[The tale of treachery that the Queen of Dacia recounted, and what the knights did when they heard it.]
[Albert III of Mecklenburg (left), King of Sweden from 1364 to 1389, with his father, the Duke of Mecklenburg. From Die Mecklenburgische Reimchronik von 1378.]
The knight quickly returned to the ship, and when he told his lady what he had learned, they went directly to the ship were the Queen was, which seemed to them to be the most richly adorned. When they arrived, the lady came forward, her head and face covered with a black veil, and she asked who was traveling in that ship.
Angriote told her:
“My lady, the Queen of Gaul is here, going to Firm Island.”
“Then, my lord knight,” the lady said, “I ask you urgently, for which ye are by virtue obliged, to find a way that I may speak with her.”
“This shall be done right away. Come on board this ship. She is such a lady that she shall take pleasure in you, as she does with all those who ask to see her.”
The lady boarded the ship, and Angriote took her by the hand, brought her to the Queen, and said:
“My Queen, this lady wishes to see you.”
“She is welcome,” the Queen said, “and I ask you, Angriote, to tell me who she is.”
Then the lady came to her, greeted her, and said:
“My lady, this question the good knight will not be able to answer because he does not know. But ye shall learn it from me, and it will be no small thing to recount, given the disastrous adventure and the great labor that has come over me without deserving it. But I wish, my good lady, to get assurance from you that I and all my companions will be safe, in case what I say by chance moves you to anger instead of pity.”
The Queen answered that she could safely say what she wished. Then the lady began to weep bitterly and said:
“My good lady, although this may bring me no other help or repose than to tell my ill fortune to such a high lady as yourself, it will be some rest to my troubled heart. Know that I was married to the King of Dacia, and at his side I considered myself a very fortunate queen, and with him I had two sons and a daughter. This daughter, who to my ill fate was engendered by me, her father the King and I gave in marriage to the Duke of the province of Sweden, a great realm that bordered our own kingdom.
“Their wedding, which was celebrated with great pleasure, afterwards brought great weeping and sorrow, for the Duke was a young man greedy to rule in any way he could, and my husband the King was advanced in years. The Duke realized that by killing him and taking my two sons prisoner, who are boys, the older just fourteen years old, because of his wife he could quickly become king of the realm. And just as he planned, he began to act.
“He pretended to be traveling for relaxation to our kingdom and said that in our honor he would be accompanied by many men. When my husband the King came to receive him with great pleasure and healthy good will, the evil traitor killed him with his own hands. And God wished to protect the boys, who were coming behind him on palfreys, for they could take refuge in the city where they had come from, with them most of our knights, later joined other men who despite great confrontation and danger entered the town, because that traitor had immediately besieged it, and so he still does.
“At that time I was on a religious pilgrimage that I had promised to make to a very old church of Our Lady, which was on a rock half a league out to sea. There I was advised of the ill fate I had suffered without my knowledge, and seeing myself alone, I had no other choice but to board the ship that had brought me there.
“In it, my lady, I am coming now with the intention of going to Firm Island to see a knight called Amadis, who I am told is there with many other knights of great renown, and to tell them about this enormous treachery from which so much evil has come to me, and to ask them to have pity for those Princes and not let them be killed in such a great injustice. If only a few of them were to come and give courage to my people, those who came with such evil intents would not dare to remain much longer.”
Queen Elisena and those knights were astonished by such treachery and felt great pity for that Queen. Immediately Queen Elisena took her by the hand and had her sit beside her and told her:
“My good lady, if I have not attended to you as your royal estate deserves, forgive me, for I did not know you or the situation of your estate as I do now. And ye may believe that your loss and labors have moved me to great pity and anguish to see how contrary fortune respects no rank, no matter how high, and he who may consider himself content and exalted should most fear changing fortune because, when things seem most certain, then comes what has come to you, my good lady. And since God has brought you here, I hold it good for you to travel in my company to Firm Island, and there ye shall find the recourse that your will desires, as many others have found when they needed it.”
“I already know, my good lady,” said the Queen of Dacia, “for some knights who were going to Greece told my lord the King about the things that happened when Amadis rescued the daughter of King Lisuarte, who had disinherited her in favor of a younger daughter and was sending her to the Emperor of Rome to be his wife. And this made me decide to seek this blessed knight, who rescues those who are troubled by wrongdoing.”
When Angriote and his companions heard what Queen Elisena said, all three knelt before her to ask permission for them to give aid and vengeance to the Queen of Dacia for such great treachery, if it were the will of God, and this they could do because they were now close to Firm Island, where they expected no obstacle to their arrival. The Queen wished that they first arrive where her husband the King was, but they urged her so much that she finally had to grant what they asked.
