High History of the Graal; Perlesvaus
Therewithal the story is silent of Lancelot,
and saith that Briant of the Isles is repaired to Cardoil. Of the forty knights
that he took with him, but fifteen doth he bring back again. Thereof is King
Arthur right sorrowful, and saith that he hath the fewer friends. They of the
land of Albanie have sent to King Arthur and told him that and he would not lose
the land for evermore he must send them Lancelot, for never saw they knight that
better knew how to avenge him on his enemies and to do them hurt than was he.
The King asketh Briant of the Isles how it is that his knights are dead in such
"Sir," saith Briant, "Madeglant hath great force of people, and
what force of men soever may run upon them, they make a castle of their navy in
such sort that none may endure against them, and never did no folk know so much
of war as do they. The land lieth far away from you, and more will it cost you
to hold it than it is worth; and, if you will believe my counsel, you will
trouble yourself no more about it, and they of the country would be well
counselled and they did the same."
"Briant," saith the King, "This would be great blame to myself.
No worshipful man ought to be idle in guarding and holding that which is his
own. The worshipful man ought not to hold of things so much for their value as
for their honour, and if I should leave the land disgarnished of my aid and my
counsel, they will take mine, and will say that I have not heart to protect my
land; and even now is it great shame to myself that they have settled themselves
there and would fain draw away them of the land to their evil law. And I would
fain that Lancelot had achieved that he hath undertaken, and I would have sent
him there, for none would protect the land better than he, and, were he now
there along with forty knights and with them of the country, Madeglant would
make but short stay there."
"Sir," saith Briant, "They of the country reckon nought of you
nor any other but Lancelot only, and they say that and you send him there they
will make him King."
"It may well be that they say so," saith the King, "But never
would Lancelot do aught that should be against my will."
"Sir," saith Briant, "Sith that you are not minded to believe me,
I will say no more in this matter, but in the end his knighthood will harm you
rather than help you and you take no better heed thereof than up to this time
you have done."