Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chapter 39 [first part]

How King Lisuarte held court for twelve days, during which he gave grand feasts, and a large number of noblemen came, both ladies and knights, many of whom remained there for some days.

[International Jousting Association - Canada. Fighting in the Crest Melee at the 2007 Wild Hunt, Severn Bridge, Ontario. More Canadians jousting at this YouTube video. One of the knights participating is a lady, as ye shall see.] 
The King held court in London for twelve days, and he did many thing to greatly increase his honor and credit. After it was concluded, some people left for their lands, but so many nobles remained with the King that it was amazing to see. The Queen also had many ladies and damsels of high lineage remain with her.

The King took for his company Guilan the Pensive and his cousin Ladasin, who were very good knights, although Guilan was better. In all the kingdom of London no one could surpass him in skill, and he had all the other virtues that a knight ought to have. He had only one defect, which was being so pensive that men could not enjoy his speech or company. This was caused by the love that had him in its power and that made him to adore his lady more than he loved himself or anything else. The woman he adored was very beautiful and was named Brandalisa. She was the sister of the King of Sorolis's wife and was married to the Duke of Bristol.

And so, as ye hear, King Lisuarte was in London with such knights that his great fame eclipsed that of any other prince in the world. For a long period of time Fortune was content not to test him further, having put him in the great peril that ye have heard about, for she believed that it had been enough for a man as wise and honest as he was.

Still, Fortune could change her plans again if the King failed to restrain himself from greed, arrogance, or the many other things that can injure kings and darken their fame with more dishonor and shame than if they had not already enjoyed great deeds and glories. Only those who have been blessed can be disgraced. Only those who have been raised up to heaven can attract the attention of Fortune with their madness, vices and sins; then she shall take their success and glory from them, leaving them in great pain and anguish of spirit.

While the King was in London, as ye hear, the Duke of Bristol arrived within the time that had set for him to address the King about a petition by Olivas. He was well received by the King and said:

"My lord, ye ordered me to come before you in your court today, and, from what I have heard, over a great lie, and I shall prove my innocence however ye and those of your court shall hold to be just."

Olivas arose and came before the King, and with him arose all the other knights-errant that were there. The King asked them why they had all come, and Sir Grumedan told him:

"My lord, because the Duke threatens all us knights-errant, and thus very justly we must stop him."

"Truly," the King said, "if it is thus, he seeks a mad war, and I hold that there is no king in the world so powerful or wise to bring such a war to a good end. But go, all of you, for here ye shall seek no harm for him, and he shall get all his due rights. I and the good men who shall counsel me shall not, within our understanding, take them from him."

Then they all went to their places, except Olivas, who remained before the King and said:

"My lord, the Duke who is before you killed my first cousin, and he never said nor showed why he did it. I tell you it is because he is deceitful, and I shall force him to admit it or I shall kill him or drive him from the field of battle."

The Duke said that Olivas lied, and that he would do whatever the King and his court ordered. The King wished to delay the question until the next day. The Duke was willing to fight, but his two nephews had not yet arrived and he wished to have them with him if he could, for he esteemed them so much in arms that he did not believe Olivas could have their equal to help him, and with his nephews he could easily win.

The day passed and the Duke's nephews arrived that night, which made him very happy. The next morning they came before the King, and Olivas challenged the Duke, who called him a liar and promised to fight him, three by three. Then Sir Galvanes, who had been seated at the feet of the King, rose up and called his nephew Agrajes and said to Olivas:

"My friend, we promised you that if the Duke of Bristol, who is here, wished to put extra knights in the battle, that we would be there with you, and so we willingly wish to do it. Let the battle be held now, with no delay."

The Duke's nephews agreed that the battle should be held at once. The Duke looked at Agrajes and Galvanes and recognized them as the ones whom he had insulted in his home, and who had rescued the damsel he had tried to burn at the stake, and who then defeated him in the forest. Because he loved his nephews so, he did not wish by any means to have that battle. Instead he would rather have had one of his nephews fight Olivas alone, for he greatly feared those two knights, but he could do nothing else.

Then all of them went to arm themselves and entered the field that was fenced off for that kind of joust, one group at one gate and the other at the other gate. When Olinda, who was in the window of one of the Queen's chambers from which she could see the entire field, saw that her greatly beloved Agrajes was preparing to fight, she felt such great sorrow that her heart almost stopped, for she loved him more than anything else in the world.

With her was Mabilia, Agrajes's sister, who was anguished to see her brother and her uncle, Sir Galvanes, in such peril. Oriana was with them, who gladly wished to see them do well because of the great love Amadis for them and because she had been raised by King Languines and his wife, who were Agrajes's parents.

The King, who was in the field with many knights, withdrew when he saw it was time to begin. The knights went to meet each other as fast as their horses could go, and none of them missed his blow. Agrajes and his uncle struck the Duke's nephews and knocked them from their saddles over the haunches of their horses, and their lances were broken. They passed by the nephews riding fast and well.

Olivas was wounded in the chest by the Duke's lance, and the Duke lost his stirrups and would have fallen if he had not grabbed his horse's neck. Olivas passed him badly injured, while the Duke righted himself in his saddle.

The nephew whom Agrajes had knocked down got up as best he could and came to stand in front of the Duke. Agrajes charged at the Duke, whom he greatly despised, and began to give him great blows on top of his helmet so that his sword reached his head.

But the nephew who was on foot next to him saw that his uncle was in danger, went to Agrajes and struck his horse on the flank, thrusting in his whole sword to the hilt. Agrajes did not notice that while he sought to take the Duke's life, and so he saw nothing. As he tried to cut off the Duke's head, his horse fell with him on it. Sir Galvanes was so deeply involved in fighting the other nephew that he saw none of this.

As Agrajes was on the ground with his horse, the nephew who had killed it struck him with great and heavy blows, and the Duke also struck as hard as he could.

At that moment all Agrajes's friends felt great pain, Amadis above all, who wished he could be there in the fight in place of his cousin, for he felt greatly feared seeing him die as the result of the trouble he was in.

And the three damsels, of whom you have already heard and who were watching from the windows, felt such great sorrow to see it that they were close to killing themselves with their own hands. But Olinda, his lady, suffered the worst, and all who saw her felt sad to see her in such great pain.

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