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How Sir Palomides changed his shield and his armour for to
hurt Sir Tristram, and how Sir Launcelot did to Sir

THEN when Sir Palomides saw that Sir Tristram was
disguised, then he thought to do him a shame.  So Sir
Palomides rode to a knight that was sore wounded, that
sat under a fair well from the field.  Sir knight, said
Sir Palomides, I pray you to lend me your armour and
your shield, for mine is over-well known in this field,
and that hath done me great damage; and ye shall
have mine armour and my shield that is as sure as yours.
I will well, said the knight, that ye have mine armour
and my shield, if they may do you any avail.  So Sir
Palomides armed him hastily in that knight's armour
and his shield that shone as any crystal or silver, and
so he came riding into the field.  And then there was
neither Sir Tristram nor none of King Arthur's party
that knew Sir Palomides.  And right so as Sir Palomides
was come into the field Sir Tristram smote down three
knights, even in the sight of Sir Palomides.  And then
Sir Palomides rode against Sir Tristram, and either met
other with great spears, that they brast to their hands.
And then they dashed together with swords eagerly.
Then Sir Tristram had marvel what knight he was that
did battle so knightly with him.  Then was Sir Tristram
wroth, for he felt him passing strong, so that he deemed
he might not have ado with the remnant of the knights,
because of the strength of Sir Palomides.  So they lashed
together and gave many sad strokes together, and many
knights marvelled what knight he might be that so
encountered with the black knight, Sir Tristram.  Full
well knew La Beale Isoud that there was Sir Palomides
that fought with Sir Tristram, for she espied all in her
window where that she stood, as Sir Palomides changed
his harness with the wounded knight.  And then she
began to weep so heartily for the despite of Sir Palomides
that there she swooned.

Then came in Sir Launcelot with the knights of
Orkney.  And when the other party had espied Sir Launcelot,
they cried:  Return, return, here cometh Sir Launcelot
du Lake.  So there came knights and said:  Sir Launcelot, ye
must needs fight with yonder knight in the black harness,
that was Sir Tristram, for he hath almost overcome that
good knight that fighteth with him with the silver shield,
that was Sir Palomides.  Then Sir Launcelot rode betwixt
Sir Tristram and Sir Palomides, and Sir Launcelot said to
Palomides:  Sir knight, let me have the battle, for ye have
need to be reposed.  Sir Palomides knew Sir Launcelot
well, and so did Sir Tristram, but because Sir Launcelot
was far hardier knight than himself therefore he was glad,
and suffered Sir Launcelot to fight with Sir Tristram.
For well wist he that Sir Launcelot knew not Sir Tristram,
and there he hoped that Sir Launcelot should beat or shame
Sir Tristram, whereof Sir Palomides was full fain.  And
so Sir Launcelot gave Sir Tristram many sad strokes, but
Sir Launcelot knew not Sir Tristram, but Sir Tristram
knew well Sir Launcelot.  And thus they fought long
together, that La Beale Isoud was well-nigh out of her
mind for sorrow.

Then Sir Dinadan told Sir Gareth how that knight in
the black harness was Sir Tristram:  And this is Launcelot
that fighteth with him, that must needs have the better of
him, for Sir Tristram hath had too much travail this day.
Then let us smite him down, said Sir Gareth.  So it is
better that we do, said Sir Dinadan, than Sir Tristram be
shamed, for yonder hoveth the strong knight with the
silver shield to fall upon Sir Tristram if need be.  Then
forthwithal Gareth rushed upon Sir Launcelot, and gave
him a great stroke upon his helm so hard that he was
astonied.  And then came Sir Dinadan with a spear, and
he smote Sir Launcelot such a buffet that horse and all
fell to the earth.  O Jesu, said Sir Tristram to Sir Gareth
and Sir Dinadan, fie for shame, why did ye smite down so
good a knight as he is, and namely when I had ado with
him? now ye do yourself great shame, and him no disworship;
for I held him reasonable hot, though ye had not
holpen me.

Then came Sir Palomides that was disguised, and smote
down Sir Dinadan from his horse.  Then Sir Launcelot,
because Sir Dinadan had smitten him aforehand, then
Sir Launcelot assailed Sir Dinadan passing sore, and Sir
Dinadan defended him mightily.  But well understood Sir
Tristram that Sir Dinadan might not endure Sir Launcelot,
wherefore Sir Tristram was sorry.  Then came Sir Palomides
fresh upon Sir Tristram.  And when Sir Tristram
saw him come, he thought to deliver him at once, because
that he would help Sir Dinadan, because he stood in great
peril with Sir Launcelot.  Then Sir Tristram hurtled unto
Sir Palomides and gave him a great buffet, and then Sir
Tristram gat Sir Palomides and pulled him down underneath
him.  And so fell Sir Tristram with him; and Sir
Tristram leapt up lightly and left Sir Palomides, and went
betwixt Sir Launcelot and Dinadan, and then they began
to do battle together.

Right so Sir Dinadan gat Sir Tristram's horse, and
said on high that Sir Launcelot might hear it:  My lord
Sir Tristram, take your horse.  And when Sir Launcelot
heard him name Sir Tristram:  O Jesu, said Launcelot,
what have I done? I am dishonoured.  Ah, my lord Sir
Tristram, said Launcelot, why were ye disguised? ye have
put yourself in great peril this day; but I pray you noble
knight to pardon me, for an I had known you we had not
done this battle.  Sir, said Sir Tristram, this is not the
first kindness ye showed me.  So they were both horsed

Then all the people on the one side gave Sir Launcelot
the honour and the degree, and on the other side all the
people gave to the noble knight Sir Tristram the honour
and the degree; but Launcelot said nay thereto:  For I am
not worthy to have this honour, for I will report me unto
all knights that Sir Tristram hath been longer in the field
than I, and he hath smitten down many more knights this
day than I have done.  And therefore I will give Sir
Tristram my voice and my name, and so I pray all my lords
and fellows so to do.  Then there was the whole voice
of dukes and earls, barons and knights, that Sir Tristram
this day is proved the best knight.