Le Morte D’Arthur, book 2, part 3

I’m back with another chapter of Le Morte D’Arthur! This chapter has a lot of murder this time, so that’s very fun!

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Balin, some guy who just got out of prison for murdering a guy, pulled out the special sword that only the best knight could take from the sheath! Yay! He then proceeds to ignore the lady when she tells him that the knight who wields the sword will kill the man he loves best in the world. I’m sure that little incident won’t end up being important later!

As Balin made ready to depart, a lady who was called The Lady of the Lake came to the court. [Because medieval authors like to be confusing, this is not The Lady of the Lake who is Lancelot’s cool mom, but instead is a completely separate Lady of the Lake, the same one who gave Arthur Excalibur.] She came on horseback, dressed in fine clothing, and greeted King Arthur, and asked him for the gift he had promised her when she gave him his sword.

“It is true that I promised you a gift,” said Arthur, “but first, I have forgotten the name of the sword that you gave me.”

“The name of the sword is Excalibur, which means ‘cut-steel,” said the lady.

“Ask what you will and you shall have it, if it lies in my power to give it,” said the king. [Promising to do things for people without asking what they want first is something that has never gone wrong for anyone in mythology ever!! /s]

“Well,” said the lady, “I ask for the head of the knight that won the sword, or else the damsel’s head that brought it. I feel no guilt for asking for their heads, for the knight slew my brother, a good, true knight, and that gentlewoman was the cause of my father’s death.” [Love that Balin has now been accused of murder twice now]

“Truly,” said King Arthur, “I may not grant either of their heads and keep my honor, so ask for something else, and I shall fulfill your desire.”

“I will ask for no other thing,” said the lady.

When Balin was ready to depart, he saw the Lady of the Lake, whom he had sought for three years because she had slain Balin’s mother. […Is everyone in this story a murderer?? I know the answer to that question is yes] When he was told that she had asked King Arthur for his head, he went straight to her, and said, “Evil is our encounter! You would have my head, and therefore you shall lose yours.” And with that, he cut off her head in front of King Arthur. [None of these characters have ANY chill]

“Alas, for shame!” said Arthur. “Why have you done so? You have shamed me and all my court, for this was a lady I was beholden to, and she came here under my safe-conduct. I shall never forgive you for this trespass.”

“Sir,” said Balin, “I regret causing you displeasure. This same lady was the falsest lady living. By enchantment and sorcery she has been the destroyer of many good knights, and she caused my mother to be burned alive through her falsehood and treachery.”

“Whatever your cause was,” said Arthur, “you should have forborne from killing her in my presence. Therefore don’t think you won’t repent it, for such another outrage I have never had in my court. Withdraw out of my court in all haste.” [Okay I’m sorry but it’s so funny to me that he’s yelling at Balin for not killing her later when it wouldn’t have caused trouble for Arthur personally. I honestly can’t help but love Arthur, what a silly little trashbag king]

Then Balin took up the head of the lady and bore it with him to the inn, [HELP] and there he met with his squire, who was sorry that Balin had displeased King Arthur, and so they rode forth out of the town. [The innkeeper: *currently regretting all the life choices that led to him setting up an inn near Camelot*] “Now,” said Balin, “we must depart. Take this head and bear it to my friends, and tell them how I have fared, and tell my friends in Northumberland that my greatest foe is dead. Also tell them how I am out of prison, and what adventure befell me when I got my sword.” [YOU’RE JUST GOING TO GIVE THE SEVERED HEAD TO YOUR SQUIRE AND ASK HIM TO TRAVEL WITH IT ACROSS THE COUNTRY????]

“Alas,” said the squire. “You are greatly to blame for displeasing King Arthur.”

“As for that,” said Balin, “I shall hurry in all haste to meet with King Rience and destroy him, or die trying, and if I happen to win against him, King Arthur shall forgive me and accept me into his service.”

“Where shall I meet with you?” asked the squire.

“In King Arthur’s court,” said Balin. So he and his squire departed at that time.

King Arthur and all the court felt great sorrow and shame for the death of the Lady of the Lake, and the king buried her richly.

