sent him in the charge of a holy hermit to King Arthur's court. Then Sir Launcelot beheld his son, and had great joy of him. And Sir Bohort told his fellows, “Upon my life, this young knight shall come to great worship.” The noise was great in all the court, so that it came to the queen. And she said, “I would fain see him, for he must needs be a noble knight, for so is his father.” And the queen and her ladies all said that he resembled much unto his father; and he was seemly and demure as a dove, with all manner of good features, that in the whole world men might not find his match. And King Arthur said, “God make him a good man, for beauty faileth him not, as any that liveth.”

Then the hermit led the young knight to the Siege Perilous; and he lifted up the cloth, and found there letters that said, “ This is the seat of Sir Galahad, the good knight”; and he made him sit in that seat. And all the knights of the Round Table marvelled greatly at Sir Galahad, seeing him sit securely in that seat, and said, “ This is he by whom the Sangreal shall be achieved, for there never sat one before in that seat without being mischieved."

On the next day the king said, “Now, at this quest of the Sangreal shall all ye of the Round Table depart, and never shall I see you again altogether; therefore I will that ye all repair to the meadow of Camelot, for to just and tourney yet once more before ye depart.” But all the meaning of the king was to see Sir Galahad proved. So then were they

all assembled in the meadow. Then Sir Galahad, by request of the king and queen, put on his harness and his helm, but shield would he take none for any prayer of the king. And the queen was in a tower, with all her ladies, to behold that tournament. Then Sir Galahad rode into the midst of the meadow; and there he began to break spears marvellously, so that all men had wonder of him, for he surmounted all knights that encountered with him, except two, Sir Launcelot and Sir Perceval. Then the king, at the queen’s request, made him to alight, and presented him to the queen; and she said, 66 Never two men resembled one another more than he and Sir Launcelot, and therefore it is no marvel that he is like him in prowess."

Then the king and the queen went to the minster, and the knights followed them. And after the service was done, they put on their helms and departed, and there was great sorrow. They rode through the streets of Camelot, and there was weeping of the rich and poor; and the king turned away, and might not speak for weeping. And so they departed, and every knight took the way that him best liked.

Sir Galahad rode forth without shield, and rode four days, and found no adventure. And on the fourth day he came to a white abbey; and there he was received with great reverence, and led to a chamber. He met there two knights, King Bagdemagus and Sir Uwaine, and they made of him great solace. “Sirs,” said Sir Galahad, “what adventure brought you hither ? " “Sir," said they, “it is told us that within this place is a shield, which no man may bear unless he be worthy ; and if one unworthy should attempt to bear it, it shall surely do him a mischief." Then King Bagdemagus said, “I fear not to bear it, and that shall ye see tomorrow."

So on the morrow they arose, and heard mass; then King Bagdemagus asked where the adventurous shield was. Anon a monk led him behind an altar, where the shield hung, as white as snow; but in the midst there was a red cross. Then King Bagdemagus took the shield, and bare it out of the minster; and he said to Sir Galahad, “If it please you, abide here till ye know how I shall speed.”

Then King Bagdemagus and his squire rode forth; and when they had ridden a mile or two, they saw a goodly knight come towards them, in white armor, horse and all ; and he came as fast as his horse might run, with his spear in the rest; and King Bagdemagus directed his spear against him, and broke it upon the white knight, but the other struck him so hard that he broke the mails, and thrust him through the right shoulder, for the shield covered him not, and so he bare him from his horse. Then the white knight turned his horse and rode away.

Then the squire went to King Bagdemagus, and asked him whether he were sore wounded or not. “I am sore wounded,” said he, “and full hardly shall I escape death.” Then the squire set him on his horse, and brought him to an abbey; and there he was taken down softly, and unarmed, and laid in a bed, and his wound was looked to, for he lay there long, and hardly escaped with his life. And the squire brought the shield back to the abbey.

The next day Sir Galahad took the shield, and within a while he came to the hermitage, where he met the white knight, and each saluted the other courteously. “Sir,” said Sir Galahad, “can you tell me the marvel of the shield ?” “Sir,” said the white knight, “ that shield belonged of old to the gentle knight, Joseph of Arimathea ; and when he came to die, he said, “Never shall man bear this shield about his neck but he shall repent it, unto the time that Sir Galahad the good knight bear it, the last of my lineage, the which shall do many marvellous deeds.” And then the white knight vanished away.


After Sir Gawain departed, he rode many days, both toward and forward, and at last he came to the abbey where Sir Galahad took the white shield. And they told Sir Gawain of the marvellous adventure that Sir Galahad had done. “Truly,” said Sir Gawain, “I am not happy that I took not the way that he went, for, if I may meet with him, I will not part from him lightly, that I may partake

66 Sir


with him all the marvellous adventures which he shall achieve.” “Sir," said one of the monks," he will not be of your fellowship.” “ Why?” said Sir Gawain. “ Sir," said he, “because ye be sinful, and he is blissful.” Then said the monk, Gawain, thou must do penance for thy sins." what penance shall I do?” “Such as I will show, " said the good man. “Nay,” said Sir Gawain, “I will do no penance, for we knights adventurous often suffer great woe and pain.” “Well,” said the good man; and he held his peace. And Sir Gawain departed.

Now it happened, not long after this, that Sir Gawain and Sir Hector rode together, and they came to a castle where was a great tournament. And Sir Gawain and Sir Hector joined themselves to the party that seemed the weaker, and they drove before them the other party. Then suddenly came into the lists a knight, bearing a white shield with a red cross, and by adventure he came by Sir Gawain, and he smote him so hard that he clave his helm and wounded his head, so that Sir Gawain fell to the earth. When Sir Hector saw that, he knew that the knight with the white shield was Sir Galahad, and he thought it no wisdom to abide him, and also for natural love, that he was his uncle. Then Sir Galahad retired privily, so that none knew where he had gone. And Sir Hector raised up Sir

Sir Gawain, and said, “Sir, me seemeth your quest is done.” “ It is done,” said Sir Gawain ; “I shall seek no fur

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