(Winchester f. 449-484v; Caxton XX.1-XXI.13; Vinaver, Vol. 3, pp. 1161.1-1260.29; Shepherd pp. 646.1-698.6)


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


f. 449v (XX.1)


was longe vppon ij· vnhappy knyghtis whych were named

sir Aggravayne and sir Mordred that were brethirn vnto Sir

Gawayne for thys sir Aggravayne and sir Mordred had euer a

prevy hate vnto the quene dame Gwenyuer and to sir Launclot

and dayly and nyghtly they euer wacched vppon sir Launclot

So hyt mysse fortuned sir Gawayne and all hys brethirne

were in kynge Arthurs chambir And than sir Aggrauayne

seyde thus opynly and nat in no counceyle that manye

knyghtis myght here · I mervayle that we all be nat

a shamed bothe to se and to know how sir Launcelot lyeth

dayly and nyghtly by the quene and all we know well

that hit ys so and hit ys shamefully suffird of vs all Þat

we sholde suffir so noble a kynge as kynge Arthur ys to

be shamed Than spake sir Gawayne And seyde brothir sir

Aggravayne I pray you and charge you meve no such·

maters no more a fore me for wyte you well I woll

nat be of youre counceyle // So god me helpe seyde Sir

Gaherys and sir Gareth · we woll nat be knowyn of your

dedis Than woll I seyde sir Mordred I lyve you well seyde

sir Gawayne for euer vnto all vnhappyness sir ye woll graunte

and I wolde that ye leffte and make you nat so bysy for

I know seyde sir Gawayne wat woll falle of hit // Falle

what sum euer falle may seyde sir Aggravayne I woll disclose

hit to the kynge // Nat be my counceyle seyde sir  Gawayne

for and Þer a ryse warre and wrake be twyxte sir Launclot

wyte you well brothir there woll many kynges and grete

lordis holde with sir Launcelot Also brothir sir Aggravayne

seyde sir Gawayne ye muste remembir how oftyn tymes

sir Launcelot hath · rescowed the kynge and the quene and


f. 450 (XX. 1-2)


the beste of vs all had bene full colde at the harte roote had

nat sir Launcelot bene bettir than we And that hathe he peved

hym selff full ofte And as for my parte seyde sir Gawayne I

woll neuer be a yenste sir Launcelot for one dayes dede That

was whan he rescowed me frome Kynge Carados of the

dolorous towre and slew hym and saved my lyff Also broÞer

sir Aggravayne and sir Mordred in lyke wyse sir Launcelot res//

cowed you bothe and iij· score and ij frome sir Tarquyne And

there fore brothir me thynkis suche noble dedis and kyndnes

shulde be remembirde but do ye as ye lyste seyde sir Gawayne

for I woll layne hit no lenger // So wyth thes wordis cam

In sir Launcelo Arthur Now brothir seyde sir Gawayne stynte

youre stryff // That woll I nat seyde sir Aggravayne and sir Mor//

dred // Well woll ye so seyde sir Gawayne than god spede you

for I woll nat here of youre talis nothir be of youre counceile

No more woll I seyde sir Gaherys noÞer I seyde sir Gareth · for

I shall neuer say evyll by that man that made me knyght

and there wyth all they iij· departed makynge grete dole //

Alas seyde sir Gawayne and sir Gareth · now ys thys realme

holy destroyed and myscheved and the noble felyshyp of the

rounde table shall be disperbeled So they departed And than

kynge Arthure asked them what noyse they made // My

lorde seyde sir Aggravayne I shall telle you for I may kepe

hit no lenger // here ys I and my brothir sir Mordred brake

vnto my brothir sir Gawayne sir Gaherys and to sir Gareth ·

For thys ys all to make hit shorte we know all Þat sir Launclot

holdith youre quene and hath done longe And we be your

syster sunnes we may suffir hit no lenger and all we

wote that ys shulde be a bove sir Launcelot and ye ar Þe kynge

f. 450v (XX.2)


that made hym knyght and there fore we woll preve hit that he is

a traytoure to youre person // Gyff hit be so seyde the kynge wyte

you well he ys non othir but I wolde be lothe to begyn such a

thynge but I myght haue prevys of hit // For sir Launcelot

ys an hardy knyght and all ye know that he ys the beste

knyght amonge vs all and but if he be takyn with the dede

he woll fyght with hym that bryngith vp the noyse & I know

no knyght that ys able to macchym hym There fore and

hit be sothe as ye say I wolde that he were takyn with the dede

For as the freynshe booke seyth · the kynge was full lothe

that such a noyse shulde be vppon sir Launcelot and his quene

for the kynge had a demyng of hit but he wold nat here

Þer off for sir Launcelot had done so much for hym and for Þe

quene so many tymes that wyte you well the kynge lo//

ved hym passyngly well // My lorde seyde sir Aggravayne

ye shall ryde to morne an huntyng And doute ye nat sir

Launcelot woll nat go wyth you And so whan hit drawith

towarde nyght ye may sende the quene worde that ye

woll ly oute all that nyght and so may ye sende for your

Cookis And than vppon payne of deth that nyght we

shall take hym wyth the quene and we shall brynge

hym vnto you quycke or dede // I woll well seyde Þe kynge

Than I counceyle you to take with you sure felyshyp Sir

seyde sir Aggravayne my brothir sir Mordred and I woll

take wyth vs xij·knyghtes of the rounde table // Be ware

seyde kynge Arthure for I warne you ye shall fynde

hym wyght // lat vs deale seyde sir Aggravayne and Sir

Mordred So on the morne kynge Arthure rode an huntyng


f. 451 (XX.2-3)


and sente worde to the quene that he wolde be oute all Þat nyȝt

Than sir Aggravayne and sir Mordred gate to them xij knyȝtes

and hyd hem selff in a chambir in the castell of Carlyle

And thes were Þer namys sir Coll·grevaunce sir Mador de la//

porte sir Gyngalyne sir Mellyot de logris sir Petipace of wyn//

chylse sir Galleron of Galoway sir Melyon de la mountayne

sir Ascomore sir Gromore somer Ioure sir Cursesalyne sir Florence

and sir Lovell· So thes xij· knyghtes were with sir Mordred and sir

Aggravayne And all they were of Scotlonde oÞer ellis of sir Gaw//

ayes kynne othir wyllers to hys brothir So whan Þe nyght

cam sir Launcelot tolde sir Bors how he wolde go that nyght

and speke wyth the quene // Sir seyde sir Bors ye shall nat

go thys nyght be my counceyle why seyde sir Launcelot sir for

I drede me euer of sir Aggravayne that waytith vppon you

dayly to do you shame and vs all And neuer gaf my harte

a yenste no goynge that euer ye wnete to the quene so much

as now for I mys truste that the kynge ys oute thys nyght

frome the quene there fore I drede me sore of som treson

haue ye no drede seyde sir Launcelot for I shall go & com

a gayne and make no taryynge // Sir seyde sir Bors Þat me

repentis for I drede me sore that youre goyng thys nyght

shall wratth vs all // Fayre nevawe seyd sir Launcelot

I mervayle me much · why ye say thus sytthyn the quene

hath sente for me and wyte you well I woll nat be so much

a cowarde but she shall vndirstonde I woll se her good guce

God spede you well seyde sir Bors and sende you sounde and

sauff a gayne So sir Launcelot departed and toke hys swerde

vndir hys arme and so he walked in hys mantell Þat noble


f. 451v (XX.3)


 knyght and put hym selff in grete Jouparte and so he past on

tylle he cam to the quenys chambir And so lyghtly he was

had in to the chambir for as the freynshhe booke seyth· the

quene and sir Launcelot were to gydirs And wheÞer they were

a bed oÞer at oÞer maner of disportis me lyste nat there of make

no mencion for love that tyme was nat as love ys now

a dayes but thus as they were to gydir there cam sir Aggra/

vayne and sir Mordred wyth xij· knyghtes with them of Þe rounde

table and they seyde with grete cryyng and staryng voyce

Þou traytoure sir Launcelot now ar Þou takyn and Þus they

cryed wyth a lowde voyce that all the courte myght hyre

hit and thes xiiij· knyghtes all were armed at all poyntis

as they shulde fyght in a batayle // Alas seyde quene Gwy//

nyuer now ar we myscheved bothe // Madame seyde sir Launclot

ys Þer here ony armour with In you that myght couer my body

wyth all and if Þer be ony gyff hit me and I shall sone

stynte Þer malice by the grace of god // Now truly seyde the

quyne I haue none armour noÞer helme shylde swerde noÞer

speare where fore I dred me sore oure longe love ys com

to a myschyvus ende for I here by Þer noyse Þer be many noble

knyghtes and well I wote they be surely armed and a yenst

them ye may make no resistence where fore ye ar lykly

to be slayne and than shall I be brente // For and ye myght

ascape them seyde the quene I wolde nat doute but that

ye wolde rescowe me in what daunger that I euer stood In

Alas seyde sir Launcelot in all my lyff thus was I neuer be stad

that I shulde be thus shamefully slayne for lake of myne

armour But euer sir Aggravayne and sir Mordred cryed traytour

knyght com oute of the quenys chambir for wyte Þou well

f. 452 (XX. 3-4)


Þou arte be sette so that Þou shalt nat ascape // A Jhu mercy seyd

sir Launclot thys shamefull cry and noyse I may nat suffir For

better were deth · at onys than thus to endure thys payne

Than he toke the quene in hys armys and kyssed her and

seyde moste nobelest crysten quene I be sech you as ye haue

ben euer my speciall good lady and I at all tymes your poure

knyght and trew vnto my power And as I neuer fayled you

in ryght nor in wronge sytthyn the firste day kynge Arthur

made me knyght that ye woll pray for my soule if that I

be slayne For well I am assured that sir Bors my nevew

and all the remenaunte of my kynne with sir Lavayne and sir

Vrre that they woll nat fayle you to rescow you from the

fyer And there fore myne owne lady recomforte youre selff

what som euer com of me that ye go with sir Bors my nevew

and they all woll do you all the plesure that they may and

ye shall lyve lyke a quene vppon my londis // Nay sir Launcelot

nay seyde the quene wyte you well that I woll lyve longe

aftir thy dayes But and ye be slayne I woll take my dethe

as mekely as euer ded marter take hys dethe for Jhu Crystes

sake // Well madame seyde sir Launclot syth hit ys so that Þe day

ys com that oure love muste departe wyte you well I shall

selle my lyff as dere as I may and a thousand folde seyde sir

Launcelot I am more hevyar for you than for my selff // And

now I had levir than to be lorde of all crystendom that I had

sure armour vppon me that men myght speke of my dedys

or euer I were slayne // Truly seyde the quene and hit myȝt

please god I wolde that they wolde take me and sle me & suffir

you to ascape That shall neuer be seyde seyde sir Launcelot god

deffende me frome such a shame but Jhu cryste be Þou my

shylde and myne armoure And there with sir Launclot wrapped

f. 452v (XX.4)


hys mantel a boute hys arme well and surely and by than

they had getyn a grete fourme oute of the halle and there with

they all russhed at the dore Now fayre lordys seyde sir Launcelot

leve youre noyse and youre russhynge and I shall sette opyn

thys dore and that may ye do with me what hit lykith you Com

of than seyde they all and do hit for hit a vayyith Þe nat to

stryve a yenste we all and there fore lat vs into thys cham//

bir and we shall save thy lyff vntyl Þou com to kynge Ar//

thur Than sir Launclot vnbarred the dore and with hys lyffte

honde he hylde hit opyn a lytyll that but one man myȝt

com In at onys And so Þer cam strydyng a good knyght a

much man and a large And hys name was called Sir

Coll· grevaunce of Goore and he wyth a swerde strake at sir

Launcelot myghtyly and so he put a syde the stroke & gaff

hym such a buffette vppon the helmet that he felle grovelyng

wyth in the chambir dore Than sir Launclot with grete myght

drew the knyght with in the chambir dore And than sir Launclot

wyth helpe of the quene and her ladyes he was lyghtly ar//

med in Collgrevaunce armoure And euer stood sir Aggravayne

and sir Mordred cryyng traytoure knyght com forthe oute of

the quenys chambir // Sires leve youre noyse seyde sir Launclot

for wyte you well sir Aggravayne ye shall nat preson me

thys nyght And there fore and ye do be my counceyle go ye

all frome thys chambir dore and make you no suche cryyng

and such maner of sclaundir as ye do for I promyse you be

my knyghthode and ye woll departe and make no more noyse

I shall as to morne appyere a fore you all and be fore the

kynge and than lat hit be sene whych of you all oÞer ellis

ye all that woll deprave me of treson and there shall

I answere you as a knyght shulde that hydir I cam to Þe






f. 453 (XX.4-5)


quene for no maner of male engyne and that woll I preve and

make hit good vppon you wyth my hondys // Fye vppon the

traytour seyde sir Aggravayne and sir Mordred for we woll haue

the magre thyne hede and sle the and we lyste for we lat the

wyte we haue the choyse of kynge Arthure to save the oÞer sle Þe

A sirres seyde sir Launcelot ys Þer none oÞer grace with you than kepe

youre selff And than sir Launclot sette all opyn the chambir dore

and myghtyly and knyghtly he stoode In amonge Þem and

anone at the firste stroke he slew sir Aggravayne and a none

aftir xij· of hys felowys with in a whyle he had layde Þem down

colde to the erthe for there was none of the xij· knyghtes myȝt

stonde sir Launcelot one buffet and also he wounded sir Mordred

and there with all he fled with all hys myght And than sir Launclot

returned a gayne vnto the quene and seyde madame now

wyte you well all oure trew love ys brought to an ende

For now wyll kyng Arthur euer be my foo and Þer fore madam

and hit lyke you that I may haue you with me I shal save you

from all maner aduentures daungers // Sir that ys nat

beste seyde the quene me semyth for now ye haue don so much·

harme hit woll be beste that ye holde you styll with this and

if ye se that as to morne they woll putte me vnto dethe

than may ye rescowe me as ye thynke beste // I woll well

seyde sir Launcelot for haue ye no doute whyle I am a man

lyvyng I shall rescow you and than he kyste her and ayÞer

of hem gaff othir a rynge and so the quene he leffte there

and wente vntyll hys lodgynge // Whan sir Bors saw Sir

Launcelot he was neuer so glad of hys home conynge // Jhu mercy

seyde sir Launclot why be ye all armd what meanyth· thys

Sir seyde sir Bors aftir ye were departed frome vs we all Þat ben

of youre blood and youre well wyllars were so a dremed that

f. 453v (XX.5)


som of vs lepe oute of oure beddis naked and som in Þer dremys cauȝt

naked swerdys in Þer hondis And there fore seyde sir Bors we demed

there was som grete stryff on honde and so we demed Þat we were

be trapped with som treson and there fore we made vs thus redy

What nede that euer we were In // My fayre nevew seyde sir Launclot

vnto sir Bors now shall ye wyte all that thys nyght I was more

harde be stad than euer I was dayes of my lyff and thanked by

god I am my selff ascaped Þer daungere and so he tolde Þem all

how and in what maner as ye haue herde to fore hande And

there fore my felowys seyde sir Launclot I pray you all Þat ye woll

be of harte good and helpe me in what mode that euer I stonde

for now ys warre comyn to vs all // Sir seyde sir Bors all

ys well com that god sendyth · vs And as we haue takyn

much· weale with you and much· worshyp we woll take Þe woo

with you as we haue takyn the weale And there fore they

seyde all the good knyghtes loke ye take no discomforte for Þer

ys no londys of knyghtes vndir hevyn but we shall be

able to greve them as muche as they vs and Þer fore discom//

forte nat youre selff by no maner And we shall gadir to gyder

all that we love and that lovyth vs and what that ye woll

haue done shall be done and there fore lat vs take the wo

and the Joy to gydir Grauntmercy seyde sir Launcelot of youre

good comforte for In my grete distresse fayre nevew ye com//

forte me gretely But thus my fayre nevew I wolde that

ye ded in all haste that ye may for hit ys far dayes paste

that ye woll loke in Þer lodgynge that ben lodged nyȝe here

a boute the kynge whych woll holde with me and whych· woll

nat for now I wolde know whych were my frendis fro my

fooes Sir seyde sir Bors I shall do my payne and or hit be

vij· of the clok I shall wyte of such· as ye haue done fore who

f. 454 (XX.5)


who that woll holde with you // Than sir Bors called vnto hym sir

Lyonel· sir Ector de marys sir Blamour de ganys sir Gahalantyne Sir

Galyhodyn sir Galyhud sir Menaduke sir vyllyers Þe valyaunte syr

Hebes le renowne sir Lavayne sir vire of hungry sir Nerovens Sir

plenoryns for thes ij were kn yghtes than sir Launcelot wan

                        vppon a brydge and there fore they wolde neuer be a yenst hym

And sir Harry le fyr lake and sir Selyses of the dolerous towre

sir Mellyas de lyle and sir Bellangere le bewse that was sir Alysaun//

dir le orphelyne by cause hys modir was kyn vnto sir Launclot he

hylde wyth hym So cam sir palomydes and sir Saphir hys

brothir sir Clegis sir Sadok sir Dynas and sir Clarryus of Cleremount

So thes ij· and xxt knyghtes drew hem to gydirs And by Þan

they were armed and on horse bak they promysed sir Launclot

to do what he wolde Than Þer felle to them what of northe

walys and of Cornwayle for sir Lamorake sake and for Sir

Trystrames sake to the numbir of a viij· score knyghtes // Than

spake sir Launcelot wyte you well I haue bene euer syns I cam

to thys courte well wylled vnto my lorde Arthure And vnto

my lady quene Gwenyuer vnto my power and thys nyght

by cause my lady the quene sente for me to speke with her

I suppose hit was made by treson How be hit I dare largely

excuse her person nat with stondynge I was Þer by nere honde

slayne but as Jhu provyded for me And than Þat noble

knyght sir Launclot tolde hem how he was harde be stad in Þe

quenys chambir and how and in what maner he ascaped

from them And there fore wyte you well my fayre lordis

I am sure there nys but warre vnto me and to myne and

for cause I haue slayne thys nyght sir Aggravayne sir Gaw//

aynes brothir and at the leste xij of hys felows And for

f. 454v (XX.5-6)


thys cause now am I sure of mortall warre for thes knyghtes were

sente by kynge Arthur to be tray me And there fore the kyng woll

in thys hete and malice Jouge the quene vnto brennyng and

that may nat I suffir that she shulde be brente for my sake for

and I may be harde and suffirde and so takyn I woll feyght

for the quene that she ys a trew lady vntyll her lorde But the

kynge in hys hete I drede woll nat take me as I ouȝt to be

takyn / My lorde sir Launcelot seyde sir Bors be myne aduyce

yf ye shall take the woo wyth the weall and sytthyn hit ys

fallyn as hit ys I counceyle you to kepe youre selff For and

ye woll youre selffe Þer ys no felyshyp of knyghtes crystynde

that shall do you wronge And also I woll counceyle you

my lorde that my lady quene Gwenyuer and she be in ony

distres in so much as she ys in payne for youre sake that ye

knyghtly rescow her for and ye ded ony oÞer wyse all the

worlde wolde speke you shame to the worldis ende In so

much· as ye were takyn with her wheÞer ye ded ryght othir

wronge hit ys now youre parte to holde wyth the quene Þat

she be nat slayne and put to a myschevous deth for and

she so dye the shame shall be euer more youres // Now Jhu

deffende me from shame seyde sir Launcelot and kepe & save

my lady the quene from vylany and shamefull dethe and

that she neuer be destroyed in my defaute // Where fore my

fayre lordy my kyn and my fryndis seyde sir Launclot what

woll ye do And anone they seyde all with one voyce we

woll do as ye woll do Than I put thys case vnto you seyde

sir Launcelot that my lorde kynge Arthure by evyll counceile

woll to morn in hys hete put my lady the quene vnto Þe

fyre and there to be brente Than I pray you counceile me

f. 455 (XX.6)


what ys beste for me to do Than they seyde all at onys with

one voice Sir vs thynkis beste that ye knyghtly rescow the

quene In so much as she shall be brente hit ys for youre sake

And hit ys to suppose and ye myght be handeled ye shulde

haue the same dethe othir ellis amore shamefuller dethe

And sir we say all that ye haue rescowed her frome her

deth many tymys for oÞer mennes quarels there fore vs semyth

hit ys more youre worshyp that ye rescow the quene from

thys quarell In so much that she hath hit for your sake Than

sir Launcelot stood stylle and sayde my fayre lordis wyte you

well I wolde be lothe to do that thynge that shulde dishonour

you or my bloode and wyte you well I wolde be full lothe Þat

my lady the quene shude dye such · a shamefull deth· but &

hit be so that ye woll counceyle me to rescow her I must do

much · harme or I rescow her and paraduenture I shall Þer

destroy Þer som of my beste fryndis And if so be that I may

wynne the quene a way where shall I kepe her // Sir that

shall be the beste care of vs all seyde sir Bors for how ded

the moste noble knyght sir Trystram by youre good wyll kept

nat he with hym La Beall Isode nere iij· yere in Joyus garde the

whych · was done by youre alÞers avyce and that same

place ys youre owne and in lyke wyse may ye do & ye lyst

and take the quene knyghtly away with you if so be Þat the

kynge woll Jouge her to be brente And In Joyus garde may

ye kepe her longe I nowe vntyll the hete be paste of the

kynge And than hit may fortune you to brynge Þe quene

a gayne to the kynge with grete worshyp and paraduenture

ye shall haue than thanke for youre bryngyng home wherer

othir may happyn to haue magre // That ys hard for to do


f. 455v (XX.6-7)


seyde sir Launcelot to do for by sir Trystram I may haue a warnynge

for whan by meanys of tretyse sir Trystram brouȝt a gayne la

beall Isode vnto kynge Marke frome Joyus garde loke ye now what

felle on the ende how samefully that false traytour kyng Marke

slew hym as he sate harpynge a fore hys lady la beall Isode

wyth a grounden glayve he threste hym in be hynde to the

harte whych grevyth sore me seyde sir Launcelot to speke of his

dethe for all the worlde may nat fynde such anoÞer knyght

All thys ys trouthe seyde sir Bors but Þer ys one thyng shall

corrayge you and vs all ye know well that kynge Arthur

and kynge Marke were neuer lyke of conducions for Þer was

neuer yet man that euer coude preve kynge Arthur vntrew

of hys promyse But so to make shorte tale the were all con//

discended that for bettir othir for wars if so were Þat Þe quene

were brought on that morne to the fyre shortely they all

wolde rescow her And so by the aduyce of sir Launcelot they

put hem all in a wood as nyȝe Carlyle as they nyi myght

and there they a bode stylle to wyte what the kynge wold

do // Now turne we a gayne that whan sir Mordred was

ascaped frome sir Launclot he gate hys horse and cam to kynge

Arthur sore wounded and all for bled and there he tolde the

kynge all how hit was and how they were all slayne save

hym selff alone A Jhu mercy how may thys be seyde Þe kynge

toke ye hym in the quenys chambir // yee so god me helpe

seyde sir Mordred ther we founde hym vnarmed And anone

he slew sir Coll grevaunce and armed hym in hys armour

and so he tolde the kynge frome the be gynnyng to Þe endynge

Jhu mercy seyde the kynge he ys a mervaylous knyght of

proves And alas seyde the kynge me sore repentith that

f. 456 (XX.7)


euer Launcelot sholde be a yenste me for now I am sure the

noble felyshyp of the rounde table ys brokyn for euer for wyth

hym woll many a noble knyght holde And now hit ys fallen

so seyde the kynge that I may nat with my worshyp but my

quene muste suffir dethe And was sore a moved // So than

Þer was made grete ordynaunce in thys Ire and the quene

muste nedis be Jouged to the deth · And the law was such ·

in Þo dayes that what som euer they were of what astate

or degre if they were founden gylty of treson there shuld be

none oÞer remedy but deth · and othir Þe menourer Þe takynge

wyth the dede shulde be causer of Þer hasty Jougement and

ryght so was hit ordayned for quene Gwenyuer by cause Sir

Mordred was ascaped sore wounded and the dethe of xiij·

knyghtes of the rounde table thes previs and experyenses cau//

sed kynge Arthur to commaunde the quene to the fyre and

there to be brente // Than spake sir Gawayn and seyde my

lorde Arthure I wolde counceyle you nat to be ouer hasty but

that ye wolde put hit in respite thys Jougemente of my

lady the quene for many causis One ys thys thouȝe hyt

were so that sir Launcelot were founde in the quenys chambir

yet hit myght be so that he cam thydir for none evyll for

ye know my lorde seyde sir Gawayne that my lady Þe quene

hath oftyn tymes ben gretely be holdyn vnto sir Launcelot

more than to ony othir knyght for oftyn tymes he hath

saved her lyff and done batayle for her whan all Þe courte

refused the quene And paraduenture she sente for hym for

goodnes and for none evyll to rewarde hym for his good

dedys that he had done to her in tymes past And paraventure

my lady the quene sente for hym to that entente that Sir

f. 456v (XX.7)


Launcelot sholde a com prevayly to her wenyng that hyt had be

beste in eschewynge of slaundir for oftyn tymys we do many thynges

that we wene for the beste be and yet paraduenture hit tur nyth

to thw warste for I dare sey seyde sir Gawayne my lady your quene

ys to you both good and trew And as for sir Launclot I dare say

he woll make hit good vpon ony knyght lyvyng that woll

put vppon hym vylany or shame and in lyke wyse he woll

make good for my lady thw quene / That I be leve well seyde

kynge Arthur But I woll nat that way worke with sir Launcelot

for he trustyth so much · vppon hys hondis and hys myght

that he doutyth no man and Þer fore for my quene he shall

neuer more fyght for she shall haue the law And if I may

gete sir Launcelot wyte you well he shall haue as shamefull

a dethe Jhu defende me seyde sir Gawayne that I neuer se hit

nor know hit / Why say you so seyde kynge Arthur for

pride ye haue no cause to love hym For thys nyȝt last past

he slew youre brothir sir Aggravayne a full good knyght

And all moste he had slayne youre othir broÞer sir Mordred

and also there he slew xiij· noble knyghtes And also remmebir

you sir Gawayne he slew ij sunnes of youres sir Florens &

sir Lovell My lorde seyde sir Gawayne of all thys I haue a

knowleche whych of her dethis sore repentis me But In

so much as I gaff hem warnynge and tolde my brothir

and my sonnes a fore honde what wolde falle onthe ende

And in so muche as they wolde nat do be my counceyle I

woll nat meddyll me Þer off nor revenge me no thynge

of Þer dethys for I tolde them Þer was no boote to stryve with sir

Launcelot how be hit I am sory of the deth of my brothir

and of my ij· sunnes but they ar the causars of Þer owne dethe

f. 457 (XX.7-8)


for oftyn tymes I warned my brothir sir Aggravayne & I tolde

hym of the perellis // Than seyde kynge Arthur vnto sir Gaw//

ayne make you redy I pray you in youre beste armour wyth ·

youre brethirn sir Gaherys and sir Gawayne to brynge my

quene to the fyre and there to haue her Jougement // Nay my

moste noble kynge seyde sir Gawayne that woll I neuer do

For wyte you well I woll neuer be in that place where so no//

ble a quene as ys my lady dame Gwenyuer shall take such·

a shamefull ende // For wyte you well seyde sir Gawayne my

harte woll nat serue me for to se her dye And hit shall neuer

be seyde that euer I was of youre counceyle for her deth · Than

seyde the kynge vnto sir Gawayne suffir your brethirn Sir

Gaherys and sir Gareth·  to be there / My lorde seyde sir Gawayne

wyte you well they wyll be lothe to be there present by cause

of many aduentures that ys lyke to falle But they ar yonge

and full vnable to say you nay Than spake sir Gaherys &

the good knyght sir Gareth · vnto kynge Arthur sir ye may

well commaunde vs to be there but wyte you well hit shall

be sore a yenste oure wyll But and we be there by youre

strayte commaundement ye shall playnly holde vs Þer excused

we woll be there in pesyble wyse and beare none harneyse

of warre vppon vs In the name of god seyde the kynge Than

make you redy for she shall haue sone her Jugemente // Alas

seyde sir Gawayne that euer I shulde endure to se this wofull

day So sir Gawayne turned hym and wepte hartely and so

he wente in to hys chambir and so the quene was lad furthe

with oute Carlyle and anone she was dispoyled in to he smokke

And than her gostely fadir was brought to her to be shryven

of her myssededis Than was Þer wepyng and waylynge

and wryngyng of hondis of many lordys and ladyes


f. 457v (XX.8)


