Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 21

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Griflet has been knighted and has gone out to stop the knight who has parked himself in front of a fountain in order to challenge random people to a fight. Unfortunately, Griflet has only gotten himself injured while trying to defeat him. Will Griflet be alright? Will diplomacy and sanity win the day? No. No it never will in this book Find out in this installment!

Then the knight saw Griflet lie so on the ground, and he alighted and was passing heavyhearted, for he thought he had slain him. [Who would have guessed that running at each other at top speed on horseback with spears was dangerous, am I right?] He unlaced Griflet’s helmet to give him air. And so with the fragment of the spear the knight set him on the horse and so betook him to God, and said that Griflet had a mighty heart, and if he might live, he would prove a passing good knight.

And so Sir Griflet rode to the court, where great sorrow was made for him. [This author only knows one conjunction and that is ‘and so’] But through good physicians he was healed and saved.

Right so twelve knights came into the court, and they were aged men. They came from the emperor of Rome, and they asked of Arthur truage for this realm, or else the emperor would destroy him and his land. [I have a question. Why on earth does Arthur end up fighting the emperor of Rome? Like…that’s so ahistorical. And I know complaining about Arthuriana of all things being ahistorical is extremely silly, but this just kind of comes out of nowhere, but it’s in all these stories, and it’s weird.] [Also, ‘truage’ means ‘tribute.’] ‘Well,’ said King Arthur, ‘you are messengers. Therefore you may say what you will; or else you should die therefore. But this is mine answer. I owe the emperor no truage, nor none will I hold him, but on a fair field I shall give him my truage with a sharp spear or a sharp sword. And that shall not be long, by my father Uther Pendragon’s soul.’ [I like this quote? A lot?]

And therewith the messengers departed, passingly wroth, and King Arthur was as wroth as they were; for they came in an evil time, for the king was already passingly wroth because of the injury of Sir Griflet. [Firstly, yes, people like this ALWAYS come in the absolute worst time possible. That is extremely realistic. Secondly, how many times can we fit the word ‘wroth’ into a sentence?] And so he commanded a privy man of his chamber that before day, his best horse and armor, with all that belonged unto his person, should be outside the city before tomorrow. Right so, before the next day, he met with his man and his horse. And so he mounted up and took his shield and his spear, and bade his chamberlain tarry there till he came again.

Arthur rode at a slow pace till it was day, and then he saw three churls chasing Merlin who would have slain him. [Why does Merlin always get into weird situations like this?] Then the king rode unto them, and bade them, ‘flee, churls!’ Then they were afraid when they saw a knight, and they fled.

‘O Merlin,’ said Arthur. ‘Here, for all your crafts, you would have been slain had I not been here.’ [GUYS it’s me whenever my mom makes a mistake. It’s me. Although, obviously, my mom is a much, MUCH nicer person than Merlin. We stan my mom. We do not stan Merlin in this house.]

‘Nay,’ said Merlin. ‘Not so, for I could save myself and I would; and you are nearer your death than I am, for you go deathward and God be not your friend.’ [Way to turn the conversation to something depressing, Merlin. We all know you’re just upset that someone else saw you in an embarrassing situation.]

So as they went thus talking, they came to the fountain, and the rich pavilion there by it. Then King Arthur was aware that an armed knight sat there in a chair. ‘Sir knight,’ said Arthur. ‘For what cause do you abide here that no knight may ride this way unless he jousts with you? I order you to leave that custom.’ [THANK YOU, Arthur.]

‘This custom,’ said the knight, ‘I have used and will use, despite whoever disagrees. And whoever is grieved with my custom, let him amend it who will.’

‘I will amend it,’ said Arthur.

‘I shall defend myself against you,’ said the knight. He armed himself and took his horse, his shield, and his spear, and they struck each other’s shields so hard that both of them splintered their spears. [I love how Arthur gets out his frustration at a potential upcoming war by just beating up some random jerk knight in the woods.] Then Arthur pulled out his sword.

‘Nay, not so,’ said the knight. ‘It is fairer that we both run together with sharp spears. [Okay, that’s nice that you want to be fair, random knight! But you know what’s better? NOT DOING THIS AT ALL.]

‘I would,’ said Arthur, ‘if I had any more spears.’

‘I have enough,’ said the knight. So there came a squire who brought in good spears, and Arthur chose one and the knight another. Then they spurred their horses and came together with all their might, so that both broke their spears in their hands. Arthur set hand on his sword.

