Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK VIII CHAPTER XVIII
Legends and Sagas
How the lady forsook Sir Tristram and abode with Sir
Bleoberis, and how she desired to go to her husband.
So when she was set betwixt them both she said these words unto
Sir Tristram: Wit ye well, Sir Tristram de Liones, that but late
thou wast the man in the world that I most loved and trusted, and
I weened thou hadst loved me again above all ladies; but when
thou sawest this knight lead me away thou madest no cheer to
rescue me, but suffered my lord Segwarides ride after me; but
until that time I weened thou haddest loved me, and therefore now
I will leave thee, and never love thee more. And therewithal she
went unto Sir Bleoberis.
When Sir Tristram saw her do so he was wonderly wroth with that
lady, and ashamed to come to the court. Sir Tristram, said Sir
Bleoberis, ye are in the default, for I hear by this lady's words
she before this day trusted you above all earthly knights, and,
as she saith, ye have deceived her, therefore wit ye well, there
may no man hold that will away; and rather than ye should be
heartily <309>displeased with me I would ye had her, an she would
abide with you. Nay, said the lady, so God me help I will never
go with him; for he that I loved most I weened he had loved me.
And therefore, Sir Tristram, she said, ride as thou came, for
though thou haddest overcome this knight, as ye was likely, with
thee never would I have gone. And I shall pray this knight so
fair of his knighthood, that or ever he pass this country, that
he will lead me to the abbey where my lord Sir Segwarides lieth.
So God me help, said Bleoberis, I let you wit, good knight Sir
Tristram, because King Mark gave me the choice of a gift in this
court, and so this lady liked me best--notwithstanding, she is
wedded and hath a lord, and I have fulfilled my quest, she shall
be sent unto her husband again, and in especial most for your
sake, Sir Tristram; and if she would go with you I would ye had
her. I thank you, said Sir Tristram, but for her love I shall
beware what manner a lady I shall love or trust; for had her
lord, Sir Segwarides, been away from the court, I should have
been the first that should have followed you; but sithen that ye
have refused me, as I am true knight I shall her know passingly
well that I shall love or trust. And so they took their leave
one from the other and departed.
And so Sir Tristram rode unto Tintagil, and Sir Bleoberis rode
unto the abbey where Sir Segwarides lay sore wounded, and there
he delivered his lady, and departed as a noble knight; and when
Sir Segwarides saw his lady, he was greatly comforted; and then
she told him that Sir Tristram had done great battle with Sir
Bleoberis, and caused him to bring her again. These words
pleased Sir Segwarides right well, that Sir Tristram would do so
much; and so that lady told all the battle unto King Mark betwixt
Sir Tristram and Sir Bleoberis.