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How Martimor was Instructed of Sir Lancelot to Set Forth Upon His Quest

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"How then shall a man bear himself in the following of a quest?" said Martimor. "Shall he set his face ever forward, and turn not to right, or left, whatever meet him by the way? Or shall he hold himself ready to answer them that call to him, and to succour them that ask help of him, and to turn aside from his path for rescue and good service?"

"Enough of questions!" said Lancelot. "These are things whereto each man must answer for himself, and not for other. True knight taketh counsel of the time. Every day his own deed. And the winning of a quest is not by haste, nor by hap, but what needs to be done, that must ye do while ye are in the way."

Then because of the love that Sir Lancelot bore to Martimor he gave him his own armour, and the good spear wherewith he had unhorsed many knights, and the sword that he took from Sir Peris de Forest Savage that distressed all ladies, but his shield he gave not, for therein his own remembrance was blazoned. So he let make a new shield, and in the corner was painted a Blue Flower that was nameless, and this he gave to Martimor, saying: "Thou shalt name it when thou hast found it, and so shalt thou have both crest and motto."

"Now am I well beseen," cried Martimor, "and my adventures are before me. Which way shall I ride, and where shall I find them?"

"Ride into the wind," said Lancelot, "and what chance soever it blows thee, thereby do thy best, as it were the first and the last. Take not thy hand from it until it be fulfilled. So shalt thou most quickly and worthily achieve knighthood."

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Then they embraced like brothers; and each bade other keep him well; and Sir Lancelot in leather jerkin, with naked head, but with his shield and sword, rode to the south toward Camelot; and Martimor rode into the wind, westward, over the hill.

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The Blue Flower
Henry van Dyke

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