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Le Morte d'Arthur

by Sir Thomas Malory
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Table of Contents
Acknowled!ements.........................................................................................................................-.
B/BL/*%0A#1/)AL 2*T3 ........................................................................................................-4
#03&A)3 *& 5/LL/AM )A6T*2 ............................................................................................-7
8olume /+..................................................................................................................................................9-
B**: / ..............................................................................................................................................99
)1A#T30 /. 1ow ;ther #endra!on sent for the duke of )ornwall and /!raine his wife and of
their departin! suddenly a!ain. ......................................................................................................99
)1A#T30 //. 1ow ;ther #endra!on made war on the duke of )ornwall and how by the mean
of Merlin he lay by the duchess and !at Arthur. ............................................................................9.
)1A#T30 ///. *f the birth of :in! Arthur and of his nurture. ....................................................9<
)1A#T30 /8. *f the death of :in! ;ther #endra!on. ................................................................97
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Arthur was chosen kin! and of wonders and marvels of a sword taken out of
a stone by the said Arthur. ..............................................................................................................97
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow :in! Arthur pulled out the sword divers times. ..........................................9=
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow :in! Arthur was crowned and how he made officers. ...............................>
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow :in! Arthur held in 5ales at a #entecost a !reat feast and what kin!s
and lords came to his feast. .............................................................................................................?
)1A#T30 /6. *f the first war that :in! Arthur had and how he won the field. .........................-
)1A#T30 6. 1ow Merlin counselled :in! Arthur to send for :in! Ban and :in! Bors and of
their counsel taken for the war. .......................................................................................................9
)1A#T30 6/. *f a !reat tourney made by :in! Arthur and the two kin!s Ban and Bors and
how they went over the sea. ............................................................................................................<
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow eleven kin!s !athered a !reat host a!ainst :in! Arthur. .............................7
)1A#T30 6///. *f a dream of the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts. ...........................................@
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow the eleven kin!s with their host fou!ht a!ainst Arthur and his host and
many !reat feats of the war. ............................................................................................................=
)1A#T30 68. Yet of the same battle. .........................................................................................4?
)1A#T30 68/. Yet more of the same battle. ..............................................................................49
)1A#T30 68//. Yet more of the same battle and how it was ended by Merlin. .......................44
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow :in! Arthur :in! Ban and :in! Bors rescued :in! Leode!rance and
other incidents. ...............................................................................................................................47
)1A#T30 6/6. 1ow :in! Arthur rode to )arlion and of his dream and how he saw the
Auestin! beast. ................................................................................................................................4@
)1A#T30 66. 1ow :in! #ellinore took Arthur's horse and followed the Buestin! Beast and
how Merlin met with Arthur. .........................................................................................................4=
)1A#T30 66/. 1ow ;lfius impeached Bueen /!raine Arthur's mother of treasonC and how a
kni!ht came and desired to have the death of his master ..............................................................<?
)1A#T30 66//. 1ow %riflet was made kni!ht and $ousted with a kni!ht ................................<-
)1A#T30 66///. 1ow twelve kni!hts came from 0ome and asked trua!e for this land of
Arthur and how Arthur fou!ht with a kni!ht. ...............................................................................<9
)1A#T30 66/8. 1ow Merlin saved Arthur's life and threw an enchantment on :in! #ellinore
and made him to sleep. ..................................................................................................................<4
)1A#T30 668. 1ow Arthur by the mean of Merlin !at 3'calibur his sword of the Lady of the
Lake. ..............................................................................................................................................<4
-
)1A#T30 668/. 1ow tidin!s came to Arthur that :in! 0ience had overcome eleven kin!s and
how he desired Arthur's beard to trim his mantle. .........................................................................<7
)1A#T30 668//. 1ow all the children were sent for that were born on May"day and how
Mordred was saved. .......................................................................................................................<7
B**: // .............................................................................................................................................<@
)1A#T30 /. *f a damosel which came !irt with a sword for to find a man of such virtue to draw
it out of the scabbard. .....................................................................................................................<@
)1A#T30 //. 1ow Balin arrayed like a poor kni!ht pulled out the sword which afterward was
the cause of his death. ....................................................................................................................7>
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow the Lady of the Lake demanded the kni!ht's head that had won the sword or
the maiden's head. ..........................................................................................................................7?
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Merlin told the adventure of this damosel. ..................................................7-
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Balin was pursued by Sir Lanceor kni!ht of /reland and how he $ousted and
slew him. ........................................................................................................................................79
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow a damosel which was love to Lanceor slew herself for love and how Balin
met with his brother Balan. ............................................................................................................7.
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow a dwarf reproved Balin for the death of Lanceor and how :in! Mark of
)ornwall found them and made a tomb over them. ......................................................................74
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow Merlin prophesied that two the best kni!hts of the world should fi!ht
there which were Sir Lancelot and Sir Tristram. ..........................................................................7<
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow Balin and his brother by the counsel of Merlin took :in! 0ience and
brou!ht him to :in! Arthur. ..........................................................................................................77
)1A#T30 6. 1ow :in! Arthur had a battle a!ainst 2ero and :in! Lot of *rkney and how
:in! Lot was deceived by Merlin and how twelve kin!s were slain. ..........................................7@
)1A#T30 6/. *f the interment of twelve kin!s and of the prophecy of Merlin and how Balin
should !ive the dolorous stroke. ....................................................................................................7=
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow a sorrowful kni!ht came before Arthur and how Balin fetched him and
how that kni!ht was slain by a kni!ht invisible. ............................................................................@>
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Balin and the damosel met with a kni!ht which was in likewise slain and
how the damosel bled for the custom of a castle. ..........................................................................@?
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow Balin met with that kni!ht named %arlon at a feast and there he slew him
to have his blood to heal therewith the son of his host. .................................................................@-
)1A#T30 68. 1ow Balin fou!ht with :in! #ellam and how his sword brake and how he !at a
spear wherewith he smote the dolorous stroke. .............................................................................@.
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow Balin was delivered by Merlin and saved a kni!ht that would have slain
himself for love. .............................................................................................................................@.
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow that kni!ht slew his love and a kni!ht lyin! by her and after how he slew
himself with his own sword and how Balin rode toward a ...........................................................@<
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow Balin met with his brother Balan and how each of them slew other
unknown till they were wounded to death. ...................................................................................@7
)1A#T30 6/6. 1ow Merlin buried them both in one tomb and of Balin's sword. ...................@=
B**: /// ............................................................................................................................................=>
)1A#T30 /. 1ow :in! Arthur took a wife and wedded %uenever dau!hter to Leode!rance
:in! of the Land of )ameliard with whom he had the 0ound Table. ..........................................=>
)1A#T30 //. 1ow the :ni!hts of the 0ound Table were ordained and their sie!es blessed by the
Bishop of )anterbury. ....................................................................................................................=?
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow a poor man ridin! upon a lean mare desired :in! Arthur to make his son
9
kni!ht. ............................................................................................................................................=-
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Sir Tor was known for son of :in! #ellinore and how %awaine was made
kni!ht. ............................................................................................................................................=9
)1A#T30 8. 1ow at feast of the weddin! of :in! Arthur to %uenever a white hart came into
the hall and thirty couple hounds and how a brachet ...................................................................=.
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir %awaine rode for to fetch a!ain the hart and how two brethren fou!ht
each a!ainst other for the hart. .......................................................................................................=4
)1A#T30 8// 1ow the hart was chased into a castle and there slain and how Sir %awaine slew
a lady. .............................................................................................................................................=<
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow four kni!hts fou!ht a!ainst %awaine and %aheris and how they were
overcome and their lives saved at reAuest of four ladies. .............................................................=7
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow Sir Tor rode after the kni!ht with the brachet and of his adventure by the
way. ................................................................................................................................................=@
)1A#T30 6. 1ow Sir Tor found the brachet with a lady and how a kni!ht assailed him for the
said brachet. ...................................................................................................................................==
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow Sir Tor overcame the kni!ht and how he lost his head at the reAuest of a
lady. ..............................................................................................................................................?>>
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow :in! #ellinore rode after the lady and the kni!ht that led her away and
how a lady desired help of him and how he fou!ht with two .....................................................?>-
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow :in! #ellinore !at the lady and brou!ht her to )amelot to the court of
:in! Arthur. .................................................................................................................................?>9
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow on the way he heard two kni!hts as he lay by ni!ht in a valley and of their
adventures. ...................................................................................................................................?>.
)1A#T30 68. 1ow when he was come to )amelot he was sworn upon a book to tell the truth
of his Auest. ..................................................................................................................................?>4
B**: /8 ..........................................................................................................................................?><
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Merlin was assotted and doted on one of the ladies of the lake and how he
was shut in a rock under a stone and there died. .........................................................................?><
)1A#T30 //. 1ow five kin!s came into this land to war a!ainst :in! Arthur and what counsel
Arthur had a!ainst them. ..............................................................................................................?>7
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow :in! Arthur had ado with them and overthrew them and slew the five kin!s
and made the remnant to flee. ......................................................................................................?>@
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow the battle was finished or he came and how :in! Arthur founded an abbey
where the battle was. ....................................................................................................................??>
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Sir Tor was made kni!ht of the 0ound Table and how Ba!dema!us was
displeased. ....................................................................................................................................???
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow :in! Arthur :in! ;riens and Sir Accolon of %aul chased an hart and of
their marvellous adventures. ........................................................................................................??-
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow Arthur took upon him to fi!ht to be delivered out of prison and also for to
deliver twenty kni!hts that were in prison. ..................................................................................??9
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow Accolon found himself by a well and he took upon him to do battle
a!ainst Arthur. ..............................................................................................................................??.
)1A#T30 /6. *f the battle between :in! Arthur and Accolon. ...............................................??<
)1A#T30 6. 1ow :in! Arthur's sword that he fou!ht with brake and how he recovered of
Accolon his own sword 3'calibur and overcame his enemy. .....................................................??7
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow Accolon confessed the treason of Mor!an le &ay :in! Arthur's sister and
how she would have done slay him. ............................................................................................??@
.
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Arthur accorded the two brethren and delivered the twenty kni!hts and
how Sir Accolon died. ..................................................................................................................??=
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Mor!an would have slain Sir ;riens her husband and how Sir ;waine her
son saved him. .............................................................................................................................?-?
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow Bueen Mor!an le &ay made !reat sorrow for the death of Accolon and
how she stole away the scabbard from Arthur. ............................................................................?-?
)1A#T30 68. 1ow Mor!an le &ay saved a kni!ht that should have been drowned and how
:in! Arthur returned home a!ain. ...............................................................................................?-9
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow the (amosel of the Lake saved :in! Arthur from mantle that should have
burnt him. .....................................................................................................................................?-.
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow Sir %awaine and Sir ;waine met with twelve fair damosels and how
they complained on Sir Marhaus. ................................................................................................?-4
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow Sir Marhaus $ousted with Sir %awaine and Sir ;waine and overthrew
them both. ....................................................................................................................................?-<
)1A#T30 6/6. 1ow Sir Marhaus Sir %awaine and Sir ;waine met three damosels and each
of them took one. .........................................................................................................................?-@
)1A#T30 66. 1ow a kni!ht and a dwarf strove for a lady. .....................................................?-=
)1A#T30 66/. 1ow :in! #elleas suffered himself to be taken prisoner because he would have
a si!ht of his lady and how Sir %awaine promised him to !et ...................................................?9>
)1A#T30 66//. 1ow Sir %awaine came to the Lady 3ttard and how Sir #elleas found them
sleepin!. .......................................................................................................................................?9-
)1A#T30 66///. 1ow Sir #elleas loved no more 3ttard by means of the (amosel of the Lake
whom he loved ever after. ............................................................................................................?9.
)1A#T30 66/8. 1ow Sir Marhaus rode with the damosel and how he came to the (uke of the
South Marches. ............................................................................................................................?94
)1A#T30 668. 1ow Sir Marhaus fou!ht with the duke and his four sons and made them to
yield them. ...................................................................................................................................?9<
)1A#T30 668/. 1ow Sir ;waine rode with the damosel of si'ty year of a!e and how he !at
the priDe at tourneyin!. ................................................................................................................?9@
)1A#T30 668//. 1ow Sir ;waine fou!ht with two kni!hts and overcame them. .................?9=
)1A#T30 668///. 1ow at the year's end all three kni!hts with their three damosels met at the
fountain. .......................................................................................................................................?9=
B**: 8 ...........................................................................................................................................?.>
)1A#T30 /. 1ow twelve a!ed ambassadors of 0ome came to :in! Arthur to demand trua!e for
Britain. .........................................................................................................................................?.?
)1A#T30 //. 1ow the kin!s and lords promised to :in! Arthur aid and help a!ainst the
0omans. .......................................................................................................................................?.-
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow :in! Arthur held a parliament at York and how he ordained the realm
should be !overned in his absence. ..............................................................................................?..
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow :in! Arthur bein! shipped and lyin! in his cabin had a marvellous dream
and of the e'position thereof. ......................................................................................................?.4
)1A#T30 8. 1ow a man of the country told to him of a marvellous !iant and how he fou!ht
and conAuered him. ......................................................................................................................?.<
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow :in! Arthur sent Sir %awaine and other to Lucius and how they were
assailed and escaped with worship. .............................................................................................?.@
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow Lucius sent certain spies in a bushment for to have taken his kni!hts bein!
prisoners and how they were letted. ...........................................................................................?4>
4
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow a senator told to Lucius of their discomfiture and also of the !reat battle
between Arthur and Lucius. .........................................................................................................?4?
)1A#T30 /6 1ow Arthur after he had achieved the battle a!ainst the 0omans entered into
Almaine and so into /taly. ...........................................................................................................?49
)1A#T30 6. *f a battle done by Sir %awaine a!ainst a Saracen which after was yielden and
became )hristian. ........................................................................................................................?4.
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow the Saracens came out of a wood for to rescue their beasts and of a !reat
battle. ...........................................................................................................................................?4<
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Sir %awaine returned to :in! Arthur with his prisoners and how the :in!
won a city and how he was crowned 3mperor. ...........................................................................?47
B**: 8/ ..........................................................................................................................................?4=
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir Launcelot and Sir Lionel departed from the court and how Sir Lionel left
him sleepin! and was taken. ........................................................................................................?4=
)1A#T30 //. 1ow Sir 3ctor followed for to seek Sir Launcelot and how he was taken by Sir
TurAuine. ......................................................................................................................................?<?
)1A#T30 /// 1ow four Aueens found Launcelot sleepin! and how by enchantment he was
taken and led into a castle. ...........................................................................................................?<-
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Sir Launcelot was delivered by the mean of a damosel. ............................?<9
)1A#T30 8. 1ow a kni!ht found Sir Launcelot lyin! in his leman's bed and how Sir Launcelot
fou!ht with the kni!ht. .................................................................................................................?<.
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir Launcelot was received of :in! Ba!dema!us' dau!hter and how he
made his complaint to her father. .................................................................................................?<4
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow Sir Launcelot behaved him in a tournament and how he met with Sir
TurAuine leadin! Sir %aheris. ......................................................................................................?<7
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow Sir Launcelot and Sir TurAuine fou!ht to!ether. .....................................?<=
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow Sir TurAuine was slain and how Sir Launcelot bade Sir %aheris deliver all
the prisoners. ................................................................................................................................?7>
)1A#T30 6. 1ow Sir Launcelot rode with a damosel and slew a kni!ht that distressed all ladies
and also a villain that kept a brid!e. ............................................................................................?7?
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow Sir Launcelot slew two !iants and made a castle free. .............................?79
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Sir Launcelot rode dis!uised in Sir :ay's harness and how he smote down
a kni!ht. .......................................................................................................................................?74
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Sir Launcelot $ousted a!ainst four kni!hts of the 0ound Table and
overthrew them. ...........................................................................................................................?7<
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow Sir Launcelot followed a brachet into a castle where he found a dead
kni!ht and how he after was reAuired of a damosel to heal her .................................................?7@
)1A#T30 68. 1ow Sir Launcelot came into the )hapel #erilous and !at there of a dead corpse
a piece of the cloth and a sword. ..................................................................................................?7=
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow Sir Launcelot at the reAuest of a lady recovered a falcon by which he was
deceived. ......................................................................................................................................?@>
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow Sir Launcelot overtook a kni!ht which chased his wife to have slain her
and how he said to him. ...............................................................................................................?@-
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow Sir Launcelot came to :in! Arthur's )ourt and how there were
recounted all his noble feats and acts. .........................................................................................?@9
B**: 8// ........................................................................................................................................?@.
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Beaumains came to :in! Arthur's )ourt and demanded three petitions of
:in! Arthur. .................................................................................................................................?@.
<
)1A#T30 //. 1ow Sir Launcelot and Sir %awaine were wroth because Sir :ay mocked
Beaumains and of a damosel which desired a kni!ht to fi!ht for a ............................................?@<
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow Beaumains desired the battle and how it was !ranted to him and how he
desired to be made kni!ht of Sir Launcelot. ................................................................................?@@
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Beaumains departed and how he !at of Sir :ay a spear and a shield and
how he $ousted with Sir Launcelot. .............................................................................................?@@
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Beaumains told to Sir Launcelot his name and how he was dubbed kni!ht of
Sir Launcelot and after overtook the damosel. ...........................................................................?@=
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Beaumains fou!ht and slew two kni!hts at a passa!e. ..............................?=?
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow Beaumains fou!ht with the :ni!ht of the Black Launds and fou!ht with
him till he fell down and died. .....................................................................................................?=-
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow the brother of the kni!ht that was slain met with Beaumains and fou!ht
with Beaumains till he was yielden. ............................................................................................?=.
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow the damosel a!ain rebuked Beaumains and would not suffer him to sit at
her table but called him kitchen boy. ..........................................................................................?=4
)1A#T30 6. 1ow the third brother called the 0ed :ni!ht $ousted and fou!ht a!ainst
Beaumains and how Beaumains overcame him. ........................................................................?=<
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow Sir Beaumains suffered !reat rebukes of the damosel and he suffered it
patiently. .......................................................................................................................................?=@
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Beaumains fou!ht with Sir #ersant of /nde and made him to be yielden.
......................................................................................................................................................?==
)1A#T30 6///. *f the !oodly communication between Sir #ersant and Beaumains and how he
told him that his name was Sir %areth. ........................................................................................->?
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow the lady that was besie!ed had word from her sister how she had brou!ht a
kni!ht to fi!ht for her and what battles he had achieved. ...........................................................->-
)1A#T30 68. 1ow the damosel and Beaumains came to the sie!eC and came to a sycamore
tree and there Beaumains blew a horn and then the :ni!ht of the ............................................->.
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow the two kni!hts met to!ether and of their talkin! and how they be!an
their battle. ...................................................................................................................................->4
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow after lon! fi!htin! Beaumains overcame the kni!ht and would have slain
him but at the reAuest of the lords he saved his life and ............................................................-><
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow the kni!ht yielded him and how Beaumains made him to !o unto :in!
Arthur's court and to cry Sir Launcelot mercy. ...........................................................................->@
)1A#T30 6/6 1ow Beaumains came to the lady and when he came to the castle the !ates were
closed a!ainst him and of the words that the lady said to ..........................................................->=
)1A#T30 66. 1ow Sir Beaumains rode after to rescue his dwarf and came into the castle
where he was. ...............................................................................................................................-??
)1A#T30 66/. 1ow Sir %areth otherwise called Beaumains came to the presence of his lady
and how they took acAuaintance and of their love. ....................................................................-?9
)1A#T30 66//. 1ow at ni!ht came an armed kni!ht and fou!ht with Sir %areth and he sore
hurt in the thi!h smote off the kni!ht's head. ..............................................................................-?.
)1A#T30 66///. 1ow the said kni!ht came a!ain the ne't ni!ht and was beheaded a!ain and
how at the feast of #entecost all the kni!hts that Sir %areth .......................................................-?4
)1A#T30 66/8. 1ow :in! Arthur pardoned them and demanded of them where Sir %areth
was. ..............................................................................................................................................-?7
)1A#T30 668. 1ow the Bueen of *rkney came to this feast of #entecost and Sir %awaine
and his brethren came to ask her blessin!....................................................................................-?@
7
)1A#T30 668/. 1ow :in! Arthur sent for the Lady Lionesse and how she let cry a tourney at
her castle whereas came many kni!hts. ......................................................................................-?=
)1A#T30 668//. 1ow :in! Arthur went to the tournament with his kni!hts and how the lady
received him worshipfully and how the kni!hts encountered. ...................................................---
)1A#T30 668///. 1ow the kni!hts bare them in the battle. ...................................................--9
)1A#T30 66/6. Yet of the said tournament. ...........................................................................--4
)1A#T30 666. 1ow Sir %areth was espied by the heralds and how he escaped out of the
field. .............................................................................................................................................--<
)1A#T30 666/. 1ow Sir %areth came to a castle where he was well lod!ed and he $ousted
with a kni!ht and slew him. .........................................................................................................--7
)1A#T30 666//. 1ow Sir %areth fou!ht with a kni!ht that held within his castle thirty ladies
and how he slew him. ..................................................................................................................--=
)1A#T30 666///. 1ow Sir %areth and Sir %awaine fou!ht each a!ainst other and how they
knew each other by the damosel Linet. .......................................................................................-9>
)1A#T30 666/8. 1ow Sir %areth acknowled!ed that they loved each other to :in! Arthur
and of the appointment of their weddin!. ....................................................................................-9-
)1A#T30 6668. *f the %reat 0oyalty and what officers were made at the feast of the
weddin! and of the $ousts at the feast. ........................................................................................-99
B**: 8/// .......................................................................................................................................-94
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir Tristram de Liones was born and how his mother died at his birth
wherefore she named him Tristram. ............................................................................................-94
)1A#T30 //. 1ow the stepmother of Sir Tristram had ordained poison for to have poisoned Sir
Tristram. .......................................................................................................................................-9<
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow Sir Tristram was sent into &rance and had one to !overn him named
%ouvernail and how he learned to harp hawk and hunt. ..........................................................-9@
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Sir Marhaus came out of /reland for to ask trua!e of )ornwall or else he
would fi!ht therefore. ..................................................................................................................-9=
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Tristram enterpriDed the battle to fi!ht for the trua!e of )ornwall and how he
was made kni!ht. .........................................................................................................................-.>
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir Tristram arrived into the /sland for to furnish the battle with Sir
Marhaus. ......................................................................................................................................-.-
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow Sir Tristram fou!ht a!ainst Sir Marhaus and achieved his battle and how
Sir Marhaus fled to his ship. ........................................................................................................-.9
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow Sir Marhaus after that he was arrived in /reland died of the stroke that Sir
Tristram had !iven him and how Tristram was hurt. ..................................................................-..
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow Sir Tristram was put to the keepin! of La Beale /soud first for to be healed
of his wound. ...............................................................................................................................-.<
)1A#T30 6. 1ow Sir Tristram won the de!ree at a tournament in /reland and there made
#alamides to bear no more harness in a year. ..............................................................................-.7
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow the Aueen espied that Sir Tristram had slain her brother Sir Marhaus by his
sword and in what $eopardy he was. ...........................................................................................-.=
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Sir Tristram departed from the kin! and La Beale /soud out of /reland for
to come into )ornwall. ................................................................................................................-4>
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Sir Tristram and :in! Mark hurted each other for the love of a kni!ht's
wife. .............................................................................................................................................-4-
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow Sir Tristram lay with the lady and how her husband fou!ht with Sir
Tristram. .......................................................................................................................................-49
@
)1A#T30 68. 1ow Sir Bleoberis demanded the fairest lady in :in! Mark's court whom he
took away and how he was fou!ht with. .....................................................................................-4.
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow Sir Tristram fou!ht with two kni!hts of the 0ound Table. .....................-44
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow Sir Tristram fou!ht with Sir Bleoberis for a lady and how the lady was
put to choice to whom she would !o. ..........................................................................................-47
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow the lady forsook Sir Tristram and abode with Sir Bleoberis and how she
desired to !o to her husband. .......................................................................................................-4@
)1A#T30 6/6. 1ow :in! Mark sent Sir Tristram for La Beale /soud toward /reland and how
by fortune he arrived into 3n!land. .............................................................................................-4=
)1A#T30 66. 1ow :in! An!uish of /reland was summoned to come to :in! Arthur's court for
treason. .........................................................................................................................................-<>
)1A#T30 66/. 1ow Sir Tristram rescued a child from a kni!ht and how %ouvernail told him
of :in! An!uish. ..........................................................................................................................-<?
)1A#T30 66//. 1ow Sir Tristram fou!ht for Sir An!uish and overcame his adversary and how
his adversary would never yield him. ..........................................................................................-<-
)1A#T30 66///. 1ow Sir Blamore desired Tristram to slay him and how Sir Tristram spared
him and how they took appointment. .........................................................................................-<.
)1A#T30 66/8. 1ow Sir Tristram demanded La Beale /soud for :in! Mark and how Sir
Tristram and /soud drank the love drink. .....................................................................................-<4
)1A#T30 668. 1ow Sir Tristram and /soud were in prison and how he fou!ht for her beauty
and smote of another lady's head. ................................................................................................-<<
)1A#T30 668/. 1ow Sir Tristram fou!ht with Sir Breunor and at the last smote off his head.
......................................................................................................................................................-<@
)1A#T30 668//. 1ow Sir %alahad fou!ht with Sir Tristram and how Sir Tristram yielded him
and promised to fellowship with Launcelot. ................................................................................-<=
)1A#T30 668///. 1ow Sir Launcelot met with Sir )arados bearin! away Sir %awaine and of
the rescue of Sir %awaine. ...........................................................................................................-7>
)1A#T30 66/6. *f the weddin! of :in! Mark to La Beale /soud and of Bra!waine her maid
and of #alamides. .........................................................................................................................-7?
)1A#T30 666. 1ow #alamides demanded Bueen /soud and how Lambe!us rode after to
rescue her and of the escape of /soud. ........................................................................................-7-
)1A#T30 666/. 1ow Sir Tristram rode after #alamides and how he found him and fou!ht
with him and by the means of /soud the battle ceased. ..............................................................-7.
)1A#T30 666//. 1ow Sir Tristram brou!ht Bueen /soud home and of the debate of :in!
Mark and Sir Tristram. .................................................................................................................-74
)1A#T30 666///. 1ow Sir Lamorak $ousted with thirty kni!hts and Sir Tristram at the reAuest
of :in! Mark smote his horse down. ...........................................................................................-7<
)1A#T30 666/8. 1ow Sir Lamorak sent an horn to :in! Mark in despite of Sir Tristram and
how Sir Tristram was driven into a chapel. .................................................................................-7@
)1A#T30 6668. 1ow Sir Tristram was holpen by his men and of Bueen /soud which was put
in a laDar"cote and how Tristram was hurt. .................................................................................-7=
)1A#T30 6668/. 1ow Sir Tristram served in war :in! 1owel of Brittany and slew his
adversary in the field. ..................................................................................................................-@?
)1A#T30 6668//. 1ow Sir Suppinabiles told Sir Tristram how he was defamed in the court of
:in! Arthur and of Sir Lamorak. ................................................................................................-@-
)1A#T30 6668///. 1ow Sir Tristram and his wife arrived in 5ales and how he met there
with Sir Lamorak. ........................................................................................................................-@9
=
)1A#T30 666/6. 1ow Sir Tristram fou!ht with Sir 2abon and overcame him and made Sir
Se!warides lord of the isle. ..........................................................................................................-@.
)1A#T30 6L .............................................................................................................................-@<
1ow Sir Lamorak departed from Sir Tristram and how he met with Sir &rol and after with Sir
Launcelot. ................................................................................................................................-@<
)1A#T30 6L/. 1ow Sir Lamorak slew Sir &rol and of the courteous fi!htin! with Sir Belliance
his brother. ...................................................................................................................................-@@
B**: /6 .........................................................................................................................................-@=
)1A#T30 /. 1ow a youn! man came into the court of :in! Arthur and how Sir :ay called him
in scorn La )ote Male Taile. ........................................................................................................-@=
)1A#T30 //. 1ow a damosel came into the court and desired a kni!ht to take on him an
enAuest which La )ote Male Taile emprised. .............................................................................-=?
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow La )ote Male Taile overthrew Sir (a!onet the kin!'s fool and of the rebuke
that he had of the damosel. ..........................................................................................................-=-
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow La )ote Male Taile fou!ht a!ainst an hundred kni!hts and how he escaped
by the mean of a lady. ..................................................................................................................-=9
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Sir Launcelot came to the court and heard of La )ote Male Taile and how he
followed after him and how La )ote Male Taile was prisoner....................................................-=4
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir Launcelot fou!ht with si' kni!hts and after with Sir Brian and how he
delivered the prisoners. ................................................................................................................-=<
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow Sir Launcelot met with the damosel named Male disant and named her the
(amosel Bienpensant. .................................................................................................................-=7
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow La )ote Male Taile was taken prisoner and after rescued by Sir Launcelot
and how Sir Launcelot overcame four brethren. .........................................................................-==
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow Sir Launcelot made La )ote Male Taile lord of the )astle of #endra!on and
after was made kni!ht of the 0ound Table. .................................................................................9>?
)1A#T30 6. 1ow La Beale /soud sent letters to Sir Tristram by her maid Bra!waine and of
divers adventures of Sir Tristram. ................................................................................................9>-
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow Sir Tristram met with Sir Lamorak de %alis and how they fou!ht and after
accorded never to fi!ht to!ether. .................................................................................................9>9
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Sir #alomides followed the Buestin! Beast and smote down Sir Tristram
and Sir Lamorak with one spear. .................................................................................................9>.
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Sir Lamorak met with Sir Melia!aunce and fou!ht to!ether for the beauty
of (ame %uenever. ......................................................................................................................9>4
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow Sir Melia!aunce told for what cause they fou!ht and how Sir Lamorak
$ousted with :in! Arthur. ............................................................................................................9><
)1A#T30 68. 1ow Sir :ay met with Sir Tristram and after of the shame spoken of the kni!hts
of )ornwall and how they $ousted. .............................................................................................9>7
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow :in! Arthur was brou!ht into the &orest #erilous and how Sir Tristram
saved his life. ...............................................................................................................................9>@
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow Sir Tristram came to La Beale /soud and how :ehydius be!an to love
Beale /soud and of a letter that Tristram found. .........................................................................9?>
)1A#T30 6/6. 1ow Sir Tristram soused (a!onet in a well and how #alomides sent a damosel
to seek Tristram and how #alomides met with :in! Mark. .......................................................9?-
)1A#T30 66. 1ow it was noised how Sir Tristram was dead and how La Beale /soud would
have slain herself. ........................................................................................................................9?.
)1A#T30 66/. 1ow :in! Mark found Sir Tristram naked and made him to be borne home to
?>
Tinta!il and how he was there known by a brachet. ...................................................................9?4
)1A#T30 66//. 1ow :in! Mark by the advice of his council banished Sir Tristram out of
)ornwall the term of ten years. ....................................................................................................9?<
)1A#T30 66///. 1ow a damosel sou!ht help to help Sir Launcelot a!ainst thirty kni!hts and
how Sir Tristram fou!ht with them. .............................................................................................9?@
)1A#T30 66/8. 1ow Sir Tristram and Sir (inadan came to a lod!in! where they must $oust
with two kni!hts. .........................................................................................................................9?=
)1A#T30 668. 1ow Sir Tristram $ousted with Sir :ay and Sir Sa!ramore le (esirous and
how Sir %awaine turned Sir Tristram from Mor!an le &ay. ........................................................9-?
)1A#T30 668/. 1ow Sir Tristram and Sir %awaine rode to have fou!hten with the thirty
kni!hts but they durst not come out. ...........................................................................................9--
)1A#T30 668//. 1ow damosel Bra!waine found Tristram sleepin! by a well and how she
delivered letters to him from La Beale /soud. .............................................................................9-.
)1A#T30 668///. 1ow Sir Tristram had a fall with Sir #alomides and how Launcelot
overthrew two kni!hts. ................................................................................................................9-4
)1A#T30 66/6. 1ow Sir Launcelot $ousted with #alomides and overthrew him and after he
was assailed with twelve kni!hts. ................................................................................................9-<
)1A#T30 666. 1ow Sir Tristram behaved him the first day of the tournament and there he
had the priDe. ................................................................................................................................9-7
)1A#T30 666/. 1ow Sir Tristram returned a!ainst :in! Arthur's party because he saw Sir
#alomides on that party. ...............................................................................................................9-@
)1A#T30 666//. 1ow Sir Tristram found #alomides by a well and brou!ht him with him to
his lod!in!. ..................................................................................................................................99>
)1A#T30 666///. 1ow Sir Tristram smote down Sir #alomides and how he $ousted with :in!
Arthur and other feats. ................................................................................................................99-
)1A#T30 666/8. 1ow Sir Launcelot hurt Sir Tristram and how after Sir Tristram smote down
Sir #alomides. ..............................................................................................................................999
)1A#T30 6668. 1ow the priDe of the third day was !iven to Sir Launcelot and Sir Launcelot
!ave it to Sir Tristram. .................................................................................................................994
)1A#T30 6668/. 1ow #alomides came to the castle where Sir Tristram was and of the Auest
that Sir Launcelot and ten kni!hts made for Sir Tristram. ...........................................................99<
)1A#T30 6668//. 1ow Sir Tristram Sir #alomides and Sir (inadan were taken and put in
prison. ..........................................................................................................................................99@
)1A#T30 6668///. 1ow :in! Mark was sorry for the !ood renown of Sir Tristram. Some of
:in! Arthur's kni!hts $ousted with kni!hts of )ornwall. ............................................................99=
)1A#T30 666/6. *f the treason of :in! Mark and how Sir %aheris smote him down and
Andred his cousin. .......................................................................................................................9.?
)1A#T30 6L. 1ow after that Sir Tristram Sir #alomides and Sir (inadan had been lon! in
prison they were delivered. ..........................................................................................................9.9
)1A#T30 6L/. 1ow Sir (inadan rescued a lady from Sir Breuse Saunce #ite and how Sir
Tristram received a shield of Mor!an le &ay. ..............................................................................9.4
)1A#T30 6L//. 1ow Sir Tristram took with him the shield and also how he slew the paramour
of Mor!an le &ay. .........................................................................................................................9.<
)1A#T30 6L///. 1ow Mor!an le &ay buried her paramour and how Sir Tristram praised Sir
Launcelot and his kin. ..................................................................................................................9.7
)1A#T30 6L/8. 1ow Sir Tristram at a tournament bare the shield that Mor!an le &ay delivered
to him. ..........................................................................................................................................9.@
??
%L*SSA0Y.................................................................................................................................9.=
8olume //+...............................................................................................................................................97>
B**: 6 ...........................................................................................................................................97?
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir Tristram $ousted and smote down :in! Arthur because he told him not
the cause why he bare that shield. ...............................................................................................97?
)1A#T30 //. 1ow Sir Tristram saved Sir #alomides' life and how they promised to fi!ht
to!ether within a fortni!ht. ..........................................................................................................97-
)1A#T30 /// ..............................................................................................................................97.
1ow Sir Tristram sou!ht a stron! kni!ht that had smitten him down and many other kni!hts
of the 0ound Table. .................................................................................................................97.
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Sir Tristram smote down Sir Sa!ramore le (esirous and Sir (odinas le
Sava!e. .........................................................................................................................................97<
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Sir Tristram met at the peron with Sir Launcelot and how they fou!ht
to!ether unknown. .......................................................................................................................977
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir Launcelot brou!ht Sir Tristram to the court and of the !reat $oy that the
kin! and other made for the comin! of Sir Tristram. ..................................................................97@
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow for the despite of Sir Tristram :in! Mark came with two kni!hts into
3n!land and how he slew one of the kni!hts. ............................................................................9@>
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow :in! Mark came to a fountain where he found Sir Lamorak complainin!
for the love of :in! Lot's wife. ....................................................................................................9@?
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow :in! Mark Sir Lamorak and Sir (inadan came to a castle and how :in!
Mark was known there. ................................................................................................................9@9
)1A#T30 6. 1ow Sir Berluse met with :in! Mark and how Sir (inadan took his part. .......9@.
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow :in! Mark mocked Sir (inadan and how they met with si' kni!hts of the
0ound Table. ................................................................................................................................9@4
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow the si' kni!hts sent Sir (a!onet to $oust with :in! Mark and how :in!
Mark refused him. ........................................................................................................................9@<
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Sir #alomides by adventure met :in! Mark flyin! and how he overthrew
(a!onet and other kni!hts. ..........................................................................................................9@7
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow :in! Mark and Sir (inadan heard Sir #alomides makin! !reat sorrow and
mournin! for La Beale /soud. ......................................................................................................9@=
)1A#T30 68. 1ow :in! Mark had slain Sir Amant wron!fully to"fore :in! Arthur and Sir
Launcelot fetched :in! Mark to :in! Arthur. .............................................................................9=>
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow Sir (inadan told Sir #alomides of the battle between Sir Launcelot and Sir
Tristam. ........................................................................................................................................9=-
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow Sir Lamorak $ousted with divers kni!hts of the castle wherein was
Mor!an le &ay. .............................................................................................................................9=9
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow Sir #alomides would have $ousted for Sir Lamorak with the kni!hts of
the castle. .....................................................................................................................................9=.
)1A#T30 6/6. 1ow Sir Lamorak $ousted with Sir #alomides and hurt him !rievously. .......9=<
)1A#T30 66. 1ow it was told Sir Launcelot that (a!onet chased :in! Mark and how a
kni!ht overthrew him and si' kni!hts. ........................................................................................9=7
)1A#T30 66/. 1ow :in! Arthur let do cry a $ousts and how Sir Lamorak came in and
overthrew Sir %awaine and many other. ......................................................................................9==
)1A#T30 66//. 1ow :in! Arthur made :in! Mark to be accorded with Sir Tristram and how
they departed toward )ornwall. ....................................................................................................>?
)1A#T30 66///. 1ow Sir #ercivale was made kni!ht of :in! Arthur and how a dumb maid
?-
spake and brou!ht him to the 0ound Table. ................................................................................>-
)1A#T30 66/8. 1ow Sir Lamorak visited :in! Lot's wife and how Sir %aheris slew her
which was his own mother. ...........................................................................................................>9
)1A#T30 668. 1ow Sir A!ravaine and Sir Mordred met with a kni!ht fleein! and how they
both were overthrown and of Sir (inadan. ..................................................................................>.
)1A#T30 668/. 1ow :in! Arthur the Bueen and Launcelot received letters out of )ornwall
and of the answer a!ain. ...............................................................................................................><
)1A#T30 668//. 1ow Sir Launcelot was wroth with the letter that he received from :in!
Mark and of (inadan which made a lay of :in! Mark. ..............................................................>7
)1A#T30 668///. 1ow Sir Tristram was hurt and of a war made to :in! MarkC and of Sir
Tristram how he promised to rescue him. .....................................................................................>@
)1A#T30 66/6. 1ow Sir Tristram overcame the battle and how 3lias desired a man to fi!ht
body for body. ...............................................................................................................................>=
)1A#T30 66/. 1ow Sir 3lias and Sir Tristram fou!ht to!ether for the trua!e and how Sir
Tristram slew 3lias in the field. ....................................................................................................??
)1A#T30 666/. 1ow at a !reat feast that :in! Mark made an harper came and san! the lay
that (inadan had made. ................................................................................................................?9
)1A#T30 666//. 1ow :in! Mark slew by treason his brother Boudwin for !ood service that
he had done to him. .......................................................................................................................?.
)1A#T30 666///. 1ow An!lides Boudwin's wife escaped with her youn! son Alisander le
*rphelin and came to the )astle of Arundel. ...............................................................................?4
)1A#T30 666/8. 1ow An!lides !ave the bloody doublet to Alisander her son the same day
that he was made kni!ht and the char!e withal. ..........................................................................?<
)1A#T30 6668. 1ow it was told to :in! Mark of Sir Alisander and how he would have slain
Sir Sadok for savin! his life. ........................................................................................................?7
)1A#T30 6668/. 1ow Sir Alisander won the priDe at a tournament and of Mor!an le &ay+
and how he fou!ht with Sir Mal!rin and slew him. ....................................................................?@
)1A#T30 6668//. 1ow Bueen Mor!an le &ay had Alisander in her castle and how she healed
his wounds. ...................................................................................................................................->
)1A#T30 6668///. 1ow Alisander was delivered from Bueen Mor!an le &ay by the means of
a damosel. .....................................................................................................................................-?
)1A#T30 666/6. 1ow Alisander met with Alice la Beale #il!rim and how he $ousted with
two kni!htsC and after of him and of Sir Mordred. .......................................................................-9
)1A#T30 6L. 1ow Sir %alahalt did do cry a $ousts in Surluse and Bueen %uenever's kni!hts
should $oust a!ainst all that would come. .....................................................................................-.
)1A#T30 6L/. 1ow Sir Launcelot fou!ht in the tournament and how Sir #alomides did arms
there for a damosel. .......................................................................................................................-4
)1A#T30 6L//. 1ow Sir %alahalt and #alomides fou!ht to!ether and of Sir (inadan and Sir
%alahalt. ........................................................................................................................................-7
)1A#T30 6L///. 1ow Sir Archade appealed Sir #alomides of treason and how Sir #alomides
slew him. .......................................................................................................................................-@
)1A#T30 6L/8. *f the third day and how Sir #alomides $ousted with Sir Lamorak and other
thin!s. ...........................................................................................................................................-=
)1A#T30 6L8. *f the fourth day and of many !reat feats of arms. .........................................9>
)1A#T30 6L8/. *f the &ifth day and how Sir Lamorak behaved him. ...................................9?
)1A#T30 6L8//. 1ow Sir #alomides fou!ht with )orsabrin for a lady and how #alomides
slew )orsabrin. .............................................................................................................................99
?9
)1A#T30 6L8///. *f the si'th day and what then was done. ..................................................9.
)1A#T30 6L/6. *f the seventh battle and how Sir Launcelot bein! dis!uised like a maid
smote down Sir (inadan. ..............................................................................................................94
)1A#T30 L. 1ow by treason Sir Tristram was brou!ht to a tournament for to have been slain
and how he was put in prison. ......................................................................................................97
)1A#T30 L/. 1ow :in! Mark let do counterfeit letters from the #ope and how Sir #ercivale
delivered Sir Tristram out of prison. .............................................................................................9@
)1A#T30 L//. 1ow Sir Tristram and La Beale /soud came unto 3n!land and how Sir Launcelot
brou!ht them to Eoyous %ard. ........................................................................................................?
)1A#T30 L///. 1ow by the counsel of La Beale /soud Sir Tristram rode armed and how he met
with Sir #alomides. ........................................................................................................................-
)1A#T30 L/8. *f Sir #alomides and how he met with Sir Bleoberis and with Sir 3ctor and of
Sir #ervivale. .................................................................................................................................4
)1A#T30 L8. 1ow Sir Tristram met with Sir (inadan and of their devices and what he said to
Sir %awaine's brethren. ..................................................................................................................<
)1A#T30 L8/. 1ow Sir Tristram smote down Sir A!ravaine and Sir %aheris and how Sir
(inadan was sent for by La Beale /soud. ......................................................................................@
)1A#T30 L8//. 1ow Sir (inadan met with Sir Tristram and with $oustin! with Sir #alomides
Sir (inadan knew him. ..................................................................................................................=
)1A#T30 L8///. 1ow they approached the )astle LonaDep and of other devices of the death of
Sir Lamorak. .................................................................................................................................4?
)1A#T30 L/6. 1ow they came to 1umber bank and how they found a ship there wherein lay
the body of :in! 1ermance. .........................................................................................................49
)1A#T30 L6. 1ow Sir Tristram with his fellowship came and were with an host which after
fou!ht with Sir TristramC and other matters. .................................................................................4.
)1A#T30 L6/. 1ow #alomides went for to fi!ht with two brethren for the death of :in!
1ermance. .....................................................................................................................................4<
)1A#T30 L6//. The copy of the letter written for to reven!e the kin!'s death and how Sir
#alomides fou!ht for to have the battle. .......................................................................................4@
)1A#T30 L6///. *f the preparation of Sir #alomides and the two brethren that should fi!ht
with him. .......................................................................................................................................4=
)1A#T30 L6/8. *f the battle between Sir #alomides and the two brethren and how the two
brethren were slain. .......................................................................................................................<?
)1A#T30 L68. 1ow Sir Tristram and Sir #alomides met Breuse Saunce #itF and how Sir
Tristram and La Beale /soud went unto LonaDep. ........................................................................<-
)1A#T30 L68/. 1ow Sir #alomides $ousted with Sir %alihodin and after with Sir %awaine
and smote them down. ..................................................................................................................<.
)1A#T30 L68//. 1ow Sir Tristram and his fellowship came into the tournament of LonaDepC
and of divers $ousts and matters. ...................................................................................................<<
)1A#T30 L68///. 1ow Sir Tristram and his fellowship $ousted and of the noble feats that they
did in that tourneyin!. ...................................................................................................................<7
)1A#T30 L6/6. 1ow Sir Tristram was unhorsed and smitten down by Sir Launcelot and after
that Sir Tristram smote down :in! Arthur. ..................................................................................<=
)1A#T30 L66. 1ow Sir Tristram chan!ed his harness and it was all red and how he demeaned
him and how Sir #alomides slew Launcelot's horse. ...................................................................7>
)1A#T30 L66/. 1ow Sir Launcelot said to Sir #alomides and how the priDe of that day was
!iven unto Sir #alomides. .............................................................................................................7-
?.
)1A#T30 L66//. 1ow Sir (inadan provoked Sir Tristram to do well. ....................................7.
)1A#T30 L66///. 1ow :in! Arthur and Sir Lancelot came to see La Beale /soud and how
#alomides smote down :in! Arthur. ............................................................................................7.
)1A#T30 L66/8. 1ow the second day #alomides forsook Sir Tristram and went to the
contrary part a!ainst him. .............................................................................................................7<
)1A#T30 L668. 1ow Sir Tristram departed of the field and awaked Sir (inadan and chan!ed
his array into black. .......................................................................................................................7@
)1A#T30 L668/. 1ow Sir #alomides chan!ed his shield and his armour for to hurt Sir
Tristram and how Sir Launcelot did to Sir Tristram. ...................................................................7=
)1A#T30 L668//. 1ow Sir Tristram departed with La Beale /soud and how #alomides
followed and e'cused him. ...........................................................................................................@-
)1A#T30 L668///. 1ow :in! Arthur and Sir Launcelot came unto their pavilions as they sat
at supper and of Sir #alomides. ...................................................................................................@9
)1A#T30 L66/6. 1ow Sir Tristram and Sir #alomides did the ne't day and how :in! Arthur
was unhorsed. ...............................................................................................................................@4
)1A#T30 L666. 1ow Sir Tristram turned to :in! Arthur's side and how #alomides would
not. ................................................................................................................................................@<
)1A#T30 L666/. 1ow Sir Bleoberis and Sir 3ctor reported to Bueen %uenever of the beauty
of La Beale /soud. .........................................................................................................................@@
)1A#T30 L666//. 1ow 3pino!ris complained by a well and how Sir #alomides came and
found him and of their both sorrowin!. .......................................................................................@=
)1A#T30 L666///. 1ow Sir #alomides brou!ht Sir 3pino!ris his ladyC and how Sir #alomides
and Sir Safere were assailed. ........................................................................................................=>
)1A#T30 L666/8. 1ow Sir #alomides and Sir Safere conducted Sir 3pino!ris to his castle
and of other adventures. ................................................................................................................=-
)1A#T30 L6668. 1ow Sir Tristram made him ready to rescue Sir #alomides but Sir
Launcelot rescued him or he came. ..............................................................................................=9
)1A#T30 L6668/. 1ow Sir Tristram and Launcelot with #alomides came to $oyous %ardC
and of #alomides and Sir Tristram. ..............................................................................................=4
)1A#T30 L6668//. 1ow there was a day set between Sir Tristram and Sir #alomides for to
fi!ht and how Sir Tristram was hurt. ...........................................................................................=7
)1A#T30 L6668///. 1ow Sir #alomides kept his day to have fou!hten but Sir Tristram mi!ht
not comeC and other thin!s. ...........................................................................................................=@
B**: 6/ ..........................................................................................................................................==
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir Launcelot rode on his adventure and how he holp a dolorous lady from
her pain and how that he fou!ht with a dra!on. ..........................................................................==
)1A#T30 //. 1ow Sir Launcelot came to #elles and of the San!real and of 3laine :in! #elles'
dau!hter. ......................................................................................................................................4>?
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow Sir Launcelot was displeased when he knew that he had lain by (ame
3laine and how she was delivered of %alahad. ..........................................................................4>-
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Sir Bors came to (ame 3laine and saw %alahad and how he was fed with
the San!real. ................................................................................................................................4>.
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Sir Bors made Sir #edivere to yield him and of marvellous adventures that
he had and how he achieved them. .............................................................................................4><
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir Bors departedC and how Sir Launcelot was rebuked of Bueen %uenever
and of his e'cuse. .........................................................................................................................4>7
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow (ame 3laine %alahad's mother came in !reat estate unto )amelot and
?4
how Sir Launcelot behaved him there. ........................................................................................4>@
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow (ame Brisen by enchantment brou!ht Sir Launcelot to (ame 3laine's bed
and how Bueen %uenever rebuked him. ......................................................................................4>=
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow (ame 3laine was commanded by Bueen %uenever to avoid the court and
how Sir Launcelot became mad. ..................................................................................................4?>
)1A#T30 6. 5hat sorrow Bueen %uenever made for Sir Launcelot and how he was sou!ht by
kni!hts of his kin. .........................................................................................................................4??
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow a servant of Sir A!lovale's was slain and what ven!eance Sir A!lovale and
Sir #ercivale did therefore. ..........................................................................................................4?9
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Sir #ervivale departed secretly from his brother and how he loosed a
kni!ht bound with a chain and of other doin!s. ..........................................................................4?.
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Sir #ercivale met with Sir 3ctor and how they fou!ht lon! and each had
almost slain other. ........................................................................................................................4?<
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow by miracle they were both made whole by the comin! of the holy vessel of
San!real. ......................................................................................................................................4?7
B**: 6// ........................................................................................................................................4?@
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir Launcelot in his madness took a sword and fou!ht with a kni!ht and leapt
in a bed. ........................................................................................................................................4?@
)1A#T30 //. 1ow Sir Lancelot was carried in an horse litter and how Sir Launcelot rescued Sir
Bliant his host. ............................................................................................................................4?=
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow Sir Launcelot fou!ht a!ainst a boar and slew him and how he was hurt and
brou!ht unto an hermita!e. ..........................................................................................................4-?
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Sir Launcelot was known by (ame 3laine and was borne into a chamber
and after healed by the San!real. .................................................................................................4--
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Sir Launcelot after that he was whole and had his mind he was ashamed
and how that 3laine desired a castle for him. ..............................................................................4-9
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir Launcelot came into the $oyous /sle and there he named himself Le
)hevaler Mal &et. ........................................................................................................................4-.
)1A#T30 8//. *f a !reat tourneyin! in the Eoyous /sle and how Sir #ervivale and Sir 3ctor
came thither and Sir #ercivale fou!ht with him. ........................................................................4-4
)1A#T30 8/l/. 1ow each of them knew other and of their !reat courtesy and how his brother
Sir 3ctor came unto him and of their $oy. ...................................................................................4-7
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow Sir Bors and Sir Lionel came to :in! Brande!ore and how Sir Bors took
his son 1elin le Blank and of Sir Launcelot. ..............................................................................4-7
)1A#T30 6. 1ow Sir Launcelot with Sir #ercivale and Sir 3ctor came to the court and of the
!reat $oy of him. ...........................................................................................................................4-=
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow La Beale /soud counselled Sir Tristram to !o unto the court to the !reat
feast of #entecost. ........................................................................................................................4-=
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Sir Tristram departed unarmed and met with Sir #alomides and how they
smote each other and how Sir #alomides forbare him. ...............................................................49>
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow that Sir Tristram !at him harness of a kni!ht which was hurt and how he
overthrew Sir #alomides. .............................................................................................................49-
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow Sir Tristram and Sir #alomides fou!ht lon! to!ether and after accorded
and how Sir Tristram made him to be christened. .......................................................................499
B**: 6/// .......................................................................................................................................49.
)1A#T30 /. 1ow at the vi!il of the &east of #entecost entered into the hall before :in! Arthur a
damosel and desired Sir Launcelot for to come and ...................................................................494
?<
)1A#T30 //. 1ow the letters were found written in the Sie!e #erilous and of the marvellous
adventure of the sword in a stone. ...............................................................................................49<
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow Sir %awaine assayed to draw out the sword and how an old man brou!ht in
%alahad. .......................................................................................................................................497
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow the old man brou!ht %alahad to the Sie!e #erilous and set him therein and
how all the kni!hts marvelled. .....................................................................................................49@
)1A#T30 8. 1ow :in! Arthur shewed the stone hovin! on the water to %alahad and how he
drew out the sword. ......................................................................................................................49=
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow :in! Arthur had all the kni!hts to!ether for to $oust in the meadow beside
)amelot or they departed. ............................................................................................................4.>
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow the Aueen desired to see %alahadC and how after all the kni!hts were
replenished with the 1oly San!real and how they avowed the ..................................................4.?
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow !reat sorrow was made of the kin! and the Aueen and ladies for the
departin! of the kni!hts and how they departed. ........................................................................4.9
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow %alahad !at him a shield and how they sped that presumed to take down
the said shield. .............................................................................................................................4.4
)1A#T30 6. 1ow %alahad departed with the shield and how :in! 3velake had received the
shield of Eoseph of Aramathie. .....................................................................................................4.<
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow Eoseph made a cross on the white shield with his blood and how %alahad
was by a monk brou!ht to a tomb. ...............................................................................................4.7
)1A#T30 6//. *f the marvel that Sir %alahad saw and heard in the tomb and how he made
Melias kni!ht. ..............................................................................................................................4.@
)1A#T30 6///. *f the adventure that Melias had and how %alahad reven!ed him and how
Melias was carried into an abbey. ................................................................................................4.=
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow Sir %alahad departed and how he was commanded to !o to the )astle of
Maidens to destroy the wicked custom. .......................................................................................44?
)1A#T30 68. 1ow Sir %alahad fou!ht with the kni!hts of the castle and destroyed the wicked
custom. .........................................................................................................................................44-
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow Sir %awaine came to the abbey for to follow %alahad and how he was
shriven to a hermit. ......................................................................................................................44.
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow Sir %alahad met with Sir Launcelot and Sir #ercivale and smote them
down and departed from them. ...................................................................................................444
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow Sir Launcelot half sleepin! and half wakin! saw a sick man borne in a
litter and how he was healed with the San!real. .........................................................................44<
)1A#T30 6/6. 1ow a voice spake to Sir Launcelot and how he found his horse and his helm
borne away and after went afoot. ................................................................................................447
)1A#T30 66. 1ow Sir Launcelot was shriven and what sorrow he made and of the !ood
ensamples which were shewed him. ............................................................................................44=
B**: 6/8 .......................................................................................................................................4<>
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir #ercivale came to a recluse and asked counsel and how she told him that
she was his aunt. ..........................................................................................................................4<>
)1A#T30 //. 1ow Merlin likened the 0ound Table to the world and how the kni!hts that
should achieve the San!real should be known. ...........................................................................4<?
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow Sir #ercivale came into a monastery where he found :in! 3velake which
was an old man. ...........................................................................................................................4<-
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Sir #ercivale saw many men of arms bearin! a dead kni!ht and how he
fou!ht a!ainst them. .....................................................................................................................4<9
?7
)1A#T30 8. 1ow a yeoman desired him to !et a!ain an horse and how Sir #ercivale's hackney
was slain and how he !at an horse. .............................................................................................4<4
)1A#T30 8/. *f the !reat dan!er that Sir #ercivale was in by his horse and how he saw a
serpent and a lion fi!ht. ...............................................................................................................4<<
)1A#T30 8//. *f the vision that Sir #ercivale saw and how his vision was e'pounded and of
his lion. ........................................................................................................................................4<7
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow Sir #ercivale saw a ship comin! to him"ward and how the lady of the ship
told him of her disheritance. ........................................................................................................4<@
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow Sir #ercivale promised her help and how he reAuired her of love and how
he was saved from the fiend. .......................................................................................................47>
)1A#T30 6. 1ow Sir #ercivale for penance rove himself throu!h the thi!hC and how she was
known for the devil. .....................................................................................................................47?
B**: 68 ........................................................................................................................................47-
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir Launcelot came to a chapel where he found dead in a white shirt a man
of reli!ion of an hundred winter old. ..........................................................................................47-
)1A#T30 //. *f a dead man how men would have hewn him and it would not be and how Sir
Launcelot took the hair of the dead man. ....................................................................................479
)1A#T30 ///. *f an advision that Sir Launcelot had and how he told it to an hermit and desired
counsel of him. .............................................................................................................................47.
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow the hermit e'pounded to Sir Launcelot his advision and told him that Sir
%alahad was his son. ....................................................................................................................474
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Sir Launcelot $ousted with many kni!hts and how he was taken. ..............47<
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir Launcelot told his advision to a woman and how she e'pounded it to
him. ..............................................................................................................................................477
B**: 68/ .......................................................................................................................................47=
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir %awaine was ni!h weary of the Auest of the San!real and of his
marvellous dream. ........................................................................................................................47=
)1A#T30 //. *f the advision of Sir 3ctor and how he $ousted with Sir ;waine les Avoutres his
sworn brother. ..............................................................................................................................4@>
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow Sir %awaine and Sir 3ctor came to an hermita!e to be confessed and how
they told to the hermit their advisions. ........................................................................................4@-
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow the hermit e'pounded their advision. .........................................................4@9
)1A#T30 8. *f the !ood counsel that the hermit !ave to them. ..............................................4@.
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir Bors met with an hermit and how he was confessed to him and of his
penance en$oined to him. .............................................................................................................4@4
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow Sir Bors was lod!ed with a lady and how he took upon him for to fi!ht
a!ainst a champion for her land. ..................................................................................................4@<
)1A#T30 8///. *f an advision which Sir Bors had that ni!ht and how he fou!ht and overcame
his adversary. ...............................................................................................................................4@7
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow the lady was returned to her lands by the battle of Sir Bors and of his
departin! and how he met Sir Lionel taken and beaten with ......................................................4@=
)1A#T30 6. 1ow Sir Bors left to rescue his brother and rescued the damoselC and how it was
told him that Lionel was dead. .....................................................................................................4=>
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow Sir Bors told his dream to a priest which he had dreamed and of the
counsel that the priest !ave to him. .............................................................................................4=?
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow the devil in a woman's likeness would have had Sir Bors to have lain by
her and how by %od's !race he escaped. ....................................................................................4=-
?@
)1A#T30 6///. *f the holy communication of an Abbot to Sir Bors and how the Abbot
counselled him. ............................................................................................................................4=9
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow Sir Bors met with his brother Sir Lionel and how Sir Lionel would have
slain Sir Bors. ..............................................................................................................................4=4
)1A#T30 68. 1ow Sir )ol!revance fou!ht a!ainst Sir Lionel for to save Sir Bors and how the
hermit was slain. ..........................................................................................................................4=<
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow Sir Lionel slew Sir )ol!revance and how after he would have slain Sir
Bors. .............................................................................................................................................4=7
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow there came a voice which char!ed Sir Bors to touch him not and of a
cloud that came between them. ....................................................................................................4=@
B**: 68// .....................................................................................................................................4==
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir %alahad fou!ht at a tournament and how he was known of Sir %awaine
and Sir 3ctor de Maris. ................................................................................................................4==
)1A#T30 //. 1ow Sir %alahad rode with a damosel and came to the ship whereas Sir Bors and
Sir #ercivale were in. ...................................................................................................................<>?
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow Sir %alahad entered into the ship and of a fair bed therein with other
marvellous thin!s and of a sword. ..............................................................................................<>-
)1A#T30 /8. *f the marvels of the sword and of the scabbard. ..............................................<>9
)1A#T30 8. 1ow :in! #elles was smitten throu!h both thi!hs because he drew the sword and
other marvellous histories. ...........................................................................................................<>4
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Solomon took (avid's sword by the counsel of his wife and of other
matters marvellous. ......................................................................................................................<><
)1A#T30 8//. A wonderful tale of :in! Solomon and his wife. ..............................................<>7
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow %alahad and his fellows came to a castle and how they were fou!ht
withal and how they slew their adversaries and other matters. .................................................<>=
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow the three kni!hts with #ercivale's sister came unto the same forest and of
an hart and four lions and other thin!s. ......................................................................................<?>
)1A#T30 6. 1ow they were desired of a stran!e custom the which they would not obeyC
wherefore they fou!ht and slew many kni!hts. ...........................................................................<?-
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow Sir #ercivale's sister bled a dish full of blood for to heal a lady wherefore
she diedC and how that the body was put in a ship. ......................................................................<?9
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow %alahad and #ercivale found in a castle many tombs of maidens that had
bled to death. ................................................................................................................................<?.
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Sir Launcelot entered into the ship where Sir #ercivale's sister lay dead
and how he met with Sir %alahad his son. ..................................................................................<?4
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow a kni!ht brou!ht unto Sir %alahad a horse and bade him come from his
father Sir Launcelot. ...................................................................................................................<?<
)1A#T30 68. 1ow Sir Launcelot was to"fore the door of the chamber wherein the 1oly
San!real was. ...............................................................................................................................<?7
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow Sir launcelot had lain four"and"twenty days and as many ni!hts as a dead
man and other divers matters. .....................................................................................................<?=
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow Sir Launcelot returned towards Lo!ris and of other adventures which he
saw in the way. .............................................................................................................................<->
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow %alahad came to :in! Mordrains and of other matters and adventures.
......................................................................................................................................................<-?
)1A#T30 6/6. 1ow Sir #ercivale and Sir Bors met with Sir %alahad and how they came to the
castle of )arbonek and other matters. .........................................................................................<-9
?=
)1A#T30 66 1ow %alahad and his fellows were fed of the 1oly San!real and how *ur Lord
appeared to them and other thin!s. .............................................................................................<-.
)1A#T30 66/. 1ow %alahad anointed with the blood of the spear the Maimed :in! and of
other adventures. ..........................................................................................................................<-4
)1A#T30 66//. 1ow they were fed with the San!real while they were in prison and how
%alahad was made kin!. ..............................................................................................................<-7
)1A#T30 66///. *f the sorrow that #ercivale and Bors made when %alahad was dead+ and of
#ercivale how he died and other matters. ...................................................................................<-@
B**: 68/// ....................................................................................................................................<-=
)1A#T30 /. *f the $oy :in! Arthur and the Aueen had of the achievement of the San!realC and
how Launcelot fell to his old love a!ain. .....................................................................................<9>
)1A#T30 //. 1ow the Aueen commanded Sir Launcelot to avoid the court and of the sorrow
that Launcelot made. ....................................................................................................................<9?
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow at a dinner that the Aueen made there was a kni!ht enpoisoned which Sir
Mador laid on the Aueen. .............................................................................................................<9-
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Sir Mador appeached the Aueen of treason and there was no kni!ht would
fi!ht for her at the first time. ........................................................................................................<99
)1A#T30 8. 1ow the Aueen reAuired Sir Bors to fi!ht for her and how he !ranted upon
conditionC and how he warned Sir Launcelot thereof. .................................................................<94
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow at the day Sir Bors made him ready for to fi!ht for the AueenC and when he
would fi!ht how another dischar!ed him. ...................................................................................<97
)1A#T30 8// 1ow Sir Launcelot fou!ht a!ainst Sir Mador for the Aueen and how he overcame
Sir Mador and dischar!ed the Aueen. ..........................................................................................<9@
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow the truth was known by the Maiden of the Lake and of divers other
matters. .........................................................................................................................................<.>
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow Sir Launcelot rode to Astolat and received a sleeve to wear upon his helm
at the reAuest of a maid. ...............................................................................................................<.?
)1A#T30 6. 1ow the tourney be!an at 5inchester and what kni!hts were at the $oustsC and
other thin!s. .................................................................................................................................<.9
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow Sir Launcelot and Sir Lavaine entered in the field a!ainst them of :in!
Arthur's court and how Launcelot was hurt. ...............................................................................<..
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Sir Launcelot and Sir Lavaine departed out of the field and in what
$eopardy Launcelot was. ..............................................................................................................<.<
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Launcelot was brou!ht to an hermit for to be healed of his wound and of
other matters. ...............................................................................................................................<.@
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow Sir %awaine was lod!ed with the lord of Astolat and there had knowled!e
that it was Sir Launcelot that bare the red sleeve. .......................................................................<.=
)1A#T30 68. *f the sorrow that Sir Bors had for the hurt of LauncelotC and of the an!er that
the Aueen had because Launcelot bare the sleeve. .......................................................................<4?
)1A#T30 68/. 1ow Sir Bors sou!ht Launcelot and found him in the hermita!e and of the
lamentation between them. ..........................................................................................................<4-
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow Sir Launcelot armed him to assay if he mi!ht bear arms and how his
wounds brast out a!ain. ...............................................................................................................<4.
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow Sir Bors returned and told tidin!s of Sir LauncelotC and of the tourney
and to whom the priDe was !iven. ...............................................................................................<44
)1A#T30 6/6. *f the !reat lamentation of the &air Maid of Astolat when Launcelot should
depart and how she died for his love. .........................................................................................<47
->
)1A#T30 66. 1ow the corpse of the Maid of Astolat arrived to"fore :in! Arthur and of the
buryin! and how Sir Launcelot offered the mass"penny. ...........................................................<4=
)1A#T30 66/. *f !reat $ousts done all a )hristmas and of a !reat $ousts and tourney ordained
by :in! Arthur and of Sir Launcelot. .........................................................................................<<?
)1A#T30 66//. 1ow Launcelot after that he was hurt of a !entlewoman came to an hermit and
of other matters. ...........................................................................................................................<<-
)1A#T30 66///. 1ow Sir Launcelot behaved him at the $ousts and other men also. .............<<9
)1A#T30 66/8. 1ow :in! Arthur marvelled much of the $oustin! in the field and how he
rode and found Sir Launcelot. .....................................................................................................<<4
)1A#T30 668. 1ow true love is likened to summer. ..............................................................<<7
B**: 6/6 .......................................................................................................................................<<@
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Bueen %uenever rode a"Mayin! with certain kni!hts of the 0ound Table and
clad all in !reen. ...........................................................................................................................<<@
)1A#T30 //. 1ow Sir Melia!rance took the Aueen and her kni!hts which were sore hurt in
fi!htin! .........................................................................................................................................<<=
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow Sir Launcelot had word how the Aueen was taken and how Sir Melia!rance
laid a bushment for Launcelot .....................................................................................................<7?
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Sir Launcelot's horse was slain and how Sir Launcelot rode in a cart for to
rescue the Aueen ...........................................................................................................................<7-
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Sir Melia!rance reAuired for!iveness of the Aueen and how she appeased Sir
LauncelotC and other matters .......................................................................................................<79
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir Launcelot came in the ni!ht to the Aueen and lay with her and how Sir
Melia!rance appeached the Aueen of treason ..............................................................................<74
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow Sir Launcelot answered for the Aueen and wa!ed battle a!ainst Sir
Melia!ranceC and how Sir Launcelot was taken in a trap ............................................................<77
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow Sir Launcelot was delivered out of prison by a lady and took a white
courser and came for to keep his day ...........................................................................................<7=
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow Sir Launcelot came the same time that Sir Melia!rance abode him in the
field and dressed him to battle .....................................................................................................<@>
)1A#T30 6. 1ow Sir ;rre came into Arthur's court for to be healed of his wounds and how
:in! Arthur would be!in to handle him ......................................................................................<@-
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow :in! Arthur handled Sir ;rre and after him many other kni!hts of the
0ound Table .................................................................................................................................<@9
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Sir Launcelot was commanded by Arthur to handle his wounds and anon
he was all whole and how they thanked %od .............................................................................<@<
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow there was a party made of an hundred kni!hts a!ainst an hundred kni!hts
and of other matters .....................................................................................................................<@7
B**: 66 ........................................................................................................................................<@@
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir A!ravaine and Sir Mordred were busy upon Sir %awaine for to disclose
the love between Sir Launcelot and Bueen %uenever .................................................................<@@
)1A#T30 //. 1ow Sir A!ravaine disclosed their love to :in! Arthur and how :in! Arthur !ave
them licence to take him ..............................................................................................................<=>
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow Sir Launcelot was espied in the Aueen's chamber and how Sir A!ravaine
and Sir Mordred came with twelve kni!hts to slay him ..............................................................<=?
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow Sir Launcelot slew Sir )ol!revance and armed him in his harness and after
slew Sir A!ravaine and twelve of his fellows .............................................................................<=9
)1A#T30 8. 1ow Sir Launcelot came to Sir Bors and told him how he had sped and in what
-?
adventure he had been and how he had escaped .........................................................................<=.
)1A#T30 8/. *f the counsel and advice that was taken by Sir Launcelot and his friends for to
save the Aueen ..............................................................................................................................<=<
)1A#T30 8//. 1ow Sir Mordred rode hastily to the kin! to tell him of the affray and death of
Sir A!ravaine and the other kni!hts .............................................................................................<=7
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow Sir Launcelot and his kinsmen rescued the Aueen from the fire and how
he slew many kni!hts ...................................................................................................................<==
)1A#T30 /6. *f the sorrow and lamentation of :in! Arthur for the death of his nephews and
other !ood kni!hts and also for the Aueen his wife ...................................................................7>>
)1A#T30 6. 1ow :in! Arthur at the reAuest of Sir %awaine concluded to make war a!ainst Sir
Launcelot and laid sie!e to his castle called Eoyous %ard ..........................................................7>-
)1A#T30 6/. *f the communication between :in! Arthur and Sir Launcelot and how :in!
Arthur reproved him. ...................................................................................................................7>9
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow the cousins and kinsmen of Sir Launcelot e'cited him to !o out to battle
and how they made them ready ...................................................................................................7>4
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Sir %awaine $ousted and smote down Sir Lionel and how Sir Launcelot
horsed :in! Arthur ......................................................................................................................7><
)1A#T30 6/8. 1ow the #ope sent down his bulls to make peace and how Sir Launcelot
brou!ht the Aueen to :in! Arthur ................................................................................................7>@
)1A#T30 68. *f the deliverance of the Aueen to the kin! by Sir Launcelot and what lan!ua!e
Sir %awaine had to Sir Launcelot ................................................................................................7?>
)1A#T30 68/. *f the communication between Sir %awaine and Sir Launcelot with much
other lan!ua!e ..............................................................................................................................7??
)1A#T30 68//. 1ow Sir Launcelot departed from the kin! and from Eoyous %ard over
seaward and what kni!hts went with him ...................................................................................7?9
)1A#T30 68///. 1ow Sir Launcelot passed over the sea and how he made !reat lords of the
kni!hts that went with him ..........................................................................................................7?4
)1A#T30 6/6. 1ow :in! Arthur and Sir %awaine made a !reat host ready to !o over sea to
make war on Sir Launcelot ..........................................................................................................7?<
)1A#T30 66. 5hat messa!e Sir %awaine sent to Sir LauncelotC and how :in! Arthur laid
sie!e to Benwick and other matters ............................................................................................7?@
)1A#T30 66/. 1ow Sir Launcelot and Sir %awaine did battle to!ether and how Sir %awaine
was overthrown and hurt .............................................................................................................7->
)1A#T30 66//. *f the sorrow that :in! Arthur made for the war and of another battle where
also Sir %awaine had the worse ...................................................................................................7-?
B**: 66/ .......................................................................................................................................7-9
)1A#T30 /. 1ow Sir Mordred presumed and took on him to be :in! of 3n!land and would
have married the Aueen his father's wife ....................................................................................7-9
)1A#T30 //. 1ow after that :in! Arthur had tidin!s he returned and came to (over where Sir
Mordred met him to let his landin!C and of the death of .............................................................7-4
)1A#T30 ///. 1ow after Sir %awaine's !host appeared to :in! Arthur and warned him that he
should not fi!ht that day ..............................................................................................................7-7
)1A#T30 /8. 1ow by misadventure of an adder the battle be!an where Mordred was slain and
Arthur hurt to the death ................................................................................................................7-@
)1A#T30 8. 1ow :in! Arthur commanded to cast his sword 3'calibur into the water and how
he was delivered to ladies in a bar!e ...........................................................................................79>
)1A#T30 8/. 1ow Sir Bedivere found him on the morrow dead in an hermita!e and how he
--
abode there with the hermit .........................................................................................................79-
)1A#T30 8//. *f the opinion of some men of the death of :in! ArthurC and how Bueen
%uenever made her a nun in Almesbury ......................................................................................799
)1A#T30 8///. 1ow when Sir Lancelot heard of the death of :in! Arthur and of Sir %awaine
and other matters he came into 3n!land .....................................................................................79.
)1A#T30 /6. 1ow Sir Launcelot departed to seek the Bueen %uenever and how he found her
at Almesbury ................................................................................................................................794
)1A#T30 6. 1ow Sir Launcelot came to the hermita!e where the Archbishop of )anterbury
was and how he took the habit on him .......................................................................................797
)1A#T30 6/. 1ow Sir Launcelot went with his seven fellows to Almesbury and found there
Bueen %uenever dead whom they brou!ht to %lastonbury ........................................................79@
)1A#T30 6//. 1ow Sir Launcelot be!an to sicken and after died whose body was borne to
Eoyous %ard for to be buried .......................................................................................................79=
)1A#T30 6///. 1ow Sir 3ctor found Sir Launcelot his brother dead and how )onstantine
rei!ned ne't after ArthurC and of the end of this book .................................................................7.?
%L*SSA0Y.................................................................................................................................7.-
#0*E3)T %;T32B30% L/)32S3....................................................................................................7<9
3ndnotes.................................................................................................................................................77>
-9
Acknowledgements
Le Morte d'Arthur was written by Sir Thomas Malory and first published by 5illiam )a'ton in
?.@4. The te't is in the public domain because its author died at least ?>> years a!o.
The te't contained in this eBook has been taken from a ?=>9 publication by A. 5. #ollard. #lease
note that #ollard's Biblio!raphical 2ote is now outdated and no lon!er represents the scholarly
consensus as to Thomas Malory's identity.
#ollard's openin! Biblio!raphical 2ote alon! with his footnotes are in the public domain in the
;nited States because they were published before Eanuary ?
st
?=-9. Additionally #ollard died in ?=..
which also places this work in the public domain in any country which sets its copyri!ht term at the life
of the author plus 4> years. /t may also be in the public domain in countries which apply the 0ule of
Shorter Term to forei!n works.
The te't of this document has !enerously been made available to the public in electronic format by
#ro$ect %utenber!. #lease visit them on"line at+ http+,,www.!utenber!.or!,
&or your convenience this te't has been compiled into this #(& document by )amelot *n"line.
#lease visit us on"line at+ http+,,www.heroofcamelot.com, You may use and distribute this document
freely as lon! as you comply with the #ro$ect %utenber! License which is available on their website
and has been reprinted at the end of this document.
-.
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
T13 Morte ('Arthur was finished as the epilo!ue tells us in the ninth year of 3dward /8. i.e.
between March . ?.<= and the same date in ?.7>. /t is thus fitly enou!h the last important 3n!lish
book written before the introduction of printin! into this country and since no manuscript of it has
come down to us it is also the first 3n!lish classic for our knowled!e of which we are entirely
dependent on a printed te't. )a'ton's story of how the book was brou!ht to him and he was induced to
print it may be read farther on in his own preface. &rom this we learn also that he was not only the
printer of the book but to some e'tent its editor also dividin! Malory's work into twenty"one books
splittin! up the books into chapters by no means skilfully and supplyin! the G0ubrishG or chapter"
headin!s. /t may be added that )a'ton's preface contains moreover a brief criticism which on the
points on which it touches is still the soundest and most sympathetic that has been written.
)a'ton finished his edition the last day of Euly ?.@4 some fifteen or si'teen years after Malory
wrote his epilo!ue. /t is clear that the author was then dead or the printer would not have acted as a
clumsy editor to the book and recent discoveries Hif biblio!raphy may for the moment enlar!e its
bounds to mention such mattersI have revealed with tolerable certainty when Malory died and who he
was. /n letters to The Athenaeum in Euly ?@=< Mr. T. 5illiams pointed out that the name of a Sir
Thomas Malorie occurred amon! those of a number of other Lancastrians e'cluded from a !eneral
pardon !ranted by 3dward /8. in ?.<@ and that a 5illiam Mallerye was mentioned in the same year as
takin! part in a Lancastrian risin!. /n September ?@=7 a!ain in another letter to the same paper Mr. A.
T. Martin reported the findin! of the will of a Thomas Malory of #apworth a hundred partly in
)ambrid!eshire partly in 1unts. This will was made on September ?< ?.<= and as it was proved the
-7th of the ne't month the testator must have been in immediate e'pectation of death. /t contains the
most careful provision for the education and startin! in life of a family of three dau!hters and seven
sons of whom the youn!est seems to have been still an infant. 5e cannot say with certainty that this
Thomas Malory whose last thou!hts were so busy for his children was our author or that the
Lancastrian kni!ht discovered by Mr. 5illiams was identical with either or both but such evidence as
the Morte ('Arthur offers favours such a belief. There is not only the epilo!ue with its petition Gpray
for me while / am alive that %od send me !ood deliverance and when / am dead pray you all for my
soulG but this very reAuest is foreshadowed at the end of chap. 97 of Book i'. in the touchin! passa!e
surely inspired by personal e'perience as to the sickness Gthat is the !reatest pain a prisoner may
-4
haveGC and the reflections on 3n!lish fickleness in the first chapter of Book ''i. thou!h the 5ars of the
0oses mi!ht have inspired them in any one come most naturally from an author who was a Lancastrian
kni!ht.
/f the Morte ('Arthur was really written in prison and by a prisoner distressed by ill"health as well
as by lack of liberty surely no task was ever better devised to while away weary hours. Leavin!
abundant scope for ori!inality in selection modification and arran!ement as a compilation and
translation it had in it that mechanical element which adds the touch of restfulness to literary work. 2o
ori!inal it is said has yet been found for Book vii. and it is possible that none will ever be
forthcomin! for chap. -> of Book 'viii. which describes the arrival of the body of the &air Maiden of
Astolat at Arthur's court or vii for chap. -4 of the same book with its discourse on true loveC but the
!reat bulk of the work has been traced chapter by chapter to the GMerlinG of 0obert de Borron and his
successors HBks. i."iv.I the 3n!lish metrical romance La Morte Arthur of the Thornton manuscript HBk.
v.I the &rench romances of Tristan HBks. viii."'.I and of Launcelot HBks. vi. 'i."'i'.I and lastly to the
3n!lish prose Morte Arthur of 1arley MS. --4- HBks. 'viii. ''. ''i.I. As to Malory's choice of his
authorities critics have not failed to point out that now and a!ain he !ives a worse version where a
better has come down to us and if he had been able to order a complete set of Arthurian manuscripts
from his bookseller no doubt he would have done even better than he didJ But of the skill approachin!
to ori!inal !enius with which he used the books from which he worked there is little dispute.
Malory died leavin! his work obviously unrevised and in this condition it was brou!ht to )a'ton
who prepared it for the press with his usual enthusiasm in the cause of !ood literature and also it must
be added with his usual carelessness. 2ew chapters are sometimes made to be!in in the middle of a
sentence and in addition to simple misprints there are numerous passa!es in which it is impossible to
believe that we have the te't as Malory intended it to stand. After )a'ton's edition Malory's manuscript
must have disappeared and subseAuent editions are differentiated only by the de!ree of closeness with
which they follow the first. 3ditions appeared printed by 5ynkyn de 5orde in ?.=@ and ?4-= by
5illiam )opland in ?44= by Thomas 3ast about ?4@4 and by Thomas Stansby in ?<9. each printer
apparently takin! the te't of his immediate predecessor and reproducin! it with modifications.
Stansby's edition served for reprints in ?@?< and ?@4< Hthe latter edited by Thomas 5ri!htIC but in ?@?7
an edition supervised by 0obert Southey went back to )a'ton's te't thou!h to a copy Honly two are
e'tant and only one perfectJI in which eleven leaves were supplied from 5ynkyn de 5orde's reprint.
/n ?@<@ Sir 3dward Strachey produced for the present publishers a reprint of Southey's te't in modern
-<
spellin! with the substitution of current words for those now obsolete and the softenin! of a handful
of passa!es likely he thou!ht to prevent the book bein! placed in the hands of boys. /n ?@@= a boon
was conferred on scholars by the publication of (r. 1. *skar Sommer's pa!e"for"pa!e reprint of
)a'ton's te't with an elaborate discussion of Malory's sources. (r. Sommer's edition was used by Sir
3. Strachey to revise his %lobe te't and in ?@=7 Mr. /srael %ollancD produced for the GTemple
)lassicsG a very pretty edition in which Sir 3dward Strachey's principles of modernisation in spellin!
and punctuation were adopted but with the restoration of obsolete words and omitted phrases. As to the
present edition Sir 3dward Strachey altered with so sparin! a hand that on many pa!es differences
between his version and that here printed will be looked for in vainC but the most an'ious care has been
taken to produce a te't modernised as to its spellin! but in other respects in accurate accordance with
)a'ton's te't as represented by (r Sommer's reprint. *bvious misprints have been silently corrected
but in a few cases notes show where emendations have been introduced from 5ynkyn de 5ordeKnot
that 5ynkyn had any more ri!ht to emend )a'ton than we but because even a printer's con$ecture
!ains a little sanctity after four centuries. The restoration of obsolete words has necessitated a much
fuller !lossary and the inde' of names has therefore been separated from it and enlar!ed. /n its present
form the inde' is the work of Mr. 1enry Littlehales.
A. 5. #*LLA0(.
PREFACE OF WILLIA CA!TON
A&T30 that / had accomplished and finished divers histories as well of contemplation as of other
historial and worldly acts of !reat conAuerors and princes and also certain books of ensamples and
doctrine many noble and divers !entlemen of this realm of 3n!land came and demanded me many and
oft times wherefore that / have not do made and imprint the noble history of the Saint %real and of the
most renowned )hristian kin! first and chief of the three best )hristian and worthy :in! Arthur
which ou!ht most to be remembered amon! us 3n!lishmen to"fore all other )hristian kin!sC for it is
notoyrly known throu!h the universal world that there be nine worthy and the best that ever were that
is to wit three #aynims three Eews and three )hristian men. As for the #aynims they were to"fore the
-7
/ncarnation of )hrist which were named the first 1ector of Troy of whom the history is comen both
in ballad and in prose the second Ale'ander the %reat and the third Eulius )aesar 3mperor of 0ome
of whom the histories be well known and had. And as for the three Eews which also were to"fore the
incarnation of our Lord of whom the first was duke Eoshua which brou!ht the children of /srael into
the land of behest the second (avid kin! of Eerusalem and the third Eudas Machabeus of these three
the Bible rehearseth all their noble histories and acts. And since the said /ncarnation have been three
noble )hristian men stalled and admitted throu!h the universal world into the number of the nine best
and worthy. *f whom was first the noble Arthur whose noble acts / purpose to write in this present
book here followin!. The second was )harlemain or )harles the %reat of whom the history is had in
many places both in &rench and in 3n!lish. And the third and last was %odfrey of Boloine of whose
acts and life / made a book unto the e'cellent prince and kin! of noble memory :in! 3dward the
&ourth.
The said noble !entlemen instantly reAuired me to imprint the history of the said noble kin! and
conAueror :in! Arthur and of his kni!hts with the history of the Saint %real and of the death and
endin! of the said ArthurC affirmin! that / ou!ht rather to imprint his acts and noble feats than of
%odfrey of Boloine or any of the other ei!ht considerin! that he was a man born within this realm
and kin! and emperor of the same+ and that there be in &rench divers and many noble volumes of his
acts and also of his kni!hts. To whom / answered that divers men hold opinion that there was no such
Arthur and that all such books as been made of him be fei!ned and fables because that some
chronicles make of him no mention nor remember him nothin! nor of his kni!hts. 5hereto they
answered and one in special said that in him that should say or think that there was never such a kin!
called Arthur mi!ht well be aretted !reat folly and blindness. &or he said that there were many
evidences of the contrary. &irst ye may see his sepulchre in the monastery of %lastonbury. And also in
#olicronicon in the fifth book the si'th chapter and in the seventh book the twenty"third chapter
where his body was buried and after found and translated into the said monastery. Ye shall see also in
the history of Bochas in his book (e )asu #rincipum part of his noble acts and also of his fall. Also
%alfridus in his British book recounteth his life+ and in divers places of 3n!land many remembrances
be yet of him and shall remain perpetually and also of his kni!hts. &irst in the abbey of 5estminster at
St. 3dward's shrine remaineth the print of his seal in red wa' closed in beryl in which is written
#atricius Arthurus Britannie %allie %ermanie (acie /mperator. /tem in the castle of (over ye may
see %awaine's skull and )radok's mantle+ at 5inchester the 0ound Table+ in other places Launcelot's
-@
sword and many other thin!s. Then all these thin!s considered there can no man reasonably !ainsay
but there was a kin! of this land named Arthur. &or in all places )hristian and heathen he is reputed
and taken for one of the nine worthy and the first of the three )hristian men. And also he is more
spoken of beyond the sea more books made of his noble acts than there be in 3n!land as well in
(utch /talian Spanish and %reekish as in &rench. And yet of record remain in witness of him in
5ales in the town of )amelot the !reat stones and the marvellous works of iron lyin! under the
!round and royal vaults which divers now livin! have seen. 5herefore it is a marvel why he is no
more renowned in his own country save only it accordeth to the 5ord of %od which saith that no man
is accepted for a prophet in his own country.
Then all these thin!s aforesaid alle!ed / could not well deny but that there was such a noble kin!
named Arthur and reputed one of the nine worthy and first and chief of the )hristian men. And many
noble volumes be made of him and of his noble kni!hts in &rench which / have seen and read beyond
the sea which be not had in our maternal ton!ue. But in 5elsh be many and also in &rench and some
in 3n!lish but nowhere ni!h all. 5herefore such as have late been drawn out briefly into 3n!lish /
have after the simple connin! that %od hath sent to me under the favour and correction of all noble
lords and !entlemen enprised to imprint a book of the noble histories of the said :in! Arthur and of
certain of his kni!hts after a copy unto me delivered which copy Sir Thomas Malorye did take out of
certain books of &rench and reduced it into 3n!lish. And / accordin! to my copy have done set it in
imprint to the intent that noble men may see and learn the noble acts of chivalry the !entle and
virtuous deeds that some kni!hts used in those days by which they came to honour and how they that
were vicious were punished and oft put to shame and rebukeC humbly beseechin! all noble lords and
ladies with all other estates of what estate or de!ree they been of that shall see and read in this said
book and work that they take the !ood and honest acts in their remembrance and to follow the same.
5herein they shall find many $oyous and pleasant histories and noble and renowned acts of humanity
!entleness and chivalry. &or herein may be seen noble chivalry courtesy humanity friendliness
hardiness love friendship cowardice murder hate virtue and sin. (o after the !ood and leave the
evil and it shall brin! you to !ood fame and renown. And for to pass the time this book shall be
pleasant to read in but for to !ive faith and belief that all is true that is contained herein ye be at your
liberty+ but all is written for our doctrine and for to beware that we fall not to vice nor sin but to
e'ercise and follow virtue by which we may come and attain to !ood fame and renown in this life and
after this short and transitory life to come unto everlastin! bliss in heavenC the which 1e !rant us that
-=
rei!neth in heaven the blessed Trinity. Amen.
Then to proceed forth in this said book which / direct unto all noble princes lords and ladies
!entlemen or !entlewomen that desire to read or hear read of the noble and $oyous history of the !reat
conAueror and e'cellent kin! :in! Arthur sometime kin! of this noble realm then called BritainC /
5illiam )a'ton simple person present this book followin! which / have enprised to imprint+ and
treateth of the noble acts feats of arms of chivalry prowess hardiness humanity love courtesy and
very !entleness with many wonderful histories and adventures. And for to understand briefly the
content of this volume / have divided it into 66/ Books and every book chaptered as hereafter shall
by %od's !race follow. The &irst Book shall treat how ;ther #endra!on !at the noble conAueror :in!
Arthur and containeth ''viii chapters. The Second Book treateth of Balin the noble kni!ht and
containeth 'i' chapters. The Third Book treateth of the marria!e of :in! Arthur to Bueen %uenever
with other matters and containeth 'v chapters. The &ourth Book how Merlin was assotted and of war
made to :in! Arthur and containeth ''i' chapters. The &ifth Book treateth of the conAuest of Lucius
the emperor and containeth 'ii chapters. The Si'th Book treateth of Sir Launcelot and Sir Lionel and
marvellous adventures and containeth 'viii chapters. The Seventh Book treateth of a noble kni!ht
called Sir %areth and named by Sir :ay Beaumains and containeth '''vi chapters. The 3i!hth Book
treateth of the birth of Sir Tristram the noble kni!ht and of his acts and containeth 'li chapters. The
2inth Book treateth of a kni!ht named by Sir :ay Le )ote Male Taille and also of Sir Tristram and
containeth 'liv chapters. The Tenth Book treateth of Sir Tristram and other marvellous adventures and
containeth l'''viii chapters. The 3leventh Book treateth of Sir Launcelot and Sir %alahad and
containeth 'iv chapters. The Twelfth Book treateth of Sir Launcelot and his madness and containeth
'iv chapters. The Thirteenth Book treateth how %alahad came first to kin! Arthur's court and the Auest
how the San!real was be!un and containeth '' chapters. The &ourteenth Book treateth of the Auest of
the San!real and containeth ' chapters. The &ifteenth Book treateth of Sir Launcelot and containeth vi
chapters. The Si'teenth Book treateth of Sir Bors and Sir Lionel his brother and containeth 'vii
chapters. The Seventeenth Book treateth of the San!real and containeth ''iii chapters. The 3i!hteenth
Book treateth of Sir Launcelot and the Aueen and containeth ''v chapters. The 2ineteenth Book
treateth of Bueen %uenever and Launcelot and containeth 'iii chapters. The Twentieth Book treateth of
the piteous death of Arthur and containeth ''ii chapters. The Twenty"first Book treateth of his last
departin! and how Sir Launcelot came to reven!e his death and containeth 'iii chapters. The sum is
twenty"one books which contain the sum of five hundred and seven chapters as more plainly shall
9>
follow hereafter.
9?
8olume /+
9-
BOO" I
CHAPTER I# How $t%e& Pend&agon sent fo& t%e d'ke of
Co&nwall and Ig&a(ne %(s w(fe) and of t%e(& de*a&t(ng
s'ddenl+ aga(n#
/T befell in the days of ;ther #endra!on when he was kin! of all 3n!land and so rei!ned that
there was a mi!hty duke in )ornwall that held war a!ainst him lon! time. And the duke was called the
(uke of Tinta!il. And so by means :in! ;ther sent for this duke char!in! him to brin! his wife with
him for she was called a fair lady and a passin! wise and her name was called /!raine.
So when the duke and his wife were come unto the kin! by the means of !reat lords they were
accorded both. The kin! liked and loved this lady well and he made them !reat cheer out of measure
and desired to have lain by her. But she was a passin! !ood woman and would not assent unto the
kin!. And then she told the duke her husband and said / suppose that we were sent for that / should be
dishonouredC wherefore husband / counsel you that we depart from hence suddenly that we may ride
all ni!ht unto our own castle. And in like wise as she said so they departed that neither the kin! nor
none of his council were ware of their departin!. All so soon as :in! ;ther knew of their departin! so
suddenly he was wonderly wroth. Then he called to him his privy council and told them of the sudden
departin! of the duke and his wife.
Then they advised the kin! to send for the duke and his wife by a !reat char!eC and if he will not
come at your summons then may ye do your best then have ye cause to make mi!hty war upon him.
So that was done and the messen!ers had their answersC and that was this shortly that neither he nor
his wife would not come at him.
99
Then was the kin! wonderly wroth. And then the kin! sent him plain word a!ain and bade him be
ready and stuff him and !arnish him for within forty days he would fetch him out of the bi!!est castle
that he hath.
5hen the duke had this warnin! anon he went and furnished and !arnished two stron! castles of
his of the which the one hi!ht Tinta!il and the other castle hi!ht Terrabil. So his wife (ame /!raine he
put in the castle of Tinta!il and himself he put in the castle of Terrabil the which had many issues and
posterns out. Then in all haste came ;ther with a !reat host and laid a sie!e about the castle of
Terrabil. And there he pi!ht many pavilions and there was !reat war made on both parties and much
people slain. Then for pure an!er and for !reat love of fair /!raine the kin! ;ther fell sick. So came to
the kin! ;ther Sir ;lfius a noble kni!ht and asked the kin! why he was sick. / shall tell thee said the
kin! / am sick for an!er and for love of fair /!raine that / may not be whole. 5ell my lord said Sir
;lfius / shall seek Merlin and he shall do you remedy that your heart shall be pleased. So ;lfius
departed and by adventure he met Merlin in a be!!ar's array and there Merlin asked ;lfius whom he
sou!ht. And he said he had little ado to tell him. 5ell said Merlin / know whom thou seekest for thou
seekest MerlinC therefore seek no farther for / am heC and if :in! ;ther will well reward me and be
sworn unto me to fulfil my desire that shall be his honour and profit more than mineC for / shall cause
him to have all his desire. All this will / undertake said ;lfius that there shall be nothin! reasonable
but thou shalt have thy desire. 5ell said Merlin he shall have his intent and desire. And therefore said
Merlin ride on your way for / will not be lon! behind.
CHAPTER II# How $t%e& Pend&agon made wa& on t%e d'ke of
Co&nwall) and %ow b+ t%e mean of e&l(n %e la+ b+ t%e
d'c%ess and gat A&t%'&#
T132 ;lfius was !lad and rode on more than a pace till that he came to :in! ;ther #endra!on
and told him he had met with Merlin. 5here is heL said the kin!. Sir said ;lfius he will not dwell
lon!. Therewithal ;lfius was ware where Merlin stood at the porch of the pavilion's door. And then
Merlin was bound to come to the kin!. 5hen :in! ;ther saw him he said he was welcome. Sir said
Merlin / know all your heart every dealC so ye will be sworn unto me as ye be a true kin! anointed to
9.
fulfil my desire ye shall have your desire. Then the kin! was sworn upon the &our 3van!elists. Sir
said Merlin this is my desire+ the first ni!ht that ye shall lie by /!raine ye shall !et a child on her and
when that is born that it shall be delivered to me for to nourish there as / will have itC for it shall be
your worship and the child's avail as mickle as the child is worth. / will well said the kin! as thou
wilt have it. 2ow make you ready said Merlin this ni!ht ye shall lie with /!raine in the castle of
Tinta!ilC and ye shall be like the duke her husband ;lfius shall be like Sir Brastias a kni!ht of the
duke's and / will be like a kni!ht that hi!ht Sir Eordanus a kni!ht of the duke's. But wait ye make not
many Auestions with her nor her men but say ye are diseased and so hie you to bed and rise not on the
morn till / come to you for the castle of Tinta!il is but ten miles henceC so this was done as they
devised. But the duke of Tinta!il espied how the kin! rode from the sie!e of Terrabil and therefore that
ni!ht he issued out of the castle at a postern for to have distressed the kin!'s host. And so throu!h his
own issue the duke himself was slain or ever the kin! came at the castle of Tinta!il.
