Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chapter 60 [part 3 of 3]

[In which Urganda speaks of things to come, and then departs.] 

[The shield of the town of Ereño, in Basque Country, northern Spain. It features two wolves at a laurel tree, a castle, and St. Michael the Archangel killing a dragon (serpent). Dragons feature prominently in Basque mythology.] 

After a few days, Urganda asked the King to call together all his knights, and she asked the Queen to call together all her damsels and ladies, because she wished to speak to them before she left.

This was done immediately in a grand and beautiful hall, richly decorated, and Urganda placed herself where everyone could hear her. Then she said to the King:

“My lord, since ye have kept the letters that I sent you and Sir Galaor when Beltenebros left you, who had won the sword and his damsel had won the garland of flowers, I ask you to bring them here, for ye shall see clearly that I had known things before they happened.”

The King had them brought and read to aloud, and they saw how everything in them was completely fulfilled, which amazed everyone, and they were even more amazed at the daring of the King to go into battle despite those frightening words. They saw how by Beltenebros’s three blows the battle was won, the first when he brought down King Cildadan at the feet of Sir Galaor, the second when he killed the very valiant Sarmadan the Lion, and the third when he saved the King, whom Madanfabul, the brave giant of the Vermilion Tower, was taking under his arm to put in the ships. Amadis cut the giant’s arm off above the elbow, which saved the King, and the giant was killed.

They also that saw that what had been said to Sir Galaor had been fulfilled: that his head would be put in the power of he who delivered those three blows. This happened when Amadis held Galaor’s head in his lap, dying, and the damsels came to ask him to give Galaor to them.

“But now,” Urganda said, “I wish to say some things that are to come, and in time one shall follow the other.”

And she said:

“A dispute shall be raised between the great serpent and the powerful lion, in which many animals shall take part. Anger and fury shall overcome them, and many of them shall suffer cruel death. The great Roman fox shall be injured by the claw of the powerful lion and his skin cruelly torn apart, for which the supporters of the great serpent shall be greatly troubled. At that time a gentle ewe covered with black wool shall be put among them, and with its great humility and loving deeds she shall tame the rough bravery of the mighty hearts and separate one from another.

“But soon hungry wolves shall descend from the rugged mountains against the great serpent, and all his animals shall be defeated by them, and he shall be made prisoner in one of their caves. And the tender unicorn shall put its mouth at the ear of the mighty lion, and with its brays shall wake it from its deep sleep, make it gather some of its brave animals and go quickly to help the great serpent. They will find him bitten and torn by the hungry wolves, so that much blood shall be shed between its mighty scales. The lion shall take him from their ravenous mouths, and all the wolves shall be torn to pieces and destroyed.

“With life restored to the great serpent, he shall expel all of his poison. A white doe, braying pitifully to heaven in the fearsome forest, shall be brought out and shall consent to be put in the cruel claws of the lion.

“Now, good King, have all that which shall come to pass be written down.”

The King said he would do so, but at that moment he understood nothing of it.

“The time will come,” she said, “when it shall all become clear.”

And Urganda looked at Amadis and saw him thinking, and said to him:

“Amadis, why art thou thinking about something that will do thee no good? Leave that and think of an affair which thou must do now. Thou shalt be brought to the point of death for the life of another, and for the other’s blood thou shalt give thine. And in that affair, thou shalt be the martyr and the other shall take the gain, and the prize thou shalt win will be rage and the delay of thy desire. Thy sharp and handsome sword shall trouble thy bones and flesh in such a way that thou shalt be poor of blood. And thou shalt be in such a state that if half the world were thine, thou wouldst trade it to have the sword broken or thrown into some lake where none could recover it. And now watch what thou doest, for it shall all come to pass as I have said.”

Amadis, seeing the eyes of all on him, said with a happy face, as he usually had:

“My lady, because of the things that ye have said about the past, we may believe that these things are true, and as I am mortal and cannot achieve more in life than that which pleases God, I say that I care more to justly accomplish great and grave things in which honor and fame are won than to remain alive, and so, if I were to fear frightful things, I would fear them more in what happens now to me every day than to fear those hidden things which are to come.”

Urganda said:

“It would be as big a task to take the great courage from your heart as to take all the water from the sea.”

Then she said to the King:

“My lord, I wish to go. Remember what I said before you as from someone who wishes your honor and service. Close your ears to all, especially those who you sense wish to bring you to evil deeds.”

With that she bid farewell to all, and with her four companions and without wishing further accompaniment, she went to her ship. It entered the high sea and was soon covered by great darkness.

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