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As doth the fox Renard, the foxes sone,
Of kinde he coude his olde faders wone
Withoute lore, as can a drake swimme,

2450
Whan hit is caught and caried to the brimme.
This honourable Phillis doth him chere,
Her lyketh wel his port and his manere.

(60)
But for I am agroted heer-biforn
To wryte of hem that been in love forsworn,

2455
And eek to haste me in my legende,
Which to performe god me grace sende,
Therfor I passe shortly in this wyse ;
Ye han wel herd of Theseus devyse
In the betraising of fair Adriane,

2460
That of her pite kepte him from his bane.
At shorte wordes, right so Demophon
The same wey, the same path hath gon

(70)
That dide his false fader Theseus.
For unto Phillis hath he sworen thus,

2465
To wedden her, and her his trouthe plighte,
And piked of her al the good he mighte,
Whan he was hool and sound and hadde his reste;
And doth with Phillis what so that him leste.
And wel coude I, yif that me leste so,

2470 Tellen al his doing to and fro.

He seide, unto his contree moste he saile,
For ther he wolde her wedding apparaile
As fil to her honour and his also.
And openly he took his leve tho,

2475
And hath her sworn, he wolde nat soiorne,
But in a month he wolde again retorne.
And in that lond let make his ordinaunce
As verray lord, and took the obeisaunce

(80)

2449. C. owene (for olde). 2452. A. phillis ; C. Philes ; Th. T. quene Phillis; rest quene. 2453. F. B. And; rest Her (Hire, Hir). 2454. A. Th. agroted; B. agrotyd; C. agrotyed; F. Tn. agroteyd ; T. agroteyed. 2455. C. T. ben in love; A. ar of loue ; rest in loue ben.

2459. C. T. A. deuyse; F. Tn. B. the nyse (sic); Th. the gyse. 2470, 1. T. I couthe ryght well, yef that hyt lykyd me Tell all hys doyng; but hyt ys vanyte. 2472. C. T. vnto; A. into; rest to. F. Th. B. him ; rest he.

2475. F. B. omit. 2476. C. hath hire sworn; A. hath to hir suorn; Tn. to her sworne; F. T. Th. B. to hir swore. 2477. So C. A.; F. Tn. Th. B. ageyn he wolde.

Wel and hoomly, and let his shippes dighte,

2480
And hoom he goth the nexte wey he mighte;
For unto Phillis yit ne com he noght.
And that hath she so harde and sore aboght, (90)
Allas ! that, as the stories us recorde,
She was her owne deeth right with a corde, 2485
Whan that she saw that Demophon her trayed.

But to him first she wroot and faste him prayed
He wolde come, and her deliver of peyne,
As I reherse shal a word or tweyne.
Me list nat vouche-sauf on him to swinke,

2490
Ne spende on him a penne ful of inke,
For fals in love was he, right as his syre ;
The devil sette hir soules bothe a-fyre !

(100)
But of the lettre of Phillis wol I wryte
A word or tweyne, al-thogh hit be but lyte. 2,195

Thyn hostesse,' quod she, O Demophon,
Thy Phillis, which that is so wo begon,
Of Rodopeye, upon yow moot compleyne,
Over the terme set betwix us tweyne,
That ye ne holden forward, as ye seyde ;

2500
Your anker, which ye in our haven leyde,
Highte us, that ye wolde comen, out of doute,
Or that the mone ones wente aboute.

(110)
But tymes foure the mone hath hid her face
Sin thilke day ye wente fro this place,

2505 And foure tymes light the world again. But for al that, yif I shal soothly sain,

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2480. C. homly; F. T. B. homely; A. huimly; Tn. humble; Th. hombly. C. let; restom. 2482. C. ne ; rest om. 2483. A. C. Th. abought; F. Tn. B. yboght. 2484. F. Tn. B. om. as. A. T. stories; rest story (but this would require recordeth ; indeed, C. has recordith !). 2485. C. T. A. ryght; rest om. 2487. F. Tn. Th. B. But firste wrote she to hym. 2488. C. T. A. hire delyuere ; rest delyuer hir. F. pyne (error for peyne). 2489. F. B. 00; Tn. one ; rest a; see l. 2495. 2491. C. T. A. Ne spende; rest Dispenden. 2493. C. a fere; T. afyre; A. in fyre; F. Tn. Th. B. on a fire (badly). 2496. C. Ostesse thyn. T. A. o thow Demophon. 2498. F. Tn. B. om. moot. 2504. F. Tn. B. om. hid.

2505. Th. thylke; C. F. Tn. B. that thilke (!); A. that ilke; T. that. 2506, 7. C. omits. 2506. A. hath lycht this. 2507. T. yef; A. if; F. B. Th. yet (error for yef); Tn. yit (error for yif).

