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The Adventures of Sir Lancelot du Lake


Then, at the following Pentecost, was held a feast of the Round Table at Caerleon, with high splendour; and all the knights thereof resorted to the court, and held many games and jousts. And therein Sir Lancelot increased in fame and worship above all men, for he overthrew all comers, and never was unhorsed or worsted, save by treason and enchantment.

When Queen Guinevere had seen his wondrous feats, she held him in great favour, and smiled more on him than on any other knight. And ever since he first had gone to bring her to King Arthur, had Lancelot thought on her as fairest of all ladies, and done his best to win her grace.





So the queen often sent for him, and bade him tell of his birth and strange adventures: how he was only son of great King Ban of Brittany, and how, one night, his father, with his mother Helen and himself, fled from his burning castle; how his father, groaning deeply, fell to the ground and died of grief and wounds, and how his mother, running to her husband, left himself alone; how, as he thus lay wailing, came the lady of the lake, and took him in her arms and went with him into the midst of the waters, where, with his cousins Lionel and Bors he had been cherished all his childhood until he came to King Arthur’s court; and how this was the reason why men called him Lancelot du Lake.




Anon it was ordained by King Arthur, that in every year at Pentecost there should be held a festival of all the knights of the Round Table at Caerleon, or such other place as he should choose. And at those festivals should be told publicly the most famous adventures of any knight during the past year.



So, when Sir Lancelot saw Queen Guinevere rejoiced to hear his wanderings and adventures, he resolved to set forth yet again, and win more worship still, that he might more increase her favour. Then he bade his cousin Sir Lionel make ready, “for,” said he, “we two will seek adventure.” So they mounted their horses — armed at all points — and rode into a vast forest; and when they had passed through it, they came to a great plain, and the weather being very hot about noontide, Sir Lancelot greatly longed to sleep. Then Sir Lionel espied a great apple-tree standing by a hedge, and said, “Brother, yonder is a fair shadow where we may rest ourselves and horses.”

“I am full glad of it,” said Sir Lancelot, “for all these seven years I have not been so sleepy.”

So they alighted there, and tied their horses up to sundry trees; and Sir Lionel waked and watched while Sir Lancelot fell asleep, and slept passing fast.

それでランスロット卿は,妃グィネヴィアが自分の不思議な冒険譚を喜んで聴くことが分かったので,再び旅へ出かけ,一層の尊敬を得て,彼女の好意を更に得ようと決意した。それで従兄弟のライオネル卿に支度をするよう言った。「というのは」彼は言った。「俺達2人で冒険をするんだ」 それで2人は全身武装して馬に乗り,広大な森に乗り入れた。そして森を通り抜けると,大きな平野に出て,正午の頃には天気も非常に暑くなったので,ランスロット卿はとても眠りたくなった。するとライオネル卿は生け垣の傍に大きな林檎の木が生えているのを見つけて,「兄弟,あそこに大きな日陰があるよ。あそこで自分達も馬も休める」




In the meanwhile came three knights, riding as fast flying as ever they could ride, and after them followed a single knight; but when Sir Lionel looked at him, he thought he had never seen so great and strong a man, or so well furnished and apparelled. Anon he saw him overtake the last of those who fled, and smite him to the ground; then came he to the second, and smote him such a stroke that horse and man went to the earth; then rode he to the third, likewise, and struck him off his horse more than a spear’s length. With that he lighted from his horse, and bound all three knights fast with the reins of their own bridles.


rein「手綱」は rain「雨」,reign「君臨(する),治世」と同音です。



When Sir Lionel saw this he thought the time was come to prove himself against him, so quietly and cautiously, lest he should wake Sir Lancelot, he took his horse and mounted and rode after him. Presently overtaking him, he cried aloud to him to turn, which instantly he did, and smote Sir Lionel so hard that horse and man went down forthwith. Then took he up Sir Lionel, and threw him bound over his own horse’s back; and so he served the three other knights, and rode them away to his own castle. There they were disarmed, stripped naked, and beaten with thorns, and afterwards thrust into a deep prison, where many more knights, also, made great moans and lamentations, saying, “Alas, alas! there is no man can help us but Sir Lancelot, for no other knight can match this tyrant Turquine, our conqueror.”



