Readme.it in English  home page
Readme.it in Italiano  pagina iniziale
readme.it by logo SoftwareHouse.it

Ebook in formato Kindle (mobi) - Kindle File Ebook (mobi)

Formato per Iphone, Ipad e Ebook (epub) - Ipad, Iphone and Ebook reader format (epub)

Versione ebook di Readme.it powered by Softwarehouse.it


THE AGE OF CHIVALRY

 

by Thomas Bulfinch

CHAPTER I. -

Throngs of knights and barons bold

In weeds of peace high triumphs hold

With store of ladieswhose bright eyes

Rain influence and judge the prize.

MILTON. -

PART I.

KING ARTHUR AND HIS KNIGHTS. -

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION. -

ON the decline of the Roman powerabout five centuries after Christthecountries of Northern Europe were left almost destitute of a national government.Numerous chiefsmore or less powerfulheld local swayas far as each couldenforce his dominionand occasionally those chiefs would unite for a commonobject; butin ordinary timesthey were much more likely to be found inhostility to one another. In such a state of thingsthe rights of the humblerclasses of society were at the mercy of every assailant; and it is plain thatwithout some check upon the lawless power of the chiefssociety must haverelapsed into barbarism. Such checks were foundfirstin the rivalry of thechiefs themselveswhose mutual jealousy made them restraints upon one another;secondlyin the influence of the Churchwhichby every motivepure orselfishwas pledged to interpose for the protection of the weak; and lastlyinthe generosity and sense of right whichhowever crushed under the weight ofpassion and selfishnessdwell naturally in the heart of man. From this lastsource sprang Chivalrywhich framed an ideal of the heroic charactercombininginvincible strength and valorjusticemodestyloyalty to superiorscourtesyto equalscompassion to weaknessand devotedness to the Church; an ideal whichif never met with in real lifewas acknowledged by all as the highest model foremulation.

The word Chivalry is derived from the French chevala horse. The word knightwhich originally meant boy or servantwas particularly applied to a young manafter he was admitted to the privilege of bearing arms. This privilege wasconferred on youths of family and fortune onlyfor the mass of the people werenot furnished with arms. The knight then was a mounted warriora man of rankor in the service and maintenance of some man of rankgenerally possessing someindependent means of supportbut often relying mainly on the gratitude of thosewhom he served for the supply of his wantsand oftenno doubtresorting tothe means which power confers on its possessor.

In time of war the knight waswith his followersin the camp of hissovereignor commanding in the fieldor holding some castle for him. In timeof peace he was of ten in attendance at his sovereign's courtgracing with hispresence the banquets and tournaments with which princes cheered their leisure.Or he was traversing the country in quest of adventureprofessedly bent onredressing wrongs and enforcing rightssometimes in fulfilment of some vow ofreligion or of love. These wandering knights were called knights-errant; theywere welcome guests in the castles of the nobilityfor their presence enlivenedthe dulness of those secluded abodesand they were received with honor at theabbeyswhich often owed the best part of their revenues to the patronage of theknights; but if no castle or abbey or hermitage were at handtheir hardy habitsmade it not intolerable to them to lie downsupperlessat the foot of somewayside crossand pass the night.

It is evident that the justice administered by such an instrumentality musthave been of the rudest description. The force whose legitimate purpose was toredress wrongsmight easily be perverted to inflict them. Accordinglywe findin the romanceswhichhowever fabulous in factsare true as pictures ofmannersthat a knightly castle was often a terror to the surrounding country;that its dungeons were full of oppressed knights and ladieswaiting for somechampion to appear to set them freeor to be ransomed with money; that hosts ofidle retainers were ever at hand to enforce their lord's behestsregardless oflaw and justice; and that the rights of the unarmed multitude were of noaccount. This contrariety of fact and theory in regard to chivalry will accountfor the opposite impressions which exist in men's minds respecting it. While ithas been the theme of the most fervid eulogium on the one partit has been aseagerly denounced on the other. On a cool estimatewe cannot but see reason tocongratulate ourselves that it has given way in modern times to the reign of lawand that the civil magistrateif less picturesquehas taken the place of themailed champion. -

THE TRAINING OF A KNIGHT. -

The preparatory education of candidates for knighthood was long and arduous.At seven years of age the noble children were usually removed from theirfather's house to the court or castle of their future patronand placed underthe care of a governorwho taught them the first articles of religionandrespect and reverence for their lords and superiorsand initiated them in theceremonies of a courtThey were called pagesvalets or varletsand theiroffice was to carveto wait at tableand to perform other menial serviceswhich were not then considered humiliating. In their leisure hours they learnedto dance and play on the harpwere instructed in the mysteries of woods andriversthat isin huntingfalconryand fishingand in wrestlingtiltingwith spearsand performing other military exercises on horseback. At fourteenthe page became an esquireand began a course of severer and more laboriousexercises. To vault on a horse in heavy armor; to runto scale wallsandspring over ditchesunder the same encumbrance; to wrestleto wield thebattle-axe for a length of timewithout raising the visor or taking breath; toperform with grace all the evolutions of horsemanship-

were necessary preliminaries to the reception of knighthoodwhich wasusually conferred at twenty-one years of agewhen the young man's education wassupposed to be completed. In the meantimethe esquires were no less assiduouslyengaged in acquiring all those refinements of civility which formed what was inthat age called courtesy. The same castle in which they received their educationwas usually thronged with young persons of the other sexand the page wasencouragedat a very early ageto select some lady of the court as themistress of his heartto whom he was taught to refer all his sentimentswordsand actions. The service of his mistress was the glory and occupation of aknightand her smilesbestowed at once by affection and gratitudewere heldout as the recompense of his well-directed valor. Religion united its influencewith those of loyalty and loveand the order of knighthoodendowed with allthe sanctity and religious awe that attended the priesthoodbecame an object ofambition to the greatest sovereigns.

The ceremonies of initiation were peculiarly solemn. After undergoing asevere fastand spending whole nights in prayerthe candidate confessedandreceived the sacrament. He then clothed himself in snow-white garmentsandrepaired to the churchor the hallwhere the ceremony was to take placebearing a knightly sword suspended from his neckwhich the officiating priesttook and blessedand then returned to him. The candidate thenwith folded armsknelt before the presiding knightwhoafter some questions about his motivesand purposes in requesting admissionadministered to him the oathsand grantedhis request. Some of the knights presentsometimes even ladies and damselshanded to him in succession the spursthe coat of mailthe hauberkthe armletand gauntletand lastly he girded on the sword. He then knelt again before thepresidentwhorising from his seatgave him the "accolade" whichconsisted of three strokeswith the flat of a swordon the shoulder or neck ofthe candidateaccompanied by the words: "In the name of Godof St.Michaeland St. GeorgeI make thee a knight; be valiantcourteousand loyal!"Then he received his helmethis shieldand spear; and thus the investitureended. -

FREEMENVILLAINSSERFSAND CLERKS. -

The other classes of which society was composed werefirstfreemenownersof small portions of landindependentthough they sometimes voluntarily becamethe vassals of their more opulent neighborswhose power was necessary for theirprotection. The other two classeswhich were much the most numerouswereeither serfs or villainsboth of which were slaves.

The serfs were in the lowest state of slavery. All the fruits of their laborbelonged to the master whose land they tilledand by whom they were fed andclothed.

The villains were less degraded. Their situation seems to have resembled thatof the Russian peasants at this day; Like the serfsthey were attached to thesoiland were transferred with it by purchase; but they paid only a fixed rentto the landlordand had a right to dispose of any surplus that might arise fromtheir industry.

The term clerk was of very extensive import. It comprehendedoriginallysuch persons only as belonged to the clergyor clerical orderamong whomhowevermight be found a multitude of married personsartisans or others. Butin process of time a much wider rule was established; every one that could readbeing accounted a clerkor clericusand allowed the "benefit of clergy"that isexemption from capital and some other forms of punishmentin case ofcrime. -

TOURNAMENTS. -

The splendid pageant of a tournament between knightsits gaudy accessoriesand trappingsand its chivalrous regulationsoriginated in France. Tournamentswere repeatedly condemned by the Churchprobably on account of the quarrelsthey led toand the often fatal results. The "joust" or"just" was different from the tournament. In theseknights foughtwith their lancesand their object was to unhorse their antagonists; while thetournaments were intended for a display of skill and address in evolutionsandwith various weaponsand greater courtesy was observed in the regulations. Bythese it was forbidden to wound the horseor to use the point of the swordorto strike a knight after he had raised his visoror unlaced his helmet. Theladies encouraged their knights in these exercises; they bestowed prizesandthe conqueror's feats were the theme of romance and song. The stands overlookingthe groundof coursewere varied in the shapes of towersterracesgalleriesand pensile gardensmagnificently decorated with tapestrypavilionsandbanners. Every combatant proclaimed the name of the lady whose servant d'amourhe was. He was wont to look up to the standand strengthen his courage by thesight of the bright eyes that were raining their influence on him from above.The. knights also carried favorsconsisting of scarfsveilssleevesbraceletsclasps- in shortsome piece of female habiliment- attached totheir helmetsshieldsor armor. Ifduring the combatany of these appendageswere dropped or lostthe fair donor would at times send her knight new onesespecially if pleased with his exertions. -

MAIL ARMOR. -

Mail armorof which the hauberk is a speciesand which derived its namefrom maillea French word for meshwas of two kindsplate or scale mailandchain mail. It was originally used for the protection of the body onlyreachingno lower than the knees. It was shaped like a carter's frockand bound roundthe waist by a girdle. Gloves and hose of mail were afterwards addedand a hoodwhichwhen necessarywas drawn over the headleaving the face alone uncovered.To protect the skin from the impression of the iron network of the chain mailaquilted lining was employedwhichhoweverwas insufficientand the bath wasused to efface the marks of the armor.

The hauberk was a complete covering of double chain mail. Some hauberksopened beforelike a modern coat; others were closed like a shirt.

The chain mail of which they were composed was formed by a number of ironlinkseach link having others inserted into itthe whole exhibiting a kind ofnetworkof which (in some instances at least) the meshes were circularwitheach link separately riveted.

The hauberk was proof against the most violent blow of a sword; but the pointof a lance might pass through the meshesor drive the iron into the flesh. Toguard against thisa thick and well-stuffed doublet was worn underneathunderwhich was commonly added an iron breastplate. Hence the expression "topierce both plate and mail" so common in the earlier poets.

Mail armor continued in general use till about the year 1300when it wasgradually supplanted by plate armoror suits consisting of pieces or plates ofsolid ironadapted to the different parts of the body.

Shields were generally made of woodcovered with leatheror some similarsubstance. To secure themin some sortfrom being cut

through by the swordthey were surrounded with a hoop of metal. -

HELMETS. -

The helmet was composed of two parts: the headpiecewhich was strengthenedwithin by several circles of iron; and the visorwhichas the name implieswas a sort of grating to see throughso contrived asby sliding in a grooveor turning on a pivotto be raised or lowered at pleasure. Some helmets had afurther improvement called a beverfrom the Italian bevereto drink. Theventayleor "air-passage" is another name for this.

To secure the helmet from the possibility of fallingor of being struck offit was tied by several laces to the meshes of the hauberk; consequentlywhen aknight was overthrownit was necessary to undo these laces before he could beput to death; though this was sometimes effected by lifting up the skirt of thehauberkand stabbing him in the belly. The instrument of death was a smalldaggerworn on the right side. -

ROMANCES. -

In ages when there were no bookswhen noblemen and princes themselves couldnot readhistory or tradition was monopolized by the story-tellers. Theyinheritedgeneration after generationthe wondrous tales of their predecessorswhich they retailed to the public with such additions of their own as theiracquired information supplied them with. Anachronisms became of course verycommonand errors of geographyof localityof mannersequally so. Spuriousgenealogies were inventedin which Arthur and his knightsand Charlemagne andhis paladinswere made to derive their descent from AEneasHectoror someother of the Trojan heroes.

With regard to the derivation of the word Romancewe trace it to the factthat the dialects which were formed in Western Europefrom the admixture ofLatin with the native languagestook the name of Langue Romaine. The Frenchlanguage was divided into two dialects. The river Loire was their commonboundary. In the provinces to the south of that river the affirmativeyeswasexpressed by the word oc; in the north it was called oil (oui); and hence Dantehas named the southern language langue d'ocand the northern langue d'oil. Thelatterwhich was carried into England by the Normansand is the origin of thepresent Frenchmay be called the French Romane; and the former the Provencalor Provencial Romanebecause it was spoken by the people of Provence andLanguedocsouthern provinces of France.

These dialects were soon distinguished by very opposite characters. A softand enervating climatea spirit of commerce encouraged by an easy communicationwith other maritime nationsthe influx of wealthand a more settled governmentmay have tended to polish and soften the diction of the Provencialswhose poetsunder the name of Troubadourswere the masters of the Italiansandparticularly of Petrarch. Their favorite pieces were Sirventes (satirical pieces)love-songsand Tensonswhich last were a sort of dialogue in verse between twopoetswho questioned each other on some refined points of love's casuistry. Itseems the Provencials were so completely absorbed in these delicate questions asto neglect and despise the composition of fabulous histories of adventure andknighthoodwhich they left in a great measure to the poets of the northern partof the kingdomcalled Trouveurs.

At a time when chivalry excited universal admirationand when all theefforts of that chivalry were directed against the enemies of religionit wasnatural that literature should receive the same impulseand that history andfable should be ransacked to furnish examples of courage and piety that mightexcite increased emulation. Arthur and Charlemagne were the two heroes selectedfor this purpose. Arthur's pretensions were that he was a bravethough notalways a successful warrior; he had withstood with great resolution the arms ofthe infidelsthat is to sayof the Saxonsand his memory was held in thehighest estimation by his countrymenthe Britonswho carried with them intoWalesand into the kindred country of Armoricaor Brittanythe memory of hisexploitswhich their national vanity insensibly exaggeratedtill the littleprince of the Silures (South Wales) was magnified into the conqueror of Englandof Gauland of the greater part of Europe. His genealogy was gradually carriedup to an imaginary Brutusand to the period of the Trojan warand a sort ofchronicle was composed in the Welshor Armorican languagewhichunder thepompous title of the History of the Kings of Britainwas translated into Latinby Geoffrey of Monmouthabout the year 1150. The Welsh critics consider thematerial of the work to have been an older historywritten by St. TalianBishop of St. Asaphin the seventh century.

As to Charlemagnethough his real merits were sufficient to secure hisimmortalityit was impossible that his holy wars against the Saracens shouldnot become a favorite topic for fiction. Accordinglythe fabulous history ofthese wars was writtenprobably towards the close of the eleventh centuryby amonkwhothinking it would add dignity to his work to embellish it with acontemporary nameboldly ascribed it to Turpinwho was Archbishop of Rheimsabout the year 773.

These fabulous chronicles were for a while imprisoned in languages of localonly or of professional access. Both Turpin and Geoffrey might indeed be read byecclesiasticsthe sole Latin scholars of those timesand Geoffrey's Britishoriginal would contribute to the gratification of Welshmen; but neither couldbecome extensively popular till translated into some language of general andfamiliar use. The Anglo-Saxon was at that time used only by a conquered andenslaved nation; the Spanish and Italian languages were not yet formed; theNorman French alone was spoken and understood by the nobility in the greaterpart of Europeand therefore was a proper vehicle for the new mode ofcomposition.

That language was fashionable in England before the Conquestand becameafter that eventthe only language used at the court of London. As the variousconquests of the Normansand the enthusiastic valor of that extraordinarypeoplehad familiarized the minds of men with the most marvellous eventstheirpoets eagerly seized the fabulous legends of Arthur and Charlemagnetranslatedthem into the language of the dayand soon produced a variety of imitations.The adventures attributed to these monarchsand to their distinguished warriorstogether with those of many other traditionary or imaginary heroescomposed bydegrees that formidable body of marvellous histories whichfrom the dialect inwhich the most ancient of them were writtenwere called Romances. -

METRICAL ROMANCES. -

The earliest form in which romances appear is that of a rude kind of verse.In this form it is supposed they were sung or recited at the feasts of princesand knights in their baronial halls. The following specimen of the language andstyle of Robert de Beauvaiswho flourished in 1257is from Sir Walter Scott'sIntroduction to the Romance of Sir Tristram: -

"Ne voil pas emmi dire

Ici diverse la matyere

Entre ceus qui solent cunter

E de la cunte Tristran parler." -

"I will not say too much about it

So diverse is the matter

Among those who are in the habit of telling

And relating the story of Tristran." -

This is a specimen of the language which was in use among the nobility ofEngland in the ages immediately after the Norman conquest. The following is aspecimen of the English that existed at the same time among the common people.Robert de Brunnespeaking of his Latin and French authoritiessays:- -

"Als thai haf wryten and sayd

Haf I alle in myn Inglis layd

In symple speeche as I couthe

That is lightest in manne's mouthe.

Alle for the luf of symple men

That strange Inglis cannot ken." -

The "strange Inglis" being the language of the previous specimen.

It was not till toward the end of the thirteenth century that the proseromances began to appear. These works generally began with disowning anddiscrediting the sources from which in reality they drew their sole information.As every romance was supposed to be a real historythe compilers of those inprose would have forfeited all credit if they had announced themselves as merecopyists of the minstrels. On the contrarythey usually state thatas thepopular poems upon the matter in question contain many "lesings" theyhad been induced to translate the real and true history of such or such a knightfrom the original Latin or Greekor from the ancient British or Armoricanauthoritieswhich authorities existed only in their own assertion.

A specimen of the style of the prose romance may be found in the followingextract from one of the most celebrated and latest of themthe Morte d'Arthurof Sir Thomas Malloryof the date of 1485. From this work much of the contentsof this volume has been drawnwith as close an adherence to the original styleas was thought consistent with our plan of adapting our narrative to the tasteof modern readers.

"It is notoyrly knowen thorugh the vnyuersal world that there been ixworthy and the best that ever were. That is to wete thre paynymsthre Jewesand thre crysten men. As for the paynymsthey were tofore the Incarnacyon ofCryst whiche were namedthe fyrst Hector of Troye; the second Alysaunder thegreteand the thyrd Julyus CezarEmperour of Romeof whome thystoryes benwell kno and had. And as for the thre Jewes whyche also were toforethyncarnacyon of our Lordof whome the fyrst was Duc Josuewhyche brought thechyldren of Israhel into the londe of beheste; the second Dauydkyng ofJherusalemand the thyrd Judas Machabeus; of these thre the byble reherceth altheyr noble hystoryes and actes. And sythe the sayd Incarnacyon haue ben thenoble crysten men stalled and admytted thorugh the vnyuersal world to the nombreof the ix beste and worthyof whome was fyrst the noble Arthurwhose nobleactes I purpose to wryte in this present book here folowyng. The second wasCharlemaynor Charles the greteof whome thystorye is had in many places bothin frensshe and englyssheand the thyrd and last was Godefray of boloyn."-

THE MABINOGEON. -

It has been well known to the literati and antiquarians of Europethat thereexist in the great public libraries voluminous manuscripts of romances and talesonce popularbut which on the invention of printing had already becomeantiquated and fallen into neglect. They were therefore never printedandseldom perused even by the learneduntil about half a century agowhenattention was again directed to themand they were found very curious monumentsof ancient mannershabitsand modes of thinking. Several have since beeneditedsome by individualsas Sir Walter Scott and the poet Southeyothers byantiquarian societies. The class of readers which could be counted on for suchpublications was so small that no inducement of profit could be found to tempteditors and publishers to give them to the world. It was therefore only a fewand those the most accessiblewhich were put in print. There was a class ofmanuscripts of this kind which were knownor rather suspectedto be bothcurious and valuablebut which it seemed almost hopeless ever to see in fairprinted English. These were the Welsh popular talescalled Mabinogeona pluralwordthe singular being Mabinogia tale. Manuscripts of these were containedin the Bodleian Library at Oxfordand elsewherebut the difficulty was to findtranslators and editors. The Welsh is a spoken language among the peasantry ofWalesbut is entirely neglected among the learnedunless they are natives ofthe principality. Of the few Welsh scholars none were found who took sufficientinterest in this branch of learning to give these productions to the Englishpublic. Southey and Scottand others wholike themloved the old romanticlegends of their countryoften urged upon the Welsh literati the duty ofreproducing the Mabinogeon. Southeyin the preface to his edition of Morte d'Arthursays: "The specimens which I have seen are exceedingly curious; nor isthere a greater desideratum in British literature than an edition of these taleswith a literal versionand such comments as Mr. Davies of all men is bestqualified to give. Certain it is that many of the Round Table fictionsoriginated in Walesor in Bretagneand probably might still be traced there."

Againin a letter to Sir Charles W. W. Wynndated 1819he says:-

"I begin almost to despair of ever seeing more of the Mabinogeon; andyetif some competent Welshman could be found to edit it carefullywith asliteral a version as possibleI am sure it might be made worth his while by asubscriptionprinting a small edition at a high priceperhaps two hundred atfive guineas. I myself would gladly subscribe at that price per volume for suchan edition of the whole of your genuine remains in prose and verse. Till somesuch collection is madethe 'gentlemen of Wales' ought to be prohibited fromwearing a leek; ayand interdicted from toasting cheese also. Your bards wouldhave met with better usage if they had been Scotchmen."

Sharon Turner and Sir Walter Scott also expressed a similar wish for thepublication of the Welsh manuscripts. The former took part in an attempt toeffect itthrough the instrumentality of a Mr. Owena Welshmanbutwe judgeby what Southey says of himimperfectly acquainted with English. Southey'slanguage is"William Owen lent me three parts of the Mabinogeondelightfully translated into so Welsh an idiom and syntax that such atranslation is as instructive as an original." In another letter he adds"Let Sharon make his language grammaticalbut not alter their idiom in theslightest point."

It is possible Mr. Owen did not proceed far in an undertaking whichsoexecutedcould expect but little popular patronage. It was not till anindividual should appear possessed of the requisite

knowledge of the two languagesof enthusiasm sufficient for the taskand ofpecuniary resources sufficient to be independent of the booksellers and of thereading publicthat such a work could be confidently expected. Such anindividual hassince Southey's day and Scott'sappeared in the person of LadyCharlotte Guestan English lady united to a gentleman of property in Waleswhohaving acquired the language of the principalityand becomeenthusiastically fond of its literary treasureshas given them to the Englishreaderin a dress which the printer's and the engraver's arts have done theirbest to adorn. In four royal octave volumes containing the Welsh originalsthetranslationand ample illustrations from FrenchGermanand other contemporaryand affiliated literaturethe Mabinogeon is spread before us. To theantiquarian and the student of language and ethnology an invaluable treasureityet can hardlyin such a formwin its way to popular acquaintance. We claim noother merit than that of bringing it to the knowledge of our readersofabridging its detailsof selecting its most attractive portionsand offaithfully preserving throughout the style in which Lady Guest has clothed herlegends. For this service we hope that our readers will confess we have laidthem under no light obligation.

CHAPTER II.

THE MYTHICAL HISTORY OF ENGLAND. -

ACCORDING to the earliest accountsAlbiona giantand son of Neptuneacontemporary of Herculesruled over the islandto which he gave his name.Presuming to oppose the progress of Hercules in his western marchhe was slainby him.

Another story is that Histionthe son of Japhetthe son of Noahhad foursons- FrancusRomanusAlemannusand Brittofrom whom descended the FrenchRomanGermanand British people.

Rejecting these and other like storiesMilton gives more regard to the storyof Brutusthe Trojanwhichhe saysis supported by "descents ofancestry long continued laws and exploits not plainly seeming to be borrowed ordevisedwhich on the common belief have wrought no small impression; defendedby manydenied utterly by few." The principal authority is Geoffrey ofMonmouthwhose historywritten in the twelfth centurypurports to be atranslation of a history of Britainbrought over from the opposite shore ofFrancewhichunder the name of Brittanywas chiefly peopled by natives ofBritainwho from time to time emigrated thitherdriven from their own countryby the inroads of the Picts and Scots. According to this authorityBrutus wasthe son of Silviusand he of Ascaniusthe son of AEneaswhose flight fromTroy and settlement in Italy will be found narrated in "The Age ofFable."

Brutusat the age of fifteenattending his father to the chaseunfortunately killed him with an arrow. Banished therefor by his kindredhesought refuge in that part of Greece where Helenuswith a band of Trojanexileshad become established. But Helenus was now deadand the descendants ofthe Trojans were oppressed by Pandrasusthe king of the country. Brutusbeingkindly received among themso throve in virtue and in arms as to win the regardof all the eminent of the land above all others of his age. In consequence ofthis the Trojans not only began to hopebut secretly to persuade him to leadthem the way to liberty. To encourage them they had the promise of help fromAssaracusa noble Greek youthwhose mother was a Trojan. He had suffered wrongat the hands of the kingand for that reason the more willingly cast in his lotwith the Trojan exiles.

Choosing a fit opportunityBrutus with his countrymen withdrew to the woodsand hillsas the safest place from which to expostulateand sent this messageto Pandrasus: "That the Trojansholding it unworthy of their ancestors toserve in a foreign landhad retreated to the woodschoosing rather a savagelife than a slavish one. If that displeased himthenwith his leavetheywould depart to some other country." Pandrasusnot expecting so bold amessage from the sons of captiveswent in pursuit of themwith such forces ashe could gatherand met them on the banks of the Achelouswhere Brutus got theadvantageand took the king captive. The result wasthat the terms demanded bythe Trojans were granted; the king gave his daughter Imogen in marriage toBrutusand furnished shippingmoneyand fit provision for them all to departfrom the land.

The marriage being solemnizedand shipping from all parts got togethertheTrojansin a fleet of no less than three hundred and twenty sailbetookthemselves to the sea. On the third day they arrived at a certain islandwhichthey found destitute of inhabitantsthough there were appearances of formerhabitationand among the ruins a temple of Diana. Brutushere performingsacrifice at the shrine of the goddessinvoked an oracle for his guidanceinthese lines:- -

"Goddess of shadesand huntresswho at will

Walk'st on the rolling sphereand through the deep;

On thy third realmthe earthlook now and tell

What landwhat seat of restthou bidd'st me seek;

What certain seat where I may worship thee

For ayewith temples vowed and virgin choirs." -

To whomsleeping before the altarDianain a vision thus answered:- -

"Brutus! far to the westin the ocean wide

Beyond the realm of Gaula land there lies

Seagirt it lieswhere giants dwelt of old;

Nowvoidit fits thy people: thither bend

Thy course; there shalt thou find a lasting seat;

There to thy sons another Troy shall rise

And kings be born of theewhose dreaded might

Shall save the worldand conquer nations bold." -

Brutusguided nowas he thoughtby Divine directionsped his coursetowards the westandarriving at a place on the Tyrrhene seafound there thedescendants of certain Trojans who with Antenor came into Italyof whomCorineus was the chief. These joined companyand the ships pursued their waytill they arrived at the mouth of the river Loirein Francewhere theexpedition landedwith a view to a settlementbut were so rudely assaulted bythe inhabitants that they put to sea againand arrived at a part of the coastof Britain now called Devonshirewhere Brutus felt convinced that he had foundthe promised end of his voyagelanded his colonyand took possession.

The islandnot yet Britainbut Albionwas in a manner desert andinhospitableoccupied only by a remnant of the giant race whose excessive forceand tyranny had destroyed the others. The Trojans encountered these andextirpated themCorineus in particular signalizing himself by his exploitsagainst them; from whom Cornwall takes its namefor that region fell to hislotand there the hugest giants dweltlurking in rocks and cavestillCorineus rid the land of them.

Brutus built his capital cityand called it Trojanova (New Troy)changed intime to Trinovantumnow London; * andhaving governed

the isle twenty-four yearsdiedleaving three sonsLocrineAlbanactandCamber. Locrine had the middle partCamber the westcalled Cambria from himand Albanact Albanianow Scotland. Locrine was married to Guendolenthedaughter of Corineus; buthaving seen a fair maid named Estrildiswho had beenbrought captive from Germanyhe became enamored of herand had by her adaughterwhose name was Sabra. This matter was kept secret while Corineuslived; but after his deathLocrine divorced Guendolenand made Estrildis hisqueen. Guendolenall in ragedeparted to Cornwallwhere Madanher sonlivedwho had been brought up by Corineushis grandfather. Gathering an armyof her father's friends and subjectsshe gave battle to her husband's forcesand Locrine was slain. Guendolen caused her rivalEstrildiswith her daughterSabrato be thrown into the riverfrom which cause the river thenceforth borethe maiden's namewhich by length of time is now changed into Sabrina orSevern. Milton alludes to this in his address to the river- and in -

"Severn swiftguilty of maiden's death";- - his "Comus"tells the story with a slight variationthus:- -

"There is a gentle nymph not far from hence

That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream;

Sabrina is her namea virgin pure:

Whilom she was the daughter of Locrine

That had the sceptre from his fatherBrute.

Sheguiltless damselflying the mad pursuit

Of her enraged step-dameGuendolen

Commended her fair innocence to the flood

That stayed her flight with his cross-flowing course.

The water-nymphs that in the bottom played

Held up their pearled wrists and took her in

Bearing her straight to aged Nereus' hall

Whopiteous of her woesreared her lank head

And gave her to his daughters to imbathe

In nectared lavers strewed with asphodel

And through the porch and inlet of each sense

Dropped in ambrosial oils till she revived

And underwent a quickimmortal change

Made goddess of the river" etc. -

* "For noble Britons sprong from Trojans bold

And Troynovant was built of old Troy's ashes cold."

SPENSERBook IIICanto IX. 38. -

If our readers ask when all this took placewe must answerin the firstplacethat mythology is not careful of dates; and next thatas Brutus was thegreat-grandson of AEneasit must have been not far from a century subsequent tothe Trojan waror about 1100 years before the invasion of the island by JuliusCaesar. This long interval is filled with the names of princes whose chiefoccupation was in warring with one another. Some fewwhose names remainconnected with placesor embalmed in literaturewe will mention. -

BLADUD. -

Bladud built the city of Bathand dedicated the medicinal waters to Minerva.He was a man of great inventionand practised the arts of magictillhavingmade him wings to flyhe fell down upon the temple of Apolloin Trinovantandso diedafter twenty years' reign. -

LEIR. -

Leirwho next reignedbuilt Leicesterand called it after his name. He hadno male issuebut only three daughters. When grown oldhe determined to dividehis kingdom among his daughtersand bestow them in marriage. But firstto trywhich of them loved him besthe determined to ask them solemnly in orderandjudge of the warmth of their affection by their answers. Gonerilthe eldestknowing well her father's weaknessmade answer that she loved him"aboveher soul." "Since thou so honorest my declining age" said theold man"to thee and to thy husband I give the third part of myrealm." Such good success for a few words soon uttered was ampleinstruction to Reganthe second daughterwhat to say. She thereforeto thesame question repliedthat "she loved him more than all the worldbeside"; and so received an equal reward with her sister. But Cordeillathe youngestand hitherto the best belovedtoo honest to profess in words morethan she felt in her heartwas not moved from the solid purpose of a sincereand virtuous answerand replied: "Fathermy love towards you is as myduty bids. They who pretend beyond this flatter." When the old mansorryto hear thisand wishing her to recall these wordspersisted in askingshestill restrained her expressions so as to say rather less than more than thetruth. Then Leirall in a passionburst forth: "Since thou hast notreverenced thy aged father like thy sistersthink not to have any part in mykingdom or what else I have";- and without delaygiving in marriage hisother daughtersGoneril to the Duke of Albanyand Regan to the Duke ofCornwallhe divides his kingdom between them. Cordeillaportionlessmarriedthe prince of Francewho shortly after succeeded his father upon the throne.

King Leir went to reside with his eldest daughterattended only by a hundredknights. But in a short time his attendantsbeing complained of as too numerousand disorderlyare reduced to thirty. Resenting that affrontthe old kingbetakes him to his second daughter; but sheinstead of soothing his woundedpridetakes part with her sisterand refuses to admit a retinue of more thanfive. Then back he returns to the otherwho now will not receive him with morethan one attendant. Then the remembrance of Cordeilla comes to his thoughtsandhe takes his journey into France to seek herwith little hope of kindconsideration from one whom he had so injuredbut to pay her the lastrecompense he can render- confession of his injustice. When Cordeilla isinformed of his approachand of his sad conditionshe pours forth true filialtears. Andnot willing that her own or others' eyes should see him in thatforlorn conditionshe sends one of her trusted servants to meet himand conveyhim privately to some comfortable abodeand to furnish him with such state asbefitted his dignity. After which Cordeillawith the king her husbandwent instate to meet himandafter an honorable receptionthe king permitted hiswife Cordeilla to go with an army and set her father again upon his throne. Theyprosperedsubdued the wicked sisters and their consortsand Leir obtained thecrown and held it three years. Cordeilla succeeded himand reigned five years;but the sons of her sistersafter thatrebelled against herand she lost bothher crown and life.

Shakespeare has chosen this story as the subject of his tragedy of King Learvarying its details in some respects. The madness of Learand the ill successof Cordeilla's attempt to reinstate her fatherare the principal variationsand those in the names will also be noticed. Our narrative is drawn fromMilton's History; and thus the

reader will perceive that the story of Leir has had the distinguished honorof being told by the two acknowledged chiefs of British literature. -

FERREX AND PORREX. -

Ferrex and Porrex were brotherswho held the kingdom after Leir. Theyquarrelled about the supremacyand Porrex expelled his brotherwhoobtainingaid from Suardking of the Franksreturned and made war upon Porrex. Ferrexwas slain in battleand his forces dispersed. When their mother came to hear ofher son's deathwho was her favoriteshe fell into a great rageand conceiveda mortal hatred against the survivor. She tookthereforeher opportunity whenhe was asleepfell upon himandwith the assistance of her womentore him inpieces. This horrid story would not be worth relatingwere it not for the factthat it has furnished the plot for the first tragedy which was written in theEnglish language. It was entitled Gorboducbut in the second edition Ferrex andPorrexand was the production of Thomas Sackvilleafterwards Earl of Dorsetand Thomas Nortona barrister. Its date was 1561. -

DUNWALLO MOLMUTIUS. -

This is the next name of note. Molmutius established the Molmutine lawswhich bestowed the privilege of sanctuary on templescitiesand the roadsleading to themand gave the same protection to ploughsextending a religioussanction to the labors of the field. Shakespeare alludes to him in CymbelineAct IIISc. I.:- -

"Molmutius made our laws;

Who was the first of Britain which did put

His brows within a golden crownand called

Himself a king." -

BRENNUS AND BELINUS- the sons of Molmutiussucceeded him. They quarrelledand Brennus was driven out of the islandand took refuge in Gaulwhere he metwith such favor from the king of the Allobrogesthat he gave him his daughterin marriageand made him his partner on the throne. Brennus is the name whichthe Roman historians give to the famous leader of the Gauls who took Rome in thetime of Camillus. Geoffrey of Monmouth claims the glory of the conquest for theBritish princeafter he had become king of the Allobroges. -

ELIDURE. -

After Belinus and Brennus there reigned several kings of little noteandthen came Elidure. Arthgallohis brotherbeing kinggave great offence to hispowerful nobleswho rose against himdeposed himand advanced Elidure to thethrone. Arthgallo fledand endeavored to find assistance in the neighboringkingdoms to reinstate himbut found none. Elidure reigned prosperously andwisely. After five years' possession of the kingdomone daywhen huntinghemet in the forest his brotherArthgallowho had been deposed. After longwanderingunable longer to bear the poverty to which he was reducedhe hadreturned to Britainwith only ten followersdesigning to repair to those whohad formerly been his friends. Elidureat the sight of his brother in distressforgetting all animositiesran to himand embraced him. He took Arthgallo homewith himand concealed him in the palace. After this he feigned himself sickandcalling his nobles about himinduced thempartly by persuasionpartly byforceto consent to his abdicating the kingdomand reinstating his brother onthe throne. The agreement being ratifiedElidure took the crown from his ownheadand put it on his brother's head. Arthgallo after this reigned ten yearswell and wiselyexercising strict justice towards all men.

He diedand left the kingdom to his sonswho reigned with various fortunesbut were not long-livedand left no offspringso that Elidure was againadvanced to the throneand finished the course of his life in just and virtuousactionsreceiving the name of the piousfrom the love and admiration of hissubjects.

Wordsworth has taken the story of Artegal and Elidure for the subject of apoemwhich is No. 2 of "Poems founded on the Affections." -

LUD. -

After Elidure the Chronicle names many kingsbut none of special notetillwe come to Ludwho greatly enlarged Trinovanthis capitaland surrounded itwith a wall. He changed its namebestowing upon it his ownso that thenceforthit was called Lud's townafterwards London. Lud was buried by the gate of thecity called after him Ludgate. He had two sonsbut they were not old enough atthe time of their father's death to sustain the cares of governmentandtherefore their uncle Caswallaunor Cassibellaunussucceeded to the kingdom.He was a brave and magnificent princeso that his fame reached to distantcountries. -

CASSIBELLAUNUS. -

About this time it happened (as is found in the Roman histories) that JuliusCaesarhaving subdued Gaulcame to the shore opposite Britain. And havingresolved to add this island also to his conquesthe prepared ships andtransported his army across the seato the mouth of the river Thames. Here hewas met by Cassibellaunwith all his forcesand a battle ensuedin whichNenniusthe brother of Cassibellaunengaged in single combat with Caesar.After several furious blows given and receivedthe sword of Caesar stuck sofast in the shield of Nenniusthat it could not be pulled outandthecombatants being separated by the intervention of the troopsNennius remainedpossessed of this trophy. At lastafter the greater part of the day was spentthe Britons poured in so fast that Caesar was forced to retire to his camp andfleet. And finding it useless to continue the war any longer at that timehereturned to Gaul.

Shakespeare alludes to Cassibellaunusin Cymbeline:- -

"The famed Cassibelanwho was once at point

(O giglot fortune!) to master Caesar's sword

Made Lud's town with rejoicing fires bright

And Britons strut with courage." -

KYMBELINUSOR CYMBELINE. -

Caesaron a second invasion of the islandwas more fortunate and compelledthe Britons to pay tribute. Cymbelinethe nephew of the kingwas delivered tothe Romans as a hostage for the faithful fulfilment of the treatyandbeingcarried to Rome by Caesarhe was there brought up in the Roman arts andaccomplishments. Being afterwards restored to his countryand placed on thethronehe was

attached to the Romansand continued through all his reign at peace withthem. His sonsGuiderius and Arviraguswho make their appearance inShakespeare's play of Cymbelinesucceeded their fatherandrefusing to paytribute to the Romansbrought on another invasion. Guiderius was slainbutArviragus afterward made terms with the Romansand reigned prosperously manyyears. -

ARMORICA. -

The next event of note is the conquest and colonization of ArmoricabyMaximisa Roman generaland Conanlord of Miniadoc or Denbigh-landin Wales.The name of the country was changed to Brittanyor Lesser Britain; and socompletely was it possessed by the British coloniststhat the language becameassimilated to that spoken in Walesand it is said that to this day thepeasantry of the two countries can understand each other when speaking theirnative language.

The Romans eventually succeeded in establishing themselves in the islandandafter the lapse of several generations they became blended with the natives sothat no distinction existed between the two races. When at length the Romanarmies were withdrawn from Britaintheir departure was a matter of regret tothe inhabitantsas it left them without protection against the barbaroustribesScotsPictsand Norwegianswho harassed the country incessantly. Thiswas the state of things when the era of King Arthur began. -

The adventure of Albionthe giantwith Hercules is alluded to by SpenserFaery QueeneBook IV.Canto XI.:- -

"For Albion the son of Neptune was;

Who for the proof of his great puissance

Out of his Albion did on dry foot pass

Into old Gaul that now is cleped France

To fight with Herculesthat did advance

To vanquish all the world with matchless might;

And there his mortal part by great mischance

Was slain."

CHAPTER III.

ARTHUR. -

WE shall begin our history of King Arthur by giving those particulars of hislife which appear to rest on historical evidence; and then proceed to recordthose legends concerning him which form the earliest portion of Britishliterature.

Arthur was a prince of the tribe of Britons called Silureswhose country wasSouth Wales- the son of Uthernamed Pendragona title given to an electivesovereignparamount over the many kings of Britain. He appears to havecommenced his martial career about the year 500and was raised to thePendragonship about ten years later. He is said to have gained twelve victoriesover the Saxons. The most important of them was that of Badonby some supposedto be Bathby others Berkshire. This was the last of his battles with theSaxonsand checked their progress so effectually that Arthur experienced nomore annoyance from themand reigned in peaceuntil the revolt of his nephewModredtwenty years laterwhich led to the fatal battle of CamlaninCornwallin 542. Modred was slainand Arthurmortally woundedwas conveyedby sea to Glastonburywhere he diedand was buried. Tradition preserved thememory of the place of his interment within the abbeyas we are told byGiraldus Cambrensiswho was present when the grave was opened by command ofHenry II. in 1150and saw the bones and sword of the monarchand a leadencross let into his tombstonewith the inscription in rude Roman letters"Here lies buried the famous King Arthurin the island Avolonia."This story has been elegantly versified by Warton. A popular traditional beliefwas long entertained among the Britons that Arthur was not deadbut had beencarried off to be healed of his wounds in Fairy-landand that he would reappearto avenge his countrymenand reinstate them in the sovereignty of Britain. InWharton's Ode a bard relates to King Henry the traditional story of Arthur'sdeathand closes with these lines:- -

"Yet in vain a paynim foe

Armed with fate the mighty blow;

For when he fellthe Elfin queen

All in secret and unseen

O'er the fainting hero threw

Her mantle of ambrosial blue

And bade her spirits bear him far

In Merlin's agate-axled car

To her green isle's enamelled steep

Far in the navel of the deep.

O'er his wounds she sprinkled dew

From flowers that in Arabia grew. -

There he reigns a mighty king

Thence to Britain shall return

If right prophetic rolls I learn

Borne on victory's spreading plume

His ancient sceptre to resume

His knightly table to restore

And brave the tournaments of yore." -

After this narration another bard came forwardwho recited a differentstory:- -

"When Arthur bowed his haughty crest

No princess veiled in azure vest

Snatched himby Merlin's powerful spell

In groves of golden bliss to dwell;

But when he fellwith winged speed

His championson a milk-white steed

From the battle's hurricane

Bore him to Joseph's towered fane* -

In the fair vale of Avalon;

Therewith chanted orison

And the long blaze of tapers clear

The stoled fathers met the bier;

Through the dim aislesin order dread

Of martial woethe chief they led

And deep entombed in holy ground

Before the altar's solemn bound." -

* Glastonbury Abbeysaid to be founded by Joseph of Arimatheain a spotanciently called the island or valley of Avalonia.

Tennysonin his Palace of Artalludes to the legend of Arthur's rescue bythe Fairy queenthus:- -

"Or mythic Uther's deeply wounded son

In some fair space of sloping greens

Lay dozing in the vale of Avalon

And watched by weeping queens." -

It must not be concealedthat the very existence of Arthur has been deniedby some. Milton says of him: "As to Arthurmore renowned in songs andromances than in true storieswho he wasand whether ever any such reigned inBritainhath been doubted heretoforeand may againwith good reason."Modern criticshoweveradmit that there was a prince of this nameand findproof of it in the frequent mention of him in the writings of the Welsh bards.But the Arthur of romanceaccording to Mr. Owena Welsh scholar andantiquarianis a mythological person. "Arthur" he says"is theGreat Bearas the name literally implies (ArctosArcturus)and perhaps thisconstellationbeing so near the poleand visibly describing a circle in asmall spaceis the origin of the famous Round Table." Let us now turn tothe history of King Arthuras recorded by the romantic chroniclers.

Constansking of Britainhad three sonsMoinesAmbrosiusotherwisecalled Utherand Pendragon. Moinessoon after his accession to the crownwasvanquished by the Saxonsin consequence of the treachery of his seneschalVortigernand growing unpopular through misfortunehe was killed by hissubjectsand the traitor Vortigern chosen in his place.

Vortigern was soon after defeated in a great battle by Uther and Pendragonthe surviving brothers of Moinesand Pendragon ascended the throne.

This prince had great confidence in the wisdom of Merlinand made him hischief adviser. About this time a dreadful war arose between the Saxons andBritons. Merlin obliged the royal brothers to swear fidelity to each otherbutpredicted that one of them must fall in the first battle. The Saxons wereroutedand Pendragonbeing slainwas succeeded by Utherwho now assumedinaddition to his own namethe appellation of Pendragon.

Merlin still continued a favorite counsellor. At the request of Utherhetransported by magic art enormous stones from Irelandto form the sepulchre ofPendragon. These stones constitute the monument now called StonehengeonSalisbury Plain.

Merlin next proceeded to Carlisle to prepare the Round Tableat which heseated an assemblage of the great nobles of the country. The companions admittedto this high order were bound by oath to assist each other at the hazard oftheir own livesto attempt singly the most perilous adventuresto leadwhennecessarya life of monastic solitudeto fly to arms at the first summonsandnever to retire from battle till they had defeated the enemyunless nightintervened and separated the combatants.

Soon after this institutionthe king invited all his barons to thecelebration of a great festivalwhich he proposed holding annually at Carlisle.

As the knights had obtained the sovereign's permission to bring their ladiesalong with themthe beautiful Igerne accompanied her husbandGerloisDuke ofTintadielto one of these anniversaries. The king became deeply enamored of theDuchessand disclosed his passion; but Igerne repelled his advancesandrevealed his solicitations to her husband. On hearing thisthe Duke instantlyremoved from court with Igerneand without taking leave of Uther. The kingcomplained to his council of this want of dutyand they decided that the Dukeshould be summoned to courtandif refractoryshould be treated as a rebel.As he refused to obey the citationthe king carried war into the estates of hisvassaland besieged him in the strong castle of Tintadiel. Merlin transformedthe king into the likeness of Gerloisand enabled him to have many stoleninterviews with Igerne. At length the Duke was killed in battleand the kingespoused Igerne.

From this union sprang Arthurwho succeeded his fatherUtherupon thethrone. -

ARTHUR CHOSEN KING. -

Arthurthough only fifteen years old at his father's deathwas electedkingat a general meeting of the nobles. It was not done without oppositionfor there were many ambitious competitors; but Bishop Bricea person of greatsanctityon Christmas eve addressed the assemblyand represented that it wouldwell become themat that solemn seasonto put up their prayers for some tokenwhich should manifest the intentions of Providence respecting their futuresovereign. This was doneand with such successthat the service was scarcelyendedwhen a miraculous stone was discoveredbefore the church doorand inthe stone was firmly fixed a swordwith the following words engraven on itshilt:- -

"I am hight Escalibore

Unto a king fair tresore." -

Bishop Briceafter exhorting the assembly to offer up their thanksgivingsfor this signal miracleproposed a lawthat whoever should be able to draw outthe sword from the stoneshould be acknowledged as sovereign of the Britons;and his proposal was decreed by general acclamation. The tributary kings ofUtherand the most famous knightssuccessively put their strength to theproofbut the miraculous sword resisted all their efforts. It stood tillCandlemas; it stood till Easterand till Pentecostwhen the best knights inthe kingdom usually assembled for the annual tournament. Arthurwho was at thattime serving in the capacity of squire to his foster-brotherSir Kayattendedhis master to the lists. Sir Kay fought with great valor and successbut hadthe misfortune to break his swordand sent Arthur to his mother for a new one.Arthur hastened homebut did not find the lady; but having observed near thechurch a sword sticking in a stonehe galloped to the placedrew out the swordwith great easeand delivered it to his master. Sir Kay would willingly haveassumed to himself the distinction conferred by the possession of the sword; butwhento confirm the doubtersthe sword was replaced in the stonehe wasutterly unable to withdraw itand it would yield a second time to no hand butArthur's. Thus decisively pointed out by Heaven as their kingArthur was bygeneral consent proclaimed suchand an early day appointed for his solemncoronation.

Immediately after his election to the crownArthur found himself opposed byeleven kings and one dukewho with a vast army were actually encamped in theforest of Rockingham. By Merlin's advice Arthur sent an embassy to Brittany tosolicit aid of King Ban and King Bohorttwo of the best knights in the world.They accepted the calland with a powerful army crossed the sealanding atPortsmouthwhere they were received with great rejoicing. The rebel kings werestill superior in numbers; but Merlin by a powerful enchantmentcaused alltheir tents to fall down at onceand in the confusion Arthur with his alliesfell upon them and totally routed them.

After defeating the rebelsArthur took the field against the Saxons. As theywere too strong for him unaidedhe sent an embassy to Armoricabeseeching theassistance of Hoelwho soon after brought over an army to his aid. The twokings joined their forcesand sought the enemywhom they metand both sidesprepared for a decisive

engagement. "Arthur himself" as Geoffrey of Monmouth relates"dressed in a breastplate worthy of so great a kingplaces on his head agolden helmet engraved with the semblance of a dragon. Over his shoulders hethrows his shield called Priwenon which a picture of the Holy Virginconstantly recalled her to his memory. Girt with Caliburna most excellentswordand fabricated in the isle of Avalonhe graces his right hand with thelance named Ron. This was a long and broad spearwell contrived forslaughter." After a severe conflictArthurcalling on the name of theVirginrushes into the midst of his enemiesand destroys multitudes of themwith the formidable Caliburnand puts the rest to flight. Hoelbeing detainedby sicknesstook no part in this battle.

This is called the victory of Mount Badonandhowever disguised by fableit is regarded by historians as a real event.

The feats performed by Arthur at the battle of Badon Mount are thuscelebrated in Drayton's verse:- -

"They sung how he himself at Badon borethat day

When at the glorious goal his British scepter lay;

Two dais together how the battle stronglie stood;

Pendragon's worthie sonwho waded there in blood

Three hundred Saxons slew with his owne valiant hand."

Song IV. -

MERLIN. -

"-The most famous man of all those times

Merlinwho knew the range of all their arts

Had built the King his havensships and halls

Was also Bardand knew the starry heavens;

The people called him wizard."- TENNYSON. -

Now Merlinof whom we have already heard somewhat and shall hear morewasthe son of no mortal fatherbut of an Incubusone of a class of beings notabsolutely wickedbut far from goodwho inhabit the regions of the air.Merlin's mother was a virtuous young womanwhoon the birth of her sonintrusted him to a priestwho hurried him to the baptismal fountand so savedhim from sharing the lot of his fatherthough he retained many marks of hisunearthly origin.

At this time Vortigern reigned in Britain. He was a usurperwho had causedthe death of his sovereignMoinesand driven the two brothers of the latekingwhose names were Uther and Pendragoninto banishment. Vortigernwholived in constant fear of the return of the rightful heirs of the kingdombeganto erect a strong tower for defence. The edificewhen brought by the workmen toa certain heightthree times fell to the groundwithout any apparent cause.The king consulted his astrologers on this wonderful eventand learned fromthem that it would be necessary to bathe the cornerstone of the foundation withthe blood of a child born without a mortal father.

In search of such an infantVortigern sent his messengers all over thekingdomand they by accident discovered Merlinwhose lineage seemed to pointhim out as the individual wanted. They took him to the king; but Merlinyoungas he wasexplained to the king the absurdity of attempting to rescue thefabric by such meansfor he told him the true cause of the instability of thetower was its being placed over the den of two immense dragonswhose combatsshook the earth above them. The king ordered his workmen to dig beneath thetowerand when they had done so they discovered two enormous serpentsthe onewhite as milkthe other red as fire. The multitude looked on with amazementtill the serpentsslowly rising from their denand expanding their enormousfoldsbegan the combatwhen every one fled in terrorexcept Merlinwho stoodby clapping his hands and cheering on the conflict. The red dragon was slainand the white onegliding through a cleft in the rockdisappeared.

These animals typifiedas Merlin afterwards explainedthe invasion of Utherand Pendragonthe rightful princeswho soon after landed with a great army.Vortigern was defeatedand afterwards burned alive in the castle he had takensuch pains to construct. On the death of VortigernPendragon ascended thethrone. Merlin became his chief adviserand often assisted the king by hismagical arts. Among other endowmentshe had the power to transform himself intoany shape he pleased. At one time he appeared as a dwarfat others as a damsela pageor even a greyhound or a stag. This faculty he often employed for theservice of the kingand sometimes also for the diversion of the court and thesovereign.

Merlin continued to be a favorite counsellor through the reigns of PendragonUtherand Arthurand at last disappeared from viewand was no more foundamong menthrough the treachery of his mistressVivianethe Fairywhichhappened in this wise.

Merlinhaving become enamored of the fair Vivianethe Lady of the Lakewasweak enough to impart to her various important secrets of his artbeingimpelled by a fatal destinyof which he was at the same time fully aware. Theladyhoweverwas not content with his devotionunbounded as it seems to havebeenbut "cast about" the Romance tells ushow she might"detain him for evermore" and one day addressed him in these terms:"SirI would that we should make a fair place and a suitableso contrivedby art and by cunning that it might never be undoneand that you and I shouldbe there in joy and solace." "My lady" said Merlin"I willdo all this." "Sir" said she"I would not have you do itbut you shall teach meand I will do itand then it will be more to mymind." "I grant you this" said Merlin. Then he began to deviseand the damsel put it all in writing. And when he had devised the wholethenhad the damsel full great joyand showed him greater semblance of love than shehad ever before madeand they sojourned together a long while. At length itfell out thatas they were going one day in hand through the forest ofBreceliandethey found a bush of white-thornwhich was laden with flowers; andthey seated themselvesunder the shade of this white-thornupon the grassandMerlin laid his head upon the damsel's lapand fell asleep. Then the damselroseand made a ring with her wimple round the bushand round Merlinandbegan her enchantmentssuch as he himself had taught her; and nine times shemade the ringand nine times she made the enchantmentand then she went andsat down by himand placed his head again upon her lap. And when he awokeandlooked round himit seemed to him that he was enclosed in the strongest towerin the worldand laid upon a fair bed. Then said he to the dame: "My ladyyou have deceived meunless you abide with mefor no one hath power to unmakethis tower but you alone." She then promised that she would be often thereand in this she held her covenant with him. And Merlin never went out of thattower where his Mistress Viviane had enclosed him; but she entered and went outagain when she listed.

After this event Merlin was never more known to hold converse with any mortalbut Vivianeexcept on one occasion. Arthurhaving for some time missed himfrom his courtsent several of his knights in search of himand among thenumber Sir Gawainwho met with a very unpleasant adventure while engaged inthis quest. Happening to pass a damsel on his roadand neglecting to salutehershe revenged herself for his incivility by transforming him into a hideousdwarf.

He was bewailing aloud his evil fortune as he went through the forest ofBreceliandewhen suddenly he heard the voice of one groaning on his right hand;andlooking that wayhe could see nothing save a kind of smokewhich seemedlike airand through which he could not pass. Merlin then addressed him fromout the smokeand told him by what misadventure he was imprisoned there."Ahsir!" he added"you will never see me moreand thatgrieves mebut I cannot remedy it; I shall never more speak to younor to anyother personsave only my mistress. But do thou hasten to King Arthurandcharge him from me to undertakewithout delaythe quest of the Sacred Graal.The knight is already bornand has received knighthood at his handswho isdestined to accomplish this quest." And after this he comforted Gawainunder his transformationassuring him that he should speedily be disenchanted;and he predicted to him that he should find the king at Carduelin Walesonhis returnand that all the other knights who had been on like quest wouldarrive there the same day as himself. And all this came to pass as Merlin hadsaid.

Merlin is frequently introduced in the tales of chivalrybut it is chieflyon great occasionsand at a period subsequent to his deathor magicaldisappearance. In the romantic poems of Italyand in SpenserMerlin is chieflyrepresented as a magical artist. Spenser represents him as the artificer of theimpenetrable shield and other armor of Prince Arthur (Faery QueeneBook I.Canton vii.)and of a mirrorin which a damsel viewed her lover's shade. TheFountain of Lovein the Orlando Innamoratois described as his work; and inthe poem of Ariosto we are told of a hall adorned with prophetic paintingswhich demons had executed in a single nightunder the direction of Merlin.

The following legend is from Spenser's Faery Queene (Book III.Canto iii.):--

CAER-MERDINOR CAERMARTHEN (IN WALES)MERLIN'S TOWERAND THE

IMPRISONED FIENDS. -

Forthwith themselves disguising bothin straunge

And base attirethat none might them bewray

To Maridunumthat is now by chaunge

Of name Caer-Merdin calledthey took their way:

There the wise Merlinwhylome wont (they say)

To make his wonnelow underneath the ground

In a deep delvefar from the view of day

That of no living wight he mote be found

Whenso he counselled with his sprights encompassed round. -

And if thou ever happen that same way

To travelgo to see that dreadful place;

It is a hideous hollow cave (they say)

Under a rock that lies a little space

From the swift Barrytombling down apace

Amongst the woody hills of Dynevor;

But dare not thouI chargein any case

To enter into that same baleful bower

For fear the cruel fiends should thee unwares devour. -

But standing high aloftlow lay thine ear

And there such ghastly noise of iron chains

And brazen cauldrons thou shalt rumbling hear

Which thousand sprites with long enduring pains

Do tossthat it will stun thy feeble brains;

And oftentimes great groansand grievous stounds

When too huge toil and labor them constrains;

And oftentimes loud strokes and ringing sounds

From under that deep rock most horribly rebounds. -

The cause some say is this. A little while

Before that Merlin diedhe did intend

A brazen wall in compas to compile

About Caermerdinand did it commend

Unto these sprites to bring to perfect end;

During which work the Lady of the Lake

Whom long he lovedfor him in haste did send;

Whothereby forced his workmen to forsake

Them bound till his return their labor not to slack. -

In the meantimethrough that false lady's train

He was surprisedand buried under beare*

Ne ever to his work returned again;

Natheless those fiends may not their work forbear

So greatly his commandement they fear;

But there do toil and travail day and night

Until that brazen wall they up do rear.

For Merlin had in magic more insight

Than ever him before or after living wight. -

* Buried under beare. Buried under something which enclosed him like a coffinor bier. -

GUENEVER. -

"Leodogranthe King of Cameliard

Had one fair daughterand none other child

And she was fairest of all flesh on earth

Guenevereand in her his one delight."

TENNYSON. -

Merlin had planned for Arthur a marriage with the daughter of King Laodegan *of Carmalide. By his advice Arthur paid a visit to the court of that sovereignattended only by Merlin and by thirty-nine knights whom the magician hadselected for that service. On their arrival they found Laodegan and his peerssitting in councilendeavoringbut with small prospect of successto devisemeans for resisting the impending attack of RyenceKing of Irelandwhowithfifteen tributary kings and an almost innumerable armyhad nearly surroundedthe city. Merlinwho acted as leader of the band of British knightsannouncedthem as strangerswho came to offer the king their services in his wars; butunder the express condition that they should be at liberty to conceal theirnames and quality until they should think proper to divulge them. These termswere thought very strangebut were thankfully acceptedand the strangersafter taking the usual oath to the kingretired to the lodging which Merlin hadprepared for them. -

* The spelling of these proper names is very often only a matter of taste. IthinkhoweverLeodogran and Guenevere are less common than Laodegan andGuenever. -

A few days after thisthe enemyregardless of a truce into which they hadentered with King Laodegansuddenly issued from their camp and made an attemptto surprise the city. Cleodalisthe king's generalassembled the royal forceswith all possible despatch. Arthur

and his companions also flew to armsand Merlin appeared at their headbearing a standard on which was emblazoned a terrific dragon. Merlin advanced tothe gateand commanded the porter to open itwhich the porter refused to dowithout the king's order. Merlin thereupon took up the gatewith all itsappurtenances of locksbarsand boltsand directed his troop to pass throughafter which he replaced it in perfect order. He then set spurs to his horseanddashedat the head of the little troopinto a body of two thousand Pagans. Thedisparity of numbers being so enormousMerlin cast a spell upon the enemysoas to prevent their seeing the small number of their assailants; notwithstandingwhich the British knights were hard pressed. But the people of the citywho sawfrom the walls this unequal contestwere ashamed of leaving the small body ofstrangers to their fateso they opened the gate and sallied forth. The numberswere now more nearly equaland Merlin revoked his spellso that the two armiesencountered on fair terms. Where ArthurBanBohortand the rest foughttheking's army had the advantage; but in another part of the field the king himselfwas surrounded and carried off by the enemy. This sad sight was seen byGueneverthe fair daughter of the kingwho stood on the city wall and lookedat the battle. She was in dreadful distresstore her hairand swooned away.

But Merlinaware of what passed in every part of the fieldsuddenlycollected his knightsled them out of the battleintercepted the passage ofthe party who were carrying away the kingcharged them with irresistibleimpetuositycut in pieces or dispersed the whole escortand rescued the king.In the fight Arthur encountered Caulanga giant fifteen feet highand the fairGueneverwho already began to feel a strong interest in the handsome youngstrangertrembled for the issue of the contest. But Arthurdealing a dreadfulblow on the shoulder of the monstercut through his neck so that his head hungover on one sideand in this condition his horse carried him about the fieldto the great horror and dismay of the Pagans. Guenever could not refrain fromexpressing aloud her wish that the gentle knightwho dealt with giants sodexterouslywere destined to become her husbandand the wish was echoed by herattendants. The enemy soon turned their backsand fled with precipitationclosely pursued by Laodegan and his allies.

After the battle Arthur was disarmed and conducted to the bath by thePrincess Gueneverwhile his friends were attended by the other ladies of thecourt. After the bath the knights were conducted to a magnificent entertainmentat which they were diligently served by the same fair attendants. Laodeganmoreand more anxious to know the name and quality of his generous deliverersandoccasionally forming a secret wish that the chief of his guests might becaptivated by the charms of his daughterappeared silent and pensiveand wasscarcely roused from his reverie by the banter of his courtiers. Arthurhavinghad an opportunity of explaining to Guenever his great esteem for her meritwasin the joy of his heartand was still further delighted by hearing from Merlinthe late exploits of Gawain at Londonby means of which his immediate return tohis dominions was rendered unnecessaryand he was left at liberty to protracthis stay at the court of Laodegan. Every day contributed to increase theadmiration of the whole court for the gallant strangersand the passion ofGuenever for their chief; and when at last Merlin announced to the king that theobject of the visit of the party was to procure a bride for their leaderLaodegan at once presented Guenever to Arthurtelling him thatwhatever mightbe his rankhis merit was sufficient to entitle him to the possession of theheiress of Carmalide. Arthur accepted the lady with the utmost gratitudeandMerlin then proceeded to satisfy the king of the rank of his son-in-law; uponwhich Laodeganwith all his baronshastened to do homage to their lawfulsovereignthe successor of Uther Pendragon. The fair Guenever was then solemnlybetrothed to Arthurand a magnificent festival was proclaimedwhich lastedseven days. At the end of that timethe enemy appearing again with renewedforceit became necessary to resume military operations. * -

* Gueneverthe name of Arthur's queenalso written Genievre and Geneurasis familiar to all who are conversant with chivalric lore. It is to heradventuresand those of her true knightSir Launcelotthat Dante alludes inthe beautiful episode of Francesca da Rimini. -

We must now relate what took place at or near London while Arthur was absentfrom his capital. At this very time a band of young heroes were on their way toArthur's courtfor the purpose of receiving knighthood from him. They wereGawain and his three brothersnephews of Arthursons of King LotandGalachinanother nephewson of King Nanters. King Lot had been one of therebel chiefs whom Arthur had defeatedbut he now hoped by means of the youngmen to be reconciled to his brother-in-law. He equipped his sons and his nephewwith the utmost magnificencegiving them a splendid retinue of young mensonsof earls and baronsall mounted on the best horseswith complete suits ofchoice armor. They numbered in all seven hundredbut only nine had yet receivedthe order of knighthood; the rest were candidates for that honorand anxious toearn it by an early encounter with the enemy. Gawainthe leaderwas a knightof wonderful strength; but what was most remarkable about him was that hisstrength was greater at certain hours of the day than at others. From nineo'clock till noon his strength was doubledand so it was from three toeven-song; for the rest of the time it was less remarkablethough at all timessurpassing that of ordinary men.

After a march of three days they arrived in the vicinity of Londonwherethey expected to find Arthur and his court; and very unexpectedly fell in with alarge convoy belonging to the enemyconsisting of numerous carts and wagonsall loaded with provisionsand escorted by three thousand menwho had beencollecting spoil from all the country round. A single charge from Gawain'simpetuous cavalry was sufficient to disperse the escort and to recover theconvoywhich was instantly despatched to London. But before long a body ofseven thousand fresh soldiers advanced to the attack of the five princes andtheir little army. Gawainsingling out a chief named Choasof gigantic sizebegan the battle by splitting him from the crown of the head to the breast.Galachin encountered King Sanagranwho was also very hugeand cut off hishead. Agrivain and Gahariet also performed prodigies of valor. Thus they keptthe great army of assailants at baythough hard pressedtill of a sudden theyperceived a strong body of the citizens advancing from Londonwhere the convoywhich had been recovered by Gawain had arrivedand informed the mayor andcitizens of the danger of their deliverer. The arrival of the Londoners soondecided the contest. The enemy fled in all directionsand Gawain and hisfriendsescorted by the grateful citizensentered Londonand were receivedwith acclamations.

After the great victory of Mount Badonby which the Saxons were for the timeeffectually put downArthur turned his arms against the Scots and Pictswhomhe routed at Lake Lomondand compelled to sue for mercy. He then went to Yorkto keep his Christmasand employed himself in restoring the Christian churcheswhich the Pagans had rifled and overthrown. The following summer he conqueredIreland

and then made a voyage with his fleet to Icelandwhich he also subdued. Thekings of Gothland and of the Orkneys came voluntarily and made their submissionpromising to pay tribute. Then he returned to Britainwherehaving establishedthe kingdomhe dwelt twelve years in peace.

During this timehe invited over to him all persons whatsoever that werefamous for valor in foreign nationsand augmented the number of his domesticsand introduced such politeness into his court as people of the remotestcountries thought worthy of their imitation. So that there was not a noblemanwho thought himself of any consideration unless his clothes and arms were madein the same fashion as those of Arthur's knights.

Finding himself so powerful at homeArthur began to form designs forextending his power abroad. Sohaving prepared his fleethe first attemptedNorwaythat he might procure the crown of it for Lothis sister's husband.Arthur landed in Norwayfought a great battle with the king of that countrydefeated himand pursued the victory till he had reduced the whole countryunder his dominionand established Lot upon the throne. Then Arthur made avoyage to Gaul and laid siege to the city of Paris. Gaul was at that time aRoman provinceand governed by Flollothe Tribune. When the siege of Paris hadcontinued a monthand the people began to suffer from famineFlollo challengedArthur to single combatproposing to decide the conquest in that way. Arthurgladly accepted the challengeand slew his adversary in the contestupon whichthe citizens surrendered the city to him. After the victory Arthur divided hisarmy into two partsone of which he committed to the conduct of Hoelwhom heordered to march into Aquitainewhile he with the other part should endeavor tosubdue the other provinces. At the end of nine yearsin which time all theparts of Gaul were entirely reducedArthur returned to Pariswhere he kept hiscourtand calling an assembly of the clergy and peopleestablished peace andthe just administration of the laws in that kingdom. Then he bestowed Normandyupon Bedverhis butlerand the province of Andegavia upon Kayhis steward*and several others upon his great men that attended him. Andhaving settled thepeace of the cities and countrieshe returned back in the beginning of springto Britain. -

* This namein the French romancesis spelled Queuxwhich means head cook.This would seem to imply that it was a titleand not a name; yet the personagewho bore it is never mentioned by any other. He is the chiefif not the onlycomic character among the heroes of Arthur's court. He is the Seneschal orStewardhis duties also embracing those of chief of the cooks. In the romanceshis general character is a compound of valor and buffooneryalways ready tofightand generally getting the worst of the battle. He is also sarcastic andabusive in his remarksby which he often gets into trouble. Yet Arthur seems tohave an attachment to himand often takes his advicewhich is generally wrong.-

Upon the approach of the feast of PentecostArthurthe better todemonstrate his joy after such triumphant successesand for the more solemnobservation of that festivaland reconciling the minds of the princes that werenow subject to himresolved during that season to hold a magnificent courttoplace the crown upon his headand to invite all the kings and dukes under hissubjection to the solemnity. And he pitched upon Caerleonthe City of Legionsas the proper place for his purpose. Forbesides its great wealth above theother cities* its situation upon the river Usknear the Severn seawas mostpleasant and fit for so great a solemnity. For on one side it was washed by thatnoble riverso that the kings and princes from the countries beyond the seasmight have the convenience of sailing up to it. On the other side the beauty ofthe meadows and grovesand magnificence of the royal palaceswith lofty gildedroofs that adorned itmade it even rival the grandeur of Rome. It was alsofamous for two churcheswhereof one was adorned with a choir of virginswhodevoted themselves wholly to the service of Godand the other maintained aconvent of priests. Besidesthere was a college of two hundred philosopherswhobeing learned in astronomy and the other artswere diligent in observingthe courses of the starsand gave Arthur true predictions of the events thatwould happen. In this placethereforewhich afforded such delightswerepreparations made for the ensuing festival. -

* Several cities are allotted to King Arthur by the romance-writers. Theprincipal are CaerleonCamelotand Carlisle.

Caerleon derives its name from its having been the station of one of thelegions during the dominion of the Romans. It is called by Latin writers UrbsLegionumthe City of Legions- the former word being rendered into Welsh byCaermeaning cityand the latter contracted into lleon. The river Usk retainsits name in modern geographyand there is a town or city of Caerleon upon itthough the city of Cardiff is thought to be the scene of Arthur's court. Chesteralso bears the Welsh name of Caerleon; for Chesterderived from castraLatinfor campis the designation of military headquarters.

Camelot is thought to be Winchester.

Shalott is Guildford.

Hamo's Port is Southampton.

Carlisle is the city still retaining that namenear the Scottish border. Butthis name is also sometimes applied to other placeswhich werelike itselfmilitary stations. -

Ambassadors were then sent into several kingdomsto invite to court theprinces both of Gaul and of the adjacent islands. Accordingly there cameAuguselking of Albanianow ScotlandCadwalloking of Venedotianow NorthWalesSaterking of Demetianow South Wales; also the archbishops of themetropolitan seesLondon and Yorkand Dubriciusbishop of Caerleonthe Cityof Legions. This prelatewho was primate of Britainwas so eminent for hispiety that he could cure any sick person by his prayers. There were also thecounts of the principal citiesand many other worthies of no less dignity.

From the adjacent islands came Guillamuriusking of IrelandGunfasiuskingof the OrkneysMalvasiusking of IcelandLotking of NorwayBedver thebutlerDuke of NormandyKay the sewerDuke of Andegavia; also the twelvepeers of Gauland HoelDuke of the Armorican Britonswith his nobilitywhocame with such a train of muleshorsesand rich furnitureas is difficult todescribe. Besides thesethere remained no prince of any consideration on thisside of Spain who came not upon this invitationand no wonderwhen Arthur'smunificencewhich was celebrated over the whole worldmade him beloved by allpeople.

When all were assembledupon the day of the solemnitythe archbishops wereconducted to the palace in order to place the crown upon the king's head. ThenDubriciusinasmuch as the court was held in his diocesemade himself ready tocelebrate the office. As soon as the king was invested with his royalhabilimentshe was conducted in great pomp to the metropolitan churchhavingfour kingsviz.of AlbaniaCornwallDemetiaand Venedotiabearing fourgolden swords before him. On another part was the queendressed out in herrichest ornamentsconducted by the archbishops and bishops to the Church ofVirgins; the four queensalsoof the kings last mentioned

bearing before her four white dovesaccording to ancient custom. When thewhole procession was endedso transporting was the harmony of the musicalinstruments and voiceswhereof there was a vast variety in both churchesthatthe knights who attended were in doubt which to preferand therefore crowdedfrom one to the other by turnsand were far from being tired of the solemnitythough the whole day had been spent in it. At lastwhen divine service was overat both churchesthe king and queen put off their crownsandputting on theirlighter ornamentswent to the banquet. When they had all taken their seatsaccording to precedenceKay the sewerin rich robes of erminewith a thousandyoung noblemen all in like manner clothed in rich attireserved up the dishes.From another part Bedver the butler was followed by the same number ofattendantswho waited with all kinds of cups and drinking-vessels. And therewas food and drink in abundanceand everything was of the best kindand servedin the best manner. For at that time Britain had arrived at such a pitch ofgrandeur that in richesluxuryand politeness it far surpassed all otherkingdoms.

As soon as the banquets were over they went into the fields without the cityto divert themselves with various sportssuch as shooting with bows and arrowstossing the pikecasting of heavy stones and rocksplaying at diceand thelikeand all these inoffensivelyand without quarrelling. In this manner werethree days spentand after that they separatedand the kings and noblemendeparted to their several homes.

After this Arthur reigned five years in peace. Then came ambassadors fromLucius TiberiusProcurator under LeoEmperor of Romedemanding tribute. ButArthur refused to pay tributeand prepared for war. As soon as the necessarydispositions were madehe committed the government of his kingdom to his nephewModred and to Queen Gueneverand marched with his army to Hamo's Portwherethe wind stood fair for him. The army crossed over in safetyand landed at themouth of the river Barba. And there they pitched their tents to wait the arrivalof the kings of the islands.

As soon as all the forces were arrivedArthur marched forward toAugustodunumand encamped on the banks of the river Alba. Here repeated battleswere foughtin all which the Britonsunder their valiant leadersHoelDukeof Armoricaand Gawainnephew to Arthurhad the advantage. At length LuciusTiberius determined to retreatand wait for the Emperor Leo to join him withfresh troops. But Arthuranticipating this eventtook possession of a certainvalleyand closed up the way of retreat to Luciuscompelling him to fight adecisive battlein which Arthur lost some of the bravest of his knights andmost faithful followers. But on the other hand Lucius Tiberius was slainandhis army totally defeated. The fugitives dispersed over the countrysome to theby-ways and woodssome to the cities and townsand all other places where theycould hope for safety.

Arthur stayed in those parts till the next winter was overand employed histime in restoring order and settling the government. He then returned intoEnglandand celebrated his victories with great splendor.

Then the king established all his knightsand to them that were not rich hegave landsand charged them all never to do outrage nor murderand always toflee treason; alsoby no means to be cruelbut to give mercy unto him thatasked mercyupon pain of forfeiture of their worship and lordship; and alwaysto do ladiesdamoselsand gentlewomen serviceupon pain of death. Also thatno man take battle in a wrongful quarrelfor no lawnor for any world's goods.Unto this were all the knights sworn of the Table Roundboth old and young. Andat every year were they sworn at the high feast of Pentecost. -

KING ARTHUR SLAYS THE GIANT OF ST. MICHAEL'S MOUNT -

While the army was encamped in Brittanyawaiting the arrival of the kingsthere came a countryman to Arthurand told him that a giantwhose cave was ina neighboring mountaincalled St. Michael's Mounthad for a long time beenaccustomed to carry off the children of the peasantsto devour them. "Andnow he hath taken the Duchess of Brittanyas she rode with her attendantsandhath carried her away in spite of all they could do." "Nowfellow" said King Arthur"canst thou bring me there where this gianthaunteth?" "Yeasure" said the good man; "loyonder wherethou seest two great firesthere shalt thou find himand more treasure than Isuppose is in all France beside." Then the king called to him Sir Bedverand Sir Kayand commanded them to make ready horse and harness for himself andthem; for after evening he would ride on pilgrimage to St. Michael's Mount.

