Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chapter 12 [last half]

Medieval literature often speaks of love as the deceiver that leaps over walls, and its tales can include scandalous amorous adventures, as ye shall see in this episode that not even Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo dared to suppress, though he condemned. —Translator's note.

[Patio of the Damsels, Alcázar of Seville, ordered built in 1364 by Pedro I the Cruel (or the Lawful, depending upon whom ye ask). Photo by Sue Burke.]


They returned to the road, where soon they arrived at a river named Bran, which could only be crossed by boat. The damsel, who went ahead, found a boat and passed to the other side, and while Galaor was waiting for the boat, the dwarf whom he had fought arrived and said:

"By my faith, base traitor, ye are dead, and ye shall return the damsel ye took from me."

Galaor saw that he came with three well-armed knights on good horses.

"What?" said one of them. "All three of us against one lone knight? I do not want any help."

And he charged at Galaor as fiercely as he could. Galaor, who had already taken up his arms, charged at him, and they hit each other with their lances. The lance of the dwarf's knight penetrated Galaor's armor, though the injury was not great. Galaor hit him so hard that he threw him from his saddle.

The other two knights were astonished and came at him together, and he at them. One of the knights erred in his blow, and his lance flew to pieces on Galaor's shield. Galaor hit him so hard that his helmet was knocked from his head, he lost his stirrups, and came close to falling. But the other turned and hit Galaor with his lance on the chest, breaking the lance. Although Galaor felt the blow, his hauberk was not badly damaged.

Then they all put their hands on their swords and began their battle. The dwarf shouted:

"Kill his horse and do not let him flee."

Galaor tried to attack the one whose helmet he had knocked off. That knight raised his shield, and Galaor's sword entered into an opening a palm wide between his shield and his arm. The sword point reached the knight's head and cut it open down to his jaw, and so he fell dead. When the other knight saw this blow, he fled. Galaor pursued him and struck him with his sword on the top of his helmet, but he did not aim well, and the blow landed on the back edge of the saddle, taking out a piece of it and many plates from his hauberk. The knight spurred his horse and threw the shield from his neck to be able to go faster. When Galaor saw him leaving, he let him go, hoping to order the dwarf to be hung up by one leg, but he saw him fleeing on his horse as fast as he could.

Turning to the knight whom he had earlier jousted and who had now come to his senses, he said:

"Ye trouble me more than the others, because ye had wished to fight me like a proper knight. I do not know why ye attacked me, for I did not deserve it from you."

"That is true," said the knight. "But that traitorous dwarf told us that ye had attacked and killed his men and ye had taken a damsel by force who had wanted to go with him."

Galaor showed him the damsel who was waiting for him on the other side of the river and said:

"Ye can see the damsel, and if I had forced her, she would not be waiting for me. Instead, while she was in my company, she became separated from me in this forest and the dwarf took her and beat her badly with a rod."

"Oh, the liar!" said the knight. "In a bad moment he made me come here, if I find him!"

Galaor had his horse returned to the knight, and told him to torment the dwarf, who was a traitor. Then he traveled to the other side in the boat, and got on the road, guided by the damsel. When it was between the ninth hour of sunlight and vespers, the damsel showed him a very beautiful castle overlooking a valley and told him:

"There we shall go to spend the night."

And they rode there, where they were very well received, as it was the house of the damsel's mother, whom she told:

"My lady, honor this knight as the best who ever put a shield around his neck."

The mother said:

"Here we shall do all at his service and pleasure."

The damsel told him:

"Good knight, in order to complete my promise to you, ye must wait for me here and soon I shall return with a message."

"I beg you not to make me wait long," he said, "for that would cause me much anguish."

She left, and very soon she returned and told him:

"Now mount your horse, and we shall go."

"In the name of God," he said.

Then he took up his arms and left with her on horseback. They rode all the way through a forest, and when they emerged from it, night was falling. The damsel left the road they were traveling on and took another route. A little into the night, they arrived at a beautiful town named Grandares. When they arrived alongside a royal castle, the damsel said:

"Now let us dismount. Follow me, and in that castle I shall tell you what I promised you."

"Shall I take my arms?" he said.

"Yes," she said. "A man cannot know what may occur."

She went ahead and Galaor followed her until they came to a wall, and the damsel said:

"Climb here and enter, and I will go another way and will meet you inside."

He climbed up with great difficulty, and took his shield and helmet, and then lowered himself down the other side. The damsel left. Galaor passed through a garden, and came to a small door in the castle wall. He waited a little while until he saw it open, and inside he saw the damsel, accompanied by a second damsel. She said:

"My lord knight, before you enter, ye must tell me whose son you are."

