Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chapter 15 [first half]

How Amadis made himself known to King Lisuarte and the grandees of his court, and was very well received by them all.

[Windsor Castle in modern philatelic rendering.]


Amadis rested that day with the damsels, and the next morning he armed himself, got on his horse, and left for the town, taking only the damsels. The King was in his palace, for he did not know where the knight would come from. Amadis went to the inn where the lady was, and when she saw him, she knelt before him and said:

"Oh, my lord, ye have given me all that I have."

He had her stand and said,

"My lady, let us go to the King, and ye shall be relieved of your charge and I shall be free to go where I have to."

Then he took off his helmet and shield, took the lady and damsels with him, and left for the palace, and wherever they passed, everyone said:

"This is the good knight who defeated Dardan!"

The King, when he heard this, left with a large company of knights, and when he saw Amadis, he went toward him his outstretched arms and said:

"My friend, ye are welcome. We have waited for you long."

Amadis knelt before him and said:

"My Lord, may God keep you in honor and joy."

The King took him by the hand and told him:

"May God help me, I hold you to be the best knight in the world."

"My lord," he said, "one may more rightly say that ye are the most worthy king in the world. But tell me, is the lady acquitted?"

"Yes," he said, "and she owes you as many thanks for coming here as for the battle that ye fought, for she could not leave this town until she had brought ye here."

"My lord," Amadis said, "everything ye do ye do rightly, but know that this lady never knew who fought in the battle until now."

They all marveled at his great handsomeness and how, being so young, he could have defeated Dardan, who was so brave and strong that he was feared and avoided in all Great Britain.

Amadis told the King:

"My lord, since your will has been satisfied and the lady acquitted, may God be with you. In all the world, ye are the king whom I would prefer to serve."

"Oh, friend," the King said, "do not leave so quickly if ye do not wish to cause me great sorrow."

Amadis said:

"May God keep me from that. And, if God were to help me, I believe I would serve you if only I were worthy to do so."

"Well, then, "the King said, "I ask you to stay here today."

Amadis agreed without showing how much it pleased him. The King took him by the hand and brought him to a beautiful chamber to remove his armor, the chamber where all the most important knights came to disarm themselves, for this was the king who honored his knights better than any other in the world, and who had the most knights in his court. He had a robe brought for Amadis to wear, then called King Arban of North Wales and the Count of Gloucester, and told them:

"Knights, accompany this knight, who well deserves the company of great men."

Then he went to the Queen and told her that he had in his house the good knight who had won the battle.

"My lord," the Queen said, "I am very pleased. And do ye know his name?"

"No," the King said. "Due to what I promised, I have not dared to ask."

"By chance," she said, "would he be the son of King Perion of Gaul?"

"I do not know," the King said.

"That squire who was talking with Mabilia," she said, "came looking for him and says that he had news that he had arrived in these lands."

The King called for the squire and told him:

"Follow me and tell me if ye know a knight who is in my palace."

Gandalin went with the King and, since he knew what to do, as soon as he saw Amadis, he knelt before him and said:

"Oh, my lord Amadis, I have been looking for you for so long!"

"My friend Gandalin," he said, "thou art very welcome. And what news is there of the King of Scotland?"

"My lord," he said, "very good, and of all of your friends."

Then Gandalin embraced him and said:

"Now, my lord, there is no need to hide, for ye are the famous Amadis, son of King Perion of Gaul, which ye both came to know after ye killed the worthy King Abies of Ireland in battle and saved the kingdom for your father, which he had almost lost."

Then more than before, everyone came to see him, for they already knew that Amadis had accomplished feats at arms that none other could do. They all passed that day doing him great honors, and when night came, King Arban of North Wales took him with him to his chambers on the counsel of the King, who had told him to do all he could to make him stay in his court.

That night Amadis stayed, well and pleasantly served, with King Arban of North Wales. King Lisuarte spoke with the Queen and told her how he could not order Amadis to stay, and how much he wanted a man so well known in the world to remain in his court because with such knights, monarchs were honored and feared. But he did not know how to make it happen.

"My lord," the Queen said, "such a great man as yourself would be spoken of badly if a knight like him came your house and departed without being granted whatever he might ask."

"He has not asked anything of me," the King said, "but I would grant anything."

"Then I will tell you what to do. Bid him to stay, or have someone ask it for you, and if he will not stay, tell him to come to see me before leaving, and I shall beg him, along with my daughter Oriana and his cousin Mabilia. They have known him for a long time, since he served them when he was a childe. I will tell him that all the other knights are yours and we wish him to be ours to do whatever we need."

"Ye have spoken very well," he said, "and in that manner, without a doubt he shall remain, and if he does not, we can rightly say that he lacks in upbringing what he has in courage."

King Arban of North Wales spoke that night with Amadis, but he could find no hope that he would stay. The next day they both went to hear Mass with the King, and after it was said, Amadis went to say goodbye to him. The King said:

"Truly, friend, your leaving saddens me deeply, and because of the promise that I made, I can ask nothing of you for I do not know if it would trouble you, but the Queen wishes to see you before ye go."

"I will do that very willingly," he said.

Then the King took him by the hand and went to where the Queen was and told her:

"Ye see here the son of King Perion of Gaul."

"May God save me, my lord," she said, "it gives me great pleasure, and he is very welcome."

Amadis wanted to kiss her hands, but she had him sit next to her, and the King returned to his knights, many of whom were waiting in a small courtyard. The Queen spoke to Amadis about many things, and he responded very wisely. The ladies and damsels were very surprised to see how handsome he was. He dared not raise his eyes so he would not look at his lady Oriana. Mabilia came to embrace him as is if she had not seen him earlier.

The Queen said to her daughter:

"Receive this knight who served you so well when he was young and will serve you now as a knight, if he is courteous. All of you, help me to bid of him what I shall ask."

Then she told him:

"Knight, my lord the King would very much wish that ye remain with him, but he has not been able to ask it. Now I want to see if women may find greater favor in knights than men can. I ask you to be a knight for me and my daughter and for all these ladies and damsels that ye see here. In this, ye shall show respect and make us removed from any conflict with the King in requests for a knight, for he has all his and we may have one of our own in you."

And then all came to ask it of him, and Oriana made a sign with her face to grant it. The Queen said:

"Well, knight, what shall ye do with our petition?"

"My lady, "he said, "who could do anything other than your command? Ye are the best queen in the world, to say nothing of the quality of all these other ladies. I, my lady, will remain according to the request made by you and your daughter and of course all these other ladies. But I tell ye I shall be yours alone. And if I can serve the king in some way, it shall be as yours and not as his."

"Then we receive you, I and all the others," the Queen said.

Then they sent the news to the King, who was very happy and sent King Arban of North Wales to bring him, which he did. When Amadis came before him, the King embraced him with great love and told him:

"My friend, I am very happy to have now achieved that which I wished so much, and I want you to receive my wholehearted thanks."

Amadis took it as a sign of favor. In this way, as ye hear, Amadis remained in the court of King Lisuarte at the orders of his lady.

Here the author ceases to tell of this and turns the story to speak of Sir Galaor.

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