Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK X CHAPTER XVI

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CHAPTER XVI

How Sir Dinadan told Sir Palomides of the battle between
Sir Launcelot and Sir Tristam.


NOW turn we again unto Sir Palomides, how Sir Dinadan
comforted him in all that he might, from his great sorrow.
What knight are ye? said Sir Palomides.  Sir, I am a
knight-errant as ye be, that hath sought you long by your
shield.  Here is my shield, said Sir Palomides, wit ye
well, an ye will ought, therewith I will defend it.  Nay,
said Sir Dinadan, I will not have ado with you but in good
manner.  And if ye will, ye shall find me soon ready.
Sir, said Sir Dinadan, whitherward ride you this way?  By
my head, said Sir Palomides, I wot not, but as fortune
leadeth me.  Heard ye or saw ye ought of Sir Tristram?
So God me help, of Sir Tristram I both heard and saw,
and not for then we loved not inwardly well together, yet
at my mischief Sir Tristram rescued me from my death;
and yet, or he and I departed, by both our assents we
assigned a day that we should have met at the stony grave
that Merlin set beside Camelot, and there to have done
battle together; howbeit I was letted, said Sir Palomides,
that I might not hold my day, the which grieveth me
sore; but I have a large excuse.  For I was prisoner with
a lord, and many other more, and that shall Sir Tristram
right well understand, that I brake it not of fear of
cowardice.  And then Sir Palomides told Sir Dinadan the
same day that they should have met.  So God me help,
said Sir Dinadan, that same day met Sir Launcelot and Sir
Tristram at the same grave of stone.  And there was the
most mightiest battle that ever was seen in this land
betwixt two knights, for they fought more than two
hours.  And there they both bled so much blood that all
men marvelled that ever they might endure it.  And so
at the last, by both their assents, they were made friends
and sworn-brethren for ever, and no man can judge the
better knight.  And now is Sir Tristram made a knight
of the Round Table, and he sitteth in the siege of the
noble knight, Sir Marhaus.  By my head, said Sir Palomides,
Sir Tristram is far bigger than Sir Launcelot, and
the hardier knight.  Have ye assayed them both? said
Sir Dinadan.  I have seen Sir Tristram fight, said Sir
Palomides, but never Sir Launcelot to my witting.  But
at the fountain where Sir Launcelot lay asleep, there with
one spear he smote down Sir Tristram and me, said
Palomides, but at that time they knew not either other.
Fair knight, said Sir Dinadan, as for Sir Launcelot and
Sir Tristram let them be, for the worst of them will not
be lightly matched of no knights that I know living.  No,
said Sir Palomides, God defend, but an I had a quarrel to
the better of them both I would with as good a will fight
with him as with you.  Sir, I require you tell me your
name, and in good faith I shall hold you company till that
we come to Camelot; and there shall ye have great worship
now at this great tournament; for there shall be the
Queen Guenever, and La Beale Isoud of Cornwall.  Wit
you well, sir knight, for the love of La Beale Isoud I will
be there, and else not, but I will not have ado in King
Arthur's court.  Sir, said Dinadan, I shall ride with you
and do you service, so you will tell me your name.  Sir,
ye shall understand my name is Sir Palomides, brother to
Safere, the good and noble knight.  And Sir Segwarides
and I, we be Saracens born, of father and mother.  Sir,
said Sir Dinadan, I thank you much for the telling of
your name.  For I am glad of that I know your name,
and I promise you by the faith of my body, ye shall not
be hurt by me by my will, but rather be advanced.  And
thereto will I help you with all my power, I promise you,
doubt ye not.  And certainly on my life ye shall win
great worship in the court of King Arthur, and be right
welcome.  So then they dressed on their helms and put on
their shields, and mounted upon their horses, and took
the broad way towards Camelot.  And then were they
ware of a castle that was fair and rich, and also passing
strong as any was within this realm.