‘Nay,’ said the knight. ‘You shall do better. You are as passing good a jouster as any I ever met, and once for the love of the high order of knighthood, let us joust once again.’ [For love of the high order of sanity, maybe not though?]

‘I assent,’ said Arthur. At once there were brought two great spears, and each knight took a spear, and therewith they ran together, and Arthur’s spear shattered. But the other knight hit him so hard in the middle of the shield that horse and man fell to the earth. [I feel like falling down while jousting would be really hard on the horse? Be nice to your horses, guys, we talked about this.] And then Arthur was eager and pulled out his sword, and said, ‘I will assay you, Sir Knight, on foot, for I have lost the honour on horseback.’ [is honor spelled with a ‘u’ or not]

‘I will be on horseback,’ said the knight.

Then Arthur was wroth and dressed his shield toward him with his sword drawn. [No, I do not know what it means to dress your shield toward someone. If you know, please tell me.] When the knight saw that, he alighted, for he thought it would be dishonourable to have a knight at such at such avail, for himself to be on horseback and the other knight on foot. [It’s nice that, even though he’s willing to pointlessly battle someone to the near-death over nothing, he’s still polite about it!]

So he alighted and dressed his shield unto Arthur, and there began a strong battle with many great strokes. And they so hewed with their swords that the cantels flew in the fields, and much blood they both bled, so that all the place there as they fought was overbled with blood, and thus they fought long, and then rested themselves. [Okay, so firstly, I think that a ‘cantel’ means the corners of a shield? Also, I love the over-the-top battles in these types of stories.] And then they went to battle again, and so hurtled together like two rams that either fell to the earth. So at the last, they smote together so both of their swords met even together. [smote] [no seriously why is this the most overused word in the book? I seriously wish I had kept count.] But the sword of the knight smote King Arthur’s sword into two pieces, wherefore he was heavyhearted. [Arthur’s equipment always gives out on him when he needs it the most. First his sword here, then later his helmet. The guy just has a lot of tough luck.] [Is medieval armor and weaponry giving out like this realistic at all? Just curious.]

Then said the knight unto Arthur, ‘you are in my power now whether I desire to save you or kill you, and unless you yield as overcome and recreant, you shall die.’

‘As for death,’ said King Arthur, ‘welcome be it when it comes, but I had rather die than to be so shamed as to yield unto you as defeated.’ [Arthur does kind of have a stubborn streak in this book, doesn’t he? I kind of like it.]

And then the king leapt unto Pellinore [OF COURSE THE WEIRDO IN THE WOODS WAS PELLINORE] and took him by the middle, threw him down, and pulled off his helmet. When the knight felt that, he was afraid, for he was a passing big man of might, and anon he brought Arthur under him, took off his helm, and would have smitten off his head.

Does anyone else kind of get imposter syndrome when it comes to blogging? I know my blog is really messy, but apparently people still read it and presumably enjoy it, and that makes me anxious. But I guess I should chill and learn to be okay with not being one hundred percent wonderful all the time. I don’t know, how do you deal with this?

But I hope at least one person finds this blog informative or entertaining, and I guess if I can do that, I’ve set out for what I wanted to do.

2 thoughts on “Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 21

  1. Noooo WordPress ate my comment!

    But what I was saying, mostly, was that I’m so happy Le Morte D’Arthur is back! And I kind of love Arthur. And it’s funny to me how much you hate Merlin; I think kids’ retellings must tone him down because I don’t remember him being such a jerk. And “wroth” is such a great word.

    Oh AND. Imposter syndrome. I FEEL YOU. IT IS REAL. I apparently deal with it, half the time, by not posting at all. #oops
    But I do love your blog and I find it both entertaining AND informative ALL THE TIME. SO. You should never stop, basically.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no! Bad WordPress!

      Thank you! I have trouble sometimes with consistent posting, but I do certainly plan on finishing this book. I think I get so worried and perfectionist about my posts, sometimes it can be hard for me to get something out there?
      I do kind of love Arthur. I don’t love everything he did, but you can’t have the legends without him, and he is kind of an amazing character. I love just how stubborn teenage Arthur is. I think he’s a very interesting character.
      Kids’ retellings DO tend to done Merlin down a lot, don’t they? I don’t get it. He’s…not very nice.

      I do the same, I am amazing at not posting. 😭 I love your blog so much, though, and you aren’t an imposter at all.
      OH MY GOODNESS thank you so much. That’s so nice of you.

      Liked by 1 person

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