Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chapter 73 [part 2 of 3]

[Amadis fights the Endriago. Lithograph from a 1838 edition published in Madrid. From the Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes.]

They passed the night in great fear of the stormy sea and the Endriago, fearing tha it would leave a nearby castle where it often took shelter. When dawn came, the doctor sang Mass, and the Knight of the Green Sword listened with great humility, praying to God to help him in the peril he wished to place himself in His service, and if His will were that death came for him, to have mercy on his soul.

Then he armed himself and had his horse and Gandalin’s brought out to land, and told those who on the ship:

“My friends, I wish to go to that castle, and if I find the Endriago there, to fight with it. And if I do not find it, I shall see if the castle is suitable so you can lodge there until the sea is calmed while I search for the beast in the mountains. If I survive, I shall come back to you. If not, do what ye deem best.”

When they heard this, they were more frightened than ever because even at sea their spirits were not enough to endure the fear of the Endriago, for it was a greater peril than all the harm and danger of the sea’s great storms. Even greater was the courage of that knight who of his own free will was going to look for it and fight it. And truly, all the feats at arms that they had heard of and seen him do seemed like nothing in comparison to this.

The doctor Elisabad, as a man of letters and of faith, reminded him that these things were outside nature and men, and he ought not to fall into the sin of suicide. But the Knight of the Green Sword answered that if he were to think that way, it would keep him from going to land to seek dangerous adventure, as he had done in the past. If it were known that he had failed to fight it, all his other deeds would be held as nothing and in dishonor. So he ought to kill that evil and horrible beast or die, as men had to do, leaving their homes for foreign lands to earn praise and honor.

Then he looked at Gandalin, who while he was speaking with the doctor and with the men of the ship, had put on armor that he had found so he could help. When the knight saw him on his horse weeping, he said:

“Who has given thee to do such a thing? Take off thy armor, for if thou wishest to serve and help me, thou already knowest that it ought not to be by losing thy life but by keeping it so that thou mayest recount my death in the place where the principal cause is and in whose memory I would receive death.”

He made Gandalin disarm, and went with him to the castle. Inside, they found it empty except for birds. Inside were good buildings, although some had fallen into ruin. The main gates were strong and tightly closed with heavy locks, which pleased him. He sent Gandalin to the galley to tell them they could find good shelter in the castle. They all immediately came although they were very afraid of the Endriago, but the great storms of the sea had not ceased. They entered the castle, and the Knight of the Green Sword told them:

“My good friends, I want to search this island for the Endriago, and if it goes well, Gandalin will sound this horn. Then you will know that it is dead and I am alive. If it goes badly, ye need do nothing. In the meantime, close these gates and bring some provisions from the galley, for ye will be safe here until the sea becomes calm.”

Then the Knight of the Green Sword left them, and they all wept. But the tears and bitter wailing of his dwarf Ardian cannot be recounted, for he tore out his hair, struck his face with his hands, beat his head on the walls, and called himself miserable because his sad fate had brought him to serve such a man. A thousand times his lord had come to the point of death as he watched him undertake astounding deeds, and now, finally, he would attempt to do what the Emperor of Constantinople, in all his great power, did not dare to try to put right. As his lord set out across the countryside, he climbed the stone stairway to the top of the castle wall almost senseless, so much did he ache for his lord.

The doctor Elisabad ordered an altar be made with all the relics he had brought for Mass, and had everyone take lit candles, kneel, and pray to God to protect that knight for the service he was offering Him, for he was protecting them by knowingly exposing himself to perils that clearly offered him death.

As ye hear, the Knight of the Green Sword rode with the courageous bearing that his brave heart provided him, and Gandalin rode behind him weeping, believing that the end of his days would come before sundown.

The knight turned to him and said, laughing:

“My good brother, do not hold so little hope in the mercy of God nor the sight of my lady Oriana as to be in such desperation. Not only do I have before me her pleasing memory but her actual person, and my eyes see her, and she is telling me to protect her from this evil beast. So, my true friend, what dost thou think I ought to do? Dost thou not know that my life and death are in hers? Hast thou advised me to let her be killed rather than for me to die before thine eyes? May it not please God for thee to think that way. And if thou dost not see her, I do, for she is right before me. And as her mere memory has allowed me to do such things that have brought me great honor, as thou knowest, how much more does her actual presence give me.”