They immediately had their arms and horses and servants placed on board the Queen of Dacia’s ship, and told her to give them someone to guide them and to go with Queen Elisena to Firm Island. She answered that she wished no such thing. Instead, she would go with them, and for her to be with them would greatly serve to repair and remedy the situation, so they took her with them when they saw her desire.
Queen Elisena and Sir Galaor continued on their way, and with nothing befalling them arrived one morning at the port of Firm Island. When her husband the King learned of her arrival, he and her sons with the Emperor mounted their horses and with all the other knights came to receive her. Oriana wished to go with them, accompanied by her ladies, but the King sent word urging her not to undergo such labors, for he would immediately bring the Queen to her, and she acquiesced.
And so the Queen and Sir Galaor disembarked on land, and there they were received with great pleasure. Amadis, after he kissed his mother’s hands, went to embrace Sir Galaor, who wished to kiss Amadis’s hands, but he would not let him. Instead, he spent a while asking him about his illness, and Sir Galaor said that he was much improved and would be even more so farther on, since the affronts and anger between Amadis and King Lisuarte had been solved.
After the Emperor and all those lords had greeted the Queen, they placed her on a palfrey and went to the castle where Oriana lodged and where she and the Queens and great ladies awaited in very fine attire to receive her at the garden gate. The Emperor carried the reins and would not let her dismount except in his arms, and she entered the garden where Oriana was, who was holding the hands of the Queens Sardamira and Briolanja. With them she came to Queen Elisena, and all three knelt before her with the obedience that a true mother is owed. The Queen embraced them and kissed them, and she raised them up by the hands.
Then Mabilia and Melicia and Grasinda approached, and all the other ladies, and they kissed her hands, and taking her among themselves, they went with her to their chambers. At this time Sir Galaor arrived, and ye cannot be told the love that Oriana showed him because after Amadis, there was no knight in the world she loved more, both because of her beloved, for she knew how much Amadis loved him, and because of the great and true love that her father the King had for him, and Sir Galaor’s desire to serve him against everyone in the world, and for the many times he had labored on his behalf. All the other ladies also received him very well.
Amadis took Queen Briolanja by the hand and told Sir Galaor:
“My lord brother, I entrust this beautiful Queen to you, whom ye have seen on other occasions and whom ye know.”
Sir Galaor looked at her without embarrassment, as a man who was not frightened or troubled by seeing women, and he said:
“My lord, I consider it a great favor for you to give me her, and for her to take me and want me to be hers.”
The Queen said nothing. Instead, she blushed, which made her even more beautiful. Galaor had not seen her since he had left Sobradisa when he had brought Sir Florestan there, and then later for a short time in the court of King Lisuarte when he came to seek Amadis. She had been a young girl then, but now she was at the perfection of her age and beauty, and he was so struck by her and she looked so good to him that although he had seen many women and had been intimate with them as this story has told, never was his heart given in true love to anyone besides this very beautiful Queen.
And she felt the same for him, knowing his great valor in arms and all other good things that the best knight in the world must possess, and all the great love she had felt for his brother Amadis she placed in this knight whom she already considered her husband.
And just as their wills were so completely united, they remained in that state after they went to her realms, where they had the most graced and honored lives with greater love than can be fully told to you. And they had sons, very handsome and outstanding knights, who performed great and perilous deeds at arms and won many lands and realms, as we shall recount in a continuation of this story called The Exploits of Esplandian, where this will be fully narrated, with their close companionship before and after Esplandian became the Emperor of Constantinople.
And so the noble Queen Elisena was received and came to reside with those ladies, where no man entered except for King Perion, as had been agreed, until King Lisuarte and Queen Brisena and his daughter would arrive to celebrate the marriage of Oriana and all the other ladies in their presence.
Afterwards, all the men went to their lodgings and to relax with the many pastimes that the island offered, especially to those who were partial to going hunting, because outside of the island a league inland on the mainland were the most beautiful forests and hills with thick brush. Since the land was well protected, it was full of deer, boars, rabbits, and other wild beasts, and they killed many of them both with nets and dogs and by chasing them on horseback until they captured them. They also went with falcons to hunt the many hares and partridges and other waterfowl there.
So it could be said in that small corner of the world was united all the height of knighthood of any land who maintained it to its greatest degree, and all the loveliness and beauty that could be found. And in addition there were the great pleasures and delights that we have described and infinite others that we could not, both natural and artificial, made by the enchantments of the wise and great Apolidon, who had lived there.
But now the story shall cease to speak of these lords and ladies who were awaiting King Lisuarte and his companions to tell what happened to Sir Bruneo and Angriote and Branfil, who had gone with the Queen of Dacia, as ye have heard.