f.1-8v (from 1485 Caxton)

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¶ Capitulum primum


HIt befel in the dayes of Vther pendragon when he was kynge of all Englond / and so regned that there was a myȝty duke in Cornewaill that helde warre ageynst hym long tyme / And the duke was called the duke of Tyntagil / and so by meanes kynge Vther send for this duk / chargyng hym to brynge his wyf with hym / for she was called a fair lady / and a passynge wyse / and her name was called Igrayne / So whan the duke and his wyf were comyn vnto the kynge by the meanes of grete lordes they were accorded bothe / the kynge lyked and loued this lady wel / and he made them grete chere out of mesure / and desyred to haue lyen by her / But she was a passyng good woman / and wold not assente vnto the kynge / And thenne she told the duke her husband and said I suppose that we were sente for that I shold be dishonoured Wherfor husband I counceille yow that we departe from hens sodenly that we maye ryde all nyghte vnto oure owne castell / and in lyke wyse as she saide so they departed / that neyther the kynge nor none of his counceill were ware of their departyng Also soone as kyng Vther knewe of theire departyng soo sodenly / he was wonderly wrothe / Thenne he called to hym his pryuy counceille / and told them of the sodeyne departyng of the duke and his wyf /


¶ Thenne they auysed the kynge to send for the duke and his wyf by a grete charge / And yf he wille not come at your somōs / thenne may ye do your best / thenne haue ye cause to make myghty werre vpon hym / Soo that was done and the messagers hadde their ansuers / And that was thys shortly / that neyther he nor his wyf wold not come at hym / Thenne was the kyng wonderly wroth / And thenne the kyng sente hym playne word ageyne / and badde hym be redy and stuffe hym and garnysshe hym / for within xl dayes he wold fetche hym oute of the byggest castell that he hath /


¶ Whanne the duke hadde thys warnynge / anone he wente and furnysshed and garnysshed two stronge Castels of his of the whiche the one hyght Tyntagil / & the other castel hyȝt


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Terrabyl / So his wyf Dame Igrayne he putte in the castell of Tyntagil / And hym self he putte in the castel of Terrabyl the whiche had many yssues and posternes oute / Thenne in alle haste came Vther with a grete hoost / and leyd a syege aboute the castel of Terrabil / And ther he pyght many pauelyons / and there was grete warre made on bothe partyes / and moche peple slayne / Thenne for pure angre and for grete loue of fayr Irayne the kyng Vther felle seke / So came to the kynge Vther Syre Vlfius a noble knyght / and asked the kynge why he was seke / I shall telle the said the kynge / I am seke for angre and for loue of fayre Igrayne that I may not be hool / wel my lord said Syre Vlfius / I shal seke Merlyn / and he shalle do yow remedy that youre herte shalbe pleasyd / So Vlfius departed / and by aduenture he mette Merlyn in a beggars aray / and ther Merlyn asked Vlfius whome he soughte / and he said he had lytyl ado to telle hym / Well saide Merlyn / I knowe whome thou sekest / for thou sekest Merlyn / therfore seke no ferther / for I am he / and yf kynge Vther wille wel rewarde me / and be sworne vnto me to fulfille my desyre that shall be his honour & profite more thā myn for I shalle cause hym to haue alle his desyre / Alle this wyll I vndertake said Vlfius that ther shalle be nothyng resonable / but thow shalt haue thy desyre / well said Merlyn / he shall haue his entente and desyre / And therfore saide Merlyn / ryde on your wey / for I wille not be long behynde


Capitulum Secundum


THenne Vlfius was glad and rode on more than a paas tyll that he came to kynge Vtherpendragon / and told hym he had met with Merlyn / where is he said the kyng sir said Vlfius he wille not dwelle long / ther with al Vlfius was ware where Merlyn stood at the porche of the pauelions dore / And thenne Merlyn was bounde to come to the kynge Whan kyng Vther sawe hym he said he was welcome / syr said Merlyn I knowe al your hert euery dele / so ye will be sworn vnto me as ye be a true kynge enoynted to fulfille my desyre ye shal haue your desyre / thenne the kyng was sworne vpon the iiij euuāgelistes / Syre said Merlyn this is my desyre / the first nyȝt þt ye shal lye by Igrayne ye shal gete a child on her &

