Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chapter 14 [first half]

How King Lisuarte buried Dardan and his beloved, and had the manner of their death inscribed on their tombs.

[Windsor Palace arms. Photo by Immanuel Geil.]


After the battle had been fought in which Dardan and his beloved were so cruelly killed, the King ordered two tombs brought and set on stone lions in the battlefield. They put Dardan and his lover in them, with an inscription describing what had happened. And in time, there was added the name of the knight who had defeated him, as shall be given further on.

The King asked where the unknown knight was, but no one knew what to say except that he had left for the forest as fast as his horse could go.

"Who would not want to have such a man in his company!" said the King. "In addition to his great courage, I believe that he is very self-controlled, for ye all heard the insults that Dardan had given him, and although he had Dardan in his power, he did not wish to kill him. I fully believe that he understood that if he had been at the will of the other knight, Dardan would have had no mercy on him."

He and everyone else were speaking about the unknown knight as they entered the palace. Oriana said to the Damsel of Denmark:

"My friend, I suspect that that knight who fought here is Amadis. Now would be the time for him to arrive, since I sent you to tell him to come without delay.

"In truth, I believe it is him," said the Damsel, "and I should have remembered it today when I saw that the knight rode on a white horse, which without a doubt he had when I left him." She added: "Did ye recognize the insignia he had on his arms?"

"No," Oriana said. "All the paint had been knocked from his shield by blows, but it seems to me that it had a field of gold."

"My lady," she said, "in the battle with King Abies, he had a shield with a field of gold on which two blue lions attacked each other, but that shield was destroyed there. He ordered another made like it, and he told me that he would bring it when he came here. I think that was it."

"My friend, if it is him," Oriana said, "he will come or he will send a messenger to the town. Go out as farther than usual to see if ye can find a message."

"My lady," she said, "I will do so."

Oriana said:

"Oh, God, what mercy ye do me if it is him, for now it may come to pass that I can talk with him!"

Thus the two damsels spoke.

Now the story turns to tell what happened to Amadis. After he left the battle, he passed through the forest so well hidden that no one saw him, and in the afternoon he arrived at the tents, where he found Gandalin and the damsels, who had dinner waiting. He got off the horse and they disarmed him. The damsels told him how Dardan had killed his beloved and then himself, and why. He crossed himself many times to hear such bad news, then they sat down to eat with pleasure.

But Amadis never stopped thinking about how to let his lady know he had arrived and about what she had ordered him to do. When the table cloths had been lifted, he got up, took Gandalin to the side, and told him:

"My friend, go to town and try to see the Damsel of Denmark, but secretly, and tell her that I am here, and have her send word on what to do."

Gandalin agreed to go on foot in order to do it more secretly. So he went, and when he arrived at the town, he went to the palace of the King. He was not there long before he saw the Damsel of Denmark, who was walking back and forth without pause. He approached her and greeted her, and she him, and looking at him more closely, she saw that he was Gandalin. She told him:

"Oh, my friend, thou art very welcome. Where is thy lord?"

"Ye have seen him already today," Gandalin said, "for it was he who won the battle. I left him hidden in the forest, and he has sent me to you to learn what to do."

"He shall be welcome in this land," she said, "for his lady will be very happy with him. Follow me, and if someone asks, say that thou art from the Queen of Scotland bringing a message from her to Oriana, and that thou comest to look for Amadis, who is in this land, in order to accompany him, and thus thou canst be in his company later without anyone suspecting anything."

So they entered the palace of the Queen, and the Damsel said to Oriana:

"My lady, ye see here a squire who brings thee a message from the Queen of Scotland."

Oriana was very happy at that, and even more when she saw that he was Gandalin. He knelt before her and said:

"My lady, the Queen sends you fond greetings as she who loves ye and esteems ye, and who would by pleased by your honor and would do what she could to help it grow."

"May the Queen be blessed," Oriana said. "I am pleased by her commendations. Come to this window and tell me all thy can."

Then she took him aside and had him sit next to her, and told him:

"My friend, where didst thou leave thy lord?"

