XIV

(Winchester 409v-449; Caxton XVIII.1-XIX.13; Vinaver, Vol. 2 & 3, pp. 1045.1-1154.19; Shepherd pp. 588.1-645.12)

 
 
 
 

f. 409v (XVIII.1)

 

SO aftir the quest of the Sankgreall·

was fulfylled and all knyghtes that were leffte on lyve

were com home a gayne vnto the table rownde

as the booke of the Sankgreall makith mencion

than was Þer grete ioy in the courte and enespeciall

kynge Arthure and quene Gwenyuere made grete ioy of Þe reme//

naunte and that were com home and passyng gladde was the kynge

and the quene of Sir Launcelot and of Sir Bors for they had bene

passynge longe a way in the queste of the Sankgreall Than as

the booke seyth Sir Launcelot be gan to resorte vnto quene Gweniuer

a gayne and for gate the pmyse and the perfeccion that he made in

the queste For as the booke seyth · had nat Sir Launcelot bene in his

prevy thouȝtes and in hys myndis so sette Inwardly to Þe quene

as he was in semynge outewarde to god there had no knyght pas//

sed hym in the queste of the Sankgreall but euer his thouȝtis

prevyly were on the quene And so they loved to gydirs more hotter

than they dud to fore honde and had many such prevy drauȝtis

to gydir that many in the courte spake of hit And in especiall

Sir Aggrauayne Sir Gawaynes brothir for he was euer opynne

mowthed So hit be felle that Sir Launcelot had many resortis

of ladyes and damesels which dayly resorted vnto hym to be

Þer champion in all such·maters of ryght Sir Launcelot apply//

ed hym dayly to do for the plesure of oure lorde Jhu cryste And

euer as much as he myght he with drew hym fro Þe company

of quene Gwenyuer for to eschew the sclawndir and noyse where

fore the quene saxed wrothe with Sir Launcelot So on a day

she called hym to hir chambir and seyd Þus Sir Launcelot I se

and fele dayly that youre love begynnyth to slake for ye haue

no Joy to be in my presence but euer ye ar oute of thys courte

And quarels and maters ye haue now a dayes for ladyes


f. 410 (XVIII.1-2)

 

maydyns and Jantill women that euer ye were wonte to haue be

fore honde A · madame seyde Sir Launcelot in thys ye must holde

me excused for dyuers causis One ys I was but late in the quest of

the Sankgreall and I thanke god of hys grete mercy and neuer of my

deseruynge that I saw in that my queste as much as euer saw ony

synfull man lyvynge and so was hit tolde me And if that I had

nat had my prevy thouȝtis to returne to youe love a gayne as I

do I had sene as grete mysteryes as euer saw my sonne sir Galahad

Percivale oÞer Sir Bors And there fore madam I was but late

in that queste and wyte you well madam hit may nat be yet

lyghtly for gotyn the hyȝe seruyse in whom I dud my dyligente

laboure Also madame wyte you well that Þer be many men spe//

kith of oure love in thys courte and haue you and me gretely

in a wayte As Þes Sir Aggrauayne and Sir Mordred & madam

wyte you well I drede them more for youre sake than for ony feare

of them I haue of them my selffe for I may happyn to ascape and

ryde my selff in a grete nede where madame ye muste a byde all

that woll be seyde vnto you // And than if that ye falle in ony

distresse thorow oute wyll full foly than ys Þer none oÞer helpe

but by me and my bloode And wyte you well madam Þe bolde//

nesse of you and me woll brynge vs to shame and sclaundir

and that were me lothe to se you dishonoured And Þat is Þe cause

I take vppon me more for to do for damesels and maydyns Þan

euer y ded to forne that men sholde vndirstonde my Joy and my

delite ys my plesure to haue a do for damesels and maydyns

All thys whyle S the quene stoode stylle and lete Sir Launcelot

sey what he wolde And whan he had all seyde she braste oute

of wepynge and so she sobbed and a wepte a grete whyle And

whan she myght speke she seyde Sir Launcelot now I well vnder//

stonde Þat Þou arte a false recrayed knyght and a comon lechourere


f. 410v (XVIII.2)

 

and lovyste and holdiste othir ladyes and of me Þou haste dysdayne

and scorne // For wyte you well now I vndirstonde thy falsehede I shall

neuer love the more and loke Þou be neuer so hardy to com in my syght

and ryght here I dyscharge the thys courte Þat Þou neuer com with In

hit and I forsende the my felyship and vppon payne of thy hede Þat

Þou se me neuer more // Ryght so Sir Launcelot departed with grete hevynes

that vnneth he myght susteyne hym selff for grete dole makynge

Than he called Sir Bors Ector de maris & sir Lyonell and tolde hem

how the quene had for sende hym the courte and so he was in wyll

to departe in to hys owne contrey Fayre Sir seyde Bors de ganys ye

shall departe oute of thys londe by myne aduyce for ye muste remem//

bir you what ye ar and renouned the moste nobelyst knyght

of the worlde and many grete maters ye haue in honde & wo//

men in Þer hastynesse woll do oftyn tymes that aftir hem sore

repentith And Þer fore be myne aduyce ye shall take youre horse

and ryde to the good Ermytayge here be syde wyndesore Þat som

tyme was a good knyght hys name ys Sir Brascias and there

shall ye a byde tyll that I sende you worde of bettir tydynges // BroÞer

seyde Sir Launcelot wyte you well I am full loth to departe oute

of thys reallme but the que hath defended me so hyȝly Þat me so//

myth she woll neuer be my good lady as she hath bene Sey ye

neuer so seyde Sir Bors for many tymys on Þis she hath bene

wroth with you and aftir that she was the firste repented

hit // ye sey well seyde Sir Launcelot for now woll I do by your

counceyle and take myne horse and myne harneyse and ryde

to the Ermyte Sir Brastias and there woll I repose me tille

I hyre som maner of tydynges frome you but fayre broÞer Þat ye

can gete me the love of my lady quene Gwenyuer Sir seyde

Sir Bors ye nede nat to meve me of such maters for well ye

wote I woll do what I may to please you And Þan Sir Launcelot

f. 411 (XVIII.2-3)

 

departed suddeynly and no creature wyst where he was be com

but Sir Bors So whan Sir Launcelot was departed the quene

outewarde made no maner of sorow in shewyng to none of his

bloode nor to none oÞer but wyte ye well inwardely as Þe booke

seythe she toke grete thouȝt but she bare hit oute with a proude

countenaunce and as Þouȝe she felte no thouȝt noÞer daungere

So the quene lete make a pryvy daungere in londen vnto the

knyghtes of the rownde table and all was for to shew outwarde

that she had as grete Joy in all oÞer knyghtes of Þe rounde table

and all was for to shew outewarde as she had in sir Launclot

So there was all only at that dyner sir Gawayne and his beÞern

that ys for to sey sir Aggravayne sir Gaherys sir Gareth & sir Mordred

Also there was sir Bors de ganis sir Blamour de ganys sir Bleobris

de ganys sir Galihud sir Eliodyn sir Ector de maris sir Lyonell sir Pala

mydes sir Safyr his brothir sir Lacote male tayle sir Persaunte sir Iron//

syde sir Braundeles sir kay le senysciall sir Modore de la porte sir Patse

a knyght of Irelonde sir Alyduke sir Ascamoure and sir Pynell le

saveayge whych was cosyne to sir Lameroke de galis the good knyȝt

that sir Gawayne and hys brethirn slew by treson and so Þes

iiij· and xxti knyghtes sholde dyne with the quene in a prevy place

by them selff and there was made a grete feste of all maner of

deyntees but Sir Gawayne had a custom that he vsed dayly

at mete and at supper that he loved well all maner of fruyte

and Inespeciall appyls and pearys And Þer fore who som euer

dyned oÞer fested Sir Gawayne wolde comonly purvey for good

fruyte for hym And so ded the quene for to please sir Gawayne

she lette purvey for hym all maner of fruyte for sir Gawayne

was a passyng hote knyght of nature And thys sir Pyonell hated

sir Gawayne by cause of hys kynnes man sir Lamorakes dethe


f. 411v (XVIII.3-4)

 

and there fore for pure envy and hate sir Pyonell enpoysonde sertayn

appylls for to enpoysen sir Gawayne So thys was well yet vnto the

ende of mete and so hit be fylle by mysse fortune a good knyȝt sir Patryse

which was cosyn vnto sir Mador de la porte toke an appyll for was en/

chaffed with hete of wyne and hit myssehapped hym to take a poysonde

apple And whan he had etyn hit he swall sore tylle hit braste And Þer

sir Patryse felle downe suddeynly dede amonge hem Than euer y

knyght lepe frome the bourde a shamed and a raged for wratthe

oute of hir wittis for they wyst nat what to sey considerynge

quene Guenyuer made the feste and dyner they had all suspeccion

vnto hir My lady the quene seyde sir Gawayne madam wyte you

that Þys dyner was made for me & my felowis And for all folkes Þat

knowith my condicion vndirstonde that I love well fruyte & now

I se well I had nere be slayne There fore madam I drede me leste

ye woll be shamed Than the quene stood stylle and was so

sore a baysshed that she wyst nat what to sey Thys shall nat

so be ended seyde Sir Mador de la porte for here haue I loste a

full noble knyght of my bloode and Þer fore vppon thys shame and

dispite I woll be revenged to the vtteraunce And Þer opynly sir Mador

appeled the quene of the deth · of hys cousyn sir Patryse Than stood

they all stylle that none wolde speke a worde a yenste hym for

they all had grete suspeccion vnto the quene by cause she lete make

that dyner And the quene was so a baysshed that she cowde

none oÞer wayes do but wepte so hartely that she felle on

a swowȝe So with thys noyse and crye cam to them kynge

Arthure And whan he wyste of the trowble he was a passyng

heuy man // And euer Sir madore stood stylle be fore the kynge

and appeled the quene of treson for the custom was such at Þat

tyme that all maner of hamefull deth was called treson Fayre

lordys seyd kynge Arthure me repentith of thys trouble but

the case ys so I may nat have a do in thys mater for I muste


f. 412 (XVIII.4)

 

be a ryghtfull Juge and that repentith me that I may nat do ba//

tayle for my wyff for as I deme thys dede com neuer by her

And Þer for I suppose she shall nat be all distayned but Þat somme

good knyght shall put hys body in Jouparte for my quene raÞer Þan

she sholde be brente in a wronge quarell And Þer fore sir Madore

be nat so hasty for parde hit may happyn she shall nat be all frendeles

And Þer fore desyre Þou thy day of batayle and she shall purvey

hir of som good knyght that shall answere you oÞer ellis hit were

to me grete shame and to all my courte // My gracious lorde seyde

Sir Madore ye muste holde me excused for Þouȝe ye be oure kynge

in that degre ye ar but a knyght as we ar and ye ar sworne

vnto knyghthode als welle as we be And Þer fore I be seche you

Þat ye be nat displeased for Þer ys none of all thes xxt iiij knyghtes

that were bodyn to thys dyner but all they haue grete suspeccion

vnto the quene what sey ye all my lordys seyde sir Madore than

they answerde by and by & seyde they coude nat excuse the quene

for why she made the dyner And oÞer hit muste com by her oÞer

by her seruauntis Alas seyde the quene // I made thy dyner for a

good entente and neuer for none evyll so all myghty Jhu helpe

me in my ryght as I was neuer purposed to do such evyll dedes

and that I reporte me vnto god // My lorde the kynge seyde sir

Madore I requyre you as ye beth a ryghtevous kynge gyffe me my

day that I may haue Justyse well seyde the kynge thys day

xv· dayes loke Þou be redy armed on horsebak in the medow

besydes wynchestir And if hit so falle that Þer be ony knyȝt to en//

countir to encountir a yenste you Þere may you do youre beste &

god spede the ryght And if so be falle Þat Þer be no knyȝt redy at Þat

day Þan muste my quene be brente and there she shall be redy

to haue her Jugemente I am answerde seyde sir Mador And euery

knyght yode where hym lyked // So whan the kyng & Þe quene were


f. 412v (XVIII.4-5)

 

were to gidirs the kynge asked the quene how this case be felle Than the

seyde Sir as Jhu be my helpe she wyst nat how noÞer in what manere

// Where ys Sir Launcelot seyde kynge Arthure And he were here he wold

he wolde nat grucche to do batayle for you Sir seyde the quene I wote

nat where he ys but hys broÞer and hys kynessmen deme Þat he be nat

with In thys realme // That me repentith seyde kyng Arthure for

and he were here he wolde sone stynte thys stryffe // Well Þan I

woll counceyle you seyde sir kyng that ye go vnto sir Bors and pray

hym for to batayle for you for Sir Launcelottis sake and vppon my

lyff he woll nat refuse you for well I se seyde the kynge Þat none of

the iiij· & xxti knyghtes Þat were at your dyner where sir Patryse was

slayne that woll do batayle for you noÞer none of hem woll sey

well of you and that shall be grete sclaundir to you in thys courte

but now I mysse Sir Launcelot for and he were here he wolde

sone putte me in my hartis ease // What aylith you seyde the

kynge that ye can nat kepe sir Launclot vppon youre syde for wyte

you well seyde the kynge who that hath sir Launcelot vppon his

party hath the moste man of worship in thys worlde vppon hys

syde Now go youre way seyde the kynge vnto the quene & requyre

Sir Bors to do batayle for you for sir Launcelottis sake // So the         

quene departed frome the kynge and sente for sir Bors in to the       

chambir And whan he cam she be souȝt hym of succour // Madam                

seyde he what wolde ye that I ded for I may nat with my worship              

haue a do in thys mater be cause I was at the same dyner                  

for drede of ony of Þo knyghtes wolde haue you in suspeccion //

Also madam seyde sir Bors now mysse ye Sir Launcelot for he 

wolde nat a fayled you in youre ryght noÞer in your wronge for

whan ye haue bene in ryght grete daungers he hath succoured

you And now ye haue drevyn hym oute of thys contrey by

whom ye and all we were dayly worshipped by hym There fore

 

 

 

                                                            Madame


f. 413 (XVIII.5)

 

madame I mervayle how how ye dare for shame to requyre me

to do ony thynge for you In so muche ye haue enchaced oute of your

courte by whom we were vp borne and honoured // Alas fayre

knyght seyde the quene I put me hole in youre grace And all Þat

ys a mysse I woll amende as ye woll counceyle me And Þer with she

kneled downe vppon both hir kneys And be souȝt Sir Bors to

haue mercy vppon her oÞer ellis shall haue a shamefull dethe & Þer to

I neuer offended // Ryght so cam kynge Arthure and founde Þe quene

knelynge And than Sir Bors that toke hir vp and seyde madam

ye do me grete dishonoure a Jantill knyght seyde the kynge haue

mercy vppon my quene curteyse knyght for I am now in sertayne in

sertayne she ys vntruly defamed and Þer fore curteyse knyght Þe

kynge seyde promyse her to do batayle for her I requyre you for Þe

love ye owȝe vnto Sir Bors ye requyre me the grettist Þynge Þat ony

man may requyre me And wyte you well if I graunte to do batayle

for the quene I shall wretth many of my felyship of the table

rounde But as for that seyde Sir Bors I woll graunte for my

lorde sir Launcelottis sake and for youre sake I woll at that day be

the quenys champyon onles Þat Þer com by aduentures a better knyȝt

than I am to do batayle for her // Woll ye promyse me this seyde Þe

kynge by youre fayth yee sir seyd sir Bors of that I shall nat fayle

you noÞer her but if Þer com a bettir knyght Þan I am Þan shall he

haue the batayle Than was the kynge and the quene passynge

gladde and so departed and thanked hym hertely // Than sir Bors

departed secretly vppon a day and rode vnto sir Launcelot Þer as he was

with sir Brastias and tolde hym of all thys aduenture A Jhu

sir Launcelot seyde thys ys com happely as I wolde haue hit & Þer

fore I pray you make you redy to do batayle but loke Þat ye tarry

tylle ye se me com as longe as ye may for I am sure sir Madore

ys an hote knyght whan he ys in chaffed for Þe more ye suffyr hym


f. 413v (XVIII.5)

 

the hastyer woll he be to batayle // Sir seyde Sir bors latte me deale with hym

doute ye nat ye shall shall have all youre wylle // So departed sir Bors

frome hym and cam to the courte a gayne Than was hit noysed

in all the courte that Sir Bors sholde do batayle for the quene

where fore many knyghtes were displeased with hym that he wolde

take vppon hym to do batayle in the quenys quarell for Þer were but

fewe knyghtes in all the courte but they demed the quene was In

the wronge and that she had done that treson So sir Bors answe//

red Þus to hys felowys of the table rounde wete you well my fayre

lordis hit were shame to vs all and we suffird to se the moste noble

quene of the worlde to be shamed opynly consyderyng her lorde and

oure lorde ys the man of moste worship crystynde and he hath euer

worshipped vs all in all placis // Many Answerd hym a gayne as

for oure moste noble kynge Arthure we love hym and honoure

hym as well as ye do But as for quene Guenyuer we love hir nat

be cause she ys a destroyer of good knyghtes Fayre lordis seyde sir Bors

me semyth ye sey nat as ye sholde sey for neuer yet in my dayes knew

I neuer ne harde sey that euer she was a destroyer of good knyghtes but at

all tymes as far as euer I coude know she was a maynteyner of

good knyghtes and euer she hath bene large and fre of hir goodis to all

good knyghtes and the moste bowntevous lady of hir gyfftir and her

good grace that euer I saw oÞer harde speke off And Þer fore hit were

shame to vs all and to oure moste kynges wyff whom we serue to

be shamefully slayne And wete you well seyde sir Bors I woll nat

suffir hit for I dare sey so much for the quene ys nat gylty of Sir

Patryse ys dethe for she ought hym neuer none evyll wyll noÞer

none of the iiij· & xxti knyghtes that were at that dyner for I dare sey

sey for good love she bade vs to dyner and nat for no male engyne

And that I doute nat shall be preved here afftir for how som euer


f. 414 (XVIII.5-6)

 

the game goth there was treson a monge vs // Than som seyde to Sir

Bors we may well be lyve youre wordys and so somme were well

pleased and som were nat so the day caom on faste vntyll the evyn

that the batayle sholde // Than the quene sente for Sir Bors and

asked hym how he was disposed Truly madame seyde he I am

disposed in lyke wyse ans I promysed you that ys to sey I shall nat

fayle you Onles there by aventure com a bettir knyght Þan I am

to do batayle for you Than madam I am of you discharged of my

promyse // woll ye seyde the que that I telle my lorde Þe kyng Þus

doth as hit pleasith you madam Than the quene yode vnto Þe kyng

and tolde the answere of Sir Bors // well haue ye no doute seyde

the kynge of Sir Bors for I calle hym now that ys lyvynge one

of the nobelyst knyghtes of the worlde and moste perfitist man //

And Þus hit paste on tylle the morne And so the kynge & Þe quene

and all maner of knyghtes that were Þer at Þat tyme drewe Þem vnto Þe

medow by sydys wynchester where the batayle And so whan Þe

kynge was com with the quene and many knyghtes of the table rounde

So the quene was Þan put in the Conestablis awarde and a grete

fyre made a boute on Iron stake that an sir Mador de la porte had the

bettir she sholde there be brente for such custom was vsed in Þo dayes

for favoure love noÞer affinite there sholde be none oÞer but ryghtvous

Jugemente as well vppon a kynge as vppon a knyght And as well

vppon a quene as vppon anoÞer poure lady So thys meane whyle

cam In Sir Mador de la porte and toke hys be fore the kynge how Þat

the que ded thys treson vntill hys cosyn Sir Patryse and vnto

myne othe I woll preve hit with my body honde for hande who that

woll sey the contrary // Ryght so cam In Sir Bors de Ganys

and seyde that as for quene Gweniuer she ys in the ryght and Þat

woll I make good that she ys nat culpable of thys treson that is put

vppon her // Than make the redy seyde Sir Madore & we shall preve


f. 414v (XVIII.6-7)

 

whethir you be in the ryght or I · Sir Madore seyde sir Bors wete you

well I know you for a good knyght nat for than I shall nat feare you so

gretly but I truste to god I shall be able to withstonde youre malyce

But thus much· haue I promised my lorde Arthure and my lady the

quene that I shall do batayle for her in thys cause to the vtteryste onles

that Þer com a bettir knyght than I am and discharge me // Is that all

seyde Sir Madore othir com Þou off and do batayle with me oÞer elles sey nay

Take youre horse seyde sir Bors and as I suppose I shall nat tarry long

but ye shall be answerde Than ayÞer departed to Þer tentis and made hem

redy to horse backe as they thouȝt beste And anone Sir Madore cam

in to the fylde with hys shylde on hys shulder and hys speare in hys

honde // And so rode a boute the place cryyng vnto kyng Arthure

byd youre champyon com forthe and he dare // Than was sir Bors

a shamed and toke hys horse and cam to the lystis ende And than

was he ware where cam frome a woode Þer fast by a knyȝt all armed

vppon a whyght horse with a straunge shylde of straunge armys

and he cam dryvyng all that hys horse myght renne And so he

cam to sir Bors and seyd Þus fayre knyght I pray you be nat displesed        

for ys here muste a bettir knyght than ye ar haue thys batayle there fore            

I pray you with draw you for wyte you well I haue had thys day a           

ryght grete Journey and thys batayle ought to be myne & so I pro//               

mysed you whan I spake with you laste and with all my herte I thanke                 

you of youre good wylle // Than sir Bors rode vnto kynge Arthure

and tolde hym how there was a knyght com that wolde haue the

batayle to fyght for the quene // what knyght ys he seyde the kyng

I wote nat seyde Sir Bors but suche covenaunte he made with me

to be here thys day // Now my lorde seyde sir Bors here I am discharged

Than the kynge called to that knyght and asked hym if he

wolde fyght for the quene / Than he answerd and seyde

Sir Þer fore com I· hyddir And Þer fore sir kynge tarry me no lenger


f. 415 (XVIII.7)

 

for anone as I haue fynysshed thys batayle I muste departe hens

for I haue to do many batayles els where for wyte you well seyde

that knyght thys ys dishonoure to you and to all knyghtes of Þe rounde

table to se and know so noble a lady and so curteyse as quene Gwe//

nyvere ys thus to be rebuked and shamed amongyst you · Than Þey

all mervayled what knyght that myȝght be that so toke vppon hym

for there was nat one that knew hym but if hit were sir Bors

Than seyde sir Madore de la porte vnto the kynge now lat me wete

with whom I shall haue a do And than they rode to the lystes ende

and there they cowched Þer spearis and ran to gydirs with all Þer myȝtes

And anone sir Madors speare brake all to pecis but but Þe othirs

speare hylde and bare sir Madors horse and all backwarde to Þe erÞe

a grete falle but myghtyly and delyuerly he avoyded his horse from

hym and put hys shylde be fore hym and drew hys swerde and

bade the othir knyght a lyght and do batayle with hym on foote //

Than that knyght descended downe from hys horse and put

hys shylde be fore hym and drew hys swerde and so they cam egir//

ly vnto batayle and aythir gaff othir many sadde strokes trasyng

and trauersyng and foynyng to gydir with Þer swerdis as hit were

wylde boorys thus fyyghtyng nyȝe an owre For thys Sir Madore

was a stronge knyght and myghtyly preued in many strange ba//

tayles but at the laste thys knyght smote sir Madore grovelynge

vppon the erthe and the stepte nere hym to haue pulde sir Madore

flatlynge vppon the grounde And there with sir Madore arose and

in hys rysyng he smote that knyght thorow the tyk thyk of Þe thyȝes

that Þe bloode braste oute fyersly And whan he felte hym self so

wounded and saw hys bloode he lete hym a ryse vppon hys feete

And than he gaff hym such a buffette vppon the helme Þat  he felle

to the erthe flatlyng and there with he strode to hym to haue pulled

 

f. 415 (XVIII.7)

 

of hys helme of hys hede And so sir Madore prayde that knyght

to save hys lyff and so he yeldyd hym as ouer com and releaced the

quene of hys quarell // I woll nat graunte the thy lyff seyde that

knyght only that Þou frely reales the quene for euer And Þat no mencion

be made vppon sir Patryse ys tombe that euer quene Gwenyuer con//

sented to that treson All thys shall be done seyde sir Madore I clerely

discharge my quarell for euer Than the knyghtes parters of the lystis

toke vp sir Madore and led hys toute hym tylle hys tente And

the othir knyght wente strayte to the stayre foote where sate

kynge Arthure and by that tyme was the quene com to Þe kyng

and aythir kyssed othir hartely And whan the kynge saw that

knyght he stowped downe to hym and thanked hym And In

lyke wyse ded the quene and the kynge prayde hym to put of his

helmet and to repose hym and to take a soppe of wyne And Þan

he putte of hys helmette to drynke and than euery knyȝt knew

hym that hit was sir Launcelot And anone as the kyng wyst

that he toke the quene in hys honde and yode vnto sir Launcelot and

seyde sir graunte mercy of youre grete travayle that ye haue had Þis

day for me And for my quyene // My lorde seyde sir Launcelot wytte

you well y ought of ryght euer in youre quarell and in my ladyes

the quenys quarell to do batayle for ye ar the man that gaff me

the hygh · order of knyghthode and that day my lady youre quene

ded me worship and ellis had I bene shamed for that same day

that ye made me knyght thorow my hastynes I loste my swerde

And my lady youre quene founde hit and lapped hit in her

trayne and gave me my swerde whan I had nede Þer to And ells

had I bene shamed amonge all knyghtes And there fore my

lorde Arthure I promysed her at that day euer to be her knyght

in ryght othir in wronge // Graunte mercy seyde the kynge for

this Journey and wete you well seyde the kynge I shall acquyte


f. 416 (XVIII.7-8)

 

youre goodnesse // And euer more the quene be hylde sir Launcelot and

wepte so tendirly that she sanke all moste to the grownde for sorow

that he had done to her so grete kyndenes where she shewed hym

grete vnkyndenesse Than the knyghtes of hys bloode drew vnto hym

and there aythir of them made grete Joy of othir And so cam

all the knyghtes of the table rounde that were there at Þat tyme

and well commed hym And than Sir Madore was healed of

hys leche crauffte And sir Launcelot was heled of hys play and

so there was made grete Joy and many merthys there was made

in that courte And so hit be felle that Þe damesell of the lake Þat

hyght Nynve whych wedded the good knyght Sir Pelleas

And so she cam to the courte for euer she ded grete goodnes vnto

kynge Arthure and to all hys knyghtes thorow her sorsery &

enchauntementes And so whan she herde how the quene was

greved for the dethe of Sir Patryse Than she tolde hit opynly

that she was neuer gylty and there she disclosed by whom hit was

done and named hym Sir Pynel· and for what cause he ded hit

there hit was opynly knowyn and disclosed and so the quene was

And thys knyght Sir Pynell fledde vnto hys contrey And was

opynly knowyn that he enpoysynde the appyls at that feste to

that entente to haue destroyed Sir Gawayne by cause sir Gaw//

ayne and hys brethirne destroyed destroyed sir Lamerok de galys

which sir pynell was cosyn vnto // Than was sir Patryse buryed

in the chirche of westemynster in a towmbe and Þer vppon was

wrytten here lyeth sir Patryse of Irelonde slayne by sir Pynell

le saveayge that enpoysynde appelis to haue slayne sir Gawayne

and by mysse fortune Sir Patryse ete one of the applis and

than suddeynly he braste Also there was wrytyn vppon the

tombe that quene Gwenyuere was appeled of treson of Þe deth·

of Sir Patryse by Sir Madore de la porte and there was made Þe


f. 416v (XVIII.8)

 

mencion how sir Launcelot fought with hym for quene Gwenyuer

and ouer com hym in playne batayle All thys was wretyn vppon

the tombe of sir Patryse in excusyng of the quene And Þan Sir

Madore sewed dayly and longe to haue the quenys good grace and so

by the meanys fo Sir Launcelot he caused hym to stonde in the

quenys good grace and all was for gyffyn Thus hit passed vntyll

oure lady day of the assumpcion with In a xv· dayes of that feste Þat

the kynge lete crye a grete Justyse and a turnement that sholde

be at that day at Camelott oÞer wyse callyd wynchester And Þe kyng

lete cry that he and the kynge of Scottes wolde Juste ayenst all the

worlde // And whan thys knyght cry was made thydir cam many

good knyghtes that ys to sey the kynge of North galis and kynge

angwysh· of Irelonde and the kynge with the C· knyghtes And Syr

Galahalte the haute prynce and the kynge of Northumbir londe

and many oÞer noble deukes and erlis of oÞer dyuerse contreyes // So kynge

Arthure made hym redy to departe to hys Justis and wolde haue

had the quene with hym but at that tyme she wolde nat she

seyde for she was syke and myght nat ryde That me repentith

seyde the quene kynge for thys vij· yere ye saw nat such a noble

felyship to gydirs excepte the whytsondyde whan sir Galahad

departed frome the courte Truly seyde the quene ye muste holde me

excused y may nat be there and many demed the quene wolde

nat be there be cause of Sir Launcelot for he wolde nat ryde with

the kynge for he seyde he was nat hole of the play of sir Madore

where fore the kynge was hevy and passynge wroth· and so he

departed towarde wynchestir with hys felyship And so by the way

the kynge lodged at a towne that was called Astolot that ys

in englysh· Gylforde and there the kynge lay in the castell So

whan the kynge was departed the quene called Sir Launcelot

vnto her and seyde Þus sir ye ar gretly to blame Þus to holde


f. 417 (XVIII.8-9)

 

you be hynde my lorde what woll youre enemyes and myne sey

and deme // Se how sir Launcelot holdith hym euer be hynde the kynge

and so the quene doth· also for that they wolde haue Þer plesure

to gydirs and Þus woll they sey seyde the quene // haue ye no doute

madame seyde sir Launcelot I alow youre witte hit ys of late com

syn ye were woxen so wyse and there madam at thys tyme I

woll be ruled by youre counceyle and thys nyght I woll take

my reste and to morow be tyme I woll take my way towarde

wynchestir But wytte you well seyde sir Launcelot vnto Þe quene

at aht Justys I woll be a yenste the kynge and a yenst all hys

felyship // Sir ye may there do as ye lyste seyde the quene but be

my counceyle ye shall nat be a yenst youre bloode // Madame

seyde sir Launcelot I shall take the aduenture that god woll gyff

me And so vppon the no morne erly he harde masse and dyned

and so he toke hys leve of the quene and departed And Þan he rode

so muche vnto the tyme he com to Astolott and there hit happynd

hym that in the evenyng tyde he cam to an olde barownes place

that hyght Sir Barnarde of astolot and as sir Launcelot entird

in to hys lodgynge kynge Arthure aspyed hym as he dud walke

in a gardeyne be syde the castell he knew  hym welle I now // well

sirs seyde kynge Arthure vnto hys knyghtes that were by hym

be syde the castell I haue now aspyed one knyght he seyde Þat woll

play hys play at the Justys I vndirtake // who ys that seyde the

knyghtes // At thys tyme ye shall nate wyte for me seyde the kynge

and smyled and wente to hys lodgynge // So whan sir Launcelot

was in hys lodgyng and vnarmed in hys chambir the olde barown

Sir Barnarde com to hym and well comed hym in Þe beste maner

But he knew nat Sir Launcelot fayre sir seyde sir Launcelot

tylle hys oste I wolde pray you to lende me a shylde Þat were nat


f. 417v (XVIII.9)

 

opynly knowyn for myne ys well knowyn Sir seyde hys oste ye shall

haue youre desire for me semyth ye bene one of the lyklyest knyghtes

that euer y sawe and there fore sir I shall shew you freynship and

seyde sir wyte you well I haue ij sunnes that were but late made

knyghtes and the eldist hyght sir Tirry and he was hurte Þat same

day he was made knyght and he may nat ryde and hys shylde

for that ys nat knowyn I dare sey but here in no place And

hys yonger sonne hyȝt sir Lavayne and if hit please you he

shall ryde with you vnto that Justis for he ys of hys ayge

stronge and wyght for much my herte gyvith · vnto you that

ye sholde be a noble knyght and there fore I praye you to take

me youre name seyde sir Barnarde As for that seyd sir Launce//

lot ye muste holde me excused as at thys tyme And if god gyff

me grace to spede well at the Justis I shall com a gayne & telle

you my name But I pray you in ony wyse lete me haue your

sonne sir LaVayne with me and that I may haue hys broÞers shylde

Sir all thys shall be done seyde sir Barnarde So thys olde barown

had a doughtir that was called that tyme that fayre maydyn off

Astolot and euer she be hylde sir Launcelot wondirfully and as

the booke sayth · she keste such a love vnto sir Launcelot Þat she

cowde neuer with draw hir loove where fore she dyed and her

name was Elayne le blanke So Þus as she cam to and fro

she was so hote in love that be sought sir Launcelot to were

vppon hym at the Justis a tokyn of hers Damesell seyde sir

Launcelot and if I graunte you that ye may sey that I do more

for youre love thatn euer y ded for lady or Jantill woman Than

he remembird hym selff hat he wolde go to the Justis dis//

gysed and be casue he had neuer a forne borne no maner of tokyn

of no damesell he be thought hym to bere a tokyn of hers


f. 418 (XVIII.9-10)

 

that none of hys bloode there by myght know hym And than

he seyde fayre maydyn I woll graunte you to were a tokyn of youres

vppon myne helmet and Þer fore what ys hit shewe ye hit me

Sir she seyde hit ys a rede sleve of myne of Scarlet well enbrow//

dred with grete perelles and so she brought hit hym // So Sir

Launcelot resseyved hit and seyde neuer dud I erste so much for no

damesell Than sir Launcelot be toke the fayre mayden hys shylde

in kepynge and prayde her to kepe hit vntill tyme that he com

a gayne and so that nyght he had myrry reste and grete chere

For thys damesell Elayne was euer a boute sir Launcelot all the

whyle she myght be suffirde // So vppon a day on the mrone

kynge Arthure and all hys knyghtis departed for Þer the kyng had 

tarryed iij· dayes to a byde hys noble knyghtes // And so whan Þe kynge

was rydden sir Launcelot and sir Lavayne made Þem redy to ryde

and aythir of them had whyght shyldis and the rede sleve sir

Launcelot lete cary with hym and so they toke Þer leve at sir Barnarde

the olde barowne and at hys doughtir the fayre mayden And Þan

they rode so longe tylle that they cam to Camelot that tyme called

wynchester and there was grete pres of kyngis deukes erlis & ba//

rownes and many noble knyghtes // But Þer sir Launcelot was lodged

pryvaly by the meanys of sir Lavayne with a ryche burgeyse Þat no man

in that towne was ware what they were and so they reposed Þem

there tyll oure lady day of the assumpcion that Þe grete Justes sholde

be // So whan trumpettis blew vnto the fylde And kynge Arthur

was sette on hyght vppon a chafflet to be holde who ded beste but

as the freynshe booke seyth the kynge wold nat suffir sir Gawayne to

go frome hym for neuer had Sir Gawayne the bettir and sir Launclot

were in the fylde and many tymes was sir Gawayne rebuked so

whan sir Launcelot was in the fylde in ony Justis dysgysed Than

som of the kyngis as kynge Angwysh· of Irelonde and the kynge


f. 418v (XVIII.10)

 

of scottis were that tyme turned to be vppon the syde of kynge Arthur

and than the othir party was the kynge of northgalis and the kynge

with the C· knyghtis and the kynge of north humbirlonde And Sir

Galahalte the halte prynce But thes iij· kyngis and thys duke

was passynge wayke to holde a yenste Arthurs party for with hym were

the nobelyst knyghtes of the worlde // So than they with drew them

aythir party frome othir and euery man made hym redy in his beste

maner to do what he myght // Than Sir Launcelot made hym

redy and put the rede slyeve vppon hys helmette and fastened hit

hit faste And so sir Launcelot and Sir Lavayne departed oute of

Wynchestir pryvayly and rode vntyll a litill leved woode be hynde

the party that hylde a yenste kynge Arthure party and there Þey hylde

hem stylle tylle the partyes smote to gydirs And Þan cam In Þe kynge

o scottis and the kynge of Irelonde on kynge Arthurs party and

a yenste them cam In the kynge of Northumbirlonde and the kynge

with the C· knyghtes and there be gan a grete medle And there

the kynge of Scottis smote downe the kynge fo Northumbirlonde

And the kynge with the C knyghtes smote downe kynge Angwysh

of Irelonde // Than Sir Palamydes that was one Arthurs party

he encountird with Sir Galahalte and ayÞer of hem smote downe

othir and aythir party halpe Þer lordys horse back a gayne So Þer

be gan a stronge assayle on bothe partyes And than com In Sir

Braundyles sir Sagramoure le desyrous sir Dodynas le saveayge

sir kay la senesciall sir Gryffelet le fyȝe de du sir Lucan de butlere

sir Bedwere sir Aggravayne sir Gaherys sir Mordred sir Melyot de

Logrys sir Oȝanna le cure hardy sir Saphyr sir Epynogrys sir Gal//

lerowne of Galeway All thes xv· knyghtes that were knyghtes of

the rounde table So thes with mo oÞer cam In to gydir and bete

a backe the kynge off northumbbirlonde and the kynge of north


f. 419 (XVIII.10-11)

