Peredur, son of Efrawc
"Tell me, my soul," said the man, "which of the youths thinkest thou plays best?"
"I think," said Peredur, "that the yellow-haired youth could draw blood from the other, if he chose."
"Arise thou, my life, and take the cudgel and the shield from the hand of the youth with the auburn hair, and draw blood from the yellow-haired youth, if thou canst."
So Peredur arose, and went to play with the yellow-haired youth; and he lifted up his arm, and struck him such a mighty blow, that his brow fell over his eye, and the blood flowed forth.
"Ah, my life," said the man, "come now, and sit down, for thou wilt become the best fighter with the sword of any in this island; and I am thy uncle, thy mother's brother. And with me thou shalt remain a space, in order to learn the manners and customs of different countries, and courtesy, and gentleness, and noble bearing. Leave, then, the habits and the discourse of thy mother, and I will be thy teacher; and I will raise thee to the rank of knight from this time forward. And thus do thou. If thou seest ought to cause thee wonder, ask not the meaning of it; if no one has the courtesy to inform thee, the reproach will not fall upon thee, but upon me that am thy teacher."
And they had abundance of honour and service. And when it was time, they went to sleep. At the break of day, Peredur arose, and took his horse, and with his uncle's permission, he rode forth. And he came to a vast desert wood, and at the further end of the wood was a meadow, and on the other side of the meadow he saw a large castle. And thitherward Peredur bent his way, and he found the gate open, and he proceeded to the hall. And he beheld a stately hoary-headed man sitting on one side of the hall, and many pages around hi, who arose to receive and to honour Peredur. And they placed him by the side of the owner of the palace. Then they discoursed together; and when it was time to eat, they caused Peredur to sit beside the nobleman during the repast. And when they had eaten and drank as much as they desired, the nobleman asked Peredur, whither he could fight with a sword?
"Were I to receive instruction," said Peredur, "I think I could."
Now, there was on the floor of the hall a huge staple, as large as a warrior could grasp.
"Take yonder sword," said the man to Peredur, "and strike the iron staple."
So Peredur arose, and struck the staple, so that he cut it in two; and the sword broke into two parts also.
"Place the two parts together, and reunite them."
And Peredur placed them together, and they became entire as they were before. And a second time he struck upon the staple, so that both it and the sword were broke in two, and as before they reunited. And the third time he gave it a like blow, and placed the broken parts together, and neither the staple nor the sword would unite, as before.
"Youth," said the nobleman, "come now and sit down, and my blessing be upon thee. Thou fightest best with the sword of any man in the kingdom. Thou hast arrived at two-thirds of thy strength, and the other third thou hast not yet obtained; and when thou attainest to thy full power, none will be able to contend with thee. I am thy uncle, thy mother's brother, and I am brother to the man in whose house thou wast last night."
Then Peredur and his uncle discoursed together, and he beheld two youths enter the hall, and proceed up to the chamber, bearing a spear of mighty size, with three streams of blood flowing from the point to the ground. And when all the company saw this, they began wailing and lamenting. But for all that, the man did not break off his discourse with Peredur. And as he did not tell Peredur the meaning of what he saw, he forebore to ask him concerning it. And when the clamour had a little subsided, behold two maidens entered, and a large salver between them, in which was a man's head, surrounded by a profusion of blood. And thereupon the company of the court made so great an outcry, that it was irksome to be in the same hall with them. But at length they were silent. And when time was hat they should sleep, Peredur was brought into a fair chamber.