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How Sir Tristram fought against Sir Marhaus and achieved
his battle, and how Sir Marhaus fled to his ship.

AND then Sir Marhaus avised Sir Tristram, and said thus:  Young
knight, Sir Tristram, what dost thou here? me sore repenteth of
thy courage, for wit thou well I have been assayed, and the best
knights of this land have been assayed of my hand; and also I
have matched with the best knights of the world, and therefore by
my counsel return again unto thy vessel.  And fair knight, and
well-proved knight, said Sir Tristram, thou shalt well wit I may
not forsake thee in this quarrel, for I am for thy sake made
knight.  And thou shalt well wit that I am a king's son born, and
gotten upon a queen; and such promise I have made at my uncle's
request and mine own seeking, that I shall fight with thee unto
the uttermost, and deliver Cornwall from the old truage.  And
also wit thou well, Sir Marhaus, that this is the greatest cause
that thou couragest me to have ado with thee, for thou art called
one of the most renowned knights of the world, and because of
that noise and fame that thou hast thou givest me courage to have
ado with thee, for never yet was I proved with good knight; and
sithen I took the order of knighthood this day, I am well pleased
that I may have ado with so good a knight as thou art.  And now
wit thou well, Sir Marhaus, that I cast me to get worship on thy
body; and if that I be not proved, I trust to God that I shall be
worshipfully proved upon thy body, and to <289>deliver the
country of Cornwall for ever from all manner of truage from
Ireland for ever.

When Sir Marhaus had heard him say what he would, he said then
thus again:  Fair knight, sithen it is so that thou castest to
win worship of me, I let thee wit worship may thou none lose by
me if thou mayest stand me three strokes; for I let thee wit for
my noble deeds, proved and seen, King Arthur made me Knight of
the Table Round.

Then they began to feutre their spears, and they met so fiercely
together that they smote either other down, both horse and all. 
But Sir Marhaus smote Sir Tristram a great wound in the side with
his spear, and then they avoided their horses, and pulled out
their swords, and threw their shields afore them.  And then they
lashed together as men that were wild and courageous.  And when
they had stricken so together long, then they left their strokes,
and foined at their breaths and visors; and when they saw that
that might not prevail them, then they hurtled together like rams
to bear either other down.  Thus they fought still more than half
a day, and either were wounded passing sore, that the blood ran
down freshly from them upon the ground.  By then Sir Tristram
waxed more fresher than Sir Marhaus, and better winded and
bigger; and with a mighty stroke he smote Sir Marhaus upon the
helm such a buffet that it went through his helm, and through the
coif of steel, and through the brain-pan, and the sword stuck so
fast in the helm and in his brain-pan that Sir Tristram pulled
thrice at his sword or ever he might pull it out from his head;
and there Marhaus fell down on his knees, the edge of Tristram's
sword left in his brain-pan.  And suddenly Sir Marhaus rose
grovelling, and threw his sword and his shield from him, and so
ran to his ships and fled his way, and Sir Tristram had ever his
shield and his sword.

And when Sir Tristram saw Sir Marhaus withdraw him, he said:  Ah!
Sir Knight of the Round Table, why withdrawest thou thee? thou
dost thyself and thy kin great shame, for I am but a young
knight, or now I was never proved, and rather than I should
withdraw me from <290>thee, I had rather be hewn in an hundred
pieces.  Sir Marhaus answered no word but yede his way sore
groaning.  Well, Sir Knight, said Sir Tristram, I promise thee
thy sword and thy shield shall be mine; and thy shield shall I
wear in all places where I ride on mine adventures, and in the
sight of King Arthur and all the Round Table.