Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK XX CHAPTER V

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How Sir Launcelot came to Sir Bors, and told him how he
had sped, and in what adventure he had been, and how
he had escaped

WHEN Sir Bors saw Sir Launcelot he was never so glad of
his home-coming as he was then.  Jesu mercy, said Sir
Launcelot, why be ye all armed: what meaneth this?
Sir, said Sir Bors, after ye were departed from us, we all
that be of your blood and your well-willers were so
dretched that some of us leapt out of our beds naked,
and some in their dreams caught naked swords in their
hands; therefore, said Sir Bors, we deem there is some
great strife at hand; and then we all deemed that ye were
betrapped with some treason, and therefore we made us
thus ready, what need that ever ye were in.

My fair nephew, said Sir Launcelot unto Sir Bors,
now shall ye wit all, that this night I was more harder
bestead than ever I was in my life, and yet I escaped.
And so he told them all how and in what manner, as ye
have heard to-fore.  And therefore, my fellows, said Sir
Launcelot, I pray you all that ye will be of good heart in
what need somever I stand, for now is war come to us all.
Sir, said Bors, all is welcome that God sendeth us, and we
have had much weal with you and much worship, and
therefore we will take the woe with you as we have taken
the weal.  And therefore, they said all (there were many
good knights), look ye take no discomfort, for there nis
no bands of knights under heaven but we shall be able to
grieve them as much as they may us.  And therefore discomfort
not yourself by no manner, and we shall gather
together that we love, and that loveth us, and what that
ye will have done shall be done.  And therefore, Sir
Launcelot, said they, we will take the woe with the weal.
Grant mercy, said Sir Launcelot, of your good comfort,
for in my great distress, my fair nephew, ye comfort me
greatly, and much I am beholding unto you.  But this,
my fair nephew, I would that ye did in all haste that ye
may, or it be forth days, that ye will look in their lodging
that be lodged here nigh about the king, which will hold
with me, and which will not, for now I would know which
were my friends from my foes.  Sir, said Sir Bors, I shall
do my pain, and or it be seven of the clock I shall wit of
such as ye have said before, who will hold with you.

Then Sir Bors called unto him Sir Lionel, Sir Ector de
Maris, Sir Blamore de Ganis, Sir Bleoberis de Ganis, Sir
Gahalantine, Sir Galihodin, Sir Galihud, Sir Menadeuke
Sir Villiers the Valiant, Sir Hebes le Renoumes, Sir Lavaine
Sir Urre of Hungary, Sir Nerounes, Sir Plenorius.  These
two knights Sir Launcelot made, and the one he won upon
a bridge, and therefore they would never be against him.
And Harry le Fise du Lake, and Sir Selises of the Dolorous Tower,
and Sir Melias de Lile, and Sir Bellangere le
Beuse, that was Sir Alisander's son Le Orphelin, because
his mother Alice le Beale Pellerin and she was kin unto
Sir Launcelot, and he held with him.  So there came Sir
Palomides and Sir Safere, his brother, to hold with Sir
Launcelot, and Sir Clegis of Sadok, and Sir Dinas,
Sir Clarius of Cleremont.  So these two-and-twenty
knights drew them together, and by then they were
armed on horseback, and promised Sir Launcelot to do
what he would.  Then there fell to them, what of North
Wales and of Cornwall, for Sir Lamorak's sake and
for Sir Tristram's sake, to the number of a fourscore

My lords, said Sir Launcelot, wit you well, I have been
ever since I came into this country well willed unto my
lord, King Arthur, and unto my lady, Queen Guenever,
unto my power; and this night because my lady the queen
sent for me to speak with her, I suppose it was made by
treason, howbeit I dare largely excuse her person,
notwithstanding I was there by a forecast near slain, but as Jesu
provided me I escaped all their malice and treason.  And
then that noble knight Sir Launcelot told them all how he
was hard bestead in the queen's chamber, and how and in
what manner he escaped from them.  And therefore, said
Sir Launcelot, wit you well, my fair lords, I am sure there
nis but war unto me and mine.  And for because I have
slain this night these knights, I wot well, as is Sir Agravaine
Sir Gawaine's brother, and at the least twelve of his fellows,
for this cause now I am sure of mortal war, for these
knights were sent and ordained by King Arthur to betray
me.  And therefore the king will in his heat and malice
judge the queen to the fire, and that may I not suffer, that
she should be brent for my sake; for an I may be heard
and suffered and so taken, I will fight for the queen, that
she is a true lady unto her lord; but the king in his heat
I dread me will not take me as I ought to be taken.