So they three departedand rode forth till they came to the foot of themount. And there the king commanded them to tarryfor he would himself go upinto that mount. So he ascended the hill till he came to a great fireand therehe found an aged woman sitting by a new-made gravemaking great sorrow. ThenKing Arthur saluted herand demanded of her wherefore she made suchlamentation; to whom she answered: "Sir Knightspeak lowfor yonder is adeviland if he hear thee speak he will come and destroy thee. For ye cannotmake resistance to himhe is so fierce and so strong. He hath murdered theDuchesswhich here liethwho was the fairest of all the worldwife to SirHoelDuke of Brittany." "Dame" said the king"I come fromthe noble conquerorKing Arthurto treat with that tyrant." "Fie onsuch treaties" said she; "he setteth not by the kingnor by no manelse." "Well" said Arthur"I will accomplish my messagefor all your fearful words." So he went forth by the crest of the hillandsaw where the giant sat at suppergnawing on the limb of a manand baking hisbroad limbs at the fireand three fair damsels lying boundwhose lot it was tobe devoured in their turn. When King Arthur beheld that he had great compassionon themso that his heart bled for sorrow. Then he hailed the giantsaying"He that all the world ruleth give thee short life and shameful death. Whyhast thou murdered this Duchess? Therefore come forththou caitifffor thisday thou shalt die by my hand." Then the giant started upand took a greatcluband smote at the kingand smote off his coronal; and then the king struckhim in the belly with his swordand made a fearful wound. Then the giant threwaway his cluband caught the king in his armsso that he crushed his ribs.Then the three maidens kneeled down and prayed for help and comfort for Arthur.And Arthur weltered and wrenchedso that he was one while underand anothertime above. And so weltering and wallowing they rolled down the hilland everas they weltered Arthur smote him with his dagger; and it fortuned they came tothe place where the two knights were. And when they saw the king fast in thegiant's arms they came and loosed him. Then the king commanded Sir Kay to smiteoff the giant's headand to set it on the truncheon of a spearand fix it onthe barbicanthat all the people might see and behold it. This was doneandanon it was known through all the countrywherefor the people came and thankedthe king. And he said"Give your thanks to God; and take ye the giant'sspoil and divide it among you." And King Arthur caused a church to bebuilded on that hillin honor of St. Michael. -

KING ARTHUR GETS A SWORD FROM THE LADY OF THE LAKE. -

One day King Arthur rode forthand on a sudden he was ware of three churlschasing Merlin to have slain him. And the king rode unto them and bade them"Fleechurls!" Then were they afraid when they saw a knightandfled. "O Merlin" said Arthur"here hadst thou been slainforall thy craftshad I not been by." "Nay" said Merlin"notsofor I could save myself if I would; but thou art more near thy death than Iam." Soas they went thus walkingKing Arthur perceived where sat aknight on horsebackas if to guard the pass. "Sir knight" saidArthur"for what cause abidest thou here?" Then the knight said"There may no knight ride this way unless he joust with mefor such is thecustom of the pass." "I will amend that custom" said the king.Then they ran togetherand they met so hard that their spears were shivered.Then they drew their swords and fought a strong battlewith many great strokes.But at length the sword of the knight smote King Arthur's sword in two pieces.Then said the knight unto Arthur"Thou art in my powerwhether to savethee or slay theeand unless thou yield thee as overcome and recreant thoushalt die." "As for death" said King Arthur"welcome be itwhen it cometh; but to yield me unto thee as recreant I will not." Then heleapt upon the knightand took him by the middle and threw him down; but theknight was a passing strong manand anon he brought Arthur under himand wouldhave razed off his helm to slay him. Then said Merlin"Knighthold thyhandfor this knight is a man of more worship than thou art aware of.""Whywho is he?" said the knight. "It is King Arthur." Thenwould he have slain him for dread of his wrathand lifted up his sword to slayhim; and therewith Merlin cast an enchantment on the knightso that he fell tothe earth in a great sleep. Then Merlin took up King Arthur and set him on hishorse. "Alas!" said Arthur"what hast thou doneMerlin? hastthou slain this good knight by thy crafts?" "Care ye not" saidMerlin; "he is wholer than ye be. He is only asleepand will wake in threehours."

Right so the king and he departedand went unto an hermit that was a goodman and a great leech. So the hermit searched all his wounds and gave him goodsalves; so the king was there three daysand then were his wounds well amendedthat he might ride and goand so departed. And as they rode Arthur said"I have no sword." "No force" said Merlin; "hereby isa sword that shall be yours." So they rode till they came to a lakethewhich was a fair water and broadand in the midst of the lake Arthur was wareof an arm clothed in white samitethat held a fair sword in that hand."So" said Merlin"yonder is that sword that I spake of."With that they saw a damsel going upon the lake. "What damsel isthat?" said Arthur. "That is the Lady of the Lake" said Merlin;"and within that lake is a rockand therein is as fair a place as any onearthand richly beseenand this damsel will come to you anonand then speakye fair to her and she will give thee that sword." Anon withal came thedamsel unto Arthur and saluted himand he her again. "Damsel" saidArthur"what sword is that that yonder the arm holdeth above the waves? Iwould it were minefor I have no sword." "Sir Arthur king" saidthe damsel"that sword is mineand if ye will give me a gift when I askit you ye shall have it." "By my faith" said Arthur"Iwill give ye what gift ye shall ask." "Well" said the damsel"go you into yonder barge and row yourself to the swordand take it andthe scabbard with youand I will ask my gift when I see my time." SoArthur and Merlin alightedand tied their horses to two treesand so they wentinto the shipand when they came to the sword that the hand heldArthur tookit by the handlesand took it with him. And the arm and the hand went under thewater.

Then they returned unto the land and rode forth. And Sir Arthur looked on thesword and liked it right well.

So they rode unto Caerleonwhereof his knights were passing glad. And whenthey heard of his adventures they marvelled that he jeopard his person so alone.But all men of worship said it was a fine thing to be under such a chieftain aswould put his person in adventure as other poor knights did.

CHAPTER IV.

CARADOC BRIEFBRAS; OR CARADOC WITH THE SHRUNKEN ARM. -

CARADOC was the son of Ysennethe beautiful niece of Arthur. He was ignorantwho his father wastill it was discovered in the following manner: When theyouth was of proper years to receive the honors of knighthoodKing Arthur helda grand court for the purpose of knighting him. On this occasion a strangeknight presented himselfand challenged the knights of Arthur's court toexchange blow for blow with him. His proposal was this- to lay his neck on ablock for any knight to strikeon condition thatif he survived the blowtheknight should submit in turn to the same experiment. Sir Kaywho was usuallyready to accept all challengespronounced this wholly unreasonableanddeclared that he would not accept it for all the wealth in the world. And whenthe knight offered his swordwith which the operation was to be performednoperson ventured to accept ittill Caradocgrowing angry at the disgrace whichwas thus incurred by the Round Tablethrew aside his mantle and took it."Do you do this as one of the best knights?" said the stranger."No" he replied"but as one of the most foolish." Thestranger lays his head upon the blockreceives a blow which sends it rollingfrom his shoulderswalks after itpicks it upreplaces it with great successand says he will return when the court shall be assembled next yearand claimhis turn. When the anniversary arrived both parties were punctual to theirengagement. Great entreaties were used by the king and queenand the wholecourtin behalf of Caradocbut the stranger was inflexible. The young knightlaid his head upon the blockand more than once desired him to make an end ofthe businessand not keep him longer in so disagreeable a state of expectation.At last the stranger strikes him gently. with the side of the swordbids himriseand reveals to him the fact that he is his fatherthe enchanter Eliauresand that he gladly owns him for a sonhaving proved his courageand fidelityto his word.

But the favor of enchanters is short-lived and uncertain. Eliaures fell underthe influence of a wicked womanwhoto satisfy her pique against Caradocpersuaded the enchanter to fasten on his arm a serpentwhich remained theresucking at his flesh and bloodno human skill sufficing either to remove thereptile or alleviate the torments which Caradoc endured.

Caradoc was betrothed to Guimiersister to his bosom friend Cadoranddaughter to the king of Cornwall. As soon as they were informed of hisdeplorable conditionthey set out for Nanteswhere Caradoc's castle wasthatGuimier might attend upon him. When Caradoc heard of their coming his firstemotion was that of joy and love. But soon he began to fear that the sight ofhis emaciated form and of his sufferings would disgust Guimier; and thisapprehension became so strong that he departed secretly from Nantesand hidhimself in a hermitage. He was sought far and near by the knights of Arthur'scourtand Cador made a vow never to desist from the quest till he should havefound him. After long wanderingCador discovered his friend in the hermitagereduced almost to a skeletonand apparently near his death. All other means ofrelief having already been tried in vainCador at last prevailed on theenchanter Eliaures to disclose the only method which could avail for his rescue.A maiden must be foundhis equal in birth and beautyand loving him betterthan herselfso that she would expose herself to the same torment to deliverhim. Two vessels were then to be providedthe one filled with sour wine and theother with milk. Caradoc must enter the firstso that the wine should reach hisneckand the maiden must get into the otherandexposing her bosom upon theedge of the vesselinvite the serpent to forsake the withered flesh of hisvictim for this fresh and inviting food. The vessels were to be placed threefeet apartand as the serpent crossed from one to the other a knight was to cuthim in two. If he failed in his blowCaradocwould indeed be deliveredbut itwould only be to see his fair champion suffering the same cruel and hopelesstorment. The sequel may be easily foreseen. Guimier willingly exposed herself tothe perilous adventureand Cadorwith a lucky blowkilled the serpent. Thearmin which Caradoc had suffered so longrecovered its strengthbut not itsshapein consequence of which he was called Caradoc BriefbrasCaradoc of theShrunken Arm.

Caradoc and Guimier are the hero and heroine of the ballad of the Boy and theMantlewhich follows. -

THE BOY AND THE MANTLE. -

In Carlisle dwelt King Arthur

A prince of passing might

And there maintained his Table

Beset with many a knight. -

And there he kept his Christmas

With mirth and princely cheer

When lo! a strange and cunning boy

Before him did appear. -

A kirtle and a mantle

This boy had him upon

With broochesringsand ouches

Full daintily bedone. -

He had a sash of silk.

About his middle meet;

And thus with seemly curtesie

He did King Arthur greet: -

"God speed theebrave King Arthur

Thus feasting in thy bower

And Gueneverthy goodly queen

That fair and peerless flower. -

"Ye gallant lords and lordlings

I wish you all take heed

Lest what ye deem a blooming rose

Should prove a cankered weed." -

Then straightway from his bosom

A little wand he drew;

And with it eke a mantle

Of wondrous shape and hue. -

"Now have thou hereKing Arthur

Have this here of me

And give unto thy comely queen

All shapen as you see. -

"No wife it shall become

That once hath been to blame."

Then every knight in Arthur's court

Sly glanced at his dame. -

And first came Lady Guenever

The mantle she must try.

This dame she was new-fangled *

And of a roving eye. -

When she had taken the mantle

And all with it was clad

From top to toe it shivered down

As though with shears beshred. -

One while it was too long

Another while too short

And wrinkled on the shoulders

In most unseemly sort. -

Now greennow red it seemed

Then all of sable hue;

"Beshrew me" quoth King Arthur

"I think thou be'st not true!" -

Down she threw the mantle

No longer would she stay;

Butstorming like a fury

To her chamber flung away. -

She cursed the rascal weaver

That had the mantle wrought;

And doubly cursed the froward imp

Who thither had it brought. -

"I had rather live in deserts

Beneath the greenwood tree

Than herebase kingamong thy grooms

The sport of them and thee." -

Sir Kay called forth his lady

And bade her to come near:

"Yetdameif thou be guilty

I pray thee now forbear." -

This ladypertly giggling

With forward step came on

And boldly to the little boy

With fearless face is gone. -

When she had taken the mantle

With purpose for to wear

It shrunk up to her shoulder

And left her back all bare. -

Then every merry knight

That was in Arthur's court

Gibed and laughed and flouted

To see that pleasant sport. -

Down she threw the mantle

No longer bold or gay

Butwith a face all pale and wan

To her chamber slunk away. -

Then forth came an old knight

A-pattering o'er his creed

And proffered to the little boy

Five nobles to his meed: -

"And all the time of Christmas

Plum-porridge shall be thine

If thou wilt let my lady fair

Within the mantle shine." -

A saint his lady seemed

With step demure and slow

And gravely to the mantle

With mincing face doth go. -

When she the same had taken

That was so fine and thin

It shrivelled all about her

And showed her dainty skin. -

Ah! little did her mincing

Or his long prayers bestead;

She had no more hung on her

Than a tassel and a thread. -

Down she threw the mantle

With terror and dismay

And with a face of scarlet

To her chamber hied away. -

Sir Cradock called his lady

And bade her to come near;

"Come win this mantlelady

And do me credit here: -

"Come win this mantlelady

For now it shall be thine

If thou hast never done amiss

Since first I made thee mine." -

The ladygently blushing

With modest grace came on;

And now to try the wondrous charm

Courageously is gone. -

When she had taken the mantle

And put it on her back

About the hem it seemed

To wrinkle and to crack. -

"Lie still" she cried"O mantle!

And shame me not for naught;

I'll freely own whate'er amiss

Or blameful I have wrought. -

"Once I kissed Sir Cradock

Beneath the greenwood tree;

Once I kissed Sir Cradock's mouth

Before he married me." -

When she had thus her shriven

And her worst fault had told

The mantle soon became her

Right comely as it should. -

Most rich and fair of color

Like gold it glittering shone

And much the knights in Arthur's court

Admired her every one. -

* New-fangled- fond of novelty. -

The ballad goes on to tell of two more trials of a similar kindmade bymeans of a boar's head and a drinking-hornin both of which the result wasequally favorable with the first to Sir Cradock and his lady. It then concludesas follows:- -

Thus boar's headhornand mantle

Were this fair couple's meed;

And all such constant lovers

God send them well to speed.

Percy's Reliques.

CHAPTER V.

SIR GAWAIN. -

SIR GAWAIN was nephew to King Arthurby his sister Morganamarried to Lotking of Orkneywho was by Arthur made king of Norway. Sir Gawain was one of themost famous knights of the Round Tableand is characterized by the romancers asthe sage and courteous Gawain. To this Chaucer alludes in his "Squiere'sTale" which the strange knight "saluteth" all the court- -

"With so high reverence and observance

As well in speeche as in countenance

That Gawainwith his olde curtesie

Though he were come agen out of faerie

Ne coude him not amenden with a word." -

Gawain's brothers were AgravainGaharetand Gareth. -

SIR GAWAIN'S MARRIAGE. -

Once upon a time King Arthur held his court in merry Carlislewhen a damselcame before him and craved a boon. It was for vengeance upon a caitiff knightwho had made her lover captive and despoiled her of her lands. King Arthurcommanded to bring him his swordExcalibarand to saddle his steedand rodeforth without delay to right the lady's wrong. Ere long he reached the castle ofthe grim baronand challenged him to the conflict. But the castle stood onmagic groundand the spell was such that no knight could tread thereon butstraight his courage fell and his strength decayed. King Arthur felt the charmand before a blow was struck his sturdy limbs lost their strengthand his headgrew faint. He was fain to yield himself prisoner to the churlish knightwhorefused to release him except upon condition that he should return at the end ofa year

and bring a true answer to the question"What thing is it which womenmost desire?" or in default thereof surrender himself and his lands. KingArthur accepted the termsand gave his oath to return at the time appointed.During the year the king rode eastand he rode westand inquired of all whomhe met what thing it is which all women most desire. Some told him riches; somepomp and state; some mirth; some flattery; and some a gallant knight. But in thediversity of answers he could find no sure dependence. The year was well nighspent whenone dayas he rode thoughtfully through a foresthe saw sittingbeneath a tree a lady of such hideous aspect that he turned away his eyesandwhen she greeted him in seemly sort made no answer. "What wight artthou" the lady said"that will not speak to me? It may chance that Imay resolve thy doubtsthough I be not fair of aspect." "If thou wiltdo so" said King Arthur"choose what reward thou wiltthou grimladyand it shall be given thee." "Swear me this upon thyfaith" she saidand Arthur swore it. Then the lady told him the secretand demanded her rewardwhich was that the king should find some fair andcourtly knight to be her husband.

King Arthur hastened to the grim baron's castle and told him one by one allthe answers which he had received from his various advisersexcept the lastand not one was admitted as the true one. "Now yield theeArthur"the giant said"for thou hast not paid thy ransomand thou and thy landsare forfeited to me." Then King Arthur said:- -

"Yet hold thy handthou proud baron

I pray thee hold thy hand.

And give me leave to speak once more

In rescue of my land.

This mornas I came over a moor

I saw a lady set

Between an oak and a green holly

All clad in red scarlet.

She says all women would have their will

This is their chief desire;

Now yieldas thou art a baron true

That I have paid my hire." -

"It was my sister that told thee this" the churlish baronexclaimed. "Vengeance light on her! I will some time or other do her as illa turn."

King Arthur rode homewardbut not light of heart; for he remembered thepromise he was under to the loathly lady to give her one of his young andgallant knights for a husband. He told his grief to Sir Gawainhis nephewandhe replied"Be not sadmy lordfor I will marry the loathly lady."King Arthur replied:- -

"Now naynow naygood Sir Gawaine

My sister's son ye be;

The loathly lady's all too grim

And all too foule for thee." -

But Gawain persistedand the king at lastwith sorrow of heartconsentedthat Gawain should be his ransom. Soone daythe king and his knights rode tothe forestmet the loathly ladyand brought her to the court. Sir Gawain stoodthe scoffs and jeers of his companions as he best mightand the marriage wassolemnizedbut not with the usual festivitiesChaucer tells us:- -

"There was no joyene feste at alle;

There n'as but hevinesse and mochel sorwe

For prively he wed her on the morwe

And all day after hid him as an owle

So wo was him his wife loked so foule!" * -

* N'as is not wascontracted; in modern phrasethere was not. Mockel sorweis much sorrow: morwe is morrow. -

When night cameand they were alone togetherSir Gawain could not concealhis aversion; and the lady asked him why he sighed so heavilyand turned awayhis face. He candidly confessed it was on account of three thingsher ageheruglinessand her low degree. The ladynot at all offendedreplied withexcellent arguments to all his objections. She showed him that with age isdiscretionwith ugliness security from rivalsand that all true gentilitydependsnot upon the accident of birthbut upon the character of theindividual.

Sir Gawain made no reply; butturning his eyes on his bridewhat was hisamazement to perceive that she wore no longer the unseemly aspect that had sodistressed him. She then told him that the form she had worn was not her trueformbut a disguise imposed upon her by a wicked enchanterand that she wascondemned to wear it until two things should happen; onethat she should obtainsome young and gallant knight to be her husband. This having been doneone halfof the charm was removed. She was now at liberty to wear her true form for halfthe timeand she bade him choose whether he would have her fair by day and uglyby nightor the reverse. Sir Gawain would fain have had her lookher best bynightwhen he alone should see herand show her repulsive visageif at allto others. But she reminded him how much more pleasant it would be to her towear her best looks in the throng of knights and ladies by day. Sir Gawainyieldedand gave up his will to hers. This alone was wanting to dissolve thecharm. The lovely lady now with joy assured him that she should change no more;but as she now was so would she remain by night as well as by day. -

"Sweet blushes stayned her rud-red cheek

Her eyen were black as sloe

The ripening cherrye swelled her lippe

And all her neck was snow.

Sir Gawain kist that ladye faire

Lying upon the sheete

And sworeas he was a true knight

The spice was never so swete." -

The dissolution of the charm which had held the lady also released herbrotherthe "grim baron" for he too had been implicated in it. Heceased to be a churlish oppressorand became a gallant and generous knight asany at Arthur's court.

CHAPTER VI.

LAUNCELOT OF THE LAKE. -

KING BANof Brittanythe faithful ally of Arthurwas attacked by his enemyClaudasandafter a long warsaw himself reduced to the possession of asingle fortresswhere he was besieged by his enemy. In this extremity hedetermined to solicit the assistance of Arthurand escaped in a dark nightwith his wife Helen and his infant son Launcelotleaving his castle in thehands of his seneschalwho immediately surrendered the place to Claudas. Theflames of his burning citadel reached the eyes of the unfortunate monarch duringhis flightand he expired with grief. The wretched Helenleaving her child onthe brink of a lakeflew to receive the last sighs of her husbandand onreturning perceived the little Launcelot in the arms of a nymphwhoon theapproach of the queenthrew herself into the lake with the child. This nymphwas Vivianemistress of the enchanter Merlinbetter known by the name of theLady of the Lake. Launcelot received his appellation from having been educatedat the court of this enchantresswhose palace was situated in the midstnot ofa realbutlike the appearance which deceives the African travellerof animaginary lakewhose deluding resemblance served as a barrier to her residence.Here she dwelt not alonebut in the midst of a numerous retinueand a splendidcourt of knights and damsels.

The queenafter her double lossretired to a conventwhere she was joinedby the widow of Bohortfor this good king had died of grief on hearing of thedeath of his brother Ban. His two sonsLionel and Bohortwere rescued by afaithful knightand arrived in the shape of greyhounds at the palace of thelakewherehaving resumed their natural formthey were educated along withtheir cousin Launcelot.

The fairywhen her pupil had attained the age of eighteenconveyed him tothe court of Arthurfor the purpose of demanding his admission to the honor ofknighthood; and at the first appearance of the youthful candidate the graces ofhis personwhich were not inferior to his courage and skill in armsmade aninstantaneous and indelible impression on the heart of Gueneverwhile hercharms inspired him with an equally ardent and constant passion. The mutualattachment of these lovers exertedfrom that time forthan influence over thewhole history of Arthur. For the sake of Guenever Launcelot achieved theconquest of Northumberlanddefeated GallehautKing of the Marcheswhoafterwards become his most faithful friend and allyexposed himself innumberless encountersand brought hosts of prisoners to the feet of hissovereign.

After King Arthur was come from Rome into England all the knights of theTable Round resorted unto himand made him many jousts and tournaments. And inespecial Sir Launcelot of the Lakein all tournaments and jousts and deeds ofarmsboth for life and deathpassed all other knightsand was never overcomeexcept it were by treason or enchantment; and he increased marvellously inworshipwherefore Queen Guenever had him in great favorabove all otherknights. And for certain he loved the queen again above all other ladies; andfor her he did many deeds of armsand saved her from peril through his noblechivalry. Thus Sir Launcelot rested him long with play and gameand then hethought to prove himself in strange adventures; so he bade his nephewSirLionelto make him ready- "for we two will seek adventures." So theymounted on their horsesarmed at all sightsand rode into a forestand sointo a deep plain. And the weather was hot about noonand Sir Launcelot hadgreat desire to sleep. Then Sir Lionel espied a great apple-tree that stood by ahedgeand he said: "Brotheryonder is a fair shadow- there may we restus and our horses." "It is well said" replied Sir Launcelot. Sothey there alightedand Sir Launcelot laid him downand his helm under hisheadand soon was asleep passing fast. And Sir Lionel waked while he slept. Andpresently there came three knights riding as fast as ever they might rideandthere followed them but one knight. And Sir Lionel thought he never saw so greata knight before. So within a while this great knight overtook one of thoseknightsand smote him so that he fell to the earth. Then he rode to the secondknight and smote himand so he did to the third knight. Then he alighted downand bound all the three knights fast with their own bridles. When Sir Lionel sawhim do thus he thought to assay himand made him readysilentlynot to awakeSir Launcelotand rode after the strong knightand bade him turn. And theother smote Sir Lionel so hard that horse and man fell to the earth; and then healighted downand bound Sir Lioneland threw him across his own horse; and sohe served them all fourand rode with them away to his own castle. And when hecame therehe put them in a deep prisonin which were many more knights ingreat distress.

Now while Sir Launcelot lay under the apple-tree sleeping there came by himfour queens of great estate. And that the heat should not grieve themthererode four knights about themand bare a cloth of green silkon four spearsbetwixt them and the sun. And the queens rode on four white mules.

Thus as they rode they heard by them a great horse grimly neigh. Then theywere aware of a sleeping knightthat lay all armed under an apple-tree; and asthe queens looked on his face they knew it was Sir Launcelot. Then they began tostrive for that knightand each one said she would have him for her love."We will not strive" said Morgane le Faythat was King Arthur'ssister"for I will put an enchantment upon himthat he shall not wake forsix hoursand we will take him away to my castle; and then when he is surelywithin my hold I will take the enchantment from himand then let him choosewhich of us he will have for his love." So the enchantment was cast uponSir Launcelot. And then they laid him upon his shieldand bare him so onhorseback between two knightsand brought him unto the castle and laid hint ina chamberand at night they sent him his supper.

And on the morning came early those four queensrichly dightand bade himgood morningand he them again. "Sir knight" they said"thoumust understand that thou art our prisoner; and we know thee wellthat thou artSir Launcelot of the LakeKing Ban's sonand that thou art the noblest knightliving. And we know well that there can no lady have thy love but oneand thatis Queen Guenever; and now thou shalt lose her foreverand she thee; andtherefore it behooveth thee now to choose one of us. I am the Queen Morgane leFayand here is the Queen of North Walesand the Queen of Eastlandand theQueen of the Isles. Now choose one of us which thou wilt havefor if thouchoose not in this prison thou shalt die." "This is a hard case"said Sir Launcelot"that either I must die or else choose one of you; yethad I liever to die in this prison with worship than have to have one of you formy paramourfor ye be false enchantresses." "Well" said thequeens"is this your answerthat ye will refuse us?" "Yeaonmy life it is" said Sir Launcelot. Then they departedmaking greatsorrow.

Then at noon came a damsel unto him with his dinnerand asked him"What cheer?" "Trulyfair damsel" said Sir Launcelot"never so ill." "Sir" said she"if you will be ruledby meI will help you out of this distress. If ye will promise me to help myfather on Tuesday nextwho hath made a tournament betwixt him and the king ofNorth Wales; for the last Tuesday my father lost the field." "Fairmaiden" said Sir Launcelot"tell me what is your father's nameandthen will I give you an answer." "Sir knight" she said "myfather is King Bagdemagus." "I know him well" said SirLauncelot"for a noble king and a good knightandby the faith of mybodyI will be ready to do your father and you service at that day."

So she departedand came on the next morning early and found him readyandbrought him out of twelve locksand brought him to his own horseand lightlyhe saddled himand so rode forth.

And on the Tuesday next he came to a little wood where the tournament shouldbe. And there were scaffolds and holdsthat lords and ladies might look onandgive the prize. Then came into the field the king of North Waleswitheightscore helmsand King Bagdemagus came with fourscore helms. And then theycouched their spearsand came together with a great dashand there wereoverthrown at the first encounter twelve of King Bagdemagus's party and six ofthe king of North Wales's partyand King Bagdemagus's party had the worse.

With that came Sir Launcelot of the Lakeand thrust in with his spear in thethickest of the press; and he smote down five knights ere he held his hand; andhe smote down the king of North Walesand he brake his thigh in that fall. Andthen the knights of the king of North Wales would joust no more; and so the greewas given to King Bagdemagus.

And Sir Launcelot rode forth with King Bagdemagus unto his castle; and therehe had passing good cheerboth with the king and with his daughter. And on themorn he took his leaveand told the king he would go and seek his brotherSirLionelthat went from him when he slept. So he departedand by adventure hecame to the same forest where he was taken sleeping. And in the highway be met adamsel riding on a white palfreyand they saluted each other. "Fairdamsel" said Sir Launcelot"know ye in this country anyadventures?" "Sir Knight" said the damsel"here areadventures near at handif thou durst pursue them." "Why should I notprove adventures?" said Sir Launcelot"since for that came Ihither." "Sir" said she"hereby dwelleth a knight thatwill not be overmatched for any man I knowexcept thou overmatch him. His nameis Sir Turquineandas I understandhe is a deadly enemy of King Arthurandhe has in his prison good knights of Arthur's court three score and morethathe hath won with his own hands." "Damsel" said Launcelot"I pray you bring me unto this knight." So she told him"Herebywithin this mileis his castleand by it on the left hand is a ford for horsesto drink ofand over that ford there groweth a fair treeand on that tree hangmany shields that good knights wielded aforetimethat are now prisoners: and onthe tree hangeth a basin of copper and lattenand if thou strike upon thatbasin thou shalt hear tidings." And Sir Launcelot departedand rode as thedamsel had shown himand shortly he came to the fordand the tree where hungthe shields and basin. And among the shields he saw Sir Lionel's and SirHector's shieldbesides many others of knights that he knew.

Then Sir Launcelot struck on the basin with the butt of his spear; and longhe did sobut he saw no man. And at length he was ware of a great knight thatdrove a horse before himand across the horse there lay an armed knightbounden. And as they came near Sir Launcelot thought he should know the captiveknight. Then Sir Launcelot saw that it was Sir GaherisSir Gawain's brotheraknight of the Table Round. "Nowfair knight" said Sir Launcelot"put that wounded knight off the horseand let him rest awhileand let ustwo prove our strength. Foras it is told methou hast done great despite andshame unto knights of the Round Tabletherefore now defend thee." "Ifthou be of the Table Round" said Sir Turquine"I defy thee and allthy fellowship." "That is overmuch said" said Sir Launcelot.

Then they put their spears in the restsand came together with their horsesas fast as they might run. And each smote the other in the middle of theirshieldsso that their horses fell under themand the knights were bothstaggered; and as soon as they could clear their horsesthey drew out theirswords and came together eagerlyand each gave the other many strong strokesfor neither shield nor harness might withstand their strokes. So within a whileboth had grimly woundsand bled grievously. Then at the last they werebreathless bothand stood leaning upon their swords. "Nowfellow"said Sir Turquine"thou art the stoutest man that ever I met withandbest breathed; and so be it thou be not the knight that I hate above all otherknightsthe knight that slew my brotherSir CaradocI will gladly accord withthee; and for thy love I will deliver all the prisoners that I have."

"What knight is he that thou hatest so above others?""Truly" said Sir Turquine"his name is Sir Launcelot of theLake." "I am Sir Launcelot of the LakeKing Ban's son of Benwickandvery knight of the Table Round; and now I defy thee do thy best.""Ah" said Sir Turquine"Launcelotthou art to me the mostwelcome that ever was knight; for we shall never part till the one of us bedead." And then they hurtled together like two wild bullsrashing andlashing with their swords and shieldsso that sometimes they fellas it wereheadlong. Thus they fought two hours and moretill the ground where they foughtwas all bepurpled with blood.

Then at the last Sir Turquine waxed sore faintand gave somewhat abackandbare his shield full low for weariness. That spied Sir Launcelotand leapt thenupon him fiercely as a lionand took him by the beaver of his helmetand drewhim down on his knees. And he rased off his helmand smote his neck in sunder.

And Sir Gaheriswhen he saw Sir Turquine slainsaid"Fair lordIpray you tell me your namefor this day I say ye are the best knight in theworldfor ye have slain this day in my sight the mightiest man and the bestknight except you that ever I saw." "Sirmy name is Sir Launcelot duLacthat ought to help you of right for King Arthur's sakeand in especial forSir Gawain's sakeyour own dear brother. Now I pray youthat ye go into yondercastleand set free all the prisoners ye find therefor I am sure ye shallfind there many knights of the Table Roundand especially my brother SirLionel. I pray you greet them all from meand tell them I bid them take theresuch stuff as they find; and tell my brother to go unto the court and abide metherefor by the feast of Pentecost I think to be there; but at this time I maynot stopfor I have adventures on hand." So he departedand Sir Gaherisrode into the castleand took the keys from the porterand hastily opened theprison door and let out all the prisoners. There was Sir KaySir BrandelesandSir GalyndeSir Bryan and Sir AlydukeSir Hector de Marys and Sir Lionelandmany more. And when they saw Sir Gaheristhey all thanked himfor theythoughtbecause he was woundedthat he had slain Sir Turquine. "Notso" said Sir Gaheris; "it was Sir Launcelot that slew himrightworshipfully; I saw it with mine eyes."

Sir Launcelot rode till at nightfall he came to a fair castleand therein hefound an old gentlewomanwho lodged him with goodwilland there he had goodcheer for him and his horse. And when time washis host brought him to a fairchamber over the gate to his bed. Then Sir Launcelot unarmed himand set hisharness by himand went to bedand anon he fell asleep. And soon aftertherecame one on horseback and knocked at the gate in great haste; and when SirLauncelot heard thishe arose and looked out of the windowand saw by themoonlight three knights riding after that one manand all three lashed on himwith their swordsand that one knight turned on them knightly again anddefended himself. "Truly" said Sir Launcelot"yonder one knightwill I helpfor it is shame to see three knights on one." Then he took hisharness and went out at the window by a sheet down to the four knights; and hesaid aloud"Turn you knights unto meand leave your fighting with thatknight." Then the knights left Sir Kayfor it was he they were uponandturned unto Sir Launcelotand struck many great strokes at Sir Launcelotandassailed him on every side. Then Sir Kay addressed him to help Sir Launcelotbut he said"NaysirI will none of your help; let me alone withthem." So Sir Kay suffered him to do his willand stood one side. Andwithin six strokesSir Launcelot had stricken them down.

Then they all cried"Sir knightwe yield us unto you." "Asto that" said Sir Launcelot"I will not take your yielding unto me.If so be ye will yield you unto Sir Kay the seneschalI will save your livesbut else not." "Fair knight" then they said"we will do asthou commandest us." "Then shall ye" said Sir Launcelot"on Whitsunday nextgo unto the court of King Arthurand there shall yeyield you unto Queen Gueneverand say that Sir Kay sent you thither to be herprisoners." "Sir" they said"It shall be doneby thefaith of our bodies;" and then they sworeevery knight upon his sword. Andso Sir Launcelot suffered them to depart.

On the morn Sir Launcelot rose early and left Sir Kay sleeping; and SirLauncelot took Sir Kay's armor and his shieldand armed himand went to thestable and took his horseand so he departed. Then soon after arose Sir Kay andmissed Sir Launcelot. And then be espied that he had taken his armor and hishorse. "Nowby my faithI know well" said Sir Kay"that hewill grieve some of King Arthur's knightsfor they will deem that it is Iandwill be bold to meet him. But by cause of his armor I am sure I shall ride inpeace." Then Sir Kay thanked his host and departed.

Sir Launcelot rode in a deep forestand there he saw four knights under anoakand they were of Arthur's court. There was Sir Sagramour le Desirus andHector de Marysand Sir Gawain and Sir Uwaine. As they spied Sir Launcelotthey judged by his arms it had been Sir Kay. "Nowby my faith" saidSir Sagramour"I will prove Sir Kay's might;" and got his spear inhis handand came toward Sir Launcelot. Therewith Sir Launcelot couched hisspear against himand smote Sir Sagramour so sore that horse and man fell bothto the earth. Then said Sir Hector"Now shall ye see what I may do withhim." But he fared worse than Sir Sagramourfor Sir Launcelot's spear wentthrough his shoulder and bare him from his horse to the ground"By myfaith" said Sir Uwaine"yonder is a strong knightand I fear hehath slain Sir Kayand taken his armor." And therewith Sir Uwaine took hisspear in handand rode toward Sir Launcelot; and Sir Launcelot met him on theplain and gave him such a buffet that he was staggeredand wist not where hewas. "Now see I well" said Sir Gawain"that I must encounterwith that knight." Then he adjusted his shieldand took a good spear inhis handand Sir Launcelot knew him well. Then they let run their horses withall their mightsand each knight smote the other in the middle of his shield.But Sir Gawain's spear brokeand Sir Launcelot charged so sore upon him thathis horse fell over backward. Then Sir Launcelot rode away smiling with himselfand he said "Good luck be with him that made this spearfor never came abetter into my hand." Then the four knights went each to the other andcomforted one another. "What say ye to this adventure" said SirGawain"that one spear hath felled us all four?" "I dare lay myhead it is Sir Launcelot" said Sir Hector; "I know it by hisriding."

And Sir Launcelot rode through many strange countriestillby fortunehecame to a fair castle; and as he passed beyond the castlehe thought he heardtwo bells ring. And then he perceived how a falcon came flying over his headtoward a high elm; and she had long lunys * about her feetand she flew untothe elm to take her perchand the lunys got entangled in a bough; and when shewould have taken her flightshe hung by the legs fastand Sir Launcelot sawhow she hung and beheld the fair falcon entangledand he was sorry for her.Then came a lady out of the castle and cried aloud"O LauncelotLauncelotas thou art the flower of all knightshelp me to get my hawk; for ifmy hawk be lostmy lord will slay mehe is so hasty." "What is yourlord's name?" said Sir Launcelot. "His name is Sir Phelota knightthat belongeth to the king of North Wales." "Wellfair ladysince yeknow my nameand require me of knighthood to help youI will do what I may toget your hawk; and yetin truthI am an ill climber and the tree is passinghigh and few boughs to help me." And therewith Sir Launcelot alighted andtied his horse to a treeand prayed the lady to unarm him. And when he wasunarmedhe put off his jerkinand with might and force he clomb up to thefalconand tied the lunys to a rotten boughand threw the hawk down with it;and the lady got the hawk in her hand. Then suddenly there came out of thecastle her husband all armedand with his naked sword in his handand said"O Knight Launcelotnow have I got thee as I would;" and stood at theboll of the tree to slay him. "Ahlady!" said Sir Launcelot"why have ye betrayed me?" "She hath done" said Sir Phelot"but as I commanded her; and therefore there is none other way but thinehour is comeand thou must die." "That were shame unto thee"said Sir Launcelot; "thou an armed knight to slay a naked man bytreason." "Thou gettest none other grace" said Sir Phelot"and therefore help thyself if thou canst." "Alas!" said SirLauncelot"that ever a knight should die weaponless!" And therewithhe turned his eyes upward and downward; and over his head he saw a big boughleaflessand he brake it off from the trunk. And then he came lowerandwatched how his own horse stood; and suddenly he leapt on the further side ofhis horse from the knight. Then Sir Phelot lashed at him eagerlymeaning tohave slain him. But Sir Launcelot put away the stroke with the big boughandsmote Sir Phelot therewith on the side of the headso that he fell down in aswoon to the ground. Then Sir Launcelot took his sword out of his hand andstruck his head from the body. Then said the lady"Alas! why hast thouslain my husband?" "I am not the cause" said Sir Launcelot"for with falsehood ye would have slain meand now it is fallen onyourselves." Thereupon Sir Launcelot got all his armor and put it upon himhastily for fear of more resortfor the knight's castle was so nigh. And assoon as he mighthe took his horse and departed; and thanked God he had escapedthat adventure. -

* Lunysthe string with which the falcon is held. -

And two days before the feast of PentecostSir Launcelot came home; and theking and all the court were passing glad of his coming. And when Sir GawainSirUwaineSir Sagramourand Sir Hector de Marys saw Sir Launcelot in Sir Kay'sarmorthen they wist well it was he that smote them downall with one spear.Then there was laughing and merriment among them; and from time to time came allthe knights that Sir Turquine had prisonersand they all honored and worshippedSir Launcelot. Then Sir Gaheris said"I saw all the battle from thebeginning to the end" and he told King Arthur all how it was. Then Sir Kaytold the king how Sir Launcelot had rescued himand how he "made theknights yield to meand not to him." And there they wereall threeandconfirmed it all. "And by my faith" said Sir Kay"because SirLauncelot took my harness and left me hisI rode in peaceand no man wouldhave to do with me."

And so at that time Sir Launcelot had the greatest name of any knight of theworldand most was he honored of high and low.

CHAPTER VII.

THE STORY OF LAUNCELOT.- THE ADVENTURE OF THE CART. -

SO it befell in the month of MayQueen Guenever called unto her knights ofthe Table Roundand she gave them warning that early upon the morrow she wouldride on maying into the woods and fields beside Westminster. "And I warnyou that there be none of you but that he be well horsedand that ye be allclothed in greeneither in silkeither in clothand I shall bring with me tenladiesand every knight shall have a lady behind himand every knight shallhave a squire and two yeomenand I will that ye all be well horsed." Sothey made them ready in the freshest mannerand these were the names of theknights: Sir Kay the seneschalSir AgravaineSir BrandelesSir Sagramour leDesirusSir Dodynas le SauvageSir Ozanna le Cure HardySir Ladynas of theForest SavageSir Perseant of IndeSir Ironside that was called the knight ofthe red lawnsand Sir Pelleas the lover; and these ten knights made them readyin the freshest manner to ride with the queen. And so upon the morn they tooktheir horseswith the queenand rode on maying in woods and meadowsas itpleased themin great joy and delight; for the queen had cast to have beenagain with King Arthur at the furthest by ten of the clockand so was that timeher purpose. Then there was a knightthat knight Meleagansand he was son untoKing Bagdemagusand this knight had at that time a castleof the gift of KingArthurwithin seven miles of Westminster; and this knight Sir Meleagans lovedpassing well Queen Gueneverand so had he done long and many years. And he hadlain in a wait for to steal away the queenbut evermore he forborebecause ofSir Launcelotfor in no wise would he meddle with the queen if Sir Launcelotwere in her companyor else if he were near at hand to her. And at that timewas such a custom the queen rode never without a great fellowship of men of armsabout her; and they were many good knightsand the most part were young menthat would have worshipand they were called the queen's knightsand never inno battletournamentnor joustthey bare none of them no manner ofacknowledging of their own armsbut plain white shieldsand thereby they werecalled the queen's knights. And then when it happed any of them to be of greatworship by his noble deedsthen at the next feast of Pentecostif there wereany slain or deadas there was no year that these failedbut some were deadthen was there chosen in his stead the most men of worship that were called thequeen's knights. And thus they came up all firstor they were renowned men ofworshipboth Sir Launcelot and the remnant of them.

But this knightSir Meleaganshad espied the queen well and her purposeand how Sir Launcelot was not with herand how she had no men of arms with herbut the ten noble knights all arrayed in green for maying. Then he provided hima twenty men of arms and an hundred archersfor to destroy the queen and herknightsfor he thought that time was the best season to take the queen. So asthe queen had mayed and all her knightsall were bedashed with herbsmossesand flowersin the best manner and freshest. Right so came out of a wood SirMeleagans with an eightscore men well harnessedas they should fight in abattle of arrestand bade the queen and her knights abidefor maugre theirheads they should abide. "Traitor knight" said Queen Guenever"what castest thou for to do? Wilt thou shame thyself? Bethink thee howthou art a king's sonand knight of the Table Roundand thou to be about todishonor the noble king that made thee knight; thou shamest all knighthood andthyselfand me. I let thee witme shalt thou never shamefor I had lever cutmy throat in twain than thou shouldst dishonor me." "As for all thislanguage" said Sir Meleagans"be it as it mayfor wit you wellmadamI have loved you many a yearand never or now could I get you at such anadvantage as I do nowand therefore I will take you as I find you." Thenspake all the ten noble knights at onceand said: "Sir Meleaganswit thouwell ye are about to jeopard your worship to dishonorand also ye cast tojeopard our persons; howbeit we be unarmedye have us at great availfor itseemeth by you that ye have laid watch upon us; but rather than ye should putthe queen to shamefind us allwe had as lief to depart from our livesfor ifwe other ways did we should be ashamed forever." Then Sir Meleagans said"Dress you as well as you canand keep the queen." Then all the tenknights of the Table Round drew their swordsand the other let run at them withtheir spearsand the ten knights manly abode themand smote away their spearsthat no spear did them none harm. Then they lashed together with swordsandanon Sir KaySir SagramourSir AgravaineSir DodynasSir Ladynasand SirOzanna were smitten to the earth with grimly wounds. Then Sir Brandilesand SirPersantSir Ironsideand Sir Pelleas fought longand they were sorelywounded; for these ten knights or ever they were laid to the ground slew fortymen of the boldest and best of them. So when the queen saw her knights thusdolefully woundedand needs must be slain at the lastthen for pity and sorrowshe cried"Sir Meleagansslay not my noble knightsand I will go withthee upon this covenantthat thou save themand suffer them to be no morehurtwith thisthat they be led with me wheresoever thou leadest me; for Iwill rather slay myself than I will go with theeunless that these my nobleknights may be in my presence." "Madam" said Meleagans"for your sake they shall be led with you into mine own castlewith thatye will be ruled and ride with me." Then the queen prayed the four knightsto leave their fightingand she and they would not part. "Madam"said Sir Pelleas"we will do as ye dofor as for me I take no force of mylife nor death." for Sir Pelleas gave such buffets that none armor mighthold him.

Then by the queen's commandment they left battleand dressed the woundedknights on horsebacksome sittingsome overthwart their horsesthat it waspity to behold them. And then Sir Meleagans charged the queen and all herknights that none of all her fellowship should depart from her; for full sore hedreaded Sir Launcelot du Lac lest he should have any knowledging. All thisespied the Queen and privily she called unto her a child of her chamberthatwas swiftly horsedto whom she said"Go thouwhen thou seest thy timeand bear this ring to Sir Launcelot du Lacand pray himas he loveth methathe will see meand rescue me if ever he will have joy of me; and spare thou notthy horse" said the queen"neither for water nor for land." Sothe child espied his timeand lightly he took his horse with the spursanddeparted as fast as he might. And when Sir Meleagans saw him so flee heunderstood that it was by the queen's commandment for to warn Sir Launcelot.Then they that were best horsed chased himand shot at himbut from them allthe child went suddenly; and then Sir Meleagans said unto the queen"Madamye are about to betray mebut I shall ordain for Sir Launcelotthat he shall not come lightly to you." And then he rode with her and themall to his castle in all the haste that he might. And by the way Sir Meleaganslaid in an ambushment the best archers that he might get in his countryto thenumber of thirtyto await upon Sir Launcelotcharging them that if they sawsuch a manner of knight come by the way upon a white horsethat in any wisethey slay his horsebut in no manner of wise have not ado with him bodilyforhe was overhard to be overcome. So this was doneand they were come to hiscastlebut in no wise the queen would never let none of the ten knights and herladies out of her sightbut always they were in her presence. So when the childwas departed from the fellowship of Sir Meleaganswithin awhile he came toWestminster. And anon he found Sir Launcelot. And when he had told him hismessageand delivered him the queen's ring"Alas!" said SirLauncelot"now am I shamed foreverunless that I may rescue that noblelady from dishonor." Then eagerly he asked his armorand ever the childtold Sir Launcelot how the ten knights fought marvellouslyand how Sir Pelleasand Sir Ironsideand Sir Brandilesand Sir Persant of Inde fought stronglybut as for Sir Pelleas there might none withstand himand how they all foughttill at last they were laid to the earthand then the queen made appointmentfor to save their livesand go with Sir Meleagans. "Alas!" said SirLauncelot"that most noble lady that she should be so destroyed! I hadlever" said Sir Launcelot"than all France that I had been therewell armed." So when Launcelot was armed and upon his horsehe prayed thechild of the queen's chamber to warn Sir Lavaine how suddenly he was departedand for what cause- "and pray himas he loveth methat he will hie himafter meand that he stint not until he come to the castle where Sir Meleagansabideth or dwellethfor there" said Launcelot"shall he hear of meif I am a man livingand rescue the queen andher ten knightsthe which hetraitorously hath takenand that shall I prove upon his headand all them thathold with him."

Then Sir Launcelot rode as fast as he mightand he took the water atWestminsterand made his horse to swim over Thames at Lambeth. And then withina while he came to the place where the ten knights had fought with SirMeleagansand then Sir Launcelot followed that track until he came to a woodand there was a straight wayand there the thirty archers bade Sir Launcelotturn againand follow no longer that track. "What commandment have yethereto" said Sir Launcelot"to cause methat am a knight of theRound Tableto leave my right way?" "This way shalt thou leaveorelse thou shalt go it on thy footfor wit thou well thy horse shall beslain." "That is little mastery" said Launcelot"to slaymy horsebut as for myselfwhen my horse is slainI give right nought foryounot if ye were five hundred more." So then they shot Sir Launcelot'shorseand smote him with many arrows. And then Sir Launcelot avoided his horseand went on foot; but there were so many ditches and hedges betwixt them and himthat he might meddle with none of them. "Alasfor shame" said SirLauncelot"that ever one knight should betray another knightbut it is anold saw'A good man is never in danger but when he is in danger of acoward.'" Then Sir Launcelot went a whileand then he was foul cumbered ofhis armorhis shieldand his spearand all that belonged to him. Wit ye wellhe was sore annoyedand full loth he was to leave anything that belonged tohimfor he dreaded sore the treason of Sir Meleagans. And then by fortune therecame by a cart that came thither for to fetch wood.

Now at this time carts were but little used save for carrying offal or suchlikeand for conveying criminals to execution. But Sir Launcelot took nothought save of rescuing the queen. "Say mecarter" said he"what shall I give thee for to suffer me to leap into thy cartand thatthou shalt bring me unto a castle within this two mile?" "Thou shaltnot come within my cart" said the carter"for I am sent for to fetchwood for my lord Sir Meleagans." "With him would I speak.""Thou shalt not go with me" said the carter. Then Sir Launcelot leptto himand "gave him such a buffet that he fell to the earth stark dead.Then the other carterhis fellowthought to have gone the same wayand thenhe cried"Fair lordsave my lifeand I shall bring you where youwill."

So then Sir Launcelot placed himself in the cartand only lamented that withmuch jolting he made but little progress. Then it happened Sir Gawain passed byand seeing an armed knight travelling in that unusual wayhe drew near to seewho it might be. Then Sir Launcelot told him how the queen had been carried offand howin hastening to her rescuehis horse had been disabledand he hadbeen compelled to avail himself of the cart rather than give up Then Sir Gawainsaid"Surely it is unworthy of a to travel in such sort!" but SirLauncelot heeded him not.

At nightfall they arrived at a castleand the lady thereof came out at thehead of her damsels to welcome Sir Gawain. But to admit his companionwhom shesupposed to be a criminalor at least a prisonerit pleased her not; howeverto oblige Sir Gawainshe consented. At supper Sir Launcelot came near beingconsigned to the kitchenand was only admitted to the lady's table at theearnest solicitation of Sir Gawain. Neither would the damsels prepare a bed forhim. He seized the first he found unoccupiedand was left undisturbed.

Next morning he saw from the turrets of the castle a train accompanying aladywhom he imagined to be the queen. Sir Gawain thought it might be soandbecame equally eager to depart. The lady of the castle supplied Sir Launcelotwith a horseand they traversed the plain at full speed. They learned from sometravellers whom they met that there were two roads which led to the castle ofSir Meleagans. Here therefore the friends separated. Sir Launcelot found his waybeset with obstacleswhich he encountered successfullybut not without muchloss of time. As evening approached he was met by a young and sportive damselwho gayly proposed to him a supper at her castle. The knightwho was hungry andwearyaccepted the offerthough with no very good grace. He followed the ladyto her castleand ate voraciously of her supperbut was quite impenetrable toall her amorous advances. Suddenly the scene changedand he was assailed by sixfurious ruffianswhom he dealt with so vigorously that most of them werespeedily disabledwhen again there was a changeand he found himself alonewith his fair hostesswho informed him that she was none other than hisguardian fairywho had but subjected him to tests of his courage and fidelity.The next day the fairy brought him on his roadand before parting gave him aringwhich she told him would by its changes of color disclose to him allenchantmentsand enable him to subdue them.

Sir Launcelot pursued his journeybeing but little troubled save by thetaunts of travellerswho all seemed to have learned by some means hisdisgraceful drive in the cart. Onemore insolent than the resthad theaudacity to interrupt him during dinnerand even to risk a battle in support ofhis pleasantry. Launcelotafter an easy victoryonly doomed him to be cartedin his turn.

At night he was received at another castlewith great apparent hospitalitybut found himself in the morning in a dungeon and loaded with chains. Consultinghis ringand finding that this was an enchantmenthe burst his chainsseizedhis armor in spite of the visionary monsters who attempted to defend itbrokeopen the gates of the towerand continued his journey. At length his progresswas checked by a wide and rapid torrentwhich could only be passed on a narrowbridgeon which a false step would prove his destruction. Launcelotleadinghis horse by the bridleand making him swim by his sidepassed over thebridgeand was attackedas soon as he reached the bankby a lion and aleopardboth of which he slewand thenexhausted and bleedingseated himselfon the grassand endeavored to bind up his boundswhen he was accosted byBrademagusthe father of Meleaganswhose castle was then in sightand at nogreat distance. The kingno less courteous than his son was haughty andinsolentafter complimenting Sir Launcelot on the valor and skill he haddisplayed in the perils of the bridge and the wild beastsoffered him hisassistanceand informed him that the queen was safe in his castlebut couldonly be rescued by encountering Meleagans. Launcelot demanded the battle for thenext dayand accordingly it took placeat the foot of the towerand under theeyes of the fair captive. Launcelot was enfeebled by his woundsand fought notwith his usual spiritand the contest for a time was doubtful; till Gueneverexclaimed"AhLauncelot! my knighttruly have I been told that thou artno longer worthy of me!" These words instantly revived the drooping knight;be resumed at once his usual superiorityand soon laid at his feet his haughtyadversary.

He was on the point of sacrificing him to his resentment when Guenevermovedby the entreaties of Brademagusordered him to withhold the blowand heobeyed. The castle and its prisoners were now at his disposal. Launcelothastened to the apartment of the queenthrew himself at her feetand was aboutto kiss her handwhen she exclaimed"AhLauncelot! why do I see theeagainyet feel thee to be no longer worthy of meafter having beendisgracefully drawn about the country in a-" She had not time to finish thephrasefor her lover suddenly started from herand bitterly lamenting that hehad incurred the displeasure of his sovereign ladyrushed out of the castlethrew his sword and his shield to the right and leftran furiously into thewoodsand disappeared.

It seems that the story of the abominable cartwhich haunted Launcelot atevery stephad reached the ears of Sir Kaywho had told it to the queenas aproof that her knight must have been dishonored. But Guenever had full leisureto repent the haste with which she had given credit to the tale. Three dayselapsedduring which Launcelot wandered without knowing where he wenttill atlast he began to reflect that his mistress had doubtless been deceived bymisrepresentationand that it was his duty to set her right. He thereforereturnedcompelled Meleagans to release his prisonersandtaking the road bywhich they expected the arrival of Sir Gawainhad the satisfaction of meetinghim the next day; after which the whole company proceeded gayly towards Camelot.

CHAPTER VIII.

THE STORY OF LAUNCELOT.- THE LADY OF SHALOTT. -

KING ARTHUR proclaimed a solemn tournament to be held at Winchester. Thekingnot less impatient than his knights for this festivalset off some daysbefore to superintend the preparationsleaving the queen with her court atCamelot. Sir Launcelotunder pretence of indispositionremained behind also.His intention was to attend the tournament in disguise; and having communicatedhis project to Gueneverhe mounted his horseset off without any attendantandcounterfeiting the feebleness of agetook the most unfrequented road toWinchesterand passed unnoticed as an old knight who was going to be aspectator of the sports. Even Arthur and Gawainwho happened to behold him fromthe windows of a castle under which he passedwere the dupes of his disguise.But an accident betrayed him. His horse happened to stumbleand the heroforgetting for a moment his assumed characterrecovered the animal with astrength and agility so peculiar to himselfthat they instantly recognized theinimitable Launcelot. They suffered himhoweverto proceed on his journeywithout interruptionconvinced that his extraordinary feats of arms mustdiscover him at the approaching festival.

In the evening Launcelot was magnificently entertained as a stranger knightat the neighboring castle of Shalott. The lord of this castle had a daughter ofexquisite beautyand two sons lately received into the order of knighthoodoneof whom was at that time ill in bedand thereby prevented from attending thetournamentfor which both brothers had long made preparations. Launcelotoffered to attend the otherif he were permitted to borrow the armor of theinvalidand the lord of Shalottwithout knowing the name of his guestbeingsatisfied from his appearance that his son could not have a better assistant inarmsmost thankfully accepted the offer. In the meantime the young ladywhohad been much struck by the first appearance of the stranger knightcontinuedto survey him with increased attentionand before the conclusion of supperbecame so deeply enamored of himthatafter frequent changes of colorandother symptoms which Sir Launcelot could not possibly mistakeshe was obligedto retire to her chamberand seek relief in tears. Sir Launcelot hastened toconvey to herby means of her brotherthe information that his heart wasalready disposed ofbut that it would be his pride and pleasure to act as herknight at the approaching tournament. The ladyobliged to be satisfied withthat courtesypresented him her scarf to be worn at the tournament.

Launcelot set off in the morning with the young knightwhoon theirapproaching Winchestercarried him to the castle of a ladysister to the lordof Shalottby whom they were hospitably entertained. The next day they put ontheir armorwhich was perfectly plainand without any deviceas was usual toyouths during the first year of knighthoodtheir shields being only paintedredas some color was necessary to enable them to be recognized by theirattendants. Launcelot wore on his crest the scarf of the maid of Shalottandthus equippedproceeded to the tournamentwhere the knights were divided intotwo companiesthe one commanded by Sir Galehautthe other by King Arthur.Having surveyed the combat for a short time from without the listsand observedthat Sir Galehaut's party began to give waythey joined the press and attackedthe royal knightsthe young man choosing such adversaries as were suited to hisstrengthwhile his companion selected the principal champions of the RoundTableand successively overthrew GawainBohortand Lionel. The astonishmentof the spectators was extremefor it was thought that no one but Launcelotcould possess such invincible force; yet the favor on his crest seemed topreclude the possibility of his being thus disguisedfor Launcelot had neverbeen known to wear the badge of any but his sovereign lady. At length SirHectorLauncelot's brotherengaged himandafter a dreadful combatwoundedhim dangerously in the headbut was himself completely stunned by a blow on thehelmetand felled to the ground; after which the conqueror rode off at fullspeedattended by his companion.

They returned to the castle of Shalottwhere Launcelot was attended with thegreatest care by the good earlby his two sonsandabove allby his fairdaughterwhose medical skill probably much hastened the period of his recovery.His health was almost completely restoredwhen Sir HectorSir Bohortand SirLionelwhoafter the return of the court to Camelothad undertaken the questof their relationdiscovered him walking on the walls of the castle. Theirmeeting was very joyful; they passed three days in the castle amidst constantfestivitiesand bantered each other on the events of the tournament. Launcelotthough he began by vowing vengeance against the author of his woundyet endedby declaring that he felt rewarded for the pain by the pride he took inwitnessing his brother's extraordinary prowess. He then dismissed them with amessage to the queenpromising to follow immediatelyit being necessary thathe should first take a formal leave of his kind hostsas well as of the fairmaid of Shalott.

The young ladyafter vainly attempting to detain him by her tears andsolicitationssaw him depart without leaving her any ground for hope.

It was early summer when the tournament took place; but some months hadpassed since Launcelot's departureand winter was now near at hand. The healthand strength of the Lady of Shalott had gradually sunkand she felt that shecould not live apart from the object of her affections. She left the castleanddescending to the river's brinkplaced herself in a boatwhich she loosedfrom its mooringsand suffered to bear her down the current toward Camelot.

One morningas Arthur and Sir Lionel looked from the window of the towerthe walls of which were washed by a riverthey descried a boat richlyornamentedand covered with an awning of cloth of goldwhich appeared to befloating down the stream without any human guidance. It struck the shore whilethey watched itand they hastened down to examine it. Beneath the awning theydiscovered the dead body of a beautiful womanin whose features Sir Lioneleasily recognized the lovely maid of ShalottPursuing their searchtheydiscovered a purse richly embroidered with gold and jewelsand within the pursea letterwhich Arthur openedand found addressed to himself and all theknights of the Round Tablestating that Launcelot of the Lakethe mostaccomplished of knights and most beautiful of menbut at the same time the mostcruel and inflexiblehad by his rigor produced the death of the wretchedmaidenwhose love was no less invincible than his cruelty.

The king immediately gave orders for the interment of the ladywith all thehonors suited to her rankat the same time explaining to the knights thehistory of her affection for Launcelotwhich moved the compassion and regret ofall. -

Tennyson has chosen the story of the Lady of Shalott for the subject of apoem:- -

"There she weaves by night and day

A magic web with colors gay.

She has heard a whisper say

A curse is on her if she stay

To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be

And so she weaveth steadily

And little other care hath she

The Lady of Shalott. -

"And moving thro' a mirror clear

That hangs before her all the year

Shadows of the world appear.

There she sees the highway near

Winding down to Camelot:

There the river eddy whirls

And there the surly village churls

And the red cloaks of market girls

Pass onward from Shalott. -

"Sometimes a troop of damsels glad

An abbot on an ambling pad

Sometimes a curly shepherd lad

Or long-haired page in crimson clad

Goes by to towered Camelot.

And sometimes thro' the mirror blue

The knights come riding two and two:

She has no loyal knight and true

The Lady of Shalott. -

"But in her web she still delights

To weave the mirror's magic sights

For often thro' the silent nights

A funeralwith plumes and lights

And musicwent to Camelot:

Or when the moon was overhead

Came two young lovers lately wed;

'I am half sick of shadows' said

The Lady of Shalott." -

The poem goes on as the story: the lady sees Launcelothe rides awayandshe afterward dies and floats down the river in a boat to Camelot. The poem endsas follows:- -

"Under tower and balcony

By garden wall and gallery

A gleaming shape she floated by

Dead-pale between the houses high

Silent unto Camelot.

Out upon the wharves they came

Knight and burgherlord and dame

And round the prow they read her name

The Lady of Shalott. -

"Who is this? and what is here?

And in the lighted palace near

Died the sound of royal cheer;

And they crossed themselves for fear

All the knights at Camelot:

But Launcelot mused a little space;

He said 'She has a lovely face;

God in his mercy lend her grace

The Lady of Shalott."' -

The story of "Elainethe fairElainethe lovableElainethelily-maid of Astolat" one of the earliest of the "Idylls of theKing" is of course the same tale as the Lady of Shalott.

CHAPTER IX.

THE STORY OF LAUNCELOT.- QUEEN GUENEVER'S PERIL. -

IT happened at this time that Queen Guenever was thrown into great peril ofher life. A certain squire who was in her immediate servicehaving some causeof animosity to Sir Gawaindetermined to destroy him by poison at a publicentertainment. For this purpose he concealed the poison in an apple of fineappearancewhich he placed on the top of several othersand put the dishbefore the queenhoping thatas Sir Gawain was the knight of greatest dignityshe would present the apple to him. But it happened that a Scottish knight ofhigh distinctionwho arrived on that daywas seated next to the queenand tohimas a strangershe presented the applewhich he had no sooner eaten thanhe was seized with dreadful painand fell senseless. The whole court was ofcourse thrown into confusion; the knights rose from tabledarting looks ofindignation at the wretched queenwhose tears and protestations were unable toremove their suspicions. In spite of all that could be done the knight diedandnothing remained but to order a magnificent funeral and monument for himwhichwas done.

Some time afterSir Madorbrother of the murdered knightarrived atArthur's court in quest of him. While hunting in the forest he by chance came tothe spot where the monument was erectedread the inscriptionand returned tocourt determined on immediate and signal vengeance. He rode into the hallloudly accused the queen of treasonand insisted on her being given up topunishmentunless she should findby a certain daya knight hardy enough torisk his life in support of her innocence. Arthurpowerful as he wasdid notdare to deny the appealbut was compelledwith a heavy heartto accept itand Mador sternly took his departureleaving the royal couple plunged in terrorand anxiety.

During all this time Launcelot was absentand no one knew where he was. Hehad fled in anger from his fair mistressupon being reproached by her with hispassion for the Lady of Shalottwhich she had hastily inferred from his wearingher scarf at the tournament. He took up his abode with a hermit in the forestand resolved to think no more of the cruel beautywhose conduct he thought mustflow from a wish to get rid of him. Yet calm reflection had somewhat cooled hisindignationand he had begun to wishthough hardly able to hopefor areconciliationwhen the news of Sir Mador's challenge fortunately reached hisears. The intelligence revived his spiritsand he began to prepare with theutmost cheerfulness for a contest whichif successfulwould insure him at oncethe affection of his mistress and the gratitude of his sovereign.

The sad fate of the Lady of Shalott had ere this completely acquittedLauncelot in the queen's mind of all suspicion of his fidelityand she lamentedmost grievously her foolish quarrel with himwhich nowat her time of needdeprived her of her most efficient champion.

As the day appointed by Sir Mador was fast approachingit became necessarythat she should procure a champion for her defence; and she successively adjuredSir HectorSir LionelSir Bohortand Sir Gawain to undertake the battle. Shefell on her knees before themcalled Heaven to witness her innocence of thecrime alleged against herbut was sternly answered by all that they could notfight to maintain the innocence of one whose actand the fatal consequences ofitthey had seen with their own eyes. She retiredthereforedejected anddisconsolate; but the sight of the fatal pile on whichif guiltyshe wasdoomed to be burnedexciting her to fresh effortshe again repaired to SirBohortthrew herself at his feetandpiteously calling on him for mercyfellinto a swoon. The brave knight was not proof against this. He raised her upandhastily promised that he would undertake her causeif no other or betterchampion should present himself. He then summoned his friendsand told them hisresolution; and as a mortal combat with Sir Mador was a most fearful enterprisethey agreed to accompany him in the morning to the hermitage in the forestwhere he proposed to receive absolution from the hermitand to make his peacewith Heavenbefore he entered the lists. As they approached the hermitagetheyespied a knight riding in the forestwhom they at once recognized as SirLauncelot. Overjoyed at the meetingthey quicklyin answer to his questionsconfirmed the news of the queen's imminent dangerand received his instructionsto return to courtto comfort her as well as they couldbut to say nothing ofhis intention of undertaking her defencewhich he meant to do in the characterof an unknown adventurer.

On their return to the castle they found that mass was finishedand hadscarcely time to speak to the queen before they were summoned into the hall todinner. A general gloom was spread over the countenances of all the guests.Arthur himself was unable to conceal his dejectionand the wretched Guenevermotionless and bathed in tearssat in trembling expectation of Sir Mador'sappearance. Nor was it long ere he stalked into the halland with a voice ofthunderrendered more impressive by the general silencedemanded instantjustice on the guilty party. Arthur replied with dignitythat little of the daywas yet spentand that perhaps a champion might yet be found capable ofsatisfying his thirst for battle. Sir Bohort now rose from tableandshortlyreturning in complete armorresumed his placeafter receiving the embraces andthanks of the kingwho now began to resume some degree of confidence. SirMadorgrowing impatientagain repeated his denunciations of vengeanceandinsisted that the combat should no longer be postponed.

In the height of the debate there came riding into the hall a knight mountedon a black steedand clad in black armorwith his visor downand lance inhand. "Sir" said the king"is it your will to alight andpartake of our cheer?" "Naysir" he replied; "I come tosave a lady's life. The queen hath ill bestowed her favorsand honored many aknightthat in her hour of need she should have none to take her part. Thouthat darest accuse her of treachery stand forthfor to-day shalt thou need allthy might."

Sir Madorthough surprisedwas not appalled by the stern challenge andformidable appearance of his antagonistbut prepared for the encounter. At thefirst shock both were unhorsed. They then drew their swordsand commenced acombat which lasted from noon till eveningwhen Sir Madorwhose strength beganto failwas felled to the ground by Launcelotand compelled to sue for mercyThe victorwhose arm was already raised to terminate the life of his opponentinstantly dropped his swordcourteously lifted up the fainting Sir Madorfrankly confessing that he had never before encountered so formidable an enemy.The otherwith similar courtesysolemnly renounced all further projects ofvengeance for his brother's death; and the two knightsnow become fast friendsembraced each other with the greatest cordiality. In the meantime Arthurhavingrecognized Sir Launcelotwhose helmet was now unlacedrushed down into thelistsfollowed by all his knightsto welcome and thank his deliverer. Gueneverswooned with joyand the place of combat suddenly exhibited a scene of the mosttumultuous delight.

The general satisfaction was still further increased by the discovery of thereal culprit. Having accidentally incurred some suspicionbe confessed hiscrimeand was publicly punished in the presence of Sir Mador.

The court now returned to the castlewhichwith the title of "LaJoyeuse Garde" bestowed upon it in memory of the happy eventwas conferredon Sir Launcelot by Arthuras a memorial of his gratitude.

So far of the Story of Sir Launcelot. Let us turn now to the Story of SirTristram of Lyonesse.

CHAPTER X.

THE STORY OF TRISTRAM OF LYONESSE. -

MELIADUS was king of Leonoisor Lyonessea country famous in the annals ofromancewhich adjoined the kingdom of Cornwallbut has now disappeared fromthe maphaving beenit is saidoverwhelmed by the ocean. Meliadus was marriedto Isabellasister of Markking of Cornwall. A fairy fell in love with himand drew him away by enchantment while he was engaged in hunting. His queen setout in quest of himbut was taken ill on her journeyand diedleaving aninfant sonwhomfrom the melancholy circumstances of his birthshe calledTristram.

Gouvernailthe queen's squirewho had accompanied hertook charge of thechildand restored him to his fatherwho had at length burst the enchantmentsof the fairyand returned home.

Meliadusafter seven yearsmarried againand the new queenbeing jealousof the influence of Tristram with his fatherlaid plots for his lifewhichwere discovered by Gouvernailwhoin consequencefled with the boy to thecourt of the king of Francewhere Tristram was kindly receivedand grew upimproving in every gallant and knightly accomplishmentadding to his skill inarms the arts of music and of chess. In particularhe devoted himself to thechase and to all woodland sportsso that he became distinguished above allother chevaliers of the court for his knowledge of all that relates to hunting.No wonder that Belindathe king's daughterfell in love with him; but as hedid not return her passionshein a sudden impulse of angerexcited herfather against himand he was banished the kingdom. The princess soon repentedof her actand in despair destroyed herselfhaving first written a most tenderletter to Tristramsending him at the same time a beautiful and sagacious dogof which she was very fonddesiring him to keep it as a memorial of her.Meliadus was now deadand as his queenTristram's stepmotherheld the throneGouvernail was afraid to carry his pupil to his native countryand took him toCornwallto his uncle Markwho gave him a kind reception.

King Mark resided at the castle of Tintadelalready mentioned in the historyof Uther and Iguerne. In this court Tristram became distinguished in all theexercises incumbent on a knight; nor was it long before he had an opportunity ofpractically employing his valor and skill. Moraunta celebrated championbrother to the queen of Irelandarrived at the courtto demand tribute of KingMark. The knights of Cornwall are in ill reputein romancefor their cowardiceand they exhibited it on this occasion. King Mark could find no champion whodared to encounter the Irish knighttill his nephew Tristramwho had not yetreceived the honors of knighthoodcraved to be admitted to the orderofferingat the same time to fight the battle of Cornwall against the Irish champion.King Mark assented with reluctance; Tristram received the accoladewhichconferred knighthood upon him; and the place and time were assigned for theencounter.

Without attempting to give the details of this famous combatthe first andone of the most glorious of Tristram's exploitswe shall only say that theyoung knightthough severely woundedcleft the head of Morauntleaving aportion of his sword in the wound. Moraunthalf dead with his wound and thedisgrace of his defeathastened to hide himself in his shipsailed away withall speed for Irelandand died soon after arriving in his own country.

The kingdom of Cornwall was thus delivered from its tribute. Tristramweakened by loss of bloodfell senseless. His friends flew to his assistance.They dressed his woundswhich in general healed readily; but the lance ofMoraunt was poisonedand one wound which it made yielded to no remediesbutgrew worse day by day. The surgeons could do no more. Tristram asked permissionof his uncle to departand seek for aid in the kingdom of Loegria (England).With his consent he embarkedandafter tossing for many days on the seawasdriven by the winds to the coast of Ireland. He landedfull of joy andgratitude that he had escaped the peril of the sea; took his rote* and beganto play. It was a summer eveningand the king of Ireland and his daughterthebeautiful Isoudewere at a window which overlooked the sea. The strange harperwas sent forand conveyed to the palacewherefinding that he was in Irelandwhose champion he had lately slainhe concealed his nameand called himselfTramtris. The queen undertook his cureand by a medicated bath graduallyrestored him to health. His skill in music and in games occasioned his beingfrequently called to courtand he became instructor of the Princess Isoude inminstrelsy and poetrywho profited so well under his carethat she soon had noequal in the kingdomexcept her instructor. -

* A musical instrument. -

At this time a tournament was heldat which many knights of the Round Tableand otherswere present. On the first day a Saracen princenamed Palamedesobtained the advantage over all. They brought him to the courtand gave him afeastat which Tristramjust recovering from his woundwas present. The fairIsoude appeared on this occasion in all her charms. Palamedes could not beholdthem without emotionand made no effort to conceal his love. Tristram perceiveditand the pain he felt from jealousy taught him how dear the fair Isoude hadalready become to him.

Next day the tournament was renewed. Tristramstill feeble from his woundrose during the nighttook his armsand concealed them in a forest near theplace of the contestandafter it had begunmingled with the combatants. Heoverthrew all that encountered himin particular Palamedeswhom he brought tothe ground with a stroke of his lanceand then fought him hand to handbearingoff the prize of the tourney. But his exertions caused his wound to reopen; hebled fastand in this sad stateyet in triumphthey bore him to the palace.The fair Isoude devoted herself to his relief with an interest which grew morevivid day by day; and her skilful care soon restored him to health.

It happened one day that a damsel of the courtentering the closet whereTristram's arms were depositedperceived that a part of the sword had beenbroken off. It occurred to her that the missing portion was like that which wasleft in the skull of Morauntthe Irish champion. She imparted her thought tothe queenwho compared the fragment taken from her brother's wound with thesword of Tristramand was satisfied that it was part of the sameand that theweapon of Tristram was that which reft her brother's life. She laid her griefsand resentment before the kingwho satisfied himself with his own eyes of thetruth of her suspicions. Tristram was cited before the whole courtandreproached with having dared to present himself before them after having slaintheir kinsman. He acknowledged that he had fought with Moraunt to settle theclaim for tributeand said that it was by force of winds and waves alone thathe was thrown on their coast. The queen demanded vengeance for the death of herbrother; the fair Isoude trembled and grew palebut a murmur rose from all theassembly that the life of one so handsome and so brave should not be taken forsuch a causeand generosity finally triumphed over resentment in the mind ofthe king. Tristram was dismissed in safetybut commanded to leave the kingdomwithout delayand never to return thither under pain of death. Tristram wentbackwith restored healthto Cornwall.

