In the midst of the lake Arthur was ware of an arm clothed in white samite, that held a fair sword in that hand.
— Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur
Most people have heard of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Fewer have taken the time to pick up the Arthurian tales penned by Sir Thomas Malory or Howard Pyle and read them for the sheer joy of imagining romance, courage, and adventure set in the middle ages. And that is exactly the point of this piece — to encourage you to read the Arthurian Legendarium for the sake of its beauty, both in chivalry and heroic themes, but also for the exquisite prose.
Shelves of books on the topic of Arthur and his history have been penned; yet, his life is still shrouded in mystery. In approximately 800 A.D., Nennius, a Welsh historian and Christian monk wrote the Historia Brittonum (History of the Britons). In this historical account, Nennius mentions Arthur fighting in several battles. Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote History of the Kings of Britain, which included the life story of Arthur for the first time, along with familiar names of Merlin, Lancelot, and Queen Guinevere. Chrétien de Troyes wrote of Arthur as only a French poet could, including the quest to discover the Holy Grail. Later on, Malory writes Le Morte d’Arthur (The Death of Arthur) in 1469 while he was imprisoned for violent crimes. It is the “last major work on Arthurian legend to be produced in the Middle Ages, but also the first and only text in Middle English to recount the entire legend of Arthur from his birth to his death.” Malory’s only surviving manuscript is housed at the British Library. Additionally, American author and illustrator Howard Pyle wrote his beautifully illustrated novel form of The Story of King Arthur and His Knights in 1903.
I teach a Humanities course for high school students, and an important part of the course includes reading primary sources, prayers, poetry, and prose as it was originally written throughout history. We have dipped our literary toes in the cool and lovely stream of Middle English and bravely spoken in the bold tones of Thomas Paine. The Romantic poets forced us to slow down and enjoy each perfectly chosen word, while J.R.R. Tolkien translated Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in his signature poetic way, inviting us into a lyrically beautiful, timeless legend. As the curriculum moved along to more modern language and writing, I mentioned to the students that they would detect a change in word choices, phrases, descriptions, and an overall simplification and dullness in what they read. They would still find solid poetry and prose in the 1900s, but the rich beauty of Malory and the prayers of the church fathers was gone. Yes, reading Middle English or even the works of George MacDonald would challenge them, but the study of these texts was worth it.
The students agreed. As they became more fluent in elegant prose and enjoyed lingering over words they may need to find in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, their desire for better and more descriptive writing grew. They stated that modern writing was mostly flat in comparison to the writing of the past. I heartily agree.
We begin this summer issue of An Unexpected Journal, King Arthur’s Legendarium: Prose, Poetry, and Scholarship, with the beginning chapters of Le Morte D’ Arthur — King Arthur and of His Noble Knights of the Round Table by Thomas Malory. An Unexpected Journal includes the initial chapters of Malory’s work as a foundation for the imaginative and scholarly works you will find in this edition. Written in a slightly archaic language, reading this old retelling is a solid beginning to the wonder that you will find within. Revel in the words.
I am grateful for the wonderful blessing of working with my fellow citizen of Narnia and Middle-earth, Dr. Donald T. Williams, Professor Emeritus of Toccoa Falls College. Dr. Williams co-edited this issue with me, as well as contributed his own writing and brought in Arthurian scholarship and poetry from all points of the medieval realm. My thanks receive, good scholar.
Under the Mercy,
Managing Editor of King Arthur Legendarium: Prose, Poetry, and Scholarship
Founding Board Member, An Unexpected Journal
THE BOOK OF KING ARTHUR
AND OF HIS NOBLE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE.
The First Book of King Arthur.
First how Uther Pendragon sent for the duke of Cornwall and Igraine his wife, and of their departing suddenly again.
