XII

(Winchester f. 347-357v; Caxton XIII.1-XIII.12; Vinaver, Vol.2, pp. 853.1-884.2; Shepherd pp. 496.1-510.39)

 
 
 
 

f. 347

                            

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f. 347v

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f. 348

[page blank; includes signature of Richard Followell

and a sketch of a shield with three fleur de lis]

f. 348v

[page blank]

 

f. 349 (XIII.1)

A

T the vigyl of Pentecoste whan all Þe felyship

of the table rownde were com vnto Camelot and Þer harde

hir seruyse So at the laste the tablys were sette redy to Þe meete

Ryght so entird in to the halle a full fayre Jantillwoman on horse backe Þat

had ryddyn full faste for hir horse was all be swette Than she Þer alyght

and com be fore the kynge and salewed hym And he seyde damesell god

you blysse // Sir seyde she for goddis sake telle me where ys Sir Launcelot he

ys yondir ye may se hym seyde the kynge // Than she wente vnto sir Launcelot

and seyde Sir Launcelot I salew you on kynge Pelles be halff and I also re//

quyre you to com with me here by in to a foreste Than Sir Launcelot asked

her with whom she dwelled I dwelle she seyde with kynge Pelles what woll

ye with me seyde Sir Launcelot ye shall know she seyde whan ye com thydir

well seyde he I woll gladly go with you // So Sir Launcelot bade hys squire

sadyll hys horse and bryng his / armys in haste So he ded hys comman//

demente Than com the quene vnto Sir Launcelot and seyde woll ye leve

vs now alone at thys hyghe feste // Madam seyde the Jantyll woman

wyte you well he shall be with you to morne by dyner tyme // If I wyste

seyde the quene that he sholde nat be here with vs to morne he sholde

nat go with you be my good wyll / Ryght so departed Sir Launcelot and rode

vntyll that he com In to a foreste and Into a grete valey where they sye

an abbey of Nunnys and there was a squyre redy and opened the gatis

and so they entird and descended of Þer horsys And anone Þer cam a fayre

felyship aboute Sir Launcelot and wellcomed hym And than they

ladde hym vnto the abbas / chambir and vnarmed hym And ryght so he

was ware vppon a bed lyynge ij· of hys Cosyns · Sir Bors and Sir

Lyonell · and anone he waked them And whan they syȝe hym Þey made

grete Joy Sir seyde Sir Bors vnto Sir Launcelot what aduenture

hath brought you hidir for we wende to have founde you to morne

at Camelot // So god me helpe seyde Sir Launcelot a Jantill woman

 

f. 349v (XIII.1-2)

     

that they Þus  ta^lked to gydir there com In xij Nunnes that brought

with hem Galahad the whych was passynge fayre and welle made

that vnneth in the worlde men myght nat fynde hys macche and

all tho ladyes wepte // Sir seyd they all we brynge you hyre thys

chylde the whych we haue norysshed and we pray you to make hym

knyght for of a more worthyer mannes honde may he nat resceyve

the order of knyghthode // Sir Launcelot be hylde thys yonge squyer

and saw hym semely and demure as a dove with all maner of goode

fetures that he wende of hys ayge neuer to haue seene so fayre a

fourme of a man Than seyde Sir Launcelot commyth thys desyre of

hym selff he and all they seyde yes // Than shall he seyde Sir Launce/       

lot resseyve the order of knyghthode at the reuerence of the hyȝe feste         

So that nyght Sir Launcelot had passyng good chere And on Þe more

at the howre of pryme at Galahaddis desyre he made hym knyȝt

and seyde god make you a good man for of beaute faylith you none as

ony that ys  now lyvynge // Now fayre sir seyde Sir Launcelot woll

ye com with me vnto the courte of kynge Arthure nay seyde he I

woll nat go with you at thys tyme Than he departed frome them

and toke hys ij cosynes with hym And so they com vnto Camelot

by the owre of vndirne on Whytsonday So by that tyme Þe kynge

and the quene was gone to the mynster to here Þer seruyse Than Þe

kynge and the quene were passynge glad of Sir Bors and Sir

Lyonel· and so was all the felyshyp // So whan the kynge And all Þe

knyghtes were com frome seruyse the barownes aspyed in the Segys

of the rounde table all aboute wretyn with golde lettirs here ouȝt

to sitte he and he ought to sitte hyre And Þus they wente so longe

tylle that they com to the sege perelous where they founde lettirs

newly wrytten of golde whych seyde iiij·C wyntir and iiij· and fyffty

a complyvysshed aftir the passion of oure lorde Jhu Cryst ouȝte

thys syege to be fulfylled Than all they seyde Þys ys a meruaylous

 

f. 350v (XIII.2-3)

 

Sir hit ys nat my swerde also I haue no hardines to sette my honde

Þer to for hit longith nat to hange be my syde Also who that assayth to

take hit and faylith of that swerde he shall resseyve a wounde by

that swerde that he shall nat be longe hole afftir And I woll that

ye weyte that thys same day shall the adventure of Þe Sankgreall

be gynne that ys called the holy vessell // Now fayre nevew seyde the

kyng vnto Sir Gawayne assay ye for my love Sir he seyde sauff

youre good grace I shall nat do that // Sir sayde the kynge assay to

take the swerde for my love and at my commaundemente // Sir youre

commaundemente I woll obey And there with he toke the swerde by Þe

handyls but he myght nat stirre hit / I thanke you seyde the kynge

My lorde Sir Gawayne seyde Sir Launcelot now wete you well

thys swerde shall touche you so sore that ye wolde nat ye had sette

youre honde Þer to for the beste castell of thys realme // Sir he seyde

I myght nat with sey myne vnclis wyll But whan the kynge

herde thys he repented hit much And seyde vnto Sir Percyvall

Sir woll ye assay for my love // And he assayed gladly for to beare

Sir Gawayne felyship and there with he sette to his honde on Þe

swerde and drew at hit strongely but he myght nat meve hytte

Than were there mo that durste be so hardy to sette Þer hondis Þer to

Now may ye go to youre dyner seyde Sir Kay vnto the kynge for

a mervalous aduenture haue ye sene // So the kynge and all Þey

wente vnto the courte and euery knyght knew hys owne place

and sette hym Þer In And younge men that were good knyghtes serued

them // So whan they were serued and all Syegis fulfylled sauff

only the Syege parelous // Anone Þer be felle a meruaylous aduenture

that all the doorys and wyndowes of the paleyse shutte by Þem

selff // Nat for than the halle was nat gretly durked and there with

they abaysshed bothe one & oÞer // Than kynge Arthure spake fyrste

and seyde be god fayre felowis and lordis we haue sene Þis day meruayles

f. 351 (XIII.3-4)

But or nyght I suppose we shall se gretter mervayles In Þe meane

whyle com In a good olde man and an awnciente clothed all in

whyght and there was no knyght knew from whens he com //

And with hym he brought a yonge knyght and bothe on foote

In rede armys with oute swerde oÞer shylde sauff a scawberd han//

gynge by hys syde And thes werdys he seyde Pees be with you fayre

lordys // Than the olde man seyde vnto kynge Arthure Sir I brynge

you here a yonge knyght the whych ys of kynges lynage And of the

kynrede of Joseph of Aramathy where by the mervayles of Þis

courte and of stronge Realmys shall be fully complevysshed // The

kynge was ryght glad of hys wordys and seyde vnto Þe good man

Sir ye be ryght well com and the yonge knyght with you // Than Þe

olde man made the yonge man to vnarme hym and he was in

a Cote of rede Sendell and bare a mantell vppon hys sholder Þat

was furred with Ermyne and put that vppon him // And the                       

olde knyght seyde vnto yonge knyght / Sir swith me And a none               

he lad hym to the Syege Perelous where be syde sate Sir Launcelot              

and the good man lyffte vp the clothe and founde Þer Þe lettirs that

seyde Þus thys ys the Syege of Sir Galahad the hawte prynce

Sir seyde the olde knyght weyte you well that place ys youres·

And than he sette hym downe surely in that Syge And than he

seyde vnto the olde man now may ye Sir go youre way for well

haue ye done in that Þat ye were commaunded And recommaunde me

vnto my graunte syre kynge Pelles And vnto my lorde kynge

Pecchere and sey hem on my be halff I shall com and se hem

as sone as euery may // So the good man departed and Þer mette hym

xxt noble squyers and so toke Þer horsys and wente Þer wey // Than

all the knyghtes of the table rounde mervayled gretly of sir Gala//

had that he durst sitte there and was so tendir of ayge & wyst

nat frome whens he com but all only be god // All Þey seyde thys

 

f. 351v (XIII.4-5)

