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Sunday, November 10, 2019

1300 percent and running out of verbs

This is the sort of story that was published in the 1918 edition, systematically excised from the later editions, and is being brought back in the 2020 edition of the Junior Classics. Because a people who lose their stories soon lose their selves and become a demoralized people who lose their nation.

THE STORY OF KING ARTHUR

This great treasure-house of stories is to the English race what the stories of Ulysses and Aeneas were to the Greeks and Latins, a national inheritance of which they should be, and are, proud.

The high nobility, dauntless courage and gentle humility of Arthur and his knights have had a great effect in moulding the character of English peoples, since none of us can help trying to imitate what he admires and loves most.

As a series of pictures of life in the Middle Ages the stories are of the greatest value. The geography is confused, as it is in the Iliad and the Odyssey, and facts are sometimes mixed up with magic, but modern critics believe there was a real Arthur, who lived about the year 500 A.D.

OF ARTHUR'S BIRTH AND HOW HE BECAME KING

Long years ago, there ruled over Britain a king called Uther Pendragon. A mighty prince was he, and feared by all men; yet when he sought the love of the fair Igraine of Cornwall, she would have naught to do with him, so that, from grief and disappointment, Uther fell sick, and at last seemed like to die.

Now in those days, there lived a famous magician named Merlin, so powerful that he could change his form at will, or even make himself invisible; nor was there any place so remote that he could not reach it at once, merely by wishing himself there. One day, suddenly he stood at Uther's bedside, and said: "Sir king, I know thy grief, and am ready to help thee. Only promise to give me, at his birth, the son that shall be born to thee, and thou shalt have thy heart's desire." To this the king agreed joyfully, and Merlin kept his word: for he gave Uther the form of one whom Igraine had loved dearly, and so she took him willingly for her husband.

When the time had come that a child should be born to the king and queen, Merlin appeared before Uther to remind him of his promise; and Uther swore it should be as he had said. Three days later, a prince was born, and, with pomp and ceremony, was christened by the name of Arthur; but immediately thereafter, the king commanded that the child should be carried to the postern-gate, there to be given to the old man who would be found waiting without.

Not long after, Uther fell sick, and he knew that his end was come; so, by Merlin's advice, he called together his knights and barons, and said to them: "My death draws near. I charge you, therefore, that ye obey my son even as ye have obeyed me; and my curse upon him if he claim not the crown when he is a man grown." Then the king turned his face to the wall and died.

Scarcely was Uther laid in his grave before disputes arose. Few of the nobles had seen Arthur or even heard of him, and not one of them would have been willing to be ruled by a child; rather, each thought himself fitted to be king, and, strengthening his own castle, made war on his neighbors until confusion alone was supreme, and the poor groaned because there was none to help them.

Now when Merlin carried away Arthur—for Merlin was the old man who had stood at the postern-gate—he had known all that would happen, and had taken the child to keep him safe from the fierce barons until he should be of age to rule wisely and well, and perform all the wonders prophesied of him. He gave the child to the care of the good knight Sir Ector to bring up with his son Kay, but revealed not to him that it was the son of Uther Pendragon that was given into his charge.

At last, when years had passed and Arthur was grown a tall youth well skilled in knightly exercises, Merlin went to the Archbishop of Canterbury and advised him that he should call together at Christmas-time all the chief men of the realm to the great cathedral in London; "for," said Merlin, "there shall be seen a great marvel by which it shall be made clear to all men who is the lawful king of this land." The archbishop did as Merlin counselled. Under pain of a fearful curse, he bade the barons and knights come to London to keep the feast, and to pray heaven to send peace to the realm.

The people hastened to obey the archbishop's commands, and, from all sides, barons and knights came riding in to keep the birth-feast of Our Lord. And when they had prayed, and were coming forth from the cathedral they saw a strange sight. There, in the open space before the church, stood, on a great stone, an anvil thrust through with a sword; and on the stone were written these words: "Whoso can draw forth this sword is rightful King of Britain born."

At once there were fierce quarrels, each man clamoring to be the first to try his fortune, none doubting his success. Then the archbishop decreed that each should make the venture in turn, from the greatest baron to the least knight; and each in turn, having put forth his utmost strength, failed to move the sword one inch, and drew back ashamed. So the archbishop dismissed the company, and having appointed guards to watch over the stone, sent messengers through all the land to give word of great jousts to be held in London at Easter, when each knight could give proof of his skill and courage, and try whether the adventure of the sword was for him.