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whan that is borne that it shall be delyuerd to me for to nourisshe there as I wille haue it / for it shal be your worship / & the childis auaille as mykel as the child is worth / I wylle wel said the kynge as thow wilt haue it / Now make you redy said Merlyn this nyght ye shalle lye with Igrayne in the castel of Tyntigayll / & ye shalle be lyke the duke her husband Vlfyus shal be lyke Syre Brastias / a knyghte of the dukes And I will be lyke a knyghte that hyghte Syr Iordanus a knyghte of the dukes / But wayte ye make not many questions with her nor her men / but saye ye are diseased and soo hye yow to bedde / and ryse not on the morne tyll I come to yow / for the castel of Tyntygaill is but x myle hens / soo this was done as they deuysed / But the duke of Tyntigail aspyed hou the kyng rode fro the syege of tarabil / & therfor that nyghte he yssued oute of the castel at a posterne for to haue distressid the kynges hooste / And so thorowe his owne yssue the duke hym self was slayne or euer the kynge cam at the castel of Tyntigail / so after the deth of the duke kyng Vther lay with Igrayne more than thre houres after his deth / and begat on her that nygȝ arthur / & on day cam Merlyn cā to the kyng / & bad hym make hym redy / & so he kist the lady Igrayne and departed in all hast / But whan the lady herd telle of the duke her husbād and by all record he was dede or euer kynge Vther came to her thenne she merueilled who that myghte be that laye with her in lykenes of her lord / so she mourned pryuely and held hir pees / Thenne alle the barons by one assent prayd the Kynge of accord betwixe the lady Igrayne and hym / the kynge gaf hem leue / for fayne wold he haue ben accorded with her / Soo the kyng put alle the trust in Vlfyus to entrete bitwene them so by the entrete at the last the kyng & she met to gyder / Now wille we doo well said Vlfyus / our kyng is a lusty knyghte and wyueles / & my lady Igrayne is a passynge fair lady / it were grete ioye vnto vs all and hit myghte please the kynge to make her his quene / vnto that they all well accordyd and meued it to the kynge / And anone lyke a lusty knyghte / he assentid therto with good wille / and so in alle haste they were maryed in a mornynge with grete myrthe and Ioye / And Kynge Lott of Lowthean and of Orkenay thenne

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wedded Margawse that was Gaweyns moder / And kynge Nentres of the land of Garlot wedded Elayne / Al this was done at the request of kynge Vther / And the thyrd syster morgan lesey was put to scole in a nonnery / And ther she lerned so moche that she was a grete Clerke of Nygromancye / And after she was wedded to kynge Vryens of the lond of Gore that was Syre Ewayns le blaunche maynys fader /


Capitulum tercium




THen̄e quene Igrayne waxid dayly gretter & gretter / so it befel after within half a yere as kyng Vther lay by his quene he asked hir by the feith she ouȝt to hym whos was the child within her body / thēne she sore abasshed to yeue ansuer / Desmaye you not said the kyng but telle me the trouthe / and I shall loue you the better by the feythe of my body Syre saide she I shalle telle you the trouthe / the same nyghte þt my lord was dede the houre of his deth as his knyȝtes record ther came in to my castel of Tyntigaill a man lyke my lord in speche and in countenaunce / and two knyghtes with hym in lykenes of his two knyghtes barcias and Iordans / & soo I went vnto bed with hym as I ouȝt to do with my lord / & the same nyght as I shal answer vnto god this child was begoten vpon me / that is trouthe saide the kynge as ye say / for it was I my self that cam in the lykenesse / & therfor desmay you not for I am fader to the child / & ther he told her alle the cause / how it was by Merlyns counceil / thenne the quene made grete ioye whan she knewe who was the fader of her child / Sone come merlyn vnto the kyng / & said syr ye must puruey yow / for the nourisshyng of your child / as thou wolt said the kyng be it / wel said Merlyn I knowe a lord of yours in this land that is a passyng true man & a feithful / & he shal haue the nourysshyng of your child / & his name is sir Ector / & he is a lord of fair lyuelode in many partyes in Englond & walys / & this lord sir ector lete hym be sent for / for to come & speke with you / & desyre hym your self as he loueth you that he will put his owne child to nourisshynge to another woman / and that his wyf nourisshe yours / And whan the child is borne lete it be delyuerd to me at yōder pryuy posterne vncrystned / So like