As he said this, his courage grew so much that he would have felt great disappointment if he did not find the Endriago. He encountered a valley amid wild mountains and peaks with many caves, and he said:

“Shout, Gandalin, because that may cause the Endriago to come to us. I beg you that if I were to die here, find a way to bring to my lady Oriana that which is wholly hers, my heart. Tell her that I send it so that I will not have to explain to God why I had something with me that did not belong to me.”

When Gandalin heard this, he not only shouted, he tore his hair, and weeping, he cried out, hoping for his own death before seeing his lord whom he loved so much die. And soon they saw the Endriago come out from the peaks, much braver and stronger than it had ever been before, because the devils had seen that the knight put more hope in his beloved Oriana than in God, so they entered it and made it mightier and more irate, and they said:

“If we escape alive from him, there is no one else in the world so daring and so strong as to attack us again.”

The Endriago approached so enraged, spewing smoke and flames from its mouth, and gnashing its teeth and foaming at the mouth, and making the scales on his body and his wings rattle so loudly that it was terrifying to see. So felt the Knight of the Green Sword, especially when he heard its shrieks and frightening growls. Although it had been described as fearsome, compared to its actual sight, the words had been nothing. When the Endriago saw him, it began to leap and bellow, as one who had spent a long time without seeing a man, then it charged at them. When the horses of the Knight of the Green Sword and Gandalin saw it, they began to flee, terrified, and the men could hardly hold them as they whinnied. When he of the Green Sword saw that he could not approach by horse, he dismounted quickly and told Gandalin:

“Brother, take this horse so that we do not lose both of them, and observe the fate that God wishes me to give to this horrible devil. And I beg Him by my faith in Him to guide me as I destroy it so this land may be returned to His service. And if I must die here, may He have mercy on my soul. In that case, do as I told thee.”

Gandalin could not answer. He was weeping too hard because he saw death close by unless God miraculously saved him. The Knight of the Green Sword took his lance and protected himself with his shield. As a man who had already accepted his death, he lost all his terror and as fast as he could, he ran toward the Endriago.

The devil, when it saw him, charged at him, blowing fire from its mouth and smoke so black that they could hardly see each other. He of the Green Sword entered the smoke and ran close enough to strike it with his lance and, by a great blessing, hit an eye. The Endriago grabbed the lance with its claws and mouth and tore it to pieces, and the iron blade and a little of the wood shaft lodged in its tongue and gills, for it had charged so hard that it had impaled itself on them.

It leaped to grab him, but lacking an eye, it could not, because the knight had protected himself with the courage and lively heart of one who saw death itself. He put a hand on his fine sword and came at it, which was distracted as blood flowed from its eye and mouth. With its great panting and puffing, most of the blood entered its throat and almost choked it, and it could not close its mouth or bite. The knight ran to its side and stuck a heavy blow on its scales, and it seemed like he had struck a hard rock, and he cut nothing.

When the Endriago saw him so close, it tried to grab him with his claws, but it only grasped his shield, yanking so hard that the knight fell hands on the ground. Since he was without a shield and his sword could not cut the beast, he knew well that his deed would be nothing if God did not help him destroy the other eye, for nowhere else could he injure him. Like a furious lion, all fear lost, he came at the Endriago, which was weak and flagging, for it had lost a lot of blood and an eye.

All things in service of the devil fail and perish, and Our Lord was now angry because the vile enemy had acquired such power and had done evil to those who, although they were sinners, believed in the holy Catholic faith. He chose to give the knight special strength and blessing, for without it no one would be powerful enough to dare to confront such great danger. In that way he would put an end to that which against all order of nature had done so much harm to so many, among others its ill-fated mother and father.

The knight aimed for the other eye with his sword, but God guided it into the opening of one of its nostrils, which were very wide. With great strength, the knight lunged and the Endriago leaped at him, and the sword entered all the way into its brains. But when the Endriago saw him so close, it took him in his arms and with his strong, sharp claws tore open all the armor on his back and the flesh and bones down to his entrails.

But it suffered from all the blood in its throat and from the blow of the sword into its brains, and above from all the sentence that God had passed over it and which could not be revoked. It could not continue to hold him, opened its arms, and fell to one side as if dead and senseless. When the knight saw that, he pulled out his sword and shoved it into his mouth as hard as he could many times, and finally killed it.

