Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chapter 61 [part 5 of 5]

[How, in the heat of battle, Amadis broke his sword and discovered that Ardan’s sword rightly belonged to him.]
[Detail of Mâlain Castle, Burgundy, France. Photo by Christophe.Finot.] 

When Oriana saw Amadis injured and bleeding, her heart could stand no more. She left the window in great anguish, sat on the floor, and beat her face with her hands, believing that her beloved was close to death. Mabilia’s heart was heavy to see her hurt herself, and she made Oriana return to the window, angrily telling her how at this hour and in this danger she could not forsake her beloved. Since Oriana could not bear to watch him in such dire straits, Mabilia had her turn her back so that her beloved could gain courage and spirit by seeing her beautiful hair.

At this time, one of the judges, Brandoivas, said:

“I feel very worried about Amadis, for I see that his arms and shield are failing him.”

“So it seems to me,” said Sir Grumedan, “which gives me great sorrow.”

“My lords,” Cuadragante said, “I tested Amadis when he fought with me and found him to be so valiant and with such fire that it always seemed that his strength kept doubling. Of all the knights I have seen, he is the one who knows best how to pace himself and has the most endurance. I see him now with all his strength intact, but not so with Ardan Canileo, who is growing steadily weaker. If there is one thing that hurts Amadis, it is not Canileo but his haste, for if he waited, he would make his opponent follow him and Canileo’s great weight would tire him, but Amadis’s great spirit will not let him rest.”

Oriana and Mabilia, who heard this, felt greatly comforted. But Amadis, who had seen his lady leave the window and then had not seen her again, thought that she had left mourning for him, and he went with great fury at Ardan Canileo. He held his sword tight in his hand and struck with all his strength on the top of his head. The mighty blow left Ardan stunned, and he dropped one knee to the ground. But because the blow was so great and the helmet so strong, Amadis’s sword broke into three parts, and the smallest piece remained in his hand. Then the fear of death entered him and all those who watched.

When Ardan Canileo saw this, he stepped back in the field, took his shield by its handles, waved his sword, and said to Amadis, shouting loud enough for all to hear:

“Thou seest here the very good sword that to thy harm thou hadst won. Look well at this, for by it thou shalt die.” Then he shouted, “Come out, come out to the window, my lady Madasima, and see the beautiful vengeance that I shall give you, and how I have won it by my prowess in a way that no other man who loved you could have done.”

When Madasima heard this, she was forlorn and threw herself at the feet of the Queen to ask her for mercy and to defend her from him, which she did for good reason, for Ardan had promised to kill or defeat Amadis before a man could walk half a league, and if he did not do so, she should never grant him her love. By that time more than four hours had passed, as she could see.

The Queen told her:

“I hear what ye say and shall do what is just.”

Amadis, when he realized that his armor was in pieces and he had no sword, remembered what Urganda had said, that he would give half the world, if it were his, to have his sword thrown into a lake. He looked at the window where Oriana was, and saw her back, he understood that his ill fortune had caused her to turn away. Great courage grew in him and he put his entire life at risk, preferring to die than to fail to do all he could.

He came at Ardan Canileo as if he meant to attack. Ardan raised the sword and waited for him. When Amadis neared, Ardan tried to strike him, but Amadis dodged and made him miss. Then Amadis came close, and before Ardan could raise his sword halfway up, he grabbed the central boss of his shield so hard that he pulled it from his arm and threw him on the ground.

Amadis stepped back, put the shield on his arm, and picked up the piece of an iron-tipped lance from the ground in front of him. He then faced Ardan, protected by his shield. Ardan, furious at having lost his shield, charged at him and tried to strike him on the top of his helmet. Amadis raised the shield and took the blow with it, and although it was very strong and of fine steel, the sword sunk through its center fully three fingers deep.

Amadis struck Ardan with the piece of the lance on the right arm just above his hand and thrust half the iron between the two long bones. This made Ardan lose his strength so that he could not pull the sword from the shield, and Amadis took it away with the shield. Whether this made Amadis happy and content is not to be questioned or said. Then he threw the piece of the lance very far away and took the sword from the shield, praising God for the mercy He had done.

Mabilia, who was watching, took Oriana by the hands and made her turn to see her beloved win a great victory and overcome the great danger he had been in. Amadis charged at Ardan Canileo, who felt weak to see his death approaching. He thought he could find no refuge or help, so he tried to take the shield from Amadis in the same way Amadis had done. But Amadis, when he saw him close, struck a blow on his right shoulder that cut through his armor and sank deeply into his flesh and bones.

When Ardan saw that he had lost the use of his arm, he fled across the field in terror of the sword. But Amadis chased him and saw that he was tired and confused. He grabbed his helmet so roughly that he made Ardan fall at his feet and pulled the helmet from his head. Amadis came over him while he was kneeling and cut off his head.

This brought great joy to all, especially King Arban of North Wales and Angriote d’Estravaus, who had suffered great anguish and pain when they saw Amadis in difficulty, as ye have heard.

When this was done, Amadis took the head and threw it outside of the field, then dragged the body to a peak and cast it into the sea. He cleaned the blood from his sword and put it in his scabbard. The King immediately ordered him to be given a horse, on which he rode to his lodging, having suffered many wounds and lost much blood, and he was accompanied by many knights.

But first he had King Arban of North Wales and Angriote d’Estravaus released from their cruel imprisonment, and he took them with him. He sent King Arban of North Wales to Queen Brisena, his aunt, who had left a request for him at his lodging. Both he and his loyal friend Angriote were given medical treatment, Amadis for his wounds and Angriote for the whippings and other injuries he had suffered in prison.

There they were visited by the knights and the ladies and damsels of court with much love, and Amadis by his cousin Mabilia, who brought the true medicine with which his heart could be strengthened and send the other smaller injures the health that they needed.

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