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as Merlyn deuysed it was done / And whan syre Ector was come / he made fyaūce to the kyng for to nourisshe the child lyke as the Kynge desyred / and there the kyng graunted syr ector grete rewardys / Thenne when the lady was delyuerd the kynge commaunded ij knyghtes & ij ladyes to take the child bound in a cloth of gold / & that ye delyuer hym to what poure man ye mete at the posterne yate of the castel / So the child was delyuerd vnto Merlyn / and so he bare it forth vnto Syre Ector / and made an holy man to crysten hym / and named hym Arthur / and so sir Ectors wyf nourysshed hym with her owne pappe / Thenne within two yeres kyng Vther felle seke of a grete maladye / And in the meane whyle hys enemyes Vsurpped vpon hym / and dyd a grete bataylle vpon his men / and slewe many of his peple / Sir said Merlyn ye may not lye so as ye doo / for ye must to the feld though ye ryde on an hors lyttar / for ye shall neuer haue the better of your enemyes / but yf your persone be there / and thenne shall ye haue the vyctory So it was done as Merlyn had deuysed / and they caryed the kynge forth in an hors lyttar with a grete hooste towarde his enemyes / And at saynt Albons ther mette with the kynge a grete hoost of the north / And that day Syre Vlfyus and sir Bracias dyd grete dedes of armes / and kyng Vthers men ouercome the northeryn bataylle and slewe many peple & putt the remenaunt to flight / And thenne the kyng retorned vnto london and made grete ioye of his vyctory / And thēne he fyll passynge sore seke / so that thre dayes & thre nyghtes he was specheles / wherfore alle the barons made grete sorow and asked Merlyn what counceill were best / There nys none other remedye said Merlyn but god wil haue his wille / But loke ye al Barons be bifore kynge Vther to morne / and god and I shalle make hym to speke / So on the morne alle the Barons with merlyn came to fore the kyng / then̄e Merlyn said aloud vnto kyng Vther / Syre shall your sone Arthur be kyng after your dayes of this realme with all the appertenaunce / thenne Vtherpendragon torned hym and said in herynge of them alle I gyue hym gods blissing & myne / & byd hym pray for my soule / & righteuously & worshipfully that he clayme þe croune vpon forfeture of my blessyng / & therwith he yelde vp the ghost &

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thenne was he enterid as longed to a kyng / wherfor the quene fayre Igrayne made grete sorowe and alle the Barons / Thenne stood the reame in grete ieopardy long whyle / for euery lord that was myghty of men maade hym stronge / and many wende to haue ben kyng / Thenne Merlyn wente to the archebisshop of Caunterbury / and counceilled hym for to sende for alle the lordes of the reame / and alle the gentilmen of armes that they shold to london come by Cristmas vpon payne of cursynge / And for this cause þt Ihū that was borne on that nyghte that he wold of his grete mercy shewe some myracle / as he was come to be kynge of mankynde for to shewe somme myracle who shold be rightwys kynge of this reame / So the Archebisshop by the aduys of Merlyn send for alle the lordes and gentilmen of armes that they shold come by crystmasse euen vnto london / And many of hem made hem clene of her lyf that her prayer myghte be the more acceptable vnto god / Soo in the grettest chirch of london whether it were Powlis or not the Frensshe booke maketh no mencyon / alle the estates were longe or day in the chirche for to praye / And whan matyns & the first masse was done / there was sene in the chircheyard ayēst the hyghe aulter a grete stone four square lyke vnto a marbel stone / And in myddes therof was lyke an Anuylde of stele a foot on hyghe / & theryn stack a sayre swerd naked by the poynt / and letters there were wryten in gold aboute the swerd that saiden thus / who so pulleth oute this swerd of this stone and anuyld / is rightwys kynge borne of all Enlond / Thenne the peple merueilled & told it to the Archebisshop I commande said tharchebisshop that ye kepe yow within your chirche / and pray vnto god still that no man touche the swerd tyll the hyghe masse be all done / So whan all masses were done all the lordes wente to beholde the stone and the swerd / And whan they sawe the scripture / som assayed suche as wold haue ben kyng / But none myght stere the swerd nor meue hit He is not here said the Archebisshop that shall encheue the swerd but doubte not god will make hym knowen / But this is my counceill said the archebisshop / that we lete puruey x knyȝtes men of good fame / & they to kepe this swerd / so it was ordeyned / & thēne ther was made a crye / þt euery mā shold assay þt

