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How Sir Tristram won the degree at a tournament in Ireland,
and there made Palamides to bear no more harness in a year.

THEN Sir Tristram asked him what he did in those countries.  Sir,
he said, I came hither with Sir Gawaine for to be made knight,
and if it please you, of your hands that I may be made knight. 
Await upon me as to-morn secretly, and in the field I shall make
you a knight.

Then had La Beale Isoud great suspicion unto Tramtrist, that he
was some man of worship proved, and therewith she comforted
herself, and cast more love unto him than she had done to-fore. 
And so on the morn Sir Palamides made him ready to come into the
field as he did the first day.  And there he smote down the King
with the Hundred Knights, and the King of Scots.  Then had La
Beale Isoud ordained and well arrayed Sir Tristram in white horse
and harness.  And right so she let put him out at a privy
postern, and so he came into the field as it had been a bright
angel.  And anon Sir Palamides espied him, and therewith he
feutred a spear unto Sir Tramtrist, and he again unto him.  And
there Sir Tristram smote down Sir Palamides unto the earth.  And
then there was a great noise of people: some said Sir Palamides
had a fall, some said the Knight with the Black Shield had a
fall.  And wit you well La Beale Isoud was passing glad.  And
then Sir Gawaine and his fellows nine had marvel what knight it
might be that had smitten down Sir Palamides.  Then would there
none joust with Tramtrist, but all that there were forsook him,
most and least.  Then Sir Tristram made Hebes a knight, and
caused him to put himself forth, and did right well that day.  So
after Sir Hebes held him with Sir Tristram.

And when Sir Palamides had received this fall, wit ye well that
he was sore ashamed, and as privily as he might <295>he withdrew
him out of the field.  All that espied Sir Tristram, and lightly
he rode after Sir Palamides and overtook him, and bade him turn,
for better he would assay him or ever he departed.  Then Sir
Palamides turned him, and either lashed at other with their
swords.  But at the first stroke Sir Tristram smote down
Palamides, and gave him such a stroke upon the head that he fell
to the earth.  So then Tristram bade yield him, and do his
commandment, or else he would slay him.  When Sir Palamides
beheld his countenance, he dread his buffets so, that he granted
all his askings.  Well said, said Sir Tristram, this shall be
your charge.  First, upon pain of your life that ye forsake my
lady La Beale Isoud, and in no manner wise that ye draw not to
her.  Also this twelvemonth and a day that ye bear none armour
nor none harness of war.  Now promise me this, or here shalt thou
die.  Alas, said Palamides, for ever am I ashamed.  Then he sware
as Sir Tristram had commanded him.  Then for despite and anger
Sir Palamides cut off his harness, and threw them away.

And so Sir Tristram turned again to the castle where was La Beale
Isoud; and by the way he met with a damosel that asked after Sir
Launcelot, that won the Dolorous Guard worshipfully; and this
damosel asked Sir Tristram what he was.  For it was told her that
it was he that smote down Sir Palamides, by whom the ten knights
of King Arthur's were smitten down.  Then the damosel prayed Sir
Tristram to tell her what he was, and whether that he were Sir
Launcelot du Lake, for she deemed that there was no knight in the
world might do such deeds of arms but if it were Launcelot.  Fair
damosel, said Sir Tristram, wit ye well that I am not Sir
Launcelot, for I was never of such prowess, but in God is all
that he may make me as good a knight as the good knight Sir
Launcelot.  Now, gentle knight, said she, put up thy visor; and
when she beheld his visage she thought she saw never a better
man's visage, nor a better faring knight.  And then when the
damosel knew certainly that he was not Sir Launcelot, then she
took her leave, and departed <296>from him.  And then Sir
Tristram rode privily unto the postern, where kept him La Beale
Isoud, and there she made him good cheer, and thanked God of his
good speed.  So anon, within a while the king and the queen
understood that it was Tramtrist that smote down Sir Palamides;
then was he much made of, more than he was before.