Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK VII CHAPTER XIV

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CHAPTER XIV

How the lady that was besieged had word from her sister
how she had brought a knight to fight for her, and
what battles he had achieved.

SO the book saith that the lady that was besieged had word of her
sister's coming by the dwarf, and a knight with her, and how he
had passed all the perilous passages.  What manner a man is he?
said the lady.  He is a noble knight, truly, madam, said the
dwarf, and but a young man, but he is as likely a man as ever ye
saw any.  What is he? said the damosel, and of what kin is he
come, and <233>of whom was he made knight?  Madam, said the
dwarf, he is the king's son of Orkney, but his name I will not
tell you as at this time; but wit ye well, of Sir Launcelot was
he made knight, for of none other would he be made knight, and
Sir Kay named him Beaumains.  How escaped he, said the lady, from
the brethren of Persant?  Madam, he said, as a noble knight
should.  First, he slew two brethren at a passage of a water. 
Ah! said she, they were good knights, but they were murderers,
the one hight Gherard le Breuse, and the other knight hight Sir
Arnold le Breuse.  Then, madam, he recountered with the Black
Knight, and slew him in plain battle, and so he took his horse
and his armour and fought with the Green Knight and won him in
plain battle, and in like wise he served the Red Knight, and
after in the same wise he served the Blue Knight and won him in
plain battle.  Then, said the lady, he hath overcome Sir Persant
of Inde, one of the noblest knights of the world, and the dwarf
said, He hath won all the four brethren and slain the Black
Knight, and yet he did more to-fore: he overthrew Sir Kay and
left him nigh dead upon the ground; also he did a great battle
with Sir Launcelot, and there they departed on even hands: and
then Sir Launcelot made him knight.

Dwarf, said the lady, I am glad of these tidings, therefore go
thou in an hermitage of mine hereby, and there shalt thou bear
with thee of my wine in two flagons of silver, they are of two
gallons, and also two cast of bread with fat venison baked, and
dainty fowls; and a cup of gold here I deliver thee, that is rich
and precious; and bear all this to mine hermitage, and put it in
the hermit's hands.  And sithen go thou unto my sister and greet
her well, and commend me unto that gentle knight, and pray him to
eat and to drink and make him strong, and say ye him I thank him
of his courtesy and goodness, that he would take upon him such
labour for me that never did him bounty nor courtesy.  Also pray
him that he be of good heart and courage, for he shall meet with
a full noble knight, but he is neither of bounty, courtesy, nor
<234>gentleness; for he attendeth unto nothing but to murder, and
that is the cause I cannot praise him nor love him.

So this dwarf departed, and came to Sir Persant, where he found
the damosel Linet and Sir Beaumains, and there he told them all
as ye have heard; and then they took their leave, but Sir Persant
took an ambling hackney and conveyed them on their ways, and then
beleft them to God; and so within a little while they came to
that hermitage, and there they drank the wine, and ate the
venison and the fowls baken.  And so when they had repasted them
well, the dwarf returned again with his vessel unto the castle
again; and there met with him the Red Knight of the Red Launds,
and asked him from whence that he came, and where he had been. 
Sir, said the dwarf, I have been with my lady's sister of this
castle, and she hath been at King Arthur's court, and brought a
knight with her.  Then I account her travail but lost; for though
she had brought with her Sir Launcelot, Sir Tristram, Sir
Lamorak, or Sir Gawaine, I would think myself good enough for
them all.

It may well be, said the dwarf, but this knight hath passed all
the perilous passages, and slain the Black Knight and other two
more, and won the Green Knight, the Red Knight, and the Blue
Knight.  Then is he one of these four that I have afore
rehearsed.  He is none of those, said the dwarf, but he is a
king's son.  What is his name? said the Red Knight of the Red
Launds.  That will I not tell you, said the dwarf, but Sir Kay
upon scorn named him Beaumains.  I care not, said the knight,
what knight so ever he be, for I shall soon deliver him.  And if
I ever match him he shall have a shameful death as many other
have had.  That were pity, said the dwarf, and it is marvel that
ye make such shameful war upon noble knights.



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