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Everyman. Yet, I pray the, for the love of the Trynyte, Loke in my grave ones pyteously.

Dyscrecion. Nay, so nye wyll I not come! Fare well, everyehone.i 840 Everyman. O all thynge fayleth, save Goil alone,

Beaute, Strength, and Dyscrecyon;
For, whan Deth bloweth his blast,
They all renne fro me full fast.
Fyve-wyttes. Everyman, my leve now of
the I take;

I wyll folovve the other, for here I the forsake.

Everyman. Alas, than may I wayle and wepe,

For I toke you for my best frende.

Fyve-Wyttes. I wyll no lengcr the kepe; Now farewell, and there an ende. 850

Everyman. 0 Jesu, helpe! all hath forsaken


Good-dedes. Nay, Everyman, I wyll bydc with the, I wyll not forsake the in dede; Thou shalte fynde me a good frende at nede. Everyman. Gramercy, Good-dedes, now may I true frendes se; They have forsaken me everyehone, I loved them better than my Good-dedes alone. Kuowlege, wyll ye forsake me alsof Knowledge. Ye, Everyman, whan ye to deth shall go;

But not yet for no inaner of daunger. 860 Everyman. Gramercy, Knowledge, with all my herte.

Knowledge. Nay, yet T wyll not from hens'-' departe,

Tyll 1 se where ye shall be come.

Everyman. Me thynke, alas, that I must be gone

To make my rekenynge and my dettes paye;
For I se my tyme is nye spent awaye.—
Take example, all ye that this do here or se,
How they that I love best do forsake me,
Excepte my Good-dedes, that bydeth truely.
Good-dedes. All erthly thynges is but
vanyte, 870
Beaute, Strength, and Dyscrecyon, do man for-

Folysshe frendes, and kvnnesmen that fayre spake,

All fleeth save Good-dedes and that am T. Everyman. Have mercy on me, God moost myghty,—

And stande by me, thou moder & mayde, holy Mary.

l every one 2 hence

Good-dedes. Fere not, I wyll speke for the.

Everyman. Here I cryc, God mercy.

Good-dedes. Shorte8 our ende and myny.sshe1 our payne; Let us go and never come agayne.

Everyman. Into thy handes, Lorde, my soule I commende, 880 Receyve it, Lorde, that it be not lost! As thou me boughtest, so me defende, And save me from the fendes boosts, That I may appere with that blessyd hoost That shall be saved at the .ay of dome. In maims tuasa, of myghtes moost, For ever eommendo spiritum meum7.

Knowledge. Now hath he suffred that" we all shall endure, The Good-dedes shall make all sure. .Vow hath he made endynge, 890 Me thynketh that I here aungelles synge, And make grete joy and melody, Where every marines soule receyved shall be.

The Aungell. Come excellente electe spouse to Jesu! Here above thou shalt go, Byeause of thy synguler vertue. Now the soule is taken the body fro Thy rekenynge is crystall clere; Now shalte thou in to the hevenly spere, Unto the whiche all ye shall come 900 That lyveth well before the daye of dome.

Doctour.* This morall, men may have in mynde;

Ye herers, take it of worth, olde and yonge. And forsake Pryde, for he deceyveth you in the ende,

And remembre Beaute, Fyve-wyttes, Strength,

and Dyscrecyon, They all at the last do Everyman forsake, Save9 his Good-dedei there doth he take. But be ware, and10 they be small, Before God he hath no helpe at all. None excuse may be there for Everyman! 9io Alas! how shall he do than? For after dethe amendes may no man make, For than mercy and pyte doth hym forsake; If hiB rekenynge be not clere whan he doth


God wyll saye—Ite maledicti, in ignem aeternum'i.

And he that hath his aecounte hole and sounde Hye in heven he shall be crounde;

3 shorten 8 what

4 diminish « only

r> fiend's boast lofor If

« Into Thy hands n go, ye accursed. Into

7 1 commend my spirit everlasting fire •To the Doctour (I. e.. learned man. or teacher)

Is assigned the epilogue, which emphasizes the

moral of the piny.

