[How Madasima and the damsels were freed, but not to everyone’s satisfaction.]
[View of the collegiate church and castle of Santa María la Mayor in Alquézar, Spain. Photo by LsanzSal.]
The next morning the twelve knights went to hear Mass with the King, and when it was said, the King went to his palace with his advisors and many other noblemen, and he ordered Gandandel and Brocadan brought to him. He told them:
“Now you must repeat the same argument that ye have always made to me before these noblemen about why Madasima and her damsels should not be heard.”
He ordered them to stand in a place where they could address everyone. Imosil of Burgundy and Ledaderin of Fajaraque came before the King:
“We and these knights come here to ask for your mercy so Madasima and her damsels may be heard, because we believe that thus ye shall do what is right.”
“Many speak of what is right but few know what it is. Ye say that these damsels rightly ought to be heard, but that cannot rightly be, for they are obliged to die without exception. They entered the King’s prison under this agreement: If Ardan Canileo were killed and defeated, the island of Mongaza would be freely given to him, and if not, the damsels and the knights with them would be killed. The knights, after the death of Ardan Canileo, delivered the castles they had, but Gromadaza does not wish to deliver what she has, so there is and can be no reason to excuse them from death.”
“Truly, Gandandel, ye have no reason to say what ye did in front of such a good King and knights such as these, for it is contrary to what is right and was said for no other reason than ill will. It is manifest to all who know anything that in any dispute that may hang over a man or woman, if it does not involve treason or rebellion, their life or death must be heard and judged according to their guilt. This is done in lands were there is justice, and to do otherwise would be great cruelty. And this is what we ask of the King, that he consider the matter with these noblemen who are here and do what is just.”
Gandandel replied that this was so unjust that he could say no more, and the King should make a decision, for he had already heard both sides. And that was how the matter rested. The King and certain knights remained, and all the rest left. The King wanted his uncle Argamonte, a very honorable and wise count, to say what he thought, but he deferred to the King, saying that no one knew the law as completely as he did. The others agreed.
When the King saw this, he said:
“Since ye leave it to me, I say that it seems to me that the wisest thing is what Imosil of Burgundy said, that the damsels should be heard.”
“Truly, my lord,” said the Count and all the rest, “ye have decided justly, and so it shall be.”
Then they called the knights and told them his decision, and Imosil and Ledaderin kissed his hands and said:
“Then, my lord, if it is your mercy, order Madasima and her damsels be brought forth, and we shall save them with just cause or with arms if it is necessary.”
“I am pleased that it shall be so,” the King said. “Bring the damsels and we shall see if they accept you to speak for them.”
And then they were sent for, and they came before the King with such great fear and looking so lovely that there was no man who did not have great pity for them. The twelve knights from Firm Island took the damsels by the hand, and Agrajes and Sir Florestan took Madasima’s hands.
Imosil and Ledaderin said:
“My lady Madasima, these knights came here to save you and your damsels from death. The King wishes to know if ye shall let us represent you.”
“My lords, if the rights of captive and ill-fated damsels can be given, we give them to you, and we place ourselves in the care of God and you.”
“Since that is so,” Imosil said, “now let whoever wishes to speak against you come forward, if there is anyone, and I shall defend you with words or arms. And if as many as twelve come, they shall find their reply here.”
The King turned to Gandandel and Brocadan and saw how they looked at the ground and were dismayed and did not respond. He said to the knights of Firm Island:
“Go to your lodgings until tomorrow, and meanwhile may those who wish to respond formulate their arguments.”
Then they accompanied Madasima back to prison and then went to their lodgings. The King took Gandandel and Brocadan aside and told them:
“Ye have told and counseled me many times that it was just to kill the damsels and that ye would defend that by just reason, and even, if it were necessary, by your sons with arms. Now it is time to for you to do so, and I, because what Imosil says seems like beautiful and just reason to me, shall not order anyone in my court to fight with these knights. And so, do as ye must. If not, the damsels shall be free and I shall not have been well counseled.”
