(Winchester f. 96-113; Caxton VI.1-VI.18; Vinaver, Vol.1, pp. 254.1-287.27; Shepherd pp. 151.34-177.7)


f. 96 (V.12- VI.1)


kynge toke his leve of Þe holy fadir Þe Pope and Pa//

tryarkys and Cardynalys and Senatoures full

ryche and leffte good governaunce in Þat noble cite and

all Þe contrays of Rome for to warde and to kepe on

payne of deth Þat in no wyse his comaundement be

brokyn · Thus he passyth thorow Þe contreyes of all

partyes and so kyng Arthure passed over Þe see vnto

Sandwyche haven // Whan quene Gwenyvere he//

de of his commynge she mette with hym at london &

so dud all oÞer quenys and noble ladyes · for Þer was

never a solempner metyng in one cite to gedyrs for

all maner of Rychesse they brought with hem at Þe full

// Here endyth Þe tale of Þe noble kynge Arthure

that was Emperour hym self thorow dygnyte of his

hondys · And here folowyth afftir many noble

talys of Sir Launcelot de Lake


Explycit the noble tale be twyxt kynge

Arthure and Lucus the Emperour of Rome



one aftir that kynge Arthure was com from

Rome In to Ingelonde than all Þe knyghtys

of Þe Rounde table resorted vnto Þe kynge & made

many joustys and turnementes and som Þer were Þat

were but knyghtes encresed In armys and worshyp

Þat passed all oÞer of her felowys in provesse and noble

dedys and Þat was well proved on many · But In

especiall hit was provyd on Sir Launcelot de Lake

for In all turnementes justys of dedys of armys both

for lyff and deth he passed all oÞer knyghtes and at

no tyme was he ovircom but yf hit were by treson


f. 96v (VI.1)


of Inchauntement // So this Sir Launcelot encresed so mer//

vaylously In worship and honoure · There fore he is the

fyrste knyght Þat the ffreysh booke makyth mecion of Aftir

kynge Arthure com frome Rome Where fore quene Gwe//

nyvere had hym In grete favoure a boven all oÞer knyghtis

and so he loved Þe quene a gayne a boven all oÞer ladyes dayes

of his lyff and for hir he dud many dedys of armys & saved

her frome Þe fyre thorow his noble chevalry //  Thus Sir

Launcelot rested hym longe with play & game and than he

thought hym self to preve in straunge adventures · And

bade his nevew Sir Lyonell for to make hym redy for we

muste go seke adventures So they mounted on Þer horses

armed at all ryghtes and rode in to a depe foreste and so

in to a playne So the wedir was hote a boute noone · And

Sir Launcelot had grete luste to slepe · Than Sir Lyonell

aspyed a grete appyll tre Þat stoode by an hedge And seyde

Sir yondir is a fayre shadow Þer may we reste vs & oure

horsys hit is trouthe seyde Sir Launcelot ffor this ·vij· yere

I was so slepy as I am nowe So Þer they alyted & tyed there

horsys vnto sondry treis And Sir Launcelot layde hym                                   

downe vndir this appyll tre and his helmet vndir his hede

And Sir Lyonell waked whyles he slepte So sir Launcelot

slepte passyng faste & in Þe meane whyle come Þer · iij· knyghtes

rydynge as faste fleynge as they myght ryde & Þer folowed

hem ·iij· but one knyght //  And whan Sir Lyonell hym

sawe he thought he sawe neuer so grete a knyght noÞer so well

farynge a man and well appareyld vnto all ryghtes · So with

in a whyle this stronge knyght had ouer takyn one of Þe ·iij·

knyghtes & Þer he smote hym to the colde erth · that he lay stylle

And than he rode vnto Þe secunde knyght & smote hym so Þat

man and horse felle downe And so streyte vnto Þer thirde knyȝ


f. 97 (VI.1-2)


and smote hym be hynde his horse ars a spere lengthe

// And than he alyght downe & rayned his horse on the

brydyll & bounde all ·iij· knyghtes faste with Þe raynes of ther

owne brydelys // Whan Sir Lyonell had sene hym do Þus

he thought to assay hym and made hym redy and pryvaly

he toke his horse and thought nat for to a wake sir Launce//

lot and so mounted vppon his hors & ouer toke Þe strong knyght

he bade hym turne And so he turned & smote Sir Lyonell so

harde Þat horse & man he bare to the erth ·  And so he a lyght

downe & bounde hym faste & threw hym ouertwharte his

owne horse as he had serued Þeer ·iij· and so rode with hem tyll

he com to his one castell // Than he vnarmed them and

bete them with thornys all naked and aftir put them In depe

preson where were many mo knyghtes Þat made grete dole

// So whan Sir Ector de marys wyste Þat Sir Launcelot

was paste oute of Þe courte to seke adu adventures he was

wroth with hym selt & made hym redy to seke sir Launcelot

And as he had redyn longe in a grete foreste he mette

with a man was lyke a foster · Fayre felow seyde Sir Ector

doste Þou know this contrey or ony adventures Þat bene nyȝ

here honde · Sir seyde the foster this contrey know I well

and here by with In this myle is a stronge maner and well

dyked · And by Þat maner on the lyffte honde Þer is a fayre fourde

for horse to drynke off and ouer Þat fourde Þer growys a fayre

tre and Þer on hongyth many fayre shyldys Þat welded som

tyme good knyghtes and at Þe body of Þe tre hongys a basyn

of Couper and latyne And stryke vppon Þat basyn with Þe butte of

thy spere ·iij· tymes & sone aftir Þou shalt hyre new tydynges

and ellys haste Þou the fayreste knyght Þat euer had knyghte

this many yeres that passed thorow this foreste // Gramer//

cy seyde Sir Ector and departed & com vnto this tre & sawe


f. 97v (VI.2)


many fayre shyldys and a monge them all he sawe hys

brothirs shylde Sir Lyonell and many mo Þat he knew that

were of his felowys of Þe rounde table Þe whyche greved

his herte & promysed to revenge his broÞer // Than a none

Sir Ector bete on the basyn as he were woode and than

he gaff his horse drynke at Þe fourde and Þer come a knyȝt

be hynde hym and bade hym com oute of Þe water & make

hym redy Sir Ector turned hym shortly and In feawtir

caste his spere & smote Þeer knyght a grete buffette Þat

his horse turned twyse a bowte // That was well done

seyde Þe stronge knyght & knyghtly Þou haste strykyn me

and there with he russhed his horse on sir Ector and caught

hym vndir his ryght arme and bare hym clene oute of

Þe sadyll // And so rode with hym a way in to his castell &

threw hym downe in myddyll of Þe floure ·/ Than this

seyde Traquyn seyde vnto Sir Ector for Þou hast done this

day more vnto me than ony knyght dud this ·xij· yere

// Now woll I graunte Þe thy lyff so Þou wolte be sworne to

be my trew presoner · Nay sayde Sir Ector that woll I

never promyse the · but Þat I woll do myne advauntage · Þat

me repentis seyde Sir Traquyn Than he gan vnar//

me hym and bete hym with thornys all naked & sytthyn

put hym downe in to a depe dongeon & Þer he knewe

many of his felowys ·/  But whan sir Ector saw Sir

Lyonell than made he grete sorow · Alas broÞer seyde sir

Ector how may thys be & where is my brothir Sir

Launcelot Fayre broÞer I leffte hym on slepe whan that

I frome hym yode vndir an appil ·tre· and what is be

com of hym I can nat tell you // Alas seyde Þe presoneres

but yf Sir launcelot helpe vs we shall never be delyverde

// For we know now no knyght Þat is able to macch with


f. 98 (VI.2-3)


oure maystir Tarquyne

Now leve we thes knyghtes presoners and speke we

of Sir Launcelot de Lake that lyeth vndir Þe appil

tre slepyng a boute Þe none · So Þer com by hym ·iiij· quee//

nys of a grete astate and for Þe hete sholde nat nyȝe

hem Þer rode ·iiij· knyghtes a boute hem & bare a cloth of

grene sylke on ·iiij· sperys be twyxte hem & Þe sonne // And

Þe quenys rode on ·iiij· whyȝte mylys// Thus as they

rode they herde a grete horse be syde them grymly

nyȝe// Than they loked & were ware of a slepynge

knyght lay all armed vndir an appil ·tre· and a no//

ne as they loked on his face they knew well hit was

Sir Launcelot and be gan to stryve for Þat knyght and

euery of hem seyde they wolde haue hym to hir love // we

shall nat stryve seyde Morgan le fay that was kyng

Arthurs sister I shall put an Inchauntement vppon

hym Þat he shall nat a wake of all this ·vij· owre · &

than I woll lede hym a way vnto my castell // And

whan he is surely with In my holde I shall take Þe Inchaun//

tement frome hym and than lette hym chose whych

of vs he woll haue vnto peramour · So this enchauntem//

mente was caste vppon Sir Launcelot and than they

leyde hym vppon his shylde & bare hym so on horse bak

be twyxte ·ij· knyghtes & brought hym vnto Þe castell

Charyot & there they leyde hym In a chambir colde

& at nyght they sente vnto hym a fayre dameselle

with his souper redy I dyght be that Þe enchauntement

was paste // And whan she com she salewed hym

& asked hym what chere I can not sey fayre dame//

sel seyde Sir Launcelot for I wote not how I com Into

this castell but hit be by Inchauntemente // Sir seyde


f. 98v (VI.3)


she ye muste make good chere & yf ye be suche a knyght

as is seyde ye be I shall telle you more to morn be

pryme of Þe day Gramercy fayre damesel · seyde Sir

Launcelot of your good wylle and so she departed And there

he laye all Þat nyght with oute ony comforte// And on

Þe morne erly com thes ·iiij· quenys passyngly well

be sene and all they byddynge hym good morne & he

them a gayne// Sir knyght the ·iiij· quenys seyde

Þou muste vndirstonde Þou art oure presonere And we

know Þe well Þat Þou art Sir Launcelot du Lake kynge

Ban is sonne and be cause Þat we vndirstonde youre

worthynesse Þat Þou art Þe noblest knyght lyvyng And

also we know well Þer can no lady haue thy love but

one and Þat is quene Gwenyvere & now Þou shalt hir love

lose for euer & she thyne · For hit be hovyth Þe now to

chose one of vs ·iiij· For I am quene Morgan le fay

quene of Þe londe of Gore · And here is Þe quene of

North galys and Þe quene of Estlonde and Þe quene

of Þe Oute Iles Now chose one of vs whyche that Þou

wolte haue to thy peramourer ellys to dye in this pre//

son // This is an harde case seyde Sir Launcelot that

er I muste dye oÞer to chose one of  you // yet had I lever

dye In this preson with worshyp than to have one of

you to my peramoure magre myne hede · And Þerfore ye

be answeryd I woll none of you for ye be false en//

chaunters and as for my lady dame Gwenyvere

were I at my lyberte as I was I wolde prove hit on

youres Þat she is Þe treweste lady vnto hir lorde lyvynge

// Well seyde Þe quenys ys this your answere Þat ye woll

refuse vs // ye on my lyfe seyde Sir Launcelot refused

ye bene of me // So they departed & leffte hem Þer a lone Þat


f. 99 (VI.3-4)


made grete sorow// So aftir that noone com Þe damesel ·

vnto hym with his dyner & asked hym what chere // Truly

damesel seyde Sir Launcelot never so ylle // Sir she seyde

Þat me repentis but & ye woll be ruled by me I shall

helpe you oute of thys dystresse and ye shall have no

shame nor velony so Þat ye woll my promyse // Fayre

damesel · I graunte you but sore I am of thes quenys

crauftis a ferde for they have destroyed many a

good knyght // Sir seyde she Þat is soth and for the

renowne & bounte that they here of you they woll

haue your love // And Sir they sey youre name is sir

Launcelot du Lake the floure of knyghtes & they be passyng

wroth · with you Þat ye have refused hem // But sir and

ye wolde promyse me to helpe my fadir on tewys//

day next commynge Þat hath made a turnemente be

twyxt hym & Þe kynge of Northgalys for Þe laste

tewysday past my fadir loste Þe felde thorow ·iij·

knyghtes of Arthurs courte · And yf ye woll be there

on tewysday next commynge & helpe my fadir and

to morne be pryme by Þe grace of god I shall delyuer

you clene// Now fayre damesell seyde sir Launce//

lot telle me your fadyrs name and than shall I

gyff you an answere // Sir knyght she seyde my

fadyrs name is kynge Bagdemagus that was

foule rebuked at Þe laste turnemente // I knowe

your fadir well seyde Sir Launcelot for a noble kyng

and a good knyght and by Þe fayth of my body your

fadir shall have my servyse and you bothe at that

// Sir she seyde gramercy & to morne loke ye be redy

be tymys & I shall delyuer you & take you your armoure

your horse shelde & spere & heve by wyth in this ·x·


f. 99v (VI.4-5)


myle is an abbey of whyght monkys and Þer I pray you to a

byde me & thydir shall I brynge my fadir vnto you & all this

shall be done seyde Sir Launcelot as I am trew knyght & so

she departed & come on Þe morne erly & founde hym redy // Þan

she brought hym oute of ·xij· lockys and toke hym his armour

and his owne horse & lyghtly he sadyld hym & toke his spere

in his honde and so rode forth and sayde damesell I shall

nat fayle by Þe grace of god // And so he rode In to a grete

foreste all Þat day and never coude fynde no hyȝe way and so

Þe nyght fell on hym and than was he ware In a slade of a

pavylyon of rede sandele // Be my feyth seyde Sir Launcelot

In Þat pavylyon woll I lodge all this nyght and so he Þer a lyght

downe & tyed his horse to Þe pavylyon and Þer he unarmed hym

& Þer he founde a bed & layde hym Þer in and felle on slepe sadly

// Than with in an owre Þer com that knyght that ought Þe pavyly//

on he wente Þat his lemman had layne In that bed & so he leyde

hym a down by Sir Launcelot and toke hym In his armys &

be gan to kysse hym · And whan Sir Launcelot felte a rough

berde kyssyng hym he sterte oute of Þe bedde lyghtly & Þe othir

knyght after hym and eythir of hem gate Þer swerdys In Þer hondis

and oute at Þe pavylyon dore wente Þe knyght of Þe pavylyon

And Sir Launcelot folowed hym and Þer by a lytyll slad Sir

Launcelot wounded hym sore nyȝe vnto deth · And than he

yelded hym to Sir launcelot and so he graunted hym so Þat he

wolde telle hym why he com In to Þe bed // Sir sayde Þe knyȝte

the pavylyon is myne owne // And as this nyght I had assig//

ned my lady to haue slepte with hir And now I am lykly to dye

of this wounde // That me repentyth seyde Sir Launcelot

of youre hurte but I was a drad of treson · for I was late be

gyled and Þerfore com on your way In to youre pavylyon and

take youre reste and as I suppose I shall staunche your bloode


f. 100 (VI.5-6)


