Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK X CHAPTER IV

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How Sir Tristram smote down Sir Sagramore le Desirous
and Sir Dodinas le Savage.

AND then he sent his man that hight Gouvernail, and commanded
him to go to a city thereby to fetch him new harness;
for it was long time afore that that Sir Tristram had been
refreshed, his harness was brised and broken.  And when
Gouvernail, his servant, was come with his apparel, he took
his leave at the widow, and mounted upon his horse, and
rode his way early on the morn.  And by sudden adventure
Sir Tristram met with Sir Sagramore le Desirous, and
with Sir Dodinas le Savage.  And these two knights met
with Sir Tristram and questioned with him, and asked
him if he would joust with them.  Fair knights, said Sir
Tristram, with a good will I would joust with you, but I
have promised at a day set, near hand, to do battle with a
strong knight; and therefore I am loath to have ado with
you, for an it misfortuned me here to be hurt I should
not be able to do my battle which I promised.  As for
that, said Sagramore, maugre your head, ye shall joust
with us or ye pass from us.  Well, said Sir Tristram, if
ye enforce me thereto I must do what I may.  And then
they dressed their shields, and came running together with
great ire.  But through Sir Tristram's great force he
struck Sir Sagramore from his horse.  Then he hurled his
horse farther, and said to Sir Dodinas:  Knight, make thee
ready; and so through fine force Sir Tristram struck
Dodinas from his horse.  And when he saw them lie on
the earth he took his bridle, and rode forth on his way,
and his man Gouvernail with him.

Anon as Sir Tristram was passed, Sir Sagramore and
Sir Dodinas gat again their horses, and mounted up lightly
and followed after Sir Tristram.  And when Sir Tristram
saw them come so fast after him he returned with his horse
to them, and asked them what they would.  It is not long
ago sithen I smote you to the earth at your own request
and desire:  I would have ridden by you, but ye would
not suffer me, and now meseemeth ye would do more
battle with me.  That is truth, said Sir Sagramore and Sir
Dodinas, for we will be revenged of the despite ye have
done to us.  Fair knights, said Sir Tristram, that shall
little need you, for all that I did to you ye caused it;
wherefore I require you of your knighthood leave me as
at this time, for I am sure an I do battle with you I shall
not escape without great hurts, and as I suppose ye shall
not escape all lotless.  And this is the cause why I am so
loath to have ado with you; for I must fight within these
three days with a good knight, and as valiant as any is
now living, and if I be hurt I shall not be able to do
battle with him.  What knight is that, said Sir Sagramore,
that ye shall fight withal?  Sirs, said he, it is a good
knight called Sir Palomides.  By my head, said Sir
Sagramore and Sir Dodinas, ye have cause to dread him,
for ye shall find him a passing good knight, and a valiant.
And because ye shall have ado with him we will forbear
you as at this time, and else ye should not escape us
lightly.  But, fair knight, said Sir Sagramore, tell us your
name.  Sir, said he, my name is Sir Tristram de Liones.
Ah, said Sagramore and Sir Dodinas, well be ye found,
for much worship have we heard of you.  And then either
took leave of other, and departed on their way.