They said they would come the next day with their reply, and went very sadly to their homes. They agreed that they had begun their cause with reasoned arguments, but they would not put their sons in the confrontation because their reasons were not true and because their sons were not equal in arms to those knights.
But that night the news arrived to the King that the giantess Gromadaza was dead and had ordered her castles be delivered to the King to free her daughter and the damsels, and that Count Latine had the castles in his power, which pleased him very much.
The next day, after Mass, he sat where he would give justice, and the twelve knights came before him, and he told them:
“From today on do not speak anymore about what shall be done with the damsels, for ye are released from that. Madasima and her damsels are freed from death because I have the castles for which I held them in prison.”
Hearing this gave great pleasure to Gandandel and Brocadan because they had expected nothing but great dishonor.
Then the King ordered Madasima and her damsels brought forth, and he told them:
“Ye are free and I hold ye released. Do what ye please, for I have the castles for which ye were held.”
He did not want to tell her that her mother was dead. Madasima wished to kiss his hands, but the King would not let her, for he never did unless he gave a lady or damsel a mercy. She told him:
“My lord, since I am in my own free will as ye say, I put myself under the power of my lord Sir Galvanes, who, with his friends, has put forth so much effort for me.”
Agrajes took her by the hand and said:
“My good lady, ye have done what ye ought, and although ye are now disinherited from your lands, ye shall have another where ye shall be honored until God provides the remedy.”
Imosil told the King:
“My lord, if Madasima is to be done rightly, she should not be disinherited, for it is known that children are in the power of their parents, and although it troubles them, they must follow their orders. But they should not be condemned to be disinherited for this, for obedience more than volition obliges them to do what their parents wish. And since ye, my lord, serve to give each one what is right, ye are obliged to do it yourself to give an example to others.”
“Imosil,” the King said, “ye have the damsels freed, and do not speak of the rest, for I have suffered many affronts from that land, and now I must defend it, and I cannot take it from my daughter Leonoreta, to whom I gave it.”
Sir Galvanes told him:
“My lord, the right that Madasima has to that land comes from her grandparents, and I am committed to that. I ask you to remember the services I did for you and do not seek to make me disinherited, for I wish to be your vassal and be in your mercy, and I shall serve you in it as loyally and as well as I can.”
“Sir Galvanes,” the King said, “do not speak of this, for what is done cannot be undone.”
“Since neither right nor prudence serves me,” he said, “I shall try to take it as best I can, and to keep it from your kingdom.”
“Do what ye may,” the King said, “for it has already been in the power of those braver than you, and it will be easier to defend it from you than it was to take it from them.”
“Ye hold it because of that person who has been poorly rewarded,” Sir Galvanes said. “He shall help me recover it.”
The King said:
“If he helps you, many others will serve me who did not serve for love of him, who I had in my court and protected from them.”
Agrajes, who was irate, said:
“In truth, as some here and many others well know, if Amadis was protected by you or you by him, although ye are King, he was always a knight errant.”
Sir Florestan, who saw that Agrajes was so angry, put a hand on his shoulder and pulled him back, then stood in front of him and told the King:
“It seems, my lord, that ye value the services more of those of whom ye speak than of those of Amadis, and we are close to proving the truth of that.”
Sir Brian of Monjaste stepped past Florestan and said:
“Although ye, my lord, little value the services of Amadis and his friends, ye must value a lot those who could rightly make them forgotten.”
The King said:
“Sir Brian, I see by your face that you are one of his friends.”
“Truly I am,” he said, “and he is my cousin and I must do his will in everything.”
“We have everything here to prevent that,” the King said.
“It will all be necessary,” he said, “to prevent what Amadis could do.”
Then knights came from both sides to respond, but the King raised a staff he had in his hand and ordered them to speak no more of that, and everyone sat down again.