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Le Morte Darthur

Part 2 out of 11

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to the earth as a sack, and there he lay still, and cried Sir
Launcelot mercy. Arise, recreant knight and king. I
will not fight, said King Mark, but whither that ye will
I will go with you. Alas, alas, said Sir Launcelot, that I
may not give thee one buffet for the love of Sir Tristram
and of La Beale Isoud, and for the two knights that thou
hast slain traitorly. And so he mounted upon his horse
and brought him to King Arthur; and there King Mark
alighted in that same place, and threw his helm from him
upon the earth, and his sword, and fell flat to the earth of
King Arthur's feet, and put him in his grace and mercy.
So God me help, said Arthur, ye are welcome in a manner,
and in a manner ye are not welcome. In this manner ye
are welcome, that ye come hither maugre thy head, as I
suppose. That is truth, said King Mark, and else I had
not been here, for my lord, Sir Launcelot, brought me
hither through his fine force, and to him am I yolden to
as recreant. Well, said Arthur, ye understand ye ought
to do me service, homage, and fealty. And never would
ye do me none, but ever ye have been against me, and a
destroyer of my knights; now, how will ye acquit you?
Sir, said King Mark, right as your lordship will require
me, unto my power, I will make a large amends. For he
was a fair speaker, and false thereunder. Then for great
pleasure of Sir Tristram, to make them twain accorded,
the king withheld King Mark as at that time, and made a
broken love-day between them.


How Sir Dinadan told Sir Palomides of the battle between
Sir Launcelot and Sir Tristam.

NOW turn we again unto Sir Palomides, how Sir Dinadan
comforted him in all that he might, from his great sorrow.
What knight are ye? said Sir Palomides. Sir, I am a
knight-errant as ye be, that hath sought you long by your
shield. Here is my shield, said Sir Palomides, wit ye
well, an ye will ought, therewith I will defend it. Nay,
said Sir Dinadan, I will not have ado with you but in good
manner. And if ye will, ye shall find me soon ready.
Sir, said Sir Dinadan, whitherward ride you this way? By
my head, said Sir Palomides, I wot not, but as fortune
leadeth me. Heard ye or saw ye ought of Sir Tristram?
So God me help, of Sir Tristram I both heard and saw,
and not for then we loved not inwardly well together, yet
at my mischief Sir Tristram rescued me from my death;
and yet, or he and I departed, by both our assents we
assigned a day that we should have met at the stony grave
that Merlin set beside Camelot, and there to have done
battle together; howbeit I was letted, said Sir Palomides,
that I might not hold my day, the which grieveth me
sore; but I have a large excuse. For I was prisoner with
a lord, and many other more, and that shall Sir Tristram
right well understand, that I brake it not of fear of
cowardice. And then Sir Palomides told Sir Dinadan the
same day that they should have met. So God me help,
said Sir Dinadan, that same day met Sir Launcelot and Sir
Tristram at the same grave of stone. And there was the
most mightiest battle that ever was seen in this land
betwixt two knights, for they fought more than two
hours. And there they both bled so much blood that all
men marvelled that ever they might endure it. And so
at the last, by both their assents, they were made friends
and sworn-brethren for ever, and no man can judge the
better knight. And now is Sir Tristram made a knight
of the Round Table, and he sitteth in the siege of the
noble knight, Sir Marhaus. By my head, said Sir Palomides,
Sir Tristram is far bigger than Sir Launcelot, and
the hardier knight. Have ye assayed them both? said
Sir Dinadan. I have seen Sir Tristram fight, said Sir
Palomides, but never Sir Launcelot to my witting. But
at the fountain where Sir Launcelot lay asleep, there with
one spear he smote down Sir Tristram and me, said
Palomides, but at that time they knew not either other.
Fair knight, said Sir Dinadan, as for Sir Launcelot and
Sir Tristram let them be, for the worst of them will not
be lightly matched of no knights that I know living. No,
said Sir Palomides, God defend, but an I had a quarrel to
the better of them both I would with as good a will fight
with him as with you. Sir, I require you tell me your
name, and in good faith I shall hold you company till that
we come to Camelot; and there shall ye have great worship
now at this great tournament; for there shall be the
Queen Guenever, and La Beale Isoud of Cornwall. Wit
you well, sir knight, for the love of La Beale Isoud I will
be there, and else not, but I will not have ado in King
Arthur's court. Sir, said Dinadan, I shall ride with you
and do you service, so you will tell me your name. Sir,
ye shall understand my name is Sir Palomides, brother to
Safere, the good and noble knight. And Sir Segwarides
and I, we be Saracens born, of father and mother. Sir,
said Sir Dinadan, I thank you much for the telling of
your name. For I am glad of that I know your name,
and I promise you by the faith of my body, ye shall not
be hurt by me by my will, but rather be advanced. And
thereto will I help you with all my power, I promise you,
doubt ye not. And certainly on my life ye shall win
great worship in the court of King Arthur, and be right
welcome. So then they dressed on their helms and put on
their shields, and mounted upon their horses, and took
the broad way towards Camelot. And then were they
ware of a castle that was fair and rich, and also passing
strong as any was within this realm.


How Sir Lamorak jousted with divers knights of the castle
wherein was Morgan le Fay.

SIR PALOMIDES, said Dinadan, here is a castle that I know
well, and therein dwelleth Queen Morgan le Fay, King
Arthur's sister; and King Arthur gave her this castle, the
which he hath repented him sithen a thousand times, for
sithen King Arthur and she have been at debate and
strife; but this castle could he never get nor win of her
by no manner of engine; and ever as she might she made
war on King Arthur. And all dangerous knights she
withholdeth with her, for to destroy all these knights that
King Arthur loveth. And there shall no knight pass this
way but he must joust with one knight, or with two, or
with three. And if it hap that King Arthur's knight be
beaten, he shall lose his horse and his harness and all that
he hath, and hard, if that he escape, but that he shall be
prisoner. So God me help, said Palomides, this is a
shameful custom, and a villainous usance for a queen to
use, and namely to make such war upon her own lord,
that is called the Flower of Chivalry that is christian or
heathen; and with all my heart I would destroy that
shameful custom. And I will that all the world wit she
shall have no service of me. And if she send out any
knights, as I suppose she will, for to joust, they shall have
both their hands full. And I shall not fail you, said Sir
Dinadan, unto my puissance, upon my life.

So as they stood on horseback afore the castle, there
came a knight with a red shield, and two squires after
him; and he came straight unto Sir Palomides, the good
knight, and said to him: Fair and gentle knight-errant,
I require thee for the love thou owest unto knighthood,
that ye will not have ado here with these men of this
castle; for this was Sir Lamorak that thus said. For I
came hither to seek this deed, and it is my request; and
therefore I beseech you, knight, let me deal, and if I be
beaten revenge me. In the name of God, said Palomides,
let see how ye will speed, and we shall behold you. Then
anon came forth a knight of the castle, and proffered to
joust with the Knight with the Red Shield. Anon they
encountered together, and he with the red shield smote
him so hard that he bare him over to the earth. Therewith
anon came another knight of the castle, and he was
smitten so sore that he avoided his saddle. And forthwithal
came the third knight, and the Knight with the Red
Shield smote him to the earth. Then came Sir Palomides,
and besought him that he might help him to joust. Fair
knight, said he unto him, suffer me as at this time to have
my will, for an they were twenty knights I shall not doubt
them. And ever there were upon the walls of the castle
many lords and ladies that cried and said: Well have ye
jousted, Knight with the Red Shield. But as soon as
the knight had smitten them down, his squire took their
horses, and avoided their saddles and bridles of the horses,
and turned them into the forest, and made the knights to
be kept to the end of the jousts. Right so came out of
the castle the fourth knight, and freshly proffered to joust
with the Knight with the Red Shield: and he was ready,
and he smote him so hard that horse and man fell to the
earth, and the knight's back brake with the fall, and his
neck also. O Jesu, said Sir Palomides, that yonder is a
passing good knight, and the best jouster that ever I
saw. By my head, said Sir Dinadan, he is as good as
ever was Sir Launcelot or Sir Tristram, what knight
somever he be.


How Sir Palomides would have jousted for Sir Lamorak
with the knights of the castle.

THEN forthwithal came a knight out of the castle, with
a shield bended with black and with white. And anon
the Knight with the Red Shield and he encountered so
hard that he smote the knight of the castle through the
bended shield and through the body, and brake the horse's
back. Fair knight, said Sir Palomides, ye have overmuch
on hand, therefore I pray you let me joust, for ye had
need to be reposed. Why sir, said the knight, seem ye
that I am weak and feeble? and sir, methinketh ye proffer
me wrong, and to me shame, when I do well enough. I
tell you now as I told you erst; for an they were twenty
knights I shall beat them, and if I be beaten or slain then
may ye revenge me. And if ye think that I be weary,
and ye have an appetite to joust with me, I shall find you
jousting enough. Sir, said Palomides, I said it not
because I would joust with you, but meseemeth that ye have
overmuch on hand. And therefore, an ye were gentle,
said the Knight with the Red Shield, ye should not proffer
me shame; therefore I require you to joust with me, and
ye shall find that I am not weary. Sith ye require me,
said Sir Palomides, take keep to yourself. Then they two
knights came together as fast as their horses might run,
and the knight smote Sir Palomides sore on the shield
that the spear went into his side a great wound, and
a perilous. And therewithal Sir Palomides avoided his
saddle. And that knight turned unto Sir Dinadan; and
when he saw him coming he cried aloud, and said: Sir,
I will not have ado with you; but for that he let it not,
but came straight upon him. So Sir Dinadan for shame
put forth his spear and all to-shivered it upon the knight.
But he smote Sir Dinadan again so hard that he smote
him clean from his saddle; but their horses he would not
suffer his squires to meddle with, and because they were

Then he dressed him again to the castle, and jousted
with seven knights more, and there was none of them
might withstand him, but he bare him to the earth. And
of these twelve knights he slew in plain jousts four. And
the eight knights he made them to swear on the cross of
a sword that they should never use the evil customs of the
castle. And when he had made them to swear that oath
he let them pass. And ever stood the lords and the
ladies on the castle walls crying and saying: Knight with
the Red Shield, ye have marvellously well done as ever
we saw knight do. And therewith came a knight out of
the castle unarmed, and said: Knight with the Red Shield,
overmuch damage hast thou done to us this day, therefore
return whither thou wilt, for here are no more will have
ado with thee; for we repent sore that ever thou camest
here, for by thee is fordone the old custom of this castle.
And with that word he turned again into the castle, and
shut the gates. Then the Knight with the Red Shield
turned and called his squires, and so passed forth on his
way, and rode a great pace.