 

ys he by whom the sankgreall shall be encheved for there sate neuer none

but he there but he were myscheved // Than Sir Launcelot be hylde hys

sonne and had grete Joy of hym // Than Sir Bors tolde hys felowis vppon

payne of my lyff thys yonge knyght shall com to grete worship So thys

noyse was grete in all the courte that hit cam vnto the quene and she

had mervayle what knyght hit myght that durste adventure hym

to sytte in that Sege perelous // Than som seyde he resembled much vnto sir

Launcelot I may well suppose seyde the quene that Sir Launcelot be

gate hym on kyng Pelles douȝter whych made hym to lye by her by

enchauntemente and hys name ys Galahad I wolde fayne se hym

seyde the quene for he muste nedys be a noble man for so hys fadir ys

that hym be gate I reporte me vnto all the table rounde // So whan

the mete was done that the kynge and all were rysen The kyng yode

to the Sege perelous and lyfft vp the clothe and founde Þer the name of

Sir Galahad and than he shewed hit vnto Sir Gawayne and seyde

fayre nevew now haue we amonge vs Sir Galahad Þe good knyght

that shall worship vs all and vppon payne of my lyff he shall

encheve the Sankgreall ryght as Sir Launcelot had done vs to

vndirstonde Than cam kynge Arthure vnto Sir Galahad and seyde

Sir ye be ryght well com for ye shall meve many good knyghtes

to the queste of the Sankgreall And ye shall enchyve Þat many oÞer

knyghtes myght neuer brynge to an ende Than the kynge toke hym

by the honde and wente downe frome the paleyes to shew Galahad        

the aduentures of the stone // Than the quene harde there of & cam         

aftir with many ladyes and shewed her the stone where hit hoved    

on the watir // Sir seyde the kynge vnto Sir Galahad here ys a grete              

mervayle as euer y sawe and ryght good knyghtes have assayde and fayled               

Sir seyde sir Galahad hit ys no mervayle for thys adventure ys nat

Þeyrs but myne and for the surete of thys swerde I brought none

with me but here by my syde hangith the scawberte and a none

he leyde hys honde on the swerde and lyȝtly drew hit oute of Þe stone

and put hit in the sheethe and seyde vnto the kynge now hit goth·

 

f. 352 (XIII.5-6)

 

Sir seyde the kynge a shylde god may sende you // Now haue I the swerde

that som tyme was the good knyghtes Balyns le Saueaige and he

was a passynge good knyght of hys hondys and with thys swerde he

slew hys brothir Balan and that was grete pite for he was a

good knyght and eythir slew othir thorow a dolerous stroke Þat Balyn

gaff vnto kynge Pelles the whych ys nat yett hole nor nauȝt shall

be tyll that I hele hym // So there with the kynge had aspyed com

rydynge downe the ryver a lady on a whyght palferey a grete paace

towarde them Than she salewed the kynge and the quene & asked

if that Sir Launcelot were there And than he answerd hym selff

and seyde I am here my fayre lady Than she seyde all with wepynge

there A · sir Launcelot how youre grete doynge ys chonged sytthyn

thys day in the morne // damesell why sey ye so // Sir I say you sothe

seyde the damesell for ye were thys day in the morne the best knyght

of the worlde but who sholde sey so now he sholde be a lyer for Þer ys

now one bettir than ye be And well hit ys preved by the aduenture

of the swerde // where to ye felle with to youre honde durst nat sette to your honde

And that ys the change of youre name and levynge // Where fore I make

vnto you a remembraunce that ye shall nat wene frome hens forthe

that ye be the best knyght of the worlde // As towchyng vnto Þat seyde

Sir Launcelot I know well I was neuer none of the beste // yes seyde Þe dame//

sell that were ye and ar yet of ony synfull man of the worlde // And

Sir kynge Nacien the Eremeyte sende the worde that Þe shall be falle Þe

grettyst worship that euer be felle kynge in Bretayne and I sey yu

where fore for thys day the Sankegreall appered in thy house and

fedde the and all thy felyship of the rounde table So she departed & wente

the same way that she cam // Now seyde the kynge I am sure at Þis quest

of the sanke greall shall all ye of the rownde table departe and neuyr

shall I se you a gayne hole to gydirs there fore ones shall I se you

to gydir in the medow all hole to gydirs Þer fore I woll se you all hole

to gydir in the medow of Camelot to Juste and to turney Þat aftir

youre deth· men may speke of hit that such good knyghtes were here

 

f. 352v (XIII.6-7)

 

such· a day hole to gydirs  As vnto that counceyle And at Þe kynges rekeyst

they accorded all and toke on the harneyse that longed vnto Joustenynge

But all thys mevynge of the kynge was for thys entente for to se

Galahad preved for the kynge demed he sholde nat lyghtly com a gayne

vnto the courte of kynge aftir thys departynge // So were they assembled

in the medowe both more and lasse // Than Sir Galahalt by Þe prayer

of the kynge and the quene dud on a noble Jesseraunce vppon hym

and also he dud on hys helme but shylde wolde he take none

for no prayer of the kynge // So than Sir Gawayne and othir

knyghtes prayde hym to take a speare Ryght so he dud // So Þe quene was

in a towure with all hir ladyes for to be holde that turnement  Than

Sir Galahad dressed hym in myddys of the medow and be gan to

breke spearys mervaylously that all men had wondir of hym for

he there surmownted all othir knyghtes for with In a whyle he

had defowled many good knyghtes of the table rounde sauff all only

tweyne that was Sir Launcelot and Sir Persyvale

Than the kynge at the quenys desyre made hym to alyȝt &

to unlace hys helme that the quene myght se hym in the

vysayge · whan she avysed hym she seyde I dare well sey sothely

that Sir Launcelot be gate hym hym for neuer ij men resembled

more in lyknesse there fore hit ys no mervayle Þouȝe he be of grete

proves / So a lady that stood by the quene seyde madam for goddis sake

ought he of ryght to be so good a knyght // ye for sothe seyde the quene

for he ys of all partyes comyn of the beste knyghtes of the worlde and of

the hyghest lynage for Sir Launcelot ys com but of the viij· degre

frome oure lorde Jhu cryst And thys Sir Galahad ys th nyneth

degre frome oure lorde ihu cryst // There fore I dare sey they be the

grettist Jantill men of the worlde And than the kynge and all the

astatis wente home vnto Camelot and so wente vnto evynsong

to the grete monester And so aftir vppon that to sowper and euery

knyght sette in hys owne place as they were to forehonde Than a

 

f. 353 (XIII.7)

 

none they harde crakynge and cryynge of thundir that hem thought

the palyse sholde all to dryve // So in the myddys of the blast entyrde

a sonne beame more clerer by vij· tymys than euer they saw day And

all they were alyghted of the grace of the holy goste Than be gan

euery knyght to be holde oÞer and eyÞer saw oÞer by Þer semyng fayrer than

euer they were be fore Nat for than Þer was no knyght Þat myght speke

one worde a grete whyle and so they loked euery man on oÞer as they had

bene doome Than entird in to the halle the holy grayle couerde with

whyght Samyte but there was none that myght se hit noÞer whom

that bare hit And there was all the halle fulfylled with good odoures

and euery knyght had such metis and drynkes as he beste loved in thys

worlde And whan the holy Grayle had bene borne thorow the hall

than the holy vessell departed suddeynly that they wyst nat where

Hit be cam Than had they all breth to speke and than the kyng yel//

ded thankynges to god of hys good grace that he had sente them·//
Sertes sey the kynge we ought to thanke oure Lorde Jhu cryste gretly

that he hath shewed vs thys day at the reuerence of thys hygh· feste

of Pentecost Now seyde Sir Gawayne we haue bene seruyd thys day

of what metys and drynkes we thought on // But one thyng begyled

vs that we myght nat se the holy grayle hit was so preciously couerde

where fore I woll make here a vow that to morne with oute longer

abydynge I shall laboure in the queste of the Sankgreall And Þat

I shall holde me oute a xij· month and a day or more if nede be & neuer

shall I returne vnto the courte agayne tylle I haue sene hit no more

opynly than hit hath bene shewed here and iff I may nat spede I shall

returne agayne as he that may nat be ayenst the wylle of god // So

whan they of the table rounde harde Sir Gawayne sey so they arose

vp the moste party and made such· avowes as Sir Gawayne hathe

made A none as kynge Arthur harde thys he was gretly dysplesed

for he wyst well he myght nat agayne sey Þer avowys Alas seyde

kynge Arthure vnto Sir Gawayne ye haue nygh· slayne me for

the avow that ye haue made for thorow you ye haue be rauffte me

 

f. 353v (XIII.7-8)

 

the fayryst and the trewyst of knyghthode that euer was sene to gydir in

ony co realme of the worlde for whan they departe frome hense I am

sure they all shall neuer mete more to gydir in thys worlde for Þey shall

dye many in the queste And so hit for thynkith nat me a litill for I

haue loved them as well as my lyff where fore hit shall greve me ryȝt

sore the departicion of thys felyship for I haue had an olde custom to have

hem in my felyship and there with the teerys felle in hys yen And

than he seyde Sir Gawayne ye haue sette me in grete sorow for I have

grete doute that my trew felyshyp shall neuer mete here more agayne

A Sir seyde sir Launcelot comforte youre self for hit shall be vnto vs

a grete honoure and much more than we dyed in oÞer placis for of deth

we be syker // A Launcelot seyde the kynge the grete love that I haue had

vnto you all the dayes of my lyff makith me to sey such dolefull wordis

for there was neuer cryster kynge that euer had so many worthy men at

hys table as I haue had thys day at the table rounde and that ys my

grete sorow // whan the quene Ladyes & Jantill women knew of thys

tydynges they had such sorow and hevynes that Þer myght no tunge

telle for Þo knyghtes had holde them in honoure and charite But a

boven all othir quene Gwenyuer made grete sorow I mervayle seyd

she that my lorde woll suffir hem to departe fro hym Thus was all

the courte trowbled for the love of the departynge of these knyghtes And

many of Þo Ladyes that loved knyghtes wolde have gone with hir lovis

and so had they done had nat an olde knyght com amonge them

in relygious clothynge and spake all on hyght and seyde fayre lordis

whych haue sworne in the queste of the sankgreall // Thus sendith

you Nacien the eremyte worde that none in thys queste lede lady

noÞer Jantill woman with hym for hit ys nat to do in so hyȝe a

seruyse as they laboure In for I warne you playne he that ys nat

clene of hys synnes he shall nat se the mysteryes of oure lorde Jhu

cryste and for thys cause they leffte thes ladyes and Jantilwomen

So aftir thys the quene com vnto Sir Galahad & asked hym of

whens he was & of what contrey Þan he tolde hir of whens he was

 

f. 354 (XIII.8)