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wold for to wynne the swerd / And vpon newe yeersday the barons lete maake a Iustes and a tournement / that alle knyȝtes shat wold Iuste or tourneye / there myȝt playe / & all this was ordeyned for to kepe the lordes to gyders & the comyns / for the Archebisshop trusted / that god wold make hym knowe that shold wynne the swerd / So vpon newe yeresday whan the seruyce was done / the barons rode vnto the feld / some to Iuste / & som to torney / & so it happed that syre Ector that had grete lyuelode aboute london rode vnto the Iustes / & with hym rode syr kaynus his sone & yong Arthur that was hys nourisshed broder / & syr kay was made knyȝt at al halowmas afore So as they rode to ye Iustes ward / sir kay lost his swerd for he had lefte it at his faders lodgyng / & so he prayd yong Arthur for to ryde for his swerd / I wyll wel said Arthur / & rode fast after ye swerd / & whan he cam home / the lady & al were out to see the Ioustyng / thenne was Arthur wroth & saide to hym self / I will ryde to the chircheyard / & take the swerd with me that stycketh in the stone / for my broder sir kay shal not be without a swerd this day / so whan he cam to the chircheyard sir Arthur aliȝt & tayed his hors to the style / & so he wente to the tent / & found no knyȝtes there/ for they were atte Iustyng & so he handled the swerd by the handels / and liȝtly & fiersly pulled it out of the stone / & took his hors & rode his way vntyll he came to his broder sir kay / & delyuerd hym the swerd / & as sone as sir kay saw the swerd he wist wel it was the swerd of the stone / & so he rode to his fader syr Ector / & said / sire / loo here is the swerd of the stone / wherfor I must be kyng of thys land / when syre Ector beheld the swerd / he retorned ageyne & cam to the chirche / & there they aliȝte al thre / & wente in to the chirche / And anon he made sir kay swere vpon a book / how he came to that swerd / Syr said sir kay by my broder Arthur for he brought it to me / how gate ye this swerd said sir Ector to Arthur / sir I will telle you when I cam home for my broders swerd / I fond no body at home to delyuer me his swerd And so I thought my broder syr kay shold not be swerdles & so I cam hyder egerly & pulled it out of the stone withoute ony payn / found ye ony knyȝtes about this swerd seid sir ector Nay said Arthur / Now said sir Ector to Arthur I vnderstāde

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ye must be kynge of this land / wherfore I / sayd Arthur and for what cause / Sire saide Ector / for god wille haue hit soo for ther shold neuer man haue drawen oute this swerde / but he that shal be rightwys kyng of this land / Now lete me see whether ye can putte the swerd ther as it was / and pulle hit oute ageyne / that is no maystry said Arthur / and soo he put it in the stone / wherwith alle Sir Ector assayed to pulle oute the swerd and faylled.