But Þer were but feaw in comperson that wolde beare ony armoure

for to strengthe the dethe of the quene Than was Þer one that sir

Launcelot had sente vnto whych wente to aspye what tyme

the quene shulde go vnto her deth· And anone as he saw

the quene dispoyled in to her smok and shryven Than he

gaff sir Launcelot warnynge anone Than was Þer but spur//

ryng and pluckyng vp of horse and ryȝt so they com vnto

the fyre And who that stoode a yenste them Þer were they

slayne full many a noble knyght For there was slayne

sir Bellyas le orgulus sir Segwarydes sir Gryfflet sir Braun//

dyles sir Agglouale sir Tor sir Gauter sir Gyllymer sir Raynold iij·

brethirn and sir Damas sir Priamus sir Kay le straunge sir Dryaunnt

sir Lambegus sir Hermynde sir Pertolyp sir Perymones ij· breÞern

whych were called the grene knyght and the rede knyght

And so in thys russhynge and hurlynge as sir Launcelot

thrange here and there hit mysfortuned hym so sle Sir

Gaherys and sir Gareth· the noble knyght for they were vn

armed and vn wares as the freynsh· booke sayth sir Launclot

smote sir Gaherys and sir Gareth vppon the brayne pannes

where thorow that they were slayne in the felde how be

hit in very trouth sir Launcelot saw them and so were they

founde dede amonge the thyckyste of the prees Than Sir

Launcelot whan he had thus done and slayne and put to

flyght all that wolde wyth stonde hym Than he rode streyt

vnto quene Gwenyuer and made caste a bundyll & a gown

vppon her and than he made her to be sette be hynde hym and

prayde her to be of good chere Now wyte you well Þe quene

was glad that she was at that tyme a scaped frome Þe deth·

And than she thanked god and sir Launcelot and so he rode

f. 458 (XX. 8-9)


hys way wyth the quene as the freynshe booke seyth vnto Joyus garde

and there he kepte her as a noble knyght shulde and many gete

lordis and many good knyghtes were sente hym and many

full noble knyghtes drew vnto hym Whan they harde that

kynge Arthure and sir Launcelot were at debate many knyȝtes

were glad and many were sory of Þer debate // Now turne we

a gayne vnto kynge Arthure that whan hit was tolde

hym how and in what maner the quene was taken a way

frome the fyre and whan he harde of the deth · of his noble

knyghtes and in especiall sir Gaherys and sir Gareth · Than

he sowned for verry pure sorow And whan he a wooke

of hys swouȝe than he sayde alas that euer I bare crowne

vppon my hede For now haue I loste the fayryst felyshyp

of noble knyghtes that euer hylde crystyn kynge to gydirs

Alas my good knyghtes be slayne and gone a way fro me

that now with in thys ij dayes I haue loste nyȝ xl· knyghte

And also the noble felyshyp of sir Launcelot and hys blood

for now I may neuer more holde hem to gydirs with my wor/

shyp now alas that euer thys warre be gan / Now fayre

felowis seyde the kynge I charge you that no man telle sir

Gawayne of the deth of hys ij brethirne for I am sure

seyde the kynge whan he hyryth telle that sir Gareth ys

dede he wyll go nyȝ out of hys mynde Marci Jhu seyde Þe

kynge why slew he sir Gaherys and sir Gareth· for I dare sey

as for sir Gareth· he loved sir Launcelot of all men erthly

That ys trouth seyde som knyght but they were slayne

in the hurlynge as sir Launcelot thrange in the thyckyst

of the prees and as they were vnarmed he smote them

and wyst nat whom that he smote and so vnhappely they

f. 458v (XX.9)


were slayne // wl well seyde Arthure the deth of them woll cause

the grettist mortall warre that euer was for I am sure Þat whan

sir Gawayne knowyth· here off that sir Gareth· ys slayne I shall

neuer haue reste of hym tyll I haue destroyed sir Launcelottys

kynne and hym selff bothe othir ellis he to destroy me And

there fore seyde the kynge wyte you well my harte was

neuer so hevy as hit ys now and much· more I am soryar

for my good knyghtes losse than for the losse of my fayre

quene for quenys I myȝt haue I now but such· a felyship

of good knyghtes shall neuer be to gydirs in no company

and now I dare sey seyde kynge Arthure there was neuer

crystynr kynge that euer hylde such· a felyshyp to gydyrs

And alas that euer sir Launcelot and I shulde be at debate

A Aggravayne Aggravayne seyde the kynge Jhu for gyff

hit thy soule for thyne evyll wyll that Þou haddist and sir

Mordred thy brothir vnto sir Launcelot hath caused all Þis

sorow And euer amonge thes complayntes the kynge wepte

amonge and sowned Than cam Þer one to sir Gawayne

and tolde how the quene was lad a way with sir Launcelot

and nyȝ a iiij· and xxti knyghtes slayne A Jhu save me my

ij brethirn seyde sir Gawayne for full well wyst I sayde

sir Gawayne that sir Launcelot wolde rescow her othir ellis

he wolde dye in that fylde and to say the trouth he were

nat of worshyp but if he had rescowed the quene In so

much· as she shulde haue be brente for his sake And as

in that seyde sir Gawayne he hath done but knyghtly and

as I wolde haue done my selff and I had stonde in lyke case

But where ar my brethirn seyde sir Gawayne I mervayle

that I se nat of them Than seyde that man truly sir Gahe//

rys and sir Gareth· be slayne // Jhu deffende seyd sir Gawayne


f. 459 (XX.9-10)


for all thys worlde I wolde nat that they were slayne and in

especiall my good brothir sir Gareth· sir seyde the man he ys slay//

ne and that ys grete pite // Who slew hym seyde sir Gawayne

Sir Launclot seyde the man slew hem both // That may I nat be

leve seyde sir Gawayne that euer he slew my good broÞer sir Gareth·

for I dare say b my brothir loved hym bettir Þan me and all

hys brethirn and the kynge bothe Also I dare sey an sir Launclot

had desyred my brothir sir Gareth· with hym he wolde haue ben

with hym a yenste the kynge and vs all And Þer fore I may neuer

be lyeve that sir Launcelot slew my broÞern // veryly sir seyde Þe

man hit ys noysed that he slew hem // Alas seyde sir Gaw//

ayne now ys my Joy gone and than he felle downe & sowned

and longe he lay there as he had ben dede And whan he

arose oute of hys swouȝe he cryed oute sorowfully and seyde

alas and forth with he ran vnto the kynge criyng & wepyng

and seyde a myne vncle kynge Arthur my good brothir sir

Gareth· ys slayne and so ys my brothir sir Gaherys whych

were ij noble knyghtes Than the kynge wepte and he bothe

and so they felle on sownynge And whan they were revyved

than spake sir Gawayne and seyde sir I woll goo and se my broÞer

sir Gareth sir ye may nat se hym seyde the kynge for I caused

hym to be entered and sir Gaherys bothe for I well vndir//

stood that ye wolde make ouer muche sorow and the syȝt of sir

sorow Gareth shulde haue caused youre double sorow Alas

my lorde seyde sir Gawayne how slew he my brothir sir Gareth

I pray you telle me Truly seyde the kynge I shall tell you as

hit hath bene tolde me sir Launcelot slew hym and sir Gaherys

both· Alas seyde sir Gawayne they beare none armys a yenst

hym neyÞer of them bothe I wote nat how hit was seyde the

kynge but as hit ys sayde sir Launclot slew htme in the thyk prees

f. 459v (XX.10)


and knew them nat And there fore lat vs shape a remedy for

to revenge Þer dethys // My kynge my lorde and myne vncle seyde

sir Gawayne wyte you well now I shall make you a promyse

whych I shall holde be my knyghthode that frome thys day

forewarde I shall neuer fayle sir Launcelot vntyll that one of

vs haue slayne that othir and there fore I requyre you my

lorde and kynge dresse you vnto the warres for wyte you

well I woll be revenged vppon sir Launcelot And Þer fore as

ye woll haue my servyse and my love now haste you Þer to and

assay youre frendis For I promyse vnto god seyde sir Gawayn

for the deth of my brothir sir Gareth· I shall seke sir Launcelot

thorow oute vij· kynges realmys but I shall sle hym oÞer ellis

he shall sle me / Sir ye shall nat nede to seke hym so far seyde

the kynge for as I here say sir Launcelot woll a byde me and

vs all wyth in the castell of Joyus garde and muche peple

drawyth vnto hym as I here say That may I ryȝt well

be lyve seyde sir Gawayne But my lorde he sayde assay your

fryndis and I woll assay myne hit shall be done seyde Þe kyng

and as I suppose I shall be bygge I nowȝe to dryve hym oute

of the bygyst toure of hys castell So than the kynge sente

lettirs and wryttis thorow oute all Inglonde both Þe lengthe

and the brede for to assomon all hys knyghts And so vnto

kynge Arthure drew many knyghtes deukes and Erlis that he

had a grete oste and whan they were assembeled the kynge

enfourmed hem how sir Launcelot had be raffte hym hys

quene Than the kynge and all hys oste made hem redy

to ley syege a boute sir Launcelot where he lay with In Joyus garde

And anone sir Launcelot harde Þer of and purveyde hym off

many good knyghtes som for hys owne sake and som for

the quenys sake Thus they were on bothe partyes well

f. 460 (XX.10-1)


furnysshed and garnysshed of all maner of thynge Þat longed

vnto the warre // But kynge Arthurs oste was so grete that

sir Launcelottis oste wolde nat a byde hym in the fylde For he was

full lothe to do batayle a yenste the kynge But sir Launcelot

drew hym vnto hys stronge castell with all manerof vytayle plen//

te and as many noble men as he myght suffyse with In the

towne and the castell Than cam kynge Arthure with Sir

Gawayne wyth a grete oste and leyde syge all a boute Joyus

garde both· the towne and the castell and there they made

stronge warre on bothe partyes but in no wyse sir Launcelot

wolde ryde oute of the castell of longe tyme and noÞer he wold

nat suffir none of hys good knyghtes to issew oute noÞer of Þe

towne noÞer of the castell vntyll xv· wykes were paste So

hit fell vppon a day that sir Launcelot loked ouer the wallys

and spake on hyght vnto kynge Arthure and to sir Gaw

ayne my lordis bothe wyte we wel you well all thys ys in

vayne that ye make at thys syge for here wynne ye no wor//

shyp but magre and dishonoure for and hit lyste me to com

my selff oute and my good knyghtes I shulde full sone make

an ende of thys warre Com forth seyde kynge Arthur vnto

sir Launcelot and Þou darste And I promyse the I shall mete

the in myddis of thys fylde god deffende me seyde sir Launcelot

that euer I shulde encounter wyth the moste noble kynge that

made me knyght Now fye vppon thy fayre langayge seyde

the kynge for wyte Þou well and truste hit I am thy mor//

tall foo and euer woll to my deth day for Þou haste slayne

my good knyghtes and full noble men of my blood that

shall I neuer recouer a gayne Also Þou haste layne be my

quene and holdyn her many wynters and sytthyn lyke

a traytoure taken her a way fro me and by fors // My moste

f. 460v (XX.11)


noble lorde and kynge seyde sir Launcelot ye may sey what ye

woll for ye wote well wyth youre selff I woll nat stryve But

there as ye say that I haue slayne youre good knyghtes I wote

well that I haue done so And that me sore repentith· But I

was forced to do batayle with hem in savyng of my lyff othir

ellis I muste haue suffirde hem to haue slayne me And as

for my lady quene Gwenyuer excepte youre person of your hyȝnes

And my lorde sir Gawayne there nys no knyght vndir hevyn

that dare make hit good vppon me that euer I was traytour

vnto youre person And where hit please you to say that I haue

holdyn my lady youre quene yerys and wynters vnto

that I shall euer make a large answere and prove hit vppon

ony knyght that beryth the lyff excepte youre person and

sir Gawayne that my lady quene Gwenyuer ys as trew a

lady vnto youre person as ys ony lady lyvynge vnto her lorde

and that woll I make good with my hondis how be hyt / hit

hath lyked her good grace her good grace to haue me in

favoure and cherysh· me more than ony oÞer knyght and

vnto my power a gayne I haue deserued her love for oftyn

tymes my lorde ye haue concented that she sholde haue be

brente and destroyed in youre hete and than hit fortuned

me to do batayle for her and or I departed fgrom her aduersary

they confessed there vntrouthe and she full worsshypfully

excused And at suche tymes my lorde Arthur seyde Sir

Launcelot ye loved me and thanked me whan I saved your

quene frome the fyre And than ye promysed me for euer to

be my good lorde And now me thynkith ye rewarde me

evyll for my good seruyse And my lorde me semyth I had

loste a grete parte of my worshyp in my knyghthod and

I had suffird my lady youre quene to haue ben brentest




                                              In so much

f. 461 (XX.11)


In so much as she shulde haue bene brente for my sake

For sytthyn I haue done batayles for youre quene in oÞer

quarels / Than in myne owne quarell me semyth now

I had more ryght to do batayle for her in her ryȝt quarell

And there fore my good and gracious lorde seyde sir Launclot

take youre quene vnto youre good grace for she ys both tru

and good // Fy on the false recreayed knyȝt seyde sir Gawayn

for I lat the wyte my lorde myne vncle kynge Arthur shall

haue hys quene and the bothe magre thy vysayge and sle

you bothe and save you wheÞer hit please hym // hit may

well be seyde sir Launclot But wyte Þou wel my lorde sir Gaw

and me lyste to com oute of thys castell ye shulde wyn me

and the quene more harder than euer ye wan a stronge

batayle // Now fy on the proude wordis seyde sir Gawayne

as for my lady the quene wyte Þou well I woll neuer say

her shame but Þou false and recrayde knyght seyde Sir

Gawayne what cause haddist Þou to sle my good broÞer Sir

Gareth· that loved the more Þan me and all my kynne

And alas Þou madist hym knyght thyne owne hondis

why slewest Þou hym that loved the so well // For to

excuse me seyde sir Launcelot hit boteneth me nat but by

Jhu and by the feyth that I owȝe vnto the hyȝe order of

knyghthode I wolde with as a good a wyll haue slayne my

nevew sir Bors de ganys and alas that euer I was so vnhappy

seyde sir Launcelot that I had nat seyde sir Gareth and sir Ga//

herys Thou lyest recrayed knyght seyde sir Gawayne Þou

slewyste hem in the despite of me and Þer fore wyte Þou

well sir Launcelot I shall make warre vppon the and all

the whyle that I may lyve be thyne enemy That me repentes

f. 461v (XX.11-2)


seyde sir Launcelot for well I vndirstonde hit boteneth me nat to seke

none accordemente whyle ye sir Gawayne ar so myschevously sett

And if ye were nat I wolde nat doute to haue the good grace

of my lorde kynge Arthure I leve well false recrayed knyght

for Þou haste many longe dayes ouer lad me and vs all and

destroyed many of oure good knyghtes // Sir ye say all hit pla//

sith you sedye sir Launcelot yet may hit neuer be seyde on me and

opynly preved that euer I be fore caste of treson slew no goode

knyght as ye my lorde sir Gawayne haue done and so ded

I neuer but in my deffence that I was dryven Þer to in savyng

of my lyff A Þou false knyght seyde sir Gawayne Þat Þou menyst

by sir Lamorak but wyte Þou well I slew hym / Sir ye slew hym

nat youre selff seyde sir Launcelot for hit had ben ouer much for

you for he was one of the best knyghtes crystynde of hys ayge

and hit was grete pite of hys deth // well well sir Launclot

seyde sir Gawayne sytthyn Þou enbraydyst me of sir Lamorak

wyte Þou well I shall neuer leve the tyll I haue the at suche

a vayle that Þou shalt nat ascape my hondis I truste

you well I nowȝ seyde sir Launcelot and ye may gete me

I gett but lytyll mercy But the freynsh· booke seyth kynge

Arthur wold haue takyn hys quene a gayne and to haue

bene accorded with sir Launcelot But sir Gawayne wolde nat

suffir hym by no maner of meane And so sir Gawayne

made many men to blow vppon sir Launcelot And so all at onys

they called hym false recrayed knyght But whan sir Bors

de ganys sir Ector de marys and sir Lyonell harde thys oute cry

they called vnto them sir Palomydes and sir Lavayne an sir

Vrre wyth many mo knyghtes of Þer bloode and all they wente

vnto sir Launcelot and seyde thus my lorde wyte you well

we haue grete scorne of the grete rebukis that we haue

f. 462 (XX.12)


harde sir Gawayne sey vnto you where fore we pray you and

charge you as ye woll haue oure seruyse kepe vs no lenger

wyth in thys wallis fore we lat you wete playnly we woll

ryde in to the fylde and do batayle wyth hem for ye fare

as a man that were a ferde and for all Þer fayre speche hit

woll nat avayle you for wyte you well sir Gawayne woll

nevir suffir you to accorde wyth kynge Arthur And Þer fore

fyght for youre lyff and ryght and dare // Alas seyde sir

Launcelot for to ryde oute of thys castell and to do batayle

I am full lothe // Than sir Launcelot spake on hyȝt vnto kyng

Arthur and sir Gawayne my lorde I requyre you & be seche

you sytthyn that I am thus requyred and conioured to

ryde in to the fylde that neyÞer you my lorde kynge Arthur

noÞer you sir Gawayne com nat in to the fylde // What shall

we do than seyde sir Gawayne Is nat thys the kynges quarel·

to fyght wyth the And also hit ys my quarell to fyght

wyth the be cause of the dethe of my brothir sir Gareth· Than

muste I nedys vnto batayle seyde sir Launcelot now wyte

you well my lorde Arthur and sir Gawayne ye woll repent

hit whan som euer I do batayle wyth you And so than

they departed eythir frome othir And than aythir party made

hem redy on the morne for to do batayle and gete purvey//

aunce was made on bothe sydys And sir Gawayne lat

purvey many knyghtes for to wayte vppon sir Launcelot

for to ouer sette hym and to sle hym And on the morn at

vnderne kynge Arthure was redy in the fylde with iij

grete ostys And than sir Launcelottis felyshyp com oute

at the iij gatis in full good aray And sir Lyonell com In

the formyst batayle and sir Launclot cam in the myddyll

And sir Bors com oute at the thirde gate And Þus they

f. 462v (XX. 12-13)


cam in order and rule as full noble knyghtes And euer sir Laun

celot charged all hys knyghtes in ony wyse to save kynge

Arthure and sir Gawayne Than cam forth sir Gawayne

frome the kyngis oste and profirde to Juste And sir Lyonel·

was a fyers knyght and lyghtly he encountred with hym

and there sir Gawayne smote sir Lyonell· thorow oute the

body that he daysshed to the erth lyke as he had ben dede

And than sir Ector de marys and oÞer mo bare hym in to Þe

castell And anone there be gan a grete stowre and much

people were slayne And euer sir Launclot ded what he myȝt

to save the people on kynge Arthurs party for sir Bors and

sir Palomydes and sir Saffir ouer threw many knyghtes for

they were dedely knyghtes And sir Blamour de ganys and sir

Bleoberys wyth sir Bellyngere le bewse thes vi· knyghtes

ded much harm And euer was kynge Arthur a boute

sir Launcelot to haue slayne hym and euer sir Launcelot

suffird hym and wolde nat stryke a gayne So sir Bors

encountirde wyth kynge Arthur and sir Bors smote

hym and so he a lyȝt and drew hys swerde and seyd to

sir Launcelot sir shall I make an ende of thys warre

for he mente to haue slayne hym Nat so hardy seyde

sir Launcelot vppon payne of thy hede that Þou touch· hym

no more for I woll nuer se that moste noble kynge that

made me knyght noÞer slayne nor shamed And Þer with

all sir Launcelot Alyȝt of hys horse and toke vp Þe kynge

and horsed hym a gayne and seyd thus my lorde Þe

kynge for goddis love stynte thys stryff for ye gette

here no worshyp and I wolde do myne vtteraunce

f. 463 (XX.13)


But all wayes I for beare you and ye nor none off

youres for beryth nat me And there fore my lorde I

pray you my remembir what I haue done in many

placis and now am I evyll rewarded / So whan

kynge Arthur was on horsebak he loked on sir Launclot

than the teerys braste oute of hys yen thynkyng of

the grete curtesy that was in sir Launcelot more than

in ony oÞer man and there with the kynge rod hys way

and myght no lenger be holde hym saiyng to hym

selff alas alas that yet thys warre be gan and Þan

aythir party of the batayles / wyth drew them to repose

them and buryed the dede and serched the wounded men //

and leyde to Þer woundes soffte salues and thus they endured

that nyght tylle on the morne and on the morne by vndirn

they made them redy to do batayle And than sir Bors lad Þe

vawarde So vppon the morn Þer cam sir Gawayne as brym

as ony beore wyth agrete spere in hys honde // And when

sir Bors saw hym he thought to revenge hys broÞer sir Lyo//

nell· of the despite sir Gawayne gaff hym the oÞer day

And so as they that knew aythir oÞer feautred Þer spearis

and with all Þer myght of Þer horsis and them selff so fyersly

they mette to gydirs and so felously that aythir bare oÞer

thorow and so they felle bothe to the bare erthe and Þan

the batayle Joyned and there was much· slaughter on bothe

partyes // Than sir Launcelo rescowed sir Bors and sent hym

in to the castell But neyÞer sir Gawayne noÞer sir Bors dyed

nat of Þer woundis for they were well holpyn Than Sir

Lavayne and sir Vrre prayde sir Launcelot to do hys payne

and feyght as they do for we se that ye for beare & spare

f. 463v (XX.13)


and that doth vs much harme and Þer fore we pray you spare

nat youre enemyes no more than they do you Alas seyde

sir Launcelot I haue no harte to fyght a yenste my lorde Arthur

for euer me semyth· I do nat as me ouȝt to do My lorde

seyde sir Palomydes thouȝe ye spare them neuer so much· all

thys day they woll can you thanke And yf they may gete

you at avayle ye ar but a dede man So than sir Launclot

vndirstoode that they seyde hym trouthe than he strayned

hym selff more than he ded to fore honde And by cause of

hys nevew sir Bors was sore wounded he payned hym

selff the more And so with in a lytyll whyle by evynsong tyme

sir Launcelottis party the bettir stood for Þer horsis wente in

blood paste the fyttlokkes there were so many people slayne

And than for verry pite sir Launcelot with hylde hys knyghtes

and suffird kynge Arthurs party to with draw them in syde·

And so he withdrew hys meyny in to the castell and aythir

partyes buryed the dede and put salue vnto the wounded men

So whan sir Gawayne was hurte they on kynge Arthurs

party were nat so orgulus as they were to fore honde to

do batayle // So of thys warre that was be twene kynge

Arthure and sir Launclot hit was noysed thorow all crystyn

realmys · And so hit cam at the laste by relacion vnto the

pope And than the pope toke a consideracion of Þe grete

goodnes of kynge Arthur and of the hyȝe proves off Sir

Launcelot that was called the moste nobelyst knyȝt of

the worlde / where fore the pope called vnto hym a noble

clerke that at that tyme was there presente the freynsh·

boke seyth hit was the bysshop of rochester and Þe pope gaff

f. 464 (XX. 13-14)


vndir leade and sente hem vnto the kynge chargyng hym vp//

pon payne of entirdytynge of all Inglonde that he take hys

quene a gayne and accorde with sir Launcelot So whan thys

bysshop was com vnto Carlyle he shewed the kynge hys

bullys And whan the kynge vndirstoode them he wyste

nat what to do but full fayne he wolde haue bene acorded

with sir Launcelot But sir Gawayn wolde nat suffir hym but

to haue the quene he there to agreed but in no wyse he

wolde suffir the kynge to accorde with sir Launcelot but as

for the quene he consented So the bysshop had of Þe kynge

hys grete seale and hys assuraunce as he was a trew and

anonynted kynge that sir Launcelot shulde go sauff and

com sauff and that the quene shulde nat be seyde vnto

of the kynge noÞer of none oÞer for no thynge done of tyme

paste and of all thes appoyntementes the bysshop brought

with hym sure wrytynge to shew vnto sir Launclot So whan the

bysshop was com to Joyus garde there he shewed sir Launclot

how he cam frome the pope with wrytynge vnto kyng Arthur

and vnto hym And there he tolde hym Þe perelis gyff he

wyth helde the quene frome the kynge // Sir hit was

neuer in my thought seyde sir Launcelot to with holde Þe quene

frome my lorde Arthur But I kepe here for thys cause In

so muche as she shulde haue be brente for my sake me semed

hit was my parte to save her lyff and put her from Þat daungere

tyll bettir recouer myȝt com And now I thanke god seyde Sir

Launclot that the pope hathe made he pease For god knowyth

seyde sir Launclot I woll be a thousande folde more gladder to

brynge her a gayne than euer I was of her takyng a way

wyth thys I may be sure to com sauff and go sauff and Þat

f. 464v (XX.14)


the quene shall haue her lyberte and neuer for no thyng that hath

be surmysed a fore thys tyme that she neuer from thys stonde

in no perell For ellis seyde sir Launcelot I dare aduenture me to

kepe her frome an harder showre than euer yet I had // Sir hit shall

nat nede you seyde the bysshop to drede thus muche For wyte

yow well the pope muste be obeyed and hit were nat the popis

worshyp noÞer my poure honeste to know you distressed noÞer the

quene noÞer in perell noÞer shamed And than he shewed sir Launclot

all hys wrytynge bothe frome the pope and kynge Arthur

Thys ys sure y now seyde sir  Launcelot for full well I dare

truste my lordys owne wrytyng and hys seale for he was

neuer shamed of hys promyse There fore seyde sir Launcelot

vnto the bysshop ye shall ryde vnto the kynge a fore & recom//

maunde me vnto hys good grace and lat hym haue know//

lecchynge that Þe same day viij· dayes by the grace of god I

my selff shall brynge the quene vnto hym and than sey

ye to my moste redouted kynge that I woll sey largely for

the quene that I shall none excepte for drede noÞer for feare

but the kynge hym selff and my lorde sir  Gawayne and Þat

ys for the kyngis love more than for hym selff So Þe bysshop

departed and cam to the kynge to Carlehyll and tolde hym all

how sir Launclot answerd hym so that made the teares falle

oute at the kyngis yen Than sir Launcelot purveyed hym

an C· knyghtes and all well clothed in grene velvet and Þer

horsis trapped in the same to the heelys nd euery knyght

hylde a braunche of olyff in hys honde in tokenyng of pees

And the quene had iiij· & xxti Jantill women folowyng her

in the same wyse and sir Launcelot had xij· coursers folow//

yng hym and on euery courser sate a yonge Jantyl man

f. 465 (XX.14-5)


and all they were arayed in whyght velvet with Sarpis of golde

a boute Þer quarters and the horse trapped in the same wyse down

to the helys wyth many owchys I sette with stonys and perelys

in golde to the numbir of a thousande And in the same wyse

was the quene arayed and sir Launcelot in the same of whygt

clothe of golde tyssew and ryght so as ye haue harde as the

freynshe booke makyth mencion he rode with the quene frome

Joyus garde to Carlehyll and so sir Launcelot rode thorow oute

holde hem And there was many a wepyng Ien And Þan

sir Launcelot hym selff a lyȝt and voyded hys horse and toke a

downe the quene and so lad her where kyng Arthur was

in hys seate And sirGawayne sate a fore hym and many oÞer

grete lordys So whan sir Launcelot saw the kynge and sir Gaw/

ayne Than he lad the quene by the arme and than he kneled

downe and the quene bothe // wyte you well than was there

many a bolde knyght wyth kynge Arthur that wepte as

tendirly as they had seyne all Þer kynne dede a fore them So

the kynge sate stylle and seyde no worde // And whan sir Laun/

celot saw hys countenaunce he arose vp and pulled vp the

quene with hym and thus he seyde full knyghtly

My moste redouted kynge ye shall vndirstond by Þe

popis commaundemente and youres I haue brouȝt

to you my lady the quene as ryght requyryth and if Þer be

ony knyght of what degre that euer he be off except your person

that woll sey or dare say but that she ys trew and clene

to you I heremy selff sir Launcelot du lake woll make hit good

vppon hys body that she ys a trew lady vnto you But Sir

lyars ye haue lystened and that hath caused grete debate

be twyxte you and me For tyme hath bene my lorde Arthur

f. 465v (XX.15)


that he were gretly pleased with me whan I ded batayle for my lady

youre quene and full well ye know my moste noble kynge that

she hathe be put to grete wronge or thys tyme And sytthyn

hyt pleased you at many tymys that I shulde feyght for her

and there fore me semyth my good lorde I had more cause to

rescow her from the fyer whan she sholde haue ben brente for

my sake for they that tolde you Þo talys were lyars and so hit

felle vppon them for by lyklyhode had nat the myght of god

bene with me I myght neuer haue endured with xiiij· knyghtes

and they armed anda fore purposed and I vnarmed // And

nat purposed for I was sente vnto my lady youre quyne

I wote nat for what cause But I was nat so sone with in the

chambir dore But anone sir Aggravayne and sir Mordred

called me traytoure and false recrayed knyght // Be my

fayth they called the ryght seyde sir Gawayne My lorde

seyde sir Gawayne seyde sir Gawayne Launclot In Þer quarell Þey

preved nat hem selff the beste noÞer in the ryȝt // well well

seyde sir Launcelot seyde the kynge I haue gyvyn you no cause

to do to me as ye have done for I haue worshipt you and

youres more than ony othir knyghtes My lorde seyde Sir

Launcelot so ye be nat displeased ye shall vndirstonde that

I and myne haue done you oftyn tymes bettir seruyse than

ony othir knyghtes haue done in mnay dyuerce placis and

where ye haue bene full had be stadde dyuers tymes I haue

rescowed you frome many daungers And euer vnto my pow//

er I was glad to please you And my lorde sir Gawayne in

Justis and in turnementis and in batayles set bothe on

horse bak and on foote I haue oftyn rescowed you & you

my lorde sir Gawayne and many mo of youre knyȝtes in

many dyuers placis for now I woll make a vaunte seyde sir

 f. 466 (XX. 15-6)


Launcelot I woll that ye all wyte that as yet I founde neuer no

maner of knyght but that I was over harde for hym and I had

done myne vtteraunce god graunte mercy how be hit I haue be

matthed with good knyghtes as sir Trystran and sir Lamorak but

euer I had favoure vnto them and a demyng what they were

and I take god to recorde I neuer was wrothe nor gretly hevy

wyth no good knyght and I saw hym besy and a boute to wyn

worshyp and glad I was euer whan I founde a good knyȝt

that myȝt ony thynge endure me on horse bak and on foote

how be hit sir Carados of the dolerous toure was a full no//

ble knyght and a passynge stronge man And that wote

ye my lorde sir Gawayne for he myȝt well be called a noble

knyght whan he be fyne fors pulled you oute of your sadyll

and bounde you ouer thwarte a fore hym to hys sadyll bow

and there my lorde sir Gawayne I rescowed you and slew

hym a fore your syght Also I founde your brothir sir Gahe//

rys and sir Terquyn ledyng hym bounden a fore hym &

there also I rescowed youre brothir and slew sir Terquyn

and delyuerde iij score and iiij of my lorde Arthurs knyghtes

oute of hys preson and now I dare sey seyde sir Launcelot

I mette neuer wyth so stronge a knyȝt nor so well fyghtyng

as was sir Carados and sir Tarquyn for they and I fought

to the vttermest And Þer fore seyde sir Launcelot vnto sir Gaw//

ayne me semyth ye ouȝt of ryght to remembir Þis for and

I myght haue youre good wyll I wold truste to god for to

haue my lorde Arthurs good grace // Sir the kynge may

do as he wyll seyde sir Gawayne But wyte Þou well sir Laun

celot Þou and  shall neuer be accorded whyle we lyve for Þou

hast slayne iij of my brethyrn and ij· of hem Þou slew

traytourly and pitevously for they bare none harneys a

f. 466v (XX.16)


yenste the noÞer none wold do // Sir god wolde they had ben ar//

med seyde sir Launcelot for than had they ben on lyve And for

Gareth· I loved no kynnes man I had more than I loved hym

and euer whyle I lyve seyde sir Launclot I woll be wayle sir Gareth·

hys dethe nat all only for the grete feare I haue of you But

for many causys whych causyth me to be sorowfull one is

that I made hym knyght A noÞer ys I wote well he loved

me a boven allothir knyghtes And the third ys he was

passyng noble and trew curteyse and Jantill and well

condicionde The fourth· ys I wyste well anone as I harde

that sir Gareth· was dede I knew well that I shulde neuer

aftir haue youre love my lorde sir Gawayne but euer lastyng

warre be twyxt vs and also I wyste well that ye wolde

my noble lorde kynge Arthur for euer to be my mortall foo

And as Jhu be my helpe and be my knyghthode I slewe

neuer sir Gareth· noÞer hys broÞer be my wyllynge but alas

that euer they were vnarmed that vnhappy day But Þis

much I shall offir me to you seyde sir Launcelot if hit may

please the kyngis good grace and you my lorde sir Gawayn

I shall firste begyn at Sandwyche and there I shall go in

my shearte bare foote and at euery x myles ende I shall

founde and gar make an house of relygious of what

order that ye woll assygne me with an hole covente to sygne

and rede day and nyȝt in especiall for sir Gareth· sake &

sir Gaherys and thys shall I perfourme whyle that I haue

ony lyvelod in Crystyndom and Þer ys none of all Þes reli//

gious placis but they shall be perfourmed furnysshed and

garnysshed withall thyngis as an holy place ought to be

and thys were fayrar and mopr holyar and more perfyte

f. 467 (XX.16-17)


to Þer soulis than ye my moste noble kynge and you sir Gaw//

aynbe to warre vppon me for Þer by shall ye gete none avayle

Thanl all the knyghtes and ladyes that were there wepte as

they were madde and the tearys felle on kynge Arthur hys

chekis Sir Launcelot seyde sir Gawayne I haue ryȝt well

harde thy langayge and thy grete proffirs But wyt Þou

well lat the kynge do as hit pleasith hym I woll neuer for

gyff the my brothirs dethe and in especiall the deth of my

brothir sir Gareth· And if myne vncle kynge Arthur wyll

accorde wyth the he shall loose my seruys for wyte Þou well

seyde sir Gawayne Þou arte bothe false to the kynge and to me

Sir seyde sir Launcelot he beryth nat the lyff that may make

hit good And ye sir Gawayne woll charge me with so hyȝe 

a thynge ye muste perdone me for than nedis must I an//

swere you // Nay nay seyde sir Gawayne we ar paste that as

at thys tyme and that causyth the pope for he hath charged

myne vncle the kynge that he shall take a gayne his quene

And to accorde wyth the sir Launcelot as for thys season &

there fore Þou shalt go sauff as Þou com But in Þis londe

Þou shalt nat a byde paste a xv· dayes such· somons I gyff

the for so the kynge and we were condescended & accorded

ar Þou cam And ellis seyde sir Gawayn wyte Þou well Þou

shulde nat a comyn here but if hit were magre thyne hede

And if hit were nat for the popis commaundement seyde sir

Gawayne I shulde do batayle with the myne owne hondis body

for body and preve hit vppon the that Þou haste ben both·

false vnto myne vncle kynge Arthur and to me bothe &

that shall I preve on thy body whan Þou arte departed fro

hense where som euer that I fynde the Than sir Launcelotte

f. 467v (XX.17)


syghed and there with the tearys felle on hys chekys and than he

seyde thus moste nobelyst crysten realme whom I haue loved

a boven all othir realmys and in the I haue gotyn a grete

parte of my worshyp and now that I shall departe in thys wyse

truly me repentis that euer I cam in thys realme Þat  I shulde

be thus shamefully banysshyd vndeserued and causeles but

fortune ys so varyaunte and the wheele so mutable Þat Þere

ys no constaunte a bydynge and that my be preved by

many olde Cronycles as of noble Ector of Troy and Alysaundir

the myghty conquerroure and many mo oÞer // whan they

were moste in her royalte they alyȝt passyng lowe And

so faryth hit by me seyde sir Launclot for in thys realme I had

worshyp and be me and myne all the hole rounde table

hath bene encreced more in worshyp by me and myne Þan

euer hit was by ony of you all And Þer fore wyte Þouwell

sir Gawayne I may lyve vppon my londis as well as ony

knyght that here ys And yf ye my moste redoutted kynge

well com vppon my londys with sir Gawayne to warre vppon

me I muste endure you as well as I may But as to you

sir Gawayne if that ye com there I pray you charge me nat

wyth treson noÞer felony for and ye do I muste answere you

Do Þou thy beste seyde sir Gawayne and there fore hyȝe the

faste that Þou were gone And wyte Þou well we shall sone

com aftir and breke thy strengyst castell Þat Þou hast vppon

thy hede // Hyt shall nat nede that seyde sir Launclot for and

I were as orgulous sette as ye ar wyte you well I shulde

mete you in myddys of the fylde Make Þou no more lodgynge

langayge seyde sir Gawayne But delyvir the quene from the

and pyke the lyghtly oute of thys courte // well seyde sir

f. 468 (XX. 17)


