Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XII Chapter 2 continued and Chapter 3
Once Pitiless Bruce and Sir Bertelot have been driven away, suddenly everyone else at Castle Blank reappears, including Sir Selivant, Bliant’s brother. Everyone congratulates Launcelot on saving the day, even if he’s still all twitchy and won’t answer to his name and hardly ever moves or speaks. Bliant apologizes about the whole chaining-Launcelot-up deal, and agrees not to chain him up again if Launcelot agrees not to kill anyone.
Whether Launcelot agrees to that or not, Malory doesn’t say, but Malory does say Launcelot enjoys another six months of hospitality at Castle Blank. Then early one morning a new strange adventure begins!
Launcelot’s up, doing early-morning things, when a giant boar comes running by, chased by hunters. The hunters are not having any success: they brought along plenty of dogs, but the boar is just too gigantic for the dogs to successfully tear into. Then, somehow, Launcelot espies a horse tied up, all ready to go, with saddle, hunting gear, spear, sword, the whole but. On impulse, he mounts this horse and rides off with it, after the boar!
So Launcelot is chasing this boar, all alone… no, Malory never said there were a bunch of other hunters with dogs, shut up… and he catches up to it outside a hermitage.
Whoops! Launcelot charges the boar, intent on skewering it with his spear, but instead he ends up sprawled on the ground on top of several pieces of horse. And by “ends up” I mean he’s there for only a few moments; straightaway the boar starts goring him.
He may have his legs gored up pretty bad, but Launcelot’s still got a sword! He anticlimactically slices the boar’s head off, and then he lies there bleeding to death.
Fortunately there’s a hermit nearby. The hermit pokes his head out of the hermitage, and sees Launcelot lying there.
“You poor fella,” murmurs the hermit, as he cautiously approaches Launcelot.
“ARGLE BARGLE I AM STILL CRAZY YAR YAR YAR!” shouts Launcelot, when he hears the hermit approach. “KILL ME NOW!”
Naturally the hermit draws back; this is not something he signed up for. “….Sir knight?”
“Go thy way and deal not with me,” commands Launcelot. It’s the first coherent sentence he’s said in years.
Long story short, the hermit runs and fetches some knights, who load Launcelot onto a cart and haul him into the hermitage. Inside the hermit treats Launcelot’s wound, and he starts to recuperate, but then the hermit runs out of boar meat to feed Launcelot, and he’s only got enough nuts and grubs for one person, and Launcelot loses all the weight he gained back at Castle Blank, and then he wanders off.
So anyway at some point after this, crazy forest hermit Launcelot stumbles into the city of Corbin, which is the name of the town by Castle Corbin, which you might recall from Book XI as the home of Elaine, Galahad, the Grail, and all kinds of weird visions. Launcelot wanders around in the town, and everyone takes him for a hobo. He gets mud thrown at him, and he breaks the arms of people who get too close, and eventually someone thinks to call in the knights. The knights take one look at Launcelot and recognize him as, at the very least, an incredibly goodly man. So naturally they do the decent thing and get him some clothes, and a doghouse to live in inside a fenced-in area, into which they throw meat a couple of times a day.
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XII Chapter 2 continued and Chapter 3 — No Comments
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