The Marriage of Arthur and Gonnore
THE MARRIAGE OF ARTHUR AND GONNORE: FOOTNOTES6 remeved, departed.
8 moo, more.
11 ageins, toward.
12 meyné, company.
14 fonde, found.
15 strowed, bestrewn.
17 pris, worth; brake, broke.
18 bourdinge, sport; whereas, where.
20 whoso, whoever.
22-23 seynge hem alle, in sight of them all.
25 whereof, thereof.
29 agein, afterward.
30 fonde, found.
31 tho, those; moo, more.
32 yede, went.
33 aresoned, spoke to; spousen, wed.
35 whiche, whatever; abide, wait for.
37 Be, By.
38 recovered, received; ellis, also.
40 oweth, ought; wite, know.
41 er ought, before; seth, since.
42 Certes, Indeed.
44 spousaile, the wedding; toke thei day, they chose the day; the utas after, one week later.
45 clothes leyde, tablecloths in place.
46 mete, dinner.
50 wiste, knew.
52 untrouthe, deception.
53 merveile, wonder.
54 preied, asked; spede of, deal with.
54-55 With gode will, Gladly.
55 at even, in the evening; souped, supped.
56 graces, steps.
58 wiket, doorway; whereas, where.
59 sesed, seized.
60 not feynte, not afraid; yef, if.
62 lese, lose; seth, since.
65 lever, rather.
67 Tho, Then.
68 wente, go.
69 arise, arose.
73 oon, side.
75 conveien, accompany; be, by.
80 ledden, led.
81 discheveled, bare-headed.
82 sercle, circlet.
86 hight, was named; whiche, who.
87 avenaunt, comely.
93 abode, awaited; chapeleyn, chaplain.
99 jogelours, entertainers; Whereto, Why.
99-100 yow devise, relate to you.
100 deduyt, delight; cowde, could.
102 all the mete-while, all through dinner.
103 boordes were uppe, tables were removed; arered, raised; quyntayn, tilting board; thyder yede, thither went.
104 bourde, sport.
107 maistries, great deeds.
108 so that, and so; tidinges com, messages were taken.
109 undirstode, realized.
110 oversette, defeated.
111 dide on, put on; habergon, mail shirt.
113 nought for that, not because; thought to do, expected to be done.
114 douted ever, always suspected; debate, strife; thourgh, through.
115 musarde, trouble-maker; eny, some.
116 whereas, already.
117 evell ledde, ill-treated.
118 volunté, wishes.
120 wenten in, charged in.
123 Sowdiours, Soldiers.
124 tother, other.
131 suerté, pledges.
132 renged hem, ordered themselves; araide hem, readied themselves.
136 ordeyned, ordered; aray, formation.
144 bourdeyse, jousting.
145 redy araide, prepared; mete, meet each other.
148 ennoysed, praised.
153 belefte, remained.
154 purchesed, done; traied of, betrayed by; parentes, i.e., relatives.
155 yoven, given.
156 volunté, wishes.
160 saf, except; suerde, sword.
162 made dispoile, prepared.
164 quatte, hidden; ympe, tree; coy, quiet.
165 drough, drew.
166 her, their.
167 quat, hidden; steyres, stairs; theras, where.
168 aparceyved of, seen by.
173 wolde crye, wanted to cry out.
174 sore affraied, greatly frightened; yef, if.
176 wherein, in which.
179 comberouse, difficult; yef, if.
182 that, that which.
183 enbusshement, ambush; ascryed, rebuked; cleped, called.
184 and, i.e., that.
185 ascrye, acost; preised, valued.
188 maugré hire, despite her wishes.
189 braied rudely, jerked quickly.
190 ympe, tree; clippe, clasped.
191 thise, these men; yet, though.
192 woode, insane.
196 heede, head.
197 apeire, injure.
198 kepte hem so shorte, dealt with them so quickly.
199 peyned, tried.
200 sore, strongly; nygh, nearly.
201 rente, tore.
202 turnement, torment; ascried, acosted.
203 yaf, gave; theras, where.
204 atteyne, reach; slowgh, slew.
206 sette no force, made no attempt; enchace, chase.
