There is really no need, perhaps, for me to tell you that all these stories have been told before. But, though you know it already, I like to say it again, because I can never say often enough how grateful I am to those who told the world first of Arthur, of Guinevere, of Lancelot, and of Gawain; of Galahad, of Percivale, and of Percivale's sister; of the Siege Perilous and of the Holy Grail. If you do not now count Sir Thomas Malory a dear friend, as I do, learn to do it, and you will be the better for it. I do not know who made those wonderful tales the Mabinogion, but I know who gave them to us in our own language-Lady Charlotte Guest. I wish that I knew whom to thank for "The Romance of Merlin" and for the story of "Gawain and the Green Knight." And there were many other noble story-tellers of the old time who passed away and left us no knowledge of themselves and not even their names to call them by. But they left us their stories, and if anything from us can reach them where they are, surely gratitude can, and that they must have from every one of us who loves a story. And the great poet of our own days, Lord Tennyson, must have it too, for teaching us how to read their stories.
Some time you may read these tales and others as they wrote them, and you cannot read them without thinking what a great and marvellous thing it was that they, who lived no longer than other men, could give delight to the people of so many centuries. But some of these stories are not easy to find, and some are not easy to read, when you have found them. I have tried to tell a few of them again in my own way, hoping that thus some might have the stories and know them, for whom the older books might be hard to get or hard to understand.