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Lucan fyl in a sowne wyth the lyfte, that the parte of his guttes fyl oute of his bodye. And therwyth the noble knyghtes herte braste.2 And whan the kyng awake, he behelde Syr Lucan how he laye foomyng at the mowth, and parte of his guttes laye at his feet. "Alas!” sayd the kyng, “thys is to me a ful hevy syght to see thys noble duke so deye for my sake, for he wold have holpen me that had more nede of helpe than I. Alas! he wold not complayne hym, hys herte was so sette to helpe me. Now Jhesu have mercy upon hys soule.” Than Syr Bedwere wepte for the deth of his brother. “Leve thys mornyng and wepyng," sayd the kyng, "for al this wyl not avaylle me; for wyte 3 thou wel, and · I myght lyve my self, the deth of Syr Lucan wolde greve me ever more,
my tyme hyeth • fast,” says the kyng. “Therfore,” sayd Arthur unto Syr Bedwere, “take thou Excalybur, my good swerde, and goo with it to yonder water syde, and whan thou comest there, I charge the 6 throwe my swerde in that water, and come ageyn and telle me what thou there seest." “My lord,” sayd Bedwere, “your commaundement shal be doon, and lyghtly brynge you worde ageyn."
So Syr Bedwere departed, and by the waye he behelde that noble swerde, that the pomel and the hafte was al of precyous stones; and thenne he sayd to hym self, “Yf I throwe this ryche swerde in the water, therof shal never come good, but harme and losse.” And thenne Syr Bedwere hydde Excalybur under a tree. And so as sone as he myght he came ageyn unto the kyng, and sayd he had ben at the water, and had throwen the swerde in to the water. “What sawe thou there?” sayd the kyng. “Syr,” he sayd, “I sawe no thynge but wawes 7 and wyndes.
“That is untrewly sayd of the," sayd the kynge. “Therfore goo thou lyghtelye 8 ageyn, and do my commaundemente; as thou arte to me leef' and dere, spare not but throwe it in.” Than Syr Bedwere retorned ageyn, and took the swerde in hys hande, and than hym thought synne and shame to throwe awaye that nobyl swerde; and so efte 10 he hydde the swerde, and retorned ageyn and tolde to the kyng that he had ben at the water, and done his commaundemente. “What sawe thou there?” sayd the kyng. “Syr,” he sayd, “I I swoon 2 burst 3 know 4 if 5 hastens 6 thee
8 quickly beloved 10 again
saw no thynge but the waters wappe 1 and wawes wanne. "A, traytour, untrewe,” sayd kyng Arthur, "now hast thou betrayed me twyse. Who wold have wente 3 that thou that hast been to me so leef 4 and dere, and thou arte named a noble knyghte, and wold betraye me for the richesse of the swerde? But now goo ageyn lyghtly, for thy longe taryeng putteth me in grete jeopardye of my lyf, for I have taken colde; and but-yf 5 thou do now as I byd the, yf ever I may see the I shal slee 6 the ? myn owne handes, for thou woldest for my ryche swerde see me dede.”' Thenne Syr Bedwere departed, and wente to the swerde, and lyghtly took hit up, and wente to the water syde, and there he bounde the gyrdyl aboute the hyltes, and thenne he threwe the swerde as farre in to the water as he myght. And there cam an arme and an hande above the water and mette it, and caught it, and so shoke it thryse and braundysshed; and than vanysshed awaye the hande wyth the swerde in the water. So Syr Bedwere came ageyn to the kyng and tolde hym what he sawe.
"Alas!" sayd the kyng, "helpe me hens, for I drede 10 me I have taryed over longe." Than Syr Bedwere toke the kyng upon his backe, and so wente wyth hym to that water syde, and whan they were at the water syde, evyn fast 11 by the banke hoved 12 a lytyl barge wyth many fayr ladyes in hit, and emonge hem al was a quene, and al they had blacke hoodes, and al they wepte and shryked 13 whan they sawe kyng Arthur. “Now put me in to the barge,” sayd the kyng; and so he dyd softelye. And there receyved hym thre quenes wyth grete mornyng, and soo they sette hem doun, and in one of their lappes kyng Arthur layed hys heed, and than that quene sayd, “A, dere broder, why have ye taryed so longe from me? Alas! this wounde on your heed hath caught overmoche colde.” And soo than they rowed from the londe, and Syr Bedwere behelde all tho 14 ladyes goo from hym.15 Than Syr Bedwere cryed, “A, my lord Arthur, what shal become of me, now ye goo from me and leve me here allone emonge myn enemyes ?
