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Le Morte Darthur

Part 11 out of 11

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to defend him.

And when the three hours were passed, that Sir
Launcelot felt that Sir Gawaine was come to his own
proper strength, then Sir Launcelot said unto Sir Gawaine:
Now have I proved you twice, that ye are a full dangerous
knight, and a wonderful man of your might; and many
wonderful deeds have ye done in your days, for by your
might increasing you have deceived many a full noble and
valiant knight; and, now I feel that ye have done your
mighty deeds, now wit you well I must do my deeds.
And then Sir Launcelot stood near Sir Gawaine, and then
Sir Launcelot doubled his strokes; and Sir Gawaine
defended him mightily, but nevertheless Sir Launcelot smote
such a stroke upon Sir Gawaine's helm, and upon the old
wound, that Sir Gawaine sinked down upon his one side
in a swoon. And anon as he did awake he waved and
foined at Sir Launcelot as he lay, and said: Traitor
knight, wit thou well I am not yet slain, come thou near
me and perform this battle unto the uttermost. I will no
more do than I have done, said Sir Launcelot, for when I
see you on foot I will do battle upon you all the while I
see you stand on your feet; but for to smite a wounded
man that may not stand, God defend me from such a
shame. And then he turned him and went his way
toward the city. And Sir Gawaine evermore calling him
traitor knight, and said: Wit thou well Sir Launcelot,
when I am whole I shall do battle with thee again, for I
shall never leave thee till that one of us be slain. Thus
as this siege endured, and as Sir Gawaine lay sick near a
month; and when he was well recovered and ready within
three days to do battle again with Sir Launcelot, right so
came tidings unto Arthur from England that made King
Arthur and all his host to remove.



How Sir Mordred presumed and took on him to be King of
England, and would have married the queen, his father's

AS Sir Mordred was ruler of all England, he did do make
letters as though that they came from beyond the sea, and
the letters specified that King Arthur was slain in battle
with Sir Launcelot. Wherefore Sir Mordred made a
parliament, and called the lords together, and there he
made them to choose him king; and so was he crowned
at Canterbury, and held a feast there fifteen days; and
afterward he drew him unto Winchester, and there he
took the Queen Guenever, and said plainly that he would
wed her which was his uncle's wife and his father's wife.
And so he made ready for the feast, and a day prefixed
that they should be wedded; wherefore Queen Guenever
was passing heavy. But she durst not discover her heart,
but spake fair, and agreed to Sir Mordred's will. Then
she desired of Sir Mordred for to go to London, to buy
all manner of things that longed unto the wedding. And
because of her fair speech Sir Mordred trusted her well
enough, and gave her leave to go. And so when she
came to London she took the Tower of London, and
suddenly in all haste possible she stuffed it with all
manner of victual, and well garnished it with men, and so
kept it.

Then when Sir Mordred wist and understood how he
was beguiled, he was passing wroth out of measure. And
a short tale for to make, he went and laid a mighty siege
about the Tower of London, and made many great
assaults thereat, and threw many great engines unto them,
and shot great guns. But all might not prevail Sir
Mordred, for Queen Guenever would never for fair speech nor
for foul, would never trust to come in his hands again.

Then came the Bishop of Canterbury, the which was
a noble clerk and an holy man, and thus he said to Sir
Mordred: Sir, what will ye do? will ye first displease
God and sithen shame yourself, and all knighthood? Is
not King Arthur your uncle, no farther but your mother's
brother, and on her himself King Arthur begat you upon his
own sister, therefore how may you wed your father's wife?
Sir, said the noble clerk, leave this opinion or I shall curse
you with book and bell and candle. Do thou thy worst,
said Sir Mordred, wit thou well I shall defy thee. Sir,
said the Bishop, and wit you well I shall not fear me to
do that me ought to do. Also where ye noise where my
lord Arthur is slain, and that is not so, and therefore ye
will make a foul work in this land. Peace, thou false
priest, said Sir Mordred, for an thou chafe me any more
I shall make strike off thy head. So the Bishop departed
and did the cursing in the most orgulist wise that might
be done. And then Sir Mordred sought the Bishop of
Canterbury, for to have slain him. Then the Bishop fled,
and took part of his goods with him, and went nigh unto
Glastonbury; and there he was as priest hermit in a
chapel, and lived in poverty and in holy prayers, for well
he understood that mischievous war was at hand.

Then Sir Mordred sought on Queen Guenever by
letters and sonds, and by fair means and foul means, for
to have her to come out of the Tower of London; but
all this availed not, for she answered him shortly, openly
and privily, that she had liefer slay herself than to be
married with him. Then came word to Sir Mordred that
King Arthur had araised the siege for Sir Launcelot, and
he was coming homeward with a great host, to be avenged
upon Sir Mordred; wherefore Sir Mordred made write
writs to all the barony of this land, and much people
drew to him. For then was the common voice among
them that with Arthur was none other life but war and
strife, and with Sir Mordred was great joy and bliss.
Thus was Sir Arthur depraved, and evil said of. And
many there were that King Arthur had made up of
nought, and given them lands, might not then say him a
good word. Lo ye all Englishmen, see ye not what a
mischief here was! for he that was the most king and
knight of the world, and most loved the fellowship of
noble knights, and by him they were all upholden, now
might not these Englishmen hold them content with him.
Lo thus was the old custom and usage of this land; and
also men say that we of this land have not yet lost nor
forgotten that custom and usage. Alas, this is a great
default of us Englishmen, for there may no thing please
us no term. And so fared the people at that time, they
were better pleased with Sir Mordred than they were with
King Arthur; and much people drew unto Sir Mordred,
and said they would abide with him for better and for
worse. And so Sir Mordred drew with a great host to
Dover, for there he heard say that Sir Arthur would
arrive, and so he thought to beat his own father from his
lands; and the most part of all England held with Sir
Mordred, the people were so new-fangle.


How after that King Arthur had tidings, he returned and
came to Dover, where Sir Mordred met him to let his
landing; and of the death of Sir Gawaine

AND so as Sir Mordred was at Dover with his host, there
came King Arthur with a great navy of ships, and galleys,
and carracks. And there was Sir Mordred ready awaiting
upon his landing, to let his own father to land upon the
land that he was king over. Then there was launching
of great boats and small, and full of noble men of arms;
and there was much slaughter of gentle knights, and
many a full bold baron was laid full low, on both parties.
But King Arthur was so courageous that there might no
manner of knights let him to land, and his knights fiercely
followed him; and so they landed maugre Sir Mordred
and all his power, and put Sir Mordred aback, that he
fled and all his people.

So when this battle was done, King Arthur let bury
his people that were dead. And then was noble Sir
Gawaine found in a great boat, lying more than half dead
When Sir Arthur wist that Sir Gawaine was laid so low;
he went unto him; and there the king made sorrow out
of measure, and took Sir Gawaine in his arms, and thrice
he there swooned. And then when he awaked, he said:
Alas, Sir Gawaine, my sister's son, here now thou liest;
the man in the world that I loved most; and now is my
joy gone, for now, my nephew Sir Gawaine, I will discover
me unto your person: in Sir Launcelot and you I most
had my joy, and mine affiance, and now have I lost my
joy of you both; wherefore all mine earthly joy is gone
from me. Mine uncle King Arthur, said Sir Gawaine,
wit you well my death-day is come, and all is through
mine own hastiness and wilfulness; for I am smitten upon
the old wound the which Sir Launcelot gave me, on the
which I feel well I must die; and had Sir Launcelot been
with you as he was, this unhappy war had never begun;
and of all this am I causer, for Sir Launcelot and his
blood, through their prowess, held all your cankered
enemies in subjection and daunger. And now, said Sir
Gawaine, ye shall miss Sir Launcelot. But alas, I would
not accord with him, and therefore, said Sir Gawaine, I
pray you, fair uncle, that I may have paper, pen, and ink,
that I may write to Sir Launcelot a cedle with mine own

And then when paper and ink was brought, then
Gawaine was set up weakly by King Arthur, for he was
shriven a little to-fore; and then he wrote thus, as the
French book maketh mention: Unto Sir Launcelot, flower
of all noble knights that ever I heard of or saw by my
days, I, Sir Gawaine, King Lot's son of Orkney, sister's
son unto the noble King Arthur, send thee greeting, and
let thee have knowledge that the tenth day of May I was
smitten upon the old wound that thou gavest me afore the
city of Benwick, and through the same wound that thou
gavest me I am come to my death-day. And I will that
all the world wit, that I, Sir Gawaine, knight of the Table
Round, sought my death, and not through thy deserving,
but it was mine own seeking; wherefore I beseech thee,
Sir Launcelot, to return again unto this realm, and see
my tomb, and pray some prayer more or less for my soul.
And this same day that I wrote this cedle, I was hurt to
the death in the same wound, the which I had of thy
hand, Sir Launcelot; for of a more nobler man might
I not be slain. Also Sir Launcelot, for all the love
that ever was betwixt us, make no tarrying, but come
over the sea in all haste, that thou mayst with thy noble
knights rescue that noble king that made thee knight, that
is my lord Arthur; for he is full straitly bestead with a
false traitor, that is my half-brother, Sir Mordred; and he
hath let crown him king, and would have wedded my lady
Queen Guenever, and so had he done had she not put
herself in the Tower of London. And so the tenth day
of May last past, my lord Arthur and we all landed upon
them at Dover; and there we put that false traitor, Sir
Mordred, to flight, and there it misfortuned me to be
stricken upon thy stroke. And at the date of this letter
was written, but two hours and a half afore my death,
written with mine own hand, and so subscribed with part
of my heart's blood. And I require thee, most famous
knight of the world, that thou wilt see my tomb. And
then Sir Gawaine wept, and King Arthur wept; and then
they swooned both. And when they awaked both, the
king made Sir Gawaine to receive his Saviour. And then
Sir Gawaine prayed the king for to send for Sir Launcelot,
and to cherish him above all other knights.

