Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  BOOK IX  Previous  Next 


How Sir Dinadan rescued a lady from Sir Breuse Saunce
Pite, and how Sir Tristram received a shield of Morgan le Fay.

SO as Sir Dinadan rode by a well he found a lady making great
dole.  What aileth you? said Sir Dinadan.  Sir knight, said the
lady, I am the wofullest lady of the world, for within these five
days here came a knight called Sir Breuse Saunce Pite, and he
slew mine own brother, and ever since he hath kept me at his own
will, and of all men in the world I hate him most; and therefore
I require you of knighthood to avenge me, for he will not tarry,
but be here anon.  Let him come, said Sir Dinadan, and because of
honour of all women I will do my part.  With this came Sir
Breuse, and when he saw a knight with his lady he was wood wroth. 
And then he said:  Sir knight, keep thee from me.  So they
hurtled together as thunder, and either smote other passing sore,
but Sir Dinadan put him through the shoulder a grievous wound,
and or ever Sir Dinadan might turn him Sir Breuse was gone and
fled.  Then the lady prayed him to bring her to a castle there
beside but four mile thence; and so Sir Dinadan brought her
there, and she was welcome, for the lord of that castle was her
uncle; and so Sir Dinadan rode his way upon his adventure.

Now turn we this tale unto Sir Tristram, that by adventure he
came to a castle to ask lodging, wherein was Queen Morgan le Fay;
and so when Sir Tristram was let into that castle he had good
cheer all that night.  <428>And upon the morn when he would have
departed the queen said:  Wit ye well ye shall not depart
lightly, for ye are here as a prisoner.  Jesu defend! said Sir
Tristram, for I was but late a prisoner.  Fair knight, said the
queen, ye shall abide with me till that I wit what ye are and
from whence ye come.  And ever the queen would set Sir Tristram
on her own side, and her paramour on the other side.  And ever
Queen Morgan would behold Sir Tristram, and thereat the knight
was jealous, and was in will suddenly to have run upon Sir
Tristram with a sword, but he left it for shame.  Then the queen
said to Sir Tristram:  Tell me thy name, and I shall suffer you
to depart when ye will.  Upon that covenant I tell you my name is
Sir Tristram de Liones.  Ah, said Morgan le Fay, an I had wist
that, thou shouldst not have departed so soon as thou shalt.  But
sithen I have made a promise I will hold it, with that thou wilt
promise me to bear upon thee a shield that I shall deliver thee,
unto the castle of the Hard Rock, where King Arthur had cried a
great tournament, and there I pray you that ye will be, and to do
for me as much deeds of arms as ye may do.  For at the Castle of
Maidens, Sir Tristram, ye did marvellous deeds of arms as ever I
heard knight do.  Madam, said Sir Tristram, let me see the shield
that I shall bear.  Then the shield was brought forth, and the
field was goldish, with a king and a queen therein painted, and a
knight standing above them, [one foot] upon the king's head, and
the other upon the queen's.  Madam, said Sir Tristram, this is a
fair shield and a mighty; but what signifieth this king and this
queen, and the knight standing upon both their heads?  I shall
tell you, said Morgan le Fay, it signifieth King Arthur and Queen
Guenever, and a knight who holdeth them both in bondage and in
servage.  Who is that knight? said Sir Tristram.  That shall ye
not wit as at this time, said the queen.  But as the French book
saith, Queen Morgan loved Sir Launcelot best, and ever she
desired him, and he would never love her nor do nothing at her
request, and therefore she held many knights together for to have
taken him by strength.  <429>And because she deemed that Sir
Launcelot loved Queen Guenever paramour, and she him again,
therefore Queen Morgan le Fay ordained that shield to put Sir
Launcelot to a rebuke, to that intent that King Arthur might
understand the love between them.  Then Sir Tristram took that
shield and promised her to bear it at the tournament at the
Castle of the Hard Rock.  But Sir Tristram knew not that that
shield was ordained against Sir Launcelot, but afterward he knew