Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK X CHAPTER VI

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How Sir Launcelot brought Sir Tristram to the court, and
of the great joy that the king and other made for the
coming of Sir Tristram.

RETURN again, said Sir Launcelot, for your quest is done,
for I have met with Sir Tristram: lo, here is his own
person!  Then was Sir Gawaine glad, and said to Sir
Tristram:  Ye are welcome, for now have ye eased me
greatly of my labour.  For what cause, said Sir Gawaine,
came ye into this court?  Fair sir, said Sir Tristram, I
came into this country because of Sir Palomides; for he
and I had assigned at this day to have done battle together
at the peron, and I marvel I hear not of him.  And thus
by adventure my lord, Sir Launcelot, and I met together.
With this came King Arthur, and when he wist that there
was Sir Tristram, then he ran unto him and took him by
the hand and said:  Sir Tristram, ye are as welcome as any
knight that ever came to this court.  And when the king
had heard how Sir Launcelot and he had foughten, and
either had wounded other wonderly sore, then the king
made great dole.  Then Sir Tristram told the king how
he came thither for to have had ado with Sir Palomides.
And then he told the king how he had rescued him from
the nine knights and Breuse Saunce Pit; and how he
found a knight lying by a well, and that knight smote
down Sir Palomides and me, but his shield was covered
with a cloth.  So Sir Palomides left me, and I followed
after that knight; and in many places I found where he
had slain knights, and forjousted many.  By my head,
said Sir Gawaine, that same knight smote me down and
Sir Bleoberis, and hurt us sore both, he with the covered
shield.  Ah, said Sir Kay, that knight smote me adown
and hurt me passing sore, and fain would I have known
him, but I might not.  Jesu, mercy, said Arthur, what
knight was that with the covered shield?  I know not,
said Sir Tristram; and so said they all.  Now, said King
Arthur, then wot I, for it is Sir Launcelot.  Then they
all looked upon Sir Launcelot and said:  Ye have beguiled
us with your covered shield.  It is not the first time, said
Arthur, he hath done so.  My lord, said Sir Launcelot,
truly wit ye well I was the same knight that bare the
covered shield; and because I would not be known that I
was of your court I said no worship of your house.  That
is truth, said Sir Gawaine, Sir Kay, and Sir Bleoberis.

Then King Arthur took Sir Tristram by the hand and
went to the Table Round.  Then came Queen Guenever
and many ladies with her, and all the ladies said at one
voice:  Welcome, Sir Tristram!  Welcome, said the
damosels.  Welcome, said knights.  Welcome, said
Arthur, for one of the best knights, and the gentlest of
the world, and the man of most worship; for of all
manner of hunting thou bearest the prize, and of all
measures of blowing thou art the beginning, and of all the
terms of hunting and hawking ye are the beginner, of all
instruments of music ye are the best; therefore, gentle
knight, said Arthur, ye are welcome to this court.  And
also, I pray you, said Arthur, grant me a boon.  It shall
be at your commandment, said Tristram.  Well, said
Arthur, I will desire of you that ye will abide in my court.
Sir, said Sir Tristram, thereto is me loath, for I have ado
in many countries.  Not so, said Arthur, ye have promised
it me, ye may not say nay.  Sir, said Sir Tristram, I will
as ye will.  Then went Arthur unto the sieges about the
Round Table, and looked in every siege the which were
void that lacked knights.  And then the king saw in the
siege of Marhaus letters that said:  This is the siege of the
noble knight, Sir Tristram.  And then Arthur made Sir
Tristram Knight of the Table Round, with great nobley
and great feast as might be thought.  For Sir Marhaus
was slain afore by the hands of Sir Tristram in an island;
and that was well known at that time in the court of
Arthur, for this Marhaus was a worthy knight.  And for
evil deeds that he did unto the country of Cornwall Sir
Tristram and he fought.  And they fought so long,
tracing and traversing, till they fell bleeding to the earth;
for they were so sore wounded that they might not stand
for bleeding.  And Sir Tristram by fortune recovered, and
Sir Marhaus died through the stroke on the head.  So
leave we of Sir Tristram and speak we of King Mark.