Comfort thy self,” sayd the kyng, “and doo as wel as thou mayst, for in me is no truste for to truste in. For I wyl
lap, beat a grow dark 3 thought** beloved 5 unless 6 slay 7 thee 8 dead hence 10 fear 11 close 12 hovered, floated 13 shrieked 14 those 15 i.e. Bedwere
in to the vale of Avylyon, to hele me of my have sayled over the see into Zelande, and grevous wounde. And yf thou here never for lacke of wynde, thei taryed atte i Forlond, more of me, praye for my soule."
and wente to lande for to refreshe them. And the quenes and ladyes wepte and shryched, one of theym named Sheffelde, a mercer, cam that hit was pyte ? to here. And assone as Syr in to an hows and axed for mete and specyaly Bedwere had loste the syght of the baarge, he he axyed after eggys, and the goode wyf wepte and waylled, and so took the foreste; 3 answerde that could speke no Frenshe. and so he wente al that nyght, and in the And the marchaunt was angry, for he also mornyng he was ware 4 betwyxte two holtes coude speke no Frenshe, but wolde have hadde hore 5 of a chapel and an, ermytage.
egges; and she understode hym not. And
thenne at laste a-nother sayd that he wolde WILLIAM CAXTON (1422 ?-1491) She understod hym wel. Loo, what sholde
have eyren. Then the good wyf sayd that PREFACE TO THE BOOKE OF
a man in thyse dayes now wryte, egges, or
eyren? Certaynly it is hard to playse every ENEYDOS
man, by-cause of dyversite and chaunge of And whan I had advysed me in this sayd langage; for in these dayes every man that is boke, I delybered ? and concluded to trans in ony reputacyon in his countre wyll utter late it in to Englysshe, and forthwyth toke his commynycacyon and maters in suche a penne and ynke and wrote a leef or tweyne,
maners and termes that fewe men shall underwhyche I oversawe agayn to corecte it; and stonde theym. And som honest and grete whan I sawe the fayr and straunge termes
clerkes have ben wyth me and desired me to therein, I doubted 8 that it sholde not please
wryte the moste curyous 4 termes that I some gentylmen whiche late blamed me, coude fynde. And thus, betwene playn, sayeng that in my translacyons I had over rude, and curyous, I stande abasshed. But in curyous” termes, which coude not be under my judgemente the comyn termes that be stande 10 of comyn peple, and desired me to use
dayly used ben lyghter to be understonde olde and homely termes in my translacyons.
than the olde and auncyent Englysshe. And, And fayn wolde I satysfye every man; and,
foras-moche as this present booke is not for so to doo, toke an olde boke and redde therin ; a rude uplondyssh • man to laboure therein and certaynly the Englysshe was so rude and
ne rede it, but onely for a clerke and a noble brood 11 that I coude not wele understande it; gentylman that feleth and understondeth in and also my lorde abbot of Westmynster ded
faytes 6 of armes, in love, and in noble chyvso shewe to me late certayn evydences 12
alrye, therfor in a meane bytwene bothe I wryton in olde Englysshe for to reduce it in have reduced and translated this sayd booke to our Englysshe now used, and certaynly it
in our Englysshe, not over rude ne curyous, was wreton in suche wyse that it was more
but in suche termes as shall be understanden, lyke to Dutche than Englysshe; I coude not
by Goddys grace, accordynge to my copye. reduce ne brynge it to be understonden. And certaynly our langage now used varyeth STEPHEN HAWES (d. 1523) ferre 13 from that whiche was used and spoken whan I was borne. For we Englysshe men
THE PASTIME OF PLEASURE ben borne under the domynacyon of the mone, whiche is never stedfaste but ever OF THE GREAT MARIAGE BETWENE waverynge, wexynge one season and waneth
GRAUNDE AMOUR AND LABELL and dyscreaseth 14 another season. And that
PUCELL comyn 15 Englysshe that is spoken in one shyre varyeth from a-nother, in so moche
FROM CAPIT. XXXIX that in my dayes happened that certayn Then Perceveraunce in all goodly haste marchauntes were in a ship in Tamyse for to Unto the stewarde called Liberalitie
Gave warnyng for to make ready fast Ishrieked ? pity 3 forest 4 he perceived 5 hoary forests G hermitage 7 deliberated 8 feared 'curi
Agaynst this tyme of great solemnitie ous, ornate 10 understood 11 broad 12 legal docu 1 at the 2 eggs 3 lo 4 ornate, artificial 5 country ments
That on the morowe halowed shoulde be. She warned the cooke called Temperaunce And after that the ewres,' Observaunce,
And Nature Naturyng waxt retrograde,
JOHN SKELTON (1460 ?-1529)
With Pleasaunce, the panter, and dame
FROM A DIRGE FOR PHYLLIP
And right anone La Bell Pucell me sent, Agaynst my weddyng, of the saten fyne, White as the mylke, a goodly garment Braudred 3 with pearle that clearely dyd
shine. And so, the mariage for to determine, Venus me brought to a royal chapell, Whiche of fine golde was wrought everydell.
And after that the gay and glorious La Bell Pucell to the chapell was leade In a white vesture fayre and precious, With a golden chaplet on her yelowe heade; And Lex Ecclesie did me to her wedde. After whiche weddyng then was a great feast; Nothing we lacked, but had of the best.
What 4 shoulde tary by longe continuance Of the fest? for of my joy and pleasure 30 Wisdome can judge, without variaunce, That nougt I lacked, as ye may be sure, Paiyng the swete due dette of nature. Thus with my lady, that was fayre and
cleare, In joy I lived full ryght, many a yere.
O lusty youth and yong tender hart, The true companion of my lady bryght! God let us never from other astart, But all in joye to live bothe daye and nyght. Thus after sorowe joye arived aryght; After my payne I had sport and playe; Full litle thought I that it shoulde decaye,
Do mi nus,"
It was so prety a sole,3
It had a velvet cap,
Somtyme he wolde gaspe
Whan he saw an ant; 1 Lord ? I have lifted up mine eyes to the mountains. 3 fool 4to act shy, to keep his plina tance 5 ready