Launcelot and I had wyste of thys shorte comyng I wolde a

aduysed me twyse or that I had com here For and the quene

had be so dere vnto me as ye noyse her I durste haue kepte her

frome the felyshyp of the beste knyghtes vndir hevyn And

than sir Launcelot seyde vnto quene Gwenyuer in hyryng of

the kynge and hem all Madame now I muste departe from

you and thys noble felyshyp for euer and sythhyn hit ys so I

be sech· you to pray for me and I shall pray for you And telle

ye me and if ye be harde be stad by ony false tunges but lyȝtly

my good lady sende me worde and if ony knyghtes hondys

vndir the hevyn may delyuer you by batayle I shall delyuer

you And there with all sir Launcelot kyssed the quene and Þan

he seyde all opynly now lat se what som euer he be in thys

place that dare sey the quene ys nat trew vnto my lorde

Arthur lat se who who woll speke and he dare speke and

there with he brought the quene to the kynge And than Sir

Launcelot toke hys leve and departed and Þer was noÞer kynge

duke erle barowne nor knyght lady nor Jantyll woman

but all they wepte as people oute of mynde excepte Sir

Gawayne And whan thys noble knygbht sir Launclot toke his

horse to ryde oute of Carlehyll there was sobbyng and

wepyng for pure dole of hys departynge And so he toke his

way to Joyus garde And than euer afftir he called hit Þe dolerous

towre And thus departed sir Launclot frome the courte for euer

And so whan he cam to Joyus garde he called hys felyshyp

vnto hym and asked them what they wolde do Than

they answerde all hole to gydirs with one voyce they wold

do as he wolde do // Than my fayre felowys seyde sir Launce//

lot I muste departe oute of thys moste noble realme & now

f. 468v (XX.17)


I shall departe hit grevyth me sore for I shall departe with no worshyp

fo a fleymed man departith neuer oute of a realme with no worship

And that ys to me grete hevynes for euer I feare aftir my

dayes that men shall cronycle vppon me that I was flea//

med oute of thys londe And ellis my fayre lordis be ye sure

and I had nat drad shame my lady quene Gwenyuere

And I shulde neuer haue departed // Than spake noble knyȝtes

as sir Palomydes and sir Saffyr hys brothir and sir Bellynger

le bewse and sir Vrre with sir Lavayne with many oÞer Sir and

ye woll so be disposed to a byde in thys londe we woll neuer

fayle you and if ye lyste nat abyde in thys londe Þer ys

none of the good knyghtes that here be that woll fayle

you For many causis one ys all we that be nat ofyour

bloode shall neuer be well com vnto the courte & sytthyn

hit lyked vs to take a parte with you in youre distres in this

realme wyte you well hit shall lyke vs as well to go

in othir contreyes with you and there to take suche parte as

ye do // My fayre lordys seyde sir Launcelot I well vndirstond

you and as I can I thanke you and ye shall vndirstonde

suche lyvelode as I am borne vnto I shall departe with you

in thys maner of wyse that ys for to say I shall departe

all my lyvelode and all my londis frely amonge you

and my selff woll haue as lytyll as ony of you For

haue I sufficiaunte that may longe vnto my person I woll

aske none oÞer ryches noÞer aray and I truste to god to

maynteyne you on my londys as well as euer ye were

maynteyned Than spake all the knyghtes at onys have

he shame tht woll leve you For we all vndirstonde

was neuer quyett but in thys realme but euer debate & stryff



                                                Now Þe felyship

f. 469 (XX.17-18)


Now the felyshyp of the rounde table ys brokyn For by the

noble felyshyp of Þe rounde table was kynge Arthur vp borne

and by Þer nobeles the kynge and all the realme was euer in

quyet and reste and a grete parte they seyde all was be cause

of youre moste nobeles sir Launcelot // Now truly I thanke

you all of youre good saynge how be hit I wote well Þat in me

was nat all the stabilite of thys realme but in Þat I myȝt

I ded my dever And well I am sure I knew many rebelyous

in my dayes that by me and myne were peased and that

I trow we all shall here of in shorte space and that me sore

repentith For euer I drede me seyde sir Launcelot Þat sir Mordred

woll make trouble for he ys passyng envyous & applyeth·

hym muche to trouble And so they were accorded to departe

wyth sir Launcelot to hys landys and to make shorte thys

tale they trussed and payed all that wolde aske them

And hole an C knyghtes departed departed with sir Launcelot at

onys and made Þer avowis they wolde neuer leve hym for

weale ne for woo And so they shypped at Cardyff and

sayled vnto Benwyke Som men calle hit Bayan

And som men calle hit Beawme where the wyne of

Beawme ys but say the sothe sir Launcelott and hys

neveawis was lorde of all Fraunce and of all Þe londis

that longed vnto Fraunce he and hys kynrede reioysed

hit all thorow sir Launcelottis noble proves and Þan he

stuffed and furnysshed and garnysshed all his noble

townys and castellis Than all the people of the landis

cam vnto sir Launcelot on foote and hondis And so whan

he had stabelysshed all those contreyes he shortly called

a parlement and there he crowned sir Lyonell· kynge off

f. 469v (XX.18-19)


Fraunce And sir Bors he crowned hym kynge of all kyng Clau//

das londis And sir Ector de marys sir Launcelottis younger broÞer

he crowned hym kynge of Benwyke and kynge of all Gyan

whych was sir Launcelottis owne londys and he made sir Ector

prynce of them all and thus he departed hys londis & avaunced

all hys noble knyghtes and firste he avaunced them off

hys blood As sir Blamour he made hym duke of Lymosyn

in Gyan and sir Bleoberys he made hym duke of payters

And sir Gahalantyne he made hym deuke of Overn And sir

Galyodyn he made hym deuke of Sentonge and sir Galyhud

he made hym erle of Perygot And sir Menaduke he made

hym Erle of Roerge And sir Vyllars Þe Valyaunt he made

hym Erle of Bearne And sir Hebes le renownes he made

hym Erle of Comange And sir Lavayne he made hym Erle

of Armynake And sir Vrre he made hym Erle of Estrake

And sir Neroveus he made hym Erle of pardyak and sir

Plenoryus he made hym Erle of Foyse And sir Selyses

of the dolerous toure he made hym erle of Mausank and

sir Melyas de le Ile he made hym Erle of Tursanke And

sir Bellyngere le bewse he made hym Erle of the Lawundis

And sir Palomydes he made hym deuke of provynce and

sir Saffir he made hym deuke of Landok And sir Clegys

he gaff hym the erle of Agente And sir Sadok he gaff

hym the Erledom of Sarlat and sir Dynas le senesciall

he made hym deuke of Angeoy And sir Clarrus he made

hym duke of normandy Thus sir Launclot rewarded hys

noble knyghtes and many mo that me semyth hit were

to longe to rehers So leve we sir Launcelot in hys londis

and hys noble knyghtes with hym and returne we a gayne

f. 470 (XX.19)


vnto kynge Arthur and vnto sir Gawayne that made a grete

oste a redy to the numbir of iij· score thousande and all Þynge

was made redy for shyppyng to passe ouer the see to warre

vppon sir Launcelot and vppon hys londis And so they

shypped at Cardyff And there kynge Arthur made Sir

Mordred chyeff ruler of all Ingelonde And also he put

the quene vndir hys gouernaunce by cause sir Mordred

was kynge Arthurs son he gaff hym the rule off hys

londe and off hys wyff and so the kynge passed the see and

landed vppon sir Launcelottis londis and there he brente &

wasted thorow the vegeaunce of sir Gawayne all that they

myght ouer renne // So whan thys worde was vnto Sir

Launcelot that kynge Arthur and sir Gawayne were landed

vppon hys londis and made full grete destruccion & waste

Than spake sir Bors and seyde my lorde sir Launcelot hit is

shame that we suffir hem thus to ryde ouer oure londys

For wyte you well suffir ye hem as longe as ye wyll they

woll do you no favoure and they may handyll you Than

seyde sir Lyonell that was ware and wyse my lorde sir Launclot

I woll gyff you thys counceyle lat vs kepe oure stronge

walled townys vntyll they haue hunger and colde and

blow on Þer nayles And than lat vs freysshly set vppon

them and shrede hem downe as shepe in a folde that

euer aftir Alyauntis may take ensaumple how the lande

vppon oure londys Than spake kynge Bagdemagus

to sir Launcelot and seyde sir youre curtesy woll shende vs

all and youre curtesy hath· waked all thys sorow for and

they thus ouer rydy ryde oure londis they shall by proces

brynge vs all to nought whyle we thus in holys us hyde

f. 470v (XX.19)


Than seyde sir Galyhud vnto sir Launcelot Sir here bene knyȝtes

com of kyngis blod that woll nat longe droupe and dare with

in thys wallys There fore gyff vs leve lyke as we ben

knyghtes to mete hem in the fylde and we shall so deale

wyth them that they shall curse the tyme that euer they cam

in to thys contrey Than spake vij brethirn of northe Walis

whych· were vij· noble knyghtes for a man myght seke vij

kyngis londis or he myght fynde such ·vij· knyghtes and Þes

vij noble knyghtes seyde all at onys sir Launcelot for crystas

sake late vs ryde oute with sir Galyhud for we were neuer wonte

to coure in castels noÞer in noble townys Than spake sir Launclot

that was mayster and gouernoure of hem all and seyde my

fayre lordis wyte you well I am full lothe to ryde oute with

my knyghtes for shedynge of crysten blood and yet my londis

I vndirstonde be full bare for to sustayne any oste a whyle

for the myghty warris that whylom made kynge Claudas

vppon thys contrey And vppon my fadir kynge Ban and

on myne vncle kynge Bors how be hit we woll as at Þis

tyme kepe oure stronge wallis And I shall sende a mes//

syngere vnto my lorde Arthur a tretyse for to take for better

ys pees than all wayes warre // So sir Launcelot sente forthe

a damesel· wyth a dwarff with her requyryng kynge Arthur

to leve hys warryng vppon hys londis and so he starte

vppon a palferey and a dwarffe ran by her syde And

whan she cam to the pavelon of kynge Arthur Þer she a

lyȝt and there mette her a Jantyll knyght sir Lucan Þe But//

lere and seyde fayre damesell com ye frome sir Launcelot

du Lake // yee sir she seyde there fore cam I hyddir to speke with

my lorde the kynge Alas seyde sir Lucan my lorde Arthure

wolde accorde with sir Launcelot But sir Gawayne woll nat

suffir hym And than he seyde I pray to god damesell Þat ye

f. 471 (XX.19-20)


may spede for all we that bene a boute the kynge wolde that

Launcelot ded beste of ony knyght lyvynge And so with thys

sir Lucan lad the damesell· to the kynge where he sate with syr

Gawayne for to hyre what she wolde say // So whan she

had tolde her tale the watir ran oute of the kyngis yen And

all the lordys were full glad for to advyce the kynge to be ac//

corded with sir Launcelot save all only sir Gawayne And he

seyde my lorde myne vncle what woll ye do woll ye now

turne a gayne now ye ar paste thys farre vppon youre

Journey All the worlde woll speke of you vylany & shame

Now seyde kynge Arthur wyte you well sir Gawayne

I woll do as ye advyse me And yet me semyth seyde kynge

Arthur hys fayre proffers were nat good to be reffused but

sytthyn I am com so far vppon thys Journey I woll that ye

gyff the damesell her answere for I may nat speke to her

for pite for her profirs ben so large // Than sir Gawayne

seyde vnto the damesell thus sey ye to sir Launcelot Þat hyt ys

waste laboure now to sew to myne vncle for telle hym

and he wolde haue made ony laboure for pease he sholde

haue made hit or thys tyme for telle hym now hit ys to

late And say to hym that I sir Gawayne so sende hym word

that I promyse hym by the faythe that I owȝe to god and to

knyghthode I shall neuer leve hym tylle he hathe slayne me

or I hym // so the damesell wepte and departed And so Þer was

many a wepyng yȝe And than sir Lucan brouȝt Þe damesell

to her palffrey And so she cam to sir Launcelot Where he

was amonge all hys knyghtes // And whan sir Launcelot

had harde hir answere than the tearys ran downe by hys

chekys And than hys noble knyghtes com a boute hym

and seyde sir Launcelot where fore make ye suche chere now

thynke what ye ar and what men we ar and lat vs noble

f. 471v (XX.20)


knyghtis macche hem in myddis of the fylde // That may be lyȝtly

done seyde sir Launcelot but I was neuer so lothe to do batayle and

there fore I pray you sirres as ye love me be ruled at thys

tyme as I woll haue you for I woll all wayes fle Þat noble

kynge that made me knyght and whan I may no farther

I muste nedis deffende me and that woll be more worshyp

for me and vs all that to compare with that noble kynge

whom we haue all served Than they hylde Þer langayge

and as that nyght they toke Þer reste And vppon Þe mornyng

erly in the dawnynge of the day as knyghtes loked oute Þey

saw the cite of Benwyke be syged rounde a boute and gan

faste to sette vp laddirs And they with In kepte Þem oute of Þe

towne and bete hem myghtyly frome the wallis // Than cam

forthe sir Gawayne well armede vppon a styff steede and he

cam be fore the chyeff gate with hys speare in hys honde cry//

ynge where arte Þou sir Launcelot ys Þer none of all your proude

knyghtes that dare breake a speare with me // Than sir Bors

made hym redy and cam forthe· oute of the towne And there

sir Gawayne encountred with sir Bors and at that tyme he

smote hym downe from hys horse and all moste he had

slayne hym and so sir Bors was rescowed and borne in to

the towne // Than cam forth sir Lyonell and thouȝte to

revenge hym and aythir feawtred Þer spearys and so ran to

gydirs and there they mette spitevously But sir Gawayne

had such· a grace that he smote sir Lyonell downe & wounded

hym there passyngly sore And than sir Lyonell was rescowed

and borne in to the towne And thus sir Gawayne com euery

day and fayled nat but that he smote downe one knyght

or othir So thus they endured halff a yere & muche slaughter

was of people on bothe partyes // Than hit be felle vppon a day

that sir Gawayne cam a fore the gatis aremed at all pecis on a

f. 472 (XX.20)


noble horse with a greate speare in hys honde And than he cryed with

a lowde voyce and seyde where arete Þou now Þou false traytour

sir Launcelot why holdyst Þou thy selff with In holys and wallys

lyke a cowarde loke oute Þou false traytoure knyȝt and here

I shall revenge vppon thy body the dethe of my iij· brethirne

And all thys langayge harde sir Launcelot euery deale Than

hys kynne and hys knyghtes drew a boute hym and all they

seyde at onys vnto sir Launcelot Sir now muste you deffende

you lyke a knyȝt othir ellis ye be shamed for euer for now ye be

called vppon treson hit ys tyme for you to styrre for ye haue

slepte ouer longe and suffirde ouer muche // So god me helpe

seyde sir Launcelot I am ryght hevy at sir Gawaynes wordys

for now he chargith me with a grete charge and Þer fore I wote

as well as ye I muste nedys deffende the me oÞer ellis to be re//

creaunte // Than sir Launcelot bade sadyll hys strongest horse

and bade let fecche hys armys and brynge all to the towre

of the gate And than sir Launcelot spake on hyght vnto Þe

kynge and seyde my lorde Arthur and noble kynge Þat made

me knyght wyte you well I am ryȝt hevy for youre sake

that ye thus sewe vppon me and all wayes I for beare you

for and I wolde be vengeable I myght haue mette you in

myddys the fylde or thys tyme and there to haue made your

boldiste knyghtes full tame And n now I haue for borne

you and suffirde you halff a yere and sir Gawayne to do

what you wolde do And now I may no lenger suffir to endure

but nedis I muste deffende my selff in so much as sir Gawayn

hathe be called me of treson whych· ys gretly a yenste my

wyll that euer I shulde fyght a yenste ony of youre blood

But now I may nat for sake hit for I am dryvyn Þer to as

beste tylle a bay Than sir Gawayne seyde vnto sir Launcelotte

f. 472v (XX.20-1)


and Þou durste do batayle leve thy babelynge and com off and lat

vs ease oure hartis Than sir Launcelot armed hym & mownted

vppon hys horse and aythir of them gate greate spearys in Þer

hondys And so the oste with oute stoode stylle all a parte And

the noble knyghtes of the cite cam a greate numbir that whan

kynge Arthur saw the numbir of men and knyȝtes he meruaylde

and seyde to hym selff alas that euer sir Launclot was a yenst

me for now I se that he hath for borne me And so Þe cove/

naunte was made there sholde no man nyȝe hem noÞer deale

wyth them tylle the tone were dede oÞer yolden Than sir Laun//

celot and sir Gawayne departed a greate way in sundir And

than they cam to gydirs with all the horse myghtesas

faste as they myght renne and aythir smote othir in

myddis of Þer shyldis But the knyghtes were so stronge

and Þer spearys so bygge that Þer horsis myght nat endure

Þer buffeffettis and so Þer horsis felle to the erthe And Þan

they a voyded Þer horsys and dressed Þer shyldis a fore them

Than they cam to gydirs and gaff many sad strokis on

dyuerse placis of Þer bodyes that Þe blood braste oute on many

sydis Than had sir Gawayne suche a grace and gyffte

that an holy man had gyvyn hym that euery day in the

yere from vndern tyll hyȝe noone hys myght encresed

Þo iij· owres as much· as thryse hys strength· And that

caused sir Gawayne to wynne grete honoure And for hys

sake kynge Arthur made an ordynaunce that all maner off

batayles for ony quarels that shulde be done a fore kynge

Arthur shulde begynne at vndern And all was done

for sir Gawaynes love that by lyklyhode if sir Gawayne were

on the tone parte he shulde haue the bettir in batayle whyle

hys strengthe endured iij· owrys But Þer were Þat tyme but feaw

f. 473 (XX.21)


knyghtes lyvynge that knewe thys advauntayge Þat sir Gaw//

aynge had but kynge Arthure all only // So sir Launcelot fauȝt

wyth· sir Gawayne And whan sir Launcelot felte hys myȝt 

euer more encrese sir Launclot wondred and drad hym sore to be

shamed for as the freynshe booke seyth· he wende whan he

felte sir Gawyanes double hys strengthe that he had bene

a fyende and none earthely man Where fore sir Launcelot

traced and traverced and couerde hym selff with hys shylde

and kepte hys myght and hys brethe duryng iij· owrys

And that whyle sir Gawayne gaff hym many sad bruntis

that all knyghtes that be hylde sir Launcelot mervayled

how he myght endure hym but full lytyll vndirstood

they that travayle Þat sir Launcelot had to endure hym And

than whan hit was paste noone sir Gawaynes strengthe

was gone and had no more but hys owne myȝt // Whan

sir Launcelot felte hym so com downe than he strecched hym

vp and strode nere sir Gawayne and seyde thus no I fele

ye haue done youre warste And now my lorde sir Gawayn

I muste do my parte for many a grete and grevous strokis

I haue endured you thys day with greate payne And so sir

Launcelot doubled hys strokis and gaff sir Gawayne suche

a stroke vppon the helmet that sydelynge he felle downe

vppon hys one syde And sir Launcelot with drew hym frome

hym // Why wyth drawyst Þou the seyde sir Gawayne turne

a gayne false traytoure knyght and sle me oute for and Þou

leve me thus anone as I am hole I shall do batayle with the

a gayne // Sir seyde sir Launclot I shall endure you be goddis

grace But wyte Þou well sir Gawayne I woll neuer smyte

a felde knyght And so sir Launcelot departed and wente vnto

f. 473v (XX.21-2)


the cite And sir Gawayne was borne vnto kynge Arthurs pa//

vylon and anone lechys were brought vnto hym of the beste

and serched and salued hym with souffte oynementis And

than sir Launcelot seyde now haue good day my lorde Þe kynge

for wyte you welle ye wynne no worshyp at thes wallis

For and I wolde my knyghtes oute brynge there shulde

many a douty man dye And there fore my lorde Arthur

remembir you of olde kyndenes and how som euer I fare

Jhu be youre gyde in all placis // Now alas seyde the kynge

that euer thys vnhappy warre be gan for euer sir Launclot for

bearyth me in all placis and in lyke wyse my kynne &

that ys sene well thys day what curtesy he shewed my

neveawe sir Gawayne Than kynge Arthur felle syke

for sorow of sir Gawayne that he was so sore hurte and

by cause of the warre be twyxte hym and sir Launcelot

So aftir that they on kynge Arthurs party kepte the Sege

with lytyll warre wyth oute forth And Þey with in forth

kepte Þer wallys and deffended them whan nede was Thus

sir Gawayne lay syke and vnsounde iij· wykes in hys tentis

with all maner of leche crauffte that myght be had And as sone

as sir Gawayne myȝt go and ryde he armed hym at all

poyntis and be stroode a styff courser and gate a grete

speare in hys honde and so he cam rydynge a fore Þe chyeff

gate of Benwyke And there he cryed on hyght and seyde

where arte Þou Launcelot com forth Þou false traytoure

knyght and recrayed for I am here sir Gawayne Þat woll

preve thys that I say vppon the And all thys langayge

sir Launcelot harde and sayde thus sir Gawayne me repentis

 of youre fowle sayinge that ye woll nat cease your langayge

f. 474 (XX. 22)


For ye wote well sir Gawayne I know youre myght and all Þat

ye may do And well ye wote sir Gawayne ye may nat greatly

hurte me Com downe traytoure knyght seyde he and make hit

good the contrary wyth thy hondys for hit myssehapped me

the laste batayle to be hurte of thy hondis there fore wyte Þou

well I am com thys day to make amendis for I wene this day

to ley the as low as Þou laydest me Jhu deffende me seyde Sir

Launcelot that euer I be so farre in youre daunger as ye haue

bene in myne for than my dayes were done // But Gawayne

seyde sir Launclot ye shall nat thynke that I shall tarry longe

But sytthyn that ye vnknyghtly calle me thus of treson

ye shall haue bothe youre hondys fulle of me And Þan sir Launclot

armed hym at all poyntis and mounted vppon horse & gate

a grete speare in hys honde and rode oute at the gate and

bothe Þer ostis were assembled of them with oute and with In & stood

in aray full manly And bothe partyes were charged to holde

hem stylle to se and be holde the batayle of thes ij noble knyȝtes

and than they layde Þer spearys in Þer restis and so cam to gydir

as thundir And sir Gawayne brake hys speare in an ·C· pecis

to hys honde And sir Launcelot smote hym with a grette myght

that sir Gawaynes horse feete reysed and so the horse and he

felle to the erthe Than sir Gawayne delyuerly devoyded hys

horse and put hys shylde a fore hym and eggirly drew hys

swerde and bade sir Launcelot a lyght traytoure knyght and

seyde gyff a marys sonne hath fayled me wyte Þou well a

kyngis sonne and a quenys sonne shall nat fayle the Than

sir Launcelot devoyded hys horse and dressed hys shylde a fore

hym and drew hys swerde and so cam egirly to gydirs & gaff

 many sad srokis that all men on bothe partyes had wondir But

whan sir Launclot felte sir Gawaynes myght so meruaylously encres

f. 474 v (XX.22)


he than wyth hylde hys corayge and hys wynde and so he kepte

hym vndir coverte of hys myght and of hys shylde he traced

and trauerced here and there to breake sir Gawaynys strokys

and hys currayge And euer sir Gawayne enforced hym selff

wyth all hys myght and power to destroy sir Launcelot for

as the freynshe booke saythe euer as sir Gawaynes myȝt encresed

ryght so encreced hys wynde and hys evyll wyll And Þus

he ded grete payne vnto sir Launcelot iij· owres that he had

much· a do to defende hym And whan the iij· owres were

paste that he felte sir Gawayne was com home to his owne

propir strengthe Than sir Launcelot sayde sir now I haue preved

you twyse that ye ar a full daungerous knyght and a

wondirfull man of hys myght and many wondir dedis

haue ye done in youre dedis for by youre myȝt encresyng

ye haue desceyved many a full noble knyght and now

I fele that ye haue done youre myghty dedis and now wyte

you well I muste do my dedis And than sir Launclot strode nere

sir Gawayne and doubled hys strokis And euer sir Gawayne

deffended hym myghtyly But neuer the les sir Launcelot smote

such· a stroke vppon hys helme and vppon the olde wounde

That sir Gawayne sanke downe and sowned and anone as he

ded a wake he waved and foyned at sir Launcelot as he lay and

seyde traytoure knyght wyte Þou well I am nat yet slayne

There fore com Þou nere me and profounde thys batayle

to the vtteraunce // I woll no more do than I haue done

seyde sir Launcelot for whan I se you on foote I woll do batayle

vppon you all the whyle I se you stande vppon youre feete

but to smyte a wounded a man that may nat stonde god

defende me from such· a shame And than he turned hys

way towarde the cite And sir Gawayne euer more callyng

f. 475 (XX.22-XXI.1)


hym traytoure knyght and seyde traytoure knyght wyte Þou

well sir Launcelot whan I am hole I shall do batayle with you

a gayne for I shall neuer leve the tylle the tone of vs be slayne

Thus as thys syge endured And as sir Gawayne lay syke

nere hande a moneth· And whan he was well recovirde

and redy with in iij· dayes to do batayle a gayne with sir Launcelot

Ryght so cam tydyngis vnto kynge Arthur frome Inglonde

that made kynge Arthur and all hys oste to remeve



As sir Mordred was rular of all Inglonde he lete

make lettirs as thouȝe that they had come frome

be yonde the see And the lettirs specifyed that kynge Arthur

was slayne in batayle with sir Launcelot // where fore sir Mordred

made a parlemente and called the lordys to gydir and Þer he

made them to chose a kynge and so was he crowned at Cam//

turbyry and hylde a feste there xv· dayes And aftirwarde

he drew hym vnto wynchester And there he toke quene

Gwenyuer and seyde playnly that he wolde wedde her which

was hys vnclys wyff and hys fadirs wyff And so he made

redy for the feste and a day prefyxte that they shulde be wedded

where fore quene Gwenyuer was passyng hevy but she durst

 not discouer her harte but spake fayre and aggreed to sir Mor//

dredys wylle And anone she desyred of sir Mordred to go to

London to byȝe all maner thynges than longed to the brydale

And by cause of her fayre speche sir Mordred trusted her and

gaff her leve And so whan she cam to London she toke the

towre of London and suddeynly in all haste possyble she

stuffed hit with all maner of vytayle and well garnysshed

hit with men and so kepte hit // And whan sir Mordred wyst

thys he was passynge wrothe oute of mesure & shorte tale to

f. 475v (XXI.1)


make he layde a myȝty syge a boute the towre & made many

assauntis and threw engynnes vnto them and shotte grete

gunnes but all myght nat prevayle for quene Gwenyuer

wolde neuer for fayre speache noÞer for foule neuer to truste vnto

sir Mordred to com in hys hondis a gayne Than cam Þe bysshop

of Caunturbyry whych was a noble Clerke and an holy

man And thus he seyde vnto sir Mordred sir what woll ye do

woll ye firste displease god and sytthyn shame youre selff and

all knyghthode // For ys nat kynge Arthur youre vncle &

no farther but your modirs brothir And vppon her he hym

selffe be gate you vppon hys owne syster there fore how may

ye wed youre owne fadirs wyff And there for sir seyde Þe

bysshop leve thys opynyon oÞer ellis I shall curse you with booke

belle and Candyll // Do Þou thy warste seyde sir Mordred and

I th defyȝe the // Sir seyde the bysshop wyte you well and I

shall nat feare me to do that me ought to do And also ye

noyse that my lorde Arthur ys slayne and that ys nat so

and there fore ye woll make a foule warke in thys londe

Peas thou false pryste seyde sir Mordred for and Þou chauffe

me ony more I shall stryke of thy hede // So the bysshop depar//

ted and ded the cursynge in the moste orguluste wyse that

myght be done And than sir Mordred souȝt the bysshop off

Caunturbyry for to haue slayne hym Than the bysshop

fel fledde and tooke parte of hys good with hym and wente nyȝe

vnto Glassyngbyry and there he was a preste Ermyte in a

chapel and lyved in pouerte and In holy prayers For well

he vndirstood that myschevous warre was at honde Than

sir Mordred souȝte vppon quene Gwenyuer by lettirs & sondis

and by fayre meanys and foule meanys to haue her to

com oute of the towre of london but all thys avayled

f. 476 (XXI.1-2)


nought for she answerd hym shortely opynly and pryvayly

that she had levir sle her selff than to be maryed with hym

Than cam Þer worde vnto sir Mordred that kynge Arthure

had areysed the syge frome sir Launcelot and was commynge

homwarde wyth a greate oste to be a venged vppon sir Mor//

dred where fore sir Mordred made wryttes vnto all Þe baronny

of thys londe and muche people drew vnto hym For than was

the comyn voyce amonge them that with kynge Arthur was

neuer othir lyff but warre and stryff And with sir Mordrede

was grete Joy and blysse Thus was kynge Arthur depraved

and evyll seyde off And many there were that kynge Arthur

had brought vp of nought and gyffyn them londis that

myght nat than say hym a good worde // Lo ye all englysshe

men se ye nat what a myschyff here was for he that was

the moste kynge and nobelyst knyght of the worlde & moste

loved the felyshyp of noble kyghtes and by hym they all were

vp holdyn And yet myght nat thes englyshemen holde Þem

contente with hym Lo thus was the olde custom and vsayges

of thys londe And men say that we of thys londe haue nat

yet loste that custom Alas thys ys a greate defauȝte of vs

englysshe men for there may no thynge vs please no terme

And so fared the peple at that tyme they were better pleased

with sir Mordred than they were with the noble kynge Arthur and

muche people drew vnto sir Mordred and seyde they wold abyde

wyth hym for bettir and for wars And so sir Mordred drew with

a greate oste to dovir for there he harde sey that kyng Arthur

wolde a ryve and so he thought to beate hys owne fadir fro

hys owne londys and the moste party of all Inglonde hylde

wyth sir Mordred for the people were so newfangill And so

as sir Mordred was at dovir with hys oste // So cam kyng Arthur

f. 476v (XXI.2)


wyth a greate navy of shyppis and galyes and Carykes And

there was sir Mordred redy awaytyng vppon hys londynge

to lette hys owne fadir to londe vppon the londe that he was

kynge ouer Than there was launchyng of greate botis & smale

and full of noble men of armys and there was muche

slaughtir of Jantyll knyghtes and many a full bolde barown

was layde full lowe on bothe partyes // But kynge Arthur

was so currageous that Þer myȝt no maner of knyȝt lette hym

to lande and hys knyghtes fyersely folowed hym and so they

londed magre sir Mordredis hede and all hys power & put

sir Mordred a bak and all hys people // So whan thys batayle

was done kynge Arthure let serche hys people that were

hurte and dede And than was noble sir Gawayne founde

in a greate boote liynge more than halff dede // Whan kyng

Arthur knew that he was layde so low he wente vnto hym

and so fownde hym and there the kynge made greate sorow

oute of mesure and toke sir Gawayne in hys armys & thryse

he there sowned And than whan he was waked kyng Arthur

seyde alas sir Gawayne my syster son here now Þou lyȝest 

the man in the worlde that I loved moste and now ys my

Joy gone for now my nevew sir Gawayne I woll discouer me

vnto you that in youre person and In sir Launcelot I moste had

my Joy and myne affyaunce And now haue I loste my Joy

of you bothe where fore all myne erthely Joy ys gone fro

me // A myn vncle seyde sir Gawayne now I woll that ye wyte

that my deth dayes be com And all I may wyte myne owne

hastynes and my wyffulnesse for thorow my wylfulnes

I was causer of myne owne dethe For I was thys day

hurte and smytten vppon myne olde wounde Þat sir Launcelot





                                                   gaff me

f. 477 (XXI. 2)


gaff me and I fele my selff that I muste nedis be dede by the

owre of noone And thorow me and pryde ye haue all thys

shame and disease For had that noble knyȝt sir Launclot ben with

you as he was and wolde haue ben thys vnhappy warre had

neuer ben be ge gunne for he thorow hys noble knyghthode & hys

noble bloode hylde all youre cankyrde enemyes in subieccion

and daungere And now seyde sir Gawayne ye shall mysse sir

Launcelot But alas that I wolde nat accorde with hym And Þer

fayre vnkle I pray you that I may haue paupir penne & Inke

that I may wryte vnto sir Launcelot a letter wrytten with myne

owne honde // So whan pauper penne and Inke was brought

than sir Gawayne was sette vp waykely by kynge Arthure for

he was shryven a lytyll a fore And than he toke hys penne and

wrote thus as the freynshe booke makith mencion // vnto the

sir Launcelot floure of all noble knyghtes that euer I harde of or

saw be my dayes / I sir Gawayne kynge Lottis sonne of Orke//

ney and systirs sonne vnto the noble kynge Arthur sende Þe

gretynge lattynge the to haue knowlecche that Þe x· day of

May I was smytten vppon the olde wounde Þat Þou gaff me a

fore the cite of Benwyke and thorow that wounde I am com

to my dethe day // And I woll that all the worlde wyte Þat I

sir Gawayne knyȝt of the table rounde souȝte my dethe and

nat thorow thy deseruynge but myne owne sekynge where

fore I be seche the sir Launcelot to returne a gayne vnto thys

realme and se my toumbe and pray som prayer more oÞer

les for my soule And thys same day that I wrote Þis same

sedull I was hurte to the dethe whych wounde was fyrste

gyffyn of thyn honde sir Launcelot for of a more nobelar

man myght I nat be slayne Also sir Launclot for all Þe love

that euer was be twyxte vs make no taryyng but com ouer Þe

f. 477v (XXI.2-3)


