Monday, December 26, 2011

Chapter 53 [first part]

How Sir Galaor, Florestan and Agrajes left Firm Island in search of Amadis, and how they traveled a long time without finding any trace of him, so they arrived in complete despair at King Lisuarte's court. 

[Tomb of King Juan II of Castile (1406-1454) in Cartuja de Miraflores, a monastery near Burgos. Photo by Ecelan.] 

It has already been told to you how Sir Galaor and Sir Florestan and Agrajes left Firm Island to search for Amadis, and how they traveled through many lands separately, doing great deeds at arms in towns as well as in forests and mountains. But of them there will be no mention because they found nothing, as we have said.

Since at the end of a year they had learned nothing, they turned toward the place where they had agreed to meet, which was a hermitage a half-league from London, the city where King Lisuarte was, thinking that more likely at his court than anywhere else they could hear some news about their brother Amadis, since many diverse people always came there. The first to arrive at the hermitage was Sir Galaor and then Agrajes, and soon Sir Florestan with Gandalin.

When they were all together, they embraced with great pleasure, but when they learned that they had had no success, they began to weep fiercely because if they, with such good fortune in all other thing, had failed at this, then very little remedy and hope remained in the future. But Gandalin, who was no less sorry than any of the others to have lost Amadis, encouraged them to stop weeping, for it would do little or no good, and instead to begin to search again. He reminded them that their lord would do the same for any of them if they were in trouble, and how by losing him, they had lost a brother, the best knight in the world.

And so, taking his advice, they agreed first to go to court to see if they could find any news there, and then to look in every part of the world, on land and sea, until they knew if he was dead or alive.

With that agreement, having heard the Mass that the hermit said for them, they mounted their horses and rode toward London. It was the day of Saint John [June 25], and when they came close to the city, they saw before them the King, who was riding in the country with many knights to honor the day, both to celebrate the saint and because Lisuarte had taken the throne on that day.

When the King saw the three knights, he thought they might be knights-errant, and so he rode toward them, as one who honors and appreciates all such knights. When they saw him coming toward them, they took off their helmets and showed Sir Florestan which one was the King, for he had never seen him before.

When they got closer, many of the King's knights recognized Sir Galaor and Agrajes. Although they did not know Florestan, he seemed very handsome, and so before they arrived they believed he was Amadis. The King thought that his face resembled Amadis's more than any of his brothers.

When they reached the King, they had Florestan ride ahead to do him honor, and the King said to Galaor:

"I understand that this is your brother Sir Florestan."

"Yes he is, my lord," he said.

Florestan wanted to kiss the King's hands, but the King did not want to give them, and instead he embraced Florestan with great love, then the others, and with great pleasure he joined them to ride to the city. Gandalin and the dwarf, who saw them received in the same place where their lord had been received with honors and attention from everyone, felt great sorrow, so much so that the King and all others felt great pity for them and more for their lord, whom they all dearly loved.

The King asked the three companions if they had learned any news about Amadis, but they, with tears in their eyes, told him no, although they had traveled through many lands in search of him. The King consoled them by saying that the things of the world were like that, even for those who tried to protect themselves from great confrontations and danger by fleeing them, and even more so for others whose preference and duty was to seek them out and place their lives at the point of death a thousand times. He said they should place their hope in God, Who would not have given Amadis such good fortune in all things only to forsake him.

The news of the arrival of these knights reached the court of the Queen, and she and all the other women were very happy, especially the beloved of Agrajes, Olinda the Discrete, who already knew that he had successfully completed the test of the arch of loyal lovers, and Corisanda, beloved of Sir Florestan, who was waiting for him there, as has been told to you earlier.

Mabilia, who was very happy with the arrival of her brother Agrajes, went to Oriana, who was in her room sadly reading a book at the window. She told her:

"My lady, go to your mother, for Sir Galaor, Agrajes, and Florestan shall arrive there soon."

She responded weeping and sighing, as if her heartstrings were breaking:

"My dear, where do ye wish me to go, for I am not myself? In fact I am more dead than alive, with my face and eyes marked by tears, as ye see. And besides that, how could I see those knights in the company of whom I used to see my beloved lord Amadis? By God, ye wish to kill me, for this would be harder for me than death."

And then she said, weeping:

"Oh, Amadis, my dearly beloved! What shall this unfortunate wretch do when she does not see you among your brothers and friends, whom ye love so much and with whom ye used to see her? By God, my lord, this loneliness will be the cause of my death. And this shall be just, for I caused both our deaths."