And so at the hour of noon Sir Gawaine yielded up
the spirit; and then the king let inter him in a chapel
within Dover Castle; and there yet all men may see the
skull of him, and the same wound is seen that Sir Launcelot
gave him in battle. Then was it told the king that
Sir Mordred had pight a new field upon Barham Down.
And upon the morn the king rode thither to him, and
there was a great battle betwixt them, and much people
was slain on both parties; but at the last Sir Arthur's
party stood best, and Sir Mordred and his party fled unto


How after, Sir Gawaine's ghost appeared to King Arthur,
and warned him that he should not fight that day

AND then the king let search all the towns for his knights
that were slain, and interred them; and salved them with
soft salves that so sore were wounded. Then much people
drew unto King Arthur. And then they said that Sir
Mordred warred upon King Arthur with wrong. And
then King Arthur drew him with his host down by the
seaside, westward toward Salisbury; and there was a day
assigned betwixt King Arthur and Sir Mordred, that they
should meet upon a down beside Salisbury, and not far
from the seaside; and this day was assigned on a Monday
after Trinity Sunday, whereof King Arthur was passing
glad, that he might be avenged upon Sir Mordred. Then
Sir Mordred araised much people about London, for they
of Kent, Southsex, and Surrey, Estsex, and of Southfolk,
and of Northfolk, held the most part with Sir Mordred;
and many a full noble knight drew unto Sir Mordred and
to the king: but they that loved Sir Launcelot drew unto
Sir Mordred.

So upon Trinity Sunday at night, King Arthur dreamed
a wonderful dream, and that was this: that him seemed
he sat upon a chaflet in a chair, and the chair was fast to
a wheel, and thereupon sat King Arthur in the richest
cloth of gold that might be made; and the king thought
there was under him, far from him, an hideous deep black
water, and therein were all manner of serpents, and worms,
and wild beasts, foul and horrible; and suddenly the king
thought the wheel turned up-so-down, and he fell among
the serpents, and every beast took him by a limb; and
then the king cried as he lay in his bed and slept: Help.
And then knights, squires, and yeomen, awaked the king;
and then he was so amazed that he wist not where he was;
and then he fell a-slumbering again, not sleeping nor
thoroughly waking. So the king seemed verily that there
came Sir Gawaine unto him with a number of fair ladies
with him. And when King Arthur saw him, then he
said: Welcome, my sister's son; I weened thou hadst
been dead, and now I see thee alive, much am I beholding
unto Almighty Jesu. O fair nephew and my sister's son,
what be these ladies that hither be come with you? Sir,
said Sir Gawaine, all these be ladies for whom I have
foughten when I was man living, and all these are those
that I did battle for in righteous quarrel; and God hath
given them that grace at their great prayer, because I did
battle for them, that they should bring me hither unto
you: thus much hath God given me leave, for to warn
you of your death; for an ye fight as to-morn with Sir
Mordred, as ye both have assigned, doubt ye not ye must
be slain, and the most part of your people on both parties.
And for the great grace and goodness that almighty Jesu
hath unto you, and for pity of you, and many more other
good men there shall be slain, God hath sent me to you of
his special grace, to give you warning that in no wise ye
do battle as to-morn, but that ye take a treaty for a month
day; and proffer you largely, so as to-morn to be put in
a delay. For within a month shall come Sir Launcelot
with all his noble knights, and rescue you worshipfully,
and slay Sir Mordred, and all that ever will hold with
him. Then Sir Gawaine and all the ladies vanished.

And anon the king called upon his knights, squires,
and yeomen, and charged them wightly to fetch his noble
lords and wise bishops unto him. And when they were
come, the king told them his avision, what Sir Gawaine had
told him, and warned him that if he fought on the morn
he should be slain. Then the king commanded Sir Lucan
the Butler, and his brother Sir Bedivere, with two bishops
with them, and charged them in any wise, an they might,
Take a treaty for a month day with Sir Mordred, and spare
not, proffer him lands and goods as much as ye think
best. So then they departed, and came to Sir Mordred,
where he had a grim host of an hundred thousand men.
And there they entreated Sir Mordred long time; and at
the last Sir Mordred was agreed for to have Cornwall and
Kent, by Arthur's days: after, all England, after the days
of King Arthur.


How by misadventure of an adder the battle began, where
Mordred was slain, and Arthur hurt to the death

THEN were they condescended that King Arthur and
Sir Mordred should meet betwixt both their hosts, and
everych of them should bring fourteen persons; and they
came with this word unto Arthur. Then said he: I am
glad that this is done: and so he went into the field. And
when Arthur should depart, he warned all his host that an
they see any sword drawn: Look ye come on fiercely, and
slay that traitor, Sir Mordred, for I in no wise trust him.
In like wise Sir Mordred warned his host that: An ye see
any sword drawn, look that ye come on fiercely, and so
slay all that ever before you standeth; for in no wise I
will not trust for this treaty, for I know well my father
will be avenged on me. And so they met as their appointment
was, and so they were agreed and accorded thoroughly;
and wine was fetched, and they drank. Right
soon came an adder out of a little heath bush, and it stung
a knight on the foot. And when the knight felt him
stung, he looked down and saw the adder, and then he
drew his sword to slay the adder, and thought of none
other harm. And when the host on both parties saw that
sword drawn, then they blew beams, trumpets, and horns,
and shouted grimly. And so both hosts dressed them
together. And King Arthur took his horse, and said:
Alas this unhappy day! and so rode to his party. And
Sir Mordred in like wise. And never was there seen a
more dolefuller battle in no Christian land; for there was
but rushing and riding, foining and striking, and many a
grim word was there spoken either to other, and many a
deadly stroke. But ever King Arthur rode throughout
the battle of Sir Mordred many times, and did full nobly
as a noble king should, and at all times he fainted never;
and Sir Mordred that day put him in devoir, and in great
peril. And thus they fought all the long day, and never
stinted till the noble knights were laid to the cold earth;
and ever they fought still till it was near night, and by
that time was there an hundred thousand laid dead upon
the down. Then was Arthur wood wroth out of measure,
when he saw his people so slain from him.

Then the king looked about him, and then was he
ware, of all his host and of all his good knights, were left
no more alive but two knights; that one was Sir Lucan
the Butler, and his brother Sir Bedivere, and they were
full sore wounded. Jesu mercy, said the king, where are
all my noble knights become? Alas that ever I should
see this doleful day, for now, said Arthur, I am come to
mine end. But would to God that I wist where were that
traitor Sir Mordred, that hath caused all this mischief.
Then was King Arthur ware where Sir Mordred leaned
upon his sword among a great heap of dead men. Now
give me my spear, said Arthur unto Sir Lucan, for yonder
I have espied the traitor that all this woe hath wrought.
Sir, let him be, said Sir Lucan, for he is unhappy; and if
ye pass this unhappy day ye shall be right well revenged
upon him. Good lord, remember ye of your night's
dream, and what the spirit of Sir Gawaine told you this
night, yet God of his great goodness hath preserved you
hitherto. Therefore, for God's sake, my lord, leave off
by this, for blessed be God ye have won the field, for here
we be three alive, and with Sir Mordred is none alive;
and if ye leave off now this wicked day of destiny is past.
Tide me death, betide me life, saith the king, now I see
him yonder alone he shall never escape mine hands, for at
a better avail shall I never have him. God speed you
well, said Sir Bedivere.

Then the king gat his spear in both his hands, and ran
toward Sir Mordred, crying: Traitor, now is thy death-day
come. And when Sir Mordred heard Sir Arthur, he
ran until him with his sword drawn in his hand. And
there King Arthur smote Sir Mordred under the shield,
with a foin of his spear, throughout the body, more than
a fathom. And when Sir Mordred felt that he had his
death wound he thrust himself with the might that he
had up to the bur of King Arthur's spear. And right
so he smote his father Arthur, with his sword holden in
both his hands, on the side of the head, that the sword
pierced the helmet and the brain-pan, and therewithal Sir
Mordred fell stark dead to the earth; and the noble
Arthur fell in a swoon to the earth, and there he swooned
ofttimes. And Sir Lucan the Butler and Sir Bedivere
ofttimes heaved him up. And so weakly they led him
betwixt them both, to a little chapel not far from
the seaside. And when the king was there he thought him well

Then heard they people cry in the field. Now go
thou, Sir Lucan, said the king, and do me to wit what
betokens that noise in the field. So Sir Lucan departed,
for he was grievously wounded in many places. And so
as he yede, he saw and hearkened by the moonlight, how
that pillers and robbers were come into the field, to pill
and to rob many a full noble knight of brooches, and
beads, of many a good ring, and of many a rich jewel;
and who that were not dead all out, there they slew them
for their harness and their riches. When Sir Lucan
understood this work, he came to the king as soon as he might,
and told him all what he had heard and seen. Therefore
by my rede, said Sir Lucan, it is best that we bring you
to some town. I would it were so, said the king.


