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Title: Torrent of Portyngale

Author: Unknown

Editor: Erich Adam

Release Date: February 17, 2011 [EBook #35190]

Language: English

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Torrent of Portyngale
Index of Names

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Torrent of Portyngale.

Early English Text Society.
Extra Series, No. LI.













E. ADAM, Ph.D.











Extra Series.



Torrent of Portyngale.


§ 1. The MS. and Halliwell’s edition, p. v.

§ 2. Metre and Versification, p. vi.

§ 3. Dialect, p. x;

short vowels, p. xi;

long vowels, p. xii;

inflexions, p. xiii.

§ 4. a. The contents of the Romance, p. xvi;

b. its character, p. xx;

c. Origin of the story of Torrent, p. xxi;

d. Legend of Eustache or Plasidas, p. xxii;

e. Sir Isumbras, p. xxiv;

f. Romances of Octavian, p. xxv;

g. Sir Eglamour, p. xxvi;

h. Comparison of Torrent and Eglamour, p. xxvii;

i. the 2 Romances independent, p. xxx.

§ 5. Arrangement of this Edition, p. xxxii.

§ 1. The manuscript from which the following romance of Sir Torrent of Portugal is taken, is a folio volume on paper, of the fifteenth century, preserved in the Chetham Library at Manchester.

A description of this volume is given by Halliwell in his Account of the European MSS. in the Chetham Library at Manchester, Manchester, 1842, page 16, and by Prof. Koelbing in his Englische Studien, vii. 195. The only edition of this romance that we have hitherto had was done by Halliwell. As he had, besides his own transcript, another copy made by Madden, his text is a pretty accurate one, and therefore the results of Prof. Koelbing’s collation, printed in his Englische Studien, vii. 344 ff., concern, for the most part, things of little importance, except one very curious passage, l. 88, where Halliwell renders the quite correct reading of the MS., p la more de dewe = par l’amour de dieu, by Pericula more bedew[n]e. Also, from l. 1720, the counting of the lines is wrong by 100 lines.

A few short fragments of a printed edition were found by Halliwell in the Douce Collection, Bodleian Library, Oxford, and added to his work as an Appendix. They contain the following passages of the MS.:

Fragment III. =  lines 462–489.
II. = 492–520.
VI. = 820–851.
V. = 917–948.
IV. = 949–970.
I. = 1807–1866.

A seventh fragment, of which not much more than the rhyming words are preserved, was omitted by Halliwell, and was printed for the first time in Prof. Koelbing’s collation.

This Chetham MS. contains the romance in a very debased and corrupt form, so that the original reading in many passages can hardly be recognized.1 The scribe, who copied the poem from an older MS., lived (no doubt) at a far later period than the poet; he did not therefore understand a great many old expressions, and these he used to supplant by words of his own; he also transposed and even omitted many lines, and spoiled the rhyme, because he had not the slightest idea of the nature of the stanza in which the poem is composed. Halliwell did not trouble himself about the restoration of the true readings; he merely reproduced the traditional text, even where it would have been very easy to do more, though many passages are hopelessly corrupt; still worse is the fact, that he did not recognize the metre as the tail-rhymed twelve-line stanza, for he prints six-line stanzas.

In consequence, the whole of the philological work on the text had still to be done, and a new edition was plainly necessary; the more that this poem, though not written in the best period of romance poetry, treats of a legendary subject widely spread in the Middle Ages, and is nearly related to another poem, Syr Eglamour of Artois.


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The stanza of twelve lines was probably first employed in the north of England; at least it would be difficult to prove the existence xi of a poem composed in this metre in the southern part of the country; therefore it is beforehand probable that the romance of Torrent was composed either in some part of the Midlands or in the North. In order to determine the dialect more precisely, we restrict ourselves to a careful consideration of the rhymes.


Before entering on an inquiry into the sources of the romance, it may be expedient to give a short account of its contents.

In Portugal once reigned a mighty king, whose name was Calamond. He had an only daughter, the fair and gentle Desonelle, who was loved by a young knight called Torrent, son of a Portuguese xvii count. As he could not win her, save by distinguishing himself by valiant exploits, he undertook several adventurous expeditions. First he set out, by the order of the king, against a mischievous and dangerous giant, whom he found lying fast asleep on a hill. He roused the giant by sounding his bugle, and challenged him to fight. Instantly a fierce combat ensued, in which the awkward giant lost his life. In the giant’s castle the young hero delivered a maiden, Eleonore, daughter of the king of Gales, from captivity, and rescued at the same time four princes, whom the giant had taken some time before and imprisoned in an iron cage.

After a short rest Torrent returned into Portugal. He was kindly received by King Calamond, and splendid festivities were celebrated in his honour. The kings of Gales and of Provence showed their gratitude by bestowing on him rich presents, among them a precious sword wrought by Wayland Smith. Desonelle gave him one of her fine palfreys. Calamond, however, shrewd as he was, and envious of the hero’s fame, plotted his ruin. He caused him, by a counterfeit letter of Desonelle, to catch her a falcon in the forest of Maudlen, which was the haunt of a dangerous giant, Rochense, and of many wild beasts. Torrent and his squire set out immediately, but separated on entering the forest, to hunt in the thicket each by himself. Torrent soon encountered a huge dragon, and killed it by vehement strokes. The squire, having meanwhile fallen in with the giant, had been slain by him. The hero, called to the place by the tumult of battle, attacked the giant, and overcame him after a hard struggle. He cut off his head to bear with him as a trophy. He then went into the giant’s castle, where he found a great many jewels, and a bright sword called Mownpolyard. Having returned to the royal court, he ordered five priests to say masses for his squire’s soul. At this very time it happened that the king of Arragon sent messengers to the king of Portugal, in order to bring about a marriage between Desonelle and his youngest son. Calamond would not listen to the advice of his spouse, that he should no longer refuse Desonelle to Torrent, but he promised her to the prince of Arragon, and at the same time sent the hero once more against a giant, Slogus of Foulles in Calabre.

Torrent departed well armed, and after a prosperous voyage arrived in Calabre. There he soon met the giant, who was one-eyed like the Cyclops, and bore a huge cudgel as his only weapon. Torrent threw his spear into the fiend’s eye, and thus overcame him without any long struggle. The king of Calabre graciously welcomed the hero, and largely rewarded him for the service he had rendered his country. Having returned into Portugal, Torrent heard that in a few weeks Desonelle was to be married to the prince of Arragon. Arrayed in knightly dress, he rode right off to Calamond’s court, and challenged his rival to fight. After a short struggle he completely vanquished his antagonist, stretching him on the ground. The next xviii day, as the king, surrounded by his noble guests, banqueted in the great hall of the castle, Torrent entered with the giant’s head in his hand, and harshly demanded the king’s daughter; he called all the lords to witness of Calamond’s perfidy.

The Emperor of Rome now interceded, and it was agreed at his suggestion that Torrent should fight once more against a giant named Cate; if he vanquished that adversary, he should obtain Desonelle and half Arragon. On an isle near the sea-shore the struggle began in presence of the assembled knights. Torrent struck the club out of the giant’s hand, put him to flight, and killed him as he ran away, casting stones at him. Then the Emperor decided, with the approbation of all his knights, that the hero had won both the land and the maiden.

Torrent obtained Desonelle, and rejoiced in the possession of her, but no solemn marriage was performed.

Twelve weeks after, he left his spouse, impelled by his venturous and ambitious mind; for the king of Norway asked him to fight against a wild giant who had carried off his daughter and was destroying his castles. Torrent bade his mistress farewell, leaving her two golden rings as talismans, and set off with fifty companions. Arrived at the coast of Norway, he and his companions entered a dense forest, in which a great many wild beasts lived. His companions, seized with fear, parted from him, and continued their voyage at sea. They told the king of Norway the false tale that Torrent had perished on shore. The king then set out himself to rescue his daughter. Torrent meanwhile encountered a giant named Weraunt, Cate’s brother, and slew him in a hard struggle, but was himself wounded. In the giant’s castle he saved Gendres, daughter of the Norwegian king, and conducted her to her father. On the road they were met by a large train of gallant knights, and were then convoyed in triumph to the king’s court. There Torrent soon recovered from his wounds, and was amply rewarded with honours and presents. He stayed above twelve months at the Norwegian court. The false companions of Torrent were drowned in the sea by the king’s command, but one squire escaped to Portugal, and reported the tidings that Torrent yet remained in Norway. Soon after, as Desonelle was delivered of twins, the hatred of Calamond suddenly broke out against her. By his order, Desonelle and her two children were put to sea in a small boat; but a favourable wind saved them from ruin, and drove the boat upon the coast of Palestine. As she, helpless, wandered about the downs, a huge dragon (griffin or gripe) appeared, and seized one of her children, and immediately after a wild leopard dragged away the other. With submission she suffered her miserable fate, relying on the help of the Holy Virgin.

The king of Jerusalem, just returning from a voyage, happened to find the leopard with the child, which he ordered to be saved and delivered to him. Seeing from the foundling’s golden ring that the xix child was of noble descent, and pitying its helpless state, he took it into his palace, and brought him up as his own son (as it were) at his court. The child was named Leobertus.

The dragon or gripe with the other child was seen by a pious hermit, St. Antony, who, though son of the king of Greece, had in his youth forsaken the world. Through his prayer St. Mary made the dragon put down the infant; Antony carried him to his father, who adopted him and ordered him to be baptized. He was named Antony fice Greffoun (Antony, son of the griffin or gripe).

Desonelle wandered up and down, after the loss of her children, till she happened to meet the king of Nazareth hunting. He, recognizing her as the king of Portugal’s daughter, gave her a kind welcome and assistance. At his court she lived several years in happy retirement. Torrent returned at length into Portugal, notwithstanding all the entreaties of the Norwegian king that he would dwell in Norway somewhat longer. At his arrival, King Calamond took refuge in his stronghold, and greeted him from thence with scornful words. Torrent, after having summoned his friends from Arragon, Provence, and Calabre, conquered the castle, and took Calamond prisoner. The traitor was sent out to sea in a leaky boat, and perished.

In his stead, Torrent was elected king by all the noblemen of the empire, and took the crown. But forty days after this, he quitted his realm, having intrusted two knights with its government, and passed to the Holy Land at the head of a large force. There he fought fifteen years against the infidels, conquered several towns, and got immeasurable treasures as booty. The king of Jerusalem, hearing about Torrent’s deeds, and anxious for his own security, sent his son Leobertus, with an army of 50,000 men, against Torrent. A pitched battle began, but it was for a long time doubtful to which side victory would incline, till at last the two chiefs encountered. The son vanquishing his father decided the fate of the battle. Torrent was conveyed as a prisoner to Jerusalem, and thrown into a dungeon. There he lay above a year, till he was once overheard complaining his misfortunes by his son, who, touched with pity, prevailed upon the king to set Torrent at liberty. In this new state Torrent soon found an opportunity to show his valour and skill in arms, when a grand tournament was held at Jerusalem. There he proved sole victor over all the knights, and got the chief prize. The king of Nazareth, who had assisted at this joust, telling his folk at home who had won the prize, described the arms and escutcheon of the valiant knight. By these Desonelle recognized her beloved spouse. At her request the king called princes and knights from all parts of the world to a great tournament. The kings of Jerusalem, Greece, Leobertus, Antony fice Greffoun, and Torrent answered the call. Before an illustrious assembly of mighty princes and noble ladies, all of whom were surpassed by Desonelle in beauty and grace, the tournament xx began. Leobertus and Antony excelled in it, but the chief was Torrent, who performed wonders in the joust, vanquishing all valiant adversaries. The next morning Desonelle could no longer brook reserve, and was about to discover herself to Torrent; but overwhelmed with joy she fainted, when she had scarcely uttered the first words of greeting. It was not till midday that she was able to tell Torrent and the other knights her fates and those of her children. Then parents and children passionately embraced on recognizing each other. At Torrent’s request, all of them, with the kings of Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Greece, and many attendants, sailed for Portugal. There the nuptials of Torrent with Desonelle were celebrated with a great round of splendid festivities. Torrent was finally elected Emperor of Rome, and reigned a long time gloriously. He lies there buried in a fair abbey.

A benediction finishes the romance.

If we take a survey of the poem, we shall recognize in its conception a harmonious plan and a certain unity of action, which, as in most of the romances, is founded on the hero and the interest he affects us with (See Ten Brink, Engl. Literat., I. p. 317). In the centre of the action is placed Torrent’s love of Desonelle; for all the various combats that he undertakes against dragons and giants, against the prince of Arragon and King Calamond, are undertaken solely to gain him Desonelle. Even his expedition against the infidels and the fighting with his son are designed by Providence to make him find again his lost love. Halliwell (Preface, p. vii), therefore, is not right in deeming the romance ‘a rambling poem of adventures without much plot.’ The length and tediousness of the episodes may have prevented him from recognizing the unity of the whole. At the same time, however, it must be admitted that the poem cannot rank with the masterpieces of romantic poetry written in the same metre, like Amis and Amiloun, Ipomadon, Kyng of Tars, Octavian, either in the invention of plot or in the dissection of passions. The diction is so swelled with stereotyped phrases, and so surfeited with trivialities, that we may justly suppose the poem to have been composed at a period when romantic poetry had passed its best time, and had begun to decay. As to the authorship of the poem, it was probably composed by a monk. It is an easy thing to show peculiarities in the course of the story which are essentially monkish. As the romance begins and ends with a benediction, in xxi the same way each deed and each adventure of the hero is introduced and finished by long prayers. Moreover, the poet points frequently to a direct interposition of Heaven (ll. 675, 1568, 1948); he describes the anguish and sorrow that Desonelle feels about her children’s baptism (ll. 1892-1896 and 2074-76); he mentions emphatically Communion and Confession (1272 and 2139), Masses (756 and 813); he finally praises the Emperor for founding churches and abbeys (l. 2658). On the other side, we find very few of those marks which characterize the works of minstrels: the poet seldom predicts the fates of his heroes to excite the attention of his auditors; he mentions only by the way the performances of the gleemen, and nowhere speaks of the rewards that they get.

Passing to a special inquiry into the origin of the story of Torrent, I cannot persuade myself that it is of the poet’s own invention, as that would be the only instance of a Middle-English romance not being taken from foreign originals (except, of course, Chaucer’s Sir Thopas, which was written to ridicule this whole branch of poetry), whilst slight alterations or additions were frequently introduced by the translators. A French original of the romance is supposed by Halliwell to have existed (Preface, vi). He says, ‘It is probably, like the second copy of the romance of Horn, a modernized version of an older English romance, which was itself translated from the French. I have not been able to discover any traces of the French original, but there are some singular allusions to its origin in the poem itself. I allude to the frequent references to the Book of Rome.3 This term was applied to the French language, in which most of the old romances were originally written.’ As for me, I don’t think that we can much rely upon references of this kind, because they are common to all of these Middle-English romances. Of a somewhat greater weight is perhaps the fact that one or two of the proper names are French; and even the oath, ‘par l’amour de dieu,’ is worth mentioning. After all, there is no evident proof as to the French origin. But there is no doubt that xxii the story of Torrent in its principal features—the adversities of a family separated by misfortunes, the mother robbed of her children by wild beasts, at last united again—proceeded from the old Eustache legend.4-5 Therewith another motive is combined, that of the woman innocently condemned, on which motive a large stock of legends is founded; for instance, those of Crescentia, Sibilla, Oliva, Genovefa, Griseldis and Octavian legends. Upon this motive and its old origin from India, see Streve, ‘The Octavian legend,’ Erlangen Dissert., 84.

I will consider first the legend of Eustache in its original version. According to the Greek Martyr Acts, which were probably composed in the eighth century, this saint was before his baptism a captain of Trajan, named Placidus. As he one day hunted in the forest, the Saviour appeared to him between the antlers of a hart, and converted him. Placidus changed his name into Eustache, when he was baptized with his wife and sons. God announced to him by an angel his future martyrdom. Eustache was afflicted by dreadful calamities, lost all his estate, and was compelled to go abroad as a beggar with his wife and his children. As he went on board a ship bound for Egypt, his wife was seized by the shipmaster and carried off. Soon after, when Eustache was travelling along the shore, his two children were borne away by a lion and a leopard. Eustache then worked for a long time as a journeyman, till he was discovered by the Emperor Trajan, who had sent out messengers for him, and called him to his court. Reappointed captain, Eustache undertook an expedition against the Dacians. During this war he found his wife in a cottage as a gardener,—the shipmaster had fallen dead to xxiii the ground as he ventured to touch her,—and in the same cottage he found again his two sons as soldiers: herdsmen had rescued them from the wild beasts, and brought them up. Glad was their meeting again! But as they returned to Rome, they were all burnt in a glowing bull of brass by the Emperor’s order, because they refused to sacrifice to the heathen gods.

This legend, which reminds us at once of the story of Job, has been incorporated in almost all mediæval collections of legends, and upon it are founded some mediæval poems, which are enumerated by H. Knust in his splendid work Dos Obras Didácticas y dos Leyendas, Madrid, 1878; cf. R. Köhler, Zeitschrift für rom. phil. III, p. 272 ff., Varnhagen, Anglia, III, p. 399 ff.; two latin versions are edited by the same, Zeitschrift für deutsches Alterthum XXIV, p. 241 ff., and XXV, p. 1 ff.

English legends of Eustache are to be found

(1) In Ælfric’s Passiones Martyrum; see Horstmann, Altenglische Legenden, Second series, Heilbronn, 1881, p. xli.

(2) In the South-English collection, l.c. p. xlviii.

(3) In the Northern collection, pp. lxi and lxiv. Herrig’s Archiv 57, p. 262 ff.

(4) In the Scottish collection of legends, said to be Barbour’s. Cf. Barbour’s Legendensammlung, ed. C. Horstmann, Heilbronn, 82, ii. p. 12.

(5) In the old Engl. translation of the Legenda aurea, see Horstm., l.c., p. cxxxv. Caxton’s edition of the legend, No. 196.

(6) The complete text of the legend printed in Horstmann’s above-mentioned collection, Altengl. Legendensamml., p. 211 ff.

(7) St. Eustas, by I. Partridge, see Gibbs’ above-mentioned edition, and Horstm., l.c. p. 472 ff.

With this legend are connected, more or less, the following poems, which it is necessary to speak of in turn:

(1) The Pseudo-Chrestien epic poem, Guillaume d’Engleterre.6


(2) The two Middle High German poems, Die gute Frau,7 and (3) Der Graf von Savoyen.8

(4) The romances of Isumbras; (5) of Octavian; (6) last, Syr Eglamour of Artois, and (7) Sir Torrent of Portugal.

The first five have been treated by Holland in his book, Chrestien de Troies, Tübingen, 1854.

According to Holland’s opinion, all of these are derived from the legend of Eustache. He has not exactly inquired into each of them, but restricts himself to a detailed account of their contents. A critical inquiry into these poems, except the romance of Octavian, has been recently published by J. Steinbach: Der einfluss des Crestien de Troies auf die altenglische literatur. Leipzig, 1886, p. 41 ff. As to the French and the two German poems, it may be sufficient to refer to this exhaustive essay, since it is only by the same legendary origin that they are connected with Sir Torrent; otherwise they are quite different.

But of the English romances of Sir Isumbras and of Octavian it is necessary to treat more minutely. Isumbras was edited first by Utterson in his Select Pieces of Early Popular Poetry, London, 1817; secondly by Halliwell in The Thornton Romances, from the Lincoln MS. A. i. 17. A critical edition of this poem has long been promised by Prof. Zupitza.

In this romance the legend of Eustache can be most clearly recognized. Its contents are, indeed, somewhat transformed according to the taste of the later Middle Ages: the Roman captain is changed into a Christian knight, who performs wonders in fighting against the infidels; he finds his wife as queen of a heathen country; they end their lives as mighty princes, and so on. The legendary style has been supplanted by the romantic diction,9 but the leading features remain the same. In his above-mentioned essay, xxv pp. 46-48, Steinbach concludes, from a detailed comparison of the contents, that the author of Isumbras did not derive his story from the epic poem, Guillaume d’Engleterre, but from an original which bore a still greater resemblance to the legend of Eustache, and, at the same time, contained many of those additions which are to be found in all versions of the legend. Whether this original was composed in Latin, French, or Anglo-Norman, Steinbach does not pretend to determine.

To Isumbras I join a few remarks on the romance of Octavian, which was edited by Halliwell for the Percy Society, The Romance of the Emperor Octavian, London, 1844; and by Sarrazin, Zwei mittelengl. Versionen der Octaviansage, in Koelbing’s Altengl. Bibliothek, Band III. As for its contents, cf. Sarrazin, as above, p. xviii ff. Concerning the origin of the story, he agrees in general with Holland, only he shows a still nearer connection between Isumbras and Octavian, taking the former for a mere imitation of the latter. This opinion, however, cannot be proved. As I cannot enter into detail, I only observe that the contents of Octavian are a great deal more complicated and copious than those of Isumbras, which is simple in its plot and style, and shows the nearest resemblance to the old Eustache legend, whilst Octavian is a refined and adorned version of the legendary tale with considerable change in the plan. Isumbras, of course, bears a strict resemblance to Eustache, but not to the Emperor Octavian, who has but little of the character of a suffering saint, as he does not become an outlaw himself, nor is to lose his earthly goods. Even those of his adventures which are conformable to the original—the separation from his family, the rape of the children, the final reunion—are exhibited in a different manner.

The principal contents of the romance of Octavian bear internal evidence of its later origin, as it treats chiefly of the adventures and exploits of Florent, Octavian’s son; especially in the second half of the story, exploits of Florent so prevail that the romance might justly bear his name on the title instead of his father’s. I therefore believe that Sarrazin’s opinion, that Isumbras is nothing but a bad imitation of Octavian, is wrong; and I am rather inclined to think the two poems were composed independently from each xxvi other, after French originals, as is evidently the case with Octavian, and probably with Isumbras. See Halliwell, Thornt. Rom., p. xviii. Sarrazin, moreover, supposes, p. xlv, both poems to be due to the same author, in consequence of the conformity of the dialect and style, and of some literal coincidences. But the fact that both of these romances are written in the same dialect is not sufficient to prove the identity of the authors, nor is the style, which is nearly stereotyped in all of these romances. As to the literal coincidences, only three of the nine passages quoted by Sarrazin seem to me to be of any importance. See Octavian, notes on ll. 382, 397, 481. But even these only show that the writer of Octavian knew Isumbras, or vice versâ.

As to the relation between Octavian and our poem, these two romances have no other affinity than the same legendary origin, and the motive of the woman innocently persecuted, which may very well have been introduced independently by two different authors. In all other particulars they are quite different.

The heroes bear little resemblance to their legendary models; in Octavian the Emperor of Rome; in Torrent the young, hardy knight who encounters marvellous struggles to win the hand of his spouse. Also in the treatment of the other motive, each romance has taken its own course. In Octavian, Florence is calumniated by her mother-in-law; in Torrent, Desonelle is persecuted by her father. The causes are consequently quite different: there the jealousy of the mother-in-law against the mighty Empress; here Calamond’s hatred against Torrent. These differences, now only alluded to, cause a great number of others, and produce a general difference of the two poems, which renders the opinion of a nearer connection between them altogether illusory.

Of all the poems mentioned above, the last, Syr Eglamour of Artois, is most nearly related to Sir Torrent, a fact found out by Halliwell,10 who, however, thought that there was no necessity for xxvii him to prove a similarity which would be at once detected by the reader; still, he takes it for certain that the romance of Torrent is younger than and partly founded on Sir Eglamour. As he gives no proof for this opinion, it will be worth while to enter once more into this question, in order to see whether he is right or not.

Upon it, the MSS. do not help us. The earliest MS. that can have contained Sir Eglamour is the parchment one of the Duke of Sutherland,11 written about the end of the 14th century. The other four MSS. of it12 are still later. The only MS. of Sir Torrent belongs to the 15th century, so that neither of these romances can be traced very far back.

Sir Eglamour was printed several times in the beginning of the 16th century, and edited anew by Halliwell from the Cambridge MS. in his well-known collection. To judge from the numerous readings of the Lincoln, Cotton, and Cambridge MSS. which he has quoted, the Lincoln MS. shows best the original dialect, and offers in several passages a reading preferable as to rhyme and meaning.13 Even slight differences in the contents occur now and then.14

The metre and probably the dialect are the same in both romances; they are composed in the tail-rhymed twelve-line stanzas, and written in a North Midland dialect. In both of them the style is alike swelled with the habitual phrases; only the long prayers and pious reflections so frequent in Torrent are not to be met with in Eglamour. On the other hand, the poet is wont to predict the fates of his heroes (ll. 204, 951); he often demands attention (ll. 15, 39, 343, 634, 904); he never omits, in describing the festivals, to mention the performances of the minstrels, and to praise the liberality of the lords. These characteristics render it probable that the author of Eglamour was a minstrel, not a clerk or monk, as I suppose the author of Sir Torrent to be.


I now pass on to compare the contents of the two poems. The principal features of the plot are the same in both. A young knight who seeks the hand of a princess engages to win her by valiant exploits. The princess’s father opposes his wooing, jealous as he is of the hero’s renown. The knight vanquishes all the giants and other monsters against which he is told to fight, and at length gains his spouse. A few weeks after their marriage, he sets out again on adventurous expeditions. While he stays abroad, his wife is delivered of twins. Her father sends her to sea in a leaky boat; she lands on a foreign shore, where her children are carried off by wild beasts; but they are saved in a marvellous manner, and brought up at royal courts, whilst she herself lives for a long time at a foreign court. As the hero, when he comes home again, doesn’t find her, he goes into the Holy Land to fight with the infidels. After various adventures he finds his wife and children after a tournament at a foreign court. They return home gladly, and celebrate their nuptials by great festivals. The cruel father is duly punished.

On entering into details, however, we find considerable discrepancies between the two romances. First, the names are altogether different. (Eglamour = Torrent. Crystyabelle = Desonelle. Prynsamour = Calamond. Organata = Gendres. Degrabelle = Antony fice Greffoun.) The stage of the plot is in Eglamour Artois, Rome, and Egypt; in Torrent Portugal, Norway, and Calabre. Only the Holy Land is mentioned in both. There the children are carried off by wild beasts, saved by princes and brought up; there the hero fights against the infidels.

The differences of the plot itself are the following:

1. Eglamour confesses his love to Crystyabelle before his deeds; a squire is the go-between in his suit; Eglamour finds love in return. In Torrent Desonelle does not know that she is adored by the hero till after his first exploit. See ll. 109, 448.

2. Accordingly, Eglamour, setting out on adventures, receives two greyhounds and a sword of St. Paul from Crystyabelle as presents, whereas Torrent gets an ambler from his lady love, but not till after his first deed.

3. Prynsamour charges Eglamour with three deeds by which he xxix is to gain Crystyabelle. Torrent is obliged to undertake not less than five combats.

4. In Torrent the combats of the hero are enlarged and adorned by additions not to be found in Eglamour. The latter does not release the daughters and sons of kings, nor does he find precious swords in the castles of the giants, nor is he deceived by a king’s counterfeit letter, which causes Torrent a dangerous struggle and the rivalry of a foreign prince. Only in Eglamour (ll. 40-48) some knights are mentioned who came to win Crystyabelle by jousting, but were all vanquished by Eglamour.

The greatest differences are found in the second halves of the stories.

5. Crystyabelle has one child by Eglamour; Desonelle has two by Torrent.

6. Crystyabelle is driven away into Egypt, where she is graciously received by the king. Desonelle finds refuge in the court of the king of Nazareth.

7. Degrabelle, the son of Crystyabelle, is saved and brought up by the king of Israel; the sons of Desonelle by the kings of Greece and Jerusalem.

8. The father of Crystyabelle is not punished like Calamond in Torrent, immediately after the hero’s return, but he dies at the end of the poem, throwing himself down from the battlements.

9. Degrabelle is sent, when fifteen years old, into Egypt by his adoptive father to sue for a spouse. In a joust he gains the hand of his mother and marries her. On the very wedding-day the mother recognizes her son by his escutcheon, and the marriage is instantly dissolved. Quite differently does the story run in Sir Torrent. Leobertus, fifteen years old, marches by order of the king of Jerusalem against his father, and takes him prisoner, but at length solicits his release.

10. The tournament, which in both poems compasses the reunion of the separated family, is brought on in a different manner. In Eglamour Degrabelle himself proposes the hand of his mother as the prize in the next tournament, to which his father comes. In Torrent Desonelle, hearing of the victories of the strange knight, supposes xxx him to be her spouse from his arms, and at her request a tournament is arranged. (Her hand seems to have been likewise the prize, as may be gleaned from l. 2440.)

11. At the very end of the poems two slight differences are to be noted: in Eglamour, Degrabelle marries Organata, daughter of the king of Sidon, whereas the sons of Torrent return into Greece and Jerusalem. Eglamour is crowned prince of Artois; Torrent is elected Emperor of Rome.

From this comparison we may conclude that Torrent is not directly founded upon Eglamour, or vice versâ; the differences are too great to justify the supposition that either is drawn from the other. Especially is the opinion of Halliwell, which I mentioned above, to be rejected: Sir Torrent cannot be founded on Sir Eglamour, simply because it agrees more closely with the old legendary tale than Syr Eglamour does, and has preserved some essential features not to be found in Eglamour, in which these are supplanted by others. Desonelle, for instance, has two children according to the old legend, Crystyabelle one; Torrent must fight and suffer in heathen lands like Eustache, whereas Eglamour appears as a mere knight-errant. Further, neither in the Eustache legend nor in Torrent do we find the history of the son who marries his mother, which motive the poet may have taken from the legend of Pope Gregory, or perhaps from the tale of Syr Degaré.

But how can the resemblance of the leading features and the discrepancies in particulars be explained? I think the most probable conjecture is, that an old poem, now lost, existed, with which the authors of Sir Eglamour and of Sir Torrent were acquainted; but not having a MS. of it, or knowing it by heart, both of them made up their minds to rewrite the story in a well-known metre, changing, omitting, adding whatever they liked, even filling up the gaps in their memories by invention. Both of them recollected the first half of the story better than the second.

