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How the queen desired to see Galahad; and how after, all
the knights were replenished with the Holy Sangreal,
and how they avowed the enquest of the same.

THEN the king, at the queen's request, made him to
alight and to unlace his helm, that the queen might see
him in the visage.  When she beheld him she said:
Soothly I dare well say that Sir Launcelot begat him, for
never two men resembled more in likeness, therefore it nis
no marvel though he be of great prowess.  So a lady that
stood by the queen said:  Madam, for God's sake ought
he of right to be so good a knight?  Yea, forsooth, said
the queen, for he is of all parties come of the best knights
of the world and of the highest lineage; for Sir Launcelot
is come but of the eighth degree from our Lord Jesu
Christ, and Sir Galahad is of the ninth degree from our
Lord Jesu Christ, therefore I dare say they be the greatest
gentlemen of the world.

And then the king and all estates went home unto
Camelot, and so went to evensong to the great minster,
and so after upon that to supper, and every knight sat in
his own place as they were toforehand.  Then anon they
heard cracking and crying of thunder, that them thought
the place should all to-drive.  In the midst of this blast
entered a sunbeam more clearer by seven times than ever
they saw day, and all they were alighted of the grace of
the Holy Ghost.  Then began every knight to behold
other, and either saw other, by their seeming, fairer than
ever they saw afore.  Not for then there was no knight
might speak one word a great while, and so they looked
every man on other as they had been dumb.  Then there
entered into the hall the Holy Grail covered with white
samite, but there was none might see it, nor who bare it.
And there was all the hall fulfilled with good odours, and
every knight had such meats and drinks as he best loved
in this world.  And when the Holy Grail had been borne
through the hall, then the holy vessel departed suddenly,
that they wist not where it became: then had they all
breath to speak.  And then the king yielded thankings
to God, of His good grace that he had sent them.  Certes,
said the king, we ought to thank our Lord Jesu greatly
for that he hath shewed us this day, at the reverence of this
high feast of Pentecost.

Now, said Sir Gawaine, we have been served this day
of what meats and drinks we thought on; but one thing
beguiled us, we might not see the Holy Grail, it was so
preciously covered.  Wherefore I will make here avow,
that to-morn, without longer abiding, I shall labour in the
quest of the Sangreal, that I shall hold me out a twelvemonth
and a day, or more if need be, and never shall I
return again unto the court till I have seen it more openly
than it hath been seen here; and if I may not speed I
shall return again as he that may not be against the will of
our Lord Jesu Christ.

When they of the Table Round heard Sir Gawaine say
so, they arose up the most part and made such avows as
Sir Gawaine had made.  Anon as King Arthur heard this
he was greatly displeased, for he wist well they might not
again-say their avows.  Alas, said King Arthur unto
Sir Gawaine, ye have nigh slain me with the avow and
promise that ye have made; for through you ye have
bereft me the fairest fellowship and the truest of
knighthood that ever were seen together in any realm of the
world; for when they depart from hence I am sure they
all shall never meet more in this world, for they shall die
many in the quest.  And so it forthinketh me a little, for
I have loved them as well as my life, wherefore it shall
grieve me right sore, the departition of this fellowship:
for I have had an old custom to have them in my fellowship.