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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book III, lines 155-203:
Criseyde declares her love to Troilus
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Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400):
Troilus and Criseyde
Book III, lines 204-343: Pandarus lectures Troilus about how to treat his niece Criseyde


With that Eleyne and also Deiphebus
205Tho comen upward, right at the steyres ende;
And Lord, so than gan grone Troilus,
His brother and his suster for to blende.
Quod Pandarus, `It tyme is that we wende;
Tak, nece myn, your leve at alle three,
210And lat hem speke, and cometh forth with me.'

She took hir leve at hem ful thriftily,
As she wel koude, and they hir reverence
Unto the fulle diden hardily,
And speken wonder wel, in hir absence,
215Of hir, in preysing of hir excellence,
Hir governaunce, hir wit; and hir manere
Commendeden, it joye was to here.

Now lat hir wende unto hir owne place,
And torne we to Troilus ayein,
220That gan ful lightly of the lettre passe
That Deiphebus hadde in the gardin seyn.
And of Eleyne and him he wolde fayn
Delivered been, and seyde that him leste
To slepe, and after tales have reste.

225Eleyne him kiste, and took hir leve blyve,
Deiphebus eek, and hoom wente every wight;
And Pandarus, as faste as he may dryve,
To Troilus tho com, as lyne right;
And on a paillet, al that glade night,
230By Troilus he lay, with mery chere,
To tale; and wel was hem they were yfeere.

Whan every wight was voided but they two,
And alle the dores were faste yshette,
To telle in short, withoute wordes mo,
235This Pandarus, withouten any lette,
Up roos, and on his beddes syde him sette,
And gan to speken in a sobre wyse
To Troilus, as I shal yow devyse:

`Myn alderlevest lord, and brother dere,
240God woot, and thou, that it sat me so sore,
When I thee saw so languisshing to-yere,
For love, of which thy wo wex alwey more;
That I, with al my might and al my lore,
Have ever sithen doon my bisinesse
245To bringe thee to joye out of distresse,

`And have it brought to swich plit as thou woost,
So that, thorugh me, thow stondest now in weye
To fare wel, I seye it for no bost,
And wostow which? For shame it is to seye,
250For thee have I bigonne a gamen pleye
Which that I never doon shal eft for other,
Although he were a thousand fold my brother.

`That is to seye, for thee am I bicomen,
Bitwixen game and ernest, swich a mene
255As maken wommen unto men to comen;
Al sey I nought, thou wost wel what I mene.
For thee have I my nece, of vyces clene,
So fully maad thy gentilesse triste,
That al shal been right as thyselve liste.

260`But God, that al woot, take I to witnesse,
That never I this for coveityse wroughte,
But oonly for to abregge that distresse,
For which wel nygh thou deydest, as me thoughte.
But, gode brother, do now as thee oughte,
265For Goddes love, and kep hir out of blame,
Syn thou art wys, and save alwey hir name.

`For wel thou woost, the name as yet of here
Among the peple, as who seyth, halwed is;
For that man is unbore, I dar wel swere,
270That ever wiste that she dide amis.
But wo is me, that I, that cause al this,
May thenken that she is my nece dere,
And I hir eem, and trattor eek yfeere!

`And were it wist that I, through myn engyn,
275Hadde in my nece yput this fantasye,
To do thy lust, and hoolly to be thyn,
Why, al the world upon it wolde crye,
And seye, that I the worste trecherye
Dide in this cas, that ever was bigonne,
280And she for-lost, and thou right nought ywonne.

`Wherfore, er I wol ferther goon a pas,
Yet eft I thee biseche and fully seye,
That privetee go with us in this cas;
That is to seye, that thou us never wreye;
285And be nought wrooth, though I thee ofte preye
To holden secree swich an heigh matere;
For skilful is, thow wost wel, my preyere.

`And thenk what wo ther hath bitid er this,
For makinge of avantes, as men rede;
290And what meschaunce in this world yet ther is,
Fro day to day, right for that wikked dede;
For which these wyse clerkes that ben dede
Han ever yet proverbed to us yonge,
That "Firste vertu is to kepe tonge."

295`And, nere it that I wilne as now t'abregge
Diffusioun of speche, I koude almost
A thousand olde stories thee allegge
Of wommen lost, thorugh fals and foles bost;
Proverbes kanst thy-self ynowe, and woost,
300Ayeins that vyce, for to been a labbe,
Al seyde men sooth as often as they gabbe.

`O tonge, allas! So often here-biforn
Hastow made many a lady bright of hewe
Seyd, "Welawey! The day that I was born!"
305And many a maydes sorwes for to newe;
And, for the more part, al is untrewe
That men of yelpe, and it were brought to preve;
Of kinde non avauntour is to leve.

`Avauntour and a lyere, al is on;
310As thus: I pose, a womman graunte me
Hir love, and seyth that other wol she non,
And I am sworn to holden it secree,
And after I go telle it two or three;
Y-wis, I am avauntour at the leste,
315And lyere, for I breke my biheste.

`Now loke thanne, if they be nought to blame,
Swich maner folk; what shal I clepe hem, what,
That hem avaunte of wommen, and by name,
That never yet bihighte hem this ne that,
320Ne knewe hem more than myn olde hat?
No wonder is, so God me sende hele,
Though wommen drede with us men to dele.

`I sey not this for no mistrust of yow,
Ne for no wys man, but for foles nyce,
325And for the harm that in the world is now,
As wel for foly ofte as for malyce;
For wel woot I, in wyse folk, that vyce
No womman drat, if she be wel avysed;
For wyse ben by foles harm chastysed.

330`But now to purpos; leve brother dere,
Have al this thing that I have seyd in minde,
And keep thee clos, and be now of good chere,
For at thy day thou shalt me trewe finde.
I shal thy proces sette in swich a kinde,
335And God toforn, that it shall thee suffyse,
For it shal been right as thou wolt devyse.

`For wel I woot, thou menest wel, pardee;
Therfore I dar this fully undertake.
Thou wost eek what thy lady graunted thee,
340And day is set, the chartres up to make.
Have now good night, I may no lenger wake;
And bid for me, syn thou art now in blisse,
That God me sende deeth or sone lisse.'





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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book III, lines 344-420:
Troilus offers one of his sisters in return
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