¶Capitulum sextum


NOw assay said Syre Ector vnto Syre kay / And anon he pulled at the swerd with alle his myghte / but it wold not be / Now shal ye assay said Syre Ector to Arthur I wyll wel said Arthur and pulled it out easily / And therwith alle Syre Ector knelyd doune to the erthe and Syre Kay / Allas said Arthur myne own dere fader and broder why knele ye to me / Nay nay my lord Arthur / it is not so I was neuer your fader nor of your blood / but I wote wel ye are of an hygher blood than I wende ye were / And thenne Syre Ector told hym all how he was bitaken hym for to nourisshe hym And by whoos commandement / and by Merlyns delyueraūce


¶ Thenne Arthur made grete doole whan he vnderstood that Syre Ector was not his fader / Sir said Ector vnto Arthur woll ye by my good & gracious lord when ye are kyng / els were I to blame said arthur for ye are the man in the world that I am most be holdyng to / & my good lady and moder your wyf that as wel as her owne hath fostred me and kepte / And yf euer hit be goddes will that I be kynge as ye say / ye shall desyre of me what I may doo / and I shalle not faille yow / god forbede I shold faille yow / Sir said Sire Ector / I will aske no more of yow / but that ye wille make my sone your foster broder Syre Kay Senceall of alle your landes / That shalle be done said Arthur / and more by the feith of my body that neuer man shalle haue that office but he whyle he and I lyue / There with all they wente vnto the Archebisshop / and told hym how the swerd was encheued / and by whome / and on twelfth day alle the barons cam thyder / and to assay to take the swerd who that wold assay / But there afore hem alle ther myghte none take it out but Arthur / wherfor ther were many lordes wroth

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And saide it was grete shame vnto them all and the reame to be ouer gouernyd with a boye of no hyghe blood borne / And so they fell oute at that tyme that it was put of tyll Candelmas / And thenne alle the barons shold mete there ageyne / but alwey the x knyghtes were ordeyned to watche the swerd day & nyȝt / & so they sette a pauelione ouer the stone & þe swerd & fyue alwayes watched / Soo at Candalmasse many moo grete lordes came thyder for to haue wonne the swerde / but there myghte none preuaille / And right as Arthur dyd at Cristmasse / he dyd at Candelmasse and pulled oute the swerde easely wherof the Barons were sore agreued and put it of in delay till the hyghe feste of Eester / And as Arthur sped afore / so dyd he at Eester / yet there were some of the grete lordes had indignacion that Arthur shold be kynge / and put it of in a delay tyll the feest of Pentecoste / Thenne the Archebisshop of Caunterbury by Merlyns prouydence lete purueye thenne of the best knyghtes that they myghte gete / And suche knyghtes as Vtherpendragon loued best and moost trusted in his dayes / And suche knyghtes were put aboute Arthur as syr Bawdewyn of Bretayn / syre kaynes / syre Vlfyus / syre barsias / All these with many other were alweyes about Arthur day and nyghte till the feste of Pentecost


¶ Capitulum septimum


ANd at the feste of pentecost alle maner of men assayed to pulle at the swerde that wold assay / but none myghte preuaille but Arthur / and pulled it oute afore all the lordes and comyns that were there / wherfore alle the comyns cryed at ones we wille haue Arthur vnto our kyng we wille put hym nomore in delay / for we alle see that it is goddes wille that he shalle be our kynge / And who that holdeth ageynst it we wille slee hym / And therwith all they knelyd at ones both ryche and poure / and cryed Arthur mercy by cause they had delayed hym soo longe / and Arthur foryaf hem / and took the swerd bitwene both his handes / and offred it vpon the aulter where the Archebisshop was / and so was he made knyghte of the best man that was there / And so anon

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was the coronacyon made / And ther was he sworne vnto his lordes & the comyns for to be a true kyng to stand with true Iustyce fro thens forth the dayes of this lyf / Also then̄e he made alle lordes that helde of the croune to come in / and to do seruyce as they oughte to doo / And many complayntes were made vnto sir Arthur of grete wronges that were done syn the dethe of kyng Vther / of many londes that were bereued lordes knyghtes / ladyes & gentilmen / wherfor kynge Arthur maade the londes to be yeuen ageyne to them that oughte hem /