It befell in the days of Uther Pendragon, when he was king of all England, and so reigned, that there was a mighty duke in Cornwall that held war against him long time. And the duke was named the duke of Tintagil. And so by means king Uther sent for this duke, charging him to bring his wife with him, for she was called a fair lady, and a passing wise, and her name was called Igraine. So when the duke and his wife were come unto the king, by the means of great lords they were accorded both: the king liked and loved this lady well, and he made them great cheer out of measure, and desired to have had her love. But she was a passing good woman, and would not assent unto the king. And then she told the duke her husband, and said, I suppose that we were sent for that I should be dishonoured, wherefore, husband, I counsel you that we depart from hence suddenly, that we may ride all night to our own castle. And in like wise as she said so they departed, that neither the king nor none of his council were ware of their departing. All so soon as king Uther knew of their departing so suddenly, he was wonderly wroth. Then he called to him his privy council, and told them of the sudden departing of the duke and his wife. Then they advised the king to send for the duke and his wife by a great charge: and if he will not come at your summons, then may ye do your best; then have ye cause to make mighty war upon him. So that was done, and the messengers had their answers, and that was this, shortly, that neither he nor his wife would not come at him. Then was the king wonderly wroth. And then the king sent him plain word again, and bade him be ready and stuff him and garnish him, for within forty days he would fetch him out of the biggest castle that he hath. When the duke had this warning, anon he went and furnished and garnished two strong castles of his, of the which the one hight Tintagil and the other castle hight Terrabil. So his wife, dame Igraine, he put in the castle of Tintagil, and himself he put in the castle of Terrabil, the which had many issues and posterns out. Then in all haste came Uther with a great host, and laid a siege about the castle of Terrabil. And there he pight many pavilions, and there was great war made on both parties, and much people slain. Then for pure anger and for great love of fair Igraine the king Uther fell sick. So came to the king Uther Sir Ulfius, a noble knight, and asked the king why he was sick. I shall tell thee, said the king; I am sick for anger and for love of fair Igraine, that I may not be whole. Well, my lord, said Sir Ulfius, I shall seek Merlin, and he shall do you remedy that your heart shall be pleased. So Ulfius departed, and by adventure he met Merlin in a beggar’s array, and there Merlin asked Ulfius whom he sought? and he said he had little ado to tell him. Well, said Merlin, I know whom thou seekest, for thou seekest Merlin; therefore seek no further, for I am he, and if king Uther will well reward me, and be sworn unto me to fulfil my desire, that shall be his honour and profit more than mine, for I shall cause him to have all his desire. All this will I undertake, said Ulfius, that there shall be nothing reasonable but thou shalt have thy desire. Well, said Merlin, he shall have his intent and desire. And therefore, said Merlin, ride on your way, for I will not be long behind.
How Uther Pendragon made war on the duke of Cornwall, and how by the means of Merlin he made the duchess his queen.
Then Ulfius was glad, and rode on more than a pace till that he came to Uther Pendragon, and told him he had met with Merlin. Where is he? said the king. Sir, said Ulfius, he will not dwell long. Therewithal Ulfius was ware where Merlin stood at the porch of the pavilion’s door. And then Merlin was bound to come to the king. When king Uther saw him he said he was welcome. Sir, said Merlin, I know all your heart every deal; so ye will be sworn unto me, as ye be a true king anointed, to fulfil my desire, ye shall have your desire. Then the king was sworn upon the four Evangelists. Sir, said Merlin, this is my desire: after ye shall win Igraine ye shall have a child by her, and when that is born that it shall be delivered to me for to nourish there as I will have it; for it shall be your worship and the child’s avail, as mickle as the child is worth. I will well, said the king, as thou wilt have it. Now make you ready, said Merlin: this night shall you see Igraine in the castle of Tintagil, and ye shall be like the duke her husband, Ulfius shall be like Sir Brastias, a knight of the duke’s, and I will be like a knight that hight Sir Jordanus, a knight of the duke’s. But wait ye make not many questions with her nor with her men, but say you are diseased, and so hie you to bed, and rise not on the morn till I come to you, for the castle of Tintagil is but ten mile hence. So this was done as they had devised. But the duke of Tintagil espied how the king rode from the siege of Terrabil, and therefore that night he issued out of the castle at a postern, for to have distressed the king’s host. And so, through his own issue, the duke himself was slain or ever the king came at the castle of Tintagil. So after the death of the duke king Uther came to the castle, more than three hours after his death; and there he found Igraine. And or day came Merlin came to the king and bade him make him ready, and so he kissed the lady Igraine and departed in all haste. But when the lady heard tell of the duke her husband, and by all record he was dead or ever king Uther came to her, then she marvelled who that might be that came to her in likeness of her lord; so she mourned privily and held her peace. Then all the barons by one assent prayed the king of accord between the lady Igraine and him. The king gave them leave, for fain would he have been accorded with her. So the king put all the trust in Ulfius to entreat between them; so, by the entreat, at the last the king and she met together. Now will we do well, said Ulfius: our king is a lusty knight and wifeless, and my lady Igraine is a passing fair lady; it were great joy unto us all and it might please the king to make her his queen. Unto that they were all well accorded, and moved it to the king: and anon, like a lusty knight, he assented thereto with good will, and so in all haste they were married in a morning with great mirth and joy.
