night thrye,
To goode mote it turne, of yow I mette!’
And with that word she doun on bench him sette. 91

14. ‘Ye, nece, ye shal fare wel the bet,
If god wole, al this yeer,’ quod Pandarus;
‘But I am sory that I have yow let 94
To herknen of your book ye preysen thus;
For goddes love, what seith it? tel it us.
Is it of love? O, som good ye me lere!’
‘Uncle,’ quod she, ‘your maistresse is not here!’

15. With that they gonnen laughe, and tho she seyde, 99
‘This romaunce is of Thebes, that we rede;
And we han herd how that king Laius deyde
Thurgh Edippus his sone, and al that dede;
And here we stenten at these lettres rede,
How the bisshop, as the book can telle,
Amphiorax, fil thurgh the ground to helle.’

16. Quod Pandarus, ‘al this knowe I myselve, 106
And al th’assege of Thebes and the care;
For her-of been ther maked bokes twelve:—
But lat be this, and tel me how ye fare;
Do wey your barbe, and shew your face bare; 110
Do wey your book, rys up, and lat us daunce,
And lat us don to May som observaunce.’

17. ‘A! god forbede!’ quod she, ‘be ye mad?
Is that a widewes lyf, so god you save?
By god, ye maken me right sore a-drad, 115
Ye ben so wilde, it semeth as ye rave!
It sete me wel bet ay in a cave
To bidde, and rede on holy seyntes lyves:
Lat maydens gon to daunce, and yonge wyves.’

18. ‘As ever thryve I,’ quod this Pandarus,
‘Yet coude I telle a thing to doon you pleye.’ 121
‘Now uncle dere,’ quod she, ‘tel it us
For goddes love; is than th’assege aweye?
I am of Grekes so ferd that I deye.’
‘Nay, nay,’ quod he, ‘as ever mote I thryve! 125
It is a thing wel bet than swiche fyve.’

19. ‘Ye, holygod!’ quod she, ‘what thing is that?
What? bet than swiche fyve? ey, nay, y-wis!
For al this world ne can I reden what
It sholde been; som jape, I trowe, is this;
And but your-selven telle us what it is, 131
My wit is for to arede it al to lene;
As help me god, I noot nat what ye mene.’

20. ‘And I your borow, ne never shal, for me,
This thing be told to yow, as mote I thryve!’
‘And why so, uncle myn? why so?’ quod she.
‘By god,’ quod he, ‘that wole I telle as blyve;
For prouder womman were ther noon onlyve,
And ye it wiste, in al the toun of Troye;
I jape nought, as ever have I joye!’ 140

21. Tho gan she wondren more than biforn
A thousand fold, and doun hir eyen caste;
For never, sith the tyme that she was born,
To knowe thing desired she so faste; 144
And with a syk she seyde him at the laste,
‘Now, uncle myn, I nil yow nought displese,
Nor axen more, that may do yow disese.’

22. So after this, with many wordes glade,
And freendly tales, and with mery chere,
Of this and that they pleyde, and gunnen wade 150
In many an unkouth glad and deep matere,
As freendes doon, whan they ben met y-fere;
Til she gan axen him how Ector ferde,
That was the tounes wal and grekes yerde.

23. ‘Ful wel, I thanke it god,’ quod Pandarus, 155
‘Save in his arm he hath a litel wounde;
And eek his fresshe brother Troilus,
The wyse worthy Ector the secounde,
In whom that every vertu list abounde,
As alle trouthe and alle gentillesse, 160
Wysdom, honour, fredom, and worthinesse.’

24. ‘In good feith, eem,’ quod she, ‘that lyketh me;
They faren wel, god save hem bothe two!
For trewely I holde it greet deyntee
A kinges sone in armes wel to do, 165
And been of good condiciouns ther-to;
For greet power and moral vertu here
Is selde y-seye in o persone y-fere.’

25. ‘In good feith, that is sooth,’ quod Pandarus;
‘But by my trouthe, the king hath sones tweye, 170
That is to mene, Ector and Troilus,
That certainly, though that I sholde deye,
They been as voyde of vyces, dar I seye,
As any men that liveth under the sonne,
Hir might is wyde y-knowe, and what they conne. 175

26. Of Ector nedeth it nought for to telle;
In al this world ther nis a bettre knight
Than he, that is of worthinesse welle;
And he wel more vertu hath than might.
This knoweth many a wys and worthy wight, 180
The same prys of Troilus I seye,
God help me so, I knowe not swiche tweye.’

27. ‘By god,’ quod she, ‘of Ector that is sooth;
Of Troilus the same thing trowe I;
For dredelees, men tellen that he dooth
In armes day by day so worthily, 186
And bereth him here at hoom so gentilly
To every

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