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Historical Tales, Vol. 13, Part I
characteristics which have long made it delightful to lovers of old literature.
The task here undertaken is no light one, nor is success in it assured. Malory has an individuality of his own which gives a peculiar charm to his work, and to retain this in a modernized version is the purpose with which we set out and which we hope to accomplish. The world of to-day is full of fiction, endless transcripts of modern life served up in a great variety of palatable forms. Our castle-living forefathers were not so abundantly favored. They had no books,--and could not have read them if they had,--but the wandering minstrel took with them the place of the modern volume, bearing from castle to court, and court to castle, his budget of romances of magic and chivalry, and delighting the hard-hitting knights and barons of that day with stirring ballads and warlike tales to which their souls rose in passionate response.
In the "Morte Darthur" is preserved to us the pith of the best of those old romances, broug