La Queste del Saint Graal (The Quest of the Holy Grail)

主題 Topic The Holy Grail; Old French narrative
書刊名 TitleLa Queste del Saint Graal (The Quest of the Holy Grail)
作者 AuthorAnonymous; trans. W. W. Comfort
出版社 PublisherIn parentheses Publications
出版年 Yearca. 1220; 2000 
語言 LanguageEnglish
裝訂 Binding□ 平裝 Paperback    □ 精裝 Hardcover
頁數 Pages
(10 / 13)
Bibliography Reference  (STC, Duff, GW . . .)
Web Link 

撰寫日期 DateSept. 20, 2016

A.   簡介 Introduction (within 100 words, Chinese or English)

本作品乃為古法文通俗本亞瑟傳奇始末(Vulgate Cycle)五部曲中的一部。其作者顯然受西斯特教團(Cistercian Order)的影響,呈現的是一幅勝利的基督徒生活之寫照。La Queste del Saint Graal此一作品的重要性在於二:其一,作者賦予聖爵(the Holy Grail)崇高的象徵意涵,甚而此象徵可與上主畫上等號,只有心地純淨、信念堅強、謙卑、慈悲的人,才得以一窺其奧秘;其二,作者創造了Galahad此一角色,他的天命即是經過不斷的磨難後,找尋到聖爵,無遺憾的辭世。在十三世紀,社會出現各層面的腐敗之際,Galahad代表的是一種新的理想主義,不單單體現了西妥會修士精神上的理念,也象徵了淨化社會的一股新流。因此整部作品可被視為基督教社群眼下一名完美騎士追尋上主的傳記。

B.   文本摘錄 Extracts (4-6 Pages)

Chapter I (1-108)
On the eve of Pentecost, when the companions of the Round Table
had come to Camelot and had heard mass, and when the tables were
about to be set at the noon hour, there entered the hall a very fair damsel
on horseback. It was evident that she had come in great haste, for her
horse was still all in a sweat. Dismounting, she came before the king and
saluted him with God’s blessing. “Sire,” said she, “for God’s sake, tell me
if Lancelot is here.” “Yes, truly,” the king replied, “see him yonder.” And
he pointed him out to her. Then going directly up to him, she said:
“Lancelot, in the name of King Pellés, I bid you to accompany me into the
forest.” And he asked her in whose service she was. “I belong,” she said,
“to him whose name I have just mentioned.” “And what is your need of
me?” he inquired. “That you shall soon see,” she replied. “Then in God’s
name,” he said, “I will gladly go.”
Then he bade a squire saddle his horse and bring him his arms; and
the squire did so at once. And when the king and the others who were in
the palace saw this, they were very sorry. Nevertheless, seeing that he
would not tarry, they let him go. But the queen said: “How is it,
Lancelot, that you leave us on the day of this high festival?” “My lady,”
the damsel then replied, “you may be sure that you will have him back
here again to morrow before the dinner-hour.” “Then let him go,” the
queen replied, “for were he not to return to-morrow, he would not have
my sanction to go away to-day.” Then he mounted his horse and the
damsel hers.
So they started away without other leave taking and without any
company except a squire who had come with the damsel. And when they
had gone forth from Camelot, they rode until they came into the forest.
There they struck into the beaten highroad and continued half a league
until they came into a valley and saw before them by the road an abbey
of nuns, whither the damsel turned in. And when they came to the gate,
the squire called, and the gate was opened. Then they dismounted and
entered. And when those within knew that Lancelot had come, they all
went to meet him and welcomed him joyfully. And when they had taken
him to a chamber, and he was disarmed, he saw his two cousins, Bors
and Lyonel, lying on their beds. Greatly delighted at the sight, he woke
them; and when they saw him, they embraced him and kissed him. Then
began a happy scene between the cousins. “Fair sire,” said Bors to
Lancelot, “what adventure has brought you here? We expected to find
you at Camelot.” Then he told them how a damsel had brought him here,
but for what reason he did not know.
And while they were conversing thus, three nuns came in bringing
Galahad, so fair and shapely a youth that one could hardly find his equal
in the world. Then she who was most high-born, gently weeping, took
him by the hand, and standing before Lancelot, she said to him: “Sire,
here I bring you our ward, our greatest joy, our comfort and our hope,
that you may make him a knight. For to our thinking there is no more
honourable man than you from whom he could receive the order of
chivalry.” He looked at the youth and saw him to be so marvellously
endowed with every beauty that he thought he would never again see
such a fine figure of a man. And from the modesty which he saw in him
he hoped for so much that he was greatly pleased to make him a knight.
So he replied to the ladies that he would not fail to perform this request,
and that he would gladly make him a knight, since they wished it so.
“Sire,” said she who had brought him in, “we wish it to be done to-night
or to-morrow.” “In God’s name,” said he, “it shall be as you desire.”
Lancelot spent the night there and made the youth keep watch in the
church throughout the night. In the morning at the hour of prime he
made him a knight, he himself fastening one of his spurs and Bors the
other. Then Lancelot girded him with the sword and gave him the
accolade, and told him that God would make him an honourable man,
seeing that he had not yet been found lacking in any good trait. And
when he had done everything connected with this ceremonial, he said to
him: “Fair sire, will you come with me to my lord King Arthur’s court?”
“Nay, sire,” said he, “I will not go with you.” Then Lancelot said to the
abbess: “Lady, allow our new knight to come with us to the court of my
lord the king. For he will make more progress there than if he stays here
with you.” “Sire,” she replied, “he shall not go now; but as soon as we
think that the time and the circumstances are favourable, we shall send
Then Lancelot and his companions left and rode together until they
came to Camelot at the hour of tierce, when the king had gone to hear
mass with a great company of his noble men. Upon arrival the three
dismounted in the court-yard and went upstairs to the great hall. Then
they began to talk about the young man whom Lancelot had knighted,
and Bors remarked that he had never seen any other man who so much
resembled Lancelot. “Upon my word,” said he, “I will never believe
anything again, if he is not Galahad who was born of the fair daughter of
the Fisher King; for he bears a marvellous resemblance to that family and
to ours.” “In truth, I believe that is who he is,” Lyonel replied, “for he is
much like my lord (Lancelot).” They spoke of this subject for a long time
in hope of drawing something from Lancelot, but to all they said he
answered never a word.
When they had ceased speaking of this, they surveyed the seats
placed about the Round Table and found on each one written “This is the
seat of such an one.” And they examined each one until they came to the
large seat called “the Perilous Seat.” There they found letters which had
been newly written, as it seemed to them. And they saw that the letters
said “Four hundred and fifty-four years are accomplished since the
Passion of Jesus Christ; and on the day of Pentecost this seat is to find its
occupant.” At the sight of these words, they said one to another: “In
faith, here is some marvellous adventure!” “In God’s name,” said
Lancelot, “were one to count up the time elapsed since the resurrection
of Our Lord until now, he would find, I believe, that this seat is due to
be occupied this very day; for this is Pentecost after four hundred and
fifty-four years elapsed. And I wish that no one else should see these
words before the arrival of him to whom this adventure is to fall.” Then
the others said that they would take good care that they should not be
seen; so they ordered a silken cloth to be brought, and with it they
covered the words on the chair.