And king Lot of Lothian and of Orkney then wedded Margawse that was Gawaine’s mother: and king Nentres of the land of Garlot wedded Elaine. All this was done at the request of king Uther. And the third sister, Morgan le Fay, was put to school in a nunnery: and there she learned so much that she was a great clerk of nigromancy. And after she was wedded to king Uriens of the land of Gore, that was Sir Ewaine’s le Blanchemains father.
Of the birth of king Arthur, and of his nouriture; and of the death of king Uther Pendragon; and how Arthur was chosen king; and of wonders and marvels of a sword that was taken out of a stone by the said Arthur.
Then the time came that the queen Igraine should bear a child. So it fell within half a year, as king Uther was with his queen, he asked her, by the faith she owed unto him, whose was the child that should be born: then was she sore abashed to give answer. Dismay you not, said the king, but tell me the truth, and I shall love you the better, by the faith of my body. Sir, said she, I shall tell you the truth. The same night that my lord was dead, the hour of his death, as his knights record, there came into my castle of Tintagil a man like my lord in speech and countenance, and two knights with him in likeness of his two knights Brastias and Jordans, and so I welcomed him as I ought to welcome my lord: and thus, as I shall answer unto God, this child was begotten. That is truth, said the king, as you say, for it was I myself that came in the likeness, and therefore dismay you not, for I am father to the child. And there he told her all the cause how it was by Merlin’s counsel. Then the Queen made great joy when she knew who was the father of her child. Soon came Merlin unto the king and said, Sir, ye must purvey you for the nourishing of your child. As thou wilt, said the king, be it. Well, said Merlin, I know a lord of yours in this land, that is a passing true man and a faithful, and he shall have the nourishing of your child, and his name is Sir Ector, and he is a lord of fair livelihood in many parts in England and Wales. And this lord, Sir Ector, let him be sent for, for to come and speak with you, and desire him yourself, as he loveth you, that he will put his own child to nourishing to another woman, and that his wife nourish yours. And when the child is born let it be delivered unto me at yonder privy postern unchristened. So like as Merlin devised it was done. And when Sir Ector was come he made affiance to the king for to nourish the child like as the king desired; and there the king granted Sir Ector great rewards. Then when the lady was delivered, the king commanded two knights and two ladies to take the child bound in a cloth of gold, and that ye deliver him to what poor man ye meet at the postern gate of the castle. So the child was delivered unto Merlin, and so he bare it forth unto Sir Ector, and made an holy man to christen him, and named him Arthur: and so Sir Ector’s wife nourished him with her own breast.
Then within two years king Uther fell sick of a great malady. And in the meanwhile his enemies usurped upon him, and did a great battle upon his men, and slew many of his people. Sir, said Merlin, ye may not lie so as ye do, for ye must to the field, though ye ride on an horse-litter; for ye shall never have the better of your enemies but if your person be there, and then shall ye have the victory. So it was done as Merlin had devised, and they carried the king forth in a horse-litter with a great host towards his enemies. And at St. Albans there met with the king a great host of the North. And that day Sir Ulfius and Sir Brastias did great deeds of arms, and king Uther’s men overcame the Northern battle, and slew many people, and put the remnant to flight. And then the king returned unto London, and made great joy of his victory. And then he fell passing sore sick, so that three days and three nights he was speechless; wherefore all the barons made great sorrow, and asked Merlin what counsel were best. There is none other remedy, said Merlin, but God will have his will. But look ye all barons be before king Uther to-morn, and God and I shall make him to speak. So on the morn all the barons with Merlin came tofore the king: then Merlin said aloud unto king Uther, Sir, shall your son Arthur be king after your days, of this realm, with all the appurtenance? Then Uther Pendragon turned him and said in hearing of them all, I give him God’s blessing and mine, and bid him pray for my soul, and righteously and worshipfully that he claim the crown upon forfeiture of my blessing. And therewith he yielded up the ghost. And then was he interred as longed to a king. Wherefore the queen, fair Igraine, made great sorrow and all the barons. Then stood the realm in great jeopardy long while, for every lord that was mighty of men made him strong, and many wend to have