King Mark made his nephew give him a minute recital of his adventures.Tristram told him all minutely; but when he came to speak of the fair Isoudehedescribed her charms with a warmth and energy such as none but a lover coulddisplay. King Mark was fascinated with the descriptionandchoosing afavorable timedemanded a boon * of his nephewwho readily granted it. Theking made him swear upon the holy reliques that he would fulfil his commands.Then Mark directed him to go to Irelandand obtain for him the fair Isoude tobe queen of Cornwall. -

* "Good faith was the very corner-stone of chivalry. Whenever a knight'sword was pledged (it mattered not how rashly)it was to be redeemed at anyprice. Hence the sacred obligation of the boon granted by a knight to hissuppliant. Instances without number occur in romancein which a knightbyrashly granting an indefinite boonwas obliged to do or suffer somethingextremely to his prejudice. But it is not in romance alone that we find suchsingular instances of adherence to an indefinite promise. The history of thetimes presents authentic transactions equally embarrassing and absurd."-SCOTTnote of Sir Tristram. -

Tristram believed it was certain death for him to return to Ireland; and howcould he act as ambassador for his uncle in such a cause? Yet

bound by his oathhe hesitated not for an instant. He only took theprecaution to change his armor. He embarked for Ireland; but a tempest drove himto the coast of Englandnear Camelotwhere King Arthur was holding his courtattended by the knights of the Round Tableand many othersthe mostillustrious in the world.

Tristram kept himself unknown. He took part in many jousts; he fought manycombatsin which he covered himself with glory. One day he saw among thoserecently arrived the king of Irelandfather of the fair Isoude. This princeaccused of treason against his liege sovereignArthurcame to Camelot to freehimself of the charge. Blaanorone of the most redoubtable warriors of theRound Tablewas his accuserand Argiusthe kinghad neither youthful vigornor strength to encounter him. He must therefore seek a champion to sustain hisinnocence. But the knights of the Round Table were not at liberty to fightagainst one anotherunless in a quarrel of their own. Argius heard of the greatrenown of the unknown knight; he also was witness of his exploits. He soughthimand conjured him to adopt his defenceand on his oath declared that he wasinnocent of the crime of which he was accused. Tristram readily consentedandmade himself known to the kingwho on his part promised to reward hisexertionsif successfulwith whatever gift he might ask.

Tristram fought with Blaanorand overthrew himand held his life in hispower. The fallen warrior called on him to use his right of conquestand strikethe fatal blow. "God forbid" said Tristram"that I should takethe life of so brave a knight!" He raised him up and restored him to hisfriends. The judges of the field decided that the king of Ireland was acquittedof the charge against himand they led Tristram in triumph to his tent. KingArgiusfull of gratitudeconjured Tristram to accompany him to his kingdom.They departed togetherand arrived in Ireland; and the queenforgetting herresentment for her brother's deathexhibited to the preserver of her husband'slife nothing but gratitude and good-will.

How happy a moment for Isoudewho knew that her father had promised hisdeliverer whatever boon he might ask. But the unhappy Tristram gazed on her withdespairat the thought of the cruel oath which bound him. His magnanimous soulsubdued the force of his love. He revealed the oath which he had takenand withtrembling voice demanded the fair Isoude for his uncle.

Argius consentedand soon all was prepared for the departure of Isoude.Brengwainher favorite maid-of-honorwas to accompany her. On the day ofdeparture the queen took aside this devoted attendantand told her that she hadobserved that her daughter and Tristram were attached to one anotherand thatto avert the bad effects of this inclination she had procured from a powerfulfairy a potent philter (love-draught)which she directed Brengwain toadminister to Isoude and to King Mark on the evening of their marriage.

Isoude and Tristram embarked together. A favorable wind filled the sails andpromised them a fortunate voyage. The lovers gazed upon one anotherand couldnot repress their sighs. Love seemed to light up all his fires on their lipsasin their hearts. The day was warm; they suffered from thirst. Isoude firstcomplained. Tristram descried the bottle containing the love-draughtwhichBrengwain had been so imprudent as to leave in sight. He took itgave some ofit to the charming Isoudeand drank the remainder himself. The dog Houdainlicked the cup. The ship arrived in Cornwalland Isoude was married to KingMark. The old monarch was delighted with his brideand his gratitude toTristram was unbounded. He loaded him with honorsand made him chamberlain ofhis palacethus giving him access to the queen at all times.

In the midst of the festivities of the court which followed the royalmarriagean unknown minstrel one day presented himselfbearing a harp ofpeculiar construction. He excited the curiosity of King Mark by refusing to playupon it till he should grant him a boon. The king having promised to grant hisrequestthe minstrelwho was none other than the Saracen knightSirPalamedesthe lover of the fair Isoudesung to the harp a layin which hedemanded Isoude as the promised gift. King Mark could not by the laws ofknighthood withhold the boon. The lady was mounted on her horse and led away byher triumphant lover. Tristramit is needless to saywas absent at the timeand did not return until their departure. When he heard what had taken placeheseized his roteand hastened to the shorewhere Isoude and her new master hadalready embarked. Tristram played upon his roteand the sound reached the earsof Isoudewho became so deeply affected that Sir Palamedes was induced toreturn with her to landthat they might see the unknown musician. Tristramwatched his opportunityseized the lady's horse by the bridleand plunged withher into the foresttauntingly informing his rival that "what he had gotby the harp he had lost by the rote." Palamedes pursuedand a combat wasabout to commencethe result of which must have been fatal to one or other ofthese gallant knights; but Isoude stepped between themandaddressingPalamedessaid"You tell me that you love me; you will not then deny methe request I am about to make?" "Lady" he replied"I willperform your bidding." "Leavethen" said she"thiscontestand repair to King Arthur's courtand salute Queen Guenever for me;tell her that there are in the world but two ladiesherself and Iand twolovershers and mine; and come thou not in future in any place where Iam." Palamedes burst into tears. "Ahlady" said he"Iwill obey you; but I beseech you that you will not forever steel your heartagainst me." "Palamedes" she replied"may I never taste ofjoy again if I ever quit my first love." Palamedes then went his way. Thelovers remained a week in concealmentafter which Tristram restored Isoude toher husbandadvising him in future to reward minstrels in some other way.

The king showed much gratitude to Tristrambut in the bottom of his heart hecherished bitter jealousy of him. One day Tristram and Isoude were alonetogether in her private chamber. A base and cowardly knight of the courtnamedAudretspied them through a keyhole. They sat at a table of chessbut were notattending to the game. Andret brought the kinghaving first raised hissuspicionsand placed him so as to watch their motions. The king saw enough toconfirm his suspicionsand he burst into the apartment with his sword drawnand had nearly slain Tristram before he was put on his guard. But Tristramavoided the blowdrew his swordand drove before him the cowardly monarchchasing him through all the apartments of the palacegiving him frequent blowswith the flat of his swordwhile he cried in vain to his knights to save him.They were not inclinedor did not dare to interpose in his behalf. -

A proof of the great popularity of the tale of Sir Tristram is the fact thatthe Italian poetsBoiardo and Ariostohave founded upon it the idea of the twoenchanted fountainswhich produced the opposite effects of love and hatred.Boiardo thus describes the fountain of hatred:- -

"Fair was that fountainsculptured all of gold

With alabaster sculpturedrich and rare;

And in its basin clear thou might'st behold

The flowery marge reflected fresh and fair.

Sage Merlin framed the font- so legends bear-

When on fair Isoude doated Tristram brave

That the good errant knightarriving there

Might quaff oblivion in the enchanted wave

And leave his luckless loveand 'scape his timeless grave. -

"But ne'er the warrior's evil fate allowed

His steps that fountain's charmed verge to gain

Though restlessroving on adventure proud

He traversed oft the land and oft the main." -

. . . . . . . . -

CHAPTER XI.

TRISTRAM AND ISOUDE. -

AFTER this affair Tristram was banished from the kingdomand Isoude shut upin a tower which stood on the bank of a river. Tristram could not resolve todepart without some further communication with his beloved; so he concealedhimself in the foresttill at last he contrived to attract her attention bymeans of twigs which he curiously peeled and sent down the stream under herwindow. By this means many secret interviews were obtained. Tristram dwelt inthe forestsustaining himself by gamewhich the dog Houdain ran down for him;for this faithful animal was unequalled in the chaseand knew so well hismaster's wish for concealment that in the pursuit of his game he never barked.At length Tristram departedbut left Houdain with Isoudeas a remembrancer ofhim.

Sir Tristram wandered through various countriesachieving the most perilousenterprisesand covering himself with gloryyet unhappy at the separation fromhis beloved Isoude. At length King Mark's territory was invaded by a neighboringchieftainand he was forced to summon his nephew to his aid. Tristram obeyedthe callput himself at the head of his uncle's vassalsand drove the enemyout of the country. Mark was full of gratitudeand Tristramrestored to favorand to the society of his beloved Isoudeseemed at the summit of happiness. Buta sad reverse was at hand.

Tristram had brought with him a friend named Pheredinson of the king ofBrittany. This young knight saw Queen Isoudeand could not resist her charms.Knowing the love of his friend for the queenand that that love was returnedPheredin concealed his ownuntil his health failedand he feared he wasdrawing near his end. He then wrote to the beautiful queen that he was dying forlove of her.

The gentle Isoudein a moment of pity for the friend of Tristramreturnedhim an answer so kind and compassionate that it restored him to life. A few daysafterward Tristram found this letter. The most terrible jealousy took possessionof his soul; he would have slain Pheredinwho with difficulty made his escape.Then Tristram mounted his horseand rode to the forestwhere for ten days hetook no rest nor food. At length he was found by a damsel lying almost dead bythe brink of a fountain. She recognized himand tried in vain to rouse hisattention. At lastrecollecting his love for musicshe went and got her harpand played thereon. Tristram was roused from his reverie; tears flowed; hebreathed more freely; he took the harp from the maidenand sung this laywitha voice broken with sobs:- -

"Sweet I sang in former days

Kind love perfected my lays:

Now my art alone displays

The woe that on my being preys. -

"Charming lovedelicious power

Worshipped from my earliest hour

Thou who life on all dost shower

Love! my life thou dost devour. -

"In death's hour I beg of thee

Isoudedearest enemy

Thou who erst couldst kinder be

When I'm goneforget not me. -

"On my gravestone passers by

Oft will readas low I lie

'Never wight in love could vie

With Tristramyet she let him die.'" -

Tristramhaving finished his laywrote it off and gave it to the damselconjuring her to present it to the queen.

Meanwhile Queen Isoude was inconsolable at the absence of Tristram. Shediscovered that it was caused by the fatal letter which she had written toPheredin. Innocentbut in despair at the sad effects of her lettershe wroteanother to Pheredincharging him never to see her again. The unhappy loverobeyed this cruel decree. He plunged into the forestand died of grief and lovein a hermit's cell.

Isoude passed her days in lamenting the absence and unknown fate of Tristram.One day her jealous husbandhaving entered her chamber unperceivedoverheardhersinging the following lay:- -

"My voice to piteous wail is bent

My harp to notes of languishment;

Ahlove! delightsome days be meant

For happier wightswith hearts content. -

"AhTristram! far away from me

Art thou from restless anguish free?

Ah! couldst thou so one moment be

From her who so much loveth thee?" -

The kinghearing these wordsburst forth in a rage; but Isoude was toowretched to fear his violence. "You have heard me" she said; "Iconfess it all. I love Tristramand always shall love him. Without doubt he isdeadand died for me. I no longer wish to live. The blow that shall finish mymisery will be most welcome."

The king was moved at the distress of the fair Isoudeand perhaps the ideaof Tristram's death tended to allay his wrath. He left the queen in charge ofher womencommanding them to take especial care lest her despair should leadher to do harm to herself.

Tristrammeanwhiledistracted as he wasrendered a most important serviceto the shepherds by slaying a gigantic robber named Taullaswho was in thehabit of plundering their flocks and rifling their cottages. The shepherdsintheir gratitude to Tristrambore him in triumph to King Mark to have him bestowon him a suitable reward. No wonder Mark failed to recognize in the half-cladwild man before him his nephew Tristram; but grateful for the service theunknown had renderedhe ordered him to be well taken care ofand gave him incharge to the queen and her women. Under such care Tristram rapidly recoveredhis serenity and his healthso that the romancer tells us he became handsomerthan ever. King Mark's jealousy revived with Tristram's health and good looksandin spite of his debt of gratitude so lately increasedhe again banishedhim from the court.

Sir Tristram left Cornwalland proceeded into the land of Loegria (England)in quest of adventures. One day he entered a wide forest. The sound of a littlebell showed him that some inhabitant was near. He followed the soundand founda hermitwho informed him that he was in the forest of Arnantesbelonging tothe fairy Vivianethe Lady of the Lakewhosmitten with love for King Arthurhad found means to entice him to this forestwhere by enchantments she held hima prisonerhaving deprived him of all memory of who and what he was. The hermitinformed him that all the knights of the Round Table were out in search of thekingand that he (Tristram) was now in the scene of the most grand andimportant adventures.

This was enough to animate Tristram in the search. He had not wandered farbefore he encountered a knight of Arthur's courtwho proved to be Sir Kay theseneschalwho demanded of him whence he came. Tristram answering"FromCornwall" Sir Kay did not let slip the opportunity of a joke at theexpense of the Cornish knight. Tristram chose to leave him in his errorandeven confirmed him in it; for meeting some other knightsTristram declined tojoust with them. They spent the night together at an abbeywhere Tristramsubmitted patiently to all their jokes. The seneschal gave the word to hiscompanions that they should set out early next dayand intercept the Cornishknight on his wayand enjoy the amusement of seeing his fright when they shouldinsist on running a tilt with him. Tristram next morning found himself alone; heput on his armorand set out to continue his quest. He soon saw before him theseneschal and the three knightswho barred the wayand insisted on a joust.Tristram excused himself a long time; at last he reluctantly took his stand. Heencountered themone after the otherand overthrew them all fourman andhorseand then rode offbidding them not to forget their friendthe knight ofCornwall.

Tristram had not ridden far when he met a damselwho cried out"Ahmylord! hasten forwardand prevent a horrid treason!" Tristram flew to herassistanceand soon reached a spot where he beheld a knightwhom three othershad borne to the groundand were unlacing his helmet in order to cut off hishead.

Tristram flew to the rescueand slew with one stroke of his lance one of theassailants. The knightrecovering his feetsacrificed another to hisvengeanceand the third made his escape. The rescued knight then raised thevisor of his helmetand a long white beard fell down upon his breast. Themajesty and venerable air of this knight made Tristram suspect that it was noneother than Arthur himselfand the prince confirmed his conjecture. Tristramwould have knelt before himbut Arthur received him in his armsand inquiredhis name and country; but Tristram declined to disclose themon the plea thathe was now on a quest requiring secrecy. At this moment the damsel who hadbrought Tristram to the rescue darted forwardandseizing the king's handdrew from his finger a ringthe gift of the fairyand by that act dissolvedthe enchantment. Arthurhaving recovered his reason and his memoryoffered toTristram to attach him to his courtand to confer honors and dignities uponhim; but Tristram declined alland only consented to accompany him till heshould see him safe in the hands of his knights. Soon afterHector de Marysrode upand saluted the kingwho on his part introduced him to Tristram as oneof the bravest of his knights. Tristram took leave of the king and his faithfulfollowerand continued his quest.

We cannot follow Tristram through all the adventures which filled this epochof his history. Suffice it to sayhe fulfilled on all occasions the duty of atrue knightrescuing the oppressedredressing wrongsabolishing evil customsand suppressing injusticethus by constant action endeavoring to lighten thepains of absence from her he loved. In the meantime Isoudeseparated from herdear Tristrampassed her days in languor and regret. At length she could nolonger resist the desire to hear some news of her lover. She wrote a letterandsent it by one of her damselsniece of her faithful Brengwain. One dayTristramweary with his exertionshad dismounted and laid himself down by theside of a fountain and fallen asleep. The damsel of Queen Isoude arrived at thesame fountainand recognized Passebreulthe horse of Tristramand presentlyperceived his masterasleep. He was thin and paleshowing evident marks of thepain he suffered in separation from his beloved. She awaked himand gave himthe letter which she boreand Tristram enjoyed the pleasureso sweet to aloverof hearing from and talking about the object of his affections. He prayedthe damsel postpone her return till after the magnificent tournament whichArthur had proclaimed should have taken placeand conducted her to the castleof Persidesa brave and loyal knightwho received her with greatconsideration.

Tristram conducted the damsel of Queen Isoude to the tournament and had herplaced in the balcony among the ladies of the queen. He then joined the tourney.Nothing could exceed his strength and valor. Launcelot admired himand by asecret presentiment declined to dispute the honor of the day with a knight sogallant and so skilful. Arthur descended from the balcony to greet theconqueror; but the modest and devoted Tristramcontent with having borne offthe prize in the sight of the messenger of Isoudemade his escape with heranddisappeared.

The next day the tourney recommenced. Tristram assumed different armorthathe might not be known; but he was soon detected by the terrible blows that hegave. Arthur and Guenever had no doubt that it was the same knight who had borneoff the prize of the day before. Arthur's gallant spirit was roused. AfterLauncelot of the Lake and Sir Gawainhe was accounted the best knight of theRound Table. He went privately and armed himselfand came into the tourney inundistinguished armor. He ran a joust with Tristramwhom he shook in his seat;but Tristramwho did not know himthrew him out of the saddle. Arthurrecovered himself andcontent with having made proof of the stranger knightbade Launcelot finish the adventureand vindicate the honor of the Round Table.Sir Launcelotat the bidding of the monarchassailed Tristramwhose lance wasalready broken in former encounters. But the law of this sort of combat wasthat the knightafter having broken his lancemust fight with his swordandmust not refuse to meet with his shield the lance of his antagonist. Tristrammet Launcelot's charge upon his shieldwhich that terrible lance could not failto pierce. It inflicted a wound upon Tristram's sideand breakingleft theiron in the wound. But Tristram also with his sword smote so vigorously onLauncelot's casque that he cleft itand wounded his head. The wound was notdeepbut the blood flowed into his eyesand blinded him for a momentandTristramwho thought himself mortally woundedretired from the field.Launcelot declared to the king that he had never received such a blow in hislife before.

Tristram hastened to Gouvernailhis squirewho drew forth the ironboundup the woundand gave him immediate ease. Tristramafter the tournamentkeptretired in his tentbut Arthurwith the consent of the knights of the RoundTabledecreed him the honors of the second day. But it was no longer a secretthat the victor of the two days was the same individualand Gouvernailbeingquestionedconfirmed the suspicions of Launcelot and Arthurthat it was noother than Sir Tristram of Lyonessethe nephew of the king of Cornwall.

King Arthurwho desired to reward his distinguished valorand knew that hisuncle Mark had ungratefully banished himwould have eagerly availed himself ofthe opportunity to attach Tristram to his court- all the knights of the RoundTable declaring with acclamation that it would be impossible to find a moreworthy companion. But Tristram had already departed in search of adventuresandthe damsel of Queen Isoude returned to her mistress.

CHAPTER XII.

THE STORY OF SIR TRISTRAM OF LYONESSE. -

SIR TRISTRAM rode through a forestand saw ten men fightingand one man didbattle against nine. So he rode to the knights and cried to thembidding themcease their battlefor they did themselves great shameso many knights tofight against one. Then answered the master of the knights (his name was SirBreuse sans Pitiewho was at that time the most villainous knight living):"Sir knightwhat have ye to do to meddle with us? If ye be wisedepart onyour way as you camefor this knight shall not escape us." "That werepity" said Sir Tristram"that so good a knight should be slain socowardly; therefore I warn you I will succor him with all my puissance."

Then Sir Tristram alighted off his horsebecause they were on footthatthey should not slay his horse. And he smote on the right hand and on the leftso vigorouslythat well-nigh at every stroke he struck down a knight. At lastthey fledwith Breuse sans Pitieinto the towerand shut Sir Tristram withoutthe gate. Then Sir Tristram returned back to the rescued knightand found himsitting under a treesore wounded. "Fair knight" said he"howis it with you?" "Sir knight" said Sir Palamedesfor he it was"I thank you for your great goodnessfor ye have rescued me fromdeath." "What is your name?" said Sir Tristram. He said"Myname is Sir Palamedes." "Say ye so?" said Sir Tristram; "nowknow that thou art the man in the world that I most hate; therefore make theereadyfor I will do battle with thee." "What is your name?" saidSir Palamedes. "My name is Sir Tristramyour mortal enemy." "Itmay be so" said Sir Palamedes; "but you have done overmuch for methis daythat I should fight with you. Moreoverit will be no honor for you tohave to do with mefor you are fresh and I am wounded. Thereforeif you willneeds have to do with meassign me a dayand I shall meet you withoutfail." "You say well" said Sir Tristram; "now I assign youto meet me in the meadow by the river of Camelotwhere Merlin set themonument." So they were agreed. Then they departedand took their waysdiverse. Sir Tristram passed through a great forest into a plaintill he cameto a prioryand there he reposed him with a good man six days.

Then departed Sir Tristramand rode straight into Camelot to the monument ofMerlinand there he looked about him for Sir Palamedes. And he perceived aseemly knightwho came riding against him all in whitewith a covered shield.When he came nighSir Tristram said aloud"Welcomesir knightand welland truly have you kept your promise." Then they made ready their shieldsand spearsand came together with all the might of their horsesso fiercelythat both the horses and the knights fell to the earth. And as soon as theymightthey quitted their horsesand struck together with bright swords as menof mightand each wounded the other wonderfully soreso that the blood ran outupon the grass. Thus they fought for the space of four hoursand never onewould speak to the other one word. Then at last spake the white knightandsaid"Sirthou fightest wonderful wellas ever I saw knight; thereforeif it please youtell me your name." "Why dost thou ask myname?" said Sir Tristram; "art thou not Sir Palamedes?" "Nofair knight" said he"I am Sir Launcelot of the Lake.""Alas!" said Sir Tristram"what have I done? for you are the manof the world that I love best." "Fair knight" said SirLauncelot"tell me your name." "Truly" said he"myname is Sir Tristram de Lyonesse." "Alas! alas!" said SirLauncelot"what adventure has befallen me!" And therewith SirLauncelot kneeled downand yielded him up his sword; and Sir Tristram kneeleddownand yielded him up his sword; and so either gave other the degree. Andthen they both went to the stoneand sat them down upon itand took off theirhelmsand each kissed the other a hundred times. And then anon they rode towardCamelotand on the way they met with Sir Gawain and Sir Gaheristhat had madepromise to Arthur never to come again to the court till they had brought SirTristram with them.

"Return again" said Sir Launcelot"for your quest is done;for I have met with Sir Tristram. Lohere he is in his own person." Thenwas Sir Gawain gladand said to Sir Tristram"Ye are welcome." Withthis came King Arthurand when he wist there was Sir Tristramhe ran unto himand took him by the handand said"Sir Tristramye are as welcome as anyknight that ever came to this court." Then Sir Tristram told the king howhe came thither for to have had to do with Sir Palamedesand how he had rescuedhim from Sir Breuse sans Pitie and the nine knights. Then King Arthur took SirTristram by the handand went to the Table Roundand Queen Guenever cameandmany ladies with herand all the ladies said with one voice"WelcomeSirTristram." "Welcome" said the knights. "Welcome" saidArthur"for one of the best knightsand the gentlest of the worldandthe man of most worship; for of all manner of hunting thou bearest the prizeand of all measures of blowing thou art the beginningand of all the terms ofhunting and hawking ye are the inventorand of all instruments of music ye arethe best skilled; thereforegentle knight" said Arthur"ye arewelcome to this court." And then King Arthur made Sir Tristram knight ofthe Table Round with great nobley and feasting as can be thought.

The Round Table had been made by the famous enchanter Merlinand on it hehad exerted all his skill and craft. Of the seats which surrounded it he hadconstructed thirteenin memory of the thirteen Apostles. Twelve of these seatsonly could be occupiedand they only by knights of the highest fame; thethirteenth represented the seat of the traitor Judas. It remained always empty.It was called the perilous seat ever since a rash and haughty Saracen knight haddared to place himself in itwhen the earth opened and swallowed him up.

A magic power wrote upon each seat the name of the knight who was entitled tosit in it. No one could succeed to a vacant seat unless he surpassed in valorand glorious deeds the knight who had occupied it before him; without thisqualification he would be violently repelled by a hidden force. Thus proof wasmade of all those who presented themselves to replace any companions of theorder who had fallen.

One of the principal seatsthat of Moraunt of Irelandhad been vacant tenyearsand his name still remained over it ever since the time when thatdistinguished champion fell beneath the sword of Sir Tristram. Arthur now tookTristram by the hand and led him to that seat. Immediately the most melodioussounds were heardand exquisite perfumes filled the place; the name of Morauntdisappearedand that of Tristram blazed forth in light. The rare modesty ofTristram had now to be subjected to a severe task; for the clerks charged withthe duty of preserving the annals of the Round Table attendedand he wasrequired by the law of his order to declare what feats of arms he hadaccomplished to entitle him to take that seat. This ceremony being endedTristram received the congratulations of all his companions. Sir Launcelot andGuenever took occasion to speak to him of the fair Isoudeand to express theirwish that some

happy chance might bring her to the kingdom of Loegria.

While Tristram was thus honored and caressed at the court of King Arthurthemost gloomy and malignant jealousy harassed the soul of Mark. He could not lookupon Isoude without remembering that she loved Tristramand the good fortune ofhis nephew goaded him to thoughts of vengeance. He at last resolved to godisguised into the kingdom of Loegriaattack Tristram by stealthand put himto death. He took with him two knightsbrought up in his courtwho he thoughtwere devoted to him; andnot willing to leave Isoude behindnamed two of hermaidens to attend hertogether with her faithful Brengwainand made themaccompany him.

Having arrived in the neighborhood of CamelotMark imparted his plan to histwo knightsbut they rejected it with horror; naymorethey declared thatthey would no longer remain in his service; and left himgiving him reason tosuppose that they should repair to the court to accuse him before Arthur. It wasnecessary for Mark to meet and rebut their accusation; soleaving Isoude in anabbeyhe pursued his way alone to Camelot.

Mark had not ridden far when he encountered a party of knights of Arthur'scourtand would have avoided themfor he knew their habit of challenging to ajoust every stranger knight whom they met. But it was too late. They had seenhis armorand recognized him as a Cornish knightand at once resolved to havesome sport with him. It happened they had with themDaguenetKing Arthur'sfoolwhothough deformed and weak of bodywas not wanting in courage. Theknights as Mark approached laid their plan that Daguenet should personate SirLauncelot of the Lakeand challenge the Cornish knight. They equipped him inarmor belonging to one of their number who was illand sent him forward to thecross-road to defy the strange knight. Markwho saw that his antagonist was byno means formidable in appearancewas not disinclined to the combat; but whenthe dwarf rode towards himcalling out that he was Sir Launcelot of the Lakehis fears prevailedhe put spurs to his horseand rode away at full speedpursued by the shouts and laughter of the party.

MeanwhileIsouderemaining at the abbey with her faithful Brengwainfoundher only amusement in walking occasionally in a forest adjoining the abbey.Thereon the brink of a fountain girdled with treesshe thought of her loveand sometimes joined her voice and her harp in lays reviving the memory of itspains or pleasures. One day the caitiff knightBreuse the Pitilessheard hervoiceconcealed himselfand drew near. She sang:- -

"Sweet silenceshadowy bowerand verdant lair

Ye court my troubled spirit to repose

Whilst Isuch dear remembrance rises there

Awaken every echo with my woes. -

"Within these woodsby Nature's hand arrayed

A fountain springsand feeds a thousand flowers;

Ah! how my groans do all its murmurs aid!

How my sad eyes do swell it with their showers! -

"What doth my knight the while? to him is given

A double meed; in love and arms' emprise

Him the Round Table elevates to heaven!

Tristram! ah me! he hears not Isoude's cries." -

Breuse the Pitilesswholike most other caitiffshad felt the weight ofTristram's armand hated him accordinglyat hearing his name breathed forth bythe beautiful songstressimpelled by a double impulserushed forth from hisconcealment and laid hands on his victim. Isoude faintedand Brengwain filledthe air with her shrieks. Breuse carried Isoude to the place where he had lefthis horse; but the animal had got away from his bridleand was at somedistance. He was obliged to lay down his fair burdenand go in pursuit of hishorse. Just then a knight came updrawn by the cries of Brengwainand demandedthe cause of her distress. She could not speakbut pointed to her mistresslying insensible on the ground.

Breuse had by this time returnedand the cries of Brengwainrenewed atseeing himsufficiently showed the stranger the cause of the distress. Tristramspurred his horse towards Breusewhonot unpreparedran to the encounter.Breuse was unhorsedand lay motionlesspretending to be dead; but when thestranger knight left him to attend to the distressed damselshe mounted hishorseand made his escape.

The knight now approached Isoudegently raised her headdrew aside thegolden hair which covered her countenancegazed thereon for an instantuttereda cryand fell back insensible. Brengwain came; her caress soon restored hermistress to lifeand they then turned their attention to the fallen warrior.They raised his visorand discovered the countenance of Sir Tristram. Isoudethrew herself on the body of her loverand bedewed his face with her tears.Their warmth revived the knightand Tristramon awakingfound himself in thearms of his dear Isoude.

It was the law of the Round Table that each knight after his admission shouldpass the next ten days in quest of adventuresduring which time his companionsmight meet him in disguised armorand try their strength with him. Tristram hadnow been out seven daysand in that time had encountered many of the bestknights of the Round Tableand acquitted himself with honor. During theremaining three days Isoude remained at the abbeyunder his protectionandthen set out with her maidensescorted by Sir Tristramto rejoin King Mark atthe court of Camelot.

This happy journey was one of the brightest epochs in the lives of Tristramand Isoude. He celebrated it by a lay upon the harp in a peculiar measuretowhich the French give the name of Triolet:- -

"With fair Isoudeand with love

Ah! how sweet the life I lead!

How blest forever thus to rove

With fair Isoudeand with love!

As she willsI live and move

And cloudless days to days succeed:

With fair Isoudeand with love

Ah! how sweet the life I lead! -

"Journeying on from break of day

Feel you not fatiguedmy fair?

Yon green turf invites to play;

Journeying on from day to day

Ah! let us to that shade away

Were it but to slumber there!

Journeying on from break of day

Feel you not fatiguedmy fair?" -

They arrived at Camelotwhere Sir Launcelot received them most cordially.Isoude was introduced to King Arthur and Queen Gueneverwho welcomed her as asister. As King Mark was held in arrest under the accusation of the two CornishknightsQueen Isoude could not rejoin her husbandand Sir Launcelot placed hiscastle of La Joyeuse Garde at the disposal of his friendswho there took uptheir abode.

King Markwho found himself obliged to confess the truth of the chargeagainst himor to clear himself by combat with his accuserspreferred theformerand King Arthuras his crime had not been perpetratedremitted thepenaltyonly enjoining upon himunder pain of his signal displeasureto layaside all thoughts of vengeance against his nephew. In the presence of the kingand his courtall parties were formally reconciled; Mark and his queen departedfor their homeand Tristram remained at Arthur's court.

CHAPTER XIII.

END OF THE STORY OF SIR TRISTRAM OF LYONESSE. -

WHILE Sir Tristram and the fair Isoude abode yet at La Joyeuse GardeSirTristram rode forth one daywithout armorhaving no weapon but his spear andhis sword. And as he rode he came to a place where he saw two knights in battleand one of them had gotten the betterand the other lay overthrown. The knightwho had the better was Sir Palamedes. When Sir Palamedes knew Sir Tristramhecried out"Sir Tristramnow we be metand ere we depart we will redressour old wrongs." "As for that" said Sir Tristram"therenever yet was Christian man that might make his boast that I ever fled from himand thou that art a Saracen shalt never say that of me." And therewith SirTristram made his horse to runand with all his might came straight upon SirPalamedesand broke his spear upon him. Then he drew his sword and struck atSir Palamedes six great strokesupon his helm. Sir Palamedes saw that SirTristram had not his armor onand he marvelled at his rashness and his greatfolly; and said to himself"If I meet and slay him I am ashamedwheresoever I go." Then Sir Tristram cried out and said"Thou cowardknightwhy wilt thou not do battle with me? for have thou no doubt I shallendure all thy malice." "AhSir Tristram!" said Sir Palamedes"thou knowest I may not fight with thee for shame; for thou art here nakedand I am armed; now I require that thou answer me a question that I shall askyou." "Tell me what it is" said Sir Tristram. "I put thecase" said Sir Palamedes"that you were well armedand I naked asye be; what would you do to me nowby your true knighthood?""Ah!" said Sir Tristram"now I understand thee wellSirPalamedes; andas God me blesswhat I shall say shall not be said for fearthat I have of thee. But if it were sothou shouldest depart from mefor Iwould not have to do with thee." "No more will I with thee" saidSir Palamedes"and therefore ride forth on thy way." "As forthatI may choose" said Sir Tristram"either to ride or to abide.ButSir PalamedesI marvel at one thing- that thou art so good a knightyetthat thou wilt not be christened." "As for that" said SirPalamedes"I may not yet be christenedfor a vow which I made many yearsago; yet in my heart I believe in our Saviour and his mild mother Mary; but Ihave yet one battle to doand when that is done I will be christenedwith agood will." "By my head" said Sir Tristram"as for thatone battlethou shalt seek it no longer; for yonder is a knightwhom you havesmitten down. Now help me to be clothed in his armorand I will soon fulfil thyvow." "As ye will" said Sir Palamedes"so shall itbe." So they rode both unto that knight that sat on a bank; and SirTristram saluted himand he full weakly saluted him again. "Sir"said Sir Tristram"I pray you to lend me your whole armor; for I amunarmedand I must do battle with this knight." "Sir" said thehurt knight"you shall have itwith a right good will." Then SirTristram unarmed Sir Galleronfor that was the name of the hurt knightand heas well as he could helped to arm Sir Tristram. Then Sir Tristram mounted uponhis own horseand in his hand he took Sir Galleron's spear. Thereupon SirPalamedes was readyand so they came hurtling togetherand each smote theother in the midst of their shields. Sir Palamedes' spear brokeand SirTristram smote down the horse. Then Sir Palamedes leapt from his horseand drewout his sword. That saw Sir Tristramand therewith he alighted and tied hishorse to a tree. Then they came together as two wild beastslashing the one onthe otherand so fought more than two hours; and often Sir Tristram smote suchstrokes at Sir Palamedes that he made him to kneeland Sir Palamedes broke awaySir Tristram's shieldand wounded him. Then Sir Tristram was wroth out ofmeasureand he rushed to Sir Palamedes and wounded him passing sore through theshoulderand by fortune smote Sir Palamedes' sword out of his hand. And if SirPalamedes had stooped for his swordSir Tristram had slain him. Then SirPalamedes stood and beheld his sword with a full sorrowful heart."Now" said Sir Tristram"I have thee at a vantageas thouhadst me to-day; but it shall never be saidin courtor among good knightsthat Sir Tristram did slay any knight that was weaponless: therefore take thouthy swordand let us fight this battle to the end." Then spoke SirPalamedes to Sir Tristram: "I have no wish to fight this battle any more.The offence that I have done unto you is not so great but thatif it pleaseyouwe may be friends. All that I have offended is for the love of the queenLa Belle Isoudeand I dare maintain that she is peerless among ladies; and forthat offence ye have given me many grievous and sad strokesand some I havegiven you againWherefore I require youmy lord Sir Tristramforgive me allthat I have offended youand this day have me unto the next church; and first Iwill be clean confessedand after that see you that I be truly baptizedandthen we will ride together unto the court of my lordKing Arthurso that wemay be there at the feast of Pentecost." "Now take your horse"said Sir. Tristram"and as you have saidso shall it be done." Sothey took their horsesand Sir Galleron rode with them. When they came to thechurch of Carlislethe bishop commanded to fill a great vessel with water; andwhen he had hallowed ithe then confessed Sir Palamedes cleanand christenedhim; and Sir Tristram and Sir Galleron were his godfathers. Then soon after theydepartedand rode toward Camelotwhere the noble King Arthur and QueenGuenever were keeping a court royal. And the king and all the court were gladthat Sir Palamedes was christened. Then Sir Tristram returned again to LaJoyeuse Gardeand Sir Palamedes went his way.

Not long after these events Sir Gawain returned from Brittanyand related toKing Arthur the adventure which befell him in the forest of Breciliande- howMerlin had there spoken to himand enjoined him to charge the king to gowithout delay upon the quest of the Holy Greal. While King Arthur deliberatedTristram determined to enter upon the questand the more readilyas it waswell known to him that this holy adventure wouldif achievedprocure him thepardon of all his sins. He immediately departed for the kingdom of Brittanyhoping there to obtain from Merlin counsel as to the proper course to pursue toinsure success.

On arriving in Brittany Tristram found King Hoel engaged in a war with arebellious vassaland hard pressed by his enemy. His best knights had fallen ina late battleand he knew not where to turn for assistance. Tristramvolunteered his aid. It was accepted; and the army of Hoelled by Tristramandinspired by his examplegained a complete victory. The king penetrated by themost lively sentiments of gratitudeand having informed himself of Tristram'sbirthoffered him his daughter in marriage. The princess was beautiful andaccomplishedand bore the same name with the Queen of Cornwall; but this one isdesignated by the Romancers as Isoude of the White Handsto distinguish herfrom Isoude the Fair.

How can we describe the conflict that agitated the heart of Tristram? Headored the first Isoudebut his love for her was hopelessand notunaccompanied by remorse. Moreoverthe sacred quest on which he had now entereddemanded of him perfect purity of life. It seemed as if a happy destiny hadprovided for himin the charming princess Isoude of the White Handsthe bestsecurity for all his good resolutions. This last reflection determined him. Theywere marriedand passed some months in tranquil happiness at the court of KingHoel. The pleasure which Tristram felt in his wife's society increased day byday. An inward grace seemed to stir within him from the moment when he took theoath to go on the quest of the Holy Greal; it seemed even to triumph over thepower of the magic love-potion.

The warwhich had been quelled for a timenow burst anew. Tristramasusualwas foremost in every danger. The enemy was worsted in successiveconflictsand at last shut himself up in his principal city. Tristram led onthe attack of the city. As he mounted a ladder to scale the wallshe was struckon the head by a fragment of rockwhich the besieged threw down upon him. Itbore him to the groundwhere he lay insensible.

As soon as he recovered consciousnesshe demanded to be carried to his wife.The princessskilled in the art of surgerywould not suffer any one butherself to touch her beloved husband. Her fair hands bound up his wounds;Tristram kissed them with gratitudewhich began to grow into love. At first thedevoted cares of Isoude seemed to meet with great success; but after awhilethese flattering appearances vanishedandin spite of all her carethe maladygrew more serious day by day.

In this perplexityan old squire of Tristram's reminded his master that theprincess of Irelandafterward queen of Cornwallhad once cured him undercircumstances quite as discouraging. He called Isoude of the White Hands to himtold her of his former cureadded that he believed that the Queen Isoude couldheal himand that he felt sure that she would come to his relief if sent for.

Isoude of the White Hands consented that Gesnesa trusty man and skilfulnavigatorshould be sent to Cornwall. Tristram called himandgiving him aring"Take this" he said"to the Queen of Cornwall. Tell herthat Tristramnear to deathdemands her aid. If you succeed in bringing herwith youplace white sails to your vessel on your returnthat we may know ofyour success when the vessel first heaves in sight. But if Queen Isoude refusesput on black sails; they will be the presage of my impending death."

Gesnes performed his mission successfully. King Mark happened to be absentfrom his capitaland the queen readily consented to return with the bark toBrittany. Gesnes clothed his vessel in the whitest of sailsand sped his wayback to Brittany.

Meantime the wound of Tristram grew more desperate day by day. His strengthquite prostratedno longer permitted him to be carried to the seaside dailyashad been his custom from the first moment when it was possible for the bark tobe on the way homeward. He called a young damseland gave her in charge to keepwatch in the direction of Cornwalland to come and tell him the color of thesails of the first vessel she should see approaching.

When Isoude of the White Hands consented that the queen of Cornwall should besent forshe had not known all the reasons which she had for fearing theinfluence which renewed intercourse with that princess might have on her ownhappiness. She had now learned moreand felt the danger more keenly. Shethoughtif she could only keep the knowledge of the queen's arrival from herhusbandshe might employ in his service any resources which her skill couldsupplyand still avert the dangers which she apprehended. When the vessel wasseen approachingwith its white sails sparkling in the sunthe damselbycommand of her mistresscarried word to Tristram that the sails were black.

Tristrampenetrated with inexpressible griefbreathed a profound sighturned away his faceand said"Alasmy beloved! we shall never see oneanother again!" Then he commended himself to Godand breathed his last.

The death of Tristram was the first intelligence which the queen of Cornwallheard on landing. She was conducted almost senseless into the chamber ofTristramand expired holding him in her arms.

Tristrambefore his deathrequested that his body should be sent toCornwalland that his swordwith a letter he had writtenshould be deliveredto King Mark. The remains of Tristram and Isoude were embarked in a vesselalong with the swordwhich was presented to the king of CornwallHe was meltedwith tenderness when he saw the weapon which slew Moraunt of Ireland- which hadso often saved his lifeand redeemed the honor of his kingdom. In the letterTristram begged pardon of his uncleand related the story of the amorousdraught.

Mark ordered the lovers to be buried in his own chapel. From the tomb ofTristram there sprung a vinewhich went along the wallsand descended into thegrave of the queen. It was cut down three timesbut each time sprung up againmore vigorous than beforeand this wonderful plant has ever since shaded thetombs of Tristram and Isoude. -

Spenser introduces Sir Tristram in his Faery Queene. In Book VI.Canto ii.Sir Calidore encounters in the forest a young hunterwhom he thus describes:- -

"Him steadfastly he markedand saw to be

A goodly youth of amiable grace

Yet but a slender slipthat scarce did see

Yet seventeen yeares; but tall and faire of face

That sure he deemed him borne of noble race.

All in a woodman's jacket he was clad

Of Lincoln greenebelayed with silver lace;

And on his head an hood with aglets * sprad

And by his side his hunter's horne he hanging had. -

"Buskins he wore of costliest cordawayne

Pinckt upon goldand paled part per part*(2)

As then the guize was for each gentle swayne

In his right hand he held a trembling dart

Whose fellow he before had sent apart;

And in his left he held a sharp bore-speare

With which he wont to launch the salvage heart

Of many a lyonand of many a beare

That first unto his hand in chase did happen neare." -

* Agletspoints or tags.

*(2) Pinckt upon goldetc.adorned with golden pointsor eyeletsandregularly intersected with stripes. Paled (in heraldry)striped. -

Tristram is often alluded to by the Romancers as the great authority andmodel in all matters relating to the chase. In the Faery QueeneTristraminanswer to the inquiries of Sir Calidoreinforms him of his name and parentageand concludes:- -

"All which my days I have not lewdly spentNor spilt the blossom of mytender years

In idlesse; butas was convenient

Have trained been with many noble feres

In gentle thewesand such like seemly leers; *

'Mongst which my most delight hath always been

To hunt the salvage chaceamongst my peers

Of all that rangeth in the forest green

Of which none is to me unknown that yet was seen. -

"Ne is there hawk which mantleth on her perch

Whether high towering or accosting low

But I the measure of her flight do search

And all her preyand all her diet know.

Such be our joyswhich in these forests grow." -

* Ferescompanions; theweslabors; leerslearning.

CHAPTER XIV.

THE STORY OF PERCEVAL. -

"-Sir Percivale

Whom Arthur and his knighthood called the Pure."

TENNYSON. -

THE father and two elder brothers of Perceval had fallen in battle ortournamentsand henceas the last hope of his familyhis mother retired withhim into a solitary regionwhere he was brought up in total ignorance of armsand chivalry. He was allowed no weapon but "a lyttel Scots spere"which was the only thing of all "her lordes faire gere" that hismother carried to the wood with her. In the use of this he became so skilfulthat he could kill with it not only the animals of the chase for her tablebuteven birds on the wing. At lengthhoweverPerceval was roused to a desire ofmilitary renown by seeing in the forest five knights who were in complete armor.He said to his mother"Motherwhat are those yonder?" "They areangelsmy son" said she. "By my faithI will go and become an angelwith them." And Perceval went to the road and met them. "Tell megoodlad" said one of them"sawest thou a knight pass this way eitherto-day or yesterday?" "I know not" said he"what a knightis." "Such an one as I am" said the knight. "If thou wilttell me what I ask theeI will tell thee what thou askest me.""Gladly will I do so" said Sir Owainfor that was the knight's name."What is this?" demanded Percevaltouching the saddle. "It is asaddle" said Owain. Then he asked about all the accoutrements which he sawupon the men and the horsesand about the armsand what they were forand howthey were used. And Sir Owain showed him all those things fully. And Perceval inreturn gave him such information as he had.

Then Perceval returned to his motherand said to her"Motherthosewere not angelsbut honorable knights." Then his mother swooned away. AndPerceval went to the place where they kept the horses that carried firewood andprovisions for the castleand he took a bonypiebald horsewhich seemed tohim the strongest of them. And he pressed a pack into the form of a saddleandwith twisted twigs he imitated the trappings which he had seen upon the horses.When he came again to his mother the countess had recovered from her swoon."My son" said she"desirest thou to ride forth?""Yeswith thy leave" said he. "Go forward then" she said"to the court of Arthurwhere there are the best and the noblest and themost bountiful of menand tell him thou art Percevalthe son of Pelenoreandask of him to bestow knighthood on thee. And whenever thou seest a churchrepeat there thy paternoster; and if thou see meat and drinkand hast need ofthemthou mayest take them. If thou hear an outcry of one in distressproceedtoward itespecially if it be the cry of a womanand render her what servicethou canst. If thou see a fair jewelwin itfor thus shalt thou acquire fame;yet freely give it to anotherfor thus thou shalt obtain praise. If thou see afair womanpay court to herfor thus thou wilt obtain love."

After this discourse Perceval mounted the horseandtaking a number ofsharp-pointed sticks in his handhe rode forth. And he rode far in the woodywilderness without food or drink. At last he came to an opening in the woodwhere he saw a tentand as he thought it might be a church he said hispater-noster to it. And he went toward it; and the door of the tent was open.And Perceval dismounted and entered the tent. In the tent he found a maidensittingwith a golden frontlet on her forehead and a gold ring on her hand. AndPerceval said"MaidenI salute youfor my mother told me whenever I meta lady I must respectfully salute her." Perceiving in one corner of thetent some foodtwo flasks full of wineand some boar's flesh roastedhe said"My mother told mewhenever I saw meat and drink to take it." And heate greedilyfor he was very hungry. "Sirthou hadst best go quickly fromherefor fear that my friends should comeand evil should befall you."But Perceval said"My mother told me wheresoever I saw a fair jewel totake it" and he took the gold ring from her fingerand put it on his own;and he gave the maiden his own ring in exchange for hers; then he mounted hishorse and rode away.

Perceval journeyed on till he arrived at Arthur's court. And it so happenedthat just at that time an uncourteous knight had offered Queen Guenever a grossinsult. For when her page was serving the queen with a golden gobletthisknight struck the arm of the page and dashed the wine in the queen's face andover her stomacher. Then he said"If any have boldness to avenge thisinsult to Gueneverlet him follow me to the meadow." So the knight tookhis horse and rode to the meadowcarrying away the golden goblet. And all thehousehold hung down their headsand no one offered to follow the knight to takevengeance upon him. For it seemed to them that no one would have ventured on sodaring an outrage unless he possessed such powersthrough magic or charmsthatnone could be able to punish him. Just thenbeholdPerceval entered the hallupon the bonypiebald horsewith his uncouth trappings. In the centre of thehall stood Kay the seneschal. "Tell metall man" said Perceval"is that Arthur yonder?" "What wouldst thou with Arthur?"asked Kay. "My mother told me to go to Arthur and receive knighthood fromhim." "By my faith" said he"thou art all too meanlyequipped with horse and with arms." Then all the household began to jeerand laugh at him. But there was a certain damsel who had been a whole year atArthur's courtand had never been known to smile. And the king's fool * hadsaid that this damsel would not smile till she had seen him who would be theflower of chivalry. Now this damsel came up to Perceval and told himsmilingthatif he livedhe would be one of the bravest and best of knights."Truly" said Kay"thou art ill taught to remain a year atArthur's courtwith choice of societyand smile on no oneand now before theface of Arthur and all his knights to call such a man as this the flower ofknighthood;" and he gave her a box on the earthat she fell senseless tothe ground. Then said Kay to Perceval"Go after the knight who went henceto the meadowoverthrow him and recover the golden gobletand possess thyselfof his horse and armsand thou shalt have knighthood." "I will do sotall man" said Perceval. So he turned his horse's head toward the meadow.And when he came therethe knight was riding up and downproud of his strengthand valor and noble mien. "Tell me" said the knight"didst thousee any one coming after me from the court?" "The tall man that wasthere" said Perceval"told me to come and overthrow theeand totake from thee the goblet and thy horse and armor for myself.""Silence!" said the knight; "go back to the courtand tellArthur either to come himselfor to send some other to fight with me; andunless he do so quicklyI will not wait for him." "By my faith"said Perceval"choose thou whether it shall be willingly or unwillinglyfor I will have the horse and the arms and the goblet." Upon this theknight ran at him furiouslyand struck him a violent blow with the shaft of hisspearbetween the neck and the shoulder. "Hahalad!" saidPerceval"my mother's servants were not used to play with me in this wise;so thus will I play with thee." And he threw at him one of hissharp-pointed sticksand it struck him in the eyeand came out at the back ofhis headso that he fell down lifeless. -

* A fool was a common appendage of the courts of those days when this romancewas written. A fool was the ornament held in next estimation to a dwarf. He worea white dress with a yellow bonnetand carried a bell or bawble in his hand.Though called a foolhis words were often weighed and remembered as if therewere a sort of oracular meaning in them. -

But at the court of ArthurSir Owain said to Kay"Verilythou wertill advised when thou didst send that madman after the knight. For one of twothings must befall him. He must either be overthrown or slain. If he isoverthrown by the knighthe will be counted by him to be an honorable person ofthe courtand an eternal disgrace will it be to Arthur and his warriors. And ifhe is slainthe disgrace will be the sameand moreover his sin will be uponhim; therefore will I go to see what has befallen him." So Sir Owain wentto the meadowand he found Perceval dragging the man about. "What art thoudoing thus?" said Sir Owain. "This iron coat" said Perceval"will never come from off him; not by my effortsat any rate." AndSir Owain unfastened his armor and his clothes. "Heremy good soul"said he"is a horse and armor better than thine. Take them joyfullyandcome with me to Arthur to receive the order of knighthoodfor thou dost meritit." And Owain helped Perceval to put it onand taught him how to put hisfoot in the stirrupand use the spur; for Perceval had never used stirrup norspurbut rode without saddleand urged on his horse with a stick. Then Owainwould have had him return to the court to receive the praise that was his due;but Perceval said"I will not come to the court till I have encounteredthe tall man that is thereto revenge the injury he did to the maiden. But takethou the goblet to Queen Gueneverand tell King Arthur thatwherever I amIwill be his vassaland will do him what profit and service I can." And SirOwain went back to the courtand related all these things to Arthur andGueneverand to all the household.

And Perceval rode forward. And as he proceededbehold a knight met him."Whence comest thou?" said the knight. "I come from Arthur'scourt" said Perceval. "Art thou one of his men?" asked he."Yesby my faith" he answered. "A good servicetrulyis thatof Arthur." "Wherefore sayest thou so?" said Perceval. "Iwill tell thee" said he. "I have always been Arthur's enemyand allsuch of his men as I have ever encountered I have slain." And withoutfurther parlance they foughtand it was not long before Perceval brought him tothe groundover his horse's crupper. Then the knight besought his mercy."Mercy thou shalt have" said Perceval"if thou wilt make oathto me that thou wilt go to Arthur's court and tell him that it was I thatoverthrew theefor the honor of his service; and say that I will never come tothe court until I have avenged the insult offered to the maiden. The knightpledged him faith of thisand proceeded to the court of Arthur and said as hehad promisedand conveyed the threat to Sir Kay.

And Perceval rode forward. And within that week he encountered sixteenknightsand overthrew them all shamefully. And they all went to Arthur's courttaking with them the same message which the first knight had conveyed fromPercevaland the same threat which he had sent to Sir Kay. And thereupon SirKay was reproved by Arthur; and Sir Kay was greatly grieved thereat.

And Perceval rode forward. And he came to a lakeon the side of which was afair castleand on the border of the lake he saw a hoary-headed man sittingupon a velvet cushionand his attendants were fishing in the lake. When thehoary-headed man beheld Perceval approachinghe arose and went into the castle.Perceval rode to the castleand the door was openand he entered the hall. Andthe hoary-headed man received Perceval courteouslyand asked him to sit by himon the cushion. When it was timethe tables were setand they went to meat.And when they had finished their meatthe hoary-headed man asked Perceval if heknew how to fight with the sword. "I know not" said Perceval"but were I to be taughtdoubtless I should." "Whoever can playwell with the cudgel and shield will also be able to fight with a sword."And the man had two sons; the one had yellow hair and the other auburn."Ariseyouths" said the old man"and play with the cudgel andthe shield." And so did they. "Tell memy son" said the man"which of the youths thinkest thou plays best?" "I think"said Perceval"that the yellow-haired youth could draw blood if hechose." "Arise thouthenand take the cudgel and the shield from thehand of the youth with the auburn hairand draw blood from the yellow-hairedyouth if thou canst." So Perceval aroseand he lifted up his armandstruck him such a mighty blow that he cut his forehead open from one side to theother. "Ahmy life" said the old man"comenowand sit downfor thou wilt become the best fighter with the sword of any in this island; andI am thy unclethy mother's brother; I am called King Pecheur. * Thou shaltremain with me a spacein order to learn the manners and customs of differentcountriesand courtesy and noble bearing. And this do thou remember: if thouseest aught to cause thy wonderask not the meaning of it; if no one has thecourtesy to inform theethe reproach will not fall upon theebut upon me thatam thy teacher." While Perceval and his uncle discoursed togetherPercevalbeheld two youths enter the hallbearing a golden cup and a spear of mightysizewith blood dropping from its point to the ground. And when all the companysaw thisthey began to weep and lament. But for all thatthe man did not breakoff his discourse with Perceval. And as he did not tell him the meaning of whathe sawhe forbore to ask him concerning it. Now the cup that Perceval saw wasthe Sangrealand the spear the sacred spear; and afterwards King Pecheurremoved with those sacred relics into a far country. -

. . . . . . . . . -

* The word means both fisher and sinner. -

One evening Perceval entered a valleyand came to a hermit's cell; and thehermit welcomed him gladlyand there he spent the night. And in the morning hearoseand when he went forthbehold! a shower of snow had fallen in the nightand a hawk had killed a wild-fowl in front of the cell. And the noise of thehorse had scared the hawk awayand a raven alighted on the bird. And Percevalstood and compared the blackness of the raven and the whiteness of the snow andthe redness of the blood to the hair of the lady that best he lovedwhich wasblacker than jetand to her skinwhich was whiter than the snowand to thetwo red spots upon her cheekswhich were redder than the blood upon the snow.

Now Arthur and his household were in search of Percevaland by chance theycame that way. "Know ye" said Arthur"who is the knight withthe long spear that stands by the brook up yonder?" "Lord" saidone of them"I will go and learn who he is." So the youth came to theplace where Perceval wasand asked him what he did thusand who he was. ButPerceval was so intent upon his thought that he gave him no answer. Then theyouth thrust at Perceval with his lance; and Perceval turned upon him and struckhim to the ground. And when the youth returned to the kingand told how rudelyhe had been treatedSir Kay said"I will go myself." And when hegreeted Percevaland got no answerhe spoke to him rudely and angrily. AndPerceval thrust at him with his lanceand cast him down so that he broke hisarm and his shoulder-blade. And while he lay thus stunnedhis horse returnedback at a wild and prancing pace.

Then said Sir Gawainsurnamed the Golden-Tonguedbecause he was the mostcourteous knight in Arthur's court: "It is not fitting that any shoulddisturb an honorable knight from his thought unadvisedly; for either he ispondering some damage that he has sustainedor he is thinking of the lady hebest loves. If it seem well to theelordI will go and see if this knight haschanged from his thoughtand if he hasI will ask him courteously to come andvisit thee."

And Perceval was resting on the shaft of his spearpondering the samethoughtand Sir Gawain came to himand said"If I thought it would be asagreeable to thee as it would be to meI would converse with thee. I have alsoa message from Arthur unto theeto pray thee to come and visit him. And two menhave been before on this errand." "That is true" said Perceval"and uncourteously they came. They attacked meand I was annoyedthereat." Then he told him the thought that occupied his mindand Gawainsaid"This was not an ungentle thoughtand I should marvel if it werepleasant for thee to be drawn from it." Then said Perceval"Tell meis Sir Kay in Arthur's court?" "He is" said Gawain; "andtruly he is the knight who fought with thee last." "Verily" saidPerceval"I am not sorry to have thus avenged the insult to the smilingmaiden." Then Perceval told him his nameand said"Who artthou?" And he replied"I am Gawain." "I am right glad tomeet thee" said Perceval"for I have everywhere heard of thy prowessand uprightness; and I solicit thy fellowship." "Thou shalt have itby my faith; and grant me thine" said he. "Gladly will I do so"answered Perceval.

So they went together to Arthurand saluted him. "Beholdlord"said Gawain"him whom thou hast sought so long." "Welcome untotheechieftain" said Arthur. And hereupon there came the queen and herhandmaidensand Perceval saluted them. And they were rejoiced to see himandbade him welcome. And Arthur did him great honor and respectand they returnedtoward Caerleon.

CHAPTER XV.

THE QUEST OF THE SANGREAL. -

"-The cup itself from which our Lord

Drank at the last sad supper with His own.

This from the blessed land of Aromat

After the day of darknesswhen the dead

Went wandering over Moriah- the good saint

Arimathean Josephjourneyingbrought

To Glastonburywhere the winter thorn

Blossoms at Christmasmindful of our Lord

And there awhile abode; and if a man

Could touch or see ithe was healed at once

By faithof all his ills. But then the times

Grew to such evil that the holy cup

Was caught away to Heavenand disappeared."

TENNYSON. -

THE Sangreal was the cup from which our Saviour drank at his last supper. Hewas supposed to have given it to Joseph of Arimatheawho carried it to Europetogether with the spear with which the soldier pierced the Saviour's side. Fromgeneration to generation one of the descendants of Joseph of Arimathea had beendevoted to the guardianship of these precious relics; but on the sole conditionof leading a life of purity in thoughtwordand deed. For a long time theSangreal was visible to all pilgrimsand its presence conferred blessings uponthe land in which it was preserved. But at length one of those holy men to whomits guardianship had descended so far forgot the obligation of his sacred officeas to look with unhallowed eye upon a young female pilgrim whose robe wasaccidentally loosened as she knelt before him. The sacred lance instantlypunished his frailtyspontaneously falling upon himand inflicting a deepwound. The marvellous wound could by no means be healedand the guardian of theSangreal was ever after called "Le Roi Pecheur"- the Sinner King. TheSangreal withdrew its visible presence from the crowds who came to worshipandan iron age succeeded to the happiness which its presence had diffused among thetribes of Britain.

We have told in the history of Merlin how that great prophet and enchantersent a message to King Arthur by Sir Gawaindirecting him to undertake therecovery of the Sangrealinforming him at the same time that the knight whoshould accomplish that sacred quest was already bornand of a suitable age toenter upon it. Sir Gawain delivered his messageand the king was anxiouslyrevolving in his mind how best to achieve the enterprisewhenat the vigil ofPentecostall the fellowship of the Round Table being met together at Camelotas they sat at meatsuddenly there was heard a clap of thunderand then abright light burst forthand every knightas he looked on his fellowsaw himin seemingfairer than ever before. All the hall was filled with sweet odorsand every knight had such meat and drink as he best loved. Then there enteredinto the hall the Holy Grealcovered with white samiteso that none could seeitand it passed through the hall suddenly and disappeared. During this time noone spoke a wordbut when they had recovered breath to speakKing Arthur said"Certainly we ought greatly to thank the Lord for what He hath showed usthis day." Then Sir Gawain rose upand made a vow that for twelve monthsand a day he would seek the Sangrealand not return till he had seen itif sohe might speed. When they of the Round Table heard Sir Gawain say sotheyarosethe most part of themand vowed the same. When King Arthur heard this hewas greatly displeasedfor he knew well that they might not gainsay their vows."Alas!" said he to Sir Gawain"you have nigh slain me with thevow and promise that ye have madefor ye have bereft me of the fairestfellowship that ever was seen together in any realm of the world; for when theyshall depart henceI am sure that all shall never meet more in thisworld." -

SIR GALAHAD. -

At that time there entered the hall a good old manand with him he brought ayoung knightand these words he said: "Peace be with youfairlords." Then the old man said unto King Arthur"SirI bring you herea young knight that is of kings' lineageand of the kindred of Joseph ofArimatheabeing the son of Dame Elainethe daughter of King Pellesking ofthe foreign country." Now the name of the young knight was Sir Galahadandhe was the son of Sir Launcelot du Lac; but he had dwelt with his motherat thecourt of King Pelleshis grandfathertill now he was old enough to bear armsand his mother had sent him in the charge of a holy hermit to King Arthur'scourt. Then Sir Launcelot beheld his sonand had great joy of him. And SirBohort told his fellows"Upon my lifethis young knight shall come togreat worship." The noise was great in all the courtso that it came tothe queen. And she said"I would fain see himfor he must needs be anoble knightfor so is his father." And the queen and her ladies all saidthat he resembled much unto his father; and he was seemly and demure as a dovewith all manner of good featuresthat in the whole world men might not find hismatch. And King Arthur said"God make him a good manfor beauty failethhim notas any that liveth."

Then the hermit led the young knight to the Siege Perilous; and he lifted upthe clothand found there letters that said"This is the seat of SirGalahadthe good knight"; and he made him sit in that seat. And all theknights of the Round Table marvelled greatly at Sir Galahadseeing him sitsecurely in that seatand said"This is he by whom the Sangreal shall beachievedfor there never sat one before in that seat without beingmischieved."

On the next day the king said"Nowat this quest of the Sangreal shallall ye of the Round Table departand never shall I see you again all together;therefore I will that ye all repair to the meadow of Camelotfor to joust andtourney yet once more before ye depart." But all the meaning of the kingwas to see Sir Galahad proved. So then were they all assembled in the meadow.Then Sir Galahadby request of the king and queenput on his harness and hishelmbut shield would he take none for any prayer of the king. And the queenwas in a towerwith all her ladiesto behold that tournament. Then Sir Galahadrode into the midst of the meadow; and there he began to break spearsmarvellouslyso that all men had wonder of himfor he surmounted all knightsthat encountered with himexcept twoSir Launcelot and Sir Perceval. Then thekingat the queen's requestmade him to alightand presented him to thequeen; and she said. "Never two men resembled one another more than he andSir Launcelotand therefore it is no marvel that he is like him inprowess."

Then the king and the queen went to the minsterand the knights followedthem. And after the service was donethey put on their helms and departedandthere was great sorrow. They rode through the streets of Camelotand there wasweeping of the rich and poor; and the king turned awayand might not speak forweeping. And so they departedand every knight took the way that him bestliked.

Sir Galahad rode forth without shieldand rode four daysand found noadventure. And on the fourth day he came to a white abbey; and there he wasreceived with great reverenceand led to a chamber. He met there two knightsKing Bagdemagus and Sir Uwaineand they made of him great solace."Sirs" said Sir Galahad"what adventure brought youhither?" "Sir" said they"it is told us that within thisplace is a shieldwhich no man may bear unless he be worthy; and if oneunworthy should attempt to bear itit shall surely do him a mischief."Then King Bagdemagus said"I fear not to bear itand that shall ye seeto-morrow."

So on the morrow they aroseand heard mass; then King Bagdemagus asked wherethe adventurous shield was. Anon a monk led him behind an altarwhere theshield hungas white as snow; but in the midst there was a red cross. Then KingBagdemagus took the shieldand bare it out of the minster; and he said to SirGalahad"If it please youabide here till ye know how I shallspeed."

Then King Bagdemagus and his squire rode forth; and when they had ridden amile or twothey saw a goodly knight come towards themin white armorhorseand all; and he came as fast as his horse might runwith his spear in the rest;and King Bagdemagus directed his spear against himand broke it upon the whiteknightbut the other struck him so hard that he broke the mailsand thrust himthrough the right shoulderfor the shield covered him notand so he bare himfrom his horse. Then the white knight turned his horse and rode away.

Then the squire went to King Bagdemagusand asked him whether he were sorewounded or not. "I am sore wounded" said he"and full hardlyshall I escape death." Then the squire set him on his horseand broughthim to an abbey; and there he was taken down softlyand unarmedand laid in abedand his wound was looked tofor he lay there longand hardly escaped withhis life. And the squire brought the shield back to the abbey.

The next day Sir Galahad took the shieldand within a while he came to thehermitagewhere he met the white knightand each saluted the othercourteously. "Sir" said Sir Galahad"can you tell me the marvelof the shield?" "Sir" said the white knight"that shieldbelonged of old to the gentle knightJoseph of Arimathea; and when he came todiehe said'Never shall man bear this shield about his neck but he shallrepent itunto the time that Sir Galahadthe good knightbear itthe last ofmy lineagethe which shall do many marvellous deeds.'" And then the whiteknight vanished away. -

SIR GAWAIN. -

After Sir Gawain departedhe rode many daysboth toward and forwardand atlast he came to the abbey where Sir Galahad took the white shield. And they toldSir Gawain of the marvellous adventure that Sir Galahad had done."Truly" said Sir Gawain"I am not happy that I took not the waythat he wentforif I may meet with himI will not part from him lightlythat I may partake with him all the marvellous adventures which he shallachieve." "Sir" said one of the monks"he will not be ofyour fellowship." "Why?" said Sir Gawain. "Sir" saidhe"because ye be sinfuland he is blissful." Then said the monk"Sir Gawainthou must do penance for thy sins." "Sirwhatpenance shall I do?" "Such as I will show" said the good man."Nay" said Sir Gawain"I will do no penancefor we knightsadventurous often suffer great woe and pain." "Well" said thegood man; and he held his peace. And Sir Gawain departed.

Now it happenednot long after thisthat Sir Gawain and Sir Hector rodetogetherand they came to a castle where was a great tournament. And Sir Gawainand Sir Hector joined themselves to the party that seemed the weakerand theydrove before them the other party. Then suddenly came into the lists a knightbearing a white shield with a red crossand by adventure he came by Sir Gawainand he smote him so hard that he clave his helm and wounded his headso thatSir Gawain fell to the earth. When Sir Hector saw thathe knew that the knightwith the white shield was Sir Galahadand he thought it no wisdom to abide withhimand also for natural lovethat he was his uncle. Then Sir Galahad retiredprivilyso that none knew where he had gone. And Sir Hector raised up SirGawainand said"Sirme seemeth your quest is done." "It isdone" said Sir Gawain; "I shall seek no further." Then Gawainwas borne into the castleand unarmedand laid in a rich bedand a leechfound to search his wound. And Sir Gawain and Sir Hector abode togetherfor SirHector would not away until Sir Gawain were whole.

Now Sir Galahadafter that the white knight had vanished awayrode till hecame to a waste forestand there he met with Sir Launcelot and Sir Percevalbut they knew him not for he was new disguised. Right soSir Launcelot hisfather dressed his spearand brake it upon Sir Galahadand Sir Galahad smotehim so againthat he smote down horse and man. And then he drew his swordanddressed him to Sir Percevaland smote him so on the helm that it rove to thecoif of steeland had not the sword swerved Sir Perceval had been slainandwith the stroke he fell out of his saddle. This joust was done before thehermitage where a recluse dwelled. And when she saw Sir Galahad rideshe said"God be with theebest knight of the world. Ahcertes" she said allaloudthat Launcelot and Perceval might hear it"and yonder two knightshad known thee as well as I dothey would not have encountered with thee."When Sir Galahad heard her say so he was sore adread to be known: therewith hesmote his horse with his spursand rode at a great pace away from them. Thenperceived they both that he was Sir Galahadand up they got on their horsesand rode fast after himbut in a while he was out of their sight. And then theyturned again with heavy cheer. "Let us spere some tidings" said SirPerceval"at yonder recluse." "Do as ye list" said SirLauncelot. When Sir Perceval came to the recluseshe knew him well enoughandSir Launcelot both.

But Sir Launcelot rode overthwart and endlong in a wild forest and held nopathbut as wild adventure led him. And at the last he came to a stony crosswhich departed two ways in waste landand by the cross was a stone that was ofmarblebut it was so dark that Sir Launcelot might not wit what it was. ThenSir Launcelot looked by himand saw an old chapeland there he thought to havefound people. And Sir Launcelot tied his horse to a treeand there he did offhis shieldand hung it upon a tree. And then he went to the chapel doorandfound it waste and broken. And within he found a fair altar full richly arrayedwith cloth of clean silkand there stood a fairclean candlestick which baresix great candlesand the candlestick was of silver. And when Sir Launcelot sawthis lighthe had great will for to enter into the chapelbut he could find noplace where he might enter: then was he passing heavy and dismayed. And hereturned and came again to his horseand took off his saddle and his bridleand let him pasture; and unlaced his helmand ungirded his swordand laid himdown to sleep upon his shield before the cross.

And as he layhalf waking and half sleepinghe saw come by him twopalfreysboth fair and whitewhich bare a litteron which lay a sick knight.And when he was nigh the crosshe there abode still. And Sir Launcelot heardhim say"O sweet Lordwhen shall this sorrow leave meand when shall theholy vessel come by me whereby I shall be healed?" And thus a great whilecomplained the knightand Sir Launcelot heard it. Then Sir Launcelot saw thecandlestickwith the lighted taperscome before the crossbut he could see nobody that brought it. Also there came a salver of silver and the holy vessel ofthe Sangreal; and therewith the sick knight sat him uprightand held up bothhis handsand said"Fairsweet Lordwhich is here within the holyvesseltake heed to methat I may be whole of this great malady." Andtherewithupon his hands and upon his kneeshe went so nigh that he touchedthe holy vessel and kissed it. And anon he was whole. Then the holy vessel wentinto the chapel againwith the candlestick and the lightso that Sir Launcelotwist not what became of it.

Then the sick knight rose up and kissed the cross; and anon his squirebrought him his armsand asked his lord how he did. "I thank God rightheartily" said he"forthrough the holy vesselI am healed. But Ihave great marvel of this sleeping knightwho hath had neither grace nor powerto awake during the time that the holy vessel hath been here present.""I dare it right well say" said the squire"that this sameknight is stained with some manner of deadly sinwhereof he was neverconfessed." So they departed.

Then anon Sir Launcelot wakedand set himself uprightand bethought him ofwhat he had seenand whether it were dreams or not. And he was passing heavyand wist not what to do. And he said: "My sin and my wretchedness hathbrought me into great dishonor. For when I sought worldly adventures and worldlydesiresI ever achieved themand had the better in every placeand never wasI discomfited in any quarrelwere it right or wrong. And now I take upon me theadventure of holy thingsI see and understand that mine old sin hindereth meso that I had no power to stir nor to speak when the holy blood appeared beforeme." Sothus he sorrowed till it was dayand heard the fowls of the airsing. Then was he somewhat comforted.

Then he departed from the cross into the forest. And there he found ahermitageand a hermit thereinwho was going to mass. So when mass was doneSir Launcelot called the hermit to himand prayed him for charity to hear hisconfession. "With a good will"' said the good man. And then he toldthat good man all his lifeand how he had loved a queen unmeasurably manyyears. "And all my great deeds of arms that I have doneI did the mostpart for the queen's sakeand for her sake would I do battlewere it right orwrongand never did I battle all only for God's sakebut for to win worshipand to cause me to be better beloved; and little or naught I thanked God for it.I pray you counsel me."

"I will counsel you" said the hermit"if ye will insure methat ye will never come in that queen's fellowship as much as ye mayforbear." And then Sir Launcelot promised the hermitby his faiththat hewould no more come in her company. "Look that your heart and your mouthaccord" said the good man"and I shall insure ye that ye shall havemore worship than ever ye had."

Then the good man enjoined Sir Launcelot such penance as he might doand heassoiled Sir Launcelotand made him abide with him all that day. And SirLauncelot repented him greatly. -

SIR PERCEVAL. -

Sir Perceval departedand rode till the hour of noon; and he met in a valleyabout twenty men of arms. And when they saw Sir Percevalthey asked him whencehe was; and he answered"Of the court of King Arthur." Then theycried all at once"Slay him." But Sir Perceval smote the first to theearthand his horse upon him. Then seven of the knights smote upon his shieldall at onceand the remnant slew his horseso that he fell to the earth. Sohad they slain him or taken himhad not the good knight Sir Galahadwith thered crosscome there by adventure. And when he saw all the knights upon onehecried out"Save me that knight's life." Then he rode toward thetwenty men of arms as fast as his horse might drivewith his spear in the restand smote the foremost horse and man to the earth. And when his spear wasbrokenhe set his hand to his swordand smote on the right hand and on theleftthat it was marvel to see; and at every stroke he smote down oneor puthim to rebukeso that they would fight no morebut fled to a thick forestandSir Galahad followed them. And when Sir Perceval saw him chase them sohe madegreat sorrow that his horse was slain. And he wist well it was Sir Galahad. Thenhe cried aloud"Ahfair knightabideand suffer me to do thanks untothee; for right well have ye done for me." But Sir Galahad rode so fastthat at last he passed out of his sight. When Sir Perceval saw that he would notturnhe said"Now am I a very wretchand most unhappy above all otherknights." So in this sorrow he abode all that day till it was night; andthen he was faintand laid him down and slept till midnight; and then heawakedand saw before him a womanwho said unto him"Sir Percevalwhatdost thou here?" He answered"I do neither goodnor great ill.""If thou wilt promise me" said she"that thou wilt fulfil mywill when I summon theeI will lend thee my own horsewhich shall bear theewhither thou wilt." Sir Perceval was glad of her profferand insured herto fulfil all her desire. "Then abide me hereand I will go fetch you ahorse." And so she soon came againand brought a horse with her that wasinky black. When Perceval beheld that horsehe marvelledit was so great andso well apparelled. And he leapt upon himand took no heed of himself. And hethrust him with his spursand within an hour and less he bare him four days'journey thenceuntil he came to a rough waterwhich roaredand his horsewould have bare him into it. And when Sir Perceval came nigh the brimand sawthe water so boisteroushe doubted to overpass it. And then he made the sign ofthe cross on his forehead. When the fiend felt him so chargedhe shook off SirPercevaland went into the water crying and roaring; and it seemed unto himthat the water burned. Then Sir Perceval perceived it was a fiend that wouldhave brought him unto his perdition. Then he commended himself unto Godandprayed our Lord to keep him from all such temptations; and so he prayed all thatnight till it was day. Then he saw that he was in a wild placethat was closedwith the sea nigh all about. And Sir Perceval looked forth over the sea and sawa ship come sailing toward him; and it came and stood still under the rock. Andwhen Sir Perceval saw thishe hied him thitherand found the ship covered withsilk; and therein was a lady of great beautyand clothed so richly that nonemight be better.