And so they wente bothe In to Þe pavylyon And a none Sir

Launcelot staunched his bloode // There with all com Þe knyghtes

lady Þat was a passynge fayre lady And whan aspyed Þat her

lorde Belleus was sore wounded she cryed oute on sir Laun//

celot and made grete dole oute of mesure // Pease my lady

& my love seyde Sir Belleus for this knyght is a good man

and a knyght of aventures And Þer he tolde hir all Þe case how

he was wounded And whan Þat I yelded me vnto hym he laffte

me goodly and hath staunched my bloode // Sir seyde Þe lady

I require the telle me what knyght Þou art and what is youre

name  Fayre lady he sayde my name is Sir Launcelot du//

lake so me thought euer be youre speche seyde Þe lady for I haue

sene you oftyn or this and I know you bettir than ye wene but

now wolde ye promyse me of youre curtesye for the harmys

Þat ye haue done to me and to my lorde Sir Belleis Þat whan

ye com vnto kyng Arthurs courte for to cause hym to be ma//

de knyght of Þe rounde table for he is a passyng good man

of armys and a myghty lorde of londys of many oute Iles 

Fayre lady sayde Sir Launcelot latte hym com vnto the

courte Þe next hyȝe feste and loke ye com with hym & I shall do

my power & he preve hym doughty of his his hondis he shal ·

haue his desire // So with In a whyle Þe nyght passed & Þe day

shone // Than Sir Launcelot armed hym and toke his horse

and so he was tauȝte to Þe abbey · And as sone as he come thy//

dir Þe doughter of kyng Bagdemagus herde a grete horse

trotte on the pamente and she than a rose & yode to dwyndo=

we & Þer she sawe Sir Launcelot and a none she made men faste

to take his horse frome hym and lette lede hym Into a stable

and hym self vnto a chambir and vnarmed hym / And this

lady sente hym a longe gowne and com hir self & made hym

good chere and she seyde he was Þe knyght in Þe worlde that


f. 100v (VI.6)


was moste welcom vnto hir // Than In all haste she sente for

hir fadir Bagdemagus that was with In ·xij· myle of Þat abbey

and a fore evyn he come with a fayre felyshyp of knyghtes with hym

And whan Þe kynge was a lyght of his horse he yode streyte

vnto Sir Launcelotte his chambir & Þer he founde his doughtir

And than Þe kynge toke hym In his armys · and eythir made

er good chere // Than Sir Launcelot made his complaynte

vnto Þe kynge how he was be trayed and how he was broÞer

vnto sir lyonell whyche was departed frome hym he wyste

not where and how his doughter had delyuerde hym oute of pre//

son // There fore whyle Þat I lyve I shall do hir servyse and all

tewysday next coming // yee Sir seyde Sir Launcelot I

shall nat fayle you for so have I promysed my lady youre

doughter // But Sir what knyghtes be the of my lorde

kyng Arthurs that were with Þe kyng of Northgalys // Sir

hit was Sir Madore de laporte and Sir Mordred and

Sir Gahalautyne that all for saved my knyghtes for a gaynste

hue hem ·iij· I noÞer none of myne myght bere no strengthe

Sir seyde Sir launcelot as I here sey Þat Þe turnemente shall

be here with in this ·iij· myle of this abbay // But Sir ye shal

sende vnto me ·iij· knyghtes of youres suche as ye truste and

loke Þat the ·iij· knyghtes have all whyght sheldis & no picture

on Þer shyldis and ye shall sende me an oÞer of Þe same sewte &

we ·iiij· wyll oute of a lytyll wood in myddys of bothe party//

es com & we shall fall on Þe frunte of oure enemyes and

greve hem Þat we may And thus shall I not be knowyn what

maner a knyght I am // So they toke Þer reste Þat nyght and this

was on the sonday · And so the kynge departed and sente vnto

Sir Launcelot iij·  knyghtes with ·iiij· whyght shyldys and on Þe

tewsday they lodged hem in a lytyll leved wood be syde Þer




                                            As the


f. 101 (VI.6-7)


as Þe turnemente sholde be // And there were scaffoldys

and towrys Þat lordys and ladyes myght be holde & gyff

the pryse // Than com In to Þe fylde the kynge of North//

galys with ·vx· score helmys and than Þe ·iij· knyghtis of

kyng Arthurs stood by them self // Than com In to Þe felde

kynge Bagdemagus with ·iiij· score helmys · And than they

feautred Þer sperys and come to gydyrs with a grete daysshe

and Þer was slayne of knyghtes at Þe fyrste recountir ·xij·

knyghtes of kynge Bagdemagus parte and ·vi· of Þe kynge

of Northgalys syde and party and kynge Bagdemagus

his party were ferre sette aside · And a bak

Wyth Þat com In Sir launcelot and he threste In with

his spere in Þe thyckyst of the pres and Þer he smote

downe with one spere v· knyghtes and of ·iiij of them he brake

Þer backys and In that thrange he smote downe Þe kynge of

Northgalys and brake his thygh in Þat falle // All this fewe

doynge of Sir Launcelot saw Þe ·iij· knyghtes of Arthurs and

seyde yondir is a shrewde geste there fore have here ons at

hym // So they encountred and Sir Launcelot bare hym dow//

ne horse and man that his sholdir wente oute of joynte

// Now hit be fallyth me seyde Sir Mordred to stirre me

for Sir Mador hath a sore falle // And than sir Launcelot

was ware of hym and gate a spere in his honde and mette

with hym · And Sir Mordred brake his spere vppon hym · And

Sir Launcelot gaff hym such a buffette Þat Þe arson of Þe sadil

brake and so he drove ouer Þe horse tayle that his helme

smote In to the erthe a foote & more Þat nyȝe his nek was

broke and Þer he lay longe In a swowe // Than com In Sir Ga//

halautyne with a grete spere And Sir Launcelot a gaynste hym

in all Þat they myght dryve that bothe hir sperys to braste

evyn to to Þer hondys And than they slange oute with her swerdes


f. 101v (VI.7)


and gaff many sore strokys // Than was Sir launcelot wroth

oute of mesure · And than he smote sir Gahalautyne on Þe hel//

me Þat his nose erys & mowthe braste oute on bloode & there

with his hede hynge low & with Þat his horse ran a way with hym

and he felle downe to Þe erthe ·// Anone Þer with all Sir Launcelot

gate a speare in his honde and or euer Þat speare brake he bare

downe to Þe erthe ·xvi· knyghtes som horse & man and some Þe

man & nat Þe horse and Þer was none Þat  he hitte surely but Þat

he bare none armys thes that day // And than he gate a spere

and smote downe ·xij· knyghtes and Þe moste party of hem neuer

throoff aftir · And than Þe knyghtes of Þe kyng of Northgalys

Bagdemagus So eythir party departed vnto his owne And sir

Launcelot rode forth with kynge Bagdemagus vnto his castel

and Þer he had passynge good chere bothe with Þe kyng & with his

doughter and they profyrde hym grete yefftes // And on Þe mor//

ne he toke his leve & tolde the kynge Þat he wolde seke his

brothir Sir Lyonell that wente from hym whan he slepte

// So he toke his horse & be tauȝte hem all to god And there

he seyde vnto Þe kynges doughter yf Þat ye haue nede ony time

of my seruyse I pray you let me haue knowlecche & I shall

nat fayle you as I am trewe knyght // And so sir Launcelot

departed and by adventure he com In to Þe same foreste there he

was takynge his slepe be fore And in the myddys of an

hyȝe way he mette a damesel rydyng · on a whyght pal//

fray and Þer eythir salewed oÞer Fayre damesel · seyde Sir

Launcelot know you In this contrey ony adventures were

hande // Sir knyght seyde Þe damesel here ar as adventures

nyȝe and Þou durste preve hem // Why sholde I not preve

seyde Sir Launcelot for for Þat cause com I hydir // Welle

seyde she Þou semyst well to be a good knyght · And yf Þou


f. 102 (VI.7)


dare mete with a good knyght I shall brynge Þe where is Þe

beste knyght & Þe myghtyeste Þat euer Þou founde // So Þou wolte

telle me thy name and what knyght Þou art damesell as

for to telle you my name I take no grete force · truly my

name is Sir Launcelotte du lake Sir Þou be semys well he//

re is adventures fast by Þat fallyth for the // For here by

dwellyth a knyght Þat woll nat be ouer macched for no man

I know but ye do ouer macche hym · And his name is Sir

Tarquyn And as I vndirstonde he hath In his preson of

Arthurs courte good knyghtes ·iij· score and ·iiij· that he

hath wonne with his owne hondys // But whan ye haue

done Þat journey ye shall promyse me as ye ar a trew knyȝt

for to go & helpe me & oÞer damesels Þat ar dystressed dayly

with a false knyght // All youre entente damesell & desyre

I woll fulfylle so ye woll brynge me vnto this knyght

// Now fayre knyght com on youre way and so she brouȝt

hym vnto Þe fourde and Þe tre where hynge Þe basyn // So

Sir Launcelot lette his horse drynke & sytthen he bete

on the basyn with Þe butte of his spere tylle Þe bottum felle

oute and longe dud he so but he fye no man // Than

he rode endlonge Þe gatys of Þat maner nyȝe halfe an howre

// And than was he ware of a grete knyght Þat droffe

an horse a fore hym and ouerthwarte Þe horse lay an ar//

med knyght bounden and euer as they com nere and

nere Sir Launcelot thought he sholde know hym // Þan

was he ware Þat hit was Sir Gaherys Gawaynes bro//

thir a knyght of Þe table rounde // Now fayre dame//

sell seyde Sir launcelot I se yondir a knyght faste I

bounden that is a felow of myne and broÞer he is vnto sir

Gawayne and at Þe fyrste be gynnynge I promyse you by the

leve of good for to rescowe Þat knyght But yf his maystir


f. 102v (VI.7-8)


sytte Þe bettir In his sadyl I shall delyuer all Þe presoners Þat he

hath oute of daungere for I am sure he hath ·ij· breÞerne

of myne presoners with hym but by Þat tyme Þat eythir had

sene oÞer they gryped theyre sperys vnto them // Now

fayre knyght seyde Sir Launcelot put Þat wounded kny//

ghte of Þat horse and lette hym reste a whyla & lette

vs too preve oure strengthis for as hit is enfourmed

me Þou doyste and haste done me grete despyte & shame

vnto knyghtes of Þe Rounde table and Þer fore now defen//

de Þe · And Þou be of Rounde table seyde Terquyn defyye

Þat all thy felyshyp That is ouer muche seyde sir Launce//

lot seyde of the thys tyme

And than they put there sperys In Þer restys and

come to gedyrs with hir horsis as faste as they

myght ren and aythir smote oÞer in myddys of Þer shyldis

that both Þer horsys backys braste vndir them & Þe knyȝts

were bothe a stoned and as sone as they myght they

avoyded Þer horsys & toke Þer shyldys be fore them & drew

oute Þer swerdys · And com to gydir egirly and eyÞer gaff

er many stronge strokys for there myght nothir shyldis

noÞer harneyse holde Þer strokes // And so with In a whyle

they had bothe many grymme woundys & bledde passyng

grevously // Thus they fared ·ij· owres & more trasyng

& rasyng eyÞer othir where they myght hitte ony bare

Place // Than at Þe laste they were brethles bothe

and stode lenyng on her swerdys // Now felow seyde

Sir Terquyne holde thy honde a whyle and telle me

that I shall aske of the Sey on seyde Sir Launcelot Than

Sir Terquyn seyde Þou art Þe byggyst man Þat euer I mette

with all & Þe beste brethed and as lyke one knyght Þat euer I hate

a bovyn all oÞer knyghtes so be hit Þat Þou be not he I woll


f. 103 (VI.8)


lyghtly a corde with the // And for thy love I will delyuer all

Þe presoners that I haue That is ·iij· score and ·iiij· so Þou

wolde telle me thy name · And Þou & I woll be felowys to

gedyrs and neuer to fayle Þe whyle Þat I lyve / ye sey well seyde

Sir Launcelot but sytthyn hit is so that I haue thy frende//

shyppe and may have // What knyght is that Þat Þou ha//

tyste a bovyn all thynge feythfully seyde Sir Terquyn

his name is Sir Launcelot de Lake for he slowe my bro//

thir Sir Carados at Þe dolerous towre Þat  was one of Þe

beste knyghtes on lyve and Þer fore hym I except of alle

knyghtes for may I hym onys mete the tone shall make

an ende I make myne a vow // and for Sir Launcelottis

sake I have slayne an ·C· good knyghtes & as many I ha//

ue maymed all vttirly that they myght neuer aftir helpe

them self and many haue dyed in preson & yette have

I ·iij· score & ·iiij· and all be delyuerde so you wolte telle

me thy name so be hit that Þou be nat Sir Launcelot

// Now se I well seyde Sir Launcelot that suche a man I

I myght be I myght have pease and suche a man I myȝt

Þat there sholde be mortall warre be twyxte vs // And

now Sir knyght at thy requeste I woll that Þou wete

& know Þat I am Sir Launcelot du Lake kynge Bannys son

of Benwyke and verry knyght of Þe table Rounde and

now I defyȝe Þe & do thy beste // A seyde Sir Tarquyne

Þou arte to me moste welcom of ony knyght for we shal

neuer departe tylle Þe tone of vs be dede // Than they hurte//

led to gedyrs as ·ij· wylde bullys russhynge & laysshing

with hir shyldis & swerdys Þat some tyme they felle bothe on

Þer nosys Thus they foughte style ·ij· owres and more

and neuer wolde have reste and Sir Tarquyne gaff sir

Launcelot many woundys Þat all Þe grounde Þer as they


f. 103v (VI.8-9)


fauȝte was all be sparded with bloode // Than at Þe laste Sir

                        Terquyne wexed faynte and gaff som what a bakke & bare

                        his shylde low for wery // That aspyed Sir Launcelot and

                        lepte vppon hym fersly and gate hym by Þe bavoure of hys

                        helmette & plucked hym downe on his kneis & anone he

raced of his helme & smote his necke in sundir // And whan

Sir Launcelot had done this he yode vnto the damesell & seyde

damesell I am redy to go with you where ye woll haue me but

I have no horse // Fayre sir seyde this wounded knyght take

my horse and than lette me go Into this maner and delyuer all

thes presoners // So he toke Sir Gaheris horse and prayde

hym nat to be greved // Nay fayre lorde I woll Þat ye have hym

at your commanndemente for ye have bothe saved me & my horse

And this day I sey ye ar Þe beste knyght In Þe worlde for ye

haue slayne this day in my fyght Þe myghtyeste man and Þe

beste knyght excepte you that euer I sawe // But fayre Sir

seyde Sir Gaherys I pray you telle me your name Sir my na//

me is Sir Launcelot du Lake that ought to helpe you of ryȝt

for kynge Arthurs sake and In especiall for my lorde Sir Gaw//

ayne his sake youre owne broÞer ·And whan Þat ye com with In yondir

maner I am sure ye shall fynde there many knyghtes of Þe Rounde

table for I have sene many of Þer shyldys Þat I know hongys on

yondir tre · There is Sir kayes shylde And Sir Galyhuddys

shylde And sir Bryan de yste noyse his shylde And sir Alydukis

shylde with many mo Þat I am nat now a vysed of And Sir Marhaus

and also my too brethirne shyldis Sir Ector de marys And sir

lyonell where fore I pray you grete them all frome me &

sey Þat I bydde them to take suche stuff Þer as they fynde that In

ony wyse my too brethirne go vnto Þe courte and abyde me

there tylle that I com For by Þe feste of Pentecoste I caste me

to be Þer For as at thys tyme I muste ryde with this damsel · for


f. 104 (VI.9-10)


to save my promyse And so they departed frome Gaherys and Ga//

herys yode in to the maner and Þer he founde a yoman porter

kepyng many keyes// Than Sir Gaherys threw Þe porter vn//

to Þe grounde and toke Þe keyes frome hym & hastely he opynde

Þe preson dore and Þer he lette all Þe presoners oute and euery man

lowsed oÞer of Þer boundys // And whan they sawe Sir Gaherys

all they thanked hym for they wente Þat he had slayne Sir

Terquyne be cause Þat he was wounded // Not so syrs seyde

Sir Gaherys hit was Sir Launcelot that slew hym wor//

shypfully with his owne hondys and he gretys you all well

and prayeth you to haste you to Þe courte · And as vnto you

Sir Lyonell and Sir Ector de marys he prayeth you to

a byde hym at Þe courte of kynge Arthure That shall we

nat do seyde his breÞerne we woll fynde hym and we may

lyve So shall I seyde Sir Kay fynde hym or I com to Þe courte

as I am trew knyght // Than they sought Þe house Þer as Þe armour

was and than they armed them and euery knyght founde hys

owne horse and all that longed vnto hym So forth with ther

come a foster with ·iiij· horsys lade with fatte venyson // And a no//

ne Sir Kay seyde here is good mete for vs for one meale

for we had not many a day no good repaste · And so Þat veny//

son was rosted sodde and bakyn and so aftir souper som a bode

Þer all nyght But Sir Lyonell and sir Ector de marys and

Sir Kay rode aftir Sir Launcelot to fynde hym yf they myȝt

// Now turne we to Sir Launcelot that rode with Þe damesel ·

In a fayre hyȝe way Sir seyde Þe damesell here by this way

hauntys a knyght Þat dystressis all ladyes and jantylwomen

and at Þe leste he robbyth  them oÞer lyeth by hem // What seyde

Sir Launcelot is he a theff and a knyght and a ravyssher of wo//

Men he doth shame vnto Þe order of knyghthode & contrary

vnto his oth hit is pyte Þat he lyvyth // But fayre damesel ·


f. 104v (VI.10)