How King Arthur commanded to cast his sword Excalibur
into the water, and how he was delivered to ladies in
a barge

BUT I may not stand, mine head works so. Ah Sir
Launcelot, said King Arthur, this day have I sore missed
thee: alas, that ever I was against thee, for now have I
my death, whereof Sir Gawaine me warned in my dream.
Then Sir Lucan took up the king the one part, and Sir
Bedivere the other part, and in the lifting the king
swooned; and Sir Lucan fell in a swoon with the lift,
that the part of his guts fell out of his body, and
therewith the noble knight's heart brast. And when the king
awoke, he beheld Sir Lucan, how he lay foaming at the
mouth, and part of his guts lay at his feet. Alas, said
the king, this is to me a full heavy sight, to see this noble
duke so die for my sake, for he would have holpen me,
that had more need of help than I. Alas, he would not
complain him, his heart was so set to help me: now Jesu
have mercy upon his soul! Then Sir Bedivere wept for
the death of his brother. Leave this mourning and weeping,
said the king, for all this will not avail me, for wit
thou well an I might live myself, the death of Sir Lucan
would grieve me evermore; but my time hieth fast, said
the king. Therefore, said Arthur unto Sir Bedivere, take
thou Excalibur, my good sword, and go with it to yonder
water side, and when thou comest there I charge thee
throw my sword in that water, and come again and tell
me what thou there seest. My lord, said Bedivere, your
commandment shall be done, and lightly bring you word

So Sir Bedivere departed, and by the way he beheld
that noble sword, that the pommel and the haft was all of
precious stones; and then he said to himself: If I throw
this rich sword in the water, thereof shall never come
good, but harm and loss. And then Sir Bedivere hid
Excalibur under a tree. And so, as soon as he might, he
came again unto the king, and said he had been at the
water, and had thrown the sword in the water. What
saw thou there? said the king. Sir, he said, I saw nothing
but waves and winds. That is untruly said of thee, said
the king, therefore go thou lightly again, and do my
commandment; as thou art to me lief and dear, spare not,
but throw it in. Then Sir Bedivere returned again, and
took the sword in his hand; and then him thought sin
and shame to throw away that noble sword, and so eft he
hid the sword, and returned again, and told to the king
that he had been at the water, and done his commandment.
What saw thou there? said the king. Sir, he said, I saw
nothing but the waters wap and waves wan. Ah, traitor
untrue, said King Arthur, now hast thou betrayed me
twice. Who would have weened that, thou that hast been
to me so lief and dear? and thou art named a noble
knight, and would betray me for the richness of the sword.
But now go again lightly, for thy long tarrying putteth
me in great jeopardy of my life, for I have taken cold.
And but if thou do now as I bid thee, if ever I may see
thee, I shall slay thee with mine own hands; for thou
wouldst for my rich sword see me dead.

Then Sir Bedivere departed, and went to the sword,
and lightly took it up, and went to the water side; and
there he bound the girdle about the hilts, and then he
threw the sword as far into the water as he might; and
there came an arm and an hand above the water and met
it, and caught it, and so shook it thrice and brandished,
and then vanished away the hand with the sword in the
water. So Sir Bedivere came again to the king, and told
him what he saw. Alas, said the king, help me hence, for
I dread me I have tarried over long. Then Sir Bedivere
took the king upon his back, and so went with him to
that water side. And when they were at the water side,
even fast by the bank hoved a little barge with many fair
ladies in it, and among them all was a queen, and all they
had black hoods, and all they wept and shrieked when
they saw King Arthur. Now put me into the barge, said
the king. And so he did softly; and there received him
three queens with great mourning; and so they set them
down, and in one of their laps King Arthur laid his head.
And then that queen said: Ah, dear brother, why have
ye tarried so long from me? alas, this wound on your head
hath caught over-much cold. And so then they rowed
from the land, and Sir Bedivere beheld all those ladies go
from him. Then Sir Bedivere cried: Ah my lord Arthur,
what shall become of me, now ye go from me and leave
me here alone among mine enemies? Comfort thyself,
said the king, and do as well as thou mayst, for in me is
no trust for to trust in; for I will into the vale of Avilion
to heal me of my grievous wound: and if thou hear never
more of me, pray for my soul. But ever the queens and
ladies wept and shrieked, that it was pity to hear. And
as soon as Sir Bedivere had lost the sight of the barge, he
wept and wailed, and so took the forest; and so he went
all that night, and in the morning he was ware betwixt two
holts hoar, of a chapel and an hermitage.


How Sir Bedivere found him on the morrow dead in an
hermitage, and how he abode there with the hermit

THEN was Sir Bedivere glad, and thither he went; and
when he came into the chapel, he saw where lay an hermit
grovelling on all four, there fast by a tomb was new graven.
When the hermit saw Sir Bedivere he knew him well, for
he was but little to-fore Bishop of Canterbury, that Sir
Mordred flemed. Sir, said Bedivere, what man is there
interred that ye pray so fast for? Fair son, said the
hermit, I wot not verily, but by deeming. But this night,
at midnight, here came a number of ladies, and brought
hither a dead corpse, and prayed me to bury him; and
here they offered an hundred tapers, and they gave me an
hundred besants. Alas, said Sir Bedivere, that was my
lord King Arthur, that here lieth buried in this chapel.
Then Sir Bedivere swooned; and when he awoke he
prayed the hermit he might abide with him still there, to
live with fasting and prayers. For from hence will I
never go, said Sir Bedivere, by my will, but all the days
of my life here to pray for my lord Arthur. Ye are
welcome to me, said the hermit, for I know ye better
than ye ween that I do. Ye are the bold Bedivere, and
the full noble duke, Sir Lucan the Butler, was your
brother. Then Sir Bedivere told the hermit all as ye
have heard to-fore. So there bode Sir Bedivere with the
hermit that was to-fore Bishop of Canterbury, and there
Sir Bedivere put upon him poor clothes, and served the
hermit full lowly in fasting and in prayers.

Thus of Arthur I find never more written in books
that be authorised, nor more of the very certainty of his
death heard I never read, but thus was he led away in a
ship wherein were three queens; that one was King
Arthur's sister, Queen Morgan le Fay; the other was the
Queen of Northgalis; the third was the Queen of the
Waste Lands. Also there was Nimue, the chief lady of
the lake, that had wedded Pelleas the good knight; and
this lady had done much for King Arthur, for she would
never suffer Sir Pelleas to be in no place where he should
be in danger of his life; and so he lived to the uttermost
of his days with her in great rest. More of the death of
King Arthur could I never find, but that ladies brought
him to his burials; and such one was buried there, that
the hermit bare witness that sometime was Bishop of
Canterbury, but yet the hermit knew not in certain that
he was verily the body of King Arthur: for this tale Sir
Bedivere, knight of the Table Round, made it to be


Of the opinion of some men of the death of King Arthur;
and how Queen Guenever made her a nun in Almesbury

YET some men say in many parts of England that King
Arthur is not dead, but had by the will of our Lord Jesu
into another place; and men say that he shall come again,
and he shall win the holy cross. I will not say it shall be
so, but rather I will say: here in this world he changed
his life. But many men say that there is written upon his
tomb this verse: Rexque futurus.> Thus leave I here Sir Bedivere with the
hermit, that dwelled that time in a chapel beside Glastonbury,
and there was his hermitage. And so they lived in
their prayers, and fastings, and great abstinence. And
when Queen Guenever understood that King Arthur was
slain, and all the noble knights, Sir Mordred and all the
remnant, then the queen stole away, and five ladies with
her, and so she went to Almesbury; and there she let
make herself a nun, and ware white clothes and black,
and great penance she took, as ever did sinful lady in this
land, and never creature could make her merry; but lived
in fasting, prayers, and alms-deeds, that all manner of
people marvelled how virtuously she was changed. Now
leave we Queen Guenever in Almesbury, a nun in white
clothes and black, and there she was Abbess and ruler
as reason would; and turn we from her, and speak we of
Sir Launcelot du Lake.


How when Sir Lancelot heard of the death of King
Arthur, and of Sir Gawaine, and other matters, he
came into England

AND when he heard in his country that Sir Mordred was
crowned king in England, and made war against King
Arthur, his own father, and would let him to land in his
own land; also it was told Sir Launcelot how that Sir Mordred
had laid siege about the Tower of London, because the
queen would not wed him; then was Sir Launcelot wroth
out of measure, and said to his kinsmen: Alas, that
double traitor Sir Mordred, now me repenteth that ever he
escaped my hands, for much shame hath he done unto my
lord Arthur; for all I feel by the doleful letter that my
lord Sir Gawaine sent me, on whose soul Jesu have mercy
that my lord Arthur is full hard bestead. Alas, said Sir
Launcelot, that ever I should live to hear that most noble
king that made me knight thus to be overset with his subject
in his own realm. And this doleful letter that my
lord, Sir Gawaine, hath sent me afore his death, praying
me to see his tomb, wit you well his doleful words shall
never go from mine heart, for he was a full noble knight
as ever was born; and in an unhappy hour was I born
that ever I should have that unhap to slay first Sir
Gawaine, Sir Gaheris the good knight, and mine own
friend Sir Gareth, that full noble knight. Alas, I may
say I am unhappy, said Sir Launcelot, that ever I should
do thus unhappily, and, alas, yet might I never have hap
to slay that traitor, Sir Mordred.