And when she saw Sir Perceval she saluted himand Sir Perceval returned hersalutation. Then he asked her of her country and her lineage. And she said"I am a gentlewoman that am disinheritedand was once the richest woman ofthe world." "Damsel" said Sir Perceval"who hathdisinherited you? for I have great pity of you." "Sir" said she"my enemy is a great and powerful lordand aforetime he made much of meso that of his favor and of my beauty I had a little pride more than I ought tohave had. Also I said a word that pleased him not. So he drove me from hiscompany and from mine heritage. Therefore I know no good knight nor good man butI get him on my side if I may. Andfor that I know that thou art a good knightI beseech thee to help me."

Then Sir Perceval promised her all the help that he mightand she thankedhim.

And at that time the weather was hot and she called to her a gentlewomanandbade her bring forth a pavilion. And she did soand pitched it upon the gravel."Sir" said she"now may ye rest you in this heat of theday." Then he thanked herand she put off his helm and his shieldandthere he slept a great while. Then he awokeand asked her if she had any meatand she said yeaand so there was set upon the table all manner of meats thathe could think on. Also he drank there the strongest wine that ever he drankand therewith he was a little chafed more than he ought to be. With that hebeheld the ladyand he thought she was the fairest creature that ever he sawAnd then Sir Perceval proffered her loveand prayed her that she would be his.Then she refused him in a mannerfor the cause he should be the more ardent onherand ever he ceased not to pray her of love. And when she saw him wellenchafedthen she said"Sir Percevalwit ye well I shall not give ye mylove unless you swear from henceforth you will be my true servantand do nothing but that I shall command you. Will you insure me thisas ye be a trueknight?" "Yea" said he"fair ladyby the faith of mybody." And as he said thisby adventure and gracehe saw his sword lie onthe ground nakedin whose pommel was a red crossand the sign of the crucifixthereon. Then he made the sign of the cross upon his foreheadand therewith thepavilion shrivelled upand changed into a smoke and a black cloud. And thedamsel cried aloudand hasted into the shipand so she went with the windroaring and yelling that it seemed all the water burned after her. Then SirPerceval made great sorrowand called himself a wretchsaying"How nighwas I lost!" Then he took his armsand departed thence.

CHAPTER XVI.

THE END OF THE QUEST. -

SIR BOHORT. -

WHEN Sir Bohort departed from Camelot he met with a religious manridingupon an ass; and Sir Bohort saluted him. "What are ye?" said the goodman. "Sir" said Sir Bohort"I am a knight that fain would becounselled in the quest of the Sangreal." So rode they both together tillthey came to a hermitage; and there he prayed Sir Bohort to dwell that nightwith him. So he alightedand put away his armorand prayed him that he mightbe confessed. And they went both into the chapeland there he was cleanconfessed. And they ate bread and drank water together. "Now" saidthe good man"I pray thee that thou eat none other till thou sit at thetable where the Sangreal shall be." "Sir" said Sir Bohort"but how know ye that I shall sit there?" "Yea" said thegood man "that I know well; but there shall be few of your fellows withyou." Then said Sir Bohort"I agree me thereto." And the goodmanwhen he had heard his confessionfound him in so pure a life and so stablethat he marvelled thereof.

On the morrowas soon as the day appearedSir Bohort departed thenceandrode into a forest unto the hour of midday. And there befell him a marvellousadventure. For he metat the parting of two waystwo knights that led SirLionelhis brotherall nakedbound upon a strong hackneyand his hands boundbefore his breast; and each of them held in his hand thorns wherewith they wentbeating himso that he was all bloody before and behind; but he said never awordbutas he was great of hearthe suffered all that they did to him asthough he had felt none anguish. Sir Bohort prepared to rescue his brother. Buthe looked on the other side of himand saw a knight dragging along a fairgentlewomanwho cried out"Saint Mary! succor your maid!" And whenshe saw Sir Bohortshe called to him and said"By the faith that ye oweto knighthoodhelp me!" When Sir Bohort heard her say thushe had suchsorrow that he wist not what to do. For if I let my brother be he must be slainand that would I not for all the earth; and if I help not the maid I am shamedforever." Then lift he up his eyes and saidweeping"Fair Lordwhose liegeman I amkeep Sir Lionelmy brotherthat none of these knightsslay himand for pity of youand our Lady's sakeI shall succor thismaid."

Then he cried out to the knight"Sir knightlay your hand off thatmaidor else ye be but dead." Then the knight set down the maidand tookhis shieldand drew out his sword. And Sir Bohort smote him so hard that itwent through his shield and habergeonon the left shoulderand he fell down tothe earth. Then came Sir Bohort to the maid"Ye be delivered of thisknight this time." "Now" said she"I pray you lead methere where this knight took me." "I shall gladly do it" saidSir Bohort. So he took the horse of the wounded knight and set the gentlewomanupon itand brought her there where she desired to be. And there he foundtwelve knights seeking after her; and when she told them how Sir Bohort haddelivered herthey made great joyand besought him to come to her fatheragreat lordand he should be right welcome. "Truly" said Sir Bohort"that may not be; for I have a great adventure to do." So he commendedthem to God and departed.

Then Sir Bohort rode after Sir Lionelhis brotherby the trace of theirhorses. Thus he rodeseekinga great while. Then he overtook a man clothed ina religious clothingwho said"Sir knightwhat seek ye?""Sir" said Sir Bohort"I seek my brotherthat I saw within alittle space beaten of two knights." "AhSir Bohorttrouble notthyself to seek for himfor truly he is dead." Then he showed him anew-slain bodylying in a thick bush; and it seemed him that it was the body ofSir Lionel. And then he made such sorrow that he fell to the ground in a swoonand lay there long. And when he came to himself again he said"Fairbrothersince the fellowship of you and me is sunderedshall I never have joyagain; and now He that I have taken for my master He be my help!" And whenhe had said thushe took up the body in his armsand put it upon the horse.And then he said to the man"Canst thou tell me the way to some chapelwhere I may bury this body?" "Come on" said the man"hereis one fast by." And so they rode till they saw a fair towerand beside ita chapel. Then they alighted bothand put the body into a tomb of marble.

Then Sir Bohort commended the good man unto Godand departed. And he rodeall that dayand harbored with an old lady. And on the morrow he rode unto thecastle in a valleyand there he met with a yeoman. "Tell me" saidSir Bohort"knowest thou of any adventure?" "Sir" said he"here shall beunder this castlea great and marvellous tournament."Then Sir Bohort thought to be thereif he might meet with any of the fellowshipthat were in quest of the Sangreal; so he turned to a hermitage that was on theborder of the forest. And when he was come thitherhe found there Sir Lionelhis brotherwho sat all armed at the entry of the chapel door. And when SirBohort saw himhe had great joyand he alighted off his horseand said"Fair brotherwhen came ye hither?" As soon as Sir Lionel saw himhesaid"AhSir Bohortmake ye no false showforas for youI might havebeen slainfor ye left me in peril of death to go succor a gentlewoman; and forthat misdeed I now insure you but deathfor ye have right well deservedit." When Sir Bohort perceived his brother's wrathhe kneeled down to theearth and cried him mercyholding up both his handsand prayed him to forgivehim. "Nay" said Sir Lionel"thou shalt have but death for itif I have the upper hand; therefore leap upon thy horse and keep thyself; and ifthou do notI will run upon thee thereas thou standest on footand so theshame shall be mineand the harm thinebut of that I reck not." When SirBohort saw that he must fight with his brother or else diehe wist not what todo. Then his heart counselled him not so to doinasmuch as Sir Lionel was hiselder brotherwherefore he ought to bear him reverence. Yet kneeled he downbefore Sir Lionel's horse's feetand said"Fair brotherhave mercy uponmeand slay me not." But Sir Lionel cared notfor the fiend had broughthim in such a will that he should slay him. When he saw that Sir Bohort wouldnot rise to give him battlehe rushed over himso that he smote him with hishorse's feet to the earthand hurt him sorethat he swooned of distress. WhenSir Lionel saw thishe alighted from his horse for to have smitten off hishead; and so he took him by the helmand would have rent it from his head. Butit happened that Sir Colgrevancea knight of the Round Tablecame at that timethitheras it was our Lord's will; and then he beheld how Sir Lionel would haveslain his brotherand he knew Sir Bohortwhom he loved right well. Then leapthe down from his horseand took Sir Lionel by the shouldersand drew himstrongly back from Sir Bohortand said"Sir Lionelwill ye slay yourbrother?" "Why" said Sir Lionel"will ye slay me? If yeinterfere in thisI will slay youand him after." Then he ran upon SirBohortand would have smitten him; but Sir Colgrevance ran between themandsaid"If ye persist to do so any morewe two shall meddle together."Then Sir Lionel defied himand gave him a great stroke through the helm. Thenhe drew his swordfor he was a passing good knightand defended himself rightmanfully. So long endured the battlethat Sir Bohort rose up all anguishlyandbeheld Sir Colgrevancethe good knightfight with his brother for his quarrel.Then was he full sorry and heavyand thought thatif Sir Colgrevance slew himthat was his brotherhe should never have joyand if his brother slew SirColgrevancethe shame should ever be his.

Then would he have risen for to have parted thembut he had not so muchstrength to stand on his feet; so he staid so long that Sir Colgrevance had theworsefor Sir Lionel was of great chivalry and right hardy. Then cried SirColgrevance"AhSir Bohortwhy come ye not to bring me out of peril ofdeathwherein I have put me to succor you?" With thatSir Lionel smoteoff his helmand bore him to the earth. And when he had slain Sir Colgrevancehe ran upon his brother as a fiendly manand gave him such a stroke that hemade him stoop. And he that was full of humility prayed him"For God'ssake leave this battlefor if it befellfair brotherthat I slew youor yemewe should be dead of that sin." "Pray ye not me for mercy"said Sir Lionel. Then Sir Bohortall weepingdrew his swordand said"Now God have mercy upon methough I defend my life against mybrother." With that Sir Bohort lifted up his swordand would have strickenhis brother. Then heard he a voice that said"FleeSir Bohortand touchhim not." Right so alighted a cloud between themin the likeness of afireand a marvellous flameso that they both fell to the earthand lay therea great while in a swoon. And when they came to themselvesSir Bohort saw thathis brother had no harm; and he was right gladfor he dread sore that God hadtaken vengeance upon him. Then Sir Lionel said to his brother"Brotherforgive mefor God's sakeall that I have trespassed against you." AndSir Bohort answered"God forgive it theeand I do."

With that Sir Bohort heard a voice say"Sir Bohorttake thy way anonright to the seafor Sir Perceval abideth thee there." So Sir Bohortdepartedand rode the nearest way to the sea. And at last he came to an abbeythat was nigh the sea. That night he rested him thereand in his sleep therecame a voice unto him and bade him go to the sea-shore. He started upand madethe sign of the cross on his foreheadand armed himself and made ready hishorse and mounted himand at a broken wall he rode outand came to thesea-shore. And there he found a shipcovered all with white samite. And heentered into the ship; but it was anon so dark that he might see no manand helaid him down and slept till it was day. Then he awakedand saw in the middleof the ship a knight all armedsave his helm. And then he knew it was SirPerceval de Galisand each made of other right great joy. Then said SirPerceval"We lack nothing now but the good knight Sir Galahad." -

OF SIR LAUNCELOT AGAIN. -

It befell upon a night Sir Launcelot arrived before a castlewhich was richand fair. And there was a postern that opened toward the seaand was openwithout any keepingsave two lions kept the entry; and the moon shined clear.Anon Sir Launcelot heard a voice that said"Launcelotenter into thecastlewhere thou shalt see a great part of thy desire." So he went untothe gateand saw the two lions; then he set hands to his swordand drew it.Then there came suddenly as it were a stroke upon the armso sore that thesword fell out of his handand he heard a voice that said"O man of evilfaithwherefore believest thou more in thy armor than in thy Maker?" Thensaid Sir Launcelot"Fair LordI thank thee of thy great mercythat thoureprovest me of my misdeed; now see I well that thou holdest me for thyservant." Then he made a cross on his foreheadand came to the lions; andthey made semblance to do him harmbut he passed them without hurtand enteredinto the castleand he found no gate nor door but it was open. But at the lasthe found a chamber whereof the door was shut; and he set his hand theretotohave opened itbut he might not. Then he listenedand heard a voice which sungso sweetly that it seemed none earthly thing; and the voice said"Joy andhonor be to the Father of heaven." Then Sir Launcelot kneeled down beforethe chamberfor well he wist that there was the Sangreal in that chamber. Thensaid he"Fairsweet Lordif ever I did anything that pleased thee forthy pity show me something of that which I seek." And with that he saw thechamber door openand there came out a great clearnessthat the house was asbright as though all the torches of the world had been there. So he came to thechamber doorand would have entered; and anon a voice said unto him"StaySir Launcelotand enter not." And he withdrew him backandwas right heavy in his mind. Then looked he in the midst of the chamberand sawa table of silverand the holy vesselcovered with red samiteand many angelsabout it; whereof one held a candle of wax burningand another held a crossand the ornaments of the altar. Thenfor very wonder and thankfulnessSirLauncelot forgot himselfand he stepped forward and entered the chamber. Andsuddenly a breath that seemed intermixed with fire smote him so sore in thevisagethat therewith he fell to the groundand had no power to rise. Thenfelt he many hands about himwhich took him upand bare him out of thechamberwithout any amending of his swoonand left him thereseeming dead toall the people. So on the morrowwhen it was fair daylightand they withinwere arisenthey found Sir Launcelot lying before the chamber door. And theylooked upon him and felt his pulseto know it there were any life in him. Andthey found life in himbut he might neither stand nor stir any member that hehad. So they took him and bare him into a chamberand laid him upon a bedfarfrom all folkand there he lay many days. Then the one said he was aliveandothers said nay. But said an old man"He is as full of life as themightiest of you alland therefore I counsel you that he be well kept till Godbring him back again." And after twenty-four days he opened his eyes; andwhen he saw folkhe made great sorrowand said"Why have ye wakened me?for I was better at ease than I am now." "What have ye seen?"said they about him. "I have seen" said he"great marvels thatno tongue can telland more than any heart can think." Then they said"Sirthe quest of the Sangreal is achieved right now in youand nevershall ye see more of it than ye have seen." "I thank God" saidSir Launcelot"of His great mercyfor that I have seenfor it sufficethme." Then he rose up and clothed himself; and when he was so arrayedtheymarvelled allfor they knew it was Sir Launcelotthe good knight. Andafterfour dayshe took his leave of the lord of the castleand of all thefellowship that were thereand thanked them for their great labor and care ofhim. Then he departedand turned to Camelotwhere he found King Arthur andQueen Guenever; but many of the knights of the Round Table were slain anddestroyedmore than half. Then all the court was passing glad of Sir Launcelot;and he told the king all his adventures that had befallen him since he departed.-

SIR GALAHAD. -

Now when Sir Galahad had rescued Perceval from the twenty knightshe rodeinto a vast forestwherein he abode many days. Then he took his way to the seaand it befell him that he was benighted in a hermitage. And the good man wasglad when he saw he was a knight-errant. And when they were at restthere camea gentlewoman knocking at the door; and the good man came to the door to witwhat she would. Then she said"I would speak with the knight which is withyou." Then Galahad went to herand asked her what she would. "SirGalahad" said she"I will that ye arm youand mount upon yourhorseand follow me; for I will show you the highest adventure that ever knightsaw." Then Galahad armed himself and commended himself to Godand bade thedamsel go beforeand he would follow where she led.

So she rode as fast as her palfrey might bear hertill she came to the sea;and there they found the ship where Sir Bohort and Sir Perceval werewho criedfrom the ship"Sir Galahadyou are welcome; we have awaited youlong" And when he heard themhe asked the damsel who they were."Sir" said she"leave your horse hereand I shall leave mineand we will join ourselves to their company." So they entered the shipandthe two knights received them both with great joy. For they knew the damselthat she was Sir Perceval's sister. Then the wind arose and drove them throughthe sea all that day and the nexttill the ship arrived between two rockspassing great and marvellous; but there they might not landfor there was awhirlpool; but there was another shipand upon it they might go without danger."Go we thither" said the gentlewomanand there shall we seeadventuresfor such is our Lord's will." Then Sir Galahad blessed himandentered thereinand then next the gentlewomanand then Sir Bohort and SirPerceval. And when they came on boardthey found there the table of silverandthe Sangrealwhich was covered with red samite. And they made great reverencetheretoand Sir Galahad prayed a long time to our Lordthat at what time heshould ask to pass out of this worldhe should do so; and a voice said to him"Galahadthou shalt have thy request; and when thou askest the death ofthy body thou shalt have itand then shalt thou find the life of thy soul.

And anon the wind drove them across the seatill they came to the city ofSarras. Then they took our of the ship the table of silverand he took it toSir Perceval and Sir Bohort to go beforeand Sir Galahad came behindand rightso they came to the cityand at the gate of the city they saw an old mancrooked. Then Sir Galahad called him and bade him help bear this heavy thing."Truly" said the old man"it is ten years ago that I might notgo save with crutches." "Care thou not" said Sir Galahad"but arise up and show thy good will." And so he assayed and foundhimself as whole as ever he was. Then ran he to the table and took one partagainst Sir Galahad. And anon arose there a great noise in the citythat acripple was made whole by knights marvellous that entered into the city. Thenanon afterthe three knights went to the waterand brought up into the palaceSir Perceval's sister. And when the king of the citywhich was clepedEstorausesaw the fellowshiphe asked them of whence they wereand what thingit was they had brought upon the table of silver. And they told him the truth ofthe Sangrealand the power which God had set there. Then the king was a tyrantand was come of the line of Paynimsand took them and put them in prison in adeep hole.

But as soon as they were thereour Lord sent them the Sangrealthroughwhose grace they were always filled while that they were in prison. So at theyear's end it befell that this king Estorause lay sickand felt that he shoulddie. Then he sent for the three knightsand they came afore himand he criedthem mercy of that he had done to themand they forgave it him goodlyand hedied anon. When the king was deadall the city was dismayedand wist not whomight be their king. Right so they were in councilthere came a voice amongthemand bade them choose the youngest knight of them three to be their king"for he shall well maintain you and all yours." So they made SirGalahad king by all the assent of the whole cityand else they would have slainhim. And when he was come to behold the landhe had made about the table ofsilver a chest of gold and of precious stones that covered the holy vesselandevery day early the three fellows would come afore it and make their prayers.Now at the year's endand the next day after Sir Galahad had borne the crown ofgoldhe rose up earlyand his fellowsand came to the palaceand saw beforethem the holy vesseland a man kneeling on his kneesin likeness of a bishopthat had about him a great fellowship of angelsas it had been Jesus Christhimself. And then he arose and began a mass of Our Lady. And when he came to thesacrament of the massand had doneanon he called Sir Galahadand said tohim"Come forththe servant of Jesus Christand thou shalt see that thouhast much desired to see." And then he began to tremble right hardwhenthe deadly flesh began to behold the spiritual things. Then he held up his handstoward heavenand said"LordI thank theefor now I see that that hathbeen my desire many a day. Nowblessed Lordwould I not longer live; if itmight please theeLord." And therewith the good man took our Lord's bodybetwixt his hands and proffered it to Sir Galahadand he received it rightgladly and meekly. "Nowwottest thou what I am?" said the good man."Nay" said Sir Galahad. "I am Joseph of Arimatheawhich ourLord hath sent here to bear thee fellowship. And wottest thou wherefore that hehath sent me more than any other? For thou hast resembled me in two thingsinthat thou hast seen the marvels of the Sangrealand in that thou hast been aclean maiden as I have been and am." And when he had said these words SirGalahad went to Sir Perceval and kissed himand commended him to God. And so hewent to Sir Bohort and kissed himand commended him to Godand said"Fair lordsalute me to my lord Sir Launcelotmy fatherand as soon asye see him bid him remember of this unstable world." And therewith hekneeled down before the table and made his prayersand then suddenly his souldeparted to Jesus Christand a great multitude of angels bare his soul up toheaventhat the two fellows might well behold it. Also the two fellows saw comefrom heaven a handbut they saw not the body; and then it came right to thevesseland took it and the spearand so bare it up to heaven. Sithen there wasnever man so hardy to say that he had seen the Sangreal.

When Sir Perceval and Sir Bohort saw Sir Galahad dead they made as muchsorrow as ever did two men; and if they had not been good men they might lightlyhave fallen into despair. And the people of the country and of the city wereright heavy. And then he was buried. And as soon as he was buried Sir Percevalyielded him to an hermitage out of the cityand took a religious clothing; andSir Bohort was always with himbut never changed he his secular clothingforthat he purposed to go again into the realm of Loegria. Thus a year and twomonths lived Sir Perceval in the hermitage a full holy lifeand then he passedout of this world. And Sir Bohort let bury him by his sister and by Sir Galahad.

And when Sir Bohort saw that he was in so far countries as in the parts ofBabylonhe departed from Sarrasand armed himand came to the seaandentered into a shipand so it befell him in good adventure he came into therealm of Loegria. And he rode so fast till he came to Camelotwhere the kingwas. And then was there great joy made of him in the courtfor they wend all hehad been deadforasmuch as he had been so long out of the country. And whenthey had eatenthe king made great clerks to come afore himthat they shouldchronicle of the high adventures of the good knights. Then Sir Bohort told himof the adventures of the Sangrealsuch as had befallen him and his threefellowsthat was Sir LauncelotSir Percevaland Sir Galahad. Then SirLauncelot told the adventures of the Sangreal that he had seen. All this wasmade in great booksand put in almeries in Salisbury. And anon Sir Bohort saidto Sir Launcelot"Galahadyour own sonsaluted you by meand after youKing Arthurand all the courtand so did Sir Perceval; for I buried them withmine own hands in the city of Sarras. AlsoSir LauncelotGalahad prayeth youto remember of this uncertain worldas ye behight him when ye were togethermore than half a year." "This is true" said Sir Launcelot;"now I trust to God his prayer shall avail me." Then Sir Launcelottook Sir Bohort in his armsand said"Gentle cousinye are right welcometo meand all that ever I may do for you and for yoursye shall find my poorbody ready at all times whiles the spirit is in itand that I promise youfaithfullyand never to fail. And wit ye wellgentle cousin Sir Bohortthatye and I will never part in sunder whilst our lives may last.""Sir" said he"I will as ye will."

Thus endeth the history of the Sangrealwhich is a story chronicled as oneof the truest and holiest that is in this world. -

Tennyson has among his shorter poems one on Sir Galahad which we add as beingthe conception of this purest of knights held by the poet who has loved best ofall English poets the old stories of the Knights of the Round Table:- -

SIR GALAHAD. -

"My good blade carves the casques of men

My tough lance thrusteth sure

My strength is as the strength of ten

Because my heart is pure.

The shattering trumpet shrilleth high

The hard brands shiver on the steel

The splintered spear-shafts crack and fly

The horse and rider reel:

They reelthey roll in clanging lists

And when the tide of combat stands

Perfume and flowers fall in showers

That lightly rain from ladies' hands -

"How sweet are looks that ladies bend

On whom their favors fall!

For them I battle to the end

To save from shame and thrall:

But all my heart is drawn above

My knees are bound in crypt and shrine:

I never felt the kiss of love

Nor maiden's hand in mine.

More bounteous aspects on me beam

Me mightier transports move and thrill;

So keep I fair thro' faith and prayer

A virgin heart in work and will.

"When down the stormy crescent goes

A light before me swims

Between dark stems the forest glows

I hear a noise of hymns:

Then by some secret shrine I ride;

I hear a voicebut none are there;

The stalls are voidthe doors are wide

The tapers burning fair.

Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth

The silver vessels sparkle clean

The shrill bell ringsthe censer swings

And solemn chants resound between. -

"Sometimes on lonely mountain meres

I find a magic bark;

I leap on board; no helmsman steers:

I float till all is dark

A gentle soundan awful light!

Three angels bear the holy Grail:

With folded feetin stoles of white

On sleeping wings they sail.

Ahblessed vision! blood of God!

My spirit beats her mortal bars

As down dark tides the glory slides

And star-like mingles with the stars. -

"When on my goodly charger borne

Thro' dreaming towns I go

The cock crows ere the Christmas morn

The streets are dumb with snow.

The tempest crackles on the leads

Andringingsprings from brand and mail;

But o'er the dark a glory spreads

And gilds the driving hail.

I leave the plainI climb the height;

No branchy thicket shelter yields;

But blessed forms in whisking storms

Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields. -

"A maiden knight- to me is given

Such hopeI know not fear;

I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven

That often meet me here.

I muse on joy that will not cease

Pure spaces clothed in living beams

Pure lilies of eternal peace

Whose odors haunt my dreams;

And stricken by an angel's hand

This mortal armour that I wear

This weight and risethis heart and eyes

Are touchedare turned to finest air. -

"The clouds are broken in the sky

And thro' the mountain-walls

A rolling organ-harmony

Swells upand shakes and falls.

Then move the treesthe copses nod

Wings fluttervoices hover clear:

O just and faithful knight of God!

Ride on! the prize is near!

So pass I hostelhalland grange;

By hedge and fordby park and pale

All armed I ridewhate'er betide

Until I find the holy Grail."

CHAPTER XVII.

SIR AGRIVAIN'S TREASON. -

SO after the quest of the Sangreal was fulfilledand all the knights thatwere left alive were come again to the Table Roundthere was great joy in thecourtand in especial King Arthur and Queen Guenever made great joy of theremnant that were come homeand passing glad were the king and the queen of SirLauncelot and of Sir Bohortfor they had been passing long away in the quest ofthe Sangreal.

Then Sir Launcelot began to resort unto Queen Guenever againand forgot thepromise that he made in the quest; so that many in the court spoke of itand inespecial Sir AgrivainSir Gawain's brotherfor he was ever open-mouthed. So ithappened Sir Gawain and all his brothers were in King Arthur's chamberand thenSir Agrivain said thus openly"I marvel that we all are not ashamed to seeand to know so noble a knight as King Arthur so to be shamed by the conduct ofSir Launcelot and the queen." Then spoke Sir Gawainand said"BrotherSir AgrivainI pray you and charge you move not such matters anymore before mefor be ye assured I will not be of your counsel.""Neither will we" said Sir Gaheris and Sir Gareth. "Then willI" said Sir Modred. "I doubt you not" said Sir Gawain"for to all mischief ever were ye prone; yet I would that ye left all thisfor I know what will come of it." "Fall of it what fall may"said Sir Agrivain"I will disclose it to the king." With that came tothem King Arthur. "Nowbrothershold your peace" said Sir Gawain"We will not" said Sir Agrivain. Then said Sir Gawain"I willnot hear your talesnor be of your counsel." "No more will I"said Sir Gareth and Sir Gaherisand therewith they departedmaking greatsorrow.

Then Sir Agrivain told the king all that was said in the court of the conductof Sir Launcelot and the queenand it grieved the king very much. But he wouldnot believe it to be true without proof. So Sir Agrivain laid a plot to entrapSir Launcelot and the queenintending to take them together unawares. SirAgrivain and Sir Modred led a party for this purposebut Sir Launcelot escapedfrom themhaving slain Sir Agrivain and wounded Sir Modred. Then Sir Launcelothastened to his friendsand told them what had happenedand withdrew with themto the forest; but he left spies to bring him tidings of whatever might be done.

So Sir Launcelot escapedbut the queen remained in the king's powerandArthur could no longer doubt of her guilt. And the law was such in those daysthat they who committed such crimesof what estate or condition soever theyweremust be burned to deathand so it was ordained for Queen Guenever. Thensaid King Arthur to Sir Gawain"I pray you make you readyin your bestarmorwith your brethrenSir Gaheris and Sir Garethto bring my queen to thefirethere to receive her death." "Naymy most noble lord"said Sir Gawain"that will I never do; for know thou wellmy heart willnever serve me to see her dieand it shall never be said that I was of yourcounsel in her death." Then the king commanded Sir Gaheris and Sir Garethto be thereand they said"We will be thereas ye command ussirebutin peaceable wiseand bear no armor upon us."

So the queen was led forthand her ghostly father was brought to her toshrive herand there was weeping and wailing of many lords and ladies. And onewent and told Sir Launcelot that the queen was led forth to her death. Then SirLauncelot and the knights that were with him fell upon the troop that guardedthe queenand dispersed themand slew all who withstood them. And in theconfusion Sir Gareth and Sir Gaheris were slainfor they were unarmed anddefenceless. And Sir Launcelot carried away the queen to his castle of LaJoyeuse Garde.

Then there came one to Sir Gawain and told him how that Sir Launcelot hadslain the knights and carried away the queen. "O Lorddefend mybrethren!" said Sir Gawain. "Truly" said the man"SirGareth and Sir Gaheris are slain." "Alas!" said Sir Gawain"now is my joy gone." And then he fell down and swoonedand long helay there as he had been dead.

When he arose out of his swoon Sir Gawain ran to the kingcrying"OKing Arthurmine unclemy brothers are slain." Then the king wept and heboth. "My kingmy lordand mine uncle" said Sir Gawain"bearwitness now that I make you a promise that I shall hold by my knighthoodthatfrom this day I will never fail Sir Launcelot until the one of us have slain theother. I will seek Sir Launcelot throughout seven kings' realmsbut I shallslay him or he shall slay me." "Ye shall not need to seek him"said the king"foras I hearSir Launcelot will abide me and you in theJoyeuse Garde; and much people draweth unto himas I hear say." "Thatmay I believe" said Gawain"butmy lordsummon your friendsand Iwill summon mine." "It shall be done" said the king. So then theking sent letters and writs throughout all Englandboth in the length andbreadthto summon all his knights. And unto Arthur drew many knightsdukesand earlsso that he had a great host. Thereof heard Sir Launcelotandcollected all whom he could; and many good knights held with himboth for hissake and for the queen's sake. But King Arthur's host was too great for SirLauncelot to abide him in the field; and he was full loath to do battle againstthe king. So Sir Launcelot drew him to his strong castlewith all manner ofprovisions. Then came King Arthur and Sir Gawainand laid siege all about LaJoyeuse Gardeboth the town and the castle; but in no wise would Sir Launcelotride out of his castleneither suffer any of his knights to issue outuntilmany weeks were past.

Then it befell upon a day in harvest-time Sir Launcelot looked over the walland spake aloud to King Arthur and Sir Gawain"My lords bothall is vainthat ye do at this siegefor here ye shall win no worshipbut only dishonor;for if I list to come outand my good knightsI shall soon make an end of thiswar." "Come forth" said Arthur"if thou darestand Ipromise thee I shall meet thee in the midst of the field." "God forbidme" said Sir Launcelot"that I should encounter with the most nobleking that made me knight." "Fie upon thy fair language" said theking"for know thou well that I am thy mortal foeand ever will be to mydying day." And Sir Gawain said"What cause hadst thou to slay mybrotherSir Gaheriswho bore no arms against theeand Sir Garethwhom thoumadest knightand who loved thee more than all my kin? Therefore know thou wellI shall make war to thee all the while that I may live."

When Sir BohortSir Hector de Marysand Sir Lionel heard this outcry theycalled to them Sir Palamedesand Sir Saffire his brotherand Sir Lawaynwithmany moreand all went to Sir Launcelot. And they said"My lordSirLauncelotwe pray youif you will have our servicekeep us no longer withinthese wallsfor know well all your fair speech and forbearance will not availyou." "Alas!" said Sir Launcelot"to ride forth and to dobattle I am full loath." Then he spake again unto the king and Sir Gawainand willed them to keep out of the battle; but they depised his words. So thenSir Launcelot's fellowship came out of the castle in full good array. And alwaysSir Launcelot charged all his knightsin any wiseto save King Arthur and SirGawain.

Then came forth Sir Gawain from the king's hostand offered combatand SirLionel encountered with himand there Sir Gawain smote Sir Lionel through thebodythat he fell to the earth as if dead. Then there began a great conflictand much people were slain; but ever Sir Launcelot did what he might to save thepeople on King Arthur's partyand ever King Arthur followed Sir Launcelot toslay him; but Sir Launcelot suffered himand would not strike again. Then SirBohort encountered with King Arthurand smote him down; and he alighted anddrew his swordand said to Sir Launcelot"Shall I make an end of thiswar?" for he meant to have slain King Arthur. "Not so" said SirLauncelot"touch him no morefor I will never see that most noble kingthat made me knight either slain or shamed;" and therewith Sir Launcelotalighted off his horse and took up the kingand horsed him againand saidthus: "My lord Arthurfor God's lovecease this strife." And KingArthur looked upon Sir Launcelotand his tears burst from his eyesthinking onthe great courtesy that was in Sir Launcelot more than in any other man; andtherewith the king rode his way. Then anon both parties withdrew to repose themand buried the dead.

But the war continued and it was noised abroad through all Christendomandat last it was told afore the pope; and heconsidering the great goodness ofKing Arthurand of Sir Launcelotcalled unto him a noble clerkwhich was theBishop of Rochesterwho was then in his dominionsand sent him to King Arthurcharging him that he take his queendame Gueneverunto him againand makepeace with Sir Launcelot.

Soby means of this bishoppeace was made for the space of one year; andKing Arthur received back the queenand Sir Launcelot departed from the kingdomwith all his knightsand went to his own country. So they shipped at Cardiffand sailed unto Benwickwhich some men call Bayonne. And all the people ofthose lands came to Sir Launcelotand received him home right joyfully. And SirLauncelot stablished and garnished all his towns and castlesand he greatlyadvanced all his noble knightsSir Lionel and Sir Bohortand Sir Hector deMarysSir BlamorSir Lawayneand many othersand made them lords of landsand castles; till he left himself no more than any one of them.

But when the year was passedKing Arthur and Sir Gawain came with a greathostand landed upon Sir Launcelot's landsand burnt and wasted all that theymight overrun. Then spake Sir Bohort and said"My lordSir Launcelotgive us leave to meet them in the fieldand we shall make them rue the timethat ever they came to this country." Then said Sir Launcelot"I amfull loath to ride out with my knights for shedding of Christian blood; so wewill yet awhile keep our wallsand I will send a messenger unto my lord Arthurto propose a treaty; for better is peace than always war." So Sir Launcelotsent forth a damseland a dwarf with herrequiring King Arthur to leave hiswarring upon his lands; and so she started on a palfreyand the dwarf ran byher side. And when she came to the pavilion of King Arthurshe alightedandthere met her a gentle knightSir Lucan the butlerand said"Fairdamselcome ye from Sir Launcelot du Lac?" "Yeasir" she said"I come hither to speak with the king." "Alas!" said SirLucan"my lord Arthur would be reconciled to Sir Launcelotbut Sir Gawainwill not suffer him." And with this Sir Lucan led the damsel to the kingwhere he sat with Sir Gawainto hear what she would say. So when she had toldher talethe tears ran out of the king's eyes; and all the lords were forwardto advise the king to be accorded with Sir Launcelotsave only Sir Gawain; andhe said"My lordmine unclewhat will ye do? Will you now turn backnowyou are so far advanced upon your journey? If ye doall the world will speakshame of you." "Nay" said King Arthur"I will do as yeadvise me; but do thou give the damsel her answerfor I may not speak to herfor pity."

Then said Sir Gawain"Damselsay ye to Sir Launcelotthat it is wastelabor to sue to mine uncle for peaceand say that ISir Gawainsend him wordthat I promise himby the faith I owe unto God and to knighthoodI shall neverleave him till he have slain me or I him." So the damsel returned; and whenSir Launcelot had heard this answerthe tears ran down his cheeks.

Then it befell on a day Sir Gawain came before the gatesarmed at allpointsand cried with a loud voice"Where art thou nowthou falsetraitorSir Launcelot? Why hidest thou thyself within holes and walls like acoward? Look out nowthou traitor knightand I will avenge upon thy body thedeath of my three brethren." All this language heard Sir Launcelotand theknights which were about him; and they said to him"Sir Launcelotnowmust ye defend you like a knightor else be shamed for everfor you have sleptoverlong and suffered overmuch." Then Sir Launcelot spoke on high unto KingArthurand said"My lord Arthurnow I have forborne longand sufferedyou and Sir Gawain to do what ye wouldand now must I needs defend myselfinasmuch as Sir Gawain hath appealed me of treason." Then Sir Launcelotarmed him and mounted upon his horseand the noble knights came out of thecityand the host without stood all apart; and so the covenant was made that noman should come near the two knightsnor deal with themtill one were dead oryielded.

Then Sir Gawain and Sir Launcelot departed a great way in sunderand thenthey came together with all their horses' might as they might runand eithersmote the other in the midst of their shieldsbut the knights were so strongand their spears so bigthat their horses might not endure their buffetsandso the horses fell to the earth. And then they avoided their horsesand dressedtheir shields afore them. Then they stood togetherand gave many sad strokes ondivers places of their bodiesthat the blood burst out on many sides andplaces. Then had Sir Gawain such a grace and gift that an holy man had given tohimthat every day in the yearfrom morning till high noonhis mightincreased those three hours as much as thrice his strengthand that caused SirGawain to win great honor. And for his sake King Arthur made an ordinance thatall manner of battles for any quarrels that should be done before King Arthurshould begin at Underne* and all was done for Sir Gawain's lovethat bylikelihood if that Sir Gawain were on the one part he should have the better inbattlewhilst his strength endured three hoursbut there were few knights thattime living that knew this advantage that Sir Gawain hadbut King Arthur only.Thus Sir Launcelot fought with Sir Gawainand when Sir Launcelot felt his mightevermore increaseSir Launcelot wondered and dread him sore to be ashamed. ForSir Launcelot thought when he felt Sir Gawain double his strengththat he hadbeen a fiendand no earthly man; wherefore Sir Launcelot traced and traversedand covered himself with his shieldand kept his might and his braid duringthree hours; and that while Sir Gawain gave him many sad brunts and many sadstrokesthat all the knights that beheld Sir Launcelot marvelled how he mightendure himbut full little understood they that travail that Sir Launcelot hadfor to endure him. And then when it was past noon Sir Gawain had no more but hisown might. Then Sir Launcelot felt him so come down; then he stretched him upand stood near Sir Gawainand said thus: "My lord Sir Gawainnow I fearye have done; now my lord Sir GawainI must do my partfor many great andgrievous strokes I have endured you this day with great pain." Then SirLauncelot doubled his strokesand gave Sir Gawain such a buffet on the helmetthat he fell down on his sideand Sir Launcelot withdrew from him. "Whyturnest thou thee?" said Sir Gawain; "now turn againfalse traitorknightand slay me; for an thou leave me thuswhen I am wholeI shall dobattle with thee again." "I shall endure yousirby God's gracebutwit thou wellSir GawainI will never smite a felled knight." And so SirLauncelot went into the cityand Sir Gawain was borne into one of King Arthur'spavilionsand leeches were brought to himand he was searched and salved withsoft ointments. And then Sir Launcelot said"Now have good daymy lordthe kingforwit you wellye win no worship at these walls; and if I would myknights out bringthere should many a man die. Thereforemy lord Arthurremember you of old kindnessand however I fareJesus be your guide in allplaces." -

* Underne. The third hour in the daynine o'clock. -

Thus the siege enduredand Sir Gawain lay helpless near a month; and when hewas near recoveredcame tidings unto King Arthur that made him return with allhis host to England.

CHAPTER XVIII.

MORTE D'ARTHUR. -

"And now the whole ROUND TABLE is dissolved

Which was an image of the mighty world

And Ithe lastgo forth companionless;

And the days darken round meand the years

Among new menstrange facesother minds."- TENNYSON. -

SIR MODRED was left ruler of all Englandand he caused letters to bewrittenas if from beyond seathat King Arthur was slain in battle. So hecalled a Parliamentand made himself be crowned king; and he took the queenGueneverand said plainly that he would wed herbut she escaped from himandtook refuge in the Tower of London. And Sir Modred went and laid siege about theTower of Londonand made great assaults thereatbut all might not avail him.Then came word to Sir Modred that King Arthur had raised the siege of SirLauncelotand was coming home. Then Sir Modred summoned all the barony of theland; and much people drew unto Sir Modredand said they would abide with himfor better and for worse; and he drew a great host to Doverfor there he heardsay that King Arthur would arrive.

And as Sir Modred was at Dover with his hostcame King Arthurwith a greatnumber of ships and galleysand there was Sir Modred awaiting upon the landing.Then was there launching of great boats and smallfull of noble men of armsand there was much slaughterof gentle knights on both parts. But King Arthurwas so courageousthere might no manner of knights prevent him to landand hisknights fiercely followed him; and so they landedand put Sir Modred aback sothat he fledand all his people. And when the battle was doneKing Arthurcommanded to bury his people that were dead. And then was noble Sir Gawainfoundin a great boatlying more than half dead. And King Arthur went to himand made sorrow out of measure. "Mine uncle" said Sir Gawain"know thou well my death-day is comeand all is through mine own hastinessand wilfulnessfor I am smitten upon the old wound which Sir Launcelot gave meof the which I feel I must die. And had Sir Launcelot been with you as of oldthis war had never begunand of all this I am the cause." Then Sir Gawainprayed the king to send for Sir Launcelotand to cherish him above all otherknights. And soat the hour of noonSir Gawain yielded up his spiritand thenthe king bade inter him in a chapel within Dover Castle; and there all men maysee the skull of himand the same wound is seen that Sir

Launcelot gave him in battle.

Then was it told the king that Sir Modred had pitched his camp uponBarrendown; and the king rode thitherand there was a great battle betwixtthemand King Arthur's party stood bestand Sir Modred and his party fled untoCanterbury.

And there was a day assigned betwixt King Arthur and Sir Modred that theyshould meet upon a down beside Salisburyand not far from the seasideto dobattle yet again. And at nightas the king slepthe dreamed a wonderful dream.It seemed him verily that there came Sir Gawain unto himwith a number of fairladies with him. And when King Arthur saw himhe said"Welcomemysister's son; I weened thou hadst been dead; and now I see thee alivegreat ismy joy. ButO fair nephewwhat be these ladies that hither be come withyou?" "Sir" said Sir Gawain"all these be ladies for whomI have fought when I was a living man; and because I did battle for them inrighteous quarrelthey have given me grace to bring me hither unto youto warnyou of your deathif ye fight to-morrow with Sir Modred. Therefore take yetreatyand proffer you largely for a month's delay; for within a month shallcome Sir Launcelot and all his noble knightsand rescue you worshipfullyandslay Sir Modred and all that hold with him." And then Sir Gawain and allthe ladies vanished. And anon the king called to fetch his noble lords and wisebishops unto him. And when they were comethe king told them his visionandwhat Sir Gawain had told him. Then the king sent Sir Lucan the butlerand SirBediverewith two bishopsand charged them in any wise to take a treaty for amonth and a day with Sir Modred. So they departedand came to Sir Modred; andsoat the lastSir Modred was agreed to have Cornwall and KentduringArthur's lifeand all England after his death.

Then was it agreed that King Arthur and Sir Modred should meet betwixt boththeir hostsand each of them should bring fourteen personsand then and therethey should sign the treaty. And when King Arthur and his knights were preparedto go forthhe warned all his host"If so be ye see any sword drawnlookye come on fiercelyand slay whomsoever withstandethfor I in no wise trustthat traitorSir Modred." In likewise Sir Modred warned his host. So theymetand were agreed and accorded thoroughly. And wine was broughtand theydrank. Right then came an adder out of a little heath-bushand stung a knighton the foot. And when the knight felt him stinghe looked down and saw theadderand then he drew his sword to slay the adderand thought of no otherharm. And when the host on both sides saw that sword drawnthey blew trumpetsand hornsand shouted greatly. And King Arthur took his horseand rode to hispartysaying"Alasthis unhappy day!" And Sir Modred did in likewise. And never was there a more doleful battle in Christian land. And ever KingArthur rode throughout the battleand did full noblyas a worthy king shouldand Sir Modred that day did his devoirand put himself in great peril. And thusthey fought all the long daytill the most of all the noble knights lay deadupon the ground. Then the king looked about himand saw of all his host wereleft alive but two knightsSir Lucan the butlerand Sir Bedivere his brotherand they were full sore wounded.

Then King Arthur saw where Sir Modred leaned upon his sword among a greatheap of dead men. "Now give me my spear" said Arthur unto Sir Lucan"for yonder I espy the traitor that hath wrought all this woe.""Sirlet him be" said Sir Lucan; "for if ye pass this unhappyday ye shall be right well revenged upon him. Remember what the sprite of SirGawain told youand leave off nowfor ye have won the field; and if ye leaveoff now this evil day of destiny is past." "Betide me lifebetide medeath" said King Arthur"he shall not now escape my hands."Then the king took his spear in both handsand ran toward Sir Modredcrying"Traitornow is thy death-day come." And there King Arthur smote SirModred under the shieldwith a thrust of his spear through the body. And whenSir Modred felt that he had his death-woundwith the might that he had he smoteKing Arthurwith his sword holden in both his handson the side of the headthat the sword pierced the helmet and the brain-pan; and then Sir Modred fellstark dead upon the earth. And the noble Arthur fell in a swoon to the earth.And Sir Lucan the butler and Sir Bedivere raised him upand gently led himbetwixt them both to a little chapel not far from the seaside. And when the kingwas there he thought him well eased. Then heard they people cry in the field.And Sir Lucan went to see what that cry betokened; and he saw by the moonlightthat pillers * and robbers were come to rob the dead. And he returnedand saidto the king"By my redeit is best that we bring you to some town.""I would it were so" said the king. And when the king tried to go hefainted. Then Sir Lucan took up the king on the one partand Sir Bedivere onthe other part; and in the lifting Sir Lucan fell in a swoon to the earthforhe was grievously wounded. And then the noble knight's heart burst. And when theking awoke he beheld Sir Lucanhow he lay foaming at the mouthand speechless."Alas!" said the king"this is to me a full heavy sightto seethis noble duke so die for my sake; for he would have holpen me that had moreneed of help than Iand he would not complainhis heart was so set to helpme." Then Sir Bedivere wept for his brother. "Leave this mourning andweeping" said the king"for wit thou wellif I might live myselfthe death of Sir Lucan would grieve me evermore; but my time hieth fast.Therefore" said Arthur unto Sir Bedivere"take thou Excalibarmygood swordand go with it to yonder waterside; and when thou comest there Icharge thee throw my sword in that waterand come again and tell me what thouthere seest." "My lord" said Sir Bedivere"yourcommandment shall be done." So Sir Bedivere departedand by the way hebeheld that noble swordthat the pommel and the haft were all of preciousstones; and then he said to himself"If I throw this rich sword into thewater no good shall come thereofbut only harm and loss." And then SirBedivere hid Excalibar under a tree. And soas soon as he mighthe came againunto the king. "What sawest thou there?" said the king."Sir" he said"I saw nothing." "Alas! thou hastdeceived me" said the king. "Go thou lightly againand as thou lovemespare not to throw it in." Then Sir Bedivere went againand took thesword in his hand to throw it; but again it beseemed him but sin and shame tothrow away that noble swordand he hid it away againand returnedand toldthe king he had done his commandment. "What sawest thou there?" saidthe king. "Sir" he said"I saw nothing but waters deep andwaves wan." "Ahtraitor untrue!" said King Arthur"nowhast thou betrayed me twice. And yet thou art named a noble knightand hastbeen lief and dear to me. But now go againand do as I bid theefor thy longtarrying putteth me in jeopardy of my life." Then Sir Bedivere went to theswordand lightly took it upand went to the watersideand he bound thegirdle about the hiltand then he threw the sword as far into the water as hemight. And there came an arm and a hand out of the water and met itand caughtitand shook it thrice and brandished itand then vanished away the hand withthe sword in the water. -

* Plunderers: the word is not now used. -

Then Sir Bedivere came again to the kingand told him what he saw."Help me hence" said the king"for I fear I have tarried toolong." Then Sir Bedivere took the king on his backand so went with him tothat water-side; and when they came thereeven fast by the bank there rode alittle barge with many fair ladies in itand among them was a queen; and allhad black hoodsand they wept and shrieked when they saw King Arthur.

"Now put me in the barge" said the king. And there received himthree queens with great mourningand in one of their laps King Arthur laid hishead. And the queen said"Ahdear brotherwhy have ye tarried so long?Alas! this wound on your head hath caught overmuch cold." And then theyrowed from the landand Sir Bedivere beheld them go from him. Then he cried:"Ahmy lord Arthurwill ye leave me here alone among mine enemies?""Comfort thyself" said the king"for in me is no further help;for I will to the Isle of Avalonto heal me of my grievous wound." And assoon as Sir Bedivere had lost sight of the barge he wept and wailed; then hetook the forestand went all that nightand in the morning he was ware of achapel and a hermitage.

Then went Sir Bedivere thither; and when he came into the chapel he saw wherelay an hermit on the groundnear a tomb that was newly graven. "Sir"said Sir Bedivere"what man is there buried that ye pray so nearunto?" "Fair son" said the hermit"I know not verily. Butthis night there came a number of ladiesand brought hither one deadandprayed me to bury him." "Alas!" said Sir Bedivere"that wasmy lordKing Arthur." Then Sir Bedivere swooned; and when he awoke heprayed the hermit he might abide with himto live with fasting and prayers."Ye are welcome" said the hermit. So there bode Sir Bedivere with thehermit; and he put on poor clothesand served the hermit full lowly in fastingand in prayers.

Thus of Arthur I find never more written in books that he authorizednormore of the very certainty of his death; but thus was he led away in a shipwherein were three queens; the one was King Arthur's sisterQueen Morgane leFay; the other was Vivianethe Lady of the Lake and the third was the queen ofNorth Galis. And this tale Sir Bedivereknight of the Table Roundmade to bewritten.

Yet some men say that King Arthur is not deadbut hid away into anotherplaceand men say that he shall come again and reign over England. But many saythat there is written on his tomb this verse:- -

"Hic jacet ArthurusRex quondamRexque futurus."

Here Arthur liesKing once and King to be. -

And when Queen Guenever understood that King Arthur was slainand all thenoble knights with himshe stole awayand five ladies with her; and so shewent to Almesburyand made herself a nunand ware white clothes and blackandtook great penance as ever did sinful ladyand lived in fastingprayersandalms-deeds. And there she was abbess and ruler of the nuns. Now turn we fromherand speak of Sir Launcelot of the Lake.

When Sir Launcelot heard in his country that Sir Modred was crowned king ofEngland and made war against his own uncleKing Arthurthen was Sir Launcelotwroth out of measureand said to his kinsmen: "Alasthat double traitorSir Modred! now it repenteth me that ever he escaped out of my hands." ThenSir Launcelot and his fellows made ready in all hastewith ships and galleysto pass into England; and so he passed over till he came to Doverand there helanded with a great army. Then Sir Launcelot was told that King Arthur wasslain. "Alas!" said Sir Launcelot"this is the heaviest tidingsthat ever came to me." Then he called the kingsdukesbaronsandknightsand said thus: "My fair lordsI thank you all for coming intothis country with mebut we came too lateand that shall repent me while Ilive. But since it is so" said Sir Launcelot"I will myself ride andseek my ladyQueen Gueneverfor I have heard say she hath fled into the west;therefore ye shall abide me here fifteen daysand if I come not within thattimethen take your ships and your host and depart into your country."

So Sir Launcelot departed and rode westerlyand there he sought many days;and at last he came to a nunneryand was seen of Queen Guenever as he walked inthe cloister; and when she saw himshe swooned away. And when she might speakshe bade him to be called to her. And when Sir Launcelot was brought to hershesaid: "Sir LauncelotI require thee and beseech theefor all the lovethat ever was betwixt usthat thou never see me morebut return to thy kingdomand take thee a wifeand live with her with joy and bliss; and pray for me tomy Lordthat I may get my soul's health." "Naymadam" said SirLauncelot"wit you well that I shall never do; but the same destiny thatye have taken you to will I take me untofor to please and serve God." Andso they partedwith tears and much lamentation; and the ladies bare the queento her chamberand Sir Launcelot took his horse and rode awayweeping.

And at last Sir Launcelot was ware of a hermitage and a chapeland then heheard a little bell ring to mass; and thither he rode and alightedand tied hishorse to the gateand heard mass. And he that sang the mass was the hermit withwhom Sir Bedivere had taken up his abode; and Sir Bedivere knew Sir Launcelotand they spake together after mass. But when Sir Bedivere had told his taleSirLauncelot's heart almost burst for sorrow. Then he kneeled downand prayed thehermit to shrive himand besought that he might be his brother. Then the hermitsaid"I will gladly"; and then he put a habit upon Sir Launcelotandthere he served God day and nightwith prayers and fastings.

And the great host abode at Dover till the end of the fifteen days set by SirLauncelotand then Sir Bohort made them to go home again to their own country;and Sir BohortSir Hector de MarysSir Blanorand many otherstook on themto ride through all England to seek Sir Launcelot. So Sir Bohort by fortune rodeuntil he came to the same chapel where Sir Launcelot was; and when he saw SirLauncelot in that manner of clothinghe prayed the hermit that he might be inthat same. And so there was a habit put upon himand there he lived in prayersand fasting. And within half a year came others of the knightstheir fellowsand took such a habit as Sir Launcelot and Sir Bohort had. Thus they endured ingreat penance six years.

And upon a night there came a vision to Sir Launcelotand charged him tohaste him toward Almesburyand "by the time thou come therethou shaltfind Queen Guenever dead." Then Sir Launcelot rose up earlyand told thehermit thereof. Then said the hermit"It were well that ye disobey notthis vision." And Sir Launcelot took his seven companions with himand onfoot they went from Glastonbury to Almesburywhich is more than thirty miles.And when they were come to Almesburythey found that Queen Guenever died buthalf an hour before. Then Sir Launcelot saw her visagebut he wept not greatlybut sighed. And so he did all the observance of the service himselfboth the"dirige" at nightand at morn he sang massAnd there was prepared anhorse-bierand Sir Launcelot and his fellows followed the bier on foot fromAlmesbury until they came to Glastonbury; and she was wrapped in cered clothesand laid in a coffin of marble. And when she was put in the earthSir Launcelotswoonedand lay long as one dead.

And Sir Launcelot never after ate but little meatnor drank; but continuallymourned. And within six weeks Sir Launcelot fell sick; and he sent for thehermit and all his true fellowsand said"Sir hermitI pray you give meall my rights that a Christian man ought to have." "It shall notneed" said the hermit and all his fellows; "it is but heaviness ofyour bloodand to-morrow morn you shall be well." "My fairlords" said Sir Launcelot"my careful body will into the earth; Ihave warning more than now I will say; therefore give me my rights." Sowhen he was houseled and aneledand had all that a Christian man ought to havehe prayed the hermit that his fellows might bear his body to Joyous Garde. (Somemen say it was Alnwickand some say it was Bamborough.) "It repenteth mesore" said Sir Launcelot"but I made a vow aforetime that in JoyousGarde I would be buried." Then there was weeping and wringing of handsamong his fellows. And that night Sir Launcelot died; and when Sir Bohort andhis fellows came to his bedside the next morningthey found him stark dead; andhe lay as if he had smiledand the sweetest savor all about him that ever theyknew.

And they put Sir Launcelot into the same horse-bier that Queen Guenever waslaid inand the hermit and they all together went with the body till they cameto Joyous Garde. And there they laid his corpse in the body of the quireandsang and read many psalms and prayers over him. And ever his visage was laidopen and nakedthat all folks might behold him. And right thusas they were attheir servicethere came Sir Hector de Marysthat had seven years sought SirLauncelot his brotherthrough all EnglandScotland and Wales. And when SirHector heard such sounds in the chapel of Joyous Gardehe alighted and cameinto the quire. And all they knew Sir Hector. Then went Sir Bohortand told himhow there lay Sir Launcelot his brotherdead. Then Sir Hector threw his shieldhis swordand helm from him. And when he beheld Sir Launcelot's visageit werehard for any tongue to tell the doleful complaints he made for his brother."AhSir Launcelot!" he said"there thou liest. And now I dareto say thou wert never matched of none earthly knight's hand. And thou wert thecourteousest knight that ever bare shield; and thou wert the truest friend tothy lover that ever bestrode horse; and thou were the truest loverof a sinfulmanthat ever loved woman; and thou wert the kindest man that ever struck withsword. And thou wert the goodliest person that ever came among press of knights.And thou wert the meekest manand the gentlestthat ever ate in hall amongladies. And thou wert the sternest knight to thy mortal foe that ever put spearin the rest." Then there was weeping and dolor out of measure. Thus theykept Sir Launcelot's corpse fifteen daysand then they buried it with greatdevotion.

Then they went back with the hermit to his hermitage. And Sir Bedivere wasthere ever still hermit to his life's end. And Sir BohortSir HectorSirBlanor and Sir Bleoberis went into the Holy Land. And these four knights didmany battles upon the miscreantsthe Turks; and there they died upon a GoodFridayas it pleased God. -

Thus endeth this noble and joyous bookentitled La Morte d'Arthur;notwithstanding it treateth of the birthlife and acts of the said King Arthurand of his noble Knights of the Round Tabletheir marvellous enquests andadventuresthe achieving of the Sangrealand in the endla Morte d'Arthurwith the dolorous death and departing out of this world of them all. Which bookwas reduced into English by Sir Thomas MalloryKnightand divided intotwenty-one bookschaptered and imprinted and finished in the Abbey Westmestrethe last day of Julythe year of our Lord MCCCCLXXXV. -

Caxton me fieri fecit.

PART II.

THE MABINOGEON. -

CHAPTER XIX.

THE BRITONS. -

THE earliest inhabitants of Britain are supposed to have been a branch ofthat great family known in history by the designation of Celts. Cambriawhichis a frequent name for Walesis thought to be derived from Cymrithe namewhich the Welsh traditions apply to an immigrant people who entered the islandfrom the adjacent continent. This name is thought to be identical with those ofCimmerians and Cimbriunder which the Greek and Roman historians describe abarbarous peoplewho spread themselves from the north of the Euxine over thewhole of Northwestern Europe.

The origin of the names Wales and Welsh has been much canvassed. Some writersmake them a derivation from Gael or Gaulwhich names are said to signify"woodlanders"; others observe that Walshin the Northern languagessignifies a strangerand that the aboriginal Britons were so called by thosewho at a later era invaded the island and possessed the greater part of ittheSaxons and Angles.

The Romans held Britain from the invasion of Julius Caesar till theirvoluntary withdrawal from the islandA.D. 420- that isabout five hundredyears. In that time there must have been a wide diffusion of their arts andinstitutions among the natives. The remains of roadscitiesand fortificationsshow that they did much to develop and improve the countrywhile those of theirvillas and castles prove that many of the settlers possessed wealth and tastefor the ornamental arts. Yet the Roman sway was sustained chiefly by forceandnever extended over the entire island. The northern portionnow Scotlandremained independentand the western portionconstituting Wales and Cornwallwas only nominally subjected.

Neither did the later invading hordes succeed in subduing the remotersections of the island. For ages after the arrival of the Saxons under Hengistand HorsaA.D. 449the whole western coast of Britain was possessed by theaboriginal inhabitantsengaged in constant warfare with the invaders.

It hasthereforebeen a favorite boast of the people of Wales and Cornwallthat the original British stock flourishes in its unmixed purity only amongthem. We see this notion flashing out in poetry occasionallyas when Grayin"The Bard" prophetically describing Queen Elizabethwho was of theTudora Welsh racesays: -

"Her eye proclaims her of the Briton line"; - andcontrasting theprinces of the Tudor with those of the Norman racehe exclaims: -

"All hailye genuine kingsBritannia's issuehail!" -

THE WELSH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE. -

The Welsh language is one of the oldest in Europe. It possesses poems theorigin of which is referred with probability to the sixth century. The languageof some of these is so antiquatedthat the best scholars differ about theinterpretation of many passages; butgenerally speakingthe body of poetrywhich the Welsh possessfrom the year 1000 downwardsis intelligible to thosewho are acquainted with the modern language.

Till within the last half-century these compositions remained buried in thelibraries of colleges or of individualsand so difficult of access that nosuccessful attempt was made to give them to the world. This reproach wasremovedafter ineffectual appeals to the patriotism of the gentry of WalesbyOwen Jonesa furrier of Londonwho at his own expense collected and publishedthe chief productions of Welsh literatureunder the title of the MyvyrianArchaeology of Wales. In this task he was assisted by Dr. Owen and other Welshscholars.

After the cessation of Jones's exertionsthe old apathy returnedandcontinued till within a few years. Dr. Owen exerted himself to obtain supportfor the publication of the Mabinogeonor Prose Tales of the Welshbut diedwithout accomplishing his purposewhich has since been carried into executionby Lady Charlotte Guest. The legends which fill the remainder of this volume aretaken from this workof which we have already spoken more fully in theintroductory chapter to the First Part. -

THE WELSH BARDS. -

The authors to whom the oldest Welsh poems are attributed are Aneurinwho issupposed to have lived A.D. 500 and 550and TaliesinLlywarch Hen (Llywarchthe Aged)and Myrddin or Merlinwho were a few years later. The authenticityof the poems which bear their names has been assailedand it is still an openquestion how many and which of them are authenticthough it is hardly to bedoubted that some are so. The poem of Aneurinentitled the "Gododin"bears very strong marks of authenticity. Aneurin was one of the Northern Britonsof Strath-Clydewho have left to that part of the district they inhabited thename of Cumberlandor Land of the Cymri. In this poem he laments the defeat ofhis countrymen by the Saxons at the battle of Cattraethin consequence ofhaving partaken too freely of the mead before joining in combat. The bardhimself and two of his fellow-warriors were all who escaped from the field. Aportion of this poem has been translated by Grayof which the following is anextract:- -

"To Cattraeth's valein glittering row

Twice two hundred warriors go;

Every warrior's manly neck

Chains of regal honor deck

Wreathed in many a golden link;

From the golden cup they drink

Nectar that the bees produce

Or the grape's exalted juice.

Flushed with mirth and hope they burn

But none to Cattraeth's vale return

Save Aeron braveand Conan strong

Bursting through the bloody throng

And Ithe meanest of them all

That live to weepand sing their fall." -

The works of Taliesin are of much more questionable authenticity. There is astory of the adventures of Taliesin so strongly marked with mythical traits asto cast suspicion on the writings attributed to him. This story will be found inthe subsequent pages. -

THE TRIADS. -

The Triads are a peculiar species of poetical compositionof which the Welshbards have left numerous examples. They are enumerations of a triad of personsor eventsor observationsstrung together in one short sentence. This form ofcompositionoriginally inventedin all likelihoodto assist the memoryhasbeen raised by the Welsh to a degree of elegance of which it hardly at firstsight appears susceptible. The Triads are of all agessome of them probably asold as anything in the language. Short as they are individuallythe collectionin the Myvyrian Archaeology occupies more than one hundred and seventy pages ofdouble columns. We will give some specimensbeginning with personal triadsandgiving the first place to one of King Arthur's own composition:- -

"I have three heroes in battle;

Mael the talland Llyrwith his army

And Caradocthe pillar of Wales." -

"The three principal bards of the island of Britain:-

Merlin Ambrose

Merlin the son of Morfyncalled also Merlin the Wild

And Taliesinthe chief of the bards." -

"The three golden-tongued knights of the Court of Arthur:-

Gawainson of Gwyar

Drydvasson of Tryphin

And Eliwoodson of Madagap Uther." -

"The three honorable feasts of the island of Britain:-

The feast of Caswallaunafter repelling Julius Caesar from this

isle;

The feast of Aurelius Ambrosiusafter he had conquered the

Saxons;

And the feast of King Arthurat Caerleon upon Usk." -

"Gueneverthe daughter of Laodegan the giant

Bad when littleworse when great." -

Next follow some moral triads:- -

"Hast thou heard what Dremhidydd sung

An ancient watchman on the castle walls?

A refusal is better than a promise unperformed." -

"Hast thou heard what Llenleawg sung

The noble chief wearing the golden torques?

The grave is better than a life of want." -

"Hast thou heard what Garselit sung

The Irishman whom it is safe to follow?

Sin is badif long pursued." -

"Hast thou heard what Avaon sung

The son of Taliesinof the recording verse?

The cheek will not conceal the anguish of the heart." -

"Didst thou hear what Llywarch sung

The intrepid and brave old man?

Greet kindlythough there be no acquaintance."

CHAPTER XX.

THE LADY OF THE FOUNTAIN. -

KYNON'S ADVENTURE. -

KING ARTHUR was at Caerleon upon Usk; and one day he sat in his chamberandwith him were Owain the son of Urienand Kynon the son of Clydnoand Kay theson of Kynerand Guenever and her handmaidens at needlework by the window. Inthe centre of the chamber King Arthur satupon a seat of green rushes * overwhich was spread a covering of flame-colored satinand a cushion of red satinwas under his elbow.

Then Arthur spoke. "If I thought you would not disparage me" saidhe"I would sleep while I wait for my repast; and you can entertain oneanother with relating talesand can obtain a flagon of mead and some meat fromKay." And the king went to sleep. And Kynon the son of Clydno asked Kay forthat which Arthur had promised them. "I too will have the good tale whichhe promised me" said Kay. "Nay" answered Kynon; "fairerwill it be for thee to fulfil Arthur's behest in the first placeand then wewill tell thee the best tale that we know." So Kay went to the kitchen andto the mead-cellarand returnedbearing a flagon of meadand a golden gobletand a handful of skewersupon which were broiled collops of meat. Then they atethe collopsand began to drink the mead. "Now" said Kay"it istime for you to give me my story." "Kynon" said Owain"dothou pay to Kay the tale that is his due." "I will do so"answered Kynon. -

* The use of green rushes in apartments was by no means peculiar to the courtof Caerleon upon Usk. Our ancestors had a great predilection for themand theyseem to have constituted an essential articlenot only of comfort but ofluxury. The custom of strewing the floor with rushesit is well knownexistedin England during the Middle Agesand also in France. -

"I was the only son of my mother and fatherand I was exceedinglyaspiringand my daring was very great. I thought there was no enterprise in theworld too mighty for me; and after I had achieved all the adventures that werein my own countryI equipped myselfand set forth to journey through desertsand distant regions. And at length it chanced that I came to the fairest valleyin the worldwherein were trees all of equal growth; and a river ran throughthe valleyand a path was by the side of the river. And I followed the pathuntil middayand continued my journey along the remainder of the valley untilthe evening; and at the extremity of a plain I came to a large and lustrouscastleat the foot of which was a torrent. And I approached the castleandthere I beheld two youths with yellow curling haireach with a frontlet of goldupon his headand clad in a garment of yellow satin; and they had gold claspsupon their insteps. In the hand of each of them was an ivory bowstrung withthe sinews of the stagand their arrows and their shafts were of the bone ofthe whaleand were winged with peacocks' feathers. The shafts also had goldenheads. And they had daggers with blades of goldand with hilts of the bone ofthe whale. And they were shooting at a mark.

"And a little way from them I saw a man in the prime of lifewith hisbeard newly shornclad in a robe and mantle of yellow satinand round the topof his mantle was a band of gold lace. On his feet were shoes of variegatedleather* fastened by two bosses of gold. When I saw him I went towards him andsaluted him; and such was his courtesythat he no sooner received my greetingthan he returned it. And he went with me towards the castle. Now there were nodwellers in the castleexcept those who were in one hall. And there I saw fourand twenty damselsembroidering satin at a window. And this I tell theeKaythat the least fair of them was fairer than the fairest maid thou didst everbehold in the island of Britain; and the least lovely of them was more lovelythan Gueneverthe wife of Arthurwhen she appeared loveliestat the feast ofEaster. They rose up at my comingand six of them took my horseand divestedme of my armorand six others took my armsand washed them in a vessel tillthey were perfectly bright. And the third six spread cloths upon the tablesandprepared meat. And the fourth six took off my soiled garmentsand placed othersupon menamelyan under vest and a doublet of fine linenand a robe and asurcoatand a mantle of yellow satinwith a broad gold band upon the mantle.And they placed cushions both beneath and around mewith coverings of redlinen. And I sat down. Now the six maidens who had taken my horse unharnessedhim as well as if they had been the best squires in the island of Britain. -

* Cordwal is the word in the originaland from the manner in which it isused it is evidently intended for the French Cordouan or Cordovan leatherwhichderived its name from Cordovawhere it was manufactured. From this comes alsoour English word cordwainer. -

"Then behold they brought bowls of silverwherein was water to washand towels of linensome green and some white; and I washed. And in a littlewhile the man sat down at the table. And I sat next to himand below me sat allthe maidensexcept those who waited on us. And the table was of silverand thecloths upon the table were of linen. And no vessel was served upon the tablethat was not either of gold or of silver or of buffalo-horn. And our meat wasbrought to us. And verilyKayI saw there every sort of meat and every sort ofliquor that I ever saw elsewhere; but the meat and the liquor were better servedthere than I ever saw them in any other place.

"Until the repast was half overneither the man nor any one of thedamsels spoke a single word to me; but when the man perceived that it would bemore agreeable for me to converse than to eat any morehe began to inquire ofme who I was. Then I told the man who I wasand what was the cause of myjourneyand said that I was seeking whether any one was superior to meorwhether I could gain the mastery over all. The man looked upon meand he smiledand said'If I did not fear to do thee a mischiefI would show thee that whichthou seekest.' Then I desired him to speak freely. And he said: 'Sleep hereto-nightand in the morning arise earlyand take the road upwards through thevalleyuntil thou reachest the wood. A little way within the wood thou wiltcome to a large sheltered gladewith a mound in the centre. And thou wilt see ablack man of great stature on the top of the mound. He has but one footand oneeye in the middle of his forehead. He is the wood-ward of that wood. And thouwilt see a thousand wild animals grazing around him. Inquire of him the way outof the gladeand he will reply to thee brieflyand will point out the road bywhich thou shalt find that which thou art in quest of.'

"And long seemed that night to me. And the next morning I arose andequipped myselfand mounted my horseand proceeded straight through the valleyto the woodand at length I arrived at the glade. And the black man was theresitting upon the top of the mound; and I was three times more astonished at thenumber of wild animals that I beheldthan the man had said I should be. Then Iinquired of him the wayand he asked me roughly whither I would go. And when Ihad told him who I wasand what I sought'Take' said he'that path thatleads toward the head of the gladeand there thou wilt find an open space liketo a large valleyand in the midst of it a tall tree. Under this tree is afountainand by the side of the fountain a marble slaband on the marble slaba silver bowlattached by a chain of silverthat it may not be carried away.Take the bowland throw a bowlful of water on the slab. And if thou dost notfind trouble in that adventurethou needest not seek it during the rest of thylife.'

"So I journeyed on until I reached the summit of the steep. And there Ifound everything as the black man had described it to me. And I went up to thetreeand beneath it I saw the fountainand by its side the marble slabandthe silver bowl fastened by the chain. Then I took the bowland cast a bowlfulof water upon the slab. And immediately I heard a mighty peal of thundersothat heaven and earth seemed to tremble with its fury. And after the thundercame a shower; and of a truth I tell theeKaythat it was such a shower asneither man nor beast could endure and live. I turned my horse's flank towardthe showerand placed the beak of my shield over his head and neckwhile Iheld the upper part of it over my own neck. And thus I withstood the shower. Andpresently the sky became clearand with thatbeholdthe birds lighted uponthe treeand sang. And trulyKayI never heard any melody equal to thateither before or since. And when I was most charmed with listening to the birdslo! a chiding voice was heard of one approaching meand saying'O knightwhathas brought thee hither? What evil have I done to theethat thou shouldst acttowards me and my possessions as thou hast this day? Dost thou not know that theshower to-day has left in my dominions neither man nor beast alive that wasexposed to it?' And thereuponbeholda knight on a black horse appearedclothed in jet-black velvetand with a tabard of black linen about him. And wecharged each otherandas the onset was furiousit was not long before I wasoverthrown. Then the knight passed the shaft of his lance through thebridle-rein of my horseand rode off with the two horsesleaving me where Iwas. And he did not even bestow so much notice upon me as to imprison menordid he despoil me of my arms. So I returned along the road by which I had come.And when I reached the glade where the black man wasI confess to theeKayitis a marvel that I did not melt down into a liquid poolthrough the shame Ifelt at the black man's derision. And that night I came to the same castle whereI had spent the night preceding. And I was more agreeably entertained that nightthan I had been the night before. And I conversed freely with the inmates of thecastle; and none of them alluded to my expedition to the fountainneither did Imention it to any. And I remained there that night. When I arose on the morrow Ifound ready saddled a dark bay palfreywith nostrils as red as scarlet. Andafter putting on my armorand leaving there my blessingI returned to my owncourt. And that horse I still possessand he is in the stable yonder. And Ideclare that I would not part with him for the best palfrey in the island ofBritain.

"Nowof a truthKayno man ever before confessed to an adventure somuch to his own discredit; and verily it seems strange to me that neither beforenor since have I heard of any person who knew of this adventureand that thesubject of it should exist within King Arthur's dominions without any otherperson lighting upon it."

CHAPTER XXI.

THE LADY OF THE FOUNTAINCONTINUED. -

OWAIN'S ADVENTURE. * -

* Amongst all the characters of early British history none is moreinteresting or occupies a more conspicuous placethan the hero of this tale.Urienhis fatherwas prince of Rhegeda district comprising the presentCumberland and part of the adjacent country. His valor and the consideration inwhich he was held are a frequent theme of Bardic songand form the subject ofseveral very spirited odes by Taliesin. Among the Triads there is one relatingto him; it is thus translated:-

"Three Knights of Battle were in the court of Arthur: Cadwr the Earl ofCornwallLauncelot du Lacand Owain the son of Urien. And this was theircharacteristic- that they would not retreat from battleneither for spearnorfor arrownor for sword. And Arthur never had shame in battle the day he sawtheir faces there. And they were called the Knights of Battle." -

"Now" quoth Owain"would it not be well to go and endeavorto discover that place?"

"By the hand of my friend" said Kay"often dost thou utterthat with thy tongue which thou wouldest not make good with thy deeds."

"In very truth" said Guenever"it were better thou werthangedKaythan to use such uncourteous speech towards a man like Owain."

"By the hand of my friendgood lady" said Kay; "thy praiseof Owain is not greater than mine."

With that Arthur awokeand asked if he had not been sleeping a little.

"Yeslord" answered Owain"thou hast slept awhile."

"Is it time for us to go to meat?"

"It islord" said Owain.

Then the horn for washing was soundedand the king and all his household satdown to eat. And when the meal was endedOwain withdrew to his lodgingandmade ready his horse and his arms.

On the morrow with the dawn of day he put on his armorand mounted hischargerand travelled through distant landsand over desert mountains. And atlength he arrived at the valley which Kynon had described to himand he wascertain that it was the same that he sought. And journeying along the valleybythe side of the riverhe followed its course till he came to the plainandwithin sight of the castle. When he approached the castlehe saw the youthsshooting with their bowsin the place where Kynon had seen themand the yellowmanto whom the castle belongedstanding hard by. And no sooner had Owainsaluted the yellow manthan he was saluted by him in return.