That this poem was an English one seems to be shown by a good many verbal coincidences in both poems; these I accordingly suppose to have belonged to the lost original. They are, indeed, too frequent to be counted simply amongst the large stock of conventional xxxi phrases which are to be met with in every poem of this kind. Here they are:—

Eglamour. Torrent.

The boke of Rome thus can telle. 408, 561, 886

As the boke of Rome tellys. 187, 924, 1450, 1924

Ther ys a jeaunt here besyde, 478

That sorowe doyth ferre and wyde.

On us and odur moo.

There ys a gyante here besyde,

In ale thys covntre fare and wyde,

No man on lyve levythe hee. 960

And alle prayed for that knyght. 573

For hym all̴ they pray. 108

Alle that in the cyté ware. 598

All̴ that in) the sytte were. 1047

Alle that cuntrey was fulle fayne, 640

That he homeward was comyn ageyne.

Gentilmen were blith and ffayn), 1098

That he in helth was comyn) agayn).

Aftur sopur, as y yow telle,

He wendyd to chaumber with Crystyabelle. 670, 671

After mete, as I you tell̴,

To speke with mayden Desonell̴

To her chamber he went. 1358-60

That lady was not for to hyde, 673-75

She sett hym on hur beddys syde,

And welcomyd home that knyght.

The damysell̴ so moche of pride,

Set hym on) her bed-syde,

And said ‘welcom) verament.’ 1363

So gracyously he come hur tylle, 679

Of poyntes of armys he schewyd hur hys fylle, 680

That there they dwellyd alle nyȝt.

Such gestenyng he a-right,

That there he dwellid all̴ nyȝt

With that lady gent. 1364-66

A golde rynge y schalle geve the, 715

Kepe yt wele my lady free,

Yf Cryste sende the a chylde! 717

Thes gold rynges I shall̴ yeve the,

Kepe them well̴, my lady ffre,

Yf god a child vs send! 1396-1398

Doghtur, into the see schalt thou, 803

Yn a schypp alone,

And that bastard that to the ys dere!

There fore thou shalt in to the see

And that bastard with-in the! 1793

Sche prayed hur gentylwomen so free,

Grete wele my lord, whon ye hym see! 826, 827

She said ‘knyghtis and ladyes gent,

Grete well̴ my lord sir Torrent,

Yeff ye hym) euer sene! 1837-39

Hur yonge sone away he bare. 842

A way he bare her yong son). 1871

Thys chylde ys comyn of gentylle blode,

Where that ever that he was tane. 863

This chylde is come of gentill̴ teme,

Where euer this beest hym) ffond. 1923

Kepe we thys lady whyte as flowre,

And speke we of syr Egyllamowre. 950

Leve we now that lady gent,

And speke we of sir Torrent. 2080-81

The knyght swownyd in that tyde. 975

Swith on sownyng there he fell̴. 2093

Be the XV yerys were comyn and gone,

The chylde that the grype hath tane,

Waxe bothe bold and stronge. 1018-20

And be the VII yere were gone,

The child that the liberd had tane,

Found hym his fill̴ off ffyght. 2233-35

Yn yustyng ne in turnament 1021

Ther myght no man withsytt hys dynte,

But to the erthe them thronge. 1023

With heve tymbyr and ovyrryde 40

Ther myght no man) hys dent abyde,

But to the erthe he them strake. 42

Be thre wekys were comyn to ȝende,

Yn the londe of Egypt can they lende. 1057

But ore thre wekes were com̅yn) to end,

To Portynggall̴ gan he wend. 373

Gentilmen that herde of thys crye,

Thedur come they redylye. 1195-96

Gret lordys that herith this crye,

Theder come richely. 2431-32

Syr Egyllamour knelyd on his kne,

‘A Lorde God ȝylde hyt the! 1288-89

Torent knelid vppon) his knee 2575

And said ‘God yeld you, lordys ffree!


In swounynge than felle that lady free,

‘Welcome, syr Eglamour, to me!

She said ‘welcom), my lord sir Torent!

And so be ye, my lady gent!

In sownyng than fell̴ she. 2505

Eglamour, Linc. MS. Note on 1267:

Grete lordis thane told scho sone.

Gret lordys told she sone. 2539

Perhaps some more light will be thrown on this question when we get the much-wanted critical edition of Sir Eglamour; but I fear that the ‘secret history attached to the source of these romances’ will even then remain to be unravelled. What I have proposed has no title to a better name than a conjecture.


As to the only MS. in which this romance has come down to us, I have mentioned before that it is exceedingly corrupt; many conjectures, more or less sure, were necessary in order to restore metre, rhyme, and meaning; the greater part of them seemed worthy to be entered in the text, the rest being offered in the notes. No attempt has been made to introduce a uniform character of dialect, considering the quite unsettled state of orthography in early times. The only exceptions are where the sounds are fully determined by the rhyme. In general the orthography of the MS. has been reproduced as accurately as possible. The contractions used by the scribe are expanded and printed in italics. At the beginning of a new period, or a proper name within the line, capitals have been introduced. From l. 1200, where the numeration of my text no longer coincides with that of Halliwell’s edition, the line-numbers of the latter are added in brackets.

The fragments which I have added as an appendix to the text have been consulted in all cases of difficulty, and proved of no little service in correcting the blunders of the manuscript; they contain indeed a somewhat better text than the MS., though they are by no means free from clerical errors. A detailed comparison gives the following result:

In fifty-one lines the text of the fragments is evidently correcter than the MS.:

Fragments. Manuscript.

The kyng of Nazareth sent hym me,

Torent, I wot-saue hym on the. 466

The kyng of Portynggall̴ seyd, ‘So mot I the!

Torrent, I wet-saffe of the.

The kyng wolde fayne that he ded were,

And he wyst nat on what manere. 472

The kyng wolde fayne that he wer ded,

And hym wyst in what maner.

To Torent that was true as stele, 477

To Torrent trew ase styll̴,

In what londe that they brede. 487

In what lond they ne bred.

He bestrode a noble stede. 502

Tho he bestrod another stede.

Cf. 489, 498, 507-10, 512-15, 822, 825, 831, 833, 834, 837, 845, 848, 851, 929, 932, 933, 935, 947, 948, 951, 952, 958, 965, 968-70, 1807, 1808, 1810, 1827, 1828, 1831, 1834-36, 1844, 1854, 1866.

Forty-eight lines are coincident: 468, 470, 474, 479, 480, 486, 487, 495, 499, 501, 504, 505, 520, 823, 832, 842, 844, 846, 917, 918, 921, 922, 927, 928, 936, 938, 953, 957, 962, 1809, 1813-17, 1819-21, 1823, 1830, 1832, 1838, 1847, 1850, 1851-52, 1863, 1865.

In ninety-one lines it is doubtful which reading is to be considered as the original one:

Fragments. Manuscript.

As they walkyd by the ryvers syde. 469

Ase the went be the watyres syd.

Howe he myght hym shent. 473

How he schuld be schent.

The kyng sayde ‘what may this be?

Lorde, it is sent to me

For a faucon shene. 483-85

Syr, he seyd, what may thys be?

Loo, lord, come ner and see

Abowght a facon schene.

Than sayde the kyng vntrue,

‘And ye fynde hawes of great value,

Brynge me one with the! 492-94

And than seyd the kyng ontrew,

‘Yf thow get hawkys of great valew,

Bryng on of them to me!

Of thy dowghter hende. 836

Of yowr dowghttyr hend.

Cf. 467, 475, 476, 478, 481, 482, 488, 496, 497, 500, 506, 511, 516-20, 821, 824, 826, 827, 829, 830, 835, 838-41, 843, 847, 850, 919, 920, 923, 925-26, 930-31, 934, 937, 939, 940-43, 945, 946, 949, 950, 954, 955, 959, 960-61, 963, 964, 966, 967, 1811, 1812, 1818, 1822, 1825, 1826, 1829, 1837, 1840, 1842, 1843, 1845-46, 1848-49, 1853, 1855-62, 1864.

In eleven lines the text of the MS. is superior to that of the fragment:

Fragments. Manuscript.

‘Ye, by my trouthe!’ sayd Torente. 828

‘Ye, be trouthe!’ seyd Torrent than.

Delycyous notes on hyghe. 944

Delycyous nottis on hyght.

Frowarde the se. 956

Froward the sytte.

Cf. 488, 503, 820, 849, 924, 1824, 1833, 1839.


As to the sixth fragment, 1014-36, and the beginning of the first (in Halliwell’s edition the third), 462-64, in which, as above mentioned, not much more than the rhyming words are preserved, they have nearly the same relation to the MS. as the other ones.

In the following passages they correct the rhymes of the MS.: 1017, 1018, 1028, 1033. Coincident rhymes: 1014, 1015, 1019, 1026, 1027, 1032, 1034-36. Undecided: 1020, 1021, 1023-24, 1029-30, 462-64. The rhymes of the MS. are preferable in ll. 1016, 1022, 1025, 1031.

I need only add, that all the discrepancies between the MS. and the fragments, however numerous they may be, concern, for the most part, things of little importance; they are caused especially by the frequent change of synonymous terms, by the difference of expletive words and phrases, the transposition of words, the change of tenses, and so on. But as there is nowhere any essential difference to be traced, we may conjecture with great probability that the early printed edition of the romance was taken from a manuscript which was pretty nearly related to the Manchester MS., though somewhat more correctly written.

I gladly take the present opportunity of acknowledging my very great obligation to Prof. Koelbing, from whom I have received ample assistance throughout the whole of this work. It would be absolutely impossible to me entirely to discriminate his part from mine. He carefully revised the introduction, notes, and the glossary, before they went to press, and after they came from it, and he looked several times through the proofs of the text. Nor am I less indebted to Mr. Joseph Hall at Manchester, who not only kindly read the proofs of the text with the MS. in the Chetham Library, but also contributed some valuable notes, which are marked by his name. The Director has added the head-lines and side-notes.

Footnotes to Introduction

1. Halliwell says, Preface v f.: ‘It is very incorrectly written, and the copy of the romance of Torrent of Portugal, which occupies 88 pages of the book, contains so many obvious blunders and omissions, that it may be conjectured with great probability to have been written down from oral recitation.’

2. The rhymes with tane and with John are not quoted, as these words occur also as tone and Johan; they are, therefore, of no use in fixing the sound of the â.

3. On this term see Octavian, ed. Sarrazin, p. xxxviii.

4. See Warton’s opinion upon the legendary origin of many romances, History of Engl. Poetry, London, 1824, I. p. ccxliv: ‘Many romances were at first little more than legends of devotion, containing the pilgrimage of an old warrior. At length, as chivalry came into vogue, the youthful and active part of the pilgrim’s life was also written. The penitent changed into the knight-errant.’ Sometimes, of course, the opposite change may have taken place, as for instance is probably the case with the story of the two faithful friends, Amis and Amiloun (cf. Koelbing, Amis, p. lxxxi), and with the story of Robert the Devil (cf. Sir Gowther, ed. Breul, p. 74).

5. See the edition of The worthie Hystorie of Plasidas, 1566, by H. H. Gibbs, for the Roxburghe Club, 1873.

6. Guill. d’Engleterre, ed. Fr. Michel, Chron. Anglo-Norm., III. 39-172. On the authorship of this poem see C. Hofmann, Sitzungsberichte der Münch. Akad., 1870, II. p. 51, and P. Meyer, Romania, VIII. p. 815 f.

7. Die gute Frau, ed. E. Sommer in Haupt’s Zeitschrift für deutsches Alterthum, II. 389.

8. Der Graf v. Savoyen, ed. F. H. v. d. Hagen, Minnesinger, IV. 640, and Eschenburg, Denkmäler altdeutscher Dichtkunst, Bremen, 1799.

9. On this text see Sarrazin, Octav., p. xlv; he speaks of “die entstellte, spielmannsmässig zersungene Form, in der die Thornton Ms uns die legende überliefert. . . . . . dasselbe Pathos, dieselbe Sentimentalität und Frömmelei, aber auch dieselbe anschauliche und lebhafte Erzählungsweise (sc. as in Oct.).”

10. The Thornton Romances, p. xxii f. ‘The romance of Torrent is partly founded upon the story related in Sir Eglamour. The names are changed, but the resemblance is too striking to have been the result of chance. The treachery of the sovereign, the prowess of the knight, the indiscretions and misfortunes of the lady, and the happy conclusion of her misfortunes, these form the leading incidents of each romance . . . . there is, perhaps, a secret history attached to the source of these romances that remains to be unravelled.’

11. Cf. Koelbing’s Englische Studien, vii. p. 191 ff.

12. Cf. The Thornton Romances, p. xxv ff., and p. xxxvi.

13. See the following passages which Halliwell has quoted in the notes: Eglam. 54, 96, 107, 111, 122, 128, 139, 153, 177, 195, 213, 247, 337, 347, 399, 445, 572, 605, 614, 737, 740, 765, 858, 883, 945, 985, 1081, 1143, 1206, 1216.

14. See Eglamour, notes on ll. 1064, 1082, 1267.


Torrent of Portyngale.


f. 76a.

Here bygynneth a good tale

Of Torrente of Portyngale.

leaf 1 May God give

God, that ys worthy and Bold,

Heuen) and Erthe haue In hold,

Fyld, watyr, and wynde,

us grace to win Heaven!

Yeve vse grace hevyn) to wyne,

And brynge vs owt off Dedly synne 5

And In thy seruyse to Ende!

A stounde and ye woll̴ lyst be-Dene,

Ale dowghtty men) þat Euyr hathe ben),

Wher So that they lende,

I’ll tell you of a doughty knight.

I Schall̴ yow tell̴, ore I hense pase, 10

Off a knyght, þat Dowghtty wase,

In Rome ase clarkys ffynde.

8. byn MS.

He dwelt in Portugal,

In Portynggall̴, that Ryche londe,

An Erell̴ that wase wonande,

That curtese wase and wyght; 15

Sone aftyr he had a sone,

The feyerest þat on fot myght gon,

Tyrrant, men seyd, he hyght.

and fought well when 18.

Be tyme he wase XVIII yer) old,

Of deddes of armys he wase bold, 20

To felle bothe kyng and knyght;

And now commythe dethe appon a day

And takythe hys father), ase I yow sey,

For God ys most of myght.

15. wyght] Dowghtty MS.

21. felle] first l above the line MS.



The King

The kyng of Portynggall̴ wase fayne, 25

To-warde hym he takythe Torrayne,

That Dowghtty ys in) dedde;

gives Torrent an earldom,

And ther he fesomnyd in) hys hond

A good Eyrldom in) that lond,

f. 76b.

Bothe forest and fede. 30

The kyng hathe a dowghttyr whyte ase fame,

Dysonell wase her name,

Worthyest in wede.

and he falls in love with the King’s daughter Desonell,

When Torrent had of her) a syght,

More he lovyd that swete wyght 35

Than) all̴ ys fathyrys lede.

30. fede] Downe MS.

31. whyte ase fame] feyer ase flowyr MS.

32. Dyscenys, MS.

35. swete] swet, MS.
wyght] wyte MS.

36. lede] londe MS.

and for her,

For love of thys lady Deyr)

In dede of armys far and nere

Aventorres gan he take

With heve tymbyr and ovyr-Ryde, 40

Ther myght no man) hys dent a-bydde,

unhorses many knights.

But to the Erthe he them strake.

Her father and other knyghttes mo

Had farly, how he Ryd soo,

And on a day to hyme spake, 45

He Seyd: ‘Torrent, howe may thys byne,

That thow Dyspisyst thes knyghttes kene

And ordurres non woll̴ take?’

39. A ventorres MS.

42. stroke MS.

47. dysplesyst MS.


Torrent sayd: ‘So mvt I the,

An other sayment woll̴ I see, 50

Ore I take ordor of knyght.’

The King

Tho he sware be hevyn kyng,

Ther wase told hym a wondyr-thyng)

In hys chambyr to nyght:

3 knows that Torrent loves his daughter,

‘For) the love of my doughter dere 55

Thow makyst good far and nere

In) Dedde of armys bryght;

And wyt thow wyll̴, so god me saue,

Thow schalt her) wyne, yf thow her haue,

Be thow neuyr so wyght!’ 60

50. And MS.
see] bee MS.

60. wyght] wyttht MS.



Torrent sayd: ‘Be Marry dere,

f. 77a.

And I were off armyse clere,

Yowr Dowghttyr me leve were.’

The kyng seyd: ‘Yf yt be soo,

Ore VII yere be a-go, 65

More schall̴ we here:

and asks him if, for her sake, he’ll fight

Durst thow, for my dowghttyr sake,

A poynt of armys for to take

With-owt helpe of fere?’

Than seyd Torrant: ‘So god me sped, 70

With anny man) that syttythe on stede

Other far ore nere!’

61. Marry] e corrected into y.

65. a-go] a gone, ne struck out, MS.


Ther-of the kyng) for tene wax wode:

‘Yf thow wylt make thy body good,

Be trew and hold thy contenance . . . . . . . 75

Tho seyd Torrant: ‘So god me sped ere!

And I wyst, in) what sted they were,

Fore no man) wold I chaunce.’

75. contnnce MS.

78. chaunce] corrected out of change MS.

a Giant in the Greek sea.

‘In to the Grekes see a mylle

Ther lyvythe a gyant in an yle, 80

Full̴ Euyll̴ thow dourst hyme stond.

My fayer) forestes fellythe downe he

And Ryche castelles in) that contre,

No ston lettythe he stond.’

80. lyvythe] lyghttythe MS.
in an yle] mauyle MS.




Terrent sayd: ‘Be Marre bryght, 85

Yt ys gret sorrow that he hathe syght,

The devyll̴ of hell̴ hym blynd!’

The kyng sayd: ‘Par la-more de dewe,

Thow darryst full̴ evyll̴ with thy Ey hym sewe,

He wold fell̴ the with hys wynde.’ 90

agrees to fight

‘Now, be my trowthe,’ seyd Torrent than),

‘Ase I ame a jentylman),

Yf I may hym fynd,

Won fot woll̴ I not fro hym pase,

f. 77b.

Thow he be stronger) than Samson) wase, 95

Or anny man) of hys kynd!’

86. he] written above the line, MS.

88. kyng] knyght MS.

96. hys] om. MS.


Hys squyerys, they mornyd sare,

With-owt fere that he schold fare

To that gret iorney,

the Giant Begonmese,

With the gyant heygh for to fyght. 100

Be-gon)-mese that gyant hyght,

That fynddes fere for aye.

To arme hyme Torrant gas,

Hys good stede with hym he tas,

With owt squyer) that Day. 105

He takythe leve at lorddys hend,

and sets out.

And on hys wey gan he wynd,

For hym all̴ they pray.

97. sore MS.

102. fare MS.

103. gas] goos MS.

104. tas] takythe MS.

108. pray] prayd MS.

Desonell knows not that it is for love of her.

Lytyll̴ wyst Desonell̴ that jente,

For whos love that he went 110

To fyght with that knave.

5 God give Torrent victory!

Now god, that Dyed appon a Rode,

Strengithe hym bothe bone and blod,

The fyld for to haue!

He that schall̴ wend soche a wey, 115

Yt were nede for hym to pray,

That Iesu hym schuld saue.

Yt ys in) the boke of Rome,

Ther was no knyght of kyrstendome,

That jorney Durst crave. 120


After 6 days’ ride

VI days Rydythe he

By the cost of the feyer) see,

To seke the gyant kene.

f. 78a.

By the cost as he Rode,

In a forest longe and brode 125

And symly wase to sene,

Hey sperrys ther he fonde

And gret olyvys growonde

Coverd in) levys grene.

he sees the Giant asleep.

Sone wase he ware, ase y yow say, 130

Vppon a movnteyn) ther he laye

On slepe, ase I wene.

123. seke] ches, struck out, seke written over with paler ink.

126. see MS.

129. grene] smale MS.


Torrent, on kne knelyd he

And be-sowght Jesu so fre,

That bowght hym with hys blod: 135

He prays for Christ’s help.

‘Lord, ase thow dyd ryght for Mary,

Let me never take velony

And gef me of thy fode!

Serttes, yf I hym slepyng) slone,

Manfull̴ Ded were yt none 140

For my body, be the Rode.’


Tho Terrant blewe hys bugell̴ bold,

To loke that he a-wake wold,

And sythe ner) hyme Rode.

136. ryght] lyght written above the line with paler ink.
mare MS.


As Torrent can’t wake the Giant with his bugle,

So fast a-slepe he wase browght, 145

Hys hornys blast a-woke hyme nowght,

He swellyd ase dothe the see.

Torrent saw, he woll̴ not wake,

He Reynyd hys sted vnto a stake,

Ase a jentyll̴ man) so fre. 150

So hy, he say, wase the movnteyne,

Ther myght no horse wynd hym) a-geyn)

f. 78b.

But yf he nowyd wold be;

Thowe the wey neuyr) so wykkyd ware,

On hys wey gan he fare, 155

In) gret perayll̴ went hee.

150. so fre] in fere MS.

151. say] sayd MS.

152. mygh (!) MS.

154. were MS.


Torent went to that movnteyn),

he stirs him up with his spear,

He put hys spere hyme a-geyne,

‘A-Ryse, fellow!’ gan he saye;

‘Who made the so bold here to dwell̴, 160

My lordes frethe thus to fell̴?

A-mendes the be-hovythe to pay.’

and makes him wild.

The gyant Rysythe, ase he had byn) wod,

And Redyly by hyme stode,

Be-syd hyme on a lay, 165

And seyd: ‘Sertes, yf I leve,

Soche a wed I woll̴ the geff,

To meve the Euyr) and ay.’

157. movnten MS.


Thow the chyld were neuyr) so yinge,

The fyndes spere sparrythe hyme no-thyng) 170

In the holttes haree;


Who had fare and nere byne,

And neuer had of fytyng syn),

He myght a lernyd thare.

The fight begins.

The gyant, the fyrst stroke to hym he cast, 175

His good schyld all̴ to-brast,

In schevyres spred wase yare;

Tho covd he no bettur Red,

But stond styll̴, tyll̴ one were ded;

The gyant lefte hym thar. 180

169. yonge MS.

171. In] Ihū (!) MS.
horee MS.

173. seyn MS.

174. there MS.

175. to hym] written above the line.

177. there MS.

178. he no] not he MS.
Ryd MS.

180. ther MS.


Torrent grips the Giant;

Torrent vndyr hys spryt he sprent

f. 79a.

And a-bowght the body he hyme hente,

As far as he myght last.

‘A! fellow, wylt thow so?’

they both fall, and roll down the mountain.

And to the grownd gan they goo, 185

Of the movnteyn) bothe downe they past.

Ase the boke of Rome tellys,

They tornyd XXXII ellys,

In armys walloyng fast.

Yt tellythe in) the boke of Rome, 190

Euyr) ase the gyant a-boue come,

The Giant bursts

Hys guttes owt of hys body brast.

181. sprent] spred MS.

186. they past] gan they pase MS.

188. ellys] tymys MS.

192. brast] Rane MS.


At the fot of the movnteyn)

open against a big stone.

Ther lay a gret Ragyd ston), serteyn),

Yt nyhed ys schuldyr bon) 195

And also hys Ryght syd,

Ther to that gyant fell̴ that tyd,

Ase I herd in) Rome . . .

197 put before 196. MS.

198. I] he MS.



Torrent stabs the Giant,

Thorrow hyme, that mad man),

Torrent sone a-bovyn) wane 200

And fast he gan him quelle

With a knyffe feyer) and bryght;

Torrent, with all̴ hys myght

Ther-with he gard hyme dwell̴.

199. after Thorrow, of has been scraped out.

201. him quelle] warke MS.

203. hys] h corrected out of m MS.


Torent knelyd on hys kne, 205

To Iesu Cryst prayd he,

That hathe thys world to wyld:

and then thanks Christ.

‘Lord, lovyd, evyr lovyd thowe be,

The feyer) fyld thow hast lent Me,’

f. 79b.

—Vpp bothe hys handes he held— 210

‘All̴ onely with-owt any knaue

Of the fynd the maystry to haue,

Of hym to wyn the fyld.’

Now ys ther none other to say,

Of hyme he wane the fyld þat day; 215

I pray God hyme schyld.

210. he] om. MS.

213. wyn] wynd, d erased MS.

214. to written above the line, MS.


Now ys ther non other say

Of hyme to wyne the fyld þat day     add. (!) MS.


Torrent went vppe a-geyne

To the movnt, ase I gan sayne,

The londes to se far and nere;

He sees the sea,

In the see a myle, hyme thoȝt, 220

An hold wase Rychyly wrowt,

In that lond wase not here perre.

The see wase Ebbyd, I yow sey,

and goes to it.

Torrent thether toke the way,

Werry all̴ thow he were; 225

9 Torrent finds the Giant’s castle,

And ther he fownd Ryche wonys,

Towrres Endentyd with presyos stonys,

Schynyng ase crystall̴ clere.

219. to se written above the line.



Two gattys off yron) ther he fond,

Ther in) Torrent gan wonde, 230

A nyghtes Rest there in) to ta;

guarded by a lion and lioness.

And at the hale dore ther wase

A lyon) & a lyonasse,

Ther men be-twene them twa

Fast Etyng), ase ye may here; 235

Crystyñ man thow he were,

f. 80a.

Hys browys wexe bla,

And wit yow will̴, lord god yt wote,

He durst goo no fote,

Lest they wold hyme sla. 240


Torrant stod and be-held,

And prayd to god, that ale may wyld,

To send hyme harborrow good.

He hears a lady sighing within.

Sone hard he within a whalle

The syghyng of a lady smalle, 245

Sche weppte, as sche were wod;

Sche mornyd sore and sayd: ‘Alas,

That Euyr) kynges dowghttyr wase

Ouer-come of so jentyll̴ blod,

For now ame I holdyn) here 250

In lond with a fyndes fere!’

Torrent hard, wher he stod.

226. wonys] wayes MS.

229. Two] The MS.

231. to ta] he take MS.

234. twa] twayne MS.

236. man] thow (!) MS.
he] they MS.

237. wexe bla] be gan to blowe MS.

240. sle MS.

244. whalle] with paler ink corrected from whyle.

245. syghyng] with paler ink corrected from syngyng.




‘Dere god,’ seyd Torrant than),

‘Yff ther be anny crystyn) man)

In thys hold of ston), 255

Torrent asks for a night’s lodging in the Castle.

That woll̴, for the love of god of myght,

Harbourrow a jentylman) thys nyght,

For I ame but on)!’

‘Seynt Marry,’ seyd that lady clere,

‘What crystyn) man) axithe harburrow here?’ 260

Nere hym sche gothe a-non.

‘I wold harburrow the full̴ fayne,

But a gyant wyll̴ the slayne.’

To hym sche mad here mone.

259. clere] e corrected out of r MS.

261. sche gothe anon] a non sche gothe MS.

f. 80b.

‘Say me now, fayer) lady, belyve, 265

Who owte of thys plase schall̴ me dryve,

Thes tourres, that are so bryght?’

The Lady says

Ther sche Seyd: ‘Be hevyn) kyng),

Here ys a gyant Dwellyng,

That meche ys of myght. 270

Be my trowthe, and he the see,

Were ther) XX lyvys in) the,

the Giant will kill him.

Thy dethe than wyll̴ he dyght.

Iesu cryst yef me grace

To hyd the in) some preve plase 275

Owt of the fyndes syght! . . . . .

265. bel.] om. MS.

266. of] om. MS.
me dryve] hyght MS.

267. so] feyer and add. MS.

271. the] thow, w erased and e changed into o, MS.

273. They (!) MS.

275. hyd] corrected from hyde.


‘Euyr) me thynkythe be thy tale,

The song of the burdes smale

On slepe hathe hyme browght.’


‘Ye,’ seyd Torrent, ‘ore he be wakyn), 280

I schall̴ the tell̴ soche a tokyn),

Of hym thow haue no thowght!

But wolddes thow for thy gentry

Do the lyonnys downe lye,

That they nyee me nowght?’ 285

The Lady takes Torrent past the Lions, into the Castle.

By the hande sche ganne hym ta

And led hyme in) betwe them twa;

Ryght ase sche wold, they wrowght.

277. thy] my erased and thy written above the line.

283. thy] th corrected from m.
gentry] gentre, e corrected from y.

285. nyee] first e above the line.

286. hande] d corrected from e.
tane MS.

287. bewte MS.
twayne MS.



The lady wase neuyr) so a-drad,

In to the hale sche hym lad, 290

That lemyred ase gold bryght;

f. 81a.

Sche byrlyd whyt wyne and Rede:

‘Make vse myrre a-geyne owre Dedd,

I wot will̴, yt ys so dyght!’

He tells her he has kild the Giant.

‘Be my trowthe!’ seyd Torrent, 295

‘I wole be thy warrant,

He comythe not here thys nyght.

On soche a slepe he ys browght,

All̴ men of lyve wakythe hym nowght,

But onely godes myght.’ 300

300. godes myght] gode a lone MS.


Blythe then wase that lady jent,

For to on-harnes Torrent,

That dowghtty wase and bold;

She tells him of Prince Verdownys,

‘For sothe,’ sche seyd, ‘I wot wher ys

The kynges sone Verdownys, 305

Fast put in hold

12 and 4 Earls’ sons in the Giant’s prison.

In a dongon), that ys dym;

Fowyre good Erylles sonnys be with hyme

Ys fet in) fere and fold.

The gyant wan theme in) a tyde, 310

Ase they Rane be the watyr syd,

And put them in) preson) cold.

305. Verdownys] of pvense MS.



‘In an yron) cage he hathe them done.’

Torrent went thether) sone:

‘Are ye yet levand?’ 315

The kynges sone askyd than),

Yf ther were anny crysten man),

‘Wold bryng vse owt of bond?’

‘Lord,’ he seyd, ‘god all̴myght,

f. 81b.

I had levyr on a Day to fyght, 320

Than all̴ my fathyrys lond.’

Torrent breaks open the prison,

With an iryn) mall̴ styff and strong)

He brake vpe an yron) dore or longe,

And sone the keyes he fond.

318. owt] ow (!) MS.

323. or longe] added in paler ink.

and frees the 5 youths.

Owt he toke thys chyldyryn) fyve, 325

The feyrest that were on lyve,

I-hold in) anny sted.

