Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK I CHAPTER III

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 Of the birth of King Arthur and of his nurture.
 THEN Queen Igraine waxed daily greater and greater, so
 it befell after within half a year, as King Uther lay by his
 queen, he asked her, by the faith she owed to him, whose was
 <5 CH. III  OF THE BIRTH OF KING ARTHUR>the child within her
 body; then she sore abashed to give answer.  Dismay you not, said
 the king, but tell me the truth, and I shall love you the better,
 by the faith of my body.  Sir, said she, I shall tell you the
 truth.  The same night that my lord was dead, the hour of his
 death, as his knights record, there came into my castle of
 Tintagil a man like my lord in speech and in countenance, and two
 knights with him in likeness of his two knights Brastias and
 Jordanus, and so I went unto bed with him as I ought to do with
 my lord, and the same night, as I shall answer unto God, this
 child was begotten upon me.  That is truth, said the king, as ye
 say; for it was I myself that came in the likeness, and therefore
 dismay you not, for I am father of the child; and there he told
 her all the cause, how it was by Merlin's counsel.  Then the
 queen made great joy when she knew who was the father of her
 Soon came Merlin unto the king, and said, Sir, ye must purvey you
 for the nourishing of your child.  As thou wilt, said the king,
 be it.  Well, said Merlin, I know a lord of yours in this land,
 that is a passing true man and a faithful, and he shall have the
 nourishing of your child, and his name is Sir Ector, and he is a
 lord of fair livelihood in many parts in England and Wales; and
 this lord, Sir Ector, let him be sent for, for to come and speak
 with you, and desire him yourself, as he loveth you, that he will
 put his own child to nourishing to another woman, and that his
 wife nourish yours.  And when the child is born let it be
 delivered to me at yonder privy postern unchristened.  So like as
 Merlin devised it was done.  And when Sir Ector was come he made
 fiaunce to the king for to nourish the child like as the king
 desired; and there the king granted Sir Ector great rewards. 
 Then when the lady was delivered, the king commanded two knights
 and two ladies to take the child, bound in a cloth of gold, and
 that ye deliver him to what poor man ye meet at the postern gate
 of the castle.  So the child was delivered unto Merlin, and so he
 bare it forth unto Sir Ector, and made an holy man to christen
 him, and named him Arthur; and so Sir Ector's wife nourished him
 with her own pap.