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King Arthur had declared a tournament of knights at Winchester and had hastened there several days in advance to supervise the event personally.Queen Guenever had remained behind as had Sir Launcelot who had plans to attend the tournament in disguise.Launcelot made his plan known to the queen but to no one else.Launcelot's disguise fooled even the king as he rode into Winchester but his horse became agitated and the disguised Launcelot recovered his steed so quickly and easily that Arthur recognized him at last but said nothing.



Near the tournament was the Castle of Shalott where Launcelot was taken in as a guest the lord of Shalott had two sons who had recently become knights and a beautiful daughter who had become stricken with desire for Launcelot.One of the lord's sons was ill and could not make the tournament so Launcelot asked permission to wear the sick knight's armor the lord agreed.


The lady of Shalott had made it obvious to Launcelot that she had great affection for him but Launcelot's heart belonged only to his Queen and his duty to her and he would not be moved by the young maiden's plea for affection and the young maiden had only her tears to comfort her.


The day of the tournament came and Launcelot consented to wear the scarf of the young maiden for it would please her some and aid in his disguise.Launcelot had defeated various knights and at last had to fight his brother Sir Hector.During their fight Hector wounded Launcelot with a blow to the head and Launcelot was forced to leave the contest and return to the castle of Shalott there the fair lady attended his wounds and took care of him.Launcelot's health was improved when he was seen walking the castle walls by his brother and two other knights who hastened him to return to Camelot.Launcelot sent a message to his queen and after a short time returned.The lady of Shalott begged him not to go and was deeply saddened by his departure she lost any hope for finding love.


Winter was close at hand when the young lady of Shalott made her way to a river and laid herself down in a boat which followed the currents to Camelot.She was utterly depressed and more alienated than ever but felt that she could not be away from Launcelot but along the way she died.The boat carrying her body made it's way to Camelot and in the boat along with her body was a purse and in the purse a letter which was addressed to the king and to Launcelot  the letter stated that Launcelot was the most beautiful yet most cruel man who caused the death of this maiden whose love for him was no less invincible than his cruelty.King Arthur gave orders for the lady to be buried with full honors and Launcelot being chastened by the queen lived for a time with a hermit in the forest paying pennance for the death of the lady of Shalott.


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