Unto whiehe place God brynge us all thyder, That we may lyve body and soule togyder! Therto belpe the Trynyte! 920 Amen, saye ye, for saynt Charyte!


Thus endeth this morall playc of Everyman.

WILLIAM CAXTON (1422?-1491)



When I remember that every man is bounden by the commandment and counsel of the wise man to eschew sloth and idleness, which is mother and nourisher of vices, and ought to put myself unto virtuous occupation and business, then I, having no great change of occupation, following the said counsel took a French book, and read therein many strange and marvellous histories), wherein I had great pleasure and delight, as well for the novelty of the same, as for the fair language of the French, which was in prose so well and compendiously set and written, which methought I understood the sentence2 and substance of every matter. And for so much of this book was new and late made and drawn into French, and never had seen it in our English tongue, I thought in myself it should be a good business to translate it into our English, to the end that it might be had as well in the royaumes of England as in other lands, and also for to pass therewith the time, and thus concluded in myself to begin this said work. And forthwith took pen and ink, and began boldly to run forth as blind Bayardt in this present work, which is named "The Recuyell of the Trojan Histories.'' And afterward when I remembered myself of my simpleness and unperfectness that I had in both languages, that is to wit in French and in English, for in France was I never, and was born and learned my English in Kent, in the Weald, where I doubt not is spoken as broad and rude English as in any place of England; and have continued by the space of thirty years for the most part in the

1 stories

2 sense 3 realm

• "The collection of the stories of Troy." This book, printed at Kruges Id Flanders about 1474. was the first book printed In English. See En<). Lit., p. 68. The spoiling Is here modernized.

t A legendary horse In the Charlemagne romances. 'As bold ns Mind Hayard" was an old provi'rb for recklessness.

countries of Brabant, Flanders, Holland, and Zealand; and thus when all these things came before me, after that* I had made and written five or six quires, I fell in despair of this work, and purposed no more to have continued therein, and those laid apart, and in two years after labored no more in this work, and was fully in will to have left it, till on a time it fortuned that the right high, excellent, and right virtuous princess, my right redoubted Lady, my Lady Margaret, by the grace of God sister unto the King of England and of France, my sovereign lord, Duchess of Burgundy, of Lotryk, of Brabant, of Limburg, and of Luxembourg, Countess of Flanders, of Artois, and of Burgundy, Palatine of Hainault, of Holland, of Zealand, and of Namur, Marquesse of the Holy Empire, Lady of Frisia, of Salins, and of Mechlin, sent for me to speak with her good Grace of divers matters, among the which I let her Highness have knowledge of the foresaid beginning of this work, which5 anon commanded me to show the said five or six quires to her said Grace; and when she had seen them, anon she found a default in my English, which she commanded me to amend, and moreover commanded me straitly8 to continue and make an end of the residue then not translated; whose dreadful' commandment I durst in no wise disobey, because I am a servant unto her said Grace and receive of her yearly fee and other many good and great benefits, (and also hope many more to receive of her Highness), but forthwith went and labored in the said translation after my simple and poor cunning, also8 nigh as I can follow my author, meekly beseeching the bounteous Highness of my said Lady that of her benevolence list* to accept and take in gree10 this simple and rude work here following; and if there be anything written or said to her pleasure, I shall think my labor well employed, and whereasn there is default, that she arettei2 it to the simpleness of my cunning, which is full small in this behalf; and require and pray all them that shall read this said work to correct it, and to hold me excused of the rude and simple translation.

And thus I end my prologue.

Epilogue To Book III.