The lady wase full̴ gled,

Sche byrlyd whyt wyn) and Redd,

They sup.

And sethyn) to soper sone they yed. 330

‘Lordes,’ he seyd, ‘syn yow are her),

I Red yow make Ryght good cher),

For now ys all̴ thy nede.’

Thus he covyrd owt of care.

God, that sofryd wonddes sare, 335

Grante vse well̴ to sped!

325. chyld.] a v struck out, follows.

328. glad MS.

335. sore MS.

336. welle to sped] to sped welle MS.




Lorddes, and ye wol lythe,

The chyldyr namys I woll̴ tell̴ blythe,

Here kyn, how they were me told;

Torrent freed Prince Verdownys, Lords

The kynges sone, that dowghtty ys, 340

Wase clepyd Verdownys,

That dowghtty wase and bold,

Torren, Jakys, and Amyas,

And an Erylles son, that hyght Torren),

A nother Iakys of Berweyne,

f. 82a.

The forthe was Amyas bold. 345

and Princess Eleanor.

The kynges dowghttyr of Gales lond,

Elyoner), I vndyrstond,

That worthy wase in hold,

337. after wol, be struck out MS.

340. ys] wase MS.

346-348 put before 343-345, MS.

She takes Torrent to his chamber,

In to hys chambyr sche hyme led,

Ther gold and syluyr wase spred, 350

And asur), that wase blo;

In yron ther he gan stond,

Body and armys al schynand,

In) powynt to trusse and goo.

and then all of them to the stable, where each chooses a horse.

In to a stabyll̴ sche hym led, 355

Eche toke a full̴ feyer) sted,

They were redy to goo;

And wote ye well̴ and vndyrstond,

Had the gyant be levand,

They had not partyd soo. 360

351. blo] blewe MS.

353. al sch.] lygand (!) MS.

354. trusse] corrected from truste.

357. redy] om. MS.

358. wote] with paler ink corrected from what.

359. Had] corrected out of han.
byn follows, almost entirely erased.
gyant] t corrected from d.


They woll̴ not to bed gange,

Tyll̴ on the morrow the Day spronge,

Thus a wey to ffare.


Torrant sperryd the gattys, i-wyse,

All̴ that he lyst he clepyd hys, 365

The keys and thyng he bare.

Torrent feeds the lions on the Giant’s body,

The lyons that was at the dore

Wase led to her) mayster that wase befor),

On hym thay fed them yare,

Vpp won of the horse, that wase ther) levyd, 370

and puts his head on a horse.

On hym thei trussyd the gyanttes heved.

Thus helpt hym god thar).

361. gange] gan MS.
lle on the struck out, follows.

366. keys] e written with paler ink above the line.

367. lyons that was] lyone MS.

369. Vn (!) MS.
hym] y corrected out of e MS.
thay] corrected from that.
yare] ther MS.

371. Vn (!) MS.
thei] i written above the line.
hed MS.

372. ther MS.



But ore III wekes wer) commyn) to End,

He goes back to Portugal.

To Portynggall̴ gan he wend,

Ther) ase the kyng gan lend; 375

The porter) sawe hym ther he stood,

He fled a wey, ase he were wod,

f. 82b.

Flyngyng ase a fynd.

‘Syr kyng,’ he seyd, ‘be goddes dede,

Torrant bryngythe a devyll̴ ys hed, 380

Ther with he woll̴ yow present.’

Desonell̴ seyd: ‘Porter), be styll̴!’ . . .

In hys walke ther ase he went.

373. were] ther, struck out, and were written over.

375. lend] lye MS.

376. sawe h. th.] ther sawe he MS.


The kyng to the gatys gan pase,

Gret lordes that ther wase, 385

Bothe knyghtes and squyerre,

The King and his Lords are afraid of the lions.

Lordes wase full̴ sore a-dred

Fore the lyonys, þat he had,

They durst not come hyme ner).


The kyng seyd: ‘I wyll̴ the kysse, 390

Durst I for) thy bestes, Iwysse.’

Torrent dyd them ly ther),

Torrent kisses the King of Portugal.

And kyssyd the kyng with joy and blyse;

And aftyr, other lordes of hys,

And aftyr, ladys clere. 395

386. squyerres MS.

390. the] hym MS.

395. aftyr] other add. (!) MS.
clere] jent MS.



Messengyres went the weye,

The King of Provyns is glad

To the kyng of Provyns to sey,

Hys sone ys owt of hold:

‘Yyng Torrent of Portynggall̴

Hathe browght hym owt of balle 400

And slayne the jeyant bold.’

Lytyll̴ and mykyll̴ þat ther wer),

f. 83a.

All̴ they mad good cher

Her) prynse fayne se wold.

of his son Verdownys’s safety

The kyng seyd: ‘So mot I the, 405

I woll̴ geff the towynnys thre

For) the talles thow hast me told.’

396. went] to (!) MS.

397. after Provyns I MS.

399. Yoyng MS.

405. kyng seyd] kynges messengere MS.

405-7 put before 402-4.


Than seyd they, that to Gales yede,

Yeftys to take were hem no ned,

Then Verdownys had they. 410

Ase they seyłyd on a tyde,

At Perrown) on the see syd

. . . . . . . . . . .

The kyng of Provynse seyd: ‘So mot I the,

and promises Torrent gifts.

Yftles schall̴ they not be, 415

That dare I sothely sey.’

16 The King of Gales offers Torrent his daughter.

The kyng of Gales proferd hym feyer):

‘Wed my dowghttyr and myn Eyer),

When so euyr) thow may! . . . . .

408. Than—that] That they than MS.
Gales] with paler ink corrected from Calles.
yede] corrected from went.

409. take] om. MS.
hym MS.

410. Then Downys MS.

417. gales] g with paler ink corrected from c.



The kyng of Pervense seyd: ‘So mot I the, 420

Thys seson) yeftles schall̴ thow not be,

Haue here my Ryng of gold,

The King of Provyns gives Torrent his Sword

My sword, that so wyll̴ ys wrowyt;

A better than) yt know I nowght

With in) crystyn) mold; 425

Yt ys ase glemyrryng ase the glase,

made by Weland,

Thorrow Velond wroght yt wase,

Bettyr ys non) to hold.

I have syne sum tyme in) lond,

Whoso had yt of myn) hond, 430

Fawe they were I-told.’

429. Loke thou hold yt with fulle hond, add. MS.

431. I fawght therfore I told MS.


Tho wase Torrent blythe and glad,

The good swerd ther he had,

and named Adolake.

The name wase Adolake.

A gret maynerey let he make ryght 435

A fortnight’s Feast is held.

That lest all̴ a fortnyght,

f. 83b.

Who so will̴ hys met take.

Euyry man toke ys leve, ase I yow say,

Hom-ward to wend ther wey,

Euery man ys Rest to take. 440

Tyll̴ yt be-fell̴ vppon a day,

Ase they went be the wey,

The kyng to hys dowghttyr spake:

435. mayn.] mayne let, with paler ink corrected into mayney.
ryght] om. MS.

438. I] om. MS.

440. to take ys Rest MS.



The King of Portugal tells Desonell

‘Ye schall̴ take hed of a jeentyll̴ man),

A feyer) poynt for) yow he wane, 445

Desonell̴, at the last.’

‘Syr,’ sche seyd, ‘be hevyn kyng,

Tyll̴ ye me told, I knewe no thyng,

For who ys love yt wase.’

‘Desonell̴, so mvt I the, 450

that Torrent kild the Giant for love of her.

Yt wase for the lowe of the,

That he trovylld so fast.

I warne yow, dowghttyr, be the Rode,

Yt ys for yow bothe good,

Ther to I Red yow trast.’ 455

455. trust MS.

She gives Torrent a white steed

Forthe sche browght a whyt sted,

As whyt as the flowyr in) med,

Ys fytte blac ase slon.

‘Leman), haue here thys fole,

That dethe ys dynt schalt þou not thole, 460

Whyll̴ thow settyste hyme appon),

And yf thow had persewyd be

And hadyst ned fore to fle,

Fast for to gone.

which the King of Nazareth had sent her.

The kyng of Nazareth sent hym me, 465

Torrent, I wet-saffe hym on the,

f. 84a.

For better love may I none.’

458. slo MS.

460. thole] haue MS.

461. settythe MS.

462. p’revyd (!) MS.

465. So Fragm. I (F. I); The kyng of Portynggalle seyd: ‘So mot I the MS.

466. hym on] so F. I; of MS.


Aftyr-ward vppon a tyd,

Ase the went be the watyres syd,

The kyng and yong Torrent, 470

18 The King

The kyng wold fayne, that he ded wer),

And he wyst, in) what maner),

How he schuld be schent;


A false lettyr mad the kyng

And dyd messengyres forthe yt bryng, 475

On the Rever), ase they went,

asks Torrent to get Desonell a Falcon

To Torrent, that was trew ase styll̴,

Yf he love Desonell̴ wyll̴,

Get her a facon) jent.

471. ded were] so F. I; were ded MS.

472. he] so F. I; hym MS.

477. that was] so F. I; om. MS.



Torrent the letter be-gan) to Red, 480

The kyng lestyned & nere yed,

Ase he yt nevyr ad sene.

‘Syr,’ he seyd, ‘what may thys be,

Loo, lord, come ner) and see,

A-bowght a facon) schene? 485

I ne wot, so god me sped,

In what lond that they bred.’

The kyng answerd: ‘I wene,

from the Forest of Magdalen.

In the forrest of Mavdeleyn),

Ther be hawkes, ase I herd seyne, 490

That byn of lenage clen).’

482. syne MS.

487. that] so F. I; om. MS.
they] ne add. (!) MS.

489. Mavd.] so F. I; Mavdlen MS.

491. clen)] gene MS.


And than seyd the kyng on-trew:

‘Yf thow get hawkys of gret valew,

Bryng on of them to me!’

f. 84b.

Torrent Seyd: ‘So god me saue, 495

He agrees to do it.

Yf yt be-tyd, that I may haue,

At yowr wyll̴ they schal be.’

Hys squyere bode he thar),

Aftyr hys armor) for to far),

In the fyld byddythe he. 500

19 Torrent rides

They armyd hym in) hys wed,

Tho he be-strod a noble sted,

And forthe than Rod hee.

498. squyere] so F. II; squyeres MS.
there MS.



Torrent toke the wey a-geyn)

to the Forest of Magdalen,

In to the forest of Mawdleyn), 505

In the wyld-some way;

Berys and apes there founde he,

And wylde bestys great plente,

And lyons where they lay.

In a wod that wase tyght, 510

Yt Drew nere-hand nyght

By dymmynge of the Day,

Harkyn, lordes, to them came wo,

gets separated from his Squire,

He and hys squyer) partyd in two,

Carfull̴ men then were they. 515

502. noble] so F. II; nothere MS.

507-509: so F. II:

Berrys he sawe stondyng

And wyld bestes ther goyng,

Gret lyonys ther he fond.   MS.

510. tyght] so F. II; thyke MS.

512. By d.] so F. II; And ine the Dawnyng MS.

513. to—wo] so F. II;
to] of F. II.
what I schalle sey MS.

514. in two] so F. II; they MS.

515. men—they] so F. II; they were that Day MS.


At the schedyng of a Rome

Eche partyd other frome,

For sothe, ase I vndyrstond.

Torrent toke a dulful wey

Downe in) a depe valey 520

Be-syd a well̴ strong.

A lytyll̴ be fore mydnyght

and comes on a Dragon.

Of a dragon he had syght,

That grysly wase to fond;

He had hym nowght to were, 525

f. 85a.

But hys schyld and hys spere,

That wase in) hys squyeres hond.

524. fond] syght MS.




Torrent knelyd on hys kne,

Torrent prays to Christ

To Iesu Cryst prayd he:

‘Lord, mykyll̴ of myght, 530

Syne I wase in) meche care,

Let me nevuyr) owt of thys world far),

Tyll̴ I haue take order of knyght.

Ase I ame falsely hether) sent,

Wyld-som weyes haue I went, 535

With fyndes for to fyght.

Now, Iesu, for thy holy name,

Ase I ame but man) a-lone,

to be his help.

Than) be my helpe to nyght!’

532. thys] hys (!) MS.

533. haue] or add. (!) MS.
order] othere (!) MS.


Ase Torrent Iesu gan) pray, 540

He herd the dragon), ther he lay

Vndyr-nethe a clow;

Of and on he wase stronge,

The Dragon’s tail is 7 yards long,

Hys tayle wase VII yerdes long,

That aftyr hyme he drowe; 545

Hys wyngges wase long and wyght,

To the chyld he toke a flyght

With an howge swowe;

Had he nether) schyld ne spere,

But prayd to god, he schold hyme were, 550

For he wase in dred i-nowe.

542. clow] colod or colvd, l corrected from d, MS.

543. and] an MS.

545. drewe MS.

548. swowe] swayne (!) MS.

551. inowthe MS.

and has a fiery head on it.

On the tayle an hed ther) wase,

f. 85b.

That byrnyd Bryght as anny glase,

In fyer whan yt was dyght;


A-bowght the schyld he lappyd yt ther), 555

Torrent the bowght a-sondyr schere

Thurrow the grace of god almyght.

As the boke of Rome tellys,

Torrent cuts 4 ells off the Dragon’s tail;

Of hys taylle he cut IIII elles

With hys swerd so bryght. 560

Than cryed the lothely thyng,

That all̴ the dall̴ be-gan to Ryng,

That hard the gyant wyght.

554. yt] he MS.

558. Tellys] tellythe MS.

563. That the gyant hard wyght MS.



The gyant seyd: ‘I vndyrstond,

There ys sum crystyn) man) nere hond, 565

My dragon here I cry.

and while its Giant-owner is getting ready to help it,

By hym, that schope bothe watyr) and lond,

All̴ that I can se be-fore me stond,

Dere schall̴ they a-bye!

Me thynkythe, I here my dragon) schowt, 570

I deme, ther be svme dowghtty man) hym a-bowght,

I trow, to long I ly.

Yf I dwell̴ in my pyll̴ of ston),

And my cheff-foster were gone,

A false mayster were I!’ 575

574. foster] st corr. out of t.


Be the gyant wase Redy dyght,

Torrent kills it.

Torrent had slayne the dragon) Ryght;

Thus gan god hyme scheld.

To the mownteyne he toke the wey

To Rest hyme, all̴ that day, 580

He had myster, to be kyld.

f. 87a.T1

Tyll̴ the day be-gan to spryng,

Fowllys gan myrre to syng

Bothe in) frethe and in feld.


Leve we now of Torrent thore 585

Torrent’s Squire

And speke we of thys squyer) more:

Iesu hys sole fro hell̴ shyld!

581. kyllyd MS.

585. there MS.

T1. There is no f. 86 in the paging of the MS.


rides all night in a wood,

Hys squyer) Rod all̴ nyght

In a wod, that wase full̴ tyght,

With meche care and gret fare, 590

For to seke hys lord Torrent,

That wyghtly wase frome hyme sent,

And he wyst nevyr) whethyr ne whar).

He Durst neuyr) cry ne schuot,

For wyld bestes were hym a-bowght 595

In) the holttes hare;

A lytyl whyll̴ be-fore the day

He toke in) to a Ryde-wey

Hyme self to meche care.

592. wysly MS.

593. wher MS.

595. wyld] wyd MS.

596. hore MS.

597. lyty MS.


Forthe he Rod, I vndyrstond, 600

till he finds a highway,

Tyll̴ he an hey wey fond,

With-owtyn) any Delite,

Also fast ase he myght fare,

Fore berrys and apys, þat ther ware,

Lest they wold hym byght. 605

The sone a-Rose and schone bryght,

Of a castyll̴ he had a syght,

That wase bothe feyer) and whyte . . . .

602. Delite] delay MS.

604. were MS.

and is met by a Giant.

The gyant him se, & ny yed,

And seyd: ‘Fellow, so god me sped, 610

f. 87b.

Thow art welcom to me:

What dost thow here in my forest?’

‘Lord, to seke an hawkys nest,

Yff yt yowr wyl be.’


‘The be-hovythe to ley a wede.’ 615

To an oke he hym led:

Gret Ruthe yt wase to se.

The Giant cuts Torrent’s Squire into 4 quarters.

In IIII quarteres he hym drowe,

And euery quarter vppon a bowe;

Lord, soche weys toke hee! 620

609. hem MS.

618. drewe MS.



Ase Torrent in) the movnteyn) dyd ly,

Hym thowght, he hard a Reufull̴ cry;

Gret fere ther hyme thowght.

‘Seynt Marre,’ seyd the chyld so fre,

‘Wher euyr) my jentyll̴ squyer) myght be, 625

That I with me to wod browght?

On he dyd hys harnes a-geyne

And worthe on hys sted, serteyne,

And thetherward he sowght.

And wot yow wyll̴, I vndyrstond, 630

Torrent finds these,

In fowre quartyres he hym fownd,

For other wyse wase yt nowght.

624. fre] fer MS.

630. wot] w add. (!) MS.


The gyant lenyd to a tre

And be-hyld Torrent so free,

For sothe, ase I yow seye. 635

Thys fend wase ferly to fyght,

Rochense, seythe the boke, he hyght,

Ther wase a dredfull̴ fraye.

and is attackt by this giant Rochense.

To the chyld than) gan he smyght:

‘A theff, yeld the asttyt, 640

f. 88a.

As fast as thow may!’

‘What,’ seyd Torrent, ‘art thow wood?

God, that Dyed on the Rood,

Geff the evyll̴ happe thys day!’

635. I] om. MS.




He Rawght Torrent soche a Rowght, 645

Torrent’s steed is kild.

Hys steddes brayne he smot owte,

So mykyll̴ he be-gan).

Torrent tho a good sped

Ase fast a-bowte an eche yede;

Ase swefte ase he myght, he Ran. 650

He gathyred svm of hys gere,

Bothe hys schyld and hys spere;

Nere hym yod he than).

He drives the Giant back

Bacward than be a browȝ

Twenty fote he gard hyme goo, 655

Thus erthe on hym he wane.

649. yede] went MS.

650. he Ran] Ryne MS.


Yt solasyd Torrant then),

When he sawe hyme bacward ren

Downe be a movnteyn) of Perowne,

Stomlyng thurrow frythe and fen), 660

into a deep glen,

Tyll̴ he com to a depe glen,

Ther myght non hym stere.

Torrent wase glad and folowyd fast,

And hys spere on hyme he brast,

Good Adyloke yed hyme nere. 665

where he stands in water.

The fynd in) the watyr stod,

He fawte a-geyn, ase he were wod,

All̴ þe day in) fere.

657. than MS.

658. ren] Rond (!) MS.

661. glen] thorne MS.

662. stere] schere MS.

668. þe] the add. (!) MS.

f. 88b.

Tho nere hond wase the day gone,

Torrent wase so werry than) 670

That on hys kne he kneld:

Torrent prays God for help.

‘Helpe, god, that all̴ may!

Desonell̴, haue good day!’

Fro hym he cest hys schyld.


Iesu wold not, he were slayne, 675

Jesus freshens up Torrent.

To hym he sent a schowyr) of Rayne,

Torrent full̴ wyll̴ yt keld.

The fynd saw, he wase ny mate,

Owt of the watyr he toke the gate,

He thowght to wyne the fyld. 680

671. knelyd he MS.

677. kelyd MS.



Thoo wase Torrent ffresse and good;

Nere the fynd sore he stod,

Cryst hym saue and see!

The Giant attacks again.

The fynd fawt with an yron) staff,

The fyrst stroke, to hym he gaffe, 685

He brast hys schyld on thre.

Torrent vndyr hys staff Rane,

Torrent runs him thro’ the heart,

To the hart he baryd hym than),

And lothely cry gane he.

To the grownd he fell̴ ase tyght, 690

cuts his head off,

And Torrent gan hys hed of-smyght,

And thus he wynnythe the gre.

690. gownd MS.


Torrent knelyd on the grownd

And thankyd god þat ylke stownd,

That soche grace hyme send. 695

Thus II journeys in thys woo

With hys handes slow he gyantys too,

f. 89a.

That meny a man) hathe schent.

Torrent forthe frome hyme þan yod,

finds him 24 ft.

And met hyme XXIIII fotte, 700

Ther he lay on the bent.

Hedles he left hym there,

Howt of the fyld the hed he bare

long, and goes to his Castle.

And to the castell̴ he went.]

697. he] II MS.



Torrent goes to the Giant’s

To thys castell̴ he gan far); 705

Ther fond he armor) and other) gare,

A swerd, that wase bryght.

To the towre he toke the wey,

Ther the gyantes bed lay,

That Rychyly wase dyght. 710

At the beddes hed he fond

Castle, and finds a splendid sword,

A swerd, worthe an Erllys lond,

That meche wase of myght.

On the pomell̴ yt wase wret,

Fro a prynce yt wase get, 715

Mownpolyardnus he hyght.

706. gere MS.


The sarten to sey with-owt lese,

A scheff-chambyr) he hym ches,

Tyll̴ on the morrow day.

To the stabull̴ tho he yed, 720

and a noble white steed.

There he fond a nobyll̴ sted,

Wase comely whyt and grey.

With the heads of the Giant and Dragon, Torrent

The gyanttes hed gan he take,

And the dragonnys wold he not forsake,

And went forthe on hys wey. 725

He left mor) good in that sale

f. 89b.

Than wase with in) all̴ Portynggall̴,

Ther ase the gyant laye.

717. to sey] om. MS.

718. he] sche MS.
chesys (!) MS.

720. yod MS.

rides back to Portugal.

Tho he Rod bothe Day and nyght,

Tyll̴ he come to a castell̴ bryght, 730

Ther ys lord gan dwell̴.

The kyng ys gone to the gate,

Torrent on kne he fond ther at,

Schort tall̴ for to tell̴.

27 Torrent gives the King the Giant’s and Dragon’s heads instead of a Falcon,

‘Haue thow thys in) thyn) hond: 735

No nother hawkys ther I fond

At Mawdlenys well̴.’

The kyng quod: ‘Ase so haue I blyse,

Torrent, I trow, sybbe ys

To the dewell̴ of hell̴! . . . . 740

738. quod] om. (!) MS.

739. sybbe] sylke MS.



‘Here be syd dwellythe won on lond,

Ther ys no knyght, hys dynt may stond,

So stronge he ys in dede!’

‘Syr),’ he sayd, ‘fore sen Iame,

What ys the gyantes name, 745

So Euyr good me sped?’

and says the Giant Rochense was Slogus of Fuolles.

‘Syr),’ he seyd, ‘so mvt I the,

Slogus of Fuolles, thus hyte hee,

That wyt ys vndyr wede.’ . . . . . .

742. knyght hys] knyghtes MS.

743. in d.] on grond MS.


Lytyll̴ and mykyll̴, lese and more, 750

Wondyr on the heddes thore,

That Torrent had browght whome.

The Lordes seyd ‘Be sen Myhell̴!

Syr kyng, but ye love hyme wyll̴,

To yow yt ys gret schame!’ 755

f. 90a.

Torent ordeynyd prystes fyve,

To syng for hys squyerys lyve,

And menythe hym by name.

Therfor) the lady whyt ase swane

Desonell gives her heart to Torrent.

To Torrant, here lord, sche went than), 760

Here hert wase to hyme tane.

752. browght] ho add. (!) MS.

753. The] om. MS.
seyd] he add. MS.
Myhelle] my her, r corrected to lle with paler ink.

756. prystes] V add. (!) MS.




Lettyrres come ther withalle

To the kyng of Portynggall̴,

The King of Aragon asks for Desonell for his youngest Son.

To ax hys dowghttyr Derre,

Fro the kyng of Eragon), 765

To wed her) to hys yongeest son),

The lady, that ys so clere.

For Torrent schuld not her) haue,

For hyme fyrst he here gafe,

To the messenger), 770

And hys way fast ageyn dyd pase,

Whyle Torrent an huntyng wase,

Ther of schuld he not be were.

762. ther withalle] hetherward MS.

769. For] To MS.

771. way] om. MS.

773. ware MS.


On a mornyng, ther ase he lay,

The Queen of Portugal wishes

The kyng to the quene gan sey: 775

‘Madame, for cherryte,

Thow art oftyn) hold wyse;

Now woll̴ ye tell̴ me yowr deuyce,

How I may governe me:

The Ryche kyng hathe to me sent, 780

For to aske my dowghttyr gente

That ys so feyer) and fre.’

‘Syr,’ sche Seyd, ‘so god me saue,

Torrent to have her. f. 90b.

I Red yow let Torent her haue,

For best worthy ys he.’ 785

775. The (quene to the) kyng to the quene gan sey MS.

779. That how MS.

781. aske] aseke MS.


He sayd: ‘Madame, were that feyer),

To make an erlles sone myn Eyer)?

The King refuses.

I will̴ not, by sen Iame!

There he hathe done maystres thre,

Yt ys hys swerd, yt ys not he, 790

For Hatheloke ys ys name.’


‘Lord, he myght full̴ wyll̴ sped,

A knyghtes dowghttyr wase hyme bed,

Ase whyt ase walles bane;

And yf ye warne hyme Desonell̴, 795

All that ther of here tell̴,

Ther of wyll̴ speke schame.’

790. hys] om. MS.

794. swalles (!) MS.
bone MS.

796. All] And MS.


The false King of Portugal

‘Madam, vnto thys tyd

There lythe a gyant here be-syd,

That many a man) hathe slayne. 800

plots to have Torrent kild by another Giant.

I schall̴ hyght hym my dowghttyr) dere,

To fyght with that fyndes fere,

Thus he holdythe hyme in) trayne.

But I schall̴ make myn commnant so,

That there schall̴ non with hyme go, 805

Neyther squyer) ne swayne.’

‘Syr),’ sche seyd, ‘so mvt I the,

So sore be-stad hathe he be,

And wyll̴ commyn) a-geyne!’

806. Neyther] om. MS.


Tho the belles be-gan to Ryng, 810

Vpe Rose that Ryche kyng,

And the lady so fre,

f. 91a. He and his Queen go to Mass.

And aftyr-ward they went to mase,

Ase the law of holy chyrge wase,

With notes and solemnyte. 815

Trompettys on the wall̴ gan blowe,

Knyghtes semlyd on a Rowe,

Gret joy wase to see.

Torrent sits at the head of a side table.

Torrent a syd bord began),

The squyeres nexte hym than, 820

That good knyghtes schuld be.

812. so fre] in feree MS.

815. nettes (!) MS.



The King asks Torrent if he’ll

Ase they sat a-myddes the mete,

The kyng wold not foreget;

To Torrent the kyng gan sey,

He seyd: ‘Torrent, so god me saue, 825

Thow woldes fayne my dowghttyr haue

And hast lovyd her) many a day.’

‘Ye, be trouthe,’ seyd Torrent than),

‘And yf þat I were a Ryche man),

Ryght gladly, par ma fay!’ 830

do a deed of arms for Desonell.

‘Yf thow durst for her sake

A poynt of armys vndyrtake,

Thow broke her) well̴ fore ay!’

822. a] so F. III; the MS.

825. saue] so F. III; sped MS.

830. gladly] so F. III; glad MS.

831. for h. s.] so F. III; par ma fay MS.

833. broke] so F. III; breke MS.

‘Yes,’ says Torrent.

‘Ye,’ seyd Torrent, ‘ar I ga,

Sekyrnes ye schall̴ me ma 835

Of yowr dowghttyr hend,

And aftyrward my ryghtys,

Be-fore XXVII knyghtes.’ . . . . . .

And all̴ were Torrentes frende.

f. 91b.

‘Now, good seris,’ gan Torrant sey, 840

‘Bere wittnes her of som Daye,

A-geyne yf god me send!’

834. go F. III; gan Rage MS.

835. make MS.

839. frenddes MS.


Torrent seyd: ‘So mvt I the

Wyst I, where my jorney schold be,

Thether I wolde me dyght.’ 845

The kyng gaff hyme an answere:

‘Then go to Calabria,

‘In the lond of Calabur ther)

Wonnythe a gyant wyhte,


And he ys bothe strong and bold,

Slochys he hyght, I the told, 850

and fight the Giant Slochys.’

God send the that waye Ryght!’

Than quod Torrent: ‘Haue good day,

And, or I come a-geyn), I schall̴ asay,

Whether the fynd can fyght.’

844. be] om. MS.

845. wolde] so F. III; om. MS.

848. wyhte] so F. III; whyte MS.

851. that w.] so F. III; ways MS.

852. good] goo MS.

853. Space left here for an initial letter of the largest size in MS.



Tho wold he no lenger) a-byde, 855

He toke ys wey for to Ryde

On a sted of gret valewe.

In to a chambyr) he gas,

Torrent takes leave of Desonell,

Hys leue of Desonell̴ he tas,

Sche wepte, all̴ men myght Rewe; 860

He seyd: ‘Lady, be styll̴!

I schall̴ come a-geyn the tyll̴,

Thurrow helpe of Marry trewe.’


Thus he worthe on a stede.

In hys wey Cryst hyme sped, 865

Fore he yt no thyng knewe!

856. Ryde] ryght MS.

858. gas] gothe MS.

859. tas] toke MS.

862. the] than MS.


He toke hym a Redy wey,

Thurrow Pervyns he toke the wey,

f. 91a.T2

As hys Iorney fell̴.

and rides to the Castle of the King of Provyns.

Tyll̴ the castell̴ Be the See, 870

An hy stret heldythe hee,

Ther the kyng dyd dwelle.

To the porter he gan seye:

‘Wynd in), fellow, I the pray,

And thy lord than tell̴, 875


Pray hym, on won nyght in) hys sale

To harburrow Torrent of Portynggall̴,

Yf yt Bee ys will̴!’

868. pvys MS.

871. And MS.

872. dyd dw.] dwellyd MS.

875. tyll MS.

878. Yf ys wille to Bee MS.

T2. There are two folios 91 in the MS.



The porter) Dyd hys commandment,

The King of Provyns

To the kynge he ys wente 880

And knelyd vppon) ys kne:

‘God blyse þe, lord, In thy sale!

Torrent of Portynggale

Thus sendythe me to the;

He praythe yow, yf ye myght, 885

To harburrow hym thys won) nyght,

Yf yowr will̴ yt bee.’

