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King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table

Many people have read the legends of King Arthur and his knights. As
the legends say, Arthur fought against the Anglo-Saxon invaders. The
famous Round Table was used by King Arthur and his knights to show that
all were equal.

Here are some of the legends of King Arthur and his knights.

Past I

King Uther and Merlin

Once there was a king in Brita-in called King Uther. He loved the
beautiful princess Igraine, and he wanted to marry her, but she did not
love him.

There was a magician named Merlin, who lived in that country. One day
Merlin came to King Uther. He said, «King Uther, I will help you. You
will marry princess Igraine, and she will have a son. 1 will help you if
you give that son to me.»

«I will give him to you,» said the king.

So King Uther married Igraine, and they had a son. They named the son
Arthur. When Arthur was three days old, Merlin came to the door of the
king’s house. Then King Uther took the child in his arms and went out
and gave him to Merlin.

King Uther Calls Great Men

Soon after that, King Uther became very ill. He knew that he was going
to die. Then Merlin came to him and said, «Call all your knights and
great men and tell them, «My son, Arthur, will be king after me!»

King Uther did that before he died. But all the knights and great men
began to fight: each wanted to make himself king. Merlin took Arthur
away. He gave the child to a good knight named Sir Ector. Arthur grew up
with Sir Ector’s son, Kay, and became a man.

One day Merlin went to the archbishop and said, «Call all the great men
o! Britain to London. Then they will see the man who will be their
king.»

All the knights and great men came to London. They went into the church,
and the archbishop spoke to them. When they came out of the church, they
saw in front of the church door a great stone. There was a sword in the
stone, and there was writing on the stone:

All the knights tried, one after another, to take the sword out of the
stone; but none of them could do it.

Arthur Becomes King

At the same time there was a great joust in London. All the great
knights jousted in it. They began on their horses with spears. Some
knights fell off their horses, and then they fought on foot with swords.

Sir Ector went to the joust with Sir Kay and Arthur. The two young men
wanted to joust, but Sir Kay had no sword. Arthur said, «There is a
sword in a stone near a church. I saw it on the way here. I’ll get it
and fight with it, and you can have my sword, Sir Kay.»

They went to the church. Arthur got off his horse; he took the sword in
his hand — and it came out of the stone.

They went back to the field. When Sir Ector saw the sword, he said to
Arthur, «You are my king.»

They went to the archbishop. Then the archbishop called all the knights
and said, «Put the sword back into the stone.»

Arthur did so. All the knights tried again to take it out, but not one
of them could do so. Arthur took it out again. So they shouted, «Arthur
is king! Arthur is king!»

They all went into the church, and the archbishop made Arthur king of
Britain.

So Arthur became king. He married the most beautiful lady in England,
Princess Guinevere, and she became his queen.

Then Merlin made the Round Table. Each knight had his name written in
his place.

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

Part II

In a Castle

Once King Arthur came to a great forest. He was still in the forest when
evening came. Then he saw in front of him a castle. As he came nearer,
the great door of the castle opened and a lady came out. She said, «I am
Queen Annoure and I ask you to slay in my castle. Night is near, and you
must have food and bed.»

«I thank you,» said King Arthur, and he went in.

After they had eaten, Queen Annoure told one of her men to show the king
his bedroom.

Next morning Queen Annoure said, «I’ll show you my castle and all the
beautiful things that 1 have in it. Please come with me.11

They went from room to room, and each room was richer and more beautiful
than the last. Queen Annoure was a magician, but King Arthur did not
know that. Then the queen said: «See those beautiful gardens and all
those green fields. They are all mine. And see that great wall on all
sides. Stay here with me and be king of all this. You can’t get away:
the door of the castle is shut, and there is that great wall on all
sides. And my men stand ready to make you stay or to kill you if 1 tell
them to do so.»

But King Arthur said, «Your men can’t kill me and they can’t make me
stay.» Then, with his sword in hand, Arthur went out of the castle.
Nobody could stop him.

