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How Sir Gawaine came to the abbey for to follow Galahad,
and how he was shriven to a hermit.

NOW, saith the tale, after Sir Gawaine departed, he rode
many journeys, both toward and froward.  And at the
last he came to the abbey where Sir Galahad had the white
shield, and there Sir Gawaine learned the way to sewe after
Sir Galahad; and so he rode to the abbey where Melias
lay sick, and there Sir Melias told Sir Gawaine of the
marvellous adventures that Sir Galahad did.  Certes, said
Sir Gawaine, I am not happy that I took not the way that
he went, for an I may meet with him I will not depart
from him lightly, for all marvellous adventures Sir
Galahad enchieveth.  Sir, said one of the monks, he will
not of your fellowship.  Why? said Sir Gawaine.  Sir,
said he, for ye be wicked and sinful, and he is full blessed.
Right as they thus stood talking there came in riding Sir
Gareth.  And then they made joy either of other.  And
on the morn they heard mass, and so departed.  And by
the way they met with Sir Uwaine les Avoutres, and
there Sir Uwaine told Sir Gawaine how he had met with
none adventure sith he departed from the court.  Nor
we, said Sir Gawaine.  And either promised other of the
three knights not to depart while they were in that quest,
but if fortune caused it.

So they departed and rode by fortune till that they
came by the Castle of Maidens; and there the seven
brethren espied the three knights, and said:  Sithen, we
be flemed by one knight from this castle, we shall destroy
all the knights of King Arthur's that we may overcome,
for the love of Sir Galahad.  And therewith the seven
knights set upon the three knights, and by fortune Sir
Gawaine slew one ot the brethren, and each one of his
fellows slew another, and so slew the remnant.  And then
they took the way under the castle, and there they lost
the way that Sir Galahad rode, and there everych of
them departed from other; and Sir Gawaine rode till he
came to an hermitage, and there he found the good man
saying his evensong of Our Lady; and there Sir Gawaine
asked harbour for charity, and the good man granted it
him gladly.

Then the good man asked him what he was.  Sir,
he said, I am a knight of King Arthur's that am in the
quest of the Sangreal, and my name is Sir Gawaine.
Sir, said the good man, I would wit how it standeth
betwixt God and you.  Sir, said Sir Gawaine, I will
with a good will shew you my life if it please you;
and there he told the hermit how a monk of an abbey
called me wicked knight.  He might well say it, said
the hermit, for when ye were first made knight ye
should have taken you to knightly deeds and virtuous
living, and ye have done the contrary, for ye have
lived mischievously many winters; and Sir Galahad is
a maid and sinned never, and that is the cause he shall
enchieve where he goeth that ye nor none such shall
not attain, nor none in your fellowship, for ye have
used the most untruest life that ever I heard knight
live.  For certes had ye not been so wicked as ye are,
never had the seven brethren been slain by you and
your two fellows.  For Sir Galahad himself alone beat
them all seven the day to-fore, but his living is such
he shall slay no man lightly.  Also I may say you the
Castle of Maidens betokeneth the good souls that were
in prison afore the Incarnation of Jesu Christ.  And the
seven knights betoken the seven deadly sins that reigned
that time in the world; and I may liken the good
Galahad unto the son of the High Father, that lighted
within a maid, and bought all the souls out of thrall,
so did Sir Galahad deliver all the maidens out of the
woful castle.

Now, Sir Gawaine, said the good man, thou must
do penance for thy sin.  Sir, what penance shall I do?
Such as I will give, said the good man.  Nay, said
Sir Gawaine, I may do no penance; for we knights
adventurous oft suffer great woe and pain.  Well, said
the good man, and then he held his peace.  And on the
morn Sir Gawaine departed from the hermit, and betaught
him unto God.  And by adventure he met with Sir
Aglovale and Sir Griflet, two knights of the Table
Round.  And they two rode four days without finding
of any adventure, and at the fifth day they departed.
And everych held as fell them by adventure.  Here
leaveth the tale of Sir Gawaine and his fellows, and speak
we of Sir Galahad.