212 wolde, wished; noon aparceyved her covyne, no one knew where she was confined.
213 demened, thwarted.
215 the kynge, i.e., Leodegan.
217 Wherefore . . . maistresse, Why is not the mistress sufficient.
219 in ese, relieved.
223 sooll, alone.
228 reynes, loins.
229 upon, begotten upon.
232 hym ageins, to him.
238 be2, by.
239 annoye, difficulties.
240 the kynge, i.e., Arthur; lefte, abandoned; yer, years.
242 hilde in avoutrye, held in adultery.
243 toke, took; that made, made it so that.
245 enderdited, under interdict.
246 centense, sentence.
249 here, hear.
255 cosin germain, first cousin; wiste, knew.
256 diffouled, raped; ne deyned not, chose not; no playnt, a complaint.
257 diffied, challenged; awaited hym after, watched for him.
261 anoon, immediately.
262 slowgh, slew.
264 parties, sides; brennynge, burning.
267 braied, wept.
268 birie, bury.
271-72 fre and debonair, [one] generous and courteous.
273 wrought, acted.
275 yef, if.
276 as, thus.
279 yeve, give.
282 stilliche, quietly; wiste, knew.
283 anoon as, as soon as; war, aware; yede hem ageins, went to him.
284 abaisshed, hesitant.
286 wrought, done; notwithstondinge, despite the fact.
289 fayn I wolde purchace, happily would I cause; worship, honor; encrece, increase.
292 Se, See.
293 be, been.
294 me behoveth for, I am required.
295 hit behoveth, it is right for.
296 sein of, seen by; will, wish.
298 ne was, was.
299 wolde hit don, would it do.
300 hadde lever, would rather; be biried all quyk, been buried alive.
301 Ne, Nor; ne aperteyned nothinge, means nothing at all.
303 here, hear.
305 take, taken; appareiled hym, prepared himself.
306 lenger respite, further hesitation.
307 wilde, desolate.
309 fonde, found; engyn, devices; as, for.
310 saf, except.
THE MARRIAGE OF ARTHUR AND GONNORE: NOTESThe Marriage of Arthur and Gonnore
[Fols. 158v (line 5)-166v (line 12)]
The PM, in contrast to Malory's Morte D'Arthur, offers an extensive account of the events surrounding the wedding of Arthur and Gonnore. Included among these events is the Tournament at Toraise, in which feelings of rivalry and jealousy are revealed among the major groups of Arthur's knights. Also described here is the plot to abduct Gonnore and replace her with her half-sister, the False Gonnore. This abduction attempt is foiled through the wits of Merlin and the brave efforts of Sir Ulfin and Sir Bretell. Also introduced here is the figure of Bertelak (who has been alluded to earlier), a man whose cause is just but who makes the grave mistake of taking the law into his own hands and pays a heavy penalty for so doing.
Summary Based on EETS 36, pp. 449-52.
127-29 For dere sholde be bought . . . he ther dide. As this line suggests, the resentment and envy the Knights of the Round Table harbor toward Gawain and the other young knights will come to a head in the Tournament at Logres, which is described in the next section of the PM. In that tournament the rancor reaches such a high level that a great many knights are killed.
Summary Based on EETS 36, pp. 455-62.
150-51 after was the bedde of Arthur blessed. The final event in the celebration of the nuptials of Arthur and Gonnore, as was often customary for medieval marriages, is the priest's blessing of their wedding bed.
227-28 the signe of the crowne upon hire reynes. Gonnore and her half-sister look so much alike that the only sure way to tell them apart is by the crown-shaped birthmark that Gonnore has on her reynes. The word "reynes" is the common term for the kidneys, or the seat of emotions, and thus, by metaphoric extension, the loins, where the kidneys (and the passions) find egress.
238-45 Thus sholde the queene . . . and stode acursed. The PM contains several references to the treachery that will occur later on, when the spiteful Bertelak tricks Arthur into abandoning Gonnore in favor of her sister, the False Gonnore. But the text of the PM ends before these events actually occur.
[The Marriage of Arthure and Gonnore]
Now seith the storie that whan the Kynge Arthur and the barouns were as
sembled and entred into the shippes, thei sailed till thei come to the Bloy Breteyne.