they see in all the goodly haste that ye may wyth youre noble knyghtes

and rescow that noble kynge that made the knyght for he ys

full straytely be stad wyth an false traytoure whych· ys my halff

brothir sir Mordred for he hath crowned hym selff kynge and

wolde haue wedded my lady quene Gwenyuer and so had he done

had she nat kepte the towre of london with stronge honde And

so the x· day of may last paste my lorde kynge Arthur & we

all h londed vppon them at Dover And there he put that

false traytoure sir Mordred to flyȝt And so hit there mysfor/

tuned me to be smytten vppon the strooke that ye gaff me of

olde And the date of thys lettir was wrytten but ij· owrys

and an halff a fore my dethe wrytten with myne owne honde

and subscrybed with parte of my harte blood And Þer fore I requyre

the moste famous knyght of the worlde Þat Þou wolte se my

tumbe And than he wepte And kynge Arthur both and

sowned And whan they were a waked bothe · the kynge

made sir Gawayne to resceve hys sacrament And Þan Sir

Gawayne prayde the kynge for to sende for sir Launclot & to che//

rysshe hym a boven all othir knyghtes And so at the owre

of noone sir Gawayne yelded vp the goste And than Þe kynge

lat entere hym in a chapell with In a dover castell And Þer yet

all man may se the skulle of hym and the same wounde is

sene that sir Launcelot gaff in batayle // Than was hit tolde

the kynge that sir Mordred had pyght a new fylde vppon

Bareon downe And so vppon the morne kynge Arthur rode

thydir to hym and there was a grete batayle be twyxt hem

and muche people were slayne on bothe partyes but at the

laste kynge Arthurs party stoode beste And sir Mordred and hys

party fledde vnto Caunturbyry And than the kynge lat serche

all the downys for hys knyghtes that were slayne & entered

f. 478 (XXI.3)


them and salued them with soffte saluys that full sore were

wounded // Than much people drew vnto kynge Arthur and

than they sayde that sir Mordred warred vppon kynge Arthure

wyth wronge And anone kynge Arthure drew hym wyth his

oste downe by the see syde westewarde towarde Salusbyry and

there was a day assygned betwyxte kynge Arthur and Sir

Mordred that they shulde mete vppon a downe be syde Salesbyry

and nat farre frome the see syde And thys Day was assygned

on monday aftir Trynyte sonday where of kynge Arthure

was passyng glad that he myȝt be a venged vppon sir Mordred

Than sir Mordred araysed muche people a boute london for

they of Kente Southsex and Surrey Glax Suffolke & Northe

folke helde the moste party with sir Mordred and many a full noble

knyght drew vnto hym And also the kynge But they that

loved sir Launcelot drew vnto sir Mordred // So vppon Trynyte

sunday at nyght kynge Arthure dremed a wondirfull dreme

And in hys dreme hym semed that he saw vppon a chafflet

a chayre and the chayre was faste to a whele And Þer vppon

sate kynge Arthure clothe of golde that myght be made And

the kynge thought there was vndir hym farre from hym

an hydeous depe blak watir and ther In was all maner of

serpentis and wormes and wylde bestis fowle and orryble

And suddeynly the kynge thought Þat the whyle turned vp

so downe and he fell amonge the serpentes and euery beste

toke hym by a lymme And than the kynge cryed as he lay

in hys bed helpe helpe And than knyghtes Squyars and

yomen a waked the kynge And than he was so amased that

he wyste nat where he was And than so he a waked vn//

tylle hit was nyȝe day And than he felle on slumberynge

a gayne nat slepynge nor thorowly wakynge // So Þe kyng

f. 478v (XXI.3)


semed verryly that Þer cam sir Gawayne vnto hym with a numbir of

fayre ladyes wyth hym So whan kynge Arthur saw hym he

seyde well com my systers sonne I wende ye had bene dede and

now I se the on lyve much am I be holdyn vnto all myȝty Jhu

A fayre nevew what bene thes ladyes that hyder be com with

you // Sir seyde sir Gawayne all thes be ladyes for whom I

haue foughten for whan I was man lyvynge And all Þes

ar Þo that I ded batayle fore in ryghtevous quarels and god

hath gyvyn hem that grace at Þer grete prayer by cause I ded

batayle wyth them for Þer ryȝt that they shulde brynge me hydder

vnto you thus much hath gyvyn me leve god for to warne

you of youre dethe For and ye fyght as to morne with sir Mordred

as ye bothe haue assygned doute ye nat ye shall be slayne and

the moste party of youre people on bothe partyes and for Þe grete

grace and goodnes that all myghty Jhu hath vnto you and

for pyte of you and many mo oÞer good men ther shall be

slayne for god hath sente me to you of hys speciall grace to gyff

you warnyng that in no wyse ye do batayle as to morne

but that ye take a tretyse for a moneth day and proffir you

largely so that to morne ye put in a delay For with in a mo//

neth shall com sir Launcelot with all hys noble knyȝtes & rescow

you worshypfully and sle sir Mordred and all Þat euer wyll holde

wyth hym // Than sir Gawayne and all the ladyes vanysshed

And anone the kynge called vppon hys knyghtes squyars and

yomen and charged them wyghtly to fecche hys noble lordis

and wyse bysshoppis vnto hym And whan they were com

the kyge tolde hem of hys avision that sir Gawayne had

tolde hym and warned hym that and he fought on Þe morn

he sholde be slayne Than the kynge commaunded sir Lucan the

butlere and hys brothir sir Bedyvere the bolde with ij bysshoppis

f. 479 (XXI.3-4)


wyth hem and charged them in ony wyse to take a tretyse for

a moneth Day wyth sir Mordred and spare nat proffir hym

londys and goodys as much as ye thynke resonable So Þan they

departed and cam to sir Mordred where he had a grymme oste of an

C· M and there they entretyd sir Mordred longe tyme And at Þe

laste sir Mordred was aggreed for the haue Cornwale and kente

by kynge Arthurs dayes and afftir all that all Inglonde after

the dayes of kynge Arthur Than were they condescende Þat

kynge Arthure and sir Mordred shulde mete be twyxte boÞe Þer

ostis and euerych of them shulde brynge xiiij· persons And so

they cam wyth thys worde vnto Arthur Than seyde he

I am glad that thys ys done and so he wente in to the fylde

And whan kynge Arthur shulde departe he warned all hys

that and they se ony swerde drawyn loke ye com on fyersely

and sle that traytoure sir Mordred for in no wyse truste hym

In lyke wyse sir Mordred warned hys oste that and ye se ony

maner of swerde drawyn loke that ye com on fyersely & so sle all

that euer be fore you stondyth· for in no wyse I woll nat truste

for thys tretyse And in the same wyse seyde sir Mordred vnto

hys oste for I know well my fadir woll be a venged vppon me

And so they mette as Þer poyntemente was and were a greed

and accorded thorowly and wyne was sette and dranke to

gydir · Ryȝt so cam oute an addir of a lytyll hethe buysshe

and hit stange a knyght in the foote And so whan the knyght

felte hym so stonge he loked downe and saw the addir And

anone he drew hys swerde to sle the addir and thought none

othir harme And whan the oste on bothe partyes saw Þat swerde

drawyn Than they blewe beamys trumpettis and hornys

and shoutted grymly and so bothe ostis dressed hem to gydirs

And kynge Arthure toke hys horse and seyde alas Þis vnhappy

f.479v (XXI.4)


day and so rode to hys party // And sir Mordred in lyke wyse and neuer

syns was Þer neuer seyne a more dolefuller batayle in no crysten

londe for there was but russhynge and rydynge foynynge

and strykynge and many a grym worde was Þer spokyn of

aythir to othir and many a dedely stroke But euer kynge Ar//

thure rode thorow oute the batayle of sir Mordred many tymys

and ded full nobely as a noble kynge shulde do And at all

tymes he faynted neuer And sir Mordred ded hys deuoure that

day & put hym selffe in grete perell And thus they fought

all the longe day and neuer stynted tylle the noble knyghtes

were layde to the colde erthe and euer they fought stylle tylle

hit was nere nyght and by than was Þer an C· M leyde

dede vppon the erthe Than was kynge Arthure wode wroth

oute of mesure whan he saw hys people so slayne from hym

And so he loked a boute hym and cowde se no mo of all hys

oste and good knyghtes leffte no mo on lyve but ij knyghtes

the tone was sir Lucan de buttler and hys broÞer sir Bedivere·

and yette they were full sore wounded / Jhu mercy seyde the

kynge where ar all my noble knyghtes be com Alas Þat euer

I shulde se thys doleful day for now seyde kynge Arthur I am

com to myne ende But wolde to god seyde he that I wyste now

where were that traytoure sir Mordred that hath caused all

thys myschyff Than kynge Arthur loked a boute and was

ware where stood sir Mordred leanyng vppon hys swerde a

monge a grete hepe of dede men now gyff me my speare

seyde kynge Arthure vnto sir Lucan for yondir I haue aspyed

the traytoure that all thys woo hath wrought // Sir latte

hym be seyde sir Lucan for he ys vnhappy and yf ye passe Þis

vnhappy day yshall be ryght well revenged and what

Þe spyryte of sir Gawayne tolde you to nyȝt and yet god of

f.480 (XXI.4)


hys grete goodnes hath· preserued you hyddir to And for goddes

sake my lorde leve of thys for blyssed be god ye haue won the

fylde for yet we ben here iij· on lyve And with sir Mordred ys

nat one on lyve And Þer fore if ye leve of now thys wycked day

of desteny ys paste // Now tyde me dethe tyde me lyff seyde Þe kyng

now I se hym yondir alone he shall neuer ascape myne hondes

for at a bettir a vayle shall I neuer haue hym / God spyede

you wel seyde sir Bedyvere Than the kynge gate his speare

in bothe hys hondis and ran towarde sir Mordred cryyng

and saying traytoure now ys thy dethe day come And whan

sir Mordred saw kynge Arthur he ran vntyll hym with hys

swerde drawyn in hys honde And there kyng Arthur smote

sir Mordred vndir the shylde with a foyne of hys speare thorow oute

the body more than a fadom And whan sir Mordred felte that

he had hys dethys wounde he threste hym selff with the myght

that he hadd vpp to the burre of kyng Arthure speare And

ryght so he smote hys fadir kynge Arthure with hys swerde

holdynge in both· hys hondys vppon the syde of the hede that

the swerde perced the helmet and the tay of the brayne And

there with Mordred daysshed downe starke dede to the erthe And

noble kynge Arthure felle in a swouȝe to the erthe and Þer he

sowned oftyn tymes And sir Lucan and sir Bedivere offte tymys

hove hym vp and and so waykly be twyxte them they lad hym

to a lytyll chapell nat farre frome the see And whan Þe kyng

was there hym thought hym resonabely eased Than harde

they people crye in the fylde // Now go Þou sir Lucan seyde Þe kynge

and do me to wyte what be tokyns that noyse in the fylde //

So sir Lucan departed for he was grevously wounded in many

placis And so as he yode he saw and harkened by Þe Moone

lyght how that pyllours and robbers were com in to the

fylde to pylle and to robbe many a full noble knyght of


f. 480v (XXI.4-5)


of Brochys and bees and of many a good rynge and many a ryche

Juell and who that were nat dede all oute there they slewe

them for Þer harneys and Þer ryches // Whan sir Lucan vndirstood

thys warke he cam to the kynge as sone as he myght & tolde

hym all what he had harde and seyne There fore be my rede

seyde sir Lucan hit ys beste that we brynge you to som towne

I wolde hit were so seyde the kynge but I may nat stonde my hede

worchys so // A sir Launcelot seyde kynge Arthure thys day haue

I sore myssed the and alas that euer I was a yenste the for now

haue I my dethe where of sir Gawayne me warned in my

dreame // Than sir Lucan toke vp the kynge the tone party and

sir Bedivere the othir parte And in the lyfftyng vp the kynge

sowned And in the lyfftynge sir Lucan felle in a sowne Þat parte

of hys guttis felle oute of hys body and there with the noble

knyght hys harte braste And whan the kynge a woke he behylde

sir Lucan how he lay fomyng at the mowth and parte of his guttes

lay at hys fyete // Alas seyde the kynge thys ys to me a fulle

hevy syght to se thys noble deuke so dye for my sake for he wold

haue holpyn me that had more nede of helpe than I A las

that he wolde nat complayne hym for hys harte was so

sette to helpe me now Jhu haue mercy vppon hys soule Than

sir Bedivere wepte for the deth of hys brothir // Now leve Þys

mournynge and wepyng Jantyll knyght seyde the kyng for all

thys woll nat avayle me For wyte Þou well and I myght

lyve my selff the dethe of sir Lucan wolde greve me euer more

But my tyme passyth on faste seyde the kynge // There fore

seyde kynge Arthur vnto sir Bedivere take Þou here Excaliber

my good swerde and go wyth hit to yondir watirs syde & whan

Þou commyste there I charge the throw my swerde in Þat water

and com a gayne and telle me what Þou syeste there //

My lorde seyde sir Bedivere youre commaundement shall be

f. 481 (XXI.5)


done lyghtly brynge you worde a gayne So sir Bedivere

departed And by the way he be hylde that noble swerde and the

pomell and the hauffte was all precious stonys And than

he seyde to hym selff if I throw thys ryche swerde in the water

there of shall neuer com good but harme and losse And than

Bedivere hyd Excalyber vndir a tre And so as sone as he myȝt

he cam a gayne vnto the kynge and seyde he had bene at the

watir and had throwen the swerde in to the watir // What

saw Þou Þere seyde the kynge // Sir he seyde he saw no Þyng

but wawis and wyndys That ys vntruly seyde of the seyde

the kynge And there fore go Þou lyghtly a gayne and do my

commaundemente as Þou arte to me lyff and dere spare

nat but throw hit In // Than sir Bedivere returned a gayne

and toke the swerde in hys honde And yet hym thouȝt synne &

shame to throw a way that noble swerde And so effte he hyd

the swerde and returned a gayne and tolde the kynge that

that he had bene at the watir and done hys commaundement

what sawist Þou there seyde the kynge // Sir he seyde I sy no

thynge but watirs wap and wawys wanne A traytour vnto

me and vntrew seyde kyng Arthure now hast Þou be trayed

me twyse who wolde wene that Þou Þat hast bene to me so

leve and dere and also named so noble a knyȝt Þat Þou wolde

be tray me for the ryches of thys swerde But now go a gayn

lyghtly for thy longe taryynge puttith me in grete Jouparte

of my lyff for I haue takyn colde And but if Þou do now as I

bydde the if euer I may se the I shall sle the myne owne hondis

for Þou woldist for my rych swerde se me dede Than sir Bed//

ivere departed and wente to the swerde and lyghtly toke hit vp

and so he wente vnto the watirs syde and there he bounde

the gyredyll a boute the hyltis and threw Þe swerde as fare

f. 481v (XXI.5)


in to the watir as he myȝt And there cam an arme and an honde

a bove the watir and toke hit and cleyȝt hit and shoke hit thryse

and braundysshed And than vanysshed with the swerde in to the

watir // So sir Bedyvere cam a gayne to the kynge and tolde

hym what he saw  // Alas seyde the kynge helpe me hens for

I drede me I haue taryed ouer longe // Than sir Bedivere toke

the kynge vppon hys bak and so wente with hym to the watirs

syde And whan they were there evyn faste by the banke hoved

a lytyll barge wyth many fayre ladyes in hit and a monge

hem all was a quene And all they had blak hoodis and all

they wepte and shryked whan they saw kynge Arthur //

Now put me in to that barge seyde the kynge and so he ded

sofftely And there resceyved hym iij· ladyes with grete mournyng

and so they sette hem downe and in one of Þer lappis kynge

Arthure layde hys hede And than the quene seyde a my

dere brothir why I me ye taryed so longe frome me alas

thys wounde on youre hede hath cauȝt ouer much coulde

And anone they rowed from ward the londe And sir Be//

dyvere be hylde all Þo ladyes go frowarde hym Than Sir

Bedivere cryed and seyde a my lorde Arthur what shall

be com of me now ye go frome me and leve me here alone

amonge myne enemyes // Comforte thy selff seyde the

kynge and do as well as Þou mayste for in me ys no

truste for to truste In for I muste in to the vale of Avy//

lyon to hele me of my grevous wounde and if Þou here

neuer more of me pray for my soule but euer Þe quene

and ladyes wepte and shryked that hit was pite to hyre

And as sone as sir Bedivere had loste the syght of the

barge he wepte and wayled and so toke the foreste and

wente all that nyght And in the mornyng he was ware

f.482 (XXI.5-6)


be twyxte ij holtis hore of a chapell and an Ermytage //

Than was sir Bedivere fayne And thyder he wente And

whan he cam in to the chapell he saw where lay an Ermyte

grovelynge on all iijj· faste there by a tumbe was newe

gravyn // Whan the Ermyte saw sir Bedyvere he knewe

hym well for he was but lytyll to fore bysshop of Caun//

turbery that sir Mordred fleamed // Sir seyde sir Bedyvere

what man ys Þer here entyred that ye pray so faste fore// Fayre

sunne seyde the Ermyte I wote nat veryly but by demynge

But thys same nyght at mydnyȝt here cam a numbir

of ladyes and brouȝt here a dede corse and prayde me

to entyre hym and here they offird an C· tapers and Þey

gaff me a thousande besauntes // Alas seyde sir Bedyvere

that was my lorde kynge Arthure whych lyethe here gra//

vyn in thys chapell // Than sir Bedivere sowned & whan

he a wooke he prayde the Ermyte that he myȝt a byde with

hym stylle there to lyve with fastynge and prayers for from

hens woll I neuer go seyde sir Bedyvere be my wyll but all

the dayes of my lyff here to pray for my lorde Arthur Sir

ye ar well com to me seyde the Ermyte for I know you

bettir than ye wene that I do for ye ar sir Bedivere Þe bolde

And the full noble duke sir Lucan de butlere was you broÞer

Than sir Bedivere tolde the Ermyte all as ye haue harde

to fore And so he be laffte with the Ermyte that was be

fore honde bysshop of Caunturbyry And Þer sir Bedivere

put vppon hym poure clothys and served the Ermyte

full lowly in fastyng And in prayers // Thus of Arthure

I fynde no more wrytten in bokis that bene auctorysed nothir

more of the verry sertaynte of hys dethe harde I neuer rede but

thus was he lad a way in a shyp where in were iij· quenys

f.482v (XXI.6-7)


that one was kynge Arthur syster quene Morgan le fay the toÞer

was the quene of North galis and the thirde was the quene of

the waste londis Also there was dame Nynyve the chyff lady

of the laake whych had wedded sir Pellyas the good knyght And

thys lady had done muche for kynge Arthure And thys dame

Nynyve wolde neuer suffir sir Pelleas to be in no place where he

shulde be in daungere of hys lyff and so he lyved vnto Þe vtter//

muste of hys dayes with her in grete reste // Now more of Þe deth

of kynge Arthur coude I neuer fynde but that Þes ladyes brouȝt

hym to hys grave and such one was entyred there whych·

Ermyte bare wytnes that some tyme was bysshop of Caunter//

byry But yet the Ermyte knew nat in sertayne that he was

veryly the body of kynge Arthur for thys tale sir Bedivere a

knyght of the table rounde made hit to be wrytten / yet som

men say in many partys of Inglonde that kynge Arthure

ys nat dede but h  by the will of oure lorde Jhu in to a noÞer

place and men say that he shall com a gayne and he shall

wynne the holy crosse // yet I woll nat say that hit shall be so

But rather I wolde sey here in thys worlde he chaunged hys

lyff And many men say that Þer ys wrytten vppon Þat tumbe

thys   Hic iacet Arthurus ver quondam rex & futurus ·

And thus leve I here sir Bedyvere with the Ermyte that dwelled

that tyme in a Chapell be sydes Glassyngbyry and there was

hys Ermytage And so they lyved in prayers and fastynges & grete

abstynaunce and whan quene Gwenyuer vndirstood that kynge

Arthure was dede and all the noble knyghtes sir Mordred and

all the remanaunte Than she stole a way with v· ladyes with her

and so she wente to Amys byry And there she lete make her selff

a nunne and wered whyght clothys and blak and grete penaunce

she toke vppon her as euer ded synfull woman in thys londe and

f. 483 (XXI. 7-8)


neuer creature coude make her hevy myry but euer she lyved in

in fastynge prayers and almes dedis that all maner of people

meruayled how vertuously she was chaunged Now leve we the

quene in Amysbery a Nunne in whyght clothys & blak and Þer she

was abbas and rular as reson wolde and now turne we from

her and speke we of sir Launcelot du lake


That whan the harde in hys contrey that sir Mordred was

crowned kynge in Inglonde and made warre ayenst kyng

Arthur hys owne fadir and wolde lette hym to londe in hys

owne londe Also hit was tolde hym how sir Mordred had leyde a

syge a boute the towre of London by cause the quene wold nat

wedde hym Than was sir Launcelot wroth oute of mesure & seyde

    hys kynnesmen alas that double traytoure sir Mordred now me

repentith that euer he ascaped hys hondys for much· shame hath·

he done vnto my lorde Arthure for I fele by thys dolefull letter that

sir Gawayne sente me on whos soule Jhu haue mercy Þat my lorde

Arthur ys full harde be stad Alas seyde sir Launclot that euer I shulde

lyve to hyre of that moste noble kynge that made me knyȝt Þus

to be ouer sette with hys subiette in hys owne realme And Þis dole//

full lettir that my lorde sir Gawayne hath sente me a fore hys

dethe praynge me to se hys tumbe wyte you well hys doleffull wordes

shall neuer go frome my harte for he was a full noble knyght

as euer was born And in an vnhappy owre was I born that euer

I shulde haue that myssehappe to sle firste sir Gawayne sir Gahe//

rys the good knyght And myne owne frynde sir Gareth· Þat was

a full noble knyght now alas I may sey I am vnhappy Þat euer I

shulde do thus And yet a las myȝt I neuer haue hap to sle Þat

traytoure sir Mordred Now leve youre complayntes seyde Sir

Bors and firste revenge you of the dethe of sir Gawayne on

whos soule Jhu haue mercy And hit woll be well done Þat ye se

f. 483v (XXI.8)


hys tumbe And secundly that ye revenge my lorde Arthur and

my lady quene Gwenyuer I thanke you seyde sir Launcelot for euer

ye well my worshyp Than they made hem redy in all haste Þat

myght be with shyppis and Galyes with hym and hys oste to pas

in to Inglonde And so at the laste he cam to douer and there

he landed with vij· kyngis and the numbir was hedeous to be

holde // Than sir Launclot spyrres of men of dover where was Þe

kynge be com And anone the people tolde hym how he was

slayne and sir Mordred to with an C· M that dyed vppon a day

And how sir Mordred gaff kynge Arthur the first batayle Þere

at hys londynge And there was sir Gawayne slayne And

vppon the morne sir Mordred faught with the kynge on baram

downe And there the kyng put sir Mordred to the wars Alas

seyde sir Launclot thys is the hevyest tydyngis that euer cam

my harte // Now fayre sirres seyde sir Launcelot shew me Þe

tumbe of sir Gawayne And anone he was brouȝt in to the

castel· of Dover and so they shewed hym the tumbe Than sir

Launcelot kneled downe by the tumbe and wepte and prayde

hartely for hys soule And that nyȝt he lete make a dole of

all that wolde com of the towne or of the contrey They had

as much fleyssh· and fysshe and wyne and ale and euery man

and h woman he dalt to xij· L com who so wolde Thus with

hys owne honde dalte he thys money in a mournyng gown

and euer he wepte hartely and prayde the people to pray for Þe

soule of sir Gawayne and on the morn all the prystes & Clarkes

that nyght be gotyn in the contrey and in the town were Þere

and sange massis of Reqiuem And there offird first sir Launclot

and he offird an C· Lr And than the vij· kynges offirde & euery

of them offirde fourty Lr Also there was a M· knyȝtes and euery

of them offirde a Lr and the offeryng dured fro Þe morne

to nyȝt And there sir Launcelot lay ij· nyȝtes vppon hys tumbe

f. 484 (XXI. 8-9)


in prayers and in dolefull wepynge Than on the thirde day

sir Launcelot called the kyngis deukes and Erlis with the barownes &

all hys noble knyȝtes and seyde thus my fayre lordis I thanke

you all of youre comynge in to thys contrey with me But wyte

you well all we ar com to late and that shall repente me whyle

I lyve But a yenste deth may no man rebell But sytthyn hit

ys so seyde sir Launcelot I woll my selffe ryde and syke my lady

quene Gwenyuer for as I here sey she hath had grete payne and

muche disease and I here say that she ys fledde in to the weste

And Þer fore ye all shall a byde me here and but if I com a gayne

with In thes xv· dayes take youre shyppis and youre felyship &

departe in to youre contrey for I woll do as I sey you Than cam

sir Bors and seyde my lorde sir Launcelot what thynke ye for to

fynde feaw fryndis Be as be may as for that seyde sir Launclot

kepe you stylle here for I woll furthe on my Journey and no

man nor chylde shall go with me So hit was no boote to stryve

but he departed and rode westirly and there he souȝt a vij· or viij·

dayes And at the laste he cam to a Nunry And anone quene

Gwenyuer was ware of sir Launcelot as she walked in Þe cloyster

And anone as she saw hym there she sowned thryse Þat all

ladyes and Jantyll women had worke I nowȝe to hold the

quene frome the erthe // So whan she myȝt speke she called her

ladyes and Jantill women to her And than she sayde Þus ye

mervayle fayre ladyes why I make thys fare Truly she seyde

hit ys for the syȝt of yondir knyȝt that yondir stondith Where

fore I pray you calle hym hyddir to me Than sir Launclot was

brouȝt be fore her Than the quene seyde to all Þo ladyes thorow

thys same man and me hath all thys warre be wrouȝt and

the deth of the moste nobelest knyghtes of the worlde for thorow

oure love that we haue loved to gydir ys my moste noble lorde

f. 484v (XXI.9)


slayne There fore sir Launcelot wyte Þou well I am sette in suche

a plyȝt to gete my soule helthe and yet I truste thorow goddis grace

and thorow hys passion of hys woundis wyde that aftir my deth·

I may haue a syght of the blyssed face of Cryste Jhu and on doomes

Day to sytte on hys ryght syde for as synfull as euer I was now ar

seyntes in hevyn And there fore sir Launcelot I requyre Þe and

be seche the hartily for all the lowe that euer was be twyxt vs

that Þou neuer se me no more in the visayge And I commaunde

the on goddis be halff that Þou for sake my company and to

thy kyngedom loke Þou turne a gayne and kepe well thy realmes

from warre and wrake for as well as I haue loved Þe here to

fore myne harte woll nat serve now to se the for thorow the

and me ys the floure of kyngis and destroyed And Þer fore go

thou to thy realm And there take ye a wyff and lyff with

wyth Joy and blys and I pray the hartely to pray for me Þe

euer lastynge lorde that I may amende my mysse lyvyng //

Now my swete madame seyde sir Launcelot wolde ye Þat I shuld

turne a gayne vnto my contrey and there to wedde a lady

Nay madame wyte you well that shall I neuer do for I shall

neuer be so false vnto you of that I haue promysed but Þe selff

desteny that ye haue takyn you to I woll take me to for Þe plea//

sure of Jhu And euer for you I caste me specially to pray //

A sir Launclot if ye woll do so and holde thy promyse But I may

neuer be leve you seyde the quene but that ye woll turne to Þe

worlde a gayne // Well madame seyde he ye say as hit pleasith

you for yet wyste ye me neuer false of my promyse And god

deffende but that I shulde for sake the worlde as ye haue done

For in the queste of the Sankgreall I had that tyme for sakyn

the vanytees of the worlde had nat youre love bene And if

I had done so at that tyme with my harte wylle and thouȝt I

had passed all the knyȝtes that euer were in the Sankgreall





                                                            except sir

f. 485


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f. 489


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And here after foloweth the moost pytous history of the morte of kynge Arthur / the whiche is the xx book

Page  797 [leaf 399r]

Book Twenty: morte of kynge Arthur

¶ Capitulum primum

IN May whan euery lusty herte floryssheth and burgeneth / For as the season is lusty to beholde and comfortable / Soo man and woman reioycen and gladen of somer comynge with hys fresshe floures / for wynter with his rouȝ wyndes and blastes causeth a lusty man and woman to coure / and sytte fast by the fyre / So in this season as in the monethe of May it byfelle a grete angre and vnhap / that stynted not til the floure of chyualry of alle the world was destroyed & slayn / and alle was long vpon two vnhappy knyghtes the whiche were named Agrauayne and sire Mordred that were bretheren vnto sir Gawayne / for this sir Agrauayne and sir mordred had euer a preuy hate vnto the Quene dame Gueneuer and to syr launcelot / and dayly and nyghtly they euer watched vpon sir Launcelot / Soo it myshapped syr Gawayne and alle his bretheren were in kynge Arthurs chamber / and thenne sir Agrauayne sayd thus openly and not in no counceylle that many knyghtes myghte here it / I merueylle that we alle be not ashamed bothe to see and to knowe how sire Launcelot lyeth dayly and nyghtly by the quene / and al we knowe it so and it is shamefully suffred of vs alle that we alle shold suffre soo noble a kyng as kynge Arthur is soo to be shamed /

¶ Thenne spak sir Gawayne and sayd / broder sir Agrauayn I pray yow and charge yow meue no suche maters no more afore me / for wete ye wel sayd syr Gawayne I wylle not be of your counceylle / Soo god me help sayd sir Gaherys and sir Gareth we wylle not be knowynge broder Agrauayne of your dedes / Thenne wylle I sayd syre Mordred I leue well that sayd syre Gawayne / for euer vnto alle vnhappynes broder syr Mordred there to wille ye graunte / and I wold that ye lefte alle this / and made you not soo besy / for I knowe sayd syr Gawayne what wylle falle of hit / Falle of hit what falle may sayd syr Agrauayne / I wille disclose it to the kyng / Not by my counceylle sayd syr Gawayne / for and there ryse warre and wrake betwyx syr launcelot and vs / wete you wel broder there will many kynges and grete lordes hold with syr Page  798 [leaf 399v] Launcelot / Also broder sir Agrauayne sayd sire Gawayne ye must remembre how oftymes syr Launcelot hath rescowed the kynge and the quene / and the best of vs all had ben ful cold at the herte rote / had not sir launcelot ben better than we / And that hath he preud hym self ful ofte / And as for my parte sayd sir Gawayne I wylle neuer be ageynst sir launcelot for one dayes dede whan he rescowed me from kynge Carados of the dolorous toure / and slewe hym and saued my lyf/ Also broder sir Agrauayne and sir mordred in lyke wyse sir Launcelot rescowed yow bothe and thre score and two from sir Turquyn / Me thynketh broder suche kynde dedes and kyndenes shold be remembryd / doo as ye lyst sayd syr Agrauayne for I wylle layne it no lenger /

¶ With these wordes came to them kynge Arthur / Now broder stynte your noyse sayd syre Gawayne / we wylle not sayd syr Agrauayne and sir Mordred / wylle ye soo sayd sir Gawayne / thenne god spede yow for I wil not here your tales ne be of your counceyll / no more wyll I sayd sir Gareth and sir Gaherys / for we wyl neuer saye euylle by that man / for by cause sayd syre Gareth syr launcelot made me knyghte by no manere owe I to say ylle of hym / and there with al they thre departed makynge grete dole / Allas sayd syr Gawayn and sir Gareth now is this Realme holy mescheued / and the noble felaushyp of the round table shalle be disparpyld / soo they departed

¶ Capitulum ij

ANd thenne sir Arthur asked hem what noyse they made / my lord sayd Agrauayye I shal telle yow that I may kepe noo lenger / here is I and my broder syre Mordred brake into my broder syr Gawayne / syr Gaherys / and to syre Gareth / how this we knowe alle that syr Launcelot holdeth your quene and hath done longe / and we be your syster sones / & we may suffre it no lenger / and alle we wote that ye shold be aboue syr launcelot / and ye are the kynge that made hym knyghte / and therfor we wille preue hit that he is a traytoure to your persone / yf hit be soo sayd syr Arthur wete yow wel he is none other / but I wold be lothe to begynne suche a thynge Page  799 [leaf 400r] but I myght haue preues vpon hit / for sir launcelot is an hardy knyghte / and alle ye knowe / he is the best knyghte among vs alle // and but yf he be taken with the dede / he wylle fyghte with hym that bryngeth vp the noyse / and I knowe no knyȝt that is able to matche hym / Therfore and it be sothe as ye saye I wold he were taken with the dede / For as the Frensshe book sayth the kynge was ful lothe therto that ony noyse shold be vpon syr launcelot and his quene / for the kynge had a demynge / but he wold not here of hit / for syr launcelot had done soo moche for hym and the quene soo many tymes that wete ye wel the kynge loued hym passyngly wel / My lord sayd syre Agrauayne ye shal ryde to morne on huntynge / and doubte ye not syr launcelot wille not goo with yow / Thenne whan it draweth toward nyghte / ye may sende the quene word that ye wil lye oute alle that nyghte / and soo may ye sende for your cokes and thenne vpon payne of deth we shalle take hym that nyght with the quene / and outher we shal brynge hym to yow dede or quyck / I wille wel sayd the kynge / thenne I counceylle yow sayd the kynge take with yow sure felauship / syre sayd Agrauayne my broder sir Mordred and I wil take with vs twelue knyghtes of the round table / Beware sayd kyng arthur / for I warne yow ye shalle fynde hym wyghte / lete vs dele sayd sir Agrauayne and sir Mordred / Soo on the morn kynge Arthur rode on huntynge / and sente word to the quene that he wold be oute alle that nyghte / Thenne sir Agrauayne and sire Mordred gate to them twelue knyghtes / and dyd them self in a chamber in the Castel of Carleyl / and these were their names / syr Colgreuaunce / syr Mador de la porte / syre Gyngalyne / syr Melyot de Logrys / syre Petypase of wynchelsee / syr Galleron of Galway / syr Melyon of the montayne / sir Astamore / syre Gromore somyr Ioure / syr Curselayne / syr Florence / syr Louel / So these twelue knyghtes were with sir mordred and sir Agrauayne / and al they were of Scotland outher of syr Gawayns kynne / outher wel willers to his bretheren / Soo whan the nyghte came sir Launcelot told syre Bors how he wold goo that nyghte and speke with the quene / Sir sayd sir Bors ye shal not go this nyghte by my coūceil Why sayd sir launcelot / Sir sayd sir Bors I drede me euer of Page  800 [leaf 400v] sir Agrauayn that wayteth yow dayly to do yow shame and vs al / and neuer gaf my herte ageynst no goynge that euer ye wente to the Quene soo moche as now / for I mystrust that the kynge is oute this nyghte from the quene by cause perauentur he hath layne somme watche for yow and the Quene / and therfor I drede me sore of treason / Haue ye no drede sayd syr Launcelot / for I shalle goo and come ageyne and make noo taryenge / Sir said sir Bors that me repenteth / for I drede me sore that your goynge oute thys nyghte shalle wrathe vs alle Fair neuewe sayd sire launcelot I merueylle moche why ye saye thus sythen the quene hath sente for me / and wete ye wel I wille not be soo moche a coward / but she shalle vnderstande I wille see her good grace / God spede yow wel sayd sir bors and send yow sound and sauf ageyne