And when he was past Sir Palomides went to Sir
Dinadan, and said: I had never such a shame of one
knight that ever I met; and therefore I cast me to
ride after him, and to be revenged with my sword, for
a-horseback I deem I shall get no worship of him. Sir
Palomides, said Dinadan, ye shall not meddle with him
by my counsel, for ye shall get no worship of him; and
for this cause, ye have seen him this day have had
overmuch to do, and overmuch travailed. By almighty
Jesu, said Palomides, I shall never be at ease till that I
have had ado with him. Sir, said Dinadan, I shall give
you my beholding. Well, said Palomides, then shall ye
see how we shall redress our mights. So they took their
horses of their varlets, and rode after the Knight with the
Red Shield; and down in a valley beside a fountain they
were ware where he was alighted to repose him, and had
done off his helm for to drink at the well.


How Sir Lamorak jousted with Sir Palomides, and hurt
him grievously.

THEN Palomides rode fast till he came nigh him. And
then he said: Knight, remember ye of the shame ye
did to me right now at the castle, therefore dress thee,
for I will have ado with thee. Fair knight, said he to
Palomides, of me ye win no worship, for ye have seen this
day that I have been travailed sore. As for that, said
Palomides, I will not let, for wit ye well I will be revenged.
Well, said the knight, I may happen to endure you. And
therewithal he mounted upon his horse, and took a great
spear in his hand ready for to joust. Nay, said Palomides,
I will not joust, for I am sure at jousting I get no prize.
Fair knight, said that knight, it would beseem a knight to
joust and to fight on horseback. Ye shall see what I will
do, said Palomides. And therewith he alighted down
upon foot, and dressed his shield afore him and pulled
out his sword. Then the Knight with the Red Shield
descended down from his horse, and dressed his shield
afore him, and so he drew out his sword. And then they
came together a soft pace, and wonderly they lashed
together passing thick the mountenance of an hour or
ever they breathed. Then they traced and traversed, and
waxed wonderly wroth, and either behight other death;
they hewed so fast with their swords that they cut in down
half their swords and mails, that the bare flesh in some
place stood above their harness. And when Sir Palomides
beheld his fellow's sword over-hylled with his blood it
grieved him sore: some while they foined, some while
they struck as wild men. But at the last Sir Palomides
waxed faint, because of his first wound that he had at the
castle with a spear, for that wound grieved him wonderly
sore. Fair knight, said Palomides, meseemeth we have
assayed either other passing sore, and if it may please
thee, I require thee of thy knighthood tell me thy name.
Sir, said the knight to Palomides, that is me loath to do,
for thou hast done me wrong and no knighthood to proffer
me battle, considering my great travail, but an thou wilt
tell me thy name I will tell thee mine. Sir, said he, wit
thou well my name is Palomides. Ah, sir, ye shall understand
my name is Sir Lamorak de Galis, son and heir unto
the good knight and king, King Pellinore, and Sir Tor,
the good knight, is my half brother. When Sir Palomides
heard him say so he kneeled down and asked mercy, For
outrageously have I done to you this day; considering
the great deeds of arms I have seen you do, shamefully
and unknightly I have required you to do battle. Ah, Sir
Palomides, said Sir Lamorak, overmuch have ye done and
said to me. And therewith he embraced him with his
both hands, and said: Palomides, the worthy knight, in
all this land is no better than ye, nor more of prowess,
and me repenteth sore that we should fight together. So
it doth not me, said Sir Palomides, and yet am I sorer
wounded than ye be; but as for that I shall soon thereof
be whole. But certainly I would not for the fairest castle
in this land, but if thou and I had met, for I shall love
you the days of my life afore all other knights except my
brother, Sir Safere. I say the same, said Sir Lamorak,
except my brother, Sir Tor. Then came Sir Dinadan,
and he made great joy of Sir Lamorak. Then their
squires dressed both their shields and their harness, and
stopped their wounds. And thereby at a priory they
rested them all night.


How it was told Sir Launcelot that Dagonet chased King
Mark, and how a knight overthrew him and six knights.

Now turn we again. When Sir Ganis and Sir Brandiles
with his fellows came to the court of King Arthur they
told the king, Sir Launcelot, and Sir Tristram, how Sir
Dagonet, the fool, chased King Mark through the forest,
and how the strong knight smote them down all seven
with one spear. There was great laughing and japing
at King Mark and at Sir Dagonet. But all these knights
could not tell what knight it was that rescued King
Mark. Then they asked King Mark if that he knew
him, and he answered and said: He named himself the
Knight that followed the Questing Beast, and on that
name he sent one of my varlets to a place where was his
mother; and when she heard from whence he came she
made passing great dole, and discovered to my varlet
his name, and said: Oh, my dear son, Sir Palomides,
why wilt thou not see me? And therefore, sir, said King
Mark, it is to understand his name is Sir Palomides, a
noble knight. Then were all these seven knights glad
that they knew his name.

Now turn we again, for on the morn they took their
horses, both Sir Lamorak, Palomides, and Dinadan, with
their squires and varlets, till they saw a fair castle that
stood on a mountain well closed, and thither they rode,
and there they found a knight that hight Galahalt, that
was lord of that castle, and there they had great cheer
and were well eased. Sir Dinadan, said Sir Lamorak,
what will ye do? Oh sir, said Dinadan, I will to-morrow
to the court of King Arthur. By my head, said Sir
Palomides, I will not ride these three days, for I am sore
hurt, and much have I bled, and therefore I will repose
me here. Truly, said Sir Lamorak, and I will abide here
with you; and when ye ride, then will I ride, unless that
ye tarry over long; then will I take my horse. Therefore
I pray you, Sir Dinadan, abide and ride with us. Faithfully,
said Dinadan, I will not abide, for I have such a
talent to see Sir Tristram that I may not abide long
from him. Ah, Dinadan, said Sir Palomides, now do I
understand that ye love my mortal enemy, and therefore
how should I trust you. Well, said Dinadan, I love my
lord Sir Tristram, above all other, and him will I serve
and do honour. So shall I, said Sir Lamorak, in all that
may lie in my power.

So on the morn Sir Dinadan rode unto the court of
King Arthur; and by the way as he rode he saw where
stood an errant knight, and made him ready for to joust.
Not so, said Dinadan, for I have no will to joust. With
me shall ye joust, said the knight, or that ye pass this
way. Whether ask ye jousts, by love or by hate? The
knight answered: Wit ye well I ask it for love, and not
for hate. It may well be so, said Sir Dinadan, but ye
proffer me hard love when ye will joust with me with a
sharp spear. But, fair knight, said Sir Dinadan, sith ye
will joust with me, meet with me in the court of King
Arthur, and there shall I joust with you. Well, said
the knight, sith ye will not joust with me, I pray you
tell me your name. Sir knight, said he, my name is Sir
Dinadan. Ah, said the knight, full well know I you
for a good knight and a gentle, and wit you well I love
you heartily. Then shall there be no jousts, said
Dinadan, betwixt us. So they departed. And the same
day he came to Camelot, where lay King Arthur. And
there he saluted the king and the queen, Sir Launcelot,
and Sir Tristram; and all the court was glad of Sir
Dinadan, for he was gentle, wise, and courteous, and a
good knight. And in especial, the valiant knight Sir
Tristram loved Sir Dinadan passing well above all other
knights save Sir Launcelot.

Then the king asked Sir Dinadan what adventures
he had seen. Sir, said Dinadan, I have seen many
adventures, and of some King Mark knoweth, but not
all. Then the king hearkened Sir Dinadan, how he told
that Sir Palomides and he were afore the castle of
Morgan le Fay, and how Sir Lamorak took the jousts
afore them, and how he forjousted twelve knights, and
of them four he slew, and how after he smote down Sir
Palomides and me both. t I may not believe that, said
the king, for Sir Palomides is a passing good knight.
That is very truth, said Sir Dinadan, but yet I saw him
better proved, hand for hand. And then he told the
king all that battle, and how Sir Palomides was more
weaker, and more hurt, and more lost of his blood. And
without doubt, said Sir Dinadan, had the battle longer
lasted, Palomides had been slain. O Jesu, said King
Arthur, this is to me a great marvel. Sir, said Tristram,
marvel ye nothing thereof, for at mine advice there is
not a valianter knight in the world living, for I know
his might. And now I will say you, I was never so
weary of knight but if it were Sir Launcelot. And
there is no knight in the world except Sir Launcelot that
did so well as Sir Lamorak. So God me help, said the
king, I would that knight, Sir Lamorak, came to this
Court. Sir, said Dinadan, he will be here in short space,
and Sir Palomides both, but I fear that Palomides may
not yet travel.


How King Arthur let do cry a jousts, and how Sir
Lamorak came in, and overthrew Sir Gawaine and
many other.

THEN within three days after the king let make a jousting
at a priory. And there made them ready many knights
of the Round Table, for Sir Gawaine and his brethren
made them ready to joust; but Tristram, Launcelot,
nor Dinadan, would not joust, but suffered Sir Gawaine,
for the love of King Arthur, with his brethren, to win
the gree if they might. Then on the morn they apparelled
them to joust, Sir Gawaine and his four brethren, and
did there great deeds of arms. And Sir Ector de Maris
did marvellously well, but Sir Gawaine passed all that
fellowship; wherefore King Arthur and all the knights
gave Sir Gawaine the honour at the beginning.

Right so King Arthur was ware of a knight and two
squires, the which came out of a forest side, with a shield
covered with leather, and then he came slyly and hurtled
here and there, and anon with one spear he had smitten
down two knights of the Round Table. Then with his
hurtling he lost the covering of his shield, then was the
king and all other ware that he bare a red shield. O Jesu,
said King Arthur, see where rideth a stout knight, he
with the red shield. And there was noise and crying
Beware the Knight with the Red Shield. So within a little
while he had overthrown three brethren of Sir Gawaine's.
So God me help, said King Arthur, meseemeth yonder is
the best jouster that ever I saw. With that he saw him
encounter with Sir Gawaine, and he smote him down with
so great force that he made his horse to avoid his
saddle. How now, said the king, Sir Gawaine hath a
fall; well were me an I knew what knight he were with
the red shield. I know him well, said Dinadan, but as
at this time ye shall not know his name. By my head,
said Sir Tristram, he jousted better than Sir Palomides,
and if ye list to know his name, wit ye well his name is
Sir Lamorak de Galis.

