The Marriage Of Guenevere Quotes

"Many A Man Has Fought Because He Feared To Run Away"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The day after his marriage to Guenevere, Arthur, King of Britain, goes away to war. While the king is away, Launcelot arrives at Camelot and discovers that Guenevere is the mysterious Lady of the Hills whom he had met in the forest and with whom he had fallen in love. At court he and Guenevere express their mutual love. They have a tryst one night, but unfortunately an agent of the wicked Morgause, sister to Arthur, spies on them. Queen Guenevere is then accused of high treason for her affair with Launcelot. Guenevere's brother Peredure, who is in love with Morgause, cannot believe the accusation against his sister. The court jester, Dagonet, arrives to tell Peredure that the accusation is a plot by Morgause. Knowing Peredure's feeling toward Morgause, Dagonet first asks: "Are you brave, my lord?" "Brave?" Peredure questions.

"I know you are as quick in a quarrel as a Spaniard, and will whip out your rapier on less provocation than any man at the court. But are you brave?
(Sings) For there are worser ills to face
Than foeman in the fray;
And many a man has fought because–
He feared to run away.
Ri fol de riddle rol.
Are you brave, sir?"