Leave your complaints, said Sir Bors, and first revenge
you of the death of Sir Gawaine; and it will be well done
that ye see Sir Gawaine's tomb, and secondly that ye
revenge my lord Arthur, and my lady, Queen Guenever
I thank you, said Sir Launcelot, for ever ye will my

Then they made them ready in all the haste that
might be, with ships and galleys, with Sir Launcelot and
his host to pass into England. And so he passed over
the sea till he came to Dover, and there he landed with
seven kings, and the number was hideous to behold.
Then Sir Launcelot spered of men of Dover where was
King Arthur become. Then the people told him how
that he was slain, and Sir Mordred and an hundred thousand
died on a day; and how Sir Mordred gave King
Arthur there the first battle at his landing, and there was
good Sir Gawaine slain; and on the morn Sir Mordred
fought with the king upon Barham Down, and there the
king put Sir Mordred to the worse. Alas, said Sir
Launcelot, this is the heaviest tidings that ever came to
me. Now, fair sirs, said Sir Launcelot, shew me the
tomb of Sir Gawaine. And then certain people of the
town brought him into the castle of Dover, and shewed
him the tomb. Then Sir Launcelot kneeled down and
wept, and prayed heartily for his soul. And that night he
made a dole, and all they that would come had as much
flesh, fish, wine and ale, and every man and woman had
twelve pence, come who would. Thus with his own hand
dealt he this money, in a mourning gown; and ever he
wept, and prayed them to pray for the soul of Sir
Gawaine. And on the morn all the priests and clerks that
might be gotten in the country were there, and sang mass
of Requiem; and there offered first Sir Launcelot, and he
offered an hundred pound; and then the seven kings
offered forty pound apiece; and also there was a thousand
knights, and each of them offered a pound; and the
offering dured from morn till night, and Sir Launcelot lay
two nights on his tomb in prayers and weeping.

Then on the third day Sir Launcelot called the kings,
dukes, earls, barons, and knights, and said thus: My fair
lords, I thank you all of your coming into this country
with me, but we came too late, and that shall repent me
while I live, but against death may no man rebel. But
sithen it is so, said Sir Launcelot, I will myself ride and
seek my lady, Queen Guenever, for as I hear say she hath
had great pain and much disease; and I heard say that
she is fled into the west. Therefore ye all shall abide me
here, and but if I come again within fifteen days, then
take your ships and your fellowship, and depart into your
country, for I will do as I say to you.


How Sir Launcelot departed to seek the Queen Guenever, and
how he found her at Almesbury

THEN came Sir Bors de Ganis, and said: My lord Sir
Launcelot, what think ye for to do, now to ride in this
realm? wit ye well ye shall find few friends. Be as be
may, said Sir Launcelot, keep you still here, for I will
forth on my journey, and no man nor child shall go with
me. So it was no boot to strive, but he departed and
rode westerly, and there he sought a seven or eight days;
and at the last he came to a nunnery, and then was Queen
Guenever ware of Sir Launcelot as he walked in the
cloister. And when she saw him there she swooned
thrice, that all the ladies and gentlewomen had work
enough to hold the queen up. So when she might speak,
she called ladies and gentlewomen to her, and said: Ye
marvel, fair ladies, why I make this fare. Truly, she
said, it is for the sight of yonder knight that yonder
standeth; wherefore I pray you all call him to me.

When Sir Launcelot was brought to her, then she said
to all the ladies: Through this man and me hath all this
war been wrought, and the death of the most noblest
knights of the world; for through our love that we have
loved together is my most noble lord slain. Therefore,
Sir Launcelot, wit thou well I am set in such a plight to
get my soul-heal; and yet I trust through God's grace
that after my death to have a sight of the blessed face of
Christ, and at domesday to sit on his right side, for as
sinful as ever I was are saints in heaven. Therefore, Sir
Launcelot, I require thee and beseech thee heartily, for all
the love that ever was betwixt us, that thou never see me
more in the visage; and I command thee, on God's
behalf, that thou forsake my company, and to thy kingdom
thou turn again, and keep well thy realm from war and
wrack; for as well as I have loved thee, mine heart will
not serve me to see thee, for through thee and me is
the flower of kings and knights destroyed; therefore, Sir
Launcelot, go to thy realm, and there take thee a wife,
and live with her with joy and bliss; and I pray thee
heartily, pray for me to our Lord that I may amend
my misliving. Now, sweet madam, said Sir Launcelot,
would ye that I should now return again unto my country,
and there to wed a lady? Nay, madam, wit you well that
shall I never do, for I shall never be so false to you of
that I have promised; but the same destiny that ye have
taken you to, I will take me unto, for to please Jesu, and
ever for you I cast me specially to pray. If thou wilt do
so, said the queen, hold thy promise, but I may never
believe but that thou wilt turn to the world again. Well,
madam, said he, ye say as pleaseth you, yet wist you me
never false of my promise, and God defend but I should
forsake the world as ye have done. For in the quest of
the Sangreal I had forsaken the vanities of the world had
not your lord been. And if I had done so at that time,
with my heart, will, and thought, I had passed all the
knights that were in the Sangreal except Sir Galahad, my
son. And therefore, lady, sithen ye have taken you to
perfection, I must needs take me to perfection, of right.
For I take record of God, in you I have had mine earthly
joy; and if I had found you now so disposed, I had cast
me to have had you into mine own realm.


How Sir Launcelot came to the hermitage where the Archbishop
of Canterbury was, and how he took the habit on

BUT sithen I find you thus disposed, I ensure you faithfully,
I will ever take me to penance, and pray while my life
lasteth, if I may find any hermit, either gray or white, that
will receive me. Wherefore, madam, I pray you kiss me
and never no more. Nay, said the queen, that shall I
never do, but abstain you from such works: and they
departed. But there was never so hard an hearted man
but he would have wept to see the dolour that they made;
for there was lamentation as they had been stung with
spears; and many times they swooned, and the ladies bare
the queen to her chamber.

And Sir Launcelot awoke, and went and took his horse,
and rode all that day and all night in a forest, weeping.
And at the last he was ware of an hermitage and a chapel
stood betwixt two cliffs; and then he heard a little bell
ring to mass, and thither he rode and alighted, and tied his
horse to the gate, and heard mass. And he that sang
mass was the Bishop of Canterbury. Both the Bishop and
Sir Bedivere knew Sir Launcelot, and they spake together
after mass. But when Sir Bedivere had told his tale all
whole, Sir Launcelot's heart almost brast for sorrow, and
Sir Launcelot threw his arms abroad, and said: Alas, who
may trust this world. And then he kneeled down on his
knee, and prayed the Bishop to shrive him and assoil him.
And then he besought the Bishop that he might be his
brother. Then the Bishop said: I will gladly; and there
he put an habit upon Sir Launcelot, and there he served God
day and night with prayers and fastings.

Thus the great host abode at Dover. And then Sir
Lionel took fifteen lords with him, and rode to London to
seek Sir Launcelot; and there Sir Lionel was slain and
many of his lords. Then Sir Bors de Ganis made the
great host for to go home again; and Sir Bors, Sir Ector
de Maris, Sir Blamore, Sir Bleoberis, with more other of
Sir Launcelot's kin, took on them to ride all England
overthwart and endlong, to seek Sir Launcelot. So Sir
Bors by fortune rode so long till he came to the same
chapel where Sir Launcelot was; and so Sir Bors heard a
little bell knell, that rang to mass; and there he alighted
and heard mass. And when mass was done, the Bishop
Sir Launcelot, and Sir Bedivere, came to Sir Bors. And
when Sir Bors saw Sir Launcelot in that manner clothing,
then he prayed the Bishop that he might be in the same
suit. And so there was an habit put upon him, and there
he lived in prayers and fasting. And within half a year,
there was come Sir Galihud, Sir Galihodin, Sir Blamore, Sir
Bleoberis, Sir Villiars, Sir Clarras, and Sir Gahalantine. So
all these seven noble knights there abode still. And when
they saw Sir Launcelot had taken him to such perfection,
they had no lust to depart, but took such an habit as he

Thus they endured in great penance six year; and then
Sir Launcelot took the habit of priesthood of the Bishop,
and a twelvemonth he sang mass. And there was none
of these other knights but they read in books, and holp
for to sing mass, and rang bells, and did bodily all manner
of service. And so their horses went where they would,
for they took no regard of no worldly riches. For when
they saw Sir Launcelot endure such penance, in prayers, and
fastings, they took no force what pain they endured, for to
see the noblest knight of the world take such abstinence
that he waxed full lean. And thus upon a night, there
came a vision to Sir Launcelot, and charged him, in remission
of his sins, to haste him unto Almesbury: And by
then thou come there, thou shalt find Queen Guenever
dead. And therefore take thy fellows with thee, and
purvey them of an horse bier, and fetch thou the corpse of
her, and bury her by her husband, the noble King Arthur.
So this avision came to Sir Launcelot thrice in one


