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The Romance of Tristan

The Romance of Tristan

by Béroul

The Romance of Tristan Part 13 Summary

Yseut's Return to King Mark

  • Ogrin buys nice clothes and a horse for Yseut at the market at St Michael's Mount.
  • The day and place of Yseut's return are proclaimed throughout Cornwall and all the people gather there, eager to see their beloved king.
  • King Mark and his people cover the meadow with tents and pavilions.
  • Tristan rides through them with Yseut at his side, wearing a hauberk because he still fears for his life.
  • Tristan hands Husdant over to Yseut, and Yseut reminds him to send any message of his with her jasper ring.
  • Yseut begs Tristan not to leave the land until he knows how Mark is treating her. She still fears the three barons that betrayed them, and she advises Tristan to stay with the forester Orry. There, she intends to send him messages. Tristan agrees.
  • Mark approaches, with Dinas at his side. Tristan greets him, He asks once again to be allowed to clear his name in trial-by-combat and to remain in Mark's service.
  • Mark's nephew, Andret, advises Mark to retain Tristan so that men will fear him more. This seems like a pretty good idea to Mark. He and Andret step away to discuss further.
  • Yseut is dressed very richly. Her eyes and hair shine brightly as she talks with Dinas.
  • The three barons tell Mark that if he allows Tristan to remain, he will seem to be consenting to their adultery. Mark agrees to send Tristan away for a year.
  • The king announces his decision to Tristan and offers him gold. But Tristan refuses to take any money, saying he will go to serve the king who is at war.
  • Everyone watches Tristan depart. Dinas begs to accompany him, but Tristan asks him to remain behind and to give Governal anything he asks if Tristan sends him there. Dinas agrees.
  • Tristan tells Dinas that he is parting with a lovely woman whom he one day intends to be with again.
  • The Cornish people are sad at Tristan's departure, but celebrate Yseut's return by decorating their houses with rich cloth.
  • The bishop comes out to meet Yseut and leads her to the church altar. Dinas presents her with a rich silk cloth, which she leaves as a gift to the church. It remains in St Samons's today, as a chasuble (clothes for the clergy).
  • At the palace, Yseut is honored with a feast as great as the one on her wedding day. In celebration, Mark frees one hundred serfs and knights twenty squires.
  • Meanwhile, Tristan takes refuge in the home of the forester Orry, who provisions him with wild venison. There, Tristan hears news of Yseut carried by the squire Perinis.
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