The Sword Excalibur

When some time passed, King Arthur broke his sword in a fight. Merlin
came to him and said, «Come with me, and you will get a better sword.»

After a long time they came to a lake. As Arthur stood by the lake he
saw an arm with a sword in its hand come up out of the water.

«Go and take it,» said Merlin. «It is the sword Excalibur. It’s a magic
sword.»

There was a boat at the side of the lake. King Arthur got into the boat
and went and took the sword.

«No man can kill the man who has this sword,» said Merlin.

There was a queen named Morgan le Fay. King Arthur did not know that she
was a magician and a bad woman. He thought that she was good, not bad,
and that she was his friend.

One day he went out riding in the forest. He took his spear, but he did
not want to take his sword. He gave Excalibur to Queen Morgan le Fay,
saying, «I will come and get it on my way back.»

When night came, Arthur lost his way in the forest. He saw a little
light and rode to it. Then he saw that the light was in a beautiful ship
on a lake. The ship was near the side of the lake, so he went on to the
ship, and he saw food and drink on the table and a bed, all ready.

«I’ll stay here,» he said. «In the morning I’ll find my way back, and
get Excalibur, and go home.»

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

Par t III

King Arthur in the Castle of Sir Darnas

So King Arthur ate and slept in the ship. But when he woke, he saw that
he was not in the ship. He was in a little room with a very small
window. The door was shut: he could not get out. There were three other
men in the room. They were knights.

One of them said: «This is the castle of Sir Damas. He is a very bad
knight. He caught us and put us here, saying, ‘You may go out if you
fight for me. If you do not fight for me, you will stay and die here.»‘

Men came and led Arthur into a great hall in which Sir Damai was
sitting.

«Will you fight for me?» Sir Damas asked.

King Arthur said, «I’ll joust for you if you give me those three
knights. After I have fought for you, we shall all go back to our
homes.»

«Yes,» answered Sir Damas. «You can have the three knights if you fight
for me.»

Then a man came into the hall and said, «Queen Morgan le Fay sends King
Arthur his sword, Excalibur.»

King Arthur was very glad to have his sword. Now he was ready to joust.

King Arthur Fights Sir Accolon and Comes Against Sir Damas

When Arthur came out to the field, he saw another knight waiting there.
His face was hidden so that Arthur could not see it.

The fight began. King Arthur was unhappy: his sword did not help4 him,
it broke and he knew that this sword was not Excalibur.

The other knight said, «Say that you have lost the fight, and I will not
kill you.»

«No!» shouted Arthur. He hit the knight on the helmet with his broken
sword — so hard that the knight fell down and his sword fell from his
hand. Arthur quickly took the knight’s sword. It was Excalibur!

Arthur said, «Tell me who you are. What is your name?» The knight
answered, «I am Sir Accolon, Knight of the Round Table.»

«Why have you fought against me, your king?» He answered: «I didn’t know
that you were King Arthur. I thought that you were Sir Damas. Queen
Morgan le Fay said to me, ‘King

Arthur is in the castle of Sir Damas. You must go and fight Sir Damas
and save your king.’ And she said, ‘Here is King Arthur’s sword,
Excalibur. Take it for the fight so that you may save your king.'»

King Arthur rode with Sir Accolon and the three knights against Sir
Damas. There was a great fight, which King Arthur won.

Sir Damas was brought before the king. «Why did you do this thing?» said
King Arthur.

«Queen Morgan le Fay told me to do it,» answered Sir Damas.

Then the king said, «You are not knight. You will not have a sword. I
take from you your castle and all that you have and give them to your
younger brother, he is much better than you.»

Morgan le Fay was at Camelot (the beautiful city built by King Arthur
with Merlin’s help) while Arthur was away. She heard that King Arthur
was alive. She went to Queen Guinevere, King Arthur’s wife, and said, «I
must go back to my own country. My people want me to go back to them.»