So after the death of the duke :in! ;ther lay with /!raine more than three hours after his death
and be!at on her that ni!ht Arthur and on day came Merlin to the kin! and bade him make him ready
and so he kissed the lady /!raine and departed in all haste. But when the lady heard tell of the duke her
husband and by all record he was dead or ever :in! ;ther came to her then she marvelled who that
mi!ht be that lay with her in likeness of her lordC so she mourned privily and held her peace. Then all
the barons by one assent prayed the kin! of accord betwi't the lady /!raine and himC the kin! !ave
them leave for fain would he have been accorded with her. So the kin! put all the trust in ;lfius to
entreat between them so by the entreaty at the last the kin! and she met to!ether. 2ow will we do well
said ;lfius our kin! is a lusty kni!ht and wifeless and my lady /!raine is a passin! fair ladyC it were
!reat $oy unto us all an it mi!ht please the kin! to make her his Aueen. ;nto that they all well accorded
and moved it to the kin!. And anon like a lusty kni!ht he assented thereto with !ood will and so in all
haste they were married in a mornin! with !reat mirth and $oy.
And :in! Lot of Lothian and of *rkney then wedded Mar!awse that was %awaine's mother and
:in! 2entres of the land of %arlot wedded 3laine. All this was done at the reAuest of :in! ;ther. And
the third sister Mor!an le &ay was put to school in a nunnery and there she learned so much that she
was a !reat clerk of necromancy. And after she was wedded to :in! ;riens of the land of %ore that
was Sir 3wain's le Blanchemain's father.
94
CHAPTER III# Of t%e b(&t% of "(ng A&t%'& and of %(s n'&t'&e#
T132 Bueen /!raine wa'ed daily !reater and !reater so it befell after within half a year as :in!
;ther lay by his Aueen he asked her by the faith she owed to him whose was the bodyC then she sore
abashed to !ive answer. (ismay you not said the kin! but tell me the truth and / shall love you the
better by the faith of my body. Sir said she / shall tell you the truth. The same ni!ht that my lord was
dead the hour of his death as his kni!hts record there came into my castle of Tinta!il a man like my
lord in speech and in countenance and two kni!hts with him in likeness of his two kni!hts Brastias and
Eordanus and so / went unto bed with him as / ou!ht to do with my lord and the same ni!ht as / shall
answer unto %od this child was be!otten upon me. That is truth said the kin! as ye sayC for it was /
myself that came in the likeness and therefore dismay you not for / am father of the childC and there he
told her all the cause how it was by Merlin's counsel. Then the Aueen made !reat $oy when she knew
who was the father of her child.
Soon came Merlin unto the kin! and said Sir ye must purvey you for the nourishin! of your
child. As thou wilt said the kin! be it. 5ell said Merlin / know a lord of yours in this land that is a
passin! true man and a faithful and he shall have the nourishin! of your child and his name is Sir
3ctor and he is a lord of fair livelihood in many parts in 3n!land and 5alesC and this lord Sir 3ctor let
him be sent for for to come and speak with you and desire him yourself as he loveth you that he will
put his own child to nourishin! to another woman and that his wife nourish yours. And when the child
is born let it be delivered to me at yonder privy postern unchristened. So like as Merlin devised it was
done. And when Sir 3ctor was come he made fiaunce to the kin! for to nourish the child like as the
kin! desiredC and there the kin! !ranted Sir 3ctor !reat rewards. Then when the lady was delivered the
kin! commanded two kni!hts and two ladies to take the child bound in a cloth of !old and that ye
deliver him to what poor man ye meet at the postern !ate of the castle. So the child was delivered unto
Merlin and so he bare it forth unto Sir 3ctor and made an holy man to christen him and named him
ArthurC and so Sir 3ctor's wife nourished him with her own pap.
9<
CHAPTER I,# Of t%e deat% of "(ng $t%e& Pend&agon#
T132 within two years :in! ;ther fell sick of a !reat malady. And in the meanwhile his enemies
usurped upon him and did a !reat battle upon his men and slew many of his people. Sir said Merlin
ye may not lie so as ye do for ye must to the field thou!h ye ride on an horse"litter+ for ye shall never
have the better of your enemies but if your person be there and then shall ye have the victory. So it was
done as Merlin had devised and they carried the kin! forth in an horse"litter with a !reat host towards
his enemies. And at St. Albans there met with the kin! a !reat host of the 2orth. And that day Sir ;lfius
and Sir Brastias did !reat deeds of arms and :in! ;ther's men overcame the 2orthern battle and slew
many people and put the remnant to fli!ht. And then the kin! returned unto London and made !reat
$oy of his victory. And then he fell passin! sore sick so that three days and three ni!hts he was
speechless+ wherefore all the barons made !reat sorrow and asked Merlin what counsel were best.
There is none other remedy said Merlin but %od will have his will. But look ye all barons be before
:in! ;ther to"morn and %od and / shall make him to speak. So on the morn all the barons with Merlin
came to"fore the kin!C then Merlin said aloud unto :in! ;ther Sir shall your son Arthur be kin! after
your days of this realm with all the appurtenanceL Then ;ther #endra!on turned him and said in
hearin! of them all / !ive him %od's blessin! and mine and bid him pray for my soul and ri!hteously
and worshipfully that he claim the crown upon forfeiture of my blessin!C and therewith he yielded up
the !host and then was he interred as lon!ed to a kin!. 5herefore the Aueen fair /!raine made !reat
sorrow and all the barons.
CHAPTER ,# How A&t%'& was c%osen k(ng) and of wonde&s and
ma&-els of a swo&d taken o't of a stone b+ t%e sa(d A&t%'&#
T132 stood the realm in !reat $eopardy lon! while for every lord that was mi!hty of men made
him stron! and many weened to have been kin!. Then Merlin went to the Archbishop of )anterbury
and counselled him for to send for all the lords of the realm and all the !entlemen of arms that they
should to London come by )hristmas upon pain of cursin!C and for this cause that Eesus that was
born on that ni!ht that he would of his !reat mercy show some miracle as he was come to be kin! of
mankind for to show some miracle who should be ri!htwise kin! of this realm. So the Archbishop by
97
the advice of Merlin sent for all the lords and !entlemen of arms that they should come by )hristmas
even unto London. And many of them made them clean of their life that their prayer mi!ht be the more
acceptable unto %od. So in the !reatest church of London whether it were #aul's or not the &rench
book maketh no mention all the estates were lon! or day in the church for to pray. And when matins
and the first mass was done there was seen in the churchyard a!ainst the hi!h altar a !reat stone four
sAuare like unto a marble stoneC and in midst thereof was like an anvil of steel a foot on hi!h and
therein stuck a fair sword naked by the point and letters there were written in !old about the sword that
said thus+K5hoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is ri!htwise kin! born of all 3n!land.
Then the people marvelled and told it to the Archbishop. / command said the Archbishop that ye keep
you within your church and pray unto %od still that no man touch the sword till the hi!h mass be all
done. So when all masses were done all the lords went to behold the stone and the sword. And when
they saw the scripture some assayed such as would have been kin!. But none mi!ht stir the sword nor
move it. 1e is not here said the Archbishop that shall achieve the sword but doubt not %od will make
him known. But this is my counsel said the Archbishop that we let purvey ten kni!hts men of !ood
fame and they to keep this sword. So it was ordained and then there was made a cry that every man
should assay that would for to win the sword. And upon 2ew Year's (ay the barons let make a $ousts
and a tournament that all kni!hts that would $oust or tourney there mi!ht play and all this was
ordained for to keep the lords to!ether and the commons for the Archbishop trusted that %od would
make him known that should win the sword.
So upon 2ew Year's (ay when the service was done the barons rode unto the field some to $oust
and some to tourney and so it happened that Sir 3ctor that had !reat livelihood about London rode
unto the $ousts and with him rode Sir :ay his son and youn! Arthur that was his nourished brotherC
and Sir :ay was made kni!ht at All 1allowmass afore. So as they rode to the $ousts"ward Sir :ay lost
his sword for he had left it at his father's lod!in! and so he prayed youn! Arthur for to ride for his
sword. / will well said Arthur and rode fast after the sword and when he came home the lady and all
were out to see the $oustin!. Then was Arthur wroth and said to himself / will ride to the churchyard
and take the sword with me that sticketh in the stone for my brother Sir :ay shall not be without a
sword this day. So when he came to the churchyard Sir Arthur ali!hted and tied his horse to the stile
and so he went to the tent and found no kni!hts there for they were at the $oustin!. And so he handled
the sword by the handles and li!htly and fiercely pulled it out of the stone and took his horse and rode
his way until he came to his brother Sir :ay and delivered him the sword. And as soon as Sir :ay saw
9@
the sword he wist well it was the sword of the stone and so he rode to his father Sir 3ctor and said+
Sir lo here is the sword of the stone wherefore / must be kin! of this land. 5hen Sir 3ctor beheld the
sword he returned a!ain and came to the church and there they ali!hted all three and went into the
church. And anon he made Sir :ay swear upon a book how he came to that sword. Sir said Sir :ay by
my brother Arthur for he brou!ht it to me. 1ow !at ye this swordL said Sir 3ctor to Arthur. Sir / will
tell you. 5hen / came home for my brother's sword / found nobody at home to deliver me his swordC
and so / thou!ht my brother Sir :ay should not be swordless and so / came hither ea!erly and pulled it
out of the stone without any pain. &ound ye any kni!hts about this swordL said Sir 3ctor. 2ay said
Arthur. 2ow said Sir 3ctor to Arthur / understand ye must be kin! of this land. 5herefore / said
Arthur and for what causeL Sir said 3ctor for %od will have it soC for there should never man have
drawn out this sword but he that shall be ri!htwise kin! of this land. 2ow let me see whether ye can
put the sword there as it was and pull it out a!ain. That is no mastery said Arthur and so he put it in
the stoneC wherewithal Sir 3ctor assayed to pull out the sword and failed.
CHAPTER ,I# How "(ng A&t%'& *'lled o't t%e swo&d d(-e&s
t(mes#
2ow assay said Sir 3ctor unto Sir :ay. And anon he pulled at the sword with all his mi!htC but it
would not be. 2ow shall ye assay said Sir 3ctor to Arthur. / will well said Arthur and pulled it out
easily. And therewithal Sir 3ctor knelt down to the earth and Sir :ay. Alas said Arthur my own dear
father and brother why kneel ye to meL 2ay nay my lord Arthur it is not soC / was never your father
nor of your blood but / wot well ye are of an hi!her blood than / weened ye were. And then Sir 3ctor
told him all how he was betaken him for to nourish him and by whose commandment and by Merlin's
deliverance.
Then Arthur made !reat dole when he understood that Sir 3ctor was not his father. Sir said 3ctor
unto Arthur will ye be my !ood and !racious lord when ye are kin!L 3lse were / to blame said Arthur
for ye are the man in the world that / am most beholden to and my !ood lady and mother your wife
that as well as her own hath fostered me and kept. And if ever it be %od's will that / be kin! as ye say
ye shall desire of me what / may do and / shall not fail youC %od forbid / should fail you Sir said Sir
9=
3ctor / will ask no more of you but that ye will make my son your foster brother Sir :ay seneschal
of all your lands. That shall be done said Arthur and more by the faith of my body that never man
shall have that office but he while he and / live Therewithal they went unto the Archbishop and told
him how the sword was achieved and by whomC and on Twelfth"day all the barons came thither and to
assay to take the sword who that would assay. But there afore them all there mi!ht none take it out but
ArthurC wherefore there were many lords wroth and said it was !reat shame unto them all and the
realm to be over!overned with a boy of no hi!h blood born. And so they fell out at that time that it was
put off till )andlemas and then all the barons should meet there a!ainC but always the ten kni!hts were
ordained to watch the sword day and ni!ht and so they set a pavilion over the stone and the sword and
five always watched. So at )andlemas many more !reat lords came thither for to have won the sword
but there mi!ht none prevail. And ri!ht as Arthur did at )hristmas he did at )andlemas and pulled out
the sword easily whereof the barons were sore a!!rieved and put it off in delay till the hi!h feast of
3aster. And as Arthur sped before so did he at 3asterC yet there were some of the !reat lords had
indi!nation that Arthur should be kin! and put it off in a delay till the feast of #entecost.
Then the Archbishop of )anterbury by Merlin's providence let purvey then of the best kni!hts that
they mi!ht !et and such kni!hts as ;ther #endra!on loved best and most trusted in his days. And such
kni!hts were put about Arthur as Sir Baudwin of Britain Sir :ay Sir ;lfius Sir Brastias. All these
with many other were always about Arthur day and ni!ht till the feast of #entecost.
CHAPTER ,II# How "(ng A&t%'& was c&owned) and %ow %e
made off(ce&s#
A2( at the feast of #entecost all manner of men assayed to pull at the sword that would assayC but
none mi!ht prevail but Arthur and pulled it out afore all the lords and commons that were there
wherefore all the commons cried at once 5e will have Arthur unto our kin! we will put him no more
in delay for we all see that it is %od's will that he shall be our kin! and who that holdeth a!ainst it we
will slay him. And therewithal they kneeled at once both rich and poor and cried Arthur mercy
because they had delayed him so lon! and Arthur for!ave them and took the sword between both his
hands and offered it upon the altar where the Archbishop was and so was he made kni!ht of the best
.>
man that was there. And so anon was the coronation made. And there was he sworn unto his lords and
the commons for to be a true kin! to stand with true $ustice from thenceforth the days of this life. Also
then he made all lords that held of the crown to come in and to do service as they ou!ht to do. And
many complaints were made unto Sir Arthur of !reat wron!s that were done since the death of :in!
;ther of many lands that were bereaved lords kni!hts ladies and !entlemen. 5herefore :in! Arthur
made the lands to be !iven a!ain unto them that owned them.
5hen this was done that the kin! had stablished all the countries about London then he let make
Sir :ay seneschal of 3n!landC and Sir Baudwin of Britain was made constableC and Sir ;lfius was
made chamberlainC and Sir Brastias was made warden to wait upon the north from Trent forwards for it
was that time the most party the kin!'s enemies. But within few years after Arthur won all the north
Scotland and all that were under their obeissance. Also 5ales a part of it held a!ainst Arthur but he
overcame them all as he did the remnant throu!h the noble prowess of himself and his kni!hts of the
0ound Table.
CHAPTER ,III# How "(ng A&t%'& %eld (n Wales) at a Pentecost)
a g&eat feast) and w%at k(ngs and lo&ds came to %(s feast#
T132 the kin! removed into 5ales and let cry a !reat feast that it should be holden at #entecost
after the incoronation of him at the city of )arlion. ;nto the feast came :in! Lot of Lothian and of
*rkney with five hundred kni!hts with him. Also there came to the feast :in! ;riens of %ore with
four hundred kni!hts with him. Also there came to that feast :in! 2entres of %arlot with seven
hundred kni!hts with him. Also there came to the feast the kin! of Scotland with si' hundred kni!hts
with him and he was but a youn! man. Also there came to the feast a kin! that was called the :in!
with the 1undred :ni!hts but he and his men were passin! well beseen at all points. Also there came
the kin! of )arados with five hundred kni!hts. And :in! Arthur was !lad of their comin! for he
weened that all the kin!s and kni!hts had come for !reat love and to have done him worship at his
feastC wherefore the kin! made !reat $oy and sent the kin!s and kni!hts !reat presents. But the kin!s
would none receive but rebuked the messen!ers shamefully and said they had no $oy to receive no
!ifts of a beardless boy that was come of low blood and sent him word they would none of his !ifts
.?
but that they were come to !ive him !ifts with hard swords betwi't the neck and the shoulders+ and
therefore they came thither so they told to the messen!ers plainly for it was !reat shame to all them to
see such a boy to have a rule of so noble a realm as this land was. 5ith this answer the messen!ers
departed and told to :in! Arthur this answer. 5herefore by the advice of his barons he took him to a
stron! tower with five hundred !ood men with him. And all the kin!s aforesaid in a manner laid a sie!e
to"fore him but :in! Arthur was well victualed. And within fifteen days there came Merlin amon!
them into the city of )arlion. Then all the kin!s were passin! !lad of Merlin and asked him &or what
cause is that boy Arthur made your kin!L Sirs said Merlin / shall tell you the cause for he is :in!
;ther #endra!on's son born in wedlock !otten on /!raine the duke's wife of Tinta!il. Then is he a
bastard they said all. 2ay said Merlin after the death of the duke more than three hours was Arthur
be!otten and thirteen days after :in! ;ther wedded /!raineC and therefore / prove him he is no
bastard. And who saith nay he shall be kin! and overcome all his enemiesC and or he die he shall be
lon! kin! of all 3n!land and have under his obeissance 5ales /reland and Scotland and more realms
than / will now rehearse. Some of the kin!s had marvel of Merlin's words and deemed well that it
should be as he saidC and some of them lau!hed him to scorn as :in! LotC and more other called him a
witch. But then were they accorded with Merlin that :in! Arthur should come out and speak with the
kin!s and to come safe and to !o safe such surance there was made. So Merlin went unto :in! Arthur
and told him how he had done and bade him fear not but come out boldly and speak with them and
spare them not but answer them as their kin! and chieftainC for ye shall overcome them all whether
they will or nill.
CHAPTER I!# Of t%e f(&st wa& t%at "(ng A&t%'& %ad) and %ow
%e won t%e f(eld#
T132 :in! Arthur came out of his tower and had under his !own a $esseraunt of double mail and
there went with him the Archbishop of )anterbury and Sir Baudwin of Britain and Sir :ay and Sir
Brastias+ these were the men of most worship that were with him. And when they were met there was
no meekness but stout words on both sidesC but always :in! Arthur answered them and said he would
make them to bow an he lived. 5herefore they departed with wrath and :in! Arthur bade keep them
.-
well and they bade the kin! keep him well. So the kin! returned him to the tower a!ain and armed him
and all his kni!hts. 5hat will ye doL said Merlin to the kin!sC ye were better for to stint for ye shall not
here prevail thou!h ye were ten times so many. Be we well advised to be afeared of a dream"readerL
said :in! Lot. 5ith that Merlin vanished away and came to :in! Arthur and bade him set on them
fiercelyC and in the meanwhile there were three hundred !ood men of the best that were with the kin!s
that went strai!ht unto :in! Arthur and that comforted him !reatly. Sir said Merlin to Arthur fi!ht not
with the sword that ye had by miracle till that ye see ye !o unto the worse then draw it out and do
your best. So forthwithal :in! Arthur set upon them in their lod!in!. And Sir Baudwin Sir :ay and
Sir Brastias slew on the ri!ht hand and on the left hand that it was marvelC and always :in! Arthur on
horseback laid on with a sword and did marvellous deeds of arms that many of the kin!s had !reat $oy
of his deeds and hardiness.
Then :in! Lot brake out on the back side and the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts and :in!
)arados and set on Arthur fiercely behind him. 5ith that Sir Arthur turned with his kni!hts and smote
behind and before and ever Sir Arthur was in the foremost press till his horse was slain underneath
him. And therewith :in! Lot smote down :in! Arthur. 5ith that his four kni!hts received him and set
him on horseback. Then he drew his sword 3'calibur but it was so bri!ht in his enemies' eyes that it
!ave li!ht like thirty torches. And therewith he put them a"back and slew much people. And then the
commons of )arlion arose with clubs and staves and slew many kni!htsC but all the kin!s held them
to!ether with their kni!hts that were left alive and so fled and departed. And Merlin came unto Arthur
and counselled him to follow them no further.
CHAPTER !# How e&l(n co'nselled "(ng A&t%'& to send fo&
"(ng Ban and "(ng Bo&s) and of t%e(& co'nsel taken fo& t%e
wa&#
S* after the feast and $ourney :in! Arthur drew him unto London and so by the counsel of
Merlin the kin! let call his barons to council for Merlin had told the kin! that the si' kin!s that made
war upon him would in all haste be awroke on him and on his lands. 5herefore the kin! asked counsel
at them all. They could no counsel !ive but said they were bi! enou!h. Ye say well said ArthurC /
.9
thank you for your !ood coura!e but will ye all that loveth me speak with MerlinL ye know well that
he hath done much for me and he knoweth many thin!s and when he is afore you / would that ye
prayed him heartily of his best advice. All the barons said they would pray him and desire him. So
Merlin was sent for and fair desired of all the barons to !ive them best counsel. / shall say you said
Merlin / warn you all your enemies are passin! stron! for you and they are !ood men of arms as be
alive and by this time they have !otten to them four kin!s more and a mi!hty dukeC and unless that
our kin! have more chivalry with him than he may make within the bounds of his own realm an he
fi!ht with them in battle he shall be overcome and slain. 5hat were best to do in this causeL said all
the barons. / shall tell you said Merlin mine adviceC there are two brethren beyond the sea and they be
kin!s both and marvellous !ood men of their handsC and that one hi!ht :in! Ban of Benwick and that
other hi!ht :in! Bors of %aul that is &rance. And on these two kin!s warreth a mi!hty man of men
the :in! )laudas and striveth with them for a castle and !reat war is betwi't them. But this )laudas is
so mi!hty of !oods whereof he !etteth !ood kni!hts that he putteth these two kin!s most part to the
worseC wherefore this is my counsel that our kin! and soverei!n lord send unto the kin!s Ban and Bors
by two trusty kni!hts with letters well devised that an they will come and see :in! Arthur and his
court and so help him in his wars that he will be sworn unto them to help them in their wars a!ainst
:in! )laudas. 2ow what say ye unto this counselL said Merlin. This is well counselled said the kin!
and all the barons.
0i!ht so in all haste there were ordained to !o two kni!hts on the messa!e unto the two kin!s. So
were there made letters in the pleasant wise accordin! unto :in! Arthur's desire. ;lfius and Brastias
were made the messen!ers and so rode forth well horsed and well armed and as the !uise was that
time and so passed the sea and rode toward the city of Benwick. And there besides were ei!ht kni!hts
that espied them and at a strait passa!e they met with ;lfius and Brastias and would have taken them
prisonersC so they prayed them that they mi!ht pass for they were messen!ers unto :in! Ban and Bors
sent from :in! Arthur. Therefore said the ei!ht kni!hts ye shall die or be prisoners for we be kni!hts
of :in! )laudas. And therewith two of them dressed their spears and ;lfius and Brastias dressed their
spears and ran to!ether with !reat raundom. And )laudas' kni!hts brake their spears and theirs to"held
and bare the two kni!hts out of their saddles to the earth and so left them lyin! and rode their ways.
And the other si' kni!hts rode afore to a passa!e to meet with them a!ain and so ;lfius and Brastias
smote other two down and so passed on their ways. And at the fourth passa!e there met two for two
and both were laid unto the earthC so there was none of the ei!ht kni!hts but he was sore hurt or
..
bruised. And when they come to Benwick it fortuned there were both kin!s Ban and Bors.
And when it was told the kin!s that there were come messen!ers there were sent unto them two
kni!hts of worship the one hi!ht Lionses lord of the country of #ayarne and Sir #hariance a
worshipful kni!ht. Anon they asked from whence they came and they said from :in! Arthur kin! of
3n!landC so they took them in their arms and made !reat $oy each of other. But anon as the two kin!s
wist they were messen!ers of Arthur's there was made no tarryin! but forthwith they spake with the
kni!hts and welcomed them in the faithfullest wise and said they were most welcome unto them
before all the kin!s livin!C and therewith they kissed the letters and delivered them. And when Ban and
Bors understood the letters then they were more welcome than they were before. And after the haste of
the letters they !ave them this answer that they would fulfil the desire of :in! Arthur's writin! and
;lfius and Brastias tarry there as lon! as they would they should have such cheer as mi!ht be made
them in those marches. Then ;lfius and Brastias told the kin!s of the adventure at their passa!es of the
ei!ht kni!hts. 1aJ ahJ said Ban and Bors they were my !ood friends. / would / had wist of themC they
should not have escaped so. So ;lfius and Brastias had !ood cheer and !reat !ifts as much as they
mi!ht bear awayC and had their answer by mouth and by writin! that those two kin!s would come unto
Arthur in all the haste that they mi!ht. So the two kni!hts rode on afore and passed the sea and came
to their lord and told him how they had sped whereof :in! Arthur was passin! !lad. At what time
suppose ye the two kin!s will be hereL Sir said they afore All 1allowmass. Then the kin! let purvey
for a !reat feast and let cry a !reat $ousts. And by All 1allowmass the two kin!s were come over the
sea with three hundred kni!hts well arrayed both for the peace and for the war. And :in! Arthur met
with them ten mile out of London and there was !reat $oy as could be thou!ht or made. And on All
1allowmass at the !reat feast sat in the hall the three kin!s and Sir :ay seneschal served in the hall
and Sir Lucas the butler that was (uke )orneus' son and Sir %riflet that was the son of )ardol these
three kni!hts had the rule of all the service that served the kin!s. And anon as they had washen and
risen all kni!hts that would $oust made them readyC by then they were ready on horseback there were
seven hundred kni!hts. And Arthur Ban and Bors with the Archbishop of )anterbury and Sir 3ctor
:ay's father they were in a place covered with cloth of !old like an hall with ladies and !entlewomen
for to behold who did best and thereon to !ive $ud!ment.
.4
CHAPTER !I# Of a g&eat to'&ne+ made b+ "(ng A&t%'& and t%e
two k(ngs Ban and Bo&s) and %ow t%e+ went o-e& t%e sea#
A2( :in! Arthur and the two kin!s let depart the seven hundred kni!hts in two parties. And there
were three hundred kni!hts of the realm of Benwick and of %aul turned on the other side. Then they
dressed their shields and be!an to couch their spears many !ood kni!hts. So %riflet was the first that
met with a kni!ht one Ladinas and they met so ea!erly that all men had wonderC and they so fou!ht
that their shields fell to pieces and horse and man fell to the earthC and both the &rench kni!ht and the
3n!lish kni!ht lay so lon! that all men weened they had been dead. 5hen Lucas the butler saw %riflet
so lie he horsed him a!ain anon and they two did marvellous deeds of arms with many bachelors. Also
Sir :ay came out of an ambushment with five kni!hts with him and they si' smote other si' down.
But Sir :ay did that day marvellous deeds of arms that there was none did so well as he that day. Then
there came Ladinas and %racian two kni!hts of &rance and did passin! well that all men praised
them.
Then came there Sir #lacidas a !ood kni!ht and met with Sir :ay and smote him down horse and
man where fore Sir %riflet was wroth and met with Sir #lacidas so hard that horse and man fell to the
earth. But when the five kni!hts wist that Sir :ay had a fall they were wroth out of wit and therewith
each of them five bare down a kni!ht. 5hen :in! Arthur and the two kin!s saw them be!in to wa'
wroth on both parties they leapt on small hackneys and let cry that all men should depart unto their
lod!in!. And so they went home and unarmed them and so to evenson! and supper. And after the
three kin!s went into a !arden and !ave the priDe unto Sir :ay and to Lucas the butler and unto Sir
%riflet. And then they went unto council and with them %wenbaus the brother unto Sir Ban and Bors
a wise clerk and thither went ;lfius and Brastias and Merlin. And after they had been in council they
went unto bed. And on the morn they heard mass and to dinner and so to their council and made
many ar!uments what were best to do. At the last they were concluded that Merlin should !o with a
token of :in! Ban and that was a rin! unto his men and :in! Bors'C and %racian and #lacidas should
!o a!ain and keep their castles and their countries as for Mdread of :in! )laudasN :in! Ban of
Benwick and :in! Bors of %aul had ordained them and so passed the sea and came to Benwick. And
when the people saw :in! Ban's rin! and %racian and #lacidas they were !lad and asked how the
kin!s fared and made !reat $oy of their welfare and cordin! and accordin! unto the soverei!n lords
desire the men of war made them ready in all haste possible so that they were fifteen thousand on
horse and foot and they had !reat plenty of victual with them by Merlin's provision. But %racian and
.<
#lacidas were left to furnish and !arnish the castles for dread of :in! )laudas. 0i!ht so Merlin passed
the sea well victualled both by water and by land. And when he came to the sea he sent home the
footmen a!ain and took no more with him but ten thousand men on horseback the most part men of
arms and so shipped and passed the sea into 3n!land and landed at (overC and throu!h the wit of
Merlin he had the host northward the priviest way that could be thou!ht unto the forest of
Bede!raine and there in a valley he lod!ed them secretly.
Then rode Merlin unto Arthur and the two kin!s and told them how he had spedC whereof they had
!reat marvel that man on earth mi!ht speed so soon and !o and come. So Merlin told them ten
thousand were in the forest of Bede!raine well armed at all points. Then was there no more to say but
to horseback went all the host as Arthur had afore purveyed. So with twenty thousand he passed by
ni!ht and day but there was made such an ordinance afore by Merlin that there should no man of war
ride nor !o in no country on this side Trent water but if he had a token from :in! Arthur where
throu!h the kin!'s enemies durst not ride as they did to"fore to espy.
CHAPTER !II# How ele-en k(ngs gat%e&ed a g&eat %ost aga(nst
"(ng A&t%'&#
A2( S* within a little space the three kin!s came unto the castle of Bede!raine and found there a
passin! fair fellowship and well beseen whereof they had !reat $oy and victual they wanted none.
This was the cause of the northern host+ that they were reared for the despite and rebuke the si' kin!s
had at )arlion. And those si' kin!s by their means !at unto them five other kin!sC and thus they be!an
to !ather their people.
And now they sware that for weal nor woe they should not leave other till they had destroyed
Arthur. And then they made an oath. The first that be!an the oath was the (uke of )ambenet that he
would brin! with him five thousand men of arms the which were ready on horseback. Then sware
:in! Brande!oris of Stran!!ore that he would brin! five thousand men of arms on horseback. Then
sware :in! )lariance of 2orthumberland he would brin! three thousand men of arms. Then sware the
:in! of the 1undred :ni!hts that was a passin! !ood man and a youn! that he would brin! four
.7
thousand men of arms on horseback. Then there swore :in! Lot a passin! !ood kni!ht and Sir
%awain's father that he would brin! five thousand men of arms on horseback. Also there swore :in!
;rience that was Sir ;wain's father of the land of %ore and he would brin! si' thousand men of arms
on horseback. Also there swore :in! /dres of )ornwall that he would brin! five thousand men of arms
on horseback. Also there swore :in! )radelmas to brin! five thousand men on horseback. Also there
swore :in! A!wisance of /reland to brin! five thousand men of arms on horseback. Also there swore
:in! 2entres to brin! five thousand men of arms on horseback. Also there swore :in! )arados to
brin! five thousand men of arms on horseback. So their whole host was of clean men of arms on
horseback fifty thousand and a"foot ten thousand of !ood men's bodies. Then were they soon ready
and mounted upon horse and sent forth their fore"riders for these eleven kin!s in their ways laid a
sie!e unto the castle of Bede!raineC and so they departed and drew toward Arthur and left few to abide
at the sie!e for the castle of Bede!raine was holden of :in! Arthur and the men that were therein were
Arthur's.
CHAPTER !III# Of a d&eam of t%e "(ng w(t% t%e H'nd&ed
"n(g%ts#
So by Merlin's advice there were sent fore"riders to skim the country and they met with the fore"
riders of the north and made them to tell which way the host came and then they told it to Arthur and
by :in! Ban and Bors' council they let burn and destroy all the country afore them there they should
ride.
The :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts met a wonder dream two ni!hts afore the battle that there
blew a !reat wind and blew down their castles and their towns and after that came a water and bare it
all away. All that heard of the sweven said it was a token of !reat battle. Then by counsel of Merlin
when they wist which way the eleven kin!s would ride and lod!e that ni!ht at midni!ht they set upon
them as they were in their pavilions. But the scout"watch by their host cried LordsJ at armsJ for here
be your enemies at your handJ
.@
CHAPTER !I,# How t%e ele-en k(ngs w(t% t%e(& %ost fo'g%t
aga(nst A&t%'& and %(s %ost) and man+ g&eat feats of t%e
wa&#
T132 :in! Arthur and :in! Ban and :in! Bors with their !ood and trusty kni!hts set on them
so fiercely that they made them overthrow their pavilions on their heads but the eleven kin!s by
manly prowess of arms took a fair champai!n but there was slain that morrowtide ten thousand !ood
men's bodies. And so they had afore them a stron! passa!e yet were they fifty thousand of hardy men.
Then it drew toward day. 2ow shall ye do by mine advice said Merlin unto the three kin!s+ / would
that :in! Ban and :in! Bors with their fellowship of ten thousand men were put in a wood here
beside in an ambushment and keep them privy and that they be laid or the li!ht of the day come and
that they stir not till ye and your kni!hts have fou!ht with them lon!. And when it is dayli!ht dress
your battle even afore them and the passa!e that they may see all your host for then will they be the
more hardy when they see you but about twenty thousand men and cause them to be the !ladder to
suffer you and your host to come over the passa!e. All the three kin!s and the whole barons said that
Merlin said passin!ly well and it was done anon as Merlin had devised. So on the morn when either
host saw other the host of the north was well comforted. Then to ;lfius and Brastias were delivered
three thousand men of arms and they set on them fiercely in the passa!e and slew on the ri!ht hand
and on the left hand that it was wonder to tell.
5hen that the eleven kin!s saw that there was so few a fellowship did such deeds of arms they
were ashamed and set on them a!ain fiercelyC and there was Sir ;lfius's horse slain under him but he
did marvellously well on foot. But the (uke 3ustace of )ambenet and :in! )lariance of
2orthumberland were alway !rievous on ;lfius. Then Brastias saw his fellow fared so withal he smote
the duke with a spear that horse and man fell down. That saw :in! )lariance and returned unto
Brastias and either smote other so that horse and man went to the earth and so they lay lon! astonied
and their horses' knees brast to the hard bone. Then came Sir :ay the seneschal with si' fellows with
him and did passin! well. 5ith that came the eleven kin!s and there was %riflet put to the earth horse
and man and Lucas the butler horse and man by :in! Brande!oris and :in! /dres and :in!
A!wisance. Then wa'ed the medley passin! hard on both parties. 5hen Sir :ay saw %riflet on foot he
.=
rode on :in! 2entres and smote him down and led his horse unto Sir %riflet and horsed him a!ain.
Also Sir :ay with the same spear smote down :in! Lot and hurt him passin! sore. That saw the :in!
with the 1undred :ni!hts and ran unto Sir :ay and smote him down and took his horse and !ave him
:in! Lot whereof he said !ramercy. 5hen Sir %riflet saw Sir :ay and Lucas the butler on foot he
took a sharp spear !reat and sAuare and rode to #inel a !ood man of arms and smote horse and man
down and then he took his horse and !ave him unto Sir :ay. Then :in! Lot saw :in! 2entres on
foot he ran unto Melot de la 0oche and smote him down horse and man and !ave :in! 2entres the
horse and horsed him a!ain. Also the :in! of the 1undred :ni!hts saw :in! /dres on footC then he ran
unto %winiart de Bloi and smote him down horse and man and !ave :in! /dres the horse and horsed
him a!ainC and :in! Lot smote down )lariance de la &orest Sava!e and !ave the horse unto (uke
3ustace. And so when they had horsed the kin!s a!ain they drew them all eleven kin!s to!ether and
said they would be reven!ed of the dama!e that they had taken that day. The meanwhile came in Sir
3ctor with an ea!er countenance and found ;lfius and Brastias on foot in !reat peril of death that
were foul defoiled under horse"feet.
Then Arthur as a lion ran unto :in! )radelment of 2orth 5ales and smote him throu!h the left
side that the horse and the kin! fell downC and then he took the horse by the rein and led him unto
;lfius and said 1ave this horse mine old friend for !reat need hast thou of horse. %ramercy said
;lfius. Then Sir Arthur did so marvellously in arms that all men had wonder. 5hen the :in! with the
1undred :ni!hts saw :in! )radelment on foot he ran unto Sir 3ctor that was well horsed Sir :ay's
father and smote horse and man down and !ave the horse unto the kin! and horsed him a!ain. And
when :in! Arthur saw the kin! ride on Sir 3ctor's horse he was wroth and with his sword he smote the
kin! on the helm that a Auarter of the helm and shield fell down and so the sword carved down unto
the horse's neck and so the kin! and the horse fell down to the !round. Then Sir :ay came unto Sir
Mor!anore seneschal with the :in! of the 1undred :ni!hts and smote him down horse and man and
led the horse unto his father Sir 3ctorC then Sir 3ctor ran unto a kni!ht hi!ht Lardans and smote horse
and man down and led the horse unto Sir Brastias that !reat need had of an horse and was !reatly
defoiled. 5hen Brastias beheld Lucas the butler that lay like a dead man under the horses' feet and
ever Sir %riflet did marvellously for to rescue him and there were always fourteen kni!hts on Sir
LucasC then Brastias smote one of them on the helm that it went to the teeth and he rode to another
and smote him that the arm flew into the field. Then he went to the third and smote him on the
shoulder that shoulder and arm flew in the field. And when %riflet saw rescues he smote a kni!ht on
4>
the temples that head and helm went to the earth and %riflet took the horse of that kni!ht and led him
unto Sir Lucas and bade him mount upon the horse and reven!e his hurts. &or Brastias had slain a
kni!ht to"fore and horsed %riflet.
CHAPTER !,# .et of t%e same battle#
T132 Lucas saw :in! A!wisance that late had slain Moris de la 0oche and Lucas ran to him
with a short spear that was !reat that he !ave him such a fall that the horse fell down to the earth. Also
Lucas found there on foot Bloias de La &landres and Sir %winas two hardy kni!hts and in that
woodness that Lucas was in he slew two bachelors and horsed them a!ain. Then wa'ed the battle
passin! hard on both parties but Arthur was !lad that his kni!hts were horsed a!ain and then they
fou!ht to!ether that the noise and sound ran! by the water and the wood. 5herefore :in! Ban and
:in! Bors made them ready and dressed their shields and harness and they were so coura!eous that
many kni!hts shook and bevered for ea!erness. All this while Lucas and %winas and Briant and
Bellias of &landers held stron! medley a!ainst si' kin!s that was :in! Lot :in! 2entres :in!
Brande!oris :in! /dres :in! ;riens and :in! A!wisance. So with the help of Sir :ay and of Sir
%riflet they held these si' kin!s hard that unnethe they had any power to defend them. But when Sir
Arthur saw the battle would not be ended by no manner he fared wood as a lion and steered his horse
here and there on the ri!ht hand and on the left hand that he stinted not till he had slain twenty
kni!hts. Also he wounded :in! Lot sore on the shoulder and made him to leave that !round for Sir
:ay and %riflet did with :in! Arthur there !reat deeds of arms. Then ;lfius and Brastias and Sir
3ctor encountered a!ainst the (uke 3ustace and :in! )radelment and :in! )lariance of
2orthumberland and :in! )arados and a!ainst the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts. So these kni!hts
encountered with these kin!s that they made them to avoid the !round. Then :in! Lot made !reat dole
for his dama!es and his fellows and said unto the ten kin!s But if ye will do as / devise we shall be
slain and destroyedC let me have the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts and :in! A!wisance and :in!
/dres and the (uke of )ambenet and we five kin!s will have fifteen thousand men of arms with us
and we will !o apart while ye si' kin!s hold medley with twelve thousandC an we see that ye have
fou!hten with them lon! then will we come on fiercely and else shall we never match them said :in!
4?
Lot but by this mean. So they departed as they here devised and si' kin!s made their party stron!
a!ainst Arthur and made !reat war lon!.
/n the meanwhile brake the ambushment of :in! Ban and :in! Bors and Lionses and #hariance
had the van!uard and they two kni!hts met with :in! /dres and his fellowship and there be!an a !reat
medley of breakin! of spears and smitin! of swords with slayin! of men and horses and :in! /dres
was near at discomforture.
That saw A!wisance the kin! and put Lionses and #hariance in point of deathC for the (uke of
)ambenet came on withal with a !reat fellowship. So these two kni!hts were in !reat dan!er of their
lives that they were fain to return but always they rescued themselves and their fellowship
marvellously 5hen :in! Bors saw those kni!hts put aback it !rieved him soreC then he came on so
fast that his fellowship seemed as black as /nde. 5hen :in! Lot had espied :in! Bors he knew him
well then he said * Eesu defend us from death and horrible maimsJ for / see well we be in !reat peril
of deathC for / see yonder a kin! one of the most worshipfullest men and one of the best kni!hts of the
world is inclined unto his fellowship. 5hat is heL said the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts. /t is said
:in! Lot :in! Bors of %aulC / marvel how they came into this country without wittin! of us all. /t was
by Merlin's advice said the kni!ht. As for him said :in! )arados / will encounter with :in! Bors an
ye will rescue me when myster is. %o on said they all we will do all that we may. Then :in! )arados
and his host rode on a soft pace till that they came as ni!h :in! Bors as bow"drau!htC then either battle
let their horse run as fast as they mi!ht. And Bleoberis that was !odson unto :in! Bors he bare his
chief standard that was a passin! !ood kni!ht. 2ow shall we see said :in! Bors how these northern
Britons can bear the arms+ and :in! Bors encountered with a kni!ht and smote him throu!hout with a
spear that he fell dead unto the earthC and after drew his sword and did marvellous deeds of arms that
all parties had !reat wonder thereofC and his kni!hts failed not but did their part and :in! )arados was
smitten to the earth. 5ith that came the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts and rescued :in! )arados
mi!htily by force of arms for he was a passin! !ood kni!ht of a kin! and but a youn! man.
4-
CHAPTER !,I# .et mo&e of t%e same battle#
BY then came into the field :in! Ban as fierce as a lion with bands of !reen and thereupon !old.
1aJ aJ said :in! Lot we must be discomfited for yonder / see the most valiant kni!ht of the world
and the man of the most renown for such two brethren as is :in! Ban and :in! Bors are not livin!
wherefore we must needs void or dieC and but if we avoid manly and wisely there is but death. 5hen
:in! Ban came into the battle he came in so fiercely that the strokes redounded a!ain from the wood
and the waterC wherefore :in! Lot wept for pity and dole that he saw so many !ood kni!hts take their
end. But throu!h the !reat force of :in! Ban they made both the northern battles that were departed
hurtled to!ether for !reat dreadC and the three kin!s and their kni!hts slew on ever that it was pity on to
behold that multitude of the people that fled. But :in! Lot and :in! of the 1undred :ni!hts and :in!
Mor!anore !athered the people to!ether passin! kni!htly and did !reat prowess of arms and held the
battle all that day like hard.
5hen the :in! of the 1undred :ni!hts beheld the !reat dama!e that :in! Ban did he thrust unto
him with his horse and smote him on hi!h upon the helm a !reat stroke and astonied him sore. Then
:in! Ban was wroth with him and followed on him fiercelyC the other saw that and cast up his shield
and spurred his horse forward but the stroke of :in! Ban fell down and carved a cantel off the shield
and the sword slid down by the hauberk behind his back and cut throu!h the trappin! of steel and the
horse even in two pieces that the sword felt the earth. Then the :in! of the 1undred :ni!hts voided
the horse li!htly and with his sword he broached the horse of :in! Ban throu!h and throu!h. 5ith that
:in! Ban voided li!htly from the dead horse and then :in! Ban smote at the other so ea!erly and
smote him on the helm that he fell to the earth. Also in that ire he felled :in! Mor!anore and there was
!reat slau!hter of !ood kni!hts and much people. By then came into the press :in! Arthur and found
:in! Ban standin! amon! dead men and dead horses fi!htin! on foot as a wood lion that there came
none ni!h him as far as he mi!ht reach with his sword but he cau!ht a !rievous buffetC whereof :in!
Arthur had !reat pity. And Arthur was so bloody that by his shield there mi!ht no man know him for
all was blood and brains on his sword. And as Arthur looked by him he saw a kni!ht that was passin!ly
well horsed and therewith Sir Arthur ran to him and smote him on the helm that his sword went unto
his teeth and the kni!ht sank down to the earth dead and anon Arthur took the horse by the rein and
led him unto :in! Ban and said &air brother have this horse for he have !reat myster thereof and me
repenteth sore of your !reat dama!e. /t shall be soon reven!ed said :in! Ban for / trust in %od mine
ure is not such but some of them may sore repent this. / will well said Arthur for / see your deeds full
49
actualC nevertheless / mi!ht not come at you at that time.
But when :in! Ban was mounted on horseback then there be!an new battle the which was sore
and hard and passin! !reat slau!hter. And so throu!h !reat force :in! Arthur :in! Ban and :in!
Bors made their kni!hts a little to withdraw them. But alway the eleven kin!s with their chivalry never
turned backC and so withdrew them to a little wood and so over a little river and there they rested
them for on the ni!ht they mi!ht have no rest on the field. And then the eleven kin!s and kni!hts put
them on a heap all to!ether as men adread and out of all comfort. But there was no man mi!ht pass
them they held them so hard to!ether both behind and before that :in! Arthur had marvel of their
deeds of arms and was passin! wroth. Ah Sir Arthur said :in! Ban and :in! Bors blame them not
for they do as !ood men ou!ht to do. &or by my faith said :in! Ban they are the best fi!htin! men
and kni!hts of most prowess that ever / saw or heard speak of and those eleven kin!s are men of !reat
worshipC and if they were lon!in! unto you there were no kin! under the heaven had such eleven
kni!hts and of such worship. / may not love them said Arthur they would destroy me. That wot we
well said :in! Ban and :in! Bors for they are your mortal enemies and that hath been proved
aforehandC and this day they have done their part and that is !reat pity of their wilfulness.
Then all the eleven kin!s drew them to!ether and then said :in! Lot Lords ye must other ways
than ye do or else the !reat loss is behindC ye may see what people we have lost and what !ood men
we lose because we wait always on these foot"men and ever in savin! of one of the foot"men we lose
ten horsemen for himC therefore this is mine advice let us put our foot"men from us for it is near ni!ht
for the noble Arthur will not tarry on the footmen for they may save themselves the wood is near
hand. And when we horsemen be to!ether look every each of you kin!s let make such ordinance that
none break upon pain of death. And who that seeth any man dress him to flee li!htly that he be slain
for it is better that we slay a coward than throu!h a coward all we to be slain. 1ow say yeL said :in!
Lot answer me all ye kin!s. /t is well said Auoth :in! 2entresC so said the :in! of the 1undred
:ni!htsC the same said the :in! )arados and :in! ;riensC so did :in! /dres and :in! Brande!orisC
and so did :in! )radelment and the (uke of )ambenetC the same said :in! )lariance and :in!
A!wisance and sware they would never fail other neither for life nor for death. And whoso that fled
but did as they did should be slain. Then they amended their harness and ri!hted their shields and
took new spears and set them on their thi!hs and stood still as it had been a plump of wood.
4.
CHAPTER !,II# .et mo&e of t%e same battle) and %ow (t was
ended b+ e&l(n#
5132 Sir Arthur and :in! Ban and Bors beheld them and all their kni!hts they praised them
much for their noble cheer of chivalry for the hardiest fi!hters that ever they heard or saw. 5ith that
there dressed them a forty noble kni!hts and said unto the three kin!s they would break their battleC
these were their names+ Lionses #hariance ;lfius Brastias 3ctor :ay Lucas the butler %riflet le
&ise de (ieu Mariet de la 0oche %uinas de Bloi Briant de la &orest Sava!e Bellaus Morians of the
)astle MofN Maidens &lannedrius of the )astle of Ladies Annecians that was :in! Bors' !odson a
noble kni!ht Ladinas de la 0ouse 3merause )aulas %raciens le )astlein one Blois de la )ase and
Sir )ol!revaunce de %orreC all these kni!hts rode on afore with spears on their thi!hs and spurred their
horses mi!htily as the horses mi!ht run. And the eleven kin!s with part of their kni!hts rushed with
their horses as fast as they mi!ht with their spears and there they did on both parties marvellous deeds
of arms. So came into the thick of the press Arthur Ban and Bors and slew down ri!ht on both hands
that their horses went in blood up to the fetlocks. But ever the eleven kin!s and their host was ever in
the visa!e of Arthur. 5herefore Ban and Bors had !reat marvel considerin! the !reat slau!hter that
there was but at the last they were driven aback over a little river. 5ith that came Merlin on a !reat
black horse and said unto Arthur Thou hast never doneJ 1ast thou not done enou!hL of three score
thousand this day hast thou left alive but fifteen thousand and it is time to say 1oJ &or %od is wroth
with thee that thou wilt never have doneC for yonder eleven kin!s at this time will not be overthrown
but an thou tarry on them any lon!er thy fortune will turn and they shall increase. And therefore
withdraw you unto your lod!in! and rest you as soon as ye may and reward your !ood kni!hts with
!old and with silver for they have well deserved itC there may no riches be too dear for them for of so
few men as ye have there were never men did more of prowess than they have done today for ye have
matched this day with the best fi!hters of the world. That is truth said :in! Ban and Bors. Also said
Merlin withdraw you where ye list for this three year / dare undertake they shall not dere youC and by
then ye shall hear new tidin!s. And then Merlin said unto Arthur These eleven kin!s have more on
hand than they are ware of for the Saracens are landed in their countries more than forty thousand
that burn and slay and have laid sie!e at the castle 5andesborow and make !reat destructionC therefore
44
dread you not this three year. Also sir all the !oods that be !otten at this battle let it be searched and
when ye have it in your hands let it be !iven freely unto these two kin!s Ban and Bors that they may
reward their kni!hts withalC and that shall cause stran!ers to be of better will to do you service at need.
Also you be able to reward your own kni!hts of your own !oods whensomever it liketh you. /t is well
said Auoth Arthur and as thou hast devised so shall it be done. 5hen it was delivered to Ban and
Bors they !ave the !oods as freely to their kni!hts as freely as it was !iven to them. Then Merlin took
his leave of Arthur and of the two kin!s for to !o and see his master Bleise that dwelt in
2orthumberlandC and so he departed and came to his master that was passin! !lad of his comin!C and
there he told how Arthur and the two kin!s had sped at the !reat battle and how it was ended and told
the names of every kin! and kni!ht of worship that was there. And so Bleise wrote the battle word by
word as Merlin told him how it be!an and by whom and in likewise how it was ended and who had
the worse. All the battles that were done in Arthur's days Merlin did his master Bleise do writeC also he
did do write all the battles that every worthy kni!ht did of Arthur's court.
After this Merlin departed from his master and came to :in! Arthur that was in the castle of
Bede!raine that was one of the castles that stand in the forest of Sherwood. And Merlin was so
dis!uised that :in! Arthur knew him not for he was all befurred in black sheep"skins and a !reat pair
of boots and a bow and arrows in a russet !own and brou!ht wild !eese in his hand and it was on the
morn after )andlemas dayC but :in! Arthur knew him not. Sir said Merlin unto the kin! will ye !ive
me a !iftL 5herefore said :in! Arthur should / !ive thee a !ift churlL Sir said Merlin ye were better
to !ive me a !ift that is not in your hand than to lose !reat riches for here in the same place where the
!reat battle was is !reat treasure hid in the earth. 5ho told thee so churlL said Arthur. Merlin told me
so said he. Then ;lfius and Brastias knew him well enou!h and smiled. Sir said these two kni!hts it
is Merlin that so speaketh unto you. Then :in! Arthur was !reatly abashed and had marvel of Merlin
and so had :in! Ban and :in! Bors and so they had !reat disport at him. So in the meanwhile there
came a damosel that was an earl's dau!hter+ his name was Sanam and her name was Lionors a passin!
fair damoselC and so she came thither for to do homa!e as other lords did after the !reat battle. And
:in! Arthur set his love !reatly upon her and so did she upon him and the kin! had ado with her and
!at on her a child+ his name was Borre that was after a !ood kni!ht and of the Table 0ound. Then
there came word that the :in! 0ience of 2orth 5ales made !reat war on :in! Leode!rance of
)ameliard for the which thin! Arthur was wroth for he loved him well and hated :in! 0ience for he
was alway a!ainst him. So by ordinance of the three kin!s that were sent home unto Benwick all they
4<
would depart for dread of :in! )laudasC and #hariance and Antemes and %ratian and Lionses MofN
#ayarne with the leaders of those that should keep the kin!s' lands.
CHAPTER !,III# How "(ng A&t%'&) "(ng Ban) and "(ng Bo&s
&esc'ed "(ng Leodeg&ance) and ot%e& (nc(dents#
A2( then :in! Arthur and :in! Ban and :in! Bors departed with their fellowship a twenty
thousand and came within si' days into the country of )ameliard and there rescued :in!
Leode!rance and slew there much people of :in! 0ience unto the number of ten thousand men and
put him to fli!ht. And then had these three kin!s !reat cheer of :in! Leode!rance that thanked them of
their !reat !oodness that they would reven!e him of his enemiesC and there had Arthur the first si!ht of
%uenever the kin!'s dau!hter of )ameliard and ever after he loved her. After they were wedded as it
telleth in the book. So briefly to make an end they took their leave to !o into their own countries for
:in! )laudas did !reat destruction on their lands. Then said Arthur / will !o with you. 2ay said the
kin!s ye shall not at this time for ye have much to do yet in these lands therefore we will depart and
with the !reat !oods that we have !otten in these lands by your !ifts we shall wa!e !ood kni!hts and
withstand the :in! )laudas' malice for by the !race of %od an we have need we will send to you for
your succourC and if ye have need send for us and we will not tarry by the faith of our bodies. /t shall
not said Merlin need that these two kin!s come a!ain in the way of war but / know well :in! Arthur
may not be lon! from you for within a year or two ye shall have !reat need and then shall he reven!e
you on your enemies as ye have done on his. &or these eleven kin!s shall die all in a day by the !reat
mi!ht and prowess of arms of two valiant kni!hts Has it telleth afterIC their names be Balin le Sava!e
and Balan his brother that be marvellous !ood kni!hts as be any livin!.
2ow turn we to the eleven kin!s that returned unto a city that hi!ht Sorhaute the which city was
within :in! ;riens' and there they refreshed them as well as they mi!ht and made leeches search their
wounds and sorrowed !reatly for the death of their people. 5ith that there came a messen!er and told
how there was come into their lands people that were lawless as well as Saracens a forty thousand and
have burnt and slain all the people that they may come by without mercy and have laid sie!e on the
castle of 5andesborow. Alas said the eleven kin!s here is sorrow upon sorrow and if we had not
47
warred a!ainst Arthur as we have done he would soon reven!e us. As for :in! Leode!rance he loveth
Arthur better than us and as for :in! 0ience he hath enou!h to do with Leode!rance for he hath laid
sie!e unto him. So they consented to!ether to keep all the marches of )ornwall of 5ales and of the
2orth. So first they put :in! /dres in the )ity of 2auntes in Britain with four thousand men of arms
to watch both the water and the land. Also they put in the city of 5indesan :in! 2entres of %arlot
with four thousand kni!hts to watch both on water and on land. Also they had of other men of war
more than ei!ht thousand for to fortify all the fortresses in the marches of )ornwall. Also they put
more kni!hts in all the marches of 5ales and Scotland with many !ood men of arms and so they kept
them to!ether the space of three year and ever allied them with mi!hty kin!s and dukes and lords. And
to them fell :in! 0ience of 2orth 5ales the which and 2ero that was a mi!hty man of men. And all
this while they furnished them and !arnished them of !ood men of arms and victual and of all manner
of habiliment that pretendeth to the war to aven!e them for the battle of Bede!raine as it telleth in the
book of adventures followin!.
CHAPTER !I!# How "(ng A&t%'& &ode to Ca&l(on) and of %(s
d&eam) and %ow %e saw t%e /'est(ng beast#
T132 after the departin! of :in! Ban and of :in! Bors :in! Arthur rode into )arlion. And
thither came to him :in! Lot's wife of *rkney in manner of a messa!e but she was sent thither to
espy the court of :in! ArthurC and she came richly beseen with her four sons %awaine %aheris
A!ravine and %areth with many other kni!hts and ladies. &or she was a passin! fair lady therefore the
kin! cast !reat love unto her and desired to lie by herC so they were a!reed and he be!at upon her
Mordred and she was his sister on his mother's side /!raine. So there she rested her a month and at
the last departed. Then the kin! dreamed a marvellous dream whereof he was sore adread. But all this
time :in! Arthur knew not that :in! Lot's wife was his sister. Thus was the dream of Arthur+ 1im
thou!ht there was come into this land !riffins and serpents and him thou!ht they burnt and slew all the
people in the land and then him thou!ht he fou!ht with them and they did him passin! !reat harm and
wounded him full sore but at the last he slew them. 5hen the kin! awaked he was passin! heavy of
his dream and so to put it out of thou!hts he made him ready with many kni!hts to ride a"huntin!. As
4@
soon as he was in the forest the kin! saw a !reat hart afore him. This hart will / chase said :in! Arthur
and so he spurred the horse and rode after lon! and so by fine force oft he was like to have smitten the
hartC whereas the kin! had chased the hart so lon! that his horse lost his breath and fell down dead.
Then a yeoman fetched the kin! another horse.
So the kin! saw the hart enbushed and his horse dead he set him down by a fountain and there he
fell in !reat thou!hts. And as he sat so him thou!ht he heard a noise of hounds to the sum of thirty.
And with that the kin! saw comin! toward him the stran!est beast that ever he saw or heard ofC so the
beast went to the well and drank and the noise was in the beast's belly like unto the Auestin! of thirty
couple houndsC but all the while the beast drank there was no noise in the beast's belly+ and there with
the beast departed with a !reat noise whereof the kin! had !reat marvel. And so he was in a !reat
thou!ht and therewith he fell asleep. 0i!ht so there came a kni!ht afoot unto Arthur and said :ni!ht
full of thou!ht and sleepy tell me if thou sawest a stran!e beast pass this way. Such one saw / said
:in! Arthur that is past two mileC what would ye with the beastL said Arthur. Sir / have followed that
beast lon! time and killed mine horse so would %od / had another to follow my Auest. 0i!ht so came
one with the kin!'s horse and when the kni!ht saw the horse he prayed the kin! to !ive him the horse+
for / have followed this Auest this twelvemonth and either / shall achieve him or bleed of the best
blood of my body. #ellinore that time kin! followed the Buestin! Beast and after his death Sir
#alamides followed it.
CHAPTER !!# How "(ng Pell(no&e took A&t%'&0s %o&se and
followed t%e 1'est(ng Beast) and %ow e&l(n met w(t%
A&t%'&#
S/0 kni!ht said the kin! leave that Auest and suffer me to have it and / will follow it another
twelvemonth. Ah fool said the kni!ht unto Arthur it is in vain thy desire for it shall never be achieved
but by me or my ne't kin. Therewith he started unto the kin!'s horse and mounted into the saddle and
said %ramercy this horse is my own. 5ell said the kin! thou mayst take my horse by force but an /
mi!ht prove thee whether thou were better on horseback or /.K5ell said the kni!ht seek me here
when thou wilt and here ni!h this well thou shalt find me and so passed on his way. Then the kin! sat
4=
in a study and bade his men fetch his horse as fast as ever they mi!ht. 0i!ht so came by him Merlin
like a child of fourteen year of a!e and saluted the kin! and asked him why he was so pensive. / may
well be pensive said the kin! for / have seen the marvellest si!ht that ever / saw. That know / well
said Merlin as well as thyself and of all thy thou!hts but thou art but a fool to take thou!ht for it will
not amend thee. Also / know what thou art and who was thy father and of whom thou wert be!ottenC
:in! ;ther #endra!on was thy father and be!at thee on /!raine. That is false said :in! Arthur how
shouldest thou know it for thou art not so old of years to know my fatherL Yes said Merlin / know it
better than ye or any man livin!. / will not believe thee said Arthur and was wroth with the child. So
departed Merlin and came a!ain in the likeness of an old man of fourscore year of a!e whereof the
kin! was ri!ht !lad for he seemed to be ri!ht wise.
Then said the old man 5hy are ye so sadL / may well be heavy said Arthur for many thin!s. Also
here was a child and told me many thin!s that meseemeth he should not know for he was not of a!e to
know my father. Yes said the old man the child told you truth and more would he have told you an ye
would have suffered him. But ye have done a thin! late that %od is displeased with you for ye have
lain by your sister and on her ye have !otten a child that shall destroy you and all the kni!hts of your
realm. 5hat are ye said Arthur that tell me these tidin!sL / am Merlin and / was he in the child's
likeness. Ah said :in! Arthur ye are a marvellous man but / marvel much of thy words that / must die
in battle. Marvel not said Merlin for it is %od's will your body to be punished for your foul deedsC but
/ may well be sorry said Merlin for / shall die a shameful death to be put in the earth Auick and ye
shall die a worshipful death. And as they talked this came one with the kin!'s horse and so the kin!
mounted on his horse and Merlin on another and so rode unto )arlion. And anon the kin! asked 3ctor
and ;lfius how he was be!otten and they told him ;ther #endra!on was his father and Bueen /!raine
his mother. Then he said to Merlin / will that my mother be sent for that / may speak with herC and if
she say so herself then will / believe it. /n all haste the Aueen was sent for and she came and brou!ht
with her Mor!an le &ay her dau!hter that was as fair a lady as any mi!ht be and the kin! welcomed
/!raine in the best manner.
<>
CHAPTER !!I# How $lf('s (m*eac%ed 1'een Ig&a(ne) A&t%'&0s
mot%e&) of t&eason2 and %ow a kn(g%t came and des(&ed to
%a-e t%e deat% of %(s maste&
reven!ed.
0/%1T S* came ;lfius and said openly that the kin! and all mi!ht hear that were feasted that
day Ye are the falsest lady of the world and the most traitress unto the kin!'s person. Beware said
Arthur what thou sayestC thou speakest a !reat word. / am well ware said ;lfius what / speak and
here is my !love to prove it upon any man that will say the contrary that this Bueen /!raine is causer of
your !reat dama!e and of your !reat war. &or an she would have uttered it in the life of :in! ;ther
#endra!on of the birth of you and how ye were be!otten ye had never had the mortal wars that ye
have hadC for the most part of your barons of your realm knew never whose son ye were nor of whom
ye were be!ottenC and she that bare you of her body should have made it known openly in e'cusin! of
her worship and yours and in like wise to all the realm wherefore / prove her false to %od and to you
and to all your realm and who will say the contrary / will prove it on his body.
Then spake /!raine and said / am a woman and / may not fi!ht but rather than / should be
dishonoured there would some !ood man take my Auarrel. More she said Merlin knoweth well and
ye Sir ;lfius how :in! ;ther came to me in the )astle of Tinta!il in the likeness of my lord that was
dead three hours to"fore and thereby !at a child that ni!ht upon me. And after the thirteenth day :in!
;ther wedded me and by his commandment when the child was born it was delivered unto Merlin and
nourished by him and so / saw the child never after nor wot not what is his name for / knew him
never yet. And there ;lfius said to the Aueen Merlin is more to blame than ye. 5ell / wot said the
Aueen / bare a child by my lord :in! ;ther but / wot not where he is become. Then Merlin took the
kin! by the hand sayin! This is your mother. And therewith Sir 3ctor bare witness how he nourished
him by ;ther's commandment. And therewith :in! Arthur took his mother Bueen /!raine in his arms
and kissed her and either wept upon other. And then the kin! let make a feast that lasted ei!ht days.
Then on a day there came in the court a sAuire on horseback leadin! a kni!ht before him wounded
to the death and told him how there was a kni!ht in the forest had reared up a pavilion by a well and
hath slain my master a !ood kni!ht his name was MilesC wherefore / beseech you that my master may
be buried and that some kni!ht may reven!e my master's death. Then the noise was !reat of that
kni!ht's death in the court and every man said his advice. Then came %riflet that was but a sAuire and
<?
he was but youn! of the a!e of the kin! Arthur so he besou!ht the kin! for all his service that he had
done him to !ive the order of kni!hthood.
CHAPTER !!II# How G&(flet was made kn(g%t) and 3o'sted
w(t% a kn(g%t
T1*; art full youn! and tender of a!e said Arthur for to take so hi!h an order on thee. Sir said
%riflet / beseech you make me kni!ht. Sir said Merlin it were !reat pity to lose %riflet for he will be
a passin! !ood man when he is of a!e abidin! with you the term of his life. And if he adventure his
body with yonder kni!ht at the fountain it is in !reat peril if ever he come a!ain for he is one of the
best kni!hts of the world and the stron!est man of arms. 5ell said Arthur. So at the desire of %riflet
the kin! made him kni!ht. 2ow said Arthur unto Sir %riflet sith / have made you kni!ht thou must
!ive me a !ift. 5hat ye will said %riflet. Thou shalt promise me by the faith of thy body when thou
hast $ousted with the kni!ht at the fountain whether it fall ye be on foot or on horseback that ri!ht so
ye shall come a!ain unto me without makin! any more debate. / will promise you said %riflet as you
desire. Then took %riflet his horse in !reat haste and dressed his shield and took a spear in his hand
and so he rode a !reat wallop till he came to the fountain and thereby he saw a rich pavilion and
thereby under a cloth stood a fair horse well saddled and bridled and on a tree a shield of divers
colours and a !reat spear. Then %riflet smote on the shield with the butt of his spear that the shield fell
down to the !round. 5ith that the kni!ht came out of the pavilion and said &air kni!ht why smote ye
down my shieldL &or / will $oust with you said %riflet. /t is better ye do not said the kni!ht for ye are
but youn! and late made kni!ht and your mi!ht is nothin! to mine. As for that said %riflet / will
$oust with you. That is me loath said the kni!ht but sith / must needs / will dress me thereto. *f
whence be yeL said the kni!ht. Sir / am of Arthur's court. So the two kni!hts ran to!ether that %riflet's
spear all to"shiveredC and there withal he smote %riflet throu!h the shield and the left side and brake
the spear that the truncheon stuck in his body that horse and kni!ht fell down.
<-
CHAPTER !!III# How twel-e kn(g%ts came f&om Rome and
asked t&'age fo& t%(s land of A&t%'&) and %ow A&t%'& fo'g%t
w(t% a kn(g%t#
5132 the kni!ht saw him lie so on the !round he ali!hted and was passin! heavy for he weened
he had slain him and then he unlaced his helm and !at him wind and so with the truncheon he set him
on his horse and so betook him to %od and said he had a mi!hty heart and if he mi!ht live he would
prove a passin! !ood kni!ht. And so Sir %riflet rode to the court where !reat dole was made for him.
But throu!h !ood leeches he was healed and saved. 0i!ht so came into the court twelve kni!hts and
were a!ed men and they came from the 3mperor of 0ome and they asked of Arthur trua!e for this
realm other else the emperor would destroy him and his land. 5ell said :in! Arthur ye are
messen!ers therefore ye may say what ye will other else ye should die therefore. But this is mine
answer+ / owe the emperor no trua!e nor none will / hold him but on a fair field / shall !ive him my
trua!e that shall be with a sharp spear or else with a sharp sword and that shall not be lon! by my
father's soul ;ther #endra!on. And therewith the messen!ers departed passin!ly wroth and :in!
Arthur as wroth for in evil time came they thenC for the kin! was passin!ly wroth for the hurt of Sir
%riflet. And so he commanded a privy man of his chamber that or it be day his best horse and armour
with all that lon!eth unto his person be without the city or to"morrow day. 0i!ht so or to"morrow day
he met with his man and his horse and so mounted up and dressed his shield and took his spear and
bade his chamberlain tarry there till he came a!ain. And so Arthur rode a soft pace till it was day and
then was he ware of three churls chasin! Merlin and would have slain him. Then the kin! rode unto
them and bade them+ &lee churlsJ then were they afeard when they saw a kni!ht and fled. * Merlin
said Arthur here hadst thou been slain for all thy crafts had / not been. 2ay said Merlin not so for /
could save myself an / wouldC and thou art more near thy death than / am for thou !oest to the
deathward an %od be not thy friend.
So as they went thus talkin! they came to the fountain and the rich pavilion there by it. Then :in!
Arthur was ware where sat a kni!ht armed in a chair. Sir kni!ht said Arthur for what cause abidest
thou here that there may no kni!ht ride this way but if he $oust with theeL said the kin!. / rede thee
leave that custom said Arthur. This custom said the kni!ht have / used and will use mau!re who saith
nay and who is !rieved with my custom let him amend it that will. / will amend it said Arthur. / shall
defend thee said the kni!ht. Anon he took his horse and dressed his shield and took a spear and they
met so hard either in other's shields that all to"shivered their spears. Therewith anon Arthur pulled out
<9
his sword. 2ay not so said the kni!htC it is fairer said the kni!ht that we twain run more to!ether with
sharp spears. / will well said Arthur an / had any more spears. / have enow said the kni!htC so there
came a sAuire and brou!ht two !ood spears and Arthur chose one and he anotherC so they spurred their
horses and came to!ether with all their mi!hts that either brake their spears to their hands. Then Arthur
set hand on his sword. 2ay said the kni!ht ye shall do better ye are a passin! !ood $ouster as ever /
met withal and once for the love of the hi!h order of kni!hthood let us $oust once a!ain. / assent me
said Arthur. Anon there were brou!ht two !reat spears and every kni!ht !at a spear and therewith they
ran to!ether that Arthur's spear all to"shivered. But the other kni!ht hit him so hard in midst of the
shield that horse and man fell to the earth and therewith Arthur was ea!er and pulled out his sword
and said / will assay thee sir kni!ht on foot for / have lost the honour on horseback. / will be on
horseback said the kni!ht. Then was Arthur wroth and dressed his shield toward him with his sword
drawn. 5hen the kni!ht saw that he ali!hted for him thou!ht no worship to have a kni!ht at such
avail he to be on horseback and he on foot and so he ali!hted and dressed his shield unto Arthur. And
there be!an a stron! battle with many !reat strokes and so hewed with their swords that the cantels
flew in the fields and much blood they bled both that all the place there as they fou!ht was overbled
with blood and thus they fou!ht lon! and rested them and then they went to the battle a!ain and so
hurtled to!ether like two rams that either fell to the earth. So at the last they smote to!ether that both
their swords met even to!ether. But the sword of the kni!ht smote :in! Arthur's sword in two pieces
wherefore he was heavy. Then said the kni!ht unto Arthur Thou art in my daun!er whether me list to
save thee or slay thee and but thou yield thee as overcome and recreant thou shalt die. As for death
said :in! Arthur welcome be it when it cometh but to yield me unto thee as recreant / had liefer die
than to be so shamed. And therewithal the kin! leapt unto #ellinore and took him by the middle and
threw him down and raced off his helm. 5hen the kni!ht felt that he was adread for he was a passin!
bi! man of mi!ht and anon he brou!ht Arthur under him and raced off his helm and would have
smitten off his head.
<.
CHAPTER !!I,# How e&l(n sa-ed A&t%'&0s l(fe) and t%&ew an
enc%antment on "(ng Pell(no&e and made %(m to slee*#
T13035/T1AL came Merlin and said :ni!ht hold thy hand for an thou slay that kni!ht thou
puttest this realm in the !reatest dama!e that ever was realm+ for this kni!ht is a man of more worship
than thou wotest of. 5hy who is heL said the kni!ht. /t is :in! Arthur. Then would he have slain him
for dread of his wrath and heaved up his sword and therewith Merlin cast an enchantment to the
kni!ht that he fell to the earth in a !reat sleep. Then Merlin took up :in! Arthur and rode forth on the
kni!ht's horse. AlasJ said Arthur what hast thou done MerlinL hast thou slain this !ood kni!ht by thy
craftsL There liveth not so worshipful a kni!ht as he wasC / had liefer than the stint of my land a year
that he were alive. )are ye not said Merlin for he is wholer than yeC for he is but asleep and will
awake within three hours. / told you said Merlin what a kni!ht he wasC here had ye been slain had /
not been. Also there liveth not a bi!!er kni!ht than he is one and he shall hereafter do you ri!ht !ood
serviceC and his name is #ellinore and he shall have two sons that shall be passin! !ood menC save one
they shall have no fellow of prowess and of !ood livin! and their names shall be #ercivale of 5ales
and Lamerake of 5ales and he shall tell you the name of your own son be!otten of your sister that
shall be the destruction of all this realm.
CHAPTER !!,# How A&t%'& b+ t%e mean of e&l(n gat
E4cal(b'& %(s swo&d of t%e Lad+ of t%e Lake#
0/%1T S* the kin! and he departed and went unto an hermit that was a !ood man and a !reat
leech. So the hermit searched all his wounds and !ave him !ood salvesC so the kin! was there three
days and then were his wounds well amended that he mi!ht ride and !o and so departed. And as they
rode Arthur said / have no sword. 2o force said Merlin hereby is a sword that shall be yours an /
may. So they rode till they came to a lake the which was a fair water and broad and in the midst of the
lake Arthur was ware of an arm clothed in white samite that held a fair sword in that hand. LoJ said
Merlin yonder is that sword that / spake of. 5ith that they saw a damosel !oin! upon the lake. 5hat
damosel is thatL said Arthur. That is the Lady of the Lake said MerlinC and within that lake is a rock
and therein is as fair a place as any on earth and richly beseenC and this damosel will come to you
<4
anon and then speak ye fair to her that she will !ive you that sword. Anon withal came the damosel
unto Arthur and saluted him and he her a!ain. (amosel said Arthur what sword is that that yonder
the arm holdeth above the waterL / would it were mine for / have no sword. Sir Arthur kin! said the
damosel that sword is mine and if ye will !ive me a !ift when / ask it you ye shall have it. By my
faith said Arthur / will !ive you what !ift ye will ask. 5ellJ said the damosel !o ye into yonder bar!e
and row yourself to the sword and take it and the scabbard with you and / will ask my !ift when / see
my time. So Sir Arthur and Merlin ali!hted and tied their horses to two trees and so they went into the
ship and when they came to the sword that the hand held Sir Arthur took it up by the handles and took
it with him and the arm and the hand went under the water. And so MtheyN came unto the land and rode
forth and then Sir Arthur saw a rich pavilion. 5hat si!nifieth yonder pavilionL /t is the kni!ht's
pavilion said Merlin that ye fou!ht with last Sir #ellinoreC but he is out he is not there. 1e hath ado
with a kni!ht of yours that hi!ht 3!!lame and they have fou!hten to!ether but at the last 3!!lame
fled and else he had been dead and he hath chased him even to )arlion and we shall meet with him
anon in the hi!hway. That is well said said Arthur now have / a sword now will / wa!e battle with
him and be aven!ed on him. Sir you shall not so said Merlin for the kni!ht is weary of fi!htin! and
chasin! so that ye shall have no worship to have ado with himC also he will not be li!htly matched of
one kni!ht livin! and therefore it is my counsel let him pass for he shall do you !ood service in short
time and his sons after his days. Also ye shall see that day in short space you shall be ri!ht !lad to
!ive him your sister to wed. 5hen / see him / will do as ye advise said Arthur.
Then Sir Arthur looked on the sword and liked it passin! well. 5hether liketh you better said
Merlin the sword or the scabbardL Me liketh better the sword said Arthur. Ye are more unwise said
Merlin for the scabbard is worth ten of the swords for whiles ye have the scabbard upon you ye shall
never lose no blood be ye never so sore woundedC therefore keep well the scabbard always with you.
So they rode unto )arlion and by the way they met with Sir #ellinoreC but Merlin had done such a
craft that #ellinore saw not Arthur and he passed by without any words. / marvel said Arthur that the
kni!ht would not speak. Sir said Merlin he saw you not for an he had seen you ye had not li!htly
departed. So they came unto )arlion whereof his kni!hts were passin! !lad. And when they heard of
his adventures they marvelled that he would $eopard his person so alone. But all men of worship said
it was merry to be under such a chieftain that would put his person in adventure as other poor kni!hts
did.
<<
CHAPTER !!,I# How t(d(ngs came to A&t%'& t%at "(ng R(ence
%ad o-e&come ele-en k(ngs) and %ow %e des(&ed A&t%'&0s
bea&d to t&(m %(s mantle#
T1/S meanwhile came a messen!er from :in! 0ience of 2orth 5ales and kin! he was of all
/reland and of many isles. And this was his messa!e !reetin! well :in! Arthur in this manner wise
sayin! that :in! 0ience had discomfited and overcome eleven kin!s and everych of them did him
homa!e and that was this they !ave him their beards clean flayed off as much as there wasC wherefore
the messen!er came for :in! Arthur's beard. &or :in! 0ience had purfled a mantle with kin!s' beards
and there lacked one place of the mantleC wherefore he sent for his beard or else he would enter into
his lands and burn and slay and never leave till he have the head and the beard. 5ell said Arthur thou
hast said thy messa!e the which is the most villainous and lewdest messa!e that ever man heard sent
unto a kin!C also thou mayest see my beard is full youn! yet to make a purfle of it. But tell thou thy
kin! this+ / owe him none homa!e nor none of mine eldersC but or it be lon! to he shall do me homa!e
on both his knees or else he shall lose his head by the faith of my body for this is the most
shamefulest messa!e that ever / heard speak of. / have espied thy kin! met never yet with worshipful
man but tell him / will have his head without he do me homa!e. Then the messen!er departed.
2ow is there any here said Arthur that knoweth :in! 0ienceL Then answered a kni!ht that hi!ht
2aram Sir / know the kin! wellC he is a passin! !ood man of his body as few be livin! and a passin!
proud man and Sir doubt ye not he will make war on you with a mi!hty puissance. 5ell said Arthur /
shall ordain for him in short time.
CHAPTER !!,II# How all t%e c%(ld&en we&e sent fo& t%at we&e
bo&n on a+5da+) and %ow o&d&ed was sa-ed#
T132 :in! Arthur let send for all the children born on May"day be!otten of lords and born of
<7
ladiesC for Merlin told :in! Arthur that he that should destroy him should be born on May"day
wherefore he sent for them all upon pain of deathC and so there were found many lords' sons and all
were sent unto the kin! and so was Mordred sent by :in! Lot's wife and all were put in a ship to the
sea and some were four weeks old and some less. And so by fortune the ship drave unto a castle and
was all to"riven and destroyed the most part save that Mordred was cast up and a !ood man found
him and nourished him till he was fourteen year old and then he brou!ht him to the court as it
rehearseth afterward toward the end of the (eath of Arthur. So many lords and barons of this realm
were displeased for their children were so lost and many put the wite on Merlin more than on ArthurC
so what for dread and for love they held their peace. But when the messen!er came to :in! 0ience
then was he wood out of measure and purveyed him for a !reat host as it rehearseth after in the book
of Balin le Sava!e that followeth ne't after how by adventure Balin !at the sword.
3'plicit liber primus. /ncipit liber secundus
BOO" II
CHAPTER I# Of a damosel w%(c% came g(&t w(t% a swo&d fo& to
f(nd a man of s'c% -(&t'e to d&aw (t o't of t%e scabba&d#
A&T30 the death of ;ther #endra!on rei!ned Arthur his son the which had !reat war in his days
for to !et all 3n!land into his hand. &or there were many kin!s within the realm of 3n!land and in
5ales Scotland and )ornwall. So it befell on a time when :in! Arthur was at London there came a
kni!ht and told the kin! tidin!s how that the :in! 0ience of 2orth 5ales had reared a !reat number of
people and were entered into the land and burnt and slew the kin!'s true lie!e people. /f this be true
said Arthur it were !reat shame unto mine estate but that he were mi!htily withstood. /t is truth said
the kni!ht for / saw the host myself. 5ell said the kin! let make a cry that all the lords kni!hts and
<@
!entlemen of arms should draw unto a castle called )amelot in those days and there the kin! would let
make a council"!eneral and a !reat $ousts.
So when the kin! was come thither with all his barona!e and lod!ed as they seemed best there
was come a damosel the which was sent on messa!e from the !reat lady Lile of Avelion. And when she
came before :in! Arthur she told from whom she came and how she was sent on messa!e unto him
for these causes. Then she let her mantle fall that was richly furredC and then was she !irt with a noble
sword whereof the kin! had marvel and said (amosel for what cause are ye !irt with that swordL it
beseemeth you not. 2ow shall / tell you said the damoselC this sword that / am !irt withal doth me
!reat sorrow and cumbrance for / may not be delivered of this sword but by a kni!ht but he must be a
passin! !ood man of his hands and of his deeds and without villainy or treachery and without treason.
And if / may find such a kni!ht that hath all these virtues he may draw out this sword out of the sheath
for / have been at :in! 0ience's it was told me there were passin! !ood kni!hts and he and all his
kni!hts have assayed it and none can speed. This is a !reat marvel said Arthur if this be soothC / will
myself assay to draw out the sword not presumin! upon myself that / am the best kni!ht but that / will
be!in to draw at your sword in !ivin! e'ample to all the barons that they shall assay everych one after
other when / have assayed it. Then Arthur took the sword by the sheath and by the !irdle and pulled at
it ea!erly but the sword would not out.
Sir said the damosel you need not to pull half so hard for he that shall pull it out shall do it with
little mi!ht. Ye say well said ArthurC now assay ye all my baronsC but beware ye be not defiled with
shame treachery nor !uile. Then it will not avail said the damosel for he must be a clean kni!ht
without villainy and of a !entle strain of father side and mother side. Most of all the barons of the
0ound Table that were there at that time assayed all by row but there mi!ht none speedC wherefore the
damosel made !reat sorrow out of measure and said AlasJ / weened in this court had been the best
kni!hts without treachery or treason. By my faith said Arthur here are !ood kni!hts as / deem as any
be in the world but their !race is not to help you wherefore / am displeased.
<=
CHAPTER II# How Bal(n) a&&a+ed l(ke a *oo& kn(g%t) *'lled o't
t%e swo&d) w%(c% afte&wa&d was t%e ca'se of %(s deat%#
T132 fell it so that time there was a poor kni!ht with :in! Arthur that had been prisoner with
him half a year and more for slayin! of a kni!ht the which was cousin unto :in! Arthur. The name of
this kni!ht was called Balin and by !ood means of the barons he was delivered out of prison for he
was a !ood man named of his body and he was born in 2orthumberland. And so he went privily into
the court and saw this adventure whereof it raised his heart and he would assay it as other kni!hts did
but for he was poor and poorly arrayed he put him not far in press. But in his heart he was fully assured
to do as well if his !race happed him as any kni!ht that there was. And as the damosel took her leave
of Arthur and of all the barons so departin! this kni!ht Balin called unto her and said (amosel /
pray you of your courtesy suffer me as well to assay as these lordsC thou!h that / be so poorly clothed
in my heart meseemeth / am fully assured as some of these others and meseemeth in my heart to speed
ri!ht well. The damosel beheld the poor kni!ht and saw he was a likely man but for his poor
arrayment she thou!ht he should be of no worship without villainy or treachery. And then she said unto
the kni!ht Sir it needeth not to put me to more pain or labour for it seemeth not you to speed there as
other have failed. AhJ fair damosel said Balin worthiness and !ood tatches and !ood deeds are not
only in arrayment but manhood and worship is hid within man's person and many a worshipful kni!ht
is not known unto all people and therefore worship and hardiness is not in arrayment. By %od said the
damosel ye say soothC therefore ye shall assay to do what ye may. Then Balin took the sword by the
!irdle and sheath and drew it out easilyC and when he looked on the sword it pleased him much. Then
had the kin! and all the barons !reat marvel that Balin had done that adventure and many kni!hts had
!reat despite of Balin. )ertes said the damosel this is a passin! !ood kni!ht and the best that ever /
found and most of worship without treason treachery or villainy and many marvels shall he do. 2ow
!entle and courteous kni!ht !ive me the sword a!ain. 2ay said Balin for this sword will / keep but it
be taken from me with force. 5ell said the damosel ye are not wise to keep the sword from me for ye
shall slay with the sword the best friend that ye have and the man that ye most love in the world and
the sword shall be your destruction. / shall take the adventure said Balin that %od will ordain me but
the sword ye shall not have at this time by the faith of my body. Ye shall repent it within short time
said the damosel for / would have the sword more for your avail than for mine for / am passin! heavy
for your sakeC for ye will not believe that sword shall be your destruction and that is !reat pity. 5ith
that the damosel departed makin! !reat sorrow.
7>
Anon after Balin sent for his horse and armour and so would depart from the court and took his
leave of :in! Arthur. 2ay said the kin! / suppose ye will not depart so li!htly from this fellowship /
suppose ye are displeased that / have shewed you unkindnessC blame me the less for / was
misinformed a!ainst you but / weened ye had not been such a kni!ht as ye are of worship and
prowess and if ye will abide in this court amon! my fellowship / shall so advance you as ye shall be
pleased. %od thank your hi!hness said Balin your bounty and hi!hness may no man praise half to the
valueC but at this time / must needs depart beseechin! you alway of your !ood !race. Truly said the
kin! / am ri!ht wroth for your departin!C / pray you fair kni!ht that ye tarry not lon! and ye shall be
ri!ht welcome to me and to my barons and / shall amend all miss that / have done a!ainst youC %od
thank your !reat lordship said Balin and therewith made him ready to depart. Then the most part of
the kni!hts of the 0ound Table said that Balin did not this adventure all only by mi!ht but by
witchcraft.
CHAPTER III# How t%e Lad+ of t%e Lake demanded t%e
kn(g%t0s %ead t%at %ad won t%e swo&d) o& t%e ma(den0s
%ead#
T13 meanwhile that this kni!ht was makin! him ready to depart there came into the court a lady
that hi!ht the Lady of the Lake. And she came on horseback richly beseen and saluted :in! Arthur
and there asked him a !ift that he promised her when she !ave him the sword. That is sooth said
Arthur a !ift / promised you but / have for!otten the name of my sword that ye !ave me. The name of
it said the lady is 3'calibur that is as much to say as )ut"steel. Ye say well said the kin!C ask what ye
will and ye shall have it an it lie in my power to !ive it. 5ell said the lady / ask the head of the kni!ht
that hath won the sword or else the damosel's head that brou!ht itC / take no force thou!h / have both
their heads for he slew my brother a !ood kni!ht and a true and that !entlewoman was causer of my
father's death. Truly said :in! Arthur / may not !rant neither of their heads with my worship
therefore ask what ye will else and / shall fulfil your desire. / will ask none other thin! said the lady.
5hen Balin was ready to depart he saw the Lady of the Lake that by her means had slain Balin's
mother and he had sou!ht her three yearsC and when it was told him that she asked his head of :in!
7?
Arthur he went to her strai!ht and said 3vil be you foundC ye would have my head and therefore ye
shall lose yours and with his sword li!htly he smote off her head before :in! Arthur. Alas for shameJ
said Arthur why have ye done soL ye have shamed me and all my court for this was a lady that / was
beholden to and hither she came under my safe"conductC / shall never for!ive you that trespass. Sir
said Balin me forthinketh of your displeasure for this same lady was the untruest lady livin! and by
enchantment and sorcery she hath been the destroyer of many !ood kni!hts and she was causer that my
mother was burnt throu!h her falsehood and treachery. 5hat cause soever ye had said Arthur ye
should have forborne her in my presenceC therefore think not the contrary ye shall repent it for such
another despite had / never in my courtC therefore withdraw you out of my court in all haste ye may.
Then Balin took up the head of the lady and bare it with him to his hostelry and there he met with
his sAuire that was sorry he had displeased :in! Arthur and so they rode forth out of the town. 2ow
said Balin we must depart take thou this head and bear it to my friends and tell them how / have sped
and tell my friends in 2orthumberland that my most foe is dead. Also tell them how / am out of prison
and what adventure befell me at the !ettin! of this sword. AlasJ said the sAuire ye are !reatly to blame
for to displease :in! Arthur. As for that said Balin / will hie me in all the haste that / may to meet
with :in! 0ience and destroy him either else to die thereforeC and if it may hap me to win him then
will :in! Arthur be my !ood and !racious lord. 5here shall / meet with youL said the sAuire. /n :in!
Arthur's court said Balin. So his sAuire and he departed at that time. Then :in! Arthur and all the court
made !reat dole and had shame of the death of the Lady of the Lake. Then the kin! buried her richly.
CHAPTER I,# How e&l(n told t%e ad-ent'&e of t%(s damosel#
AT that time there was a kni!ht the which was the kin!'s son of /reland and his name was
Lanceor the which was an or!ulous kni!ht and counted himself one of the best of the courtC and he
had !reat despite at Balin for the achievin! of the sword that any should be accounted more hardy or
more of prowessC and he asked :in! Arthur if he would !ive him leave to ride after Balin and to
reven!e the despite that he had done. (o your best said Arthur / am ri!ht wroth with BalinC / would he
were Auit of the despite that he hath done to me and to my court. Then this Lanceor went to his hostelry
to make him ready. /n the meanwhile came Merlin unto the court of :in! Arthur and there was told
7-
him the adventure of the sword and the death of the Lady of the Lake. 2ow shall / say you said
MerlinC this same damosel that here standeth that brou!ht the sword unto your court / shall tell you the
cause of her comin!+ she was the falsest damosel that liveth. Say not so said they. She hath a brother a
passin! !ood kni!ht of prowess and a full true manC and this damosel loved another kni!ht that held her
to paramour and this !ood kni!ht her brother met with the kni!ht that held her to paramour and slew
him by force of his hands. 5hen this false damosel understood this she went to the Lady Lile of
Avelion and besou!ht her of help to be aven!ed on her own brother.
CHAPTER ,# How Bal(n was *'&s'ed b+ 6(& Lanceo&) kn(g%t of
I&eland) and %ow %e 3o'sted and slew %(m#
A2( so this Lady Lile of Avelion took her this sword that she brou!ht with her and told there
should no man pull it out of the sheath but if he be one of the best kni!hts of this realm and he should
be hard and full of prowess and with that sword he should slay her brother. This was the cause that the
damosel came into this court. / know it as well as ye. 5ould %od she had not come into this court but
she came never in fellowship of worship to do !ood but always !reat harmC and that kni!ht that hath
achieved the sword shall be destroyed by that sword for the which will be !reat dama!e for there
liveth not a kni!ht of more prowess than he is and he shall do unto you my Lord Arthur !reat honour
and kindnessC and it is !reat pity he shall not endure but a while for of his stren!th and hardiness /
know not his match livin!.
So the kni!ht of /reland armed him at all points and dressed his shield on his shoulder and
mounted upon horseback and took his spear in his hand and rode after a !reat pace as much as his
horse mi!ht !oC and within a little space on a mountain he had a si!ht of Balin and with a loud voice
he cried Abide kni!ht for ye shall abide whether ye will or nill and the shield that is to"fore you shall
not help. 5hen Balin heard the noise he turned his horse fiercely and said &air kni!ht what will ye
with me will ye $oust with meL Yea said the /rish kni!ht therefore come / after you. #eradventure
said Balin it had been better to have holden you at home for many a man weeneth to put his enemy to
a rebuke and oft it falleth to himself. *f what court be ye sent fromL said Balin. / am come from the
court of :in! Arthur said the kni!ht of /reland that come hither for to reven!e the despite ye did this
79
day to :in! Arthur and to his court. 5ell said Balin / see well / must have ado with you that me
forthinketh for to !rieve :in! Arthur or any of his courtC and your Auarrel is full simple said Balin
unto me for the lady that is dead did me !reat dama!e and else would / have been loath as any kni!ht
that liveth for to slay a lady. Make you ready said the kni!ht Lanceor and dress you unto me for that
one shall abide in the field. Then they took their spears and came to!ether as much as their horses
mi!ht drive and the /rish kni!ht smote Balin on the shield that all went shivers off his spear and Balin
hit him throu!h the shield and the hauberk perished and so pierced throu!h his body and the horse's
croup and anon turned his horse fiercely and drew out his sword and wist not that he had slain himC
and then he saw him lie as a dead corpse.
CHAPTER ,I# How a damosel) w%(c% was lo-e to Lanceo&) slew
%e&self fo& lo-e) and %ow Bal(n met w(t% %(s b&ot%e& Balan#
T132 he looked by him and was ware of a damosel that came ridin! full fast as the horse mi!ht
ride on a fair palfrey. And when she espied that Lanceor was slain she made sorrow out of measure
and said * Balin two bodies thou hast slain and one heart and two hearts in one body and two souls
thou hast lost. And therewith she took the sword from her love that lay dead and fell to the !round in a
swoon. And when she arose she made !reat dole out of measure the which sorrow !rieved Balin
passin!ly sore and he went unto her for to have taken the sword out of her hand but she held it so fast
he mi!ht not take it out of her hand unless he should have hurt her and suddenly she set the pommel to
the !round and rove herself throu!h the body. 5hen Balin espied her deeds he was passin! heavy in
his heart and ashamed that so fair a damosel had destroyed herself for the love of his death. Alas said
Balin me repenteth sore the death of this kni!ht for the love of this damosel for there was much true
love betwi't them both and for sorrow mi!ht not lon!er behold him but turned his horse and looked
toward a !reat forest and there he was ware by the arms of his brother Balan. And when they were
met they put off their helms and kissed to!ether and wept for $oy and pity. Then Balan said / little
weened to have met with you at this sudden adventureC / am ri!ht !lad of your deliverance out of your
dolorous prisonment for a man told me in the castle of &our Stones that ye were delivered and that
man had seen you in the court of :in! Arthur and therefore / came hither into this country for here /
7.
supposed to find you. Anon the kni!ht Balin told his brother of his adventure of the sword and of the
death of the Lady of the Lake and how :in! Arthur was displeased with him. 5herefore he sent this
kni!ht after me that lieth here dead and the death of this damosel !rieveth me sore. So doth it me said
Balan but ye must take the adventure that %od will ordain you. Truly said Balin / am ri!ht heavy that
my Lord Arthur is displeased with me for he is the most worshipful kni!ht that rei!neth now on earth
and his love will / !et or else will / put my life in adventure. &or the :in! 0ience lieth at a sie!e at the
)astle Terrabil and thither will we draw in all haste to prove our worship and prowess upon him. / will
well said Balan that we do and we will help each other as brethren ou!ht to do.
CHAPTER ,II# How a dwa&f &e*&o-ed Bal(n fo& t%e deat% of
Lanceo&) and %ow "(ng a&k of Co&nwall fo'nd t%em) and
made a tomb o-e& t%em#
2ow !o we hence said Balin and well be we met. The meanwhile as they talked there came a
dwarf from the city of )amelot on horseback as much as he mi!htC and found the dead bodies
wherefore he made !reat dole and pulled out his hair for sorrow and said 5hich of you kni!hts have
done this deedL 5hereby askest thou itL said Balan. &or / would wit it said the dwarf. /t was / said
Balin that slew this kni!ht in my defence for hither he came to chase me and either / must slay him or
he meC and this damosel slew herself for his love which repenteth me and for her sake / shall owe all
women the better love. Alas said the dwarf thou hast done !reat dama!e unto thyself for this kni!ht
that is here dead was one of the most valiantest men that lived and trust well Balin the kin of this
kni!ht will chase you throu!h the world till they have slain you. As for that said Balin / fear not
!reatly but / am ri!ht heavy that / have displeased my lord :in! Arthur for the death of this kni!ht. So
as they talked to!ether there came a kin! of )ornwall ridin! the which hi!ht :in! Mark. And when he
saw these two bodies dead and understood how they were dead by the two kni!hts above said then
made the kin! !reat sorrow for the true love that was betwi't them and said / will not depart till / have
on this earth made a tomb and there he pi!ht his pavilions and sou!ht throu!h all the country to find a
tomb and in a church they found one was fair and rich and then the kin! let put them both in the earth
and put the tomb upon them and wrote the names of them both on the tomb. 1ow here lieth Lanceor
74
the kin!'s son of /reland that at his own reAuest was slain by the hands of BalinC and how his lady
)olombe and paramour slew herself with her love's sword for dole and sorrow.
CHAPTER ,III# How e&l(n *&o*%es(ed t%at two t%e best
kn(g%ts of t%e wo&ld s%o'ld f(g%t t%e&e) w%(c% we&e 6(&
Lancelot and 6(& T&(st&am#
T13 meanwhile as this was a"doin! in came Merlin to :in! Mark and seein! all his doin! said
1ere shall be in this same place the !reatest battle betwi't two kni!hts that was or ever shall be and the
truest lovers and yet none of them shall slay other. And there Merlin wrote their names upon the tomb
with letters of !old that should fi!ht in that place whose names were Launcelot de Lake and Tristram.
