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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book IV, lines 428-518:
Troilus rejects to love another woman
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Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400):
Troilus and Criseyde
Book IV, lines 519-658: Pandarus insists on the exchange of Criseyde for Antenor


This Troilus in teeris gan distille,
520As licour out of alambyk ful faste;
And Pandarus gan holde his tunge stille,
And to the ground his eyen doun he caste.
But nathelees, thus thoughte he at the laste,
`What, pardee, rather than my felawe deye,
525Yet shal I som-what more unto him seye:'

And seyde, `Freend, syn thou hast swich distresse,
And syn thee list myn arguments to blame,
Why nilt thy-selven helpen doon redresse,
And with thy manhod letten al this grame?
530Go ravisshe hir ne kanstow not for shame!
And outher lat hir out of toune fare,
Or hold hir stille, and leve thy nyce fare.

`Artow in Troye, and hast non hardiment
To take a womman which that loveth thee,
535And wolde hirselven been of thyn assent?
Now is not this a nyce vanitee?
Rys up anoon, and lat this weping be,
And kyth thou art a man, for in this houre
I wil be deed, or she shal bleven oure.'

540To this answerde him Troilus ful softe,
And seyde, `Parde, leve brother dere,
Al this have I my-self yet thought ful ofte,
And more thing than thou devysest here.
But why this thing is laft, thou shalt wel here;
545And whan thou me hast yeve an audience,
Ther-after mayst thou telle al thy sentence.

`First, syn thou wost this toun hath al this werre
For ravisshing of wommen so by might,
It sholde not be suffred me to erre,
550As it stant now, ne doon so gret unright.
I sholde han also blame of every wight,
My fadres graunt if that I so withstode,
Syn she is chaunged for the tounes goode.

`I have eek thought, so it were hir assent,
555To aske hir at my fader, of his grace;
Than thenke I, this were hir accusement,
Syn wel I woot I may hir not purchace.
For syn my fader, in so heigh a place
As parlement, hath hir eschaunge enseled,
560He nil for me his lettre be repeled.

`Yet drede I most hir herte to pertourbe
With violence, if I do swich a game;
For if I wolde it openly distourbe,
It moste been disclaundre to hir name.
565And me were levere deed than hir defame,
As nolde God but-if I sholde have
Hir honour levere than my lyf to save!

`Thus am I lost, for ought that I can see;
For certeyn is, syn that I am hir knight,
570I moste hir honour levere han than me
In every cas, as lovere oughte of right.
Thus am I with desyr and reson twight;
Desyr for to destourben hir me redeth,
And reson nil not, so myn herte dredeth.'

575Thus wepinge that he koude never cesse,
He seyde, `Allas! How shal I, wrecche, fare?
For wel fele I alwey my love encresse,
And hope is lasse and lasse alwey, Pandare!
Encressen eek the causes of my care;
580So wel-a-wey, why nil myn herte breste?
For, as in love, ther is but litel reste.'

Pandare answerde, `Freend, thou mayst, for me,
Don as thee list; but hadde ich it so hote,
And thyn estat, she sholde go with me;
585Though al this toun cryede on this thing by note,
I nolde sette at al that noyse a grote.
For when men han wel cryed, than wol they roune;
A wonder last but nyne night never in toune.

`Devyne not in reson ay so depe
590Ne curteysly, but help thy-self anoon;
Bet is that othere than thy-selven wepe,
And namely, syn ye two been al oon.
Rys up, for by myn heed, she shal not goon;
And rather be in blame a lyte y-founde
595Than sterve here as a gnat, withoute wounde.

`It is no shame un-to yow, ne no vyce
Hir to with-holden, that ye loveth most.
Paraunter, she mighte holden thee for nyce
To lete hir go thus to the Grekes ost.
600Thenk eek Fortune, as wel thy-selven wost,
Helpeth hardy man to his enpryse,
And weyveth wrecches, for hir cowardyse.

`And though thy lady wolde a litel hir greve,
Thou shalt thy pees ful wel here-after make,
605But as for me, certayn, I can not leve
That she wolde it as now for yvel take.
Why sholde than for ferd thyn herte quake?
Thenk eek how Paris hath, that is thy brother,
A love; and why shaltow not have another?

610`And Troilus, o thing I dar thee swere,
That if Criseyde, whiche that is thy leef,
Now loveth thee as wel as thou dost here,
God helpe me so, she nil nat take a-greef,
Though thou do bote anon in this mescheef.
615And if she wilneth fro thee for to passe,
Thanne is she fals; so love hir wel the lasse.

`For-thy tak herte, and thenk, right as a knight,
Thourgh love is broken alday every lawe.
Kyth now somwhat thy corage and thy might,
620Have mercy on thyself, for any awe.
Lat not this wrecched wo thin herte gnawe,
But manly set the world on sixe and sevene;
And, if thou deye a martir, go to hevene.

`I wol myself be with thee at this dede,
625Though ich and al my kin, upon a stounde,
Shulle in a strete as dogges liggen dede,
Thurgh-girt with many a wyd and blody wounde.
In every cas I wol a freend be founde.
And if thee list here sterven as a wrecche,
630A-dieu, the devel spede him that it recche!'

This Troilus gan with tho wordes quiken,
And seyde, `Freend, graunt mercy, ich assente;
But certaynly thou mayst not me so priken,
Ne peyne noon ne may me so tormente,
635That, for no cas, it is not myn entente,
At shorte wordes, though I dyen sholde,
To ravisshe hir, but-if hirself it wolde.'

`Why, so mene I,' quod Pandarus, `al this day.
But tel me than, hastow hir wil assayed,
640That sorwest thus?' And he answerde, `Nay.'
`Wher-of artow,' quod Pandare, `than a-mayed,
That nost not that she wol ben yvele apayed
To ravisshe hir, syn thou hast not ben there,
But if that Jove tolde it in thyn ere?

645`For-thy rys up, as nought ne were, anoon,
And wash thy face, and to the king thou wende,
Or he may wondren whider thou art goon.
Thou most with wisdom him and othere blende;
Or, upon cas, he may after thee sende
650Er thou be war; and shortly, brother dere,
Be glad, and lat me werke in this matere.

`For I shal shape it so, that sikerly
Thou shalt this night som tyme, in som manere,
Com speke with thy lady prively,
655And by hir wordes eek, and by hir chere,
Thou shalt ful sone aperceyve and wel here
Al hir entente, and in this cas the beste;
And fare now wel, for in this point I reste.'





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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book IV, lines 659-735:
The women of Troy deliberate about the exchange
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