Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK X CHAPTER LXXX
Legends and Sagas
How Sir Tristram turned to King Arthur's side, and how
Palomides would not.
THEN Sir Tristram called unto him Sir Palomides, Sir
Gareth, and Sir Dinadan, and said thus to them: My fair
fellows, wit ye well that I will turn unto King Arthur's
party, for I saw never so few men do so well, and it will
be shame unto us knights that be of the Round Table
to see our lord King Arthur, and that noble knight Sir
Launcelot, to be dishonoured. It will be well done, said
Sir Gareth and Sir Dinadan. Do your best, said Palomides,
for I will not change my party that I came in withal.
That is for my sake, said Sir Tristram; God speed you in
your journey. And so departed Sir Palomides from them.
Then Sir Tristram, Gareth, and Dinadan, turned with Sir
Launcelot. And then Sir Launcelot smote down the King
of Ireland quite from his horse; and so Sir Launcelot
smote down the King of Scots, and the King of Wales;
and then Sir Arthur ran unto Sir Palomides and smote him
quite from his horse; and then Sir Tristram bare down
all that he met. Sir Gareth and Sir Dinadan did there as
noble knights; then all the parties began to flee. Alas, said
Palomides, that ever I should see this day, for now have
I lost all the worship that I won; and then Sir Palomides
went his way wailing, and so withdrew him till he came
to a well, and there he put his horse from him, and did off
his armour, and wailed and wept like as he had been a wood
man. Then many knights gave the prize to Sir Tristram,
and there were many that gave the prize unto Sir Launcelot.
Fair lords, said Sir Tristram, I thank you of the
honour ye would give me, but I pray you heartily that ye
would give your voice to Sir Launcelot, for by my faith
said Sir Tristram, I will give Sir Launcelot my voice. But
Sir Launcelot would not have it, and so the prize was
given betwixt them both.
Then every man rode to his lodging, and Sir Bleoberis
and Sir Ector rode with Sir Tristram and La Beale Isoud
unto their pavilions. Then as Sir Palomides was at the
well wailing and weeping, there came by him flying the
kings of Wales and of Scotland, and they saw Sir Palomides
in that arage. Alas, said they, that so noble a man as ye
be should be in this array. And then those kings gat
Sir Palomides' horse again, and made him to arm him
and mount upon his horse, and so he rode with them,
making great dole. So when Sir Palomides came nigh the
pavilions thereas Sir Tristram and La Beale Isoud was in,
then Sir Palomides prayed the two kings to abide him
there the while that he spake with Sir Tristram. And
when he came to the port of the pavilions, Sir Palomides
said on high: Where art thou, Sir Tristram de Liones?
Sir, said Dinadan, that is Palomides. What, Sir Palomides,
will ye not come in here among us? Fie on thee
traitor, said Palomides, for wit you well an it were
daylight as it is night I should slay thee, mine own hands.
And if ever I may get thee, said Palomides, thou shalt
die for this day's deed. Sir Palomides, said Sir Tristram,
ye wite me with wrong, for had ye done as I did ye had
won worship. But sithen ye give me so large warning
I shall be well ware of you. Fie on thee, traitor, said
Palomides, and therewith departed.
Then on the morn Sir Tristram, Bleoberis, and Sir
Ector de Maris, Sir Gareth, Sir Dinadan, what by water
and what by land, they brought La Beale Isoud unto
Joyous Gard, and there reposed them a seven night, and
made all the mirths and disports that they could devise.
And King Arthur and his knights drew unto Camelot,
and Sir Palomides rode with the two kings; and ever
he made the greatest dole that any man could think, for
he was not all only so dolorous for the departing from La
Beale Isoud, but he was a part as sorrowful to depart
from the fellowship of Sir Tristram; for Sir Tristram was
so kind and so gentle that when Sir Palomides remembered
him thereof he might never be merry.