Thou art a marvellous man said :in! Mark unto Merlin that speakest of such marvels thou art a
boistous man and an unlikely to tell of such deeds. 5hat is thy nameL said :in! Mark. At this time
said Merlin / will not tell but at that time when Sir Tristram is taken with his soverei!n lady then ye
shall hear and know my name and at that time ye shall hear tidin!s that shall not please you. Then said
Merlin to Balin Thou hast done thyself !reat hurt because that thou savest not this lady that slew
herself that mi!ht have saved her an thou wouldest. By the faith of my body said Balin / mi!ht not
save her for she slew herself suddenly. Me repenteth said MerlinC because of the death of that lady
thou shalt strike a stroke most dolorous that ever man struck e'cept the stroke of our Lord for thou
shalt hurt the truest kni!ht and the man of most worship that now liveth and throu!h that stroke three
kin!doms shall be in !reat poverty misery and wretchedness twelve years and the kni!ht shall not be
whole of that wound for many years. Then Merlin took his leave of Balin. And Balin said /f / wist it
were sooth that ye say / should do such a perilous deed as that / would slay myself to make thee a liar.
Therewith Merlin vanished away suddenly. And then Balan and his brother took their leave of :in!
Mark. &irst said the kin! tell me your name. Sir said Balan ye may see he beareth two swords
thereby ye may call him the :ni!ht with the Two Swords. And so departed :in! Mark unto )amelot to
:in! Arthur and Balin took the way toward :in! 0ienceC and as they rode to!ether they met with
Merlin dis!uised but they knew him not. 5hither ride youL said Merlin. 5e have little to do said the
two kni!hts to tell thee. But what is thy nameL said Balin. At this time said Merlin / will not tell it
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thee. /t is evil seen said the kni!hts that thou art a true man that thou wilt not tell thy name. As for
that said Merlin be it as it be may / can tell you wherefore ye ride this way for to meet :in! 0ienceC
but it will not avail you without ye have my counsel. AhJ said Balin ye are MerlinC we will be ruled by
your counsel. )ome on said Merlin ye shall have !reat worship and look that ye do kni!htly for ye
shall have !reat need. As for that said Balin dread you not we will do what we may.
CHAPTER I!# How Bal(n and %(s b&ot%e&) b+ t%e co'nsel of
e&l(n) took "(ng R(ence and b&o'g%t %(m to "(ng A&t%'&#
T132 Merlin lod!ed them in a wood amon! leaves beside the hi!hway and took off the bridles of
their horses and put them to !rass and laid them down to rest them till it was ni!h midni!ht. Then
Merlin bade them rise and make them ready for the kin! was ni!h them that was stolen away from his
host with a three score horses of his best kni!hts and twenty of them rode to"fore to warn the Lady de
8ance that the kin! was comin!C for that ni!ht :in! 0ience should have lain with her. 5hich is the
kin!L said Balin. Abide said Merlin here in a strait way ye shall meet with himC and therewith he
showed Balin and his brother where he rode.
Anon Balin and his brother met with the kin! and smote him down and wounded him fiercely
and laid him to the !roundC and there they slew on the ri!ht hand and the left hand and slew more than
forty of his men and the remnant fled. Then went they a!ain to :in! 0ience and would have slain him
had he not yielded him unto their !race. Then said he thus+ :ni!hts full of prowess slay me not for by
my life ye may win and by my death ye shall win nothin!. Then said these two kni!hts Ye say sooth
and truth and so laid him on a horse"litter. 5ith that Merlin was vanished and came to :in! Arthur
aforehand and told him how his most enemy was taken and discomfited. By whomL said :in! Arthur.
By two kni!hts said Merlin that would please your lordship and to"morrow ye shall know what
kni!hts they are. Anon after came the :ni!ht with the Two Swords and Balan his brother and brou!ht
with them :in! 0ience of 2orth 5ales and there delivered him to the porters and char!ed them with
himC and so they two returned a!ain in the dawnin! of the day. :in! Arthur came then to :in! 0ience
and said Sir kin! ye are welcome+ by what adventure come ye hitherL Sir said :in! 0ience / came
hither by an hard adventure. 5ho won youL said :in! Arthur. Sir said the kin! the :ni!ht with the
77
Two Swords and his brother which are two marvellous kni!hts of prowess. / know them not said
Arthur but much / am beholden to them. Ah said Merlin / shall tell you+ it is Balin that achieved the
sword and his brother Balan a !ood kni!ht there liveth not a better of prowess and of worthiness and
it shall be the !reatest dole of him that ever / knew of kni!ht for he shall not lon! endure. Alas said
:in! Arthur that is !reat pityC for / am much beholden unto him and / have ill deserved it unto him for
his kindness. 2ay said Merlin he shall do much more for you and that shall ye know in haste. But sir
are ye purveyed said Merlin for to"morn the host of 2ero :in! 0ience's brother will set on you or
noon with a !reat host and therefore make you ready for / will depart from you.
CHAPTER !# How "(ng A&t%'& %ad a battle aga(nst Ne&o and
"(ng Lot of O&kne+) and %ow "(ng Lot was dece(-ed b+
e&l(n) and %ow twel-e k(ngs we&e sla(n#
T132 :in! Arthur made ready his host in ten battles and 2ero was ready in the field afore the
)astle Terrabil with a !reat host and he had ten battles with many more people than Arthur had. Then
2ero had the van!uard with the most part of his people and Merlin came to :in! Lot of the /sle of
*rkney and held him with a tale of prophecy till 2ero and his people were destroyed. And there Sir
:ay the seneschal did passin!ly well that the days of his life the worship went never from himC and Sir
1ervis de 0evel did marvellous deeds with :in! Arthur and :in! Arthur slew that day twenty kni!hts
and maimed forty. At that time came in the :ni!ht with the Two Swords and his brother Balan but they
two did so marvellously that the kin! and all the kni!hts marvelled of them and all they that beheld
them said they were sent from heaven as an!els or devils from hellC and :in! Arthur said himself they
were the best kni!hts that ever he saw for they !ave such strokes that all men had wonder of them.
/n the meanwhile came one to :in! Lot and told him while he tarried there 2ero was destroyed
and slain with all his people. Alas said :in! Lot / am ashamed for by my default there is many a
worshipful man slain for an we had been to!ether there had been none host under the heaven that had
been able for to have matched with usC this faiter with his prophecy hath mocked me. All that did
Merlin for he knew well that an :in! Lot had been with his body there at the first battle :in! Arthur
had been slain and all his people destroyedC and well Merlin knew that one of the kin!s should be dead
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that day and loath was Merlin that any of them both should be slainC but of the twain he had liefer
:in! Lot had been slain than :in! Arthur. 2ow what is best to doL said :in! Lot of *rkneyC whether is
me better to treat with :in! Arthur or to fi!ht for the !reater part of our people are slain and
destroyedL Sir said a kni!ht set on Arthur for they are weary and forfou!hten and we be fresh. As for
me said :in! Lot / would every kni!ht would do his part as / would do mine. And then they advanced
banners and smote to!ether and all to"shivered their spearsC and Arthur's kni!hts with the help of the
:ni!ht with the Two Swords and his brother Balan put :in! Lot and his host to the worse. But always
:in! Lot held him in the foremost front and did marvellous deeds of arms for all his host was borne
up by his hands for he abode all kni!hts. Alas he mi!ht not endure the which was !reat pity that so
worthy a kni!ht as he was one should be overmatched that of late time afore had been a kni!ht of :in!
Arthur's and wedded the sister of :in! ArthurC and for :in! Arthur lay by :in! Lot's wife the which
was Arthur's sister and !at on her Mordred therefore :in! Lot held a!ainst Arthur. So there was a
kni!ht that was called the :ni!ht with the Stran!e Beast and at that time his ri!ht name was called
#ellinore the which was a !ood man of prowess and he smote a mi!hty stroke at :in! Lot as he
fou!ht with all his enemies and he failed of his stroke and smote the horse's neck that he fell to the
!round with :in! Lot. And therewith anon #ellinore smote him a !reat stroke throu!h the helm and
head unto the brows. And then all the host of *rkney fled for the death of :in! Lot and there were
slain many mothers' sons. But :in! #ellinore bare the wite of the death of :in! Lot wherefore Sir
%awaine reven!ed the death of his father the tenth year after he was made kni!ht and slew :in!
#ellinore with his own hands. Also there were slain at that battle twelve kin!s on the side of :in! Lot
with 2ero and all were buried in the )hurch of Saint Stephen's in )amelot and the remnant of kni!hts
and of others were buried in a !reat rock.
CHAPTER !I# Of t%e (nte&ment of twel-e k(ngs) and of t%e
*&o*%ec+ of e&l(n) and %ow Bal(n s%o'ld g(-e t%e dolo&o's
st&oke#
S* at the interment came :in! Lot's wife Mar!awse with her four sons %awaine A!ravaine
%aheris and %areth. Also there came thither :in! ;riens Sir 3waine's father and Mor!an le &ay his
7=
wife that was :in! Arthur's sister. All these came to the interment. But of all these twelve kin!s :in!
Arthur let make the tomb of :in! Lot passin! richly and made his tomb by his ownC and then Arthur
let make twelve ima!es of latten and copper and over"!ilt it with !old in the si!n of twelve kin!s and
each one of them held a taper of wa' that burnt day and ni!htC and :in! Arthur was made in si!n of a
fi!ure standin! above them with a sword drawn in his hand and all the twelve fi!ures had countenance
like unto men that were overcome. All this made Merlin by his subtle craft and there he told the kin!
5hen / am dead these tapers shall burn no lon!er and soon after the adventures of the San!real shall
come amon! you and be achieved. Also he told Arthur how Balin the worshipful kni!ht shall !ive the
dolorous stroke whereof shall fall !reat ven!eance. *h where is Balin and Balan and #ellinoreL said
:in! Arthur. As for #ellinore said Merlin he will meet with you soonC and as for Balin he will not be
lon! from youC but the other brother will depart ye shall see him no more. By my faith said Arthur
they are two marvellous kni!hts and namely Balin passeth of prowess of any kni!ht that ever / found
for much beholden am / unto himC would %od he would abide with me. Sir said Merlin look ye keep
well the scabbard of 3'calibur for ye shall lose no blood while ye have the scabbard upon you thou!h
ye have as many wounds upon you as ye may have. So after for !reat trust Arthur betook the scabbard
to Mor!an le &ay his sister and she loved another kni!ht better than her husband :in! ;riens or :in!
Arthur and she would have had Arthur her brother slain and therefore she let make another scabbard
like it by enchantment and !ave the scabbard 3'calibur to her loveC and the kni!ht's name was called
Accolon that after had near slain :in! Arthur. After this Merlin told unto :in! Arthur of the prophecy
that there should be a !reat battle beside Salisbury and Mordred his own son should be a!ainst him.
Also he told him that Ba!deme!us was his cousin and !ermain unto :in! ;riens.
CHAPTER !II# How a so&&owf'l kn(g%t came befo&e A&t%'&)
and %ow Bal(n fetc%ed %(m) and %ow t%at kn(g%t was sla(n
b+ a kn(g%t (n-(s(ble#
5/T1/2 a day or two :in! Arthur was somewhat sick and he let pitch his pavilion in a meadow
and there he laid him down on a pallet to sleep but he mi!ht have no rest. 0i!ht so he heard a !reat
noise of an horse and therewith the kin! looked out at the porch of the pavilion and saw a kni!ht
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comin! even by him makin! !reat dole. Abide fair sir said Arthur and tell me wherefore thou makest
this sorrow. Ye may little amend me said the kni!ht and so passed forth to the castle of Meliot. Anon
after there came Balin and when he saw :in! Arthur he ali!hted off his horse and came to the :in! on
foot and saluted him. By my head said Arthur ye be welcome. Sir ri!ht now came ridin! this way a
kni!ht makin! !reat mourn for what cause / cannot tellC wherefore / would desire of you of your
courtesy and of your !entleness to fetch a!ain that kni!ht either by force or else by his !ood will. / will
do more for your lordship than that said BalinC and so he rode more than a pace and found the kni!ht
with a damosel in a forest and said Sir kni!ht ye must come with me unto :in! Arthur for to tell him
of your sorrow. That will / not said the kni!ht for it will scathe me !reatly and do you none avail. Sir
said Balin / pray you make you ready for ye must !o with me or else / must fi!ht with you and brin!
you by force and that were me loath to do. 5ill ye be my warrant said the kni!ht an / !o with youL
Yea said Balin or else / will die therefore. And so he made him ready to !o with Balin and left the
damosel still. And as they were even afore :in! Arthur's pavilion there came one invisible and smote
this kni!ht that went with Balin throu!hout the body with a spear. Alas said the kni!ht / am slain
under your conduct with a kni!ht called %arlonC therefore take my horse that is better than yours and
ride to the damosel and follow the Auest that / was in as she will lead you and reven!e my death when
ye may. That shall / do said Balin and that / make vow unto kni!hthoodC and so he departed from this
kni!ht with !reat sorrow. So :in! Arthur let bury this kni!ht richly and made a mention on his tomb
how there was slain 1erlews le Berbeus and by whom the treachery was done the kni!ht %arlon. But
ever the damosel bare the truncheon of the spear with her that Sir 1erlews was slain withal.
CHAPTER !III# How Bal(n and t%e damosel met w(t% a kn(g%t
w%(c% was (n l(kew(se sla(n) and %ow t%e damosel bled fo&
t%e c'stom of a castle#
So Balin and the damosel rode into a forest and there met with a kni!ht that had been a"huntin!
and that kni!ht asked Balin for what cause he made so !reat sorrow. Me list not to tell you said Balin.
2ow said the kni!ht an / were armed as ye be / would fi!ht with you. That should little need said
Balin / am not afeard to tell you and told him all the cause how it was. Ah said the kni!ht is this allL
@?
here / ensure you by the faith of my body never to depart from you while my life lasteth. And so they
went to the hostelry and armed them and so rode forth with Balin. And as they came by an hermita!e
even by a churchyard there came the kni!ht %arlon invisible and smote this kni!ht #erin de
Mountbeliard throu!h the body with a spear. Alas said the kni!ht / am slain by this traitor kni!ht that
rideth invisible. Alas said Balin it is not the first despite he hath done meC and there the hermit and
Balin buried the kni!ht under a rich stone and a tomb royal. And on the morn they found letters of !old
written how Sir %awaine shall reven!e his father's death :in! Lot on the :in! #ellinore. Anon after
this Balin and the damosel rode till they came to a castle and there Balin ali!hted and he and the
damosel went to !o into the castle and anon as Balin came within the castle's !ate the portcullis fell
down at his back and there fell many men about the damosel and would have slain her. 5hen Balin
saw that he was sore a!!rieved for he mi!ht not help the damosel. Then he went up into the tower and
leapt over walls into the ditch and hurt him notC and anon he pulled out his sword and would have
fou!hten with them. And they all said nay they would not fi!ht with him for they did nothin! but the
old custom of the castleC and told him how their lady was sick and had lain many years and she mi!ht
not be whole but if she had a dish of silver full of blood of a clean maid and a kin!'s dau!hterC and
therefore the custom of this castle is there shall no damosel pass this way but she shall bleed of her
blood in a silver dish full. 5ell said Balin she shall bleed as much as she may bleed but / will not lose
the life of her whiles my life lasteth. And so Balin made her to bleed by her !ood will but her blood
helped not the lady. And so he and she rested there all ni!ht and had there ri!ht !ood cheer and on the
morn they passed on their ways. And as it telleth after in the San!real that Sir #ercivale's sister helped
that lady with her blood whereof she was dead.
CHAPTER !I,# How Bal(n met w(t% t%at kn(g%t named Ga&lon
at a feast) and t%e&e %e slew %(m) to %a-e %(s blood to %eal
t%e&ew(t% t%e son of %(s %ost#
T132 they rode three or four days and never met with adventure and by hap they were lod!ed
with a !entle man that was a rich man and well at ease. And as they sat at their supper Balin overheard
one complain !rievously by him in a chair. 5hat is this noiseL said Balin. &orsooth said his host / will
@-
tell you. / was but late at a $oustin! and there / $ousted with a kni!ht that is brother unto :in! #ellam
and twice smote / him down and then he promised to Auit me on my best friendC and so he wounded
my son that cannot be whole till / have of that kni!ht's blood and he rideth alway invisibleC but / know
not his name. AhJ said Balin / know that kni!ht his name is %arlon he hath slain two kni!hts of mine
in the same manner therefore / had liefer meet with that kni!ht than all the !old in this realm for the
despite he hath done me. 5ell said his host / shall tell you :in! #ellam of Listeneise hath made do
cry in all this country a !reat feast that shall be within these twenty days and no kni!ht may come there
but if he brin! his wife with him or his paramourC and that kni!ht your enemy and mine ye shall see
that day. Then / behote you said Balin part of his blood to heal your son withal. 5e will be forward to"
morn said his host. So on the morn they rode all three toward #ellam and they had fifteen days'
$ourney or they came thitherC and that same day be!an the !reat feast. And so they ali!hted and stabled
their horses and went into the castleC but Balin's host mi!ht not be let in because he had no lady. Then
Balin was well received and brou!ht unto a chamber and unarmed himC and there were brou!ht him
robes to his pleasure and would have had Balin leave his sword behind him. 2ay said Balin that do /
not for it is the custom of my country a kni!ht always to keep his weapon with him and that custom
will / keep or else / will depart as / came. Then they !ave him leave to wear his sword and so he went
unto the castle and was set amon! kni!hts of worship and his lady afore him.
Soon Balin asked a kni!ht /s there not a kni!ht in this court whose name is %arlonL Yonder he
!oeth said a kni!ht he with the black faceC he is the marvellest kni!ht that is now livin! for he
destroyeth many !ood kni!hts for he !oeth invisible. Ah well said Balin is that heL Then Balin
advised him lon!+ /f / slay him here / shall not escape and if / leave him now peradventure / shall
never meet with him a!ain at such a steven and much harm he will do an he live. Therewith this
%arlon espied that this Balin beheld him and then he came and smote Balin on the face with the back
of his hand and said :ni!ht why beholdest me soL for shame therefore eat thy meat and do that thou
came for. Thou sayest sooth said Balin this is not the first despite that thou hast done me and
therefore / will do what / came for and rose up fiercely and clave his head to the shoulders. %ive me
the truncheon said Balin to his lady wherewith he slew your kni!ht. Anon she !ave it him for alway
she bare the truncheon with her. And therewith Balin smote him throu!h the body and said openly
5ith that truncheon thou hast slain a !ood kni!ht and now it sticketh in thy body. And then Balin
called unto him his host sayin! 2ow may ye fetch blood enou!h to heal your son withal.
@9
CHAPTER !,# How Bal(n fo'g%t w(t% "(ng Pellam) and %ow
%(s swo&d b&ake) and %ow %e gat a s*ea& w%e&ew(t% %e
smote t%e dolo&o's st&oke#
A2*2 all the kni!hts arose from the table for to set on Balin and :in! #ellam himself arose up
fiercely and said :ni!ht hast thou slain my brotherL thou shalt die therefore or thou depart. 5ell said
Balin do it yourself. Yes said :in! #ellam there shall no man have ado with thee but myself for the
love of my brother. Then :in! #ellam cau!ht in his hand a !rim weapon and smote ea!erly at BalinC
but Balin put the sword betwi't his head and the stroke and therewith his sword burst in sunder. And
when Balin was weaponless he ran into a chamber for to seek some weapon and so from chamber to
chamber and no weapon he could find and always :in! #ellam after him. And at the last he entered
into a chamber that was marvellously well di!ht and richly and a bed arrayed with cloth of !old the
richest that mi!ht be thou!ht and one lyin! therein and thereby stood a table of clean !old with four
pillars of silver that bare up the table and upon the table stood a marvellous spear stran!ely wrou!ht.
And when Balin saw that spear he !at it in his hand and turned him to :in! #ellam and smote him
passin!ly sore with that spear that :in! #ellam fell down in a swoon and therewith the castle roof and
walls brake and fell to the earth and Balin fell down so that he mi!ht not stir foot nor hand. And so the
most part of the castle that was fallen down throu!h that dolorous stroke lay upon #ellam and Balin
three days.
CHAPTER !,I# How Bal(n was del(-e&ed b+ e&l(n) and sa-ed
a kn(g%t t%at wo'ld %a-e sla(n %(mself fo& lo-e#
T132 Merlin came thither and took up Balin and !at him a !ood horse for his was dead and
bade him ride out of that country. / would have my damosel said Balin. Lo said Merlin where she
lieth dead. And :in! #ellam lay so many years sore wounded and mi!ht never be whole till %alahad
the haut prince healed him in the Auest of the San!real for in that place was part of the blood of our
@.
Lord Eesus )hrist that Eoseph of Arimathea brou!ht into this land and there himself lay in that rich
bed. And that was the same spear that Lon!ius smote our Lord to the heartC and :in! #ellam was ni!h
of Eoseph's kin and that was the most worshipful man that lived in those days and !reat pity it was of
his hurt for throu!h that stroke turned to !reat dole tray and tene. Then departed Balin from Merlin
and said /n this world we meet never no more. So he rode forth throu!h the fair countries and cities
and found the people dead slain on every side. And all that were alive cried * Balin thou hast caused
!reat dama!e in these countriesC for the dolorous stroke thou !avest unto :in! #ellam three countries
are destroyed and doubt not but the ven!eance will fall on thee at the last. 5hen Balin was past those
countries he was passin! fain.
So he rode ei!ht days or he met with adventure. And at the last he came into a fair forest in a
valley and was ware of a tower and there beside he saw a !reat horse of war tied to a tree and there
beside sat a fair kni!ht on the !round and made !reat mournin! and he was a likely man and a well
made. Balin said %od save you why be ye so heavyL tell me and / will amend it an / may to my
power. Sir kni!ht said he a!ain thou dost me !reat !rief for / was in merry thou!hts and now thou
puttest me to more pain. Balin went a little from him and looked on his horseC then heard Balin him
say thus+ Ah fair lady why have ye broken my promise for thou promisest me to meet me here by
noon and / may curse thee that ever ye !ave me this sword for with this sword / slay myself and
pulled it out. And therewith Balin stert unto him and took him by the hand. Let !o my hand said the
kni!ht or else / shall slay thee. That shall not need said Balin for / shall promise you my help to !et
you your lady an ye will tell me where she is. 5hat is your nameL said the kni!ht. My name is Balin le
Sava!e. Ah sir / know you well enou!h ye are the :ni!ht with the Two Swords and the man of most
prowess of your hands livin!. 5hat is your nameL said Balin. My name is %arnish of the Mount a poor
man's son but by my prowess and hardiness a duke hath made me kni!ht and !ave me landsC his name
is (uke 1ermel and his dau!hter is she that / love and she me as / deemed. 1ow far is she henceL said
Balin. But si' mile said the kni!ht. 2ow ride we hence said these two kni!hts. So they rode more than
a pace till that they came to a fair castle well walled and ditched. / will into the castle said Balin and
look if she be there. So he went in and searched from chamber to chamber and found her bed but she
was not there. Then Balin looked into a fair little !arden and under a laurel tree he saw her lie upon a
Auilt of !reen samite and a kni!ht in her arms fast halsin! either other and under their heads !rass and
herbs. 5hen Balin saw her lie so with the foulest kni!ht that ever he saw and she a fair lady then Balin
went throu!h all the chambers a!ain and told the kni!ht how he found her as she had slept fast and so
@4
brou!ht him in the place there she lay fast sleepin!.
CHAPTER !,II# How t%at kn(g%t slew %(s lo-e and a kn(g%t
l+(ng b+ %e&) and afte&) %ow %e slew %(mself w(t% %(s own
swo&d) and %ow Bal(n &ode towa&d a
castle where he lost his life.
A2( when %arnish beheld her so lyin! for pure sorrow his mouth and nose burst out a"bleedin!
and with his sword he smote off both their heads and then he made sorrow out of measure and said *
Balin much sorrow hast thou brou!ht unto me for hadst thou not shewed me that si!ht / should have
passed my sorrow. &orsooth said Balin / did it to this intent that it should better thy coura!e and that
ye mi!ht see and know her falsehood and to cause you to leave love of such a ladyC %od knoweth / did
none other but as / would ye did to me. Alas said %arnish now is my sorrow double that / may not
endure now have / slain that / most loved in all my lifeC and therewith suddenly he rove himself on his
own sword unto the hilts. 5hen Balin saw that he dressed him thenceward lest folk would say he had
slain themC and so he rode forth and within three days he came by a cross and thereon were letters of
!old written that said /t is not for no kni!ht alone to ride toward this castle. Then saw he an old hoar
!entleman comin! toward him that said Balin le Sava!e thou passest thy bounds to come this way
therefore turn a!ain and it will avail thee. And he vanished away anonC and so he heard an horn blow as
it had been the death of a beast. That blast said Balin is blown for me for / am the priDe and yet am /
not dead. Anon withal he saw an hundred ladies and many kni!hts that welcomed him with fair
semblant and made him passin! !ood cheer unto his si!ht and led him into the castle and there was
dancin! and minstrelsy and all manner of $oy. Then the chief lady of the castle said :ni!ht with the
Two Swords ye must have ado and $oust with a kni!ht hereby that keepeth an island for there may no
man pass this way but he must $oust or he pass. That is an unhappy custom said Balin that a kni!ht
may not pass this way but if he $oust. Ye shall not have ado but with one kni!ht said the lady.
5ell said Balin since / shall thereto / am ready but travellin! men are oft weary and their horses
too but thou!h my horse be weary my heart is not weary / would be fain there my death should be. Sir
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said a kni!ht to Balin methinketh your shield is not !ood / will lend you a bi!!er. Thereof / pray you.
And so he took the shield that was unknown and left his own and so rode unto the island and put him
and his horse in a !reat boatC and when he came on the other side he met with a damosel and she said
* kni!ht Balin why have ye left your own shieldL alas ye have put yourself in !reat dan!er for by
your shield ye should have been knownC it is !reat pity of you as ever was of kni!ht for of thy prowess
and hardiness thou hast no fellow livin!. Me repenteth said Balin that ever / came within this country
but / may not turn now a!ain for shame and what adventure shall fall to me be it life or death / will
take the adventure that shall come to me. And then he looked on his armour and understood he was
well armed and therewith blessed him and mounted upon his horse.
CHAPTER !,III# How Bal(n met w(t% %(s b&ot%e& Balan) and
%ow eac% of t%em slew ot%e& 'nknown) t(ll t%e+ we&e
wo'nded to deat%#
T132 afore him he saw come ridin! out of a castle a kni!ht and his horse trapped all red and
himself in the same colour. 5hen this kni!ht in the red beheld Balin him thou!ht it should be his
brother Balin by cause of his two swords but by cause he knew not his shield he deemed it was not he.
And so they aventryd their spears and came marvellously fast to!ether and they smote each other in
the shields but their spears and their course were so bi! that it bare down horse and man that they lay
both in a swoon. But Balin was bruised sore with the fall of his horse for he was weary of travel. And
Balan was the first that rose on foot and drew his sword and went toward Balin and he arose and went
a!ainst himC but Balan smote Balin first and he put up his shield and smote him throu!h the shield and
tamed his helm. Then Balin smote him a!ain with that unhappy sword and well"ni!h had felled his
brother Balan and so they fou!ht there to!ether till their breaths failed. Then Balin looked up to the
castle and saw the towers stand full of ladies. So they went unto battle a!ain and wounded everych
other dolefully and then they breathed ofttimes and so went unto battle that all the place there as they
fou!ht was blood red. And at that time there was none of them both but they had either smitten other
seven !reat wounds so that the least of them mi!ht have been the death of the mi!htiest !iant in this
world.
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Then they went to battle a!ain so marvellously that doubt it was to hear of that battle for the !reat
blood"sheddin! and their hauberks unnailed that naked they were on every side. At last Balan the
youn!er brother withdrew him a little and laid him down. Then said Balin le Sava!e 5hat kni!ht art
thouL for or now / found never no kni!ht that matched me. My name is said he Balan brother unto the
!ood kni!ht Balin. Alas said Balin that ever / should see this day and therewith he fell backward in a
swoon. Then Balan yede on all four feet and hands and put off the helm off his brother and mi!ht not
know him by the visa!e it was so ful hewn and bledC but when he awoke he said * Balan my brother
thou hast slain me and / thee wherefore all the wide world shall speak of us both. Alas said Balan that
ever / saw this day that throu!h mishap / mi!ht not know you for / espied well your two swords but
by cause ye had another shield / deemed ye had been another kni!ht. Alas said Balin all that made an
unhappy kni!ht in the castle for he caused me to leave my own shield to our both's destruction and if /
mi!ht live / would destroy that castle for ill customs. That were well done said Balan for / had never
!race to depart from them since that / came hither for here it happed me to slay a kni!ht that kept this
island and since mi!ht / never depart and no more should ye brother an ye mi!ht have slain me as ye
have and escaped yourself with the life.
0i!ht so came the lady of the tower with four kni!hts and si' ladies and si' yeomen unto them
and there she heard how they made their moan either to other and said 5e came both out of one tomb
that is to say one mother's belly and so shall we lie both in one pit. So Balan prayed the lady of her
!entleness for his true service that she would bury them both in that same place there the battle was
done. And she !ranted them with weepin! it should be done richly in the best manner. 2ow will ye
send for a priest that we may receive our sacrament and receive the blessed body of our Lord Eesus
)hristL Yea said the lady it shall be doneC and so she sent for a priest and !ave them their ri!hts. 2ow
said Balin when we are buried in one tomb and the mention made over us how two brethren slew each
other there will never !ood kni!ht nor !ood man see our tomb but they will pray for our souls. And so
all the ladies and !entlewomen wept for pity. Then anon Balan died but Balin died not till the midni!ht
after and so were they buried both and the lady let make a mention of Balan how he was there slain by
his brother's hands but she knew not Balin's name.
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CHAPTER !I!# How e&l(n b'&(ed t%em bot% (n one tomb)
and of Bal(n0s swo&d#
/2 the morn came Merlin and let write Balin's name on the tomb with letters of !old that 1ere
lieth Balin le Sava!e that was the :ni!ht with the Two Swords and he that smote the (olorous Stroke.
Also Merlin let make there a bed that there should never man lie therein but he went out of his wit yet
Launcelot de Lake fordid that bed throu!h his noblesse. And anon after Balin was dead Merlin took his
sword and took off the pommel and set on another pommel. So Merlin bade a kni!ht that stood afore
him handle that sword and he assayed and he mi!ht not handle it. Then Merlin lau!hed. 5hy lau!h
yeL said the kni!ht. This is the cause said Merlin+ there shall never man handle this sword but the best
kni!ht of the world and that shall be Sir Launcelot or else %alahad his son and Launcelot with this
sword shall slay the man that in the world he loved best that shall be Sir %awaine. All this he let write
in the pommel of the sword. Then Merlin let make a brid!e of iron and of steel into that island and it
was but half a foot broad and there shall never man pass that brid!e nor have hardiness to !o over but
if he were a passin! !ood man and a !ood kni!ht without treachery or villainy. Also the scabbard of
Balin's sword Merlin left it on this side the island that %alahad should find it. Also Merlin let make by
his subtilty that Balin's sword was put in a marble stone standin! upri!ht as !reat as a mill stone and
the stone hoved always above the water and did many years and so by adventure it swam down the
stream to the )ity of )amelot that is in 3n!lish 5inchester. And that same day %alahad the haut prince
came with :in! Arthur and so %alahad brou!ht with him the scabbard and achieved the sword that
was there in the marble stone hovin! upon the water. And on 5hitsunday he achieved the sword as it is
rehearsed in the book of San!real.
Soon after this was done Merlin came to :in! Arthur and told him of the dolorous stroke that
Balin !ave to :in! #ellam and how Balin and Balan fou!ht to!ether the marvellest battle that ever was
heard of and how they were buried both in one tomb. Alas said :in! Arthur this is the !reatest pity
that ever / heard tell of two kni!hts for in the world / know not such two kni!hts. Thus endeth the tale
of Balin and of Balan two brethren born in 2orthumberland !ood kni!hts.
SeAuitur iii liber.
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BOO" III
CHAPTER I# How "(ng A&t%'& took a w(fe) and wedded
G'ene-e&) da'g%te& to Leodeg&ance) "(ng of t%e Land of
Camel(a&d) w(t% w%om %e %ad t%e Ro'nd Table#
/2 the be!innin! of Arthur after he was chosen kin! by adventure and by !raceC for the most part
of the barons knew not that he was ;ther #endra!on's son but as Merlin made it openly known. But
yet many kin!s and lords held !reat war a!ainst him for that cause but well Arthur overcame them all
for the most part the days of his life he was ruled much by the counsel of Merlin. So it fell on a time
:in! Arthur said unto Merlin My barons will let me have no rest but needs / must take a wife and /
will none take but by thy counsel and by thine advice. /t is well done said Merlin that ye take a wife
for a man of your bounty and noblesse should not be without a wife. 2ow is there any that ye love
more than anotherL Yea said :in! Arthur / love %uenever the kin!'s dau!hter Leode!rance of the land
of )ameliard the which holdeth in his house the Table 0ound that ye told he had of my father ;ther.
And this damosel is the most valiant and fairest lady that / know livin! or yet that ever / could find.
Sir said Merlin as of her beauty and fairness she is one of the fairest alive but an ye loved her not so
well as ye do / should find you a damosel of beauty and of !oodness that should like you and please
you an your heart were not setC but there as a man's heart is set he will be loath to return. That is truth
said :in! Arthur. But Merlin warned the kin! covertly that %uenever was not wholesome for him to
take to wife for he warned him that Launcelot should love her and she him a!ainC and so he turned his
tale to the adventures of San!real.
Then Merlin desired of the kin! for to have men with him that should enAuire of %uenever and so
the kin! !ranted him and Merlin went forth unto :in! Leode!rance of )ameliard and told him of the
desires of the kin! that he would have unto his wife %uenever his dau!hter. That is to me said :in!
Leode!rance the best tidin!s that ever / heard that so worthy a kin! of prowess and noblesse will wed
my dau!hter. And as for my lands / will !ive him wist / it mi!ht please him but he hath lands enow
him needeth noneC but / shall send him a !ift shall please him much more for / shall !ive him the Table
0ound the which ;ther #endra!on !ave me and when it is full complete there is an hundred kni!hts
=>
and fifty. And as for an hundred !ood kni!hts / have myself but / faute fifty for so many have been
slain in my days. And so Leode!rance delivered his dau!hter %uenever unto Merlin and the Table
0ound with the hundred kni!hts and so they rode freshly with !reat royalty what by water and what
by land till that they came ni!h unto London.
CHAPTER II# How t%e "n(g%ts of t%e Ro'nd Table we&e
o&da(ned and t%e(& s(eges blessed b+ t%e B(s%o* of
Cante&b'&+#
5132 :in! Arthur heard of the comin! of %uenever and the hundred kni!hts with the Table
0ound then :in! Arthur made !reat $oy for her comin! and that rich present and said openly This
fair lady is passin! welcome unto me for / have loved her lon! and therefore there is nothin! so lief to
me. And these kni!hts with the 0ound Table please me more than ri!ht !reat riches. And in all haste the
kin! let ordain for the marria!e and the coronation in the most honourable wise that could be devised.
2ow Merlin said :in! Arthur !o thou and espy me in all this land fifty kni!hts which be of most
prowess and worship. 5ithin short time Merlin had found such kni!hts that should fulfil twenty and
ei!ht kni!hts but no more he could find. Then the Bishop of )anterbury was fetched and he blessed
the sie!es with !reat royalty and devotion and there set the ei!ht and twenty kni!hts in their sie!es.
And when this was done Merlin said &air sirs ye must all arise and come to :in! Arthur for to do him
homa!eC he will have the better will to maintain you. And so they arose and did their homa!e and
when they were !one Merlin found in every sie!es letters of !old that told the kni!hts' names that had
sitten therein. But two sie!es were void. And so anon came youn! %awaine and asked the kin! a !ift.
Ask said the kin! and / shall !rant it you. Sir / ask that ye will make me kni!ht that same day ye shall
wed fair %uenever. / will do it with a !ood will said :in! Arthur and do unto you all the worship that /
may for / must by reason ye are my nephew my sister's son.
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CHAPTER III# How a *oo& man &(d(ng '*on a lean ma&e
des(&ed "(ng A&t%'& to make %(s son kn(g%t#
&*0T15/T1AL there came a poor man into the court and brou!ht with him a fair youn! man of
ei!hteen years of a!e ridin! upon a lean mareC and the poor man asked all men that he met 5here shall
/ find :in! ArthurL Yonder he is said the kni!hts wilt thou anythin! with himL Yea said the poor man
therefore / came hither. Anon as he came before the kin! he saluted him and said+ * :in! Arthur the
flower of all kni!hts and kin!s / beseech Eesu save thee. Sir it was told me that at this time of your
marria!e ye would !ive any man the !ift that he would ask out e'cept that were unreasonable. That is
truth said the kin! such cries / let make and that will / hold so it apair not my realm nor mine estate.
Ye say well and !raciously said the poor manC Sir / ask nothin! else but that ye will make my son here
a kni!ht. /t is a !reat thin! thou askest of me said the kin!. 5hat is thy nameL said the kin! to the poor
man. Sir my name is Aries the cowherd. 5hether cometh this of thee or of thy sonL said the kin!. 2ay
sir said Aries this desire cometh of my son and not of me for / shall tell you / have thirteen sons and
all they will fall to what labour / put them and will be ri!ht !lad to do labour but this child will not
labour for me for anythin! that my wife or / may do but always he will be shootin! or castin! darts
and !lad for to see battles and to behold kni!hts and always day and ni!ht he desireth of me to be
made a kni!ht. 5hat is thy nameL said the kin! unto the youn! man. Sir my name is Tor. The kin!
beheld him fast and saw he was passin!ly well"visa!ed and passin!ly well made of his years. 5ell
said :in! Arthur unto Aries the cowherd fetch all thy sons afore me that / may see them. And so the
poor man did and all were shaped much like the poor man. But Tor was not like none of them all in
shape nor in countenance for he was much more than any of them. 2ow said :in! Arthur unto the
cow herd where is the sword he shall be made kni!ht withalL /t is here said Tor. Take it out of the
sheath said the kin! and reAuire me to make you a kni!ht.
Then Tor ali!hted off his mare and pulled out his sword kneelin! and reAuirin! the kin! that he
would make him kni!ht and that he mi!ht be a kni!ht of the Table 0ound. As for a kni!ht / will make
you and therewith smote him in the neck with the sword sayin! Be ye a !ood kni!ht and so / pray to
%od so ye may be and if ye be of prowess and of worthiness ye shall be a kni!ht of the Table 0ound.
2ow Merlin said Arthur say whether this Tor shall be a !ood kni!ht or no. Yea sir he ou!ht to be a
!ood kni!ht for he is come of as !ood a man as any is alive and of kin!s' blood. 1ow so sirL said the
kin!. / shall tell you said Merlin+ This poor man Aries the cowherd is not his fatherC he is nothin! sib
to him for :in! #ellinore is his father. / suppose nay said the cowherd. &etch thy wife afore me said
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Merlin and she shall not say nay. Anon the wife was fetched which was a fair housewife and there she
answered Merlin full womanly and there she told the kin! and Merlin that when she was a maid and
went to milk kine there met with her a stern kni!ht and half by force he had my maidenhead and at
that time he be!at my son Tor and he took away from me my !reyhound that / had that time with me
and said that he would keep the !reyhound for my love. Ah said the cowherd / weened not this but /
may believe it well for he had never no tatches of me. Sir said Tor unto Merlin dishonour not my
mother. Sir said Merlin it is more for your worship than hurt for your father is a !ood man and a kin!
and he may ri!ht well advance you and your mother for ye were be!otten or ever she was wedded.
That is truth said the wife. /t is the less !rief unto me said the cowherd.
CHAPTER I,# How 6(& To& was known fo& son of "(ng
Pell(no&e) and %ow Gawa(ne was made kn(g%t#
S* on the morn :in! #ellinore came to the court of :in! Arthur which had !reat $oy of him and
told him of Tor how he was his son and how he had made him kni!ht at the reAuest of the cowherd.
5hen #ellinore beheld Tor he pleased him much. So the kin! made %awaine kni!ht but Tor was the
first he made at the feast. 5hat is the cause said :in! Arthur that there be two places void in the
sie!esL Sir said Merlin there shall no man sit in those places but they that shall be of most worship.
But in the Sie!e #erilous there shall no man sit therein but one and if there be any so hardy to do it he
shall be destroyed and he that shall sit there shall have no fellow. And therewith Merlin took :in!
#ellinore by the hand and in the one hand ne't the two sie!es and the Sie!e #erilous he said in open
audience This is your place and best ye are worthy to sit therein of any that is here. Thereat sat Sir
%awaine in !reat envy and told %aheris his brother yonder kni!ht is put to !reat worship the which
!rieveth me sore for he slew our father :in! Lot therefore / will slay him said %awaine with a sword
that was sent me that is passin! trenchant. Ye shall not so said %aheris at this time for at this time /
am but a sAuire and when / am made kni!ht / will be aven!ed on him and therefore brother it is best
ye suffer till another time that we may have him out of the court for an we did so we should trouble
this hi!h feast. / will well said %awaine as ye will.
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CHAPTER ,# How at feast of t%e wedd(ng of "(ng A&t%'& to
G'ene-e&) a w%(te %a&t came (nto t%e %all) and t%(&t+ co'*le
%o'nds) and %ow a b&ac%et
pinched the hart which was taken away.
T132 was the hi!h feast made ready and the kin! was wedded at )amelot unto (ame %uenever
in the church of Saint Stephen's with !reat solemnity. And as every man was set after his de!ree
Merlin went to all the kni!hts of the 0ound Table and bade them sit still that none of them remove.
&or ye shall see a stran!e and a marvellous adventure. 0i!ht so as they sat there came runnin! in a
white hart into the hall and a white brachet ne't him and thirty couple of black runnin! hounds came
after with a !reat cry and the hart went about the Table 0ound as he went by other boards. The white
brachet bit him by the buttock and pulled out a piece wherethrou!h the hart leapt a !reat leap and
overthrew a kni!ht that sat at the board sideC and therewith the kni!ht arose and took up the brachet
and so went forth out of the hall and took his horse and rode his way with the brachet. 0i!ht so anon
came in a lady on a white palfrey and cried aloud to :in! Arthur Sir suffer me not to have this
despite for the brachet was mine that the kni!ht led away. / may not do therewith said the kin!.
5ith this there came a kni!ht ridin! all armed on a !reat horse and took the lady away with him
with force and ever she cried and made !reat dole. 5hen she was !one the kin! was !lad for she made
such a noise. 2ay said Merlin ye may not leave these adventures so li!htlyC for these adventures must
be brou!ht a!ain or else it would be disworship to you and to your feast. / will said the kin! that all be
done by your advice. Then said Merlin let call Sir %awaine for he must brin! a!ain the white hart.
Also sir ye must let call Sir Tor for he must brin! a!ain the brachet and the kni!ht or else slay him.
Also let call :in! #ellinore for he must brin! a!ain the lady and the kni!ht or else slay him. And these
three kni!hts shall do marvellous adventures or they come a!ain. Then were they called all three as it
rehearseth afore and each of them took his char!e and armed them surely. But Sir %awaine had the
first reAuest and therefore we will be!in at him.
=.
CHAPTER ,I# How 6(& Gawa(ne &ode fo& to fetc% aga(n t%e
%a&t) and %ow two b&et%&en fo'g%t eac% aga(nst ot%e& fo&
t%e %a&t#
S/0 %A5A/23 rode more than a pace and %aheris his brother that rode with him instead of a
sAuire to do him service. So as they rode they saw two kni!hts fi!ht on horseback passin! sore so Sir
%awaine and his brother rode betwi't them and asked them for what cause they fou!ht so. The one
kni!ht answered and said 5e fi!ht for a simple matter for we two be two brethren born and be!otten
of one man and of one woman. Alas said Sir %awaine why do ye soL Sir said the elder there came a
white hart this way this day and many hounds chased him and a white brachet was alway ne't him
and we understood it was adventure made for the hi!h feast of :in! Arthur and therefore / would have
!one after to have won me worshipC and here my youn!er brother said he would !o after the hart for he
was better kni!ht than /+ and for this cause we fell at debate and so we thou!ht to prove which of us
both was better kni!ht. This is a simple cause said Sir %awaineC uncouth men ye should debate withal
and not brother with brotherC therefore but if you will do by my counsel / will have ado with you that
is ye shall yield you unto me and that ye !o unto :in! Arthur and yield you unto his !race. Sir kni!ht
said the two brethren we are forfou!hten and much blood have we lost throu!h our wilfulness and
therefore we would be loath to have ado with you. Then do as / will have you said Sir %awaine. 5e
will a!ree to fulfil your willC but by whom shall we say that we be thither sentL Ye may say By the
kni!ht that followeth the Auest of the hart that was white. 2ow what is your nameL said %awaine.
Sorlouse of the &orest said the elder. And my name is said the youn!er Brian of the &orest. And so
they departed and went to the kin!'s court and Sir %awaine on his Auest.
And as %awaine followed the hart by the cry of the hounds even afore him there was a !reat river
and the hart swam overC and as Sir %awaine would follow after there stood a kni!ht over the other
side and said Sir kni!ht come not over after this hart but if thou wilt $oust with me. / will not fail as
for that said Sir %awaine to follow the Auest that / am in and so made his horse to swim over the
water. And anon they !at their spears and ran to!ether full hardC but Sir %awaine smote him off his
horse and then he turned his horse and bade him yield him. 2ay said the kni!ht not so thou!h thou
have the better of me on horseback. / pray thee valiant kni!ht ali!ht afoot and match we to!ether with
swords. 5hat is your nameL said Sir %awaine. Allardin of the /sles said the other. Then either dressed
=4
their shields and smote to!ether but Sir %awaine smote him so hard throu!h the helm that it went to
the brains and the kni!ht fell down dead. AhJ said %aheris that was a mi!hty stroke of a youn! kni!ht.
CHAPTER ,II How t%e %a&t was c%ased (nto a castle and t%e&e
sla(n) and %ow 6(& Gawa(ne slew a lad+#
T132 %awaine and %aheris rode more than a pace after the white hart and let slip at the hart
three couple of !reyhounds and so they chased the hart into a castle and in the chief place of the castle
they slew the hartC Sir %awaine and %aheris followed after. 0i!ht so there came a kni!ht out of a
chamber with a sword drawn in his hand and slew two of the !reyhounds even in the si!ht of Sir
%awaine and the remnant he chased them with his sword out of the castle. And when he came a!ain
he said * my white hart me repenteth that thou art dead for my soverei!n lady !ave thee to me and
evil have / kept thee and thy death shall be dear bou!ht an / live. And anon he went into his chamber
and armed him and came out fiercely and there met he with Sir %awaine. 5hy have ye slain my
houndsL said Sir %awaine for they did but their kind and liefer / had ye had wroken your an!er upon
me than upon a dumb beast. Thou sayest truth said the kni!ht / have aven!ed me on thy hounds and
so / will on thee or thou !o. Then Sir %awaine ali!hted afoot and dressed his shield and struck to!ether
mi!htily and clave their shields and stoned their helms and brake their hauberks that the blood ran
down to their feet.
At the last Sir %awaine smote the kni!ht so hard that he fell to the earth and then he cried mercy
and yielded him and besou!ht him as he was a kni!ht and !entleman to save his life. Thou shalt die
said Sir %awaine for slayin! of my hounds. / will make amends said the kni!ht unto my power. Sir
%awaine would no mercy have but unlaced his helm to have stricken off his head. 0i!ht so came his
lady out of a chamber and fell over him and so he smote off her head by misadventure. Alas said
%aheris that is foully and shamefully done that shame shall never from youC also ye should !ive
mercy unto them that ask mercy for a kni!ht without mercy is without worship. Sir %awaine was so
stonied of the death of this fair lady that he wist not what he did and said unto the kni!ht Arise / will
!ive thee mercy. 2ay nay said the kni!ht / take no force of mercy now for thou hast slain my love
and my lady that / loved best of all earthly thin!s. Me sore repenteth it said Sir %awaine for / thou!ht
=<
to strike unto theeC but now thou shalt !o unto :in! Arthur and tell him of thine adventures and how
thou art overcome by the kni!ht that went in the Auest of the white hart. / take no force said the kni!ht
whether / live or / dieC but so for dread of death he swore to !o unto :in! Arthur and he made him to
bear one !reyhound before him on his horse and another behind him. 5hat is your nameL said Sir
%awaine or we depart. My name is said the kni!ht Ablamar of the Marsh. So he departed toward
)amelot.
CHAPTER ,III# How fo'& kn(g%ts fo'g%t aga(nst Gawa(ne and
Ga%e&(s) and %ow t%e+ we&e o-e&come) and t%e(& l(-es sa-ed
at &e/'est of fo'& lad(es#
A2( Sir %awaine went into the castle and made him ready to lie there all ni!ht and would have
unarmed him. 5hat will ye do said %aheris will ye unarm you in this countryL Ye may think ye have
many enemies here. They had not sooner said that word but there came four kni!hts well armed and
assailed Sir %awaine hard and said unto him Thou new"made kni!ht thou hast shamed thy
kni!hthood for a kni!ht without mercy is dishonoured. Also thou hast slain a fair lady to thy !reat
shame to the world's end and doubt thou not thou shalt have !reat need of mercy or thou depart from
us. And therewith one of them smote Sir %awaine a !reat stroke that ni!h he fell to the earth and
%aheris smote him a!ain sore and so they were on the one side and on the other that Sir %awaine and
%aheris were in $eopardy of their livesC and one with a bow an archer smote Sir %awaine throu!h the
arm that it !rieved him wonderly sore. And as they should have been slain there came four fair ladies
and besou!ht the kni!hts of !race for Sir %awaineC and !oodly at reAuest of the ladies they !ave Sir
%awaine and %aheris their lives and made them to yield them as prisoners. Then %awaine and %aheris
made !reat dole. AlasJ said Sir %awaine mine arm !rieveth me sore / am like to be maimedC and so
made his complaint piteously.
3arly on the morrow there came to Sir %awaine one of the four ladies that had heard all his
complaint and said Sir kni!ht what cheerL 2ot !ood said he. /t is your own default said the lady for
ye have done a passin! foul deed in the slayin! of the lady the which will be !reat villainy unto you.
But be ye not of :in! Arthur's kinL said the lady. Yes truly said Sir %awaine. 5hat is your nameL said
=7
the lady ye must tell it me or ye pass. My name is %awaine the :in! Lot of *rkney's son and my
mother is :in! Arthur's sister. AhJ then are ye nephew unto :in! Arthur said the lady and / shall so
speak for you that ye shall have conduct to !o to :in! Arthur for his love. And so she departed and told
the four kni!hts how their prisoner was :in! Arthur's nephew and his name is Sir %awaine :in! Lot's
son of *rkney. And they !ave him the hart's head because it was in his Auest. Then anon they delivered
Sir %awaine under this promise that he should bear the dead lady with him in this mannerC the head of
her was han!ed about his neck and the whole body of her lay before him on his horse's mane. 0i!ht so
rode he forth unto )amelot. And anon as he was come Merlin desired of :in! Arthur that Sir %awaine
should be sworn to tell of all his adventures and how he slew the lady and how he would !ive no
mercy unto the kni!ht wherethrou!h the lady was slain. Then the kin! and the Aueen were !reatly
displeased with Sir %awaine for the slayin! of the lady. And there by ordinance of the Aueen there was
set a Auest of ladies on Sir %awaine and they $ud!ed him for ever while he lived to be with all ladies
and to fi!ht for their AuarrelsC and that ever he should be courteous and never to refuse mercy to him
that asketh mercy. Thus was %awaine sworn upon the &our 3van!elists that he should never be a!ainst
lady nor !entlewoman but if he fou!ht for a lady and his adversary fou!ht for another. And thus endeth
the adventure of Sir %awaine that he did at the marria!e of :in! Arthur. Amen.
CHAPTER I!# How 6(& To& &ode afte& t%e kn(g%t w(t% t%e
b&ac%et) and of %(s ad-ent'&e b+ t%e wa+#
5132 Sir Tor was ready he mounted upon his horseback and rode after the kni!ht with the
brachet. So as he rode he met with a dwarf suddenly that smote his horse on the head with a staff that
he went backward his spear len!th. 5hy dost thou soL said Sir Tor. &or thou shalt not pass this way but
if thou $oust with yonder kni!hts of the pavilions. Then was Tor ware where two pavilions were and
!reat spears stood out and two shields hun! on trees by the pavilions. / may not tarry said Sir Tor for /
am in a Auest that / must needs follow. Thou shalt not pass said the dwarf and therewithal he blew his
horn. Then there came one armed on horseback and dressed his shield and came fast toward Tor and
he dressed him a!ainst him and so ran to!ether that Tor bare him from his horse. And anon the kni!ht
yielded him to his mercy. But sir / have a fellow in yonder pavilion that will have ado with you anon.
=@
1e shall be welcome said Sir Tor. Then was he ware of another kni!ht comin! with !reat raundon and
each of them dressed to other that marvel it was to seeC but the kni!ht smote Sir Tor a !reat stroke in
midst of the shield that his spear all to"shivered. And Sir Tor smote him throu!h the shield below of the
shield that it went throu!h the cost of the kni!ht but the stroke slew him not. And therewith Sir Tor
ali!hted and smote him on the helm a !reat stroke and therewith the kni!ht yielded him and besou!ht
him of mercy. / will well said Sir Tor but thou and thy fellow must !o unto :in! Arthur and yield you
prisoners unto him. By whom shall we say are we thither sentL Ye shall say by the kni!ht that went in
the Auest of the kni!ht that went with the brachet. 2ow what be your two namesL said Sir Tor. My
name is said the one Sir &elot of Lan!dukC and my name is said the other Sir #etipase of 5inchelsea.
2ow !o ye forth said Sir Tor and %od speed you and me. Then came the dwarf and said unto Sir Tor /
pray you !ive me a !ift. / will well said Sir Tor ask. / ask no more said the dwarf but that ye will
suffer me to do you service for / will serve no more recreant kni!hts. Take an horse said Sir Tor and
ride on with me. / wot ye ride after the kni!ht with the white brachet and / shall brin! you where he is
said the dwarf. And so they rode throu!hout a forest and at the last they were ware of two pavilions
even by a priory with two shields and the one shield was enewed with white and the other shield was
red.
CHAPTER !# How 6(& To& fo'nd t%e b&ac%et w(t% a lad+) and
%ow a kn(g%t assa(led %(m fo& t%e sa(d b&ac%et#
T13035/T1 Sir Tor ali!hted and took the dwarf his !laive and so he came to the white pavilion
and saw three damosels lie in it on one pallet sleepin! and so he went to the other pavilion and found
a lady lyin! sleepin! therein but there was the white brachet that bayed at her fast and therewith the
lady yede out of the pavilion and all her damosels. But anon as Sir Tor espied the white brachet he
took her by force and took her to the dwarf. 5hat will ye so said the lady take my brachet from meL
Yea said Sir Tor this brachet have / sou!ht from :in! Arthur's court hither. 5ell said the lady kni!ht
ye shall not !o far with her but that ye shall be met and !rieved. / shall abide what adventure that
cometh by the !race of %od and so mounted upon his horse and passed on his way toward )amelotC
but it was so near ni!ht he mi!ht not pass but little further. :now ye any lod!in!L said Tor. / know
==
none said the dwarf but here beside is an hermita!e and there ye must take lod!in! as ye find. And
within a while they came to the hermita!e and took lod!in!C and was there !rass oats and bread for
their horsesC soon it was sped and full hard was their supperC but there they rested them all ni!ht till on
the morn and heard a mass devoutly and took their leave of the hermit and Sir Tor prayed the hermit
to pray for him. 1e said he would and betook him to %od. And so mounted upon horseback and rode
towards )amelot a lon! while.
5ith that they heard a kni!ht call loud that came after them and he said :ni!ht abide and yield
my brachet that thou took from my lady. Sir Tor returned a!ain and beheld him how he was a seemly
kni!ht and well horsed and well armed at all pointsC then Sir Tor dressed his shield and took his spear
in his hands and the other came fiercely upon him and smote both horse and man to the earth. Anon
they arose li!htly and drew their swords as ea!erly as lions and put their shields afore them and smote
throu!h the shields that the cantels fell off both parties. Also they tamed their helms that the hot blood
ran out and the thick mails of their hauberks they carved and rove in sunder that the hot blood ran to
the earth and both they had many wounds and were passin! weary. But Sir Tor espied that the other
kni!ht fainted and then he sued fast upon him and doubled his strokes and !art him !o to the earth on
the one side. Then Sir Tor bade him yield him. That will / not said Abelleus while my life lasteth and
the soul is within my body unless that thou wilt !ive me the brachet. That will / not do said Sir Tor for
it was my Auest to brin! a!ain thy brachet thee or both.
CHAPTER !I# How 6(& To& o-e&came t%e kn(g%t) and %ow %e
lost %(s %ead at t%e &e/'est of a lad+#
5/T1 that came a damosel ridin! on a palfrey as fast as she mi!ht drive and cried with a loud
voice unto Sir Tor. 5hat will ye with meL said Sir Tor. / beseech thee said the damosel for :in!
Arthur's love !ive me a !iftC / reAuire thee !entle kni!ht as thou art a !entleman. 2ow said Tor ask a
!ift and / will !ive it you. %ramercy said the damoselC now / ask the head of the false kni!ht Abelleus
for he is the most outra!eous kni!ht that liveth and the !reatest murderer. / am loath said Sir Tor of
that !ift / have !iven youC let him make amends in that he hath trespassed unto you. 2ow said the
damosel he may not for he slew mine own brother before mine own eyes that was a better kni!ht than
?>>
he an he had had !raceC and / kneeled half an hour afore him in the mire for to save my brother's life
that had done him no dama!e but fou!ht with him by adventure of arms and so for all that / could do
he struck off his headC wherefore / reAuire thee as thou art a true kni!ht to !ive me my !ift or else /
shall shame thee in all the court of :in! ArthurC for he is the falsest kni!ht livin! and a !reat destroyer
of !ood kni!hts. Then when Abelleus heard this he was more afeard and yielded him and asked mercy.
/ may not now said Sir Tor but if / should be found false of my promiseC for while / would have taken
you to mercy ye would none ask but if ye had the brachet a!ain that was my Auest. And therewith he
took off his helm and he arose and fled and Sir Tor after him and smote off his head Auite.
2ow sir said the damosel it is near ni!htC / pray you come and lod!e with me here at my place it
is here fast by. / will well said Sir Tor for his horse and he had fared evil since they departed from
)amelot and so he rode with her and had passin! !ood cheer with herC and she had a passin! fair old
kni!ht to her husband that made him passin! !ood cheer and well eased both his horse and him. And
on the morn he heard his mass and brake his fast and took his leave of the kni!ht and of the lady that
besou!ht him to tell them his name. Truly he said my name is Sir Tor that was late made kni!ht and
this was the first Auest of arms that ever / did to brin! a!ain that this kni!ht Abelleus took away from
:in! Arthur's court. * fair kni!ht said the lady and her husband an ye come here in our marches
come and see our poor lod!in! and it shall be always at your commandment. So Sir Tor departed and
came to )amelot on the third day by noon and the kin! and the Aueen and all the court was passin!
fain of his comin! and made !reat $oy that he was come a!ainC for he went from the court with little
succour but as :in! #ellinore his father !ave him an old courser and :in! Arthur !ave him armour
and a sword and else had he none other succour but rode so forth himself alone. And then the kin! and
the Aueen by Merlin's advice made him to swear to tell of his adventures and so he told and made
proofs of his deeds as it is afore rehearsed wherefore the kin! and the Aueen made !reat $oy. 2ay nay
said Merlin these be but $apes to that he shall doC for he shall prove a noble kni!ht of prowess as !ood
as any is livin! and !entle and courteous and of !ood tatches and passin! true of his promise and
never shall outra!e. 5herethrou!h Merlin's words :in! Arthur !ave him an earldom of lands that fell
unto him. And here endeth the Auest of Sir Tor :in! #ellinore's son.
?>?
CHAPTER !II# How "(ng Pell(no&e &ode afte& t%e lad+ and t%e
kn(g%t t%at led %e& awa+) and %ow a lad+ des(&ed %el* of
%(m) and %ow %e fo'g%t w(t% two
kni!hts for that lady of whom he slew the one at the first stroke.
T132 :in! #ellinore armed him and mounted upon his horse and rode more than a pace after the
lady that the kni!ht led away. And as he rode in a forest he saw in a valley a damosel sit by a well and
a wounded kni!ht in her arms and #ellinore saluted her. And when she was ware of him she cried
overloud 1elp me kni!htC for )hrist's sake :in! #ellinore. And he would not tarry he was so ea!er in
his Auest and ever she cried an hundred times after help. 5hen she saw he would not abide she prayed
unto %od to send him as much need of help as she had and that he mi!ht feel it or he died. So as the
book telleth the kni!ht there died that there was wounded wherefore the lady for pure sorrow slew
herself with his sword. As :in! #ellinore rode in that valley he met with a poor man a labourer. Sawest
thou not said #ellinore a kni!ht ridin! and leadin! away a ladyL Yea said the man / saw that kni!ht
and the lady that made !reat doleC and yonder beneath in a valley there shall ye see two pavilions and
one of the kni!hts of the pavilions challen!ed that lady of that kni!ht and said she was his cousin near
wherefore he should lead her no farther. And so they wa!ed battle in that Auarrel the one said he would
have her by force and the other said he would have the rule of her by cause he was her kinsman and
would lead her to her kin. &or this Auarrel he left them fi!htin!. And if ye will ride a pace ye shall find
them fi!htin! and the lady was beleft with the two sAuires in the pavilions. %od thank thee said :in!
#ellinore.
Then he rode a wallop till he had a si!ht of the two pavilions and the two kni!hts fi!htin!. Anon
he rode unto the pavilions and saw the lady that was his Auest and said &air lady ye must !o with me
unto the court of :in! Arthur. Sir kni!ht said the two sAuires that were with her yonder are two
kni!hts that fi!ht for this lady !o thither and depart them and be a!reed with them and then may ye
have her at your pleasure. Ye say well said :in! #ellinore. And anon he rode betwi't them and
departed them and asked them the causes why that they fou!htL Sir kni!ht said the one / shall tell
you this lady is my kinswoman ni!h mine aunt's dau!hter and when / heard her complain that she was
with him mau!re her head / wa!ed battle to fi!ht with him. Sir kni!ht said the other whose name was
1ontDlake of 5entland and this lady / !at by my prowess of arms this day at Arthur's court. That is
untruly said said :in! #ellinore for ye came in suddenly there as we were at the hi!h feast and took
?>-
away this lady or any man mi!ht make him readyC and therefore it was my Auest to brin! her a!ain and
you both or else the one of us to abide in the fieldC therefore the lady shall !o with me or / will die for
it for / have promised it :in! Arthur. And therefore fi!ht ye no more for none of you shall have no
part of her at this timeC and if ye list to fi!ht for her fi!ht with me and / will defend her. 5ell said the
kni!hts make you ready and we shall assail you with all our power. And as :in! #ellinore would have
put his horse from them Sir 1ontDlake rove his horse throu!h with a sword and said+ 2ow art thou on
foot as well as we are. 5hen :in! #ellinore espied that his horse was slain li!htly he leapt from his
horse and pulled out his sword and put his shield afore him and said :ni!ht keep well thy head for
thou shalt have a buffet for the slayin! of my horse. So :in! #ellinore !ave him such a stroke upon the
helm that he clave the head down to the chin that he fell to the earth dead.
CHAPTER !III# How "(ng Pell(no&e gat t%e lad+ and b&o'g%t
%e& to Camelot to t%e co'&t of "(ng A&t%'&#
A2( then he turned him to the other kni!ht that was sore wounded. But when he saw the other's
buffet he would not fi!ht but kneeled down and said Take my cousin the lady with you at your
reAuest and / reAuire you as ye be a true kni!ht put her to no shame nor villainy. 5hat said :in!
#ellinore will ye not fi!ht for herL 2o sir said the kni!ht / will not fi!ht with such a kni!ht of
prowess as ye be. 5ell said #ellinore ye say wellC / promise you she shall have no villainy by me as /
am true kni!htC but now me lacketh an horse said #ellinore but / will have 1ontDlake's horse. Ye shall
not need said the kni!ht for / shall !ive you such an horse as shall please you so that you will lod!e
with me for it is near ni!ht. / will well said :in! #ellinore abide with you all ni!ht. And there he had
with him ri!ht !ood cheer and fared of the best with passin! !ood wine and had merry rest that ni!ht.
And on the morn he heard a mass and dinedC and then was brou!ht him a fair bay courser and :in!
#ellinore's saddle set upon him. 2ow what shall / call youL said the kni!ht inasmuch as ye have my
cousin at your desire of your Auest. Sir / shall tell you my name is :in! #ellinore of the /sles and
kni!ht of the Table 0ound. 2ow / am !lad said the kni!ht that such a noble man shall have the rule of
my cousin. 2ow what is your nameL said #ellinore / pray you tell me. Sir my name is Sir Meliot of
Lo!urs and this lady my cousin hi!ht 2imue and the kni!ht that was in the other pavilion is my sworn
?>9
brother a passin! !ood kni!ht and his name is Brian of the /sles and he is full loath to do wron! and
full loath to fi!ht with any man but if he be sore sou!ht on so that for shame he may not leave it. /t is
marvel said #ellinore that he will not have ado with me. Sir he will not have ado with no man but if it
be at his reAuest. Brin! him to the court said #ellinore one of these days. Sir we will come to!ether.
And ye shall be welcome said #ellinore to the court of :in! Arthur and !reatly allowed for your
comin!. And so he departed with the lady and brou!ht her to )amelot.
So as they rode in a valley it was full of stones and there the lady's horse stumbled and threw her
down that her arm was sore bruised and near she swooned for pain. AlasJ sir said the lady mine arm is
out of lithe wherethrou!h / must needs rest me. Ye shall well said :in! #ellinore. And so he ali!hted
under a fair tree where was fair !rass and he put his horse thereto and so laid him under the tree and
slept till it was ni!h ni!ht. And when he awoke he would have ridden. Sir said the lady it is so dark
that ye may as well ride backward as forward. So they abode still and made there their lod!in!. Then
Sir #ellinore put off his armourC then a little afore midni!ht they heard the trottin! of an horse. Be ye
still said :in! #ellinore for we shall hear of some adventure.
CHAPTER !I,# How on t%e wa+ %e %ea&d two kn(g%ts) as %e la+
b+ n(g%t (n a -alle+) and of t%e(& ad-ent'&es#
A2( therewith he armed him. So ri!ht even afore him there met two kni!hts the one came
froward )amelot and the other from the north and either saluted other. 5hat tidin!s at )amelotL said
the one. By my head said the other there have / been and espied the court of :in! Arthur and there is
such a fellowship they may never be broken and well"ni!h all the world holdeth with Arthur for there
is the flower of chivalry. 2ow for this cause / am ridin! into the north to tell our chieftains of the
fellowship that is withholden with :in! Arthur. As for that said the other kni!ht / have brou!ht a
remedy with me that is the !reatest poison that ever ye heard speak of and to )amelot will / with it
for we have a friend ri!ht ni!h :in! Arthur and well cherished that shall poison :in! ArthurC for so he
hath promised our chieftains and received !reat !ifts for to do it. Beware said the other kni!ht of
Merlin for he knoweth all thin!s by the devil's craft. Therefore will / not let it said the kni!ht. And so
they departed asunder. Anon after #ellinore made him ready and his lady MandN rode toward )amelotC
?>.
and as they came by the well there as the wounded kni!ht was and the lady there he found the kni!ht
and the lady eaten with lions or wild beasts all save the head wherefore he made !reat sorrow and
wept passin! sore and said AlasJ her life mi!ht / have savedC but / was so fierce in my Auest therefore
/ would not abide. 5herefore make ye such doleL said the lady. / wot not said #ellinore but my heart
mourneth sore of the death of her for she was a passin! fair lady and a youn!. 2ow will ye do by mine
adviceL said the lady take this kni!ht and let him be buried in an hermita!e and then take the lady's
head and bear it with you unto Arthur. So :in! #ellinore took this dead kni!ht on his shoulders and
brou!ht him to the hermita!e and char!ed the hermit with the corpse that service should be done for
the soulC and take his harness for your pain. /t shall be done said the hermit as / will answer unto %od.
CHAPTER !,# How w%en %e was come to Camelot %e was
swo&n '*on a book to tell t%e t&'t% of %(s /'est#
A2( therewith they departed and came there as the head of the lady lay with a fair yellow hair
that !rieved :in! #ellinore passin!ly sore when he looked on it for much he cast his heart on the
visa!e. And so by noon they came to )amelotC and the kin! and the Aueen were passin! fain of his
comin! to the court. And there he was made to swear upon the &our 3van!elists to tell the truth of his
Auest from the one to the other. AhJ Sir #ellinore said Bueen %uenever ye were !reatly to blame that
ye saved not this lady's life. Madam said #ellinore ye were !reatly to blame an ye would not save your
own life an ye mi!ht but save your pleasure / was so furious in my Auest that / would not abide and
that repenteth me and shall the days of my life. Truly said Merlin ye ou!ht sore to repent it for that
lady was your own dau!hter be!otten on the lady of the 0ule and that kni!ht that was dead was her
love and should have wedded her and he was a ri!ht !ood kni!ht of a youn! man and would have
proved a !ood man and to this court was he comin! and his name was Sir Miles of the Launds and a
kni!ht came behind him and slew him with a spear and his name is Loraine le Sava!e a false kni!ht
and a cowardC and she for !reat sorrow and dole slew herself with his sword and her name was 3leine.
And because ye would not abide and help her ye shall see your best friend fail you when ye be in the
!reatest distress that ever ye were or shall be. And that penance %od hath ordained you for that deed
that he that ye shall most trust to of any man alive he shall leave you there ye shall be slain. Me
?>4
forthinketh said :in! #ellinore that this shall me betide but %od may fordo well destiny.
Thus when the Auest was done of the white hart the which followed Sir %awaineC and the Auest of
the brachet followed of Sir Tor #ellinore's sonC and the Auest of the lady that the kni!ht took away the
which :in! #ellinore at that time followedC then the kin! stablished all his kni!hts and them that were
of lands not rich he !ave them lands and char!ed them never to do outra!eousity nor murder and
always to flee treasonC also by no means to be cruel but to !ive mercy unto him that asketh mercy
upon pain of forfeiture of their worship and lordship of :in! Arthur for evermoreC and always to do
ladies damosels and !entlewomen succour upon pain of death. Also that no man take no battles in a
wron!ful Auarrel for no law nor for no world's !oods. ;nto this were all the kni!hts sworn of the Table
0ound both old and youn!. And every year were they sworn at the hi!h feast of #entecost.
3'plicit the 5eddin! of :in! Arthur. SeAuitur Auartus liber.
BOO" I,
CHAPTER I# How e&l(n was assotted and doted on one of t%e
lad(es of t%e lake) and %ow %e was s%'t (n a &ock 'nde& a
stone and t%e&e d(ed#
S* after these Auests of Sir %awaine Sir Tor and :in! #ellinore it fell so that Merlin fell in a
dota!e on the damosel that :in! #ellinore brou!ht to court and she was one of the damosels of the
lake that hi!ht 2imue. But Merlin would let her have no rest but always he would be with her. And
ever she made Merlin !ood cheer till she had learned of him all manner thin! that she desiredC and he
was assotted upon her that he mi!ht not be from her. So on a time he told :in! Arthur that he should
not dure lon! but for all his crafts he should be put in the earth Auick. And so he told the kin! many
thin!s that should befall but always he warned the kin! to keep well his sword and the scabbard for he
?><
told him how the sword and the scabbard should be stolen by a woman from him that he most trusted.
Also he told :in! Arthur that he should miss himKYet had ye liefer than all your lands to have me
a!ain. Ah said the kin! since ye know of your adventure purvey for it and put away by your crafts
that misadventure. 2ay said Merlin it will not beC so he departed from the kin!. And within a while the
(amosel of the Lake departed and Merlin went with her evermore wheresomever she went. And
ofttimes Merlin would have had her privily away by his subtle craftsC then she made him to swear that
he should never do none enchantment upon her if he would have his will. And so he swareC so she and
Merlin went over the sea unto the land of Benwick whereas :in! Ban was kin! that had !reat war
a!ainst :in! )laudas and there Merlin spake with :in! Ban's wife a fair lady and a !ood and her
name was 3laine and there he saw youn! Launcelot. There the Aueen made !reat sorrow for the mortal
war that :in! )laudas made on her lord and on her lands. Take none heaviness said Merlin for this
same child within this twenty year shall reven!e you on :in! )laudas that all )hristendom shall speak
of itC and this same child shall be the most man of worship of the world and his first name is %alahad
that know / well said Merlin and since ye have confirmed him Launcelot. That is truth said the Aueen
his first name was %alahad. * Merlin said the Aueen shall / live to see my son such a man of prowessL
Yea lady on my peril ye shall see it and live many winters after.
And so soon after the lady and Merlin departed and by the way Merlin showed her many
wonders and came into )ornwall. And always Merlin lay about the lady to have her maidenhood and
she was ever passin! weary of him and fain would have been delivered of him for she was afeard of
him because he was a devil's son and she could not beskift him by no mean. And so on a time it
happed that Merlin showed to her in a rock whereas was a !reat wonder and wrou!ht by enchantment
that went under a !reat stone. So by her subtle workin! she made Merlin to !o under that stone to let
her wit of the marvels thereC but she wrou!ht so there for him that he came never out for all the craft he
could do. And so she departed and left Merlin.
CHAPTER II# How f(-e k(ngs came (nto t%(s land to wa& aga(nst
"(ng A&t%'&) and w%at co'nsel A&t%'& %ad aga(nst t%em#
A2( as :in! Arthur rode to )amelot and held there a !reat feast with mirth and $oy so soon after
?>7
he returned unto )ardoile and there came unto Arthur new tidin!s that the kin! of (enmark and the
kin! of /reland that was his brother and the kin! of the 8ale and the kin! of Soleise and the kin! of
the /sle of Lon!tains all these five kin!s with a !reat host were entered into the land of :in! Arthur
and burnt and slew clean afore them both cities and castles that it was pity to hear. Alas said Arthur
yet had / never rest one month since / was crowned kin! of this land. 2ow shall / never rest till / meet
with those kin!s in a fair field that / make mine avowC for my true lie!e people shall not be destroyed
in my default !o with me who will and abide who that will. Then the kin! let write unto :in!
#ellinore and prayed him in all haste to make him ready with such people as he mi!ht li!htliest rear
and hie him after in all haste. All the barons were privily wroth that the kin! would depart so suddenlyC
but the kin! by no mean would abide but made writin! unto them that were not there and bade them
hie after him such as were not at that time in the court. Then the kin! came to Bueen %uenever and
said Lady make you ready for ye shall !o with me for / may not lon! miss youC ye shall cause me to
be the more hardy what adventure so befall meC / will not wit my lady to be in no $eopardy. Sir said
she / am at your commandment and shall be ready what time so ye be ready. So on the morn the kin!
and the Aueen departed with such fellowship as they had and came into the north into a forest beside
1umber and there lod!ed them. 5hen the word and tidin! came unto the five kin!s above said that
Arthur was beside 1umber in a forest there was a kni!ht brother unto one of the five kin!s that !ave
them this counsel+ Ye know well that Sir Arthur hath the flower of chivalry of the world with him as it
is proved by the !reat battle he did with the eleven kin!sC and therefore hie unto him ni!ht and day till
that we be ni!h him for the lon!er he tarrieth the bi!!er he is and we ever the weakerC and he is so
coura!eous of himself that he is come to the field with little people and therefore let us set upon him or
day and we shall slay downC of his kni!hts there shall none escape.
CHAPTER III# How "(ng A&t%'& %ad ado w(t% t%em and
o-e&t%&ew t%em) and slew t%e f(-e k(ngs and made t%e
&emnant to flee#
;2T* this counsel these five kin!s assented and so they passed forth with their host throu!h
2orth 5ales and came upon Arthur by ni!ht and set upon his host as the kin! and his kni!hts were in
?>@
their pavilions. :in! Arthur was unarmed and had laid him to rest with his Bueen %uenever. Sir said
Sir :ay it is not !ood we be unarmed. 5e shall have no need said Sir %awaine and Sir %riflet that lay
in a little pavilion by the kin!. 5ith that they heard a !reat noise and many cried Treason treasonJ
Alas said :in! Arthur we be betrayedJ ;nto arms fellows then he cried. So they were armed anon at
all points. Then came there a wounded kni!ht unto the kin! and said Sir save yourself and my lady
the Aueen for our host is destroyed and much people of ours slain. So anon the kin! and the Aueen and
the three kni!hts took their horses and rode toward 1umber to pass over it and the water was so rou!h
that they were afraid to pass over. 2ow may ye choose said :in! Arthur whether ye will abide and
take the adventure on this side for an ye be taken they will slay you. /t were me liefer said the Aueen
to die in the water than to fall in your enemies' hands and there be slain.
And as they stood so talkin! Sir :ay saw the five kin!s comin! on horseback by themselves
alone with their spears in their hands even toward them. Lo said Sir :ay yonder be the five kin!sC let
us !o to them and match them. That were folly said Sir %awaine for we are but three and they be five.
That is truth said Sir %riflet. 2o force said Sir :ay / will undertake for two of them and then may ye
three undertake for the other three. And therewithal Sir :ay let his horse run as fast as he mi!ht and
struck one of them throu!h the shield and the body a fathom that the kin! fell to the earth stark dead.
That saw Sir %awaine and ran unto another kin! so hard that he smote him throu!h the body. And
therewithal :in! Arthur ran to another and smote him throu!h the body with a spear that he fell to the
earth dead Then Sir %riflet ran unto the fourth kin! and !ave him such a fall that his neck brake. Anon
Sir :ay ran unto the fifth kin! and smote him so hard on the helm that the stroke clave the helm and
the head to the earth. That was well stricken said :in! Arthur and worshipfully hast thou holden thy
promise therefore / shall honour thee while that / live. And therewithal they set the Aueen in a bar!e
into 1umberC but always Bueen %uenever praised Sir :ay for his deeds and said 5hat lady that ye
love and she love you not a!ain she were !reatly to blameC and amon! ladies said the Aueen / shall
bear your noble fame for ye spake a !reat word and fulfilled it worshipfully. And therewith the Aueen
departed.
Then the kin! and the three kni!hts rode into the forest for there they supposed to hear of them
that were escapedC and there he found the most part of his people and told them all how the five kin!s
were dead. And therefore let us hold us to!ether till it be day and when their host have espied that their
chieftains be slain they will make such dole that they shall no more help themselves. And ri!ht so as
the kin! said so it wasC for when they found the five kin!s dead they made such dole that they fell
?>=
from their horses. Therewithal came :in! Arthur but with a few people and slew on the left hand and
on the ri!ht hand that well"ni!h there escaped no man but all were slain to the number thirty thousand.
And when the battle was all ended the kin! kneeled down and thanked %od meekly. And then he sent
for the Aueen and soon she was come and she made !reat $oy of the overcomin! of that battle.
CHAPTER I,# How t%e battle was f(n(s%ed o& %e came) and %ow
"(ng A&t%'& fo'nded an abbe+ w%e&e t%e battle was#
T13035/T1AL came one to :in! Arthur and told him that :in! #ellinore was within three mile
with a !reat hostC and he said %o unto him and let him understand how we have sped. So within a
while :in! #ellinore came with a !reat host and saluted the people and the kin! and there was !reat
$oy made on every side. Then the kin! let search how much people of his party there was slainC and
there were found but little past two hundred men slain and ei!ht kni!hts of the Table 0ound in their
pavilions. Then the kin! let rear and devise in the same place whereat the battle was done a fair abbey
and endowed it with !reat livelihood and let it call the Abbey of La Beale Adventure. But when some
of them came into their countries whereof the five kin!s were kin!s and told them how they were
slain there was made !reat dole. And all :in! Arthur's enemies as the :in! of 2orth 5ales and the
kin!s of the 2orth Mwhen theyN wist of the battle they were passin! heavy. And so the kin! returned
unto )amelot in haste.
And when he was come to )amelot he called :in! #ellinore unto him and said Ye understand
well that we have lost ei!ht kni!hts of the best of the Table 0ound and by your advice we will choose
ei!ht a!ain of the best we may find in this court. Sir said #ellinore / shall counsel you after my conceit
the best+ there are in your court full noble kni!hts both of old and youn!C and therefore by mine advice
ye shall choose half of the old and half of the youn!. 5hich be the oldL said :in! Arthur. Sir said :in!
#ellinore meseemeth that :in! ;riens that hath wedded your sister Mor!an le &ay and the :in! of the
Lake and Sir 1ervise de 0evel a noble kni!ht and Sir %ala!ars the fourth. This is well devised said
:in! Arthur and ri!ht so shall it be. 2ow which are the four youn! kni!htsL said Arthur. Sir said
#ellinore the first is Sir %awaine your nephew that is as !ood a kni!ht of his time as any is in this
landC and the second as meseemeth best is Sir %riflet le &ise de (ieu that is a !ood kni!ht and full
??>
desirous in arms and who may see him live he shall prove a !ood kni!htC and the third as meseemeth is
well to be one of the kni!hts of the 0ound Table Sir :ay the Seneschal for many times he hath done
full worshipfully and now at your last battle he did full honourably for to undertake to slay two kin!s.
By my head said Arthur he is best worth to be a kni!ht of the 0ound Table of any that ye have
rehearsed an he had done no more prowess in his life days.
CHAPTER ,# How 6(& To& was made kn(g%t of t%e Ro'nd Table)
and %ow Bagdemag's was d(s*leased#
2*5 said :in! #ellinore / shall put to you two kni!hts and ye shall choose which is most
worthy that is Sir Ba!dema!us and Sir Tor my son. But because Sir Tor is my son / may not praise
him but else an he were not my son / durst say that of his a!e there is not in this land a better kni!ht
than he is nor of better conditions and loath to do any wron! and loath to take any wron!. By my
head said Arthur he is a passin! !ood kni!ht as any ye spake of this day that wot / well said the kin!C
for / have seen him proved but he saith little and he doth much more for / know none in all this court
an he were as well born on his mother's side as he is on your side that is like him of prowess and of
mi!ht+ and therefore / will have him at this time and leave Sir Ba!dema!us till another time. So when
they were so chosen by the assent of all the barons so were there found in their sie!es every kni!hts'
names that here are rehearsed and so were they set in their sie!esC whereof Sir Ba!dema!us was
wonderly wroth that Sir Tor was advanced afore him and therefore suddenly he departed from the
court and took his sAuire with him and rode lon! in a forest till they came to a cross and there
ali!hted and said his prayers devoutly. The meanwhile his sAuire found written upon the cross that
Ba!dema!us should never return unto the court a!ain till he had won a kni!ht's body of the 0ound
Table body for body. So sir said the sAuire here / find writin! of you therefore / rede you return
a!ain to the court. That shall / never said Ba!dema!us till men speak of me !reat worship and that /
be worthy to be a kni!ht of the 0ound Table. And so he rode forth and there by the way he found a
branch of an holy herb that was the si!n of the San!real and no kni!ht found such tokens but he were a
!ood liver.
So as Sir Ba!dema!us rode to see many adventures it happed him to come to the rock whereas
???
the Lady of the Lake had put Merlin under the stone and there he heard him make !reat doleC whereof
Sir Ba!dema!us would have holpen him and went unto the !reat stone and it was so heavy that an
hundred men mi!ht not lift it up. 5hen Merlin wist he was there he bade leave his labour for all was
in vain for he mi!ht never be holpen but by her that put him there. And so Ba!dema!us departed and
did many adventures and proved after a full !ood kni!ht and came a!ain to the court and was made
kni!ht of the 0ound Table. So on the morn there fell new tidin!s and other adventures.
CHAPTER ,I# How "(ng A&t%'&) "(ng $&(ens) and 6(& Accolon
of Ga'l) c%ased an %a&t) and of t%e(& ma&-ello's ad-ent'&es#
T132 it befell that Arthur and many of his kni!hts rode a"huntin! into a !reat forest and it happed
:in! Arthur :in! ;riens and Sir Accolon of %aul followed a !reat hart for they three were well
horsed and so they chased so fast that within a while they three were then ten mile from their
fellowship. And at the last they chased so sore that they slew their horses underneath them. Then were
they all three on foot and ever they saw the hart afore them passin! weary and enbushed. 5hat will we
doL said :in! Arthur we are hard bestead. Let us !o on foot said :in! ;riens till we may meet with
some lod!in!. Then were they ware of the hart that lay on a !reat water bank and a brachet bitin! on
his throat and more other hounds came after. Then :in! Arthur blew the prise and di!ht the hart.
Then the kin! looked about the world and saw afore him in a !reat water a little ship all
apparelled with silk down to the water and the ship came ri!ht unto them and landed on the sands.
Then Arthur went to the bank and looked in and saw none earthly creature therein. Sirs said the kin!
come thence and let us see what is in this ship. So they went in all three and found it richly behan!ed
with cloth of silk. By then it was dark ni!ht and there suddenly were about them an hundred torches
set upon all the sides of the ship boards and it !ave !reat li!htC and therewithal there came out twelve
fair damosels and saluted :in! Arthur on their knees and called him by his name and said he was ri!ht
welcome and such cheer as they had he should have of the best. The kin! thanked them fair.
Therewithal they led the kin! and his two fellows into a fair chamber and there was a cloth laid richly
beseen of all that lon!ed unto a table and there were they served of all wines and meats that they could
thinkC of that the kin! had !reat marvel for he fared never better in his life as for one supper. And so
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when they had supped at their leisure :in! Arthur was led into a chamber a richer beseen chamber
saw he never none and so was :in! ;riens served and led into such another chamber and Sir Accolon
was led into the third chamber passin! richly and well beseenC and so they were laid in their beds
easily. And anon they fell asleep and slept marvellously sore all the ni!ht. And on the morrow :in!
;riens was in )amelot abed in his wife's arms Mor!an le &ay. And when he awoke he had !reat
marvel how he came there for on the even afore he was two days' $ourney from )amelot. And when
:in! Arthur awoke he found himself in a dark prison hearin! about him many complaints of woful
kni!hts.
CHAPTER ,II# How A&t%'& took '*on %(m to f(g%t to be
del(-e&ed o't of *&(son) and also fo& to del(-e& twent+
kn(g%ts t%at we&e (n *&(son#
51AT are ye that so complainL said :in! Arthur. 5e be here twenty kni!hts prisoners said they
and some of us have lain here seven year and some more and some less. &or what causeL said Arthur.
5e shall tell you said the kni!htsC this lord of this castle his name is Sir (amas and he is the falsest
kni!ht that liveth and full of treason and a very coward as any liveth and he hath a youn!er brother a
!ood kni!ht of prowess his name is Sir *ntDlakeC and this traitor (amas the elder brother will !ive
him no part of his livelihood but as Sir *ntDlake keepeth thorou!h prowess of his hands and so he
keepeth from him a full fair manor and a rich and therein Sir *ntDlake dwelleth worshipfully and is
well beloved of all people. And this Sir (amas our master is as evil beloved for he is without mercy
and he is a coward and !reat war hath been betwi't them both but *ntDlake hath ever the better and
ever he proffereth Sir (amas to fi!ht for the livelihood body for body but he will not doC other"else to
find a kni!ht to fi!ht for him. ;nto that Sir (amas had !ranted to find a kni!ht but he is so evil
beloved and hated that there is never a kni!ht will fi!ht for him. And when (amas saw this that there
was never a kni!ht would fi!ht for him he hath daily lain await with many kni!hts with him and taken
all the kni!hts in this country to see and espy their adventures he hath taken them by force and brou!ht
them to his prison. And so he took us separately as we rode on our adventures and many !ood kni!hts
have died in this prison for hun!er to the number of ei!hteen kni!htsC and if any of us all that here is
??9
or hath been would have fou!hten with his brother *ntDlake he would have delivered us but for
because this (amas is so false and so full of treason we would never fi!ht for him to die for it. And we
be so lean for hun!er that unnethe we may stand on our feet. %od deliver you for his mercy said
Arthur.
Anon therewithal there came a damosel unto Arthur and asked him 5hat cheerL / cannot say
said he. Sir said she an ye will fi!ht for my lord ye shall be delivered out of prison and else ye escape
never the life. 2ow said Arthur that is hard yet had / liefer to fi!ht with a kni!ht than to die in prisonC
with this said Arthur / may be delivered and all these prisoners / will do the battle. Yes said the
damosel. / am ready said Arthur an / had horse and armour. Ye shall lack none said the damosel.
Meseemeth damosel / should have seen you in the court of Arthur. 2ay said the damosel / came never
there / am the lord's dau!hter of this castle. Yet was she false for she was one of the damosels of
Mor!an le &ay.
Anon she went unto Sir (amas and told him how he would do battle for him and so he sent for
Arthur. And when he came he was well coloured and well made of his limbs that all kni!hts that saw
him said it were pity that such a kni!ht should die in prison. So Sir (amas and he were a!reed that he
should fi!ht for him upon this covenant that all other kni!hts should be deliveredC and unto that was
Sir (amas sworn unto Arthur and also to do the battle to the uttermost. And with that all the twenty
kni!hts were brou!ht out of the dark prison into the hall and delivered and so they all abode to see the
battle.
CHAPTER ,III# How Accolon fo'nd %(mself b+ a well) and %e
took '*on %(m to do battle aga(nst A&t%'&#
2*5 turn we unto Accolon of %aul that when he awoke he found himself by a deep well"side
within half a foot in !reat peril of death. And there came out of that fountain a pipe of silver and out of
that pipe ran water all on hi!h in a stone of marble. 5hen Sir Accolon saw this he blessed him and
said Eesus save my lord :in! Arthur and :in! ;riens for these damosels in this ship have betrayed
us they were devils and no womenC and if / may escape this misadventure / shall destroy all where /
??.
may find these false damosels that use enchantments. 0i!ht with that there came a dwarf with a !reat
mouth and a flat nose and saluted Sir Accolon and said how he came from Bueen Mor!an le &ay and
she !reeteth you well and biddeth you be of stron! heart for ye shall fi!ht to morrow with a kni!ht at
the hour of prime and therefore she hath sent you here 3'calibur Arthur's sword and the scabbard and
she biddeth you as ye love her that ye do the battle to the uttermost without any mercy like as ye had
promised her when ye spake to!ether in privityC and what damosel that brin!eth her the kni!ht's head
which ye shall fi!ht withal she will make her a Aueen. 2ow / understand you well said Accolon /
shall hold that / have promised her now / have the sword+ when saw ye my lady Bueen Mor!an le &ayL
0i!ht late said the dwarf. Then Accolon took him in his arms and said 0ecommend me unto my lady
Aueen and tell her all shall be done that / have promised her and else / will die for it. 2ow / suppose
said Accolon she hath made all these crafts and enchantments for this battle. Ye may well believe it
said the dwarf. 0i!ht so there came a kni!ht and a lady with si' sAuires and saluted Accolon and
prayed him for to arise and come and rest him at his manor. And so Accolon mounted upon a void
horse and went with the kni!ht unto a fair manor by a priory and there he had passin! !ood cheer.
Then Sir (amas sent unto his brother Sir *ntDlake and bade make him ready by to"morn at the
hour of prime and to be in the field to fi!ht with a !ood kni!ht for he had found a !ood kni!ht that
was ready to do battle at all points. 5hen this word came unto Sir *ntDlake he was passin! heavy for
he was wounded a little to"fore throu!h both his thi!hs with a spear and made !reat doleC but as he was
wounded he would have taken the battle on hand. So it happed at that time by the means of Mor!an le
&ay Accolon was with Sir *ntDlake lod!edC and when he heard of that battle and how *ntDlake was
wounded he said that he would fi!ht for him. Because Mor!an le &ay had sent him 3'calibur and the
sheath for to fi!ht with the kni!ht on the morn+ this was the cause Sir Accolon took the battle on hand.
Then Sir *ntDlake was passin! !lad and thanked Sir Accolon with all his heart that he would do so
much for him. And therewithal Sir *ntDlake sent word unto his brother Sir (amas that he had a kni!ht
that for him should be ready in the field by the hour of prime.
So on the morn Sir Arthur was armed and well horsed and asked Sir (amas 5hen shall we to the
fieldL Sir said Sir (amas ye shall hear mass. And so Arthur heard a mass and when mass was done
there came a sAuire on a !reat horse and asked Sir (amas if his kni!ht were ready for our kni!ht is
ready in the field. Then Sir Arthur mounted upon horseback and there were all the kni!hts and
commons of that countryC and so by all advices there were chosen twelve !ood men of the country for
to wait upon the two kni!hts. And ri!ht as Arthur was on horseback there came a damosel from Mor!an
??4
le &ay and brou!ht unto Sir Arthur a sword like unto 3'calibur and the scabbard and said unto Arthur
Mor!an le &ay sendeth here your sword for !reat love. And he thanked her and weened it had been so
but she was false for the sword and the scabbard was counterfeit and brittle and false.
CHAPTER I!# Of t%e battle between "(ng A&t%'& and Accolon#
A2( then they dressed them on both parties of the field and let their horses run so fast that either
smote other in the midst of the shield with their spear"heads that both horse and man went to the earthC
and then they started up both and pulled out their swords. The meanwhile that they were thus at the
battle came the (amosel of the Lake into the field that put Merlin under the stoneC and she came
thither for love of :in! Arthur for she knew how Mor!an le &ay had so ordained that :in! Arthur
should have been slain that day and therefore she came to save his life. And so they went ea!erly to the
battle and !ave many !reat strokes but always Arthur's sword bit not like Accolon's swordC but for the
most part every stroke that Accolon !ave he wounded sore Arthur that it was marvel he stood and
always his blood fell from him fast.
5hen Arthur beheld the !round so sore be"bled he was dismayed and then he deemed treason that
his sword was chan!edC for his sword bit not steel as it was wont to do therefore he dreaded him sore
to be dead for ever him seemed that the sword in Accolon's hand was 3'calibur for at every stroke that
Accolon struck he drew blood on Arthur. 2ow kni!ht said Accolon unto Arthur keep thee well from
meC but Arthur answered not a!ain and !ave him such a buffet on the helm that it made him to stoop
ni!h fallin! down to the earth. Then Sir Accolon withdrew him a little and came on with 3'calibur on
hi!h and smote Sir Arthur such a buffet that he fell ni!h to the earth. Then were they wroth both and
!ave each other many sore strokes but always Sir Arthur lost so much blood that it was marvel he
stood on his feet but he was so full of kni!hthood that kni!htly he endured the pain. And Sir Accolon
lost not a deal of blood therefore he wa'ed passin! li!ht and Sir Arthur was passin! feeble and
weened verily to have diedC but for all that he made countenance as thou!h he mi!ht endure and held
Accolon as short as he mi!ht. But Accolon was so bold because of 3'calibur that he wa'ed passin!
hardy. But all men that beheld him said they saw never kni!ht fi!ht so well as Arthur did considerin!
the blood that he bled. So was all the people sorry for him but the two brethren would not accord. Then
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always they fou!ht to!ether as fierce kni!hts and Sir Arthur withdrew him a little for to rest him and
Sir Accolon called him to battle and said /t is no time for me to suffer thee to rest. And therewith he
came fiercely upon Arthur and Sir Arthur was wroth for the blood that he had lost and smote Accolon
on hi!h upon the helm so mi!htily that he made him ni!h to fall to the earthC and therewith Arthur's
sword brast at the cross and fell in the !rass amon! the blood and the pommel and the sure handles he
held in his hands. 5hen Sir Arthur saw that he was in !reat fear to die but always he held up his
shield and lost no !round nor bated no cheer.