"I left him in the forest," he said, "where he went last night after he won the battle."

"My friend," she said, "by thy good fortune, tell me how he is."

"My lady," he said, "he does as ye shall desire, as he who is all yours and who is dying for you. His soul suffers like no other knight."

He began to weep and said:

"My lady, he would not disobey your orders no matter what good or ill may come. By God, my lady, have mercy on him, for he has suffered so far more than anyone else in the world could have withstood. Indeed, I often expected him to fall dead before me, his heart dissolved by tears. And if he has the fortune to live, he will be the best knight who ever bore arms. Certainly, by the great and honorable deeds he has accomplished so far since he has been a knight, he is already the best. But his good fortune failed when he met you, and he shall die before his time. Surely it would be better for him to have died at sea, where he had been thrown before his parents knew him, since now they see him die without being able to help him."

He continued to weep and said:

"My lady, cruel shall be the death of my lord, and many will ache with pain for him if he were to suffer more than he already has without any relief at all."

Oriana, weeping and wringing her hands, said:

"Oh, my friend Gandalin, by God, be still. Do not tell me any more. God knows how it would hurt me if thou believest what thou sayest. I could rather kill my heart and all that I have. How could I want his death, which would be so hard that I would not live one more day if he were to die? Thou blamest me because thou knowest his thoughts but not mine. If thou wert to know them, thou wouldst ache for me and not blame me. But people cannot always help those whom they wish, and instead they may be further separated, even though being apart hurts and angers them. So regarding your lord, if it were up to me, as God knows, if I could, I would very willingly try to remedy his deep desires and my own."

Gandalin told her:

"Do as ye must if ye love him, for he loves you more than all other women who are loved today, and my lady, now tell him what to do."

Oriana showed him a garden that was below the window where they were speaking, and told him:

"My friend, go to your lord and tell him to come tonight very secretly and enter the garden. Below here is the room where Mabilia and I sleep, and it has a small window close to the ground with an iron screen, and through it we shall speak, since Mabilia already knows my heart."

And she took a beautiful ring from her finger and gave it to Gandalin to take to Amadis, because she liked that ring more than any other that she had. She said:

"Before thou goest, see Mabilia, who can tell thee well how to proceed secretly, since she is very wise. Between ye two, say that thou bringest news of her mother, so no one will suspect a thing."

Oriana ordered Mabilia called to see the squire sent by her mother, and when she saw that he was Gandalin, she understood why. Oriana went to her mother the Queen, who asked if the squire would be returning soon to Scotland, because she would send gifts with him to the Queen.

"My lady," she said, "the squire has come to look for Amadis, son of the King of Gaul, the good knight of whom many here speak."

"And where is he?" the Queen said.

"The squire says that more than ten months ago he heard news that he was coming here," she said, "and he is surprised that he cannot be found."

"God help me," said the Queen, "I would be very pleased to see that knight in the company of my lord the King, for he would be a great aid in the many disputes that come from all sides, and I tell ye that if he comes here, nothing that he may ask for, if the King can do it, will prevent him from entering his service."

"My lady," Oriana said, "of his chivalry I know nothing more than what they say, but I tell ye that he was the most handsome young nobleman known at the time when he served me and Mabilia and other ladies and damsels in the court of the King of Scotland."

Meanwhile, Mabilia, who had remained with Gandalin, said:

"My friend, is thy lord in these lands now?"

"Yes, my lady," he said, "and he sends you fond greetings as the cousin whom he loves most in the world. He was the knight who won that battle here."

She prayed:

"Oh, Lord God,blessed be Thou for creating such a fine knight in our family and for making him known to us."

To Gandalin, she said:

"My friend, how is he?"

"My lady," he said, "he would be well, if it were not for the power of love, which may kill him. By God, my lady, help him and soon, for truly, if he does not find some relief for his love, the best knight in your family and in the world shall be lost."

"He shall not perish for me," she said, "for I will do what I can. Now go and give him fond greetings from me and tell him to come as my lady orders. Thou canst speak with us as my mother's squire as often as necessary."

No comments:

Post a Comment