 

and sonne vnto Sir Launcelot as to that she seyde noÞer yee noÞer nay

So god me helpe seyde the quene ye dare nat shame for he ys the

goodlyest knyght and of the beste men of the worlde commyn // and of

the strene of all partyes of kynges // where fore ye ouȝt of ryght to be of

youre dedys a passyng good man and sertayne she seyde ye resemble

hym much ·// Than Sir Galahad was a lityll a shamed and seyde

madame sithyn ye know in sertayne where fore do ye aske hit me for

he that ys my fadir shall be knowyn opynly and all be tymys and

than they wente vnto reste them And in honoure of the hyghnes

of knyghthod Sir Galahad he was ledde in to kynge Arthures

chambir and there rested in hys owne bedde And as sone as hit was

day the kynge arose for he had no reste of all that nyght for

sorow // Than he wente vnto Sir Gawayne and vnto Sir Laun//

celot that were arysen for to hyre masse And than Þe kynge a

gayne seyde A Gawayne Gawayne ye have betrayed me For

neuer shall my courte be amended by you but ye woll neuer be so sory

for me as I am for you and there with the tearys be gan to renne

downe by hys vysayge And there with the kynge seyde A curteyse

knyght Sir Launcelot I requyre you that ye counceyle me for I

wolde Þat thys queste were at an ende and hit myght be // Sir seyde

Sir Launcelot ye saw yestirday So many worthy knyghtes Þer were

sworne that Þey may nat leve hit in no maner of wyse // That wote

I well seyde the kynge but hit shall so hevy me at Þer departyng that

I wote well· Þer shall no maner of Joy remedy me And Þan the kynge

and the quene wente vnto the mynster // So anone Sir Launcelot

and Sir Gawayne commaunded hir men to brynge hir armys And

whan they all were armed sauff hir shyldys & her helmys Þan

they com to Þer felyship whych were all redy in the same wyse for

to go to the monastery to hyre Þer masse & seruyse Than aftir seruyse

the kynge wolde wete how many had vndirtake the queste of Þe

holy Grayle Than founde they be tale and C· and fyffty and all

 

f. 354v (XIII.8-9)

 

Þo were knyghtes of the rounde table and Þan they put on Þer helmys

and departed and recommaunded them all hole vnto the kynge & quene

And there was wepyng and grete sorow Than the quene departed

in to the chambir and holde hir there that no man shold perceyve hir

grete sorowys // whan Sir Launcelot myssed the quene he wente

tyll hir chambir and whan she saw hym she cryed a lowde and

seyde A Sir Launcelot Launcelot ye haue be trayde me and putte

me to the deth for to leve Þus my lorde // A madam I pray you be

nat displeased for I shall com a gayne as sone as I may with my

worship // Alas seyde she that euer I syȝe you but he that suffird dethe

vppon the crosse for all men kynde he be vnto you good conduyte

and saufte and all the hole felyshyp // Ryght so departed Sir Laun//

celot and founde hys felyship that a bode hys commyng and than

they toke Þer horsys and rode thorow the strete of Camelot and Þer was

wepyng of ryche and poore And the kynge turned away & myght

nat speke for wepyng // So with In a whyle they rode all to gydirs

tyll that they com to a cite and a Castell that hyght Vagon and

so they entird in to the castell and the lorde Þer of was an olde man

that hyght Vagon And so they entird in to the castell and Þe lorde

there off was an olde man & good of hys lyvyng and sette opyn

the gatis and made hem all the chere that he myght And so on

the morne they were all accorded that Þey sholde departe euerych from

othir And on the morne they departed with wepyng chere and than

euery knyght toke the way that hym lyked beste

NOw rydith· Galahad yet with outen shylde and so rode

iiij· dayes with oute ony aduenture and af t at the iiijthe

day aftir evynsonge he com to a whyght abbay and there was he

resceyved with grete reuerence and lad vntyll a chambir and there

was he vnarmed And than was he ware of ij knyghtes of Þe table

rounde on was Sir Bagdemagus and Sir Vwayne & whan

they sy hym they wente Sir Galahad and made of hym grete

 

f. 355 (XIII.9)

 

solace and so they wente vnto Supper Sirs seyde Sir Galahad

what adventure brought you hydir Sir they seyde hit ys tolde vs

that in Þys place ys a shylde that no man may bere hit a boute his

necke but he be myscheved oÞer dede with in iij dayes oÞer maymed for

euer But Sir seyde kynge Bagdemagus I shall beare hit to morne

for to assay thys aduenture · In the name of god seyde Sir Galahad

Sir seyde Bagdemagus and I may nat encheve the aduenture of

thys shylde of thys shylde ye shall take hit vppon you for I an sure

ye shall nat fayle // Sir I ryght well agre me Þer to for I haue no

shylde So on the morne they arose and herde masse Than Syr

Bagdemagus asked where the adventures shylde was A none a

munke ledde hym be hynde an awter where the shylde hynge as

whyght as ony snowe but in the myddys was a rede crosse Syrres

seyde to monke thys shylde ouȝte nat to be honged a boute Þe nek

of no knyght but he be the worthyest knyght of the worlde Þer fore

I counceyle you knyghtes to be well avysed // well seyde Sir Bagde//

magus I wote well I am nat the beste knyght but I shall assay to

bere hit and so bare hit oute of the monaster Than he seyde vnto

Sir Galahad and hit please you to a byde here styll tylle Þat ye wete

how that I spede // Sir I shall abyde you seyde Sir Galahad Than

kynge Bagdemagus toke with hym a good squyre to brynge tydynges

vnto Sir Galahad how he spedde Than they rode iij myle and com

to a fayre valey be fore an Ermytayge and than they saw a knyȝt

com frome that partyes In whyght armour horse and all and he com

as faste as hys horse myght renne and hys speare in hys reeste

Than Sir Bagdemagus dresse^d hys speare a yenste hym and brake

hit vppon the whyght knyght but the othir stroke hym so harde Þat

that he braste the mayles and Þreste hym thorow the ryght sholdir

for the shylde couerde hym nat as at that tyme and so he bare hym

frome hys horse and there with he a lyght and toke hys whyght

 

f. 355v (XIII.9-10)

 

shylde from Hym saynge knyght Þou hast done thy selff grete foly for

thys shylde ought nat to be borne but by hym that shall have no pere

that lyvith And than he com to Bagdemagus squyre and bade

hym bere thys shylde to the good knyght Sir Galahad that Þou

leffte in the abbey and grete hym well by me // Sir seyde Þe squyre

what ys youre name take Þou none hede of my name seyde the

kynge for hit ys nat for to know noÞer none erthely man // Now

fayre Sir seyde the squyre at the reuerence of Jhu cryst tell me

be what cause thys shylde may nat be borne but if Þe berer Þer of

be myscheved // Now syn Þou hast conioured me seyde the knyght

thys shelde be hovith vnto no man but vnto Sir Galahad

Than the squyre wente vnto Bagdemagus and asked hym

whethir he were sore wounded or none // ye for soth· seyde he

I shall ascape harde frome the deth· Than he sette hys horse &

ledde hym with a grete payne tylle they cam vnto the abbay

Than he was takyn downe sofftely and vnarmed and leyde in

hys bedde and loked there hys woundys and as the booke tel//

lith he lay there longe and ascaped hard with the lyff/  Sir Gala//

had seyde the squyre that knyght that wounded Bagdemagus sende

you gretyng and bade that ye sholde bere thys shylde where thorow

grete aduentures sholde be falle Now blyssed be good fortune seyde

Sir Galahad and than he asked hys armys and mownted vppon

hys horsebacke and hanged the whyght shylde aboute hys necke

and commaunded hem vnto god  So Sir vwayne seyde he wolde

beare hym felyshyp if hit pleased hym // Sir seyde Sir Galahad

that may ye nat for I must go a lone save thys squyre shall bere

me felyship and so departed Sir vwayne Than with In a whyle

cam Sir Galahad there as the whyght knyght abode hym

by the Ermytayge and euerych salewed oÞer curteysly // Sir seyde

Sir Galahad by thys shylde bene many mervayles fallen // Syr

 

f. 356 (XIII.10)