CHAPTER !# How "(ng A&t%'&0s swo&d t%at %e fo'g%t w(t%
b&ake) and %ow %e &eco-e&ed of Accolon %(s own swo&d
E4cal(b'&) and o-e&came %(s enem+#
T132 Sir Accolon be!an with words of treason and said :ni!ht thou art overcome and mayst
not endure and also thou art weaponless and thou hast lost much of thy blood and / am full loath to
slay thee therefore yield thee to me as recreant. 2ay said Sir Arthur / may not so for / have promised
to do the battle to the uttermost by the faith of my body while me lasteth the life and therefore / had
liefer to die with honour than to live with shameC and if it were possible for me to die an hundred times
/ had liefer to die so oft than yield me to theeC for thou!h / lack weapon / shall lack no worship and if
thou slay me weaponless that shall be thy shame. 5ell said Accolon as for the shame / will not spare
now keep thee from me for thou art but a dead man. And therewith Accolon !ave him such a stroke
that he fell ni!h to the earth and would have had Arthur to have cried him mercy. But Sir Arthur
pressed unto Accolon with his shield and !ave him with the pommel in his hand such a buffet that he
went three strides aback.
5hen the (amosel of the Lake beheld Arthur how full of prowess his body was and the false
treason that was wrou!ht for him to have had him slain she had !reat pity that so !ood a kni!ht and
such a man of worship should so be destroyed. And at the ne't stroke Sir Accolon struck him such a
stroke that by the damosel's enchantment the sword 3'calibur fell out of Accolon's hand to the earth.
And therewithal Sir Arthur li!htly leapt to it and !at it in his hand and forthwithal he knew that it was
his sword 3'calibur and said Thou hast been from me all too lon! and much dama!e hast thou done
??7
meC and therewith he espied the scabbard han!in! by his side and suddenly he sterte to him and pulled
the scabbard from him and threw it from him as far as he mi!ht throw it. * kni!ht said Arthur this
day hast thou done me !reat dama!e with this swordC now are ye come unto your death for / shall not
warrant you but ye shall as well be rewarded with this sword or ever we depart as thou hast rewarded
meC for much pain have ye made me to endure and much blood have / lost. And therewith Sir Arthur
rushed on him with all his mi!ht and pulled him to the earth and then rushed off his helm and !ave
him such a buffet on the head that the blood came out at his ears his nose and his mouth. 2ow will /
slay thee said Arthur. Slay me ye may well said Accolon an it please you for ye are the best kni!ht
that ever / found and / see well that %od is with you. But for / promised to do this battle said Accolon
to the uttermost and never to be recreant while / lived therefore shall / never yield me with my mouth
but %od do with my body what he will. Then Sir Arthur remembered him and thou!ht he should have
seen this kni!ht. 2ow tell me said Arthur or / will slay thee of what country art thou and of what
courtL Sir :ni!ht said Sir Accolon / am of the court of :in! Arthur and my name is Accolon of %aul.
Then was Arthur more dismayed than he was beforehandC for then he remembered him of his sister
Mor!an le &ay and of the enchantment of the ship. * sir kni!ht said he / pray you tell me who !ave
you this sword and by whom ye had it.
CHAPTER !I# How Accolon confessed t%e t&eason of o&gan le
Fa+) "(ng A&t%'&0s s(ste&) and %ow s%e wo'ld %a-e done sla+
%(m#
T132 Sir Accolon bethou!ht him and said 5oe worth this sword for by it have / !ot my death.
/t may well be said the kin!. 2ow sir said Accolon / will tell youC this sword hath been in my
keepin! the most part of this twelvemonthC and Mor!an le &ay :in! ;riens' wife sent it me yesterday
by a dwarf to this intent that / should slay :in! Arthur her brother. &or ye shall understand :in!
Arthur is the man in the world that she most hateth because he is most of worship and of prowess of
any of her bloodC also she loveth me out of measure as paramour and / her a!ainC and if she mi!ht
brin! about to slay Arthur by her crafts she would slay her husband :in! ;riens li!htly and then had
she me devised to be kin! in this land and so to rei!n and she to be my AueenC but that is now done
??@
said Accolon for / am sure of my death. 5ell said Sir Arthur / feel by you ye would have been kin! in
this land. /t had been !reat dama!e to have destroyed your lord said Arthur. /t is truth said Accolon
but now / have told you truth wherefore / pray you tell me of whence ye are and of what courtL *
Accolon said :in! Arthur now / let thee wit that / am :in! Arthur to whom thou hast done !reat
dama!e. 5hen Accolon heard that he cried aloud &air sweet lord have mercy on me for / knew not
you. * Sir Accolon said :in! Arthur mercy shalt thou have because / feel by thy words at this time
thou knewest not my personC but / understand well by thy words that thou hast a!reed to the death of
my person and therefore thou art a traitorC but / wite thee the less for my sister Mor!an le &ay by her
false crafts made thee to a!ree and consent to her false lusts but / shall be sore aven!ed upon her an /
live that all )hristendom shall speak of itC %od knoweth / have honoured her and worshipped her more
than all my kin and more have / trusted her than mine own wife and all my kin after.
Then Sir Arthur called the keepers of the field and said Sirs come hither for here are we two
kni!hts that have fou!ht unto a !reat dama!e unto us both and like each one of us to have slain other
if it had happed soC and had any of us known other here had been no battle nor stroke stricken. Then
all aloud cried Accolon unto all the kni!hts and men that were then there !athered to!ether and said to
them in this manner * lords this noble kni!ht that / have fou!ht withal the which me sore repenteth
is the most man of prowess of manhood and of worship in the world for it is himself :in! Arthur our
alther lie!e lord and with mishap and with misadventure have / done this battle with the kin! and lord
that / am holden withal.
CHAPTER !II# How A&t%'& acco&ded t%e two b&et%&en) and
del(-e&ed t%e twent+ kn(g%ts) and %ow 6(& Accolon d(ed#
T132 all the people fell down on their knees and cried :in! Arthur mercy. Mercy shall ye have
said Arthur+ here may ye see what adventures befall ofttime of errant kni!hts how that / have fou!ht
with a kni!ht of mine own unto my !reat dama!e and his both. But sirs because / am sore hurt and he
both and / had !reat need of a little rest ye shall understand the opinion betwi't you two brethren+ As
to thee Sir (amas for whom / have been champion and won the field of this kni!ht yet will / $ud!e
because ye Sir (amas are called an or!ulous kni!ht and full of villainy and not worth of prowess
??=
your deeds therefore / will that ye !ive unto your brother all the whole manor with the appurtenance
under this form that Sir *ntDlake hold the manor of you and yearly to !ive you a palfrey to ride upon
for that will become you better to ride on than upon a courser. Also / char!e thee Sir (amas upon pain
of death that thou never distress no kni!hts errant that ride on their adventure. And also that thou
restore these twenty kni!hts that thou hast lon! kept prisoners of all their harness that they be content
forC and if any of them come to my court and complain of thee by my head thou shalt die therefore.
Also Sir *ntDlake as to you because ye are named a !ood kni!ht and full of prowess and true and
!entle in all your deeds this shall be your char!e / will !ive you that in all !oodly haste ye come unto
me and my court and ye shall be a kni!ht of mine and if your deeds be thereafter / shall so prefer you
by the !race of %od that ye shall in short time be in ease for to live as worshipfully as your brother Sir
(amas. %od thank your lar!eness of your !oodness and of your bounty / shall be from henceforward at
all times at your commandmentC for sir said Sir *ntDlake as %od would as / was hurt but late with an
adventurous kni!ht throu!h both my thi!hs that !rieved me sore and else had / done this battle with
you. %od would said Arthur it had been so for then had not / been hurt as / am. / shall tell you the
cause why+ for / had not been hurt as / am had it not been mine own sword that was stolen from me by
treasonC and this battle was ordained aforehand to have slain me and so it was brou!ht to the purpose
by false treason and by false enchantment. Alas said Sir *ntDlake that is !reat pity that ever so noble
a man as ye are of your deeds and prowess that any man or woman mi!ht find in their hearts to work
any treason a!ainst you. / shall reward them said Arthur in short time by the !race of %od. 2ow tell
me said Arthur how far am / from )amelotL Sir ye are two days' $ourney therefrom. / would fain be at
some place of worship said Sir Arthur that / mi!ht rest me. Sir said Sir *ntDlake hereby is a rich
abbey of your elders' foundation of nuns but three miles hence. So the kin! took his leave of all the
people and mounted upon horseback and Sir Accolon with him. And when they were come to the
abbey he let fetch leeches and search his wounds and Accolon's bothC but Sir Accolon died within four
days for he had bled so much blood that he mi!ht not live but :in! Arthur was well recovered. So
when Accolon was dead he let send him on an horse"bier with si' kni!hts unto )amelot and said+ Bear
him to my sister Mor!an le &ay and say that / send her him to a present and tell her / have my sword
3'calibur and the scabbardC so they departed with the body.
?->
CHAPTER !III# How o&gan wo'ld %a-e sla(n 6(& $&(ens %e&
%'sband) and %ow 6(& $wa(ne %e& son sa-ed %(m#
T13 meanwhile Mor!an le &ay had weened :in! Arthur had been dead. So on a day she espied
:in! ;riens lay in his bed sleepin!. Then she called unto her a maiden of her counsel and said %o
fetch me my lord's sword for / saw never better time to slay him than now. * madam said the
damosel an ye slay my lord ye can never escape. )are not you said Mor!an le &ay for now / see my
time in the which it is best to do it and therefore hie thee fast and fetch me the sword. Then the
damosel departed and found Sir ;waine sleepin! upon a bed in another chamber so she went unto Sir
;waine and awaked him and bade him Arise and wait on my lady your mother for she will slay the
kin! your father sleepin! in his bed for / !o to fetch his sword. 5ell said Sir ;waine !o on your way
and let me deal. Anon the damosel brou!ht Mor!an the sword with Auakin! hands and she li!htly took
the sword and pulled it out and went boldly unto the bed's side and awaited how and where she mi!ht
slay him best. And as she lifted up the sword to smite Sir ;waine leapt unto his mother and cau!ht her
by the hand and said Ah fiend what wilt thou doL An thou wert not my mother with this sword /
should smite off thy head. Ah said Sir ;waine men saith that Merlin was be!otten of a devil but /
may say an earthly devil bare me. * fair son ;waine have mercy upon me / was tempted with a devil
wherefore / cry thee mercyC / will never more do soC and save my worship and discover me not. *n this
covenant said Sir ;waine / will for!ive it you so ye will never be about to do such deeds. 2ay son
said she and that / make you assurance.
CHAPTER !I,# How 1'een o&gan le Fa+ made g&eat so&&ow
fo& t%e deat% of Accolon) and %ow s%e stole awa+ t%e
scabba&d f&om A&t%'&#
T132 came tidin!s unto Mor!an le &ay that Accolon was dead and his body brou!ht unto the
church and how :in! Arthur had his sword a!ain. But when Bueen Mor!an wist that Accolon was
dead she was so sorrowful that near her heart to"brast. But because she would not it were known
outward she kept her countenance and made no semblant of sorrow. But well she wist an she abode till
her brother Arthur came thither there should no !old !o for her life.
?-?
Then she went unto Bueen %uenever and asked her leave to ride into the country. Ye may abide
said Bueen %uenever till your brother the kin! come home. / may not said Mor!an le &ay for / have
such hasty tidin!s that / may not tarry. 5ell said %uenever ye may depart when ye will. So early on
the morn or it was day she took her horse and rode all that day and most part of the ni!ht and on the
morn by noon she came to the same abbey of nuns whereas lay :in! ArthurC and she knowin! he was
there she asked where he was. And they answered how he had laid him in his bed to sleep for he had
had but little rest these three ni!hts. 5ell said she / char!e you that none of you awake him till / do
and then she ali!hted off her horse and thou!ht for to steal away 3'calibur his sword and so she went
strai!ht unto his chamber and no man durst disobey her commandment and there she found Arthur
asleep in his bed and 3'calibur in his ri!ht hand naked. 5hen she saw that she was passin! heavy that
she mi!ht not come by the sword without she had awaked him and then she wist well she had been
dead. Then she took the scabbard and went her way on horseback. 5hen the kin! awoke and missed
his scabbard he was wroth and he asked who had been there and they said his sister Bueen Mor!an
had been there and had put the scabbard under her mantle and was !one. Alas said Arthur falsely ye
have watched me. Sir said they all we durst not disobey your sister's commandment. Ah said the kin!
let fetch the best horse may be found and bid Sir *ntDlake arm him in all haste and take another !ood
horse and ride with me. So anon the kin! and *ntDlake were well armed and rode after this lady and
so they came by a cross and found a cowherd and they asked the poor man if there came any lady
ridin! that way. Sir said this poor man ri!ht late came a lady ridin! with a forty horses and to yonder
forest she rode. Then they spurred their horses and followed fast and within a while Arthur had a si!ht
of Mor!an le &ayC then he chased as fast as he mi!ht. 5hen she espied him followin! her she rode a
!reater pace throu!h the forest till she came to a plain and when she saw she mi!ht not escape she
rode unto a lake thereby and said 5hatsoever come of me my brother shall not have this scabbard.
And then she let throw the scabbard in the deepest of the water so it sank for it was heavy of !old and
precious stones.
Then she rode into a valley where many !reat stones were and when she saw she must be
overtaken she shaped herself horse and man by enchantment unto a !reat marble stone. Anon withal
came Sir Arthur and Sir *ntDlake whereas the kin! mi!ht know his sister and her men and one kni!ht
from another. Ah said the kin! here may ye see the ven!eance of %od and now am / sorry that this
misadventure is befallen. And then he looked for the scabbard but it would not be found so he
returned to the abbey where he came from. So when Arthur was !one she turned all into the likeliness
?--
as she and they were before and said Sirs now may we !o where we will.
CHAPTER !,# How o&gan le Fa+ sa-ed a kn(g%t t%at s%o'ld
%a-e been d&owned) and %ow "(ng A&t%'& &et'&ned %ome
aga(n#
T132 said Mor!an Saw ye Arthur my brotherL Yea said her kni!hts ri!ht well and that ye
should have found an we mi!ht have stirred from one stead for by his armyvestal countenance he
would have caused us to have fled. / believe you said Mor!an. Anon after as she rode she met a kni!ht
leadin! another kni!ht on his horse before him bound hand and foot blindfold to have drowned him
in a fountain. 5hen she saw this kni!ht so bound she asked him 5hat will ye do with that kni!htL
Lady said he / will drown him. &or what causeL she asked. &or / found him with my wife and she
shall have the same death anon. That were pity said Mor!an le &ay. 2ow what say ye kni!ht is it
truth that he saith of youL she said to the kni!ht that should be drowned. 2ay truly madam he saith not
ri!ht on me. *f whence be ye said Mor!an le &ay and of what countryL / am of the court of :in!
Arthur and my name is Manassen cousin unto Accolon of %aul. Ye say well said she and for the love
of him ye shall be delivered and ye shall have your adversary in the same case ye be in. So Manassen
was loosed and the other kni!ht bound. And anon Manassen unarmed him and armed himself in his
harness and so mounted on horseback and the kni!ht afore him and so threw him into the fountain
and drowned him. And then he rode unto Mor!an a!ain and asked if she would anythin! unto :in!
Arthur. Tell him that / rescued thee not for the love of him but for the love of Accolon and tell him /
fear him not while / can make me and them that be with me in likeness of stonesC and let him wit / can
do much more when / see my time. And so she departed into the country of %ore and there was she
richly received and made her castles and towns passin! stron! for always she dreaded much :in!
Arthur.
5hen the kin! had well rested him at the abbey he rode unto )amelot and found his Aueen and
his barons ri!ht !lad of his comin!. And when they heard of his stran!e adventures as is afore
rehearsed then all had marvel of the falsehood of Mor!an le &ayC many kni!hts wished her burnt. Then
came Manassen to court and told the kin! of his adventure. 5ell said the kin! she is a kind sisterC /
?-9
shall so be aven!ed on her an / live that all )hristendom shall speak of it. So on the morn there came a
damosel from Mor!an to the kin! and she brou!ht with her the richest mantle that ever was seen in
that court for it was set as full of precious stones as one mi!ht stand by another and there were the
richest stones that ever the kin! saw. And the damosel said Your sister sendeth you this mantle and
desireth that ye should take this !ift of herC and in what thin! she hath offended you she will amend it
at your own pleasure. 5hen the kin! beheld this mantle it pleased him much but he said but little.
CHAPTER !,I# How t%e 7amosel of t%e Lake sa-ed "(ng
A&t%'& f&om mantle t%at s%o'ld %a-e b'&nt %(m#
5/T1 that came the (amosel of the Lake unto the kin! and said Sir / must speak with you in
privity. Say on said the kin! what ye will. Sir said the damosel put not on you this mantle till ye have
seen more and in no wise let it not come on you nor on no kni!ht of yours till ye command the
brin!er thereof to put it upon her. 5ell said :in! Arthur it shall be done as ye counsel me. And then he
said unto the damosel that came from his sister (amosel this mantle that ye have brou!ht me / will
see it upon you. Sir she said /t will not beseem me to wear a kin!'s !arment. By my head said Arthur
ye shall wear it or it come on my back or any man's that here is. And so the kin! made it to be put upon
her and forth withal she fell down dead and never more spake word after and burnt to coals. Then was
the kin! wonderly wroth more than he was to"forehand and said unto :in! ;riens My sister your
wife is alway about to betray me and well / wot either ye or my nephew your son is of counsel with
her to have me destroyedC but as for you said the kin! to :in! ;riens / deem not !reatly that ye be of
her counsel for Accolon confessed to me by his own mouth that she would have destroyed you as well
as me therefore / hold you e'cusedC but as for your son Sir ;waine / hold him suspect therefore /
char!e you put him out of my court. So Sir ;waine was dischar!ed. And when Sir %awaine wist that
he made him ready to !o with himC and said 5hoso banisheth my cousin"!ermain shall banish me. So
they two departed and rode into a !reat forest and so they came to an abbey of monks and there were
well lod!ed. But when the kin! wist that Sir %awaine was departed from the court there was made
!reat sorrow amon! all the estates. 2ow said %aheris %awaine's brother we have lost two !ood
kni!hts for the love of one. So on the morn they heard their masses in the abbey and so they rode forth
?-.
till that they came to a !reat forest. Then was Sir %awaine ware in a valley by a turret MofN twelve fair
damosels and two kni!hts armed on !reat horses and the damosels went to and fro by a tree. And then
was Sir %awaine ware how there hun! a white shield on that tree and ever as the damosels came by it
they spit upon it and some threw mire upon the shield.
CHAPTER !,II# How 6(& Gawa(ne and 6(& $wa(ne met w(t%
twel-e fa(& damosels) and %ow t%e+ com*la(ned on 6(&
a&%a's#
T132 Sir %awaine and Sir ;waine went and saluted them and asked why they did that despite to
the shield. Sir said the damosels we shall tell you. There is a kni!ht in this country that owneth this
white shield and he is a passin! !ood man of his hands but he hateth all ladies and !entlewomen and
therefore we do all this despite to the shield. / shall say you said Sir %awaine it beseemeth evil a !ood
kni!ht to despise all ladies and !entlewomen and peradventure thou!h he hate you he hath some
certain cause and peradventure he loveth in some other places ladies and !entlewomen and to be loved
a!ain an he be such a man of prowess as ye speak of. 2ow what is his nameL Sir said they his name
is Marhaus the kin!'s son of /reland. / know him well said Sir ;waine he is a passin! !ood kni!ht as
any is alive for / saw him once proved at a $ousts where many kni!hts were !athered and that time
there mi!ht no man withstand him. AhJ said Sir %awaine damosels methinketh ye are to blame for it
is to suppose he that hun! that shield there he will not be lon! therefrom and then may those kni!hts
match him on horseback and that is more your worship than thusC for / will abide no lon!er to see a
kni!ht's shield dishonoured. And therewith Sir ;waine and %awaine departed a little from them and
then were they ware where Sir Marhaus came ridin! on a !reat horse strai!ht toward them. And when
the twelve damosels saw Sir Marhaus they fled into the turret as they were wild so that some of them
fell by the way. Then the one of the kni!hts of the tower dressed his shield and said on hi!h Sir
Marhaus defend thee. And so they ran to!ether that the kni!ht brake his spear on Marhaus and
Marhaus smote him so hard that he brake his neck and the horse's back. That saw the other kni!ht of
the turret and dressed him toward Marhaus and they met so ea!erly to!ether that the kni!ht of the
turret was soon smitten down horse and man stark dead.
?-4
CHAPTER !,III# How 6(& a&%a's 3o'sted w(t% 6(& Gawa(ne
and 6(& $wa(ne) and o-e&t%&ew t%em bot%#
A2( then Sir Marhaus rode unto his shield and saw how it was defouled and said *f this despite
/ am a part aven!ed but for her love that !ave me this white shield / shall wear thee and han! mine
where thou wastC and so he han!ed it about his neck. Then he rode strai!ht unto Sir %awaine and to Sir
;waine and asked them what they did thereL They answered him that they came from :in! Arthur's
court to see adventures. 5ell said Sir Marhaus here am / ready an adventurous kni!ht that will fulfil
any adventure that ye will desireC and so departed from them to fetch his ran!e. Let him !o said Sir
;waine unto Sir %awaine for he is a passin! !ood kni!ht as any is livin!C / would not by my will that
any of us were matched with him. 2ay said Sir %awaine not so it were shame to us were he not
assayed were he never so !ood a kni!ht. 5ell said Sir ;waine / will assay him afore you for / am
more weaker than ye and if he smite me down then may ye reven!e me. So these two kni!hts came
to!ether with !reat raundon that Sir ;waine smote Sir Marhaus that his spear brast in pieces on the
shield and Sir Marhaus smote him so sore that horse and man he bare to the earth and hurt Sir ;waine
on the left side.
Then Sir Marhaus turned his horse and rode toward %awaine with his spear and when Sir
%awaine saw that he dressed his shield and they aventred their spears and they came to!ether with all
the mi!ht of their horses that either kni!ht smote other so hard in midst of their shields but Sir
%awaine's spear brake but Sir Marhaus' spear heldC and therewith Sir %awaine and his horse rushed
down to the earth. And li!htly Sir %awaine rose on his feet and pulled out his sword and dressed him
toward Sir Marhaus on foot and Sir Marhaus saw that and pulled out his sword and be!an to come to
Sir %awaine on horseback. Sir kni!ht said Sir %awaine ali!ht on foot or else / will slay thy horse.
%ramercy said Sir Marhaus of your !entleness ye teach me courtesy for it is not for one kni!ht to be
on foot and the other on horseback. And therewith Sir Marhaus set his spear a!ainst a tree and ali!hted
and tied his horse to a tree and dressed his shield and either came unto other ea!erly and smote
to!ether with their swords that their shields flew in cantels and they bruised their helms and their
hauberks and wounded either other. But Sir %awaine from it passed nine of the clock wa'ed ever
?-<
stron!er and stron!er for then it came to the hour of noon and thrice his mi!ht was increased. All this
espied Sir Marhaus and had !reat wonder how his mi!ht increased and so they wounded other passin!
sore. And then when it was past noon and when it drew toward evenson! Sir %awaine's stren!th
feebled and wa'ed passin! faint that unnethes he mi!ht dure any lon!er and Sir Marhaus was then
bi!!er and bi!!er. Sir kni!ht said Sir Marhaus / have well felt that ye are a passin! !ood kni!ht and a
marvellous man of mi!ht as ever / felt any while it lasteth and our Auarrels are not !reat and therefore
it were pity to do you hurt for / feel ye are passin! feeble. Ah said Sir %awaine !entle kni!ht ye say
the word that / should say. And therewith they took off their helms and either kissed other and there
they swore to!ether either to love other as brethren. And Sir Marhaus prayed Sir %awaine to lod!e with
him that ni!ht. And so they took their horses and rode toward Sir Marhaus' house. And as they rode by
the way Sir kni!ht said Sir %awaine / have marvel that so valiant a man as ye be love no ladies nor
damosels. Sir said Sir Marhaus they name me wron!fully those that !ive me that name but well / wot
it be the damosels of the turret that so name me and other such as they be. 2ow shall / tell you for
what cause / hate them+ for they be sorceresses and enchanters many of them and be a kni!ht never so
!ood of his body and full of prowess as man may be they will make him a stark coward to have the
better of him and this is the principal cause that / hate themC and to all !ood ladies and !entlewomen /
owe my service as a kni!ht ou!ht to do.
As the book rehearseth in &rench there were many kni!hts that overmatched Sir %awaine for all
the thrice mi!ht that he had+ Sir Launcelot de Lake Sir Tristram Sir Bors de %anis Sir #ercivale Sir
#elleas and Sir Marhaus these si' kni!hts had the better of Sir %awaine. Then within a little while
they came to Sir Marhaus' place which was in a little priory and there they ali!hted and ladies and
damosels unarmed them and hastily looked to their hurts for they were all three hurt. And so they had
all three !ood lod!in! with Sir Marhaus and !ood cheerC for when he wist that they were :in! Arthur's
sister's sons he made them all the cheer that lay in his power and so they so$ourned there a senni!ht
and were well eased of their wounds and at the last departed. 2ow said Sir Marhaus we will not
depart so li!htly for / will brin! you throu!h the forestC and rode day by day well a seven days or they
found any adventure. At the last they came into a !reat forest that was named the country and forest of
Arroy and the country of stran!e adventures. /n this country said Sir Marhaus came never kni!ht
since it was christened but he found stran!e adventuresC and so they rode and came into a deep valley
full of stones and thereby they saw a fair stream of waterC above thereby was the head of the stream a
fair fountain and three damosels sittin! thereby. And then they rode to them and either saluted other
?-7
and the eldest had a !arland of !old about her head and she was three score winter of a!e or more and
her hair was white under the !arland. The second damosel was of thirty winter of a!e with a circlet of
!old about her head. The third damosel was but fifteen year of a!e and a !arland of flowers about her
head. 5hen these kni!hts had so beheld them they asked them the cause why they sat at that fountainL
5e be here said the damosels for this cause+ if we may see any errant kni!hts to teach them unto
stran!e adventuresC and ye be three kni!hts that seek adventures and we be three damosels and
therefore each one of you must choose one of usC and when ye have done so we will lead you unto
three hi!hways and there each of you shall choose a way and his damosel with him. And this day
twelvemonth ye must meet here a!ain and %od send you your lives and thereto ye must pli!ht your
troth. This is well said said Sir Marhaus.
CHAPTER !I!# How 6(& a&%a's) 6(& Gawa(ne) and 6(&
$wa(ne met t%&ee damosels) and eac% of t%em took one#
8

2*5 shall everych of us choose a damosel. / shall tell you said Sir ;waine / am the youn!est
and most weakest of you both therefore / will have the eldest damosel for she hath seen much and can
best help me when / have need for / have most need of help of you both. 2ow said Sir Marhaus / will
have the damosel of thirty winter a!e for she falleth best to me. 5ell said Sir %awaine / thank you
for ye have left me the youn!est and the fairest and she is most liefest to me. Then every damosel took
her kni!ht by the reins of his bridle and brou!ht him to the three ways and there was their oath made
to meet at the fountain that day twelvemonth an they were livin! and so they kissed and departed and
each kni!ht set his lady behind him. And Sir ;waine took the way that lay west and Sir Marhaus took
the way that lay south and Sir %awaine took the way that lay north. 2ow will we be!in at Sir %awaine
that held that way till that he came unto a fair manor where dwelled an old kni!ht and a !ood
householder and there Sir %awaine asked the kni!ht if he knew any adventures in that country. / shall
show you some to"morn said the old kni!ht and that marvellous. So on the morn they rode into the
forest of adventures to a laund and thereby they found a cross and as they stood and hoved there came
by them the fairest kni!ht and the seemliest man that ever they saw makin! the !reatest dole that ever
man made. And then he was ware of Sir %awaine and saluted him and prayed %od to send him much
?-@
worship. As to that said Sir %awaine !ramercyC also / pray to %od that he send you honour and
worship. Ah said the kni!ht / may lay that aside for sorrow and shame cometh to me after worship.
CHAPTER !!# How a kn(g%t and a dwa&f st&o-e fo& a lad+#
A2( therewith he passed unto the one side of the laundC and on the other side saw Sir %awaine ten
kni!hts that hoved still and made them ready with their shields and spears a!ainst that one kni!ht that
came by Sir %awaine.
Then this one kni!ht aventred a !reat spear and one of the ten kni!hts encountered with him but
this woful kni!ht smote him so hard that he fell over his horse's tail. So this same dolorous kni!ht
served them all that at the leastway he smote down horse and man and all he did with one spearC and
so when they were all ten on foot they went to that one kni!ht and he stood stone still and suffered
them to pull him down off his horse and bound him hand and foot and tied him under the horse's belly
and so led him with them. * EesuJ said Sir %awaine this is a doleful si!ht to see the yonder kni!ht so
to be entreated and it seemeth by the kni!ht that he suffereth them to bind him so for he maketh no
resistance. 2o said his host that is truth for an he would they all were too weak so to do him. Sir said
the damosel unto Sir %awaine meseemeth it were your worship to help that dolorous kni!ht for
methinketh he is one of the best kni!hts that ever / saw. / would do for him said Sir %awaine but it
seemeth he will have no help. Then said the damosel methinketh ye have no lust to help him.
Thus as they talked they saw a kni!ht on the other side of the laund all armed save the head. And
on the other side there came a dwarf on horseback all armed save the head with a !reat mouth and a
short noseC and when the dwarf came ni!h he said 5here is the lady should meet us hereL and
therewithal she came forth out of the wood. And then they be!an to strive for the ladyC for the kni!ht
said he would have her and the dwarf said he would have her. 5ill we do wellL said the dwarfC yonder
is a kni!ht at the cross let us put it both upon him and as he deemeth so shall it be. / will well said the
kni!ht and so they went all three unto Sir %awaine and told him wherefore they strove. 5ell sirs said
he will ye put the matter in my handL Yea they said both. 2ow damosel said Sir %awaine ye shall
stand betwi't them both and whether ye list better to !o to he shall have you. And when she was set
?-=
between them both she left the kni!ht and went to the dwarf and the dwarf took her and went his way
sin!in! and the kni!ht went his way with !reat mournin!.
Then came there two kni!hts all armed and cried on hi!h Sir %awaineJ kni!ht of :in! Arthur's
make thee ready in all haste and $oust with me. So they ran to!ether that either fell down and then on
foot they drew their swords and did full actually. The meanwhile the other kni!ht went to the damosel
and asked her why she abode with that kni!ht and if ye would abide with me / will be your faithful
kni!ht. And with you will / be said the damosel for with Sir %awaine / may not find in mine heart to
be with himC for now here was one kni!ht discomfited ten kni!hts and at the last he was cowardly led
awayC and therefore let us two !o whilst they fi!ht. And Sir %awaine fou!ht with that other kni!ht lon!
but at the last they accorded both. And then the kni!ht prayed Sir %awaine to lod!e with him that ni!ht.
So as Sir %awaine went with this kni!ht he asked him 5hat kni!ht is he in this country that smote
down the ten kni!htsL &or when he had done so manfully he suffered them to bind him hand and foot
and so led him away. Ah said the kni!ht that is the best kni!ht / trow in the world and the most man
of prowess and he hath been served so as he was even more than ten times and his name hi!ht Sir
#elleas and he loveth a !reat lady in this country and her name is 3ttard. And so when he loved her
there was cried in this country a !reat $ousts three days and all the kni!hts of this country were there
and !entlewomen and who that proved him the best kni!ht should have a passin! !ood sword and a
circlet of !old and the circlet the kni!ht should !ive it to the fairest lady that was at the $ousts. And this
kni!ht Sir #elleas was the best kni!ht that was there and there were five hundred kni!hts but there was
never man that ever Sir #elleas met withal but he struck him down or else from his horseC and every
day of three days he struck down twenty kni!hts therefore they !ave him the priDe and forthwithal he
went thereas the Lady 3ttard was and !ave her the circlet and said openly she was the fairest lady that
there was and that would he prove upon any kni!ht that would say nay.
CHAPTER !!I# How "(ng Pelleas s'ffe&ed %(mself to be taken
*&(sone& beca'se %e wo'ld %a-e a s(g%t of %(s lad+) and %ow
6(& Gawa(ne *&om(sed %(m to get
to him the love of his lady.
?9>
A2( so he chose her for his soverei!n lady and never to love other but her but she was so proud
that she had scorn of him and said that she would never love him thou!h he would die for her.
5herefore all ladies and !entlewomen had scorn of her that she was so proud for there were fairer than
she and there was none that was there but an Sir #elleas would have proffered them love they would
have loved him for his noble prowess. And so this kni!ht promised the Lady 3ttard to follow her into
this country and never to leave her till she loved him. And thus he is here the most part ni!h her and
lod!ed by a priory and every week she sendeth kni!hts to fi!ht with him. And when he hath put them
to the worse then will he suffer them wilfully to take him prisoner because he would have a si!ht of
this lady. And always she doth him !reat despite for sometime she maketh her kni!hts to tie him to his
horse's tail and some to bind him under the horse's bellyC thus in the most shamefullest ways that she
can think he is brou!ht to her. And all she doth it for to cause him to leave this country and to leave his
lovin!C but all this cannot make him to leave for an he would have fou!ht on foot he mi!ht have had
the better of the ten kni!hts as well on foot as on horseback. Alas said Sir %awaine it is !reat pity of
himC and after this ni!ht / will seek him to"morrow in this forest to do him all the help / can. So on the
morn Sir %awaine took his leave of his host Sir )arados and rode into the forestC and at the last he met
with Sir #elleas makin! !reat moan out of measure so each of them saluted other and asked him why
he made such sorrow. And as it is above rehearsed Sir #elleas told Sir %awaine+ But always / suffer her
kni!hts to fare so with me as ye saw yesterday in trust at the last to win her love for she knoweth well
all her kni!hts should not li!htly win me an me list to fi!ht with them to the uttermost. 5herefore an /
loved her not so sore / had liefer die an hundred times an / mi!ht die so oft rather than / would suffer
that despiteC but / trust she will have pity upon me at the last for love causeth many a !ood kni!ht to
suffer to have his entent but alas / am unfortunate. And therewith he made so !reat dole and sorrow
that unnethe he mi!ht hold him on horseback.
2ow said Sir %awaine leave your mournin! and / shall promise you by the faith of my body to do
all that lieth in my power to !et you the love of your lady and thereto / will pli!ht you my troth. Ah
said Sir #elleas of what court are yeL tell me / pray you my !ood friend. And then Sir %awaine said /
am of the court of :in! Arthur and his sister's son and :in! Lot of *rkney was my father and my
name is Sir %awaine. And then he said My name is Sir #elleas born in the /sles and of many isles /
am lord and never have / loved lady nor damosel till now in an unhappy timeC and sir kni!ht since ye
are so ni!h cousin unto :in! Arthur and a kin!'s son therefore betray me not but help me for / may
never come by her but by some !ood kni!ht for she is in a stron! castle here fast by within this four
?9?
mile and over all this country she is lady of. And so / may never come to her presence but as / suffer
her kni!hts to take me and but if / did so that / mi!ht have a si!ht of her / had been dead lon! or this
timeC and yet fair word had / never of her but when / am brou!ht to"fore her she rebuketh me in the
foulest manner. And then they take my horse and harness and put me out of the !ates and she will not
suffer me to eat nor drinkC and always / offer me to be her prisoner but that she will not suffer me for /
would desire no more what pains so ever / had so that / mi!ht have a si!ht of her daily. 5ell said Sir
%awaine all this shall / amend an ye will do as / shall devise+ / will have your horse and your armour
and so will / ride unto her castle and tell her that / have slain you and so shall / come within her to
cause her to cherish me and then shall / do my true part that ye shall not fail to have the love of her.
CHAPTER !!II# How 6(& Gawa(ne came to t%e Lad+ Etta&d)
and %ow 6(& Pelleas fo'nd t%em slee*(ng#
A2( therewith Sir %awaine pli!ht his troth unto Sir #elleas to be true and faithful unto himC so
each one pli!ht their troth to other and so they chan!ed horses and harness and Sir %awaine departed
and came to the castle whereas stood the pavilions of this lady without the !ate. And as soon as 3ttard
had espied Sir %awaine she fled in toward the castle. Sir %awaine spake on hi!h and bade her abide
for he was not Sir #elleasC / am another kni!ht that have slain Sir #elleas. (o off your helm said the
Lady 3ttard that / may see your visa!e. And so when she saw that it was not Sir #elleas she bade him
ali!ht and led him unto her castle and asked him faithfully whether he had slain Sir #elleas. And he
said her yea and told her his name was Sir %awaine of the court of :in! Arthur and his sister's son.
Truly said she that is !reat pity for he was a passin! !ood kni!ht of his body but of all men alive /
hated him most for / could never be Auit of himC and for ye have slain him / shall be your woman and
to do anythin! that mi!ht please you. So she made Sir %awaine !ood cheer. Then Sir %awaine said that
he loved a lady and by no means she would love him. She is to blame said 3ttard an she will not love
you for ye that be so well born a man and such a man of prowess there is no lady in the world too
!ood for you. 5ill ye said Sir %awaine promise me to do all that ye may by the faith of your body to
!et me the love of my ladyL Yea sir said she and that / promise you by the faith of my body. 2ow
said Sir %awaine it is yourself that / love so well therefore / pray you hold your promise. / may not
?9-
choose said the Lady 3ttard but if / should be forswornC and so she !ranted him to fulfil all his desire.
So it was then in the month of May that she and Sir %awaine went out of the castle and supped in a
pavilion and there was made a bed and there Sir %awaine and the Lady 3ttard went to bed to!ether
and in another pavilion she laid her damosels and in the third pavilion she laid part of her kni!hts for
then she had no dread of Sir #elleas. And there Sir %awaine lay with her in that pavilion two days and
two ni!hts. And on the third day in the mornin! early Sir #elleas armed him for he had never slept
since Sir %awaine departed from himC for Sir %awaine had promised him by the faith of his body to
come to him unto his pavilion by that priory within the space of a day and a ni!ht.
Then Sir #elleas mounted upon horseback and came to the pavilions that stood without the castle
and found in the first pavilion three kni!hts in three beds and three sAuires lyin! at their feet. Then
went he to the second pavilion and found four !entlewomen lyin! in four beds. And then he yede to the
third pavilion and found Sir %awaine lyin! in bed with his Lady 3ttard and either clippin! other in
arms and when he saw that his heart well"ni!h brast for sorrow and said+ AlasJ that ever a kni!ht
should be found so falseC and then he took his horse and mi!ht not abide no lon!er for pure sorrow.
And when he had ridden ni!h half a mile he turned a!ain and thou!ht to slay them bothC and when he
saw them both so lie sleepin! fast unnethe he mi!ht hold him on horseback for sorrow and said thus to
himself Thou!h this kni!ht be never so false / will never slay him sleepin! for / will never destroy
the hi!h order of kni!hthoodC and therewith he departed a!ain. And or he had ridden half a mile he
returned a!ain and thou!ht then to slay them both makin! the !reatest sorrow that ever man made.
And when he came to the pavilions he tied his horse unto a tree and pulled out his sword naked in his
hand and went to them thereas they lay and yet he thou!ht it were shame to slay them sleepin! and
laid the naked sword overthwart both their throats and so took his horse and rode his way.
And when Sir #elleas came to his pavilions he told his kni!hts and his sAuires how he had sped
and said thus to them &or your true and !ood service ye have done me / shall !ive you all my !oods
for / will !o unto my bed and never arise until / am dead. And when that / am dead / char!e you that ye
take the heart out of my body and bear it her betwi't two silver dishes and tell her how / saw her lie
with the false kni!ht Sir %awaine. 0i!ht so Sir #elleas unarmed himself and went unto his bed makin!
marvellous dole and sorrow.
5hen Sir %awaine and 3ttard awoke of their sleep and found the naked sword overthwart their
throats then she knew well it was Sir #elleas' sword. AlasJ said she to Sir %awaine ye have betrayed
?99
me and Sir #elleas both for ye told me ye had slain him and now / know well it is not so he is alive.
And if Sir #elleas had been as uncourteous to you as ye have been to him ye had been a dead kni!htC
but ye have deceived me and betrayed me falsely that all ladies and damosels may beware by you and
me. And therewith Sir %awaine made him ready and went into the forest. So it happed then that the
(amosel of the Lake 2imue met with a kni!ht of Sir #elleas that went on his foot in the forest
makin! !reat dole and she asked him the cause. And so the woful kni!ht told her how his master and
lord was betrayed throu!h a kni!ht and lady and how he will never arise out of his bed till he be dead.
Brin! me to him said she anon and / will warrant his life he shall not die for love and she that hath
caused him so to love she shall be in as evil pli!ht as he is or it be lon! to for it is no $oy of such a
proud lady that will have no mercy of such a valiant kni!ht. Anon that kni!ht brou!ht her unto him and
when she saw him lie in his bed she thou!ht she saw never so likely a kni!htC and therewith she threw
an enchantment upon him and he fell asleep. And therewhile she rode unto the Lady 3ttard and
char!ed no man to awake him till she came a!ain. So within two hours she brou!ht the Lady 3ttard
thither and both ladies found him asleep+ Lo said the (amosel of the Lake ye ou!ht to be ashamed for
to murder such a kni!ht. And therewith she threw such an enchantment upon her that she loved him
sore that well"ni!h she was out of her mind. * Lord Eesu said the Lady 3ttard how is it befallen unto
me that / love now him that / have most hated of any man aliveL That is the ri!hteous $ud!ment of %od
said the damosel. And then anon Sir #elleas awaked and looked upon 3ttardC and when he saw her he
knew her and then he hated her more than any woman alive and said+ Away traitress come never in
my si!ht. And when she heard him say so she wept and made !reat sorrow out of measure.
CHAPTER !!III# How 6(& Pelleas lo-ed no mo&e Etta&d b+
means of t%e 7amosel of t%e Lake) w%om %e lo-ed e-e&
afte&#
S/0 :2/%1T #3LL3AS said the (amosel of the Lake take your horse and come forth with me
out of this country and ye shall love a lady that shall love you. / will well said Sir #elleas for this
Lady 3ttard hath done me !reat despite and shame and there he told her the be!innin! and endin! and
how he had purposed never to have arisen till that he had been dead. And now such !race %od hath sent
?9.
me that / hate her as much as ever / loved her thanked be our Lord EesusJ Thank me said the (amosel
of the Lake. Anon Sir #elleas armed him and took his horse and commanded his men to brin! after his
pavilions and his stuff where the (amosel of the Lake would assi!n. So the Lady 3ttard died for
sorrow and the (amosel of the Lake re$oiced Sir #elleas and loved to!ether durin! their life days.
CHAPTER !!I,# How 6(& a&%a's &ode w(t% t%e damosel) and
%ow %e came to t%e 7'ke of t%e 6o't% a&c%es#
2*5 turn we unto Sir Marhaus that rode with the damosel of thirty winter of a!e southward.
And so they came into a deep forest and by fortune they were ni!hted and rode lon! in a deep way
and at the last they came unto a courtela!e and there they asked harbour. But the man of the courtela!e
would not lod!e them for no treatise that they could treat but thus much the !ood man said An ye will
take the adventure of your lod!in! / shall brin! you where ye shall be lod!ed. 5hat adventure is that
that / shall have for my lod!in!L said Sir Marhaus. Ye shall wit when ye come there said the !ood
man. Sir what adventure so it be brin! me thither / pray thee said Sir MarhausC for / am weary my
damosel and my horse. So the !ood man went and opened the !ate and within an hour he brou!ht him
unto a fair castle and then the poor man called the porter and anon he was let into the castle and so he
told the lord how he brou!ht him a kni!ht errant and a damosel that would be lod!ed with him. Let him
in said the lord it may happen he shall repent that they took their lod!in! here.
So Sir Marhaus was let in with torchli!ht and there was a !oodly si!ht of youn! men that
welcomed him. And then his horse was led into the stable and he and the damosel were brou!ht into
the hall and there stood a mi!hty duke and many !oodly men about him. Then this lord asked him
what he hi!ht and from whence he came and with whom he dwelt. Sir he said / am a kni!ht of :in!
Arthur's and kni!ht of the Table 0ound and my name is Sir Marhaus and born / am in /reland. And
then said the duke to him That me sore repenteth+ the cause is this for / love not thy lord nor none of
thy fellows of the Table 0oundC and therefore ease thyself this ni!ht as well as thou mayest for as to"
morn / and my si' sons shall match with you. /s there no remedy but that / must have ado with you and
your si' sons at onceL said Sir Marhaus. 2o said the duke for this cause / made mine avow for Sir
%awaine slew my seven sons in a recounter therefore / made mine avow there should never kni!ht of
?94
:in! Arthur's court lod!e with me or come thereas / mi!ht have ado with him but that / would have a
reven!in! of my sons' death. 5hat is your nameL said Sir MarhausC / reAuire you tell me an it please
you. 5it thou well / am the (uke of South Marches. Ah said Sir Marhaus / have heard say that ye
have been lon! time a !reat foe unto my lord Arthur and to his kni!hts. That shall ye feel to"morn said
the duke. Shall / have ado with youL said Sir Marhaus. Yea said the duke thereof shalt thou not
choose and therefore take you to your chamber and ye shall have all that to you lon!eth. So Sir
Marhaus departed and was led to a chamber and his damosel was led unto her chamber. And on the
morn the duke sent unto Sir Marhaus and bade make him ready. And so Sir Marhaus arose and armed
him and then there was a mass sun! afore him and brake his fast and so mounted on horseback in the
court of the castle where they should do the battle. So there was the duke all ready on horseback clean
armed and his si' sons by him and everych had a spear in his hand and so they encountered whereas
the duke and his two sons brake their spears upon him but Sir Marhaus held up his spear and touched
none of them.
CHAPTER !!,# How 6(& a&%a's fo'g%t w(t% t%e d'ke and
%(s fo'& sons and made t%em to +(eld t%em#
T132 came the four sons by couple and two of them brake their spears and so did the other two.
And all this while Sir Marhaus touched them not. Then Sir Marhaus ran to the duke and smote him
with his spear that horse and man fell to the earth and so he served his sonsC and then Sir Marhaus
ali!hted down and bade the duke yield him or else he would slay him. And then some of his sons
recovered and would have set upon Sir MarhausC then Sir Marhaus said to the duke )ease thy sons or
else / will do the uttermost to you all. Then the duke saw he mi!ht not escape the death he cried to his
sons and char!ed them to yield them to Sir MarhausC and they kneeled all down and put the pommels
of their swords to the kni!ht and so he received them. And then they helped up their father and so by
their cominal assent promised to Sir Marhaus never to be foes unto :in! Arthur and thereupon at
5hitsuntide after to come he and his sons and put them in the kin!'s !race.
Then Sir Marhaus departed and within two days his damosel brou!ht him whereas was a !reat
tournament that the Lady de 8awse had cried. And who that did best should have a rich circlet of !old
?9<
worth a thousand besants. And there Sir Marhaus did so nobly that he was renowned and had
sometime down forty kni!hts and so the circlet of !old was rewarded him. Then he departed from
them with !reat worshipC and so within seven ni!hts his damosel brou!ht him to an earl's place his
name was the 3arl &er!us that after was Sir Tristram's kni!htC and this earl was but a youn! man and
late come into his lands and there was a !iant fast by him that hi!ht Taulurd and he had another
brother in )ornwall that hi!ht Taulas that Sir Tristram slew when he was out of his mind. So this earl
made his complaint unto Sir Marhaus that there was a !iant by him that destroyed all his lands and
how he durst nowhere ride nor !o for him. Sir said the kni!ht whether useth he to fi!ht on horseback
or on footL 2ay said the earl there may no horse bear him. 5ell said Sir Marhaus then will / fi!ht
with him on footC so on the morn Sir Marhaus prayed the earl that one of his men mi!ht brin! him
whereas the !iant wasC and so he was for he saw him sit under a tree of holly and many clubs of iron
and !isarms about him. So this kni!ht dressed him to the !iant puttin! his shield afore him and the
!iant took an iron club in his hand and at the first stroke he clave Sir Marhaus' shield in two pieces.
And there he was in !reat peril for the !iant was a wily fi!hter but at last Sir Marhaus smote off his
ri!ht arm above the elbow.
Then the !iant fled and the kni!ht after him and so he drove him into a water but the !iant was so
hi!h that he mi!ht not wade after him. And then Sir Marhaus made the 3arl &er!us' man to fetch him
stones and with those stones the kni!ht !ave the !iant many sore knocks till at the last he made him
fall down into the water and so was he there dead. Then Sir Marhaus went unto the !iant's castle and
there he delivered twenty"four ladies and twelve kni!hts out of the !iant's prison and there he had !reat
riches without number so that the days of his life he was never poor man. Then he returned to the 3arl
&er!us the which thanked him !reatly and would have !iven him half his lands but he would none
take. So Sir Marhaus dwelled with the earl ni!h half a year for he was sore bruised with the !iant and
at the last he took his leave. And as he rode by the way he met with Sir %awaine and Sir ;waine and
so by adventure he met with four kni!hts of Arthur's court the first was Sir Sa!ramore le (esirous Sir
*sanna Sir (odinas le Sava!e and Sir &elot of ListinoiseC and there Sir Marhaus with one spear smote
down these four kni!hts and hurt them sore. So he departed to meet at his day aforeset.
?97
CHAPTER !!,I# How 6(& $wa(ne &ode w(t% t%e damosel of
s(4t+ +ea& of age) and %ow %e gat t%e *&(9e at to'&ne+(ng#
2*5 turn we unto Sir ;waine that rode westward with his damosel of three score winter of a!e
and she brou!ht him thereas was a tournament ni!h the march of 5ales. And at that tournament Sir
;waine smote down thirty kni!hts therefore was !iven him the priDe and that was a !erfalcon and a
white steed trapped with cloth of !old. So then Sir ;waine did many stran!e adventures by the means
of the old damosel and so she brou!ht him to a lady that was called the Lady of the 0ock the which
was much courteous. So there were in the country two kni!hts that were brethren and they were called
two perilous kni!hts the one kni!ht hi!ht Sir 3dward of the 0ed )astle and the other Sir 1ue of the
0ed )astleC and these two brethren had disherited the Lady of the 0ock of a barony of lands by their
e'tortion. And as this kni!ht was lod!ed with this lady she made her complaint to him of these two
kni!hts.
Madam said Sir ;waine they are to blame for they do a!ainst the hi!h order of kni!hthood and
the oath that they madeC and if it like you / will speak with them because / am a kni!ht of :in!
Arthur's and / will entreat them with fairnessC and if they will not / shall do battle with them and in
the defence of your ri!ht. %ramercy said the lady and thereas / may not acAuit you %od shall. So on
the morn the two kni!hts were sent for that they should come thither to speak with the Lady of the
0ock and wit ye well they failed not for they came with an hundred horse. But when this lady saw
them in this manner so bi! she would not suffer Sir ;waine to !o out to them upon no surety nor for
no fair lan!ua!e but she made him speak with them over a tower but finally these two brethren would
not be entreated and answered that they would keep that they had. 5ell said Sir ;waine then will /
fi!ht with one of you and prove that ye do this lady wron!. That will we not said they for an we do
battle we two will fi!ht with one kni!ht at once and therefore if ye will fi!ht so we will be ready at
what hour ye will assi!n. And if ye win us in battle the lady shall have her lands a!ain. Ye say well
said Sir ;waine therefore make you ready so that ye be here to"morn in the defence of the lady's ri!ht.
?9@
CHAPTER !!,II# How 6(& $wa(ne fo'g%t w(t% two kn(g%ts
and o-e&came t%em#
S* was there sikerness made on both parties that no treason should be wrou!ht on neither partyC so
then the kni!hts departed and made them ready and that ni!ht Sir ;waine had !reat cheer. And on the
morn he arose early and heard mass and brake his fast and so he rode unto the plain without the !ates
where hoved the two brethren abidin! him. So they rode to!ether passin! sore that Sir 3dward and Sir
1ue brake their spears upon Sir ;waine. And Sir ;waine smote Sir 3dward that he fell over his horse
and yet his spear brast not. And then he spurred his horse and came upon Sir 1ue and overthrew him
but they soon recovered and dressed their shields and drew their swords and bade Sir ;waine ali!ht
and do his battle to the uttermost. Then Sir ;waine devoided his horse suddenly and put his shield
afore him and drew his sword and so they dressed to!ether and either !ave other such strokes and
there these two brethren wounded Sir ;waine passin! !rievously that the Lady of the 0ock weened he
should have died. And thus they fou!ht to!ether five hours as men ra!ed out of reason. And at the last
Sir ;waine smote Sir 3dward upon the helm such a stroke that his sword carved unto his canel bone
and then Sir 1ue abated his coura!e but Sir ;waine pressed fast to have slain him. That saw Sir 1ue+
he kneeled down and yielded him to Sir ;waine. And he of his !entleness received his sword and took
him by the hand and went into the castle to!ether. Then the Lady of the 0ock was passin! !lad and
the other brother made !reat sorrow for his brother's death. Then the lady was restored of all her lands
and Sir 1ue was commanded to be at the court of :in! Arthur at the ne't feast of #entecost. So Sir
;waine dwelt with the lady ni!h half a year for it was lon! or he mi!ht be whole of his !reat hurts.
And so when it drew ni!h the term"day that Sir %awaine Sir Marhaus and Sir ;waine should meet at
the cross"way then every kni!ht drew him thither to hold his promise that they had madeC and Sir
Marhaus and Sir ;waine brou!ht their damosels with them but Sir %awaine had lost his damosel as it
is afore rehearsed.
CHAPTER !!,III# How at t%e +ea&0s end all t%&ee kn(g%ts w(t%
t%e(& t%&ee damosels met at t%e fo'nta(n#
0/%1T so at the twelvemonths' end they met all three kni!hts at the fountain and their damosels
?9=
but the damosel that Sir %awaine had could say but little worship of him so they departed from the
damosels and rode throu!h a !reat forest and there they met with a messen!er that came from :in!
Arthur that had sou!ht them well"ni!h a twelvemonth throu!hout all 3n!land 5ales and Scotland
and char!ed if ever he mi!ht find Sir %awaine and Sir ;waine to brin! them to the court a!ain. And
then were they all !lad and so prayed they Sir Marhaus to ride with them to the kin!'s court. And so
within twelve days they came to )amelot and the kin! was passin! !lad of their comin! and so was
all the court. Then the kin! made them to swear upon a book to tell him all their adventures that had
befallen them that twelvemonth and so they did. And there was Sir Marhaus well known for there
were kni!hts that he had matched aforetime and he was named one of the best kni!hts livin!.
A!ainst the feast of #entecost came the (amosel of the Lake and brou!ht with her Sir #elleasC and
at that hi!h feast there was !reat $oustin! of kni!hts and of all kni!hts that were at that $ousts Sir
#elleas had the priDe and Sir Marhaus was named the ne'tC but Sir #elleas was so stron! there mi!ht
but few kni!hts sit him a buffet with a spear. And at that ne't feast Sir #elleas and Sir Marhaus were
made kni!hts of the Table 0ound for there were two sie!es void for two kni!hts were slain that
twelvemonth and !reat $oy had :in! Arthur of Sir #elleas and of Sir Marhaus. But #elleas loved never
after Sir %awaine but as he spared him for the love of :in! ArthurC but ofttimes at $ousts and
tournaments Sir #elleas Auit Sir %awaine for so it rehearseth in the book of &rench. So Sir Tristram
many days after fou!ht with Sir Marhaus in an island and there they did a !reat battle but at the last
Sir Tristram slew him so Sir Tristram was wounded that unnethe he mi!ht recover and lay at a
nunnery half a year. And Sir #elleas was a worshipful kni!ht and was one of the four that achieved the
San!real and the (amosel of the Lake made by her means that never he had ado with Sir Launcelot de
Lake for where Sir Launcelot was at any $ousts or any tournament she would not suffer him be there
that day but if it were on the side of Sir Launcelot.
3'plicit liber Auartus. /ncipit liber Auintus.
BOO" ,
?.>
CHAPTER I# How twel-e aged ambassado&s of Rome came to
"(ng A&t%'& to demand t&'age fo& B&(ta(n#
5132 :in! Arthur had after lon! war rested and held a royal feast and Table 0ound with his
allies of kin!s princes and noble kni!hts all of the 0ound Table there came into his hall he sittin! in
his throne royal twelve ancient men bearin! each of them a branch of olive in token that they came as
ambassadors and messen!ers from the 3mperor Lucius which was called at that time (ictator or
#rocuror of the #ublic 5eal of 0ome. 5hich said messen!ers after their enterin! and comin! into the
presence of :in! Arthur did to him their obeisance in makin! to him reverence and said to him in this
wise+ The hi!h and mi!hty 3mperor Lucius sendeth to the :in! of Britain !reetin! commandin! thee
to acknowled!e him for thy lord and to send him the trua!e due of this realm unto the 3mpire which
thy father and other to"fore thy precessors have paid as is of record and thou as rebel not knowin! him
as thy soverei!n withholdest and retainest contrary to the statutes and decrees made by the noble and
worthy Eulius )esar conAueror of this realm and first 3mperor of 0ome. And if thou refuse his
demand and commandment know thou for certain that he shall make stron! war a!ainst thee thy
realms and lands and shall chastise thee and thy sub$ects that it shall be ensample perpetual unto all
kin!s and princes for to deny their trua!e unto that noble empire which domineth upon the universal
world. Then when they had showed the effect of their messa!e the kin! commanded them to withdraw
them and said he should take advice of council and !ive to them an answer. Then some of the youn!
kni!hts hearin! this their messa!e would have run on them to have slain them sayin! that it was a
rebuke to all the kni!hts there bein! present to suffer them to say so to the kin!. And anon the kin!
commanded that none of them upon pain of death to missay them nor do them any harm and
commanded a kni!ht to brin! them to their lod!in! and see that they have all that is necessary and
reAuisite for them with the best cheer and that no dainty be spared for the 0omans be !reat lords and
thou!h their messa!e please me not nor my court yet / must remember mine honour.
After this the kin! let call all his lords and kni!hts of the 0ound Table to counsel upon this matter
and desired them to say their advice. Then Sir )ador of )ornwall spake first and said Sir this messa!e
liketh me well for we have many days rested us and have been idle and now / hope ye shall make
sharp war on the 0omans where / doubt not we shall !et honour. / believe well said Arthur that this
?.?
matter pleaseth thee well but these answers may not be answered for the demand !rieveth me sore for
truly / will never pay trua!e to 0ome wherefore / pray you to counsel me. / have understood that
Belinus and Brenius kin!s of Britain have had the empire in their hands many days and also
)onstantine the son of 1eleine which is an open evidence that we owe no tribute to 0ome but of ri!ht
we that be descended of them have ri!ht to claim the title of the empire.
CHAPTER II# How t%e k(ngs and lo&ds *&om(sed to "(ng
A&t%'& a(d and %el* aga(nst t%e Romans#
T132 answered :in! An!uish of Scotland Sir ye ou!ht of ri!ht to be above all other kin!s for
unto you is none like nor pareil in )hristendom of kni!hthood nor of di!nity and / counsel you never
to obey the 0omans for when they rei!ned on us they distressed our elders and put this land to !reat
e'tortions and tallies wherefore / make here mine avow to aven!e me on themC and for to stren!then
your Auarrel / shall furnish twenty thousand !ood men of war and wa!e them on my costs which shall
await on you with myself when it shall please you. And the kin! of Little Britain !ranted him to the
same thirty thousandC wherefore :in! Arthur thanked them. And then every man a!reed to make war
and to aid after their powerC that is to wit the lord of 5est 5ales promised to brin! thirty thousand
men and Sir ;waine Sir /der his son with their cousins promised to brin! thirty thousand. Then Sir
Launcelot with all other promised in likewise every man a !reat multitude.
And when :in! Arthur understood their coura!es and !ood wills he thanked them heartily and
after let call the ambassadors to hear their answer. And in presence of all his lords and kni!hts he said
to them in this wise+ / will that ye return unto your lord and #rocuror of the )ommon 5eal for the
0omans and say ye to him *f his demand and commandment / set nothin! and that / know of no
trua!e nor tribute that / owe to him nor to none earthly prince )hristian nor heathenC but / pretend to
have and occupy the soverei!nty of the empire wherein / am entitled by the ri!ht of my predecessors
sometime kin!s of this landC and say to him that / am delibered and fully concluded to !o with mine
army with stren!th and power unto 0ome by the !race of %od to take possession in the empire and
subdue them that be rebel. 5herefore / command him and all them of 0ome that incontinent they
make to me their homa!e and to acknowled!e me for their 3mperor and %overnor upon pain that shall
?.-
ensue. And then he commanded his treasurer to !ive to them !reat and lar!e !ifts and to pay all their
dispenses and assi!ned Sir )ador to convey them out of the land. And so they took their leave and
departed and took their shippin! at Sandwich and passed forth by &landers Almaine the mountains
and all /taly until they came unto Lucius. And after the reverence made they made relation of their
answer like as ye to"fore have heard.
5hen the 3mperor Lucius had well understood their credence he was sore moved as he had been
all ara!ed and said / had supposed that Arthur would have obeyed to my commandment and have
served you himself as him well beseemed or any other kin! to do. * Sir said one of the senators let be
such vain words for we let you wit that / and my fellows were full sore afeard to behold his
countenanceC / fear me ye have made a rod for yourself for he intendeth to be lord of this empire
which sore is to be doubted if he come for he is all another man than ye ween and holdeth the most
noble court of the world all other kin!s nor princes may not compare unto his noble maintenance. *n
2ew Year's (ay we saw him in his estate which was the royalest that ever we saw for he was served at
his table with nine kin!s and the noblest fellowship of other princes lords and kni!hts that be in the
world and every kni!ht approved and like a lord and holdeth Table 0ound+ and in his person the most
manly man that liveth and is like to conAuer all the world for unto his coura!e it is too little+
wherefore / advise you to keep well your marches and straits in the mountainsC for certainly he is a lord
to be doubted. 5ell said Lucius before 3aster / suppose to pass the mountains and so forth into
&rance and there bereave him his lands with %enoese and other mi!hty warriors of Tuscany and
Lombardy. And / shall send for them all that be sub$ects and allied to the empire of 0ome to come to
mine aid. And forthwith sent old wise kni!hts unto these countries followin!+ first to Amba!e and
Arra!e to Ale'andria to /ndia to Armenia whereas the river of 3uphrates runneth into Asia to Africa
and 3urope the Lar!e to 3rtayne and 3lamye to Araby 3!ypt and to (amascus to (amietta and
)ayer to )appadocia to Tarsus Turkey #ontus and #amphylia to Syria and %alatia. And all these
were sub$ect to 0ome and many more as %reece )yprus Macedonia )alabria )ateland #ortu!al
with many thousands of Spaniards. Thus all these kin!s dukes and admirals assembled about 0ome
with si'teen kin!s at once with !reat multitude of people. 5hen the emperor understood their comin!
he made ready his 0omans and all the people between him and &landers.
Also he had !otten with him fifty !iants which had been en!endered of fiendsC and they were
ordained to !uard his person and to break the front of the battle of :in! Arthur. And thus departed
from 0ome and came down the mountains for to destroy the lands that Arthur had conAuered and
?.9
came unto )olo!ne and besie!ed a castle thereby and won it soon and stuffed it with two hundred
Saracens or /nfidels and after destroyed many fair countries which Arthur had won of :in! )laudas.
And thus Lucius came with all his host which were disperplyd si'ty mile in breadth and commanded
them to meet with him in Bur!oyne for he purposed to destroy the realm of Little Britain.
CHAPTER III# How "(ng A&t%'& %eld a *a&l(ament at .o&k)
and %ow %e o&da(ned t%e &ealm s%o'ld be go-e&ned (n %(s
absence#
2*5 leave we of Lucius the 3mperor and speak we of :in! Arthur that commanded all them of
his retinue to be ready at the utas of 1ilary for to hold a parliament at York. And at that parliament was
concluded to arrest all the navy of the land and to be ready within fifteen days at Sandwich and there
he showed to his army how he purposed to conAuer the empire which he ou!ht to have of ri!ht. And
there he ordained two !overnors of this realm that is to say Sir Baudwin of Britain for to counsel to
the best and Sir )onstantine son to Sir )ador of )ornwall which after the death of Arthur was kin! of
this realm. And in the presence of all his lords he resi!ned the rule of the realm and %uenever his Aueen
to them wherefore Sir Launcelot was wroth for he left Sir Tristram with :in! Mark for the love of
Beale /sould. Then the Bueen %uenever made !reat sorrow for the departin! of her lord and other and
swooned in such wise that the ladies bare her into her chamber. Thus the kin! with his !reat army
departed leavin! the Aueen and realm in the !overnance of Sir Baudwin and )onstantine. And when he
was on his horse he said with an hi!h voice /f / die in this $ourney / will that Sir )onstantine be mine
heir and kin! crowned of this realm as ne't of my blood. And after departed and entered into the sea at
Sandwich with all his army with a !reat multitude of ships !alleys co!s and dromounds sailin! on
the sea.
?..
CHAPTER I,# How "(ng A&t%'& be(ng s%(**ed and l+(ng (n %(s
cab(n %ad a ma&-ello's d&eam and of t%e e4*os(t(on t%e&eof#
A2( as the kin! lay in his cabin in the ship he fell in a slumberin! and dreamed a marvellous
dream+ him seemed that a dreadful dra!on did drown much of his people and he came flyin! out of the
west and his head was enamelled with aDure and his shoulders shone as !old his belly like mails of a
marvellous hue his tail full of tatters his feet full of fine sable and his claws like fine !oldC and an
hideous flame of fire flew out of his mouth like as the land and water had flamed all of fire. After him
seemed there came out of the orient a !rimly boar all black in a cloud and his paws as bi! as a postC he
was ru!!ed lookin! rou!hly he was the foulest beast that ever man saw he roared and romed so
hideously that it were marvel to hear. Then the dreadful dra!on advanced him and came in the wind
like a falcon !ivin! !reat strokes on the boar and the boar hit him a!ain with his !riDDly tusks that his
breast was all bloody and that the hot blood made all the sea red of his blood. Then the dra!on flew
away all on an hei!ht and came down with such a swou!h and smote the boar on the rid!e which was
ten foot lar!e from the head to the tail and smote the boar all to powder both flesh and bones that it
flittered all abroad on the sea.
And therewith the kin! awoke anon and was sore abashed of this dream and sent anon for a wise
philosopher commandin! to tell him the si!nification of his dream. Sir said the philosopher the
dra!on that thou dreamedst of betokeneth thine own person that sailest here and the colours of his
win!s be thy realms that thou hast won and his tail which is all to"tattered si!nifieth the noble kni!hts
of the 0ound TableC and the boar that the dra!on slew comin! from the clouds betokeneth some tyrant
that tormenteth the people or else thou art like to fi!ht with some !iant thyself bein! horrible and
abominable whose peer ye saw never in your days wherefore of this dreadful dream doubt thee
nothin! but as a conAueror come forth thyself.
Then after this soon they had si!ht of land and sailed till they arrived at Barflete in &landers and
when they were there he found many of his !reat lords ready as they had been commanded to wait
upon him.
?.4
CHAPTER ,# How a man of t%e co'nt&+ told to %(m of a
ma&-ello's g(ant) and %ow %e fo'g%t and con/'e&ed %(m#
T132 came to him an husbandman of the country and told him how there was in the country of
)onstantine beside Brittany a !reat !iant which had slain murdered and devoured much people of the
country and had been sustained seven year with the children of the commons of that land insomuch
that all the children be all slain and destroyedC and now late he hath taken the (uchess of Brittany as
she rode with her meiny and hath led her to his lod!in! which is in a mountain for to ravish and lie by
her to her life's end and many people followed her more than five hundred but all they mi!ht not
rescue her but they left her shriekin! and cryin! lamentably wherefore / suppose that he hath slain her
in fulfillin! his foul lust of lechery. She was wife unto thy cousin Sir 1owell whom we call full ni!h of
thy blood. 2ow as thou art a ri!htful kin! have pity on this lady and reven!e us all as thou art a noble
conAueror. Alas said :in! Arthur this is a !reat mischief / had liefer than the best realm that / have
that / had been a furlon! way to"fore him for to have rescued that lady. 2ow fellow said :in! Arthur
canst thou brin! me thereas this !iant hauntethL Yea Sir said the !ood man look yonder whereas thou
seest those two !reat fires there shalt thou find him and more treasure than / suppose is in all &rance.
5hen the kin! had understood this piteous case he returned into his tent.
Then he called to him Sir :ay and Sir Bedivere and commanded them secretly to make ready
horse and harness for himself and them twainC for after evenson! he would ride on pil!rima!e with
them two only unto Saint Michael's mount. And then anon he made him ready and armed him at all
points and took his horse and his shield. And so they three departed thence and rode forth as fast as
ever they mi!ht till that they came to the foreland of that mount. And there they ali!hted and the kin!
commanded them to tarry there for he would himself !o up into that mount. And so he ascended up
into that hill till he came to a !reat fire and there he found a careful widow wrin!in! her hands and
makin! !reat sorrow sittin! by a !rave new made. And then :in! Arthur saluted her and demanded of
her wherefore she made such lamentation to whom she answered and said Sir kni!ht speak soft for
yonder is a devil if he hear thee speak he will come and destroy theeC / hold thee unhappyC what dost
thou here in this mountainL for if ye were such fifty as ye be ye were not able to make resistance
a!ainst this devil+ here lieth a duchess dead the which was the fairest of all the world wife to Sir
1owell (uke of Brittany he hath murdered her in forcin! her and hath slit her unto the navel.
(ame said the kin! / come from the noble conAueror :in! Arthur for to treat with that tyrant for
?.<
his lie!e people. &ie on such treaties said she he setteth not by the kin! nor by no man elseC but an if
thou have brou!ht Arthur's wife dame %uenever he shall be !ladder than thou hadst !iven to him half
&rance. Beware approach him not too ni!h for he hath vanAuished fifteen kin!s and hath made him a
coat full of precious stones embroidered with their beards which they sent him to have his love for
salvation of their people at this last )hristmas. And if thou wilt speak with him at yonder !reat fire at
supper. 5ell said Arthur / will accomplish my messa!e for all your fearful wordsC and went forth by
the crest of that hill and saw where he sat at supper !nawin! on a limb of a man bakin! his broad
limbs by the fire and breechless and three fair damosels turnin! three broaches whereon were
broached twelve youn! children late born like youn! birds.
5hen :in! Arthur beheld that piteous si!ht he had !reat compassion on them so that his heart
bled for sorrow and hailed him sayin! in this wise+ 1e that all the world wieldeth !ive thee short life
and shameful deathC and the devil have thy soulC why hast thou murdered these youn! innocent
children and murdered this duchessL Therefore arise and dress thee thou !lutton for this day shalt
thou die of my hand. Then the !lutton anon started up and took a !reat club in his hand and smote at
the kin! that his coronal fell to the earth. And the kin! hit him a!ain that he carved his belly and cut off
his !enitours that his !uts and his entrails fell down to the !round. Then the !iant threw away his club
and cau!ht the kin! in his arms that he crushed his ribs. Then the three maidens kneeled down and
called to )hrist for help and comfort of Arthur. And then Arthur weltered and wrun! that he was other
while under and another time above. And so welterin! and wallowin! they rolled down the hill till they
came to the sea mark and ever as they so weltered Arthur smote him with his da!!er.
And it fortuned they came to the place whereas the two kni!hts were and kept Arthur's horseC then
when they saw the kin! fast in the !iant's arms they came and loosed him. And then the kin!
commanded Sir :ay to smite off the !iant's head and to set it upon a truncheon of a spear and bear it
to Sir 1owell and tell him that his enemy was slainC and after let this head be bound to a barbican that
all the people may see and behold itC and !o ye two up to the mountain and fetch me my shield my
sword and the club of ironC and as for the treasure take ye it for ye shall find there !oods out of
numberC so / have the kirtle and the club / desire no more. This was the fiercest !iant that ever / met
with save one in the mount of Araby which / overcame but this was !reater and fiercer. Then the
kni!hts fetched the club and the kirtle and some of the treasure they took to themselves and returned
a!ain to the host. And anon this was known throu!h all the country wherefore the people came and
thanked the kin!. And he said a!ain %ive the thanks to %od and depart the !oods amon! you.
?.7
And after that :in! Arthur said and commanded his cousin 1owell that he should ordain for a
church to be builded on the same hill in the worship of Saint Michael. And on the morn the kin!
removed with his !reat battle and came into )hampayne and in a valley and there they pi!ht their
tentsC and the kin! bein! set at his dinner there came in two messen!ers of whom that one was
Marshal of &rance and said to the kin! that the emperor was entered into &rance and had destroyed a
!reat part and was in Bur!oyne and had destroyed and made !reat slau!hter of people and burnt
towns and borou!hsC wherefore if thou come not hastily they must yield up their bodies and !oods.
CHAPTER ,I# How "(ng A&t%'& sent 6(& Gawa(ne and ot%e& to
L'c('s) and %ow t%e+ we&e assa(led and esca*ed w(t%
wo&s%(*#
T132 the kin! did do call Sir %awaine Sir Bors Sir Lionel and Sir Bedivere and commanded
them to !o strai!ht to Sir Lucius and say ye to him that hastily he remove out of my landC and if he will
not bid him make him ready to battle and not distress the poor people. Then anon these noble kni!hts
dressed them to horseback and when they came to the !reen wood they saw many pavilions set in a
meadow of silk of divers colours beside a river and the emperor's pavilion was in the middle with an
ea!le displayed above. To the which tent our kni!hts rode toward and ordained Sir %awaine and Sir
Bors to do the messa!e and left in a bushment Sir Lionel and Sir Bedivere. And then Sir %awaine and
Sir Bors did their messa!e and commanded Lucius in Arthur's name to avoid his land or shortly to
address him to battle. To whom Lucius answered and said Ye shall return to your lord and say ye to
him that / shall subdue him and all his lands. Then Sir %awaine was wroth and said / had liefer than all
&rance fi!ht a!ainst theeC and so had / said Sir Bors liefer than all Brittany or Bur!oyne.
Then a kni!ht named Sir %ainus ni!h cousin to the emperor said Lo how these Britons be full of
pride and boast and they bra! as thou!h they bare up all the world. Then Sir %awaine was sore !rieved
with these words and pulled out his sword and smote off his head. And therewith turned their horses
and rode over waters and throu!h woods till they came to their bushment whereas Sir Lionel and Sir
Bedivere were hovin!. The 0omans followed fast after on horseback and on foot over a champai!n
unto a woodC then Sir Bors turned his horse and saw a kni!ht come fast on whom he smote throu!h the
?.@
body with a spear that he fell dead down to the earthC then came )aliburn one of the stron!est of #avie
and smote down many of Arthur's kni!hts. And when Sir Bors saw him do so much harm he addressed
toward him and smote him throu!h the breast that he fell down dead to the earth. Then Sir &eldenak
thou!ht to reven!e the death of %ainus upon Sir %awaine but Sir %awaine was ware thereof and
smote him on the head which stroke stinted not till it came to his breast. And then he returned and
came to his fellows in the bushment. And there was a recounter for the bushment brake on the 0omans
and slew and hew down the 0omans and forced the 0omans to flee and return whom the noble
kni!hts chased unto their tents.
Then the 0omans !athered more people and also footmen came on and there was a new battle
and so much people that Sir Bors and Sir Berel were taken. But when Sir %awaine saw that he took
with him Sir /drus the !ood kni!ht and said he would never see :in! Arthur but if he rescued them
and pulled out %alatine his !ood sword and followed them that led those two kni!hts awayC and he
smote him that led Sir Bors and took Sir Bors from him and delivered him to his fellows. And Sir /drus
in likewise rescued Sir Berel. Then be!an the battle to be !reat that our kni!hts were in !reat $eopardy
wherefore Sir %awaine sent to :in! Arthur for succour and that he hie him for / am sore wounded
and that our prisoners may pay !oods out of number. And the messen!er came to the kin! and told him
his messa!e. And anon the kin! did do assemble his army but anon or he departed the prisoners were
come and Sir %awaine and his fellows !at the field and put the 0omans to fli!ht and after returned
and came with their fellowship in such wise that no man of worship was lost of them save that Sir
%awaine was sore hurt. Then the kin! did do ransack his wounds and comforted him. And thus was the
be!innin! of the first $ourney of the Britons and 0omans and there were slain of the 0omans more
than ten thousand and !reat $oy and mirth was made that ni!ht in the host of :in! Arthur. And on the
morn he sent all the prisoners into #aris under the !uard of Sir Launcelot with many kni!hts and of Sir
)ador.
?.=
CHAPTER ,II# How L'c('s sent ce&ta(n s*(es (n a b's%ment fo&
to %a-e taken %(s kn(g%ts be(ng *&(sone&s) and %ow t%e+
we&e letted#
2*5 turn we to the 3mperor of 0ome which espied that these prisoners should be sent to #aris
and anon he sent to lie in a bushment certain kni!hts and princes with si'ty thousand men for to rescue
his kni!hts and lords that were prisoners. And so on the morn as Launcelot and Sir )ador chieftains
and !overnors of all them that conveyed the prisoners as they should pass throu!h a wood Sir
Launcelot sent certain kni!hts to espy if any were in the woods to let them. And when the said kni!hts
came into the wood anon they espied and saw the !reat embushment and returned and told Sir
Launcelot that there lay in await for them three score thousand 0omans. And then Sir Launcelot with
such kni!hts as he had and men of war to the number of ten thousand put them in array and met with
them and fou!ht with them manly and slew and detrenched many of the 0omans and slew many
kni!hts and admirals of the party of the 0omans and SaracensC there was slain the kin! of Lyly and
three !reat lords Aladuke 1erawd and 1erin!dale. But Sir Launcelot fou!ht so nobly that no man
mi!ht endure a stroke of his hand but where he came he showed his prowess and mi!ht for he slew
down ri!ht on every sideC and the 0omans and Saracens fled from him as the sheep from the wolf or
from the lion and put them all that abode alive to fli!ht.
And so lon! they fou!ht that tidin!s came to :in! Arthur and anon he !raithed him and came to
the battle and saw his kni!hts how they had vanAuished the battle he embraced them kni!ht by kni!ht
in his arms and said Ye be worthy to wield all your honour and worshipC there was never kin! save
myself that had so noble kni!hts. Sir said )ador there was none of us failed other but of the prowess
and manhood of Sir Launcelot were more than wonder to tell and also of his cousins which did that
day many noble feats of war. And also Sir )ador told who of his kni!hts were slain as Sir Berel and
other Sir Moris and Sir Maurel two !ood kni!hts. Then the kin! wept and dried his eyes with a
kerchief and said Your coura!e had near"hand destroyed you for thou!h ye had returned a!ain ye had
lost no worshipC for / call it folly kni!hts to abide when they be overmatched. 2ay said Launcelot and
the other for once shamed may never be recovered.
?4>
CHAPTER ,III# How a senato& told to L'c('s of t%e(&
d(scomf(t'&e) and also of t%e g&eat battle between A&t%'&
and L'c('s#
2*5 leave we :in! Arthur and his noble kni!hts which had won the field and had brou!ht their
prisoners to #aris and speak we of a senator which escaped from the battle and came to Lucius the
emperor and said to him Sir emperor / advise thee for to withdraw theeC what dost thou hereL thou
shalt win nothin! in these marches but !reat strokes out of all measure for this day one of Arthur's
kni!hts was worth in the battle an hundred of ours. &ie on thee said Lucius thou speakest cowardlyC
for thy words !rieve me more than all the loss that / had this day. And anon he sent forth a kin! which
hi!ht Sir Leomie with a !reat army and bade him hie him fast to"fore and he would follow hastily
after. :in! Arthur was warned privily and sent his people to Sessoine and took up the towns and
castles from the 0omans. Then the kin! commanded Sir )ador to take the rearward and to take with
him certain kni!hts of the 0ound Table and Sir Launcelot Sir Bors Sir :ay Sir Marrok with Sir
Marhaus shall await on our person. Thus the :in! Arthur disperpled his host in divers parties to the
end that his enemies should not escape.
5hen the emperor was entered into the vale of Sessoine he mi!ht see where :in! Arthur was
embattled and his banner displayedC and he was beset round about with his enemies that needs he must
fi!ht or yield him for he mi!ht not flee but said openly unto the 0omans Sirs / admonish you that
this day ye fi!ht and acAuit you as men and remember how 0ome domineth and is chief and head over
all the earth and universal world and suffer not these Britons this day to abide a!ainst usC and therewith
he did command his trumpets to blow the bloody sounds in such wise that the !round trembled and
dindled.
Then the battles approached and shoved and shouted on both sides and !reat strokes were smitten
on both sides many men overthrown hurt and slainC and !reat valiances prowesses and appertices of
war were that day showed which were over lon! to recount the noble feats of every man for they
should contain an whole volume. But in especial :in! Arthur rode in the battle e'hortin! his kni!hts to
do well and himself did as nobly with his hands as was possible a man to doC he drew out 3'calibur his
sword and awaited ever whereas the 0omans were thickest and most !rieved his people and anon he
addressed him on that part and hew and slew down ri!ht and rescued his peopleC and he slew a !reat
!iant named %alapas which was a man of an hu!e Auantity and hei!ht he shorted him and smote off
?4?
both his le!s by the knees sayin! 2ow art thou better of a siDe to deal with than thou were and after
smote off his head. There Sir %awaine fou!ht nobly and slew three admirals in that battle. And so did
all the kni!hts of the 0ound Table. Thus the battle between :in! Arthur and Lucius the 3mperor
endured lon!. Lucius had on his side many Saracens which were slain. And thus the battle was !reat
and oftsides that one party was at a fordeal and anon at an afterdeal which endured so lon! till at the
last :in! Arthur espied where Lucius the 3mperor fou!ht and did wonder with his own hands. And
anon he rode to him. And either smote other fiercely and at last Lucius smote Arthur thwart the visa!e
and !ave him a lar!e wound. And when :in! Arthur felt himself hurt anon he smote him a!ain with
3'calibur that it cleft his head from the summit of his head and stinted not till it came to his breast.
And then the emperor fell down dead and there ended his life.
And when it was known that the emperor was slain anon all the 0omans with all their host put
them to fli!ht and :in! Arthur with all his kni!hts followed the chase and slew down ri!ht all them
that they mi!ht attain. And thus was the victory !iven to :in! Arthur and the triumphC and there were
slain on the part of Lucius more than an hundred thousand. And after :in! Arthur did do ransack the
dead bodies and did do bury them that were slain of his retinue every man accordin! to the estate and
de!ree that he was of. And them that were hurt he let the sur!eons do search their hurts and wounds
and commanded to spare no salves nor medicines till they were whole.
Then the kin! rode strai!ht to the place where the 3mperor Lucius lay dead and with him he found
slain the Soudan of Syria the :in! of 3!ypt and of 3thiopia which were two noble kin!s with
seventeen other kin!s of divers re!ions and also si'ty senators of 0ome all noble men whom the kin!
did do balm and !um with many !ood !ums aromatic and after did do cere them in si'ty fold of cered
cloth of sendal and laid them in chests of lead because they should not chafe nor savour and upon all
these bodies their shields with their arms and banners were set to the end they should be known of
what country they were. And after he found three senators which were alive to whom he said &or to
save your lives / will that ye take these dead bodies and carry them with you unto !reat 0ome and
present them to the #otestate on my behalf shewin! him my letters and tell them that / in my person
shall hastily be at 0ome. And / suppose the 0omans shall beware how they shall demand any tribute of
me. And / command you to say when ye shall come to 0ome to the #otestate and all the )ouncil and
Senate that / send to them these dead bodies for the tribute that they have demanded. And if they be
not content with these / shall pay more at my comin! for other tribute owe / none nor none other will
/ pay. And methinketh this sufficeth for Britain /reland and all Almaine with %ermany. And
?4-
furthermore / char!e you to say to them that / command them upon pain of their heads never to
demand tribute nor ta' of me nor of my lands. Then with this char!e and commandment the three
senators aforesaid departed with all the said dead bodies layin! the body of Lucius in a car covered
with the arms of the 3mpire all aloneC and after alway two bodies of kin!s in a chariot and then the
bodies of the senators after them and so went toward 0ome and showed their le!ation and messa!e to
the #otestate and Senate recountin! the battle done in &rance and how the field was lost and much
people and innumerable slain. 5herefore they advised them in no wise to move no more war a!ainst
that noble conAueror Arthur for his mi!ht and prowess is most to be doubted seen the noble kin!s and
!reat multitude of kni!hts of the 0ound Table to whom none earthly prince may compare.
CHAPTER I! How A&t%'&) afte& %e %ad ac%(e-ed t%e battle
aga(nst t%e Romans) ente&ed (nto Alma(ne) and so (nto Ital+#
2*5 turn we unto :in! Arthur and his noble kni!hts which after the !reat battle achieved
a!ainst the 0omans entered into Lorraine Brabant and &landers and sithen returned into 1aut
Almaine and so over the mountains into Lombardy and after into Tuscany wherein was a city which
in no wise would yield themself nor obey wherefore :in! Arthur besie!ed it and lay lon! about it and
!ave many assaults to the cityC and they within defended them valiantly. Then on a time the kin!
called Sir &lorence a kni!ht and said to him they lacked victual And not far from hence be !reat
forests and woods wherein be many of mine enemies with much bestial+ / will that thou make thee
ready and !o thither in forayin! and take with thee Sir %awaine my nephew Sir 5isshard Sir )le!is
Sir )leremond and the )aptain of )ardiff with other and brin! with you all the beasts that ye there can
!et.
And anon these kni!hts made them ready and rode over holts and hills throu!h forests and woods
till they came into a fair meadow full of fair flowers and !rassC and there they rested them and their
horses all that ni!ht. And in the sprin!in! of the day in the ne't morn Sir %awaine took his horse and
stole away from his fellowship to seek some adventures. And anon he was ware of a man armed
walkin! his horse easily by a wood's side and his shield laced to his shoulder sittin! on a stron!
courser without any man savin! a pa!e bearin! a mi!hty spear. The kni!ht bare in his shield three
?49
!riffins of !old in sable carbuncle the chief of silver. 5hen Sir %awaine espied this !ay kni!ht he
feutred his spear and rode strai!ht to him and demanded of him from whence that he was. That other
answered and said he was of Tuscany and demanded of Sir %awaine 5hat profferest thou proud
kni!ht thee so boldlyL here !ettest thou no prey thou mayest prove what thou wilt for thou shalt be
my prisoner or thou depart. Then said %awaine thou avauntest thee !reatly and speakest proud words
/ counsel thee for all thy boast that thou make thee ready and take thy !ear to thee to"fore !reater
!rame fall to thee.
CHAPTER !# Of a battle done b+ 6(& Gawa(ne aga(nst a
6a&acen) w%(c% afte& was +(elden and became C%&(st(an#
T132 they took their spears and ran each at other with all the mi!ht they had and smote each
other throu!h their shields into their shoulders wherefore anon they pulled out their swords and smote
!reat strokes that the fire spran! out of their helms. Then Sir %awaine was all abashed and with
%alatine his !ood sword he smote throu!h shield and thick hauberk made of thick mails and all to"
rushed and break the precious stones and made him a lar!e wound that men mi!ht see both liver and
lun!. Then !roaned that kni!ht and addressed him to Sir %awaine and with an awk stroke !ave him a
!reat wound and cut a vein which !rieved %awaine sore and he bled sore. Then the kni!ht said to Sir
%awaine bind thy wound or thy bleeMdin!N chan!e for thou be"bleedest all thy horse and thy fair arms
for all the barbers of Brittany shall not con staunch thy blood for whosomever is hurt with this blade he
shall never be staunched of bleedin!. Then answered %awaine it !rieveth me but little thy !reat words
shall not fear me nor lessen my coura!e but thou shalt suffer teen and sorrow or we depart but tell me
in haste who may staunch my bleedin!. That may / do said the kni!ht if / will and so will / if thou
wilt succour and aid me that / may be christened and believe on %od and thereof / reAuire thee of thy
manhood and it shall be !reat merit for thy soul. / !rant said %awaine so %od help me to accomplish
all thy desire but first tell me what thou sou!htest here thus alone and of what land and lie!iance thou
art of. Sir he said my name is #riamus and a !reat prince is my father and he hath been rebel unto
0ome and overridden many of their lands. My father is lineally descended of Ale'ander and of 1ector
by ri!ht line. And (uke Eoshua and Maccabaeus were of our linea!e. / am ri!ht inheritor of Ale'andria
?4.
and Africa and all the out isles yet will / believe on thy Lord that thou believest onC and for thy labour
/ shall !ive thee treasure enou!h. / was so elate and hauteyn in my heart that / thou!ht no man my peer
nor to me semblable. / was sent into this war with seven score kni!hts and now / have encountered
with thee which hast !iven to me of fi!htin! my fill wherefore sir kni!ht / pray thee to tell me what
thou art. / am no kni!ht said %awaine / have been brou!ht up in the !uardrobe with the noble :in!
Arthur many years for to take heed to his armour and his other array and to point his paltocks that lon!
to himself. At Yule last he made me yeoman and !ave to me horse and harness and an hundred pound
in moneyC and if fortune be my friend / doubt not but to be well advanced and holpen by my lie!e lord.
Ah said #riamus if his knaves be so keen and fierce his kni!hts be passin! !ood+ now for the :in!'s
love of 1eaven whether thou be a knave or a kni!ht tell thou me thy name. By %od said Sir %awaine
now / will say thee sooth my name is Sir %awaine and known / am in his court and in his chamber
and one of the kni!hts of the 0ound Table he dubbed me a duke with his own hand. Therefore !rud!e
not if this !race is to me fortuned it is the !oodness of %od that lent to me my stren!th. 2ow am /
better pleased said #riamus than thou hadst !iven to me all the #rovence and #aris the rich. / had liefer
to have been torn with wild horses than any varlet had won such loos or any pa!e or priker should
have had priDe on me. But now sir kni!ht / warn thee that hereby is a (uke of Lorraine with his army
and the noblest men of (olphiny and lords of Lombardy with the !arrison of %odard and Saracens of
Southland y"numbered si'ty thousand of !ood men of armsC wherefore but if we hie us hence it will
harm us both for we be sore hurt never like to recoverC but take heed to my pa!e that he no horn blow
for if he do there be hovin! here fast by an hundred kni!hts awaitin! on my person and if they take
thee there shall no ransom of !old nor silver acAuit thee.
Then Sir %awaine rode over a water for to save him and the kni!ht followed him and so rode
forth till they came to his fellows which were in the meadow where they had been all the ni!ht. Anon
as Sir 5isshard was ware of Sir %awaine and saw that he was hurt he ran to him sorrowfully weepin!
and demanded of him who had so hurt himC and %awaine told how he had fou!hten with that man and
each of them had hurt other and how he had salves to heal themC but / can tell you other tidin!s that
soon we shall have ado with many enemies.
Then Sir #riamus and Sir %awaine ali!hted and let their horses !raDe in the meadow and unarmed
them and then the blood ran freshly from their wounds. And #riamus took from his pa!e a vial full of
the four waters that came out of #aradise and with certain balm anointed their wounds and washed
them with that water and within an hour after they were both as whole as ever they were. And then
?44
with a trumpet were they all assembled to council and there #riamus told unto them what lords and
kni!hts had sworn to rescue him and that without fail they should be assailed with many thousands
wherefore he counselled them to withdraw them. Then Sir %awaine said it were !reat shame to them
to avoid without any strokesC 5herefore / advise to take our arms and to make us ready to meet with
these Saracens and misbelievin! men and with the help of %od we shall overthrow them and have a
fair day on them. And Sir &lorence shall abide still in this field to keep the stale as a noble kni!ht and
we shall not forsake yonder fellows. 2ow said #riamus cease your words for / warn you ye shall find
in yonder woods many perilous kni!htsC they will put forth beasts to call you on they be out of number
and ye are not past seven hundred which be over few to fi!ht with so many. 2evertheless said Sir
%awaine we shall once encounter them and see what they can do and the best shall have the victory.
CHAPTER !I# How t%e 6a&acens came o't of a wood fo& to
&esc'e t%e(& beasts) and of a g&eat battle#
T132 Sir &lorence called to him Sir &loridas with an hundred kni!hts and drove forth the herd of
beasts. Then followed him seven hundred men of armsC and Sir &erant of Spain on a fair steed came
sprin!in! out of the woods and came to Sir &lorence and asked him why he fled. Then Sir &lorence
took his spear and rode a!ainst him and smote him in the forehead and brake his neck bone. Then all
the other were moved and thou!ht to aven!e the death of Sir &erant and smote in amon! them and
there was !reat fi!ht and many slain and laid down to !round and Sir &lorence with his hundred
kni!hts alway kept the stale and fou!ht manly.
Then when #riamus the !ood kni!ht perceived the !reat fi!ht he went to Sir %awaine and bade
him that he should !o and succour his fellowship which were sore bestead with their enemies. Sir
!rieve you not said Sir %awaine for their !ree shall be theirs. / shall not once move my horse to them
ward but if / see more than there beC for they be stron! enou!h to match them.
And with that he saw an earl called Sir 3thelwold and the duke of (utchmen came leapin! out of
a wood with many thousands and #riamus' kni!hts and came strai!ht unto the battle. Then Sir
%awaine comforted his kni!hts and bade them not to be abashed for all shall be ours. Then they be!an
?4<
to wallop and met with their enemies there were men slain and overthrown on every side. Then thrust
in amon! them the kni!hts of the Table 0ound and smote down to the earth all them that withstood
them in so much that they made them to recoil and flee. By %od said Sir %awaine this !laddeth my
heart for now be they less in number by twenty thousand. Then entered into the battle Eubance a !iant
and fou!ht and slew down ri!ht and distressed many of our kni!hts amon! whom was slain Sir
%herard a kni!ht of 5ales. Then our kni!hts took heart to them and slew many Saracens. And then
came in Sir #riamus with his pennon and rode with the kni!hts of the 0ound Table and fou!ht so
manfully that many of their enemies lost their lives. And there Sir #riamus slew the MarAuis of Moises
land and Sir %awaine with his fellows so Auit them that they had the field but in that stour was Sir
)hestelaine a child and ward of Sir %awaine slain wherefore was much sorrow made and his death
was soon aven!ed. Thus was the battle ended and many lords of Lombardy and Saracens left dead in
the field.
Then Sir &lorence and Sir %awaine harboured surely their people and took !reat plenty of bestial
of !old and silver and !reat treasure and riches and returned unto :in! Arthur which lay still at the
sie!e. And when they came to the kin! they presented their prisoners and recounted their adventures
and how they had vanAuished their enemies.
CHAPTER !II# How 6(& Gawa(ne &et'&ned to "(ng A&t%'& w(t%
%(s *&(sone&s) and %ow t%e "(ng won a c(t+) and %ow %e was
c&owned Em*e&o&#
2*5 thanked be %od said the noble :in! Arthur. But what manner man is he that standeth by
himself him seemeth no prisoner. Sir said %awaine this is a !ood man of arms he hath matched me
but he is yielden unto %od and to me for to become )hristianC had not he have been we should never
have returned wherefore / pray you that he may be baptised for there liveth not a nobler man nor
better kni!ht of his hands. Then the kin! let him anon be christened and did do call him his first name
#riamus and made him a duke and kni!ht of the Table 0ound. And then anon the kin! let do cry
assault to the city and there was rearin! of ladders breakin! of walls and the ditch filled that men
with little pain mi!ht enter into the city. Then came out a duchess and )larisin the countess with many
?47
ladies and damosels and kneelin! before :in! Arthur reAuired him for the love of %od to receive the
city and not to take it by assault for then should many !uiltless be slain. Then the kin! avaled his visor
with a meek and noble countenance and said Madam there shall none of my sub$ects misdo you nor
your maidens nor to none that to you belon! but the duke shall abide my $ud!ment. Then anon the
kin! commanded to leave the assault and anon the duke's oldest son brou!ht out the keys and kneelin!
delivered them to the kin! and besou!ht him of !raceC and the kin! seiDed the town by assent of his
lords and took the duke and sent him to (over there for to abide prisoner term of his life and assi!ned
certain rents for the dower of the duchess and for her children.
