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39. "To have savyde thy lyffe, I wolde 48. This battell begane in Chyviat
For a better man, of hart nare of
1 placed in rest.
an owar befor the none,
And when even-songe bell was rang, the battell was nat half done.
47. Ther was never a freake wone foot wolde fle,
but still in stours dyd stand, Heawyng on yche othar, whylle the 56. Ser Charls a Murrë in that place, myghte dre,9
with many a balfull brande.
that never a foot wolde fle; Ser Hewe Maxwelle, a lorde he was, with the Doglas dyd he dey.
10 The line is unintelligible. 11 courteous.
yet he knyled and fought on hys kny.
55. Ther was slayne, with the dougheti Duglas,
Ser Hewe the Monggombyrry,
Ser Davy Lwdale, that worthë was, his sistars son was he.
57. So on the morrowe the mayde them 65. This was the hontynge off the Cheviat, that tear begane this spurn, Old men that knowen the grownde well yenoughe
call it the battell of Otterburn.
off birch and hasell so g[r]ay; Many wedous, with wepyng tears, cam to fache ther makys1 away.
SIR THOMAS MALORY (1400?–1470) From LE MORTE DARTHUR
PREFACE OF WILLIAM CAXTON
After that I had accomplished and finished divers histories, as well of contemplation as of other historial and worldly acts of great conquerors and princes, and also certain books of ensamples and doctrine, many noble and divers gentlemen of this realm of England came and demanded me many and ofttimes, wherefore that I have not do made and imprint the noble history of the Saint Greal and of the [10 most renowned Christian king, first and chief of the three best Christian, and worthy, king Arthur, which ought most. to be remembered among us Englishmen tofore all other Christian kings; for it is notoriously known through the universal world that there be nine worthy and the best that ever were, that is to wit three Paynims, three Jews, and three Christian men. As for the Paynims they were [20 tofore the Incarnation of Christ, which were named, the first Hector of Troy, of whom the history is come, both in ballad and in prose; the second Alexander the Great, and the third Julius Cæsar, Emperor of Rome, of whom the histories be well known and had. And as for the three Jews, which also were tofore the incarnation of our Lord, of whom the first was duke Joshua which brought the chil- [30 dren of Israel into the land of behest, the second David king of Jerusalem, and the third Judas Maccabæus. Of these three the Bible rehearseth all their noble histories and acts. And since the said incarnation have been three noble Christian men stalled and admitted through the universal world into the number of the nine best and worthy. Of whom was first the noble Arthur, whose noble acts I pur- [40 pose to write in this present book here following. The second was Charlemain, or Charles the Great, of whom the history is had in many places, both in French and in English. And the third and last was Godfrey of Boloine, of whose acts and life I made a book unto the excellent prince and king of noble memory, king Edward
the Fourth. The said noble gentlemen instantly required me to imprint the his- [50 tory of the said noble king and conqueror king Arthur, and of his knights, with the history of the Saint Greal, and of the death and ending of the said Arthur; affirming that I ought rather to imprint his acts and noble feats, than of Godfrey of Boloine, or any of the other eight, considering that he was a man born within this realm, and king and emperor of the same; and that there be in French divers and [60 many noble volumes of his acts, and also of his knights. To whom I answered, that divers men hold opinion that there was no such Arthur, and that all such books as been made of him be feigned and fables, because that some chronicles make of him no mention, nor remember him nothing, nor of his knights. Whereto they answered, and one in special said, that in him that should say or think that there [70 was never such a king called Arthur, might well be aretted great folly and blindness. For he said that there were many evidences of the contrary. First ye may see his sepulchre in the monastery of Glastingbury. And also in Polichronicon, in the fifth book the sixth chapter, and in the seventh book the twenty-third chapter, where his body was buried, and after found, and translated into the [80 said monastery. Ye shall see also in the history of Bochas in his book De Casu Principum part of his noble acts, and also of his fall. Also Galfridus in his British book recounteth his life; and in divers places of England many remembrances be yet of him and shall remain perpetually, and also of his knights. First in the abbey of Westminster, at Saint Edward's shrine, remaineth the print of his seal in red [90 wax closed in beryl, in which is written Patricius Arthurus, Britannie, Gallie, Germanie, Dacie, Imperator. Item in the castle of Dover ye may see Gawaine's skull and Cradok's mantle: at Winchester the Round Table: in other places Launcelot's sword and many other things. Then all these things considered, there can no man reasonably gainsay but that there was a king of this land named Arthur. [100 For in all places, Christian and heathen, he is reputed and taken for one of the