Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chapter 30

How Amadis, Galaor, and Balais arrived at the castle of King Lisuarte, and what happen to them next.

[Illustration for Chapter XXX from the 1526 edition of Amadís de Guala, published in Seville by Jacobo and Juan Cromberger.]


Amadis and Galaor left the castle of the damsel with Balais, and they rode without incident until they arrived at the house of King Lisuarte, where they were received with more joy and honors than any other knights anytime anywhere by the King and Queen and everyone at the court:

Galaor because they had never seen him but they had heard of his great deeds at arms; and Amadis because they had previously heard news of his death. He was beloved by all and they had not expected to see him alive again.

Thus so many people came out to see them that the three knights could hardly pass through the streets and enter the palace. The King met them and had them disarm in a chamber, and when the people saw them disarmed, so handsome, well-built, and young, they cursed Arcalaus for trying to kill the two brothers, since one would not live without the other.

The King sent a page to tell the Queen to properly receive the two knights, Amadis and Galaor, who were coming to see her. Then he went with them, as did Agrajes, who put an arm around each one as they walked together, and he could not have been happier.

The King went with them to the chamber of the Queen along with Sir Galvanes and King Arban, and when they came through the door, Amadis saw his lady Oriana. His heart shook with pleasure, and she had no less pleasure in him, and anyone who would have looked at them could have very clearly seen it.

In spite of all the news she had heard about him, Oriana had still suspected he was not alive. When she saw him healthy and happy, she remembered the pain and mourning she had felt over him, and tears came to her eyes against her will. She paused on her way toward the Queen to wipe her eyes, but no one noticed, for everyone could only think to look at the knights.

Amadis knelt before the Queen, took Galaor by the hand, and said:

"My lady, ye see here the knight whom ye sent me to find."

"I am very happy for it," she said. And she raised Amadis up by the hand and embraced him, and then Sir Galaor.

The King told her:

"Madam, I wish ye to give something to me."

"What?" she said.

"I want you to give me Galaor," he said, "since Amadis is yours."

"Surely, my lord," she said, "ye ask for no small thing, since such a great gift has never been given in Great Britain, but it is lawful, for ye are the best king who has reigned in it." And she said to Galaor, "My friend, what do ye think I should do, for the King my lord asks for you?"

"My lady," he said, "it seems to me that all things that such a great lord asks for should be given to him if it can be done, and ye have me to serve you in this and in everything, as long as it is the will of my brother and lord Amadis, for I shall not do it unless he orders me to."

"I shall be pleased to command your brother," the Queen said, "for thus I shall have part of you, since he is mine."

Amadis told him:

"My lord brother, do what the Queen orders, for I also ask it of you, and thus ye shall please me."

Then Galaor said to the Queen:

"My lady, since I am freed from his will, which had such power over me, now I place myself at your mercy to do with me what most pleases you."

She took him by the hand and said to the King:

"My lord, I now give you Sir Galaor, as ye asked, and I tell ye to love him as is fit for his goodness, which is no small thing."

"May God help me," the King said, "I believe it would be hard for anyone to love another as much as his goodness deserves."

When Amadis heard this word, his thoughts were held by his lady. He sighed and heard not another word of what the King said, believing that the love he had for his lady was greater than his own goodness or of anyone who carried arms.

So, as ye have heard, at that point Galaor became the King's vassal, and despite all that later came to pass between Amadis and the King, his loyalty never ceased, as we shall recount farther on.

The King sat next to the Queen and called Galaor to come before them to speak with him. Amadis remained with his cousin Agrajes. Oriana, Mabilia, and Olinda stood apart from the rest because they were the most honorable and worthy ladies. Mabilia said to Agrajes:

"My lord brother, bring us this knight whom we have so much wished to see."

They approached the ladies, and Mabilia, who knew well which medicine could cure each heart, put herself between the two other women, then Amadis at her side next to Oriana, and Agrajes between herself and Olinda. She said:

"Now I am among the four persons whom I love most in this world."

When Amadis saw himself before his lady, his heart leapt from side to side, guiding his eyes to look at the thing that he loved most in the world, and he came to her with great humility. She greeted him, reached from beneath the edges of her cloak, put her hands in his, grasped them tight as a sign of embrace, and told him:

"My friend, what anguish and pain that traitor made me suffer when he brought news of your death! Know that no woman was in such danger as I was. Truly, my lord and friend, this was right and good, for never would anyone have lost such a great person as I would have by losing you, and just as I am more loved than all other women, my good fortune has let the love be from he who is more worthy than all others."

