Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XVIII Chapter 5
Next scene, Guenever and Sir Bors. She summons him to her chamber. When he arrives, she opens her mouth to speak but Bors cuts her off.
“Madam, what would ye that I did? I was there, at the dinner, and it would not be appropriate for me to act in your defense while I’m a witness. That is way outside my comfort zone. Maybe Launcelot is your man here, madam. Which is funny if you think about it, what with your having exiled him! And now you’re asking me to do things, and I’m like, are you going to exile me next? I mean, in so much ye have chased him out of your country by whom ye were borne up and honoured.”
“Not a big fan of your speaking to me like that!” snaps Guenever. “But whatever. Fine. You want me to beg?” She gets down on her knees (down upon both her knees, in fact) and begs him. “Pretty-pretty please? Outher I shall have a shameful death, and thereto I never offended.“
Arthur walks in at this point and sees his wife kneeling in front of Sir Bors. He clears his throat, pointedly.
Sir Bors hastily pulls Guenever to her feet and assures her that kneeling like that isn’t necessary.
“Oh, come on, Bors,” says Arthur. “I’ve known Guenever for decades and when she kneels like that it isn’t because she thinks she’s guilty. You know as well as I do that she’s innocent, which totally negates your whole but-I’m-a-witness bull hockey. Do what Launcelot would do if he weren’t mysteriously out of the country, and defend her honor!”
Bors groans, because he really doesn’t want to, but he’s running out of excuses. “All right, all right, I’ll do it. I said I’ll do it! Unless a better knight shows up to defend her, I’ll do it.”
Arthur scowls, because he senses a trick. “Will ye promise me this by your faith?“
“On my honor as the guy who won the Quest for the Holy Grail, yes!”
“Well, that’s a load off my mind,” says Guenever. “You want to get some lunch, Arthur?”
So Arthur and Guenever exit, in search of lunch. Bors exits too, but he rides immediately to Castle Winsdor, home of Sir Brastias and temporary home of Sir Launcelot.
“…so that works out pretty conveniently for me,” says Launcelot, once Bors has filled him in. “Guenever needs me, I ride in to her rescue, she can’t very well exile me after that!”
“Here’s what we do. Day of the execution, you and Mador are going to joust. You take a wholly defensive stance, stall for time. It’ll both tire him out, for the more ye suffer him the hastier will he be to battle, and it’ll also heighten the drama. Then I’ll swoop in at the last second, and next thing you know Guenever and I are making out in her closet.”
“If that’s how you want me to play it,” says Bors. “Doubt ye not that ye shall have all your will.”
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XVIII Chapter 5 — No Comments
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