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Medieval Arthurian Legend

Sir Thomas Malory: Le Morte d'Arthur

15th century, late-Medieval English.

again and againConcealed identity

Sir Palamedes had all the comfort that he could have expected that night. But Sir Tristram did or said nothing that might give away his true identity.

I, wofull knyght, sir Palomydes! cried Sir Palamedes to himself, then he took up his sword and with many curious postures and maniacal gestures, threw the weapon into the stream. He screamed and wrung his hands; then, in his agony, he ran into the water and tried to find his sword again. Sir Tristram watched all this and leapt upon sir Palamedes, grasping him tightly around his arms.

'Who are you!' exclaimed Sir Palamedes.

'A man of this forest who wishes you well.'

'Alas!' cried Sir Palamedes. 'I can never succeed in battle when Sir Tristram is there. When he is not there, I win the prize, when he is there...'

'What would you do,' asked Sir Tristram, 'if you were with Sir Tristram now?'

'I would fight with him!' cried Sir Palamedes. 'I would vent the full weight of my anger upon him!'

'So what will you do? Will you go to your lodging?'

'No, I will go to the King with a Hundred Knights, for he rescued me from Sir Bors and Sir Hector in the jousting today and has saved me from death.'

Sir Tristram spoke so generously to Sir Palamedes that they rode back together to Sir Tristram’s pavilion. And there Sir Palamedes had all the comfort that he could have expected that night. But in no wyse sir Trystram myght nat be knowyn with sir Palomydes.

Vinaver, Eugene, 1971, reprinted in paperback, 1977. Malory: Works. Oxford University Press. The Book of Sir Tristram de Lyones. V. The Castle of Maidens, pp 324–5.

See for yourself

Sir Thomas Malory – Wikipedia

Le Morte d'Arthur – Wikipedia

Palamedes (Arthurian legend) – Wikipedia

Tristan – Wikipedia

Sir Thomas Malory's 'Le Morte Darthur' – British Library, online exhibition

King Arthur – Wikipedia

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