Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK III CHAPTER I

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How King Arthur took a wife, and wedded Guenever,
daughter to Leodegrance, King of the Land of Cameliard,
with whom he had the Round Table.

IN the beginning of Arthur, after he was chosen king by adventure
and by grace; for the most part of the barons knew not that he
was Uther Pendragon's son, but as Merlin made it openly known. 
But yet many kings and lords held great war against him for that
cause, but well Arthur overcame them all, for the most part the
days of his life he was ruled much by the counsel of Merlin.  So
it fell on a time King Arthur said unto Merlin, My barons will
let me have no rest, but needs I must take a wife, and I will
none take but by thy counsel and by thine advice.  It is well
done, said Merlin, that ye take a wife, for a man of your bounty
and noblesse should not be without a wife.  Now is there any that
ye love more than another?  Yea, said King Arthur, I love
Guenever the king's daughter, Leodegrance of the land of
Cameliard, the which holdeth in his house the Table Round that ye
told he had of my father Uther.  And this damosel is the most
valiant and fairest lady that I know living, or yet that ever I
could find.  Sir, said Merlin, as of her beauty and fairness she
is one of the fairest alive, but, an ye loved her not so well as
ye do, I should find you a damosel of beauty and of goodness that
should like you and please you, an your heart were not set; but
there as a man's heart is set, he <80>will be loath to return. 
That is truth, said King Arthur.  But Merlin warned the king
covertly that Guenever was not wholesome for him to take to wife,
for he warned him that Launcelot should love her, and she him
again; and so he turned his tale to the adventures of Sangreal.

Then Merlin desired of the king for to have men with him that
should enquire of Guenever, and so the king granted him, and
Merlin went forth unto King Leodegrance of Cameliard, and told
him of the desires of the king that he would have unto his wife
Guenever his daughter.  That is to me, said King Leodegrance, the
best tidings that ever I heard, that so worthy a king of prowess
and noblesse will wed my daughter.  And as for my lands, I will
give him, wist I it might please him, but he hath lands enow, him
needeth none; but I shall send him a gift shall please him much
more, for I shall give him the Table Round, the which Uther
Pendragon gave me, and when it is full complete, there is an
hundred knights and fifty.  And as for an hundred good knights I
have myself, but I faute fifty, for so many have been slain in my
days.  And so Leodegrance delivered his daughter Guenever unto
Merlin, and the Table Round with the hundred knights, and so they
rode freshly, with great royalty, what by water and what by land,
till that they came nigh unto London.