Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK X CHAPTER LVII
Legends and Sagas
How Sir Dinadan met with Sir Tristram, and with jousting
with Sir Palomides, Sir Dinadan knew him.
THEN after that Sir Dinadan departed, and rode his
way a great pace until he had overtaken Sir Tristram.
And when Sir Dinadan had overtaken him he knew him
anon, and he hated the fellowship of him above all other
knights. Ah, said Sir Dinadan, art thou that coward
knight that I met with yesterday? keep thee, for thou
shalt joust with me maugre thy head. Well, said Sir
Tristram, and I am loath to joust. And so they let their
horses run, and Sir Tristram missed of him a-purpose,
and Sir Dinadan brake a spear upon Sir Tristram, and
therewith Sir Dinadan dressed him to draw out his sword.
Not so, said Sir Tristram, why are ye so wroth? I will
not fight. Fie on thee, coward, said Dinadan, thou
shamest all knights. As for that, said Sir Tristram, I
care not, for I will wait upon you and be under your
protection; for because ye are so good a knight ye may
save me. The devil deliver me of thee, said Sir Dinadan,
for thou art as goodly a man of arms and of thy person
as ever I saw, and the most coward that ever I saw.
What wilt thou do with those great spears that thou
carriest with thee? I shall give them, said Sir Tristram,
to some good knight when I come to the tournament;
and if I see you do best, I shall give them to you.
So thus as they rode talking they saw where came an
errant knight afore them, that dressed him to joust. Lo,
said Sir Tristram, yonder is one will joust; now dress
thee to him. Ah, shame betide thee, said Sir Dinadan.
Nay, not so, said Tristram, for that knight beseemeth a
shrew. Then shall I, said Sir Dinadan. And so they
dressed their shields and their spears, and they met
together so hard that the other knight smote down Sir
Dinadan from his horse. Lo, said Sir Tristram, it had
been better ye had left. Fie on thee, coward, said Sir
Dinadan. Then Sir Dinadan started up and gat his
sword in his hand, and proffered to do battle on foot.
Whether in love or in wrath? said the other knight.
Let us do battle in love, said Sir Dinadan. What is your
name, said that knight, I pray you tell me. Wit ye well
my name is Sir Dinadan. Ah, Dinadan, said that knight,
and my name is Gareth, the youngest brother unto Sir
Gawaine. Then either made of other great cheer, for
this Gareth was the best knight of all the brethren, and
he proved a good knight. Then they took their horses,
and there they spake of Sir Tristram, how such a coward
he was; and every word Sir Tristram heard and laughed
them to scorn.
Then were they ware where came a knight afore them
well horsed and well armed, and he made him ready to
joust. Fair knights, said Sir Tristram, look betwixt you
who shall joust with yonder knight, for I warn you I will
not have ado with him. Then shall I, said Sir Gareth.
And so they encountered together, and there that knight
smote down Sir Gareth over his horse's croup. How
now, said Sir Tristram unto Sir Dinadan, dress thee now
and revenge the good knight Gareth. That shall I not,
said Sir Dinadan, for he hath stricken down a much
bigger knight than I am. Ah, said Sir Tristram, now
Sir Dinadan, I see and feel well your heart faileth you,
therefore now shall ye see what I shall do. And then Sir
Tristram hurtled unto that knight, and smote him quite
from his horse. And when Sir Dinadan saw that, he
marvelled greatly; and then he deemed that it was Sir
Then this knight that was on foot pulled out his
sword to do battle. What is your name? said Sir
Tristram. Wit ye well, said that knight, my name is
Sir Palomides. What knight hate ye most? said Sir
Tristram. Sir knight, said he, I hate Sir Tristram to the
death, for an I may meet with him the one of us shall die.
Ye say well, said Sir Tristram, and wit ye well that I am
Sir Tristram de Liones, and now do your worst. When
Sir Palomides heard him say so he was astonied. And
then he said thus: I pray you, Sir Tristram, forgive me
all mine evil will, and if I live I shall do you service
above all other knights that be living; and whereas I
have owed you evil will me sore repenteth. I wot not
what aileth me, for meseemeth that ye are a good knight,
and none other knight that named himself a good knight
should not hate you; therefore I require you, Sir Tristram,
take no displeasure at mine unkind words. Sir
Palomides, said Sir Tristram, ye say well, and well I wot
ye are a good knight, for I have seen ye proved; and
many great enterprises have ye taken upon you, and well
achieved them; therefore, said Sir Tristram, an ye have
any evil will to me, now may ye right it, for I am ready
at your hand. Not so, my lord Sir Tristram, I will do
you knightly service in all thing as ye will command.
And right so I will take you, said Sir Tristram. And so
they rode forth on their ways talking of many things.
O my lord Sir Tristram, said Dinadan, foul have ye
mocked me, for God knoweth I came into this country for
your sake, and by the advice of my lord Sir Launcelot;
and yet would not Sir Launcelot tell me the certainty
of you, where I should find you. Truly, said Sir Tristram,
Sir Launcelot wist well where I was, for I abode within
his own castle.