 

north walys // whan Sir Launcelot saw thys as he hoved in the

lytyll leved wood than he seyde vnto sir Lavayne se yondir ys a

company of good knyghtes and they holde Þem to gydirs as borys

that were chaced with doggis that ys trouth· seyde sir Lavayne

Now seyde sir Launcelot And ye woll helpe a lityll ye shall se Þe yonder

felyship that chacith now thes men on oure syde that they shall

go as faste backwarde as they wente forewarde Sir spare ye nat

for my parte seyde sir Lavayne for I shall do what I may // Than sir

Launcelot and sir Lavayne cam In a the thyckyst of the prees And

there Sir Launcelot smote downe sir Brandeles sir Sagramour sir Do//

dynas sir kay sir Gryfflet and all thys he ded with one speare And Sir

Lavayne smote downe sir Lucan de butlere And Sir Bedwere And

than Sir Launcelot gate a noÞer grete speare And Þer he smote dowen

sir Aggravayne and sir Gaherys sir Mordred sir Melyot de logrys

And sir Lavayne smote downe sir Oȝanna le cure hardy And Þan Sir

Launcelot drew hys swerde and there he smote on the ryght honde

and on the lyff honde And by grete forse he vnhorsed sir Safir

sir Epynogrys and sir Galleron and than the knyghtes of the table

rounde with drew them a backe aftir they had gotyn Þer horsys as

well as they myght A mercy Jhu seyde sir Gawayne what knyghtys

yondir that doth so meruaylous dedys in that fylde // I wote what he

ys seyde the kyn but as at thys tyme I woll nat meane hym Sir seyde

sir Gawayne I wolde sey hit were sir Launcelot by hys rydynge &

hys buffettis that I se hym deale but euer me semyth hit sholde nat

be he for that he beryth the rede slyve vppon hys helmet for I wyst

hym neuer beare tokyn at no Justys of lady ne Jantill woman // Lat

hym be seyde kynge Arthure for he woll be bettir knowyn & do

more or euer he departe Than the party that was a yenst kynge Arthur

were well comforted and than they hylde hem to gydirs Þer be forn

hande were sore rebuked // Than Sir Bors sir Ector de marys Sir


f. 419v (XVIII.11)

 

Lyonell and they called vnto them the knyghtes of Þer blood as sir Blamour de

ganys sir Bleoberys sir Alyduke sir Galyhud sir Galyhodyn sir Bellyngere

le bewse so thes ix knyghtes of sir Launcelottis kynne threst In myght//

ly for they were all noble knyghtes and they of grete hate & despite

thouȝt to rebuke sir Launcelot and sir Lavayne for they knew hem nat

and so they cam hurlyng to gydirs and smote downe many knyȝtes

of north · walys and of northumbirlonde And whan sir Launcelot saw

them fare so he gate a grete speare in hys honde and Þer encountird

with hym all at ony sir Bors sir Ector and sir Lyonell and they iij·

smote hym at onys with Þer spearys And with fors of them selff they

smote sir Launcelottis horse revers to the erthe And by mysse fortune

sir Bors smote sir Launcelot thorow the shylde in to the shylde syde &

the speare brake and the hede leffte stylle in the syde // whan sir La//

vayne saw hys mayster lye on the grounde he ran to the kynge of

scottis and smote hym to the erthe and by grete forse he toke hys

horse and brouȝt hym to sir Launcelot and magre Þem all he made

hym to mownte vppon that horse // And than sir Launcelot gate a

speare in hys honde and there he smote sir Bors horse and man

to the erthe And in the same wyse he serued sir Ector and sir Lyonell

and sir Lavayne smote downe sir Blamour de gaynys And Þan sir Laun/

celot drew hys swerde for he felte hym selff so sore hurte Þat he

wente there to haue had hys deth· And than he smote sir Bleobers

such a buffet on the helmet that he felle downe to the erthe in a

sowne And in the same wyse he serued sir Alyduke & sir Galyhud //

And sir Lavayne smote downe sir Bellyngere that was to Alysaunder

le orphelyn and by thys was done was sir Bors horsed a gayne

And In cam with sir Ector and sir Lyonell· and all they iij smote with

Þer swerdis vppon sir Launcelottis helmet And whan he felte Þer

buffettis And with that hys wounde greved hym grevously that

he thouȝt to do what he myght whyle he cowde endure And Þan


f. 420 (XVIII.11-12)

 

he gaff sir Bors such a buffette that he made hym bowȝe hys hede

passynge lowe And there with all he raced of hys helme and myȝt

haue slayne hym but whan he saw Þer vysayges and so pulde hym

downe And in the same wyse he serued sir Ector and sir Lyonell for

as the booke seyth he myght haue slayne them but whan he saw

Þer visages hy herte myght nat serue hym Þer to but leffte hem there

And euer sir Lavayne with hym And there sir Launcelot with hys swerde

smote downe and pulled downe as the freynsh· booke seyth mo Þan

xxxti knyghtes and the moste party were of the table rounde And there

Sir Lavayne dud full well that day for he smote downe x knyghtes

of the table rounde // Mercy Jhu seyde sir Gawayne vnto kynge Arthur

I mervayle what knyght that he ys with the rede sleve Sir seyde kyng

Arthure he woll be knowyn or euer he departe And than the kynge blew

vnto lodgynge And the py pryce was gyvyn by herowdis vnto

the knyght with the whyght shylde that bare the rede slyve // Than

cam the kynge of north galys and the kynge of northumbirlonde

and the kynge with the C· knyghtes And Sir Galahalte the haute prince

seyde vnto sir Launcelot fayre knyght god you blysse for muche haue

ye done for vs thys day and there fore we pray you that ye woll

com with vs that ye may resceyve the honour and the pryce as ye haue

worshypfully deserued hit // Fayre lordys seyde sir Launcelot wete you

well gyff I haue deserued thanke I haue sore bouȝt hit and Þat me repen//

tith hit for I am neuer lyke to ascape with the lyff there fore my fayre

lordys I pray you that ye woll suffir me to departe where me lykith

for I am sore hurte and I take no forse of none honoure for I had

levir repose me than to be lorde of all the worlde And Þer with all he

groned pytevously and rode a grete walop a waywarde from them

vntyll he cam vndir a woodys evyse And whan he saw Þat he was

frome the fylde nyȝe a myle that he was sure he myght nat be

seyne Than he seyde with an hyȝe voyce and with a grete grone A Jantill


f. 420v (XVIII.12)

 

knyght sir Lavayne helpe me that thys truncheonne were oute of my syde

for hit stykith so sore that hit nyȝe sleyth me Amyne owne lorde seyde

sir Lavayne I wolde fayne do that myght please you but I drede me sore

and I pulle oute ^Þe truncheonne that ye shall be in perelle of dethe I charge

you seyde sir Launcelot as ye love me draw hit oute and Þer with all he des/

cended frome hys horse And ryght so ded sir Lavayne And forth with all

he drew the truncheonne oute of hys syde and gaff a grete shryche and

a gresly grone that the blood braste oute nyȝe a pynte at onys that

at the laste he sanke downe vppon hys arse and so sowned downe

pale and dedly // Alas seyde sir Lavayne what shall I do And than

he turned Sir Launcelot in to the wynde and so he lay there nyȝe

halff an owre as he had bene dede And so at the laste sir Launcelot

caste vp hys yȝen and seyde A sir Lavayne helpe me that I were on

my horse for here ys faste by with In thys ij myle a Jantill Ermyte athat

som tyme was a full noble knyght and a grete lorde of possessyons

And for grete goodnes he hath takyn hym to syllfull pouerte and

forsakyn myghty londys And hys name ys sir Bawdwyn of bre//

tayne and he ys a full noble surgeon and a good leche Now lat se

and helpe me vp that I were there for euer my harte gyvith me that

I shall neuer dye of my Cousyne Jermaynes hondys And than with grete

payne Sir Lavayne holpe hym vppon hys horse And than they rode

a grete walop to gydirs And euer sir Launcelot bled that hit ran downe

to the erthe and so by fortune they cam to an Ermytaye was vndir

a woode and a grete clyff on the othir syde and a fayre watir rennynge

vndir hit And than sir Lavayne bete on the gate with the but of hys

speare and cryed faste lat In for Jhus sake And anone Þer cam a fayre

chylde to hem and asked them what they wolde // Fayre sonne seyde sir

Lavayne go and pray thy lorde the Ermyte for goddys sake to late In

here a knyght that ys full sore wounded And thys day telle Þy lorde

I saw hym do more dedys of armys than euer I herde sey that ony

man ded // So the chylde wente In lyghtly and Þan he brouȝt Þe Ermyte

 

 

 

                                                            whych was


f. 421 (XVIII.12-13)

 

whych was a passynge lycly man // whan sir Lavayne saw hym he prayde

hym for goddys sake of succour // what knyght ys he seyde the Ermyte

ys he of the house of kynge Arthure or nat // I wote nat seyde sir Levayne

what he ys noÞer what ys hys name but well I wote I saw hym do

mervaylously thys day as of dedys of armys On whos party was he

seyde the Ermyte //Sir seyde sir Lauayne he was thys day ayenste

kynge Arthure and there he wanne the pryce of all the knyghtis

of the rounde table // I haue seyne the day seyde the Ermyte I wolde

haue loved hym the worse by cuse he was ayenste my lorde kynge

Arthure for some tyme I was one of the felyship but now I thanke

god I am othir wyse disposed // But where ys he lat me se hym Than

sir Lavayne brought the ermyte to hym // And whan the Ermyte

be hylde hym as he sate leenynge vppon hys sadyll bowe euer bledynge

spitevously and euer the knyght Ermyte thought that he sholde know

hym but he coude nat brynge hym to knowlech· by cause he was

so pale for bledynge // what knyght ar ye seyde the Ermyte & where

were ye borne // My fayre lorde seyde sir Launcelot I am a straunger

and aknyght aventures that laboureth thorow oute many realmys

for to wynne worship Than the Ermyte avysed hym bettir & saw

by a wounde on hys chyeke that he was sir Launcelot Alas seyde the

Ermyte myne owne lorde why layne you me youre name from

me pardens I ouȝt to know you of ryght for ye ar the moste nobelyst

knyght of the worlde for well I know you for sir Launcelot Sir seyde

he syth ye know me helpe me and ye may for goddys sake for I wolde

be oute of thys payne at onys othir to deth · othir to lyff // haue ye no

doute seyde the Ermyte for ye shall lyve and fare ryght well And

so the Ermyte called to hym ij of hys seruauntes and so they bare hym

In to the Ermytayge and lyghtly vnarmed hym and leyde hym

in hys bedde and than anone the ermyte staunched hys bloode

and made hym to drynke good wyne that he was well resygow//

red and knew hym selff // For in thos dayes hit was nat the gyse


f. 421v (XVIII.13)

 

as ys now a dayes for there were none Ermytis in Þo dayes b

but that they had bene men of worship and of prouesse and Þo Ermytes

hylde grete householdis and refreysshed people that were in distresse

Now turne we vnto kynge Arthure and leve we sir Launcelot in

the Ermytayge So whan the kyngis were to gydirs on both partyes and

the grete feste sholde be holdyn kynge Arthure asked the kynge of North

galis and Þer felyshyp where was that knyght that bare the rede slyve

lat brynge hym be fore me that he may have hys lawde & honoure

and the pryce as hit ys ryght Than spake sir Galahalte the haute

prynce and the kynge with the C· knyghtes And seyde we suppose Þat knyȝt

ys myscheved so that he ys neuer lyke to se you noÞer none of vs all

and that ys the grettyst pyte that euer we wyste of ony knyght //

Alas seyde kynge Arthure how may thys be ys he so sore hurte but

what ys hys name seyde kynge Arthure Truly seyde they all we

know nat hys name noÞer frome whens he cam noÞer wheÞer he wolde

Alas seyde the kynge thys ys the warste tydyngis that cam to me

thys vij· yere for I wolde nat for all the londys I welde to knowe

and wyte hit were so that Þat noble knyght were slayne // Sir knowe

ye ought of hym seyde they all As for that seyde kynge Arthure

whethir I know hym oÞer none ye shall nat know for me what

man he ys but all myghtly Jhu sende me good tydyngis of hym

and so seyde they all // Be my hede seyde sir Gawayne gyff hit so

be that Þe good knyght be so sore hurte hit ys grete damage & pite

to all thys londe for he ys one of the nobelyst knyghtes that euer I

saw in a fylde handyll speare or swerde and iff he may be founde

I shall fynde hym for I am sure he ys nat farre frome thys contrey

Sir ye beare you well seyde kynge Arthure and ye fynde hym

onles that he be in such· a plyte that he may nat welde hym selff

Jhu defende seyde sir Gawayne but wyte I shall well I shall know

what he ys and I may fynde hym // Ryght so Sir Gawayne toke a


f. 422 (XVIII.13-14)

 

squyre with hym vppon hakeneyes and rode all boute Camelot with In

vj or vjj myle but so he com a gayne and cowde here no worde of hym

Than with In ij· dayes kynge Arthure and all the felyshyp returned

 vnto london a gayne and so as they rode by the way hyt happened

Sir Gawayne At Astolot to lodge with sir Barnarde there as was

Sir Launcelot lodged And so as Sir Gawayne was in hys chamb

to repose hym Sir Barnarde the olde barowne cam Into hym

and hys doughtir Elayne to chere hym and to aske hym what

tydyngis and who ded beste as the turnemente of wynchester // So

god me helpe seyde sir Gawayne there were ij knyghtes that bare

ij· whyght shyldys but one of them bare a rede sleve vppon hys

hede and sertaynly he was the beste knyght that euery saw Juste in

fylde For I dare sey seyde sir Gawayne that one knyght with Þe rede

slyve smote downe fourty knyghtes of the rounde table and his felow

ded ryght well and worshipfully Now blyssed be god seyde thys fayre

maydyn of Astolate Þat that knyght sped so welle for he ys the man

in the worlde that I firste loved and truly he shall be the laste that

euer I shall love // Now fayre maydyn seyde sir Gawayne ys Þat good

knyght youre love sertaynly sir she seyde he ys my love Than know

ye hys name seyde sir Gawayne Nay truly sir seyde the damesell

I know nat hys name nothir frome whens he com but to sey Þat I

love hym I promyse god and you I love hym how had ye knowlecch·

of hym firste seyde sir Gawayne Than she tolde hym as ye have

harde be fore and how hir fadir be toke hym her broÞer to do hym

seruyse And how hir fadir lente hym her brothirs sir Tyeryes

shylde And here with me he leffte he leffte hys owne shylde // For

what cause ded he so seyde sir Gawayne for thys cause seyde Þe dame//

sell for hys shylde was full well knowyn amonge many noble

knyghtes A fayre damesell seyde sir Gawayne please hit you to lette

me haue a syght of that shylde // Sir she seyde hit ys in my chambir


 

f. 422v (XVIII.14)

 

couerde wyth a case And if ye woll com with me ye shall se hit // Nat

so seyde sir Barnarde to hys doughter but sende ye for that shylde So whan

the shylde was com Sir Gawayne toke of the case And whan he be hylde

that shylde and knew hyt anone that hit was sir Launcelottis shylde

and hys owne armys // A Jhu mercy seyde sir Gawayne now ys my herte

more hevyar than euer hit was to fore // why seyde thys mayde Elayne

for I haue a grete cause seyde sir Gawayne ys that knyght Þat owyth

thys shylde youre love // yee truly she sayde my love ys he // god wolde

that I were hys love // So god me spede seyde sir Gawayne fayre

damesell ye haue ryght for and he be youre love ye love the moste

honourabelyst knyght of the worlde and the man of moste worship

So me thought euer seyde the damesell for neuer ar that tyme

no knyght that euer I saw loved I neuer none asfte God graunte seyde

sir Gawayne that aythir of you may reioyse othir but that ys in

a grete aventure // But truly seyde sir Gawayne vnto the damesell

ye may sey ye haue a fayre grace for why I haue knowyn that

noble knyght thys iiij· & xxti yere and neuer or that day I nor none

othir knyght I dare make good saw neuer noÞer herde say that euer

he bare tokyn or sygne of no lady Jantill woman nor maydyn

at no Justis noÞer turnemente And there fore fayre maydyn

ye ar much · be holdyn to hym to gyff hym thanke But I drede

me seyde Sir Gawayne that ye shall neuer se hym in thys worlde

and that ys as grete pite as euer was of ony erthely man Alas

seyde she how may thys be ys he slayne I say nat so seyde sir Gaw/

ayne But wete you well he ys grevouly wounded by all maner

of sygnys and by meanys of syght more lycklyer to be dede Þan

to be on lyve And wyte you well he ys the noble knyght sir Laun//

celot for by thys shylde I know hym // Alas seyde thys fayre may//

dyn of Astolat how may thys be and what was hys hurte //


f. 423 (XVIII.14-15)

 

Truly seyde sir Gawayne the man in the worlde that loved beste

hym hurte hym And I dare sey seyde sir Gawayne and that knyȝt

that hurte hym knew the verry sertaynte that he had hurte Sir

Launcelot hit were the moste sorow that euer cam to hys herte

Now fayre fadir seyde than Elayne I requyre you gyff me leve

to ryde and seke hym othir ellis I wote well I shall go oute of

my mynde for I shall neuer stynte tyll that I fynde hym and my

brothir sir Lavayne // Do ye as hit lykith you seyde hir fadir for

sore me repentis of the hurte of that noble knyght // Ryght so the

mayde made hyr redy and departed be fore sir Gawayne makynge

grete dole Than on the morne sir Gawayne com to kynge Arthure

and tolde hym all how he had founde sir Launcelottis shylde in the

kepynge of the fayre mayden of Astolat All that knew I a fore

hande seyde kynge Arthure and that caused me I wolde nat suffir

you to haue a do at the grete Justis for I aspyed hym whan he

cam vntyll hys lodgyng full late in the evenyng In to Astolat

But grete mervayle haue I seyde kynge Arthure that euer he wolde

beare ony sygne of ony damesell For ar now I neuer herde sey nor

knew that euer he bare ony tokyn of none erthely woman Be my

hede sir seyde sir Gawayne the fayre maydyn of Astolat lovith hym

mervaylously well what hit meanyth I can nat sey and she ys

ryddyn aftir to seke hym // So the kynge and all com to london and

there Gawayne all opynly disclosed hit to all the courte that hit

was sir Launcelot that Justed beste And whan sir Bors harde that

wyte you well he was an hevy man and so were all hys kynnys//

men But whan the quyene wyste that wyst that hit was Sir

Launcelot that bare the bare the rede slyve of the fayre maydyn

of Astolat she was nygh ought of her mynde for wratthe And

than she sente for sir Bors de ganys in all haste that myght be

So whan Sir Bors was com be fore the quyene she seyde a sir Bors


f. 423v (XVIII.15)

 

haue ye nat herde sey how falsely sir Bors Launcelot hath be trayed me

Alas madame seyde sir Bors I am a ferde he hath be trayed hym selff

and vs all No forse seyde the quene Þough he be distroyed for he ys

a false traytoure knyght // Madame seyde sir Bors I pray you sey ye

no more so for wyte you well I may nat here no such langayge

of hym // whys so sir Bors seyde she shold I nat calle hym traytoure

whan he bare the rede slyve vppon hys hede at wynchester at Þe

grete Justis Madame seyde sir Bors that slyeve berynge repentes

me but I dare say he dud beare hit to none evyll entent but

for thys cause he bare the rede slyve that none of hys blood shold

know hym for or Þan we noÞer none noÞer none of vs all neuer

knew that euer he bare tokyn or sygne of maydyn lady nothir

Jantill woman // Fy on hym seyde the quene yet for all hys

pryde and bobbaunce for there ye proved youre selff better man

than he Nay madam sey ye neuer more so for he bete me and

my felowys and myght haue slayne vs and he had wolde //

Fy on hym seyde the quene for I harde sir Gawayne say be fore

my lorde Arthure that hit were mervayle to telle Þe grete love

that ys be twene Þe fayre maydyn of Astolat and hym // Madam

seyde sir Bors I may nat warne sir Gawayne to sey what hit

pleasith hym But I dare sey as for my lorde sir Launcelot

that he lovith no lady Jantill woman noÞer mayden but as he

lovith all in lyke muche And Þer fore madam seyde sir Bors ye

may sey what ye wyll but wyte you well I woll hast me to

syke hym and fynde hym where sum euer he be and god sende

me good tydyngis of hym // And so leve we them there & speke

we of sir Launcelot that lay in grete perell // And so as thys fayre

maydyn Elayne cam to wynchester she souȝt Þer all aboute And

by fortune sir Lavayne hir brothir was ryddyn to sporte hym

to enchaff hys horse And anone as thys maydyn Elayne


f.424 (XVIII.15)

 

saw hym she knew hym And than she cryed on lowde tylle hym

And than she cryed on lowde to hym and whan he herde her

he com to her and anone with that she asked hir broÞer how doÞe

my lorde sir Launcelot who tolde you syster that my lordys

name was sir Launcelot Than she tolde hym how sir Gawayne

by hys shylde knew hym So they rode to gydirs tyll that Þey cam to

the Ermytayge And anone she alyght So sir Lavayne brouȝt her

in to sir Launcelot And whan she saw hym ly so syke and pale

in hys bed she myght nat speke but suddeynly she felle downe to

the erthe in a sowȝe And there she law lay a grete whyle and

whan she was releved she shryked and seyde my lord sir Launce

lot Alas whyȝe sye te in thys plyte And than she sowned a gayne

And than Sir Launcelot prayde sir Lavayne to take hir vp & brynge

hir hydir to me // And whan she cam to her selff Sir Launcelot

kyste her and seyde fayre maydyn why fare ye Þus for ye put me

to more payne where fore make ye no such· chere for and ye be

com to comforte me ye be ryght well com and of thys lytyll hurte

that I haue I shall be ryght hastely hole by the grace of god // But

I mervayle seyde sir Launcelot who tolde you my name And so thys

maydyn tolde hym all how sir Gawayne was lodged with hir fader

and there by youre shylde he dyscouerde youre name // Alas seyde sir

Launcelot that repentith me that my name ys knowyn for I am

sure hit woll turne vntyll angir // And than Sir Launcelot

compaste in hys mynde that sir Gawayne wolde telle quene Gwe//

nyvere how he bare the rede slyve and for whom that he wyst

well wolde turne vnto grete angur And than sir Launcelot

So thys maydyn Elayne neuer wente frome Sir Launcelot but

wacched hym day and nyght and dud such attendaunce to hym

that the freynshe booke seyth· there was neuer woman dyd neuer

more kyndlyer for man // Than sir Launcelot prayde sir Lavayne


f. 424v (XVIII.15-16)

 

to make aspyes in wynchester for sir Bors If he cam Þer and tolde

hym by what tokyns he sholde know hym by a wounde in hys

forehede For I am sure seyde sir Launcelot that sir Bors woll seke me

for he ys the same good knyght that hurte me // Now turne we vnto

Sir Bors de ganys that cam vntyll wynchestir to seke aftir hys

cosyne Sir Launcelot And whan he cam to wynchester Sir Lavayne

leyde wacche for sir Bors And anone he had warnyng of hym

and so he founde hym And anone he salewed hym and tolde hym

frome whens he com // Now fayre knyght seyde sir Bors ye be well

com And I requyre you that ye woll brynge me to my lorde sir Laun//

celot // Sir seyde sir Lavayne take youre horse and with In thys owre

ye shall se hym So they departed and com to the Ermytayge // And

whan sir Bors saw sir Launcelot lye in hys bedde dede pale & discoloured

Anone Sir Bors loste hys countenaunce and for kyndenes & pite

he myght nat speke but wepte tendirly a grete whyle But whan

he myght speke he seyde Þus A my lorde sir Launcelot god you blysse

and sende you hasty recoueryng for full hevy am I of my mysfortune

and of myne vnhappynesse For now I may calle my selff vnhappy

And I drede me that god ys gretely with me that he wolde suffir me

to haue such a shame for to hurte you that ar all oure ledar &

all oure worship and there fore I calle my selff vnhappy Alas

that euer such a caytyff knyght as I am sholde have power by vn

happines to hurte the moste noblyst knyght of the worlde where

I so shamefully sette vppon you and ouer charged you and where ye

myght haue slayne me ye saved me and so ded nat I for I and

all oure bloode ded to you Þer vtteraunce I mervayle seyde sir Bors

that my herte or my bloode wolde serue me // where fore my lorde sir

Launcelot I aske you mercy // fayre Cousyn seyde sir Launcelot ye be ryȝt

well com and wyte you well ouer muche ye se for Þe plesure of

me // whych pleasith me no thynge for why I haue the same hy


f. 425 (XVIII.16-17)

 

I sought for I wolde with pryde haue ouer com you all And Þer in my

pryde I was nere slayne and that was in myne owne defauȝte

for I myght haue gyffyn you warnynge of my beynge Þer And

had I had no hurte for hit ys an olde seyde sawe there ys harde

batayle there as kynne and frendys doth batayle ayÞer a yenst oÞer

for Þer may be no mercy but mortall warre There fore fayre coosyn

seyde sir Launcelot lat thys langage ouer passe and all shall be well

com that god sendith and latte vs leve of thy mater and speke of

som reioysynge for thys that ys done may nat be vndone and lat

vs fynde aremedy how sone that I may be hole // Than sir Bors le//

nyd vppon hys beddys syde and tolde sir Launcelot how Þe quene

was passynge wrothe with hym be cause ye ware the rede slyve

at the grete Justes And Þer sir Bors tolde hym all how sir Gawayne

discouerde hit by youre shylde that he leffte with the fayre madyn of

Astolat Than ys the quene wrothe seyde sir Launcelot Þer fore am I

ryght hevy but I deserued no wrath· for all that I ded was by cause

I wolde nat be knowyn // Sir ryght so excused I you seyde sir Bors

but all was in vayne for she seyde more largelyer to me than ^I to you

sey now But sir ys thys she seyde sir Bors that ys so busy a boute you

that men calle calle the fayre maydyn of Astolat For sothe she hit

ys seyde sir Launcelot that by no meany I can nat put her fro me

why sholde ye put her frome you seyde sir Bors for she ys a passyng

fayre damesell and well be sayne and well taught And god wolde

fayre Cousyn seyde sir Bors that ye cowde love her but as to Þat I may

nat noÞer dare nat counceyle you But I se well seyde sir Bors by

her dyligence a boute you that she lovith you Intyerly // That me

repentis seyde sir Launcelot well seyde sir Bors she ys nat the firste

that hath loste hir payne vppon you and that ys the more pyte

And so they talked of many mo thynges and so with in iij· or iiij· dayes

Sir Launcelot wexed bygge and lyght Than sir Launcelot tolde sir Bors


f. 425v (XVIII.17)

 

how Þer was sworne a grete turnement Be twyxt kyng Arthure

and the kynge of Northgalis that sholde be vppon all halow masse day

be sydes wynchestir // Is that trouth seyde sir Launcelot Than shall

ye a byde with me stylle a lityll whyle vntyll that I be hole for I

fele my self resonabely bygge and stronge // Blessed be god seyde

sir Bors Than they were there nyȝe a moneth to gydirs And euer

thys maydyn Elayne ded euer hir dyligence and labour both nyght

and day vnto sir Launcelot that Þer was neuer chylde noÞer wyff more

mekar tyll fadir and husbande than was thys fayre maydyn of

Astolat // where fore sir Bors was gretly pleased with her // So vppon

a day by the assente of sir Lavayne sir Bors and sir Launcelot Þey made

the Ermyte to seke in woodys for diuerse Erbys And so sir Launcelot

made fayre Elayne to gadir Erbys for hym to make hym a bayne

So in the meane whyle sir Launcelot made sir Lavayne to arme hym

at all pecis and there he thought to assay hym selff vppon horse

backe with a speare wheÞer he myght welde hys armour and hys

speare for hys hurte or nat And so whan he was vppon hys horse

he stryrred hym freyshly and the horse was passyng lusty & frycke

be cause he was nat laboured of a moneth be fore // And Þan sir

Launcelot bade sir Lauayne gyff hym that grete speare And so sir cow//

ched Launcelot cowchyd that speare in the reeste the courser lepte

myghtyly whan he felte the spurres and he that was vppon

hym was the nobelyst horse man of the worlde strayned hym

myghtyly and stabely and kepte stylle the speare in the reeste And

there with sir Launcelot strayned hym selff so straytly with so grete

fors to gete the courser forewarde that Þe battom of hys wounde

braste both with In and with oute and there with all the bloode cam

oute so fyersely that he felte hym selff so feble that he myght nat

sitte vppon hys horse And than sir Launcelot cryed vnto sir Bors A

sir Bors and sir Lavayne helpe for I am com vnto myne ende //


f.426 (XVIII.17-18)

 

And there with he felle downe on the one syde to the erth· lyke a dede

coorse And Þan sir Bors and sir Lavayne cam vnto hym with sorow

makynge oute of mesure And so by fortune thys mayden Elayne

harde Þer mournynge And than she cam And whan she founde Sir

Launcelot there armed in that place she cryed and wepte as she had

bene wood // And than she kyssed hym and ded what she myght to a

wake hym and than she rebuked her brothir and sir Bors & called

hem false traytours and seyde why wolde take hym oute of hys bed

for and he dye I woll appele you of hys dethe And so with that cam Þe

Ermyte sir Bawdewyn of Bretayne And whan he founde sir Launclot

in that plyte he seyde but lityll but wyte you well he was wroth·

but he seyde lett vs haue hym In And anone they bare hym in to

the Ermytage And vnarmed hym and leyde hym in hys bedde and

euer more hys wounde bled spitevously but he stirred no lymme off

hym Than the knyght armyte put a thynge in hys nose and a//

litill dele of watir in hys mowÞe And Þan sir Launcelot waked of

hys swowȝe and than the Ermyte staunched hys bledyng all nyght

And whan sir Launcelot myght speke he asked why he put his lyff

so in Jouparte Sir seyde sir Launcelot be cause I wente I had be stronge

I nowȝe and also sir Bors tolde me Þer sholde be that Þer sholde be at

halowmasse a grete Justis be twyxte kygne Arthur and Þe kynge

of north galys and there fore I thought to assay my selff wheÞer I

myght be there or not A sir Launcelot seyde the Ermyte youre harte

and youre currayge woll neuer be done vntyll youre laste day but

ye shall do now be my counceyle lat sir Bors departe frome you

and lat hym do at that turnemente what he may and by the

grace of god seyde the knyght Ermyte be that Þe turnemente be

done and he comyn hydir a gayne sir ye shall be hole so that ye

woll be governed by me / Than sir Bors made hym redy to departe

frome hym And sir Launcelot seyde fayre cousyn sir Bors recommande


f. 426v (XVIII.18)

 

me vnto all Þo ye owght recommaunde me vnto and I pray you

enforce youre selff at that Justis that ye may be beste for my love

and here shall I a byde you at the mercy of god tyll youre a gayne

commynge And so sir Bors departed and cam to the courte of kynge

Arthure and tolde hem in what place he leffte sir Launcelot

That me repentis seyde the kynge but syn he shall haue hys

lyff we all may thanke god And than sir Bors tolde the quene

what Jouparte sir Launcelot was In whan he wolde asayde hys

horse And all that he ded was for the love of you be cause he

wolde a bene at thys turnemente // Fy on hym recreayde knyȝt

seyde the quene for wyte you well I am ryght sory and he shall

haue hys lyff // Madam hys lyff shall he haue seyde sir Bors

And who that wolde oÞer wyse excepte you madame we Þat ben of

hys blood wolde helpe to shortyn Þer lyves But madame seyde sir

Bors ye haue ben oftyn tymes displeased with my lorde sir Laun//

celot but at all tymys at the ende ye founde hym a trew knyght

and so he departed And than euery knyght of the rounde table

that were there that tyme presente made Þem redy to that Justes

at all halowmasse and thidir drew many knyghtes of diuerse

contreyes And as halowmasse drew nere thydir cam Þe kynge

of Northgalis and the kynge with the C· knyghtes And sir Gala

halt the haute prynce of Surluse And thider cam kynge An//

gwysh· of Irelonde and the kynge of Northumbir londe and Þe

kynge of Scottis So thes iij kynges com to kynge Arthurs party

And so that day ded sir Gawayne ded grete dedys of armys &

be gan first And the herowdis nombirde Þat sir Gawayne smote

downe xxti knyghtes Than sir Bors de ganys cam In the same

tyme and he was numbir he smote downe xxti knyghtes And Þer

fore the pryse was gyvyn be twyxt them bothe for Þey began

firste and lengist endured Also sir Gareth as the boke seyth


f. 427 (XVIII.18-19)

 

ded that day grete dedis of armys for he smote downe & pulled downe

xxxti knyghtes but whan he had done that dedis he taryed nat but

so departed and there fore he loste hys pryse and sir Palamydes ded

grete dedis of armys that day for he smote downe xxti knyghtes but

he departed suddeynly and men demed that he and sir Gareth rode

to gydirs to som maner aduentures // So whan thys turnement

was done sir Bors departed and rode tylle he cam to sir Launcelot

hys cousyne And than he founde hym walkyng on hys feete and Þer

aythir made grete Joy of oÞer And so he tolde sir Launclot of all the

Justys lyke as ye haue herde I mervayle seyde sir Launcelot that sir

Gareth· whan he had done such dedis of armys that he wolde

nat tarry // Sir Þer of we mervayled all seyde sir Bors for but

if hit were you oÞer the noble knyght sir Trystram oÞer the good

knyght sir Lamorake de galis I saw neuer knyght bere so many

knyghtes and smyte downe in so litill a whyle as ded sir Gareth

Be my hede seyde sir Launcelot he ys a noble knyght & a myghty

man and well brethed And yf he were well assayed seyd sir Launclot

I wolde deme he were good I now for ony knyght that beryth Þe

lyff and he ys Jantill curteyse and ryght bowntevous meke

and mylde and In hym ys no maner of male engynne but playne

faythfull an trew So than they made hem redy to departe frome

the Ermytayge and so vppon a morne they toke Þer horsis And Þis

Elayne le blanke with hem and whan they cam to Astolat there

were they well lodged and had grete chere of sir Barnarde the

olde baron And of sir Tirre hys sonne And so vppon the morne whan

sir Launcelot sholde departe fayre Elayne brought hir fadir with her

and sir Lavayne and sir Tyrre And Þan Þus she sayde my lorde sir

Launcelot now I se ye woll departe frome me now fayre knyght and

curtayse knyght seyde she woll ye be my paramoure haue mercy vppon


f. 427v (XVIII.19)

 

me and suffir me nat to dye for youre love // why what wolde you that

I dud seyde sir Launcelot Sir I wolde haue you to my husbande seyde

Elayne fayre damesell I thanke you hartely seyde sir Launcelot But

truly seyde he I caste me neuer to be wedded man // Than fayre knyȝt

seyde she woll ye be my paramour Jhu deffende me seyde sir Launcelot

for than I rewarded youre fadir and youre brothir fullevyll for Þer

grete goodnesse / Alas than seyde she I muste dye for youre love //

ye shall nat do so seyde sir Launcelot for wyte you well fayre mayden

I myght haue bene maryed and I had wolde but I neuer applyed me

yett to be maryed but by cause fayre damesell that ye love me as

ye sey ye do I woll for youre good wylle and kyndnes shew to you

som goodnesse That ys thys Þat were som euer ye woll be sette youre

herte vppon som good knyght that woll wedde you and I shall gyff

you to gydirs a Ml pounde yerly to you and to youre ayris Þis muche

woll I gyff you fayre mayden for youre kyndnesse and all weyes

whyle I lyve to be youre owne knyght // Sir of all thys seyde Þe may//

dyn I woll none for but yff ye woll wedde me oÞer to be my paramour

At the leste wyte you well sir Launcelot my good dayes ar done fayre

damesell seyde sir Launcelot of thes ij thynges ye muste pardon me

Than she shryked shirly and felle downe in a sowȝe and Þan women

bare hir in to her chambir and there she made ouer muche sorowe

And than sir Launcelot wolde departe And there he asked sir Lavayne

what he wolde do // Sir what sholde I do seyde sir Lavayne but folow

you but if ye dryve me frome you or commaunde me to go frome you

Than cam sir Barnarde to sir Launclot and seyde to hym I can nat se

but that my doughtir woll dye for youre sake Sir I may nat do

with all seyde sir Launcelot for that me sore repentith · For I reporte

me to youre selff that my profir ys fayre And me repentith seyde sir

Launcelot that she lovith me as she dothe for I was neuer Þe causer

of hit for I reporte me vnto youre sonne I neuer erly noÞer late profirde


f. 428 (XVIII.19)

 

her bownte noÞer fayre be hestes And as for me seyde sir Launcelot I dare

do that a knyght sholde do and sey she ys a clene mayden for

me bothe for dede and wylle for I am ryght hevy of hir distresse

for she ys a full fayre maydyn good and Jantill and well I taught

Fadir seyde sir Lavayne I dare make good she ys a clene maydyn as

for my lorde sir Launcelot but she doth as I do for sythen I saw first

my lorde sir Launcelot I cowde neuer departe frome hym noÞer nouȝt I

woll and I may folow hym // Than sir Launclot toke hys leve and so

they departed and cam to wynchestir And whan kynge Arthur wyst

that sir Launcelot was com hole and sownde the kynge made grete

Joy of hym And so ded sir Gawayne and all the knyghtes of Þe rounde

table excepte sir Aggravayne and sir Mordred Also quene Gwenyuer

was woode wroth· with sir Launcelot and wolde by no meanys speke

with hym but enstraunged her selff frome hym // And sir Launcelot

made all the meanys that he myght for to speke with the quene but

hit wolde nat be // Now speke we of the fayre maydyn of Astolat

that made such sorow day and nyght that she neuer slepte ete noÞer

dranke and euer she made hir complaynte vnto sir Launcelot So

whan she had Þus endured a x· dayes that she fyebled so Þat she muste

nedis passe oute of thys worlde Than she shrove her clene & ressey//

ved hir creature and euer she complayned stylle vppon sir Launcelot

Than hir gostly fadir bade hir leve such thoughtes Than she seyde

why sholde I leve such· thoughtes am I nat an erthely woman and

all the whyle the brethe ys in my body I may complayne me for

my be lyve ys do Þat I do non offence Þou I love an erthely man vnto

god for he fourmed me Þer to and all maner of good love commyth of

god and othir Þan good love loved I neuer sir Launcelot du lake

And I take god to recorde I loved neuer none but hym nor neuer shall

of erthely creature and a clene maydyn I am for hym and for

all othir and sitthyn hit ys the sufferaunce of god that I shall dye


f. 428 (XVIII.19-20)