Then he made lords to rule those lands and laws as a lord ou!ht to do in his own countryC and after
he took his $ourney toward 0ome and sent Sir &loris and Sir &loridas to"fore with five hundred men of
arms and they came to the city of ;rbino and laid there a bushment thereas them seemed most best for
them and rode to"fore the town where anon issued out much people and skirmished with the fore"
riders. Then brake out the bushment and won the brid!e and after the town and set upon the walls the
kin!'s banner. Then came the kin! upon an hill and saw the city and his banner on the walls by which
he knew that the city was won. And anon he sent and commanded that none of his lie!e men should
defoul nor lie by no lady wife nor maidC and when he came into the city he passed to the castle and
comforted them that were in sorrow and ordained there a captain a kni!ht of his own country.
And when they of Milan heard that thilk city was won they sent to :in! Arthur !reat sums of
money and besou!ht him as their lord to have pity on them promisin! to be his sub$ects for ever and
yield to him homa!e and fealty for the lands of #leasance and #avia #etersaint and the #ort of
Tremble and to !ive him yearly a million of !old all his lifetime. Then he rideth into Tuscany and
winneth towns and castles and wasted all in his way that to him will not obey and so to Spolute and
8iterbe and from thence he rode into the 8ale of 8icecount amon! the vines. And from thence he sent
to the senators to wit whether they would know him for their lord. But soon after on a Saturday came
unto :in! Arthur all the senators that were left alive and the noblest cardinals that then dwelt in 0ome
and prayed him of peace and proferred him full lar!e and besou!ht him as !overnor to !ive licence for
si' weeks for to assemble all the 0omans and then to crown him emperor with chrism as it belon!eth
to so hi!h estate. / assent said the kin! like as ye have devised and at )hristmas there to be crowned
and to hold my 0ound Table with my kni!hts as me liketh. And then the senators made ready for his
enthroniDation. And at the day appointed as the romance telleth he came into 0ome and was crowned
emperor by the pope's hand with all the royalty that could be made and so$ourned there a time and
?4@
established all his lands from 0ome into &rance and !ave lands and realms unto his servants and
kni!hts to everych after his desert in such wise that none complained rich nor poor. And he !ave to
Sir #riamus the duchy of LorraineC and he thanked him and said he would serve him the days of his
lifeC and after made dukes and earls and made every man rich.
Then after this all his kni!hts and lords assembled them afore him and said+ Blessed be %od your
war is finished and your conAuest achieved in so much that we know none so !reat nor mi!hty that
dare make war a!ainst you+ wherefore we beseech you to return homeward and !ive us licence to !o
home to our wives from whom we have been lon! and to rest us for your $ourney is finished with
honour and worship. Then said the kin! Ye say truth and for to tempt %od it is no wisdom and
therefore make you ready and return we into 3n!land. Then there was trussin! of harness and ba!!a!e
and !reat carria!e. And after licence !iven he returned and commanded that no man in pain of death
should not rob nor take victual nor other thin! by the way but that he should pay therefore. And thus he
came over the sea and landed at Sandwich a!ainst whom Bueen %uenever his wife came and met him
and he was nobly received of all his commons in every city and bur!h and !reat !ifts presented to him
at his home"comin! to welcome him with.
Thus endeth the fifth book of the conAuest that :in! Arthur had a!ainst Lucius the 3mperor of
0ome and here followeth the si'th book which is of Sir Launcelot du Lake.
BOO" ,I
CHAPTER I# How 6(& La'ncelot and 6(& L(onel de*a&ted f&om
t%e co'&t) and %ow 6(& L(onel left %(m slee*(ng and was
taken#
S**2 after that :in! Arthur was come from 0ome into 3n!land then all the kni!hts of the Table
?4=
0ound resorted unto the kin! and made many $ousts and tournaments and some there were that were
but kni!hts which increased so in arms and worship that they passed all their fellows in prowess and
noble deeds and that was well proved on manyC but in especial it was proved on Sir Launcelot du
Lake for in all tournaments and $ousts and deeds of arms both for life and death he passed all other
kni!hts and at no time he was never overcome but if it were by treason or enchantmentC so Sir
Launcelot increased so marvellously in worship and in honour therefore is he the first kni!ht that the
&rench book maketh mention of after :in! Arthur came from 0ome. 5herefore Bueen %uenever had
him in !reat favour above all other kni!hts and in certain he loved the Aueen a!ain above all other
ladies and damosels of his life and for her he did many deeds of arms and saved her from the fire
throu!h his noble chivalry.
Thus Sir Launcelot rested him lon! with play and !ame. And then he thou!ht himself to prove
himself in stran!e adventures then he bade his nephew Sir Lionel for to make him readyC for we two
will seek adventures. So they mounted on their horses armed at all ri!hts and rode into a deep forest
and so into a deep plain. And then the weather was hot about noon and Sir Launcelot had !reat lust to
sleep. Then Sir Lionel espied a !reat apple"tree that stood by an hed!e and said Brother yonder is a
fair shadow there may we rest us MandN our horses. /t is well said fair brother said Sir Launcelot for
this ei!ht year / was not so sleepy as / am nowC and so they there ali!hted and tied their horses unto
sundry trees and so Sir Launcelot laid him down under an appletree and his helm he laid under his
head. And Sir Lionel waked while he slept. So Sir Launcelot was asleep passin! fast.
And in the meanwhile there came three kni!hts ridin! as fast fleein! as ever they mi!ht ride. And
there followed them three but one kni!ht. And when Sir Lionel saw him him thou!ht he saw never so
!reat a kni!ht nor so well farin! a man neither so well apparelled unto all ri!hts. So within a while
this stron! kni!ht had overtaken one of these kni!hts and there he smote him to the cold earth that he
lay still. And then he rode unto the second kni!ht and smote him so that man and horse fell down. And
then strai!ht to the third kni!ht he rode and smote him behind his horse's arse a spear len!th. And then
he ali!hted down and reined his horse on the bridle and bound all the three kni!hts fast with the reins
of their own bridles. 5hen Sir Lionel saw him do thus he thou!ht to assay him and made him ready
and stilly and privily he took his horse and thou!ht not for to awake Sir Launcelot. And when he was
mounted upon his horse he overtook this stron! kni!ht and bade him turn and the other smote Sir
Lionel so hard that horse and man he bare to the earth and so he ali!hted down and bound him fast
and threw him overthwart his own horse and so he served them all four and rode with them away to
?<>
his own castle. And when he came there he !art unarm them and beat them with thorns all naked and
after put them in a deep prison where were many more kni!hts that made !reat dolour.
CHAPTER II# How 6(& Ecto& followed fo& to seek 6(& La'ncelot)
and %ow %e was taken b+ 6(& T'&/'(ne#
5132 Sir 3ctor de Maris wist that Sir Launcelot was passed out of the court to seek adventures
he was wroth with himself and made him ready to seek Sir Launcelot and as he had ridden lon! in a
!reat forest he met with a man was like a forester. &air fellow said Sir 3ctor knowest thou in this
country any adventures that be here ni!h handL Sir said the forester this country know / well and
hereby within this mile is a stron! manor and well dyked and by that manor on the left hand there is
a fair ford for horses to drink of and over that ford there !roweth a fair tree and thereon han! many
fair shields that wielded sometime !ood kni!hts and at the hole of the tree han!eth a basin of copper
and latten and strike upon that basin with the butt of thy spear thrice and soon after thou shalt hear
new tidin!s and else hast thou the fairest !race that many a year had ever kni!ht that passed throu!h
this forest. %ramercy said Sir 3ctor and departed and came to the tree and saw many fair shields. And
amon! them he saw his brother's shield Sir Lionel and many more that he knew that were his fellows
of the 0ound Table the which !rieved his heart and promised to reven!e his brother.
Then anon Sir 3ctor beat on the basin as he were wood and then he !ave his horse drink at the
ford and there came a kni!ht behind him and bade him come out of the water and make him readyC and
Sir 3ctor anon turned him shortly and in feuter cast his spear and smote the other kni!ht a !reat buffet
that his horse turned twice about. This was well done said the stron! kni!ht and kni!htly thou hast
stricken meC and therewith he rushed his horse on Sir 3ctor and clei!ht him under his ri!ht arm and
bare him clean out of the saddle and rode with him away into his own hall and threw him down in
midst of the floor. The name of this kni!ht was Sir TurAuine. Then he said unto Sir 3ctor &or thou hast
done this day more unto me than any kni!ht did these twelve years now will / !rant thee thy life so
thou wilt be sworn to be my prisoner all thy life days. 2ay said Sir 3ctor that will / never promise
thee but that / will do mine advanta!e. That me repenteth said Sir TurAuine. And then he !art to unarm
him and beat him with thorns all naked and sithen put him down in a deep dun!eon where he knew
?<?
many of his fellows. But when Sir 3ctor saw Sir Lionel then made he !reat sorrow. Alas brother said
Sir 3ctor where is my brother Sir LauncelotL &air brother / left him asleep when that / from him yode
under an apple"tree and what is become of him / cannot tell you. Alas said the kni!hts but Sir
Launcelot help us we may never be delivered for we know now no kni!ht that is able to match our
master TurAuine.
CHAPTER III How fo'& /'eens fo'nd La'ncelot slee*(ng) and
%ow b+ enc%antment %e was taken and led (nto a castle#
2*5 leave we these kni!hts prisoners and speak we of Sir Launcelot du Lake that lieth under the
apple"tree sleepin!. 3ven about the noon there came by him four Aueens of !reat estateC and for the
heat should not annoy them there rode four kni!hts about them and bare a cloth of !reen silk on four
spears betwi't them and the sun and the Aueens rode on four white mules. Thus as they rode they
heard by them a !reat horse !rimly nei!h then were they ware of a sleepin! kni!ht that lay all armed
under an apple"treeC anon as these Aueens looked on his face they knew it was Sir Launcelot. Then
they be!an for to strive for that kni!ht everych one said they would have him to her love. 5e shall not
strive said Mor!an le &ay that was :in! Arthur's sister / shall put an enchantment upon him that he
shall not awake in si' hours and then / will lead him away unto my castle and when he is surely
within my hold / shall take the enchantment from him and then let him choose which of us he will
have unto paramour.
So this enchantment was cast upon Sir Launcelot and then they laid him upon his shield and bare
him so on horseback betwi't two kni!hts and brou!ht him unto the castle )hariot and there they laid
him in a chamber cold and at ni!ht they sent unto him a fair damosel with his supper ready di!ht. By
that the enchantment was past and when she came she saluted him and asked him what cheer. / cannot
say fair damosel said Sir Launcelot for / wot not how / came into this castle but it be by an
enchantment. Sir said she ye must make !ood cheer and if ye be such a kni!ht as it is said ye be /
shall tell you more to"morn by prime of the day. %ramercy fair damosel said Sir Launcelot of your
!ood will / reAuire you. And so she departed. And there he lay all that ni!ht without comfort of
anybody. And on the morn early came these four Aueens passin!ly well beseen all they biddin! him
?<-
!ood morn and he them a!ain.
Sir kni!ht the four Aueens said thou must understand thou art our prisoner and we here know thee
well that thou art Sir Launcelot du Lake :in! Ban's son and because we understand your worthiness
that thou art the noblest kni!ht livin! and as we know well there can no lady have thy love but one
and that is Bueen %uenever and now thou shalt lose her for ever and she thee and therefore thee
behoveth now to choose one of us four. / am the Bueen Mor!an le &ay Aueen of the land of %ore and
here is the Aueen of 2orth!alis and the Aueen of 3astland and the Aueen of the *ut /slesC now choose
one of us which thou wilt have to thy paramour for thou mayest not choose or else in this prison to die.
This is an hard case said Sir Launcelot that either / must die or else choose one of you yet had / liefer
to die in this prison with worship than to have one of you to my paramour mau!re my head. And
therefore ye be answered / will none of you for ye be false enchantresses and as for my lady (ame
%uenever were / at my liberty as / was / would prove it on you or on yours that she is the truest lady
unto her lord livin!. 5ell said the Aueens is this your answer that ye will refuse us. Yea on my life
said Sir Launcelot refused ye be of me. So they departed and left him there alone that made !reat
sorrow.
CHAPTER I,# How 6(& La'ncelot was del(-e&ed b+ t%e mean of
a damosel#
0/%1T so at the noon came the damosel unto him with his dinner and asked him what cheer.
Truly fair damosel said Sir Launcelot in my life days never so ill. Sir she said that me repenteth but
an ye will be ruled by me / shall help you out of this distress and ye shall have no shame nor villainy
so that ye hold me a promise. &air damosel / will !rant you and sore / am of these Aueen"sorceresses
afeard for they have destroyed many a !ood kni!ht. Sir said she that is sooth and for the renown and
bounty that they hear of you they would have your love and Sir they say your name is Sir Launcelot
du Lake the flower of kni!hts and they be passin! wroth with you that ye have refused them. But Sir
an ye would promise me to help my father on Tuesday ne't comin! that hath made a tournament
betwi't him and the :in! of 2orth!alisKfor the last Tuesday past my father lost the field throu!h three
kni!hts of Arthur's courtKan ye will be there on Tuesday ne't comin! and help my father to"morn or
?<9
prime by the !race of %od / shall deliver you clean. &air maiden said Sir Launcelot tell me what is
your father's name and then shall / !ive you an answer. Sir kni!ht she said my father is :in!
Ba!dema!us that was foul rebuked at the last tournament. / know your father well said Sir Launcelot
for a noble kin! and a !ood kni!ht and by the faith of my body ye shall have my body ready to do
your father and you service at that day. Sir she said !ramercy and to"morn await ye be ready betimes
and / shall be she that shall deliver you and take you your armour and your horse shield and spear and
hereby within this ten mile is an abbey of white monks there / pray you that ye me abide and thither
shall / brin! my father unto you. All this shall be done said Sir Launcelot as / am true kni!ht.
And so she departed and came on the morn early and found him readyC then she brou!ht him out
of twelve locks and brou!ht him unto his armour and when he was clean armed she brou!ht him until
his own horse and li!htly he saddled him and took a !reat spear in his hand and so rode forth and said
&air damosel / shall not fail you by the !race of %od. And so he rode into a !reat forest all that day
and never could find no hi!hway and so the ni!ht fell on him and then was he ware in a slade of a
pavilion of red sendal. By my faith said Sir Launcelot in that pavilion will / lod!e all this ni!ht and so
there he ali!hted down and tied his horse to the pavilion and there he unarmed him and there he
found a bed and laid him therein and fell asleep sadly.
CHAPTER ,# How a kn(g%t fo'nd 6(& La'ncelot l+(ng (n %(s
leman0s bed) and %ow 6(& La'ncelot fo'g%t w(t% t%e kn(g%t#
T132 within an hour there came the kni!ht to whom the pavilion ou!ht and he weened that his
leman had lain in that bed and so he laid him down beside Sir Launcelot and took him in his arms and
be!an to kiss him. And when Sir Launcelot felt a rou!h beard kissin! him he started out of the bed
li!htly and the other kni!ht after him and either of them !at their swords in their hands and out at the
pavilion door went the kni!ht of the pavilion and Sir Launcelot followed him and there by a little
slake Sir Launcelot wounded him sore ni!h unto the death. And then he yielded him unto Sir
Launcelot and so he !ranted him so that he would tell him why he came into the bed. Sir said the
kni!ht the pavilion is mine own and there this ni!ht / had assi!ned my lady to have slept with me and
now / am likely to die of this wound. That me repenteth said Launcelot of your hurt but / was adread
?<.
of treason for / was late be!uiled and therefore come on your way into your pavilion and take your
rest and as / suppose / shall staunch your blood. And so they went both into the pavilion and anon Sir
Launcelot staunched his blood.
Therewithal came the kni!ht's lady that was a passin! fair lady and when she espied that her lord
Belleus was sore wounded she cried out on Sir Launcelot and made !reat dole out of measure. #eace
my lady and my love said Belleus for this kni!ht is a !ood man and a kni!ht adventurous and there
he told her all the cause how he was woundedC And when that / yielded me unto him he left me !oodly
and hath staunched my blood. Sir said the lady / reAuire thee tell me what kni!ht ye be and what is
your nameL &air lady he said my name is Sir Launcelot du Lake. So me thou!ht ever by your speech
said the lady for / have seen you oft or this and / know you better than ye ween. But now an ye would
promise me of your courtesy for the harms that ye have done to me and my Lord Belleus that when he
cometh unto Arthur's court for to cause him to be made kni!ht of the 0ound Table for he is a passin!
!ood man of arms and a mi!hty lord of lands of many out isles.
&air lady said Sir Launcelot let him come unto the court the ne't hi!h feast and look that ye
come with him and / shall do my power an ye prove you dou!hty of your hands that ye shall have
your desire. So thus within a while as they thus talked the ni!ht passed and the day shone and then
Sir Launcelot armed him and took his horse and they tau!ht him to the Abbey and thither he rode
within the space of two hours.
CHAPTER ,I# How 6(& La'ncelot was &ece(-ed of "(ng
Bagdemag's0 da'g%te&) and %ow %e made %(s com*la(nt to
%e& fat%e&#
A2( soon as Sir Launcelot came within the abbey yard the dau!hter of :in! Ba!dema!us heard a
!reat horse !o on the pavement. And she then arose and yede unto a window and there she saw Sir
Launcelot and anon she made men fast to take his horse from him and let lead him into a stable and
himself was led into a fair chamber and unarmed him and the lady sent him a lon! !own and anon she
came herself. And then she made Launcelot passin! !ood cheer and she said he was the kni!ht in the
?<4
world was most welcome to her. Then in all haste she sent for her father Ba!dema!us that was within
twelve mile of that Abbey and afore even he came with a fair fellowship of kni!hts with him. And
when the kin! was ali!hted off his horse he yode strai!ht unto Sir Launcelot's chamber and there he
found his dau!hter and then the kin! embraced Sir Launcelot in his arms and either made other !ood
cheer.
Anon Sir Launcelot made his complaint unto the kin! how he was betrayed and how his brother
Sir Lionel was departed from him he wist not where and how his dau!hter had delivered him out of
prisonC Therefore while / live / shall do her service and all her kindred. Then am / sure of your help
said the kin! on Tuesday ne't comin!. Yea sir said Sir Launcelot / shall not fail you for so / have
promised my lady your dau!hter. But sir what kni!hts be they of my lord Arthur's that were with the
:in! of 2orth!alisL And the kin! said it was Sir Mador de la #orte and Sir Mordred and Sir
%ahalantine that all for"fared my kni!hts for a!ainst them three / nor my kni!hts mi!ht bear no
stren!th. Sir said Sir Launcelot as / hear say that the tournament shall be here within this three mile of
this abbey ye shall send unto me three kni!hts of yours such as ye trust and look that the three kni!hts
have all white shields and / also and no painture on the shields and we four will come out of a little
wood in midst of both parties and we shall fall in the front of our enemies and !rieve them that we
mayC and thus shall / not be known what kni!ht / am.
So they took their rest that ni!ht and this was on the Sunday and so the kin! departed and sent
unto Sir Launcelot three kni!hts with the four white shields. And on the Tuesday they lod!ed them in a
little leaved wood beside there the tournament should be. And there were scaffolds and holes that lords
and ladies mi!ht behold and to !ive the priDe. Then came into the field the :in! of 2orth!alis with
ei!ht score helms. And then the three kni!hts of Arthur's stood by themselves. Then came into the field
:in! Ba!dema!us with four score of helms. And then they feutred their spears and came to!ether with
a !reat dash and there were slain of kni!hts at the first recounter twelve of :in! Ba!dema!us' party
and si' of the :in! of 2orth!alis' party and :in! Ba!dema!us' party was far set aback.
?<<
CHAPTER ,II# How 6(& La'ncelot be%a-ed %(m (n a
to'&nament) and %ow %e met w(t% 6(& T'&/'(ne lead(ng 6(&
Ga%e&(s#
5/T1 that came Sir Launcelot du Lake and he thrust in with his spear in the thickest of the press
and there he smote down with one spear five kni!hts and of four of them he brake their backs. And in
that thron! he smote down the :in! of 2orth!alis and brake his thi!h in that fall. All this doin! of Sir
Launcelot saw the three kni!hts of Arthur's. Yonder is a shrewd !uest said Sir Mador de la #orte
therefore have here once at him. So they encountered and Sir Launcelot bare him down horse and man
so that his shoulder went out of lith. 2ow befalleth it to me to $oust said Mordred for Sir Mador hath a
sore fall. Sir Launcelot was ware of him and !at a !reat spear in his hand and met him and Sir
Mordred brake a spear upon him and Sir Launcelot !ave him such a buffet that the arson of his saddle
brake and so he flew over his horse's tail that his helm butted into the earth a foot and more that ni!h
his neck was broken and there he lay lon! in a swoon.
Then came in Sir %ahalantine with a !reat spear and Launcelot a!ainst him with all their stren!th
that they mi!ht drive that both their spears to"brast even to their hands and then they flan! out with
their swords and !ave many a !rim stroke. Then was Sir Launcelot wroth out of measure and then he
smote Sir %ahalantine on the helm that his nose brast out on blood and ears and mouth both and
therewith his head hun! low. And therewith his horse ran away with him and he fell down to the earth.
Anon therewithal Sir Launcelot !at a !reat spear in his hand and or ever that !reat spear brake he bare
down to the earth si'teen kni!hts some horse and man and some the man and not the horse and there
was none but that he hit surely he bare none arms that day. And then he !at another !reat spear and
smote down twelve kni!hts and the most part of them never throve after. And then the kni!hts of the
:in! of 2orth!alis would $oust no more. And there the !ree was !iven to :in! Ba!dema!us.
So either party departed unto his own place and Sir Launcelot rode forth with :in! Ba!dema!us
unto his castle and there he had passin! !ood cheer both with the kin! and with his dau!hter and they
proffered him !reat !ifts. And on the morn he took his leave and told the kin! that he would !o and
seek his brother Sir Lionel that went from him when that he slept so he took his horse and betau!ht
them all to %od. And there he said unto the kin!'s dau!hter /f ye have need any time of my service /
pray you let me have knowled!e and / shall not fail you as / am true kni!ht. And so Sir Launcelot
departed and by adventure he came into the same forest there he was taken sleepin!. And in the midst
?<7
of a hi!hway he met a damosel ridin! on a white palfrey and there either saluted other. &air damosel
said Sir Launcelot know ye in this country any adventuresL Sir kni!ht said that damosel here are
adventures near hand an thou durst prove them. 5hy should / not prove adventuresL said Sir Launcelot
for that cause come / hither. 5ell said she thou seemest well to be a !ood kni!ht and if thou dare
meet with a !ood kni!ht / shall brin! thee where is the best kni!ht and the mi!htiest that ever thou
found so thou wilt tell me what is thy name and what kni!ht thou art. (amosel as for to tell thee my
name / take no !reat forceC truly my name is Sir Launcelot du Lake. Sir thou beseemest well here be
adventures by that fall for thee for hereby dwelleth a kni!ht that will not be overmatched for no man /
know but ye overmatch him and his name is Sir TurAuine. And as / understand he hath in his prison
of Arthur's court !ood kni!hts three score and four that he hath won with his own hands. But when ye
have done that $ourney ye shall promise me as ye are a true kni!ht for to !o with me and to help me
and other damosels that are distressed daily with a false kni!ht. All your intent damosel and desire /
will fulfil so ye will brin! me unto this kni!ht. 2ow fair kni!ht come on your wayC and so she
brou!ht him unto the ford and the tree where hun! the basin.
So Sir Launcelot let his horse drink and then he beat on the basin with the butt of his spear so hard
with all his mi!ht till the bottom fell out and lon! he did so but he saw nothin!. Then he rode endlon!
the !ates of that manor ni!h half"an"hour. And then was he ware of a !reat kni!ht that drove an horse
afore him and overthwart the horse there lay an armed kni!ht bound. And ever as they came near and
near Sir Launcelot thou!ht he should know him. Then Sir Launcelot was ware that it was Sir %aheris
%awaine's brother a kni!ht of the Table 0ound. 2ow fair damosel said Sir Launcelot / see yonder
cometh a kni!ht fast bounden that is a fellow of mine and brother he is unto Sir %awaine. And at the
first be!innin! / promise you by the leave of %od to rescue that kni!htC but if his master sit better in
the saddle / shall deliver all the prisoners that he hath out of dan!er for / am sure he hath two brethren
of mine prisoners with him. By that time that either had seen other they !ripped their spears unto them.
2ow fair kni!ht said Sir Launcelot put that wounded kni!ht off the horse and let him rest awhile and
let us two prove our stren!thsC for as it is informed me thou doest and hast done !reat despite and
shame unto kni!hts of the 0ound Table and therefore now defend thee. An thou be of the Table 0ound
said TurAuine / defy thee and all thy fellowship. That is overmuch said said Sir Launcelot.
?<@
CHAPTER ,III# How 6(& La'ncelot and 6(& T'&/'(ne fo'g%t
toget%e&#
A2( then they put their spears in the rests and came to!ether with their horses as fast as they
mi!ht run and either smote other in midst of their shields that both their horses' backs brast under
them and the kni!hts were both stonied. And as soon as they mi!ht avoid their horses they took their
shields afore them and drew out their swords and came to!ether ea!erly and either !ave other many
stron! strokes for there mi!ht neither shields nor harness hold their strokes. And so within a while they
had both !rimly wounds and bled passin! !rievously. Thus they fared two hours or more trasin! and
rasin! either other where they mi!ht hit any bare place.
Then at the last they were breathless both and stood leanin! on their swords. 2ow fellow said Sir
TurAuine hold thy hand a while and tell me what / shall ask thee. Say on. Then TurAuine said Thou
art the bi!!est man that ever / met withal and the best breathed and like one kni!ht that / hate above
all other kni!htsC so be it that thou be not he / will li!htly accord with thee and for thy love / will
deliver all the prisoners that / have that is three score and four so thou wilt tell me thy name. And thou
and / we will be fellows to!ether and never to fail thee while that / live. /t is well said said Sir
Launcelot but sithen it is so that / may have thy friendship what kni!ht is he that thou so hatest above
all otherL &aithfully said Sir TurAuine his name is Sir Launcelot du Lake for he slew my brother Sir
)arados at the dolorous tower that was one of the best kni!hts aliveC and therefore him / e'cept of all
kni!hts for may / once meet with him the one of us shall make an end of other / make mine avow.
And for Sir Launcelot's sake / have slain an hundred !ood kni!hts and as many / have maimed all
utterly that they mi!ht never after help themselves and many have died in prison and yet have / three
score and four and all shall be delivered so thou wilt tell me thy name so be it that thou be not Sir
Launcelot.
2ow see / well said Sir Launcelot that such a man / mi!ht be / mi!ht have peace and such a
man / mi!ht be that there should be war mortal betwi't us. And now sir kni!ht at thy reAuest / will
that thou wit and know that / am Launcelot du Lake :in! Ban's son of Benwick and very kni!ht of
the Table 0ound. And now / defy thee and do thy best. Ah said TurAuine Launcelot thou art unto me
most welcome that ever was kni!ht for we shall never depart till the one of us be dead. Then they
hurtled to!ether as two wild bulls rushin! and lashin! with their shields and swords that sometime they
fell both over their noses. Thus they fou!ht still two hours and more and never would have rest and
?<=
Sir TurAuine !ave Sir Launcelot many wounds that all the !round thereas they fou!ht was all
bespeckled with blood.
CHAPTER I!# How 6(& T'&/'(ne was sla(n) and %ow 6(&
La'ncelot bade 6(& Ga%e&(s del(-e& all t%e *&(sone&s#
T132 at the last Sir TurAuine wa'ed faint and !ave somewhat aback and bare his shield low for
weariness. That espied Sir Launcelot and leapt upon him fiercely and !at him by the beaver of his
helmet and plucked him down on his knees and anon he raced off his helm and smote his neck in
sunder. And when Sir Launcelot had done this he yode unto the damosel and said (amosel / am ready
to !o with you where ye will have me but / have no horse. &air sir said she take this wounded kni!ht's
horse and send him into this manor and command him to deliver all the prisoners. So Sir Launcelot
went unto %aheris and prayed him not to be a!!rieved for to lend him his horse. 2ay fair lord said
%aheris / will that ye take my horse at your own commandment for ye have both saved me and my
horse and this day / say ye are the best kni!ht in the world for ye have slain this day in my si!ht the
mi!htiest man and the best kni!ht e'cept you that ever / saw and fair sir said %aheris / pray you tell
me your name. Sir my name is Sir Launcelot du Lake that ou!ht to help you of ri!ht for :in! Arthur's
sake and in especial for my lord Sir %awaine's sake your own dear brotherC and when that ye come
within yonder manor / am sure ye shall find there many kni!hts of the 0ound Table for / have seen
many of their shields that / know on yonder tree. There is :ay's shield and Sir Brandel's shield and Sir
Marhaus' shield and Sir %alind's shield and Sir Brian de Listnois' shield and Sir Aliduke's shield with
many more that / am not now advised of and also my two brethren's shields Sir 3ctor de Maris and Sir
LionelC wherefore / pray you !reet them all from me and say that / bid them take such stuff there as
they find and that in any wise my brethren !o unto the court and abide me there till that / come for by
the feast of #entecost / cast me to be there for as at this time / must ride with this damosel for to save
my promise.
And so he departed from %aheris and %aheris yede in to the manor and there he found a yeoman
porter keepin! there many keys. Anon withal Sir %aheris threw the porter unto the !round and took the
keys from him and hastily he opened the prison door and there he let out all the prisoners and every
?7>
man loosed other of their bonds. And when they saw Sir %aheris all they thanked him for they weened
that he was wounded. 2ot so said %aheris it was Launcelot that slew him worshipfully with his own
hands. / saw it with mine own eyes. And he !reeteth you all well and prayeth you to haste you to the
courtC and as unto Sir Lionel and 3ctor de Maris he prayeth you to abide him at the court. That shall we
not do says his brethren we will find him an we may live. So shall / said Sir :ay find him or / come
at the court as / am true kni!ht.
Then all those kni!hts sou!ht the house thereas the armour was and then they armed them and
every kni!ht found his own horse and all that ever lon!ed unto him. And when this was done there
came a forester with four horses laden with fat venison. Anon Sir :ay said 1ere is !ood meat for us
for one meal for we had not many a day no !ood repast. And so that venison was roasted baken and
sodden and so after supper some abode there all ni!ht but Sir Lionel and 3ctor de Maris and Sir :ay
rode after Sir Launcelot to find him if they mi!ht.
CHAPTER !# How 6(& La'ncelot &ode w(t% a damosel and slew
a kn(g%t t%at d(st&essed all lad(es and also a -(lla(n t%at ke*t
a b&(dge#
2*5 turn we unto Sir Launcelot that rode with the damosel in a fair hi!hway. Sir said the
damosel here by this way haunteth a kni!ht that distressed all ladies and !entlewomen and at the least
he robbeth them or lieth by them. 5hat said Sir Launcelot is he a thief and a kni!ht and a ravisher of
womenL he doth shame unto the order of kni!hthood and contrary unto his oathC it is pity that he
liveth. But fair damosel ye shall ride on afore yourself and / will keep myself in covert and if that he
trouble you or distress you / shall be your rescue and learn him to be ruled as a kni!ht.
So the maid rode on by the way a soft amblin! pace and within a while came out that kni!ht on
horseback out of the wood and his pa!e with him and there he put the damosel from her horse and
then she cried. 5ith that came Launcelot as fast as he mi!ht till he came to that kni!ht sayin! * thou
false kni!ht and traitor unto kni!hthood who did learn thee to distress ladies and !entlewomenL 5hen
the kni!ht saw Sir Launcelot thus rebukin! him he answered not but drew his sword and rode unto Sir
?7?
Launcelot and Sir Launcelot threw his spear from him and drew out his sword and struck him such a
buffet on the helmet that he clave his head and neck unto the throat. 2ow hast thou thy payment that
lon! thou hast deservedJ That is truth said the damosel for like as Sir TurAuine watched to destroy
kni!hts so did this kni!ht attend to destroy and distress ladies damosels and !entlewomen and his
name was Sir #eris de &orest Sava!e. 2ow damosel said Sir Launcelot will ye any more service of
meL 2ay sir she said at this time but almi!hty Eesu preserve you wheresomever ye ride or !o for the
curteist kni!ht thou art and meekest unto all ladies and !entlewomen that now liveth. But one thin!
sir kni!ht methinketh ye lack ye that are a kni!ht wifeless that he will not love some maiden or
!entlewoman for / could never hear say that ever ye loved any of no manner de!ree and that is !reat
pityC but it is noised that ye love Bueen %uenever and that she hath ordained by enchantment that ye
shall never love none other but her nor none other damosel nor lady shall re$oice youC wherefore many
in this land of hi!h estate and low make !reat sorrow.
&air damosel said Sir Launcelot / may not warn people to speak of me what it pleaseth themC but
for to be a wedded man / think it notC for then / must couch with her and leave arms and tournaments
battles and adventuresC and as for to say for to take my pleasaunce with paramours that will / refuse in
principal for dread of %odC for kni!hts that be adventurous or lecherous shall not be happy nor
fortunate unto the wars for other they shall be overcome with a simpler kni!ht than they be
themselves other else they shall by unhap and their cursedness slay better men than they be
themselves. And so who that useth paramours shall be unhappy and all thin! is unhappy that is about
them.
And so Sir Launcelot and she departed. And then he rode in a deep forest two days and more and
had strait lod!in!. So on the third day he rode over a lon! brid!e and there stert upon him suddenly a
passin! foul churl and he smote his horse on the nose that he turned about and asked him why he rode
over that brid!e without his licence. 5hy should / not ride this wayL said Sir Launcelot / may not ride
beside. Thou shalt not choose said the churl and lashed at him with a !reat club shod with iron. Then
Sir Launcelot drew his sword and put the stroke aback and clave his head unto the paps. At the end of
the brid!e was a fair villa!e and all the people men and women cried on Sir Launcelot and said A
worse deed didst thou never for thyself for thou hast slain the chief porter of our castle. Sir Launcelot
let them say what they would and strai!ht he went into the castleC and when he came into the castle he
ali!hted and tied his horse to a rin! on the wall and there he saw a fair !reen court and thither he
dressed him for there him thou!ht was a fair place to fi!ht in. So he looked about and saw much
?7-
people in doors and windows that said &air kni!ht thou art unhappy.
CHAPTER !I# How 6(& La'ncelot slew two g(ants) and made a
castle f&ee#
A2*2 withal came there upon him two !reat !iants well armed all save the heads with two
horrible clubs in their hands. Sir Launcelot put his shield afore him and put the stroke away of the one
!iant and with his sword he clave his head asunder. 5hen his fellow saw that he ran away as he were
wood for fear of the horrible strokes and Launcelot after him with all his mi!ht and smote him on the
shoulder and clave him to the navel. Then Sir Launcelot went into the hall and there came afore him
three score ladies and damosels and all kneeled unto him and thanked %od and him of their
deliveranceC &or sir said they the most party of us have been here this seven year their prisoners and
we have worked all manner of silk works for our meat and we are all !reat !entlewomen bornC and
blessed be the time kni!ht that ever thou be born for thou hast done the most worship that ever did
kni!ht in this world that will we bear record and we all pray you to tell us your name that we may tell
our friends who delivered us out of prison. &air damosel he said my name is Sir Launcelot du Lake.
Ah sir said they all well mayest thou be he for else save yourself as we deemed there mi!ht never
kni!ht have the better of these two !iantsC for many fair kni!hts have assayed it and here have ended
and many times have we wished after you and these two !iants dread never kni!ht but you. 2ow may
ye say said Sir Launcelot unto your friends how and who hath delivered you and !reet them all from
me and if that / come in any of your marches show me such cheer as ye have cause and what treasure
that there in this castle is / !ive it you for a reward for your !rievance and the lord that is owner of this
castle / would he received it as is ri!ht. &air sir said they the name of this castle is Tinta!il and a duke
ou!ht it sometime that had wedded fair /!raine and after wedded her ;ther #endra!on and !at on her
Arthur. 5ell said Sir Launcelot / understand to whom this castle lon!ethC and so he departed from
them and betau!ht them unto %od.
And then he mounted upon his horse and rode into many stran!e and wild countries and throu!h
many waters and valleys and evil was he lod!ed. And at the last by fortune him happened a!ainst a
ni!ht to come to a fair courtela!e and therein he found an old !entlewoman that lod!ed him with !ood
?79
will and there he had !ood cheer for him and his horse. And when time was his host brou!ht him into
a fair !arret over the !ate to his bed. There Sir Launcelot unarmed him and set his harness by him
and went to bed and anon he fell asleep. So soon after there came one on horseback and knocked at
the !ate in !reat haste and when Sir Launcelot heard this he arose up and looked out at the window
and saw by the moonli!ht three kni!hts came ridin! after that one man and all three lashed on him at
once with swords and that one kni!ht turned on them kni!htly a!ain and defended him. Truly said Sir
Launcelot yonder one kni!ht shall / help for it were shame for me to see three kni!hts on one and if
he be slain / am partner of his deathC and therewith he took his harness and went out at a window by a
sheet down to the four kni!hts and then Sir Launcelot said on hi!h Turn you kni!hts unto me and
leave your fi!htin! with that kni!ht. And then they all three left Sir :ay and turned unto Sir Launcelot
and there be!an !reat battle for they ali!hted all three and struck many !reat strokes at Sir Launcelot
and assailed him on every side. Then Sir :ay dressed him for to have holpen Sir Launcelot. 2ay sir
said he / will none of your helpC therefore as ye will have my help let me alone with them. Sir :ay for
the pleasure of the kni!ht suffered him for to do his will and so stood aside. And then anon within si'
strokes Sir Launcelot had stricken them to the earth.
And then they all three cried+ Sir kni!ht we yield us unto you as a man of mi!ht makeless. As to
that said Sir Launcelot / will not take your yieldin! unto me. But so that ye will yield you unto Sir
:ay the Seneschal on that covenant / will save your lives and else not. &air kni!ht said they that were
we loath to doC for as for Sir :ay we chased him hither and had overcome him had not ye been
therefore to yield us unto him it were no reason. 5ell as to that said Launcelot advise you well for ye
may choose whether ye will die or live for an ye be yolden it shall be unto Sir :ay. &air kni!ht then
they said in savin! of our lives we will do as thou commandest us. Then shall ye said Sir Launcelot
on 5hitsunday ne't comin! !o unto the court of :in! Arthur and there shall ye yield you unto Bueen
%uenever and put you all three in her !race and mercy and say that Sir :ay sent you thither to be her
prisoners. Sir they said it shall be done by the faith of our bodies an we be livin! and there they
swore every kni!ht upon his sword. And so Sir Launcelot suffered them so to depart. And then Sir
Launcelot knocked at the !ate with the pommel of his sword and with that came his host and in they
entered Sir :ay and he. Sir said his host / weened ye had been in your bed. So / was said Sir
Launcelot but / rose and leapt out at my window for to help an old fellow of mine. And so when they
came ni!h the li!ht Sir :ay knew well that it was Sir Launcelot and therewith he kneeled down and
thanked him of all his kindness that he had holpen him twice from the death. Sir he said / have
?7.
nothin! done but that me ou!ht for to do and ye are welcome and here shall ye repose you and take
your rest.
So when Sir :ay was unarmed he asked after meatC so there was meat fetched him and he ate
stron!ly. And when he had supped they went to their beds and were lod!ed to!ether in one bed. *n the
morn Sir Launcelot arose early and left Sir :ay sleepin! and Sir Launcelot took Sir :ay's armour and
his shield and armed him and so he went to the stable and took his horse and took his leave of his
host and so he departed. Then soon after arose Sir :ay and missed Sir Launcelot. And then he espied
that he had his armour and his horse. 2ow by my faith / know well that he will !rieve some of the court
of :in! ArthurC for on him kni!hts will be bold and deem that it is / and that will be!uile them. And
because of his armour and shield / am sure / shall ride in peace. And then soon after departed Sir :ay
and thanked his host.
CHAPTER !II# How 6(& La'ncelot &ode d(sg'(sed (n 6(& "a+0s
%a&ness) and %ow %e smote down a kn(g%t#
2*5 turn we unto Sir Launcelot that had ridden lon! in a !reat forest and at the last he came into
a low country full of fair rivers and meadows. And afore him he saw a lon! brid!e and three pavilions
stood thereon of silk and sendal of divers hue. And without the pavilions hun! three white shields on
truncheons of spears and !reat lon! spears stood upri!ht by the pavilions and at every pavilion's door
stood three fresh sAuires and so Sir Launcelot passed by them and spake no word. 5hen he was passed
the three kni!hts said them that it was the proud :ayC 1e weeneth no kni!ht so !ood as he and the
contrary is ofttime proved. By my faith said one of the kni!hts his name was Sir %aunter / will ride
after him and assay him for all his pride and ye may behold how that / speed. So this kni!ht Sir
%aunter armed him and hun! his shield upon his shoulder and mounted upon a !reat horse and !at
his spear in his hand and walloped after Sir Launcelot. And when he came ni!h him he cried Abide
thou proud kni!ht Sir :ay for thou shalt not pass Auit. So Sir Launcelot turned him and either feutred
their spears and came to!ether with all their mi!hts and Sir %aunter's spear brake but Sir Launcelot
smote him down horse and man. And when Sir %aunter was at the earth his brethren said each one to
other Yonder kni!ht is not Sir :ay for he is bi!!er than he. / dare lay my head said Sir %ilmere
?74
yonder kni!ht hath slain Sir :ay and hath taken his horse and his harness. 5hether it be so or no said
Sir 0aynold the third brother let us now !o mount upon our horses and rescue our brother Sir %aunter
upon pain of death. 5e all shall have work enou!h to match that kni!ht for ever meseemeth by his
person it is Sir Launcelot or Sir Tristram or Sir #elleas the !ood kni!ht.
Then anon they took their horses and overtook Sir Launcelot and Sir %ilmere put forth his spear
and ran to Sir Launcelot and Sir Launcelot smote him down that he lay in a swoon. Sir kni!ht said Sir
0aynold thou art a stron! man and as / suppose thou hast slain my two brethren for the which raseth
my heart sore a!ainst thee and if / mi!ht with my worship / would not have ado with you but needs /
must take part as they do and therefore kni!ht he said keep thyself. And so they hurtled to!ether with
all their mi!hts and all to"shivered both their spears. And then they drew their swords and lashed
to!ether ea!erly. Anon therewith arose Sir %aunter and came unto his brother Sir %ilmere and bade
him Arise and help we our brother Sir 0aynold that yonder marvellously matched yonder !ood
kni!ht. Therewithal they leapt on their horses and hurtled unto Sir Launcelot.
And when he saw them come he smote a sore stroke unto Sir 0aynold that he fell off his horse to
the !round and then he struck to the other two brethren and at two strokes he struck them down to the
earth. 5ith that Sir 0aynold be!an to start up with his head all bloody and came strai!ht unto Sir
Launcelot. 2ow let be said Sir Launcelot / was not far from thee when thou wert made kni!ht Sir
0aynold and also / know thou art a !ood kni!ht and loath / were to slay thee. %ramercy said Sir
0aynold as for your !oodnessC and / dare say as for me and my brethren we will not be loath to yield
us unto you with that we knew your name for well we know ye are not Sir :ay. As for that be it as it
be may for ye shall yield you unto dame %uenever and look that ye be with her on 5hitsunday and
yield you unto her as prisoners and say that Sir :ay sent you unto her. Then they swore it should be
done and so passed forth Sir Launcelot and each one of the brethren holp other as well as they mi!ht.
CHAPTER !III# How 6(& La'ncelot 3o'sted aga(nst fo'&
kn(g%ts of t%e Ro'nd Table and o-e&t%&ew t%em#
S* Sir Launcelot rode into a deep forest and thereby in a slade he saw four kni!hts hovin! under
?7<
an oak and they were of Arthur's court one was Sir Sa!ramour le (esirous and 3ctor de Maris and
Sir %awaine and Sir ;waine. Anon as these four kni!hts had espied Sir Launcelot they weened by his
arms it had been Sir :ay. 2ow by my faith said Sir Sa!ramour / will prove Sir :ay's mi!ht and !at
his spear in his hand and came toward Sir Launcelot. Therewith Sir Launcelot was ware and knew him
well and feutred his spear a!ainst him and smote Sir Sa!ramour so sore that horse and man fell both
to the earth. Lo my fellows said he yonder ye may see what a buffet he hathC that kni!ht is much
bi!!er than ever was Sir :ay. 2ow shall ye see what / may do to him. So Sir 3ctor !at his spear in his
hand and walloped toward Sir Launcelot and Sir Launcelot smote him throu!h the shield and shoulder
that man and horse went to the earth and ever his spear held.
By my faith said Sir ;waine yonder is a stron! kni!ht and / am sure he hath slain Sir :ayC and /
see by his !reat stren!th it will be hard to match him. And therewithal Sir ;waine !at his spear in his
hand and rode toward Sir Launcelot and Sir Launcelot knew him well and so he met him on the plain
and !ave him such a buffet that he was astonied that lon! he wist not where he was. 2ow see / well
said Sir %awaine / must encounter with that kni!ht. Then he dressed his shield and !at a !ood spear in
his hand and Sir Launcelot knew him wellC and then they let run their horses with all their mi!hts and
either kni!ht smote other in midst of the shield. But Sir %awaine's spear to"brast and Sir Launcelot
char!ed so sore upon him that his horse reversed up"so"down. And much sorrow had Sir %awaine to
avoid his horse and so Sir Launcelot passed on a pace and smiled and said %od !ive him $oy that this
spear made for there came never a better in my hand.
Then the four kni!hts went each one to other and comforted each other. 5hat say ye by this !uestL
said Sir %awaine that one spear hath felled us all four. 5e commend him unto the devil they said all
for he is a man of !reat mi!ht. Ye may well say it said Sir %awaine that he is a man of mi!ht for /
dare lay my head it is Sir Launcelot / know it by his ridin!. Let him !o said Sir %awaine for when we
come to the court then shall we witC and then had they much sorrow to !et their horses a!ain.
?77
CHAPTER !I,# How 6(& La'ncelot followed a b&ac%et (nto a
castle) w%e&e %e fo'nd a dead kn(g%t) and %ow %e afte& was
&e/'(&ed of a damosel to %eal %e&
brother.
2*5 leave we there and speak of Sir Launcelot that rode a !reat while in a deep forest where he
saw a black brachet seekin! in manner as it had been in the feute of an hurt deer. And therewith he
rode after the brachet and he saw lie on the !round a lar!e feute of blood. And then Sir Launcelot rode
after. And ever the brachet looked behind her and so she went throu!h a !reat marsh and ever Sir
Launcelot followed. And then was he ware of an old manor and thither ran the brachet and so over the
brid!e. So Sir Launcelot rode over that brid!e that was old and feebleC and when he came in midst of a
!reat hall there he saw lie a dead kni!ht that was a seemly man and that brachet licked his wounds.
And therewithal came out a lady weepin! and wrin!in! her handsC and then she said * kni!ht too
much sorrow hast thou brou!ht me. 5hy say ye soL said Sir Launcelot / did never this kni!ht no harm
for hither by feute of blood this brachet brou!ht meC and therefore fair lady be not displeased with me
for / am full sore a!!rieved of your !rievance. Truly sir she said / trow it be not ye that hath slain my
husband for he that did that deed is sore wounded and he is never likely to recover that shall / ensure
him. 5hat was your husband's nameL said Sir Launcelot. Sir said she his name was called Sir %ilbert
the Bastard one of the best kni!hts of the world and he that hath slain him / know not his name. 2ow
%od send you better comfort said Sir LauncelotC and so he departed and went into the forest a!ain and
there he met with a damosel the which knew him well and she said aloud 5ell be ye found my lordC
and now / reAuire thee on thy kni!hthood help my brother that is sore wounded and never stinteth
bleedin!C for this day he fou!ht with Sir %ilbert the Bastard and slew him in plain battle and there was
my brother sore wounded and there is a lady a sorceress that dwelleth in a castle here beside and this
day she told me my brother's wounds should never be whole till / could find a kni!ht that would !o into
the )hapel #erilous and there he should find a sword and a bloody cloth that the wounded kni!ht was
lapped in and a piece of that cloth and sword should heal my brother's wounds so that his wounds
were searched with the sword and the cloth. This is a marvellous thin! said Sir Launcelot but what is
your brother's nameL Sir she said his name was Sir Meliot de Lo!res. That me repenteth said Sir
Launcelot for he is a fellow of the Table 0ound and to his help / will do my power. Then sir said she
follow even this hi!hway and it will brin! you unto the )hapel #erilousC and here / shall abide till %od
send you here a!ain and but you speed / know no kni!ht livin! that may achieve that adventure.
?7@
CHAPTER !,# How 6(& La'ncelot came (nto t%e C%a*el
Pe&(lo's and gat t%e&e of a dead co&*se a *(ece of t%e clot%
and a swo&d#
0/%1T so Sir Launcelot departed and when he came unto the )hapel #erilous he ali!hted down
and tied his horse unto a little !ate. And as soon as he was within the churchyard he saw on the front of
the chapel many fair rich shields turned up"so"down and many of the shields Sir Launcelot had seen
kni!hts bear beforehand. 5ith that he saw by him there stand a thirty !reat kni!hts more by a yard
than any man that ever he had seen and all those !rinned and !nashed at Sir Launcelot. And when he
saw their countenance he dreaded him sore and so put his shield afore him and took his sword ready
in his hand ready unto battle and they were all armed in black harness ready with their shields and their
swords drawn. And when Sir Launcelot would have !one throu!hout them they scattered on every side
of him and !ave him the way and therewith he wa'ed all bold and entered into the chapel and then he
saw no li!ht but a dim lamp burnin! and then was he ware of a corpse hilled with a cloth of silk. Then
Sir Launcelot stooped down and cut a piece away of that cloth and then it fared under him as the earth
had Auaked a littleC therewithal he feared. And then he saw a fair sword lie by the dead kni!ht and that
he !at in his hand and hied him out of the chapel.
Anon as ever he was in the chapel yard all the kni!hts spake to him with a !rimly voice and said
:ni!ht Sir Launcelot lay that sword from thee or else thou shalt die. 5hether that / live or die said
Sir Launcelot with no !reat word !et ye it a!ain therefore fi!ht for it an ye list. Then ri!ht so he
passed throu!hout them and beyond the chapel yard there met him a fair damosel and said Sir
Launcelot leave that sword behind thee or thou wilt die for it. / leave it not said Sir Launcelot for no
treaties. 2o said she an thou didst leave that sword Bueen %uenever should thou never see. Then
were / a fool an / would leave this sword said Launcelot. 2ow !entle kni!ht said the damosel /
reAuire thee to kiss me but once. 2ay said Sir Launcelot that %od me forbid. 5ell sir said she an
thou hadst kissed me thy life days had been done but now alas she said / have lost all my labour for /
ordained this chapel for thy sake and for Sir %awaine. And once / had Sir %awaine within me and at
that time he fou!ht with that kni!ht that lieth there dead in yonder chapel Sir %ilbert the BastardC and
?7=
at that time he smote the left hand off of Sir %ilbert the Bastard. And Sir Launcelot now / tell thee /
have loved thee this seven year but there may no woman have thy love but Bueen %uenever. But
sithen / may not re$oice thee to have thy body alive / had kept no more $oy in this world but to have
thy body dead. Then would / have balmed it and served it and so have kept it my life days and daily /
should have clipped thee and kissed thee in despite of Bueen %uenever. Ye say well said Sir
Launcelot Eesu preserve me from your subtle crafts. And therewithal he took his horse and so departed
from her. And as the book saith when Sir Launcelot was departed she took such sorrow that she died
within a fourteen ni!ht and her name was 1ellawes the sorceress Lady of the )astle 2i!ramous.
Anon Sir Launcelot met with the damosel Sir Meliot's sister. And when she saw him she clapped
her hands and wept for $oy. And then they rode unto a castle thereby where lay Sir Meliot. And anon as
Sir Launcelot saw him he knew him but he was passin! pale as the earth for bleedin!. 5hen Sir
Meliot saw Sir Launcelot he kneeled upon his knees and cried on hi!h+ * lord Sir Launcelot help meJ
Anon Sir Launcelot leapt unto him and touched his wounds with Sir %ilbert's sword. And then he
wiped his wounds with a part of the bloody cloth that Sir %ilbert was wrapped in and anon an wholer
man in his life was he never. And then there was !reat $oy between them and they made Sir Launcelot
all the cheer that they mi!ht and so on the morn Sir Launcelot took his leave and bade Sir Meliot hie
him to the court of my lord Arthur for it draweth ni!h to the &east of #entecost and there by the !race
of %od ye shall find me. And therewith they departed.
CHAPTER !,I# How 6(& La'ncelot at t%e &e/'est of a lad+
&eco-e&ed a falcon) b+ w%(c% %e was dece(-ed#
A2( so Sir Launcelot rode throu!h many stran!e countries over marshes and valleys till by
fortune he came to a fair castle and as he passed beyond the castle him thou!ht he heard two bells rin!.
And then was he ware of a falcon came flyin! over his head toward an hi!h elm and lon! lunes about
her feet and as she flew unto the elm to take her perch the lunes over"cast about a bou!h. And when
she would have taken her fli!ht she hun! by the le!s fastC and Sir Launcelot saw how she hun! and
beheld the fair falcon peri!ot and he was sorry for her.
?@>
The meanwhile came a lady out of the castle and cried on hi!h+ * Launcelot Launcelot as thou art
flower of all kni!hts help me to !et my hawk for an my hawk be lost my lord will destroy meC for /
kept the hawk and she slipped from me and if my lord my husband wit it he is so hasty that he will slay
me. 5hat is your lord's nameL said Sir Launcelot. Sir she said his name is Sir #helot a kni!ht that
lon!eth unto the :in! of 2orth!alis. 5ell fair lady since that ye know my name and reAuire me of
kni!hthood to help you / will do what / may to !et your hawk and yet %od knoweth / am an ill
climber and the tree is passin! hi!h and few bou!hs to help me withal. And therewith Sir Launcelot
ali!hted and tied his horse to the same tree and prayed the lady to unarm him. And so when he was
unarmed he put off all his clothes unto his shirt and breech and with mi!ht and force he clomb up to
the falcon and tied the lines to a !reat rotten boyshe and threw the hawk down and it withal.
Anon the lady !at the hawk in her handC and therewithal came out Sir #helot out of the !roves
suddenly that was her husband all armed and with his naked sword in his hand and said+ * kni!ht
Launcelot now have / found thee as / would and stood at the bole of the tree to slay him. Ah lady
said Sir Launcelot why have ye betrayed meL She hath done said Sir #helot but as / commanded her
and therefore there nis none other boot but thine hour is come that thou must die. That were shame unto
thee said Sir Launcelot thou an armed kni!ht to slay a naked man by treason. Thou !ettest none other
!race said Sir #helot and therefore help thyself an thou canst. Truly said Sir Launcelot that shall be
thy shame but since thou wilt do none other take mine harness with thee and han! my sword upon a
bou!h that / may !et it and then do thy best to slay me an thou canst. 2ay nay said Sir #helot for /
know thee better than thou weenest therefore thou !ettest no weapon an / may keep you therefrom.
Alas said Sir Launcelot that ever a kni!ht should die weaponless. And therewith he waited above him
and under him and over his head he saw a rownsepyk a bi! bou!h leafless and therewith he brake it
off by the body. And then he came lower and awaited how his own horse stood and suddenly he leapt
on the further side of the horse fro"ward the kni!ht. And then Sir #helot lashed at him ea!erly weenin!
to have slain him. But Sir Launcelot put away the stroke with the rownsepyk and therewith he smote
him on the one side of the head that he fell down in a swoon to the !round. So then Sir Launcelot took
his sword out of his hand and struck his neck from the body. Then cried the lady AlasJ why hast thou
slain my husbandL / am not causer said Sir Launcelot for with falsehood ye would have had slain me
with treason and now it is fallen on you both. And then she swooned as thou!h she would die. And
therewithal Sir Launcelot !at all his armour as well as he mi!ht and put it upon him for dread of more
resort for he dreaded that the kni!ht's castle was so ni!h. And so as soon as he mi!ht he took his
?@?
horse and departed and thanked %od that he had escaped that adventure.
CHAPTER !,II# How 6(& La'ncelot o-e&took a kn(g%t w%(c%
c%ased %(s w(fe to %a-e sla(n %e&) and %ow %e sa(d to %(m#
S* Sir Launcelot rode many wild ways throu!hout marches and many wild ways. And as he rode
in a valley he saw a kni!ht chasin! a lady with a naked sword to have slain her. And by fortune as this
kni!ht should have slain this lady she cried on Sir Launcelot and prayed him to rescue her. 5hen Sir
Launcelot saw that mischief he took his horse and rode between them sayin! :ni!ht fie for shame
why wilt thou slay this ladyL thou dost shame unto thee and all kni!hts. 5hat hast thou to do betwi't
me and my wifeL said the kni!ht. / will slay her mau!re thy head. That shall ye not said Sir Launcelot
for rather we two will have ado to!ether. Sir Launcelot said the kni!ht thou dost not thy part for this
lady hath betrayed me. /t is not so said the lady truly he saith wron! on me. And for because / love and
cherish my cousin !ermain he is $ealous betwi't him and meC and as / shall answer to %od there was
never sin betwi't us. But sir said the lady as thou art called the worshipfullest kni!ht of the world /
reAuire thee of true kni!hthood keep me and save me. &or whatsomever ye say he will slay me for he
is without mercy. 1ave ye no doubt said Launcelot it shall not lie in his power. Sir said the kni!ht in
your si!ht / will be ruled as ye will have me. And so Sir Launcelot rode on the one side and she on the
other+ he had not ridden but a while but the kni!ht bade Sir Launcelot turn him and look behind him
and said Sir yonder come men of arms after us ridin!. And so Sir Launcelot turned him and thou!ht
no treason and therewith was the kni!ht and the lady on one side and suddenly he swapped off his
lady's head.
And when Sir Launcelot had espied him what he had done he said and called him Traitor thou
hast shamed me for ever. And suddenly Sir Launcelot ali!hted off his horse and pulled out his sword to
slay him and therewithal he fell flat to the earth and !ripped Sir Launcelot by the thi!hs and cried
mercy. &ie on thee said Sir Launcelot thou shameful kni!ht thou mayest have no mercy and therefore
arise and fi!ht with me. 2ay said the kni!ht / will never arise till ye !rant me mercy. 2ow will /
proffer thee fair said Launcelot / will unarm me unto my shirt and / will have nothin! upon me but
my shirt and my sword and my hand. And if thou canst slay me Auit be thou for ever. 2ay sir said
?@-
#edivere that will / never. 5ell said Sir Launcelot take this lady and the head and bear it upon thee
and here shalt thou swear upon my sword to bear it always upon thy back and never to rest till thou
come to Bueen %uenever. Sir said he that will / do by the faith of my body. 2ow said Launcelot tell
me what is your nameL Sir my name is #edivere. /n a shameful hour wert thou born said Launcelot.
So #edivere departed with the dead lady and the head and found the Aueen with :in! Arthur at
5inchester and there he told all the truth. Sir kni!ht said the Aueen this is an horrible deed and a
shameful and a !reat rebuke unto Sir LauncelotC but notwithstandin! his worship is not known in many
divers countriesC but this shall / !ive you in penance make ye as !ood shift as ye can ye shall bear this
lady with you on horseback unto the #ope of 0ome and of him receive your penance for your foul
deedsC and ye shall never rest one ni!ht whereas ye do anotherC an ye !o to any bed the dead body shall
lie with you. This oath there he made and so departed. And as it telleth in the &rench book when he
came to 0ome the #ope bade him !o a!ain unto Bueen %uenever and in 0ome was his lady buried by
the #ope's commandment. And after this Sir #edivere fell to !reat !oodness and was an holy man and
an hermit.
CHAPTER !,III# How 6(& La'ncelot came to "(ng A&t%'&0s
Co'&t) and %ow t%e&e we&e &eco'nted all %(s noble feats and
acts#
2*5 turn we unto Sir Launcelot du Lake that came home two days afore the &east of #entecostC
and the kin! and all the court were passin! fain of his comin!. And when Sir %awaine Sir ;waine Sir
Sa!ramore Sir 3ctor de Maris saw Sir Launcelot in :ay's armour then they wist well it was he that
smote them down all with one spear. Then there was lau!hin! and smilin! amon! them. And ever now
and now came all the kni!hts home that Sir TurAuine had prisoners and they all honoured and
worshipped Sir Launcelot.
5hen Sir %aheris heard them speak he said / saw all the battle from the be!innin! to the endin!
and there he told :in! Arthur all how it was and how Sir TurAuine was the stron!est kni!ht that ever
he saw e'cept Sir Launcelot+ there were many kni!hts bare him record ni!h three score. Then Sir :ay
?@9
told the kin! how Sir Launcelot had rescued him when he should have been slain and how he made the
kni!hts yield them to me and not to him. And there they were all three and bare record. And by Eesu
said Sir :ay because Sir Launcelot took my harness and left me his / rode in !ood peace and no man
would have ado with me.
Anon therewithal there came the three kni!hts that fou!ht with Sir Launcelot at the lon! brid!e.
And there they yielded them unto Sir :ay and Sir :ay forsook them and said he fou!ht never with
them. But / shall ease your heart said Sir :ay yonder is Sir Launcelot that overcame you. 5hen they
wist that they were !lad. And then Sir Meliot de Lo!res came home and told the kin! how Sir
Launcelot had saved him from the death. And all his deeds were known how four Aueens sorceresses
had him in prison and how he was delivered by :in! Ba!dema!us' dau!hter. Also there were told all
the !reat deeds of arms that Sir Launcelot did betwi't the two kin!s that is for to say the :in! of
2orth!alis and :in! Ba!dema!us. All the truth Sir %ahalantine did tell and Sir Mador de la #orte and
Sir Mordred for they were at that same tournament. Then came in the lady that knew Sir Launcelot
when that he wounded Sir Belleus at the pavilion. And there at reAuest of Sir Launcelot Sir Belleus
was made kni!ht of the 0ound Table. And so at that time Sir Launcelot had the !reatest name of any
kni!ht of the world and most he was honoured of hi!h and low.
3'plicit the noble tale of Sir Launcelot du Lake which is the vi. book. 1ere followeth the tale of
Sir %areth of *rkney that was called Beaumains by Sir :ay and is the seventh book.
BOO" ,II
CHAPTER I# How Bea'ma(ns came to "(ng A&t%'&0s Co'&t and
demanded t%&ee *et(t(ons of "(ng A&t%'&#
5132 Arthur held his 0ound Table most plenour it fortuned that he commanded that the hi!h
?@.
feast of #entecost should be holden at a city and a castle the which in those days was called :ynke
:enadonne upon the sands that marched ni!h 5ales. So ever the kin! had a custom that at the feast of
#entecost in especial afore other feasts in the year he would not !o that day to meat until he had heard
or seen of a !reat marvel. And for that custom all manner of stran!e adventures came before Arthur as
at that feast before all other feasts. And so Sir %awaine a little to"fore noon of the day of #entecost
espied at a window three men upon horseback and a dwarf on foot and so the three men ali!hted and
the dwarf kept their horses and one of the three men was hi!her than the other twain by a foot and an
half. Then Sir %awaine went unto the kin! and said Sir !o to your meat for here at the hand come
stran!e adventures. So Arthur went unto his meat with many other kin!s. And there were all the kni!hts
of the 0ound Table MsaveN only those that were prisoners or slain at a recounter. Then at the hi!h feast
evermore they should be fulfilled the whole number of an hundred and fifty for then was the 0ound
Table fully complished.
0i!ht so came into the hall two men well beseen and richly and upon their shoulders there leaned
the !oodliest youn! man and the fairest that ever they all saw and he was lar!e and lon! and broad in
the shoulders and well visa!ed and the fairest and the lar!est handed that ever man saw but he fared
as thou!h he mi!ht not !o nor bear himself but if he leaned upon their shoulders. Anon as Arthur saw
him there was made peace and room and ri!ht so they yede with him unto the hi!h dais without
sayin! of any words. Then this much youn! man pulled him aback and easily stretched up strai!ht
sayin! :in! Arthur %od you bless and all your fair fellowship and in especial the fellowship of the
Table 0ound. And for this cause / am come hither to pray you and reAuire you to !ive me three !ifts
and they shall not be unreasonably asked but that ye may worshipfully and honourably !rant them me
and to you no !reat hurt nor loss. And the first don and !ift / will ask now and the other two !ifts / will
ask this day twelvemonth wheresomever ye hold your hi!h feast. 2ow ask said Arthur and ye shall
have your askin!.
2ow sir this is my petition for this feast that ye will !ive me meat and drink sufficiently for this
twelvemonth and at that day / will ask mine other two !ifts.
My fair son said Arthur ask better / counsel thee for this is but a simple askin!C for my heart
!iveth me to thee !reatly that thou art come of men of worship and !reatly my conceit faileth me but
thou shalt prove a man of ri!ht !reat worship. Sir he said thereof be as it be may / have asked that /
will ask. 5ell said the kin! ye shall have meat and drink enou!hC / never defended that none neither
?@4
my friend nor my foe. But what is thy name / would witL / cannot tell you said he. That is marvel said
the kin! that thou knowest not thy name and thou art the !oodliest youn! man that ever / saw. Then
the kin! betook him to Sir :ay the steward and char!ed him that he should !ive him of all manner of
meats and drinks of the best and also that he had all manner of findin! as thou!h he were a lord's son.
That shall little need said Sir :ay to do such cost upon himC for / dare undertake he is a villain born
and never will make man for an he had come of !entlemen he would have asked of you horse and
armour but such as he is so he asketh. And sithen he hath no name / shall !ive him a name that shall
be Beaumains that is &air"hands and into the kitchen / shall brin! him and there he shall have fat
brose every day that he shall be as fat by the twelvemonths' end as a pork ho!. 0i!ht so the two men
departed and beleft him to Sir :ay that scorned him and mocked him.
CHAPTER II# How 6(& La'ncelot and 6(& Gawa(ne we&e w&ot%
beca'se 6(& "a+ mocked Bea'ma(ns) and of a damosel
w%(c% des(&ed a kn(g%t to f(g%t fo& a
lady.
T1303AT was Sir %awaine wroth and in especial Sir Launcelot bade Sir :ay leave his mockin!
for / dare lay my head he shall prove a man of !reat worship. Let be said Sir :ay it may not be by no
reason for as he is so he hath asked. Beware said Sir Launcelot so ye !ave the !ood kni!ht Brewnor
Sir (inadan's brother a name and ye called him La )ote Male Taile and that turned you to an!er
afterward. As for that said Sir :ay this shall never prove none such. &or Sir Brewnor desired ever
worship and this desireth bread and drink and brothC upon pain of my life he was fostered up in some
abbey and howsomever it was they failed meat and drink and so hither he is come for his sustenance.
And so Sir :ay bade !et him a place and sit down to meatC so Beaumains went to the hall door
and set him down amon! boys and lads and there he ate sadly. And then Sir Launcelot after meat bade
him come to his chamber and there he should have meat and drink enou!h. And so did Sir %awaine+
but he refused them allC he would do none other but as Sir :ay commanded him for no proffer. But as
touchin! Sir %awaine he had reason to proffer him lod!in! meat and drink for that proffer came of
?@<
his blood for he was nearer kin to him than he wist. But that as Sir Launcelot did was of his !reat
!entleness and courtesy.
So thus he was put into the kitchen and lay ni!htly as the boys of the kitchen did. And so he
endured all that twelvemonth and never displeased man nor child but always he was meek and mild.
But ever when that he saw any $oustin! of kni!hts that would he see an he mi!ht. And ever Sir
Launcelot would !ive him !old to spend and clothes and so did Sir %awaine and where there were
any masteries done thereat would he be and there mi!ht none cast bar nor stone to him by two yards.
Then would Sir :ay say 1ow liketh you my boy of the kitchenL So it passed on till the feast of
5hitsuntide. And at that time the kin! held it at )arlion in the most royallest wise that mi!ht be like as
he did yearly. But the kin! would no meat eat upon the 5hitsunday until he heard some adventures.
Then came there a sAuire to the kin! and said Sir ye may !o to your meat for here cometh a damosel
with some stran!e adventures. Then was the kin! !lad and sat him down.
0i!ht so there came a damosel into the hall and saluted the kin! and prayed him of succour. &or
whomL said the kin! what is the adventureL
Sir she said / have a lady of !reat worship and renown and she is besie!ed with a tyrant so that
she may not out of her castleC and because here are called the noblest kni!hts of the world / come to
you to pray you of succour. 5hat hi!ht your lady and where dwelleth she and who is she and what is
his name that hath besie!ed herL Sir kin! she said as for my lady's name that shall not ye know for me
as at this time but / let you wit she is a lady of !reat worship and of !reat landsC and as for the tyrant
that besie!eth her and destroyeth her lands he is called the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds. / know him
not said the kin!. Sir said Sir %awaine / know him well for he is one of the perilloust kni!hts of the
worldC men say that he hath seven men's stren!th and from him / escaped once full hard with my life.
&air damosel said the kin! there be kni!hts here would do their power for to rescue your lady but
because you will not tell her name nor where she dwelleth therefore none of my kni!hts that here be
now shall !o with you by my will. Then must / speak further said the damosel.
?@7
CHAPTER III# How Bea'ma(ns des(&ed t%e battle) and %ow (t
was g&anted to %(m) and %ow %e des(&ed to be made kn(g%t
of 6(& La'ncelot#
5/T1 these words came before the kin! Beaumains while the damosel was there and thus he
said Sir kin! %od thank you / have been this twelvemonth in your kitchen and have had my full
sustenance and now / will ask my two !ifts that be behind. Ask upon my peril said the kin!. Sir this
shall be my two !ifts first that ye will !rant me to have this adventure of the damosel for it belon!eth
unto me. Thou shalt have it said the kin! / !rant it thee. Then sir this is the other !ift that ye shall bid
Launcelot du Lake to make me kni!ht for of him / will be made kni!ht and else of none. And when /
am passed / pray you let him ride after me and make me kni!ht when / reAuire him. All this shall be
done said the kin!. &ie on thee said the damosel shall / have none but one that is your kitchen pa!eL
Then was she wroth and took her horse and departed. And with that there came one to Beaumains and
told him his horse and armour was come for himC and there was the dwarf come with all thin! that him
needed in the richest mannerC thereat all the court had much marvel from whence came all that !ear. So
when he was armed there was none but few so !oodly a man as he wasC and ri!ht so as he came into the
hall and took his leave of :in! Arthur and Sir %awaine and Sir Launcelot and prayed that he would
hie after him and so departed and rode after the damosel.
CHAPTER I,# How Bea'ma(ns de*a&ted) and %ow %e gat of 6(&
"a+ a s*ea& and a s%(eld) and %ow %e 3o'sted w(t% 6(&
La'ncelot#
B;T there went many after to behold how well he was horsed and trapped in cloth of !old but he
had neither shield nor spear. Then Sir :ay said all open in the hall / will ride after my boy in the
kitchen to wit whether he will know me for his better. Said Sir Launcelot and Sir %awaine Yet abide at
home. So Sir :ay made him ready and took his horse and his spear and rode after him. And ri!ht as
Beaumains overtook the damosel ri!ht so came Sir :ay and said Beaumains what sir know ye not
meL Then he turned his horse and knew it was Sir :ay that had done him all the despite as ye have
heard afore. Yea said Beaumains / know you for an un!entle kni!ht of the court and therefore beware
?@@
of me. Therewith Sir :ay put his spear in the rest and ran strai!ht upon himC and Beaumains came as
fast upon him with his sword in his hand and so he put away his spear with his sword and with a foin
thrust him throu!h the side that Sir :ay fell down as he had been deadC and he ali!hted down and took
Sir :ay's shield and his spear and stert upon his own horse and rode his way.
All that saw Sir Launcelot and so did the damosel. And then he bade his dwarf stert upon Sir
:ay's horse and so he did. By that Sir Launcelot was come then he proffered Sir Launcelot to $oustC
and either made them ready and they came to!ether so fiercely that either bare down other to the earth
and sore were they bruised. Then Sir Launcelot arose and helped him from his horse. And then
Beaumains threw his shield from him and proffered to fi!ht with Sir Launcelot on footC and so they
rushed to!ether like boars tracin! rasin! and foinin! to the mountenance of an hourC and Sir
Launcelot felt him so bi! that he marvelled of his stren!th for he fou!ht more liker a !iant than a
kni!ht and that his fi!htin! was durable and passin! perilous. &or Sir Launcelot had so much ado with
him that he dreaded himself to be shamed and said Beaumains fi!ht not so sore your Auarrel and
mine is not so !reat but we may leave off. Truly that is truth said Beaumains but it doth me !ood to
feel your mi!ht and yet my lord / showed not the utterance.
CHAPTER ,# How Bea'ma(ns told to 6(& La'ncelot %(s name)
and %ow %e was d'bbed kn(g%t of 6(& La'ncelot) and afte&
o-e&took t%e damosel#
/2 %od's name said Sir Launcelot for / promise you by the faith of my body / had as much to do
as / mi!ht to save myself from you unshamed and therefore have ye no doubt of none earthly kni!ht.
1ope ye so that / may any while stand a proved kni!htL said Beaumains. Yea said Launcelot do as ye
have done and / shall be your warrant. Then / pray you said Beaumains !ive me the order of
kni!hthood. Then must ye tell me your name said Launcelot and of what kin ye be born. Sir so that ye
will not discover me / shall said Beaumains. 2ay said Sir Launcelot and that / promise you by the
faith of my body until it be openly known. Then sir he said my name is %areth and brother unto Sir
%awaine of father and mother. Ah sir said Sir Launcelot / am more !ladder of you than / wasC for
ever me thou!ht ye should be of !reat blood and that ye came not to the court neither for meat nor for
?@=
drink. And then Sir Launcelot !ave him the order of kni!hthood and then Sir %areth prayed him for to
depart and let him !o.
So Sir Launcelot departed from him and came to Sir :ay and made him to be borne home upon
his shield and so he was healed hard with the lifeC and all men scorned Sir :ay and in especial Sir
%awaine and Sir Launcelot said it was not his part to rebuke no youn! man for full little knew he of
what birth he is come and for what cause he came to this courtC and so we leave Sir :ay and turn we
unto Beaumains.
5hen he had overtaken the damosel anon she said 5hat dost thou hereL thou stinkest all of the
kitchen thy clothes be bawdy of the !rease and tallow that thou !ainest in :in! Arthur's kitchenC
weenest thou said she that / allow thee for yonder kni!ht that thou killest. 2ay truly for thou slewest
him unhappily and cowardlyC therefore turn a!ain bawdy kitchen pa!e / know thee well for Sir :ay
named thee Beaumains. 5hat art thou but a lusk and a turner of broaches and a ladle"washerL (amosel
said Beaumains say to me what ye will / will not !o from you whatsomever ye say for / have
undertaken to :in! Arthur for to achieve your adventure and so shall / finish it to the end either / shall
die therefore. &ie on thee kitchen knave wilt thou finish mine adventureL thou shalt anon be met
withal that thou wouldest not for all the broth that ever thou suppest once look him in the face. / shall
assay said Beaumains.
So thus as they rode in the wood there came a man flyin! all that ever he mi!ht. 5hither wilt
thouL said Beaumains. * lord he said help me for here by in a slade are si' thieves that have taken
my lord and bound him so / am afeard lest they will slay him. Brin! me thither said Beaumains. And
so they rode to!ether until they came thereas was the kni!ht boundenC and then he rode unto them and
struck one unto the death and then another and at the third stroke he slew the third thief and then the
other three fled. And he rode after them and he overtook themC and then those three thieves turned
a!ain and assailed Beaumains hard but at the last he slew them and returned and unbound the kni!ht.
And the kni!ht thanked him and prayed him to ride with him to his castle there a little beside and he
should worshipfully reward him for his !ood deeds. Sir said Beaumains / will no reward have+ / was
this day made kni!ht of noble Sir Launcelot and therefore / will no reward have but %od reward me.
And also / must follow this damosel.
And when he came ni!h her she bade him ride from her &or thou smellest all of the kitchen+
weenest thou that / have $oy of thee for all this deed that thou hast done is but mishapped thee+ but
?=>
thou shalt see a si!ht shall make thee turn a!ain and that li!htly. Then the same kni!ht which was
rescued of the thieves rode after that damosel and prayed her to lod!e with him all that ni!ht. And
because it was near ni!ht the damosel rode with him to his castle and there they had !reat cheer and at
supper the kni!ht sat Sir Beaumains afore the damosel. &ie fie said she Sir kni!ht ye are uncourteous
to set a kitchen pa!e afore meC him beseemeth better to stick a swine than to sit afore a damosel of hi!h
para!e. Then the kni!ht was ashamed at her words and took him up and set him at a sideboard and set
himself afore him and so all that ni!ht they had !ood cheer and merry rest.
CHAPTER ,I# How Bea'ma(ns fo'g%t and slew two kn(g%ts at
a *assage#
A2( on the morn the damosel and he took their leave and thanked the kni!ht and so departed
and rode on their way until they came to a !reat forest. And there was a !reat river and but one passa!e
and there were ready two kni!hts on the farther side to let them the passa!e. 5hat sayest thou said the
damosel wilt thou match yonder kni!hts or turn a!ainL 2ay said Sir Beaumains / will not turn a!ain
an they were si' more. And therewithal he rushed into the water and in midst of the water either brake
their spears upon other to their hands and then they drew their swords and smote ea!erly at other. And
at the last Sir Beaumains smote the other upon the helm that his head stonied and therewithal he fell
down in the water and there was he drowned. And then he spurred his horse upon the land where the
other kni!ht fell upon him and brake his spear and so they drew their swords and fou!ht lon! to!ether.
At the last Sir Beaumains clave his helm and his head down to the shouldersC and so he rode unto the
damosel and bade her ride forth on her way.
Alas she said that ever a kitchen pa!e should have that fortune to destroy such two dou!hty
kni!hts+ thou weenest thou hast done dou!htily that is not soC for the first kni!ht his horse stumbled
and there he was drowned in the water and never it was by thy force nor by thy mi!ht. And the last
kni!ht by mishap thou camest behind him and mishappily thou slew him.
(amosel said Beaumains ye may say what ye will but with whomsomever / have ado withal /
trust to %od to serve him or he depart. And therefore / reck not what ye say so that / may win your
?=?
lady. &ie fie foul kitchen knave thou shalt see kni!hts that shall abate thy boast. &air damosel !ive
me !oodly lan!ua!e and then my care is past for what kni!hts somever they be / care not nor / doubt
them not. Also said she / say it for thine avail yet mayest thou turn a!ain with thy worshipC for an
thou follow me thou art but slain for / see all that ever thou dost is but by misadventure and not by
prowess of thy hands. 5ell damosel ye may say what ye will but wheresomever ye !o / will follow
you. So this Beaumains rode with that lady till evenson! time and ever she chid him and would not
rest. And they came to a black laundC and there was a black hawthorn and thereon hun! a black banner
and on the other side there hun! a black shield and by it stood a black spear !reat and lon! and a !reat
black horse covered with silk and a black stone fast by.
CHAPTER ,II# How Bea'ma(ns fo'g%t w(t% t%e "n(g%t of t%e
Black La'nds) and fo'g%t w(t% %(m t(ll %e fell down and
d(ed#
T1303 sat a kni!ht all armed in black harness and his name was the :ni!ht of the Black Laund.
Then the damosel when she saw that kni!ht she bade him flee down that valley for his horse was not
saddled. %ramercy said Beaumains for always ye would have me a coward. 5ith that the Black
:ni!ht when she came ni!h him spake and said (amosel have ye brou!ht this kni!ht of :in! Arthur
to be your championL 2ay fair kni!ht said she this is but a kitchen knave that was fed in :in!
Arthur's kitchen for alms. 5hy cometh he said the kni!ht in such arrayL it is shame that he beareth
you company. Sir / cannot be delivered of him said she for with me he rideth mau!re mine head+ %od
would that ye should put him from me other to slay him an ye may for he is an unhappy knave and
unhappily he hath done this day+ throu!h mishap / saw him slay two kni!hts at the passa!e of the
waterC and other deeds he did before ri!ht marvellous and throu!h unhappiness. That marvelleth me
said the Black :ni!ht that any man that is of worship will have ado with him. They know him not said
the damosel and for because he rideth with me they ween that he be some man of worship born. That
may be said the Black :ni!htC howbeit as ye say that he be no man of worship he is a full likely
person and full like to be a stron! man+ but thus much shall / !rant you said the Black :ni!htC / shall
put him down upon one foot and his horse and his harness he shall leave with me for it were shame to
?=-
me to do him any more harm.
5hen Sir Beaumains heard him say thus he said Sir kni!ht thou art full lar!e of my horse and
my harnessC / let thee wit it cost thee nou!ht and whether it liketh thee or not this laund will / pass
mau!re thine head. And horse nor harness !ettest thou none of mine but if thou win them with thy
handsC and therefore let see what thou canst do. Sayest thou thatL said the Black :ni!ht now yield thy
lady from thee for it beseemeth never a kitchen pa!e to ride with such a lady. Thou liest said
Beaumains / am a !entleman born and of more hi!h linea!e than thou and that will / prove on thy
body.
Then in !reat wrath they departed with their horses and came to!ether as it had been the thunder
and the Black :ni!ht's spear brake and Beaumains thrust him throu!h both his sides and therewith his
spear brake and the truncheon left still in his side. But nevertheless the Black :ni!ht drew his sword
and smote many ea!er strokes and of !reat mi!ht and hurt Beaumains full sore. But at the last the
Black :ni!ht within an hour and an half he fell down off his horse in swoon and there he died. And
when Beaumains saw him so well horsed and armed then he ali!hted down and armed him in his
armour and so took his horse and rode after the damosel.
5hen she saw him come ni!h she said Away kitchen knave out of the wind for the smell of thy
bawdy clothes !rieveth me. Alas she said that ever such a knave should by mishap slay so !ood a
kni!ht as thou hast done but all this is thine unhappiness. But here by is one shall pay thee all thy
payment and therefore yet / counsel thee flee. /t may happen me said Beaumains to be beaten or
slain but / warn you fair damosel / will not flee away a nor leave your company for all that ye can
sayC for ever ye say that they will kill me or beat me but howsomever it happeneth / escape and they
lie on the !round. And therefore it were as !ood for you to hold you still thus all day rebukin! me for
away will / not till / see the uttermost of this $ourney or else / will be slain other truly beatenC
therefore ride on your way for follow you / will whatsomever happen.
?=9
CHAPTER ,III# How t%e b&ot%e& of t%e kn(g%t t%at was sla(n
met w(t% Bea'ma(ns) and fo'g%t w(t% Bea'ma(ns t(ll %e was
+(elden#
T1;S as they rode to!ether they saw a kni!ht come drivin! by them all in !reen both his horse
and his harnessC and when he came ni!h the damosel he asked her /s that my brother the Black :ni!ht
that ye have brou!ht with youL 2ay nay she said this unhappy kitchen knave hath slain your brother
throu!h unhappiness. Alas said the %reen :ni!ht that is !reat pity that so noble a kni!ht as he was
should so unhappily be slain and namely of a knave's hand as ye say that he is. AhJ traitor said the
%reen :ni!ht thou shalt die for slayin! of my brotherC he was a full noble kni!ht and his name was Sir
#erard. / defy thee said Beaumains for / let thee wit / slew him kni!htly and not shamefully.
Therewithal the %reen :ni!ht rode unto an horn that was !reen and it hun! upon a thorn and
there he blew three deadly motes and there came two damosels and armed him li!htly. And then he
took a !reat horse and a !reen shield and a !reen spear. And then they ran to!ether with all their
mi!hts and brake their spears unto their hands. And then they drew their swords and !ave many sad
strokes and either of them wounded other full ill. And at the last at an overthwart Beaumains with his
horse struck the %reen :ni!ht's horse upon the side that he fell to the earth. And then the %reen :ni!ht
avoided his horse li!htly and dressed him upon foot. That saw Beaumains and therewithal he ali!hted
and they rushed to!ether like two mi!hty kemps a lon! while and sore they bled both. 5ith that came
the damosel and said My lord the %reen :ni!ht why for shame stand ye so lon! fi!htin! with the
kitchen knaveL Alas it is shame that ever ye were made kni!ht to see such a lad to match such a
kni!ht as the weed over!rew the corn. Therewith the %reen :ni!ht was ashamed and therewithal he
!ave a !reat stroke of mi!ht and clave his shield throu!h. 5hen Beaumains saw his shield cloven
asunder he was a little ashamed of that stroke and of her lan!ua!eC and then he !ave him such a buffet
upon the helm that he fell on his knees. And so suddenly Beaumains pulled him upon the !round
!rovellin!. And then the %reen :ni!ht cried him mercy and yielded him unto Sir Beaumains and
prayed him to slay him not. All is in vain said Beaumains for thou shalt die but if this damosel that
came with me pray me to save thy life. And therewithal he unlaced his helm like as he would slay him.
&ie upon thee false kitchen pa!e / will never pray thee to save his life for / will never be so much in
thy dan!er. Then shall he die said Beaumains. 2ot so hardy thou bawdy knave said the damosel that
thou slay him. Alas said the %reen :ni!ht suffer me not to die for a fair word may save me. &air
kni!ht said the %reen :ni!ht save my life and / will for!ive thee the death of my brother and for ever
?=.
to become thy man and thirty kni!hts that hold of me for ever shall do you service. /n the devil's name
said the damosel that such a bawdy kitchen knave should have thee and thirty kni!hts' service.
Sir kni!ht said Beaumains all this availeth thee not but if my damosel speak with me for thy life.
And therewithal he made a semblant to slay him. Let be said the damosel thou bawdy knaveC slay him
not for an thou do thou shalt repent it. (amosel said Beaumains your char!e is to me a pleasure and
at your commandment his life shall be saved and else not. Then he said Sir kni!ht with the !reen
arms / release thee Auit at this damosel's reAuest for / will not make her wroth / will fulfil all that she
char!eth me. And then the %reen :ni!ht kneeled down and did him homa!e with his sword. Then said
the damosel Me repenteth %reen :ni!ht of your dama!e and of your brother's death the Black
:ni!ht for of your help / had !reat mister for / dread me sore to pass this forest. 2ay dread you not
said the %reen :ni!ht for ye shall lod!e with me this ni!ht and to"morn / shall help you throu!h this
forest. So they took their horses and rode to his manor which was fast there beside.
CHAPTER I!# How t%e damosel aga(n &eb'ked Bea'ma(ns) and
wo'ld not s'ffe& %(m to s(t at %e& table) b't called %(m
k(tc%en bo+#
A2( ever she rebuked Beaumains and would not suffer him to sit at her table but as the %reen
:ni!ht took him and sat him at a side table. Marvel methinketh said the %reen :ni!ht to the damosel
why ye rebuke this noble kni!ht as ye do for / warn you damosel he is a full noble kni!ht and / know
no kni!ht is able to match himC therefore ye do !reat wron! to rebuke him for he shall do you ri!ht
!ood service for whatsomever he maketh himself ye shall prove at the end that he is come of a noble
blood and of kin!'s linea!e. &ie fie said the damosel it is shame for you to say of him such worship.
Truly said the %reen :ni!ht it were shame for me to say of him any disworship for he hath proved
himself a better kni!ht than / am yet have / met with many kni!hts in my days and never or this time
have / found no kni!ht his match. And so that ni!ht they yede unto rest and all that ni!ht the %reen
:ni!ht commanded thirty kni!hts privily to watch Beaumains for to keep him from all treason.
And so on the morn they all arose and heard their mass and brake their fastC and then they took
?=4
their horses and rode on their way and the %reen :ni!ht conveyed them throu!h the forestC and there
the %reen :ni!ht said My lord Beaumains / and these thirty kni!hts shall be always at your summons
both early and late at your callin! and whither that ever ye will send us. /t is well said said
BeaumainsC when that / call upon you ye must yield you unto :in! Arthur and all your kni!hts. /f that
ye so command us we shall be ready at all times said the %reen :ni!ht. &ie fie upon thee in the
devil's name said the damosel that any !ood kni!hts should be obedient unto a kitchen knave. So then
departed the %reen :ni!ht and the damosel. And then she said unto Beaumains 5hy followest thou
me thou kitchen boyL )ast away thy shield and thy spear and flee awayC yet / counsel thee betimes or
thou shalt say ri!ht soon alasC for wert thou as wi!ht as ever was 5ade or Launcelot Tristram or the
!ood kni!ht Sir Lamorak thou shalt not pass a pass here that is called the #ass #erilous. (amosel said
Beaumains who is afeard let him flee for it were shame to turn a!ain sithen / have ridden so lon! with
you. 5ell said the damosel ye shall soon whether ye will or not.
CHAPTER !# How t%e t%(&d b&ot%e&) called t%e Red "n(g%t)
3o'sted and fo'g%t aga(nst Bea'ma(ns) and %ow Bea'ma(ns
o-e&came %(m#
S* within a while they saw a tower as white as any snow well matchecold all about and double
dyked. And over the tower !ate there hun! a fifty shields of divers colours and under that tower there
was a fair meadow. And therein were many kni!hts and sAuires to behold scaffolds and pavilionsC for
there upon the morn should be a !reat tournament+ and the lord of the tower was in his castle and
looked out at a window and saw a damosel a dwarf and a kni!ht armed at all points. So %od me help
said the lord with that kni!ht will / $oust for / see that he is a kni!ht"errant. And so he armed him and
horsed him hastily. And when he was on horseback with his shield and his spear it was all red both his
horse and his harness and all that to him lon!eth. And when that he came ni!h him he weened it had
been his brother the Black :ni!htC and then he cried aloud Brother what do ye in these marchesL 2ay
nay said the damosel it is not heC this is but a kitchen knave that was brou!ht up for alms in :in!
Arthur's court. 2evertheless said the 0ed :ni!ht / will speak with him or he depart. Ah said the
damosel this knave hath killed thy brother and Sir :ay named him Beaumains and this horse and this
?=<
harness was thy brother's the Black :ni!ht. Also / saw thy brother the %reen :ni!ht overcome of his
hands. 2ow may ye be reven!ed upon him for / may never be Auit of him.
5ith this either kni!hts departed in sunder and they came to!ether with all their mi!ht and either
of their horses fell to the earth and they avoided their horses and put their shields afore them and drew
their swords and either !ave other sad strokes now here now there rasin! tracin! foinin! and
hurlin! like two boars the space of two hours. And then she cried on hi!h to the 0ed :ni!ht Alas thou
noble 0ed :ni!ht think what worship hath followed thee let never a kitchen knave endure thee so
lon! as he doth. Then the 0ed :ni!ht wa'ed wroth and doubled his strokes and hurt Beaumains
wonderly sore that the blood ran down to the !round that it was wonder to see that stron! battle. Yet at
the last Sir Beaumains struck him to the earth and as he would have slain the 0ed :ni!ht he cried
mercy sayin! 2oble kni!ht slay me not and / shall yield me to thee with fifty kni!hts with me that be
at my commandment. And / for!ive thee all the despite that thou hast done to me and the death of my
brother the Black :ni!ht. All this availeth not said Beaumains but if my damosel pray me to save thy
life. And therewith he made semblant to strike off his head. Let be thou Beaumains slay him not for
he is a noble kni!ht and not so hardy upon thine head but thou save him.
Then Beaumains bade the 0ed :ni!ht Stand up and thank the damosel now of thy life. Then the
0ed :ni!ht prayed him to see his castle and to be there all ni!ht. So the damosel then !ranted him and
there they had merry cheer. But always the damosel spake many foul words unto Beaumains whereof
the 0ed :ni!ht had !reat marvelC and all that ni!ht the 0ed :ni!ht made three score kni!hts to watch
Beaumains that he should have no shame nor villainy. And upon the morn they heard mass and dined
and the 0ed :ni!ht came before Beaumains with his three score kni!hts and there he proffered him his
homa!e and fealty at all times he and his kni!hts to do him service. / thank you said Beaumains but
this ye shall !rant me+ when / call upon you to come afore my lord :in! Arthur and yield you unto
him to be his kni!hts. Sir said the 0ed :ni!ht / will be ready and my fellowship at your summons.
So Sir Beaumains departed and the damosel and ever she rode chidin! him in the foulest manner.
?=7
CHAPTER !I# How 6(& Bea'ma(ns s'ffe&ed g&eat &eb'kes of
t%e damosel) and %e s'ffe&ed (t *at(entl+#
(AM*S3L said Beaumains ye are uncourteous so to rebuke me as ye do for meseemeth / have
done you !ood service and ever ye threaten me / shall be beaten with kni!hts that we meet but ever
for all your boast they lie in the dust or in the mire and therefore / pray you rebuke me no moreC and
when ye see me beaten or yielden as recreant then may ye bid me !o from you shamefullyC but first /
let you wit / will not depart from you for / were worse than a fool an / would depart from you all the
while that / win worship. 5ell said she ri!ht soon there shall meet a kni!ht shall pay thee all thy
wa!es for he is the most man of worship of the world e'cept :in! Arthur. / will well said Beaumains
the more he is of worship the more shall be my worship to have ado with him.
Then anon they were ware where was afore them a city rich and fair. And betwi't them and the
city a mile and an half there was a fair meadow that seemed new mown and therein were many
pavilions fair to behold. Lo said the damosel yonder is a lord that owneth yonder city and his custom
is when the weather is fair to lie in this meadow to $oust and tourney. And ever there be about him five
hundred kni!hts and !entlemen of arms and there be all manner of !ames that any !entleman can
devise. That !oodly lord said Beaumains would / fain see. Thou shalt see him time enou!h said the
damosel and so as she rode near she espied the pavilion where he was. Lo said she seest thou yonder
pavilion that is all of the colour of /nde and all manner of thin! that there is about men and women
and horses trapped shields and spears were all of the colour of /nde and his name is Sir #ersant of
/nde the most lordliest kni!ht that ever thou lookedst on. /t may well be said Beaumains but be he
never so stout a kni!ht in this field / shall abide till that / see him under his shield. Ah fool said she
thou wert better flee betimes. 5hy said Beaumains an he be such a kni!ht as ye make him he will not
set upon me with all his men or with his five hundred kni!hts. &or an there come no more but one at
once / shall him not fail whilst my life lasteth. &ie fie said the damosel that ever such a stinkin!
knave should blow such a boast. (amosel he said ye are to blame so to rebuke me for / had liefer do
five battles than so to be rebuked let him come and then let him do his worst.
Sir she said / marvel what thou art and of what kin thou art comeC boldly thou speakest and
boldly thou hast done that have / seenC therefore / pray thee save thyself an thou mayest for thy horse
and thou have had !reat travail and / dread we dwell over lon! from the sie!e for it is but hence seven
mile and all perilous passa!es we are passed save all only this passa!eC and here / dread me sore lest
?=@
ye shall catch some hurt therefore / would ye were hence that ye were not bruised nor hurt with this
stron! kni!ht. But / let you wit that Sir #ersant of /nde is nothin! of mi!ht nor stren!th unto the kni!ht
that laid the sie!e about my lady. As for that said Sir Beaumains be it as it be may. &or sithen / am
come so ni!h this kni!ht / will prove his mi!ht or / depart from him and else / shall be shamed an /
now withdraw me from him. And therefore damosel have ye no doubt by the !race of %od / shall so
deal with this kni!ht that within two hours after noon / shall deliver him. And then shall we come to the
sie!e by dayli!ht. * Eesu marvel have / said the damosel what manner a man ye be for it may never
be otherwise but that ye be come of a noble blood for so foul nor shamefully did never woman rule a
kni!ht as / have done you and ever courteously ye have suffered me and that came never but of a
!entle blood.
(amosel said Beaumains a kni!ht may little do that may not suffer a damosel for whatsomever
ye said unto me / took none heed to your words for the more ye said the more ye an!ered me and my
wrath / wreaked upon them that / had ado withal. And therefore all the missayin! that ye missaid me
furthered me in my battle and caused me to think to show and prove myself at the end what / wasC for
peradventure thou!h / had meat in :in! Arthur's kitchen yet / mi!ht have had meat enou!h in other
places but all that / did it for to prove and assay my friends and that shall be known another dayC and
whether that / be a !entleman born or none / let you wit fair damosel / have done you !entleman's
service and peradventure better service yet will / do or / depart from you. Alas she said fair
Beaumains for!ive me all that / have missaid or done a!ainst thee. 5ith all my heart said he / for!ive
it you for ye did nothin! but as ye should do for all your evil words pleased meC and damosel said
Beaumains since it liketh you to say thus fair unto me wit ye well it !laddeth my heart !reatly and
now meseemeth there is no kni!ht livin! but / am able enou!h for him.
