Clemence Housman

The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis - Chapter VII


THROUGH the hazards of years Percivale grew by his brother's side in ignorance undisturbed by hint or sign. Aglovale never practised deceit, but Brose dealt him some lies more or less, and Durnor also played with untruth out of his improvident kindness.

A sorry page in the life of Aglovale gives the poor return he made in brotherly kindness to Durnor, who stood by him so loyally. That Durnor was a brawler, loose and profane, accounts for his harshness, but little excuses it; the less that
his own ill example had first misled his brother. His protest
against Durnor's disorder wanted in temper and courtesy; in
his way of repression he showed no regard for his brother's
head. Angry disputes rose out of the turbulence and license
of Durnor's men; Aglovale, to make an end, himself seized
on delinquents, and three he hanged at the door of their
master's lodge. Durnor, furious at the aifront, promised
revenge, and sought it in arms.
At the instance of the Queen their mother, Aglovale bent to conciliation. Alone and unarmed he sought his brother, and
asked on what terms he might ransom himself from his displeasure. Too well was he hated to win through such hazardry scatheless; before Durnor could answer him a bolt whizzed and struck in his throat. It is said that he pulled out the bolt, laughed, and tossed it to Durnor before he fell down choked with blood.

In a life at that time so barren of generous word and deed, one instance stands recorded: he asked grace for the villain who shot him down.

"Since you own he has justified me; and since he has quit me of your resentment, we are both beholden to him for clearing our account."

Durnor was contrite for his part; Aglovale not a whit. So soon as he was on his feet, his hand was as heavy as before.

In an evil hour Durnor devised a remedy that brought wrath and grief. He engaged one Annowre, a noted enchantress, to turn Aglovale from his joyless ways. It was a cast of outrageous folly, but no ill-will was in the mischief he intended. So he vowed afterwards, and his plea made Aglovale's heart but the harder against him, and fetched retort that so the more hopeless beast was he.

The enchantment failed in effect, though potion and spell were so strong that when Brose came at morn and broke open the door, he found his master clean out of his wits. Annowre accounted for her ill success.

"He sleeps in a garment of enchantment. Get from him that wear of haire and he might not withstand my power."

"Haire night and day!" muttered Durnor, despairing. "Oh, poor body and soul!"

Aglovale's retaliation upon Durnor was shrewd and cruel and just; he cut him off from Percivale, and he did it openly and despitefully. Durnor, of quick affections, raged against the galling measure. His protest took the shape of siege and ambush and chase, till Tor advised Lamorak that his two brothers were mad, and fetched him into Galis for peace.

Against Durnor's passionate complaint of his jealous and despiteful courses, Aglovale made bitter retort.

"Percivale will I keep from you to the best of my power. He shall not have a pander to company."

Durnor leapt up, stammering curses. "Would to God you were not my brother; so would I pluck out your foul tongue. Before Heaven I am not so guilty! Ah, black heart to breed such venom! Alas! brother, pardon, I thought no harm. Let our brothers judge between us."

"I take no keep how they shall judge; you shall set no whore on to play her game with Percivale as you did on to me."
To Lamorak and Tor no rectitude in Aglovale could show fair against Durnor, pleading his excuse with indignant tears.

"Neither I nor Sir Tor," said Lamorak, "hold Sir Durnor deserving such extremes. Are you he, Sir Aglovale, to deal over exact with transgression."

He was speechless; so lightly touched he bit the dust.

"As for Percivale," said Lamorak, "for larger cause than you can show against Sir Durnor, the mother that bore you mistrusted him to your hands. Now I counsel you to find some forbearance on the errors of another, or look not to keep an undue advantage you have by virtue of our silence to the boy."

Said Aglovale when he could speak, "Sirs, I thank you all for past kindness."

He uttered no protest; he turned his back on Durnor; he would face his penalty. So he left them.

"Alas!" said Durnor, "now know I that the land of Galis will not hold me and brother Sir Aglovale. I will go."

"Not so," said Lamorak, chafed. "If either for peace must quit this land, it shall be he, not you. He is intolerable."

"He has reason," said Durnor, "since if he is hard on me, he is far harder on himself. And now he is little likely to spare me, lest so himself he should be sparing. I choose to go."