 

for so noble a knyght I be seche the hyȝe fadir of hevyn haue mercy vppon

me and my soule and vppon myne vninumerable paynys Þat I suffir

may be alygeaunce of parte of my synnes For swete lorde Jhu seyde

Þe fayre maydyn I take god to recorde I was neuer to the grete offenser

noÞer a yenste thy lawis but that I loved thys noble knyght sir Laun//

celot oute of mesure And of my selff good lorde I had no myght to

withstonde the servent love where fore I haue my deth and Þan

she called hir fadir sir Barnarde and hir brothir sir Tirry and

hartely she prayd hir fadir that hir brothir myght wryght

a lettir lyke as she ded endite And so hir fadir graunted her and

whan the lettir was wryten worde by worde lyke as she devised

hit than she prayde hir fadir that she myght be wacched vn//

tylle she were and whyle my body ys hote lat thys lettir be put in

my ryght honde and my honde bounde faste to the letter vntyll Þat

I be colde and lette me be put in a fayre bed with all the rychyste

clothys that I haue a boute me And so lat my bed and all my

rychyst clothis be ledde with in in a charyat vnto the nexte place

where the temmys ys and there lette me be put with In a barget and

but one man with me such as ye truste to stirre me thidir and Þat

my barget be couerde with black samyte ouer and ouer And thus

fadir I be seche you lat hit be done So hir fadir graunte her

faythfully all thynge sholde be done lyke as she had devised Than

hir fadir and hir brothir made grete dole for he And whan thys

was done anone she dyed And whan she was dede the corse and Þe

bedde all was lad the nexte way vnto the temmys And Þer a man &

the corse and all thynge as she had devised was put in the temmys

and so the man th stirred the bargett vnto westmynster and Þer hit

rubbed and rolled too and fro a grete whyle or ony man aspyed

hit So by fortune kynge Arthure and quene Gwenyuer were tal

 

 

 

                                                kyng to

f. 429 (XVIII.20)

 

kynge to gydirs at a wyndow and so as they loked in to the temmys

they aspyed that blacke barget and had mervayle what hit mente Þan

the kynge called sir Kay and shewed hit hym Sir seyde sir Kay wete you

well there ys som new tydynges there fore go ye thidir seyde the kynge

to sir Kay and take with you sir Braundiles and sir Aggrvayne &

brynge me redy worde what ys there // than thes iij· knyghtes departed

and cam to the barget and wente In and there they founde Þe fayryst

corse lyyng in a ryche bed that euer he saw and a poore man syttynge

in the bargettis ende and no worde wolde speke So thes iij· knyghtes

returned vnto the kynge a gayne and tolde hym what they founde

That fayre corse woll I se seyde the kynge And so the kynge toke pe

quene by the honde and wente thydir Than the kynge made Þe barget

to be holde faste and than the kynge and the quene wente In with ser//

tayne knyghtes with them and there he saw the fayryst woman

ly in aryche bed couerde vnto her myddyll with many rych clothys

And all was of cloth of golde and she lay as she had smyled Than

the quene aspyed the lettir in hir ryght hande and tolde the kynge

Than the kynge toke hit and seyde now am I sure thys bettir woll telle vs

what she was and why she ys com hyddir So than the kynge & the

quene wente oute of the bargette and so commaunded a sertayne cowayte

vppon the barget And so whan the kynge was com to hys chambir

he called many knyghtes a boute hym and seyde that he wolde wete

opynly what was wryten with In that lettir Than Þe kynge brake

hit and made a clerke to rede hit and thys was the entente of the

lettir // Moste noble knyght my lorde sir Launcelot now hath dethe

made vs ij at debate for youre love And I was youre lover that

men called the fayre maydyn of Astolate there fore vnto all ladyes

I make my mone yet for my soule ye pray and bury me at Þe leste

And offir ye my masse peny thys ys my laste requeste & a clene

maydyn I dyed I take god to wytnesse and pray for my soule as

sir Launcelot as Þou arte pereles // Thys was all the substaunce


f. 429v (XVIII.20)

 

in the lettir And whan hit was rad the kynge the quene and

all the knyghtes wepte for pite of the dolefull complayntes

Than was sir Launcelot sente for And whan he was com

kynge Arthure made the lettir to be rad to hym And whan

sir Launcelot harde hit worde by worde he seyde my lorde Arthur

wyte you well I am ryght hevy of the deth of thys fayre lady

And god knowyth I was neuer causar of her deth be my wyl·

lynge And that woll I reporte me vnto her owne brothir

that here ys sir Lavayne I woll nat say nay seyde sir Launcelot

but that she was both fayre and good and much· I was

be holdyn vnto her but she loved me oute of mesure // Sir

seyde the quene ye myght haue shewed hir som bownte

and Jantilnes whych myght haue preserued hir lyff // Ma//

dame seyde sir Launcelot she wolde none oÞer wayes be answerde

but that she wolde not graunte her but I proffird her for her

good love that she shewed me a Ml li yerely to her and to

her ayres and to wedde ony maner of knyght that she coude

fynde beste to love in her harte for madame seyde sir Launclot

I love nat to be constrayned to love for love muste only aryse

of the harte selff and nat by none constraynte // That ys

trouth sir seyde the kynge And with many knyghtes love ys

fre in hym selffe and neuer woll be bonde for where he ys

bonden he lowsith hym selff Than seyde the kynge vnto sir

Launcelot sir hit woll be youre worshyp that ye ouer se that she

be entered worshypfully // Sir seyde sir Launcelot that shall

be done as I can beste devise and so many knyghtes yode thy//

der to be holde that fayre dede mayden and so vppon Þe morn

she was entered rychely And sir Launclot offird her masse

peny And all Þo knyghtes of the table rounde Þat were there


f. 430 (XVIII.20-1)

 

at that tyme offerde with sir Launcelot and than the poure men wente

a gayne wyth the barget // Than the quene sent for sir Launcelot

and prayde hym of mercy for why that she had ben wrothe with

hym causeles Thys ys t nat the firste tyme seyde sir Launclot

that ye haue ben displese with me causeles but madame euer

I muste suffir you But what sorow that I endure ye take

no forse So thys passed on all that wynter with all maner of

huntynge and hawkynge and Justis and turneyes were man//

ny be twyxte many grete lordis and euer in all placis sir Lauayn

gate grete worshyp that he was nobely defamed amonge many

knyghtis of the table rounde // Thus hit past on tylle Cryste//

masse And than euery day there was Justis made for a dyamo//

nde who that Justed best shulde haue a dyamounde But sir

Launcelot wolde nat Juste but if hit were a grete Justes cryed

But sir Lavayne Justed there all the crystemasse passyngly

well and was beste praysed for Þer were but feaw that ded

so well where fore all maner of knyghtes demed Þat sir Lauayn

sholde be made knyght of the table rounde at the nexte feste

of pentecoste // So at afftir Crystemas kynge Arthure lete

calle vnto hym many knyghtes and there they avysed to gy//

dirs to make a party and a grete turnemente and Justis And

the kynge of North galys seyde to kynge Arthure he wolde

haue on hys party kyng Angwysh· of Irelonde and the kynge

wyth the C knyghtes and the kynge of northhumbirlonde

and sir Galahalt the haute prynce So thes iiij· kynges and Þis

myghty deuke toke party a yenste kynge Arthure & Þe knyghtes

of the rounde table And the cry was made that the day off

Justys shulde be sydes westemynster vppon Candylmasse day

where of many knyghtes were glad and made Þem redy to

be at that Justys in the freysshyste maner Than quene Gwenyuer


f. 430v (XVIII.21)

 

for sir Launcelot And seyd thus I warne you that ye ryde no more

in no Justis nor turnementis but that youre kynnesmen may

know you And at thys Justis that shall be ye shall haue of me

a slyeve of golde And I pray you for my sake to force your selff

there that men may speke you worshyp but I charge you as

ye woll haue my love that ye warne your kynnesmen Þat ye woll

beare that day the slyve of golde vppon your helmet // Madame

seyde sir Launcelot hit shall be done And othir made grete Joy

of othir and whan sir Launcelot saw hys tyme he tolde sir La

Bors that he wolde departe and no mo wyth hym but sir Lavay//

ne vnto the good Ermyte that dwelled in the foreyst of wynde/

sore whos name was sir Brastias and there he thought to

repose hym and to take all the reste that she myght be cause

he wolde be freysh· at that day of Justis So sir Launcelot &

sir Launcelot departed that no creature wyste where he was be

com but the noble men of hys blood And whan he was

com to the Ermytayge wyte you well he had grete chyre And

so dayly sir Launcelot vwed to go to a well by the Ermytage

and there he wolde ly downe and se the well sprynge and

burble and som tyme he slepte there // So at that tyme there was

a lady that dwelled in that foreyste and she was a grete hunte//

resse and dayly she vsed to hunte and euer she bare her bowȝe

with her and no men wente neuer with her but all wayes women

and they were all shooters and cowde well kylle a dere at Þe

stalke and at the treste And they dayly beare bowys arowis

hornys and wood knyves and many good doggis they had

bothe for the strenge and for a bate // So hit happed Þe lady

the huntresse had a bated her dogge for the bowȝe at a ba//

rayne hynde and so toke the flyght ouer hethys and woodis

and euer thys lady and parte of her women costed the hynde

 

f. 431 (XVIII.21-2)

 

and checked hit by the noyse of the hounde to haue mette with the

hynde at som watir and so hit happened that Þat hynde cam to

the same welle there as sir Launcelot was by that welle slepynge

and slumberynge // And so the hynde whan he cam to the welle

for heete she wente to soyle and there she lay a grete whyle

and the dogge cam aftir and vn be caste a boute for she had lost

the verray perfyte fewte of the hynde Ryght so cam Þat lady Þe

hunteres that knew by her dogge that the hynde was at the

soyle by that welle and thyder she cam streyte and founde the

hynde And anone as she had spyed hym she put a brode arow

in her bowe and shot at the hynde and so she ouer shotte Þe hynde

And so by mysse fortune the arow smote sir Launcelot in the

thycke of the buttok ouer the barbys // whan sir Launcelot felte

hym so hurte he whorled vp woodly and saw the lady that

had smytten hym And whan he knew she was a woman

he sayde thus lady or damesell what some euer ye be in an

evyll tyme bare ye thys bowe the devyll made you a shoter

Now mercy fayre sir seyde the lady I am a Jantill woman that

vsyth here in thys foreyste huntynge and god knowyth I saw

you nat but as here was a barayne hynde at the soyle in

thys welle And I wente I had done welle but my hande swar//

ved // Alas seyde sir Launcelot ye haue myscheved me And so Þe

lady departed And sir Launcelot as he myght pulled oute Þe arow

and leffte the hede stylle in hys buttok and so he wente waykely

vnto the Ermytayge euer more bledynge as he wente And

whan sir Lavayne and the Ermyte aspyed that sir Launcelot

was so sore hurte wyte you well they were passyng hevy

But sir Lavayne wyst nat how that he was hurte noÞir by

whom And than were they wrothe oute of mesure And so

wyth grete payne the Ermyte gate oute the arow hede oute


f. 431v (XVIII.22-3)

 

of sir Launcelottis buttoke and muche of hys bloode he shed & Þe wounde

was passynge sore and vnhappyly smytten for hit was on such a place

that he myȝt nat sytte In nor sadyll // A mercy Jhu seyde sir Launclot

I may calle my selff the moste vnhappy man that lyvyth For

euer whan I wolde haue faynyst worshyp there be fallyth me

euer som vnhappy thynge // Now so Jhu me helpe seyde sir Launclot

and if no man wolde but god I shall be in the fylde on Can//

dilmas day at the Justys what som euer falle of hit so all Þat

myght be gotyn to hele sir Launcelot was had // So whan

the day was com sir Launclot lat devise that he was a rayed

And sir Lauayne and he and Þer horsis as they had ben Sar//

syns And so they departed and cam nyȝe to the fylde So the

kynge of north galys he had an C· knyghtes with hym and

the kynge of northehumbirlonde brought with hym an C·

good knyghtes And kynge Angwysh· of Irelonde brought with

hym an C· good knyghtes redy to Juste And sir Galahalte the

haute prynce brought with hym an C good knyghtes And Þe

kynge wyth the C· knyghtes brouȝt with hym as many and

all there were proved good knyghtes // Than cam In kynge

Arthurs party and In cam In wyth hym the kynge of Scottes

and an C· knyghtes with hym And kynge vryence of goore

brought with hym an C· knyghtes And kynge Howell of Bre//

tayne he brought wyth hym an C· knyghtes And deuke

Chalaunce of Claraunce brought with hym an C· knyghtes

and kynge Arthure hym selff cam In to the fylde with ij C· kny//

ghtes and the moste party were knyghtes of the rounde table Þat were

all proved men noble men and there were olde knyghtes set on

skaffoldys for to Jouge with the quene who ded beste

Than they blew vnto the fylde and Þer the kynge off

Northgalis encountred wyth the kynge of Scottes and Þer


f. 432 (XVIII.23)

 

the kynge of Scottis had a falle And the kynge of Irelonde smote

downe kynge vryence and the kynge of Northhumbirlonde smote

downe kynge Howell of Bretayne And sir Galahalte Þe haute

prynce smote downe deuke Chalaunce of Claraunce And

than kynge Arthure was wood wrothe and ran to the kynge

wyth the C· knyghtes And so kynge Arthure smote hym downe

And aftir wyth that same speare he smote downe oÞer iij· knyȝtes

And than hys speare brake And ded passyngly well // So Þer with

cam In sir Gawayne and sir Gaherys sir Aggravayne and Sir

Mordred And there euerych of them smote downe a knyght &

sir Gawayne smote downe iiij· knyghtes and than Þer be gan a

grete medle for than cam In the knyghtes of sir Launcelottys

blood And sir Gareth and sir Palomydes wyth them and many

knyghtes of the rounde table and they be gan to holde Þe iiij· kynges

and the myghty deuke so harde that they were ny discomfyte

But thys sir Galahalte the haute prynce was a noble knyȝt

and by hys myghty proves of armys he hylde the knyghtes

of the rounde table strayte So all thys doynge saw sir Launclot

and than he cam in to the fylde wyth sir Lavayne with hym as

hit had bene thunder And than anone sir Bors and the

knyghtes of hys bloode aspyed sir Launcelot anone and seyde

vnto them all I warne you be ware of hym with the slyve

of golde vppon hys hede for he ys hym selff my lorde sir Launclot

And for grete goodnes sir Bors warned sir Gareth· / Sir I am

well payde seyde sir Gareth· that I may know hym But

who ys he seyde they all that rydith with hym in the same

aray // Sir that ys the good and Jantyll knyght sir Lavayne

seyde sir Bors So sir Launcelot encountred with sir Gawayne &

there by force sir Launclot smote downe sir Gawayne and his

horse to the erthe And so he smote downe sir Aggravayne


f. 432v (XVIII.23)

 

and sir Gaherys and also he smote downe sir Mordred And all Þis

was wyth one speare // Than sir Lavayne mette with sir palomy//

des and aythir mette oÞer so harde and so fersely that both theire

horsis felle to the erthe And than were they horsed a gayne

And than mette sir Launclot with sir palomydes And there sir palo//

mydes had a falle And so sir Launcelot or euer he stynte and as

faste as he myght gete spearys he smote downe xxxti· knyȝtes

and the moste party were knyghtes of the rounde table and euer

the knyghtes of hys bloode wyth drew them and made

hem a do in othir placis where sir Launcelot cam nat And

than kynge Arthure was wrotthe whan he saw sir Launclot

do suche dedis And than the kynge called vnto hym sir Gaw//

ayne sir Gaherys sir Aggravayne sir Mordred sir Kay sir Gryfflet

sir Lucan de butlere sir Bedyvere sir palomydes and sir Safyr

hys brothir and so the kynge wyth thes ix· knyghtes made

them redy to sette vppon sir Launcelot and vppon sir Lavayne

And all thys aspyed sir Bors and sir Gareth· Now I drede

me sore seyde sir Bors that my lorde sir Launcelot woll be harde

macched // Now be my hede seyde sir Gareth· I woll ryde vnto

my lorde sir Launclot for to helpe hym what som euer me be tyde

for he ys the same man that made me knyght // Sir ye

shall nat do so seyde sir Bors be my counceyle onles that

ye were disgysed // Sir ye shall se me sone disgysed seyde

sir Gareth· and there with all he had aspyed a waylshe knyȝt

where he was to repose hym for he was sore hurte be

sore of sir Gawayne And vnto hym sir Gareth· rode & prayde

hym of hys knyghthode to lende hym hys shylde for hys

I woll well seyde the waylshe knyght And whan sir Ga//

reth· had hys shylde the booke seythe he was gryne wyth a


f. 433 (XVIII.23)

 

maydyn whych semed in hit Than sir Gareth· cam dryvynge

vnto sir Launcelot all that euer he myght and seyde sir knyȝt

take kepe to thy selff for yondir commyth · kynge Arthur with

ix· noble knyghtes wyth hym to put you to a rebuke And so

I am com to beare you felyshyp for the olde love ye have

shewed vnto me // Graunte mercy seyde sir Launcelot // But sir

seyde sir Gareth· encountir ye with sir Gawayne And I shall en//

countir with sir palomydes And lat sir Lavayne macche with Þe

noble kynge Arthur And whan we have delyuerde them

lat vs iij· holde vs sadly to gydirs // So than cam In kynge

Arthure wyth hys ix· knyghtes with hym And sir Launcelot

encountred with sir Gawayne and gaff hym suche a buffette

that Þe arson of hys sadyll braste and sir Gawayne felle to

the erthe Than sir Gareth encoutnred with sir palomydes &

he gaff hym such· a buffet that bothe hys horse and he

daysshed to the erthe Than encountred kynge Arthure

wyth sir Lavayne and there aythir of them smote oÞer to the

erthe horse and all that they lay bothe a grete whyle // Than

sir Launcelot smote downe sir Aggravayne and sir Gaherys &

sir Mordred And sir Gareth· smote downe sir Kay sir Safir and

sir Gryfflet And than sir Lavayne was horsed a gayne and

he smote downe sir Lucan de butlere And sir Bedyvere And Þan

there be gan grete thrange of good knyghtes Than sir Launclot

hurled here and there and raced and pulled of helmys Þat at

that tyme there myght none sytte hym a buffette with speare

nothir with swerde And sir Gareth· ded such· dedys of armys

that all men mervayled what knyght he was with Þe gryne

shylde for he smote downe that day and pulled downe mo

than xxxti knyghtes And as the freynshe booke sayth· sir Launclot

mervayled whan he be hylde sir Gareth do such dedis what


f. 433v (XVIII.23-4)

 

knyght he myght be And sir Lavayne smote and pulled downe mo

than xxti· knyghtes // And yet for all thys sir Launcelot knew nat

sir Gareth· for and sir Trystram de lyones oÞer sir Lamorak de Galys

had ben on lyve sir Launcelot woulde haue demed he had bene

one of them twayne // So euer as sir Launclot sir Gareth· and sir La//

vayne fought on the tone syde sir Bors sir Ector de marys Sir

Lyonell sir Bleoberys sir Galyhud sir Galyhodyn and sir pelleas

and many mo oÞer of kynge Banys blood faught vppon anoÞer

party and hylde the kynge wyth the C· knyghtes and Þe kynge

of Northhumbirlonde ryght strayte // So thys turnemente &

Justis dured longe tylle hit was nere nyght for the knyghtes

of the rounde table releved euer vnto kynge Arthure for Þe kyng

was wrothe oute of mesure that he and hys knyghtes myȝt

nat prevayle that day // Than sayde sir Gawayne to Þe kynge

sir I mervayle where ar all thys day sir Bors de Ganys and hys

felyshyp of sir Launcelottis blood that of all thys day they be nat

a boute you And Þer fore I deme hit ys for som cause seyde sir Gaw//

ayne Be my hede seyde sir kay sir Bors ys yondir all thys day

vppon the ryghthonde of thys fylde and there he and his blood

dothe more worshypfully than we do // Hit may well be seyde

sir Gawayne but I drede me euer of gyle for of payne of my

lyff that same knyght with the rede slyve of golde ys hym selff

sir Launcelot for I se well by hys rydynge and by hys greate

strokis And the othir knyght in the same colowres ys Þe good

yonge knyght sir Lavayne And that knyght with the grene

slyve shylde ys my brothir sir Gareth· and yet he hath· disgysed

hym selff for no man shall make hym be a yenste sir Launclot

by cause he made hym knyght By my hede seyde kynge Ar//

thure neveaw · I be lyeve you And Þer fore now telle me what

ys youre beste counceyle // Sir seyde sir Gawayne my counceile


f. 434 (XVIII.24)

 

ys to blow vnto lodgynge for and he be sir Launcelot du lake And

my brothir sir Gareth· wyth hym wyth the helpe of Þat goode

yonge knyght sir Lavayne truste me truly hit woll be no boote

to stryve wyth them but if we sholde falle x· or xij· vppon

one knyght and that were no worshyp but shame // ye say

trouthe seyde the kynge hit were shame for vs so many as we

be to sette vppon them ony more For wyte you well seyde kynge

Arthure they be iij· good knyghtes and namely that knyght with

the slyve of golde And anone they blew vnto lodgyng but

furth with all kynge Arthure lete sende vnto the iiij· kyngis

and to the myghty deuke and prayde hem that Þe knyght with

the slyve of golde departe nat frome them but that Þe kynge may

speke with hym Than furth· with all kynge Arthur a lyȝt and

vnarmed hym and toke a lytyll hakeney and rode after Sir

Launcelot for euer he had aspy vppon hym and so he founde

hym amonge the iiij· kyngis and the deuke and Þer Þe kynge

prayde hem all vnto suppere and they seyde they wolde with

good wyll And whan they were vnarmed kynge Arthure

knew sir Launcelot sir Gareth· and sir Lavayne // A sir Launcelot

seyde kynge Arthure thys day ye haue heted me and my

knyghtes // And so they yode vnto kynge Arthurs lodgynge

all to gydir and there was a grete feste and grete revell &

the pryce was yevyn vnto sir Launcelot for by herowdys

they named hym that he had smytten downe l· knyghtys

And sir Gareth· v & xxxti knyghtes and sir Lavayne iiij· & xxti

Than sir Launcelot tolde the kynge and the quene how Þe lady

hunteras shotte hym in the foreyste of wyndesore in Þe buttok

wyth a brode Arow And how the wounde was at that tyme

vj Inchys depe and in lyke longe also kynge Arthure blamed


f. 434v (XVIII.24-5)

 

sir Gareth· be cause he leffte hys felyshyp and hylde with sir Launclot

My lorde seyde sir Garethe he made me knyght And whan I

saw hym so hard be stad me thought hit was my worshyp

to helpe hym for I saw hym do so muche dedis of armys and

so many noble knyghtes a yenste hym that whan I vndirstode

that he was sir Launcelot du lake I shamed to se so many good

knyghtes a yenste hym a lone // Now truly seyde kynge Arthur

vnto sir Gareth· ye say well and worshypfull haue ye done

and to youre selff grete worshyp // And all the dayes of my

lyff seyde kyng eArthure vnto sir Gareth· // wyte you well

I shall love you and truste you the more bettir for euer hit ys

seyde kynge Arthure a worshypfull knyghtes dede to helpe

and succoure anoÞer worshypfull knyght whan he seeth·

hym in daungere for euer a worshypfull man woll be lothe

to se a worshypfull man shamed And he that ys of no

worshyp and medelyth with cowardise neuer shall he shew

Jantilnes nor no maner of goodnes where he seeth a man

in daungere for than woll a cowarde neuer shew mercy

And all wayes a good man woll do euer to a noÞer man as

he wolde be done to hym selff So than there were made grete

festis vnto kyngis and deukes and revell game and play &

all maner of nobeles was vsed And he that was curteyse

trew and faythefull to hys frynde was Þat tyme cherysshed

And thus hit passed on frome Candylmas vntyll Ester that

the moneth of May was com Whan euery lusty harte begyn//

nyth to blossom and to burgyne for lyke as trees & erbys

burgenyth· and florysshyth in May In lyke wyse euery lusty

harte Þat ys ony maner of lover spryngith burgenyth buddyth

and florysshyth in lusty dedis For hit gyvyth vnto all lovers


f. 435 (XVIII.25)

 

corrayge that lusty moneth· of May in som thynge to constrayne

hym to som maner of thynge more in that moneth than In

ony oÞer monethe for dyuerce causys For than all erbys & treys

renewyth a man and woman And in lyke wyse lovers callyth·

to Þer mynde olde Jantylnes and olde seruyse and many kynde dedes

that was for gotyn by neclygence For lyke as wynter Rasure

dothe all way a race and deface grene summer So faryth hit

by vnstable love in man and woman for in many persones

there ys no stabylite For he may se all day for a lytyll blaste

of wyntres reasure Anone we shall deface and lay a parte trew

love for lytyll or nowȝt that coste muche thynge Thys ys no

wysedome NoÞer no stabylite but hit ys fyeblenes of nature and

grete disworshyp who som euer vsyth thys There fore lyke as

May moneth flowryth· and floryshyth· in euery mannes gardyne

So in lyke wyse lat euery man of worshyp florysh· hys herte

in thys worlde firste vnto god and nexte vnto the Joy of Þem

that he promysed hys feythe vnto for Þer was neuer worshyp//

full man nor worshypfull man woman but they loved one

bettir than anothir and worshyp in armys may neuer be foy//

led but firste reserue the honoure to god and secundely thy

quarell muste com of thy lady and such love I calle vertuouse

love // But now a dayes men can nat love vij· nyȝt but Þey

muste haue all Þer desyres That love may nat endure by

reson for where they bethe sone accorded And hasty heete sone

keelyth And ryght so faryth the love now a dayes sone hote

sone colde thys ys no stabylyte but the olde love was nat so for

men and women coude love to gydirs vij· yerys and no ly//

coures lustis was be twyxte them And than was love

trouthe and faythefulnes // And so in lyke wyse was vsed

such love in kyng Arthurs dayes where fore I lykken love


f. 435v (XVIII. 25-XIX.1)    

                       

now a dayes vnto sommer and wynter for lyke as the tone ys colde

and the othir ys hote So faryth love now a dayes And Þer fore

all ye that be lovers calle vnto youre remembraunce Þe moneÞe

of may lyke as ded quene Gwenyuer for whom I make here a

lytyll mencion that whyle she lyved she was a trew lover

and there for she had a good ende

 

sO hit be felle in the moneth of may quene Gwenyuer

called vnto her x·  knyghtes of the table rounde and

she gaff them warnynge that early vppon Þe morn

she wolde ryde on maynge in to woodis and fyldis be sydes

westemynster And I warne you that Þer be none of you but

he be well horsed and that ye all be clothed all in gryne othir

in sylke othir in clothe And I shall brynge with me x· ladyes and

euery knyght shall haue a lady be hym And euery knyght shall

haue a squyar and ij· yomen And I woll that all be well 

horsed // So they made hem redy in the freysshyst maner and

thes were the namys of the knyghtes // Sir Kay le Senesciall

sir Aggravayne sir Braundyles sir Sagramour le desyrous sir Dodynas

le savayge sir Ozanna le cure hardy sir Ladynas of Þe foreyst savayge

sir persaunte of Inde sir Ironsyde that was called the knyght of the

rede laundes And sir Pelleas the lovear and thes x knyghtes made

them redy in the freysshyste maner to ryde wyth the quyne And so

vppon the morne or hit were day in a may mornynge they toke

Þer horsys wyth· the quene and rode on maynge in wodis and

medowis as hit pleased hem in grete Joy and delytes for the

quene had caste to haue bene a gayne with kynge Arthur at the

furthest by x· of the clok and so was that tyme her purpose

Than there was a knyght whych· hyȝt sir Mellyagaunce

and he was sonne vnto kynge Bagdemagus and Þe knyght

had that tyme a castell of the gyffte of the kynge Arthure with

in vij myle of westemynster and thys knyght sir Mellyagaunce

 

f. 436 (XIX.1-2)

          

loved passyngly well quene Guenyuer and so had he done longe

and many yerys And the booke seyth he had lay in a wayte

for to stele a way the quene but euer more he for bare for by

cause of sir Launcelot for in no wyse he wolde meddyll with the

quene and sir Launcelot were in her company oÞer ellys and he

were nere honde And that tyme was such a custom that Þe

quene rode neuer wyth oute a grete felyshyp of men of armys

a boute her and they were many good knyghtes And Þe moste

party were yonge men that wolde haue worshyp And Þey were

called the quenys knyghtes and neuer in no batayle turnement

noÞer Justys they bare none of hem no maner of knowlecchynge

of Þer owne armys but playne whyght shyldis and Þer by they

were called the quenys knyghtes And whan hit happed ony

of them to be of grete worshyp by hys noble dedis Than at

the nexte feste of pentecoste gyff Þer were ony slayne or dede

as Þer was none yere that that Þer fayled But Þer were som ded Than

was Þer chosyn in hys stede that was dede the moste men of

worshyp that were called the quenys knyghtes And thus

they cam vp firste or they were renowmed men of worshyp

both· sir Launcelot and all the remelaunte of them // But thys

knyght sir Mellyagaunce had aspyed the quene well and her

purpose And how sir Launclot was nat wyth her And how she

had no men of armys with her but the x· noble knyghtis

all rayed in grene for maynge Than he purveyde hym

a xxti  men of armys and an C· archars for to destresse Þe

quene and her knyghtes for he thought that tyme was

beste seson to take the quene // So as as was oute on may//

ynge wyth all her knyghtes whych· were be daysshed wyth

Erbis mossis and flowres in the freysshyste maner // Ryght so

Þer cam oute of a wood sir Mellyagaunte with an viij· score men

all harneyst as they shulde fyght in a batayle of a reste

 

f. 436v (XIX.2)          

           

and bade the quene and her knyghtis a byde for magre Þer hedis

they shulde a byde // Traytoure knyght seyd quene Gwenyuer

what caste Þou to do wolt Þou shame thy selff be thynke Þe how

Þou arte a kyngis sonne and a knynght of the table rounde

and Þou Þus to be a boute to dishonoure the noble kyng Þat

made the knyght Þou shamyst all knyght hode And thy

selffe and me And I lat the wyte Þou shalt neuer shame me

for I had levir kut myne owne throte in twayne rather

than Þou sholde dishonoure me // As for all thys langayge

seyde sir Mellyagaunte be as hit be may for wyte you well

madame I haue loved you many a yere and neuer ar now

cowde I gete you at such a vayle and Þer fore I woll take you

as I fynde you Than spake all the x· noble knyghtes at onys

and seyde sir Mellyagaunte wyte Þou well Þou ar a boute to

Jouparte thy worshyp to dishonoure and also ye caste to Jouparte

youre persones How be hit we be vnarmed and ye haue vs

at a grete a vauntayge for hit semyth by you that ye haue

layde wacch· vppon vs But rather than ye shulde put the

quene to a shame and vs all we had as lyff to departe

frome owre lyvys for and we othyr wayes ded we were

shamed for euer Than seyde sir Mellyagaunt dwelle you as

well as ye can and kepe the quene Than the x·  knyghtis

of the rounde table drew Þer swerdis and thes othir lat ren

at them wyth Þer spearys and the x· knyghtes manly a bode

them and smote a way Þer spearys that no speare ded them

no harme // Than they laysshed to gydirs wyt swerdis And

anone sir Kay sir Sagramoure sir Aggrauayne sir Dodynas sir La//

dynas and sir Ozanna were smytten to the erthe with grymly woun/

dis Than sir Braundiles and sir persaunte sir Ironsyde &sir Pel//

leas faught longe and they were sore wounded for thes x·

knyghtes or euer they were leyde to the grounde slew fourty men

 

 

 

                                                             of Þe boldist


f. 437 (XIX.2-3)        

                       

of the boldyste and the beste of them // So whan the quene saw her

knyghtes thus dolefully wounded and nedys muste be slayne at the

laste Than for verry pyte and sorow she cryed and seyde Sir

Mellaygaunte sle nat my noble knyghtes And I woll go with the

vppon thys covenaunte Þat Þou save them and suffir hem

no more to be hurte wyth thys that they be lad with me where

som euer Þou ledyst me for I woll rather sle my selff than I

woll go wyth the Onles that thes noble knyghtes may be in

my presence Madame seyde sir Mellyagaunt for your sake

they shall be lad wyth you in to myne owne castell with that

ye woll be reuled and ryde with me // Than the quene prayde

the iiij· knyghtes to leve Þer fyghtynge and she and they wolde

nat departe // Madame seyde sir Pelleas we woll do as ye do

for as for me I take no force of my lyff nor deth For as Þe

freynshe booke seyth·  sir Pelleas gaff such buffettis Þer Þat none

armoure myght holde hym / Than by the quenys commaun//

demente they leffte batayle and dressed the wounded knyȝte

on horse bak som syttyng and som ouer twarte Þer horsis that

hit was pite to be holde   And than sir Mellyagaunt charged

the quene and all her knyghtes that none of hir felyshyp

shulde departe frome her for full sore he drad sir Launcelot

du lake laste he shulde haue ony knowlecchynge And all Þis

aspyed the quene and pryvaly she called vnto her a chylde

of her chambir whych was swyfftely horsed of a grete a/

vauntayge // Now go Þou seyde she whan Þou seyst Þy tyme

and beare thys rynge vnto sir Launcelot du laake and pray

hym as he lovythe me that he wo se me and rescow me

if euer he woll haue Joy of me and spare nat thy horse seyde

the quyene noÞer for watir noÞer for londe // So thys chyld aspy//

ed hys tyme and lyghtly he toke hys horse with spurres and


f. 437v (XIX.3)

                                   

departed as faste as he myght And wan sir Mellyagaunte saw hym

so fle he vndirstood that hit was by the quyenys commaundemente

for to warne sir Launcelot Than they that were beste horsed cha//

ced hym and shotte at hym But frome hem all the chylde

wente delyuerly And than sir Mellyagaunte sayde vnto Þe quyne

Madame ye ar a boute to be tray me but I shall ordayne for

sir Launcelot that he shall nat com lyghtly at you And than he

rode wyth her and all the felyshyp in all the haste that they

myght And so by the way sir Mellyagaunte laydem buyshe//

mente of the beste archars that he had of a xxxti to a wayte

vppon sir Launcelot chargynge them that yf they saw suche

a maner a knyght com by the way vppon a whyght horse Þat

in ony wyse ye sle hys horse But in no maner haue ye ado

wyth hym bodyly for he ys ouer harde to be ouer com // So

thys was done and they were com to hys castell but in no

wyse the quene wolde neuer lette none of the x· knyghtes and

her ladyes oute of her syght but all wayes they were in her

presence for the booke sayth sir Mellyagaunte durste make

no mastryes for drede of sir Launcelot In so muche he demed

that he had warnynge   So whan the chylde was departed fro

the felyshyp of sir Mellyagaunte wyth In a whyle hem cam

to westemynster and anone he founde sir Launcelot And

whan he had tolde hys messayge and delyuerde hym Þe quenys

rynge // Alas seyde sir Launclot now am I shamed for euer onles

that I may rescow that noble lady frome dishonour  Than egir//

ly he asked hys armys And euer the chylde tolde sir Launcelot

how the x knyghtes fought mervaylously and how sir pelleas

sir Ironsyde sir Braundyles and sir persaunte of Inde fought

strongely but namely sir pelleas there myght none harneys

holde hym and how they all fought tylle they were layde to the

 

f. 438 (XIX.3-4)

                       

And how the quene made a poyntemente for to save Þer lyvys

and to go wyth sir Mellyagaunte Alas seyde sir Launclot that moste

noble lady that she shulde be so destroyed I had leuer seyde sir Launclot

than all Fraunce that I had bene there well armed // So whan

sir Launcelot was armed and vppon hys horse he prayde the

chylde of the quynys chambir to warne sir Lavayne how sud//

deynly he was departed and for what cause and pray hym as

he lovyth me that he woll hyȝe hym aftir me And Þat he stynte

nat vntyll he com to the castell where sir Mellyagaunt abydith

for there seyde sir Launclot he shall hyre of me and I be aman ly//

vynge // Than sir Launclot rode as faste as he myght and Þe booke

seyth· he toke the watir at westmynster brydge and made

hys horse swymme ouer the temmys vnto lambyth· And so with

In a whyle he cam to the same place there as the x· noble

knyghtes fought with sir Mellyagaunte And than sir Launcelot

folowed the trak vntyll that he cam to a woode and Þer was a

strayte way And there the xxxti archars bade sir Launcelot

turne a gayne and folow no longer that trak // What com//

maundemente haue ye seyde sir Launclot to cause me that am a

knyght of the rounde table to leve my ryght way // Thys

wayes shall Þou leve othir ellis Þou shalte go hit on Þy foote

for wyte Þou well thy horse shall be slayne That ys lytyll

maystry seyde sir Launcelot to sle myne horse but as for my

selff whan my horse ys slayne I gyff ryght nouȝt of you

nat and ye were v· hundred mo So than they shotte sir Laun//

celottis horse and smote hym with many arowys And than

sir Launclot a voyded hys horse and wente on foote but Þer were

so many dychys and hedgys be twyxte hem and hym Þat

he myght nat meddyll with none of hem // Alas for shame

seyde sir Launclot that euer one knyght shulde be tray anothir

 

f. 438v (XIX.4)

                       

knyght But hyt ys an olde seyde saw A good man ys neuer in daun//

gere but whan he ys in the daungere of a cowhard Than sir

Launcelot walked on a whyle and was sore a combird of hys

armoure hys shylde and hys speare wyte you well he was

full sore a noyed and full lothe he was for to leve ony thynge

that longed vnto hym for he drad sore the treson ofsir Mellya//

gaunce // Than by fortune there cam a charyote that cam thyder

to feche wood say me Carter seyde sir Launclot what shall I gyff

the to suffir me to lepe in to thy charyote and Þat Þou wolte

brynge me vnto a castell with in thys ij myle Þou shalt nat

entir in to thys Caryot seyde the carter for I am sente for to

fecche wood // vnto whom seyde sir Launcelot vnto my lorde sir

Mellyagaunce seyde the carter And with hym wolde I speke

seyde sir Launcelot // Þou shalt nat go with me seyde the Carter

whan sir Launclot lepe to hym and gaff hym backwarde with

hys Gauntelot arere mayne that he felle to the erthe starke

dede Than the tothir Carter hys felow was a ferde & wente

to haue gone the same way And than he sayde fayre lorde

sauff my lyff and I shall brynge you where ye woll Than

I charge the seyde sir Launclot Þat Þou dryve me and Þys Charyote

vnto sir Mellyagaunce yate // Than lepe ye vp in to Þe Chary//

otte seyde the Carter and ye shall be there anone So Þe Carter

drove on a grete walop And sir Launcelottes hors folowed Þe

Charyot with mo Þan xl· arowys in hym And more Þan

an owre and an halff quene Gwenyuer was a waytyng

an a bay wyndow Than one of hir ladyes aspyed an ar//

med knyght stondyng in a Charyote // A se madam seyde

the lady where rydys in a Charyot a goodly armed knyȝt

And we suppose he rydyth vnto hangynge // Where seyde

the quene Than she aspyed by hys shylde that hit was Sir


f. 439 (XIX.4-5)

