Le Morte Darthur
Syr Thomas Malory
William Caxton, H. Oskar Sommer

¶ Capitulum primum

NOw saith this story whanne Galahad had rescowed Percyual from the twenty knyghtes / he yede tho in to a waste foreste / wherin he rode many Iourneyes / and he fonde many aduentures / the whiche he brought to an ende / wherof the story maketh here no mencyon / Thenne he toke his waye to the see on a daye / & hit befelle as he passed by a Castel where was a wonder turnement / but they withoute had done soo moche/ that they within were putte to the werse / yet were they wythin good knyghtes ynouȝ / whanne Galahad sawe that tho within were at soo grete a meschyef that men slewe hem att the entre of the Castel / thenne he thoughte to helpe hem / and putte a spere forth / and smote the fyrste that he slay to the erthe / and the spere brak to pyeces / thanne he drewe his suerd / and smote there as they were thyckest / and so he dyd wonderful dedes of armes / that alle they merueylled / thenne hit happed that Gawayne and sir Ector de marys were with the knyghtes withoute / But whanne they aspyed the whyte shelde with the reed Crosse / the one sayd to the other yonder is the good knyght sir Galahad the haute prynce / Now he shold be a grete foole / whiche shold mete with hym to fyghte / Soo by aduenture he came by sire Gawayne and he smote hym soo hard that he claf his helme and the coyfe of yron vnto his hede / so that Gawayn felle to the erthe / but the stroke was soo grete that it slented doune to the erthe and carfe the hors sholder in two / Whan Ector sawe Gawayne doune he drewe hym asyde / and thoughte it no wysedome for to abyde hym / and also for naturel loue that he was his vnkel / Thus thurgh his grete hardynesse he bete abak alle the knyghtes withoute / And thenne they within cam oute and chaced hem alle aboute / But whanne Galahad sawe ther wold none torne ageyne / he stale awey pryuely so that none wyst where he was bicome / Now by my hede sayd Gawayn to Ector now are the wonders true that were sayd of Launcelot du lake / that the swerd whiche stak in the stone shold gyue me suche a buffet þt I wold not haue it for the best Castell in this world / and sothely now hit is preued trewe for neuer Page  690 [leaf 345v] ere had I suche a stroke of mans hand / Sir sayd Ector me semeth your quest is done / and yours is not done sayd Gawayn but myn is done I shalle seke noo ferther / Thenne Gawayne was borne in to a Castel and vnarmed hym / and leyd hym in a ryche bedde / and a leche fonde that he myght lyue / & to be hole within a moneth / Thus Gawayne and Ector abode to gyder / For syre Ector wold not awey til Gawayne were hole / & the good knyȝt Galahad rode so long tyll he came that nyghte to the Castel of Carboneck / & hit befelle hym thus / that he was benyghted in an hermytage / Soo the good man was fayne whan he sawe he was a knyght erraunt / tho whan they were at rest / ther cam a gentilwoman knockyng at the dore / & called Galahad / and soo the good man cam to the dore to wete what she wold / Thenne she called the heremyte syre Vlfyn I am a gentylwoman that wold speke with the knyght whiche is with yow / Thenne the good man awaked Galahad / & badde hym aryse and speke with a gentylwoman that semeth hath grete nede of yow / Thenne Galahad wente to her & asked her what she wold / Galahad sayd she I will that ye arme you and moūte vpon your hors and folowe me / For I shall shewe yow within these thre dayes the hyest aduenture that euer ony knyght sawe / Anone Galahad armed hym and took his hors and commaunded hym to god / and badde the gentilwoman go and he wold folowe there as she lyked /