Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 14

I got it posted yes! I’ve not been doing very well on the getting things done part lately, maybe because of my anxiety (my novel is getting ready to hunt me down with pitchforks and torches if I don’t get to work on it soon), but I’ve at least been consistent about this so far. *pumps fist*

By then King Ban came into the field, as fierce as a lion, with bands of green and thereupon gold. [So I guess they’re talking about his coat-of-arms thing?][‘Coat-of-arms thing’, I’m so educated lol] ‘Ah,’ said King Lot, ‘We must be discomfited, for yonder I see the most valiant knight in the world, and the man of the most reknown, for there are no two such brothers as King Ban and Bors who are living, wherefore we must retreat or die. And unless we retreat manfully and wisely, there is but death.’

When King Ban came into the battle, he came in so fiercely that the strokes echoed again from the wood and the water. But through the great force of King Ban, they made both the Northern battles that were departed hurtled together for great dread, and the three kings and their knights slew on ever so it was a pity to behold the multitude of people that fled. [Uh…Yeah! Yeah, I know what that means!][And yeah, this is why I usually mess with the wording. Because if left as is, I have a freaking hard time reading it. But in this case? I have noo idea what they’re saying, so I’m not going to hazard a guess.] But King Lot, the King of the Hundred Knights, and King Morganore gathered the people together and did great prowess of arms, and held the battle all that day like hard.

When the King of the Hundred Knights beheld the great damage that King Ban did, he thrust unto him with his horse and smote him high upon the helm, a great stroke, and stunned him sore. Then King Ban was wroth with him and followed on him fiercely. The other saw that and cast up his shield and spurred his horse forward. But the stroke of King Ban fell down and carved a corner off the shield, and the sword slid down by the back of his hauberk and cut through the horse’s steel armour, and the horse even in two pieces, so the sword felt the earth. [Noo save the horsies][It’s a lost cause nvm I give up]

Then the King of the Hundred Knights jumped lightly off the horse, and with his sword he speared King Ban’s horse through and through. [of course] With that, King Ban jumped lightly from the dead horse, and then King Ban smote at the other so eagerly and smote him on the helm so he fell to the earth. Also in that violent battle he killed King Morganore, and there was great slaughter of good knights and many people. [And horses]

By then King Arthur came into the press and found King Ban standing among dead men and dead horses, fighting on foot like a fierce lion, so no one came near him as far as he might reach with his sword, but he caught a grievous blow, whereof King Arthur had great pity. And as Arthur looked about him, he saw a knight that was passingly well horsed, and right then Arthur ran to him and smote him on the helm so his sword went unto his teeth, and the knight sank down to the earth dead. And anon Arthur took the horse by the reins and led him unto King Ban, and said, ‘fair brother, have this horse, for you have great need of it and I repent sorely of your great damage.’ [Oh my gosh, I love the way they talk]

‘It shall soon be revenged,’ said King Ban, ‘for I trust in God my ire is not such but some of them may sore repent this.’

‘I do not doubt it,’ said Arthur, ‘for I see you are willing to follow through on your words. Nevertheless, I may not come to you at that time.’

But when King Ban was mounted on horseback, then the battle began anew, the which was sore and hard, and there was a passing great slaughter. And so through great force, King Arthur, King Ban, and King Bors made their knights withdraw a little. [I assume that refers to the eleven kings’ knights?] But always the eleven kings in their chivalry never turned back, and so they withdrew to a little wood and so over a little river, and there they rested them, for at night they might have no rest on the field. And then the eleven kings and knights put themselves in a group all together as men adread and out of all comfort, but there was no man that might pass them; they held them so hard together, both behind and before, that King Arthur had marvel of their deeds of arms and was passing wroth. [Heh heh. I love how frustrated he’s getting.]

‘Ah, Sir Arthur,’ said King Ban and King Bors, ‘blame them not. For they do as good men ought to do.’ [I remember reading that sentence the first time and REELING because what the heck this isn’t a fairy tale’s black and white take on morality what is this alternate universe]

‘For by my faith,’ said King Ban, ‘they are the best fighting men and knights that I ever saw or heard of. And the eleven kings are men of great worship. And if they were loyal unto you, there would be no king under the heavens that had such eleven knights of such worship.’ [Not saying this isn’t a powerful moment, it is, but I’m going to ruin it by asking where they find the time to philosophize like this during a battle?]

‘I may not love them,’ said Arthur. ‘They would destroy me.’ [Pragmatic teenager misses the point, again]

‘That we know well,’ said King Ban and King Bors, ‘for they are your mortal enemies, and that has been proved aforehand. And this day they have done their part, and it is a great pity for their willfulness.’

Then all the eleven kings drew together. And then King Lot said, ‘Lords, you must do otherwise than you do, or else the great loss is still to come. You may see what people we have lost and what good men we lose, because we wait always on these infantrymen, and ever in saving on of the infantrymen, we lose ten horsemen for him. For the noble Arthur will not tarry on the infantrymen, for they may save themselves, the wood is nearby. And as we horsemen be together, let each of you kings make an ordinance that none of us shall break upon pain of death. And whoever sees any man make to flee, he should slay him immediately, for better that we should slay a coward than through a coward we all be slain. What say you?’ asked King Lot. [Tell me I’m not the only person who thinks of Aragorn every time I see some variation of that sentence] ‘Answer me, all ye kings.’

‘It is well said,’ quoth King Nentres; so said the King of the Hundred Knights; the same said King Carados and King Uriens; so did King Idres and King Brandegoris; and so did King Cradelment and the Duke of Cambenet; and the same said King Clarience and King Anguisant, and they swore they would never fail each other, neither for life nor for death. [yaaay long lists of names] And whosoever fled should be slain. Then they amended their harnesses and righted their shields and took new spears and set them against their thighs, and they stood as still as a group of trees.


This battle scene is looong but I’m not complaining. 🙂 Although I will say my favorite part of the legends is all the stupid drama. I live for stupid drama.

4 thoughts on “Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 14

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