"Leave that be," he said, "for I have such a father and mother that until I am more worthy, I do not dare to say whose son I am."

"Still," she said, "it is important to tell me, and it will do you no harm."

"Know than I am the son of King Perion and Queen Elisena, but only seven days ago I did not know it and could not have told you."

"Enter," she said.

He entered, and they had him disarm and covered him with a cloak. They left, with one damsel walking behind, another in front, and him in the middle. They entered a large and very handsome palace, where many ladies and damsels lay in their beds, and if one of them asked who went there, both damsels responded.

They went on until they reached a room within in the palace. They entered, and Galaor saw a beautiful damsel sitting in a richly draped room, combing her lovely hair. When she saw Galaor, she put an attractive garland on her head and came to him, saying:

"My dear, ye are welcome as the best knight that I know of."

"My love," he said, "ye are very well met as the most beautiful damsel I have ever seen."

The damsel who had guided him there said:

"My lord, ye see here my lady, and I am now free of my promise. Know that she is named Aldeva, and is the daughter of the King of Serolis. The wife of the Duke of Bristol, who is her mother's sister, has raised her here."

Then she said to her lady:

"I give you the son of King Perion of Gaul. Ye are both children of kings and very fair. If ye love greatly, none will take it as wrong." She left.

Galaor enjoyed the damsel that night, with nothing more of it recounted here, and rightly so, because a man ought to pass quickly over such acts, which do not conform to good conscience nor to virtue, and they should be held as lowly as they deserve.

When the time came to leave, he took the damsels with him and returned to the place where he had left his arms. He armed himself and went to the garden. There he found the dwarf of whom ye have heard, who said:

"Knight, ye entered at a bad moment, for I shall have you killed, as well as the treacherous woman who brought you here."

Then he shouted:

"Come out, knights, come out. There is a man leaving the chamber of the Duke."

Galaor climbed the wall and got on his horse, but soon the dwarf left a gate with armed men. Galaor, who saw himself surrounded, said to himself:

"Oh, slave of fate, I am dead if I do not avenge myself on this traitorous dwarf."

He charged at him to take him, but the dwarf placed himself on his nag behind everyone else. Galaor came at them them with great rage, and they began to attack him on all sides. When he saw that he could not get through, he attacked them so cruelly that he killed two of them and broke his lance. He put his hand on his sword and gave them mortal blows, such that some were dead and others injured. But before he could escape, they killed his horse. He got up with great difficulty, for they were attacking him all around, but once he was on his feet, he taught them such lessons that one dared come near him.

When the dwarf saw him on foot, he wanted to hit him with the chest of his horse, and came at him as fast as he could. Galaor stepped back a bit, reached out and grabbed the bridle, and gave the dwarf such a blow with the pommel of the sword on the chest that it knocked him to the ground. He was left dazed, and blood flowed from his ears and his nose.

Galaor jumped on the horse, but as he rode, he lost the reins, and the horse took off. As it was large and a racer, it had gone a good distance before he could recover the reins. When he got them, he wanted to turn back and attack, but he saw his lover in the window of a tower, who waved a cloak at him to say that he should go. He left immediately because many people had suddenly come, and he rode until he entered into a forest. Then he gave his shield and helmet to his squire.

Some of the men said it would be good to follow him, other said it would be no use, since he had entered the forest, but all were amazed by how bravely he had fought. The dwarf, who was injured, said:

"Take me to the Duke and I will tell him on whom he must take vengeance."

They took him in their arms and carried him to where the Duke was. The dwarf told how he had found the damsel in the forest, and because he wanted to take her with him, she shouted, and a knight came to her aid who killed his men and injured him with a rod. Later he followed him with three knights to take the damsel from him, but he overcame them and defeated them. Finally, he told how the damsel brought the knight there and placed him in the Duke's chambers.

The Duke asked him if he knew the damsel. He said yes. Then the Duke ordered all the damsels in the castle to come there, and when the dwarf saw her among them, he said:

"This is the one who dishonored your palace."

"Oh, traitor," she said, "but thou injured me and ordered thy men to attack me, and a good knight defended me. I do not know if it was him or not."

The Duke was very angry and said:

"Damsel, I will make you tell me the truth."

And he ordered her put in prison, but they learned nothing from her, neither by torture nor by the wickedness they did her. They left here there, to the great anguish of Aldeva, who loved her deeply and did not know by whom she could get the news to her lover, Sir Galaor.

The author leaves off telling this here, and turns to speak of Amadis, and shall recount events about Galaor in their proper place.


  1. Typo: They left here there, to the great anguish of Aldeva...

    Should be "They left her there".

  2. Thanks. I proofread and proofread, but I still miss things. I appreciate the help.