And I wish ye to know that before its soul left it, the devil passed out of its mouth and flew through the air with a great thunder, which those who were in the castle heard as if it were close by. It terrified them for they knew that the knight was now in battle with the beast. And although they were locked in a fortification and its doors barred and chained, they felt unsure of their lives, and if the sea had not been wild, they would not have dared to wait there any longer. But they turned to God with many prayers to save them from that danger and protect that knight who was doing such extraordinary feats in His service.

Since the Endriago was dead, the knight drew back and went toward Gandalin, who was already riding to him, but he could not remain on his feet and fell unconscious next to a small stream that flowed there. Gandalin arrived, saw the terrifying injuries, and thought he was dead. He fell from his horse and began to shout, pulling out his hair. Then the knight came to a bit and said:

“Oh, my good brother and true friend! Now thou seest that I am dead. I beg thee for the upbringing that thy father and mother gave me, and for the great love I have always had for thee, to be as good to me in death as thou hast been in life. And when I am dead, take my heart and bring it to my lady Oriana. Tell her it was always hers and she had it in her power since the first time I saw her, and while it was enclosed in this troubled body, not for one moment did it have any desire but to serve her, and with it she shall have a reminder of he who possessed it although it was not his. There where my soul shall be, it shall find rest with her memory.”

And he could speak no more.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Welcome back

The noble and virtuous knight Amadis of Gaul has many adventures ahead of him.

Greek-language graffiti carved into the handrail in the Loge of the Empress at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Photo by Sue Burke.

If all goes as planned, we will finish Book III next July. There are four books in the novel – originally three, but when Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo revised the novel in the late 1400s, he changed the ending and created a fourth book. The early version has been lost, but we know what happened from comments about it.

You will learn the original story when the time comes. No spoilers, but it did not end happily.

In the meantime, Amadis challenges and defeats the devil himself in the form of the Endriago. This wins him the support of the Emperor of Constantinople, whom he visits. Since he likes to learn the local language wherever he travels, he learns Ancient Greek, the language of Constantinople, and thus Amadis becomes known as the Greek Knight.

Under that name, he travels back to Great Britain to try to rescue Oriana from the Romans. Book III ends with a thrilling sea battle.

Adventure, love, courage, and events outside the natural order await. Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chapter 73 [part 1 of 3]

How the noble Knight of the Green Sword, after leaving Grasinda to go to Constantinople, was blown by a storm at sea to land at the Island of the Devil, where he found a fierce beast called the Endriago, and how he finally defeated it. 

[An illustration of a medieval legend about the knight Amoras, who tries to sell his wife to the devil for a chest of gold, but, as shown here, the Virgin Mary takes her place and drives the devils away. From the  British Library medieval manuscripts blog.]

The Knight of the Green Sword was sailing through the sea with his crew and companions toward Constantinople, as ye have heard, when the favorable wind suddenly turned contrary, as often happens. The sea grew so stormy and wild that neither the great strength of the ship nor the wisdom of the crew was sufficient to keep it safe. Many times their ship was at the point of sinking. Rain fell so heavily and the wind blew so powerfully and the sky was so dark that doctor Elisabad and the others lost hope and thought that their lives would not be saved without the great mercy of the Most High Lord. Often the ship was filled with water, so neither by day nor night could they rest, eat, or sleep without sudden alarm, and they had no repose other than what fate was pleased to give them.

So they rode the storm for eight days and could not know or calculate where they were in the sea, and the tempest did not cease for a moment. At the end of that time, one night before dawn, the wind beached the ship so forcefully it could not be freed. This gave great consolation to all, as if they were returned from death to life.

But when morning came, the sailors recognized where they were, and knew it was called the Island of the Devil, which a fierce beast had depopulated. Their anguish and the pain in their souls was doubled, for they believed they were in more danger than the sea had held for them. They beat their faces with their hands and sobbed, and came to the Knight of the Green sword unable to speak. He was shocked to see their happiness turned into great sorrow but did not know why, and stood confused, asking them what sudden thing had so quickly changed their pleasure into weeping.

“Oh, knight!” they said, “this tribulation is so great that we have no strength to tell you, but doctor Elisabad will tell you, for he well knows why this is called the Island of the Devil.”

