Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 23

I would like to apologize to myself for putting this post off until five ‘o clock yesterday morning. *facepalm* I hope against hope that there aren’t huge typos.

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Merlin rescues Arthur from Pellinore using his magic! Merlin then proceeds to convince Arthur to take Pellinore into his service for…some reason. Because Pellinore has shown himself to be really trustworthy and responsible like that! Arthur’s sword is still broken.

Merlin and the king departed and went unto a hermit who was a good man and a great physician. The hermit searched all his wounds and gave him good salves. The king was there three days before his wounds were mended so he might ride, and afterwards he departed. And as they rode, Arthur said, ‘I have no sword.’

‘No matter,’ said Merlin. ‘Hereby is a sword that shall be yours, if I may.’

So they rode till they came to a lake, which was a fair water, and broad. And in the middle of the lake, Arthur was aware of an arm clothed in white samite, that held a fair sword in that hand. [As you do.]

[Also, samite is a type of silk fabric.]

‘Lo,’ said Merlin. ‘Yonder is the sword that I spoke of.’ With that, they saw a damsel going upon the lake.

‘Who is that damsel?’ asked Arthur.

‘That is the Lady of the Lake,” said Merlin. ‘And within that lake is an island, and therein is as fair a place as any on earth. And this damsel will come to you, and then speak well to her so she will give you the sword.’ [Lmao Merlin’s telling him to ask politely] [Also, I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be ‘island.’ The actual word is ‘roche,’ meaning a rock, but it has several other meanings and one of them is ‘island.’ I thought that probably made the most sense in context.]

Then the damsel came unto Arthur and greeted him courteously, and he greeted her in return. ‘Damsel,’ said Arthur, ‘what sword is that that the arm holds above the water? I would it were mine, for I have no sword.’

‘Sir Arthur king,’ said the damsel, ‘that sword is mine. But if you will give me a gift when I ask it of you, you shall have it.’

‘By my faith,’ said Arthur, ‘I will give you whatever gift you ask of me.’

‘Well,’ said the damsel, ‘get into the barge and row yourself to the sword, and take it and the scabbard with you. I will ask for my gift when I see my time.’

So Arthur and Merlin alighted and tied their horses to two trees, and so they went onto the ship. And when they came to the sword that the hand held, Arthur took it up by the handle and took it with him, and the arm and the hand went under the water.

And so they came onto the land and rode forth, and then Arthur saw a rich pavilion. ‘What is that yonder pavilion?’

‘That is the pavilion of the knight who you last fought with, Sir Pellinore,’ said Merlin, ‘but he is out, he is not here. He had a conflict with a knight of yours named Egglame [“Egglame”] and they fought together, but at last Egglame fled, or else he would have died. [Behold, Pellinore, the perfect hire!] Pellinore has chased him all the way to Caerleon, and we shall meet with Pellinore soon along the highway.’

‘That is good,’ said Arthur. ‘Now that I have a sword, I will fight with him and be avenged on him.’ [Slow down, you bloodthirsty young man!]

‘Sir, you shall not,’ said Merlin. ‘The knight is weary from fighting and chasing, so you would have no worship if you fight with him. Also, he will not be lightly matched by any knight living. So therefore I council you to let him pass, for he shall do you good service in short time, and his sons will also after his days. Also, you shall see the day in a short time when you shall be right glad to give Pellinore your sister to wed.’ [ARTHUR NO DON’T LISTEN TO HIM] [Morgan and Pellinore’s marriage goes so horribly. Also, I had no idea Arthur and Merlin were involved in Morgan’s wedding! No wonder she hates them, lol.]

‘When I see him I will do as you advise,’ said Arthur.

Then Arthur looked at the sword, and liked it passing well. [Arthur is a magpie attracted to shiny, shiny things]

‘Which do you like better?’ asked Merlin. ‘The sword or the scabbard?’

‘I like the sword better,’ said Arthur. [Everyone does.]

‘You are the more unwise,’ said Merlin. ‘For the scabbard is worth ten of the swords. While you have the scabbard on you, you shall never lose any blood, be you ever so sore wounded. […Internal bleeding is still a thing though?? Merlin? I see a small flaw?!] Therefore always keep the scabbard with you.’

So they rode unto Caerleon, and along the way they met with Sir Pellinore, but Merlin had done such a craft that Pellinore did not see Arthur, and he passed by without any words. ‘I marvel,’ said Arthur, ‘that the knight would not speak.’

‘Sire,’ said Merlin, ‘he did not see you, for if he had seen you, you would not lightly depart.’ [What is WRONG with Pellinore—anyway.]

So they came to Caerleon, and his knights were passing glad. And when they heard of his adventures, they marveled that he would endanger his person alone. But they all said it was merry to be under such a chieftain who would go on adventures as other poor knights did. [aww]

Does anyone else ever get lowkey scared of their own creations, because I get lowkey scared of anything I do at five in the morning ever. Hopefully there aren’t typos!

5 thoughts on “Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 23

  1. “and liked it passing well.” I don’t know why, but that phrase struck me as incredibly…poignant? Methinks I shall begin to make use of “passing well” in my daily life, for I like it passing well.

    Also. Arthur is a magpie. HA. Yes. Yes I like that image.

    I get scared of my own creations all the time, so no worries, you’re not alone. 🙂 I saw no typos so kudos there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Did Merlin basically tell Arthur “you’d look like a bully if you fought him now because he’s all tired and sore but also (even though he’s, as aforementioned, weary and wounded) you’d STILL LOSE”? That made me smile.

    Also, if Merlin knows all these things about the future, why does he counsel Arthur to do things that will end badly, like, apparently, Morgan and Pellinore’s wedding? I don’t understand. Merlin. Why.

    Also I hope Arthur doesn’t regret his bargain because as nice as the sword is, gifts promised in fairy tales usually portend woe to the promiser.
    This bit where Merlin makes Pellinore not see them, and also where he asks Arthur whether he likes the sword or scabbard better and all that rigmarole reminds me so much of whatever Arthurian stories I read when I was little! I remember this scene almost word for word. (I have no idea why, but it’s kind of cool to me. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol I know I loved that

      I DON’T KNOW. Morgan and Pellinore did not…turn out so well, from what I remember. Unless Merlin is all about the kids that they have? It’s a creepy angle, but I’m honestly not sure I would put it past Merlin.

      I know! They can sometimes not end up going too well. What’s funny is I remember hearing about a moment in The Mabinogion where Arthur told Culhwch that he could have whatever gift he wanted…EXCEPT for Arthur’s wife (and a few of his things). Arthur is taking the necessary precautions XD
      Oh that is cool! I love it when I remember stories really well and I haven’t read them since I was youung 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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