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The History of the Holly Graal

The History of the Holly Graal

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Published by Madalina Ciornohuz

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Published by: Madalina Ciornohuz on Mar 26, 2011
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01/28/2014

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TITLE I.

Hereupon the story is silent of Messire Gawain and

Meliot and speaketh of King Claudas that hath as

sembled a great folk by the counsel of Briant of the

Isles to come into the land of King Arthur, for he knoweth

that it is disgarnished of the good knights that wont there

to be, and he knoweth all the secret plottings of the court

and what power King Arthur hath withal. He draweth to-

ward his land the nighest he may, and hath won back the

kingdom of Oriande all at his will. But they of Albanie still

hold against him and challenge the land the best they may.

Tidings thereof come to the court of King Arthur, and they

of the country sent him word that so he send them not

succour betimes they will yield up the land to King Claudas,

and oftentimes they long after Lancelot, and say that so

they had a defender like him, the islands would be all at

peace. The King sent Briant of the Isles thither many times,

that ever incontinent returned thence discomfit, but never

sent he thither him that should have power to protect the

land against King Claudas. King Arthur was sore troubled,

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for no witting had he of Messire Gawain nor Messire Ywain

nor of others whereby his court had use of right to be feared

and dreaded and of high renown throughout all other king-

doms. The King was one day in the hall at Cardoil, right

heavy; and he was at one of the windows, and remembered

him of the Queen and of his good knights that he wont to

see oftener at court, whereof the more part were dead, and

of the adventures that wont to befall therein whereof they

saw none no longer. Lucan the Butler seeth him right heavy

and draweth nigh unto him quietly.

II.

“Sir,” saith he, “Meseemeth you are without joy.”

“Lucan,” said the King, “Joy hath been somewhat far from

me sithence that the Queen hath been dead, and Gawain

and the other knights have held aloof from my court so that

they deign come hither no longer. Moreover, King Claudas

warreth upon me and conquereth my lands so that no power

have I to rescue me for default of my knights.”

“Sir,” saith Lucan, “Herein is there nought whereof you

have right to accuse any save yourself alone. For you have

done evil unto him that hath served you, and good unto

them that are traitors to you. You have one of the best

knights in the world and the most loyal in your prison,

wherefore all the other hold them aloof from your court.

Lancelot had served you well by his good will and by his

good knighthood, nor never had he done you any disservice

whereof you might in justice have done him such shame;

nor never will your enemies withhold them from you nor

have dread of you save only through him and other your

good knights. And know of a truth that Lancelot and Messire

Gawain are the best of your court.”

“Lucan,” saith King Arthur, “So thought I ever again to

have affiance in him, I would make him be set forth of my

prison, for well I know that I have wrought discourteously

toward him; and Lancelot is of a great heart, wherefore would

he not slacken of his despite for that which hath been done

unto him until such time as he should be avenged thereof,

for no king is there in the world, how puissant soever he be,

against whom he durst not well maintain his right.”

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The High History of the Holy Graal

III.

“Sir,” saith Lucan, “Lancelot well knoweth that and you had

taken no counsel but your own, he would not have been thus

entreated, and I dare well say that never so long as he liveth

will he misdo in aught towards you, for he hath in him much

valour and loyalty, as many a time have you had good cause

to know. Wherefore, and you would fain have aid and succour

and hold your realm again, behoveth you set him forth of the

prison, or otherwise never will you succeed herein, and, if

you do not so, you will lose your land by treason.”

The King held by the counsel of Lucan the Butler. He made

bring Lancelot before him into the midst of the hall, that

was somewhat made ean of his being in prison, but he bore

him as he wont, nor might none look at him to whom he

seemed not to be good knight. “Lancelot,” saith the King,

“How is it with you?”

“Sir,” saith he, “It hath been ill with me long time, but,

please God, it shall be better hereafter.”

“Lancelot,” saith the King, “I repent me of this that I have

done to you, and I have bethought me much of the good

services I have found in you, wherefore I will do you amends

thereof at your will, in such sort as that the love between us

shall be whole as it was tofore.”

IV.

“Sir,” saith Lancelot, “Your amends love I much, and your

love more than of any other; but never, please God, will I

misdo you for aught that you may have done to me, for it is

well known that I have not been in prison for no treason I

have done, nor for no folly, but only for that it was your

will. Never will it be reproached me as of shame, and, sith

that you have done me nought whereof I may have blame

nor reproach, my devoir it is to withhold me from hating

you; for you are my lord, and if that you do me ill, without

flattery of myself the ill you do me is your own; but, please

God, whatsoever you have done me, never shall my aid fail

you, rather, everywhere will I set my body in adventure for

your love, in like sort as I have done many a time.”

V.

In the court of King Arthur was right great joy of

the most part when they heard that Lancelot was

set forth of prison, but not a whit rejoiced were

Briant and his folk. The King commanded that Lancelot

should be well cared for and made whole again, and that all

should be at his commandment. The court was all overjoyed

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The High History of the Holy Graal

thereof, and they said: now at last might the King make war

in good assurance. Lancelot was foremost in the King’s court

and more redoubted than was ever another of the knights.

Briant of the Isles came one day before the King.

“Sir,” saith he, “Behold, here is Lancelot that wounded me in

your service, wherefore I will that he know I am his enemy.”

“Briant,” saith Lancelot, “And if that you deserved it tofore,

well may you be sorry thereof, and sith that you wish to be

mine enemy, your friend will I not be. For well may I deem of

your love according as I have found it in you.”

“Sir,” saith Briant to the King, “You are my lord, and I am

one you are bound to protect. You know well that so rich am

I in lands and so puissant in friends that I may well despise

mine enemy, nor will I not remain at your court so long as

Lancelot is therein. Say not that I depart thence with any

shame as toward myself. Rather thus go I hence as one that

will gladly avenge me, so I have place and freedom, and I see

plainly and know that you and your court love him far bet-

ter than you love me, wherefore behoveth me take thought

thereof.”

“Briant,” saith the King, “Remain as yet, and I will make

amends for you to Lancelot, and I myself will make amends

for him to you.”

VI.

“Sir,” saith Briant, “By the faith that I owe to you, none

amends will I have of him nor other until such time as I

have drawn as much blood of his body as did he of mine, and

I will well that he know it.”

With that Briant departeth from the court all wrathful,

but if that Lancelot had not feared to anger the King, Briant

would not have ridden a league English or ever he had fol-

lowed and forced him to fight. Briant goeth toward the Castle

of the Hard Rock, and saith that better would it have been

for the King that Lancelot were still in prison, for that such

a plea will he move against him and he may bring it to bear,

as that he shall lose thereof the best parcel of his land. He is

gone into the land of King Claudas, and saith that now at

last hath he need of his aid, for Lancelot is issued forth of

the King’s prison and is better loved at court than all other,

so that the King believeth in no counsel save his only. King

Claudas sweareth unto him and maketh pledge that never

will he fail him, and Briant to him again.

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