ye shall ryde on be fore youre self and I woll kepe my self in

couerte and yf Þat he trowble yow oÞer dystress you I shall be your

rescowe and lerne hym to be ruled a s a knyght · So thys

mayde rode on by the way a souffte amblynge pace // And with

In a whyle com oute a knyght on horse bat owte of Þe woode

and his page with hym and Þer he put the damesell frome hir

horse And than she cryed // with that come Sir Launcelot as

faste as he myght tyll he com to Þe knyght sayng a false knyȝt

and traytoure vnto knyghthode who dud lerne Þe to distresse

ladyes damesels and jantyllwomen // Whan Þe knyght

sy Sir Launcelot thus rebukynge hym he answerde nat

but drew his swerde and rode vnto Sir Launcelot And Sir

Launcelot threw his spere from hym & drew his swerde             

and strake hym suche a buffette on Þe helmette Þat he claffe          

his hede and necke vnto Þe throte // Now haste Þou thy                

paymente Þat longe Þou haste deserued that is trouth seyde Þe                      

damesell // For lyke as Terquyn wacched to dystresse good

knyghts So dud this knyght attende to destroy and dystresse

ladyes damesels & jantyllwomen and his name was sir

Perys de foreste sauage Now damesell seyde sir Launcelot

woll ye ony more seruyse of me // Nay sir she seyde at thys

tyme but all myghty Jhu preserue you where som euer ye ryde

or goo for Þe curteyst knyght Þou arte and mekyste vnto all

ladyes and jantyllwomen Þat now lyvyth But one thyng

Sir knyght me thynkes ye lak // ye that are a knyght wyve//

les · that ye woll nat love som mayden oÞer jantylwoman

for I cowde neuer here sey Þat euer ye loved ony of no maner of

degre and Þat is grete pyte // But hit is noysed that ye

love quene Gwenyvere and Þat she hath ordeyned by enchaun//

temente Þat ye shall neuer love none oÞer but hir noÞer none oÞer dame//

sell ne lady shall rejoyce you where Þer be many In this londe


f. 105 (VI.10)


of hyȝe astate and lowe Þat make grete sorow // Fayre da//

mesell seyde Sir Launcelot I may nat war ne peple to

speke of me what hit plaasyth hem · But for to be a wed//

dyd man I thynke hit nat for than I muste couche with hir

and leve armys & turnamentis batellys and adventures

And as for to sey to take my plesaunce with peramours Þat woll

 I refuse in principall for drede of god · For knyghtes Þat bene

adventures sholde nat be adventures  advoutrers nothir

lecherous for than they be nat happy noÞer fortunate vnto Þe

werrys for oÞer they shall be ouercom with a sympler knyght than

they be hem self oÞer ellys they shall sle by vnhappe and hir

cursednesse bettir men than they be hem self // And so who

Þat vsyth peramours shall be vnhappy and all thynge vnhappy

Þat is a boute them // And so sir Launcelot and she departed · And

than he rode In a depe foreste ·ij· dayes & more and hadde

strayte lodgynge / So on the thirde day he rode on a longe

brydge and Þer sterte vppon hym suddeynly a passyng foule

carle and he smote his horse on the nose Þat he turned a

boute and asked hym why he rode ouer Þat bridge with oute lycen//

ce why sholde I nat ryde this way seyde Sir Launcelotte

I may not ryde be syde Þoushalt not chose seyde Þe carle

and laysshed at hym with a grete club shodde with Iron  Than

Sir Launcelot drew his swerde and put Þe stroke a backe

and clave his hede vnto the pappys and at Þe ende of the

brydge was a fayre vyllage and all peple men and wo//

men cryde on Sir Launcelot and sayde sir knyght a worse

dede duddyst Þou neuer for thy self for Þou haste slayne the

chyeff porter of oure castell // Sir Launcelot lete hem

sey what they wolde and streyte he rode In to the castelle

And whan he come In to the castell he a lyght & tyed his

horse to a rynge on the walle & Þer he sawe a fayre grene


f. 105v (VI.10-11)


courte and thydir he dressed hym for Þer hym thought was a

fayre place to feyght In So he loked a boute hym and sye

muche peple In dorys and In wyndowys that sayde

fayre knyghte Þou arte vnhappy to com here

ANone with all Þer com vppon hym ·ij· grete Gyauntis

well armed all save there hedy with ·ij· horrible club//

                        bys in Þer hondys // Sir Launcelot put his shylde be fore

hym & put Þe stroke a way of Þat one gyaunte and with hys

swerde he clave his hede in sundir // Whan his felowe

sawe Þat he ran a way as he were woode And Sir Launce//

lot aftir hym with all his might and smote hym on the

shuldir and clave hym to Þe navyll // Than sir Launce//m

lot wente In to Þe halle and Þer com a fore hym ·iij· score             

of ladyes & damesels and all kneled vnto hym & than//    

ked god and hym of his delueraunce For they seyde the          

moste party of vs haue bene here this ·vij· yere presoners

And we haue worched all maner of sylke workys for oure

mete and we ar all grete jentyl women borne and

blyssed be Þe tyme knyght Þat euer Þou were borne for Þou

haste done the moste worship Þat euer ded knyght in this

worlde Þat woll we beare recorde · And we all pray

you to tell vs your name Þat we may telle oure frendis

who deluerde vs oute of preson · Fayre damesellys

he seyde my name is Sir Launcelot du LaakeA Sir seyde

they all well mayste Þou be he for ellys save your self as we

demed Þer myght neuer knyght haue Þe bettir of thes jyguntis

for many fayre knyghtes haue assayed and here haue ended

And many tymes haue we here wysshed aftir you & thes ·ij·

Gyauntes dredde neuer knyght but you // Now may ye sey

seyde Sir Laucelot vnto your frendys and gretes them all

fro me And yf Þat I com In ony of your marchys shew me such


f. 106 (VI.11)


chere as ye haue cause · And what tresoure Þat Þer is in this

castel I yeff hit you for a rewarde for your grevaunces // And

Þe lorde Þat is ownere of this castel · I wolde he ressayved hit

as is his ryght // fayre Sir they seyde the name of this cas//

tell is called Tyntagyll · and a douke ought hit som tyme

that had wedded fayre Igrayne And so aftir Þat she was wed//

ded To Uther Pendragon And he gate on hir Arthure Well

seyde Sir Launcelot I vndirstonde to whom this castel · longith

And so he departed frome them and be taught hem vnto god

And than he mounted vppon his horse and rode In to many

stronge contreyes and thorow many watyrs & valeyes and

evyll was he lodged And at Þe laste by Fortune hym hap//

pynd a yenste nyght to com to a fayre courtelage and there

In he founde an olde jantylwoman Þat lodged hym with goode

wyll & Þer he had good chere for hym and his horse // And whan

tyme was his ofte brought hym Into a garret ouer Þer gate to

his bedde / There Sir Launcelot vnarmed hym and set his

harneyse by hym and wente to bedde & anone he felle on sle//

pe // So aftir Þer com one on horse bak and knokked at Þe gate

in grete haste Whan Sir Launcelot herde this he a rose vp

and loked oute at Þe wyndowe and sygh by Þe moone lyght

iij· knyghtes com rydyng aftir Þat one man And all ·iij· laysshy//

nge on hym at onys with swerdys and Þat one knyght turned

on hem knyghtly a gayne and defended hym · truly seyde sir

Launcelot yonder one knyght shall I helpe · for hit were

shame for me to se ·iij· knyghtes on one And yf be Þer slayne

I am pertener of his deth And Þer with he toke his harneys and

wente oute at a wyndowe by a shete downe to Þe ·iiij· knyȝte

// And than Sir Launcelot seyde on hyght turne you knyȝtis

vnto me and leve this feyghtyng with that knyght · And than

they ·iij· leffte Sir kay and turned vnto Sir Launcelot and


f. 106v (VI.11)


assayled hym on euery honde // Than Sir kay dressid hym to

haue holpen Sir Launcelot Nay sir sayde he I woll none of

your helpe Þer fore as ye woll haue my helpe lette me a lone

with hem Sir kay for Þe pleasure of Þat knyght suffyrd hym for to

do his wylle and so stoode on syde // Than anone with in ·vij·

strokys Sir Launcelot had strykyn hem to the erthe And than

they all ·iij· cryed Sir knyght we yelde vs vnto you as a

man of might makeles · As to that I woll nat take youre

yeldyng vnto me But so Þat ye woll yelde you vnto thys

knyght an on Þat covenaunte I woll save youre lyvys and

ellys nat // Fayre knyght Þat were vs loth For as for that

knyght we chaced hym hydir and had ouer com hym had nat

ye bene There fore to yelde vs vnto hym hit were no

reson // Well as to Þat avyse you well for ye may chose wheÞer

ye woll dye oÞer lyve for and ye be yolden hit shall be vnto

Sir kay // Now fayre knyght they seyde In saving of oure

lyvys we woll do as Þou commaundys vs // Than shall ye sey//

de Sir Launcelot on Whytsonday nexte commynge go vnto Þe

courte of knyge Arthure and Þer shall ye yelde you vnto que//

ne Gwenyvere and putte you all ·iij· In hir grace & mercy

And say that sir kay sente you thydir to be her presoners · Sir

They seyde hit shall be done by the feyth of oure bodyes And     

we be men lyvyng And there they sware euery knyght vppon   

his swerde And so Sir Launcelot suffyrd hem to departe And   

than Sir Launcelot cnocked at Þe gate with Þe pomell of his swe//

de and with Þat come his oste and In they entyrd he & sir kay Sir

seyde his oste I wente ye had bene In your bed // So I was But

I arose and lepe oute at my window for to helpe an olde

felowe of myne // So whan they come nye the lyght Sir

kay knewe well hit was Sir Launcelot and Þer with he kneled

downe and thanked hym of all his kyndenesse that he had


f. 107 (VI.11-12)


holpyn hym twyse frome Þe deth Sir he seyde I haue no thyng

done but Þat me ought for to do And ye ar welcome and here

shall ye repose you & take your reste // Whan sir Kay was vn//

armed he asked aftir mete Anone Þer was mete sette for hym

and he ete strongly · And whan he had sowped they wente to Þer

beddys and were lodged to gydyrs in one bed // So on Þe morne

Sir Launcelot arose erly and leffte Sir Kay slepyng and Sir

Launcelot toke Sir kayes armourse and his shylde and armed

hym And so he wente to the stable & sadylde his horse & toke

his leve of his oste and departed ·/ Than sone aftir arose Sir

kay and myssid Sir Launcelot And than he aspyed Þat he had his

armoure and his horse // Now be my fayth I know welle

Þat he woll greve som of Þe courte of kyng Arthure fo on

hym knyghtes woll be bolde & deme Þat hit is I and Þat woll be

gyle them And by cause of his armoure & shylde I am sure

I shall ryde In pease And than sone sir kay departed & thanked his oste                

NOw turne we vnto Sir Launcelot that had ryddyn             

longe In a grete foreste and at Þe laste he com vn//              

to a low contrey full of fayre Ryuers and fayre meedys &

be fore hym he sawe a longe brydge and ·iij· pavylyons stood

Þer on of sylke and sendell of dyverse hew And with oute Þe pavyly//

ons hynge ·iij· whyȝt shyldys on trouncheouns of sperys &

grete longe sperys stood vpryght by the pavylyons and at

euery pavylyon dore stoode ·iij· freysh knyghtes And so sir Launce//

lot passed by hem and spake no worde // But whan he was

paste Þe ·iij· knyghtes knew hym and seyde hit was Þe proude

Sir kay he wenyth no knyght so good as he and Þe contrary

is oftyn proved // Be my fayth seyde one of Þe knyghtes his

name was Sir Gawtere I woll ryde aftire hym & assay hym

for all his pryde And ye may be holde how that I spede // So

Sir Gawtere armed hym and hynge his shylde vppon his


f. 107v. (VI.12)


sholdir & mounted vppon a grete horse and gate his speare In

his honde & wallapte aftir Sir Launcelot and whan he come

nyȝe hym he cryed a byde Þou proude knyght Sir Kay for Þou

shalt nat passe all quyte Sor Sir Launcelot turned hym &

eythir feautyrd Þer sperys and com to gedyrs with all Þer myghtes

And Sir Gawters speare brake but Sir Launcelot smote

Hym downe horse and man And whan he was at Þe erthe

His brethyrn seyde yondir knyght is nat Sir kay for he is

far bygger than he I dare ley my hede seyde Sir Gylmere

yondir knyght hath slayne Sir kay and hath takyn hys

horse and harneyse weÞer hit be so oÞer no seyde sir Raynolde

lette vs mounte on oure horsys and rescow oure brothir Sir

Gawtere For payne of deth we all shall haue worke I now

to macche Þat knyght for euer me semyth by his persone hit is sir

Launcelot oÞer Sir Trystrams oÞer Sir Pelleas Þe good knyȝt

// Than anone they toke Þer horsys and ouer toke sir Launcelot

And sir Gylmere put foth his speare and ran to Sir Laun//

celot And Sir Launcelot smote hym downe Þat he lay in a souȝe

// Sir knyght seyde Sir Raynolde Þou arte a stronge man And

as I suppose Þou haste slayne my ·ij· breÞerne · For the whyche ry//

syth my herte sore a gaynste the And yf I might wyth my

worshyppe I wolde not haue a do with the but nedys I muste

take suche parte as they do And Þer fore knyght kepe thy selfe

// And so they hurtylde to gydyrs with all Þer myghtes & all to she//

vird bothe there spearys · And than they drew hir swerdys

and laysshed to gydir egirly // Anone Þer all a rose Sir Gaw//

tere and come vnto his broÞer Sir Gyllymere And bade hym

a ryse and helpe  we oure brother Sir Raynolde Þat yondir

merveylously macchyth yondir good knygyt · There with all

they hurteled vnto Sir Launcelot And whan he sawe them

com he smote a sore stroke vnto Sir Raynolde that he felle


f. 108 (VI.12-13)


of his horse to the grounde And than he caste to Þe other ·ij·

breÞerne and at ·ij· strokys he strake hem downe to the erthe

// Wyth that Sir Raynolde gan vp sterte with his hede all blody

and com streyte vnto Sir Launcelot Now let be seyde Sir

Launcelot I was not far frome the whan Þou were made knyȝt

Sir Raynolde and also I know Þou arte a good knyght & lothe

I were to sle the Gramercy seyde sir Raynolde of your goodnesse

And I dare say as for me & my breÞerne woll nat be loth to                 

yelde vs vnto you with Þat we know youre name · For welle we          

know ye ar not Sir kay As for that be as be may · For ye                      

shall yelde you vnto dame Gwenyvere And loke that ye                       

be Þer on Whytsonday and yelde yelde you vnto hir as presoners And

sey Þat Sir kay sente you vnto hir // Than they swore hit sholde

be done and passed forth Sir Launcelot and ecchone of the

breÞerne halpe oÞer as well as they myght So Sir Launcelotte

rode In to a depe foreste & Þer hym In a slade he sey ·iiij· knyghtes

hovynge vndir an oke And they were of Arthures courte one

was Sir Sagramour le desyrus And Sir Ector de Marys

and Sir Gawayne and Sir Uwayne And anone as these

iiij· knyghtes had aspyed Sir Launcelot they wende by his

armys that hit had bene Sir kay // Now be my fayth seyde

Sir Sagramoure I woll preve Sir kayes myght and gate

his spere In his honde & com towarde Sir Launcelot than sir

Launcelot was ware of his commyng and knew hym well and

featured his speare a gaynste hym & smote sir Sagramoure

so sore Þat horse & man wente bothe to the erthe // Lo my felo//

wys seyde Sir Ector yondir may ye se what a buffette he

hath gyffen · me thynkyth Þat knyght is muche bygger than

euer was Sir kay Now shall ye se what I may do to hym

// So Sir Ector gate his speare in his honde & walopte

towarde sir Launcelot and Sir Launcelot smote hym evyn


f. 108v (VI.13-14)


thorow Þe shylde and his sholdir that man & horse wente to

Þe erthe and euer his spere helde // Be my fayth sayde Sir

Launcelot Uwayne yondir is a stronge knyght and I am

sure he hath slayne Kay and I se be his grete strengthe

hit woll be harde to macche hym And Þer with all sir Uwayne

gate his speare and rode towarde Sir Launcelot And Sir

Launcelot knew hym well & lette hir horse renne on the

playne and gaff hym suche a buffette Þat he was a stooned

& longe he wyste nat where he was // Now se I welle

seyde Sir Gawayne I muste encountir with Þat knyght & dressed

his shylde & gate a good speare In his honde & late renne

at Sir Launcelot with all his myght & eyÞer knyght smote oÞer

In myddys of Þe shylde But Sir Gawaynes spere braste

and Sir Launcelot charged so sore vppon hym Þat his horse

reuersed vpsodowne and much sorow had Sir Gawayne to

a voyde his horse And so Sir Launcelot had passed on a pace and

smyled & seyde god gyff hym hym joy that this spere made

for Þer cam neuer a bettir in my honde // Than Þe ·iiij· knyghtes      

wente echone to oÞer and comforted eche oÞer and seyde what   

sey ye by this geste seyde Sir Gawayne that with one spere          

that felde vs all ·iiij· we commaunde hym to Þe devyll · they    

seyde all for he is a man of grete myght · ye may say hit      

well seyde Sir Gawayne that he a man of myght for I                     

dare ley my hede hit is Sir Launcelot I know hym well

by his rydyng latte hym go seyde Sir Uwayne for whan

we com to Þe courte we shall wete // Than had they much

sorrow to gete Þer horsis a gayne // Now leve we Þer & speke

we of sir Launcelot that rode a grete whyle In a depe fo//

reste & as he rode he sawe a blak brachette sekyng in maner

as hit had bene In the feaute of an hurte dere & there with

he rode aftir Þe brachette And he sawe lye on the grounde




                                          A large


f. 109 (VI.14)


