>> Traditionelle Sagen >> Großbritannien


Didot Perceval.

- The story opens with Merlin's account of how he made the Round Table, our Lord having made the first, Joseph the second, he (Merlin) the third. He also tells of the Rich Fisher King who is old and full of infirmities, and may not be healed until a good knight comes to ask of what use is the Grail. The story turns then to Perceval, son of Alein le Gros, whom, when dying, the Holy Ghost directs to send his son to Arthur's court. He achieves, though with difficulty, the venture of the Perillous Seat, learns about Rich Fisher and Grail, and vows to quest for them. Many knights make the same vow. Perceval then has a number of adventures similar to those in Gautier's section of the Conte del Graal, notably those at the Chess-board castle and the Stag Hunt. He then comes to the Fisher King's castle, sees lance and silver plate and a vessel in which was our Lord's blood. He had fain asked, but fears to displease the king, minding him of the injunction laid upon him not to be over curious, for a man of idle words is displeasing to the Lord. In the morning all the inmates of the castle have disappeared, and on riding forth he is reviled. After further adventures the Good Friday incident occurs ("the songmen in their pleasing rhymes say nothing of this," asserts the writer!). Merlin then appears, urges Perceval to go again to his grandfather; he does so, asks the question, the king is cured, and the enchantments of Britain cease. Perceval is instructed concerning lance (the one wherewith Longis pierced Christ's side) and Grail (the vessel in which Joseph caught Christ's blood as it flowed to the ground), so called because it is agreeable to worthy men. The Holy Ghost bids Brons teach the secret words our Lord on the Cross told Joseph; he does so, but the writer cannot, and may not, say what they were. Brons is carried off by angels and Perceval remains.

Comparison of this romance with Borron's undoubted work shows that they cannot be by the same man. Borron's capacity for working out a spiritual conception has already been noted. It is certain that he did not intend to represent either Brons or Alain as subject to a mysterious curse, from which son or grandson was to free them. He did, on the other hand, intend the visit of the "third man" to exemplify certain spiritual dogmas, and that this should be worked out through certain personages and certain incidents which are specified. Now the Didot Perceval lays almost as much stress as the Conte del Graal upon the mysterious malady of the Fisher King, but it does not exemplify the spiritual dogmas insisted upon by Borron, and it neglects or misunderstands the incidents to which he intended to pay special attention. It is, in fact, an incongrous jumble of hints from Borron's work, and a confused version of the Conte del Graal. Its intention, which is undoubted, to be a sequel to Borron's poems, makes it almost certain that he never completed his trilogy.

Quelle: The Legends of The Holy Grail, Alfred Nutt, London 1902, S. 32ff