Medieval Arthurian Legend
The Middle English Tale of Sir Perceval of Galles
14th century, Middle English, Lincoln Cathedral Library.
'The ring that was stolen from me has a stone that is unique. Whoever wears it cannot be hurt or killed by any blow in battle.'
Perceval rode alone, I tell you in all faith, until he came to the edge of a forest, and there he found a woman crying out to the Virgin Mary for help. And the Virgin sent it amazingly quickly, I have to say, for Perceval came upon the woman almost at once, bound hand and foot to a tree. He asked her who had done this to her and she replied: ‘Sir, the Black Knight. He has done this to me, for a transgression that I made twelve months ago, on Christmas Day. As I lay upon my bed asleep, someone, be he knight or king I have no idea, stole a ring from my finger and left me his, which was much the inferior! For the one he took has a stone that is unique.
A man that had it in were, one his body for to bere, there scholde no dyntys hym dere, ne to the dethe brynge.Whoever wears it cannot be hurt or killed by any blow in battle.’
And immediately, Perceval knew that he had been the one who had caused her all this woe.