Thus end I this book, which I have translated after mine Author as nigh as God hath

« after 9 she please

s who 10 graciously

« strictly li whore

7 revered is may she attribute

»Just as

given me cunning, to. whom be given the laud and praising. And for as much us in the writing of the same my pen is worn, my hand weary and not steadfast, mine eyne dimmed with overmuch looking on the white paper, and my courage not so prone and ready to labor us it hath been, and that age creepeth on me daily and feebleth all the body, and also because I have promised to divers gentlemen and to my friends to address^ to them as hastily as I might this suid book, therefore I have practised and learned at my great charge and dispense to ordain1* this said book in print, after the manner and form as ye may here Bee, and is not written with pen and ink as other books be; to the end that every man may have them at once. For all the books of this story, named "The Becule of the Histories of Troy" thus imprinted as ye here see, were begun in one day and also finished in one day, which book I have presented to my said redoubted Lady, as afore is said. And she hath well accepted it, and largely rewarded me, wherefore I beseech Almighty God to reward her everlasting bliss after this life, praying her said Grace and all them that shall read this book not to disdain the simple and rude work, neither to reply against the saying of the matters touched in this book, though it accord not unto the translation of others which have written it. For divers men have made divers books which in all points accord not, as Dictes, Dares," s and Homer. For Dictes and Homer, as Greeks, say and write favorably for the Greeks, and give them more worship than to the Trojans; and Dares writeth otherwise than they do. And also as for the proper names, it iB no wonder that they accord not, for some one name in these days have divers equivocations after the countries that they dwell in; but all accord in conclusion the general destruction of that noble city of Troy, and the death of so many noble princes, as kings, dukes, earls, barons, knights, and common people, and the ruin irreparable of that city that never since was re-edified; which may be example to all men during the world how dreadful and jeopardous it is to begin a war, and what harms, losses, and death followeth. Therefore the Apostle saith: "All that is written is written to our doctrine10," which doctrine for the common weal I beseech God may be taken in such place and time as shall

;a send

M prepare which, though popis licpiitcd authors of ulnr In the Middle Trojan tales which Ages, have sunk are found only In Into obscurity, late Latin, a n il 10 for our Instruction

be most needful in increasing of peace, love, and charity; which grant us He that suffered for the same to be crucified on the rood tree. And say we all Amen for charity!



How Arthur Was Chosen Kino. Book I. Chapters 1V-VII

And then King Uther fell passing1 sore sick, so that three days and three nights he was speechless: wherefore all the barons made great sorrow, and asked Merlin* what counsel were best. There is none other remedy, said Merlin, but God will have his will. But look ye all barons be before King Uther to-morn, and God and I shall make him to speak. So on the morn all the barons with Merlin came hefore the king; then Merlin said aloud unto King Uther, Sir, shall your son Arthur be king after your days, of this realm with all the appurtenancet Then Uther Pendragon turned him, and said in hearing of them all, I give but God will have his will. But look ye all barons be before King Uther to-morn, and that he claim the crown upon forfeiture of my blessing; and therewith he yielded up the ghost, and then was he interred as longed to a kinsj. Wherefore the queen, fair Igraine, made great sorrow, and all the barons.

Then stood the realm in great jeopardy long while, for every lord that was mighty of men made him strong, and many weened to have been king. Then Merlin went to the Arch bishop of Canterbury, and counselled him for to send for all the lords of the realm, and all the gentlemen of arms, that they should to London come by Christmas, upon pain of curs ing; and for this cause, that Jesus, that was born on that night, that he would of his great mercy show some miracle, as he was come to be

1 exceeding (surpassing)

2 A magician. Arthur's adviser.

* Of the hundred hooks printed by Cnxton. this was In every way one of the most Important ■—In size, In Intrinsic literary value, and in the Influence It was destined to have upon succeeding literature. Its author compiled It out of the enormous amouut of material which had grown up in Western Europe about the legends of King Arthur and of the Holy Orall, drawing mainly from French sources, but bringing to It original constructive and Imaginative elements and In particular an admirable narrative style. See Eng. Lit., p. (18. The spelling of our text, as In all the succeeding prose of (his volume. Is ninilcrnlsu-d.

king of mankind, for to show some miracle who should be rightwise king of this realm. Bo the Archbishop, by the advice of Merlin, sent for all the lords and gentlemen of arms that they should come by Christmas even unto London. And many of them made them clean of their life3, that their prayer might be the more acceptable unto God.