And as soone as thei were arived, thei lepe upon horse and ryde so day and nyght
till thei come to Logres the thirde day. And ther were thei richly welcomed, and
the moste joye that myght be made to eny peple; and ther thei dide sojourne thre
dayes with grete feeste. And the fourthe day remeved the Kynge Arthur and Gawein
and his brethren and the Kynge Ban of Benoyk and the Kynge Bohors of Gannes,
with thre thousande men of armes without moo, and rode so by her journeyes that
thei come to the reame of Carmelide, a two myle from Toraise, where the Kynge
And whan he herde tydinges that the Kynge Arthur com, he rode ageins hym,
he and his meyné, two myle or more. And whan thei were mette ther was made
grete joye and welcomynge betwene the two kynges that well loved; and so dide
alle the other barouns and lordes. And whan thei com into the town, thei fonde it
all hanged with riche clothes and strowed with fresh herbes and fonde ladyes and
maydenes carolinge and daunsinge and the moste revell and disport that myght be
made. And on that other side these yonge bachelers of pris brake speres in
bourdinge oon agein another; and thus thei conveyed hem unto the town whereas
Gonnore, the doughter of Kynge Leodogan, com hem for to meten.
But whoso made joye, she was gladdest of alle other; for as soone as she saugh
the Kynge Arthur, she ran to hym with armes spredde abrode, and seide he was
welcome and alle his companye. And she kiste his mouth tendirly, seynge hem
alle that wolde; and than eche toke other by the hande and wente up into the
paleise. And whan it was tyme of soper, thei ete and dranke grete plenté, for
inough thei have whereof. And whan thei hadde disported hem a longe while after
soper, they wente to bedde for to resten hem, for wery they were of traveile.
And on the morowe erly aroos the Kynge Arthur and the Kynge Bohors and
the Kynge Ban and Sir Gawein and Ewein, that gladly roos ever erly more than
eny other, and wente to the mynster to here messe. And than [thei] com agein into
the paleise above and fonde the Kynge Leodogan that hadde herde messe in his
chapell. And than thei asked horse and rode forth tho six withoute eny moo, and
yede to disporte hem and to se the medowes and the river. And than the Kynge
Leodogan aresoned the Kynge Arthur and asked hym whan he sholde spousen his
doughter, for he seide that it was tyme. And the Kynge Arthur ansuerde that
whiche hour that hym plesed, for he was therto redy. "But I moste abide the beste
frende that I have, for withoute hym will I do nothinge in no manere." And than
he asked whiche was that frende, and he tolde hem how it was Merlin, "Be whom
I have recovered londe and honour and all the goode that I have ellis." And whan
Sir Gawein undirstode tho wordes, he seide that he hadde grete reson for to love
hym well. "And eche oon of us oweth to desire his comynge; and wite it well, he
shall come er ought longe, seth that ye hit desire."
"Certes," seide the Kynge Arthur, "he tolde me that he sholde be here all in
tyme." "Than ther is no more," quod Gawein, "but lete us sette the day of
spousaile." And than toke thei day togeder the utas after, and com thus spekynge
into the halle, and fonde the clothes leyde and all thinge redy. And than thei waissh
as thei ought to do, and weren served as noble princes sholden be. And after mete
thei wente to disporte, thei that wolde; and thus thei sojourned alle the eight days
full. But now resteth a litill to speke of hem at this tyme, and returne to the twelve
princes that were disconfit before the town of Clarence.
[Summary. The rebel barons learn that Arthur has knighted the Young Squires and
that King Lot's wife is safe and in Logres but will not be returned until Lot does
homage to Arthur. The rebels also hear of Arthur's success against Claudas de la
deserte, of his success against King Rion, and of his plan to marry the daughter of
King Leodegan. Most of the rebels now regret ever opposing Arthur. Lot is relieved to
learn his wife and baby son are safe but is angered by his sons' actions against him;
he forms a plan to kidnap Gonnore when Arthur sends her to Logres. Meanwhile
Merlin reports all that has been happening to Blase.
