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How Sir Launcelot answered for the queen, and waged battle
against Sir Meliagrance; and how Sir Launcelot was
taken in a trap

WHAT array is this? said Sir Launcelot.  Then Sir Meliagrance
told them what he had found, and showed them
the queen's bed.  Truly, said Sir Launcelot, ye did not
your part nor knightly, to touch a queen's bed while it
was drawn, and she lying therein; for I dare say my lord
Arthur himself would not have displayed her curtains, she
being within her bed, unless that it had pleased him to
have lain down by her; and therefore ye have done
unworshipfully and shamefully to yourself.  I wot not
what ye mean, said Sir Meliagrance, but well I am sure
there hath one of her wounded knights lain by her this
night, and therefore I will prove with my hands that she
is a traitress unto my lord Arthur.  Beware what ye do,
said Launcelot, for an ye say so, an ye will prove it, it
will be taken at your hands.

My lord, Sir Launcelot, said Sir Meliagrance, I rede
you beware what ye do; for though ye are never so good
a knight, as ye wot well ye are renowned the best knight
of the world, yet should ye be advised to do battle in a
wrong quarrel, for God will have a stroke in every battle.
As for that, said Sir Launcelot, God is to be dread; but
as to that I say nay plainly, that this night there lay none
of these ten wounded knights with my lady Queen
Guenever, and that will I prove with my hands, that ye
say untruly in that now.  Hold, said Sir Meliagrance,
here is my glove that she is traitress unto my lord,
King Arthur, and that this night one of the wounded
knights lay with her.  And I receive your glove, said Sir
Launcelot.  And so they were sealed with their signets,
and delivered unto the ten knights.  At what day shall
we do battle together? said Sir Launcelot.  This day
ight days, said Sir Meliagrance, in the field beside
Westminster.  I am agreed, said Sir Launcelot.  But now, said
Sir Meliagrance, sithen it is so that we must fight together,
I pray you, as ye be a noble knight, await me with no
treason, nor none villainy the meanwhile, nor none for
you.  So God me help, said Sir Launcelot, ye shall right
well wit I was never of no such conditions, for I report
me to all knights that ever have known me, I fared never
with no treason, nor I loved never the fellowship of no
man that fared with treason.  Then let us go to dinner,
said Meliagrance, and after dinner ye and the queen and
ye may ride all to Westminster.  I will well, said Sir

Then Sir Meliagrance said to Sir Launcelot:  Pleaseth
it you to see the estures of this castle?  With a good
will, said Sir Launcelot.  And then they went together
from chamber to chamber, for Sir Launcelot dread no
perils; for ever a man of worship and of prowess dreadeth
least always perils, for they ween every man be as they
be; but ever he that fareth with treason putteth oft a man
in great danger.  So it befell upon Sir Launcelot that no
peril dread, as he went with Sir Meliagrance he trod on
a trap and the board rolled, and there Sir Launcelot fell
down more than ten fathom into a cave full of straw;
and then Sir Meliagrance departed and made no fare as
that he nist where he was.

And when Sir Launcelot was thus missed they marvelled
where he was become; and then the queen and many of
them deemed that he was departed as he was wont to do
suddenly.  For Sir Meliagrance made suddenly to put
away aside Sir Lavaine's horse, that they might all
understand that Sir Launcelot was departed suddenly.  So it
passed on till after dinner; and then Sir Lavaine would
not stint until that he ordained litters for the wounded
knights, that they might be laid in them; and so with the
queen and them all, both ladies and gentlewomen and other,
went unto Westminster; and there the knights told King
Arthur how Meliagrance had appealed the queen of high
treason, and how Sir Launcelot had received the glove of
him:  And this day eight days they shall do battle afore
you.  By my head, said King Arthur, I am afeard Sir
Meliagrance hath taken upon him a great charge; but
where is Sir Launcelot? said the king.  Sir, said they all,
we wot not where he is, but we deem he is ridden to some
adventures, as he is ofttimes wont to do, for he hath Sir
Lavaine's horse.  Let him be, said the king, he will be
founden, but if he be trapped with some treason.