Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  BOOK XVII  Previous  Next 

 How Sir Percivale's sister bled a dish full of blood for to
 heal a lady, wherefore she died; and how that the
 body was put in a ship.
 THERE is in this castle a gentlewoman which we and this
 castle is hers, and many other.  So it befell many years
 agone there fell upon her a malady; and when she had
 lain a great while she fell unto a measle, and of no leech
 she could have no remedy.  But at the last an old man
 said an she might have a dish full of blood of a maid and
 a clean virgin in will and in work, and a king's daughter,
 that blood should be her health, and for to anoint her
 withal; and for this thing was this custom made.  Now,
 said Percivale's sister, fair knights, I see well that this
 gentlewoman is but dead.  Certes, said Galahad, an ye
 bleed so much ye may die.  Truly, said she, an I die for
 to heal her I shall get me great worship and soul's health,
 and worship to my lineage, and better is one harm than
 twain.  And therefore there shall be no more battle, but
 to-morn I shall yield you your custom of this castle.  And
 then there was great joy more than there was to-fore, for
 else had there been mortal war upon the morn; notwithstanding
 she would none other, whether they wold or nold.
 That night were the three fellows eased with the best;
 and on the morn they heard mass, and Sir Percivale's
 sister bade bring forth the sick lady.  So she was, the
 which was evil at ease.  Then said she:  Who shall let
 me blood?  So one came forth and let her blood, and she
 bled so much that the dish was full.  Then she lift up
 her hand and blessed her; and then she said to the lady:
 Madam, I am come to the death for to make you whole,
 for God's love pray for me.  With that she fell in a
 swoon.  Then Galahad and his two fellows start up to
 her, and lift her up and staunched her, but she had bled
 so much that she might not live.  Then she said when
 she was awaked:  Fair brother Percivale, I die for the
 healing of this lady, so I require you that ye bury me
 not in this country, but as soon as I am dead put me in
 a boat at the next haven, and let me go as adventure will
 lead me; and as soon as ye three come to the City of
 Sarras, there to enchieve the Holy Grail, ye shall find me
 under a tower arrived, and there bury me in the spiritual
 place; for I say you so much, there Galahad shall be
 buried, and ye also, in the same place.
 Then Percivale understood these words, and granted
 it her, weeping.  And then said a voice:  Lords and
 fellows, to-morrow at the hour of prime ye three shall
 depart everych from other, till the adventure bring you
 to the Maimed King.  Then asked she her Saviour; and
 as soon as she had received it the soul departed from the
 body.  So the same day was the lady healed, when she
 was anointed withal.  Then Sir Percivale made a letter of
 all that she had holpen them as in strange adventures, and
 put it in her right hand, and so laid her in a barge, and
 covered it with black silk; and so the wind arose, and
 drove the barge from the land, and all knights beheld it
 till it was out of their sight.  Then they drew all to the
 castle, and so forthwith there fell a sudden tempest and a
 thunder, lightning, and rain, as all the earth would have
 broken.  So half the castle turned up-so-down.  So it
 passed evensong or the tempest was ceased.
 Then they saw afore them a knight armed and
 wounded hard in the body and in the head, that said:  O
 God, succour me for now it is need.  After this knight
 came another knight and a dwarf, which cried to them
 afar:  Stand, ye may not escape.  Then the wounded knight
 held up his hands to God that he should not die in such
 tribulation.  Truly, said Galahad, I shall succour him for
 His sake that he calleth upon.  Sir, said Bors, I shall do
 it, for it is not for you, for he is but one knight.  Sir, said
 he, I grant.  So Sir Bors took his horse, and commended
 him to God, and rode after, to rescue the wounded knight.
 Now turn we to the two fellows.