But when La Belle Isault was told the tidings she was very sorrowful and loth — yet made she ready to set forth with Sir Tristram, and took with her Dame Bragwaine, her chief gentlewoman. Then the queen gave Dame Bragwaine, and Governale, Sir Tristram’s servant, a little flask, and charged them that La Belle Isault and King Mark should both drink of it on their marriage day, and then should they surely love each other all their lives.
Anon, Sir Tristram and Isault, with a great company, took the sea and departed. And so it chanced that one day sitting in their cabin they were athirst, and saw a little flask of gold which seemed to hold good wine. So Sir Tristram took it up, and said, “Fair lady, this looketh to be the best of wines, and your maid, Dame Bragwaine, and my servant, Governale, have kept it for themselves.” Thereat they both laughed merrily, and drank each after other from the flask, and never before had they tasted any wine which seemed so good and sweet. But by the time they had finished drinking they loved each other so well that their love nevermore might leave them for weal or woe. And thus it came to pass that though Sir Tristram might never wed La Belle Isault, he did the mightiest deeds of arms for her sake only all his life.
Then they sailed onwards till they came to a castle called Pluere, where they would have rested. But anon there ran forth a great company and took them prisoners. And when they were in prison, Sir Tristram asked a knight and lady whom they found therein wherefore they were so shamefully dealt with; “for,” said he, “it was never the custom of any place of honour that I ever came unto to seize a knight and lady asking shelter and thrust them into prison, and a full evil and discourteous custom is it.”
“Sir,” said the knight, “know ye not that this is called the Castle Pluere, or the weeping castle, and that it is an ancient custom here that whatsoever knight abideth in it must needs fight the lord of it, Sir Brewnor, and he that is the weakest shall lose his head. And if the lady he hath with him be less fair than the lord’s wife, she shall lose her head; but if she be fairer, then must the lady of the castle lose her head.”
“Now Heaven help me,” said Sir Tristram, “but this is a foul and shameful custom. Yet have I one advantage, for my lady is the fairest that doth live in all the world, so that I nothing fear for her; and as for me, I will full gladly fight for my own head in a fair field.”
Then said the knight, “Look ye be up betimes to-morrow, and make you ready and your lady.”
And on the morrow came Sir Brewnor to Sir Tristram, and put him and Isault forth out of prison, and brought him a horse and armour, and bade him make ready, for all the commons and estates of that lordship waited in the field to see and judge the battle.
Then Sir Brewnor, holding his lady by the hand, all muffled, came forth, and Sir Tristram went to meet him with La Belle Isault beside him, muffled also. Then said Sir Brewnor, “Sir knight, if thy lady be fairer than mine, with thy sword smite off my lady’s head; but if my lady be fairer than thine, with my sword I will smite off thy lady’s head. And if I overcome thee thy lady shall be mine, and thou shalt lose thy head.”
“Sir knight,” replied Sir Tristram, “this is a right foul and felon custom, and rather than my lady shall lose her head will I lose my own.”
“Nay,” said Sir Brewnor, “but the ladies shall be now compared together and judgment shall be had.”
“I consent not,” cried Sir Tristram, “for who is here that will give rightful judgment? Yet doubt not that my lady is far fairer than thine own, and that will I prove and make good.” Therewith Sir Tristram lifted up the veil from off La Belle Isault, and stood beside her with his naked sword drawn in his hand.
「同意できません」トリスタン卿は言った。「正しく審判できる者などここにおりましょうか？ でも私の人の方が御夫人より遥かに美しいことは疑いありません。それを証明しましょう」 そう言ってトリスタン卿は美しきイゾルデのヴェールを上げ，剣を抜いて手に持ち，彼女の隣に立った。
Then Sir Brewnor unmuffled his lady and did in like manner. But when he saw La Belle Isault he knew that none could be so fair, and all there present gave their judgment so. Then said Sir Tristram, “Because thou and thy lady have long used this evil custom, and have slain many good knights and ladies, it were a just thing to destroy thee both.”
“In good sooth,” said Sir Brewnor, “thy lady is fairer than mine, and of all women I never saw any so fair. Therefore, slay my lady if thou wilt, and I doubt not but I shall slay thee and have thine.”
“Thou shalt win her,” said Sir Tristram, “as dearly as ever knight won lady; and because of thy own judgment and of the evil custom that thy lady hath consented to, I will slay her as thou sayest.”
And therewithal Sir Tristram went to him and took his lady from him, and smote off her head at a stroke.
“Now take thy horse,” cried out Sir Brewnor, “for since I have lost my lady I will win thine and have thy life.”
