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How Morgan le Fay buried her paramour, and how Sir
Tristram praised Sir Launcelot and his kin.

NOW leave to speak of Sir Tristram, and speak we of the knight
that was wounded to the death.  Then his varlet alighted, and
took off his helm, and then he asked his lord whether there were
any life in him.  There is in me life said the knight, but it is
but little; and therefore leap thou up behind me when thou hast
holpen me up, and hold me fast that I fall not, and bring me to
Queen Morgan le Fay; for deep draughts of death draw to my heart
that I may not live, for I would fain speak with her or I died:
for else my soul will be in great peril an I die.  For[thwith]
with great pain his varlet brought him to the castle, and there
Sir Hemison fell down dead.  When Morgan le Fay saw him dead she
made great sorrow out of reason; and then she let despoil him
unto his shirt, and so she let him put into a tomb.  And about
the tomb she let write:  Here lieth Sir Hemison, slain by the
hands of Sir Tristram de Liones.

Now turn we unto Sir Tristram, that asked the knight his host if
he saw late any knights adventurous.  Sir, he said, the last
night here lodged with me Ector de Maris and a damosel with him,
and that damosel told me that he was one of the best knights of
the world.  That is not so, said Sir Tristram, for I know four
better knights of his own blood, and the first is Sir Launcelot
du Lake, call him the best knight, and Sir Bors de Ganis, Sir
Bleoberis, Sir Blamore de Ganis, and Sir Gaheris.  Nay, said his
host, <431>Sir Gawaine is a better knight than he.  That is not
so, said Sir Tristram, for I have met with them both, and I felt
Sir Gaheris for the better knight, and Sir Lamorak I call him as
good as any of them except Sir Launcelot.  Why name ye not Sir
Tristram? said his host, for I account him as good as any of
them.  I know not Sir Tristram, said Tristram.  Thus they talked
and bourded as long as them list, and then went to rest.  And on
the morn Sir Tristram departed, and took his leave of his host,
and rode toward the Roche Dure, and none adventure had Sir
Tristram but that; and so he rested not till he came to the
castle, where he saw five hundred tents.