"Tristan\'s Tragedy"


As told to (author\'s name) By Tristan


"What an unusual Christian name, \'(author\'s name)\'! And you say you know
but two languages? You must jest to render the title of \'scholar\' upon yourself.
During my training, I have learned seven, all the while being taught
horsemanship and swordsmanship. Alas, all of my accolades serve me not here.
True nobility never makes excuses for shortcomings; however, in this despair I
can know no greater loss.
After being wounded in battle with the giant Morolt (who was subsequently
slain by my steel) I journeyed to Ireland in search of Queen Isolt and her
medicinal power. Disguised as a wandering minstrel, I succeeded in endearing
myself to her court by performing deeds impossible for the average. I also
taught her daughter, my beautiful Isolt, the art of the lyre. I returned to
Cornwall, and upon hearing my account of Isolt\'s charm, my king Mark resolved to
make her his own.
After convincing her family to allow her to wed the king, we set back on a
ship for Cornwall. I remember the night on which we fell in love. Perhaps it
was the wine, or perhaps I was merely intoxicated by her. Nonetheless, she
amazingly felt the same drawing to me, and we were unable to contain our
affections. We continued seeing one another in secret after the wedding; after
all, without love her marriage was invalid. After a while, though, our
conniving king took aware of our dealings and banished me to the barren Arundel.
It was there I met a woman of average beauty, but with the only name worthy
of my attentions: Isolt des Mains-Blancs. (That\'s "of the white hands" if your
other language fails you.) I could not betray my love however, so our marriage
was never consummated. Rightly so, because in due time I received a letter from
my true Isolt, giving account of her flight from the king. She requested a
meeting with me, saying her ship would bear a white sail. I kept the new Isolt
on guard for weeks. Finally, I was informed that my Isolt was spotted on a ship,
yet one bedecked with a black sail. In shock of my love\'s betrayal of truth, I
fell dead, and I became as you now regard me.
Let not this cruel fate befall you, (author\'s name). Let not your weak
education impede your ambitions. Let not a love enter your heart, for you will
be only distracted from duties at hand. And finally, let not blind trust
influence your decisions, as you will find yourself in the whirlwind where I
abode..."

Category: English