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How Tristram enterprized the battle to fight for the truage of
Cornwall, and how he was made knight.

THEREWITHAL Tristram went unto his father, King Meliodas, and
asked him counsel what was best to do for to recover Cornwall
from truage.  For, as meseemeth, said Sir Tristram, it were shame
that Sir Marhaus, the queen's brother of Ireland, should go away
unless that he were foughten withal.  As for that, said King
Meliodas, wit you well, son Tristram, that Sir Marhaus is called
one of the best knights of the world, and Knight of the Table
Round; and therefore I know no knight in this country that is
able to match with him.  Alas, said Sir Tristram, that I am not
made knight; and if Sir Marhaus should thus depart into Ireland,
God let me never have worship: an I were made knight I should
match him.  And sir, said Tristram, I pray you give me leave to
ride to King Mark; and, so ye be not displeased, of King Mark
will I be made knight.  I will well, said King Meliodas, that ye
be ruled as your courage will rule you.  Then Sir Tristram
thanked his father much.  And then he made him ready to ride into

In the meanwhile there came a messenger with letters of love from
King Faramon of France's daughter unto Sir Tristram, that were
full piteous letters, and in them were written many complaints of
love; but Sir Tristram had no joy of her letters nor regard unto
her.  Also she sent him a little brachet that was passing fair. 
But when the king's daughter understood that Sir Tristram would
not love her, as the book saith, she died for sorrow.  And then
the same squire that brought the letter and the brachet came
again unto Sir Tristram, as after ye shall hear in the tale.

So this young Sir Tristram rode unto his eme, King Mark of
Cornwall.  And when he came there he heard say that there would
no knight fight with Sir Marhaus.  <286>Then yede Sir Tristram
unto his eme and said:  Sir, if ye will give me the order of
knighthood, I will do battle with Sir Marhaus.  What are ye, said
the king, and from whence be ye come?  Sir, said Tristram, I come
from King Meliodas that wedded your sister, and a gentleman wit
ye well I am.  King Mark beheld Sir Tristram and saw that he was
but a young man of age, but he was passingly well made and big. 
Fair sir, said the king, what is your name, and where were ye
born?  Sir, said he again, my name is Tristram, and in the
country of Liones was I born.  Ye say well, said the king; and if
ye will do this battle I shall make you knight.  Therefore I come
to you, said Sir Tristram, and for none other cause.  But then
King Mark made him knight.  And therewithal, anon as he had made
him knight, he sent a messenger unto Sir Marhaus with letters
that said that he had found a young knight ready for to take the
battle to the uttermost.  It may well be, said Sir Marhaus; but
tell King Mark I will not fight with no knight but he be of blood
royal, that is to say, other king's son, other queen's son, born
of a prince or princess.

When King Mark understood that, he sent for Sir Tristram de
Liones and told him what was the answer of Sir Marhaus.  Then
said Sir Tristram:  Sithen that he saith so, let him wit that I
am come of father side and mother side of as noble blood as he
is: for, sir, now shall ye know that I am King Meliodas' son,
born of your own sister, Dame Elizabeth, that died in the forest
in the birth of me.  O Jesu, said King Mark, ye are welcome fair
nephew to me.  Then in all the haste the king let horse Sir
Tristram, and armed him in the best manner that might be had or
gotten for gold or silver.  And then King Mark sent unto Sir
Marhaus, and did him to wit that a better born man than he was
himself should fight with him, and his name is Sir Tristram de
Liones, gotten of King Meliodas, and born of King Mark's sister. 
Then was Sir Marhaus glad and blithe that he should fight with
such a gentleman.  And so by the assent of King Mark and of Sir
Marhaus they let ordain that they <287>should fight within an
island nigh Sir Marhaus' ships; and so was Sir Tristram put into
a vessel both his horse and he, and all that to him longed both
for his body and for his horse.  Sir Tristram lacked nothing. 
And when King Mark and his barons of Cornwall beheld how young
Sir Tristram departed with such a carriage to fight for the right
of Cornwall, there was neither man nor woman of worship but they
wept to see and understand so young a knight to jeopardy himself
for their right.