So Durnor took his leave, self-exiled. Aglovale on that had some compunction. If his brothers required it, he said, he would himself enlighten Percivale.

"I would well you did," said Lamorak, hardly, "but that Sir Durnor has set his heart against it."

His brother's curst humours had worn his patience, but at that time he had no mind to go to extremes.

So for yet another year Aglovale had his way, and kept order in Galis, earning little praise and much hate because of his growing cruelty. He also aggrieved Northgalis, dealing with a high hand. After short warning to the King that he ruled remiss his borders, he waylaid transgressors and slew and hanged without ransom. And then he seized on all bridges, and some he destroyed, and some he held by force, abating iniquitous tolls. Yet these violent doings must have been mainly righteous, since the King of Northgalis dared not urge out the dispute either in court or field; moreover, it appears that later Sir Tor bestirred himself to keep the bridges when his brother no longer might; and he was ever upright, passing true, and courteous.
Complaint against Aglovale grew so heavy that at last Lamorak called him to account.

"Within the realm of Logris," declared Aglovale, "no lands are more prosperous than is this your land of Galis; nor more secure; nor more free of evil customs. To this end have I served truly to the best of my power. Can any from the sea to the Usk prove injustice at my hands?"

"Your justice I do not question," said Lamorak, "but what of your mercy? I have heard of none. Sir Aglovale, have you ever shown mercy?"

"None," he said heavily. "You are qualified to show mercy; I may not."

"Brother, the best mercy I can show is to give relief from your justice. To Cardigan your appanage I will add as largely as you shall desire for your honour and content, but the rest of Galis shall do without your handling."

"I want no gift. The half of Galis would not honour and content me."

"Would aught else?"

"Your countenance and approval."

"That I cannot lend. I am sorry. You have hanged knights, you have dismembered, in abuse of your place and trust from my hand. I gave no warrant for your bloody code. I seek not to bring men to a shaveling pattern; and that shall be made known clearly, so that knights of worship and good fellowship may remain in the land and not avoid it. Therefore I require you to depart out of Galis for a season."

Aglovale was sorely shocked. "Out of Galis! Banishment!"

"You despise a kinder discharge I would provide."

"I care for no cloak to disgrace."

"I pray you remember that Sir Durnor of his own grace quitted Galis for peace."

Aglovale went down to Cardiff and took to the seas, and Percivale went with him still.

"Let him keep the boy," said Tor, "that for Percivale's sake he may not launch on iniquity."

How Aglovale kept the seas, and destroyed pests from the three channels, need not here be told at length. Before the year was round Percivale brought him into Cardiff, too perilously wounded to carry on to Cardigan; and there under
ward of the Queen for weeks he lay.

He gathered life under heavy discouragement. Brose, with misplaced satisfaction, brought in to his master reports of disorder throughout Galis; his service of years had vanished like snow in a day and left no trace. Lamorak could not rule.
Percivale brought Saint to his bedside to tell of King Arthur's
coming to Cardiff on adventure, and of his ending of the
wicked Annowre, and of his encounter unknown with Lamorak.
Every look and word of the King she had treasured; and as she rehearsed Aglovale fevered to hear. But on his name no word or question had fallen to favour his return to his place at the Round Table. Lamorak, staying on his way to Kinkenadon, came in, and with sinister courtesy wished him speedy recovery.

It was cruelly said. And with him came Durnor, loth and constrained, mumbling curses to himself, in fine dread of treading on his brother brought low. Those two, by opposite ways, afflicted their unhappy brother equally, for his nature was so curst. With the waste of six hard years of upright living lay loss by estrangement from Lamorak and Durnor.

Yet Aglovale deemed he should be granted comfort of God and man as he lay and watched Percivale. Again in the window-bay as of old, Percivale and Saint leaned close and
talked low with one heart ; he still gentle and meek and stainless in life and thought as she, in form and face almost as
slender and delicate and fair. None seeing him would guess
that like fine steel throughout he came through his brother's hands. This is my perfect work of the years; this cannot waste or fail; clear fire from on high has proved it. Notwithstanding this contentment, sudden tears would storm him merely at the sight of the brother and sister speaking eye to eye, without a shadow of doubt or reserve or dread between their white souls; then would he turn his face to the wall and lie strangling, lest the innocent should chance to see how the
damned do weep. So feeble he was then.