So in the greatest church of London, whether it were Paul's* or not the French book maketh no mention, all the estates* were long or» day in the church for to pray. And when matins and the first mass was done, there was seen in the churchyard, against the high altar, a great stone lour square, like unto a marble stone, and in midst thereof was like an* anvil of steel a foot on high, and therein stuck a fair sword, naked, by the point, and letters there were written in gold about the sword that said thus: —Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born of all England. Then the people marvelled, and told it to the Archbishop. I command, said the Archbishop, that ye keep you within your church, and pray unto God still; that no man touch the sword till the high mass be all done. So when all masses were done all the lords went to behold the stone and the sword. And when they saw the scripture, some assayed7; such as would have been king. But none might stir the sword nor move it. He is not here, said the Archbishop, that shall achieve8 the sword, but doubt not God will make him known. But this is my counsel, said the Archbishop, that we let purvey" ten knights, men of good fame, and they to keep this sword. So it was ordained, and then there was made a cry, that every man should assay that would, for to win the sword.

And upon New Year's Day the barons let make a jousts"1 and a tournament, that all knights that would joust or tourney there might play, and all this was ordained for to keep the lords together and the commons, for the Archbishop trusted that God would make him

3 were shriven of their 7 tried sins 8 attain

« The three estates, cler- » cause to be provided gy. lords, and com- 10 tiltlng-mateli (usually niong. single combat, as

5 before distinct from a tour

« a kind of ney or tournament).

* The present site of St. raid's has been occupied by various churches; there is even a tradition that before the introduction of Christianity a temple of Diana stood on the spot. King Ethelbert erected a cathedral there In 607 and dedicated It to St. l'aul. It was burned in 10S6. Then was built the old St. Paul's which Malory knew, and which lasted until the great file of 1666, to be followed by the present structure designed by Sir Christopher wren.

known that should win the sword. So upon New Year'8 Bay, when the service was done, the barons rode unto the field, some to joust and some to tourney, and so it happened that Sir Ector, that had great livelihood about London, rode unto the jousts, and with him rode Sir Kay his son, and young Arthur that was his nourished" brother; and Sir Kay wasiz made knight at All Hallowmass afore.

So as they rode to the jousts-ward, Sir Kay lost his sword, for he had left it at his father's lodging, and so he prayed young Arthur for to ride for his sword. I will well, said Arthur, and rode fast after the sword, and when he came home, the lady and all were out to see the jousting. Then was Arthur wroth, and said to himself, I will ride to the churchyard, and take the sword with me that sticketh in the stone, for my brother Sir Kay shall not be without a sword this day. So when he came to the churchyard, Sir Arthur alit and tied his horse to the stile, and so he went to the tent, and found no knights there, for they were at the jousting; and so he handled the sword by the bandies, and lightly and fiercely pulled it out of the stone, and took his horse and rode his way until he came to his brother Sir Kay, and delivered him the sword.

And as soon as Sir Kay saw the sword, he wistia well it was the sword of the stone, and so he rode to his father Sir Ector, and said: Sir, lo here is the sword of the stone, wherefore I must be king of this land. When Sir Ector beheld the sword, he returned again and came to the church, and there they alit all three, and went into the church. And anon he made Sir Kay to swear upon a book how he came to that sword. Sir, said Sir Kay, by my brother Arthur, for he brought it to me. How gat ye this sword? said Sir Ector to Arthur. Sir, I will tell you. When I came home for my brother's sword, I found nobody at home to deliver me his sword, and so I thought my brother Sir Kay should not be swordless, and so I came hither eagerly and pulled it out of the stone without any pain. Found ye any knights about this sword! said Sir Ector. Nay, said Arthur. Now, said Sir Ector to Arthur, I understand ye must be king of this land. Wherefore I, said Arthur, and for what cause? Sir, said Ector, for God will have it so, for there should" never man have drawn out this sword, but he that shall be rightwise king of this land. Now let me see whether yo can put the sword there as it was, and pull it out again.

n foster 13 knew

12 had been "could (was fated)

That is no masteryi5, said Arthur, anil so he put it in the stone, wherewithal Sir Ector assayed to pull out the sword and failed. Now assay, said Sir Ector unto Sir Kay. And anon he pulled at the sword with all his might, but it would not be.