been king. Then Merlin went to the archbishop of Canterbury, and counselled him for to send for all the lords of the realm, and all the gentlemen of arms, that they should to London come by Christmas upon pain of cursing: and for this cause—that Jesus, that was born on that night, that he would of his great mercy shew some miracle, as he was come to be king of mankind, for to shew some miracle who should be rightwise king of this realm. So the archbishop by the advice of Merlin sent for all the lords and gentlemen of arms, that they should come by Christmas even unto London. And many of them made them clean of their life, that their prayer might be the more acceptable unto God. So in the greatest church of London (whether it were Paul’s or not, the French book maketh no mention) all the estates were long or day in the church for to pray. And when matins and the first mass was done, there was seen in the churchyard against the high altar a great stone four square, like unto a marble stone, and in the midst thereof was like an anvil of steel a foot on high, and therein stack a fair sword naked by the point, and letters there were written in gold about the sword that said thus: Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise king born of all England. Then the people marvelled, and told it to the archbishop. I command, said the archbishop, that ye keep you within your church, and pray unto God still; that no man touch the sword till the high mass be all done. So when all masses were done all the lords went to behold the stone and the sword. And when they saw the scripture, some assayed—such as would have been king. But none might stir the sword nor move it. He is not here, said the archbishop, that shall achieve the sword, but doubt not God will make him known. But this is my counsel, said the archbishop, that we let purvey ten knights, men of good fame, and they to keep this sword. So it was ordained, and then there was made a cry, that every man should assay that would, for to win the sword. And upon New Year’s Day the barons let make a justs and a tournament, that all knights that would just or tourney there might play: and all this was ordained for to keep the lords together and the commons, for the archbishop trusted that God would make him known that should win the sword. So upon New Year’s Day when the service was done the barons rode to the field, some to just, and some to tourney; and so it happed that Sir Ector, that had great livelihood about London, rode unto the justs, and with him rode Sir Kay his son and young Arthur that was his nourished brother, and Sir Kay was made knight at Allhallowmas afore. So as they rode to the justs-ward Sir Kay had lost his sword, for he had left it at his father’s lodging, and so he prayed young Arthur to ride for his sword. I will well, said Arthur, and rode fast after the sword; and when he came home the lady and all were out to see the justing. Then was Arthur wroth, and said to himself, I will ride to the churchyard and take the sword with me that sticketh in the stone, for my brother Sir Kay shall not be without a sword this day. So when he came to the churchyard Sir Arthur alighted, and tied his horse to the stile, and so he went to the tent, and found no knights there, for they were at the justing; and so he handled the sword by the handles, and lightly and fiercely pulled it out of the stone, and took his horse and rode his way till he came to his brother Sir Kay, and delivered him the sword. And as soon as Sir Kay saw the sword he wist well it was the sword of the stone, and so he rode to his father Sir Ector, and said: Sir, lo here is the sword of the stone; wherefore I must be king of this land. When Sir Ector beheld the sword he returned again and came to the church, and there they alighted all three and went into the church, and anon he made Sir Kay to swear upon a book how he came to that sword. Sir, said Sir Kay, by my brother Arthur, for he brought it to me. How gat ye this sword? said Sir Ector to Arthur. Sir, I will tell you: when I came home for my brother’s sword, I found nobody at home to deliver me his sword, and so I thought my brother Sir Kay should not be swordless, and so I came hither eagerly and pulled it out of the stone without any pain. Found ye any knights about this sword? said Sir Ector. Nay, said Arthur. Now, said Sir Ector to Arthur, I understand ye must be king of this land. Wherefore I, said Arthur, and for what cause? Sir, said Ector, for God will have it so: for there should never man have drawn out this sword but he that shall be rightwise king of this land. Now let me see whether ye can put the sword there as it was, and pull it out again. That is no mastery, said Arthur: and so he put it into the stone. Therewith Sir Ector assayed to pull out the sword and failed.
How king Arthur pulled out the sword divers times.