As they stood thus talking, Sir Gawaine and he encountered
together again, and there he smote Sir Gawaine
from his horse, and bruised him sore. And in the sight
of King Arthur he smote down twenty knights, beside Sir
Gawaine and his brethren. And so clearly was the prize
given him as a knight peerless. Then slyly and marvellously
Sir Lamorak withdrew him from all the fellowship
into the forest side. All this espied King Arthur, for his
eye went never from him. Then the king, Sir Launcelot,
Sir Tristram, and Sir Dinadan, took their hackneys, and
rode straight after the good knight, Sir Lamorak de Galis,
and there found him. And thus said the king: Ah, fair
knight, well be ye found. When he saw the king he put
off his helm and saluted him, and when he saw Sir Tristram
he alighted down off his horse and ran to him to take him
by the thighs, but Sir Tristram would not suffer him, but
he alighted or that he came, and either took other in arms,
and made great joy of other. The king was glad, and
also was all the fellowship of the Round Table, except Sir
Gawaine and his brethren. And when they wist that he
was Sir Lamorak, they had great despite at him, and were
wonderly wroth with him that he had put him to dishonour that day.

Then Gawaine called privily in council all his brethren,
and to them said thus: Fair brethren, here may ye see,
whom that we hate King Arthur loveth, and whom that
we love he hateth. And wit ye well, my fair brethren,
that this Sir Lamorak will never love us, because we slew
his father, King Pellinore, for we deemed that he slew our
father, King of Orkney. And for the despite of Pellinore,
Sir Lamorak did us a shame to our mother, therefore I will
be revenged. Sir, said Sir Gawaine's brethren, let see how
ye will or may be revenged, and ye shall find us ready.
Well, said Gawaine, hold you still and we shall espy our


How King Arthur made King Mark to be accorded with
Sir Tristram, and how they departed toward Cornwall.

NOW pass we our matter, and leave we Sir Gawaine, and
speak of King Arthur, that on a day said unto King Mark:
Sir, I pray you give me a gift that I shall ask you. Sir, said
King Mark, I will give you whatsomever ye desire an it be
in my power. Sir, gramercy, said Arthur. This I will ask
you, that ye will be good lord unto Sir Tristram, for he is a
man of great honour; and that ye will take him with you
into Cornwall, and let him see his friends, and there cherish
him for my sake. Sir, said King Mark, I promise you by
the faith of my body, and by the faith that I owe to God
and to you, I shall worship him for your sake in all that I
can or may. Sir, said Arthur, and I will forgive you all
the evil will that ever I ought you, an so be that you swear
that upon a book before me. With a good will, said King
Mark; and so he there sware upon a book afore him and
all his knights, and therewith King Mark and Sir Tristram
took either other by the hands hard knit together. But
for all this King Mark thought falsely, as it proved after,
for he put Sir Tristram in prison, and cowardly would
have slain him.

Then soon after King Mark took his leave to ride into
Cornwall, and Sir Tristram made him ready to ride with
him, whereof the most part of the Round Table were
wroth and heavy, and in especial Sir Launcelot, and Sir
Lamorak, and Sir Dinadan, were wroth out of measure
For well they wist King Mark would slay or destroy Sir
Tristram. Alas, said Dinadan, that my lord, Sir Tristram,
shall depart. And Sir Tristram took such sorrow that he
was amazed like a fool. Alas, said Sir Launcelot unto
King Arthur, what have ye done, for ye shall lose the most
man of worship that ever came into your court. It was
his own desire, said Arthur, and therefore I might not do
withal, for I have done all that I can and made them at
accord. Accord, said Sir Launcelot, fie upon that accord,
for ye shall hear that he shall slay Sir Tristram, or put him
in a prison, for he is the most coward and the villainest
king and knight that is now living.

And therewith Sir Launcelot departed, and came to
King Mark, and said to him thus: Sir king, wit thou well
the good knight Sir Tristram shall go with thee. Beware,
I rede thee, of treason, for an thou mischief that knight
by any manner of falsehood or treason, by the faith I owe
to God and to the order of knighthood, I shall slay thee
with mine own hands. Sir Launcelot, said the king,
overmuch have ye said to me, and I have sworn and said over
largely afore King Arthur in hearing of all his knights,
that I shall not slay nor betray him. It were to me
overmuch shame to break my promise. Ye say well, said Sir
Launcelot, but ye are called so false and full of treason
that no man may believe you. Forsooth it is known well
wherefore ye came into this country, and for none other
cause but for to slay Sir Tristram. So with great dole
King Mark and Sir Tristram rode together, for it was by
Sir Tristram's will and his means to go with King Mark,
and all was for the intent to see La Beale Isoud, for
without the sight of her Sir Tristram might not endure.


How Sir Percivale was made knight of King Arthur, and
how a dumb maid spake, and brought him to the
Round Table.

NOW turn we again unto Sir Lamorak, and speak we of
his brethren, Sir Tor, which was King Pellinore's first son
and begotten of Aryes, wife of the cowherd, for he was a
bastard; and Sir Aglovale was his first son begotten in
wedlock; Sir Lamorak, Dornar, Percivale, these were his
sons too in wedlock. So when King Mark and Sir Tristram
were departed from the court there was made great
dole and sorrow for the departing of Sir Tristram. Then
the king and his knights made no manner of joys eight days
after. And at the eight days' end there came to the court
a knight with a young squire with him. And when this
knight was unarmed, he went to the king and required him
to make the young squire a knight. Of what lineage is he
come? said King Arthur. Sir, said the knight, he is the
son of King Pellinore, that did you some time good service,
and he is a brother unto Sir Lamorak de Galis, the good
knight. Well, said the king, for what cause desire ye that
of me that I should make him knight? Wit you well, my
lord the king, that this young squire is brother to me as
well as to Sir Lamorak, and my name is Aglavale. Sir
Aglavale, said Arthur, for the love of Sir Lamorak, and
for his father's love, he shall be made knight to-morrow.
Now tell me, said Arthur, what is his name? Sir, said
the knight, his name is Percivale de Galis. So on the
morn the king made him knight in Camelot. But the
king and all the knights thought it would be long or that
he proved a good knight.

Then at the dinner, when the king was set at the table,
and every knight after he was of prowess, the king
commanded him to be set among mean knights; and so was
Sir Percivale set as the king commanded. Then was
there a maiden in the queen's court that was come of high
blood, and she was dumb and never spake word. Right
so she came straight into the hall, and went unto Sir
Percivale, and took him by the hand and said aloud, that
the king and all the knights might hear it: Arise, Sir
Percivale, the noble knight and God's knight, and go with
me; and so he did. And there she brought him to the
right side of the Siege Perilous, and said, Fair knight, take
here thy siege, for that siege appertaineth to thee and to
none other. Right so she departed and asked a priest.
And as she was confessed and houselled then she died.
Then the king and all the court made great joy of Sir


How Sir Lamorak visited King Lot's wife, and how Sir
Gaheris slew her which was his own mother.

NOW turn we unto Sir Lamorak, that much was there praised.
Then, by the mean of Sir Gawaine and his brethren, they
sent for their mother there besides, fast by a castle beside
Camelot; and all was to that intent to slay Sir Lamorak.
The Queen of Orkney was there but a while, but Sir
Lamorak wist of their being, and was full fain; and for to
make an end of this matter, he sent unto her, and there
betwixt them was a night assigned that Sir Lamorak should
come to her. Thereof was ware Sir Gaheris, and there he
rode afore the same night, and waited upon Sir Lamorak,
and then he saw where he came all armed. And where
Sir Lamorak alighted he tied his horse to a privy postern,
and so he went into a parlour and unarmed him; and
then he went unto the queen's bed, and she made of him
passing great joy, and he of her again, for either loved
other passing sore. So when the knight, Sir Gaheris, saw
his time, he came to their bedside all armed, with his sword
naked, and suddenly gat his mother by the hair and struck
off her head.

When Sir Lamorak saw the blood dash upon him all
hot, the which he loved passing well, wit you well he was
sore abashed and dismayed of that dolorous knight. And
therewithal, Sir Lamorak leapt out of the bed in his shirt
as a knight dismayed, saying thus: Ah, Sir Gaheris, knight
of the Table Round, foul and evil have ye done, and to you
great shame. Alas, why have ye slain your mother that
bare you? with more right ye should have slain me. The
offence hast thou done, said Gaheris, notwithstanding a
man is born to offer his service; but yet shouldst thou
beware with whom thou meddlest, for thou hast put me
and my brethren to a shame, and thy father slew our
father; and thou to lie by our mother is too much shame
for us to suffer. And as for thy father, King Pellinore
my brother Sir Gawaine and I slew him. Ye did him
the more wrong, said Sir Lamorak, for my father slew
not your father, it was Balin le Savage: and as yet my
father's death is not revenged. Leave those words, said Sir
Gaheris, for an thou speak feloniously I will slay thee. But
because thou art naked I am ashamed to slay thee. But
wit thou well, in what place I may get thee I shall slay
thee; and now my mother is quit of thee; and withdraw
thee and take thine armour, that thou were gone. Sir
Lamorak saw there was none other bote, but fast armed
him, and took his horse and rode his way making great
sorrow. But for the shame and dolour he would not ride
to King Arthur's court, but rode another way.

But when it was known that Gaheris had slain his
mother the king was passing wroth, and commanded him
to go out of his court. Wit ye well Sir Gawaine was
wroth that Gaheris had slain his mother and let Sir Lamorak
escape. And for this matter was the king passing wroth,
and so was Sir Launcelot, and many other knights. Sir, said
Sir Launcelot, here is a great mischief befallen by felony,
and by forecast treason, that your sister is thus shamefully
slain. And I dare say that it was wrought by treason,
and I dare say ye shall lose that good knight, Sir Lamorak
the which is great pity. I wot well and am sure, an Sir
Tristram wist it, he would never more come within your
court, the which should grieve you much more and all your
knights. God defend, said the noble King Arthur, that I
should lose Sir Lamorak or Sir Tristram, for then twain
of my chief knights of the Table Round were gone. Sir,
said Sir Launcelot, I am sure ye shall lose Sir Lamorak, for
Sir Gawaine and his brethren will slay him by one mean or
other; for they among them have concluded and sworn to
slay him an ever they may see their time. That shall I
let, said Arthur.


How Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred met with a knight
fleeing, and how they both were overthrown, and of Sir

NOW leave we of Sir Lamorak, and speak of Sir Gawaine's
brethren, and specially of Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred.
As they rode on their adventures they met with a knight
fleeing, sore wounded; and they asked him what tidings.
Fair knights, said he, here cometh a knight after me that
will slay me. With that came Sir Dinadan riding to them
by adventure, but he would promise them no help. But
Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred promised him to rescue
him. Therewithal came that knight straight unto them,
and anon he proffered to joust. That saw Sir Mordred
and rode to him, but he struck Mordred over his horse's
tail. That saw Sir Agravaine, and straight he rode toward
that knight, and right so as he served Mordred so he
served Agravaine, and said to them: Sirs, wit ye well both
that I am Breuse Saunce Pit, that hath done this to you.
And yet he rode over Agravaine five or six times. When
Dinadan saw this, he must needs joust with him for shame.
And so Dinadan and he encountered together, that with
pure strength Sir Dinadan smote him over his horse's tail
Then he took his horse and fled, for he was on foot one
of the valiantest knights in Arthur's days, and a great
destroyer of all good knights.

Then rode Sir Dinadan unto Sir Mordred and unto Sir
Agravaine. Sir knight, said they all, well have ye done,
and well have ye revenged us, wherefore we pray you tell
us your name. Fair sirs, ye ought to know my name, the
which is called Sir Dinadan. When they understood that it
was Dinadan they were more wroth than they were before,
for they hated him out of measure because of Sir Lamorak.
For Dinadan had such a custom that he loved all good
knights that were valiant, and he hated all those that were
destroyers of good knights. And there were none that
hated Dinadan but those that ever were called murderers.
Then spake the hurt knight that Breuse Saunce Pit had
chased, his name was Dalan, and said: If thou be Dinadan
thou slewest my father. It may well be so, said Dinadan,
but then it was in my defence and at his request. By my
head, said Dalan, thou shalt die therefore, and therewith
he dressed his spear and his shield. And to make the
shorter tale, Sir Dinadan smote him down off his horse,
that his neck was nigh broken. And in the same wise he
smote Sir Mordred and Sir Agravaine. And after, in the
quest of the Sangreal, cowardly and feloniously they slew
Dinadan, the which was great damage, for he was a great
bourder and a passing good knight.

And so Sir Dinadan rode to a castle that hight Beale-
Valet. And there he found Sir Palomides that was not
yet whole of the wound that Sir Lamorak gave him. And
there Dinadan told Palomides all the tidings that he heard
and saw of Sir Tristram, and how he was gone with King
Mark, and with him he hath all his will and desire.
Therewith Sir Palomides waxed wroth, for he loved La
Beale Isoud. And then he wist well that Sir Tristram
enjoyed her.


How King Arthur, the Queen, and Launcelot received letters
out of Cornwall, and of the answer again.

NOW leave we Sir Palomides and Sir Dinadan in the Castle
of Beale-Valet, and turn we again unto King Arthur.
There came a knight out of Cornwall, his name was Fergus,
a fellow of the Round Table. And there he told the king
and Sir Launcelot good tidings of Sir Tristram, and there
were brought goodly letters, and how he left him in the
castle of Tintagil. Then came the damosel that brought
goodly letters unto King Arthur and unto Sir Launcelot,
and there she had passing good cheer of the king, and of
the Queen Guenever, and of Sir Launcelot. Then they
wrote goodly letters again. But Sir Launcelot bade ever
Sir Tristram beware of King Mark, for ever he called him
in his letters King Fox, as who saith, he fareth all with
wiles and treason. Whereof Sir Tristram in his heart
thanked Sir Launcelot. Then the damosel went unto La
Beale Isoud, and bare her letters from the king and from
Sir Launcelot, whereof she was in passing great joy. Fair
damosel, said La Beale Isoud, how fareth my Lord Arthur,
and the Queen Guenever, and the noble knight, Sir
Launcelot? She answered, and to make short tale: Much
the better that ye and Sir Tristram be in joy. God reward
them, said La Beale Isoud, for Sir Tristram suffereth great
pain for me, and I for him.

So the damosel departed, and brought letters to King
Mark. And when he had read them, and understood
them, he was wroth with Sir Tristram, for he deemed that
he had sent the damosel unto King Arthur. For Arthur
and Launcelot in a manner threated King Mark. And
as King Mark read these letters he deemed treason by Sir
Tristram. Damosel, said King Mark, will ye ride again
and bear letters from me unto King Arthur? Sir, she
said, I will be at your commandment to ride when ye will.
Ye say well, said the king; come again, said the king,
to-morn, and fetch your letters. Then she departed and told
them how she should ride again with letters unto Arthur.
Then we pray you, said La Beale Isoud and Sir Tristram,
that when ye have received your letters, that ye would
come by us that we may see the privity of your letters.
All that I may do, madam, ye wot well I must do for Sir
Tristram, for I have been long his own maiden.

So on the morn the damosel went to King Mark to
have had his letters and to depart. I am not avised, said
King Mark, as at this time to send my letters. Then
privily and secretly he sent letters unto King Arthur, and
unto Queen Guenever, and unto Sir Launcelot. So the
varlet departed, and found the king and the queen in
Wales, at Carlion. And as the king and the queen were
at mass the varlet came with the letters. And when mass
was done the king and the queen opened the letters privily
by themself. And the beginning of the king's letters
spake wonderly short unto King Arthur, and bade him
entermete with himself and with his wife, and of his
knights; for he was able enough to rule and keep his


How Sir Launcelot was wroth with the letter that he received
from King Mark, and of Dinadan which made a lay
of King Mark.

WHEN King Arthur understood the letter, he mused of
many things, and thought on his sister's words, Queen
Morgan le Fay, that she had said betwixt Queen Guenever
and Sir Launcelot. And in this thought he studied a
great while. Then he bethought him again how his sister
was his own enemy, and that she hated the queen and Sir
Launcelot, and so he put all that out of his thought.
Then King Arthur read the letter again, and the latter
clause said that King Mark took Sir Tristram for his
mortal enemy; wherefore he put Arthur out of doubt he
would be revenged of Sir Tristram. Then was King
Arthur wroth with King Mark. And when Queen
Guenever read her letter and understood it, she was wroth
out of measure, for the letter spake shame by her and by
Sir Launcelot. And so privily she sent the letter unto Sir
Launcelot. And when he wist the intent of the letter he
was so wroth that he laid him down on his bed to sleep,
whereof Sir Dinadan was ware, for it was his manner to be
privy with all good knights. And as Sir Launcelot slept he
stole the letter out of his hand, and read it word by word.
And then he made great sorrow for anger. And so Sir
Launcelot awaked, and went to a window, and read the
letter again, the which made him angry.

Sir, said Dinadan, wherefore be ye angry? discover
your heart to me: forsooth ye wot well I owe you good
will, howbeit I am a poor knight and a servitor unto you
and to all good knights. For though I be not of worship
myself I love all those that be of worship. It is truth, said
Sir Launcelot, ye are a trusty knight, and for great trust I
will shew you my counsel. And when Dinadan understood
all, he said: This is my counsel: set you right nought by
these threats, for King Mark is so villainous, that by fair
speech shall never man get of him. But ye shall see what
I shall do; I will make a lay for him, and when it is made
I shall make an harper to sing it afore him. So anon he
went and made it, and taught it an harper that hight Eliot.
And when he could it, he taught it to many harpers. And
so by the will of Sir Launcelot, and of Arthur, the harpers
went straight into Wales, and into Cornwall, to sing the
lay that Sir Dinadan made by King Mark, the which was
the worst lay that ever harper sang with harp or with any
other instruments.


How Sir Tristram was hurt, and of a war made to King
Mark; and of Sir Tristram how he promised to rescue

NOW turn we again unto Sir Tristram and to King Mark.
As Sir Tristram was at jousts and at tournament it fortuned
he was sore hurt both with a spear and with a sword, but
yet he won always the degree. And for to repose him he
went to a good knight that dwelled in Cornwall, in a castle,
whose name was Sir Dinas le Seneschal. Then by misfortune
there came out of Sessoin a great number of men of
arms, and an hideous host, and they entered nigh the Castle
of Tintagil; and their captain's name was Elias, a good
man of arms. When King Mark understood his enemies
were entered into his land he made great dole and sorrow,
for in no wise by his will King Mark would not send for
Sir Tristram, for he hated him deadly.

So when his council was come they devised and cast
many perils of the strength of their enemies. And then they
concluded all at once, and said thus unto King Mark: Sir,
wit ye well ye must send for Sir Tristram, the good knight,
or else they will never be overcome. For by Sir Tristram
they must be foughten withal, or else we row against the
stream. Well, said King Mark, I will do by your counsel;
but yet he was full loath thereto, but need constrained him
to send for him. Then was he sent for in all haste that
might be, that he should come to King Mark. And when
he understood that King Mark had sent for him, he
mounted upon a soft ambler and rode to King Mark.
And when he was come the king said thus: Fair nephew
Sir Tristram, this is all. Here be come our enemies of
Sessoin, that are here nigh hand, and without tarrying they
must be met with shortly, or else they will destroy this
country. Sir, said Sir Tristram, wit ye well all my power
is at your commandment. And wit ye well, sir, these
eight days I may bear none arms, for my wounds be not
yet whole. And by that day I shall do what I may. Ye
say well, said King Mark; then go ye again and repose
you and make you fresh, and I shall go and meet the
Sessoins with all my power.

So the king departed unto Tintagil, and Sir Tristram
went to repose him. And the king made a great host
and departed them in three; the first part led Sir Dinas
the Seneschal, and Sir Andred led the second part, and Sir
Argius led the third part; and he was of the blood of
King Mark. And the Sessoins had three great battles,
and many good men of arms. And so King Mark by the
advice of his knights issued out of the Castle of Tintagil
upon his enemies. And Dinas, the good knight, rode out
afore, and slew two knights with his own hands, and then
began the battles. And there was marvellous breaking of
spears and smiting of swords, and slew down many good
knights. And ever was Sir Dinas the Seneschal the best
of King Mark's party. And thus the battle endured long
with great mortality. But at the last King Mark and Sir
Dinas, were they never so loath, they withdrew them to
the Castle of Tintagil with great slaughter of people; and
the Sessoins followed on fast, that ten of them were put
within the gates and four slain with the portcullis.

