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قراءة كتاب King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
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King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
and the Knights of the Round Table
EDITED BY RUPERT S. HOLLAND
GROSSET & DUNLAP
Publishers NEW YORK
Copyright, 1919, by
George W. Jacobs & Company
Printed in the United States of America
"This girdle, lords," said she, "is made for the most part of mine own hair, which, while I was yet in the world, I loved full well."
THE COMING OF ARTHUR AND THE FOUNDING OF THE ROUND TABLE
I. Merlin Foretells the Birth of Arthur
II. The Crowning of Arthur and the Sword Excalibur
III. Arthur Drives the Saxons from His Realm
IV. The King's Many and Great Adventures
V. Sir Balin Fights with His Brother, Sir Balan
VI. The Marriage of Arthur and Guinevere and the Founding of the Round Table
VII. The Adventure of Arthur and Sir Accolon of Gaul
VIII. Arthur is Crowned Emperor at Rome
IX. Sir Gawain and the Maid with the Narrow Sleeves
THE CHAMPIONS OF THE ROUND TABLE
X. The Adventures of Sir Lancelot
XI. The Adventures of Sir Beaumains or Sir Gareth
XII. The Adventures of Sir Tristram
SIR GALAHAD AND THE QUEST OF THE HOLY GRAIL
XIII. The Knights Go to Seek the Grail
THE PASSING OF ARTHUR
XIV. Sir Lancelot and the Fair Elaine
XV. The War Between Arthur and Lancelot and the Passing of Arthur
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table! What magic is in the words! How they carry us straight to the days of chivalry, to the witchcraft of Merlin, to the wonderful deeds of Lancelot and Perceval and Galahad, to the Quest for the Holy Grail, to all that "glorious company, the flower of men," as Tennyson has called the king and his companions! Down through the ages the stories have come to us, one of the few great romances which, like the tales of Homer, are as fresh and vivid to-day as when men first recited them in court and camp and cottage. Other great kings and paladins are lost in the dim shadows of long-past centuries, but Arthur still reigns in Camelot and his knights still ride forth to seek the Grail.
Long past to us with all their hopes and fears."
So wrote the poet William Morris in The Earthly Paradise. And surely it is no small debt of gratitude we owe the troubadours and chroniclers and poets who through many centuries have sung of Arthur and his champions, each adding to the song the gifts of his own imagination, so building from simple folk-tales one of the most magnificent and moving stories in all literature.
This debt perhaps we owe in greatest measure to three men; to Chrétien de Troies, a Frenchman, who in the twelfth century put many of the old Arthurian legends into verse; to Sir Thomas Malory, who first wrote out most of the stories in English prose, and whose book, the Morte Darthur, was printed by William Caxton, the first English printer, in 1485; and to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who in his series of poems entitled the Idylls of the King retold the legends in new and beautiful guise in the nineteenth century.
The history of Arthur is so shrouded in the mists of early England that it is difficult to tell exactly who and what he was. There probably was an actual Arthur, who lived in the island of Britain in the sixth century, but probably he was not a king nor even a prince. It seems most likely that he was a chieftain who led his countrymen to victory against the invading English about the year 500. So proud were his countrymen of his victories that they began to invent imaginary stories of his prowess to add to the fame of their hero, just as among all peoples legends soon spring up about the name of a great leader. As each man told the feats of Arthur he contributed those details that appealed most to his own fancy and each was apt to think of the hero as a man of his own time, dressing and speaking and living as his own kings and princes did, with the