I kind of feel like there’s a parallel between Gawain and Balin? They’re both down for murder and revenge until finally they’re in over their heads and (**spoilers**) their brothers end up dead. Idk, my thoughts on this are half-formed, but I find it interesting. Also casually carrying a severed head around town is SUCH a Gawain move, ngl

Le Morte D’Arthur, Book 2, Part 1

I have not updated this project in like…a year? It was giving me anxiety, so I stopped doing it. And also like…I started it when I was seventeen so my grammar was really weird and I had single quotes instead of double quotes for some reason?? And WordPress is super weird so I can’t figure out how to make one sentence into a different color without changing the color of my whole paragraph and now I have to change my formatting for this project???

But I’m back to it now, and I’m definitely going to try to keep working through it! I’ve got a pretty big hyperfixation on Arthurian legends, and blogging about it is a pretty good way to sate it.

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Arthur attempted to murder his infant son in order to avoid the prophecy of doom, which always goes well and has never backfired on any mythological parent ever! Anyway, long story short, Mordred survives. Bad luck for all those other kids Arthur ALSO killed just to make sure he got him, though.

After the death of Uther Pendragon, his son Arthur reigned, and Arthur held many wars in his day in order to get all of England into his hands, for there were many kings within the realm of England, Wales, Scotland, and Cornwall. [Maybe Wales, Scotland, and Cornwall were ruling themselves just fine? Just throwing that out there as a hypothetical idea]

When King Arthur was at London, a knight came and gave the king tidings of how the king Rience of North Wales had raised up a great number of people and had entered into the land and burned and slew King Arthur’s people. [It’s been a while, so I almost forgot, but I’m pretty sure that that’s the guy who collects the beards of his enemies for….reasons??]

“If this is true,” said Arthur, “it would be a great shame unto my estate unless I withstand him mightily.”

“It is true,” said the knight, “for I saw the army myself.”

“Well,” said the king, “send forth a proclamation that all the lords, knights, and gentlemen of arms should draw back to the castle called Camelot.” And there the king held council, and held a great tournament. [Is this really time for a tournament lmao]

When the king came to Camelot with his barons, there came a damsel sent as a messenger from the great Lady Lile of Avalon. And when she came before King Arthur, she told him where she came from, and why she was sent as a messenger. Then she let her richly-furred cloak fall, and showed that she was girded with a fine sword.

The king marveled, and said, “damsel, for what cause do you have that sword? It does not beseem you.” [I’m not mad at Arthur for period accurate sexism, but I would like to say that girls with swords are sexy and let the sexy sword woman live in peace (spoiler alert: She doesn’t)]

“I shall tell you,” said the damsel. “This sword I am girt with causes me great sorrow and difficulty, for I may not be delivered of this sword except by a knight; and the knight must be a good man, without villainy or treachery or treason. [Am I using the correct tenses of gird? I do not know and I do not care.] And if I find a knight with all these virtues, he may draw this sword from the sheath. I have been to King Rience, and he and all his knights have tried to pull out the sword, but none could.”

“This is a great marvel,” said Arthur, “if this be true. I will myself attempt to draw out the sword. I do not presume myself to be the best knight, but I will give example to all the barons that they may try, each one after the other, when I have attempted it.” Then Arthur took the sword by the sheath and the girdle and pulled at it eagerly, but the sword would not move. [*sips tea* so, about your son that you attempted to murder]

“Sire,” said the damsel. “You need not pull half so hard. He that shall pull it out shall do so with little effort.”

“You speak well,” said Arthur. “My barons may try.”

“But beware that you are not defiled with shame, treachery, or guile, for you will not be able to pull out the sword,” said the damsel. [Didn’t she already say this?] “For he must be a clean knight without villainy and of a gentle strain on both his father’s and mother’s side.” [Not only do YOU have to be good, your parents have to be good, too! What is going on with this magic sword]

Most of the barons that were there at that time tried all in a row, but no one had good luck. So the damsel made great sorrow out of measure, and said, “alas, I thought that this court would have the best knights without treachery or treason.” [Look, not to be a hater, but is a weird magic sword really the end all and be all of character judgement?]

“By my faith,” said Arthur, “these are as good knights as any that have lived in the world, but they cannot help you; so I am displeased.”

I feel like my English always low-key falls apart whenever I try to sort of wrangle Malory into modernish English, but I’m definitely WAY better at it than I was at seventeen. I probably ought to go back to the earlier chapters I’ve done and clean them up after a while. Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed the latest bizarre Arthurian adventure! It only gets weirder from here.