The kyng swere be hym, þat dyed on tre:

welcomes Torrent, and

‘There ys no man) in) crystyante

More welcome to me!’ 890


The kyng a-Rose and to the gat yod,

Lordes and other) knyghtes good,

That were glad of hys commyng.

In to the hale he hyme browght,

feeds him.

Ryche met spare they nowght, 895

Be-fore Torrent fore to bryng.

f. 91b.

‘Syr,’ sayd the kyng, ‘I pray the,

Where be thy men off armys free,

That with the schuld leng?’

‘Syr, to a lord I mvst Ryde, 900

Torrent’s sword is his only Squire.

My squyer hongythe be my syde,

No man schall̴ with me wend.’

892. knyges MS.

899. leng] wynd MS.


‘Syr,’ seyd the kyng, ‘I pray the,

Where schall̴ thy ded of armys bee,

Yf yt be thy wyll̴?’ 905

33 Torrent says he has to fight in Calabria.

‘Syr,’ he seyd, ‘vttyrly,

At Calabur, sekyrly,

I ame all̴ Redy ther tyll̴

With a squyer, þat will̴ can Ryde;

Fast be the see Sydde 910

Schuld we pley owur fyle;

And wot ye wyll̴ and vndyrstond,

Ther schall̴ no knyght come nere hond

Fore dred of denttes yll̴.’


The King of Provyns warns

The kynge seyd: ‘Be goddes ore, 915

I Rede, þat þou come not thore,

Fore why, I wyll̴ the seye:

Meche folke of that contre

Come hether) for) sokor) of me,

Bothe be nyght and day; 920

him against the terrible Giant there,

There ys a gyant of gret Renowne,

He dystrowythe bothe sete and towyn)

And all̴ þat euyr) he may;

And ase the boke of Rome dothe tell̴,

He wase get of the dewell̴ of hell̴, 925

As hys moder on slepe lay.’

915. kynges (!) MS.

916. there MS.

922. sete] second e corr. out of a MS.

f. 92a.

The kyng Seyd: ‘Be seynt Adryan),

I Rede, a nother Jentyll̴ mane

Be there and haue the gre:

I haue a dowghttyr, þat ys me dere, 930

and offers him his Daughter and 2 Duchies instead.

Thow schalt here wed to thy fere,

And, yf yt thy wyll be,

Two duchyes in londe

I wille geve here in) hande.’

‘Gramarcy, syr,’ sayd he, 935

34 Torrent says he must keep his troth.

‘With my tonge so haue I wrowght,

To breke my day than will̴ I nowght,

Nedys me behovythe ther to bee.’

929. the] so F. IV; om. MS.
degre MS.

932. So F. IV; om. (!) MS.

933. londe] honde F. IV; om. MS.

935. syr s. h.] so F. IV; seyd he thane MS.



‘In goddes name,’ the kyng gane sayne,

‘Iesu send the will̴ a-geyne, 940

Lord so mekyll̴ of myghte!’

Menstrelles was them a-monge,

Trompettes, harpys, and myrre songe,

Delycyous nottis on hyght.

When tyme was, to bed they wente; 945

On the morrow Rose Torrente

And toke leve of kyng and knyght

He starts,

And toke a Redy weyye,

Be a see syd as yt laye,

God send hym gattes Ryght! 950

947. of] so F. IV; on MS.

948. toke] so F. IV; to MS.


A hye stret hathe he nome,

reaches Calabria,

In to Calabur he ys come

With in) to days ore III;

Soo come ther) folkes hym a-geyne,

Fast folloyng with cart and wayne, 955

Fro-ward the sytte.

‘Dere god!’ seyd Torrent nowe,

‘Leve folkes, what Eyllythe yow,

Soo fast fore to flee?’

and hears of the Giant.

‘There ys a gyante here be-syde, 960

In ale thys covntre fare and wyde

f. 92b.

No mane on lyve levythe hee.’

951. nome] so F. V; none MS.

952. come] so F. V; gone MS.

958. yow] nowe add. (!) MS.


‘Dere god,’ sayd Torrant thane,

‘Where schall̴ I fynd that lothly man)?’

Ther they answerd hym anone: 965


‘In a castyll̴ be-syd the see,

Slongus, soo hyght hee,

Many a man had he slone.

The Giant Slongus is in Hungary;

We wot will̴ wher he doth ly:

Be-fore the cyte of Hungry; 970

He will̴ not thens gone,

Tyll̴ he haue the Ryche kyng)

To hys presone for to bryngg,

To be lord of hyme self a-lone.’

964. lothly] so Hall.; lovely MS.

965. anone] so F. V; a geyne MS.

968. slone] so F. V; slaylne (!) MS.

969. doth ly] so F. V; ys MS.

970. cyte] so F. V; knyghthod MS.
Hungry] so F. V; Hongrys MS.

971. thens] thus MS.



Tho wold he no lenger) a-byd, 975

But to the sytte gan he Ryde,

As fast as he myght fare;

he has broken the City gates,

Here barys fell̴ and broke downe,

And the gattes of gret Renowne

Stondyng) all̴ baree. 980

Men of armys stond hyme a-geyne,

and slain 50 men.

Mo than fyfty had he slayne

With gryme wounddes and sare.

When Torrent of hym had a syght,

Thowe Desonell̴ be neuyr) so bryght, 985

He will Reue hym hys chaffar).

986. hym] m corr. out of s. MS.
chaffer MS.


Torrent in) the storrope stod

And prayd to god, þat dyed on Rode:

Torrent prays to Christ for help.

‘Lord, ase thow schalt ale wyld at wyle,

Gyff me grace to wyn the fyld, 990

That thys lothly fynd hym yeld

A-non to me tyll̴!

36 f. 93a.

A man schall̴ But onnys Dyee,

I will̴ fyght, whill̴ I may Dryee.’

He mad cher) nobyll̴. 995

When he had Iesu prayd of grace,

He wyscheyd hyme a battell̴ plase,

Ther as hym lyst welle.

990. wynd (!) MS. vndyr nethe spere and schyld add. (!) MS.

991. lothly] om. MS.

995. nobill chere MS.

998. welle] were MS.



Torrent hys spere a-say be-gane,

Bothe schyld and spere than), 1000

That they were sekyr and good.

Torrent blows his horn.

Aftyr þat, with in a throwe,

Hys good horne gane he blowe.

The gyant sawe, wher) he stodde:

The Giant Slongus, of Flonthus,

Slonges of Flonthus staryd than); 1005

Quod Torrent: ‘Yf thow be a gentyll̴ man)

Or come of gentyll̴ blod,

Let thy beytyng and thy Ermyght be,

And come prove thy strenghe on me,

Therfor I sowght the, be the Rodde.’ 1010

1008. Let be thy b. a. t. erm. MS.


The gyant sayd: ‘Be the Roode,

Dewell̴ of hell̴ send the fode,

Hether to seche me:

says he’ll wring Torrent’s nose.

By the nose I schall̴ the wryng,

Thow berdles gadlyng), 1015

That all̴ hell̴ schall̴ thow see!’

The wey than to hym he toke

And on hys bake he bare a croke,

His Crook is 13 ft. long.

Wase X fot long and thre;

And thow he neuer so gret war), 1020

Torrent thowght not fare to fare,

f. 93b.

Tyll̴ wone of them ded bee.

1011. sayd] written above the line.

1017. he] so F. VI; om. MS.

1018. he] her MS.
croke] so F. VI; creke (!) MS.

1020. were MS.




Thoo wold Torrent no lenger) byd,

Torrent charges,

Tyll̴ the theff gan he Ryde,

Ase fast ase euyr) he may. 1025

The theff had non ey but on),

Soche sawe I neuer none,

Neyther) be nyght nor be day.

Thurrow goddes helpe and sent Awsden)

pierces the Giant’s eye,

The spere throw ye and herne gan ren. 1030

God send hym the Ryght wey;

Than the theff be-gane to Rore.

All̴ that in) the sytte wore,

Ouyr) the wallys they laye.

1024. the] f add. (!) MS.

1028. Blyther (!) MS.
nor] so F. VI; and MS.

1030. throw—ren] anon he toke to hym MS.

1033. wore] so F. VI; were MS.


Thow the fyndes ey were owte, 1035

Fast he leyd hym a-bowte

All̴ þat somyrres nyght;

He set ys backe to an hyll̴,

That Torrent schuld not come hym tyll̴,

So meche þat theff covd of fyght. 1040

He bled so sore, I vndyrstond,

Hys croke fell̴ owt of hys hond,

Hys dethe to hyme ys dyght.

then spears him thro’ the body,

Torrent to hyme Rane with a spere,

Thurrow the body he gan hym bere, 1045

Thus helpe hym god of myght.

1040. þat] þe add. MS.


All̴ that in) the sytte were,

Mad full̴ nobill̴ chere,

and kills him.

That thys fynd wase Dedde.

38 f. 94a.

Forthe they Ran with stavys of tre, 1050

Torrent seyd: ‘So mvt I the,

Torrent preserves the Giant’s head.

Kepe hole hys hed!

Yf yt be broke, so god me sped,

Yt ys wyll̴ the worse to lede.’

They dyd ase he hem bede, 1055

Mo than thre hunderd on a throng

Yt ys solas Euyr) a-mong

Whan that he was dede.

1047. That alle MS.

1054. lede] Rede, struck out and lede added in paler ink.

1055. That seson they MS.
he hem] hyme (!) MS.
bede] bad MS.

1057 put before 1056 MS.


The King of Calabria

Than) the kyng of Calaber ayen) hym went,

Torrent be the hond he hent, 1060

To the hall̴ he gan) hym lede

And comaundid squiers two,

Of hys harnes for to do

And cloth hym) in another wede.

Waytes on the wall̴ gan blowe, 1065

Knyghtis assemled on a Rowe,

feasts him,

And sith to the deyse they yede;

‘Sir,’ quod the kyng, ‘of whens are ye?’

‘Of Portingale, sir,’ said he,

‘I com heder, to sech my dede.’ 1070

1062. two] tho MS.

1063. hys] her MS.

1070. deth MS.


Full̴ curtesly the kyng gan say

To Torrent on the oþure day:

‘Wyll̴ ye wend with me

A litull̴ here be-side to passe,

There as the Geauntes dwelling was 1075

His maner now for to see?’

and takes him to the Giant’s Castle.

To the castell̴ gan) they gone,

Richer saw they never none,

Better myght none be.

39 The King of Calabria gives Torrent the Giant’s castle,

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘be god all̴-myȝt), 1080

For thou hym) slew, þat it dight,

I vouche it saue on the,

1072. To T.] Torrent said MS.

1081. it] is MS.


f. 94b.

‘I yeve yt the, sir, of my hond,

and an Earldom.

And there-to, an erledome of my lond,

For soth, ye shall̴ it haue; 1085

Omage thou shalte none nor ffyne,

But euer more to the and thyne,

Frely, so god me saue!’

Lordys, and ye liston wold,

The Castle’s name is Cardon.

What was clepud the riche hold: 1090

The castell̴ of Cardon), by sawe.

Two days or thre dwellith he thare

And sith he takythe leve to ffare,

Both at knyght and knave.

1083. yt] om. MS.
of] alle add. MS.
hond] lond MS.

1084. my] om. MS.

1086. nor] om. MS.

1091. by s.] om. MS.

1092. there MS.


By the kyng of Pervens he gan gane, 1095

That he had oute of preson i-tane

His son vppon a day.

Gentilmen were blith and ffayn),

That he in helth was comyn) agayn),

That they myght with hym) play. 1100

Torrent hears that Desonell is to marry a strange King.

There of herd he, sertaynle,

That Desonell̴ wedid shold be

With an vncouth Ray.

And listonyth, lordis, of a chaunce,

Howe he lefte his countenaunce 1105

And takyth hym) armes gay!

1098. leve] the way MS.

1096. of preson] om. MS.

1101. sertayn MS.

1103. vnc.] a add. MS.



The King of Provyns knights Torrent.

By-fore the kyng he fell̴ on kne:

‘Good lord,’ he said, ‘for charite,

Yeve me order of knyght!

I wott well̴, leryd are ye, 1110

My lordys doughter shall̴ wed be

To a man) off myght.’

f. 95a.

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘I trow, she mone

To the prynce off Aragon),

By this day sevynnyght. 1115

Swith,’ he seith, ‘that this be done,

That thou be there and wyn) thy shone,

Gete the armes bryght.’

1110. ye are leryd MS.

1111. be wed MS.

1115 and 1118 have changed their place in the MS.

Torrent has

Sir Torrent ordenyth hym a sheld,

It was ryche in euery ffeld, 1120

Listonyth, what he bare:

an azure shield with a gold squire on it;

On aȝure a squier off gold,

Richely bett on mold;

Listonyth, what he ware:

and a grinning dragon of gold on the crest of his helmet.

A dragon) lying hym be-syde, 1125

His mouth grennyng full̴ wyde,

All̴ ffyghtyng as they were;

The creste, that on his hede shold stond,

Hit was all̴ gold shynand,

Thus previd he hym) there. 1130

1122. On] of MS.


Lordys assembelid in sale,

Well̴ mo than I haue in tale,

Or ellis gret wonder were.

He hears that Desonell’s marriage is certain.

There herd he tell̴ ffor certan),

That Desonell̴ wed shold be than), 1135

That was hym selfe ffull̴ dere.


And whan) he herd of that ffare,

Wors tydingis than were thare,

Might he none gladly here . . . . . . .

1134. he] l MS.



He wold not in passe, 1140

Till̴ at the myd mete was

The kyng and meny a knyght;

As they satt at theyre mete glade,

Torrent rides into the Hall where Desonell is,

In at the hall̴ dur he rade

f. 95b.

In armes ffeyre and bryght, 1145

With a squier, that is ffre;

Vp to the lady ryduth he,

That rychely was i-dight.

and challenges any one to fight him for her.

‘Lordys,’ he said, ‘among you all̴

I chalenge thre coursus in the hall̴, 1150

Or Delyuer her me with right!’

1141. at] om. MS.

1143. mete] om. MS.

1144. he] they MS.

1151. Delyuer it me MS.


The kyng of Aragon) sett her bye,

And he defendid her nobely:

‘I wyll̴ none delyuer the.’

The Prince of Aragon accepts,

His son said: ‘So muste I thryve, 1155

There shall̴ no man just for my wiffe;

But yf youre wyll̴ it be,

For her love did I never no dede,

I shall̴ to day, so god me spede:

Be-hold and ye shall̴ se.’ 1160

‘Alas!’ said Desonell̴ the dere,

‘Full̴ longe may I sitt here,

Or Torrent chalenge me.’

and the lists are made ready.

Trumpettes blew in the prese,

Lordys stond on the grese, 1165

Ladyes lay ouer and be-held.

42 Torrent

The prynce and Torrent then

Eyther to other gan ren),

Smertely in that ffeld;

Torrent sett on hym) so sore, 1170

unhorses the Prince of Aragon,

That hors and man down) he bore,

And all̴ to-sheverd his sheld.

So they tombelid all̴ in ffere,

That afterward of VII yere

The prynce none armes myght weld. 1175

1165. the grese] reugis or rengis MS.



Torrent said: ‘So god me saue,

f. 96a.

Other two coursus wyll̴ I haue,

Yf ye do me law of lond.’

Gret lordys stond styll̴,

They said nether good ne yll̴ 1180

For tynding of his hond.

and he is carried indoors.

The prynce of Aragon) in they barr)

With litull̴ worshipp and sydes sare,

He had no fote on ffor to stond.

Thus thes lordys justid aye; 1185

Better they had to haue be away,

Suche comffort there he ffond.

1167. than MS.

1186. they] he MS.

1187. ffound MS.


He wold not in passe,

At dinner,

Till̴ they at myd mete was,

On the other day at none. 1190

His squiers habite he had,

Whan) he to the deyse yad,

With oute couped shone,

Torrent lays Slongus’s head on the table.

And the hede on) the bord he laid:

‘Lo, sir kyng, hold this,’ he said, 1195

‘Or ellis wroth we anon)!’


They sett still̴ at the bord,

None of hem spake one word,

But ryght that he had done.

1198. They spake nether ylle ne good add. (!) MS.



Torrent at the syde bord stode: 1200

Torrent proclaims the promise of the King of Portugal

‘Lystonyth, lordynges, gentill̴ of blood,

For the love of god all̴-myght:

to give him Desonell, and half Portugal, if he slew Slongus.

The kyng heyght me his doughter dere,

To ffyght with a ffendys ffere,

That wekyd was and wight, 1205

To wed her to my wyffe,

And halffe his kyngdome be his liffe,

And after his days all̴ his ryght.

f. 96b.

Lokyth, lordys, you among, [1210]

Whether he do me ryght or wrong!’ 1210

Tho waried hym) both kyng & knyght.

1211. &] ky, struck out, add. MS.

The King of Aragon

Tho said the kyng of Aragon, i-wys:

‘Torrent, I wiste no thing of thys,

A gret maister arte thou!’

The kyng sware be seynt Gryffen): 1215

‘With a sword thou shalte her wynne,

Or thou haue her nowe:

says his son has wedded Desonell.

For why, my son to her was wed,

Gret lordys to churche her led, [1220]

I take wittnes of all̴ you.’ 1220

‘Kyng Calamond, haue good day,

He will be revenged on the King of Portugal.

Thou shalt i-bye it, and I may,

To god I make avowe.’

1220. you alle MS.


The Emperoure of Rome ther was,

Be-twene thes kynges gan) he passe 1225

And said: ‘Lordys, as sone,

44 To settle the quarrel,

This squier, that hath brought this hede,

The kyng had wend he had be dede,

And a-venturly gan) he gone: [1230]

the Emperor suggests a fight between 2 Champions.

I rede you take a day of ryghtes, 1230

And do it vppon) two knyghtes,

And let no man) be slon)!’

Gret lordys, that were thare,

This talis lovid at that fare

And ordenyd that anon). 1235

1230. ryghtes] Restys MS.

1232. slayn MS.

1235. that] than MS.


The King of Aragon sends to the giant Cate

To the kyng the thoght com) was,

To send vnto Sathanas

For a geaunt, that hight Cate,

For to make hym) knyght to his hond [1240]

And sease hym) in all̴ his lond; 1240

f. 97a.

The messingere toke the gate.

Gret othes he sware hym than),

That he shold ffyght but with one man),

And purvey hym he bad

Iryn stavis two or thre, 1245

to fight Torrent

For to ffyght with Torent ffre,

Though he there of ne watt.

1236. the thoght om. MS.

1247. wott MS.


Than take counsell̴ kyng and knyght,

On lond that he shold not ffyght, [1250]

But ffar oute in the see, 1250

on an island

In an yle long and brad;

A gret payn) there was made,

That holdyn) shold it be.

Yf Cate slow Torent, that ffre ys,

for half Portugal.

Halfe Portyngale shold be his, 1255

To spend with dedys ffre;


And yf sir Torrent myght hym ouer-com),

He shold haue halfe Aragon),

Was better than suche thre. [1260]

1248. couns.] of add. MS.

1251. brod MS.


The Giant Cate comes to an Island.

The Gyaunt shipped in a while 1260

And sett hym) oute in an yle,

That was grow both grene and gay.

Sir Torrent com) prekand on a stede,

Richely armed in his wede;

‘Lordyngys,’ gan he say, 1265

‘It is semely ffor a knyght,

Vppon a stede ffor to ffyght.’

They said sone: ‘Nay,

He is so hevy, he can not ryde. [1270]

Torrent said: ‘Evill̴ mut he be-tyde, 1270

Falshode, woo worth it aye!’

f. 97b.

‘Sir, takyth housell̴ and shrefte!’

To god he did his hondys lifte,

And thankid hym of his sond:

Torrent prays for Christ’s help,

‘Iesu Cryste, I the praye, 1275

Send me myght and strengith this day

A-yen) the ffend to stond!’

To the shipp sir Torent went,

With the grace, god had hym sent, [1280]

That was never ffayland; 1280

All̴ the lordys of that contre,

Frome Rome vnto the Grekys se,

Stode and be-held on lond.

1278. This line begins with a big initial letter.
Torent] yode, struck out, add. MS.

1283. On lond stode and be held MS.

and lands in the Island too.

Whan sir Torrent in to the Ile was brought,

The shipmen) lenger wold tary nought, 1285

But hied hem sone ageyn);

46 The Giant

The Giaunt said: ‘So must I the,

Sir, thou art welcom to me,

Thy deth is not to layn)!’ [1290]

knocks Torrent’s staff out of his hand,

The ffirste stroke to hym he yaue, 1290

Oute of his hand flew his staff:

That thefe was full̴ fayn).

Tho sir Torent went nere Cate, . . . . .

He thought, he wold hym) haue slayn).



The theff couth no better wonne, 1295

and runs into the sea.

In to the see rennyth he sone,

As faste as he myght ffare.

Sir Torrent gaderid cobled stonys, [1300]

Good and handsom ffor the nonys,

That good and round ware; 1300

Torrent shies cobble-stones at him,

Meny of them to hym) he caste,

He threw stonys on hym so faste,

That he was sad and sare.

kills him, f. 98a.

To the ground he did hym fell̴,

Men) myght here the fend yell̴ 1305

Halfe a myle and mare.

1298. gad.] good add. MS.

1300. were MS.

1303. sore MS.

1306. more MS.


Sir Torent said, as he was wonne,

He thankid Iesu, Maryes son), [1310]

That kyng, that sent hym myȝt);

He said: ‘Lordys, for charite, 1310

A bote that ye send to me,

It is nere hand nyght!’

They Reysed a gale with a sayll̴,

and he is towd ashore.

The Geaunt to lond for to trayll̴,

All̴ men wonderid on that wight. 1315

Whan that they had so done,

Torrent is shipt to the mainland.

They went to sir Torent full̴ sone

And shipped that comly knyght. [1320]




The emperoure of Rome was there,

The kynges of Pervens and of Calabere yare, 1320

And other two or thre.

Torrent is awarded Desonell, territory,

They yaue sir Torent, that he wan,

Both the Erth and the woman),

And said, well̴ worthy was he.

Sir Torent had in Aragon) 1325

and the City of Cargon.

The riche Cite of Cargon)

And all̴ that riche contre;

Desonell is divorst from the Prince of Aragon.

Archbeshoppes, as the law fell̴, [1330]

Departid the prynce and Dissonell̴

With gret solempnite. 1330

1320. The kynges] om. MS.

1321. other] kynges add. MS.
or] the add. MS.


For sir Torent the fend did fall̴,

Gret lordys honoured hym) all̴

And for a doughty knyght hym) tase;

The King of Portugal acknowledges Torrent,

The kyng said: ‘I vnderstond,

f. 98b.

Thou hast fought ffor my doughter & my lond, 1335

And well̴ wonne her thou hase.’

He gaue to saint Nycholas de Barr)

A grett Erldome and a simarr) [1340]

That abbey of hym tas

For Iesus love, moch of myght, 1340

That hym helpith day & nyght,

Whan) he to the battell̴ gas.

1337. saint] sir MS.

1338. simarre] marr MS.

1339. tas] redith MS.

1342. gas] yode MS.


Lordys than) at the laste,

Echone on theyre way paste,

And euery man) to his. 1345

and the Queen is glad.

The quene of Portingale was ffayn),

That sir Torent was com agayn)

And thankyd god of this. [1350]

48 The King of Portugal bids Torrent

Than said the kyng: ‘I vnderstond,

Thou hast fought for my doughter & my lond, 1350

And art my ward, i-wys,

And I wyll̴ not ageyn) the say;

wait 6 months and a day for Desonell.

But abyde halfe yere and a day,

And broke her well̴ with blis!’



Torent said: ‘So muste I the, 1355

Sith it wyll̴ no better be,

I cord with that assent!’

After mete, as I you tell̴, [1360]

To speke with mayden) Desonell̴,


To her chamber he went. 1360

The damysell̴ so moche of pride

Set hym on) her bed-syde,

And said: ‘Welcom), verament!’

Such gestenyng he a-right,

passes a night with Desonell.

That there he dwellid all̴ nyȝt) 1365

f. 99a.

With that lady gent.


Sir Torent dwellid thare

Twelffe wekys and mare, [1370]

Till̴ letters com hym till̴

The King of Norway begs

Fro the kyng of Norway; 1370

For Iesus love he did hym praye,

Yf it were his wyll̴,

him to come and fight a Giant there.

He shold com as a doughty knyght,

With a Geaunt for to ffyght,

That wyll̴ his londys spyll̴; 1375

He wold hym yeve his doughter dere

And halfe Norway ffar and nere,

Both be hold and be hyll̴. [1380]




Sir Torent said: ‘So god me saue,

I-nough to lyve vppon I haue, 1380

I wyll̴ desire no more;

But it be, for Iesu is sake

A poynt of armes for to take,

That hath helpid me be-ffore.

gives all his land to the King for Desonell;

I yeve the here oute of my hond 1385

To thy doughter all̴ my lond,

Yf that I end thore.’

And whan) he toke his way to passe, [1390]

Mo than ffyfty with hym was,

That fals to hym) wore. 1390

1387. there MS.

1390. were MS.


Syr Torent to the lady went,

Full̴ curtesly and gent: . . . . .

‘Desonell̴, haue good day!

I muste now on my jurnay,

A kyngis lond for to fend. 1395

leaves 2 gold rings with her,

Thes gold rynges I shall̴ yeve the,

Kepe them well̴, my lady ffre,

Yf god a child vs send!’ [1400]

f. 99b.

She toke the ryngis with moche care,

Thries in sownyng fell̴ she thare, 1400

Whan she saw, that he wold wend.

1393. Denoselle MS.

1397. them] om. MS.

and goes on board ship with his steed and armour.

Shipp and takyll̴ they dight,

Stede and armour ffor to ffyght

To the bote they bare.

Gentilmen), that were hend, 1405

Toke her leve at theyre frend,

With hym ffor to fare.


Kyng Colomond, is not to layn), [1410]

He wold, that he cam nevure agayn);

There fore god yeff hym) care! 1410

So within the ffyfty dayes

Torrent gets to Norway.

He Come in to the lond of Norways,

Hard Contre ffound he thare.



Thus sir Torrent, for soth, is fare,

A noble wynd droffe hym) thare, 1415

Was blowyng oute of the weste.

Of the Coste of Norway they had a sight . . . [1419]

Of sayling they were all̴ preste.

So ffeyre a wynd had the knyght,

A litull̴ be-ffore the mydnyght 1420

He Rode be a foreste.

The shipmen tell him of a Giant.

The shipmen said: ‘We be shent;

Here dwellith a geaunt, verament,

On his lond are we kest!’

1424. kest] sett MS.


The maistershipmon) said: ‘Nowe 1425

I Rede, we take down) sayle & Rowe,

While we haue this tyde. [1430]

Sir,’ he said, ‘be god all̴myght,

The giant lieth euery nyght

On) the mowntayn) here be-syde; 1430

f. 100a.

My lord the kyng wyll̴ not ffyght,

Till̴ he of you haue a sight,

On you ys all̴ his pryde!’

Torrent resolves to land.

Sir Torrent said: ‘Here my hond!

Sith we be ryven on this lond, 1435

To nyght wyll̴ I ryde.’

1425. maistershipmen MS.

1429. lieth] here add. MS.

1434. Torerent MS.



Torrent and his knights arm.

Sir Torent armyd hym) anon [1440]

And his knyghtes euerychone

With sheld and spere in hond.

The shipmen) said: ‘As mut I thryve, 1440

I Rede, that euery man) other shryve,

Or that we go to the lond.’

Sir Torent said: ‘As god me spede,

We will̴ firste se that ffede,

My lord was never failand! 1445

Gentilmen, make chere good,

For Iesu love, that died on Rood, [1450]

He will̴ be oure waraunt!’

1445. fleand MS.

1446. make] made MS.

They reach the Forest of Brasill.

In a forest can) they passe,

Of Brasill̴, saith the boke, it was, 1450

With bowes brod and wyde.

Lyons and berys there they ffand

And wyld bestes aboute goand,

Reysing on euery side.

The coward knights flee to the ship,

Thes men) of armes, with trayn) 1455

To the shipp they flew agayn)

In to the see at that tyde; [1460]

Fast from land row they be-gan),

and leave Torrent alone.

A-bove they left that gentilman),

With wyld beestis to haue kyde. 1460

1451. bowes] browes MS.

1452. ffound MS.

1460. k corrected out of r.


The shipmen) of the same lond

Ryved vp, I vnderstond,

f. 100b.

In another lond off hold.

False tales of Torrent are told to the King of Norway.

To the chamber they toke the way,

There the kyng hym) selfe lay, 1465

And fals talis hym) told . . . . . .


For he wold not the geaunt abyde, [1470]

For all̴ this contrey feyre and wyde,

Thouȝ he yeff it hym wold.

1465 put before 1464 MS.



‘Sir kyng, ye haue youre selfe 1470

Erlis doughty be ten) or twelfe,

Better know I none:

Send youre messingeris ffar and wyde,

For to ffell̴ the geauntes pride,

That youre doughter hath tane.’ 1475

The King of Norway wants Torrent to come.

‘I had lever to haue that knyght;

With hym) is grace of god all̴myȝt),

To be here at his bane.’ [1480]

Full̴ litull̴ wist that riche kyng

Of sir Torrentes ryding 1480

In the forest all̴ alone.

1471. doughty be] om. MS.

1476. that] ky, struck out, add. MS.


Thorouȝ helpe of god that with hym was,

Fro the wyld bestis gan) he passe

To an hye hyll̴.

A litull̴ while be-fore the day 1485

He herd in a valey

A dynnyng and a yell̴. [1490]

Torrent rides up to 2 Dragons.

Theder than) riduth he,

To loke, what thing it myȝt be,

What adventure thare be-fell̴. 1490

It were two dragons stiff and strong,

Vppon) theyre lay they sat and song,

Be-side a depe well̴.

1490. thare] that MS.


Sir Torent said thanne

f. 101a.

To god, that made man) 1495

And died uppon) a tree:

53 Torrent prays to Christ,

‘Lord, as thou mayst all̴ weld, [1500]

Yeve me grace, to wyn) the feld

Of thes ffendys onfre!’

