Sword Excalibar

(The). At the death of Uter Pendragon there were many claimants to the crown; they were all ordered to assemble in “the great church of London,” on Christmas Eve, and found a sword stuck in a stone and anvil with this inscription: “He who can draw forth this sword, the same is to be king.” The knights tried to pull it out, but were unable. One day, when a tournament was held, young Arthur wanted a sword and took this one, not knowing it was a charmed instrument, whereupon he was universally acknowledged to be the God-elected king. This was the sword of Excalibar. (History of Prince Arthur, i. 3.)

The enchanted sword
(in Amadis of Gaul). Whoever drew this sword from a rock was to gain access to a subterranean treasure. (Cap. cxxx. See also caps. lxxii. and xcix.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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