¶ Capitulum iij /

SOo sir Launcelot departed and took his swerd vnder his arme / and soo in his mantel that noble knyghte putte hym self in grete Ieopardy / and soo he past tyl he came to the quenes chamber / and thenne sir launcelot was lyȝtely putte in to the chamber / And thenne as the Frensshe book sayth the quene and Launcelot were to gyders / And whether they were a bedde or at other maner of disportes / me lyst not herof make no mencyon / for loue that tyme was not as is now adayes /

¶ But thus as they were to gyder / there came sir Agrauayne and syre Mordred with twelue knyȝtes with them of the round table / and they sayd with cryenge voys / Traytour knyghte syr launcelot du lake now arte thou taken And thus they cryed with a loude voys that alle the Courte myghte here hit / and they all xiiij were armed at al poyntes as they shold fyghte in a bataille / Allas sayd quene Gueneuer now are we mescheued bothe / Madame sayd sir Launcelot is there here ony armour within your chambre that I myght couer my poure body with al / And yf there be ony gyue hit me / and I shalle soone stynte their malyce by the grace of god Truly sayd the quene I haue none armour sheld swerd nor Page  801 [leaf 401r] spere / wherfore I drede me sore / our longe loue is come to a myscheuous ende / for I here by theire noyse there ben many noble knyghtes / and wel I wote they ben surely armed / ageynste them ye may make no resystence / wherfore ye are lykely to be slayne / and thenne shalle I be brente / For and ye myghte escape them said the quene / I wold not doubte but that ye wold rescowe me in what daunger that euer I stoode in / Allas sayd syr Launcelot in alle my lyf thus was I neuer bestadde that I shold be thus shamefully slayne for lack of myn armour / But euer in one sir Agrauayne and sir Mordred cryed Traytour knyghte come oute of the Quenes chamber / for wete thow wel thou arte soo besette that thow shalte not escape / O Ihesu mercy sayd sir Launcelot this shameful crye and noyse I may not suffre / for better were deth at ones than thus to endure this payne / thenne he took the quene in his armes / and kyste her / and sayd moost noble crysten Quene I byseche yow as ye haue ben euer my specyal good lady / and I at al tymes your true poure knyghte vnto my power / and as I neuer fayled yow in ryghte nor in wrong sythen the fyrst day kynge Arthur made me knyghte that ye wylle praye for my soule / yf that I here be slayne / for wel I am assured that sir Bors myn neuewe and all the remenaunt of my kynne with syr Lauayne and syr Vrre that they wylle not fayle yow to rescowe yow from the fyre / and therfor myn owne lady recomforte your self what someuer come of me that ye go with sire Bors my neuew and sir Vrre / and they all wylle doo yow alle the pleasyr that they can or may / that ye shall lyue lyke a Quene vpon my landes / Nay launcelot sayd the Quene / wete thow wel / I wyll neuer lyue after thy dayes / but and thou be slayne I wyl take my deth as mekely for Ihesus Crystus sake / as euer dyd only crysten Quene / wel madame sayd laūcelot / sythe hit is soo that the day is come that oure loue muste departe / wete yow wel I shalle selle my lyf as dere as I maye and a thousand fold sayd syr Launcelot I am more heuyer for yow than for my self / And now I had leuer than to be lord of al crystendome that I had sure armour vpon me / that men myghte speke of my dedes or euer I were slayne / Truly sayd the Quene I wold and it myghte please god / that Page  802 [leaf 401v] they wold take me and slee me / and suffer yow to escape / That shal neuer be sayd sir launcelot / god defende me from suche a shame / but Ihesu be thou my sheld and myn armour /

¶ Capitulum iiij

ANd there with syr Launcelot wrapped his mantel aboute his arme wel and surely / and by thenne they had geten a grete fourme oute of the halle / and there with all they rasshed at the dore / Fair lordes sayd syre Launcelot leue your noyse and your rassyng / and I shalle sette open this dore / and thenne may ye doo with me what it lyketh yow / Come of thenne sayd they alle / and do hit / for hit auayleth the not to stryue ageynst vs alle / and therfor lete vs in to this chamber / and we shalle saue thy lyf vntyl thow come to kyng Arthur / Thenne launcelot vnbarred the dore / and with his lyfte hand he held it open a lytel / so that but one man myghte come in attones / and soo there came strydyng a good knyghte a moche man and large / and his name was Colgreuaunce / of Gore / and he with a swerd strake at syr launcelot myȝtely and he put asyde the stroke / and gaf hym suche a buffett vpon the helmet / that he felle grouelynge dede within the chamber dore / and thenne syre Launcelot with grete myghte drewe that dede knyght within the chamber dore / and syr Launcelot with helpe of the Quene and her ladyes was lyghtely armed in syr Colgreuaunce armour / and euer stode sir Agrauayn and sir Mordred cryenge traytoure knyghte come oute of the quenes chamber / leue your noyse sayd syr launcelot vnto sir Agrauayne / For wete yow wel sir Agrauayne ye shall not prysone me this nyghte and therfor and ye doo by my counceylle / goo ye alle from this chamber dore and make not suche cryeng and suche maner of sklaunder as ye doo / for I promyse you by my knyghthode and ye wil departe and make no more noyse / I shal as to morne appiere afore yow alle before the kyng / and thenne lete it be sene whiche of yow all outher els ye all that wille accuse me of treason / and there I shal ansuer yow as a knyghte shold that hydder I cam to the quene for no maner of male engyne / and that wyl I preue and make hit good vpon Page  803 [leaf 402r] yow with my handes / Fy on the traytour sayd sir Agrauayn and sir Mordred / we wylle haue the maulgre thy hede / and slee the yf we lyste / for we lete the wete we haue the choyse of kynge Arthur to saue the or to slee the / A sirs sayd sir launcelot / is there none other grace with you / thenne kepe your self Soo thenne sir Launcelot set al open the chamber dore / and myghtely and knyghtely he strode in amongest them / and anone at the fyrst buffet he slewe sir Agrauayne and twelue of his felawes after within a lytel whyle after he layd hem cold to the erthe / for there was none of the twelue that myghte stande sir launcelot one buffet / ¶ Also syr Launcelot wounded syr Mordred and he fledde with alle his myghte / And thenne syre launcelot retorned ageyne vnto the Quene and sayd madame / now wete yow well all oure true loue is brought to an ende / for now wille kynge Arthur euer be my foo / and therfore madame and it lyke yow that I maye haue you wyth me / I shalle saue yow from alle manere aduentures daungerous / that is not best sayd the quene / me semeth now ye haue done soo moche harme / it wylle be best ye hold yow stylle with this / And yf ye see that as to morne they wylle put me vnto the dethe / thenne may ye rescowe me as ye thynke best / I wyll wel sayd sir launcelot / for haue ye no doubte whyle I am lyuynge / I shalle rescowe yow / and thenne he kyste her / & eyther gaf other a rynge / and soo there he lefte the quene / and went vntyl his lodgynge

¶ Capitulum Quintum /

WHan syre Bors sawe syr launcelot / he was neuer soo gladde of his home comynge as he was thenne / Ihesu mercy sayd syr Launcelot why be ye all armed what meaneth this / Sir sayd sir Bors after ye were departed from vs / we alle that ben of youre blood and youre well wyllers were soo dretched that somme of vs lepte oute of oure beddes naked / & some in their dremes caughte naked swerdes in their handes / therfor said sir Bors we deme / there is some grete stryf at hand / & thēne we all demed that ye were betrapped with som treason / & therfor we made vs redy what nede that euer ye were in / My fayre neuewe sayd sir launcelot vnto sir bors now shal ye wete al that this nyȝt I was more harder bestad wan euer I was in my lyf & yet I escaped / And so he told Page  804 [leaf 402v] hem alle how and in what maner as ye haue herd to fore / And therfore my felawes said sir Launcelot I pray yow all that ye wylle be of good herte in what nede someuer I stande for now is warre come to vs alle / Sir sayd sir Bors alle is welcome that god sendeth vs / and we haue had moche wele with yow and moche worshyp / and therfor we wille take the wo with yow as we haue taken the wele / And therfore they sayd alle there were many good knyghtes / loke ye take no discomforte / for there nys no bandys of knyghtes vnder heuen / but we shalle be able to greue them as moche as they maye vs And therfor discomforte not your self by no maner / and we shalle gadre to gyders that we loue / and that loueth vs / & what that ye wil haue done shalle be done / And therfor syr Launcelot sayd they we wil take the woo with the wele / Graunt mercy sayd sir Launcelot of your good comforte / for in my grete distresse my fayr neuewe ye comforte me gretely / and moche I am beholdyng vnto yow But thys my fayre neuewe I wold that ye dyd in all haste that ye may or it be forth dayes that ye wille loke in their lodgynge that ben lodged here nyghe aboute the kynge which wyll hold with me and whyche wylle not / for now I wolde knowe whiche were my frendes fro my foes Sir said syr Bors I shalle doo my payne / and or it be seuen of the clok I shalle wete of suche as ye haue sayd before who will holde with yow

¶ Thenne sire Bors called vnto hym sire Lyonel / syr Ector de marys / sir Blamor de ganys / sir Bleoberys de ganys / syre Gahalantyne / syr Galyhodyn / sir Galyhud / Sir menadeuke/ sir Vyllyers the valyaunt / sir Hebes le renoumes / sir lauayne syr Vrre of Hongry / sir Nerouneus / sire Plenorius /

¶ These two knyghtes sire launcelot made / and the one he wanne vpon a brydge / and therfor they wold neuer be ageynst hym/ And Harre le fyse du lake and syre Selyses of the dolorous Toure / and sir Melyas de lyle / and sire Bellangere le beuse that was syr Alysanders sone le orphelyn / by cause hys moder Alys la Beale pelleryn and she was kynne vnto sir Launcelot / and he held with hym /

¶ Soo there came syre Palomydes and sir Safyr his broder Page  805 [leaf 403r] to hold with syr launcelot / And syre Clegys of Sadok and syr Dynas / syr Claryus of Cleremont / So these two & twenty knyghtes drewe hem to gyders / and by thenne they were armed on horsbak / and promysed sir Launcelot to doo what he wold /

¶ Thenne there felle to them what of Northwalys and of Cornewaile for sir Lamoraks sake and for sire Tristrams sake to the nombre of a four score knyghtes

¶ My lordes sayd syre Launcelot wete yow wel / I haue ben euer syns I came in to this Countrey wel wylled vnto my lord kynge Arthur / and vnto my lady Quene Gueneuer vnto my power / and this nyghte by cause my lady the quene sente for me to speke with her / I suppose it was made by treason how be hit / I dare largely excuse her persone / not withstandynge I was ther by a fore cast nere slayne / but as Ihesu prouyded me I escaped alle theyir malyce and treason /

¶ And thenne that noble knyghte sire Launcelot told hem al how he was hard bestad in the quenes chamber / and how and in what manere he escaped from them / And therfore sayd sir Launcelot wete yow wel my fayre lordes I am sure ther nys but werre vnto me and myn / And for by cause I haue slayn this nyghte these knyghtes I wote wel as is sire Agrauayne syr Gawayns broder / and at the leste twelue of his felawes / for this cause now I am sure of mortal warre / for these knyghtes were sente and ordeyned by kynge Arthur to bitraye me / And therfore the kynge wylle in his hete & malyce Iuge the quene to the fyre / and that maye I not suffre that she shold be brente for my sake / for and I may be herd and sufferd and soo taken / I wyll fyghte for the Quene that she is a true lady vnto her lord / but the kynge in his hete I drede me wylle not take me as a I oughte to be taken

¶ Capitulum vj

MY lord syre Launcelot sayd sir Bors by myn aduys ye shalle take the wo with the wele / and take hit in pacyence / and thanke god of hit /

¶ And sythen Page  806 [leaf 403v] hit is fallen as hit is / I counceylle yow to kepe youre self / for and ye wylle your self / ther is no felaushyp of knyghtes crystened that shalle do you wrong / Also I wyll counceyll yow my lord syr Launcelot / that and my lady quene Gueneuer be in distresse / in soo moche as she is in payne for your sake that ye knyghtly rescowe her / and ye dyd other wayes / al the world wylle speke of yow shame to the worldes ende / in so moche as ye were taken with her / whether ye dyd ryghte or wrong / It is now your parte to holde with the quene that she be not slayne and put to a mescheuous dethe / for and she soo dye / the shame shalle be yours / Ihesu defende me from shame sayd syre Launcelot and kepe and saue my lady the quene from vylony and shameful deth / and that she neuer be destroyed in my defaute / wherfore my fayre lordes my kynne and my frendes sayd sir Launcelot what wylle ye doo / Thenne they sayd all we wille doo as ye wylle doo / I putte this to yow sayd sir launcelot that yf my lord Arthur by euyll counceyll wyll to morn in his hete putte my lady the Quene to the fyre there to be brente / Now I praye yow counceylle me what is best to doo / Thenne they sayd alle at ones with one voys / Syre vs thynketh best that ye knyghtly rescowe the quene in soo moche as she shal be brente / it is for youre sake / and it is to suppose and ye myghte be handelyd ye shold haue the same dethe or a more shamefuller dethe / and syre we say al that ye haue many tymes rescowed her from dethe / for other mens quarels / vs semeth it is more youre worshyp that ye rescowe the quene from this perylle / in soo moche she hath it for your sake

¶ Thenne sir launcelot stood styl and sayd / my fayre lordes wete yow wel I wold be lothe to doo that thynge that shold dishonoure yow or my blood / and wete yow wel I wold be lothe that my lady the quene shold dye a shameful dethe / but and hit be soo that ye wylle counceylle me to rescowe her / I muste doo moche harme or I rescowe her / and peraduenture I shal there destroye somme of my best frendes / that shold moche repente me / and peraduenture there be somme / and they coude wel brynge it aboute / or disobeye my lord kynge Arthur they wold soone come to me / the whiche I were loth to hurte / & yf so be þt I rescowe her where shal I kepe her / that shal be Page  807 [leaf 404r] the leste care of vs alle sayd sir Bors / how dyd the noble knyghte sire Tristram by your good wylle kepte not he wyth hym la beale Isoud nere thre yere in Ioyous gard / the which was done by your elthers deuyse / and that same place is your owne / and in lyke wyse may ye doo and ye lyst / and take the Quene lyghtely away / yf it soo be the kynge wylle Iuge her to be brente / and in Ioyous gard ye may kepe her longe ynough vntyl the hete of the kynge be past / And thenne shalle ye brynge ageyne the quene to the kynge with grete worshyp / and thenne peraduenture ye shalle haue thanke for her bryngynge home and loue and thanke where other shalle haue maugre / That is hard to doo sayd sir launcelot / for by sir Tristram I may haue a warnynge / for whanne by meanes of treatyce syr Tristram brought ageyne la Beale Isoud vnto kynge Mark from Ioyous gard loke what befelle on the ende / how shamefully that fals traitour kyng marke slewe hym / as he sat harpynge afore his lady la beale Isoud / With a groundyn glayue he threst hym in behynde to the herte / hit greueth me said sir launcelot to speke of his dethe / for alle the world may not fynde suche a knyghte / Alle thys is trouthe sayd syre Bors / but there is one thynge shalle courage yow and vs alle / ye knowe wel Kynge Arthur & kyng marke were neuer lyke of condycyons / for there was neuer yet man coude preue kynge Arthur vntrewe of his promyse / Soo to make short tale they were alle consented that for better outher for worse / yf soo were that the quene were on that morne broughte to the fyre / shortly they al wold rescowe her / And soo by the aduyse of syr launcelot they putte hem all in an enbusshement in a woode as nyghe Carleil as they myght And there they abode stylle to wete what the Kynge wold do /

¶ Capitulum vij

NOw torne we ageyne vnto syre Mordred / that whan he was escaped from the noble knyghte sire Launcelot he anone gat his hors and mounted vpon hym / and rode vnto Kynge Arthur / sore wounded and smyten / and alle Page  808 [leaf 404v] forbled / and there he told the kynge alle how hit was / and how they were alle slayne sauf hym self al only / Ihesu mercy how maye this be said the Kynge / toke ye hym in the quenes chamber / Ye soo god me helpe sayd sir Mordred there we fonde hym vnarmed / and there he slewe Colgreuaunce & armed hym in his armour / and alle this he told the kynge from the begynnynge to the endynge

¶ Ihesu mercy sayd the kynge he is a merueyllous knyghte of prowesse / Allas me sore repenteth sayd the Kynge that euer syr launcelot shold be ageynst me / Now I am sure the noble felaushyp of the round table is broken for euer / for with hym wille many a noble knyghte holde / and now it is fallen soo/ sayd the Kyng / that I may not with my worshyp / but the quene must suffer the dethe / Soo thenne there was made grete ordynaunce in this hete / that the quene must be Iuged to the deth And the lawe was suche in tho dayes that what someuer they were / of what estate or degree / yf they were fonde gylty of treson / there shold be none other remedy but dethe / and outher the men or the takynge with the dede shold be causer of their hasty Iugement / and ryghte soo was it ordeyned for quene gueneuer / by cause sir Mordred was escaped sore wounded / and the dethe of thyrtten knyghtes of the round table / these preues & experyences caused kynge Arthur to commaunde the quene to the fyre there to be brente / Thenne spake sir gawayn and sayd my lord Arthur I wold counceylle yow not to be ouer hasty / but that ye wold putte it in respyte this Iugement of my lady the quene for many causes /

¶ One it is though it were so that sir Launcelot were fonde in the quenes chamber / yet it myghte be soo that he came thyder for none euylle / for ye knowe my lord said syr gawayne that the quene is moche beholden vnto syr launcelot more than vnto ony other Knyghte / for oftyme he hath saued her lyf / and done batail for her whan al the Courte refused the quene / and parauenture she sente for hym for goodenes and for none euyl to rewarde hym for his good dedes that he had done to her in tymes past / And peraduenture my lady the quene sente for hym to that entente that syr Launcelot shold come to her good grace pryuely and secretely / wenynge to her that hit was best so to do in eschewyng & dredyng Page  809 [leaf 405r] of sklaunder / for oftymes we doo many thynges that we wene it be for the best / & yet peraduenture hit torneth to the werst/ For I dare say sayd syre Gawayne my lady your Quene is to yow bothe good and true / And as for sir Launcelot sayd sir Gawayne I dare saye he wylle make hit good vpon ony knyghte lyuyng that wylle putte vpon hym self vylony or shame / and in lyke wyse he wylle make good for my lady dame Gueneuer / that I byleue wel said kyng Arthur / but I wil not that way with sir Launcelot for he trusteth soo moche vpon his handes and his myghte that he doubteth no man / and therfore for my Quene he shalle neuer fyghte more / for she shall haue the lawe / And yf I maye gete sir Launcelot wete you well he shal haue a shameful dethe / Ihesu defende sayd sir Gawayn that I may neuer see it / why saye ye soo sayd kynge Arthur/ For soth ye haue no cause to loue sir Launcelot / for this nyghte last past he slewe your broder sir Agrauayne a ful good knyghte / & al moost he had slayne your other broder sir mordred And also there he slewe thyrtten noble knyghtes / and also sir Gawayne remembre ye he slewe two sones of yours sire Florence and sir Louel / my lord sayd sir Gawayne of alle thys I haue knouleche of whos dethes I repente me sore / but in so moche I gaf hem warnynge / and told my bretheren and my sones afore hand what wold falle in the ende / in soo moche / they wold not doo by my counceyll I wyl not medle me therof nor reuenge me no thynge of their dethes / for I told hem it was no bote to stryue wyth sir launcelot / how be it I am sory of the deth of my bretheren & of my sones / for they are the causers of theyre owne dethe / For oftymes I warned my broder sir Agrauayne / and I told hym the peryls the which ben now fallen

¶ Capitulum viij

THenne sayd the noble Kynge Arthur to syre Gawayne / dere neuewe I pray yow make yow redy in your best armoure with youre bretheren syre Gaherys and syre Gareth to brynge my Quene to the fyre there to haue her Iugement and receyue the dethe

¶ Nay my moost noble Page  810 [leaf 405v] lord sayd sir Gawayne that wylle I neuer doo / for wete yow wel / I wylle neuer be in that place where soo noble a Quene as is my lady dame Gueneuer shalle take a shameful ende / For wete yow wel sayd sire Gawayne my herte wylle neuer serue me to see her dye / and it shalle neuer be sayd that euer I was of youre counceylle of her dethe / Thenne sayd the kyng to syr Gawayne / suffer your broder syr Gaherys and syr Gareth to be there / my lord sayd sire Gawayne wete yow wel / they wille be lothe to be there present by cause of many aduentures the whiche ben lyke there to falle / but they are yonge & ful vnable to saye yow nay / Thenne spak sire Gaherys & the good knyghte sire Gareth vnto syre Arthur / syre ye may wel commaunde vs to be there / but wete yow wel it shalle be sore ageynst oure wylle / but and we be there by youre strayte commaundement / ye shall playnly hold vs there excused / we wyl be there in peasyble wyse and bere none harneis of warre vpon vs / In the name of god sayd the kynge thenne make you redy / for she shalle soone haue her Iugement anone / Allas sayd syr Gawayne that euer I shold endure to see this woful daye / Soo sir Gawayne torned hym / and wepte hertely / and so he wente in to his chamber and thēne the quene was led forth withoute Carleil / and there she was despoylled in to her smok And soo thenne her ghoostly fader was broughte to her to be shryuen of her mysdedes / Thenne was there wepynge & waylynge and wryngynge of handes of many lordes and ladyes / But there were but fewe in comparyson that wold bere ony armour for to strengthe the dethe of the quene / Thenne was ther one that sire Launcelot had sente vnto that place for to aspye what tyme the quene shold goo vnto her dethe / And anone as he sawe the quene despoylled in to her smok / and soo shryuen / thenne he gaf sir launcelot warnynge / thenne was there but sporynge and pluckynge vp of horses / and ryghte so they cam to the fyre / And who that stood ageynste them there were they slayne / there myghte none withstande sir Launcelot / so all that bare armes and withstoode hem there were they slayne ful many a noble knyghte / For there was slayne sir Bellyas le orgulous / Sir Segwarydes / Sir Gryflet / sir Brandyles / syrePage  811 [leaf 406r] Agloual / syr Tor / syr Gauter / sire Gyllymer / syr Reynold iij bretheren / syr Damas / syr Pyramus / syr Kay the straunger / sir Dryaunt / sir Lambegus / syr Hermynde / syr Pertylope / syre Perymones two bretheren that were called the grene knyght and the reed knyghte / And soo in this rassynge and hurlyng as syre Launcelot thrange here and there / it myhapped hym to slee Gaherys and syr Gareth the noble knyghte / for they were vnarmed and vnware / For as the Frensshe booke sayth/ syr Launcelot smote syr Gareth and syr Gaherys vpon the brayne pannes where thorou they were slayne in the felde how be hit in veray trouthe syr launcelot sawe hem not / and soo were they fonde dede amonge the thyckest of the prees /

¶ Thenne whan syr launcelot had thus done and slayne / and putte to flyghte alle that wold withstande hym / Thenne he rode streyghte vnto dame Gueneuer and maade a kyrtyl and a gowne to be cast vpon her / and thenne he made her to be sette behynde hym / and prayd her to be of good chere / wete yow wel / the Quene was gladde that she was escaped from the dethe / And thenne she thanked god and sir Launcelot / and soo he rode his way with the Quene as the Frensshe book saith vnto Ioyous gard / and there he kepte her as a noble knyghte shold doo / & many grete lordes and somme kynges sent syr Launcelot many good knyghtes / and many noble knyghtes drewe vnto sir Launcelot /

¶ whan this was knowen openly that kyng Arthur and sire launcelot were at debate / many knyghtes were gladde of their debate / and many were ful heuy of their debate

¶ Capitulum ix

SOo torne we ageyne vnto kynge Arthur that whan it was told hym / how and in what maner of wyse the quene was taken awey from the fyre / And whan he herd of the deth of his noble knyghtes / and in especyal of syr gaheris and sir Gareths deth / thenne the kyng swouned for pure sorou And whan he awoke of his swoun / thenne he sayd

¶ Allas that euer I bare croun vpon my hede / For now haue I loste the fayrest felaushyp of noble knyghtes that euer helde crysten Page  812 [leaf 406v] kynge to gyders / Allas my good knyghtes ben slayne aweye from me / now within these two dayes I haue lost xl knyȝtes / & also the noble felaushyp of syr laūcelot and his blood / for now I may neuer hold hem to gyders no more with my worshyp / Allas that euer this werre beganne / Now fayr felawes sayd the kynge I charge yow that no man telle sir gawayn of the dethe of his two bretheren / for I am sure sayd the kyng whan sir Gawayne hereth telle that sir Gareth is dede he wyll goo nyghe oute of his mynde / Mercy Ihesu said the kyng why slewe he syre Gareth and sire Gaherys / for I dar saye as for syre Gareth he loued sir Launcelot aboue al men erthely / that is trouthe sayd some knyghtes / but they were slayne in the hurtlyng as sir launcelot thrange in the thyck of the prees / and as they were vnarmed / he smote hem and wyst not whome that he smote / and soo vnhappyly they were slayne / The dethe of them sayd Arthur wyll cause the grettest mortal werre that euer was / I am sure wyste sir Gawayne that syr Gareth were slayne I shold neuer haue reste of hym tyl I had destroyed syr launcelots kynne and hym self both / outher els he to destroye me / and therfor sayd the kynge wete yow well my herte was neuer soo heuy as it is now / and moche more I am soryer for my good knyghtes losse / than for the losse of my fayre quene / for quenes I myghte haue ynowe / but suche a felaushyp of good knyghtes shalle neuer be to gyders in no company / and now I dare say sayd kyng Arthur there was neuer crysten kynge helde suche a felaushyp to gyders / & allas that euer syr launcelot & I shold be at debate / A Agrauayn Agrauayn sayd the kyng Ihesu forgyue it thy sowle / for thyn euyl wyl that thou and thy broder syre Mordred haddest vnto syr launcelot hath caused al this sorowe / and euer amonge these complayntes the kyng wepte and swouned

¶ Thenne ther came one vnto syr Gawayne and told hym / how the Quene was ladde awaye with syr launcelot / & nygh a xxiiij knyghtes slayne / O Ihesu defende my bretheren sayd sir gawayne / for ful wel wyst I that syr launcelot wold rescowe her / outher els he wold dye in that felde / and to saye the trouth he had not ben a man of worshyp had he not rescowed the quene that day / in so moche she shold haue ben brente for his sake Page  813 [leaf 407r] And as in that sayd sir Gawayne he hath done but knyȝtly/ and as I wold haue done my self and I had stand in lyke caas / but where ar my bretheren sayd sir Gawayne / I merueyll I here not of hem / Truly sayd that man sir Gareth and syr Gaherys be slayne / Ihesu defende sayd sir Gawayne / for alle the world I wold not that they were slayne / and in especyal my good broder sir Gareth / syr sayd the man he is slayne and that is grete pyte / who slewe hym sayd sir Gawayn Sir sayd the man Launcelot slewe hem bothe / that may I not byleue sayd syr Gawayne that euer he slewe my broder syre Gareth / For I dar say my broder Gareth loued hym better than me and alle his bretheren / and the kynge bothe / Also I dare say and sir Launcelot and desyred my broder syr Gareth with hym / he wolde haue ben with hym ageynst the kynge and vs al / and therfore I may neuer byleue that syr launcelot slewe my broder. Sir sayd this man it is noysed that he slewe hym

¶ Capitulum x

ALlas sayd sire Gawayne now is my Ioye gone / and thenne he felle doune and swouned / and long he lay there as he had ben dede / And thenne whanne he aroos of his swoune / he cryed oute sorowfully and sayd Allas / and ryȝte soo syr Gawayne ranne to the kynge cryenge and wepynge O kynge Arthur myne vnkel my good broder syr Gareth is slayne / soo is my broder syr Gaherys / the whiche were / ij / noble knyghtes / Thenne the kynge wepte and he bothe / and so they felle on swounynge / And whan they were reuyued thenne spak sir Gawayne / syr I wyl go see my broder syr Gareth / ye may not see hym sayd the kynge / for I caused hym to be entered and syr gaherys bothe / For I wel vnderstood that ye wold make ouer moche sorowe / and the syghte of sir Gareth shold haue caused your double sorowe / Allas my lord sayd syr Gawayne how slewe he my broder sir gareth myn own good lord I praye yow telle me / Truly sayd the Kyng I shal telle yow as it is told me / syre Launcelot slewe hym & sir Gaheris bothe / Allas sayd sire Gawayne they bare none armesPage  814 [leaf 407v] ayenst hym neyther of hem both / I wote not how it was said the kynge / but as it is sayd sire launcelot slewe them bothe in the thyckest of the prees / and knewe them not / and therfor lete vs shape a remedy for to reuenge their dethes / My Kynge my lord and myn vnkel sayd sire Gawayne wete yow wel now I shal make yow a promyse that I shalle holde by my knyghthode / that from this day I shalle neuer fayle sir launcelot vntyl the one of vs haue slayne the other / And therfore I requyre yow my lord and kynge dresse yow to the werre for wete yow wel I will be reuenged vpon sire launcelot / & therfor as ye wylle haue my seruyse and my loue now haste yow therto and assaye your frendes / For I promyse vnto god said sir Gawayne for the dethe of my broder sir gareth I shalle seke syr launcelot thorou oute seuen kynges Realmes / but I shalle slee hym or els he shalle slee me / ye shall not nede to seke hym soo ferre sayd the Kynge / for as I here saye sir Launcelot will abyde me and yow in the Ioyous gard / and moche peple draweth vnto hym as I here saye / That may I byleue sayd sir gawayne / but my lord he sayd assaye your frendes / and I wyll assaye myn / it shalle be done sayd the kynge / and as I suppose I shal be byg ynouȝ to drawe hym oute of the byggest toure of his Castel / So thenne the kynge sente letters and wryttes thorou oute alle Englond bothe in the lengthe and the brede / for to assomone alle his knyghtes / And soo vnto Arthur drewe many knyghtes dukes and Erles / soo that he had a grete hoost / and whan they were assemblyd the kyng enformed hem how syr launcelot had berafte hym his quene / Thenne the kynge and all his hoost made hem redy to laye syege aboute sir Launcelot where he laye within Ioyous gard / Therof herd sir Launcelot and purueyed hym of many good knyghtes / for with hym helde many knyghtes / and some for his owne sake and somme for the quenes sake / Thus they were on bothe partyes wel furnysshed and garnysshed of alle maner of thyng that longed to the werre / But kyng Arthurs hoost was soo bygge that syr launcelot wold not abyde hym in the felde / For he was ful lothe to doo batail ageynst the kyng / but syre launcelot drewe hym to his strong castel with al maner of vytail / And as many noble men as he myghte suffyse within the Page  815 [leaf 408r] Towne and the Castel / Thenne came kynge Arthur with sire Gawayne with an hughe hoost / and layd a syege al aboute Ioyous gard both at the Towne and at the Castel / & there they made stronge werre on bothe partyes / but in no wyse syre Launcelot wold ryde oute nor go out of his Castel of long tyme / neyther he wold none of his good knyghtes to yssue oute neyther none of the Towne nor of the Castel vntyl xv / wekes were past