Among those who rode to London at Easter was the good Sir Ector, and with him his son, Sir Kay, newly made a knight, and the young Arthur. When the morning came that the jousts should begin, Sir Kay and Arthur mounted their horses and set out for the lists; but before they reached the field, Kay looked and saw that he had left his sword behind. Immediately Arthur turned back to fetch it for him, only to find the house fast shut, for all were gone to view the tournament. Sore vexed was Arthur, fearing lest his brother Kay should lose his chance of gaining glory, till, of a sudden, he bethought him of the sword in the great anvil before the cathedral. Thither he rode with all speed, and the guards having deserted their post to view the tournament, there was none to forbid him the adventure. He leaped from his horse, seized the hilt, and instantly drew forth the sword as easily as from a scabbard; then, mounting his horse and thinking no marvel of what he had done, he rode after his brother and handed him the weapon.

When Kay looked at it, he saw at once that it was the wondrous sword from the stone. In great joy he sought his father, and showing it to him, said: "Then must I be King of Britain." But Sir Ector bade him say how he came by the sword, and when Sir Kay told how Arthur had brought it to him, Sir Ector bent his knee to the boy, and said: "Sir, I perceive that ye are my king, and here I tender you my homage;" and Kay did as his father. Then the three sought the archbishop, to whom they related all that had happened; and he, much marvelling, called the people together to the great stone, and bade Arthur thrust back the sword and draw it forth again in the presence of all, which he did with ease. But an angry murmur arose from the barons, who cried that what a boy could do, a man could do; so, at the archbishop's word, the sword was put back, and each man, whether baron or knight, tried in his turn to draw it forth, and failed. Then, for the third time, Arthur drew forth the sword. Immediately there arose from the people a great shout: "Arthur is King! Arthur is King! We will have no King but Arthur;" and, though the great barons scowled and threatened, they fell on their knees before him while the archbishop placed the crown upon his head, and swore to obey him faithfully as their lord and sovereign.

Thus Arthur was made King; and to all he did justice, righting wrongs and giving to all their dues. Nor was he forgetful of those that had been his friends; for Kay, whom he loved as a brother, he made seneschal and chief of his household, and to Sir Ector, his foster father, he gave broad lands.

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47 Comments:

Blogger Stacey November 10, 2019 8:24 AM  

This is the first time I've read the story about King Arthur. I can't wait to get my set of Junior Classics so I can read all of the wonderful classics that I missed out on as a kid.

Blogger Glen Sprigg November 10, 2019 8:34 AM  

I am a big fan of the Great Books of the Western World set, although it takes a 'completely neutral' stance when it comes to what to include; the original editors stuck strictly to 'influence' as a criteria. The diversity actually is diversity of thought. That's what you get for a set from 1952. The second edition (1990) definitely shows signs of proto-convergence; 'Candide' gets added while 'Tristam Shandy' comes out, for example.

The Junior Classics 2020 set is going to be phenomenal, a kids version of the Great Books that will help us preserve our culture. It's too bad that there is so little being currently written that would fit in such a set.

Blogger Attila is my bro November 10, 2019 8:50 AM  

I backed the hardbound set yesterday and I understand the digital version is included. When/how should I expect to see it? I haven't received any notice or a download link or anything.

I can't wait to get started with my 5 year old. The hardbound should arrive just in time for his birthday but I sorely want to get him started yesterday for bedtime reading.

Funny thing - of all the crappy books he's received over the years, our favorite is one my parents bought for me with classic stories. He has a few other similar but modren ones that are incredibly dumbed down and emasculated. I hate those.

Blogger Silent Draco November 10, 2019 8:50 AM  

Superbly told story. Tales like these had to be excised, for the good of the Narrative. Tales lead boys to implement these ideas, by the Manual of Arms and the Bible.

Blogger VD November 10, 2019 9:00 AM  

I backed the hardbound set yesterday and I understand the digital version is included. When/how should I expect to see it? I haven't received any notice or a download link or anything.

March 2020 at the soonest. This is a crowdfunding campaign, not a sale of products in inventory.

And thank you.

