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tiers expressed their astonishment at this resolution; Sir Tris- : tan took the wiser part of setting out to seek the lady.
For a whole month they saw `nothing but the blue sky above them, and the bluer waves beneath them, when a storm arose, and Sir Tristan and his crew were driven a second time on the coast of Ireland, to the great joy of the king, who ordered his marshal to behead them all without delay. The marshal very punctually delivered his master's message, to which the knight replied, that he had come with twelve other ships to relieve the hunger of the land, which ships were now at sea, and would remain there till they knew they might approach with safety. Upon this a short truce was allowed, which Sir Tristan employed to his own advantage, by combating with a fiery dragon that had long laid waste the land. When he entered the field where the dragon usually took his walks, he saw five men Aying as if for life ; one of these fugitives he seized, and having learnt from him all that was necessary to be known, he arrayed himself for the combat; of course he slew the worm, but, which is not quite so much a matter of course,—he himself was dreadfully burnt in the conflict. He however cut out the dragon's tongue, and then lay down in a pool to cool himself that he might not burn away to cinders in his armour..
In the meantime the king's carvers and his friends, (the five fugitives already mentioned,) seeing the dragon dead, and Sir Tristan nearly senseless, had no objection to the honour of the victory, though they had prudently abstained frorn the danger of the combat; the carver accordingly carried off the dragon's head, and with this testimonial of his valour claimed the king's promise, which allowed the fair Isalda to him who should kill the dragon. The king, however, had no mind to give his daughter to a servant, but not knowing kimself how to get out of the difficulty, he took counsel of Isalda ; she, who had still less affection to such a match, protested that the carver could not, and therefore did not, kill the dragon; to prove which she only demanded a truce until the morning. The carver willingly acceded to this, as he thought himself certain of his prize.
In the evening Isalda set out for the dragon's field, in company with Peronis and Brangele, her two favourite women. They soon fell upon Sir Tristan's track, and the princess was the first to observe, by the mark of the horse's shoes im
printed on the sand, that the animal was of another country. Pursuing the route thus indicated, they came to where the dragon lay dead; near him was the knight's shield, but so burnt that neither colour nor arms could be distinguished. While yet they were lamenting for the supposed death of the hero who had borne it, Brangele observed a helmet glittering by a near fountain; they approached it, and found the exhausted Tristan, whom they bore with no less care than joy to the city. Here, under the superintendance of Isalda, his wounds were bound, and his weak body refreshed by a bath, a point of delicacy very characteristic of the times. While she was thus busied, Sir Tristan observed from the colour of her hair that she was the object of his search, and a smile passed over his face not unobserved by his fair attendant, who said to herself, “ What have I done that he should laugh ? Perhaps it is that I have neglected to wash his sword; truly it deserves such honour at my hands." With this she drew the sword from the scabbard, but it had been better left alone; a part of the blade was broken off, and by comparing it with the fragment taken from the body of her uncle, Morholt, she knew that the knight before her was Sir Tristan. Anger was her first feeling, but the knight was young and handsome, and valiant; he answered her reproaches in so soft and winning a tone, she determined to save his life. With this intent she went to her father, and won from him a promise, that the knight who had slain the dragon should pass uninjured, whatever his birth and name might be, or whatever cause they might have to do him evil. '.
The morning was now come when the carver was to receive the princess for his bride, in the presence of the collected nobles. Sir Tristan was concealed in a near chamber, and his friends were at his desire brought by Peronis from the ship to witness the occurrences of this fated day. Isalda stepped forth to claim the royal promise. « The slayer of the dragon is also the murderer of my uncle." In a moment. Sir Tristan stood before the king, who dared not recal his promise; but the carver still persisted in his claim, till the appearance of the dragon's tongue, and a challenge to fight with Sir Tristan, completely cooled his valour. He then confessed his deceit, and Isalda was delivered to the knight as his uncles' bride.
Preparations were' now made for their departure; but the most costly, or at least important, preparation, that was made by the queen mother; this was a magic draught, called, fitly enough, the upholy draught, whose property was this,-if two of different sexes drank of it they became mutually enamoured in so violent a degree, that each would fall sick in the absence of the other, and this passion would last unabated for four years. This precious diet-drink was intended by the queen for her daughter and King Marks, but accident disposed of it otherwise. One evening, when the voyaging party had landed, as was the custom in the timid navigation of those times, Sir Tristan amused the ladies by a very oldfashioned amusement_videlicet,--story-telling. The speaker grew thirsty by talking, and the ladies by listening ; Brangele unfortunately was absent, and the attendant, not knowing what she brought, presented the fatal draught, of which both drank; the charm by no means falsified its reputation, a point which is told by the old romancer with much more candour than decorum; for ourselves the latter praise will be much more pertinent.