Whan he had his prayers made, 1500

Pertely to hem) he Rade

spears the first Dragon;

And one thorouȝ oute bare he.

Thus sped the knyght at his comyng

Thorough the helpe of hevyn) kyng:

Lord, lovid muste thou be! 1505

1499. onfre] ontrewe MS.

1502. he bare MS.



The other dragon wold not flee, . . . . .

But showith all̴ his myght; [1510]

He smote ffire, that lothely thing,

As it were the lightnyng,

Vppon) that comly knyght. 1510

There fore sir Torent wold not lett,

But on) the dragon) fast) he bett

and then kills the second.

And over-come that foule wight.

Tho anon the day sprong,

Fowles Rose, mery they song, 1515

The sonne a-Rose on hyȝt.

1507. shotith MS.

1516. hyȝe MS.


Torent of the day was full̴ blithe, [1520]

And of the valey he did hym) swith,

As fast as euer he may.

To a mowntayn) he rode ryght, 1520

He sees a Castle.

Of a castell̴ he had a sight

With towrys hyȝe and gay . . . . . .

He come in to an hyȝe strete,

Few folke gan) he mete,

To wis hym) the way. 1525

1525. wish MS.



Torrent rides to the Norse Giant’s castle gates.

To the gatys tho he Rade;

f. 101b.

Full̴ craftely they were made [1530]

Of Irun) and eke of tree.

One tre stonding there he ffond:

Nyne oxen) of that lond 1530

Shold not drawe the tre.

The Giaunt wrought vp his wall̴

And laid stonys gret and small̴:

A lothely man) was he.

‘Now,’ quod Torrent, ‘I not, whare, 1535

My squiers be ffro me to fare,

Euer waried they be! [1540]

1526. rode MS.

1529. ffound MS.

1532. welle MS.

1535. wot MS.

1537. they] thou MS.

He considers what he shall do,

‘Lord god, what is beste,

So Iesu me helpe, Est or Weste,

I Can not Rede to say. 1540

Yf I to the shipp fare,

No shipmen) ffynd I thare;

It is long, sith they were away.

Other wayes yf I wend,

Wyld bestis wyll̴ me shend: 1545

Falshede, woo worth it aye!

and resolves to fight.

I ffyght here, Iesu, for thy sake; [1560]

Lord, to me kepe thou take,

As thou best may!’

1540. say] done MS.

1542. And no MS.
I] om. MS.


Down) light this gentill̴ knyght, 1550

To Rest hym) a litull̴ wight,

And vnbrydelid his stede

He baits his steed.

And let hym) bayte on) the ground,

And aventid hym) in) that stound,

There of he had gret nede. 1555

55 The Norse Giant prepares to fight.

The Gyaunt yode and gaderid stone

And sye, where the knyght gan) gone, [1570]

f. 102a.

All̴ armed in dede;

And wot ye well̴ and not wene,

Whan eyther of hem had other sene, 1560

Smertely they rerid her dede.

1553. bayte] hym add. MS.

1561. they] om. MS.



For that sir Torent had hym sene,

He worth vppon his stede, I wene,

And Iesu prayde he till̴:

Torrent prays to Christ,

‘Mary son), thou here my bone, 1565

As I am) in venturus stad come,

My jurnay to full̴-ffyll̴!’ [1580]

A voys was fro hevyn) sent

and is cheerd by a voice from Heaven.

And said: ‘Be blith, sir Torent,

And yeve the no thing yll̴, 1570

To ffyght with my lordys enemy:

Whether that thou lyve or dye,

Thy mede the quyte he wyll̴!’

1566. sad MS.

1567. to] than MS.

1573. He wylle quyte the thy mede MS.


Be that the giaunt had hym dight,

The Giant advances against Torrent.

Cam) ageyn) that gentill̴ knyght, 1575

As bold as eny bore;

He bare on) his nek a croke, [1590]

Woo were the man), that he ouertoke,

It was twelfe ffote and more.

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘ffor charite, 1580

Loke, curtes man) that thou be,

Yf thy wyll̴ ware:

I haue so fought all̴ this nyght

With thy II dragons wekyd and wight,

They haue bett me full̴ sore.’ 1585



The Giant says he’ll punish

The Geaunt said: ‘Be my fay,

Wors tydinges to me this day [1600]

I myght not goodly here.

Thorough the valey as thou cam),

Torrent for killing his 2 Dragons

My two dragons hast thou slan), 1590

f. 102b.

My solempnite they were.

To the I haue full̴ good gate;

and his Brother Cate.

For thou slow my brother Cate,

That thou shalte by full̴ dere!’

Be-twene the giaunt and the knyght 1595

Men myght se buffettes right,

Who so had be there. [1610]

1590. slayne MS.


Sir Torent yaue to hym) a brayd;

He levid that the aungell̴ said,

Of deth yaue he nought. 1600

In to the brest he hym) bare,

His spere hede lefte he thare,

So evill̴ was hitt bythought.

The Giant’s crook cuts through Torrent’s shield to his flesh,

The Giaunt hym ayen) smate

Thorough his sheld and his plate, 1605

In to the flesh it sought;

And sith he pullith at his croke, [1620]

and sticks there.

So fast in to the flesh it toke,

That oute myȝt he gete it nought.

1600. nought] no dynt MS.

1603. byth.] mynt MS.


On hym) he hath it broke, 1610

Glad pluckys there he toke,

Set sadly and sare.


Sir Torent stalworth satt,

Oute of his handys he it gatt,

No lenger dwellid he thare. 1615

Torrent throws his shield and the Giant’s crook into the water.

In to the water he cast his sheld,

Croke and all̴ to-geders it held, [1630]

Fare after, how so euer it ffare.

The Giant goes in after them and is drowned.

The Geaunt folowid with all̴ his mayn),

And he come never quyk agayn): 1620

God wold, that so it ware.

1612. sore MS.

1615. there MS.


f. 103a.

Sir Torent bet hym) there,

Till̴ that this fend did were,

Or he thens wend.

On hym had he hurt but ane, 1625

Lesse myght be a mannus bane,

But god is full̴ hend: [1640]

Thorough grace of hym, that all̴ shall̴ weld,

There the knyght had the feld,

Torrent rides to the Giant’s castle,

Such grace god did hym) send. 1630

Be than it nyed nere hand nyȝt),

To a castell̴ he Rode right,

All̴ nyght there to lend.

1626. But lesse MS.


In the castell̴ found he nought,

That god on the Rode bought; 1635

High vppon) a toure,

As he caste a side lokyng, [1650]

and finds a fair Lady there.

He saw a lady in her bed syttyng,

White as lylye ffloure;

Vp a-Rose that lady bryght, 1640

And said: ‘Welcom), sir knyght,

That fast art in stoure!’


‘Damysell̴, welcom) mut thou be!

Torrent asks for a night’s lodging.

Graunt thou me, for charite,

Of one nyghtis soioure!’ 1645

1645. socoure MS.



‘By Mary,’ said that lady clere,

‘Me for-thinkith, that thou com) here, [1660]

The Lady says the Giant Weraunt will kill him.

Thy deth now is dight;

For here dwellith a geaunt,

He is clepud Weraunt, 1650

He is to the devill̴ be-taught.

To day at morn) he toke his croke,

Forth at the yates the way he toke,

f. 103b.

And said, he wold haue a draught;

And here be chambers two or thre, 1655

In one of hem I shall̴ hide the,

God the saue ffrome harmes right!’ [1670]

1650. Weraunt] weraumt (?) MS.

1651. to] of MS.


‘Certayn),’ tho said the knyght,

‘That theffe I saw to nyght,

Here be-side a slade. 1660

Torrent tells her to

He was a ferly freke in ffyght,

With hym faught a yong knyght,

Ech on other laid good lade;

Me thought well̴, as he stode,

He was of the fendus blood, 1665

So Rude was he made.

Dame, yf thou leve not me, [1680]

come and see the Giant.

Com) nere, and thou shalt se,

Which of hem abade.’

1660. slate or flate MS.

1663. lode MS.

1669. abode MS.


Blith was that lady bryght 1670

For to se that selly sight:

With the knyght went she.

59 The Norwegian Princess sees the Giant’s corpse,

Whan she cam, where the Geaunt lay,

‘Sir,’ she said, ‘parmaffay

I wott well̴, it is he. 1675

Other he was of god all̴-myght

Or seynt George, oure lady knyȝt), [1690]

That there his bane hath be.

Yf eny cryston) man smyte hym down),

and praises his slayer.

He is worthy to haue renown) 1680

Thorough oute all̴ crystiaunte.’

1671. selly] om. MS.



‘I haue wonder,’ said the knyght,

‘How he gate the, lady bryght,

Fro my lord the kyng.’

She tells Torrent f. 104a.

‘Sir,’ she said, ‘verament, 1685

As my fader on huntyng went

Erly in a mornyng, [1700]

Fore his men pursued a dere,

To his castell̴, that stondith here,

That doth my hondys wryng, 1690

that her Father gave her, as his ransom, to the Giant.

This Giaunt hym toke, wo he be!

For his love he gevith hym) me,

He wold none other thinge.’

1688. For MS.


Forth she brought bred and wyne,

Fayn) he was for to dyne . . . . . . 1695

This knyght made noble chere,

Though that he woundid were [1710]

With the Geaunt strong.


Sir Torrent dwellid no lenger thare,

Torrent takes her away.

Than) he myȝt away fare 1700

With that lady bryght.

60 Torrent longs for Desonell.

‘Now, Iesu, that made hell̴,

Send me on lyve to Desonell̴,

That I my trouth to plight!’

Tho sye they be a forest syde 1705

Men) of armes ffaste ride

On coursers comly dight. [1720]

The lady said: ‘So mvst I thee,

The Norwegian Princess sees her Father.

It is my fader, is com for me,

With the Geaunt to ffyght.’ 1710



An harood said anon) right:

‘Yon I se an armed knyght,

And no squier, but hym) one:

He is so big of bone & blood,

He is the Geaunt, be the Rode!’ 1715

Som) seith, he riduth vppon).

f. 104b.

‘Nay,’ said the kyng, ‘verament, [1820]

Torrent is recognised

It is the knyght, that I after sent,

I thanke god and seynt Iohñ,

For the Geaunt slayn)) hath he 1720

And wonne my doughter, well̴ is me!

All̴ his men are atone!’

1714. big] long MS.

1722. at.] tane MS.


Wott ye well̴, with Ioy and blis

Sir Torent there recevid ys,

As doughty man) of dede. 1725

and welcomd by the King of Norway.

The kyng and other lordys gent

Said, ‘Welcom), sir Torent, [1830]

In to this vncouth thede!’

In to a state they hym) brought,

His wounds are drest.

Lechis sone his woundis sought; 1730

They said, so god hem spede,


Were there no lyve but ane,

His liffe they wyll̴ not vndertane,

For no gold ne ffor mede.

1728. thede] lond MS.


The Princess

The lady wist not or than), 1735

That he was hurt, that gentilman),

And sith she went hym tyll̴; [1840]

She sought his woundus and said thare:

‘Thou shalte lyve and welfare,

Yf the no-thing evyll̴! 1740

claims Torrent as her husband.

My lord the kyng hath me hight,

That thou shalt wed me, sir knyght,

The fforward ye to fulle ffyll̴.’

‘Damysell̴, loo here my hond:

And I take eny wyffe in this lond, 1745

It shall̴ be at thy wyll̴!’

Her name is Gendres.

Gendres was that ladyes name. [1850]

The Geauntes hede he brought hame,

f. 105a.

And the dragons he brought.

Mene myght here a myle aboute, 1750

How on the dede hedys they did shoute,

For the shame, that they hem) wrought,

Both with dede and with tong

Fyfte on the hedys dong,

That to the ground they sought. 1755

Torrent stays 12 months in Norway.

Sir Torrent dwellid thare

Twelfe monythis and mare, [1860]

That ffurther myȝt he nought.

1749. he br.] also MS.

1752. they] had add. MS.


The kyng of Norway said: ‘Nowe,

Fals thevis, woo worth you, 1760

Ferly sotell̴ were ye:


Ye said, the knyght wold not com):

Swith oute of my kyngdome,

Or hangid shall̴ ye be!’

The King of Norway sends Torrent’s false Squires to sea,

His squiers, that fro hym) fled, 1765

With sore strokys are they spred

Vppon the wanne see, [1870]

where all drown, save one.

And there they drenchid euery man),

Saue one knave, that to lond cam),

And woo be-gone is he. 1770



The child, to lond that god sent,

In Portyngale he is lent,

In a riche town),

That hath hight be her day,

And euer shall̴, as I you say, 1775

The town) of Peron).

He takes the news to the King of Portugal,

By-fore the kyng he hym sett, [1880]

‘Full̴ well̴ thy men), lord, the grett,

And in the see did they drown.’

Desonell̴ said: ‘Where is Torent?’ 1780

and tells Desonell that Torrent is in Norway. f. 105b.

‘In Norway, lady, verament.’

On sownyng fell̴ she down).

1774. hatt (!) MS.

1778. the] they MS.

1779. did] are MS.
drowned MS.

She swoons, and folk see she is big with child.

As she sownyd, this lady myld,

Men myȝt se tokenyng of her child,

Steryng on) her right syde. 1785

Gret Ruth it was to tell̴,

How her maydens on) her fell̴, [1890]

Her to Couer and to hide.

Tho the kyng said: ‘My doughter, do way!

By god, thy myrth is gone for aye, 1790

Spousage wyll̴ thou none bide!

63 The King of Portugal declares he’ll send Desonell and her Bastard to sea.

There fore thou shalt in to the see

And that Bastard with-in the,

To lerne you ffor to ride.’

1791. bide] lede MS.


His Earls

Erlis and Barons, that were good, 1795

By-fore the kyng knelid and stode

For that lady free. [1900]

and the Queen

The quene, her moder, on knees fell̴,

‘For Iesu is love, that harood hell̴,

Lord, haue mercy on) me! 1800

That ylke dede, that she hath done,

It was with an Erlis sonne,

Riche man) i-nough is he;

pray for mercy for Desonell.

And yf ye wyll̴ not let her lyve,

Right of lond ye her yeve, 1805

Till̴ she delyuerd be!’


Thus the lady dwellith there, [1910]

She is delivered of 2 male children

Tyll that she delyuerd were

Of men) children) two;

In all poyntes they were gent, 1810

like Torrent.

And like they were to sir Torent;

f. 106a.

For his love they sufferid woo.

The kyng said: ‘So mut I thee,

Her Father says she shall be sent out to sea.

Thou shalte in-to the see

With oute wordys moo. 1815

Euery kyngis doughter ffer and nere,

At the shall̴ they lere, [1920]

Ayen) the law to do.’

1807. Thus the] so F. VII; This MS.

1808. Tyll] so F. VII; om. MS.

1810. all] so F. VII; om. MS.

She is led from his land.

Gret ruth it was to se,

Whan they led that lady ffree 1820

Oute of her faders lond.

64 The Queen bewails her daughter’s fate.

The quene wexid tho nere wood

For her doughter, that gentill̴ ffode,

And knyghtis stode wepand;

A cloth of silke gan they ta 1825

And partyd it be-twene hem twa,

Therin they were wonde.

Desonell is sent to sea.

Whan) they had shypped that lady ying, [1930]

An hunderid fell̴ in sownyng

At Peron) on) the sond. 1830

1827. so F. VII; om. MS.

1828. had sh.] so F. VII; clepud MS.
yeng MS.



Whan that lady was downe fall,

On Iesu Cryste dyd she call;

Down) knelid that lady clene:

She prays to Christ for her children.

‘Rightfull god, ye me sende

Some good londe, on to lende, 1835

That my chyldren may crystonyd bene!’

She said, ‘Knyghtis and ladyes gent,

Grete well̴ my lord, sir Torrent,

Yeff ye hym) euer sene!’

The wynd Rose ayen) the nyght, 1840

Fro lond it blew that lady bryght [1941]

Vppon the see so grene.

1831 f.] so F. VII; om. MS.

1833. clene] clere MS.

1834 f.] so F. VII;

Iesu Cryste, that com vp here

On this strond, as I wenyd   MS.

1836. my ch.] so F. VII; we MS.


Wyndes and weders haue her drevyn),

Þat in a forest she is revyn),

There wyld beestis were; 1845

She and they reach land.

The see was eb, and went her ffroo,

f. 106b.

And lefte her and her children) two

Alone with-oute ffere.


Her one child woke and be-gan) to wepe,

The lady a-woke oute of her slepe 1850

Desonell stills her crying child,

And said: ‘Be still̴, my dere, [1951]

Iesu Cryst hath sent vs lond;

Yf there be any cryston man) nere hond,

We shall̴ haue som socoure here.’

1844. forest] so F. VII; ftrest MS.
she is] so F. VII; be they MS.



The carefull̴ lady was full̴ blith, 1855

Vp to lond she went swith,

As fast as euer she myght.

Tho the day be-gan) to spryng,

Foules a-Rose and mery gan syng

Delicious notys on) hight. 1860

goes up a mountain,

To a mowntayn went that lady ffree: [1961]

Sone was she warr) of a Cite

With towrus ffeyre and bryght.

There fore, i-wys, she was full̴ fayn),

She sett her down), as I herd sayn), 1865

Her two children) ffor to dight.

and finds an Arbour there.

Vppon) the low the lady ffound

An Erber wrought with mannus hond,

With herbis, that were good.

A Grype was in) the mowntayn) wonne, 1870

A Griffin carries off one of her boys.

A way he bare her yong son) [1971]

Ouer a water fflood,

Over in to a wyldernes,

There seynt Antony ermet wes,

There as his chapell̴ stode. 1875

She puts the other down,

The other child down) gan) she ly,

f. 107a.

And on the ffoule did shoute & crye,

That she was nere hond wood.

1874. was MS.

1876. ly] lay MS.




Vp she rose ageyn) the rougħ,

and sorrows.

With sorofull̴ hert and care Inougħ, 1880

Carefull̴ of blood and bone . . . . . . . [1981]

She sye, it myght no better be,

She knelid down) vppon) her kne,

And thankid god and seynt Iohn).

A leopard takes her other boy away.

There come a libard vppon) his pray, 1885

And her other child bare away,

She thankid god there

And his moder Mary bryght.

This lady is lefte alone ryght:

The sorow she made there . . . . . 1890


That she myght no further ffare: [1991]

‘Of one poynt,’ she sayd, ‘is my care,

As I do now vnderstond,

So my children) crystenyd were,

Though they be with beestes there, 1895

Theyre liffe is in goddus hond.’

The King of Jerusalem sees the leopard and child.

The kyng of Ierusalem) had bene

At his brothers weddyng, I wene,

That was lord of all̴ that lond.

As he com homward on his way, 1900

He saw where the liberd lay [2001]

With a child pleyand.

1892. she s.] om. MS.


Torrent had yeve her ringes two,

Each child has one of Torrent’s rings.

And euery child had one of tho,

Hym) with all̴ to saue. 1905


The kyng said: ‘Be Mary myld,

Yonder is a liberd with a child,

A mayden) or a knave.’

f. 107b. The King’s men

Tho men) of armes theder went,

Anon) they had theyre hors spent, 1910

Her guttys oute she Rave. [2011]

For no stroke wold she stynt;

kill the Leopard,

Till̴ they her slew with speris dynt,

The child myght they not haue.

1903. her] his lady MS.


and take the Child to the King,

Vp they toke the child ying 1915

And brought it be-ffore the kyng

And vndid the swathing band,

As his moder be-ffore had done,

A gold ryng they ffound sone,

Was closud in his hond. 1920

Tho said the kyng of Ierusalem): [2021]

‘This child is come of gentill̴ teme,

Where euer this beest hym) ffond.

The boke of Rome berith wytnes,

who christens him ‘Leobertus,’

The kyng hym) namyd Leobertus, 1925

That was hent in hethyn) lond.

1915. yong MS.

1923. ffound MS.


Two squiers to the town) gan) flyng,

And a noryse to the child did bryng,

Hym) to kepe ffrome greme.

and takes him to Jerusalem.

He led it in) to his own) lond 1930

And told the quene, how he it ffond [2031]

By a water streme.

Whan) the lady saw the ryng,

She said, with-oute lettyng:

‘This child is com) of gentill̴ teme: 1935


Thou hast none heyre, thy lond to take,

For Iesu love thou sholdist hym) make

Prynce of Ierusalem).’

1929. grame MS.

1937. woldist MS.



Now, in boke as we rede,

St. Anthony

As seynt Antony aboute yede, 1940

Byddyng his orysoun), [2041]

f. 108a. sees the Griffin

Of the gripe he had a sight,

How she flew in a fflight,

To her birdus was she boun).

and Desonell’s first boy,

Be-twene her clawes she bare a child: 1945

He prayed to god and Mary myld,

On lyve to send it down).

That man was well̴ with god all̴-myȝt),

whom the bird lays at his feet.

At his fote gan) she light,

That foule of gret renown). 1950


Vp he toke the child there, [2051]

To his auter he did it bere,

There his chapell̴ stode.

A knave child there he ffond,

There was closud in his hond 1955

A gold ryng riche and good.

St. Antony takes the boy to his Father, the King of Greece.

He bare it to the Cite grett,

There the kyng his fader sett

As a lord of jentill̴ blood,

For he wold saue it ffro dede; 1960

A grype flew a-bove his hede [2061]

And cryed, as he were wood.

1951. thare MS.

1954. ffound MS.

1958. sett] lett MS.


This holy man) hied hym) tyte

To a Cite with touris white,

As fast as he may. 1965

69 The King sees

The kyng at the yate stode

And other knyghtes and lordys good

To se the squiers play.

The kyng said: ‘Be Mary myld,

his son Antony,

Yonder comyth Antony, my child, 1970

With a gryffon) gay. [2071]

Som) of his byrdus take hath he,

And bryngith hem) heder to me!’

Gret ferly had thaye.


f. 108b.

The kyng there of toke good hede, 1975

And a-geyn) his sonne he yede

And said: ‘Welcom) ye be!’

‘Fader,’ he said, ‘god you saue!

A knave child ffound I haue,

who asks him to adopt Desonell’s boy as

Loke, that it be dere to the! 1980

Frome a greffon) he was refte, [2081]

Of what lond that he is lefte,

Of gentill̴ blood was he:

Thou hast none heyre, thy lond to take,

his heir.

For Iesu love thy sonne hym) make, 1985

As in the stede of me!’

The King of Greece agrees,

The kyng said: ‘Yf I may lyve,

Helpe and hold I shall̴ hym yeve

And receyve hym as my son).

Sith thou hast this lond forsake, 1990

My riche londys I shall̴ hym) take, [2091]

Whan he kepe them) con).’

and has the Boy baptized.

To a ffont they hym yaue,

And crystonyd this yong knave;

Fro care he is wonne. 1995

70 The Boy is christend Antony Fitzgriffin.

The holy man yaue hym) name,

That Iesu shild hym) ffrome shame:

Antony fice greffoun).

1992. can MS.



‘Fader, than) haue thou this ryng,

I ffound it on) this swete thing, 2000

Kepe it, yf thou may: [2101]

It is good in euery fight,

Yf god yeve grace, that he be knyght,

Be nyght and be day.’

Let we now this children) dwell̴, 2005

And speke we more of Desonell̴:

Desonell laments, f. 109a.

Her song was welaway.

God, that died vppon) the Rode,

Yff grace, that she mete with good!

Thus disparplid are thay. 2010

2002. fight] sight MS.?

2004. Other be MS.
and] or forme of (!) MS.

2010. disparlid MS.

wanders among wild beasts,

This lady walkyd all̴ alone [2111]

Amonge wyld bestis meny one,

Ne wanted she no Woo;

Anon) the day be-gan to spryng,

And the ffoules gan to syng, 2015

With blis on euery bowȝe . . . . . . .


‘Byrdus and bestis, aye woo ye be!

Alone ye haue lefte me,

and bewails her lost children.

My children) ye have slone.’

As she walkid than) a-lone, 2020

She sye lordis on) huntyng gone, [2121]

Nere hem) she yede full̴ sone.


This carfull̴ lady cried faste,

Than she herd this hornes blaste

By the yatis gone, 2025

Desonell flees from some hunters

But ran in to a wildernes,

Amongist beests that wyld wes,

For drede, she shold be slone.

2018. haue] a corrected out of e MS.

2019. have sl.] slough MS.

2026. ran] om. MS.

2027. was MS.



Till̴ it were vnder of the Day,

She went fro that wilsom) way, 2030

In to a lond playn). [2131]

into the land of Nazareth.

The kyng of Naȝareth huntid there,

Among the hertes, that gentill̴ were;

There of she was full̴ ffayn) . . . . . . . . .

2030. fro] in MS.


They had ferly, kyng and knyght, 2035

Whens she come, that lady bryght,

Dwelling here a-lone.

She said to a squier, that there stode:

‘Who is lord of most jentill̴ blood?’

f. 109b.

And he answerid her anon): 2040

‘This ys the lond of Naȝareth, [2141]

She sees the King,

Se, where the kyng gethe,

Of speche he is ffull̴ bone;

All̴ in gold couerid is he.’

‘Gramercy, sir,’ said she, 2045

And nere hym) gan) she gone.


Lordys anon ageyn) her yode,

For she was com) of gentill̴ blood,

In her lond had they bene:

whose Lords greet her.

‘God loke the, lady ffree, 2050

What makist thou in this contre?’ [2151]

‘Sir,’ she said, ‘I wene,


Seynt Katryn) I shold haue sought,

Wekyd weders me heder hath brought

In to this fforest grene, 2055

Desonell says that her boys are dead, and she is left alone.

And all̴ is dede, I vnderstond,

Saue my selfe, that com) to lond

With wyld beestis and kene.’



‘Welcom,’ he said,’ Desonell̴,

By a tokyn) I shall̴ the tell̴: 2060

Onys a stede I the sent. [2161]

Lady gent, ffeyre and ffree,

To the shold I haue wedid be,

My love was on) the lent.’

Knyghtis and squiers, that there were, 2065

They horsid the lady there,

She is taken to Nazareth,

And to the Cite they went.

The quene was curtes of that lond

and welcomd by the Queen,

And toke the lady be the hond

And said: ‘Welcom, my lady gent! 2070


‘Lady, thou art welcom) here, [2171]

f. 110a.

As it all̴ thyn) own) were,

All̴ this ffeyre contree!’

‘Of one poynt was my care,

And my two children) crystonyd ware, 2075

That in wood were reft ffro me.’

‘Welcom art thou, Desonell̴,

with whom she stays.

In my chamber for to dwell̴,

Inough there in shall̴ ye see!’

Leve we now that lady gent, 2080

And speke we of sir Torrent, [2181]

That was gentill̴ and ffre.

2076. in] the add. MS.



Sir Torrent won’t stop in Norway,

The kyng of Norway is full̴ woo,

That sir Torent wold wend hym ffro,

That doughty was and bold: 2085

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘abyde here

And wed my doughter, that is me dere!’

He said, in no wise he wold.

He shipped oute of the kynges sale

but goes back to Portugal.

And Ryved vp in) Portingale 2090

At another hold. [2191]

Whan) he herd tell̴ of Desonell̴,

Swith on sownyng there he fell̴

To the ground so cold.

The false King Calamond of Portugal

The fals kyng of Portingale, 2095

Sparid the yatis of his sale

For Torent the ffree;

tells him that Desonell and her 2 Boys were sent out to sea.

He said: ‘Be Mary clere,

Thou shalt no wyfe haue here,

Go sech her in) the see! 2100

With her she toke whelpis two, [2201]

To lerne to row wold she go.’

‘By god, thou liest,’ quod he,

‘Kyng Colomand, here my hond!

f. 110b.

And I be knyght levand, 2105

I-quytt shall̴ it be!’


Torent wold no lenger byde,

But sent letters on euery side

With fforce theder to hye.

Torrent gathers an army.

Theder com oute of Aragon) 2110

Noble knyghtes of gret renown) [2211]

With grett chevalrye.

74 Torrent’s knights

Of Pervyns and Calaber also

Were doughty knyghtes meny moo,

They come all̴ to that crye. 2115

Kyng Calomond had no knyght,

That with sir Torent wold fyght,

Of all̴ that satt hym) bye.

2113. Calaber] Cababer (!) MS.



There wold none the yatis deffend,

and he are let into the chief City of Portugal,

But lett sir Torent in wend 2120

With his men) euerychone. [2221]

Swith a counsell̴ yede they to,

To what deth they wold hym do,

For he his lady had slone.

‘Lordis,’ he said, ‘he is a kyng, 2125

Men may hym) nether hede ne hing.’

Thus said they euerychone.

and resolve to send the false King to sea

They ordenyd a shipp all̴ of tree

And sett hym) oute in) to the see,

Among the wawes to gone. 2130

2123. To] om. MS.

2126. hing] heng MS.


Gret lordis of that lond [2231]

Assentid to that comnand,

That hold shold it be.

In the havyn) of Portyngale,

There stode shippes of hede vale 2135

f. 111a.

Of Irun and of tree.

in a boat full of holes.

A bote of tre they brought hym be-fforn),

Full̴ of holis it was born),

Howsell̴ and shryfte wold he.

Sir Torent said: ‘Be seynt Iohn), 2140

Seth thou gaue my lady none, [2241]

No more men) shall̴ do the!’

2132. comland MS.

2138. boryn MS.

2139. wold] had MS.



The false king Calamond is drownd,

The shipp-men) brought sir Colomond

And sent hym fforth within) a stound

As ffar as it were. 2145

Wott ye well̴ and vnderstond,

He come never ayen to lond,

Such stormes ffound he there.

and Torrent is made King of Portugal,

Gret lordys of renown)

Be-toke sir Torent the crown) 2150

To reioyse it there. [2251]

Loo, lordys of euery lond:

Falshode wyll̴ haue a foule end,

And wyll̴ haue euermore.


Sir Torent dwellid thare 2155

Fourty days in moche care,

Season) for to hold;

Sith he takith two knyghtes,

To kepe his lond and his rightes,

That doughty were and bold. 2160

but he gives the land up to the Queen,

‘Madam),’ he said to the quene, [2261]

‘Here than shall̴ ye lady bene,

To worth as ye wold.’

and resolves to go to the Holy-Land.