Now assay, said Sir Ector to Sir Kay. And anon he pulled at the sword with all his might, but it would not be. Now shall ye assay, said Sir Ector to Arthur. I will well, said Arthur, and pulled it out easily. And therewithal Sir Ector kneeled down to the earth, and Sir Kay. Alas, said Arthur, mine own dear father and brother, why kneel ye to me. Nay, nay, my lord Arthur, it is not so: I was never your father nor of your blood, but I wote well ye are of an higher blood than I wend ye were. And then Sir Ector told him all, how he was betaken him for to nourish him, and by whose commandment, and by Merlin’s deliverance. Then Arthur made great dole when he understood that Sir Ector was not his father. Sir, said Ector unto Arthur, will ye be my good and gracious lord when ye are king? Else were I to blame, said Arthur, for ye are the man in the world that I am most beholding to, and my good lady and mother your wife, that as well as her own hath fostered me and kept. And if ever it be God’s will that I be king, as ye say, ye shall desire of me what I may do, and I shall not fail you: God forbid I should fail you. Sir, said Sir Ector, I will ask no more of you but that you will make my son, your foster-brother Sir Kay, seneschal of all your lands. That shall be done, said Arthur, and more by the faith of my body, that never man shall have that office but he while he and I live. Therewithal they went unto the archbishop, and told him how the sword was achieved, and by whom. And on Twelfth Day all the barons came thither, and to assay to take the sword who that would assay. But there afore them all there might none take it out but Arthur, wherefore there were many lords wroth, and said it was great shame unto them all and the realm, to be over governed with a boy of no high blood born. And so they fell out at that time that it was put off till Candlemas, and then all the barons should meet there again. But always the ten knights were ordained to watch the sword day and night, and so they set a pavilion over the stone and the sword, and five always watched. So at Candlemas many more great lords came thither for to have won the sword, but there might none prevail. And right as Arthur did at Christmas he did at Candlemas, and pulled out the sword easily, whereof the barons were sore aggrieved, and put it off in delay till the high feast of Easter. And as Arthur sped afore, so did he at Easter: yet there were some of the great lords had indignation that Arthur should be their king, and put it off in a delay till the feast of Pentecost. Then the archbishop of Canterbury by Merlin’s providence let purvey then of the best knights that they might get, and such knights as king Uther Pendragon loved best and most trusted in his days, and such knights were put about Arthur, as Sir Baudwin of Britain, Sir Kay, Sir Ulfius, Sir Brastias. All these, with many other, were always about Arthur, day and night, till the feast of Pentecost.
How King Arthur was crowned, and how he made officers.
And at the feast of Pentecost all manner of men assayed to pull at the sword that would assay, but none might prevail but Arthur; and he pulled it out afore all the lords and commons that were there, wherefore all the commons cried at once, We will have Arthur unto our king; we will put him no more in delay, for we all see that it is God’s will that he shall be our king, and who that holdeth against it we will slay him. And therewithal they kneeled down all at once, both rich and poor, and cried Arthur mercy, because they had delayed him so long. And Arthur forgave them, and took the sword between both his hands, and offered it upon the altar where the archbishop was, and so was he made knight of the best man that was there. And so anon was the coronation made, and there was he sworn unto his lords and the commons for to be a true king, to stand with true justice from thenceforth the days of this life. Also then he made all lords that held of the crown to come in, and to do service as they ought to do. And many complaints were made unto Sir Arthur of great wrongs that were done since the death of king Uther, of many lands that were bereaved lords, knights, ladies, and gentlemen. Wherefore king Arthur made the lands to be given again unto them that owned them. When this was done that the king had stablished all the countries about London, then he let make Sir Kay seneschal of England; and Sir Baudwin of Britain was made constable; and Sir Ulfius was made chamberlain; and Sir Brastias was made warden to wait upon the north from Trent forwards, for it was that time for the most part the king’s enemies. But within few years after, Arthur won all the north, Scotland, and all that were under their obeisance. Also Wales, a part of it held against Arthur, but he overcame them all as he did the remnant through the noble prowess of himself and his knights of the Round Table.
How king Arthur held in Wales at a Pentecost a great feast, and what kings and lords came to his feast.