The doctor, no less troubled than them, was encouraged by the Knight of the Dwarf. Trembling and barely able to speak, he solemnly and fearfully told the knight what he wanted to know:

“My lord Knight of the Dwarf, know that of this island were we have landed, a giant named Bandaguido was lord, and with his ferocious brutality he made all other giants whose land abutted his be his tributaries. He was married to a gentle giantess who had been well raised. While her husband’s vile anger and cruelty toward Christians caused him to kill and destroy them, she took pity on them and tried to help them as best she could.

“With this lady, Bandaguido had a daughter who, when she reached the age to be a damsel, nature honored and heightened her beauty so that in much of the world no other woman of her nobility or blood could be found to equal her. But as great beauty may soon be joined to vanity, and vanity to sin, this damsel found her self so gracious and praised, and lovely and worthy of being loved by all, yet due to her father’s fierceness, no one dared to approach her.

“As a result and as a last resort, in vile and very improper affection, she loved her father. So, often, when her mother was not at her father’s side, the daughter came to him, joking and laughing with him, and embracing and kissing him. Her father at first took that as the love a daughter owed to her father, but as it went on and he came to know how she felt, her excessively great beauty and his little conscience and virtue gave rise to the fulfillment of her evil and foul desire.

“We must take that as an example of how no man in this life should be so confident of himself that he fails to avoid and guide conversation and affection away not only from his aunts and sisters but from his own daughters, because that evil passion will reach its natural incitement, and rarely are judgement, conscience, and fear enough to bring it to a halt and retreat.

“From this ugly and greatly erroneous sin soon came a larger one, as happens to those who forget the mercy of God and follow the will of His evil enemy, and wish to remedy one great wickedness with another. They do not know that the true cure for sin is honest repentance and penance. This will bring them pardon from the Lord on High, who for similar errors was placed Himself, after many torments, on the Cross, where as a real man He died and as a real God was resuscitated.

“This ill-fated father was burning with love for his daughter and she for him, and so that they could enjoy their vile desire without inconvenience, they planned to kill that noble lady who was his wife and her mother. The giant was advised by the false idols he adored that if he married his daughter, there would be engendered in her the bravest and strongest thing that could be found in the world, so they made plans. The ill-fated daughter, whom her mother loved more than she loved herself, was walking in a garden speaking with her, when the daughter pretended to see something strange in a well. She called her mother to look at it, then pushed her in down to its depth, and soon she had drowned.

“The daughter shouted for help, saying that her mother had fallen into a well. People rushed there, including the giant, who knew of the trickery, and when they saw that the lady whom they all loved very much was dead, they mourned deeply. But the giant said:

“ ‘Do not mourn her. This is what the gods have wanted, and I shall take as a wife she in whom shall be engendered someone who will make us be feared and become the lords of all things.’

“Everyone fell silent out of fear of the giant and did not dare oppose him. Then that same day, publically and before all, he took his daughter Bandaguida as his wife, and in her that misfortunate night was engendered an animal by order of the devils in whom she and her father believed, and its description ye shall hear now:

“Its body and face were covered with hair, and over that were shells like scales one over another so strong that no weapon could pass through them. Its legs and feet were wide and strong. On its shoulders were wings long enough to reach its feet that were covered not with feathers but with leather black as pitch, shiny and hairy, and so tough that no weapon could harm it. It would cover itself with them as a man would use a shield.

“Below the wings were arms strong as a lion, covered with shells finer than those on its body, and its hands were like those of an eagle with five fingers and claws so mighty and large that anything in the world, no matter how strong, would be destroyed once it was in their grip. It had two teeth in each jaw, so strong and long that they hung a cubit long outside its mouth, and its eyes were large, round, and vermilion like coals, so that from far away at night they could be seen, and everyone fled from it.

“It leaped and ran with such agility that no deer could escape. It ate and drank little, and sometimes not at all, and never felt hunger. Its only pleasure was to kill men and other living animals, and when it found lions or bears that tried to defend themselves, it became irate and blew smoke from its nose so frightening that it seemed like flames, and it would give hoarse bellows that were terrifying to hear.

“So all living things fled from it as from death. It smelled so bad that it poisoned all around it, and when it rattled its shells against each other and gnashed its teeth, it seemed the earth itself shuddered in fear. Such is the animal called the Endriago that I tell you of,” doctor Elisabad said. “And I tell you more, that the great sin of the giant and his daughter caused the evil enemy to enter into it, which multiplied its strength and cruelty.”