Then King Mark sent for Sir Tristram by a varlet,
that told him all the mortality. Then he sent the varlet
again, and bade him: Tell King Mark that I will come as
soon as I am whole, for erst I may do him no good. Then
King Mark had his answer. Therewith came Elias and
bade the king yield up the castle: For ye may not hold
it no while. Sir Elias, said the king, so will I yield up the
castle if I be not soon rescued. Anon King Mark sent
again for rescue to Sir Tristram. By then Sir Tristram
was whole, and he had gotten him ten good knights of
Arthur's; and with them he rode unto Tintagil. And
when he saw the great host of Sessoins he marvelled wonder
greatly. And then Sir Tristram rode by the woods and
by the ditches as secretly as he might, till he came nigh
the gates. And there dressed a knight to him when he
saw that Sir Tristram would enter; and Sir Tristram
smote him down dead, and so he served three more. And
everych of these ten knights slew a man of arms. So
Sir Tristram entered into the Castle of Tintagil. And
when King Mark wist that Sir Tristram was come he was
glad of his coming, and so was all the fellowship, and of
him they made great joy.


How Sir Tristram overcame the battle, and how Elias
desired a man to fight body for body.

SO on the morn Elias the captain came, and bade King
Mark: Come out and do battle; for now the good knight
Sir Tristram is entered it will be shame to thee, said Elias,
for to keep thy walls. When King Mark understood this
he was wroth and said no word, but went unto Sir Tristram
and asked him his counsel. Sir, said Sir Tristram, will ye
that I give him his answer? I will well, said King Mark.
Then Sir Tristram said thus to the messenger: Bear thy
lord word from the king and me, that we will do battle with
him to-morn in the plain field. What is your name? said
the messenger. Wit thou well my name is Sir Tristram
de Liones. Therewithal the messenger departed and told
his lord Elias all that he had heard. Sir, said Sir Tristram
unto King Mark, I pray you give me leave to have the
rule of the battle. I pray you take the rule, said King
Mark. Then Sir Tristram let devise the battle in what
manner that it should be. He let depart his host in six
parties, and ordained Sir Dinas the Seneschal to have the
foreward, and other knights to rule the remnant. And
the same night Sir Tristram burnt all the Sessoins' ships
unto the cold water. Anon, as Elias wist that, he said it
was of Sir Tristram's doing: For he casteth that we shall
never escape, mother son of us. Therefore, fair fellows,
fight freely to-morrow, and miscomfort you nought; for
any knight, though he be the best knight in the world, he
may not have ado with us all.

Then they ordained their battle in four parties,
wonderly well apparelled and garnished with men of arms.
Thus they within issued, and they without set freely upon
them; and there Sir Dinas did great deeds of arms. Not
for then Sir Dinas and his fellowship were put to the worse.
With that came Sir Tristram and slew two knights with
one spear; then he slew on the right hand and on the left
hand, that men marvelled that ever he might do such
deeds of arms. And then he might see sometime the
battle was driven a bow-draught from the castle, and
sometime it was at the gates of the castle. Then came
Elias the captain rushing here and there, and hit King
Mark so sore upon the helm that he made him to avoid
the saddle. And then Sir Dinas gat King Mark again to
horseback. Therewithal came in Sir Tristram like a lion,
and there he met with Elias, and he smote him so sore
upon the helm that he avoided his saddle. And thus they
fought till it was night, and for great slaughter and for
wounded people everych party drew to their rest.

And when King Mark was come within the Castle of
Tintagil he lacked of his knights an hundred, and they
without lacked two hundred; and they searched the
wounded men on both parties. And then they went to
council; and wit you well either party were loath to fight
more, so that either might escape with their worship.
When Elias the captain understood the death of his men
he made great dole; and when he wist that they were
loath to go to battle again he was wroth out of measure.
Then Elias sent word unto King Mark, in great despite,
whether he would find a knight that would fight for him
body for body. And if that he might slay King Mark's
knight, he to have the truage of Cornwall yearly. And
if that his knight slay mine, I fully release my claim
forever. Then the messenger departed unto King Mark,
and told him how that his lord Elias had sent him word
to find a knight to do battle with him body for body.
When King Mark understood the messenger, he bade him
abide and he should have his answer. Then called he all
the baronage together to wit what was the best counsel.
They said all at once: To fight in a field we have no lust,
for had not been Sir Tristram's prowess it had been likely
that we never should have escaped; and therefore, sir, as
we deem, it were well done to find a knight that would do
battle with him, for he knightly proffereth.


How Sir Elias and Sir Tristram fought together for the
truage, and how Sir Tristram slew Elias in the field.

NOT for then when all this was said, they could find no
knight that would do battle with him. Sir king, said they
all, here is no knight that dare fight with Elias. Alas,
said King Mark, then am I utterly ashamed and utterly
destroyed, unless that my nephew Sir Tristram will take
the battle upon him. Wit you well, they said all, he had
yesterday overmuch on hand, and he is weary for travail,
and sore wounded. Where is he? said King Mark. Sir,
said they, he is in his bed to repose him. Alas, said King
Mark, but I have the succour of my nephew Sir Tristram,
I am utterly destroyed for ever.

Therewith one went to Sir Tristram where he lay, and
told him what King Mark had said. And therewith Sir
Tristram arose lightly, and put on him a long gown, and
came afore the king and all the lords. And when he saw
them all so dismayed he asked the king and the lords
what tidings were with them. Never worse, said the
king. And therewith he told him all, how he had word
of Elias to find a knight to fight for the truage of
Cornwall, and none can I find. And as for you, said the king
and all the lords, we may ask no more of you for shame;
for through your hardiness yesterday ye saved all our lives.
Sir, said Sir Tristram, now I understand ye would have my
succour, reason would that I should do all that lieth in my
power to do, saving my worship and my life, howbeit I
am sore bruised and hurt. And sithen Sir Elias proffereth
so largely, I shall fight with him, or else I will be slain in
the field, or else I will deliver Cornwall from the old
truage. And therefore lightly call his messenger and he
shall be answered, for as yet my wounds be green, and
they will be sorer a seven night after than they be now;
and therefore he shall have his answer that I will do battle
to-morn with him.

Then was the messenger departed brought before King
Mark. Hark, my fellow, said Sir Tristram, go fast unto
thy lord, and bid him make true assurance on his part for
the truage, as the king here shall make on his part; and
then tell thy lord, Sir Elias, that I, Sir Tristram, King
Arthur's knight, and knight of the Table Round, will as
to-morn meet with thy lord on horseback, to do battle as
long as my horse may endure, and after that to do battle
with him on foot to the utterance. The messenger beheld
Sir Tristram from the top to the toe; and therewithal he
departed and came to his lord, and told him how he was
answered of Sir Tristram. And therewithal was made
hostage on both parties, and made it as sure as it might
be, that whether party had the victory, so to end. And
then were both hosts assembled on both parts of the field,
without the Castle of Tintagil, and there was none but Sir
Tristram and Sir Elias armed.

So when the appointment was made, they departed
in-sunder, and they came together with all the might that
their horses might run. And either knight smote other
so hard that both horses and knights went to the earth.
Not for then they both lightly arose and dressed their
shields on their shoulders, with naked swords in their
hands, and they dashed together that it seemed a flaming
fire about them. Thus they traced, and traversed, and
hewed on helms and hauberks, and cut away many cantels
of their shields, and either wounded other passing sore, so
that the hot blood fell freshly upon the earth. And by
then they had foughten the mountenance of an hour Sir
Tristram waxed faint and for-bled, and gave sore aback.
That saw Sir Elias, and followed fiercely upon him, and
wounded him in many places. And ever Sir Tristram
traced and traversed, and went froward him here and there,
and covered him with his shield as he might all weakly,
that all men said he was overcome; for Sir Elias had given
him twenty strokes against one.

Then was there laughing of the Sessoins' party, and
great dole on King Mark's party. Alas, said the king,
we are ashamed and destroyed all for ever: for as the
book saith, Sir Tristram was never so matched, but if it
were Sir Launcelot. Thus as they stood and beheld both
parties, that one party laughing and the other party
weeping, Sir Tristram remembered him of his lady, La
Beale Isoud, that looked upon him, and how he was likely
never to come in her presence. Then he pulled up his
shield that erst hung full low. And then he dressed up
his shield unto Elias, and gave him many sad strokes,
twenty against one, and all to-brake his shield and his
hauberk, that the hot blood ran down to the earth. Then
began King Mark to laugh, and all Cornish men, and that
other party to weep. And ever Sir Tristram said to Sir
Elias: Yield thee.

Then when Sir Tristram saw him so staggering on the
ground, he said: Sir Elias, I am right sorry for thee, for
thou art a passing good knight as ever I met withal, except
Sir Launcelot. Therewithal Sir Elias fell to the earth, and
there died. What shall I do, said Sir Tristram unto King
Mark, for this battle is at an end? Then they of Elias'
party departed, and King Mark took of them many
prisoners, to redress the harms and the scathes that he had
of them; and the remnant he sent into their country to
borrow out their fellows. Then was Sir Tristram searched
and well healed. Yet for all this King Mark would fain
have slain Sir Tristram. But for all that ever Sir Tristram
saw or heard by King Mark, yet would he never beware
of his treason, but ever he would be thereas La Beale
Isoud was.


How at a great feast that King Mark made an harper
came and sang the lay that Dinadan had made.

NOW will we pass of this matter, and speak we of the
harpers that Sir Launcelot and Sir Dinadan had sent into
Cornwall. And at the great feast that King Mark made
for joy that the Sessoins were put out of his country, then
came Eliot the harper with the lay that Dinadan had made
and secretly brought it unto Sir Tristram, and told him
the lay that Dinadan had made by King Mark. And
when Sir Tristram heard it, he said: O Lord Jesu, that
Dinadan can make wonderly well and ill, thereas it shall
be. Sir, said Eliot, dare I sing this song afore King Mark?
Yea, on my peril, said Sir Tristram, for I shall be thy
warrant. Then at the meat came in Eliot the harper, and
because he was a curious harper men heard him sing the
same lay that Dinadan had made, the which spake the
most villainy by King Mark of his treason that ever man

When the harper had sung his song to the end King
Mark was wonderly wroth, and said: Thou harper, how
durst thou be so bold on thy head to sing this song afore
me. Sir, said Eliot, wit you well I am a minstrel, and I
must do as I am commanded of these lords that I bear the
arms of. And sir, wit ye well that Sir Dinadan, a knight
of the Table Round, made this song, and made me to
sing it afore you. Thou sayest well, said King Mark,
and because thou art a minstrel thou shalt go quit, but I
charge thee hie thee fast out of my sight. So the harper
departed and went to Sir Tristram, and told him how he
had sped. Then Sir Tristram let make letters as goodly
as he could to Launcelot and to Sir Dinadan. And so he
let conduct the harper out of the country. But to say
that King Mark was wonderly wroth, he was, for he
deemed that the lay that was sung afore him was made by
Sir Tristram's counsel, wherefore he thought to slay him
and all his well-willers in that country.