From his bed Aglovale took up resolution again. He sent to his brother Tor, who came kindly himself to answer, and would not leave him till his recovery. Of all his brothers, the bastard was he who could speak his mind frankly to him without afflicting. Fearless, honest, single-minded, Tor was wise also, wise as is best, from the heart; and Aglovale by this time was willing to learn.

He let Aglovale understand how his hard ruling had tended to provoke present disorders, and how unwise had been his grasp of control single-handed; he had not set men of worship, good and loyal, to exercise authority and spread respect of law.

"But in your day," said Tor, sadly, "you would take no counsel, nor measure means. What profit to harrow over the past for barren cult?"

Said Aglovale, suddenly, "Put case Sir Lamorak die without lawful issue, who, think you, should bear rule in Galis?"

"Whomsoever he should will and appoint."

"My birthright was set aside for Lamorak, and I gave consent and pledge to serve him, but not any other after him. And so, brother, I warn you: not you, a bastard, nor Durnor, a fool and worse."

Said Tor, "Are you setting for Percivale?"

"No. I am setting for the weal of Galis and for the continuance of a noble line in time to come."

"This is over early. Here be you four brethren, young and likely, though as yet unwed, to raise up lawful seed after you."

"Lamorak will not wed, as he may not take to wife Morgause of Orkney. Durnor breeds bastards. I shall die out and leave no life behind. Percivale, as he is, God keep him."

"Brother," said Tor, "I like not this setting for my part. Here also is barren cult."

Tor was all in the dark, and never guessed to what his brother was addrest, not even when Aglovale took ship and went to seek Lamorak on Kinkenadon Sands. None would he have with him when he landed, so Tor stayed aboard and from afar saw their meeting. Then he knew what he could not hear: Aglovale humbled himself to beg office again of his brother. And Lamorak, he saw, refused with anger; and refused and refused, as Aglovale doggedly followed when he turned from him, and would not be quitted. While day ran down the sky, Tor wished the dark to cover a sight so grievous and pitiful; and while summer night lay blind, he wished it gone, with his doubt that the pair were still wrestling on in the dark, up and down above the tides.

Dawn brought Aglovale back, dragging like one wounded. He showed Lamorak's sign and seal.

"Alas!" said Tor, "but there is no worship here on the getting or the giving."

"None, none!" said Aglovale, low of breath.

"You have done what I could not. Where is your sword? Ah, Sir Aglovale, let me in for comfort, as I am your father's son."

"Would to God I were the bastard! Sir Lamorak has granted to try me for another year, upon terms that I bear no arms in Galis, and lose no knight his life or limb. I have sworn. Eh, Tor! Nay, dam up your eyes. Why?" he laughed.

Yet even at that pass, Lamorak had cared for his unhappy brother, by those hard provisions desiring to compel his return
to adventure outside Galis. When his reckoning proved short
he hardened his heart and stood to the terms.

"He is starving at heart," said Tor.

"It is well," returned Lamorak; "I will starve him out of this curst temper."

But to the year's end Aglovale held out, and it was Lamorak who owned defeat ; and very heartily he embraced his brother when he gave him back his sword without condition.

"Fair lord Sir Lamorak, if it please you to discharge me now, I promise you shall find begun a sounder order than before, and a good man to take in place of me."

"I have no will," said Lamorak, "to withhold from you full licence and countenance and approval. You can rule, fair brother, and I cannot: that is truth."

"You were not born to it," said Aglovale.

Lamorak knew well enough whom Aglovale considered a good man. This was Sir Hermind, their near cousin, an upright man and sturdy, body and mind; a sure knight by head and hand, quick of understanding and prudent in speech. He had served in the wars against Rome with his kinsmen of Galis, and they liked him well. From no fault of his, he had suffered an adverse turn very like Sir Aglovale's: his half-brother, Hermance of the Red City, had rewarded his loyal service with great injustice, banishing him at the instance of two base favourites from his lands in Northumbria. He whom I love so much tells how in the end King Hermance was murdered by those two villains, and how then Sir Hermind came, knightly and brotherly, to avenge his death and to bury him.