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 25

So, I won’t say I had a great Easter, but I got to carry my bunny Lan Zhan around the house while chanting, “Easter bunny! Easter bunny!” (This is probably the sort of embarrassing thing I should not admit on the internet.)

(Also, the bunny I have is adorable, just wanted to share that fact)

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Some king wants…Arthur’s beard for some reason?! Did I read that right? And also wants to have a war because of course! But we’re just going to ignore that for right now for this chapter, because we have to focus on Arthur doing something terrible instead. Yay!

Then King Arthur sent for all the noble children born on May Day, for Merlin told King Arthur that the one who would destroy him would be born on May Day. [Arthur noooo I don’t like where this is going]

[Why do you have to be THAT kind of mythological king? No one asked for an Agamemnon repeat. Literally no one.]

So he sent for all the children, upon pain of death, and many lords’ sons were found and all were sent unto the king. And Mordred was sent by King Lot’s wife, and all the children were put in a ship and put out to sea, and some were four weeks old, and some less. [So I guess Arthur wasn’t very careful about getting the birthdays of the kids right…? But people who do things like this rarely are.] And the ship drove unto a castle and was damaged and destroyed, but Mordred was cast up, and a good man found him and raised him until he was fifteen years old, and then he brought him to court, as it is told afterwards toward the end of the Death of Arthur. [Ah, good old-fashioned child murder.] [Seriously, WHY DO MYTHOLOGICAL KINGS ALWAYS JUMP TO MURDERING THEIR CHILDREN AS A FIRST RESORT. THAT SHOULD BE A LAST RESORT. THAT SHOULD NOT EVEN BE A RESORT. IT NEVER EVEN WORKS.]

[I shouldn’t have to say this, but Agamemnon was not a role model. Neither was Laius! Let’s not imitate these problematic people! Don’t attempt to kill your children.]

Many lords and barons of the realm were displeased, for their children were lost, though many put the blame on Merlin more than on Arthur; but for dread or for love, they held their peace. [this just in: infanticide controversial among most people!]

But when the message came to King Rience, then he was angered out of measure, and got together a great army, as it is told after in the book of Balin le Savage that follows after, about how by adventure Balin got his sword. [And also how Balin killed lots of people, and also something about a dolorous stroke, but we’ll get to all that later]

But yeah, um…I’ll admit Arthur isn’t my favorite character after he did this. But honestly, this moment is riddled with just…so many plot holes. He already knew Morgause’s son was the one the prophecy was about, didn’t he? Why did he have to go and kill a bunch of other kids?? I’m not missing something, am I?

So, sad as it is to say, I think we have to elevate (de-elevate? What’s the word for de-elevate?) Arthur into the ranks of Bad Mythological Dads. There were already too many of them as it was!

Anyway, I hope you guys had a good Easter, hopefully with lots of bunnies involved! (if you celebrate, of course. Though I still hope you had lots of bunnies involved in your day even if you don’t celebrate, because bunnies are amazing.)

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 24

I’ve been feeling somewhat terrible what with the coronavirus outbreak and everything, but this chapter of Le Morte D’Arthur made me laugh today and I hope it cheers you up, too.

(I’m not even quarantined yet. I just feel terrible in general.)

Anyway, previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Arthur gets a fancy new sword from the Lady of the Lake! It is very shiny. That is all you need to know.

Meanwhile, a messenger came from King Rience of North Wales, of all Ireland, and of many isles. And this was his message, greeting King Arthur in this manner, saying that King Rience had defeated and overcome eleven kings, and each of them did him homage, and that was this: they gave him their beards clean flayed off, as much as there was, and so the messenger had come for King Arthur’s beard. […Oookay?] [Can you imagine being woken up in the morning and having to meet this messenger who tells you how much he wants your beard? I swear, if there’s a weird scenario out there, some Arthurian character has lived it.]

For King Rience had trimmed a mantle with kings’ beards, and there lacked trimming on one place on the mantle, and so he sent for Arthur’s beard, or else he would enter into Arthur’s lands and burn and slay, and never leave till he had both his head and his beard. [THIS IS RIDICULOUS.]