A second plot is being formed against Gonnore, this one involving Gonnore's half-
sister, the false Gonnore, who is the illegitimate daughter of Leodegan and the wife of
Cleodalis (Leodegan's seneschal). Because Leodegan has dishonored his seneschal
by sleeping with his wife, he has many enemies among Cleodalis's friends and kin who
are eager for a chance to get back at him. Unbeknownst to Cleodalis, a group of them
plan to kidnap Gonnore and put the false Gonnore in her place. Fols. 159r (line 15)-
160r (line 21).]
But anoon as thei hadde this treson spoken, Merlin it wiste and tolde it to Ulfin
and to Bretell, and toke hem aside in counseile alone by hemself, and tolde hem
worde for worde all the untrouthe that thei purposed to don. And whan Ulfin and
Bretell herde the treson that these wolde have don, thei hadde therof grete merveile;
and than thei preied Merlin to telle how thei sholde spede of this thinge. "With
gode will," seide Merlin. "Tomorowe at even whan ye have souped, arme yow
well undir youre robes and goth into the chamber next the gardin under the graces
that is ther, for thei shull come alle unarmed saf hir swerdes and shull come
thourgh the gardin streight to the wiket, whereas thei shull bide till that that
maistresse bringe hir to disporte. But loke anoon as thei have hir sesed that ye be
not feynte her to rescowe, for than anoon have ye her loste for ever yef thei may
bringe hir to the shippe."
"Sir," seide these two goode men, "yef God will, we shull not her lese, seth we
knowe so moche therof." "And loke also," quod Merlin, "that ye speke hereof no
worde to no man of nothinge that I have to yow iseide, for than shall I never yow
love." "Certes," seide these two noble men, "we hadde lever be disherited and
chaced oute of the londe."
Tho dide departe these thre frendes and com into the halle and fonde that the
knyghtes sholde departe and wente to theire loigginge till on the morowe that it
was day. And than arise the barouns and the knyghtes and assembled faste in the
mynster paleise. And the Kynge Leodogan appareiled his doughter so richely as
that never quene ne myght be better araied. And she therto was so full of grete
bewté that all the worlde was gladde hir to beholden. And whan she was all redy,
the Kynge Ban toke hir on that oon side and the Kynge Bohors on that other side
and ledde hir to the mynster of Seynt Stephene the Martir. Ther was many a baron
hir to conveien, holdinge be the hondes two and two, and formest that wente was
Kynge Arthur and Kynge Leodogan. And the other tweyne was nexte after was
Gawein and Seigramour, and than Galashin and Agravain the Prowde, and than
Dodinell and Gueheret, and than Ewein le Graunt and Gaheries, and after that
Ewein Avoutres and Kay Destranx, and Kay the Stiward and Antor his fadir; and
after hem com the maiden that the Kynge Ban and the Kynge Bohors ledden that
was of so grete bewté. And she was discheveled and hadde the feirest heed that
eny woman myght have, and hadde a sercle of goolde on hir heed full of preciouse
stones, the feirest and the richest that eny man knewe, and was clothed in a riche
robe that trayled to the grounde more than two fadome, that satte so well with hir
bewté that all the worlde myght have joye her to beholden.
And after hir com the stepdoughter of Cleodalis that hight also Gonnore, whiche
was right feire and avenaunt; and hir ledde Gifflet and Lucas the Boteller. And
after com the newe dubbed knyghtes two and two; and after com the Knyghtes of
the Rounde Table; and after that com the barouns of the reame of Carmelide and
the knyghtes; and after the burgeys of the contrey; and than the ladyes of the
contrey and maydenes. And so thei come to the mynster.
