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Of the marvels of the sword and of the scabbard.

AND then beheld they the scabbard, it seemed to be of a
serpent's skin, and thereon were letters of gold and silver.
And the girdle was but poorly to come to, and not able
to sustain such a rich sword.  And the letters said:  He
which shall wield me sought to be more harder than any
other, if he bear me as truly as me ought to be borne.
For the body of him which I ought to hang by, he shall
not be shamed in no place while he is girt with this girdle,
nor never none be so hardy to do away this girdle; for
it ought not be done away but by the hands of a maid,
and that she be a king's daughter and queen's, and she
must be a maid all the days of her life, both in will and in
deed.  And if she break her virginity she shall die the
most villainous death that ever died any woman.  Sir, said
Percivale, turn this sword that we may see what is on the
other side.  And it was red as blood, with black letters as
any coal, which said:  He that shall praise me most, most
shall he find me to blame at a great need; and to whom I
should be most debonair shall I be most felon, and that
shall be at one time.

Fair brother, said she to Percivale, it befell after a
forty year after the passion of Jesu Christ that Nacien, the
brother-in-law of King Mordrains, was borne into a town
more than fourteen days' journey from his country, by the
commandment of Our Lord, into an isle, into the parts of
the West, that men cleped the Isle of Turnance.  So befell
it that he found this ship at the entry of a rock, and he
found the bed and this sword as we have heard now.  Not
for then he had not so much hardiness to draw it; and
there he dwelled an eight days, and at the ninth day there
fell a great wind which departed him out of the isle, and
brought him to another isle by a rock, and there he found
the greatest giant that ever man might see.  Therewith
came that horrible giant to slay him; and then he looked
about him and might not flee, and he had nothing to
defend him with.  So he ran to his sword, and when he
saw it naked he praised it much, and then he shook it,
and therewith he brake it in the midst.  Ah, said Nacien,
the thing that I most praised ought I now most to blame,
and therewith he threw the pieces of his sword over his
bed.  And after he leapt over the board to fight with the
giant, and slew him.

And anon he entered into the ship again, and the wind
arose, and drove him through the sea, that by adventure
he came to another ship where King Mordrains was, which
had been tempted full evil with a fiend in the Port of
Perilous Rock.  And when that one saw the other they
made great joy of other, and either told other of their
adventure, and how the sword failed him at his most need
When Mordrains saw the sword he praised it much:  But
the breaking was not to do but by wickedness of thy
selfward, for thou art in some sin.  And there he took the
sword, and set the pieces together, and they soldered as
fair as ever they were to-fore; and there put he the sword
in the sheath, and laid it down on the bed.  Then heard
they a voice that said:  Go out of this ship a little while,
and enter into the other, for dread ye fall in deadly sin,
for and ye be found in deadly sin ye may not escape but
perish: and so they went into the other ship.  And as
Nacien went over the board he was smitten with a sword
on the right foot, that he fell down noseling to the ship's
board; and therewith he said:  O God, how am I hurt.
And then there came a voice and said:  Take thou that
for thy forfeit that thou didst in drawing of this sword,
therefore thou receivest a wound, for thou were never
worthy to handle it, as the writing maketh mention.  In
the name of God, said Galahad, ye are right wise of these