The Knight of the Green Sword and the other people on the ship were astonished by what the doctor told him about the devil named Endriago, born of man and woman. The knight said:

“Doctor, how can something so terrible be born from the body of a woman?”

“I shall tell you,” the doctor said, “according to what can be found in a book belonging to the Emperor of Constantinople, whose island this was, and who lost it because his power was not enough to kill that devil. Know ye,” the doctor said, “that when Bandaguida felt herself pregnant, she told the giant, and he was very pleased because he saw that what his gods had told him was true, and so he thought the rest of what they told him was also true. He decided that three or four nursemaids would be needed at the birth because it would be the strongest thing that was in the world. As the vile creature grew in its mother’s belly, since it was the doing and work of the devil, she was often in pain, and her face and eyes turned yellow like poison.

“Yet she thought that was good for she believed, as the gods had said, her son would be the strongest and bravest ever seen, and if it was, she would find a way to kill her father and marry her son. This is the greatest danger for evil: to become more sinful and to delight so much in sin, that although the grace of the Lord on High remains in their spirits, not only do they fail to sense or recognize that grace, they abhor and reject it as something bothersome and foreign. They plan and labor only to do evil deeds, which subject them and overcome them.

“When the time came, a son was born, and not with much difficulty, for until they end, evil things try to be agreeable. When the nursemaids, who were ready to care for it, saw such a horrible creature, they were terrified, but they were so afraid of the giant that they remained quiet and wrapped it in the clothing they had for it. One of them was more daring than the others and offered her breast to feed it, and it took it, but it suckled so hard that she screamed, and when they took it from her, she fell dead from the poison that had entered into her.

“This was immediately reported to the giant, and when he saw his son, he was amazed by such a horrible creature, and he decided to ask his gods why they had given him such a son. He went to the temple where he kept the three gods. One was the shape of a man, the other a lion, and the third a griffon. He offered sacrifices and asked them why they had given him such a son.

“The idol in the shape of a man told him:

“ ‘It was proper for it to be thus, because as its deeds shall be rare and amazing, so must it be, especially to destroy the Christians who are trying to destroy us. That is why I made it resemble me in having free will like men, which beasts lack.’

“The other idol told him:

“ ‘I wished to give it the gift of bravery and strength, which we lions have.’

“The third said:

“ ‘I gave it wings and claws and greater agility than any animal that shall ever be in the world.’

“When the giant heard this, he said:

“ ‘How shall I raise it, for the nursemaid who suckled it immediately died?’

“They told him:

“ ‘Make the other two nursemaids feed it, and they shall also die, but the one who remains will raise it with milk from your cattle until it is one year old, and then it will be as big and handsome as we are, for we have been the cause of its engendering. And we prohibit you and your wife and any other person from seeing it for the coming year, only the woman whom we told you shall care for it.’

“The giant ordered it to be done as his idols had told him, and this is how that rough beast was raised, as ye hear. At the end of a year, the giant learned from the nursemaid that it had grown large, and they heard its hoarse and frightening cries. He and his daughter, whom he had for a wife, agreed to go and see it, and so they entered the room where it was.

“They saw it leaping and running, and when the Endriago saw its mother, it came at her, leaped up, and clawed her face, tearing off her nose and ripping her eyes open, and before it let her go, she was dead. When the giant saw that, he put his hand on his sword to kill it, but it took the sword and struck him on the leg, giving him such a wound that his leg was cut through, and he fell on the ground and soon died.

“The Endriago jumped over him and out the door, poisoning everyone in the castle, and ran to the mountains. Soon after, many of that land’s inhabitants were killed by it, and the rest had fled by the sea in all the ships and boats they could find, and the island was depopulated.

“This happened forty years ago. This is what I know about this evil and devilish beast,” the doctor said.

The Knight of the Green Sword said:

“Doctor, ye have told me astonishing things, and our Lord God has suffered much from those who serve him ill, but in the end if they do not reform, He shall give them a punishment equal to their evil. Now I beg you, doctor, to say Mass in the morning, because I want to see this island, and if He gives me strength, I shall return it to His holy service.”


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chapter 72 [part 2 of 2]

[How Amadis traveled to Greece and then left for Constantinople, and what awaits in the remainder of Book III.] 

 [A portion of the world map by "Henricus Martellus Germanus" (Heinrich Hammer), made in Florence in 1490-1492. It was a mixture of information from Ptolemy, recent Portuguese discoveries, and unknown sources.]