CHAPTER !II# How Bea'ma(ns fo'g%t w(t% 6(& Pe&sant of
Inde) and made %(m to be +(elden#
5/T1 this Sir #ersant of /nde had espied them as they hoved in the field and kni!htly he sent to
them whether he came in war or in peace. Say to thy lord said Beaumains / take no force but whether
as him list himself. So the messen!er went a!ain unto Sir #ersant and told him all his answer. 5ell then
?==
will / have ado with him to the utterance and so he purveyed him and rode a!ainst him. And
Beaumains saw him and made him ready and there they met with all that ever their horses mi!ht run
and brast their spears either in three pieces and their horses rushed so to!ether that both their horses
fell dead to the earthC and li!htly they avoided their horses and put their shields afore them and drew
their swords and !ave many !reat strokes that sometime they hurtled to!ether that they fell !rovellin!
on the !round. Thus they fou!ht two hours and more that their shields and their hauberks were all
forhewen and in many steads they were wounded. So at the last Sir Beaumains smote him throu!h the
cost of the body and then he retrayed him here and there and kni!htly maintained his battle lon! time.
And at the last thou!h him loath were Beaumains smote Sir #ersant above upon the helm that he fell
!rovellin! to the earthC and then he leapt upon him overthwart and unlaced his helm to have slain him.
Then Sir #ersant yielded him and asked him mercy. 5ith that came the damosel and prayed to save
his life. / will well for it were pity this noble kni!ht should die. %ramercy said #ersant !entle kni!ht
and damosel. &or certainly now / wot well it was ye that slew my brother the Black :ni!ht at the black
thornC he was a full noble kni!ht his name was Sir #ercard. Also / am sure that ye are he that won mine
other brother the %reen :ni!ht his name was Sir #ertolepe. Also ye won my brother the 0ed :ni!ht
Sir #erimones. And now since ye have won these this shall / do for to please you+ ye shall have
homa!e and fealty of me and an hundred kni!hts to be always at your commandment to !o and ride
where ye will command us. And so they went unto Sir #ersant's pavilion and drank the wine and ate
spices and afterward Sir #ersant made him to rest upon a bed until supper time and after supper to bed
a!ain. 5hen Beaumains was abed Sir #ersant had a lady a fair dau!hter of ei!hteen year of a!e and
there he called her unto him and char!ed her and commanded her upon his blessin! to !o unto the
kni!ht's bed and lie down by his side and make him no stran!e cheer but !ood cheer and take him in
thine arms and kiss him and look that this be done / char!e you as ye will have my love and my !ood
will. So Sir #ersant's dau!hter did as her father bade her and so she went unto Sir Beaumains' bed and
privily she dispoiled her and laid her down by him and then he awoke and saw her and asked her what
she was. Sir she said / am Sir #ersant's dau!hter that by the commandment of my father am come
hither. Be ye a maid or a wifeL said he. Sir she said / am a clean maiden. %od defend said he that /
should defoil you to do Sir #ersant such a shameC therefore fair damosel arise out of this bed or else /
will. Sir she said / came not to you by mine own will but as / was commanded. Alas said Sir
Beaumains / were a shameful kni!ht an / would do your father any disworshipC and so he kissed her
and so she departed and came unto Sir #ersant her father and told him all how she had sped. Truly said
->>
Sir #ersant whatsomever he be he is come of a noble blood. And so we leave them there till on the
morn.
CHAPTER !III# Of t%e goodl+ comm'n(cat(on between 6(&
Pe&sant and Bea'ma(ns) and %ow %e told %(m t%at %(s name
was 6(& Ga&et%#
A2( so on the morn the damosel and Sir Beaumains heard mass and brake their fast and so took
their leave. &air damosel said #ersant whitherward are ye way"leadin! this kni!htL Sir she said this
kni!ht is !oin! to the sie!e that besie!eth my sister in the )astle (an!erous. Ah ah said #ersant that
is the :ni!ht of the 0ed Laund the which is the most perilous kni!ht that / know now livin! and a
man that is without mercy and men say that he hath seven men's stren!th. %od save you said he to
Beaumains from that kni!ht for he doth !reat wron! to that lady and that is !reat pity for she is one
of the fairest ladies of the world and meseemeth that your damosel is her sister+ is not your name
LinetL said he. Yea sir said she and my lady my sister's name is (ame Lionesse. 2ow shall / tell you
said Sir #ersant this 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Laund hath lain lon! at the sie!e well"ni!h this two years
and many times he mi!ht have had her an he had would but he prolon!eth the time to this intent for to
have Sir Launcelot du Lake to do battle with him or Sir Tristram or Sir Lamorak de %alis or Sir
%awaine and this is his tarryin! so lon! at the sie!e.
2ow my lord Sir #ersant of /nde said the damosel Linet / reAuire you that ye will make this
!entleman kni!ht or ever he fi!ht with the 0ed :ni!ht. / will with all my heart said Sir #ersant an it
please him to take the order of kni!hthood of so simple a man as / am. Sir said Beaumains / thank you
for your !ood will for / am better sped for certainly the noble kni!ht Sir Launcelot made me kni!ht.
Ah said Sir #ersant of a more renowned kni!ht mi!ht ye not be made kni!htC for of all kni!hts he may
be called chief of kni!hthoodC and so all the world saith that betwi't three kni!hts is departed clearly
kni!hthood that is Launcelot du Lake Sir Tristram de Liones and Sir Lamorak de %alis+ these bear
now the renown. There be many other kni!hts as Sir #alamides the Saracen and Sir Safere his brotherC
also Sir Bleoberis and Sir Blamore de %anis his brotherC also Sir Bors de %anis and Sir 3ctor de Maris
and Sir #ercivale de %alisC these and many more be noble kni!hts but there be none that pass the three
->?
above saidC therefore %od speed you well said Sir #ersant for an ye may match the 0ed :ni!ht ye
shall be called the fourth of the world.
Sir said Beaumains / would fain be of !ood fame and of kni!hthood. And / let you wit / came of
!ood men for / dare say my father was a noble man and so that ye will keep it in close and this
damosel / will tell you of what kin / am. 5e will not discover you said they both till ye command us
by the faith we owe unto %od. Truly then said he my name is %areth of *rkney and :in! Lot was my
father and my mother is :in! Arthur's sister her name is (ame Mor!awse and Sir %awaine is my
brother and Sir A!ravaine and Sir %aheris and / am the youn!est of them all. And yet wot not :in!
Arthur nor Sir %awaine what / am.
CHAPTER !I,# How t%e lad+ t%at was bes(eged %ad wo&d f&om
%e& s(ste& %ow s%e %ad b&o'g%t a kn(g%t to f(g%t fo& %e&) and
w%at battles %e %ad ac%(e-ed#
S* the book saith that the lady that was besie!ed had word of her sister's comin! by the dwarf and
a kni!ht with her and how he had passed all the perilous passa!es. 5hat manner a man is heL said the
lady. 1e is a noble kni!ht truly madam said the dwarf and but a youn! man but he is as likely a man
as ever ye saw any. 5hat is heL said the damosel and of what kin is he come and of whom was he
made kni!htL Madam said the dwarf he is the kin!'s son of *rkney but his name / will not tell you as
at this timeC but wit ye well of Sir Launcelot was he made kni!ht for of none other would he be made
kni!ht and Sir :ay named him Beaumains. 1ow escaped he said the lady from the brethren of
#ersantL Madam he said as a noble kni!ht should. &irst he slew two brethren at a passa!e of a water.
AhJ said she they were !ood kni!hts but they were murderers the one hi!ht %herard le Breuse and
the other kni!ht hi!ht Sir Arnold le Breuse. Then madam he recountered with the Black :ni!ht and
slew him in plain battle and so he took his horse and his armour and fou!ht with the %reen :ni!ht and
won him in plain battle and in like wise he served the 0ed :ni!ht and after in the same wise he served
the Blue :ni!ht and won him in plain battle. Then said the lady he hath overcome Sir #ersant of /nde
one of the noblest kni!hts of the world and the dwarf said 1e hath won all the four brethren and slain
the Black :ni!ht and yet he did more to"fore+ he overthrew Sir :ay and left him ni!h dead upon the
->-
!roundC also he did a !reat battle with Sir Launcelot and there they departed on even hands+ and then
Sir Launcelot made him kni!ht.
(warf said the lady / am !lad of these tidin!s therefore !o thou in an hermita!e of mine hereby
and there shalt thou bear with thee of my wine in two fla!ons of silver they are of two !allons and also
two cast of bread with fat venison baked and dainty fowlsC and a cup of !old here / deliver thee that is
rich and preciousC and bear all this to mine hermita!e and put it in the hermit's hands. And sithen !o
thou unto my sister and !reet her well and commend me unto that !entle kni!ht and pray him to eat
and to drink and make him stron! and say ye him / thank him of his courtesy and !oodness that he
would take upon him such labour for me that never did him bounty nor courtesy. Also pray him that he
be of !ood heart and coura!e for he shall meet with a full noble kni!ht but he is neither of bounty
courtesy nor !entlenessC for he attendeth unto nothin! but to murder and that is the cause / cannot
praise him nor love him.
So this dwarf departed and came to Sir #ersant where he found the damosel Linet and Sir
Beaumains and there he told them all as ye have heardC and then they took their leave but Sir #ersant
took an amblin! hackney and conveyed them on their ways and then beleft them to %odC and so within
a little while they came to that hermita!e and there they drank the wine and ate the venison and the
fowls baken. And so when they had repasted them well the dwarf returned a!ain with his vessel unto
the castle a!ainC and there met with him the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds and asked him from
whence that he came and where he had been. Sir said the dwarf / have been with my lady's sister of
this castle and she hath been at :in! Arthur's court and brou!ht a kni!ht with her. Then / account her
travail but lostC for thou!h she had brou!ht with her Sir Launcelot Sir Tristram Sir Lamorak or Sir
%awaine / would think myself !ood enou!h for them all.
/t may well be said the dwarf but this kni!ht hath passed all the perilous passa!es and slain the
Black :ni!ht and other two more and won the %reen :ni!ht the 0ed :ni!ht and the Blue :ni!ht.
Then is he one of these four that / have afore rehearsed. 1e is none of those said the dwarf but he is a
kin!'s son. 5hat is his nameL said the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds. That will / not tell you said the
dwarf but Sir :ay upon scorn named him Beaumains. / care not said the kni!ht what kni!ht so ever
he be for / shall soon deliver him. And if / ever match him he shall have a shameful death as many
other have had. That were pity said the dwarf and it is marvel that ye make such shameful war upon
noble kni!hts.
->9
CHAPTER !,# How t%e damosel and Bea'ma(ns came to t%e
s(ege2 and came to a s+camo&e t&ee) and t%e&e Bea'ma(ns
blew a %o&n) and t%en t%e "n(g%t of t%e
0ed Launds came to fi!ht with him.
2*5 leave we the kni!ht and the dwarf and speak we of Beaumains that all ni!ht lay in the
hermita!eC and upon the morn he and the damosel Linet heard their mass and brake their fast. And then
they took their horses and rode throu!hout a fair forestC and then they came to a plain and saw where
were many pavilions and tents and a fair castle and there was much smoke and !reat noiseC and when
they came near the sie!e Sir Beaumains espied upon !reat trees as he rode how there hun! full !oodly
armed kni!hts by the neck and their shields about their necks with their swords and !ilt spurs upon
their heels and so there hun! ni!h a forty kni!hts shamefully with full rich arms.
Then Sir Beaumains abated his countenance and said 5hat meaneth thisL &air sir said the
damosel abate not your cheer for all this si!ht for ye must coura!e yourself or else ye be all shent for
all these kni!hts came hither to this sie!e to rescue my sister (ame Lionesse and when the 0ed :ni!ht
of the 0ed Launds had overcome them he put them to this shameful death without mercy and pity. And
in the same wise he will serve you but if you Auit you the better.
2ow Eesu defend me said Beaumains from such a villainous death and shenship of arms. &or
rather than / should so be faren withal / would rather be slain manly in plain battle. So were ye better
said the damoselC for trust not in him is no courtesy but all !oeth to the death or shameful murder and
that is pity for he is a full likely man well made of body and a full noble kni!ht of prowess and a lord
of !reat lands and possessions. Truly said Beaumains he may well be a !ood kni!ht but he useth
shameful customs and it is marvel that he endureth so lon! that none of the noble kni!hts of my lord
Arthur's have not dealt with him.
And then they rode to the dykes and saw them double dyked with full warlike wallsC and there
were lod!ed many !reat lords ni!h the wallsC and there was !reat noise of minstrelsyC and the sea beat
upon the one side of the walls where were many ships and mariners' noise with Ghale and how.G And
->.
also there was fast by a sycamore tree and there hun! an horn the !reatest that ever they saw of an
elephant's boneC and this :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds had han!ed it up there that if there came any
errant"kni!ht he must blow that horn and then will he make him ready and come to him to do battle.
But sir / pray you said the damosel Linet blow ye not the horn till it be hi!h noon for now it is about
prime and now increaseth his mi!ht that as men say he hath seven men's stren!th. Ah fie for shame
fair damosel say ye never so more to meC for an he were as !ood a kni!ht as ever was / shall never
fail him in his most mi!ht for either / will win worship worshipfully or die kni!htly in the field. And
therewith he spurred his horse strai!ht to the sycamore tree and blew so the horn ea!erly that all the
sie!e and the castle ran! thereof. And then there leapt out kni!hts out of their tents and pavilions and
they within the castle looked over the walls and out at windows.
Then the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds armed him hastily and two barons set on his spurs upon
his heels and all was blood red his armour spear and shield. And an earl buckled his helm upon his
head and then they brou!ht him a red spear and a red steed and so he rode into a little vale under the
castle that all that were in the castle and at the sie!e mi!ht behold the battle.
CHAPTER !,I# How t%e two kn(g%ts met toget%e&) and of t%e(&
talk(ng) and %ow t%e+ began t%e(& battle#
S/0 said the damosel Linet unto Sir Beaumains look ye be !lad and li!ht for yonder is your
deadly enemy and at yonder window is my lady my sister (ame Lionesse. 5hereL said Beaumains.
Yonder said the damosel and pointed with her fin!er. That is truth said Beaumains. She beseemeth
afar the fairest lady that ever / looked uponC and truly he said / ask no better Auarrel than now for to do
battle for truly she shall be my lady and for her / will fi!ht. And ever he looked up to the window with
!lad countenance and the Lady Lionesse made curtsey to him down to the earth with holdin! up both
their hands.
5ith that the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds called to Sir Beaumains Leave sir kni!ht thy
lookin! and behold me / counsel theeC for / warn thee well she is my lady and for her / have done
many stron! battles. /f thou have so done said Beaumains meseemeth it was but waste labour for she
->4
loveth none of thy fellowship and thou to love that loveth not thee is but !reat folly. &or an /
understood that she were not !lad of my comin! / would be advised or / did battle for her. But /
understand by the besie!in! of this castle she may forbear thy fellowship. And therefore wit thou well
thou 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds / love her and will rescue her or else to die. Sayst thou thatL said
the 0ed :ni!ht meseemeth thou ou!ht of reason to be ware by yonder kni!hts that thou sawest han!
upon yonder trees. &ie for shame said Beaumains that ever thou shouldest say or do so evil for in that
thou shamest thyself and kni!hthood and thou mayst be sure there will no lady love thee that knoweth
thy wicked customs. And now thou weenest that the si!ht of these han!ed kni!hts should fear me. 2ay
truly not soC that shameful si!ht causeth me to have coura!e and hardiness a!ainst thee more than /
would have had a!ainst thee an thou wert a well"ruled kni!ht. Make thee ready said the 0ed :ni!ht of
the 0ed Launds and talk no lon!er with me.
Then Sir Beaumains bade the damosel !o from himC and then they put their spears in their rests
and came to!ether with all their mi!ht that they had both and either smote other in midst of their
shields that the paitrelles surcin!les and cruppers brast and fell to the earth both and the reins of their
bridles in their handsC and so they lay a !reat while sore astonied that all that were in the castle and in
the sie!e weened their necks had been brokenC and then many a stran!er and other said the stran!e
kni!ht was a bi! man and a noble $ouster for or now we saw never no kni!ht match the 0ed :ni!ht of
the 0ed Launds+ thus they said both within the castle and without. Then li!htly they avoided their
horses and put their shields afore them and drew their swords and ran to!ether like two fierce lions
and either !ave other such buffets upon their helms that they reeled backward both two stridesC and
then they recovered both and hewed !reat pieces off their harness and their shields that a !reat part fell
into the fields.
CHAPTER !,II# How afte& long f(g%t(ng Bea'ma(ns o-e&came
t%e kn(g%t and wo'ld %a-e sla(n %(m) b't at t%e &e/'est of
t%e lo&ds %e sa-ed %(s l(fe) and
made him to yield him to the lady.
-><
A2( then thus they fou!ht till it was past noon and never would stint till at the last they lacked
wind bothC and then they stood wa!!in! and scatterin! pantin! blowin! and bleedin! that all that
beheld them for the most part wept for pity. So when they had rested them a while they yede to battle
a!ain tracin! racin! foinin! as two boars. And at some time they took their run as it had been two
rams and hurtled to!ether that sometime they fell !rovellin! to the earth+ and at some time they were
so amaDed that either took other's sword instead of his own.
Thus they endured till evenson! time that there was none that beheld them mi!ht know whether
was like to win the battleC and their armour was so forhewn that men mi!ht see their naked sidesC and in
other places they were naked but ever the naked places they did defend. And the 0ed :ni!ht was a
wily kni!ht of war and his wily fi!htin! tau!ht Sir Beaumains to be wiseC but he abou!ht it full sore or
he did espy his fi!htin!.
And thus by assent of them both they !ranted either other to restC and so they set them down upon
two mole"hills there beside the fi!htin! place and either of them unlaced his helm and took the cold
windC for either of their pa!es was fast by them to come when they called to unlace their harness and
to set them on a!ain at their commandment. And then when Sir Beaumains' helm was off he looked up
to the window and there he saw the fair lady (ame Lionesse and she made him such countenance that
his heart wa'ed li!ht and $ollyC and therewith he bade the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds make him
ready and let us do the battle to the utterance. / will well said the kni!ht and then they laced up their
helms and their pa!es avoided and they stepped to!ether and fou!ht freshlyC but the 0ed :ni!ht of the
0ed Launds awaited him and at an overthwart smote him within the hand that his sword fell out of his
handC and yet he !ave him another buffet upon the helm that he fell !rovellin! to the earth and the 0ed
:ni!ht fell over him for to hold him down.
Then cried the maiden Linet on hi!h+ * Sir Beaumains where is thy coura!e becomeL Alas my
lady my sister beholdeth thee and she sobbeth and weepeth that maketh mine heart heavy. 5hen Sir
Beaumains heard her say so he abraid up with a !reat mi!ht and !at him upon his feet and li!htly he
leapt to his sword and !ripped it in his hand and doubled his pace unto the 0ed :ni!ht and there they
fou!ht a new battle to!ether. But Sir Beaumains then doubled his strokes and smote so thick that he
smote the sword out of his hand and then he smote him upon the helm that he fell to the earth and Sir
Beaumains fell upon him and unlaced his helm to have slain himC and then he yielded him and asked
mercy and said with a loud voice+ * noble kni!ht / yield me to thy mercy.
->7
Then Sir Beaumains bethou!ht him upon the kni!hts that he had made to be han!ed shamefully
and then he said+ / may not with my worship save thy life for the shameful deaths that thou hast caused
many full !ood kni!hts to die. Sir said the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds hold your hand and ye shall
know the causes why / put them to so shameful a death. Say on said Sir Beaumains. Sir / loved once a
lady a fair damosel and she had her brother slainC and she said it was Sir Launcelot du Lake or else
Sir %awaineC and she prayed me as that / loved her heartily that / would make her a promise by the
faith of my kni!hthood for to labour daily in arms unto / met with one of themC and all that / mi!ht
overcome / should put them unto a villainous deathC and this is the cause that / have put all these
kni!hts to death and so / ensured her to do all the villainy unto :in! Arthur's kni!hts and that / should
take ven!eance upon all these kni!hts. And sir now / will thee tell that every day my stren!th
increaseth till noon and all this time have / seven men's stren!th.
CHAPTER !,III# How t%e kn(g%t +(elded %(m) and %ow
Bea'ma(ns made %(m to go 'nto "(ng A&t%'&0s co'&t) and
to c&+ 6(& La'ncelot me&c+#
T132 came there many earls and barons and noble kni!hts and prayed that kni!ht to save his
life and take him to your prisoner. And all they fell upon their knees and prayed him of mercy and
that he would save his lifeC and Sir they all said it were fairer of him to take homa!e and fealty and
let him hold his lands of you than for to slay himC by his death ye shall have none advanta!e and his
misdeeds that be done may not be undoneC and therefore he shall make amends to all parties and we all
will become your men and do you homa!e and fealty. &air lords said Beaumains wit you well / am
full loath to slay this kni!ht nevertheless he hath done passin! ill and shamefullyC but insomuch all that
he did was at a lady's reAuest / blame him the lessC and so for your sake / will release him that he shall
have his life upon this covenant that he !o within the castle and yield him there to the lady and if she
will for!ive and Auit him / will wellC with this he make her amends of all the trespass he hath done
a!ainst her and her lands. And also when that is done that ye !o unto the court of :in! Arthur and
there that ye ask Sir Launcelot mercy and Sir %awaine for the evil will ye have had a!ainst them. Sir
said the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds all this will / do as ye command and siker assurance and
->@
borrows ye shall have. And so then when the assurance was made he made his homa!e and fealty and
all those earls and barons with him.
And then the maiden Linet came to Sir Beaumains and unarmed him and searched his wounds
and stinted his blood and in likewise she did to the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds. And there they
so$ourned ten days in their tentsC and the 0ed :ni!ht made his lords and servants to do all the pleasure
that they mi!ht unto Sir Beaumains. And so within a while the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds yede
unto the castle and put him in her !race. And so she received him upon sufficient surety so all her
hurts were well restored of all that she could complain. And then he departed unto the court of :in!
Arthur and there openly the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds put him in the mercy of Sir Launcelot and
Sir %awaine and there he told openly how he was overcome and by whom and also he told all the
battles from the be!innin! unto the endin!. Eesu mercy said :in! Arthur and Sir %awaine we marvel
much of what blood he is come for he is a noble kni!ht. 1ave ye no marvel said Sir Launcelot for ye
shall ri!ht well wit that he is come of a full noble bloodC and as for his mi!ht and hardiness there be
but few now livin! that is so mi!hty as he is and so noble of prowess. /t seemeth by you said :in!
Arthur that ye know his name and from whence he is come and of what blood he is. / suppose / do so
said Launcelot or else / would not have !iven him the order of kni!hthoodC but he !ave me such
char!e at that time that / should never discover him until he reAuired me or else it be known openly by
some other.
CHAPTER !I! How Bea'ma(ns came to t%e lad+) and w%en %e
came to t%e castle t%e gates we&e closed aga(nst %(m) and of
t%e wo&ds t%at t%e lad+ sa(d to
him.
2*5 turn we unto Sir Beaumains that desired of Linet that he mi!ht see her sister his lady. Sir
she said / would fain ye saw her. Then Sir Beaumains all armed him and took his horse and his spear
and rode strai!ht unto the castle. And when he came to the !ate he found there many men armed and
pulled up the drawbrid!e and drew the port close.
->=
Then marvelled he why they would not suffer him to enter. And then he looked up to the windowC
and there he saw the fair Lionesse that said on hi!h+ %o thy way Sir Beaumains for as yet thou shalt
not have wholly my love unto the time that thou be called one of the number of the worthy kni!hts.
And therefore !o labour in worship this twelvemonth and then thou shalt hear new tidin!s. Alas fair
lady said Beaumains / have not deserved that ye should show me this stran!eness and / had weened
that / should have ri!ht !ood cheer with you and unto my power / have deserved thank and well / am
sure / have bou!ht your love with part of the best blood within my body. &air courteous kni!ht said
(ame Lionesse be not displeased nor over"hastyC for wit you well your !reat travail nor !ood love
shall not be lost for / consider your !reat travail and labour your bounty and your !oodness as me
ou!ht to do. And therefore !o on your way and look that ye be of !ood comfort for all shall be for
your worship and for the best and perdy a twelvemonth will soon be done and trust me fair kni!ht /
shall be true to you and never to betray you but to my death / shall love you and none other. And
therewithal she turned her from the window and Sir Beaumains rode awayward from the castle
makin! !reat dole and so he rode here and there and wist not where he rode till it was dark ni!ht. And
then it happened him to come to a poor man's house and there he was harboured all that ni!ht.
But Sir Beaumains had no rest but wallowed and writhed for the love of the lady of the castle. And
so upon the morrow he took his horse and rode until underne and then he came to a broad water and
thereby was a !reat lod!e and there he ali!hted to sleep and laid his head upon the shield and betook
his horse to the dwarf and commanded him to watch all ni!ht.
2ow turn we to the lady of the same castle that thou!ht much upon Beaumains and then she
called unto her Sir %rin!amore her brother and prayed him in all manner as he loved her heartily that
he would ride after Sir Beaumains+ And ever have ye wait upon him till ye may find him sleepin! for /
am sure in his heaviness he will ali!ht down in some place and lie him down to sleepC and therefore
have ye your wait upon him and in the priviest manner ye can take his dwarf and !o ye your way with
him as fast as ever ye may or Sir Beaumains awake. &or my sister Linet telleth me that he can tell of
what kindred he is come and what is his ri!ht name. And the meanwhile / and my sister will ride unto
your castle to await when ye brin! with you the dwarf. And then when ye have brou!ht him unto your
castle / will have him in e'amination myself. ;nto the time that / know what is his ri!ht name and of
what kindred he is come shall / never be merry at my heart. Sister said Sir %rin!amore all this shall
be done after your intent.
-?>
And so he rode all the other day and the ni!ht till that he found Sir Beaumains lyin! by a water
and his head upon his shield for to sleep. And then when he saw Sir Beaumains fast asleep he came
stilly stalkin! behind the dwarf and plucked him fast under his arm and so he rode away with him as
fast as ever he mi!ht unto his own castle. And this Sir %rin!amore's arms were all black and that to
him lon!eth. But ever as he rode with the dwarf toward his castle he cried unto his lord and prayed him
of help. And therewith awoke Sir Beaumains and up he leapt li!htly and saw where Sir %rin!amore
rode his way with the dwarf and so Sir %rin!amore rode out of his si!ht.
CHAPTER !!# How 6(& Bea'ma(ns &ode afte& to &esc'e %(s
dwa&f) and came (nto t%e castle w%e&e %e was#
T132 Sir Beaumains put on his helm anon and buckled his shield and took his horse and rode
after him all that ever he mi!ht ride throu!h marshes and fields and !reat dales that many times his
horse and he plun!ed over the head in deep mires for he knew not the way but took the !ainest way in
that woodness that many times he was like to perish. And at the last him happened to come to a fair
!reen way and there he met with a poor man of the country whom he saluted and asked him whether
he met not with a kni!ht upon a black horse and all black harness a little dwarf sittin! behind him with
heavy cheer. Sir said the poor man here by me came Sir %rin!amore the kni!ht with such a dwarf
mournin! as ye sayC and therefore / rede you not follow him for he is one of the periloust kni!hts of
the world and his castle is here ni!h hand but two mileC therefore we advise you ride not after Sir
%rin!amore but if ye owe him !ood will.
So leave we Sir Beaumains ridin! toward the castle and speak we of Sir %rin!amore and the
dwarf. Anon as the dwarf was come to the castle (ame Lionesse and (ame Linet her sister asked the
dwarf where was his master born and of what linea!e he was come. And but if thou tell me said (ame
Lionesse thou shalt never escape this castle but ever here to be prisoner. As for that said the dwarf /
fear not !reatly to tell his name and of what kin he is come. 5it you well he is a kin!'s son and his
mother is sister to :in! Arthur and he is brother to the !ood kni!ht Sir %awaine and his name is Sir
%areth of *rkney. And now / have told you his ri!ht name / pray you fair lady let me !o to my lord
a!ain for he will never out of this country until that he have me a!ain. And if he be an!ry he will do
-??
much harm or that he be stint and work you wrack in this country. As for that threatenin! said Sir
%rin!amore be it as it be may we will !o to dinner. And so they washed and went to meat and made
them merry and well at ease and because the Lady Lionesse of the castle was there they made !reat
$oy. Truly madam said Linet unto her sister well may he be a kin!'s son for he hath many !ood
tatches on him for he is courteous and mild and the most sufferin! man that ever / met withal. &or /
dare say there was never !entlewoman reviled man in so foul a manner as / have rebuked himC and at
all times he !ave me !oodly and meek answers a!ain.
And as they sat thus talkin! there came Sir %areth in at the !ate with an an!ry countenance and
his sword drawn in his hand and cried aloud that all the castle mi!ht hear it sayin!+ Thou traitor Sir
%rin!amore deliver me my dwarf a!ain or by the faith that / owe to the order of kni!hthood / shall do
thee all the harm that / can. Then Sir %rin!amore looked out at a window and said Sir %areth of
*rkney leave thy boastin! words for thou !ettest not thy dwarf a!ain. Thou coward kni!ht said Sir
%areth brin! him with thee and come and do battle with me and win him and take him. So will / do
said Sir %rin!amore an me list but for all thy !reat words thou !ettest him not. AhJ fair brother said
(ame Lionesse / would he had his dwarf a!ain for / would he were not wroth for now he hath told
me all my desire / keep no more of the dwarf. And also brother he hath done much for me and
delivered me from the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds and therefore brother / owe him my service
afore all kni!hts livin!. And wit ye well that / love him before all other and full fain / would speak
with him. But in nowise / would that he wist what / were but that / were another stran!e lady.
5ell said Sir %rin!amore sithen / know now your will / will obey now unto him. And ri!ht
therewithal he went down unto Sir %areth and said+ Sir / cry you mercy and all that / have misdone /
will amend it at your will. And therefore / pray you that ye would ali!ht and take such cheer as / can
make you in this castle. Shall / have my dwarfL said Sir %areth. Yea sir and all the pleasaunce that /
can make you for as soon as your dwarf told me what ye were and of what blood ye are come and
what noble deeds ye have done in these marches then / repented of my deeds. And then Sir %areth
ali!hted and there came his dwarf and took his horse. * my fellow said Sir %areth / have had many
adventures for thy sake. And so Sir %rin!amore took him by the hand and led him into the hall where
his own wife was.
-?-
CHAPTER !!I# How 6(& Ga&et%) ot%e&w(se called Bea'ma(ns)
came to t%e *&esence of %(s lad+) and %ow t%e+ took
ac/'a(ntance) and of t%e(& lo-e#
A2( then came forth (ame Lionesse arrayed like a princess and there she made him passin!
!ood cheer and he her a!ainC and they had !oodly lan!ua!e and lovely countenance to!ether. And Sir
%areth thou!ht many times Eesu would that the lady of the )astle #erilous were so fair as she was.
There were all manner of !ames and plays of dancin! and sin!in!. And ever the more Sir %areth
beheld that lady the more he loved herC and so he burned in love that he was past himself in his reasonC
and forth toward ni!ht they yede unto supper and Sir %areth mi!ht not eat for his love was so hot that
he wist not where he was.
All these looks espied Sir %rin!amore and then at"after supper he called his sister (ame Lionesse
into a chamber and said+ &air sister / have well espied your countenance betwi't you and this kni!ht
and / will sister that ye wit he is a full noble kni!ht and if ye can make him to abide here / will do
him all the pleasure that / can for an ye were better than ye are ye were well bywaryd upon him. &air
brother said (ame Lionesse / understand well that the kni!ht is !ood and come he is of a noble
house. 2otwithstandin! / will assay him better howbeit / am most beholden to him of any earthly
manC for he hath had !reat labour for my love and passed many a dan!erous passa!e.
0i!ht so Sir %rin!amore went unto Sir %areth and said Sir make ye !ood cheer for ye shall have
none other cause for this lady my sister is yours at all times her worship saved for wit ye well she
loveth you as well as ye do her and better if better may be. An / wist that said Sir %areth there lived
not a !ladder man than / would be. ;pon my worship said Sir %rin!amore trust unto my promiseC and
as lon! as it liketh you ye shall so$ourn with me and this lady shall be with us daily and ni!htly to
make you all the cheer that she can. / will well said Sir %areth for / have promised to be ni!h this
country this twelvemonth. And well / am sure :in! Arthur and other noble kni!hts will find me where
that / am within this twelvemonth. &or / shall be sou!ht and found if that / be alive. And then the noble
kni!ht Sir %areth went unto the (ame Lionesse which he then much loved and kissed her many times
and either made !reat $oy of other. And there she promised him her love certainly to love him and none
other the days of her life. Then this lady (ame Lionesse by the assent of her brother told Sir %areth
all the truth what she was and how she was the same lady that he did battle for and how she was lady
-?9
of the )astle #erilous and there she told him how she caused her brother to take away his dwarf
-
for
this cause to know the certainty what was your name and of what kin ye were come.
CHAPTER !!II# How at n(g%t came an a&med kn(g%t) and
fo'g%t w(t% 6(& Ga&et%) and %e) so&e %'&t (n t%e t%(g%) smote
off t%e kn(g%t0s %ead#
A2( then she let fetch to"fore him Linet the damosel that had ridden with him many wildsome
ways. Then was Sir %areth more !ladder than he was to"fore. And then they troth"pli!ht each other to
love and never to fail whiles their life lasteth. And so they burnt both in love that they were accorded
to abate their lusts secretly. And there (ame Lionesse counselled Sir %areth to sleep in none other
place but in the hall. And there she promised him to come to his bed a little afore midni!ht.
This counsel was not so privily kept but it was understoodC for they were but youn! both and
tender of a!e and had not used none such crafts to"fore. 5herefore the damosel Linet was a little
displeased and she thou!ht her sister (ame Lionesse was a little over"hasty that she mi!ht not abide
the time of her marria!eC and for savin! their worship she thou!ht to abate their hot lusts. And so she
let ordain by her subtle crafts that they had not their intents neither with other as in their deli!hts until
they were married. And so it passed on. At"after supper was made clean avoidance that every lord and
lady should !o unto his rest. But Sir %areth said plainly he would !o no farther than the hall for in
such places he said was convenient for an errant"kni!ht to take his rest inC and so there were ordained
!reat couches and thereon feather beds and there laid him down to sleepC and within a while came
(ame Lionesse wrapped in a mantle furred with ermine and laid her down beside Sir %areth. And
therewithal he be!an to kiss her. And then he looked afore him and there he apperceived and saw come
an armed kni!ht with many li!hts about himC and this kni!ht had a lon! !isarm in his hand and made
!rim countenance to smite him. 5hen Sir %areth saw him come in that wise he leapt out of his bed
and !at in his hand his sword and leapt strai!ht toward that kni!ht. And when the kni!ht saw Sir
%areth come so fiercely upon him he smote him with a foin throu!h the thick of the thi!h that the
wound was a shaftmon broad and had cut a"two many veins and sinews. And therewithal Sir %areth
smote him upon the helm such a buffet that he fell !rovellin!C and then he leapt over him and unlaced
-?.
his helm and smote off his head from the body. And then he bled so fast that he mi!ht not stand but so
he laid him down upon his bed and there he swooned and lay as he had been dead.
Then (ame Lionesse cried aloud that her brother Sir %rin!amore heard and came down. And
when he saw Sir %areth so shamefully wounded he was sore displeased and said+ / am shamed that this
noble kni!ht is thus honoured. Sir said Sir %rin!amore how may this be that ye be here and this
noble kni!ht woundedL Brother she said / can not tell you for it was not done by me nor by mine
assent. &or he is my lord and / am his and he must be mine husbandC therefore my brother / will that
ye wit / shame me not to be with him nor to do him all the pleasure that / can. Sister said Sir
%rin!amore and / will that ye wit it and Sir %areth both that it was never done by me nor by my
assent that this unhappy deed was done. And there they staunched his bleedin! as well as they mi!ht
and !reat sorrow made Sir %rin!amore and (ame Lionesse.
And forthwithal came (ame Linet and took up the head in the si!ht of them all and anointed it
with an ointment thereas it was smitten offC and in the same wise she did to the other part thereas the
head stuck and then she set it to!ether and it stuck as fast as ever it did. And the kni!ht arose li!htly
up and the damosel Linet put him in her chamber. All this saw Sir %rin!amore and (ame Lionesse
and so did Sir %arethC and well he espied that it was the damosel Linet that rode with him throu!h the
perilous passa!es. Ah well damosel said Sir %areth / weened ye would not have done as ye have
done. My lord %areth said Linet all that / have done / will avow and all that / have done shall be for
your honour and worship and to us all. And so within a while Sir %areth was ni!h whole and wa'ed
li!ht and $ocund and san! danced and !amedC and he and (ame Lionesse were so hot in burnin! love
that they made their covenant at the tenth ni!ht after that she should come to his bed. And because he
was wounded afore he laid his armour and his sword ni!h his bed's side.
CHAPTER !!III# How t%e sa(d kn(g%t came aga(n t%e ne4t
n(g%t and was be%eaded aga(n) and %ow at t%e feast of
Pentecost all t%e kn(g%ts t%at 6(& Ga&et%
had overcome came and yielded them to :in! Arthur.
-?4
0/%1T as she promised she cameC and she was not so soon in his bed but she espied an armed
kni!ht comin! toward the bed+ therewithal she warned Sir %areth and li!htly throu!h the !ood help of
(ame Lionesse he was armedC and they hurtled to!ether with !reat ire and malice all about the hallC
and there was !reat li!ht as it had been the number of twenty torches both before and behind so that
Sir %areth strained him so that his old wound brast a!ain a"bleedin!C but he was hot and coura!eous
and took no keep but with his !reat force he struck down that kni!ht and voided his helm and struck
off his head. Then he hewed the head in an hundred pieces. And when he had done so he took up all
those pieces and threw them out at a window into the ditches of the castleC and by this done he was so
faint that unnethes he mi!ht stand for bleedin!. And by when he was almost unarmed he fell in a deadly
swoon on the floorC and then (ame Lionesse cried so that Sir %rin!amore heardC and when he came
and found Sir %areth in that pli!ht he made !reat sorrowC and there he awaked Sir %areth and !ave
him a drink that relieved him wonderly wellC but the sorrow that (ame Lionesse made there may no
ton!ue tell for she so fared with herself as she would have died.
0i!ht so came this damosel Linet before them all and she had fetched all the !obbets of the head
that Sir %areth had thrown out at a window and there she anointed them as she had done to"fore and
set them to!ether a!ain. 5ell damosel Linet said Sir %areth / have not deserved all this despite that
ye do unto me. Sir kni!ht she said / have nothin! done but / will avow and all that / have done shall
be to your worship and to us all. And then was Sir %areth staunched of his bleedin!. But the leeches
said that there was no man that bare the life should heal him throu!hout of his wound but if they healed
him that caused that stroke by enchantment.
So leave we Sir %areth there with Sir %rin!amore and his sisters and turn we unto :in! Arthur
that at the ne't feast of #entecost held his feastC and there came the %reen :ni!ht with fifty kni!hts
and yielded them all unto :in! Arthur. And so there came the 0ed :ni!ht his brother and yielded him
to :in! Arthur and three score kni!hts with him. Also there came the Blue :ni!ht brother to them
with an hundred kni!hts and yielded them unto :in! ArthurC and the %reen :ni!ht's name was
#ertolepe and the 0ed :ni!ht's name was #erimones and the Blue :ni!ht's name was Sir #ersant of
/nde. These three brethren told :in! Arthur how they were overcome by a kni!ht that a damosel had
with her and called him Beaumains. Eesu said the kin! / marvel what kni!ht he is and of what linea!e
he is come. 1e was with me a twelvemonth and poorly and shamefully he was fostered and Sir :ay in
scorn named him Beaumains. So ri!ht as the kin! stood so talkin! with these three brethren there came
Sir Launcelot du Lake and told the kin! that there was come a !oodly lord with si' hundred kni!hts
-?<
with him.
Then the kin! went out of )arlion for there was the feast and there came to him this lord and
saluted the kin! in a !oodly manner. 5hat will ye said :in! Arthur and what is your errandL Sir he
said my name is the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds but my name is Sir /ronsideC and sir wit ye well
here / am sent to you of a kni!ht that is called Beaumains for he won me in plain battle hand for hand
and so did never no kni!ht but he that ever had the better of me this thirty winterC the which
commanded to yield me to you at your will. Ye are welcome said the kin! for ye have been lon! a
!reat foe to me and my court and now / trust to %od / shall so entreat you that ye shall be my friend.
Sir both / and these five hundred kni!hts shall always be at your summons to do you service as may lie
in our powers. Eesu mercy said :in! Arthur / am much beholden unto that kni!ht that hath put so his
body in devoir to worship me and my court. And as to thee /ronside that art called the 0ed :ni!ht of
the 0ed Launds thou art called a perilous kni!htC and if thou wilt hold of me / shall worship thee and
make thee kni!ht of the Table 0oundC but then thou must be no more a murderer. Sir as to that / have
promised unto Sir Beaumains never more to use such customs for all the shameful customs that / used
/ did at the reAuest of a lady that / lovedC and therefore / must !o unto Sir Launcelot and unto Sir
%awaine and ask them for!iveness of the evil will / had unto themC for all that / put to death was all
only for the love of Sir Launcelot and of Sir %awaine. They be here now said the kin! afore thee now
may ye say to them what ye will. And then he kneeled down unto Sir Launcelot and to Sir %awaine
and prayed them of for!iveness of his enmity that ever he had a!ainst them.
CHAPTER !!I,# How "(ng A&t%'& *a&doned t%em) and
demanded of t%em w%e&e 6(& Ga&et% was#
T132 !oodly they said all at once %od for!ive you and we do and pray you that ye will tell us
where we may find Sir Beaumains. &air lords said Sir /ronside / cannot tell you for it is full hard to
find himC for such youn! kni!hts as he is one when they be in their adventures be never abidin! in no
place. But to say the worship that the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds and Sir #ersant and his brother
said of Beaumains it was marvel to hear. 5ell my fair lords said :in! Arthur wit you well / shall do
you honour for the love of Sir Beaumains and as soon as ever / meet with him / shall make you all
-?7
upon one day kni!hts of the Table 0ound. And as to thee Sir #ersant of /nde thou hast been ever called
a full noble kni!ht and so have ever been thy three brethren called. But / marvel said the kin! that /
hear not of the Black :ni!ht your brother he was a full noble kni!ht. Sir said #ertolepe the %reen
:ni!ht Sir Beaumains slew him in a recounter with his spear his name was Sir #ercard. That was !reat
pity said the kin! and so said many kni!hts. &or these four brethren were full well known in the court
of :in! Arthur for noble kni!hts for lon! time they had holden war a!ainst the kni!hts of the 0ound
Table. Then said #ertolepe the %reen :ni!ht to the kin!+ At a passa!e of the water of Mortaise there
encountered Sir Beaumains with two brethren that ever for the most part kept that passa!e and they
were two deadly kni!hts and there he slew the eldest brother in the water and smote him upon the
head such a buffet that he fell down in the water and there he was drowned and his name was Sir
%herard le BreusseC and after he slew the other brother upon the land his name was Sir Arnold le
Breusse.
CHAPTER !!,# How t%e 1'een of O&kne+ came to t%(s feast of
Pentecost) and 6(& Gawa(ne and %(s b&et%&en came to ask
%e& bless(ng#
:
So then the kin! and they went to meat and were served in the best manner. And as they sat at the
meat there came in the Bueen of *rkney with ladies and kni!hts a !reat number. And then Sir
%awaine Sir A!ravaine and %aheris arose and went to her and saluted her upon their knees and
asked her blessin!C for in fifteen year they had not seen her. Then she spake on hi!h to her brother :in!
Arthur+ 5here have ye done my youn! son Sir %arethL 1e was here amon!st you a twelvemonth and
ye made a kitchen knave of him the which is shame to you all. Alas where have ye done my dear son
that was my $oy and blissL * dear mother said Sir %awaine / knew him not. 2or / said the kin! that
now me repenteth but thanked be %od he is proved a worshipful kni!ht as any is now livin! of his
years and / shall never be !lad till / may find him.
Ah brother said the Bueen unto :in! Arthur and unto Sir %awaine and to all her sons ye did
yourself !reat shame when ye amon!st you kept my son in the kitchen and fed him like a poor ho!.
&air sister said :in! Arthur ye shall ri!ht well wit / knew him not nor no more did Sir %awaine nor
-?@
his brethrenC but sithen it is so said the kin! that he is thus !one from us all we must shape a remedy
to find him. Also sister meseemeth ye mi!ht have done me to wit of his comin! and then an / had not
done well to him ye mi!ht have blamed me. &or when he came to this court he came leanin! upon two
men's shoulders as thou!h he mi!ht not have !one. And then he asked me three !iftsC and one he asked
the same day that was that / would !ive him meat enou!h that twelvemonthC and the other two !ifts he
asked that day a twelvemonth and that was that he mi!ht have the adventure of the damosel Linet and
the third was that Sir Launcelot should make him kni!ht when he desired him. And so / !ranted him all
his desire and many in this court marvelled that he desired his sustenance for a twelvemonth. And
thereby we deemed many of us that he was not come of a noble house.
Sir said the Bueen of *rkney unto :in! Arthur her brother wit ye well that / sent him unto you
ri!ht well armed and horsed and worshipfully beseen of his body and !old and silver plenty to spend.
/t may be said the :in! but thereof saw we none save that same day as he departed from us kni!hts
told me that there came a dwarf hither suddenly and brou!ht him armour and a !ood horse full well
and richly beseenC and thereat we all had marvel from whence that riches came that we deemed all that
he was come of men of worship. Brother said the Aueen all that ye say / believe for ever sithen he was
!rown he was marvellously witted and ever he was faithful and true of his promise. But / marvel said
she that Sir :ay did mock him and scorn him and !ave him that name BeaumainsC yet Sir :ay said
the Aueen named him more ri!hteously than he weenedC for / dare say an he be alive he is as fair an
handed man and well disposed as any is livin!. Sir said Arthur let this lan!ua!e be still and by the
!race of %od he shall be found an he be within this seven realms and let all this pass and be merry for
he is proved to be a man of worship and that is my $oy.
CHAPTER !!,I# How "(ng A&t%'& sent fo& t%e Lad+ L(onesse)
and %ow s%e let c&+ a to'&ne+ at %e& castle) w%e&eas came
man+ kn(g%ts#
T132 said Sir %awaine and his brethren unto Arthur Sir an ye will !ive us leave we will !o and
seek our brother. 2ay said Sir Launcelot that shall ye not needC and so said Sir Baudwin of Britain+ for
as by our advice the kin! shall send unto (ame Lionesse a messen!er and pray her that she will come
-?=
to the court in all the haste that she may and doubt ye not she will comeC and then she may !ive you
best counsel where ye shall find him. This is well said of you said the kin!. So then !oodly letters were
made and the messen!er sent forth that ni!ht and day he went till he came unto the )astle #erilous.
And then the lady (ame Lionesse was sent for thereas she was with Sir %rin!amore her brother and
Sir %areth. And when she understood this messa!e she bade him ride on his way unto :in! Arthur and
she would come after in all !oodly haste. Then when she came to Sir %rin!amore and to Sir %areth
she told them all how :in! Arthur had sent for her. That is because of me said Sir %areth. 2ow advise
me said (ame Lionesse what shall / say and in what manner / shall rule me. My lady and my love
said Sir %areth / pray you in no wise be ye aknowen where / amC but well / wot my mother is there and
all my brethren and they will take upon them to seek me / wot well that they do. But this madam /
would ye said and advised the kin! when he Auestioned with you of me. Then may ye say this is your
advice that an it like his !ood !race ye will do make a cry a!ainst the feast of the Assumption of our
Lady that what kni!ht there proveth him best he shall wield you and all your land. And if so be that he
be a wedded man that his wife shall have the de!ree and a coronal of !old beset with stones of virtue
to the value of a thousand pound and a white !erfalcon.
So (ame Lionesse departed and came to :in! Arthur where she was nobly received and there she
was sore Auestioned of the kin! and of the Bueen of *rkney. And she answered where Sir %areth was
she could not tell. But thus much she said unto Arthur+ Sir / will let cry a tournament that shall be done
before my castle at the Assumption of our Lady and the cry shall be this+ that you my lord Arthur
shall be there and your kni!hts and / will purvey that my kni!hts shall be a!ainst yoursC and then / am
sure ye shall hear of Sir %areth. This is well advised said :in! ArthurC and so she departed. And the
kin! and she made !reat provision to that tournament.
5hen (ame Lionesse was come to the /sle of Avilion that was the same isle thereas her brother
Sir %rin!amore dwelt then she told them all how she had done and what promise she had made to
:in! Arthur. Alas said Sir %areth / have been so wounded with unhappiness sithen / came into this
castle that / shall not be able to do at that tournament like a kni!htC for / was never thorou!hly whole
since / was hurt. Be ye of !ood cheer said the damosel Linet for / undertake within these fifteen days
to make ye whole and as lusty as ever ye were. And then she laid an ointment and a salve to him as it
pleased to her that he was never so fresh nor so lusty. Then said the damosel Linet+ Send you unto Sir
#ersant of /nde and assummon him and his kni!hts to be here with you as they have promised. Also
that ye send unto Sir /ronside that is the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds and char!e him that he be
-->
ready with you with his whole sum of kni!hts and then shall ye be able to match with :in! Arthur and
his kni!hts. So this was done and all kni!hts were sent for unto the )astle #erilousC and then the 0ed
:ni!ht answered and said unto (ame Lionesse and to Sir %areth Madam and my lord Sir %areth ye
shall understand that / have been at the court of :in! Arthur and Sir #ersant of /nde and his brethren
and there we have done our homa!e as ye commanded us. Also Sir /ronside said / have taken upon me
with Sir #ersant of /nde and his brethren to hold part a!ainst my lord Sir Launcelot and the kni!hts of
that court. And this have / done for the love of my lady (ame Lionesse and you my lord Sir %areth. Ye
have well done said Sir %arethC but wit you well ye shall be full sore matched with the most noble
kni!hts of the worldC therefore we must purvey us of !ood kni!hts where we may !et them. That is
well said said Sir #ersant and worshipfully.
And so the cry was made in 3n!land 5ales and Scotland /reland )ornwall and in all the *ut
/sles and in Brittany and in many countriesC that at the feast of our Lady the Assumption ne't comin!
men should come to the )astle #erilous beside the /sle of AvilionC and there all the kni!hts that there
came should have the choice whether them list to be on the one party with the kni!hts of the castle or
on the other party with :in! Arthur. And two months was to the day that the tournament should be.
And so there came many !ood kni!hts that were at their lar!e and held them for the most part a!ainst
:in! Arthur and his kni!hts of the 0ound Table and came in the side of them of the castle. &or Sir
3pino!rus was the first and he was the kin!'s son of 2orthumberland and Sir #alamides the Saracen
was another and Sir Safere his brother and Sir Se!warides his brother but they were christened and
Sir Male!rine another and Sir Brian de les /sles a noble kni!ht and Sir %rummore %rummursum a
!ood kni!ht of Scotland and Sir )arados of the dolorous tower a noble kni!ht and Sir TurAuine his
brother and Sir Arnold and Sir %auter two brethren !ood kni!hts of )ornwall. There came Sir
Tristram de Liones and with him Sir (inas the Seneschal and Sir SadokC but this Sir Tristram was not
at that time kni!ht of the Table 0ound but he was one of the best kni!hts of the world. And so all these
noble kni!hts accompanied them with the lady of the castle and with the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed
LaundsC but as for Sir %areth he would not take upon him more but as other mean kni!hts.
--?
CHAPTER !!,II# How "(ng A&t%'& went to t%e to'&nament
w(t% %(s kn(g%ts) and %ow t%e lad+ &ece(-ed %(m
wo&s%(*f'll+) and %ow t%e kn(g%ts enco'nte&ed#
A2( then there came with :in! Arthur Sir %awaine A!ravaine %aheris his brethren. And then
his nephews Sir ;waine le Blanchemains and Sir A!lovale Sir Tor Sir #ercivale de %alis and Sir
Lamorak de %alis. Then came Sir Launcelot du Lake with his brethren nephews and cousins as Sir
Lionel Sir 3ctor de Maris Sir Bors de %anis and Sir %alihodin Sir %alihud and many more of Sir
Launcelot's blood and Sir (inadan Sir La )ote Male Taile his brother a !ood kni!ht and Sir
Sa!ramore a !ood kni!htC and all the most part of the 0ound Table. Also there came with :in! Arthur
these kni!hts the :in! of /reland :in! A!wisance and the :in! of Scotland :in! )arados and :in!
;riens of the land of %ore and :in! Ba!dema!us and his son Sir Melia!anus and Sir %alahault the
noble prince. All these kin!s princes and earls barons and other noble kni!hts as Sir Brandiles Sir
;waine les Avoutres and Sir :ay Sir Bedivere Sir Meliot de Lo!res Sir #etipase of 5inchelsea Sir
%odelake+ all these came with :in! Arthur and more that cannot be rehearsed.
2ow leave we of these kin!s and kni!hts and let us speak of the !reat array that was made within
the castle and about the castle for both parties. The Lady (ame Lionesse ordained !reat array upon her
part for her noble kni!hts for all manner of lod!in! and victual that came by land and by water that
there lacked nothin! for her party nor for the other but there was plenty to be had for !old and silver
for :in! Arthur and his kni!hts. And then there came the harbin!ers from :in! Arthur for to harbour
him and his kin!s dukes earls barons and kni!hts. And then Sir %areth prayed (ame Lionesse and
the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds and Sir #ersant and his brother and Sir %rin!amore that in no wise
there should none of them tell not his name and make no more of him than of the least kni!ht that there
was &or he said / will not be known of neither more nor less neither at the be!innin! neither at the
endin!. Then (ame Lionesse said unto Sir %areth+ Sir / will lend you a rin! but / would pray you as
you love me heartily let me have it a!ain when the tournament is done for that rin! increaseth my
beauty much more than it is of himself. And the virtue of my rin! is that that is !reen it will turn to red
and that is red it will turn in likeness to !reen and that is blue it will turn to likeness of white and that
is white it will turn in likeness to blue and so it will do of all manner of colours. Also who that beareth
my rin! shall lose no blood and for !reat love / will !ive you this rin!. %ramercy said Sir %areth
mine own lady for this rin! is passin! meet for me for it will turn all manner of likeness that / am in
and that shall cause me that / shall not be known. Then Sir %rin!amore !ave Sir %areth a bay courser
---
that was a passin! !ood horseC also he !ave him !ood armour and sure and a noble sword that
sometime Sir %rin!amore's father won upon an heathen tyrant. And so thus every kni!ht made him
ready to that tournament. And :in! Arthur was come two days to"fore the Assumption of our Lady.
And there was all manner of royalty of all minstrelsy that mi!ht be found. Also there came Bueen
%uenever and the Bueen of *rkney Sir %areth's mother.
And upon the Assumption (ay when mass and matins were done there were heralds with
trumpets commanded to blow to the field. And so there came out Sir 3pino!rus the kin!'s son of
2orthumberland from the castle and there encountered with him Sir Sa!ramore le (esirous and either
of them brake their spears to their hands. And then came in Sir #alamides out of the castle and there
encountered with him %awaine and either of them smote other so hard that both the !ood kni!hts and
their horses fell to the earth. And then kni!hts of either party rescued their kni!hts. And then came in
Sir Safere and Sir Se!warides brethren to Sir #alamidesC and there encountered Sir A!ravaine with Sir
Safere and Sir %aheris encountered with Sir Se!warides. So Sir Safere smote down A!ravaine Sir
%awaine's brotherC and Sir Se!warides Sir Safere's brother. And Sir Male!rine a kni!ht of the castle
encountered with Sir ;waine le Blanchemains and there Sir ;waine !ave Sir Male!rine a fall that he
had almost broke his neck.
CHAPTER !!,III# How t%e kn(g%ts ba&e t%em (n t%e battle#
T132 Sir Brian de les /sles and %rummore %rummursum kni!hts of the castle encountered with
Sir A!lovale and Sir Tor smote down Sir %rummore %rummursum to the earth. Then came in Sir
)arados of the dolorous tower and Sir TurAuine kni!hts of the castleC and there encountered with them
Sir #ercivale de %alis and Sir Lamorak de %alis that were two brethren. And there encountered Sir
#ercivale with Sir )arados and either brake their spears unto their hands and then Sir TurAuine with
Sir Lamorak and either of them smote down other's horse and all to the earth and either parties
rescued other and horsed them a!ain. And Sir Arnold and Sir %auter kni!hts of the castle encountered
with Sir Brandiles and Sir :ay and these four kni!hts encountered mi!htily and brake their spears to
their hands. Then came in Sir Tristram Sir Sadok and Sir (inas kni!hts of the castle and there
encountered Sir Tristram with Sir Bedivere and there Sir Bedivere was smitten to the earth both horse
--9
and man. And Sir Sadok encountered with Sir #etipase and there Sir Sadok was overthrown. And there
;waine les Avoutres smote down Sir (inas the Seneschal. Then came in Sir #ersant of /nde a kni!ht
of the castle and there encountered with him Sir Launcelot du Lake and there he smote Sir #ersant
horse and man to the earth. Then came Sir #ertolepe from the castle and there encountered with him
Sir Lionel and there Sir #ertolepe the %reen :ni!ht smote down Sir Lionel brother to Sir Launcelot.
All this was marked by noble heralds who bare him best and their names.
And then came into the field Sir #erimones the 0ed :ni!ht Sir #ersant's brother that was a kni!ht
of the castle and he encountered with Sir 3ctor de Maris and either smote other so hard that both their
horses and they fell to the earth. And then came in the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds and Sir %areth
from the castle and there encountered with them Sir Bors de %anis and Sir Bleoberis and there the
0ed :ni!ht and Sir Bors MeitherN smote other so hard that their spears brast and their horses fell
!rovellin! to the earth. Then Sir Bleoberis brake his spear upon Sir %areth but of that stroke Sir
Bleoberis fell to the earth. 5hen Sir %alihodin saw that he bade Sir %areth keep him and Sir %areth
smote him to the earth. Then Sir %alihud !at a spear to aven!e his brother and in the same wise Sir
%areth served him and Sir (inadan and his brother La )ote Male Taile and Sir Sa!ramore le
(esirous and Sir (odinas le Sava!e. All these he bare down with one spear.
5hen :in! A!wisance of /reland saw Sir %areth fare so he marvelled what he mi!ht be that one
time seemed !reen and another time at his a!ain comin! he seemed blue. And thus at every course
that he rode to and fro he chan!ed his colour so that there mi!ht neither kin! nor kni!ht have ready
co!nisance of him. Then Sir A!wisance the :in! of /reland encountered with Sir %areth and there Sir
%areth smote him from his horse saddle and all. And then came :in! )arados of Scotland and Sir
%areth smote him down horse and man. And in the same wise he served :in! ;riens of the land of
%ore. And then came in Sir Ba!dema!us and Sir %areth smote him down horse and man to the earth.
And Ba!dema!us' son Meli!anus brake a spear upon Sir %areth mi!htily and kni!htly. And then Sir
%alahault the noble prince cried on hi!h+ :ni!ht with the many colours well hast thou $oustedC now
make thee ready that / may $oust with thee. Sir %areth heard him and he !at a !reat spear and so they
encountered to!ether and there the prince brake his spearC but Sir %areth smote him upon the left side
of the helm that he reeled here and there and he had fallen down had not his men recovered him.
So %od me help said :in! Arthur that same kni!ht with the many colours is a !ood kni!ht.
5herefore the kin! called unto him Sir Launcelot and prayed him to encounter with that kni!ht. Sir
--.
said Launcelot / may well find in my heart for to forbear him as at this time for he hath had travail
enou!h this dayC and when a !ood kni!ht doth so well upon some day it is no !ood kni!ht's part to let
him of his worship and namely when he seeth a kni!ht hath done so !reat labourC for peradventure
said Sir Launcelot his Auarrel is here this day and peradventure he is best beloved with this lady of all
that be hereC for / see well he paineth him and enforceth him to do !reat deeds and therefore said Sir
Launcelot as for me this day he shall have the honourC thou!h it lay in my power to put him from it /
would not.
CHAPTER !!I!# .et of t%e sa(d to'&nament#
T132 when this was done there was drawin! of swords and then there be!an a sore tournament.
And there did Sir Lamorak marvellous deeds of armsC and betwi't Sir Lamorak and Sir /ronside that
was the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds there was stron! battleC and betwi't Sir #alamides and
Bleoberis there was a stron! battleC and Sir %awaine and Sir Tristram met and there Sir %awaine had
the worse for he pulled Sir %awaine from his horse and there he was lon! upon foot and defouled.
Then came in Sir Launcelot and he smote Sir TurAuine and he himC and then came Sir )arados his
brother and both at once they assailed him and he as the most noblest kni!ht of the world worshipfully
fou!ht with them both that all men wondered of the noblesse of Sir Launcelot. And then came in Sir
%areth and knew that it was Sir Launcelot that fou!ht with the two perilous kni!hts. And then Sir
%areth came with his !ood horse and hurtled them in"sunder and no stroke would he smite to Sir
Launcelot. That espied Sir Launcelot and deemed it should be the !ood kni!ht Sir %areth+ and then Sir
%areth rode here and there and smote on the ri!ht hand and on the left hand and all the folk mi!ht
well espy where that he rode. And by fortune he met with his brother Sir %awaine and there he put Sir
%awaine to the worse for he put off his helm and so he served five or si' kni!hts of the 0ound Table
that all men said he put him in the most pain and best he did his devoir. &or when Sir Tristram beheld
him how he first $ousted and after fou!ht so well with a sword then he rode unto Sir /ronside and to Sir
#ersant of /nde and asked them by their faith 5hat manner a kni!ht is yonder kni!ht that seemeth in
so many divers coloursL Truly meseemeth said Tristram that he putteth himself in !reat pain for he
never ceaseth. 5ot ye not what he isL said Sir /ronside. 2o said Sir Tristram. Then shall ye know that
--4
this is he that loveth the lady of the castle and she him a!ainC and this is he that won me when /
besie!ed the lady of this castle and this is he that won Sir #ersant of /nde and his three brethren. 5hat
is his name said Sir Tristram and of what blood is he comeL 1e was called in the court of :in! Arthur
Beaumains but his ri!ht name is Sir %areth of *rkney brother to Sir %awaine. By my head said Sir
Tristram he is a !ood kni!ht and a bi! man of arms and if he be youn! he shall prove a full noble
kni!ht. 1e is but a child they all said and of Sir Launcelot he was made kni!ht. Therefore he is mickle
the better said Tristram. And then Sir Tristram Sir /ronside Sir #ersant and his brother rode to!ether
for to help Sir %arethC and then there were !iven many stron! strokes.
And then Sir %areth rode out on the one side to amend his helmC and then said his dwarf+ Take me
your rin! that ye lose it not while that ye drink. And so when he had drunk he !at on his helm and
ea!erly took his horse and rode into the field and left his rin! with his dwarfC and the dwarf was !lad
the rin! was from him for then he wist well he should be known. And then when Sir %areth was in the
field all folks saw him well and plainly that he was in yellow coloursC and there he rased off helms and
pulled down kni!hts that :in! Arthur had marvel what kni!ht he was for the kin! saw by his hair that
it was the same kni!ht.
CHAPTER !!!# How 6(& Ga&et% was es*(ed b+ t%e %e&alds)
and %ow %e esca*ed o't of t%e f(eld#
B;T before he was in so many colours and now he is but in one colourC that is yellow. 2ow !o
said :in! Arthur unto divers heralds and ride about him and espy what manner kni!ht he is for / have
spered of many kni!hts this day that be upon his party and all say they know him not. And so an herald
rode ni!h %areth as he couldC and there he saw written about his helm in !old This helm is Sir %areth
of *rkney. Then the herald cried as he were wood and many heralds with him+KThis is Sir %areth of
*rkney in the yellow armsC whereby
.
all kin!s and kni!hts of Arthur's beheld him and awaitedC and
then they pressed all to behold him and ever the heralds cried+ This is Sir %areth of *rkney :in! Lot's
son. And when Sir %areth espied that he was discovered then he doubled his strokes and smote down
Sir Sa!ramore and his brother Sir %awaine. * brother said Sir %awaine / weened ye would not have
stricken me.
--<
So when he heard him say so he thran! here and there and so with !reat pain he !at out of the
press and there he met with his dwarf. * boy said Sir %areth thou hast be!uiled me foul this day that
thou kept my rin!C !ive it me anon a!ain that / may hide my body withalC and so he took it him. And
then they all wist not where he was becomeC and Sir %awaine had in manner espied where Sir %areth
rode and then he rode after with all his mi!ht. That espied Sir %areth and rode li!htly into the forest
that Sir %awaine wist not where he was become. And when Sir %areth wist that Sir %awaine was
passed he asked the dwarf of best counsel. Sir said the dwarf meseemeth it were best now that ye are
escaped from spyin! that ye send my lady (ame Lionesse her rin!. /t is well advised said Sir %arethC
now have it here and bear it to her and say that / recommend me unto her !ood !race and say her /
will come when / may and / pray her to be true and faithful to me as / will be to her. Sir said the
dwarf it shall be done as ye command+ and so he rode his way and did his errand unto the lady. Then
she said 5here is my kni!ht Sir %arethL Madam said the dwarf he bade me say that he would not be
lon! from you. And so li!htly the dwarf came a!ain unto Sir %areth that would full fain have had a
lod!in! for he had need to be reposed. And then fell there a thunder and a rain as heaven and earth
should !o to!ether. And Sir %areth was not a little weary for of all that day he had but little rest
neither his horse nor he. So this Sir %areth rode so lon! in that forest until the ni!ht came. And ever it
li!htened and thundered as it had been wood. At the last by fortune he came to a castle and there he
heard the waits upon the walls.
CHAPTER !!!I# How 6(& Ga&et% came to a castle w%e&e %e
was well lodged) and %e 3o'sted w(t% a kn(g%t and slew %(m#
T132 Sir %areth rode unto the barbican of the castle and prayed the porter fair to let him into the
castle. The porter answered un!oodly a!ain and said Thou !ettest no lod!in! here. &air sir say not so
for / am a kni!ht of :in! Arthur's and pray the lord or the lady of this castle to !ive me harbour for the
love of :in! Arthur. Then the porter went unto the duchess and told her how there was a kni!ht of
:in! Arthur's would have harbour. Let him in said the duchess for / will see that kni!ht and for :in!
Arthur's sake he shall not be harbourless. Then she yode up into a tower over the !ate with !reat
torchli!ht.
--7
5hen Sir %areth saw that torch"li!ht he cried on hi!h+ 5hether thou be lord or lady !iant or
champion / take no force so that / may have harbour this ni!htC and if it so be that / must needs fi!ht
spare me not to"morn when / have rested me for both / and mine horse be weary. Sir kni!ht said the
lady thou speakest kni!htly and boldlyC but wit thou well the lord of this castle loveth not :in! Arthur
nor none of his court for my lord hath ever been a!ainst himC and therefore thou were better not to
come within this castleC for an thou come in this ni!ht thou must come in under such form that
wheresomever thou meet my lord by sti!h or by street thou must yield thee to him as prisoner.
Madam said Sir %areth what is your lord and what is his nameL Sir my lord's name is the (uke de la
0owse. 5ell madam said Sir %areth / shall promise you in what place / meet your lord / shall yield
me unto him and to his !ood !raceC with that / understand he will do me no harm+ and if / understand
that he will / will release myself an / can with my spear and my sword. Ye say well said the duchessC
and then she let the drawbrid!e down and so he rode into the hall and there he ali!hted and his horse
was led into a stableC and in the hall he unarmed him and said Madam / will not out of this hall this
ni!htC and when it is dayli!ht let see who will have ado with me he shall find me ready. Then was he
set unto supper and had many !ood dishes. Then Sir %areth list well to eat and kni!htly he ate his
meat and ea!erlyC there was many a fair lady by him and some said they never saw a !oodlier man nor
so well of eatin!. Then they made him passin! !ood cheer and shortly when he had supped his bed was
made thereC so he rested him all ni!ht.
And on the morn he heard mass and brake his fast and took his leave at the duchess and at them
allC and thanked her !oodly of her lod!in! and of his !ood cheerC and then she asked him his name.
Madam he said truly my name is %areth of *rkney and some men call me Beaumains. Then knew she
well it was the same kni!ht that fou!ht for (ame Lionesse. So Sir %areth departed and rode up into a
mountain and there met him a kni!ht his name was Sir Bendelaine and said to Sir %areth+ Thou shalt
not pass this way for either thou shalt $oust with me or else be my prisoner. Then will / $oust said Sir
%areth. And so they let their horses run and there Sir %areth smote him throu!hout the bodyC and Sir
Bendelaine rode forth to his castle there beside and there died. So Sir %areth would have rested him
and he came ridin! to Bendelaine's castle. Then his kni!hts and servants espied that it was he that had
slain their lord. Then they armed twenty !ood men and came out and assailed Sir %arethC and so he
had no spear but his sword and put his shield afore himC and there they brake their spears upon him
and they assailed him passin!ly sore. But ever Sir %areth defended him as a kni!ht.
--@
CHAPTER !!!II# How 6(& Ga&et% fo'g%t w(t% a kn(g%t t%at
%eld w(t%(n %(s castle t%(&t+ lad(es) and %ow %e slew %(m#
S* when they saw that they mi!ht not overcome him they rode from him and took their counsel
to slay his horseC and so they came in upon Sir %areth and with spears they slew his horse and then
they assailed him hard. But when he was on foot there was none that he fou!ht but he !ave him such a
buffet that he did never recover. So he slew them by one and one till they were but four and there they
fledC and Sir %areth took a !ood horse that was one of theirs and rode his way.
Then he rode a !reat pace till that he came to a castle and there he heard much mournin! of ladies
and !entlewomen. So there came by him a pa!e. 5hat noise is this said Sir %areth that / hear within
this castleL Sir kni!ht said the pa!e here be within this castle thirty ladies and all they be widowsC for
here is a kni!ht that waiteth daily upon this castle and his name is the Brown :ni!ht without #ity and
he is the periloust kni!ht that now livethC and therefore sir said the pa!e / rede you flee. 2ay said Sir
%areth / will not flee thou!h thou be afeard of him. And then the pa!e saw where came the Brown
:ni!ht+ Lo said the pa!e yonder he cometh. Let me deal with him said Sir %areth. And when either of
other had a si!ht they let their horses run and the Brown :ni!ht brake his spear and Sir %areth smote
him throu!hout the body that he overthrew him to the !round stark dead. So Sir %areth rode into the
castle and prayed the ladies that he mi!ht repose him. Alas said the ladies ye may not be lod!ed here.
Make him !ood cheer said the pa!e for this kni!ht hath slain your enemy. Then they all made him
!ood cheer as lay in their power. But wit ye well they made him !ood cheer for they mi!ht none
otherwise do for they were but poor.
And so on the morn he went to mass and there he saw the thirty ladies kneel and lay !rovellin!
upon divers tombs makin! !reat dole and sorrow. Then Sir %areth wist well that in the tombs lay their
lords. &air ladies said Sir %areth ye must at the ne't feast of #entecost be at the court of :in! Arthur
and say that / Sir %areth sent you thither. 5e shall do this said the ladies. So he departed and by
fortune he came to a mountain and there he found a !oodly kni!ht that bade him Abide sir kni!ht and
$oust with me. 5hat are yeL said Sir %areth. My name is said he the (uke de la 0owse. Ah sir ye are
the same kni!ht that / lod!ed once in your castleC and there / made promise unto your lady that / should
yield me unto you. Ah said the duke art thou that proud kni!ht that profferest to fi!ht with my kni!htsC
--=
therefore make thee ready for / will have ado with you. So they let their horses run and there Sir
%areth smote the duke down from his horse. But the duke li!htly avoided his horse and dressed his
shield and drew his sword and bade Sir %areth ali!ht and fi!ht with him. So he did ali!ht and they did
!reat battle to!ether more than an hour and either hurt other full sore. At the last Sir %areth !at the
duke to the earth and would have slain him and then he yield him to him. Then must ye !o said Sir
%areth unto Sir Arthur my lord at the ne't feast and say that / Sir %areth of *rkney sent you unto
him. /t shall be done said the duke and / will do to you homa!e and fealty with an hundred kni!hts
with meC and all the days of my life to do you service where ye will command me.
CHAPTER !!!III# How 6(& Ga&et% and 6(& Gawa(ne fo'g%t
eac% aga(nst ot%e&) and %ow t%e+ knew eac% ot%e& b+ t%e
damosel L(net#
S* the duke departed and Sir %areth stood there aloneC and there he saw an armed kni!ht comin!
toward him. Then Sir %areth took the duke's shield and mounted upon horseback and so without
bidin! they ran to!ether as it had been the thunder. And there that kni!ht hurt Sir %areth under the side
with his spear. And then they ali!hted and drew their swords and !ave !reat strokes that the blood
trailed to the !round. And so they fou!ht two hours.
At the last there came the damosel Linet that some men called the damosel Sava!e and she came
ridin! upon an amblin! muleC and there she cried all on hi!h Sir %awaine Sir %awaine leave thy
fi!htin! with thy brother Sir %areth. And when he heard her say so he threw away his shield and his
sword and ran to Sir %areth and took him in his arms and sithen kneeled down and asked him mercy.
5hat are ye said Sir %areth that ri!ht now were so stron! and so mi!hty and now so suddenly yield
you to meL * %areth / am your brother Sir %awaine that for your sake have had !reat sorrow and
labour. Then Sir %areth unlaced his helm and kneeled down to him and asked him mercy. Then they
rose both and embraced either other in their arms and wept a !reat while or they mi!ht speak and
either of them !ave other the priDe of the battle. And there were many kind words between them. Alas
my fair brother said Sir %awaine perdy / owe of ri!ht to worship you an ye were not my brother for
ye have worshipped :in! Arthur and all his court for ye have sent him
4
more worshipful kni!hts this
-9>
twelvemonth than si' the best of the 0ound Table have done e'cept Sir Launcelot.
Then came the damosel Sava!e that was the Lady Linet that rode with Sir %areth so lon! and
there she did staunch Sir %areth's wounds and Sir %awaine's. 2ow what will ye doL said the damosel
Sava!eC meseemeth that it were well done that Arthur had wittin! of you both for your horses are so
bruised that they may not bear. 2ow fair damosel said Sir %awaine / pray you ride unto my lord mine
uncle :in! Arthur and tell him what adventure is to me betid here and / suppose he will not tarry
lon!. Then she took her mule and li!htly she came to :in! Arthur that was but two mile thence. And
when she had told him tidin!s the kin! bade !et him a palfrey. And when he was upon his back he bade
the lords and ladies come after who that wouldC and there was saddlin! and bridlin! of Aueens' horses
and princes' horses and well was him that soonest mi!ht be ready.
So when the kin! came thereas they were he saw Sir %awaine and Sir %areth sit upon a little hill"
side and then the kin! avoided his horse. And when he came ni!h Sir %areth he would have spoken but
he mi!ht notC and therewith he sank down in a swoon for !ladness. And so they stert unto their uncle
and reAuired him of his !ood !race to be of !ood comfort. 5it ye well the kin! made !reat $oy and
many a piteous complaint he made to Sir %areth and ever he wept as he had been a child. 5ith that
came his mother the Bueen of *rkney (ame Mor!awse and when she saw Sir %areth readily in the
visa!e she mi!ht not weep but suddenly fell down in a swoon and lay there a !reat while like as she
had been dead. And then Sir %areth recomforted his mother in such wise that she recovered and made
!ood cheer. Then the kin! commanded that all manner of kni!hts that were under his obeissance should
make their lod!in! ri!ht there for the love of his nephews. And so it was done and all manner of
purveyance purveyed that there lacked nothin! that mi!ht be !otten of tame nor wild for !old or silver.
And then by the means of the damosel Sava!e Sir %awaine and Sir %areth were healed of their
woundsC and there they so$ourned ei!ht days.
Then said :in! Arthur unto the damosel Sava!e+ / marvel that your sister (ame Lionesse cometh
not here to me and in especial that she cometh not to visit her kni!ht my nephew Sir %areth that hath
had so much travail for her love. My lord said the damosel Linet ye must of your !ood !race hold her
e'cused for she knoweth not that my lord Sir %areth is here. %o then for her said :in! Arthur that
we may be appointed what is best to be done accordin! to the pleasure of my nephew. Sir said the
damosel that shall be done and so she rode unto her sister. And as li!htly as she mi!ht she made her
readyC and she came on the morn with her brother Sir %rin!amore and with her forty kni!hts. And so
-9?
when she was come she had all the cheer that mi!ht be done both of the kin! and of many other kin!s
and Aueens.
CHAPTER !!!I,# How 6(& Ga&et% acknowledged t%at t%e+
lo-ed eac% ot%e& to "(ng A&t%'&) and of t%e a**o(ntment of
t%e(& wedd(ng#
A2( amon! all these ladies she was named the fairest and peerless. Then when Sir %awaine saw
her there was many a !oodly look and !oodly words that all men of worship had $oy to behold them.
Then came :in! Arthur and many other kin!s and (ame %uenever and the Bueen of *rkney. And
there the kin! asked his nephew Sir %areth whether he would have that lady as paramour or to have
her to his wife. My lord wit you well that / love her above all ladies livin!. 2ow fair lady said :in!
Arthur what say yeL Most noble :in! said (ame Lionesse wit you well that my lord Sir %areth is to
me more liefer to have and wield as my husband than any kin! or prince that is christenedC and if /
may not have him / promise you / will never have none. &or my lord Arthur said (ame Lionesse wit
ye well he is my first love and he shall be the lastC and if ye will suffer him to have his will and free
choice / dare say he will have me. That is truth said Sir %arethC an / have not you and wield not you as
my wife there shall never lady nor !entlewoman re$oice me. 5hat nephew said the kin! is the wind
in that doorL for wit ye well / would not for the stint of my crown to be causer to withdraw your heartsC
and wit ye well ye cannot love so well but / shall rather increase it than distress it. And also ye shall
have my love and my lordship in the uttermost wise that may lie in my power. And in the same wise
said Sir %areth's mother.
Then there was made a provision for the day of marria!eC and by the kin!'s advice it was provided
that it should be at Michaelmas followin! at :ink :enadon by the seaside for there is a plentiful
country. And so it was cried in all the places throu!h the realm. And then Sir %areth sent his summons
to all these kni!hts and ladies that he had won in battle to"fore that they should be at his day of
marria!e at :ink :enadon by the sands. And then (ame Lionesse and the damosel Linet with Sir
%rin!amore rode to their castleC and a !oodly and a rich rin! she !ave to Sir %areth and he !ave her
another. And :in! Arthur !ave her a rich pair of beads
<
of !oldC and so she departedC and :in! Arthur
-9-
and his fellowship rode toward :ink :enadon and Sir %areth brou!ht his lady on the way and so
came to the kin! a!ain and rode with him. LordJ the !reat cheer that Sir Launcelot made of Sir %areth
and he of him for there was never no kni!ht that Sir %areth loved so well as he did Sir LauncelotC and
ever for the most part he would be in Sir Launcelot's companyC for after Sir %areth had espied Sir
%awaine's conditions he withdrew himself from his brother Sir %awaine's fellowship for he was
ven!eable and where he hated he would be aven!ed with murder and that hated Sir %areth.
CHAPTER !!!,# Of t%e G&eat Ro+alt+) and w%at off(ce&s we&e
made at t%e feast of t%e wedd(ng) and of t%e 3o'sts at t%e
feast#
S* it drew fast to MichaelmasC and thither came (ame Lionesse the lady of the )astle #erilous
and her sister (ame Linet with Sir %rin!amore her brother with them for he had the conduct of these
ladies. And there they were lod!ed at the device of :in! Arthur. And upon Michaelmas (ay the Bishop
of )anterbury made the weddin! betwi't Sir %areth and the Lady Lionesse with !reat solemnity. And
:in! Arthur made %aheris to wed the (amosel Sava!e that was (ame LinetC and :in! Arthur made
Sir A!ravaine to wed (ame Lionesse's niece a fair lady her name was (ame Laurel.
And so when this solemniDation was done then came in the %reen :ni!ht Sir #ertolepe with
thirty kni!hts and there he did homa!e and fealty to Sir %areth and these kni!hts to hold of him for
evermore. Also Sir #ertolepe said+ / pray you that at this feast / may be your chamberlain. 5ith a !ood
will said Sir %areth sith it liketh you to take so simple an office. Then came in the 0ed :ni!ht with
three score kni!hts with him and did to Sir %areth homa!e and fealty and all those kni!hts to hold of
him for evermore. And then this Sir #erimones prayed Sir %areth to !rant him to be his chief butler at
that hi!h feast. / will well said Sir %areth that ye have this office and it were better. Then came in Sir
#ersant of /nde with an hundred kni!hts with him and there he did homa!e and fealty and all his
kni!hts should do him service and hold their lands of him for everC and there he prayed Sir %areth to
make him his sewer"chief at the feast. / will well said Sir %areth that ye have it and it were better.
Then came the (uke de la 0owse with an hundred kni!hts with him and there he did homa!e and
fealty to Sir %areth and so to hold their lands of him for ever. And he reAuired Sir %areth that he mi!ht
-99
serve him of the wine that day of that feast. / will well said Sir %areth and it were better. Then came in
the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds that was Sir /ronside and he brou!ht with him three hundred
kni!hts and there he did homa!e and fealty and all these kni!hts to hold their lands of him for ever.
And then he asked Sir %areth to be his carver. / will well said Sir %areth an it please you.
Then came into the court thirty ladies and all they seemed widows and those thirty ladies brou!ht
with them many fair !entlewomen. And all they kneeled down at once unto :in! Arthur and unto Sir
%areth and there all those ladies told the kin! how Sir %areth delivered them from the dolorous tower
and slew the Brown :ni!ht without #ity+ And therefore we and our heirs for evermore will do homa!e
unto Sir %areth of *rkney. So then the kin!s and Aueens princes and earls barons and many bold
kni!hts went unto meatC and well may ye wit there were all manner of meat plenteously all manner
revels and !ames with all manner of minstrelsy that was used in those days. Also there was !reat $ousts
three days. But the kin! would not suffer Sir %areth to $oust because of his new brideC for as the
&rench book saith that (ame Lionesse desired of the kin! that none that were wedded should $oust at
that feast.
So the first day there $ousted Sir Lamorak de %alis for he overthrew thirty kni!hts and did
passin! marvellously deeds of armsC and then :in! Arthur made Sir #ersant and his two brethren
:ni!hts of the 0ound Table to their lives' end and !ave them !reat lands. Also the second day there
$ousted Tristram best and he overthrew forty kni!hts and did there marvellous deeds of arms. And
there :in! Arthur made /ronside that was the 0ed :ni!ht of the 0ed Launds a :ni!ht of the Table
0ound to his life's end and !ave him !reat lands. The third day there $ousted Sir Launcelot du Lake
and he overthrew fifty kni!hts and did many marvellous deeds of arms that all men wondered on him.
And there :in! Arthur made the (uke de la 0owse a :ni!ht of the 0ound Table to his life's end and
!ave him !reat lands to spend. But when these $ousts were done Sir Lamorak and Sir Tristram departed
suddenly and would not be known for the which :in! Arthur and all the court were sore displeased.
And so they held the court forty days with !reat solemnity. And this Sir %areth was a noble kni!ht and
a well"ruled and fair"lan!ua!ed.
Thus endeth this tale of Sir %areth of *rkney that wedded (ame Lionesse of the )astle #erilous.
And also Sir %aheris wedded her sister (ame Linet that was called the (amosel Saba!e. And Sir
A!rabaine wedded (ame Laurel a fair lady and !reat and mi!hty lands with !reat riches !ave with
them :in! Arthur that royally they mi!ht live till their lives' end.
-9.
1ere followeth the viii. book the which is the first book of Sir Tristram de Liones and who was
his father and his mother and how he was born and fostered and how he was made kni!ht.
BOO" ,III
CHAPTER I# How 6(& T&(st&am de L(ones was bo&n) and %ow %(s
mot%e& d(ed at %(s b(&t%) w%e&efo&e s%e named %(m
T&(st&am#
/T was a kin! that hi!ht Meliodas and he was lord and kin! of the country of Liones and this
Meliodas was a likely kni!ht as any was that time livin!. And by fortune he wedded :in! Mark's sister
of )ornwall and she was called 3liDabeth that was called both !ood and fair. And at that time :in!
Arthur rei!ned and he was whole kin! of 3n!land 5ales and Scotland and of many other realms+
howbeit there were many kin!s that were lords of many countries but all they held their lands of :in!
ArthurC for in 5ales were two kin!s and in the north were many kin!sC and in )ornwall and in the west
were two kin!sC also in /reland were two or three kin!s and all were under the obeissance of :in!
Arthur. So was the :in! of &rance and the :in! of Brittany and all the lordships unto 0ome.
So when this :in! Meliodas had been with his wife within a while she wa'ed !reat with child
and she was a full meek lady and well she loved her lord and he her a!ain so there was !reat $oy
betwi't them. Then there was a lady in that country that had loved :in! Meliodas lon! and by no
mean she never could !et his loveC therefore she let ordain upon a day as :in! Meliodas rode a"
huntin! for he was a !reat chaser and there by an enchantment she made him chase an hart by himself
alone till that he came to an old castle and there anon he was taken prisoner by the lady that him loved.
5hen 3liDabeth :in! Meliodas' wife missed her lord and she was ni!h out of her wit and also as
!reat with child as she was she took a !entlewoman with her and ran into the forest to seek her lord.
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And when she was far in the forest she mi!ht no farther for she be!an to travail fast of her child. And
she had many !rimly throesC her !entlewoman helped her all that she mi!ht and so by miracle of *ur
Lady of 1eaven she was delivered with !reat pains. But she had taken such cold for the default of help
that deep drau!hts of death took her that needs she must die and depart out of this worldC there was
none other bote.
And when this Bueen 3liDabeth saw that there was none other bote then she made !reat dole and
said unto her !entlewoman+ 5hen ye see my lord :in! Meliodas recommend me unto him and tell
him what pains / endure here for his love and how / must die here for his sake for default of !ood helpC
and let him wit that / am full sorry to depart out of this world from him therefore pray him to be friend
to my soul. 2ow let me see my little child for whom / have had all this sorrow. And when she saw him
she said thus+ Ah my little son thou hast murdered thy mother and therefore / suppose thou that art a
murderer so youn! thou art full likely to be a manly man in thine a!e. And because / shall die of the
birth of thee / char!e thee !entlewoman that thou pray my lord :in! Meliodas that when he is
christened let call him Tristram that is as much to say as a sorrowful birth. And therewith this Aueen
!ave up the !host and died. Then the !entlewoman laid her under an umbre of a !reat tree and then she
lapped the child as well as she mi!ht for cold. 0i!ht so there came the barons followin! after the
Aueen and when they saw that she was dead and understood none other but the kin! was destroyed
7

then certain of them would have slain the child because they would have been lords of the country of
Liones.
CHAPTER II# How t%e ste*mot%e& of 6(& T&(st&am %ad o&da(ned
*o(son fo& to %a-e *o(soned 6(& T&(st&am#
B;T then throu!h the fair speech of the !entlewoman and by the means that she made the most
part of the barons would not assent thereto. And then they let carry home the dead Aueen and much
dole was made for her.
Then this meanwhile Merlin delivered :in! Meliodas out of prison on the morn after his Aueen
was dead. And so when the kin! was come home the most part of the barons made !reat $oy. But the
-9<
sorrow that the kin! made for his Aueen that mi!ht no ton!ue tell. So then the kin! let inter her richly
and after he let christen his child as his wife had commanded afore her death. And then he let call him
Tristram the sorrowful born child. Then the :in! Meliodas endured seven years without a wife and all
this time Tristram was nourished well. Then it befell that :in! Meliodas wedded :in! 1owell's
dau!hter of Brittany and anon she had children of :in! Meliodas+ then was she heavy and wroth that
her children should not re$oice the country of Liones wherefore this Aueen ordained for to poison
youn! Tristram. So she let poison be put in a piece of silver in the chamber whereas Tristram and her
children were to!ether unto that intent that when Tristram were thirsty he should drink that drink. And
so it fell upon a day the Aueen's son as he was in that chamber espied the piece with poison and he
weened it had been !ood drink and because the child was thirsty he took the piece with poison and
drank freelyC and therewithal suddenly the child brast and was dead.
5hen the Aueen of Meliodas wist of the death of her son wit ye well that she was heavy. But yet
the kin! understood nothin! of her treason. 2otwithstandin! the Aueen would not leave this but eft she
let ordain more poison and put it in a piece. And by fortune :in! Meliodas her husband found the
piece with wine where was the poison and he that was much thirsty took the piece for to drink
thereout. And as he would have drunken thereof the Aueen espied him and then she ran unto him and
pulled the piece from him suddenly. The kin! marvelled why she did so and remembered him how her
son was suddenly slain with poison. And then he took her by the hand and said+ Thou false traitress
thou shalt tell me what manner of drink this is or else / shall slay thee. And therewith he pulled out his
sword and sware a !reat oath that he should slay her but if she told him truth. AhJ mercy my lord said
she and / shall tell you all. And then she told him why she would have slain Tristram because her
children should re$oice his land. 5ell said :in! Meliodas and therefore shall ye have the law. And so
she was condemned by the assent of the barons to be burntC and then was there made a !reat fire and
ri!ht as she was at the fire to take her e'ecution youn! Tristram kneeled afore :in! Meliodas and
besou!ht him to !ive him a boon. / will well said the kin! a!ain. Then said youn! Tristram %ive me
the life of thy Aueen my stepmother. That is unri!htfully asked said :in! Meliodas for thou ou!ht of
ri!ht to hate her for she would have slain thee with that poison an she mi!ht have had her willC and for
thy sake most is my cause that she should die.
Sir said Tristram as for that / beseech you of your mercy that you will for!ive it her and as for
my part %od for!ive it her and / doC and so much it liked your hi!hness to !rant me my boon for
%od's love / reAuire you hold your promise. Sithen it is so said the kin! / will that ye have her life.
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Then said the kin! / !ive her to you and !o ye to the fire and take her and do with her what ye will.
So Sir Tristram went to the fire and by the commandment of the kin! delivered her from the death. But
after that :in! Meliodas would never have ado with her as at bed and board. But by the !ood means of
youn! Tristram he made the kin! and her accorded. But then the kin! would not suffer youn! Tristram
to abide no lon!er in his court.
CHAPTER III# How 6(& T&(st&am was sent (nto F&ance) and %ad
one to go-e&n %(m named Go'-e&na(l) and %ow %e lea&ned
to %a&*) %awk) and %'nt#
A2( then he let ordain a !entleman that was well learned and tau!ht his name was %ouvernailC
and then he sent youn! Tristram with %ouvernail into &rance to learn the lan!ua!e and nurture and
deeds of arms. And there was Tristram more than seven years. And then when he well could speak the
lan!ua!e and had learned all that he mi!ht learn in that country then he came home to his father :in!
Meliodas a!ain. And so Tristram learned to be an harper passin! all other that there was none such
called in no country and so on harpin! and on instruments of music he applied him in his youth for to
learn.
And after as he !rew in mi!ht and stren!th he laboured ever in huntin! and in hawkin! so that
never !entleman more that ever we heard read of. And as the book saith he be!an !ood measures of
blowin! of beasts of venery and beasts of chase and all manner of vermin and all these terms we have
yet of hawkin! and huntin!. And therefore the book of venery of hawkin! and huntin! is called the
book of Sir Tristram. 5herefore as meseemeth all !entlemen that bear old arms ou!ht of ri!ht to
honour Sir Tristram for the !oodly terms that !entlemen have and use and shall to the day of doom
that thereby in a manner all men of worship may dissever a !entleman from a yeoman and from a
yeoman a villain. &or he that !entle is will draw him unto !entle tatches and to follow the customs of
noble !entlemen.
Thus Sir Tristram endured in )ornwall until he was bi! and stron! of the a!e of ei!hteen years.
And then the :in! Meliodas had !reat $oy of Sir Tristram and so had the Aueen his wife. &or ever after
-9@
in her life because Sir Tristram saved her from the fire she did never hate him more after but loved
him ever after and !ave Tristram many !reat !iftsC for every estate loved him where that he went.
CHAPTER I,# How 6(& a&%a's came o't of I&eland fo& to ask
t&'age of Co&nwall) o& else %e wo'ld f(g%t t%e&efo&e#
T132 it befell that :in! An!uish of /reland sent unto :in! Mark of )ornwall for his trua!e that
)ornwall had paid many winters. And all that time :in! Mark was behind of the trua!e for seven years.
And :in! Mark and his barons !ave unto the messen!er of /reland these words and answer that they
would none payC and bade the messen!er !o unto his :in! An!uish and tell him we will pay him no
trua!e but tell your lord an he will always have trua!e of us of )ornwall bid him send a trusty kni!ht
of his land that will fi!ht for his ri!ht and we shall find another for to defend our ri!ht. 5ith this
answer the messen!ers departed into /reland. And when :in! An!uish understood the answer of the
messen!ers he was wonderly wroth. And then he called unto him Sir Marhaus the !ood kni!ht that
was nobly proved and a :ni!ht of the Table 0ound. And this Marhaus was brother unto the Aueen of
/reland. Then the kin! said thus+ &air brother Sir Marhaus / pray you !o into )ornwall for my sake
and do battle for our trua!e that of ri!ht we ou!ht to haveC and whatsomever ye spend ye shall have
sufficiently more than ye shall need. Sir said Marhaus wit ye well that / shall not be loath to do battle
in the ri!ht of you and your land with the best kni!ht of the Table 0oundC for / know them for the most
part what be their deedsC and for to advance my deeds and to increase my worship / will ri!ht !ladly
!o unto this $ourney for our ri!ht.
So in all haste there was made purveyance for Sir Marhaus and he had all thin!s that to him
neededC and so he departed out of /reland and arrived up in )ornwall even fast by the )astle of
Tinta!il. And when :in! Mark understood that he was there arrived to fi!ht for /reland then made
:in! Mark !reat sorrow when he understood that the !ood and noble kni!ht Sir Marhaus was come.
&or they knew no kni!ht that durst have ado with him. &or at that time Sir Marhaus was called one of
the famousest and renowned kni!hts of the world. And thus Sir Marhaus abode in the sea and every
day he sent unto :in! Mark for to pay the trua!e that was behind of seven year other else to find a
kni!ht to fi!ht with him for the trua!e. This manner of messa!e Sir Marhaus sent daily unto :in!
-9=
Mark.
Then they of )ornwall let make cries in every place that what kni!ht would fi!ht for to save the
trua!e of )ornwall he should be rewarded so that he should fare the better term of his life. Then some
of the barons said to :in! Mark and counselled him to send to the court of :in! Arthur for to seek Sir
Launcelot du Lake that was that time named for the marvelloust kni!ht of all the world. Then there
were some other barons that counselled the kin! not to do so and said that it was labour in vain
because Sir Marhaus was a kni!ht of the 0ound Table therefore any of them will be loath to have ado
with other but if it were any kni!ht at his own reAuest would fi!ht dis!uised and unknown. So the kin!
and all his barons assented that it was no bote to seek any kni!ht of the 0ound Table. This mean while
came the lan!ua!e and the noise unto :in! Meliodas how that Sir Marhaus abode battle fast by
Tinta!il and how :in! Mark could find no manner kni!ht to fi!ht for him. 5hen youn! Tristram heard
of this he was wroth and sore ashamed that there durst no kni!ht in )ornwall have ado with Sir
Marhaus of /reland.