She could not remain standing and fell on an estrado. Mabilia tried to raise her spirits and give her hope that her damsel would bring her good and happy news. Oriana told her:

"If these good knights-errant have searched for him so long and hard and have learned nothing, how shall the damsel, who is only going to one place, find him?"

"Do not think that way," Mabilia said, "For the way he left, he is probably fleeing from everyone, but he will come out of hiding for your damsel and be recognized, for she knows all the secrets of you and him, and can bring him the help that his life needs."

Oriana, somewhat encouraged and consoled by this, got up as best she could and washed her eyes and had Olinda called, and she went with them to where her mother the Queen was. When those three knights saw her, they felt great pleasure, and they went to her and were well received.

The King then said to Sir Galaor:

"See how your friend Oriana is beset and ill."

"My lord," he said, "I am very sorry for it, and rightly we all ought to serve her in whatever can bring her better health."

Oriana told him, laughing:

"My good friend Sir Galaor, God is the one who can remedy all illnesses and fates, and so, if it please Him, He shall help me and you, for ye have suffered such a great loss in losing your brother. May God help me, it would please me very much that the toils and dangers that ye have suffered in looking for him would come to the fruition ye wish, for by you and by him my lord the King has always been well-served."

"My lady," Sir Galaor said, "I have faith in God that we shall soon have good news, for he is not a man to fail before great trouble, and no other knight in the world knows how to maintain himself against all dangers."

Oriana felt greatly consoled by what Galaor had said. She took him and Sir Florestan with her and sat on an estrado, and she found great pleasure in looking at Sir Florestan, who greatly resembled Amadis, but who also made her very lonely for him, so much so that her heart broke.

Mabilia called her brother Agrajes and had him sit between her and Olinda, his beloved, who was very joyful and happy in knowing that for her love he had passed beneath the enchanted arch of lovers. She made him know well that she knew it by the loving reception she gave him, showing him great good will. Agrajes, who loved her more than he loved himself, thanked her with great humility, but he did not kiss her hands so that the secret of their love would not become known.

As they were thus speaking, they heard shouts and noise in the palace, and the King asked what it was. He was told him that Gandalin and the dwarf, when they saw the shield and arms of the famous knight Amadis, mourned deeply, and the other knights were consoling them.

"What," the King said, "is Gandalin here?"

"Yes, my lord," Sir Florestan said. "Fully two months ago I found him at the foot of Sanguin Mountain traveling in search of news about his lord, and I told him that I had already searched the entire mountain and had found nothing, and he agreed to travel with me because I asked him to."

The King said:

"I hold Gandalin to be one of the best squires in the world, and it would be right for us to console him."

Then he rose and went to Gandalin. And when Oriana heard Gandalin spoken of, she lost her color and she could not remain on her feet. But Sir Galaor and Sir Florestan held her up by her hands to go with the King. And Mabilia, who knew why she had fainted, came to her and put Oriana's arm around her neck.

Oriana said to Galaor and Sir Florestan:

"My good and loyal friends, if I do not see you and honor you as I ought, it is due not to my will, but the long illness I am suffering is the cause."

"My lady," they said, "this rightly ought to be believed, and because our great desire is to serve you in all things, it would not be right to believe that we seek some reward from your great virtue and goodness."

They left her and went to follow the King, and Oriana went to her room, where she lay on her bed, wracked with great groans and anguish, for she wished to see and be with him who by her will rather than any reason or agreement had gone away and disappeared. Oriana told Mabilia:

"My true friend, ever since we entered London, I have constantly suffered aches and anguish, so I think it would be good, if you agree, that we should go spend some time at my castle, Miraflores, which is a lovely place to stay. Although I firmly believe that my sad heart can find rest nowhere, there sooner than in another place I grant that it could be found."

"My lady," Mabilia said, "you should do so, both because of that and because if the Damsel of Denmark brings the news that we hope for, you may enjoy the pleasure of it right away and  so could he who ought to have it, since he has been so sad. Being here, neither you nor he could enjoy it."

"Oh, by God, my friend," Oriana said, "let us go there at once."

"First," Mabilia said, "you must speak with your father and mother, and since they desire your good health, they will do everything that ye wish."

1 comment:

  1. This chapter is being posted a day early due to the holidays. ¡Felices fiestas!