Then the King bids Sir Bedivere take his sword Excalibur,
But when Sir Bedivere drew Excalibur and saw the jewels of the hilt shine in the wintry moonlight, he could not find it in his heart to cast anything so beautiful and precious from him.
But King Arthur well knew that Sir Bedivere had not obeyed him.
Again Sir Bedivere went, but again he could not make up his mind to cast away the sword.
Then, sorrowful and abashed before the anger of the dying King, Sir Bedivere turned, and running quickly lest his courage should fail him, he reached the water's edge and flung the sword far into the lake.
Then Sir Bedivere, in wonder, returned to the King, who, when he saw him come, cried:-
So Sir Bedivere told the King how truly this time he had cast away the sword, and how an arm "clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful," had caught it and drawn it under the mere.
And Sir Bedivere, as he saw his master go, was filled with grief and loneliness, for he only of all the brave King's knights was left.
Long stood Sir Bedivere thinking of all that had come and gone, watching the barge as it glided silently away, and listening to the wailing voices,
Exactly as I would speak of my nearest personal friends or enemies, or my most familiar neighbors, he spoke of Sir Bedivere
, Sir Bors de Ganis, Sir Launcelot of the Lake, Sir Galahad, and all the other great names of the Table Round -- and how old, old, unspeakably old and faded and dry and musty and ancient he came to look as he went on
He provides Arthur with a father, King Uther, makes of Arthur's wars against the Saxons only his youthful exploits, relates at length how Arthur conquered almost all of Western Europe, and adds to the earlier story the figures of Merlin, Guenevere, Modred, Gawain, Kay, and Bedivere