So they took their horses and came together as fast as they could fly, and Sir Tristram lightly smote Sir Brewnor from his horse. But he rose right quickly, and when Sir Tristram came again he thrust his horse through both the shoulders, so that it reeled and fell. But Sir Tristram was light and nimble, and voided his horse, and rose up and dressed his shield before him, though meanwhile, ere he could draw out his sword, Sir Brewnor gave him three or four grievous strokes. Then they rushed furiously together like two wild boars, and fought hurtling and hewing here and there for nigh two hours, and wounded each other full sorely. Then at the last Sir Brewnor rushed upon Sir Tristram and took him in his arms to throw him, for he trusted greatly in his strength. But Sir Tristram was at that time called the strongest and biggest knight of the world; for he was bigger than Sir Lancelot, though Sir Lancelot was better breathed. So anon he thrust Sir Brewnor grovelling to the earth, and then unlaced his helm and struck off his head. Then all they that belonged to the castle came and did him homage and fealty, and prayed him to abide there for a season and put an end to that foul custom.
But within a while he departed and came to Cornwall, and there King Mark was forthwith wedded to La Belle Isault with great joy and splendour.
And Sir Tristram had high honour, and ever lodged at the king’s court. But for all he had done him such services King Mark hated him, and on a certain day he set two knights to fall upon him as he rode in the forest. But Sir Tristram lightly smote one’s head off, and sorely wounded the other, and made him bear his fellow’s body to the king. At that the king dissembled and hid from Sir Tristram that the knights were sent by him; yet more than ever he hated him in secret, and sought to slay him.
So on a certain day, by the assent of Sir Andret, a false knight, and forty other knights, Sir Tristram was taken prisoner in his sleep and carried to a chapel on the rocks above the sea to be cast down. But as they were about to cast him in, suddenly he brake his bonds asunder, and rushing at Sir Andret, took his sword and smote him down therewith. Then, leaping down the rocks where none could follow, he escaped them. But one shot after him and wounded him full sorely with a poisoned arrow in the arm.
Anon, his servant Governale, with Sir Lambegus sought him and found him safe among the rocks, and told him that King Mark had banished him and all his followers to avenge Sir Andret’s death. So they took ship and came to Brittany.
Now Sir Tristram, suffering great anguish from his wound, was told to seek Isoude, the daughter of the King of Brittany, for she alone could cure such wounds. Wherefore he went to King Howell’s court, and said, “Lord, I am come into this country to have help from thy daughter, for men tell me none but she may help me.” And Isoude gladly offering to do her best, within a month he was made whole.
While he abode still at that court, an earl named Grip made war upon King Howell, and besieged him; and Sir Kay Hedius, the king’s son, went forth against him, but was beaten in battle and sore wounded. Then the king praying Sir Tristram for his help, he took with him such knights as he could find, and on the morrow, in another battle, did such deeds of arms that all the land spake of him. For there he slew the earl with his own hands, and more than a hundred knights besides.
When he came back King Howell met him, and saluted him with every honour and rejoicing that could be thought of, and took him in his arms, and said, “Sir Tristram, all my kingdom will I resign to thee.”
“Nay,” answered he, “God forbid, for truly am I beholden to you for ever for your daughter’s sake.”
Then the king prayed him to take Isoude in marriage, with a great dower of lands and castles. To this Sir Tristram presently consenting anon they were wedded at the court.
But within a while Sir Tristram greatly longed to see Cornwall, and Sir Kay Hedius desired to go with him. So they took ship; but as soon as they were at sea the wind blew them upon the coast of North Wales, nigh to Castle Perilous, hard by a forest wherein were many strange adventures ofttimes to be met. Then said Sir Tristram to Sir Kay Hedius, “Let us prove some of them ere we depart.” So they took their horses and rode forth.
When they had ridden a mile or more, Sir Tristram spied a goodly knight before him well armed, who sat by a clear fountain with a strong horse near him, tied to an oak-tree. “Fair sir,” said he, when they came near, “ye seem to be a knight errant by your arms and harness, therefore make ready now to joust with one of us, or both.”
Thereat the knight spake not, but took his shield and buckled it round his neck, and leaping on his horse caught a spear from his squire’s hand.
Then said Sir Kay Hedius to Sir Tristram, “Let me assay him.”
“Do thy best,” said he.
So the two knights met, and Sir Kay Hedius fell sorely wounded in the breast.
“Thou hast well jousted,” cried Sir Tristram to the knight; “now make ready for me!”
“I am ready,” answered he, and encountered him, and smote him so heavily that he fell down from his horse. Whereat, being ashamed, he put his shield before him, and drew his sword, crying to the strange knight to do likewise. Then they fought on foot for well nigh two hours, till they were both weary.
At last Sir Tristram said, “In all my life I never met a knight so strong and well-breathed as ye be. It were a pity we should further hurt each other. Hold thy hand, fair knight, and tell me thy name.”
“That will I,” answered he, “if thou wilt tell me thine.”