How King Mark slew by treason his brother Boudwin, for
good service that he had done to him.

NOW turn we to another matter that fell between
King Mark and his brother, that was called the good
Prince Boudwin, that all the people of the country loved
passing well. So it befell on a time that the miscreant
Saracens landed in the country of Cornwall soon after
these Sessoins were gone. And then the good Prince
Boudwin, at the landing, he raised the country privily and
hastily. And or it were day he let put wildfire in three
of his own ships, and suddenly he pulled up the sail, and
with the wind he made those ships to be driven among
the navy of the Saracens. And to make short tale, those
three ships set on fire all the ships, that none were saved.
And at point of the day the good Prince Boudwin with
all his fellowship set on the miscreants with shouts and
cries, and slew to the number of forty thousand, and left
none alive.

When King Mark wist this he was wonderly wroth
that his brother should win such worship. And because
this prince was better beloved than he in all that country,
and that also Boudwin loved well Sir Tristram, therefore
he thought to slay him. And thus, hastily, as a man out
of his wit, he sent for Prince Boudwin and Anglides his
wife, and bade them bring their young son with them,
that he might see him. All this he did to the intent to
slay the child as well as his father, for he was the falsest
traitor that ever was born. Alas, for his goodness and
for his good deeds this gentle Prince Boudwin was slain.
So when he came with his wife Anglides, the king made
them fair semblant till they had dined. And when they
had dined King Mark sent for his brother and said thus:
Brother, how sped you when the miscreants arrived by
you? meseemeth it had been your part to have sent me
word, that I might have been at that journey, for it had
been reason that I had had the honour and not you.
Sir, said the Prince Boudwin, it was so that an I had
tarried till that I had sent for you those miscreants had
destroyed my country. Thou liest, false traitor, said
King Mark, for thou art ever about for to win worship
from me, and put me to dishonour, and thou cherishest
that I hate. And therewith he struck him to the heart
with a dagger, that he never after spake word. Then the
Lady Anglides made great dole, and swooned, for she saw
her lord slain afore her face. Then was there no more to
do but Prince Boudwin was despoiled and brought to
burial. But Anglides privily gat her husband's doublet
and his shirt, and that she kept secretly.

Then was there much sorrow and crying, and great
dole made Sir Tristram, Sir Dinas, Sir Fergus, and so did
all knights that were there; for that prince was passingly
well beloved. So La Beale Isoud sent unto Anglides, the
Prince Boudwin's wife, and bade her avoid lightly or else
her young son, Alisander le Orphelin, should be slain
When she heard this, she took her horse and her child;
and rode with such poor men as durst ride with her.


How Anglides, Boudwin's wife, escaped with her young son,
Alisander le Orphelin, and came to the Castle of Arundel.

NOTWITHSTANDING, when King Mark had done this
deed, yet he thought to do more vengeance; and with his
sword in his hand, he sought from chamber to chamber,
to seek Anglides and her young son. And when she was
missed he called a good knight that hight Sadok, and
charged him by pain of death to fetch Anglides again and
her young son. So Sir Sadok departed and rode after
Anglides. And within ten mile he overtook her, and
bade her turn again and ride with him to King Mark.
Alas, fair knight, she said, what shall ye win by my son's
death or by mine? I have had overmuch harm and too
great a loss. Madam, said Sadok, of your loss is dole
and pity; but madam, said Sadok, would ye depart out
of this country with your son, and keep him till he be of
age, that he may revenge his father's death, then would
I suffer you to depart from me, so you promise me
to revenge the death of Prince Boudwin. Ah, gentle
knight, Jesu thank thee, and if ever my son, Alisander le
Orphelin, live to be a knight, he shall have his father's
doublet and his shirt with the bloody marks, and I shall
give him such a charge that he shall remember it while he
liveth. And therewithal Sadok departed from her, and
either betook other to God. And when Sadok came to
King Mark he told him faithfully that he had drowned
young Alisander her son; and thereof King Mark was
full glad.

Now turn we unto Anglides, that rode both night and
day by adventure out of Cornwall, and little and in few
places she rested; but ever she drew southward to the
seaside, till by fortune she came to a castle that is called
Magouns, and now it is called Arundel, in Sussex. And
the Constable of the castle welcomed her, and said she
was welcome to her own castle; and there was Anglides 2t
worshipfully received, for the Constable's wife was nigh
her cousin, and the Constable's name was Bellangere; and
that same Constable told Anglides that the same castle
was hers by right inheritance. Thus Anglides endured
years and winters, till Alisander was big and strong;
there was none so wight in all that country, neither there
was none that might do no manner of mastery afore him.


How Anglides gave the bloody doublet to Alisander, her son,
the same day that he was made knight, and the charge

THEN upon a day Bellangere the Constable came to
Anglides and said: Madam, it were time my lord Alisander
were made knight, for he is a passing strong
young man. Sir, said she, I would he were made knight;
but then must I give him the most charge that ever
sinful mother gave to her child. Do as ye list, said
Bellangere, and I shall give him warning that he shall be
made knight. Now it will be well done that he may be
made knight at our Lady Day in Lent. Be it so, said
Anglides, and I pray you make ready therefore. So came
the Constable to Alisander, and told him that he should
at our Lady Day in Lent be made knight. I thank God,
said Alisander; these are the best tidings that ever came
to me. Then the Constable ordained twenty of the
greatest gentlemen's sons, and the best born men of the
country, that should be made knights that same day that
Alisander was made knight. So on the same day that
Alisander and his twenty fellows were made knights, at
the offering of the mass there came Anglides unto her
son and said thus: O fair sweet son, I charge thee upon
my blessing, and of the high order of chivalry that thou
takest here this day, that thou understand what I shall
say and charge thee withal. Therewithal she pulled out a
bloody doublet and a bloody shirt, that were be-bled with
old blood. When Alisander saw this he stert aback and
waxed pale, and said: Fair mother, what may this mean?
I shall tell thee, fair son: this was thine own father's
doublet and shirt, that he wore upon him that same day
that he was slain. And there she told him why and
wherefore, and how for his goodness King Mark slew
him with his dagger afore mine own eyen. And therefore
this shall be your charge that I shall give thee.


How it was told to King Mark of Sir Alisander, and how
he would have slain Sir Sadok for saving his life.

NOW I require thee, and charge thee upon my blessing,
and upon the high order of knighthood, that thou be
revenged upon King Mark for the death of thy father.
And therewithal she swooned. Then Alisander leapt to
his mother, and took her up in his arms, and said: Fair
mother, ye have given me a great charge, and here I
promise you I shall be avenged upon King Mark when
that I may; and that I promise to God and to you. So
this feast was ended, and the Constable, by the advice of
Anglides, let purvey that Alisander was well horsed and
harnessed. Then he jousted with his twenty fellows that
were made knights with him, but for to make a short
tale, he overthrew all those twenty, that none might
withstand him a buffet.

Then one of those knights departed unto King Mark,
and told him all, how Alisander was made knight, and all
the charge that his mother gave him, as ye have heard
afore time. Alas, false treason, said King Mark, I weened
that young traitor had been dead. Alas, whom may I
trust? And therewithal King Mark took a sword in his
hand; and sought Sir Sadok from chamber to chamber to
slay him. When Sir Sadok saw King Mark come with
his sword in his hand he said thus: Beware, King Mark,
and come not nigh me; for wit thou well that I saved
Alisander his life, of which I never repent me, for thou
falsely and cowardly slew his father Boudwin, traitorly for
his good deeds; wherefore I pray Almighty Jesu send
Alisander might and strength to be revenged upon thee.
And now beware King Mark of young Alisander, for he
is made a knight. Alas, said King Mark, that ever I
should hear a traitor say so afore me. And therewith
four knights of King Mark's drew their swords to slay Sir
Sadok, but anon Sir Sadok slew them all in King Mark's
presence. And then Sir Sadok passed forth into his
chamber, and took his horse and his harness, and rode on
his way a good pace. For there was neither Sir Tristram,
neither Sir Dinas, nor Sir Fergus, that would Sir Sadok
any evil will. Then was King Mark wroth, and thought
to destroy Sir Alisander and Sir Sadok that had saved him;
for King Mark dreaded and hated Alisander most of any
man living.

When Sir Tristram understood that Alisander was
made knight, anon forthwithal he sent him a letter,
praying him and charging him that he would draw him to the
court of King Arthur, and that he put him in the rule and
in the hands of Sir Launcelot. So this letter was sent to
Alisander from his cousin, Sir Tristram. And at that time
he thought to do after his commandment. Then King
Mark called a knight that brought him the tidings from
Alisander, and bade him abide still in that country. Sir,
said that knight, so must I do, for in my own country I
dare not come. No force, said King Mark, I shall give
thee here double as much lands as ever thou hadst of thine
own. But within short space Sir Sadok met with that false
knight, and slew him. Then was King Mark wood wroth
out of measure. Then he sent unto Queen Morgan le
Fay, and to the Queen of North-galis, praying them in his
letters that they two sorceresses would set all the country
in fire with ladies that were enchantresses, and by such that
were dangerous knights, as Malgrin, Breuse Saunce Pit,
that by no mean Alisander le Orphelin should escape, but
either he should be taken or slain. This ordinance made
King Mark for to destroy Alisander.


How Sir Alisander won the prize at a tournament, and of
Morgan le Fay: and how he fought with Sir Malgrin,
and slew him.

NOW turn we again unto Sir Alisander, that at his departing
his mother took with him his father's bloody shirt.
So that he bare with him always till his death day, in
tokening to think of his father's death. So was Alisander
purposed to ride to London, by the counsel of Sir Tristram,
to Sir Launcelot. And by fortune he went by the
seaside, and rode wrong. And there he won at a tournament
the gree that King Carados made. And there he
smote down King Carados and twenty of his knights, and
also Sir Safere, a good knight that was Sir Palomides'
brother, the good knight. All this saw a damosel, and
saw the best knight joust that ever she saw. And ever as
he smote down knights he made them to swear to wear
none harness in a twelvemonth and a day. This is well
said, said Morgan le Fay, this is the knight that I would
fain see. And so she took her palfrey, and rode a great
while, and then she rested her in her pavilion. So there
came four knights, two were armed, and two were unarmed,
and they told Morgan le Fay their names: the first
was Elias de Gomeret, the second was Cari de Gomeret,
those were armed; that other twain were of Camiliard,
cousins unto Queen Guenever, and that one hight Guy,
and that other hight Garaunt, those were unarmed. There
these four knights told Morgan le Fay how a young
knight had smitten them down before a castle For the
maiden of that castle said that he was but late made knight,
and young. But as we suppose, but if it were Sir Tristram,
or Sir Launcelot, or Sir Lamorak, the good knight, there
is none that might sit him a buffet with a spear. Well,
said Morgan le Fay, I shall meet that knight or it be long
time, an he dwell in that country.