 

seyde the knyght hit be felle aftir the passion of oure lorde Jhu cryste

ij· and xxxti  yere that Joseph· of Aramathy that Jantyll knyght the

whych toke downe oure lorde of the holy crosse at that tyme he departed

from Jerlm with a grete party of hys kynrede with hym and so he la//

bourde tyll they com to a cite whych hyght Sarras and Þat same

owre that Joseph· com to Sarras there was a kynge that hyght

Euelake that had grete warre ayenst the sareȝens and in especiall

ayenste one Sareȝyn the whych was kynge Euelakes cousyn a ryche

kynge and a myghty whych was marched nyȝe hys londe and hys

name was called Tholome la Feyntis So on aday thes ij· mette

to do batayle Than Joseph· the sonne of Aramathy wente to kyng

Euelake and tolde hym he sholde be discomfite and slayne but he

leffte hys hys beleve of the olde law and beleeve vppon the new

law And anone he shewed hym the ryght be leve of the holy try//

nyte for the whyche he agreed vnto with all hys herte And there

thys shylde was made for kyng Euelake in the name of hym that

dyed on the crosse and than thorow hys goodly belyeve he had the

bettir of kynge Tholome for whan kynge Euelake was in the

batayle there was a clothe sette a fore the shylde And whan he

was in the grettist perell he lett put a wey the cloth and than hys

enemyes saw a vigoure of a man on the crosse where thorow Þey

all were discomfite // And so hit be felle that aman of kynges Euelakes

was smytten hys honde off and bare that honde in hys oÞer honde And

Joseph· called that man vnto hym and bade hym with good denocion

touche the crosse and as sone as that man had towched the crosse

with hys honde and hit was as hole as euer hit was to fore Than

sone afftir the felle a grete mervayle that Þe crosse of the shylde

at one tyme vanysshed that no man wyste where hit be cam &

than kynge Euelake was baptyȝed and the moste party of all the

people of that cite // So sone aftir Joseph· wolde departe and kynge

Euelake wolde nedys go with hym whethir he wolde or nolde

 

f. 356v (XIII.10-11)

 

And so by fortune they com In to thys londe that at that tyme was

called grete Bretayne and there they founde a grete felon paynym Þat

put Joseph· into preson and so by fortune that tydynges com vnto a wor//

thy man that hyght Mondrames and he assembled all hys people

for the grete renowne he had herde of Joseph· and so he com In to the

londe of grete Bretaygne and disheryted thys fellon paynym & confoun//

ded hym and there with delyuerde Joseph· oute of preson and after that

all the people with turned to the crystyn feythe // So nat longe afftir

Joseph· was leyde in hys dedly bedde And whan kyng Euelake saw

that he had muche sorow and seyde for thy love I leffte my contrey

and syth ye shall departe frome me oute of thys worlde leve me som

tokym that I may thynke on you Than Joseph· seyde that woll I do

full gladly Now brynge me youre shylde that I take you whan ye

wente in to batayle aȝenst kyng Tholome Than Joseph· bledde

sore at the nose that he myght by no meane be staunched and

Þat vppon that shylde he made a crosse of hys owne bloode and seyd

now may ye se a remembraunce that I love you for ye shall neuer

se thys shylde but ye shall thynke one me And hit shall be all

wayes as freysh· as hit ys now and neuer shall no man beare

thys shylde aboute hys necke but he shall repente hit vnto Þe

tyme that Galahad the good knyght beare hit and laste of my

lynayge have hit a boute hys necke that shall do many meruay//

lous dedys // Now seyde kyng Euelake where shall I put thys

shylde that thys worthy knyght may have hit // Sir ye shall

leve hit there as Nacien the Ermyte shall put hit afftir hys

dethe for thydir shall that good knyght com the xv· day afftir

that he shall reseyve the order of knyghthode And so that day

that they sette ys Þys tyme that he have hys shylde And In

the same abbay lyeth Nacien the Eremyte and than Þe whyȝt

knyght vanyshed a none as the squyre had herde Þes wordis

 

 

                                                            he a lyȝt

 

f. 357 (XIII.11-12)

 

he a lyght of hys hakeney and kneled downe at Galahadys feete

and prayde hym that he myght^gotyll he had made hym knyght // If I

wolde nat refuse you Than woll ye make me a lyght knyght seyde

the squyre and that order by the grace of god shall be well be sette

in me // So Sir Galahad graunted hym and turned a yen vnto Þe abbay

there they cam fro and there men made grete Joy of Sir Galahad·            

and anone as he was a lyght there was a munke brouȝt hym vnto           

a tombe in a chirche yarde where ys such a noyse that who hyryth           

hit veryly shall nyghe be madde oÞer lose hys strengthe and sir we deme   

hit ys a fyende Now lede me thydir seyd Sir Galahad and so they

dud all armed sauff hys helme Now seyde the good man go to Þe tombe &

lyffte hit vp and so he dud and herde a grete noyse and pytevously he

seyde that all men myght hyre // Sir Galahad the seruaunte of Jhu Crist

com Þou nat nyȝe me for Þou shalt make me go a gayne there where

I haue bene so longe // But Sir Galahad was no thynge a ferde but

heve up the stone and there com oute a fowle smoke and aftir Þat he saw

the fowlyst vygoure lepe Þer oute that euer he saw in the lyknes of a man

and than he blyssed hym and wyst well hit was a fyende // Than herde

he a voyce sey Sir Galahad I se there envyrowne a boute the so many

angels that my power may nat deare the // Ryght so Sir Galahad

saw a body all armed lye in that tombe and be syde hym a swerde Now

fayre brothir seyde Sir Galahad lette remeve thys body for he ys nat

worthy to lye with in thys chyrche yarde for he was a false crysten

man and there with all they departed and wente to the abbay And a

none as he was vnarmed a good man cam and set hym downe

by hym // And seyd Sir I shall telle you what betokenyth of that

ye saw in the tombe Sir that that couerde the body hit betokenyth

the duras of the worlde and the grete synne that oure lorde founde

in the worlde for there was suche wrecchydnesse that the fadir

loved nat the sonne noÞer the sonne loved nat the fadir and that

was one of the causys that oure lorde toke fleysh· and bloode of a

 

f. 357v (XIII.12)

 

clene maydyn for oure synnes were so grete at that tyme that well nyȝe

all was wyckednesse // Truly seyde Sir Galahad I be leve you ryght

well So Sir Galahad rested hym there Þat nyght and vppon the morne

he made the squyre a knyght and asked hym hys name and of what

kynred he was com Sir he seyde men call me Melyas de lyle and

I am the sonne of the kynge of denmarke // Now fayre sir seyde Gala//

had sitthyn that ye be com of kynges and quenys now lokith that knyȝt

hode be well sette in you for ye ought to be a myrroure vnto all chevilry

Sir seyde Sir Melyas ye sey soth· but Sir sytthyn ye haue made

me a knyght ye muste of ryght graunte me my first desyre Þat ys

resonable // ye say soth seyde Sir Galahad I graunte hit you grauntmercy

myne owne lorde seyde he and that ye woll suffir me to ryde with you

in thys queste of the Sankgreall tyll that som adventure departe vs

I graunte you Sir Than men brouȝt Sir Melias hys armour and his

speare and hys horse And so Sir Galahad and he rode forth all Þat

wyke or euer they founde ony adventure And than vppon a munday

in the mornynge as they were departed frome an abbay they com

to a crosse whych departed ij wayes and in that crosse were letters

wretyn that seyd thus // Now ye knyghtes arraunte which goth to

seke knyghtes aduenturys Se here ij· wayes that one way defendith the

that Þou ne go that day for he shall nat go oute of the way a gayne

but if he be a good man and a worthy knyght and if Þou go on the

lyffte honde Þou shall nat there lyghtly wynne prouesse for Þou shalt

in thys way be sone assayde Sir Seyde Melyas vnto sir Galahad

if hit lyke you to suffir me to take the way on the lyffte honde for I

shall well preve my strength hit were bettir seyde Sir Galahad ye

rode nat that way for I deme I sholde bettir ascape in Þat way better than

ye // Nay my lorde I pray you lette me have Þat aduenture take hit in

goddys name seyde Sir Galahad.

 

Now turnyth· the tale vnto Syr Melyas de lyle

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

¶ Capitulum primum /

AT the vygyl of Pentecost whan alle the felauship of the round table were comen vnto Camelot / and there herd their seruyse And the tables were set redy to the mete / Ryȝte so entryd in to the halle a ful fayre gentylwoman on horsbak that had ryden ful fast/ for her hors was al besuette / Thenne she there alyght / and came before the kynge & falewed hym / and he said damoysel god the blysse / Sire said she for goddes sake saye me where syr launcelot is / yonder ye may see hym said the kynge / Thenne she wente vnto Launcelot and said syr launcelot I salewe yow on kyng Pelles behalf / and I requyre yow come on with me here in to a forest / thenne syr launcelot asked her with whome she dwelled / I dwelle said she with kynge Pelles / what wille ye with me said Launcelot / ye shal knowe said she whanne ye come thyder / wel sayd he I wille gladly goo with yow / So syr launcelot badde his squyer sadel his hors / and brynge his armes / and in all hast he dyd his commaundement / Thenne came the quene vnto laūcelot / and said wille ye leue vs at this hyhe feest / Madame said the gentylwoman wete ye wel he shal with yow to morn by dyner tyme

¶ Yf I wyst said the Quene that he shold not be with vs here to morne he shold not goo with you by my good wylle

