They called him unfit to rule, a lowborn, callow boy, Uther's bastard.
But his coming bad been foretold in the songs of the bard Taliesin. And be had learned powerful secrets at the knee of the mystical sage Merlin. He was Arthur -- Pendragon of the Island of the Mighty -- who would rise to legendary greatness in a Britain torn by violence, greed, and war; who would usher in a glorious reign of peace and prosperity; and who would fall in a desperate attempt to save the one be loved more than life.
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June 01, 1990
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Excerpt from Arthur by Stephen R. Lawhead
Arthur is no fit king. Uther's bastard, Merlin's pet, he is lowborn and a fool. He is wanton and petty and cruel.
A glutton and a drunkard, he lacks all civilized graces. In short, he is a sullen, ignorant brute.
All these things and more men say of Arthur. Let them.
When all the words are spoken and the arguments fall exhausted into silence, this single fact remains: we would follow Arthur to the very gates of Hell and beyond if he asked it. And that is the solitary truth.
Show me another who can claim such loyalty.
"Cymbrogi," he calls us: companions of the heart, fellow-countrymen.
Cymbrogi! We are his strong arm, his shield and spear, his blade and helm. We are the blood in his veins, the hard sinew of his flesh, the bone beneath the skin. We are the breath in his lungs, the clear light in his eyes, and the song rising to his lips. We are the meat and drink at his board.
Cymbrogi! We are earth and sky to him. And Arthur is all these things to us -- and more.
Ponder this. Think long on it. Only then, perhaps, will you begin to understand the tale I shall tell you.
How not Who, besides the Emrys himself, knows as much as I Though I am no bard, I am worthy. For I know Arthur as few others do; we are much alike, after all. We are both sons of uncertain birth, both princes unacknowledged by our fathers, both forced to live our lives apart from clan and kin.
My father was Belyn, Lord of Llyonesse. My mother was a serving woman in the king's house. I learned early that I would receive nothing from my father's hand and must make my own way in the world.