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a little gate. And as soon as he was within the church-yard, he saw, on the front of the chapell, many faire rich shields turned upside downe, and many of the shields Sir Launcelot had seene knights liave before; with that he saw stand by him thirtie great knights, more, by a yard, than any man that ever he had seene, and all those grinned and gnashed at Sir Laun. celot; and when he saw their countenance, hee dread them sore, and so put his shield afore bim, and tooke his sword in his hand, ready to doe battaile ; and they were all armed in black harneis, ready, with their shields and swords drawen. And when Sir Launcelot would have gone through them, they scattered on every side of him, and gave him the way; and therewith hee waxed all bold, and entered into the chapell, and then he sawe no light but a dimme lampe burning, and then was hee ware of a corps covered with a cloath of silke ;-then Sir Launcelot stooped downe, and cut a piece of that cloath away, and then it fared under him as the earth had quaked a little, whereof hee was afeared, and then he saw a faire sword lye by the dead knight, and that he gat in his hand, and hied him out of the chappell. As soon as he was in the chappellyerd, all the knights spoke to him with a grimly voice, and said, • Knight Sir Launcelot, lay that sword from thee, or else thou shalt die.' " Whether I live or die,' said Sir Launcelot, with no great words get yee it againe, therefore fight for it and yee list.' Therewith he passed through them; and, beyond the chappell-yerd, there met him a faire danuosel, and said, “Sir Launcelot, leave that sword behind thee, or thou wilt die for it.' 'I will not leave it,' said Sir Launcelot,' for no threats.' "No;' said she, and ye did leave that sword, Queene Guenever should ye never see.' Then were I foole and I would leave this sword,' said Sir Launcelot. "Now, gentle knight,' said the damosel, “I require thee to kisse me once. Nay,' said Sir Launcelot, that, God forbid !' “Well, sir,' said she, and thou haddest kissed me, thy life dayes had been done ; but now, alas ! said she, 'I have lost all my labour; for I ordeined this chappell for thy sake, and for Sir Gawaine: and once I had Sir Gawaine within it; and at that time he fought with that knight which there lieth dead in yonder chappell, Sir Gilbert the bastard, and at that time hee smote off Sir Gilbert the bas. tard's left hand. And so, Sir Launcelot, now I tell thee, that I have loved thee this seaven yeare; but there may no woman · have thy love but Queene Guenever ; but sithen I may not rejoyce thee to have thy body alive, I had kept no more joy in this world but to have had thy dead body; and I would have balmed it and served, and so have kept it my life daies, and daily I should have clipped thee, and kissed thee, in the despite of Queene Guenever.' Yee say well;' said Sir Launcelot, “Jesus preserve me from your subtill craft!' And therewith he took his horse, and departed from her.”
He might not view with waking eye.-P. 17. One day, when Arthur was holding a high feast with his Knights of the Round Table, the Sangreal, or vessel out of. which the last passover was eaten, a precious relick, which had long remained concealed from human eyes, because of the sins of the land, suddenly appeared to him and all his chivalry. The. consequence of this vision was, that all the knights took on them a solemn vow to seek the Sangreal. But, alas! it could only be revealed to a knight at once accomplished in earthly chivalry, and pure and guiltless of evil conversation. All Sir Launcelot's poble accomplishments were therefore rendered. vain by his guilty intrigue with Queen Guenever, or Ganore; and in this holy quest he encountered only such disgraceful disasters as that which follows: .
“ But Sir Launcelot rode overthwart and endlong in a wild forest, and held no path, but as wild adventure led him; and at the last, he came unto a stone crosse, which departed two wayes, in wast land; and by the crosse, was a stone that was of marble ; but it was so darke, that Sir Launcelot might not well know what it was. Then Sir Launcelot looked by hin, and saw an old chappell, and there he wend to have found people. And so Sir Launcelot tied his horse to a tree, and there hee
put off his shield, and hung it upon a tree, and then hee went unto the chappell doore, and found it wasted and broken. And within · he found a faire altar, full richly arrayed with cloth of silk, and there stood a faire candlesticke, which beare six great candles, and the candlesticke was of silver. And when Sir Launcelot saw. this light, hee had a great will for to enter into the chappell, but hee could find no place where he might enter. · Then was he passing heavie and dismaied. Then he re. turned, and came againe to his horse, and tooke off his saddle and his bridle, and let him pasture, and unlaced his helme, and ungirded his sword, and laid him downe to sleepe upon his shield before the crosse.
“ And so hee fell on sleepe, and halfe waking and halfe sleeping, he saw come by him two palfryes, both faire and white, the which beare a litter, therein lying a sicke knight. And when he was nigh the crosse, he there abode still. All this Sir · Launcelot saw and beheld, for hee sleept not verily, and hee heard him say, “ Oh sweete Lord, when shall this sorrow leave me, and when shall the holy vessell come by me, where through I shall be blessed, for I have endured thus long, for little trespasse.' And thus a great while complained the knight, and allwaies Sir Launcelot heard it. With that Sir Launcelot saw the candlesticke, with the fire tapers, come before the crosse; but he could see no body that brought it. Also there came a table of silver, and the holy vessell of the Sancgreal, the which Sir Launcelot had seene before that time in king Petchour's house. And therewithall the sicke knight
set him upright, and held up both his hands, and said, " Faire sweete Lord, which is here within the holy vessell, take heede to mee, that I may bee hole of this great malady. And there. with upon his hands, and upon his knees, he went so nigh, that he touched the holy vessell, and kissed it: And anon he was hole ; and then he said, “ Lord God, I thank thee, for I am healed of this malady.' Soo when the holy vessell had been there a great while, it went unto the chappell againe with the candlesticke and the light, so that Sir Launcelot wist not where it became, for he was overtaken with sinne, that he had no power to arise against the holy vessell, wherefore afterward many men said of him shame. But he tooke repentance afterward. Then the sicke knight dressed him upright, and kissed the crosse. Then anon his squire brought him his armes, and asked his lord how he did. “Certainly,' said hee, 'I thanke God, right heartily, for through the holy vessell I am healed: But I have right great mervaile of this sleeping knight, which hath had neither grace nor power to awake during the time that this holy vessell hath beene here present.' 'I dare it right well say,' said the squire, ' that this same knight is defouled with some manner of deadly sinne, whereof he was never confessed.'' By my faith,' said the knight, “ whatsoever he be, he is unhappie; for, as I deeme, hee is of the fellowship of the Round Table, the which is entred into the quest of the Sancgreall.' "Sir,' said the squire, here I have brought you all your armes, save your helme and your sword; and therefore, by mine assent, now may ye take this knight's helme and his sword,' and so he