Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chapter 47

Which recounts who the knight was who had been defeated by Amadis and the things that had happened to him before he was defeated by Amadis.

[Marginalia from the Macclesfield Psalter, produced around 1330.] 

[Translator's note: Patin may mean "petrel," or "small patio," but in any case it is an odd name for a great knight, if he is great.]

That injured knight whom we have just told you about was named Patin, and he was the brother of Sir Sidon, who at that time was Emperor of Rome. He was the best knight at arms of all those lands, so he was very feared by all those who lived in the empire. Because the Emperor was very old and had no heir, everyone thought that Patin would succeed him.

He loved a Queen of Cerdena named Sardamira, who was a woman with a fine figure and a beautiful damsel. Being the niece of the Empress, she had been raised in the imperial house, and he had served her so well that she had to promise that if she were to marry, she would sooner marry him than anyone else. When Patin heard this, he felt the greater pride than usual, which was no small amount, and he told her:

"My beloved, I have heard tell that King Lisuarte has a daughter who is praised by everyone for her great beauty, and I wish to go to his court and will say that she is not as beautiful as you. I shall fight the two best knights who say the contrary, for they tell me that the knights there are very esteemed at arms. And if I do not defeat them in one day, I will tell the King to order my head cut off."

"Do not do this," the Queen said, "for if that damsel is very beautiful, it takes nothing away from what God gave me, if He gave me anything. Ye may more reasonably and less arrogantly demonstrate your skill by some other means. In addition, since putting yourself in this cause is unreasonable and arrogant, it is not proper for a man of such high estate as yours, and it can come to no good end."

"Whatever happens," he said, "I tell you this to place myself in your service. I have great love for you, and this shows that since ye are the most beautiful woman in the world, ye are loved by the best knight that ye could ever find."

And this he departed from her, and with his fine arms and ten squires, he traveled to Great Britain and immediately went to where he knew King Lisuarte was. The King, when he saw him with such accompaniment, thought he was a man of means and received him well. When he had disarmed, everyone saw how he was well built and for that reason ought to be very valiant.

The King asked him who he was. He told him:

"King, I shall tell you, for I did not come to your court to hide myself but to make myself known. Know that I am Patin, brother of the Emperor of Rome, and as soon as I see the Queen and her daughter Oriana, ye shall know why I have come.

When the King heard he was a man of such high estate, he embraced him and told him:

"My good friend, I am very pleased by your arrival, and ye shall see the queen and her daughter and all the other ladies in my court when you please."

Then he sat with him at a table, where they ate as was fit at the table of such a man. Patin looked everywhere, and when he saw so many knights, he was amazed and thought the court of his brother the Emperor was nothing in comparison, nor any other court that he had seen. Sir Grumedan took him to his lodging at the orders of the King and did him many honors.

The next day, after having heard Mass, the King took Patin and Sir Grumedan with him and went to the Queen, who already knew who he was from the King. She received him and had him sit before her and next to her daughter, who had lost much of her usual beauty due to the ire that ye have already heard of.

When Patin saw Oriana he was astonished and said to himself that everyone who had praised her had not described half of her beauty, and his heart was changed by what he had seen and set itself on having her by any means. He thought that since he was of such great estate and so outstanding and would have an empire, if he were to ask to wed her he would not be denied, so he took the King and Queen aside and said:

"I have come to your court to marry your daughter, and this is due to your esteem and her beauty, and if I ever wished any other lady of such great means, I would find her because of who I am and what I expect to have."

The King said:

"I am very grateful for what ye have said, but the Queen and I have promised our daughter not to marry her against her will, so we must speak to her before responding to you."

The King said this so he would not alienate Patin, but he did not have the heart to give her to him nor to anyone else who would take her from the land where he was lord. Patin was very happy with this answer and waited there five days thinking he would get what he wanted so badly, but neither the King nor the Queen said anything to their daughter, thinking him delirious.

But Patin asked the King one day how it went with his wedding, and he told him:

"I am doing what I can, but you must speak with my daughter and ask her to do as I order."

Patin went to Oriana and told her:

"My lady Oriana, I wish to ask something of you that would be much to your honor and advantage."

"What thing is it?" she said.

"That you do as your father orders," he said.

She did not know why he had said that to her, and told him:

"I shall willingly do this, for I am very sure that I will get these two things that ye say, honor and advantage."

Patin was very happy with her reply for he felt sure he had won her, and he said:

"I wish to travel through these lands to seek adventures, and soon ye shall hear many things said about me which will give you more reason to grant that which I desire."

He also said that to the King, and that he wished to depart immediately to see the wonders of his land. The King told him:

"That is yours to do, but if ye listen to me, ye would not do so, for ye shall find great adventures and dangers, and very strong and sturdy knights accomplished at arms."

"All of that," he said, "would please me greatly, and if they are so strong and spirited, they shall not find me poor and weak, as my deeds shall tell you."

And he said goodbye and went on his way very happy about Oriana's response, and that is why he went singing as ye have heard when his misfortune guided him to the place where Amadis was mourning. This is the reason why the knight had come to such a far-off land.

Now, returning to the matter at hand, the day was already bright when Durin left Amadis, and he passed by where Patin lay injured. He had removed what remained of his helmet from his head, and his face and neck were covered with blood. When he saw Durin, he said:

"Good page, may God make you a good man, tell me if you know someplace near here where I can get this wound treated."

"Yes, I know," he said, "but the people there are so afflicted with sorrow that they will not pay attention to anything else."

"Why is that?" the knight said.

"Because of a knight," Durin said, "who had won lordship of the land and seen the images and secrets of Apolidon and his beloved, which no one has been able to see until now, but he left there with such great sorrow that he is not expected to live."

"It seems to me," the knight said, "that ye are speaking of the Firm Island."

"That is true," Durin said.

"What?" the knight said. "It already has a lord? God have mercy on me! I was going there to test myself and win the lordship."

Durin smiled and said:

"Truly, knight, unless ye are hiding some of your skill and have not shown it here, it would do ye little good, and in fact I think it would be to your dishonor."

The knight stood up as best he could and tried to grab the reins of Durin's horse, who backed away, and since the knight could not reach them, he said:

"Page, tell me who the knight was who won the Firm Island."

"First tell me who ye are," Durin said.

"Ye shall have that without delay," he said. "Know that I am Patin, brother of the Emperor of Rome."

"Merciful God!" Durin said. "Ye have better lineage than skill at arms or good sense. Now know that the knight about whom ye ask was the one who left you, and from what ye have seen of him, ye may well believe that he was deserving and worthy of winning what he won."

And Durin left him and went on his way. He took the fastest road to London, very anxious to tell Oriana all that he had seen of Amadis.

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