A large feaute of bloode // And than Sir Launcelot rode

faster and euer Þe brachette loked be hynde hir and so she

wente thorow a grete marys And euer Sir Launcelot folo//

wed And than was he ware of an olde maner & thydir

ran Þe brachette and so ouer a brydge // So Sir Launcelot

rode ouer Þat brydge that was olde & feble & whan he com

in Þe myddys of a grete halle Þer he seye lye dede a knyȝt

Þat was a seemly man And Þat brachette lycked his woundis

And Þer with all com oute a lady wepyng and wryngyng

hir hondys And sayde knyght to muche sorrow hast Þou

brought me // Why sey ye so seyde Sir Launcelot I dede

neuer this knyght no harme for hydir by the feaute of

blood this brachet brought me And Þer fore fayre lady

be nat dyspleased with me for I am full sore a greved

for your grevaunce // Truly Sir she seyde I trowe hit

be nat ye Þat hath slayne my husbonde for he Þat dud

Þat dede is sore wounded and is neuer lykly to be hole

that shall I ensure hym // what was youre husbondes

name seyde Sir Launcelot Sir his name was called

Sir Gylberd the bastarde one of the beste knyghtys

of the worlde and he that hath slayne hym I know

nat his name // Now god sende you bettir comforte seyde

Sir Launcelot and so he departed & wente In to the foreste a

gayne & Þer he mette with a damesell Þe whyche knew hym

well & she seyde on lowde well be ye founde my lorde

And Now I requyre you of your knyghthode helpe my broÞer

Þat is sore wounded & neuer styntyth bledyng For this day he

fought with Sir Gylberte the bastarde & slew hym In play//

ne batayle and there was my broÞer sore wounded · And

Þer is a lady a Sorseres Þat dwellyth In a castel here by syde

And this day she tolde me my broÞers woundys sholde neuer


f. 109v (VI.14-15)


be hole tyll I coude fynde a knyght wolde go In to Þe chapel

perelus and Þer he sholde fynde a swerde & a blody cloth Þat the

woundid knyght was lapped In And a pece of Þat cloth & Þat

swerde sholde hele my broÞer with Þat his woundis were serched

with Þe swerde & Þe cloth // This is a mervelouse thyng seyde sir

Launcelot but what is your brothirs name Sir she seyde sir

Melyot de logyrs that me repentys seyde Sir Launcelotte

for he is a felow of Þe table rounde And to his helpe I woll

do my power // Than she sayde Sir folow ye evyn this hy//

ȝe way & hit woll brynge you to the chapel · perelus & here I

Shall a byde tyll god sende you a gayne and yf you spede nat

I know no knyght lyvynge that may encheve Þat adventure

Ryght so Sir Launcelot departed & whan he com to the

chapel perelus he a lyght downe & tyed his horse vn//

to alytyll gate And as sone as he was with In Þe chyrche yerde

he sawe on the frunte of the chapel · many fayre ryche shyldis

turned up so downe And many of tho shyldis Sir Launcelot

had sene knyghtes bere by forehande with that he sawe by hym

Þer stoude a ·xxxt· grete knyghtes more by a yerde than any

man Þat euer he had sene & all they grenned & gnasted at Sir

Launcelot And whan he saw Þer countenaunce he dredde hym

sore and so put his shylde be fore hym and toke his swerde

In his honde redy vnto batayle & they all were armed all

In blak harneyse redy with her shyldis and her swerdis redy

drawyn // And as Sir Launcelot wolde haue gone thorow

them they skaterd on euery syde of hym and gaff hym Þe way

and Þer with he wexed bolde & entyrde in to the chapel · & there

he sawe no lyght but a dymme lampe brennyng and Þan was

he ware of a Corpus hylled with a clothe of sylke // Than sir

Launcelot Stouped doune & kutte a pese a way of Þat cloth // And

Than hit fared vndir hym as Þe grounde had quaked a lytyll 


f. 110 (VI.15)


there with all he feared And than he sawe a fayre swerde lye

by Þe dede knyght And Þat he gate In his honde and hyed hym

oute of the chapell // Anone as euer he was In the chapell

yerde all Þe knyghtes spake to hym with grymly voyces And sey//

de knyght Sir Launcelot lay Þat swerde from Þe or Þou shalt dye

wheÞer Þat I lyve oÞer dye seyde Sir Launcelot with no wordys grete

gete ye hit a gayne Þer fore fight for hit & ye lyst // Than

ryght so he passed thorow oute them & by yonde Þe chapell yar//

de Þer mette hym a fayre damesell & seyde Sir Launcelot leve

Þat swerde be hynde the oÞer Þou wolt dye for hit I leve hit not seyde

Sir Launcelot for no thretyng // No seyde she And Þou dyddyste

leve Þat swerde quene Gweynyvere sholde Þou neuer se Than were

I a foole & I wolde leve this swerde // Now Jantyll knyghte

seyde Þe damesel · I requyre Þe to kysse me but onys Nay seyde

Sir Launcelot that god me for bede · Well Sir seyde she and Þou

haddyst kissed me thy lyff dayes had be done And now a las she

seyde I haue loste all my laboure for I ordeyned this chapell

for thy sake & for Sir Gawayne And onys I had hym with In me

& at Þat tyme he fought with this knyght Þat lyeth dede In yondir

chapell Sir Gylberte the bastarde And at Þat tyme he smote

Þe lyffte honde of Sir Gylberte And Sir Launcelot Now I telle

Þe I haue loved Þe this ·vij· yere Þer may nowoman haue thy love

but quene Gwenyuer And sytthen I myght nat reioyse the noÞer

thy body on lyve I had kepte no more Joy In this worlde but

to haue thy body dede // Than wolde I haue bawmed hit and

Sered hit & so to haue kepte hit my lyve dayes & dayly I shol//

de haue clypped Þe & kissed Þe dispyte of quene Gwenyvere ye

sey well seyde Sir Launcelot Jhu preserue me frome your subtyle

crauftys And Þer with all he toke his horse & so departed frome hir

and as Þe booke seyth // Whan Sir Launcelot was departed she

toke suche sorow Þat she deyde with In a fourtenyte & hir name was   


f. 110v (VI.15-16)


called hallewes the sorseres lady of Þe castell · Nygramous And a no//

ne Sir Launcelot mette with Þe damesel · Sir Melyottis systir And

whan she sawe hym she clapped hir hondys & wepte for joy and

than they rode In to a castell Þer by where lay Sir Melyot and

a none as Sir Launcelot sye hym he knew hym but he was

passyng paale as Þe erthe for bledynge // Whan Sir Melyot

saw Sir Launcelot he kneled vppon his kneis & cryed on hyȝte

A lorde Sir Launcelot helpe me anone // Than sir Launcelot

lepe vnto hym & towched his woundys with Sir Gylbardys

swerde And than he wyped his woundys with a parte of Þe bloddy

cloth Þat Sir Gylbarde was wrapped In And anone an holer

man In his lyff was he neuer And than Þer was grete joy be twene           

hem and they made Sir Launcelot all Þe chere Þat they myghte          

// And so on the morne Sir Launcelot toke his leve and bade      

Sir Melyot hyȝe hym to the courte of my lorde Arthure for        

hit drawyth nyȝe to the feste of pentecoste & Þer by the grace of                   

of god ye shall fynde me and Þer with they departed // And so Sir

Launcelot rode thorow many stronge contrayes ouer mores

& valeis tyll by fortune he com to a fayre castell & as he

paste be yonde Þe castell hym thought he herde bellys rynge

& than he was ware of a faucon com ouer his hede fleyng to//

warde an hyȝe elme & longe lunes a boute her feete and she

flowe vnto the elme to take hir perche the lunes ouer cast a

boute a bowȝe // And whan she wolde haue tane hir flyght

she hynge by Þe leggis faste And Sir Launcelot syȝe how he

hynge & be helde Þe fayre faucon Perygot And he was sory

for hir // The meane whyle cam a lady oute of a castell &

cryed on hyȝe A Launcelot launcelot as thow arte floure of

all knyghtes helpe me to gete me my hauke for & my hauke

be loste my lorde wolde destroy me for I kepte Þe hauke and

she slypped fro me And yf my lorde my husbande wete hit


f. 111 (VI.16)


he is so hasty Þat he wyll sle me // What is your lordis name

seyde Sir Launcelot Sir she seyde his name is Sir Phelot

a knyght Þat longyth vnto Þe kynge of Northgalys // Welle

fayre lady syn Þat ye know my name & requyre me of knyȝt//

hode to helpe I woll do what I may to gete youre hauke & yet

god knowyth I am an evyll clymber and Þe tre is passynge

hyȝe & fewe bowys to helpe me with all // And Þer with sir Launce//

lot a lyght & tyed his horse to the same tre and prayed Þe lady

to on arme hym // Ans so whan he was vnarmed he put of

all his clothis vnto his shurte & his breche and with myght &

grete force he clambe vp to the faucon and tyed Þe lunes to

a grete rotyn boysh & threwe Þe hauke downe with Þe buysh And

anone Þe lady gate Þe hauke In hir honde // And Þer with all com

oute Sir Phelot oute of Þe grevys suddeynly Þat was hir hus//

bonde all armed & with his naked swerde in his honde & sayde

a knyght Sir Launcelot now I haue founde Þe as I wolde

he stondyng at Þe boole of the tre to sle hym // A lady seyde

Sir Launcelot why haue ye be trayed me // She hath done

seyde Sir Phelot but as I commaunded hir & Þer fore Þer is none

other boote but thyne oure is com Þat Þoumuste dye // That

were shame vnto Þe seyde Sir Launcelot Þou an armed knyȝ

to sle a nakyd man by treson Þou gettyste none oÞer grace seyde

Sir Phelot and Þer fore helpe thy self and Þou can // Truly

seyde Sir Launcelot that shall be thy shame but syn Þou wolt

do none oÞer take myne harneys with the and hange my swerde

Þer vppon a bowȝe that I may gete hit and than do thy beste

sle me & Þou can // Nay seyde Sir Phelot for I know Þe bettir

than Þou wenyste Þer fore Þou gettyst no wepyn & I may kepe

Þe Þer fro // Alas seyde Sir Launcelot that euer a knyght sholde

dey wepynles & there with he wayted a bove hym and vndir

hym and ouer hym a bove his hede he sawe a rowȝspyke a


f. 111v (VI.16-17)


bygge bowȝe leveles and Þer with he brake hit of by the body And

than he com lowar and a wayted how his owne horse stoode

and suddeynly he lepe on Þe  farther syde of his horse froward

Þe knyght // And than Sir Phelot laysshed at hym egerly to

haue slayne hym But Sir Launcelot put a way Þe stroke with

the rowȝspyke and Þer with toke hym on Þe hede Þat downe he felle

in a sowȝe to the grounde // So than Sir Launcelot toke his

swerde oute of his honde and strake his necke in ·ij· pecys

// Alas than cryed Þat lady Why haste Þou slayne my husbonde I

am nat causer seyde sir Launcelot But with falshede ye wolde

haue had me slayne with treson and now hit is fallyn on

you bothe And than she sowned as though she wolde dey · And

Þer with Sir Launcelot gate all his armoure as well as he

myght And put hit vppon hym for drede of more ressente

fore he dredde hym Þat the knyghtes castell was so nyȝe hym 

And as sone as he myght he toke his horse and departed &

thanked god that he had escaped Þat harde adventure So sir

Launcelot rode many wylde wayes thorow oute morys

& mares & many wylde wayes and as he rode in a valay

he sey a knyght chasyng a lady with a naked swerde to haue slay//

ne hir And by fortune as this knyght sholde haue slayne thys

lady she cryed on Sir Launcelot and prayed hym to rescowe

her // Whan sir Launcelot sye that myschyff he toke his horse

& rode be twene hem sayynge knyght fye fore shame why

wolte Þou sle this lady shame vnto Þe & all knyghtes // What

haste Þou to do be twyxte me & my wyff I woll sle her magre

thyne hede // That shall ye nat sayde Sir launcelot for ra//

ther we woll haue a do to gydyrs // Sir Launcelot seyde Þe

knyght Þou doste nat thy parte for thys lady hath be trayed

me hit is not so seyde Þe lady truly he seyth wronge on

me And for by cause I love cherysshe my cousyn Jarmayne


f. 112 (VI.17)


and he is Jolowse be twyxte me and hym and as I mutte

answere to god Þer was neuer sene be twyxte vs none suche

thynges // But sir seyde Þe lady as Þou arte called Þe worshyp//

fullyest knyght of the worlde I requyre Þe of trewe knyȝt//

hode kepe me & save me For what some euer he sey he woll sle

me for he is with oute mercy // haue ye no doute hit shalle

nat lye In his power // Sir seyde Þe knyght in your syght

I woll be ruled as ye woll haue me And so Sir Launcelot

rode on Þe one syde & she on Þe er syde And he had nat redyn

but a whyle but Þe knyght bade Sir Launcelot turne hym

& loke be hynde hym and seyde Sir yondir com men of armys

aftir hym rydynge // And so sir Launcelot turned hym and

thought no treson and Þer with was the knyght and Þe lady

on one syde & suddeynly he swapped of Þe ladyes hede // And

whan Sir Launcelot had aspyed hym what he had done he

seyde And so called hym traytoure Þou haste shame me for

evir and suddeynly Sir Launcelot a lyght of his horse

& pulde oute his swerde to sle hym and Þer with all he felle

to Þe erthe & gryped Sir Launcelot by the thyghes & cry//

ed mercy // Fye on the seyde Sir Launcelot Þou shamefull

knyght Þou mayste haue no mercy Þer fore aryse & fyghte

with me // Nay sayde Þe knyght I woll neuer a ryse tylle ye

graunte me mercy // Now woll I proffyr Þe fayre I

woll vnarme me vnto my shyrte and my swerde In my

honde And yf Þou can sle me quyte be Þou for euer Nay sir Þat

woll I neuer // well seyde Sir Launcelot take this lady and

Þe hede and bere vppon the and here shalt Þou swere vppon

my swerde to bere hit all wayes vppon thy bak & neuer

to reste tyll Þou com to my lady queen Gwenyuer Sir that

woll I do by the feyth of my body // Now what is youre

name Sir my name is Sir Pedynere In a shamefull 


f. 112v (VI.17-18)