They at last landed in Cornwal; the king was married to Isaida, Sir Tristan was loaded with honour, and all for a time proceeded on smoothly, till the industrious envy of the courtiers, and more particularly of Auctrat, discovered and betrayed the mutual passion of the lovers. At first the king refused to believe these tales, but grown suspicious from circum, stances, he at length banished Tristan from his court, though not from the heart of his queen; her love only increased from the means taken to suppress it, and it was not long before the ingenuity of Sir Tristan invented the means of continuing their former intercourse. The manner of it was thus: the queen's chamber opened into a garden, and, strange to say, a spring that rose in this garden ran through the royal bed-room :-it might as well have passed before the window, but so the author has it, and we are not disposed to quarrel with him. At the head of this well was a linden tree, from which he plucked a few leaves, and laid them on a chip with a painted cross whenever he wished to see her. Thus they contrived to deceive the eyes and puzzle the understanding of the courtiers, but Auctrat was resolved to sift the affair to the bottom. He applied to a dwarf called Bolland, who could read the thoughts of men in the . stars, and who in this curious study quickly discovered the loves of Tristan and Isalda. Of course both himself and his news were brought to the king without delay, who agreed to watch with him at the fountain.
It was a clear moonlight night when they climbed up into, the linden tree, no very royal occupation,—but to what will not jealousy descend ? Sir Tristan came as usual to give the sign of meeting. Scarcely had he Aung the cross into the water, when he saw the shadows of those above him reflected in the stream ; fear, not for his own safety, but for that of the queen, took whole and instant possession of him; yet still he had prudence enough to lie quiet, without showing the least consciousness of being overlooked. In the meantime the queen had received the signal, and hastened to the appointment, without any suspicion of the impending danger. Sir Tristan signed to her to retire, and still kept his place. “What can this mean?" said the queen to herself. “ Why does not he rise to meet me as usual ?” A mingled feeling of surprise and fear prevented her from moving forward. Still Sir Tristan made signs withou stirring a jot from his seat.-The shadows in the stream caught her eye; in an instant she understood her situation, and her resolve was as quick as her comprehension of the danger. “ Tristan,” she exclaimed, “ why should I come to you? What is it you would have ?" Sir Tristan answered, “ Lady, I entreat you to use your influence with the king, that I may be restored to his favour, for you know my innocence."— To this the queen replied by protesting her dislike to him, as through his means she had incurred the displeasure of her husband. This admirable dialogue so far deceived the king, that his nephew became a greater favourite than ever, and would have continued so but for his indefatigable enemies; they again endeavoured to convince their royal master of his wife's infidelity, and though they could not wholly gain belief, they succeeded in persuading him to watch again, and their scheme this time was much more effectual than before. By their advice the uncle requested his nephew to go the next day on an embassy to a neighbouring monarch, trusting that Sir Tristan, as a matter of course, would visit the queen the night before his departure. To be still more sure of their purpose they recommended that meal should be strewed between the two beds,-for. Tristan as a mark of trust and honour, slept in the royal bed-chamber. All was done to their desire; Tristan, who saw the snare intended in the strewing of the meal, attempted to avoid it by leaping from bed to bed, but his wounds burst open in the effort, and he was seized and pinioned like a thief. Sentence of death was immediately passed upon the lovers, notwithstanding the entreaties of their friend Duke Thinas, who exerted himself to the utmost to obtain their pardon from the offended monarch...
. The morning of execution arrived, and Tristan was led forth to death; his way passing by a chapel, he implored permission of his guards to pray, which was granted; but at the same time they did not relax their vigilance; they spread themselves before the only door of the chapel, in a manner, as they thought, to make escape impossible ; unfortunately for them, they forgot the window, through which their prisoner crept, and leaping into the sea that flowed beneath it, made his escape into a near forest. When this news was brought to the king, he would have revenged himself upon the queen; death by fire was his first idea, but in the moment the fames arose, a leper came and proposed to take her to himself, that she might catch the taint of leprosy, and thus die a more cruel as well as more shameful death than that by fire. To this the enraged husband assented, but unluckily for the leper his road lay by Tristan, who without ceremony divided his head from his shoulders. His companions taking warning from this example, hastened back with the story to the king, who put himself into so‘great a passion, that it was quite a wonder to speak of. This wonderful passion, however, helped nothing; Tristan and Isalda had fairly escaped beyond his reach; and now they fixed their abode in a wild, deserted spot, far from courts and courtiers.
Two years did the lovers live in this dreary solitude; their food was the herbs and berries of the forest, their drink its streams; without fuel, almost without raiment, exposed to all the inclemencies of the air, and yet their love continued unabated. Winter came on; the leaves withered, the snow fell, the wind grew bleak and boisterous; all was cold within and without them but their hearts, and there love dwelled in perpetual summer. Their good star too had not yet forsaken them, and it rose upon them in a way and at a time when it could be least expected.
It was a custom of Tristan's, and approved by Isalda, to