Le Morte Darthur
Syr Thomas Malory
William Caxton, H. Oskar Sommer

¶ Capitulū Primū

SOo after these questys of Syr Gawyne / Syre Tor / and kynge Pellinore / It felle so that Merlyn felle in a dottage on the damoisel that kyng Pellinore broughte to the Courte / and she was one of the damoysels of the lake that hyȝte Nyneue / But Merlyn wold lete haue her no rest but alweyes he wold be with her / And euer she maade Merlyn good chere tyl she had lerned of hym al maner thynge that she desyred and he was assoted vpon her that he myghte not be from her / Soo on a tyme he told kynge Arthur that he sholde not dure longe but for al his craftes he shold be put in the erthe quyck and Page  119 [leaf 60r] so he told the kynge many thynges that shold befalle / but alle wayes he warned the kynge to kepe wel his swerd and the scaubard / for he told hym how the swerd and the scaubard shold be stolen by a woman from hym that he most trusted / Also he told kynge Arthur that he shold mysse hym / yet had ye leuer than al your landes to haue me ageyne / A sayd the kynge / syn ye knowe of your aduenture puruey for hit / and put awey by your craftes that mysauenture / Nay said Merlyn it wylle not be / soo he departed from the kynge / And within a whyle the damoysel of the lake departed / and Merlyn wente with her euermore where some euer she wente / And oftymes merlyn wold haue had her pryuely awey by his subtyle craftes / thenne she made hym to swere that he shold neuer do none enchauntement vpon her yf he wold haue his wylle / And so he sware / so she and Merlyn wente ouer the see vnto the land of Benwyck there as kynge Ban was kynge that had grete warre ageynst kynge Claudas / and there Merlyn spake with kynge Bans wyf a fair lady and a good / and her name was Elayne / and there he sawe yonge Launcelot / there the quene made grete sorowe for the mortal werre þt kyng claudas made on her lord and on her landes / Take none heuynesse said Merlyn / for this same child within this xx yere shall reuenge yow on kynge Claudas that all Crystendom shalle speke of it And this same child shalle be the moost man of worship of the world / and his fyrst name is galahad / that knowe I wel said Merlyn / And syn ye haue confermed hym Launcelot / that is trouthe said the quene / his fyrst name was Galahad / O Merlyn said the quene shalle I lyue to see my sone suche a man of prowesse / ye lady on my parel ye shal see hit / and lyue many wynters after / And soo sone after the lady and Merlyn departed / and by the waye Merlyn shewed her many wondres / and cam in to Cornewaille / And alweyes Merlyn lay aboute the lady to haue her maydenhode / and she was euer passynge wery of hym / and fayne wold haue ben delyuerd of hym / for she was aferd of hym by cause he was a deuyls sone / and she coude not beskyfte hym by no meane /

¶ And soo on a tyme it happed that Merlyn shewed to her in a roche where as was a greete wonder / and wroughte by Page  120 [leaf 60v] enchauntement that wente vnder a grete stone / So by her subtyle wyrchynge she maade Merlyn to goo vnder that stone to lete her wete of the merueilles there / but she wroughte so ther for hym that he came neuer oute for alle the crafte he coude doo / And so she departed and lefte Merlyn /