Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK IX CHAPTER VI

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How Sir Launcelot fought with six knights, and after
with Sir Brian, and how he delivered the prisoners.

AH, said Sir Launcelot, that knight is my fellow, and him shall I
rescue or else I shall lose my life therefore.  And therewithal
he rode fast till he came before the Castle of Pendragon; and
anon therewithal there came six knights, and all made them ready
to set upon Sir Launcelot at once; then Sir Launcelot feutred his
spear, and smote the <361>foremost that he brake his back in-
sunder, and three of them hit and three failed.  And then Sir
Launcelot passed through them, and lightly he turned in again,
and smote another knight through the breast and throughout the
back more than an ell, and therewithal his spear brake.  So then
all the remnant of the four knights 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, passing sore wounded; and forthwithal he rode hurling
into that castle.

And anon the lord of the castle, that was that time cleped Sir
Brian de les Isles, the which was a noble man and a great enemy
unto King Arthur, within a while he was armed and upon horseback. 
And then they feutred their spears and hurled together so
strongly that both their horses rashed to the earth.  And then
they avoided their saddles, and dressed their shields, and drew
their swords, and flang together as wood men, and there were many
strokes given in a while.  At the last Sir Launcelot gave to Sir
Brian such a buffet that he kneeled upon his knees, and then Sir
Launcelot rashed upon him, and with great force he pulled off his
helm; and when Sir Brian saw that he should be slain he yielded
him, and put him in his mercy and in his grace.  Then Sir
Launcelot made him to deliver all his prisoners that he had
within his castle, and therein Sir Launcelot found of Arthur's
knights thirty, and forty ladies, and so he delivered them; and
then he rode his way.  And anon as La Cote Male Taile was
delivered he gat his horse, and his harness, and his damosel

The meanwhile Sir Nerovens, that Sir Launcelot had foughten
withal afore at the bridge, he sent a damosel after Sir Launcelot
to wit how he sped at the Castle of Pendragon.  And then they
within the castle marvelled what knight he was, when Sir Brian
and his knights delivered all those prisoners.  Have ye no
marvel, said the damosel, for the best knight in this world was
here, and did this journey, and wit ye well, she said, it was Sir
Launcelot.  Then was Sir Brian full glad, and so was his
<362>lady, and all his knights, that such a man should win them. 
And when the damosel and La Cote 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 passing heavy.