They arrived at the lady’s palace, where she gave him a very fine room to stay in as was fitting for the house of such a lady, and had him disarm and wash the dust from his hands and face, and gave him a cape of rosy scarlet to wear. When Grasinda saw him thus, she was amazed by how handsome he was, more than she had thought any human man could be. She had a doctor come immediately to care for his wounds, the best and wisest that could be found in the area. He examined the injury to his throat and said:

“Knight, ye are wounded in a dangerous place, and ye must rest. If not, ye shall find yourself in great trouble.”

“Master doctor,” he said, “by the faith ye owe to God and to your lady who is here, as soon as I am able to ride, let me know, because I wish no rest or repose until God in His mercy sends me to the place where my heart is.”

As he said this, such anguish arose in him that he could not keep tears from coming to his eyes, which made him very embarrassed, and he quickly wiped them away and tried to look happy. The doctor dressed his wound and had him eat what was suitable, and Grasinda told him:

“My lord, rest and sleep, and we shall go to eat. We shall see you again when it is time. And order your squire to ask for everything ye need without hesitation.” With that she bid farewell.

He remained in his bed thinking hard about his lady Oriana, for there was all his joy and happiness mixed with storms and passions battling one another, and as he was tired, he slept.

Of Grasinda I tell ye that, after she had eaten, she retired to her room and lay on her bed and began to think about how handsome the Knight of the Green Sword was and the great deeds he had done. And since she was very rich and beautiful, and of such lineage that she was the niece of King Tafinor of Bohemia, and had been married to a great knight who had lived only one year, without engendering any children, she decided to take him as a husband, although he seemed to be nothing more than a knight-errant.

Wondering how she could do this, she remembered that she had seen him weep, and she thought that it had to have been over a woman whom he loved and could not have. This made her decide to wait until she could learn more about his situation. When she knew he was awake, she took her ladies and damsels and went to his room to honor him and to enjoy the great pleasure that she would feel to see him and speak with him. And it was no less pleasurable for him, although his thoughts were far from hers.

The lady spent time with him, doing everything for his pleasure that she could. But one day, she could suffer no more, and she took Gandalin off to the side and said:

“Good squire, may God help you and bless you, tell me something if ye know it, for I wish to ask you about a concern that I promise I shall never tell anyone else. And it is whether ye know that your lord is deeply and truly in love with another woman.”

“My lady,” Gandalin said, “I have spent little time with him, as has this dwarf, and we came into his service for the great things we had heard about him. He told us not to ask about his name or his affairs, and if we did, we would have to leave for our own fates. Since we have been with him, we have seen many of his great deeds and acts of courage that put terror in us, as he is without a doubt, my lady, the best knight in the world. And of him I know no more.”

The lady lowered her face and eyes and was lost in thought. When Gandalin saw this, he realized she was in love with his lord, and he wished to put an end to that because in no way would she get what she sought, so he told her:

“My lady, I have often seen him weep with such great anguish in his heart that I am amazed that he can sustain his life. And given his great valor, confronting with ease all brave and fearful things, I believe these tears can only come from some extreme and deep love for a woman, because this is the kind of illness where neither valor nor discretion can be of any use.”

“May God help me,” she said, “I believe what ye say, and I thank you for it. Go to him, and may God give him remedy for his cares.”

She went to her ladies having decided not to continue with what she had planned, having seen him so sure in what he did and said that she thought she would not change his mind.

And so as ye hear, the Knight of the Green Sword remained in the house of the great, rich, and beautiful lady Grasinda while his wounds healed, where he received so much honor and pleasure it was as if rather than being a poor knight-errant she had found out he was the son of a very noble king, which he was, of the noble King Perion of Gaul, his father.

When he found himself able to bear arms, he ordered Gandalin to prepare everything that was necessary for the road. He replied that everything was ready. As they were speaking, Grasinda entered with four of her damsels, and he took her by the hand. Then she sat on an estrado covered by a silk cloth embroidered with gold. He told her:

“My lady, I am ready to take to the road, and the honors that I have received from you have given me great concern about how I may serve you. For that reason, my lady, if I may undertake anything in your service, I would put all my will in that work.”