¶ Ryght soo departed sir launcelot with the gentylwoman / & rode vntyl that he came in to a foreste and in to a grete valey / where they sawe an Abbay of nonnes / and there was a squyer redy and opened the gates / and soo they entryd and descended of their horses / and there came a fayr felauship aboute sir laūcelot / and welcomed hym / & were passyng gladde of his comynge / And thenne they ladde hym vnto the Abbesse chamber & vnarmed hym / And ryght soo he was ware vpon a bed lyeng two of his cosyns syr Bors & sir Lyonel / & thenne he waked Page  613 [leaf 307r] them / And whanne they sawe hym / they mad grete Ioye / Syr said syre Bors vnto syr launcelot what aduenture hath brought yow hydder / for we wende to morne to haue fond you at Camelot

¶ As god me help said syr launcelot a gentylwomen brought me hyther but I knowe not the cause In the meane whyle that they thus stode talkynge to gyder / therin came twelue nonnes that broughte with hem Galahad the whiche was passynge fayre and wel made that vnneth in the world men myghte not fynde his matche / and alle tho ladyes wepte /

¶ Sire sayd they alle we brynge yow here thys child / the whiche we haue nourisshed / and we praye yow to make hym a knyght / for of a more worthyer mans hande may he not receyue the ordre of knyghthode / Sir launcelot beheld the yonge squyer / and sawe hym semely and demure as a douue / with alle maner of good fetures / that he wende of his age neuer to haue sene soo fayre a man of forme

¶ Thenne said sir launcelot cometh this desyre of hym self / he and alle they sayd ye / Thenne shalle he sayd sir launcelot receyue the hyghe ordre of knyghthode as to morne atte reuerence of the hyghe feeste / That nyght syr launcelot had passyng good chere / And on the morne at the houre of pryme att Galahalts desyre he made hym knyȝt & said / god make hym a good man / for of a beaute fayleth yow not as ony that lyueth /

¶ Capitulum Secundum

NOw fayre syr said syr launcelot wille ye come wyth me vnto the Courte of kynge Arthur / Nay sayd he / I wille not goo with yow as at this tyme / Thenne he departed fro them and took his two Cosyns with hym / and so they cam vnto Camelot by the houre of vndorn on whytsonday / By that tyme the kynge and the Quene were gone to the mynster to here their seruyse / Thenne the kyng and the quene were passyng gladde of sir Bors and syr Lyonel and soo was alle the felauship / So when the kynge & all the knyȝtes were come from seruyse / the barons aspyed in the syeges of the round table al aboute wryten with golden letters / here ouȝt to sytte he / and he oughte to sytte here / And thus they wente soo longe tylle Page  614 [leaf 307v] that they came to the sege perillous / where they fond letters newely wreton of gold whiche said / iiij / C / wynters / & / liiij / accomplysshed after the passion of oure lord Ihesu Criste ouȝte this sege to be fulfylled / thenne alle they said / this is a merueyllous thynge and an aduenturous / In the name of god said syr launcelot / & thenne accompted the terme of the wrytynge from the byrthe of oure lord vnto that day / It semeth me saith syr launcelot this sege oughte to be fulfylled this same day / for this is the feest of Pentecost after the four honderd and four fyfty yere / And yf it wold please all partyes I wold none of these letters were sene this daye tyl he be come that oughte to encheue this aduenture / Thenne maade they to ordeyne a clothe of sylke for to couer these letters in the sege peryllous / Thenne the kyng badde haste vnto dyner / Sire sayd sir kay the steward / yf ye goo now vnto your mete / ye shalle breke your old customme of your Courte / for ye haue not vsed on this day to sytte at your mete or that ye haue sene som aduenture / ye say sothe said the kynge / but I had soo grete Ioye of sir launcelot and of his Cosyns whiche be come to the Courte hole and sound / so that I bethoughte me not of myne old customme / Soo as they stode spekyng / in cam a squyer / & said vnto the kyng / Sire I brynge vnto yow merueillous tydynges / what be they said the kyng / Sir there is here bynethe at the Ryuer a grete stone whiche I sawe flete aboue the water / and therin I sawe styckyng a swerd / the kynge sayde I wille see that merueill / soo all the knyghtes went with hym / And whanne they came vnto the ryuer they fonde there a stone fletyng as hit were of reed marhel / and therin stack a fair Ryche swerd / & in the pomel therof were precyous stones wrought with subtyle letters of gold / Thenne the Barons redde the letters whiche said this wyse / Neuer shalle man take me hens / but only he by whos syde I ought to hange / and he shalle be the best knyght of the world / whanne the kynge had sene the letters / he said vnto sir laucelot / Fair sire this suerd ought to be yours / for I am sure ye be the best knyght of the world /

¶ Thenne syr launcelot ansuerd ful soberly / Certes sir it is not my swerde /

¶ Also sir wete ye wel I haue no hardynes to sett my hande Page  615 [leaf 308r] to / for hit longed not to hange by my syde /

¶ Also who that assayeth to take the swerd and fayleth of hit / he shalle receyue a wound by that swerd that he shalle not be hole longe after /

¶ And I wille that ye wete that this same day shall the aduentures of the Sancgreal that is called the hooly vessel begynne /

¶ Capitulum iij

NOw fayre neuewe said the kynge vnto syr gawayn/ assaye ye for my loue / Sir he said sauf your good grace I shall not doo that / Sir sayd the kynge assaye to take the suerd and at my commaundement / Syre sayd Gawayne your commaundement I wille obeye / and ther with he took vp the suerd by the handels / but he myghte not stere hit/ I thanke yow said the kynge to syre Gawayne /

¶ My lord syr Gawayne said syr Laūcelot now wete ye wel this swerd shalle touche yow soo sore / that ye shalle wylle ye had neuer sette your hand therto for the best Castel of this realme / Syr he sayd I myghte not withsay myn vnkels wyll and commaundement / but whanne the kynge herd this he repented hit moche / and said vnto syr Percyual that he shold assaye for his loue / and he said gladly for to bere syr Gawayn felaushyp / and there with he sette his hand on the swerd/ and drewe hit strongly / but he myghte not meue hit / Thenne were there moo that durste be soo hardy to sette theire handes therto /

¶ Now maye ye goo to your dyner said syr kay vnto the kynge / for a merueillous aduenture haue ye sene / Soo the kynge and alle wente vnto the Courte / and euery knyghte knewe his owne place / and sette hym therin / and yonge man that were knyghtes serued them / Soo whan they were serued and alle seges fulfylled sauf only the syege perillous / Anon there befelle a merueillous aduenture / that alle the dores & wyndowes of the palays shut by them self / Not for thenne the halle was not gretely darked / and there with they abasshed both one and other /

¶ Thenne kynge Arthur spak fyrst and sayd by god fayre felawes & lordes we haue sene this daye merueyls / but or nyght I suppose we shal see gretter merueyls / In Page  616 [leaf 308v] the meane whyle came in a good old man and an auncyent clothed al in whyte / and there was no knyȝt knewe from whens he came / And with hym he broughte a yong knyȝt bothe on foote in reed armes withoute swerd or sheld / sauf a scauberd hangynge by his syde / And these wordes he said pees be with yow faire lordes /

¶ Thenne the old man sayd vnto Arthur / syre I brynge here a yonge knyghte / the whiche is of kynges lygnage & of the kynrede of Ioseph of Abarimathye where by the merueylles of thys Courte and of straunge realmes shalle be fully accomplysshed

¶ Capitulum Quartum

THe kynge was ryghte gladde of his wordes / and said vnto the good man / syr ye be ryghte welcome / and the yonge knyȝte with yow / Thenne the old man made the yong man to vnarme hym / and he was in a cote of reed sendel / & bare a mantel vpon his sholder that was furred with ermyn / and put that vpon hym / And the old knyghte sayd vnto the yonge knyght / syr foloweth me / and anone he ledde hym vnto the sege peryllous / where besyde sat syr Laūcelot / and the good man lyfte vp the clothe / and fonde there letters that said thus this is the sege of Galahalt the haute prynce / Sir said thold knyghte / wete ye wel that place is yours / And thenne he sett hym doune surely in that syege / And thenne he sayd to the old man / syr ye maye now goo your way / for wel haue ye done / that ye were commaunded to doo / & recommaunde me vnto my graunt sir kynge Pelles / and vnto my lord Petchere / and say hem on my behalf I shalle come and see hem as soone as euer I may / Soo the good man departed / and there met hym xx noble squyers / and so took their horses and wente their way Thenne alle the knyghtes of the table round merueylled gretely of sir Galahalt that he durst sytte there in that syege perillous / and was soo tendyr of age / and wist not from whens he came but al only by god / and said this he by whome the Sācgreal shal encheued / For there sat neuer none / but he / but he were mescheued / Thenne syr launcelot beheld his sone and had Page  617 [leaf 309r] grete Ioye of hym / Thenne Bors told his felawes vpon payne of my lyf this yonge knyghte shalle come vnto grete worship / this noyse was grete in alle the Courte / soo that it cam to the quene / thenne she had merueylle what knyght it myght be that durste auenture hym to sytte in the syege peryllous / many said vnto the quene / he resembled moche vnto sire Launcelot I may wel suppose said the quene / that syr Launcelot begatte hym on kynge Pelles doughter / by the whiche he was made to lye by / by enchauntement / and his name is Galahalt / I wold fayne see hym said the quene / for he must nedes be a noble man for soo is his fader that hym begat I reporte me vnto alle the table round / So whanne the mete was done that the kynge & alle were rysen / the kynge yede vnto the syege Peryllous and lyfte vp the clothe / and fonde there the name of Galahad / & thenne he shewed hit vnto syr Gawayne / and sayd fayre neuewe now haue we amonge vs syr Galahad the good knyght that shalle worshippe vs alle / and vpon payne of my lyf he shal encheue the Sancgreal / ryght as sir launcelot had done vs to vnderstande / Thenne came kyng Arthur vnto Galahad and said syr ye be welcome / for ye shall meue many good knyghtes to the quest of the Sancgreal / and ye shal encheue that neuer knyghtes myght brynge to an ende / Thenne the kynge took hym by the hand and wente doune from the paleis to shewe Galahad the aduentures of the stone /

