THE FAIR MAID OF ASTOLAT 125
him so pale, and in such a plight, she fell to the earth in a swoon, but by-and-bye she opened her eyes and said, ' My lord Sir Lancelot, what has brought you to this ?' and swooned again. When she came to herself and stood up, Sir Lancelot prayed her to be of good cheer, for if she had come to comfort him she was right welcome, and that his wound would soon heal. ' But I marvel,' said he, 'how you know my name.' Then the maiden told him how Sir Gawaine had been at Astolat and had seen his shield.
' Alas!' sighed Sir Lancelot, ' it grieves me that my name is known, for trouble will come of it.' For he knew full well that Sir Gawaine would tell Queen Guenevere, and that she would be wroth. And Elaine stayed and tended him, and Sir Lancelot begged Sir Lavaine to ride to Winchester and ask if Sir Bors was there, and said that he should know him by token of a wound which Sir Bors had on his forehead. ' For well I am sure,' said Sir Lancelot, ' that Sir Bors will seek me, as he is the same good Knight that hurt me.'
Therefore as Sir Lancelot commanded, Sir Lavaine rode to Winchester and inquired if Sir Bors had been seen there, so that when he entered the town Sir Lavaine readily found him. Sir Bors was overjoyed to hear good tidings of Sir Lancelot, and they rode back together to the hermitage. At the sight of Sir Lancelot lying in his bed, pale and thin, Sir Bors' heart gave way, and he wept long without speaking. ' Oh, my lord Sir Lancelot,' he said at last, ' God send you hasty recovery ; great is my shame for having wounded you thus, you who are the noblest Knight in the world. I wonder that my arm would lift itself against you, and I ask your mercy.'
' Fair cousin,' answered Sir Lancelot, ' such words please me not at all, for it is the fault of my pride which would overcome you all, that I lie here to-day. We will not speak of it any more, for what is done cannot be undone, but let us find a cure so that I may soon be