How Sir Guilan the Pensive came to Rome with the message from his lord, King Lisuarte, and what he accomplished during his mission to Emperor Patin.
[Castle Sant’Angelo in Rome.]
Sir Guilan the Pensive traveled so fast during his journey that twenty days after leaving Great Britain, he was in Rome with the Emperor Patin, whom he found with many people and amid great preparations to receive Oriana. The Emperor awaited her every day because his cousin, Salustanquidio, and Brondajel de Roca had written to him saying that everything had been brought to fruition and soon they would bring him all he had asked for, but the Emperor was very surprised at how long it was taking them. Sir Guilan entered the palace still wearing his armor except on his hands and head, and went to where the Emperor was, knelt and kissed his hands, and gave him the letter he carried. And the Emperor knew him well, for he had often seen him in King Lisuarte’s court when he was there after he returned badly injured from the blows that Amadis had given him one night in the forest, as the second book of the story has recounted.
He told him:
“Sir Guilan, ye are very welcome. I believe ye come with your lady Oriana. Tell me where to find her and my people bringing her.”
“My lord,” he said, “Oriana and your men are in a place that is inopportune for you and for them.”
“How was that?” the Emperor said.
He told him:
“My lord, read this letter, and when it pleases you, I shall tell you why I have come, which is for a much more urgent reason than ye can imagine.”
The Emperor read the letter and saw that it was his credentials, and as he was always very fickle and unfocused, without any further consideration, he told him:
“Now tell me the contents of this letter in front of everyone here, because I can wait no longer.”
Sir Guilan told him:
“My lord, since that is what pleases you, so shall it be. My lord King Lisuarte would have ye know that Salustanquidio and Brondajel de Roca along with many knights arrived in his kingdom and on your behalf asked for his daughter Oriana to be your wife. And he, knowing your virtue and grandeur, although this Princess was his rightful heir and the thing he and his wife the Queen loved most in the world, in order to make ye their kin and to earn your love, against the will of everyone in his kingdom, he gave her to him with a retinue and accompaniment that the grandeur of your and his estate required.
“They set sail, and when they were outside the borders of his kingdom, Amadis of Gaul came with many other knights in another fleet, and your men were thoroughly defeated and many of them killed, including Prince Salustanquidio. Brondajel de Roca and the Archbishop of Talancia and the Duke of Ancona and many other men were taken prisoner, and Oriana was taken with all her ladies and damsels and Queen Sardamira; and they and the prisoners and spoils were taken to Firm Island, where they hold her.
“Some messengers were sent from Firm Island seeking an accord, but King Lisuarte has not wished to consider that until ye, my lord, who are deeply involved in this matter, know what has happened, and he may know how ye feel about it, but he would have you know that if ye as well as he believe Amadis and his allies must be punished, it should happen soon, so that time does not make the injury grow.”
When the Emperor heard this, he was astounded and said with great pain in his heart:
“Oh miserable Emperor of Rome, if thou dost not punish this, thou shouldst not live one more hour in this world!”
And he turned and said:
“Is it true that Oriana has been seized and my cousin killed?”
“It is true beyond any doubt,” Sir Guilan said, “and everything happened as I have told you.”
“Well, knight, go back now,” the Emperor said, “and tell your lord the King that I shall take charge of this injury and its vengeance, and that he need worry about nothing else but to watch what I shall do, for I wish to be part of his family not to give him labor or care but to avenge any offense done to him.”
“My lord,” Sir Guilan said, “ye have responded like the great lord and brave knight that ye are, but I believe that ye will have to deal with such men that it could well be necessary to have troops from Britain as well as from here. And my lord the King until now has achieved full satisfaction against all those who have offended him, and so he shall do from here onward. And since I have received such a good response from you, my lord, I shall go. Order everything vital to be done, and very quickly, with all necessary preparations to take vengeance against opposition.”
And with that Sir Guilan bid farewell to the Emperor but not very happily, since he was a very noble and wise and brave knight, and he had seen how the Emperor had spoken with so little authority and heed, and he felt deep sorrow in his heart to think of his lord the King in the company of such a frivolous man, from whom, except by great good fortune, nothing could come but loss and dishonor.
And so he returned, often weeping on the way at the great loss that his lord the King had suffered through his own fault by losing Amadis, all his lineage, and many other very worthy men who had been in his service because of Amadis, and who now were his sworn enemies. So with great labor he arrived in Great Britain and was well received by the King and everyone in the court. He immediately told him everything that had happened with the Emperor and how he was preparing to come with much hurry, and then he said:
“May it please God, my lord, that being in kinship with this man will bring you honor. But may God help me, I return very little content with his authority, and I cannot believe that troops under such leadership can accomplish anything good.”
The King told him:
“Sir Guilan, I am very happy to see ye have arrived safe and sound, and I believe that by having you and other such knights in my service, we only need the Emperor’s men, and although he may not command nor guide them, ye shall be able to manage them for him and for me. Since he has responded that way, we must not fail to present our men so that when he sees them he does not consider his power as great as he does now.”
And so the King prepared everything appropriate with great diligence, for he knew well that his opponents would not fail to call up as many men as they could. He knew that the Emperor of Constantinople, the King of Bohemia, King Perion, and many other leaders had convoked their men to send them to Firm Island. He also believed it true that given the abilities of Amadis and all the knights who were with him, when they saw themselves with such strength, they would not be able to wait, and they would seek him inside his own kingdom. For that reason he never ceased to seek help everywhere, since he knew it would be necessary. He also knew that King Aravigo and Barsinan, the lord of Sansuena, and many other men with him were preparing a large armada, but he could not imagine where it would go.
As he was doing this, Brandoivas arrived and told him that King Cildadan was preparing to fulfill his orders, and that Sir Galvanes had begged not to be ordered to fight against Amadis and Agrajes, his nephew. If the King was not content with this, then he would leave the Island of Mongaza free and unembargoed, as he had agreed to at the time when he received it: that while he had it, he would be the King’s vassal, and when he no longer wished to be that, he would leave the island without any claim to it.
The King, as he was very wise, although his need was great, understood that Sir Galvanes was right, and sent word to tell him to remain there, for although in this matter he could not be of service, the time would come when he could make up for that.
A few days later Filispinel arrived from King Gasquilan of Suesa and told Lisuarte that he had been received very well with great willingness to come to his aid, for that King had long held a wish to fight against Amadis.
When the King knew what great resources he had, he decided not to wait. He ordered his nephew Giontes called and told him:
“Nephew, it is necessary that ye immediately go as fast as ye can to Patin, the Emperor of Rome, and tell him that I am content with what Sir Guilan told me on his behalf, and that I am going to my town of Windsor, because it is near the port where he ought to disembark. I will go there with all my men and be encamped awaiting his arrival. I urge him to be as fast as he can, because given his great strength and mine, at the outset we shall have more men than our opponents, who will lack help from those who are coming more slowly. And nephew, do not leave there until ye are coming with his company, for your presence may give him greater desire and concern to depart.”
Giontes told him:
“My lord, what ye order shall not fail to be fulfilled by me.”
The King immediately left for Windsor, and ordered all his men to be called up. And Giontes took to the sea in a ship equipped and prepared for everything appropriate in both sailors and supplies for such a voyage to Rome.