Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK XX CHAPTER II

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 How Sir Agravaine disclosed their love to King Arthur,
 and how King Arthur gave them licence to take him
 AND then Sir Arthur asked them what noise they made.
 My lord, said Agravaine, I shall tell you that I may keep
 no longer.  Here is I, and my brother Sir Mordred,
 brake unto my brothers Sir Gawaine, Sir Gaheris, and to
 Sir Gareth, how this we know all, that Sir Launcelot
 holdeth your queen, and hath done long; and we be your
 sister's sons, and we may suffer it no longer, and all we
 wot that ye should be above Sir Launcelot; and ye are
 the king that made him knight, and therefore we will
 prove it, that he is a traitor to your person.
 If it be so, said Sir Arthur, wit you well he is none
 other, but I would be loath to begin such a thing but I
 might have proofs upon it; for Sir Launcelot is an hardy
 knight, and all ye know he is the best knight among us
 all; and but if he be taken with the deed, he will fight
 with him that bringeth up the noise, and I know no
 knight that is able to match him.  Therefore an it be
 sooth as ye say, I would he were taken with the deed.
 For as the French book saith, the king was full loath
 thereto, that any noise should be upon Sir Launcelot and
 his queen; for the king had a deeming, but he would not
 hear of it, for Sir Launcelot had done so much for him
 and the queen so many times, that wit ye well the king
 loved him passingly well.  My lord, said Sir Agravaine,
 ye shall ride to-morn a-hunting, and doubt ye not Sir
 Launcelot will not go with you.  Then when it draweth
 toward night, ye may send the queen word that ye will lie
 out all that night, and so may ye send for your cooks,
 and then upon pain of death we shall take him that night
 with the queen, and outher we shall bring him to you
 dead or quick.  I will well, said the king; then I counsel
 you, said the king, take with you sure fellowship.  Sir,
 said Agravaine, my brother, Sir Mordred, and I, will take
 with us twelve knights of the Round Table.  Beware,
 said King Arthur, for I warn you ye shall find him wight.
 Let us deal, said Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred.
 So on the morn King Arthur rode a-hunting, and sent
 word to the queen that he would be out all that night.
 Then Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred gat to them twelve
 knights, and hid themself in a chamber in the Castle of
 Carlisle, and these were their names: Sir Colgrevance, Sir
 Mador de la Porte, Sir Gingaline, Sir Meliot de Logris,
 Sir Petipase of Winchelsea, Sir Galleron of Galway, Sir
 Melion of the Mountain, Sir Astamore, Sir Gromore
 Somir Joure, Sir Curselaine, Sir Florence, Sir Lovel.  So
 these twelve knights were with Sir Mordred and Sir
 Agravaine, and all they were of Scotland, outher of Sir
 Gawaine's kin, either well-willers to his brethren.
 So when the night came, Sir Launcelot told Sir Bors
 how he would go that night and speak with the queen.
 Sir, said Sir Bors, ye shall not go this night by my counsel.
 Why? said Sir Launcelot.  Sir, said Sir Bors, I dread me
 ever of Sir Agravaine, that waiteth you daily to do you
 shame and us all; and never gave my heart against no
 going, that ever ye went to the queen, so much as now;
 for I mistrust that the king is out this night from the
 queen because peradventure he hath lain some watch for
 you and the queen, and therefore I dread me sore of
 treason.  Have ye no dread, said Sir Launcelot, for I
 shall go and come again, and make no tarrying.  Sir, said
 Sir Bors, that me repenteth, for I dread me sore that your
 going out this night shall wrath us all.  Fair nephew,
 said Sir Launcelot, I marvel much why ye say thus, sithen
 the queen hath sent for me; and wit ye well I will not be
 so much a coward, but she shall understand I will see her
 good grace.  God speed you well, said Sir Bors, and send
 you sound and safe again.