Queen Guinevere answered, «Don’t go. The king will soon be here. He will
be glad to see you.» (Queen Guinevere did not know what Morgan le Fay
had done!)

«No! No!» said Queen Morgan le Fay. «I must go. I must go now.» And she
rode away alone on her black horse.

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

P a r t IV

Gareth Comes to King Arthur

One day King Arthur was sitting with Queen Guinevere and all his knights
at the Round Table, and a big, strong young man came into the hall.

«Who are you, and what do you want?» asked King Arthur.

«My name is Gareth. I have come to ask you for a thing,» he said. «I ask
that I may eat and drink here every day for one year.»

The king said, «Yes, you may do that. You’ll be with Sir Kay and do what
he says.»

Sir Kay, who was now a knight of the Round Table, looked at the young
man and said, «That man is not a knight. If he is a knight or the son of
a knight, why doesn’t he ask for a horse and armour. He is some farm
boy. He will have food and work with my men.»

«Well,» said the young man; «I must do what Sir Kay says. I’ll work and
eat with his men.»

Linet Comes to Ask King Arthur’s Help

After one year the young man, Gareth, came again into the great hall
where King Arthur sat with his knights. There was a beautiful lady
standing in front of the king. She said: «O King, my name is Linet. I
have come to ask your help. My sister has been taken away by four
knights to their castle. They call themselves Morning, Noon, Evening and
Night. Send one of your knights to save her.»

Gareth cried out, «O King, may I go?»

«Yes, Gareth,» said King Arthur, «you may go.»

The king gave Gareth armour, and he rode away with Linet.

Soon they came to a river. Near it there was a red tent, and in front of
the tent there was a man in blue armour. This was the knight who called
himself «Morning».

Gareth and the knight fought on their horses with spears. Then they took
their swords. At last Morning lay on the grass at Gareth’s feet.

«Don’t kill me!» he cried.

The sun was hot when Gareth and Linet came to a river. There Gareth saw
Noon.

«Who are you?» cried Noon.

«King Arthur has sent him to fight you,» said Lady Linet. «He has fought
your brother, and now he has come against you.»

Noon rode his horse into the river, and they fought there with swords,
in the water.

Gareth wounded Noon with his sword four times, and he fell from his
horse into the water. Gareth took Noon’s shield, and they rode away.

It was now afternoon. They came to a hill, and from the top of the hill
Gareth looked down on a great river.

They rode down the hill. Then Gareth saw a man standing by the river.
His Armour was red, and on his shield there was a red evening , sun.
They came up to the man and Linet said to him, «This is a boy » whom
King Arthur has sent. He has fought your two brothers, and now he has
come against you.»

Evening rode at Gareth, but Gareth’s spear caught him and threw him from
his horse.

They fought with swords. Evening came at Gareth. He tried to hit Gareth
on the helmet. But the sword hit Gareth’s sword, and Evening’s sword
broke in his hand. Then Gareth took Evening in his arms and threw him
down into the river.

The Black Knight

When the sun went down, Gareth and Linet saw a castle standing up
against the sky. In front of the door of the castle there was a black
tent. Gareth called, «Ho, there! Come out!»

A light was seen in the tent, and lights came into the windows of the
castle. Then out from the tent there came a knight in black armour,
riding on black horse. On his shield was the picture of a dead man’s
head. Linet was afraid: she shut her eyes.

Gareth rode at the knight and attacked him with his spear. When Linet
opened her eyes, she saw Gareth standing over the black knight. Gareth
opened the black knight’s helmet, and there he saw the face of a young
boy.

«O knight,» cried the boy, «do not kill me! My brothers made me do it.
They wanted to make men afraid to come to the castle.»

Gareth helped him to stand up, and then they went into the castle, and
Linet found her sister. Gareth brought the two sisters to Camelot.

Then Gareth asked the third thing of King Arthur, and Arthur gladly gave
it to him: he made Gareth a knight of the Round Table.

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