‘Well,’ said Arthur, ‘you have said your message, which is the most villainous and unmannerly message that man has ever heard sent unto a king. Also you may see that my beard is too small yet to make a trim out of it. [haha, that’s one way to shut that down] But tell your king this. I owe him no homage, nor none of my elders. But before long, he shall do me homage on both his knees, or else he shall lose his head, by the faith of my body. For this is the most shameful message I ever heard speak of.’ Then the messenger departed.

‘Now, is there anyone here who knows King Rience?’ asked Arthur.

Then a knight named Naram answered, ‘Sire, I know the king well. He is a passing good commander of armies, better than many living, and a passing proud man. And Sire, doubt you not, he will make war on you with a mighty army.’

‘Well,’ said Arthur, ‘I shall prepare for him in a short time.’

Anyway, I hope everyone’s been staying safe, sane, and entertained during quarantine. This was kind of a short chapter, but I hope you enjoyed!

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 23

I would like to apologize to myself for putting this post off until five ‘o clock yesterday morning. *facepalm* I hope against hope that there aren’t huge typos.

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Merlin rescues Arthur from Pellinore using his magic! Merlin then proceeds to convince Arthur to take Pellinore into his service for…some reason. Because Pellinore has shown himself to be really trustworthy and responsible like that! Arthur’s sword is still broken.

Merlin and the king departed and went unto a hermit who was a good man and a great physician. The hermit searched all his wounds and gave him good salves. The king was there three days before his wounds were mended so he might ride, and afterwards he departed. And as they rode, Arthur said, ‘I have no sword.’

‘No matter,’ said Merlin. ‘Hereby is a sword that shall be yours, if I may.’

So they rode till they came to a lake, which was a fair water, and broad. And in the middle of the lake, Arthur was aware of an arm clothed in white samite, that held a fair sword in that hand. [As you do.]

[Also, samite is a type of silk fabric.]

‘Lo,’ said Merlin. ‘Yonder is the sword that I spoke of.’ With that, they saw a damsel going upon the lake.

‘Who is that damsel?’ asked Arthur.

‘That is the Lady of the Lake,” said Merlin. ‘And within that lake is an island, and therein is as fair a place as any on earth. And this damsel will come to you, and then speak well to her so she will give you the sword.’ [Lmao Merlin’s telling him to ask politely] [Also, I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be ‘island.’ The actual word is ‘roche,’ meaning a rock, but it has several other meanings and one of them is ‘island.’ I thought that probably made the most sense in context.]

Then the damsel came unto Arthur and greeted him courteously, and he greeted her in return. ‘Damsel,’ said Arthur, ‘what sword is that that the arm holds above the water? I would it were mine, for I have no sword.’

‘Sir Arthur king,’ said the damsel, ‘that sword is mine. But if you will give me a gift when I ask it of you, you shall have it.’

‘By my faith,’ said Arthur, ‘I will give you whatever gift you ask of me.’

‘Well,’ said the damsel, ‘get into the barge and row yourself to the sword, and take it and the scabbard with you. I will ask for my gift when I see my time.’

So Arthur and Merlin alighted and tied their horses to two trees, and so they went onto the ship. And when they came to the sword that the hand held, Arthur took it up by the handle and took it with him, and the arm and the hand went under the water.

And so they came onto the land and rode forth, and then Arthur saw a rich pavilion. ‘What is that yonder pavilion?’

‘That is the pavilion of the knight who you last fought with, Sir Pellinore,’ said Merlin, ‘but he is out, he is not here. He had a conflict with a knight of yours named Egglame [“Egglame”] and they fought together, but at last Egglame fled, or else he would have died. [Behold, Pellinore, the perfect hire!] Pellinore has chased him all the way to Caerleon, and we shall meet with Pellinore soon along the highway.’

‘That is good,’ said Arthur. ‘Now that I have a sword, I will fight with him and be avenged on him.’ [Slow down, you bloodthirsty young man!]

‘Sir, you shall not,’ said Merlin. ‘The knight is weary from fighting and chasing, so you would have no worship if you fight with him. Also, he will not be lightly matched by any knight living. So therefore I council you to let him pass, for he shall do you good service in short time, and his sons will also after his days. Also, you shall see the day in a short time when you shall be right glad to give Pellinore your sister to wed.’ [ARTHUR NO DON’T LISTEN TO HIM] [Morgan and Pellinore’s marriage goes so horribly. Also, I had no idea Arthur and Merlin were involved in Morgan’s wedding! No wonder she hates them, lol.]

