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had heard his confession, found him in so pure a life and so stable that he marvelled thereof.
On the morrow, as soon as the day appeared, Sir Bohort departed thence, and rode into a forest unto the hour of midday. And there befell him a marvellous adventure. For he met, at the parting of two ways, two knights that led Sir Lionel, his brother, all naked, bound upon a strong hackney, and his hands bound before his breast; and each of them held in his hand thorns wherewith they went beating him, so that he was all bloody before and behind; but he said never a word, but, as he was great of heart, he suffered all that they did to him as though he had felt none anguish. Sir Bohort prepared to rescue his brother. But he looked on the other side of him, and saw a knight dragging along a fair gentlewoman, who cried out, “Saint Mary! succor your maid !” And when she saw Sir Bohort, she called to him, and said, “By the faith that ye owe to knighthood, help me!” When Sir Bohort heard her say thus, he had such sorrow that he wist not what to do. “For if I let my brother be, he must be slain, and that would I not for all the earth; and if I help not the maid, I am shamed for ever." Then lift he up his eyes and said, weeping, “Fair Lord, whose liegeman I am, keep Sir Lionel, my brother, that none of these knights slay him, and for pity of you, and our Lady's sake, I shall succor this maid."
Then he cried out to the knight, “Sir knight, lay
your hand off that maid, or else ye be but dead." Then the knight set down the maid, and took his shield, and drew out his sword. And Sir Bohort smote him so hard that it went through his shield and habergeon, on the left shoulder, and he fell down to the earth. Then came Sir Bohort to the maid, “Ye be delivered of this knight this time." “Now,” said she, “ I pray you lead me there where this knight took me.” “I shall gladly do it,” said Sir Bohort. So he took the horse of the wounded knight, and set the gentlewoman upon it, and brought her there where she desired to be. And there he found twelve knights seeking after her; and when she told them how Sir Bohort had delivered her, they made great joy, and besought him to come to her father, a great lord, and he should be right welcome. “Truly,” said Sir Bohort, “that may not be; for I have a great adventure to do." So he commended them to God and departed.
Then Sir Bohort rode after Sir Lionel, his brother, by the trace of their horses. Thus he rode seeking, a great while. Then he overtook a man clothed in a religious clothing, who said, “Sir knight, what seek ye?” “Sir," said Sir Bohort, “I seek my brother, that I saw within a little space beaten of two knights.” “Ah, Sir Bohort, trouble not thyself to seek for him, for truly he is dead.” Then he showed him a new-slain body, lying in a thick bush ; and it seemed him that it was the body of Sir Lionel. And then he made such sorrow that he fell to the ground in a swoon, and lay there long. And
when he came to himself again, he said, “ Fair brother, since the fellowship of you and me is sundered, shall I never have joy again; and now He that I have taken for my master, He be my help!” And when he had said thus, he took up the body in his arms, and put it upon the horse. And then he said to the man,
Canst thou tell me the way to some chapel, where I may bury this body?” “ Come on,” said the man, “here is one fast by.” And so they rode till they saw a fair tower, and beside it a chapel. Then they alighted both, and put the body into a tomb of marble.
Then Sir Bohort commended the good man unto God, and departed. And he rode all that day, and harbored with an old lady. And on the morrow he rode unto the castle in a valley, and there he met with a yeoman.
“ Tell me," said Sir Bohort, 6 knowest thou of any adventure ?” “Sir,” said he, “here shall be, under this castle, a great and marvellous tournament." Then Sir Bohort thought to be there, if he might meet with any of the fellowship that were in quest of the Sangreal; so he turned to a hermitage that was on the border of the forest. And when he was come thither, he found there Sir Lionel his brother, who sat all armed at the entry of the chapel door. And when Sir Bohort saw him, he had great joy, and he alighted off his horse, and said, “Fair brother, when came ye hither?” As soon as Sir Lionel saw him he said, “Ah, Sir Bohort, make ye no false show, for, as for you, I might have been slain, for ye left me in peril of death to go succor a gentlewoman; and for that misdeed I now insure you but death, for ye have right well deserved it." When Sir Bohort perceived his brother's wrath, he kneeled down to the earth and cried him mercy, holding up both his hands, and prayed him to forgive him. “Nay,” said Sir Lionel, “thou shalt have but death for it, if I have the upper hand; therefore leap upon thy horse and keep thyself, and if thou do not, I will run upon thee there as thou standest on foot, and so the shame shall be mine, and the harm thine, but of that I reck not.” When Sir Bohort saw that he must fight with his brother or else die, he wist not what to do. Then his heart counselled him not so to do, inasmuch as Sir Lionel was his elder brother, wherefore he ought to bear him reverence. Yet kneeled he down before Sir Lionel's horse's feet, and said, “Fair brother, have mercy upon me and slay me not.” But Sir Lionel cared not, for the fiend had brought him in such a will that he should slay him. When he saw that Sir Bohort would not rise to give him battle, he rushed over him, so that he smote him with his horse's feet to the earth, and hurt him sore, that he swooned of distress. - When Sir Lionel saw this, he alighted from his horse for to have smitten off his head ; and so he took him by the helm, and would have rent it from his head. But it happened that Sir Colgrevance, a knight of the Round Table, came at that time thither, as it was our Lord's will; and then he beheld how Sir Lionel would have slain his brother, and he knew Sir Bohort, whom he loved right well. Then leapt he down from his horse, and took Sir Lionel by the shoulders, and drew him strongly back from Sir Bohort, and said, “Sir Lionel, will ye slay your brother?” “ Why,” said Sir Lionel, “ will ye stay me? If ye interfere in this, I will slay you, and him after.” Then he ran upon Sir Bohort, and would have smitten him ; but Sir Colgrevance ran between them, and said, “ If ye persist to do so any more, we two shall meddle' together.” Then Sir Lionel defied him, and gave him a great stroke through the helm. Then he drew his sword, for he was a passing good knight, and defended himself right manfully. So long endured the battle, that Sir Bohort rose up all anguishly, and beheld Sir Colgrevance, the .good knight, fight with his brother for his quarrel. Then was he full sorry and heavy, and thought that, if Sir Colgrevance slew him that was his brother, he should never have joy, and if his brother slew Sir Colgrevance, the shame should ever be his.
Then would he have risen for to have parted them, but he had not so much strength to stand on his feet; so he staid so long that Sir Colgrevance had the worse, for Sir Lionel was of great chivalry and right hardy. Then cried Sir Colgrevance, “Ah, Sir Bohort, why come ye not to bring me out of peril of death, wherein I have put me to succor you?” With that, Sir Lionel smote off his helm,