I pray you all, gentlemen and gentlewomen that readeth this book of Arthur and his knights, from the beginning to the ending, pray for me while I am on live that God send me good deliverance, and when I am dead I pray you all pray for my soul. For this book was ended the ninth year of King Edward the Fourth, by Sir Thomas Maleore Knight, as Jesu help him for his great might, as he is the servant of Jesu both day and night.
Which book was reduced into English by Sir Thomas Malory, knight, as afore is said, and by me divided into twenty-one books, chaptered and imprinted, and finished in the Abbey Westminster the last day of July the year of Our Lord MCCCCLXXXV.
Caxton me fieri fecit.1
SO, out of the very heart of England, the great book springs. Arthurian legend had started from the British Isles in the early dawn of the Middle Ages; it returned to the British Isles when the mediaeval sun was setting, and the afterglow of the mediaeval day lingers in____________________