Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK XIII CHAPTER XVIII

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CHAPTER XVIII

How Sir Launcelot, half sleeping and half waking, saw a
sick man borne in a litter, and how he was healed with
the Sangreal.


AND so he fell asleep; and half waking and sleeping he
saw come by him two palfreys all fair and white, the
which bare a litter, therein lying a sick knight.  And
when he was nigh the cross he there abode still.  All this
Sir Launcelot saw and beheld, for he slept not verily;
and he heard him say:  O sweet Lord, when shall this
sorrow leave me? and when shall the holy vessel come by
me, wherethrough I shall be blessed?  For I have endured
thus long, for little trespass.  A full great while
complained the knight thus, and always Sir Launcelot heard
it.  With that Sir Launcelot saw the candlestick with
the six tapers come before the cross, and he saw nobody
that brought it.  Also there came a table of silver, and
the holy vessel of the Sangreal, which Launcelot had
seen aforetime in King Pescheour's house.  And therewith
the sick knight set him up, and held up both his
hands, and said:  Fair sweet Lord, which is here within
this holy vessel; take heed unto me that I may be whole
of this malady.  And therewith on his hands and on
his knees he went so nigh that he touched the holy
vessel and kissed it, and anon he was whole; and then he
said:  Lord God, I thank thee, for I am healed of this
sickness.

So when the holy vessel had been there a great
while it went unto the chapel with the chandelier and
the light, so that Launcelot wist not where it was
become; for he was overtaken with sin that he had
no power to rise again the holy vessel; wherefore after
that many men said of him shame, but he took repentance
after that.  Then the sick knight dressed him up
and kissed the cross; anon his squire brought him his
arms, and asked his lord how he did.  Certes, said he,
I thank God right well, through the holy vessel I am
healed.  But I have marvel of this sleeping knight that
had no power to awake when this holy vessel was
brought hither.  I dare right well say, said the squire,
that he dwelleth in some deadly sin whereof he was
never confessed.  By my faith, said the knight, whatsomever
he be he is unhappy, for as I deem he is of the
fellowship of the Round Table, the which is entered
into the quest of the Sangreal.  Sir, said the squire,
here I have brought you all your arms save your helm
and your sword, and therefore by mine assent now may
ye take this knight's helm and his sword: and so he
did.  And when he was clean armed he took Sir
Launcelot's horse, for he was better than his; and so
departed they from the cross.