Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chapter 58 [final part]

[How, after the battle was over, they went to search for Sir Galaor.] 

[St. Joan of Arc Chapel, originally built in the Middle Ages in Casse, near Lyon, France, and now located at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.] 

They went to the place where Amadis had seen him on foot, where he had brought down King Cildadan, and there were so many dead that they could not find him. But turning them all over, Florestan found Galaor, whom they recognized by the sleeve of his tunic, which was blue with silver flowers. They began to lament deeply over him.

When Amadis saw this, he fell from his horse, and his wounds, which had stopped bleeding, were reopened by the force of the fall, and his blood flowed in abundance. He took off his helmet and shield, which were broken, and came to Galaor weeping, took off his helmet, and put his head on his lap. Galaor, with the fresh air, began to move and tremble.

Then all the rest arrived, weeping from the pain of seeing him thus. And shortly, twelve well-dressed damsels arrived with squires who carried a litter covered with fine cloth. They knelt in front of Amadis and said:

"My lord, we have come for Sir Galaor. If ye wish him to live, give him to us. If not, all the doctors in Great Britain cannot save him."

Amadis, who did not know the damsels, considered the great danger Galaor was in. He did not know what to do, but the knights advised him that it would be better to give him to fate than to watch him die in front of his eyes, unable to help him. Amadis said:

"Good damsels, could we know where ye shall take him?"

"No," they said. "For now, if ye wish him to live, give him to us immediately. If not, we must go."

Amadis begged them to take him with his brother, but they refused, and at his request they took his dwarf Ardian and his squire. Then they put Galaor still in his armor, except for his head and his hands, half-dead onto the litter. Amadis and the knights accompanied him to the sea, mourning, where they saw a ship, into which the damsels put the litter.

Then they asked King Lisuarte if he would give them King Cildadan, who lay among the dead, reminding him that he had been a good king, and, by doing what he must, fortune had brought him to great tribulation. They asked him to have mercy because if fortune could turn on Cildadan, it could happen to others. The King ordered him be given to them, more dead than alive. At once they took him in the litter and put him onto the ship. The sails were raised and it quickly left the shore.

At this point the King, having made sure that none of his enemies could escape with their fleet and ordering all those who had not died in the battle to be taken prisoner, found Amadis, Sir Florestan, Agrajes. Everyone who was with them was weeping. He knew they wept because they had lost Sir Galaor, and that put great sadness and pain in his heart, as one who loved him with his heart and soul. And that was just, for since the day Galaor had become his vassal, he had never thought of anything except to serve him.

He dismounted and, although he had many wounds and his armor was stained with blood, he embraced Amadis with the great love he had for him, and consoled him, saying that if Galaor could be cured by great affection, his would be enough to do so with the great pain he felt in his heart, but by putting their hope in the all-powerful Lord, Who would not wish such a man to be without protection, they could be comforted. And so he renewed their spirits.

He brought them to the tent of King Cildadan, which was unusually beautiful, asked for something to eat, and then ordered that the knights on their side who had died be diligently buried at a monastery at the foot of the mountain. And he ordered prayers for their souls and gave funds for building a beautiful chapel so they could be put into finely made tombs with their names inscribed on them. And he sent messengers to Queen Brisena so she would know the good fortune that God had given him. Then he and the knights, who were badly injured, went to a town four leagues away named Ganota, and there they remained until their wounds had healed.

And at the same time that the battle was fought, the beautiful Queen Briolanja, who was staying with Queen Brisena, thought to go to Miraflores to see Oriana, since both of them wished to see each other because of the fame of their beauty. When Oriana learned this, she ordered her rooms be decorated with rich fabrics.

When the Queen arrived and they saw each other, they were astounded. For Oriana, neither the Arch of the Loyal Lovers nor the test of the sword had as much power nor gave her such security as the great shock of seeing Briolanja. Any heart in the world could be captured and subjugated by her beauty, and by breaking those bonds, Oriana had won Amadis's.

And Briolanja, having sometimes seen Amadis's anguish and tears, along with the great tests of love mentioned here, had soon suspected that his worthy heart did not deserve to suffer except for she from whom all other women prized for their beauty ought to flee for the glow of hers would put theirs to pale, and excused him of any guilt for having discarded her proposals.

And so they were both pleased to be together, speaking about the things that they enjoyed the most. Among other things, Briolanja recounted the most important deeds that Amadis had done for her and how she loved him from her heart.

Oriana, to learn more, said:

"My lady and Queen, since he is so good and of such a high estate, for from what I have heard he is descended from the greatest emperors in the world and expects to be King of Gaul, why do ye not take him as yours, and make him lord of the kingdom that he won for you, since he is your peer?"

Briolanja told her:

"My friend and lady, I must believe that although ye have seen him many times, ye do not know him. Do ye not think that I would hold myself the most blessed woman in the world if I could do as ye say? But I want ye to know what happened to me about this, and to keep it a secret, as a lady such as yourself ought to. I tried to do what ye said and have him take me in marriage, which always gives me shame when I remember it. He had me understand that he cared little for me or for any other woman. And I believe this, for all the while he was with me, I never heard him speak of any woman the way all other knights do. But I tell you that he is the man most in this world to whom I would give my kingdom and would submit myself."

Oriana was very happy to hear this and more sure of her beloved than by any other test, seeing with what great affection Briolanja spoke of him. She said:

"I am surprised by what ye tell me, for if Amadis loved no woman, he could not have passed through the Arch of the Loyal Lovers, where they say he caused greater signs of loyalty and love than any other who had been there."

"He may well love," the Queen said, "but he is more secretive than any knight has ever been."

About this and many other things they spoke, and they were there for ten days, and after that they went together with their companions to the town of Fernisa, where the Queen was awaiting her husband the King. She was very pleased to see her daughter healthy and returned to her beauty. And there they learned the good news of the victory in the battle, and because of the great pleasure that it gave them, Queen Brisena made many donations to churches and monasteries and to people in need.

But when Queen Briolanja heard it said that Amadis was the one who had been called Beltenebros, who could describe the joy her spirit felt? And so Queen Briolanja was happy, as were all the ladies and damsels who loved him greatly, and with them, Oriana and Mabilia, who pretended that this was news to them the same as to the others.

Briolanja said to Oriana:

"How does it seem to you, my friend, that he is the good knight who until now was praised, leaving the fame of Amadis so forgotten that almost no one remembered him? Although I greatly loved him and knew about his deeds at arms, I had begun to wonder, in light of the great deeds of Beltenebros, in which of the two should I put my affection now."

"My lady and Queen," Oriana said, "I understand that we are all in that situation, and if he comes with my father the King, let us ask him why he changed his name and who the woman is who won the wreath of flowers."

"So be it," said Briolanja.

No comments:

Post a Comment