oure were Þou borne seyde Sir Launcelot So Sir Pedyuere

departed with Þe lady dede and Þe hede to gydir and founde the

quene with kynge Arthure at Wynchestir and Þer he tolde all

Þe trouthe // Sir knyght seyde Þe quene this is an horryble

dede & a shamefull and a grete rebuke vnto Sir Launce//m    

lot But nat wythstondyng his worshyp is knowyn In           

many dyuerse contreis // But this shall I gyff you In pe//        

naunce make ye as good skyffte as ye can ye shall bere          

this lady with you on horse bak vnto the Pope of Rome &             

of hym resseyve youre penaunce for your foule dedis · &                

ye shall nevir reste one nyght Þer as ye do an oÞer and ye                        

go to ony bedde Þe dede body shall lye with you // This oth

                                    he Þer made & so departed And as hit tellyth In the frenshe

booke whan he com vnto Rome // The Pope Þer bade hym

go a gayne vnto quene Gwenyuer And in Rome was his

lady buryed by Þe Popys commaundement And after thys

knyght Sir Pedyvere fell to grete goodnesse & was

an holy man and an hermyte // Now turne we vn//

to Sir Launcelot du lake that com home ·ij· dayes be

fore Þe feste of Pentecoste And the kynge and all the

courte were passyng fayne // And whan Gawayne

Sir Uwayne Sir Sagramoure And sir Ector de

mares sye Sir Launcelot In Kayes armour than they

wyste well Þat hit was he that smote hem downe all

wyth one spere // Than Þer was lawȝyng & smylyng

a monge them and euer now and now com all Þe knyȝtes

home Þat were presoners with Sir Terquyn and they all ho//

noured Sir Launcelot // Whan Sir Gaherys herde

hym speke he sayde I sawe all Þe batayle from Þe begyn//

nynge to Þe endynge And Þer he tolde kynge Arthure

all how hit was And how sir Terquyn was Þe strongest


f. 113 (VI.18-VII.1)


knyght Þat euer he saw excepe Sir Launcelot And Þer were

many knyghtes bare hym recorde ·iij· score // Than

Sir Kay tolde Þe knyg kynge how Sir Launcelot res//

cowed hym whan he sholde haue bene slayne & how

he made Þe ·iij· knyghtes yelde hem to me & nat to hym

and Þer they were all ·iij· & bare recorde And by Jhu

seyde Sir Launcelot Kay Sir Launcelot toke my har//

neyse and leffte me his & I rode In goddys pece &

no man wolde haue a do with me // Anone Þer with com

iij· knyghtes that fought with Sir Launcelot at Þe longe

brydge And Þer they yelded them vnto Sir Kay and sir

Kay for soke them and seyde he fought neuer with hem

But I shall ease your hertes seyde sir Kay yondir is sir

Launcelot that of ouer cam you // Whan they wyste Þat they

were glad // And than Sir Melyot de logrys com ho//

me and tolde hym and the kynge how Sir Launcelot had saved

hym frome Þe deth and all his dedys was knowyn how Þe quenys

Sorcerers ·iiij· had hym In preson and how he was delyuerde by

Þe kynge Bagdemagus doughter · Also Þer was tolde all Þe grete

armys that Sir Launcelot And be twyxte the ·ij· kynges that ys

forte say Þe kynge of Northgalys and kyng Bagdemagus

all the trouth Sir Gahalautyne And tell and Sir Mador de

la porte And Sir Mordred for they were at Þe same turnement

// Than com In Þe lady Þat knew Sir Launcelot whan that he woun//

ded Sir Belleus at Þe Pavylyon and Þer at Þe requeste of sir Launce//

lot Sir Belleus was made knyght of the Rounde table // And

so at that tyme Sir Launcelot had the grettyste name of ony

knyght of Þe worlde & moste he was honoured of hyȝe & lowe


mExplicit A noble tale of Sir Launcelot du Lake Here folowyth

Sir Gareth is tale of Orkeney Þat was callyd Bewmaynes By                                                                                    

Sir Kay


¶ Capitulum primum

SOone after that kyng Arthur was come / fro rome in to Englond / thenne alle the knyghtes of the table round resorted vnto the kyng / & made many Iustes & turnementes / & some there were that were but knyȝtes whiche encreaced so in armes and worship that they passed alle their felawes in prowesse and noble dedes / and that was wel preued on many But in especyal it was preued on syre launcelot du lake / for in al turnementys and Iustes and dedes of armes both for lyf and deth he passed al other knyȝtes / and at no tyme he was neuer ouercome / but yf it were by treson or enchauntement / so syr Launcelot encreaced soo merueyllously in worship / and in honour / therfor is he the fyrst knyȝt that the frensshe book maketh mencyon of after kynge Arthur came fro rome / wherfore quene gweneuer had hym in grete fauour aboue al other knyghtes . and in certayne he loued the quene ageyne aboue al other ladyes damoysels of his lyf / And for her he dyd many dedes of armes and saued her from the fyer thorou his noble chyualry / Thus syre launcelot rested hym longe with play & game / And thenne he thought hym self to preue hym self in straunge auentures / thenne he badde his neuewe syre Lyonel for to make hym redy / for we two wylle seke aduentures / So they mounted on their horses armed at al ryghtes / and rode in to a depe forest & soo in to a depe playne /

¶ And thenne the weder was hote about noone / and syre launcelot had grete lust to slepe / Thenne syr lyonel aspyed a grete Appyl tree that stode by an hedge / & said broder yonder is a fayre shadowe / there maye we reste vs on oure horses / hit is wel saide faire broder said syr launcelot / for this viij yere I was not so slepy as I am now / and so they there alyghted & tayed their horses vnto sondry trees / and so syr launcelot layd hym doune vnder an appyl tree / and his helme he layd vnder his hede / And Syre Page  184 [leaf 92v] lyonel waked whyle he slepte / Soo syre launcelot was a slepe passynge fast / And in the mene whyle there came thre knyghtes rydynge as faste fleynge as euer they myghte ryde And there folowed hem thre but one knyghte / And whanne syr lyonel sawe hym / hym thought he sawe neuer soo grete a knyghte nor soo wel farynge a man neyther soo wel apparailled vnto al ryghtes / Soo within a whyle this strong knyȝt had ouertaken one of these knyghtes / and there he smote hym to the cold erth that he lay styll / And than he rode vnto the second knyght / and smote hym soo that man and hors felle doune / And thenne streyghte to the thyrdde knyghte he rode and smote hym behynde his hors ars a spere length / And thenne he alyghte doune arayned his hors on the brydel & bonde alle the thre knyghtes fast with the raynes of their owne brydels / Whan syr lyonel sawe hym doo thus / he thought to assay hym / & made hym redy & stylly / and pryuely he took his hors & thoughte not for to awake syr launcelot / And whan he was mounted vpon his hors / he ouertoke this strong knyght / & bad hym torne / and the other smote syr lyonel so hard that hors & man he bare to the erthe / & so he alyght doun & bound hym fast and threwe hym ouerthwart his owne hors / and soo he serued hem al foure / & rode with hem awey to his owne castel / And whan he came there he garte vnarme them & bete hem with thornys al naked / & after put hem in a depe pryson where were many mo knyghtes that made grete doloure

¶ Capitulum secundum /

WHan syre Ector de marys wyst that syre laūcelot was past out of the court to seke aduentures he was wroth with hym self / & made hym redy to seke syre laūcelot / & as he had ryden long in a grete forest he mette with a man was lyke a foster / Fayre felaw said syre Ector knowest thou in thys countrey ony aduentures that ben here nyghe hand / Syr sayd the foster / this countrey knowe I wel . and here by within thys myle / is a stronge manoir and wel dyked / & by that manoir on the lyfte hand there is a faire fourde for horses to drynke of / and ouer that fourde there groweth a fayr tree / and theron hangen many fayre sheldes that welded somtyme good knyghtes / & atte hoole of the tree hangeth a bacyn of coper & latoen / Page  185 [leaf 93r] and stryke vpon that bacyn with the but of thy spere thryes / And soone after thou shalt here newe tydynges / And ellys hast thou the fayrest grace that many a yere had euer knyght that passed thorou this forest / gramercy sayd syre Ector / and departed / and came to the tree and sawe many fayre sheldes And amonge them he sawe his broders sheld syr Lyonel and many moo that he knewe that were his felawes of the round table / the whiche greued his herte / and promysed to reuenge his broder / Thenne anone syr Ector bete on the bacyn as he were wood / and thenne he gaf his hors drynke at the fourde / & ther came a knyghte behynd hym / and bad hym come oute of the water and make hym redy / and syre Ector anone torned hym shortly and in fewter cast his spere and smote the other knyghte a grete buffet that his hors torned twyes aboute / This was wel done said the strong knyȝt / & knyȝtly thou hast stryken me / And therwith he russhed his hors on syre Ector / and cleyȝte hym vnder his ryght arme & bare hym clene out of the sadel / and rode with hym awey in to his owne halle / & threwe hym doune in myddes of the floore / the name of thys knyghte was syre Turquyne / than he said vnto syre Ector for thou hast done this day more vnto me than ony knyghte dyd these xij yeres / Now wille I graunte the thy lyf so thou wilt be sworn to be my prysoner all thy lyf dayes / Nay said sir Ector / that wylle I neuer promyse the / but that I will do myne auauntage / That me repenteth sayd syre Turquyne / and thenne he garte to vnarme hym and bete hym with thornys all naked / and sythen putte hym doune in a depe dungeon where he knewe many of his felawes / But whan syre Ector sawe syr lyonel thenne made he grete sorowe / Allas broder sayd sir Ector / where is my broder syre Launcelot / Fayre broder I lefte hym on slepe whan that I from hym yode vnder an appel tree and what is become of hym I can not telle yow / Allas said the knyghtes / but syre launcelot helpe vs we may neuer be delyuerd / for we knowe now noo knyght that is able to matche oure mayster Turquyn

¶ Capitulum tercium

Page  186 [leaf 93v]

NOw leue we these knyghtes prysoners and speke we of syre Launcelott du lake that lyeth vnder the Appyl Tree slepynge / euen aboute the noone there come by hym foure quenes of grete estate / And for the hete shold not nyhe hem there rode foure knyghtes aboute hem / and bare a clothe of grene sylke on foure speres betwixe them and the sonne / And the quenes rode on foure whyte mules

¶ Thus as they rode they herde by them a grete hors grymly neye / thenne were they ware of a slepynge knyghte that laye alle armed vnder an appyl tree / anone as these quenes loked on his face / they knewe it was syre launcelot / Thenne they byganne for to stryue for that knyghte / euerychone sayd they wold haue hym to her loue /

¶ We shalle not stryue sayd Morgan le fay that was kynge Arthurs syster / I shalle putte an enchauntement vpon hym / that he shalle not awake in syxe owres / And thenne I wylle lede hym awey vnto my castel / And whanne he is surely within my hold / I shalle take the enchauntement from hym / And thenne lete hym chese whyche of vs he wylle haue vnto peramour /

¶ Soo thys enchauntement was caste vpon syre Launcelot / And thenne they leyd hym vpon his shelde / and bare hym soo an horsback betwixt two knyghtes / and brought hym vnto the castel charyot / and there they leyd hym in a chambyr cold / and att nyghte they sente vnto hym a fayre damoysel with his souper redy dyght By that the enchauntement was past / And whan she came she salewed hym / and asked hym what chere / I can not saye fayre damoysel said syre Launcelot / for I wote not how I cam in to this castel / but it be by an enchauntement / Syre sayd she ye must make good chere / And yf ye be suche a knyȝte as it is sayd ye ben / I shalle telle you more to morne by pryme of the daye / Gramercy fayre damoysel sayd syre Launcelot of youre good wyl I requyre yow / And soo she departed / And there he laye alle that nyght withoute comforte of ony body

¶ And on the morne erly came these foure quenes passyngly wel bysene / Alle they byddyng hym good morne / and he them ageyne /

¶ Syre knyghte the foure quenes sayd thow must vnderstande thou arte our prysoner / and we here knowe the wel that thou arte syre Launcelot du laake / kynge Bans Page  187 [leaf 94r] sone / And by cause we vnderstande your worthynes that thou arte the noblest knyght lyuyng / And as we knowe wel ther can no lady haue thy loue but one / and that is quene Gweneuer / and now thow shalt lose her for euer and she the / and therfore the behoueth now to chese one of vs four / I am the quene Morgan le fay quene of the land of Gorre / and here is the quene of Northgalys and the quene of Eestland / and the quene of the oute yles / ¶ Now chese one of vs whiche thou wylt haue to thy peramour / for thou mayst not chese or els in thys pryson to dye / This is an hard caaas sayd syre Launcelot that eyther I muste dye or els chese one of yow / yet had I leuer to dye in this pryson with worship than to haue one of you to my peramour maugre my hede / And therfore ye be ansuerd I wylle none of yow for ye be fals enchauntresses / And as for my lady dame Gweneuer / were I at my lyberte as I was / I wold preue hit on you or on yours / that she is the truest lady vnto her lord lyuyng / Wel sayd the quenes / is this your ansuer that ye wylle reffuse vs / ye on my lyf sayd syr laūcelot / reffused ye ben of me / Soo they departed and lefte hym there alone that made grete sorowe

¶ Capitulum quartum

RYght so at the noone came the damoysel vnto hym with his dyner / and asked hym what chere / truly fayre damoysel sayd syre Launcelot in my lyf dayes neuer so ylle / sir she sayd that me repentest / but and ye wylle be reulyd by me / I shal help you out of this distresse / and ye shal haue no shame nor vylony soo that ye hold me a promyse / fayre damoysel I wil graunte yow / and sore I am of these quenes sorceresses aferd / for they haue destroyed many a good knyght / syre sayd she that is sothe and for the renome and bounte that they here of you / they wold haue your loue / and sir they sayne / your name is syre Launcelot du laake the floure of knyghtes / & they be passynge wrothe with yow that ye haue reffused hem / But syre and ye wold promyse me to helpe my fader on tewsdaye next comynge / that hath made a turnement betwixe hym and Page  188 [leaf 94v] the kynge of Northgalys / for the last tewesdaye past my fader lost the felde thorugh thre knyghtes of Arthurs courte / And ye wyll be there on tewesday next comyng / and helpe my fader to morne or pryme by the grace of god I shalle delyuer yow clene / Fayre mayden sayd syr launcelot telle me what is your faders name / and thenne shal I gyue you an ansuer / Syre knyghte she sayd / my fader is kyng Bagdemagus that was foule rebuked at the last turnement / I knowe your fader wel said syre launcelot for a noble kyng and a good knyghte / And by the feythe of my body ye shalle haue my body redy to doo your fader and you seruyse at that day / Syre she sayd gramercy / and to morne awayte ye be redy by tymes and I shal be she that shal delyuer you / and take you your armoure and your hors shelde and spere / And here by within this x myle is an Abbey of whyte monkes / there I praye you that ye me abyde / and thyder shal I brynge my fader vnto you / alle thys shal be done saide syre Launcelot as I am true knyghte / and soo she departed and came on the morne erly / and found hym redy / thenne she brought hym oute of twelue lockes & brouȝt hym vnto his armour / & whan he was clene armed / she brought hym vntyl his owne hors / and lyghtely he sadeled hym and toke a grete spere in his hand / and soo rode forth / and sayd fayre damoysel I shal not faile you by the grace of god / And soo he rode in to a grete forest all that day / and neuer coude fynde no hyghe waye / and soo the nyght felle on hym / and thenne was he ware in a slade of a pauelione of reed sendel / By my feythe sayd syre launcelot in that pauelione wil I lodge alle this nyghte / and soo there he alyghte doune and tayed his hors to the pauelione / and there he vnarmed hym / and there he fond a bedde / and layd hym theryn / and felle on slepe sadly

¶ Capitulum v

THenne within an houre there came the knyghte to whome the pauelione ought / And he wende that his lemā had layne in that bedde / and soo he laid hym doune besyde syr Launcelot / and toke hym in his armes and beganne to kysse Page  189 [leaf 95r] hym / And whanne syre launcelot felte a rough berd kyssyng hym / he starte oute of the bedde lyghtely / and the other knyȝt after hym / and eyther of hem gate their swerdes in theire handes / and oute at the pauelione dore wente the knyghte of the pauelione / and syre launcelot folowed hym / and ther by a lytyl slake syr launcelot wounded hym sore nyghe vnto the deth And thenne he yelded hym vnto syre launcelot / and so he graūted hym so that he wold telle hym why he came in to the bedde Syre sayd the knyght the pauelione is myn owne / and there thys nyght I had assygned my lady to haue slepte with me And now I am lykely to dye of this wounde / that me repenteth sayd Launcelot of youre hurte / but I was adrad of treson / for I was late begyled / and therfore come on your way in to your pauelione and take your rest / And as I suppose I shalle staunche your blood / and soo they wente bothe in to the pauelione / And anone syre launcelot staunched his blood / There with al came the knyghtes lady / that was a passynge fayre lady / And whanne she aspyed that her lord Belleus was sore wounded she cryed oute on syre launcelot / and made grete dole oute of mesure / Pees my lady and my loue said Belleus / for this knyght is a goood man and a knyght aduenturous / and there he told her all the cause how he was woūded / And whan that I yolde me vnto hym / he lefte me goodely and hath staunched my blood / Syre sayd the lady I requyre the telle me what knyght ye be / and what is youre name / Fayr lady he sayd / my name is syre launcelot du lake / soo me thought euer by your speche sayd the lady / for I haue sene yow ofte or this / and I knowe you better than ye wene /

