Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK I CHAPTER XIX

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 How King Arthur rode to Carlion, and of his dream,
 and how he saw the questing beast.
 THEN after the departing of King Ban and of King Bors, King
 Arthur rode into Carlion.  And thither came to him, King Lot's
 wife, of Orkney, in manner of a message, but she was sent thither
 to espy the court of King Arthur; and she came richly beseen,
 with her four sons, Gawaine, Gaheris, Agravine, and Gareth, with
 many other knights and ladies.  For she was a passing fair lady,
 therefore the king cast great love unto her, and desired to lie
 by her; so they were agreed, and he begat upon her Mordred, and
 she was his sister, on his mother's side, Igraine.  So there she
 rested her a month, and at the last departed.  Then the king
 dreamed a marvellous dream whereof he was sore adread.  But all
 this time King Arthur knew not that King Lot's wife was his
 sister.  Thus was the dream of Arthur:  Him thought there was
 come into this land griffins and serpents, and him thought they
 burnt and slew all the people in the land, and then him thought
 he fought with them, and they did him passing great harm, and
 wounded him full sore, but at the last he slew them.  When the
 king awaked, he was passing heavy of his dream, and so to put it
 out of thoughts, he made him ready with many knights to ride a-
 hunting.  As soon as he was in the forest the king saw a great
 hart afore him.  This hart will I chase, said King Arthur, and so
 he spurred the horse, and rode after long, and so by fine force
 oft he <36>was like to have smitten the hart; whereas the king
 had chased the hart so long, that his horse lost his breath, and
 fell down dead.  Then a yeoman fetched the king another horse.
 So the king saw the hart enbushed, and his horse dead, he set him
 down by a fountain, and there he fell in great thoughts.  And as
 he sat so, him thought he heard a noise of hounds, to the sum of
 thirty.  And with that the king saw coming toward him the
 strangest beast that ever he saw or heard of; so the beast went
 to the well and drank, and the noise was in the beast's belly
 like unto the questing of thirty couple hounds; but all the while
 the beast drank there was no noise in the beast's belly: and
 there.with the beast departed with a great noise, whereof the
 king had great marvel.  And so he was in a great thought, and
 therewith he fell asleep.  Right so there came a knight afoot
 unto Arthur and said, Knight full of thought and sleepy, tell me
 if thou sawest a strange beast pass this way.  Such one saw I,
 said King Arthur, that is past two mile; what would ye with the
 beast? said Arthur.  Sir, I have followed that beast long time,
 and killed mine horse, so would God I had another to follow my
 quest.  Right so came one with the king's horse, and when the
 knight saw the horse, he prayed the king to give him the horse:
 for I have followed this quest this twelvemonth, and either I
 shall achieve him, or bleed of the best blood of my body. 
 Pellinore, that time king, followed the Questing Beast, and after
 his death Sir Palamides followed it.