Whan thei come to the dore, thei fonde ther the goode archebisshop that ther
hem abode, and Sir Amnistan, the chapeleyn of Kynge Leodogan, that was a gode
man of lyvinge. And the archebisshop hem blessed; and before alle the peple
wedded the Kynge Arthur and Gonnore togeder. And the goode archebisshop
entred into the chirche and sange the high masse, and Sir Amnistan hym served;
and ther was riche offringe of kynges and princes. And whan the servise was
fynisshed, the Kynge Arthur and the barouns returned into the paleys whereas
was grete plenté of mynstralles and jogelours and other. Whereto sholde I yow
devise the joye and the deduyt that thei hadden? For the fourthe part cowde I not
Thus endured the joye and the melodye all the mete-while. And after mete,
whan the boordes were uppe, than was arered a quyntayn, and thyder yede the
newe adubbed knyghtes for to bourde with sheldes aboute theire nekkes; and the
Forty Knyghtes that com into Carmelide with the Kynge Arthur wente with hem,
and also com thider the Knyghtes of the Rounde Table. And whan thei were comen,
thei begonne to do maistries jolily and in myrthe, as thei that were worthy men
and noble knyghtes; so that tidinges com to Sir Gawein that satte at mete amonge
his fellowes that hadden served. And whan Gawein undirstode that his frendes
were oversette, he aroos up and asked his armes and horse and his shelde, and
anoon it was brought. And so dide alle his felowes. And Gawein dide on an habergon
of double maile under his robes, for that was ever more his custome ever as longe
as he lyved - nought for that he thought to do eny vilonye ne treson, but for he
douted ever that debate sholde arise amonge his felowes thourgh the dedes of
some musarde or eny treson, whereof ther were inowe in the londe.
But whan that Gawein and his felowes com into the medowes, whereas was
the turnement well begonne. But the Newe Knyghtes were evell ledde, for the
Knyghtes of the Rounde Table ledde hem at her volunté. And whan that Gawein
saugh that thei were so at the werse, he was nothinge gladde. Than he and his
companye wenten in that were well foure score acounted; and anoon these yonge
knyghtes come to Gawein and asked yef he wolde be with hem, and he seide "Ye,
bothe now and also other tymes."
Whan the Forty Sowdiours herde that Sir Gawein wolde be with hem at that
same turnement, thei were wonder gladde and joyfull, and the tother were full
wroth. And than thei assured that never noon sholde faile other for deth ne for lif;
and no more thei diden, and that well shewed that day, for thei diden so well that
the Knyghtes of the Rounde Table therof hadde envye. For dere sholde be bought
the same turnement, in the turnement that was made at Logres, theras Gawein
was called lorde and maister for the wele doinge that he ther dide, as ye shull
heren hereafter, whan that he was become the Queenes Knyght. And whan that
Gawein hadde take the suerté of his felowes and of the Forty Knyghtes, of whiche
ye have herde, thei renged hem and araide hem and girde agein theire horse. And
Gawein sette hem in aray as he that was a wise knyght and withoute pride and the
moste curteise that was in the Bloy Breteyne and the beste taught in alle thinges
and ever trewe to God and to his lorde.
And whan that Gawein hadde ordeyned his felowes in aray, thei rode two and
two togeder eche after other; and tweyne the firste was Sir Gawein and Sir Ewein
le Graunt, the sone of Kynge Urien, that Gawein loved beste of alle other, for he
was the beste after Gaheries; and the nexte tweyne were Seigramour and Galashyn;
and than Gefflet and Lucas the Boteller for to assemble theire sheldes aboute her
nekkes and her speres streight in theire handes. And the Kynge Arthur and the
Kynge Ban and the Kynge Bohors and Merlin and Bretell and Ulfin and Antor
were lefte with the Kynge Leodogan in the paleise, and were comen up on high
for to se and beholde the bourdeyse. And with hem weren ladyes and maydenys
grete plenté, and saugh that thei were redy araide for to mete.
[Summary. In the Tournament at Toraise, the 150 Knights of the Round Table chal
lenge the New Knights who are led by Gawain. They agree to Gawain's suggestion
that a limited and equal number of knights should fight at one time, and they set the
number at forty vs. forty. In the mêlée, Gawain overcomes Nascien and urges him to
yield; when Nascien says he would rather die than yield, Gawain is so impressed by
Nascien's "high herte" that he offers to yield to Nascien; seeing Gawain's great
courtesy, Nascien yields to Gawain; and then the two knights embrace.
