Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK XI CHAPTER IV

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How Sir Bors came to Dame Elaine and saw Galahad,
and how he was fed with the Sangreal.

THEN as it fell by fortune and adventure, Sir Bors de
Ganis, that was nephew unto Sir Launcelot, came over that
bridge; and there Sir Bromel and Sir Bors jousted, and
Sir Bors smote Sir Bromel such a buffet that he bare him
over his horse's croup.  And then Sir Bromel, as an hardy
knight, pulled out his sword, and dressed his shield to do
battle with Sir Bors.  And then Sir Bors alighted and
avoided his horse, and there they dashed together many sad
strokes; and long thus they fought, till at the last Sir
Bromel was laid to the earth, and there Sir Bors began to
unlace his helm to slay him.  Then Sir Bromel cried Sir
Bors mercy, and yielded him.  Upon this covenant thou
shalt have thy life, said Sir Bors, so thou go unto Sir
Launcelot upon Whitsunday that next cometh, and yield
thee unto him as knight recreant.  I will do it, said Sir
Bromel, and that he sware upon the cross of the sword.
And so he let him depart, and Sir Bors rode unto King
Pelles, that was within Corbin.

And when the king and Elaine his daughter wist that
Sir Bors was nephew unto Sir Launcelot, they made him
great cheer.  Then said Dame Elaine:  We marvel where
Sir Launcelot is, for he came never here but once.  Marvel
not, said Sir Bors, for this half year he hath been in prison
with Queen Morgan le Fay, King Arthur's sister.  Alas,
said Dame Elaine, that me repenteth.  And ever Sir Bors
beheld that child in her arms, and ever him seemed it was
passing like Sir Launcelot.  Truly, said Elaine, wit ye well
this child he gat upon me.  Then Sir Bors wept for joy,
and he prayed to God it might prove as good a knight as
his father was.  And so came in a white dove, and she
bare a little censer of gold in her mouth, and there was all
manner of meats and drinks; and a maiden bare that
Sangreal, and she said openly:  Wit you well, Sir Bors,
that this child is Galahad, that shall sit in the Siege Perilous,
and achieve the Sangreal, and he shall be much better than
ever was Sir Launcelot du Lake, that is his own father.
And then they kneeled down and made their devotions,
and there was such a savour as all the spicery in the world
had been there.  And when the dove took her flight, the
maiden vanished with the Sangreal as she came.

Sir, said Sir Bors unto King Pelles, this castle may be
named the Castle Adventurous, for here be many strange
adventures.  That is sooth, said the king, for well may
this place be called the adventures place, for there come
but few knights here that go away with any worship; be
he never so strong, here he may be proved; and but late
Sir Gawaine, the good knight, gat but little worship here.
For I let you wit, said King Pelles, here shall no knight
win no worship but if he be of worship himself and of
good living, and that loveth God and dreadeth God, and
else he getteth no worship here, be he never so hardy.
That is wonderful thing, said Sir Bors.  What ye mean in
this country I wot not, for ye have many strange adventures,
and therefore I will lie in this castle this night.  Ye
shall not do so, said King Pelles, by my counsel, for it is
hard an ye escape without a shame.  I shall take the
adventure that will befall me, said Sir Bors.  Then I
counsel you, said the king, to be confessed clean.  As for
that, said Sir Bors, I will be shriven with a good will.  So
Sir Bors was confessed, and for all women Sir Bors was a
virgin, save for one, that was the daughter of King Brangoris,
and on her he gat a child that hight Elaine, and save
for her Sir Bors was a clean maiden.

And so Sir Bors was led unto bed in a fair large
chamber, and many doors were shut about the chamber.
When Sir Bors espied all those doors, he avoided all the
people, for he might have nobody with him; but in no
wise Sir Bors would unarm him, but so he laid him down
upon the bed.  And right so he saw come in a light, that
he might well see a spear great and long that came straight
upon him pointling, and to Sir Bors seemed that the head
of the spear brent like a taper.  And anon, or Sir Bors
wist, the spear head smote him into the shoulder an
hand-breadth in deepness, and that wound grieved Sir Bors passing
sore.  And then he laid him down again for pain; and
anon therewithal there came a knight armed with his shield
on his shoulder and his sword in his hand, and he bade Sir
Bors:  Arise, sir knight, and fight with me.  I am sore
hurt, he said, but yet I shall not fail thee.  And then Sir
Bors started up and dressed his shield; and then they
lashed together mightily a great while; and at the last Sir
Bors bare him backward until that he came unto a chamber
door, and there that knight yede into that chamber and
rested him a great while.  And when he had reposed him
he came out freshly again, and began new battle with Sir
Bors mightily and strongly.