The Age of Fable eBook

Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,207 pages of information about The Age of Fable.
and wallowing they rolled down the hill, and ever as they weltered Arthur smote him with his dagger; and it fortuned they came to the place where the two knights were.  And when they saw the king fast in the giant’s arms they came and loosed him.  Then the king commanded Sir Kay to smite off the giant’s head, and to set it on the truncheon of a spear, and fix it on the barbican, that all the people might see and behold it.  This was done, and anon it was known through all the country, wherefor the people came and thanked the king.  And he said, “Give your thanks to God; and take ye the giant’s spoil and divide it among you.”  And King Arthur caused a church to be builded on that hill, in honor of St. Michael.


One day King Arthur rode forth, and on a sudden he was ware of three churls chasing Merlin, to have slain him.  And the king rode unto them and bade them, “Flee, churls!” Then were they afraid when they saw a knight, and fled.  “O Merlin,” said Arthur, “here hadst thou been slain, for all thy crafts, had I not been by.”  “Nay,” said Merlin, “not so, for I could save myself if I would; but thou art more near thy death than I am.”  So, as they went thus talking, King Arthur perceived where sat a knight on horseback, as if to guard the pass.  “Sir knight,” said Arthur, “for what cause abidest thou here?” Then the knight said, “There may no knight ride this way unless he just with me, for such is the custom of the pass.”  “I will amend that custom,” said the king.  Then they ran together, and they met so hard that their spears were shivered.  Then they drew their swords and fought a strong battle, with 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 power, whether to save thee or slay thee, and unless thou yield thee as overcome and recreant, thou shalt die.”  “As for death,” said King Arthur, “welcome be it when it cometh; but to yield me unto thee as recreant, I will not.”  Then he leapt upon the knight, and took him by the middle and threw him down; but the knight was a passing strong man, and anon he brought Arthur under him, and would have razed off his helm to slay him.  Then said Merlin, “Knight, hold thy hand, for this knight is a man of more worship than thou art aware of.”  “Why, who is he?” said the knight.  “It is King Arthur.”  Then would he have slain him for dread of his wrath, and lifted up his sword to slay him; and therewith Merlin cast an enchantment on the knight, so that he fell to the earth in a great sleep.  Then Merlin took up King Arthur, and set him on his horse.  “Alas!” said Arthur, “what hast thou done, Merlin? hast thou slain this good knight by thy crafts?” “Care ye not,” said Merlin; “he is wholer than ye be.  He is only asleep, and will wake in three hours.”

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The Age of Fable from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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