Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chapter 48 [final part]

[What happened to Gandalin after he awoke.] 

[Detail of the Tower of Lozoya, built in the 1300s in Segovia. The shield belonged to the Aguilar family. Photo by Katheline Vernati-Finn.] 

So as ye hear Amadis was left with the name Beltenebros on that Poor Rock seven leagues in the sea, abandoning the world, honor, and the arms that had brought him such heights, and consumed his days with tears and continuous sorrow. He did not think about the brave Galpano, of the mighty King Abies of Ireland, or of the arrogant Dardan, who Amadis's mighty arm had defeated and killed, along with many others whom this story has told, nor of the famous Apolidon, who not in his own time nor for one hundred years after it had been exceeded by any knight in his skill.

And if Amadis were to be asked about the cause of such destruction, how would he respond? That it had no other cause than the ire and rage of a weak woman, in the same way that the mighty Hercules, brave Sampson, wise Virgil, and not forgetting among them King Solomon, were tormented and subjugated by the same passion, along with many others whom he could mention. With this, would he be forgiven? Certainly not, because the errors of others must be remembered not to repeat them but to avoid and be admonished by them.

Would it be right for such a knight who had been defeated and subjugated for such a trivial cause to find mercy so that he could recover and earn twice the victories than he had won in the past? I would say no, except that the things he did at his peril were of such great benefit to the welfare of others who, after God, had no other helper besides him.

And so God had greater compassion for them than for him, who had defeated all others but could not defeat nor subjugate himself. When he finally arrived at the point of death, the Lord of the world mercifully sent him aid.

But, in order to maintain the order of the story, first we will tell you something of what happened in the meantime. Gandalin, who had been left sleeping in the mountain when his lord Amadis departed, after a long while awoke, and looking everywhere, saw only his own horse. He got up quicky and began to call for Amadis, weeping and searching through the thick brush, but he did not find Amadis nor his horse, and then he was sure that he had departed, he returned to his horse to mount and ride off after him, but he could not find his saddle or reins.

Then he began to curse himself and his fate and the day he was born. Searching here and there, he found them hidden in some very thick brush. He saddled his horse and mounted it and rode five days sleeping in the open air and asking in towns about his lord, but it was all lost effort, and after six days fate guided him to the spring where Amadis had left his arms. He found a tent next to it with two damsels inside, and Gandalin dismounted and asked them if they had seek a knight who carried a shield of gold with two purple lions on it.

They said:

"We did not see such a knight, but that shield and all the exceptionally good arms that went with it we found next to this spring without anyone watching over them."

When he heard this, he said, tearing his hair:

"Oh Holy Mary help me! My lord, the best knight in the world, is dead or lost." He began to mourn, and the damsels felt great pity for him, and he began to say:

"My lord, how badly I protected you, and I ought to be hated by everyone in the world, and I should not even be in this world, since I failed you at such a time! You, my lord, were the one who aided everyone, and now they are without help because now the world and everyone in it is without you. By my failure to protect you, I left you without aid at the moment of your painful death."

And he fell face down on the ground as if dead. The damsels shouted:

"Holy Mary, this squire is dead!"

And they went to bring him to consciousness and they could not, for he fainted again and again, but they spent so much time with him throwing water on his face that they made him come to, and they told him:

"Good squire, do not lose hope for that which ye do not know for certain, for it would do no good for your lord. It would be better for you to search for him until you know if he is dead or alive, for good men with great anguish ought to be strong and not let themselves die of desperation."

Gandalin took strength from these word from the damsels and decided to look for him everywhere until death took him, and he said to the damsels:

"My ladies, where did ye see the arms?"

"We shall gladly tell you," they said. "Know that we were traveling in the company of Sir Guilan the Pensive, who took us and twenty other damsels and knights from the prison of Gandinos the Betrayer, and Guilan did such feats of arms that he defeated all the other protectors of his castle and finally Gandinos. He took us all from prison and made him swear that he would never do such a thing again. The knights and damsels went where they pleased, and we went with Guilan to the lands where we are from.

"Four days ago we arrived at this spring, and when Guilan saw the shield that ye ask about, he felt great sorrow, and dismounted from his horse and said that the shield of the best knight in the world should not be there like that. He picked it up from the ground, weeping, and put it on the branch of that tree and told us to guard it while he looked for who it belonged to. We had these tents brought and Sir Guilan traveled for three days for all this land and found nothing. That night very late he came here and in the morning gave the arms to his squires and he put the sword in his belt and took the shield and said:

" 'By God, shield, a bad exchange it is to leave your lord and go with me!'

"And he said that he was going to the court of King Lisuarte to give those arms to Queen Brisena and have her keep them. And we shall go there as will all those who were prisoners, the women to ask the Queen and the knights the King to reward Sir Guilan for what he did for us.

"Then may God be with you," Gandalin said, "and I, taking your comfort and advice, shall go look for the most wretched and unfortunate man who was ever born, for my life and death belong to him."

No comments:

Post a Comment