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How Sir Launcelot was wroth with the letter that he received
from King Mark, and of Dinadan which made a lay
of King Mark.

WHEN King Arthur understood the letter, he mused of
many things, and thought on his sister's words, Queen
Morgan le Fay, that she had said betwixt Queen Guenever
and Sir Launcelot.  And in this thought he studied a
great while.  Then he bethought him again how his sister
was his own enemy, and that she hated the queen and Sir
Launcelot, and so he put all that out of his thought.
Then King Arthur read the letter again, and the latter
clause said that King Mark took Sir Tristram for his
mortal enemy; wherefore he put Arthur out of doubt he
would be revenged of Sir Tristram.  Then was King
Arthur wroth with King Mark.  And when Queen
Guenever read her letter and understood it, she was wroth
out of measure, for the letter spake shame by her and by
Sir Launcelot.  And so privily she sent the letter unto Sir
Launcelot.  And when he wist the intent of the letter he
was so wroth that he laid him down on his bed to sleep,
whereof Sir Dinadan was ware, for it was his manner to be
privy with all good knights.  And as Sir Launcelot slept he
stole the letter out of his hand, and read it word by word.
And then he made great sorrow for anger.  And so Sir
Launcelot awaked, and went to a window, and read the
letter again, the which made him angry.

Sir, said Dinadan, wherefore be ye angry? discover
your heart to me: forsooth ye wot well I owe you good
will, howbeit I am a poor knight and a servitor unto you
and to all good knights.  For though I be not of worship
myself I love all those that be of worship.  It is truth, said
Sir Launcelot, ye are a trusty knight, and for great trust I
will shew you my counsel.  And when Dinadan understood
all, he said:  This is my counsel: set you right nought by
these threats, for King Mark is so villainous, that by fair
speech shall never man get of him.  But ye shall see what
I shall do; I will make a lay for him, and when it is made
I shall make an harper to sing it afore him.  So anon he
went and made it, and taught it an harper that hight Eliot.
And when he could it, he taught it to many harpers.  And
so by the will of Sir Launcelot, and of Arthur, the harpers
went straight into Wales, and into Cornwall, to sing the
lay that Sir Dinadan made by King Mark, the which was
the worst lay that ever harper sang with harp or with any
other instruments.