Then the king removed into Wales, and let cry a great feast, that it should be holden at Pentecost, after the incoronation of him at the city of Carlion. Unto the feast came king Lot of Lothian and of Orkney with five hundred knights with him. Also there came to the feast king Uriens of Gore with four hundred knights with him. Also there came to that feast king Nentres of Garloth with seven hundred knights with him. Also there came to the feast the king of Scotland with six hundred knights with him, and he was but a young man. Also there came to the feast a king that was called the king with the hundred knights, but he and his men was passing well beseen at all points. Also there came the king of Carados with five hundred knights. And king Arthur was glad of their coming, for he wend that all the kings and knights had come for great love, and for to have done him worship at his feast, wherefore the king made great joy, and sent the kings and knights great presents. But the kings would none receive, but rebuked the messengers shamefully, and said they had no joy to receive no gifts of a beardless boy that was come of low blood, and sent him word they would have none of his gifts, but that they were come to give him gifts with hard swords betwixt the neck and the shoulders: and therefore they came thither, so they told to the messengers plainly, for it was great shame to all them to see such a boy to have a rule of so noble a realm as this land was. With this answer the messengers departed, and told to king Arthur this answer. Wherefore, by the advice of his barons, he took him to a strong tower with five hundred good men with him: and all the kings aforesaid in a manner laid a siege tofore him, but king Arthur was well victualled. And within fifteen days there came Merlin among them into the city of Carlion. Then all the kings were passing glad of Merlin, and asked him, For what cause is that boy Arthur made your king? Sirs, said Merlin, I shall tell you the cause. For he is king Uther Pendragon’s son, born in wedlock of Igraine, the duke’s wife of Tintagil. After the death of the duke thirteen days king Uther Pendragon wedded fair Igraine. And who saith nay, he shall be king, and overcome all his enemies; and, or he die, he shall be long king of all England, and have under his obeisance Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, and more realms than I will now rehearse. Some of the kings had marvel of Merlin’s words, and deemed well that it should be as he said: and some of them laughed him to scorn, as king Lot: and more other called him a witch. But then were they accorded with Merlin that king Arthur should come out and speak with the kings, and to come safe and go safe, such assurance was there made. So Merlin went unto king Arthur and told him how he had done, and bade him fear not, but come out boldly and speak with them, and spare them not, but answer them as their king and chieftain, for ye shall overcome them all whether they will or nill.
Of the first war that king Arthur had, and how he won the field.
Then king Arthur came out of his tower, and had under his gown a jesseraunt of double mail, and there went with him the archbishop of Canterbury, and Sir Baudwin of Britain, and Sir Kay, and Sir Brastias: these were the men of most worship that were with him. And when they were met there was no meekness, but stout words on both sides: but always king Arthur answered them, and said that he would make them to bow and he lived. Wherefore they departed with wrath, and king Arthur bade keep them well, and they bade the king keep him well. So the king returned him to the tower again, and armed him and all his knights. What will ye do? said Merlin to the kings: ye were better for to stint, for ye shall not here prevail though ye were ten so many. Be we well advised to be afraid of a dream-reader? said king Lot. With that Merlin vanished away, and came to king Arthur, and bade him set on them fiercely; and in the meanwhile there were three hundred good men of the best that were with the kings that went straight unto king Arthur, and that comforted him greatly. Sir, said Merlin to Arthur, fight not with the sword that ye had by miracle, till that ye see ye go unto the worse, then draw it out and do your best. So forthwithal king Arthur set upon them in their lodging. And Sir Baudwin, Sir Kay, and Sir Brastias slew on the right hand and on the left hand that it was marvellous: and always king Arthur on horseback laid on with a sword, and did marvellous deeds of arms, that many of the kings had great joy of his deeds and hardiness. Then king Lot brake out on the back side, and the king with the hundred knights, and king Carados, and set on Arthur fiercely behind him. With that Sir Arthur turned with his knights and smote behind and before, and ever Sir Arthur was in the foremost press till his horse was slain underneath him. And therewith king Lot smote down king Arthur. With that his four knights received him, and set him on horseback. Then he drew his sword Excalibur, but it was so bright in his enemies’ eyes, that it gave light like thirty torches. And therewith he put them on back, and slew much people. And then the commons of Carlion arose with clubs and staves, and slew many knights; but all the kings held them together with their knights that were left alive, and so fled and departed. And Merlin came unto Arthur, and counselled him to follow them no farther.
Thomas Malory, Le Morte D’Arthur, https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/1251/pg1251-images.html.
Annie Nardone, “Shakespeare’s Hidden Ghosts: Spectral Presences and Spaces of Grace in Michael Boy’d Richard II,” An Unexpected Journal: King Arthur Legendarium 6, no. 2. (Summer 2023), 6-9.
Thomas Malory, “The Book of King Arthur an His Noble Knights of the Round Table,” An Unexpected Journal: King Arthur Legendarium 6, no. 2. (Summer 2023), 10-27.
 “Le Morte Darthur,” Medieval Collection Items, British Library, accessed March 18, 2023, https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/thomas-malorys-le-morte-darthur#:~:text=Malory%20wrote%20Le%20Morte%20Darthur,for%20the%20mystical%20Holy%20Grail.