¶ Capitulum v

THe Quene herd therof and came after with many ladyes / and shewed hem the stone where it houed on the water / Sire said the kyng vnto syre Galahad here is a grete merueylle as euer I sawe / and ryght good knyghtes haue assayed and fayled /

¶ Syre said Galahad that is no merueil / for this aduenture is not theirs / but myne / and for the seurte of this swerd I brought none with me / For here by my syde hangeth the Page  618 [leaf 309v] scauberd / And anone he layd his hand on the swerd / and lyghtly drewe it oute of the stone / and putte it in the shethe / & said vnto kynge / now hit goth better than dyd afore hand / Sir said the kynge / A sheld god shalle send you now haue I that swerd that somtyme was the good knyghtes Balyn le saueage / and he was a passynge good man of his handes / And with this suerd he slewe his broder Balan and that was the grete pyte for he was a good knyghte / and eyther slewe other thorou a dolorous stroke that Balyn gaf vnto my graūte fader / kynge Pelles / the whiche is not yet hole / nor not shal be tyl I hele hym / There with the kynge and all aspyed where came rydynge doune the ryuer a lady on a whyte palfroy toward them / Thenne she falewed the kynge and the quene / and asked yf that syr Launcelot was there / And thenne he ansuerd hym self I am here fayre lady / Thenne she sayd al with wepynge how your grete doynge is chaunged syth this day in the morne / Damoysel why say soo sayd Launcelot / I saye yow sothe said the damoysel / for ye were this day the best knyghte of the world / but who shold saye soo now he shold be a lyar / for there is now one better than ye / And wel hit is preued by the aduenturrs of the suerd where to ye durste not sette to your hand / and that is the chaunge and leuynge of your name / wherfore I make vnto yow a remembraunce / that ye shalle not wene from hensforth that ye be the best knyght of the world / As touchynge vnto that said launcelot / I knowe wel I was neuer the best / yes sayd the damoysel that were ye and are yet of ony synful man of the world / And sir kyng Nacyen the heremyte sendeth the word that the shalle befalle the grettest worship that euer befelle kynge in Brytayne / and I say yow wherfore / for this daye the Sancgreal appiered in thy hows and fedde the and all thy felaushyp of the round table Soo she departed and wente that same way that she came /

¶ Capitulum vj

NOw sayd the kyng I am sure at this quest of the Sācgreal shalle alle ye of the table rounde departe / and neuer shalle I see yow ageyne hole to gyders / therfor I Page  619 [leaf 310r] wille see yow alle hole to gyders in the medowe of Camelot to Iuste and to torneye / that after your dethe men maye speke of hit that suche good knyghtes were holy to gyders suche a day As vnto that counceyll and at the kynges request they accorded alle / and toke on their harneis that longed vnto Iustynge but alle this meuynge of the kyng was for this entent for to see Galahalt preued / for the kynge demed he shold not lyghtly come ageyne vnto the Courte after his departynge / So were they assembled in the medowe bothe more and lasse / Thenne syr Galahalt by the prayer of the kynge and the Quene dyd vpon hym a noble Iesseraunce / and also he dyd on hys helme / but shelde wold he take none for no prayer of the kyng And thenne sir Gawayne and other knyghtes praid hym to take a spere / Ryghte soo he dyd / and the Quene was in a toure with alle her ladyes for to behold that turnement / Thenne sir Galahalt dressid hym in myddes of the medowe / and began to breke speres merueyllously that all men had wonder of hym for he there surmounted alle other knyȝtes / for within a whyle he had defouled many good knyghtes of the table round / sauf tweyne that was syr launcelot and sir Percyuale /

¶ Capitulum vij

THenne the kyng at the quenes request made hym to alyghte / and to vnlace his helme that the Quene myȝt see hym in the vysage / whanne she beheld hym she sayd sothely I dar wel say that sir launcelot begat hym / for neuer two men resembled more in lykenes / therfor it nys no merueyle though he be of grete prowesse / So a lady that stode by the Quene said / Madame for goddes sake oughte he of ryghte to be so good a knyghte / ye forsothe said the quene / for he is of alle partyes come of the best knyghtes of the world and of the hyhest lygnage / for sir launcelot is come but of the / viij / degre from oure lord Ihesu Cryst / and syre Galahalt is of the nynthe degree from oure lord Ihesu Cryst / therfor I dar saye they be the grestest gentilmen of the world / and thenne the kynge and al estates wente home vnto Camelot / and soo wente to euensonge Page  620 [leaf 310v] to the grete mynster / And soo after vpon that to souper / and euery knyȝt sette in his owne place as they were to fore hand Thenne anone they herd crakynge and cryenge of thonder that hem thought the place shold alle to dryue / In the myddes of this blast entred a sonne beaume more clerer by seuen tymes than euer they sawe daye / And al they were alyghted of the grace of the holy ghoost / thenne beganne euery knyghte to behold other / & eyther sawe other by theire semynge fayrer than euer they sawe afore / Not for thenne there was no knyght myghte speke one word a grete whyle / and soo they loked euery man an other as they had ben dome / Thenne ther entred in to the halle the holy graile couerd with whyte samyte / but ther was none myghte see hit / nor who bare hit / And there was al the halle fulfylled with good odoures / and euery knyȝt had suche metes and drynkes as he best loued in this world / And whan the holy grayle had be borne thurgh the halle / thenne the holy vessel departed sodenly that they wyste not where hit becam / thenne had they alle brethe to speke / And thenne the kynge yelded thankynges to god of his good grace that he had sente them / Certes said the kynge we oughte to thanke oure lord ihesu gretely for that he hath shewed vs this daye atte reuerence of this hyhe feest of Pentecost / Now said sir Gawayn we haue ben serued this daye of what metes and drynkes we thoughte on / but one thynge begyled vs we myght not see the holy Grayle / it was soo precyously couerd / wherfor I wil make here auowe / that to morne withoute lenger abydyng I shall laboure in the quest of the Sancgreal / that I shalle hold me oute a twelue moneth and a day or more yf nede be / & neuer shalle I retorne ageyne vnto the Courte / tyl I haue sene hit more openly than hit hath ben sene here / & yf I may not spede / I shall retorne ageyne as he that maye not be ageynst the wil of our lord Ihesu Cryste / whan they of the table round herde syr Gawayne saye so / they arose vp the most party and maade suche auowes as sire Gawayne had made /

¶ Anone as kynge Arthur herd this / he was gretely dyspleasyd / for he wyste wel they myghte not ageyne saye theyre auowes

¶ Allas said kynge Arthur vnto sir Gawayn ye haue nyghe slayne me with the auowe and promesse that Page  621 [leaf 311r] ye haue made / For thurgh yow ye haue berafte me the fayrest felauship and the truest of knyghthode that euer were sene to gyders in ony realme of the world / For whanne they departe from hens I am sure / they alle shalle neuer mete more in thys world / for they shalle dye many in the quest / And soo it forthynketh me a lytel / for I haue loued them as wel as my lyf wherfor hit shall greue me ryghte sore the departycyon of this felauship / For I haue had an old customme to haue hem in my felauship /

Capitulum Octauum /

ANd ther with the teres fylle in his eyen / And thenne he sayd Gawayne Gawayne ye haue sette me in grete sorowe / For I haue grete doubte that my true felauship shalle never mete here more ageyne / A sayd syr Launcelot comforte your self / for hit shalle be vnto vs a grete honour & moche more than yf we dyed in ony other places / for of deth we be syker / A laūcelot said þe kyng þe grete loue þt I haue had vnto you al the dayes of my lyf maketh me to say suche dolefull wordes / for neuer Crysten kynge had neuer soo many worthy men at this table as I haue had this daye at the round table and that is my grete sorowe /

¶ Whanne the Quene ladyes & gentilwymmen wyst these tydynges / they had suche sorowe & heuynesse that ther myght no tonge telle hit / for tho knyghtes had hold them in honour and chyerte / But amonge all othther Quene Gueneuer made grete sorowe / I merueylle said she my lord wold suffre hem to departe from hym / thus was al the Courte troubled for the loue of the departycyon of tho knyghtes / And many of tho ladyes that loued knyghtes wold haue gone with her louers / and soo had they done had not an old knyghte come amonge them in Relygyous clothyng / and thenne he spake alle on hyghe / and said fayre Lordes which haue sworn in the quest of the Sancgreal / Thus sendeth you nacyen the heremyte word that none in this queste lede lady nor gentylwoman with hym / for hit is not to doo in so hyghe a seruyfe as they labour in / for I warne yow playne he that is not clene of his synnes / he shalle not see the mysteryes of our lord Page  622 [leaf 311v] Ihesu Cryste / and for this cause they lefte these ladyes and gentylwymmen /

