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Book Of Merlin, And The Coming Of Arthur - XIV

( Originally Published 1907 )

"Thou art full young and tender of age," said King Arthur, "for to take so high an order upon thee." "Sir," said Griflet, "I beseech you make me a knight." "Sir," said Merlin, "it were pity to lose Griflet, for he will be a passing good man when he cometh to age, abiding with you the term of his life ; and if he adventure his body with yonder knight at the fountain, he shall be in great peril, if ever he come again, for he is one of the best knights of the world, and the strongest man of arms." "Well," said King Arthur. So at the desire of Griflet, the king made him knight.

"Now," said King Arthur to Griflet, "since that I have made thee knight, thou must grant me a gift." "What ye will, my lord," said Sir Griflet. "Thou shalt promise me, by the faith of thy body, that when thou hast jousted with the knight at the fountain, whether it fall that ye be on foot or on horse-back, that in the same manner ye shall come again unto me without any question, or making any more debate." "I will promise you," said Griflet, "as ye desire." Then Sir Griflet took his horse in great haste, and' dressed his shield, and took a great spear in his hand ; and so he rode a great gallop till he came to the fountain, and there he saw a rich pavilion, and thereby, under a cloth, stood a fair horse, well saddled and bridled; and, on a tree, a shield of divers colours, and a great spear. Then Sir Griflet smote upon the shield with the end of his spear, that the shield fell down to the ground. With that came the knight out of the pavilion and said, "Fair knight, why smote ye down my shield?" "For I will joust with you," said Sir Griflet." "It were better ye did not," said the knight, "for ye are but young, and late made knight, and your might is nothing to mine." "As for that," said Sir Griflet, "I will joust with you." "That is me loth," said the knight, "but sith I must needs, I will dress me thereto ; but of whence be ye ?" said the knight. "Sir, I am of King Arthur's court." So they ran together, that Sir Griflet's spear all shivered, and therewithal he smote Sir Griflet through the shield and the left side, and brake his spear, that the trunchion stuck in his body, that the horse and knight fell down.

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