Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK V CHAPTER XII

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How Sir Gawaine returned to King Arthur with his prisoners,
and how the King won a city, and how he was crowned Emperor.

NOW thanked be God, said the noble King Arthur.  But what manner
man is he that standeth by himself, him seemeth no prisoner. 
Sir, said Gawaine, this is a good man of arms, he hath matched
me, but he is yielden unto <172>God, and to me, for to become
Christian; had not he have been we should never have returned,
wherefore I pray you that he may be baptised, for there liveth
not a nobler man nor better knight of his hands.  Then the king
let him anon be christened, and did do call him his first name
Priamus, and made him a duke and knight of the Table Round.  And
then anon the king let do cry assault to the city, and there was
rearing of ladders, breaking of walls, and the ditch filled, that
men with little pain might enter into the city.  Then came out a
duchess, and Clarisin the countess, with many ladies and
damosels, and kneeling before King Arthur, required him for the
love of God to receive the city, and not to take it by assault,
for then should many guiltless be slain.  Then the king avaled
his visor with a meek and noble countenance, and said, Madam,
there shall none of my subjects misdo you nor your maidens, nor
to none that to you belong, but the duke shall abide my judgment. 
Then anon the king commanded to leave the assault, and anon the
duke's oldest son brought out the keys, and kneeling delivered
them to the king, and besought him of grace; and the king seized
the town by assent of his lords, and took the duke and sent him
to Dover, there for to abide prisoner term of his life, and
assigned certain rents for the dower of the duchess and for her

Then he made lords to rule those lands, and laws as a lord ought
to do in his own country; and after he took his journey toward
Rome, and sent Sir Floris and Sir Floridas to-fore, with five
hundred men of arms, and they came to the city of Urbino and laid
there a bushment, thereas them seemed most best for them, and
rode to-fore the town, where anon issued out much people and
skirmished with the fore-riders.  Then brake out the bushment and
won the bridge, and after the town, and set upon the walls the
king's banner.  Then came the king upon an hill, and saw the city
and his banner on the walls, by which he knew that the city was
won.  And anon he sent and commanded that none of his liege men
should defoul nor lie by no lady, wife nor maid; and when he came
<173>into the city, he passed to the castle, and comforted them
that were in sorrow, and ordained there a captain, a knight of
his own country.

And when they of Milan heard that thilk city was won, they sent
to King Arthur great sums of money, and besought him as their
lord to have pity on them, promising to be his subjects for ever,
and yield to him homage and fealty for the lands of Pleasance and
Pavia, Petersaint, and the Port of Tremble, and to give him
yearly a million of gold all his lifetime.  Then he rideth into
Tuscany, and winneth towns and castles, and wasted all in his way
that to him will not obey, and so to Spolute and Viterbe, and
from thence he rode into the Vale of Vicecount among the vines. 
And from thence he sent to the senators, to wit whether they
would know him for their lord.  But soon after on a Saturday came
unto King Arthur all the senators that were left alive, and the
noblest cardinals that then dwelt in Rome, and prayed him of
peace, and proferred him full large, and besought him as governor
to give licence for six weeks for to assemble all the Romans, and
then to crown him emperor with chrism as it belongeth to so high
estate.  I assent, said the king, like as ye have devised, and at
Christmas there to be crowned, and to hold my Round Table with my
knights as me liketh.  And then the senators made ready for his
enthronization.  And at the day appointed, as the romance
telleth, he came into Rome, and was crowned emperor by the pope's
hand, with all the royalty that could be made, and sojourned
there a time, and established all his lands from Rome into
France, and gave lands and realms unto his servants and knights,
to everych after his desert, in such wise that none complained,
rich nor poor.  And he gave to Sir Priamus the duchy of Lorraine;
and he thanked him, and said he would serve him the days of his
life; and after made dukes and earls, and made every man rich.

Then after this all his knights and lords assembled them afore
him, and said:  Blessed be God, your war is finished and your
conquest achieved, in so much that we <174>know none so great nor
mighty that dare make war against you: wherefore we beseech you
to return homeward, and give us licence to go home to our wives,
from whom we have been long, and to rest us, for your journey is
finished with honour and worship.  Then said the king, Ye say
truth, and for to tempt God it is no wisdom, and therefore make
you ready and return we into England.  Then there was trussing of
harness and baggage and great carriage.  And after licence given,
he returned and commanded that no man in pain of death should not
rob nor take victual, nor other thing by the way but that he
should pay therefore.  And thus he came over the sea and landed
at Sandwich, against whom Queen Guenever his wife came and met
him, and he was nobly received of all his commons in every city
and burgh, and great gifts presented to him at his home-coming to
welcome him with.

Thus endeth the fifth book of the conquest that King Arthur
had against Lucius the Emperor of Rome,  and here
followeth the sixth book, which is of Sir Launcelot
du Lake.