¶ Capitulum xj

THenne it befel vpon a daye in heruest tyme / syr launcelot loked ouer the walles / and spak on hyghe vnto Kynge Arthur and sir Gawayne / my lordes bothe wete ye wel al is in vayne that ye make at this syege / for here wynne ye no worshyp but maulgre and dishonoure / for and it lyste me to come my self oute and my good knyghtes I shold ful soone make an ende of this werre / Come forthe sayd Arthur vnto Launcelot and thou darst / and I promyse the / I shalle mete the in myddes of the felde / God defende me sayd sir Launcelot that euer I shold encountre with the moost noble kyng that made me knyghte / Fy vpon thy fayre langage sayd the kynge / for wete yow wel and trust it I am thy mortal fo / & euer wylle to my deth daye / for thou hast slayne my good knyghtes / and ful noble men of my blood that I shal neuer recouer ageyne /

¶ Also thow hast layne by my Quene & holden her many wynters / and sythen lyke a traytour taken her from me by force / my moost noble lord and kyng sayd sir launcelot ye may say what ye will / for ye wote wel with youre self wil I not stryue / but there as ye say I haue slayn your good knyghtes I wote wel that I haue done soo / and that me sore repenteth / but I was enforced to doo batail with hem / in sauyng of my lyf or els I muste haue suffred hem to haue slayne me / and as for my lady Quene Gueneuer except your persone of your hyhenes / and my lord sire Gawayne there is noo knyghte vnder heuen that dar make it good vpon me / that euer I was a traytour vnto youre persone / And where hit please yow to saye that I haue holden my lady youre Quene Page  816 [leaf 408v] yeres and wynters / vnto that I shal euer make a large ansuer / and preue hit vpon ony knyghte that bereth the lyf excepte youre person and sire Gawayne that my lady Quene gueneuer is a true lady vnto your persone as ony is lyuyng vnto her lord / and that wylle I make good with my handes / how be it / it hath lyked her good grace to haue me in chyerte and to cherysshe me more than ony other knyghte / and vnto my power I ageyne haue deserued her loue / for oftymes my lord ye haue consented that she shold be brente and destroyed in your hete / and thenne it fortuned me to doo batail for her / and or I departed from her aduersary they confessid their vntrouthe / and she ful worshypfully excused / And at suche tymes my lord Arthur sayd sir Launcelot ye loued me / and thanked me whan I saued your quene from the fyre / & thenne ye promysed me for euer to be my good lord / and now me thynketh ye rewarde me ful ylle for my good seruyse / and my good lord me semeth I had lost a grete parte of my worshyp in my knyghthode / and I had suffered my lady youre Quene to haue ben brente / and in soo moche she shold haue ben brente for my sake / For sythen I haue done batails for your Quene in other quarels than in myn owne / me semeth now I had more ryght to doo batail for her in ryghte quarel / and therfor my good and gracyous lord sayd syr launcelot take your quene vnto your good grace / for she is bothe fayr true and good / Fy on the fals recreaunt knyght sayd sire Gawayne / I lete the wete my lord myn vnkel Kynge Arthur shalle haue his Quene and the maulgre thy vysage / and slee yow bothe whether it please hym / It may wel be sayd sire Launcelot / but wete ye wel my lord sire Gawayne / and me lyst to come oute of this Castel ye shold wynne me and the quene more harder than euer ye wanne a stronge bataille / Fy on thy proude wordes seyd sir Gawayne / as for my lady the Quene I wil neuer saye of her shame / but thow fals and recreaunt Knyghte / saide syre Gawayne what cause haddest thow to slee my good broder syr Gareth that loued the more than al my kynne Allas thow madest hym knyght thyn owne handes / Why slewe thow hym that loued the soo wel / for to excuse me sayde sir Launcelot it helpeth me not / but by Ihesu / and by the feyth Page  817 [leaf 409r] that I owe to the hygh ordre of knyȝthode / I shold with as a good wylle haue slayne my neuewe sir Bors de ganys / at þt tyme / but allas that euer I was so vnhappy sayd laūcelot þt I had not sene syr Gareth and sir Gaherys / Thow lyest recreaunt knyght sayd sir Gawayne / thow slewest hym in despyte of me / And therfore wete thou wel I shalle make warre to the / and alle the whyle that I may lyue / That me repenteth said sir Launcelot / for wel I vnderstande it helpeth not to seke none accordement whyle ye syr Gawayne ar soo mescheuously sette / And yf ye were not / I wold not doubte to haue the good grace of my lord Arthur / I byleue it wel fals recreaunt knyght sayd sir Gawayne / for thow hast many longe dayes ouer ladde me and vs alle / and destroyed many of oure good knyghtes / ye saye as it pleaseth yow sayd syr launcelot / & yet may it neuer be sayd on me / and openly preued that euer I before cast of treason slewe no good knyghte as my lord syre Gawayne ye haue done / And soo dyd I neuer / but in my defense that I was dryuen therto in sauynge of my lyf /

¶ A fals knyghte sayd syre Gawayne that thow menest by syre Lamorak / wete thow wel I slewe hym / ye slewe hym not youre self sayd sir launcelot / hit had ben ouer moche on hand for yow to haue slayne hym / for he was one of the best knyghtes crystned of his age / and it was grete pyte of his dethe /

¶ Capitulum xij

WEl sayd sir Gawayne / to Launcelot sythen thou enbraydest me of sire Lamorak / wete thow well I shalle neuer leue the tyl I haue the at suche auaille that thou shalte not escape my handes / I truste yow wel ynough sayd syr launcelot / and ye may gete me / I gete but lytel mercy/ but as the Frensshe book saith / the noble kyng Arthur wold haue taken his Quene ageyne / and haue ben accorded with syr Launcelot / but syr Gawayne wold not suffer hym by no maner of meane / And thenne syre Gawayne made many men to blowe vpon syr launcelot / And all at ones they called hym fals recreaunt knyght / Thenne when syr Bors de ganys Page  818 [leaf 409v] syr Ector de marys and sir lyonel herd this oute crye / they called to them syre Palomydes sir Safyrs broder / and sir Lauayne with many moo of their blood / and alle they went vnto sir launcelot and sayd thus / My lord sir launcelot wete ye wel we haue grete scorne of the grete rebukes / that we herd gawayn saye to yow / Wherfor we pray you & charge you as ye wille haue oure seruyse / kepe vs noo lenger within these walles / for wete yow wel playnly we wille ryde in to the feld / and doo bataille with hem / for ye fare as a man that were aferd / and for alle your fayr speche it wil not auayle yow / For wete yow wel / sire Gawayne wille not suffer you to be accorded with kynge Arthur / and therfore fyghte for youre lyf and your ryghte and ye dar / Allas sayd syre launcelot for to ryde oute of this Castel and to doo batail I am ful lothe / Thenne syre launcelot spak on hyghe vnto syr Arthur & syre Gawayne my lordes I requyre you and biseche you sythen that I am thus requyred and coniured to ryde in to the felde / that neyder you my lord kynge Arthur nor you syre Gawayne come not in to the felde / What shal we doo thenne sayd syr Gawayne / is this the kynges quarel with the to fyghte / and it is my quarel to fyghte with the syr laūcelot / by cause of the deth of my brother syre Gareth / Thenne muste I nedes vnto bataill said syr launcelot / now wete you wel my lord Arthur and syre Gawayne ye wil repente it when someuer I doo bataylle with you / And soo thenne they departed eyther from other / and thenne eyther party made hem redy on the morne for to doo batail / and grete purueaunce was made on bothe sydes / and syr Gawayne lete purueye many knyghtes for to wayte vpon sir launcelot for to ouersette hym / and to slee hym / And on the morne at vndorne syre Arthur was redy in the felde with thre grete hoostes / And thenne syr launcelots felaushyp came oute at thre gates in a ful good araye / and syre lyonel came in the formest batail / and syr launcelot came in the myddel / and syre Bors came oute at the thyrd gate / Thus they came in ordre & rule as ful noble knyghtes / and alwayes syr launcelot charged all his knyghtes in ony wyse to saue Kynge Arthur & syr Gawayne

¶ Capitulum xiij

THenne came forth sir Gawayne from the kynges host and he came before and proferd to Iuste / and sir Lyonel was a fyres knyghte / and lyghtely he encoūtred with syr Gawayne / & there sir Gawayne smote syr lyonel thurgh oute the body / that he dasshed to the erthe / lyke as he had ben dede / And thenne sir Ector de marys and other more bare hym in to the Castel / thenne there beganne a grete stoure & moche peple was slayne / and euer syr launcelot dyd what he myghte to saue the peple on kynge Arthurs party / for syr palomydes and syr Bors and syr Safyr ouerthrowe many knyghtes / for they were dedely knyghtes / and syre Blamor de ganys / and syr Bleoberys de ganys with sir Bellangere le bewse / these syxe knyghtes dyd moche harme / and euer kynge Arthur was nyghe aboute syr launcelot to haue slayn hym / & syr launcelot suffred hym / and wold not stryke ageyne / Soo syr Bors encountred with kynge Arthur / and there with a spere syr Bors smote hym doun / & soo he alyghte and drewe his swerd / and sayd to syr launcelot / shalle I make an ende of this werre / & that he mente to haue slayn Kynge Arthur Not soo hardy sayd syr launcelot vpon payn of thy hede / that thou touche hym no more / for I wille neuer see that most noble kynge that made me knyghte neyther slayn ne shamed / & there with al syr laūcelot alyght of his hors & tooke vp the kynge & horsed hym ageyn / & sayd thus / my lord Arthur for goddes loue stynte this stryf / for ye gete here no worshyp / and I wold doo myn vtteraūce / but alweyes I forbere yow / & ye nor none of yours forbereth me / my lord remembre what I haue done in many places / & now I am euylle rewarded Thenne whan kyng Arthur was on horsbak / he loked vpon syr launcelot / & thēne the teres brast out of his eyen / thynkyng on the grete curtosy that was in syr laūcelot more than in ony other man / & therwith the Kynge rode his wey / & myghte no lenger beholde hym / & sayd Allas that euer this werre began / & thēne eyther partyes of the batails withdrewe them to repose them / & buryed the dede / & to the woūded men they leid softe Page  820 [leaf 410v] salues / and thus they endured that nyȝt tyll on the morne / & on the morne by vndorne they made hem redy to doo bataille / And thenne syr Bors ledde the forward /

¶ Soo vpon the morne there came syre Gawayne as brym as ony bore with a grete spere in his hand / And whan sir Bors sawe hym / he thoughte to reuenge his broder syre Lyonel of the despyte that syr Gawayn dyd hym the other daye /

¶ And so they that knewe eyther other feutryd their speres / and with alle theire myghtes of their horses and hem self / they mette to gyder soo felonsly / that eyther bare other thorowe / and soo they felle both to the erthe / and thenne the batails ioyned / and there was moche slaughter on bothe partyes / Thenne sir launcelot rescowed syr Bors and sente hym in to the Castel / But neyder syr Gawayne nor syr Bors dyed not of their woundes / For they were alle holpen / Thenne syr Lauayne and sir Vrre prayd syr Launcelot to doo his payne / and fyȝte as they had done / for we see / ye forbere and spare / and that doth moche harme therfor we praye yow spare not youre enemyes noo more than they done yow / Allas sayd sire Launcelot I haue no herte to fyghte ageynst my lord Arthur / For euer me semeth I doo not as I oughte to doo / My lord sayd sir Palomydes though ye spare them alle this day / they will neuer conne yow thank And yf they may gete yow at auayle / ye are but dede /

¶ So thenne syr Launcelot vnderstood that they sayd hym trouth & thenne he strayned hym self more than he dyd afore hand / and by cause his neuewe sir Bors was sore wounded / And thenne within a lytel whyle by euensong tyme sire Launcelot and his party better stode / for their horses wente in blood past the fytloks / there was soo moche people slayne / And thenne for pyte syr launcelot withhelde his knyghtes / and suffred kynge Arthurs party for to withdrawe them on syde / And thenne sir launcelots party withdrewe hem in to his Castel / and eyther partyes buryed the dede / & putte salf vnto the wounded men / Soo whan syre Gawayne was hurte / they on kyng Arthurs party were not soo orgulous as they were to fore hand to do bataill / Of this werre was noysed thorou al crystendome & at the last it was noysed afore the pope / and he consyderyng the grete godenes of kynge Arthur / & of sir laūcelot that was Page  821 [leaf 411r] called the moost noblest knyghtes of the world wherfore the pope called vnto hym a noble Clerke that att that tyme was there presente / the Frensshe book sayth / hit was the Bisshop of Rochestre / and the pope gaf hym bulles vnder lede vnto kynge Arthur of Englond / chargynge hym vpon payne of enterdytynge of al Englond that he take his quene dame Gueneuer vnto hym ageyne and accorde with syr Launcelot /

¶ Capitulum xiiij

SOo whan this Bisshop was come Carleyl / he shewed the kynge these bulles / And whan the kyng vnderstood these bulles / he nyst what to doo / ful fayne he wold haue ben accorded with sir launcelot / but sir Gawayne wold not suffre hym / but as for to haue the quene / ther to he agreed But in no wyse syre Gawayne wold not suffer the kyng to accorde with syr Launcelot / but as for the quene he consented / And thenne the Bisshop had of the kynge his grete seal / & his assuraunce as he was a true ennoynted kynge / that syre Launcelot shold come sauf / and goo sauf / and that the quene shold not be spoken vnto / of the kynge / nor of none other / for no thynge done afore tyme past / and of alle these appoyntementes / the Bisshop broughte hym sure assuraunce & wrytynge to shewe sir Launcelot / So whan the Bisshop was come to Ioyous gard / there he shewed sir launcelot how the pope had wryten to Arthur and vnto hym / and there he told hym the peryls yf he withhelde the quene from the kyng / It was neuer in my thoughte saide laūcelot to withholde the quene from my lord Arthur / but in soo moche she shold haue ben dede for my sake / me semeth it was my parte to saue her lyf and putte her from that daunger tyl better recouer myghte come / & now I thanke god sayd sir Launcelot that the pope hath made her pees / for god knoweth sayd syr launcelot I wylle be a thousand fold more gladder to brynge her ageyne than euer I was of her takyng away / With this I maye be sure to come sauf / and goo sauf / and that the quene shal haue her lyberte as she had before / and neuer for no thynge that hath ben surmysed Page  822 [leaf 411v] afore this tyme / she neuer fro this day stande in no peryll / for els sayd sir launcelot I dare auenture me to kepe her from an harder shoure than euer I kepte her / It shal not nede yow sayd the Bisshop to drede soo moche / For wete yow wel the pope muste be obeyed / and it were not the popes worshyp nor my poure honeste to wete yow distressyd neyther the quene / neyther in perylle nor shamed / And thenne he shewed sir launcelot alle his wrytynge / bothe from the pope and from kynge Arthur / this is sure ynough / sayd sir Launcelot / for ful well I dare trust my lordes owne wrytynge and his seale / for he was neuer shamed of his promesse

¶ Therfore sayd sir Launcelot vnto the Bisshop / ye shall ryde vnto the kynge afore / and recommaunde me vnto his good grace / and lete hym haue knowlechynge that this same daye eyghte dayes by the grace of god / I my self shall brynge my lady Quene Gueneuer vnto hym / and thenne saye ye vnto my most redoubted kyng that I will say largely for the quene / that I shalle none excepte for drede nor fere / but the kyng hym self and my lord sire Gawayn / and that is more for the kynges loue than for hym self / Soo the Bisshop departed and came to the kynge at Carleyl / and told hym alle how sir laūcelot ansuerd hym / and thenne the teres brast oute of the kynges eyen / Thenne sire Launcelot purueyed hym an honderd knyghtes / and alle were clothed in grene velowet / and theyr horses trapped to their heles / and euery knyghte helde a braunche of olyue in his hande in tokenyng of pees / and the quenne had four and twenty gentylwymmen folowyng her in the same wyse / and sir Launcelot had twelue coursers folowynge hym / and on euery courser sat a yonge gentylman / and alle they were arayed in grene veluet with sarpys of gold about their quarters / and the hors trapped in the same wyse doune to the helys with many ouches y sette with stones and perlys in gold to the nombre of a thowsand / and she and sir Launcelot were clothed in whyte clothe of gold tyssew / and ryght soo as ye haue herd as the Frensshe book maketh mencyon / he rode with the quene from Ioyous gard to Carleyl / and so syr Launcelot rode thorou oute Carleyl and soo in the castel that alle men myȝt beholde / & wete you wel ther was many a Page  823 [leaf 412r] wepynge eyen / and thenne syr Launcelot hym self alyghte and auoyded his hors and toke the quene / and soo led her where kynge Arthur was in his seate / and syre Gawayn sat afore hym / and many other grete lordes / Soo whan syre launcelot sawe the kynge / and syr Gawayne / thenne he lad the quene by the arme / and thenne he kneled doune and the quene bothe

¶ Wete yow wel thenne was there many bold knyghte ther with kynge Arthur that wepte as tendyrly / as though they had sene alle their kynne afore them / Soo the kynge sat stylle / and sayd no word / And whan syre Launcelot sawe his coūtenaunce / he arose and pulled vp the quene with hym / & thus he spak ful knyghtely

¶ Capitulum xv

MY moost redoubted kynge ye shalle vnderstande by the popes commaundement and yours I haue brouȝt to yow my lady the quene as ryghte requyreth / And yf there be ony knyghte of what someuer degree that he be excepte your persone that wylle saye or dar say but that she is true & clene to yow / I here my self syr Launcelot du lake wylle make it good vpon his body that she is a true lady vnto yow / but lyars ye haue lystned / & that hath caused debate betwixt yow & me / For tyme hath ben my lord Arthur that ye haue ben gretely plesyd with me whan I dyd batail for my lady youre quene / & ful wel ye knowe my moost noble kynge / that she hath ben put to grete wrong or this tyme / & sythen it pleasyd yow at many tymes that I shold fyghte for her / me semeth my good lord I had more cause to rescowe her from the syre in soo moche she shold haue ben brente for my sake / For they that told yow tho tales were lyers / & soo it befelle vpon them / for by lykelyhode had not the myght of god ben with me / I myghte neuer haue endured fourten knyghtes & they armed & afore purposed & I vnarmed & not purposed / for I was sente for vnto my lady your quene I wote not for what cause / but I was not so soone within the chamber dore but anon syre Agrauayn & syr mordred called me traytour & recreaunt knyghte / They called the ryght sayd syr Gawayn

¶ My lord syre Gawayn said syre Launcelot in their quarel they preued hem self not in the ryght / wel wel syr launcelot Page  824 [leaf 412v] sayd the kyng / I haue gyuen the no cause to do to me as thou hast done / For I haue worshypped the and thyn more than ony of alle my knyghtes / My good lord sayd sire launcelot soo ye be not displeasyd / ye shalle vnderstande / I and myn haue done yow ofte better seruyse than ony other knyghtes haue done in many dyuerse places / and where ye haue ben ful hard bestadde dyuerse tymes / I haue my self rescowed yow from many daungers / and euer vnto my power I was glad to please yow and my lord syr Gawayne bothe in Iustes and turnementes and in batails sette bothe on horsbak and on foote/ I haue often rescowed yow and my lord syr Gawayne and many moo of your knyȝtes in many dyuerse places / for now I wil make auaunt sayd sir launcelot I wyl that ye al wete that yet I fonde neuer no maner of knyghte / but that I was ouer hard for hym and I had done my vtteraunce / thāked be god / how be it I haue ben matched with good knyghtes as sir Tristram and syr lamorak / but euer I had a faueour vnto them and a demyng what they were / and I take god to record sayd syr launcelot I neuer was wrothe nor gretely heuy with no good Knyghte and I sawe hym besy aboute to wynne worship / and glad I was euer when I fonde ony knyghte that myghte endure me on horsbak and on foote / hou be it sir Carados of the dolorous toure was a ful noble knyȝte & a passynge stronge man / & that wote ye my lorde syr Gawayne / for he myghte wel be called a noble knyghte whan he by fyne force pulled out of youre sadel / and bonde you ouerthwarte afore hym to his sadel bowe / and there my lorde syre Gawayne I rescowed yow and slewe hym afore your siȝte Also I fonde his broder syr Turquyn in lyke wyse ledyng sir Gaherys youre broder boūden afore hym / and there I rescowed your broder and slewe that Turquyn / & delyuerd thre score and foure of my lorde Arthurs knyghtes oute of his pryson And now I dare say sayd launcelot I mette neuer with so stronge knyghtes nor so wel fyghtyng as was sir Carados & syr Turquyn / for I fought with them to the vttermest / & therfor saide sir launcelot vnto syr Gawayne me semeth ye ought of ryghte to remembre this / for & I myȝt haue your good wil I wolde truste to god to haue my lorde Arthurs goode grace

Page  825 [leaf 413r]

¶ Capitulum xvj

THe Kynge maye doo as he wylle sayd sire Gawayne But wete thow wel syre Launcelot thow and I shalle neuer ben accorded whyle we lyue / for thou hast slayne thre of my bretheren / and two of them ye slewe traytourly and pytously / for they bare none harneis ageynst the nor none wold bere / god wold they had ben armed sayd sire Launcelot / for thenne had they ben on lyue

¶ And wete ye wel syre Gawayne as for sire Gareth I loue none of my kynnesmen so moche as I dyd hym / and euer whyle I lyue sayd sir launcelot I wille bewaile sir Gareths deth not al only for the grete fere I haue of yow / but many causes causen me to be sorouful / one is / for I made hym knyghte / another is / I wote wel he loued me aboue alle other knyghtes And the thyrd is / he was passynge noble / true curteys & gentyl / and wel condycyoned / the fourth is / I wyst wel anone as I herd that sir Gareth was dede / I shold neuer after haue your loue but euerlastynge werre betwixe vs / and also I wist well that ye wold cause my noble lorde Arthur for euer to be my mortal foo / And as Ihesu be my help sayd syr Launcelot I slewe neuer sir Gareth nor sir Gaherys by my wylle / but allas that euer they were vnarmed that vnhappy daye / But thus moche I shalle offre me said sir launcelot yf hit may please the kynges good grace and yow my lord sire Gawayne I shalle fyrst begynne at Sandwyche / and ther I shal goo in my shert bare foot / and at euery ten myles endes I wylle founde & garmake an hows of relygyon of what ordre that ye wyl assygne me with an hole Couent to synge and rede day & nyghte in especyal for syr Gareths sake and sir gaherys / And this shal I performe from Sandwyche vnto Carleil / And euery hows shal haue suffycyent lyuelode / and this shal I performe whyle I haue ony lyuelode in Crystendom / and there nys none of al these relygyous places / but they shal be performed / furnysshed and garnysshed in alle thynges as an holy place oughte to be / I promyse yow feythfully /

¶ And this sir Gawayne me thynketh were more fayrer holyer & more better to their soules than ye my most noble kyng &Page  826 [leaf 413v] yow sire Gawayne to warre vpon me / for there by shall ye gete none auayle / Thenne alle knyghtes and ladyes that were there wepte / as they were madde / and the teres felle on kyng Arthurs chekes / Sire Launcelot sayd sir Gawayne I haue ryghte wel herd thy speche / and thy grete profers / but wete thow wel / lete the kynge doo as hit pleasyd hym / I will neuer forgyue my broders dethe / and in especyal the deth of my broder syre Gareth / And yf myn vnkel kynge Arthur wylle accorde with the / he shalle lese my seruyse / for wete thow wel/ thow arte bothe fals to the kynge and to me / Sir said launcelot he bereth not the lyf / that may make that good / And yf ye sir Gawayne wylle charge me with soo hyghe a thynge / ye muste pardonne me / for thenne nedes muste I ansuere yow/

¶ Nay sayd sir Gawayne we are past that at this tyme / and that caused the pope / for he hath charged myn vnkel the kyng that he shalle take his Quene ageyne / and to accorde with the syr Launcelot as for this season / and therfor thow shalte goo sauf as thow camest / But in this land thou shalte not abyde past xv dayes suche somons I gyue the / soo the kyng and we were consented and accorded or thow camest / and els sayd syre Gawayne wete thow wel thou sholdest not haue comen here / but yf hit were maulgre thy hede / And yf it were not for the popes commaundement sayd syre Gawayne I shold do bataille with myn owne body ageynst thy body / and preue it vpon the / that thow hast ben bothe fals vnto myn vnkel kyng arthur and to me bothe / and that shalle I preue vpon thy body whan thow arte departed from hens where someuer I fynde the

¶ Capitulum xvij

THenne syr launcelot syghed / and there with the teres felle on his chekes / and thenne he sayd thus / Allas moost noble Crysten Realme whome I haue loued aboue al other realmes / and in the I haue geten a grete parte of my worshyp / and now I shalle departe in this wyse / Truly me repenteth that euer I came in this realme that shold be thus shamefully bannysshed vndeserued and causeles / but fortune Page  827 [leaf 414r] is soo varyaunt / and the whele soo meuable / there nys none constaunte abydynge / and that may be preued by many old Cronykles of noble Ector and Troylus and Alysander the myghty Conquerour / and many moo other / whan they were moost in their Royalte / they alyghte lowest / and soo fareth it by me sayd sir Launcelot / for in this realme I had worshyp and by me and myn alle the whole round table hath ben encrecyd more in worship by me and myn blood than by ony other And therfor wete thow wel sire Gawayne I may lyue vpon my landes as wel as ony knyghte that here is / And yf ye moost redoubted king wylle come vpon my landes with syr Gawayne to werre vpon me / I must endure yow as wel as I maye / But as to yow fir Gawayne yf that ye come there I pray yow charge me not with treason nor felony / for and ye doo / I must ansuer yow / doo thou thy best sayd sir Gawayne / therfore hyhe the fast that thow were gone / and wete thou wel we shalle soone come after and breke the strengest Castel that thow hast vpon thy hede / That shalle not nede sayd sir Launcelot / for and I were as orgulous sette as ye are / wete you wel I shold mete yow in myddes of the felde / Make thow no more langage sayd syre Gawayne / but delyuer the quene from the / and pyke the lyghtely oute of this Courte / wel sayd syr Launcelot / and I had wyst of this shorte comynge / I wolde haue aduysed me twyes or that I had comen hyder / for and the Quene had be soo dere to me as ye noyse her / I durst haue kepte her from the felaushyp of the best knyghtes vnder heuen And thenne syr Launcelot sayd vnto Gueneuer in heryng of the kynge and hem all / Madame now I muste departe from you and this noble felauship for euer / & sythen it is soo / I byseche yow to praye for me / and saye me wel / and yf ye be hard bestad by ony fals tonges / lyghtly my lady sende me word / and yf ony knyghtes handes may delyuer yow by bataill / I shall delyuer yow / and there with all sir launcelot kyst the Quene/ and thenne he sayd al openly now lete see what he be in this place that dar saye the Quene is not true vnto my lord Arthur lete see who will speke and he dar speke / And ther with he broughte the Quene to the Kyng / and thenne sir Launcelot toke his leue and departed / and ther was neyther Kyng duke / ne Page  828 [leaf 414v] erle / baron ne knyghte / lady nor gentylwoman / but alle they wepte as peple oute of their mynde / excepte sir Gawayn / and whan the noble sir Launcelot took his hors to ryde oute of Carleyl / there was sobbynge and wepynge for pure dole of his departynge / and soo he took his way vnto Ioyous gard / And thenne euer after he called it the dolorous gard / And thus departed sir Launcelot from the courte for euer / And soo whan he came to Ioyous gard he called his felaushyp vnto hym / & asked them what they wold do / thēne they ansuerd all holy to gyders with one voys they wold as he wold doo / my fayre felawes sayd syr Launcelot I must departe oute of this moost noble realme / and now I shalle departe / hit greueth me sore / for I shalle departe with no worshyp / for a flemyd man departed neuer oute of a realme with noo worshyp / and that is my heuynes / for euer I fere after my dayes that men shalle cronykle vpon me that I was flemed oute of this land / and els my fayre lordes be ye sure and I had not dred shame my lady Quene Gweneuer and I shold neuer haue departed / Thenne spak many noble knyghtes as sir Palomydes / sir Safyr his broder / and sir Bellangere le bewse / and sir Vrre with sir Lauayne with many other / Sir and ye be so disposed to abyde in this land / we wyll neuer fayle yow / & yf ye lyst not to abyde in this land / ther nys none of the good knyȝtes that here ben will fayle yow / for many causes / One is / All we that ben not of your blood shalle neuer be welcome to the Courte / And sythen hit lyked vs to take a parte with yow in youre distresse & heuynesse in this realme / Wete yow wel it shall lyke vs al as wel to goo in other countreyes with yow / and there to take suche parte as ye doo / My fayre lordes sayd sir launcelot I wel vnderstande yow and as I can / thanke yow / and ye shalle vnderstande suche lyuelode as I am borne vnto I shal departe with yow in this maner of wyse / that is for to say / I shalle departe alle my lyuelode and alle my landes frely amonge yow / and I my self wylle haue as lytel as ony of you for haue I suffycyaunt that may longe to my person / I wylle aske none other ryche araye / and I truste to god to mayntene yow on my landes as wel as euer were mayntened ony knyȝtes / Thenne spap all the knyghtes at ones / he haue shame that Page  829 [leaf 415r] wylle leue yow / For we alle vnderstande in this realme wyll be now no quyete but euer stryf and debate / now the felauship of the round table is broken / for by the noble felaushyp of the round table was Kynge Arthur vp borne / and by their nobles the kynge and alle his realme was in quyete and reste/ and a grete parte they sayd all was by cause of your noblesse

¶ Capitulum xviij

TRuly sayd sir Launcelot I thanke yow alle of youre good sayenge / how be it / I wote wel / in me was not alle the stabylyte of this realme / but in that I myght I dyd my deuoyr / and wel I am sure I knewe many rebellyons in my dayes that by me were peased / and I trowe we alle shalle here of hem in shorte space / and that me sore repenteth / For euer I drede me sayd syr launcelot that syr Mordred wille make trouble / for he is passyng enuyous & applyeth hym to trouble / So they were accorded to go with sir Launcelot to his landes / and to make shorte tale / they trussed and payd alle that wold aske hem / and holy an honderd knyghtes departed with sir laūcelot at ones / and made their auowes / they wold neuer leue hym for wele nor for wo / & so they shypped at Cardyf / & sayled vnto Benwyk / somme men calle it bayen and somme men calle it Beaume where the wyn of beaume is But to saye the sothe / syre Launcelot and his neuewes were lordis of alle Fraunce and of alle the landes that longed vnto Fraunce / he and his kynred reioyced it alle thurgh syr Laūcelots noble prowes / And thenne sir Launcelot stuffed & furnysshed and garnysshed alle his noble townes and castels/ Thenne alle the peple of tho landes came to syr Launcelot on foote and handes / and so whan he had stabled alle these countreyes / he shortly called a parlement / and there he crouned syr Lyonel kynge of Fraunce / and sire Bors crouned hym kynge of al kynge Claudas landes and sir Etct;tor de marys/ that was sir launcelot yongest broder / he crouned hym Kynge of Benwyk and kynge of alle Gyan that was sir launcelot owne land / and he made sir Ector prynce of them alle / & thus Page  830 [leaf 415v] he departed / Thenne sir Launcelot auaunced alle his noble knyghtes / and fyrste he auaunced them of his blood / that was syr Blamor / he made hym duke of Lymosyn in gyan / and sir Bleoberys he made hym duke of poyters / and sir Gahalantyn he made hym duke of Ouerne / & sir Galyhodyn he maade hym duke of Sentonge / and sir Galyhud he made hym erle of perygot / and sir Menadeuke he made hym Erle of Roerge / and sire Vyllyars the valyaunt he made hym erle of Bearne / and syr Hebes le renoumes he made hym Erle of Comange / and syr Lauayne he made hym Erle of Armynak / and sire Vrre he made hym erle of Estrake / and syr Neroneus he made hym Erle of pardyak / and sire Plenorius he maade Erle of foyse and sir Selyses of the dolorous toure he made hym erle of masauke / and sir Melyas de lyle he made hym Erle of Tursank and sir Bellangere le bewse he made erle of the laundes / and sire Palomydes he made hym duke of the prouynce / and syre Safyr he made hym duke of Landok / and syr Clegys he gafe hym the erldome of Agente / and syr Sadok he gaf the Erldom of Surlat / and sir Dynas le Seneschal he made hym duke of Anioye / and sir Clarrus he made hym duke of Normandye/ Thus syr launcelot rewarded his noble knyghtes / & many mo that me semeth it were to longe to reherce