He purveyd hym) anon),

To wend ouer the see fome, 2165

There god was bought and sold.

2161. He said madam MS.


And ye now will̴ liston) a stound,

f. 111b.

How he toke armes of kyng Calomond,

Listonyth, what he bare.

His arms are 3 silver ships on an azure field.

On asure, as ye may see, 2170

With syluer shippes thre, [2271]

Who so had be thare.

76 For love of Desonell,

For Desonell̴ is love so bryght,

His londis he takyth to a knyght,

And sith he is boun to fare. 2175

Torrent leaves Portugal.

‘Portyngale, haue good day

For Sevyn) yere, parmaffay,

Par aventure som) dele mare!’

2170. This line begins with a big initial letter.
Off MS.

2175. boun] home MS.

2178. more MS.



Sir Torent passid the Grekys flood

In to a lond both riche and good, 2180

Full̴ evyn) he toke the way [2281]

He besieges the City of Quarell

To the cite of Quarell̴,

As the boke of Rome doth tell̴,

There a soudan) lay.

There he smote and set adown) 2185

And yaue asaute in to the town,

That will̴ the storye say.

So well̴ they vetelid were,

for 2 years, and then takes it.

That he lay there two yere,

Sith in) the town) went they. 2190

2182. cite] see MS.

2187. well MS.
says MS.

2190. And sith in to MS.

He has its inhabitants kild,

And tho sir Torent ffound on) lyve, [2291]

He comaundid with spere and knyffe

Smertely dede to be;

He said: ‘We haue be here

Moche of this two yere 2195

And onward on) the thre.’

and shares its booty among his men.

All̴ the good, that sir Torent wan),

He partid it among his man),

Syluer, gold and ffee;

f. 112a.

And sith he is boun to ride 2200

To a Cite there be-syde, [2301]

That was worth such thre.

2196. thrid MS.

2198. men MS.



Torrent then besieges another heathen City for 6 years.

There he stode and smote adown)

And leyd sege to the town),

Six yere there he lay. 2205

By the VI yere were all̴ done,

All its folk die of hunger.

With honger they were all̴ slone,

That in the Cite lay.

The Soudan sent to sir Torent than),

With honger that thes people be slan, 2210

All̴ the folke of this Cite; [2311]

‘Yf ye thinke here to lye,

Ye shall̴ haue wyne and spycery,

I-nough is in this contre.’

2209. The] A MS.

2209-14 put before 2203-8 MS.

2210. slayn MS.

2211. thes MS.


Now god do his soule mede! 2215

On the soudan) he had a dede

Vppon) euery good ffryday.

Iesu sent hym strengith I-nougħ,

Torrent kills the Sultan,

With dynt of sword he hym slougħ,

There went none quyk away. 2220

Down knelid that knyght [2321]

And thankid god with all̴ his myȝt):

So ought he well̴ to say.

The Cite, that sir Torent was yn),

Worldely goodis he left ther yn), 2225

To kepe it nyght and day.

goes to Antioch,

Sith he buskyd hym) to ride

f. 112b.

In to a lond there be-syde,

Antioche it hight.

Sevyn) yere at the Cite he lay 2230

and fights every good Friday.

And had batell̴ euery good ffryday, [2331]

Vppon) the Sarȝins bryght;


And be the VII yere were gone,

The child, that the liberd had tane,

Found hym his fill̴ off ffyght . . . . . . 2235

2230-32 put before 2227-29 MS.


The King of Jerusalem

The kyng of Ierusalem) herd tell̴

Of this lord good and fell̴,

How doughtyly he hym bare.

Vppon) his knyghtes can he call̴,

‘Ordeyn) swith among you all̴, 2240

For no thing that ye spare!’ [2341]

They buskyd hem oute of the land,

sends 50,000 knights,

The nombre off ffyfty thousand,

Ageyn Torent ffor to ffare . . . .

2243. thousaid MS.


The kyng of Ierusalem said thus: 2245

and his adopted son Leobertus (Torrent’s second boy)

‘My dere son, Liobertus,

That thou be bold and wight!

Thou shalt be here and defend the lond

From that fals traytors hond

And take the ordre of a knyght.’ 2250

He yaue hym armes, or he did passe: [2351]

Right as he ffound was,

On gold he bare bryght

A liberd of asure bla

A child be-twene his armes twa: 2255

Woo was her, that se it myght!

2246. Liobertious MS.

2253. On] Of MS.

2254. blay (!) MS.

2255. tway MS.

2256. ffulle woo MS.
se it m.] it ought MS.


Sir Torent wold no lenger abyde,

But thederward gan) he ride;

And to the feld were brought

against Torrent. f. 113a.

Two knyghtes, that were there in stede; 2260

Many a man did they to blede, [2361]

Such woundis they wrought.

79 Torrent’s son Leobertus

There durst no man com) Torent nere,

But his son, as ye may here,

Though he knew hym nought. 2265

All̴ to nought he bet his shild,

captures him.

But he toke his fader in the feld,

Though he there of evill̴ thought.



Whan) sir Torent was takyn) than),

His men fled than), euery man), 2270

They durst no lenger abyde. [2371]

Gret ruth it was to be hold,

How his sword he did vp-hold

To his son) that tyde.

is taken to Jerusalem

To Ierusalem) he did hym) lede, 2275

His actone and his other wede,

All̴ be the kyngis side;

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘haue no care,

Thou shalte lyve and welfare,

But lower ys thy pryde!’ 2280


Fro that sir Torent was hom brought, [2381]

Doughty men) vppon) hym) sought,

and thrust into prison,

And in preson) they hym) thronge.

His son above his hede lay,

To kepe hym) both nyȝt and day, 2285

He wist well̴, that he was strong.

where his son Leobertus hears him lament a whole year.

Thus in preson as he was,

Sore he siȝed and said alas,

He couth none other songe.

f. 113b.

Thus in bondys they held hym thare 2290

A twelfmonyth and som dele mare, [2391]

The knyght thought ffull̴ long.

2281. hom] hem MS.

2283. And and (!) MS.
throuȝe MS.




In a mornyng as he lay,

To hym selfe gan) he say:

‘Why lye I thus alone? 2295

appeals to God

God, hast thou forsakyn) me?

All̴ my truste was in the,

In lond where I haue gone!

who once enabled him to kill Dragons and Giants.

Thou gave me myȝt ffor to slee

Dragons two other thre 2300

And giauntes meny one, [2401]

And now a man) in wekid lond

Hath myn) armour and stede in) hond:

I wold, my liffe were done!’

2299. flee MS.!

His son Leobertus hears him,

His son herd hym) say soo 2305

And in his hert was full̴ woo,

In chamber there he lay;

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘I haue thy wede,

There shall̴ no man reioyse thy stede,

Yf so be, that I may. 2310

By oure lady seynt Mary, [2411]

and promises to get him freed.

Here shalt thou no lenger lye,

Nether be nyȝt) ne be day;

As I am) Curtesse and hend,

To the kyng I shall̴ wend, 2315

And ffor thy love hym pray!’

2313. Nether be day ne be nyȝt MS.

2316. ffor thy love and pray this nyȝt MS.


On) the morow whan) he Rose,

The prynce to the kyng gose

And knelid vppon) his knee;

f. 114a. Leobertus asks the King of Jerusalem for Torrent.

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘ffor goddus sonne, 2320

The knyght, that lieth in the dungeon), [2421]

Ye wold graunt hym) me!


I hard hym say be hym) alone,

Many Geauntes had he slone

And dragons II or thre.’ 2325

The King of Jerusalem grants Torrent to his elder son,

The kyng said: ‘Be my ffay,

Be warr), he scape not away;

I vouch hym saue on the!’


who frees him from prison,

The prynce in to the preson went,

Torent by the hond he hent 2330

Oute of his bondys cold; [2431]

To the castell̴ he brought hym sone

tho’ still fettering him.

And light ffettouris did hym) vppon),

For brekyng oute off hold.

The kyng said: ‘Be my ffaye, 2335

And he euer scape away,

Full̴ dere he shall̴ be sold!’

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘parmaffay,

We wyll̴ hym) kepe, and we may:

There of be ye bold!’ 2340

2331. And toke hym oute MS.


For he was curtes knyght & free, [2441]

Torrent dines with the King,

At the mete sett was he

By the kyng at the deyse.

‘Sir, thou haste i-bene

At Iustis and at tornementes kene, 2345

Both in warr) and in peas:

Sith thy dwelling shall̴ be here,

I pray, that thou woldist my son) lere,

Hys Tymber ffor to asay.’

and promises to teach his son Leobertus spearcraft.

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘I vnderstond, 2350

f. 114b.

Affter the maner off my lond [2451]

I shall̴, with outen delay.’

2348. I pray] om. MS.

2352. delay] lese MS.



The jousts at Jerusalem.

The castell̴ court was large with in),

They made ryngis ffor to Ren),

None but they alone. 2355

Euery of hem to oþure Rade:

Feyrer Turnamentes than they made,

Men sye never none.

The prynce in armes was full̴ preste,

Torrent’s son Leobertus breaks 3 shafts on his Father.

Thre shaftys on) his fader he breste, 2360

In shevers they gan gone. [2461]

Sir Torent said: ‘So mvt I thee,

A man of armes shall̴ thou be,

Stalworth of blood and bone!’

2356. Rode MS.

2357. Turmentes MS.


Harroldys of armes cryed on) hight, 2365

The prynce and that other knyght

No more juste shall̴ thay;

But lordys of other lond,

Euery one to other ffond,

And sith went theyre way. 2370

The jousts last 6 weeks.

Sixe wekys he dwellid there, [2471]

Till̴ that all̴ delyuerd were,

That in the Cite lay.

A Feast is held.

Tho they held a gestonye,

With all̴ maner of mynstralsye, 2375

Tyll̴ the Sevynth day.

2373. lay] were MS.


Lordis with all̴ other thing

Toke leve at the kyng,

Home theyre ways to passe.

Torrent is declared victor.

That tyme they yaue Torent the floure 2380

f. 115a.

And the gre with moch honowre, [2481]

As he well̴ worthy was.

83 The King of Jerusalem promises to support Torrent.

The kyng said: ‘I shall̴ the yeve

Liffe and lyvelode, whill̴ I lyve,

Thyn armour, as it was.’ 2385

Whan he sye ffeyre ladyes wend,

He thought on her, that was so hend,

And sighed and said: ‘Alas!’


The King of Nazareth

The kyng of Naȝareth home went,

There that his lady lent, 2390

In his own) lede. [2491]

‘Sir,’ she said, ‘ffor goddus pite,

What gentilman) wan) the gre?’

He said, ‘So god me spede,

One of the ffeyrest knyghtis, 2395

That slepith on) somer nyghtes

Or walkyd in wede;

He is so large of lym) and lith,

All̴ the world he hath justid with,

That come to that dede.’ 2400


‘Good lord,’ said Desonell̴, [2501]

‘For goddus love ye me tell̴,

What armes that he bare!’

tells Desonell that the Victor (Torrent) has an armd Giant as his crest.

‘Damysell̴, also muste I the,

Syluer and asure beryth he, 2405

That wott I well̴ thare.

His Creste is a noble lond,

A Gyaunt with an) hoke in) hond,

This wott I well̴, he bare.

He is so stiff at euery stoure, 2410

He is prynce and victoure, [2511]

f. 115b.

He wynneth the gree aye where.

2403. he] ye MS.



The Victor is a Knight of Portugal.

Of Portyngale a knyght he ys,

He wanne the town) of Raynes

And the Cite of Quarelle; 2415

At the last jurney that was sett,

The prynce, my broders son) he mett,

And in his hond he ffell̴.

The prynce of Grece leth nere

There may no juster be his pere, 2420

For soth as I you tell̴: [2521]

The King of Nazareth proclaims a Jousting.

A dede of armes I shall̴ do crye

And send after hym) in hye.’

Blith was Desonell̴.

2415. Quarellis MS.

2416. that] he add. MS.

2417. he m.] was gatt MS.


This dede was cried ffar and nere, 2425

The kyng of Ierusalem did it here,

In what lond that it shold be.

The King of Jerusalem sends Torrent and his elder son Leobertus to it.

He said: ‘Sone, anon right

Dight the and thy cryston) knyght,

For sothe, theder will̴ we.’ 2430

Gret lordys, that herith this crye, [2531]

Theder come richely,

Everyman) in his degre.

The King of Greece brings the younger son, Antony Fitzgriffin.

The kyng of Grece did make hym boun,

With hym) come Antony ffyȝ greffon), 2435

With moche solempnite . . . . . . .

2434. make hym b.] assigne MS.


‘The kyng of Naȝareth sent me,

That there shold a justynge be

Of meny a cryston) knyght,

The Jousting is for a lady.

And all̴ is ffor a lady clere, 2440

f. 116a.

That the justyng is cryed ffar and nere, [2541]

Of men) of armes bryght.’


Gret joye it was to here tell̴,

How thes kynges with the knyghtis fell̴

Come and semled to that ffyght. 2445

2445. semlend MS.


Many folk come to the jousts.

There come meny another mon),

That thought there to haue to done,

And than) to wend her way.

Whan) they come to the castell̴ gent,

A Roall̴ ffyght, verament, 2450

There was, the sothe to say. [2551]

Trompes resyn) on the wall̴,

Lordys assembled in the hall̴,

They sup

And sith to souper yede thay.

They were recevid with rialte, 2455

Euery man) in his degre,

and sleep,

And to her logyng went her way.

2446. man MS.


The lordys Rosyn all̴ be-dene

On the morow, as I wene,

hear Mass,

And went masse ffor to here. 2460

And ffurthermore with-oute lent [2561]

and dine,

They wesh and to mete went,

For to the ffeld they wold there.

After mete anon) right

They axid hors and armes bryght, 2465

then mount,

To hors-bak went thay in ffere.

Knyghtis and lordys reuelid all̴,

And ladyes lay ouer the castell̴ wall̴,

That semely to se were.

and begin to joust.

Than) eueryman toke spere in) hond, 2470

And euerych to other ffond, [2571]

f. 116b.

Smert boffettes there they yeld.

86 Torrent’s 2 sons joust.

The prynce of Ierusalem) and his brother,

Eueriche of hem) Ran to other)

Smertely in the feld . . . . . . . . 2475

The younger, Antony, unhorses his brother Leobertus.

Though) Antony ffygryffon) yonger were,

His brother Leobertus he can down) bere;

Sir Torent stode and be-held.

2471. ffound MS.

2472. there th. y.] they yeldyd there MS.



‘Be my trouth,’ said Torent thanne,

‘As I am) a cryston) man 2480

I-quytt shall̴ it be.’ [2581]

Torent be-strode a stede strong

And hent a tymber gret and long,

And to hym) rode he.

2483 put before 2482 MS.

Torrent rides down his younger son.

Torrent to hym rode so sore, 2485

That he to the ground hym) bare,

And let hym) lye in) the bent.

There was no man) hyȝe ne lowe,

That myght make Torent to bowe

Ne his bak to bend. 2490

They justyd and turneyd there, [2591]

And eueryman) ffound his pere,

There was caught no dethis dent.

He and his sons are the best jousters.

Of all̴ the Justis, that there ware,

Torent the floure a way bare 2495

And his sonnys, verament.

2485 f.:

Torrent so sore to hym rode,

That he bare hym to the ground     MS.

2487. bent] ffeld MS.

2493. dynt MS.

2496. ver.] in that tyde MS.


And on) the morow, whan) it was day,

Amonge all̴ the lordys gay,

That worthy were, par de,


Desonell̴ wold no lenger lend, 2500

But to sir Torent gan) she wend [2601]

And knelid on her kne.

Desonell greets Torrent,

She said: ‘Welcom), my lord sir Torent!’

f. 117a.

‘And so be ye, my lady gent!’

and swoons.

In sownyng than fell̴ she. 2505

Vp they coueryd that lady hend,

And to mete did they wend

With joye and solempnite.

2499. par de] in wede MS.

2502. And on her kne she knelid MS.



Dame Desonell̴ be-sought the kyng.

That she myght, with oute lesyng, 2510

Sytt with Torent alone. [2611]

‘Yes, lady, be hevyn) kyng,

There shall̴ be no lettyng;

Worthy is he, be seynt Iohn)!’

All go to Dinner.

Tho they washid and went to mete, 2515

And rially they were sett

And seruid worthely, echone.

Euery lord in) the hall̴,

As his state wold be-ffall̴,

Were couplid with ladyes schone. 2520

2514. ffor welle worthy MS.

2517. echone] verament MS.

2520. schone] gent MS.

Desonell is the fairest lady.

But of all̴ ladyes, that were there sene, [2621]

So ffeire myght there none bene

As was dame Desonell̴. . . . . . . .

The Kings of Jerusalem and Greece go to the

Thes two kyngis, that doughty ys,

To the Cite come, i-wys, 2525

With moche meyne emell.

2526. emell] om. MS.

King of Nazareth’s Castle.

To the castell̴ they toke the way,

There the kyng of Naȝareth lay,

With hym) to speke on higħ.


At none the quene ete in) the hall̴, 2530

Amongist the ladyes ouer all̴, [2631]

That couth moche curtesye.

Desonell̴ wold not lett,

Desonell sits by Torrent.

By sir Torent she her sett,

There of they had envye . . . . . . 2535

2535. envye] wonder MS.



Whan) eyther of hem other be-held,

f. 117b.

Off care no thyng they ffeld,

Bothe her hertes were blithe.

She tells the Lords how her

Gret lordys told she sone,

What poyntes he had for her done, 2540

They be-gan to be blithe; [2641]

Father sent her and her 2 Boys to sea;

And how her fader in the see did her do,

With her she had men) childre two;

They waried hym) fell̴ sithe.

‘Sir kyng, in this wildernes, 2545

My two children) fro me revid wes,

I may no lenger hem) hide.

2542. fader] om. MS.

2546. was MS.


‘The knyght yaue me rynges two,

Euerich of hem) had one of thoo,

Better saw I never none. 2550

and how one was carried off by a Griffin, and the other by a Leopard.

A Gryffon) bare the one away, [2651]

A liberd the other, parmaffay,

Down) by a Roche of stone.’

Than) said the kyng of Ierusalem):

‘I ffound one by a water streme, 2555

He levith with blood & bone.’

Leobertus and Antony are these boys.

The kyng of Grece said: ‘My brother,

Antony my son) brought me anoþure.’

She saith: ‘Soth, be seynt Iohn)?’

2556. levith] yet add. MS.




The kyng said: ‘Sith it is so, 2560

Kys ye youre fader bo, [2661]

And axe hym) his blessyng!’

Torrent’s 2 Sons kneel and ask his blessing.

Down) they knelid on) her knee:

‘Thy blessing, ffader, for charite!’

‘Welcom), children) ying!’ 2565

Thus in armes he hem) hent,

A blither man) than) sir Torent

f. 118a.

Was there none levyng;

He rejoices in them and their Mother,

It was no wonder, thouȝe it so were;

He had his wiffe and his children) there, 2570

His joye be-gan) to spryng. [2671]

2561. bothe MS.

2565. yong MS.


Of all̴ the justis, that were thare,

A way the gre his sonnys bare,

That doughty were in dede.

and thanks the Kings for taking care of them.

Torent knelid vppon) his knee 2575

And said: ‘God yeld you, lordys ffree,

Thes children) that ye haue ffed:

Euer we will̴ be at youre will̴,

What jurney ye will̴ put vs tyll̴,

So Iesu be oure spede, 2580

He asks the Kings to Portugal.

With that the kyng thre [2681]

In to my lond will̴ wend with me,

For to wreke oure stede.’

All agree to go.

They graunted that there was,

Gret lordys more and lesse, 2585

Bothe knyght and squiere;

And with Desonell̴ went

Al the ladyes, that were gent,

That of valew were.


Shippis had they stiff and strong, 2590

Maistis gret and sayles long, [2691]

Hend, as ye may here,

Their ships arrive at Portugal.

And markyd in to Portingale,

Whan) they had pullid vp her sayll̴,

With a wynd so clere. 2595



The riche quene of that lond

In her castell̴ toure gan stond

And be-held in)-to the see.

‘Sone,’ she said to a knyght,

f. 118b.

‘Yonder of shippis I haue a sight, 2600

For sothe, a grett meyne.’ [2701]

The Queen

The quene said: ‘Verament,

I se the armes of sir Torent,

I wott well̴, it is he.’

He answerid and said tho: 2605

‘Madam, I will̴, that it be so,

God gefe grace, that it so be!’

2605-7 put before 2602-4 MS.


A blither lady myȝt none be,

She went ageyn hym) to the see

With armed knyghtes kene. 2610

Torrent and his friends,

Torent she toke by the hond: [2711]

‘Lordys of vncouth lond,

Welcom muste ye bene!’

and swoons when she sees her daughter Desonell.

Whan she sye Desonell̴,

Swith in) sownyng she fell̴ 2615

To the ground so grene.

Torent gan) her vp ta:

‘Here bene her children) twa,

On lyve thou shalt hem seene!’

2616. grene] kene MS.

2619. see MS.




In the Castell̴ of Portyngale 2620

A-Rose trumpes of hede vale, [2721]

To mete they went on) hye.

Torrent holds a great feast,

He sent letters ffar and nere;

The lordys, that of valew were,

They come to that gestonye. 2625

The Emperoure of Rome,

To that gestonye he come,

A noble knyght on) hyȝe.

Whan) all̴ thes lordys com were,

and weds Desonell.

Torrent weddid that lady clere, 2630

A justyng did he crye. [2731]

2621. of] om. MS.

2629. ware MS.

f. 119a.

So it ffell̴ vppon a day,

The kyng of Ierusalem) gan say:

‘Sir, thy sonne I ffound

Lying in a libertes mouth, 2635

And no good he ne couth,

Dede he was nere hond:

Wold thou, that he dwellid with me,

Till̴ that I dede be,

And sith reioyse my lond?’ . . . . . . 2640

He gives his son Leobertus as heir to the King of Jerusalem;

Be fore lordys of gret renown), [2741]

Torent gaue hym) his son) . . . . . . . .

The kyng of Grece said: ‘Sir knyght,

I yeff thy son all̴ my right

and his son Antony as heir to the King of Greece.

To the Grekys flood: 2645

Wouch thou saue, he dwell̴ with me?’

‘Yea, Lord, so mut I thee,

God yeld you all̴ this good!’


For sir Torent was stiff in stoure,

Torrent is elected Emperor.

They chose hym ffor Emperoure, 2650

Beste of bone and blood. [2751]

2645. flood] I plight add. MS.



Gret lordys, that there were,

Fourty days dwellith there,

And sith they yode her way;

Torrent gives his 2 Sons a Sword each.

He yaue his sonnys, as ye may here, 2655

Two swerdys, that were hym) dere,

Ech of hem) one had they.

Sith he did make vp-tyed

Chirchus and abbeys wyde,

For hym) and his to praye. 2660

In Rome this Romans berith the crown) [2761]

Of all̴ kerpyng of Renown):

He lies in a fair Abbey.

He leyth in a feire abbey.

2654. And sith her way they yode MS.

2663. leyth] in Rome add. MS.


Now Iesu Cryst, that all̴ hath wrought,

f. 119b.

As he on the Rode vs bought, 2665

He geve hvs his blessing,

May Christ grant us Heaven!

And as he died for you and me,

He graunt vs in blis to be,

Lesse and mare, both old and ying! Amen.

2669. Oute of this world whan) we shalle wend MS.

Explicit Torent of Portyngale.


I. 1

[The King of Portugal plots Torrent’s death.]

Desonell gives Torrent a Horse

[T] . . . . est hym vp . . . . 462

. . . . . chent be for to fle

. . . . . ly ivyll he gone 464

which the King of Nazareth had sent her.

The kynge of Nazareth sent hym me,

Torent, I wot-saue hym on the,

For better loue I none!’ 467

Afterwarde vpon a tyde,

As they walkyd by the ryvers syde,

The kynge and yonge Torent, 470

The King

This lorde wolde fayne, that he dede were

And he wyst nat, on what manere,

Howe he myght hym shent. 473


A fals letter made the kynge

And made a messangere it brynge,

On the ryuer syde as they went, 476

asks Torrent to get Desonell a Falcon

To Torent, that was true as stele,

If he loued Dyssonell wele,

Gete hir a faucon gent. 479

Torent the letter began to rede,

The kynge came nere and lystened,

As thoughe he it neuer had sene. 482

The kynge sayde, ‘what may this be?’

‘Lorde, it is sent to me

For a faucon shene; 485

I ne wote, so God me spede,

In what londe that they brede.’

The kynge sayde, ‘as I herde sayne, 488


. . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . .

from the Forest of Magdalen.

In the forest of Maudelayne 491


II. 2

Than sayde [the] kyn[g] vntrue, 492

‘And ye fynde haw[k]es of great value,

Brynge me one with the!’ 494

Torent sayd: ‘so God me saue,

Torrent agrees to do it.

Yf it betyde, that I any haue,

At your wyll shall they be.’ 497

To his squyer bade he thare,

After his armoure to fare,

In the felde abode he; 500

He rides

They armed hym in his wede,

He bestrode a noble stede

. . . . . . . . . . 503

to the Forest of Magdalen,

Torent toke the way agayne

Unto the forest of Maudelayne,

In a wylsome way; 506

Berys and apes there founde he

And wylde bestys great plente

And lyons, where they lay. 509

In a wode, that is tyght,

It drewe towarde the nyght.

By dymmynge of the day 512

Lysten, lordes, of them came wo,

gets separated from his Squire,

He and his squyer departed in two,

Carefull men then were they. 515

At a shedynge of a rome

Eyther departed other frome,

As I vnderstande. 518

Torent taketh a dolefull way

Downe into a depe valay,

. . . . . . . . . . 521



III. 3

[The King of Portugal sends Torrent to be kild by the Giant Slogus.]

Torrent sits at the head of a side table.

. . . . . . . . . . . . 819

And the good squyres after h[ym],

That knyghtes sholde be. 821

The King asks Torrent if he’ll

As they were a-myddes theyr . . .

The kynge wolde not forgete,

To Torente than sayd he, 824

He sayd: ‘so god me saue,

Fayne thou woldest my dough[ter haue],

Thou hast loued her many a d[aye].’ 827

‘Ye, by my trouthe,’ sayd Torente,

‘And I were a ryche man,

Ryght gladly by my faye.’ 830

do a deed of arms for Desonell.

‘If thou durst for her sake

A poynte of armes vndertake,

Thou broke her vp for ay.’ 833

‘Yes,’ says Torrent.

‘Ye,’ sayde he, ‘or I go,

Sykernes thou make me so

Of thy doughter hende. 836

Ye and after all my ryghtes

By VII score of hardy knyghtes’

Al they were Torentes frende. 839

‘Now, good lordes, I you praye,

Bere wytnes of this day

Agayne yf god me sende!’ 842

Torente sayd, ‘so may I the,

Wyst I, where my jorney shold [be],

Thyder I wolde me dyghte.’ 845

The kyng gaue hym an answ[e]re,

‘Then go to Calabria,

‘In the londe of Caleb[e]re

There wonneth a gyaunte wygh[hte] 848


. . . . . . . . . . . .

Slogus he hyght as I the tolde,

and fight the Giant Slogus.’

God sende the that waye ryghte!’ 851


IV. 4

[Torrent is offerd a Princess of Provyns.]

The king of Provyns warns

. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . .

For why I wyll the saye, 917

Moche folke of that countre

Cometh heder for socoure to me,

Bothe by nyghte and by daye. 920

him against the terrible Giant there,

There is a gyaunte of grete renowne,

He destroyeth bothe cyte and towne

And all that he may. 923

As bokes of rome tell,

He was goten with the deuyll of hell,

As his moder slepynge lay.’ 926

The kynge sayde, ‘by Saynt Adryan,

I rede, a nother gentylman

Be there and haue the degre. 929

I haue a doughter, that me is dere,

and offers him his Daughter and 2 Duchies.

Thou shalte wedde her to thy fere,

And yf it thy wyll be, 932

Two duchyes in honde

I wyll gyue her in londe.’

‘Gramercy, syr,’ sayd he, 935

Torrent says he must keep his troth.

‘With my tonge I haue so wrought,

To breke my day wyll I nought,

Nedes me behoueth there to be.’ 938

‘On Goddes name,’ the kynge gan sayne,

‘Iesu brynge the saffe agayne,

Lorde, moche of myght!’ 941


Mynstralsy was them amonge,

With harpe, fedyll and songe,

Delycyous notes on hygh[t]e. 944

Whan it was tyme, to bed they wente,

And on the morowe rose Torente

And toke leue of kynge and knyght 947

Torrent starts,

And toke a redy way.


Fragment V. 5

By the se syde as it lay,

God sende hym gatys ryght! 950

An hye waye hath he nome,

reaches Calabria,

Into Calabre is he come

Within two dayes or thre. 953

So he met folke hym agayne,

Fast comynge with carte and wayne

Frowarde the se. 956

‘Dere God,’ sayd Torente now,

‘Good folke, what eyleth you,

That ye thus fast fle?’ 959

and hears of the Giant.

‘There lyeth a gyaunte here besyde,

For all this londe brode and wyde

No man on lyue leueth he.’ 962

‘Dere God,’ sayd Torente then,

‘Wher euer be that fendes den?’

They answered hym anone: 965

‘In a castell in the see,

Slogus’ they sayd ‘hyght he,

Many a man he hath slone. 968

The Giant Slogus is in Hungary.

We wote full well, where he doth ly

Byfore the cyte of Hungry,’

. . . . . . . . . . 971



VI. 6

[Torrent fights the Giant.]

The number and configuration of dots corresponds as closely as possible to the printed book.

The giant says he’ll wring Torrent’s nose.

. . . . . . all the wrynge, 1014

. . . . . . . . lynge

  . . . . . . . . . thou the 1016

. . . . . . . . he toke,

. . . . . . . . bare a croke

His Crook is 13 ft. long.

