The Age of Fable eBook

Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 980 pages of information about The Age of Fable.

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 Gawain, and said, “Sir, me seemeth your quest is done.”  “It is done,” said Sir Gawain; “I shall seek no further.”  Then Gawain was borne into the castle, and unarmed, and laid in a rich bed, and a leech found to search his wound.  And Sir Gawain and Sir Hector abode together, for Sir Hector would not away till Sir Gawain were whole.

CHAPTER XX

The Sangreal (Continued)

SIR LAUNCELOT

Sir Launcelot rode overthwart and endlong in a wide forest, and held no path but as wild adventure lee him.

    “My golden spurs now bring to me,
       And bring to me my richest mail,
     For to-morrow I go over land and sea
       In search of the Holy, Holy Grail

Shall never a bed for me be spread,
Nor shall a pillow be under my head,
Till I begin my vow to keep. 
Here on the rushes will I sleep,
And perchance there may come a vision true
Ere day create the world anew”

—­Lowell’s Holy Grail.

And at last he came to a stone cross.  Then Sir Launcelot looked round him, and saw an old chapel.  So he tied his horse to a tree, and put off his shield, and hung it upon a tree; and then he went into the chapel, and looked through a place where the wall was broken.  And within he saw a fair altar, full richly arrayed with cloth of silk; and there stood a fair candlestick, which bare six great candles, and the candlestick was of silver.  When Sir Launcelot saw this sight, he had a great wish to enter the chapel, but he could find no place where he might enter.  Then was he passing heavy and dismayed.  And he returned and came again to his horse, and took off his saddle and his bridle, and let him pasture; and unlaced his helm, and ungirded his sword, and laid him down to sleep upon his shield before the cross.

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The Age of Fable from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.