Aglovale by that bitter year of probation had won much, and namely the lasting esteem of a just and noble man; for Sir Hermind had seen with wonder how he spent himself for the weal of Galis, wise, diligent, patient, under disadvantage and through peril; and he had given himself freely to his help, and had never failed him since.

Percivale in that bitter year had won much, and namely he had won his brother's life against perilous hates that were out against him. Strict to the letter of his hard conditions, Aglovale wore no harness even for defence; and he would take no keep of himself, nor would he shun hazarding the life more precious to him than his own. Percivale and Brose never left him. Time and time again he had to watch, and feel as women do, desperate fight in his defence rending his heart; though there was sweet joy to see how young Percivale fought and won worship. With rapture he fought for the brother he reverenced; in beautiful humility he looked for no praise; on success his heart was uplifted in love; his faith kept him without dread.

Surely he was perfect for knighthood.

Nacien the Hermit made such joy when they came to him that Aglovale was almost satisfied he recognized his brother's worth. Yet it was not joy that made the old man's eyes glisten when face to face alone he gave ear to his telling of Percivale.

"He is of perfect faith and a pure spirit. Every blow he gives yields praise to God, and every blow he takes yields prayer.
Overthrow makes him no shame, and excellence no vainglory.
He has slain no man, for the grace of God is in his hands. And he is a maiden clean of life and heart."

"And you, my son?" said Nacien.

"I hope. He is my warrant. I have none other. Ah God, none! Yet for seven years I have tried truly to serve God and man."

"God forsakes His true servants never."

"Sir, this I know: the Devil forsakes his servants never. Him I served, and I cannot get free. For ever he bids me break chastity, and ever he bids me resent humiliation; and as I do not, night and day, flesh and spirit must burn at his fires, for he is my master. Ah God, ah God, I get no ease! Lo, in Percivale how chastity and humility grow like flowers that are sweet to the sun. Lo, in me the same fume like scutch, and my own brothers let me know of evil odour."

Nacien, when he had examined them both and confessed them clean, marvelled over them; for one was so white of heart, and one so corrupt, and both in life were constant and
clean and upright.

"The ground of all virtue the one of you owns: that is patience. The crown of all virtue the one of you yet lacks: that is charity. My son, God may yet require more of your patience to learn your brother charity."

With dread Aglovale heard, deeming these words were prophecy of a thing he dared not face.

With dread heavy upon him he went down to Camelot to face King Arthur, and re-entered the streets by which he had gone out, barefoot and decried, seven years before. He whom I love so much tells how he sped then.

Hard at Aglovale looked the King, and coldly he asked him what he required.

"My lord, I require you to make this young squire a knight."

Beside his brother, Percivale showed strangely young and fair and slender for that request. He blushed for awe like a girl as the King looked hard at him in turn.

"Of what lineage is he come?" said Arthur.

"Sir, he is the son of King Pellinore that did you some time good service, and he is brother to Sir Lamorak de Galis the good knight."

"Well," said the King, "for what cause desire you that of me, that I should make him knight?"

For a moment Aglovale's answer hung, and Percivale, amazed, heard him catch his breath.

"Wit you well, my lord the King, that this young squire is brother to me as well as to Sir Lamorak. And my name is Aglovale."

In silence King Arthur mused awhile, gazing without a sign of recognition on his unwelcome knight. Percivale's heart dropped from the sky. He looked at his brother and quick away, ashamed to have seen. For Aglovale's face was like dark ash; sweat stood on his brow; his eyes were fixed and dead.

"Sir Aglovale," said Arthur, "for the love of Sir Lamorak, and for his father's love, he shall be made knight to-morrow. Now tell me his name."

"Sir, his name is Percivale de Galis."

Nothing passed between the brothers as they sought their
lodging, till Percivale spoke with something of his old timidity. "Hear me a question, brother."

"Yea, speak," said Aglovale, with a tight heart.