And he went forward towards the castleand there he saw the chamber; andwhen he had entered the chamberhe beheld the maidens working at satinembroideryin chains of gold. And their beauty and their comeliness seemed toOwain far greater than Kynon had represented to him. And they arose to wait uponOwainas they had done to Kynon. And the meal which they set before him gaveeven more satisfaction to Owain than it had done to Kynon.

About the middle of the repast the yellow man asked Owain the object of hisjourney. And Owain made it known to himand said"I am in quest of theknight who guards the fountain." Upon this the yellow man smiledand saidthat he was as loath to point out that adventure to him as he had been to Kynon.Howeverhe described the whole to Owainand they retired to rest.

The next morning Owain found his horse made ready for him by the damselsandhe set forward and came to the glade where the black man was. And the stature ofthe black man seemed more wonderful to Owain than it had done to Kynon; andOwain asked of him his roadand he showed it to him. And Owain followed theroad till he came to the green tree; and he beheld the fountainand the slabbeside the fountainand the bowl upon it. And Owain took the bowl and threw abowlful of water upon the slab. Andlo! the thunder was heardand after thethunder came the showermore violent than Kynon had describedand after theshower the sky became bright. And immediately the birds came and settled uponthe tree and sang. And when their song was most pleasing to Owainhe beheld aknight coming towards him through the valley; and he prepared to receive himand encountered him violently. Having broken both their lancesthey drew theirswords and fought blade to blade. Then Owain struck the knight a blow throughhis helmethead-pieceand visorand through the skinand the fleshand theboneuntil it wounded the very brain. Then the black knight felt that he hadreceived a mortal woundupon which he turned his horse's head and fled. AndOwain pursued himand followed close upon himalthough he was not near enoughto strike him with his sword. Then Owain descried a vast and resplendent castle;and they came to the castle gate. And the black knight was allowed to enterandthe portcullis was let fall upon Owain; and it struck his horse behind thesaddleand cut him in twoand carried away the rowels of the spurs that wereupon Owain's heels. And the portcullis descended to the floor. And the rowels ofthe spurs and part of the horse were withoutand Owain with the other part ofthe horse remained between the two gatesand the inner gate was closedso thatOwain could not go thence; and Owain was in a perplexing situation. And while hewas in this statehe could see through an aperture in the gate a street facinghimwith a row of houses on each side. And he beheld a maidenwith yellowcurling hairand a frontlet of gold upon her head; and she was clad in a dressof yellow satinand on her feet were shoes of variegated leather. And sheapproached the gateand desired that it should be opened. "Heaven knowslady" said Owain"it is no more possible for me to open to thee fromhencethan it is for thee to set me free." And he told her his nameandwho he was. "Truly" said the damsel"it is very sad that thoucanst not be released; and every woman ought to succor theefor I know there isno one more faithful in the service of ladies than thou. Therefore" quothshe"whatever is in my power to do for thy releaseI will do it. Takethis ringand put it on thy fingerwith the stone inside thy handand closethy hand upon the stone. And as long as thou concealest itit will concealthee. When they come forth to fetch theethey will be much grieved that theycannot find thee. And I will await thee on the horseblock yonderand thou wiltbe able to see methough I cannot see thee. Therefore come and place thy handupon my shoulderthat I may know that thou art near me. And by the way that Igo hencedo thou accompany me."

Then the maiden went away from Owainand he did all that she had told him.And the people of the castle came to seek Owain to put him to death; and whenthey found nothing but the half of his horsethey were sorely grieved.

And Owain vanished from among themand went to the maidenand placed hishand upon her shoulder; whereupon she set offand Owain followed heruntilthey came to the door of a large and beautiful chamberand the maiden openeditand they went in. And Owain looked around the chamberand behold there wasnot a single nail in it that was not painted with gorgeous colorsand there wasnot a single panel that had not sundry images in gold portrayed upon it.

The maiden kindled a fireand took water in a silver bowland gave Owainwater to wash. Then she placed before him a silver tableinlaid with gold; uponwhich was a cloth of yellow linenand she brought him food. Andof a truthOwain never saw any kind of meat that was not there in abundancebut it wasbetter cooked there than he had ever found it in any other place. And there wasnot one vessel from which he was served that was not of gold or of silver. AndOwain ate and drank until late in the afternoonwhenlo! they heard a mightyclamor in the castleand Owain asked the maiden what it was. "They areadministering extreme unction" said she"to the nobleman who ownsthe castle." And she prepared a couch for Owain which was meet for Arthurhimselfand Owain went to sleep.

And a little after daybreak he heard an exceeding loud clamor and wailingand asked the maiden what was the cause of it. "They are bearing to thechurch the body of the nobleman who owned the castle."

And Owain rose upand clothed himselfand opened a window of the chamberand looked towards the castle; and he could see neither the bounds nor theextent of the hosts that filled the streets. And they were fully armed; and avast number of women were with themboth on horseback and on footand all theecclesiastics in the city singing. In the midst of the throng he beheld thebierover which was a veil of white linen; and wax tapers were burning besideand around it; and none that supported the bier was lower in rank than apowerful baron.

Never did Owain see an assemblage so gorgeous with silk * and satin. Andfollowing the trainhe beheld a lady with yellow hair falling over hershouldersand stained with blood; and about her a dress of yellow satinwhichwas torn. Upon her feet were shoes of variegated leather. And it was a marvelthat the ends of her fingers were not bruised from the violence with which shesmote her hands together. Truly she would have been the fairest lady Owain eversaw had she been in her usual guise. And her cry was louder than the shout ofthe men or the clamor of the trumpets. No sooner had he beheld the lady than hebecame inflamed with her loveso that it took entire possession of him. -

* Before the sixth century all the silk used by Europeans had been brought tothem by the Seresthe ancestors of the present Boukharianswhence it derivedits Latin name of Serica. In 551 the silkworm was brought by two monks toConstantinople; but the manufacture of silk was confined to the Greek empiretill the year 1130when Rogerking of Sicilyreturning from a crusadecollected some manufacturers from Athens and Corinthand established them atPalermowhence the trade was gradually disseminated over Italy. The varietiesof silk stuffs known at this time were velvetsatin (which was called samite)and taffety (called cendal or sendall)all of which were occasionally stitchedwith gold and silver. -

Then he inquired of the maiden who the lady was. "Heaven knows"replied the maiden"she is the fairestand the most chasteand the mostliberaland the most noble of women. She is my mistressand she is called theCountess of the Fountainthe wife of him whom thou didst slay yesterday.""Verily" said Owain"she is the woman that I love best.""Verily" said the maiden"she shall also love theenot alittle."

Then the maiden prepared a repast for Owainand truly he thought he hadnever before so good a mealnor was he ever so well served. Then she left himand went towards the castle. When she came there she found nothing but mourningand sorrow; and the Countess in her chamber could not bear the sight of any onethrough grief. Lunedfor that was the name of the maidensaluted herbut theCountess answered her not. And the maiden bent down towards herand said"What aileth thee that thou answerest no one to-day?""Luned" said the Countess"what change hath befallen thee thatthou hast not come to visit me in my grief? It was wrong in theeand I sosorely afflicted." "Truly" said Luned"I thought thy goodsense was greater than I find it to be. Is it well for thee to mourn after thatgood manor for anything else that thou canst not have?" "I declareto Heaven" said the Countess"that in the whole world there is not aman equal to him." "Not so" said Luned"for an ugly manwould be as good asor better than he." "I declare to Heaven"said the Countess"that were it not repugnant to me to put to death onewhom I have brought up I would have thee executed for making such comparison tome. As it isI will banish thee." "I am glad" said Luned"that thou hast no other cause to do so than that I would have been ofservice to theewhere thou didst not know what was to thine advantage.Henceforth evil betide whichever of us shall make the first advance towardsreconciliation to the otherwhether I should seek an invitation from theeorthou of thine own accord shouldst send to invite me."

With that Luned went forth; and the Countess arose and followed her to thedoor of the chamberand began coughing loudly. And when Luned looked back theCountess beckoned to herand she returned to the Countess. "Intruth" said the Countess"evil is thy disposition; but if thouknowest what is to my advantagedeclare it to me." "I will doso" said she.

"Thou knowest thatexcept by warfare and armsit is impossible forthee to preserve thy possessions; delay notthereforeto seek some one who candefend them." "And how can I do that?" said the Countess. "Iwill tell thee" said Luned; "unless thou canst defend the fountainthou canst not maintain thy dominions; and no one can defend the fountain exceptit be a knight of Arthur's household. I will go to Arthur's courtand illbetide me if I return not thence with a warrior who can guard the fountain aswell asor even betterthan he who defended it formerly." "That willbe hard to perform" said the Countess. "Gohoweverand make proofof that which thou hast promised."

Luned set out under the pretence of going to Arthur's court; but she wentback to the mansion where she had left Owainand she tarried there as long asit might have taken her to travel to the court of King Arthur and back. And atthe end of that time she apparelled herselfand went to visit the Countess. Andthe Countess was much rejoiced when she saw herand inquired what news shebrought from the court. "I bring thee the best of news" said Luned"for I have compassed the object of my mission. When wilt thou that Ishould present to thee the chieftain who has come with me thither?""Bring him here to visit me to-morrow" said the Countess"and Iwill cause the town to be assembled by that time."

And Luned returned home. And the next dayat noonOwain arrayed himself ina coat and a surcoatand a mantle of yellow satinupon which was a broad bandof gold lace; and on his feet were high shoes of variegated leatherwhich werefastened by golden claspsin the form of lions. And they proceeded to thechamber of the Countess.

Right glad was the Countess of their coming. And she gazed steadfastly uponOwainand said"Lunedthis knight has not the look of a traveller.""What harm is there in thatlady?" said Luned. "I amcertain" said the Countess"that no other man than this chased thesoul from the body of my lord." "So much the better for theelady" said Luned"for had he not been stronger than thy lordhecould not have deprived him of life. There is no remedy for that which is pastbe it as it may." "Go back to thine abode" said the Countess"and I will take counsel."

The next day the Countess caused all her subjects to assembleand showedthem that her earldom was left defencelessand that it could not be protectedbut with horse and armsand military skill. "Therefore" said she"this is what I offer for your choice: either let one of you take meorgive your consent for me to take a husband from elsewhereto defend mydominions."

So they came to the determination that it was better that she should havepermission to marry some one from elsewhere; and thereupon she sent for thebishops and archbishopsto celebrate her nuptials with Owain. And the men ofthe earldom did Owain homage.

And Owain defended the fountain with lance and sword. And this is the mannerin which he defended it. Whensoever a knight came therehe overthrew himandsold him for his full worth. And what he thus gained he divided among his baronsand his knightsand no man in the whole world could be more beloved than he wasby his subjects. And it was thus for the space of three years. * -

* There exists an ancient poemprinted among those of Taliesincalled theElegy of Owain ap Urienand containing several very beautiful and spiritedpassages. It commences: -

"The soul of Owain ap Urien

May its Lord consider its exigencies!

Reged's chief the green turf covers." -

In the course of this Elegythe bardalluding to the incessant welfare withwhich this chieftain harassed his Saxon foesexclaims: -

"Could England sleep with the light upon her eyes!"

CHAPTER XXII.

THE LADY OF THE FOUNTAINCONTINUED. -

GAWAIN'S ADVENTURE. -

IT befell thatas Gawain went forth one day with King Arthurhe perceivedhim to be very sad and sorrowful. And Gawain was much grieved to see Arthur inthis stateand he questioned himsaying"O my lordwhat has befallenthee?" "In soothGawain" said Arthur"I am grievedconcerning Owainwhom I have lost these three years; and I shall certainly dieif the fourth year pass without my seeing him. Now I am sure that it is throughthe tale which Kynonthe son of Clydnorelatedthat I have lost Owain.""There is no need for thee" said Gawain"to summon to arms thywhole dominions on this accountfor thou thyselfand the men of thy householdwill be able to avenge Owain if he be slainor to set him free if he be inprison; andif aliveto bring him back with thee." And it was settledaccording to what Gawain had said.

Then Arthur and the men of his household prepared to go and seek Owain. AndKynonthe son of Clydnoacted as their guide. And Arthur came to the castlewhere Kynon had been before. And when he came therethe youths were shooting inthe same placeand the yellow man was standing hard by. When the yellow man sawArthurhe greeted himand invited him to the castle. And Arthur accepted hisinvitationand they entered the castle together. And great as was the number ofhis retinuetheir presence was scarcely observed in the castleso vast was itsextent. And the maidens rose up to wait on them. And the service of the maidensappeared to them all to excel any attendance they had ever met with; and eventhe pageswho had charge of the horseswere no worse served that night thanArthur himself would have been in his own palace.

The next morning Arthur set out thencewith Kynon for his guideand came tothe place where the black man was. And the stature of the black man was moresurprising to Arthur than it had been represented to him. And they came to thetop of the wooded steepand traversed the valleytill they reached the greentreewhere they saw the fountain and the bowl and the slab. And upon that Kaycame to Arthurand spoke to him. "My lord" said he"I know themeaning of all thisand my request is that thou wilt permit me to throw thewater on the slaband to receive the first adventure that may befall." AndArthur gave him leave.

Then Kay threw a bowlful of water upon the slaband immediately there camethe thunderand after the thunder the shower. And such a thunder-storm they hadnever known before. After the shower had ceasedthe sky became clearand onlooking at the treethey beheld it completely leafless. Then the birdsdescended upon the tree.

And the song of the birds was far sweeter than any strain they had ever heardbefore. Then they beheld a knighton a coal-black horseclothed in blacksatincoming rapidly towards them. And Kay met him and encountered himand itwas not long before Kay was overthrown. And the knight withdrew. And Arthur andhis host encamped for the night.

And when they arose in the morningthey perceived the signal of combat uponthe lance of the knight. Thenone by oneall the household of Arthur wentforth to combat the knightuntil there was not one that was not overthrown byhimexcept Arthur and Gawain. And Arthur armed himself to encounter the knight."O my lord" said Gawain"permit me to fight with himfirst." And Arthur permitted him. And he went forth to meet the knighthaving over himself and his horse a satin robe of honorwhich had been sent himby the daughter of the Earl of Rhangyrand in this dress he was not known byany of the host. And they charged each otherand fought all that day until theevening. And neither of them was able to unhorse the other. And so it was thenext day; they broke their lances in the shockbut neither of them could obtainthe mastery.

And the third day they fought with exceeding strong lances. And they wereincensed with rageand fought furiouslyeven until noon. And they gave eachother such a shockthat the girths of their horses were brokenso that theyfell over their horses' cruppers to the ground. And they rose up speedily anddrew their swordsand resumed the combat. And all they that witnessed theirencounter felt assured that they had never before seen two men so valiant or sopowerful. And had it been midnightit would have been lightfrom the fire thatflashed from their weapons. And the knight gave Gawain a blow that turned hishelmet from off his faceso that the knight saw that it was Gawain. Then Owainsaid"My lord GawainI did not know thee for my cousinowing to the robeof honor that enveloped thee; take my sword and my arms." Said Gawain"ThouOwainart the victor; take thou my sword." And with thatArthur saw that they were conversingand advanced toward them. "My lordArthur" said Gawain"here is Owain who has vanquished meand willnot take my arms." "My lord" said Owain"it is he that hasvanquished meand he will not take my sword." "Give me yourswords" said Arthur"and then neither of you has vanquished theother." Then Owain put his arms around Arthur's neckand they embraced.And all the host hurried forwardto see Owainand to embrace him. And therewas nigh being a loss of lifeso great was the press.

And they retired that nightand the next day Arthur prepared to depart."My lord" said Owain"this is not well of thee. For I have beenabsent from thee these three yearsand during all that timeup to this verydayI have been preparing a banquet for theeknowing that thou wouldst come toseek me. Tarry with methereforeuntil thou and thy attendants have recoveredthe fatigues of the journeyand have been anointed."

And they all proceeded to the castle of the Countess of the Fountainand thebanquet which had been three years preparing was consumed in three months. Neverhad they a more delicious or agreeable banquet. And Arthur prepared to depart.Then he sent an embassy to the Countess to beseech her to permit Owain to gowith him for the space of three monthsthat he might show him to the nobles andthe fair dames of the island of Britain. And the Countess gave her consentalthough it was very painful to her. So Owain came with Arthur to the island ofBritain. And when he was once more amongst his kindred and friendshe remainedthree yearsinstead of three monthswith them. -

THE ADVENTURE OF THE LION. -

And as Owain one day sat at meatin the city of Caerleon upon Uskbehold adamsel entered the hallupon a bay horse* with a curling nameand coveredwith foam; and the bridleand as much as was seen of the saddlewere of gold.And the damsel was arrayed in a dress of yellow satin. And she came up to Owainand took the ring from off his hand. "Thus" said she"shall betreated the deceiverthe traitorthe faithlessthe disgracedand thebeardless." And she turned her horse's headand departed. -

* The custom of riding into a hall while the lord and his guests sat at meatmight be illustrated by numerous passages of ancient romance and history. But aquotation from Chaucer's beautiful and half-told tale of Cambuscan issufficient: -

"And so befell that after the thridde cours

While that this king sat thus in his nobley

Herking his minstralles thir thinges play

Beforne him at his bord deliciously

In at the halle door all sodenly

Ther came a knight upon a stede of bras

And in his hond a brod mirrour of glas

Upon his thombe he had of gold a ring

And by his side a naked sword hanging;

And up he rideth to the highe bord.

In all the halle ne was ther spoke a word

For mervaille of this knight; him to behold

Full besily they waitenyoung and old." -

Then his adventure came to Owain's remembranceand he was sorrowful. Andhaving finished eatinghe went to his own abodeand made preparations thatnight. And the next day he arosebut did not go to the courtnor did he returnto the Countess of the Fountainbut wandered to the distant parts of the earthand to uncultivated mountains. And he remained there until all his apparel wasworn out and his body was wasted awayand his hair was grown long. And he wentabout with the wild beastsand fed with themuntil they became familiar withhim. But at length he became so weak that he could no longer bear them company.Then he descended from the mountains to the valleyand came to a parkthat wasthe fairest in the worldand belonged to a charitable lady.

One day the lady and her attendants went forth to walk by a lake that was inthe middle of the park. And they saw the form of a man lying as if dead. Andthey were terrified. Nevertheless they went near himand touched himand theysaw that there was life in him. And the lady returned to the castleand took aflask full of precious ointment and gave it to one of her maidens. "Go withthis" said she"and take with thee yonder horseand clothingandplace them near the man we saw just nowand anoint him with this balsam nearhis heart; and if there is life in him he will revivethrough the efficiency ofthis balsam. Then watch what he will do."

And the maiden departed from herand went and poured of the balsam uponOwainand left the horse and the garments hard byand went a little way offand hid herself to watch him. In a short time she saw him begin to move; and herose up and looked at his personand became ashamed of the unseemliness of hisappearance. Then he perceived the horse and the garments that were near him. Andbe clothed himself and with difficulty mounted the horse. Then the damseldiscovered herself to himand saluted him. And he and the maiden proceeded tothe castleand the maiden conducted him to a pleasant chamberand kindled afireand left him.

And he stayed at the castle three monthstill he was restored to his formerguiseand became even more comely than he had ever been before. And Owainrendered signal service to the lady in a controversy with a powerful neighborso that he made ample requital to her for her hospitality; and he took hisdeparture.

And as he journeyed he heard a loud yelling in a wood. And it was repeated asecond and a third time. And Owain went towards the spotand beheld a hugecraggy moundin the middle of the woodon the side of which was a gray rock.And there was a cleft in the rockand a serpent was within the cleft. And nearthe rock stood a black lionand every time the lion sought to go thence theserpent darted towards him to attack him. And Owain unsheathed his swordanddrew near to the rock; and as the serpent sprung out he struck him with hissword and cut him in two. And he dried his swordand went on his way as before.But behold the lion followed himand played about himas though it had been agreyhound that he had reared.

They proceeded thus throughout the dayuntil the evening. And when it wastime for Owain to take his rest he dismountedand turned his horse loose in aflat and wooded meadow. And he struck fireand when the fire was kindled thelion brought him fuel enough to last for three nights. And the lion disappeared.And presently the lion returnedbearing a fine large roebuck. And he threw itdown before Owainwho went towards the fire with it.

And Owain took the roebuck and skinned itand placed collops of its fleshupon skewers round the fire. The rest of the buck he gave to the lion to devour.While he was so employed he heard a deep groan near himand a secondand athird. And the place whence the groans proceeded was a cave in the rock; andOwain went nearand called out to know who it was that groaned so piteously.And a voice answered"I am Lunedthe handmaiden of the Countess of theFountain." "And what dost thou here?" said he. "I amimprisoned" said she"on account of the knight who came fromArthur's court and married the Countess. And he stayed a short time with herbut he afterwards departed for the court of Arthurand has not returned since.And two of the Countess's pages traduced himand called him a deceiver. Andbecause I said I would vouch for it he would come before long and maintain hiscause against both of them they imprisoned me in this caveand said that Ishould be put to death unless he came to deliver me by a certain day; and thatis no further off than tomorrowand I have no one to send to seek him for me.His name is Owainthe son of Urien." "And art thou certain that ifthat knight knew all this he would come to thy rescue?" "I am mostcertain of it" said she.

When the collops were cookedOwain divided them into two partsbetweenhimself and the maidenand then Owain laid himself down to sleep; and never didsentinel keep stricter watch over his lord than the lion that night over Owain.

And the next day there came two pages with a great troop of attendants totake Luned from her celland put her to death. And Owain asked them what chargethey had against her. And they told him of the compact that was between them; asthe maiden had done the night before. "And" said they"Owainhas failed hertherefore we are taking her to be burnt.""Truly" said Owain"he is a good knightand if he knew thatthe maiden was in such perilI marvel that he came not to her rescue. But ifyou will accept me in his steadI will do battle with you." "Wewill" said the youths.

And they attacked Owainand he was hard beset by them. And with thatthelion came to Owain's assistanceand they two got the better of the young men.And they said to him"Chieftainit was not agreed that we should fightsave with thyself aloneand it is harder for us to contend with yonder animalthan with thee." And Owain put the lion in the place where Luned had beenimprisonedand blocked up the door with stones. And he went to fight with theyoung men as before. But Owain had not his usual strengthand the two youthspressed hard upon him. And the lion roared incessantly at seeing Owain introuble. And he burst through the walluntil he found his way outand rushedupon the young men and instantly slew them. So Luned was saved from beingburned.

Then Owain returned with Luned to the castle of the Lady of the Fountain. Andwhen he went thencehe took the Countess with him to Arthur's courtand shewas his wife as long as she lived.

CHAPTER XXIII.

GERAINTTHE SON OF ERBIN. -

ARTHUR was accustomed to hold his court at Caerleon upon Usk. And there heheld it seven Easters and five Christmases. And once upon a time he held hiscourt there at Whitsuntide. For Caerleon was the place most easy of access inhis dominionsboth by sea and by land. And there were assembled nine crownedkingswho were his tributariesand likewise earls and barons. For they werehis invited guests at all the high festivalsunless they were prevented by anygreat hinderance. And when he was at Caerleon holding his courtthirteenchurches were set apart for mass. And thus they were appointed: one church forArthur and his kingsand his guests; and the second for Guenever and herladies; and the third for the steward of the household and the suitors; and thefourth for the Franks and the other officers; and the other nine churches werefor the nine masters of the householdand chiefly for Gawainfor hefrom theeminence of his warlike fameand from the nobleness of his birthwas the mostexalted of the nine. And there was no other arrangement respecting the churchesthan that which we have here mentioned.

And on Whit-Tuesdayas the king sat at the banquetlothere entered atallfair-headed youthclad in a coat and surcoat of satinand agolden-hilted sword about his neckand low shoes of leather upon his feet. Andhe came and stood before Arthur. "Hail to theelord" said he."Heaven prosper thee" he answered"and be thou welcome.""Dost thou bring any new tidings?" "I dolord" he said."I am one of thy foresterslordin the forest of Deanand my name isMadocson of Turgadarn. In the forest I saw a stagthe like of which beheld Inever yet." "What is there about him" asked Arthur"thatthou never yet didst see his like?" "He is of pure whitelordand hedoes not herd with any other animalthrough stateliness and prideso royal ishis bearing. And I come to seek thy counsellordand to know thy willconcerning him. "It seems best to me" said Arthur"to go andhunt him to-morrow at break of dayand to cause general notice thereof to begiven to-nightin all quarters of the court." And Arryfuerys was Arthur'schief huntsmanand Arelivri his chief page. And all received notice; and thusit was arranged.

Then Guenever said to Arthur"Wilt thou permit melordto goto-morrow to see and hear the hunt of the stag of which the young manspoke?" "I will gladly" said Arthur. And Gawain said to Arthur"Lordif it seem well to theepermit that into whose hunt soever the stagshall comethat onebe he a knight or one on footmay cut off his headandgive it to whom he pleaseswhether to his own lady-loveor to the lady of hisfriend." "I grant it gladly" said Arthur"and let thesteward of the household be chastisedif all things are not ready to-morrow forthe chase."

And they passed the night with songs and diversions and discourseand ampleentertainment. And when it was time for them all to go to sleepthey went. Andwhen the next day camethey arose. And Arthur called the attendants who guardedhis couch. And there were four pages whose names were Cadyrnerththe son ofGandwyand Ambreuthe son of Bedworand Amharthe son of Arthurand Goreuthe son of Custennin. And these men came to Arthur and saluted himand arrayedhim in his garments. And Arthur wondered that Guenever did not awakeand theattendants wished to awaken her. "Disturb her not" said Arthur"for she had rather sleep than go to see the hunting."

Then Arthur went forthand he heard two horns soundingone from near thelodging of the chief huntsmanand the other from near that of the chief page.And the whole assembly of the multitudes came to Arthurand they took the roadto the forest.

And after Arthur had gone forth from the palaceGuenever awokeand calledto her maidensand apparelled herself. "Maidens" said she"Ihad leave last night to go and see the hunt. Go one of you to the stableandorder hither a horse such as a woman may ride." And one of them wentandshe found but two horses in the stable; and Guenever and one of her maidensmounted themand went through the Uskand followed the track of the men andthe horses. And as they rode thusthey heard a loud and rushing sound; and theylooked behind themand beheld a knight upon a hunter foal of mighty size. Andthe rider was a fair-haired youthbare-leggedand of princely mien; and agolden-hilted sword was at his sideand a robe and a surcoat of satin were uponhimand two low shoes of leather were upon his feet; and around him was a scarfof blue purpleat each corner of which was a golden apple. And his horsestepped stately and swift and proud; and he overtook Gueneverand saluted her."Heaven prosper theeGeraint" said she; "and why didst thou notgo with thy lord to hunt?" "Because I knew not when he went"said he. "I marvel too" said she"how he could gounknown tome. But thouO young manart the most agreeable companion I could have in thewhole kingdom; and it may be I shall be more amused with the hunting than they;for we shall hear the horns when they soundand we shall hear the dogs whenthey are let loose and begin to cry."

So they went to the edge of the forestand there they stood. "From thisplace" said she"we shall hear when the dogs are let loose."And thereupon they heard a loud noise; and they looked towards the spot whenceit cameand they beheld a dwarf riding upon a horsestately and foaming andprancing and strong and spirited. And in the hand of the dwarf was a whip. Andnear the dwarf they saw a lady upon a beautiful white horseof steady andstately pace; and she was clothed in a garment of gold brocade. And near her wasa knight upon a war-horse of large sizewith heavy and bright armor both uponhimself and upon his horse. And truly they never before saw a knightor ahorseor armorof such remarkable size.

"Geraint" said Guenever"knowest thou the name of that tallknight yonder?" "I know him not" said he"and the strangearmor that he wears prevents my either seeing his face or his features.""Gomaiden" said Guenever"and ask the dwarf who that knightis." Then the maiden went up to the dwarf; and she inquired of the dwarfwho the knight was. "I will not tell thee" he answered. "Sincethou art so churlish" said she"I will ask himmyself.""Thou shalt not ask himby my faith" said he. "Whereforenot?" said she. "Because thou art not of honor sufficient to befitthee to speak to my lord." Then the maiden turned her horse's head towardsthe knightupon which the dwarf struck her with the whip that was in his handacross the face and the eyesso that the blood flowed forth. And the maidenreturned to Guenevercomplaining of the hurt she had received. "Veryrudely has the dwarf treated thee" said Geraintand he put his hand uponthe hilt of his sword. But he took counsel with himselfand considered that itwould be no vengeance for him to slay the dwarfand to be attacked unarmed bythe armed knight; so he refrained.

"Lady" said he"I will follow himwith thy permissionandat last he will come to some inhabited placewhere I may have armseither as aloan or for a pledgeso that I may encounter the knight." "Go"said she"and do not attack him until thou hast good arms; and I shall bevery anxious concerning theeuntil I hear tidings of thee." "If I amalive" said he"thou shalt hear tidings of me by to-morrowafternoon;" and with that he departed.

And the road they took was below the palace of Caerleonand across the fordof the Usk; and they went along a fair and even and lofty ridge of grounduntilthey came to a townand at the extremity of the town they saw a fortress and acastle. And as the knight passed through the townall the people arose andsaluted himand bade him welcome. And when Geraint came into the townhelooked at every house to see if he knew any of those whom he saw. But he knewnoneand none knew himto do him the kindness to let him have armseither asa loan or for a pledge. And every house he saw was full of men and arms andhorses. And they were polishing shieldsand burnishing swordsand washingarmorand shoeing horses. And the knight and the lady and the dwarf rode up tothe castlethat was in the townand every one was glad in the castle. And fromthe battlements and the gates they risked their necksthrough their eagernessto greet themand to show their joy.

Geraint stood there to see whether the knight would remain in the castle; andwhen he was certain that he would do sohe looked around him. And at a littledistance from the town he saw an old palace in ruinswherein was a hall thatwas falling to decay. And as he knew not any one in the townhe went towardsthe old palace. And when he came near to the palacehe saw a hoary-headed manstanding by itin tattered garments. And Geraint gazed steadfastly upon him.Then the hoary-headed man said to him"Young manwherefore art thouthoughtful?" "I am thoughtful" said he"because I know notwhere to pass the night." "Wilt thou come forward this waychieftain" said he"and thou shalt have of the best that can beprocured for thee." So Geraint went forward. And the hoary-headed man ledthe way into the hall. And in the hall he dismountedand he left there hishorse. Then he went on to the upper chamber with the hoary-headed man. And inthe chamber he beheld an old womansitting on a cushionwith oldworn-outgarments upon her; yet it seemed to him that she must have been comely when inthe bloom of youth. And beside her was a maidenupon whom were a vest and aveilthat were oldand beginning to be worn out. And truly he never saw amaiden more full of comeliness and grace and beauty than she. And thehoary-headed man sail to the maiden"There is no attendant for the horseof this youth but thyself." "I will render the best service I amable" said she"both to him and to his horse." And the maidendisarrayed the youthand then she furnished his horse with straw and with corn;and then she returned to the chamber. And the hoary-headed man said to themaiden"Go to the townand bring hither the best that thou canst findboth of food and of liquor." "I will gladlylord" said she. Andto the town went the maiden. And they conversed together while the maiden was atthe town. And beholdthe maiden came backand a youth with herbearing on hisback a costrel full of good purchased meadind a quarter of a young bullock.And in the hands of the maiden was a quantity of white breadand she had somemanchet bread in her veiland she came into the chamber. "I could notobtain better than this" said she"nor with better should I havebeen trusted." "It is good enough" said Geraint. And they causedthe meat to be boiled; and when their food was readythey sat down. And it wasin this wise. Geraint sat between the hoary-headed man and his wifeand themaiden served them. And they ate and drank.

And when they had finished eatingGeraint talked with the hoary-headed manand he asked him in the first place to whom belonged the palace that he was in."Truly" said he"it was I that built itand to me alsobelonged the city and the castle which thou sawest." "Alas!" saidGeraint"how is it that thou hast lost them now?" "I lost agreat earldom as well as these" said he"and this is how I lostthem. I had a nephewthe son of my brotherand I took care of his possessions;but he was impatient to enter upon themso he made war upon meand wrestedfrom me not only his ownbut also my estatesexcept this castle.""Good sir" said Geraint"wilt thou tell me wherefore came theknight and the lady and the dwarf just now into the townand what is thepreparation which I sawand the putting of arms in order?" "I will doso" said he. "The preparations are for the game that is to be heldto-morrow by the young earlwhich will be on this wise. In the midst of ameadow which is heretwo forks will be set upand upon the two forks a silverrodand upon the silver rod a sparrow-hawkand for the sparrow-hawk there willbe a tournament. And to the tournament will go all the array thou didst see inthe cityof men and of horses and of arms. And with each man will go the ladyhe loves best; and no man can joust for the sparrow-hawkexcept the lady heloves best be with him. And the knight that thou sawest has gained thesparrow-hawk these two years; and if he gains it the third yearhe will becalled the Knight of the Sparrow-hawk from that time forth.""Sir" said Geraint"what is thy counsel to me concerning thisknighton account of the insult which the maiden of Guenever received from thedwarf?" And Geraint told the hoary-headed man what the insult was that themaiden had received. "It is not easy to counsel theeinasmuch as thou hastneither dame nor maiden belonging to theefor whom thou canst joust. Yet I havearms herewhich thou couldst haveand there is my horse alsoif he seem tothee better than thine own." "Ahsir" said he"Heavenreward thee! But my own horseto which I am accustomedtogether with thinearmswill suffice me. And ifwhen the appointed time shall come to-morrowthou wilt permit mesirto challenge for yonder maiden that is thy daughterIwill engageif I escape from the tournamentto love the maiden as long as Ilive." "Gladly will I permit thee" said the hoary-headed man;"and since thou dost thus resolveit is necessary that thy horse and armsshould be ready to-morrow at break of day. For then the Knight of theSparrow-hawk will make proclamationand ask the lady he loves best to take thesparrow-hawk; and if any deny it to herby force will he defend her claim. Andtherefore" said the hoary-headed man"it is needful for thee to bethere at daybreakand we three will be with thee." And thus was itsettled.

And at night they went to sleep. And before the dawn they arose and arrayedthemselves; and by the time that it was daythey were all four in the meadow.And there was the Knight of the Sparrow-hawk making the proclamation and askinghis lady-love to take the sparrow-hawk. "Take it not" said Geraint"for here is a maiden who is fairerand more nobleand more comelyandwho has a better claim to it than thou." Then said the knight"Ifthou maintainest the sparrow-hawk to be due to hercome forward and do battlewith me." And Geraint went forward to the top of the meadowhaving uponhimself and upon his horse armor which was heavy and rustyand of uncouthshape. Then they encountered each otherand they broke a set of lances; andthey broke a second setand a third. And when the earl and his company saw theKnight of the Sparrow-hawk gaining the masterythere was shouting and joy andmirth amongst them; and the hoary-headed man and his wife and his daughter weresorrowful. And the hoary-headed man served Geraint with lances as often as hebroke themand the dwarf served the Knight of the Sparrow-hawk. Then thehoary-headed man said to Geraint"O chieftainsince no other will holdwith theebeholdhere is the lance which was in my hand on the day when Ireceived the honor of knighthoodand from that time to this I never broke itand it has an excellent point." Then Geraint took the lancethanking thehoary-headed man. And thereupon the dwarf also brought a lance to his lord."Beholdhere is a lance for theenot less good than his" said thedwarf. "And bethink thee that no knight ever withstood thee so long as thisone has done." "I declare to Heaven" said Geraint"thatunless death takes me quickly hencehe shall fare never the better for thyservice." And Geraint pricked his horse towards him from afarandwarninghimhe rushed upon himand gave him a blow so severeand furiousand fierceupon the face of his shieldthat he cleft it in twoand broke his armorandburst his girthsso that both he and his saddle were borne to the ground overthe horse's crupper. And Geraint dismounted quickly. And be was wrothand hedrew his swordand rushed fiercely upon him. Then the knight also aroseanddrew his sword against Geraint. And they fought on foot with their swords untiltheir arms struck sparks of fire like stars from one another; and thus theycontinued fighting until the blood and sweat obscured the light from their eyes.At length Geraint called to him all his strengthand struck the knight upon thecrown of his headso that he broke all his head-armourand cut through all theflesh and the skineven to the skulluntil he wounded the bone.

Then the knight fell upon his kneesand cast his sword from his handandbesought mercy from Geraint. "Of a truth" said he"I relinquishmy over-daring and my prideand crave thy mercy; and unless I have time tocommit myself to Heaven for my sinsand to talk with a priestthy mercy willavail me little." "I will grant thee grace upon this condition"said Geraint; "That thou go to Gueneverthe wife of Arthurto do hersatisfaction for the insult which her maiden received from thy dwarf. Dismountnot from the time thou goest hence until thou comest into the presence ofGueneverto make her what atonement shall be adjudged at the court ofArthur." "This will I do gladly; and who art thou?" "I amGeraintthe son of Erbin; and declare thou also who thou art." "I amEdeyrnthe son of Nudd." Then he threw himself upon his horseand wentforward to Arthur's court; and the lady he loved best went before himand thedwarfwith much lamentation.

Then came the young earl and his hosts to Geraintand saluted himand badehim to his castle. "I may not go" said Geraint; "but where I waslast nightthere will I be to-night also." "Since thou wilt none ofmy invitingthou shalt have abundance of all that I can command for thee; and Iwill order ointment for theeto recover thee from thy fatiguesand from theweariness that is upon thee." "Heaven reward thee" said Geraint"and I will go to my lodging." And thus went Geraint and Earl Ynywland his wife and his daughter. And when they reached the old mansionthehousehold servants and attendants of the young earl had arrivedand hadarranged all the apartmentsdressing them with straw and with fire; and in ashort time the ointment was readyand Geraint came thereand they washed hishead. Then came the young earlwith forty honorable knights from among hisattendantsand those who were bidden to the tournament. And Geraint came fromthe anointing. And the earl asked him to go to the hall to eat. "Where isthe Earl Ynywl" said Geraint"and his wife and his daughter?""They are in the chamber yonder" said the earl's chamberlain"arraying themselves in garments which the earl has caused to be broughtfor them." "Let not the damsel array herself" said he"except in her vest and her veiluntil she come to the court of Arthurtobe clad by Guenever in such garments as she may choose." So the maiden didnot array herself.

Then they all entered the halland they washedand sat down to meat. Andthus were they seated. On one side of Geraint sat the young earland Earl Ynywlbeyond himand on the other side of Geraint was the maiden and her mother. Andafter these all sat according to their precedence in honor. And they ate. Andthey were served abundantlyand they received a profusion of divers kinds ofgifts. Then they conversed together. And the young earl invited Geraint to visithim next day. "I will notby Heaven" said Geraint. "To thecourt of Arthur will I go with this maiden to-morrow. And it is enough for meas long as Earl Ynywl is in poverty and trouble; and I go chiefly to seek to addto his maintenance." "Ahchieftain" said the young earl"it is not by my fault that Earl Ynywl is without his possessions.""By my faith" said Geraint"he shall not remain without themunless death quickly takes me hence." "O chieftain" said he"with regard to the disagreement between me and YnywlI will gladly abideby thy counseland agree to what thou mayest judge right between us.""I but ask thee" said Geraint"to restore to him what is hisand what he should have received from the time he lost his possessions evenuntil this day." "That will I dogladlyfor thee" answered he."Then" said Geraint"whosoever is here who owes homage toYnywllet him come forwardand perform it on the spot." And all the mendid so; and by that treaty they abided. And his castle and his townand all hispossessionswere restored to Ynywl. And he received back all that he had losteven to the smallest jewel.

Then spoke Earl Ynywl to Geraint. "Chieftain" said he"behold the maiden for whom thou didst challenge at the tournament; Ibestow her upon thee." "She shall go with me" said Geraint"to the court of Arthurand Arthur and Gueneverthey shall dispose of heras they will." And the next day they proceeded to Arthur's court. So farconcerning Geraint.

CHAPTER XXIV.

GERAINTTHE SON OF ERBINCONTINUED. -

Now this is how Arthur hunted the stag. The men and the dogs were dividedinto hunting-partiesand the dogs were let loose upon the stag. And the lastdog that was let loose was the favorite dog of ArthurCavall was his name. Andhe left an the other dogs behind himand turned the stag. And at the secondturn the stag came toward the hunting-party of Arthur. And Arthur set upon himand before he could be slain by any other Arthur cut off his head. Then theysounded the death-horn for slayingand they all gathered round.

Then came Kadyriath to Arthurand spoke to him. "Lord" said he"beholdyonder is Gueneverand none with her save only one maiden.""Command Gildasthe son of Cawand all the scholars of the court"said Arthur"to attend Guenever to the palace." And they did so.

Then they all set forthholding converse together concerning the head of thestagto whom it should be given. One wished that it should be given to the ladybest beloved by him and another to the lady whom he loved best. And so they cameto the palace. And when Arthur and Guenever heard them disputing about the headof the stagGuenever said to Arthur"My lordthis is my counselconcerning the stag's head; let it not be given away until Geraintthe son ofErbinshall return from the errand he is upon." And Guenever told Arthurwhat that errand was. "Right gladly shall it be so" said Arthur. AndGuenever caused a watch to be set upon the ramparts for Geraint's coming. Andafter midday they beheld an unshapely little man upon a horseand after him adame or a damselalso on horsebackand after her a knight of large staturebowed downand hanging his head low and sorrowfullyand clad in broken andworthless armor.

And before they came near to the gate one of the watch went to Gueneverandtold her what kind of people they sawand what aspect they bore. "I knownot who they are" said he. "But I know" said Guenever;"this is the knight whom Geraint pursuedand methinks he comes not here byhis own free will. But Geraint has overtaken himand avenged the insult to themaiden to the uttermost." And thereuponbeholda porter came to the spotwhere Guenever was. "Lady" said he"at the gate there is aknightand I saw never a man of so pitiful an aspect to look upon as he.Miserable and broken is the armor that he wearsand the hue of blood is moreconspicuous upon it than its own color." "Knowest thou his name?"said she. "I do" said he; "he tells me that he is Edeyrntheson of Nudd." Then she replied"I know him not."

So Guenever went to the gate to meet himand he entered. And Guenever wassorry when she saw the condition he was ineven though he was accompanied bythe churlish dwarf. Then Edeyrn saluted Guenever. "Heaven protectthee" said she. "Lady" said he"Geraintthe son ofErbinthy best and most valiant servantgreets thee." "Did he meetwith thee?" she asked. "Yes" said he"and it was not to myadvantage; and that was not his faultbut minelady. And Geraint greets theewell; and in greeting thee he compelled me to come hither to do thy pleasure forthe insult which thy maiden received from the dwarf." "Now where didhe overtake thee?" "At the place where we were jousting and contendingfor the sparrow-hawkin the town which is now called Cardiff. And it was forthe avouchment of the love of the maidenthe daughter of Earl YnywlthatGeraint jousted at the tournament. And thereupon we encountered each otherandhe left meladyas thou seest." "Sir" said she"whenthinkest thou that Geraint will be here?" "To-morrowladyI think hewill be here with the maiden."

Then Arthur came to them. And he saluted Arthurand Arthur gazed a long timeupon himand was amazed to see him thus. And thinking that he knew himheinquired of him"Art thou Edeyrnthe son of Nudd?" "I amlord" said he"and I have met with much trouble and received woundsinsupportable." Then he told Arthur all his adventure. "Well"said Arthur"from what I hear it behooves Guenever to be merciful towardsthee." "The mercy which thou desirestlord" said she"will I grant to himsince it is as insulting to thee that an insultshould be offered to me as to thyself." "Thus will it be best todo" said Arthur; "let this man have medical care until it be knownwhether he may live. And if he live he shall do such satisfaction as shall bejudged best by the men of the court. And if he die too much will be the death ofsuch a youth as Edeyrn for an insult to a maiden." "This pleasesme" said Guenever. And Arthur caused Morgan Tud to be called to him. Hewas chief physician. "Take with thee Edeyrnthe son of Nuddand cause achamber to be prepared for himand let him have the aid of medicine as thouwouldst do unto myself if I were wounded; and let none into his chamber tomolest himbut thyself and thy disciplesto administer to him remedies.""I will do so gladlylord" said Morgan Tud. Then said the steward ofthe household"Whither is it rightlordto order the maiden?""To Guenever and her handmaidens" said he. And the steward of thehousehold so ordered her.

The next day came Geraint towards the court; and there was a watch set on theramparts by Gueneverlest he should arrive unawares. And one of the watch cameto Guenever. "Lady" said he"methinks that I see Geraintand amaiden with him. He is on horsebackbut he has his walking gear upon himandthe maiden appears to be in whiteseeming to be clad in a garment oflinen." "Assemble all the women" said Guenever"and cometo meet Geraintto welcome him and wish him joy." And Guenever went tomeet Geraint and the maiden. And when Geraint came to the place where Gueneverwas he saluted her. "Heaven prosper thee" said she"and welcometo thee." "Lady" said he"I earnestly desired to obtainthee satisfactionaccording to thy will; andbehold here is the maiden throughwhom thou hadst thy revenge." "Verily" said Guenever"thewelcome of Heaven be unto her; and it is fitting that we should receive herjoyfully." Then they went in and dismounted. And Geraint came to whereArthur wasand saluted him. "Heaven protect thee" said Arthur"and the welcome of Heaven be unto thee. And inasmuch as thou hastvanquished Edeyrnthe son of Nuddthou hast had a prosperous career.""Not upon me be the blame" said Geraint; "it was through thearrogance of Edeyrnthe son of Nuddhimselfthat we were not friends.""Now" said Arthur"where is the maiden for whom I heard thoudidst give challenge?" "She is gone with Guenever to herchamber." Then went Arthur to see the maiden. And Arthur and all hiscompanionsand his whole courtwere glad concerning the maiden. And certainwere they all thathad her array been suitable to her beautythey had neverseen a maid fairer than she. And Arthur gave away the maiden to Geraint. And theusual bond made between two persons was made between Geraint and the maidenandthe choicest of all Guenever's apparel was given to the maiden; and thusarrayedshe appeared comely and graceful to all who beheld her. And that dayand the night were spent in abundance of minstrelsyand ample gifts of liquorand a multitude of games. And when it was time for them to go to sleep theywent. And in the chamber where the couch of Arthur and Guenever was the couch ofGeraint and Enid was prepared. And from that time she became his wife. And thenext day Arthur satisfied all the claimants upon Geraint with bountiful gifts.And the maiden took up her abode in the palaceand she had many companions bothmen and womenand there was no maiden more esteemed than she in the island ofBritain.

Then spake Guenever. "Rightly did I judge" said she"concerning the head of the stagthat it should not be given to any untilGeraint's return; and beholdhere is a fit occasion for bestowing it. Let it begiven to Enidthe daughter of Ynywlthe most illustrious maiden. And I do notbelieve any will begrudge it herfor between her and every one there existsnothing but love and friendship." Much applauded was this by them allandby Arthur also. And the head of the stag was given to Enid. And thereupon herfame increasedand her friends became more in number than before. And Geraintfrom that time forth loved the huntand the tournamentand hard encounters;and he came victorious from them all. And a yearand a secondand a thirdheproceeded thusuntil his fame had flown over the face of the kingdom.

Andonce upon a timeArthur was holding his court at Caerleon upon Usk; andbeholdthere came to him ambassadorswise and prudentfull of knowledge andeloquent of speechand they saluted Arthur. "Heaven prosper you!"said Arthur; "and whence do you come?" "We comelord" saidthey"from Cornwalland we are ambassadors from Erbinthe son ofCustenninthy uncleand our mission is unto thee. And he greets thee wellasan uncle should greet his nephewand as a vassal should greet his lord. And herepresents unto thee that he waxes heavy and feebleand is advancing in years.And the neighboring chiefsknowing thisgrow insolent towards himand covethis land and possessions. And he earnestly beseeches theelordto permitGeraint his son to return to himto protect his possessionsand to becomeacquainted with his boundaries. And unto him be represents that it were betterfor him to spend the flower of his youth and the prime of his age in preservinghis own boundariesthan in tournaments which are productive of no profitalthough he obtains glory in them."

"Well" said Arthur"go and divest yourselves of youraccoutrementsand take foodand refresh yourselves after your fatigues; andbefore you go from hence you shall have an answer." And they went to eat.And Arthur considered that it would go hard with him to let Geraint depart fromhimand from his court; neither did he think it fair that his cousin should berestrained from going to protect his dominions and his boundariesseeing thathis father was unable to do so. No less was the grief and regret of Gueneverand all her womenand all her damselsthrough fear that the maiden would leavethem. And that day and that night was spent in abundance of feasting. And Arthurtold Geraint the cause of the missionand of the coming of the ambassadors tohim out of Cornwall. "Truly" said Geraint"be it to myadvantage or disadvantagelordI will do according to thy will concerning thisembassy." "Behold" said Arthur"though it grieves me topart with theeit is my counsel that thou go to dwell in thine own dominionsand to defend thy boundariesand take with thee to accompany thee as many asthou wilt of those thou lovest best among my faithful onesand among thyfriendsand among thy companions in arms." "Heaven reward thee! andthis will I do" said Geraint. "What discourse" said Guenever"do I hear between you? Is it of those who are to conduct Geraint to hiscountry?" "It is" said Arthur. "Then it is needful for meto consider" said she"concerning companions and a provision for thelady that is with me." "Thou wilt do well." said Arthur.

And that night they went to sleep. And the next day the ambassadors werepermitted to departand they were told that Geraint should follow them. And onthe third day Geraint set forthand many went with him- Gawainthe son ofGwyarand Riogonedthe son of the king of Irelandand Ondyawthe son of theDuke of BurgundyGwilimthe son of the ruler of the FranksHowelthe son ofthe Earl of BrittanyPercevalthe son of EvrawkGwyra judge in the court ofArthurBedwyrson of BedrawdKaithe son of KynerOdyarthe FrankandEdeyrnthe son of Nudd. Said Geraint"I think I shall have enough ofknighthood with me." And they set forth. And never was there seen a fairerhost journeying towards the Severn. And on the other side of the Severn were thenobles of Erbinthe son of Custenninand his foster-father at their headtowelcome Geraint with gladness; and many of the women of the courtwith hismothercame to receive Enidthe daughter of Ynywlhis wife. And there wasgreat rejoicing and gladness throughout the whole courtand through all thecountryconcerning Geraintbecause of the greatness of their love to himandof the greatness of the fame which he had gained since he went from amongstthemand because he was come to take possession of his dominionsand topreserve his boundaries. And they came to the court. And in the court they hadample entertainmentand a multitude of giftsand abundance of liquorand asufficiency of serviceand a variety of games. And to do honor to Geraintallthe chief men of the country were invited that night to visit him. And theypassed that day and that night in the utmost enjoyment. And at dawn next dayErbin aroseand summoned to him Geraintand the noble persons who had bornehim company. And he said to Geraint: "I am a feeble and an aged manandwhilst I was able to maintain the dominion for thee and for myselfI did so.But thou art youngand in the flower of thy vigor and of thy youth. Henceforthdo thou preserve thy possessions." "Truly" said Geraint"with my consent thou shalt not give the power over thy dominions at thistime into my handsthou shalt not take me from Arthur's court." "Intothy hands will I give them" said Erbin"and this day shalt thoureceive the homage of thy subjects."

Then said Gawain"It were better for thee to satisfy those who haveboons to askto-dayand to-morrow thou canst receive the homage of thydominions." So all that had boons to ask were summoned into one place. AndKadyriath came to them to know what were the requests. And every one asked thatwhich he desired. And the followers of Arthur began to make giftsandimmediately the men of Cornwall cameand gave also. And they were not long ingivingso eager was every one to bestow gifts. And of those who came to askgiftsnone departed unsatisfied. And that day and that night were spent in theutmost enjoyment.

And the next day at dawn Erbin desired Geraint to send messengers to the mento ask them whether it was displeasing to them that he should come to receivetheir homageand whether they had anything to object to him. Then Geraint sentambassadors to the men of Cornwall to ask them this. And they all said that itwould be the fulness of joy and honor to them for Geraint to come and receivetheir homage. So he received the homage of such as were there. And the dayafterthe followers of Arthur intended to go away. "It is too soon for youto go away yet" said he; "stay with me until I have finishedreceiving the homage of my chief menwho have agreed to come to me." Andthey remained with him until he had done so. Then they set forth towards thecourt of Arthur. And Geraint went to bear them companyand Enid alsoas far asDiganwy; there they parted. And Ondyawthe son of the Duke of Burgundysaid toGeraint"Gonowand visit the uttermost parts of thy dominionsand seewell to the boundaries of thy territories; and if thou hast any troublerespecting themsend unto thy companions." "Heaven reward thee!"said Geraint; "and this will I do." And Geraint journeyed to theuttermost parts of his dominions. And experienced guidesand the chief men ofhis countrywent with him. And the furthermost point that they showed him hekept possession of.

CHAPTER XXV.

GERAINTTHE SON OF ERBINCONTINUED. -

GERAINTas he had been used to do when he was at Arthur's courtfrequentedtournaments. And he became acquainted with valiant and mighty menuntil he hadgained as much fame there as he had formerly done elsewhere. And he enriched hiscourtand his companionsand his nobleswith the best horses and the bestarmsand with the best and most valuable jewelsand he ceased not until hisfame had flown over the face of the whole kingdom. When he knew that it wasthushe began to love ease and pleasurefor there was no one who was worth hisopposing. And he loved his wifeand liked to continue in the palacewithminstrelsy and diversions. So he began to shut himself up in the chamber of hiswifeand he took no delight in anything besidesinsomuch that he gave up thefriendship of his noblestogether with his hunting and his amusementsand lostthe hearts of all the host in his court. And there was murmuring and scoffingconcerning him among the inhabitants of the palaceon account of hisrelinquishing so completely their companionship for the love of his wife. Thesetidings came to Erbin. And when Erbin had heard these thingshe spoke untoEnidand inquired of her whether it was she that had caused Geraint to actthusand to forsake his people and his hosts. "Not Iby my confessionunto heaven" said she; "there is nothing more hateful unto me thanthis." And she knew not what she should doforalthough it was hard forher to own this to Geraintyet was it not more easy for her to listen to whatshe heardwithout warning Geraint concerning it. And she was very sorrowful.

One morning in the summer-time they were upon their couchand Geraint layupon the edge of it. And Enid was without sleep in the apartmentwhich hadwindows of glass; * and the sun shone upon the couch. And the clothes hadslipped from off his arms and his breastand he was asleep. Then she gazed uponthe marvellous beauty of his appearanceand she said"Alas! and am I thecause that these arms and this breast have lost their gloryand the warlikefame which they once so richly enjoyed?" As she said this the tears droppedfrom her eyesand they fell upon his breast. And the tears she shedand thewords she had spoken awoke him. And another thing contributed to awaken himandthat was the idea that it was not in thinking of him that she spoke thusbutthat it was because she loved some other more than himand that she wished forother society. Thereupon Geraint was troubled in his mindand he called hissquire; and when he came to him"Go quickly" said heand prepare myhorse and my armsand make them ready. And do thou arise" said he toEnid"and apparel thyself; and cause thy horse to be accoutredand clothethee in the worst riding-dress that thou hast in thy possession. And evil betideme" said he"if thou returnest here until thou knowest whether Ihave lost my strength so completely as thou didst say. And if it be soit willthen be easy for thee to seek the society thou didst wish for of him of whomthou wast thinking." So she aroseand clothed herself in her meanestgarments. "I know nothinglord" said she"of thymeaning." "Neither wilt thou know at this time" said he. -

* The terms of admiration in which the older writers invariably speak ofglass windows would be sufficient proofif other evidence were wantinghowrare an article of luxury they were in the houses of our ancestors. They werefirst introduced in ecclesiastical architectureto which they were for a longtime confined. Glass is said not to have been employed in domestic architecturebefore the fourteenth century. -

Then Geraint went to see Erbin. "Sir" said he"I am goingupon a questand I am not certain when I may come back. Take heedthereforeunto thy possessions until my return." "I will do so" said he;"but it is strange to me that thou shouldst go so suddenly. And who willproceed with theesince thou art not strong enough to traverse the land ofLoegyr alone?" "But one person only will go with me.""Heaven counsel theemy son" said Erbin"and may many attachthemselves to thee in Loegyr." Then went Geraint to the place where hishorse wasand it was equipped with foreign armorheavy and shining. And hedesired Enid to mount her horseand to ride forwardand to keep a long waybefore him. "And whatever thou mayest seeand whatever thou mayest hearconcerning me" said he"do thou not turn back. And unless I speakunto theesay not thou one word either." So they set forward. And he didnot choose the pleasantest and most frequented roadbut that which was thewildest and most beset by thieves and robbers and venomous animals.

And they came to a high-roadwhich they followed till they saw a vastforest; and they saw four armed horsemen come forth from the forest. When thearmed men saw themthey said one to another"Here is a good occasion forus to capture two horses and armorand a lady likewise; for this we shall haveno difficulty in doing against yonder single knightwho hangs his head sopensively and heavily." Enid heard this discourseand she knew not whatshe do through fear of Geraintwho had told her to be silent. "Thevengeance of Heaven be upon me" said she"if I would not ratherreceive my death from his hand than from the hand of any other; and though heshould slay me

yet will I speak to himlest I should have the misery to witness hisdeath." So she waited for Geraint until he came near to her."Lord" said she"didst thou hear the words of those menconcerning thee?" Then he lifted up his eyesand looked at her angrily."Thou hadst only" said he"to hold thy peaceas I bade thee. Iwish but for silenceand not for warning. And though thou shouldst desire tosee my defeat and my death by the hands of those menyet I do feel nodread." Then the foremost of them couched his lanceand rushed uponGeraint. And he received himand that not feebly. But he let the thrust go byhimwhile he struck the horseman upon the centre of the shieldin such amanner that his shield was splitand his armor brokenso that a cubit's lengthof the shaft of Geraint's lance passed through his bodyand sent him to theearththe length of the lance over his horse's crupper. Then the secondhorseman attacked him furiouslybeing wroth at the death of his companion. Butwith one thrust Geraint overthrew him alsoand killed him as he had done theother. Then the third set upon himand he killed him in like manner. And thusalso he slew the fourth. Sad and sorrowful was the maiden as she saw all this.Geraint dismounted his horseand took the arms of the men he had slainandplaced them upon their saddlesand tied together the reins of their horses; andhe mounted his horse again. "Behold what thou must do" said he;"take the four horsesand drive them before theeand proceed forward as Ibade thee just now. And say not one word unto meunless I speak first untothee. And I declare unto Heaven" said he"if thou doest not thusitwill be to thy cost." "I will do as far as I canlord" saidshe"according to thy desire."

So the maiden went forwardkeeping in advance of Geraintas he had desiredher; and it grieved him as much as his wrath would permit to see a maiden soillustrious as she having so much trouble with the care of the horses. Then theyreached a woodand it was both deep and vastand in the wood night overtookthem. "Ahmaiden" said he"it is vain to attempt proceedingforward." "Welllord" said she"whatever thou wishest wewill do." "It will be best for us" he answered"to restand wait for the day in order to pursue our journey." "That will wegladly" said she. And they did so. Having dismounted himselfhe took herdown from her horse. "I cannot by any means refrain from sleep throughweariness" said he; "do thou therefore watch the horses and sleepnot." "I willlord" said she. Then he went to sleep in hisarmorand thus passed the nightwhich was not long at that season. And whenshe saw the dawn of day appear she looked around her to see if he were wakingand thereupon he awoke. Then he aroseand said unto her"Take the horsesand ride onand keep straight on as thou didst yesterday." And they leftthe woodand they came to an open countrywith meadows on one handand mowersmowing the meadows. And there was a river before themand the horses bent downand drank of the water. And they went up out of the river by a lofty steep; andthere they met a slender stripling with a satchel about his neckand they sawthere was something in the satchelbut they knew not what it was. And he had asmall blue pitcher in his handand a bowl on the mouth of the pitcher. And theyouth saluted Geraint. "Heaven prosper thee!" said Geraint; "andwhence dost thou come?" "I come" said he"from the citythat lies before thee. My lord" he added"will it be displeasing tothee if I ask whence thou comest also?" "By no means; through yonderwood did I come." "Thou camest not through the wood to-day.""No" he replied; "we were in the wood last night." "Iwarrant" said the youth"that thy condition there last night was notthe most pleasantand that thou hadst neither meat nor drink." "Noby my faith" said he. "Wilt thou follow my counsel" said theyouth"and take thy meal from me?" "What sort of meal?" heinquired. "The breakfast which is sent for yonder mowersnothing less thanbread and meat and wine; and if thou wiltsirthey shall have none ofit." "I will" said he"and Heaven reward thee forit."

So Geraint alightedand the youth took the maiden from off her horse. Thenthey washedand took their repast. And the youth cut the bread in slicesandgave them drinkand served them withal. And when they had finished the youtharose and said to Geraint"My lordwith thy permissionI will now go andfetch some foodfor the mowers." "Go first to the town" saidGeraint"and take a lodging for me in the best place thou knowestand themost commodious one for the horses; and take thou whichever horse and arms thouchoosest in payment for thy service and thy gift." "Heaven rewardtheelord!" said the youth; "and this would be ample to repayservices much greater than those I have rendered unto thee." And to thetown went the youthand he took the best and most pleasant lodgings that heknew; and after that he went to the palacehaving the horse and armor with himand proceeded to the place where the earl wasand told him all his adventure."I go nowlord" said he"to meet the knightand to conducthim to his lodging." "Gogladly" said the earl"and rightjoyfully shall he be received hereif he so come." And the youth went tomeet Geraintand told him that he would be received gladly by the earl in hisown palace; but he would go only to his lodgings. And he had a goodly chamberin which was plenty of straw and draperyand a spacious and commodious place hehad for the horses; and the youth prepared for them plenty of provender. Afterthey had disarrayed themselvesGeraint spoke thus to Enid: "Go" saidhe"to the other side of the chamberand come not to this side of thehouse; and thou mayst call to thee the woman of the house if thou wilt.""I will dolord" said she"as thou sayest." Thereupon theman of the house came to Geraintand welcomed him. And after they had eaten anddrank Geraint went to sleepand so did Enid also.

In the eveningbeholdthe earl came to visit Geraintand his twelvehonorable knights with him. And Geraint rose up and welcomed him. Then they allsat down according to their precedence in honor. And the earl conversed withGeraintand inquired of him the object of his journey. "I have none"he replied"but to seek adventures and to follow my own inclination."Then the earl cast his eye upon Enidand he looked at her steadfastly. And hethought he had never seen a maiden fairer or more comely than she. And he setall his thoughts and his affections upon her. Then he asked of Geraint"Have I thy permission to go and converse with yonder maidenfor I seethat she is apart from thee?" "Thou hast it gladly" said he. Sothe earl went to the place where the maiden wasand spake with her. "Ah!maiden" said he"it cannot be pleasant to thee to journey withyonder man." "It is not unpleasant to me" said she. "Thouhast neither youths nor maidens to serve thee" said he. "Truly"she replied"it is more pleasant for me to follow yonder man than to beserved by youths and maidens." "I will give thee good counsel"said he; "all my earldom will I place in thy possession if thou wilt dwellwith me." "That will I notby Heaven" she said; "yonderman was the first to whom my faith was pledgedand shall I prove inconstant tohim?" "Thou art in the wrong" said the earl; "if I slay theman yonder I can keep thee with me as long as I choose; and when thou no longerpleasest me I can turn thee away. But if thou goest with me by thy own goodwillI protest that our union shall continue as long as I shall remain alive."Then she pondered those words of hisand she considered that it was advisableto encourage him in his request. "Behold thenchieftainthis is mostexpedient for thee to do to save me from all reproach; come here to-morrow andtake me away as though I knew nothing thereof." "I will do so"said he. So he arose and took his leaveand went forth with his attendants. Andshe told not then to Geraint any of the conversation which she had had with theearl lest it should rouse his angerand cause him uneasiness and care.

And at the usual hour they went to sleep. And at the beginning of the nightEnid slept a little; and at midnight she aroseand placed all Geraint's armortogetherso that it might be ready to put on. And though fearful of her errandshe came to the side of Geraint's bed; and she spoke to him softly and gentlysaying"My lordariseand clothe thyselffor these were the words ofthe earl to meand his intention concerning me." So she told Geraint allthat had passed. And although he was wroth with herhe took warningandclothed himself. And she lighted a candle that he might have light to do so."Leave there the candle" said he"and desire the man of thehouse to come here." Then she wentand the man of the house came to him."Dost thou know how much I owe thee?" asked Geraint. "I thinkthou owest but little." "Take the three horsesand the three suits ofarmor." "Heaven reward theeLord" said he"but I spentnot the value of one suit of armor upon thee." "For that reason"said he"thou wilt be the richer. And nowwilt thou come to guide me outof the town?" "I willgladly" said he; "and in whichdirection dost thou intend to go?" "I wish to leave the town by adifferent way from that by which I entered it." So the man of the lodgingsaccompanied him as far as he desired. Then he bade the maiden to go on beforehimand she did soand went straight forwardand his host returned home.

And Geraint and the maiden went forward along the high-road. And as theyjourneyed thusthey heard an exceeding loud wailing near to them. "Staythou here" said he"and I will go and see what is the cause of thiswailing." "I will" said she. Then he went forward into an openglade that was near the road. And in the glade he saw two horsesone having aman's saddleand the other a woman's saddle upon it. And behold there was aknight lying dead in his armorand a young damsel in a riding-dress standingover him lamenting. "Ahlady" said Geraint"what hath befallenthee?" "Behold" she answered"I journeyed here with mybeloved husbandwhen lo! three giants came upon usand without any cause inthe worldthey slew him." "Which way went they hence?" saidGeraint. "Yonder by the high-road" she replied. So he returned toEnid. "Go" said he"to the lady that is below yonderand awaitme there till I come." She was sad when he ordered her to do thusbutnevertheless she went to the damselwhom it was ruth to hearand she feltcertain that Geraint would never return.

Meanwhile Geraint followed the giantsand overtook them. And each of themwas greater in stature than three other menand a huge club was on the shoulderof each. Then he rushed upon one of themand thrust his lance through his body.And having drawn it forth againhe pierced another of them through likewise.But the third turned upon himand struck him with his club so that he split hisshield and crushed his shoulder. But Geraint drew his swordand gave the gianta blow on the crown of his headso severeand fierceand violentthat hishead and his neck were split down to his shouldersand he fell dead. So Geraintleft him thusand returned to Enid. And when he reached the place where shewashe fell down lifeless from his horse. Piercing and loud and thrilling wasthe cry that Enid uttered. And she came and stood over him where he had fallen.And at the sound of her cries came the Earl of Limoursand they who journeyedwith himwhom her lamentations brought out of their road. And the earl said toEnid"Alasladywhat hath befallen thee?" "Ahgood sir"said she"the only man I have lovedor ever shall loveis slain."Then he said to the other"And what is the cause of thy grief?""They have slain my beloved husband also" said she. "And who wasit that slew them?" "Some giants" she answered"slew mybest-belovedand the other knight went in pursuit of themand came back in thestate thou seest." The earl caused the knight that was dead to be buriedbut he thought that there still remained some life in Geraint; and to see if heyet would livehe had him carried with him in the hollow of his shieldandupon a bier. And the two damsels went to the court; and when they arrived thereGeraint was placed upon a little couch in front of the table that was in thehall. Then they all took off their travelling-gearand the earl besought Enidto do the sameand to clothe herself in other garments. "I will notbyHeaven" said she. "Ahlady" said he"be not so sorrowfulfor this matter." "It were hard to persuade me to be otherwise"said she. "I will act towards thee in such wise that thou needest not besorrowfulwhether yonder knight live or die. Beholda good earldomtogetherwith myselfwill I bestow upon thee; be therefore happy and joyful.""I declare to Heaven" said she"that henceforth I shall neverbe joyful while I live." "Come" said he"and eat.""Noby HeavenI will not." "But by Heaventhou shalt"said he. So he took her with him to the table against her willand many timesdesired her to eat. "I call Heaven to witness" said she"that Iwill not eat until the man that is upon yonder bier shall eat likewise.""Thou canst not fulfil that" said the earl; "yonder man is deadalready." "I will prove that I can" said she. Then he offeredher a goblet of liquor. "Drink this goblet" he said"and itwill cause thee to change thy mind." "Evil betide me" sheanswered"if I drink aught until he drink also." "Truly"said the earl"it is of no more avail for me to be gentle with thee thanungentle." And he gave her a box in the ear. Thereupon she raised a loudand piercing shriekand her lamentations were much greater than they had beenbefore; for she considered in her mind thathad Geraint been alivehe durstnot have struck her thus. But beholdat the sound of her cryGeraint revivedfrom his swoonand he sat up on the bier; and finding his sword in the hollowof his shieldhe rushed to the place where the earl wasand struck him afiercely-woundingseverely-venomousand sternly-smiting blow upon the crown ofhis headso that he clove him in twainuntil his sword was staid by the table.Then all left the board and fled away. And this was not so much through fear ofthe livingas through the dread they felt at seeing the dead man rise up toslay them. And Geraint looked upon Enidand he was grieved for two causes; onewas to see that Enid had lost her color and her wonted aspect; and the othertoknow that she was in the right. "Lady" said he"knowest thouwhere our horses are?" "I knowlordwhere thy horse is" shereplied"but I know not where is the other. Thy horse is in the houseyonder." So he went to the houseand brought forth his horseand mountedhimand took up Enidand placed her upon the horse with him. And he rodeforward. And their road lay between two hedges; and the night was gaining on theday. And lo! they saw behind them the shafts of spears betwixt them and the skyand they heard the tramping of horsesand the noise of a host approaching."I hear something following us" said he"and I will put thee onthe other side of the hedge." And thus he did. And thereuponbeholdaknight pricked towards himand couched his lance. When Enid saw thisshe criedoutsaying"O chieftainwhoever thou artwhat renown wilt thou gain byslaying a dead man?" "O Heaven!" said he"is itGeraint?" "Yesin truth" said she; "and who artthou?" "I am Gwiffert Petit" said he"thy husband's allycoming to thy assistancefor I heard that thou wast in trouble. Come with me tothe court of a son-in-law of my sisterwhich is near hereand thou shalt havethe best medical assistance in the kingdom." "I will do sogladly" said Geraint. And Enid was placed upon the horse of one ofGwiffert's squiresand they went forward to the baron's palace. And they werereceived there with gladnessand they met with hospitality and attention. Thenext morning they went to seek physicians; and it was not long before they cameand they attended Geraint until he was perfectly well. And while Geraint wasunder medical careGwiffert caused his armor to be repaireduntil it was asgood as it had ever been. And they remained there a month and a fortnight. Thenthey separatedand Geraint went towards his own dominionsand thenceforth hereigned prosperouslyand his warlike fame and splendor lasted with renown andhonor both to him and to Enid* from that time forward. -

* Throughout the broad and varied regions of romanceit would be difficultdo find a character of greater simplicity and truth than that of Enidthedaughter of Earl Ynywl. Conspicuous for her beauty and noble bearingwe are ata loss whether more to admire the patience with which she bore all the hardshipsshe was destined to undergoor the constancy and affection which finallyachieved the triumph she so richly deserved.

The character of Enid is admirably sustained through the whole tale; and asit is more naturalbecause less overstrainedso perhaps it is even moretouchingthan that of Griseldaover whichhoweverChaucer has thrown a charmthat leads us to forget the improbability of her story.

CHAPTER XXVI.

PWYLLPRINCE OF DYVED. -

ONCE upon a time Pwyll was at Narberthhis chief palacewhere a feast hadbeen prepared for himand with him was a great host of men. And after the firstmeal Pwyll arose to walk; and he went to the top of a mound that was above thepalaceand was called Gorsedd Arberth. "Lord" said one of the court"it is peculiar to the mound that whosoever sits upon it cannot go thencewithout either receiving wounds or blowsor else seeing a wonder." "Ifear not to receive wounds or blows" said Pwyll; "but as to thewondergladly would I see it. I will therefore go and sit upon the mound."

And upon the mound he sat. And while he sat therethey saw a ladyon a purewhite horse of large sizewith a garment of shining gold around hercomingalong the highway that led from the mound. "My men" said Pwyll"is there any among you who knows yonder lady?" "There is notlord" said they. "Go one of you and meet herthat we may know whoshe is." And one of them aroseand as he came upon the road to meet hershe passed by; and he followed as fast as he couldbeing on footand thegreater was his speedthe further was she from him. And when he saw that itprofited him nothing to follow herhe returned to Pwylland said unto him"Lordit is idle for any one in the world to follow her on foot.""Verily" said Pwyll"go unto the palmand take the fleetesthorse that thou seestand go after her."

And he took a horse and went forward. And he came to an openlevel plainand put spurs to his horse; and the more he urged his horsethe further was shefrom him. And he returned to the palace where Pwyll wasand said"Lordit will avail nothing for any one to follow yonder lady. I know of no horse inthese realms swifter than thisand it availed me not to pursue her.""Of a truth" said Pwyll"there must be some illusion here; letus go towards the palace." So to the palace they wentand spent the day.

And the next day they amused themselves until it was time to go to meat. Andwhen meat was endedPwyll said"Where are the hosts that went yesterdayto the top of the mound?" "Beholdlordwe are here" said they."Let us go" said he"to the moundand sit there. And dothou" said he to the page who tended hishorse"saddle my horsewelland hasten with him to the roadand bring also my spurs with thee."And the youth did thus. And they went and sat upon the mound; and ere they hadbeen there but a short timethey beheld the lady coming by the same roadandin the same mannerand at the same pace. "Young man" said Pwyll"I see the lady coming; give me my horse." And before he had mountedhis horse she passed him. And he turned after her and followed her. And he lethis horse go bounding playfullyand thought that he should soon come up withher. But he came no nearer to her than at first. Then he urged his horse to hisutmost speed; yet he found that it availed not. Then said Pwyll"O maidenfor the sake of him whom thou best loveststay for me." "I will staygladly" said she; "and it were better for thy horse hadst thou askedit long since." So the maiden stopped; and she threw back that part of herheaddress which covered her face. Then he thought that the beauty of all themaidens and all the ladies that he had ever seen was as nothing compared to herbeauty. "Lady" he said"wilt thou tell me aught concerning thypurpose?" "I will tell thee" said she; "my chief quest wasto see thee." "Truly" said Pwyll"this is to me the mostpleasing quest on which thou couldst have come; and wilt thou tell me who thouart?" "I will tell theelord" said she. "I am Rhiannonthe daughter of Heveyddand they sought to give me to a husband against mywill. But no husband would I haveand that because of my love for thee; neitherwill I yet have oneunless thou reject me; and hither have I come to hear thyanswer." "By Heaven" said Pwyll"behold this is my answer.If I might choose among all the ladies and damsels in the worldthee would Ichoose." "Verily" said she"if thou art thus mindedmakea pledge to meet me ere I am given to another." "The sooner I may dosothe more pleasing will it be to me" said Pwyll; "and wheresoeverthou wiltthere will I meet with thee." "I will that thou meet methis day twelvemonth at the palace of Heveydd." "Gladly" saidhe"will I keep this tryst." So they partedand he went back to hishostsand to them of his household. And whatsoever questions they asked himrespecting the damselhe always turned the discourse upon other matters.