Now shall ye assay, said Sir Ector to Arthur. I will well, said Arthur, and pulled it out easily. And therewithal Sir Ector knelt down to the earth, and Sir Kay. Alas, said Arthur, my own dear father and brother, why kneel ye to met Nay, nay, my lord Arthur, it is not so; I was never your father nor of your blood, but I wot well ye are of an higher blood than I weened ye were. And then Sir Ector told him all, how he was betaken"" him for to nourish him, and by whose commandment, and by Merlin 's deliverance. Then Arthur made great dole when he understood that Sir Ector was not his father. Sir, said Ector unto Arthur, will ye be my good and gracious lord when ye are kingf Else were I to blame, said Arthur, for ye are the man in the world that I am most beholden to, and my good lady and mother your wife, that as well as her own hath fostered me and kept. And if ever it be God's will that 1 be king as ye say, ye shall desire of me what I may do, and I shall not fail you, God forbid I should fail you. Sir, said Sir Ector, I will ask no more of you, but that ye will make my son, your foster brother, Sir Kay, seneschal of all your lands. That shall be done, said Arthur, and more, by the faith of my body, that never man shall have that office but he, while he and I live.

Therewithal they went unto the Archbishop, and told him how the sword was achieved, anil by whom; and on Twelfth-day17 all the barons came thither, and to assay to take the sword, who that would assay. But there afore them all, there might none take it out but Arthur; wherefore there were many lords wroth, and said it was a great shame unto them all and the realm, to be overgoverned with a boy of no high blood born, and so they fell out's at that time that it was put off till Candlemas'', and then all the barons should meet there again; but always the ten knights were ordained to watch the sword day and night, and so they set a pavilion over the stone and the sword, and five always watched.

So at Candlemas many more great lords came thither for to have won the sword, but there might none prevail. And right as Arthur did

J5 feat day after Christ

i« entrusted to mas.

n The festival of tile is were so dissatisfied

Epiphany, twelfth io l"eb. 2.

at Christmas, he did at Candlemas, and pulled out the sword easily, whereof the barons were sore aggrieved and put it off in delay till the high feast of Easter. And as Arthur sped20 before, so did he at Easter, yet there were some of the great lords had indignation that Arthur should be king, and put it off in a delay till the feast of Pentecost. Then the Archbishop of Canterbury by Merlin's providence2" let purvey then of the best knights that they might get, and such knights as Uther Pendragon loved best and most trusted in his days. And such knights were put about Arthur as Sir Baudwin of Britain, Sir Kay, Sir Ulfius, Sir Brastias. All these with many other were always about Arthur, day and night, till the feast of Pentecost.

And at the feast of Pentecost all manner of men assayed to pull at the sword that would assay, but none might prevail but Arthur, and pulled it out afore all the lords and commons that were there, wherefore all the commons cried at once, We will have Arthur unto our king, we will put him no more in delay, for we all see that it is God's will that he shall be our king, and who that22 holdeth against it, we will slay him. And therewith all they kneeled at once, both rich and poor, and cried Arthur mercy because they had delayed him so long, and Arthur forgave them, and took the sword between both his hands, and offered it upon the altar, where the Archbishop was, and so was he made knight of23 the best man that was there. And so anon was the coronation made. And there was he sworn unto his lords and the commons for to be a true king, to stand with true justice from thenceforth the days of this life.

How Arthur By The Mean Of Merlin Gat Excalibur His Sword Of The Lady Of The Lake. Book I, Chapter XXV.

Right so the king and he departed, and went unto an hermit that was a good man and a great leecli2^. So the hermit searched all his wounds and gave him good salves; so the king was there three days, and then were his wounds well amended that he might ride and go25, and so departed. And as they rode, Arthur said, 1 have no sword. No force2*, sail! Merlin, hereby is a sword that shall be yours, an I may27. So they rode till they came to a lake, the which was a fair water and broad.

20 succeeded -* physician

•i prudence 25 walk

22 whoever 2« no matter

23 by (viz., the Arch- 27 if ] have power


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