonde,
Scotland.          And buryed ham þ_er_e, y vnd_er_stonde.
                   Muche folke þ_er_henne he toke þo,
Northern men       Of Northu_m_ber-lond also                         592
and others come    Fram dyverse places to Artho_ur_ come
to Arthur.         Hys wyll_e_ to werk & to done:
                   Thus he sembled a full_e_ gret Ost;
                   To Cornewayle he draweþ hym fast                  596
                   After þat Mordred þe trayto_ur_
                   Þat hadde do hym Much_e_ dyshono_ur_.
                   That treto_ur_ hadde gret strength
                   And fulled þ_a_t lond on brede & length_e_,       600
He gives Mordred   Such_e_ a batell_e_ as þere was redy þo
battle.            Hadde neuer Arthour byfore y-doo:
                   They fowȝt tyl þer come dou_n_ bloode
_Bellu_m_          As a(.) Ryver or (.)a(.) flood;                   604
arthuri ap_u_d     Þey fowȝt euer sorest sadde;
Camelerton_um_     Men nyst ho þe betere hadde;
in Cornubia._      But at þe last Certeyn
Mordred is slain:  Was Mordred & alle hys y-sclayn;                  608
Arthur wounded,    And Artho_ur_ y-bete wyþ wou_n_de,
and carried to     He Myght not stonde on grou_n_de;
Avelon, or         But on lyter ryȝt anon
_Auelona .l.       Was browȝt to Auelon_e_,                          612
insula pomor_um_   Þ_a_t was a place fayr & Mury;

              [Arthur is Buried At Glastonbury.]

Glastonbury,       Now hyt hooteþ Glastyngbury.
where he  dies,    Ther Artho_ur_ þat worthy kyng
                   Maked hys lyues endyng;                           616
                   But for he skaped þ_a_t batell_e_ y-wys,
                   Bretou_n_s & Cornysch sayeþ þus,
                   "Þat he leuyth ȝut p_ar_de,
                   And schall_e_ come & be a kyng aȝe."              620
                   At Glastyngbury on þe qweer
and is buried      Þey made Arto_ur_ez tou_m_be þere,
A.D. 542.          And wrote wyth latyn vers þus,
                   Hic iacet Arthurus rex quonda_m_
                         rex que futur_us_.                          624
                   Thys was þus forsoþe ydone
_Anno d_o_m_ini_   Þe yheer after þe Incarnacione,
qu_in_gente_simo_  Vyf hundred (.) fourty & two.
_quadragesi_m_o    Now saue vs alle fra woo                          628
s_e_c_un_do._      Ih_es_u cryst, heuenly kyng,
                   & grau_n_t vs alle hys blessyng;
                   And þat hyt Moote so be,
                   Seyeþ alle Pater & Aue.                           632

                Pater noster. Aue.

                   Ho þ_a_t woll_e_ more loke,
Read the French    Reed on þe frensch boke,
Book for the       And he schall_e_ fynde þere
rest.              Þynges þat y leete here.                          636
                   But yf þat god wolle grau_n_te gr_a_ce,
                   y schall_e_ rehercy in þis place
                   Alle þe kyngez þat after were,
                   And what names [þ]at þey bere;                    640
                   And ho þ_a_t woll_e_ þeyre gestes loke,
                   Reed on þe Frensch_e_ boke. Amen fiat.


  2. ? MS. perhaps _Angecye_.

  3. The _s_ is rubbed: the word may be "onlesbury."

  5. _sepe_, ? for _seue_, seven. It is _p_ not _x_ (six) in the MS.
     But as Arthur had 200,000, and Lucius only 400,124, _sepe_ should
     mean _two_.

  6. Pughe's abridged Dictionary gives _tau_, _v.a._ be still; _taw_,
     _s.m._ and _adj._ quiet, silence, silent; _paid_, _s.m._ a cessation,
     quiet; _bront_, _a._ nasty, filthy, surly. _Or_, says Dr. Benj.
     Davies, you must take as equal to the modern Welsh _wr_, man, if it
     is not English; _peyd_ is cease, pause; _taw_, be silent. ]


a, he, l. 370.
aspye, _sb._ espial, l. 416.
ayhe, again, l. 126.

beeme, _sb._ ? noise, display, from A.S. _béme_, a trumpet, l. 108.

falde, l. 480, felt, l. 472; field.
fusoun, gain, victory, l. 476. L. _fusio_, outpouring, plenty.
fyched, pierced, l. 462.

goom, man, l. 166.
gysarme, l. 463. _Hallebarde, pique, hache_. Roquefort.

hadde wyste, l. 546, had I known (how it would have turned out). See
  Nares, and the Poem "Beware of had-I-wyst," that he quotes. "Beware of
  _had-I-wyst_, whose fine bringes care and smart."
hawted, exalted, l. 113.
he, she, l. 582.
helyth, cover, l. 407.

last, lest, l. 289.
loghynge, lodging, l. 344.
lynage, descendant, l. 269.

muchelnesse, _sb._ muchness, number and power, l. 439.
mynde, remembrance, l. 527.

oo, one, l. 49.

sayle, assail, attack, l. 12.
scley, slain, l. 212.
skyle, _sb._ reason, l. 17.
soueȝ (?), sough, moan, l. 88.

that, ye who, l. 1; those who, l. 42, 84.
theoband (l. 178), is, I expect, miswritten for theo_d_and; A.S.
  _þeodan_, to join; _ge-þeod-an_, to join, associate.
therhenne, thence, l. 591.
toke, gave, l. 329.

venge, have revenge, take vengeance, l. 530.
verrament, truly, l. 32.

was, whose, l. 248.
wood, wild, mad, l. 211.

ydoon, done, spent, l. 72.
ylete, let, l. 194.
ytake, taken to, given to, l. 272.
y-vere, together, l. 460.
ywyss, certainly, l. 46.

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