Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chapter 53 [final part]

[How Oriana came to Miraflores Castle and received help from Gandalin and Mabilia.] 

[Garden in the Alcazaba of Málaga, Spain. The Alcazaba was built in the 11th century as a fortress-palace for the governors of the city. Photo by Cindy Van Vreede.]


Sir Grumedan arranged everything that the King had ordered, and before day broke, he took Oriana and the other women and they arrived early in the morning at Miraflores. When Oriana saw the place so delightful and fresh with flowers and roses, and with channels and fountains of water, her troubled and tormented spirit felt great rest, trusting the mercy of God to bring there he who would save her life, for without him she could not escape cruel death.

When she arrived, she sent word to Adalasta, the abbess of the convent, to deliver the keys to the castle and to the doorways that led to a beautiful garden within it. Oriana gave them to the guards that her father had sent and ordered them to lock the gates and doors every night and give them to the abbess to keep.

When Oriana found herself in such a delectable place, she raised her hands to Heaven and said to herself:

"Oh, Amadis, my beloved, this is the place where I want to have you with me always, and I shall not leave here until I see you. And if this for some reason cannot be, here my loneliness for you shall kill me. Therefore, my beloved, save me with your discretion and help me, for I am dying. And if in times past ye came to me when I needed you and ye never failed me, now more than ever I need you and I beg and order you to help me and free me from death. My good friend, do not delay, and I order you by the lordship that I have over you."

And so she spent a while faint and speaking to Amadis, as if she had him in front of her. But Mabilia took her by the hands and had her sit on an estrado she had ordered placed next to a beautiful fountain. And from there she went to her apartments, which had very richly decorated rooms and a small patio in front of the door to her room shaded by three trees, so that the sun could not shine on it.

Oriana said to Mabilia:

"Know that I ordered the keys to be brought to us by day, because I want Gandalin to make us copies, for if by my good fortune Amadis were to come, we can bring him here into the garden through the doors."

"Ye have thought this through well," Mabilia said.

So they relaxed and rested that day and night, although they awaited the Damsel of Denmark anxiously. The next day Gandalin arrived, and the gatekeeper told Mabilia that the squire wished to speak with Oriana.

Oriana said:

"Open the gate for Gandalin, who is a very good squire and who was brought up with us, and in addition he is the milk brother of Amadis, may God keep him from harm."

"May God do so," said the gatekeeper, "for it would be a great loss and harm to the world if such a good and virtuous knight and master at arms were to be lost."

"Thou speakest the truth," Oriana said, "and now go and let Gandalin enter."

And turning to Mabilia she said:

"My friend, do ye not see how Amadis is loved and esteemed by everyone, even by simple men who know little?"

"I see it well," Mabilia said.

"Then what shall I do," she said, "except to die for he who is so loved and appreciated by all, and who loved me and esteemed me more than himself, for I was the cause of his death? Cursed be the hour in which I was born, for by my madness and vile suspicion I did such injustice!"

"Let that be," Mabilia said, "and have hope, for what ye are doing will not solve the situation."

And at this Gandalin entered, and he was well received by them. Oriana had him sit next to her and told him how she had sent the Damsel of Denmark with a letter for Amadis, and what was in it, and she said to him:

"Does it seem to thee, Gandalin, that he might wish to forgive me?"

"My lady, ye have a good cause," he said. "It seems to me that ye do not know his heart well, for, by God, at the least word that comes in a letter, he would have himself buried alive if ye ordered it. He would be even more willing to come at your command, especially if it were brought by the Damsel of Denmark. And my lady, I am very happy about what ye have told me, for if everyone were to look for him, they would not be as successful as the Damsel of Denmark alone, for although he had wished to hide from me, I do not think that he would wish to show himself to anyone else. And my lady, with hope that she will bring you good news, do not fail to lead a better life, so that if he comes, he will not see you so far removed from your beauty, or he might flee you."

Oriana was very pleased by what Gandalin had told her, and she said, laughing:

"What? Do I look so ugly to thee?"

And he said:

"If ye seemed as ugly to yourself, ye would hide where no one could see you."

"Well, because of that," she said, "I came here to stay in my castle, so if Amadis were to come and then wished to take flight, he could not."

"I wish I could see him in this prison," Gandalin said, "and freed from the other one where you love holds him."

Then they showed him the keys and told him to have copies made so that if his lord came, as he hoped, Oriana could immediately comply with what her letter said and let him in there with her. Gandalin took them and went to London and brought back a second set just like them, with no difference among them except that the first set was old and the second set new.

Mabilia showed the keys to Oriana and told her:

"My lady, these are the means by which he can be with you, he who could not live without you. And now that we have supped and all the people of the castle are resting, let us go try them."

"Let us go," Oriana said, "and may it please God by His mercy that these keys shall correct the damage that my thoughtlessness has done."

Holding hands, they went alone in the dark to the doors that ye have heard of in the castle that led to the garden, and when they were near the first one, Oriana said:

"By God, my friend, I am dead with fear, and I cannot go on with you."

Mabilia took her by the hand and said, laughing:

"Fear nothing. Where I go I shall protect you, for I am the cousin of the best knight in the world and I am at his service. Follow me without fear."

Oriana could not help laughing, and she said:

"Then I shall go under your protection, and I shall not be afraid, for I have confidence in your great skill at arms."

"Now that ye know what I am," Mabilia said, "let us go forward and ye shall see how this adventure ends, and if I fail you, I swear that for the coming year I shall not put a shield around my neck nor a sword on my belt."

Laughing and holding hands, they arrived at the first doorway, and without a problem it opened, and so did the next, and thus they saw the garden before them.

Oriana said:

"Well, now what? This garden wall is tall and Amadis cannot climb it."

"Do not believe that," Mabilia said, "for I have examined it, and there where the garden wall is next to the castle wall, there is a little corner, and if a beam is put outside and if we give him our hands, he can climb it with little difficulty. Your courage will bring you your reward."

Oriana grabbed her by the veil and knocked her to the ground and they laughed happily for a while, then they turned back and locked the doors and went to sleep. As Oriana was getting into her bed, Mabilia said:

"My lady, may God wish that here ye shall be joined with that poor wretch that is without hope, for he needs it greatly."

Oriana said:

"May it please Him, by His mercy, to take pity on us and him."

"For what is in God's hands," Mabilia said, "have no worries, for He shall put the remedy at your service. Eat and sleep so that your beauty can recover what it has lost, as Gandalin told you."

With that they slept that night more restfully than in previous nights, and when morning came, after hearing Mass, they went to the courtyard with its beautiful fountains, and they found that Gandalin had already arrived, since they had ordered him to come every day from London to see them. They took him with them and went to the patio with the three beautiful trees, and there they told him that the keys were very good, and what Mabilia had said when they tried them, and they all laughed a lot.

He told them what had happened to Amadis when, to comfort him, Gandalin had spoken ill of Oriana, and the rage that it had caused and how Amadis had almost killed him, and how because of that, when Gandalin was sleeping, he had hidden Gandalin's saddle and reins and left him alone on the mountain, and Gandalin had been unable to learn anything more about Amadis.

"And, my lady," he said, "since I had told him such a great lie about you, I received the punishment I deserved, for when I woke up and found that he had left without me, if he had left me any weapons, without a doubt I would have killed myself."

Oriana told him:

"Oh, by God, Gandalin! Say no more, for I am sure he loves me. Ye are breaking my heart without meaning to, and if life or death comes to me with good or bad news, and I want it whole, without more of the anguish and pain that has overcome me in the past."

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