Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK XIII CHAPTER III
Legends and Sagas
How Sir Gawaine assayed to draw out the sword, and how
an old man brought in Galahad.
NOW, fair nephew, said the king unto Sir Gawaine, assay
ye, for my love. Sir, he said, save your good grace I
shall not do that. Sir, said the king, assay to take the
sword and at my commandment. Sir, said Gawaine, your
commandment I will obey. And therewith he took up
the sword by the handles, but he might not stir it. I
thank you, said the king to Sir Gawaine. My lord Sir
Gawaine, said Sir Launcelot, now wit ye well this sword
shall touch you so sore that ye shall will ye had never set
your hand thereto for the best castle of this realm. Sir, he
said, I might not withsay mine uncle's will and commandment.
But when the king heard this he repented it much,
and said unto Sir Percivale that he should assay, for his
love. And he said: Gladly, for to bear Sir Gawaine
fellowship. And therewith he set his hand on the sword
and drew it strongly, but he might not move it. Then
were there no mo that durst be so hardy to set their hands
thereto. Now may ye go to your dinner, said Sir Kay
unto the king, for a marvellous adventure have ye seen.
So the king and all went unto the court, and every knight
knew his own place, and set him therein, and young men
that were knights served them.
So when they were served, and all sieges fulfilled save
only the Siege Perilous, anon there befell a marvellous
adventure, that all the doors and windows of the palace
shut by themself. Not for then the hall was not greatly
darked; and therewith they were all abashed both one and
other. Then King Arthur spake first and said: By God,
fair fellows and lords, we have seen this day marvels, but
or night I suppose we shall see greater marvels.
In the meanwhile came in a good old man, and an
ancient, clothed all in white, and there was no knight knew
from whence he came. And with him he brought a young
knight, both on foot, in red arms, without sword or shield,
save a scabbard hanging by his side. And these words he
said: Peace be with you, fair lords. Then the old man
said unto Arthur: Sir, I bring here a young knight, the
which is of king's lineage, and of the kindred of Joseph of
Aramathie, whereby the marvels of this court, and of
strange realms, shall be fully accomplished.
 Omitted by Caxton, supplied from W. de Worde.