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King Arthur Tales of the Round Table

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Author Topic: King Arthur Tales of the Round Table  (Read 1909 times)
Dana Monsour
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« Reply #225 on: September 16, 2009, 12:17:12 am »

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« Reply #226 on: September 16, 2009, 12:17:23 am »

Knights, for the King would have the letter read openly. He then broke the seal himself, and bade a clerk read it, and this was what it said:

'Most noble Knight Sir Lancelot, I was your lover, whom men called the Fair Maid of Astolat: therefore unto all ladies I make my moan; yet pray for my soul, and bury me. This is my last request. Pray for my soul, Sir Lancelot, as thou art peerless.'

This was all the letter, and the King and Queen and all the Knights wept when they heard it.

'Let Sir Lancelot be sent for,' presently said the King, and when Sir Lancelot came the letter was read to him also.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #227 on: September 16, 2009, 12:17:48 am »

'My lord Arthur,' said he, after he had heard it all, 'I am right grieved at the death of this damsel. God knows I was not, of my own will, guilty of her death, and that I will call on her brother, Sir Lavaine, to witness. She was both fair and good, and much was I beholden to her, but she loved me out of measure.'

'You might have been a little gentle with her,' answered the Queen, 'and have found some way to save her life.'

'Madam,' said Sir Lancelot, 'she would have nothing but my love, and that I could not give her, though I offered her a thousand pounds yearly if she should set her heart on any other Knight. For, Madam, I love not to be forced to love; love must arise of itself, and not by command.'

'That is truth,' replied the King, 'love is free in himself, and never will be bounden; for where he is bounden he looseth himself. But, Sir Lancelot, be it your care to see that the damsel is buried as is fitting.'

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/trt/trt24.htm
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #228 on: September 17, 2009, 12:22:36 am »

LANCELOT AND GUENEVERE

Now we come to the sorrowful tale of Lancelot and Guenevere, and of the death of King Arthur. Already it has been told that King Arthur had wedded Guenevere, the daughter of Leodegrance, King of Cornwall, a damsel who seemed made of all the flowers, so fair was she, and slender, and brilliant to look upon. And the Knights in her father's Court bowed down before her, and smote their hardest in the jousts where Guenevere was present, but none dared ask her in marriage till Arthur came. Like the rest he saw and loved her, but, unlike them, he was a King, and might lift his eyes even unto Guenevere. The maiden herself scarcely saw or spoke to him, but did her father's bidding in all things, and when he desired her to make everything ready to go clothed as beseemed a Princess to King Arthur's Court, her heart beat with joy at the sight of rich stuffs and shining jewels. Then one day there rode up to the Castle a band of horsemen sent by the King, to bring her to his Court, and at the head of them Sir Lancelot du Lake, friend of King Arthur, and winner of all the jousts and tournaments where Knights meet to gain honour. Day by day they rode together apart and he told her tales of gallant deeds done for love of beautiful ladies, and they passed under trees gay with the first green of spring, and over hyacinths covering the earth with sheets of blue, till at sunset they drew rein before the silken pavilion, with the banner of Uther Pendragon floating on the top. And Guenevere's heart went out to Lancelot before she knew.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #229 on: September 17, 2009, 12:23:01 am »

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« Reply #230 on: September 17, 2009, 12:23:14 am »

One evening she noted, far across the plain, towers and buildings shining in the sun, and an array of horsemen ride forth to meet her. One stopped before her dazzled eyes, and leaping from his horse bowed low. Arthur had come to welcome her, and do her honour, and to lead her home. But looking up at him, she thought him cold, and, timid and alone, her thoughts turned again to Lancelot. After that the days and years slipped by, and these two were ever nearest the King, and in every time of danger the King cried for Lancelot, and trusted his honour and the Queen's to him. Sir Lancelot spoke truly when he told Elaine that he had never worn the badge of lady or maiden, but for all that every one looked on Sir Lancelot as the Queen's Knight, who could do no worship to any other woman. The King likewise held Sir Lancelot bound to fight the Queen's battles,-and if he was absent on adventures of his own, messengers hastened to bring him back, as in the fight with Sir Mador. So things went on for many years, and the King never guessed that the Queen loved Lancelot best.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #231 on: September 17, 2009, 12:23:28 am »

It befell one spring, in the month of May, that Queen Guenevere bethought herself that she would like to go a-maying in the woods and fields that lay round the City of Westminster on both sides of the river. To this intent she called her own especial Knights, and bade them be ready the next morning clothed all in green, whether of silk or cloth, land,' said she, 'I shall bring with me ten ladies, and every Knight shall have a lady behind him, and be followed by a squire and two yeomen, and I will that you shall all be well horsed.' Thus it was done, and the ten Knights, arrayed in fresh green, the emblem of the spring, rode with the Queen and her ladies in the early dawn, and smelt the sweet of the year, and gathered flowers which they stuck in their girdles and doublets. The Queen was as happy and light of heart as the youngest maiden, but she had promised to be with the King at the hour of ten, and gave the signal for

