Chapter 11:

How King Uter rode accompanied by his people to go seek Merlin in the mountains

The king rode through the mountains seeking Merlin, and it was said that he found a great company of flocks and an ugly, naked man who guarded them, and they asked him who he was, and he told them that he was the servant of a man of Urberlanda. They said, "Have you seen Merlin around here?"

And he answered them, "I saw a man last night who told me that the king would come here to seek him."

The king said, "I believe that this is the man I want. And can you show him to me?"

And he said, "I would tell the king, if he came here, something I would not tell you."

And one of his knights said, "Come with me and I will show you to the king."

He said, "By God, I would ill guard my flock thus, and I have nothing to do with the king; but if he wishes to come to me, I will tell him how he will find the one you are seeking."

And the knight said to him, "I will show him to you."

Then he pointed for him and said to him, "This is the king; now tell him what you said you would not say to anyone else."

And he said, "I know that you seek Merlin, but you cannot find him until he wishes it; go to one of your good villas near here, and he will be there when you go."

The king said, "How will I know that you are telling me the truth?"

The good man said to him, "If you do not believe it, then do not do it, for foolish is the man who believes ill counsel."

The king said, "Then do you say that the counsel is bad?"

"No," he said, "but you say it, although you know that I counsel you better than you could counsel yourself."

The king said, "I will believe you."

And so the king went to one of his villas which he found to be closest to the mountain. And after being there one day, he was told that a good and well-dressed man had come to his house and said, "Take me before the king."

And they took him there, and he said, "Lord, Merlin sent me to you to tell you that he was the one you found guarding the flocks, and gives you as a sign that he told you the truth when he said he would come to you when he wished; but you have no need of him now, and when you do need him, he will come to you willingly."

The king said, "I shall always have need of such a man, and never had I such a great desire to get to know a man or to love him, as I have for him."

The good man said, "Since you say this, he sends you good news through me, that Anguis is dead, and Uter your brother killed him."

And when the king heard this, he was amazed and said, "Is it true?"

And Merlin said, "Send to ask about it, and you will find out."

Then the king commanded two men to mount horses, and sent them to the host. And they encountered two of Uter's men as they went, who brought news to the king of the death of Anguis. And in this interval the good man who brought the command of Merlin went to the king. And all the messengers returned to the king, and those who came took the king aside and told him how Uter had killed Anguis. When the king heard this, he forbade them to tell anyone, as they loved their bodies, and so that matter remained.

The king marvelled how Merlin could have known about the death of Anguis, and awaited him in the villa to see if he would come and to ask him how Anguis had died, since only a few men knew of it; and it was said that he, leaving the church, had a good man come before him very well dressed who greeted him courteously and said to him, "Lord, what are you waiting for in this villa?"And he said to him, "I await Merlin."

And the man said to him, "Even if you see him you will not know him; but have those who do know him called."

The king commanded those who ought to have known him to come. They said that if they saw him they would recognize him. And the good man who had come before him said, "How can one know another if he does not know himself?"

And they said, "We do not say this because we know his deeds well, but because we know him by sight."

And the good man responded, "There is no one who could recognize him, if he does not wish it."

Then he called the king privately to a room and said to him, "Lord, I wish to be your subject and that of your brother Uter, and know that I am that Merlin whom you came to seek; but there are so many who think they know me who know nothing of my deeds, and I have shown you that those who say they know me do not know what they say; as soon as they see me, they will know me, if I wish it, but now they will not know me, if I do not wish it."

The king went out and called them, and at that point Merlin changed his form, and took the form in which they had seen him in the house of Verenguer. And as soon as they saw him, they said, "Lord, we told you truly: this is Merlin."

And the king smiled and said, "See for yourselves whether you know him well."

They said, "We know truly that this is Merlin."

And he said, "Lord, they tell the truth. Now tell me whatever you wish."

The king said, "I would very much wish to be your servant, if it please you, for I have heard many say that you are a wise man."

