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How Sir Percivale saw a ship coming to him-ward,
and how the lady of the ship told him of her disheritance.

BY that Sir Percivale had abiden there till mid-day he saw
a ship came rowing in the sea, as all the wind of the world
had driven it.  And so it drove under that rock.  And
when Sir Percivale saw this he hied him thither, and found
the ship covered with silk more blacker than any bear,
and therein was a gentlewoman of great beauty, and she
was clothed richly that none might be better.  And when
she saw Sir Percivale she said:  Who brought you in this
wilderness where ye be never like to pass hence, for ye
shall die here for hunger and mischief?  Damosel, said
Sir Percivale, I serve the best man of the world, and in
his service he will not suffer me to die, for who that
knocketh shall enter, and who that asketh shall have, and
who that seeketh him he hideth him not.  But then she
said:  Sir Percivale, wot ye what I am?  Yea, said he.
Now who taught you my name? said she.  Now, said
Sir Percivale, I know you better than ye ween.  And
I came out of the waste forest where I found the Red
Knight with the white shield, said the damosel.  Ah,
damosel, said he, with that knight would I meet passing
fain.  Sir knight, said she, an ye will ensure me by the
faith that ye owe unto knighthood that ye shall do my
will what time I summon you, and I shall bring you unto
that knight.  Yea, said he, I shall promise you to fulfil
your desire.  Well, said she, now shall I tell you.  I saw
him in the forest chasing two knights unto a water, the
which is called Mortaise; and they drove him into the
water for dread of death, and the two knights passed over,
and the Red Knight passed after, and there his horse was
drenched, and he, through great strength, escaped unto
the land: thus she told him, and Sir Percivale was passing
glad thereof.

Then she asked him if he had ate any meat late.
Nay, madam, truly I ate no meat nigh this three days,
but late here I spake with a good man that fed me with
his good words and holy, and refreshed me greatly.  Ah,
sir knight, said she, that same man is an enchanter and
a multiplier of words.  For an ye believe him ye shall
plainly be shamed, and die in this rock for pure hunger,
and be eaten with wild beasts; and ye be a young man
and a goodly knight, and I shall help you an ye will.
What are ye, said Sir Percivale, that proffered me thus
great kindness?  I am, said she, a gentlewoman that am
disherited, which was sometime the richest woman of the
world.  Damosel, said Sir Percivale, who hath disherited
you? for I have great pity of you.  Sir, said she, I
dwelled with the greatest man of the world, and he made
me so fair and clear that there was none like me; and of
that great beauty I had a little pride more than I ought
to have had.  Also I said a word that pleased him not.
And then he would not suffer me to be any longer in his
company, and so drove me from mine heritage, and so
disherited me, and he had never pity of me nor of none of
my council, nor of my court.  And sithen, sir knight, it
hath befallen me so, and through me and mine I have
benome him many of his men, and made them to become
my men.  For they ask never nothing of me but I give
it them, that and much more.  Thus I and all my servants
were against him night and day.  Therefore I know now
no good knight, nor no good man, but I get them on my
side an I may.  And for that I know that thou art a good
knight, I beseech you to help me; and for ye be a fellow
of the Round Table, wherefore ye ought not to fail no
gentlewoman which is disherited, an she besought you of