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ClassicsOnline Home » FLYNN, B.: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (Unabridged)
These stories are about how, many years ago, Arthur the once and future King of England, set out to save his country from the troubles that plagued it, aided by the brave knights of his Round Table, and the most famous sword in the world, Excalibur; how Merlin the wizard fought against the wicked Morgana le Fay’s enchantments, and how Arthur loved and lost the beautiful Guinevere, his Queen.
and the Knights of the Round Table
There are still some places in Britain, hidden away, that
are beyond the reach of time. On certain days, at certain times of the year,
they can be found. But you have to know where to look unless you come across
them by chance, which can happen.
At first there seems nothing remarkable about them: the
entrance might be a
hollow tree, or a sea cave, perhaps a dark mountain lake.
But if you climbed inside the hollow tree, or tried to find the end of the sea
cave, or stared into the cold mountain water too long, you might find more than
you expected to find.
Because in one such place beyond the reach of time, deep in
a hillside, sleeps Arthur, king of England. He sleeps in shining armor on a bed
of stone, waiting for the call to save his country in its hour of greatest
need. With him there sits an old man, Merlin the Wise, protecting Arthur with
his enchantment, until that day comes.
Merlin’s magic is needed. There are those who would like to
see Arthur never wake again, including his archenemy, the wicked Morgana le
Fey, who plotted so deviously against Arthur, hoping to win his kingdom for herself.
And Merlin’s magic protects Arthur as he sleeps because
there is no sword at his hand. His great shield leans against the cave wall,
but Excalibur, the most beautiful and the most famous sword in the world, which
no man could stand against, is not there with him. The Lady of the Lake has it
safe in her keeping; until the day comes when Arthur is called on to wield it
Who knows, when Arthur wakes perhaps he will call the best
knights in the
country to sit at another Round Table with him as he did
before. And they will set out once again, to rid the country of the troubles
that plague it, and bring peace, making the hall of a new Round Table ring with
the stories of the brave deeds they perform and their perilous adventures.
Perhaps there will be a new Sir Lancelot, who the world knows was the greatest
knight in the prowess of arms, except his son Sir Galahad, who sought and found
the Holy Grail; or a knight as brave as Sir Gawain, whose courage was tested by
the strange Green Knight — or as kind as Sir Ector who looked after Arthur as a
boy. Maybe there will even be a woman as beautiful as Queen Guinevere to be a
new queen for Arthur.
But if you do discover a sleeping king dressed in shining
armor, without a sword, and a withered man who looks like he might be a wizard,
quietly go back the way you came, without disturbing their sleep. Now is not
the time to wake them. But when the time comes, be ready: they may call on you.
Notes by Benedict Flynn
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