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How Sir Beaumains suffered great rebukes of the damosel,
and he suffered it patiently.

DAMOSEL, said Beaumains, ye are uncourteous so to rebuke me as ye
do, for meseemeth I have done you good service, and ever ye
threaten me I shall be beaten with knights that we meet, but ever
for all your boast they lie in the dust or in the mire, and
therefore I pray you rebuke me no more; and when ye see me beaten
or yielden as recreant, then may ye bid me go from you
shamefully; but first I let you wit I will not depart from you,
for I were worse than a fool an I would depart from you all the
while that I win worship.  Well, said she, right soon there shall
meet a knight shall pay thee all thy wages, for he is the most
man of worship of the world, except King Arthur.  I will well,
said Beaumains, the more he is of worship, the more shall be my
worship to have ado with him.

Then anon they were ware where was afore them a city rich and
fair.  And betwixt them and the city a mile and an half there was
a fair meadow that seemed new mown, and therein were many
pavilions fair to behold.  <227>Lo, said the damosel, yonder is a
lord that owneth yonder city, and his custom is, when the weather
is fair, to lie in this meadow to joust and tourney.  And ever
there be about him five hundred knights and gentlemen of arms,
and there be all manner of games that any gentleman can devise. 
That goodly lord, said Beaumains, would I fain see.  Thou shalt
see him time enough, said the damosel, and so as she rode near
she espied the pavilion where he was.  Lo, said she, seest thou
yonder pavilion that is all of the colour of Inde, and all manner
of thing that there is about, men and women, and horses trapped,
shields and spears were all of the colour of Inde, and his name
is Sir Persant of Inde, the most lordliest knight that ever thou
lookedst on.  It may well be, said Beaumains, but be he never so
stout a knight, in this field I shall abide till that I see him
under his shield.  Ah, fool, said she, thou wert better flee
betimes.  Why, said Beaumains, an he be such a knight as ye make
him, he will not set upon me with all his men, or with his five
hundred knights.  For an there come no more but one at once, I
shall him not fail whilst my life lasteth.  Fie, fie, said the
damosel, that ever such a stinking knave should blow such a
boast.  Damosel, he said, ye are to blame so to rebuke me, for I
had liefer do five battles than so to be rebuked, let him come
and then let him do his worst.

Sir, she said, I marvel what thou art and of what kin thou art
come; boldly thou speakest, and boldly thou hast done, that have
I seen; therefore I pray thee save thyself an thou mayest, for
thy horse and thou have had great travail, and I dread we dwell
over long from the siege, for it is but hence seven mile, and all
perilous passages we are passed save all only this passage; and
here I dread me sore lest ye shall catch some hurt, therefore I
would ye were hence, that ye were not bruised nor hurt with this
strong knight.  But I let you wit that Sir Persant of Inde is
nothing of might nor strength unto the knight that laid the siege
about my lady.  As for that, said Sir Beaumains, be it as it be
may.  For sithen I am come so nigh this knight I will prove his
might or I depart <228>from him, and else I shall be shamed an I
now withdraw me from him.  And therefore, damosel, have ye no
doubt by the grace of God I shall so deal with this knight that
within two hours after noon I shall deliver him.  And then shall
we come to the siege by daylight.  O Jesu, marvel have I, said
the damosel, what manner a man ye be, for it may never be
otherwise but that ye be come of a noble blood, for so foul nor
shamefully did never woman rule a knight as I have done you, and
ever courteously ye have suffered me, and that came never but of
a gentle blood.

Damosel, said Beaumains, a knight may little do that may not
suffer a damosel, for whatsomever ye said unto me I took none
heed to your words, for the more ye said the more ye angered me,
and my wrath I wreaked upon them that I had ado withal.  And
therefore all the missaying that ye missaid me furthered me in my
battle, and caused me to think to show and prove myself at the
end what I was; for peradventure though I had meat in King
Arthur's kitchen, yet I might have had meat enough in other
places, but all that I did it for to prove and assay my friends,
and that shall be known another day; and whether that I be a
gentleman born or none, I let you wit, fair damosel, I have done
you gentleman's service, and peradventure better service yet will
I do or I depart from you.  Alas, she said, fair Beaumains,
forgive me all that I have missaid or done against thee.  With
all my heart, said he, I forgive it you, for ye did nothing but
as ye should do, for all your evil words pleased me; and damosel,
said Beaumains, since it liketh you to say thus fair unto me, wit
ye well it gladdeth my heart greatly, and now meseemeth there is
no knight living but I am able enough for him.