¶ But now and ye wold promyse me of your curtosy for the harmes that ye haue done to me and to my lord Belleus that whanne he cometh vnto Arthurs courte for to cause hym to be made knyghte of the roūd table / for he is a passyng good man of armes and a myghty lord of landes of many oute yles /

¶ Fayre lady said syr launcelot lete hym come vnto the courte the next hyhe feest / and loke that ye come with hym / and I shal doo my power / and ye preue you doughty of your handes that ye shalle haue your desyre

¶ So thus within a whyle as they thus talked the nyghte passed / and the daye shone / and Page  190 [leaf 95v] thenne syre launcelot armed hym / and took his hors / and they taught hym to the Abbaye and thyder he rode within the space of two owrys

¶ Capitulum Sextum /

ANd soone as syre launcelott came withyn the Abbeye yarde / the doughter of kynge Bagdemagus herd a grete hors goo on the pauyment / And she thenne aroos and yede vnto a wyndowe / and there she sawe syr launcelot / and anone she made men fast to take his hors from hym / & lete lede hym in to a stabyl / and hym self was ledde in to a fayre chamber / and vnarmed hym / and the lady sente hym a longe goune / & anone she came her self / And thēne she made launcelot passyng good chere / and she sayd he was the knyȝt in the world was moost welcome to her / Thenne in al haste she sente for her fader Bagdemagus that was within xij myle of that Abbay and afore euen he came with a fayre felauship of knyghtes wyth hym / And whanne the kynge was alyghte of his hors he yode streyte vnto syr launcelots chamber / and there he fond hys doughter / and thenne the kyng enbraced syr Launcelot in hys armes / and eyther made other good chere / Anone syre launcelot made his complaynt vnto the kynge how he was bytrayed And how his broder syre lyonel was departed from hym / he nyst not where / and how his doughter had delyuerd hym out of pryson / therfor whyle I lyue I shal doo her seruyse and al her kynred / Thenne am I sure of youre helpe sayd the kynge on tewesday next comynge / ye syr sayd syr launcelot / I shalle not faylle yow / for soo I haue promyfed my lady your doughter / But syre what knyghtes be they of my lord Arthurs that were with the kynge of Northgalys / and the kyng sayd it was syre madore de laporte / and syr Mordred and syr gahalaytyne that al fur fared my knyghtes / for ageynst hem thre I nor my knyghtes myghte bere no strenghte / Syre sayde syre launcelot as I here say that the turnement shal be here within this thre myle of this abbay / ye shal sende vnto me thre knyghtes of yours suche as ye trust and loke that the thre knyghtes haue al whyte sheldes & I also & no paynture on the sheldes / & and we four will come out of a lytel wood in myddes of both Page  191 [leaf 96r] partyes / and we shalle falle in the frounte of oure enemyes & greue hem that we may / And thus shal I not be knowen what knyght I am / Soo they took their rest that nyght / and thys was on the sonday / and soo the kyng departed / and sente vnto syre launcelot thre knyghtes with the four whyte sheldes And on the tewesday they lodged hem in a lytyl leued wood besyde there the turnement shold be / And there were scaffoldis and holes that lordes and ladyes myghte beholde and to gyue the pryse / Thenne came in to the feld the kyng of Northgalys with eyght score helmes / And thenne the thre knyghtes of Arthur stode by them self /

¶ Thenne cam in to the feld kyng Bagdemagus with four score of helmys / And thenne they fewtryd their sperys / and cam to gyders with a grete dasshe / & there were slayn of knyghtes at the first recountre xij of kyng Bagdemagus parte / and syx of the kyng of Northgalys party / and kyng Bagdemagus party was ferre sette a back /

¶ Capitulum septimum

WYth that came syr Launcelot du lake and he threste in with his spere in the thyckest of the prees / and there he smote doune with one spere fyue knyghtes / and of foure of hem he brake their backes / And in that throng he smote doune the kynge of Northgalys / and brake his thye in that falle / Alle thys doyng of syre Launcelot sawe the thre knyghtes of Arthurs / Yonder is a shrewde gest sayd syre Madore de la port therfore haue here ones at hym / soo they encountred / and syre Launcelot bare hym doune hors and man / soo that his sholder wente oute of lyth / Now befalleth it to me to Iuste sayd Mordred / for syr Mador hath afore falle / Syre Launcelot was ware of hym / and gate a grete spere in his hand / and mette hym and syr Mordred brake a spere vpon hym / and syre launcelot gaf hym suche a buffet that the arsson of his sadel brake / & soo he flewe ouer his hors taylle that his helme butte in to the erthe a foote and more that nyhe his neck was broken / & there he lay longe in a swoune /

¶ Thenne came in syr Gahalantyne with a grete spere / and Launcelot ageynst hym with al theyre strength that they myȝt dryue that both her speres to brast euen Page  192 [leaf 96v] to their handes / and thenne they flang out with their swerdes and gaf many a grym stroke / Thenne was syr launcelot wroth oute of mesure / and then̄e he smote syr galahantyne on the helme that his nose braste oute on blood and eerys and mouthe bothe / and ther with his hede henge lowe / And therwith his hors ranne awey with hym / and he felle doune to the erthe / Anone there with al syre launcelot gate a greete spere in hys hand / And or euer that grete spere brake / he bare doune to the erthe xvj knyghtes some hors and man / and some the man & not the hors / & there was none but that he hyt surely he bare none armes that day / And thenne he gate another grete spere & smote doune twelue knyghtes / and the moost party of hem neuer throfe after / And thēne the knyȝtes of the kyng of northgalys wold Iuste nomore / And there the gree was was gyuen to kynge Bagdemagus / So eyther party departed vnto his owne place / and syr launcelot rode forth with kynge Bagdemagus vnto his castel / and there he had passynge good chere both with the kyng and with his doughter / and they profred hym grete yeftes / And on the morne he took his leue / and told the kynge that he wold goo and seke his broder syre Lyonel that wente from hym whan that he slepte / so he toke his hors / and betaught hem alle to god / And there he sayd vnto the kynges doughter yf ye haue nede ony tyme of my seruyse I praye you lete me have knouleche / and I shal not faylle you as I am true knyght / and so syr launcelot departed / and by aduenture he came in to the same forest / there he was take slepyng / And in the myddes of an hyhe way he mette a damoysel rydyng on a whyte palfroy / and there eyther salewed other / Fayre damoysel said syre launcelot knowe ye in this countray ony aduentures / syre knyghte sayd that damoysel / here are aduentures nere hand / and thou durst preue hem / why shold I not preue aduentures said syre launcelot for that cause come I hyder / Wel sayd she thou semest wel to be a good knyght / And yf thou dare mete with a good knyght / I shal brynge the where is the best knyght / and the myghtyest that euer thou fond / so thou wylt telle me what is thy name / and what knyght thou arte / damoysel as for to telle the my name I take no grete force / Truly my name is syre laūcelot du lake / syre thou bysemyst Page  193 [leaf 97r] wel / here ben aduentures by that fallen for the / for here by duelleth a knyght that wylle not be ouermatched for no man I knowe but ye ouermatche hym / & his name is syre Turquyne And as I vnderstand he hath in his pryson of Arthurs courte good knyghtes thre score and foure / that he hath wonne with his owne handes / But whan ye haue done that Iourney ye shal promyse me as ye are a true knyght for to go with me and to helpe me / and other damoysels that are distressid dayly with a fals knyghte / All your entente damoysel and desyre I wylle fulfylle / soo ye wyl brynge me vnto this knyghte Now fayre knyght come on your waye / and soo she broughte hym vnto the fourde and the tre where henge the bacyn / So sir launcelot lete his hors drynke / and sythen he bete on the bacyn with the butte of his spere so hard with al his myȝt tyl the bottom felle oute / and longe he dyd soo but he sawe noo thynge Thenne he rode endlong the gates of that manoyre nyghe half an houre / And thenne was he ware of a grete knyȝt that drofe an hors afore hym / and ouerthwarte the hors there lay an armed knyght bounden / And euer as they came nere and nere / syre launcelot thouȝt he shold knowe hym / Thenne sir launcelot was ware that hit was syre gaherys Gawayns broder a knyghte of the table round / Now fayre damoysel sayd sir launcelot / I see yonder cometh a knyght fast bounden that is a felawe of myne / and broder he is vnto syr gawayne / And att the fyrst begynnyng I promyse yow by the leue of god to rescowe that knyght / But yf his mayster sytte better in the sadel I shal delyuer alle the prysoners that he hath oute of daunger / for I am sure he hath two bretheren of myne prysoners with hym / By that tyme that eyther had sene other / they grypped theyr speres vnto them / Now fayre knyghte sayd syr launcelot / put that wounded knyghte of the hors / and lete hym reste a whyle / and lete vs two preue oure strengthes / For as it is enformed me thou doest and hast done grete despyte and shame vnto knyghtes of the round table / and therfor now defende the / And thow be of the table round sayd Turquyne I defye the and alle thy felauship / that is ouermoche sayd / sayd syre launcelot Page  194 [leaf 97v]

¶ Capitulum viij

ANd thēne they put theyr speres in the restys / & cam to gyders with her horses as fast as they myght renne / And eyther smote other in myddes of theyre sheldes that bothe theyre horse backes braste vnder them / and the knyghtes were bothe astonyed / and as soone as they myghte auoyde theyre horses / they took theire sheldes afore them / and drewe oute her swerdes / and came to gyder egerly / and eyther gaf other many stronge strokes / for there myght neyder sheldes nor harneis hold theyr strokes / And soo within a whyle they hadde bothe grymly woundes / and bledde passynge greuously / Thus they ferd two houres or mo trasyng and rasyng eyther other where they myght hytte ony bare place / Thenne at the last they were bretheles bothe / and stode lenyng on theyre swerdes / Now felawe sayd syr Turquyne hold thy hand a whyle / and telle me what I shal aske the / Say on thenne Turquyne sayd thou arte the byggest man that euer I mette with al / and the beste brethed / and lyke on knyȝt that I hate aboue al other knyghtes / so be hit that thou be not he I wyl lyghtly accorde with the / & for thy loue I wil delyuer al the prysoners that I haue that is thre score and foure / soo thou wylt telle me thy name / And thou and I we wyl be felawes to gyders and neuer to fayle the whyle that I lyue / it is wel sayd / sayd syr launcelot / but sythen hit is soo that I may haue thy frendship what knyght is he that thou soo hatest aboue al other / Feythfully sayd syr Turquyne his name is syre launcelot du lake / for he slewe my broder syr Caradus at the dolorous toure that was one of the best knyghtes on lyue / And therfore hym I excepte of al knyghtes / for may I ones mete with hym / the one of vs shal make an ende of other I make myn auowe / And for sir launcelots sake I haue slayne an C good knyghtes / and as many I haue maymed al vtterly that they myght neuer after helpe them self / and many haue dyed in pryson / and yet haue I thre score and foure / and al shal be delyuerd so thou wilt telle me thy name / so be it that thou be not syre launcelot /

¶ Now see I wel sayd syre launcelot that suche a man I myghte be I myght haue peas / and suche a man I myghte be / Page  195 [leaf 98r] that ther shold be warre mortal betwyxte vs / and now syre knyghte at thy request I wyl that thou wete and knowe that I am Launcelot du lake kynge Bans sone of Benwyck / & very knyghte of the table round / And now I defye the and doe thy best / A sayd Turquyne / launcelot / thou arte vnto me moost welcome that euer was knyghte / for we shalle neuer departe tyl the one of vs be dede / Thenne they hurtled to gyders as two wilde bulles rosshynge and lasshyng with their sheldes and swerdes that somtyme they felle bothe ouer theyr noses / Thus they foughte stylle two houres and more / and neuer wolde haue reste / and syre Turquyn gaf syre laūcelot many woundes / that alle the ground there as they foughte was al bespeckled with blood

¶ Capitulum ix

THenne at the last syr Turquyn waxed faynte / and gaf somwhat a bak / and bare his shelde lowe for werynesse / That aspyed syre Launcelot / and lepte upon hym fyersly and gate hym by the Bauowre of his helmet / and plucked hym doune on his knees / And anone he racyd of his helme / and smote his neck in sondyr / And whanne syre laūcelot had done this / he yode vnto the damoysel and sayd / damoysel I am redy to goo with yow where ye wylle haue me / but I haue no hors / Fayre syre sayd she / take this wounded knyghtes hors and sende hym in to this manoyr and commaunde hym to delyuer alle the prysoners / Soo syr launcelot wente vnto Gaheryes and praid hym not to be agreued for to leue hym his hors Nay fayr lord said Gaheryes I wyll that ye take my hors atte your owne commaundement / for ye houe bothe saued me and my hors / & this day I saye ye are the best knyghte in the worlde For ye haue slayne this daye in my syghte the myȝtest man & the best knyghte excepte yow that euer I sawe / & fore syre said Gaheryes I pray you telle me your name / Syre my name is syr launcelot du lake that ouȝte to helpe you of ryghte for kyng arthurs sake / & in especial for my lord sir gawayns sake your owne dere broder / & whan that ye come within yonder manayr / I am sure ye shal fynde ther many knyȝtes of the round table / for I haue sene many of their sheldes that I knowe Page  196 [leaf 98v] on yonder tree / there is kayes shelde / & sir braundeles sheld / and syr Marhaus sheld and syre Galyndes shelde and syre Bryan de lystnoyse sheld and syr Alydukes sheld with many mo that I am not now auysed of / and also my two bretheren sheldes syre Ector de marys and syr Lyonel / wherfore I pray yow grete them al from me / and say that I bydde them take suche stuffe there as they fynd / and that in ony wyse my bretheren goo vnto the courte and abyde me there tyl that I come / for by the feest of pentecost I cast me to be there / for as at this tyme I must ryde with this damoysel for to saue my promyse / and soo he departed from Gaheryse / & Gaheryse yede in to the manore / and ther he fond a yoman porter kepyng ther many keyes / Anone with al syre gaheryse threwe the porter vnto the ground / and toke the keyes from hym / and hastely he opened the pryson dore / and there he lete oute all the prysoners / and euery man losed other of their boundes / And whan they sawe syre Gaheryse / alle they thanked hym / for they wend that he was wounded / Not soo sayd Gaheryse / hit wos launcelot that slewe hym worshipfully with his owne handes / I sawe it with myn owne eyen / and he greteth you al wel / and prayeth you to haste you to the courte / And as vnto syr Lyonel and Ector de marys he prayeth yow to abyde hym at the court That shalle we not doo says his bretheren / we wyll fynde hym and we may lyue / So shal I sayd syr kay fynde hym or I come at the courte as I am true knyghte / Thenne alle tho knyghtes sought the hous there as the armour was / and thenne they armed hem / and euery knyght fonde his owne hors / & al thet euer longed vnto hym / And whan this was done ther cam a foster with foure horses lade with fatte veneson / A none syr kay sayd / here is good mete for vs for one meale / for we had not many a day no good repast / And so that veneson was rosted baken and soden / and so after souper somme abode there al that nyghte / But syre Lyonel and Ector de marys and syre kay rode after syre launcelot to fynde hym yf they myghte

¶ Capitulum Decimum

Page  197 [leaf 99r]

