Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK XX CHAPTER Ill

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 How Sir Launcelot was espied in the queen's chamber, and
 how Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred came with twelve
 knights to slay him
 SO Sir Launcelot departed, and took his sword under his arm,
 and so in his mantle that noble knight put himself in great
 Jeopardy; and so he passed till he came to the queen's
 chamber, and then Sir Launcelot was lightly put into the
 chamber.  And then, as the French book saith, the queen
 and Launcelot were together.  And whether they were
 abed or at other manner of disports, me list not hereof
 make no mention, for love that time was not as is now-a-days.
 But thus as they were together, there came Sir
 Agravaine and Sir Mordred, with twelve knights with
 them of the Round Table, and they said with crying
 voice:  Traitor-knight, Sir Launcelot du Lake, now art
 thou taken.  And thus they cried with a loud voice, that
 all the court might hear it; and they all fourteen were
 armed at all points as they should fight in a battle.  Alas
 said Queen Guenever, now are we mischieved both
 Madam, said Sir Launcelot, is there here any armour
 within your chamber, that I might cover my poor body
 withal?  An if there be any give it me, and I shall soon
 stint their malice, by the grace of God.  Truly, said the
 queen, I have none armour, shield, sword, nor spear;
 wherefore I dread me sore our long love is come to a
 mischievous end, for I hear by their noise there be many
 noble knights, and well I wot they be surely armed, and
 against them ye may make no resistance.  Wherefore ye
 are likely to be slain, and then shall I be brent.  For an
 ye might escape them, said the queen, I would not doubt
 but that ye would rescue me in what danger that ever I
 stood in.  Alas, said Sir Launcelot, in all my life thus
 was I never bestead, that I should be thus shamefully
 slain for lack of mine armour.
 But ever in one Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred cried:
 Traitor-knight, come out of the queen's chamber, for wit
 thou well thou art so beset that thou shalt not escape.
 O Jesu mercy, said Sir Launcelot, this shameful cry and
 noise I may not suffer, for better were death at once than
 thus to endure this pain.  Then he took the queen in his
 arms, and kissed her, and said:  Most noble Christian
 queen, I beseech you as ye have been ever my special good
 lady, and I at all times your true poor knight unto my
 power, and as I never failed you in right nor in wrong
 sithen the first day King Arthur made me knight, that ye
 will pray for my soul if that I here be slain; for well I
 am assured that Sir Bors, my nephew, and all the remnant
 of my kin, with Sir Lavaine and Sir Urre, that they will
 not fail you to rescue you from the fire; and therefore, mine
 own lady, recomfort yourself, whatsomever come of me,
 that ye go with Sir Bors, my nephew, and Sir Urre, and
 they all will do you all the pleasure that they can or may,
 that ye shall live like a queen upon my lands.  Nay,
 Launcelot, said the queen, wit thou well I will never live
 after thy days, but an thou be slain I will take my death
 as meekly for Jesu Christ's sake as ever did any Christian
 queen.  Well, madam, said I-auncelot, sith it is so that
 the day is come that our love must depart, wit you well I
 shall sell my life as dear as I may; and a thousandfold,
 said Sir Launcelot, I am more heavier for you than for
 myself.  And now I had liefer than to be lord of all
 Christendom, that I had sure armour upon me, that men
 might speak of my deeds or ever I were slain.  Truly,
 said the queen, I would an it might please God that they
 would take me and slay me, and suffer you to escape.
 That shall never be, said Sir Launcelot, God defend me
 from such a shame, but Jesu be Thou my shield and mine