How Sir Launcelot went with his seven fellows to Almesbury,
and found there Queen Guenever dead, whom they
brought to Glastonbury

THEN Sir Launcelot rose up or day, and told the
hermit. It were well done, said the hermit, that ye made
you ready, and that you disobey not the avision. Then
Sir Launcelot took his eight fellows with him, and on foot
they yede from Glastonbury to Almesbury, the which is
little more than thirty mile. And thither they came
within two days, for they were weak and feeble to go.
And when Sir Launcelot was come to Almesbury within
the nunnery, Queen Guenever died but half an hour afore.
And the ladies told Sir Launcelot that Queen Guenever
told them all or she passed, that Sir Launcelot had been
priest near a twelvemonth, And hither he cometh as fast
as he may to fetch my corpse; and beside my lord, King
Arthur, he shall bury me. Wherefore the queen said in
hearing of them all: I beseech Almighty God that I may
never have power to see Sir Launcelot with my worldly
eyen; and thus, said all the ladies, was ever her prayer
these two days, till she was dead. Then Sir Launcelot
saw her visage, but he wept not greatly, but sighed. And
so he did all the observance of the service himself, both
the dirige, and on the morn he sang mass. And there
was ordained an horse bier; and so with an hundred
torches ever brenning about the corpse of the queen, and
ever Sir Launcelot with his eight fellows went about the
horse bier, singing and reading many an holy orison, and
frankincense upon the corpse incensed. Thus Sir Launcelot
and his eight fellows went on foot from Almesbury
unto Glastonbury.

And when they were come to the chapel and the
hermitage, there she had a dirige, with great devotion.
And on the morn the hermit that sometime was Bishop of
Canterbury sang the mass of Requiem with great devotion.
And Sir Launcelot was the first that offered, and then also
his eight fellows. And then she was wrapped in cered
cloth of Raines, from the top to the toe, in thirtyfold,
and after she was put in a web of lead, and then in a coffin
of marble. And when she was put in the earth Sir Launcelot
swooned, and lay long still, while the hermit came
and awaked him, and said: Ye be to blame, for ye
displease God with such manner of sorrow-making. Truly,
said Sir Launcelot, I trust I do not displease God, for He
knoweth mine intent. For my sorrow was not, nor is not
for any rejoicing of sin, but my sorrow may never have
end. For when I remember of her beauty, and of her
noblesse, that was both with her king and with her, so
when I saw his corpse and her corpse so lie together, truly
mine heart would not serve to sustain my careful body.
Also when I remember me how by my default, mine orgule
and my pride, that they were both laid full low, that were
peerless that ever was living of Christian people, wit you
well, said Sir Launcelot, this remembered, of their kindness
and mine unkindness, sank so to mine heart, that I
might not sustain myself. So the French book maketh


How Sir Launcelot began to sicken, and after died, whose
body was borne to Joyous Gard for to be buried

THEN Sir Launcelot never after ate but little meat, ne
drank, till he was dead. For then he sickened more and
more, and dried, and dwined away. For the Bishop nor
none of his fellows might not make him to eat, and little
he drank, that he was waxen by a cubit shorter than he
was, that the people could not know him. For evermore,
day and night, he prayed, but sometime he slumbered a
broken sleep; ever he was lying grovelling on the tomb
of King Arthur and Queen Guenever. And there was no
comfort that the Bishop, nor Sir Bors, nor none of his
fellows, could make him, it availed not. So within six
weeks after, Sir Launcelot fell sick, and lay in his bed; and
then he sent for the Bishop that there was hermit, and all
his true fellows. Then Sir Launcelot said with dreary
steven: Sir Bishop, I pray you give to me all my rites that
longeth to a Christian man. It shall not need you, said
the hermit and all his fellows, it is but heaviness of your
blood, ye shall be well mended by the grace of God
to-morn. My fair lords, said Sir Launcelot, wit you well
my careful body will into the earth, I have warning more
than now I will say; therefore give me my rites. So
when he was houseled and anealed, and had all that a
Christian man ought to have, he prayed the Bishop that his
fellows might bear his body to Joyous Gard. Some men
say it was Alnwick, and some men say it was Bamborough.
Howbeit, said Sir Launcelot, me repenteth sore, but I made
mine avow sometime, that in Joyous Gard I would be
buried. And because of breaking of mine avow, I pray
you all, lead me thither. Then there was weeping and
wringing of hands among his fellows.

So at a season of the night they all went to their beds,
for they all lay in one chamber. And so after midnight,
against day, the Bishop [that] then was hermit, as he lay in
his bed asleep, he fell upon a great laughter. And
therewith all the fellowship awoke, and came to the Bishop, and
asked him what he ailed. Ah Jesu mercy, said the Bishop,
why did ye awake me? I was never in all my life so merry
and so well at ease. Wherefore? said Sir Bors. Truly
said the Bishop, here was Sir Launcelot with me with mo
angels than ever I saw men in one day. And I saw the
angels heave up Sir Launcelot unto heaven, and the gates
of heaven opened against him. It is but dretching of
swevens, said Sir Bors, for I doubt not Sir Launcelot aileth
nothing but good. It may well be, said the Bishop; go
ye to his bed, and then shall ye prove the sooth. So when
Sir Bors and his fellows came to his bed they found him
stark dead, and he lay as he had smiled, and the sweetest
savour about him that ever they felt.

Then was there weeping and wringing of hands, and
the greatest dole they made that ever made men. And
on the morn the Bishop did his mass of Requiem,
and after, the Bishop and all the nine knights put Sir
Launcelot in the same horse bier that Queen Guenever
was laid in to-fore that she was buried. And so the Bishop
and they all together went with the body of Sir Launcelot
daily, till they came to Joyous Gard; and ever they had
an hundred torches brenning about him. And so within
fifteen days they came to Joyous Gard. And there they
laid his corpse in the body of the quire, and sang and
read many psalters and prayers over him and about him.

And ever his visage was laid open and naked, that all
folks might behold him. For such was the custom in
those days, that all men of worship should so lie with
open visage till that they were buried. And right thus
as they were at their service, there came Sir Ector de
Maris, that had seven years sought all England, Scotland,
and Wales, seeking his brother, Sir Launcelot.


How Sir Ector found Sir Launcelot his brother dead, and
how Constantine reigned next after Arthur; and of the
end of this book

AND when Sir Ector heard such noise and light in the
quire of Joyous Gard, he alighted and put his horse from
him, and came into the quire, and there he saw men sing
and weep. And all they knew Sir Ector, but he knew
not them. Then went Sir Bors unto Sir Ector, and told
him how there lay his brother, Sir Launcelot, dead; and
then Sir Ector threw his shield, sword, and helm from
him. And when he beheld Sir Launcelot's visage, he fell
down in a swoon. And when he waked it were hard any
tongue to tell the doleful complaints that he made for his
brother. Ah Launcelot, he said, thou were head of all
Christian knights, and now I dare say, said Sir Ector,
thou Sir Launcelot, there thou liest, that thou were never
matched of earthly knight's hand. And thou were the
courteoust knight that ever bare shield. And thou were
the truest friend to thy lover that ever bestrad horse.
And thou were the truest lover of a sinful man that ever
loved woman. And thou were the kindest man that ever
struck with sword. And thou were the goodliest person
that ever came among press of knights. And thou was
the meekest man and the gentlest that ever ate in hall
among ladies. And thou were the sternest knight to thy
mortal foe that ever put spear in the rest. Then there
was weeping and dolour out of measure.

Thus they kept Sir Launcelot's corpse aloft fifteen
days, and then they buried it with great devotion. And
then at leisure they went all with the Bishop of Canterbury
to his hermitage, and there they were together more than
a month. Then Sir Constantine, that was Sir Cador's
son of Cornwall, was chosen king of England. And he
was a full noble knight, and worshipfully he ruled this
realm. And then this King Constantine sent for the
Bishop of Canterbury, for he heard say where he was.
And so he was restored unto his Bishopric, and left that
hermitage. And Sir Bedivere was there ever still hermit
to his life's end. Then Sir Bors de Ganis, Sir Ector de
Maris, Sir Gahalantine, Sir Galihud, Sir Galihodin, Sir
Blamore, Sir Bleoberis, Sir Villiars le Valiant, Sir Clarrus
of Clermont, all these knights drew them to their
countries. Howbeit King Constantine would have had
them with him, but they would not abide in this realm.
And there they all lived in their countries as holy men.
And some English books make mention that they went
never out of England after the death of Sir Launcelot,
but that was but favour of makers. For the French book
maketh mention, and is authorised, that Sir Bors, Sir
Ector, Sir Blamore, and Sir Bleoberis, went into the Holy
Land thereas Jesu Christ was quick and dead, and anon as
they had stablished their lands. For the book saith, so
Sir Launcelot commanded them for to do, or ever he passed
out of this world. And these four knights did many
battles upon the miscreants or Turks. And there they
died upon a Good Friday for God's sake.