CHAPTER ,# How T&(st&am ente&*&(9ed t%e battle to f(g%t fo&
t%e t&'age of Co&nwall) and %ow %e was made kn(g%t#
T13035/T1AL Tristram went unto his father :in! Meliodas and asked him counsel what was
best to do for to recover )ornwall from trua!e. &or as meseemeth said Sir Tristram it were shame that
Sir Marhaus the Aueen's brother of /reland should !o away unless that he were fou!hten withal. As for
that said :in! Meliodas wit you well son Tristram that Sir Marhaus is called one of the best kni!hts
of the world and :ni!ht of the Table 0oundC and therefore / know no kni!ht in this country that is able
to match with him. Alas said Sir Tristram that / am not made kni!htC and if Sir Marhaus should thus
depart into /reland %od let me never have worship+ an / were made kni!ht / should match him. And sir
said Tristram / pray you !ive me leave to ride to :in! MarkC and so ye be not displeased of :in!
Mark will / be made kni!ht. / will well said :in! Meliodas that ye be ruled as your coura!e will rule
you. Then Sir Tristram thanked his father much. And then he made him ready to ride into )ornwall.
/n the meanwhile there came a messen!er with letters of love from :in! &aramon of &rance's
-.>
dau!hter unto Sir Tristram that were full piteous letters and in them were written many complaints of
loveC but Sir Tristram had no $oy of her letters nor re!ard unto her. Also she sent him a little brachet that
was passin! fair. But when the kin!'s dau!hter understood that Sir Tristram would not love her as the
book saith she died for sorrow. And then the same sAuire that brou!ht the letter and the brachet came
a!ain unto Sir Tristram as after ye shall hear in the tale.
So this youn! Sir Tristram rode unto his eme :in! Mark of )ornwall. And when he came there he
heard say that there would no kni!ht fi!ht with Sir Marhaus. Then yede Sir Tristram unto his eme and
said+ Sir if ye will !ive me the order of kni!hthood / will do battle with Sir Marhaus. 5hat are ye said
the kin! and from whence be ye comeL Sir said Tristram / come from :in! Meliodas that wedded
your sister and a !entleman wit ye well / am. :in! Mark beheld Sir Tristram and saw that he was but a
youn! man of a!e but he was passin!ly well made and bi!. &air sir said the kin! what is your name
and where were ye bornL Sir said he a!ain my name is Tristram and in the country of Liones was /
born. Ye say well said the kin!C and if ye will do this battle / shall make you kni!ht. Therefore / come
to you said Sir Tristram and for none other cause. But then :in! Mark made him kni!ht. And
therewithal anon as he had made him kni!ht he sent a messen!er unto Sir Marhaus with letters that
said that he had found a youn! kni!ht ready for to take the battle to the uttermost. /t may well be said
Sir MarhausC but tell :in! Mark / will not fi!ht with no kni!ht but he be of blood royal that is to say
other kin!'s son other Aueen's son born of a prince or princess.
5hen :in! Mark understood that he sent for Sir Tristram de Liones and told him what was the
answer of Sir Marhaus. Then said Sir Tristram+ Sithen that he saith so let him wit that / am come of
father side and mother side of as noble blood as he is+ for sir now shall ye know that / am :in!
Meliodas' son born of your own sister (ame 3liDabeth that died in the forest in the birth of me. *
Eesu said :in! Mark ye are welcome fair nephew to me. Then in all the haste the kin! let horse Sir
Tristram and armed him in the best manner that mi!ht be had or !otten for !old or silver. And then
:in! Mark sent unto Sir Marhaus and did him to wit that a better born man than he was himself should
fi!ht with him and his name is Sir Tristram de Liones !otten of :in! Meliodas and born of :in!
Mark's sister. Then was Sir Marhaus !lad and blithe that he should fi!ht with such a !entleman. And so
by the assent of :in! Mark and of Sir Marhaus they let ordain that they should fi!ht within an island
ni!h Sir Marhaus' shipsC and so was Sir Tristram put into a vessel both his horse and he and all that to
him lon!ed both for his body and for his horse. Sir Tristram lacked nothin!. And when :in! Mark and
his barons of )ornwall beheld how youn! Sir Tristram departed with such a carria!e to fi!ht for the
-.?
ri!ht of )ornwall there was neither man nor woman of worship but they wept to see and understand so
youn! a kni!ht to $eopardy himself for their ri!ht.
CHAPTER ,I# How 6(& T&(st&am a&&(-ed (nto t%e Island fo& to
f'&n(s% t%e battle w(t% 6(& a&%a's#
S* to shorten this tale when Sir Tristram was arrived within the island he looked to the farther
side and there he saw at an anchor si' ships ni!h to the landC and under the shadow of the ships upon
the land there hoved the noble kni!ht Sir Marhaus of /reland. Then Sir Tristram commanded his
servant %ouvernail to brin! his horse to the land and dress his harness at all manner of ri!hts. And then
when he had so done he mounted upon his horseC and when he was in his saddle well apparelled and
his shield dressed upon his shoulder Tristram asked %ouvernail 5here is this kni!ht that / shall have
ado withalL Sir said %ouvernail see ye him notL / weened ye had seen himC yonder he hoveth under
the umbre of his ships on horseback with his spear in his hand and his shield upon his shoulder. That is
truth said the noble kni!ht Sir Tristram now / see him well enou!h.
Then he commanded his servant %ouvernail to !o to his vessel a!ain+ And commend me unto mine
eme :in! Mark and pray him if that / be slain in this battle for to inter my body as him seemed bestC
and as for me let him wit that / will never yield me for cowardiceC and if / be slain and flee not then
they have lost no trua!e for meC and if so be that / flee or yield me as recreant bid mine eme never bury
me in )hristian burials. And upon thy life said Sir Tristram to %ouvernail come thou not ni!h this
island till that thou see me overcome or slain or else that / win yonder kni!ht. So either departed from
other sore weepin!.
-.-
CHAPTER ,II# How 6(& T&(st&am fo'g%t aga(nst 6(& a&%a's
and ac%(e-ed %(s battle) and %ow 6(& a&%a's fled to %(s
s%(*#
A2( then Sir Marhaus avised Sir Tristram and said thus+ Youn! kni!ht Sir Tristram what dost
thou hereL me sore repenteth of thy coura!e for wit thou well / have been assayed and the best kni!hts
of this land have been assayed of my handC and also / have matched with the best kni!hts of the world
and therefore by my counsel return a!ain unto thy vessel. And fair kni!ht and well"proved kni!ht said
Sir Tristram thou shalt well wit / may not forsake thee in this Auarrel for / am for thy sake made
kni!ht. And thou shalt well wit that / am a kin!'s son born and !otten upon a AueenC and such promise
/ have made at my uncle's reAuest and mine own seekin! that / shall fi!ht with thee unto the uttermost
and deliver )ornwall from the old trua!e. And also wit thou well Sir Marhaus that this is the !reatest
cause that thou coura!est me to have ado with thee for thou art called one of the most renowned
kni!hts of the world and because of that noise and fame that thou hast thou !ivest me coura!e to have
ado with thee for never yet was / proved with !ood kni!htC and sithen / took the order of kni!hthood
this day / am well pleased that / may have ado with so !ood a kni!ht as thou art. And now wit thou
well Sir Marhaus that / cast me to !et worship on thy bodyC and if that / be not proved / trust to %od
that / shall be worshipfully proved upon thy body and to deliver the country of )ornwall for ever from
all manner of trua!e from /reland for ever.
5hen Sir Marhaus had heard him say what he would he said then thus a!ain+ &air kni!ht sithen it
is so that thou castest to win worship of me / let thee wit worship may thou none lose by me if thou
mayest stand me three strokesC for / let thee wit for my noble deeds proved and seen :in! Arthur
made me :ni!ht of the Table 0ound.
Then they be!an to feutre their spears and they met so fiercely to!ether that they smote either
other down both horse and all. But Sir Marhaus smote Sir Tristram a !reat wound in the side with his
spear and then they avoided their horses and pulled out their swords and threw their shields afore
them. And then they lashed to!ether as men that were wild and coura!eous. And when they had
stricken so to!ether lon! then they left their strokes and foined at their breaths and visorsC and when
they saw that that mi!ht not prevail them then they hurtled to!ether like rams to bear either other
down. Thus they fou!ht still more than half a day and either were wounded passin! sore that the blood
ran down freshly from them upon the !round. By then Sir Tristram wa'ed more fresher than Sir
-.9
Marhaus and better winded and bi!!erC and with a mi!hty stroke he smote Sir Marhaus upon the helm
such a buffet that it went throu!h his helm and throu!h the coif of steel and throu!h the brain"pan and
the sword stuck so fast in the helm and in his brain"pan that Sir Tristram pulled thrice at his sword or
ever he mi!ht pull it out from his headC and there Marhaus fell down on his knees the ed!e of
Tristram's sword left in his brain"pan. And suddenly Sir Marhaus rose !rovellin! and threw his sword
and his shield from him and so ran to his ships and fled his way and Sir Tristram had ever his shield
and his sword.
And when Sir Tristram saw Sir Marhaus withdraw him he said+ AhJ Sir :ni!ht of the 0ound
Table why withdrawest thou theeL thou dost thyself and thy kin !reat shame for / am but a youn!
kni!ht or now / was never proved and rather than / should withdraw me from thee / had rather be
hewn in an hundred pieces. Sir Marhaus answered no word but yede his way sore !roanin!. 5ell Sir
:ni!ht said Sir Tristram / promise thee thy sword and thy shield shall be mineC and thy shield shall /
wear in all places where / ride on mine adventures and in the si!ht of :in! Arthur and all the 0ound
Table.
CHAPTER ,III# How 6(& a&%a's afte& t%at %e was a&&(-ed (n
I&eland d(ed of t%e st&oke t%at 6(& T&(st&am %ad g(-en %(m)
and %ow T&(st&am was %'&t#
A2*2 Sir Marhaus and his fellowship departed into /reland. And as soon as he came to the kin!
his brother he let search his wounds. And when his head was searched a piece of Sir Tristram's sword
was found therein and mi!ht never be had out of his head for no sur!eons and so he died of Sir
Tristram's swordC and that piece of the sword the Aueen his sister kept it for ever with her for she
thou!ht to be reven!ed an she mi!ht.
2ow turn we a!ain unto Sir Tristram that was sore wounded and full sore bled that he mi!ht not
within a little while when he had taken cold unnethe stir him of his limbs. And then he set him down
softly upon a little hill and bled fast. Then anon came %ouvernail his man with his vesselC and the
kin! and his barons came with procession a!ainst him. And when he was come unto the land :in!
-..
Mark took him in his arms and the kin! and Sir (inas the seneschal led Sir Tristram into the castle of
Tinta!il. And then was he searched in the best manner and laid in his bed. And when :in! Mark saw
his wounds he wept heartily and so did all his lords. So %od me help said :in! Mark / would not for
all my lands that my nephew died. So Sir Tristram lay there a month and more and ever he was like to
die of that stroke that Sir Marhaus smote him first with the spear. &or as the &rench book saith the
spear's head was envenomed that Sir Tristram mi!ht not be whole. Then was :in! Mark and all his
barons passin! heavy for they deemed none other but that Sir Tristram should not recover. Then the
kin! let send after all manner of leeches and sur!eons both unto men and women and there was none
that would behote him the life. Then came there a lady that was a ri!ht wise lady and she said plainly
unto :in! Mark and to Sir Tristram and to all his barons that he should never be whole but if Sir
Tristram went in the same country that the venom came from and in that country should he be holpen
or else never. Thus said the lady unto the kin!.
5hen :in! Mark understood that he let purvey for Sir Tristram a fair vessel well victualled and
therein was put Sir Tristram and %ouvernail with him and Sir Tristram took his harp with him and so
he was put into the sea to sail into /relandC and so by !ood fortune he arrived up in /reland even fast by
a castle where the kin! and the Aueen wasC and at his arrival he sat and harped in his bed a merry lay
such one heard they never none in /reland before that time.
And when it was told the kin! and the Aueen of such a kni!ht that was such an harper anon the
kin! sent for him and let search his wounds and then asked him his name. Then he answered / am of
the country of Liones and my name is Tramtrist that thus was wounded in a battle as / fou!ht for a
lady's ri!ht. So %od me help said :in! An!uish ye shall have all the help in this land that ye may have
hereC but / let you wit in )ornwall / had a !reat loss as ever had kin! for there / lost the best kni!ht of
the worldC his name was Marhaus a full noble kni!ht and :ni!ht of the Table 0oundC and there he told
Sir Tristram wherefore Sir Marhaus was slain. Sir Tristram made semblant as he had been sorry and
better knew he how it was than the kin!.
-.4
CHAPTER I!# How 6(& T&(st&am was *'t to t%e kee*(ng of La
Beale Iso'd f(&st fo& to be %ealed of %(s wo'nd#
T132 the kin! for !reat favour made Tramtrist to be put in his dau!hter's ward and keepin!
because she was a noble sur!eon. And when she had searched him she found in the bottom of his
wound that therein was poison and so she healed him within a whileC and therefore Tramtrist cast !reat
love to La Beale /soud for she was at that time the fairest maid and lady of the world. And there
Tramtrist learned her to harp and she be!an to have a !reat fantasy unto him. And at that time Sir
#alamides the Saracen was in that country and well cherished with the kin! and the Aueen. And every
day Sir #alamides drew unto La Beale /soud and proffered her many !ifts for he loved her passin!ly
well. All that espied Tramtrist and full well knew he Sir #alamides for a noble kni!ht and a mi!hty
man. And wit you well Sir Tramtrist had !reat despite at Sir #alamides for La Beale /soud told
Tramtrist that #alamides was in will to be christened for her sake. Thus was there !reat envy betwi't
Tramtrist and Sir #alamides.
Then it befell that :in! An!uish let cry a !reat $ousts and a !reat tournament for a lady that was
called the Lady of the Launds and she was ni!h cousin unto the kin!. And what man won her three
days after he should wed her and have all her lands. This cry was made in 3n!land 5ales Scotland
and also in &rance and in Brittany. /t befell upon a day La Beale /soud came unto Sir Tramtrist and told
him of this tournament. 1e answered and said+ &air lady / am but a feeble kni!ht and but late / had
been dead had not your !ood ladyship been. 2ow fair lady what would ye / should do in this matterL
well ye wot my lady that / may not $oust. Ah Tramtrist said La Beale /soud why will ye not have ado
at that tournamentL well / wot Sir #alamides shall be there and to do what he mayC and therefore
Tramtrist / pray you for to be there for else Sir #alamides is like to win the de!ree. Madam said
Tramtrist as for that it may be so for he is a proved kni!ht and / am but a youn! kni!ht and late
madeC and the first battle that / did it mishapped me to be sore wounded as ye see. But an / wist ye
would be my better lady at that tournament / will be so that ye will keep my counsel and let no
creature have knowled!e that / shall $oust but yourself and such as ye will to keep your counsel my
poor person shall / $eopard there for your sake that peradventure Sir #alamides shall know when that
/ come. Thereto said La Beale /soud do your best and as / can said La Beale /soud / shall purvey
horse and armour for you at my device. As ye will so be it said Sir Tramtrist / will be at your
commandment.
-.<
So at the day of $ousts there came Sir #alamides with a black shield and he overthrew many
kni!hts that all the people had marvel of him. &or he put to the worse Sir %awaine %aheris
A!ravaine Ba!dema!us :ay (odinas le Sava!e Sa!ramore le (esirous %umret le #etit and %riflet
le &ise de (ieu. All these the first day Sir #alamides struck down to the earth. And then all manner of
kni!hts were adread of Sir #alamides and many called him the :ni!ht with the Black Shield. So that
day Sir #alamides had !reat worship.
Then came :in! An!uish unto Tramtrist and asked him why he would not $oust. Sir he said / was
but late hurt and as yet / dare not adventure me. Then came there the same sAuire that was sent from
the kin!'s dau!hter of &rance unto Sir Tristram. And when he had espied Sir Tristram he fell flat to his
feet. All that espied La Beale /soud what courtesy the sAuire made unto Sir Tristram. And therewithal
suddenly Sir Tristram ran unto his sAuire whose name was 1ebes le 0enoumes and prayed him
heartily in no wise to tell his name. Sir said 1ebes / will not discover your name but if ye command
me.
CHAPTER !# How 6(& T&(st&am won t%e deg&ee at a
to'&nament (n I&eland) and t%e&e made Palam(des to bea&
no mo&e %a&ness (n a +ea&#
T132 Sir Tristram asked him what he did in those countries. Sir he said / came hither with Sir
%awaine for to be made kni!ht and if it please you of your hands that / may be made kni!ht. Await
upon me as to"morn secretly and in the field / shall make you a kni!ht.
Then had La Beale /soud !reat suspicion unto Tramtrist that he was some man of worship proved
and therewith she comforted herself and cast more love unto him than she had done to"fore. And so on
the morn Sir #alamides made him ready to come into the field as he did the first day. And there he
smote down the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts and the :in! of Scots. Then had La Beale /soud
ordained and well arrayed Sir Tristram in white horse and harness. And ri!ht so she let put him out at a
privy postern and so he came into the field as it had been a bri!ht an!el. And anon Sir #alamides
espied him and therewith he feutred a spear unto Sir Tramtrist and he a!ain unto him. And there Sir
-.7
Tristram smote down Sir #alamides unto the earth. And then there was a !reat noise of people+ some
said Sir #alamides had a fall some said the :ni!ht with the Black Shield had a fall. And wit you well
La Beale /soud was passin! !lad. And then Sir %awaine and his fellows nine had marvel what kni!ht it
mi!ht be that had smitten down Sir #alamides. Then would there none $oust with Tramtrist but all that
there were forsook him most and least. Then Sir Tristram made 1ebes a kni!ht and caused him to put
himself forth and did ri!ht well that day. So after Sir 1ebes held him with Sir Tristram.
And when Sir #alamides had received this fall wit ye well that he was sore ashamed and as
privily as he mi!ht he withdrew him out of the field. All that espied Sir Tristram and li!htly he rode
after Sir #alamides and overtook him and bade him turn for better he would assay him or ever he
departed. Then Sir #alamides turned him and either lashed at other with their swords. But at the first
stroke Sir Tristram smote down #alamides and !ave him such a stroke upon the head that he fell to the
earth. So then Tristram bade yield him and do his commandment or else he would slay him. 5hen Sir
#alamides beheld his countenance he dread his buffets so that he !ranted all his askin!s. 5ell said
said Sir Tristram this shall be your char!e. &irst upon pain of your life that ye forsake my lady La
Beale /soud and in no manner wise that ye draw not to her. Also this twelvemonth and a day that ye
bear none armour nor none harness of war. 2ow promise me this or here shalt thou die. Alas said
#alamides for ever am / ashamed. Then he sware as Sir Tristram had commanded him. Then for
despite and an!er Sir #alamides cut off his harness and threw them away.
And so Sir Tristram turned a!ain to the castle where was La Beale /soudC and by the way he met
with a damosel that asked after Sir Launcelot that won the (olorous %uard worshipfullyC and this
damosel asked Sir Tristram what he was. &or it was told her that it was he that smote down Sir
#alamides by whom the ten kni!hts of :in! Arthur's were smitten down. Then the damosel prayed Sir
Tristram to tell her what he was and whether that he were Sir Launcelot du Lake for she deemed that
there was no kni!ht in the world mi!ht do such deeds of arms but if it were Launcelot. &air damosel
said Sir Tristram wit ye well that / am not Sir Launcelot for / was never of such prowess but in %od is
all that he may make me as !ood a kni!ht as the !ood kni!ht Sir Launcelot. 2ow !entle kni!ht said
she put up thy visorC and when she beheld his visa!e she thou!ht she saw never a better man's visa!e
nor a better farin! kni!ht. And then when the damosel knew certainly that he was not Sir Launcelot
then she took her leave and departed from him. And then Sir Tristram rode privily unto the postern
where kept him La Beale /soud and there she made him !ood cheer and thanked %od of his !ood
speed. So anon within a while the kin! and the Aueen understood that it was Tramtrist that smote down
-.@
Sir #alamidesC then was he much made of more than he was before.
CHAPTER !I# How t%e /'een es*(ed t%at 6(& T&(st&am %ad sla(n
%e& b&ot%e& 6(& a&%a's b+ %(s swo&d) and (n w%at
3eo*a&d+ %e was#
T1;S was Sir Tramtrist lon! there well cherished with the kin! and the Aueen and namely with
La Beale /soud. So upon a day the Aueen and La Beale /soud made a bain for Sir Tramtrist. And when
he was in his bain the Aueen and /soud her dau!hter roamed up and down in the chamberC and
therewhiles %ouvernail and 1ebes attended upon Tramtrist and the Aueen beheld his sword thereas it
lay upon his bed. And then by unhap the Aueen drew out his sword and beheld it a lon! while and both
they thou!ht it a passin! fair swordC but within a foot and an half of the point there was a !reat piece
thereof out"broken of the ed!e. And when the Aueen espied that !ap in the sword she remembered her
of a piece of a sword that was found in the brain"pan of Sir Marhaus the !ood kni!ht that was her
brother. Alas then said she unto her dau!hter La Beale /soud this is the same traitor kni!ht that slew
my brother thine eme. 5hen /soud heard her say so she was passin! sore abashed for passin! well she
loved Tramtrist and full well she knew the cruelness of her mother the Aueen.
Anon therewithal the Aueen went unto her own chamber and sou!ht her coffer and there she took
out the piece or the sword that was pulled out of Sir Marhaus' head after that he was dead. And then she
ran with that piece of iron to the sword that lay upon the bed. And when she put that piece of steel and
iron unto the sword it was as meet as it mi!ht be when it was new broken. And then the Aueen !ripped
that sword in her hand fiercely and with all her mi!ht she ran strai!ht upon Tramtrist where he sat in
his bain and there she had rived him throu!h had not Sir 1ebes !otten her in his arms and pulled the
sword from her and else she had thrust him throu!h.
Then when she was let of her evil will she ran to the :in! An!uish her husband and said on her
knees+ * my lord here have ye in your house that traitor kni!ht that slew my brother and your servant
that noble kni!ht Sir Marhaus. 5ho is that said :in! An!uish and where is heL Sir she said it is Sir
Tramtrist the same kni!ht that my dau!hter healed. Alas said the kin! therefore am / ri!ht heavy for
-.=
he is a full noble kni!ht as ever / saw in field. But / char!e you said the kin! to the Aueen that ye have
not ado with that kni!ht but let me deal with him.
Then the kin! went into the chamber unto Sir Tramtrist and then was he !one unto his chamber
and the kin! found him all ready armed to mount upon his horse. 5hen the kin! saw him all ready
armed to !o unto horseback the kin! said+ 2ay Tramtrist it will not avail to compare thee a!ainst meC
but thus much / shall do for my worship and for thy loveC in so much as thou art within my court it
were no worship for me to slay thee+ therefore upon this condition / will !ive thee leave for to depart
from this court in safety so thou wilt tell me who was thy father and what is thy name and if thou slew
Sir Marhaus my brother.
CHAPTER !II# How 6(& T&(st&am de*a&ted f&om t%e k(ng and
La Beale Iso'd o't of I&eland fo& to come (nto Co&nwall#
S/0 said Tristram now / shall tell you all the truth+ my father's name is Sir Meliodas :in! of
Liones and my mother hi!ht 3liDabeth that was sister unto :in! Mark of )ornwallC and my mother
died of me in the forest and because thereof she commanded or she died that when / were christened
they should christen me TristramC and because / would not be known in this country / turned my name
and let me call TramtristC and for the trua!e of )ornwall / fou!ht for my eme's sake and for the ri!ht of
)ornwall that ye had posseded many years. And wit ye well said Tristram unto the kin! / did the battle
for the love of mine uncle :in! Mark and for the love of the country of )ornwall and for to increase
mine honourC for that same day that / fou!ht with Sir Marhaus / was made kni!ht and never or then did
/ battle with no kni!ht and from me he went alive and left his shield and his sword behind.
So %od me help said the kin! / may not say but ye did as a kni!ht should and it was your part to
do for your Auarrel and to increase your worship as a kni!ht shouldC howbeit / may not maintain you in
this country with my worship unless that / should displease my barons and my wife and her kin. Sir
said Tristram / thank you of your !ood lordship that / have had with you here and the !reat !oodness
my lady your dau!hter hath shewed me and therefore said Sir Tristram it may so happen that ye shall
win more by my life than by my death for in the parts of 3n!land it may happen / may do you service
-4>
at some season that ye shall be !lad that ever ye shewed me your !ood lordship. 5ith more / promise
you as / am true kni!ht that in all places / shall be my lady your dau!hter's servant and kni!ht in ri!ht
and in wron! and / shall never fail her to do as much as a kni!ht may do. Also / beseech your !ood
!race that / may take my leave at my lady your dau!hter and at all the barons and kni!hts. / will well
said the kin!.
Then Sir Tristram went unto La Beale /soud and took his leave of her. And then he told her all
what he was and how he had chan!ed his name because he would not be known and how a lady told
him that he should never be whole till he came into this country where the poison was made
wherethrou!h / was near my death had not your ladyship been. * !entle kni!ht said La Beale /soud
full woe am / of thy departin! for / saw never man that / owed so !ood will to. And therewithal she
wept heartily. Madam said Sir Tristram ye shall understand that my name is Sir Tristram de Liones
!otten of :in! Meliodas and born of his Aueen. And / promise you faithfully that / shall be all the days
of my life your kni!ht. %ramercy said La Beale /soud and / promise you there"a!ainst that / shall not
be married this seven years but by your assentC and to whom that ye will / shall be married to him will /
have and he will have me if ye will consent.
And then Sir Tristram !ave her a rin! and she !ave him anotherC and therewith he departed from
her leavin! her makin! !reat dole and lamentationC and he strai!ht went unto the court amon! all the
barons and there he took his leave at most and least and openly he said amon! them all+ &air lords
now it is so that / must depart+ if there be any man here that / have offended unto or that any man be
with me !rieved let complain him here afore me or that ever / depart and / shall amend it unto my
power. And if there be any that will proffer me wron! or say of me wron! or shame behind my back
say it now or never and here is my body to make it !ood body a!ainst body. And all they stood still
there was not one that would say one wordC yet were there some kni!hts that were of the Aueen's blood
and of Sir Marhaus' blood but they would not meddle with him.
-4?
CHAPTER !III# How 6(& T&(st&am and "(ng a&k %'&ted eac%
ot%e& fo& t%e lo-e of a kn(g%t0s w(fe#
S* Sir Tristram departed and took the sea and with !ood wind he arrived up at Tinta!il in
)ornwallC and when :in! Mark was whole in his prosperity there came tidin!s that Sir Tristram was
arrived and whole of his wounds+ thereof was :in! Mark passin! !lad and so were all the baronsC and
when he saw his time he rode unto his father :in! Meliodas and there he had all the cheer that the
kin! and the Aueen could make him. And then lar!ely :in! Meliodas and his Aueen departed of their
lands and !oods to Sir Tristram.
Then by the license of :in! Meliodas his father he returned a!ain unto the court of :in! Mark
and there he lived in !reat $oy lon! time until at the last there befell a $ealousy and an unkindness
betwi't :in! Mark and Sir Tristram for they loved both one lady. And she was an earl's wife that hi!ht
Sir Se!warides. And this lady loved Sir Tristram passin!ly well. And he loved her a!ain for she was a
passin! fair lady and that espied Sir Tristram well. Then :in! Mark understood that and was $ealous
for :in! Mark loved her passin!ly well.
So it fell upon a day this lady sent a dwarf unto Sir Tristram and bade him as he loved her that he
would be with her the ni!ht ne't followin!. Also she char!ed you that ye come not to her but if ye be
well armed for her lover was called a !ood kni!ht. Sir Tristram answered to the dwarf+ 0ecommend
me unto my lady and tell her / will not fail but / will be with her the term that she hath set me. And
with this answer the dwarf departed. And :in! Mark espied that the dwarf was with Sir Tristram upon
messa!e from Se!warides' wifeC then :in! Mark sent for the dwarf and when he was come he made
the dwarf by force to tell him all why and wherefore that he came on messa!e from Sir Tristram. 2ow
said :in! Mark !o where thou wilt and upon pain of death that thou say no word that thou spakest
with meC so the dwarf departed from the kin!.
And that same ni!ht that the steven was set betwi't Se!warides' wife and Sir Tristram :in! Mark
armed him and made him ready and took two kni!hts of his counsel with himC and so he rode afore for
to abide by the way for to wait upon Sir Tristram. And as Sir Tristram came ridin! upon his way with
his spear in his hand :in! Mark came hurtlin! upon him with his two kni!hts suddenly. And all three
smote him with their spears and :in! Mark hurt Sir Tristram on the breast ri!ht sore. And then Sir
Tristram feutred his spear and smote his uncle :in! Mark so sore that he rashed him to the earth and
bruised him that he lay still in a swoon and lon! it was or ever he mi!ht wield himself. And then he ran
-4-
to the one kni!ht and eft to the other and smote them to the cold earth that they lay still. And
therewithal Sir Tristram rode forth sore wounded to the lady and found her abidin! him at a postern.
CHAPTER !I,# How 6(& T&(st&am la+ w(t% t%e lad+) and %ow
%e& %'sband fo'g%t w(t% 6(& T&(st&am#
A2( there she welcomed him fair and either halsed other in arms and so she let put up his horse
in the best wise and then she unarmed him. And so they supped li!htly and went to bed with !reat $oy
and pleasaunceC and so in his ra!in! he took no keep of his !reen wound that :in! Mark had !iven
him. And so Sir Tristram be"bled both the over sheet and the nether and pillows and head sheet. And
within a while there came one afore that warned her that her lord was near"hand within a bow"drau!ht.
So she made Sir Tristram to arise and so he armed him and took his horse and so departed. By then
was come Se!warides her lord and when he found her bed troubled and broken and went near and
beheld it by candle li!ht then he saw that there had lain a wounded kni!ht. Ah false traitress then he
said why hast thou betrayed meL And therewithal he swan! out a sword and said+ But if thou tell me
who hath been here here thou shalt die. Ah my lord mercy said the lady and held up her hands
sayin!+ Slay me not and / shall tell you all who hath been here. Tell anon said Se!warides to me all
the truth. Anon for dread she said+ 1ere was Sir Tristram with me and by the way as he came to me
ward he was sore wounded. Ah false traitress said Se!warides where is he becomeL Sir she said he
is armed and departed on horseback not yet hence half a mile. Ye say well said Se!warides.
Then he armed him li!htly and !at his horse and rode after Sir Tristram that rode strai!htway unto
Tinta!il. And within a while he overtook Sir Tristram and then he bade him Turn false traitor kni!ht.
And Sir Tristram anon turned him a!ainst him. And therewithal Se!warides smote Sir Tristram with a
spear that it all to"brastC and then he swan! out his sword and smote fast at Sir Tristram. Sir kni!ht said
Sir Tristram / counsel you that ye smite no more howbeit for the wron!s that / have done you / will
forbear you as lon! as / may. 2ay said Se!warides that shall not be for either thou shalt die or /.
Then Sir Tristram drew out his sword and hurtled his horse unto him fiercely and throu!h the
waist of the body he smote Sir Se!warides that he fell to the earth in a swoon. And so Sir Tristram
-49
departed and left him there. And so he rode unto Tinta!il and took his lod!in! secretly for he would
not be known that he was hurt. Also Sir Se!warides' men rode after their master whom they found
lyin! in the field sore wounded and brou!ht him home on his shield and there he lay lon! or that he
were whole but at the last he recovered. Also :in! Mark would not be aknown of that Sir Tristram and
he had met that ni!ht. And as for Sir Tristram he knew not that :in! Mark had met with him. And so
the kin! askance came to Sir Tristram to comfort him as he lay sick in his bed. But as lon! as :in!
Mark lived he loved never Sir Tristram after thatC thou!h there was fair speech love was there none.
And thus it passed many weeks and days and all was for!iven and for!ottenC for Sir Se!warides durst
not have ado with Sir Tristram because of his noble prowess and also because he was nephew unto
:in! MarkC therefore he let it overslip+ for he that hath a privy hurt is loath to have a shame outward.
CHAPTER !,# How 6(& Bleobe&(s demanded t%e fa(&est lad+ (n
"(ng a&k0s co'&t) w%om %e took awa+) and %ow %e was
fo'g%t w(t%#
T132 it befell upon a day that the !ood kni!ht Bleoberis de %anis brother to Blamore de %anis
and ni!h cousin unto the !ood kni!ht Sir Launcelot du Lake this Bleoberis came unto the court of
:in! Mark and there he asked of :in! Mark a boon to !ive him what !ift that he would ask in his
court. 5hen the kin! heard him ask so he marvelled of his askin! but because he was a kni!ht of the
0ound Table and of a !reat renown :in! Mark !ranted him his whole askin!. Then said Sir
Bleoberis / will have the fairest lady in your court that me list to choose. / may not say nay said :in!
MarkC now choose at your adventure. And so Sir Bleoberis did choose Sir Se!warides' wife and took
her by the hand and so went his way with herC and so he took his horse and !art set her behind his
sAuire and rode upon his way.
5hen Sir Se!warides heard tell that his lady was !one with a kni!ht of :in! Arthur's court then
he armed him and rode after that kni!ht for to rescue his lady. So when Bleoberis was !one with this
lady :in! Mark and all the court was wroth that she was away. Then were there certain ladies that
knew that there were !reat love between Sir Tristram and her and also that lady loved Sir Tristram
above all other kni!hts. Then there was one lady that rebuked Sir Tristram in the horriblest wise and
-4.
called him coward kni!ht that he would for shame of his kni!hthood see a lady so shamefully be taken
away from his uncle's court. But she meant that either of them had loved other with entire heart. But Sir
Tristram answered her thus+ &air lady it is not my part to have ado in such matters while her lord and
husband is present hereC and if it had been that her lord had not been here in this court then for the
worship of this court peradventure / would have been her champion and if so be Sir Se!warides speed
not well it may happen that / will speak with that !ood kni!ht or ever he pass from this country.
Then within a while came one of Sir Se!warides' sAuires and told in the court that Sir Se!warides
was beaten sore and wounded to the point of deathC as he would have rescued his lady Sir Bleoberis
overthrew him and sore hath wounded him. Then was :in! Mark heavy thereof and all the court.
5hen Sir Tristram heard of this he was ashamed and sore !rievedC and then was he soon armed and on
horseback and %ouvernail his servant bare his shield and spear. And so as Sir Tristram rode fast he
met with Sir Andred his cousin that by the commandment of :in! Mark was sent to brin! forth an
ever it lay in his power two kni!hts of Arthur's court that rode by the country to seek their adventures.
5hen Sir Tristram saw Sir Andred he asked him what tidin!s. So %od me help said Sir Andred there
was never worse with me for here by the commandment of :in! Mark / was sent to fetch two kni!hts
of :in! Arthur's court and that one beat me and wounded me and set nou!ht by my messa!e. &air
cousin said Sir Tristram ride on your way and if / may meet them it may happen / shall reven!e you.
So Sir Andred rode into )ornwall and Sir Tristram rode after the two kni!hts the which one hi!ht
Sa!ramore le (esirous and the other hi!ht (odinas le Sava!e.
CHAPTER !,I# How 6(& T&(st&am fo'g%t w(t% two kn(g%ts of
t%e Ro'nd Table#
T132 within a while Sir Tristram saw them afore him two likely kni!hts. Sir said %ouvernail
unto his master Sir / would counsel you not to have ado with them for they be two proved kni!hts of
Arthur's court. As for that said Sir Tristram have ye no doubt but / will have ado with them to increase
my worship for it is many day sithen / did any deeds of arms. (o as ye list said %ouvernail. And
therewithal anon Sir Tristram asked them from whence they came and whither they would and what
they did in those marches. Sir Sa!ramore looked upon Sir Tristram and had scorn of his words and
-44
asked him a!ain &air kni!ht be ye a kni!ht of )ornwallL 5hereby ask ye itL said Sir Tristram. &or it is
seldom seen said Sir Sa!ramore that ye )ornish kni!hts be valiant men of armsC for within these two
hours there met us one of your )ornish kni!hts and !reat words he spake and anon with little mi!ht he
was laid to the earth. And as / trow said Sir Sa!ramore ye shall have the same handsel that he had.
&air lords said Sir Tristram it may so happen that / may better withstand than he did and whether ye
will or nill / will have ado with you because he was my cousin that ye beat. And therefore here do your
best and wit ye well but if ye Auit you the better here upon this !round one kni!ht of )ornwall shall
beat you both.
5hen Sir (odinas le Sava!e heard him say so he !at a spear in his hand and said Sir kni!ht keep
well thyself+ And then they departed and came to!ether as it had been thunder. And Sir (odinas' spear
brast in"sunder but Sir Tristram smote him with a more mi!ht that he smote him clean over the horse"
croup that ni!h he had broken his neck. 5hen Sir Sa!ramore saw his fellow have such a fall he
marvelled what kni!ht he mi!ht be. And he dressed his spear with all his mi!ht and Sir Tristram
a!ainst him and they came to!ether as the thunder and there Sir Tristram smote Sir Sa!ramore a
stron! buffet that he bare his horse and him to the earth and in the fallin! he brake his thi!h.
5hen this was done Sir Tristram asked them+ &air kni!hts will ye any moreL Be there no bi!!er
kni!hts in the court of :in! ArthurL it is to you shame to say of us kni!hts of )ornwall dishonour for it
may happen a )ornish kni!ht may match you. That is truth said Sir Sa!ramore that have we well
provedC but / reAuire thee said Sir Sa!ramore tell us your ri!ht name by the faith and troth that ye
owe to the hi!h order of kni!hthood. Ye char!e me with a !reat thin! said Sir Tristram and sithen ye
list to wit it ye shall know and understand that my name is Sir Tristram de Liones :in! Meliodas' son
and nephew unto :in! Mark. Then were they two kni!hts fain that they had met with Tristram and so
they prayed him to abide in their fellowship. 2ay said Sir Tristram for / must have ado with one of
your fellows his name is Sir Bleoberis de %anis. %od speed you well said Sir Sa!ramore and (odinas.
Sir Tristram departed and rode onward on his way. And then was he ware before him in a valley where
rode Sir Bleoberis with Sir Se!warides' lady that rode behind his sAuire upon a palfrey.
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CHAPTER !,II# How 6(& T&(st&am fo'g%t w(t% 6(& Bleobe&(s
fo& a lad+) and %ow t%e lad+ was *'t to c%o(ce to w%om s%e
wo'ld go#
T132 Sir Tristram rode more than a pace until that he had overtaken him. Then spake Sir
Tristram+ Abide he said :ni!ht of Arthur's court brin! a!ain that lady or deliver her to me. / will do
neither said Bleoberis for / dread no )ornish kni!ht so sore that me list to deliver her. 5hy said Sir
Tristram may not a )ornish kni!ht do as well as another kni!htL this same day two kni!hts of your
court within this three mile met with me and or ever we departed they found a )ornish kni!ht !ood
enou!h for them both. 5hat were their namesL said Bleoberis. They told me said Sir Tristram that the
one of them hi!ht Sir Sa!ramore le (esirous and the other hi!ht (odinas le Sava!e. Ah said Sir
Bleoberis have ye met with themL so %od me help they were two !ood kni!hts and men of !reat
worship and if ye have beat them both ye must needs be a !ood kni!htC but if it so be ye have beat
them both yet shall ye not fear me but ye shall beat me or ever ye have this lady. Then defend you
said Sir Tristram. So they departed and came to!ether like thunder and either bare other down horse
and all to the earth.
Then they avoided their horses and lashed to!ether ea!erly with swords and mi!htily now tracin!
and traversin! on the ri!ht hand and on the left hand more than two hours. And sometime they rushed
to!ether with such a mi!ht that they lay both !rovellin! on the !round. Then Sir Bleoberis de %anis
stert aback and said thus+ 2ow !entle !ood kni!ht a while hold your hands and let us speak to!ether.
Say what ye will said Tristram and / will answer you. Sir said Bleoberis / would wit of whence ye
be and of whom ye be come and what is your nameL So %od me help said Sir Tristram / fear not to
tell you my name. 5it ye well / am :in! Meliodas' son and my mother is :in! Mark's sister and my
name is Sir Tristram de Liones and :in! Mark is mine uncle. Truly said Bleoberis / am ri!ht !lad of
you for ye are he that slew Marhaus the kni!ht hand for hand in an island for the trua!e of )ornwallC
also ye overcame Sir #alamides the !ood kni!ht at a tournament in an island where ye beat Sir
%awaine and his nine fellows. So %od me help said Sir Tristram wit ye well that / am the same
kni!htC now / have told you my name tell me yours with !ood will. 5it ye well that my name is Sir
Bleoberis de %anis and my brother hi!ht Sir Blamore de %anis that is called a !ood kni!ht and we be
sister's children unto my lord Sir Launcelot du Lake that we call one of the best kni!hts of the world.
That is truth said Sir Tristram Sir Launcelot is called peerless of courtesy and of kni!hthoodC and for
his sake said Sir Tristram / will not with my !ood will fi!ht no more with you for the !reat love /
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have to Sir Launcelot du Lake. /n !ood faith said Bleoberis as for me / will be loath to fi!ht with youC
but sithen ye follow me here to have this lady / shall proffer you kindness courtesy and !entleness
ri!ht here upon this !round. This lady shall be betwi't us both and to whom that she will !o let him
have her in peace. / will well said Tristram for as / deem she will leave you and come to me. Ye shall
prove it anon said Bleoberis.
CHAPTER !,III# How t%e lad+ fo&sook 6(& T&(st&am and abode
w(t% 6(& Bleobe&(s) and %ow s%e des(&ed to go to %e&
%'sband#
So when she was set betwi't them both she said these words unto Sir Tristram+ 5it ye well Sir
Tristram de Liones that but late thou wast the man in the world that / most loved and trusted and /
weened thou hadst loved me a!ain above all ladiesC but when thou sawest this kni!ht lead me away
thou madest no cheer to rescue me but suffered my lord Se!warides ride after meC but until that time /
weened thou haddest loved me and therefore now / will leave thee and never love thee more. And
therewithal she went unto Sir Bleoberis.
5hen Sir Tristram saw her do so he was wonderly wroth with that lady and ashamed to come to
the court. Sir Tristram said Sir Bleoberis ye are in the default for / hear by this lady's words she
before this day trusted you above all earthly kni!hts and as she saith ye have deceived her therefore
wit ye well there may no man hold that will awayC and rather than ye should be heartily displeased
with me / would ye had her an she would abide with you. 2ay said the lady so %od me help / will
never !o with himC for he that / loved most / weened he had loved me. And therefore Sir Tristram she
said ride as thou came for thou!h thou haddest overcome this kni!ht as ye was likely with thee never
would / have !one. And / shall pray this kni!ht so fair of his kni!hthood that or ever he pass this
country that he will lead me to the abbey where my lord Sir Se!warides lieth. So %od me help said
Bleoberis / let you wit !ood kni!ht Sir Tristram because :in! Mark !ave me the choice of a !ift in
this court and so this lady liked me bestKnotwithstandin! she is wedded and hath a lord and / have
fulfilled my Auest she shall be sent unto her husband a!ain and in especial most for your sake Sir
TristramC and if she would !o with you / would ye had her. / thank you said Sir Tristram but for her
-4@
love / shall beware what manner a lady / shall love or trustC for had her lord Sir Se!warides been away
from the court / should have been the first that should have followed youC but sithen that ye have
refused me as / am true kni!ht / shall her know passin!ly well that / shall love or trust. And so they
took their leave one from the other and departed.
And so Sir Tristram rode unto Tinta!il and Sir Bleoberis rode unto the abbey where Sir
Se!warides lay sore wounded and there he delivered his lady and departed as a noble kni!htC and
when Sir Se!warides saw his lady he was !reatly comfortedC and then she told him that Sir Tristram
had done !reat battle with Sir Bleoberis and caused him to brin! her a!ain. These words pleased Sir
Se!warides ri!ht well that Sir Tristram would do so muchC and so that lady told all the battle unto :in!
Mark betwi't Sir Tristram and Sir Bleoberis.
CHAPTER !I!# How "(ng a&k sent 6(& T&(st&am fo& La Beale
Iso'd towa&d I&eland) and %ow b+ fo&t'ne %e a&&(-ed (nto
England#
T132 when this was done :in! Mark cast always in his heart how he mi!ht destroy Sir Tristram.
And then he ima!ined in himself to send Sir Tristram into /reland for La Beale /soud. &or Sir Tristram
had so praised her beauty and her !oodness that :in! Mark said that he would wed her whereupon he
prayed Sir Tristram to take his way into /reland for him on messa!e. And all this was done to the intent
to slay Sir Tristram. 2otwithstandin! Sir Tristram would not refuse the messa!e for no dan!er nor
peril that mi!ht fall for the pleasure of his uncle but to !o he made him ready in the most !oodliest
wise that mi!ht be devised. &or Sir Tristram took with him the most !oodliest kni!hts that he mi!ht
find in the courtC and they were arrayed after the !uise that was then used in the !oodliest manner. So
Sir Tristram departed and took the sea with all his fellowship. And anon as he was in the broad sea a
tempest took him and his fellowship and drove them back into the coast of 3n!landC and there they
arrived fast by )amelot and full fain they were to take the land.
And when they were landed Sir Tristram set up his pavilion upon the land of )amelot and there he
let han! his shield upon the pavilion. And that same day came two kni!hts of :in! Arthur's that one
-4=
was Sir 3ctor de Maris and Sir Mor!anor. And they touched the shield and bade him come out of the
pavilion for to $oust an he would $oust. Ye shall be answered said Sir Tristram an ye will tarry a little
while. So he made him ready and first he smote down Sir 3ctor de Maris and after he smote down Sir
Mor!anor all with one spear and sore bruised them. And when they lay upon the earth they asked Sir
Tristram what he was and of what country he was kni!ht. &air lords said Sir Tristram wit ye well that
/ am of )ornwall. Alas said Sir 3ctor now am / ashamed that ever any )ornish kni!ht should
overcome me. And then for despite Sir 3ctor put off his armour from him and went on foot and would
not ride.
CHAPTER !!# How "(ng Ang'(s% of I&eland was s'mmoned to
come to "(ng A&t%'&0s co'&t fo& t&eason#
T132 it fell that Sir Bleoberis and Sir Blamore de %anis that were brethren they had summoned
the :in! An!uish of /reland for to come to Arthur's court upon pain of forfeiture of :in! Arthur's !ood
!race. And if the :in! of /reland came not in at the day assi!ned and set the kin! should lose his
lands. So it happened that at the day assi!ned :in! Arthur neither Sir Launcelot mi!ht not be there for
to !ive the $ud!ment for :in! Arthur was with Sir Launcelot at the )astle Eoyous %arde. And so :in!
Arthur assi!ned :in! )arados and the :in! of Scots to be there that day as $ud!es. So when the kin!s
were at )amelot :in! An!uish of /reland was come to know his accusers. Then was there Sir Blamore
de %anis and appealed the :in! of /reland of treason that he had slain a cousin of his in his court in
/reland by treason. The kin! was sore abashed of his accusation for"why he was come at the summons
of :in! Arthur and or he came at )amelot he wist not wherefore he was sent after. And when the kin!
heard Sir Blamore say his will he understood well there was none other remedy but for to answer him
kni!htlyC for the custom was such in those days that an any man were appealed of any treason or
murder he should fi!ht body for body or else to find another kni!ht for him. And all manner of
murders in those days were called treason.
So when :in! An!uish understood his accusin! he was passin! heavy for he knew Sir Blamore de
%anis that he was a noble kni!ht and of noble kni!hts come. Then the :in! of /reland was simply
purveyed of his answerC therefore the $ud!es !ave him respite by the third day to !ive his answer. So
-<>
the kin! departed unto his lod!in!. The meanwhile there came a lady by Sir Tristram's pavilion makin!
!reat dole. 5hat aileth you said Sir Tristram that ye make such doleL Ah fair kni!ht said the lady /
am ashamed unless that some !ood kni!ht help meC for a !reat lady of worship sent by me a fair child
and a rich unto Sir Launcelot du Lake and hereby there met with me a kni!ht and threw me down
from my palfrey and took away the child from me. 5ell my lady said Sir Tristram and for my lord
Sir Launcelot's sake / shall !et you that child a!ain or else / shall be beaten for it. And so Sir Tristram
took his horse and asked the lady which way the kni!ht rodeC and then she told him. And he rode after
him and within a while he overtook that kni!ht. And then Sir Tristram bade him turn and !ive a!ain
the child.
CHAPTER !!I# How 6(& T&(st&am &esc'ed a c%(ld f&om a
kn(g%t) and %ow Go'-e&na(l told %(m of "(ng Ang'(s%#
T13 kni!ht turned his horse and made him ready to fi!ht. And then Sir Tristram smote him with a
sword such a buffet that he tumbled to the earth. And then he yielded him unto Sir Tristram. Then come
thy way said Sir Tristram and brin! the child to the lady a!ain. So he took his horse meekly and rode
with Sir TristramC and then by the way Sir Tristram asked him his name. Then he said My name is
Breuse Saunce #ite. So when he had delivered that child to the lady he said+ Sir as in this the child is
well remedied. Then Sir Tristram let him !o a!ain that sore repented him after for he was a !reat foe
unto many !ood kni!hts of :in! Arthur's court.
Then when Sir Tristram was in his pavilion %ouvernail his man came and told him how that :in!
An!uish of /reland was come thither and he was put in !reat distressC and there %ouvernail told Sir
Tristram how :in! An!uish was summoned and appealed of murder. So %od me help said Sir
Tristram these be the best tidin!s that ever came to me this seven years for now shall the :in! of
/reland have need of my helpC for / daresay there is no kni!ht in this country that is not of Arthur's court
dare do battle with Sir Blamore de %anisC and for to win the love of the :in! of /reland / will take the
battle upon meC and therefore %ouvernail brin! me / char!e thee to the kin!.
Then %ouvernail went unto :in! An!uish of /reland and saluted him fair. The kin! welcomed him
-<?
and asked him what he would. Sir said %ouvernail here is a kni!ht near hand that desireth to speak
with you+ he bade me say he would do you service. 5hat kni!ht is heL said the kin!. Sir said he it is
Sir Tristram de Liones that for your !ood !race that ye showed him in your lands will reward you in
this country. )ome on fellow said the kin! with me anon and show me unto Sir Tristram. So the kin!
took a little hackney and but few fellowship with him until he came unto Sir Tristram's pavilion. And
when Sir Tristram saw the kin! he ran unto him and would have holden his stirrup. But the kin! leapt
from his horse li!htly and either halsed other in their arms. My !racious lord said Sir Tristram
!ramercy of your !reat !oodnesses showed unto me in your marches and lands+ and at that time /
promised you to do you service an ever it lay in my power. And !entle kni!ht said the kin! unto Sir
Tristram now have / !reat need of you never had / so !reat need of no kni!ht's help. 1ow so my !ood
lordL said Sir Tristram. / shall tell you said the kin!+ / am summoned and appealed from my country
for the death of a kni!ht that was kin unto the !ood kni!ht Sir LauncelotC wherefore Sir Blamore de
%anis brother to Sir Bleoberis hath appealed me to fi!ht with him outher to find a kni!ht in my stead.
And well / wot said the kin! these that are come of :in! Ban's blood as Sir Launcelot and these
other are passin! !ood kni!hts and hard men for to win in battle as any that / know now livin!. Sir
said Sir Tristram for the !ood lordship ye showed me in /reland and for my lady your dau!hter's sake
La Beale /soud / will take the battle for you upon this condition that ye shall !rant me two thin!s+ that
one is that ye shall swear to me that ye are in the ri!ht that ye were never consentin! to the kni!ht's
deathC Sir then said Sir Tristram when that / have done this battle if %od !ive me !race that / speed
that ye shall !ive me a reward what thin! reasonable that / will ask of you. So %od me help said the
kin! ye shall have whatsomever ye will ask. /t is well said said Sir Tristram.
CHAPTER !!II# How 6(& T&(st&am fo'g%t fo& 6(& Ang'(s% and
o-e&came %(s ad-e&sa&+) and %ow %(s ad-e&sa&+ wo'ld ne-e&
+(eld %(m#
2*5 make your answer that your champion is ready for / shall die in your Auarrel rather than to
be recreant. / have no doubt of you said the kin! that an ye should have ado with Sir Launcelot du
LakeK Sir said Sir Tristram as for Sir Launcelot he is called the noblest kni!ht of the world and wit
-<-
ye well that the kni!hts of his blood are noble men and dread shameC and as for Bleoberis brother unto
Sir Blamore / have done battle with him therefore upon my head it is no shame to call him a !ood
kni!ht. /t is noised said the kin! that Blamore is the hardier kni!ht. Sir as for that let him be he shall
never be refused an as he were the best kni!ht that now beareth shield or spear.
So :in! An!uish departed unto :in! )arados and the kin!s that were that time as $ud!es and told
them that he had found his champion ready. Then by the commandment of the kin!s Sir Blamore de
%anis and Sir Tristram were sent for to hear the char!e. And when they were come before the $ud!es
there were many kin!s and kni!hts beheld Sir Tristram and much speech they had of him because that
he slew Sir Marhaus the !ood kni!ht and because he for"$ousted Sir #alamides the !ood kni!ht. So
when they had taken their char!e they withdrew them to make them ready to do battle.
Then said Sir Bleoberis unto his brother Sir Blamore+ &air dear brother remember of what kin we
be come of and what a man is Sir Launcelot du Lake neither farther nor nearer but brother's children
and there was never none of our kin that ever was shamed in battleC and rather suffer death brother
than to be shamed. Brother said Blamore have ye no doubt of me for / shall never shame none of my
bloodC howbeit / am sure that yonder kni!ht is called a passin! !ood kni!ht as of his time one of the
world yet shall / never yield me nor say the loath word+ well may he happen to smite me down with
his !reat mi!ht of chivalry but rather shall he slay me than / shall yield me as recreant. %od speed you
well said Sir Bleoberis for ye shall find him the mi!htiest kni!ht that ever ye had ado withal for /
know him for / have had ado with him. %od me speed said Sir Blamore de %anisC and therewith he
took his horse at the one end of the lists and Sir Tristram at the other end of the lists and so they
feutred their spears and came to!ether as it had been thunderC and there Sir Tristram throu!h !reat
mi!ht smote down Sir Blamore and his horse to the earth. Then anon Sir Blamore avoided his horse
and pulled out his sword and threw his shield afore him and bade Sir Tristram ali!ht+ &or thou!h an
horse hath failed me / trust to %od the earth will not fail me. And then Sir Tristram ali!hted and
dressed him unto battleC and there they lashed to!ether stron!ly as racin! and tracin! foinin! and
dashin! many sad strokes that the kin!s and kni!hts had !reat wonder that they mi!ht standC for ever
they fou!ht like wood men so that there was never kni!hts seen fi!ht more fiercely than they didC for
Sir Blamore was so hasty that he would have no rest that all men wondered that they had breath to
stand on their feetC and all the place was bloody that they fou!ht in. And at the last Sir Tristram smote
Sir Blamore such a buffet upon the helm that he there fell down upon his side and Sir Tristram stood
and beheld him.
-<9
CHAPTER !!III# How 6(& Blamo&e des(&ed T&(st&am to sla+
%(m) and %ow 6(& T&(st&am s*a&ed %(m) and %ow t%e+ took
a**o(ntment#
T132 when Sir Blamore mi!ht speak he said thus+ Sir Tristram de Liones / reAuire thee as thou
art a noble kni!ht and the best kni!ht that ever / found that thou wilt slay me out for / would not live
to be made lord of all the earth for / have liefer die with worship than live with shameC and needs Sir
Tristram thou must slay me or else thou shalt never win the field for / will never say the loath word.
And therefore if thou dare slay me slay me / reAuire thee. 5hen Sir Tristram heard him say so
kni!htly he wist not what to do with himC he rememberin! him of both parties of what blood he was
come and for Sir Launcelot's sake he would be loath to slay himC and in the other party in no wise he
mi!ht not choose but that he must make him to say the loath word or else to slay him.
Then Sir Tristram stert aback and went to the kin!s that were $ud!es and there he kneeled down
to"fore them and besou!ht them for their worships and for :in! Arthur's and Sir Launcelot's sake that
they would take this matter in their hands. &or my fair lords said Sir Tristram it were shame and pity
that this noble kni!ht that yonder lieth should be slainC for ye hear well shamed will he not be and /
pray to %od that he never be slain nor shamed for me. And as for the kin! for whom / fi!ht for / shall
reAuire him as / am his true champion and true kni!ht in this field that he will have mercy upon this
!ood kni!ht. So %od me help said :in! An!uish / will for your sakeC Sir Tristram be ruled as ye will
have me for / know you for my true kni!htC and therefore / will heartily pray the kin!s that be here as
$ud!es to take it in their hands. And the kin!s that were $ud!es called Sir Bleoberis to them and asked
him his advice. My lords said Bleoberis thou!h my brother be beaten and hath the worse throu!h
mi!ht of arms / dare say thou!h Sir Tristram hath beaten his body he hath not beaten his heart and /
thank %od he is not shamed this dayC and rather than he should be shamed / reAuire you said Bleoberis
let Sir Tristram slay him out. /t shall not be so said the kin!s for his part adversary both the kin! and
the champion have pity of Sir Blamore's kni!hthood. My lords said Bleoberis / will ri!ht well as ye
will.
Then the kin!s called the :in! of /reland and found him !oodly and treatable. And then by all
-<.
their advices Sir Tristram and Sir Bleoberis took up Sir Blamore and the two brethren were accorded
with :in! An!uish and kissed and made friends for ever. And then Sir Blamore and Sir Tristram kissed
to!ether and there they made their oaths that they would never none of them two brethren fi!ht with
Sir Tristram and Sir Tristram made the same oath. And for that !entle battle all the blood of Sir
Launcelot loved Sir Tristram for ever.
Then :in! An!uish and Sir Tristram took their leave and sailed into /reland with !reat noblesse
and $oy. So when they were in /reland the kin! let make it known throu!hout all the land how and in
what manner Sir Tristram had done for him. Then the Aueen and all that there were made the most of
him that they mi!ht. But the $oy that La Beale /soud made of Sir Tristram there mi!ht no ton!ue tell
for of all men earthly she loved him most.
CHAPTER !!I,# How 6(& T&(st&am demanded La Beale Iso'd
fo& "(ng a&k) and %ow 6(& T&(st&am and Iso'd d&ank t%e
lo-e d&(nk#
T132 upon a day :in! An!uish asked Sir Tristram why he asked not his boon for whatsomever
he had promised him he should have it without fail. Sir said Sir Tristram now is it timeC this is all that
/ will desire that ye will !ive me La Beale /soud your dau!hter not for myself but for mine uncle
:in! Mark that shall have her to wife for so have / promised him. Alas said the kin! / had liefer than
all the land that / have ye would wed her yourself. Sir an / did then / were shamed for ever in this
world and false of my promise. Therefore said Sir / Tristram / pray you hold your promise that ye
promised meC for this is my desire that ye will !ive me La Beale /soud to !o with me into )ornwall for
to be wedded to :in! Mark mine uncle. As for that said :in! An!uish ye shall have her with you to
do with her what it please youC that is for to say if that ye list to wed her yourself that is me liefest and
if ye will !ive her unto :in! Mark your uncle that is in your choice. So to make short conclusion La
Beale /soud was made ready to !o with Sir Tristram and (ame Bra!waine went with her for her chief
!entlewoman with many other.
Then the Aueen /soud's mother !ave to her and (ame Bra!waine her dau!hter's !entlewoman
-<4
and unto %ouvernail a drink and char!ed them that what day :in! Mark should wed that same day
they should !ive him that drink so that :in! Mark should drink to La Beale /soud and then said the
Aueen / undertake either shall love other the days of their life. So this drink was !iven unto (ame
Bra!waine and unto %ouvernail. And then anon Sir Tristram took the sea and La Beale /soudC and
when they were in their cabin it happed so that they were thirsty and they saw a little flasket of !old
stand by them and it seemed by the colour and the taste that it was noble wine. Then Sir Tristram took
the flasket in his hand and said Madam /soud here is the best drink that ever ye drank that (ame
Bra!waine your maiden and %ouvernail my servant have kept for themselves. Then they lau!hed
and made !ood cheer and either drank to other freely and they thou!ht never drink that ever they
drank to other was so sweet nor so !ood. But by that their drink was in their bodies they loved either
other so well that never their love departed for weal neither for woe. And thus it happed the love first
betwi't Sir Tristram and La Beale /soud the which love never departed the days of their life.
So then they sailed till by fortune they came ni!h a castle that hi!ht #luere and thereby arrived for
to repose them weenin! to them to have had !ood harboura!e. But anon as Sir Tristram was within the
castle they were taken prisonersC for the custom of the castle was suchC who that rode by that castle and
brou!ht any lady he must needs fi!ht with the lord that hi!ht Breunor. And if it were so that Breunor
won the field then should the kni!ht stran!er and his lady be put to death what that ever they wereC
and if it were so that the stran!e kni!ht won the field of Sir Breunor then should he die and his lady
both. This custom was used many winters for it was called the )astle #luere that is to say the 5eepin!
)astle.
CHAPTER !!,# How 6(& T&(st&am and Iso'd we&e (n *&(son)
and %ow %e fo'g%t fo& %e& bea't+) and smote of anot%e&
lad+0s %ead#
T1;S as Sir Tristram and La Beale /soud were in prison it happed a kni!ht and a lady came unto
them where they were to cheer them. / have marvel said Tristram unto the kni!ht and the lady what is
the cause the lord of this castle holdeth us in prison+ it was never the custom of no place of worship that
ever / came in when a kni!ht and a lady asked harbour and they to receive them and after to destroy
-<<
them that be his !uests. Sir said the kni!ht this is the old custom of this castle that when a kni!ht
cometh here he must needs fi!ht with our lord and he that is weaker must lose his head. And when that
is done if his lady that he brin!eth be fouler than our lord's wife she must lose her head+ and if she be
fairer proved than is our lady then shall the lady of this castle lose her head. So %od me help said Sir
Tristram this is a foul custom and a shameful. But one advanta!e have / said Sir Tristram / have a
lady is fair enou!h fairer saw / never in all my life"days and / doubt not for lack of beauty she shall
not lose her headC and rather than / should lose my head / will fi!ht for it on a fair field. 5herefore sir
kni!ht / pray you tell your lord that / will be ready as to"morn with my lady and myself to do battle if
it be so / may have my horse and mine armour. Sir said that kni!ht / undertake that your desire shall
be sped ri!ht well. And then he said+ Take your rest and look that ye be up betimes and make you
ready and your lady for ye shall want no thin! that you behoveth. And therewith he departed and on
the morn betimes that same kni!ht came to Sir Tristram and fetched him out and his lady and brou!ht
him horse and armour that was his own and bade him make him ready to the field for all the estates
and commons of that lordship were there ready to behold that battle and $ud!ment.
Then came Sir Breunor the lord of that castle with his lady in his hand muffled and asked Sir
Tristram where was his lady+ &or an thy lady be fairer than mine with thy sword smite off my lady's
headC and if my lady be fairer than thine with my sword / must strike off her head. And if / may win
thee yet shall thy lady be mine and thou shalt lose thy head. Sir said Tristram this is a foul custom
and horribleC and rather than my lady should lose her head yet had / liefer lose my head. 2ay nay said
Sir Breunor the ladies shall be first showed to!ether and the one shall have her $ud!ment. 2ay / will
not so said Sir Tristram for here is none that will !ive ri!hteous $ud!ment. But / doubt not said Sir
Tristram my lady is fairer than thine and that will / prove and make !ood with my hand. And
whosomever he be that will say the contrary / will prove it on his head. And therewith Sir Tristram
showed La Beale /soud and turned her thrice about with his naked sword in his hand. And when Sir
Breunor saw that he did the same wise turn his lady. But when Sir Breunor beheld La Beale /soud him
thou!ht he saw never a fairer lady and then he dread his lady's head should be off. And so all the
people that were there present !ave $ud!ment that La Beale /soud was the fairer lady and the better
made. 1ow now said Sir Tristram meseemeth it were pity that my lady should lose her head but
because thou and she of lon! time have used this wicked custom and by you both have many !ood
kni!hts and ladies been destroyed for that cause it were no loss to destroy you both. So %od me help
said Sir Breunor for to say the sooth thy lady is fairer than mine and that me sore repenteth. And so /
-<7
hear the people privily say for of all women / saw none so fairC and therefore an thou wilt slay my
lady / doubt not but / shall slay thee and have thy lady. Thou shalt win her said Sir Tristram as dear as
ever kni!ht won lady. And because of thine own $ud!ment as thou wouldst have done to my lady if
that she had been fouler and because of the evil custom !ive me thy lady said Sir Tristram. And
therewithal Sir Tristram strode unto him and took his lady from him and with an awk stroke he smote
off her head clean. 5ell kni!ht said Sir Breunor now hast thou done me a despiteC
@
now take thine
horse+ sithen / am ladyless / will win thy lady an / may.
CHAPTER !!,I# How 6(& T&(st&am fo'g%t w(t% 6(& B&e'no&)
and at t%e last smote off %(s %ead#
T132 they took their horses and came to!ether as it had been the thunderC and Sir Tristram smote
Sir Breunor clean from his horse and li!htly he rose upC and as Sir Tristram came a!ain by him he
thrust his horse throu!hout both the shoulders that his horse hurled here and there and fell dead to the
!round. And ever Sir Breunor ran after to have slain Sir Tristram but Sir Tristram was li!ht and
nimble and voided his horse li!htly. And or ever Sir Tristram mi!ht dress his shield and his sword the
other !ave him three or four sad strokes. Then they rushed to!ether like two boars tracin! and
traversin! mi!htily and wisely as two noble kni!hts. &or this Sir Breunor was a proved kni!ht and had
been or then the death of many !ood kni!hts that it was pity that he had so lon! endured.
Thus they fou!ht hurlin! here and there ni!h two hours and either were wounded sore. Then at
the last Sir Breunor rashed upon Sir Tristram and took him in his arms for he trusted much in his
stren!th. Then was Sir Tristram called the stron!est and the hi!hest kni!ht of the worldC for he was
called bi!!er than Sir Launcelot but Sir Launcelot was better breathed. So anon Sir Tristram thrust Sir
Breunor down !rovellin! and then he unlaced his helm and struck off his head. And then all they that
lon!ed to the castle came to him and did him homa!e and fealty prayin! him that he would abide there
still a little while to fordo that foul custom. Sir Tristram !ranted thereto. The meanwhile one of the
kni!hts of the castle rode unto Sir %alahad the haut prince the which was Sir Breunor's son which
was a noble kni!ht and told him what misadventure his father had and his mother.
-<@
CHAPTER !!,II# How 6(& Gala%ad fo'g%t w(t% 6(& T&(st&am)
and %ow 6(& T&(st&am +(elded %(m and *&om(sed to
fellows%(* w(t% La'ncelot#
T132 came Sir %alahad and the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts with himC and this Sir %alahad
proffered to fi!ht with Sir Tristram hand for hand. And so they made them ready to !o unto battle on
horseback with !reat coura!e. Then Sir %alahad and Sir Tristram met to!ether so hard that either bare
other down horse and all to the earth. And then they avoided their horses as noble kni!hts and dressed
their shields and drew their swords with ire and rancour and they lashed to!ether many sad strokes
and one while strikin! another while foinin! tracin! and traversin! as noble kni!htsC thus they fou!ht
lon! near half a day and either were sore wounded. At the last Sir Tristram wa'ed li!ht and bi! and
doubled his strokes and drove Sir %alahad aback on the one side and on the other so that he was like
to have been slain.
5ith that came the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts and all that fellowship went fiercely upon Sir
Tristram. 5hen Sir Tristram saw them comin! upon him then he wist well he mi!ht not endure. Then
as a wise kni!ht of war he said to Sir %alahad the haut prince+ Sir ye show to me no kni!hthood for
to suffer all your men to have ado with me all at onceC and as meseemeth ye be a noble kni!ht of your
hands it is !reat shame to you. So %od me help said Sir %alahad there is none other way but thou must
yield thee to me other else to die said Sir %alahad to Sir Tristram. / will rather yield me to you than
die for that is more for the mi!ht of your men than of your hands. And therewithal Sir Tristram took his
own sword by the point and put the pommel in the hand of Sir %alahad.
Therewithal came the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts and hard be!an to assail Sir Tristram. Let
be said Sir %alahad be ye not so hardy to touch him for / have !iven this kni!ht his life. That is your
shame said the :in! with the 1undred :ni!htsC hath he not slain your father and your motherL As for
that said Sir %alahad / may not wite him !reatly for my father had him in prison and enforced him to
do battle with himC and my father had such a custom that was a shameful custom that what kni!ht
came there to ask harbour his lady must needs die but if she were fairer than my motherC and if my
father overcame that kni!ht he must needs die. This was a shameful custom and usa!e a kni!ht for his
-<=
harbour"askin! to have such harboura!e. And for this custom / would never draw about him. So %od
me help said the :in! this was a shameful custom. Truly said Sir %alahad so seemed meC and
meseemed it had been !reat pity that this kni!ht should have been slain for / dare say he is the noblest
man that beareth life but if it were Sir Launcelot du Lake. 2ow fair kni!ht said Sir %alahad / reAuire
thee tell me thy name and of whence thou art and whither thou wilt. Sir he said my name is Sir
Tristram de Liones and from :in! Mark of )ornwall / was sent on messa!e unto :in! An!uish of
/reland for to fetch his dau!hter to be his wife and here she is ready to !o with me into )ornwall and
her name is La Beale /soud. And Sir Tristram said Sir %alahad the haut prince well be ye found in
these marches and so ye will promise me to !o unto Sir Launcelot du Lake and accompany with him
ye shall !o where ye will and your fair lady with youC and / shall promise you never in all my days
shall such customs be used in this castle as have been used. Sir said Sir Tristram now / let you wit so
%od me help / weened ye had been Sir Launcelot du Lake when / saw you first and therefore / dread
you the moreC and sir / promise you said Sir Tristram as soon as / may / will see Sir Launcelot and in
fellowship me with himC for of all the kni!hts of the world / most desire his fellowship.
CHAPTER !!,III# How 6(& La'ncelot met w(t% 6(& Ca&ados
bea&(ng awa+ 6(& Gawa(ne) and of t%e &esc'e of 6(&
Gawa(ne#
A2( then Sir Tristram took his leave when he saw his time and took the sea. And in the
meanwhile word came unto Sir Launcelot and to Sir Tristram that Sir )arados the mi!hty kin! that
was made like a !iant fou!ht with Sir %awaine and !ave him such strokes that he swooned in his
saddle and after that he took him by the collar and pulled him out of his saddle and fast bound him to
the saddle"bow and so rode his way with him toward his castle. And as he rode by fortune Sir
Launcelot met with Sir )arados and anon he knew Sir %awaine that lay bound after him. Ah said Sir
Launcelot unto Sir %awaine how stands it with youL 2ever so hard said Sir %awaine unless that ye
help me for so %od me help without ye rescue me / know no kni!ht that may but outher you or Sir
Tristram. 5herefore Sir Launcelot was heavy of Sir %awaine's words. And then Sir Launcelot bade Sir
)arados+ Lay down that kni!ht and fi!ht with me. Thou art but a fool said Sir )arados for / will serve
-7>
you in the same wise. As for that said Sir Launcelot spare me not for / warn thee / will not spare thee.
And then he bound Sir %awaine hand and foot and so threw him to the !round. And then he !at his
spear of his sAuire and departed from Sir Launcelot to fetch his course. And so either met with other
and brake their spears to their handsC and then they pulled out swords and hurtled to!ether on
horseback more than an hour. And at the last Sir Launcelot smote Sir )arados such a buffet upon the
helm that it pierced his brain"pan. So then Sir Launcelot took Sir )arados by the collar and pulled him
under his horse's feet and then he ali!hted and pulled off his helm and struck off his head. And then Sir
Launcelot unbound Sir %awaine. So this same tale was told to Sir %alahad and to Sir Tristram+Khere
may ye hear the nobleness that followeth Sir Launcelot. Alas said Sir Tristram an / had not this
messa!e in hand with this fair lady truly / would never stint or / had found Sir Launcelot. Then Sir
Tristram and La Beale /soud went to the sea and came into )ornwall and there all the barons met them.
CHAPTER !!I!# Of t%e wedd(ng of "(ng a&k to La Beale
Iso'd) and of B&agwa(ne %e& ma(d) and of Palam(des#
A2( anon they were richly wedded with !reat noblesse. But ever as the &rench book saith Sir
Tristram and La Beale /soud loved ever to!ether. Then was there !reat $ousts and !reat tourneyin! and
many lords and ladies were at that feast and Sir Tristram was most praised of all other. Thus dured the
feast lon! and after the feast was done within a little while after by the assent of two ladies that were
with Bueen /soud they ordained for hate and envy for to destroy (ame Bra!waine that was maiden
and lady unto La Beale /soudC and she was sent into the forest for to fetch herbs and there she was met
and bound feet and hand to a tree and so she was bounden three days. And by fortune Sir #alamides
found (ame Bra!waine and there he delivered her from the death and brou!ht her to a nunnery there
beside for to be recovered. 5hen /soud the Aueen missed her maiden wit ye well she was ri!ht heavy
as ever was any Aueen for of all earthly women she loved her best+ the cause was for she came with her
out of her country. And so upon a day Bueen /soud walked into the forest to put away her thou!hts and
there she went herself unto a well and made !reat moan. And suddenly there came #alamides to her
and had heard all her complaint and said+ Madam /soud an ye will !rant me my boon / shall brin! to
you (ame Bra!waine safe and sound. And the Aueen was so !lad of his proffer that suddenly unadvised
-7?
she !ranted all his askin!. 5ell Madam said #alamides / trust to your promise and if ye will abide
here half an hour / shall brin! her to you. / shall abide you said La Beale /soud. And Sir #alamides
rode forth his way to that nunnery and li!htly he came a!ain with (ame Bra!waineC but by her !ood
will she would not have come a!ain because for love of the Aueen she stood in adventure of her life.
2otwithstandin! half a!ainst her will she went with Sir #alamides unto the Aueen. And when the
Aueen saw her she was passin! !lad. 2ow Madam said #alamides remember upon your promise for /
have fulfilled my promise. Sir #alamides said the Aueen / wot not what is your desire but / will that
ye wit howbeit / promised you lar!ely / thou!ht none evil nor / warn you none evil will / do. Madam
said Sir #alamides as at this time ye shall not know my desire but before my lord your husband there
shall ye know that / will have my desire that ye have promised me. And therewith the Aueen departed
and rode home to the kin! and Sir #alamides rode after her. And when Sir #alamides came before the
kin! he said+ Sir :in! / reAuire you as ye be a ri!hteous kin! that ye will $ud!e me the ri!ht. Tell me
your cause said the kin! and ye shall have ri!ht.
CHAPTER !!!# How Palam(des demanded 1'een Iso'd) and
%ow Lambeg's &ode afte& to &esc'e %e&) and of t%e esca*e of
Iso'd#
S/0 said #alamides / promised your Bueen /soud to brin! a!ain (ame Bra!waine that she had
lost upon this covenant that she should !rant me a boon that / would ask and without !rud!in! outher
advisement she !ranted me. 5hat say ye my ladyL said the kin!. /t is as he saith so %od me help said
the AueenC to say thee sooth / promised him his askin! for love and $oy that / had to see her. 5ell
Madam said the kin! and if ye were hasty to !rant him what boon he would ask / will well that ye
perform your promise. Then said #alamides / will that ye wit that / will have your Aueen to lead her
and !overn her whereas me list. Therewith the kin! stood still and bethou!ht him of Sir Tristram and
deemed that he would rescue her. And then hastily the kin! answered+ Take her with the adventures that
shall fall of it for as / suppose thou wilt not en$oy her no while. As for that said #alamides / dare ri!ht
well abide the adventure. And so to make short tale Sir #alamides took her by the hand and said+
Madam !rud!e not to !o with me for / desire nothin! but your own promise. As for that said the
-7-
Aueen / fear not !reatly to !o with thee howbeit thou hast me at advanta!e upon my promise for /
doubt not / shall be worshipfully rescued from thee. As for that said Sir #alamides be it as it be may.
So Bueen /soud was set behind #alamides and rode his way.
Anon the kin! sent after Sir Tristram but in no wise he could be found for he was in the forest a"
huntin!C for that was always his custom but if he used arms to chase and to hunt in the forests. Alas
said the kin! now / am shamed for ever that by mine own assent my lady and my Aueen shall be
devoured. Then came forth a kni!ht his name was Lambe!us and he was a kni!ht of Sir Tristram. My
lord said this kni!ht sith ye have trust in my lord Sir Tristram wit ye well for his sake / will ride after
your Aueen and rescue her or else / shall be beaten. %ramercy said the kin! as / live Sir Lambe!us /
shall deserve it. And then Sir Lambe!us armed him and rode after as fast as he mi!ht. And then within
a while he overtook Sir #alamides. And then Sir #alamides left the Aueen. 5hat art thou said
#alamides art thou TristramL 2ay he said / am his servant and my name is Sir Lambe!us. That me
repenteth said #alamides. / had liefer thou hadst been Sir Tristram. / believe you well said Lambe!us
but when thou meetest with Sir Tristram thou shalt have thy hands full. And then they hurtled to!ether
and all to"brast their spears and then they pulled out their swords and hewed on helms and hauberks.
At the last Sir #alamides !ave Sir Lambe!us such a wound that he fell down like a dead kni!ht to the
earth.
Then he looked after La Beale /soud and then she was !one he nist where. 5it ye well Sir
#alamides was never so heavy. So the Aueen ran into the forest and there she found a well and therein
she had thou!ht to have drowned herself. And as !ood fortune would there came a kni!ht to her that
had a castle thereby his name was Sir Adtherp. And when he found the Aueen in that mischief he
rescued her and brou!ht her to his castle. And when he wist what she was he armed him and took his
horse and said he would be aven!ed upon #alamidesC and so he rode on till he met with him and there
Sir #alamides wounded him sore and by force he made him to tell him the cause why he did battle
with him and how he had led the Aueen unto his castle. 2ow brin! me there said #alamides or thou
shalt die of my hands. Sir said Sir Adtherp / am so wounded / may not follow but ride you this way
and it shall brin! you into my castle and there within is the Aueen. Then Sir #alamides rode still till he
came to the castle. And at a window La Beale /soud saw Sir #alamidesC then she made the !ates to be
shut stron!ly. And when he saw he mi!ht not come within the castle he put off his bridle and his
saddle and put his horse to pasture and set himself down at the !ate like a man that was out of his wit
that recked not of himself.
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CHAPTER !!!I# How 6(& T&(st&am &ode afte& Palam(des) and
%ow %e fo'nd %(m and fo'g%t w(t% %(m) and b+ t%e means of
Iso'd t%e battle ceased#
2*5 turn we unto Sir Tristram that when he was come home and wist La Beale /soud was !one
with Sir #alamides wit ye well he was wroth out of measure. Alas said Sir Tristram / am this day
shamed. Then he cried to %ouvernail his man+ 1aste thee that / were armed and on horseback for well
/ wot Lambe!us hath no mi!ht nor stren!th to withstand Sir #alamides+ alas that / have not been in his
steadJ So anon as he was armed and horsed Sir Tristram and %ouvernail rode after into the forest and
within a while he found his kni!ht Lambe!us almost wounded to the deathC and Sir Tristram bare him
to a forester and char!ed him to keep him well. And then he rode forth and there he found Sir Adtherp
sore wounded and he told him how the Aueen would have drowned herself had he not been and how
for her sake and love he had taken upon him to do battle with Sir #alamides. 5here is my ladyL said
Sir Tristram. Sir said the kni!ht she is sure enou!h within my castle an she can hold her within it.
%ramercy said Sir Tristram of thy !reat !oodness. And so he rode till he came ni!h to that castleC and
then Sir Tristram saw where Sir #alamides sat at the !ate sleepin! and his horse pastured fast afore
him. 2ow !o thou %ouvernail said Sir Tristram and bid him awake and make him ready. So
%ouvernail rode unto him and said+ Sir #alamides arise and take to thee thine harness. But he was in
such a study he heard not what %ouvernail said. So %ouvernail came a!ain and told Sir Tristram he
slept or else he was mad. %o thou a!ain said Sir Tristram and bid him arise and tell him that / am
here his mortal foe. So %ouvernail rode a!ain and put upon him the butt of his spear and said+ Sir
#alamides make thee ready for wit ye well Sir Tristram hoveth yonder and sendeth thee word he is
thy mortal foe. And therewithal Sir #alamides arose stilly without words and !at his horse and
saddled him and bridled him and li!htly he leapt upon and !at his spear in his hand and either feutred
their spears and hurtled fast to!etherC and there Tristram smote down Sir #alamides over his horse's tail.
Then li!htly Sir #alamides put his shield afore him and drew his sword. And there be!an stron! battle
on both parts for both they fou!ht for the love of one lady and ever she lay on the walls and beheld
them how they fou!ht out of measure and either were wounded passin! sore but #alamides was much
-7.
sorer wounded. Thus they fou!ht tracin! and traversin! more than two hours that well"ni!h for dole
and sorrow La Beale /soud swooned. Alas she said that one / loved and yet do and the other / love
not yet it were !reat pity that / should see Sir #alamides slainC for well / know by that time the end be
done Sir #alamides is but a dead kni!ht+ because he is not christened / would be loath that he should
die a Saracen. And therewithal she came down and besou!ht Sir Tristram to fi!ht no more. Ah madam
said he what mean you will ye have me shamedL 5ell ye know / will be ruled by you. / will not your
dishonour said La Beale /soud but / would that ye would for my sake spare this unhappy Saracen
#alamides. Madam said Sir Tristram / will leave fi!htin! at this time for your sake. Then she said to
Sir #alamides+ This shall be your char!e that thou shalt !o out of this country while / am therein. / will
obey your commandment said Sir #alamides the which is sore a!ainst my will. Then take thy way
said La Beale /soud unto the court of :in! Arthur and there recommend me unto Bueen %uenever
and tell her that / send her word that there be within this land but four lovers that is Sir Launcelot du
Lake and Bueen %uenever and Sir Tristram de Liones and Bueen /soud.
CHAPTER !!!II# How 6(& T&(st&am b&o'g%t 1'een Iso'd
%ome) and of t%e debate of "(ng a&k and 6(& T&(st&am#
A2( so Sir #alamides departed with !reat heaviness. And Sir Tristram took the Aueen and brou!ht
her a!ain to :in! Mark and then was there made !reat $oy of her home"comin!. 5ho was cherished
but Sir TristramJ Then Sir Tristram let fetch Sir Lambe!us his kni!ht from the forester's house and it
was lon! or he was whole but at the last he was well recovered. Thus they lived with $oy and play a
lon! while. But ever Sir Andred that was ni!h cousin to Sir Tristram lay in a watch to wait betwi't Sir
Tristram and La Beale /soud for to take them and slander them. So upon a day Sir Tristram talked with
La Beale /soud in a window and that espied Sir Andred and told it to the :in!. Then :in! Mark took a
sword in his hand and came to Sir Tristram and called him false traitor and would have stricken him.
But Sir Tristram was ni!h him and ran under his sword and took it out of his hand. And then the :in!
cried+ 5here are my kni!hts and my menL / char!e you slay this traitor. But at that time there was not
one would move for his words. 5hen Sir Tristram saw that there was not one would be a!ainst him he
shook the sword to the kin! and made countenance as thou!h he would have stricken him. And then
-74
:in! Mark fled and Sir Tristram followed him and smote upon him five or si' strokes flatlin! on the
neck that he made him to fall upon the nose. And then Sir Tristram yede his way and armed him and
took his horse and his man and so he rode into that forest.
And there upon a day Sir Tristram met with two brethren that were kni!hts with :in! Mark and
there he struck off the head of the one and wounded the other to the deathC and he made him to bear his
brother's head in his helm unto the kin! and thirty more there he wounded. And when that kni!ht came
before the kin! to say his messa!e he there died afore the kin! and the Aueen. Then :in! Mark called
his council unto him and asked advice of his barons what was best to do with Sir Tristram. Sir said the
barons in especial Sir (inas the Seneschal Sir we will !ive you counsel for to send for Sir Tristram
for we will that ye wit many men will hold with Sir Tristram an he were hard bestead. And sir said Sir
(inas ye shall understand that Sir Tristram is called peerless and makeless of any )hristian kni!ht and
of his mi!ht and hardiness we knew none so !ood a kni!ht but if it be Sir Launcelot du Lake. And if he
depart from your court and !o to :in! Arthur's court wit ye well he will !et him such friends there that
he will not set by your malice. And therefore sir / counsel you to take him to your !race. / will well
said the kin! that he be sent for that we may be friends. Then the barons sent for Sir Tristram under a
safe conduct. And so when Sir Tristram came to the kin! he was welcome and no rehearsal was made
and there was !ame and play. And then the kin! and the Aueen went a"huntin! and Sir Tristram.
CHAPTER !!!III# How 6(& Lamo&ak 3o'sted w(t% t%(&t+
kn(g%ts) and 6(& T&(st&am at t%e &e/'est of "(ng a&k
smote %(s %o&se down#
T13 kin! and the Aueen made their pavilions and their tents in that forest beside a river and there
was daily huntin! and $oustin! for there were ever thirty kni!hts ready to $oust unto all them that came
in at that time. And there by fortune came Sir Lamorak de %alis and Sir (riantC and there Sir (riant
$ousted ri!ht well but at the last he had a fall. Then Sir Lamorak proffered to $oust. And when he be!an
he fared so with the thirty kni!hts that there was not one of them but that he !ave him a fall and some
of them were sore hurt. / marvel said :in! Mark what kni!ht he is that doth such deeds of arms. Sir
said Sir Tristram / know him well for a noble kni!ht as few now be livin! and his name is Sir
-7<
Lamorak de %alis. /t were !reat shame said the kin! that he should !o thus away unless that some of
you meet with him better. Sir said Sir Tristram meseemeth it were no worship for a noble man to have
ado with him+ and for because at this time he hath done over much for any mean kni!ht livin!
therefore as meseemeth it were !reat shame and villainy to tempt him any more at this time insomuch
as he and his horse are weary bothC for the deeds of arms that he hath done this day an they be well
considered it were enou!h for Sir Launcelot du Lake. As for that said :in! Mark / reAuire you as ye
love me and my lady the Aueen La Beale /soud take your arms and $oust with Sir Lamorak de %alis.
Sir said Sir Tristram ye bid me do a thin! that is a!ainst kni!hthood and well / can deem that / shall
!ive him a fall for it is no mastery for my horse and / be fresh both and so is not his horse and heC and
wit ye well that he will take it for !reat unkindness for ever one !ood kni!ht is loath to take another at
disadvanta!eC but because / will not displease you as ye reAuire me so will / do and obey your
commandment.
And so Sir Tristram armed him and took his horse and put him forth and there Sir Lamorak met
him mi!htily and what with the mi!ht of his own spear and of Sir Tristram's spear Sir Lamorak's
horse fell to the earth and he sittin! in the saddle. Then anon as li!htly as he mi!ht he avoided the
saddle and his horse and put his shield afore him and drew his sword. And then he bade Sir Tristram+
Ali!ht thou kni!ht an thou durst. 2ay said Sir Tristram / will no more have ado with thee for / have
done to thee over much unto my dishonour and to thy worship. As for that said Sir Lamorak / can thee
no thankC since thou hast for"$ousted me on horseback / reAuire thee and / beseech thee an thou be Sir
Tristram fi!ht with me on foot. / will not so said Sir TristramC and wit ye well my name is Sir Tristram
de Liones and well / know ye be Sir Lamorak de %alis and this that / have done to you was a!ainst
my will but / was reAuired theretoC but to say that / will do at your reAuest as at this time / will have
no more ado with you for me shameth of that / have done. As for the shame said Sir Lamorak on thy
part or on mine bear thou it an thou wilt for thou!h a mare's son hath failed me now a Aueen's son
shall not fail theeC and therefore an thou be such a kni!ht as men call thee / reAuire thee ali!ht and
fi!ht with me. Sir Lamorak said Sir Tristram / understand your heart is !reat and cause why ye have
to say thee soothC for it would !rieve me an any kni!ht should keep him fresh and then to strike down a
weary kni!ht for that kni!ht nor horse was never formed that alway mi!ht stand or endure. And
therefore said Sir Tristram / will not have ado with you for me forthinketh of that / have done. As for
that said Sir Lamorak / shall Auit you an ever / see my time.
-77
CHAPTER !!!I,# How 6(& Lamo&ak sent an %o&n to "(ng
a&k (n des*(te of 6(& T&(st&am) and %ow 6(& T&(st&am was
d&(-en (nto a c%a*el#
So he departed from him with Sir (riant and by the way they met with a kni!ht that was sent from
Mor!an le &ay unto :in! ArthurC and this kni!ht had a fair horn harnessed with !old and the horn had
such a virtue that there mi!ht no lady nor !entlewoman drink of that horn but if she were true to her
husband and if she were false she should spill all the drink and if she were true to her lord she mi!ht
drink peaceable. And because of the Bueen %uenever and in the despite of Sir Launcelot this horn was
sent unto :in! ArthurC and by force Sir Lamorak made that kni!ht to tell all the cause why he bare that
horn. 2ow shalt thou bear this horn said Lamorak unto :in! Mark or else choose thou to die for itC
for / tell thee plainly in despite and reproof of Sir Tristram thou shalt bear that horn unto :in! Mark
his uncle and say thou to him that / sent it him for to assay his lady and if she be true to him he shall
prove her. So the kni!ht went his way unto :in! Mark and brou!ht him that rich horn and said that Sir
Lamorak sent it him and thereto he told him the virtue of that horn. Then the kin! made Bueen /soud
to drink thereof and an hundred ladies and there were but four ladies of all those that drank clean.
Alas said :in! Mark this is a !reat despite and sware a !reat oath that she should be burnt and the
other ladies.
Then the barons !athered them to!ether and said plainly they would not have those ladies burnt
for an horn made by sorcery that came from as false a sorceress and witch as then was livin!. &or that
horn did never !ood but caused strife and debate and always in her days she had been an enemy to all
true lovers. So there were many kni!hts made their avow an ever they met with Mor!an le &ay that
they would show her short courtesy. Also Sir Tristram was passin! wroth that Sir Lamorak sent that
horn unto :in! Mark for well he knew that it was done in the despite of him. And therefore he thou!ht
to Auite Sir Lamorak.
Then Sir Tristram used daily and ni!htly to !o to Bueen /soud when he mi!ht and ever Sir Andred
his cousin watched him ni!ht and day for to take him with La Beale /soud. And so upon a ni!ht Sir
Andred espied the hour and the time when Sir Tristram went to his lady. Then Sir Andred !at unto him
twelve kni!hts and at midni!ht he set upon Sir Tristram secretly and suddenly and there Sir Tristram
-7@
was taken naked abed with La Beale /soud and then was he bound hand and foot and so was he kept
until day. And then by the assent of :in! Mark and of Sir Andred and of some of the barons Sir
Tristram was led unto a chapel that stood upon the sea rocks there for to take his $ud!ment+ and so he
was led bounden with forty kni!hts. And when Sir Tristram saw that there was none other boot but
needs that he must die then said he+ &air lords remember what / have done for the country of
)ornwall and in what $eopardy / have been in for the weal of you allC for when / fou!ht for the trua!e
of )ornwall with Sir Marhaus the !ood kni!ht / was promised for to be better rewarded when ye all
refused to take the battleC therefore as ye be !ood !entle kni!hts see me not thus shamefully to die for
it is shame to all kni!hthood thus to see me dieC for / dare say said Sir Tristram that / never met with
no kni!ht but / was as !ood as he or better. &ie upon thee said Sir Andred false traitor that thou art
with thine avauntin!C for all thy boast thou shalt die this day. * Andred Andred said Sir Tristram thou
shouldst be my kinsman and now thou art to me full unfriendly but an there were no more but thou
and / thou wouldst not put me to death. 2oJ said Sir Andred and therewith he drew his sword and
would have slain him.
5hen Sir Tristram saw him make such countenance he looked upon both his hands that were fast
bounden unto two kni!hts and suddenly he pulled them both to him and unwrast his hands and then
he leapt unto his cousin Sir Andred and wrested his sword out of his handsC then he smote Sir Andred
that he fell to the earth and so Sir Tristram fou!ht till that he had killed ten kni!hts. So then Sir
Tristram !at the chapel and kept it mi!htily. Then the cry was !reat and the people drew fast unto Sir
Andred mo than an hundred. 5hen Sir Tristram saw the people draw unto him he remembered he was
naked and sperd fast the chapel door and brake the bars of a window and so he leapt out and fell upon
the cra!s in the sea. And so at that time Sir Andred nor none of his fellows mi!ht !et to him at that
time.
CHAPTER !!!,# How 6(& T&(st&am was %ol*en b+ %(s men)
and of 1'een Iso'd w%(c% was *'t (n a la9a&5cote) and %ow
T&(st&am was %'&t#
S* when they were departed %ouvernail and Sir Lambe!us and Sir Sentraille de Lushon that
-7=
were Sir Tristram's men sou!ht their master. 5hen they heard he was escaped then they were passin!
!ladC and on the rocks they found him and with towels they pulled him up. And then Sir Tristram asked
them where was La Beale /soud for he weened she had been had away of Andred's people. Sir said
%ouvernail she is put in a laDar"cote. Alas said Sir Tristram this is a full un!oodly place for such a fair
lady and if / may she shall not be lon! there. And so he took his men and went thereas was La Beale
/soud and fetched her away and brou!ht her into a forest to a fair manor and Sir Tristram there abode
with her. So the !ood kni!ht bade his men !o from him+ &or at this time / may not help you. So they
departed all save %ouvernail. And so upon a day Sir Tristram yede into the forest for to disport him
and then it happened that there he fell sleepC and there came a man that Sir Tristram aforehand had slain
his brother and when this man had found him he shot him throu!h the shoulder with an arrow and Sir
Tristram leapt up and killed that man. And in the meantime it was told :in! Mark how Sir Tristram and
La Beale /soud were in that same manor and as soon as ever he mi!ht thither he came with many
kni!hts to slay Sir Tristram. And when he came there he found him !oneC and there he took La Beale
/soud home with him and kept her strait that by no means never she mi!ht wit nor send unto Tristram
nor he unto her. And then when Sir Tristram came toward the old manor he found the track of many
horses and thereby he wist his lady was !one. And then Sir Tristram took !reat sorrow and endured
with !reat pain lon! time for the arrow that he was hurt withal was envenomed.
Then by the mean of La Beale /soud she told a lady that was cousin unto (ame Bra!waine and
she came to Sir Tristram and told him that he mi!ht not be whole by no means. &or thy lady La Beale
/soud may not help thee therefore she biddeth you haste into Brittany to :in! 1owel and there ye
shall find his dau!hter /soud la Blanche Mains and she shall help thee. Then Sir Tristram and
%ouvernail !at them shippin! and so sailed into Brittany. And when :in! 1owel wist that it was Sir
Tristram he was full !lad of him. Sir he said / am come into this country to have help of your
dau!hter for it is told me that there is none other may heal me but sheC and so within a while she healed
him.
-@>
CHAPTER !!!,I# How 6(& T&(st&am se&-ed (n wa& "(ng
Howel of B&(ttan+) and slew %(s ad-e&sa&+ (n t%e f(eld#
T1303 was an earl that hi!ht %rip and this earl made !reat war upon the kin! and put the kin! to
the worse and besie!ed him. And on a time Sir :ehydius that was son to :in! 1owel as he issued out
he was sore wounded ni!h to the death. Then %ouvernail went to the kin! and said+ Sir / counsel you
to desire my lord Sir Tristram as in your need to help you. / will do by your counsel said the kin!.
