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How King Arthur and Sir Lancelot came to see La Beale
Isoud, and how Palomides smote down King Arthur.

SO on the morn Sir Launcelot departed, and Sir Tristram
was ready, and La Beale Isoud with Sir Palomides and Sir
Gareth.  And so they rode all in green full freshly beseen
unto the forest.  And Sir Tristram left Sir Dinadan
sleeping in his bed.  And so as they rode it happed the
king and Launcelot stood in a window, and saw Sir
Tristram ride and Isoud.  Sir, said Launcelot, yonder
rideth the fairest lady of the world except your queen,
Dame Guenever.  Who is that? said Sir Arthur.  Sir,
said he, it is Queen Isoud that, out-taken my lady your
queen, she is makeless.  Take your horse, said Arthur,
and array you at all rights as I will do, and I promise you,
said the king, I will see her.  Then anon they were armed
and horsed, and either took a spear and rode unto the
forest.  Sir, said Launcelot, it is not good that ye go too
nigh them, for wit ye well there are two as good knights
as now are living, and therefore, sir, I pray you be not
too hasty.  For peradventure there will be some knights
be displeased an we come suddenly upon them.  As for
that, said Arthur, I will see her, for I take no force whom
I grieve.  Sir, said Launcelot, ye put yourself in great
jeopardy.  As for that, said the king, we will take the
adventure.  Right so anon the king rode even to her,
and saluted her, and said: God you save.  Sir, said she,
ye are welcome.  Then the king beheld her, and liked her
wonderly well.

With that came Sir Palomides unto Arthur, and said:
Uncourteous knight, what seekest thou here? thou art
uncourteous to come upon a lady thus suddenly, therefore
withdraw thee.  Sir Arthur took none heed of Sir Palomides'
words, but ever he looked still upon Queen Isoud
Then was Sir Palomides wroth, and therewith he took a
spear, and came hurtling upon King Arthur, and smote
him down with a spear.  When Sir Launcelot saw that
despite of Sir Palomides, he said to himself:  I am loath
to have ado with yonder knight, and not for his own sake
but for Sir Tristram.  And one thing I am sure of, if I
smite down Sir Palomides I must have ado with Sir Tristram,
and that were overmuch for me to match them both,
for they are two noble knights; notwithstanding, whether
I live or I die, needs must I revenge my lord, and so will
I, whatsomever befall of me.  And therewith Sir Launcelot
cried to Sir Palomides:  Keep thee from me.  And then
Sir Launcelot and Sir Palomides rushed together with two
spears strongly, but Sir Launcelot smote Sir Palomides so
hard that he went quite out of his saddle, and had a great
fall.  When Sir Tristram saw Sir Palomides have that
fall, he said to Sir Launcelot:  Sir knight, keep thee, for
I must joust with thee.  As for to joust with me, said
Sir Launcelot, I will not fail you, for no dread I have of
you; but I am loath to have ado with you an I might
choose, for I will that ye wit that I must revenge my
special lord that was unhorsed unwarly and unknightly.
And therefore, though I revenged that fall, take ye no
displeasure therein, for he is to me such a friend that I
may not see him shamed.

Anon Sir Tristram understood by his person and by
his knightly words that it was Sir Launcelot du Lake, and
verily Sir Tristram deemed that it was King Arthur, he
that Sir Palomides had smitten down.  And then Sir
Tristram put his spear from him, and put Sir Palomides
again on horseback, and Sir Launcelot put King Arthur
on horseback and so departed.  So God me help, said Sir
Tristram unto Palomides, ye did not worshipfully when
ye smote down that knight so suddenly as ye did.  And
wit ye well ye did yourself great shame, for the knights
came hither of their gentleness to see a fair lady; and
that is every good knight's part, to behold a fair lady;
and ye had not ado to play such masteries afore my lady.
Wit thou well it will turn to anger, for he that ye smote
down was King Arthur, and that other was the good
knight Sir Launcelot.  But I shall not forget the words
of Sir Launcelot when that he called him a man of great
worship, thereby I wist that it was King Arthur.  And as
for Sir Launcelot, an there had been five hundred knights
in the meadow, he would not have refused them, and yet
he said he would refuse me.  By that again I wist that it
was Sir Launcelot, for ever he forbeareth me in every
place, and showeth me great kindness; and of all knights,
I out-take none, say what men will say, he beareth the
flower of all chivalry, say it him whosomever will.  An
he be well angered, and that him list to do his utterance
without any favour, I know him not alive but Sir
Launcelot is over hard for him, be it on horseback or on
foot.  I may never believe, said Palomides, that King
Arthur will ride so privily as a poor errant knight.  Ah,
said Sir Tristram, ye know not my lord Arthur, for all
knights may learn to be a knight of him.  And therefore
ye may be sorry, said Sir Tristram, of your unkindly
deeds to so noble a king.  And a thing that is done may
not be undone, said Palomides.  Then Sir Tristram sent
Queen Isoud unto her lodging in the priory, there to
behold all the tournament.