Blogger Bobiojimbo November 10, 2019 9:03 AM  

Fascinating. You can see the similarities the Disney movie made, but you can also see how they went way off. As always, the original source is better.

Blogger BadThinker November 10, 2019 9:05 AM  

Finally ordered the hardbound set. Daughter's turning 4 soon, I'm sure we'll start with some read-alouds of the simpler poetry, but this is a great set she'll be able to grow up with. She loves to read aloud with me already, but so many "children's stories" these days are mindless drivel. Thank you so much for putting this together!

Blogger Dave November 10, 2019 9:08 AM  

I backed the hardbound set yesterday and I understand the digital version is included. When/how should I expect to see it?

Every perk including the Digital Editions states Est. Shipping March 2020. Obviously the Digital Editions will be completed well before that; I've also wondered if we have to wait for the release to be timed with the hardcovers?

Blogger Gregory the Tall November 10, 2019 9:12 AM  

If necessary we will invent new verbs! Keep crushing!

Blogger Gettimothy November 10, 2019 9:18 AM  

Entirely immersed by 4 paragraphs in. I had read this and ulysses as child. Bravo for this work you are doing

Blogger Attila is my bro November 10, 2019 9:20 AM  

No, no... Thank you!

Blogger Ominous Cowherd November 10, 2019 9:23 AM  

Attila is my bro wrote:He has a few other similar but modren ones that are incredibly dumbed down and emasculated. I hate those.

Don't hesitate to ban unsuitable books from your house. When my kids were little, I had to ban some Berenstain Bears books because they bashed fathers, or had eco-nazi themes.

When he's starting to read, don't fall for the lie that ``It doesn't matter what he reads, as long as he's reading.'' It matters. Go long on biographies and historical fiction.

For kids who have been reading a while, the G. A. Henty novels are on Gutenberg, and available in paperback. The Little Britches books are good. The old, pre-WWI Tom Swift books are available on Gutenberg, too. There is good stuff out there.

Blogger Attila is my bro November 10, 2019 9:35 AM  

Forgot about Tom Swift. Good one.

A few years ago I read a bunch of teen oriented sea adventure novels from Gutenberg as I was on a Moby Dick kick. Great books. I should archive those just in case gutenberg gets inflicted with SJW cancer.

Blogger VFM 4388 November 10, 2019 9:49 AM  

They took that out? Bastards!

Blogger RandyB November 10, 2019 9:50 AM  

Disney went straight off of T. H. White's Sword in the Stone. When I read White I was surprised at how little the film diverged from White's book.

Blogger teslawasframed November 10, 2019 9:56 AM  

GA Henty and old Tom Swift are both awesome choices...I grew up reading those, and my son(s) will, too. FYI, Henty's works are also available in hardback.

Blogger Titanium Bear November 10, 2019 10:01 AM  

Excellent text. Rescue, mentoring, apprenticeship, teamwork, physical courage, devotion to duty and to God.
Why did Steinbeck torture himself
trying to rewrite the Legend?

@13 Cowherd
What about the Doc Savage novels? FWIW I prefer Peter Hathaway Capstick's "Death in the Long Grass to "The Veldt" by Bradbury.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd November 10, 2019 10:11 AM  

Titanium Bear wrote:What about the Doc Savage novels? FWIW I prefer Peter Hathaway Capstick's "Death in the Long Grass to "The Veldt" by Bradbury.

Never got into the Doc Savage novels; just never ran into them. Capstick's stuff is OK. Never read Bradbury's. Louis Lamour's books are worth reading, too.

Blogger CostelloM November 10, 2019 10:15 AM  

Still one of the greatest stories of the West and a great work to be preserved. And as a guilty pleasure while reading it the memory of the words of a humble peasant came to me nattering on about "strange women in ponds" or such. Gama this may be but still brings a smile to my face 35 years later.

Blogger tuberman November 10, 2019 10:43 AM  

Odd thing was, I used to make up stories in my head at a very early age, or as early as I could remember. These were Viking type stories with lots of heroic violence, where most or all of my crew and myself would die, but we would return later to do it all over. By the time I was 6-7 I changed these stories to heroic sports stories, as the violence of the earlier stories became sublimated to Baseball and Football. Although I came from a Nordic background, no one ever told me any Viking stories, and I never read about them until many years later.

