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2017年7月19日 (水)

Romance the world has ever

"Damosel," replied Beaumains, "say to me what you will, I will not go from you whatsoever you say, for I have undertaken to King Arthur for to achieve your adventure, and so shall I finish it to the end or I shall die therefor."

Then came a man thereby calling for help, for six thieves were after him. Even when Beaumains had slain all the six thieves and set the man free from his fears, then the maiden used him despicably, calling him kitchen boy and other shameful names.

On the next day Beaumains slew two knights who would not allow him and the maiden to cross a great river.

But all the maiden did was to taunt him. "Alas," she said, "that ever a kitchen page should have that fortune to destroy even two doughty[Pg 93] knights; but it was not rightly force, for the first knight stumbled and he was drowned in the water, and by mishap thou earnest up behind the last knight and thus happily slew him."

Then Beaumains told Sir Persant that his name was Sir Gareth. And the maiden said that hers was Linet, and that she was sister to Dame Lionesse, who was besieged.

Then the dwarf took word to the lady who was besieged, and the others came on after.

"How escaped he," said the lady, Dame Lionesse, "from the brethren of Sir Persant?"

"Madam," said the dwarf, "as a noble knight should."

"Ah," said Dame Lionesse, "commend me unto your gentle knight, and pray him to eat and drink and make him strong. Also pray him that he be of good heart and courage, for he shall meet with a knight who is neither of bounty, courtesy, nor gentleness; for he attendeth unto nothing but murder, and that is the cause I cannot praise him nor love him."

All that night Beaumains lay in an hermitage, and upon the morn he and the damosel Linet broke their fast and heard mass. Then took they their horses, and, riding through a fair forest, they came out upon a plain where there were many pavilions and tents and a castle and much smoke and a great noise. When they came near the siege Beaumains espied upon great trees goodly knights hanging by the neck, their shields about their necks with their swords, and gilt spurs upon their heels. There hung high forty knights.

So ends happily one of the charming stories of adventure and knighthood in one of the greatest Cycles of  known. Indeed, in that Great Palace we have entered, and some of whose golden doors we have been opening, there is no door more loved by human beings than the one over which is written Romance, for boys and girls and their elders have always loved a romantic story, and always will.

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