Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 350 pages of information about The Age of Chivalry.
content with having made proof of the stranger knight bade Launcelot finish the adventure, and vindicate the honor of the Round Table.  Sir Launcelot, at the bidding of the monarch, assailed Tristram, whose lance was already broken in former encounters.  But the law of this sort of combat was that the knight after having broken his lance must fight with his sword, and must not refuse to meet with his shield the lance of his antagonist.  Tristram met Launcelot’s charge upon his shield, which that terrible lance could not fail to pierce.  It inflicted a wound upon Tristram’s side, and, breaking, left the iron in the wound.  But Tristram also with his sword smote so vigorously on Launcelot’s casque that he cleft it, and wounded his head.  The wound was not deep, but the blood flowed into his eyes, and blinded him for a moment, and Tristram, who thought himself mortally wounded, retired from the field.  Launcelot declared to the king that he had never received such a blow in his life before.

Tristram hastened to Gouvernail, his squire, who drew forth the iron, bound up the wound, and gave him immediate ease.  Tristram after the tournament kept retired in his tent, but Arthur, with the consent of all the knights of the Round Table, decreed him the honors of the second day.  But it was no longer a secret that the victor of the two days was the same individual, and Gouvernail, being questioned, confirmed the suspicions of Launcelot and Arthur that it was no other than Sir Tristram of Leonais, the nephew of the king of Cornwall.

King Arthur, who desired to reward his distinguished valor, and knew that his Uncle Mark had ungratefully banished him, would have eagerly availed himself of the opportunity to attach Tristram to his court,—­all the knights of the Round Table declaring with acclamation that it would be impossible to find a more worthy companion.  But Tristram had already departed in search of adventures, and the damsel of Queen Isoude returned to her mistress.

CHAPTER XIV

SIR TRISTRAM’S BATTLE WITH SIR LAUNCELOT

Sir Tristram rode through a forest and saw ten men fighting, and one man did battle against nine.  So he rode to the knights and cried to them, bidding them cease their battle, for they did themselves great shame, so many knights to fight against one.  Then answered the master of the knights (his name was Sir Breuse sans Pitie, who was at that time the most villanous knight living):  “Sir knight, what have ye to do to meddle with us?  If ye be wise depart on your way as you came, for this knight shall not escape us.”  “That were pity,” said Sir Tristram, “that so good a knight should be slain so cowardly; therefore I warn you I will succor him with all my puissance.”

Follow Us on Facebook