Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK X CHAPTER XXXIX
Legends and Sagas
How Alisander met with Alice la Beale Pilgrim, and how he
jousted with two knights; and after of him and of Sir
Then she unwimpled her visage. And when he saw her
he said: Here have I found my love and my lady.
Truly, fair lady, said he, I promise you to be your
knight, and none other that beareth the life. Now, gentle
knight, said she, tell me your name. My name is, said
he, Alisander le Orphelin. Now, damosel, tell me your
name, said he. My name is, said she, Alice la Beale
Pilgrim. And when we be more at our heart's ease, both
ye and I shall tell other of what blood we be come.
So there was great love betwixt them. And as they thus
talked there came a knight that hight Harsouse le Berbuse,
and asked part of Sir Alisander's spears. Then Sir
Alisander encountered with him, and at the first Sir
Alisander smote him over his horse's croup. And then
there came another knight that hight Sir Hewgon, and Sir
Alisander smote him down as he did that other. Then
Sir Hewgon proffered to do battle on foot. Sir Alisander
overcame him with three strokes, and there would have
slain him had he not yielded him. So then Alisander
made both those knights to swear to wear none armour in
a twelvemonth and a day.
Then Sir Alisander alighted down, and went to rest
him and repose him. Then the damosel that helped Sir
Alisander out of the castle, in her play told Alice all
together how he was prisoner in the castle of La Beale
Regard, and there she told her how she got him out of prison.
Sir, said Alice la Beale Pilgrim, meseemeth ye are much
beholding to this maiden. That is truth, said Sir
Alisander. And there Alice told him of what blood she
was come. Sir, wit ye well, she said, that I am of the
blood of King Ban, that was father unto Sir Launcelot.
Y-wis, fair lady, said Alisander, my mother told me that
my father was brother unto a king, and I nigh cousin unto
Then this while came there three knights, that one
hight Vains, and the other hight Harvis de les Marches,
and the third hight Perin de la Montaine. And with one
spear Sir Alisander smote them down all three, and gave
them such falls that they had no list to fight upon foot.
So he made them to swear to wear none arms in a twelvemonth.
So when they were departed Sir Alisander
beheld his lady Alice on horseback as he stood in her
pavilion. And then was he so enamoured upon her that
he wist not whether he were on horseback or on foot.
Right so came the false knight Sir Mordred, and saw
Sir Alisander was assotted upon his lady; and therewithal
he took his horse by the bridle, and led him here and
there, and had cast to have led him out of that place to
have shamed him. When the damosel that helped him
out of that castle saw how shamefully he was led, anon
she let arm her, and set a shield upon her shoulder; and
therewith she mounted upon his horse, and gat a naked
sword in her hand, and she thrust unto Alisander with all
her might, and she gave him such a buffet that he thought
the fire flew out of his eyen. And when Alisander felt
that stroke he looked about him, and drew his sword
And when she saw that, she fled, and so did Mordred
into the forest, and the damosel fled into the pavilion.
So when Alisander understood himself how the false
knight would have shamed him had not the damosel been
then was he wroth with himself that Sir Mordred was
so escaped his hands. But then Sir Alisander and Alice
had good game at the damosel, how sadly she hit him
upon the helm.
Then Sir Alisander jousted thus day by day, and on
foot he did many battles with many knights of King
Arthur's court, and with many knights strangers. Therefore
to tell all the battles that he did it were overmuch to
rehearse, for every day within that twelvemonth he had
ado with one knight or with other, and some day he had
ado with three or with four; and there was never knight
that put him to the worse. And at the twelvemonth's
end he departed with his lady, Alice la Beale Pilgrim.
And the damosel would never go from him, and so they
went into their country of Benoye, and lived there in