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How at the day Sir Bors made him ready for to fight for the
queen; and when he would fight how another discharged

THE day came on fast until the even that the battle
should be.  Then the queen sent for Sir Bors and asked
him how he was disposed.  Truly madam, said he, I am
disposed in likewise as I promised you, that is for to say
I shall not fail you, unless by adventure there come a
better knight than I am to do battle for you, then,
madam, am I discharged of my promise.  Will ye, said
the queen, that I tell my lord Arthur thus?  Do as
it shall please you, madam.  Then the queen went unto
the king and told him the answer of Sir Bors.  Have ye
no doubt, said the king, of Sir Bors, for I call him now
one of the best knights of the world, and the most
profitablest man.  And thus it passed on until the morn, and
the king and the queen and all manner of knights that
were there at that time drew them unto the meadow
beside Westminster where the battle should be.  And
so when the king was come with the queen and many
knights of the Round Table, then the queen was put
there in the Constable's ward, and a great fire made about
an iron stake, that an Sir Mador de la Porte had the
better, she should be burnt: such custom was used in
those days, that neither for favour, neither for love nor
affinity, there should be none other but righteous
judgment, as well upon a king as upon a knight, and as well
upon a queen as upon another poor lady.

So in this meanwhile came in Sir Mador de la Porte,
and took his oath afore the king, that the queen did this
treason until his cousin Sir Patrise, and unto his oath he
would prove it with his body, hand for hand, who that
would say the contrary.  Right so came in Sir Bors de
Ganis, and said:  That as for Queen Guenever she is in
the right, and that will I make good with my hands that
she is not culpable of this treason that is put upon her.
Then make thee ready, said Sir Mador, and we shall prove
whether thou be in the right or I.  Sir Mador, said Sir
Bors, wit thou well I know you for a good knight.  Not
for then I shall not fear you so greatly, but I trust to God
I shall be able to withstand your malice.  But this much
have I promised my lord Arthur and my lady the queen,
that I shall do battle for her in this case to the uttermost,
unless that there come a better knight than I am and
discharge me.  Is that all? said Sir Mador, either come thou
off and do battle with me, or else say nay.  Take your
horse, said Sir Bors, and as I suppose, ye shall not tarry
long but ye shall be answered.

Then either departed to their tents and made them
ready to horseback as they thought best.  And anon Sir
Mador came into the field with his shield on his shoulder
and his spear in his hand; and so rode about the place
crying unto Arthur:  Bid your champion come forth an
he dare.  Then was Sir Bors ashamed and took his horse
and came to the lists' end.  And then was he ware where
came from a wood there fast by a knight all armed, upon
a white horse, with a strange shield of strange arms; and
he came riding all that he might run, and so he came to
Sir Bors, and said thus:  Fair knight, I pray you be not
displeased, for here must a better knight than ye are have
this battle, therefore I pray you withdraw you.  For wit
ye well I have had this day a right great journey, and this
battle ought to be mine, and so I promised you when I
spake with you last, and with all my heart I thank you
of your good will.  Then Sir Bors rode unto King Arthur
and told him how there was a knight come that would
have the battle for to fight for the queen.  What knight
is he? said the king.  I wot not, said Sir Bors, but such
covenant he made with me to be here this day.  Now my
lord, said Sir Bors, here am I discharged.