Malory's Explicits and Incipits

        But whan the messynge com to the kynge Royns than was he woode oute of mesure and purveyde hym for a greete oste as hit rehersith aftir in the booke of Balyne le Saveage that folowith nexte aftir that was the adventure how Balyne gate the swerde. (22r/56)

 “And on Whytsonday he enchyved the swrde as hit ys rehersed in the booke of the Sankgreall” (34r/92).  [ . . . ]  Thus endith the tale of Balyn and Balan ii brethirne that were borne in Northhumbirlonde that were ii passynge good knyghtes as ever were in tho dayes.  Explicit.  (34r/92)  [Blank page and following folio begins with a very large decorated initial][1] 

Here begynnith the fyrst batayle that ever sir Gawayne ded after he was made knyght.  (37v/103)[2]

And thus endith the adventure of sir Gawayne that he dud at the mariage of Arthure.  (39v/109)[3]

And here endith the queste of sir Torre kynge Pellynors sonne.  (42r/114)[4]

Explicit the weddyng of kyng Arthur.  (44v/120)

Here endyth this tale as the Freynshe booke seyth fro the maryage of kynge Uther unto Kyng Arthure that regned aftir hym and ded many batayles.  And this booke endyth whereas sir Launcelot and sir Trystrams com to courte.  Who that woll make ony more lette hym seke other bookis of kynge Arthure or of sir Launcelot or sir Trystrams for this was drawyn by a knyght presoner sir Thomas Malleorre that God sende hym good recover.  Amen.  Explicit.  (70v/180)

Here endyth the tale of the noble kynge Arthure that was emperoure hymself thorow dygnyte of his hondys.  And here folowyth afftyr many noble talys of sir Launcelot de Lake.  Explicit the noble tale betwyxt kynge Arthure and Lucius the emperour of Rome.  (96r/247)

Explicit a noble tale of sir Launcelot du Lake.  (113r/287)

And I pray all you that redyth this tale to pray for hym that this wrote that God sende hym good delyveraunce sone and hastely.  Amen.  Here endyth the tale of sir Gareth of Orkeney.  (148r/363)

Here begynnyth the fyrste boke of sir Trystrams de Lyones and who was his fadir and hys modyr and how he was borne and fostyrd and how he was made knyght of kynge Marke of Cornuayle.  (148v/371)

Here levyth of the tale of sir Lamerok and of syr Trystramys and here begynnyth the tale of syr la cote Male Tayle that was a good knyght.  (187r/451)

Here begynnyth the turnement of the Castel Maydyns the fyrste day.  (213v/523)

Now turne we fro this mater and speke of sir Trystram of whm this booke is pryncipall off.  And leve we the kynge and the quene and sir Launcelot and sir Lamerok.  And here begynnyth the treson of kynge Marke that he ordayned agayne sir Trystram.  (277r/670, 675)

Here endyth the secunde boke off syr Tystram de Lyones whyche drawyn was oute of Frenyshe by sir Thomas Malleorre knyght as Jesu be hys helpe.  Amen.  But here ys no rehersall of the thirde booke.  But here folowyth the noble tale off the Sankegreall whyche called ys the holy vessell and the sygnyfycacion of blyssed bloode off oure lorde Jesu Cryste whyche was brought into thys londe by Joseph off Aramathye.  Therefore on all synfull blyssed lord have on thy knyght mercy.  Amen.  (246v/845-6).

Thus endith the tale of the Sankgreal that was brefly drawy[n] oute of Frenynshe which ys a tale cronycled for one of the trewyst and of the holyest that ys in thys worlde by sir Thomas Maleorre knyght.  O blesse Jesu helpe hym thorow hys myght.  Amen.  (409r/1037).

And bycause I have loste the very mater of Shevalere de Charyot I departe from the tale of sir Launcelot and here I go unto the morte Arthur and that caused sir Aggravayne.  And here on the othir syde folowyth the moste pyteuous tale of the morte Arthure saunz Gwerdon par le shyvalere sir Thomas Malleorre knyght.  Jesu ayde ly pur voutre bone mercy.  Amen.  (449r/1153)

Here is the ende of the hoole book of kyng Arthur and of his noble knyghtes of the rounde table that whan they were hole togyders there was ever an hondred and forty.  And here is the end of the deth of Arthur.  I pray you all jentylmen and jentylwymmen that redeth this book of Arthur and his knyghtes from the begynnyng to the endynge praye for me whyle I am on lyve that God sende me good delyveraunce.  And whan I am deed I praye you all praye for my soule.  For this book was ended the xi yere of the reygne of kyng Edward the Fourth by sir Thomas Maleore knyght as Jesu helpe hym for hys grete myght as he is the servaunt of Jesu both day and nyght.  (1260)


[1] Kato’s concordance misses this and all other instances of “Explicit” except those on Vinaver’s pages 247 and 287.

[2]   “Mais ore en laisse li contes a parler de Pellinor et de Tor, et coumenche a parler de Gavain et des aventures ki li avinrent en sa queste” (Suite II: 81).

[3]   “Mais oe laisse li contes a parler del roi et de Merlin et de toute celle compaignie pour conter de Tor le fil a Arès et de che que il avint en sa queste” (Suite II: 100-1).

[4]   “Mais ore s’en taist li contes et s’en retourne au roi Pellinor” (Suite II: 115).