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« Reply #232 on: September 17, 2009, 12:23:45 am »

departure unwillingly. The Knights were mounting their horses, when suddenly out of a wood on the other side rode Sir Meliagraunce, who for many years had loved the Queen, and had sought an occasion to carry her off, but found none so fair as this. Out of the forest he rode, with two score men in armour, and a hundred archers behind him, and bade the Queen and her followers stay where they were, or they would fare badly. 'Traitor,' cried the Queen, 'what evil deed would you do? You are a King's son and a Knight of the Round Table, yet you seek to shame the man who gave you knighthood. But 1 tell you that you may bring dishonour on yourself, but you will bring none on me, for rather would I cut my throat in twain.'
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« Reply #233 on: September 17, 2009, 12:23:59 am »

'As for your threats, Madam, I pay them no heed,' returned Sir Meliagraunce; 'I have loved you many a year, and never could I get you at such an advantage as I do now, and therefore I will take you as I find you.' Then all the Knights spoke together saying, 'Sir Meliagraunce, bethink yourself that in attacking men who are unarmed you put not only our lives in peril but your own honour. Rather than allow the Queen to be shamed we will each one fight to the death, and if we did aught else we should dishonour our knighthood for ever.'
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« Reply #234 on: September 17, 2009, 12:24:17 am »

'Fight as well as you can,' answered Sir Meliagraunce, and keep the Queen if you may.' So the Knights of the Round Table drew their swords, and the men of Sir Meliagraunce ran at them with spears; but the Knights stood fast, and clove the spears in two before they touched them. Then both sides fought with swords, and Sir Kay and five other Knights were felled to the ground with wounds all over their bodies. The other four fought long, and slew forty of the men and archers of Sir Meliagraunce; but in the end they too were overcome. When the Queen saw that she cried out for pity and sorrow, 'Sir Meliagraunce, spare my noble Knights and

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« Reply #235 on: September 17, 2009, 12:24:30 am »

 I will go with you quietly on this condition, that their lives be saved, and that wherever you may carry me they shall follow. For I give you warning that I would rather slay myself than go with you without my Knights, whose duty it is to guard me.'

'Madam,' replied Sir Meliagraunce, 'for your sake they shall be led with you into my own castle, if you will consent to ride with me.' So the Queen prayed the four Knights to fight no more, and she and they would not part, and to this, though their hearts were heavy, they agreed.
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« Reply #236 on: September 17, 2009, 12:24:42 am »

The fight being ended the wounded Knights were placed on horseback, some sitting, some lying across the saddle, according as they were hurt, and Sir Meliagraunce forbade anyone to leave the castle (which had been a gift to him from King Arthur), for sore he dreaded the vengeance of Sir Lancelot if this thing should reach his ears. But the Queen knew well what was passing in his mind, and she called a little page who served her in her chamber and desired him to take her ring and hasten with all speed to Sir Lancelot, 'and pray him, if he loves me, to rescue me. Spare not your horse, neither for water nor for land.' And the boy bided his time, then mounted his horse, and rode away as fast as he might. Sir Meliagraunce spied him as he flew, and knew whither he went, and who had sent him; and he commanded his best archers to ride after him and shoot him ere he reached Sir Lancelot. But the boy escaped their arrows, and vanished from their sight. Then Sir Meliagraunce said to the Queen, 'You seek to betray me, Madam; but Sir Lancelot shall not so lightly come at you.' And he bade his men follow him to the castle in haste, and left an ambush of thirty archers in the road, charging them that if a Knight mounted on a white horse came along that, way they were to slay the horse but to leave the, man alone, as he was hard to overcome. After Sir Meliagraunce had given these orders his company galloped fast to the castle; but the Queen would
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« Reply #237 on: September 17, 2009, 12:24:54 am »

p. 136

listen to nothing that he said, demanding always that her Knights and ladies should be lodged with her, and Sir Meliagraunce was forced to let her have, her will.
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« Reply #238 on: September 17, 2009, 12:25:17 am »



GUENEVERE SENDS HER PAGE TO LANCELOT FOR HELP
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #239 on: September 17, 2009, 12:25:30 am »

p. 137

The castle of Sir Meliagraunce was distant seven miles from Westminster, so it did not take long for the boy to find Sir Lancelot, and to give him the Queen's ring and her message. 'I am shamed for ever,' said Sir Lancelot, 'unless I can rescue that noble lady,' and while he put on his armour, he called to the boy to tell him the whole adventure. When he was armed and mounted, he begged the page to warn Sir Lavaine where he had gone, and for what cause. 'And pray him, as he loves me, that he follow me to the castle of Sir Meliagraunce, for if I am a living man, he will find me there.'
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