. . . . . . . . te longe and thre 1019

. . . . . . ever so longe were

. . . . . . . . had no fere

  . . . . yd darste thou come nere 1022

. . . . . nte nolengre a-byde

Torrent charges,

. . . . . nte wolde he ryde

  . . . . ghte. 1025

. . . . one eye but one,

. . . . . . neuer none,

  . . . nor by nyght. 1028

. . . . lpe of god of heuen,

pierces the Giant’s eye,

. . . . . herin euen,

. . . . . . . . . . . . 1031

and makes him roar.

. . . . gan to rore,

. . . . the cyte wore,

  . . . ay. 1034

. . . . es eyen were oute

. . . . . . . . boute

. . . . . . . . . . . 1037


VII. 7

[Desonell bears twins. All are sent out to sea. They reach land.]

Thus the lady dwelled there, 1807

Desonell is delivered of 2 male children

Tyll that she delyuered were

Of men chyldren two. 1809


Of all poyntes were they gent,

like Torrent.

Lyke were they to Sir Torent,

For his loue suffred they wo. 1812

The kynge sayd, ‘so mote I the,

Her Father says she shall be sent out to sea.

Thou shalt into the se

Without wordes mo. 1815

Every kynges doughter fer and nere

At the they shall lere,

Agaynst right to do!’ 1818

She is led from his land.

Great ruthe it was to se,

Whan they led that lady fre

Out of hir faders lande. 1821

The Queen bewails her daughter’s fate.

The quene, hir moder, was nere wode

For hir doughter, that gentyll fode,

Knyghtes stode wepynge.8 1824

A clothe of sylke toke they tho,

And departed it bytwene the chyldren two,

Therin they were wonde. 1827

Desonell is sent to sea.

Whan they had shypped that gentyll thynge,

Anone she fell in swownynge

At Peron on the sonde. 1830

Whan that lady was downe fall,

On Iesu Cryste dyd she call.

To defende hir with his honde: 1833

She prays to Christ for her children.

‘Rightfull God, ye me sende

Some good londe on to lende,

That my chyldren may crystened be[n].’ 1836

She sayd, ‘ladyes fayre and gent,

Great well my lorde Sir Torent,

Yf euer ye hym se[n]!’ 1839

The wynde arose on the myght,

Fro the londe it blewe that lady bryght

Into the se so grene. 1842



Wyndes and weders hathe hir dryuen,

That in a forest she is aryuen,

Where wylde bestys were. 1845

Desonell and her twin babes reach land.

The se was ebbe and went hem fro

And left hir and hir chyldren two

[Alo]ne without any fere. 1848

Hir one chylde began to wepe,

The lady awoke out of hir slepe

She stills her crying child,

And sayde, ‘be styll, my dere, 1851

Ihesu Cryste hathe sent vs lande,

Yf there be any Crysten man at hande,

We shall haue socoure here.’ 1854

The carefull lady then was blythe,

To the londe she went full swythe,

As fast as she myght. 1857

Tyll the day began to sprynge,

Foules on trees merely gan synge

Delicyous notes on hyght. 1860

goes up a mountain,

To a hyll went that lady fre,

Where she was ware of a cyte

With toures fayre and bryght. 1863

Therof I-wys she was fayne,

and sits down.

She set hir downe, as I herd sayne,

Hir chyldren for to dyght. 1866

Footnotes to Fragments

1. In Halliwell’s edition III.

2. In Halliwell’s edition II.

3. In Halliwell’s edition VI.

4. In Halliwell’s edition V.

5. In Halliwell’s edition IV.

6. Printed in Englische Studien, VII. p. 347 f.

7. In Halliwell’s edition I.

8. wepande.



St. 1

Page 1, line 12. Cf. ll. 118, 187, 190, 198, 558, 924, 1924, 2183. So in Eglamour (Thornton Romances), l. 408:

‘The boke of Rome thus can telle,’

and The Erl of Tolouse, ed. Lüdtke, l. 1219:

‘Yn Rome thys geste cronyculyd ys.’

See Halliwell’s and Lüdtke’s notes to these passages. I agree with both of them, that an expression like that does not earnestly refer the reader to a Latin or Italian source of the story; there is evidently no difference at all between in Rome and in romance.

St. 2

p. 1, l. 15. wyght has been inserted instead of dowghtty in order to restore the rhyme with hyght, knyght, myght; cf. Havelok, ed. Skeat, l. 344:

‘He was fayr man and wicth.’

p. 1, l. 17 = Ipomadon, l. 63. Parallel passages to this hyperbolic expression are collected in Kölbing’s note to this line (p. 364).

p. 1, l. 24. We find the same idea as here, viz. that nobody can resist the will of God, who has power over death and life, in Sir Tristrem, ll. 236 ff.:

‘Þat leuedi, nouȝt to lain,

For soþe ded is sche!

Who may be ogain?

As god wil, it schal be,


St. 3

p. 2, l. 28. I have not met with the verb fesomnen anywhere else, and it is not mentioned in Stratmann and Mätzner. Halliwell, Dictionary, p. 354, explains it by ‘feoffed, gave in fee,’ doubtless regarding this very passage, although he doesn’t cite it; might fesomnyd not be a corruption from sesyd? cf. Havelok, ll. 250 f.:

‘Þat he ne dede al Engelond

Sone sayse intil his hond.’

Hall writes to me on this word as follows: fesomnyd is, I am convinced, not a word at all, but a scribe’s error for festonyd or festnyd = confirmed, fixed. Comp. ’And þat ich hym wolde myd trewþe siker faste on honde,’ Robert of Gloucester (Hearne), p. 150. For this use of fasten, fastnen, comp. ’But my forwarde with þe I festen on þis wyse,’ Alliterative Poems, p. 47, l. 327: ’& folden fayth to þat fre, festned so harde,’ Sir 102 Gawayne, p. 57, l. 1783: ’And þis forward, in faith, I festyn with hond,’ Destruction of Troy, p. 22, l. 636. See also Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary, ii. p. 216, under to Fest.

p. 2, l. 30. I am by no means sure that fede is the original reading, but I wasn’t able to find a better word rhyming with dedde, wede; even the ne. ‘feed’ means pasture, and that is what we expect here.

p. 2, l. 31. For my correction cf. Lüdtke’s note to The Erl of Tolouse, l. 199, sub 2; Eglam., l. 26:

‘That was a maydyn as whyte as fome,’

Ib. l. 683:

‘Crystyabelle as whyte as fome,’

where the Percy Folio MS. reads:

‘Christabell that was as faire as sunn;’

Chronicle of England, l. 75 f.:

‘Ant nomeliche to thy lemmon,

That ys wyttore then the fom.’

St. 5

p. 2, l. 50. The alteration of And and bee into An and see seemed necessary; sayment is like Fr. essaiement, Lat. exagimentum.

p. 3, l. 59. Cf. l. 1216 f. and The Lyfe of Ipomydon, ed. Kölbing, l. 1795:

‘If thou hyr haue, thou shalt hyr bye.’

St. 7

p. 3, l. 77 f. As half of the stanza is lost, it is impossible to make out to whom they refers. Nor do I believe that l. 78 is correct, especially as to chaunce.

St. 8

p. 3, l. 79. Cf. Ipomadon, ed. Kölbing, l. 8123:

‘A myle wyth in the Grekes see.’

p. 3, l. 80. in an yle is certainly the correct reading; mauyle was introduced by a scribe who supposed it to be the giant’s name; but that is mentioned some twenty lines later.

St. 13

p. 5, l. 136. The correction of lyght into ryght I owe to Hall, who refers me to the legend of Sancta Maria Egyptiaca; cf. f. i. Barbour’s Legends of Saints, ed. Horstmann, I. p. 143 ff.

St. 14

p. 6, l. 153. nowyd = ‘anoyed’ gives a poor sense. Hall suggests nowtyd; cf. E. D. S., No. 6, Ray’s North Country Words, p. 59, note, to push, strike or soar, with the horn, as a bull or ram,’ ab. A.S. huitan, ejusdem significationis. The word might then mean ‘spurred.’

St. 16

p. 6, l. 171 = l. 596. This alliterative binding is a very frequent one; cf. Sir Orfeo, ed. Zielke, p. 9.

St. 17

p. 7, l. 188. The same rhyme, which I have restored here, occurs l. 559 f.

p. 7, l. 190. Yt tellythe = Yt is told; cf. Lüdtke, note to The Erl of Tolouse, l. 1070, and Sarrazin, note to Octavian, l. 1749.

St. 22

p. 9, l. 236. I was about to write, Crystyn men thow they were, referring this line to the guardians of the lions; but, no doubt, Hall’s reconstruction of the line, which I have put into the text, is far better.


p. 9, l. 237. Hys browys wexe bla, i.e. he turned pale, he was struck with fear; cf. bloo askes, P. Pl., l. 1553, and the German aschfahl. Quite a similar expression occurs in Perceval, l. 687 f.:

‘Now sone of that salle wee see,

Whose browes schalle blakke.’

Ib. l. 1056:

‘His browes to blake.’

St. 23

p. 9, l. 245. Though syghyng gives no offence, still it may be, that the author has written syngyng, and the scribe was wrong in altering it; cf. Zupitza’s note to Guy, l. 5424.

p. 9, l. 251. Cf. l. 802, 1204, Ipomadon, l. 6481 f.:

‘Your nece of Calabyre, that lady clere,

Ys bovnden wyth a fendes fere.’

Reliquiæ Antiquæ, i. p. 241:

‘He seith bi niȝte and eke bi day,

That hy beth fendes ifere.’

St. 25

p. 10, l. 265 f. The reading of these two lines is quite destroyed by the careless scribe. My correction is not more than an attempt to restore the rhyme.

St. 26

p. 10, l. 277 ff. There is nothing in Torrent’s words which could lead the princess to a conclusion like that. I think that after l. 276 one stanza is wanting.

p. 11, l. 286-8. As to the contents of these lines, Kölbing refers me to Englische studien, vol. IV. p. 133 f., where F. Liebrecht mentions a passage in Sir Beves of Hamtoun, according to which a king’s daughter,—if she is a pure virgin,—can never be hurt by a lion. Here we have another proof for this remarkable bit of folk-lore.

St. 27

p. 11, l. 292 = l. 329.

St. 28

p. 11, l. 303 = l. 342.

p. 11, l. 305. I am not quite sure whether I was right in substituting the prince’s name—which is mentioned once more, the first time, as it were, l. 341—for the name of his father’s kingdom; but I didn’t see any other way of restoring the rhyme.

p. 12, l. 311. Cf. l. 469 and Skeat’s note to Sir Thopas, l. 1927.

St. 30

p. 12, l. 334. Instead of he I should prefer to read they: Torrent has just admonished the prisoners to cheer up.

St. 31

p. 13, l. 344. There must be something wrong in this line, because the name of the third Earl’s son is missing; to write the third instead of of may not suffice to put the text right; even the names Torren and Berweyne seem to me very suspicious.

St. 34

p. 14, l. 379. Cf. Ipomadon, l. 4245, for Crystys dede; Crystys was substituted by Kölbing for mannes, which is clearly wrong; he could as well have chosen godes.

St. 35

p. 15, l. 393 ff. Cf. Kölbing’s note to Tristrem, l. 736.

St. 38

p. 16, l. 427. Of this allusion to Veland, Halliwell treats in his 104 edition of Sir Torrent, p. vii f. Cf. Zupitza, Ein zeugnis für die Wieland-sage, Zeitschrift für deutsches Alterthum, Vol. XIX, p. 129 f.

p. 16, l. 429-31. The line which follows l. 429 in the MS. is superfluous; it damages the metre; and the rhyme with l. 430 won’t do. The old king wishes to say; ‘I have seen the day when, if this sword wielded by me fell on any one, he was considered done for, doomed to death.’ Therefore l. 431, I fawght therfor I told has been corrected into Fawe they were I-told. The scribe did not understand the obsolescent word fawe or faye, so he wrote the nearest word to it to make sense, I-told = ‘held, considered.’—I. Hall.

St. 41

p. 17, l. 458. Cf. Breul’s note to Sir Gowther, l. 410.

p. 17, l. 465. Cf. l. 2061 f.

St. 48

p. 20, l. 542. The scribe, who evidently didn’t know the pretty rare word clow, has spoilt it to colod, or colvd; the same rhyme, clouȝ, drouȝ, anouȝ occurs in Sir Tristrem, l. 1761 ff. Nor did the scribe know the word swowe = ‘noise,’ and changed it to swayne; cf. Hall. Dict., p. 843: He come to him with a swowe.

p. 20, l. 543. Of and on, off and on, intermittently.

St. 49

p. 21, l. 555. schyld is not to the point here, Torrent having only his sword at hand. The scribe has forgotten what he has said himself, l. 526 and 549; cf. l. 652.

St. 51

p. 21, l. 582-4. We meet with this description twice more in the poem, ll. 1514-16, and ll. 1858-60.

St. 56

p. 23, l. 640. On the meaning of theff, cf. Kölbing’s note to Am. and Amil., l. 787.

St. 58

p. 24, l. 659. of Perowne is certainly wrong, as it does not agree with the rhymes stere, nere, fere; but I don’t know how to amend the line.

p. 24, l. 662. schere gives no meaning; I write stere and translate, There might nobody move further, i.e. the giant was brought to a standstill in the glen.

p. 24, l. 665. Cf. ll. 434, 791.

St. 60

p. 25, l. 688. Cf. Eglam., l. 324:

‘And to [the] herte hym bare.’

The weak preterit tense of berien is very rare; if bere = A.S. beran sometimes has the same meaning, i.e. ‘to strike,’ the reason is that A.S. beran and Icel. berja are confounded.

St. 61

p. 25, l. 696. woo can hardly stand for wood. It seems to me like a last corruption of an old romance phrase, like worthy inwith wall (woȝe); possibly the line was simply so: Thus in II journeys Torrent so.—Hall.

p. 25, l. 700. On the use of M.E. fote as a plural see Zupitza’s note to Guy, l. 598.

St. 63

p. 26, l. 722. Hall suggests, the original phrase may have been: pomely whyt and grey; cf. Chaucer, C. T., Prol., l. 615 f.:

‘This reeve sat vpon a ful good stot,

That was al pomely gray, and highte Scot.’

St. 65

p. 27, l. 744. Cf. l. 788. On St. James cf. Kölbing’s note to Am. and Amil., l. 796.

St. 70

p. 29, l. 808 f. ‘In so dangerous conditions he has been before [and still come back safe], so he will come back even this time.’

St. 71

p. 29, l. 819. On the meaning of the phrase ’the bord beginne,’ cf. Kölbing, Englische studien, III. p. 104, and Zupitza, Anglia, III. p. 370 f.

St. 73

p. 30, l. 838. This stanza being incomplete, I think, the lacuna is to be put after l. 838. The missing three lines contained the fact, that the king promises Torrent, before his knights, that, when he has done this deed, he will give him his daughter, and grant him one half of his kingdom during his life, and the whole afterwards; cf. l. 1206 ff. The odd number of XXVII knights is probably due only to the scribe; cf. F. III: By VII score of hardy knyghtes.

St. 76

p. 31, l. 867 f. These two lines are poor, and the rhyme is very bad; l. 868 may have run originally, Thurrow Pervyns, for sothe, it ley; cf. l. 949.

St. 78

p. 32, l. 901. squyere, although very odd at the first sight, may still be right; Torrent says: ‘The only squier that I took with me for this journey, is my sword’; cf. l. 909.

St. 80

p. 33, l. 922. Cf. Kölbing’s note to Ipomadon, l. 3344.

p. 33, l. 924-6. On the story of a child, begotten by a devil on a sleeping woman, cf. Breul, Sir Gowther, p. 119 f.

St. 83

p. 34, l. 954 ff. Cf. Tristrem, l. 1409 ff.:

‘Out of Deuelin toun

Þe folk wel fast ran,

In a water to droun,

So ferd were þai þan.’

St. 84

p. 34, l. 963 f. Cf. Beves of Hamtoun, l. 187 f.:

‘Madame, a seide, for loue myn,

Whar mai ich finde þat wilde swin?’

St. 87

p. 36, l. 1000. Instead of spere perhaps we ought to read sworde.

St. 89

p. 37, l. 1030 f. If we compare the rests of these lines in F. VI., this reading or a similar one is to be expected. The reading of l. 1029 ff. in the fragments may be completed so: [Thourgh the he]lpe of god of heuen Thorough ye and] herin euen God send the spere the right way.

p. 36, l. 1033 f. Cf. ll. 1166, 2468 f., and Kölbing’s note to Sir Tristrem, l. 69 f.

St. 92

p. 38, l. 1070. ‘I came hither to seek my death,’ i.e. this expedition was so dangerous, that I expected to die.

St. 93

p. 38, l. 1076. Cf. Ipomadon, l. 239 f.:

‘Tyll vncovth contreys will I wende,

The maner wille I see.’

p. 39, l. 1081. is was to be corrected into it: ‘Because you slew him that possessed it.’

St. 94

p. 39, l. 1086. This line, according to Hall’s emendation, means: You owe no homage or feudal due, the manor is yours and your heirs’ 106 for ever; i.e. the manor is in fee simple, and free from any feudal obligation.

St. 95

p. 39, st. 95. The text would be improved by putting ll. 1104-6 before 1101-3, although this transposition is not absolutely necessary.

p. 39, l. 1105. lefte may be a mistake for loste; cf. Gower, I. 207:

‘Contenaunce for a þrowe

He loste.’

St. 96

p. 40, l. 1117. Cf. Ritson’s Met. Rom., III. p. 341 f., and Zupitza’s note to Guy, l. 436.

St. 97

p. 40, l. 1121. he bare looks rather suspicious, but it is supported by l. 2169. The author is about to describe the figures inlaid on the shield. Cf. Eglamour, l. 1030 f.:

He bare in azure1 a grype of golde,

Rychely beton on the molde.’

p. 40, l. 1124. This line is hopelessly spoilt; the scribe, careless as he was, has almost literally repeated l. 1121; l. 1125 directly continues the description begun before.

St. 98

p. 40, l. 1132. Is than I haue in tale right? We expect rather: than I can telle in tale.

p. 41, l. 1138 f. Cf. l. 1587 f.

St. 99

p. 41, l. 1143. I thought it necessary to insert mete, although Mätzner, Wörterbuch, II. p. 274, cites this line as the only instance in the M.E. literature for glad as a substantive. But even the sense is very poor without this addition.

p. 41, l. 1144. As to a man riding into the hall, cf. Skeat’s note to Chaucer’s Squiere’s Tale, l. 80, and Kölbing’s note to Ipomadon, l. 6253 f.

p. 41, l. 1150 f. I hope my alterations in l. 1151 are right. It cannot be said that the King of Aragon defends the lady unless somebody has laid claims to her. Torrent wants either three combats or the lady, quite a regular occurrence in mediæval romances.

St. 100

p. 41, l. 1154. none, i.e. no lady.

p. 41, l. 1160. Cf. Kölbing’s note to Tristrem, l. 138.

St. 101

p. 41, l. 1165. the gres, which word is here required by the rhyme, is, in the same way as in this passage, used for ‘battle-field,’ in Perceval, l. 1225 f.:

‘Hedes and helmys ther was,

I telle ȝow withowttene lese,

Many layde one the gresse,

And many brode schelde.’

St. 102

p. 42, l. 1181. For tynding of his hand = for fear of (= for) the beating (blows) of his hand. Schoolboy slang still keeps the word ’to tund’ = to beat with something flat.—Hall.

St. 103

p. 42, l. 1193. On this expression Skeat treats in Notes to P. Pl., p. 3987, to which note I refer the reader. Cf. Li B. Disc., l. 130 f. (Ritson, Rom. II. p. 6):

‘Hys schon wer with gold ydyght

And kopeth as a knyght.’


p. 43, l. 1198 f.: ‘None of them said a single word, But that Torrent had been right to do so as he had done.’

St. 104

p. 43, l. 1211. There is an evident contradiction between this line and l. 1199. I suppose the word waried to be wrong; but I am not able to give a fairly certain emendation of it.

St. 106

p. 44, l. 1228 f.: ‘The king had supposed he was dead, and, indeed, foolhardy he was to undertake an adventure like this.’

St. 109

p. 45, l. 1268 f. This fight between the giant Cate and Torrent reminds us in some points of the combat between Guy and Colbrond. Like the old northern holmganga, both fights take place on an island, and in both cases the giant declines to sit on horseback, because he is too heavy; cf. Guy of Warwike, Edinburgh, 1840, l. 9940 ff.:

‘When þai had sworn and ostage founde,

Colbrond stirt vp in þat stounde,

To fiȝt he was ful felle.

He was so michel and so vnrede,

That no hors miȝt him lede,

In gest as y you telle.

So mani he hadde of armes gere,

Vnneþe a cart miȝt hem bere,

Þe Inglisse for to quelle.’

p. 45, l. 1270. he instead of him is remarkable; this personal construction, provided that it is right, would offer an analogue to I am wo instead of me is wo; cf. Kölbing’s note to Tristrem, l. 245.

p. 45, l. 1271 = l. 1546.

St. 113

p. 46, l. 1307. This line ought probably to run thus:

Sir Torent praid, as was his wonne.

St. 115

p. 47, l. 1337 f. This is SAINT Nycholas de Barr, not sir N., as the copyist has put. He was hardly a cleric, or he would have known the Boy Bishop. An English reference for S. Nicholas is Alban Butler, Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, etc., vol. vii. p. 989, Dublin, 1833. His day is Dec. 6th, consequently he is not in Acta Sanctorum; see besides Altenglische legenden, Neue folge, ed. Horstmann, Heilbronn, 1881, p. 11-16, and Barbour’s Legendensammlung, ed. Horstmann, I. p. 229-245. Barr is Bari in Italy, and Barbour, I. p. 238, l. 601 f., knew it was two syllables (cf. the rhyme þame be: Barre). Nicholas was the patron of sailors, and churches on the sea-coast in all parts of Europe were dedicated to him. Now as Sir Torrent had been in peril at sea, he offers to him. It was customary to offer garments at such shrines. See Hampson, Medii Ævi Kalendarium, I. p. 72. Hence I propose for l. 1338: A grett Erldome and a simarr. Simarr is not a common word, which makes it all the more probable here, since the uncommon words are those which are corrupted and lost. See Prompt. Parv., I. p. 75: ’chymer, abella,’ that is ‘abolla, cloak.’ M.E. simar, Fr. simarre.—Hall. I have not hesitated for a moment to introduce this sagacious conjecture into the text; also the correction of redith into tas I owe to Mr. Hall.

St. 116

p. 48, l. 1353. Cf. Kölbing’s note to Sir Tristrem, l. 2508.

St. 117

p. 48, l. 1364. We ought probably to read she instead of he.

St. 118

p. 48, l. 1367 f. Cf. l. 1756 f.

p. 48, l. 1378. Cf. Sir Tristrem, l. 2458:

‘Bi holtes and bi hille.’

St. 119

p. 49, l. 1385 ff. Here he addresses the King of Portugal. In l. 1385 the is superfluous, and should perhaps be struck out.

St. 120

p. 49, l. 1395. fend = defend; cf. Zupitza’s note to Guy, l. 576.

St. 124

p. 51, l. 1443 f. As the existence of fede = fode, ‘fellow’ is proved by no other passage, we ought perhaps to write As spede me god: ffode, or As g. me save: knave, instead of As god me spede: ffede.

p. 51, l. 1445. The alteration of fleand, which is absurd here, into failand is supported by l. 1280.

p. 51, l. 1446. As to make instead of made, cf. l. 332.

St. 126

p. 51, l. 1463. Cf. l. 2090 f. I am afraid neither of these passages is quite right.

St. 131

p. 53, l. 1518. Perhaps we ought to read:

‘And out of the valey he hyd swith.’

St. 132

p. 54, l. 1531. I don’t believe that the poet used the word tree thrice within these four lines; perhaps he wrote for l. 1531: Shold not drawe it, parde.

St. 134

p. 54, l. 1551. Cf. Guy, ed. Zupitza, l. 5430:

‘To reste þer horsys a lytull wyght,’

and Zupitza’s note to l. 419.

St. 135

p. 55, l. 1570. Cf. Stratmann’s note to Havelok, l. 1129 (Englische studien, I. p. 424).

St. 137

p. 56, l. 1592. To the I haue full good gate means, ‘I am fully entitled to kill you.’ I don’t recollect to have met with any parallel passage.

St. 138

p. 56, l. 1600. That dynt is wrong, the rhyme shows as well as the meaning. But whether my alteration is right, seems very doubtful, especially as l. 1609 offers the same rhyming word.

St. 142

p. 58, st. 142. Rhymes like dight, be-taught, draught, right can by no means be admitted. Now, instead of be-taught we may be allowed to write be-teighte (cf. Beket, l. 1827), and l. 1654 may have run:

‘He wold haue a draught, aplight.’

St. 144

p. 59, l. 1676. After was, sent may have been dropped.

St. 145

p. 59, l. 1692. For his love, i.e. ‘As his sweetheart.’

St. 148

p. 60, l. 1714. Cf. Ipomadon, l. 52:

‘Begge he wex of bonne and blode.’

Ib. l. 1763:

‘Ryghtte bygge of bone and blode.’

p. 60, l. 1722: ‘All his men agreed with him,’ viz. that this was the knight whom he came to seek.

St. 152

p. 62, l. 1774. Is her day = A.S. aerdagas, cf. Havelok, l. 27? The word is very rare, and in this meaning occurs only in the plural.


p. 62, l. 1777. After king, on kne may have dropped out.

St. 155

p. 63, l. 1799. Cf. Chaucer, C. T., the Millere’s Tale, l. 325:

‘Say what thou wolt, I schal it never telle

To child no wyf, by him that harwed helle.’

Ib., The Sompnoure’s Tale, l. 407:

‘Now help, Thomas, for him that harewed helle.’

Perhaps even here, l. 1702, Iesu, that made hell, ought to be altered into I. that harowde hell.

St. 159

p. 64, l. 1846. Perhaps we ought to read ebbyng instead of eb, according to l. 223; one can hardly say, that ‘the sea is eb.’

St. 169

p. 68, l. 1961. Instead of A I should prefer to read The, because this griffon is the same which robbed the child before.

St. 171

p. 69, l. 1982. Of what lond that he is left, i.e. ‘Wherever he may be born.’

St. 172

p. 69, l. 1991 f. Cf. Ipomadon, l. 50 f.:

‘He sayd: Fro tyme he kepe tham con,

My landes I shall hym take.’

St. 173

p. 70, l. 2002. It is good in euery fight, i.e. there is a stone in the ring which heals wounds, if they are touched with it; cf. Kölbing’s note to Ipomadon, l. 8018.

p. 70, l. 2010. Halliwell, p. 306, explains disparlid by ‘beaten down, destroyed,’ a meaning which is not fit for this passage. I read with a slight addition disparplid = ‘dispersed,’ a rare word; cf. Stratmann, p. 156.

St. 175

p. 71, l. 2026. But is probably to be altered into And.

St. 178

p. 72, l. 2053. Cf. Kölbing’s note to Tristrem, l. 3068.

St. 180

p. 72, l. 2075. One might be inclined to write:

‘That my two children vncrystonyd ware,’

but I don’t think that we are obliged to change: ‘I cared only for that one thing, That my two children might be christened.’

St. 184

p. 74, l. 2126. For hing instead of heng cf. Mätzner, Sprachproben, I. 1, p. 292, note to line 675, where hynges rhymes with springes.

St. 185

p. 74, l. 2135. hede vale, i.e. principal, best choice; vale = wale, or perhaps aphetic for avale = value.—Hall.

p. 74, l. 2138. born seems to me somewhat suspicious, though I cannot propose a better reading; and torn instead of born wouldn’t do.

St. 186

p. 75, l. 2152. The imperfect rhyme shows that there is something wrong in this line; it may be restored thus:

‘Loo, lordys good and hende.’

p. 75, l. 2153. wyll haue has probably been inserted here from the following line; we ought to read has.

St. 187

p. 75, l. 2157. Season for to hold, i.e. ‘in order to hold court.’ But I don’t know another instance of season with this meaning.

St. 188

p. 76, l. 2174. This line involves a contradiction to l. 2158 f.

St. 189

p. 76, l. 2185. smote means the same as caste; cf. King Horn, ed. Wissmann, l. 1038:

‘And ankere gunne caste.’

The only question is, whether ankere is allowed to be supplied or must be added; cf. l. 2203.

St. 191

p. 77, l. 2209-2214. The Sultan informs Torrent by messengers, that the inhabitants of the town are starving, evidently appealing to his generosity. Torrent answers him, that if they will lie here, i.e. leave the town, they are to have victuals enough. But the Sultan doesn’t accept this condition, and so the siege is continued. That seems to me to be the meaning of this half of the stanza.

St. 192

p. 77, l. 2216 f. dede means here, and l. 2400, ‘exploit, battle.’ In the same way Saber, Beves’s uncle, once a year on a certain day fights against the Emperor; cf. Sir Beues, l. 2917 ff.:

’& eueri ȝer on a dai certaine

Vpon þemperur of Almaine

He ginneþ gret bataile take,

Beues, al for þine sake.’

It agrees very well with the religious feelings of the Middle Ages, when they thought it a merit to fight against the heathens on Good Friday; cf. here l. 2230 ff.

p. 77, l. 2224 ff. I am afraid there is something wrong in these lines; the copyist seems to mean, that Torrent didn’t bereave the inhabitants of their worldly goods, their treasures; then we must write them for it. But what we really expect here is, that he leaves in the town some trustworthy men to keep it. Accordingly, the fault lies in Worldely goodis. Besides, l. 2224, did wyn, instead of was yn, would improve the rhyme.

St. 193

p. 77, l. 2232. bryght is a rather odd epithet to Sarȝins.

p. 78, l. 2233 ff. Fifteen years have past since Torrent began to fight against the infidels: he besieges the first town two years (cf. l. 2189), the second, six years (cf. l. 2206), the third, seven years (cf. l. 2230). Meanwhile, the education of a young man being finished at the age of fifteen (cf. Kölbing’s note to Tristrem, l. 287), his son had become just old enough to win his spurs.

St. 194

p. 78, l. 2240. I doubt whether ordeyn can be allowed to stand without an object, such as your folk, or your ships; cf. Robert of Glo’ster, ed. Hearne, p. 139, l. 19:

‘He bigan to ordeyne ys folk, & to batail aȝen drow.’

