Sir Thomas Malory (d. 1471). The Holy Grail. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
The Seventeenth Book
How Sir Galahad Fought at a Tournament, and How He Was Known of Sir Gawaine and Sir Ector De Maris
NOW saith this story, when Galahad had rescued Percivale from the twenty knights, he yede then into a waste forest wherein he rode many journeys; and he found many adventures the which he brought to an end, whereof the story maketh here no mention. Then he took his way to the sea on a day, and it befel as he passed by a castle where was a wonder tournament, but they without had done so much that they within were put to the worse, yet were they within good knights enough. When Galahad saw that those within were at so great a mischief that men slew them at the entry of the castle, then he thought to help them, and put a spear forth and smote the first that he fell to the earth, and the spear brake to pieces. Then he drew his sword and smote there as they were thickest, and so he did wonderful deeds of arms that all they marvelled. Then it happened that Gawaine and Sir Ector de Maris were with the knights without. But when they espied the white shield with the red cross the one said to the other: Yonder is the good knight, Sir Galahad, the haut prince; now he should be a great fool which should meet with him to fight. So by adventure he came by Sir Gawaine, and he smote him so hard that he clave his helm and the coiffe of iron unto his head, so that Gawaine fell to the earth; but the stroke was so great that it slanted down to the earth and carved the horses shoulder in two. When Ector saw Gawaine down he drew him aside, and thought it no wisdom for to abide him, and also for natural love, that he was his uncle. Thus through his great hardiness he beat aback all the knights without. And then they within came out and chased them all about. But when Galahad saw there would none turn again he stole away privily so that none wist where he was become. Now by my head, said Gawaine to Ector, now are the wonders true that were said of Launcelot du Lake, that the sword which stuck in the stone should give me such a buffet that I would not have it for the best castle in this world; and soothly now it is proved true, for never ere had I such a stroke of mans hand. Sir, said Ector, meseemeth your quest is done. And yours is not done, said Gawaine, but mine is done, I shall seek no further. Then Gawaine was borne into a castle and unarmed him, and laid him in a rich bed, and a leech found that he might live, and to be whole within a month. Thus Gawaine and Ector abode together, for Sir Ector would not away till Gawaine were whole. And the good knight, Galahad, rode so long till he came that night to the Castle of Carboneck; and it befel him thus that he was benighted in an hermitage. So the good man was fain when he saw he was a knight errant. Then when they were at rest there came a gentlewoman knocking at the door, and called Galahad, and so the good man came to the door to wit what she would. Then she called the hermit: Sir Ulfin, I am a gentlewoman that would speak with the knight which is with you. Then the good man awaked Galahad, and bad him: Arise, and speak with a gentlewoman that seemeth hath great need of you. Then Galahad went to her and asked her what she would. Galahad, said she, I will that ye arm you, and mount upon your horse and follow me, for I shall show you within these three days the highest adventure that every any knight saw. Anon Galahad armed him, and took his horse, and commended him to God, and bad the gentlewoman go, and he would follow there as she liked.