Sometimes wonder if many others may have a possible "genetic memory" in story telling form.

Blogger tuberman November 10, 2019 10:56 AM  

BTW, Big Congrats on the Junior Classics. Great further success!

Blogger Toris November 10, 2019 10:59 AM  

The "doesn't matter what they're reading" thing might be why schools these days can get away with recommending to 11 and 12 year old students Bryn Greenwood's ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS. A book wherein a 13 year old girl wants, and has, graphic sexual encounters with a 26 year old man (and, if you're out there BB, is coincidentally born on the day of the moon landing).

Blogger Kat November 10, 2019 11:02 AM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:Attila is my bro wrote:He has a few other similar but modren ones that are incredibly dumbed down and emasculated. I hate those.

Don't hesitate to ban unsuitable books from your house. When my kids were little, I had to ban some Berenstain Bears books because they bashed fathers, or had eco-nazi themes.

When he's starting to read, don't fall for the lie that ``It doesn't matter what he reads, as long as he's reading.'' It matters. Go long on biographies and historical fiction.

For kids who have been reading a while, the G. A. Henty novels are on Gutenberg, and available in paperback. The Little Britches books are good. The old, pre-WWI Tom Swift books are available on Gutenberg, too. There is good stuff out there.


Amen! You have to be willing to get rid of books - even "innocuous" ones like the Tawny Scrawny Lion. I read it as a kid, but it's not something I can in good conscious read to my kids in this day in age. You can find other books though. For instance, this book is startlingly red pilled for a children's book and a good anecdote to the kumbaya nonsense being peddled: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/567389/a-lion-is-a-lion-by-polly-dunbar/

Blogger Zaklog the Great November 10, 2019 11:29 AM  

Our stories give our life meaning. Our heroes give us a model to imitate. Their destruction is an act of spiritual & psychological warfare by our enemies.

Blogger pdwalker November 10, 2019 12:40 PM  

i grew up on these stories.

so will my grandchildren

Blogger Steve Samson November 10, 2019 12:50 PM  

Fantastic, I read a translation of the mort d'arthur as a teenager and had no idea there was a non-disneyfied version of the story suitable for children.
Still gutted I can't contribute but I will absolutely buy a hardcover when they're available.

Blogger Esmar Tuek November 10, 2019 1:16 PM  

Tintagel is my favourite place in the winter, when the emmets have gone. There is magic in the air there. I'm convinced it will be soon be revealed to have been a major trading centre. King Arthur was real.

Blogger plishman November 10, 2019 2:52 PM  

The county town of Carmarthenshire in Wales is Carmarthen, Caerfyrddin in Welsh. It translates as 'Merlin's Fort'.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) November 10, 2019 3:42 PM  

would there be any interest in printing The Matters of Bodel? that all has to have been in the public domain for centuries.

https://infogalactic.com/info/Matter_of_Rome

https://infogalactic.com/info/Matter_of_France

https://infogalactic.com/info/Matter_of_Britain

https://infogalactic.com/info/Matter_of_England

or are much of these Matters already covered in the "Classics"?

Blogger Bobiojimbo November 10, 2019 3:52 PM  

@15 I did not know that. Thank you. Is the T. H. White story any good?

Blogger Dave Dave November 10, 2019 4:02 PM  

The English never had much good music, art or philosophy, but they had the best stories in the world. King Arthur was such a great story, and so convincing, that for centuries everyone thought he was real. I wish I could be around to witness another story like that.

Blogger OvergrownHobbit November 10, 2019 4:32 PM  

The English took all the great story elements of the European Amor Cortese and Christianized them. The best is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Blogger S1AL November 10, 2019 5:04 PM  

"The English never had much good music, art or philosophy, but they had the best stories in the world. King Arthur was such a great story, and so convincing, that for centuries everyone thought he was real. I wish I could be around to witness another story like that."

Amazing Grace and We Three Kings and O Come O Come Emmanuel?

Locke and Hobbes and Bacon and Newton?

Come on now...

Blogger maniacprovost November 10, 2019 5:09 PM  

Is the T. H. White story any good?

I read it decades ago but I seem to remember it being good, and probably written better than the excerpt aboved from a character and narrative standpoint. It was definitely popular and influential on the modern idea of King Arthur.