St. 195

p. 78, l. 2256: ‘Woebegone was she, that must see that,’ viz. that ‘le leopard took away her sone.’

St. 196

p. 78, l. 2259 f. The meaning of these two lines is not quite perspicuous, and they may be corrupt; only this one thing is clear, that these two knights are Torrent and his son, who belong to different parties.

St. 197

p. 79, l. 2269 ff. It may be that ll. 2269-71 and ll. 2272-74 are 111 to be transposed, but I don’t think it necessary: Torrent’s men flee when they see that their chief has surrendered.

St. 199

p. 80, l. 2302. wekid = wicked, mischievous. But I don’t recollect to have met with this adj. as an epithet to land or country.

p. 80, l. 2304. Cf. Tristrem, l. 88, Kölbing’s note to that passage, and York Plays, p. 438, l. 155:

‘For, certys, my lyf days are nere done.’

St. 200

p. 80, l. 2316. The alteration of this line is rather a radical one; but there was no other way to restore the rhyme; I think that first, day and nyȝt had changed their places in line 2313, and then the copyist, in order to get a rhyme to nyȝt, spoilt the latter line.

St. 202

p. 81, l. 2335. be my ffaye and parmaffay in the same stanza, and both in the rhyme, are rather poor; one of these lines may have run thus:

‘Be god of heven, the king gan say.’

St. 204

p. 82, l. 2357. The same confusion between turment and turnament occurs in Ipomadon, l. 2868; cf. Kölbing’s note to this line.

St. 207

p. 83, l. 2392. Cf. Ipomadon, l. 3958:

‘A mercy, syr, for Crystes pitte,’

and Kölbing’s note to this line.

p. 83, l. 2395 f. Cf. Kölbing’s note to Tristrem, l. 3064, where he cites an interesting parallel passage to this line from Guy of Warwick, ed. Zupitza, l. 4707 f.:

‘Ȝyt þou art the trewest knyght,

That euer slepyd in wynturs nyght.’

St. 208

p. 83, l. 2405. and is perhaps miswritten for an or on.

p. 83, l. 2407. This line, as it stands, is rather odd; perhaps it ought to be identical with l. 1128.

St. 209

p. 84, l. 2420. juster, jouster, means here a knight who joins in a joust or tournament: in the only other passage where it is known to occur, Alis., l. 1400, it is a horse for tourneying.

St. 210

p. 84, l. 2433 = l. 2456; cf. Ipomadon, l. 8830:

Euery man in there degre.

St. 212

p. 85, l. 2450. On roial, cf. Kölbing’s note to Ipomadon, l. 64. To a roall ffyght may be compared Shakespeare’s A royal battle (Rich. III., IV. iv.).

St. 213

p. 85, l. 2461. with oute lent = ‘without fasting’? I have not met with this expletive phrase anywhere else.

St. 216

p. 86, l. 2493. It was not superfluous to mention this fact, because knights were very often killed in tournaments; cf. Niedner, Das deutsche turnier im XII. und XIII. Iahrhundert, Berlin, 1881, p. 24. See also R. Brunne’s Handlyng-Synne, ed. Furnivall, 1862, p. 144-6.

St. 218

p. 87, l. 2518-20. As to the meaning of couplid, cf. Mätzner, Wörterbuch, I. p. 491. These lines evidently mean that gentlemen and ladies sit alternately, what one calls in German, bunte reihe machen. 112 Cf. A. Schultz, Das höfische Leben Zur Zeit der Minnesinger, I. p. 330, and P. Pietsch, Bunte Reihe, Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie, vol. xvi. Halle, 1884, p. 231, who cites from Biterolf, l. 7399 ff.:

‘Do hiezens under mîne man

Ir ingesinde wol getân

Sich teilen in dem palas,

Daz kein mîn recke dâ was,

Ern sæze zwischen magedîn.’

St. 219

p. 87, l. 2526. emell was added by Hall in order to restore the rhyme with Desonell.

St. 220

p. 88, l. 2535. For this correction, cf. Zupitza’s note to Guy, l. 600.

St. 225

p. 90, l. 2593. After marked, them may have dropped; cf. Layamon, l. 5642 f.:

‘And heom markede forđ,

Touward Munt-giu heo ferden,’

instead of which lines the later MSS. writes:

‘Hii nome riht hire way

Touward Muntageu.’

St. 226

p. 90, l. 2597. On castelletoure cf. Kölbing’s note to Tristrem, l. 158.

St. 229

p. 91, l. 2636. Cf. Kölbing’s notes to Amis and Amiloun, l. 1019, and to The lyfe of Ipomadon, l. 506. Here the expression, no good he ne couth means, he was quite feeble and strengthless.

St. 231

p. 92, l. 2658. up-tyed = so limited by the deed of foundation that they (the churches and abbeys) could not be diverted to any other purpose.—Hall.

p. 92, l. 2661. Cf. Eglamour, l. 1339, Lincoln MS.:

‘In Rome this romance crouned es.’

The Cambridge MS. reads instead:

‘In Rome thys geste cronyculd ys.’

I am inclined to think that crouned is nothing else but a misreading for cronyculd. Afterwards, considered to be correct, it has originated expressions like those we find here.

Footnote to Notes

1. So Percy Fol. MS.; aserre Thornt.



Commas at the end of some entries are not errors. The letters I and J are alpha­betized together. Initial U is written and alphabetized as  V.

Asterisks* are not explained. They seem to indicate words that did not appear in the original MS but are the result of editorial emendation. They may or may not occur elsewhere in the text.

 A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   IJ   K   L 
 M   N   O   P   R   S   T   UV   W   Y 

abydde, 2/41, vb. to endure.

a-bye, 21/569, vb. to pay for.

actone, 79/2276, sb. a jacket of quilted cotton. Cf. Skeat’s Glossary to Wars of Al., s.v.

ago, 3/65, pp. gone.

a-right, 48/1364, pt. s. prepared, served up.

assent, 48/1357, sb. proposal.

assttyt, 23/640, adv. at once.

auter, 68/1952, sb. altar.

avented, 54/1554, pt. s. refl. recovered his breath.

aventorres, 2/39, sb. pl. adventures.

aventurly, 44/1229, adv. boldly.

axithe, 10/260, pr. 3 sg. asks.

balle, 15/400, sb. bale.

bane,* 29/794, sb. bone;

52/1478, sb. destruction, death;

59/1678, sb. over-comer.

bare, 53/1502, pr. s. stabbed.

barys, 35/978, sb. pl. bars.

bayte, 54/1553, vb. to pasture.

bed, 29/793, pp. offered.

bent, 25/701, 86/2487, sb. battle-field.

berdles, 36/1015, adj. beardless.

bere, 37/1045, vb. to stab.

be-stad, 29/808, pp. sore bestad = distressed.

bet, 57/1622, pt. s. beat.

be-taught, 58/1651, pp. surrendered, delivered.

bett, 55/1585, pp. beaten;

40/1123, pp. ornamented.

be-tyde, 45/1270, vb. to befall;

cf. the note to this line.

beytyng, 36/1008, vb. sb., baiting.?

bla,* 9/237, adj. pale, wan;

cf. the note.

blo,* 13/351, adj. blue.

blynd, 4/87, pr. s. conj. blind.

bode, 18/498, pr. s. ordered.

boffettes, 85/2472;

buffettes, 56/1596, sb. pl. blow, dint.

bone, 55/1565, sb. prayer.

bord, 29/819, 42/1194, sb. table.

bowes, 51/1451, sb. pl. bough, branch.

bowght, 21/556, sb. bend.

brayd, 56/1598, sb. sudden attack.

broke, 30/833, 48/1354, vb. to enjoy.

browȝ, 24/654, sb. rising ground, hill.

byddythe, 18/500, pr. s. waited, remained.

byght, 22/605, vb. to bite.

byne, 2/46, vb. to be.

byrlyd, 11/292, 12/329, pr. s. to pour out.

castell toure, 90/2597, sb. castle tower.

chaffare, 35/986, sb. bargain.

chalenge, 41/1150;

pr. s. 41/1163;

pr. s. conj. challenge.

cheff-foster, 21/574, sb. chief-foster.

ches, 26/718, pr. s. chose.

chyrge, 29/814, sb. church.

clarkys, 1/12, sb. pl. clerks.

clere, 3/62, adj. clere of, renowned for.

clow,* 20/542, sb. clough.

cobled, 46/1298, adj. cobled stones = cobblestones.

comely, 26/722, adv. in a comely manner;

cf. the note.

contenance,* 3/75, sb. countenance, presence of mind.

cord, 48/1357, pr. s. accord.

coueryd, 87/2506, pr. pl. Vp they coueryd = They recovered.?

countenance, 39/1105, sb. countenance.

couped, 42/1193, pp.;

cf. the note.


coupled, 87/2520, pp. coupled;

cf. the note.

coursus, 41/1150, 42/1177, sb. pl. courses.

couth, 46/1295, 91/2636, pr. s. knew.

craftely, 54/1527, adv. skilfully.

crest, 40/1128;

creste, 83/2407, sb. crest.

croke, 36/1018, 37/1042, 55/1577, 56/1607, 58/1652, sb. crook.

dalle, 21/562, sb. valley.

delyuer, 41/1154, vb.;

41/1151, imp. to deliver up;

delyuerd, 63/1806, 1808, pp. delivered of a child;

delyuerd, 82/2372, pp. released?

dent, 2/41, sb. blow.

departid, 47/1329, pr. pl. divorced.

dewe, 4/88, sb. dieu.

deyr, 2/37, adj. dear.

deyse, 38/1067, 42/1192, sb. dais.

dight, 39/1081, pr. s. built.

disparplid,* 70/2010, pp. dispersed;

cf. the note.

dong, 61/1754, pr. pl. dung, beat.

dourst, 3/81, prs. sg. darest.

draught, 58/1654, sb. draught.

dryee, 36/994, vb. endure.

duchyes, 33/933, sb. pl. duchies.

dulful, 19/519, adj. troublesome.

dynnyng, 52/1487, sb. roaring.

dyspisyst, 2/47, prs. 2 sg. despisest.

eb, 64/1846, sb. ebb;

cf. the note.

ebbyd, 8/223, pp. ebbing.

ech, 92/2657, pron. each.

eche, 24/649, sb. oak.

endentyd, 9/227, pp. indented, adorned.

erber, 65/1868, sb. garden of pleasure.

ermyght, 36/1008, sb.?

eyllythe, 34/958, prs. 3 sg. ails.

fall, 47/1331, vb. to fell, kill.

fame, 2/31, sb. foam.

fare, 44/1234, sb. at that fare = under these circumstances.

farly, 2/44;

ferly, 69/1974, 71/2035, sb. wonder.

fawe,* 16/431, adj. destined to death.

fede,* 2/30, sb. feed, pasture ground;

cf. the note.

ffede, 51/1444, sb.;

cf. the note.

fell, 85/2444, adj. strong, able.

fell, 1/21, 4/90, vb. to fell, kill;

fellythe, 3/82, pr. 3 sg. fells.

fere, 3/69, 4/98, 4/102, 33/931, 85/2466, sb. companion.

fesomnyd, 2/28, pr. s.;

cf. the note.

fet, 12/309, pp. fetched.

ffettouris, 81/2333, sb. pl. fetters.

flyng, 67/1927, vb. to hasten.

flyngyng, 14/378, p. prs. hastening.

fode, 36/1012, sb. food;

ffode, 64/1823, sb. child, wight.

ffont, 69/1993, sb. font.

forsake, 26/724, vb. to leave behind.

fforward, 41/1743, sb. agreement.

fraye, 23/638, sb. attack.

freke, 58/1661, sb. warrior.

frethe, 6/161, sb. forest.

fyle, 33/911, sb. fill.

ffyne, 39/1086, sb. fine.

fytte, 17/458, sb. pl. feet.

fytyng, 7/1731, p. prs. fighting.

gadlyng, 36/1015, sb. vagabond.

gale, 46/1313, sb. galley.

gas, 4/103, prs. 3 sg. goes.

gestonye, 82/2374, 91/2625, 91/2627, sb. banquet, feast.

gethe, 71/2042, prs. 3 sg. goes.

glemyrryng, 16/426, p. prs. glimmering.

governe, 28/779, vb. refl. to behave.

greme,* 67/1929, sb. grief, sorrow.

grennyng, 40/1126, p. prs. distorting, gaping.

gryffon, 69/1971;

greffon, 69/1981, sb. griffin.

grype, 68/1961, sb. griffin.

harood, 60/1711, sb. herald;

82/2365, harroldys, sb. pl. heralds.

harood, 63/1799, pr. s. distracted.

hed, 17/444, sb. heed.

hede, 74/2126, vb. to behead.

hede-vale, 74/2135, 91/2621, sb. principal value;

cf. the note to l. 2135.

hedles, 25/702, adj. headless.

hende, 4/106, adj. courteous.

herne,* 37/1030, sb. brains.

heved,* 14/371, sb. head.

hight, 65/1860, sb. height.

housell, 45/1272;

howsell, 74/2139, sb. housel.

howge, 20/548, adj. huge, enormous.


howt, 25/703, adv. out.

hurt, 57/1625, sb. hurt.

i-bye, 43/1222, vb. to pay for.

i-wysse, 15/391, adv. surely.

juster, 84/2420, sb. jousting knight.

kene, 2/47, adj. brave.

kerpyng, 92/2662, vb. sb. talking.

lade, 58/1663, sb. load, i.e. a lot of blows.

lay, 6/165, 52/1492, sb. grass land, bank.

lede, 2/36, sb. country.

lemyred, 11/291, pr. s. glimmered.

lenage, 18/491, sb. lineage, family.

lende, 1/9, prs. pl. go.

leng, 32/899, vb. to stay.

lent, 85/2461, sb. lent?

leryd, 40/1110, pp. informed.

lifte, 45/1273, vb. to lift.

lothly, 34/964, 35/991;

lothely, 53/1508, 54/1534, adj. loathsome.

love, 59/1692, sb. love, sweet-heart.

lyst, 1/7, vb. to listen.

lythe, 13/337, vb. to listen.

lyvelode, 83/2384, sb. livelihood.

maistershipmon, 50/1425, sb. captain.

mall, 12/322, sb. hammer, club.

markyd, 90/2592, pr. s. directed.

mate, 25/678, adj. faint, exhausted.

maynerey, 16/435, sb. banquet, feast.

maystry, 8/212, sb. mastery;

maystres, 28/789, sb. pl. = maystries, exploits?

meche, 10/270, 20/531, 26/713, 37/1040, adj. much, great.

met, 25/700, pr. s. measured.

moche, 49/1399, 76/2195, adj. much, great.

myd mete, 41/1141, 42/1189, sb. the middle of the dinner.

mylle, 3/79, sb. mile.

myrre, 11/293, 34/943, adj. merry.

myster, 21/581, sb. need, want.

nonys, 46/1299, in phr. for þe nones, for the once, for the occasion.

noryse, 67/1928, sb. nurse.

not,* 54/1535, prs. ne wot, don’t know.

nowyd, 6/153, pp. annoyed? cf. the note.

of-smyght, 25/691, vb. to cut off.

omage, 39/1086, sb. homage.

onfre,* 53/1499, adj. unnoble.

on-harnes, 11/302, vb. to unharness.

ordor, 2/51, sb. order.

ordurres, 2/48, sb. pl. knighthood, dub.

ovyr-ryde, 2/40, vb. to ride over, to overcome?

payn, 44/1252, sb. fine, mulct.

persewyd,* 17/462, pp. pursued.

pertely, 53/1501, adv. openly, plainly.

pluckys, 56/1611, sb. strokes;

cf. Halliwell, Dict., p. 633.

pomell, 26/714, sb. pommel.

poynt, 17/445, 88/2540, = poynt of armys, 3/68, 30/832, 49/1383, sb. exploit.

prekand, 45/1263, prs. p. pricking.

preste, 50/1418, adj. ready.

preve, 10/275, adj. privy.

pyll, 21/573, sb. rock?

ragyd, 7/194, adj. ragged.

rawght, 24/645, pr. s. gave.

red, 7/178, sb. counsel.

reioyse, 75/2151, 80/2309, 91/2640, vb. to enjoy.

rerid, 55/1561, pr. pl. reared, tried to bring on.

reue, 35/986, vb. to bereave, to rob.

reuelid, 85/2467, pr. pl. revelled, feasted.

revid, 88/2546, pp. robbed.

rewe, 31/860, vb. to rue, to pity.

reysed, 46/1313, pr. pl. raised, made ready;

reysing, 51/1454, prs. p. rising, starting up.

rially, 87/2516, adv. royally.

rialte, 85/2455, sb. royal state.

rightfull, 64/1834, adj. rightfull.

roall, 85/2450, adj. royal.

rome, 19/516, sb. cross-way?

rore, 37/132, vb. to roar.

rough, 66/1879, sb. wood, copse.

rowe, 50/1426, prs. pl. row.

rowght, 24/645, sb. stroke, blow?

rude, 58/1666, adj. rude.

ryd, 2/44, pr. s. rode.


ryde-wey, 22/598, sb. spur-way, horse-way.

ryngis, 82/2354, sb. ring, arena.

ryved, 73/2090, pr. s. ryved up, landed, disembarked;

ryven, 50/1435, pr. p. landed.

sare, 4/97, adv. sorely.

sarten, 26/717, adj. sb. the sarten = the truth.

sayment, 2/50, sb. trial, exploit.

scape, 81/2327, prs. subj. escape.

schedyng, 19/516, sb. separation.

scheff-chambyr, 26/718, sb. chief-chamber, first rank-chamber.

scheld, 21/578, vb. to shelter.

schere, 21/556, vb. to shear, to cut.

schope, 21/567, pr. s. created.

schowt, 21/570,

schoute, 61/1751, 65/1877, s.;

schuot, 22/594, vb. to shout.

season, 75/2157, sb. court.

see-fome, 75/2165, sb. sea-foam.

sege, 77/2204, sb. siege.

sekyrnes, 30/835, sb. surety.

semled, 85/2445, pr. pl. assembled.

sete, 33/922, sb. city.

seth, 74/2141, conj. since.

sett, 41/1152, pr. s. sat.

sewe, 4/89, vb. to look at.

shipped, 45/1260, pr. s. 46/1318, pr. pl. shypped, pp. embarked.

shone, 40/1117, sb. pl. shoes.

side lokyng, 57/1637, sb. side-glance.

siȝed, 79/2288, pr. s. sighed.

simarr,* 47/1338, sb. cloak;

see the note.

slade, 58/1660, sb. slade.

slon,* 16/458, sb. sloe.

smote, 76/2185;

smote adown, 77/2203, pr. s. cast anchor.

solasyd, 24/657, pr. s. solaced, comforted.

solemnite, 56/1591, sb. pride.

sotell, 61/1761, adj. subtle, sly.

sownyng, 49/1400, 62/1782, 90/2615, sb. swooning.

sparid, 73/2096, pr. pl. barred, blocked up.

sped, 3/70, prs. conj. speed.

spent, 67/1910, pp. lost.

sperryd, 14/364, pr. s. barred, shut up.

sperrys, 5/127, sb. spire, tree.

spousage, 62/1791, sb. spousage.

sprent, 7/181, pr. s. lept.

spryt, 7/181, sb. pole.

stad,* 55/1566, sb. stead.

state, 60/1729, sb. chair of state.

stere,* 24/662, vb. refl. move.

steryng, 62/1785, p. prs. stirring, moving.

stomlyng, 24/660, p. prs. stumbling.

storrope, 35/987, sb. stirrup.

strake, 2/42, pr. s. struck.

styll, 18/477, sb. steel.

swathing band, 67/1917, sb. swath.

swowe,* 20/548, sb. noise;

cf. the note.

sybbe,* 27/739, sb. kinsman.

takyll, 49/1402, sb. tackling.

tall, 26/734, sb. tale.

tene, 3/73, sb. grief, sorrow.

the, 2/49, vb. to thrive.

thede,* 60/1728, sb. people.

thefe, 46/1292;

theffe, 58/1659, sb. villain.

theves, 61/1760, sb. pl. villains.

thole,* 17/460, vb. to suffer.

throng, 38/1057, sb. crowd, troop.

thronge, 79/2283, pr. pl. thronged, pressed.

tombelyd, 42/1173, pr. pl. tumbled.

to-sheverd, 42/1172, pr. s. shivered in pieces.

trast,* 17/455,? vb. to trust.

trayll, 46/1314, vb. to trail.

trayn, 29/803, 51/1455, sb. treachery, deceit.

trompettys, 29/816, 34/443,

trumpettes, 41/1164, sb. pl. trumpets.

trovylld, 17/452, pr. s. travailed, exerted himself.

trow, 21/572, pr. s. believe.

trusse, 13/354, vb. to truss.

trussyd, 14/371, pr. pl. trussed.

tyed, 92/2658, pp.;

cf. the note.

tyght, 22/589, adj. tight.

tyght, 25/690, adv. in phr. ase tyght, at once.

tymbyr, 2/40, 81/2349, 86/2483, sb. lance.

tynding, 42/1181, sb. beating;

cf. the note.

vale, s. hede.

venturus, 55/1566, adj. adventurous, dangerous.


vetelid, 76/2188, pp. supplied with provisions.

victoure, 83/2411, sb. victor.

vnbrydeled, 54/1552, pr. s. unbridled.

vnder, 71/2029, sb. noon.

vndyr-nethe, 20/542, prep. underneath.

vndertane, 61/1733, vb. to undertake.

walloyng, 7/189, prs. p. wallowing.

wanne, 62/1767, adj. wan, dark.

ward, 48/1351, sb. warden.

waried, 43/1211, 88/2544, pr. pl. cursed;

waried, 54/1537, pp. cursed.

warne, 29/795, prs. s. deny, refuse.

water fflood, 65/1872, sb. water-flood.

watt, 44/1247, prs. 3 sg. knows.

wax, 3/73, pr. s. became.

wede, 2/33, sb. garment, dress.

wekid, 80/2302, adj. wicked;

see the note.

were, 57/1623, vb. to get tired.

were, 28/773, adj. aware.

wet-saffe, 17/466, pr. s. vouchsafe.

wexe,* 9/237, pr. pl. became.

wight, 54/1551, sb. white.

wilsom, 71/2030;

wyld-som, 20/535;

wyldsome, 19/506, adj. wild, desert.

wis, 53/1525, vb. to show.

wod, 14/377, adj. mad.

won, 4/94, adj. one.

wonande, 1/14, p. prs. living.

wondyr-thyng, 2/53, sb. wondrous thing.

wonne, 46/1295, sb. custom, expedient.

wonne, 46/1307, pp. wont? cf. the note.

wonne, 65/1870, p. dwelling, living?

wonne, 69/1995, pp. won.

wrought vp, 54/1532, pr. s. built up, raised.

wyght,* 1/15, 3/60.

wyt, 27/749,

wyhte, 30/848, adj. wight.

yare,* 7/177,* 14/369, 47/1320, adv. wholly, yarely.

yatis gone, 71/2025, sb. pl. footpaths.

yell, 46/1305, vb. to yell.

yell, 52/1487, sb. yell.

yf, 61/1740, imp. s.

yff, 70/2009, prs. conj. s. may give.

ylke, 25/694, 63/1801, pron. same.




Adolake, 434, the name of a sword;

Adyloke, 665;

Hatheloke, 791.

Adryan, 927, St. Hadrian.

Amyas, 345, a young prince.

Antioche, 2229, Antiochia.

Antony, 1874, 1940, 1970, 2558, St. Antony.

Antony fice greffoun, 1998, 2435, 2476, Torrent’s son.

Aragon, 1114, 1152, 1182, 1212, 1257, 1325, 2110;

Eragon, 765.

Awsden, 1029, St. Austin.

Be-gon-mese, 101, a giant.

Berweyne, 344;

see Jakys.

Brasille, 1450, a forest on the Norwegian coast.

Calabur, 847, 907, 952, 1059, 1320, 2113, Calabria.

Calamond, 1221, King of Portugal;

Calomond, 2116, 2168;

Colomand, 2104;

Colomond, 1408, 2143.

Cardon, 1091, a town in Calabria.

Cargon, 1326, a town in Aragon.

Cate, 1238, 1254, 1293, 1593, a giant.

Desonelle, 109, 382, 446, 450, 478, 673, 795, 859, 985, 1102, 1135, 1161, 1359, 1393, 1703, 1780, 2006, 2059, 2077, 2092, 2173, 2401, 2424, 2500, 2509, 2523, 2533, 2587, 2614, King Calamond’s daughter, Torrent’s spouse;

Dissonelle, 1329;


Elyoner, 347, daughter of the King of Gales.

Flonthus, 1005, Slonges of Flonthus, a giant.

Fuolles, 748, Slogus of Fuolles, variation of the former name.

Gales, 346, 408, 417.

Gendres, 1747, daughter of the King of Norway.

George, 1677, St. George.

Grece, 2419, 2434, 2557, 2643, Greece.

Grekes, 79, 1282, 2179, 2645, Greeks.

Gryffen, 1215, St. Griffon.

Hungry, 970, Hungary.

Jakys, 344, Jakys of Berweyne, a young prince.

Jame, 744, 788, St. James.

Jerusalem, 1897, 1921, 1938, 2236, 2245, 2275, 2426, 2473, 2554, 2633.

Jesus, 134, 274, 537, 540, 675, 996, 1340, 1371, 1382, 1447, 1539, 1564, 1702, 1799, 1937, 1985, 1997, 2218, 2580;

Iesu Cryst, 206, 529, 1275, 1832, 1852, 2664.

John, 1884, 2140, 2514, 2559, St. John.

Katryn, 2053, St. Catherine.

Leobertus, 1925, 2246, 2477, Torrent’s son.

Marre, 85, 624;

Mary, 136, 1308, 1565, 1646, 1888, 1906, 1946, 1969, 2098, 2311;

Marry, 61, 259, 863.

Mavdeleyn, 489;

Mawdleyn, 505, 737, Maudlin, name of a forest.

Mownpolyardnus, 716, the name of a sword.

Myhelle, 753, St. Michael.

Nazareth, 465, 2032, 2041, 2389, 2437, 2528.


Norway, 1370, 1377, 1412, 1417, 1759, 1781, 2083.

Nycholas de Barr, 1337, St. Nicholas de Bari;

see the note.

Peron, 1776, 1830;

Perowne, 659;

Perrown, 412, a town in Portugal.

Pervens, 420, 1095, 1320;

Pervyns, 868, 2113, Provence;

Provyns, 397, 413.

Portingale, 1069, 1346, 2090, 2095, 2593;

Portyngale, 1772, 2134, 2176, 2413, 2620;

Portynggalle, 13, 25, 374, 399, 727, 763, 877, 883, 1255, Portugal.

Quarelle, 2182, 2415, a town in Syria.

Raynes, 2414, a town in Syria.

Rochense, 637, a giant.

Rome, 12, 118, 187, 190, 198, 558, 924, 1224, 1282, 1319, 1924, 2183, 2626, 2661.

Samson, 95, Samson.

Sarȝins, 2232, Saracens.

Sathanas, 1237, Satan.

Slochys, 850;

Slogus, 748;

Slonges, 1005;

Slongus, 967, a giant.

Torrayne, 26, Touraine.

Torren, 343.

Torrent, 34, 46, 49, 61, 91, 133, 148, 181, 200, 203, 217, 224, 230, 252, 280, 295, 302, 314, 392, 399, 432, 466, 470, 477, 480, 495, 504, 519, 528, 540, 556, 577, 585, 591, 621, 634, 642, 645, 648, 663, 670, 677, 681, 687, 691, 693, 699, 733, 739, 752, 768, 772, 819, 824, 825, 828, 834, 839, 843, 852, 877, 883, 896, 946, 957, 984, 987, 999, 1006, 1021, 1023, 1039, 1044, 1051, 1060, 1072, 1119, 1163, 1167, 1170, 1176, 1200, 1256, 1263, 1270, 1284, 1298, 1414, 1434, 1480, 1535, 1699, 1756, 1838, 1903, 2081, 2485, 2630;

Terrant, 142;

Terrent, 85;

Torent, 157, 205, 756, 784, 1246, 1254, 1278, 1293, 1307, 1317, 1322, 1325, 1331, 1347, 1355, 1367, 1379, 1391, 1437, 1443, 1494, 1511, 1517, 1562, 1569, 1598, 1613, 1622, 1724, 1727, 1780, 1811, 2084, 2097, 2107, 2117, 2120, 2140, 2150, 2155, 2179, 2191, 2197, 2209, 2224, 2244, 2257, 2263, 2269, 2281, 2330, 2362, 2380, 2478, 2479, 2482, 2489, 2495, 2501, 2503, 2511, 2534, 2567, 2575, 2603, 2611, 2617, 2642, 2649;

Torrant, 70, 76, 103, 241, 253, 364, 380, 657, 760, 840, 963;

Tyrrant, 18.

Velond, 427, Veland the smith.

Verdownys, 305, 341, 410, son of the King of Provence.

Weraunt, 1650, a giant.


Typographic Details

In the Notes and Introduction, long vowels were printed with circumflex â rather than macron ā. This usage has been retained; the circumflex accent in its own right does not occur.

In the Introduction, emphasis within italicized passages was shown either by reverting to Roman type or by printing the words as gesperrt (extended). In this e-text, both kinds of emphasis are shown as bold italics.

Loops or flourishes attached to final letters are shown as ) (small raised parenthesis).

The letter “n” with overline is shown as ñ (n-tilde) for better font support.

Double “l” in the main text was printed as two l’s with a single connecting line. They are shown in this e-text as ll̴ (simple l followed by l with tilde overlay). Note that the printers do not seem to have had an italic version of this letter pair; in the e-text it is shown as italic or roman based on the surrounding text.

Hyphenization of prefixes in the modern material (introduction, linenotes, endnotes) does not always match the body text; words are printed as shown. In citations, capitalization of German is unchanged.

Commas at the end of some Glossary entries are not errors. The letters I and J are alphabetized together. Initial U is written and alphabetized as  V.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Torrent of Portyngale, by Unknown


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