Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chapter 38 [final half]

[How the King arrived in London, and what happened then.] 

[The White Tower of London. The people who wrote Amadis of Gaul knew little about London. The text says that Barsinan and his men were in the "alcázar" (fortified royal residence), without specifying the building by name. I like to think they were in the Tower. Photo of me by my husband.]


Meanwhile, King Lisuarte, who was coming to London as fast as he could to find Barsinan, met many of the knights who were looking for him and had them return to the city, and he sent others to search the roads and valleys and make all those they found return, for there were many.

The first ones he met were Agrajes, Galvanes, Soliman, Galdan, Dinadaus, and Bervas. These six were traveling together in great sorrow, and when they saw the King, they wanted to kiss his hands in joy, but he embraced them and said:

"My friends, ye were close to losing me, and without doubt ye would have except for Galaor and Sir Guilan and Ladasin, who by great good fortune came together."

Dinadaus told him:

"My lord, all the men of the town came out when they heard the news, and all shall wander lost."

"My nephew," the King said, "take from these knights the best and as many as ye wish, and take my shield, for at its mere sight all shall obey, and make them come back."

Dinadaus was one of the best knights in the King's family, and was well-considered by noblemen both for his courtesy and for his knightly skills and deeds. He left right away and made many return.

As the King was traveling, as ye hear, accompanied by many knights and other people, he came to the highway to London and met his dear friend Sir Grumedan, who was bringing Oriana, and I tell you that the pleasure between them was boundless, for they had had so little hope that their tribulations would be solved. Grumedan told the King how Amadis had gone to town to see the Queen.

This was how the King arrived at London, in the company of more than two thousand knights, and before he entered, he was told everything that Barsinan had done, and the defense that King Arban had raised and how, with Amadis's arrival, everything was put to rest and Barsinan taken prisoner.

And so now everything woeful had been made happy. When the King came to see the Queen, who could recount the pleasure and happiness that he and Oriana, the Queen and all the ladies and damsels had? Truly, none, for they were so overjoyed.

The King ordered a siege of the castle and ordered Barsinan brought before him, who had recovered his senses, as well as Arcalaus's cousin, and had them tell why they had planned their treachery. They told him everything, with nothing left out. He ordered them taken into sight of the castle so Barsinan's men could see him, and had both of them burned, which was done immediately.

Within five days, all the men in the castle, who had no provisions or help, had come to ask mercy of the King, and to those he pleased he did justice, and others he set free. But this shall not be told of further, except that because of Barsinan's death, for a long time there was great hatred between Great Britain and Saxony, and the son of Barsinan, a brave knight, and many of his men came to attack King Lisuarte, as this story shall recount farther on.

King Lisuarte, having been rescued from his disasters, held court again as before, with great festivities by night in the town and by day in the countryside. And one day there came the lady and her sons before whom Amadis and Galaor had promised Madasima to leave King Lisuarte, as ye have heard.

When they saw her, they came to her to honor her, and she told them:

"My friends, ye know why I have come here, and tell me what ye shall do about it."

"We shall comply with all that we agreed upon with Madasima."

"In the name of God," the lady said.

"Since today is the deadline, let us go before the King," they said.

"Let us go," she said.

Then they went to where the King was, and the lady bowed deeply and the King received her with goodwill. The lady said:

"My lord, I come here to see if these knights shall fulfill a promise that they made to a lady."

The King asked what the promise was.

"It was such," she said, "that I fear it will give sorrow to you and to those in your court who love them."

Then the lady told everything that had happened with Madasima, the lady of Gantasi. When the King heard this, he said:

"Why, Galaor, ye have killed me!"

"Better that than dying," Galaor said, "for if we had been recognized, no one would have let us live. And do not worry about this very much, my lord, for it shall be solved soon, quicker than ye think." Then he said to his brother Amadis, "Ye granted me that ye would do what I would do about this."

"That is true," he said.

And then Galaor told the King and the knights who were there by what trick they were taken prisoner. The King was shocked to hear about the treachery, but Galaor said he thought the lady was the one tricked and deceived by the agreement, as they would see. In front of the lady, he said to the King, and everyone heard:

"My lord King, I say goodbye to you and your company, according to my promise, which I have now kept, and I leave you and your company for Madasima, the lady of Gantasi Castle, who thought it good to cause this sorrow to you and to all others whom she could, for she despised you so."

Amadis did the same.

Galaor said to the lady and her sons:

"Do ye think we have fulfilled the promise?"

"Yes, without a doubt," she said, "for everything ye had agreed to do, ye have done."

"In the name of God," Galaor said, "then now, when ye please, ye may go, and tell Madasima that she did not make as good a pact as she thought, and now ye shall see why." Then he turned to the King and said, "My lord, we have fulfilled what we promised to Madasima, but we have not set a date for when we would have to leave you, so that we may well remain as long as ye wish, and we shall be now as we were before."

When the King and those in the court heard this, they were very happy, and thought the knights were wise. The King told the lady who had come to see the promise fulfilled:

"Truly, lady, since such treachery and deception was done to these knights, they have no further obligations, not even as much as they did, for it is very just to want to deceive those who try to be deceitful. And tell Madasima that if she despises me so, that she had it in her hands to cause me the worst evil and suffering at the worst time possible, but God, who has protected these knights from even greater danger elsewhere, did not wish them to perish in the power of a person like her."

"My lord," the lady said, "tell me, if ye please, who are these well-esteemed knights?"

The King said:

"Amadis and Galaor, his brother."

"What?" the lady said. "It was Amadis whom she had in her power?"

"Yes, without a doubt," said the King.

"Thanks to God for protecting them," the lady said, "for it would have truly been a great misfortune if two such good men were to have died that way. But I think that she who had held them, when she learns who they were and how they escaped from her, shall give herself the same death that she would have ordered for them."

"Truly," the King said, "this would be the most just thing she could do."

And the lady said goodbye and went on her way.

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