The Age of Chivalry eBook

Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 436 pages of information about The Age of Chivalry.
the courtesy to inform thee, the reproach will not fall upon thee, but upon me that am thy teacher.”  While Perceval and his uncle discoursed together, Perceval beheld two youths enter the hall bearing a golden cup and a spear of mighty size, with blood dropping from its point to the ground.  And when all the company saw this they began to weep and lament.  But for all that, the man did not break off his discourse with Perceval.  And as he did not tell him the meaning of what he saw, he forebore to ask him concerning it.  Now the cup that Perceval saw was the Sangreal, and the spear the sacred spear; and afterwards King Pecheur removed with those sacred relics into a far country.

One evening Perceval entered a valley, and came to a hermit’s cell; and the hermit welcomed him gladly, and there he spent the night.  And in the morning he arose, and when he went forth, behold! a shower of snow had fallen in the night, and a hawk had killed a wild-fowl in front of the cell.  And the noise of the horse had scared the hawk away, and a raven alighted on the bird.  And Perceval stood and compared the blackness of the raven and the whiteness of the snow and the redness of the blood to the hair of the lady that best he loved, which was blacker than jet, and to her skin, which was whiter than the snow, and to the two red spots upon her cheeks, which were redder than the blood upon the snow.

Now Arthur and his household were in search of Perceval, and by chance they came that way.  “Know ye,” said Arthur, “who is the knight with the long spear that stands by the brook up yonder?” “Lord,” said one of them, “I will go and learn who he is.”  So the youth came to the place where Perceval was, and asked him what he did thus, and who he was.  But Perceval was so intent upon his thought that he gave him no answer.  Then the youth thrust at Perceval with his lance; and Perceval turned upon him, and struck him to the ground.  And when the youth returned to the king, and told how rudely he had been treated, Sir Kay said, “I will go myself.”  And when he greeted Perceval, and got no answer, he spoke to him rudely and angrily.  And Perceval thrust at him with his lance, and cast him down so that he broke his arm and his shoulder-blade.  And while he lay thus stunned his horse returned back at a wild and prancing pace.

Then said Sir Gawain, surnamed the Golden-Tongued, because he was the most courteous knight in Arthur’s court:  “It is not fitting that any should disturb an honorable knight from his thought unadvisedly; for either he is pondering some damage that he has sustained, or he is thinking of the lady whom best he loves.  If it seem well to thee, lord, I will go and see if this knight has changed from his thought, and if he has, I will ask him courteously to come and visit thee.”

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The Age of Chivalry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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