Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK X CHAPTER XLI

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How Sir Launcelot fought in the tournament, and how Sir
Palomides did arms there for a damosel.

THEN at the request of Queen Guenever and of King
Bagdemagus Sir Launcelot came into the range, but he
was disguised, and that was the cause that few folk knew
him; and there met with him Sir Ector de Maris, his
own brother, and either brake their spears upon other to
their hands.  And then either gat another spear.  And
then Sir Launcelot smote down Sir Ector de Maris, his
own brother.  That saw Sir Bleoberis, and he smote Sir
Launcelot such a buffet upon the helm that he wist not
well where he was.  Then Sir Launcelot was wrothy and
smote Sir Bleoberis so sore upon the helm that his head
bowed down backward.  And he smote eft another buffet,
that he avoided his saddle; and so he rode by, and thrust
forth to the thickest.  When the King of Northgalis saw
Sir Ector and Bleoberis lie on the ground then was he
wroth, for they came on his party against them of Surluse.
So the King of Northgalis ran to Sir Launcelot, and brake
a spear upon him all to pieces.  Therewith Sir Launcelot
overtook the King of Northgalis, and smote him such a
buffet on the helm with his sword that he made him to
avoid his horse; and anon the king was horsed again.
So both the King Bagdemagus' and the King of North-galis'
party hurled to other; and then began a strong
medley, but they of Northgalis were far bigger.

When Sir Launcelot saw his party go to the worst he
thrang into the thickest press with a sword in his hand;
and there he smote down on the right hand and on the
left hand, and pulled down knights and raced off their
helms, that all men had wonder that ever one knight
might do such deeds of arms.  When Sir Meliagaunce,
that was son unto King Bagdemagus, saw how Sir
Launcelot fared he marvelled greatly.  And when he
understood that it was he, he wist well that he was
disguised for his sake.  Then Sir Meliagaunce prayed a
knight to slay Sir Launcelot's horse, either with sword or
with spear.  At that time King Bagdemagus met with a
knight that hight Sauseise, a good knight, to whom he said:
Now fair Sauseise, encounter with my son Meliagaunce
and give him large payment, for I would he were well
beaten of thy hands, that he might depart out of this field.
And then Sir Sauseise encountered with Sir Meliagaunce,
and either smote other down.  And then they fought on
foot, and there Sauseise had won Sir Meliagaunce, had
there not come rescues.  So then the haut prince blew to
lodging, and every knight unarmed him and went to the
great feast.

Then in the meanwhile there came a damosel to the
haut prince, and complained that there was a knight that
hight Goneries that withheld her all her lands.  Then the
knight was there present, and cast his glove to her or to
any that would fight in her name.  So the damosel took
up the glove all heavily for default of a champion.  Then
there came a varlet to her and said:  Damosel, will ye do
after me?  Full fain, said the damosel.  Then go you unto
such a knight that lieth here beside in an hermitage, and
that followeth the Questing Beast, and pray him to take
the battle upon him, and anon I wot well he will grant

So anon she took her palfrey, and within a while she
found that knight, that was Sir Palomides.  And when
she required him he armed him and rode with her, and
made her to go to the haut prince, and to ask leave for
her knight to do battle.  I will well, said the haut prince.
Then the knights were ready in the field to joust on
horseback; and either gat a spear in their hands, and
met so fiercely together that their spears all to-shivered.
Then they flang out swords, and Sir Palomides smote Sir
Goneries down to the earth.  And then he raced off his
helm and smote off his head.  Then they went to supper,
and the damosel loved Palomides as paramour, but the
book saith she was of his kin.  So then Palomides disguised
himself in this manner, in his shield he bare the
Questing Beast, and in all his trappings.  And when he
was thus ready, he sent to the haut prince to give him
leave to joust with other knights, but he was adoubted of
Sir Launcelot.  The haut prince sent him word again that
he should be welcome, and that Sir Launcelot should not
joust with him.  Then Sir Galahalt, the haut prince, let
cry what knight somever he were that smote down Sir
Palomides should have his damosel to himself.