Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK III CHAPTER II

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CHAPTER II

How the Knights of the Round Table were ordained and
their sieges blessed by the Bishop of Canterbury.

WHEN King Arthur heard of the coming of Guenever and the hundred
knights with the Table Round, then King Arthur made great joy for
her coming, and that rich present, and said openly, This fair
lady is passing welcome unto me, for I have loved her long, and
therefore there is nothing so lief to me.  And these knights with
the Round Table please me more than right great riches.  And in
all <81>haste the king let ordain for the marriage and the
coronation in the most honourable wise that could be devised. 
Now, Merlin, said King Arthur, go thou and espy me in all this
land fifty knights which be of most prowess and worship.  Within
short time Merlin had found such knights that should fulfil
twenty and eight knights, but no more he could find.  Then the
Bishop of Canterbury was fetched, and he blessed the sieges with
great royalty and devotion, and there set the eight and twenty
knights in their sieges.  And when this was done Merlin said,
Fair sirs, ye must all arise and come to King Arthur for to do
him homage; he will have the better will to maintain you.  And so
they arose and did their homage, and when they were gone Merlin
found in every sieges letters of gold that told the knights'
names that had sitten therein.  But two sieges were void.  And so
anon came young Gawaine and asked the king a gift.  Ask, said the
king, and I shall grant it you.  Sir, I ask that ye will make me
knight that same day ye shall wed fair Guenever.  I will do it
with a good will, said King Arthur, and do unto you all the
worship that I may, for I must by reason ye are my nephew, my
sister's son.