Study Guide

The Once and Future King Book 1, Chapter 4

By T.H. White

Book 1, Chapter 4

  • Wart and Merlyn enter the castle, along with Cully (whom Merlyn has helped capture—without magic, because that would be cheating).
  • Sir Ector is glad to see Wart, and is rather proud that the boy stayed out all by himself in the forest overnight to look after the hawk.
  • Then, Ector meets Merlyn. But, not so fast. He wants some references.
  • And Ector gets them: from some big names, too, like Aristotle.
  • To further show he knows his stuff, Merlyn makes a huge mulberry tree grow right up in the middle of the courtyard.
  • When this doesn't impress Sir Ector or Kay, Merlyn makes it snow.
  • Yeah: I think he'll make a good tutor (Sir Ector finally admits).
  • Wart calls getting Merlyn his "quest," but Kay doesn't think too much of this.
  • So, Merlyn tries to bring Kay down a few notches, and tells him that he's got a smart mouth on him and is an angry young man that will come to misfortune. Hmmm… sounds like prophecy to us.
  • Then Merlyn gets all guilty and makes a silver hunting-knife appear right out of thin air, and Kay loves it. They make up, even if they don't hug it out.

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