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and said, " Alas ! I wend in this court had been the best knights, without treachery or treason." " By my faith," saith Arthur, " here are good knights as I deem any been in the world, but their grace is not to help you, where- fore I am displeased."
Then fell it so that time there was a poor knight with King Arthur, that had been prisoner with him half a year and more, for slaying of a knight the which was cousin unto King Arthur. The name of this knight was called Balin, and by good means of the barons he was delivered out of prison, for he was a good man named of his body, and he was born in Northumberland. And so he went privily into the court, and saw this adventure, whereof it raised his heart, and he would assay it as other knights did, but for he was poor and poorly arrayed he put him not far in press; but in his heart he was fully assured to do as well, if his grace happed him, as any knight that there was. And as the damsel took her leave of Arthur and of all the barons, so departing, this knight, Balin, called unto her, and said, " Damsel, I pray you of your courtesy, to suffer me as well to assay as these lords ; though I be poorly clothed, in mine heart meseemeth I am fully assured as some of these other lords, and meseemeth in my heart to speed right well." The damsel beheld the poor knight, and saw he was a likely man ; but, because of his poor array, she thought he should be of no worship without villainy or treachery. And then she said to the knight Balin, " Sir, it is no need to put me to any more pain or labour, for it beseemeth not you to speed there, as others have failed." " Ah ! fair damsel," said Balin, " worthiness and good graces, and good deeds, are not all only in raiment, but manhood and worship is hid within