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How Sir Launcelot departed from the king and from Joyous
Gard over seaward, and what knights went with him

THEN Sir Launcelot sighed, and therewith the tears fell
on his cheeks, and then he said thus:  Alas, most noble
Christian realm, whom I have loved above all other realms,
and in thee I have gotten a great part of my worship, and
now I shall depart in this wise.  Truly me repenteth that
ever I came in this realm, that should be thus shamefully
banished, undeserved and causeless; but fortune is so
variant, and the wheel so moveable, there nis none
constant abiding, and that may be proved by many old
chronicles, of noble Ector, and Troilus, and Alisander,
the mighty conqueror, and many mo other; when
they were most in their royalty, they alighted lowest.
And so fareth it by me, said Sir Launcelot, for in this
realm I had worship, and by me and mine all the whole
Round Table hath been increased more in worship, by me
and mine blood, than by any other.  And therefore wit
thou well, Sir Gawaine, I may live upon my lands as well
as any knight that here is.  And if ye, most redoubted
king, will come upon my lands with Sir Gawaine to war
upon me, I must endure you as well as I may.  But as
to you, Sir Gawaine, if that ye come there, I pray you
charge me not with treason nor felony, for an ye do, I
must answer you.  Do thou thy best, said Sir Gawaine;
therefore hie thee fast that thou were gone, and wit thou
well we shall soon come after, and break the strongest
castle that thou hast, upon thy head.  That shall not
need, said Sir Launcelot, for an I were as orgulous set as
ye are, wit you well I should meet you in midst of the
field.  Make thou no more language, said Sir Gawaine,
but deliver the queen from thee, and pike thee lightly out
of this court.  Well, said Sir Launcelot, an I had wist of
this short coming, I would have advised me twice or that
I had come hither; for an the queen had been so dear to
me as ye noise her, I durst have kept her from the fellowship
of the best knights under heaven.

And then Sir Launcelot said unto Guenever, in hearing
of the king and them all:  Madam, now I must
depart from you and this noble fellowship for ever; and
sithen it is so, I beseech you to pray for me, and say me
well; and if ye be hard bestead by any false tongues,
lightly my lady send me word, and if any knight's hands
may deliver you by battle, I shall deliver you.  And
therewithal Sir Launcelot kissed the queen; and then he
said all openly .  Now let see what he be in this place that
dare say the queen is not true unto my lord Arthur, let
see who will speak an he dare speak.  And therewith he
brought the queen to the king, and then Sir Launcelot
took his leave and departed; and there was neither king,
duke, nor earl, baron nor knight, lady nor gentlewoman,
but all they wept as people out of their mind, except Sir
Gawaine.  And when the noble Sir Launcelot took his
horse to ride out of Carlisle, there was sobbing and weeping
for pure dole of his departing; and so he took his
way unto Joyous Gard.  And then ever after he called it
the Dolorous Gard.  And thus departed Sir Launcelot
from the court for ever.

And so when he came to Joyous Gard he called his
fellowship unto him, and asked them what they would do
Then they answered all wholly together with one voice
they would as he would do.  My fair fellows, said Sir
Launcelot, I must depart out of this most noble realm,
and now I shall depart it grieveth me sore, for I shall
depart with no worship, for a flemed man departed never
out of a realm with no worship; and that is my heaviness,
for ever I fear after my days that men shall chronicle upon
me that I was flemed out of this land; and else, my fair
lords, be ye sure, an I had not dread shame, my lady,
Queen Guenever, and I should never have departed.

Then spake many noble knights, as Sir Palomides, Sir
Safere his brother, and Sir Bellingere le Beuse, and Sir
Urre, with Sir Lavaine, with many others:  Sir, an ye be
so disposed to abide in this land we will never fail you;
and if ye list not to abide in this land there nis none of
the good knights that here be will fail you, for many
causes.  One is, all we that be not of your blood shall
never be welcome to the court.  And sithen it liked us to
take a part with you in your distress and heaviness in this
realm, wit you well it shall like us as well to go in other
countries with you, and there to take such part as ye do.
My fair lords, said Sir Launcelot, I well understand you,
and as I can, thank you: and ye shall understand, such
livelihood as I am born unto I shall depart with you in
this manner of wise; that is for to say, I shall depart all
my livelihood and all my lands freely among you, and I
myself will have as little as any of you, for have I
sufficient that may long to my person, I will ask none other
rich array; and I trust to God to maintain you on my
lands as well as ever were maintained any knights.  Then
spake all the knights at once:  He have shame that will
leave you; for we all understand in this realm will be now
no quiet, but ever strife and debate, now the fellowship of
the Round Table is broken; for by the noble fellowship
of the Round Table was King Arthur upborne, and by
their noblesse the king and all his realm was in quiet and
rest, and a great part they said all was because of your