¶ After this the quene came vnto Galahad and asked hym of whens he was / and of what countrey / he told her of whens he was / and sone vnto Launcelot / she saide he was / as to that he said neyther ye nor nay / So god me helpe said the quene of your fader ye nede not to shame yow / for he is the goodlyest knyghte and of the best men of the world comen and of the strene of alle partyes of kynges / Wherfore ye oughte of ryghte to be of your dedes a passynge good man / & certaynly she said ye resemble hym moche / Thenne syr Galahad was a lytel ashamed and said Madame sythe ye knowe in certayne wherfore doo ye aske hit me / for he that is my fader/ shalle be knowen openly and al by tymes / And thenne they wente to reste them / And in the honour of the hyhenes of Galahad he was ledde in to kynge Arthurs chamber / and there rested in his owne bedde / And as soone as hit was daye the kynge arose for he had no rest of alle that nyght for sorowe / Thenne he wente vnto Gawayne and to syr launcelot that were arysen for to here masse / And thenne the kyng ageyn said A Gawayne Gawayne ye haue bitrayed me / For neuer shal my Courte be amended by yow / but ye wille neuer be sory for me as I am for yow / And there with the teres began to renne doune by his vysage / And there with the kyng said A knyghte syr launcelot / I requyre the thow counceyle me / for I wold that this quest were vndone and it myghte be / syr sayd syr launcelot / ye sawe yesterday soo many worthy knyghtes that thenne were sworne / that they may not leue it in no maner of wyse / That wote I wel said the kyng / but it shal so heuye me at their departynge that I wote wel there shal no manere of Ioye remedye me / And thenne the kynge and the Quene wente vnto the mynster / Soo anone launcelot and Gawayne commaunded her men to brynge her armes / And whanne they alle were armed sauf her sheldes and her helmes / thenne they came to theyre felauship / whiche alle were redy in the same wyse for to goo to the mynster to here their seruyse

¶ Thenne after the seruyse was done / the kynge wolde wete how many hadde vndertake the queste of the holy grayle / and to accompte them he praid them alle Page  623 [leaf 312r] Thenne fond they by the tale an honderd and fyfty / and alle were knyghtes of the table round / And thenne they putte on their helmes and departed / and recommaunded them all holy vnto the Quene / and there was wepynge and grete sorowe / Thenne the Quene departed in to her chamber / and helde her/ that no man shold perceyue her grete sorowes / Whanne syre Launcelot myst the quene / he wente tyl her chamber / And when she sawe hym / she cryed aloude / O launcelot / launcelot ye haue bitrayed me / and putte me to the deth for to leue thus my lord A madame I praye yow be not displeased / for I shall come ageyne as soone as I may with my worship / Allas sayd she that euer I sawe yow / but he that suffred vpon the crosse for alle mankynde he be vnto yow good conduyte and saufte / and alle the hole felauship / Ryght soo departed Launcelot / & fond his felauship that abode his comyng / and so they mounted on their horses / and rode thorou the strete of Camelot / and there was wepynge of ryche and poure / and the kyng tourned awey and myghte not speke for wepynge / So within a whyle they came to a Cyte and a Castel that hyȝt Vagon / there they entrid in to the castel / and the lord therof was an old man/ that hyght Vagon / and he was a good man of his lyuynge/ and sette open the gates / & made hem alle the chere that he myȝt And soo on the morne they were alle accorded that they shold departe eueryche from other / And on the morne they departed with wepynge chere / and euery knyȝt took the way that hym lyked best

¶ Capitulum ix

NOw rydeth Galahalt yet withouten shelde / and so rode four dayes without ony aduenture / And at the fourth day after euensonge / he came to a whyte Abbay / and there was he receyued with grete reuerence / and ledde vnto a chambre / and there was he vnarmed / And thenne was he ware of knyghtes of the table round / one was sir Bagdemagus and syr Vwayne / And whanne they sawe hym / they wente vnto Galahad / and made of hym grete solace / and soo they wente vnto souper / Sirs said sire Galahalt what aduenture Page  624 [leaf 312v] broughte yow hyder / Sir they sayd all it is told vs that within this place is a shelde that no man may bere aboute his neck but he be mescheued outher dede within thre dayes or maymed for euer / A syr said kyng Bagdemagus I shalle bere hit to morne for to assay this aduenture / In the name of God sayd Galahad / Sire said Bagdemagus and I may not encheue the aduenture of this shelde ye shalle take hit vpon yow / for I am sure ye shalle not fayle / Sir said Galahad / I ryghte wel agree me therto / for I haue no shelde / Soo on the morne they aroos and herd masse / Thenne Bagdemagus asked where the aduenturous sheld was / Anone a monke ledde hym behynde an aulter where the shelde henge as whyte as ony snowe / but in the myddes was a reed crosse / Sirs said the monke this sheld oughte not to be hanged aboute no knyghtes neck / but he be the worthyest knyghte of the world / therfore I counceylle yow knyghtes to be wel aduysed / Wel said Bagdemagus I wote wel I am not the lest knyghte of the world / but I shal assay to bere hit / and soo bare hit oute of the mynstre / And thēne he said vnto Galahad and hit please you to abyde here stil tyl that ye wete how that I spede / I shalle abyde yow sayd galahad / Thenne kynge Bagdemagus took with hym a good squyer to beynge tydynges vnto syr Galahad how he spedde / Thenne whanne they had ryden two myle and came to a fayr valey afore an hermytage / And thenne they sawe a knyghte come from that party in whyte armour hors and all / And he came as faste as his hors myghte renne / and his spere in his reste / And syr Bagdemagus dressid his spere ageynst hym/ and brake hit vpon the whyte knyght / but the other stroke hym soo hard that he braste the mayles / and sheef hym thorou the ryght sholder / for the shelde couerd hym not as at that tyme / & soo he bare hym from his hors / And there with he alyghte and took the whyte shelde from hym / sayenge knyght thow hast done thy self grete foly / for this shelde oughte not to be borne but by hym that shalle haue no piere that lyueth / And thenne he came to Bagdemagus squyer / & saide bere this shelde vnto the good knyghte sir Galahad that thow lefte in the Abbay and grete hym wel by me / Sir said the squyer what is your name Take thow none hede of my name said the knyȝte / for it is not Page  625 [leaf 313r] for the to knowe nor for none erthely man / Now fayr syr said the squyer at the reuerence of Ihesu Cryste / telle me for what cause this shelde may not be borne / but yf the berer therof be meschyeued / Now sythe thow hast coniured me soo sayd the knyghte this shelde behoueth vnto no man but vnto Galahad / & þe squyer wēt vnto Bagdemagus / & asked whether he were sore wounded or not / ye forsothe said he / I shalle escape hard from the dethe / Thenne he fette his hors and brought hym with grete payne vnto an Abbay / thenne was he taken doun softely and vnarmed and leid in a bedde / and there was loked to his woundes / And as the booke telleth he laye there longe / & escaped hard with the lyf /

¶ Capitulum x

SYr Galahalt sayd the squyer that knyghte that wounded Bagdemagus sendeth yow gretynge / and bad that ye shold bere this shelde where thurgh grete aduentures shold befalle / Now blessid be good & fortune said Galahad / And thenne he asked his armes / and mounted vpon his hors / and henge the whyte shelde aboute his neck / & commaunded hem vnto god / and syr Vwayne said he wold bere hym felauship yf it pleasyd hym /

¶ Sir sayd Galahad that maye ye not / for I must goo alone sauf this squyer shall bere me felauship / and so departed Vwayne / Thenne within a whyle came Galahad there as the whyte knyght abode hym by the heremytage / and eueryche salewed other curtoisly /

¶ Sir said Galahad by this shelde ben many merueils fallen / Sir sayd the knyght hit befelle after the passion of our lord Ihesu Crist xxxij yere that Ioseph of Armathye the gentyl knyghte / the whiche took doune oure lord of the hooly Crosse att that tyme he departed from Iherusalem with a grete party of his kynred with hym / and so he laboured tyl that they came to a cyte that hyght Sarras / and att that same houre that Ioseph came to Sarras there was a kynge that hyghte Euelake that had greto werre ageyne the Sarasyns / and in especyal ageynste one Sarasyn / the whiche was kyng Euelaks cosyn / a ryche kyng Page  626 [leaf 313v] and a myghty whiche marched nyghe this land / and his name was called Tolleme la feyntes / Soo on a day this two mette to doo bataill / Thenne Ioseph the sone of Ioseph of Armathye wente to kynge Euelake / and told hym he shold be discomfyt and slayne but yf he lefte his bileue of the old lawe and byleue vpon the newe lawe / And thenne there he shewed hym the ryght bileue of the holy Trynyte / to the whiche he agreed vnto with alle his herte / and there this shelde was maade for kynge Euelake in the name of hym that dyed vpon the crosse And thenne thurgh his good bileue he had the better of kyng Tolleme / For whanne Euelake was in the batail / there was a clothe sette afore the sheld / And whanne he was in the grettest perylle he lete putte awaye the clothe / and thenne his enemyes sawe a fygur of a man on the Crosse where thurgh they alle were discomfyte / And soo it befelle that a man of Kynge Euelaks was smyten his hand of / and bare that hand in his other hand / and Ioseph called that man vnto hym / and badde hym goo with good deuocyon touche the Crosse / And as soone as that man had touched the Crosse with his hand / it was as hole as euer hit was to fore / Thenne soone after there felle a grete merueyll that the Crosse of the sheld at one tyme vanysshed awey that no man wyst where hit became / And thenne kynge Euelake was baptysed / and for the moost party alle the peple of that Cyte / So soone after Ioseph wold departe / and kynge Euelake wold goo with hym whether he wold or nold / And soo by fortune they came in to this land that at that tyme was called grete Bretayne / and there they fond a grete felon paynym / that put Ioseph in to pryson / And soo by fortune tydynges cam vnto a worthy man that hyghte Mondrames / & he assembled alle his peple for the grete renomme he had herde of Ioseph / and soo he came in to the land of grete Bretayne & disherited this felon paynym and consumed hym / and ther with delyuerd Ioseph oute of pryson / and after that alle the peple were torned to the Crysten feithe

