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

WHan Arthur held his round table moost plenour / it fortuned that he commaunded that the hyhe feest of Pentecost shold be holden at a cyte and a Castel the whiche in tho dayes was called kynke kenadonne vpon the sondes that marched nyghe walys /

¶ Soo euer the kyng hadde a custom that at the feest of Pentecost in especyal afore other feestes in the yere he wold not goo that daye to mete vntyl he had herd or sene of a grete merueylle / And for that custome alle maner of straunge aduentures came before Arthur as at that feest before alle other feestes / And soo sire Gawayne a lytyl to fore none of the daye of Pentecost aspyed att a wyndowe thre men vpon horsbak and a dwarf on foote / and soo the thre men alighte and the dwarf kepte their horses / and one of the thre men was hyher than the other tweyne by a foote and a half Thenne sir Gawayne wente vnto the kynge and sayd / sire go to your mete / for here at the hande comen straunge aduentures So Arthur wente vnto his mete with many other kynges / And there were all the knyghtes of the round table only tho that were prysoners or slayn at a recountre / thenne at the hyhe feest euermore they shold be fulfilled the hole nombre of an C and fyfty / for thenne was the round table fully complisshed Ryght soo cam in to the halle two men wel bisene and rychely / and vpon their sholders there lened the goodlyest yong man & the fairest that euer they al sawe / & he was large and long and brode in the sholders & wel vysaged / and the fayrest and the largest handed that euer man sawe / but he ferd as though he myght not goo nor bere hym self / but yf he lened vpon their sholders / Anon as Arthur sawe hym there was made pees & rome / & ryght so they yede with hym vnto the hyghe deyse without sayeng of ony wordes / thenne this moche yong man pulled hym a bak and easily stretched vp streyghte / sayeng kynge Arthur god you blisse and al your fair felauship / and in especial the felauship of the table rounde / And for thys cause I am come hyder to praye you and requyre you to gyue me thre yeftes / and they shalle not be vnresonably asked / but that ye may worshipfully and honorably graunte hem me / and to you Page  214 [leaf 107v] no grete hurte nor losse / And the fyrst done and gyfte I wil aske now / and the other two yeftes I wylle aske this daye twelue moneth / where someuer ye hold your hyghe feest / Now aske sayd Arthur / and ye shalle haue your askyng

¶ Now syre this is my petycyon for thys feest / that ye wylle gyue me mete and drynke suffycyauntly for this twelue moneth / and at that day I wylle aske myn other two yeftes

¶ My fayr sone sayd Arthur aske better I counceille the for this is but a symple askynge / for my herte geueth me to the gretely that thou arte come of men of worshyp / and gretely my consayte fayleth me / but thou shalt preue a man of ryghte grete worship / Syre he sayd / ther of be as it be may I haue asked that I wylle aske / wel sayd the kynge ye shal have mete & drynke ynouȝ / I neuer deffended þt none / nother my frende ne my foo / But what is thy name I wold wete / I can not telle you sayd he / that is merueylle sayd the kynge / that thou knowest not thy name / and thou arte the goodlyest yong man one that euer I sawe / Thenne the kyng betook hym to sir kay the steward / and charged hym that he shold gyue hym of al maner of metes and drynkes of the best / and also that he hadde al maner of fyndynge as though he were a lordes sone / that shal lytel nede sayd syr kay to doo suche cost vpon hym For I dare undertake he is a vylayne borne / and neuer will make man / for and he had come of gentylmen he wold haue axed of you hors and armour / but suche as he is so he asketh And sythen he hath no name / I shall yeue hym a name that shal be Beaumayns that is fayre handes / and in to the kechen I shalle brynge hym / and there he shal haue fatte broweys euery day þt he shall be as fatte by the twelue monethes ende as a porke hog / ryght soo the two men departed and belefte hym to syr kay / that scorned hym and mocked hym

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