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Book Of Merlin, And The Coming Of Arthur - XIII

( Originally Published 1907 )

RIGHT so came Ulfius, and said openly, that the king and all that were there might hear, "Ye are the falsest lady of the world, and most traitress unto the king's person." "Beware, Ulfius," said king Arthur, "what thou sayest ; for thou speak-est a great word." "I am well aware," said Sir Ulfius, "what I speak; and here is my glove for to prove it upon any man that saith the contrary, that this Queen Igraine is the cause of all your damage, and of your great war that ye have had ; for, and she would have uttered in the life of King Utherpendragon of the birth of you, and how you were begotten, we should never have had half the mortal wars which ye have had. For the most part of your great lords, barons, and gentlemen of your realm knew never whose son ye were, nor of whom you were begotten ; and she that bare you of her body should have made it known openly, in excusing of her worship and yours, and in likewise to all the realm. Wherefore, I prove her false to God and you, and to all your realm ; and who will say the contrary, I will prove it upon his body." Then spice Igraine, and said, "I am a woman, and may not fight ; but rather than I should be dishonoured, there would some good man take my quarrel. More," she said, "Merlin knoweth well, and you, Sir Ulfius, how King Uther came to me, in the castle of Tintagil, in the likeness of my lord that was dead three hours before, and thereby was the child Arthur begotten. And, after the thirteenth day, King Uther wedded me, and, by his commandment, when the child was born, it was delivered to Merlin, and nourished by him ; and so I saw the child never after, nor wot not what is his name ; for I never knew him yet." And then Sir Ulfius said unto the queen, "Merlin is more to blame than ye." "I wot well," said the queen, "that I bare a child by my lord, King Uther, but I wot not where he is be-come." Then Merlin took the king by the hand, saying, "This is your mother." And therewith Sir Ector bear witness how he nourished him by King Uther's commandment. And therewith King Arthur took his mother, Queen Igraine, in both his arms, and kissed her, and either wept upon other. And then the king let make a feast, which lasted eight days. Then on a day there came into the court a squire on horseback, leading a knight before him, wounded to the death, and told him, "There is a knight in the forest that bath reared up a pavilion by the well side, and bath slain my master, a good knight, and his name was Miles; wherefore I beseech you, that my master may be buried, and that some good knight may revenge my master's death." Then was in the court great noise of the knight's death, and every man said his advice. Then came Griflet, that was but a squire, and he was but young, of the age of King Arthur ; so he besought the king, for all the service he had done, to give him the order of knighthood.

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