noble knights of the Round Table, that when they
were whole together there was ever an hundred and
forty. And here is the end of the death of Arthur.
I pray you all, gentlemen and gentlewomen that>
the beginning to the ending, pray for me while I
am alive, that God send me good deliverance, and
when I am dead, I pray you all pray for my soul.
For this book was ended the ninth year of the
reign of King Edward the Fourth, by Sir Thomas
Maleore, knight, as Jesu help him for his great
might, as he is the servant of Jesu both day and

Darthur. Notwithstanding it treateth of the birth,
life, and acts of the said King Arthur, of his noble
knights of the Round Table, their marvellous enquests
and adventures, the achieving of the Sangreal,
and in the end the dolorous death and departing out
of this world of them all. Which book was reduced
into English by Sir Thomas Malory, knight, as
afore is said, and by me divided into twenty-one
books, chaptered and emprinted, and finished in the
abbey, Westminster, the last day of July the year of
our Lord MCCCCLXXX{?}.>


Abashed, abased, lowered, 9 34
Abate, depress, calm, 7 IS, 18 I9
Abought, paid for, 7 }7
Abraid, started, 9 32
Accompted, counted, 13 2
Accorded, agreed, 1 z
Accordment, agreement, 20 Ir
Acquit, repay, 4 26
Actually, actively, 4 20
Adoubted, afraid, 10 4
Advision, vision, 14 7
Afeard, afraid, 1 z3
Afterdeal, disadvantage, 5 8
Againsay, retract, 13 7
Aknown, known, 8 I4
Aligement, alleviation, 16 1 6
Allegeance, alleviation, 18 I9
Allow, approve, 7 5
Almeries, chests, 17 23
Alther, gen. pl., of all, 4 I I, 20 6
Amounted, mounted, 10 3
Anealed, anointed, 21 IZ
Anguishly, in pain, ]6 IS
Anon, at once, 5 g
Apair, weaken, 3 3
Apparelled, fitted up, 4 6
Appeach, impeach, 10 7
Appealed, challenged, accused, 18 4
Appertices, displays, 5 8
Araged, enraged, 5 2, 9 34; confused, 18 3
Araised, raised, 21 I
Arase, obliterate, 18 25
Areared, reared, 10 64
Armyvestal, martial, 4 I S
Array, plight, state of affairs, 19 7
Arrayed, situated, 17 3
Arson, saddle-bow, 6 7, 18 23
Askance, casually, 8 I4
Assoiled, absolved, 13 20
Assotted, infatuated, 4 I
Assummon, summon, 7 26
Astonied, amazed, stunned, 10 57
At, of, by, 7 3I, 19 8
At-after, after, 7 iI, 12 4
Attainta overcome, 16 8
Aumbries, chests, 17 23
Avail (at), at an advantage, 20 r3
Avaled, lowered, 5 I2
Avaunt, boast, 5 g
Aventred, couched, 2 I8, 4 A
Avised, be advised, take thought, 9 IO
Avision, vision, 21 II
Avoid, quit, 9 3I
Avoided, got clear off, 7 I7
Avow, vow, 10 63
Await of (in), in watch for, 9 A
Awayward, away, 7 I9
Awke, sideways, 5 IO
Bachelors, probationers for knighthood 1 IS
Bain, bath, 18 II, I7
Barbican, gate-tower, 5 5, 7 3t
Barget, little ship, 8 38
Battle, division of an army, 1 IS
Bawdy, dirty, 7 5
Beams, trumpets, 214
Be-closed, enclosed, 12 6
Become, pp., befallen, gone to, 13 I8
Bedashed, splashed, 19 2
Behests, promises, 916
Behight, promised, 17 23
Beholden (beholding) to, obliged to, 7 2I, 13 I9
Behote, promised, 8 8
Benome, deprived, taken away, 14 8, 16 8
Besants, gold coins, 4 25
Beseek, beseech, 15 4
Beseen, appointed, arrayed, 1 18, 116
Beskift, shove off, 4
Bested, beset, 21 2
Betaken, entrusted, 16
Betaught, entrusted, recommended, 6 7
Betid, happened, 7 I S
Betook, committed, entrusted, 123,1069
Bevered, quivered, 1 IS
Board, sb., deck, 14 7
Bobaunce, boasting, pride, 10 63, 15 6, 18 IS
Boishe, bush, branch of a tree, 6 I6
Boistous, rough, 2 8, 14 6
Bole, trunk of a tree, 6 I6
Boot, remedy, 9 I7
Borrow out, redeem, 10 30
Borrows, pledges, 7 I8
Bote, remedy, 8 I, 6
Bound, ready, 1 2
Bourded, jested, 9 43
Bourder, jester, 10 z5
Braced, embraced, 10 78
Brachet, little hound, 3 6
Braide, quick movement, 20 2I
Brast, burst, break, 1 I4, 18 z
Breaths, breathing holes, 8 7
Brief, shorten, 9 I2
Brim, fierce, furious, 20 13
Brised, broke, 9 +, 10 I
Broached, pierced, 1 I6
Broaches, spits, 6 5
Bur, hand-guard of a spear, 214
Burble, bubble, 18 22
Burbling, bubbling, 10 2
Burgenetts, buds, blossoms, 20 I
Bushrnent, ambush, 5 5
By and by, immediately, 18 4
Bywaryed, expended, bestowed, 7 2I
Canel bone, collar bone, 4 27
Cankered, inveterate, 212
Cantel, slice, strip, 1 I6
Careful, sorrowful, full of troubles, 5 5, 21 II
Cast (of bread), loaves baked at the same time, 7 I 4
Cast, rei propose, 13 20
Cedle, schedule, note, 212
Cere, wax over, embalm, 5 8; cered, 21 1 I
Certes, certainly, 14 7
Chafe, heat, decompose, 4 8; chafed, heated, 149
Chaflet, platform, scaffold, 213
Champaign, open country, 1 I4
Chariot (Fr c/iarette), cart, 19 4
Cheer, countenance, 7 IS, 13 20; entertainment, 3 8
Chierte, dearness, 13 8
Chrism, anointing oil, 9 39
Clatter, talk confusedly, 118
Cleight, clutched, 6 2
Cleped, called, 9 6
Clipping, embracing, 4 22, 8 36
Cog, small boat, 5 3
Cognisance, badge, mark of distinction, 11 3
Coif, head-piece, 8 7
Comfort, strengtten, help, 16 7
Cominal, common, 4 25
Complished, complete, 7 I
Con, know, be able, 5 I6 j con thank, be
grateful, 20 I 3
Conserve, preserve, 17 I4
Conversant, abiding in, 17 3
Cording, agreement, 1 II
Coronal, circlet, 5 S
Cost, side, 7 I2
Costed, kept up with, 18 2x
Couched, lay, 14 6
Courage, encourage, 19 I0
Courtelage, courtyard, 4 24
Covert, sheltered, 20 22
Covetise, covetousness, 13
Covin, deceit, 13 15
Cream, oil, 9 39
Credence, faith, 5 z
Croup, crupper, 8 I6
Curteist, most courteous, 6 IC
Daffish, foolish, 9 42
Danger (in), under obligation to, in the power of, 7 8, 19 4
Dawed, v tr,, revived, 11 lo; lttr,9 dawned, 17 2
Deadly, mortal, human, 17, 9, 20
Deal, part, portion, 16 I I
Debate, quarrel, strife, 3 6
Debonair, courteous, 17 4
Deceivable, deceitful, 10 6 I
Defaded, faded, 10 86
Default, fault, 3 8
Defend, forbid, 1 23; deferded, forbade, 7 I; forbidden, 18 2
Defoiled, trodden down, fouled, deflowered, 1 I4, 7 I2, 9 32
Degree (win the), rank, superiority, 8 9
Delibered, determined, 5 2
Deliverly, adroitly, 20 22
Departed, divided, 9 7
Departition, departure, 9 36
Dere, harm, 1 17, 13 IZ
Descrive, describe, 10 I
Despoiled, stripped, 15 2
Detrenched, cut to pieces, 5 7
Devised, looked carefully at, 17 13
Devoir, duty, service, 7 23, 20 18
Did off, doffed, 13 B
Dight, prepared, 4 6
Dindled, trembled, 5 8
Disadventure, misfortune, 13 20
Discover, reveal, 13 20
Disherited, disinherited, 13 IO, 14 8
Disparpled, scattered, 20 I
Dispenses, expenses, 5 2
Disperplyd, scattered, 5 2, 8
Dispoiled, stripped, 7 2
Distained, sullied, dishonoured, 184
Disworship, shame, 9 3
Dole, gift of alms, 21 3
Dole, sorrow, 1 IS, 11 B
Domineth, dominatesj rules, 5 I
Don, gift, 7 2
Doted, foolish, 10 55
Doubted, redoubtable, 167