So turn we to the damosel of the castle, that when
Alisander le Orphelin had forjousted the four knights,
she called him to her, and said thus: Sir knight, wilt thou
for my sake joust and fight with a knight, for my sake,
of this country, that is and hath been long time an evil
neighbour to me? His name is Malgrin, and he will not
suffer me to be married in no manner wise for all that I
can do, or any knight for my sake. Damosel, said Alisander,
an he come whiles I am here I will fight with him,
and my poor body for your sake I will jeopard. And
therewithal she sent for him, for he was at her commandment.
And when either had a sight of other, they made
them ready for to joust, and they came together eagerly,
and Malgrin brised his spear upon Alisander, and Alisander
smote him again so hard that he bare him quite from his
saddle to the earth. But this Malgrin arose lightly, and
dressed his shield and drew his sword, and bade him alight,
saying: Though thou have the better of me on horseback,
thou shalt find that I shall endure like a knight on foot.
It is well said, said Alisander; and so lightly he avoided
his horse and betook him to his varlet. And then they
rushed together like two boars, and laid on their helms
and shields long time, by the space of three hours, that
never man could say which was the better knight.

And in the meanwhile came Morgan le Fay to the
damosel of the castle, and they beheld the battle. But
this Malgrin was an old roted knight, and he was called
one of the dangerous knights of the world to do battle on
foot, but on horseback there were many better. And ever
this Malgrin awaited to slay Alisander, and so wounded
him wonderly sore, that it was marvel that ever he might
stand, for he had bled so much blood; for Alisander
fought wildly, and not wittily. And that other was a
felonious knight, and awaited him, and smote him sore.
And sometime they rushed together with their shields,
like two boars or rams, and fell grovelling both to the
earth. Now knight, said Malgrin, hold thy hand a while,
and tell me what thou art. I will not, said Alisander, but
if me list: but tell me thy name, and why thou keepest
this country, or else thou shalt die of my hands. Wit
thou well, said Malgrin, that for this maiden's love, of this
castle, I have slain ten good knights by mishap; and by
outrage and orgulit of myself I have slain ten other
knights. So God me help, said Alisander, this is the
foulest confession that ever I heard knight make, nor
never heard I speak of other men of such a shameful
confession; wherefore it were great pity and great shame
unto me that I should let thee live any longer; therefore
keep thee as well as ever thou mayest, for as I am true
knight, either thou shalt slay me or else I shall slay thee,
I promise thee faithfully.

Then they lashed together fiercely, and at the last
Alisander smote Malgrin to the earth. And then he raced
off his helm, and smote off his head lightly. And when
he had done and ended this battle, anon he called to him
his varlet, the which brought him his horse. And then
he, weening to be strong enough, would have mounted.
And so she laid Sir Alisander in an horse litter, and led
him into the castle, for he had no foot nor might to stand
upon the earth; for he had sixteen great wounds, and in
especial one of them was like to be his death.


How Queen Morgan le Fay had Alisander in her castle, and
how she healed his wounds.

THEN Queen Morgan le Fay searched his wounds, and
gave such an ointment unto him that he should have died.
And on the morn when she came to him he complained
him sore; and then she put other ointments upon him,
and then he was out of his pain. Then came the damosel
of the castle, and said unto Morgan le Fay: I pray you
help me that this knight might wed me, for he hath won
me with his hands. Ye shall see, said Morgan le Fay,
what I shall say. Then Morgan le Fay went unto Alisander,
and bade in anywise that he should refuse this lady,
an she desire to wed you, for she is not for you. So the
damosel came and desired of him marriage. Damosel, said
Orphelin, I thank you, but as yet I cast me not to marry
in this country. Sir, she said, sithen ye will not marry
me, I pray you insomuch as ye have won me, that ye will
give me to a knight of this country that hath been my
friend, and loved me many years. With all my heart,
said Alisander, I will assent thereto. Then was the knight
sent for, his name was Gerine le Grose. And anon he
made them handfast, and wedded them.

Then came Queen Morgan le Fay to Alisander, and
bade him arise, and put him in an horse litter, and gave
him such a drink that in three days and three nights he
waked never, but slept; and so she brought him to her
own castle that at that time was called La Beale Regard.
Then Morgan le Fay came to Alisander, and asked him
if he would fain be whole. Who would be sick, said
Alisander, an he might be whole? Well, said Morgan le
Fay, then shall ye promise me by your knighthood that
this day twelvemonth and a day ye shall not pass the
compass of this castle, and without doubt ye shall lightly be
whole. I assent, said Sir Alisander. And there he made her
a promise: then was he soon whole. And when Alisander
was whole, then he repented him of his oath, for he might
not be revenged upon King Mark. Right so there came
a damosel that was cousin to the Earl of Pase, and she was
cousin to Morgan le Fay. And by right that castle of La
Beale Regard should have been hers by true inheritance.
So this damosel entered into this castle where lay
Alisander, and there she found him upon his bed, passing
heavy and all sad.


How Alisander was delivered from Queen Morgan le Fay
by the means of a damosel.

SIR knight, said the damosel, an ye would be merry
I could tell you good tidings. Well were me, said
Alisander, an I might hear of good tidings, for now I
stand as a prisoner by my promise. Sir, she said, wit you
well that ye be a prisoner, and worse than ye ween; for
my lady, my cousin Queen Morgan le Fay, keepeth you
here for none other intent but for to do her pleasure with
you when it liketh her. O Jesu defend me, said Alisander,
from such pleasure; for I had liefer cut away my hangers
than I would do her such pleasure. As Jesu help me, said
the damosel, an ye would love me and be ruled by me, I
shall make your deliverance with your worship. Tell me,
said Alisander, by what means, and ye shall have my love.
Fair knight, said she, this castle of right ought to be
mine, and I have an uncle the which is a mighty earl, he is
Earl of Pase, and of all folks he hateth most Morgan le
Fay; and I shall send unto him and pray him for my sake
to destroy this castle for the evil customs that be used
therein; and then will he come and set wild-fire on every
part of the castle, and I shall get you out at a privy
postern, and there shall ye have your horse and your
harness. Ye say well, damosel, said Alisander. And then
she said: Ye may keep the room of this castle this
twelvemonth and a day, then break ye not your oath.
Truly, fair damosel, said Alisander, ye say sooth. And
then he kissed her, and did to her pleasaunce as it pleased
them both at times and leisures.

So anon she sent unto her uncle and bade him come
and destroy that castle, for as the book saith, he would
have destroyed that castle afore time had not that damosel
been. When the earl understood her letters he sent her
word again that on such a day he would come and destroy
that castle. So when that day came she showed Alisander
a postern wherethrough he should flee into a garden, and
there he should find his armour and his horse. When the
day came that was set, thither came the Earl of Pase with
four hundred knights, and set on fire all the parts of the
castle, that or they ceased they left not a stone standing.
And all this while that the fire was in the castle he abode
in the garden. And when the fire was done he let make
a cry that he would keep that piece of earth thereas the
castle of La Beale Regard was a twelvemonth and a day,
from all manner knights that would come

So it happed there was a duke that hight Ansirus, and
he was of the kin of Sir Launcelot. And this knight
was a great pilgrim, for every third year he would be
at Jerusalem. And because he used all his life to go in
pilgrimage men called him Duke Ansirus the Pilgrim.
And this duke had a daughter that hight Alice, that was
a passing fair woman, and because of her father she was
called Alice la Beale Pilgrim. And anon as she heard of
this cry she went unto Arthur's court, and said openly in
hearing of many knights, that what knight may overcome
that knight that keepeth that piece of earth shall have me
and all my lands.

When the knights of the Round Table heard her say
thus many were glad, for she was passing fair and of great
rents. Right so she let cry in castles and towns as fast on
her side as Alisander did on his side. Then she dressed
her pavilion straight by the piece of the earth that
Alisander kept. So she was not so soon there but there
came a knight of Arthur's court that hight Sagramore le
Desirous, and he proffered to joust with Alisander; and
they encountered, and Sagramore le Desirous brised his
spear upon Sir Alisander, but Sir Alisander smote him so
hard that he avoided his saddle. And when La Beale
Alice saw him joust so well, she thought him a passing
goodly knight on horseback. And then she leapt out of
her pavilion, and took Sir Alisander by the bridle, and
thus she said: Fair knight, I require thee of thy knighthood
show me thy visage. I dare well, said Alisander,
show my visage. And then he put off his helm; and she
saw his visage, she said: O sweet Jesu, thee I must love,
and never other. Then show me your visage, said he.


How Alisander met with Alice la Beale Pilgrim, and how he
jousted with two knights; and after of him and of Sir

Then she unwimpled her visage. And when he saw her
he said: Here have I found my love and my lady.
Truly, fair lady, said he, I promise you to be your
knight, and none other that beareth the life. Now, gentle
knight, said she, tell me your name. My name is, said
he, Alisander le Orphelin. Now, damosel, tell me your
name, said he. My name is, said she, Alice la Beale
Pilgrim. And when we be more at our heart's ease, both
ye and I shall tell other of what blood we be come.
So there was great love betwixt them. And as they thus
talked there came a knight that hight Harsouse le Berbuse,
and asked part of Sir Alisander's spears. Then Sir
Alisander encountered with him, and at the first Sir
Alisander smote him over his horse's croup. And then
there came another knight that hight Sir Hewgon, and Sir
Alisander smote him down as he did that other. Then
Sir Hewgon proffered to do battle on foot. Sir Alisander
overcame him with three strokes, and there would have
slain him had he not yielded him. So then Alisander
made both those knights to swear to wear none armour in
a twelvemonth and a day.

Then Sir Alisander alighted down, and went to rest
him and repose him. Then the damosel that helped Sir
Alisander out of the castle, in her play told Alice all
together how he was prisoner in the castle of La Beale
Regard, and there she told her how she got him out of prison.
Sir, said Alice la Beale Pilgrim, meseemeth ye are much
beholding to this maiden. That is truth, said Sir
Alisander. And there Alice told him of what blood she
was come. Sir, wit ye well, she said, that I am of the
blood of King Ban, that was father unto Sir Launcelot.
Y-wis, fair lady, said Alisander, my mother told me that
my father was brother unto a king, and I nigh cousin unto
Sir Tristram.

