Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK IV CHAPTER X

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How King Arthur's sword that he fought with brake, and
how he recovered of Accolon his own sword Excalibur,
and overcame his enemy.

THEN Sir Accolon began with words of treason, and said, Knight,
thou art overcome, and mayst not endure, and <117>also thou art
weaponless, and thou hast lost much of thy blood, and I am full
loath to slay thee, therefore yield thee to me as recreant.  Nay,
said Sir Arthur, I may not so, for I have promised to do the
battle to the uttermost by the faith of my body, while me lasteth
the life, and therefore I had liefer to die with honour than to
live with shame; and if it were possible for me to die an hundred
times, I had liefer to die so oft than yield me to thee; for
though I lack weapon, I shall lack no worship, and if thou slay
me weaponless that shall be thy shame.  Well, said Accolon, as
for the shame I will not spare, now keep thee from me, for thou
art but a dead man.  And therewith Accolon gave him such a stroke
that he fell nigh to the earth, and would have had Arthur to have
cried him mercy.  But Sir Arthur pressed unto Accolon with his
shield, and gave him with the pommel in his hand such a buffet
that he went three strides aback.

When the Damosel of the Lake beheld Arthur, how full of prowess
his body was, and the false treason that was wrought for him to
have had him slain, she had great pity that so good a knight and
such a man of worship should so be destroyed.  And at the next
stroke Sir Accolon struck him such a stroke that by the damosel's
enchantment the sword Excalibur fell out of Accolon's hand to the
earth.  And therewithal Sir Arthur lightly leapt to it, and gat
it in his hand, and forthwithal he knew that it was his sword
Excalibur, and said, Thou hast been from me all too long, and
much damage hast thou done me; and therewith he espied the
scabbard hanging by his side, and suddenly he sterte to him and
pulled the scabbard from him, and threw it from him as far as he
might throw it.  O knight, said Arthur, this day hast thou done
me great damage with this sword; now are ye come unto your death,
for I shall not warrant you but ye shall as well be rewarded with
this sword, or ever we depart, as thou hast rewarded me; for much
pain have ye made me to endure, and much blood have I lost.  And
therewith Sir Arthur rushed on him with all his might and pulled
him to the earth, and then rushed off <118>his helm, and gave him
such a buffet on the head that the blood came out at his ears,
his nose, and his mouth.  Now will I slay thee, said Arthur. 
Slay me ye may well, said Accolon, an it please you, for ye are
the best knight that ever I found, and I see well that God is
with you.  But for I promised to do this battle, said Accolon, to
the uttermost, and never to be recreant while I lived, therefore
shall I never yield me with my mouth, but God do with my body
what he will.  Then Sir Arthur remembered him, and thought he
should have seen this knight.  Now tell me, said Arthur, or I
will slay thee, of what country art thou, and of what court?  Sir
Knight, said Sir Accolon, I am of the court of King Arthur, and
my name is Accolon of Gaul.  Then was Arthur more dismayed than
he was beforehand; for then he remembered him of his sister
Morgan le Fay, and of the enchantment of the ship.  O sir knight,
said he, I pray you tell me who gave you this sword, and by whom
ye had it.