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To Jason, save they couthe nat begile.
To Colcos comen is this duke Jasoun,
Jason is romed forthe to the cite, That whylom cleped was Jasonicos, That was the maister4 toune of al Colcos, And hath ytolde the cause of hiscomynge 1590 Unto yEetes, of that contree kynge; Praynge him that he moste doon his assay To gete the flese of golde, yf that he may. Of which the kynge assentith to hys bone,* And dothe him honour as hyt is to done,
1 Lose. These imprecations are from Ovid. 1 Those. * D» lireth (Lat. ptUre, lo seek to obtain). * Chief. • Boon.
"SHE WEX ENAMOURED." 141
So ferforthe, that his doghtre and his eyre,
Now was Jasot a semely man withalle,
"Jason," quod she, "for oght I se or kan, As of this thinge the whiche ye ben aboute, Ye, and your-selfe ye put in moche doute;6 For who so wol this aventure acheve, 1612 He may nat wele asterten,6 as I leve,7 Withouten dethe, but I his helpe be. But nathelesse, hit ys my wille," quod she, "To furtheren yow, so that ye shal nat dye, But turne sounde home to youre Tessalye."
"My ryghte lady," quod thys Jason, "thoo, That ye han of my dethe or of my woo Any rewarde,2 and doon me this honour, 162c I wote wel that my myght, ne my labour, May not deserve hit in my lyves day; God thanke yow, ther I ne kan nor may.
1 Royal. 1 Easy-mannered. * Fully. * Owed. • Danga
* Escape. 7 Believe. s Regard.
Youre man am I, and louly yow beseche
Thoo gan this Medea to him declare
And here upon at nyght they mete yfere, And doth his oothe, and goothe with hir to bedde,
And on the morwe upwarde he him spedde,
Now hath Jason the fleese, and home ys went With Medea, and tresoures ful grete wopne; But unwiste of hir fader she is goone1 1651
1 Chaucer follows Guido pretty closely from line 1501 to tins ooin. "TRAYTOUR HE WAS.' 143
To Tessalye, with duke Jason hir leefe,
This ys the mede of lovynge and guerdoun,
Wei kan Ovyde hir letter in verse endyte,* Which were as now to longe for me to write.
Explicit Lcgenda Ysiphile rt Medee, Martirum.
• Chief. • That is, Creusa. * Courage. Cf. Canterbury Tmlm ^054. * Upbraided. * Pleased. fl Heroidts, xii 11.
Incipit Legenda Lucrecie, Rome, Martiris.
Now mote I sayne thexilynge of kynges Of Rome, for the horrible doynges Of the laste kynge Tarquynyus, 168c As saythe Ovyde, and Titus Lyvyus.1 But for that cause telle I nat thys story, But for to preysen, and drawen to memory '1 he verray wife, the verray Lucresse, That for hir wifehode, and hir stedfastnesse, Nat oonly that these payens 2 hir comende, But he that ycleped ys in oure legende The grete Austyne * hath grete compassyoun Of this Lucresse that starfe in Rome toun. And in what wise I wol but shortly trete, 1690 And of this thynge I touche wil but the grete.4
Whan Ardea beseged was aboute With Romaynes, that ful sterne were and stoute, Ful longe lay the sege, and lytel wroghten, So that they were halfe ydel, as hem thoghten. And in his pley Tarquynyus6 the yonge Gan for to jape, for he was lyghte of tonge; And sayde that hyt was an ydel lyfe; No man dide ther more than hys wife. "And lat us speke of wives that is best; 170c
1 Tne ott-repeated tale of the rape of Lucretia, the wife of Tarquinius Collatinus, is found in Livy s history, i. 55, etc.; and Oyid's Fasti, ii. 741, etc. The story belongs to the reign of Tarquin:ui Superbus, who was at the time besieging Ardea, near Rome. * I'* tans, 'St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo. 4 Substance. s Tar animus Sextus, cousin of Tarquinius Collatinus.