How Sir Bleoberis demanded the fairest lady in King Mark's court, whom he took away, and how he was fought with.

THEN it befell upon a day that the good knight Bleoberis de Ganis, brother to Blamore de Ganis, and nigh cousin unto the good knight Sir Launcelot du Lake, this Bleoberis came unto the court of King Mark, and there he asked of King Mark a boon, to give him what gift that he would ask in his court. When the king heard him ask so, he marvelled of his asking, but because he was a knight of the Round Table, and of a great renown, King Mark granted him his whole asking. Then, said Sir Bleoberis, I will have the fairest lady in your court that me list to choose. I may not say nay, said King Mark; now choose at your adventure. And so Sir Bleoberis did choose Sir Segwarides' wife, and took her by the hand, and so went his way with her; and so he took his horse and gart set her behind his squire, and rode upon his way.

When Sir Segwarides heard tell that his lady was gone with a knight of King Arthur's court, then he armed him and rode after that knight for to rescue his lady. So when Bleoberis was gone with this lady, King Mark and all the court was wroth that she was away. Then were there certain ladies that knew that there were great love between Sir Tristram and her, and also that lady loved Sir Tristram above all other knights. Then there was one lady that rebuked Sir Tristram in the horriblest wise, and called him coward knight, that he would for shame of his knighthood see a lady so shamefully be taken away from his uncle's court. But she meant that either of them had loved other with entire heart. But Sir Tristram answered her thus: Fair lady, it is not my part to have ado in such matters while her lord and husband is present here; and if it had been that her lord had not been here in this court, then for the worship of this court peradventure I would have been her champion, and if so be Sir Segwarides speed not well, it may happen that I will speak with that good knight or ever he pass from this country.

Then within a while came one of Sir Segwarides' squires, and told in the court that Sir Segwarides was beaten sore and wounded to the point of death; as he would have rescued his lady Sir Bleoberis overthrew him and sore hath wounded him. Then was King Mark heavy thereof, and all the court. When Sir Tristram heard of this he was ashamed and sore grieved; and then was he soon armed and on horseback, and Gouvernail, his servant, bare his shield and spear. And so as Sir Tristram rode fast he met with Sir Andred his cousin, that by the commandment of King Mark was sent to bring forth, an ever it lay in his power, two knights of Arthur's court, that rode by the country to seek their adventures. When Sir Tristram saw Sir Andred he asked him what tidings. So God me help, said Sir Andred, there was never worse with me, for here by the commandment of King Mark I was sent to fetch two knights of King Arthur's court, and that one beat me and wounded me, and set nought by my message. Fair cousin, said Sir Tristram, ride on your way, and if I may meet them it may happen I shall revenge you. So Sir Andred rode into Cornwall, and Sir Tristram rode after the two knights, the which one hight Sagramore le Desirous, and the other hight Dodinas le Savage.


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