Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK XX CHAPTER I

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How Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred were busy upon Sir
Gawaine for to disclose the love between Sir Launcelot
and Queen Guenever

IN May when every lusty heart flourisheth and bourgeoneth,
for as the season is lusty to behold and comfortable,
so man and woman rejoice and gladden of summer
coming with his fresh flowers: for winter with his rough
winds and blasts causeth a lusty man and woman to cower
and sit fast by the fire.  So in this season, as in the month
of May, it befell a great anger and unhap that stinted not
till the flower of chivalry of all the world was destroyed
and slain; and all was long upon two unhappy knights
the which were named Agravaine and Sir Mordred, that
were brethren unto Sir Gawaine.  For this Sir Agravaine
and Sir Mordred had ever a privy hate unto the queen
Dame Guenever and to Sir Launcelot, and daily and
nightly they ever watched upon Sir Launcelot.

So it mishapped, Sir Gawaine and all his brethren were in
King Arthur's chamber; and then Sir Agravaine said thus
openly, and not in no counsel, that many knights might
hear it:  I marvel that we all be not ashamed both to see
and to know how Sir Launcelot lieth daily and nightly by
the queen, and all we know it so; and it is shamefully
suffered of us all, that we all should suffer so noble a king
as King Arthur is so to be shamed.

Then spake Sir Gawaine, and said:  Brother Sir Agravaine,
I pray you and charge you move no such matters
no more afore me, for wit you well, said Sir Gawaine, I
will not be of your counsel.  So God me help, said Sir
Gaheris and Sir Gareth, we will not be knowing, brother
Agravaine, of your deeds.  Then will I, said Sir Mordred.
I lieve well that, said Sir Gawaine, for ever unto
all unhappiness, brother Sir Mordred, thereto will ye grant;
and I would that ye left all this, and made you not so
busy, for I know, said Sir Gawaine, what will fall of it.
Fall of it what fall may, said Sir Agravaine, I will disclose
it to the king.  Not by my counsel, said Sir Gawaine, for
an there rise war and wrack betwixt Sir Launcelot and us,
wit you well brother, there will many kings and great
lords hold with Sir Launcelot.  Also, brother Sir Agravaine,
said Sir Gawaine, ye must remember how ofttimes
Sir Launcelot hath rescued the king and the queen; and
the best of us all had been full cold at the heart-root had not
Sir Launcelot been better than we, and that hath he proved
himself full oft.  And as for my part, said Sir Gawaine, I
will never be against Sir Launcelot for one day's deed,
when he rescued me from King Carados of the Dolorous
Tower, and slew him, and saved my life.  Also, brother
Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred, in like wise Sir Launcelot
rescued you both, and threescore and two, from Sir
Turquin.  Methinketh brother, such kind deeds and kindness
should be remembered.  Do as ye list, said Sir Agravaine,
for I will lain it no longer.  With these words came to
them King Arthur.  Now brother, stint your noise, said
Sir Gawaine.  We will not, said Sir Agravaine and Sir
Mordred.  Will ye so? said Sir Gawaine; then God
speed you, for I will not hear your tales ne be of your
counsel.  No more will I, said Sir Gareth and Sir Gaheris,
for we will never say evil by that man; for because, said
Sir Gareth, Sir Launcelot made me knight, by no manner
owe I to say ill of him: and therewithal they three
departed, making great dole.  Alas, said Sir Gawaine and
Sir Gareth, now is this realm wholly mischieved, and the
noble fellowship of the Round Table shall be disparpled:
so they departed.