"Have you remembrance of your promise to send a spear to Sir Bors de Ganis?"

Aglovale looked his brother in the eyes; they were clear and steady. "Marry," said he, "that is well said."

Upon the morrow in due form Percivale was made a knight.

"I counsel you," said Arthur, "to seek the fellowship of noble knights of the pattern of your brother Sir Lamorak."

"Sir," said Percivale, low, "I would take the pattern of my brother Sir Aglovale."

Sir Mordred heard and laughed out, and for a jest he carried about that answer. Few at that hour deemed the young knight of good promise, for he was meek as a dove and showed no fire nor strength.

When the tables were set, Sir Kay the Seneschal took Percivale, and brought him to the lowest board among knights
of poor degree, for so he said had the King commanded. And he said sinister, that he was loth thus to part them, yet unhappily Sir Aglovale had his place at the Round Table. For Sir Kay had been suckled churlish, that his courteous mother might nourish the babe Arthur.

Aglovale went on to his old place and sat down once more among his fellows, so sore at heart for Percivale's sake that he
scarcely saw who saluted him and who did not. He was more
forgotten than he knew, and more changed; old acquaintance
had simple cause to pause, for trouble had seared and ravaged
as much as twenty years.

He looked about him as the sieges filled up for the dinner. Some were covered and many were vacant. The Siege Perilous, that had never been filled, was covered in white; next to the right was one covered in black, where King Pellinore had sat; and the next that was Lamorak's was void. To the left the sieges filled. Sir Launcelot came in and sat down between Sir Bors de Ganis and Sir Ector de Maris. The sons of Lot were there. A stranger came and sat down on his right in place of an old acquaintance, Sir Hervis de Revel; on his other hand the siege was covered in black, for another, Sir Galagars, lately dead.

Then Aglovale beheld a maiden enter in clothing of white sendal, her visage pale with coming death, and radiant. A hush and murmur of pity passed along: "Alas! it is the mute maid." Down the hall she went straight to Percivale, and took him by the hand; and from her who had never uttered any word sprang speech loud and clear.

"Arise, Sir Percivale, the noble knight and God's knight, and go with me."

At that miracle deep silence ensued. And Percivale in noble simplicity rose and followed the maiden up the hall Straight she brought him to the right side of the Siege Perilous, and stripped off the cover of black.

"Fair knight, take here thy siege," she said, "for this siege
appertaineth to thee and to none other." Then she departed
and went to be blessed for death.

Percivale sat and regarded none but his brother; and Aglovale laughed for joy and thanked God aloud. Then the knight nearest Percivale leaned across the Siege Perilous and caught him by the hand; and turning, he saw Sir Bors de Ganis, and joy rushed through him, for now they were fellows indeed. Of all those present, only the sons of Lot were not glad for the worship of Percivale.

For eight days the court of Arthur had been joyless and heavy, since Sir Tristram the noble knight had departed for Cornwall with his worst enemy King Mark, the fair-spoken, false coward. Now life and gladness renewed for the coming of Percivale with miracle, and lightly after dinner the King required his knights to take on their harness and prove their new fellow in breaking spears. So to a fair meadow beside Camelot they went down; and there Sir Aglovale broke his spear with Sir Bors, and after encountered with Sir Dinadan, Sir Bruin le Noir, Sir Kay L'Estrange, Sir Sagwarides, and got no fall; and there Sir Percivale broke many spears, and got no fall though great knights proved him; as namely, Sir Pelleas, Sir Bors, Sir Ector, Sir Gareth, Sir Bleoberis.

Said Sir Kay the Seneschal, "Lo now! how softness and fat grow in an eight days, for these lean brothers of Galis so to hold their own."

Said Sir Dinadan, "Go prove if you be lean and hard enough."

On that Sir Kay took his spear, went into the range and required Sir Aglovale to just; and so hard he smote him that he laid him backward upon his horse, broke his vizard, and bruised his face.

"Well," said Dinadan, "you have dealt unhandsomely with Sir Aglovale; now go against Sir Percivale."

"By my faith, no!" said Kay. "As I am a man, I should be loth so to spoil the face of a pretty maid."

