Le Morte Darthur Book 19

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Capitulum i

In may Queen Guenever invites ten knights of the Round Table to go out riding (maying) near Westminster. They have to be dressed in green and each will have a Lady to ride with them.

These were the knights; Sir Kay le Seneschal, Sir Sagramore le Desirous, Sir Dodinas le Savage, Sir Ozanna le Cure Hardy, Sir Ladinas of the Forest Savage, Sir Persant of Inde, Sir Ironside the Knight of the Red Launds and Sir Pelleas the Lover. The knights dress themselves to the occasion and they set of early as Queen Guenever wants to Arthur at ten. Sir Meliagrance, a son of King Bagdemagus, lives in a castle which was given to him by Arthur which is also seven miles from Westminster. He has been in love with Guenever for a long time and has wanted to steal her away but was always afraid of Lancelot. The Queen usually rides with several knights that protect her. Knights with white shields, called the Queen’s Knights. These were some of the most noblest men.

But this time the Queen does not have Lancelot with her and so Meliagrance lies in wait to steal her.

Capitulum ii

They talk. Then they fight. Eventually, Guenever yields so that none of her knights get slain. They go as prisoners upon her request

Capitulum iii

Mellyagraunce dreads Sir Lancelot above all. A knight is sent away to get rescue. M. notices it and places archers. Lancelot is informed and leaves a note for Lavaine thet he goes to rescue the queen.

Capitulum iv

The archers stop Lancelot on the road, kill his horse. He is unable to reach them due to hedges. Lancelot instead captures a chariot of wood, bludgeoning one driver. He drives to the gate of M’s castle – one of Guenever’s ladies spies him and supposes him a defeated knight being taken to the gallows. Geunever recognises Lancelot. Lancelot challenges M. and slays the porter

Capitulum v

M. immediately yields. Launcelot will only accept if Guenever accepts it which she does to avoid any noise. Sir Lancelot henceforth was called ‘Le Chaleur de Cahriot’. Lancelot promises to meet the queen at a window this night. Lavaine appears.

Capitulum vi

They supper. In the night, Lancelot goes to the window, does not allow Lavaine to accompany him. After some talk he breaks the iron bars and enters the queen’s chamber. [hints on intercourse] Since he has a bleeding wound from the bars, the blood is spilled in the clothes. He leaves. The nect day Guenever sleeps long. M. discovers the blood and accuses her of adultery with one wounded knight. All 10 of her knights deny the accusation – but the blood is some proof.

Capitulum vii

Lancelot comes in. M. plans to accuse before Arthur. Lancelot challenges him to ordeal in 8 days that none of the 10 knights lay by her [tricky…]. They dine. Afterwards, Lancelot falls into a trapdoor and is left there intentionally by M. The others suppose he departed and the Queen and her company leave for Westminster.

Capitulum viii

Lancelot is met by a lady. Lancelot does not want to have quarrel with her. In the end he is released (plus armour) for a kiss and departs to the ordeal

Capitulum ix

There, Mellygraunce asks for Lancelot. Lavaine is sure he will show up since he never missed any battle unless imprisoned or the like. He offers to stand in. Arthur accepts and supposes some treason. Lancelot then shows up and accuses M of his deeds. Lance wins the following battle. M. yields and does not want to continue fighting. Upon a sign of Guenever, Lance tries to force him to fight to death, in the end handicapping himself but still managing to kill M.

Capitulum x

In the land of Hogre (Hungary) there was a Sir Urre who got cursed so that his wounds only heal if he is searched by the worthiest knight. He comes to Arthur’s court, all knights shall try, and Arthur shall start, by his own command

Capitulum xi

[Many stories are rehearsed here when the knights trying the task are listed (almost 2 full pages!)]. Arthur fails. A long list of knights is given (with their respective deeds) – all 110 knights fail (40 are abroad).

Capitulum xii

Lancelot is yet missing and arrives. Arthur orders him to try it – not because he is the noblest but to be of company to the rest of the Table Round. Lancelot prays and the wounds of Urre heal. Urre agrees to participate in some jousts.

Capitulum xiii

Urre and Lavaine win the jousting (100 on 100) for a diamond. Lavaine falls in love with Urre’s sister Felelolle and marries her after he and Urre are made knights of the table round. Agravain plans to damage Guenever and Lancelot for old hate; Lancelot drives around in a Chariot due to his ‘title’