‘When I see him I will do as you advise,’ said Arthur.

Then Arthur looked at the sword, and liked it passing well. [Arthur is a magpie attracted to shiny, shiny things]

‘Which do you like better?’ asked Merlin. ‘The sword or the scabbard?’

‘I like the sword better,’ said Arthur. [Everyone does.]

‘You are the more unwise,’ said Merlin. ‘For the scabbard is worth ten of the swords. While you have the scabbard on you, you shall never lose any blood, be you ever so sore wounded. […Internal bleeding is still a thing though?? Merlin? I see a small flaw?!] Therefore always keep the scabbard with you.’

So they rode unto Caerleon, and along the way they met with Sir Pellinore, but Merlin had done such a craft that Pellinore did not see Arthur, and he passed by without any words. ‘I marvel,’ said Arthur, ‘that the knight would not speak.’

‘Sire,’ said Merlin, ‘he did not see you, for if he had seen you, you would not lightly depart.’ [What is WRONG with Pellinore—anyway.]

So they came to Caerleon, and his knights were passing glad. And when they heard of his adventures, they marveled that he would endanger his person alone. But they all said it was merry to be under such a chieftain who would go on adventures as other poor knights did. [aww]

Does anyone else ever get lowkey scared of their own creations, because I get lowkey scared of anything I do at five in the morning ever. Hopefully there aren’t typos!

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 22

Man, I cannot believe I’m on chapter 22. I also cannot believe that I am on chapter 22 and am NOWHERE NEAR FINISHING. NOT A BIT. NADA. I’m almost done with this section, though. Le Morte D’Arthur is separated into 21 ‘books’, in case you were wondering. 21 long sections. This is going to take forever, and I, for one, am extremely happy about this.

Oh! And I wanted to say that apparently, from the cursory research I did, Arthur’s sword breaking in the middle of a battle isn’t that unusual or unrealistic. My doubts were without reason. It is something that could potentially happen.

Anyway, previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: People from…Rome of all places want England to pay tribute to them, despite Rome being very embroiled in its own problems in King Arthur’s actual time.* Arthur goes out to deal with Pellinore, that knight who keeps fighting everyone, and he almost gets himself killed. Will Arthur be alright? Is Pellinore as much as much of a weirdo as he seems? Yeah, pretty much, whatever this book tries to tell you Will we ever find out what Merlin’s deal is? Find out in this installment!

(I lied. We will never know what Merlin’s deal is.)

*Does this make any sense at all, history nerds who know more about this time period than I do? From my knowledge, I’m pretty sure it makes no sense, but I always could be mistaken.

Then Merlin came and said, ‘knight, stay your hand. For if you slay that knight, you do this realm a great evil. [I changed the structure of this sentence quite a bit, but I’m not sure I can keep a similar sentence structure and keep it comprehensible. As a side note, does it ever blow your mind how much languages develop?] For this knight is a man of more worship than you know.’

‘Why? Who is he?’ asked the knight.

‘He is King Arthur.’

Then the knight would have slain him for fear of his wrath, and raised up his sword, but Merlin cast an enchantment on the knight so that he fell to the earth in a great sleep. [How is killing a king supposed to help get you out of trouble for fighting a king? I do not get the logic.] Then Merlin took up King Arthur and rode forth on the knight’s horse.

‘Alas,’ said Arthur. ‘What have you done, Merlin? Have you slain this good knight by your crafts? There lies not so worshipful a knight as he was. [ARE YOU SURE.] I had liefer than the stint of my land a year that he were alive. [Is he saying that he likes Pellinore more than taxes? Do I have my definitions right, because I’m pretty sure that’s what he’s saying. I don’t…I don’t know. I could be wrong.]

‘Do not worry,’ said Merlin, ‘for he is healthier than you. He is only asleep, and he will wake within three hours. I told you what a knight he was. Here you would have been slain if I had not been here. There is not a mightier knight than him; and he shall hereafter do you good service, and his name is Pellinore. [Wait. Do you think Arthur gets his habit of bringing somewhat…questionable people into the Round Table (‘Surely Mordred is just a sweet boy, right?’) from Merlin? Because I would never, ever hire this man, and I don’t know why Merlin wants to.] He shall have two sons that shall be passing good men. Except for one knight, they shall have no equal in prowess and good living. [My guess is that this one knight’s name starts with ‘Lance’ and ends with ‘lot’. That’s usually how this goes.] Their names shall be Percival of Wales and Lamorak of Wales, and he shall tell you the name of your own son, begotten of your sister, who shall be the destruction of all the realm.’ [I assume ‘he’ refers to Pellinore, but the way this is worded is so unclear. But I’m pretty sure this refers to Pellinore.

