Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  BOOK IV  Previous  Next 


How Sir Marhaus fought with the duke and his four sons
and made them to yield them.

THEN came the four sons by couple, and two of them brake their
spears, and so did the other two.  And all <143>this while Sir
Marhaus touched them not.  Then Sir Marhaus ran to the duke, and
smote him with his spear that horse and man fell to the earth,
and so he served his sons; and then Sir Marhaus alighted down and
bade the duke yield him or else he would slay him.  And then some
of his sons recovered, and would have set upon Sir Marhaus; then
Sir Marhaus said to the duke, Cease thy sons, or else I will do
the uttermost to you all.  Then the duke saw he might not escape
the death, he cried to his sons, and charged them to yield them
to Sir Marhaus; and they kneeled all down and put the pommels of
their swords to the knight, and so he received them.  And then
they helped up their father, and so by their cominal assent
promised to Sir Marhaus never to be foes unto King Arthur, and
thereupon at Whitsuntide after to come, he and his sons, and put
them in the king's grace.

Then Sir Marhaus departed, and within two days his damosel
brought him whereas was a great tournament that the Lady de Vawse
had cried.  And who that did best should have a rich circlet of
gold worth a thousand besants.  And there Sir Marhaus did so
nobly that he was renowned, and had sometime down forty knights,
and so the circlet of gold was rewarded him.  Then he departed
from them with great worship; and so within seven nights his
damosel brought him to an earl's place, his name was the Earl
Fergus, that after was Sir Tristram's knight; and this earl was
but a young man, and late come into his lands, and there was a
giant fast by him that hight Taulurd, and he had another brother
in Cornwall that hight Taulas, that Sir Tristram slew when he was
out of his mind.  So this earl made his complaint unto Sir
Marhaus, that there was a giant by him that destroyed all his
lands, and how he durst nowhere ride nor go for him.  Sir, said
the knight, whether useth he to fight on horseback or on foot? 
Nay, said the earl, there may no horse bear him.  Well, said Sir
Marhaus, then will I fight with him on foot; so on the morn Sir
Marhaus prayed the earl that one of his men might bring him
whereas the giant was; and so he was, for he saw <144>him sit
under a tree of holly, and many clubs of iron and gisarms about
him.  So this knight dressed him to the giant, putting his shield
afore him, and the giant took an iron club in his hand, and at
the first stroke he clave Sir Marhaus' shield in two pieces.  And
there he was in great peril, for the giant was a wily fighter,
but at last Sir Marhaus smote off his right arm above the elbow.

Then the giant fled and the knight after him, and so he drove him
into a water, but the giant was so high that he might not wade
after him.  And then Sir Marhaus made the Earl Fergus' man to
fetch him stones, and with those stones the knight gave the giant
many sore knocks, till at the last he made him fall down into the
water, and so was he there dead.  Then Sir Marhaus went unto the
giant's castle, and there he delivered twenty-four ladies and
twelve knights out of the giant's prison, and there he had great
riches without number, so that the days of his life he was never
poor man.  Then he returned to the Earl Fergus, the which thanked
him greatly, and would have given him half his lands, but he
would none take.  So Sir Marhaus dwelled with the earl nigh half
a year, for he was sore bruised with the giant, and at the last
he took his leave.  And as he rode by the way, he met with Sir
Gawaine and Sir Uwaine, and so by adventure he met with four
knights of Arthur's court, the first was Sir Sagramore le
Desirous, Sir Osanna, Sir Dodinas le Savage, and Sir Felot of
Listinoise; and there Sir Marhaus with one spear smote down these
four knights, and hurt them sore.  So he departed to meet at his
day aforeset.