“Is that a reminder to go and pay?” said Trent, with a sneer. “Not exactly, Fred,” said Richard. “I enter in this little book the names of the streets that I can’t go down while the shops are open. This dinner to-day closes Long Acre. I bought a pair of boots in Great Queen Street last week, and made that ‘no thoroughfare’ too. There’s only one avenue to the Strand left open now, and I shall have to stop up that to-night with a pair of gloves. The roads are closing so fast in every direction, that in about a month’s time, unless my aunt sends me a remittance, I shall have to go three or four miles out of town to get over the way.”—Dickens: The Old Curiosity Shop, viii. (1840)

Sword. (For the names of the most famous swords in history and fiction, see Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, p. 1196.) Add the following:—

Ali’s sword, Zulfagar.

Koll the Thrall’s sword, named Grey-steel.

Ogier the Dane had two swords, made by Munifican, viz. Sauvagine and Courtain or Curtana.

He [Ogier] drew Curtain his sword from out its sheath.
   —W. Morris: Earthly Paradise, 634.

Strong-o’-the-Arm had three swords, viz. Baptism, Florence, and Graban made by Ansias.

The Marvel of the Sword. When king Arthur first appears on the scene, he is brought into notice by the “Marvel of the Sword;” and sir Galahad, who was to achieve the holy graal, was introduced to knighthood by a similar adventure. That of Arthur is thus described—

In the greatest church of London … there was seen in the churchyard against the high altar a great stone, foursquare like to a marble stone, and in the midst thereof was an anvil of steel a foot in height, and therein stuck a fair sword naked by the point, and letters of gold were written about the sword that said thus: Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born of England. [Arthur was the only person who could draw it out, and so he was acknowledged to be the rightful king.]—Pt. i. 3, 4.

The sword adventure of sir Galahad, at the age of 15, is thus given—

The king and his knights came to the river, and they found there a stone floating, as it had been of red marble, and therein stuck a fair and rich sword, and in the pomell thereof were precious stones wrought with subtil letters of gold. Then the barons read the letters, which said in this wise: Never shall man take me hence, but only he by whom I ought to hang, and he shall be the best knight of the world. [Sir Galahad drew the sword easily, but no other knight was able to pull it forth.]—Sir T. Malory: History of Prince Arthur, iii. 30, 31 (1470).

A somewhat similar adventure occurs in the Amadis de Gaul. Whoever succeeded in drawing from a rock an enchanted sword, was to gain access to a subterranean treasure (ch. cxxx.; see also chs. lxxii.. xcix.).

The Irresistible Sword. The king of Araby and Ind sent Cambuscan ’king of Tartary a sword that would pierce any armour; and if the smiter chose he could heal the wound again by striking it with the flat of the blade.—Chaucer: The Squire’s Tale (1388).

Sword and the Maiden (The). Soon after king Arthur succeeded to the throne, a damsel came to Camelot girded with a sword which no man defiled by “shame, treachery, or guile” could draw from its scabbard. She had been to the court of king Ryence, but no knight there could draw it. King Arthur tried to draw it, but with no better success; all his knights tried also, but none could draw it. At last a poor ragged knight named Balin, who had been held in prison for six months, made the attempt, and drew the sword with the utmost ease, but the knights insisted it had been done by witchcraft. The maiden asked sir Balin to

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