Blogger JovianStorm November 10, 2019 6:53 PM  

These stories are the blood that coursed through the veins of Western civilization and should be treasures protected.

I'll offer to do some of the audiobooks (for the blind and visually impaired) for free if they aren't already on LibraVox. I have a fairly neutral American accent from having to teach in Japan for so long.

Blogger RandyB November 10, 2019 7:47 PM  

It's a trilogy. I was into the third one before it hit me that the tone of each reflected the period of Arthur's life.

Not my favorite version of the tales, though. That would be Sir James Knowles one-volume adaptation of Mallory.

Blogger Korbin Ransley November 10, 2019 8:46 PM  

@24 Got to read a cool story about King Arthur, and learned about Audie Murphy today. 8^)

Blogger Zaklog the Great November 10, 2019 8:49 PM  

@37 Glad I could contribute to your knowledge of the heroes of the West.

Blogger AaMcavoy November 10, 2019 10:30 PM  

I would humbly disagree with GA Henty as a good choice. I read a dozen of his novels as a teen and he's an original progressive. "Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same god and are the same" is a constant theme in his stories. They're useful to see how the roots of Leftism were established a hundred years ago, but not good as entertainment for impressionable minds.

Blogger Richard Rahl November 10, 2019 11:50 PM  

Finished reading this book to my 5 and 3 year old boys last month. Now all they do is play as knights and argue over who gets to be Arthur.
Now we're reading Robin Hood. There is nothing better than family reading time before bed. The boys start crying when we don't have time to read.
In the words of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, "throw away your television."

Blogger Avo November 11, 2019 12:49 AM  

Can't wait for the set to arrive. Will be reading and re-reading with my 5 & 7 year old boys for years to come. Thank you for this valuable undertaking!

Blogger Esmar Tuek November 11, 2019 6:41 AM  

I've also heard Scots claim it was up there

Blogger Ominous Cowherd November 11, 2019 8:29 AM  

AaMcavoy wrote:I would humbly disagree with GA Henty as a good choice. I read a dozen of his novels as a teen and he's an original progressive. "Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same god and are the same" is a constant theme in his stories. They're useful to see how the roots of Leftism were established a hundred years ago, but not good as entertainment for impressionable minds.

All true, unfortunately. The poz has been out there for a long time. You need to read your kids' books, and talk with them about what's wrong with them.

Blogger Avalanche November 11, 2019 8:37 AM  

If you have not yet: send this crowd-fund on to everyone! I sent to my 'lists' the following:


Here's one of the stories they no longer tell our children...Should not your children be reading these stories to THEIR children, your grandchildren?! Spread the word!
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-junior-classics/x/19307078#/

The 1300% in this blog post title is how many people have backed this crowd fund. Already 1,167 backers have 'thrown in' to get one or more sets. These include SEVEN folks for the "Heirloom Library" editions at $2,509, which is all THREE sets: digital, casebound, AND deluxe leather-bound!); 340 people have bought the digital set only. 74 for the leather-bound editions. 716 for the hardbound set: I have no kids, and yet I have thrown in for a set of hardcovers myself. Take hope, too, as I do at the people who ARE wishing -- who are PAYING -- to carry on these tales to our next generations!

Please send this 'ad' onward to friends and family: let's try to RETURN our 'shared cultural heritage' to OUR SHARED cultural heritage. Yes, they're hard-bound are expensive.... cancel your damned cable TV and stop inviting that malevolent brainwashing into your house! Couple months of killed cable will about pay for the leather-bound set!

Yes, yes, the sets and books WILL be available for purchase after the crowd fund. However, start NOW because our malevolent enemies are watching... Let them see how clearly WE WANT OUR CULTURE BACK!

Blogger Avalanche November 11, 2019 10:24 AM  

Oh, how I wish THIS graphic could appear in the Castalia Junior Classics...

https://gab.com/system/media_attachments/files/015/421/532/original/3cef9dff91477d68.png?1573422226

Just kidding.

Blogger Unknown November 11, 2019 11:02 AM  

Just got the hardcover edition for my grandson. Deus Vult.

Blogger pdwalker November 12, 2019 11:08 AM  

Just checked. 1,415% and only 3 days to go.

That might juuuuuust be enough to get the project funded.

I'm feeling optimistic today.

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