Dame Perse was an early love of Sir Ector de Maris. When Ector was late returning to her (since he was out searching for Lancelot), her dying father gave her, against her will, to Zelotes.

Zelotes, however, neither married her nor permitted anoyone else to marry her, but fought and killed all who approached his castle. At last Ector and his companions came by. Ector fought and killed Zelotes and was reunited with Perse. (He had found another love in the interval, but she was now dead.)

Sir Lionel, seeing Perse with Ector, remarked that a woman’s heart was a marvelous thing, since neither misfortune nor suffering could change its purpose.