Merlin said, "You could not ask my counsel about anything that I would not tell you, if I knew it."

The king said, "I beg you to tell me if I spoke with you after I got to this villa."

He said, "Lord, I am he who told you about the death of Anguis."

When the king and the others who were there heard this, they marveled. The king said to them, "You do not know Merlin as well as you think you do."

They said, "We never saw him do such a thing, but we certainly know he will do it if he wishes to."

Then the king asked Merlin what the death of Anguis was like, and he said to him, "I knew when you came here that Anguis wanted to kill your brother, and I went to him and he believed me, for I told him the counsel and the plan that Anguis had created for his death, which was to come by night to kill him alone in his tent. Uter, this heard, watched all night, but told no one of it, and armed himself well and waited for him in the tent; when Anguis came to him, Uter let him enter, and he went to the bed, and not finding Uter there, he was heavy of heart and turned back. And Uter, who was at one side of the tent, rushed against him in short order and killed him, for he was well armed."

And when the king heard it, he marveled and said, "In what form did you speak with my brother? For I marvel that he believed you."

"Lord," he said, "I took the form of an ancient, because more credit is given the words they say, and I spoke with him in private; and I said to him that if he did not guard himself that night, that nothing was left for him but death."

And the king asked him, "Did you tell him who you were?"

And Merlin said to him, "He still does not know who told him, and he will not until you tell him. For this reason I sent your men to tell you that you would not breach the castle until Anguis was dead."

"By God, Merlin," the king said, "you must come with me, for I greatly need your help."

And Merlin said, "Now is still not the time, for the sooner I come along with you, the sooner your people will complain that you believe me too lightly; but if you would act to your own benefit, do not therefore stop believing me, for I will take away all your griefs and hurts."

And the king said, "I will never doubt a thing you counsel me, since you enabled my brother to escape."

"Lord," Merlin said, "go and ask your brother who told him what I told you, and if he knows enough to tell you, do not believe me about this nor anything else I tell you; and I will speak with your brother in that form in which I spoke to him before; but make sure, as you love me, that you tell no one."

And the king agreed to it and said that he would go to test it, and Merlin said, "I want you to test me in every way you can; and I will speak with your brother eleven days after the day you speak with him."

Thus Merlin became acquainted with Padragon and left him and returned to his master Blaise, and told him all the things which had passed, and he put them in the script, and through him we know them now. And Padragon returned to his brother, and when he arrived, he took him aside and told him of the death of Anguis, just as Merlin had recounted it to him, and asked him if it were true, and Uter said it was. "But, may God help me, you told me something that I did not think anyone knew save God and a good old man who told it to me in private. Lord, tell me, who told you? For I marvel greatly how you know it."

The king said, "Tell me: who was that old man who saved you from death? For it seems to me that Anguis would have killed you if not for him."

Uter responded, "By God, I do not know who it was, but he seemed to me a good man and therefore I believed what he said to me as if you had said it, although with great fear; but I give thanks to God that it ended well, and certes, Anguis dared a great deal to try to kill me in my tent in the middle of my host."

And Padragon when he heard this said, "My lord brother, would you know that good man you speak of, if you saw him?"

And Uter said, "Yes, quite well."

"I tell you for certain," Padragon said, "that eleven days from today he will speak with you, but do not part from me all that day when the eleven days are done."

And Merlin, when he knew all this, told Blaise what the brothers said and how the king wanted to test him. And Blaise asked him, "What do you choose to do now?"

And Merlin told him this, "They are youths, and I will go and tell them what they ought to do in regard to their livelihood and health, but I do not want to appear before them until the end of the eleven days, and while these days run, I will go to a woman I know Uter loves and take her some letters, so that she will believe in me of her own will, and I know all her private things, and when I tell her of them, she will better believe in me. And so the eleven days will pass, and they will see me and not recognize me, and the next morning I will show myself to both of them."

And so the eleven days passed.