"Right so the king and Merlin departed, and went until an hermit
that was a good man and a great leech. So the hermit searched
all his wounds and gave him good salves; so the king was there
three days, and then were his wounds well amended that he might
ride and go, and so departed. And as they rode, Arthur said,
I have no sword. No force* [*Footnote from M.T.: No matter.],
said Merlin, hereby is a sword that shall be yours and I may.
So they rode till they came to a lake, the which was a fair water
and broad, and in the midst of the lake Arthur was ware of an arm
clothed in white samite, that held a fair sword in that hand.
Lo, said Merlin, yonder is that sword that I spake of. With that
they saw a damsel going upon the lake. What damsel is that?
said Arthur. That is the Lady of the lake, said Merlin; and within
that lake is a rock, and therein is as fair a place as any on earth,
and richly beseen, and this damsel will come to you anon, and then
speak ye fair to her that she will give you that sword. Anon
withal came the damsel unto Arthur and saluted him, and he her
again. Damsel, said Arthur, what sword is that, that yonder
the arm holdeth above the water? I would it were mine, for I have
no sword. Sir Arthur King, said the damsel, that sword is mine,
and if ye will give me a gift when I ask it you, ye shall have it.
By my faith, said Arthur, I will give you what gift ye will ask.
Well, said the damsel, go ye into yonder barge and row yourself
to the sword, and take it and the scabbard with you, and I will ask
my gift when I see my time. So Sir Arthur and Merlin alight, and
tied their horses to two trees, and so they went into the ship,
and when they came to the sword that the hand held, Sir Arthur
took it up by the handles, and took it with him. And the arm
and the hand went under the water; and so they came unto the land
and rode forth. And then Sir Arthur saw a rich pavilion. What
signifieth yonder pavilion? It is the knight's pavilion, said
Merlin, that ye fought with last, Sir Pellinore, but he is out,
he is not there; he hath ado with a knight of yours, that hight
Egglame, and they have fought together, but at the last Egglame
fled, and else he had been dead, and he hath chased him even
to Carlion, and we shall meet with him anon in the highway. That
is well said, said Arthur, now have I a sword, now will I wage
battle with him, and be avenged on him. Sir, ye shall not so,
said Merlin, for the knight is weary of fighting and chasing, so
that ye shall have no worship to have ado with him; also, he will
not lightly be matched of one knight living; and therefore it is my
counsel, let him pass, for he shall do you good service in short
time, and his sons, after his days. Also ye shall see that day
in short space ye shall be right glad to give him your sister
to wed. When I see him, I will do as ye advise me, said Arthur.
Then Sir Arthur looked on the sword, and liked it passing well.
Whether liketh you better, said Merlin, the sword or the scabbard?
Me liketh better the sword, said Arthur. Ye are more unwise,
said Merlin, for the scabbard is worth ten of the sword, for while
ye have the scabbard upon you ye shall never lose no blood, be ye
never so sore wounded; therefore, keep well the scabbard always
with you. So they rode into Carlion, and by the way they met with
Sir Pellinore; but Merlin had done such a craft that Pellinore saw
not Arthur, and he passed by without any words. I marvel, said
Arthur, that the knight would not speak. Sir, said Merlin, he saw
you not; for and he had seen you ye had not lightly departed. So
they came unto Carlion, whereof his knights were passing glad.
And when they heard of his adventures they marveled that he would
jeopard his person so alone. But all men of worship said it was
merry to be under such a chieftain that would put his person in
adventure as other poor knights did."