THE KNIGHT OF THE LAKE
So the name stood at first, nor did it change until the name of Sir Launcelot of the Lake became so famous in all the world. Then it became changed to this:
Sir Launcelot of the lake.
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[Sidenote: Sir Launcelot becometh knight of the Round Table] So Sir Launcelot remained at Camelot for that entire day and was made acquainted with a great many of the lords and ladies and knights and dames of King Arthur’s court. And all that while he was like one that walked in a dream, for he had never before beheld anything of the world of mankind since he had been carried away into the lake, wherefore he wist not very well whether what he saw was real or whether he beheld it in a vision of enchantment. For it was all very new and wonderful to him and he took great delight in it because that he was a man and because this world was the world of mankind. Wherefore, though that Castle of the Lake was so beautiful, yet he felt his heart go forth to this other and less beautiful land as it did not go forth to that, because he was human and this was human.
Nevertheless, though that was so joyful a day for him, yet Sir Launcelot did not forget what the Lady of the Lake had said concerning the time he was to abide there! Wherefore, when it drew toward evening he besought leave of King Arthur to depart from that place in search of adventures, and King Arthur gave him leave to do as he desired.
So Sir Launcelot prepared to depart, and whilst he was in his chamber making ready there came in unto him Sir Ector de Maris. And Sir Ector said unto him: “Sir, I prithee tell me—is it true that you bear upon your right shoulder a mark like unto a golden star?” And Sir Launcelot made reply: “Yea, that is true.” Then Sir Ector said: “I beseech you to tell me if your name is Launcelot.” And Sir Launcelot said: “Yea, that is my name.”
[Sidenote: Of the brotherhood of Sir Ector and Sir Launcelot] Upon this Sir Ector broke out into great weeping and he catched Sir Launcelot in his arms and he cried out: “Launcelot, thou art mine own brother! For thy father was my father, and my mother was thy mother! For we are both sons unto King Ban of Benwick, and Queen Helen was our mother.” Therewith he kissed Sir Launcelot with great passion upon the face. And Sir Launcelot upon his part kissed Sir Ector with a great passion of joy that he had found a brother in this strange world into which he had so newly come. But Sir Launcelot charged Sir Ector that he should say nothing of this to any man; and Sir Ector pledged his knightly word to that effect. (Nor did he ever tell anyone who Sir Launcelot was until Sir Launcelot had performed such deeds that all the world spake his name.)
For when Sir Launcelot went out into the world in that wise he undertook several very weighty achievements and brought them all to a successful issue, so that his name very quickly became known in every court of chivalry.