As the fight continues, Gawain's knights overcome forty of the Round Table knights,
who then send in a fresh group. Gawain overthrows many of them, and Ewain and
Galashin and Dodinell also do well. The Knights of the Round Table are angry at
being humilated by these young knights, and tempers begin to flare. Then Gawain
sets aside his sword and enters the fray wielding a spar of oak, raging like a wild
boar. Because the tournament has gotten out of hand, Merlin and the kings rush
down to the field and separate the wrathful knights. Merlin and Arthur both tell
Gawain that he has done enough and that the tournament is over. The Round Table
knights are still resentful; but they praise Gawain and invite him to become one of
them. Fols. 161v (line 9)-164r (line 25).]
With that were the tables leide and the knyghtes wash; and ther were thre halles
full of knyghtes, and thei were well served and by leiser of alle thinges. And after
soper, whan the clothes weren up, thei ennoysed the worthi knyghtes, and eche
reported of other honour as was right. And than thei ronge to evesonge in the
Mynster of Seynt Stephene, and thider thei wente to here the servise; and after
was the bedde of Arthur blessed, as was right. And than departed the knyghtes
and wente to theire hostelles for to slepe and resten.
And Gonnore belefte in the chamber, she and hir maistresse alone. And that
day was purchesed the treson wherby she sholde be taken and traied of the parentes
of Gonnore, the stepdoughter of Cleodales the stiwarde, for thei hadde yoven so
moche to the olde maistresse of Arthurs wif that she graunted to do theire volunté.
And [thei] tolde hir thei wolde abide in the gardin under the paleise, and thei sholde
have the tother Gonnore in her companye. And all thus thei were acorded and
wente into the gardin and hidde hem under the trees, ten of hem. But thei were not
armed saf thei hadde eche of hem a suerde; and with hem was the false Gonnore.
And ther thei abide so longe that the barouns were departed to her hostels.
And thei made dispoile the quene to go to hir bedde. And than the olde maistresse
hir toke and ledde hir into the gardin for to pisse. And whan the ten traitoris that
were quatte in the gardin under an ympe saugh her come, thei were stille and coy
and drough towarde the wall litill and litill. And Bretell and Ulfin hadde not foryete
the wordes that Merlin hadde seide, but were well armed under her robes, and
weren quat under the steyres theras the queene sholde come down, and hilde hem
so stille that thei were not aparceyved of man ne woman, and herkened in this
manere longe while, and than thei saugh the queene that the maistresse brought by
the hande and wente that wey whereas the traitours hadde sette theire waicch.
And whan thei saugh that thei weren oute of the chambre, thei lepe up and sette
hande on hir and toke to the olde maistresse the tother false Gonnore. And anoon
as the queene hem saugh, she wiste well she was betraied and wolde crye as she
that was sore affraied. And thei seide that yef she spake eny worde she sholde
anon be slain; and therwith thei drough theire swerdes oute and wente toward the
river that ran under the gardin, where thei hadde a barge iteyed wherein thei were
come into the gardin. And the gardin was right high above the river, and noon
myght come therto but by a lane or by a barge. And the lane was full thikke and
comberouse to come up or down for the rokkes wherof was grete plenté. And yef
thei myght have brought hir into the barge, the queene hadde ben loste withoute
Whan Ulfin and Bretell saugh that thei hadde so longe awayted, thei lepte oute of
theire enbusshement and hem ascryed and cleped hem traitours and seide thei
sholde dye. And whan that the traitours saugh thei were but tweyne and dide hem
ascrye, thei preised hem at nought. Than five of hem toke the queene, and five
abode for to fight with the tweyne that com with swerdes drawen. And whan the
queene saugh hir ledde in soche manere, she hadde grete drede and fill to grounde
upon the grene; and thei lifte hir up and bare hir awey maugré hire. And whan she
saugh tweyne come hir to socour, she braied rudely oute of there handes and
[ronne] down the gardin till she com to an ympe and clippe it in hir armes full
hard. And thise com for to take hir awey, but they myght not hir remeve, and yet
thei pulde and drough, but more dide thei nought. And thei were nygh woode for
sorowe and angre that for a litill thei wolde hir have slayn.
