62 WHAT BEAUMAINS ASKED OF THE KING
Guenevere. They were all welcomed of King Arthur, who turned to his nephew Sir Gareth and asked him whether he would have that lady to his wife.
' My lord,' replied Sir Gareth, ' you know well that I love her above all the ladies in the world.'
' And what say you, fair lady ? ' asked the King.
' Most noble King,' said dame Lyonesse, ' I would sooner have Sir Gareth as my husband than any King or Prince that may be christened, and if I may not have him I promise you I will have none. For he is my first love, and shall be my last. And if you will suffer him to have his will and choice, I dare say he will have me.'
' That is truth,' said Sir Gareth.
' What, nephew,' cried the King, ' sits the wind in that door ? Then you shall have all the help that is in my power,' and so said Gareth's mother. And it was fixed that the marriage should be at Michaelmas, at Kin-Kenadon by the sea-shore, and thus it was proclaimed in all places of the realm. Then Sir Gareth sent his summons to all the Knights and ladies that he had won in battle that they should be present, and he gave a rich ring to the Lady Lyonesse, and she gave him one likewise. And before she departed she had from King Arthur a shining golden bee, as a token. After that Sir Gareth set her on her way towards her castle, and returned unto the King. But he would ever be in Sir Lancelot's company, for there was no Knight that Sir Gareth loved so well as Sir Lancelot. The days drew fast to Michaelmas, and there came the Lady Lyonesse with her sister Linet and her brother Sir Gringamore to Kin-Kenadon by the sea, and there were they lodged by order of King Arthur. And upon Michaelmas Day the Bishop of Canterbury wedded Sir Gareth and the Lady Lyonesse with great ceremonies, and King Arthur commanded that Sir Gawaine should be joined to the damsel Linet, and Sir Agrawaine to the niece of dame Lyonesse, whose name was Laurel. Then the Knights whom Sir