Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK I CHAPTER XXIV
Legends and Sagas
How Merlin saved Arthur's life, and threw an enchantment
on King Pellinore and made him to sleep.
THEREWITHAL came Merlin and said, Knight, hold thy hand, for an
thou slay that knight thou puttest this realm <44>in the greatest
damage that ever was realm: for this knight is a man of more
worship than thou wotest of. Why, who is he? said the knight.
It is King Arthur. Then would he have slain him for dread of his
wrath, and heaved up his sword, and therewith Merlin cast an
enchantment to the knight, that he fell to the earth in a great
sleep. Then Merlin took up King Arthur, and rode forth on the
knight's horse. Alas! said Arthur, what hast thou done, Merlin?
hast thou slain this good knight by thy crafts? There liveth not
so worshipful a knight as he was; I had liefer than the stint of
my land a year that he were alive. Care ye not, said Merlin, for
he is wholer than ye; for he is but asleep, and will awake within
three hours. I told you, said Merlin, what a knight he was; here
had ye been slain had I not been. Also there liveth not a bigger
knight than he is one, and he shall hereafter do you right good
service; and his name is Pellinore, and he shall have two sons
that shall be passing good men; save one they shall have no
fellow of prowess and of good living, and their names shall be
Percivale of Wales and Lamerake of Wales, and he shall tell you
the name of your own son, begotten of your sister, that shall be
the destruction of all this realm.