And Ulfin and Bretell be come to these five that hem abide with swerdes drawen;
and Bretell smote so the firste that he mette that he slytte hym to the teth, and
Ulfin smote another that the heede fill to grounde. And the other thre smyte at hem
sore, but nought thei myght hem apeire, for thei were well armed. And thei wolde
have fledde, but thei kepte hem so shorte that alle thre there were deed. And thei
com to the tother fyve that peyned to lede awey the quene by force, but thei
myght not have hir awey from the ympe. And thei plukked at hir so sore that nygh
thei rente bothe armes from the body. And whan that Ulfin and Bretell saugh the
queene in soche turnement, thei ronne thider and hem ascried. And anoon thei
com hem ageins, and yaf togeder grete strokes with swerdes theras thei myght
atteyne, that thei slowgh tweyne of the five. And thei saugh thei were but thre,
and thei turned to flight down the lane towarde the barge.
And whan Ulfin and Bretell saugh hem fleen, thei sette no force hem to enchace
but com to the olde devell, the maistresse, and caught hir by the sholderes and
caste hir down the roche; and [she] rolled fro roche to roche till she com to the
river. And than thei caste in the bodyes of alle hem that thei hadde slayn. And
than thei toke the queene and ledde hir to hir chambre sore affraied, and thei
badde hir be nothinge dismayed. Than thei toke the false Gonnore and ledde hir to
theire hostell, for thei wolde that noon aparceyved her covyne.
Thus, as ye have herde, were the traitours demened by the counseile of Merlin,
and the Queene was socoured by these two worthi men. And as soone as thei were
gon, anoon Merlin it knewe well; and than he badde the kynge sende two maydenes
into the chamber to the queene for to bringe hir to bedde. And the kynge asked,
"Wherefore is ther not inowgh of the maistresse?" And Merlin tolde him the trouthe,
all as it was befallen. And whan the kynge it herde, he merveiled moche of this
thinge, and seide he sholde not be in ese till he hadde spoken with his doughter.
And than departed the Kynge Leodogan and com into the chamber whereas
Gonnore his doughter was, and brought with hym two maydenes to helpe hir to
bedde. And whan she saugh hir fader, she began tenderly to wepe; and the kynge
toke hir by the hande and spake with hir sooll by hirself, and he badde hir not to be
dismayed, for she sholde no more have no drede. And she tolde hym all the aventure
that was befallen. And than the kynge comaunded the maydenes to make hir redy
and bringe hir to bedde, and thei anoon dide his comaundement. And the Kynge
Leodogan wolde never departe oute of the chambre till that he saugh the signe of
the crowne upon hire reynes; and than wiste he verily that it was his doughter
upon his wif, and than he covered hir agein and wente oute of the chambre and
spake no worde. And the dameseiles merveiled sore whi that he dide so.
And than com the Kynge Arthur and his companye from theire disporte. And
whan he com into the halle, the Kynge Leodogan and Merlin com hym ageins and
badde hym go to his wif to bedde, for it was reson and high tyme. And he seide he
wolde with goode will, and com into the chambre where the two maidenes weren
that hadde brought the queene to bedde. And as soone as he was in his bedde, thei
departed oute of the chambre and lefte no moo but hem two; and ther thei ledde
myri lif togeder as thei that well loved.
Thus sholde the queene have be disceyved be these traitours, and thourgh hem
afterward hadde she grete annoye that longe tyme endured, as the storye shall
declare, how that the kynge hir lefte thre yer, that she com never in his companye
but was with Galehaut, a riche prince in the reame of Sorloys, for the love of
Launcelot. And the Kynge Arthur hilde in avoutrye the false Gonnore till that a
maladie hir toke; and Bertelak a traitour that made he wolde hir not forsake for no
man till that she stanke and rotened above erthe. And the reame was therfore nygh thre yere
enderdited, and stode acursed that never manes body ne womans was
byried in noon halowed place, but acursed be the centense of Holy Cherche. And
all this trouble suffred oure Lorde hem for to have for hir synnes that were right
grete; and all this com thourgh a knyght that died after upon myschevouse deth,
as ye shull here declared in the seconde book of this storie, and it is reson to telle
what was the cause that it fill.
This was the trouthe, that the Kynge Leodogan was a noble knyght and kepte
well justice and right. And he hadde with hym a wise knyght that hadde don hym
goode servise; and he was come of high lynage and hadde be a goode knyght in
his tyme and was cleped Bertelak. And he hated a knyght dedly for that he hadde
slayn his cosin germain for his wif that he loved. And whan Bertelak wiste that he
hadde his cosin slain and his wif diffouled, he ne deyned not to make no playnt to
the Kynge Leodogan but com to hym and hym diffied, and awaited hym after
many a day and many a nyght.
