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How Balin was delivered by Merlin, and saved a knight
that would have slain himself for love.

THEN Merlin came thither and took up Balin, and gat him a good
horse, for his was dead, and bade him ride out of that country. 
I would have my damosel, said Balin.  Lo, said Merlin, where she
lieth dead.  And King Pellam lay so, many years sore wounded, and
might never be whole till Galahad the haut prince healed him in
the quest of the Sangreal, for in that place was part of the
blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, that Joseph of Arimathea brought
into this land, and there himself lay in that rich bed.  And that
was the same spear that Longius smote our Lord to the heart; and
King Pellam was nigh of Joseph's kin, and that was the most
worshipful man that lived in those days, and great pity it was of
his hurt, for through that stroke, turned to great dole, tray and
tene.  Then departed Balin from Merlin, and said, In this world
we meet never no more.  So he rode forth through the fair
countries and cities, and found the people dead, slain on every
side.  And all that were alive cried, O Balin, thou hast caused
great damage in these countries; for the dolorous stroke thou
gavest unto King Pellam three countries are destroyed, and doubt
not but the vengeance will fall on thee at the last.  When Balin
was past those countries he was passing fain.

So he rode eight days or he met with adventure.  And at the last
he came into a fair forest in a valley, and was ware of a tower,
and there beside he saw a great horse of war, tied to a tree, and
there beside sat a fair knight on the ground and made great
mourning, and he was a likely <72>man, and a well made.  Balin
said, God save you, why be ye so heavy? tell me and I will amend
it, an I may, to my power.  Sir knight, said he again, thou dost
me great grief, for I was in merry thoughts, and now thou puttest
me to more pain.  Balin went a little from him, and looked on his
horse; then heard Balin him say thus:  Ah, fair lady, why have ye
broken my promise, for thou promisest me to meet me here by noon,
and I may curse thee that ever ye gave me this sword, for with
this sword I slay myself, and pulled it out.  And therewith Balin
stert unto him and took him by the hand.  Let go my hand, said
the knight, or else I shall slay thee.  That shall not need, said
Balin, for I shall promise you my help to get you your lady, an
ye will tell me where she is.  What is your name? said the
knight.  My name is Balin le Savage.  Ah, sir, I know you well
enough, ye are the Knight with the Two Swords, and the man of
most prowess of your hands living.  What is your name? said
Balin.  My name is Garnish of the Mount, a poor man's son, but by
my prowess and hardiness a duke hath made me knight, and gave me
lands; his name is Duke Hermel, and his daughter is she that I
love, and she me as I deemed.  How far is she hence? said Balin. 
But six mile, said the knight.  Now ride we hence, said these two
knights.  So they rode more than a pace, till that they came to a
fair castle well walled and ditched.  I will into the castle,
said Balin, and look if she be there.  So he went in and searched
from chamber to chamber, and found her bed, but she was not
there.  Then Balin looked into a fair little garden, and under a
laurel tree he saw her lie upon a quilt of green samite and a
knight in her arms, fast halsing either other, and under their
heads grass and herbs.  When Balin saw her lie so with the
foulest knight that ever he saw, and she a fair lady, then Balin
went through all the chambers again, and told the knight how he
found her as she had slept fast, and so brought him in the place
there she lay fast sleeping.