فصل 03

مجموعه: کتاب های خیلی ساده / کتاب: له مورته د آرتور / فصل 3

کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 03

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CHAPTER THREE

The first years of Arthur’s reign were very difficult ones. There were many kings who did not want England to be a united country. They fought bitterly against Arthur. Slowly, however, Arthur’s power increased. People began to see that he was a good king.

There were always many visitors to Arthur’s court because people were keen to meet the young king. One day he received a visit from a queen, Morgan le Fay. She was a beautiful woman and Arthur fell in love with her. She, too, fell in love with him. Arthur was sad when Morgan le Fay’s visit came to an end.

One day he was sitting by himself when Merlin approached. Merlin was disguised as a small boy.

‘Why are you sad?’ the boy asked.

‘I have reasons for being sad,’ the king replied.

‘I know your reasons,’ the boy said sharply. ‘I know all your thoughts. I also know that you are the son of Igraine and Uther Pendragon.’

Arthur looked at the boy in surprise.

‘You’re wrong,’ he told him. ‘What makes you think that?’

‘I told you,’ the boy replied. ‘I know more about you than anyone else.’

‘I don’t believe you,’ Arthur said angrily.

Merlin walked away from Arthur and came back a little while later disguised as an old man.

‘Why are you sad?’ the old man asked the king.

‘I have many reasons for being sad,’ Arthur replied, ‘and a boy has just been here telling me very strange things.’

‘The boy told you the truth,’ the old man said.

Arthur looked at the old man in surprise.

‘Yes, I know what the boy said,’ the old man told him, ‘and it’s all true. You’re the son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine and God is displeased with you, Arthur,’ he went on.

Arthur was now very angry with the old man.

‘Who are you? What are you trying to tell me?’ he cried in rage.

‘I am Merlin,’ the old man said quietly.

Suddenly he resumed his own shape so that Arthur recognised him.

‘It’s really you!’

‘You fell in love with Morgan le Fay,’ Merlin told him. ‘She is Igraine’s daughter. You have given your own sister a child! That child, who will be called Mordred, will destroy you and all your knights.’

Arthur found it hard to believe what Merlin had told him. He sent for Sir Ulfius to find out the truth about his birth. Sir Ulfius confirmed what Merlin had said. Arthur still did not believe the story rage and sent for Igraine, who came to the palace with her daughter, Morgan le Fay.

‘I do not know the truth,’ Igraine explained. ‘I know I had a son and that Merlin took him away as soon as he was born. But I don’t know what happened to him or where he is now.’

‘Your son is here,’ said Merlin to Igraine, pointing at Arthur. ‘This is your son.’

The news that Arthur was Uther Pendragon’s son spread throughout England. The knights now accepted Arthur as the legitimate king and there was peace in England.

Arthur lost his sword one day and Merlin promised him a new one. The magician took the young king to a lake and asked him what he could see. Arthur looked and he saw an arm holding a sword coming out of the lake.

‘This will be your new sword,’ Merlin said. He told Arthur that the name of the sword was Excalibur, which means very sharp.

One day Arthur told Merlin that his knights wanted him to marry.

‘It’s a good idea,’ Merlin said cautiously. ‘Have you thought of who you might marry?’

‘Yes,’ replied the king. ‘I want to marry Guinevere, King Leodegrance’s daughter. You remember him, don’t you Merlin? You told me how Uther Pendragon gave him the Round Table.’

‘Yes,’ said Merlin, ‘I know who he is and I remember when your father gave him the Round Table. But if you marry Guinevere -‘

Merlin fell silent.

‘What is it?’ Arthur asked eagerly. ‘What will happen if I marry Guinevere?’

Merlin replied reluctantly, ‘She will betray you.’

Neither man spoke for a moment. Then Arthur made up his mind.

‘I’ll marry her all the same,’ he announced. ‘I love her.’

King Leodegrance was delighted when he learned that Arthur wanted to marry Guinevere. He began to think what he could give the couple as a wedding present. ‘I’ll give Arthur the Round Table that Uther Pendragon gave me!’ he decided. ‘It holds one hundred and fifty knights when it is full. I’ll send him a hundred knights as well.’

King Leodegrance sent the Round Table and a hundred knights to Arthur’s court. Arthur was very pleased at the magnificent gift and he had a sudden idea.

‘Go and find me another fifty knights,’ he instructed Merlin. ‘I want the best knights in the kingdom for the Round Table.’

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