And so he yede unto Sir Tristram and prayed him in his wars to help him+ &or my son Sir :ehydius
may not !o into the field. Sir said Sir Tristram / will !o to the field and do what / may. Then Sir
Tristram issued out of the town with such fellowship as he mi!ht make and did such deeds that all
Brittany spake of him. And then at the last by !reat mi!ht and force he slew the 3arl %rip with his
own hands and more than an hundred kni!hts he slew that day. And then Sir Tristram was received
worshipfully with procession. Then :in! 1owel embraced him in his arms and said+ Sir Tristram all
my kin!dom / will resi!n to thee. %od defend said Sir Tristram for / am beholden unto you for your
dau!hter's sake to do for you.
Then by the !reat means of :in! 1owel and :ehydius his son by !reat proffers there !rew !reat
love betwi't /soud and Sir Tristram for that lady was both !ood and fair and a woman of noble blood
and fame. And for because Sir Tristram had such cheer and riches and all other pleasaunce that he had
almost he had forsaken La Beale /soud. And so upon a time Sir Tristram a!reed to wed /soud la
Blanche Mains. And at the last they were wedded and solemnly held their marria!e. And so when they
were abed both Sir Tristram remembered him of his old lady La Beale /soud. And then he took such a
thou!ht suddenly that he was all dismayed and other cheer made he none but with clippin! and
kissin!C as for other fleshly lusts Sir Tristram never thou!ht nor had ado with her+ such mention maketh
the &rench bookC also it maketh mention that the lady weened there had been no pleasure but kissin!
and clippin!. And in the meantime there was a kni!ht in Brittany his name was Suppinabiles and he
came over the sea into 3n!land and then he came into the court of :in! Arthur and there he met with
Sir Launcelot du Lake and told him of the marria!e of Sir Tristram. Then said Sir Launcelot+ &ie upon
him untrue kni!ht to his lady that so noble a kni!ht as Sir Tristram is should be found to his first lady
false La Beale /soud Bueen of )ornwallC but say ye him this said Sir Launcelot that of all kni!hts in
the world / loved him most and had most $oy of him and all was for his noble deedsC and let him wit
the love between him and me is done for ever and that / !ive him warnin! from this day forth as his
mortal enemy.
-@?
CHAPTER !!!,II# How 6(& 6'**(nab(les told 6(& T&(st&am
%ow %e was defamed (n t%e co'&t of "(ng A&t%'&) and of 6(&
Lamo&ak#
T132 departed Sir Suppinabiles unto Brittany a!ain and there he found Sir Tristram and told him
that he had been in :in! Arthur's court. Then said Sir Tristram+ 1eard ye anythin! of meL So %od me
help said Sir Suppinabiles there / heard Sir Launcelot speak of you !reat shame and that ye be a false
kni!ht to your lady and he bade me do you to wit that he will be your mortal enemy in every place
where he may meet you. That me repenteth said Tristram for of all kni!hts / loved to be in his
fellowship. So Sir Tristram made !reat moan and was ashamed that noble kni!hts should defame him
for the sake of his lady. And in this meanwhile La Beale /soud made a letter unto Bueen %uenever
complainin! her of the untruth of Sir Tristram and how he had wedded the kin!'s dau!hter of Brittany.
Bueen %uenever sent her another letter and bade her be of !ood cheer for she should have $oy after
sorrow for Sir Tristram was so noble a kni!ht called that by crafts of sorcery ladies would make such
noble men to wed them. But in the end Bueen %uenever said it shall be thus that he shall hate her
and love you better than ever he did to"fore.
So leave we Sir Tristram in Brittany and speak we of Sir Lamorak de %alis that as he sailed his
ship fell on a rock and perished all save Sir Lamorak and his sAuireC and there he swam mi!htily and
fishers of the /sle of Serva!e took him up and his sAuire was drowned and the shipmen had !reat
labour to save Sir Lamorak's life for all the comfort that they could do.
And the lord of that isle hi!ht Sir 2abon le 2oire a !reat mi!hty !iant. And this Sir 2abon hated
all the kni!hts of :in! Arthur's and in no wise he would do them favour. And these fishers told Sir
Lamorak all the !uise of Sir 2abonC how there came never kni!ht of :in! Arthur's but he destroyed
him. And at the last battle that he did was slain Sir 2anowne le #etite the which he put to a shameful
death in despite of :in! Arthur for he was drawn limb"meal. That forthinketh me said Sir Lamorak
for that kni!ht's death for he was my cousinC and if / were at mine ease as well as ever / was / would
reven!e his death. #eace said the fishers and make here no words for or ever ye depart from hence Sir
2abon must know that ye have been here or else we should die for your sake. So that / be whole said
-@-
Lamorak of my disease that / have taken in the sea / will that ye tell him that / am a kni!ht of :in!
Arthur's for / was never afeard to reneye my lord.
CHAPTER !!!,III# How 6(& T&(st&am and %(s w(fe a&&(-ed (n
Wales) and %ow %e met t%e&e w(t% 6(& Lamo&ak#
2*5 turn we unto Sir Tristram that upon a day he took a little bar!et and his wife /soud la
Blanche Mains with Sir :ehydius her brother to play them in the coasts. And when they were from the
land there was a wind drove them in to the coast of 5ales upon this /sle of Serva!e whereas was Sir
Lamorak and there the bar!et all to"roveC and there (ame /soud was hurtC and as well as they mi!ht
they !at into the forest and there by a well he saw Se!warides and a damosel. And then either saluted
other. Sir said Se!warides / know you for Sir Tristram de Liones the man in the world that / have
most cause to hate because ye departed the love between me and my wifeC but as for that said Sir
Se!warides / will never hate a noble kni!ht for a li!ht ladyC and therefore / pray you be my friend
and / will be yours unto my powerC for wit ye well ye are hard bestead in this valley and we shall have
enou!h to do either of us to succour other. And then Sir Se!warides brou!ht Sir Tristram to a lady
thereby that was born in )ornwall and she told him all the perils of that valley and how there came
never kni!ht there but he were taken prisoner or slain. 5it you well fair lady said Sir Tristram that /
slew Sir Marhaus and delivered )ornwall from the trua!e of /reland and / am he that delivered the
:in! of /reland from Sir Blamore de %anis and / am he that beat Sir #alamidesC and wit ye well / am
Sir Tristram de Liones that by the !race of %od shall deliver this woful /sle of Serva!e. So Sir Tristram
was well eased.
Then one told him there was a kni!ht of :in! Arthur's that was wrecked on the rocks. 5hat is his
nameL said Sir Tristram. 5e wot not said the fishers but he keepeth it no counsel but that he is a
kni!ht of :in! Arthur's and by the mi!hty lord of this isle he setteth nou!ht. / pray you said Sir
Tristram an ye may brin! him hither that / may see him and if he be any of the kni!hts of Arthur's /
shall know him. Then the lady prayed the fishers to brin! him to her place. So on the morrow they
brou!ht him thither in a fisher's raimentC and as soon as Sir Tristram saw him he smiled upon him and
knew him well but he knew not Sir Tristram. &air sir said Sir Tristram meseemeth by your cheer ye
-@9
have been diseased but late and also methinketh / should know you heretofore. / will well said Sir
Lamorak that ye have seen me and met with me. &air sir said Sir Tristram tell me your name. ;pon a
covenant / will tell you said Sir Lamorak that is that ye will tell me whether ye be lord of this island
or no that is called 2abon le 2oire. &orsooth said Sir Tristram / am not he nor / hold not of himC / am
his foe as well as ye be and so shall / be found or / depart out of this isle. 5ell said Sir Lamorak since
ye have said so lar!ely unto me my name is Sir Lamorak de %alis son unto :in! #ellinore. &orsooth /
trow well said Sir Tristram for an ye said other / know the contrary. 5hat are ye said Sir Lamorak
that knoweth meL / am Sir Tristram de Liones. Ah sir remember ye not of the fall ye did !ive me once
and after ye refused me to fi!ht on foot. That was not for fear / had of you said Sir Tristram but me
shamed at that time to have more ado with you for meseemed ye had enou!hC but Sir Lamorak for my
kindness many ladies ye put to a reproof when ye sent the horn from Mor!an le &ay to :in! Mark
whereas ye did this in despite of me. 5ell said he an it were to do a!ain so would / do for / had liefer
strife and debate fell in :in! Mark's court rather than Arthur's court for the honour of both courts be
not alike. As to that said Sir Tristram / know wellC but that that was done it was for despite of me but
all your malice / thank %od hurt not !reatly. Therefore said Sir Tristram ye shall leave all your
malice and so will / and let us assay how we may win worship between you and me upon this !iant
Sir 2abon le 2oire that is lord of this island to destroy him. Sir said Sir Lamorak now / understand
your kni!hthood it may not be false that all men say for of your bounty noblesse and worship of all
kni!hts ye are peerless and for your courtesy and !entleness / showed you un!entleness and that now
me repenteth.
CHAPTER !!!I!# How 6(& T&(st&am fo'g%t w(t% 6(& Nabon)
and o-e&came %(m) and made 6(& 6egwa&(des lo&d of t%e
(sle#
/2 the meantime there came word that Sir 2abon had made a cry that all the people of that isle
should be at his castle the fifth day after. And the same day the son of 2abon should be made kni!ht
and all the kni!hts of that valley and thereabout should be there to $oust and all those of the realm of
Lo!ris should be there to $oust with them of 2orth 5ales+ and thither came five hundred kni!hts and
-@.
they of the country brou!ht thither Sir Lamorak and Sir Tristram and Sir :ehydius and Sir
Se!warides for they durst none otherwise doC and then Sir 2abon lent Sir Lamorak horse and armour
at Sir Lamorak's desire and Sir Lamorak $ousted and did such deeds of arms that 2abon and all the
people said there was never kni!ht that ever they saw do such deeds of armsC for as the &rench book
saith he for"$ousted all that were there for the most part of five hundred kni!hts that none abode him
in his saddle.
Then Sir 2abon proffered to play with him his play+ &or / saw never no kni!ht do so much upon a
day. / will well said Sir Lamorak play as / may but / am weary and sore bruised. And there either !at
a spear but 2abon would not encounter with Sir Lamorak but smote his horse in the forehead and so
slew himC and then Sir Lamorak yede on foot and turned his shield and drew his sword and there
be!an stron! battle on foot. But Sir Lamorak was so sore bruised and short breathed that he traced and
traversed somewhat aback. &air fellow said Sir 2abon hold thy hand and / shall show thee more
courtesy than ever / showed kni!ht because / have seen this day thy noble kni!hthood and therefore
stand thou by and / will wit whether any of thy fellows will have ado with me. Then when Sir Tristram
heard that he stepped forth and said+ 2abon lend me horse and sure armour and / will have ado with
thee. 5ell fellow said Sir 2abon !o thou to yonder pavilion and arm thee of the best thou findest
there and / shall play a marvellous play with thee. Then said Sir Tristram+ Look ye play well or else
peradventure / shall learn you a new play. That is well said fellow said Sir 2abon. So when Sir
Tristram was armed as him liked best and well shielded and sworded he dressed to him on footC for
well he knew that Sir 2abon would not abide a stroke with a spear therefore he would slay all kni!hts'
horses. 2ow fair fellow Sir 2abon let us play. So then they fou!ht lon! on foot tracin! and
traversin! smitin! and foinin! lon! without any rest. At the last Sir 2abon prayed him to tell him his
name. Sir 2abon / tell thee my name is Sir Tristram de Liones a kni!ht of )ornwall under :in! Mark.
Thou art welcome said Sir 2abon for of all kni!hts / have most desired to fi!ht with thee or with Sir
Launcelot.
So then they went ea!erly to!ether and Sir Tristram slew Sir 2abon and so forthwith he leapt to
his son and struck off his headC and then all the country said they would hold of Sir Tristram. 2ay said
Sir Tristram / will not soC here is a worshipful kni!ht Sir Lamorak de %alis that for me he shall be
lord of this country for he hath done here !reat deeds of arms. 2ay said Sir Lamorak / will not be lord
of this country for / have not deserved it as well as ye therefore !ive ye it where ye will for / will
none have. 5ell said Sir Tristram since ye nor / will not have it let us !ive it to him that hath not so
-@4
well deserved it. (o as ye list said Se!warides for the !ift is yours for / will none have an / had
deserved it. So was it !iven to Se!warides whereof he thanked themC and so was he lord and
worshipfully he did !overn it. And then Sir Se!warides delivered all prisoners and set !ood
!overnance in that valleyC and so he returned into )ornwall and told :in! Mark and La Beale /soud
how Sir Tristram had advanced him to the /sle of Serva!e and there he proclaimed in all )ornwall of
all the adventures of these two kni!hts so was it openly known. But full woe was La Beale /soud when
she heard tell that Sir Tristram was wedded to /soud la Blanche Mains.
CHAPTER !L
How 6(& Lamo&ak de*a&ted f&om 6(& T&(st&am) and %ow %e met w(t% 6(& F&ol) and
afte& w(t% 6(& La'ncelot#
S* turn we unto Sir Lamorak that rode toward Arthur's court and Sir Tristram's wife and
:ehydius took a vessel and sailed into Brittany unto :in! 1owel where he was welcome. And when
he heard of these adventures they marvelled of his noble deeds. 2ow turn we unto Sir Lamorak that
when he was departed from Sir Tristram he rode out of the forest till he came to an hermita!e. 5hen
the hermit saw him he asked him from whence he came. Sir said Sir Lamorak / come from this valley.
Sir said the hermit+ thereof / marvel. &or this twenty winter / saw never no kni!ht pass this country but
he was either slain or villainously wounded or pass as a poor prisoner. Those ill customs said Sir
Lamorak are fordone for Sir Tristram slew your lord Sir 2abon and his son. Then was the hermit
!lad and all his brethren for he said there was never such a tyrant amon! )hristian men. And
therefore said the hermit this valley and franchise we will hold of Sir Tristram.
So on the morrow Sir Lamorak departedC and as he rode he saw four kni!hts fi!ht a!ainst one and
that one kni!ht defended him well but at the last the four kni!hts had him down. And then Sir Lamorak
went betwi't them and asked them why they would slay that one kni!ht and said it was shame four
a!ainst one. Thou shalt well wit said the four kni!hts that he is false. That is your tale said Sir
Lamorak and when / hear him also speak / will say as ye say. Then said Lamorak+ Ah kni!ht can ye
not e'cuse you but that ye are a false kni!ht. Sir said he yet can / e'cuse me both with my word and
-@<
with my hands that / will make !ood upon one of the best of them my body to his body. Then spake
they all at once+ 5e will not $eopardy our bodies as for thee. But wit thou well they said an :in!
Arthur were here himself it should not lie in his power to save his life. That is too much said said Sir
Lamorak but many speak behind a man more than they will say to his faceC and because of your words
ye shall understand that / am one of the simplest of :in! Arthur's courtC in the worship of my lord now
do your best and in despite of you / shall rescue him. And then they lashed all at once to Sir Lamorak
but anon at two strokes Sir Lamorak had slain two of them and then the other two fled. So then Sir
Lamorak turned a!ain to that kni!ht and asked him his name. Sir he said my name is Sir &rol of the
*ut /sles. Then he rode with Sir Lamorak and bare him company.
And as they rode by the way they saw a seemly kni!ht ridin! a!ainst them and all in white. Ah
said &rol yonder kni!ht $ousted late with me and smote me down therefore / will $oust with him. Ye
shall not do so said Sir Lamorak by my counsel an ye will tell me your Auarrel whether ye $ousted at
his reAuest or he at yours. 2ay said Sir &rol / $ousted with him at my reAuest. Sir said Lamorak then
will / counsel you deal no more with him for meseemeth by his countenance he should be a noble
kni!ht and no $aperC for methinketh he should be of the Table 0ound. Therefore / will not spare said
Sir &rol. And then he cried and said+ Sir kni!ht make thee ready to $oust. That needeth not said the
5hite :ni!ht for / have no lust to $oust with theeC but yet they feutred their spears and the 5hite
:ni!ht overthrew Sir &rol and then he rode his way a soft pace. Then Sir Lamorak rode after him and
prayed him to tell him his name+ &or meseemeth ye should be of the fellowship of the 0ound Table.
;pon a covenant said he / will tell you my name so that ye will not discover my name and also that
ye will tell me yours. Then said he my name is Sir Lamorak de %alis. And my name is Sir Launcelot
du Lake. Then they put up their swords and kissed heartily to!ether and either made !reat $oy of other.
Sir said Sir Lamorak an it please you / will do you service. %od defend said Launcelot that any of so
noble a blood as ye be should do me service. Then he said+ More / am in a Auest that / must do myself
alone. 2ow %od speed you said Sir Lamorak and so they departed. Then Sir Lamorak came to Sir &rol
and horsed him a!ain. 5hat kni!ht is thatL said Sir &rol. Sir he said it is not for you to know nor it is
no point of my char!e. Ye are the more uncourteous said Sir &rol and therefore / will depart from you.
Ye may do as ye list said Sir Lamorak and yet by my company ye have saved the fairest flower of
your !arlandC so they departed.
-@7
CHAPTER !LI# How 6(& Lamo&ak slew 6(& F&ol) and of t%e
co'&teo's f(g%t(ng w(t% 6(& Bell(ance %(s b&ot%e&#
T132 within two or three days Sir Lamorak found a kni!ht at a well sleepin! and his lady sat
with him and waked. 0i!ht so came Sir %awaine and took the kni!ht's lady and set her up behind his
sAuire. So Sir Lamorak rode after Sir %awaine and said+ Sir %awaine turn a!ain. And then said Sir
%awaine+ 5hat will ye do with meL for / am nephew unto :in! Arthur. Sir said he for that cause / will
spare you else that lady should abide with me or else ye should $oust with me. Then Sir %awaine
turned him and ran to him that ou!ht the lady with his spear but the kni!ht with pure mi!ht smote
down Sir %awaine and took his lady with him. All this Sir Lamorak saw and said to himself+ But /
reven!e my fellow he will say of me dishonour in :in! Arthur's court. Then Sir Lamorak returned and
proffered that kni!ht to $oust. Sir said he / am ready. And there they came to!ether with all their
mi!ht and there Sir Lamorak smote the kni!ht throu!h both sides that he fell to the earth dead.
Then that lady rode to that kni!ht's brother that hi!ht Belliance le *r!ulus that dwelt fast thereby
and then she told him how his brother was slain. Alas said he / will be reven!ed. And so he horsed
him and armed him and within a while he overtook Sir Lamorak and bade him+ Turn and leave that
lady for thou and / must play a new playC for thou hast slain my brother Sir &rol that was a better
kni!ht than ever wert thou. /t mi!ht well be said Sir Lamorak but this day in the field / was found the
better. So they rode to!ether and unhorsed other and turned their shields and drew their swords and
fou!ht mi!htily as noble kni!hts proved by the space of two hours. So then Sir Belliance prayed him to
tell him his name. Sir said he my name is Sir Lamorak de %alis. Ah said Sir Belliance thou art the
man in the world that / most hate for / slew my sons for thy sake where / saved thy life and now thou
hast slain my brother Sir &rol. Alas how should / be accorded with theeC therefore defend thee for thou
shalt die there is none other remedy. Alas said Sir Lamorak full well me ou!ht to know you for ye
are the man that most have done for me. And therewithal Sir Lamorak kneeled down and besou!ht him
of !race. Arise said Sir Belliance or else thereas thou kneelest / shall slay thee. That shall not need
said Sir Lamorak for / will yield me unto you not for fear of you nor for your stren!th but your
!oodness maketh me full loath to have ado with youC wherefore / reAuire you for %od's sake and for
the honour of kni!hthood for!ive me all that / have offended unto you. Alas said Belliance leave thy
kneelin! or else / shall slay thee without mercy.
-@@
Then they yede a!ain unto battle and either wounded other that all the !round was bloody thereas
they fou!ht. And at the last Belliance withdrew him aback and set him down softly upon a little hill for
he was so faint for bleedin! that he mi!ht not stand. Then Sir Lamorak threw his shield upon his back
and asked him what cheer. 5ell said Sir Belliance. Ah Sir yet shall / show you favour in your mal"
ease. Ah :ni!ht Sir Belliance said Sir Lamorak thou art a fool for an / had had thee at such
advanta!e as thou hast done me / should slay theeC but thy !entleness is so !ood and so lar!e that /
must needs for!ive thee mine evil will. And then Sir Lamorak kneeled down and unlaced first his
umberere and then his own and then either kissed other with weepin! tears. Then Sir Lamorak led Sir
Belliance to an abbey fast by and there Sir Lamorak would not depart from Belliance till he was whole.
And then they sware to!ether that none of them should never fi!ht a!ainst other. So Sir Lamorak
departed and went to the court of :in! Arthur.
1ere leave we of Sir Lamorak and of Sir Tristram. And here be!inneth the history of La )ote Male
Taile.
BOO" I!
CHAPTER I# How a +o'ng man came (nto t%e co'&t of "(ng
A&t%'&) and %ow 6(& "a+ called %(m (n sco&n La Cote ale
Ta(le#
AT the court of :in! Arthur there came a youn! man and bi!ly made and he was richly beseen+
and he desired to be made kni!ht of the kin! but his over"!arment sat over"thwartly howbeit it was
rich cloth of !old. 5hat is your nameL said :in! Arthur. Sir said he my name is Breunor le 2oire and
within short space ye shall know that / am of !ood kin. /t may well be said Sir :ay the Seneschal but
in mocka!e ye shall be called La )ote Male Taile that is as much to say the evil"shapen coat /t is a
-@=
!reat thin! that thou askest said the kin!C and for what cause wearest thou that rich coatL tell me for /
can well think for some cause it is. Sir he answered / had a father a noble kni!ht and as he rode a"
huntin! upon a day it happed him to lay him down to sleepC and there came a kni!ht that had been lon!
his enemy and when he saw he was fast asleep he all to"hew himC and this same coat had my father on
the same timeC and that maketh this coat to sit so evil upon me for the strokes be on it as / found it and
never shall be amended for me. Thus to have my father's death in remembrance / wear this coat till / be
reven!edC and because ye are called the most noblest kin! of the world / come to you that ye should
make me kni!ht. Sir said Sir Lamorak and Sir %aheris it were well done to make him kni!htC for him
beseemeth well of person and of countenance that he shall prove a !ood man and a !ood kni!ht and a
mi!htyC for Sir an ye be remembered even such one was Sir Launcelot du Lake when he came first
into this court and full few of us knew from whence he cameC and now is he proved the man of most
worship in the worldC and all your court and all your 0ound Table is by Sir Launcelot worshipped and
amended more than by any kni!ht now livin!. That is truth said the kin! and to"morrow at your
reAuest / shall make him kni!ht.
So on the morrow there was an hart found and thither rode :in! Arthur with a company of his
kni!hts to slay the hart. And this youn! man that Sir :ay named La )ote Male Taile was there left
behind with Bueen %ueneverC and by sudden adventure there was an horrible lion kept in a stron!
tower of stone and it happened that he at that time brake loose and came hurlin! afore the Aueen and
her kni!hts. And when the Aueen saw the lion she cried and fled and prayed her kni!hts to rescue her.
And there was none of them all but twelve that abode and all the other fled. Then said La )ote Male
Taile+ 2ow / see well that all coward kni!hts be not deadC and therewithal he drew his sword and
dressed him afore the lion. And that lion !aped wide and came upon him rampin! to have slain him.
And he then smote him in the midst of the head such a mi!hty stroke that it clave his head in sunder
and dashed to the earth. Then was it told the Aueen how the youn! man that Sir :ay named by scorn La
)ote Male Taile had slain the lion. 5ith that the kin! came home. And when the Aueen told him of that
adventure he was well pleased and said+ ;pon pain of mine head he shall prove a noble man and a
faithful kni!ht and true of his promise+ then the kin! forthwithal made him kni!ht. 2ow Sir said this
youn! kni!ht / reAuire you and all the kni!hts of your court that ye call me by none other name but La
)ote Male Taile+ in so much as Sir :ay hath so named me so will / be called. / assent me well thereto
said the kin!.
-=>
CHAPTER II# How a damosel came (nto t%e co'&t and des(&ed a
kn(g%t to take on %(m an en/'est) w%(c% La Cote ale Ta(le
em*&(sed#
T132 that same day there came a damosel into the court and she brou!ht with her a !reat black
shield with a white hand in the midst holdin! a sword. *ther picture was there none in that shield.
5hen :in! Arthur saw her he asked her from whence she came and what she would. Sir she said /
have ridden lon! and many a day with this shield many ways and for this cause / am come to your
court+ there was a !ood kni!ht that ou!ht this shield and this kni!ht had undertaken a !reat deed of
arms to enchieve itC and so it misfortuned him another stron! kni!ht met with him by sudden adventure
and there they fou!ht lon! and either wounded other passin! soreC and they were so weary that they
left that battle even hand. So this kni!ht that ou!ht this shield saw none other way but he must dieC and
then he commanded me to bear this shield to the court of :in! Arthur he reAuirin! and prayin! some
!ood kni!ht to take this shield and that he would fulfil the Auest that he was in. 2ow what say ye to
this AuestL said :in! ArthurC is there any of you here that will take upon him to wield this shieldL Then
was there not one that would speak one word. Then Sir :ay took the shield in his hands. Sir kni!ht
said the damosel what is your nameL 5it ye well said he my name is Sir :ay the Seneschal that
wide"where is known. Sir said that damosel lay down that shield for wit ye well it falleth not for you
for he must be a better kni!ht than ye that shall wield this shield. (amosel said Sir :ay wit ye well /
took this shield in my hands by your leave for to behold it not to that intentC but !o wheresomever thou
wilt for / will not !o with you.
Then the damosel stood still a !reat while and beheld many of those kni!hts. Then spake the
kni!ht La )ote Male Taile+ &air damosel / will take the shield and that adventure upon me so / wist /
should know whitherward my $ourney mi!ht beC for because / was this day made kni!ht / would take
this adventure upon me. 5hat is your name fair youn! manL said the damosel. My name is said he La
)ote Male Taile. 5ell mayest thou be called so said the damosel the kni!ht with the evil"shapen coatC
but an thou be so hardy to take upon thee to bear that shield and to follow me wit thou well thy skin
shall be as well hewn as thy coat. As for that said La )ote Male Taile when / am so hewn / will ask
you no salve to heal me withal. And forthwithal there came into the court two sAuires and brou!ht him
-=?
!reat horses and his armour and his spears and anon he was armed and took his leave. / would not by
my will said the kin! that ye took upon you that hard adventure. Sir said he this adventure is mine
and the first that ever / took upon me and that will / follow whatsomever come of me. Then that
damosel departed and La )ote Male Taile fast followed after. And within a while he overtook the
damosel and anon she missaid him in the foulest manner.
CHAPTER III# How La Cote ale Ta(le o-e&t%&ew 6(& 7agonet
t%e k(ng0s fool) and of t%e &eb'ke t%at %e %ad of t%e
damosel#
T132 Sir :ay ordained Sir (a!onet :in! Arthur's fool to follow after La )ote Male TaileC and
there Sir :ay ordained that Sir (a!onet was horsed and armed and bade him follow La )ote Male
Taile and proffer him to $oust and so he didC and when he saw La )ote Male Taile he cried and bade
him make him ready to $oust. So Sir La )ote Male Taile smote Sir (a!onet over his horse's croup.
Then the damosel mocked La )ote Male Taile and said+ &ie for shameJ now art thou shamed in
Arthur's court when they send a fool to have ado with thee and specially at thy first $oustsC thus she
rode lon! and chid. And within a while there came Sir Bleoberis the !ood kni!ht and there he $ousted
with La )ote Male Taile and there Sir Bleoberis smote him so sore that horse and all fell to the earth.
Then La )ote Male Taile arose up li!htly and dressed his shield and drew his sword and would have
done battle to the utterance for he was wood wroth. 2ot so said Sir Bleoberis de %anis as at this time
/ will not fi!ht upon foot. Then the damosel Maledisant rebuked him in the foulest manner and bade
him+ Turn a!ain coward. Ah damosel he said / pray you of mercy to missay me no more my !rief is
enou!h thou!h ye !ive me no moreC / call myself never the worse kni!ht when a mare's son faileth me
and also / count me never the worse kni!ht for a fall of Sir Bleoberis.
So thus he rode with her two daysC and by fortune there came Sir #alomides and encountered with
him and he in the same wise served him as did Bleoberis to"forehand. 5hat dost thou here in my
fellowshipL said the damosel Maledisant thou canst not sit no kni!ht nor withstand him one buffet but
if it were Sir (a!onet. Ah fair damosel / am not the worse to take a fall of Sir #alomides and yet !reat
disworship have / none for neither Bleoberis nor yet #alomides would not fi!ht with me on foot. As for
-=-
that said the damosel wit thou well they have disdain and scorn to li!ht off their horses to fi!ht with
such a lewd kni!ht as thou art. So in the meanwhile there came Sir Mordred Sir %awaine's brother and
so he fell in the fellowship with the damosel Maledisant. And then they came afore the )astle
*r!ulous and there was such a custom that there mi!ht no kni!ht come by that castle but either he
must $oust or be prisoner or at the least to lose his horse and his harness. And there came out two
kni!hts a!ainst them and Sir Mordred $ousted with the foremost and that kni!ht of the castle smote Sir
Mordred down off his horse. And then La )ote Male Taile $ousted with that other and either of them
smote other down horse and all to the earth. And when they avoided their horses then either of them
took other's horses. And then La )ote Male Taile rode unto that kni!ht that smote down Sir Mordred
and $ousted with him. And there Sir La )ote Male Taile hurt and wounded him passin! sore and put
him from his horse as he had been dead. So he turned unto him that met him afore and he took the
fli!ht towards the castle and Sir La )ote Male Taile rode after him into the )astle *r!ulous and there
La )ote Male Taile slew him.
CHAPTER I,# How La Cote ale Ta(le fo'g%t aga(nst an
%'nd&ed kn(g%ts) and %ow %e esca*ed b+ t%e mean of a lad+#
A2( anon there came an hundred kni!hts about him and assailed himC and when he saw his horse
should be slain he ali!hted and voided his horse and put the bridle under his feet and so put him out of
the !ate. And when he had so done he hurled in amon! them and dressed his back unto a lady's
chamber"wall thinkin! himself that he had liefer die there with worship than to abide the rebukes of
the damosel Maledisant. And in the meantime as he stood and fou!ht that lady whose was the chamber
went out slily at her postern and without the !ates she found La )ote Male Taile's horse and li!htly
she !at him by the bridle and tied him to the postern. And then she went unto her chamber slily a!ain
for to behold how that one kni!ht fou!ht a!ainst an hundred kni!hts. And when she had beheld him
lon! she went to a window behind his back and said+ Thou kni!ht thou fi!htest wonderly well but for
all that at the last thou must needs die but an thou canst throu!h thy mi!hty prowess win unto yonder
postern for there have / fastened thy horse to abide thee+ but wit thou well thou must think on thy
worship and think not to die for thou mayst not win unto that postern without thou do nobly and
-=9
mi!htily. 5hen La )ote Male Taile heard her say so he !ripped his sword in his hands and put his
shield fair afore him and throu!h the thickest press he thrulled throu!h them. And when he came to the
postern he found there ready four kni!hts and at two the first strokes he slew two of the kni!hts and
the other fledC and so he won his horse and rode from them. And all as it was it was rehearsed in :in!
Arthur's court how he slew twelve kni!hts within the )astle *r!ulousC and so he rode on his way.
And in the meanwhile the damosel said to Sir Mordred+ / ween my foolish kni!ht be either slain or
taken prisoner+ then were they ware where he came ridin!. And when he was come unto them he told
all how he had sped and escaped in despite of them all+ And some of the best of them will tell no tales.
Thou liest falsely said the damosel that dare / make !ood but as a fool and a dastard to all kni!hthood
they have let thee pass. That may ye prove said La )ote Male Taile. 5ith that she sent a courier of
hers that rode alway with her for to know the truth of this deedC and so he rode thither li!htly and
asked how and in what manner that La )ote Male Taile was escaped out of the castle. Then all the
kni!hts cursed him and said that he was a fiend and no man+ &or he hath slain here twelve of our best
kni!hts and we weened unto this day that it had been too much for Sir Launcelot du Lake or for Sir
Tristram de Liones. And in despite of us all he is departed from us and mau!re our heads.
5ith this answer the courier departed and came to Maledisant his lady and told her all how Sir La
)ote Male Taile had sped at the )astle *r!ulous. Then she smote down her head and said little. By my
head said Sir Mordred to the damosel ye are !reatly to blame so to rebuke him for / warn you plainly
he is a !ood kni!ht and / doubt not but he shall prove a noble kni!htC but as yet he may not yet sit sure
on horseback for he that shall be a !ood horseman it must come of usa!e and e'ercise. But when he
cometh to the strokes of his sword he is then noble and mi!hty and that saw Sir Bleoberis and Sir
#alomides for wit ye well they are wily men of arms and anon they know when they see a youn!
kni!ht by his ridin! how they are sure to !ive him a fall from his horse or a !reat buffet. But for the
most part they will not li!ht on foot with youn! kni!hts for they are wi!ht and stron!ly armed. &or in
likewise Sir Launcelot du Lake when he was first made kni!ht he was often put to the worse upon
horseback but ever upon foot he recovered his renown and slew and defoiled many kni!hts of the
0ound Table. And therefore the rebukes that Sir Launcelot did unto many kni!hts causeth them that be
men of prowess to bewareC for often / have seen the old proved kni!hts rebuked and slain by them that
were but youn! be!inners. Thus they rode sure talkin! by the way to!ether.
-=.
CHAPTER ,# How 6(& La'ncelot came to t%e co'&t and %ea&d of
La Cote ale Ta(le) and %ow %e followed afte& %(m) and
%ow La Cote ale Ta(le was *&(sone&#
1303 leave we off a while of this tale and speak we of Sir Launcelot du Lake
=
that when he was
come to the court of :in! Arthur then heard he tell of the youn! kni!ht La )ote Male Taile how he
slew the lion and how he took upon him the adventure of the black shield the which was named at that
time the hardiest adventure of the world. So %od me save said Sir Launcelot unto many of his fellows
it was shame to all the noble kni!hts to suffer such a youn! kni!ht to take such adventure upon him for
his destructionC for / will that ye wit said Sir Launcelot that that damosel Maledisant hath borne that
shield many a day for to seek the most proved kni!hts and that was she that Breuse Saunce #ite took
that shield from her and after Tristram de Liones rescued that shield from him and !ave it to the
damosel a!ain a little afore that time that Sir Tristram fou!ht with my nephew Sir Blamore de %anis
for a Auarrel that was betwi't the :in! of /reland and him. Then many kni!hts were sorry that Sir La
)ote Male Taile was !one forth to that adventure. Truly said Sir Launcelot / cast me to ride after him.
And within seven days Sir Launcelot overtook La )ote Male Taile and then he saluted him and the
damosel Maledisant. And when Sir Mordred saw Sir Launcelot then he left their fellowshipC and so Sir
Launcelot rode with them all a day and ever that damosel rebuked La )ote Male TaileC and then Sir
Launcelot answered for him then she left off and rebuked Sir Launcelot.
So this meantime Sir Tristram sent by a damosel a letter unto Sir Launcelot e'cusin! him of the
weddin! of /soud la Blanche MainsC and said in the letter as he was a true kni!ht he had never ado
fleshly with /soud la Blanche MainsC and passin! courteously and !entily Sir Tristram wrote unto Sir
Launcelot ever beseechin! him to be his !ood friend and unto La Beale /soud of )ornwall and that Sir
Launcelot would e'cuse him if that ever he saw her. And within short time by the !race of %od said Sir
Tristram that he would speak with La Beale /soud and with him ri!ht hastily. Then Sir Launcelot
departed from the damosel and from Sir La )ote Male Taile for to oversee that letter and to write
another letter unto Sir Tristram de Liones.
And in the meanwhile La )ote Male Taile rode with the damosel until they came to a castle that
hi!ht #endra!onC and there were si' kni!hts stood afore him and one of them proffered to $oust with
-=4
La )ote Male Taile. And there La )ote Male Taile smote him over his horse's croup. And then the five
kni!hts set upon him all at once with their spears and there they smote La )ote Male Taile down horse
and man. And then they ali!hted suddenly and set their hands upon him all at once and took him
prisoner and so led him unto the castle and kept him as prisoner.
And on the morn Sir Launcelot arose and delivered the damosel with letters unto Sir Tristram and
then he took his way after La )ote Male TaileC and by the way upon a brid!e there was a kni!ht
proffered Sir Launcelot to $oust and Sir Launcelot smote him down and then they fou!ht upon foot a
noble battle to!ether and a mi!htyC and at the last Sir Launcelot smote him down !rovellin! upon his
hands and his knees. And then that kni!ht yielded him and Sir Launcelot received him fair. Sir said the
kni!ht / reAuire thee tell me your name for much my heart !iveth unto you. 2ay said Sir Launcelot as
at this time / will not tell you my name unless then that ye tell me your name. )ertainly said the
kni!ht my name is Sir 2erovens that was made kni!ht of my lord Sir Launcelot du Lake. Ah
2erovens de Lile said Sir Launcelot / am ri!ht !lad that ye are proved a !ood kni!ht for now wit ye
well my name is Sir Launcelot du Lake. Alas said Sir 2erovens de Lile what have / doneJ And
therewithal flatlin! he fell to his feet and would have kissed them but Sir Launcelot would not let himC
and then either made !reat $oy of other. And then Sir 2erovens told Sir Launcelot that he should not !o
by the )astle of #endra!on+ &or there is a lord a mi!hty kni!ht and many kni!hts with him and this
ni!ht / heard say that they took a kni!ht prisoner yesterday that rode with a damosel and they say he is
a :ni!ht of the 0ound Table.
CHAPTER ,I# How 6(& La'ncelot fo'g%t w(t% s(4 kn(g%ts) and
afte& w(t% 6(& B&(an) and %ow %e del(-e&ed t%e *&(sone&s#
A1 said Sir Launcelot that kni!ht is my fellow and him shall / rescue or else / shall lose my life
therefore. And therewithal he rode fast till he came before the )astle of #endra!onC and anon
therewithal there came si' kni!hts and all made them ready to set upon Sir Launcelot at onceC then Sir
Launcelot feutred his spear and smote the foremost that he brake his back in"sunder and three of them
hit and three failed. And then Sir Launcelot passed throu!h them and li!htly he turned in a!ain and
smote another kni!ht throu!h the breast and throu!hout the back more than an ell and therewithal his
-=<
spear brake. So then all the remnant of the four kni!hts drew their swords and lashed at Sir Launcelot.
And at every stroke Sir Launcelot bestowed so his strokes that at four strokes sundry they avoided their
saddles passin! sore woundedC and forthwithal he rode hurlin! into that castle.
And anon the lord of the castle that was that time cleped Sir Brian de les /sles the which was a
noble man and a !reat enemy unto :in! Arthur within a while he was armed and upon horseback. And
then they feutred their spears and hurled to!ether so stron!ly that both their horses rashed to the earth.
And then they avoided their saddles and dressed their shields and drew their swords and flan!
to!ether as wood men and there were many strokes !iven in a while. At the last Sir Launcelot !ave to
Sir Brian such a buffet that he kneeled upon his knees and then Sir Launcelot rashed upon him and
with !reat force he pulled off his helmC and when Sir Brian saw that he should be slain he yielded him
and put him in his mercy and in his !race. Then Sir Launcelot made him to deliver all his prisoners that
he had within his castle and therein Sir Launcelot found of Arthur's kni!hts thirty and forty ladies and
so he delivered themC and then he rode his way. And anon as La )ote Male Taile was delivered he !at
his horse and his harness and his damosel Maledisant.
The meanwhile Sir 2erovens that Sir Launcelot had fou!hten withal afore at the brid!e he sent a
damosel after Sir Launcelot to wit how he sped at the )astle of #endra!on. And then they within the
castle marvelled what kni!ht he was when Sir Brian and his kni!hts delivered all those prisoners. 1ave
ye no marvel said the damosel for the best kni!ht in this world was here and did this $ourney and wit
ye well she said it was Sir Launcelot. Then was Sir Brian full !lad and so was his lady and all his
kni!hts that such a man should win them. And when the damosel and La )ote Male Taile understood
that it was Sir Launcelot du Lake that had ridden with them in fellowship and that she remembered her
how she had rebuked him and called him coward then was she passin! heavy.
CHAPTER ,II# How 6(& La'ncelot met w(t% t%e damosel named
ale d(sant) and named %e& t%e 7amosel B(en*ensant#
S* then they took their horses and rode forth a pace after Sir Launcelot. And within two mile they
overtook him and saluted him and thanked him and the damosel cried Sir Launcelot mercy of her evil
-=7
deed and sayin!+ &or now / know the flower of all kni!hthood is departed even between Sir Tristram
and you. &or %od knoweth said the damosel that / have sou!ht you my lord Sir Launcelot and Sir
Tristram lon! and now / thank %od / have met with youC and once at )amelot / met with Sir Tristram
and there he rescued this black shield with the white hand holdin! a naked sword that Sir Breuse
Saunce #ite had taken from me. 2ow fair damosel said Sir Launcelot who told you my nameL Sir
said she there came a damosel from a kni!ht that ye fou!ht withal at the brid!e and she told me your
name was Sir Launcelot du Lake. Blame have she then said Sir Launcelot but her lord Sir 2erovens
hath told her. But damosel said Sir Launcelot upon this covenant / will ride with you so that ye will
not rebuke this kni!ht Sir La )ote Male Taile no moreC for he is a !ood kni!ht and / doubt not he shall
prove a noble kni!ht and for his sake and pity that he should not be destroyed / followed him to
succour him in this !reat need. Ah Eesu thank you said the damosel for now / will say unto you and to
him both / rebuked him never for no hate that / hated him but for !reat love that / had to him. &or ever
/ supposed that he had been too youn! and too tender to take upon him these adventures. And therefore
by my will / would have driven him away for $ealousy that / had of his life for it may be no youn!
kni!ht's deed that shall enchieve this adventure to the end. #ardieu said Sir Launcelot it is well said
and where ye are called the (amosel Maledisant / will call you the (amosel Bienpensant.
And so they rode forth a !reat while unto they came to the border of the country of Surluse and
there they found a fair villa!e with a stron! brid!e like a fortress. And when Sir Launcelot and they
were at the brid!e there stert forth afore them of !entlemen and yeomen many that said+ &air lords ye
may not pass this brid!e and this fortress because of that black shield that / see one of you bear and
therefore there shall not pass but one of you at onceC therefore choose you which of you shall enter
within this brid!e first. Then Sir Launcelot proffered himself first to enter within this brid!e. Sir said
La )ote Male Taile / beseech you let me enter within this fortress and if / may speed well / will send
for you and if it happened that / be slain there it !oeth. And if so be that / am a prisoner taken then
may ye rescue me. / am loath said Sir Launcelot to let you pass this passa!e. Sir said La )ote Male
Taile / pray you let me put my body in this adventure. 2ow !o your way said Sir Launcelot and Eesu
be your speed.
So he entered and anon there met with him two brethren the one hi!ht Sir #laine de &orce and
the other hi!ht Sir #laine de Amours. And anon they met with Sir La )ote Male TaileC and first La )ote
Male Taile smote down #laine de &orce and after he smote down #laine de AmoursC and then they
dressed them to their shields and swords and bade La )ote Male Taile ali!ht and so he didC and there
-=@
was dashin! and foinin! with swords and so they be!an to assail full hard La )ote Male Taile and
many !reat wounds they !ave him upon his head and upon his breast and upon his shoulders. And as
he mi!ht ever amon! he !ave sad strokes a!ain. And then the two brethren traced and traversed for to
be of both hands of Sir La )ote Male Taile but he by fine force and kni!htly prowess !at them afore
him. And then when he felt himself so wounded then he doubled his strokes and !ave them so many
wounds that he felled them to the earth and would have slain them had they not yielded them. And
ri!ht so Sir La )ote Male Taile took the best horse that there was of them three and so rode forth his
way to the other fortress and brid!eC and there he met with the third brother whose name was Sir
#lenorius a full noble kni!ht and there they $ousted to!ether and either smote other down horse and
man to the earth. And then they avoided their horses and dressed their shields and drew their swords
and !ave many sad strokes and one while the one kni!ht was afore on the brid!e and another while
the other. And thus they fou!ht two hours and more and never rested. And ever Sir Launcelot and the
damosel beheld them. Alas said the damosel my kni!ht fi!hteth passin! sore and over lon!. 2ow may
ye see said Sir Launcelot that he is a noble kni!ht for to consider his first battle and his !rievous
woundsC and even forthwithal so wounded as he is it is marvel that he may endure this lon! battle with
that !ood kni!ht.
CHAPTER ,III# How La Cote ale Ta(le was taken *&(sone&)
and afte& &esc'ed b+ 6(& La'ncelot) and %ow 6(& La'ncelot
o-e&came fo'& b&et%&en#
T1/S meanwhile Sir La )ote Male Taile sank ri!ht down upon the earth what for"wounded and
what for"bled he mi!ht not stand. Then the other kni!ht had pity of him and said+ &air youn! kni!ht
dismay you not for had ye been fresh when ye met with me as / was / wot well that / should not have
endured so lon! as ye have doneC and therefore for your noble deeds of arms / shall show to you
kindness and !entleness in all that / may. And forthwithal this noble kni!ht Sir #lenorius took him up
in his arms and led him into his tower. And then he commanded him the wine and made to search him
and to stop his bleedin! wounds. Sir said La )ote Male Taile withdraw you from me and hie you to
yonder brid!e a!ain for there will meet with you another manner kni!ht than ever was /. 5hy said
-==
#lenorius is there another manner kni!ht behind of your fellowshipL Yea said La )ote Male Taile
there is a much better kni!ht than / am. 5hat is his nameL said #lenorius. Ye shall not know for me
said La )ote Male Taile. 5ell said the kni!ht he shall be encountered withal whatsomever he be.
Then Sir #lenorius heard a kni!ht call that said+ Sir #lenorius where art thouL either thou must
deliver me the prisoner that thou hast led unto thy tower or else come and do battle with me. Then
#lenorius !at his horse and came with a spear in his hand wallopin! toward Sir LauncelotC and then
they be!an to feutre their spears and came to!ether as thunder and smote either other so mi!htily that
their horses fell down under them. And then they avoided their horses and pulled out their swords and
like two bulls they lashed to!ether with !reat strokes and foinsC but ever Sir Launcelot recovered
!round upon him and Sir #lenorius traced to have !one about him. But Sir Launcelot would not suffer
that but bare him backer and backer till he came ni!h his tower !ate. And then said Sir Launcelot+ /
know thee well for a !ood kni!ht but wit thou well thy life and death is in my hand and therefore yield
thee to me and thy prisoner. The other answered no word but struck mi!htily upon Sir Launcelot's
helm that the fire spran! out of his eyes. Then Sir Launcelot doubled his strokes so thick and smote at
him so mi!htily that he made him kneel upon his knees. And therewith Sir Launcelot leapt upon him
and pulled him !rovellin! down. Then Sir #lenorius yielded him and his tower and all his prisoners at
his will.
Then Sir Launcelot received him and took his trothC and then he rode to the other brid!e and there
Sir Launcelot $ousted with other three of his brethren the one hi!ht #illounes and the other hi!ht
#ello!ris and the third Sir #ellandris. And first upon horseback Sir Launcelot smote them down and
afterward he beat them on foot and made them to yield them unto himC and then he returned unto Sir
#lenorius and there he found in his prison :in! )arados of Scotland and many other kni!hts and all
they were delivered. And then Sir La )ote Male Taile came to Sir Launcelot and then Sir Launcelot
would have !iven him all these fortresses and these brid!es. 2ay said La )ote Male Taile / will not
have Sir #lenorius' livelihoodC with that he will !rant you my lord Sir Launcelot to come unto :in!
Arthur's court and to be his kni!ht and all his brethren / will pray you my lord to let him have his
livelihood. / will well said Sir Launcelot with this that he will come to the court of :in! Arthur and
become his man and his brethren five. And as for you Sir #lenorius / will undertake said Sir
Launcelot at the ne't feast so there be a place voided that ye shall be :ni!ht of the 0ound Table. Sir
said #lenorius at the ne't feast of #entecost / will be at Arthur's court and at that time / will be !uided
and ruled as :in! Arthur and ye will have me. Then Sir Launcelot and Sir La )ote Male Taile reposed
9>>
them there unto the time that Sir La )ote Male Taile was whole of his wounds and there they had
merry cheer and !ood rest and many !ood !ames and there were many fair ladies.
CHAPTER I!# How 6(& La'ncelot made La Cote ale Ta(le
lo&d of t%e Castle of Pend&agon) and afte& was made kn(g%t
of t%e Ro'nd Table#
A2( in the meanwhile came Sir :ay the Seneschal and Sir Brandiles and anon they
fellowshipped with them. And then within ten days then departed those kni!hts of Arthur's court from
these fortresses. And as Sir Launcelot came by the )astle of #endra!on there he put Sir Brian de les
/sles from his lands for cause he would never be withhold with :in! ArthurC and all that )astle of
#endra!on and all the lands thereof he !ave to Sir La )ote Male Taile. And then Sir Launcelot sent for
2erovens that he made once kni!ht and he made him to have all the rule of that castle and of that
country under La )ote Male TaileC and so they rode to Arthur's court all wholly to!ether. And at
#entecost ne't followin! there was Sir #lenorius and Sir La )ote Male Taile called otherwise by ri!ht
Sir Breunor le 2oire both made :ni!hts of the Table 0oundC and !reat lands :in! Arthur !ave them
and there Breunor le 2oire wedded that damosel Maledisant. And after she was called Beauvivante but
ever after for the more part he was called La )ote Male TaileC and he proved a passin! noble kni!ht
and mi!htyC and many worshipful deeds he did after in his lifeC and Sir #lenorius proved a noble kni!ht
and full of prowess and all the days of their life for the most part they awaited upon Sir LauncelotC and
Sir #lenorius' brethren were ever kni!hts of :in! Arthur. And also as the &rench book maketh mention
Sir La )ote Male Taile aven!ed his father's death.
9>?
CHAPTER !# How La Beale Iso'd sent lette&s to 6(& T&(st&am
b+ %e& ma(d B&agwa(ne) and of d(-e&s ad-ent'&es of 6(&
T&(st&am#
2*5 leave we here Sir La )ote Male Taile and turn we unto Sir Tristram de Liones that was in
Brittany. 5hen La Beale /soud understood that he was wedded she sent to him by her maiden
Bra!waine as piteous letters as could be thou!ht and made and her conclusion was that an it pleased
Sir Tristram that he would come to her court and brin! with him /soud la Blanche Mains and they
should be kept as well as she herself. Then Sir Tristram called unto him Sir :ehydius and asked him
whether he would !o with him into )ornwall secretly. 1e answered him that he was ready at all times.
And then he let ordain privily a little vessel and therein they went Sir Tristram :ehydius (ame
Bra!waine and %ouvernail Sir Tristram's sAuire. So when they were in the sea a contrarious wind
blew them on the coasts of 2orth 5ales ni!h the )astle #erilous. Then said Sir Tristram+ 1ere shall ye
abide me these ten days and %ouvernail my sAuire with you. And if so be / come not a!ain by that
day take the ne't way into )ornwallC for in this forest are many stran!e adventures as / have heard say
and some of them / cast me to prove or / depart. And when / may / shall hie me after you.
Then Sir Tristram and :ehydius took their horses and departed from their fellowship. And so they
rode within that forest a mile and moreC and at the last Sir Tristram saw afore him a likely kni!ht
armed sittin! by a well and a stron! mi!hty horse passin! ni!h him tied to an oak and a man hovin!
and ridin! by him leadin! an horse laden with spears. And this kni!ht that sat at the well seemed by his
countenance to be passin! heavy. Then Sir Tristram rode near him and said+ &air kni!ht why sit ye so
droopin!L ye seem to be a kni!ht"errant by your arms and harness and therefore dress you to $oust with
one of us or with both. Therewithal that kni!ht made no words but took his shield and buckled it about
his neck and li!htly he took his horse and leapt upon him. And then he took a !reat spear of his sAuire
and departed his way a furlon!. Sir :ehydius asked leave of Sir Tristram to $oust first. (o your best
said Sir Tristram. So they met to!ether and there Sir :ehydius had a fall and was sore wounded on
hi!h above the paps. Then Sir Tristram said+ :ni!ht that is well $ousted now make you ready unto me.
/ am ready said the kni!ht. And then that kni!ht took a !reater spear in his hand and encountered with
Sir Tristram and there by !reat force that kni!ht smote down Sir Tristram from his horse and had a
!reat fall. Then Sir Tristram was sore ashamed and li!htly he avoided his horse and put his shield
afore his shoulder and drew his sword. And then Sir Tristram reAuired that kni!ht of his kni!hthood to
ali!ht upon foot and fi!ht with him. / will well said the kni!htC and so he ali!hted upon foot and
9>-
avoided his horse and cast his shield upon his shoulder and drew his sword and there they fou!ht a
lon! battle to!ether full ni!h two hours. Then Sir Tristram said+ &air kni!ht hold thine hand and tell
me of whence thou art and what is thy name. As for that said the kni!ht / will be avisedC but an thou
wilt tell me thy name peradventure / will tell thee mine.
CHAPTER !I# How 6(& T&(st&am met w(t% 6(& Lamo&ak de
Gal(s) and %ow t%e+ fo'g%t) and afte& acco&ded ne-e& to
f(g%t toget%e&#
2*5 fair kni!ht he said my name is Sir Tristram de Liones. Sir said the other kni!ht and my
name is Sir Lamorak de %alis. Ah Sir Lamorak said Sir Tristram well be we met and bethink thee
now of the despite thou didst me of the sendin! of the horn unto :in! Mark's court to the intent to
have slain or dishonoured my lady the Aueen La Beale /soudC and therefore wit thou well said Sir
Tristram the one of us shall die or we depart. Sir said Sir Lamorak remember that we were to!ether in
the /sle of Serva!e and at that time ye promised me !reat friendship. Then Sir Tristram would make no
lon!er delays but lashed at Sir LamorakC and thus they fou!ht lon! till either were weary of other.
Then Sir Tristram said to Sir Lamorak+ /n all my life met / never with such a kni!ht that was so bi! and
well breathed as ye be therefore said Sir Tristram it were pity that any of us both should here be
mischieved. Sir said Sir Lamorak for your renown and name / will that ye have the worship of this
battle and therefore / will yield me unto you. And therewith he took the point of his sword to yield
him. 2ay said Sir Tristram ye shall not do so for well / know your proffers and more of your
!entleness than for any fear or dread ye have of me. And therewithal Sir Tristram proffered him his
sword and said+ Sir Lamorak as an overcome kni!ht / yield me unto you as to a man of the most noble
prowess that ever / met withal. 2ay said Sir Lamorak / will do you !entlenessC / reAuire you let us be
sworn to!ether that never none of us shall after this day have ado with other. And therewithal Sir
Tristram and Sir Lamorak sware that never none of them should fi!ht a!ainst other nor for weal nor for
woe.
9>9
CHAPTER !II# How 6(& Palom(des followed t%e 1'est(ng Beast)
and smote down 6(& T&(st&am and 6(& Lamo&ak w(t% one
s*ea&#
A2( this meanwhile there came Sir #alomides the !ood kni!ht followin! the Buestin! Beast that
had in shape a head like a serpent's head and a body like a leopard buttocks like a lion and footed like
an hartC and in his body there was such a noise as it had been the noise of thirty couple of hounds
Auestin! and such a noise that beast made wheresomever he wentC and this beast ever more Sir
#alomides followed for it was called his Auest. And ri!ht so as he followed this beast it came by Sir
Tristram and soon after came #alomides. And to brief this matter he smote down Sir Tristram and Sir
Lamorak both with one spearC and so he departed after the beast %altisant that was called the Buestin!
BeastC wherefore these two kni!hts were passin! wroth that Sir #alomides would not fi!ht on foot with
them. 1ere men may understand that be of worship that he was never formed that all times mi!ht
stand but sometime he was put to the worse by mal"fortuneC and at sometime the worse kni!ht put the
better kni!ht to a rebuke.
Then Sir Tristram and Sir Lamorak !at Sir :ehydius upon a shield betwi't them both and led him
to a forester's lod!e and there they !ave him in char!e to keep him well and with him they abode three
days. Then the two kni!hts took their horses and at the cross they departed. And then said Sir Tristram
to Sir Lamorak+ / reAuire you if ye hap to meet with Sir #alomides say him that he shall find me at the
same well where / met him and there / Sir Tristram shall prove whether he be better kni!ht than /.
And so either departed from other a sundry way and Sir Tristram rode ni!h thereas was Sir :ehydiusC
and Sir Lamorak rode until he came to a chapel and there he put his horse unto pasture. And anon there
came Sir Melia!aunce that was :in! Ba!dema!us' son and he there put his horse to pasture and was
not ware of Sir LamorakC and then this kni!ht Sir Melia!aunce made his moan of the love that he had
to Bueen %uenever and there he made a woful complaint. All this heard Sir Lamorak and on the morn
Sir Lamorak took his horse and rode unto the forest and there he met with two kni!hts hovin! under
the wood"shaw. &air kni!hts said Sir Lamorak what do ye hovin! here and watchin!L and if ye be
kni!hts"errant that will $oust lo / am ready. 2ay sir kni!ht they said not so we abide not here to $oust
with you but we lie here in await of a kni!ht that slew our brother. 5hat kni!ht was that said Sir
Lamorak that you would fain meet withalL Sir they said it is Sir Launcelot that slew our brother and
9>.
if ever we may meet with him he shall not escape but we shall slay him. Ye take upon you a !reat
char!e said Sir Lamorak for Sir Launcelot is a noble proved kni!ht. As for that we doubt not for there
nis none of us but we are !ood enou!h for him. / will not believe that said Sir Lamorak for / heard
never yet of no kni!ht the days of my life but Sir Launcelot was too bi! for him.
CHAPTER !III# How 6(& Lamo&ak met w(t% 6(& el(aga'nce)
and fo'g%t toget%e& fo& t%e bea't+ of 7ame G'ene-e&#
0/%1T so as they stood talkin! thus Sir Lamorak was ware how Sir Launcelot came ridin!
strai!ht toward themC then Sir Lamorak saluted him and he him a!ain. And then Sir Lamorak asked Sir
Launcelot if there were anythin! that he mi!ht do for him in these marches. 2ay said Sir Launcelot
not at this time / thank you. Then either departed from other and Sir Lamorak rode a!ain thereas he left
the two kni!hts and then he found them hid in the leaved wood. &ie on you said Sir Lamorak false
cowards pity and shame it is that any of you should take the hi!h order of kni!hthood. So Sir Lamorak
departed from them and within a while he met with Sir Melia!aunce. And then Sir Lamorak asked him
why he loved Bueen %uenever as he did+ &or / was not far from you when ye made your complaint by
the chapel. (id ye soL said Sir Melia!aunce then will / abide by it+ / love Bueen %uenever what will
ye with itL / will prove and make !ood that she is the fairest lady and most of beauty in the world. As to
that said Sir Lamorak / say nay thereto for Bueen Mor!awse of *rkney mother to Sir %awaine and
his mother is the fairest Aueen and lady that beareth the life. That is not so said Sir Melia!aunce and
that will / prove with my hands upon thy body. 5ill ye soL said Sir Lamorak and in a better Auarrel
keep / not to fi!ht. Then they departed either from other in !reat wrath. And then they came ridin!
to!ether as it had been thunder and either smote other so sore that their horses fell backward to the
earth. And then they avoided their horses and dressed their shields and drew their swords. And then
they hurtled to!ether as wild boars and thus they fou!ht a !reat while. &or Melia!aunce was a !ood
man and of !reat mi!ht but Sir Lamorak was hard bi! for him and put him always aback but either
had wounded other sore.
And as they stood thus fi!htin! by fortune came Sir Launcelot and Sir Bleoberis ridin!. And then
Sir Launcelot rode betwi't them and asked them for what cause they fou!ht so to!ether+ And ye are
9>4
both kni!hts of :in! ArthurJ
CHAPTER !I,# How 6(& el(aga'nce told fo& w%at ca'se t%e+
fo'g%t) and %ow 6(& Lamo&ak 3o'sted w(t% "(ng A&t%'&#
S/0 said Melia!aunce / shall tell you for what cause we do this battle. / praised my lady Bueen
%uenever and said she was the fairest lady of the world and Sir Lamorak said nay thereto for he said
Bueen Mor!awse of *rkney was fairer than she and more of beauty. Ah Sir Lamorak why sayest thou
soL it is not thy part to dispraise thy princess that thou art under her obeissance and we all. And
therewith he ali!hted on foot and said+ &or this Auarrel make thee ready for / will prove upon thee that
Bueen %uenever is the fairest lady and most of bounty in the world. Sir said Sir Lamorak / am loath to
have ado with you in this Auarrel for every man thinketh his own lady fairestC and thou!h / praise the
lady that / love most ye should not be wrothC for thou!h my lady Bueen %uenever be fairest in your
eye wit ye well Bueen Mor!awse of *rkney is fairest in mine eye and so every kni!ht thinketh his
own lady fairestC and wit ye well sir ye are the man in the world e'cept Sir Tristram that / am most
loathest to have ado withal but an ye will needs fi!ht with me / shall endure you as lon! as / may.
Then spake Sir Bleoberis and said+ My lord Sir Launcelot / wist you never so misadvised as ye are
now for Sir Lamorak sayeth you but reason and kni!htlyC for / warn you / have a lady and methinketh
that she is the fairest lady of the world. 5ere this a !reat reason that ye should be wroth with me for
such lan!ua!eL And well ye wot that Sir Lamorak is as noble a kni!ht as / know and he hath ou!ht
you and us ever !ood will and therefore / pray you be !ood friends. Then Sir Launcelot said unto Sir
Lamorak. / pray you for!ive me mine evil will and if / was misadvised / will amend it. Sir said Sir
Lamorak the amends is soon made betwi't you and me. And so Sir Launcelot and Sir Bleoberis
departed and Sir Melia!aunce and Sir Lamorak took their horses and either departed from other.
And within a while came :in! Arthur and met with Sir Lamorak and $ousted with himC and there
he smote down Sir Lamorak and wounded him sore with a spear and so he rode from himC wherefore
Sir Lamorak was wroth that he would not fi!ht with him on foot howbeit that Sir Lamorak knew not
:in! Arthur.
9><
CHAPTER !,# How 6(& "a+ met w(t% 6(& T&(st&am) and afte& of
t%e s%ame s*oken of t%e kn(g%ts of Co&nwall) and %ow t%e+
3o'sted#
2*5 leave we of this tale and speak we of Sir Tristram that as he rode he met with Sir :ay the
SeneschalC and there Sir :ay asked Sir Tristram of what country he was. 1e answered that he was of
the country of )ornwall. /t may well be said Sir :ay for yet heard / never that ever !ood kni!ht came
out of )ornwall. That is evil spoken said Sir Tristram but an it please you to tell me your name /
reAuire you. Sir wit ye well said Sir :ay that my name is Sir :ay the Seneschal. /s that your nameL
said Sir Tristram now wit ye well that ye are named the shamefullest kni!ht of your ton!ue that now is
livin!C howbeit ye are called a !ood kni!ht but ye are called unfortunate and passin! overthwart of
your ton!ue. And thus they rode to!ether till they came to a brid!e. And there was a kni!ht would not
let them pass till one of them $ousted with himC and so that kni!ht $ousted with Sir :ay and there that
kni!ht !ave Sir :ay a fall+ his name was Sir Tor Sir Lamorak's half"brother. And then they two rode to
their lod!in! and there they found Sir Brandiles and Sir Tor came thither anon after. And as they sat at
supper these four kni!hts three of them spake all shame by )ornish kni!hts. Sir Tristram heard all that
they said and he said but little but he thou!ht the more but at that time he discovered not his name.
;pon the morn Sir Tristram took his horse and abode them upon their way. And there Sir Brandiles
proffered to $oust with Sir Tristram and Sir Tristram smote him down horse and all to the earth. Then
Sir Tor le &ise de 8ayshoure encountered with Sir Tristram and there Sir Tristram smote him down and
then he rode his way and Sir :ay followed him but he would not of his fellowship. Then Sir Brandiles
came to Sir :ay and said+ / would wit fain what is that kni!ht's name. )ome on with me said Sir :ay
and we shall pray him to tell us his name. So they rode to!ether till they came ni!h him and then they
were ware where he sat by a well and had put off his helm to drink at the well. And when he saw them
come he laced on his helm li!htly and took his horse and proffered them to $oust. 2ay said Sir
Brandiles we $ousted late enou!h with you we come not in that intent. But for this we come to reAuire
you of kni!hthood to tell us your name. My fair kni!hts sithen that is your desire and to please you ye
shall wit that my name is Sir Tristram de Liones nephew unto :in! Mark of )ornwall. /n !ood time
9>7
said Sir Brandiles and well be ye found and wit ye well that we be ri!ht !lad that we have found you
and we be of a fellowship that would be ri!ht !lad of your company. &or ye are the kni!ht in the world
that the noble fellowship of the 0ound Table most desireth to have the company of. %od thank them
said Sir Tristram of their !reat !oodness but as yet / feel well that / am unable to be of their
fellowship for / was never yet of such deeds of worthiness to be in the company of such a fellowship.
Ah said Sir :ay an ye be Sir Tristram de Liones ye are the man called now most of prowess e'cept
Sir Launcelot du LakeC for he beareth not the life )hristian nor heathen that can find such another
kni!ht to speak of his prowess and of his hands and his truth withal. &or yet could there never
creature say of him dishonour and make it !ood. Thus they talked a !reat while and then they departed
either from other such ways as them seemed best.
CHAPTER !,I# How "(ng A&t%'& was b&o'g%t (nto t%e Fo&est
Pe&(lo's) and %ow 6(& T&(st&am sa-ed %(s l(fe#
2*5 shall ye hear what was the cause that :in! Arthur came into the &orest #erilous that was in
2orth 5ales by the means of a lady. 1er name was Annowre and this lady came to :in! Arthur at
)ardiffC and she by fair promise and fair behests made :in! Arthur to ride with her into that &orest
#erilousC and she was a !reat sorceressC and many days she had loved :in! Arthur and because she
would have him to lie by her she came into that country. So when the kin! was !one with her many of
his kni!hts followed after :in! Arthur when they missed him as Sir Launcelot Brandiles and many
otherC and when she had brou!ht him to her tower she desired him to lie by herC and then the kin!
remembered him of his lady and would not lie by her for no craft that she could do. Then every day she
would make him ride into that forest with his own kni!hts to the intent to have had :in! Arthur slain.
&or when this Lady Annowre saw that she mi!ht not have him at her will then she laboured by false
means to have destroyed :in! Arthur and slain.
Then the Lady of the Lake that was alway friendly to :in! Arthur she understood by her subtle
crafts that :in! Arthur was like to be destroyed. And therefore this Lady of the Lake that hi!ht 2imue
came into that forest to seek after Sir Launcelot du Lake or Sir Tristram for to help :in! ArthurC foras
that same day this Lady of the Lake knew well that :in! Arthur should be slain unless that he had help
9>@
of one of these two kni!hts. And thus she rode up and down till she met with Sir Tristram and anon as
she saw him she knew him. * my lord Sir Tristram she said well be ye met and blessed be the time
that / have met with youC for this same day and within these two hours shall be done the foulest deed
that ever was done in this land. * fair damosel said Sir Tristram may / amend it. )ome on with me
she said and that in all the haste ye may for ye shall see the most worshipfullest kni!ht of the world
hard bestead. Then said Sir Tristram+ / am ready to help such a noble man. 1e is neither better nor
worse said the Lady of the Lake but the noble :in! Arthur himself. %od defend said Sir Tristram that
ever he should be in such distress. Then they rode to!ether a !reat pace until they came to a little turret
or castleC and underneath that castle they saw a kni!ht standin! upon foot fi!htin! with two kni!htsC
and so Sir Tristram beheld them and at the last the two kni!hts smote down the one kni!ht and that
one of them unlaced his helm to have slain him. And the Lady Annowre !at :in! Arthur's sword in her
hand to have stricken off his head. And therewithal came Sir Tristram with all his mi!ht cryin!+
Traitress traitress leave that. And anon there Sir Tristram smote the one of the kni!hts throu!h the
body that he fell deadC and then he rashed to the other and smote his back asunderC and in the
meanwhile the Lady of the Lake cried to :in! Arthur+ Let not that false lady escape. Then :in! Arthur
overtook her and with the same sword he smote off her head and the Lady of the Lake took up her
head and hun! it up by the hair of her saddle"bow. And then Sir Tristram horsed :in! Arthur and rode
forth with him but he char!ed the Lady of the Lake not to discover his name as at that time.
5hen the kin! was horsed he thanked heartily Sir Tristram and desired to wit his nameC but he
would not tell him but that he was a poor kni!ht adventurousC and so he bare :in! Arthur fellowship
till he met with some of his kni!hts. And within a while he met with Sir 3ctor de Maris and he knew
not :in! Arthur nor Sir Tristram and he desired to $oust with one of them. Then Sir Tristram rode unto
Sir 3ctor and smote him from his horse. And when he had done so he came a!ain to the kin! and said+
My lord yonder is one of your kni!hts he may bare you fellowship and another day that deed that /
have done for you / trust to %od ye shall understand that / would do you service. Alas said :in!
Arthur let me wit what ye areL 2ot at this time said Sir Tristram. So he departed and left :in! Arthur
and Sir 3ctor to!ether.
9>=
CHAPTER !,II# How 6(& T&(st&am came to La Beale Iso'd)
and %ow "e%+d('s began to lo-e Beale Iso'd) and of a lette&
t%at T&(st&am fo'nd#
A2( then at a day set Sir Tristram and Sir Lamorak met at the wellC and then they took :ehydius
at the forester's house and so they rode with him to the ship where they left (ame Bra!waine and
%ouvernail and so they sailed into )ornwall all wholly to!ether. And by assent and information of
(ame Bra!waine when they were landed they rode unto Sir (inas the Seneschal a trusty friend of Sir
Tristram's. And so (ame Bra!waine and Sir (inas rode to the court of :in! Mark and told the Aueen
La Beale /soud that Sir Tristram was ni!h her in that country. Then for very pure $oy La Beale /soud
swoonedC and when she mi!ht speak she said+ %entle kni!ht Seneschal help that / mi!ht speak with
him outher my heart will brast. Then Sir (inas and (ame Bra!waine brou!ht Sir Tristram and
:ehydius privily unto the court unto a chamber whereas La Beale /soud had assi!ned itC and to tell the
$oys that were betwi't La Beale /soud and Sir Tristram there is no ton!ue can tell it nor heart think it
nor pen write it. And as the &rench book maketh mention at the first time that ever Sir :ehydius saw
La Beale /soud he was so enamoured upon her that for very pure love he mi!ht never withdraw it. And
at the last as ye shall hear or the book be ended Sir :ehydius died for the love of La Beale /soud. And
then privily he wrote unto her letters and ballads of the most !oodliest that were used in those days.
And when La Beale /soud understood his letters she had pity of his complaint and unavised she wrote
another letter to comfort him withal.
And Sir Tristram was all this while in a turret at the commandment of La Beale /soud and when
she mi!ht she came unto Sir Tristram. So on a day :in! Mark played at the chess under a chamber
windowC and at that time Sir Tristram and Sir :ehydius were within the chamber over :in! Mark and
as it mishapped Sir Tristram found the letter that :ehydius sent unto La Beale /soud also he had found
the letter that she wrote unto :ehydius and at that same time La Beale /soud was in the same chamber.
Then Sir Tristram came unto La Beale /soud and said+ Madam here is a letter that was sent unto you
and here is the letter that ye sent unto him that sent you that letter. Alas Madam the !ood love that /
have loved youC and many lands and riches have / forsaken for your love and now ye are a traitress to
me the which doth me !reat pain. But as for thee Sir :ehydius / brou!ht thee out of Brittany into this
country and thy father :in! 1owel / won his lands howbeit / wedded thy sister /soud la Blanche
Mains for the !oodness she did unto me. And yet as / am true kni!ht she is a clean maiden for meC but
wit thou well Sir :ehydius for this falsehood and treason thou hast done me / will reven!e it upon
9?>
thee. And therewithal Sir Tristram drew out his sword and said+ Sir :ehydius keep thee and then La
Beale /soud swooned to the earth. And when Sir :ehydius saw Sir Tristram come upon him he saw
none other boot but leapt out at a bay"window even over the head where sat :in! Mark playin! at the
chess. And when the kin! saw one come hurlin! over his head he said+ &ellow what art thou and what
is the cause thou leapest out at that windowL My lord the kin! said :ehydius it fortuned me that / was
asleep in the window above your head and as / slept / slumbered and so / fell down. And thus Sir
:ehydius e'cused him.
)1A# T30 68///. 1ow Sir Tristram departed from Tinta!il and how he sorrowed and was so
lon! in a forest till he was out of his mind.
T132 Sir Tristram dread sore lest he were discovered unto the kin! that he was thereC wherefore
he drew him to the stren!th of the Tower and armed him in such armour as he had for to fi!ht with
them that would withstand him. And so when Sir Tristram saw there was no resistance a!ainst him he
sent %ouvernail for his horse and his spear and kni!htly he rode forth out of the castle openly that was
called the )astle of Tinta!il. And even at !ate he met with %in!alin Sir %awaine's son. And anon Sir
%in!alin put his spear in his rest and ran upon Sir Tristram and brake his spearC and Sir Tristram at that
time had but a sword and !ave him such a buffet upon the helm that he fell down from his saddle and
his sword slid adown and carved asunder his horse's neck. And so Sir Tristram rode his way into the
forest and all this doin! saw :in! Mark. And then he sent a sAuire unto the hurt kni!ht and
commanded him to come to him and so he did. And when :in! Mark wist that it was Sir %in!alin he
welcomed him and !ave him an horse and asked him what kni!ht it was that had encountered with
him. Sir said %in!alin / wot not what kni!ht he was but well / wot that he si!heth and maketh !reat
dole.
Then Sir Tristram within a while met with a kni!ht of his own that hi!ht Sir &er!us. And when he
had met with him he made !reat sorrow insomuch that he fell down off his horse in a swoon and in
such sorrow he was in three days and three ni!hts. Then at the last Sir Tristram sent unto the court by
Sir &er!us for to spere what tidin!s. And so as he rode by the way he met with a damosel that came
from Sir #alomides to know and seek how Sir Tristram did. Then Sir &er!us told her how he was
almost out of his mind. Alas said the damosel where shall / find himL /n such a place said Sir &er!us.
Then Sir &er!us found Bueen /soud sick in her bed makin! the !reatest dole that ever any earthly
woman made. And when the damosel found Sir Tristram she made !reat dole because she mi!ht not
9??
amend him for the more she made of him the more was his pain. And at the last Sir Tristram took his
horse and rode away from her. And then was it three days or that she could find him and then she
brou!ht him meat and drink but he would noneC and then another time Sir Tristram escaped away from
the damosel and it happed him to ride by the same castle where Sir #alomides and Sir Tristram did
battle when La Beale /soud departed them. And there by fortune the damosel met with Sir Tristram
a!ain makin! the !reatest dole that ever earthly creature madeC and she yede to the lady of that castle
and told her of the misadventure of Sir Tristram. Alas said the lady of that castle where is my lord Sir
TristramL 0i!ht here by your castle said the damosel. /n !ood time said the lady is he so ni!h meC he
shall have meat and drink of the bestC and an harp / have of his whereupon he tau!ht me for of !oodly
harpin! he beareth the priDe in the world. So this lady and damosel brou!ht him meat and drink but he
ate little thereof. Then upon a ni!ht he put his horse from him and then he unlaced his armour and
then Sir Tristram would !o into the wilderness and brast down the trees and bou!hsC and otherwhile
when he found the harp that the lady sent him then would he harp and play thereupon and weep
to!ether. And sometime when Sir Tristram was in the wood that the lady wist not where he was then
would she sit her down and play upon that harp+ then would Sir Tristram come to that harp and
hearken thereto and sometime he would harp himself. Thus he there endured a Auarter of a year. Then
at the last he ran his way and she wist not where he was become. And then was he naked and wa'ed
lean and poor of fleshC and so he fell in the fellowship of herdmen and shepherds and daily they would
!ive him some of their meat and drink. And when he did any shrewd deed they would beat him with
rods and so they clipped him with shears and made him like a fool.
CHAPTER !I!# How 6(& T&(st&am so'sed 7agonet (n a well)
and %ow Palom(des sent a damosel to seek T&(st&am) and
%ow Palom(des met w(t% "(ng a&k#
A2( upon a day (a!onet :in! Arthur's fool came into )ornwall with two sAuires with himC and
as they rode throu!h that forest they came by a fair well where Sir Tristram was wont to beC and the
weather was hot and they ali!hted to drink of that well and in the meanwhile their horses brake loose.
0i!ht so Sir Tristram came unto them and first he soused Sir (a!onet in that well and after his
9?-
sAuires and thereat lau!hed the shepherdsC and forthwithal he ran after their horses and brou!ht them
a!ain one by one and ri!ht so wet as they were he made them leap up and ride their ways. Thus Sir
Tristram endured there an half year naked and would never come in town nor villa!e. The meanwhile
the damosel that Sir #alomides sent to seek Sir Tristram she yede unto Sir #alomides and told him all
the mischief that Sir Tristram endured. Alas said Sir #alomides it is !reat pity that ever so noble a
kni!ht should be so mischieved for the love of a ladyC but nevertheless / will !o and seek him and
comfort him an / may. Then a little before that time La Beale /soud had commanded Sir :ehydius out
of the country of )ornwall. So Sir :ehydius departed with a dolorous heart and by adventure he met
with Sir #alomides and they enfellowshipped to!etherC and either complained to other of their hot love
that they loved La Beale /soud. 2ow let us said Sir #alomides seek Sir Tristram that loved her as well
as we and let us prove whether we may recover him. So they rode into that forest and three days and
three ni!hts they would never take their lod!in! but ever sou!ht Sir Tristram.
And upon a time by adventure they met with :in! Mark that was ridden from his men all alone.
5hen they saw him Sir #alomides knew him but Sir :ehydius knew him not. Ah false kin! said Sir
#alomides it is pity thou hast thy life for thou art a destroyer of all worshipful kni!hts and by thy
mischief and thy ven!eance thou hast destroyed that most noble kni!ht Sir Tristram de Liones. And
therefore defend thee said Sir #alomides for thou shalt die this day. That were shame said :in! Mark
for ye two are armed and / am unarmed. As for that said Sir #alomides / shall find a remedy thereforeC
here is a kni!ht with me and thou shalt have his harness. 2ay said :in! Mark / will not have ado with
you for cause have ye none to meC for all the misease that Sir Tristram hath was for a letter that he
foundC for as to me / did to him no displeasure and %od knoweth / am full sorry for his disease and
malady. So when the kin! had thus e'cused him they were friends and :in! Mark would have had
them unto Tinta!ilC but Sir #alomides would not but turned unto the realm of Lo!ris and Sir :ehydius
said that he would !o into Brittany.
2ow turn we unto Sir (a!onet a!ain that when he and his sAuires were upon horseback he
deemed that the shepherds had sent that fool to array them so because that they lau!hed at them and
so they rode unto the keepers of beasts and all to"beat them. Sir Tristram saw them beat that were wont
to !ive him meat and drink then he ran thither and !at Sir (a!onet by the head and !ave him such a
fall to the earth that he bruised him sore so that he lay still. And then he wrast his sword out of his
hand and therewith he ran to one of his sAuires and smote off his head and the other fled. And so Sir
Tristram took his way with that sword in his hand runnin! as he had been wild wood. Then Sir
9?9
(a!onet rode to :in! Mark and told him how he had sped in that forest. And therefore said Sir
(a!onet beware :in! Mark that thou come not about that well in the forest for there is a fool naked
and that fool and / fool met to!ether and he had almost slain me. Ah said :in! Mark that is Sir Matto
le Breune that fell out of his wit because he lost his ladyC for when Sir %aheris smote down Sir Matto
and won his lady of him never since was he in his mind and that was pity for he was a !ood kni!ht.
CHAPTER !!# How (t was no(sed %ow 6(& T&(st&am was dead)
and %ow La Beale Iso'd wo'ld %a-e sla(n %e&self#
T132 Sir Andred that was cousin unto Sir Tristram made a lady that was his paramour to say and
to noise it that she was with Sir Tristram or ever he died. And this tale she brou!ht unto :in! Mark's
court that she buried him by a well and that or he died he besou!ht :in! Mark to make his cousin Sir
Andred kin! of the country of Liones of the which Sir Tristram was lord of. All this did Sir Andred
because he would have had Sir Tristram's lands. And when :in! Mark heard tell that Sir Tristram was
dead he wept and made !reat dole. But when Bueen /soud heard of these tidin!s she made such sorrow
that she was ni!h out of her mindC and so upon a day she thou!ht to slay herself and never to live after
Sir Tristram's death. And so upon a day La Beale /soud !at a sword privily and bare it to her !arden
and there she pi!ht the sword throu!h a plum tree up to the hilt so that it stuck fast and it stood breast
hi!h. And as she would have run upon the sword and to have slain herself all this espied :in! Mark
how she kneeled down and said+ Sweet Lord Eesu have mercy upon me for / may not live after the
death of Sir Tristram de Liones for he was my first love and he shall be the last. And with these words
came :in! Mark and took her in his arms and then he took up the sword and bare her away with him
into a towerC and there he made her to be kept and watched her surely and after that she lay lon! sick
ni!h at the point of death.
This meanwhile ran Sir Tristram naked in the forest with the sword in his hand and so he came to
an hermita!e and there he laid him down and sleptC and in the meanwhile the hermit stole away his
sword and laid meat down by him. Thus was he kept there ten daysC and at the last he departed and
came to the herdmen a!ain. And there was a !iant in that country that hi!ht Tauleas and for fear of Sir
Tristram more than seven year he durst never much !o at lar!e but for the most part he kept him in a
9?.
sure castle of his ownC and so this Tauleas heard tell that Sir Tristram was dead by the noise of the
court of :in! Mark. Then this Tauleas went daily at lar!e. And so he happed upon a day he came to the
herdmen wanderin! and lan!erin! and there he set him down to rest amon! them. The meanwhile
there came a kni!ht of )ornwall that led a lady with him and his name was Sir (inantC and when the
!iant saw him he went from the herdmen and hid him under a tree and so the kni!ht came to that well
and there he ali!hted to repose him. And as soon as he was from his horse this !iant Tauleas came
betwi't this kni!ht and his horse and took the horse and leapt upon him. So forthwith he rode unto Sir
(inant and took him by the collar and pulled him afore him upon his horse and there would have
stricken off his head. Then the herdmen said unto Sir Tristram+ 1elp yonder kni!ht. 1elp ye him said
Sir Tristram. 5e dare not said the herdmen. Then Sir Tristram was ware of the sword of the kni!ht
thereas it layC and so thither he ran and took up the sword and struck off Sir Tauleas' head and so he
yede his way to the herdmen.
CHAPTER !!I# How "(ng a&k fo'nd 6(& T&(st&am naked)
and made %(m to be bo&ne %ome to T(ntag(l) and %ow %e
was t%e&e known b+ a b&ac%et#
T132 the kni!ht took up the !iant's head and bare it with him unto :in! Mark and told him what
adventure betid him in the forest and how a naked man rescued him from the !rimly !iant Tauleas.
5here had ye this adventureL said :in! Mark. &orsooth said Sir (inant at the fair fountain in your
forest where many adventurous kni!hts meet and there is the mad man. 5ell said :in! Mark / will
see that wild man. So within a day or two :in! Mark commanded his kni!hts and his hunters that they
should be ready on the morn for to hunt and so upon the morn he went unto that forest. And when the
kin! came to that well he found there lyin! by that well a fair naked man and a sword by him. Then
:in! Mark blew and straked and therewith his kni!hts came to himC and then the kin! commanded his
kni!hts to+ Take that naked man with fairness and brin! him to my castle. So they did softly and fair
and cast mantles upon Sir Tristram and so led him unto Tinta!ilC and there they bathed him and
washed him and !ave him hot suppin!s till they had brou!ht him well to his remembranceC but all this
while there was no creature that knew Sir Tristram nor what man he was.
9?4
So it fell upon a day that the Aueen La Beale /soud heard of such a man that ran naked in the
forest and how the kin! had brou!ht him home to the court. Then La Beale /soud called unto her (ame
Bra!waine and said+ )ome on with me for we will !o see this man that my lord brou!ht from the
forest the last day. So they passed forth and spered where was the sick man. And then a sAuire told the
Aueen that he was in the !arden takin! his rest and reposin! him a!ainst the sun. So when the Aueen
looked upon Sir Tristram she was not remembered of him. But ever she said unto (ame Bra!waine+
Meseemeth / should have seen him heretofore in many places. But as soon as Sir Tristram saw her he
knew her well enou!h. And then he turned away his visa!e and wept.
Then the Aueen had always a little brachet with her that Sir Tristram !ave her the first time that
ever she came into )ornwall and never would that brachet depart from her but if Sir Tristram was ni!h
thereas was La Beale /soudC and this brachet was sent from the kin!'s dau!hter of &rance unto Sir
Tristram for !reat love. And anon as this little brachet felt a savour of Sir Tristram she leapt upon him
and licked his lears and his ears and then she whined and Auested and she smelled at his feet and at his
hands and on all parts of his body that she mi!ht come to. Ah my lady said (ame Bra!waine unto La
Beale /soud alas alas said she / see it is mine own lord Sir Tristram. And thereupon /soud fell down
in a swoon and so lay a !reat while And when she mi!ht speak she said+ My lord Sir Tristram blessed
be %od ye have your life and now / am sure ye shall be discovered by this little brachet for she will
never leave you. And also / am sure as soon as my lord :in! Mark do know you he will banish you
out of the country of )ornwall or else he will destroy youC for %od's sake mine own lord !rant :in!
Mark his will and then draw you unto the court of :in! Arthur for there are ye beloved and ever
when / may / shall send unto youC and when ye list ye may come to me and at all times early and late /
will be at your commandment to live as poor a life as ever did Aueen or lady. * Madam said Sir
Tristram !o from me for mickle an!er and dan!er have / escaped for your love.
CHAPTER !!II# How "(ng a&k) b+ t%e ad-(ce of %(s co'nc(l)
ban(s%ed 6(& T&(st&am o't of Co&nwall t%e te&m of ten +ea&s#
T132 the Aueen departed but the brachet would not from himC and therewithal came :in! Mark
and the brachet set upon him and bayed at them all. There withal Sir Andred spake and said+ Sir this is
9?<
Sir Tristram / see by the brachet. 2ay said the kin! / cannot suppose that. Then the kin! asked him
upon his faith what he was and what was his name. So %od me help said he my name is Sir Tristram
de LionesC now do by me what ye list. Ah said :in! Mark me repenteth of your recovery. And then he
let call his barons to $ud!e Sir Tristram to the death. Then many of his barons would not assent thereto
and in especial Sir (inas the Seneschal and Sir &er!us. And so by the advice of them all Sir Tristram
was banished out of the country for ten year and thereupon he took his oath upon a book before the
kin! and his barons. And so he was made to depart out of the country of )ornwallC and there were
many barons brou!ht him unto his ship of the which some were his friends and some his foes. And in
the meanwhile there came a kni!ht of :in! Arthur's his name was (inadan and his comin! was for to
seek after Sir TristramC then they showed him where he was armed at all points !oin! to the ship. 2ow
fair kni!ht said Sir (inadan or ye pass this court that ye will $oust with me / reAuire thee. 5ith a !ood
will said Sir Tristram an these lords will !ive me leave. Then the barons !ranted thereto and so they
ran to!ether and there Sir Tristram !ave Sir (inadan a fall. And then he prayed Sir Tristram to !ive
him leave to !o in his fellowship. Ye shall be ri!ht welcome said then Sir Tristram.
And so they took their horses and rode to their ships to!ether and when Sir Tristram was in the sea
he said+ %reet well :in! Mark and all mine enemies and say them / will come a!ain when / mayC and
well am / rewarded for the fi!htin! with Sir Marhaus and delivered all this country from serva!eC and
well am / rewarded for the fetchin! and costs of Bueen /soud out of /reland and the dan!er that / was
in first and last and by the way comin! home what dan!er / had to brin! a!ain Bueen /soud from the
)astle #luereC and well am / rewarded when / fou!ht with Sir Bleoberis for Sir Se!warides' wifeC and
well am / rewarded when / fou!ht with Sir Blamore de %anis for :in! An!uish father unto La Beale
/soudC and well am / rewarded when / smote down the !ood kni!ht Sir Lamorak de %alis at :in!
Mark's reAuestC and well am / rewarded when / fou!ht with the :in! with the 1undred :ni!hts and the
:in! of 2orth!alis and both these would have put his land in serva!e and by me they were put to a
rebukeC and well am / rewarded for the slayin! of Tauleas the mi!hty !iant and many other deeds have
/ done for him and now have / my warison. And tell :in! Mark that many noble kni!hts of the Table
0ound have spared the barons of this country for my sake. Also am / not well rewarded when / fou!ht
with the !ood kni!ht Sir #alomides and rescued Bueen /soud from himC and at that time :in! Mark
said afore all his barons / should have been better rewarded. And forthwithal he took the sea.
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CHAPTER !!III# How a damosel so'g%t %el* to %el* 6(&
La'ncelot aga(nst t%(&t+ kn(g%ts) and %ow 6(& T&(st&am
fo'g%t w(t% t%em#
A2( at the ne't landin! fast by the sea there met with Sir Tristram and with Sir (inadan Sir
3ctor de Maris and Sir Bors de %anisC and there Sir 3ctor $ousted with Sir (inadan and he smote him
and his horse down. And then Sir Tristram would have $ousted with Sir Bors and Sir Bors said that he
would not $oust with no )ornish kni!hts for they are not called men of worshipC and all this was done
upon a brid!e. And with this came Sir Bleoberis and Sir (riant and Sir Bleoberis proffered to $oust
with Sir Tristram and there Sir Tristram smote down Sir Bleoberis. Then said Sir Bors de %anis+ / wist
never )ornish kni!ht of so !reat valour nor so valiant as that kni!ht that beareth the trappin!s
embroidered with crowns. And then Sir Tristram and Sir (inadan departed from them into a forest and
there met them a damosel that came for the love of Sir Launcelot to seek after some noble kni!hts of
:in! Arthur's court for to rescue Sir Launcelot. And so Sir Launcelot was ordained for"by the treason
of Bueen Mor!an le &ay to have slain Sir Launcelot and for that cause she ordained thirty kni!hts to
lie in await for Sir Launcelot and this damosel knew this treason. And for this cause the damosel came
for to seek noble kni!hts to help Sir Launcelot. &or that ni!ht or the day after Sir Launcelot should
come where these thirty kni!hts were. And so this damosel met with Sir Bors and Sir 3ctor and with Sir
(riant and there she told them all four of the treason of Mor!an le &ayC and then they promised her
that they would be ni!h where Sir Launcelot should meet with the thirty kni!hts. And if so be they set
upon him we will do rescues as we can.
So the damosel departed and by adventure the damosel met with Sir Tristram and with Sir
(inadan and there the damosel told them all the treason that was ordained for Sir Launcelot. &air
damosel said Sir Tristram brin! me to that same place where they should meet with Sir Launcelot.
Then said Sir (inadan+ 5hat will ye doL it is not for us to fi!ht with thirty kni!hts and wit you well /
will not thereofC as to match one kni!ht two or three is enou!h an they be men but for to match fifteen
kni!hts that will / never undertake. &ie for shame said Sir Tristram do but your part. 2ay said Sir
(inadan / will not thereof but if ye will lend me your shield for ye bear a shield of )ornwallC and for
the cowardice that is named to the kni!hts of )ornwall by your shields ye be ever forborne. 2ay said
Sir Tristram / will not depart from my shield for her sake that !ave it me. But one thin! said Sir
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Tristram / promise thee Sir (inadan but if thou wilt promise me to abide with me here / shall slay
thee for / desire no more of thee but answer one kni!ht. And if thy heart will not serve thee stand by
and look upon me and them. Sir said Sir (inadan / promise you to look upon and to do what / may to
save myself but / would / had not met with you.
So then anon these thirty kni!hts came fast by these four kni!hts and they were ware of them and
either of other. And so these thirty kni!hts let them pass for this cause that they would not wrath them
if case be that they had ado with Sir LauncelotC and the four kni!hts let them pass to this intent that
they would see and behold what they would do with Sir Launcelot. And so the thirty kni!hts passed on
and came by Sir Tristram and by Sir (inadan and then Sir Tristram cried on hi!h+ Lo here is a kni!ht
a!ainst you for the love of Sir Launcelot. And there he slew two with one spear and ten with his sword.
And then came in Sir (inadan and he did passin! well and so of the thirty kni!hts there went but ten
away and they fled. All this battle saw Sir Bors de %anis and his three fellows and then they saw well
it was the same kni!ht that $ousted with them at the brid!eC then they took their horses and rode unto
Sir Tristram and praised him and thanked him of his !ood deeds and they all desired Sir Tristram to !o
with them to their lod!in!C and he said+ 2ay he would not !o to no lod!in!. Then they all four kni!hts
prayed him to tell them his name. &air lords said Sir Tristram as at this time / will not tell you my
name.
CHAPTER !!I,# How 6(& T&(st&am and 6(& 7(nadan came to a
lodg(ng w%e&e t%e+ m'st 3o'st w(t% two kn(g%ts#
T132 Sir Tristram and Sir (inadan rode forth their way till they came to the shepherds and to the
herdmen and there they asked them if they knew any lod!in! or harbour there ni!h hand. &orsooth
sirs said the herdmen hereby is !ood lod!in! in a castleC but there is such a custom that there shall no
kni!ht be harboured but if he $oust with two kni!hts and if he be but one kni!ht he must $oust with
two. And as ye be therein soon shall ye be matched. There is shrewd harbour said Sir (inadanC lod!e
where ye will for / will not lod!e there. &ie for shame said Sir Tristram are ye not a kni!ht of the
Table 0oundL wherefore ye may not with your worship refuse your lod!in!. 2ot so said the herdmen
for an ye be beaten and have the worse ye shall not be lod!ed there and if ye beat them ye shall be well
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harboured. Ah said Sir (inadan they are two sure kni!hts. Then Sir (inadan would not lod!e there in
no manner but as Sir Tristram reAuired him of his kni!hthoodC and so they rode thither. And to make
short tale Sir Tristram and Sir (inadan smote them down both and so they entered into the castle and
had !ood cheer as they could think or devise.
And when they were unarmed and thou!ht to be merry and in !ood rest there came in at the !ates
Sir #alomides and Sir %aheris reAuirin! to have the custom of the castle. 5hat array is thisL said Sir
(inadan / would have my rest. That may not be said Sir TristramC now must we needs defend the
custom of this castle insomuch as we have the better of the lords of this castle and therefore said Sir
Tristram needs must ye make you ready. /n the devil's name said Sir (inadan came / into your
company. And so they made them readyC and Sir %aheris encountered with Sir Tristram and Sir
%aheris had a fallC and Sir #alomides encountered with Sir (inadan and Sir (inadan had a fall+ then
was it fall for fall. So then must they fi!ht on foot. That would not Sir (inadan for he was so sore
bruised of the fall that Sir #alomides !ave him. Then Sir Tristram unlaced Sir (inadan's helm and
prayed him to help him. / will not said Sir (inadan for / am sore wounded of the thirty kni!hts that we
had but late a!o to do withal. But ye fare said Sir (inadan unto Sir Tristram as a madman and as a
man that is out of his mind that would cast himself away and / may curse the time that ever / saw you
for in all the world are not two such kni!hts that be so wood as is Sir Launcelot and ye Sir TristramC for
once / fell in the fellowship of Sir Launcelot as / have done now with you and he set me a work that a
Auarter of a year / kept my bed. Eesu defend me said Sir (