Yit hath the streem of Sitho nat y-broght
From Athenes the ship; yit comth hit noght.
And, yif that ye the terme rekne wolde,

2510
As I or other trewe lovers sholde,
I pleyne not, god wot, beforn my day.'—
But al her lettre wryten I ne may

(120)
By ordre, for hit were to me a charge ;
Her lettre was right long and ther-to large ; 2515
But here and there in ryme I have hit laid,
Ther as me thoughte that she wel hath said.-

She seide, 'thy sailes comen nat again,
Ne to thy word ther nis no fey certein;
But I wot why ye come nat,' quod she;

2520
'For I was of my love to you so free.
And of the goddes that ye han forswore,
Yif that hir vengeance falle on yow therfore, (130)
Ye be nat suffisaunt to bere the peyne.
To moche trusted I, wel may I pleyne,

2525
Upon your linage and your faire tonge,
And on your teres falsly out y-wronge.
How coude ye wepe so by craft?' quod she;
May ther swiche teres feyned be?
Now certes, yif ye wolde have in memorie,

2530
Hit oghte be to yow but litel glorie
To have a sely mayde thus betrayed !
To god,' quod she, 'preye I, and ofte have prayed, (140)
That hit be now the grettest prys of alle,
And moste honour that ever yow shal befalle ! 2535
And whan thyn olde auncestres peynted be,
In which men may hir worthinesse see,

2508. C. storm (error for streem); rest streme. Th. Scython ; C. B. Sytoye ; A. Cytoye; T. Sitoy; F. Tn. Sitoio (Ovid has Sithonis unda). T. y-brought; rest broght (brought). 2509. C. comyth it; T. A. cometh; F. Tn. B. come hit; Th. came it. 2517. C. A. wel hath; rest hath wel.

2518. C. T. A. thyne (thy); rest the. C. come; T. comen; F. Tn. Th. B. cometh. 2519. C. T. A. thyn (thy); rest the.

2523. C. T. A. Yif (only); F. Tn. Th. B. That (only); but read Yif that.

2525. C. T. A. pleyne ; rest seyne (!).

2527. C. I-wronge; A. yronne (error for ywronge); F. Tn. Th. B. wronge.

2529. A. Quhethir ther may (but this is Scottish). 2532. All mayde.

2540

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2545

Than, preye I god, thou peynted be also,
That folk may reden, for-by as they go,
“Lo! this is he, that with his flaterye
Betrayed hath and doon her vilanye
That was his trewe love in thoghte and dede ! ”
But sothly, of oo point yit may they rede,
That ye ben lyk your fader as in this ;
For he begyled Adriane, y-wis,
With swiche an art and swiche sotelte
As thou thy-selven hast begyled me.
As in that point, al-thogh hit be nat fayr,
Thou folwest him, certein, and art his eyr.
But sin thus sinfully ye me begyle,
My body mote ye seen, within a whyle,
Right in the haven of Athenes fletinge,
With-outen sepulture and buryinge ;
Thogh ye ben harder then is any stoon.'

And, whan this lettre was forth sent anoon,
And knew how brotel and how fals he was,
She for dispeyr for-dide herself, allas !
Swich sorwe hath she, for she besette her so.
Be war, ye women, of your sotil fo,
Sin yit this day men may ensample see;
And trusteth, as in love, no man but me.

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(160)

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Explicit Legenda Phillis.

IX. THE LEGEND OF HYPERMNESTRA.

Incipit Legenda Ypermistre.
In Grece whylom weren brethren two,
Of whiche that oon was called Danao,
That many a sone hath of his body wonne,
As swiche false lovers ofte conne.

2565

2539. C. T. A. for by; rest forth by. 2546. A. C. T. subtilitee.

2549. C. T. A. him ; rest om. A. has lost 11. 2551-2616. 2555. F. Tn. B. om. sent. 2561. So C. T.; so Tn. Th. (with now for as); F. B. And as in love truste no man but me. 2563. C. clepid; rest called.

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2575

2580 (20)

Among his sones alle ther was oon
That aldermost he lovede of everichoon.
And whan this child was born, this Danao
Shoop him a name, and called him Lino.
That other brother called was Egiste,
That was of love as fals as ever him liste,
And many a doghter gat he in his lyve;
Of which he gat upon his righte wyve
A doghter dere, and dide her for to calle
Ypermistra, yongest of hem alle ;
The whiche child, of her nativitee,
To alle gode thewes born was she,
As lyked to the goddes, or she was born,
That of the shefe she sholde be the corn ;
The Wirdes, that we clepen Destinee,
Hath shapen her that she mot nedes be
Pitouse, sadde, wyse, and trewe as steel;
And to this woman hit accordeth weel.
For, though that Venus yaf her greet beautee,
With Iupiter compouned so was she
That conscience, trouthe, and dreed of shame,
And of her wyfhood for to kepe her name,
This, thoughte her, was felicitee as here.
And rede Mars was, that tyme of the yere,
So feble, that his malice is him raft,
Repressed hath Venus his cruel craft;
What with Venus and other oppressioun
Of houses, Mars his venim is adoun,
That Ypermistra dar nat handle a knyf
In malice, thogh she sholde lese her lyf.
But natheles, as heven gan tho turne,
To badde aspectes hath she of Saturne,
That made her for to deyen in prisoun,
As I shal after make mencioun.

2585

2590 (30)

2595

2571. F. B. in ; rest of. 2574. F. B. hyt (for her).

2577. C. T. thewis goode I-born. 2578. Tn. B. goddesse (!); F. goddesses (!). 2581. C. mot; rest moste (muste, most). 2582. F. B. Pitouse (fem.); C. Pyetous ; Tn. T. Piteous. Th. sadde (fem. ?); rest sad. C. T. and; rest om. 2590. C. berast.

2592. Th. And what; C. T. That what; F. Tn. B. And; I propose What.

2597. C. F. Tn. B. To; T. Ryght; Th. Two. 2598. C. for; rest om. 2599. C. T. As; rest And.

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