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How Solomon took David's sword by the counsel of his
wife, and of other matters marvellous.

NOW have I certified thee of that thou stoodest in doubt.
Then was Solomon glad that there should come any such
of his lineage; but ever he marvelled and studied who
that should be, and what his name might be.  His wife
perceived that he studied, and thought she would know it
at some season; and so she waited her time, and asked of
him the cause of his studying, and there he told her altogether
how the voice told him.  Well, said she, I shall let
make a ship of the best wood and most durable that men
may find.  So Solomon sent for all the carpenters of the
land, and the best.  And when they had made the ship
the lady said to Solomon:  Sir, said she, since it is so that
this knight ought to pass all knights of chivalry which
have been to-fore him and shall come after him, moreover
I shall tell you, said she, ye shall go into Our Lord's
temple, where is King David's sword, your father, the
which is the marvelloust and the sharpest that ever was
taken in any knight's hand.  Therefore take that, and
take off the pommel, and thereto make ye a pommel of
precious stones, that it be so subtly made that no man
perceive it but that they be all one; and after make there
an hilt so marvellously and wonderly that no man may
know it; and after make a marvellous sheath.  And when
ye have made all this I shall let make a girdle thereto, such
as shall please me.

All this King Solomon did let make as she devised,
both the ship and all the remnant.  And when the ship
was ready in the sea to sail, the lady let make a great bed
and marvellous rich, and set her upon the bed's head,
covered with silk, and laid the sword at the feet, and the
girdles were of hemp, and therewith the king was angry.
Sir, wit ye well, said she, that I have none so high a thing
which were worthy to sustain so high a sword, and a maid
shall bring other knights thereto, but I wot not when it
shall be, nor what time.  And there she let make a covering
to the ship, of cloth of silk that should never rot for
no manner of weather.  Yet went that lady and made a
carpenter to come to the tree which Abel was slain under.
Now, said she, carve me out of this tree as much wood as
will make me a spindle.  Ah madam, said he, this is the
tree the which our first mother planted.  Do it, said she,
or else I shall destroy thee.  Anon as he began to work
there came out drops of blood; and then would he have
left, but she would not suffer him, and so he took away
as much wood as might make a spindle: and so she made
him to take as much of the green tree and of the white
tree.  And when these three spindles were shapen she made
them to be fastened upon the selar of the bed.  When
Solomon saw this, he said to his wife:  Ye have done
marvellously, for though all the world were here right
now, he could not devise wherefore all this was made, but
Our Lord Himself; and thou that hast done it wottest
not what it shall betoken.  Now let it be, said she, for ye
shall hear tidings sooner than ye ween.  Now shall ye hear
a wonderful tale of King Solomon and his wife.