Does this statement ever become relevant later in the story? I don’t think it does? There’s a lot of stuff in this that’s thrown out there with no followup.]

In conclusion, Arthur needs both better standards for hiring people (I’m sorry Mordred and Agravaine I love you guys but), and he also needs a better mentor. Arthur needs a better mentor very much.

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.

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 20

We’re on part twenty already? I kind of can’t believe this. Also, I’m finally updating yaaay.

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Some unnamed knight is a time-wasting idiot who has set himself up by a fountain and is challenging everyone to fight him. Griflet has asked to be knighted so he can go fight this person. Also, Ulfius finally got dissed, by Igraine no less. You go, girl.

‘You are very young and tender of age to take so high an order on you,’ said Arthur. [I don’t know why this makes me smile? But it does? Arthur’s a little young to be king, too.]

‘Sir,’ said Griflet,’ I beseech you to make me a knight.’

‘Sire,’ said Merlin, ‘it would be a great pity to lose Griflet, for he will be a passing good man when he is of age, abiding with you all his life. And if he adventure his body [no, I don’t know what that means either] with the yonder knight at the fountain, it would be a danger if he ever comes again, for he is one of the best knights in the world, and the strongest man of arms.’ [I assume ‘he’ refers to the knight] [I swear the words “best knight in the world” have lost all their meaning, though. Asking who is the best knight in the world is like asking who is the most beautiful lady in a fairy tale, or who is the best Sith lord in Star Wars, or—you get the picture. They’re all the best knight. Or the most beautiful lady, or the best Sith lord. Except Lancelot. Lancelot is better and prettier than all of them, and he would probably make a better Sith lord, too, should he put his mind to it.]

‘Very well,’ said Arthur. So at Griflet’s desire, the king made him a knight.

‘Now,’ said Arthur. ‘After I have made you a knight, you must give me a gift.’

‘Whatever you will have,’ said Griflet.

‘You shall promise me by the faith of your body that when you have jousted with the knight at the fountain, whether it fall that you be on foot or on horseback, that right so you shall come again unto me without making any more debate.’ [Aww. I interpret this as Arthur caring about his men and wanting Griflet to stay safe?]

‘I will promise you,’ said Griflet, ‘as you desire.’ Then Griflet took his horse in great haste, and picked up a shield and took a spear in his hand, and so he rode at a great gallop till he came to the fountain. [The original word for ‘gallop’ in this story was, in fact, ‘wallop’. Just thought you’d want to know. :- D The words mean the same thing, of course.] And there he saw a rich pavilion, and there under a cloth stood a fair horse well saddled and bridled. [Well, that’s better than I can do. My saddling skills are crap. (It’s…not a very complex skill.)] Then Griflet smote the shield [of course he smote it] with the butt of his spear, so that the shield fell down to the ground. [For some reason I keep getting the E and I switched in ‘shield’? That’s not even that hard a word to spell.]

With that, the knight came out of the pavilion, and said, ‘fair knight, why did you smite down my shield?’ [Starting to wish I had kept a running tally of how many times the word ‘smote’ is used in this book. It looks like someone has a favorite word, is all I’m saying]

‘For I will joust with you,’ said Griflet.

‘It is better that you do not,’ said the knight, ‘for you are young and have only recently been made a knight, and your might is nothing to mine.’ [For someone who just killed a guy last chapter, that’s a surprisingly nice thing to do. Of course Griflet isn’t going to take him up on it, though, because if he were smart he either wouldn’t be in this book or else he’d be Guinevere. Or Dinadan. Those are the only semi-intelligent characters in these legends. (There may be one or two others that I’m not thinking of right now, so feel free to point them out to me if you know of any.)]

‘As for that,’ said Griflet, ‘I will joust with you.’ [I knew it.]