"Sir," said Percivale, "I had rather encounter your great spear than your mocks. And, sir, from knights that are named before you have I got no hurt."

"Yea, yea," said Kay, "that is sooth. Neither would I give you hurt; and so, faith of my body! I will not have ado with you this day. Well, well, Sir Bors," said Kay, "whom God favours should not man also favour? Content you, Sir Percivale," said Kay, "your pattern brother Sir Aglovale got off lightly by favour in this same field years ago, and has been content for his part."

The sight of Aglovale's face strained grey drew Percivale past heeding Sir Kay.

At this day's end came Brose before Percivale, and with him a lad, who stood forward a suitor.

"Sir, for the sake of this day's worship will you to grant any man his reasonable asking?"

"I will well to man or boy," said Percivale.

"Then, sir, grant me to serve you, even as my brother Brose serves Sir Aglovale."

Now, the boy's stature was so low for his years that his asking seemed scarce reasonable.

"Ah, Brose," said Aglovale, "you should have asked this for yourself. And well I would Sir Percivale had the best squire that ever I tried; and to no other master I would speed you willingly."

"Sir, I want no other. Sir, favour Bennet my brother; he is well conditioned and better nurtured than I."

Sir Aglovale denied him shortly. "He is young and untried, and asks presumptuous. Sir Percivale shall not take him by my counsel till he be grown and trained. But he shall send him to the Queen at Cardiff, and request her to enter him in her household that he may grow for a twelvemonth; and afterwards I myself will take him and try him till he be fit to serve Sir Percivale."

In sore disappointment Brose broke out insolent, "To take and try him as me you took and tried a twelvemonth! God defend!"

Straightway Percivale refused Bennet till he should have satisfied Sir Aglovale. Brose muttered and eyed his master

"I kept my mouth fairly enough at that time, and ever since till now: yet not a good word for the asking. What a fool am I!"

At this temper and language Aglovale a little smiled, sure enough of his man, and passed it without rebuke.

"Be not aggrieved," said Percivale kindly to the boy. "Though I cannot now please you, I promise you I will take you and none other so soon as you are fit, for sole reason and sufficient that you came first suitor on my knighthood."

Brose was sore and angry, deeming that had he and his master kept from words Bennet's suit might have prospered. After Sir Aglovale's example, he had set his heart on his young brother, and had promised himself to take him, and make him, and bring him on to a better state than his own. And he had set his faith strongly on the luck of the day that should bring Percivale to the Round Table. On such a day he had sued and had won his master; he took him with a blow and a curse, yet he took him. You shall repent, said Brose; and he, in time, I do repent. Yet he could deny him on such a day his claim to favour, and set Sir Percivale to deny Bennet. The man's resentment did not lightly pass; for many days by sullenness and negligence he reminded his master of the grudge he held. But Aglovale with singular patience bore with him, and when Percivale wondered he excused him, "Great is his love for his young brother."

As for Bennet, he took his disappointment with a better grace, and departed speedily for Cardiff charged with messages to the Queen that should gladden her with news of Sir Percivale. By the way Sir Tor and Sir Durnor met him, and hearing his tidings, turned aside to rejoice with their brothers.

"Alas! but where is Sir Lamorak?" said Durnor. "He should be here; all five at once to sit down at the Table Round. We sons of Pellinore, five; those sons of Lot, five. Man for man, I warrant we five could knock the worth of those five. And they know it."

Truly they knew it; and therefore, fresh edged, the four that
were murderers, Gawaine, Gaheris, Agravaine, and Mordred,
took up a settled purpose. Already in these terms they had counselled and agreed: "This Sir Lamorak," said Gawaine, "we slew his father King Pellinore, who slew our father King Lot; and for the despite of Pellinore, Sir Lamorak did us a shame to our mother. Therefore I will be revenged." And his three brethren: "Let see how you will or may be revenged and you shall find us ready." And Sir Gawaine: "Hold you still and we shall espy our time."

Now again they heard Sir Gawaine in counsel: "Let us send and fetch our mother here to this castle beside Camelot; and when she is here, soon will Sir Lamorak be here also. And truly he will think well by her coming here that King Arthur has bidden her, meaning to overrule in her marriage. Then may we see our time when he goes to her privily, and slay him as we slew his father." So they planned murder.