When Amadis heard the praises of his lady, he gazed upon the ground, for he did not dare even look at her. She seemed so beautiful that he was dazed. The words died in his mouth, and he could not respond. Oriana, whose eyes were cleaved to him, recognized it immediately and said:

"Oh, my friend and lord, how could I not love you more than anyone else, since all who know you love and esteem you? And being I she whom you most love and esteem, so I ought to hold you higher than all others."

Amadis, who had tamed some of his anxiety, told her:

"My lady, for whom I suffer painful death every day, I hope that if ye were to die before me, I would die also and quickly when I heard the news, for that would be a great relief and consolation. As it is, my lady, this sad heart, which is sustained by its great desire to serve you, can hardly resist the many bitter tears I weep. They come with such force that they could consume and undo it utterly, and yet my heart resists because it has not known the satisfaction of its mortal desires and been at least left with that memory as consolation, although it urgently requires this, which is far beyond what it deserves, to be sustained and restored. But if this mercy does not come soon, then soon will be its final cruel collapse."

As Amadis said these words, tears streamed down his cheeks, and he could not stop them. He was suffering so much that if the true love which made him so disconsolate had not held hope for comfort from those trials which it often imposes, it would have been no surprise if his soul had left him at that moment in the presence of his lady.

"Oh, my friend," she said, "by God, do not speak to me of your death, for my heart would fail me, as she who hopes to live not an hour longer than you, and if I savor the world, it is because you live in it. That which ye say without doubt is true for me as well, and I am in the same state as you, and if your suffering seems greater than mine, it is not due to desire, since that is the same in me as in you, but because I lack the power ye have to bring about that which our hearts so greatly desire, and so love and pain strikes you harder than me. But whatever happens, if fortune or some means of relief does not reveal itself to us, my poor courage shall find it. Should it result in any danger, let it be the anger of my father or mother or of others. If not, our overwhelming love, filling each day with grave and cruel desires, will grow and overcome us both."

Amadis, when he heard this, sighed from the depth of his heart, and he tried to speak, but he could not. She, seeing him now completely transformed, took him by the hand and pulled him towards her, saying:

"My lord and friend, do not be troubled, for I shall make true the promise that I have made to you, and meanwhile, attend the court that my father the King has called, which he and the Queen will ask you to do, for they know how much more honorable and praiseworthy it will be with you there."

At this moment, as ye hear, the Queen called Amadis and had him sit next to Sir Galaor, and the ladies and damsels looked at them and said how well God had worked to make both more handsome than all other knights and better in other ways as well, and how they were so much alike it was hard to tell them apart. Galaor was a little more fair, while Amadis had curly blond hair, a ruddier face, and was a little more strongly built.

They spoke with the Queen for a while until Oriana and Mabilia motioned for the Queen to send them Sir Galaor. The Queen took him by the hand and said:

"These damsels whom you do not know wish to speak to you. Know that one is my daughter and the other your first cousin."

He went to them, and when he saw how beautiful Oriana was, he was surprised, for he had not thought that anyone could approach such perfection. He had seen his brother Amadis's goodness and his eagerness to live in the royal house rather than anywhere else, and he suspected this was because Amadis more than any other man would be likely to love one of the most outstanding women in the world.

The women greeted him and received him very graciously, and said:

"Sir Galaor, ye are very welcome."

"Truly, my ladies, I would not have come here for five years if it were not for he who makes all those who bear arms come here, whether for his might or his goodwill, for he has more of each than anyone else alive today."

Oriana raised her eyes, gazed on Amadis, and sighed. Galaor, who was watching her, knew that his suspicion was more true than he had thought, but not because of anything he felt, rather because it seemed to him more reasonable that his brother would be loved by her than by anyone else.

As he spoke with them of many things, the King came to speak and laugh with them happily, so that all could take take part in his pleasure. He took them with him to a great hall where many noblemen and knights of great acclaim were waiting. He had the tables set, and they all sat down to eat.

The King ordered Amadis, Galaor, Galvanes the Landless, and Agrajes to sit at one table, so that the four knights could eat together because they shared a deep kinship and love, just as later they would be together when they went to many places where they underwent great danger and armed combat. Although Sir Galaor was not related to Agrajes, Amadis and Galaor always called him uncle, and he called them nephews. They were the chief reason that his honor and esteem increased, as shall be told further on.

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