Medieval Arthurian Legend
Robert de Boron: Merlin
Early-thirteenth century, Old French.
again and againDisguiseagain and again
King Pendragon then speaks to another well-dressed gentleman who admits to being Merlin, and who admits to having been the other gentleman as well.
Merlin appears before King Pendragon's messenger as a woodcutter, with
a great axe on his shoulder, big boots laced on, and wearing a tattered jacket – with his hair lank and matted and his beard very long. Then the king encounters Merlin in the form of
an ugly, deformed herdsman who tells the king to go back to his lodgings where Merlin will soon visit him. Having done so, the king receives into his lodging
a very smart man, in fine clothes and shoes, who gives King Pendragon a welcome prophecy.
King Pendragon then speaks to another well-dressed gentleman who admits to being Merlin, and who admits to having been the other gentleman as well, and also to having recently appeared before King Pendragon's brother Uther as
an old, white-haired man.