IF the Grail-Quest be taken as a story complete in itself, interest ceases when Galahad dies at Sarras. The two motifs which play through it more or less at cross-purposes are both worked out. The sanctification of the individual, through detachment from the evil world, is realized in the instances of the three elect knights; nor is there anything more to say about the sanctification of England. That has failed, and the failure throws the original scheme of the Quest awry.
Malory was not responsible for this miscarriage. He but took the legend as he found it, crystallized long before his day by the mediæval inability to picture the Kingdom of God on earth. Romance can go a good ways in enjoying and conceiving impossibilities; but such a picture was beyond its range. The chivalric compromise was conceivable enough; a Christian knighthood indulging its fighting tastes for the sake of imposing baptism on a Paynim world was a sympathetic and cheerful idea. But if religion tried to discard compromise the mind was sure to balk. Let monks stay monks. In their own place they are all