NOw torne we vnto syre laucelot that rode with the damoysel in a fayre hyghe waye / syr sayd the damoysel / here by this way haunteth a knyght that destressyd al ladyes and gentylwymmen / And at the leest he robbeth them or lyeth by them / what said sir launcelot is he a theef & a knyght & a rauyssher of wymmen / he doth shame vnto the ordre of knyghthode / and contrary vnto his othe / hit is pyte that he lyueth / But fayr damoysel ye shal ryde on afore your self / and I wylle kepe my self in couerte / And yf that he trouble yow or distresse yow / I shalle be your rescowe and lerne hym to be ruled as a knyghte / Soo the mayde rode on by the way a soft ambelynge paas / And within a whyle cam oute that knyght on horsbak oute of the woode / and his page with hym / & there he put the damoysel from her hors / and thenne she cryed / With that came launcelot as fast as he myghte tyl he came to that knyght / sayenge / O thou fals knyght and traytour vnto knyghthode / who dyd lerne the to dystresse ladyes and gentylwymmen / whanne the knyghte sawe syre launcelot thus rebukynge hym / he ansuerd not / but drewe his swerd and rode vnto syre launcelot / and syre laūcelot threwe his spere fro hym / and drewe oute his swerd / and strake hym suche a buffet on the helmet that he clafe his hede and neck vnto the throte Now hast thou thy payement that long thou hast deserued / that is trouthe sayd the damoysel / For lyke as syr Turquyne watched to destroye knyghtes / soo dyde this knyght attende to destroye and dystresse ladyes damoysels and gentylwymmen / & his name was syre Perys de foreyst saueage / Now damoysel sayde syre launcelot wylle ye ony more seruyse of me / Nay syre she sayd at this tyme / but almyghty Ihesu perserue you where someuer ye ryde or goo / for the curteyst knyghte thou arte and mekest vnto all ladyes and gentylwymmen that now lyueth / But one thyng syre knyghte me thynketh ye lacke / ye that are a knyghte wyueles that ye wyl not loue some mayden or gentylwoman / sor I coude neuer here say that euer ye loued ony of no maner degree and that is grete pyte / but hit is noysed that ye loue quene Gueneuer / and that she hath ordeyned by enchauntement that ye shal neuer loue none other / but her / ne none other damoysel ne lady shall reioyse you / wherfor Page  198 [leaf 99v] many in this land of hyghe estate and lowe make grete sorowe /

¶ Fayre damoysel sayd syr launcelot I maye not warne peple to speke of me what it pleaseth hem / But for to be a wedded man / I thynke hit not / for thenne I must couche with her / and leue armes and turnementys / batayls / and aduentures / And as for to say for to take my plesaunce with peramours that wylle I refuse in pryncypal for drede of god / For knyghtes that ben auenturous or lecherous shal not be happy ne fortunate vnto the werrys / for outher they shalle be ouercome with a symplyer knyghte than they be hem self / Outher els they shal by vnhap and her cursydnes slee better men than they ben hem self / And soo who that vseth peramours shalle be vnhappy / and all thyng is vnhappy that is aboute hem / And soo syre Launcelot and she departed / And thenne he rode in a depe forest two dayes and more / and had strayte lodgynge / Soo on the thyrdde day he rode ouer a longe brydge / and there starte vpon hym sodenly a passynge foule chorle / and he smote his hors on the nose that he torned aboute / & asked hym why he rode ouer that brydge withoute his lycence / why shold I not ryde this way sayd syr launcelot / I may not ryde besyde / thou shall not chese sayd the chorle and lasshyd at hym with a grete clubbe shod with yron / Thenne syre laūcelot drewe his suerd and put the stroke abak / and clafe his hede vnto the pappys / At the ende of the brydge was a fayre village / & al the people men and wymmen cryed on syre launcelot / and sayd A wers dede dydest thou neuer for thy self / for thou hast slayn the chyef porter of oure castel / syr laūcelot lete them say what they wold And streyghte he wente in to the castel / And whanne he cam in to the castel he alyghte / and teyed his hors to a rynge on the walle / And there he sawe a fayre grene courte / and thyder he dressyd hym / For there hym thought was a fayre place to fyghte in / Soo he loked aboute / and sawe moche peple in dores and wyndowes that sayd fayr knyghte thou arte vnhappy

¶Capitulum xj

Page  199 [leaf 100r]

Capitulum xj [ ¶Capitulum xij ]

ANone with al cam there vpon hym two grete gyaunts wel armed al sauf the hedes with two horryble clubbes in theyr handes / Syre Launcelot put his sheld afore hym and put the stroke aweye of the one gyaunt / and with his swerd he clafe his hede a sondre / Whan his felaw sawe that / he ran awey as he were wood / for fere of the horryble strokes / & laūcelot after hym with al his myȝt & smote hym on the sholder / and clafe hym to the nauel / Thenne syre launcelot went in to the halle / and there came afore hym thre score ladyes and damoysels / and all kneled vnto hym / and thanked god & hym of their delyueraunce. For syre sayd they / the mooste party of vs haue ben here this seuen yere their prysoners / and we haue worched al maner of sylke werkes for oure mete / and we are al grete gentylwymmen borne / and blessyd be the tyme knyȝte that euer thou be borne / For thou hast done the moost worship that euer dyd knyght in this world / that wyl we bere recorde and we al pray you to telle vs your name / that we maye telle our frendes who delyuerd vs oute of pryson / Fayre damoysel he sayd / my name is syre launcelot du lake / A syre sayde they al / wel mayst thou be he / for els saue your self / as we demed / there myghte neuer knyght haue the better of these two gyaunts / for many fayre knyghtes haue assayed hit / and here haue ended / and many tymes haue we wysshed after yow / and these two gyaunts dredde neuer knyghte but you / Now maye ye saye sayd syr launcelot vnto youre frendes how & who hath delyuerd you / and grete them al from me / and yf that I come in ony of your marches / shewe me suche chere as ye haue cause and what tresour that there in this castel is I gyue it you for a reward for your greuaunce / And the lorde that is owner of this castel I wold he receyued it as is ryght / Fayre syre saide they / the name of this castel is Tyntygayl / & a duke oughte it somtyme that had wedded fair Igrayn / & after wedded her Vtherpendragon / & gate on her Arthur / wel saide sir launcelot I vnderstande to whome this castel longeth / and soo he departed from them / and bytaughte hem vnto god

¶ And thenne he mounted vpon his hors & rode in to many straunge & wyld Page  200 [leaf 100v] countreyes and thorou many waters and valeyes and euyl was he lodged / And at the laste by fortune hym happend ageynst a nyghte to come to a fayr courtelage / & therin he fond an old gentylwoman that lodged hym with good wyl / and there he had good chere for hym and his hors / And whan tyme was his oost brought hym in to a fayre garet ouer the gate to his bedde / There syre Launcelot vnarmed hym & sette hys harneys by hym / and wente to bed / and anone he felle on slepe / So soone after ther cam one on horsback / & knocked at the gate in grete haste / and whan syr launcelot herd this / he arose vp and loked oute at the wyndowe / & sawe by the mone lyghte thre knyghtes cam rydyng after that one man / and al thre lasshed on hym at ones with swerdes / & that one knyȝt tourned on hem knyȝtly ageyne / and deffended hym / Truly saide syre launcelot yonder one knyȝte shal I helpe / for it were shame for me to see thre knyȝtes on one / And yf he be slayne I am partener of his deth / & ther with he took his harneis / and went out at a wyndowe by a shete doune to the four knyȝtes / & thenne syr launcelot sayd on hyghe / torne you knyghtes vnto me and leue your fyghtyng with that knyght / And thenne they alle thre lefte syr kay / and torned vnto syr launcelot / and there beganne grete bataylle / for they alyghte al thre / and strake many grete strokes at syr launcelot / and assayled hym on euery syde / Thenne syre kay dressid hym for to haue holpen syre Launcelot / nay syre sayd he I wylle none of your helpe / therfor as ye wylle haue my helpe / lete me alone with them / Syre kay for the pleasyre of the knyghte suffred hym for to doo hys wylle / and soo stode on syde / And thenne anon within vj strokes / syre launcelot had stryken hem to the erthe

¶ And thenne they al thre cryed syre knyghte we yelde vs vnto you as man of myght makeles / As to that said syr laūcelot I will not take your yeldyng vnto me / But so that ye wylle yelde you vnto syr kay the Seneschal on that couenaunt I wyl saue your lyues and els not /

¶ Fayre knyghte sayd they that were lothe to doo / For as for syr kay / we chaced hym hyder / and had ouercome hym had not ye ben / therfor to yelde vs vnto hym it were no reson / wel as to that said laūcelot / auyse you wel / for ye may chese whether ye wyll Page  201 [leaf 101r] dye or lyue / for and ye be yolden it shal be vnto syr kay /

¶ Fayre knyght thenne they sayd in sauynge of oure lyues we wylle doo as thou commaundys vs / Thenne shal ye sayd syre launcelot on whytsonday nexte comyng go vnto the courte of kynge Arthur / and there shal ye yelde you vnto quene Gueneuer / and put you al thre in her grace and mercy / and saye that sir kay sente you thyder to be her prysoners / Syre they said it shalle be done by the feythe of oure bodyes / and we ben lyuynge / and there they swore euery knyghte vpon his swerd / And so sir launcelot suffred hem soo to departe / And thenne sir launcelot knocked at the yate with the pomel of his swerd / and with that came his oost / and in they entred sir kay and he Syre sayd his hoost I wende ye had ben in youre bedde / so I was / sayd sire launcelot / But I arose and lepte oute atte my wyndowe for to helpe an old felawe of myne / And so whanne they came nyghe the lyghte / sir kay knewe wel / that it was sir launcelot / and ther with he kneled doune and thanked hym of al his kyndenesse that he had holpen hym twyes from the deth Syre he sayd I haue no thynge done but that me ought for to doo / and ye are welcome / and here shal ye repose yow and take your rest / Soo whan sir kay was vnarmed / he asked after mete / soo there was mete fette hym / and he ete strongly / And whan he hadde souped they went to theyr beddes and were lodged to gyders in one bedde / On the morne sir launcelot arose erly / and lefte syre kay slepynge / and sir launcelot toke sire kayes armour and his shelde and armed hym / and so he wente to the stable / and toke his hors and toke his leue of his oost / and soo he departed / Thenne soone after arose syr kay and myssed sir launcelot / And thenne he aspyed that he had his armoure and his hors / Now by my feythe I knowe wel that he wylle greue some of the courte of kynge Arthur. For on hym knyghtes wylle be bolde / and deme that it is I / and that wyll begyle them / And by cause of his armoure and shelde I am sure I shal ryde in pees / And thenne soone after departed sir kay & thanked his hoost

¶ Capitulum xij

Page  202 [leaf 101v]

NOw torne we vnto syre launcelot that had ryden long in a grete forest / and at the last he came in to a lowe countray ful of fayre Ryuers and medowes / And afore hym he sawe a longe brydge / and thre pauelions stode ther on of sylke and sendel of dyuers hewe / And withoute the pauelions henge thre whyte sheldes on truncheons of sperys / & grete longe sperys stode vpryght by the pauelions / and at euery pauelions dore stode thre fresshe squyers / and soo syre launcelot passed by them and spake no worde / whan he was paste the thre knyghtes sayden hym that hit was the proud kay / he weneth no knyght soo good as he / and the contrary is oftyme preued / By my feythe sayd one of the knyghtes / his name was syre gaunter / I wylle ryde after hym / & assaye hym / for alle his pryde / and ye may beholde how that I spede / Soo this knyght syre Gaunter armed hym / and henge his shelde vpon his sholder / and mounted vpon a grete hors / and gate his spere in his hand / and wallopt after syre launcelot / and whanne he came nyghe hym / he cryed Abyde thou proude knyght syr kay / for thou shalt not passe quyte / Soo syr launcelot torned hym / and eyther feutryd their speres / and came to gyders with alle theyr myghtes / and syre Gaunters spere brake but syre launcelot smote hym doune hors and man / and whan syr gaunter was at the erthe / his bretheren sayd echone to other yonder knyght is not syre kay / for he is bygger than he / I dare laye my heed sayd syre Gylmere yonder knyghte hath slayne syr kay and hath taken his hors and his harneis / whether it be soo or no sayd syr Raynold the thyrd broder / lete vs now goo mounte vpon oure horses and rescowe our broder sir Gaunter vpon payne of dethe / we alle shal haue werke ynouȝ to matche that knyght / for euer me semeth by his persone it is syre Launcelot / or syr Trystram / or syr Pelleas the good knyght / Thenne anon they toke theyr horses and ouertook syr launcelot / and syre gylmere put forth his spere / and ranne to sir launcelot / and syre launcelot smote hym doune that he lay in a swoune / Syre knyght sayd syr Raynold thou arte a strong man / and as I suppose thou hast slayne my two bretheren / for the whiche rasyth my herte sore ageynst the / And yf I myght with my worship I wold not haue a doo with yow but Page  203 [leaf 102r] nedes I must take parte as they doo / And therfor knyghte he sayd / kepe thy self / And soo they hurtled to gyders with alle theyr myghtes / and al to sheuered bothe theyre speres / And thenne they drewe her swerdes and lasshyd to gyder egerly / Anone there with aroos syre Gaūter / and came vnto his broder syre gylmere / and bad hym aryse and helpe we oure broder syr Raynold that yonder merueyllously matched yonder good knyght / There with alle they lepte on theyr horses & hurtled vnto syre launcelot /

¶ And whanne he sawe them come / he smote a sore stroke vnto syr Raynold that he felle of his hors to the ground / And thenne he stroke to the other two bretheren / and at two strokes he strake them doune to the erthe / With that sir Raynold beganne to starte vp with his heede al blody / and came streyte vnto syre launcelot / Now late be sayd sir launcelot / I was not ferre from the whan thou were maade knyght sir Raynold / and also I knowe thou arte a good knyght / and lothe I were to slee the / Gramercy sayd syr raynold as for your goodnes / And I dare saye as for me and my bretheren we wyl not be lothe to yelde vs vnto you / with that we knewe your name / for wel we knowe ye are not sire kay / As for that be it as it be maye / for ye shal yelde yow vnto dame gweneuer / and loke that ye be with her on whytsonday and yelde you vnto her as prysoners / and saye that syre kay sente yow vnto her / thenne they swore hit shold be done / and so passed forthe sire launcelot / and echone of the bretheren halpe other as wel as they myght

¶ Capitulum xiij

SOo sir launcelot rode in to a depe forest / and ther by in a slade / he sawe four knyghtes houyng vnder an oke / and they were of Arthurs courte / one was sir Sagramour le desyrus and Ector de marys / and sir Gawayn and sir Vwayne / Anone as these four knyghtes had aspyed sir Launcelot they wend by his armes it hadde ben sir kay / Now by my feythe sayd sir Sagramour / I wylle preue sir kayes myghte / & gate his spere in his hand / and came toward sir launcelot Ther with sir launcelot was ware and knewe hym wel / and Page  204 [leaf 102v] feutryd his spere ageynst hym / and smote syre Sagramore so sore that hors and man felle bothe to the erthe / Lo my felaus sayd he yonder ye may see what a buffet he hath / that knyȝt is moche bygger than euer was syre kay / Now shal ye see what I may doo to hym / Soo syr Ector gate his spere in his hand and wallopte toward syre Laūcelot / and syre Launcelot smote hym thorou the shelde & sholder that man and hors went to the erthe / and euer his spere held / By my feythe sayd sir Vwayne yonder is a strong knyghte / and I am sure he hath slayne syr kay / And I see by his grete strengthe it wyll be hard to matche hym / And there with al syre Vwayne gate his spere in his hand and rode toward syre Launcelot / and syr launcelot knewe hym wel / and soo he mette hym on the playne / & gafe hym suche a buffette that he was astonyed / that longe he wyst not where he was / Now see I wel sayd syre gawayne I must encoūtre with that knyȝt / Thenne he dressid he his sheld and gate a good spere in his hand / and syre launcelot knewe hym wel / and thenne they lete renne theyr horses with all theyr myghtes / and eyther knyght smote other in myddes of the shelde / But syre gawayns spere to brast / and syre launcelot charged so sore vpon hym that his hors reuersed vp so doune And moche sorowe had syre gawayn to auoyde his hors / and so syre launcelot passed on a paas and smyled and said god gyue hym ioye that this spere made / for there came neuer a better in my hand / Thenne the four knyghtes wente echone to other and comforted eche other / what saye ye by this gest sayd syre Gawayne / that one spere hath feld vs al foure / we commaunde hym vnto the deuyl they sayd al / for he is a man of grete myght / ye may wel saye it / sayd syre gawayne / that he is a man of myght / for I dare lay my hede it is syre Launcelot I knowe it by his rydyng / Lete hym goo sayd syre Gawayn for whan we come to the courte than shal we wete / and thenne had they moche sorowe to gete theyr horses ageyne

