Le Morte Darthur
Syr Thomas Malory
William Caxton, H. Oskar Sommer

¶ Capitulum xix

Page  639 [leaf 320r]

THenne anone syr launcelot waked and sette hym vp and bethought hym what he had sene there / & whether it were dremes or not / Ryght so herd he a voys that said syr launcelot more harder than is the stone / and more bytter than is the wood / and more naked and barer than is the leef of the fygge tree / therfore goo thow from hens / and wythdrawe the from this hooly place / And whanne syre launcelot herd this / he was passynge heuy and wyst not what to do / & so departed sore wepynge / and cursed the tyme that he was borne For thenne he demed neuer to haue hadde worship more For tho wordes went to his herte tyl that he knewe wherfor he was called soo / Thenne syre Launcelot wente to the Crosse & fonde his helme / his swerd and his hors taken away / And thenne he called hym self a veray wretche and moost vnhappy of all knyghtes / and there he sayd my synne and my wyckednes haue brought me vnto grete dishonour / For whanne I soughte worldly aduentures for worldly desyres I euer encheued them and had the better in euery place / and neuer was I discomfyt in no quarel were it ryght or wronge / And now I take vpon me the aduentures of holy thynges / & now I see and vnderstande that myn old synne hyndereth me and shameth me / so that I had no power to stere nor speke whan the holy blood appiered afore me / So thus he sorowed til hit was day / & herd the fowles synge / thenne somwhat he was comforted / But whan syr Launcelot myst his hors and his harneis thenne he wyste wel god was displeasyd with hym / Thenne he departed from the crosse on foote in to a foreste / and soo by pryme he came to an hyghe hylle & fonde an hermytage and an Heremyte theryn whiche was goynge vnto masse / And thenne launcelot kneled doune / & cryed on oure lorde mercy for his wycked werkes / Soo whanne masse was done launcelot called hym and prayed hym for charite for to her his lyfe / with a good will sayd the good man / Sir sayd he be ye of Kyng Arthurs Courte and of the felauship of the round table / ye forsothe and my name is sir Launcelot du lake that hath ben ryght wel said of / and now my good fortune is chaunged / For I am the moost wretche of the world / The Heremyte behelde hym & hadde merueille how he was soo abasshed / Syre Page  640 [leaf 320v] said the heremyte ye oughte to thanke god more than ony knyght lyuynge / for he hath caused yow to haue more worldly worship than ony knyghte that now lyueth / And for your presumpcyon to take vpon you in dedely synne for to be in his presence where his flesshe and his blood was / that caused you ye myghte not see hit with worldly eyen / for he wille not appiere where suche synners ben / but yf hit be vnto theire grete hurte & vnto her grete shame / & there is no knyght lyuynge now / that ought to kenne god soo grete thanke as ye / for he hath yeuen yow beaute / semelynes / and grete strengthe aboue all other knyghtes / and therfor ye are the morr beholdyng vnto god than ony other man to loue hym and drede hym / for your strength and manhode wille lytel auaylle yow / and god be ageynste yow /