¶ Capitulum xix

SO leue we syr Launcelot in his landes / and his noble knyghtes with hym / and retorne we ageyne vnto kynge Arthur and to syr Gawayne that made a grete hoost redy to the nombre of thre score thousand / and al thynge was made redy for their shyppyng to passe ouer the see / & so they shypped at Cardyf / and there kynge Arthur made sir Mordred chyef ruler of alle Englond / and also he put quene Gueneuer under his gouernaunce by cause syr Mordred was kynge Arthurs sone he gaf hym the rule of his land and of his wyf / and soo the kynge passed the see and landed vpon syr launcelots landes / and there he brente and wasted thurgh the vengeaunce of syr gawayne al that they myghte Page  831 [leaf 416r] ouerrenne / whan this word came to syr Launcelot that kyng Arthur and sir Gawayne were landed vpon his landes / & made a full grete destructyon and waste / thenne spake syr Bors & sayd my lord sir laūcelot it is shame that we suffre hem thus to ryde ouer our landes / for wete yow wel / suffre ye hem as longe as ye will / they wille doo yow no faueour / and they may handle yow / Thenne said sir Lyonel that was ware and wyse My lord syr Launcelot I wyll gyue this counceylle / lete vs kepe oure stronge walled Townes vntyl they haue hongre & cold / and blowe on their nayles / and thenne lete vs fresshely sette vpon hym / and shrede hem doune as shepe in a felde / that Alyaunts may take ensample for euer how they lande vpon oure landes / Thenne spak kynge Bagdemagus to syre Launcelot / syre youre curtosy wyll shende vs alle / and thy curtosy hath waked alle this sorowe / for and they thus ouer our landes ryde / they shalle by processe brynge vs alle to noughte whyles we thus in holes vs hyde / Thenne sayd syre Galihud vnto sir Launcelot / syre here ben knyghtes come of kynges blood that wyl not longe droupe / & they are within these walles / therfor gyue vs leue lyke as we ben knyȝtes to mete them in the feld and we shalle slee them / that they shal curse the tyme that euer they came in to this countrey /

¶ Thenne spak seuen bretheren of northwalys / and they were seuen noble knyghtes / a man myghte seke in seuen kynges landes or he myghte fynde suche seuen Knyghtes / Thenne they all said at ones / syr launcelot for crystes sake lete vs oute ryde with sir Galyhud / for we be neuer wonte to coure in castels nor in noble Townes / Thenne spak sir Launcelot that was mayster & gouernour of them alle / my fayre lordes wete yow wel I am full lothe to ryde oute with my knyghtes for shedynge of crysten blood and yet my lendes I vnderstande ben full bare / for to susteyne ony hoost a whyle / for the myghty warres that whylome made kyng Claudas vpon this countrey vpon my fader kyng Ban & on myn vnkell Kyng Bors / how be it we will as at this tyme kepe oure strong walles / & I shalle sende a messager vnto my lord Arthur a treatyce for to take for better is pees than allwayes warre / So sir laūcelot sente forth a damoysell & a dwerfe with her / requyrynge Kynge Arthur to Page  832 [leaf 416v] leue his warrynge vpon his landes / and so she sterte vpon a palfroy / and the dwerf ranne by her syde / And whan she cam to the pauelione of kynge Arthur / there she alyghte / and ther mette her a gentyl knyghte syr Lucan the butteler & said / fair damoysel come ye from syr Launcelot du lake / ye syr she sayd / therfor I come hyder to speke with my lord the kynge / Allas said sir Lucan my lord Arthur wold loue launcelot / but sir Gawayne wyl not suffer hym / And thenne he sayd I praye to god damoysel ye may spede wel / for alle we that ben aboute the kynge wold sir launcelot dyd best of ony knyght lyuynge / And so with this lucan ledde the damoysel vnto the kynge where he sat with sir Gawayne / for to here what she wold saye / Soo whan she had told her tale / the water ranne out of the kynges eyen / and alle the lordes were ful glad for to aduyse the kynge as to be accorded with syr launcelot / sauf al only syre Gawayne / and he sayd my lord myn vnkel / What wyl ye doo / wil ye now torne ageyne now ye are past thus fer vpon this Iourney / alle the world wylle speke of yow vylony / Nay sayd Arthur wete thou wel sir Gawayne I wylle doo as ye wil aduyse me / and yet me semeth sayd Arthur his fayre profers were not good to be refused / but sythen I am comen soo fer vpon this Iourney / I wil that ye gyue the damoysel her ansuer / for I maye not speke to her for pyte / for her profers ben so large

¶ Capitulum xx

THenne sir Gawayne sayd to the damoysel thus / Damoysel saye ye to sir launcelot that it is wast labour now to sewe to myn vnkel / for telle hym / and he wold haue made ony labour for pees / he shold haue made it or this tyme / for telle hym now it is to late / & saye that I sir Gawayn soo sende hym word / that I promyse hym by the feythe I owe vnto god and to knyghthode / I shal neuer leue hym / tyl he haue slayne me / or I hym / Soo the damoysel wepte & departed / and there were many wepyng eyen / and soo sir lucan broughte the damoysel to her palfroy / and soo she came to syr launcelot where he was among all his Knyghtes / & whan Page  833 [leaf 417r] syr launcelot had herd his ansuer / thenne the teres ranne doune by his chekes / And thenne his noble knyghtes strode aboute hym / and sayd sir launcelot / wherfor make ye suche chere thynke what ye are / and what men we are / and lete vs noble knyghtes matche hem in myddes of the felde / that maye be lyghtely done sayd sir Launcelot / but I was neuer soo lothe to doo batail / and therfore I praye you fayre sirs as ye loue me be ruled as I wylle haue yow / for I wylle alweyes flee þt noble kynge / that made me knyghte / And whan I may noo ferther / I muste nedes defende me / and that wyll be more worshyp for me and vs alle / than to compare with that noble kynge whome we haue alle serued / Thenne they helde theire langage / and as that nyghte they tooke their rest / And vpon the morne erly in the daunynge of the daye / as knyghtes loked oute / they sawe the Cyte of Benwyk byseged round aboute / and fast they beganne to sette vp ladders / and thenne they defyed hem oute of the Towne / and bete hem from the walles wyghtely / Thenne came forth sire Gawayne wel armed vpon a styf stede / and he came before the chyef gate with his spere/ in his hand cryenge / syr Launcelot where arte thow / is there none of you proude knyghtes dare breke a spere with me / Thenne sir Bors made hym redy / and came forth oute of the Towne / and there sir Gawayne encountred with syre Bors And at that tyme he smote sire Bors doune from his hors / and al moost he had slayne hym / and soo sire Bors was rescowed and borne in to the Towne / Thenne came forth sir Lyonel broder to syr Bors / and thoughte to reuenge hym / and eyther feutryd their speres / and ranne to gyder / and there they mette spytefully / but sir Gawayn had suche grace that he smote sir Lyonel doune / and wounded hym there passynge sore / & thenne syr Lyonel was rescowed / and borne in to the towne/ And this sir Gawayne came euery day / and he fayled not/ but that he smote doune one knyghte or other / Soo thus they endured half a yere / and moche slauȝter was of peple on both partyes / Thenne hit befelle vpon a day / syr Gawayne came afore the gates armed at alle pyeces on a noble hors with a grete spere in his hand / and thenne he cryed with a lowde voys / where arte thow now thou fals traytour syre Launcelot / Page  834 [leaf 417v] why hydest thow thy self within holes and walles lyke a coward / loke oute now thow fals traytour knyghte / and here I shal reuenge vpon thy body the dethe of my thre bretheren / Alle this langage herd sir launcelot euery dele and his kyn and his knyghtes drewe aboute hym / and alle they sayd at ones to sir Launcelot /

¶ Sir Launcelot now must ye defende yow lyke a knyghte / or els ye be shamed for euer / for now ye be called vpon treason / it is tyme for yow to stere / for ye haue slepte ouer longe and suffred ouer moche / Soo god me helpe sayd sire Launcelot I am ryghte heuy of sire Gawayns wordes / for now he charged me with a grete charge / And therfor I wote it as wel as ye that I muste defende me / or els to be recreaunt / Thenne syr launcelot badde sadel his strongest hors / and bad lete fetche his armes / and brynge alle vnto the gate of the Toure / and thenne sir Launcelot spak on hygh vnto kynge Arthur / and sayd my lord Arthur and noble kynge that made me knyghte / wete yow wel / I am ryghte heuy for your sake / that ye thus sewe vpon me / and alweyes I forbere yow / for and I wold haue ben vengeable / I myghte haue mette yow in myddes of the felde / and there to haue made your boldest knyghtes ful tame / and now I haue forborne half a yere / and suffred yow and sire Gawayne to doo what ye wold doo / and now I may endure it no lenger / for now muste I nedes defende my self / in soo moche syr Gawayne hath apeeled me of treason / the whiche is gretely ageynste my will that euer I shold fyghte ayenst ony of your blood / but now I maye not forsake hit / I am dryuen there to as a beste tyll a baye / Thenne sir Gawayne sayd sir Launcelot / and thou darst doo batail / leue thy babblynge / and come of / and lete vs ease our hertes / Thenne syr Launcelot armed hym lyghtely / & mounted vpon his hors / and eyther of the knyghtes gat grete speres in their handes / and the hooste withoute stood stylle all a parte / and the noble knyghtes came oute of the Cyte by a grete nombre / in so moche that whan Arthur sawe the nombre of men and knyghtes / he merueylled and sayd to hym self / Allas that euer sir launcelot was ageynst me / for now I see he hath forborne me / and so the couenaunt was made / there shold no man nyghe hem / nor dele with hem / tyl the one were Page  835 [leaf 418r] dede or yelden

¶ Capitulum xxj

THan syr Gauwayn and syr Launcelot departed a grete waye in sonder / & than they cam to gyder with al their hors myght as they myght renne & eyther smote other in myddes of their sheldes / but the knyghtes were soo stronge & theyr sperys so bygge that their horses myȝt not endure her buffettes / & so their horses fyl to therthe / & than they auoyded their horses & dressyd her sheldes afore them / Than they stode to gyders & gaf many sad strokes on dyuers places of theyr bodyes that the blood braste oute on many sydes and places / Thenne had Syr Gauwayn suche a grace and gyfte that an holy man had gyuen to hym That euery day in the yere from vnderne tyl hyhe none hys myght encreaced tho thre houres as moche as thryse hys strengthe / and that caused syr Gauwayn to wynne grete honour /

¶ And for hys sake kyng Arthur maad an ordenaunce that al maner of bataylles for ony quarellys that shold be done afore kyng Arthur shold begynne at vndern / & al was done for syr Gawayns loue / that by lyklyhode yf Syr Gauwayn were on the one parte he shold haue the better in batayl whyle his strengthe endured thre houres / but there were but fewe knyghtes that tyme lyuyng that knewe this aduauntage that syr Gauwayn had / but kyng Arthur all onelye / Thus syr Launcelot faught with syr Gauwayn / & whan syr Launcelot felte hys myght euer more encreace syr Launcelot wondred & dredde hym sore to be shamed For as the frensshe book sayth Syr Launcelot wende whan he felte syr Gauwayn double his strengthe that he had ben a fende and none erthely man / wherfore Syr Launcelotte traced and trauersyd and couerd hym self wyth his shelde and kepte his myght and his brayde duryng thre houres / And that whyle Syr Gauwayn gaf hym many sadde bruntes

¶ And many sadde strokes that al the knyghtes that behelde syr Launcelot meruaylled how that he myȝt endure hym / but ful lytell vnderstood they that trauaylle that Syr Launcelot had for to endure hym

¶ And thenne whan hit was paste none Syr Gauwayn had noo more but hys owne myght / Thenne syr Page  836 [leaf 418v] Launcelot felte hym so come doun / than he stratched hym vp & stode nere syr Gauwayn / & sayd thus my lord syr Gauwayn now I fele ye haue done / now my lord syr Gauwayn I must do my parte for many grete & greuous strokes I haue endured you this day with grete payne / Than sir Launcelot doubled his strokes & gaf sir Gauwayn suche a buffet on the helmet that he fyl doun on his syde / & syr Launcelot wythdrewe hym fro hym / why withdrawest thou the sayd syr Gawayn now torne ageyn fals traytour knyght & slee me / for and thou leue me thus whan I am hole I shal do batayl wyth the ageyn / I shal endure you syr by goddest grace / but wyt thou wel syr Gauwayn I wyl neuer smyte a fellyd knyght / & so syr Launcelot wente in to the cyte / & syr Gauwayn was borne in to kyng arthurs pauyllyon / & leches were brought to hym & serched and salued with softe oynementes / & than syr Launcelot sayd now haue good day my lord the kyng for wyt you wel ye wynne no worshyp at this wallys / & yf I wold my knyghtes oute brynge ther shold many a man deye / Therfore my lord Arthur remembre you of olde kyndenes / & how euer I fare Ihesu be your gyde in al places

¶ Capitulum xxij

ALas said the kynge that euer this vnhappy warre was begonne / for euer syr Launcelot forbereth me in al places / & in lyke wyse my kynne / & that is sene wel thys day by my neuew syr Gauwayn / Thanne kyng Arthur fyl seek for sorowe of syr Gauwayn that he was so sore hurt / and by cause of the warre betwyxt hym and syr Launcelot / So than they on kyng arthurs partye kepte the syege wyth lytel warre withoutforth / & they withinforth kepte theyr walles / & deffended them whan nede was / Thus syr Gauwayn laye seek thre wekes in his tentes wyth al maner of leche crafte that myȝt be had. & assone as syr Gawayn myȝt goo & ryde / he armyd hym at al poyntes & sterte vpon a courser and gate a spere in his hande / and so he came rydyng afore the chyef gate of barwyk / and there he cryed on heyght where art thou sir Launcelot come forth thou fals traytour knyȝt & recreante for I am here sir Gauwayn wyl preue this that I say on the / Alle thys langage sir Launcelot herde / & than he sayd thus / sir Gawayn me repentys of your sayeng that ye wyll not sease of Page  837 [leaf 419r] your langage for you wote wel Syr Gauwayn I knowe your myght and alle that ye may doo /

¶ And wel ye wote syr Gauwayn ye may not gretelye hurte me / Come doune traytour knyght sayd he & make it good the contrarye wyth thy handes / For it myshapped me the laste bataylle to be hurte of thy handes

¶ Therfore wyte thou wel I am come thys day to make amendys / For I wene thys day to laye the as lowe as thou laydest me / Ihesu deffende me sayd syr Launcelot that euer I be so ferre in your daunger as ye haue ben in myn / for than my dayes were doon / But syr Gauwayn sayd syr Launcelot ye shal not thynke that I tary longe / but sythen that ye so vnknyghtelye calle me of treson ye shalle haue bothe your handes ful of me / And than syr Launcelot armed hym at al poyntes and mounted vpon his hors / and gate a grete spere in hys hande and rode oute at the gate / And bothe the hoostes were assembled / of hem wythoute and of them wythin / & stode in a raye ful manlye / And bothe partyes were charged to holde them stylle / to see and beholde the bataylle of these ij noble knyghtes / And thenne they layed their speerys in their reystys and they came to gyder as thondre / and syr Gawayn brake his spere vpon syr Launcelot in an hondred pyeces vnto his hande / & syr Launcelot smote hym wyth a gretter myght that syr Gauwayns hors sete reysed / and so the hors and he fyl to the erthe /

¶ Thenne syr Gauwayn delyuerlye auoyded / his hors and put his shelde afore hym / and eygyrlye drewe his swerde and bad Syr Launcelot alyghte traytoure knyght / for yf thys marys sone hath faylled me / wyt thou wel a kynges sone and a quenes sone shal not faylle the /

¶ Than syr Launcelot auoyded his hors & dressyd his shelde afore hym and drewe hys swerde and soo stode they to gyders and gaf many sad strokes that all men on bothe partyes had therof passyng grete wonder /

¶ But whan Syr Launcelot felte Syr Gawyns myght soo meruayllously encrees / He than with helde his courage and his wynde / & kepte hym self wonder couert of his myght / and vnder his shelde he trasyd and trauersyd here & there to breke syr Gauwayns strokes & his courage / and syr Gauwayn enforced hym self with al his myght and power to destroye syr Launcelot for as the frensshe Page  838 [leaf 419v] book sayth / Euer as Syr Gawayns myght encreased Ryght soo encreasyd his wynde and hys euyl wylle / Thus syr Gawayne dyd grete payne vnto Syr Launcelot thre houres that he had ryght grete payne for to deffende hym / And whan the thre houres were passyd that syr Launcelot felte that syr Gawayn was comen to hys owne propre strengthe / Thenne Syr Launcelot sayd vnto syr Gawayn now haue I prouyd you twyse . That ye are a ful daungerous knyght and a wonderful man of your myght / and many wonderful dedes haue ye doon in your dayes / For by your myght encresyng you haue dysseyued many a ful noble and valyaunte knyght / And now I fele that ye haue doon your myghty dedes / Now wyte you wel I must do my dedys /

¶ And thenne Syr Launcelot stode nerre syr Gauwayn / and thenne syr Launcelot doubled hys strokes / And syr Gauwayn deffended hym myghtelye but neuerthelesse syr Launcelot smote suche a stroke vpon sir Gauwayns helme / and vpon the olde wounde that syr Gauwayn synked doun vpon hys one syde in a swounde / And anone as he dyd awake he wauyd and foyned at syr Launcelot as he laye / and sayd traytour knyght wyt thou wel I am not yet slayn / Come thou nere me and perfourme thys bataylle vnto the vttermyst /

¶ I wyl nomore doo than I haue doon sayd syr Launcelot / For whan I see you on fote I wyll doo bataylle vpon you alle the whyle I see you stande on your feet / but for to smyte a wounded man that may not stonde god deffende me from suche a shame / and thenne he tourned hym and wente his waye toward the cytee / And syr Gauwayn euermore callyng hym traytour knyght / and sayd wyt thou wel syr launcelot whan I am hoole I shal doo bataylle wyth the ageyn

¶ For I shal neuer leue the tyl that one of vs be slayn / Thus as thys syege endured & as syr Gauwayn laye seek nere a monthe / and whan he was wel recouerd and redy wythin thre dayes te do bataylle ageyn wyth syr Launcelot Ryght so came tydynges vnto Arthur from Englond that made kyng Arthur and al his hoost to remeue /

¶ Here foloweth the xxi book


Book Twenty One

Capitulum primo

Page  839 [leaf 420r]

AS syr Mordred was rular of alle englond he dyd do make letters as though that they came from beyonde the see / and the letters specefyed that Kynge Arthur was slayn in bataylle wyth syr Launcelot /

¶ Wherfor Syr Mordred made a parlemente / and called the lordes togyder / & there he made them to chese hym kyng & soo was he crowned at caunterburye and helde a feest there xv dayes / & afterward he drewe hym vnto wynchester / and there he took the Quene Gueneuer and sayd playnly that he wolde wedde hyr / whyche was his vnkyls wyf and his faders wyf / And soo he made redy for the feest / And a day prefyxt that they shold be wedded / wherfore quene Gweneuer was passyng huey / But she durst not dyscouer hyr herte but spake fayre / & agreyd to syr Mordredes wylle /

¶ Thenne she desyred of syr Mordred for to goo to London to bye alle manere of thynges that longed vnto the weddyng / And by cause of hyr fayre speche Syr Mordred trusted hyr wel ynough / and gaf her leue to goo / and soo whan she came to London she took the toure of London / and sodeynlye in alle haste possyble she stuffed hyt wyth alle manere of vytaylle / & wel garnysshed it with men and soo kepte hyt /

¶ Than whan Syr Mordred wyste and vnderstode how he was begyled he was passyng wrothe oute of mesure / And a shorte tale for to make he wente and layed a myghty syege aboute the toure of London / and made many grete assaultes therat / And threwe many grete engynes vnto theym / and shotte grete gonnes / But alle myght not preuaylle Syr mordred / For quene Gueneuer wolde neuer for fayre speche nor for foule wold neuer truste to come in hys handes ageyn /

¶ Thenne came the bysshop of caunterburye the whyche was a noble clerke and an holy man / and thus he sayd to Syr mordred / Syr what wyl ye doo / wyl ye fyrst dysplese god and sythen shame your self / & al knyghthode / Is not kyng Arthur your vncle no ferther but your moders broder / & on hir hym self kyng Arthur bygate you vpon his own syster / therfor how may you wedde your faders wyf Syr sayd the noble clerke leue this oppynyon or I shall curse you wyth book & belle and candell / Do thou thy werst said syr Mordred wyt thou wel I shal defye the / sir sayd the bysshop &Page  840 [leaf 420v] wyt you wel I shal not fere me to do that me ouȝt to do / also where ye noyse where my lord Arthur is slayne / & that is not so / & therfore ye wyl make a foule werke in this londe / Pees thou fals preest sayd syr Mordred for & thou chauffe me ony more / I shal make stryke of thy heed / So the bysshop departed and dyd the cursyng in the moost orgulist wyse that myght be doon / and than Syr mordred sought the bysshop of caunterburye for to haue slayne hym / Than the bysshop flede and toke parte of his goodes with hym & went nygh vnto glastynburye / & there he was as preest Eremyte in a chapel / & lyued in pouerte & in holy prayers / For wel he vnderstode that myscheuous warre was at honde / Than Syr Mordred sought on quene Gueneuer by letters & sondes & by fayr meanes & foul meanys for to haue hir to come oute of the toure of london / but al this auaylled not / for she answerd hym shortelye / openlye and pryuelye that she had leuer slee hyr self than to be maryed wyth hym / Than came worde to syr Mordred that kyng Arthur had araysed the syege / For Syr Launcelot & he was comyng homeward wyth a grete hoost to be auenged vpon syr Mordred wherfore syr Mordred maad wryte wryttes to al the barownry of thys londe and moche peple drewe to hym For than was the comyn voys emonge them that wyth Arthur was none other lyf but warre and stryffe / And wyth Syr Mordred was grete Ioye and blysse / thus was syr Arthur depraued and euyl sayd of . And many ther were that kyng Arthur had made vp of nought and gyuen them landes myght not than say hym a good worde / Lo ye al englissh men see ye not what a myschyef here was / for he that was the moost kyng and knyght of the world and moost loued the felyshyp of noble knyghtes / and by hym they were al vpholden / Now myght not this englyssh men holde them contente wyth hym / Loo thus was the olde custome and vsage of this londe / And also men saye that we of thys londe haue not yet loste ne foryeten that custome & vsage / Alas thys is a grete defaulte of vs englysshe men / For there may no thynge plese vs noo terme And soo faryd the people at that tyme they were better plesyd with sir Mordred than they were with kyng Arthur / and moche peple drewe vnto sir Mordred and sayd Page  841 [leaf 421r] they wold abyde with hym for better and for werse / and soo syr Mordred drewe with a grete hoost to Douer / for there he herd saye / that sir Arthur wold arryue / and soo he thoughte to bete his owne fader from his landes / and the moost party of alle Englond helde with sire mordred / the peple were soo newe fangle

¶ Capitulum ij

ANd soo as sire mordred wat at Douer with his host there came kyng Arthur with a grete nauye of shyppes and galeyes and Carryks / & there was syr Mordred redy awaytynge vpon his londage to lette his owne fader to lāde vp the lande that he was kyng ouer / thenne there was launcynge of grete botes and smal / and ful of noble men of armes / and there was moche slaughter of gentyl knyghtes and many a full bolde baron was layd ful lowe on bothe partyes / But kynge Arthur was soo couragyous that there myght no maner of knyghtes lette hym to lande / and his knyghtes fyersly folowed hym / and so they landed maulgre sir mordreds and alle his power / and put sir mordred abak that he fledde & alle his peple / Soo whan this batail was done / kyng Arthur lete burye his peple that were dede / And thenne was noble syr Gawayne fonde in a grete bote lyenge more than half dede / Whan syr Arthur wyst that syre Gawayne was layd so lowe he wente vnto hym / and there the kyng made sorowe oute of mesure / and took sire Gawayne in his armes / and thryes he there swouned / And thenne whan he awaked / he sayd / allas sir Gawayne my systers sone / here now thow lyggest the man in the world that I loued moost / and now is my Ioye gone / for now my neuewe syre Gawayne I will discouer me vnto your persone / in syr Launcelot & you I moost had my Ioye / & myn affyaunce / & now haue I lost my Ioye of you bothe / wherfor alle myn erthely Ioye is gone from me / Myn vnkel kyng Arthur said sir Gawayn wete you wel my deth day is come / & alle is thorou myn owne hastynes & wilfulnes / for I am smyten vpon thold wounde the which sir launcelot gaf me / on the whiche I fele wel I must dye / & had sir laūcelot ben with you as he was / this vnhappy werre had neuer begonne / & of alle this am I causer / for sir laūcelot & his blood thorou their prowes Page  842 [leaf 421v] helde alle your cankeryd enemyes in subiectyon and daungere And now sayd sir Gawayne ye shalle mysse sir Launcelot / But allas I wold not accorde with hym / and therfor sayd syr Gawayne I praye yow fayre vnkel that I may haue paper / pen / and ynke / that I may wryte to syre Launcelot a cedle with myn owne handes / And thenne whan paper & ynke was broughte / thenne Gawayn was set vp weykely by kynge Arthur / for he was shryuen a lytel tofore / and thenne he wrote thus as the Frensshe book maketh mencyon / Vnto syre Launcelot floure of alle noble knyghtes that euer I herd of / or sawe / by my dayes / I syre Gawayne kynge Lottes sone of Orkeney / syster sone vnto the noble kyng Arthur / sende the gretynge / & lete the haue knowleche that the tenth day of may I was smyten vpon the old wound that thou gauest me / afore the Cyte of Benwyck / and thorow the same woūd that thou gauest me / I am come to my dethe day / And I wil that alle the world wete / that I sir Gawayne knyghte of the table round / soughte my dethe / and not thorou thy deseruynge / but it was myn owne sekynge / wherfor I byseche the sir launcelot / to retorne ageyne vnto this realme / and see my tombe / & praye some prayer more of lesse for my soule / And this same day that I wrote this sedyl / I was hurte to the dethe in the same wound / the whiche I had of thy hand syr Launcelot / For [ a of a ] more nobler man myghte I not be slayne / Also sir Launcelot for alle the loue that euer was betwyxe vs / make no taryenge / but come ouer the see in al haste / that thow mayst with thy noble knyghtes rescowe that noble kynge that made the knyghte / that is my lord Arthur / for he is ful streygthly bestadde with a fals traytour / that is my half broder syr Mordred / and he hath lete croune hym kynge / and wold haue wedded my lady quene Gueneuer / and soo had he done had she not put her self in the toure of london / and soo the / x / day of May last past / my lord Arthur and we alle landed vpon them at douer / and there we putte that fals traytour syre Mordred to flyghte / and there it mysfortuned me to be stryken vpon thy stroke / And at the date of this letter was wryten but two houres and an half afore my dethe wryten with myn owne hand / and soo subscrybed with parte of my hertes Page  843 [leaf 422r] blood / And I requyre the moost famous knyghte of the world that thou wylt see my Tombe / and thenne sir Gawayne wept and kynge Arthur wepte / And thēne they swouned both / And whan they awaked bothe / the kynge made syr Gawayn to receyue his saueour / And thenne sir Gawayne praid the kynge for to sende for sir launcelot / and to cherysshe hym aboue alle other knyghtes / And so at the houre of none syr Gawayn yelded vp the spyryte / and thenne the kynge lete entiere hym in a chappel within douer Castel / and there yet alle men maye see the sculle of hym / and the same wound is sene that syr Launcelot gaf hym in bataill / Thenne was it told the kynge that syr Mordred had pyghte a newe feld vpon Baramdoune / And vpon the morne the kynge rode thyder to hym and there was a grete bataille betwixe them / and moche peple was slayne on bothe partyes / but at the last syr Arthurs party stode best / and sir Mordred and his party fledde vnto Caūturbery

¶ Capitulum iij

ANd thenne the kyng lete serche all the townes for his knyghtes that were slayne / and enteryd them / & salued them with softe salues that so sore were wounded / Thenne moche peple drewe vnto kynge Arthur / And thenne they sayd that sir Mordred warred vpon kyng Arthur with wronge / and thenne kynge Arthur drewe hym with his hoost doune by the see syde westward toward Salysbury / and ther was a day assygned betwixe kyng Arthur and sire mordred that they shold mete vpon a doune besyde Salysbury / and not ferre from the see syde / and this day was assygned on a monday after Trynyte sonday / wherof kyng Arthur was passyng glad that he myghte be auengyd vpon sire Mordred / Thenne syr Mordred areysed moche peple aboute london / for they of Kente Southsex and Surrey / Estsex and of Southfolke and of Northfolk helde the most party with sir Mordred / and many a ful noble knyghte drewe vnto syr Mordred and to the kynge / but they loued sir Launcelot drewe vnto syr Mordred Soo vpon Trynyte sonday at nyghte kynge Arthur dremed Page  844 [leaf 422v] a wonderful dreme / & that was this / that hym semed / he satte vpon a chaflet in a chayer / and the chayer was fast to a whele and therupon satte kynge Arthur in the rychest clothe of gold that myghte be made / and the kyng thoughte ther was vnder hym fer from hym an hydous depe blak water / and there in were alle maner of serpentes and wormes and wylde bestes foule and horryble / and sodenly the kynge thoughte the whele torned vp soo doune / and he felle amonge the serpentys / & euery beest took hym by a lymme / and thenne the kynge cryed as he lay in his bedde and slepte / helpe / And thenne knyghtes squyers and yomen awaked the kynge / and thenne he was soo amased that he wyst not where he was / & thenne he felle on slomberynge ageyn not slepynge nor thorouly wakynge / So the kynge semed veryly that there came syr Gawayne vnto hym with a nombre of fayre ladyes with hym And whan kynge Arthur sawe hym/ thenne he sayd welcome my systers sone / I wende thou haddest ben dede / and now I see the on lyue / moche am I beholdynge vnto almyghty Ihesu / O fayre neuewe and my systers sone / What ben these ladyes that hydder be come with yow / Sir said sir Gawayne / alle these ben ladyes for whome I haue foughten whanne I was man lyuynge / and alle these are tho / that I dyd batail for in ryghteuous quarel / and god hath gyuen hem that grace at their grete prayer / by cause I dyd bataille for hem / that they shold brynge me hydder vnto yow / thus moche hath god gyuen me leue for to warne yow of youre dethe / for and ye fyghte as to morne with syre Mordred / as ye bothe haue assygned / doubte ye not / ye must slayne / and the moost party of your peple on bothe partyes / and for the grete grace and goodenes that almyghty Ihesu hath vnto yow and for pyte of yow / and many moo other good men there shalle be slayne God hath sente me to yow of his specyal grace gyue yow warnynge / that in no wyse ye doo bataille as to morne / but that ye take a treatyce for a moneth day and profer yow largely / so as to morne to be putte in a delaye / For within a monethe shall come syr launcelot with alle his noble knyghtes and rescowe yow worshipfully / and slee sir mordred and alle that euer wylle holde with hym / Thenne syr Gawayne and al the Page  845 [leaf 423r] ladyes vaynquysshed And anone the kyng callyd vpon hys knyghtes squyers and yemen and charged them wyghtly to fetche his noble lordes and wyse bysshoppes vnto hym / And whan they were come the kyng tolde hem his auysyon what sir Gawayn had tolde hym / and warned hym that yf he faught on the morne he shold be slayn /

¶ Than the kyng comaunded syr Lucan de butlere And his broder syr Bedwere with two bysshoppes wyth hem and charged theym in ony wyse & they myght take a traytyse for a monthe day wyth Syr mordred / And spare not proffre hym londes & goodes as moche as ye thynke best / So than they departed & came to syr Mordred where he had a grymme hoost of an hondred thousand men / And there they entreted syr Mordred longe tyme and at the laste Syr mordred was agreyd for to haue Cornwayl and kente by Arthures dayes After alle Englond after the dayes of kyng Arthur /

¶ Capitulum iiij

THan were they condesended that Kyng Arthure and syr mordred shold mete betwyxte bothe theyr hoostes and eueryche of them shold brynge fourtene persones And they came wyth thys word vnto Arthure / Than sayd he I am glad that thys is done And so he wente in to the felde / And whan Arthure shold departe he warned al hys hoost that and they see ony swerde drawen look ye come on fyersly and slee that traytour syr Mordred for I in noo wyse truste hym / In lyke wyse syr mordred warned his hoost that and ye see ony swerde drawen look that ye come on fyersly & soo slee alle that euer before you stondeth / for in no wyse I wyl not truste for thys treatyse / For I knowe wel my fader wyl be auenged on me / And soo they mette as theyr poyntemente was & so they were agreyd & accorded thorouly / And wyn was fette and they dranke / Ryght soo came an adder oute of a lytel hethe busshe & hyt stonge a knyghte on the foot / & whan the knyght felte hym stongen he looked doun and sawe the adder / & than he drewe his swerde to slee the adder / & thought of none other harme / And whan the hoost on bothe partyes saw that swerde Page  846 [leaf 423v] drawen than they blewe beamous trumpettes and hornes and shouted grymly And so bothe hoostes dressyd hem to gyders And kyng Arthur took his hors and sayd allas thys vnhappy day & so rode to his partye

¶ And syr mordred in like wyse / And neuer was there seen a more doolfuller bataylle in no crysten londe / For there was but russhyng & rydyng fewnyng and strykyng & many a grymme worde was there spoken eyder to other & many a dedely stroke But euer kyng Arthur rode thorugh oute the bataylle of syr Mordred many tymes / & dyd ful nobly as a noble Kyng shold / & at al tymes he faynted neuer & syr Mordred that day put hym in deuoyr and in grete perylle

¶ And thus they faughte alle the longe day & neuer stynted tyl the noble knyghtes were layed to the colde erthe / & euer they faught stylle tyl it was nere nyghte & by that tyme was there an hondred thousand layed deed vpon the down / Thenne was Arthure wode wrothe oute of mesure whan he sawe his peple so slayn from hym /