Then this while came there three knights, that one
hight Vains, and the other hight Harvis de les Marches,
and the third hight Perin de la Montaine. And with one
spear Sir Alisander smote them down all three, and gave
them such falls that they had no list to fight upon foot.
So he made them to swear to wear none arms in a twelvemonth.
So when they were departed Sir Alisander
beheld his lady Alice on horseback as he stood in her
pavilion. And then was he so enamoured upon her that
he wist not whether he were on horseback or on foot.

Right so came the false knight Sir Mordred, and saw
Sir Alisander was assotted upon his lady; and therewithal
he took his horse by the bridle, and led him here and
there, and had cast to have led him out of that place to
have shamed him. When the damosel that helped him
out of that castle saw how shamefully he was led, anon
she let arm her, and set a shield upon her shoulder; and
therewith she mounted upon his horse, and gat a naked
sword in her hand, and she thrust unto Alisander with all
her might, and she gave him such a buffet that he thought
the fire flew out of his eyen. And when Alisander felt
that stroke he looked about him, and drew his sword
And when she saw that, she fled, and so did Mordred
into the forest, and the damosel fled into the pavilion.
So when Alisander understood himself how the false
knight would have shamed him had not the damosel been
then was he wroth with himself that Sir Mordred was
so escaped his hands. But then Sir Alisander and Alice
had good game at the damosel, how sadly she hit him
upon the helm.

Then Sir Alisander jousted thus day by day, and on
foot he did many battles with many knights of King
Arthur's court, and with many knights strangers. Therefore
to tell all the battles that he did it were overmuch to
rehearse, for every day within that twelvemonth he had
ado with one knight or with other, and some day he had
ado with three or with four; and there was never knight
that put him to the worse. And at the twelvemonth's
end he departed with his lady, Alice la Beale Pilgrim.
And the damosel would never go from him, and so they
went into their country of Benoye, and lived there in
great joy.


How Sir Galahalt did do cry a jousts in Surluse, and Queen
Guenever's knights should joust against all that would

BUT as the book saith, King Mark would never stint till
he had slain him by treason. And by Alice he gat a child
that hight Bellengerus le Beuse. And by good fortune he
came to the court of King Arthur, and proved a passing
good knight; and he revenged his father's death, for the
false King Mark slew both Sir Tristram and Alisander
falsely and feloniously. And it happed so that Alisander
had never grace nor fortune to come to King Arthur's
court. For an he had come to Sir Launcelot, all knights
said that knew him, he was one of the strongest knights
that was in Arthur's days, and great dole was made for
him. So let we of him pass, and turn we to another tale.

So it befell that Sir Galahalt, the haut prince, was
lord of the country of Surluse, whereof came many good
knights. And this noble prince was a passing good man
of arms, and ever he held a noble fellowship together.
And then he came to Arthur's court and told him his
intent, how this was his will, how he would let cry a
jousts in the country of Surluse, the which country was
within the lands of King Arthur, and there he asked leave
to let cry a jousts. I will give you leave, said King Arthur;
but wit thou well, said King Arthur, I may not be there.
Sir, said Queen Guenever, please it you to give me leave
to be at that jousts. With right good will, said Arthur;
for Sir Galahalt, the haut prince, shall have you in
governance. Sir, said Galahalt, I will as ye will. Sir,
then the queen, I will take with me [Sir Launcelot] and
such knights as please me best. Do as ye list, said King
Arthur. So anon she commanded Sir Launcelot to make
him ready with such knights as he thought best.

So in every good town and castle of this land was
made a cry, that in the country of Surluse Sir Galahalt
should make a joust that should last eight days, and how
the haut prince, with the help of Queen Guenever's
knights, should joust against all manner of men that
would come. When this cry was known, kings and
princes, dukes and earls, barons and noble knights, made
them ready to be at that jousts. And at the day of
jousting there came in Sir Dinadan disguised, and did
many great deeds of arms.


How Sir Launcelot fought in the tournament, and how Sir
Palomides did arms there for a damosel.

THEN at the request of Queen Guenever and of King
Bagdemagus Sir Launcelot came into the range, but he
was disguised, and that was the cause that few folk knew
him; and there met with him Sir Ector de Maris, his
own brother, and either brake their spears upon other to
their hands. And then either gat another spear. And
then Sir Launcelot smote down Sir Ector de Maris, his
own brother. That saw Sir Bleoberis, and he smote Sir
Launcelot such a buffet upon the helm that he wist not
well where he was. Then Sir Launcelot was wrothy and
smote Sir Bleoberis so sore upon the helm that his head
bowed down backward. And he smote eft another buffet,
that he avoided his saddle; and so he rode by, and thrust
forth to the thickest. When the King of Northgalis saw
Sir Ector and Bleoberis lie on the ground then was he
wroth, for they came on his party against them of Surluse.
So the King of Northgalis ran to Sir Launcelot, and brake
a spear upon him all to pieces. Therewith Sir Launcelot
overtook the King of Northgalis, and smote him such a
buffet on the helm with his sword that he made him to
avoid his horse; and anon the king was horsed again.
So both the King Bagdemagus' and the King of North-galis'
party hurled to other; and then began a strong
medley, but they of Northgalis were far bigger.

When Sir Launcelot saw his party go to the worst he
thrang into the thickest press with a sword in his hand;
and there he smote down on the right hand and on the
left hand, and pulled down knights and raced off their
helms, that all men had wonder that ever one knight
might do such deeds of arms. When Sir Meliagaunce,
that was son unto King Bagdemagus, saw how Sir
Launcelot fared he marvelled greatly. And when he
understood that it was he, he wist well that he was
disguised for his sake. Then Sir Meliagaunce prayed a
knight to slay Sir Launcelot's horse, either with sword or
with spear. At that time King Bagdemagus met with a
knight that hight Sauseise, a good knight, to whom he said:
Now fair Sauseise, encounter with my son Meliagaunce
and give him large payment, for I would he were well
beaten of thy hands, that he might depart out of this field.
And then Sir Sauseise encountered with Sir Meliagaunce,
and either smote other down. And then they fought on
foot, and there Sauseise had won Sir Meliagaunce, had
there not come rescues. So then the haut prince blew to
lodging, and every knight unarmed him and went to the
great feast.

Then in the meanwhile there came a damosel to the
haut prince, and complained that there was a knight that
hight Goneries that withheld her all her lands. Then the
knight was there present, and cast his glove to her or to
any that would fight in her name. So the damosel took
up the glove all heavily for default of a champion. Then
there came a varlet to her and said: Damosel, will ye do
after me? Full fain, said the damosel. Then go you unto
such a knight that lieth here beside in an hermitage, and
that followeth the Questing Beast, and pray him to take
the battle upon him, and anon I wot well he will grant

So anon she took her palfrey, and within a while she
found that knight, that was Sir Palomides. And when
she required him he armed him and rode with her, and
made her to go to the haut prince, and to ask leave for
her knight to do battle. I will well, said the haut prince.
Then the knights were ready in the field to joust on
horseback; and either gat a spear in their hands, and
met so fiercely together that their spears all to-shivered.
Then they flang out swords, and Sir Palomides smote Sir
Goneries down to the earth. And then he raced off his
helm and smote off his head. Then they went to supper,
and the damosel loved Palomides as paramour, but the
book saith she was of his kin. So then Palomides disguised
himself in this manner, in his shield he bare the
Questing Beast, and in all his trappings. And when he
was thus ready, he sent to the haut prince to give him
leave to joust with other knights, but he was adoubted of
Sir Launcelot. The haut prince sent him word again that
he should be welcome, and that Sir Launcelot should not
joust with him. Then Sir Galahalt, the haut prince, let
cry what knight somever he were that smote down Sir
Palomides should have his damosel to himself.


How Sir Galahalt and Palomides fought together, and of Sir
Dinadan and Sir Galahalt.

HERE beginneth the second day. Anon as Sir Palomides
came into the field, Sir Galahalt, the haut prince, was at the
range end, and met with Sir Palomides, and he with him,
with great spears. And then they came so hard together
that their spears all to-shivered, but Sir Galahalt smote
him so hard that he bare him backward over his horse,
but yet he lost not his stirrups. Then they drew their
swords and lashed together many sad strokes, that many
worshipful knights left their business to behold them.
But at the last Sir Galahalt, the haut prince, smote a
stroke of might unto Palomides, sore upon the helm; but
the helm was so hard that the sword might not bite, but
slipped and smote off the head of the horse of Sir
Palomides. When the haut prince wist and saw the good
knight fall unto the earth he was ashamed of that stroke.
And therewith he alighted down off his own horse, and
prayed the good knight, Palomides, to take that horse of
his gift, and to forgive him that deed. Sir, said Palomides,
I thank you of your great goodness, for ever of a man of
worship a knight shall never have disworship; and so he
mounted upon that horse, and the haut prince had another
anon. Now, said the haut prince, I release to you that
maiden, for ye have won her. Ah, said Palomides, the
damosel and I be at your commandment.

So they departed, and Sir Galahalt did great deeds of
arms. And right so came Dinadan and encountered with
Sir Galahalt, and either came to other so fast with their
spears that their spears brake to their hands. But
Dinadan had weened the haut prince had been more weary
than he was. And then he smote many sad strokes at the
haut prince; but when Dinadan saw he might not get
him to the earth he said: My lord, I pray you leave me,
and take another. The haut prince knew not Dinadan,
and left goodly for his fair words. And so they departed;
but soon there came another and told the haut prince
that it was Dinadan. Forsooth, said the prince, therefore
am I heavy that he is so escaped from me, for with his
mocks and japes now shall I never have done with him.
And then Galahalt rode fast after him, and bade him:
Abide, Dinadan, for King Arthur's sake. Nay, said
Dinadan, so God me help, we meet no more together this
day. Then in that wrath the haut prince met with Meliagaunce,
and he smote him in the throat that an he had
fallen his neck had broken; and with the same spear he
smote down another knight. Then came in they of
Northgalis and many strangers, and were like to have put
them of Surluse to the worse, for Sir Galahalt, the haut
prince, had ever much in hand. So there came the good
knight, Semound the Valiant, with forty knights, and he
beat them all aback. Then the Queen Guenever and Sir
Launcelot let blow to lodging, and every knight unarmed
him, and dressed him to the feast.

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