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Book Of Merlin, And The Coming Of Arthur - I

( Originally Published 1907 )

IT befel in the days of the noble Utherpendragon, when he was king of England, and so reigned, there was a mighty and a noble duke in Cornwall, that held long time war against him ; and the duke was named the duke of Tintagil. And so by means king Uther sent for this duke, charging him to bring his wife with him, for she was called a right fair lady, and a passing wise, and Igraine was her name. So when the duke and his wife were come to the king, by the means of great lords; they were both accorded, and the king liked and loved this lady well, and made her great cheer, in his desire, out of measure. But she was a passing good woman, and would not assent to the king. And then she told the duke, her husband, and said, "I suppose that we were sent for that I should be dishonored; wherefore, husband, I counsel you that we depart from hence suddenly, that we may ride all night to our own castle." And like as she had said, so they departed, that neither the king, nor none of his council, were aware of their departing. As soon as king Uther knew of their departing so suddenly, he was wonderful wrath ; then he called to him his privy council, and told them of the sudden departing of the duke and his wife. Then they advised the king to send for the duke and his wife, by a great charge : "And, if he will not," said they, "come at your commandment, then may ye do your best, for then have you a cause to make mighty war upon him." So that was done, and the messengers had their answers, and that was this, shortly, "That neither he nor his wife would not come at him." Then was the king wondrous wrath. And then the king sent him plain word again, and bade him b ready, and stuff him, and garnish him; for within threescore days he would fetch him out of the strongest castle that he had. When the duke had this warning, anon he went and furnished and garnished two strong castles of his, of the which the one was Tintagil, and that other called Terabil. So his ife, dame Igraine, he put in the castle of Tintagil, and he put himself in the castle of Terabil, the which had many issues and posterns out. Then in all haste came Uther, with a great host, and laid siege about the castle of Terabil, and there he pitched many pavilions. And there was great war made on both pa ' ties, and much people slain ; then for pure anger and for great love of fair Igraine, king Uther fell sick. Then came to king Uther Sir Ulfius, a noble knight, and asked the king "Why e was sick ?" "I shall tell thee," said the king; "I am sick for anger and for love of fair Igraine, that I may not be whole." "Well, my lord," said Sir Ulfius, "I shall seek Merlin, and he shall get you remedy, that your heart shall be pleased." So Ulfius departed, and by adventure he met Merlin in a beggar's array; and there Merlin asked Ulfius whom he sought? And he said he had little ado to tell him. "Well," said Merlin, "I know whom thou seekest, for thou seekest Merlin, therefore seek no further, for I am he; and if king Uther will well reward me, And be sworn to me to fulfil my desire, the which shall be his honour and profit more than mine, I shall cause him to have all will I undertake," said Ulfius, "that t reasonable, but thou shalt have thy desire," his desire." "All this here shall be nothing " "Well," said Merlin, "he shall have his intent and desire; and, therefore," said Merlin, "ride on your way, for I will no be long behind."

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