“Well, that was a thing,” says Launcelot.

“It was a pretty good story,” says Nacien, in defiance of the evidence of his senses.  “Let’s go get some dinner.”

Malory is nonspecific as to what they eat or where the dinner comes from, but he does describe their dinner conversation, wherein Nacien berates Launcelot for being sinful some more.  Even though Launcelot spent three whole days repenting!  And then Sir Launcelot began to weep.

The next day Nacien and Launcelot bury the ex-monk, who never gets a name apparently, and give him a funeral Mass.  Then Nacien gives Launcelot some penance instructions!

 

LAUNCELOT’S PENANCE INSTRUCTIONS

 

Rule Zero:  No sleeping with Guenever!

Rule One: Take this lock of the ex-monk’s hair and keep it as a holy relic and wear it like a pendant.

Rule Two: No meat!

Rule Three: No wine!

Rule Four: Mass every day!  Nacien is willing to bend on this one; Launcelot isn’t penalized for being out in the wilderness where no one can say Mass for him, but if he’s able to hear Mass, he has to.

 

Launcelot agrees to these restrictions, and rides off.  He asks a handy damosel for directions, but she just utters cryptic truths at him, about how now he’s a day older than he was the day before, and how you don’t see the Grail with your eyes, and so on.  So Launcelot just pulls over by the side of the road at the next intersection.  He says his prayers, then goes to sleep on the ground there.

Then he has a dream!  Malory uses the word advision for some reason.  In Launcelot’s advision, he sees a man covered in stars and wearing a golden crown, leading a troupe of nine knights and kings.  The ten of them kneel to pray, and call out to heaven.  Then God comes down from heaven, which Malory makes it sound like He comes down on a ladder.  God, just so we’re clear, looks exactly like Nacien.

God blesses nine of the ten petitioners, but berates one of them for being false and vain and violent.  End of dream.

 

Launcelot gets up in the morning and rides around for a while.  But then he bumps into the Mystery Knight!

You may remember the Mystery Knight — he found the Grail and took Launcelot’s sword and helmet and horse, but only because his squire (who may or may not have been Jesus) gave him permission.

“You Grail-finding, horse-stealing, son of a…!”  Launcelot wastes no time in charging the Mystery Knight.  He takes the dude by surprise, dehorses him and knocks him out!  Doesn’t seen like the most prudent action, what with the Mystery Knight having found the Grail and been Jesus’s pal, but apparently this is how Launcelot rolls.

Launcelot takes his horse back, and leaves the Mystery Knight with the horse Nacien gave him, and rides off.  He rides around for a while, again, and that night stumbles across Nacien, and they camp overnight together.


Comments

Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XV Chapters 2 and 3 — 1 Comment

  1. It is really inspiring how Lancelot has incorporated his “wandering around wild and mad” stylings into the grail quest. It’s a freestyle interpretation. Like a halfpipe with self-flagellation.

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