She responded:

“Truly, Knight of the Green Sword, my lord, I believe what ye say, and since there has been some satisfaction and pleasure in how ye were served here, I shall ask for your service, and at that time without any hesitation or shame something about me shall be revealed that up until now no one has known. But for now I ask ye to tell me where it is your will to go.”

“To Greece,” he said, “if God is so disposed, to see how Greeks live and to see their Emperor, of whom I have heard good things.”

“Then,” she said, “I wish to help you with your travels, and to do that I shall give you a very good ship with a crew who shall be under your command, and enough provisions to last a year. And I must give you the doctor who treated you, who is named Elisabad, for it would be hard to find anywhere someone as good at him at his work. I shall do this on the condition that if ye can, ye must be in this town with me within a year.”

He was very happy for the help, which he badly needed and had been very concerned about where he would find it, and told her:

“My lady, if I did not offer some recompense for these gifts that ye give me, I would count myself as the most unfortunate knight in the world, and I would hold myself as such if by shyness or shame ye were fail to ask what ye may.”

“My lord,” she said, “when God brings you back from this trip, I shall ask for what my heart has desired for a long time, and it shall be to increase your honor, although with some risk.”

“So be it,” he said, “and I trust that in your great prudence ye shall not ask of me anything but what I ought rightly to grant.”

“Then rest here five days,” Grasinda said, “while the things necessary for the trip are prepared.”

He agreed, although he had hoped to leave the next day. In that passage of time the ship was stocked with everything it needed to carry. The Knight of the Green Sword got on board with the doctor Elisabad, in whom, after God, he placed his health. After he said farewell to the beautiful lady, the sails were raised and the oars were employed, and he went on his trip, not directly to Constantinople, where the Emperor was, but to the islands of Romania he had not visited and others in the Kingdom of Greece. There the Knight of the Green Sword spent some time doing great feats at arms fighting with foreign men, some for the great purpose of correcting their arrogance, and others who having heard of his great fame had come to test their strength against his.

Thus he underwent many encounters of great danger and suffered many injuries, achieving victory and honor in all of them which brought him glory, and his wounds were healed by the great doctor that he brought with him.

As he traveled from one to another of these great battles, sailing from one island to another, and from there to others, the sailors became very tired and complained about it to the captain. He told that to the Knight of the Dwarf, reminding him that although his plans had been to visit all those islands, it was growing tiresome, and he should go straight to Constantinople. In the trip there and back, if God did not intervene, they would arrive to see Grasinda at the end of the year as promised. With that agreement and to the pleasure of everyone on the ship, they turned toward Constantinople with a good and direct wind.

In the second book we told you how Patin was a knight without land, but he expected to have it after the death of his brother Suidan, who was emperor of Rome and who had no son to inherit the empire. He had heard of the great fame of the knights in Great Britain in service to King Lisuarte at that time, and decided to go there to test himself against them.

Although he was very much in love with Sardamira, queen of Sardinia, for whom he undertook the trip, when he arrived at the court of King Lisuarte, where he was well received due to his high lineage, he saw the very beautiful Oriana, the King’s daughter, who had no equal to her beauty in the world. He was so taken by her that he forgot his old love in favor of this new one and asked her father for her hand in marriage. While the answer allowed Patin some hope, the King’s will was very much against that union, but Patin thought he had achieved what he wanted and wished to show off his strength, believing that this would make his lady love him more. He traveled through the land looking for knights-errant with whom to fight.

His misfortune guided him to the forest where Amadis at that time was desperate over his lady, weeping painfully. After Patin first praised love and Amadis then complained about it, they fought, and Patin went to the ground in the joust. Afterwards, back on his horse, by a single blow of a sword on his head he was so badly injured that he almost died several times.

As a result, without resolving the issue of his wedding with Oriana, he returned to Rome, where his brother the Emperor soon died, and he became Emperor. He did not forget the passion that Oriana had placed in his heart, and believing that with his higher position he could take her more easily, he decided to ask again for her in marriage from King Lisuarte.

To do that, he sent his cousin Salustanquidio, Prince of Calabria and a knight with fame at arms, and with him sent his principal majordomo, Brondajel de Roca, and the Archbishop of Talancia, along with three hundred men, and the beautiful Queen Sardamira with an abundant number of ladies and damsels to escort Oriana when they brought her. As it was the will of the Emperor, they began to prepare what they would need for the trip, which farther on and in more detail shall be recounted.