Matched man to man King Pellinore had not died; and man to man they never laid to meet any one of Pellinore's sons afterwards. Yet they lacked not valour, not the worst of them; but they were passing vindictive, and bloodthirsty men.

So far as can be known, Sir Lamorak never beheld his young brother a knight, and certainly they never sat side by side at the Round Table to fill up the joy of Aglovale. For first King Arthur removed from Camelot and sojourned awhile at Caerlion upon Usk beside Galis; and after Sir Percivale went
into Cornwall on a Quest that was long and arduous, to deliver
Sir Tristram. For King Mark, after his nephew Tristram had
saved him from his enemies, broke the faith he had sworn on
a book before King Arthur and all his knights, and made away
with him, so that none knew whether he were prisoned or

My most dear Master tells how Percivale sped. By his knightly means Sir Tristram was found and delivered, and Cornwall eased of insurgent wars; and afterwards he confronted Mark and admonished him in clear simplicity of heart.

Said Mark, "I may not love Sir Tristram who loveth my Queen and wife La Beale Isoud."

Said Percivale, "Ah, fie for shame, never say so. Are you not uncle to Sir Tristram, and he your nephew. Never think that so noble a knight as Sir Tristram is would do himself so great a villainy to hold his uncle's wife. Howbeit," said Percivale, "he may love your Queen sinless because she is called one of the fairest ladies of the world."

So he spoke in all sincerity, as he knew no worse and was slow to think evil. Well might his fellow-knights wonder over such an one, casting thought that he was brother to Sir Aglovale. In the event his good words were not justified, nor his easy trust to the promises of King Mark. For as soon as he was gone out of Cornwall, Mark plotted afresh; he set his Queen, La Beale Isoud, as a lure for Sir Tristram, and took him again prisoner. He in turn was betrayed to prison by La Beale Isoud, and she fled the kingdom with her lover Tristram.

Another manner of ending came of the like luring of Lamorak by means of Queen Morgause. He whom I love so much has told us that tale. Sir Lamorak came indeed, and with the Queen, unarmed, Sir Gaheris surprised him. With drawn sword and all armed came in Gaheris. He caught his mother by the hair and struck off her head.

Cried Lamorak, "Ah, why have you slain the mother that bore you? With more right you should have slain me."

Said Gaheris, "Because thou art unarmed I am ashamed to slay thee. But wit thou I shall slay thee. And now my mother is quit of thee."

So Lamorak went forth alive, bloodstained and shamed by the death of that fair Queen he loved.

All this and more of the same may be read in that tale. And also, elsewhere, more of the noble battles of Sir Lamorak: how he fought Sir Palamides the Saracen, and after promised to love him above all his brothers, excepting his half-brother Tor; how secretly he encountered the sons of Lot and put them to the worse; how to Surluse he came on a sudden and shone at his last tournament; how for the sake of Arthur he revenged the overthrow of these his nephews; how then King Arthur vainly entreated, "Oh, Lamorak, abide with me, and by my crown I shall never fail thee;" and last, how he parted from Launcelot weeping and bewept, and rode away alone.

He was seen alive never again. Pierced villainously back and breast, his dead body witnessed to a foul battle. He had lived not twenty-nine years. Men deemed his great renown was yet increscent.

By the mouth of Palamides praising the dead, Percivale heard the tidings, and he swooned for sorrow.

"Alas! my good and noble brother Sir Lamorak now shall we never meet," said Percivale. "In all the wide world a man might not find such a knight as he was of his age. It is too much to suffer the death of our father King Pellinore, and now the death of our good brother Sir Lamorak."

As for Aglovale, he almost died for sorrow. That strange physical affliction recurred; old wounds opened and bled as
though in his members he were weeping blood for his brother.
Most lamentable, the wound in his side that Lamorak had touched to heal broke afresh. "Ah, Lamorak!" cried Aglovale, in great distress. Brose feared for his wits, and he deemed it was only the timely presence of Percivale that brought him sane alive.

As for Durnor, within a month, slain by unknown hands, the body of Durnor was found wanting burial.

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