and spake of many things, in so much that she besought him to be her love, for she had loved him above all earthly men, and she should make him richer than ever was man of his age. When Bors understood her words he was right evil at ease, which in no manner would not break chastity, so wist not he how to answer her.
How the devil in a woman's likeness would have had Sir Bors to have lain by her, and how by God's grace he escaped.
ALAS, said she, Bors, shall ye not do my will? Madam, said Bors, there is no lady in the world whose will I will fulfil as of this thing, for my brother lieth dead which was slain right late. Ah Bors, said she, I have loved you long for the great beauty I have seen in you, and the great hardiness that I have heard of you, that needs ye must lie by me this night, and therefore I pray you grant it me. Truly, said he, I shall not do it in no manner wise. Then she made him such sorrow as though she would have died. Well Bors, said she, unto this have ye brought me, nigh to mine end. And therewith she took him by the hand, and bade him behold her. And ye shall see how I shall die for your love. Ah, said then he, that shall I never see.
Then she departed and went up into an high battlement, and led with her twelve gentlewomen; and when they were above, one of the gentlewomen cried, and said: Ah, Sir Bors, gentle knight have mercy on us all, and suffer my lady to have her will, and if ye do not we must suffer death with our lady, for to fall down off this high tower, and if ye suffer us thus to die for so little a thing all ladies and gentlewomen will say or you dishonour. Then looked he upward, they seemed all ladies of great estate, and richly and well beseen. Then had he of them great pity; not for that he was uncounselled in himself that liefer he had they all had lost their souls than he his, and with that they fell adown all at once unto the earth. And when he saw that, he was all abashed, and had thereof great marvel. With that he blessed his body and his visage. And anon he heard a great noise and a great cry, as though all the fiends of hell had been about him; and therewith he saw neither tower, nor lady, nor gentlewoman, nor no chapel where he