¶ Thenne the kyng loked aboute hym / & thenne was he ware of al hys hoost & of al his good knyghtes were lefte no moo on lyue but two knyghtes that one was Syr Lucan de butlere & his broder Syr Bedwere / And they were ful sore wounded / Ihesu mercy sayd the kyng where are al my noble knyghtes becomen Alas that euer I shold see thys dolefull day / for now sayd Arthur I am come to myn ende /

¶ But wolde to god that I wyste where were that traytour Syr mordred that hath caused alle thys meschyef / Thenne was kyng arthure ware where syr Mordred lenyd vpon his swerde emonge a grete hepe of deed men / Now gyue me my spere sayd Arthur vnto Syr Lucan / For yonder I haue espyed the traytour that alle thys woo hath wrought / Syr late hym be sayd Syr Lucan for he is vnhappy / And yf ye passe thys vnhappy day ye shalle be ryght wel reuengyd vpon hym

¶ Good lord remembre ye of your nyghtes dreme / & what the spyryte of Syr Gauwayn tolde you this nyght / yet god of his grete goodnes hath preserued you hyderto / Therfore for goddes sake my lord leue of by thys / for blessyd by god ye haue wonne the felde / For here we ben thre on lyue / and wyth syr Mordred is none on lyue / And yf ye leue of now thys wycked day of desteynye Page  847 [leaf 424r] is paste / Tyde me deth betyde me lyf sayth the kyng now I see hym yonder allone he shal neuer escape myn handes / For at a better auaylle shal I neuer haue hym /

¶ God spede you wel sayd syr bedwere / Thenne the kyng gate hys spere in bothe his handes & ranne toward syr Mordred cryeng tratour now is thy deth day come / And whanne syr Mordred herde syr Arthur he ranne vntyl hym with his swerde drawen in his hande And there kyng Arthur smote syr mordred vnder the shelde wyth a foyne of his spere thorughoute the body more than a fadom / And whan syr Mordred felte that he had hys dethes wounde / He thryst hym self wyth the myght that he had vp to the bur of kynge Arthurs spere / And right so he smote his fader Arthur wyth his swerde holden in bothe his handes on the syde of the heed that he swerde persyd the helmet and the brayne panne / and therwythall syr Mordred fyl starke deed to the erthe / And the nobyl Arthur fyl in a swoune to the erthe / and there he swouned ofte tymes / And syr Lucan de butlere and syr Bedwere oftymes heue hym vp / And soo waykely they ledde hym betwyxte them bothe to a lytel chapel not ferre from the see syde / And whan the kyng was there he thought hym wel eased / Thenne herde they people crye in the felde / Now goo thou syr Lucan sayd the kyng and do me to wyte what bytokenes that noyse in the felde / So syr Lucan departed for he was greuously wounded in many places And so as he yede he sawe and herkened by the mone lyght how that pyllars and robbers were comen in to the felde To pylle and robbe many a ful noble knyghte of brochys and bedys of many a good rynge & of many a ryche Iewel / and who that were not deed al oute / there they slewe theym for theyr harneys and theyr rychesse / Whan syr Lucan vnderstode thys werke he came to the kyng assone as he myght and tolde hym al what he had herde & seen / Therfore be my rede sayd syr Lucan it is beste that we brynge you to somme towne I wolde it were soo sayd the kyng /

¶ Capitulum v

Page  848 [leaf 424v]

BVt I may not stonde myn hede werches soo / A Syr Launcelot sayd the kyng Arthur thys day haue I sore myst the / Alas that euer I was ayenst the / for now haue I my dethe / Wherof syr Gauwayn me warned in my dreme / Than syr lucan took vp the kyng the one parte And Syr Bedwere the other parte / & in the lyftyng the kyng sowned and syr Lucan fyl in a sowne wyth the lyfte that the parte of his guttes fyl oute of his bodye / And therwyth the noble knyghtes herte braste / And whan the kyng awake he behelde syr Lucan how he laye foomyng at the mowth & parte of his guttes laye at his feet /

¶ Alas sayd the kyng thys is to me a ful heuy fyght to see thys noble duke so deye for my sake / for he wold haue holpen me that had more nede of helpe than I / Alas he wold not complayne hym / hys herte was so sette to helpe me / Now Ihesu haue mercy vpon hys soule / than syr bedwere wepte for the deth of his brother / leue thys mornyng & wepyng sayd the kyng for al this wyl not auaylle me / for wyte thou wel and I myght lyue my self / the deth of syr Lucan wolde greue me euer more / but my tyme hyeth fast sayd the kyng / Therfore sayd Arthur vnto syr Bedwere take thou Excalybur my god swerde and goo with it to yonder water syde / and whan thou comest there I charge the throwe my swerde in that water & come ageyn and telle me what thou there seest / My lord sad Bedwere your commaundement shal be doon & lyghtly brynge you worde ageyn So syr Bedwere departed / & by the waye he behelde that noble swerde that the pomel & the haste was al of precyous stones / & thenne he sayd to hym self yf I throwe this ryche swerde in the water therof shal neuer come good but harme & losse / And thenne syr bedwere hydde excalybur vnder a tree / And so as sone as he myght he came ageyn vnto the kygn and sayd he had ben at the water and had throwen the swerde in to the water /

¶ What sawe thou there sayd the kyng / syr he sayd I sawe no thynge but wawes and wyndes / That is vntrewly sayd of the sayd the kynge / Therfore goo thou lyghtelye ageyn and do my commaundemente as thou arte to me leef & dere spare not but throwe it in / Than syr bedwere retorned ageyn & took the swerde in hys hande / and than hym thought Page  849 [leaf 425r] synne and shame to throwe awaye that nobyl swerde / and so efte he hydde the swerde and retorned ageyn and tolde to the kyng that he had ben at the water and done his commaundemente / what sawe thou there sayd the kyng Syr he sayd I sawe no thynge but the waters wappe and wawes wanne A traytour vntrewe sayd kyng Arthur now hast thou betrayed me twyse / Who wold haue wente that thou that hast been to me so leef and dere and thou arte named a noble knyghte and wold betraye me for the richesse of the swerde / But now goo ageyn lyghtly for thy longe taryeng putteth me in grete Ieopardye of my lyf / For I haue taken colde / and but yf thou do now as I byd the / yf euer I may see the I shal slee the myn owne handes / for thou woldest for my ryche swerde see me dede

¶ Thenne Syr Bedwere departed and wente to the swerde and lyghtly took hit vp / and wente to the water syde and there he bounde the gyrdyl aboute the hyltes / and thenne he threwe the swerde as farre in to the water as he myght / & there cam an arme and an hande aboue the water and mette it / & caught it and so shoke it thryse and braundysshed / and than vanysshed awaye the hande wyth the swerde in the water / So syr Bedwere came ageyn to the kyng and tolde hym what he sawe

¶ Alas sayd the kyng helpe me hens for I drede me I haue taryed ouer longe / Than syr Bedwere toke the kyng vpon his backe and so wente wyth hym to that water syde / & whan they were at the water syde / euyn fast by the banke houed a lytyl barge wyth many fayr ladyes in hit / & emonge hem al was a quene / and al they had blacke hoodes / and al they wepte and shryked whan they sawe Kyng Arthur /

¶ Now put me in to the barge sayd the kyng and so he dyd softelye / And there receyued hym thre quenes wyth grete mornyng and soo they sette hem doun / and in one of their lappes kyng Arthur layed hys heed / and than that quene sayd a dere broder why haue ye taryed so longe from me / Alas this wounde on your heed hath caught ouermoche colde / And soo than they rowed from the londe / and syr bedwere behelde all tho ladyes goo from hym /

¶ Than syr bedwere cryed a my lord Arthur what shal become of me now ye goo from me / And leue me here allone emonge myn enemyes / Comfort thy Page  850 [leaf 425v] self sayd the kyng and doo as wel as thou mayst / for in me is no truste for to truste in / For I wyl in to the vale of auylyon to hele me of my greuous wounde

¶ And yf thou here neuer more of me praye for my soule / but euer the quenes and ladyes wepte and shryched that hit was pyte to here / And assone as syr Bedwere had loste the syght of the baarge he wepte and waylled and so took the foreste / and so he wente al that nyght / and in the mornyng he was ware betwyxte two holtes hore af a chapel and an ermytage /

¶ Capitulum vi

THan was syr Bedwere glad and thyder he wente & whan he came in to the chapel he sawe where laye an heremyte grouelyng on al foure there fast by a tombe was newe grauen / whan the Eremyte sawe syr Bedwere he knewe hym wel / for he was but lytel tofore bysshop of caunterburye that syr Mordred flemed / Syr sayd Syr Bedwere what man is there entred that ye praye so fast fore / Fayr sone sayd the heremyte I wote not verayly but by my demyyng / But thys nyght at mydnyght here came a nombre of ladyes / and broughte hyder a deed cors / and prayed me to berye hym / and here they offeryd an hondred tapers and they gaf me an hondred besauntes

¶ Alas sayd syr bedwere that was my lord kyng Arthur that here lyeth buryed in thys chapel / Than syr bedwere swowned and whan he awoke he prayed the heremyte he myght abyde wyth hym stylle there / to lyue wyth fastyng and prayers / For from hens wyl I neuer goo sayd syr bedwere by my wylle but al the dayes of my lyf here to praye for my lord Arthur / Ye are welcome to me sayd the heremyte for I knowe you better than ye wene that I doo / Ye are the bolde bedwere and the ful noble duke Syr lucan de butlere was your broder / Thenne syr Bedwere tolde the heremyte alle as ye haue herde to fore / so there bode syr bedwere with the hermyte that was tofore bysshop of Caunterburye / and there syr bedwere put vpon hym poure clothes / and seruyd the hermyte ful lowly in fastyng and in prayers

¶ Thus of Arthur I fynde neuer more wryton in boookes that ben auctorysed nor more Page  851 [leaf 426r] of the veray certente of his deth herde I neuer redde / but thus was he ledde aweye in a shyppe wherin were thre quenes / that one was kyng Arthurs syster quene Morgan le fay / the other was the quene of North galys / the thyrd was the quene of the waste londes / Also there was Nynyue the chyef lady of the lake / that had wedded Pelleas the good knyght and this lady had doon moche for kyng Arthur / for she wold neuer suffre syr Pelleas to be in noo place where he shold be in daunger of his lyf / & so he lyued to the vttermest of his dayes wyth hyr in grete reste / More of the deth of kyng Arthur coude I neuer fynde but that ladyes brought hym to his buryellys / & suche one was buryed there that the hermyte bare wytnesse that somtyme was bysshop of caunterburye / but yet the heremyte knewe not in certayn that he was verayly the body of kyng Arthur / for thys tale syr Bedwer knyght of the table rounde made it to be wryton /

¶ Capitulum vij

YEt somme men say in many partyes of Englond that kyng Arthur is not deed / But had by the wylle of our lord Ihesu in to another place / and men say that he shal come ageyn & he shal wynne the holy crosse. I wyl not say that it shal be so / but rather I wyl say here in thys world he chaunged his lyf / but many men say that there is wryton vpon his tombe this vers

¶ Hic iacet Arthurus Rex quondam Rex que futurus / Thus leue I here syr Bedwere with the hermyte that dwellyd that tyme in a chapel besyde glastynburye & there was his ermytage / & they lyuyd in theyr prayers & fastynges & grete abstynence / and whan quene Gueneuer vnderstood that kyng Arthur was slayn & al the noble knyȝtes syr Mordred & al the remenaunte / Than the quene stale aweye & v ladyes wyth hyr / & soo she wente to almesburye / & there she let make hir self a Nonne / & ware whyte clothes & blacke & grete penaunce she toke as euer dyd synful lady in thys londe / & neuer creature coude make hyr mery / but lyued in fastyng prayers and almes dedes / that al maner of peple meruaylled how vertuously she was chaunged

¶ Now leue we quene Gueneuer in Almesburye a nonne in whyte clothes & blacke and there she was abbesse and rular as reason wolde Page  852 [leaf 426v] and torne we from hyr / and speke we of Syr Launcelot du lake /

¶ Capitulum viii

ANd whan he herde in his contreye that Syr Mordred was crowned kyng in Englond and maad warre ayenst kyng Arthur his owne fader / and wolde lette hym to lande in hys owne londe /

¶ Also it was tolde Syr Launcelot how that syr Mordred had layed syege aboute the toure of london by cause the quene wold not wedde hym / Than was syr Launcelot wroth oute of mesure and sayd to his kynnesmen alas that double traytour syr Mordred now me repenteth that euer he escaped my handes / for moche shame hath he done vnto my lord Arthur for alle I fele by the doleful letter that My lord syr Gauwayn sente me / on whos soule Iu haue mercy / that my lord Arthur is ful harde bestadde / Alas sayd syr Launcelot that euer I shold lyue to here that moost noble kyng that maad me knyght thus to be ouersette wyth his subiecte in his owne royame

¶ And this doleful letter that my lord syr Gauwayn hath sente me afore his deth / prayeng me to see his tombe / wyt you wel his doleful wordes shal neuer goo from myn herte / For he was a ful noble knyght as euer was borne / and in an vnhappy houre was I borne that euer I shold haue that vnhappe to slee fyrst syr Gauwayn syr Gaheris the good knyght and myn owne frende syr Gareth that ful noble knyght / Alas I may say I am vnhappy sayd Syr Launcelot that euer I shold do thus vnhappely / and alas yet myght I neuer haue happe to slee that traytour syr Mordred Leue your complayntes sayd syr Bors & fyrst reuenge you of the deth of syr Gauwayn / & hit wyl be wel done that ye see syr Gauwayns tombe / & secondly that ye reuenge my lord Arthur and my lady quene Gueneuer / I thanke you sayd Syr Launcelot for euer ye wyl my worshyp / Than they made them redy in al the haste that myȝt be with shyppes & galeyes wyth syr Launcelot & his hoost to passe in to englond / & so he passyd ouer the see tyl he came to douer & there he landed wyth seuen kynges / & the nombre was hydous to beholde / Than syr Launcelot spyrred of men of douer where was kyng Arthur become Than the peple tolde hym how that he was slayn / And Syr Page  853 [leaf 427r] Mordred & an / C / thousand deyed on a day / & how sir Mordred gaf kyng Arthur there the fyrste bataylle at his landyng & there was good syr Gawayn slayn / & on the morne syr Mordred faught with the kyng vpon baram doun / & there the kyng put syr mordred to the wers / Alas said syr Launcelot this is the heuyest tydynges that euer cam to me / Now fayr syrs sayd syr Launcelot shewe me the tombe of syr Gawayn / & than certeyn peple of the towne brouȝt hym in to the castel of douer & shewed hym the tombe / Than syr Launcelot knelyd doun and wepte & prayeed hertelye for his soule / & that nyght he made a dole / & al they that wold come had as moche flesshe / fysshe wyn & aale / & euery man & woman had xii pens come who wold / Thus with his owne hande dalte he this money in a moornyng gowne / & euer he wepte / & prayed hem to praye for the sowle of syr Gawayn / & an the morne al the preestys and clerkys that myght be goten in the contreye were there & sange masse of requyem & there offeryd fyrst syr Launcelot / & he offred an / C / pounde / & than the seuen kynges offeryd fourty pounde a pees / & also there was a / M / knyghtes / & eche of hem offred a pounde / & the offeryng dured fro morne tyl nyght / & syr Launcelot laye two nyghtes on his tombe in prayers and wepyng / Than on the thyrd day syr Launcelot callyd the kynges / dukes / erles / barons / & knyghtes & sayd thus / My fayr lordes I thāke you al your comyng in to this contreye with me / but we came to late & that shal repente me whyle I lyue/ but ayenst deth may no man rebelle / But sythen it is so said sir Launcelot I wyl my self ryde & seke my lady quene gueneuer for as I here say she hath had grete payne & moche dysease / & I herd say that she is fledde in to the weste / therfore ye alle shal abyde me here / & but yf I come ageyn wythin xv dayes / Than take your shyppes & your felawshyp & departe in to your contraye for I wyl do as I say to you /

¶ Capitulum ix

THan came syr Bors de ganys and sayd my lord syr Launcelot what thynke ye for to doo / now to ryde in this royame wyt you wel ye shal fynde fewe frendes be as be may sayd Syr Launcelot kepe you stylle here / for I wyl forth on my Iourney / and noo man nor chylde shall goo with me / So it was no bote to stryue but the departed and rode Page  854 [leaf 427v] westerly & there he sought a vij or viij dayes & atte last he cam to a nonnerye & than was quene Gueneuer ware of sir Launcelot as he walked in the cloystre / & whan she sawe hym there she swouned thryse that al the ladyes & Ientyl wymmen had werke ynough to holde the quene vp / So whan she myȝt speke she callyd ladyes & Ientyl wymmen to hir / & sayd ye meruayl fayr ladyes why I make this fare / Truly she said it is for the syght of yonder knyght that yender standeth / Wherfore I praye you al calle hym to me / whan syr Launcelot was brought to hyr / Than she sayd to al the ladyes thorowe this man & me hath al this warre be wrought / & the deth of the moost noblest knyghtes of the world / for thorugh our loue that we haue loued to gyder is my moost noble lord slayn / Therfor syr Launcelot wyt thou wel I am sette in suche a plyte to gete my soule hele / & yet I truste thorugh goddes grace that after my deth to haue a syght of the blessyd face of cryst / and at domes day to sytte on his ryght syde / for as synful as euer I was are sayntes in heuen / therfore syr Launcelot I requyre the & beseche the hertelye for al the loue that euer was betwyxte vs that thou neuer see me more in the vysage / & I comande the on goddes behalfe that thou forsake my companye & to thy kyngdom thou torne ageyn & kepe wel thy royame from warre & wrake / for as wel as I haue loued the myn hert wyl not serue me to see the / for thorugh the & me is the flour of kynges & knyghtes destroyed / therfor sir Launcelot goo to thy royame & there take the a wyf & lyue with hir with Ioye & blysse / & I praye the hertelye praye for me to our lord that I may amended my myslyuyng / Now swete madam sayd syr Launcelot wold ye that I shold torne ageyn vnto my cuntreye & there to wedde a lady Nay Madam wyt you wel that shal I neuer do / for I shal neuer be soo fals to you of that I haue promysed / but the same deystenye that ye haue taken you to I wyl take me vnto for to plese Ihesu / & euer for you I cast me specially to praye / Yf thou wylt do so sayd the quene holde thy promyse / but I may neuer byleue but that thou wylt torne to the world ageyn / wel madam sayd he ye say as pleseth you / yet wyst you me neuer fals of my promesse / & god defende but I shold forsake the world as ye haue do / for in the quest of the sank greal I had fosaken Page  855 [leaf 428r] the vanytees of the world had not your lord ben / And yf I had done so at that tyme wyth my herte wylle and thought I had passed al the knyghtes that were in the sanke greal / excepte syr Galahad my sone / and therfore lady sythen ye haue taken you to perfeccion I must nedys take me to perfection of ryght / for I take recorde of god in you I haue had myn erthly Ioye / and yf I had founden you now so dysposed I had caste me to haue had you in to myn owne royame /

¶ Capitulum x

BVt sythen I fynde you thus desposed I ensure you faythfully I wyl euer take me to penaunce & praye whyle my lyf lasteth / yf that I may fynde ony heremyte other graye or whyte that wyl receyue me / wherfore madame I praye you kysse me & neuer nomore / Nay sayd the quene that shal I neuer do / but absteyne you from suche werkes & they departed but there was neuer so harde an herted man but he wold haue wepte to see the dolour that they made / for there was laementacyon as they had be stungyn wyth sperys / and many tymes they swouned / & the ladyes bare the quene to hir chambre / & syr Launcelot awok & went & took his hors & rode al that day & al nyȝt in a forest wepyng / & atte last he was ware of an Ermytage & a chappel stode betwyxte two clyffes / and than he herde a lytel belle rynge to masse / and thyder he rode & alyght & teyed his hors to the gate & herd masse / & he that sange masse was the bysshop of caunterburye / bothe the bysshop & sir Bedwer knewe syr Launcelot / & they spake to gyders after masse but whan syr Bedwere had tolde his tale al hole syr Launcelottes hert almost braste for sorowe / & sir Launcelot threwe hys armes abrode / & sayd alas who may truste thys world / & than he knelyd doun on his knee and prayed the bysshop to shryue hym and assoyle hym / and than he besought the bysshop that he myght be hys brother / Than the bysshop sayd I wyll gladly and there he put an habyte vpon Syr Launcelot / and there he seruyd god day and nyȝt with prayers and fastynges / Thus the grete hoost abode at douer and than sir Lyonel toke fyftene lordes with hym & rode to london to seke sir Launcelot / & there syr Lyonel was slayn and many of his lordes / Thenne Syr Bors de ganys made the grete hoost for to goo hoome ageyn Page  856 [leaf 428v] And syr boors / syr Ector de maris / Syr Blamour / syr bleoboris with moo other of syr Launcelottes kynne toke on hem to ryde al englond ouerthwart & endelonge to seek syr Launcelot / So syr Bors by fortune rode so longe tyl he came to the same chapel where syr Launcelot was / & so syr Bors herde a lytel belle knylle that range to masse / & there he alyght & herde masse / & whan masse was doon the bysshop syr Launcelot & sir Bedwere came to syr Bors / & whan syr bors sawe sir Launcelot in that maner clothyng / than he preyed the bysshop that he myght be in the same sewte / and so there was an habyte put vpon hym / & there he lyued in prayers & fastyng / and wythin halfe a yere there was come syr Galyhud / syr Galyhodyn / sir Blamour / syr Bleoheris / syr wyllyars / syr Clarras / and sir Gohaleaniyne / So al these vij noble knyȝtes there abode styll and whan they sawe syr Launcelot had taken hym to suche perfeccion they had no last to departe / but toke suche an habyte as he had / Thus they endured in grete penaunce syx yere / and than syr Launcelot took thabyte of preesthod of the bysshop / & a twelue monthe he sange masse / & there was none of these other knyghtes but they redde in bookes / & holpe for to synge masse & range bellys & dyd bodoly al maner of seruyce / & soo their horses wente where they wolde / fro they toke no regarde of no worldly rychesses / for whan they sawe syr Launcelot endure suche penaunce in prayers & fastynges they toke no force what payne they endured for to see the nobleste knyght of the world take suche abstynaunce that he waxed ful lene / & thus vpon a nyght there came a vysyon to syr Launcelot & charged hym in remyssyon of his synnes to haste hym vnto almysbury & by thenne then come there thou shall fynde quene Gueneuer dede / & therfore take thy felowes with the & parcuey them of an hors bere / & fetche thou the cors of hir / & burye hir by her husbond the noble kyng Arthur / So this auysyon came to Launcelot thryse in one nyght

¶ Capitulum xi

THan syr Launcelot rose vp oe day & tolde the heremyte It were wel done sayd the heremyte that ye made you redy / & that ye dyshobeye not the auysyon / Than syr Launcelot toke his vij felowes with hym & on fore they yede from glastynburye to almysburye the whyche is lytel more Page  857 [leaf 429r] than xxx myle / & thyder they came within two dayes for they were wayke & feble to goo / & whan syr Launcelot was come to almysburye within the Nunerye quene gueneuer deyed but halfe an oure afore / and the ladyes tolde syr Launcelot that quene Gueneuer tolde hem al or she passyd that syr Launcelot had ben preest nere a twelue monthe / & hyder he cometh as faste as he may to fetche my cors. & besyde my lord kyng Arthur he shal berye me / wherfore the quene sayd in heryng of hem al / I beseche almyghty god that I may neuer haue power to see syr Launcelot wyth my worldly eyen / And thus said al the ladyes was euer hir prayer these two dayes tyl she was dede / Than syr Launcelot sawe hir vysage bat he wepte not gretelye but syghed / & so he dyd al the obseruaunce of the seruyce hym self bothe the dyryge / and on the morne he sange masse / & there was ordeyned an hors bere / & so wyth an hondred torches euer brennyng aboute the cors of the quene / & euer syr Launcelot with his viij felowes wente aboute the hors bere syngyng & redyng many an holy oryson / & frankensens vpon the corps encensed / Thus syr Launcelot & his eyght felowes wente on foot from almysburye vnto glastynburye / & whan they were come to the chapel & the hermytage there she had a dyryge wyth grete deuocyon / & on the morne the heremyte that somtyme was bysshop of canterburye sāge the masse of requyem wyth grete deuocyon / and syr Launcelot was the fyrst that offeryd / & than als his eyght felowes / & than she was wrapped in cered clothe of raynes from the toppe to the too in xxx folde / & after she was put in a webbe of leed & than in a coffyn of marbyl / and whan she was put in therth syr Launcelot swouned & laye longe stylle whyle the hermyte came and awaked hym / and sayd ye be to blame / for ye dysplese god with suche maner of sorow makyng / Truly sayd syr Launcelot I trust I do not dysplese god / for he knoweth myn entente / For my sorow was not nor is not for ony reioysyng of synne / but my sorow may neuer haue ende / For whan I remembre of hir beaulte & of hir noblesse / that was bothe wyth hyr kyng & wyth hyr / So whan I sawe his corps & hir corps so lye togyders / truly myn herte wold not serue to susteyne my careful body / Also whan I remēbre me how by my defaute Page  858 [leaf 429v] & myn orgule and my pryde / that they were bothe layed ful lowe that were pereles that euer was lyuyng of cristen people wyt you wel sayd syr Launcelot this remembred of there kyndenes and myn vnkyndenes sanke so to myn herte that I myȝt not susteyne my self so the frensshe book maketh mencyon /

¶ Capitulum xii

THen̄e syr Launcelot neuer after ete but lytel mete nor dranke tyl he was dede / for than he seekened more and more and dryed & dwyned awaye / for the bysshop nor none of his felowes myȝt not make hym to ete and lytel he dranke that he was waxen by a kybbet shorter than he was / that the peple coude not knowe hym / for euermore day & nyȝt he prayed but somtyme he slombred a broken slepe / euer he was lyeng grouelyng on the tombe of kyng Arthur & quene Gueneuer / & there was no comforte that the bysshop nor syr Bors nor none of his felowes coude make hym it auaylled not / Soo wythin syx wekye after syr Launcelot fyl seek and laye in his bedde & thenne he sente for the bysshop that there was heremyte and al his trewe felowes / Than Syr Launcelot sayd wyth drery steuen / syr bysshop I praye you gyue to me al my ryghtes that longeth to a chrysten man / It shal not nede you sayd the heremyte and al his felowes / It is but heuynesse of your blood ye shal be wel mended by the grace of god to morne / My fayr lordes sayd syr Launcelot wyt you wel my careful body wyl in to therthe I houe warnyng more than now I wyl say / therfore gyue me my ryghtes / So whan he was howselyd and enelyd / and had al that a crysten man ought to haue he prayed the bysshop that his felowes myght bere his body to Ioyous garde / Somme men say it was anwyk / & somme may say it was hamborow how be it sayd syr Launcelot me repenteth sore but I made myn auowe somtyme that in ioyous garde I wold be buryed / and by cause of brekyng of myn auowe I praye you al lede me thyder / Than there was wepyng and wryngyng of handes among his felowes / So at a seson of the nyght they al wente to theyr beddes for they alle laye in one chambre / And so after mydnyght ayenst day the bysshop then was hermyte as he laye in his bedd a slepe he fyl vpon a grete laughter / and therwyth al the felyshyp awoke and came to Page  859 [leaf 430r] the bysshop & asked hym what he eyled / A Iu mercy sayd the bysshop why dyd ye awake me I was neuer in al my lyf so mery & so wel at ease / wherfore sayd syr bors / Truly sayd the bysshop here was syr Launcelot with me with mo angellis than euer I sawe men in one day / & I sawe the angellys heue vp syr Launcelot vnto heuen & the yates of heuen opened ayenst hym / It is but dretchyng of sweuens sayd syr Bors for I doubte not syr Launcelot ayleth no thynge but good / It may wel be sayd the bysshop goo ye to his bedde & than shall ye proue the soth / So whan syr Bors & his felowes came to his bedde they founde hym starke dede / & he laye as he had smyled & the swettest fauour aboute hym that euer they felte / than was there wepyng & wryngyng of handes / & the grettest dole they made that euer made men / & on the morne the bysshop dyd his masse of requyem / & after the bysshop & al the ix knyghtes put syr Launcelot in the same hors bere that quene Gueneuere was layed in tofore that she was buryed / & soo the bysshop & they al togydere wente wyth the body of syr Launcelot dayly tyl they came to Ioyous garde / & euer they had an / C / torches bernnyng aboute hym / & so within xv dayes they came to Ioyous garde . & there they layed his corps in the body of the quere / & sange & redde many saulters & prayes ouer hym and aboute hym / & euer his vysage was layed open & naked that al folkes myght beholde hym / for suche was the custom in tho dayes that al men of worshyp shold so lye wyth open vysage tyl that they were buryed / and ryght thus as they were at theyr seruyce there came syr Ector de maris that had vij yere sought al Englond scotland & walys sekyng his brother syr Launcelot /

¶ Capitulum xiii

ANd whan syr Ector herde suche noyse & lyghte in the quyre of Ioyous garde he alyght & put his hors from hym & came in to the quyre & there he sawe men synge wepe / & al they knewe syr Ector / but he knewe not them / than wente syr Bors vnto syr Evctor & tolde hym how there laye his brother syr Launcelot dede / & than Syr Ector threwe hys shelde swerde & helme from hym / & whan he behelde syr Launcelottes vysage he fyl doun in a swoun / & whan he waked it were harde ony tonge to telle the doleful complayntes that Page  860 [leaf 430v] he made for his brother / A Launcelot he sayd thou were hede of al crysten knyghtes / & now I dare say sayd syr Ector thou sir Launcelot there thou lyest that thou were neuer matched of erthely knyghtes hande / & thou were the curtest knyght that euer bare shelde / & thou were the truest frende to thy louar that euer bestrade hors / & thou were the trewest louer of a synful man that euer loued woman / & thou were the kyndest man that euer strake wyth swerde / & thou were the godelyest persone þt euer cam emonge prees of knyghtes / & thou was the mekest man & the Ientyllest that euer ete in halle emonge ladyes / & thou were the sternest knyght to thy mortal foo that euer put spere in the breste / than there was wepyng & dolour out of mesure / Thus they kepte syr Launcelots corps on lofte xv dayes & than they buryed it with grete deuocyon / & than at leyser they wente al with the bysshop of canterburye to his ermytage & there they were to gyder more than a monthe / Than syr costantyn that was syr Cadores sone of cornwayl was chosen kyng of Englond / & he was a ful noble knyght / & worshypfully he rulyd this royame / & than thys kyng Costantyn sent for the bysshop of caunterburye for he herde saye where he was & so he was restored vnto his bysshopryche / & lefte that Ermytage / And Syr Bedwere was there euer stylle heremyte to his lyues ende / Than syr Bors de ganys / syr Ector de maris / syr Gahalantyne / syr Galyhud / sir Galyhodyn / syr Blamour / syr Bleoberys / syr Wyllyats de balyaunt / syr Clartus of clere mounte / al these knyȝtes drewe them to theyr contreyes How be it kyng Costantyn wold haue had them wyth hym but they wold not abyde in this royame / & there they al lyued in their cuntreys as holy men / & somme englysshe bookes maken mencyon that they wente neuer oute of englond after the deth of syr Launcelot / but that was but fauour of makers/ for the frensshe book maketh mencyon & is auctorysed that syr Bors / syr Ector / syr Blamour / & syr Bleoberis wente in to the holy lande there as Ihesu Cryst was quycke & deed / And anone as they had stablysshed theyr londes / for the book saith so syr Launcelot commaunded them for to do or euer he passyd oute of thys world / & these foure knyghtes dyd many bataylles vpon the myscreantes or turkes / and there they ded vpon a good fryday for goddes sake /

Here is the end of the bookePage  861 [leaf 431r] of kyng Arthur & of his noble knyghtes of the rounde table / that whan they were hole togyders there was euer an C and xl / and here is the ende of the deth of Arthur / I praye you all Ientyl men and Ientyl wymmen that redeth this book of Arthur and his knyghtes from the begynnyng to the endyng / praye for me whyle I am on lyue that god sende me good delyueraunce / & whan I am deed I praye you all praye for my soule / for this book was ended the ix yere of the reygne of kyng edward the fourth / by syr Thomas Maleore knyght as Ihesu helpe hym for hys grete myght / as he is the seruaunt of Ihesu bothe day and nyght /

¶ Thus endeth thys noble and Ioyous book entytled le morte Darthur / Notwythstondyng it treateth of the byrth / lyf / and actes of the sayd kyng Arthur / of his noble knyghtes of the rounde table / theyr meruayllous enquestes and aduentures / thachyeuyng of the sangreal / & in thende the dolorous deth & departyng out of thys world of them al / whiche book was reduced in to englysshe by syr Thomas Malory knyght as afore is sayd / and by me deuyded in to xxi bookes chapytred and enprynted / and fynysshed in thabbey westmestre the last day of Juyl the yere of our lord / M / CCCC / lxxxv /


Caxton me fieri fecit


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