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chapel not far from the sea-side. And when the king was there, he thought him well eased. Then heard they people cry in the field. And Sir Lucan went to see what that cry betokened ; and he saw by the moonlight that pillers and robbers were come to rob the dead. And he returned, and said to the king, “ By my rede, it is best that we bring you to some town." “I would it were so," said the king. And when the king tried to go, he fainted. Then Sir Lucan took up the king on the one part, and Sir Bedivere on the other part; and in the lifting, Sir Lucan fell in a swoon to the earth, for he was grievously wounded. And then the noble knight's heart burst. And when the king awoke, he beheld Sir Lucan how he lay foaming at the mouth, and speechless. “Alas !” said the king, “this is to me a full heavy sight, to see this noble duke so die for my sake ; for he would have holpen me that had more need of help than I, and he would not complain, his heart was so set to help me.” Then Sir Bedivere wept for his brother. “Leave this mourning and weeping,” said the king, “ for wit thou well, if I might live myself, the death of Sir Lucan would grieve me evermore; but my time hieth fast. Therefore," said Arthur unto Sir Bedivere, “ take thou Excalibar, my good sword, and go with it to yonder water-side; and when thou comest there, I charge thee throw my sword in that water, and come again and tell me what thou there seest." “ My lord,” said Sir Bedivere, “your command

ment shall be done.” So Sir Bedivere departed, and by the way he beheld that noble sword, that the pommel and the haft were all of precious stones; and then he said to himself, “ If I throw this rich sword into the water, no good shall come thereof, but only harm and loss." And then Sir Bedivere hid Excalibar under a tree. And so, as soon as he might, he came again unto the king. “What sawest thou there?” said the king. “Sir," he said, " I saw nothing. 66 Alas! thou hast deceived me,” said the king. “Go thou lightly again, and as thou love me, spare not to throw it in.” Then Sir Bedivere went again, and took the sword in his hand to throw it; but again it beseemed him but sin and shame to throw away that noble sword, and he hid it away again, and returned, and told the king he had done his commandment. 66 What sawest thou there?” said the king. “Sir," he said, “I saw nothing but waters deep and waves wan.” “Ah, traitor untrue!” said King Arthur, “now hast thou betrayed me twice. And yet thou art named a noble knight, and hast been lief and dear to me. But now go again, and do as I bid thee, for thy long tarrying putteth me in jeopardy of my life.” Then Sir Bedivere went to the sword, and lightly took it up, and went to the water-side, and he bound the girdle about the hilt, and then he threw the sword as far into the water as he might. And there came an arm and a hand out of the water, and met it, and caught it, and shook it thrice and brandished it, and then vanished away the hand with the sword in the water.

Then Sir Bedivere came again to the king, and told him what he saw. Help me hence,” said the king, “ for I fear I have tarried too long.” Then Sir Bedivere took the king on his back, and so went with him to that water-side ; and when they came there, even fast by the bank there rode a little barge with many fair ladies in it, and among them was a queen; and all had black hoods, and they wept and shrieked when they saw King Arthur.

“ Now put me in the barge,” said the king. And there received him three queens with great mourning, and in one of their laps King Arthur laid his head. And the queen said, “Ah, dear brother, why have ye tarried so long? Alas! this wound on your head hath caught overmuch cold.” And then they rowed from the land, and Sir Bedivere beheld them go from him. Then he cried : "Ah, my lord Arthur, will ye leave me here alone among mine enemies?“Comfort thyself,” said the king, “ for in me is no further help ; for I will to the Isle of Avalon, to heal me of my grievous wound.” And as soon as Sir Bedivere had lost sight of the barge, he wept and wailed; then he took the forest, and went all that night, and in the morning he was ware of a chapel and a hermitage.

Then went Sir Bedivere thither; and when he came into the chapel, he saw where lay an hermit on the ground, near a tomb that was newly graven.

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and then vanished away the hand with the sword in the water.

Then Sir Bedivere came again to the king, and told him what he saw. “Help me hence," said the king, “ for I fear I have tarried too long.” Then Sir Bedivere took the king on his back, and so went with him to that water-side ; and when they came there, even fast by the bank there rode a little barge with many fair ladies in it, and among them was a queen; and all had black hoods, and they wept and shrieked when they saw King Arthur.

“ Now put me in the barge,” said the king. And there received him three queens with great mourning, and in one of their laps King Arthur laid his head. And the queen said, “Ah, dear brother, why have ye tarried so long? Alas! this wound on your head hath caught overmuch cold.” And then they rowed from the land, and Sir Bedivere beheld them go from him. Then he cried : "Ah, my lord Arthur, will ye leave me here alone among mine ene

“ Comfort thyself,” said the king, “ for in me is no further help; for I will to the Isle of Avalon, to heal me of my grievous wound.” And as soon as Sir Bedivere had lost sight of the barge, he wept and wailed ; then he took the forest, and went all that night, and in the morning he was ware of a chapel and a hermitage.

Then went Sir Bedivere thither; and when he came into the chapel, he saw where lay an hermit on the ground, near a tomb that was newly graven.

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