At that point, Merlin — a very old, white-bearded man — stands "upon unsteady legs, and feebly swaying his ancient head [surveys] the company with his watery and wandering eye." Clarence groans and tells Hank that Merlin is about to tell the tale that he always tells when he has gotten drunk. Merlin does, putting most of the court to sleep in the process. His story is about how King Arthur got his sword from the Lady of the Lake.Sir Dinadan is the first to awaken after Merlin's tale, and he amuses himself by tying metal mugs to a dog's tail. This arouses the other dogs, who chase the first; the noise then awakens all the knights, and they all have a good laugh. After that excitement dies down, Sir Dinadan strings together a number of jokes that Hank has already heard about thirteen centuries later; they were old even in the sixth century.
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