                       

Launcelot And than was she ware where cam hys horse after

the charyotte and euer he trode hys guttis and hys paunche

vndir hys feete // Alas seyde the quene now I may preve &

se that well ys that creature that hath a trusty frynde A ha

seyde quene Gwenyuer I se well that ye were harde be stad whan

ye ryde in a Charyote And than she rebuked that lady Þat lykened

sir Launcelot to ryde in a Charyote to hangynge for sothe hit

was fowle mowthed seyde the quene and evyll lykened so for

to lyken the moste noble knyght of the worlde vnto such a

shamefull dethe A Jhu deffende hym and kepe hym sayde Þe

quene frome all myschevous ende // So by thys was sir Launclot

comyn to the gatis of that castell and there he descended down

and cryed that all the castell myght rynge / where arte Þou

Þou false traytoure sir Mellyagaunte and knyght of Þe table rownde

Com forth Þou traytour knyght Þou and all thy felyshyp with the

For here I am sir Launcelot du lake that shall fyght with you all &

there with all he bare the gate wyde opyn vppon the porter and

smote hym vndir the ere wyth hys gauntelet that hys nekke

braste in ij· pecis // Whan sir Mellyagaunce harde Þat sir Launclot

was comyn he ranne vnto the quene and felle vppon hys kne and

seyde mercy madame for now I putte me hole in you good grace

what ayles you now seyde quene Gwenyuer parde I myȝt well

wete that some good knyght wolde revenge me Þouȝe my lorde

kynge Arthure knew nat of thys your worke // A Madame seyde

sir Mellyagaunte all thys that ys a mysse on my party shall be

a mended ryght as youre selff woll devyse and holy I put

me in in youre grace // What wolde ye that I ded seyde the

quene // Madame I wolde no more seyde sir Mellyagaunt

But that ye wolde take all in youre owne hondys and Þat

ye woll rule my lorde sir Launclot and such chere as may be


 f. 439v (XIX.4-5)                 

 

made hym in thys poure castell ye and he shall haue vntyll to morn

and than may ye and all they returne ayen vnto westmynster

and my body and all that I haue I shall put in youre rule // ye

sey well seyde the quene and bettir ys pees than euer more warre

And the lesse noyse the more ys my worshyp // Than the quene

and hur ladyes wente downe vnto sir Launcelot that stood wood

wrothe oute of mesure to a byde batayle And euer he seyde Þou traytour

knyght com forthe Than the quene cam vnto hym and seyde

sir Launcelot why be ye so a moved // A madame seyde sir Launclot

why aske ye me that questyon for me semyth ye ouȝte to be

more wrotther than I am for ye haue the hurte and Þe dishonour

For wyte you well madame my hurte ys but lytyll in regard

for the sleyng of a marys sonne but the despite grevyth me

much· more than all my hurte Truly seyde the quene ye say

trouthe but hartely I thanke you seyde the quene but ye muste

com In with me pesyble for all thynge ys put in myne honde

and all that ys a mysse shall be amended for the knyght full

sore repentys hym of thys mysaduenture Þat ys be fallyn hym

Madame seyde sir Launcelot syth hit ys so that ye be accorded with

hym as for me I may nat a gayne say hit how be hit sir Mel//

lyagaunte hath done full shamefully to me and cowardly &

Madame seyde sir Launclot and I had wyste that ye wolde haue

bene so lyghtly accorded with hym I wolde nat a made such· haste

vnto you // why say ye so seyde the quene do ye for thynke youre

selff of youre good dedis // wyte you well seyde the quene I accor//

ded neuer with hym for no favoure nor love that I had vnto hym

but of euery shamefull noyse of wysedom to lay a doune // Ma//

dame seyde sir Launcelot ye vndirstonde full well I was neuer

wyllynge nor glad of shamefull sclaundir nor noyse And

there ys noÞer kynge quene ne knyght that beryth Þe lyffe


f. 440 (XIX.5)

                                                     

excepte my lorde kynge Arthur and you madame Þat shulde

lette me but I shulde make sir Mellyagaunte harte full colde

or euer I departed frome hense That wote I well seyde the quene

but what woll ye more ye shall haue all thynge ruled as ye

lyste to haue hit // Madame seyde sir Launcelot so ye be pleased

as for my parte ye shall sone please me knyght so the quene toke

sir Launcelot by the bare honde for he had put of hys gauntelot

and so she wente wyth hym tyll her chambir and Þan she com//

maunded hym to be vnarmed And than sir Launclot asked the

quene where were hir x knyghtes that were wounded with her

Than she shewed them vnto hym and there they made grete

Joy of the commyng of sir Launcelot and he made grete sorow of

Þer hurtis And there sir Launcelot tolde them how cowardly and

traytourly he sette archers to sle hys horse and how he was

fayne to put hym selff in a charyotte and thys they complayned

eueryche to oÞer and full fayne they wolde haue ben revenged

but they kepte the pees by cause of the quene // Than as the

freynsh· booke saythe sir Launclot was called many dayes aftyr le

shyvalere de charyotte and so he ded many dedys and grete

aduentures and so we leve of here of la shyvalere le Charyote

and turne we to thys tale / So sir Launcelot had grete chere with

the quene And than he made a promyse with the quene that the

same nyght he sholde com to a wyndow outewarde towarde a

gardyne and that wyndow was barred with Iron and Þer Sir

Launclot promysed to mete her whan all folkes were on slepe // So

than cam sir Lavayne dryvynge to the gatis seyyng where

ys my lorde sir Launcelot And anone he was sente fore And

whan sir Lavayne saw sir Launclot he seyde A my lorde I founde

howe ye were harde be stadde for I haue founde your hors slayne


f. 440v (XIX.5-6)      

           

that ys slayne with arowys As for that seyde sir Launclot I pray you

sir Lavayne speke ye of othir maters and lat thys passe and ryght

hit a nothir tyme and we may // Than the knyghtes that were hurt

were serched and soffte salues were layde to Þer woundis and so

hit passed on tyll souper tyme and all the chere that myght be made

them there was done vnto the quene and all her knyghtes And

whan season was they wente vnto Þer chambirs but in no wyse

the quene wolde nat suffir her wounded knyghtes to be fro her

but that they were layde in wyth draughtes by her chambir vp//

ppon beddis and paylattes that she myght her selff se vnto them

that they wanted no thynge // So whan sir Mell Launcelot was

in hys chambir whych· was assygned vnto hym he called

vnto hym sir Lavayne and tolde hym that nyght he must speke

with hys lady quene Gwenyuer Sir seyde sir Lavayne let me go with

you and hyt please you for I drede me sore of treson of sir Mellya//

gaunte // Nay seyde sir Launcelot I thanke you but I woll haue no

body wyth me Than sir Launcelot toke hys swerde in hys honde and

prevaly went to the place where he had spyed a ladder to fore

hande and that he toke vndir hys arme and bare hit thorow

the gardyne and sette hit vp to the wyndow And anone Þe quene

was there redy to mete hem And Þan they made Þer complayntes

to othir of many dyuerce thyngis // And than sir Launcelot wysshed

that he myght haue comyn In to her // wyte you well seyde the

quene I wolde as fayne as ye that ye myght com In to me // wolde

ye so madame seyde sir Launcelot wyth youre harte Þat I were with

you // ye truly seyde the quene // Than shall I prove my myght

seyde sir Launclot for youre love and than he sette hys hondis vppon

the barrys of Iron and pulled at them with suche a myght Þat he

braste hem clene oute of the stone wallys And Þer with all one of Þe

barres of Iron kutte the brawne of hys hondys thorow oute to

the bone and than he lepe in to the chambir to Þe quene // Make

 

f. 441 (XIX.6)                        

 

ye no noyse seyde the quene for my wounded knyghtes lye here fast by me

So to passe vppon thys tale sir Launcelot wente to bedde with the quene

and toke no force of hys hurte honde but toke hys plesaunce and hys

lykynge vntyll hit was the dawnyng of the day for wyte you well

he slept nat but wacched and whan he saw hys tyme Þat he myght

tary no lenger he toke hys leve and departed at the wyndowe and put

hit to gydir as well as he myght a gayne and so departed vntyll

hys owne chambir and there he tolde sir Lavayne How that he was

hurte Than sir Lavayne dressed hys honde hit and put vppon hit

a glove that hit sholde nat be aspyed and so they lay longe a bed

in the mornynge tylle hit was x· of the clok // Than sir Mellya

gaunte wente to the quenys chambir and founde her ladyes there

redy clothed A Jhu mercy seyde sir Mellyagaunte what ayles you ma//

dame that ye slepe thys longe And there with all he opened Þe curtayn

for to be holde her And than was he ware where she lay and all

the hede sheete pylow and ouer shyte was all be bled of the bloode

of sir Launcelot and of hys hurte honde // Whan sir Mellyagaunt

aspyed that blood than he demed in her Þat she was false to Þe kynge

and Þat som of the wounded knyghtes had lyene by her all Þat nyȝt

A ha madame seyde sir Mellyagaunte now I haue founde you

a false traytouras vnto my lorde Arthur for now I preve well

hit was nat for nought that ye layde thes wounded knyghtis

with in the bondys of youre chambir there fore I calle you of treson

a fore my lorde kynge Arthure and now I haue proued you ma//

dame wyth a shamefull dede and that they bene all false or som

of them I woll make hit good for a wounded knyght thys nyght

hath layne by you That ys false seyde the quene that I woll report

me vnto them But whan the x knyghtes harde of sir Mellyagaunte

ys wordys And than they spake all at onys and seyd sir Melly

agaunte Þou falsely be lyest my lady the quene and that we woll

make good vppon the any of vs now chose whych Þou lyste of vs

whan we ar hole of the woundes Þou gavyst vs // ye shall nat


f. 441v (XIX.6-7)                   

 

a way with youre proude langayge for here ye may all se that a woun//

ded knyght thys nyght hath layne by the quene Than they all lo//

ked and were sore a shamed whan they saw that bloode And wyte

you well sir Mellyagaunte was passyng glad that he had Þe quene

at suche a vauntayge for he demed by that to hyde hys owne

treson And so in thys rumour com In sir Launcelot and fownde

them at a grete affray // what aray ys thys seyde sir Launcelot

Than sir Mellyagaunce tolde hem what he had founde and so

he shewed hym the quenys bed // Now truly seyde sir Launcelot

ye ded nat youre parte nor knyghtly to touche a quenys bed whyle

hit was drawyn and she lyyng Þer in And I dare say seyde Syr

Launcelot my lorde kynge Arthur hym selff wolde nat haue dis/

played hir curtaynes and she beyng with in her bed onles Þat hit

had pleased hym to haue layne hym downe by her And Þerfore

sir Mellyagaunce ye haue done vnworshypfully & shamefully

to youre selff // Sir I wote nat what ye meane seyde sir Mellya//

gaunce but well I am sure there hath one of hir hurte knyȝtes

layne with her thys nyght And that woll I prove with myne

hondys that she ys a traytoures vnto my lorde kynge Arthur

Beware what ye do seyde sir Launclot for and ye say so and wyll

preve hit hit woll be takyn at youre handys My lorde sir Launclot

seyde sir Mellyagaunce I rede you be ware what ye do for thouȝe

ye are neuer so goode a knyght as I wote well ye ar renowmed

the beste knyght of the worde yet shulde ye be avysed to do ba//

tayle in a wronge quarell for god woll haue a stroke in euery

batayle As for that seyde sir Launcelot god ys to be drad but

as to that I say nay playnly that Þys nyght there lay none

of thes x· knightes wounded with my lady quene Gwenyuer &

that woll I prove with myne hondys that ye say vntrewly

in Þat // Now what sey ye seyde sir Launcelot // Thus I say seyde

sir Mellygaunce here ys my glove that she ys a traytoures


f. 442 (XIX.7)                        

 

vnto my lorde kynge Arthur and that thys nyght one of the

wounded knyghtes lay wyth her // well sir and I resceyve youre

glove seyde sir Launcelot and anone they were sealed with Þer synattes

and delyuerde vnto the x knyghtes / At what day shall we do ba//

tayle to gydirs seyde sir Launclot Thys day viii· dayes seyde sir Melly//

agaunce in the fylde be sydys westemynster I am a greed seyde sir

Launcelot // But now seyde sir Mellyagaunce sytthyn hit ys so Þat

we muste nedys fyght to gydirs I pray you as ye betthe a noble

knyght a wayte me wyth no treson noÞer no vylany the meane

whyle noÞer none for you // So god me helpe seyde sir Launcelot ye

shall ryght well wyte that I was neuer of no such· condusions

for I reporte me to all knyghtes that euer haue knowyn me I fared

neuer wyth no treson noÞer I loved neuer the felyshyp of hym Þat fared

ith treson // Than lat vs go vnto dyner seyde sir Mellyagaunce &

aftir dyner the quene and ye may ryde all vnto westemynster

I woll well seyde sir Launcelot Than sir Mellyagaunce seyde vnto

sir Launcelot sir pleasyth you to se esturys of thys castell with a good

wyll seyde sir Launclot and than they wente to gydir frome chambir

to chambir for sir Launcelot drad no parellis for euer a man of wor//

shyp and of proves dredis but lytyll of parels / for they wene that

euery man be as they bene But euer he that faryth with treson put//

tyth oftyn a trew man in grete daungere And so hit be felle

vppon sir Launcelot that no parell dred as he wente with sir Melly//

agaunce he trade on a trappe and the burde rolled and Þere sir

Launclot felle downe more than x· fadom into a cave full off

strawe And than sir Mellyagaunce departed and made no fare

no more than he that wyste nat where he was And whan

sir Launcelot was Þus myssed they mervayled where he was

be comyn and than the quene and many of them demed

that he was departed as he was wonte to do suddaynly For sir 

Mellyagaunce made suddaynly to put on syde sir Lavaynes horse

 

f. 442v (XIX.7-8)

 

that they myght all vndirstonde that sir Launcelot were departed

suddaynly so that hit passed on tyll afftir dyner And than sir Lavayne

wolde nat stynte vntyll that he had horse lytters for the wounded

knyghtes that they myght be caryed in them and so with Þe quene

bothe ladyes and Jantylwomen and so they rode vnto westemynster

and there the knyghtes tolde how sir Mellyagaunce had appeled

the quene of hyȝe treson And how sir Launcelot resceyved Þe glove

of hym and thys day viij dayes they shall do batayle be fore you

Be my hede seyde kynge Arthure I am a ferde sir Mellyagaunce

hath charged hym selff with a grete charge But where is sir

Launcelot seyde the kynge Sir we wote nat where he ys but

we deme he ys ryddyn to som aduenture as he ys s offtyn

tymes wonte to do for he had sir Lavaynes horse lette hym be

seyde the kynge for he woll be founden but yf he be be trapped

wyth som treson // Thus leve we sir Launcelot liyng with in Þat

cave in grete payne and euery day Þer cam a lady and brought

hys mete and hys drynke and wowed hym euery day to haue

haue layne by her And euer sir Launcelot seyde her nay Than

seyde she sir ye ar nat wyse for ye may neuer oute of Þis preson

but if ye haue my helpe And also youre lady quene Gwenyuer

shall be brente in youre defaute onles that ye be there at the

day of batayle // God deffende seyde sir Launclot that she shulde

be brente in my defaught and if hit be so seyde sir Launcelot Þat

I may nat be there Hit shall be well vndirstonde bothe at the

kynge and the quene and with all men of worship that I am

dede syke othir in preson for all men that know me woll

say for me that I am in som evyll case and I be nat Þat day

there And thus well I vndirstonde Þat Þer ys som good knyght

othir of my blood oÞer som oÞer that lovys me that woll take my

quarell in honde And there fore seyde sir Launcelot wyte you

well ye shall nat feare me and if Þer were no mo women in

 

f. 443 (XIX.8-9)

                       

all thys londe but ye yet shall nat I haue a do with you // Than

ar ye shamed seyde the lady and destroyed for euer as for worldis

shame Now Jhu deffende me and as for my distresse hit ys

welcom what som euer hit be that god sendys me So she cam to

hym a gayne the same day that the batayle shulde be and seyde

sir Launcelot be thynke you for ye ar to hard harted And Þer fore

and ye wolde but onys kysse me I shulde delyuer you and your ar//

moure and the beste horse that was with In sir Mellyagaunce sta//

ble As for to kysse you seyde sir Launclot I may do that and lese no

worshyp and wyte you well and I vndirstood Þer were ony dis/

worshyp for to kysse you I wold nat do hit And than he kyssed

hir and anone she gate hym vp vntyll hys armour And whan

he was armed she brought hym tylle a stable where stoode

xij good coursers and bade hym to chose of the beste // Than sir

Launcelot loked vppon a whyght Courser and that lyked hym

beste and anone he commaunded hym to be sadeled with the beste

sadyll of warre and so hit was done Than he gate hys owne

speare in hys honde and hys swerde by hys syde And than he

commaunded the lady vnto god and sayde lady for thys dayes

dede I shall do you seruyse if euer hit lye in my power // Now

leve we here sir Launcelot all that euer he myght walop & speke

we of quene Gwenyuer that was brought tyll a fyre to be brente

for sir Mellyagaunce was sure hym thought that sir Launcelotte

sholde nat be at that batayle And there fore he euer cryed vppon

sir Arthur to do hym Justyse othir ellys brynge forth sir Launclot

Than was the kynge and all the courte full sore a baysshed

and shamed that the quene shulde haue be brente in Þe defaute

of sir Launcelot // My lorde kynge Arthur seyde sir Launcelot

Lavayne ye may vndirstonde that hit ys nat well with my lorde

sir Launcelot for and he were on lyve so he be nat syke oÞer in preson


f. 443v (XIX.9)

                                   

wyte you well he wolde haue bene here for neuer harde ye Þat euer he

fayled yet hys parte for whom he solde do batayle fore And Þer fore

seyde sir Launcelot Lavayne my lorde kynge Arthur I be seche you Þat

ye woll gyff me lycence to do batayle here thys day for my lorde and

mayster and for to save my lady the quene Graunte mercy Jantill sir

Lavayne seyde kynge Arthur for I dare say all that sir Mellyagaunce

puttith vppon my lady the quene ys wronge for I haue spokyn with

all the x· wounded knyghtes and there ys nat one of them and

he were hole and able to do batayle but he wolde prove vppon

sir Mellyagaunce body and so shall I seyde sir Lavayne in Þe deffence

of my lorde sir Launcelot and ye woll gyff me leve // And I gyff

you leve seyde kynge Arthur and do youre beste for I dare well

say Þer ys som treson done to sir Launcelot // Than was sir Lavayn

armed and horsed and delyuerly at the lystes ende to perfourme

hys batayle And ryght as the herrowdis shuld cry leches

les alere Ryght so com sir Launcelot dryvyng with all the myȝt

myght of hys horse And than kynge Arthure cryed whoo

and a byde And than was sir Launcelot called to fore kynge

Arthur and there he tolde opynly to for the kynge all how

that sir Mellyagaunce had served hym firste and laste And

whan the kynge & quene and all the lordis knew off the

treson of sir Mellyagaunte they were all a shamed on hys be

halffe Than was the quene sente fore and sette by the kynge

in the grete truste of hir champion and than sir Launcelot &

sir Mellygaunte dressed them to gydir wyth spearys as Þunder

And there sir Launclot bare hym quyte ouer hys horse croupe and

than sir Launclot alyȝt and dressed hys shylde on hys shuldir and

toke hys swerde in hys honde and so they dressed to eche oÞer

and smote many grete strokis to gydir And at the laste Sir

Launclot smote hym suche a buffet vppon the helmet Þat he felle


 f. 444 (XIX.9)

 

on the tone syde to the erthe and than he cryed vppon hym lowde

and seyde moste noble knyght sir Launcelot save my lyff for I

yelde me vnto you and I requyre you as ye be a knyght & felow

of the table rounde sle me nat for I yelde me as ouer comyn &

whethir I shall lyve or dey I put me in the kynges honde and

youres // Than sir Launcelot wyst nat what to do for he had

leuer than all the good in the worlde that he myght be revenged

vppon hym So sir Launcelot loked vppon the quene gyff he myȝt

aspye by ony sygne or countenaunce what she wolde haue done

And anone the quene wagged hir hede vppon sir Launclot as ho

seyth sle hym · And full well knew sir Launcelot by her sygnys

that she wolde haue hum dede Than sir Launclot bade hym a ryse

for shame and perfourme thys battayle with me to the vtteraunce

Nay seyde sir Mellyagaunce I woll neuer a ryse vntyll that ye take

me as yolden and recreaunte // Well I shall proffir you a large

proffir seyde sir Launclot that ys for to say I shall vnarme my

hede and my lyffte quarter of my body all that may be vnar//

med as for that quarter and I woll lette bynde my lyfft honde

be hynde me there hit shall nat helpe me And ryght so I shall

do batayle with you // Than sir Mellyagaunce sterte vp and seyde

on hyght take hede my lorde Arthur of thys proffir for I woll

take hit and lette hym be dissarmed and bounden accordynge

to hys proffir // What sey ye seyde kynge Arthur vnto sir Launclot

woll ye a byde by youre proffir // ye my lorde seyde sir Launcelot

for I woll neuer go fro that I haue onys sayde Than Þe knyȝtes

porters of the fylde disarmed sir Launcelot firste hys hede and

than hys lyffte arme and hys lyffte syde and they bounde his

lyffte arme to hys lyffte syde fast be hynde hyend hys bak with

oute shylde or onythynge and anone they yode to gydirs //


f. 444v (XIX.9-10)

                       

wyte you well there was many a lady and many a knyght mer//

vayled of sir Launcelot wolde Jouparte hym selff in such wyse Than

sir Mellyagaunce com wyth swerde all on hyght And sir Launclot

shewed hym opynly hys bare hede and the bare lyffte syde and

whan he wente to haue smytten hym vppon the bare hede //

Than knyghtly he devoyded the lyffte legge and the lyffte syde

and put hys honde and hys swerde to that stroke and so put

hit on syde wyth grete slyght And than with grete force sir Launclot

smote hym on the helmet such a buffett that the stroke carved

the hed in ij partyes Than there was no more to do but he was

drawyn oute of the fylde and at the grete Instaunce of the

knyghtes of the table rounde the kynge suffird hym to be

entered and the mencion made vppon hym who slewe

hym and for what cause he was slayne And than the

kynge and the quene made more of sir launcelot and more

was he cherysshed than euer he was a fore hande Than as

the freynshe boke makith mencion there was a good knyȝt

in the londe of hungre whos name was sir Vrre and he

was an aduenturys knyght and in all placis where he

myght here ony aduentures dedis and of worshyyp Þer wold

he be // So hit happened in Spayne there was an erle and

hys sunnes name was called sir Alpheus and at a grete

turnemente in spayne thys sir Vrry knyght of spayne hun//

gre And sir Alpheus of Spayne encountred to gydirs for

verry envy and so aythir vndirtoke oÞer to the vtteraunce

And by fortune thys sir Vrry slew sir Alpheus the erlys son

of Spayne but thys knyght that was slayne had yevyn

sir Vrry or euer he were slayne vij · grete woundis iij · on

 

                                                           

 

  the hede


f. 445 (XIX.10)

 

the hede and iij· on hys body and one vppon hys lyffte honde

And thys sir Alpheus had a modir was a grete sorseras

And she for the despyte of hir sunnes deth wrought by her

suttyle craufftis that sir Vrre shulde neuer be hole but euer his

woundis shulde one tyme fester and anoÞer tyme blede so that

he shulde neuer be hole vntyll the beste knyght of the worlde

had serched hys woundis And thus she made her avaunte

where thorow hit was knowyn that this sir Vrry sholde neuer

be hole Than hys modir lete make an horse lytter & put

hym Þer In with ij palfreyes caryyng hym And than she toke

wyth hym hys syster a full fayre damesell whos name

was Fyleloly And a payge wyth hem to kepe Þer horsis and

so they lad sir vrry thorow many contreyes for as Þe freynshe

booke saythe she lad hym so vij· yere thorow all londis cryste//

ned and neuer cowde fynde no knyght that myght ease her

sunne So she cam vnto Scotlonde and in to the londes of Ing//

londe And by fortune she com vnto the feste of pentecoste

vntyll kynge Arthurs courte that at that tyme was hol//

dyn at Carlehylle And whan she cam there she made

hit to be opynly knowyn how that she was com in to that

londe for to hele her sonne // Than kynge Arthur lette

calle that lady and aske her the cause why she brought

that hurte knyght in to that londe My moste noble kynge

seyde that lady wyte you well I brought hym hyddir to be

heled of hys woundis that of all thys vij· yere myght

neuer be hole and thus she tolde the kynge and where

he was wounded and with whom And how hys modir

discouerde hit in her pryde how she had worought by

enchauntemente that he sholde neuer be hole vntyll Þe


f. 445v (XIX.10-11)

 

the beste knyght of the worlde had serched hys woundis and so I

haue passed all the londis crystynde thorow to haue hym healed

excepte thys londe and gyff I fayle here in thys londe I woll neuer

take more payne vppon me and that ys grete pite for he was

a good knyght and of grete nobeles // What ys hys name seyde

kynge Arthure My good and gracious lorde she seyde his name

ys sir vrre of the mounte In good tyme seyde the kynge And

sythyn ye ar com in to thys londe ye ar ryght well com And

wyte you welle here shall youre son be healed and euer ony

crystyn man heale hym and for to gyff all othir men off

worshyp a currayge I my selff woll asay to handyll your sonne

and so shall all the kynges dukis and erlis that ben here

presente at thys tyme nat presumyng vppon me that I am

so worthy to heale youre son be my dedis but I woll corrayge

othir men of worshyp to do as I woll do And than Þe kynge

commaunded all the kynges dukis dukes and erlis and all noble

knyghtes of the rounde table that were there that tyme presente

to com in to the medow of Carlehyll and so at that tyme there

were but an C · and x of the rounde table for xl· knyghtes were

that tyme a way and so here we muste be gynne at kynge

Arthur as was kyndely to be gynne at hym that was that

tyme the moste man of worshyp crystynde Than kynge Ar//

thur loked vppon sir vrre and he thought he was a full lykly

man whan he was hole And than the kynge made to take

hym downe of the lyttar and leyde hym vppon the erth And a

none there was layde a Cussheon of golde that he shulde

knele vppon And than kynge Arthur sayde fayre knyght

me rewyth of thy hurte and for to corrayge all oÞer knyghtes

I woll pray the sofftely to suffir me to handyll thy woundis


f. 446 (XIX.11)

 

My moste noble crystynd kynge do ye as ye lyste seyde sir Vrre

for I am at the mercy of god and at youre commaundemente·

So than kynge Arthur softely handeled hym And than som of

hys woundis renewed vppon bledynge Than kynge Clary//

aunce of northumbirlonde serched and hit wolde nat be And

than sir Barraunte le apres that was called the kynge with

the hondred knyghtes he assayed and fayled // So ded kynge Vry//

ence of the londe of gore So ded kynge Angwysh· of Irelonde

And so ded kynge Newtrys of Garloth·  So ded kynge Carydos

of Scotlonde So ded the duke sir Galahalt the haute prynce

So ded sir Constantyne that was kynge Cadors son of Cornw//

ayle / So ded duke Chalaunce of Claraunce // So ded the erle of

Vlbawys So ded the Erle Lambayle So ded the erle Arystanse

Than cam In sir Gawayne wyth hys iij· sunnes sir Gyngalyn sir

Florence and sir Lovell thes ij were be gotyn vppon sir Braunde//

les syster and all they fayled Than cam In sir Aggravayne sir

Gaherys and sir Mordred and the good knyght sir Gareth· Þat was

of verry knyghthod worth all the brethirn So cam In Þe knyȝtes

of sir Launcelottis kyn but sir Launcelot was nat tyme in the

courte for he was that tyme vppon hys aduentures Than

sir Lyonell sir Ector de marys sir Bors de ganys sir Blamoure de

ganys sir Bleoberys de Gaynys sir Gahalantyne sir Galyhodyn sir

Menaduke sir Vyllars Þe valyaunte sir Hebes le renowne all Þes

were of sir Launcelottis kynne and all they fayled Than cam

In sir Sagramour le desyrus sir Dodynes le saveage sir Dynadan sir

Brewne le noyre that sir Kay named La cote male taye and sir

Kay le senesciall sir Kay destraunges sir Mellyot de Logris sir pe//

tipace of wynchylse sir Galleron of Galway sir Melyon of the

mountayne sir Cardoke sir vwayne les Avoutres & sir Ozanna


f. 446v  (XIX.11)

           

le cure hardy Than cam In sir Ascamour and sir Grummor & Grummorson

sir Crosseleme sir Seuerause le brewse that was called a passynge

stronge knyght for as the booke seyth the chyff lady of the lady off

the lake fested sir Launcelot and sir Seuerause le brewse And whan

she had fested them both at sundry tymes she prayde hem to gyff

her a done And anone they graunted her And than she prayde

sir Seuerause that he wolde promyse her neuer to do batayle ayenste

sir Launcelot and in the same wyse she prayde sir Launcelot neuer

to do batayle ayenste sir Seuerause and so aythir promysed her For

the freynshe booke sayth that sir Seuerause had neuer corayge nor

grete luste to do batayle a yenste no man but if hit we a yenste

Gyauntis and a yenste dragons and wylde bestis // So leve

we thys mater and speke we of them that at the kynges rekeyste

where they were at the hyȝe feste as knyghtes of the rounde

table for to serche sir Vrre and to thys entente the kynge ded

hit to wyte whych·  was the moste nobelyste knyght amonge

them all Than cam In sir Agglovale sir Durnor and sir Tor

that was be gotyn vppon the Cowardis wyff but he was

be gotyn a fore Aryes wedded her and kynge pellynor be gate

them all firste sir Tor sir Agglovale sir Durnor sir Lamorak Þe moste

nobeleste knyght one of them that euer was in kynge Arthurs

dayes as for a wordly knyght And sir Percivale that was pyer/

les excepte sir Galahad in holy dedis but they dyed in Þe queste

of the Sangreall· Than cam In sir Gryfflet le fyȝe de du sir

Lucan the butlere sir Bedyvere hys brothir sir Braundeles sir Con//

stantyne sir Cadors son of Cornwayle that was kynge aftir

Authurs dayes and sir Clegis sir Sadok sir Dynas le senesciall de

Cornwayle sir Fergus sir Dryaunte sir Lambegus sir Clarrus off

Cleremownte sir Cloddrus sir hectymere sir Edwarde of Carnarvan


f. 447 (XIX.11)

 

sir Pryamus whych was crystynde by the meanys of sir Trystram the

noble knyght And thes iij· were brethirn sir helayne le blanke

that was son vnto sir Bors for he be gate hym vppon kynge

Brandygorys douȝter and sir Bryan de lystenoyse sir Gauter sir Ray//

nolde sir Gyllymere were iij brethirn whych sir Launcelot wan vp//

pon a brydge in sir Kayes armys sir Gwyarte le petite sir Bellyn//

gere le bewse that was son to the good knyght sir Alysaundir le

orphelyn that was slayne by the treson of kynge Marke // Also

that traytoure kynge slew the noble knyght sir Trystram as he

sate harpynge a fore hys lady la beall Isode with a trenchaunte

glayve for whos dethe was the moste waylynge of ony knyȝt

that euer was in kynge Arthurs dayes for there was neuer none

so be wayled as was sir Trystram and sir Lamerok for they were with

treson slayne Sir Trystram by kynge Mark and sir Lamorake

by sir Gawayne and hys brethirn And thys sir Bellynger revenged

the deth of hys fadir sir Alysaundir and sir Trystram for he slewe

kynge Marke and la beall Isode dyed sownyng vppon the crosse

of sir Trystram where of was grete pite And all that were with

kynge Marke whych were of assente of the deth of sir Trystram

were slayne as sir Andred and many othir · Than cam sir Hebes

sir Morganoure sir Sentrayle sir Suppynabiles sir Belyaunce le orgulus

that the good knyght sir Lamorak wan in playne batayle Sir

Neroveus and sir Plenoryus ij good knyghtes that sir Launcelot

wanne Sir Darras sir Harry le fyȝe lake sir Ermynde broÞer to kyng

Hermaunce for whom sir palomydes faught at the rede cite with

ij· brethirn And sir Selyses of the dolerous towre sir Edward

of Orkeney sir Ironsyde that was called the noble knyght of the

rede laundis that sir Gareth · wan for the love of dane Lyones

sir Arrok sir degrevaunt sir Degrave saunȝe vylony that faught

wyth the gyaunte of the blak lowe // Sir Epynogrys that was

the kynges son of northumbirlonde sir pelleas that loved Þe lady

 

f. 447v (XIX.11-12)

 

Ettarde and he had dyed for her sake had nat bene one of Þe ladyes

of the lake whos name was dame Nynyue and she wedde sir pel

leas and she saved hym euer aftir that he was neuer slayne by her

dayes and he was a full noble knyght and sir Lamyell · of Car//

dyff that was a grete lovear / sir Playne de fors sir Melyans de

Lyle sir Boarte le cure hardy that was kynge Arthurs son sir Ma//

dore de la porte sir Coll grevaunce sir Hervyse de la foreyst saveayge

sir Marrok the good knyght that was be trayed with his wyff for

he made hym vij· yere a warwolff sir persaunt sir pertolope hys

brothir that was called the grene knyght And sir Perymones

brother vnto them bothe whych was called the rede knyght Þat sir

Gareth· wanne whan he was called Bewmaynes All thes

C· knyghtes and x· serched sir Vrryes woundis by the commaunde//

mente of kynge Arthur  Mercy Jhu seyde kynge Arthur where

ys sir Launcelot du lake that he ys nat here at thys tyme And

thus as they stood and spake of many thyngis there one aspyed

sir Launcelot that com rydynge towarde them and anone they

tolde the kynge Pees seyde the kynge lat no man say no Þyng

vntyll he be com to vs // So whan sir Launcelot had aspyed

kynge Arthur he descended downe frome hys horse and cam

to the kynge and salewed hym and them all And anone as

the damesell sir vrryes syster saw sir Launclot she romed to her

syster brothir there as he lay in hys lyttar and seyde brothir

Here ys com a knyght that my harte gyvyth gretly vnto

Fayre syster seyde sir vrre so doth my harte lyȝte gretly a yenste

hym and my harte gyvith me more vnto hym than to all

thes that hath · serched me Than seyde kynge Arthur vnto

sir Launcelot sir ye muste do as we haue done and tolde hym

what they had done and shewed hym them all that had

serched hym Jhu defende me seyde sir Launcelot whyle so

many noble kyngis and knyghtes haue fayled that I shulde 

 

f. 448 (XIX.12)

 

presume vppon me to enchyve that all ye my lordis myght nat

enchyve // ye shall nat chose seyde kynge Arthur for I commaunde

you to do as we all haue done My moste renowmed lorde seyde

sir Launcelot I know well I dare nat nor may nat disobey you

But and I myght or durste wyte you well I wolde nat take

vppon me to towche that wounded knyght in that entent that

I shulde passe all othir knyghtes Jhu deffende me frome that

shame // Sir ye take hit wronge seyde kynge Arthur for ye

shall nat do hit for no presumpcion but for to beare vs fely//

shyp in so muche as ye be a felow of the rounde table And wyte

you well seyde kynge Arthur and ye prevayle nat and heale

hym I dare sey there ys no knyght in thys londe that may hele

hym and there fore I pray you do as we haue done And Þan

all the kyngis and knyghtes for the moste party prayed sir Launclot

to serche hym  And than the wounded knyght sir vrre set hym

vp waykely and seyde vnto sir Launcelot Now curteyse knyght

I requyre the for goddis sake heale my woundis for me thynkis

euer sytthyn ye cam here my woundis grevyth me nat so muche

as they ded A my fayre lorde seyde sir Launcelot Jhu wolde Þat

I myght helpe you for I shame sore with my selff that I shulde

be thus requyred for neuer was I able in worthynes to do so

hyȝe a thynge // Than sir Launclot kneled downe by the wounded

knyght saiyng my lorde Arthure I muste do youre commaunde

mente whych ys sore a yenste my harte And than he hylde

vp hys hondys and loked vnto the Este saiynge secretely

vnto hym selff Now blyssed fadir and son and holy goste I

be seche the of thy mercy that my symple worshyp & honeste

be saved And Þou blyssed trynyte Þou mayste yeff me power

to hele thys syke knyght by the grete vertu and grace of the

but good lorde neuer of my selff And than sir Launclot prayde sir Vrre

to lat hym se hys hede and than devoutly knelyng he ransaked

 

f. 448v (XIX.12-13)