¶ Whanne this was done that the kyng had stablisshed alle the countreyes aboute london / thenne he lete make Syr kay sencial of Englond / and sir Baudewyn of Bretayne was made Constable / and sir Vlfyus was made chamberlayn / And sire Brastias was maade wardeyn to wayte vpon the northe fro Trent forwardes for it was þt tyme þe most party the kynges enemyes / But within fewe yeres after Arthur wan alle the north scotland / and alle that were vnder their obeissaunce / Also walys a parte of it helde ayenst Arthur / but he ouercam hem al as he dyd the remenaunt thurgh the noble prowesse of hym self and his knyghtes of the round table


¶ Capitulum octauum


THenne the kyng remeued in to walys / and lete crye a grete feste that is shold be holdyn at Pentecost after the incoronacion of hym at the Cyte of Carlyon / vnto the fest come kyng Lott of Lowthean / and of Orkeney / with fyue C knyȝtes with hym / Also ther come to the feste kynge Vryens of gore with four C knyȝtes with hym


¶ Also ther come to that feeste kyng Nayntres of garloth with seuen C knyghtes with hym / Also ther came to the feest the kynge of Scotland with sixe honderd knyghtes with hym / and he was but a yong man / Also ther came to the feste a kyng that was called the kyng with the honderd knyghtes / but he and his men were passyng wel bisene at al poyntes Also ther cam the kyng of Cardos with fyue honderd knyghtes / And kyng Arthur was glad of their comynge / for he wende that al the kynges & knyghtes had come for grete loue / and to haue done hym worship at his feste / wherfor the kyng made grete ioye / and sente the kynges and knyghtes grete presentes / But

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the kynges wold none receyue / but rebuked the messagers shamefully / and said they had no ioye to receyue no yeftes of a berdles boye that was come of lowe blood / and sente hym word / they wold none of his yeftes / But that they were come to gyue hym yeftes with hard swerdys betwixt the neck and the sholders / And therfore they came thyder / so they told to the messagers playnly / for it was grete shame to all them to see suche a boye to haue a rule of soo noble a reaume as this land was / With this ansuer the messagers departed & told to kyng Arthur this ansuer / wherfor by the aduys of his barons he took hym to a strong towre with / v / C good men with hym / And all the kynges afore said in a maner leyd a syege tofore hym / but kyng Arthur was well vytailled / And within xv dayes ther came Merlyn amonge hem in to the Cyte of Carlyon / thenne all the kynges were passyng gladde of Merlyn / and asked hym for what cause is that boye Arthur made your kynge / Syres said Merlyn / I shalle telle yow the cause for he is kynge Vtherpendragons sone borne in wedlok goten on Igrayne the dukes wyf of Tyntigail / thenne is he a bastard they said al / nay said Merlyn / After the deth of the duke more than thre houres was Arthur begoten / And xiij dayes after kyng Vther wedded Igrayne / And therfor I preue hym he is no bastard / And who saith nay / he shal be kyng and ouercome alle his enemyes / And or he deye / he shalle be long kynge of all Englond / and haue vnder his obeyssaunce Walys / yrland and Scotland / and moo reames than I will now reherce / Some of the kynges had merueyl of Merlyns wordes and demed well that it shold be as he said / And som of hem lough hym to scorne / as kyng Lot / and mo other called hym a wytche / But thenne were they accorded with Merlyn that kynge Arthur shold come oute and speke with the kynges / and to come sauf and to goo sauf / suche suraunce ther was made / So Merlyn went vnto kynge Arthur / and told hym how he had done / and badde hym fere not but come oute boldly and speke with hem / and spare hem not / but ansuere them as their kynge and chyuetayn / for ye shal ouercome hem all whether they wille or nylle /