And when a year from that time was gonehe caused a hundred knights to equipthemselvesand to go with him to the palace of Heveydd. And he came to thepalaceand there was great joy concerning himwith much concourse of peopleand great rejoicingand vast preparations for his coming. And the whole courtwas placed under his orders.

And the hall was garnishedand they went to meatand thus did they sit:Heveydd was on one side of Pwylland Rhiannon on the other; and all the restaccording to their rank. And they ate and feastedand talked one with another.And at the beginning of the carousal after the meatthere entered a tallauburn-haired youthof royal bearingclothed in a garment of satin. And whenhe came into the hallhe saluted Pwyll and his companions. "The greetingof Heaven be unto thee" said Pwyll; "come thou and sit down.""Nay" said he"a suitor am Iand I will do my errand.""Do sowillingly" said Pwyll. "Lord" said he"myerrand is unto theeand it is to crave a boon of thee that I come.""What boon soever thou mayest ask of meso far as I am ablethou shalthave." "Ah!" said Rhiannon"wherefore didst thou give thatanswer?" "Has he not given it before the presence of thesenobles?" asked the youth. "My soul" said Pwyll"what isthe boon thou askest?" "The lady whom best I love is to be thy bridethis night; I come to ask her of theewith the feast and the banquet that arein this place." And Pwyll was silentbecause of the promise which he hadgiven. "Be silent as long as thou wilt" said Rhiannon"neverdid man make worse use of his wits than thou hast done." "Lady"said he"I knew not who he was." "Beholdthis is the man towhom they would have given me against my will" said she; "and he isGawlthe son of Cluda man of great power and wealthand because of the wordthou hast spokenbestow me upon himlest shame befall thee.""Lady" said he"I understand not thy answer; never can I do asthou sayest." "Bestow me upon him" said she"and I willcause that I shall never be his." "By what means will that be?"asked Pwyll. Then she told him the thought that was in her mind. And they talkedlong together. Then Gawl said"Lordit is meet that I have an answer tomy request." "As much of that thou hast asked as it is in my power togivethou shalt have" replied Pwyll. "My soul" said Rhiannonunto Gawl"as for the feast and the banquet that are hereI have bestowedthem upon the men of Dyvedand the household and the warriors that are with us.These can I not suffer to be given to any. In a year from to-nighta banquetshall be prepared for thee in this palacethat I may become thy bride."

So Gawl went forth to his possessionsand Pwyll went also back to Dyved. Andthey both spent that year until it was the time for the feast at the palace ofHeveydd. Then Gawlthe son of Cludset out to the feast that was prepared forhim; and he came to the palaceand was received there with rejoicing. Pwyllalsothe chief of Dyvedcame to the orchard with a hundred knightsasRhiannon had commanded him. And Pwyll was clad in coarse and ragged garmentsand wore largeclumsy old shoes upon his feet. And when he knew that thecarousal after the meat had begunhe went toward the hall; and when he cameinto the hall he saluted Gawlthe son of Cludand his companyboth men andwomen. "Heaven prosper thee" said Gawl"and friendly greetingbe unto thee!" "Lord" said he"may Heaven reward thee! Ihave an errand unto thee." "Welcome be thine errandand if thou askof me that which is rightthou shalt have it gladly." "It isfitting" answered he; "I crave but from wantand the boon I ask isto have this small bag that thou seest filled with meat." "A requestwithin reason is this" said he"and gladly shalt thou have it. Bringhim food." A great number of attendants arose and began to fill the bag;but for all they put into itit was no fuller than at first. "Mysoul" said Gawl"will thy bag ever be full?" "It will notI declare to Heaven" said he"for all that may be put into itunless one possessed of landsand domainsand treasureshall arise and treaddown with both his feet the food that is within the bagand shall say'Enoughhas been put therein.'" Then said Rhiannon unto Gawlthe son of Clud"Rise up quickly." "I will willingly arise" said he. So herose upand put his two feet into the bag. And Pwyll turned up the sides of thebagso that Gawl was over his head in it. And he shut it up quicklyandslipped a knot upon the thongsand blew his horn. And thereuponbeholdhisknights came down upon the palace. And they seized all the host that had comewith Gawland cast them into his own prison. And Pwyll threw off his ragsandhis old shoesand his tattered array. And as they came in every one of Pwyll'sknights struck a blow upon the bagand asked"What is here?" "Abadger" said they. And in this manner they playedeach of them strikingthe bageither with his foot or with a staff. And thus played they with thebag. And then was the game of Badger in the Bag first played.

"Lord" said the man in the bag"if thou wouldst but hear meI merit not to be slain in a bag." Said Heveydd"Lordhe speakstruth; it were fitting that thou listen to himfor he deserves not this.""Verily" said Pwyll"I will do thy counsel concerninghim." "Beholdthis is my counsel then" said Rhiannon."Thou art now in a position in which it behooves thee to satisfy suitorsand minstrels. Let him give unto them in thy steadand take a pledge from himthat he will never seek to revenge that which has been done to him. And thiswill be punishment enough." "I will do this gladly" said the manin the bag. "And gladly will I accept it" said Pwyllsince it is thecounsel of Heveydd and Rhiannon. Seek thyself sureties." "We will befor him" said Heveydd"until his men be free to answer forhim." And upon this he was let out of the bagand his liegemen wereliberated. "Verilylord" said Gawl"I am greatly hurtand Ihave many bruises. With thy leave I will go forth. I will leave nobles in mystead to answer for me in all that thou shalt require.""Willingly" said Pwyll"mayest thou do thus." So Gawl wentto his own possessions.

And the hall was set in order for Pwyll and the men of his hostand for themalso of the palaceand they went to the tables and sat down. And as they hadsat at that time twelve-monthso sat they that night. And they ate and feastedand spent the night in mirth and tranquillity. And the time came that theyshould sleepand Pwyll and Rhiannon went to their chamber.

And next morning at break of day"My lord" said Rhiannon"arise and begin to give thy gifts unto the minstrels. Refuse no one to-daythat may claim thy bounty." "Thus shall it be gladly" saidPwyll"both to-day and every day while the feast shall last." SoPwyll aroseand he caused silence to be proclaimedand desired all the suitorsand minstrels to show and to point out what gifts they desired. And this beingdonethe feast went onand he denied no one while it lasted. And when thefeast was endedPwyll said unto Heveydd"My lordwith thy permissionIwill set out for Dyved to-morrow." "Certainly" said Heveydd;"may Heaven prosper thee! Fix also a time when Rhiannon shall followthee." "By Heaven" said Pwyll"we will go hencetogether." "Willest thou thislord?" said Heveydd. "Yeslord" answered Pwyll.

And the next day they set forward towards Dyvedand journeyed to the palaceof Narberthwhere a feast was made ready for them. And there came to them greatnumbers of the chief men and themost noble ladies of the landand of thesethere were none to whom Rhiannon did not give some rich gifteither a braceletor a ringor a precious stone. And they ruled the land prosperously that yearand the next.

CHAPTER XXVII.

BRANWENTHE DAUGHTER OF LLYR. -

BENDIGEID VRANthe son of Llyrwas the crowned king of this islandand hewas exalted from the crown of London. And one afternoon be was at HarlechinArdudwyat his court; and he sat upon the rock of Harlechlooking over thesea. And with him were his brotherManawyddanthe son of Llyrand hisbrothers by his mother's sideNissyen and Evnissyenand many nobles likewiseas was fitting to see around a king. His two brothers by the mother's side weresons of Euroswyddand one of these youths was a good youthand of gentlenatureand would make peace between his kindredand cause his family to befriends when their wrath was at the highestand this one was Nissyen; but theother would cause strife between his two brothers when they were most at peace.And as they sat thus they beheld thirteen ships coming from the south ofIrelandand making towards them; and they came with a swift motionthe windbeing behind them; and they neared them rapidly. "I see ships afar"said the king"coming swiftly towards the land. Command the men of thecourt that they equip themselvesand go and learn their intent." So themen equipped themselvesand went down towards them. And when they saw the shipsnearcertain were they that they had never seen ships better furnished.Beautiful flags of satin were upon them. Andbeholdone of the shipsoutstripped the othersand they saw a shield lifted up above the side of theshipand the point of the shield was upwardsin token of peace. And the mendrew nearthat they might hold converse. Then they put out boatsand cametoward the land. And they saluted the king. Now the king could hear them fromthe place where he was upon the rock above their heads. "Heaven prosperyou" said he"and be ye welcome! To whom do those ships belongandwho is the chief amongst you?" "Lord" said they"Matholchking of Irelandis hereand these ships belong to him." "Whereforecomes he?" asked the king"and will he come to the land?""He is a suitor unto theelord" said they"and he will notland unless he have his boon." "And what may that be?" inquiredthe king. "He desires to ally himselflordwith thee" said they"and he comes to ask Branwenthe daughter of Llyrthatif it seem wellto theethe Island of the Mighty * may be leagued with Irelandand both becomemore powerful." "Verily" said he"let him come to landand we will take counsel thereupon." And this answer was brought toMatholch. "I will go willingly" said he. So he landedand theyreceived him joyfully; and great was the throng in the palace that night betweenhis hosts and those of the court; and next day they took counseland theyresolved to bestow Branwen upon Matholch. Now she was one of the three chiefladies of this islandand she was the fairest damsel in the world. -

* The Island of the Mighty is one of the many names bestowed upon Britain bythe Welsh. -

And they fixed upon Aberfraw as the place where she should become his bride.And they went thenceand towards Aberfraw the hosts proceededMatholch and hishost in their shipsBendigeid Vran and his host by landuntil they came toAberfraw. And at Aberfraw they began the feastand sat down. And thus sat they:the king of the Island of the Mighty and Manawyddanthe son of Llyron onesideand Matholch on the other sideand Branwenthe daughter of Llyrbesidehim. And they were not within a housebut under tents. No house could evercontain Bendigeid Vran. And they began the banquetand caroused and discoursed.And when it was more pleasing to them to sleep than to carousethey went torestand Branwen became Matholch's bride.

And the next day they aroseand all they of the courtand the officersbegan to equipand to range the horses and the attendantsand they ranged themin order as far as the sea.

Andbeholdone day Evnissyenthe quarrelsome manof whom it is spokenabovecame by chance into the place where the horses of Matholch wereandasked whose horses they might be. "They are the horses of Matholchking ofIrelandwho is married to Branwenthy sister; his horses are they.""And is it thus they have done with a maiden such as sheand moreover mysisterbestowing herwithout my consent? They could have offered me no greaterinsult than this" said he. And thereupon he rushed under the horsesandcut off their lips at the teethand their ears close to their headsand theirtails close to their backs; and he disfigured the horsesand rendered themuseless.

And they came with these tidings unto Matholchsaying that the horses weredisfigured and injuredso that not one of them could ever be of any use again."Verilylord" said one"it was an insult unto theeand assuch was it meant." "Of a truthit is a marvel to me thatif theydesire to insult methey should have given me a maiden of such high rankandso much beloved by their kindredas they have done." "Lord"said another"thou seest that thus it isand there is nothing for thee todo but to go to thy ships." And thereupon towards his ships he set out.

And tidings came to Bendigeid Vran that Matholch was quitting the courtwithout asking leaveand messengers were sent to him to inquire wherefore hedid so. And the messengers that went were Iddicthe son of Anarawdand HeveydHir. And these overtook himand asked of him what he designed to doandwherefore he went forth. "Of a truth" said he "if I had known Ihad not come hither. I have been altogether insulted; no one had ever worsetreatment than I have had here." "Trulylordit was not the will ofany that are of the court" said they"nor of any that are of thecouncilthat thou shouldst have received this insult; and as thou hast beeninsulted the dishonor is greater unto Bendigeid Vran than unto thee.""Verily" said he"I think so. Nevertheless he cannot recall theinsult." These men returned with that answer to the place where BendigeidVran wasand they told him what reply Matholch had given them."Truly" said he"there are no means by which we may prevent hisgoing away at enmity with us that we will not take." "Welllord" said they"send after him another embassy." "I willdo so" said he. "AriseManawyddanson of Llyrand Heveyd Hirandgo after himand tell him that he shall have a sound horse for every one thathas been injured. And besides thatas an atonement for the insulthe shallhave a staff of silver as large and as tall as himselfand a plate of gold ofthe breadth of his face. And show unto him who it was that did thisand that itwas done against my will; but that he who did it is my brotherand therefore itwould be hard for me to put him to death. And let him come and meet me"said he"and we will make peace in any way he may desire."

The embassy went after Matholchand told him all these sayings in a friendlymanner; and he listened thereunto. "Men" said he"I will takecounsel." So to the council he went. And in the council they consideredthatif they should refuse thisthey were likely to have more shame ratherthan to obtain so great an atonement. They resolvedthereforeto accept itand they returned to the court in peace.

Then the pavilions and tents were set in order after the fashion of a hall;and they went to meatand as they had sat at the beginning of the feast so satthey there. And Matholch and Bendigeid Vran began to discourse; andbeholditseemed to Bendigeid Vranwhile they talkedthat Matholch was not so cheerfulas he had been before. And he thought that the chieftain might be sad because ofthe smallness of the atonement which he had for the wrong that had been donehim. "O man" said Bendigeid Vran"thou dost not discourseto-night so cheerfully as thou wast wont. And if it be because of the smallnessof the atonement thou shalt add thereunto whatsoever thou mayest chooseandto-morrow I will pay thee for the horses." "Lord" said he"Heaven reward thee!" "And I will enhance the atonement"said Bendigeid Vran"for I will give thee a caldronthe property of whichis that if one of thy men be slain to-dayand be cast thereinto-morrow hewill be as well as ever he was at the bestexcept that he will not regain hisspeech." And thereupon he gave him great thanksand very joyful was he forthat cause.

That night they continued to discourse as much as they wouldand hadminstrelsy and carousing; and when it was more pleasant to them to sleep than tosit longerthey went to rest. And thus was the banquet carried on withjoyousness; and when it was finishedMatholch journeyed towards IrelandandBranwen with him; and they went from Aber Menei with thirteen shipsand came toIreland. And in Ireland was there great joy because of their coming. And not onegreat man nor noble lady visited Branwen unto whom she gave not either a claspor a ringor a royal jewel to keepsuch as it was honorable to be seendeparting with. And in these things she spent that year in much renownand shepassed her time pleasantlyenjoying honor and friendship. And in due time a sonwas born unto herand the name that they gave him was Gwernthe son ofMatholchand they put the boy out to be nursed in a place where were the bestmen of Ireland.

Andbeholdin the second year a great tumult arose in Irelandon accountof the insult which Matholch had received in Walesand the payment made him forhis horses. And his foster-brothersand such as were nearest to himblamed himopenly for that matter. And he might have no peace by reason of the tumultuntil they should revenge upon him this disgrace. And the vengeance which theytook was to drive away Branwen from the same chamber with himand to make hercook for the court; and they caused the butcherafter he had cut up the meatto come to her and give her every day a blow on the ear; and such they made herpunishment.

"Verilylord" said his men to Matholch"forbid now theships and the ferry-boatsand the coraclesthat they go not into Walesandsuch as come over from Wales hitherimprison themthat they go not back forthis thing to be known there." And he did so; and it was thus for no lessthan three years.

And Branwen reared a starling in the cover of the kneading-troughand shetaught it to speakand she taught the bird what manner of man her brother was.And she wrote a letter of her woesand the despite with which she was treatedand she bound the letter to the root of the bird's wingand sent it towardWales. And the bird came to that island; and one day it found Bendigeid Vran atCaer Seiont in Arvonconferring thereand it alighted upon his shoulderandruffled its feathersso that the letter was seenand they knew that the birdhad been reared in a domestic manner.

Then Bendigeid Vran took the letter and looked upon it. And when he had readthe letterhe grieved exceedingly at the tidings of Branwen's woes. Andimmediately he began sending messengers to summon the island together. And hecaused sevenscore and four of his chief men to come unto himand he complainedto them of the grief that his sister endured. So they took counsel. And in thecouncil they resolved to go to Irelandand to leave seven men as princes athomeand Caradoc* the son of Branas the chief of them. -

* Caractacus. -

Bendigeid Vranwith the host of which we spokesailed towards Ireland; andit was not far across the seaand he came to shoal water. Now the swineherds ofMatholch were upon the seashoreand they came to Matholch. "Lord"said they"greeting be unto thee." "Heaven protect you!"said he; "have you any news?" "Lord" said they"wehave marvellous news. A wood have we seen upon the seain a place where wenever yet saw a single tree." "This is indeed a marvel" said he;"saw you aught else?" "We sawlord" said they"avast mountain beside the woodwhich movedand there was a lofty ridge on thetop of the mountainand a lake on each side of the ridge. And the wood and themountainand all these things moved." "Verily" said he"there is none who can know aught concerning this unless it beBranwen."

Messengers then went unto Branwen. "Lady" said they"whatthinkest thou that this is?" "The men of the Island of the Mightywhohave come hither on hearing of my ill-treatment and of my woes." "Whatis the forest that is seen upon the sea?" asked they. "The yards andthe masts of ships" she answered. "Alas!" said they; "whatis the mountain that is seen by the side of the ships?" "BendigeidVranmy brother" she replied"coming to shoal waterand he iswading to the land." "What is the lofty ridgewith the lake on eachside thereof?" "On looking towards this island he is wrothand histwo eyes on each side of his nose are the two lakes on each side of theridge."

The warriors and chief men of Ireland were brought together in hasteandthey took counsel. "Lord" said the neighbors unto Matholch"there is no other counsel than this alone. Thou shalt give the kingdom toGwernthe son of Branwen his sisteras a compensation for the wrong anddespite that have been done unto Branwen. And he will make peace withthee." And in the council it was resolved that this message should be sentto Bendigeid Vranlest the country should be destroyed. And this peace wasmade. And Matholch caused a great house to be built for Bendigeid Vranand hishost. Thereupon came the hosts into the house. The men of the island of Irelandentered the house on the one sideand the men of the Island of the Mighty onthe other. And as soon as they had sat downthere was concord between them; andthe sovereignty was conferred upon the boy. When the peace was concludedBendigeid Vran called the boy unto himand from Bendigeid Vran the boy wentunto Manawyddanand he was beloved by all that beheld him. And from Manawyddanthe boy was called by Nissyenthe son of Euroswyddand the boy went unto himlovingly. "Wherefore" said Evnissyen"comes not my nephewtheson of my sisterunto me? Though he were not king of Irelandyet willinglywould I fondle the boy." "Cheerfully let him go to thee" saidBendigeid Vran; and the boy went unto him cheerfully. "By my confession toHeaven" said Evnissyen in his heart"unthought of is the slaughterthat I will this instant commit."

Then he arose and took up the boyand before any one in the house couldseize hold of him he thrust the boy headlong into the blazing fire. And whenBranwen saw her son burning in the fireshe strove to leap into the fire alsofrom the place where she sat between her two brothers. But Bendigeid Vrangrasped her with one handand his shield with the other. Then they all hurriedabout the houseand never was there made so great a tumult by any host in onehouse as was made by themas each man armed himself. And while they all soughttheir arms Bendigeid Vran supported Branwen between his shield and his shoulder.And they fought.

Then the Irish kindled a fire under the caldron of renovationand they castthe dead bodies into the caldron until it was full; and the next day they cameforth fighting menas good as beforeexcept that they were not able to speak.Then when Evnissyen saw the dead bodies of the men of the Island of the Mightynowhere resuscitatedhe said in his heart"Alas! woe is methat I shouldhave been the cause of bringing the men of the Island of the Mighty into sogreat a strait. Evil betide me if I find not a deliverance therefrom." Andhe cast himself among the dead bodies of the Irish; and two unshod Irishmen cameto himand taking him to be one of the Irishflung him into the caldron. Andhe stretched himself out in the caldronso that he rent the caldron into fourpiecesand burst his own heart also.

In consequence of this the men of the Island of the Mighty obtained suchsuccess as they had; but they were not victoriousfor only seven men of themall escapedand Bendigeid Vran himself was wounded in the foot with a poisoneddart. Now the men that escaped were PryderiManawyddanTaliesinand fourothers.

And Bendigeid Vran commanded them that they should cut off his head."And take you my head" said he"and bear it even unto the WhiteMount in Londonand bury it there with the face towards France. And so long asit lies thereno enemy shall ever land on the island."

So they cut off his headand these seven went forward therewith. And Branwenwas the eighth with them. And they came to land on Aber Alawand they sat downto rest. And Branwen looked towards Irelandand towards the Island of theMightyto see if she could descry them. "Alas!" said she"woeis me that I was ever born; two islands have been destroyed because of me."Then she uttered a groanand there broke her heart. And they made her afour-sided graveand buried her upon the banks of the Alaw.

Then the seven men journeyed forwardbearing the head with them; and as theywentbeholdthere met them a multitude of men and women. "Have you anytidings?" said Manawyddan. "We havenone" said they"savethat Caswallawn* the son of Belihas conquered the Island of the Mightyandis crowned king in London." "What has become" said they"of Caradocthe son of Branand the seven men who were left with him inthis island?" "Caswallawn came upon themand slew six of the menandCaradoc's heart broke for grief thereof." And the seven men journeyed ontowards Londonand they buried the head in the White Mountas Bendigeid Vranhad directed them. *(2) -

* Cassivellaunus.

*(2) There is a Triad upon the story of the head buried under the White Towerof Londonas a charm against invasion. Arthurit seemsproudly disinterredthe headpreferring to hold the island by his own strength alone.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

MANAWYDDAN. -

PWYLL and Rhiannon had a sonwhom they named Pryderi. And when he was grownupPwyllhis fatherdied. And Pryderi married Kicvathe daughter of GwynnGloy.

Now Manawyddan returned from the war in Irelandand he found that his cousinhad seized all his possessionsand much grief and heaviness came upon him."Alas! woe is me!" he exclaimed; "there is none save myselfwithout a home and a resting-place." "Lord" said Pryderi"be not so sorrowful. Thy cousin is king of the Island of the Mightyandthough he has done thee wrongthou hast never been a claimant of land orpossessions." "Yea" answered he"but although this man ismy cousinit grieveth me to see any one in the place of my brotherBendigeidVran; neither can I be happy in the same dwelling with him." "Wiltthou follow the counsel of another?" said Pryderi. "I stand in need ofcounsel" he answered"and what may that counsel be?""Seven cantrevs belong unto me" said Pryderi"wherein Rhiannonmy motherdwells. I will bestow her upon theeand the seven cantrevs with her;and though thou hadst no possessions but those cantrevs onlythou couldst nothave any fairer than they. Do thou and Rhiannon enjoy them; and if thou desireany possessions thou wilt not despise these." "I do notchieftain" said he. "Heaven reward thee for thy friendship! I will gowith thee to seek Rhiannonand to look at thy possessions." "Thouwilt do well" he answered; "and I believe thou didst never hear alady discourse better than sheand when she was in her primenone was everfairer. Even now her aspect is not uncomely."

They set forthandhowever long the journeythey came at last to Dyved;and a feast was prepared for them by Rhiannon and Kicva. Then began Manawyddanand Rhiannon to sit and talk together; and his mind and his thoughts becamewarmed towards herand he thought in his heart he had never beheld any ladymore fulfilled of grace and beauty than she. "Pryderi" said he"I will that it be as thou didst say." "What saying wasthat?" asked Rhiannon. "Lady" said Pryderi"I did offerthee as a wife to Manawyddanthe son of Llyr." "By that will I gladlyabide" said Rhiannon. "Right glad am I also" said Manawyddan;"may Heaven reward him who hath shown unto me friendship so perfect asthis."

And before the feast was over she became his bride. Said Pryderi"Tarryye here the rest of the feastand I will go into England to tender my homageunto Caswallawnthe son of Beli." "Lord" said Rhiannon"Caswallawn is in Kent; thou mayest therefore tarry at the feastand waituntil he shall be nearer." "We will wait" he answered. So theyfinished the feast. And they began to make the circuit of Dyvedand to huntand to take their pleasure. And as they went through the countrythey had neverseen lands more pleasant to live innor better hunting-groundsnor greaterplenty of honey and fish. And such was the friendship between these fourthatthey would not be parted from each other by night nor by day.

And in the midst of all this be went to Caswallawn at Oxfordand tenderedhis homage; and honorable was his reception thereand highly was he praised foroffering his homage.

And after his return Pryderi and Manawyddan feasted and took their ease andpleasure. And they began a feast at Narberthfor it was the chief palace. Andwhen they had ended the first mealwhile those who served them atethey aroseand went forthand proceeded to the Gorseddthat isthe Mound of Narberthand their retinue with them. And as they sat thusbehold a peal of thunderandwith the violence of the thunder-stormlo! there came a fall of mistso thickthat not one of them could see the other. And after the mist it became light allaround. And when they looked towards the place where they were wont to seecattle and herds and dwellingsthey saw nothing nowneither housenor beastnor smokenor firenor mannor dwellingbut the buildings of the courtemptyand desertand uninhabitedwithout either man or beast within them. Andtruly all their companions were lost to themwithout their knowing aught ofwhat had befallen themsave those four only.

"In the name of Heaven" said Manawyddan"where are they ofthe courtand all my host beside? Let us go and see."

So they came to the castleand saw no manand into the halland to thesleeping-placeand there was none; and in the mead-cellar and in the kitchenthere was naught but desolation. Then they began to go through the landand allthe possessions that they had; and they visited the houses and dwellingsandfound nothing but wild beasts. And when they had consumed their feast and alltheir provisionsthey fed upon the prey they killed in huntingand the honeyof the wild swarms.

And one morning Pryderi and Manawyddan rose up to huntand they ranged theirdogs and went forth. And some of the dogs ran before themand came to a bushwhich was near at hand; but as soon as they were come to the bushthey hastilydrew backand returned to the mentheir hair bristling up greatly. "Letus go near to the bush" said Pryderi"and see what is in it."And as they came nearbeholda wild boar of a pure white color rose up fromthe bush. Then the dogsbeing set on by the menrushed towards him; but heleft the bushand fell back a little way from the menand made a stand againstthe dogswithout retreating from themuntil the men had come near. And whenthe men came uphe fell back a second timeand betook him to flight. Then theypursued the boar until they beheld a vast and lofty castleall newly builtina place where they had never before seen either stone or building. And the boarran swiftly into the castleand the dogs after him. Now when the boar and thedogs had gone into the castlethe men began to wonder at finding a castle in aplace where they had never seen any building whatsoever. And from the top of theGorsedd they looked and listened for the dogs.

But so long as they were therethey heard not one of the dogsnor aughtconcerning them.

"Lord" said Pryderi"I will go into the castle to gettidings if the dogs." "Truly" he replied"thou wouldst beunwise to go into this castlewhich thou hast never seen till now. If thouwouldst follow my counselthou wouldst not enter therein. Whosoever has cast aspell over this landhas caused this castle to be here." "Of atruth" answered Pryderi"I cannot thus give up my dogs." Andfor all the counsel that Manawyddan gave himyet to the castle he went.

When he came within the castle neither mannor beastnor boarnor donorhousenor dwellingsaw he within it. But in the centre of the castle floor hebeheld a fountain with marble-work around itand on the margin of the fountaina golden bowl upon a marble slaband chains banging from the airto which hesaw no end.

And he was greatly pleased with the beauty of the goldand with the richworkmanship of the bowl; and he went up to the bowland laid hold of it. Andwhen he had taken hold of it his hands stuck to the bowland his feet to theslab on which the bowl was placed; and all his joyousness forsook himso thathe could not utter a word. And thus he stood.

And Manawyddan waited for him till near the close of the day. And late in theeveningbeing certain that he should have no tidings of Pryderi or the dogshewent back to the palace. And as he entered Rhiannon looked at him."Where" said she"are thy companion and thy dogs?""Behold" he answered"the adventure that has befallen me."And he related it all unto her. "An evil companion hast thou been"said Rhiannon"and a good companion hast thou lost." And with thatword she went outand proceeded towards the castleaccording to the directionwhich he gave her. The gate of the castle she found open. She was nothingdauntedand she went in. And as she went in she perceived Pryderi laying holdof the bowland she went towards him. "O my lord" said she"what dost thou here?" And she took hold of the bowl with him; and asshe did so her hands also became fast to the bowland her feet to the slabandshe was not able to utter a word. And with thatas it became nightlo! therecame thunder upon themand a fall of mist; and thereupon the castle vanishedand they with it.

When Kicvathe daughter of Gwynn Gloysaw that there was no one in thepalace but herself and Manawyddanshe sorrowed so that she cared not whethershe lived or died. And Manawyddan saw this. "Thou art in the wrong"said he"if through fear of me thou grievest thus. I call Heaven towitness that thou hast never seen friendship more pure than that which I willbear theeas long as Heaven will that thou shouldst be thus. I declare to theethatwere I in the dawn of youthI would keep my faith unto Pryderiand untothee also will I keep it. Be there no fear upon theetherefore.""Heaven reward thee!" she said; "and that is what I deemed ofthee." And the damsel thereupon took courageand was glad.

"Trulylady" said Manawyddan"it is not fitting for us tostay here; we have lost our dogsand cannot get food. Let us go into England;it is easier for us to find support there." "Gladlylord" saidshe"we will do so." And they set forth together to England.

"Lord" said she"what craft wilt thou follow? Take up onethat is seemly." "None other will I take" answered he"butthat of making shoes." "Lord" said she"such a craftbecomes not a man so nobly born as thou." "By that however will Iabide" said he. "I know nothing thereof" said Kicva. "ButI know" answered Manawyddan"and I will teach thee to stitch. Wewill not attempt to dress the leatherbut we will buy it ready dressedandwill make the shoes from it."

So they went into Englandand went as far as Hereford; and they betookthemselves to making shoes. And he began by buying the best cordwain that couldbe had in townand none other would he buy. And he associated himself with thebest goldsmith in the townand caused him to make clasps for the shoesand togild the clasps; and he marked how it was done until be learned the method. Andtherefore is he called one of the three makers of gold shoes. And when theycould be had from him not a shoe nor hose was bought from any of the cordwainersin the town. But when the cordwainers perceived that their gains were failing(for as Manawyddan shaped the work so Kicva stitched it)they came together andtook counseland agreed that they would slay them. And he had warning thereofand it was told him how the cordwainers had agreed to slay him.

"Lord" said Kicva"wherefore should this be borne from theseboors?" "Nay" said he"we will go back unto Dyved."So towards Dyved they set forth.

Now Manawyddanwhen he set out to return to Dyvedtook with him a burden ofwheat. And he proceeded towards Narberthand there he dwelt. And never was hebetter pleased than when he saw Narberth againand the lands where he had beenwont to hunt with Pryderi and with Rhiannon. And he accustomed himself to fishand to hunt the deer in their covert. And then he began to prepare some groundand he sowed a croftand a secondand a third. And no wheat in the world eversprang up better. And the three crofts prospered with perfect growthand no manever saw fairer wheat than it.

And thus passed the seasons of the year until the harvest came. And he wentto look at one of his croftsandbeholdit was ripe. "I will reap thisto-morrow" said he. And that night he went back to Narberthand on themorrowin the gray dawnhe went to reap the croft; and when he came there hefound nothing but the bare straw. Every one of the ears of the wheat was cut offfrom the stalkand all the ears carried entirely awayand nothing but thestraw left. And at this he marvelled greatly.

Then he went to look at another croftandbeholdthat also was ripe."Verily" said he"this will I reap to-morrow." And on themorrow he came with the intent to reap it; and when he came there he foundnothing but the bare straw. "O gracious Heaven!" he exclaimed"Iknow that whomsoever has begun my ruin is completing itand has also destroyedthe country with me."

Then he went to look at the third croft; and when he came therefiner wheathad there never been seenand this also was ripe. "Evil betide me"said he"if I watch not here to-night. Whoever carried off the other cornwill come in like manner to take thisand I will know who it is." And hetold Kicva all that had befallen. "Verily" said she"whatthinkest thou to do?" "I will watch the croft tonight" said he.And he went to watch the croft.

And at midnight he heard something stirring among the wheat; and he lookedand beholdthe mightiest host of mice in the worldwhich could neither benumbered nor measured. And he knew not what it was until the mice had made theirway into the croftand each of themclimbing up the strawand bending it downwith its weighthad cut off one of the ears of wheatand had carried it awayleaving there the stalk; and he saw not a single straw there that had not amouse to it. And they all took their waycarrying the ears with them.

In wrath and anger did he rush upon the mice; but he could no more come upwith them than if they had been gnats or birds of the airexcept one onlywhichthough it was but sluggishwent so fast that a man on foot could scarceovertake it. And after this one he wentand he caught itand put it in hisgloveand tied up the opening of the glove with a stringand kept it with himand returned to the palace. Then he came to the hall where Kicva wasand he

lighted a fireand hung the glove by the string upon a peg. "What hastthou therelord?" said Kicva. "A thief" said he"that Ifound robbing me." "What kind of a thief may it belordthat thoucouldst put into thy glove?" said she. Then he told her how the mice cameto the last of the fields in his sight. "And one of them was less nimblethan the restand is now in my glove; to-morrow I will hang it." "Mylord" said she"this is marvellous; but yet it would be unseemly fora man of dignity like thee to be hanging such a reptile as this." "Woebetide me" said he "if I would not hang them allcould I catch themand such as I have I will hang." "Verilylord" said she"there is no reason that I should succor this reptileexcept to preventdiscredit unto thee. Do thereforelordas thou wilt."

Then he went to the Mound of Narberthtaking the mouse with him. And he setup two forks on the highest part of the mound. And while he was doing thisbeholdhe saw a scholar coming towards himin old and poor and tatteredgarments. And it was now seven years since he had seen in that place either manor beastexcept those four persons who had remained together until two of themwere lost.

"My lord" said the scholar"good day to thee.""Heaven prosper theeand my greeting be unto thee! And whence dost thoucomescholar?" asked he. "I comelordfrom singing in England; andwherefore dost thou inquire?" "Because for the last seven years"answered he"I have seen no man here save four secluded personsandthyself this moment." "Trulylord" said he"I go throughthis land unto mine own. And what work art thou uponlord?" "I amhanging a thief that I caught robbing me" said he. "What manner ofthief is that?" asked the scholar. "I see a creature in thy hand likeunto a mouseand ill does it become a man of rank equal to thine to touch areptile such as this. Let it go forth free." "I will not let it gofreeby Heaven" said he"I caught it robbing meand the doom of athief will I inflict upon itand I will hang it." "Lord" saidhe"rather than see a man of rank equal to thine at such a work as thisIwould give thee a poundwhich I have received as almsto let the reptile goforth free." "I will not let it go free" said he"neitherwill I sell it." "As thou wiltlord" he answered; "I carenaught." And the scholar went his way.

And as he was placing the cross-beam upon the two forksbeholda priestcame towards himupon a horse covered with trappings. "Good day to theelord" said he. "Heaven prosper thee!" said Manawyddan; "thyblessing." "The blessing of Heaven be upon thee! And whatlordartthou doing?" "I am hanging a thief that I caught robbing me"said he. "What manner of thieflord?" asked he. "Acreature" he answered"in form of a mouse. It has been robbing meand I am inflicting upon it the doom of a thief." "Lord" saidhe"rather than see thee touch this reptileI would purchase itsfreedom." "By my confession to Heavenneither will I sell it nor setit free." "It is truelordthat it is worth nothing to buy; butrather than see thee defile thyself by touching such a reptile as thisI willgive thee three pounds to let it go." "I will notby Heaven"said he"take any price for it. As it oughtso shall it be hanged."And the priest went his way.

Then he noosed the string around the mouse's neckand as he was about todraw it upbeholdhe saw a bishop's retinuewith his sumpter-horses and hisattendants. And the bishop himself came towards him. And he stayed his work."Lord Bishop" said he"thy blessing." "Heaven'sblessing be unto thee!" said he. "What work art thou upon?""Hanging a thief that I caught robbing me" said he. "Is not thata mouse that I see in thy hand?" "Yes" answered he"andshe has robbed me." "Ah" said he"since I have come at thedoom of this reptileI will ransom it of thee. I will give thee seven poundsfor itand that rather than see a man of rank equal to thine destroying so vilea reptile as this. Let it looseand thou shalt have the money." "Ideclare to Heaven that I will not let it loose." "If thou wilt notloose it for thisI will give thee four and twenty pounds of ready money to setit free." "I will not set it freeby Heavenfor as much again"said he. "If thou wilt not set it free for thisI will give thee all thehorses that thou seest in this plainand the seven loads of baggageand theseven horses that they are upon." "By HeavenI will not" hereplied. "Since for this thou wilt not set it freedo so at what pricesoever thou wilt." "I will that Rhiannon and Pryderi be free"said he. "That thou shalt have" he answered. "Not yet will Iloose the mouseby Heaven." "What then wouldst thou?" "Thatthe charm and the illusion be removed from the seven cantrevs of Dyved.""This shalt thou have also; set therefore the mouse free." "Iwill not set it freeby Heaven" said he"till I know who the mousemay be." "She is my wife." "Wherefore came she to me?""To despoil thee" he answered. "I am Lloydthe son of Kilwedand I cast the charm over the seven cantrevs of Dyved. And it was to avengeGawlthe son of Cludfrom the friendship that I had towards himthat I castthe charm. And upon Pryderi did I avenge Gawlthe son of Cludfor the game ofBadger in the Bagthat Pwyllthe son of Auwynplayed upon him. And when itwas known that thou wast come to dwell in the landmy household came andbesought me to transform them into micethat they might destroy thy corn. Andthey went the first and the second nightand destroyed thy two crops. And thethird night came unto me my wife and the ladies of the courtand besought me totransform them. And I transformed them. Now she is not in her usual health. Andhad she been in her usual healththou wouldst not have been able to overtakeher; but since this has taken placeand she has been caughtI will restore tothee Pryderi and Rhiannonand I will take the charm and illusion from offDyved. Set her therefore free." "I will not set her free yet.""What wilt thou more?" he asked. "I will that there be no morecharm upon the seven cantrevs of Dyvedand that none shall be put upon ithenceforth; moreoverthat vengeance be never taken for thiseither uponPryderi or Rhiannonor upon me." "All this shalt thou have. And trulythou hast done wisely in asking this. Upon thy head would have lit all thistrouble." "Yea" said he"for fear thereof was it that Irequired this." "Set now my wife at liberty." "I willnot" said he"until I see Pryderi and Rhiannon with me free.""Beholdhere they come" she answered.

And thereupon behold Pryderi and Rhiannon. And he rose up to meet themandgreeted themand sat down beside them. "Ahchieftainset now my wife atliberty" said the bishop. "Hast thou not received all thou didstask?" "I will release hergladly" said he. And thereupon he sether free.

Then he struck her with a magic wandand she was changed back into a youngwomanthe fairest ever seen.

"Look round upon thy land" said he"and thou wilt see it alltilled and peopled as it was in its best estate." And he rose up and lookedforth. And when he looked he saw all the lands tilledand full of herds anddwellings.

And thus ends this portion of the Mabinogi. -

The following allusions to the preceding story are found in a letter of thepoet Southey to John RickmanEsq.dated June 6th1802:-

"You will read the Mabinogeonconcerning which I ought to have talkedto you. In the lastthat most odd and Arabian-like story of the mousementionis made of a begging scholarthat helps to the date; but where did the Cymriget the imagination that could produce such a tale? That enchantment of thebasin hanging by the chain from

heaven is in the wildest spirit of the Arabian Nights. I am perfectlyastonished that such fictions should exist in Welsh. They throw no light on theorigin of romanceeverything being utterly dissimilar to what we mean by thattermbut they do open a new world of fiction; and if the date of their languagebe fixed about the twelfth or thirteenth centuryI cannot but think themythological substance is of far earlier date; very probably brought from theEast by some of the first settlers or conquerors."

CHAPTER XXIX.

KILWICH AND OLWEN. -

KILYDDthe son of Prince Kelyddondesired a wife as a helpmateand thewife that he chose was Goleudidthe daughter of Prince Anlawd. And after theirunion the people put up prayers that they might have an heir. And they had a sonthrough the prayers of the people; and called his name Kilwich.

After this the boy's motherGoleudidthe daughter of Prince Anlawdfellsick. Then she called her husband to herand said to him"Of thissickness I shall dieand thou wilt take another wife. Now wives are the gift ofthe Lordbut it would be wrong for thee to harm thy son. Therefore I chargethee that thou take not a wife until thou see a briar with two blossoms upon mygrave." And this he promised her. Then she besought him to dress her graveevery yearthat no weeds might grow thereon. So the queen died. Now the kingsent an attendant. every morning to see if anything were growing upon the grave.And at the end of the seventh year they neglected that which they had promisedto the queen.

One day the king went to hunt; and he rode to the place of burialto see thegraveand to know if it were time that he should take a wife; and the king sawthe briar. And when he saw itthe king took counsel where he should find awife. Said one of his counsellors"I know a wife that will suit thee well;and she is the wife of King Doged." And they resolved to go to seek her;and they slew the kingand brought away his wife. And they conquered the king'slands. And he married the widow of King Dogedthe sister of Yspadaden Penkawr.

And one day his stepmother said to Kilwich"It were well for thee tohave a wife." "I am not yet of an age to wed" answered theyouth. Then said she unto him"I declare to thee that it is thy destinynot to be suited with a wife until thou obtain Olwenthe daughter of YspadadenPenkawr." And the youth blushedand the love of the maiden diffused itselfthrough all his framealthough he had never seen her. And his father inquiredof him"What has come over theemy sonand what aileth thee?""My stepmother has declared to me that I shall never have a wife until Iobtain Olwenthe daughter of Yspadaden Penkawr." "That will be easyfor thee" answered his father. "Arthur is thy cousin. Gothereforeunto Arthurto cut thy hairand ask this of him as a boon."

And the youth pricked forth upon a steed with head dappled grayfour wintersoldfirm of limbwith shell-formed hoofshaving a bridle of linked gold onhis headand upon him a saddle of costly gold. And in the youth's hand were twospears of silversharpwell temperedheaded with steelthree ells in lengthof an edge to wound the windand cause blood to flowand swifter than the fallof the dew-drop from the blade of reed-grasswhen the dew of June is at theheaviest. A gold-hilted sword was upon his thighthe blade of which was gildedbearing a cross of inlaid gold of the hue of the lightning of heaven. Hiswar-horn was of ivory. Before him were two brindledwhite-breasted greyhoundshaving strong collars of rubies about their necksreaching from the shoulder tothe ear. And the one that was upon the left side bounded across to the rightsideand the one on the right to the leftandlike two sea-swallowssportedaround him. And his courser cast up four sodswith his four hoofslike fourswallows in the airabout his headnow abovenow below. About him was afour-cornered cloth of purpleand an apple of gold was at each cornerandevery one of the apples was of the value of an hundred kine. And there wasprecious gold of the value of three hundred kine upon his shoesand upon hisstirrupsfrom his knee to the tip of his toe. And the blade of grass bent notbeneath himso light was his courser's treadas he journeyed toward the gateof Arthur's palace.

Spoke the youth: "Is there a porter?" "There is; and if thouholdest not thy peacesmall will be thy welcome. I am Arthur's porter everyfirst day of January." "Open the portal." "I will not openit." "Wherefore not?" "The knife is in the meatand thedrink is in the hornand there is revelry in Arthur's hall; and none may entertherein but the son of a king of a privileged countryor a craftsman bringinghis craft. But there will be refreshment for thy dogs and for thy horse; and forthee there will be collops cooked and pepperedand luscious wineand mirthfulsongs; and food for fifty men shall be brought unto thee in the guest-chamberwhere the stranger and the sons of other countries eatwho come not into theprecincts of the palace of Arthur. Thou wilt fare no worse there than thouwouldst with Arthur in the court. A lady shall smooth thy couchand shall lullthee with songs; and early to-morrow morningwhen the gate is open for themultitude that come hither to-dayfor thee shall it be opened firstand thoumayest sit in the place that thou shalt choose in Arthur's hallfrom the upperend to the lower." Said the youth: "That will I not do. If thouopenest the gateit is well. If thou dost not open itI will bring disgraceupon thy lordand evil report upon thee. And I will set up three shouts at thisvery gatethan which none were ever heard more deadly." "What clamorsoever thou mayest make" said Glewlwyd the porter"against the lawsof Arthur's palaceshalt thou not enter thereinuntil I first go and speakwith Arthur."

Then Glewlwyd went into the hall. And Arthur said to him"Hast thounews from the gate?" "Half of my life is passed" said Glewlwyd"and half of thine. I was heretofore in Kaer Se and Assein Sach andSalachin Lotor and Fotorand I have been in India the Great and India theLesserand I have also been in Europe and Africaand in the islands ofCorsicaand I was present when thou didst conquer Greece in the East. Ninesupreme sovereignshandsome mensaw we therebut never did I behold a man ofequal dignity with him who is now at the door of the portal." Then saidArthur"If walking thou didst enter herereturn thou running. It isunbecoming to keep such a man as thou sayest he is in the wind and therain." Said Kay: "By the hand of my friendif thou wouldst follow mycounselthou wouldst not break through the laws of the court because ofhim." "Not soblessed Kay" said Arthur; "it is an honor tous to be resorted toand the greater our courtesythe greater will be ourrenown and our fame and our glory."

And Glewlwyd came to the gateand opened the gate before Kilwich; andalthough all dismounted upon the horse-block at the gateyet did he notdismountbut he rode in upon his charger. Then said he"Greeting be untotheesovereign ruler of this islandand be this greeting no less unto thelowest than unto the highest. and be it equally unto thy guests and thy warriorsand thy chieftains; let all partake of it as completely as thyself. And completebe thy favor and thy fame and thy glorythroughout all this island.""Greeting unto thee also" said Arthur; "sit thou between two ofmy warriorsand thou shalt have minstrels before theeand thou shalt enjoy theprivileges of a king born to a throneas long as thou remainest here. And whenI dispense my presents to the visitors and strangers in this courtthey shallbe in thy hand at my commencing." Said the youth: "I came not here toconsume meat and drink; but if I obtain the boon that I seekI will requite ittheeand extol thee; but if I have it not I will bear forth thy dispraise tothe four quarters of the worldas far as thy renown has extended." Thensaid Arthur"Since thou wilt not remain herechieftainthou shaltreceive the boonwhatsoever thy tongue may nameas far as the wind driesandthe rain moistensand the sun revolvesand the sea encirclesand the earthextends; save only my ship Prydwenand my mantleand Caleburnmy swordandRhongomyantmy lanceand Guenevermy wife. By the truth of Heaventhou shalthave it cheerfullyname what thou wilt." "I would that thou bless myhair" said he. "That shall be granted thee."

And Arthur took a golden comband scissors whereof the loops were of silverand he combed his hair. And Arthur inquired of him who he was; "for myheart warms unto theeand I know that thou art come of my blood. Tell methereforewho thou art." "I will tell thee" said the youth."I am Kilwichthe son of Kilyddthe son of Prince Kelyddonby Goleudidmy motherthe daughter of Prince Anlawd." "That is true" saidArthur; "thou art my cousin. Whatsoever boon thou mayest askthou shaltreceivebe it what it may that thy tongue shall name." "Pledge thetruth of Heaven and the faith of thy kingdom thereof." "I pledge itthee gladly." "I crave of theethenthat thou obtain for me Olwenthe daughter of Yspadaden Penkawrto wife; and this boon I likewise seek at thehands of thy warriors. I seek it from Kay and from Bedwyr; and from Gwynntheson of Nuddand Gadwythe son of Geraintand Prince Flewddur Flamand Ionaking of Franceand Selthe son of Selgiand Taliesinthe chief of the bardsand Geraintthe son of ErbinGaranwynthe son of Kayand Amrenthe son ofBedwyrOlthe son of OlwydBedwinthe bishopGueneverthe chief ladyandGuenhywachher sisterMorvedthe daughter of Urienand Gwenlian Degthemajestic maidenCreiddylad* the daughter of Lluddthe constant maidenandEwaedanthe daughter of Kynvelyn*(2) the half-man." All these didKilwichthe son of Kilyddadjure to obtain his boon. -

* Creiddylad is no other than Shakespeare's Cordeliawhose fatherKingLearis by the Welsh authorities called indiscriminately Llyr or Llydd. All theold chroniclers give the story of her devotion to her aged parentbut none ofthem seems to have been aware that she is destined to remain with him till theday of doom. whilst Gwyn ap Nuddthe king of the fairiesand Gwythyr apGreidiolfight for her every first of Mayand whichever of them may befortunate enough to be the conqueror at that time will obtain her as his bride.

*(2) The Welsh have a fable on the subject of the half-mantaken to beillustrative of the force of habit. In this allegory Arthur is supposed to bemet by a spritewho appears at first in a small and indistinct formbut whoon approaching nearerincreases in sizeandassuming the semblance of half amanendeavors to provoke the king to wrestle. Despising his weaknessandconsidering that he should gain no credit by the encounterArthur refuses to dosoand delays the contest until at length the half-man (Habit) becomes sostrong that it requires his utmost efforts to overcome him. -

Then said Arthur"O chieftainI have never heard of the maiden of whomthou speakestnor of her kindredbut I will gladly send messengers in searchof her. Give me time to seek her." And the youth said"I willwillingly grant from this night to that at the end of the year to do so."Then Arthur sent messengers to every land within his dominions to seek for themaidenand at the end of the year Arthur's messengers returned without havinggained any knowledge or intelligence concerning Olwen more than on the firstday. Then said Kilwich"Every one has received his boonand I yet lackmine. I will departand bear away thine honor with me." Then said Kay"Rash chieftain! dost thou reproach Arthur? Go with usand we will notpart until thou dost either confess that the maiden exists not in the worldoruntil we obtain her." Thereupon Kay rose up. And Arthur called Bedwyrwhonever shrank from any enterprise upon which Kay was bound. None were equal tohim in swiftness throughout this island except Arthur alone; and although he wasone-handedthree warriors could not shed blood faster than he on the field ofbattle.

And Arthur called to Kyndeligthe guide"Go thou upon this expeditionwith the chieftain." For as good a guide was he in a land which he hadnever seen as he was in his own.

He called Gurhyr Gwalstatbecause he knew all tongues.

He called Gawainthe son of Gwyarbecause he never returned home withoutachieving the adventure of which he went in quest.

And Arthur called Meneuthe son of Teirgwedin order thatif they wentinto a savage countrybe might cast a charm and an illusion over themso thatnone might see them whilst they could see every one.

They journeyed until they came to a vast open plainwherein they saw a greatcastleWhich was the fairest of the castles of the world. And when they camebefore the castle they beheld a vast flock of sheep. And upon the top of a moundthere was a herdsman keeping the sheep. And a rug made of skins was upon himand by his side was a shaggy mastifflarger than a steed nine winters old.

Then said Kay"Gurhyr Gwalstatgo thou and salute yonder man.""Kay" said he"I engaged not to go further than thouthyself." "Let us go then together" answered Kay. Said Meneu"Fear not to go thitherfor I will cast a spell upon the dog so that heshall injure no one." And they went up to the mound whereon the herdsmanwasand they said to him"How dost thou fareherdsman?" "Notless fair be it to you than to me." "Whose are the sheep that Thoudost keepand to whom does yonder castle belong?" "Stupid are yetruly! not to know that this is the castle of Yspadaden Penkawr. And ye alsowho are ye?" "We are an embassy from Arthurcome to seek Olwenthedaughter of Yspadaden Penkawr." "O men! the mercy of Heaven be uponyou; do not that for all the world. None who ever came hither on this quest hasreturned alive." And the herdsman rose up. And as he rose Kilwich gave untohim a ring of gold. And he went home and gave the ring to his spouse to keep.And she took the ring when it was given herand she said"Whence camethis ringfor thou art not wont to have good fortune?" "O wifehimto whom this ring belonged thou shalt see here this evening." "And whois he?" asked the woman. "Kilwichthe son of Kilyddby Goleudidthedaughter of Prince Anlawdwho is come to seek Olwen as his wife." And whenthe heard that she had joy that her nephewthe son of her sisterwas coming toherand sorrow because she had never known any one depart alive who had come onthat quest.

And the men went forward to the gate of the herdsman's dwelling. And when sheheard their footsteps approaching she ran out with joy to meet them. And Kaysnatched a billet out of the pile. And when she met them she sought to throw herarms about their necks. And Kay placed the log between her two handsand shesqueezed it so that it became a twisted coil. "O woman" said Kay"if thou hadst squeezed me thus none could ever again set their affectionson me. Evil love were this." They entered into the house and were served;and soon after they all went forth to amuse themselves. Then the woman opened astone chest that was before the chimney-cornerand out of it rose a youth withyellowcurling hair. Said Gurhyr"It is a pity to hide this youth. I knowthat it is not his own crime that is thus visited upon him." "This isbut a remnant" said the woman. "Three and twenty of my sons hasYspadaden Penkawr slainand I have no more hope of this one than of theothers." Then said Kay"Let him come and be a companion with me andhe shall not be slain unless I also am slain with him." And they ate. Andthe woman asked them"Upon what errand come you here?" "We cometo seek Olwen for this youth." Then said the woman"In the name ofHeavensince no one from the castle hath yet seen youreturn again whence youcame." "Heaven is our witness that we will not return until we haveseen the maiden. Does she ever come hitherso that she may be seen?""She comes here every Saturday to wash her headand in the vessel whereshe washes she leaves all her ringsand she never either comes herself or sendsany messenger to fetch them." "Will she come here if she is sentto?" "Heaven knows that I will not destroy my soulnor will I betraythose that trust me; unless you will pledge me your faith that you will not harmher I will not send to her." "We pledge it" said they. So amessage was sentand she came.

The maiden was clothed in a robe of flame-colored silkand about her neckwas a collar of ruddy goldon which were precious emeralds and rubies. Moreyellow was her head than the flower of the broom* and her skin was whiter thanthe foam of the waveand fairer were her hands and her fingers than theblossoms of the wood-anemone amidst the spray of the meadow fountain. The eye ofthe trained hawk was not brighter than hers. Her bosom was more snowy than thebreast of the white swanher cheek was redder than the reddest roses. Whosobeheld her was filled with her love. Four white trefoils sprung up wherever shetrod. And therefore was she called Olwen. -

* The romancers dwell with great complacency on the fair hair and delicatecomplexion of their heroines. This taste continued for a long timeand torender the hair light was an object of education. Even when wigs came intofashion they were all flaxen. Such was the color of the hair of the Gauls and oftheir German conquerors. It required some centuries to reconcile their eyes tothe swarthy beauties of their Spanish and Italian neighbors. -

She entered the house and sat beside Kilwich upon the foremost bench; and assoon as he saw her he knew her. And Kilwich said unto her"Ah! maidenthou art she whom I have loved; come away with me lest they speak evil of theeand of me. Many a day have I loved thee." "I cannot do thisfor Ihave pledged my faith to my father not to go without his counselfor his lifewill last only until the time of my espousals. Whatever is to bemust be. But Iwill give thee adviceif thou wilt take it. Go ask me of my fatherand thatwhich he shall require of theegrant itand thou wilt obtain me; but if thoudeny him anythingthou wilt not obtain meand it will be well for thee if thouescape with thy life." "I promise all thisif occasion offer"said he.

She returned to her chamberand they all rose upand followed her to thecastle. And they slew the nine portersthat were at the nine gatesin silenceAnd they slew the nine watch-dogs without one of them barking. And they wentforward to the hall.

"The greeting of Heaven and of man be unto theeYspadadenPenkawr" said they. "And youwherefore come you?" "We cometo ask thy daughter Olwen for Kilwichthe son of Kilyddthe son of PrinceKelyddon." "Where are my pages and my servants? Raise up the forksbeneath my two eyebrowswhich have fallen over my eyesthat I may see thefashion of my son-in-law." And they did so. "Come hither to-morrowand you shall have an answer."

They rose to go forthand Yspadaden Penkawr seized one of the three poisoneddarts that lay beside himand threw it after them. And Bedwyr caught itandflung itand pierced Yspadaden Penkawr grievously with it through the knee.Then he said"A cursed ungentle son-in-lawtruly! I shall ever walk theworse for his rudenessand shall ever be without a cure. This poisoned ironpains me like the bite of a gad-fly. Cursed be the smith who forged itand theanvil on which it was wrought! So sharp is it!

That night also they took up their abode in the house of the herdsman. Thenext daywith the dawnthey arrayed themselves and proceeded to the castleand entered the hall; and they said"Yspadaden Penkawrgive us thydaughter in consideration of her dower and her maiden feewhich we will pay totheeand to her two kinswomen likewise." Then he said"Her fourgreat-grandmothersand her four great-grandsires are yet alive; it is needfulthat I take counsel of them." "Be it so" they answered; "wewill go to meat." As they rose uphe took the second dart that was besidehimand cast it after them. And Meneuthe son of Gaweddcaught itand flungit back at himand wounded him in the centre of the breast. "A cursedungentle son-in-lawtruly!" said he; "the hard iron pains me like thebite of a horse-leech. Cursed be the hearth whereon it was heatedand the smithwho formed it! So sharp is it! Henceforthwhenever I go up hillI shall have ascant in my breathand a pain in my chestand I shall often loathe myfood." And they went to meat.

And the third day they returned to the palace. And Yspadaden Penkawr said tothem"Shoot not at me againunless you desire death. Where are myattendants? Lift up the forks of my eyebrowswhich have fallen over myeyeballsthat I may see the fashion of my son-in-law." Then they aroseandas they did soYspadaden Penkawr took the third poisoned dart and cast itat them. And Kilwich caught itand threw it vigorouslyand wounded him throughthe eyeball. "A cursed ungentle son-in-lawtruly! As long as I remainalivemy eyesight will be the worse. Whenever I go against the windmy eyeswill water; and peradventure my head will burnand I shall have a giddinessevery new moon. Like the bite of a mad dog is the stroke of this poisoned iron.Cursed be the fire in which it was forged!" And they went to meat.

And the next day they came again to the palaceand they said"Shootnot at us any moreunless thou desirest such hurt and harm and torture as thounow hastand even more." Said Kilwich"Give me thy daughter; and ifthou wilt not give herthou shalt receive thy death because of her.""Where is he that seeks my daughter? Come hitherwhere I may seethee." And they placed him a chair face to face with him.

Said Yspadaden Penkawr"Is it thou that seekest my daughter?"

"It is I" answered Kilwich.

"I must have thy pledge that thou wilt not do toward me otherwise thanis just; and when I have gotten that which I shall namemy daughter thou shalthave."

"I promise thee thatwillingly" said Kilwich; "name whatthou wilt."

"I will do so" said he. "Seest thou yonder red tilledground?"

"I see it."

"When first I met the mother of this maidennine bushels of flax weresown thereinand none has yet sprung upwhite or black. I require to have theflax to sow in the new land yonderthat when it grows up it may make a whitewimple for my daughter's head on the day of thy wedding."

"It will be easy for me to compass thisalthough thou mayest

think it will not be easy."

"Though thou get thisthere is yet that which thou wilt not get- theharp of Teirtuto play to us that night. When a man desires that it shouldplayit does so of itself; and when he desires that it should ceaseit ceases.And this he will not give of his own free willand thou wilt not be able tocompel him."

"It will be easy for me to compass thisalthough thou mayest think thatit will not be easy."

"Though thou get thisthere is yet that which thou wilt not get. Irequire thee to get me for my huntsman Mabonthe son of Modron. He was takenfrom his mother when three nights oldand it is not known where he now isnorwhether he is living or dead."

"It will be easy for me to compass thisalthough thou mayest think itwill not be easy."

"Though thou get thisthere is yet that which thou wilt not get- thetwo cubs of the wolf Gast Rhymhi; no leash in the world will hold thembut aleash made from the beard of Dillus Varwawcthe robber. And the leash will beof no avail unless it be plucked from his beard while he is alive. While heliveshe will not suffer this to be done to himand the leash will be of nouse should he be deadbecause it will be brittle."

"It will be easy for me to compass thisalthough thou mayest think itwill not be easy."

"Though thou get thisthere is yet that which thou wilt not get- thesword of Gwernach the Giant; of his own free will he will not give itand thouwilt never be able to compel him."

"It will be easy for me to compass thisalthough thou mayest think itwill not be easy."

"Though thou get thisthere is yet that which thou wilt not get.Difficulties shalt thou meet withand nights without sleepin seeking thisand if thou obtain it notneither shalt thou obtain my daughter."

"Horses shall I haveand chivalry; and my lord and kinsmanArthurwill obtain for me all these things. And I shall gain thy daughterand thoushalt lose thy life."

"Go forward. And thou shalt not be chargeable for food or raiment for mydaughter while thou art seeking these things; and when thou hast compassed allthese marvelsthou shalt have my daughter for thy wife."

CHAPTER XXX.

KILWICH AND OLWENCONTINUED. -

ALL that day they journeyed until the eveningand then they beheld a vastcastlewhich was the largest in the world. And lo! a black manlarger thanthree of the men of this worldcame out from the castle. And they spoke untohimand said"O manwhose castle is that?" "Stupid are yetrulyO men! There is no one in the world that does not know that this is thecastle of Gwernach the Giant." "What treatment is there for guests andstrangers that alight in that castle?" "O chieftainHeaven protectthee! No guest ever returned thence aliveand no one may enter therein unlesshe brings with him his craft."

Then they proceeded towards the gate. Said Gurhyr Gwalstat"Is there aporter!" "There is; wherefore dost thou call?" "Open thegate." "I will not open it." "Wherefore wilt thou not?""The knife is in the meatand the drink is in the hornand there isrevelry in the hall of Gwernach the Giant; and except for a craftsman who bringshis craftthe gate will not be opened to-night." "Verilyporter" then said Kay"my craft bring I with me." "What isthy craft?" "The best burnisher of swords am I in the world.""I will go and tell this unto Gwernach the Giantand I will bring thee ananswer."

So the porter went inand Gwernach said to him"Hast thou news fromthe gate?" "I have. There is a party at the door of the gate whodesire to come in." "Didst thou inquire of them if they possessed anyart?" "I did inquire" said he"and one told me that he waswell skilled in the burnishing of swords." "We have need of him then.For some time have I sought for some one to polish my swordand could find noone. Let this man entersince he brings with him his craft."

The porter thereupon returned and opened the gate. And Kay went in byhimselfand he saluted Gwernach the Giant. And a chair was placed for himopposite to Gwernach. And Gwernach said to him"O manis it true that isreported of theethat thou knowest how to burnish swords?" "I knowfull well how to do so" answered Kay. Then was the sword of Gwernachbrought to him. And Kay took a blue whet-stone from under his armand askedwhether he would have it burnished white or blue. "Do with it as it seemsgood to theeor as thou wouldst if it were thine own." Then Kay polishedone half of the bladeand put it in his band. "Will this please you?"asked he. "I would rather than all that is in my dominions that the wholeof it were like this. It is a marvel to me that such a man as thou should bewithout a companion." "O noble sirI have a companionalbeit he isnot skilled in this art." "Who may he be?" "Let the portergo forthand I will tell him whereby he may know him. The head of his lancewill leave its shaftand draw blood from the windand will descend upon itsshaft again." Then the gate was openedand Bedwyr entered. And Kay said"Bedwyr is very skilfulthough he knows not this art."

And there was much discourse among those who were withoutbecause that Kayand Bedwyr had gone in. And a young man who was with themthe only son of theherdsmangot in also; and he contrived to admit all the restbut they keptthemselves concealed.

The sword was now polishedand Kay gave it unto the hand of Gwernach theGiantto see if he were pleased with his work. And the Giant said"Thework is good; I am content therewith." Said Kay"It is thy scabbardthat hath rusted thy sword; give it to methat I may take out the wooden sidesof itand put in new ones." And he took the scabbard from himand thesword in the other hand. And he came and stood over against the giantas if hewould have put the sword into the scabbard; and with it he struck at the head ofthe giantand cut off his head at one blow. Then they despoiled the castleandtook from it what goods and jewels they would. And they returned to Arthur'scourtbearing with them the sword of Gwernach the Giant.

And when they told Arthur how they had spedArthur said"It is a goodbeginning." Then they took counseland said"Which of these marvelswill it be best for us to seek next?" "It will be best" saidone"to seek Mabonthe son of Modron; and he will not be found unless wefirst find Eidoelthe son of Aerhis kinsman." Then Arthur rose upandthe warriors of the island of Britain with himto seek for Eidoel; and theyproceeded until they came to the castle of Gliviwhere Eidoel was imprisoned.Glivi stood on the summit of his castleand he said"Arthurwhatrequirest thou of mesince nothing remains to me in this fortressand I haveneither joy nor pleasure in itneither wheat nor oats? Seek notthereforetodo me harm." Said Arthur"Not to injure thee came I hitherbut toseek for the prisoner that is with thee." "I will give thee myprisonerthough I had not thought to give him up to any oneand therewithshalt thou have my support and my aid."

His followers said unto Arthur"Lordgo thou home; thou canst notproceed with thy host in quest of such small adventures as these." Thensaid Arthur"It were well for theeGurhyr Gwalstatto go upon thisquestfor thou knowest all languagesand art familiar with those of the birdsand the beasts. ThouEidoeloughtest likewise to go with thy men in search ofthy cousin. And as for youKay and BedwyrI have hope of whatever adventure yeare in quest ofthat ye will achieve it. Achieve ye this adventure forme."

They went forward until they came to the Ousel of Cilgwri. And Gurhyr adjuredhersaying"Tell me if thou knowest aught of Mabonthe son of Modronwho was taken when three nights old from between his mother and the wall?"And the Ousel answered"When I first came herethere was a smith's anvilin this placeand I was then a young bird; and from that time no work has beendone upon itsave the pecking of my beak every evening; and now there is not somuch as the size of a nut remaining thereof; yet during all that time I havenever heard of the man for whom you inquire. NeverthelessI will do that whichis fitting that I should for an embassy from Arthur. There is a race of animalswho were formed before meand I will be your guide to them."

So they proceeded to the place where was the Stag of Redynvre. "Stag ofRedynvrebeholdwe are come to theean embassy from Arthurfor we have notheard of any animal older than thou. Sayknowest thou aught of Mabonthe sonof Modronwho was taken from his mother when three nights old?" The Stagsaid"When first I came hither there was a plain all around mewithoutany trees save one oak saplingwhich grew up to be an oak with an hundredbranches; and that oak has since perishedso that now nothing remains of it butthe withered stump; and from that day to this I have been hereyet have I neverheard of the man for whom you inquire. Neverthelessbeing an embassy fromArthurI will be your guide to the place where there is an animal which wasformed before I wasand the oldest animal in the worldand the one that hastravelled mostthe Eagle of Gwern Abwy."

Gurhyr said"Eagle of Gwern Abwywe have come to theean embassy fromArthurto ask thee if thou knowest aught of Mabonthe son of Modronwho wastaken from his mother when he was three nights old?" The Eagle said"I have been here for a great space of timeand when I first came hitherthere was a rock here from the top of which I pecked at the stars every evening;and it has crumbled awayand now it is not so much as a span high. All thattime I have been hereand I have never heard of the man for whom you inquireexcept once when I went in search of food as far as Llyn Llyw. And when I camethere I struck my talons into a salmonthinking he would serve me as food for along time. But he drew me into the waterand I was scarcely able to escape fromhim. After that I made peace with him. And I drew fifty fish-spears out of hisbackand relieved him. Unless he know something of him you seek I cannot tellwho may. HoweverI will guide you to the place where he is."

So they went thither; and the Eagle said"Salmon of Llyn LlywI havecome to thee with an embassy from Arthurto ask thee if thou knowest aught ofMabonthe son of Modronwho was taken away at three nights old from hismother." "As much as I know I will tell thee. With every tide I goalong the river upwarduntil I come near to the walls of Gloucesterand therehave I found such wrong as I never found elsewhere; and to the end that ye maygive credence theretolet one of you go thither upon each of my twoshoulders." So Kay and Gurhyr Gwalstat went upon the two shoulders of theSalmonand they proceeded until they came unto the wall of the prison; and theyheard a great wailing and lamenting from the dungeon. Said Gurhyr"Who isit that laments in this house of stone?" "Alas! it is Mabonthe sonof Modronwho is here imprisoned; and no imprisonment was ever so grievous asmine." "Hast thou hope of being released for gold or for silverorfor any gifts of wealthor through battle and fighting?" "By fightingwill whatever I may gain be obtained."

Then they went thenceand returned to Arthurand they told him where Mabonthe son of Modronwas imprisoned. And Arthur summoned the warriors of theislandand they journeyed as far as Gloucesterto the place where Mabon was inprison. Kay and Bedwyr went upon the shoulders of the fishwhilst the warriorsof Arthur attacked the castle. And Kay broke through the wall into the dungeonand brought away the prisoner upon his backwhilst the fight was going onbetween the warriors. And Arthur returned homeand Mabon with him at liberty.

On a certain day as Gurhyr Gwalstat was walking over a mountain he heard awailing and a grievous cry. And when he heard it he sprang forwardand wenttowards it. And when he came there he saw a fire burning among the turfand anant-hill nearly surrounded with the fire. And he drew his swordand smote offthe ant-hill close to earthso that it escaped being burned in the fire. Andthe ants said to him"Receive from us the blessing of Heavenand thatwhich no man can give we will give thee." Then they fetched the ninebushels of flaxseed which Yspadaden Penkawr had required of Kilwichand theybrought the full measurewithout lacking anysave one flaxseedand that thelame pismire brought in before night.

Then said Arthur"Which of the marvels will it be best for us to seeknext?" "It will be best to seek for the two cubs of the wolf GastRhymhi."

"Is it known" said Arthur"where she is?" "She isin Aber Cleddyf" said one. Then Arthur went to the house of TringadinAber Cleddyfand he inquired of him whether he had heard of her there."She has often slain my herdsand she is there below in a cave of AberCleddyf."

Then Arthur went in his ship Prydwen by seaand the others went by land tohunt her. And they surrounded her and her two cubsand took themand carriedthem away.

As Kay and Bedwyr sat on a beacon-cairn on the summit of Plinlimmonin thehighest wind that ever wasthey looked around them and saw smoke afar off. Thensaid Kay"By the hand of my friendyonder is the fire of a robber."Then they hastened towards the smokeand they came so near it that they couldsee Dillus Varwawc scorching a wild boar. "Beholdyonder is the greatestrobber that ever fled from Arthur" said Bedwyr to Kay. "Dost thouknow him?" "I do know him" answered Kay; "he is DillusVarwawcand no leash in the world will be able to hold the cubs of Gast Rhymhisave a leash made from the beard of him thou seest yonder. And even that will beuseless unless his beard be plucked out alivewith wooden tweezers; for if deadit will be brittle." "What thinkest thou that we should do concerningthis?" said Bedwyr. "Let us suffer him to eat as much as he will ofthe meatand after that he will fall asleep." And during that time he theyemployed themselves in making the wooden tweezers. And when Kay knew certainlythat he was asleephe made a pit under his feetand he struck him a violentblowand squeezed him into the pit. And there they twitched out his beardcompletely with the wooden tweezersand after that they slew him altogether.And from thence they wentand took the leash made of Dillus Varwawc's beardand they gave it into Arthur's hand.

Thus they got all the marvels that Yspadaden Penkawr had required of Kilwich;and they set forwardand took the marvels to his court. And Kilwich said toYspadaden Penkawr"Is thy daughter mine now?" "She isthine" said he"but therefore needest thou not thank mebut Arthurwho hath accomplished this for thee." Then Goreuthe son of

Custenninthe herdsmanwhose brothers Yspadaden Penkawr had slainseizedhim by the hair of his headand dragged him after him to the keepand cut offhis headand placed it on a stake in the citadel. Then they took possession ofhis castleand of his treasures. And that night Olwen became Kilwich's brideand she continued to be his wife as long as she lived.

CHAPTER XXXI.

PEREDURTHE SON OF EVRAWC. -

ARTHUR was in Caerleon upon the Usk; and he went to huntand Peredur * wentwith him. And Peredur let loose his dog upon a hartand the dog killed the hartin a desert place. And a short space from him he saw signs of a dwellingandtowards the dwelling he wentand he beheld a halland at the door of the hallhe found bold swarthy youths playing at chess. And when he entered he beheldthree maidens sitting on a benchand they were all clothed alikeas becamepersons of high rank. And he came and sat by them on the bench; and one of themaidens looked steadfastly at Peredur and wept. And Peredur asked her whereforeshe was weeping. "Through grief that I shall see so fair a youth as thouart slain." "Who will slay me?" inquired Peredur. "If thouart so daring as to remain here to-night I will tell thee." "How greatsoever my danger may be from remaining here I will listen unto thee.""This palace is owned by him who is my father" said the maiden"and he slays every one who comes hither without his leave.""What sort of a man is thy father that he is able to slay every onethus?" "A man who does violence and wrong unto his neighborsand whorenders justice unto none." And hereupon he saw the youths arise and clearthe chessmen from the board. And he heard a great tumult; and after the tumultthere came in a huge black one-eyed manand the maidens arose to meet him. Andthey disarrayed himand he went and sat down; and after he had rested andpondered awhilehe looked at Peredurand asked who the knight was."Lord" said one of the maidens"he is the fairest and gentlestyouth that ever thou didst see. And for the sake of Heavenand thine owndignityhave patience with him." "For thy sake I will have patienceand I will grant him his life this night." Then Peredur came towards themto the fireand partook of food and liquorand entered into discourse with theladies. And being elated with the liquorhe said to the black man"It isa marvel to meso mighty as thou sayest thou artwho could have put out thineeye?" "It is one of my habits" said the black man"thatwhosoever puts to me the question which thou hast asked shall not escape withhis lifeeither as a free giftor for a price." "Lord" saidthe maiden"whatsoever he may say to thee in jestand through theexcitement of liquormake good that which thou saidest and didst promise mejust now." "I will do sogladlyfor thy sake" said he."Willingly will I grant him his life this night." And that night thusthey remained. -

* Peredurthe son of Evrawcis the Welsh for Percevala part of whosestory in the preceding pages is taken from the Mabinogeon. -

And the next day the black man got up and put on his armorand said toPeredur"Arisemanand suffer death." And Peredur said unto him"Do one of two thingsblack man; if thou wilt fight with meeither throwoff thy own armoror give arms to me that I may encounter thee." "Ha!man" said he"couldst thou fight if thou hadst arms? Take then whatarms thou dost choose." And thereupon the maiden came to Peredur with sucharms as pleased him; and he fought with the black man and forced him to cravehis mercy. "Black manthou shalt have mercyprovided thou tell me whothou artand who put out thine eye." "LordI will tell thee. I lostit in fighting with the Black Serpent of the Carn. There is a mound which iscalled the Mound of Mourning; and on the mound there is a carnand in the carnthere is a serpentand on the tail of the serpent there is a stoneand thevirtues of the stone are such that whosoever should hold it in one handin theother he will have as much gold as he may desire. And in fighting with thisserpent was it that I lost my eye. And the Black Oppressor am I called. And forthis reason I am called the Black Oppressorthat there is not a single manaround me whom I have not oppressedand justice have I done unto none.""Tell me" said Peredur"how far is it hence?" "Thesame day that thou settest forth thou wilt come to the Palace of the Sons of theKing of the Tortures." "Wherefore are they called thus?""The Addanc * of the Lake slays them once every day. When thou goest thencethou wilt come to the Court of the Countess of Achievements." "Whatachievements are these?" said Peredur. "Three hundred men are there inher householdand unto every stranger that comes to the Court the achievementsof her household are related. And this is the manner of it- the three hundredmen of the household sit next unto the Lady; and that not through disrespectunto the guestsbut that they may relate the achievements of the household. Andthe day that thou goest there thou wilt reach the Mound of Mourningand roundabout the mound there are the owners of three hundred tents guarding theserpent." "Since thou hast indeed been an oppressor so long"said Peredur"I will cause that thou continue so no longer." So heslew him. -

* The Addanc was a mighty aquatic monster. -

Then the maiden spokeand began to converse with him. "If thou wastpoor when thou camest here henceforth thou wilt be rich through the treasure ofthe black man whom thou hast slain. Thou seest the many lovely maidens thatthere are in this courtthou shalt have her whom thou likest best for the ladyof thy love." "LadyI came not hither from my country to woo; butmatch yourselves as it liketh you with the comely youths I see here; and none ofyour goods do I desirefor I need them not." Then Peredur rode forwardand he came to the Palace of the Sons of the King of the Tortures; and when heentered the palace he saw none but women; and they rose up and were joyful athis coming; and as they began to discourse with him he beheld a charger arrivewith a saddle upon itand a corpse in the saddle. And one of the women aroseand took the corpse from the saddle and anointed it in a vessel of warm waterwhich was below the doorand placed precious balsam upon it; and the man roseup aliveand came to the place where Peredur wasand greeted himand wasjoyful to see him. And two other men came in upon their saddlesand the maidentreated these two in the same manner as she had done the first. Then Peredurasked the chieftain wherefore it was thus. And they told him there was an Addancin a cavewhich slew them once every day. And thus they remained one night.

