Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK VI CHAPTER V

Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  BOOK VI  Previous  Next 


How a knight found Sir Launcelot lying in his leman's bed,
and how Sir Launcelot fought with the knight.

THEN within an hour there came the knight to whom the pavilion
ought, and he weened that his leman had lain in that bed, and so
he laid him down beside Sir Launcelot, and took him in his arms
and began to kiss him.  And when Sir Launcelot felt a rough beard
kissing him, he started out of the bed lightly, and the other
knight after him, and either of them gat their swords in their
hands, and out at the pavilion door went the knight of the
<182>pavilion, and Sir Launcelot followed him, and there by a
little slake Sir Launcelot wounded him sore, nigh unto the death. 
And then he yielded him unto Sir Launcelot, and so he granted
him, so that he would tell him why he came into the bed.  Sir,
said the knight, the pavilion is mine own, and there this night I
had assigned my lady to have slept with me, and now I am likely
to die of this wound.  That me repenteth, said Launcelot, of your
hurt, but I was adread of treason, for I was late beguiled, and
therefore come on your way into your pavilion and take your rest,
and as I suppose I shall staunch your blood.  And so they went
both into the pavilion, and anon Sir Launcelot staunched his

Therewithal came the knight's lady, that was a passing fair lady,
and when she espied that her lord Belleus was sore wounded, she
cried out on Sir Launcelot, and made great dole out of measure. 
Peace, my lady and my love, said Belleus, for this knight is a
good man, and a knight adventurous, and there he told her all the
cause how he was wounded; And when that I yielded me unto him, he
left me goodly and hath staunched my blood.  Sir, said the lady,
I require thee tell me what knight ye be, and what is your name? 
Fair lady, he said, my name is Sir Launcelot du Lake.  So me
thought ever by your speech, said the lady, for I have seen you
oft or this, and I know you better than ye ween.  But now an ye
would promise me of your courtesy, for the harms that ye have
done to me and my Lord Belleus, that when he cometh unto Arthur's
court for to cause him to be made knight of the Round Table, for
he is a passing good man of arms, and a mighty lord of lands of
many out isles.

Fair lady, said Sir Launcelot, let him come unto the court the
next high feast, and look that ye come with him, and I shall do
my power, an ye prove you doughty of your hands, that ye shall
have your desire.  So thus within a while, as they thus talked,
the night passed, and the day shone, and then Sir Launcelot armed
him, and took his horse, and they taught him to the Abbey, and
thither he rode within the space of two hours.<183>