Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK V CHAPTER VI

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How King Arthur sent Sir Gawaine and other to Lucius,
and how they were assailed and escaped with worship.

THEN the king did do call Sir Gawaine, Sir Bors, Sir Lionel, and
Sir Bedivere, and commanded them to go straight to Sir Lucius,
and say ye to him that hastily he remove out of my land; and if
he will not, bid him make him ready to battle and not distress
the poor people.  Then anon these noble knights dressed them to
horseback, and when they came to the green wood, they saw many
pavilions set in a meadow, of silk of divers colours, beside a
river, and the emperor's pavilion was in the middle with an eagle
displayed above.  To the which tent our knights rode toward, and
ordained Sir Gawaine and Sir Bors to do the message, and left in
a bushment Sir Lionel and Sir Bedivere.  And then Sir Gawaine and
Sir Bors did their message, and commanded Lucius, in Arthur's
name to avoid his land, or shortly to address him to battle.  To
whom Lucius answered and said, Ye shall return to your lord, and
say ye to him that I shall subdue him and all his lands.  Then
Sir Gawaine was wroth and said, I had liefer than all France
fight against thee; and so had I, said Sir Bors, liefer than all
Brittany or Burgoyne.

Then a knight named Sir Gainus, nigh cousin to the emperor, said,
Lo, how these Britons be full of pride and boast, and they brag
as though they bare up all the world.  Then Sir Gawaine was sore
grieved with these words, and pulled out his sword and smote off
his head.  And therewith turned their horses and rode over waters
and through woods till they came to their bushment, whereas Sir
Lionel and Sir Bedivere were hoving.  The Romans followed fast
after, on horseback and on foot, over a champaign unto a wood;
then Sir Bors turned his horse and saw a knight come fast on,
whom he smote through the body with a spear that he fell dead
down to the earth; then came Caliburn one of the strongest of
Pavie, and smote down many of Arthur's knights.  And when Sir
Bors saw him do so much harm, he addressed toward him, and smote
him through the breast, that he fell down dead to the earth. 
Then Sir Feldenak thought to revenge the death of Gainus upon Sir
Gawaine, but Sir Gawaine was ware thereof, and smote him on the
head, which stroke stinted not till it came to his breast.  And
then he returned and came to his fellows in the bushment.  And
there was a recounter, for the bushment brake on the Romans, and
slew and hew down the Romans, and forced the Romans to flee and
return, whom the noble knights chased unto their tents.

Then the Romans gathered more people, and also footmen came on,
and there was a new battle, and so much people that Sir Bors and
Sir Berel were taken.  But when Sir Gawaine saw that, he took
with him Sir Idrus the good knight, and said he would never see
King Arthur but if he rescued them, and pulled out Galatine his
good sword, and followed them that led those two knights away;
and he smote him that led Sir Bors, and took Sir Bors from him
and delivered him to his fellows.  And Sir Idrus in likewise
rescued Sir Berel.  Then began the battle to be great, that our
knights were in great jeopardy, wherefore Sir Gawaine sent to
King Arthur for succour, and that he hie him, for I am sore
wounded, and that our prisoners may pay goods out of number.  And
the messenger came <161>to the king and told him his message. 
And anon the king did do assemble his army, but anon, or he
departed the prisoners were come, and Sir Gawaine and his fellows
gat the field and put the Romans to flight, and after returned
and came with their fellowship in such wise that no man of
worship was lost of them, save that Sir Gawaine was sore hurt. 
Then the king did do ransack his wounds and comforted him.  And
thus was the beginning of the first journey of the Britons and
Romans, and there were slain of the Romans more than ten
thousand, and great joy and mirth was made that night in the host
of King Arthur.  And on the morn he sent all the prisoners into
Paris under the guard of Sir Launcelot, with many knights, and of
Sir Cador.