 

the iij · woundis that they bled a lytyll and forth· with all the woundis

fayre heled and semed as they had bene hole a vij· yere And In

lyke wyse he serched hys body of oÞer iij woundis and they healed

in lyke wyse And than the laste of all he serched hys honde &

anone hit fayre healed Than kynge Arthur and all the kynges

and knyghtes kneled downe and gave than kynges and lovynge

vnto god and vnto hys blyssed modir and euer sir Launcelote

wepte as he had bene a chylde that had bene beatyn Than kyng

Arthure lat ravyshe· prystes and clarkes in the moste devoutiste

wyse to brynge In sir vrre into Carlyle with syngyng & lovyng

to god And whan thys was done the kynge lat clothe hym

in ryche maner And than was Þer but feaw bettir made knyȝtes

in all the courte for he was passyngly well made & bygly

Than kynge Arthur asked sir vrre how he felte hym selff

A my good and gracious lorde I felte my selffe neuer so lusty //

Than woll ye Juste and do ony armys seyd kynge Arthur

Sir and I had all that longed vnto Justis I wolde be sone redy

Than kynge Arthur made a party a C· knyghtes to be a yenste

an C And so vppon the morn they Justed for adyamounde

but Þer Justed none of the daungerous knyghtes And so for

to shortyn thys tale sir Vrre and sir Lavayne Justed beste Þat day

for Þer was none of them but he ouer threw and pulled down

a xxxti knyght And than by assente of all the kynges & lordis

sir vrre and sir Lavayne were made knyghtes of the table rounde

And than sir Lavayne keste hys love vnto dame fyleloly sir Vrre

syster And than they were wedded with grete Joy And so kynge

Arthur gaff to euery of them a barony of londis And Þis sir

Vrre wolde neuer go frome sir Launclot but he and sir Lavayne

a wayted euer more vppon hym And they were in all the

courte accounted for good knyghtes and full desyrous in ar//

mys and many noble knyghtes dedis they did for Þey wolde 

 

f. 449 (XIX.13-XX.1)

 

haue no reste but euer sought vppon Þer dedis thus they lyved

in all that courte wyth grete nobeles and Joy longe tymes

But euery nyght and day sir Aggravayne sir Gawaynes broÞer

a wayted queen Gwenyuer And sir Launcelot to put hem bothe

to a rebuke and a shame // And so I leve here of this tale

and ouer lepe grete bookis of sir Launcelot what grete aduen//

tures he ded whan he was called le shyvalere de Charyot

for as the freynsh · booke sayth · be cause of dispyte Þat knyȝtes

and ladyes called hym the knyght that rode in the Charyot

lyke as he were Juged to the Jubett There fore in Þe despite

of all them that named hym so he was caryed in a Chary//

otte a xij· monshe monethe for but lytill aftir that he had

slayne Sir Mellyagaunte in the quenys quarell he neuer of

a xij moneth · com on horse bak And as the freynshe booke

sayth he ded that xij·moneth more than xl batayles And

by cause I haue loste the very mater of shevalere de Charyot

I departe frome the tale of sir Launcelot and here I go vnto Þe morte

Arthur And that caused sir Aggravayne And here on Þe othir

syde folowyth the moste pytevous tale of the morte Arthure

saunz Gwerdon · Par le shyvalere sir Thomas Malleorre knyȝt

Jhu ayed ely pur voutre bone mercy Amen

 

IN May whan euy harte floryshyth & burgenyth

for as the season ys lusty to be holde and comfortable so man

and woman reioysyth and gladith of somer commynge with his

freyshe floures For wynter wyth hys rowȝe wyndis and

blastis causyth lusty men and women to cowre and to syt

by fyres // So thys season hit be felle in the moneth · of may

a grete angur and vnhappy that stynted nat tylle Þe floure

of Chyvalry of the worlde was destroyed and slayne And all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

¶ Capitulum Primum

SOo after the quest of the Sancgreal was fulfylled / and alle knyghtes that were lefte on lyue were comen ageyne vnto the table round as the booke of the Sancgreal maketh mencyon

¶ Thenne was there grete Ioye in the courte / and in especyal kynge Arthur and quene Gueneuer made grete Ioye of the remenaunt that were comen home / and passynge glad was the kynge and the quene of sire launcelot and of sire Bors / For they had ben passynge long away in the quest of the Sancgreal / Thenne as the book saith syr launcelot beganne to resorte vnto quene Gueneuer ageyne / and forgat the promyse and the perfectyon that he made in the quest / for as the book sayth had not sire Launcelot ben in hie preuy thouȝtes and in his myndes so sette inwardly to the quene as he was in semyng outeward to god / there had no knyghte passed hym in the queste of the Sancgreal / but euer his thouhgtes were pryuely on the Quene / and so they loued to gyder more hotter than they did to fore hand / and had suche preuy draughtes to gyder that many in the Courte spak of hit / and in especial sir Agrauayne/ sir Gawayns broder / for he was euer open mouthed / So bifel that syre Launcelot had many resortes of ladyes and damoysels that dayly resorted vnto hym / that besoughte hym to be their champyon / and in alle suche maters of ryghte sir launcelot applyed hym dayly to do for the pleasyr of oure lord Ihesu crist And euer as moche as he myghte he withdrewe hym from the companye and felaushyp of Quene Gueneuer Page  726 [leaf 363v] for to eschewe the sklaunder and noyse / wherfor the quene waxed wroth with sir Launcelot / and vpon a day she called sir launcelot vnto her chamber and saide thus / Sir launcelot I see and fele dayly that thy loue begynneth to slake / for thou hast no Ioye to be in my presence / but euer thou arte oute of thys Courte / and quarels and maters thow hast now a dayes for ladyes and gentilwymmen more the euer thou were wonte to haue afore hand / A madame said launcelot / in this ye must holde me excused for dyuerse causes / one is / I was but late in the quest of the Sancgreal / and I thanke god of his grete mercy and neuer of my deserte that I sawe in that my quest as moche as euer sawe ony synful man / and so was it told me /

¶ And yf I had not my pryuy thoughtes to retorne to your loue ageyne as I doo I had sene as grete mysteryes as euer sawe my sone Galahad outher Percyual or sir Bors / & therfor madame I was but late in that quest / wete ye wel madame hit maye not be yet lyghtely forgeten the hyȝ seruyse in whome I dyd my dylygent laboure / Also madame wete ye wel that there be many men speken of our loue in this courte / and ye haue yow and me gretely in a wayte / as sire Agrauayne and syr Mordred / and madame wete ye wel I drede them more for youre sake / than for ony fere I haue of them my self / for I maye happen to escape and ryde my self in a grete nede where ye must abyde alle that wille said vnto yow / And thenne yf that ye falle in ony distresse thurgh wylfulle foly / thenne is there none other remedy or help but by me and my blood / And wete ye wel madame the boldenes of you and me wille brynge vs to grete shame and sklaunder / and that were me lothe to see you dishonoured / and that is the cause / I take vpon me more for to do for damoysels and maydens than euer I dyd to forne that men shold vnderstande my Ioye and my delyte is my pleasyr to haue adoo for damoisels and maydens

¶ Capitulum ij

ALle this whyle the quene stood stylle and lete sir launcelot saye what he wold / And when he hadde alle said she brast oute on wepynge / and soo she sobbed and wepte Page  727 [leaf 364r] a grete whyle / And whan she myght speke she sayd / launcelot now I wel vnderstande that thou arte a fals recreaūt knyghte and a comyn lecheoure / and louest and holdest other ladyes / and by me thou hast desdayne scorne /

¶ For wete thou wel she sayd now vnderstande thy falshede / and therfore shalle I neuer loue the no more / and neuer be thou so hardy to come in my syghte / and ryghte here I discharge the this Courte that thow neuer come within hit / and I forfende the my felaushyp / and vpon payne of thy hede that thou see me no more / Ryght soo sire Launcelot departed with grete heuynes / that vnneth he myȝt susteyne hym self for grete dole makyng Thenne he called sir Bors sir Ector de marys and syr Lyonel and told hem how the quene had forfendyd hym the Courte and soo he was in wille to departe in to his owne Countrey / Fair sir said sire Bors de ganys / ye shalle not departe oute of this land by myn aduyse / ye must remembre in what honour ye are renoumed and called the noblest knyght of the world / and many grete maters ye haue in hand / and wymmen in their hastynes wille doo oftymes that sore repenteth hem / & therfor by myn aduyse ye shalle take youre hors / and ryde to the good hermytage here besyde wyndsoure that somtyme was a good knyght / his name is sir Brasias / and there shalle ye abyde tyl I sende yow word of better tydynges / Broder said sir launcelot wete ye wel I am ful lothe to departe oute of this realme / but the quene hath defended me soo hyhely / that me semeth she wille neuer be my good lady as she hath ben / Saye ye neuer soo sayd sir Bors / for many tymes or this tyme she hath ben wroth with yow and after it she was the first that repented it / Ye saye wel sayd launcelot / for now wille I doo by youre counceylle and take myn hors and my harneis and ryde to the heremyte sir Brasias / and there will I repose me vntyl I here somme maner of tydynges fro yow / but fair broder I praye yow gete me the loue of my lady Quene Gueneuer and ye maye /

¶ Sire said sire Bors ye nede not to meue me of suche maters For wel ye wote I wille doo what I may to please yow / & thenne the noble knyghte sire Launcelot departed with ryghte heuy chere sodenly / that none erthely creature wyste of hym / nor Page  728 [leaf 364v] where he was become / but sir Bors / Soo whan sir launcelot was departed / the quene outward made no maner of sorowe in shewynge to none of his blood nor to none other / But wete ye wel inwardly as the book sayth she took grete thoughte but she bare it out with a proud countenaunce / as though she felte nothynge nor daunger

¶ Capitulum Tercium

ANd thenne the quene lete make a preuy dyner in london vnto the knyȝtes of the round table / and al was for to shewe outward that she had as grete Ioye in al other knyghtes of the table round as she had in sir launcelot / al only at that dyner she had sir Gawayne and his bretheren / that is for to saye sir Agrauayn / sir Gaherys / sire Gareth and syre Mordred / Also there was sir Bors de ganys / sire Blamor de ganys / syr Bleoberys de ganys /sire Galyhud / sir Galyhodyn syre Ector de marys / sir Lyonel / sire Palomydes / syr Safyr his broder / sir la cote male tayle / sir Persaunt / syr Ironsyde / syre Brandyles / syr kay le Seneschal / sir Mador de la porte / Syre Patryse a knyght of Irland / Alyduk / sir Astamore / and sir Pynel le saueage / the whiche was cosyn to sire Lamorak de galys the good knyghte that syr Gawayne and his bretheren slewe by treason / and so these four and twenty knyghtes shold dyne with the quene in a preuy place by them self / and there was made a grete feest of al maner of deyntees / but syre Gawayne had a customme that he vsed dayly at dyner and at souper that he loued wel al maner of fruyte / and in especial appels and perys / And therfore who someuer dyned or feested syre Gawayne wold comynly purueye for good fruyte for hym / and soo dyd the quene for to please sir Gawayne / she lete purueye for hym al maner of fruyte / for sir Gawayn was a passynge hote knyght of nature / and this Pyonel hated syre Gawayne by cause of his kynnesman syr Lamorak de galys & therfor for pure enuy & hate sir Pyonel enpoysond certayn appels for to enpoysonne sir Gawayn / & soo this was wel vnto the ende of the mete / and soo it befelle by mysfortune a good knyght named Patryse cosyn vnto sire Mador de la porte to Page  729 [leaf 365r] take a poysond Appel / And whanne he had eten hit / he swalle soo tyl he brast / & there sire Patryce felle doun sodenly deede amonge hem / Thenne euery knyghte lepte from the bord ashamed and araged for wrathe nyghe oute of her wyttes / For they wyste not what to saye consyderynge Quene Gueneuer made the feest and dyner / they alle had suspecyon vnto her / My lady the quene said Gawayne / Wete ye wel madame that this dyner was made for me / for alle folkes that knowen my condycyon vnderstande that I loue wel fruyte / and now I see wel / I had nere be slayne / therfor madame I drede me lest ye will be shamed / Thenne the quene stood stylle and was sore abasshed / that he nyst not what to saye / This shalle not so be ended said syr Mador de la porte / for here haue I loste a ful noble knyght of my blood / And therfore vpon this shame & despyte I wille be reuenged to the vtteraunce / and there openly sir Mador appeled the quene of the dethe of his cosyn sir patryse / thenne stode they all stylle that none wold speke a word ageynst hym / for they all had grete suspecyon vnto the quene by cause she lete make that dyner / and the quene was so abasshed that she coude none other wayes doo but wepte soo hertely that she felle in a swoune / with this noyse and crye came to them kynge Arthur / And whanne he wyst to that trouble / he was a passynge heuy man

Capitulum iiij

ANd euer sir Mador stood stylle afore the kynge / and euer he appeled the quene of treason / for the customme was suche that tyme that alle manere of shameful dethe was called treason / Fair lordes sayd kynge Arthur me repenteth of this trouble / but the caas is so I maye not haue adoo in this mater for I must be a ryghtful Iuge / and that repenteth me that I maye not doo batail for my wyf / for as I deme this dede came neuer by her / And therfore I suppose she shalle not be alle distayned / but that somme good knyght shal putt his body in Ieopardy for my quene rather than she shal be brent in a wrong quarel / And therfor sir Mador be not so hasty / for hit maye happen she shalle not be all frendeles / and therfore Page  730 [leaf 365v] desyre thow thy daye of bataile / and she shalle purueye her of somme good knyghte / that shalle ansuer yow or els it were to me grete shame / and to alle my courte / My gracyous lord sayd sir Mador ye muste holde me excused / for though ye be oure kynge in that degree / ye are but a knyght as we are / and ye are sworne vnto knyghthode as wel as we / and therfor I biseche yow that ye be not displeased / For there is none of the four and twenty knyghtes that were boden to this dyner / but alle they haue grete suspecyon vnto the quene / What say ye all my lordes said sir Mador / thenne they ansuerd by and by that they coude not excuse the quene / for why she made the dyner / & outher hit must come by her or by her seruauntes / Allas sayd the quene I made this dyner for a good entente / and neuer for none euyl soo almyghty god me help in my ryght as I was neuer purposed to doo suche euylle dedes / and that I reporte me vnto god / My lord kynge sayd sir Mador I requyre yow as ye be a ryghtuous kyng gyue me a day that I may haue Iustyce / wel sayd the kynge I gyue the daye thys day xv dayes that thow be redy armed on horsbak in the medowe besyde westmynster / And yf it soo falle that there be ony knyght to encountre with yow / there mayst thow doo the best / and god spede the ryght / And yf hit so falle that there be no knyght at that day / thenne must my quene be brente / and ther she shalle be redy to haue her Iugement / I am ansuerd sayd sir Mador / and euery knyghte wente where it lyked hem /

¶ So whan the kynge and the quene were to gyders / the kynge asked the quene how this caas bifelle / the quene ansuerd / so god me help I wote not how or in what maner / where is sir launcelot said kyng Arthur / and he were here he wold not grutche to doo bataille for yow / Sire sayd the quene I wote not where he is / but his brother and his kynnesmen deme that he be not within this Realme / that me repenteth sayd kyng Arthur / For and he were here / he wold soone stynte this stryf / Thenne I wille counceyle yow sayd the kynge and vnto sire Bors that ye wil doo bataille for her for sir launcelots sake / And vpon my lyf he wille not refuse yow / For wel I see said the kynge that none of these foure and twenty knyghtes that were with you at your dyner where sir Patryse was slayn Page  731 [leaf 366r] that wille doo batail for yow nor none fo hem wille saye well of yow / and that shalle be a grete sklaunder for yow in thys Courte / Allas said the quene and I maye not doo with all but now I mys sir launcelot / for and he were here / he wold putte me soone to my hertes ease /

¶ what eyleth yow said the kynge ye can not kepe sir launcelot vpon your syde / for wete ye wel sayd the kynge who that hath sire Launcelot vpon his partye / hath the moost man of worship in the world vpon his syde / Now goo your way said the kynge vnto the quene / and requyre sir Bors to doo bataille for yow for sire launcelots sake

¶ Capitulum quintum /

SOo the quene departed from the kynge / and sente for sir Bors in to her chamber / And whan he was come she besought hym of socour / Madame said he / what wold ye that I dyd / for I maye not with my worshyp haue adoo in this mater by cause I was at the same dyner for drede that ony of tho knyghtes wold haue me in suspecyon / Also madame said sir Bors now mys ye sir launcelot / for he wold not haue fayled yow neyther in ryght nor in wronge / as ye haue wel preued whan ye haue ben in daunger / and now ye haue dryuen hym oute of this countrey / by whome ye and alle we were dayly worshypped by / therfor madame I merueylle how ye dar for shame requyre me to doo ony thynge for yow in soo moche ye haue chaced hym oute of your countrey / by whome we were borne vp and honoured / Allas fayr knyghte sayd the quene I put me holy in your grace / and alle that is done amys / I will amende as ye wille counceyle me / And therwith she kneled doune vpon bothe her knees / and besought sir Bors to haue mercy vpon her / outher I shall haue a shameful dethe and therto I neuer offended / Ryght soo cam kyng Arthur / & fonde the quene knelyng afore sir Bors / thenne sir Bors pulled her vp / and said Madame ye doo me grete dishonoure / A gentil knyght said the kyng haue mercy vpon my Quene curtois knyght / for I am now in certayne she is vntruly defamed Page  732 [leaf 366v] And ther for curtois knyght sayd the kynge / promyse her to doo bataille for her / I requyre yow for the loue of syr launcelot / My lord sayd syr Bors ye requyre me the grettest thynge that ony man may requyre me / And wete ye wel yf I graunte to doo bataille for the quene I shall wrathe many of my felauship of the table round / but as for that sayd Bors I wille graunte my lord / that for my lord sir launcelots sake & for your sake I wille at that daye be the quenes champyon / onles that there come by aduenture a better knyghte than I am to doo batail for her / Will ye promyse me this sayd the kynge by your feythe / ye sir said sir Bors / of that I will not fayle yow / nor her bothe / but yf there came a better knyghte than I am / and thenne shalle he haue the bataille / Thenne was the kynge and the quene passyng gladde / and soo departed / and thanked hym hertely / Soo thenne sir Bors departed secretely vpon a day / and rode vnto sire launcelot there as he was wyth the heremyte sir Brastias / & told hym of all theire aduenture A Ihesu said sir Launcelot this is come happely as I wold haue hit / and therfor I praye yow make you redy to doo bataille / but loke that ye tary tyl ye see me come as longe as ye may / For I am sure Mador is an hote knyghte whan he is enchaufed / for the more ye suffre hym the hastyer wille he be to batail / syr said Bors lete me dele with hym / Doubte ye not ye shalle haue alle your wille / thenne departed syre Bors from hym / and came to the Courte ageyne / Thenne was hit noysed in alle the Courte that sir Bors shold doo bataill for the quene / wherfore many knyghtes were displeasyd with hym / that he wold take vpon hym to doo batail in the quenes quarel for there were but fewe knyghtes in all the courte but they demed the quene was in the wronge / and that she had done that treason / Soo sire Bors ansuerd thus to his felawes of the table round / Wete ye wel my fayre lordes it were shame to vs alle and we suffred to see the moost noble quene of the world to be shamed openly consyderynge her lord / and our lord is the man of moost worship in the world & moost crystend / and he hath euer worshipped vs alle in al places / Many ansuerd hym ageyne / As for oure mooste noble kynge Arthur we loue hym and honoure hym as wel as ye doo / but as for quene Gueneuer Page  733 [leaf 367r] we loue her not by cause she is a destroyer of good knyghtes Faire lordes sayd sir Bors me semeth ye saye not as ye shold say / for neuer yet in my dayes knewe I neuer nor herd saye/ that euer she was a destroyer of ony good knyghte / But att alle tymes as ferre as euer I coude knowe / she was a mayntener of good knyghtes / and euer she hath ben large and free of her goodes to alle good knyghtes / and the moost bounteuous lady of her yeftes and her good grace that euer I sawe or herd speke of / And there for it were shame said sire Bors to vs all to our most noble kynges wyf / & we suffred her to be shamefully slayne / And wete ye wel sayd sire Bors I wylle not suffer it / for I dare say soo moche the quene is not gylty of sir Patryse dethe / for she owed hym neuer none ylle wylle/ nor none of the four and twenty knyghtes that were at that dyner / for I dar saye / for good loue she bad vs to dyner / and not for no male engyne / and that I doubte not shalle be preued here after / for how someuer the game goth / there was treason amonge vs / Thenne some sayd to sire Bors we may wel bileue your wordes / and soo some of them were wel pleasyd/ and somme were not so

¶ Capitulum vj

THe daye came on faste vntyl the euen that the bataille shold be / Thenne the quene sente for sir Bors and asked hym how he was disposed / Truly madame sayd he I am disposed in lyke wyse as I promysed yow / that is for to saye I shal not fayle yow / onles by aduenture there come a better knyghte than I am to doo batail for yow / thenne madame am I discharged of my promyse /

¶ Wylle ye sayd the quene that I telle my lord Arthur thus / doth as it shal please yow madame / Thenne the quene wente vnto the kynge and told hym the ansuer of sir Bors / haue ye no doubte said the kynge of sir Bors / for I calle hym now one of the beste knyghtes of the world and the most profytelyest man / And thus it past on vntyl the morne / and the kynge and the quene and all maner of knyghtes that were there at that tyme drewe them vnto the medowe bysyde wynchester where the bataylle Page  734 [leaf 367v] shold be / And soo whan the kynge was come with the Quene / and many knyghtes of the round table / than the quene was putte there in the Conestables ward and a grete fyre made aboute an yron stake / that and syr Mador de la porte hadde the better / she shold be brente / suche customme was vsed in tho dayes / that neyther for fauour neyther for loue nor affynyte / there shold be none other but ryghtuous Iugement / as wel vpon a kynge as vpon a knyghte / and as wel vpon a Quene as vpon another poure lady / Soo in this meane whyle came in sir Mador de la porte / and tooke his othe afore the kynge / that the quene dyd this treason vntyl his cosyn sir Patryse / & vnto his othe / he wold preue hit with his body hand for hand who that wold saye the contrary / Ryght so cam in sire Bors de ganys and sayde that as for quene Gueneuer she is in the ryght and that wille I make good with my handes / that she is not culpaple of this treason that is putte vpon her / Thenne make the redy said sir Mador / and we shalle preue whether thow be in the ryght or I / Sir Mador said sir Bors wete thou wel I knowe yow for a good knyghte / Not for thenne I shal not fere yow soo gretely / but I truste to god I shalle be able to withstande your malyce / But thus moche haue I promysed my lord Arthur and my lady the quene that I shalle do bataille for her in this caas to the vttermest / onles that there come a better knyghte than I am / and discharge me / Is that alle said sire Mador / outher come thou of / and doo batail with me / or els say nay / Take your hors said sire Bors / and as I suppose ye shalle not tary longe / but ye shalle be ansuerd / thenne eyther departed to their tentys and maade hem redy to horsbak as they thoughte best / And anone sir Mador cam in to the felde with his shelde on his sholder & his spere in his hand And soo rode aboute the place cryenge vnto Arthur byd your champyon come forthe and he dare / Thenne was sir Bors ashamed and took his hors / and came to the lystes ende /

¶ And thenne was he ware where cam from a wood there faste by a knyght all armed vpon a whyte hors with a straunge shelde of straunge armes / and he came rydynge alle that he myghte renne / and soo he came to sir Bors and sayd thus Fair knyght I pray yow be not displeased / for here must a better knyȝt Page  735 [leaf 368r] than ye are haue thys bataille / therfor I praye yow withdrawe yow / For wete ye wel I haue had this day a ryght grete Iourneye / and this bataille ought to be myn / and soo I promysed yow whan I spak with yow last / and with alle my herte I thanke yow of your good wille / Thenne sire Bors rode vnto kynge Arthur and told hym how there was a knyȝt come that wold haue the bataille for to fyghte for the Quene

¶ what knyght is he said the kynge / I wote not sayd syre Bors / but suche couenaunt he made with me to be here this day Now my lord sayd syr Bors here am I discharged /

Capitulum vij

THenne the kynge called to that knyghte / and asked hym / yf he wold fyghte for the quene / Thenne he ansuerd to the kynge therfor cam I hydder / and therfor sir kyng he sayd tary me noo lenger for I may not tary / For anone as I haue fynysshed this bataille I must departe hens / for I haue a doo many matters els where / For wete yow wel sayd that knyght this is dishonour to yow alle knyghtes of the round table to see and knowe soo noble a lady and so curtoys a quene as quene Gueneuer is thus to be rebuked and shamed amongest yow / thenne they alle merueylled what knyȝt that myghte be that soo tooke the bataille vpon hym / For there was not one that knewe hym but yf it were syre Bors / Thenne sayd sir Mador de la porte vnto the kynge / now lete me wete with whome I shalle haue adoo with alle / And thenne they rode to the lystes ende / and there they couched theire speres / & ranne to gyder with alle their myghtes / and sire Madors spere brake alle to pyeces / but the others spere held / and bare syre Madors hors and alle bakward to the erthe a grete falle / But myghtely and sodenly he auoyded his hors / and putte his sheld afore hym / and thenne drewe his suerd / and badde the other knyghte alyghte / and doo batail with hym on foote Thenne that knyght descended from his hors lyghtly lyke a valyaunt man / and putte his sheld afore hym and drewe his suerd / and soo they came egerly vnto bataille / and eyther Page  736 [leaf 368v] gaf other many grete strokes tracynge and trauercynge / racynge and foynynge / and hurtlyng to gyder with her suerdes as it were wyld bores / thus were they fyghtynge nyghe an houre / For this sir Mador was a stronge knyghte / and myghtely proued in many stronge batails / But at the laste thys knyghte smote sir Madore grouelynge vpon the erthe / and the kynght stepped nere hym to haue pulled sir Mador flatlynge vpon the ground / and there with sodenly sir Mador aroos / & in his rysynge he smote that knyght thurgh the thyck of the thyȝes that the blood ranne oute fyersly /

¶ And whan he felte hym self soo wounded / and sawe his blood he lete hym aryse vpon his feet / And thenne he gaf hym suche a buffet vpon the helme / that he felle to the erthe flatlynge / and therwith he strode to hym to haue pulled of his helme of his hede / And thenne sir Mador prayd that knyghte to saue his lyf / and so he yelded hym as ouercome and relecyd the quene of his quarel / I wille not graunte the thy lyf said that knyghte only that thou frely relece the quene for euer / and that no mencyon be made vpon sir Patryces tombe that euer Quene Gueneuer consented to that treason / Alle this shalle be done said sir mador I clerely discharge my quarel for euer / Thenne the knyȝtes parters of the lystes toke vp sire Mador / and ledde hym to his tente / and the other knyghte wente streyghte to the steyer foote where sat kyng Arthur / and by that tyme was the quene come to the kynge / and eyther kyssed other hertely / And whan the kynge sawe that knyghte / he stouped doune to hym/ and thanked hym / and in lyke wyse dyd the quene / and the kynge prayd hym to putte of his helmet / and to repose hym / & to take a sop of wyn / and thenne he putte of his helmet to drynke / and thenne euery knyght knewe hym that it was syre Launcelot du lake / Anone as the quene wyst that / he took the quene in his hand / and yode vnto syr launcelot and sayd sir graunt mercy of your grete trauaille that ye haue hadde thys day for me and for my quene / My lord sayd sir launcelot wete ye wel I oughte of ryghte euer to be in your quarel / and in my lady the quenes quarel to do batail / for ye ar the man that gaf me the hyghe ordre of knyghthode / and that daye my lady your quene dyd me grete worship / & els I had ben shamed Page  737 [leaf 369r] for that same day ye made me knyghte / thurgh my hastynesse I lost my suerd / and my lady your quene fond hit / and lapped hit it her trayne / and gafe me my suerd whan I hadde nede therto / and els had I ben shamed emonge alle knyghtes / & therfor my lord Arthur I promysed her at that day euer to be her knyghte in ryghte outher in wronge / Graunt mercy sayd the kyng for this iourneye / & wete ye wel said the kyng I shal acquyte youre goodenes / and euer the quene behelde sir launcelot / and wepte so tendyrly that she sanke all most to the groūd for sorowe that he had done to her soo grete goodenes where she shewed hym grete vnkyndenes /

¶ Thenne the knyghtes of his blood drewe vnto hym / and there eyther of them made grete ioye of other / And so came alle the knyghtes of the table round that were there at that tyme / and welcomed hym / And thenne sir Mador was had to leche crafte / and sire launcelot was helyd of his woūd / And thenne there was made grete Ioye & myrthes in that courte

¶ Capitulum octauum /

ANd soo it befelle that the damoysel of the lake / her name was Nymue / the whiche wedded the good knyȝt sir Pelleas / and soo she cam to the Courte / for euer she dyd grete goodenes vnto kynge Arthur / and to alle his knytes thurgh her sorcery and enchauntementes / And soo whan she herd how the quene was an angred for the dethe of syre Patryse / Thenne she told it openly that she was neuer gylty and there she disclosed by whome it was done and named hym syr Pynel / and for what cause he dyd it / there it was openly disclosed / and soo the quene was excused / and the knyȝt Pynel fled in to his countre / Thenne was it openly knowen that syr Pynel enpoysond the appels att the feest to that entente to haue destroyed sire Gawayne / by cause syr Gawayne and his bretheren destroyed syr Lamorak de galys / to the whiche syre Pynel was cosyn vnto / Thenne was sire Patryce buryed in the chirche of Westmestre in a tombe / and there vpon was wryten / Here lyeth syre Patryce of Irlond slayne by syre Pynel Page  738 [leaf 369v] le saueage / that enpoysoned appels to haue slayne syre Gawayne / and by mysfortune sire Patryce ete one of tho appels / & thenne sodenly he brast / Also there was wryten vnto the tombe that Quene Gueneuer was appelyd of treason of the deth of sire Patryce by sir Mador de la porte / and there was made mencyon how sire launcelot foughte with hym for quene Gueneuer / and ouercame hym in playne bataille / Alle this was wryten vpon the tombe of syr Patryce in excusyng of the quene / And thenne sir Mador sewed dayly and long / to haue the Quenes good grace / and soo by the meanes of syre launcelot he caused hym to stande in the quenes good grace / and all was forgyuen / Thus it passed on tyl oure lady daye assūpcyon / within a xv dayes of that feest the kynge lete crye a grete Iustes and a turnement that shold be at that daye att Camelot that is wynchester / and the kynge lete crye that he and the kynge of Scottes wold Iuste ageynst alle that wold come ageynst hem / And whan this crye was made / thydder cam many knyghtes / Soo there came thyder the kyng of Northgalys and kyng Anguysshe of Irland / and the kyng with the honderd knyghtes / and Galahaut the haute prynce / and the Kynge of Northumberland / and many other noble dukes & Erles of dyuerse countreyes / Soo kynge Arthur made hym redy to departe to thise Iustys / and wold haue had the Quene with hym / but at that tyme she wold not / she said / for she was seke and myghte not ryde at that tyme / That me repenteth sayd the kynge / for this seuen yere ye sawe not suche a noble felaushyp to gyders excepte at wytsontyde whan Galahad departed from the Courte / Truly sayd the quene to the kynge / ye muste holde me excused / I maye not be there / and that me repenteth / and many demed the quene wold not be there by cause of sir launcelot du lake / for sire launcelot wold not ryde with the kynge / for he said / that he was not hole of the wound the whiche sire Mador had gyuen hym / wherfor the kynge was heuy and passynge wrothe / and soo he departed toward wynchestre with his felaushyp / and soo by the way the kynge lodged in a Towne called Astolot / that is now in Englyssh called Gylford / and there the kynge lay in the Castel / Soo whan the kynge was departed / the quene called sir launcelot Page  739 [leaf 370r] to her / and said thus / Sire launcelot ye are gretely to blame thus to holde yow behynde my lord / what trowe ye what will youre enemyes and myne saye and deme / noughte els but see how sire launcolot holdeth hym euer behynde the kyng / and soo doth the quene / for that they wold haue their pleasyr to gyders / And thus wylle they saye sayd the Quene to syr launcelot haue ye noo doubte therof

¶ Capitulum ix

MAdame said syr Launcelot I allowe your wytte / it is of late come syn ye were wyse / And therfor madame at this tyme I wille be rulyd by your counceylle / and thys nyghte I wylle take my rest / and to morowe by tyme I wyll take my waye toward wynchestre / ¶ But wete yow wel sayd sir Launcelot to the quene / that at that Iustes I wille be ageynst the kynge and ageynste al his felauship / ye maye there doo as ye lyst sayd the Quene / but by my counceylle ye shalle not be ageynst youre kyng and youre felauship / For therin ben ful many hard knyghtes of youre blood as ye wote wel ynough / hit nedeth not to reherce them /

¶ Madame said syre Launcelot I praye yow that ye be not displeasyd with me / for I wille take the aduenture that god wylle sende me / And soo vpon the morne erly syre launcelot herd masse and brake his fast / and soo toke his leue of the quene departed / And thenne he rode soo moche vntyl he came to Astolat that is Gylford / and there hit happed hym in the euentyde he cam to an old Barons place that hyght sir Bernard of Astolat / And as syre launcelot entryd in to his lodgynge / kynge Arthur aspyed hym as he dyd walke in a gardyn besyde the Castel how he took his lodgynge / & knewe hym ful wel /

¶ It is wel sayd kynge Arthur vnto the knyghtes that were with hym in that gardyn besyde the castel / I haue now aspyed one knyghte that wylle playe his playe at the Iustes / to the whiche we be gone toward / I vndertake he wil do merueils / Who is that we pray you telle vs Page  740 [leaf 370v] sayd many knyghtes that were there at that tyme / ye shal not wete for me said the kynge as at this tyme / And soo the kyng smyled / and wente to his lodgynge / Soo whan sire launcelot was in his lodgynge / and vnarmed hym in his chamber the olde baron and heremyte came to hym makynge his reuerence and welcomed hym in the best maner / but the old knyght knewe not sire Launcelot / Fair sir said sir launcelot to his hooste I wold praye yow to lene me a shelde that were not openly knowen for myn is wel knowen / Sir said his hoost ye shalle haue your desyre / for me semeth ye be one of the lykelyest knyghtes of the world / and therfor I shall shewe you frendship Sire wete yow wel I haue two sones that were but late made knyghtes / and the eldest hyghte sir Tirre / and he was hurt that same day he was made knyghte that he may not ryde / and his sheld ye shalle haue / For that is not knowen I dare saye but here / and in no place els / and my yongest sone hyght Lauayne / and yf hit please yow / he shalle ryde with yow vnto that Iustes / and he is of his age x stronge and wyght / for moche my herte gyueth vnto yow that ye shold be a noble knyȝte therfor I praye yow telle me your name / said sir Bernard As for that sayd sire launcelot ye must holde me excused as at this tyme / And yf god gyue me grace to spede wel att the Iustes / I shalle come ageyne and telle yow / but I praye yow said sir Launcelot in ony wyse lete me haue youre sone sire lauayne with me / and that I maye haue your broders shelde / Alle this shalle be done said sir Bernard /

¶ This old baron had a doughter that tyme that was called that tyme the faire mayden of Astolat / And euer she beheld sir launcelot wonderfully / And as the book sayth she cast suche a loue vnto sir launcelot that she coude neuer withdrawe her loue / wherfore she dyed / and her name was Elayne le blank / Soo thus as she cam to and fro / she was soo hote in her loue that she besoughte syr launcelot to were vpon hym at the Iustes a token of hers

¶ Faire damoysel said sir launcelot / and yf I graunte yow that ye may saye I doo more for youre loue than euer I dyd for lady or damoysel /

¶ Thenne he remembryd hym that he wold goo to the Iustes desguysed / And by cause he had neuer fore that tyme borne noo manere of token of noo damoysel

Page  741 [leaf 371r] ¶ Thenne he bethoughte hym that he wold bere one of her that none of his blood there by myghte knowe hym / and thenne he said Faire mayden I wylle graunte yow to were a token of yours vpon myn helmet / and therfor what it is / shewe it me Sir she said it is a reed sleue of myn of scarlet wel enbroudred with grete perlys / and soo she brought it hym / Soo syre Launcelot receyued it / and sayd neuer dyd I erst soo moche/ for no damoysel / And thenne sir launcelot bitoke the fair mayden his shelde in kepyng / and praid her to kepe that vntyl that he came ageyne / and soo that nyghte he had mery rest & grete chere / For euer the damoysel Elayne was aboute sire Launcelot alle the whyle she myghte be suffred

Capitulum x

SOo vpon a daye on the morne kynge Arthur and al his knyghtes departed / for theire kynge had taryed thre dayes to abyde his noble knyghtes / And soo whanne the kynge was ryden / sir launcelot and sire Lauayne made hem redy to ryde / and eyther of hem had whyte sheldes / and the reed sleue sir Launcelot lete cary with hym / and soo they tooke their leue at syr Bernard the old baron / and att his doughter the faire mayden of Astolat / And thenne they rode soo long til that they came to Camelot that tyme called wynchestre / and there was grete prees of kynges / dukes / Erles / and barons/ and many noble knyghtes / But there sir launcelot was lodged pryuely by the meanes of sir lauayne with a ryche burgeis that no man in that toune was ware what they were / & soo they reposed them there til oure lady day assumpcyon as the grete feest sholde be / Soo thenne trumpets blewe vnto the felde / and kynge Arthur was sette on hyghe vpon a skafhold to beholde who dyd best / But as the Frensshe book saith / the kynge wold not suffer syre Gawayn to goo from hym / for neuer had sir Gawayn the better and sire launcelot were in the felde / & many tymes was sir Gawayn rebuked whan laūcelot cam in to ony Iustes desguysed / Thenne som of the kynges as kynge Anguysshe of Irland and the kynge of Scottes were that tyme torned vpon the syde of kynge Arthur /

¶ And Page  742 [leaf 371v] thenne on the other party was the kynge of Northgalys / and the kynge with the honderd knyghtes / and the kynge of Northumberland / and syre Galahad the haut prynce / But these thre kynges and this duke were passyng weyke to holde ageynst kynge Arthurs party / for with hym were the noblest knyghtes of the world / Soo thenne they withdrewe hem eyther party from other / and euery man made hym redy in his best maner to doo what he myghte /