But all this while, Sir Lancelot lay sleeping soundly under the apple-tree. And, as it chanced, there passed that way four queens, of high estate, riding upon four white mules, under four canopies of green silk borne on spears, to keep them from the sun. As they rode thus, they heard a great horse grimly neigh, and, turning them about, soon saw a sleeping knight that lay all armed under an apple-tree; and when they saw his face, they knew it was Lancelot of the Lake.



Then they began to strive which of them should have the care of him. But Queen Morgan le Fay, King Arthur’s half sister, the great sorceress, was one of them, and said “We need not strive for him, I have enchanted him, so that for six hours more he shall not wake. Let us take him to my castle, and, when he wakes, himself shall choose which one of us he would rather serve.” So Sir Lancelot was laid upon his shield and borne on horseback between two knights, to the castle, and there laid in a cold chamber, till the spell should pass.

Anon, they sent him a fair damsel, bearing his supper, who asked him, “What cheer?

“I cannot tell, fair damsel,” said he, “for I know not how I came into this castle, if it were not by enchantment.”

“Sir,” said she, “be of good heart, and to-morrow at the dawn of day, ye shall know more.”






What cheer? は古い言い方で「ご機嫌いかが?」という意味です。


And so she left him alone, and there he lay all night. In the morning early came the four queens to him, passing richly dressed; and said, “Sir knight, thou must understand that thou art our prisoner, and that we know thee well for King Ban’s son, Sir Lancelot du Lake. And though we know full well there is one lady only in this world may have thy love, and she Queen Guinevere — King Arthur’s wife — yet now are we resolved to have thee to serve one of us; choose, therefore, of us four which thou wilt serve. I am Queen Morgan le Fay, Queen of the land of Gore, and here also is the Queen of Northgales, and the Queen of Eastland, and the Queen of the Out Isles. Choose, then, at once, for else shall thou abide here, in this prison, till thy death.”



“It is a hard case,” said Sir Lancelot, “that either I must die, or choose one of you for my mistress! Yet had I rather die in this prison than serve any living creature against my will. So take this for my answer. I will serve none of ye, for ye be false enchantresses. And as for my lady, Queen Guinevere, whom lightly ye have spoken of, were I at liberty I would prove it upon you or upon yours she is the truest lady living to her lord the king.”

“Well,” said the queen, “is this your answer, that ye refuse us all?”

“Yea, on my life,” said Lancelot, “refused ye be of me.”

So they departed from him in great wrath, and left him sorrowfully grieving in his dungeon.

At noon the damsel came to him and brought his dinner, and asked him as before, “What cheer?”

「死ぬか」ランスロット卿は言った。「主人を貴女達から1人選ぶかとは,困った話です! しかし私は,意志に反してどの者に仕えるよりも,むしろこの牢獄で死ぬことを選ぶでしょう。これが私の答えです。私は貴女達の誰にも仕えません。貴女達は邪な魔女ですから。私が仕える妃グィネヴィアに関して,貴女達は軽々しく話しましたが,仮に私が自由になったら貴女達に対し,彼女が王様に対して最も貞節な女性であることを証明しましょう」






“Truly, fair damsel,” said Sir Lancelot, “in all my life never so ill.”

“Sir,” replied she, “I grieve to see ye so, but if ye do as I advise, I can help ye out of this distress, and will do so if you promise me a boon.”

“Fair damsel,” said Sir Lancelot, “right willingly will I grant it thee, for sorely do I dread these four witch-queens, who have destroyed and slain many a good knight with their enchantments.”




boon「お願い事,利益」は恐らくボンジュールのボン(良い)と関係あるでしょう。bonus もです。


Then said the damsel, “Sir, wilt thou promise me to help my father on next Tuesday, for he hath a tournament with the King of Northgales, and last Tuesday lost the field through three knights of King Arthur’s court, who came against him. And if next Tuesday thou wilt aid him, to-morrow, before daylight, by God’s grace, I will deliver thee.”

“Fair maiden,” said Sir Lancelot, “tell me thy father’s name and I will answer thee.”

“My father is King Bagdemagus,” said she.




・バグデマグス(Bagdemagus)は英語版ウィキペディアに載っていました。Gorre (Gore) の王らしいです。あれ,だったら上の方で Gore の女王を自称しているモーガン・ル・フェイとの関係は? と思いますが,ウィキペディアには “Bagdemagus is the King of Gorre at the same time as when Morgan le Fay is described as the Queen of Gorre and lives there, but the connection between their characters and their status is not explicitly explained(両者の特質と地位の関係ははっきりとは説明されていない)” とあります。