¶ Capitulum vndecimum

Page  627 [leaf 314r]

NOt longe after that Ioseph was layd in his dedely bed And whanne kynge Euelake sawe that / he made moche sorowe / and sayd / for thy loue I haue lefte my countrey / And sythe ye shalle departe oute of this world / leue me somme token of yours that I may thynke on you / Ioseph said that wille I doo ful gladly / Now brynge me your sheld that I toke yow whanne ye went in to bataille ageynst kyng Tolleme / Thenne Ioseph bled sore at the nose / so that he myȝt not by no meane be staunched / And therupon that sheld he made a crosse of his owne blood / Now may ye see a remembraunce that I loue yow / for ye shalle neuer see this shelde but ye shal thynke on me / and it shall be alweyes as fresshe as it is now And neuer shalle man bere this sheld aboute his neck but he shalle repente hit vnto the tyme that Galahad the good knyȝte bere hit / and the laste of my lygnage shal leue hit aboute his neck that shall doo many merueyllous dedes / Now sayd kynge Euelake where shalle I put this shelde that this worthy knyght may haue hit / ye shal leue hit there as nacyen the heremyte shal be put after his dethe / For thydder shal that good knyghte come the fyftenth day after that he shal receyue the ordre of knyghthode / and soo that daye that they sette / is this tyme that he haue his shelde / And in the same abbay lyeth Nacyen the heremyte / And thenne the whyte knyghte vanysshed away Anone as the squyer had herde these wordes / he alyghte of his hakney and kneled doune at Galahads feet and prayd hym that he myghte goo with hym tyll he had made hym knyghte/ Yf I wold not refuse yow / thenne will ye make me a knyȝte sayd the squyer / and that ordre by the grace of god shal be wel sette in me / Soo syr Galahad graunted hym and tourned ageyne vnto the Abbay there they came fro / and there men made grete Ioye of syr Galahad / And anone as he was alyghte / there was a monke broughte hym vnto a Tombe in a Chirche yerd where that was suche a noyse that who that herd hit shold veryly nyghe be madde or lese his strengthe / and syre they sayd we deme hit is a fende

¶ Capitulum xij

Page  628 [leaf 314v]

NOw lede me thyder sayd Galahad / and soo they dyd alle armed sauf his helme / Now sayd the good man / goo to the Tombe and lyfte hit vp / Soo he dyd and herd a grete noyse / and pytously he sayd that alle men myȝte here hit / Syr Galahad the seruaunt of Ihesu Cryste come thou not nyghe me / For thow shalt make me goo ageyne ther where I haue ben soo longe / But Galahad was no thynge affrayed but lyfte vp the stone / and there came out so foul a smoke / and after he sawe the fowlest fygur lepe there oute that euer he sawe in the lykenes of a man / & thenne he blessid hym/ and wyste wel hit was a sende /

¶ Thenne herd he a voyse say / Galahad I see there enuyronne aboute the so many angels that my power may not dere the /

¶ Ryght soo syr Galahad sawe a body al armed lye in that tombe and besyde hym a swerd / Now fayr broder sayd Galahad lete vs remeue this body for hit is not worthy to lye in this chircheyerd / for he was a fals Crysten man / And there with they alle departed and wente to the Abbay / And anone as he was vnarmed a good man cam and sette hym doune by hym / and sayd syre I shall telle yow what betokeneth alle that ye sawe in the Tombe / for that couerd body betokeneth the duresse of the world and the grete synne that oure lord fond in the world / For there was suche wretchydnesse that the fader loued not the sone / nor the sone loued not the fader / and that was one of the causes that oure lord took flesshe and blood of a clene mayden / for oure synnes were so grete at that tyme that wel nyghe all was wickednes / Truly sayd Galahad I bileue yow ryghte wel / So syre Galahad rested hym there that nyghte / And vpon the morne he made the squyer knyghte / and asked hym his name / and of what kynred he was come /

¶ Syre sayd he men calleth me Melyas de lyle / And I am the sone of the kynge of Denmarke /

¶ Now fayre sire sayd Galahad sythe that ye be come of kynges and Quenes / now loketh that knyghthode be wel sette in yow / for ye oughte to be a myrrour vnto all chyualry

¶ Sire sayd syre Melyas ye saye sothe / But syre sythen ye haue made me a knyȝt ye must of ryȝt graūte me my fyrst desyre þt is resonable / ye say soth said galahad / melyas said thēne Page  629 [leaf 315r] that ye wil suffre me to ryde with yow in this quest of the sancgreal tyl that somme aduenture departe vs / I graunte yow sir Thenne men brought syre Melyas his armoure and his spere and his hors / and soo syr Galahad and he rode forth all that weke or they fond ony aduenture / And thenne vpon a monday in the mornyng as they were departed fro an Abbay they cam to a Crosse whiche departed two wayes / and in that crosse were letters wryten that sayd thus Now ye knyghtes arraunt the whiche goth to seke knyghtes aduenturous / see here / ij / wayes þt one wey defendeth the that thow ne go þt way / for he shalle not go oute of the way ageyne / but yf he be a good man and a worthy knyghte / And yf thow goo on the lyfte hand / thow shalt not lyghtely there wynne prowesse / for thow shalt in this way be soone assayed / Sir said Melyas to Galahad / yf hit lyke yow to suffer me to take the way on the lyft hand telle me / for there I shalle wel preue my strengthe / hit were better said Galahad ye rode not that way / for I deme I shold better escape in that way than ye / nay my lord I praye yow lete me haue that aduenture / Take it in goddes name said Galahad

¶ Capitulum xiij

ANd thēne rode melyas in to an old forest / and therin he rode two dayes and more / And thenne he came in to a fayr medowe / and there was a fayr lodge of bowes / And thenne he aspyed in that lodge a chayer wherin was a crown of gold subtyly wroughte / Also there were clothes couerd vpon the erthe / and many delycious metes sette theron / Sir Melyadas behelde this auenture and thoughte hit merueillous/ but he had no honger / but of the croune of gold he took moch kepe / and there with he stouped doune and took hit vp / and rode his way with it / And anone he sawe a knyght came rydynge after hym that sayd / knyghte sette doune that crowne/ whiche is not yours / & therfor defendeth yow / Thenne syre Melyas blessid hym and said Fair lord of heuen helpe and saue thy newe made knyght / & thenne they lete theire horses renne as fast as they myȝt / so that the other knyȝt smote sir melias Page  630 [leaf 315v] thorou hauberk and thorow the lyfte syde that he felle to the erthe nyghe dede / And thenne he took the crowne and went his way and syr Melyas lay stylle and had no power to stere / In the meane whyle by fortune ther came syre Galahad and fond hym there in perille of dethe / And thenne he said A melyas who hath wounded yow / therfor hit had ben better to haue ryden the other way / And whanne sir Melyas herd hym speke / syre he sayd for goddes loue lete me not dye in this forest / but bere me vnto the Abbay here besyde that I may be confessyd and haue my ryghtes / It shal be done said Galahad / but where is he that hath wounded yow / with that syr Galahad herd in the leues crye on hyghe / knyght kepe the from me A syr said Melyas / Beware / For that is he that hath slayne me / Sir Galahad ansuerd syr knyghte come on your perylle/ Thenne eyther dressid to other and came to gyder as fast as their horses myghte renne / and Galahad smote hym soo that hys spere wente thorou his sholder / and smote hym doune of his hors / and in the fallyng Galahadis spere brak / with that cam oute another knyghte of the leues / and brake a spere vpon Galahad or euer he myghte torne hym / Thenne Galahad drewe oute his swerd and smote of the lyfte arme of hym soo that it felle to the erthe / And thenne he fledde / and sire Galahad sewed fast after hym / And thenne he torned ageyne vnto syr Melyas / and there he alyghte and dressid hym softely on his hors to fore hym for the truncheon of his spere was in his body / and syr Galahad sterte vp behynde hym / and helde hym in his armes / and soo broughte hym to the Abbay / and there vnarmed hym and broughte hym to his chamber / And thenne he asked his saueour / And whanne he had receyued hym he said vnto syr galahad / syr lete deth come whan it pleasyd hym And there with he drewe oute the truncheon of the spere oute of his body / And thenne he swouned / Thenne came there an olde monke whiche somtyme had ben a knyghte & behelde syre Melyas / And anone he ransakyd hym / & thenne he saide vnto syr Galahad I shal hele hym of this woūde by the grace of god within the terme of seuen wekes / Thenne was sir galahad glad and vnarmed hym / & said he wold abyde there thre dayes And thenne he asked syr Melyas how it stood with hym / Page  631 [leaf 316r] Thenne he sayd he was torned vnto helpyng god be thanked

 
 
 

 

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