¶ Thenne syre Launcelot made hym redy / and putte the reed sleue vpon his hede / and fastned it fast / and soo syre launcelot and syre Lauayne departed out of wynchestre pryuely / and rode vntyl a lytel leuyd wood / behynde the party that held ageynst kyng Arthurs party / and there they helde them stylle tyl the partyes smote to gyders / & thenne cam in the kynge of Scottes and the kyng of Irland on Arthurs party / and ageynst them came the kynge of Northumberland / and the kynge with the honderd knyghtes smote doun the kynge of Northumberland / and the kynge with the honderd knyghtes smote doune kynge Anguysshe of Irland / Thenne syre Palomydes that was on Arthurs party encountred with syre Galahad / and eyther of hem smote doune other / and eyther party halpe their lordes on horsbak ageyne / Soo there began a stronge assaile vpon bothe partyes / And thenne came in syr Brandyles / syre Sagramor le desyrus / sire Dodynas le saueage / sir kay le seneschal / sir Gryflet le fyse de dieu / sir Mordred / sir Melyot de logrys / syr Ozanna le cure hardy / sir Safyr / sir Epynogrys / syr Galleron of Galway / Alle these xv knyghtes were knyghtes of the table round / Soo these with moo other came in to gyders / and bete on bak the kynge of Northumberland and the kynge of Northwalys / whan sir launcelot sawe this as he houed in a lytil leued woode / thenne he sayd vnto syre lauayn / see yonder is a company of good knyghtes / and they hold them to gyders as bores that were chauffed with dogges / that is trouthe said syre Lauayne

¶Capitulum xj

Page  743 [leaf 372r]

¶ Capitulum xj

 

NOw sayd syre Launcelot / and ye wille helpe me a lytel / ye shalle see yonder felauship that chaseth now these men in oure syde that they shal go as fast bakward as they wente forward / Sir spare not said sire Lauayne / for I shall doo what I maye / Thenne sire Launcelot and sire Lauayne cam in at the thyckest of the prees / and there syre launcelot smote doune syr Brandyles / syre Sagramore / syre Dodynas/ sir Kay / syr Gryflet / and alle this he dyd with one spere / and sire Lauayne smote doune sire Lucan the buttelere / and sir Bedeuere / And thenne sire Launcelot gat another spere / & there he smote doune sir Agrauayne / sire Gaherys / and sir Mordred and sir Melyot de Logrys / and sir Lauayne smote doune Ozanna le cure hardy / and thenne sir Launcelot drewe his suerd and there he smote on the ryght hand and on the lyfte hand and by grete force he vnhorced syr Safyr / sire Epynogrys / & sir Galleron / and thenne the knyghtes of the table round withdrewe them abak after they had goten their horses as wel as they myghte / O mercy Ihesu said sire Gawayne what knyȝte is yonder that doth soo merueyllous dedes of armes in that felde / I wote not what he is sayd kynge Arthur / But as att this tyme I wille not name hym / syre sayd sire Gawayne I wold say it were syr launcelot by his rydynge and his buffets that I see hym dele / but euer me semeth it shold not be he for that he bereth the reed sleue vpon his hede / for I wyst hym neuer bere token at no Iustes of lady nor gentilwoman / Lete hym be said kynge Arthur / he wille be better knowen / and do more or euer he departe / Thenne the party that was ayenst kynge Arthur were wel comforted / and thenne they helde hem to gyders that before hand were sore rebuked / Thenne sir Bors sir Ector de marys and sir Lyonel called vnto them the knyȝtes of their blood / as sir Blamor de ganys / syre Bleoberys syr Alyduke / sir Galyhud / sire Galyhodyn / sir Bellangere le beuse / soo these nyne knyghtes of sir launcelots skynne threste in myghtely / for they were al noble knyghtes / and they of grete hate and despyte that they had vnto hym thoughte to rebuke that noble knyght sir launcelot & sir lauayne / for they Page  744 [leaf 372v] knewe hem not / and soo they cam hurlynge to gyders / & smote doune many knyghtes of northgalys and of northumberland And whanne sire launcelot sawe them fare soo / he gat a spere in his hand / and there encountred with hym al attones syr bors sir Ector and sire Lyonel / and alle they thre smote hym atte ones with their speres / And with fors of them self they smote sir launcelots hors to the erthe / and by mysfortune sir bors smote syre launcelot thurgh the shelde in to the syde / and the spere brake / and the hede lefte stylle in his syde / whan sir Lauayne sawe his maister lye on the ground / he ranne to the kynge of scottes / and smote hym to the erthe / and by grete force he took his hors / and brought hym to syr launcelot / and maulgre of them al he made hym to mounte vpon that hors / & thenne launcelot gat a spere in his hand / and there he smote syre Bors hors and man to the erthe / in the same wyse he serued syre Ector and syre Lyonel / and syre Lauayne smote doune sir Blamore de ganys / And thenne sir launcelot drewe his suerd for he felte hym self so sore y hurte that he wende there to haue had his dethe / And thenne he smote sire Bleoberys suche a buffet on the helmet that he felle doune to the erthe in a swoun And in the same wyse he serued sir Alyduk / and sir Galyhud And sire Lauayne smote doune syr Bellangere that was the sone of Alysaunder le orphelyn / and by this was sire Bors horsed / and thenne he came with sire Ector and syr Lyonel / & alle they thre smote with suerdes vpn syre launcelots helmet/ And whan he felte their buffets / and his wounde the whiche was soo greuous than he thought to doo what he myght whyle he myght endure / And thenne he gaf syr Bors suche a buffet that he made hym bowe his heed passynge lowe / and there with al he raced of his helme / and myght haue slayne hym / & soo pulled hym doune / and in the same wyse he serued syre Ector and sire Lyonel / For as the book saith he myghte haue slayne them / but whan he sawe their vysages / his herte myght not serue hym therto / but lefte hem there

¶ And thenne afterward he hurled in to the thyckest prees of them alle and dyd there the merueyloust dedes of armes that euer man sawe or herde speke of / And euer sire Lauayne the good knyghte with hym / and there sire Launcelot with Page  745 [leaf 373r] his suerd smote doune and pulled doune as the Frensshe book maketh mencyon moo than thyrtty knyghtes / & the moost party were of the table round / and sire Lauayne dyd ful wel that day / for he smote doune ten knyghtes of the table round /

¶ Capitulum xij

MErcy Ihesu said syr Gawayne to Arthur I merueil what knyghte that he is with the reed sleue / Syr saide kynge Arthur he wille be knowen of he departe / and thenne the kynge blewe vnto lodgynge / and the pryce was gyuen by herowdes vnto the knyghte with the whyte shelde that bare the reed sleue / Thenne came the kynge with the honderd knyȝtes the kynge of Northgalys / and the kynge of Northumberland and sir Galahaut the haute prynce / and sayd vnto sire launcelot / fayre knyght god the blesse / for moche haue ye done this day for vs / therfor we praye yow that ye wille come with vs that ye may receyue the honour and the pryce as ye haue worshipfully deserued it / My faire lordes saide syre launcelot wete yow wel yf I haue deserued thanke / I haue sore bought hit and that me repenteth / for I am lyke neuer to escape with my lyf / therfor faire lordes I pray yow that ye wille suffer me to departe where me lyketh / for I am sore hurte / I take none force of none honour / for I had leuer to repose me than to be lord of alle the world / and there with al he groned pytously and rode a grete wallop away ward fro them vntyl he came vnder a woodes syde / And whan he sawe that he was from the felde nyghe a myle that he was sure he myghte not be sene / Thenne he said with an hyȝ voys / O gentyl knyght sir Lauayne helpe me that this truncheon were oute of my syde / for it stycketh so sore that it nyhe sleeth me / O myn owne lord said sir Lauayne I wold fayn do that myȝt please yow / but I drede me sore / & I pulle out the truncheon that ye shalle be in perylle of dethe / I charge you said sir launcelot as ye loue me drawe hit oute / & there with alle he descended from his hors / and ryght soo dyd sir Lauayn / and forth with al sir Lauayn drewe the truncheon out of his syde / and gaf a grete shryche and a merueillous Page  746 [leaf 373v] grysely grone / and the blood braste oute nyghe a pynt at ones that at the last he sanke doun vpon his buttoks & so swouned pale and dedely / Allas sayd sire Lauayne what shalle I doo And thenne he torned sir launcelot in to the wynde / but soo he laye there nyghe half an houre as he had ben dede / And so at the laste syre Launcelot caste vp his eyen / and sayd O Lauayn helpe me / that I were on my hors / for here is fast by within this two myle a gentyl heremyte that somtyme was a fulle noble knyghte and a grete lord of possessions / And for grete goodenes he hath taken hym to wylful pouerte / and forsaken many landes / and his name is sire Baudewyn of Bretayn and he is a full noble surgeon and a good leche / Now lete see / helpe me vp that I were there / for euer my herte gyueth me that I shalle neuer dye of my cosyn germayns handes / & thenne with grete payne sir Lauayne halpe hym vpon his hors And thenne they rode a grete wallop to gyders / and euer syr Launcelot bledde / that it ranne doune to the erthe / and so by fortune they came to that hermytage the whiche was vnder a wood / and grete clyf on the other syde / and a fayre water rennynge vnder it / And thenne sire Lauayn bete on the gate with the but of his spere / and cryed fast / Lete in for Ihesus sake/ and there came a fair chyld to them / and asked hem what they wold / Faire sone said syr Lauayne / goo and pray thy lord/ the heremyte for goddes sake to lete in here a knyghte that is ful sore wounded / and this day telle thy lord I sawe hym do more dedes of armes than euer I herd say ony man dyd Soo the chyld wente in lyghtely / and thenne he brought the heremyte the whiche was a passynge good man / Whan syr lauayne sawe hym he prayd hym for goddes sake of socour / what knyght is he sayd the heremyte / is he of the hows of kyng arthur or not / I wote not said sire Lauayne what is he / nor what is his name / but wel I wote I sawe hym doo merueylously this daye as of dedes of armes / On whos party was he sayd the heremyte / syre said syre Lauayne he was this daye ageynst kynge Arthur / and there he wanne the pryce of alle the knyghtes of the round table / I haue sene the daye sayd the heremyte / I wold haue loued hym the werse / by cause he was ageynst my lord kynge Arthur / for somtyme I was one Page  747 [leaf 374r] of the felauship of the round table / but I thanke god now I am otherwyse disposed / But where is he / lete me see hym/ Thenne sir Lauayne broughte the heremyte to hym

¶ Capitulum xiij

ANd whan the heremyte beheld hym as he sat lenynge vpon his sadel bowe euer bledynge pytously / and euer the knyghte heremyte thoughte that he shold knowe hym but he coude not brynge hym to knouleche / by cause he was soo pale for bledynge / what knyghte are ye sayd the heremyte / and where were ye borne / My fayre lord sayd syre Launcelot I am a straunger and a knyghte auenturous that laboureth thurȝ oute many Realmes for to wynne worship / Thenne the heremyte aduysed hym better / and sawe by a wound on his cheke that he was syr Launcelot / Allas sayd the heremyte myn owne lord why layne you your name from me /

¶ For sothe I oughte to knowe yow of ryȝt / for ye are the moost noblest knyghte of the world / for wel I knowe yow for sire launcelot Sire said he sythe ye knowe me / helpe me and ye may for goddes sake / for I wold be oute of this payne at ones / outher to dethe or to lyf / Haue ye no doubte sayd the heremyte ye shall lyue and fare ryght wel / and soo the heremyte called to hym two of his seruauytes / and so he and his seruauntes bare hym in to the hermytage / and lyghtely vnarmed hym / and leyd hym in his bedde / And thenne anone the heremyte staunched his blood and made hym to drynke good wyn so that sir launcelot was wel refresshed and knewe hym self / For in these dayes it was not the guyse of heremytes as is now a dayes For there were none heremytes in tho dayes but that they had ben men of worshyp and of prowesse / and tho heremytes helde grete housholde / and refresshyd peple that were in distresse /

¶ Now torne we vnto kynge Arthur and leue we sir launcelot in the hermytage /

¶ Soo whan the kynges were comen to gyders on bothe partyes / and the grete feeste shold be holden kynge Arthur asked the kynge of Northgalys and theyr felaushyp where was that knyghte that bare the reed sleue / brynge hym afore me that he may haue his lawde and honour &Page  748 [leaf 374v] the pryce as it is ryght / Thenne spake sir Galahad the haute prynce and the kynge with the hondred knyghtes / we suppose that knyghte is mescheued & that he is neuer lyke to see yow nor none of vs alle / and that is the grettest pyte that euer we wyste of ony knyghte / Allas sayd Arthur how may this be / is he soo hurte / What is his name sayd kynge Arthur / Truly said they all we knowe not his name / nor from whens he cam nor whyder he wold / Allas sayd the kynge this be to me the werst tydynges that came to me this seuen yere / For I wold not for alle the londes I welde to knowe and wete it were so that that noble knyght were slayne / knowe ye hym sayd they al /

¶ As for that sayd Arthur / whether I knowe hym or knowe hym not / ye shal not knowe for me what man he is but almyghty ihesu sende me good good tydynges of hym and soo said they alle / By my hede said sire Gawayn yf it soo be that the good knyghte be so sore hurte / hit is grete dommage and pyte to alle this land / For he is one of the noblest knyghtes that euer I sawe in a felde handle a spere or a suerd / And yf he maye be founde I shalle fynde hym / For I am sure he nys not fer fro this towne / bere yow wel sayd kynge Arthur / and ye may fynde hym onles that he be in suche a plyte that he may not welde hym self / Ihesu defende sayd sir Gawayne / but wete I shalle what he is and I may fynde hym / Ryght soo syre Gawayne took a squyer with hym vpon hakneis and rode al aboute Camelot within vj or seuen myle / but soo he came ageyne and coude here no word of hym / Thenne within two dayes kynge Arthur and alle the felaushyp retorned vnto london ageyne / And soo as they rode by the waye / hit happed sir Gawayne at Astolat to lodge wyth syr Bernard / there as was syr Launcelot lodged / and soo as sire Gawayn was in his chamber to repose hym / syr Barnard the old Baron came vnto hym and his doughter Elayne to chere hym and to aske hym what tydynges and who dyd best at that turnement of wynchester / Soo god me help said syre Gawayne there were two knyghtes that bare two whyte sheldes / but the one of hem bare a reed sleue vpon his hede and certaynly he was one of the best knyghtes that euer I sawe Iuste in felde / For I dare say sayd sire Gawayne that one knyght Page  749 [leaf 375r] with the reed sleue smote doune fourty knyghtes of the table round / and his felawe dyd ryght wel and worshypfully /

¶ Now blessid be god sayd the fayre mayden of Astolat that that knyght sped soo wel / for he is the man in the world that I fyrst loued / and truly he shalle be laste that euer I shalle loue // Now fayre mayde sayd sir Gawayne is that good knyght your loue / Certaynly sir sayd she / were ye wel he is my loue / thenne knowe ye his name sayd sire gawayne / Nay truly said the damoysel / I knowe not his name not from whens he cometh / but to say that I loue hym I promyse you and god that I loue hym / how had ye knouleche of hym fyrst said sire Gawayne

¶ Capitulum xiiij

THenne she told hym as ye haue herd to fore / and hou her fader betoke hym her broder to doo hym seruyse / and how her fader lente hym her broders syr Tyrreis shelde / and herre with me he lefte his owne sheld / For what cause dyd he so said sir Gawayne / For this cause sayd the damoysel / for his sheld was to wel knowen amonge many noble knyghtes / A fayr damoyfel sayd sir Gawayne please hit yow lete me haue a syghte of that sheld / syre said she it is in my chamber couerd with a caas / and yf ye wille come with me / ye shalle see hit / Not soo sayd syre Barnard tyl his doughter lete sende for it Soo whan the sheld was comen / sir Gawayne took of the caas / And whanne he beheld that sheld he knewe anone that hit was sir launcelots shelde / and his ownes armes / A Ihesu mercy sayd syr Gawayne now is my herte more heuyer than euer it was tofore why sayd Elayne / for I haue grete cause sayd sire Gawayne / is that knyght that oweth this shelde your loue ye truly said she my loue he is / god wold I were his loue/ Soo god me spede sayd sire Gawayne fair damoysel ye haue ryght / for and he be your loue / ye loue the moost honourable knyghte of the world and the man of moost worshyp / So me thoughte euer said the damoysel / for neuer or that tyme for no knyghte that euer I sawe / loued I neuer none erst /

¶ God graunte sayd sire Gawayne that eyther of yow maye reioyse Page  750 [leaf 375v] other / but that is in grete aduenture / But truly said sir gawayne vnto the damoysel / ye may saye ye haue a fayre grace for why I haue knowen that noble knyght this four and twenty yere / and neuer or that day / I nor none other knyghte / I dare make good / sawe / nor herd saye that euer he bare token or sygne of no lady / gentilwoman / ne mayden at no Iustes nor turnement / And therfor fayre mayden saide sire Gawayne ye ar moche beholden to hym to gyue hym thankes / But I drede me sayd sire Gawayne that ye shalle neuer see hym in thys world / and that is grete pyte / that euer was of erthely knyght / Allas sayd she / how may this be / is he slayne / I say not soo said sire Gawayne / but wete ye wel / he is greuously wounded by alle maner of sygnes and by mens syghte more lykelyer to be dede than to be on lyue / and wete ye wel he is the noble knyghte sire launcelot / for by this sheld I knowe hym Allas said the fayre mayden of Astolat / how maye this be / and what was his hurte / Truly said sire Gawayne the man in the world that loued hym best / hurte hym soo / and I dare say sayd sir Gawayne / and that knyghte that hurte hym knewe the veray certaynte that he had hurte sire Launcelot / it wold be the moost sorowe that euer came to his herte / Now fair fader said thenne Elayne I requyre yow gyue me leue to ryde and to seke hym / or els I wote wel I shalle go oute of my mynde / for I shalle neuer stynte tyl that I fynde hym / and my broder syre Lauayne / Doo as it lyketh yow sayd her fader / for me sore repenteth of the hurte of that noble knyghte

¶ Ryghte soo the mayde made her redy and before syre Gawayne makynge grete dole / Thenne on the morne syr Gawayne came to kynge Arthur / and told hym how he had fonde sire Launcelots shelde in the kepynge of the fayre mayden of Astolat / Alle that knewe I afore hand sayd kynge Arthur and that caused me I wold not suffer you to haue adoo atte grete Iustes / for I aspyed said kynge Arthur whan he cam in tyl his lodgynge ful late in the euenynge in Astolat / But merueille haue I said Arthur that euer he wold bere ony sygne of ony damoysel / For or now I neuer herd say nor knewe that euer he bare ony token of none erthely woman / By my hede said sir Gawayne the fayre mayden of Astolat loueth Page  751 [leaf 376r] hym merueyllously wel / what it meaneth I can not saye / & she is ryden after to seke hym / Soo the kynge and alle cam to london / and there sire Gawayne openly disclosed to alle the Courte that it was sire Launcelot that Iusted best

¶ Capitulum xv

ANd whanne sir Bors herd that wete ye wel / he was an heuy man / and soo were alle his kynnesmen / But whan quene Gueneuer wyste that syre Launcelot bare the reed sleue / of the fayre mayden of Astolat / she was nyghe oute of her mynde for wrathe /

¶ And thenne she sente for syr Bors de ganys in alle the hast that myghte be / Soo whanne sire Bors was come to fore the quene / thene she sayd / A sire Bors haue ye herd say how falsly sir launcelot hath bytrayed me / Allas madame said sire Bors / I am aferd he hath bytrayed hym self and vs alle / No force said the quene though he be destroyed / for he is a fals traytour knyghte / Madame sayd sir Bors I pray yow saye ye not so / for wete yow wel / I maye not here suche langage of hym / why sire Bors sayd she / shold I not calle hym traytour whan he bare the reed sleue vpon his hede at wynchestre at the grete Iustes / Madame sayd syre Bors that sleeue beryng repenteth me sore / but I dar say he dyd it to none euylle entente / but for this cause he bare the reed sleue that none yf his blood shold knowe hym / For or thenne we nor none of vs alle neuer knewe that euer he bare token or sygne of mayde / lady / ne gentylwoman / Fy on hym said the quene / yet for all his pryde and bobaunce there ye proued your self his better / Nay madame saye ye neuer more soo for he bete me / and my felawes / and myghte haue slayne vs and he had wold / Fy on hym sayd the quene / For I herd sir Gawayne saye bifore my lord Arthur that it were merueil to telle the grete loue that is bitwene the fayre mayden of Astolat and hym / Madame saide syre Bors I maye not warne syr Gawayne to say what it pleasyd hym / But I dare fay as for my lord syre Launcelot that he loueth no lady gentilwoman nor mayde / but all he loueth in lyke moche / and therfor Page  752 [leaf 376v] madame said sir Bors / ye may saye what ye wylle / but wete ye wel I wille haste me to seke hym / and fynde hym where someuer he be / and god sende me good tydynges of hym / and soo leue we them there / and speke we of sire launcelot that lay in grete perylle / Soo as fayr Elayne cam to wynchestre / she soughte there al aboute / and by fortune syr Lauayne was ryden to playe hym to enchauffe his hors / And anone as Elayne sawe hym she knewe hym / And thenne she cryed on loude vntyl hym / And whan he herd her / anone he came to her / and thenne she asked her broder how dyd my lord sire launcelot / Who told yow syster that my lordes name was sir Launcelot thenne she told hym how sire Gawayne by his sheld knewe hym / Soo they rode to gyders tyl that they cam to the hermytage / and anone she alyghte / So sir Lauayne broughte her in to sire launcelot / And whanne she sawe hym lye so seke & pale in his bedde / she myght not speke / but sodenly she felle to the erthe doune sodenly in swoun / and there she lay a grete whyle/ And whanne she was releuyd / she shryked / and saide my lord sire Launcelot Allas why be ye in this plyte / and thenne she swouned ageyne / And thenne sir Launcelot prayd syre Lauayne to take her vp / and brynge her to me / And whan she cam to her self sire Launcelot kyst her / and said / Fair mayden why fare ye thus / ye put me to payne wherfor make ye nomore suche chere / for and ye be come to comforte me / ye be ryȝt welcome / and of this lytel hurte that I haue I shal be ryghte hastely hole by the grace of god / But I merueylle sayd sir Launcelot / who told yow my name / thenne the fayre mayden told hym alle how sire Gawayne was lodged with her fader and there by your sheld he discouerd your name / Allas sayd sir launcelot that me repenteth that my name is knowen / for I am sure it wille torne vnto angre / And thenne sir launcelot compast in his mynde that syre Gawayne wold telle Quene Gueneuer / how he bare the reed sleue / and for whome / that he wyst wel wold torne vnto grete angre / Soo this mayden Elayne neuer wente from sir launcelot / but watched hym day and nyght / and dyd suche attendaunce to hym that the frensshe book saith / there was neuer woman dyd more kyndelyer for man than she / Thenne sir Launcelot prayd sir Lauayne to Page  753 [leaf 377r] make aspyes in wynchestre for sire Bors yf he came there / and told hym by what tokens he shold knowe hym by a wound in his forhede / for wel I am sure sayd sire launcelot / that syre Bors wille seke me / for he is the same good knyȝt that hurte me /

¶ Capitulum xvj

NOw torne we vnto sire Bors de ganys that cam vnto wynchestre to seke after his cosyn syre Launcelot / and soo whanne he cam to wynchestre / anone there were men that sire Lauayne had made to lye in a watche for suche a man and anone sir Lauayne had warnynge / and thenne sire Lauayne came to wynchestre / and fond sir Bors / and there he told hym what he was / and with whome he was / and what was his name /

¶ Now fayr knyghte said sire Bors I requyre yow that ye wille brynge me to my lord sir launcelot / Syre sayd sir Lauayne take your hors / & within this houre ye shall see hym / and soo they departed / and came to the hermytage /

¶ And whan sir Bors sawe sir launcelot lye in his bedde pale and discoloured / anone sir Bors lost his countenaunce / and for kyndenes and pyte / he myghte not speke / but wepte tendirly a grete whyle / And thenne whanne he myght speke / he said thus / O my lord sire launcelot god yow blysse / and send yow hasty recouer / And ful heuy am I of my mysfortune & of myn vnhappynes / for now I may calle my self vnhappy / & I drede me that god is gretely displeasyd with me that he wold suffre me to haue suche a shame for to hurte yow that ar alle oure leder / and alle oure worshyp / and therfor I calle my self vnhappy / Allas that euer suche a caytyf knyghte as I am shold haue power by vnhappynes to hurte the moost noblest knyghte of the world / where I soo shamefully set vpon yow and ouercharged yow / and where ye myghte haue slayne me ye saued me / and so dyd not I / For I and your blood did to yow our vtteraunce / I merueyle sayd sire Bors that my herte or my blood wold serue me / wherfor my lord sir launcelot I aske your mercy / Fair cosyn said sire Launcelot ye be ryght welcome / & wete ye wel / ouer moche ye say for to please Page  754 [leaf 377v] me / the whiche pleaseth me not / for why I haue the same y sought / for I wold with pryde haue ouercome yow alle / and there in my pryde I was nere slayne / and that was in myn owne defaute / for I myghte haue gyue yow warnyng of my beynge there / And thenne had I had noo hurte / for it is an old sayd sawe / there is hard bataille there as kynne & frendes doo bataille eyther ageynste other / there maye be no mercy but mortal warre / Therfor fair cosyn said sir launcelot / lete thys speche ouerpasse and alle shalle be welcome that god sendeth and lete vs leue of this mater / and lete vs speke of somme reioycynge / for this that is done maye not be vndone / and lete vs fynde a remedy how soone that I may be hole / Thenne sire Bors lened vpon his beddes syde / and told sire Launcelot how the quene was passynge wrothe with hym / by cause he ware the reed sleue at the grete Iustes / and there sir Bors told hym alle how sir Gawayne discouered hit by youre sheld that ye lefte with the fayre mayden of Astolat / Thenne is the quene wrothe said sir launcelot / and therfor am I ryght heuy / for I deserued no wrath / for alle that I dyd was by cause I wold not be knowen / Ryght so excused I yow said sir Bors but alle was in vayne / for she sayd more largelyer to me thā I to yow now / But is this she said sire Bors that is so besy aboute yow / that men calle the fayre mayden of Astolat / She it is said sire launcelot that by no meanes I can not putte her from me / why shold ye putte her from you said sire Bors / she is a passynge fayre damoysel and a wel bisene and wel taughte / and god wold fayre cosyn said syre Bors that ye coude loue her / but as to that I may not / nor I dare not counceyle yow / But I see wel sayd sir Bors by her dylygence aboute you that she loueth you entierly / that me repenteth said sir Laūcelot / syr said syr Bors / she is not the fyrst that hath loste her payn vpon yow / and that is the more pyte / and soo they talked of many moo thynges / And soo within thre dayes or four sire launcelot was bygge and stronge ageyne

¶ Capitulum xvij

Page  755 [leaf 378r]

¶ Capitulum xvij

THenne sire Bors told sire launcelot how there was sworne a grete turnement and Iustes betwixe kynge Arthur and the kynge of Northgalys that sholde be vpon al halowmasse day besyde wynchestre / is that trouthe said sir launcelot / thenne shalle ye abyde with me styl a lytyll whyle vntyl that I be hole / for I fele myself ryght bygge & stronge / Blessid be god said syr Bors / thenne were they there nygh a moneth to gyders / and euer this mayden Elayn dyd euer her dylygente labour nyghte and daye vnto syr launcelot / that ther was neuer child nor wyf more meker to her fader and husband than was that fayre mayden of Astolat/ wherfore sir Bors was gretely pleasyd with her / Soo vpon a day by the assente of syr launcelot / syre Bors and syre lauayne they made the heremyte to seke in woodes for dyuerse herbes / and soo sir launcelot made fayre Elayne to gadre herbes for hym to make hym a bayne / In the meane whyle syr launcelot made hym to arme hym at alle pyeces / and there he thoughte to assaye his armour and his spere for his hurte or not And soo whan he was vpon his hors / he stered hym fyersly / and the hors was passynge lusty and fresshe by cause he was not laboured a moneth afore / And thenne syr Launcelot couched that spere in the reest / that courser lepte myghtely whan he felte the spores / and he that was vpon hym the whiche was the noblest hors of the world strayned hym myghtely and stably / and kepte stylle the spere in the reest / and ther with syre Launcelot strayned hym self soo straytly with soo grete force to gete the hors forward that the buttom of his wound brast bothe within and withoute / and there with alle the blood cam oute so fyersly that he felte hym self soo feble that he myghte not sytte vpon his hors / And thenne syr Launcelot cryed vnto syr Bors / A syr Bors and syr Lauayne helpe for I am come to myn ende / And there with he felle doun on the one syde to the erthe lyke a dede corps / And thenne syr Bors and syr Lauayne came to hym with sorowe makyng out of mesure / And soo by fortune the mayden Elayn herd their mornyng / & thenne she came thyder / & whan she fond syr Launcelot there armed in that place / she cryed & wepte as she had ben woode / &Page  756 [leaf 378v] thenne she kyst hym / & dyd what she myghte to awake hym/ And thenne she rebuked her broder and sir Bors / and called hem fals traytours / why they wold take hym out of his bedde / there she cryed and sayd / she wold appele them of his deth / With this came the holy heremyte syr Bawdewyn of bretayne / And whan he fond syr launcelot in that plyte / he sayd but lytel / but wete ye wel he was wrothe / and thenne he bad hem / lete vs haue hym in / And so they alle bare hym vnto the hermytage / and vnarmed hym / and layd hym in his bedde / & euer more his wound bledde pytously / but he stered no lymme of hym / Thenne the knyghte heremyte put a thynge in his nose and a lytel dele of water in his mouthe / And thenne sir launcelot waked of his swoune / and thenne the heremyte staunched his bledynge / And whan he myghte speke / he asked sir launcelot / why he putte his lyf in Ieopardy / Sir said syre Launcelot by cause I wende I had ben stronge / and also syre Bors told me / that there shold be at al halowmasse a grete Iustes betwixe kynge Arthur and the kynge of Northgalys / and therfor I thoughte to assaye hit my self / whether I myght be there or not / A syr launcelot sayd the heremyte / your herte & your courage wille neuer be done vntyl your last day / but ye shal doo now by my counceylle / lete sire Bors departe from yow / & lete hym doo at that turnement what he may / and by the grace of god sayd the knyghte heremyte by that the turnement be done and ye come hydder ageyne / syr launcelot shall be as hole as ye / soo that he wil be gouerned by me /

Capitulum xviij

THenne sire Bors made hym redy to departe from syre launcelot / and thenne sire launcelot sayd / Faire cosyn syr Bors recommaunde me vnto all them / vnto whome me oughte to recommaunde me vnto / and I pray yow / enforce your self at that Iustes that ye maye be best for my loue / & here shalle I abyde yow at the mercy of god tyl ye come ageyne and so sir Bors departed & came to the courte of kyng arthur and told hem in what place he had lefte syre launcelot / that me repenteth said the kynge / but syn he shall haue his lyf we all may thanke god / and there syre Bors told the Quene in what Ieopardy syre Launcelot was / whanne he wold assaye Page  757 [leaf 379r] his hors / and alle that he dyd madame was for the loue of yow / by cause he wold haue ben at this turnement / Fy on hym recreaunt knyghte sayd the quene / For wete ye wel I am ryght sory and he shalle haue his lyf / his lyf shalle he haue said syr Bors / and who that wold other wyse excepte you madame / we that ben of his blood shold helpe to shorte theire lyues / but madame sayd syr Bors ye haue ben oftymes displesyd with my lord syr launcelot / but at all tymes at the ende ye fynde hym a true knyghte and soo he departed / And thenne euery knyghte of the round table that were there at that tyme present made them redy to be at that Iustes at all halowmasse and thyder drewe many knyghtes of dyuerse countreyes And as al halowemasse drewe nere / thydder came the kynge of Northgalys / and the kynge with the honderd knyghtes / & syr Galahaut the haute prynce of Surluse / and thydder came kynge Anguysshe of Irland / and the kynge of Scottes / soo these thre kynges came on kynge Arthurs party / and soo that daye syre Gawayne dyd grete dedes of armes / and began fyrst And the herowdes nombred that sir Gawayne smote doune xx knyghtes / Thenne syr Bors de ganys came in the same tyme and he was nombred that he smote doune twenty knyghtes / And therfor the pryce was gyuen betwixe them bothe / for they began fyrst and lengest endured /

¶ Also syr Gareth as the book sayth dyd that daye grete dedes of armes / for he smote doune and pulled doune thyrtty knyghtes / But whan he had done these dedes / he taryed not / but soo departed / and therfor he lost his pryce / & sir Palomydes did grete dedes of armes that day / for he smote doun twenty knyȝtes / but he departed sodenly / & men demed syre Gareth & he rode to gyders to somme maner aduentures / Soo whan this turnement was done / syr Bors departed / & rode tyl he came to syre launcelot his cosyn / & thenne he fonde hym walkynge on his feet / & ther eyther made grete Ioye of other / & so sire Bors tolde syr launcelot of all the Iustes lyke as ye haue herde / I merueille said sir launcelot that syre Gareth whan he had done suche dedes of armes that he wolde not tary / therof we merueyled al saide syr Bors / for but yf it were yow or syr Tristram or syre lamorak de galys I sawe neuer knyȝt bere doune soo many in Page  758 [leaf 379v] so lytel a whyle as dyd syr Gareth / And anone as he was gone we wyste not where / By my hede said sir launcelot he is a noble knyghte / and a myghty man / and wel brethed / and yf he were wel assayed said sir Launcelot / I wold deme he were good ynough for ony knyghte that bereth the lyf / and he is a gentyl knyghte / curtois / true / and bounteuous / meke and mylde / and in hym is no maner of male engyn / but playne / feythful and trewe / Soo thenne they made hem redy to departe from the heremyte / and so vpon a morne they took their horses and Elayne le blank with them / And whan they came to Astolat / there were they wel lodged and had grete chere of syre Bernard the old baron / and of sir Tyrre his sone / and so vpon the morne whan syr Launcelot shold departe / fayre Elayne brouȝt her fader with her and sir Lauayne and sir Tyrre and thus she said

Capitulum xix

MY lord syr Launcelot now I see ye wylle departe Now fayre knyghte and curtois knyghte haue mercy vpon me / and suffer me not to dye for thy loue / what wold ye that I dyd said syr launcelot / I wold haue you to my husbond sayd Elayne / Fair damoysel I thanke yow sayd syr Launcelot / but truly sayd he I cast me neuer to be wedded man / thenne fair knyght said she / wylle ye be my peramour / Ihesu defende me said syr launcelot / for thenne I rewarded your fader and your broder ful euylle for their grete goodenes Allas sayd she / thenne must I dye for your loue / ye shal not so said syre launcelot / for wete ye wel fayr mayden I myght haue ben maryed & I had wolde / but I neuer applyed me to be maryed yet / but by cause fair damoysel that ye loue me as ye saye ye doo / I wille for your good wylle and kyndenes shewe yow somme goodenes / & that is this / that were someuer ye wille beset youre herte vpon somme goode knyghte that wylle wedde yow / I shalle gyue yow to gyders a thousand pound yerely to yow & to your heyres / thus moche will I gyue yow faire madame for your kyndenes / & alweyes whyle I lyue to be your owne knyghte

¶ Of alle this saide the mayden I wille none / for but yf ye wille wedde me or ellys be Page  759 [leaf 380r] my peramour at the leest / wete yow wel sir launcelot my good dayes are done / Fair damoysel sayd sir launcelot of these ij thynges ye must pardonne me / thenne she shryked shyrly / and felle doune in a swoune / and thenne wymmen bare her in to her chamber / and there she made ouer moche sorowe / and thenne sir launcelot wold departe / and there he asked sir Lauayn what he wold doo / what shold I doo said syre lauayne but folowe yow / but yf ye dryue me from yow / or commaunde me to goo from yow / Thenne came sir Bernard to sir launcelot and sayd to hym / I can not see but that my doughter Elayne wille dye for your sake / I maye not doo with alle said sir launcelot / for that me sore repenteth / For I reporte me to youre self that my profer is fayre / and me repenteth said syr launcelot that she loueth me as she doth / I was neuer the causer of hit / for I reporte me to youre sone I erly ne late profered her bounte nor faire byhestes / and as for me said sir launcelot I dare do alle that a knyght shold doo that she is a clene mayden for me bothe for dede and for wille / And I am ryght heuy of her distresse / for she is a ful fayre mayden good and gentyl and well taughte / Fader said sir Lauayne I dar make goood she is a clene mayden as for my lord sir launcelot / but she doth as I doo / For sythen I fyrst sawe my lord sir launcelot I coude neuer departe from hym nor nought I wylle and I maye folowe hym / Thenne sir Launcelot took his leue / and soo they departed / and came vnto wynchestre / And whan Arthur wyste that syr launcelot was come hole and sound / the kynge maade grete ioye of hym / and soo dyd sir Gawayn and all the knyȝtes of the round table excepte sir Agrauayn and sire Mordred

¶ Also quene Gueneuer was woode wrothe with sir launcelot and wold by no meanes speke with hym / but enstraunged her self from hym / and sir launcelot made alle the meanes that he myght for to speke with the quene / but hit wolde not be /

