Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chapter 54 [second half]

[How the Damsel of Denmark arrived bearing Beltenebros's letter.] 

["Philosophy Presenting the Seven Liberal Arts to Boethius," attributed to Coëtify Master, about 1460-1470. The women are dressed in the latest fashions of the time.] 


Sir Galaor, Sir Florestan, and Agrajes, armed and on horseback, departed from the King, took Corisanda with them, left London, and went on their way. Gandalin, who was there and saw it all, left immediately for Miraflores and told Oriana and Mabilia, to whom those three companions had send their regards.

Oriana said:

"Now Corisanda is in great pleasure, for she has Sir Florestan in her company, who loves her so much, and may God give her him forever, for she is a very good lady."

She began to sigh, and the tears came to her eyes, and she said:

"Oh Lord God, why do Ye not wish to let me see Amadis for just one day? Oh Lord, either give me that blessing or take me from this world and do not let me live in such anguish and pain."

Gandalin felt very sorry for her but made himself look angry, and he said:

"My lady, do not call me to appear before you, because we are waiting for the good news that God shall send us, and ye wish to make us lose hope."

Oriana wiped the tears from her eyes and said:

"Oh, Gandalin, by God, do not complain! If I could do something, I would do it gladly, for although I may look happy, my heart never stops weeping. If it were not for the hope that thy words have given me, I think that I would not have the strength to rise and stand. But now tell me what shall become of my father the King, since he will not have Amadis in that battle."

"My lady," he said, "my lord cannot be so hidden away that something so renowned has not come to his notice. So who can doubt that he would wish to come and put his strength in your service, knowing what would happen to you if your father were to loose? For although ye have forbidden him to appear before you, he shall appear there where he sees that he can serve and achieve pardon for the error that he did not do nor think of doing."

"May it please God to be as thou dost believe," Oriana said.

And as they were speaking, a girl ran in and said:

"My lady, come see the Damsel of Denmark and the rich gifts that she brings you!"

Oriana's heart shook and stopped, and she could not speak. She was disturbed because the Damsel's arrival brought life or death according to the news that she carried.

Mabilia, who saw her thus, told the girl:

"Go and tell the Damsel to come here alone, because I wish to see her privately."

She said this so that no one could see the great sorrow or joy of Oriana, depending on the news that she brought. The girl left and did what she had been told, but as for Mabilia and Gandalin, I tell you that they were faint for not knowing what news the Damsel brought.

The Damsel entered joyfully and with a happy face, knelt before Oriana, gave her the letter that she carried, and said:

"My lady, I bring you news that shall be to your pleasure, and know, my lady, that I have fulfilled all that which ye had asked me to do, just as ye had wished. Read this letter and ye shall see that Amadis wrote it with his own hand."

Oriana took the letter, but her hands shook with such joy that the letter fell from them, and when her heart became more calm, she opened the letter and found the ring that she had ordered Gandalin to bring to Amadis when he fought with Dardan in Windsor, which she immediately recognized and kissed many times. She said:

"Blessed be the hour in which thou wert made, and with such joy and pleasure thou hast traveled from hand to hand."

She put it on her finger. When she saw the humble words in the letter and the great thanks that he had for her, and how he had turned from death to life, her heart felt joy, and she raised her hands and said:

"Oh Lord of the world, Who helps in all things, blessed be You for helping me at this time and freeing me from death, which was so close!"

She had the damsel sit in front of her and told her:

"My friend, now tell me what ye found, and the days ye were with him, and where ye left him."

The damsel told how she had looked for him, and how she was returning very sadly without any news when a great storm overcame her at sea and made her dock at Poor Rock, where she found him. And she told what had happened to him there and the great pleasure Oriana's letter had given him. She told where she had left him and how he awaited her orders. But when the Damsel came to tell how he had come so close to death and how he was so unlike himself that she could recognize him only by the scar on his face, and how he had changed his name, and how Durin had spent three days with him and had not recognized him, Oriana felt great sorrow and pity for him.

And when everything had been told, Oriana said:

"By God, my friend, the orders have to be sent right away. Tell me how to do it."

"I shall tell you," she said. "I knowingly left two jewels there that I was carrying, so that we will have to send Durin back for them, and he can carry your orders."

"Ye did well," she said, "and now, in front of everyone in the castle, give me the gifts that ye bring and say that ye have forgotten the ones for Mabilia, just as ye have said."

Then they told the Damsel what Corisanda had said about him, and how he had called himself Beltenebros, but she did not recognize him nor learn who he was.

"It is true that he is called that," the Damsel said, "and he said that he shall not change his name back until he sees you and ye tell him to do so."

And they also told her how they had the keys to the gates of the garden, and they called Durin and showed him where to bring Beltenebros when he came, and they ordered him to go get him immediately. But they did not have to work hard to persuade him, for he was still very sorry for the misfortune he had brought Amadis, which had almost meant death for him, and Durin thought that now he could make amends and correct everything, which gave his heart great joy. He kissed Oriana's hands for ordering it.

And then he concurred that Mabilia, in front of everyone in the castle, would ask him to go get those gifts, and he would agree to it very reluctantly, as if it were a great burden, so that no one would suspect anything about his trip. That is what they did, and when they asked him, he showed how much it bothered him, and he angrily said to Mabilia:

"I tell you, my lady, that I go only because they are yours, and if they were for the Queen or Oriana, I would not go, for it was hard traveling on this road."

Mabilia thanked him, and Oriana told him:

"My friend Durin, although ye have served us well, ye would not wish to complain about the service that ye did in such a way that ye would not be thanked for it."

"Yes, I shall when ye order me to serve you," he said, "for I well believe that your thanks are worth as little as my service."

They all laughed at the anger that Durin showed and how he had responded, and he said to Mabilia:

"My lady, since ye wish me to go, I want to leave immediately tomorrow."

Then he said goodbye to them and left with Gandalin to sleep in town, and Gandalin asked him to bring his regards to Enil, his cousin, and to ask him to come to see him if he could, for he had to speak to him about some things, and to ask him that as long as he was traveling with that knight, to seek news of Amadis. He sent this message so that Amadis could travel better disguised, and because if Enil wished to leave him, then he would have a reason to see Gandalin.

Speaking of this, they arrived in London, and the next morning Durin mounted his palfrey to go to where he had left Beltenebros, but first he made sure to learn all the news of the court so that he could recount it.

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