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How Sir Launcelot jousted against four knights of the
Round Table and overthrew them.

SO Sir Launcelot rode into a deep forest, and thereby in a slade,
he saw four knights hoving under an oak, and they were of
Arthur's court, one was Sir Sagramour le Desirous, and Ector de
Maris, and Sir Gawaine, and Sir Uwaine.  Anon as these four
knights had espied Sir Launcelot, they weened by his arms it had
been Sir Kay.  Now by my faith, said Sir Sagramour, I will prove
Sir Kay's might, and gat his spear in his hand, and came toward
Sir Launcelot.  Therewith Sir Launcelot was ware and knew him
well, and feutred his spear against him, and smote Sir Sagramour
so sore that horse and man fell both to the earth.  Lo, my
fellows, said he, yonder ye may see what a buffet he hath; that
knight is much bigger than ever was Sir Kay.  Now shall ye see
what I may do to him.  So Sir Ector gat his spear in his hand and
walloped toward Sir Launcelot, and Sir Launcelot smote him
through the shield and shoulder, that man and horse went to the
earth, and ever his spear held.

By my faith, said Sir Uwaine, yonder is a strong knight, and I am
sure he hath slain Sir Kay; and I see by his great strength it
will be hard to match him.  And therewithal, Sir Uwaine gat his
spear in his hand and rode toward Sir Launcelot, and Sir
Launcelot knew him well, and so he met him on the plain, and gave
him such a buffet that he was astonied, that long he wist not
where he was.  Now see I well, said Sir Gawaine, I must encounter
with that knight.  Then he dressed his shield and gat a good
spear in his hand, and Sir Launcelot knew him well; and then they
let run their horses with all their mights, and either knight
smote other in midst of the shield.  But Sir Gawaine's spear to-
brast, and Sir Launcelot charged so sore upon him that his horse
<199>reversed up-so-down.  And much sorrow had Sir Gawaine to
avoid his horse, and so Sir Launcelot passed on a pace and
smiled, and said, God give him joy that this spear made, for
there came never a better in my hand.

Then the four knights went each one to other and comforted each
other.  What say ye by this guest? said Sir Gawaine, that one
spear hath felled us all four.  We commend him unto the devil,
they said all, for he is a man of great might.  Ye may well say
it, said Sir Gawaine, that he is a man of might, for I dare lay
my head it is Sir Launcelot, I know it by his riding.  Let him
go, said Sir Gawaine, for when we come to the court then shall we
wit; and then had they much sorrow to get their horses again.