Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  BOOK XIII  Previous  Next 


How at the vigil of the Feast of Pentecost entered into the
hall before King Arthur a damosel, and desired Sir
Launcelot for to come and dub a knight, and how he
went with her.

AT the vigil of Pentecost, when all the fellowship of the
Round Table were come unto Camelot and there heard
their service, and the tables were set ready to the meat,
right so entered into the hall a full fair gentlewoman on
horseback, that had ridden full fast, for her horse was all
besweated.  Then she there alighted, and came before the
king and saluted him; and he said:  Damosel, God thee
bless.  Sir, said she, for God's sake say me where Sir
Launcelot is.  Yonder ye may see him, said the king.
Then she went unto Launcelot and said:  Sir Launcelot, I
salute you on King Pelles' behalf, and I require you come
on with me hereby into a forest.  Then Sir Launcelot
asked her with whom she dwelled.  I dwell, said she,
with King Pelles.  What will ye with me? said Launcelot.
Ye shall know, said she, when ye come thither.  Well,
said he, I will gladly go with you.  So Sir Launcelot bade
his squire saddle his horse and bring his arms; and in all
haste he did his commandment.

Then came the queen unto Launcelot, and said:
Will ye leave us at this high feast?  Madam, said the
gentlewoman, wit ye well he shall be with you to-morn by
dinner time.  If I wist, said the queen, that he should
not be with us here to-morn he should not go with you
by my good will.  Right so departed Sir Launcelot with
the gentlewoman, and rode until that he came into a forest
and into a great valley, where they saw an abbey of nuns;
and there was a squire ready and opened the gates, and so
they entered and descended off their horses; and there
came a fair fellowship about Sir Launcelot, and welcomed
him, and were passing glad of his coming.  And then
they led him unto the Abbess's chamber and unarmed him;
and right so he was ware upon a bed lying two of his
cousins, Sir Bors and Sir Lionel, and then he waked them;
and when they saw him they made great joy.  Sir, said
Sir Bors unto Sir Launcelot, what adventure hath brought
you hither, for we weened to-morn to have found you at
Camelot?  As God me help, said Sir Launcelot, a gentlewoman
brought me hither, but I know not the cause.

In the meanwhile that they thus stood talking together,
therein came twelve nuns that brought with them Galahad,
the which was passing fair and well made, that unnethe in
the world men might not find his match: and all those
ladies wept.  Sir, said they all, we bring you here this
child the which we have nourished, and we pray you to
make him a knight, for of a more worthier man's hand
may he not receive the order of knighthood.  Sir Launcelot
beheld the young squire and saw him seemly and
demure as a dove, with all manner of good features, that
he weened of his age never to have seen so fair a man of
form.  Then said Sir Launcelot:  Cometh this desire of
himself?  He and all they said yea.  Then shall he, said
Sir Launcelot, receive the high order of knighthood as
to-morn at the reverence of the high feast.  That night
Sir Launcelot had passing good cheer; and on the morn
at the hour of prime, at Galahad's desire, he made him
knight and said:  God make him a good man, for of
beauty faileth you not as any that liveth.