Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK XIX CHAPTER V

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How Sir Meliagrance required forgiveness of the queen, and
how she appeased Sir Launcelot; and other matters

WHEN Sir Meliagrance heard that Sir Launcelot was there
he ran unto Queen Guenever, and fell upon his knee, and
said:  Mercy, madam, now I put me wholly into your
grace.  What aileth you now? said Queen Guenever;
forsooth I might well wit some good knight would revenge
me, though my lord Arthur wist not of this your work.
Madam, said Sir Meliagrance, all this that is amiss on my
part shall be amended right as yourself will devise, and
wholly I put me in your grace.  What would ye that I
did? said the queen.  I would no more, said Meliagrance,
but that ye would take all in your own hands, and that ye
will rule my lord Sir Launcelot; and such cheer as may
be made him in this poor castle ye and he shall have until
to-morn, and then may ye and all they return unto Westminster;
and my body and all that I have I shall put in your
rule.  Ye say well, said the queen, and better is peace than
ever war, and the less noise the more is my worship.

Then the queen and her ladies went down unto the
knight, Sir Launcelot, that stood wroth out of measure in
the inner court, to abide battle; and ever he bade:  Thou
traitor knight come forth.  Then the queen came to him
and said:  Sir Launcelot, why be ye so moved? Ha,
madam, said Sir Launcelot, why ask ye me that question?
Meseemeth, said Sir Launcelot, ye ought to be more wroth
than I am, for ye have the hurt and the dishonour, for wit
ye well, madam, my hurt is but little for the killing of a
mare's son, but the despite grieveth me much more than
all my hurt.  Truly, said the queen, ye say truth; but
heartily I thank you, said the queen, but ye must come in
with me peaceably, for all thing is put in my hand, and all
that is evil shall be for the best, for the knight full sore
repenteth him of the misadventure that is befallen him.
Madam, said Sir Launcelot, sith it is so that ye been
accorded with him, as for me I may not be again it,
howbeit Sir Meliagrance hath done full shamefully to me,
and cowardly.  Ah madam, said Sir Launcelot, an I had
wist ye would have been so soon accorded with him I
would not have made such haste unto you.  Why say ye
so, said the queen, do ye forthink yourself of your good
deeds?  Wit you well, said the queen, I accorded never
unto him for favour nor love that I had unto him, but
for to lay down every shameful noise.  Madam, said Sir
Launcelot, ye understand full well I was never willing nor
glad of shameful slander nor noise; and there is neither
king, queen, nor knight, that beareth the life, except my
lord King Arthur, and you, madam, should let me, but I
should make Sir Meliagrance's heart full cold or ever I
departed from hence.  That wot I well, said the queen,
but what will ye more? Ye shall have all thing ruled as
ye list to have it.  Madam, said Sir Launcelot, so ye be
pleased I care not, as for my part ye shall soon please.

Right so the queen took Sir Launcelot by the bare
hand, for he had put off his gauntlet, and so she went
with him till her chamber; and then she commanded him
to be unarmed.  And then Sir Launcelot asked where
were the ten knights that were wounded sore; so she
showed them unto Sir Launcelot, and there they made
great joy of the coming of him, and Sir Launcelot made
great dole of their hurts, and bewailed them greatly.  And
there Sir Launcelot told them how cowardly and traitorly
Meliagrance set archers to slay his horse, and how he was
fain to put himself in a chariot.  Thus they complained
everych to other; and full fain they would have been
revenged, but they peaced themselves because of the queen.
Then, as the French book saith, Sir Launcelot was called
many a day after le Chevaler du Chariot, and did many
deeds, and great adventures he had.  And so leave we of
this tale le Chevaler du Chariot, and turn we to this tale.

So Sir Launcelot had great cheer with the queen, and
then Sir Launcelot made a promise with the queen that the
same night Sir Launcelot should come to a window outward
toward a garden; and that window was y-barred with
iron, and there Sir Launcelot promised to meet her when
all folks were asleep.  So then came Sir Lavaine driving
to the gates, crying:  Where is my lord, Sir Launcelot du
Lake?  Then was he sent for, and when Sir Lavaine saw
Sir Launcelot, he said:  My lord, I found well how ye
were hard bestead, for I have found your horse that was
slain with arrows.  As for that, said Sir Launcelot, I pray
you, Sir Lavaine, speak ye of other matters, and let ye
this pass, and we shall right it another time when we
best may.