¶ Capitulum ix

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THenne kynge Arthur came oute of his tour / and had vnder his gowne a Iesseraunte of double maylle / and ther wente with hym the Archebisshop of Caunterbury / and syr Baudewyn of Bretayne and syr kay / and syre Brastias / these were the men of moost worship that were with hym / And whan they were mette / there was no mekenes but stoute wordes on bothe sydes / but alweyes kynge Arthur ansuerd them and said / he wold make them to bowe and he lyued wherfore they departed with wrath / and kynge Arthur badde kepe hem wel / and they bad the kynge kepe hym wel / Soo the kynge retorned hym to the toure ageyne and armed hym and alle his knyȝtes / what will ye do said Merlyn to the kynges ye were better for to stynte / for ye shalle not here preuaille though ye were x so many / be we wel auysed to be aferd of a dreme reder said kyng Lot / with that Merlyn vanysshed aweye / and came to Kynge Arthur / and bad hym set on hem fiersly / & in the mene whyle there were thre honderd good men of the best that were with the kynges / that wente streyghte vnto kynge Arthur / and that comforted hym gretely / Syr said Merlyn to Arthur / fyghte not with the swerde ye had by myracle / til that ye see ye go vnto the wers / thenne drawe it out and do your best / So forth with alle kynge Arthur sette vpon hem in their lodgyng / And syre Bawdewyn syre Kay and syr Brastias slewe on the right hand & on the lyfte hand that it was merueylle / and alweyes Kynge Arthur on horsback leyd on with a swerd and dyd merueillous dedes of armes that many of the kynges had grete ioye of his dedes and hardynesse / Thenne Kynge Lot brake out on the bak syde / and the kyng with the honderd knyghtes and kyng Carados / and sette on Arthur fiersly behynde hym / with that Syre Arthur torned with his knyghtes / and smote behynd and before / and euer sir Arthur was in the formest prees tyl his hors was slayne vndernethe hym / And therwith kynge lot smote doune kyng Arthur / With that his four knyghtes receyued hym and set hym an horsback / then̄e he drewe his swerd Excalibur / but it was so bryght in his enemyes eyen / that it gaf light lyke xxx torchys / And therwith he put hem on bak / and slewe moche peple And thenne the comyns of Carlyon aroos with clubbis and

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stauys and slewe many knyghtes / but alle the kynges helde them to gyders with her knyghtes that were lefte on lyue / and so fled and departed / And Merlyn come vnto Arthur / and counceilled hym to folowe hem no further. ¶


Ca / x


SO after the feste and iourneye kynge Arthur drewe hym vnto london / and soo by the counceil of Merlyn the kyng lete calle his barons to coūceil / for Merlyn had told the kynge that the sixe kynges that made warre vpon hym wold in al haste be awroke on hym & on his landys wherfor the kyng asked counceil at hem al / they coude no counceil gyue but said they were bygge ynough / ye saye wel said Arthur / I thanke you for your good courage / but wil ye al that loveth me speke with Merlyn ye knowe wel that he hath done moche for me / and he knoweth many thynges / & whan he is afore you / I wold that ye prayd hym hertely of his best auyse / Alle the barons sayd they wold pray hym and desyre hym / Soo Merlyn was sente for & fair desyred of al the barons to gyue them best counceil / I shall say you said Merlyn I warne yow al / your enemyes are passyng strong for yow / and they are good men of armes as ben on lyue / & by thys tyme they haue goten to them four kynges mo / and a myghty duke / and onlesse that our kyng haue more chyualry with hym than he may make within þe boundys of his own reame and he fyghte with hem in batail / he shal be ouercome & slayn what were best to doo in this cause said al the barons / I shal telle you said Merlyn myne aduys / there ar two bretheren beyond the see / & they be kynges bothe and merueillous good men of her handes / And that one hyghte Kynge Ban of Benwic And that other hyght Kyng Bors of gaule that is Fraunce And on these two Kynges warrith a myghty man of men the Kynge Claudas / and stryueth with hem for a castel / and grete werre is betwixt them / But this Claudas is so myghty of goodes wherof he geteth good Knyȝtes that he putteth these two kynges moost parte do the werse / wherfor this is my counceil that our kyng and souerayne lord sende vnto the kynges Ban and Bors by two trusty knyghtes with letters wel deuysed / that and they wil come and see]



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