¶ Now speke we of the fayre mayden of Astolat that made suche sorowe daye and nyght that she neuer slepte / ete / nor drank / and euer she made her complaynt vnto sir Launcelot / so when she had thus endured a ten dayes / that she febled so that she must nedes passe out of thys world / thenne she shryued her clene / and receyued her creatoure / And euer she complayned Page  760 [leaf 380v] stylle vpon sire launcelot / Thenne her ghoostly fader bad her leue suche thoughtes / Thenne she sayd why shold I leue suche thoughtes / am I not an erthely woman / and alle the whyle the brethe is in my body I may complayne me / for my byleue is I doo none offence / though I loue an erthely man / and I take god to my record I loued none but sir launcelot du lake nor neuer shall / and a clene mayden I am for hym and for alle other / and sythen hit is the sufferaunce of god / that I shalle dye for the loue of soo noble a knyghte / I byseche the hyghe fader of heuen to haue mercy vpon my sowle / and vpon myn innumerable paynes that I suffred may be allygeaunce of parte of my synnes / For swete lord Ihesu sayd the fayre mayden I take the to record / on the I was neuer grete offenser ageynst thy lawes / but that I loued this noble knyght sire launcelot out of mesure / and of my self good lord I myght not withstande the feruent loue wherfor I haue my dethe / And thenne she called her fader sire Bernard and her broder sir Tyrre / and hertely she praid her fader that her broder myght wryte a letter lyke as she did endyte hit / and so her fader graunted her / And whan the letter was wryten word by word lyke as she deuysed / thenne she prayd her fader that she myght be watched vntyl she were dede / and whyle my body is hote / lete this letter be putt in my ryght hand / and my hande boūde fast with the letter vntyl that I be cold / and lete me be putte in a fayre bedde with alle the rychest clothes that I haue aboute me / and so lete my bedde and alle my rychest clothes be laide with me in a charyot vnto the next place where Temse is / and there lete me be putte within a barget / & but one man with me / suche as ye trust to stere me thyder / and that my barget be couerd with blak samyte ouer and ouer / Thus fader I byseche yow lete hit be done / soo her fader graunted hit her feythfully / alle thynge shold be done lyke as she had deuysed / Thenne her fader and her broder made grete dole / for when this was done / anone she dyed / And soo whan she was dede / the corps and the bedde alle was ledde the next way vnto Temse / and there a man and the corps & alle were put in to Temse / and soo the man styred the barget vnto westmynster / and there he rowed a grete whyle to & fro or ony aspyed hit

Page  761 [leaf 381r]

¶ Capitulum xx

SOo by fortune kynge Arthur and the quene Gueneuer were spekynge to gyders at a wyndowe / and soo as they loked in to Temse / they aspyed this blak barget / and hadde merueylle what it mente / thenne the kynge called sire kay / & shewed hit hym / Sir said sir kay wete you wel there is some newe tydynges / Goo thyder sayd the kynge to sir kay / & take with yow sire Brandyles and Agrauayne / and brynge me redy word that is there / Thenne these four knyghtes departed and came to the barget and wente in / and there they fond the fayrest corps lyenge in a ryche bedde and a poure man sittyng in the bargets ende and no word wold he speke / Soo these foure knyghtes retorned vnto the kyng ageyne and told hym what they fond / That fayr corps wylle I see sayd the kynge And soo thenne the kyng took the quene by the hand / & went thydder / Thenne the kynge made the barget to be holden fast / & thenne the kyng & þe quene entred with certayn knyȝtes wyth them / and there he sawe the fayrest woman lye in a ryche bedde couerd vnto her myddel with many ryche clothes / and alle was of clothe of gold / and she lay as though she had smyled / Thenne the quene aspyed a letter in her ryght hand / and told it to the kynge / Thenne the kynge took it and sayd / now am I sure this letter wille telle what she was / and why she is come hydder / Soo thenne the kynge and the quene wente oute of the barget / and soo commaunded a certayne wayte vpon the barget / And soo whan the kynge was come within his chāber / he called many knyghtes aboute hym / & saide that he wold wete openly what was wryten within that letter / thenne the kynge brake it / & made a clerke to rede hit / & this was the entente of the letter / Moost noble kynghte sir Launcelot / now hath dethe made vs two at debate for your loue I was your louer that men called the fayre mayden of Astolat / therfor vnto alle ladyes I make my mone / yet praye for my soule & bery me atte leest / & offre ye my masse peny / this is my last request and a clene mayden I dyed I take god to wytnes / pray for my soule sir launcelot as thou art pierles / this was alle the Page  762 [leaf 381v] substance in the letter / And whan it was redde / the kyng / the quene and alle the knyghtes wepte for pyte of the doleful cōplayntes / Thenne was sire Launcelot sente for / And whan he was come / kynge Arthur made the letter to be redde to hym / And whanne sire launcelot herd hit word by word / he sayd my lord Arthur / wete ye wel I am ryghte heuy of the dethe of this fair damoysel / god knoweth I was neuer causer of her dethe by my wyllynge / & that wille I reporte me to her own broder / here he is sir Lauayne / I wille not saye nay sayd syre Launcelot / but that she was bothe fayre and good / and moche / I was beholden vnto her / but she loued me out of mesure / Ye myght haue shewed her sayd the quene somme bounte and gentilnes that myghte haue preserued her lyf / madame sayd sir launcelot / she wold none other wayes be ansuerd / but that she wold be my wyf / outher els my peramour / and of these two I wold not graunte her / but I proferd her for her good loue that she shewed me a thousand pound yerly to her / and to her heyres / and to wedde ony manere knyghte that she coude fynde best to loue in her herte / For madame said sir launcelot I loue not to be constrayned to loue / For loue muste aryse of the herte / and not by no constraynte / That is trouth sayd the kynge / and many knyghtes loue is free in hym selfe / and neuer wille be bounden / for where he is bounden / he looseth hym self / Thenne sayd the kynge vnto sire Launcelot / hit wyl be your worshyp that ye ouer see that she be entered worshypfully / Sire sayd sire Launcelot that shalle be done as I can best deuyse / and soo many knyghtes yede thyder to behold that fayr mayden / and soo vpon the morne she was entered rychely / and sir launcelot offryd her masse peny / and all the knyȝtes of the table round that were there at that tyme offryd with syr launcelot / And thenne the poure man wente ageyne with the barget /

¶ Thenne the quene sente for syr Launcelot / & prayd hym of mercy / for why that she had ben wrothe with hym causeles / this is not the fyrste tyme said sir launcelot that ye haue ben displeasyd with me causeles / but madame euer I must suffre yow / but what sorowe I endure I take no force / Soo this paste on alle that wynter with alle manere of huntynge and haukyng / and Iustes and torneyes were many Page  763 [leaf 382r] betwixe many grete lordes / and euer in al places sir Lauayne gate grete worshyp / soo that he was nobly renomed amonge many knyghtes of the table round

Capitulum xxj

THus it past on tyl Crystmasse / And thenne euery day there was Iustes made for a dyamond / who that Iusted best shold haue a dyamond / but syr laūcelot wold not Iuste but yf it were at a grete Iuftes cryed / but syr lauayne Iusted there alle that Crystemasse passyngly wel / and best was praysed / for there were but fewe that dyd so wel / wherfore alle manere of knyghtes demed that sir lauayne shold be made knyghte of the table round at the nexte feeste of Pentecost / Soo at after Crystmasse kynge Arthur lete calle vnto hym many knyghtes / and there they aduysed to gyders to make a party and a grete turnement and Iustes / and the kynge of Northgalys sayd to Arthur / he wold haue on his party kynge Anguysshe of Irland / and the kynge with the honderd knyghtes / and the kynge of Northumberland / and sire Galahad the haute prynce / and soo these foure kynges & this myghty duke took party ageynst kynge Arthur and the kynghtes of the table round / and the crye was made that the day of the Iustes shold be besyde westmynstre vpon candylmas day wherof many knyghtes were glad / and made them redy to be at that Iustes in the freyssheyst maner / Thenne quene Gueneuer sent for syr launcelot / and said thus I warne yow that ye ryde ny more in no Iustes nor turnementys / but that youre kynnesmen may knowe yow / And at thise Iustes that shall be ye shalle haue of me a sleue of gold / and I pray yow for my sake enforce your self there that men may speke of yow worship / but I charge yow as ye will haue my loue that ye warne youre kynnesmen / that ye wille bere that daye the sleue of gold vpon your helmet / Madame said sir launcelot it shalle be don / and soo eyther made grete ioye of other / And whan syre Launcelot sawe his tyme / he told sir Bors that he wold departe / & haue no more with hym but sir Lauayne vnto the good heremyte that dwellid in that forest of Wyndsoore / his name Page  764 [leaf 382v] was sire Brastias / and there he thoughte to repose hym / and to take alle the rest that he myghte be cause he wold be fresshe at that daye of Iustes / Soo sire Launcelot and sire Lauayne departed that noo creature wyst where he was become / but the noble men of his blood / And whanne he was come to the hermytage / wete yow wel he had good chere / and soo dayly syr launcelot wold goo to a welle fast by the hermytage / & there he wold lye doune / and see the welle sprynge and burbyl / & somtyme he slepte there /

¶ So at that tyme there was a lady dwellid in that forest / and she was a grete huntresse / & dayly she vsed to hunte / and euer she bare her bowe with her / and no men wente neuer with her / but alwayes wymmen / and they were shoters / and coude wel kylle a dere bothe at the stalke & at the trest / and they dayly bare bowes and arowes / hornes & wood knyues / and many good dogges they had / both for the strynge and for a bate / So hit happed this lady the huntresse had abated her dogge for the bowe at a barayne hynde / and so this barayne hynde took the flyghte ouer hedges and woodes And euer this lady and parte of her wymmen costed the hynde and chekked it by the noyse of the houndes to haue mette with the hynde at somme water / and soo hit happed the hynde came to the welle where as sire launcelot was slepyng & slomberynge / And soo whan the hynde came to the welle / for hete she wente to soyle / and there she lay a grete whyle / and the dogges came after / and vmbecast aboute / for she had lost the veray parfyte feaute of the hynde / Ryghte so came that lady the huntres that knewe by thy dogge that she had that the hynde was at the soyle in that welle / and there she cam styfly and fonde the hynde / and she put a brode arowe in her bowe / and shot atte hynde / and ouer shotte the hynde / and soo by mysfortune the arowe smote sir Launcelot in the thyck of the buttok ouer the barbys / whanne sir launcelot felte hym self so hurte / he hurled vp woodely / and sawe the lady that had smyten hym /

¶ And whan he sawe she was a woman / he sayd thus / lady / or damoysel what that thow be / in an euylle tyme bare ye a bowe / the deuylle made yow a shoter / Page  765 [leaf 383r]

¶ Capitulum xxij

NOw mercy fair sir said the lady I am a gentilwoman that vseth here in this forest huntynge / and god knoweth I sawe yow not / but as here was a barayn hynde at the soyle in this welle and I wend to haue done wel / but my hand swarued / Allas said syre launcelot ye haue mescheued me / and soo the lady departed / and sir launcelot as he myghte pulled oute the arowe / and lefte that hede styll in his buttok / and soo he wente weykely to the hermytage euer more bledynge as he went / And whan sir Lauayne and the heremyte aspyed that sir launcelot was hurte / wete yow wel they were passynge heuy / but sire Lauayne wyst not how that he was hurte nor by whome / And thenne were they wrothe out of mesure / thenne with grete payne the heremyte gat oute the arowes hede oute of syr launcelots buttok / and moche of his blood he shedde / and the wound was passynge fore / and vnhappyly smyten / for it was in suche a place that he myght not sytte in noo sadyl / A mercy Ihesu said sir Launcelot I may calle my self the moost vnhappyest man that lyueth for euer / whan I wold faynest haue worshyp / there befalleth me euer somme vnhappy thynge / Now soo Ihesu me helpe said sir launcelot / and yf no man wold but god / I shalle be in the felde vpon candelmasse daye at the Iustes what someuer falle of hit soo alle that myght be goten to hele sir launcelot was had /

¶ Soo whan the day was come / sir launcelot lete deuyse that he was arayed / and sir Lauayne and their horses as thouȝ they had ben sarazyns / and soo they departed and cam nygh to the felde / The kynge of Northgalys with an honderd knyghtes with hym / and the kynge of Northumberland broughte with hym an honderd good knyghtes / and kynge Anguysshe of Irland brought with hym an honderd good knyghtes redy to Iuste / and sir Galahalt the haute prynce broughte with hym an honderd good knyghtes / and the kynge with the honderd knyghtes brought with hym as many / and alle these were proued good knyghtes / Thenne cam in kyng Arthurs party / and there came in the kynge of Scottes with an honderd knyghtes / and kynge Vryens of Gore brought with hym an Page  766 [leaf 383v] honderd knyghtes / And kynge Howel of Bretayne brouȝte with hym an honderd knyghtes and Chalaunce of Claraunce broughte with hym an honderd knyghtes / and kynge Arthur hym self came in to the felde with two honderd knyghtes and the moost party were knyghtes of the table round that were proued noble knyghtes / / and there were old knyghtes sette in skaffoldes for to Iuge with the quene who dyd best /

¶ Capitulum xxiij

THenne they blewe to the felde / and there the kyng of northgalys encountred with the kynge of scottes / & there the kynge of Scottes had a falle / and the kyng of Irland smote doune kynge Vryens / and the kyng of Northumberland smote doune kynge Howel of Bretayne / and sir Galahaut the haute prynce smote doune Chalenge of Claraunce / And thene kynge Arthur was woode wroth / and ranne to the kynge with the honderd knyȝtes / and there kyng Arthur smote hym doune / and after with that same spere kynge Arthur smote doune thre other knyghtes / And thenne whan his spere was broken / kynge Arthur dyd passyngly wel / and soo there with alle came in syr Gawayne and sir Gaheryse / sire Agrauayne and sir mordred / and there eueryche of them smote doune a knyghte / and sir Gawayne smote doune four knyȝtes and thene there beganne a stronge medle / for thenne there came in the knyghtes of launcelots blood / and sir Gareth and sire Palomydes with them / and many knyghtes of the table round/ and they beganne to holde the foure kynges and the myghty duke soo hard that they were discomfyte / but this duke Galahad that haut prynce was a noble knyght / and by his myghty prowesse of armes / he helde the knyghtes of the table round strayte ynough / Alle this doynge sawe sir launcelot / & thenne he came in to the felde with syr Lauayne as hit had ben thonder / And thenne anone syre Bors and the kynghtes of his blood aspyed sir launcelot / and said to them alle I warne yow beware of hym with the sleue of gold vpon his hede / for he is hym self sir launcelot du lake / and for grete goodenes sir Page  767 [leaf 384r] Bors warned syr Gareth / I am wel apayed said sir Gareth that I may knowe hym / but who is he sayd they alle that rydeth with hym in the same aray / That is the good and gentyl knyght sir Lauayne said sir Bors / Soo sire Launcelot encoūtred with sir Gawayne / and there by force syr launcelot smote doune sir Gawayne and his hors to the erthe / and soo he smote doune sir Agrauayne and sire Gaherys / and also he smote doune sir Mordred / and alle this was with one spere

¶ Thene sir Lauayne mette with sir Palomydes / and eyther mette other soo hard and so fyersly that bothe their horses felle to the erthe / And thenne were they horsed ageyne / and thenne mette sir Launcelot with sir Palomydes / and there sire Palomydes had a falle / and soo sir launcelot or euer he stynte as fast as he myghte gete speres / he smote doun thyrtty knyghtes and the moost party of them were knyȝtes of the table round and euer the knyghtes of his blood withdrewe them / & made hem adoo in other places where sir launcelot came not / and thenne kyng Arthur was wrothe whan he sawe sir Launcelot doo suche dedes / and thenne the kynge called vnto hym sir gawayn sir Mordred / sir kay / sir Gryflet / sir Lucan the butteler / syre Pedeuer / sir Palomydes / Sir Safyr his broder / and so the kynge with these nyne knyghtes made hem redy to sette vpon sir Launcelot / and vpon syr Lauayne / Alle this aspyed sir bors and sir Gareth / Now I drede me sore said sir Bors that my lord syr launcelot wylle hard be matched / By my hede sayd syr Gareth I wylle ryde vnto my lord sir launcelot for to helpe hym / falle of hym what falle may / for he is the same man that made me knyghte / ye shalle not soo said sir Bors by my counceylle / onles that ye were desguysed / ye shalle see me dysguysed said syre Gareth / and there with al he aspyed a wallysshe knyghte where he was to repose hym / and he was sore hurte afore hurte by syr Gawayne / and to hym syre Gareth rode / and praid hym of his knyghthode to lene hym his shelde for his / I wille wel said the walysshe knyghte / And whanne sir Gareth had his shelde / the book saith / it was grene wyth a mayden that semed in hit / Thenne syr Gareth came dryuynge to sir Launcelot al that he myghte / and said knyghte kepe thy self / for yonder cometh kyng Arthur with nyne noble knyȝtes Page  768 [leaf 384v] with hym to putte yow to a rebuke / and so I am come to bere yow felaushyp for old loue ye haue shewed me / Gramercy said sir launcelot / syr sayd sir Gareth / encountre ye with sir Gawayne / and I shalle encountre with syre Palomydes / and lete sir Lauayne matche with the noble kynge Arthur /

¶ And whan we haue delyuerd hem / lete vs thre hold vs sadly to gyders / Thenne came kynge Arthur with his nyne knyȝtes with hym / and sir launcelot encountred with sir Gawayne / & gafe hym suche a buffet / that the arson of his sadel brast / and syre Gawayne felle to the erthe / Thenne sir Gareth encountred with the good knyghte sir Palomydes / and he gaf hym suche a buffet that bothe his hors and he dasshed to the erthe / Thenne encountred kynge Arthr with sire Lauayne / and there eyther of hem smote other to the erthe hors and alle that they lay a grete whyle / Thenne sir launcelot smote doune syr Agrauayne & syre Gaheryse / and syr Mordred / and syr Gareth smote doune syr kay / and syr Safyr and syr Gryflet / And thenne syr lauayne was horsed ageyne / and he smote doune syre Lucan the butteler and syr Bedeuer / and thenne there beganne grete thrange of good knyghtes / Thenne syre Launcelot hurtlyd here and there / and racyd and pulled of helmes / soo that at that tyme there myght none sytte hym a buffet with spere nor with suerd / and syr Gareth dyd suche dedes of armes that all men merueylled what knyghte he was with the grene sheld / For he smote doune that daye and pulled doune moo than thyrtty knyghtes / And as the frensshe book sayth syr Launcelot merueylled whan he beheld syr Gareth doo suche dedes what knyghte he myghte be / and syr Lauayne pulled doune and smote doune twenty knyghtes /

¶ Also syr launcelot knewe not syr Gareth / for and syr Tristram de lyones / outher syr lamorak de galys had ben alyue / syr launcelot wold haue demed he had ben one of them tweyne / Soo euer as syr launcelot/ syr Gareth / syr lauayn faughte / and on the one syde syr bors syr Ector de marys / syr lyonel / syr lamorak de galys / syr bleoberys / syr Galyhud / syr Galyhodyn / syr Pelleas / and wyth moo other of kynge Bans blood foughte vpon another party and helde the kynge with the honderd knyghtes and the kyng of Northumberland ryght strayte /

Page  769 [leaf 385r]

¶ Capitulum xxiiij

SOo this turnement & this Iustes dured longe / tyl hit was nere nyghte / for the knyghtes of the round table releued euer vnto kynge Arthur / for the kynge was wrothe out of mesure / that he and his knyghtes myght not preuaile that day / Thenne sire Gawayne said to the kynge I merueile where alle this day syr Bors de ganys and his felaushyp of syre launcelots blood / I merueylle all this day they be not aboute yow / hit is for somme cause sayd syr Gawayne / By my hede said sire Kay syre Bors is yonder all this day vpon the ryghte hand of this felde / and ther he and his blood done more worshypfully than we doo / it may wel be sayd syr Gawayne / but I drede me euer of gyle / for on payne of my lyf said sir Gawayne this knyghte with the reed sleue of gold is hym self syr launcelot / I see wel by his rydynge / and by his grete strokes / and the other knyghte in the same colours is the good yonge knyght sir lauayne / Also that knyghte with the grene shelde is my broder syr Gareth / and yet he hath desguysed hym self / for no man shalle neuer make hym be ageynst sir launcelot by cause he made hym knyghte / By my hede said Arthur neuewe I byleue yow / therfore telle me now what is youre best counceyll / Sir said sir Gawayne ye shalle haue my counceylle / lete blowe vnto lodgynge / for and he be syr Launcelot du lake and my broder syr Gareth with hym with the helpe of that good yong knyghte syr Lauayne / trust me truly it wyll be no bote to stryue with them / but yf we shold falle ten or xij vpon one knyghte / and that were no worship but shame / ye saye trouthe sayd the kyng / and for to saye sothe said the kynge it were shame to vs / soo many as we be to sette vpon them ony more / for wete ye wel sayd kyng Arthur / they ben thre good knyghtes / and namely that knyght with the sleue of gold / Soo thenne they blewe vnto lodgyng / but forth with all Kyng Arthur lete sende vnto the four kynges / and to the myghty duke / and praid hem that the knyghte with the sleue of gold departe not fro them / but that the kyng may speke with hym / Thenne fourthe with alle kyng Arthur alighte & vnarmed hym / & took a litill hakney / & rode after sire Launcelot / Page  770 [leaf 385v] for euer he had a spye vpon hym / and soo he fonde hym amonge the four kynges / and the duke / and there the kyng prayd hem alle vnto souper / and they sayd they wold with good wylle / And whan they were vnarmed / thenne kyng Arthur knewe sire launcelot / sir Lauayne and sir Gareth / A syre Launcelot sayd kynge Arthur / this daye ye haue heted me / & my knyghtes / soo they yede vnto Arthurs lodgynge al to gyder / and there was a grete feest and grete reuel / and the pryce was gyuen vnto syr launcelot / and by herowdes they named hym / that he had smyten doune fyfty knyghtes / and sire Gareth fyue and thyrtty / and sir Lauayne four and twenty knyghtes / Thenne sir Launcelot told the kynge and the Quene how the lady huntresse shote hym in the foreste of wyndesoore in the buttok with a brood arowe / & how the wound therof was that tyme syxe Inches depe / and in lyke longe /

¶ Also Arthur blamed syr Gareth by cause he lefte his felaushyp / & helde with sir launcelot / My lord sayd sir Gareth / he maade me a knyghte / And whanne I sawe hym soo hard bestadde / me thought it was my worshyp to helpe hym / for I sawe hym do soo moche / and soo many noble knyghtes ageynst hym / and whan I vnderstood that he was sir launcelot du lake / I shamed to see soo many knyghtes ageynst hym alone / Truly sayd kynge Arthur vnto syre Gareth ye saye wel and worshypfully haue ye done and to your self grete worshyp / and alle the dayes of my lyf sayd kynge Arthur vnto sir Gareth wete yow wel I shalle loue yow / and truste yow the more better For euer sayd Arthur hit is a worshypful knyghtes dede to helpe an other worshypful knyghte whanne he seeth hym in a grete daunger / for euer a worshipful man will be lothe to see a worshipful shamed / and he that is of no worship and fareth with cowardyse / neuer shall he shewe gentilnes / nor no maner of goodnes where he seeth a man in ony daunger / for thenne eur wylle a coward shewe no mercy / and alwayes a good man wille doo euer to another man as he wold ben done to hym self / Soo thenne there were grete feestes vnto kynges and dukes / and reuel / game and playe / and al maner of noblesse was vsed / and he that was curtois / true and feythful to his frende was that tyme cherysshedPage  771 [leaf 386r]

¶ Capitulum xxv

ANd thus it past on from candylmas vntyl after ester that the moneth of may was come / whan euery lusty herte begynneth to blosomme / and to brynge forth fruyte / for lyke as herbes and trees bryngen forth fruyte and florysshen in may / in lyke wyse euery lusty herte that is in ony maner a louer spryngeth and floryssheth in lusty dedes / For it gyueth vnto al louers courage that lusty moneth of may in some thyng to constrayne hym to some maner of thyng more in that moneth than in ony other moneth for dyuerse causes / For thenne alle herbes and trees renewen a man and woman / and lyke wyse louers callen ageyne to their mynde old gentilnes and old seruyse and many kynde dedes were forgeten by neclygence / For lyke as wynter rasure doth alway a rase and deface grene somer / soo fareth it by vnstable loue in man and woman / For in many persons there is no stabylyte / For we may see al day for a lytel blast of wynters rasure anone we shalle deface and lay a parte true loue / for lytel or noughte that cost moch thynge / this is no wysedome nor stabylyte / but it is feblenes of nature and grete disworshyp who someuer vsed this / Therfore lyke as may moneth floreth and floryssheth in many gardyns / Soo in lyke wyse lete euery man of worship florysshe his herte in this world / fyrst vnto god / and next vnto the ioye of them that he promysed his feythe vnto / for there was neuer worshypful man or worshypful woman / but they loued one better than another / and worshyp in armes may neuer be foyled / but fyrst reserue the honour to god / and secondly the quarel must come of thy lady / and suche loue I calle vertuous loue / but now adayes men can not loue seuen nyȝte but they must haue alle their desyres that loue may not endure by reason / for where they ben soone accorded and hasty hete / soone it keleth / Ryghte soo fareth loue now a dayes / sone hote soone cold / this is noo stabylyte / but the old loue was not so / men and wymmen coude loue to gyders seuen yeres / and no lycours lustes were bitwene them / and thenne was loue trouthe and feythfulnes / and loo in lyke wyfe was vsed loue in kynge Arthurs dayes /

¶ wherfor I lyken loue now Page  772 [leaf 386v] adayes vnto somer and wynter / for lyke as the one is hote / & the other cold / so fareth loue now a dayes / therfore alle ye that be louers / calle vnto your remembraunce the moneth of may / lyke as dyd quene Gueneuer / For whome I make here a lytel mencyon that whyle she lyued / she was a true louer / and therfor she had a good ende

Explicit liber Octodecimus / And here foloweth liber xix /

SOo it befelle in the moneth of May / quene Gueneuer called vnto her knyȝtes of the table round / and she gafe them warnynge that erly vpon the morowe she wold ryde on mayeng in to woodes & feldes besyde westmynstre / & I warne yow that there be none of yow but that he be wel horsed / and that ye alle be clothed on grene outher in sylke outher in clothe and I shalle brynge with me ten ladyes / and euery knyght shalle haue a lady behynde hym / and euery knyghte shal haue a squyer and two yomen / and I wyll that ye alle be wel horsed / Soo they made hem redy in the fresshest maner / and these were the names of the knyghtes / sir Kay the Seneschal / sir Agrauayne / sir Brandyles / sir Sagramor le desyrus / Sir Dodynas le saueage / sir Ozanna le cure hardy / sir Ladynas of the forest saueage / sir Persaunt on Inde / syre Ironsyde that was called the knyghte of the reed laundes / and sire Pelleas the louer / and these ten knyghtes made hem redy in the fresshest maner to ryde with the quene / And soo vpon the morne they toke their horses with the quene / and rode on mayenge in woodes and medowes as hit pleasyd hem in grete Ioye and delytes / for the quene had cast to haue ben ageyne with kyng Arthur at the ferthest by ten of the clok / and soo was that tyme her purpoos / Thenne there was a knyghte that hyghte Mellyagraunce / and he was sone vnto kynge Bagdemagus / and this knyghte had at that tyme a castel of the yefte of kyng arthur Page  773 [leaf 387r] within seuen myle of westmynstre / And this knyghte sir Mellyagraunce loued passynge wel Quene Gueneuer / and soo had he done longe and many yeres /

¶ And the book sayth he had layne in a wayte for to stele away the quene / but euermore he forbare for by cause of sir launcelot / for in no wyse he wold medle with the quene / and sir Launcelot were in her company / outher els and he were nere hand her / and that tyme was suche a customme / the quene rode neuer withoute a grete felaushyp of men of armes aboute her / and they were many good knyghtes / and the moost party were yong men that wold haue worshyp / and they were called the quenes knyghtes and neuer in no batail / turnement / nor Iustes / they bare none of hem no maner of knoulechynge of their owne armes / but playne whyte sheldes / and there by they were called the quenes knyghtes / And thenne whan it happed ony of them to be of grete worshyp by his noble dedes / thenne at the next feest of Pentecost / yf there were ony slayne or dede / as there was none yere that there fayled / but somme were dede / Thenne was there chosen in his stede that was dede the moost men of worshyp that were called the quenes knyghtes / And thus they came vp alle fyrste or they were renoumed men of worship / both sire Launcelot and alle the remenaunt of them / But this knyȝte sir Mellyagraunce had aspyed the quene well and her purpos and how sir launcelot was not with her / and how she had no man of armes with her but the ten noble knyghtes all arayed in grene for mayeng / thenne he purueyed hym a xx men of armes and an honderd archers for to destroye the quene and her knyghtes / for he thoughte that tyme was best season to take the quene /

¶ Capitulum secundum

SOo as the quene had mayed and alle her knyghtes / alle were bedasshed with herbys mosses and floures in the best maner and fresshest / Ryghte so came oute of a wode syre Mellyagraunce with an eyghte score men wel harnysed as they shold fyghte in a batail of a reeste and bad the quene and her knyghtes abyde / for maulgre theyr hedes they Page  774 [leaf 387v] shold abyde / Traytoure knyghte sayd quene Gueneuer what cast thou for to doo / wolte thow shame thy self / bethynke the how thou arte kynges sone / and knyghte of the table roūd and thou to be aboute to dishonoure the noble kynge that made the knyghte / thow shamest alle knyghthode and thy selfe / & me I lete the wete shalte thow neuer shame / for I had leuer cutte myn owne throte in tweyne rather than thou sholdest dishonoure me / As for alle this langage sayd sir Mellyagraunce be it as it be may / for wete yow wel madame I haue loued yow many a yere / and neuer or now coude I gete yow at suche an auauntage as I doo now / and therfor I wylle take yow as I fynde yow / thenne spake alle the ten noble knyghtes att ones and sayd / Syr Mellyagraunce wete thow wel ye ar aboute to Ieoparde your worshyp to dishonour / and also ye cast to Ieoparde oure persons / how be it we ben vnarmed / ye haue vs at a grete auayle / for hit semeth by yow that ye haue layd watche vpon vs / but rather than ye shold putte the quene to a shame and vs alle / we had as leef to departe from oure lyues / for & yf we other wayes dyd / we were shamed for euer Thenne sayd sir Mellyagraunce dresse yow as wel as ye can/ and kepe the Quene /

¶ Thenne the ten knyghtes of the table round drewe their swerdes / and the other lete renne at them/ with their speres / and the ten knyghtes manly abode them / & smote awey their speres / that no spere dyd them none harme Thenne they lasshed to gyder with swerdes / and anone syre Kay / sir Sagramor / sir Agrauayn / sir Dodynas / sir Ladynas and syr Ozanna were smyten to the erthe with grymly woundes / Thenne sir Brandyles and sir Persaunt of Ironsyde / syre Pelleas foughte longe / and they were sore wounded / for these ten knyghtes or euer they were layd to the ground slewe xl men of the boldest and the best of them / Soo whan the Quene sawe her knyghtes thus dolefully wounded / and nedes must be slayne at the last / thenne for pyte and sorowe she cryed syr Mellyagraunce slee not my noble knyghtes / and I wille go with the vpon this couenant that thou saue hem / and suffer hem not to be no more hurte with this that they be ledde wyth me where someuer thow ledest me / for I wylle rather slee my self than I wylle goo with the / onles / that thyse my noble Page  775 [leaf 388r] knyghtes maye be in my presence / Madame said Mellyagraūce for your sake they shalle be ledde with yow in to myn owne Castel with that ye wylle be ruled & ryde with me /

¶ Thenne the quene prayd the four knyghtes to leue their fyghtynge / & she and they wold not departe / Madame sayd sir Pelleas we will doo as ye doo / for as for me I take no force of my lyfe nor deth / For as the Frensshe book sayth sir Pelleas gaf suche buffets there that none armour myghte holde hym /

¶ Capitulum Tercium

THenne by the quenes commaundement they lefte batail and dressid the wounded knyghtes on horsbak some syttyng somme ouerthwarte their horses / that hit was pyte to beholde them / And thenne sir Mellyagraunce charged the quene & al her knyghtes that none of al her felaushyp shold departe from her / for ful sore he dradde sir launcelot du lake lest he shold haue ony knoulechynge / Alle this aspyed the Quene / and pryuely she called vnto her a child of her chamber that was swyftly horsed to whome she sayd / Go thow whan thou seest thy tyme / and bere this rynge vnto sir launcelot du lake / and praye hym as he loueth me that he wylle see me / and rescowe me yf euer he wille haue Ioye of me / and spare not thy hors said the quene nouther for water neyther for lond / Soo the chyld aspyed his tyme / and lyghtely he took his hors with the spores and departed as fast as he myghte / and whan sir Mellyagraunce sawe hym soo flee / he vnderstood that hit was by the quenes commaundement for to warne sir launcelot / Thenne they that were best horsed chaced hym and shot at hym/ But from hem alle the child wente sodenly / and thenne syre Mellyagraunce sayd to the quene / Madame ye are aboute to bitraye me / but I shalle ordeyne for sir launcelot that he shall not come lyghtely at yow / And thenne he rode with her and they alle to his castel in alle the haste that they myghte / And by the waye sire Mellyagraunce layd in an enbusshement the best archers that he myghte gete in his coūtrey to the nombre of Page  776 [leaf 388v] a thyrtty to awayte vpon sir Launcelot chargyng them that yf they sawe suche a manere of knyghte come by the way vpon a whyte hors that in ony wyse they slee his hors / but in no manere of wyse haue not adoo with hym bodyly / for he is ouer hardy to be ouercomen / Soo this was done / and they were comen to his castel / but in no wyse the quene wold neuer lete none of the ten knyghtes and her ladyes oute of her syghte / but alwayes they were in their presence / for the book sayth sir Melyagraunce durste make no maystryes for drede of sir launcelot in soo moche he demed that he had warnynge / Soo whan the child was departed from the felauship of syr Mellyagraunce within a whyle he came to westmynstre / And anone he fonde sir launcelot / And whanne he had told his message / & delyuerd hym the quenes rynge / Allas sayd syr Launcelot now am I shamed for euer onles that I maye rescowe that noble lady from dishonour / thenne egerly he asked his armour / and euer the child told syr launcelot how the ten knyghtes foughte merueyllously / and how sir Pelleas and sire Ironsyde and sir Brandyles and sir Persaunt of Inde fought strongly / but namely sir Pelleas / there myghte none withstāde hym / & how they all fouȝte tyll at the last they were layd to the erthe / and thenne the quene made apoyntement for to saue their lyues / and goo with syr Mellyagraunce / Allas sayd syr Launcelot / that moost noble lady that she shold be so destroyed / I had leuer said sir launcelot than alle Fraunce that I had ben there were wel armed / Soo whan syre launcelot was armed / and vpon his hors / he prayd the chyld of the Quenes chamber to warne syr Lauayne how sodenly he was departed / and for what cause / and praye hym as he loueth me that he wylle hyhe hym after me / and that he stynte not vntyll he come to the castel where sir Mellyagraunce abydeth / or dwelleth / for there sayd sire launcelot he shalle here of me / and I am a man lyuynge / and rescowe the quene and the ten knyȝtes the whiche he traitoursly hath taken / and that shalle I preue vpon his hede and alle them that hold with hym /

¶ Capitulum iiij

Page  777 [leaf 389r]

THenne sir launcelot rode as fast as he myghte / and the book saith / he took the water at westmynstre brydge / & made his hors to swymme ouer Temse vnto lambehythe / And thēne within a whyle he came to the same place there as the ten noble knyghtes foughte with syre Mellyagraunce And thanne sir launcelot folowed the trak vntyl that he came to a wood / and there was a strayte waye / and there the xxx archers bad sir launcelot torne ageyne / and folowe noo lenger that trak / what commaundement have ye ther to sayd sir launcelot to cause me that am a knyghte of the round table to leue my ryghte way / This way shalte thou leue / outher els thow shalt goo it on thy foote / for wete thou wel thy hors shalle be slayne / that is lytel maystry sayd syre launcelot to slee myn hors / but as for my self whan my hors is slayne I gyue ryght nought for yow / not and ye were fyue honderd moo / So thenne they shot sir launcelots hors / and smote hym with many arowes / and thenne syr launcelot auoyded his hors / and wente on foote / but there were soo many dyches and hedges betwixe them and hym that he myghte not medle with none of hem /

¶ Allas for shame said launcelot that euer one knyght shold bitraye another knyght / but hit is an old sawe / a good man is neuer in daunger / but whan he is in the daunger of a coward / Thenne sir launcelot wente a whyle / and thenne he was fowle combred of his armour / his sheld and his spere & alle that longed vnto hym / wete ye wel he was ful sore annoyed / and ful loth he was for to leue ony thynge that longed vnto hym / for he drad sore the treason of sir Mellyagraūce Thenne by fortune there came by hym a charyot that cam thyder for to fetche wood / Say me carter said syr launcelot what shal I gyue the to suffre me to lepe in to thy charyot / & that thou brynge me vnto a castel within this two myle / thou shalt not come within my charyot said the carter / for I am sente for to fetche wood for my lord sir Mellyagraunce / with hym wold I speke / thou shalt not go with me said the carter / thēne sir launcelot lept to hym / & gaf hym suche a buffet that he felle to the erthe starke dede / thenne the other carter his felawe was aferde & wende to haue gone the same way / & thenne he cryed fair lord saue my lyf / & I shal brynge you where ye wil / thēne Page  778 [leaf 389v] I charge the sayd syr launcelot that thow dryue me and thys charyot euen vnto sir Melliagaunce yate / lepe vp in to the charyot sayd the carter / and ye shalle be there anone / Soo the carter drofe on a grete wallop / and sir launcelots hors folowed the charyot with more than a xl arowes brode and rough in hym / and more than an houre and an half dame Gueneuer was awaytynge in a bay wyndowe with her ladyes / & aspyed an armed knyghte standynge in a charyot / See madame sayd a lady where rydeth in a charyot a goodly armed knyghte / I suppose he rydeth vnto hangyng / where sayd the quene / thenne she aspyed by his shelde that he was there hym self sir launcelot du lake / And thenne she was ware where came his hors euer after that charyot / and euer he trade his guttes and his paunche vnder his feet / Allas sayd the quene now I see well and preue that wel is hym that hath a trusty frend /

¶ Ha a moost noble knyghte sayd quene Gueneuer I see wel thow arte hard bestad whan thow rydest in a charyot / thenne she rebuked that lady that lykend sir launcelot to ryde in a charyot to hangynge / hit was fowle mouthed sayd the quene and euylle lykened soo for to lyken the moost noble knyght of the world vnto suche a shameful dethe / O Ihesu defende hym and kepe hym said the quene from alle mescheuous ende / By thys was sir Launcelot comen to the gates of that Castel / and there he descended doune and cryed that alle the Castel range of it where arte thow fals traitour sir Melliagraunce and knyght of the table round / now come forth here thou traytour knyȝte thou and thy felauship with the / For here I am sir launcelot du lake that shal fyghte with yow / and there with all he bare the gate wyde open vpon the porter / and smote hym vnder his ȝere with his gauntelet that his neck brast in sonder /