And next morning the youths arose to sally forthand Peredur besought themfor the sake of the ladies of their loveto permit him to go with them; butthey refused himsaying"If thou shouldst be slain thou hast none tobring thee back to life again." And they rode forward and Peredur followedafter them; and after they had disappeared out of his sight he came to a moundwhereon sat the fairest lady he had ever beheld. "I know thy quest"said she; "thou art going to encounter the Addancand he will slay theeand that not by courage but by craft. He has a caveand at the entrance of thecave there is a stone pillarand he sees every one that entersand none seeshim; and from behind the pillar he slays every one with a poisonous dart. And ifthou wouldst pledge me thy faithto love me above all womenI would give theea stoneby which thou shouldst see him when thou goest inand he should notsee thee." "I willby my faith" said Peredur"for whenfirst I beheld thee I loved thee; and where shall I seek thee?" "Whenthou seekest me seek towards India." And the maiden vanished after placingthe stone in Peredur's hand.

And he came towards a valleythrough which ran a river; and the borders ofthe valley were woodedand on each side of the river were level meadows. And onone side of the river he saw a flock of white sheepand on the other side aflock of black sheep. And whenever one of the white sheep bleated one of theblack sheep would cross over and become white; and when one of the black sheepbleated one of the white sheep would cross over and become black. And he saw atall tree by the side of the riverone-half of which was in flames from theroot to the topand the other half was green and in full leaf. And nigh theretohe saw a youth sitting upon a moundand two greyhoundswhite-breasted andspottedin leasheslying by his side. And certain was he that he had neverseen a youth of so royal a bearing as he. And in the wood opposite he heardhounds raising a herd of deer. And Peredur saluted the youthand the youthgreeted him in return. And there were three roads leading from the mound; two ofthem were wide roads and the third was more narrow. And Peredur inquired wherethe three roads went. "One of them goes to my palace" said the youth."And one of two things I counsel thee to doeither to proceed to mypalacewhich is before theeand where thou wilt find my wifeor else toremain here to see the hounds chasing the roused deer from the wood to theplain. And thou shalt see the best greyhounds thou didst ever beholdand theboldest in the chasekill them by the water beside us; and when it is time togo to meat my page will come with my horse to meet meand thou shalt rest in mypalace to-night." "Heaven reward thee; but I cannot tarryand onwardmust I go." "The other road leads to the townwhich is near herewherein food and liquor may be bought; and the road which is narrower than theother goes towards the cave of the Addanc." "With thy permissionyoung manI will go that way."

And Peredur went towards the cave. And he took the stone in his left handand his lance in his right. And as he went in he perceived the Addancand hepierced him through with his lanceand cut off his head. And as he came forthfrom the cavebehold the three companions were at the entrance; and theysaluted Peredurand told him that there was a prediction that he should slaythe monster.

And Peredur gave the head to the young manand they offered him in marriagewhich ever of the three sisters he might chooseand half their kingdom withher. "I came not hither to woo" said Peredur"but ifperadventure I took a wifeI should prefer your sister to all others." AndPeredur rode forwardand he heard a noise behind him. And he looked backandsaw a man upon a red horseand red armor upon him; and the man rode up by hissideand wished him the favor of Heaven and of man. And Peredur greeted theyouth kindly. "LordI come to make a request unto thee." "Whatwouldst thou?" "That thou shouldst take me as thy attendant.""Who should I take as my attendant if I did so?" "I will notconceal from thee what kindred I am of. Etlym Gleddyv Coch am I calledan Earlfrom the East Country." "I marvel that thou shouldst offer to becomeattendant to a man whose possessions are no greater than thine own; for I havebut an earldom like thyself. But now thou desirest to be my attendantI willtake thee joyfully."

And they went forward to the Court of the Countessand all they of the Courtwere glad at their coming; and they were told it was not through disrespect theywere placed below the householdbut that such was the usage of the Court. Forwhoever should overthrow the three hundred men of her household would sit nextthe Countessand she would love him above all other men. And Peredurhavingoverthrown the three hundred of her householdsat down beside herand theCountess said"I thank Heaven that I have a youth so fair and so radiantas thousince I have not obtained the man whom best I love." "Whom ishe whom best thou lovest? By my faithEtlym Gleddyv Coch is the man whom I lovebestand I have never seen him." "Of a truthEtlym is my companion;and behold here he isand for his sake did I come to joust with thy household.And he would have done so better than I had it pleased him." "Heavenreward theefair youthand I will take the man whom I love above allothers." And the Countess became Etlym's bride from that moment.

And the next day Peredur set forth toward the Mound of Mourning. "By thyhandlordbut I will go with thee" said Etlym. Then they went forwardtill they came in sight of the mound and the forts. "Go unto yondermen" said Peredur to Etlym"and desire them to come and do mehomage." So Etlym went unto themand said unto them thus: "Come anddo homage to my lord." "Who is thy lord?" said they."Peredurwith the long lanceis my lord" said Etlym. "Were itpermitted to slay a messengerthou shouldst not go back to thy lord aliveformaking unto kings and earls and barons so arrogant a demand as to go and do himhomage." On this Peredur desired him to go back to themand to give themtheir choiceeither to do him homage or to do battle with him. And they choserather to do battle. And that day Peredur overthrew the owners of a hundredtents. And the next day he overthrew the owners of a hundred more; and the thirdday the remaining third took counselto do homage to Peredur. And Peredurinquired of them wherefore they were there. And they told him they were guardingthe serpent until he should die. "For then should we fight for the stoneamong ourselvesand whoever should be conqueror among us would have thestone." "Wait here" said Peredur"and I will go toencounter the serpent." "Nonolord" said they; "we willgo all together to encounter the serpent." "Verily" saidPeredur"that will I not permit; for if the serpent be slainI shallderive no more fame therefrom than one of you." Then he went to the placewhere the serpent wasand slew itand came back to themand said"Reckon up what you have spent since you have been hereand I will repayyou to the full." And he paid to each what he said was his claim. And herequired of them only that they should acknowledge themselves his vassals. Andhe said to Etlym"Go back unto her whom thou lovest bestand I will goforwardsand I will reward thee for having been my attendant." And he gaveEtlym the stone. "Heaven repay thee and prosper thee" said Etlym.

And Peredur rode thenceand he came to the fairest valley he had ever seenthrough which ran a river; and there he beheld many tents of various colors. Andhe marvelled still more at the number of windmills and of water-mills that hesaw. And there rode up with him a tallauburn-haired manin a workman's garband Peredur inquired of him who he was. "I am the chief miller" saidhe"of all the mills yonder." "Wilt thou give me lodging?"said Peredur. "I willgladly" he answered. And Peredur came to themiller's houseand the miller had a fair and pleasant dwelling. And Peredurasked money as a loan from the millerthat he might buy meat and liquor forhimselfand for the householdand he promised him that he would pay him ere hewent thence. And he inquired of the miller wherefore such a multitude were thereassembled. Said the miller to Peredur"One thing is certain; either thouart a man from afaror thou art beside thyself. The Empress of Cristonobyl theGreat is here; and she will have no one but the man who is most valiant; forriches she does not require. And it was impossible to bring food for so manythousands as are heretherefore were all these mills constructed." Andthat night they took their rest.

And the next day Peredur aroseand he equipped himself and his horse for thetournament. And among other tents he beheld one which was the fairest he hadever seen. And saw a beauteous maiden leaning her head out of a window of atentand he had never seen a maiden more lovely than she. And upon her was agarment of satin. And he gazed fixedly on the maiden and began to love hergreatly. And he remained theregazing upon the maiden from morning untilmiddayand from midday until evening; and then the tournament was ended; and hewent to his lodging and drew off his armor. Then he asked money of the miller asa loanand the miller's wife was wroth with Peredur; nevertheless the millerlent him the money. And the next day he did in like manner as he had done theday before. And at night he came to his lodgingand took money as a loan fromthe miller. And the third dayas he was in the same placegazing upon themaidenhe felt a hard blow between the neck and the shoulder from the edge ofan axe. And when he looked behind he saw that it was the miller; and the millersaid unto him"Do one of two things; either turn thy head from hence or goto the tournament." And Peredur smiled on the millerand went to thetournament; and all that encountered him that day he overthrew. And as many ashe vanquished he sent as a gift to the Empressand their horses and arms hesent as a gift to the wife of the millerin payment of the borrowed money. Andthe Empress sent to the Knight of the Millto ask him to come and visit her.And Peredur went not for the first nor for the second message. And the thirdtime she sent one hundred knights to bring him against his willand they wentto himand told him their mission from the Empress. And Peredur fought wellwith themand caused them to be bound like stagsand thrown into the milldyke. And the Empress sought advice of a wise man. "With thy permissionIwill go to him myself." So he came to Peredur and besought himfor thesake of the lady of his loveto come and visit the Empress. And they wenttogether with the miller. And Peredur went and sat down in the outer chamber ofthe tentand she came and placed herself at his side. And there was but littlediscourse between them. And Peredur took his leaveand went to his lodging.

And the next day he came to visit herand when he came into the tent therewas no one chamber less decorated than the others. And they knew not where hewould sit. And Peredur went and sat beside the Empressand discoursed with hercourteously. And while they were there they beheld a black man enter with agoblet full of wine in his hand. And he dropped upon his knee before theEmpressand besought her to give it to no one who would not fight him for it.And she looked upon Peredur. "Lady" said he"bestow upon me thegoblet." And Peredur drank the wineand gave the goblet to the miller'swife. And while they were thusbehold there entered a black manof largerstature than the otherwith a wild beast's claw in his handwrought into theform of a gobletand filled with wine. And he presented it to the Empressandbesought her to give it to no one but the man who would fight with him."Lady" said Peredur"bestow it upon me." And she gave itto him. And Peredur drank the wineand sent the goblet to the wife of themiller. And when they were thusbehold a rough-looking crisp-haired mantallerthan either of the otherscame in with a bowl in his hands full of wine; and hebent upon his kneeand gave it into the hands of the Empressand he besoughther to give it to none but him who would fight with him for it; and she gave itto Peredurand he sent it to the miller's wife. And that night Peredur returnedto his lodging; and the next day he accoutred himself and his horseand went tothe meadowand slew the three men. Then Peredur proceeded to the tentand theEmpress said to him"Goodly Peredurremember the faith thou didst pledgeme when I gave thee the stoneand thou didst kill the Addanc.""Lady" answered he"thou sayest truthI do remember it."For she was the maiden who had been sitting on the mound when Peredur had gonein search of the Addanc.

CHAPTER XXXII.

TALIESIN. -

GWYDDNO GARANHIR was sovereign of Gwaeloda territory bordering on the sea.And he possessed a weir upon the strand between Dyvi and Aberstwythnear to hisown castleand the value of an hundred pounds was taken in that weir every MayeveAnd Gwyddno had an only son named Elphinthe most helpless of youthsandthe most needy. And it grieved his father sorefor he thought he was born in anevil hour. By the advice of his council his father had granted him the drawingof the weir that yearto see if good luck would ever befall himand to givehim something wherewith to begin the world. And this was on the twenty-ninth ofApril.

The next daywhen Elphin went to lookthere was nothing in the weir but aleather bag upon a pole of the weir. Then said the wier-ward unto Elphin"All thy ill-luck aforetime was nothing to this; and now thou hastdestroyed the virtues of the weirwhich always yielded the value of an hundredpounds every May eve; and to-night there is nothing but this leathern skin init." "How now" said Elphin"there may be therein the valueof a hundred pounds." Well! they took up the leathern bagand he whoopened it saw the forehead of an infantthe fairest that was ever seen; and hesaid"Behold a radiant brow!" (in the Welsh languagetaliesin.)"Taliesin be he called" said Elphin. And he lifted the bag in hisarmsandlamenting his bad luckplaced the boy sorrowfully behind him. And hemade his horse amble gentlythat before had been trottingand he carried himas softly as if he had been sitting in the easiest chair in the world. Andpresently the boy made a Consolation and praise to Elphin; and the Consolationwas as you may here see:- -

"Fair Elphincease to lament!

Never in Gwyddno's weir

Was there such good luck as this night.

Being sad will not avail;

Better to trust in God than to forebode ill;

Weak and small as I am

On the foaming beach of the ocean

In the day of trouble I shall be

Of more service to thee than three hundred salmon." -

This was the first poem that Taliesin ever sungbeing to console Elphin inhis grief for that the produce of the weir was lost andwhat was worsethatall the world would consider that it was through his fault and ill-luck. ThenElphin asked him what he waswhether man or spirit. And he sung thus:- -

"I have been formed a comely person;

Although I am but littleI am highly gifted;

Into a dark leathern bag I was thrown

And on a boundless sea I was set adrift.

From seas and from mountains

God brings wealth to the fortunate man."

Then came Elphin to the house of Gwyddnohis fatherand Taliesin with him.Gwyddno asked him if he had had a good haul at the weirand he told him that hehad got that which was better than fish. "What was that?" saidGwyddno. "A bard" said Elphin. Then said Gwyddno"Alas! whatwill he profit thee?" And Taliesin himself replied and said"He willprofit him more than the weir ever profited thee." Asked Gwyddno"Artthou able to speakand thou so little?" And Taliesin answered him"Iam better able to speak than thou to question me" "Let me hear whatthou canst say" quoth Gwyddno. Then Taliesin sang:- -

"Three times have I been bornI know by meditation;

All the sciences of the world are collected in my breast

For I know what has beenand what hereafter will occur." -

Elphin gave his haul to his wifeand she nursed him tenderly and lovingly.Thenceforward Elphin increased in riches more and moreday by dayand in loveand favor with the king; and there abode Taliesin until he was thirteen yearsoldwhen Elphinson of Gwyddnowent by a Christmas invitation to his uncleMaelgan Gwyneddwho held open court at Christmas-tide in the castle of Dyganwyfor all the number of lords of both degreesboth spiritual and temporalwith avast and thronged host of knights and squires. And one arose and said"Isthere in the whole world a king so great as Maelganor one on whom Heaven hasbestowed so many gifts as upon him- formand beautyand meeknessandstrengthbesides all the powers of the soul?" And together with these theysaid that Heaven had given one gift that exceeded all the otherswhich was thebeautyand graceand wisdomand modesty of his queenwhose virtues surpassedthose of all the ladies and noble maidens throughout the whole kingdom. And withthis they put questions one to anotherWho had braver men? Who had fairer orswifter horses or greyhounds? Who had more skilful or wiser bards than Maelgan?

When they had all made an end of their praising the king and his giftsitbefell that Elphin spoke on this wise: "Of a truthnone but a king may viewith a king; but were he not a kingI would say that my wife was as virtuous asany lady in the kingdomand also that I have a bard who is more skilful thanall the king's bards." In a short space some of his fellows told the kingall the boastings of Elphin; and the king ordered him to be thrown into a strongprison until he might show the truth as to the virtues of his wife and thewisdom of his bard.

Now when Elphin had been put in a tower of the castle with a thick chainabout his feet (it is said that it was a silver chainas he was of royalblood)the kingas the story relatessent his son Rhun to inquire into thedemeanor of Elphin's wife. Now Rhun was the most graceless man in the worldandthere was neither wife nor maiden with whom he held converse but was evil spokenof. While Rhun went in haste towards Elphin's dwellingbeing fully minded tobring disgrace upon his wifeTaliesin told his mistress how that the king hadplaced his master in durance in prisonand how that Rhun was coming in haste tostrive to bring disgrace upon her. Wherefore he caused his mistress to array oneof the maids of the kitchen in her apparel; which the noble lady gladly didandshe loaded her hands with the best rings that she and her husband possessed.

In this guise Taliesin caused his mistress to put the maiden to sit at theboard in her room at supper; and he made her to seem as her mistressand themistress to seem as the maid. And when they were in due time seated at theirsupperin the manner that has been saidRhun suddenly arrived at Elphin'sdwellingand was received with joyfor the servants knew him; and they broughthim to the room of their mistressin the semblance of whom the maid rose upfrom supper and welcomed him gladly. And afterwards she sat down to supperagainand Rhun with her. Then Rhun began jesting with the maidwho still keptthe semblance of the mistress. And verily this story shows that the maidenbecame so intoxicated that she fell asleep; and the story relates that it was apowder that Rhun put into the drink that made her sleep so soundly that shenever felt it when he cut off from her hand her little fingerwhereon was thesignet ring of Elphinwhich he had sent to his wife as a token a short timebefore. And Rhun returned to the king with the finger and the ring as a proofto show that he had cut it off from her hand without her awaking from her sleepof intemperance.

The king rejoiced greatly at these tidingsand he sent for his councillorsto whom he told the whole story from the beginning. And he caused Elphin to bebrought out of prisonand he chided him because of his boast. And he spake onthis wise: "Elphinbe it known to thee beyond a doubtthat it is butfolly for a man to trust in the virtues of his wife further than he can see her;and that thou mayest be certain of thy wife's vilenessbehold her fingerwiththy signet ring upon itwhich was cut from her hand last nightwhile she sleptthe sleep of intoxication." Then thus spake Elphin: "With thy leavemighty kingI cannot deny my ringfor it is known of many; but verily I assertthat the finger around which it is was never attached to the hand of my wife;for in truth and certainty there are three notable things pertaining to itnoneof which ever belonged to any of my wife's fingers. The first of the three isthat it is certainly known to me that this ring would never remain upon herthumbwhereas you can plainly see that it is hard to draw it over the joint ofthe little finger of the hand whence this was cut. The second thing isthat mywife has never let pass one Saturday since I have known herwithout paring hernails before going to bedand you can see fully that the nail of this littlefinger has not been pared for a month. The third istrulythat the hand whencethis finger came was kneading rye dough within three days before the finger wascut therefromand I can assure your highness that my wife has never kneaded ryedough since my wife she has been."

The king was mightily wroth with Elphin for so stoutly withstanding himrespecting the goodness of his wife; wherefore he ordered him to his prison asecond timesaying that he should not be loosed thence until he had proved thetruth of his boastas well concerning the wisdom of his bard as the virtues ofhis wife.

In the meantime his wife and Taliesin remained joyful at Elphin's dwelling.And Taliesin showed his mistress how that Elphin was in prison because of them;but he bade her be gladfor that he would go to Maelgan's court to free hismaster. So he took leave of his mistressand came to the court of Maelganwhowas going to sit in his halland dine in his royal stateas it was the customin those days for kings and princes to do at every chief feast. As soon asTaliesin entered the hallhe placed himself in a quiet cornernear the placewhere the bards and the minstrels were wont to comein doing their service andduty to the kingas is the custom at the high festivalswhen the bounty isproclaimed. Sowhen the bards and the heralds came to cry largessand toproclaim the power of the kingand his strengthat the moment when they passedby the corner wherein he was crouchingTaliesin pouted out his lips after themand played"Blerwmblerwm!" with his finger upon his lips. Neithertook they much notice of him as they went bybut proceeded forward till theycame before the kingunto whom they made their obeisance with their bodiesasthey were wontwithout speaking a single wordbut pouting out their lipsandmaking mouths at the kingplaying "Blerwmblerwm!" upon their lipswith their fingersas they had seen the boy do. This sight caused the king towonderand to deem within himself that they were drunk with many liquors.Wherefore he commanded one of his lordswho served at the boardto go to themand desire them to collect their witsand to consider where they stoodandwhat it was fitting for them to do. And this lord did so gladly. But they ceasednot from their folly any more than before. Whereupon he sent to them a secondtimeand a thirddesiring them to go forth from the hall. And the last theking ordered one of his squires to give a blow to the chief of themnamedHeinin Vardd; and the squire took a broom and struck him on the headso that hefell back in his seat. Then he aroseand went on his kneesand besought leaveof the king's grace to show that this their fault was not through want ofknowledgeneither through drunkennessbut by the influence of some spirit thatwas in the hall. And he spoke on this wise: "O honorable kingbe it knownto your grace that not from the strength of drinkor of too much liquorare wedumbbut through the influence of a spirit that sits in the corner yonderinthe form of a child." Forthwith the king commanded the squire to fetch him;and he went to the nook where Taliesin satand brought him before the kingwhoasked him what he wasand whence he came. And be answered the king in verse:- -

"Primary chief bard am I to Elphin

And my native country is the region of the summer stars;

I have been in Asia with Noah in the ark

I have seen the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

I was in India when Rome was built

I have now come here to the remnant of Troia." -

When the king and his nobles had heard the songthey wondered muchfor theyhad never heard the like from a boy so young as he. And when the king knew thathe was the bard of Elphinhe bade Heininhis first and wisest bardto answerTaliesinand to strive with him. But when he camehe could do no other thanplay "Blerwm!" on his lips; and when he sent for the others of thefour and twenty bardsthey all did likewiseand could do no other. And Maelganasked the boy Taliesin what was his errandand he answered him in song:- -

"Elphinthe son of Gwyddno

Is in the land of Artro

Secured by thirteen locks

For praising his instructor.

Therefore ITaliesin

Chief of the bards of the west

Will loosen Elphin

Out of a golden fetter." -

Then he sang to them a riddle:- -

"Discover thou what is

The strong creature from before the flood

Without fleshwithout bone

Without veinwithout blood

Without headwithout feet;

It will neither be older nor younger

Than at the beginning.

Behold how the sea whitens

When first it comes

When it comes from the south

When it strikes on coasts.

It is in the fieldit is in the wood

But the eye cannot perceive it.

One Being has prepared it

By a tremendous blast

To wreak vengeance

On Maelgan Gwynedd." -

While he was thus singing his versethere arose a mighty storm of windsothat the king and all his nobles thought that the castle would fall upon theirheads. And the king caused them to fetch Elphin in haste from his dungeonandplaced him before Taliesin. And it is said that immediately he sung a versesothat the chains opened from about his feet.

After that Taliesin brought Elphin's wife before themand showed that shehad not one finger wanting. And in this manner did he set his master free fromprisonand protect the innocence of his mistressand silence the bards so thatnot one of them dared to say a wordRight glad was Elphinright glad wasTaliesin.

PART III.

THE KNIGHTS OF ENGLISH HISTORY. -

CHAPTER XXXIII.

KING RICHARD AND THE THIRD CRUSADE. -

THE Crusades were the mightiest or rather the most ambitious undertaking ofthe chivalry of Europe. From the year 1096 for more than a century the knightsof all countries looked to the Holy Land as a field for winning their spurs andobtaining pardon of their sins. And it is most natural that in giving a pictureof English chivalry as it is shown in history that we should give a descriptionof King Richard's exploits in Palestine.

In the last decade of the twelfth century Richard I. of England took thecrosswhich had come to him as a sort of legacy from his fatherand sailed forAntiochwhich was being besieged by the Christiansto assist in the war in theHoly Land. At the same time Philip Augustus of France and Frederick Barbarossajoined the Crusaders. Frederick was drowned in a river of Ciliciaand his forcehad so dwindled that when they reached Antioch hardly a tenth of the number wereleft that had started. Philip of France reached Antioch with his armyandthereas we shall learn laterhe fought with the Turk and quarrelled with theChristian for a timeuntil he finally set sail for France without havingaccomplished the capture of the Holy City. As for Richardhe was not moresuccessfuland although his deeds were so glorious as to cover him with honorhe was obliged to return homeleaving Jerusalem still in the hands of infidels.-

THE EXPLOITS OF KING RICHARD. -

Now as the ships were proceedingsome being before otherstwo of the threefirstdriven by the violence of the windswere broken on the rocks near theport of Cyprus the thirdwhich was Englishmore speedy than theyhavingturned back into the deepescaped the peril. Almost all the men of both shipsgot away alive to landmany of whom the hostile Cypriotes slewsome they tookcaptivesometaking refuge in a certain churchwere besieged. Whatever alsoin the ships was cast up by the sea fell a prey to the Cypriotes. The princealso of that island coming upreceived for his share the gold and the arms; andhe caused the shore to be guarded by all the armed force he could summontogetherthat he might not permit the fleet which followed to approachlestthe king should take again what had been thus stolen from him. Above the portwas a strong cityand upon a natural rocka high and fortified castle. Thewhole of that nation was warlike and accustomed to live by theft. They placedbeams and planks at the entrance of the portacross the passagethe gatesandentrances; and the whole land with one mind prepared themselves for a conflictwith the English. God so willed that the cursed people should receive the rewardof their evil deeds by the hands of one who would not spare. The third Englishshipin which were the womenhaving cast out their anchorsrode out at seaand watched all things from oppositeto report the misfortunes to the king*lest haplybeing ignorant of the loss and disgracehe should pass the placeunavenged. The next line of the king's ships came up after the otherand theyare stopped at the first. A full report reached the kingwhosending heraldsto the lord of the islandand obtaining no satisfactioncommanded his entirearmy to armfrom the first even to the lastand to get out of the great shipsinto the galleys and boatsand follow him to the shore. What he commanded wasimmediately performed; they came in arms to the port. The king being armedleaped first from the galleyand gave the first blow in the war; but before hewas able to strike a second he had three thousand of his followers with himstriking away at his side. All the timber that had been placed as a barricade inthe port was cast down instantlyand the brave fellows went up intothe cityas ferocious as lionesses are wont to be when robbed of their young. The fightwas carried on manfully against themnumbers fell wounded on both sidesandthe swords of both parties were made drunk with blood. The Cypriotes arevanquishedthe city is takenwith the castle besides; whatever the victorschoose is ransacked; and the lord of the island is himself taken and brought tothe king. He being takensupplicates and obtains pardon; he offers homage tothe kingand it is received; and he swearsthough unaskedthat henceforth bewill hold the island of him as his liege lordand will open all the castles ofthe land to himand make satisfaction for the damage already done; and furtherbring presents of his own. On being dismissed after the oathhe is commanded tofulfilthe conditions in the morning. -

* Richard I. of England. -

That night the king remained peaceably in the castle; and his newly-swornvassalflyingretired to another castleand caused the whole of the men ofthe landwho were able to bear armsto be summoned to repair to himand sothey did. The king of Jerusalemhoweverthat same night landed in Cyprusthathe might assist the king and salute himwhose arrival he had desired above thatof any other in the whole world. On the morrow the lord of Cyprus was sought forand found to have fled. The king seeing that he was abusedand having beeninformed where he wasdirected the king of Jerusalem to follow the traitor byland with the best of the armywhile he conducted the other part by waterintending to be in the way that he might not escape by sea. The divisionsreassembled around the city in which he had taken refugeand hehaving salliedout against the kingfought with the Englishand the battle was carried onsharply by both sides. The English would that day have been beaten had they notfought under the command of King Richard. They at length obtained a dear-boughtvictorythe Cypriote fliesand the castle is taken. The kings pursue him asbeforethe one by land and the other by waterand he is besieged in the thirdcastle. Its walls are cast down by engines hurling huge stones; hebeingovercomepromises to surrenderif only he might not be put in iron fetters.The king consents to the prayers of the supplicantand caused silver shacklesto be made for him. The prince of the pirates being thus takenthe kingtraversed the whole islandand took all its castlesand placed his constablesin eachand constituted justiciaries and sheriffsand the whole land wassubjected to him in everything just like England. The goldand the silks andthe jewels from the treasuries that were broken openhe retained for himself;the silver and victuals he gave to the army. To the king of Jerusalem also hemade a handsome present out of the booty.

The king proceeding thencecame to the siege of Acreand was welcomed bythe besiegers with as great a joy as if it had been Christ that had come againon earth to restore the kingdom of Israel. The king of the French had arrived atAcre firstand was very highly esteemed by the natives; but on Richard'sarrival he became obscured and without considerationjust as the moon is wontto relinquish her lustre at the rising of the sun.

The king of the Englishunused to delayon the third day of his arrival atthe siegecaused his wooden fortresswhich he had called "MateGrifun" when it was made in Sicilyto be built and set upand before thedawn of the fourth day the machine stood erect by the walls of Acreand fromits height looked down upon the city lying beneath it; and there were thereon bysunrise archers casting missiles without intermission on the Turks andThracians. Engines also for casting stonesplaced in convenient positionsbattered the walls with frequent volleys. More important than thesethesappersmaking themselves a way beneath the groundundermined the foundationsof the walls; while soldiersbearing shieldshaving planted ladderssought anentrance over the ramparts. The king himself was running up and down through theranksdirecting somereproving someand urging othersand thus was heeverywhere present with every one of themso that whatever they all did oughtproperly to be ascribed to him. The king of the French also did not lightlyassail themmaking as bold an assault as he could on the tower of the citywhich is called Cursed.

The renowned Carracois and Mestocusafter Saladinthe most powerful princesof the heathenhad at that time the charge of the besieged citywhoafter acontest of many dayspromised by their interpreters the surrender of the cityand a ransom for their heads; but the king of the English desired to subduetheir obstinacy by force; and wished that the vanquished should pay their headsfor the ransom of their bodiesbut by the mediation of the king of the Frenchtheir life and indemnity of limbs only was accordedifafter the surrender ofthe city and yielding of everything they possessedthe Holy Cross should begiven up.

All the heathen warriors in Acre were chosen menand were in number ninethousand; many of whomswallowing many gold coinsmade a purse of theirstomachsbecause they foresaw that whatever they had of any value would beturned against themeven against themselvesif they should again oppose thecrossand would only fall a prey to the victors. So all of them came out beforethe kings entirely disarmedand outside the citywithout moneywere giveninto custody; and the kingswith triumphal bannershaving entered the citydivided the whole with all its stores into two parts between themselves andtheir soldiers; the pontiff's seat alone its bishop received by their unitedgift. The captivesbeing dividedMestocus fell by lot to the portion of theking of the Englishand Carracoisas a drop of cold waterfell into the mouthof the thirsty Philipking of the French.

Messengers on the part of the captives having been sent to Saladin

for their ransomwhen the heathen could by no entreaty be moved to restorethe Holy Crossthe king of the English beheaded all hiswith the exception ofMestocus onlywho on account of his nobility was sparedand declared openlywithout any ceremonythat he would act in the same way toward Saladin himself.

The king of the Englishthenhaving sent for the commanders of the Frenchproposed that in the first place they should conjointly attempt Jerusalemitself; but the dissuasion of the French discouraged the hearts of both partiesdispirited the troopsand restrained the kingthus destitute of menfrom hisintended march on that metropolis. The kingtroubled at thisthough notdespairingfrom that day forth separated his army from the Frenchanddirecting his arms to the storming of castles along the seashorehe took everyfortress that came in his way from Tyre to Ascalonthough after hard fightingand deep wounds. * -

* The preceding narrative is taken from the Chronicle of Richard of Devizes.What follows is from the Chronicle of Geoffrey de Vinsauf. -

On the Saturdaythe eve of the Nativity of the blessed Virgin Maryatearliest dawnour men armed themselves with great care to receive the Turkswho were known to have preceded their marchand whose insolence nothing but abattle could check. The enemy had ranged themselves in orderdrawing graduallynearer and nearer; and our men also took the utmost care to place themselves inas good order as possible. King Richardwho was most experienced in militaryaffairsarranged the army in squadronsand directed who should march in frontand who in the rear. He divided the army into twelve companiesand these againinto five divisionsmarshalled according as the men ranked in militarydiscipline; and none could be found more warlikeif they had only hadconfidence in Godwho is the giver of all good things. On that day the Templarsformed the first rankand after them camein due orderthe Bretons and men ofAnjou; then followed King Guywith the men of Pictou; and in the fourth linewere the Normans and Englishwho had the care of the royal standardand lastof all marched the Hospitallers: this line was composed of chosen warriorsdivided into companies. They kept together so closely that an appleif thrownwould not have fallen to the ground without touching a man or a horse; and thearmy stretched from the army of Saracens to the seashore. There you might haveseen their most appropriate distinctions- standardsand ensigns of variousformsand hardy soldiersfresh and full of spiritsand well fitted for war.HenryCount of Champagnekept guard on the mountain sideand maintained aconstant lookout on the flank; the foot-soldiersbowmenand arbalesters wereon the outsideand the rear of the army was closed by the post horses andwagonswhich carried provisions and other thingsand journeyed along betweenthe army and the seato avoid an attack from the enemy.

This was the order of the armyas it advanced graduallyto preventseparation; for the less close the line of battlethe less effective was it forresistance. King Richard and the Duke of Burgundywith a chosen retinue ofwarriorsrode up and downnarrowly watching the position and manner of theTurksto correct anything in their own troopsif they saw occasionfor theyhad needat that momentof the utmost circumspection.

It was now nearly nine o'clockwhen there appeared a large body of theTurksten thousand strongcoming down upon us at full chargeand throwingdarts and arrows as far as they couldwhile they mingled their voices in onehorrible yell. There followed after them an infernal race of menof blackcolorand bearing a suitable appellationexpressive of their blackness. Withthem also were the Saracenswho live in the desertcalled Bedouins; they are asavage race of menblacker than soot; they fight on footand carry a bowquiverand round shieldand are a light and active race. These men dauntlesslyattacked our army. Beyond these might be seen the well-arranged phalanxes of theTurkswith ensigns fixed to their lancesand standards and banners of separatedistinctions. Their army was divided into troopsand the troops into companiesand their numbers seemed to exceed twenty thousand. They came on withirresistible chargeon horses swifter than eaglesand urged on like lightningto attack our men; and as they advanced they raised a cloud of dustso that theair was darkened. In front came certain of their admiralsas it was their dutywith clarions and trumpets; some had hornsothers had pipes and timbrelsgongscymbalsand other instrumentsproducing a horrible noise and clamor.The earth vibrated from the loud and discordant soundsso that the crash ofthunder could not be heard amidst the tumultuous noise of horns and trumpets.They did this to excite their spirit and couragefor the more violent theirclamor becamethe more bold were they for the fray. Thus the impious Turksthreatened usboth on the side towards the sea and from the side of the land;and for the space of two miles not so much earth as could be taken up in onehand could be seenon account of the hostile Turks who covered it. Ohhowobstinately they pressed onand continued their stubborn attacksso that ourmen suffered severe loss of their horseswhich were killed by their darts andarrows. Ohhow useful to us on that day were our arbalesters and bowmenwhoclosed the extremities of the linesand did their best to repel the obstinateTurks.

The enemy came rushing downlike a torrentto the attack; and many of ourarbalestersunable to restrain the weight of their terrible and calamitouschargethrew away their armsandfearing lest they should be shut outtookrefugein crowdsbehind the dense lines of the army; yielding through fear ofdeath to sufferings which they could not support. Those whom shame forbade toyieldor the hope of an immortal crown sustainedwere animated with greaterboldness and courage to persevere in the contestand fought with indefatigablevalor face to face against the Turkswhilst they at the same time receded stepby stepand so reached their retreat. The whole of that dayon account of theTurks pressing them closely from behindthey faced around and went onskirmishingrather than proceeding on their march.

Ohhow great was the strait they were in on that day! how great was theirtribulation! when some were affected with fearsand no one had such confidenceor spirit as not to wishat that momenthe had finished his pilgrimageandhad returned homeinstead of standing with trembling heart the chances of adoubtful battle. In truth our peopleso few in numberwere so hemmed in by themultitudes of the Saracensthat they had no means of escapeif they tried;neither did they seem to have valor sufficient to withstand so many foes- naythey were shut in like a flock of sheep in the jaws of wolveswith nothing butthe sky aboveand the enemy all around them. O Lord God! what feelings agitatedthat weak flock of Christ! straitened by such a perplexitywhom the enemypressed with such unabating vigoras if they would pass them through a sieve.What army was ever assailed by so mighty a force? There you might have seen ourtroopershaving lost their chargersmarching on foot with the footmenorcasting missiles from the arbalestsor arrows from bowsagainst the enemyandrepelling their attacks in the best manner they were able. The Turksskilled inthe bowpressed unceasingly upon them; it rained darts; the air was filled withthe shower of arrowsand the brightness of the sun was obscured by themultitude of missilesas if it had been darkened by a fall of winter's hail orsnow. Our horses were pierced by the darts and arrowswhich were so numerousthat the whole face of the earth around was covered with themand if any onewished to gather them uphe might take twenty of them in his hand at a time.

The Turks pressed with such boldness that they nearly crushed theHospitallers; on which the latter sent word to King Richard that they could notwithstand the violence of the enemy's attackunless he would allow theirknights to advance at full charge against them. This the king dissuaded themfrom doingbut advised them to keep in a close body; they therefore perseveredand kept togetherthough scarcely able to breathe for the pressure. By thesemeans they were able to proceed on their waythough the heat happened to bevery great on that day; so that they labored under two disadvantages- the hotweather and the attacks of the enemy. These approved martyrs of Christ sweatedin the contest; and he who could have seen them closed up in a narrow spacesopatient under the heat and toil of the day and the attacks of the enemywhoexhorted each other to destroy the Christianscould not doubt in his mind thatit augured ill to our success from their straitened and perilous positionhemmed in as they were by so large a multitude; for the enemy thundered at theirbacks as if with malletsso thathaving no room to use their bowsthey foughthand to hand with swordslancesand clubsand the blows of the Turksechoingfrom their metal armorresounded as if they had been struck upon an anvil. Theywere now tormented with the heatand no rest was allowed them. The battle fellheavy on the extreme line of the Hospitallersthe more so as they were unableto resistbut moved forward with patience under their woundsreturning noteven a word for the blows which fell upon themand advancing on their waybecause they were not able to bear the weight of the contest.

Then they pressed on for safety upon the centre of the army which was infront of themto avoid the fury of the enemy who harassed them in the rear. Wasit wonderful that no one could withstand so continuous an attackwhen he couldnot even return a blow to the numbers who pressed on him? The strength of allPaganism had gathered together from Damascus and Persiafrom the Mediterraneanto the East; there was not left in the uttermost recesses of the earth one manof fame or powerone nation's valoror one bold soldierwhom the sultan hadnot summoned to his aideither by entreatyby moneyor by authorityto crushthe Christian race; for he presumed to hope he could blot them from the face ofthe earth; but his hopes were vainfor their numbers were sufficientthroughthe assistance of Godto effect their purpose. The flower of the chosen youthand soldiers of Christendom had indeed assembled togetherand were united inone bodylike ears of corn on their stalksfrom every region of the earth; andif they had been utterly destroyedthere is no doubt that there were some leftto make resistance.

A cloud of dust obscured the air as our men marched on; andin addition tothe heatthey had an enemy pressing them in the rearinsolentand renderedobstinate by the instigation of the devil. Still the Christians proved good menand secure in their unconquerable spiritkept constantly advancingwhile theTurks threatened them without ceasing in the rear; but their blows fell harmlessupon the defensive armorand this caused the Turks to slacken in courage at thefailure of their attemptsand they began to murmur in whispers ofdisappointmentcrying out in their rage"that our people were made ofiron and would yield to no blow." Then the Turksabout twenty thousandstrongrushed again upon our men pell-mellannoying them in every possiblemanner; whenas if overcome by their savage furybrother Garnier de Napesoneof the Hospitallerssuddenly exclaimed with a loud voice"O excellent St.George! will you leave us to be thus put to confusion? The whole of Christendomis now on the point of perishingbecause it fears to return a blow against thisimpious race."

Upon this the master of the Hospitallers went to the kingand said to him"My lord the kingwe are violently pressed by the enemyand are in dangerof eternal infamyas if we did not dare to return their blows; we are each ofus losing our horses one after anotherand why should we bear with them anyfurther?" To whom the king replied"Good masterit is you who mustsustain their attack; no one can be everywhere at once." On the masterreturningthe Turks again made a fierce attack on them from the rearand therewas not a prince or count amongst them but blushed with shameand they said toeach other"Why do we not charge them at full gallop? Alas! alas! we shallforever deserve to be called cowardsa thing which never happened to us beforefor never has such a disgrace befallen so great an armyeven from unbelievers.Unless we defend ourselves by immediately charging the enemy we shall gaineverlasting scandaland so much the greater the longer we delay to fight."Ohow blind is human fate! On what slippery points it stands! Alason howuncertain wheels doth it advanceand with what ambiguous success doth it unfoldthe course of human things! A countless multitude of the Turks would haveperished if the aforesaid attempt had been orderly conducted; but to punish usfor our sinsas it is believedthe potter's ware produces a paltry vesselinstead of the grand design which he had conceived. For when they were treatingon this pointand had come to the same decision about charging the enemytwoknightswho were impatient of delayput everything in confusion. It had beenresolved by common consent that the sounding of six trumpets in three differentparts of the army should be a signal for a chargeviz.two in fronttwo inthe rearand two in the middleto distinguish the sounds from those of theSaracensand to mark the distance of each. If these orders had been attendedtothe Turks would have been utterly discomfited; but from the too great hasteof the aforesaid knights the success of the affair was marred.

They rushed at full gallop upon the Turksand each of them prostrated hisman by piercing him through with his lance. One of them was the marshal of theHospitallersthe other was Baldwin de Carreoa good and brave manand thecompanion of King Richardwho had brought him in his retinue. When the otherChristians observed these two rushing forwardand heard them calling with aclear voice on St. George for aidthey charged the Turks in a body with alltheir strength; then the Hospitallerswho had been distressed all day by theirclose arrayfollowing the two soldierscharged the enemy in troopsso thatthe van of the army became the rear from their position in the attackand theHospitallerswho had been the lastwere the first to charge.

The Count of Champagne also burst forward with his chosen companyand Jamesd'Avennes with his kinsmenand also Robert Count of Dreuxthe bishop ofBeauvais and his brotheras well as the Earl of Leicesterwho made a fiercecharge on the left towards the sea. Why need we name each? Those who were in thefirst line of the rear made a united and furious charge; after them the men ofPoictouthe Bretonsand the men of Anjourushed swiftly onwardand then camethe rest of the army in a body: each troop showed its valorand boldly closedwith the Turkstransfixing them with their lancesand casting them to theground. The sky grew black with the dust that was raised in the confusion ofthat encounter. The Turkswho had purposely dismounted from their horses inorder to take better aim at our men with their darts and arrowswere slain onall sides in that chargefor on being prostrated by the horse-soldiers theywere beheaded by the foot-men. King Richardon seeing his army in motion and inencounter with the Turksflew rapidly on his horse at full speed through theHospitallerswho had led the chargeand to whom he was bringing assistancewith all his retinueand broke into the Turkish infantrywho were astonishedat his blows and those of his menand gave way to the right and to the left.

Then might be seen numbers prostrated on the groundhorses without theirriders in crowdsthe wounded lamenting with groans their hard fateand othersdrawing their last breathweltering in their goreand many lay headlesswhilst their lifeless forms were trodden under foot both by friend and foe. Ohhow different are the speculations of those who meditate amidst the columns ofthe cloister from the fearful exercise of war! There the kingthe fiercetheextraordinary kingcut down the Turks in every directionand none could escapethe force of his armfor wherever he turnedbrandishing his swordhe carved awide path for himself; and as he advanced and gave repeated strokes with hisswordcutting them down like a reaper with his sicklethe restwarned by thesight of the dyinggave him more ample spacefor the corpses of the dead Turkswhich lay on the face of the earth extended over half a mile. In finethe Turkswere cut downthe saddles emptied of their ridersand the dust which wasraised by the conflict of the combatants proved very hurtful to our menfor onbecoming fatigued from slaying so manywhen they were retiring to take freshairthey could not recognize each other on account of the thick dustandstruck their blows indiscriminately to the right and to the left; so that unableto distinguish friend from foe they took their own men for enemies and cut themdown without mercy. Then the Christians pressed hard on the Turksthe lattergave way before them: but for a long time the battle was doubtful; they stillexchanged blowsand either party strove for the victory; on both sides wereseen some retreatingcovered with woundswhile others fell slain to theground.

Ohhow many banners and standards of different formsand pennons andmany-colored ensignsmight there be seen torn and fallen on the earth; swordsof proved steeland lances made of cane with iron headsTurkish bowsandmaces bristling with sharp teethdarts and arrows covering the groundandmissiles enough to load twenty wagons or morel There lay the headless trunks ofthe Turks who had perishedwhilst others retained their courage for a timeuntil our men increased in strengthwhen some of them concealed themselves inthe copsessome climbed up treesandbeing shot with arrowsfell with afearful groan to the earth; othersabandoning their horsesbetook themselvesby slippery footpaths to the seasideand tumbled headlong into the waves fromthe precipitous cliffs that were five poles in height. The rest of the enemywere repulsed in so wonderful a manner that for the space of two miles nothingcould be seen but fugitivesalthough they had before been so obstinate andfierceand puffed up with pride; but by God's grace their pride was humbledand they continued still to flyfor when our men ceased the pursuit fear aloneadded wings to their feet. Our army had been ranged in divisions when theyattacked the Turks; the Normans and English alsowho had the care of thestandardcame up slowly towards the troops which were fighting with the Turks-for it was very difficult to disperse the enemy's strengthand they stopped ata short distance therefromthat all might have a rallying point. On theconclusion of the slaughter our men paused; but the fugitivesto the number oftwenty thousandwhen they saw thisimmediately recovering their courageandarmed with macescharged the hindmost of those who were retiringand rescuedsome from our men who hadjust struck them down.

Ohhow dreadfully were our men then pressed! for the darts and arrowsthrown at them as they were falling backbroke the headsarmsand other limbsof our horsemenso that they bentstunnedto their saddle-bows; but havingquickly regained their spirits and resumed their strengthand thirsting forvengeance with greater eagernesslike a lioness when her whelps are stolenthey charged the enemyand broke through them like a net. Then you might haveseen the horses with their saddles displacedand the Turkswho had but justnow fledreturningand pressing upon our people with the utmost fury; everycast of their darts would have told had our men kept marchingand not stoodstill in a compactimmovable body. The commander of the Turks was an admiralnamed Tekedmusa kinsman of the sultanhaving a banner with a remarkabledevice; namely that of a pair of breeches carved thereona symbol well known tohis men. He was a most cruel persecutorand a persevering enemy of theChristians; and he had under his command seven hundred chosen Turks of greatvalorof the household troops of Saladineach of whose companies bore a yellowbanner with pennons of a different color. These mencoming at full chargewithclamor and haughty bearingattacked our menwho were turning off from themtowards the standardcutting at themand piercing them severelyso that eventhe firmness of our chiefs wavered under the weight of the pressure; yet our menremained immovablecompelled to repel force by force. And the conflict grewthickerthe blows were redoubledand the battle waxed fiercer than before: theone side labored to crushthe other to repel; both exerted their strengthandalthough our men were by far the fewest in numbersthey made havoc of greatmultitudes of the enemy; and that portion of the army which thus toiled in thebattle could not return to the standard with easeon account of the immensemass which pressed upon them so severely; for thus hemmed in they began to flagin courageand but few dared to renew the attack of the enemy. In truththeTurks were furious in the assaultand greatly distressed our menwhose bloodpoured forth in a stream beneath their blows. On perceiving them reel and givewayWilliam de Barrisa renowned knightbreaking through the rankschargedthe Turks with his men; and such was the vigor of the onset that some fell bythe edge of his swordwhile others only saved themselves by rapid flight. Forall thatthe kingmounted on a bay Cyprian steedwhich had not its matchbounded forward in the direction of the mountainsand scattered those he met onall sides; for the enemy fled from his sword and gave waywhile helmetstottered beneath itand sparks flew forth from its strokes. So great was thefury of his onsetand so many and deadly his blows that dayin his conflictwith the Turksthat in a short space of time the enemy were all scatteredandallowed our army to proceed; and thus our menhaving suffered somewhatat lastreturned to the standardand proceeded on their march as far as Arsurandthere they pitched their tents outside its walls.

While they were thus engaged a large body of the Turks made an attack on theextreme rear of our army. On hearing the noise of the assailantsKing Richardencouraging his men to battlerushed at full speedwith only fifteencompanionsagainst the Turkscrying outwith a loud voice"Aid usOGod! and the Holy Sepulchre!" and this he exclaimed a second and a thirdtime; and when our men heard it they made haste to follow himand attackedroutedand put them to flight; pursuing them as far as Arsurwhence they hadfirst come outcutting them down and subduing them. Many of the Turks fellthere also. The king returned thence from the slaughter of the fugitives to hiscamp; and the menovercome with the fatigue and exertions of the dayrestedquietly that night.

Whoever was greedy of gainand wished to plunder the bootyreturned to theplace of battleand loaded himself to his heart's desire; and those whoreturned from thence reported that they had counted thirty-two Turkish chiefswho were found slain on that dayand whom they supposed to be men of greatinfluence and power from the splendor of their armor and the costliness of theirapparel. The Turks also made search for them to carry them away as being of themost importance; and besides these the Turks carried off seven thousand mangledbodies of those who were next in rankbesides of the woundedwho went off instraggling parties; and when their strength failed lay about the fields anddied. But by the protection of God we did not lose a tenthnor a hundredth partso many as fell in the Turkish army. Ohthe disasters of that day! Ohthetrials of the warriors! for the tribulations of the just are many. Ohmournfulcalamity and bitter distress. How great must have been the blackness of our sinsto require so fiery an ordeal to purify itfor if we had striven to overcomethe urgent necessity by pious long-sufferingand without a murmurthe sense ofour obligations would have been deeper.

And again the Christians were put in great perilin the following manner. Atthe siege of Joppa a certain depraved set of men among the SaracenscalledMenelones of Aleppo and Cordivian active racemet together to consult whatshould be done in the existing state of things. They spoke of the scandal whichlay against themthat so small an armywithout horseshad driven them out ofJoppaand they reproached themselves with cowardice and shameful basenessandarrogantly made a compact among themselves that they would seize King Richard inhis tentand bring him before Saladinfrom whom they would receive a mostmunificent reward.

So they prepared themselves in the middle of the night to surprise the kingand sallied forth armedby the light of the moonconversing with one anotherabout the object they had in hand. Ohhateful race of unbelievers! they areanxiously bent upon seizing Christ's steadfast soldier while he is asleep. Theyrush on in numbers to seize himunarmed and apprehensive of no danger. Theywere not far from his tentand were preparing to lay hands on himwhenlo!the God of mercywho never neglects those who trust in Himand acts in awonderful manner even to those who know Him notsent the spirit of discordamong the aforesaid Cordivi and Menelones. The Cordivi said"You shall goin on foot to take the king and his followerswhilst we will remain onhorseback to prevent their escaping into the castle." But the Menelonesreplied"Nayit is your place to go in on footbecause our rank ishigher than yours; but this service on foot belongs to you rather than us."Whilst thus the two parties were contending which of them were the greatesttheir combined dispute caused much delay; and when at last they came to adecision how their nefarious attempt should be achievedthe dawn of the dayappearedviz.the Wednesday next following the feast of St. Peter ad vincula.But now by the providence of Godwho had decreed that his holy champion shouldnot be seized whilst asleep by the infidelsa certain Genoese was led by thedivine impulse to go out early in the morning into the fieldswhere he wasalarmed by the noise of men and horses advancingand returned speedilybutjust had time to see helmets reflecting back the light which now fell upon them.He immediately rushed with speed into the campcalling out"To arms! toarms!" The king was awakened by the noiseand leaping startled from hisbedput on his impenetrable coat of mailand summoned his men to the rescue.

God of all mercies! lives there a man who would not be shaken by such asudden alarm? The enemy rushed unawaresarmed against unarmedmany againstfewfor our men had no time to arm or even to dress themselves. The kinghimselfthereforeand many others with himon the urgency of the momentproceeded without their cuishes to the fightsome even without their breechesand they armed themselves in the best manner they couldthough they were goingto fight the whole day. Whilst our men were thus arming in hastethe Turks drewnearand the king mounted his horsewith only ten other knights with him.These alone had horsesand some even of them had base and impotent horsesunused to arms; the common men were drawn skilfully out in ranks and troopswith each a captain to command them. The knights were posted nearer to the seahaving the church of St. Nicholas on the leftbecause the Turks had directedtheir principal attack on that quarterand the Pisans and Genoese were postedbeyond the suburban gardenshaving other troops mingled with them. Ohwhocould fully relate the terrible attacks of the infidels? The Turks at firstrushed on with horrid yellshurling their javelins and shooting their arrows.Our men prepared themselves as they best could to receive their furious attackeach fixing his right knee in the groundthat so they might the better holdtogether and maintain their position; whilst there the thighs of their left legswere bentand their left hands held their shields or bucklers; stretched outbefore them in their right hands they held their lancesof which the lower endswere fixed in the groundand their iron heads pointed threateningly towards theenemy.

Between every two of the men who were thus covered with their shieldsthekingversed in armsplaced an arbalesterand another behind him to stretchthe arbalest as quickly as possibleso that the man in front might dischargehis shot whilst the other was loading. This was found to be of much benefit toour menand did much harm to the enemy. Thus everything was prepared as well asthe shortness of the time allowedand our little army was drawn up in order.The king ran along the ranksand exhorted every man to be brave and not toflinch. "Couragemy brave men" said he; "and let not the attackof the enemy disturb you. Bear up against the powers of fortuneand you willrise above them. Everything may be borne by brave men; adversity sheds a lightupon the virtues of mankind. as certainly as prosperity casts over them a shade;there is no room for flightfor the enemy surround usand to attempt to fleeis to provoke certain death. Be bravethereforeand let the urgency of thecase sharpen up your valor; brave men should either conquer nobly or gloriouslydie. Martyrdom is a boon which we should receive with willing mind; but beforewe dielet uswhilst still alivedo what we may to avenge our deathsgivingthanks to God that it has been our lot to die martyrs. This will be the end ofour laborsthe termination of our life and of our battles. These words werehardly spokenwhen the hostile army rushed with ferocity upon themin seventroopseach of which contained about a thousand horse. Our men received theirattack with their right feet planted firm against the sandand remainedimmovable. Their lances formed a wall against the enemywho would haveassuredly broken throughif our men had in the least given way.

The first line of the Turksperceivingas they advancedthat our men stoodimmovablerecoiled a littlewhen our men plied them with a shower of missilesslaying large numbers of men and horses. Another line of Turks at once came onin like mannerand were again encountered and driven back. In this way theTurks came on like a whirlwindagain and againmaking the appearance of anattackthat our men might be induced to give wayand when they were close upthey turned their horses off in another direction. The king and his knightswhowere on horsebackperceiving thisput spurs to their horsesand charged intothe middle of the enemyupsetting them right and leftand piercing a largenumber through the body with their lances; at last they pulled up their horsesbecause they found that they had penetrated entirely through the Turkish lines.The kingnow looking about himsaw the noble earl of Leicester fallen from hishorseand fighting bravely on foot. No sooner did he see thisthan he rushedto his rescuesnatched him out of the hands of the enemyand replaced him onhis horse. What a terrible combat was then waged! A multitude of Turks advancedand used every exertion to destroy our small army; vexed at our successtheyrushed toward the royal standard of the lionfor they would rather have slainthe king than a thousand others. In the midst of the melee the king saw Ralph deMauleon dragged off prisoner by the Turksand spurring his horse to speedin amoment released him from their handsand restored him to the army; for the kingwas a very giant in the battleand was everywhere in the field- now herenowtherewherever the attacks of the Turks raged the hottest. So bravely did hefightthat there was no onehowever gallantthat would not readily anddeservedly yield to him the pre-eminence. On that day he performed the mostgallant deeds on the furious army of the Turksand slew numbers with his swordwhich shone like lightning; some of them were cloven in twofrom their helmetto their teethwhilst others lost their headsarmsand other memberswhichwere lopped off at a single blow. While the king was thus laboring withincredible exertions in the fighta Turk advanced towards himmounted on afoaming steed. He had been sent by Saphadin of Archadiabrother to Saladinaliberal and munificent manif he had not rejected the Christian faith. This mannow sent to the kingas a token of his well-known honorable charactertwonobles horsesrequesting him earnestly to accept themand make use of themand if he returned safe and sound out of that battleto remember the gift andrecompense it in any manner he pleased. The king readily received the presentand afterwards nobly recompensed the giver. Such is braverycognizable even inan enemy; since a Turkwho was our bitter foethus honored the king for hisdistinguished valor. The kingespecially at such a moment of needprotestedthat he would have taken any number of horses equally good from any one evenmore a foe than Saphadinso necessary were they to him at that moment. Fiercenow raged the fightwhen such numbers attacked so few; the whole earth wascovered with the javelins and arrows of the unbelievers; they threw themseveral at a timeat our menof whom many were wounded. Thus the weight ofbattle fell heavier up on us than beforeand the galleymen withdrew in thegalleys which brought them; and soin their anxiety to be safethey sacrificedtheir character for bravery. Meanwhile a shout was raised by the Turksas theystrove who should first occupy the townhoping to slay those of our men whomthey should find within. The kinghearing the clamortaking with him only twoknights and two crossbow-menmet three Turksnobly caparisonedin one of theprincipal streets. Rushing bravely upon themhe slew the riders in his ownroyal fashionand made booty of two horses. The rest of the Turks who werefound in the town were put to the rout in spite of their resistanceanddispersing in different directionssought to make their escapeeven wherethere was no regular road. The king also commanded the parts of the walls whichwere broken down to be made goodand placed sentinels to keep watch lest thetown should be again attacked.

These matters settledthe king went down to the shorewhere many of our menhad taken refuge on board the galleys. These the king exhorted by the mostcogent arguments to return to the battleand share with the rest whatever mightbefall them. Leaving five men as guards on board each galleythe king led backthe rest to assist his hard-pressed armyand he no sooner arrived than with allhis fury he fell upon the thickest ranks of the enemydriving them back androuting themso that even those who were at a distance and untouched by himwere overwhelmed by the throng of the troops as they retreatedNever was theresuch an attack made by an individual. He pierced into the middle of the hostilearmyand performed the deeds of a brave and distinguished warrior. The Turks atonce closed upon himand tried to overwhelm him. In the meantime our menlosing sight of the kingwere fearful lest he should have been slainand whenone of them proposed that they should advance to find himour lines couldhardly contain themselves. But if by any chance the disposition of our troopshad been brokenwithout doubt they would all have been destroyed. Whathoweverwas to be thought of the kingwho was hemmed in by the enemya singleman opposed to so many thousands? The hand of the writer faints to see itandthe mind of the reader to hear it. Who ever heard of such a man? His bravery wasever of the highest orderno adverse storm could sink it; his valor was everbecomingand if we may from a few instances judge of manyit was everindefatigable in war. Why then do we speak of the valor of Antaeuswho regainedhis strength every time he touched his mother earthfor Antaeus perished whenhe was lifted up from the earth in the long wrestling match. The body ofAchilles alsowho slew Hectorwas invulnerablebecause he was dipped in theStygian waves; yet Achilles was mortally wounded in the very part by which hewas held when they dipped him. Likewise Alexanderthe Macedonianwho wasstimulated by ambition to subjugate the whole worldundertook a most difficultenterpriseand with a handful of choice soldiers fought many celebratedbattlesbut the chief part of his valor consisted of the excellence of hissoldiers. In the same manner the brave Judas Maccabeusof whom all the worlddiscoursedperformed many wonderful deeds worthy forever to be rememberedbutwhen he was abandoned by his soldiers in the midst of a battlewith thousandsof enemies to oppose himhe was slaintogether with his brothers. But KingRichardinured to battle from his tenderest yearsand to whom even famousRoland could not be considered equalremained invincibleeven in the midst ofthe enemy; and his bodyas if it were made of brasswas impenetrable to anykind of weapon. In his right hand he brandished his swordwhich in its rapiddescent broke the ranks on either side of him. Such was his energy amid thathost of Turks thatfearing nothinghe destroyed all around himmowing mendown with his scythe as reapers mow down the corn with their sickles. Who coulddescribe his deeds? Whoever felt one of his blows had no need of a second. Suchwas the energy of his courage that it seemed to rejoice at having found anoccasion to display itself. The sword wielded by his powerful hand cut down menand horses alikecleaving them to the middle. The more he was himself separatedfrom his menand the more the enemy sought to overwhelm himthe more did hisvalor shine conspicuous. Among other brave deeds which he performed on thatoccasion he slew by one marvellous stroke an admiralwho was conspicuous abovethe rest of the enemy by his rich caparisons. This man by his gestures seemed tosay that he was going to do something wonderfuland whilst he reproached therest with cowardice he put spurs to his horse and charged full against the kingwhowaving his sword as he saw him comingsmote off at a single blow not onlyhis headbut his shoulder and right arm. The Turks were terror-struck at thesightandgiving way on all sidesscarcely dared to shoot at him from adistance with their arrows.

The king now returned safe and unhurt to his friendsand encouraged themmore than ever with the hope of victory. How were their minds raised fromdespair when they saw him coming safe out of the enemy's ranks! They knew notwhat had happened to himbut they knew that without him all the hopes of theChristian army would be in vain. The king's person was stuck all over withjavelinslike a deer pierced by the huntersand the trappings of his horsewere thickly covered with arrows. Thuslike a brave soldierhe returned fromthe contestand a bitter contest it wasfor it had lasted from the morning sunto the setting sun. It may seem wonderful and even incrediblethat so small abody of men endured so long a conflict; but by God's mercy we cannot doubt thetruth of itfor in that battle only one or two of our men were slain. But thenumber of the Turkish horses that lay dead on the field is said to have exceededfifteen hundred; and of the Turks themselves more than seven hundred werekilledand yet they did not carry back King Richardas they had boastedas apresent to Saladin; buton the contraryhe and his horse performed so manydeeds of valor in the sight of the Turks that the enemy shuddered to behold him.

In the meantime our men having by God's grace escaped destructiontheTurkish army returned to Saladinwho is said to have ridiculed them by askingwhere Melech Richard wasfor they had promised to bring him a prisoner?"Which of you" continued he "first seized himand where is he?Why is he not produced?" To whom one of the Turks that came from thefurthest countries of the earth replied"In truthmy lordMelechRichardabout whom you askis not here; we have never heard since thebeginning of the world that there ever was such a knightso brave and soexperienced in arms. In every deed of arms he is ever the foremost; in deeds heis without a rivalthe first to advance and the last to retreat; we did ourbest to seize himbut in vainfor no man can escape from his sword; his attackis dreadful; to engage with him is fataland his deeds are beyond humannature."

CHAPTER XXXIV.

ROBIN HOOD OF SHERWOOD FOREST. -

In this our spacious isle I think there is not one

But he of ROBIN HOOD hath heard and Little John;

And to the end of time the tales shall ne'er be done

Of ScarlockGeorge a Greenand Much the miller's son

Of Tuckthe merry friarwhich many a sermon made

In praise of ROBIN HOODhis outlaws and their trade.

DRAYTON. -

EVERY reader of "Ivanhoe" at the mention of Richard the Crusaderwill be reminded of Robin Hoodthe noble outlaw of Sherwood Forestand hisband of merry bowmen. With these we next concern ourselvesand if the readerwill pardon the dry outlines of the historian before proceeding to the moreinteresting and imaginative story of the ballad-singerwe will at first statewhat so careful an antiquary as Mr. Ritson considers to be truly trustworthy inRobin Hood's history.

Robin Hood was born at Locksleyin the county of Nottinghamin the reign ofKing Henry IIand about the year of Christ 1160. His extraction was nobleandhis true name Robert Fitzoothwhich vulgar pronunciation easily corrupted intoRobin Hood. He is frequently styledand commonly reputed to have beenEarl ofHuntingdon; a title to whichin the latter part of his life at leastheactually appears to have had some sort of pretension. In his youth he isreported to have been of a wild and extravagant dispositioninsomuch thathisinheritance being consumed or forfeited by his excessesand his person outlawedfor debteither from necessity or choice he sought an asylum in the woods andforestswith which immense tractsespecially in the northern part of thekingdomwere at that time covered. Of these he chiefly affected BarnsdaleinYorkshire; Sherwood in Nottinghamshireandaccording to somePlompton Park inCumberland. Here he either found or was afterwards joined by a number of personsin similar circumstanceswho appear to have considered and obeyed him as theirchief or leader.... Having for a long series of years maintained a sort ofindependent sovereigntyand set kingsjudgesand magistrates at defianceaproclamation was publishedoffering a considerable reward for bringing him ineither dead or alive; whichhoweverseems to have been productive of nogreater success than former attempts for that purpose. At length the infirmitiesof old age increasing upon himand desirous to be relievedin a fit ofsicknessby being let bloodhe applied for that purpose to the prioress ofKirkley nunnery in Yorkshirehis relative (womenand particularly religiouswomenbeing in those times somewhat better skilled in surgery than the sex isat present)by whom he was treacherously suffered to bleed to death. This eventhappened on the 18th November1247being the thirty-first year of King HenryIII.; and if the date assigned to his birth be correctabout the eighty-seventhyear of his age. He was interred under some trees at a short distance from thehouse; a stone being placed over his gravewith an inscription to his memory.

There are some who will have it that Robin Hood was not alive in the reign ofRichard I.and who will have it that he preferred other forests to Sherwood.But the stories that we have chosen are of the Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest andof King Richard the Lion-hearted. -

LITTLE JOHN. -

The lieutenant of Robin Hood's band was named Little Johnnot so much fromhis smallness in stature (for he was seven feet high and more)as for a reasonwhich I shall tell later. And the manner in which Robin Hoodto whom he wasvery dearmet him was this.

Robin Hood on one occasion being hunting with his men and finding the sportto be poorsaid: "We have had no sport now for some time. So I go abroadalone. And if I should fall into any peril whence I cannot escape I will blow myhorn that ye may know of it and bear me aid." And with that he bade themadieu and departed alonehaving with him his bow and the arrows in his quiver.And passing shortly over a brook by a long bridge he met at the middle astranger. And neither of the two would give way to the other. And Robin Hoodbeing angry fitted an arrow to his bow and made ready to fire."Truly" said the stranger at this"thou art a fine fellow thatyou must draw your long bow on me who have but a staff by me." "Thatis just truly" said Robin; "and so I will lay by my bow and get me astaff to try if your deeds be as good as your words." And with that he wentinto a thicket and chose him a small ground oak for a staff and returned to thestranger.

"Now" said he"I am a match for youso let us play uponthis bridgeand if one should fall in the stream the other will have thevictory." "With all my heart" said the stranger; "I shallnot be the first to give out." And with that they began to make great playwith their staves. And Robin Hood first struck the stranger such a blow aswarmed all his bloodand from that they rattled their sticks as though they hadbeen threshing corn. And finally the stranger gave Robin such a crack on hiscrown that he broke his head and the blood flowed. But this only urged him themoreso that he attacked the stranger with such vigor that he had like to havemade an end of him. But he growing into a fury finally fetched him such a blowthat he tumbled him from the bridge into the brook. Whereat the stranger laughedloudly and longand cried out to him"Where art thou nowI prytheemygood fellow?" And Robin replied"Thou art truly a brave souland Iwill have no more to do with thee to-day; so

our battle is at an endand I must allow that thou hast won the day."And then wading to the bank he pulled out his horn and blew a blast on it sothat the echoes flew throughout the valley. And at that came fifty bold bowmenout of the woodall clad in greenand they made for Robin Hoodand saidWilliam Stukely"What is the mattermy master? you are wet to theskin?" "Trulynothing is the matter" said Robin"but thatthe lad on the bridge has tumbled me into the stream." And on that thearchers would have seized the stranger to duck him as wellbut Robin Hoodforbade them. "No one shall harm theefriend" said he. "Theseare all my bowmenthreescore and nineand if you will be one of us you shallstraightway have my livery and accoutrementsfit for a man. What say you?""With all my heart" said the stranger; "here is my hand on it.My name is John Littleand I will be a good man and true to you.""His name shall be changed" said William Stukely on this. "Wewill call him Little Johnand I will be his godfather."

So they fetched a pair of fat does and some humming strong aleand therethey christened their babe Little Johnfor he was seven feet high and an ellround at his waist. -

FRIAR TUCK. -

Now Robin Hood had instituted a day of mirth for himself and all hiscompanionsand wagers were laid amongst them who should exceed at this exerciseand who at that; some did contend who should jump farthestsome who shouldthrow the barsome who should be swiftest afoot in a race five miles in length;others there were with which Little John was most delightedwho did strivewhich of them should draw the strongest bowand be the best marksman. "Letme see" said Little John"which of you can kill a buckand who cankill a doeand who is he can kill a hartbeing distant from it by the space offive hundred feet." With thatRobin Hood going before themthey wentdirectly to the forestwhere they found good store of game feeding before them.William Scarlockthat drew the strongest bow of them alldid kill a buckandLittle John made choice of a barren fat doeand the well-directed arrow didenter in the very heart of it; and Midgethe miller's sondid kill a hartabove five hundred feet distant from him. The hart fallingRobin Hood strokedhim gently on the shoulderand said unto him"God's blessing on thyheartI will ride five hundred miles to find a match for thee." WilliamScarlockhearing him speak these wordssmiled and said unto him"Masterwhat needs that? Here is a Curtal Friar * not far offthat for a hundred poundwill shoot at what distance yourself will propoundeither with Midge or withyourself. An experienced man he isand will draw a bow with great strength; hewill shoot with yourselfand with all the men you haveone afteranother." -

* "The Curtal Friar" Dr. Stukely says"is Cordelierfromthe cord or rope which they wore round their waistto whip themselves with.They were" adds he"of the Franciscan order. Our Friarhoweverisundoubtedly so called from his Curtal dogsor cursas we now say." Thoms.Early Prose Romances: in whichby the waymay be found many of the tales ofRobin Hood printed hereand much more besides of interest. -

"Sayest thou soScarlock?" replied Robin Hood. "By the graceof God I will neither eat nor drink till I see this Friar thou dost speakof." And having prepared himself for his journeyhe took Little John andfifty of his best archers with himwhom he bestowed in a convenient placeashe himself thought fitting. This being donehe ran down into the dalewhere hefound the Curtal Friar walking by the water side. He no sooner espied himbutpresently he took unto him his broadsword and bucklerand put on his head asteel bonnet. The Friarnot knowing who he wasor for what intent he camedidpresently arm himself to encounter with him. Robin Hoodcoming near unto himalighted from his horsewhich he tied to a thorn that grew hard byand lookingwistfully on the Friarsaid unto him"Carry me over the waterthouCurtal Friaror else thy life lies at the stake." The Friar made no moreadobut took up Robin Hood and carried him on his back; deep water he didstride; he spake not so much as one word to himbut having carried him overhegently laid him down on the side of the bank; which being donethe Friar saidto Robin Hood"It is now thy turn; therefore carry me over the waterthoubold fellowor sure I shall make thee repent it." Robin Hoodto requitethe courtesytook the Friar on his backand not speaking the least word tohimcarried him over the waterand laid him gently down on the side of thebank; and turning to himhe spake unto him as at firstand bade him carry himover the water once moreor he should answer it with the forfeit of his life.The Friar in a smiling manner took him upand spake not a word till he came inthe midst of the streamwhenbeing up to the middle and higherhe did shakehim from off his shouldersand said unto him"Now choose theeboldfellowwhether thou wilt sink or swim."

Robin Hoodbeing soundly washedgot him up on his feetand prostratinghimselfdid swim to a bush of broom on the other side of the bank; and theFriar swam to a willow tree which was not far from it. Then Robin Hoodtakinghis bow in his handand one of his best arrowsdid shoot at the Friarwhichthe Friar received in his buckler of steeland said unto him"Shoot onthou bold fellow; if thou shootest at me a whole summer's day I will stand yourmark still." "That will I" said Robin Hoodand shot arrow afterarrow at himuntil he had not an arrow left in his quiver. He then laid downhis bowand drew out his swordwhich but two days before had been the death ofthree men. Now hand to hand they went with sword and buckler; the steel bucklerdefends whatsoever blow is given; sometimes they make at the headsometimes atthe footsometimes at the side; sometimes they strike directly downsometimesthey falsify their blowsand come in foot and armwith a free thrust at thebody; and being ashamed that so long they exercise their unprofitable valor andcannot hurt one anotherthey multiply their blowsthey hackthey hewtheyslashthey foam. At last Robin Hood desired the Friar to hold his handand togive him leave to blow his horn.

