Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK X CHAPTER LVI

Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  BOOK X  Previous  Next 


How Sir Tristram smote down Sir Agravaine and Sir
Gaheris, and how Sir Dinadan was sent for by La Beale Isoud.

SO when they had overtaken Sir Tristram, Sir Agravaine
bade him:  Turn, traitor knight.  That is evil said, said
Sir Tristram; and therewith he pulled out his sword, and
smote Sir Agravaine such a buffet upon the helm that he
tumbled down off his horse in a swoon, and he had a
grievous wound.  And then he turned to Gaheris, and Sir
Tristram smote his sword and his helm together with such
a might that Gaheris fell out of his saddle: and so Sir
Tristram rode unto Joyous Gard, and there he alighted
and unarmed him.  So Sir Tristram told La Beale Isoud
of all his adventure, as ye have heard to-fore.  And when
she heard him tell of Sir Dinadan:  Sir, said she, is not that
he that made the song by King Mark?  That same is he,
said Sir Tristram, for he is the best bourder and japer, and
a noble knight of his hands, and the best fellow that I
know, and all good knights love his fellowship.  Alas, sir,
said she, why brought ye not him with you?  Have ye
no care, said Sir Tristram, for he rideth to seek me in this
country; and therefore he will not away till he have met
with me.  And there Sir Tristram told La Beale Isoud
how Sir Dinadan held against all lovers.  Right so there
came in a varlet and told Sir Tristram how there was come
an errant knight into the town, with such colours upon
his shield.  That is Sir Dinadan, said Sir Tristram; wit
ye what ye shall do, said Sir Tristram: send ye for him,
my Lady Isoud, and I will not be seen, and ye shall hear
the merriest knight that ever ye spake withal, and the
maddest talker; and I pray you heartily that ye make him
good cheer.

Then anon La Beale Isoud sent into the town, and
prayed Sir Dinadan that he would come into the castle and
repose him there with a lady.  With a good will, said Sir
Dinadan; and so he mounted upon his horse and rode
into the castle; and there he alighted, and was unarmed,
and brought into the castle.  Anon La Beale Isoud came
unto him, and either saluted other; then she asked him
of whence that he was.  Madam, said Dinadan, I am of
the court of King Arthur, and knight of the Table Round,
and my name is Sir Dinadan.  What do ye in this country?
said La Beale Isoud.  Madam, said he, I seek Sir Tristram
the good knight, for it was told me that he was in this
country.  It may well be, said La Beale Isoud, but I am
not ware of him.  Madam, said Dinadan, I marvel of
Sir Tristram and mo other lovers, what aileth them to
be so mad and so sotted upon women.  Why, said La
Beale Isoud, are ye a knight and be no lover? it is shame
to you: wherefore ye may not be called a good knight
[but] if ye make a quarrel for a lady.  God defend me, said
Dinadan, for the joy of love is too short, and the sorrow
thereof, and what cometh thereof, dureth over long.  Ah,
said La Beale Isoud, say ye not so, for here fast by was
the good knight Sir Bleoberis, that fought with three
knights at once for a damosel's sake, and he won her afore
the King of Northumberland.  It was so, said Sir Dinadan,
for I know him well for a good knight and a noble, and
come of noble blood; for all be noble knights of whom
he is come of, that is Sir Launcelot du Lake.

Now I pray you, said La Beale Isoud, tell me will you
fight for my love with three knights that do me great
wrong? and insomuch as ye be a knight of King Arthur's
I require you to do battle for me.  Then Sir Dinadan
said: I shall say you ye be as fair a lady as ever I saw
any, and much fairer than is my lady Queen Guenever,
but wit ye well at one word, I will not fight for you with
three knights, Jesu defend me.  Then Isoud laughed, and
had good game at him.  So he had all the cheer that she
might make him, and there he lay all that night.  And
on the morn early Sir Tristram armed him, and La Beale
Isoud gave him a good helm; and then he promised her
that he would meet with Sir Dinadan, and they two would
ride together into Lonazep, where the tournament should
be:  And there shall I make ready for you where ye shall
see the tournament.  Then departed Sir Tristram with
two squires that bare his shield and his spears that were
great and long.