Draughts, privities, secret interviews, recesses, 18 IX 19 6
Drenched, drowned, 14 8
Dress, make ready, 1 I6
Dressed up, raised, 13 I8
Dretched, troubled in sleep, 20 5
Dretching, being troubled in sleep, 21 I
Dromounds, war vessels, 5 3
Dure, endure, last, 4 I; dared, 8 29;
during, 10 7 I
Duresse, bondage, hardship, 13 I2X 14 7
Dwined, dwindled, 21 IZ
Eased, entertained, 17 I x
Eft, after, again, 8 13
Eftures, passages, 19 7
Embattled, ranged for battle, 5 8
Embushed, concealed in the woods, 1 I9, 46
Eme, uncle, 8 S
Empoison, poison, 18 3
Emprised, undertook, 9 2
Enbraid, 20 I2
Enchafe, heat, 18 IS; enchafed, heated, 149, 185
Enchieve, achieve, 9 2X 13 2
Endlong, alongside of, ff 7
Enewed, painted, 3 9
Enforce, constrain, 10 74, 18 18
Engine, device, 10 I7
Enow, enough, 1 23
Enquest, enterprise, 9 2
Ensured, assured, 7 I7
Entermete, intermeddle, 10 26
Errant, wandering, 4 I2
Estates, ranks, 10 6I
Even hand, at an equality, 92
Evenlong, along, 10 6 I
Everych, each, every one, 16 3
Faiter, vagabond, 2 IO
Fare, sb., ado, commotion, 219
Faren, pp., treated, 7 x 5
FautS v., lack, 3 I; fagted, lacked, 9 32
Fealty, oath of fidelity, 7 I7
Fear, frighten, 7 I6
Feute, trace, track, 6 I4, 18 2I
Feuter, set in rest, couch, ff 2
Feutred, set in socket, 20 I3
Fiaunce, affiance, promise, 1 3
Flang, flung, 6 7, 10 41; rushed, 9 6
Flatling, prostrate, 18 7
Fleet, float, 13 2
Flemed, put to flight, 20 D
Flittered, fluttered, 5 4
Foiled, defeated, shamed, 18 25
Foined, thrust, 20 22
Foining, thrusting, 7 4
Foins, thrusts, 9 8
Foot-hot, hastily, 5> 28, 33
For-bled, spent with bleeding, 9 8, 20 7
Force (no), no concern, 3 7, 21 IO
Fordeal, advantage, 5 8
Fordo, destroy, 8 26; ferdid, 2 I9
Forecast, preconcerted plot, 20 5
For-fared, worsted, 6 6
Forfend, forbid, 18 2
Forfoughten, weary with fighting, 2 IO
Forhewn, hewn to pieces, 7 I2, I7
Forjousted, tired with jousting, 8 39, 10 58
Forthinketh, repents, 2 3
Fortuned, happened, 7 x
Forward, vanguard, 20 I3
Forwounded, sorely wounded, 9 8
Free, noble, 10 6 I
Fr shed,
Froward, away from, 3 x4, 104
Gad, wedge or spike of iron, 15 2
Gainest, readiest, 7 20
Gar, cause, 20 I6
Gart, compelled, 3 IO, 8 I S
Gentily, like a gentleman, 9 5
Gerfalcon, a fine hawk, 4 26
Germane, closely allied, 2 I I, 14 2
Gest, deed, story, 6 I3
Gisarm, halberd, battle-axe, 4 25X 7 22
Glaive, sword, 20 6
Glastings barking, 10 53
Glatisant, barking, yelping, 10 13
Gobbets, lumps, 7 23
Graithed, made ready, 5 7
Gree, degree, superiority, 5 IO, 6 7
Greed, pp., pleased, content, 16 IS
Greses, steps, 17 I8
Grimly, ugly, 6 8, 19 2
Grovelling, on his face, 8 26
Guerdonless, without reward, 10 86
Guise, fashion,
Habergeon, hauberk with leggings attached, 16 IO
Hair, a hair-shirt, 152
Hale and how, a sailor's cry, 7 IS
Halp, helped, 10 64
Halsed, embraced, 8 I4
Halsing, embracing, 2 I6
Handfast, betrothed, 10 37
Handsel, earnest-money, 8 I6
Hangers, testicles, 10 38
Harbingers, messengers sent to prepare
lodgings, 7 27
Harness, armour, 9 I I
Hart of greese, fat deer, 10 86
Hauberk, coat of mail, 1 I6
Haut, high, noble, 2 I9, 8 27
Hauteyn, haughty, 4 IO
Heavy, sad, 14 4, 6
Hete, command, 1] 9
Hide, skin, 11 I4
Hied, hurried, 17 19
High (on), aloud, 6 II
Higher hand, the uppermost, 16 I4
Hight, called, 1 I8
Hilled, covered, concealed, 10 59, 17 22
Holden, held, 18
Holp, helped, B 12
Holts, woods, 6 9
Hough-bone, back part of knee-joillt, 12 3
Houselled, to be given the Eucharist, 21 12
Hoved, hovered, waited about, 2 I9, 4 20 18 Io
Hurled, dashed, staggered, 8 26, 9 4X 6, 104I; hvrSig, 7 H
Hurtle, dash, 7 H
Incontinent, forthwith, 5 z
Ind, dark blue, 1 IS
Infellowship, join in fellowship, 8 27
In like, alike, 1214
Intermit, interpose, 16 15
Japer, jester, 10 44
Japes, jests, 3 II
Jesseraunt, a short cuirass, 19
Keep, sb., care, 7 20
Keep, v., care reck, 9 I4
Kemps, champions, 7 8
Kind, nature, 118
Kindly, natural, 118
Knights partcrs, marshals. 199
Know, acknowledge, 5 I2
Knowledging, acknowledgment, confession, 19 I
Lain, conceal, 20 I
Langering, sauntering, 9 20
Lapped, took in her lap, 8 r
Large, generous, 1061
Largeness, liberality, 4 H
Laton, latten, brass, 2 II
Laund, waste plain, 4
Layne, conceal, 18 }3
Lazar-cot, leper-house, 8 35
Learn, teach, 6 IO
Lears, cheeks, 9 20
Leaved, leafy, 18 IO
Lecher, fornicator, 18 2
Leech, physician, 125
Lesnan, lover, 6 5
Let, caused to, 10 6 I
Let, hinder, 5 7
Lewdest, most ignorant, 126
Licours, lecherous, 18 25
Lief, dear, 215
Liefer, more gladly, 9 4
Lieve, believe, 20 I
Limb-meal, limb from limb, 8 37
List, desire, pleasure, 9 2421039
Lithe, joint, 3 H
Longing unto, belonging to, 1 H
Long on (upon), because of, 15 2X20 r
Loos, praise, 5 lo, 16 I I
Lotless, without a share, 10 4
Loveday, day for settling disputes, 10 I5
Loving, praising, 11 I, 19
Lunes, leashes, strings, 6 16
Lusk, lubber, 7 5
Lusts, inclinations, 8 36
Maims, wounds, 1 IS
Makeless, matchless, 6 II, 1O 73
Makers, authors, poets, 21 H
Mal-ease, discomfort, 8 4I
Mal engine, evil design, 18 5, I8, 204
Mal-fortune, ill-luck, mishap, 912
Marches, berders, 1 H8, 9
Mass-penay, offering at mass for the dead, 18 20
Matchecold, machicolated, with holes for defence, 7 lo
Maugre, Jb, despite, 1 2 3, 20 6X I1
Measle, disease, 17 I I
Medled, mingled, 10 59
Medley, melee, general encounter, 1 IS
Meiny, retinue, 5 5
Mickle, much, 10 63
Minever, ermine, 12 I ,.
Mischieved, hurt, 9 I I
Mischievous, painful, 20 6
Miscomfort, discomfort, 10 29
Miscreature, unbeliever, 17 2
Missay, revile, 9 3; missaid, 9 2
Mo, more, 8 34,10 58
More and less, rich and poor, 7 27
Motes, notes on a horn, 7 8
Mountenance, amount of, extent, 7 4
Much, great, 20 4
Naked, unarmed, 12 I2
Namely, especially, 13 20
Ne, nor, 5 8
Near-hand, nearly, 5 7, 8 I4; near, 19 I
Needly, needs, on your own compulsion, 10 67
Nesh, soft, tender, 13 20
Nigh-hand, nearly, 9 35
Nill, will not, 10 55
Nilt, will not, 13 20
Nis, ne is, is not, 6 I6
Nist, ne wist, knew not, 1614
Nolulesse, nobleness, 119
Nobley, nobility, splendour, 10 6
Noised; reported, 10 46
Nold, would not, 13 IO
Noseling, on his nose, 17 4
Not for then, nevertheless, 10 30,
Notoyrly, notoriously, Pre95
Noyous, hurtful, 17 8
Obeissance, obedience, 18
Or, before, 9 N
Orgule, haughtiness, 21 I I
Orgulist, haughtiest, 21 I
Orgulite, pride, arrogance, 10 I
Orgulous, proud, 2 4
Other, or, 1 23
Ouches, jewels, 20 I4
Ought, owned, 6 5, 9 2
Outcept, except, 10 72
Outher, or, 9 N7, 10
Out-taken, except, 10 7 3
Over-evening, last night, 9
Overget, overtake, 12 3
Overhylled, covered, 10 9
Over-led, domineered over, 20 I I
Overlong, the length of, 10 60
Overslip, s., pass, 8 I4