‘It is distasteful to me,’ said the knight, ‘but since I must, [Who, besides social norms, is making you?] I will arm myself. Of what place do you come from?’

‘Sir, I am of Arthur’s court.’

So the two knights ran together, and Griflet’s spear shattered, and therewithal the knight smote Griflet through the shield and the left side [wait, is smiting someone through the shield even possible? Does this mean something else? Whatever, these are Marvel characters in levels of absurdity] and broke the spear so that a fragment stuck in his body, and both horse and knight fell down. [I believe my mom had a saying when I was growing up that went something like, ‘this is the sort of game you play until somebody gets hurt.’ Well, Mom, I could have set myself up by a fountain with my horse and pointy sharp stick and challenged everyone who passed by to a fight. Just saying. It could have been worse.]

I like saying nice things about the things I love, but you know what I love even better? MAKING FUN OF THE THINGS I LOVE. Also, I’m so worried there are typos in here that I haven’t found, and it’s pretty much my biggest fear every time I post something >__<

Edited to add (because I am an idiot and forgot to say this): Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 19

I’m not out of hiatus yet–I’ll be back by November–but I’m dropping another chapter of this in between studying.

Also, I just found out I have thirty followers now. o_o Thanks so much.

Right so came Ulfius, and he said, openly so that the king and all who feasted that day might hear, ‘you are the falsest lady in the world, and the most traitorous unto the king’s person.’ [Sorry, what? He’s saying this to Igraine now? God, I hate this guy.]

‘Beware,’ said Arthur, ‘what you say. You speak a great accusation.’ [Thank you, Arthur. Please shut him down fast, for the sake of my sanity.]

‘I am well aware,’ said Ulfius, ‘what I speak, and here is my glove to prove it upon any man who will say the contrary, that Queen Igraine is the cause of your great damage and of your great war. For if she had uttered in the life of King Uther Pendragon of your birth and how you were begotten, you would never have had the deadly wars that you have had. For the most part of your barons of your realm never knew whose son you were, nor of whom you were begotten, and she who bore you of her body should have made it openly known in excusing her worship and yours, and in likewise to all the realm. [Let’s give a round of applause for that impressive feat of mental gymnastics! …Did I mention I hate this guy?] Wherefore I prove her false to God and to you and all your realm; and whoever will say the contrary, I will prove it on his body.’

Then Igraine spoke and said, ‘I am a woman, and I may not fight, but rather than I should be dishonoured, there would some good man take my quarrel. Moreover,’ she said, ‘you and Merlin know well, Sir Ulfius, how King Uther came to me in the Castle of Tintagel in the likeness of my husband, who was dead three hours before, and how King Uther thereby begat a child that night upon me. And after the thirteenth day, King Uther wedded me, and by his commandment, when the child was born it was delivered unto Merlin and nourished by him. And so I never saw the child after, nor knew his name, for I never knew him. [YOU TELL HIM, Igraine. You’re awesome and we stan. Also, ouch Uther is horrible.]

‘And there,’ Ulfius said to the queen, ‘Merlin is more to blame than you.’ [Ha, so he backed down. An apology is in order, but she probably won’t get one.]

‘Well, I know that I bore a child by my lord King Uther,’ said the queen, ‘but I know not what has become of him.’

Then Merlin took the king by the hand, saying, ‘this is your mother.’ And therewith Sir Ector bore witness how he nourished him by Uther’s commandment. And therewith King Arthur took his mother Queen Igraine in his arms and kissed her, and they both wept. [This is so heartwarming, but Ulfius and Merlin are also horrifying and I’m not sure which emotion is stronger in me right now] And then the king let make a feast that lasted eight days.

Then one day there came into the court a squire on horseback, leading a knight before him wounded to the death, and he told them how there was a knight in the forest who had reared up a pavilion by a well. ‘He has slain my master, a good knight; his name was Miles,’ said the squire. ‘Wherefore I beseech you that my master may be buried, and that some knight may avenge my master’s death.’ [What is it with knights in these stories setting themselves up at random places and fighting all who pass through? Where do they get the time? I want their time.]

Then the noise was great of that knight’s death in the court, and every man said his advice. Then came Griflet, who was but a squire, and he was young, of the age of King Arthur. So he besought the king, for all his service that he had done him, to give the order of knighthood.

