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Sir Lancelot and the Fair Maid of Astolat


Now after the quest of the Sangreal was fulfilled and all the knights who were left alive were come again to the Round Table, there was great joy in the court. And passing glad were King Arthur and Queen Guinevere to see Sir Lancelot and Sir Bors, for they had been long absent in that quest.

And so greatly was Sir Lancelot’s fame now spread abroad that many ladies and damsels daily resorted to him and besought him for their champion; and all right quarrels did he gladly undertake for the pleasure of our Lord Christ. And always as much as he might he withdrew him from the queen.



Wherefore Queen Guinevere, who counted him for her own knight, grew wroth with him, and on a certain day she called him to her chamber, and said thus: “Sir Lancelot, I daily see thy loyalty to me doth slack, for ever thou art absent from this court, and takest other ladies’ quarrels on thee more than ever thou wert wont. Now do I understand thee, false knight, and therefore shall I never trust thee more. Depart now from my sight, and come no more within this court upon pain of thy head.” With that she turned from him and would hear no excuses.

それゆえランスロットを自身の為の騎士と恃んでいた王妃グィネヴィアは彼に怒りを覚え,ある日彼を自身の部屋に呼んでこう言った。「ランスロット卿よ,私は日々,貴方の私への忠義が弱まるのを感じています。貴方は何時もこの宮廷におりませんし,他の女性達の言い分を,かつてよりも増して引き受けていますよね。これで貴方の事が分かりました,偽騎士よ。だから私はもうこれ以上貴方に頼らないことにします。さあ私の視界から消えて下さい。そしてこの宮廷に入ったら死罪とします」 そう言って彼女は彼に背を向け,いかなる弁明も聞き入れようとしなかった。

slack は「たるむ」といった意味で,ズボンのスラックスの元でしょう。


So Sir Lancelot departed in heaviness of heart, and calling Sir Bors, Sir Ector, and Sir Lionel, he told them how the queen had dealt with him.

“Fair sir,” replied Sir Bors, “remember what honour ye have in this country, and how ye are called the noblest knight in the world; wherefore go not, for women are hasty, and do often what they sore repent of afterwards. Be ruled by my advice. Take horse and ride to the hermitage beside Windsor, and there abide till I send ye better tidings.”

To that Sir Lancelot consented, and departed with a sorrowful countenance.







Now when the queen heard of his leaving she was inwardly sorry, but made no show of grief, bearing a proud visage outwardly. And on a certain day she made a costly banquet to all the knights of the Round Table, to show she had as great joy in all others as in Sir Lancelot. And at the banquet were Sir Gawain, and his brothers Sir Agravaine, Sir Gaheris, and Sir Gareth; also Sir Modred, Sir Bors, Sir Blamor, Sir Bleoberis, Sir Ector, Sir Lionel, Sir Palomedes, Sir Mador de la Port, and his cousin Sir Patrice — a knight of Ireland, Sir Pinell le Savage, and many more.


・イギリス英語では「ホウム (home)」を「ハウム」のように発音するため,Modred という綴りでは「マウドリッド」のようになります。Mordred の場合は「モードレッド」です。

Sir Blamor, Sir Bleoberis は兄弟です。


Now Sir Pinell hated Sir Gawain because he had slain one of his kinsmen by treason; and Sir Gawain had a great love for all kinds of fruit, which, when Sir Pinell knew, he poisoned certain apples that were set upon the table, with intent to slay him. And so it chanced as they ate and made merry, Sir Patrice, who sat next to Sir Gawain, took one of the poisoned apples and eat it, and when he had eaten he suddenly swelled up and fell down dead.




At that every knight leapt from the board ashamed and enraged nigh out of their wits, for they knew not what to say, yet seeing that the queen had made the banquet they all had suspicion of her.

“My lady the queen,” said Sir Gawain, “I wit well this fruit was meant for me, for all men know my love for it, and now had I been nearly slain; wherefore, I fear me, ye will be ashamed.”

“This shall not end so,” cried Sir Mador de la Port; “now have I lost a noble knight of my own blood, and for this despite and shame I will be revenged to the uttermost.”





Then he challenged Queen Guinevere concerning the death of his cousin, but she stood still, sore abashed, and anon with her sorrow and dread, she swooned.

At the noise and sudden cry came in King Arthur, and to him appealed Sir Mador, and impeached the queen.

“Fair lords,” said he, “full sorely am I troubled at this matter, for I must be rightful judge, and therein it repenteth me I may not do battle for my wife, for, as I deem, this deed was none of hers. But I suppose she will not lack a champion, and some good knight surely will put his body in jeopardy to save her.”





challenge は「……の正当性を疑う,……を疑問視する」という意味です。この語義での「民主主義への挑戦」とは「民主主義の正しさを疑う態度」という意味です。


But all who had been bidden to the banquet said they could not hold the queen excused, or be her champions, for she had made the feast, and either by herself or servants must it have come.

“Alas!” said the queen, “I made this dinner for a good intent, and no evil, so God help me in my need.”

