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The Adventure of the Questing Beast — King Arthur drives the Saxons from the Realm — The Battles of Celidon Forest and Badon Hill


Anon, thereafter, came word to King Arthur that Ryence, King of North Wales, was making war upon King Leodegrance of Camelgard; whereat he was passing wroth, for he loved Leodegrance well, and hated Ryence. So he departed with Kings Ban and Bors and twenty thousand men, and came to Camelgard, and rescued Leodegrance, and slew ten thousand of Ryence’s men and put him to flight. Then Leodegrance made a great festival to the three kings, and treated them with every manner of mirth and pleasure which could be devised. And there had King Arthur the first sight of Guinevere, daughter of Leodegrance, whom in the end he married, as shall be told hereafter.



レオデグランスはリーオウディグランス /liːoʊdɪɡræns/ がより正確のようです。彼の国 Camelgard(Cameliard, Carmelide)はコーンウォールか,ブルターニュの Cornouaille ではないかとされています。後者だとフランスと言うことになりますが,英仏海峡を渡って攻め合うというのは普通のことだったのでしょうね。



Then did Kings Ban and Bors take leave, and went to their own country, where King Claudas worked great mischief. And King Arthur would have gone with them, but they refused him, saying, “Nay, ye shall not at this time, for ye have yet much to do in these lands of your own; and we with the riches we have won here by your gifts shall hire many good knights, and, by the grace of God, withstand the malice of King Claudas; and if we have need we will send to ye for succour; and likewise ye, if ye have need, send for us, and we will not tarry, by the faith of our bodies.”



When the two kings had left, King Arthur rode to Caerleon, and thither came to him his half-sister Belisent, wife to King Lot, sent as a messenger, but in truth to espy his power; and with her came a noble retinue, and also her four sons — Gawain, Gaheris, Agravaine, and Gareth. But when she saw King Arthur and his nobleness, and all the splendour of his knights and service, she forbore to spy upon him as a foe, and told him of her husband’s plots against him and his throne. And the king, not knowing that she was his half-sister, made great court to her; and being full of admiration for her beauty, loved her out of measure, and kept her a long season at Caerleon. Wherefore her husband, King Lot, was more than ever King Arthur’s enemy, and hated him till death with a passing great hatred.





At that time King Arthur had a marvellous dream, which gave him great disquietness of heart. He dreamed that the whole land was full of many fiery griffins and serpents, which burnt and slew the people everywhere; and then that he himself fought with them, and that they did him mighty injuries, and wounded him nigh to death, but that at last he overcame and slew them all. When he woke, he sat in great heaviness of spirit and pensiveness, thinking what this dream might signify, but by-and-by, when he could by no means satisfy himself what it might mean, to rid himself of all his thoughts of it, he made ready with a great company to ride out hunting.



As soon as he was in the forest, the king saw a great hart before him, and spurred his horse, and rode long eagerly after it, and chased until his horse lost breath and fell down dead from under him. Then, seeing the hart escaped and his horse dead, he sat down by a fountain, and fell into deep thought again. And as he sat there alone, he thought he heard the noise of hounds, as it were some thirty couple in number, and looking up he saw coming towards him the strangest beast that ever he had seen or heard tell of, which ran towards the fountain and drank of the water. Its head was like a serpent’s, with a leopard’s body and a lion’s tail, and it was footed like a stag; and the noise was in its belly, as it were the baying or questing of thirty couple of hounds. While it drank there was no noise within it; but presently, having finished, it departed with a greater sound than ever.



The king was amazed at all this; but being greatly wearied, he fell asleep, and was before long waked up by a knight on foot, who said, “Knight, full of thought and sleepy, tell me if thou sawest a strange beast pass this way?”

“Such a one I saw,” said King Arthur to the knight, “but that is now two miles distant at the least. What would you with that beast?”




“Sir,” said the knight, “I have followed it for a long time, and have killed my horse, and would to heaven I had another to pursue my quest withal.”

At that moment came a yeoman with another horse for the king, which, when the knight saw, he earnestly prayed to be given him. “For I have followed this quest,” said he, “twelve months, and either I shall achieve him or bleed of the best blood of my body.”