Here I am, ten days before the SAT and desperately in need of more time to study, and here these losers are, parked in front of some river or road or whatever and demanding to fight everyone who goes by. No, I’m not bitter, why do you ask?

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 18

You know that episode in that TV series you watch that has you wondering if the scriptwriters were high while writing it? Well, this section is that, but for books, and I am LOVING IT.

‘Sir knight,’ said the king, ‘leave that quest and suffer me to have it, and I will follow it another twelvemonth.’ [Because you’ll totally be able to fit that in with all of your other responsibilities! 😀 This is starting to feel like something I would do, oh no]

‘Ah, fool,’ said the knight unto Arthur, ‘your desire is in vain, for it shall never be achieved except by me or my next kin.’ [Wait, but Palomides wasn’t related to Pellinore that I know of and…Oh, never mind.] Therewith he started unto the king’s horse and mounted into the saddle, and said, ‘gramercy, this horse is mine own.’

‘Well,’ said the king, ‘you may take my horse by force, but I might prove whether you are better on horseback or I.’ [Arthur, this never ends well (at least not in real life)]

‘Well,’ said the knight, ‘seek me here when you will, and here by this well you shall find me.’ And so he passed on his way.

Then the king sat in thought and bade his men fetch his horse as fast as ever they might. Right so came by him Merlin, like a child of fourteen years of age, and saluted the king, and asked him why he was so pensive. ‘I may well be pensive,’ said the king, ‘for I have seen the most marvelous sight that I have ever seen.’

‘That I know well,’ said Merlin, ‘as well as yourself and of all your thoughts. But you are a fool to take thought, for it will not amend you. Also I know what you are, and who your father was, and of whom you were begotten. King Uther Pendragon was your father, and begat you on Igraine.’ [Merlin, have you heard the phrase, ‘locking the barn after the horse is stolen?’ You should have told this to him years ago.]

‘That is false,’ said King Arthur. ‘How should you know it? You are not so old of years as to know my father.’

‘Yes,’ said Merlin. ‘I know it better than you or any man living.’

‘I will not believe you,’ said Arthur, and he was wroth with the child. So Merlin departed and came again in the likeness of an old man of fourscore years of age, whereof the king was right glad, for he seemed to be an upright man.

Then said the old man, ‘why are you so sad?’

‘I may well be heavy-hearted,’ said Arthur, ‘for many things. Also here was a child who told me many things that it seemed to me that he should not know, for he was not of an age to know my father.’

‘Yes,’ said the old man. ‘The child told you the truth, and more would he have told you if you would have suffered him. But you have done a thing of late that God is displeased with you, for you have lain with your sister, and on her you have gotten a child that shall destroy you and all the knights of your realm.’ [Aw, Mordred, my precious murder-child] [Also, WHOSE FAULT IS THIS, MERLIN. I ASK YOU.]

[Literally the only reason why I like Mordred is because I’m writing him, he is such a garbage fire, seriously] [But he’s a garbage fire we stan]

‘What are you,’ said Arthur, ‘that tells me these tidings?’

‘I am Merlin, and I was he in the child’s likeness.’

‘Ah,’ said King Arthur, ‘you are a marvelous man; but I marvel much at your words that I must die in battle.’ […That’s what you’re focusing on right now? That is a pretty awful thing to find out, I guess. But I still think it’s funny.]

[Arthur: I slept with my sister? ‘Kay, whatever. Wait, I’m going to die in battle?]

‘Marvel not,’ said Merlin, ‘for it is God’s will your body be punished for your foul deeds. But I may well be sorry, for I shall die a shameful death, to be put in the earth quick, and you shall die a worshipful death.’ And as they talked of this, someone came with the king’s horse, and so the king mounted on his horse and Merlin on another, and so they rode unto Caerleon. And anon the king asked Ector and Ulfius how he was begotten, and they told him Uther Pendragon was his father, and Queen Igraine was his mother.

Then he said to Merlin, ‘I will that my mother be sent for that I may speak with her. And if she says so herself, then will I believe it.’ [Yayy, Igraine is briefly back in the story, I’ve missed her] In all haste the queen was sent for, and she came and brought with her Morgan le Fey, her daughter, who was as fair a lady as any might be, and the king welcomed Igraine in the best manner.

Yay, I am (sort of) on schedule! A little late in the day, but no matter. That makes me unreasonably happy.