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Book Of Merlin, And The Coming Of Arthur - VI

( Originally Published 1907 )

THEN king Arthur removed into Wales, and let cry a great feast, that it should be holden at Pentecost, after the coronation of him at the city of Carlion. Unto this feast came king Lot, of Lothian and of Orkney, with five hundred knights with him. Also there came unto this feast king Urience, of Gore, which brought with him four hundred knights. Also to this feast there came king Nentres, of Garlothe, and with him seven hundred knights. Also there came unto this feast the king of Scotland, with six hundred knights with him, and he was but a young man. And there came unto this feast a king, that was called the king with the five hundred knights, but he and his men were passing well beseen at all points. Also there came the king of Carados with five hundred knights. Then was king Arthur glad of their coming, for he weened that all the kings and knights had come for great love, and for to have done him worship at his feast; wherefore the king made great joy, and sent unto the kings and knights great present. But the kings would not receive, but rebuked the messengers shamefully, and said they had no joy to receive gifts of a beardless boy that was come of low blood ; and sent him word that they would have none of his gifts, and that they were come to give him gifts with hard swords between the neck and shoulders, and therefore they came thither; so they told the messengers plainly, for it was great shame to all them to s e such a boy to have the rule of so noble a realm as this Ian. was. With this answer the messengers departed, and told t is answer unto king Arthur ; and for this cause, by the advice of his barons, he took him to a strong tower, with five hundred good men of arms with him ; and all the kings aforesaid in a manner laid siege afore him, but king Arthur was well victualled. And within fifteen days after Merlin came among them into t e city of Carlion; then all the kings were passing glad of Me lin's coming, and asked him, "For what cause is that less boy, Arthur, made your king?" "Sirs," said Merlin, "I shall tell you the cause; for he is king Utherpendragon's son." "Then he is a bastard," said they all. "Nay," said Merlin, "After the death of the duke, was Arthur begot, and thirteen days after king Utherpendragon wedded fair Igraine; and therefore I prove him he, is no bastard, and whosoever sayeth nay, he stall be king, And overcome all his enemies ; and or that he die he shall be king of England, and he shall have under his obeisance, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, and many more realms than I will now rehearse." Some of the kings had marvel at Merlin's words, and deemed well that it should be as he said; and some of them laughed him scorn, as king Lot and more other called him a witch. But then were they accorded with Merlin, that king Arthur should come out and speak with the kings, and for to come safe and go safe, such assurance was mad or Merlin went. So Merlin went unto king Arthur, and told him how he had done, and, bade him that he should not fear; but come out boldly and speak with them, and spare them not, but answer them as their king and chieftain ; for you shall overcome them all, whether they will or will not.

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