"Thou wantest breath to sound it" said the Friar; "take theea little respitefor we have been five hours at it by the Fountain Abbeyclock." Robin Hood took his horn from his sideand having sounded it threetimesbehold where fifty lusty menwith their bended bowscame to hisassistance. The Friarwondering at it"Whose men" said he"bethese?" "They are mine" said Robin Hood; "what is that tothee?" "False loon" said the Friar; and making a little pausehe desired Robin Hood to show him the same courtesy which he gave him."What is that?" said Robin Hood. "Thou soundest thy horn threetimes" said the Friar; "let me now but whistle three times.""Aywith all my heart" said Robin Hood; "I were to blame if Ishould deny thee that courtesy." With that the Friar set his fist to hismouthand whistled three times so shrilly that the place echoed again with it;and behold three and fifty fair ban-dogs (their hair rising on their backbetokening their rage)were almost on the backs of Robin Hood and hiscompanions. "Here is for every one of thy men a dog" said the Friar"and two for thee." "That is foul play" said Robin Hood. Hehad scarce spoken that word but two dogs came upon him at onceone beforeanother behind himwho

although they could not touch his flesh (his sword had made so swift adespatch of them)yet they tore his coat into two pieces. By this time the menhad so laid about them that the dogs began to fly backand their fury tolanguish into barking. Little John did so bestir himselfthat the Curtal Friaradmiring at his courage and his nimblenessdid ask him who he was. He made himanswer"I will tell the truthand not lie. I am he who is called LittleJohnand de belong to Robin Hoodwho hath fought with thee this dayfivehours together; and if thou wilt not submit unto himthis arrow shall makethee." The Friarperceiving how much he was overpoweredand that it wasimpossible for him to deal with so many at oncedid come to composition withRobin Hood. And the articles of agreement were these: That the Friar shouldabandon Fountain Dale and Fountain Abbeyand should live with Robin Hoodathis place not far from Nottinghamwhere for saying of masshe should receive anoble for every Sunday through out the yearand for saying mass on every holydaya new change of garment. The Friarcontented with these conditionsdidseal the agreement. And thus by the courage of Robin Hood and his yeomenhe wasenforced at the last to submithaving for seven long years kept Fountain Dalenot all the power thereabouts being able to bring him on his knees.

But Friar Tuck was the only man of the clergy with whom Robin had friendlydealings. As a rule these churchmen fared as did the Bishop of Hereford in thefollowing balladwhich we add for the sake of an example of the manner in whichthis True History of Robin Hood has come down to us from the year 1245:- -

THE BISHOP OF HEREFORD'S ENTERTAINMENT BY ROBIN HOOD

AND LITTLE JOHN AND THEIR COMPANY

IN MERRY BARNSDALE. -

SOME they will talk of bold Robin Hood

And some of barons bold;

But I'll tell you how he served the Bishop of Hereford

When he robbed him of his gold. -

As it befell in merry Barnsdale

All under the greenwood tree

The Bishop of Hereford was to come by

With all his company. -

"Comekill me a venison" said bold Robin Hood

"And dress it by the highway side

And we will watch the bishop narrowly

Lest some other way he should ride." -

Robin Hood dressed himself in shepherd's attire

With six of his men also

Andwhen the Bishop of Hereford came by

They about the fire did go. -

"Owhat is the matter?" then said the bishop

"Or for whom do you make this ado?

Or why do you kill the king's ven'son

When your company is so few?" -

"We are shepherds" said bold Robin Hood

"And we keep sheep all the year;

And we are disposed to be merry this day

And to kill of the king's fat deer." -

"You are brave fellows" said the bishop

"And the king of your doings shall know;

Therefore make hasteand come along with me

For before the king you shall go." -

"O pardonO pardon" said bold Robin Hood

"O pardonI thee pray;

For it becomes not your lordship's coat

To take so many lives away." -

"No pardonno pardon" said the bishop

"No pardon I thee owe;

Therefore make hasteand come along with me

For before the king you shall go." -

Then Robin he set his back against a tree

And his foot against a thorn

And from underneath his shepherd's coat

He pulled out a bugle horn. -

He put the little end to his mouth

And a loud blast did he blow

Till threescore and ten of bold Robin's men

Came running all in a row: -

All making obeisance to bold Robin Hood;

'Twas a comely sight for to see.

"What is the mattermaster" said Little John

"That you blow so lustily?" -

"O here is the Bishop of Hereford

And no pardon we shall have."

"Cut off his headmaster" said Little John

"And throw him into his grave." -

"O pardonO pardon" said the bishop

"O pardonI thee pray;

For if I had known it had been you

I'd have gone some other way." -

"No pardonno pardon" said bold Robin Hood

"No pardon I thee owe;

Therefore make hasteand come along with me

For to merry Barnsdale you shall go." -

Then Robin he took the bishop by the hand

And led him to merry Barnsdale;

He made him stay and sup with him that night

And to drink winebeerand ale. -

"Call in a reckoning" said the bishop

"For methinks it grows wondrous high."

"Send me your pursemaster" said Little John

"And I'll tell you bye and bye." -

Then Little John took the bishop's cloak

And spread it upon the ground

And out of the bishop's portmantua

He told three hundred pound. -

"Here's money enoughmaster" said Little John

"And a comely sight 'tis to see;

It makes me in charity with the bishop

Though he heartily loveth not me." -

Robin Hood took the bishop by the hand

And he caused the music to play;

And he made the old bishop to dance in his boots

And glad to get so away.

CHAPTER XXXV.

ROBIN HOOD AND HIS ADVENTURES. -

"They say he is already in the forest of Ardenand a many merry menwith him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England... and fleetthe time carelessly as they did in the golden world."- AS YOU LIKE IT. -

AS has been already saidsome of the ballad makers have so far erred fromthe truth as to represent Robin Hood as being outlawed by Henry VIII.andseveral stories are told of Queen Katherine's interceding with her husband forthe pardon of the bold outlaw. * However this may beit is known that RobinHood once shot a match on the queen's side against the king's archersand hereis the story:- -

* This seems to have been the opinion of the author from whom we draw thefollowing account of our hero's life- to show how the doctors will disagreeeven on a topic as important as Robin Hood:- -

THE NOBLE BIRTH AND THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF ROBIN HOOD. -

"Robin Hood was descended from the noble family of the Earl ofHuntingdonand being outlawed by Henry VIII. for many extravagancies andoutrages he had committedhe did draw together a company of such bold andlicentious persons as himselfwho lived for the most part on robberiescommitted in or near unto Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. He had thesealways ready at his commandso that if need did require he at the winding ofhis horn would have fifty or more of them in readiness to assist him. He whom hemost affected was called Little John by reason of his low staturethough notinferior to any of them in strength of body and stoutness of spirit. He wouldnot entertain any into his service whom he had not first fought with himself andmade sufficient trial of his courage and dexterity how to use his weaponswhichwas the reason that oftentimes he came home hurt and beaten as he was; which wasnevertheless no occasion of the diminution of his love to the person whom hefought withfor ever afterwards he would be the more familiar with himandbetter respect him for it. Many petitions were referred to the king for a pardonfor himwhich the king (understanding of the many mad pranks he and hisassociates played) would give no ear unto; but being attended with aconsiderable guarddid make a progress himself to find him out and bring him tocondign punishment. At lastby the means and mediation of Queen Katherine theking's wrath was qualifiedand his pardon sealedand he spent his old age inpeaceat a house of his ownnot far from Nottinghambeing generally belovedand respected by all." -

Robin Hood on one occasion sent a present to Queen Katherine with which shewas so pleased that she swore she would be a friend to the noble outlaw as longas she might live. So one day the queen went to her chamber and called to her apage of her company and bade him make haste and prepare to ride toNottinghamshire to find Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest; for the queen had made amatch with the kingher archers against his archersand the queen proposed tohave Robin Hood and his band to shoot on her side against the king's archers.

Now as for the pagehe started for Nottingham and posted all the wayandinquired on the road for Robin Hoodwhere he might bebut he could not findany one who could let him know exactly. So he took up his quarters at an inn atNottingham. And in the room of the inn he sat him down and called for a bottleof Rhenish wineand he drank the queen's health out of it. Now at his side wassitting a yeoman of the countryclad in Lincoln greenwith a long bow in hishand. And he turned to the page and asked him"What is thy businessmysweet boyso far in the north countryfor methinks you must come fromLondon?" So then the page told him that it was his business to find RobinHood the outlawand for that he asked every yeoman that he met. And he askedhis friend if he knew anything which might help him. "Truly" said theyeoman"that I do. And if you will get to horse early to-morrow morning Iwill show you Robin Hood and all his gay yeomen."

So the next morning they got them to horse and rode out into the forestandthe yeoman brought the page to where were Robin Hood and his yeomen. And thepage fell down on his knee and said to Robin Hood"Queen Katherine greetsyou well by meand hath sent you this ring as a token. She bids you post up toLondon townfor that there shall be some sport there in which she has a mindyou shall have a hand." And at this Robin took off his mantle of Lincolngreen from his back and sent it by the page to Queen Katherine with a promisethat he and his band would follow him as soon as they might.

So Robin Hood clothed all his men in Lincoln green and himself in scarletand each man wore a black hat with a white feather stuck therein. And thus RobinHood and his band came up to London. And Robin fell down on his knees before thequeenand she bade him welcome with all his band. For the match between thequeen's archers and the king's was to come off the next day in Finsbury fields.

Here first came the king's archers marching with bold bearingand then cameRobin Hood and his archers for the queen. And they laid out the marks there. Andthe king laid a wager with the queen on the shooting. Now the wager was threehundred tun of Rhenishand three hundred tun of good English beerand threehundred fat harts. So then the queen asked if there were any knights with theking who would take her side. But they were unwillingfor said they"Howshall we bet on these men whom we have never seenwhen we know Clifton and therest of the king's archersand have seen them shoot?" Now this Clifton wasone of the king's archers and a great boaster. And when he had reached theshooting field he had cried out"Measure no marks for usmy lord thekingfor we will shoot at the sun and moon." But for all that Robin Hoodbeat him at the shooting. And the queen asked the Bishop of Herefordshire toback her archers. But he swore by his mitre that he would not bet a single pennyon the queen's archers for he knew them not. "What will you bet againstthem" asked Robin Hood at this"since you think our shooting is theworse?" "Truly" said the bishop"I will bet all the moneythat may be in my purse" and he pulled it up from where it hung at hisside. "What is in your purse?" asked Robin Hood. And the bishop tossedit down on the ground saying"Fifteen rose-noblesand that's an hundredpound." So Robin Hood tossed out a bag beside the bishop's purse on thegreen.

And with that they began shootingand shot three bouts and they came outeven; the king's and the queen's. "The next three shots"

said the king"shall pay for all." And so the king's archers shotand then Robin Hoodand Little John and Midge the miller's son shot for thequeenand came every man of them nearer the prick in the willow wand than didany of the king's men. So the queen's archers having beatenQueen Katherineasked a boon of the kingand he granted it. "Give meI pray you"said the queen"safe conduct for the archers of my party to come and to gohome and to stay in London here some time to enjoy themselves." "Igrant it" said the king. "Then you are welcomeRobin Hood"said the queen"and so is Little John and Midge the miller's son and everyone of you." "Is this Robin Hood?" asked the king"for Ihad heard that he was killed in a quarrel in the north country." And thebishop too asked"Is this Robin Hood? If I had known that I would not havebet a penny with him. He took me one Saturday evening and bound me fast to atreeand there he made me sing a mass for him and his yeomanry about.""Wellif I did" said Robin Hood"surely I needed all themasses that I might get for my soul." And with that he and his yeomanrydepartedand when their safe conduct was expired they journeyed north again toSherwood Forest. -

ROBIN HOOD AND THE BEGGAR. -

But Robin Hoodonce having supplied himself with good store of moneywhichhe had gotten of the sheriff of Nottinghambought him a stout geldingandriding on him one day towards Nottinghamit was his fortune to meet with a poorbeggar. Robin Hood was of a frolic spiritand no accepter of persons; butobserving the beggar to have several sorts of bagswhich were fastened to hispatched coathe did ride up to himand giving him the time of dayhe demandedof him what countryman he was. "A Yorkshireman" said the beggar;"and I would desire of you to give me something." "Givethee!" said Robin Hood; "whyI have nothing to give thee. I am a poorranger in the forestand thou seemest to be a lusty knave; shall I give thee agood bastinado over thy shoulders?" "Contentcontent" said thebeggar; "I durst lay all my bags to a threaden joustthou wilt repentit." With that Robin Hood alightedand the beggarwith his longquarterstaffso well defended himselfthatlet Robin Hood do what he couldhe could not come within the beggarto flash him to a remembrance of hisoverboldness; and nothing vexed him more than to find that the beggar's staffwas as hard and as obdurate as iron itself; but not so Robin Hood's headforthe beggar with all his force did let his staff descend with such a side blowthat Robin Hoodfor all his skillcould not defend itbut the blood cametrickling down his facewhichturning Robin Hood's courage into revenge andfuryhe let fly at him with his trusty swordand doubled blow upon blow; butperceiving that the beggar did hold him so hard to it that one of his blows wasbut the forerunner of anotherand every blow to be almost the Postilion ofDeathhe cried out to him to hold his hand. "That will I not do"said the beggar"unless thou wilt resign unto me thy horseand thy swordand thy clotheswith all the money thou hast in thy pockets." "Thechange is uneven" said Robin Hood"but for once I am content."

Soputting on the beggar's clothesthe beggar was the gentlemanand RobinHood was the beggarwhoentering into Nottingham town with his patched coatand several walletsunderstood that three brethren were that day to suffer atthe gallowsbeing condemned for killing the king's deerhe made no more adobut went directly to the sheriff's housewhere a young gentlemanseeing him tostand at the doordemanded of him what he would have. Robin Hood returnedanswer that he came to crave neither meat nor drinkbut the lives of thesethree brothers who were condemned to die. "That cannot be" said theyoung gentleman"for they are all this day to suffer according to lawforstealing of the king's deerand they are already conveyed out of the town tothe place of execution." "I will be with them presently" saidRobin Hoodand coming to the gallows he found many making great lamentation forthem. Robin Hood did comfort themand assured them they should not die; andblowing his hornbehold on a sudden a hundred brave archers came unto himbywhose helphaving released the prisonersand killed thehangmanand hurtmany of the sheriff's officersthey took those who were condemned to die forkilling the king's deer along with themwhobeing very thankful for thepreservation of their livesbecame afterwards of the yeomanry of Robin Hood. -

ROBIN HOOD AND KING RICHARD. -

Now King Richardhearing of the deeds of Robin Hood and his menwonderedmuch at themand desired greatly himself to see himand his men as well. So hewith a dozen of his lords rode to Nottingham town and there took up his abode.And being at Nottinghamthe king one day with his lords put on friars' gownsevery oneand rode forth from Fountain Abbey down to Barnsdale. And as theywere riding there they saw Robin Hood and all his band standing ready to assailthem. The kingbeing taller than the restwas thought by Robin to be theabbot. So he made up to himand seized his horse by the headand bade himstand. "For" said he"it is against such knaves as you that Iam bound to make war." "But" said the king himself"we aremessengers from the kingwho is but a little awaywaiting to speak withyou." "God save the king" said Robin Hood"and all hiswell-wishers. And accursed be every one who may deny his sovereignty.""You are cursing yourself" said the king"for you are atraitor." "Now" said Robin Hood"if you were not theking's messengerI would make you rue that word of yours. I am as true a man tothe king as lives. And I never yet injured any honest man and truebut onlythose who make their living by stealing from others. I have never in my lifeharmed either husbandman or huntsman. But my chief spite lies against theclergywho have in these days great power. But I am right glad to have met youhere. Come with meand you shall taste our greenwood cheer." But the kingand his lords marvelledwondering what kind of cheer Robin might provide forthem. And Robin took the king's horse by the headand led him towards his tent."It is because thou comest from the king" said he"that I useyou in this wise; and hadst thou as much gold as ever I hadit should be all ofit safe for good King Richard's sake." And with that he took out his hornand blew on it a loud blast. And thereat came marching forth from the wood fivescore and ten of Robin's followersand each one bent the knee before RobinHood. "Surely" thought the king"it is a goodly sight to see;for they are more humble to their master than my servants are to meHere maythe court learn something from the greenwood." And here they laid a dinnerfor the king and his lordsand the king swore that he had never feasted better.Then Robin Hoodtaking a can of alesaid"Let us now begineach manwith his can. Here's a health to the king." And they all drank the healthto the kingthe king himselfas well as another.

And after the dinner they all took their bowsand showed the king sucharchery that the king said he had never seen such men as they in any foreignland. And then said the king to Robin Hood"If I could get thee a pardonfrom King Richardwouldst thou serve the king well in everything?""Yeswith all my heart" said Robin. And so said all his men.

And with that the king declared himself to themand said"I am the

kingyour sovereignthat is now before you." And at this Robin and allhis men fell down on their knees; but the king raised them upsaying to themthat he pardoned each one of themand that they should every one of them be inhis service. So the king returned to Nottinghamand with him returned RobinHood and his mento the great joy of the townspeoplewhom they had for a longtime sorely vexed. -

"And they are gone to London court

Robin Hood and all his train;

He once was there a noble peer

And now he's there again." -

THE DEATH OF ROBIN HOOD. -

But Robin Hood returned to Sherwood Forestand there met his death. For onedaybeing wounded in a fighthe fled out of the battle with Little John. Andbeing at some distanceRobin Hood said to his lieutenant"Now truly Icannot shoot even one shot morefor the arrows will not fly. For I am sorewounded. So I will go to my cousinthe abbesswho dwelleth near here inKirkley Halland she shall bleed methat I may be well again." So RobinHood left Little Johnand he went his way to Kirkley; and reaching the Hallhis strength nearly left himyet he knocked heavily at the door. And his cousincame down first to let him in. And when she saw him she knew that it was hercousin Robin Hoodand she received him with a joyful face. Then said Robin"You see memy cousinhow weak I am. Therefore I pray you to bleed methat I may be whole again." And his cousin took him by the handand ledhim into an upper roomand laid him on a bedand she bled him. But thetreacherous woman tied not up the vein againbut left him so that his lifebegan to flow from him. And hefinding his strength leaving himthought toescape; but he could notfor the door was lockedand the casement window wasso high that he might not leap down from it. Thenknowing that he must diehereached forth his hand to his bugle hornwhich lay by him on the bed. Andsetting the horn to his mouthbe blew weaklythough with all his strengththree blasts upon it. And Little Johnas he sat under the tree in thegreenwoodheard his blowingand he said"Now must Robin be near deathfor his blast is very weak."

And he got up and ran to Kirkley Hall as fast as he might. And coming to thedoorhe found it locked; but he broke it downand so came to Robin Hood. Andcoming to the bedhe fell upon his kneesand said"MasterI beg a boonof thee- that thou lettest me burn down Kirkley Hall and all the nunnery.""Nay" quoth Robin Hood; "nayI cannot grant you your boon; fornever in my life did I hurt womanor man in woman's companynor shall it bedone when I die. But for megive me my long bowand I will let fly an arrowand where you shall find the arrowthere bury me. And make my grave long andbroadthat I may rest easily; and place my head upon a green sodand place mybow at my side." And these words Little John readily promised himso thatRobin Hood was pleased. And they buried him as he had askedan arrow-shot fromKirkley Hall.

CHAPTER XXXVI.

CHEVY CHASE. -

"The Perse out of Northumberlande

And a vowe to God mayde he

That he wold hunte in the mountayns

Off Chyviat within days thre

In the mauger of doughte Dogles

And all that ever with him be."

PERCY: Reliques of Ancient Poetry. -

SCARCELY less famous than Robin Hood as a subject for ballad makers was thebattle of Chevy Chase. This battle was one of the many struggles rising out ofthe never-ending border quarrels between Scotland and Englandof which poetsare never tired of singing. Sometimes the Earl of Douglasthe great Scotchborder-lordwould make an incursion into Northumberlandand then to revengethe insult Lord Percy would come riding over the Tweed into Scotland.

In the battle of Chevy Chase it would seem as if Earl Percy was theaggressor. As a matter of fact it mattered little which began the quarrel at anyparticular time. The feud was ever smoulderingand needed little to make itburst forth. -

THE BALLAD OF CHEVY CHASE. -

God prosper Long our noble king

Our lives and safetyes all;

A woefull hunting once there did

In Chevy Chase befall. -

To drive the deer with hound and horne

Erle Percy took his way

The child may rue that is unborne

The hunting of that day. -

The stout Erle of Northumberland

A vow to God did make

His pleasure in the Scottish woods

Three summer days to take; -

The cheefest harts in Chevy Chase

To kill and bear away.

These tidings to Erle Douglas came

In Scotland where he lay-

Who sent Erle Percy present word

He would prevent his sport.

The English Erle not fearing that

Did to the woods resort-

With fifteen hundred bowmen bold;

All chosen men of might

Who knew full well in time of neede

To ayme their shafts aright. -

The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran

To chase the fallow deere:

On Monday they began to hunt

Ere daylight did appear; -

And long before high noon they had

An hundred fat buckes slaine;

Then having dined the drovyers went

To rouse the deer again. -

The bowmen mustered on the hill

Well able to endure;

Their backsides allwith special care

That day were guarded sure. -

The hounds ran swiftly through the woods

The nimble deere to take

That with their cryes the hills and dales

An eccho shrill did make. -

Lord Percy to the quarry went

To view the slaughtered deer;

Quoth heErle Douglas promised

This day to meet me heere; -

But if I thought he would not come

Noe longer would I stay.

With that a brave young gentleman

Thus to the Erle did say:- -

Loeyonder doth Erle Douglas come

His men in armour bright;

Full twenty hundred Scottish speres

All marching in our sight; -

All men of pleasant Tivydale

Fast by the river Tweede:

O cease your sportsErle Percy said

And take your bowes with speede. -

And now with memy countrymen

Your courage forth advance;

For there was never champion yett

In Scotland or in France-

That ever did on horseback come

But if my hap it were

I durst encounter man for man

With him to break a spere. -

Erle Douglas on his milk-white steede

Most like a baron bold

Rode foremost of his company

Whose armour shone like gold. -

Show mesayd hewhose men you be

That hunt so boldly heere

That without my consent doe chase

And kill my fallow deere. -

The first man that did answer make

Was noble Percy he;

Who saydWe list not to declare

Nor show whose men we be. -

Yet we will spend our deerest blood

Thy cheefest harts to slay.

The Douglas swore a solempne oathe

And thus in rage did say-

Ere thus I will outbraved be

One of us two shall dye:

I know thee well an erle thou art;

Lord Percysoe am I. -

But trust mePercypittye it were

And great offence to kill

Any of these our guiltless men

For they have done no ill. -

Let thou and I the battell trye

And set our men aside.

Accurst be heErle Percy sayd

By whom this is denyed. -

Then stept a gallant squier forth

Witherington was his name

Who saidI wold not have it told

To Henry our king for shame-

That ere my captaine fought on foot

And I stood looking on.

You be two erlessayd Witherington

And I a squier alone: -

Ile doe the best that doe I may

While I have power to stand:

While I have power to wield my sword

Ile fight with hart and hand. -

Our English archers bent their bowes

Their harts were good and trew;

At the first flight of arrowes sent

Full fourscore Scots they slew. -

Yet bides Erle Douglas on the bent

As cheeftain stout and good

As valiant captainall unmoved

The shock he firmly stood. -

His host he parted had in three

As leader ware and tryd

And soon his spearmen on his foes

Bare down on every side. -

To drive the deere with hound and horne

Douglas bade on the bent:

Two captaines moved with mickle might

Their speares to shivers went. -

Throughout the English archery

They dealt full many a wound;

But still our valiant Englishmen

All firmly kept their ground: -

And throwing straight their bowes away

They grasped their swords so bright:

And now sharp blowsa heavy shower

On shields and helmets light. -

They closed full fast on every side

No slackness there was found;

And many a gallant gentleman

Lay gasping on the ground.

O Christ! it was a griefe to see

And likewise for to heare

The cries of men lying in their gore

And scattered here and there. -

At last these two stout erles did meet

Like captaines of great might;

Like lyons woodthey layd on lode

And made a cruell fight: -

They fought until they both did sweat

With swords of tempered steele;

Until the bloodlike drops of rain

They trickling down did feele. -

Yield theeLord PercyDouglas sayd;

In faith I will thee bringe

Where thou shalt high advanced be

By James our Scottish king: -

Thy ransome I will freely give

And this report of thee:

Thou art the most courageous knight

That ever I did see. -

NoeDouglasquoth Erle Percy then

Thy proffer I do scorne;

I will not yield to any Scott

That ever yet was borne. -

With that there came an arrow keene

Out of an English bow

Which struck Erle Douglas to the heart

A deepe and deadly blow: -

Who never spake more words than these

Fight onmy merry men all;

For whymy life is at an end;

Lord Percy sees my fall. -

Then leaving liffeErle Percy tooke

The dead man by the hand;

And saidErle Douglasfor thy life

Wold I have lost my land. -

O Christmy very hart doth bleed

With sorrow for thy sake;

For sure a more redoubted knight

Mischance cold never take. -

A knight among the Scotts there was

Who saw Erle Douglas dye

Who streight in wrath did vow revenge

Upon the Lord Percy. -

Sir Hugh Montgomery was he called

Whowith a spear most bright

Well mounted on a gallant steed

Ran fiercely through the fight; -

And past the English archers all

Without all dread and feare;

And through Earl Percy's body then

He thrust his hatefull speare; -

With such a vehement force and might

He did his body gore

The staff ran through the other side

A large cloth-yard or more. -

So thus did both these nobles dye

Whose courage none could staine:

An English archer then perceived

The noble erle was slaine; -

He had a bow bent in his hand

Made of a trusty tree;

An arrow of a cloth-yard long

Up to the head drew he: -

Against Sir Hugh Montgomery

So right the shaft he sett

The grey goose-wing that was thereon

In his hart's blood was wett. -

This fight did last from break of day

Till setting of the sun;

For when they rang the evening-bell

The battle scarce was done. -

With stoute Erle Percy there was slaine

Sir John of Egerton

Sir Robert Ratcliffand Sir John

Sir James that bold barron: -

And with Sir George and stoute Sir James

Both knights of good account

Good Sir Ralph Raby there was slaine

Whose prowese did surmount. -

For Witherington my hart is woe

That ever he slain should be;

For when his legs were hewn in two

He knelt and fought on his knee. -

And with Erle Douglas there was slaine

Sir Hugh Montgomery

Sir Charles Murraythat from the field

One foot wold never flee. -

Sir Charles Murrayof Ratcliff too

His sister's sonne was he;

Sir David Lambso well esteem'd

Yet saved cold not be-

And the Lord Maxwell in like case

Did with Erle Douglas dye:

Of twenty hundred Scottish speres

Scarce fifty-five did flye. -

Of fifteen hundred Englishmen

Went home but fifty-three;

The rest were slaine in Chevy Chase

Under the greene woode tree. -

Next day did many widowes come

Their husbands to bewayle;

They washed their wounds in brinish teares

But all wold not prevayle. -

Theyr bodyesbathed in purple gore

They bore with them away;

They kist them dead a thousand times

Ere they were cladd in clay. -

The newes was brought to Eddenborrow

Where Scotland's king did raigne

That brave Erle Douglas suddenlye

Was with an arrow slaine. -

O heavy newesKing James did say

Scotland may witness be

I have not any captain more

Of such account as he. -

Like tydings to King Henry came

Within as short a space

That Percy of Northumberland

Was slaine in Chevy Chase: -

Now God be with himsaid the king

Sith it will noe better be;

I trust I have within my realme

Five hundred as good as he. -

Yet shall not Scotts nor Scotland say

But I will vengeance take;

Ile be revenged on them all

For brave Erle Percy's sake. -

This vow full well the king performed

After at Humbledowne;

In one day fifty knights were slaine

With lords of great renowne; -

And of the rest of small account

Did many thousands dye:

Thus ended the hunting of Chevy Chase

Made by the Erle Percy. -

God save our kingand bless this land

With plentyejoyand peace;

And grant henceforth that foule debate

'Twixt noblemen may cease.

CHAPTER XXXVII.

THE BATTLE OF OTTERBOURNE. -

It fell about a Lamass-tide

When husbands wynn their hay

The doughty Douglas bound him to ride

In England to take a pray. -

ANOTHER famous battle in the border-warfare between England and Scotland wasfought at Otterbourne. This is a town in Northumberlandand hereas in ChevyChasethe Douglas and the Percy matched their strength. Earl Douglas was killedin the fightand Sir Henry Percycalled Hotspurwas taken prisoner. The storyas it is told here is from the works of that most entertaining and long-windedhistorian of chivalrySir John Froissart.

We begin in medias res with a Scotch forayin which the Douglaswith theearl of March and Dunbar and the earl of Morayhas penetrated as far intoEngland as the city of Durham and is now returning to Scotland.

The three Scots lordshaving completed the object of their expedition intoDurhamlay before Newcastle three dayswhere there was an almost continualskirmish. The sons of the earl of Northumberlandfrom their great couragewerealways the first at the barrierswhere many valiant deeds were done with lanceshand to hand. The earl of Douglas had a long conflict with Sir Henry Percyandin itby gallantry of armswon his pennonto the great vexation of Sir Henryand the other English. The earl of Douglas said"I will carry this tokenof your prowess with me to Scotlandand place it on the tower of my castle atDalkeiththat it may be seen from afar." "By HeavenEarl ofDouglas" replied Sir Henry"you shall not even bear it out ofNorthumberland: be assured you shall never have this pennon to brag of.""You must come then" answered Earl Douglas"this night and seekfor it. I will fix your pennon before my tentand shall see if you will ventureto take it away."

As it was now late the skirmish endedand each party retired to theirquarters to disarm and comfort themselves. They had plenty of everythingparticularly flesh meat. The Scots kept up a very strict watchconcluding fromthe words of Sir Henry Percy they should have their quarters beaten up thisnight; they were disappointedfor Sir Henry Percy was advised to defer it.

On the morrow the Scots dislodged from before Newcastle; andtaking the roadto their own countrythey came to a town and castle called Ponclauof whichSir Raymond de Lavala very valiant knight of Northumberlandwas the lord.They halted there about four o'clock in the morningas they learned the knightto be within itand made preparations for the assault. This was done with suchcourage that the place was wonand the knight made prisoner. After they hadburnt the town and castlethey marched away for Otterbournewhich was eightEnglish leagues from Newcastleand there encamped themselvesThis day theymade no attack; but very early on the morrow their trumpets soundedand theymade ready for the assaultadvancing towards the castlewhich was tolerablystrongand situated among the marshes. They attacked it so long and sounsuccessfully that they were fatiguedand therefore sounded a retreat. Whenthey had retired to their quartersthe chiefs held a council how to act; andthe greater part were for decamping on the morrowwithout attempting moreagainst the castleto join their countrymen in the neighborhood of Carlisle.But the earl of Douglas overruled this by saying"In despite of Sir HenryPercywho the day before yesterday declared he would take from me his pennonthat I conquered by fair deeds of arms before NewcastleI will not return homefor two or three days; and we will renew our attack on the castlefor it is tobe taken: we shall thus gain double honorand see if within that time he willcome for his pennon; if he do it shall be well defended." Every one agreedto what Earl Douglas had said; for it was not only honorablebut he was theprincipal commander; and from affection to him they quietly returned to theirquarters. They made huts of trees and branchesand strongly fortifiedthemselves. They placed their baggage and servants at the entrance of the marshon the road to Newcastleand the cattle they drove into the marsh lands.

I will return to Sir Henry and Sir Ralph Percywho were greatly mortifiedthat the earl of Douglas should have conquered their pennon in the skirmishbefore Newcastle. They felt the more for this disgrace because Sir Henry had notkept his word; for he had told the earl that he should never carry his pennonout of Englandand this he explained to the knights who were with him inNewcastle. The English imagined the army under the earl of Douglas to be onlythe van of the Scotsand that the main body was behind; for which reason thoseknights who had the most experience in armsand were best acquainted withwar-like affairsstrongly opposed the proposal of Sir Henry Percy to pursuethem. They said"Sirmany losses happen in war: if the earl of Douglashas won your pennon he has bought it dear enough; for he has come to the gatesto seek itand has been well fought with. Another time you will gain from himas much if not more. We say sobecause you know as well as we do that the wholepower of Scotland has taken the field. We are not sufficiently strong to offerthem battle; and perhaps this skirmish may have been only a trick to draw us outof the town; and if they beas reportedforty thousand strongthey willsurround usand have us at their mercy. It is much better to lose a pennon thantwo or three hundred knights and squiresand leave our country in a defencelessstate." This speech checked the eagerness of the two brothers Percyforthey would not act contrary to the opinion of the councilwhen other news wasbrought them by some knights and squires who had followed and observed theScotstheir numbersdispositionand where they had halted. This was all fullyrelated by knights who had traversed the whole extent of country the Scots hadpassed throughthat they might carry to their lords the most exact information.They thus spoke: "Sir Henry and Sir Ralph Percywe come to tell you thatwe have followed the Scottish armyand observed all the country where they noware. They first halted at Ponclauand took Sir Raymond de Laval in his castle;thence they went to Otterbourneand took up their quarters for the night. Weare ignorant of what they did on the morrowbut they seem to have takenmeasures for a long stay. We know for certain that their army does not consistof more than three thousand menincluding all sorts." Sir Henry Percy onhearing this was greatly rejoicedand cried out"To horse! to horse! forby the faith I owe my Godand to my lord and fatherI will seek to recover mypennon and to beat up their quarters this night." Such knights and squiresin Newcastle as learned this were willing to be of the partyand madethemselves ready.

The Bishop of Durham was expected daily at the town; for he had heard of theirruption of the Scotsand that they were before itin which were the sons ofthe Earl of Northumberland preparing to offer them combat. The bishop hadcollected a number of menand was hastening to their assistancebut Sir HenryPercy would not wait; for he was accompanied by six hundred spearsof knightsand squiresand upwards of eight thousand infantrywhich he said would be morethan enough to fight the Scotswho were but three hundred lances and twothousand others. When they were all assembled they left Newcastle after dinnerand took the field in good arrayfollowing the road the Scots had takenmakingfor Otterbournewhich was eight short leagues distant; but they could notadvance very fastthat their infantry might keep up with them.

As the Scots were supping- some indeed had gone to sleepfor they hadlabored hard during the day at the attack of the castleand intended renewingit in the cool of the morning- the English arrivedand mistookat theirentrancethe huts of the servants for those of their masters. They forced theirway into the campwhich washowevertolerably strongshouting out"Percy! Percy!" In such cases you may suppose an alarm is soon givenand it was fortunate for the Scots that the English had made their first attackon the servants' quarterswhich checked them some little. The Scotsexpectingthe Englishhad prepared accordingly; for while the lords were armingthemselves they ordered a body of infantry to join their servants and keep upthe skirmish. As their men were armedthey formed themselves under the pennonsof the three principal baronswho each had his particular appointment. In themeantime the night advancedbut it was sufficiently lightfor the moon shoneand it was the month of Augustwhen the weather is temperate and serene.

When the Scots were quite readyand properly arrayedthey left their campin silencebut did not march to meet the English. They skirted the side of themountain which was hard by; for during the preceding day they had well examinedthe country roundand said among themselves"Should the English come tobeat up our quarters we will do so and so" and thus settled their plansbeforehandwhich was the saving of them; for it is of the greatest advantage tomen-at-arms when attacked in the night to have previously arranged their mode ofdefenceand well to have weighed the chance of victory or defeat. The Englishhad soon overpowered their servants; but as they advanced into the camp theyfound fresh bodies ready to oppose themand to continue the fight. The Scotsin the meantimemarched along the mountain sideand fell upon the enemy'sflank quite unexpectedlyshouting their cries. This was a great surprise to theEnglishwho however formed themselves in better order and reinforced that partof their army. The cries of Percy and Douglas resounded on either side.

The battle now raged: great was the pushing of lancesand very many of eachparty was struck down at the first onset. The English being more numerousandanxious to defeat the enemykept in a compact bodyand forced the Scots toretirewho were on the point of being discomfited. The earl of Douglas beingyoungand impatient to gain renown in armsordered his banner to advanceshouting"Douglas! Douglas!" Sir Henry and Sir Ralph Percyindignantfor the affront the earl of Douglas had put on themby conquering their pennonand desirous of meeting himhastened to the place from whence the sounds camecalling out"Percy! Percy!" The two banners metand many gallantdeeds of arms ensued. The English were in superior strengthand fought solustily that they drove back the Scots. Sir Patrick Hepburn and his son of thesame name did honor to their knighthood and country by their gallantryunderthe banner of Douglaswhich would have been conquered but for the vigorousdefence they made; and this circumstance not only contributed to their personalcreditbut the memory of it is continued with honor to their descendants.

The knights and squires of either party were anxious to continue the combatwith vigor as long as their spears might be capable of holding. Cowardice wasthere unknownand the most splendid courage was everywhere exhibited by thegallant youths of England and Scotland; they were so closely intermixed that thearcher's' bows were uselessand they fought hand to handwithout eitherbattalion giving way. The Scots behaved most valiantlyfor the English werethree to one. I do not mean to say the English did not acquit themselves well;for they would sooner be slain or made prisoners in battle than reproached withflight. As I before mentionedthe two banners of Douglas and Percy metand themen-at-arms under each exerted themselves by every means to gain the victory;but the Englishat this attackwere so much the strongerthat the Scots weredriven back. The earl of Douglaswho was of a high spiritseeing his menrepulsedseized a battle-axe with both his handslike a gallant knightand torally his men dashed into the midst of his enemiesand gave such blows on allaround him that no one could withstand thembut all made way for him on everyside; for there was none so well armed with helmets and plates but that theysuffered from his battle-axe. Thus he advancedlike another Hectorthinking torecover and conquer the fieldfrom his own prowessuntil he was met by threespears that were pointed at him. One struck him on the shoulderanother on thestomachand the third entered his thigh. He could never disengage himself fromthese spearsbut was borne to the groundfighting desperately. From that timehe never rose again. Some of his knights and squires had followed himbut notall; forthough the moon shoneit was rather dark. The three English lancersknew that they had struck down some person of considerable rankbut neverthought it was Earl Douglas. Had they known itthey would have been so rejoicedthat their courage would have been redoubledand the fortune of the day hadconsequently been determined to their side. The Scots were ignorant also oftheir loss until the battle was overotherwise they would certainlyfromdespairhave been discomfited.

I will relate what befell the earl afterward. As soon as he fellhis headwas cleaved by a battle-axethe spear thrust through his thighand the mainbody of the English marched over himwithout paying any attentionnotsupposing him to be their principal enemy. In another part of the fieldtheearl of March and Dunbar combated valiantly; and the English gave the Scots fullemployment who had followed the earl of Douglasand had engaged with the twoPercies. The earl of Moray behaved so gallantly in pursuing the Englishthatthey knew not how to resist him. Of all the battles that have been described inthis historygreat and smallthis of which I am now speaking was the bestfought and the most severe; for there was not a manknightor squire who didnot acquit himself gallantlyhand to hand with the enemy. It resembledsomething that of Cocherelwhich was as long and as hardily disputed. The sonsof the earl of NorthumberlandSir Henry and Sir Ralph Percywho were theleaders of this expeditionbehaved themselves like good knights in the combat.Almost a similar accident befel Sir Ralph as that which happened to the earl ofDouglas; forhaving advanced too farhe was surrounded by the enemy andseverely woundedandbeing out of breathsurrendered himself to a Scotsknightcalled Sir John Maxwellwho was under the command and of the householdof the earl of Moray.

When made prisonerthe knight asked him who he wasfor it was darkand heknew him not. Sir Ralph was so weakened by loss of bloodwhich was flowing fromhis woundthat he could scarcely avow himself to be Sir Ralph Percy."Well" replied the knight"Sir Ralphrescued or notyou aremy prisoner; my name is Maxwell." "I agree to it" said SirRalph. "But pay some attention to me; for I am so desperately woundedthatmy drawers and greaves are full of blood." Upon this the Scots knight wasvery attentive to him; when suddenly hearing the cry of Moray hard byandperceiving the earl's banner advancing to himSir John addressed himself to theearl of Morayand said"My lordI present you with Sir Ralph Percy as aprisoner; but let good care be taken of himfor he is very badly wounded."The earl was much pleased at thisand replied"Maxwellthou hast wellearned thy spurs this day." He then ordered his men to take every care ofSir Ralphwho bound up and staunched his wounds. The battle still continued torageand no one could say at that moment which side would be the conquerorforthere were very many captures and rescues that never came to my knowledge.

The young earl of Douglas had this night performed wonders in arms. When hewas struck down there was a great crowd round himand he could not raisehimself; for the blow on his head was mortal. His men had followed him asclosely as they were ableand there came to him his cousinsSir James LindsaySir John and Sir Walter Sinclairwith other knights and squires. They found byhis side a gallant knightthat had constantly attended himwho was hischaplainand had at this time exchanged his profession for that of a valiantman-at-arms. The whole night he had followed the earlwith his battle-axe inhandand had by his exertions more than once repelled the English. This conductgained the thanks of his countrymenand turned out to his advantagefor in thesame year he was promoted to the archdeaconryand made canon of Aberdeen. Hisname was Sir William of North Berwick. To say the truthhe was well formed inall his limbs to shine in battleand was severely wounded at this combat. Whenthese knights came to the earl of Douglas they found him in a melancholy stateas well as one of his knightsSir Robert Hartwho had fought by his side thewhole of the nightand now lay beside himcovered with fifteen wounds fromlances and other weapons.

Sir John Sinclair asked the earl"Cousinhow fares it with you?""But so so" replied he. "Thanks to Godthere are but few of myancestors who have died in chambers or in their beds. I bid youthereforerevenge my deathfor I have but little hope of livingas my heart becomesevery minute more faint. Do youWalter and Sir John Sinclairraise up mybannerfor certainly it is on the groundfrom the death of David Campbellthat valiant squire who bore itand who refused knighthood from my hands thisdaythough he was equal to the most eminent knights for courage and loyalty;and continue to shout 'Douglas!' but do not tell friend or foe whether I am inyour company or not; forshould the enemy know the truththey will be greatlyrejoiced."

The two brothers Sinclair and Sir John Lindsay obeyed his orders. The bannerwas raisedand "Douglas!" shouted. Their menwho had remainedbehindhearing the shouts of "Douglas!" so often repeatedascended asmall eminenceand pushed their lances with such courage that the English wererepulsedand many killed or struck to the ground. The Scotsby thus valiantlydriving the enemy beyond the spot where the earl of Douglas lay dead- for hehad expired on giving his last orders- arrived at his bannerwhich was borneby Sir John Sinclair. Numbers were continually increasingfrom the repeatedshouts of "Douglas!" and the greater part of the Scots knights andsquires were now there. The earls of Moray and Marchwith their banners andmencame thither also. When they were all thus collectedperceiving theEnglish retreatthey renewed the battle with greater vigor than before.

To say the truththe English had harder work than the Scotsfor they hadcome by a forced march that evening from Newcastle-on-Tynewhich was eightEnglish leagues distantto meet the Scotsby which means the greater part wereexceedingly fatigued before the combat began. The Scotson the contraryhadreposed themselveswhich was to them of the utmost advantageas was apparentfrom the event of the battle. In this last attack they so completely repulsedthe Englishthat the latter could never rally againand the former drove themfar beyond where the earl of Douglas lay on the ground. Sir Henry Percyduringthis attackhad the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Lord Montgomeryavery valiant knight of Scotland. They had long fought hand to hand with muchvalorand without hindrance from any one; for there was neither knight norsquire of either party who did not find there his equal to fight withand allwere fully engaged. In the endSir Henry was made prisoner by the LordMontgomery.

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

EDWARD THE BLACK PRINCE. -

"ICH DIEN". -

THE last hero of English chivalry with whom we have to do is Edward the BlackPrince. And as the most characteristic part of the knighthood of this mostknightly of English princeswe have selected the battles of Crecy and ofPoitiers. -

THE BATTLE OF CRECY. -

The Englishwho were drawn up in three divisionsand seated on the groundon seeing their enemies advancerose undauntedly upand fell into their ranks.That of the prince * was the first to do sowhose archers were formed in themanner of a portcullis or harrowand the men-at-arms in the rear. The earls ofNorthumberland and Arundelwho commanded the second divisionhad postedthemselves in good order on his wingto assist and succor the prince ifnecessary. -

* Edward the Black Prince; son of Edward III. -

You must know that these kingsearlsbaronsand lords of France did notadvance in any regular orderbut one after the otheror anyway most pleasingto themselves. As soon as the king of France came in sight of the Englishhisblood began to boiland he cried out to his marshals"Order the Genoeseforwardand begin the battlein the name of God and St. Denis." Therewere about fifteen thousand Genoese cross-bowmenbut they were quite fatiguedhaving marched on foot that day six leaguescompletely armed and with theircross-bows. They told the constable they were not in a fit condition to do anygreat things that day in battle. The earl of Alenconhearing thissaid"This is what one gets by employing such scoundrelswho fall off whenthere is any need of them." During this time a heavy rain fellaccompaniedby thunder and a very terrible eclipse of the sun; and before this rain a greatflight of crows hovered in the air over all those battalionsmaking a loudnoise. Shortly afterwards it cleared upand the sun shone very brightbut theFrenchmen had it in their facesand the Englishmen in their backs. When theGenoese were somewhat in orderand approached the Englishthey set up a loudshoutin order to frighten them; but they remained quite stilland did notseem to attend to it. Then they set up a second shoutand advanced a littleforwardbut the English never moved. They hooted a third timeadvancing withtheir crossbows presentedand began to shoot. The English archers then advancedone step forwardand shot their arrows with such force and quickness that itseemed as if it snowed. When the Genoese felt these arrowswhich pierced theirarmsheadsand through their armorsome of them cut the strings of theircrossbowsothers flung them on the groundand all turned about and retreatedquite discomfited. The French had a large body of men-at-arms on horsebackrichly dressedto support the Genoese. The king of Franceseeing them thusfall backcried out"Kill me those scoundrelsfor they stop up our roadwithout any reason." You would then have seen the above-mentionedmen-at-arms lay about themkilling all they could of these runaways.

The English continued shooting as vigorously and quickly as before; some oftheir arrows fell among the horsemen who were sumptuously equippedandkillingand wounding manymade them caper and fall among the Genoeseso that they werein such confusion that they could never rally again. The valiant king of Bohemiawas slain there. He was called Charles of Luxembourgfor he was the son of thegallant king and emperorHenry of Luxembourg. Having heard the order of thebattlehe inquired where his sonthe lord Charleswas. His attendantsanswered that they did not knowbut believed he was fighting. The king said tothem"Gentlemenyou are all my peoplemy friends and brethren at armsthis day; thereforeas I am blindI request of you to lead me so far into theengagement that I may strike one stroke with my sword." The knights repliedthey would directly lead him forward; and in order that they might not lose himin the crowdthey fastened all the reins of their horses togetherand put theking at their headthat he might gratify his wishand advanced towards theenemy. The lord Charles of Bohemiawho already signed his name as king ofGermanyand bore the armshad come in good order to the engagement; but whenhe perceived that it was likely to turn against the Frenchhe departedand Ido not well know what road he took. The kinghis fatherhad rode in among theenemyand made good use of his swordfor he and his companions had fought mostgallantly. They had advanced so far that they were all slain; and on the morrowthey were found on the groundwith their horses all tied together.

The earl of Alencon advanced in regular order upon the English to fight withthemas did the earl of Flanders in another part. These two lordswith theirdetachmentscoastingas it werethe archerscame to the prince's battalionwhere they fought valiantly for a length of time. The king of France was eagerto march to the place wherehe saw their banners displayedbut there was ahedge of archers before him. He had that day made a present of a handsome blackhorse to Sir John of Hainaultwho had mounted on it a knight of his that borehis bannerwhich horse ran off with him and forced his way through the Englisharmyandwhen about to returnstumbled and fell into a ditch and severelywounded him. He would have been dead if his page had not followed him round thebattalions and found him unable to rise. He had nothoweverany otherhindrance than from his horse; for the English did not quit the ranks that dayto make prisonersThe page alightedand raised him up; but he did not returnthe way he cameas he would have found it difficult from the crowd.

This battlewhich was fought on a Saturday between la Broyes and Crecywasvery murderous and cruel; and many gallant deeds of arms were performed thatwere never known. Towards eveningmany knights and squires of the French hadlost their masters. They wandered up and down the plainattacking the Englishin small parties. They were soon destroyedfor the English had determined thatday to give no quarteror hear of ransom from any one.

Early in the daysome FrenchGermansand Savoyards had broken through thearchers of the prince's battalion and had engaged with the men-at-arms; uponwhich the second battalion came to his aidand it was timefor otherwise hewould have been hard pressed. The first divisionseeing the danger they wereinsent a knight in great haste to the king of Englandwho was posted upon aneminence near a windmill. On the knight's arrivalhe said"Sirthe earlof Warwickthe lord Staffordthe lord Reginald Cobhamand the others who areabout your sonare vigorously attacked by the French; and they entreat that youwould come to their assistance with your battalionforif their numbers shouldincreasethey fear he will have too much to do." The king replied"Is my son deadunhorsedor so badly wounded that he cannot supporthimself?" "Nothing of the sortthank God" rejoined the knight;"but he is in so hot an engagement that he has great need of yourhelp." The king answered"NowSir Thomasreturn back to those thatsent youand tell them from menot to send again for me this dayor expectthat I shall comelet what will happenas long as my son has life; and saythat I command them to let the boy win his spurs; for I am determinedif itplease Godthat all the glory and honor of this day shall be given to himandto those into whose care I have entrusted him." The knight returned to hislordsand related the king's answerwhich mightily encouraged themand madethem repent they ever sent such a message.

Late after vespers the king of France had not more about him than sixty menevery one included. Sir John of Hainaultwho was of the numberhad onceremounted the king; for his horse had been killed under him by an arrow. He saidto the king"Sirretreat whilst you have an opportunityand do notexpose yourself so simply; if you have lost this battleanother time you willbe the conqueror." After he had said thishe took the bridle of the king'shorse and led him off by forcefor he had before entreated him to retire. Theking rode on until he came to the castle of la Broyeswhere he found the gatesshutfor it was very dark. The king ordered the governor of it to be summoned.He came upon the battlementsand asked who it was that called at such an hour.The king answered"Openopengovernor; it is the fortune ofFrance." The governorhearing the king's voiceimmediately descendedopened the gateand let down the bridge. The king and his company entered thecastle; but he had only with him five baronsSir John of Hainault and fourmore. The king would not bury himself in such a place as thatbuthaving takensome refreshmentsset out again with his attendants about midnightand rodeonunder the direction of guides who were well acquainted with the countryuntilabout daybreak; he came to Amienswhere he halted. This Saturday theEnglish never quitted their ranks in pursuit of any onebut remained an thefieldguarding their positionand defending themselves against all whoattacked them. The battle was ended at the hour of vespers.

When on this Saturday nightthe English heard no more hooting or shoutingnor any more crying out to particular lords or their bannersthey looked uponthe field as their ownand their enemies as beaten. They made great fires andlighted torches because of the obscurity of the night. King Edward then camedown from his postwho all that day had not put on his helmetandwith hiswhole battalionadvanced to the prince of Waleswhom he embraced in his armsand kissedand said"Sweet sonGod give you good perseverance; you aremy sonfor most loyally have you acquitted yourself this day; you are worthy tobe a sovereign." The prince bowed down very low and humbled himselfgivingall honor to the kinghis father. The English during the night made frequentthanksgiving to the Lord for the happy issue of the dayand without rioting;for the king had forbidden all riot or noise.

At Crecy the Black Prince won his spursbut the great achievement of hislife was his victory at Poitiers- a battle fought by him alone with his armywhen his fatherEdward III.was absent from France in England. At the peace ofBretagneagreed upon after the battleseveral provinces were ceded by Franceto Englandand these Edward added to his dominions in Guienneand formed forhimself a separate kingdomwhich he ruled until his death. He never came to thethrone of England; his sonRichard II.succeeded Edward III. -

THE BATTLE OF POITIERS. -

On Sunday morningthe king of Francewho was very impatient to combat theEnglishordered a solemn mass to be sung in his pavilionand he and his foursons received the communion. Mass being overthere came to him many barons ofFranceas well as other great lords who held fiefs in the neighborhoodaccording to a summons they had received for a council. They were a considerabletime debating; at last it was ordered that the whole army should advance intothe plainand that each lord should display his bannerand push forward in thename of God and St. Denis. Upon this the trumpets of the army soundedand everyone got himself readymounted his horseand made for that part of the plainwhere the king's banner was fluttering in the wind. There might be seen all thenobility of Francerichly dressed out in brilliant armorwith banners andpennons gallantly displayed; for all the flower of the French nobility wasthere; no knight nor squirefor fear of dishonordared to remain at home. Bythe advice of the constable and the marshalsthe army was divided into threebattalionseach consisting of sixteen thousand men-at-armswho had beforeshown themselves men of tried courage. The duke of Orleans commanded the firstbattalionwhere there were thirty-six banners and twice as many pennons. Thesecond was under command of the duke of Normandyand his two brothersthe lordLewis and lord John. The king of France commanded the third.

Whilst these battalions were formingthe king called to him the lord Eustacede Ribeaumontthe lord John de Landasand the lord Guiscard de Beaujeuandsaid to them"Ride forward as near the English army as you canandobserve their countenancetaking notice of their numbersand examine whichwill be the most advantageous manner to combat themwhether on horseback or onfoot." The three knights left the king to obey his commands. The king wasmounted on a white palfreyandriding to the head of his armysaid aloud"You men of ParisChartresRouenand Orleanshave been used to threatenwhat you would do to the English if you could find themand wished much to meetthem in arms; now that wish shall be granted. I will lead you to themand letus see how you will revenge yourselves for all the mischief and damage they havedone you. Be assured we will not part without fighting." Those who heardhim replied"Sirthrough God's assistance we will most cheerfully meetthem."

At this instant the three knights returnedand pushing through the crowdcame to the kingwho asked what news they had brought. Sir Eustace deRibeaumontwhom his companions had requested to be their spokesmananswered"Sirwe have observed accurately the English; they may amountaccordingto our estimateto about two thousand men-at-armsfour thousand archersandfifteen hundred footmen. They are in a very strong position; but we do notimagine they can make more than one battalion; neverthelessthey have postedthemselves with great judgmenthave fortified all the road along the hedgesideand lined the hedges with part of their archers; foras that is the onlyroad for an attackone must pass through the midst of them. This lane has noother entry; for it is so narrowthat scarcely can four men ride abreast in it.At the end of this laneamidst vines and thornswhere it is impossible to rideor march in any regular orderare posted the men-at-arms on foot; and they havedrawn up before them their archers in the manner of a harrowso that it will beno easy matter to defeat them." The king asked in what manner they wouldadvise him to attack them. "Sir" replied Sir Eustace"on foot;except three hundred of the most expertto breakif possiblethis body ofarchers; and then your battalions must advance quickly on footattack themen-at-arms hand to handand combat them valiantly. This is the best advicethat I can give youand if any one know a betterlet him say it." Theking replied"Thus shall it bethen." Andin company with his twomarshalshe rode from battalion to battalionand selectedin conformity totheir opinionsthree hundred knights and squires of the greatest repute in hisarmyeach well armedand mounted on the best of horses.

Soon afterthe battalion of the Germans was formedwho were to remain onhorsebackto assist the marshals; they were commanded by the earls of SalzburgNeydoand Nassau. King John was armed in royal armorand nineteen others likehim.

When the battalions of the king of France were drawn upand each lord postedunder his proper bannerand informed how they were to actit was ordered thatall those who were armed with lances should shorten them to the length of fivefeetthat they might be the more manageableand that every one should take offhis spurs. As the French were on the point of marching to their enemiesthecardinal of Perigordwho had left Poitiers that morning earlycame full gallopto the kingmaking him a low reverenceand entreated him that he might beallowed to go to the prince of Walesto endeavor to make peace between him andthe king of France. The king answered"It is very agreeable to us; butmake haste back again."

So then the cardinal set offand went in all speed to the prince; but thoughhe spent all this Sunday in riding from one army to anotherhe could not maketerms which were thought honorable alike by the king and by the prince of Wales.That same daythe French kept in their quarterswhere they lived at theireasehaving plenty of provisions; whilst the Englishon the other handwerebut badly offnor did they know whither to go for forageas they were sostraitly kept by the French they could not move without danger. This Sunday theymade many mounds and ditches round where the archers were postedthe better tosecure them.

On Monday morning the prince and his army were soon in readinessand as wellarranged as on the former day. The French were also drawn out by sunrise. Thecardinalreturning again that morningimagined that by his exhortations hecould pacify both parties; but the French told him to return when he pleasedand not attempt bringing them any more treaties or pacificationselse worsemight betide him. When the cardinal saw that he labored in vainhe took leaveof the king of Franceand set out towards the prince of Walesto whom he said"Fair sonexert yourself as much as possiblefor there must be a battle;I cannot by any means pacify the king of France." The prince replied"that such were the intentions of him and his army; and God defend theright." The cardinal then took leave of himand returned to Poitiers.

The arrangement of the prince's armyin respect to the battalionswasexactly the same as what the three knights before named had related to the kingof Franceexcept that at this time he had ordered some valiant and intelligentknights to remain on horsebacksimilar to the battalion of the French marshalsand had also commanded three hundred men-at-armsand as many archers onhorsebackto post themselves on the righton a small hillthat was not toosteep nor too highandby passing over its summitto get round the wings ofthe duke of Normandy's battalionswho was in person at the foot of it. Thesewere all the alterations the prince had made in his order of battle; he himselfwas with the main bodyin the midst of the vineyardsthe whole completelyarmedwith their horses nearif there should be any occasion for them. Theyhad fortified and inclosed the weaker parts with their wagons and baggage.

And when the prince of Wales sawfrom the departure of the cardinal withoutbeing able to obtain any honorable termsthat a battle was inevitableand thatthe king of France held both him and his army in great contempthe thusaddressed himself to them: "Nowmy gallant fellowswhat though we be asmall body when compared to the army of our enemies; do not let us be cast downon that accountfor victory does not always follow numbersbut where theAlmighty God pleases to bestow it. Ifthrough good fortunethe day shall beourswe will gain the greatest honor and glory in this world; if the contraryshould happenand we be slainI have a father and beloved brethren aliveandyou all have some relations or good friendswho will be sure to revenge ourdeaths. I therefore entreat of you to exert yourselvesand combat manfully;forif it please God and St. Georgeyou shall see me this day act like a trueknight." By such words and arguments as these the prince harangued his menas did the marshalsby his ordersso that they were all in high spirits. SirJohn Chandos placed himself near the princeto guard and advise him; and neverduring the daywould heon any accountquit his post.

The lord James Audley remained also a considerable time near him; butwhenhe saw that they must certainly engagehe said to the prince: "SirI haveever served most loyally my lord your fatherand yourselfand shall continueso to do as long as I have life. Dear sirI must now acquaint you that formerlyI made a vowif ever I should be engaged in any battle where the kingyourfatheror any of his sons werethat I would be the foremost in the attackandthe best combatant on his sideor die in the attempt. I begthereforemostearnestlyas a reward for any services I may have donethat you would grant mepermission honorably to quit youthat I may post myself in such wise toaccomplish my vow." The prince granted this requestandholding out hishand to himsaid: "Sir JamesGod grant that this day you may shine invalor above all other knights." The knight then set offand posted himselfat the front of the battalionwith only four squires whom he had detained withhim to guard his person. The lord James was a prudent and valiant knight; and byhis advice the army had thus been drawn up in order of battle. The lord Jamesbegan to advancein order to fight with the battalion of the marshals. SirEustace d'Ambreticourtbeing mountedplaced his lance in its restandfixinghis shieldstruck spurs into his horse and galloped up to this battalion. AGerman knightperceiving Sir Eustace quit his armyleft his battalion that wasunder the command of earl John of Nassauand made up to him. The shock of theirmeeting was so violent that they both fell to the ground. The German was woundedin the shoulderso that he could not rise again so nimbly as Sir Eustacewhowhen upon his legsafter he had taken breathwas hastening to the knight thatlay on the ground; but five German men-at-arms came upon himstruck him downand made him prisoner. They led him to those that were attached to the earl ofNassauwho did not pay much attention to himnor do I know if they made himswear himself their prisoner; but they tied him to a car with some of theirharness.

The engagement now began on both sidesand the battalion of the marshals wasadvancing before those who were intended to break the battalion of the archersand had entered the lane where the hedges on both sides were lined by thearcherswhoas soon as they saw them fairly enteredbegan shooting with theirbows in such an excellent manner from each side of the hedgethat the horsessmarting under the pain of the wounds made by their bearded arrowswould notadvancebut turned aboutandby their unrulinessthrew their masterswhocould not manage them; nor could those that had fallen get up again for theconfusionso that this battalion of the marshals could never approach that ofthe prince. Howeverthere were some knights and squires so well mountedthatby the strength of their horses they passed through and broke the hedgebutinspite of their effortscould not get up to the battalion of the prince. Thelord James Audleyattended by his four squireshad placed himselfsword inhandin front of this battalion much before the restand was performingwonders. He had advanced through his eagerness so far that he engaged the lordArnold d'Andreghenmarshal of Franceunder his banner when they fought aconsiderable timeand the lord Arnold was roughly enough treated. The battalionof the marshals was soon after put to the rout by the arrows of the archers andthe assistance of the men-at-armswho rushed among them as they were struckdown and seized and slew them at their pleasure. The lord Arnold d'Andreghen wasthere made prisonerbut by others than the lord James Audley or his foursquiresfor that knight never stopped to make any one his prisoner that daybut was the whole time employed in fighting and following his enemies. Inanother partthe lord John Clermont fought under his banner as long as he wasablebut being struck downhe could neither get up again nor procure hisransom; he was killed on the spot. In a short time this battalion of themarshals was totally discomfited; for they fell back so much on each other thatthe army could not advanceand those who were in the rearnot being able toget forwardfell back upon the battalion commanded by the duke of Normandywhich was broad and thick in the frontbut it was soon thin enough in the rear;for when they learnt that the marshals had been defeatedthey mounted theirhorses and set off. At this time a body of English came down from the hillandpassing along the battalions on horsebackaccompanied by a large body ofarchersfell upon one of the wings of the duke of Normandy's division. To saythe truththe English archers were of infinite service to their armyfor theyshot so thickly and so well that the French did not know what way to turnthemselves to avoid their arrows. By this means they kept advancing by littleand little and gained ground. When the English men-at-arms perceived that thefirst battalion was beatenand that the one under the duke of Normandy was indisorder and beginning to openthey hastened to mount their horseswhich theyhad ready prepared close at hand. As soon as they were all mountedthey gave ashout of "St. George for Guienne!" and Sir John Chandos said to theprince"Sirsirnow push forwardfor the day is ours. God will this dayput it in your hand. Let us make for our adversarythe king of France; forwhere he is will lie the main stress of the business. I well know that his valorwill not let him fly; and he will remain with usif it please God and St.George; but he must be well fought withand you have before said that you wouldshow yourself this day a good knight." The prince replied: "Johngetforward; you shall not see me turn my back this daybut I will always be amongthe foremost." He then said to Sir Walter Woodlandhis banner-bearer"Banneradvancein the name of God and St. George." The knightobeyed the commands of the prince; and the prince upon this charged the divisionof the duke of Athensand very sharp the encounter wasso that many werebeaten down. The Frenchwho fought in large bodiescried out"MontjoyeSt. Denis!" and the English answered them with "St. George forGuienne!" The prince next met the battalion of Germans under command of theearl of Salzburgthe earl of Nassauand the earl of Neydo; but they were soonoverthrown and put to flight. The English archers shot so well that none daredto come within reach of their arrowsand they put to death many who could notransom themselves. Then the above-named earls were slain thereas well as manyother knights and squires attached to them. In the confusionSir Eustaced'Ambreticourt was rescued by his own menwho remounted him. He afterwardsperformed many gallant deeds of armsand made good captures that day.

When the battalion of the duke of Normandy saw the prince advancing so quickupon themthey bethought themselves how to escape. The sons of the kingtheduke of Normandythe earl of Poitiersand the earl of Tourainewho were veryyoungtoo easily believed what those under whose management they were placedsaid to them. Howeverthe lord Guiscard d'Angle and Sir John de Saintrewhowere near the earl of Poitierswould not flybut rushed into the thickest ofthe combat. The three sons of the kingaccording to the advice given themgalloped awaywith upwards of eighty lances who had never been near the enemyand took the road to Chavigny.

Now the king's battalion advanced in good order to meet the English; manyhard blows were given with swordsbattle-axesand other warlike weapons. Theking of Francewith the lord Philiphis youngest sonattacked the division ofthe marshalsthe earls of Warwick and Suffolkand in this combat were engagedmany very noble lords on both sides.

The lord James Audleywith the assistance of his four squireswas alwaysengaged in the heat of the battle. He was severely wounded in the bodyheadand face; and as long as his breath permitted himhe maintained the fight andadvanced forward. He continued to do so until he was covered with blood. Thentoward the close of the engagementhis four squireswho were his body guardtook himand led him out of the engagementvery weak and woundedtowards ahedgethat he might cool and take breath. They disarmed him as gently as theycouldin order to examine his woundsdress themand sew up the most serious.

It often happens that fortune in war and love turns out more favorable andwonderful than could have been hoped for or expected. To say the truththisbattlewhich was fought near Poitiersin the plains of Beauvoir andMaupertuiswas very bloody and perilous. Many gallant deeds of arms wereperformed that were never knownand the combatants on either side sufferedmuch. King John himself did wonders. He was armed with a battle-axewith whichhe fought and defended himself; and if a fourth of his people had behaved aswell the day would have been his own. The earl of Tancarvillein endeavoring tobreak through the crowdwas made prisoner close to himas were also Sir Jamesde Bourbonearl of Ponthieuand the lord John d'Artoisearl of Eu. Thepursuit continued even to the gates of Poitierswhere there was much slaughterand overthrow of men and horses; for the inhabitants of Poitiers had shut theirgates and would suffer none to enter; upon which account there was greatbutchery on the causeway before the gatewhere such numbers were killed orwounded that several surrendered themselves the moment they spied an Englishman;and there were many English archers who had fourfiveor six prisoners.

There was much pressing at this time through eagerness to take the king; andthose who were nearest to him and knew himcried out"Surrender yourselfsurrender yourselfor you are a dead man." In that part of the field was ayoung knight from St. Omerwho was engaged by a salary in the service of theking of England. His name was Denys de Morbequewho for five years had attachedhimself to the English on account of having been banished in his younger daysfrom France for a murder committed in an affray at St. Omer. It fortunatelyhappened for this knight that he was at the time near to the king of France whenhe was so much pulled about. He by dint of forcefor he was very strong androbustpushed through the crowdand said to the king in very good French"Siresiresurrender yourself." The kingwho found himself verydisagreeably situatedturning to himasked"To whom shall I surrendermyself; to whom? Where is my cousinthe prince of Wales? if I could see him Iwould speak to him." "Sire" replied Sir Denys"he is nothere; but surrender yourself to me and I will lead you to him." "Whoare you?" said the king. "SireI am Denys de Morbequea knight fromArtoisbut I serve the king of England because I cannot belong to Francehaving forfeited all I possess there." The king then gave him hisright-hand gloveand said"I surrender myself to you." There wasmuch crowding and pushing aboutfor every one was eager to cry out"Ihave taken him." Neither the king nor his youngest son Philip were able toget forwardand free themselves from the throng.

The prince of Waleswho was as courageous as a liontook great delight thatday to combat his enemies. Sir John Chandoswho was near his person and hadnever quitted it during the whole of the daynor stopped to take any prisonerssaid to him toward the end of the battle"Sirit will be proper for youto halt here and plant your banner on the top of this bushwhich will serve torally your forces that seem very much scattered; for I do not see any banners orpennons of the Frenchnor any considerable bodies able to rally against us; andyou must refresh yourself a littleas I perceive you are very muchheated." Upon thisthe banner of the prince was placed on a high bush; theminstrels began to playand trumpets and clarions to do their duty. The princetook off his helmetand the knights attendant on his person and belonging tohis chamber were soon readyand pitched a small pavilion of crimson colorwhich the prince entered. Liquor was then brought to him and the other knightswho were with him. They increased every moment; for they were returning from thepursuitand stopped theresurrounded by their prisoners.

As soon as the two marshals were come backthe prince asked them if theyknew anything of the king of France. They replied"Nosirnot for acertainty; but we believe he must be either killed or taken prisonersince hehas never quitted his battalion." The prince thenaddressing the earl ofWarwick and lord Cobhamsaid"I beg of you to mount your horses and rideover the fieldso that on your return you may bring me some certainintelligence of him." The two baronsimmediately mounting their horsesleft the prince and made for a small hillockthat they might look about them.From their stand they perceived a crowd of men-at-arms on footwho wereadvancing very slowly. The king of France was in the midst of themand in greatdanger; for the French and Gascons had taken him from Sir Denys de Morbeque andwere disputing who should have himthe stoutest bawling out"It is I whohave got him." "Nono" replied the others"we havehim." The king to escape his perilsaid"GentlemengentlemenIpray you conduct me and my son in a courteous manner to my cousin the prince;and do not make such a riot over my capturefor I am so great a lord that I canmake all sufficiently rich." These wordsand others which fell from thekingappeased them a littlebut the disputes were always beginning againandthey did not move a step without rioting. When the two barons saw this troop ofpeoplethey descended from the hillockandsticking spurs into their horsesmade up to them. On their arrivalthey asked what was the matter. They wereanswered that it was the king of Francewho had been made prisonerand thatupwards of ten knights and squires challenged him at the same time as belongingto each of them. The two barons then pushed through the crowd by main force andordered all to draw aside. They commandedin the name of the prince and underpain of instant deaththat every one should keep his distanceand not approachunless ordered or desired so to do. They all retreated behind the king; and thetwo baronsdismountingadvanced to the king with profound reverenceandconducted him in a peaceable manner to the prince of Wales.

Soon after the earl of Warwick and the lord Reginald Cobham had left theprinceas has been above relatedhe inquired from those knights around him oflord James Audleyand asked if any one knew what was become of him. "Yessir" replied some of the company"he is very badly woundedand islying in a litter hard by." "By my troth" replied the prince"I am sore vexed that he is so wounded. SeeI beg of youif he be able tobear being carried hither; otherwise I will come and visit him." Twoknights directly left the princeandcoming to lord Jamestold him howdesirous the prince was of seeing him. "A thousand thanks to theprince" answered Lord James"for condescending to remember so poor aknight as myself." He then called eight of his servants and had himselfborne in his litter to where the prince was. When he was come into his presencethe prince bent down over him and embraced himsaying"My lord JamesIam bound to honor you very muchfor by your valor this day you have acquiredglory and renown above us alland your prowess has proved you the bravestknight." Lord James replied"My lordyou have a right to saywhatever you pleasebut I wish it were as you have said. If I have this daybeen forward to serve you it has been to accomplish a vow that I had madeandought not to be so much thought of." "Sir James" answered theprince"I and all the rest of us deem you the bravest knight on our sidein this battle; and to increase your renown and furnish you withal to pursueyour career of glory in warI retain you henceforward forever as my knightwith five hundred marcs of yearly revenuewhich I will secure to you from myestates in England." "Sir" said lord James"God make medeserving of the good fortune you bestow upon me." At these words he tookleave of the princeas he was very weakand his servants carried him back tohis tent. He could not have been at a great distance when the earl of Warwickand lord Reginald Cobham entered the pavilion of the prince and presented theking of France to him. The prince made a very low obeisance to the king and gavehim as much comfort as he was ablewhich he well knew how to administer. Heordered wine and spices to be broughtwhich he presented to the king himselfas a mark of great affection.

Thus was this battle wonas you have heard relatedin the plains ofMaupertuistwo leagues from the city of Poitierson the 19th day of September1356. It commenced about nine o'clock and was ended by noon; but the Englishwere not all returned from the pursuitand it was to recall his people that theprince had placed his banner upon a high bush. They did not return till lateafter vespers from pursuing the enemy. It was reported that all the flower ofFrench knighthood was slainand thatwith the king and his son the lordPhilipseventeen earlswithout counting baronsknightsor squireswere madeprisonersand from five to six thousand of all sorts left dead in the field.When they were all collectedthey found they had twice as many prisoners asthemselves. They therefore consultedifconsidering the risk they might runit would not be more advisable to ransom them on the spot. This was doneandthe prisoners found the English and Gascons very civil; for there were many setat liberty that day on their promise of coming to Bordeaux before Christmas topay their ransom.

When all were returned to their bannersthey retired to their campwhichwas adjoining to the field of battle. Some disarmed themselves and did the sameto their prisonersto whom they showed every kindness; for whoever made anyprisoners they were solely at his disposal to ransom or notas he pleased. Itmay be easily supposed that all those who accompanied the prince were very richin glory and wealthas well by the ransoms of his prisoners as by thequantities of gold and silver platerich jewelsand trunks stuffed full ofbelts that were weighty from their gold and silver ornaments and furred mantles.They set no value on armortentsor other things; for the French had comethere as magnificently and richly dressed as if they had been sure of gainingthe victory.

When the lord James Audley was brought back to his tent after having mostrespectfully thanked the prince for his gifthe did not remain long before hesent for his brotherSir Peter Audleyand some more. They were all of hisrelations. He then sent for his four

squires that had attended upon him that dayandaddressing himself to theknightssaid: "Gentlemenit has pleased my lord the prince to give mefive hundred marcs as a yearly inheritancefor which gift I have done him verytrifling bodily service. You see here these four squires who have always servedme most loyallyand especially in this day's engagement. What glory I may havegained has been through their means and by their valoron which account I wishto reward them. I therefore give and resign into their hands the gift of fivehundred marcs which my lord the prince has been pleased to bestow on mein thesame form and manner that it has been presented to me. I disinherit myself of itand give it to them simply and without a possibility of revoking it." Theknights looked on each otherand said"It is becoming the noble mind oflord James to make such a gift;" and then unanimously added: "May theLord God remember you for it! We will bear witness of this gift to themwheresoever and whensoever they may call upon us." They then took leave ofhimwhen some went to the prince of Waleswho that night was to give a supperto the king of France from his own provisions; for the French had brought vastquantities with themwhich were now fallen into the hands of the Englishmanyof whom had not tasted bread for the last three days.

When evening was comethe prince of Wales gave a supper in his pavilion tothe king of France and to the greater part of the princes and barons who wereprisoners. The prince seated the king of France and his son the lord Philip atan elevated and well-covered table; and with them were some other French lordsof high rank. The other knights and squires were placed at different tables. Theprince himself served the king's tableas well as the otherswith every markof humilityand would not sit down at itin spite of all his entreaties forhim to do sosaying that he was not worthy of such an honornor did itappertain to him to seat himself at the table of so great a king or of sovaliant a man as he had shown himself by his actions that day. He added alsowith a noble air: "Dear sirdo not make a poor meal because the AlmightyGod has not gratified your wishes in the event of this day; for be assured thatmy lord and father will show you every honor and friendship in his powerandwill arrange for your ransom so reasonably that you will henceforward alwaysremain friends. In my opinionyou have cause to be glad that the success ofthis battle did not turn out as you desired; for you have this day acquired suchhigh renown for prowess that you have surpassed all the best knights on yourside. I do notdear sirsay this to flatter youfor all those of our side whohave seen and observed the actions of each party have unanimously allowed thisto be your dueand decree you the prize and garland for it." At the end ofthis speech there were murmurs of praise heard from every one; and the Frenchsaid the prince had spoken truly and noblyand that he would be one of the mostgallant princes in Christendom if God should grant him life to pursue his careerof glory. - -

THE END