Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chapter 59 [part 3 of 3]

[How Cuadragante’s enmity with Amadis became friendship, and the consequences that had.] 

[Head of a king from about 1230-1235, probably a decoration from a Paris church. Now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.] 

Briolanja and Oriana, who were together, called for Amadis. When he arrived, they asked him to tell them the truth about a question they had for him, and he promised to do so. Oriana told him:

“Then tell us who the damsel was who took the wreath of flowers when ye won the sword.”

That question weighed on him, for he had to tell the truth, but he turned to Oriana and told her:

“May God not save me, my lady, if I know her name or who she is more than ye do, although I traveled with her for seven days. But I tell you that she had beautiful hair and what I saw of her was extremely beautiful, but of her estate I know as much as you, my lady, whom I believe ye have never beheld.”

Oriana said:

“Although she gained great glory in completing that adventure, it almost cost her dearly, for according to what they tell me, Arcalaus the Sorcerer and Lindoraque, his nephew, wanted to take the wreath and would have hung her by the hair if ye had not protected her.”

“It does not seem to me,” Briolanja said, “that he defended her if he is Amadis, but instead the valiant man at arms was Beltenebros, who should not be held at the same level as Amadis. And although I have received great benefit from him, I shall not cease to speak the truth without prejudice because of that. I say that if Amadis achieved great glory in winning Firm Island by far surpassing the courage of the mighty Apolidon, then Beltenebros, defeating in the space of one day ten of the best knights of your father’s court and killing in battle the brave giant Famongomadan and his son Basagante, he achieved no less.

“Then, if we say that Amadis, by passing beneath the arch of the faithful lovers, caused the statue with the trumpet to do more for him than for any other knight and made it clear the loyalty of his love, then it seems to me that Beltenebros should not be held as less for pulling out that burning sword, which for more than sixty years no other knight could do. And so, my dear lady, it is not right that the honor of Beltenebros should be given to Amadis, for each should be judged to be as good as the other. That is how I see it.”

And so as ye hear these two ladies were joking and laughing, in whom all the beauty and grace of the world was brought together, and they felt great pleasure to be with that knight who was so well loved by them. And his spirit felt such a great happiness, even more when he remembered the tremendous misadventure and cruel sadness he had felt when he was without any hope of deliverance at Poor Rock, having come so close to death.

As that was happening, as ye have heard, a damsel came to call for Amadis on behalf of the King and told him that Sir Cuadragante and his nephew Landin wanted to be freed from their promises. So he left the pleasure he had been having and went to where they were, and with him came Sir Bruneo of Bonamar and Branfil. When they arrived to where the King was with many good knights, Sir Cuadragante rose and said:

“My lord, I have been waiting here for Amadis of Gaul, as ye know, and now that he is present, I wish him to release me from the promise I made to him in front of you.”

Then he recounted everything that had happened to him in the battle and how, being defeated by Amadis, very much against his will he had come to the court, put himself under the his power, and forgiven him for the death of his brother King Abies. Yet having lost the passion that had clouded his thinking and kept him from determining the truth, he had found that it was more arrogance than justice to have desired and sought to avenge that death, for he now knew that nothing could be found improper about the battle had happened between two knights. And that being the case, he wished to pardon Amadis and be taken as a friend in whatever way it might please him.

The King told him:

“Sir Cuadragante, until now your great deeds at arms have gained ye much praise and honor and fame, and this should not be held as less, because bravery and courage that is not subject to reason and wisdom should not be held in high esteem.”

Then he had them embrace and Amadis thanked Cuadragante for what he had done and the friendship he had asked for, and although at the time it may have seemed trivial, this friendship was maintained for a long time between them, as this story shall tell. And since the battle between Forestan and Landin had been set for the same reason, it seemed right that since the main cause involving Cuadragante had been forgiven, Landin could justly do the same. That was done and the battle was cancelled, which gave Landin no small pleasure, having seen Forestan’s courage in the previous battle between the Kings.

When this was done, as ye have heard, and the King had spent some days at rest after the great endeavor of the battle with King Cildadan, he thought of the cruel imprisonment of Arban, King of North Wales, and Angriote de Estravaus, and he decided to go to the Island of Mongaza where they were. He told that to Amadis and his knights, but Amadis told him:

“My lord, ye know what a loss to your service is the lack of Sir Galaor, and if ye think it good, I shall look for him in the company of my brother and cousins, and may it please God to bring him back in time for this trip that ye wish to make.”

The King told him:

“God knows, my friend, if I did not have so many duties, I would gladly go myself to look for him, but since I cannot, I think it good to do what ye propose.”

Then more than one hundred knights arose, all well esteemed and with great deeds at arms, and said that they also wished to go on that search, for if they were obliged to great ventures, none could be more important than the loss of that knight. The King was pleased by this and asked Amadis not to leave, for he wished to speak with him.

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