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Book Of Merlin, And The Coming Of Arthur - XVIII

( Originally Published 1907 )

THEN King Arthur let send for all the children that were born on May-day, begotten of lords, and born of ladies. For Merlin told King Arthur that he that should destroy him should be born on May-day; wherefore he sent for them all, upon pain of death. And so there were found many lords' sons, and all were sent unto the king; and so was Mordred sent by King Lot's wife, and all were put in a ship to the sea, and some were four weeks old, and some more. And so, by fortune, the ship drove unto a castle, and was all to riven and, destroyed, the most part, save that Mordred was cast up, and a good man found him, and nourished him till he was fourteen years old, and then brought him to the court; as it is rehearsed afterward, toward the end, of the death of King Arthur. So many lords and barons of this realm were sore displeased, because that their children were lost; and many put the blame on Merlin, more than on King Arthur. So, what for dread, and what for love, they held their peace. But when the messenger came to King Rience, then was he moved out of measure for anger, and purveyed him for a great host, as it is rehearsed afterward, in the Book of Balin le Savage, that followeth next after; and how by adventure Balin got the sword.

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