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How Sir Marhaus rode with the damosel, and how he
came to the Duke of the South Marches.

NOW turn we unto Sir Marhaus, that rode with the damosel of
thirty winter of age, southward.  And so they came into a deep
forest, and by fortune they were nighted, and rode long in a deep
way, and at the last they came unto a courtelage, and there they
asked harbour.  But the man of the courtelage would not lodge
them for no treatise that they could treat, but thus much the
good man said, An ye will take the adventure of your lodging, I
shall bring you where ye shall be lodged.  What adventure is that
that I shall have for my lodging? said Sir Marhaus.  Ye shall wit
when ye come there, said the good man.  Sir, what adventure so it
be, bring me thither I pray thee, said Sir Marhaus; for I am
weary, my damosel, and my horse.  So the good man went and opened
the gate, and within an hour he brought him unto a fair castle,
and then the poor man called the porter, and anon he was let into
the castle, and so he told the lord how he brought him a knight
errant and a damosel that would be lodged with him.  Let him in,
said the lord, it may happen he shall repent that they took their
lodging here.

So Sir Marhaus was let in with torchlight, and there was a goodly
sight of young men that welcomed him.  And then his horse was led
into the stable, and he and the damosel were brought into the
hall, and there stood a mighty duke and many goodly men about
him.  Then this lord asked him what he hight, and from whence he
came, and with whom he dwelt.  Sir, he said, I am a knight of
King Arthur's and knight of the Table Round, and my name is Sir
Marhaus, and born I am in Ireland.  And then said the duke to
him, That me sore repenteth: the cause is this, for I love not
thy lord nor none of thy <142>fellows of the Table Round; and
therefore ease thyself this night as well as thou mayest, for as
to-morn I and my six sons shall match with you.  Is there no
remedy but that I must have ado with you and your six sons at
once? said Sir Marhaus.  No, said the duke, for this cause I made
mine avow, for Sir Gawaine slew my seven sons in a recounter,
therefore I made mine avow, there should never knight of King
Arthur's court lodge with me, or come thereas I might have ado
with him, but that I would have a revenging of my sons' death. 
What is your name? said Sir Marhaus; I require you tell me, an it
please you.  Wit thou well I am the Duke of South Marches.  Ah,
said Sir Marhaus, I have heard say that ye have been long time a
great foe unto my lord Arthur and to his knights.  That shall ye
feel to-morn, said the duke.  Shall I have ado with you? said Sir
Marhaus.  Yea, said the duke, thereof shalt thou not choose, and
therefore take you to your chamber, and ye shall have all that to
you longeth.  So Sir Marhaus departed and was led to a chamber,
and his damosel was led unto her chamber.  And on the morn the
duke sent unto Sir Marhaus and bade make him ready.  And so Sir
Marhaus arose and armed him, and then there was a mass sung afore
him, and brake his fast, and so mounted on horseback in the court
of the castle where they should do the battle.  So there was the
duke all ready on horseback, clean armed, and his six sons by
him, and everych had a spear in his hand, and so they
encountered, whereas the duke and his two sons brake their spears
upon him, but Sir Marhaus held up his spear and touched none of