Overthwart, alj., cross, 9 IS
Overthwart, sb., mischance, 7 17
Overthwart and endlong, by the breadth and length, 13 N
Painture, painting, 6 6
Paitrelles, breastplate of a horse, 7 16
Paltocks, short coats, 5
Parage, descent, 7 S
Pareil, like, 6 2
Passing, surpassingly, 18 t
Paynim, pagan, 9 38
Pensel, pennon, 10 47
Perclos, partition, 14 3
Perdy, par Dieu, 7 }9
Perigot, falcon, 6 16
Perish, destroy, 17 2
Peron, tombstone, 10 2
Pight, pitched, 1 I, 5 5, 9 20
Pike, steal away, 20 I7
Piked, stole, 9 44
Pillers, plunderers, 214
Pilling, plundering, 13 15
Pleasaunce, pleasure, 8 36
Plenour, complete, 7 1
Plump, b., cluster, 1 16
Pointling, aiming, 114
Pont, bridge, 11 I
Port, gate, 7 No
Posseded, possessed, 8 12
Potestate, governor, 5 8
Precessours, predecessors, 51
Press, throng, 1 N
Pretendeth, belongs to, 1 N
Pricker, hard rider, 5 IO
Pricking, spurring, 14 5
Prime, 6.o A.M., 6 49 1319
Prise, capture, 4 6
Puissance, power, 126
Purfle, trimming, 1 26
Purfled, embroidered, 1 26
Purvey, provide, 4 l, 18 3
Quarrels, arrowheads, 115
Questing, barking, 1 N
Quick, alive, N 1
Quit, repaid, 4 28; acquitted, behaved, 5 11
Raced (rased), tore, 1 23, 10 41 18 23
Rack (of bulls), herd, 16 I, 3
Raines, a town in Brittany famous for its cloth, 21
Ramping, raging, 9
Range, rank, station, 10
Ransacked, searched, 13 N
Rashed, fell headlong, 9 6
Rashing, rushing, 6 8
Rasing, rushing, 6 8, 7 4
Rasure, 18 25
Raundon, impetuosity, l lo, 39
Rear, raise, 4 2
Rechate, note of recall, 10 52
Recomforted, comforted, cheered, 733
Recounter, rencontre, encounter, 4 24X 10 3
Recover, rescue, 20 N
Rede, advise, 1 23; sb, counsel, 214
Redounded, glanced back, 1 N
Religion, religious order, 15
Reneye, deny, 8 37
Report, refer, 18 4
Resemblaunt, semblance, 14 6
Retrayed, drew back, 7 12
Rightwise, rightly, 15
Rivage, shore, 7 2I
Romed, roared, 5 4
Roted, practised, 10 36
Rove, cleft, 217
Rownsepyk, a branch, 6 I6
Sacring, consecrating, 14 3
Sad, serious, 9 7
Sadly, heartily, earnestly, 7 2
Salle, room, 17 16
SamitS N silk stuff with gold or
threads, 1 25
Sangreal, Holy Grail, 12 4
Sarps, girdles, 20 14
Saw, proverb, 10 61
Scathes, harms, hurts, 10 30
Scripture, writing, 17 2 1
Search, probe wounds, 8 8
Selar, canopy, I7 6
Semblabk, like, 6 IO
Semblant, semblance, 8 8
Sendal, fine cloth, 5 8
Sennight, week, 418
Servage, slavery, 13 15
Sewer, officer who set on dishes and tasted them, 7 36
Shaft-mon, hand breadth, 7 22
Shaw, thicket, .9 39
Sheef, thrust, 13 9
Sheer-Thursday, Thursday in Holy Week, 1720
Shend, harm, 20 I9
Shenship, disgrace, 7 IS
Shent, undone, blamed, 7 15
Shour, attack, 20 I4
Shrew, rascal, 10 47
Shrewd, knavish, 9 I8, 24
Sib, akin to, 3 3
Sideling, sideways, 1064
Siege, seat, 13 4
Signified, likened, 17 9
Siker, sure, 7 I 8, 11 I3
Sikerness, assurance, 4 27
Sith, since, 1 Se
Sithen, afterwards, since, 5 9
Skift, changed, 9 40
Slade, valley, 6 5, # 7
Slake, glen, 6 5
Soil (to go to), hunting term for taking the water, 18 2I
Sonds, messages, 21 I
Sort, company, 9 J I
Sperd, bolted, 8 34
Spere, ask, inquire, 13 17
Spered, asked, 7 30, 218
Sperhawk, sparrothawk, 12 7
Sprent, sprinkled, 17 7
Stale, station, 5 IO
Stark, thoroughly, 4 I7
Stead, place, 4 I4
Stert, started, rose quickly, 2 I6, 14 IO
Steven, appointment, 2 14; stefven setf appointment made, 8 I3
Steven, voice, 21 I2
Stigh, path, 7 3 I
Stilly, silently, 7 I9
Stint, fixed revenue, 1 24
Stonied, astonished, 6 8; became confused, 934
Stour, battle, 9 34, 16 8
Strain, race, descent, 13 8
Strait, narrow, 1 IO
Straked, blew a horn, 9 2I, 10 52
Sue, pursue, 16 20
Sued, pursued, 3 IO
Surcingles, saddle girths, 7 I6
Swang, swung, 8 14
Sweven, dream, 1 I3; PlS 21 I2
Swough, sound of wind, 5 4
Talent, desire, 10 20
Tallages, taxes, 5 2
Tallies, taxes, 5 2
Tamed, crusheda 2 I8, 3 lo, 15 2
Tatches, qualities, 2 2, 8 3
Tene, sorrow, 2 I6
Term, period of time, 21 I
Thilk, that same, 5 S
Tho, then, 17 I
Thrang, pushed, 7 30X 20 8
Thrulled, pushed, 9 4
Till, to, 9 26
To-brast, burst, 6 I3
Ta-fore, before, 1 4, 16 I4
To-morn, to-morrow, 4 24
Took, gave, 7 30, 16 6
To-rove, broke up, 8 38
To-shivered, broken to pieces, 1 22
Traced, advanced and retreated, 20 2r
Trains, devices, wiles, 9 25
Trating, pressing forward, 6 8 7 4
Travers (met at), came across, 17 I9
Traverse, slantwise, 10 65, 17 I9
Traversed, moved sideways, 20 21
Tray, grief, 2 I6
Treatise, treaty, 4 24
Tree, timber, 17 19
Trenchant, cutting, sharp, 19 I r
Trest, hunting term, 18 2 I
Truage, tribute, 1 23X 5 I
Trussed, packed, 20 I 8
Ubblie, wafer, Host, 17 20
Umbecast, cast about, 18 21
Umberere, the part of the hel et which shaded the eyes, 8 4I
Umbre, shade, 8 I
Unavised, thoughtlessly, 9 I7
Uncouth, strange, 3 6
Underne, 9-I2 A.M., 7
Ungoodly, rudely, 7 3I
Unhappy, unlucky, 20 I I
Unhilled, uncovered, 12 4
Unnethe, scarcely, 1 IS, 182
Unsicker, unstable, 17 23
Unwimpled, uncovered, 10 39
Unwrast, untwisted, unbound, 8 34
Upright, flat on the back, 16 8
Up-so-down, upside down, 10 60, 14 9} 213
Ure, usage, 1 I6
Utas, octave of a festival, 5 3
Utterance, uttermost, 9 3
Varlet, servant, 10 60
Venery, hunting, 8 3
Ventails, breathing holes, 10 60
Villain, man of low birth, 10 6
Visors, the perforated parts of helmets, 8 7
Voided, slipped away from, 1 I6
Wagging, shaking, 19 9
Waited, watched, 6 S
Waits, watches, 7 30
Wallop, gallop, 1 22
Wanhope, despair, 16 to, 13
Wap, ripple, 215
Ware, aware, 14 7
Warison, reward, 9 IZ
Warn, forbid, refuse, 610, 16 I1
Weeds, garments, 10 7 I
Weltered, rolled about, 5 5, 118
Wend, thought, 4 27
Wer-wolf, a man turned into a wolf by magic, 19 II
Where, whereas, 9 7
Wide-where, over wide space, 9 z
Wield, possess, have power over, 7 26
Wield himself, come to himself, 8 I3
Wight. brave, strong, 7 9, 9 4, 20 z
Wightly, swiftly, 213
Wildsome, desolate, 7 22
Wimpled, with the head covered, 10 68
Win, make way, 9 4
Wite, v., blame, 126, 4 I I
Within-forth, on the inside, 16 I 3, 20 22
Without-forth, on the outside, 16 I3, 2022
Wittiest, cleverest, 17 3
Wittily, cleverly, 10 36
Witting, knowledge, 11 I4
Wold or nold, would or would not, 13 IO
Wonder, adj., wondrous, 17 I
Wonder, alv., wondrously, 10 68, 20 22
Wonderly, wonderfully, 9 4
Wood, mad, 1 IS, 9 3
Woodness, madness, 1 IS
Wood shaw, thicket of the wood, 9 12
Worship, honour, 7 z 3
Worshipped, cause to be honoured, 18 5
Worts, roots, 16 3
Wot, know, 116
Wrack, destruction, 20 I
Wroken, wreaked, 3 7
Wrothe, twisted, 12 z
Yede, ran, 2 I8
Yelden, yielded, 20 20
Yerde, stick, stem, 17 5
Yode, went, 6 z
Yolden, yielded, 5 IZ
Y-wis, certainly7 10 58


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