And it fill that same even that Arthur hadde wedded his wif that the knyghtes
departeden fro the court and wente to theire hostels; and [it] happed that Bertelak
mette that knyght and with hym two squyers; and anoon Bertelak ran upon hym
and hym slowgh. And whan he hadde don, he wente to his hostell; and the two
squyers that were with the knyght made a grete crie that the peple ronne oute on
alle parties with lanternes and brondes of fire and torches brennynge, and fonde
the knyght slayn. And thei aske the two squyers that made so grete doell who
hadde hym slain, and thei seide that Bertelak the Rede hadde it don. And whan the
squyers hadde cried and braied for theire lord longe while, thei toke hym up and
bar hym to theire hostell, and dide hym birie as oon sholde do a deed knyght, and
dide the servise at cherche as therto belonged.
And on the morowe, Ulfin and Bretell sente after Cleodalis the Stiward for to
come speke with hem in her hostell; and he com anoon with goode chere as fre
and debonair. And anoon as he was comen, thei toke hym in counseile and tolde
hym all the aventure as it was befallen how his doughter hadde wrought. And
whan he hadde herde the untrouthe of hire, he seide his doughter was she not.
"For yef she hadde be my doughter, she hadde not don this for nothinge that is in
the erthe." And as thei spake togeder amonge hem thre.
The Kynge Leodogan was arisen erly, for sore was he affraied of the merveiles
that were befalle that nyght of his doughter. And Merlin was also arisen and seide,
"Sir, God yeve yow goode morowe." And whan the kynge hym saugh, he made
hym feire chere and bad God hym blisse. Than eche toke other be the hande and
wente spekynge of many thinges till thei com to the hostell of Ulfin and Bretell.
And thei entred in so stilliche that thei therof wiste no worde till thei were even
comen upon hem. And anoon as thei were of hem war, thei yede hem ageins as
thei that nothinge were abaisshed to worship eny worthi man. Than thei entred
into a chambre alle five, and Ulfin brought forth Gonnore and tolde how she and
the traitours hadde wrought, notwithstondinge thei knewe it alle wele, for Merlin
hadde it tolde the kynge all as it was.
Than spake the Kinge Leodogan to his stiwarde and seide, "Sir Senescall, I love
yow well, and fayn I wolde purchace youre worship for to encrece, and so I shall
do yef I may lyve, for full well ye have me served and trewly. And therfore wolde
I do nothinge that sholde yow turne to shame or reprof, and wite ye wherfore I it
sey. Se here youre doughter, that wele hath deserved that ther sholde be don on
hir justice. But ye have be so trewe to me that I ought it wele to pardon for the
love of yow, or a gretter thinge than is this. But for that me behoveth for to take
vengaunce in some manere, hit behoveth yow to bringe hir oute of this reame in
soche wise that never she be sein of man ne of woman that hir knowe; for so I will
that it be done."
And the stiwarde ansuerde and seide that his doughter ne was she never. But in
as moche as it was his wille and his comaundement, he wolde hit don. "For so
God helpe me," quod he, "I hadde lever she hadde be biried all quyk than this
hadde hir befallen. Ne to me she ne aperteyned nothinge never." "Now," quod the
kynge, "lete be all this matier and loke that it be don in soche maner that I never
here more speche of hir hereafter, and that ye take of myne what that is youre
Thus was take the counseile of the barouns. And Cleodalis appareiled hym and
his stepdoughter to go withouten lenger respite, and rode forth by theire journeyes
till thei com oute of the reame of Carmelide into an abbey that stode in a full wilde
place. And ther he hir lefte, as seith the storie, till that Bertelak the Reade hir
fonde, whiche by his art and his engyn by hir lay longe tyme after. But of hir as
now speketh no more the tale, saf that Cleodalis lefte hir there and com agein to
Toraise into the grete court of the Kynge Leodogan in Carmelide whereas was the
Go To The Banishment of Bertelak