¶ Capitulum v

WHanne sir Mellyagraūce herd that sir Launcelot was there / he ranne vnto quene Gueneuer / and felle vpon his knee / and sayd mercy madame now I put me holy in to your grace / what eyleth yow now sayd quene Page  779 [leaf 390r] Gueneuer / For sothe I myghte wel wete somme good knyȝt wold reuenge me / though my lord Arthur wyste not of this youre werke / Madame said sir Mellyagraunce / alle this that is amys on my parte shalle be amended ryghte as your self wille deuyse / & holy I putte me in your grace / what wold ye that I dyd sayd the quene / I wold no more said Mellyagraunce but that ye wold take alle in your owne handes / and that ye wille rule my lord sir launcelot / and suche chere as maye be made hym in this poure castel ye and he shalle haue vntyl to morne / and thenne may ye and alle they retorne vnto westmynster / and my body and all that I haue I shal putte in your rule / ye saye wel sayd the quene / and better is pees than euer werre / and the lesse noyse / the more is my worship / thenne the quene and her ladyes wente doune vnto the knyghte syr launcelot / that stood wrothe oute of mesure in the Inner courte to abyde bataille / & euer he bad thou traytour knyghte come forth Thenne the quene came to hym and sayde syre Launcelot why be ye soo moeued / Ha madame sayd sire Launcelot why aske ye me that question / Me semeth said sir launcelot ye ouȝte to be more wrothe than I am / for ye haue the hurte and the dishonour / For wete ye wel madame my hurte is but lytel for the kyllynge of a mares sone / but the despyte greueth me moch more / than alle my hurte / truly sayd the quene ye saye trouth but hertely I thanke yow sayd the quene / but ye muste come in with me peasyble / for al thynge is put in my hand / and alle that is euylle shalle be for the best / for the knyghte ful sore repenteth hym of the mysauenture that is befallen hym / Madame saide sire Launcelot / syth it is soo that ye ben accorded with hym / as for me I may not be ageyn it / how be it sir Mellyagraunce hath done ful shamefully to me & cowardly /

¶ A madame said sir Launcelot / & I had wyst ye wold haue ben soo soone accorded with hym / I wold not haue made suche haste vnto yow / why saye ye soo sayd the quene / doo ye forthynke your self of your good dedes / wete you well sayd the Quene I accorded neuer vnto hym for fauour nor loue that I had vnto hym / but for to laye doune euery shameful noyse

¶ Madame said syr launcelot ye vnderstande ful well I was neuer willynge nor gladde of shameful sklaunder nor noyse Page  780 [leaf 390v] And there is neyther kynge / quene ne knyght that bereth the lyf excepte my lord kynge Arthur and yow madame shold lette me / but I shold make sir Mellyagraunce herte ful cold/ or euer I departed from hens / That wote I wel said the quene / but what wille ye more ye shall haue alle thynge rulyd as ye lyst to haue it / Madame said syr launcelot / soo ye be pleasyd I care not / as for my parte ye shal soone please / ryghte so the quene took syr launcelot by the bare hand / for he had put of his gauntelet / and soo she wente with hym tyl her chamber and thenne she commaunded hym to be vnarmed / and thenne syr launcelot asked where were the ten knyghtes that were wounded sore / so she shewed them vnto sir launcelot / and ther they made grete Ioye of the comynge of hym / and sir launcelot made grete dole of their hurtes and bewayled them gretely / & there sir launcelot told them how cowardly and traytourly Mellyagraunce sette archers to slee his hors / and how he was fayne to putte hym self in a charyot / thus they complayned eueryche to other / and ful fayn they wold haue ben reuengid but they peaced them self by cause of the Quene / Thenne as the Frenssh book sayth / syr launcelot was called many a day after le cheualer du charyot / and dyd many dedes and grete aduentures he had / and soo leue we of this tale le Cheualer du Charyot and torne we to this tale /

¶ Soo syr Launcelot had grete chere with the quene / and thenne syr launcelot made a promys with the quene that the same nyghte sir launcelot shold come to a wyndowe outward toward a gardyn / & that wyndowe was y barryd with yron / and there sir launcelot promysed to mete her when alle folkes were on slepe / So thenne came syr lauayne dryuynge to the gates cryeng where is my lord syr launcelot du lake / thenne was he sente for / & when sir lauayne sawe sir Launcelot / he sayd my lord I fond well how ye were hard bestad / for I haue fonde your hors that was slayne with arowes / As for that sayd syr launcelot I praye yow syr Lauayne speke ye of other maters / and lete ye this passe / & we shalle ryghte hit another tyme when we beste may

¶ Capitulum vj

Page  781 [leaf 391r]

THenne the knyghtes that were hurte were serched / & softe salues were leyd to their woundes / and soo hyt past on tyl souper tyme / and alle the chere that myght be made them / there was done vnto the quene and all her knyȝtes / thenne whan season was / they wente vnto their chambres but in no wyse the quene wold not suffre the wounded knyȝtes to be fro her / but that they were layde within draughtes by her chamber vpon beddes and pylowes that she her self myght see to them that they wanted no thynge / Soo whan sir launcelot was in his chamber that was assygned vnto hym / he called vnto hym sire Lauayne / and told hym that nyght he must goo speke with his lady dame Gueneuer / Sir said syr Lauayne / lete me goo with yow and hit please yow / for I drede me sore of the treason of sir Mellyagraunce / Nay sayd sir launcelot I thanke yow / but I wille haue no body with me / thenne sir Launcelot took his suerd in his hand / and pryuely went to a place where he had aspyed a ladder to fore hand / and that he took vnder his arme / and bare it thurgh the gardyn / & sette it vp to the wyndowe / and there anone the quene was redy to mete hym / and thenne they made eyther to other their complayntes of many dyuerse thynges / & thenne sir launcelot wysshed that he myghte haue comen in to her / wete ye wel said the quene / I wold as fayne as ye / that ye myghte come in to me wold ye madame said syre launcelot with youre herte that I were with yow / ye truly said the quene / Now shalle I proue my myght said syr Launcelot for your loue / and thenne he set his handes vpon the barres of yron / and he pulled at them with suche a myghte that he brast hem clene oute of the stone walles / and there with all one of the barres of yron kytte the braune of his handes thurgh out to the bone / & thenne he lepte in to the chamber to the quene / make ye no noyse sayd the quene / for my wounded knyghtes lye here fast by me / So to passe vpon this tale syr Launcelot wente vnto bed with the quene / & took no force of his hurte hand / but took his plesaūce and his lykynge vntyll it was in the daunynge of the daye / & wete ye well he slepte not but watched / and whan he sawe his tyme that he myghte tary no lenger / he took his leue and departed at the wyndowe / and putte hit to gyder as wel as he Page  782 [leaf 391v] myghte ageyne and soo departed vnto his owne chamber / & there he told sir Lauayne how he was hurte / thenne sir lauayn dressid his hand and staunched it / and putte vpon it a gloue that it shold not be aspyed / and soo the quene lay long in her bedde vntyl it was nyne of the clok / thēne sir Mellyagraunce wente to the quenes chamber / and fond her ladyes there redy clothed / Ihesu mercy sayd sir Mellyagraunce what eyleth you madame that ye slepe thus longe / and ryght there with alle he opened the curteyn for to beholde her / and thenne was he ware where she laye & alle the shete & pylowe was bebled with the blood of sir Launcelot and of his hurte hand / Whan sir mellyagraunce aspyed that blood / thenne he demed in her that she was fals to the kynge / and that some of the wounded knyghtes had layne by her alle that nyghte / A madame said sir Mellyagraunce / now I haue founden you a fals traytresse vnto my lord Arthur / For now I proue wel it was not for nought that ye layd these wounded knyghtes within the bandes of your chamber / therfore I wille calle yow of treason before my lord kynge Arthur / and now I haue proued yow madame with a shameful dede / and that they ben all fals or somme of them I wylle make good / for a wounded knyghte this nyght hath layne by yow / That is fals sayd the Quene and that I wyl reporte me vnto them alle / thenne whanne the ten knyghtes herd sir Mellyagraunce wordes / they spak al in one voys and sayd to sire Mellyagraunce thou sayst falsly / and wrongfully puttest vpon vs suche a dede / and that we wil make good ony of vs chese whiche thou lyst of vs whan we are hole of oure woundes / ye shal not said syr Mellyagraunce away with your proud langage / for here ye may alle see sayd sir Mellyagraunce that by the quene this nyghte a wounded knyghte hath layne / thenne were they al ashamed whan they sawe that blood / and wete you wel syr Mellyagraunce was passynge glad that he had the quene at suche an auauntage / For he demed by that to hyde his treson / soo with this rumoure came in syr launcelot and fond them al at a grete araye/

¶ Capitulum septimum

Page  783 [leaf 392r]

¶ Capitulum septimum /

WHat araye is this sayd sir Launcelot / thenne syr mellygraunce told hem what he had fonde & shewed hem the quenes bed / Truly said syr launcelot ye dyd not your part nor knyȝtly to touche a quenes bedde whyle it was drawen / & she lyeng therin / for I dar say my lord Arthur hym self wold not haue displayed her courteyns she beyng within her bed / onles that it had pleasyd hym to haue layne doune by her / and therfor ye haue done vnworshipfully & shamefully to your selfe I wote not what ye mene sayd syr Mellyagraunce / but well I am sure ther hath one of her wounded knyȝtes layne by her this nyȝte / & therfor I wil proue with my handes that she is a traytresse vnto my lord Arthur / beware what ye do said launcelot / for & ye say so & ye wil preue it / it wil be taken at your handes / My lord sir Launcelot said sire Mellyagraunce I rede yow beware what ye do / for thouȝ ye are neuer so good a knyght as ye wote wel ye ar renomed the best knyȝt of the world yet shold ye be aduysed to do batail in a wrong quarel / for god wil haue a stroke in euery batail / As for that sayd syr launcelot god is to be drad / but as to that I saye nay playnly / that this nyȝte there lay none of these ten wounded knyȝtes wyth my lady quene Gueneuer / & that wil I preue with my handes that ye say vntruly in that now / Hold said sir Mellyagraunce here is my gloue that she is traytresse vnto my lord kyng Arthur / & that this nyghte one of the wounded knyȝtes lay with her / & I receyue your gloue sayd sir Launcelot / & so they were sealyd with their sygnettys / and delyuerd vnto the x knyȝtes At what day shal we do batail to gyders said sir launcelot / this day viij dayes said sir Mellyagraunce in the felde besyde westmynstre / I am agreed said sir Launcelot / but now said sir mellyagraunce / sythen it is so that we must fyȝte to gyders I pray yow as ye be a noble knyȝt awayte me with no treason / nor none vylony the meane whyle / nor none for yow / soo god me help said sir launcelot ye shal ryȝte wel wete I was neuer of no suche condycyons / for I reporte me to al knyȝtes that euer haue knowen me I ferd neuer with no treason / nor I loued neuer the felauship of no man that ferde with treson / Thenne lete vs go to dyner seid melliagraūce. & after dyner ye & þe quene Page  784 [leaf 392v] and ye may ryde alle to westmester / I wylle wel sayd sir laūcelot / thenne sir Mellyagraunce sayd to sir launcelot pleaseth it yow to see the eftures of this castel / with a good wylle sayd sir Launcelot / and thenne they wente to gyders from chamber to chamber / for sir Launcelot drad noo peryls / for euer a man of worshyp and of prowesse / dredeth lest alwayes perils / For they wene euery man be as they ben / But euer he that fareth with treason putteth ofte a man in grete daunger / So it befel vpon sir launcelot that no peryl dredde / as he wente with sire Mellyagraunce he trade on a trap and the bord rollyd / and there sir Launcelot felle doune more than ten fadom in to a caue ful of strawe / and thenne sir Mellyagraunce departed and made no fare as that he nyst where he was / And whan sir laūcelot was thus myssed / they merueylled where he was bycomen / and thenne the quene and many of them demed that he was departed as he was wonte to doo sodenly / For syr Mellyagraunce made sodenly to putte awaye on syde sir Lauayns hors that they myght alle vnderstande that sir launcelot was departed sodenly / soo it past on tyl after dyner / and thenne sir Lauayne wold not stynte vntyl that he ordeyned lyttyers for the wounded knyghtes that they myghte be lad in them / and so with the quene and them al bothe ladyes & gentilwymmen and other wente vnto westmynster / & there the knyȝtes told kyng arthur hou Mellyagraūce had appelyd the quene of hyghe treason / and how sir Launcelot had receyued the gloue of hym / and this daye eyghte dayes they shall doo batail afore yow / By my hede sayd kynge Arthur I am aferd syre Mellyagraunce has taken vpon hym a grete charge / but where is syr Launcelot sayd the kynge / Sir sayd they alle we wote not where he is / but we deme he is ryden to somme aduentures as he is oftymes wonte to doo / for he hath syr Lauayns hors / lete hym be said the kyng / he wylle be founden but yf he be trapped with somme treason

¶ Capitulum octauum

SOo leue we syr Launcelot lyenge within that caue in grete payne / and euery day ther came a lady & brouȝt hym his mete & his drynke / & wowed hym to haue layne by hym / and euer the noble knyghte syre Launcelot sayd Page  785 [leaf 393r] her nay / sir Launcelot sayd she ye ar not wyse / for ye maye neuer oute of this pryson / but yf ye haue my helpe and also your lady quene Gueneuer shalle be brente in your deffaulte onles that ye be there at the daye of bataille / God defende sayd syr Launcelot that she shold be brente in my deffaute / & yf hyt be soo said sir Launcelot that I maye not be there / hit shalle be wel vnderstande bothe at the kynge and at the quene & wyth alle men of worshyp that I am dede / seke / outher in pryson / For alle men that knowe me / wille saye for me that I am in somme euyl caas and I be not there at that day / and wel I wote there is somme good knyghte outher of my blood or some other that loueth me that wylle take my quarel in hand / and therfor said sir launcelot wete ye wel ye shalle not fere me / & yf there were no more wymmen in alle this land but ye / I wil not haue adoo with yow / thenne arte thow shamed sayd the lady / and destroyed for euer / As for worldes shame Ihesu defende me / and as for my dystresse it is welcome what so euer hit be that god sendeth me / soo she came to hym the same day that the batail shold be / and sayd sir launcelot / me thynketh ye are to hard herted / but woldest thow but kysse me ones I shold delyuer the and thyn armour / and the best hors that is within sir Mellyagraunces stable / As for to kysse yow said sir launcelot I maye doo that and lese no worshyp / and wete ye wel and I vnderstood / there were ony disworship for to kysse yow / I wold not doo hit / thenne he kyssed her / & thenne she gat hym and broughte hym to his armour / and whan he was armed / she broughte hym to a stable / where stood xij good coursers / and bad hym chese the best / Thenne syr launcelot loked vpon a whyte courser the whiche lyked hym best / & anone he commaunded the kepers faste to sadle hym with the best sadel of werre that there was / and soo it was done as he badde / thenne gatte he his spere in his hand and his suerd by his syde / and commaunded the lady vnto god / and sayd lady for this good dede I shal doo yow seruyse yf euer hit be in my power /

¶ Capitulum Nonum

Page  786 [leaf 393v]

NOwe leue we sir Launcelot wallop alle that he myghte And speke we of Quene Gueneuer / that was broughte to a fyre to be brent / for sire Mellyagraunce was sure / hym thoughte that sir launcelot shold not be att that bataille / therfore he euer cryed vpon kynge Arthur to doo hym Iustyce / outher els brynge forth syr launcelot du lake / thenne was the kynge and al the Courte ful sore abasshed & shamed that the quene shold be brente in the defaute of sir Launcelot My lord Arthur sayd sir Lauayne ye maye vnderstande that it is not wel with my lord syr launcelot / for and he were on lyue / soo he be not seke outher in pryson / wete ye wel he wold ben here / for neuer herd ye that euer he failed his part for whome he shold doo batail for / and therfor sayd sir lauayne / my lord kynge Arthur I byseche yow gyue me the lycence to doo batail here this day for my lord and maister / and for to saue my lady the quene / Gramercy gentil sir Lauayne sayd kyng arthur / for I day say alle that sir Mellyagraunce putteth vpon my lady the Quene / is wronge / for I haue spoken with al the ten wounded knyghtes / and there is not one of them and he were hole and able to doo bataille / but he wold preue vpon sir Mellyagraunce body that it is fals that he putteth vpon my quene / soo shal I sayd sir lauayne in the defence of my lord syr launcelot and ye wylle gyue me leue / Now I gyue yow leue sayd kynge Arthur and doo your best / for I dar wel say there is some treason done to sir launcelot / Thenne was sir Lauayne armed and horsed / and sodenly at the lystes ende he rode to performe this bataille / and ryghte as the herowdes shold crye / lesses les aler / Ryghte soo came in sir launcelot dryuynge with alle the force of his hors / and thenne Arthur cryed ho / and abyde / thenne was sir launcelot called on horsbak to fore kynge Arthur / and there he told openly to fore the kynge and alle how sire Mellyagraunce had serued hym fyrste and last / And whanne the kynge and the quene and al the lordes knewe of the treason of sir Mellyagraunce / they were alle ashamed on his behalfe / thenne was quene Gueneuer sente for / and sette by the kynge in grete truste of her champyon And thenne there was no more els to say / but syr Launcelot and sire Mellyagraunce dressid them vnto bataille / and took Page  787 [leaf 394r] their speres / and soo they came to gyders as thonder / and there sir launcelot bare hym doune quyte ouer his hors croupe / And thenne sire Launcelot alyghte and dressid his sheld on his sholder with his suerd in his hand / and sir Mellyagraunce in the same wyse dressid hym vnto hym / and there they smote many grete strokes to gyders / and at the laste sire Launcelot smote hym suche a buffet vpon the helmet that he felle on the one syde to the erthe / and thenne he cryed vpon hym alowde / Moost noble knyghte sir launcelot du lake saue my lyf / for I yelde me vnto yow / and I requyre yow / as ye be a knyghte & felawe of the table round slee me not / for I yelde me as ouercomen / and whether I shalle lyue or dye I put me in the kynges handes and yours / thenne sir Launcelot wyste not what to doo / for he had had leuer than all the good of the world / he myghte haue ben reuenged vpon syr Mellyagraunce / and sir Launcelot loked vp to the Quene Gueneuer / yf he myghte aspye by ony sygne or countenaunce what she wold haue done / And thenne the quene wagged her hede vpon sir Launcelot / as though she wold saye slee hym / Ful wel knewe sir launcelot by the waggynge of her hede that she wold haue hym dede / thenne sir launcelot bad hym ryse for shame and performe that bataille to the vtteraunce / nay said sir Mellyagraunce I wylle neuer aryse vntyll ye take me as yolden & recreaunt I shalle profer yow large profers sayd sir Launcelot / that is for to say / I shall vnarme my hede & my lyfte quarter of my body alle that may be vnarmed & lete bynde my lyfte hand behynde me / soo that it shalle not helpe me / and ryghte so I shall doo bataille with yow / thenne sir Mellyagraunce starte vp vpon his legges / & sayd on hyghe My lord Arthur take hede to this profer / for I wille take hit / and lete hym be dysarmed & bounden accordynge to his profer / what saye ye sayd kyng Arthur vnto syre launcelot / wille ye abyde by youre profer / ye my lord sayd sir launcelot / I wille neuer goo fro that I haue ones sayd / Thenne the knyghtes parters of the felde disarmed sir launcelot first his hede / & sythen his lyfte arme & his lyfte syde / & they bond his lyft arme behynd his bak without sheld or ony thyng / & thenne they were put to gyders / Wete you wel there was many a lady & knyȝt merueylled that sir laūcelot Page  788 [leaf 394v] wold Ieopardy hym self in suche a wyse / Thenne syre Mellyagraunce came with his suerd all on hygh / and sire launcelot shewed him openly his bare hede and the bare lyfte syde / and whan he wende to haue smyten hym vpon the bare hede / thenne lyghtly he auoyded the lyfte legge & the lyfte syde / & put his ryght hand and his suerd to that stroke / and soo putte it on syde with grete sleyghte / and thenne with grete force syr launcelot smote hym on the helmet suche a buffet that the stroke kerued the hede in two partyes / thenne there was no more to doo / but he was drawen oute of the felde / and at the grete Instaunce of the knyghtes of the table round / the kynge suffred hym to be entered & the mencyon made vpon hym who slewe hym/ and for what cause he was slayne / and thenne the kyng and the Quene made more of syr Launcelot du lake / and more he was cherysshed than euer he was afore hand

¶ Capitulum x

THenne as the Frenssh booke maketh mencyon there was a good knyghte in the land of Hongre his name was syr Vrre and he was an aduenturous knyghte and in al places where he myghte here of ony dedes of worshyp ther wold he be / Soo it happend in Spayne there was an Erles sone his name was Alphegus / and at a grete turnement in spayn this syre Vrre knyghte of Hongry and sir Alphegus of spayne encountred to gyders for veray enuy / and soo eyther vndertook other to the Vtteraunce / and by fortune sire Vrre slewe syr Alphegus the erles sone of Spayn / but this knyghte that was slayne had yeuen syre Vrre or euer he was slayne seuen grete woundes / thre on the hede / and four on his body / & vpon his lyfte hand / and this syr Alphegus had a moder / the whiche was a grete sorceresse / and she for the despyte of her sones dethe wrought by her subtyl craftes that syr Vrre shold neuer be hole / but euer his woundes shold one tyme feyster & another tyme blede / so that he shold neuer be hole vntyl the best knyghte of the world had serched his woundes / and thus she made her auaunt where thurgh it was knowen that syre Vrre Page  789 [leaf 395r] shold neuer be hole / Thenne his moder lete make an hors lytter / and put hym theryn vnder two palfroyes/ and thenne she took syr Vrres syster with hym a ful fayr damoysel / whos name was Felelolye / and thenne she took a page with hym to kepe their horses / and soo they ledde sir Vrre thurgh many countreyes / For as the Frensshe book sayth she ledde hym so seuen yere thurgh alle landes crystened / and neuer she coude fynde no knyghte that myghte ease her sone / Soo she came in to Scotland and in to the bandes of England / and by fortune she came nyghe the feeste of pentecoste vntyl Arthurs Courte that at that tyme was holden at Carleil / And whan she came there thenne she made it openly to be knowen how that she was come in to that land for to hele her sone

¶ Thenne kynge Arthur lete calle that lady / and asked her the cause why she broughte that hurte knyghte in to that land My moost noble kynge sayd that lady / wete yow wel I broughte hym hydder for to be heled of his woundes / that of alle this seuen yere he myghte not be hole / & thenne she told the kynge where he was wounded and of whome / and how his moder had discouerd in her pryde / how she had wroughte that by enchauntement / soo that he shold neuer be hole vntyl the best knyghte of the world had serched his woundes / and soo I haue passed thurgh alle the landes crystned to haue hym heled / excepte this land / And yf I fayle to hele hym here in this land I wylle neuer take more payne vpon me / and that is pyte for he was a good knyghte and of grete noblenes / what is his name sayd Arthur / My good and gracyous lord she sayde / his name is syr Vrre of the mounte / In good tyme sayd the Kynge / and sythe ye are come in to this land / ye are ryght wel come / and wete yow wel here shal your sone be helyd / and euer ony crysten man may hele hym / And for to gyue alle other men of worshyp courage / I my self wille assay to handle your sone / and soo shalle alle the kynges dukes and Erles that ben here presente with me at this tyme thereto wylle I commaunde them / and wel I wote they shalle obeye and doo after my commaundement And wete yow wel sayd kynge Arthur vnto Vrres syster I shalle begynne to handle hym and serche vnto my power Page  790 [leaf 395v] not presumyng vpon me that I am soo worthy to hele youre sone by my dedes / but I wille courage other men of worshyp to doo as I wylle doo / And thenne the kynge commaunded alle the kynges dukes and erles & alle noble knyȝtes of the Round table that were there that tyme presente to come in to the medowe of Carleil / and so at that tyme there were but an honderd and ten of the roūd table / for xl knyghtes were that tyme awey / and soo here we muste begynne at kynge Arthur as is kyndely to begynne at hym / that was the moost man of worshyp that was crystned at that tyme

¶ Capitulum xj

THenne kynge Arthur loked vpon sire Vrre and the kynge thoughte he was a ful lykely man whanne he was hole / and thenne kynge Arthur made hym to be take doune of the lytter and layd hym vpon the erthe / and there was layd a cusshyn of gold that he shold knele vpon / And thenne noble Arthur sayd fayr knyghte me repenteth of thy hurte / and for to courage alle other noble Knyghtes / I wille praye the softly to suffre me to handle your woundes / Moost noble crystned kynge sayd Vrre doo as ye lyste / for I am at the mercy of god and at your commaundement /

¶ So thenne Arthur softely handelyd hym / and thenne somme of his woundes renewed vpon bledynge / Thenne the kynge Claryaunce of Northumberland serched and it wold not be / And thenne sir Baraunt le apres that was called the Kyng with the honderd Knyghtes he assayed and fayled / and so dyd kynge Vryence of the land of Gore / Soo dyd Kynge Anguyssaunce of Irland / Soo dyd Kynge Nentres of Garloth / So dyd Kyng Carados of Scotland / Soo dyd the duke Galahalt the haute prynce / Soo dyd Constantyn that was sir Carados sone of Cornewail / Soo dyd duke Challyns of Claraunce / Soo dyd the Erle Vlbause / Soo dyd the Erle Lambaile Soo dyd the erle Arystause Thenne came in syr Gawayne with his thre sones sir Gyngalyn / syr Florence / & sir Louel / these two were begoten vpon sir Page  791 [leaf 396r] dyd the erle Lambayle / Soo dyd the erle Arystause

¶ Thenne came in syre Gawayne with his thre sones syr gangalayne / syr Florence and syr Louel these two were goten vpon syr Brandyles syster / and al they fayled / Thenne cam in syr Agrauayne / syr Gaherys / syr Mordred / & the good knyȝt sir Gareth that was of veray knyghthode worth al the bretheren / Soo came knyghtes of Launcelots kynne / but syr launcelot was not that tyme in the courte / for he was that tyme vpon his aduentures / Thenne syr Lyonel / syr Ector de marys/ syr Bors de ganys / syr Blamor de ganys / syr Bleoberis de ganys / syr Gahalantyne / syr Galyhodyn / syr Menadeuke / syr Vyllyars the valyaunt / syr Hebes le renoumes / Al these were of syr launcelots kynne / and alle they fayled /

¶ Thenne came in syr Sagramore le desyrus / syr Dodynas le saueage syr Dynadan / syr Bruyn le noyre / that syr kay named la cote male tayle and syr Kay the Seneschal / syr Kay de straūges / syr Melyot de Logrys / syr Petypase of wynchelsee / syre Galleron of Galway / syr Melyon of the montayne / syr Cardok / syr Vwayne les aduoultres / and syr ozanna le cure hardy / Thenne came in syr Astamor & syr Gromere grummors sone / syr Crosselme / Sir Seruause le breuse that was callyd a passynge stronge knyghte / for as the book sayth the chyef lady of the lake feested syr launcelot and syr Seruause le breuse/ And whan she had feested hem bothe at sondry tymes she prayd hem to gyue her a bone / and they graunted it her / and thenne she prayd sur Seruause that he wold promyse her neuer to doo batail ageynst syr launcelot du lake / & in the same wyse she prayd syr Launcelot neuer to doo batail ageynst syr Seruause / and soo eyther promysed her / For the Frensshe book sayth / that sir Seruause had neuer courage nor lust to doo batail ageynst no man but yf it were ageynst gyaunts & ageynste dragons and wylde beestes / Soo we passe vnto them that att the kynges request made hem alle that were there at that hyȝ feest as of the knyȝtes of the table round for to serche sir Turre / to that entente the kynge dyd hit / to wete whiche was the noblest knyghte amonge them

¶ Thenne came sir Aglouale / sire Durnore / sir Tor that was bygoten vpon Aryes the couherdes wyf / but he was begoten Page  792 [leaf 396v] afore Aryes wedded her / and Kynge Pellenor begatte hem all / fyrst syre Tor / syre Aglouale / syr Durnore / syre Lamorak the moost noblest knyghte one that euer was in Arthurs dayes / as for a worldly knyghte / and syre Percyual that was pyerles excepte syre Galahad in holy dedes / but they dyed in the quest of the Sancgreal / Thenne cam syr Gryflet le fyse de dieu / Sir Lucan the botteler / syre Bedeuer his broder / syr brandyles / syr Constantyne / syr Cadores sone of Corneway1 that was kynge after Arthurs dayes / and syre Clegys / syre Sadok / syr Dynas the Seneschal of Cornewaile / syre Fergus/ syr Dryaunt / syr Lambegus / syre Clarrus of Cleremont / syr Cloddrus / syre Hectymere / syre Edward of Canaruan / syre Dynas / syre Pryamus that was crystned by syr Tristram the noble Knyghte / and these thre were bretheren syr Hellayne de blank that was sone to syre Bors / he begat hym vpon kyng Brandegorys doughter and syre Bryan de lystynoyse / Syre Gautere / syr Reynold / syr Gyllemere were thre bretheren that syre launcelot wanne vpon a brydge in syre Kayes armes / sir Guyart le petyte / syre Bellangere le beuse that was sone to the good knyghte syr Alysander le orphelyn that was slayne by the treason of Kynge Marke /

¶ Also that traytour kyng slewe the noble Knyghte syre Trystram as he sat harpyng afore his lady la Beale Isoud with a trenchaunt glayue / for whos deth was moche bewaylynge of euery knyghte that euer were in Arthurs dayes / there was neuer none so bewailed as was syre Tristram and syr lamorak / for they were traytoursly slayne / syr Trystram by kyng Marke / and syr lamorak by syr Gawayne and his bretheren / And this syre Bellangere reuenged the deth of his fader Alysander and syr Tristram slewe Kynge Marke and la Beale Isoud dyed swounyng vpon the crosse of syr Tristram whereof was grete pyte / And alle that were with Kyng Marke that were consentynge to the deth of syr Tristram were slayne as syre Andred and many other / Thenne came syr Hebes / syr Morganore / syr Sentrayle / Syre Suppynabylis / Sire Bellangere le orgulous that the good Knyghte syr lamorak wanne in playne batail syr Nerouens / & syr Plenorius two good knyȝtes that syr launcelot wan/ sir Darras / sir Harre le fyse lake / sir ermynyde broder to kyng Page  793 [leaf 397r] Hermaunce for whome syre Palomydes foughte att the reed cyte with two bretheren / & syr Selyses of the dolorous toure / sir Edward of Orkeney / syre Ironsyde that was called the noble knyȝte of the reed laundes that syre Gareth wanne for the loue of dame Lyones / syr Arrok de greuaunt / syr Degrane saunce velany that foughte with the gyaunt of the bla

black lowe / Syr Epynogrys that was the kynges sone of Northūberland Sir Pelleas that loued the lady Ettard / and he had dyed for her loue had not ben one of the ladyes of the lake / her name was dame Nymue / and she wedded sire Pelleas / and she saued hym that he was neuer slayne / and he was a ful noble knyghte / and sire Lamyel of Cardyf that was a grete louer / Sir Playne de fors / sire Melleaus de lyle / sir Bohart le cure hardy that was kynge Arthurs sone / sir Mador de la porte / sir Colgreuaunce / sir Heruyse de la forest saueage / sir Marrok the good knyghte that was bitrayed with his wyf / for she made hym seuen yere a werwolf / sir Persaunt / sire Pertilope his broder that was called the grene knyght / and sir Perymones broder to them bothe / that was called the reed knyght / that sir Gareth wanne whan he was called Beaumayns / Alle these honderd knyghtes and ten serched syr Vrres woundes by the commaundement of kynge Arthur

¶ Capitulum xij /

MErcy Ihesu sayd kynge Arthur where is syr launcelot du lake that he is not here at this tyme / Thus as they stood and spak of many thynges / there was aspyed syr launcelot that came rydyng toward them / and told the kynge / Pees sayd the kynge lete no maner thynge be sayd vntyl he be come to vs / Soo whan syr launcelot aspyed Kyng Arthur / he descended from his hors and came to the kynge / & salewed hym / and them all / Anone as the mayde syre Vrres syster sawe syr launcelot / she ranne to her broder there as he lay in his lyttar / and sayd broder here is come a knyghte that my herte gyueth gretely vnto / Fayr syster sayd syr Vrre soo dothe my herte lyghte ageynst hym / and certaynly I hope now to be heled for my hert yeueth vnto hym more thā to al these þt haue Page  794 [leaf 397v] serched me / Thenne sayd Arthur vnto syr Launcelot ye muste doo as we haue done / and told syr launcelot what they hadde done / and shewed hym them alle / that had serched hym / Ihesu defende me sayd syr Launcelot whan soo many kynges and knyghtes haue assayed and fayled / that I shold presume vpon me to encheue that alle ye my lordes myghte not encheue / Ye shalle not chese sayd kynge Arthur / for I will commaunde yow for to doo as we alle haue done / My most renoumed lord said sir Launcelot ye knowe wel I dar not nor may not disobeye your commaundement / but and I myghte or durste / wete yow wel I wold not take vpon me to touche that wounded knyghte in that entente that I shold passe alle other knyghtes / Ihesu defende me from that shame / Ye take it wrong sayd kynge Arthur / ye shal not do it for no presumcyon / but for to bere vs felaushyp in soo moche ye be a felawe of the table round / and wete yow wel sayd kynge Arthur / and ye preuayle not and hele hym / I dare say / there is no knyghte in thys land may hele hym / and therfor I pray yow / doo as we haue done / and thenne alle the kynges and knyghtes for the moost party prayd sir Launcelot to serche hym / and thenne the wounded knyghte syr Vrre sette hym vp weykely / and praid sir Launcelot hertely sayeng / curtois knyghte I requyre the for goddes sake hele my woundes / for me thynketh euer sythen ye came here / my woundes greuen me not / A my fayre lord sayd syr launcelot Ihesu wold that I myghte helpe yow I shame me sore that I shold be thus rebuked / for neuer was I able in worthynes to doo so hyghe a thynge / Thenne sire Launcelot kneled doune by the wounded knyghte sayenge / My lord Arthur I must doo your commaundement / the whiche is sore ageynst my herte / And thenne he helde vp his handes / & loked in to the eest / sayenge secretely vnto hym self / thow blessid fader / sone and holy ghoost I byseche the of thy mercy / that my symple worshyp and honeste be saued / and thou blessid Trynyte thow mayst yeue power to hele this seke knyghte by thy grete vertu and grace of the / but good lord neuer of my self And thenne sir Launcelot prayd sir Vrre to lete hym see hys hede / and thenne deuoutely knelyng he ransaked the thre woūdes that they bled a lytyl / and forth with alle the woundes Page  795 [leaf 398r] fayre heled / and semed as they had ben hole a seuen yere/ And in lyke wyse he serched his body of other thre woundes and they heled in lyke wyse / and thenne the last of alle he serched the whiche was in his hand / and anone it heled fayre /

¶ Thenne kyng Arthur and alle the kynges and knyghtes kneled doune and gaf thankynges and louynges vnto god and to his blessid moder / And euer syre Launcelot wepte as he had ben a child that had ben beten / Thenne kynge Arthur lete araye preestes and clerkes in the moost deuoutest manere to brynge in sir Vrre within Carleil with syngynge and louynge to god / And when this was done / the kyng lete clothe hym in the rychest maner that coude be thoughte / and thenne were there but fewe better made knyghtes in alle the courte / for he was passyngly wel made and bygly / and Arthur asked syr Vrre how he felte hym self / My good lord he sayd I felt my self neuer soo lusty / wylle ye Iuste and doo dedes of armes sayd kyng Arthur / Sir sayd Vrre and I had all that longed vnto Iustes I wold be soone redy /

¶ Capitulum xiij

THenne Arthur made a party of honderd knyghtes to be ageynste an honderd knyghtes / and soo vpon the morne they Iusted for a dyamond / but there Iusted none of the daungerous knyghtes / & soo for to shorten thys tale syr Vrre & sir Lauayn Iusted best that day / for there was none of hem but ouerthrewe & pulled doun thyrtty knyghtes/ & thenne by the assente of alle the knyges & lordes syre Vrre & sir Lauayn were made knyghtes of the table round / & sir lauayn caste his loue vnto dame Felelolle sire Vrres syster / & thēne they were wedded to gyder with grete Ioye / & kyng Arthur gaf to eueryche of hem a Barony of landes / and this sire Vrre wold neuer goo from sire Launcelot / but he & sir Lauayn awayted euermore vpon hym / & they were in all the courte accounted for good knyghtes / & full desyrous in armes / & many noble dedes they dyd / for they wold haue no reste / but euer foughte aduentures / thus they lyued in all that courte wyth grete noblesse & Ioye long tyme / But euery nyghte & day sire Page  796 [leaf 398v] Agrauayne / syr Gawayns broder awayted Quene Gueneuer and sir Launcelot du lake to putte them to a rebuke & shame And soo I leue here of this tale and ouer hyp grete bookes of sir Launcelot du lake / what grete aduentures he dyd whan he was called le cheualer du charyot / For as the Frensshe booke sayth by cause of despyte that knyȝtes and ladyes called hym the knyghte that rode in the charyot lyke as he were Iuged to the galhous / Therfor in despyte of all them that named hym soo / he was caryed in a charyot a twelue moneth / for but lityl after that he had slayne sir Mellyagraunce in the quenes quarel / he neuer in a twelue moneth came on horsbak / And as the Frensshe book sayth / he dyd that twelue moneth more than xl batails / And by cause I haue lost the very mater of la cheualer du charyot / I departe from the tale of sir Launcelot / & here I goo vnto the morte of kynge Arthur / and that caused syre Agrauayne

Explicit liber xix

 

 
 
 

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