¶ Capitulum xiiij

NOw leue we there & speke of syr Launcelot that rode a grete whyle in a depe forest where he saw a black brachet Page  205 [leaf 103r] sekyng in maner as it had ben in the feaute of an hurt dere / And ther with he rode after the brachet and he sawe lye on the ground a large feaute of blood / And thenne syre launcelot rode after / And euer the Brachet loked behynd her / and soo she wente thorou a grete mareyse / and euer syre launcelot folowed / And thenne was he ware of an old manoyr / and thyder ranne the brachet / and soo ouer the brydge / Soo syre launcelot rode ouer that brydge that was old and feble / and whan he cam in myddes of a grete halle ther he sawe lye a dede knyght that was a semely man / and that brachet lycked his woundes / and there with al came oute a lady wepyng & wryngyng her handes / And thenne she sayd / O knyghte to moche sorowe hast thou broughte me / Why saye ye soo sayd syre launcelot / I dyd neuer this knyghte no harme / for hyther by feaute of blood this Brachet broughte me / And therfor fayre lady be not displeased with me / for I am ful sore agreued of your greuaunce / Truly syre she sayd I trowe hit be not ye that hath slayne my husband / for he that dyd that dede is sore wounded / & he is neuer lyckly to recouer / that shal I ensure hym / What was your husbandes name sayd syre laūcelot / Syre sayd she / his name was called syre Gylbert the bastard one of the best knyghtes of the world / and he that hath slayne hym I knowe not his name / Now god sende you better comforte sayd syre launcelot / and soo he departed and wente in to the forest ageyne / and there he met with a damoysel / the whiche knewe hym wel / and she sayd on loude wel be ye fond my lord And now I requyre the on thy knyghthode helpe my brother that is sore wounded / and neuer stynteth bledyng / for this day he fought with syre gylbert the bastard & slewe hym in playn bataylle / and there was my broder sore wounded / and there is a lady a sorceresse that duelleth in a castel here besyde / and this day she told me / my broders woundes shold neuer be hole tyl I coud fynde a knyght that wold go in to the chappel peryllous / & ther he shold fynde a swerd and a blody clothe that the wounded knyght was lapped in / and a pyece of that clothe & swerd shold hele my broders woundes so that his woundes were serched with the swerde and the clothe / This is a merueyllous thynge sayd syre launcelot / but what is your broders name / Page  206 [leaf 103v] Syre she sayd / his name was syre Melyot de logurs / that me repenteth said syre launcelott / for he is a felawe of the table round / and to his helpe I wylle doo my power / Thenne syre sayd she / folowe euen this hyhe waye / and it wyl brynge you vnto the chappel peryllous / And here I shalle abyde tyl god send you here ageyne / and but you spede I knowe no knyȝte lyuynge that may encheue that aduenture

¶ Capitulum xv

RYyght soo syr Launcelot departed / And whan he cam vnto the chappel peryllous / he alyghte doune / and teyed his hors vnto a lytyl gate / and as soone as he was with in the chirche yard / he sawe on the frount of the chappel many sayre ryche sheldes torned vp so doune / and many of the sheldes syre launcelot had sene knyghtes bere byfore hand / wyth that he sawe by hym there stande a xxx greete knyghtes more by a yarde than ony man that euer he had sene / and all tho greued and gnasted at syre launcelot / And whan he sawe theyr countenaunce he dred hym sore / and soo putte his shelde afore hym / and toke his swerd redy in his hand redy vnto bataylle / and they were al armed in black harneis redy with her sheldes and her swerdes drawen / And whan syr Launcelot wold haue gone throu oute them / they scateryd on euery syde of hym / and gaf hym the way / and ther with he waxed al bold / and entred in to the chappel / and thenne he sawe no lyght / but a dymme lamp brennynge / and thenne was he ware of a corps hylled with a clothe of sylke / Thenne syre Launcelot stouped doune / and cutte a pyece awey of that clothe / and thenne it ferd vnder hym as the erthe had quaked a lytel / there with al he feryd / And thenne he sawe a fayre swerd lye by the dede knyghte / and that he gate in his hand and hyed hym oute of the chapel / Anone as euer he was in the chappel yarde / alle the knyghtes spak to hym with a grymly voys / and sayd knyghte syr launcelot leye that swerd from the or ellys thou shalt dye / whether that I lyue or dye sayd syr launcelot with noo grete word gete ye hit ageyne / therfor fyghte for it and ye lyst / Thenne ryght soo he passed thorou out them / and Page  207 [leaf 104r] by yonde the chappel yarde ther mette hym a fayre damoysel & sayd syr launcelot leue that swerd behynde the / or thou wil dye for it / I leue it not sayd syr launcelot for no treatys / No sayd she and thou dydest loue that swerd / quene gweneuer shold thou neuer see / thenne were I a foole and I wold leue this swerd sayd launcelot / Now gentyl knyghte sayde the damoysel / I requyre the to kysse me but ones / Nay sayd syr launcelot that god me forbede / wel syr sayd she / and thou haddest kyssed me / thy lyf dayes had ben done / but now allas she said I haue loste al my labour / for I ordeyned this chappel for thy sake / and for syre gawayne / And ones I had syr Gawayne within me / and at that tyme he foughte with that knyghte that lyeth there dede in yonder chappel syre Gylbert the bastard . and at that tyme he smote the lyfte hand of of sir Gylbert the bastard / And syre Launcelot now I telle the / I haue loued the this seuen yere / but there may no woman haue thy loue but quene Gweneuer / But sythen I maye not reioyce the to haue thy body on lyue I had kepte no more ioye in this world / but to haue thy body dede / Thenne wold I haue baumed hit and serued hit / and soo haue kepte it my lyfe dayes / and dayly I shold haue clypped the / and kyssed the in despyte of Quene Gweneuer / ye saye wel sayd syr launcelot Ihesu preserue me from your subtyle craftes / And ther with al he took his hors and soo departed from her / And as the book sayth whan syr launcelot was departed she took suche sorou that she dyed within a fourten nyghte / and her name was Hellawes the sorceresse lady of the castel Nygramous / Anone syre launcelot mette with the damoysel syre Melyotis syster / And whan she sawe hym she clapped her handes / and wepte for ioye And thenne they rode vnto a castel there by where lay syr Melyot / And anone as syre launcelot sawe hym / he knewe hym / but he was passynge pale as the erthe for bledyng / whan syre Melyot sawe syre launcelot he kneled vpon his knees and cryed on hyghe / O lord syr launcelot helpe me / Anone syre launcelot lepte vnto hym and touched his woundes with syr Gylbertes swerde / And thenne he wyped his woundes with a part of the blody clothe that sir gylbert was wrapped in / and anon an holer man in his lyf was he neuer / And thenne ther was Page  208 [leaf 104v] grete ioye bytwene hem / and they made syr launcelot all the chere that they myghte / and soo on the morne syre launcelot toke his leue / and badde syre Melyot hye hym to the courte of my lord Arthur / for it draweth nyhe to the feest of pentecoste / and there by the grace of god ye shal fynde me / and therwith they departed /

¶ Capitulum xvj

ANd soo syre Launcelot rode thorou many straunge countreyes ouer marys and valeyes tyl by fortune he came to a fayre castel / and as he paste beyonde the castel / hym thought he herde two bellys rynge . And thenne was he ware of a Faucon came fleynge ouer his hede toward an hyghe elme / and longe lunys aboute her feet / and she flewe vnto the elme to take her perche / the lunys ouer cast aboute a bough / And whanne she wold haue taken her flyghte / she henge by the legges fast / and syre launcelot sawe how he henge / and byheld the fayre faucon perygot / & he was sory for her / The meane whyle came a lady oute of the castel and cryed on hyghe O launcelot launcelot as thou arte floure of alle knyghtes helpe me to gete my hauke / for and my hauke be lost / my lord wyl destroye me / for I kepte the hauke and she slypped from me / and yf my lord my husband wete hit / he is soo hasty that he wyll slee me / What is your lordes name sayd sir Launcelot / sir she said his name is sire Phelot a knygthe that longeth vnto the the kynge of Northgalys / wel fayre lady syn that ye knowe my name and requyre me of knyghthode to helpe yow I wylle doo what I may to gete your hauke / and yet god knoweth I am an ylle clymber and the tree is passynge hyghe / and fewe bowes to helpe me with alle / And ther with sir launcelot alyȝte and teyed his hors to the same tree / and prayd the lady to vnarme hym / And soo whan he was vnarmed / he put of alle his clothes vnto his sherte and breche / and with myghte & force he clamme vp to the faucon / and teyed the lunys to a grete rotten boyshe / and threwe the hauke doune and it with alle / Anone the lady gate the hauke in her hand / and there with al came oute syre phelot oute of the greuys sodenly / that was her Page  209 [leaf 105r] husband al armed / and with his naked swerd in his hand and sayd O knyghte launcelot now haue I fond the as I wold and stode at the bole of the tree to slee hym / A lady sayd syre Launcelot why haue ye bytrayed me / She hath done sayd syre Phelot but as I commaunded her / and therfor ther nys none other boote but thyne houre is come that thou muste dye / That were shame vnto the sayd syre launcelot thou an armed knyghte to slee a naked man by treason / thou getest none other grace sayd syre phelot and therefor helpe thy self and thou canst / Truly sayde syre launcelot that shal be thy shame / but syn thou wylt doo none other / take myn harneys with the and hange my swerde vpon a bough that I maye gete hit / & thenne doo thy best to slee me and thou canst / Nay nay said sir Phelot / for I knowe the better than thou wenest / therfor thow getest no wepen and I may kepe you ther fro / Allas said sir launcelot that euer a knyghte shold dye wepenles / And ther with he wayted aboue hym and vnder hym / and ouer his hede he sawe a rownsepyk a bygge bough leueles / and ther with he brake it of by the body / And thenne he came lower & awayted how his owne hors stode / and sodenly he lepte on the ferther syde of the hors froward the knyghte / And thenne sir phelot lasshed at hym egerly wenynge to haue slayne hym / But syr Launcelot putte aweye the stroke with the rounsepyk / and ther with he smote hym on the one syde of the hede that he felle doune in a swoune to the ground / Soo thenne syre launcelot took his swerd oute of his hand and stroke his neck fro the body / Thenne cryed the lady / Allas why hast thou slayne my husband / I am not causer sayd syre launcelot / for with falshede ye wold haue had slayne me with treson / and now it is fallen on you bothe / And thenne she souned as though she wold dye / And ther with al syre launcelot gate al his armour as wel as he myght / and put hit vpon hym for drede of more resorte / for he dredde that the knyȝtes castel was soo nygh And soo as soone as he myght he took his hors and departed and thanked god that he had escaped that aduenture

¶ Capitulum xvij

Page  210 [leaf 105v]

SOo syre launcelot rode many wylde wayes thorou out mareys and many wylde wayes / And as he rode in a valey he sawe a knyght chacynge a lady with a naked swerd to haue slayn her / And by fortune as this knyȝte shold haue slayne thys lady she cryed on syr Launcelot and prayd hym to rescowe her / Whan syre launcelot sawe that meschyef / he took his hors and rode bytwene them / sayeng knyȝte fy for shame / why wolt thou slee this lady / thou dost shame vnto the and alle knyghtes / what haste thou to doo betwyx me & my wyf / sayd the knyght / I wylle slee her maugre thy hede / that shalle ye not sayd syr launcelot / for rather we two wylle haue adoo to gyders / Syre Launcelot sayd the knyght thow doest not thy part / for this lady hath bytrayed me / hit is not so sayd the lady / truly he sayth wronge on me / And for by cause I loue and cherysshe my cosyn germayne / he is Ialous betwixe hym and me / And as I shalle ansuer to god there was neuer synne betwyxe vs / But sir sayd the lady as thou arte called the worshipfullest knyghte of the world I requyre the of true knyȝthode kepe me and saue me / For what someuer ye saye he wyl slee me / for he is withoute mercy / haue ye no doubte sayd launcelot it shal not lye in his power / Syr sayd the knyghte in you syghte I wyl be ruled as ye wylle haue me / And soo sir launcelot rode on the one syde and she on the other / he had not ryden but a whyle / but the knyghte badde sir Launcelot torne hym and loke behynde hym / and sayde syre yonder come men of armes after vs rydynge / And soo sir launcelot torned hym and thoughte no treason / and there wyth was the knyghte and the lady on one syde / & sodenly he swapped of his ladyes hede / And whan syr Launcelot hadde aspyed hym what he had done / he sayd and called hym traytour thou hast shamed me for euer / and sodenly sir launcelot alyȝte of his hors and pulled oute his swerd to slee hym / and there with al he felle flat to the erthe / and grypped sir launcelot by the thyes and cryed mercy / Fy on the sayd sir launcelot thow shameful knyght thou mayst haue no mercy / and therfor aryse and fyghte with me / nay sayde the knyghte I wyl neuer aryse tyl ye graunte me mercy / Now wyl I profer the fayr said launcelot I wyl vnarme me vnto my sherte / and I wylle Page  211 [leaf 106r] haue nothyng vpon me / but my sherte and my swerd and my hand / And yf thou canst slee me / quyte be thou for euer / nay sir said Pedyuere that wille I neuer / wel said sir Launcelott take this lady and the hede / and bere it vpon the / and here shalt thou swere vpon my swerd to bere it alweyes vpon thy back and neuer to reste tyl thou come to quene Gueneuer / Syre sayd he that wylle I doo by the feithe of my body / Now said launcelot telle me what is your name / sir my name is Pedyuere / In a shameful houre were thou borne said launcelot / Soo Pedyuere departed with the dede lady and the hede / and fond the quene with kynge Arthur at wynchestre / and there he told alle the trouthe / Syre knyȝt said the quene this is an horryble dede and a shameful / and a grete rebuke vnto sire launcelott But not withstondynge his worship is not knowen in many dyuerse countreyes / but this shalle I gyue you in penaunce make ye as good skyfte as ye can ye shal bere this lady with you on horsbak vnto the pope of Rome / and of hym receyue your penaunce for your foule dedes / and ye shalle neuer reste one nyghte there as ye doo another / and ye goo to ony bedde the dede body shal lye with you / this othe there he made and soo departed / And as it telleth in the frensshe book / whan he cam to Rome / the pope badde hym goo ageyne vnto quene Gueneuer and in Rome was his lady beryed by the popes commaundement / And after this sir Pedyuere felle to grete goodnesse / & was an holy man and an heremyte

¶ Capitulum xviij

NOw torne we vnto sir launcelot du lake that came home two dayes afore the seest of Pentecost / and the kyng and alle the courte were passynge fayne of his comynge / And whanne sire Gawayne / sir Vwayne / sire Sagramore / sir Ector de marys sawe sire Launcelot in Kayes armour / thenne they wist wel it was he that smote hem doune al with one spere / Thenne there was laughyng and smylyng amonge them / and euer now and now came alle the Knyghtes home that sir Turquyn hadde prysoners and they alle honoured and worshipped syre launcelot /

¶ Whanne sire Gaheryes herd them Page  212 [leaf 106v] speke / he said / I sawe alle the bataille from the begynnyng to the endynge / and there he told kyng Arthur alle how it was and how syre Turquyn was the strongest knyghte that euer he sawe excepte syre launcelot / there were many knyghtes bare hym record nyghe thre score / Thenne sire kay told the kynge / how syr launcelot had rescowed hym whan he shold haue ben slayne / and how he made the knyghtes yelde hem to me / and not to hym / And there they were al thre / and bare record / and by Ihesu said syr kay by cause syr launcelot took my harneis and lefte me his / I rode in good pees / and no man wold haue adoo with me /

¶ Anone there with alle ther came the thre knyghtes that fought with syre launcelot at the longe brydge And there they yelded hem vnto syr kay / and sir kay forsoke hem and said he foughte neuer with hem / but I shall ease your herte said sir kay / yonder is syr launcelot the ouercam you whan they wyst that / they were glad / And thenne syr Melyot de logrys came home / and told the kynge how syr launcelot had saued hym fro the dethe / and all his dedes were knowen how foure quenes sorceresses had hym in pryson / and how he was delyuerd by kynge Bagdemagus doughter / Also there were told alle grete dedes of armes that syr launcelot dyd betwixe the two kynges / that is for to saye the kynge of northgalys and kynge Bagdemagus Alle the trouthe syr Gahalantyne dyd telle / and syre Mador de la porte and syre Mordred / for they were at that same turnement /

¶ Thenne cam in the lady that knewe syr launcelot whan that he wounded syr Bellyus at the pauelione / And there atte request of syr laūcelot syr Bellyus was made knyghte of the round table / And soo at that tyme sir launcelot had the grettest name of ony knyghte of the world / and most he was honoured of hyhe and lowe

Explicit the noble tale of syr Launcelot du lake whiche is the vj book


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