“My lord the king,” said Sir Mador, “I require you heartily as you be a righteous king give me a day when I may have justice.”

“Well,” said the king, “I give ye this day fifteen days, when ye shall be ready and armed in the meadow beside Westminster, and if there be a knight to fight with you, God speed the right, and if not, then must my queen be burnt.”







When the king and queen were alone together he asked her how this case befell.

“I wot not how or in what manner,” answered she.

“Where is Sir Lancelot?” said King Arthur, “for he would not grudge to do battle for thee.”

“Sir,” said she, “I cannot tell you, but all his kinsmen deem he is not in this realm.”

“These be sad tidings,” said the king; “I counsel ye to find Sir Bors, and pray him for Sir Lancelot’s sake to do this battle for you.”

So the queen departed and sent for Sir Bors to her chamber, and besought his succour.







wot は古語で,原形は wit「知っている」であり,原形 wit と1人称現在形 wot が異形です。




“Madam,” said he, “what would you have me do? for I may not with my honour take this matter on me, for I was at that same dinner, and all the other knights would have me ever in suspicion. Now do ye miss Sir Lancelot, for he would not have failed you in right nor yet in wrong, as ye have often proved, but now ye have driven him from the country.”

“Alas! fair knight,” said the queen, “I put me wholly at your mercy, and all that is done amiss I will amend as ye will counsel me.”

And therewith she kneeled down upon both her knees before Sir Bors, and besought him to have mercy on her.

「お妃様」彼は言った。「私に何ができるでしょう? 私は名誉を以てこの件を引き受けることができません。というのも私もあの席におり,他の騎士達は私を疑いの目で見るでしょう。今の貴女にはランスロット卿が必要です。貴女が度々証明してきたように,彼なら貴女が正しくても,間違っていても,貴女の期待に応えるでしょう。でも貴女は彼を国外に追放してしまいました」





Anon came in King Arthur also, and prayed him of his courtesy to help her, saying, “I require you for the love of Lancelot.”

“My lord,” said he, “ye require the greatest thing of me that any man can ask, for if I do this battle for the queen I shall anger all my fellows of the Table Round; nevertheless, for my lord Sir Lancelot’s sake, and for yours, I will that day be the queen’s champion, unless there chance to come a better knight than I am to do battle for her.” And this he promised on his faith.


「王様」彼は言った。「王様は私に,人が頼みうる最大の事を頼んでいます。というのも,もし私が王妃の為に戦えば,円卓の全ての仲間を怒らせることになるのですから。しかしそれでも,私が仕えるランスロット卿の為,そして貴方がたの為に,その日,王妃の勇者となりましょう。但し,王妃の為に戦うのに私より優れた騎士が現れたならば別です」 そしてこの事を彼は誓った。



Then were the king and queen passing glad, and thanked him heartily, and so departed.

But Sir Bors rode in secret to the hermitage where Sir Lancelot was, and told him all these tidings.

“It has chanced as I would have it,” said Sir Lancelot; “yet make ye ready for the battle, but tarry till ye see me come.”

“Sir,” said Sir Bors, “doubt not but ye shall have your will.”

But many of the knights were greatly wroth with him when they heard he was to be the queen’s champion, for there were few in the court but deemed her guilty.






・この but は「……しないような,……しないところの」という意味の関係代名詞です。この意味自体は有名ですが,忘れてはならないのはこの but が二重否定で使われるということです。つまり「……しない人がいます」といった文脈ではなく,「……しない人はいない」と言うために使われるということです。安易に who+not の代わりに使わないようにしましょう。


Then said Sir Bors, “Wit ye well, fair lords, it were a shame to us all to suffer so fair and noble a lady to be burnt for lack of a champion, for ever hath she proved herself a lover of good knights; wherefore I doubt not she is guiltless of this treason.”

At that were some well pleased, but others rested passing wroth.

And when the day was come, the king and queen and all the knights went to the meadow beside Westminster, where the battle should be fought. Then the queen was put in ward, and a great fire was made round the iron stake, where she must be burnt if Sir Mador won the day.

So when the heralds blew, Sir Mador rode forth, and took oath that Queen Guinevere was guilty of Sir Patrice’s death, and his oath he would prove with his body against any who would say the contrary. Then came forth Sir Bors, and said, “Queen Guinevere is in the right, and that will I prove with my hands.”






With that they both departed to their tents to make ready for the battle. But Sir Bors tarried long, hoping Sir Lancelot would come, till Sir Mador cried out to King Arthur, “Bid thy champion come forth, unless he dare not.” Then was Sir Bors ashamed, and took his horse and rode to the end of the lists.

そう言って彼らは共に陣幕に行き,戦いの準備をした。しかしボールス卿はランスロット卿の到着を待ってぐずぐずした。ついにマドール卿はアーサー王に叫んだ「そちらの勇者を出してくれ,臆病風に吹かれているのなら仕方ないが」 それでボールス卿は恥を感じ,馬に乗って闘技場の端に出た。