Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  BOOK X  Previous  Next 


How by the counsel of La Beale Isoud Sir Tristram rode
armed, and how he met with Sir Palomides.

SO on a day La Beale Isoud said unto Sir Tristram:  I
marvel me much, said she, that ye remember not yourself,
how ye be here in a strange country, and here be many
perilous knights; and well ye wot that King Mark is full
of treason; and that ye will ride thus to chase and to hunt
unarmed ye might be destroyed.  My fair lady and my
love, I cry you mercy, I will no more do so.  So then Sir
Tristram rode daily a-hunting armed, and his men bearing
his shield and his spear.  So on a day a little afore the
month of May, Sir Tristram chased an hart passing
eagerly, and so the hart passed by a fair well.  And then
Sir Tristram alighted and put off his helm to drink of that
bubbly water.  Right so he heard and saw the Questing
Beast come to the well.  When Sir Tristram saw that
beast he put on his helm, for he deemed he should hear of
Sir Palomides, for that beast was his quest.  Right so Sir
Tristram saw where came a knight armed, upon a noble
courser, and he saluted him, and they spake of many
things; and this knight's name was Breuse Saunce Pit.
And right so withal there came unto them the noble
knight Sir Palomides, and either saluted other, and spake
fair to other.

Fair knights, said Sir Palomides, I can tell you tidings.
What is that? said those knights.  Sirs, wit ye well that
King Mark is put in prison by his own knights, and all
was for love of Sir Tristram; for King Mark had put Sir
Tristram twice in prison, and once Sir Percivale delivered
the noble knight Sir Tristram out of prison.  And at the
last time Queen La Beale Isoud delivered him, and went
clearly away with him into this realm; and all this while
King Mark, the false traitor, is in prison.  Is this truth?
said Palomides; then shall we hastily hear of Sir Tristram.
And as for to say that I love La Beale Isoud paramours,
I dare make good that I do, and that she hath my service
above all other ladies, and shall have the term of my life.

And right so as they stood talking they saw afore them
where came a knight all armed, on a great horse, and one
of his men bare his shield, and the other his spear.  And
anon as that knight espied them he gat his shield and his
spear and dressed him to joust.  Fair fellows, said Sir
Tristram, yonder is a knight will joust with us, let see
which of us shall encounter with him, for I see well he is
of the court of King Arthur.  It shall not be long or he
be met withal, said Sir Palomides, for I found never no
knight in my quest of this glasting beast, but an he would
joust I never refused him.  As well may I, said Breuse
Saunce Pit, follow that beast as ye.  Then shall ye do
battle with me, said Palomides.

So Sir Palomides dressed him unto that other knight,
Sir Bleoberis, that was a full noble knight, nigh kin unto
Sir Launcelot.  And so they met so hard that Sir Palomides
fell to the earth, horse and all.  Then Sir Bleoberis
cried aloud and said thus:  Make thee ready thou false
traitor knight, Breuse Saunce Pit, for wit thou certainly
I will have ado with thee to the utterance for the noble
knights and ladies that thou hast falsely betrayed.  When
this false knight and traitor, Breuse Saunce Pit, heard
him say so, he took his horse by the bridle and fled his
way as fast as ever his horse might run, for sore he was of
him afeard.  When Sir Bleoberis saw him flee he followed
fast after, through thick and through thin.  And by
fortune as Sir Breuse fled, he saw even afore him three
knights of the Table Round, of the which the one hight
Sir Ector de Maris, the other hight Sir Percivale de Galis,
the third hight Sir Harry le Fise Lake, a good knight and
an hardy.  And as for Sir Percivale, he was called that
time of his time one of the best knights of the world,
and the best assured.  When Breuse saw these knights he
rode straight unto them, and cried unto them and prayed
them of rescues.  What need have ye? said Sir Ector.
Ah, fair knights, said Sir Breuse, here followeth me the
most traitor knight, and most coward, and most of villainy;
his name is Breuse Saunce Pit, and if he may get me he
will slay me without mercy and pity.  Abide with us, said
Sir Percivale, and we shall warrant you.

Then were they ware of Sir Bleoberis that came riding
all that he might.  Then Sir Ector put himself forth to
joust afore them all.  When Sir Bleoberis saw that they
were four knights and he but himself, he stood in a doubt
whether he would turn or hold his way.  Then he said to
himself:  I am a knight of the Table Round, and rather
than I should shame mine oath and my blood I will hold
my way whatsoever fall thereof.  And then Sir Ector
dressed his spear, and smote either other passing sore, but
Sir Ector fell to the earth.  That saw Sir Percivale, and
he dressed his horse toward him all that he might drive,
but Sir Percivale had such a stroke that horse and man fell
to the earth.  When Sir Harry saw that they were both to
the earth then he said to himself:  Never was Breuse of
such prowess.  So Sir Harry dressed his horse, and they
met together so strongly that both the horses and knights
fell to the earth, but Sir Bleoberis' horse began to recover
again.  That saw Breuse and he came hurtling, and smote
him over and over, and would have slain him as he lay on
the ground.  Then Sir Harry le Fise Lake arose lightly,
and took the bridle of Sir Breuse's horse, and said:
Fie for shame! strike never a knight when he is at the
earth, for this knight may be called no shameful knight of
his deeds, for yet as men may see thereas he lieth on the
ground he hath done worshipfully, and put to the worse
passing good knights.  Therefore will I not let, said Sir
Breuse.  Thou shalt not choose, said Sir Harry, as at this
time.  Then when Sir Breuse saw that he might not choose
nor have his will he spake fair.  Then Sir Harry let him
go.  And then anon he made his horse to run over Sir
Bleoberis, and rashed him to the earth like if he would
have slain him.  When Sir Harry saw him do so villainously
he cried:  Traitor knight, leave off for shame.  And
as Sir Harry would have taken his horse to fight with Sir
Breuse, then Sir Breuse ran upon him as he was half upon
his horse, and smote him down, horse and man, to the
earth, and had near slain Sir Harry, the good knight.
That saw Sir Percivale, and then he cried:  Traitor knight
what dost thou?  And when Sir Percivale was upon his
horse Sir Breuse took his horse and fled all that ever he
might, and Sir Percivale and Sir Harry followed after him
fast, but ever the longer they chased the farther were they

Then they turned again and came to Sir Ector de Maris
and to Sir Bleoberis.  Ah, fair knights, said Bleoberis, why
have ye succoured that false knight and traitor?  Why
said Sir Harry, what knight is he? for well I wot it is a
false knight, said Sir Harry, and a coward and a felonious
knight.  Sir, said Bleoberis, he is the most coward knight,
and a devourer of ladies and a destroyer of good knights
and especially of Arthur's.  What is your name? said Sir
Ector.  My name is Sir Bleoberis de Ganis.  Alas, fair
cousin, said Ector, forgive it me, for I am Sir Ector de
Maris.  Then Sir Percivale and Sir Harry made great joy
that they met with Bleoberis, but all they were heavy that
Sir Breuse was escaped them, whereof they made great dole.