It was King Pellinore who at that time followed the questing beast, but neither he nor King Arthur knew each other.

“Sir Knight,” said King Arthur, “leave that quest and suffer me to have it, and I will follow it other twelve months.”

“Ah, fool,” said the knight, “thy desire is utterly in vain, for it shall never be achieved but by me, or by my next of kin.”





唸る獣(Questing Beast)については日本語版ウィキペディアにも載っています。



Therewith he started to the king’s horse, and mounted to the saddle, crying out, “Grammercy, this horse is mine!”

“Well,” said the king, “thou mayest take my horse by force, and I will not say nay; but till we prove whether thou or I be best on horseback, I shall not rest content.”

“Seek me here,” said the knight, “whenever thou wilt, and here by this fountain thou shalt find me;” and so he passed forth on his way.





Then sat King Arthur in a deep fit of study, and bade his yeomen fetch him yet another horse as quickly as they could. And when they left him all alone came Merlin, disguised as a child of fourteen years of age, and saluted the king, and asked him why he was so pensive and heavy.

“I may well be pensive and heavy,” he replied, “for here even now I have seen the strangest sight I ever saw.”



fit には「発作」の意味があります。fit of study については,pensive という表現でアーサーを形容していることから,「考え事に耽った」ということでしょう。


“That know I well,” said Merlin, “as well as thyself, and also all thy thoughts; but thou art foolish to take thought, for it will not amend thee. Also I know what thou art, and know thy father and thy mother.”

“That is false,” said King Arthur; “how shouldst thou know? thy years are not enough.”

“Yea,” said Merlin, “but I know better than thou how thou wast born, and better than any man living.”


「それは嘘だ」アーサー王は言った。「どうして分かる? 年が若すぎる」



“I will not believe thee,” said King Arthur, and was wroth with the child.

So Merlin departed, and came again in the likeness of an old man of fourscore years of age; and the king was glad at his coming, for he seemed wise and venerable. Then said the old man, “Why art thou so sad?”

“For divers reasons,” said King Arthur; “for I have seen strange things to-day, and but this moment there was here a child who told me things beyond his years to know.”




score は「20」なので fourscore は「80」です。



“Yea,” said the old man, “but he told thee truth, and more he would have told thee hadst thou suffered him. But I will tell thee wherefore thou art sad, for thou hast done a thing of late for which God is displeased with thee, and what it is thou knowest in thy heart, though no man else may know.”

“What art thou,” said King Arthur, starting up all pale, “that tellest me these tidings?”

“I am Merlin,” said he, “and I was he in the child’s likeness, also.”



of late は「最近,ここのところ」という意味です。

what it is thou knowest はよくある OSV という語順です。thou knowest を簡単な you know に換えると,what it is you know = you know what it is「それが何であるかあなたは分かっている」で,OSV = SVO の関係にあります。


“Ah,” said King Arthur, “thou art a marvellous and right fearful man, and I would ask and tell thee many things this day.”

As they talked came one with the king’s horses, and so, King Arthur mounting one, and Merlin another, they rode together to Caerleon; and Merlin prophesied to Arthur of his death, and also foretold his own end.




And now King Arthur, having utterly dispersed and overwhelmed those kings who had so long delayed his coronation, turned all his mind to overthrow the Saxon heathens who yet in many places spoiled the land. Calling together, therefore, his knights and men-at-arms, he rode with all his hosts to York, where Colgrin, the Saxon, lay with a great army; and there he fought a mighty battle, long and bloody, and drove him into the city, and besieged him. Then Baldulph, Colgrin’s brother, came secretly with six thousand men to assail King Arthur and to raise the siege.


・「包囲を解く」の「解く」には「持ち上げる」の liftraise,また「破る」の break が使えるようです。


But King Arthur was aware of him, and sent six hundred horsemen and three thousand foot to meet and fall on him instead. This therefore they did, encountering them at midnight, and utterly defeated them, till they fled away for life. But Baldulph, full of grief, resolved to share his brother’s peril; wherefore he shaved his head and beard, and disguised himself as a jester, and so passed through King Arthur’s camp, singing and playing on a harp, till by degrees he drew near to the city walls, where presently he made himself known, and was drawn up by ropes into the town.








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