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CHAPTER VI

How Sir Tristram arrived into the Island for to furnish the battle with Sir Marhaus.

SO to shorten this tale, when Sir Tristram was arrived within the island he looked to the farther side, and there he saw at an anchor six ships nigh to the land; and under the shadow of the ships upon the land, there hoved the noble knight, Sir Marhaus of Ireland. Then Sir Tristram commanded his servant Gouvernail to bring his horse to the land, and dress his harness at all manner of rights. And then when he had so done he mounted upon his horse; and when he was in his saddle well apparelled, and his shield dressed upon his shoulder, Tristram asked Gouvernail, Where is this knight that I shall have ado withal? Sir, said Gouvernail, see ye him not? I weened ye had seen him; yonder he hoveth under the umbre of his ships on horseback, with his spear in his hand and his shield upon his shoulder. That is truth, said the noble knight, Sir Tristram, now I see him well enough.

Then he commanded his servant Gouvernail to go to his vessel again: And commend me unto mine eme King Mark, and pray him, if that I be slain in this battle, for to inter my body as him seemed best; and as for me, let him wit that I will never yield me for cowardice; and if I be slain and flee not, then they have lost no truage for me; and if so be that I flee or yield me as recreant, bid mine eme never bury me in Christian burials. And upon thy life, said Sir Tristram to Gouvernail, come thou not nigh this island till that thou see me overcome or slain, or else that I win yonder knight. So either departed from other sore weeping.

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