Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK X CHAPTER LXXVIII
Legends and Sagas
How King Arthur and Sir Launcelot came unto their pavilions
as they sat at supper, and of Sir Palomides.
AND therewithal two knights armed came unto the pavilion,
and there they alighted both, and came in armed at all
pieces. Fair knights, said Sir Tristram, ye are to blame to
come thus armed at all pieces upon me while we are at
our meat; if ye would anything when we were in the field
there might ye have eased your hearts. Not so, said the
one of those knights, we come not for that intent, but wit
ye well Sir Tristram, we be come hither as your friends.
And I am come here, said the one, for to see you, and this
knight is come for to see La Beale Isoud. Then said Sir
Tristram: I require you do off your helms that I may see
you. That will we do at your desire, said the knights.
And when their helms were off, Sir Tristram thought that
he should know them.
Then said Sir Dinadan privily unto Sir Tristram: Sir,
that is Sir Launcelot du Lake that spake unto you first,
and the other is my lord King Arthur. Then, said Sir
Tristram unto La Beale Isoud, Madam arise, for here is my
lord, King Arthur. Then the king and the queen kissed,
and Sir Launcelot and Sir Tristram braced either other in
arms, and then there was joy without measure; and at the
request of La Beale Isoud, King Arthur and Launcelot
were unarmed, and then there was merry talking. Madam,
said Sir Arthur, it is many a day sithen that I have desired
to see you, for ye have been praised so far; and now I dare
say ye are the fairest that ever I saw, and Sir Tristram is
as fair and as good a knight as any that I know; therefore
me beseemeth ye are well beset together. Sir, God thank
you, said the noble knight, Sir Tristram, and Isoud; of
your great goodness and largess ye are peerless. Thus
they talked of many things and of all the whole jousts. But
for what cause, said King Arthur, were ye, Sir Tristram,
against us? Ye are a knight of the Table Round; of right
ye should have been with us. Sir, said Sir Tristram, here
is Dinadan, and Sir Gareth your own nephew, caused me to
be against you. My lord Arthur, said Gareth, I may well
bear the blame, but it were Sir Tristram's own deeds.
That may I repent, said Dinadan, for this unhappy Sir
Tristram brought us to this tournament, and many great
buffets he caused us to have. Then the king and Launcelot
laughed that they might not sit.
What knight was that, said Arthur, that held you so
short, this with the shield of silver? Sir, said Sir
Tristram, here he sitteth at this board. What, said Arthur,
was it Sir Palomides? Wit ye well it was he, said La
Beale Isoud. So God me help, said Arthur, that was
unknightly done of you of so good a knight, for I have
heard many people call you a courteous knight. Sir, said
Palomides, I knew not Sir Tristram, for he was so disguised.
So God me help, said Launcelot, it may well be, for I knew
not Sir Tristram; but I marvel why ye turned on our
party. That was done for the same cause, said Launcelot.
As for that, said Sir Tristram, I have pardoned him, and
I would be right loath to leave his fellowship, for I love
right well his company: so they left off and talked of
And in the evening King Arthur and Sir Launcelot
departed unto their lodging; but wit ye well Sir Palomides
had envy heartily, for all that night he had never rest in
his bed, but wailed and wept out of measure. So on the
morn Sir Tristram, Gareth, and Dinadan arose early, and
then they went unto Sir Palomides' chamber, and there
they found him fast asleep, for he had all night watched,
and it was seen upon his cheeks that he had wept full sore.
Say nothing, said Sir Tristram, for I am sure he hath taken
anger and sorrow for the rebuke that I gave to him, and
La Beale Isoud.