Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK X CHAPTER LV

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How Sir Tristram met with Sir Dinadan, and of their
devices, and what he said to Sir Gawaine's brethren.

NOW turn we unto Sir Tristram, that as he rode a-hunting
he met with Sir Dinadan, that was come into that
country to seek Sir Tristram.  Then Sir Dinadan told Sir
Tristram his name, but Sir Tristram would not tell him
his name, wherefore Sir Dinadan was wroth.  For such a
foolish knight as ye are, said Sir Dinadan, I saw but late
this day lying by a well, and he fared as he slept; and
there he lay like a fool grinning, and would not speak,
and his shield lay by him, and his horse stood by him; and
well I wot he was a lover.  Ah, fair sir, said Sir Tristram
are ye not a lover?  Mary, fie on that craft! said Sir
Dinadan.  That is evil said, said Sir Tristram, for a knight
may never be of prowess but if he be a lover.  It is well
said, said Sir Dinadan; now tell me your name, sith ye be
a lover, or else I shall do battle with you.  As for that,
said Sir Tristram, it is no reason to fight with me but I
tell you my name; and as for that my name shall ye not
wit as at this time.  Fie for shame, said Dinadan, art thou
a knight and durst not tell thy name to me? therefore I
will fight with thee.  As for that, said Sir Tristram, I will
be advised, for I will not do battle but if me list.  And if
I do battle, said Sir Tristram, ye are not able to withstand
me.  Fie on thee, coward, said Sir Dinadan.

And thus as they hoved still, they saw a knight come
riding against them.  Lo, said Sir Tristram, see where
cometh a knight riding, will joust with you.  Anon, as
Sir Dinadan beheld him he said:  That is the same doted
knight that I saw lie by the well, neither sleeping nor
waking.  Well, said Sir Tristram, I know that knight well
with the covered shield of azure, he is the king's son
of Northumberland, his name is Epinegris; and he is as
great a lover as I know, and he loveth the king's daughter
of Wales, a full fair lady.  And now I suppose, said Sir
Tristram, an ye require him he will joust with you, and
then shall ye prove whether a lover be a better knight, or
ye that will not love no lady.  Well, said Dinadan, now
shalt thou see what I shall do.  Therewithal Sir Dinadan
spake on high and said:  Sir knight, make thee ready to
joust with me, for it is the custom of errant knights one
to joust with other.  Sir, said Epinegris, is that the rule of
you errant knights for to make a knight to joust, will he
or nill?  As for that, said Dinadan, make thee ready, for
here is for me.  And therewithal they spurred their horses
and met together so hard that Epinegris smote down Sir
Dinadan.  Then Sir Tristram rode to Sir Dinadan and
said:  How now, meseemeth the lover hath well sped.
Fie on thee, coward, said Sir Dinadan, and if thou be a
good knight revenge me.  Nay, said Sir Tristram, I will
not joust as at this time, but take your horse and let us
go hence.  God defend me, said Sir Dinadan, from thy
fellowship, for I never sped well since I met with thee:
and so they departed.  Well, said Sir Tristram, peradventure
I could tell you tidings of Sir Tristram.  God defend
me, said Dinadan, from thy fellowship, for Sir Tristram
were mickle the worse an he were in thy company; and
then they departed.  Sir, said Sir Tristram, yet it may
happen I shall meet with you in other places.

So rode Sir Tristram unto Joyous Gard, and there he
heard in that town great noise and cry.  What is this
noise? said Sir Tristram.  Sir, said they, here is a knight
of this castle that hath been long among us, and right now
he is slain with two knights, and for none other cause but
that our knight said that Sir Launcelot were a better
knight than Sir Gawaine.  That was a simple cause, said
Sir Tristram, for to slay a good knight for to say well
by his master.  That is little remedy to us, said the
men of the town.  For an Sir Launcelot had been here
soon we should have been revenged upon the false

When Sir Tristram heard them say so he sent for his
shield and for his spear, and lightly within a while he had
overtaken them, and bade them turn and amend that they
had misdone.  What amends wouldst thou have? said the
one knight.  And therewith they took their course, and
either met other so hard that Sir Tristram smote down
that knight over his horse's tail.  Then the other knight
dressed him to Sir Tristram, and in the same wise he
served the other knight.  And then they gat off their
horses as well as they might, and dressed their shields and
swords to do their battle to the utterance.  Knights, said
Sir Tristram, ye shall tell me of whence ye are, and what
be your names, for such men ye might be ye should hard
escape my hands; and ye might be such men of such a
country that for all your evil deeds ye should pass quit.
Wit thou well, sir knight, said they, we fear not to tell
thee our names, for my name is Sir Agravaine, and my
name is Gaheris, brethren unto the good knight Sir Gawaine,
and we be nephews unto King Arthur.  Well, said Sir
Tristram, for King Arthur's sake I shall let you pass as
at this time.  But it is shame, said Sir Tristram, that Sir
Gawaine and ye be come of so great a blood that ye four
brethren are so named as ye be, for ye be called the greatest
destroyers and murderers of good knights that be now in
this realm; for it is but as I heard say that Sir Gawaine
and ye slew among you a better knight than ever ye were,
that was the noble knight Sir Lamorak de Galis.  An it
had pleased God, said Sir Tristram, I would I had been by
Sir Lamorak at his death.  Then shouldst thou have gone
the same way, said Sir Gaheris.  Fair knight, said Sir
Tristram, there must have been many more knights than
ye are.  And therewithal Sir Tristram departed from them
toward Joyous Gard.  And when he was departed they
took their horses, and the one said to the other:  We will
overtake him and be revenged upon him in the despite
of Sir Lamorak.