Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Chapter 68 [part 4 of 4]

[Which tells how the knight with the gold helmet earned more honor and praise than anyone else.] 

[Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, one of the Knights of the Round Table, depicted in a battle with the knight Gawain.] 

Amadis, who was now fully conscious, looked to his right and saw King Lisuarte surrounded by some of the knights who had protected King Aravigo, and a great number of men were coming at him. Agromades was at the lead, along with two nephews of King Aravigo, both brave knights. King Aravigo was shouting to encourage his men because he had heard from the tower:

“The knight in the gold helmet killed the great devil.”

Then Amadis said:

“Knights, let us rescue the King, for he needs our help.”

They went with him and entered the thick of the men until they reached King Lisuarte. When he saw the three knights with the dragon insignia coming near, his spirits rose because he had seen how the knight with the gold helmet had killed the valiant Brontaxar d’Anfania with one blow. He rode toward King Aravigo who had come close. Argomades, who came waving his sword to attack King Lisuarte, stopped in front of the knight with the gold helmet.

The battle was over at the first exchange. The knight with the gold helmet saw that great sword coming at him, raised his shield and took the blow. The sword sunk through the boss of his shield a palm deep and three fingers into his helmet, and almost killed him. Amadis struck Agromades on the left shoulder with such a blow that it cut through his chain mail, which was very heavy, and the flesh and bones down to the ribs, so that the arm and part of the shoulder hung loose from his body.

This was the most mighty blow delivered during the entire battle.

Argomades began to flee as a man stunned and unaware of himself, and his horse headed back toward where it had come from. The damsels in the tower shouted:

“The knight with the gold helmet has frightened away the doves.”

One of the nephews of King Aravigo, named Ancidel, charged at Amadis and gave such a blow onto the face of the horse that he cut it in half and the horse fell dead on the ground. When Sir Florestan saw this, he charged while Ancidel was celebrating his deed, and struck him on top of the helmet with such a blow that he made him drop to the neck of the horse. Florestan grabbed his helmet so hard he pulled it off his head and Ancidel fell at the feet of Amadis. Sir Florestan was hurt in the ribs with the point of Ancidel’s sword.

At this time King Lisuarte was fighting with King Aravigo as were their men, so there was a pitiless and cruel battle, and they all had much to do to protect themselves and to help those who were killed or who fell injured.

Durin, Oriana’s page, had come there to bring her news of the battle, and was on one of the horses that King Lisuarte had ordered brought onto field to help the knights who needed a horse. When he saw the knight with the gold helmet on the ground, he told the other pages on horseback:

“I wish to rescue that good knight with this horse, for I could do no better service to the King.”

Then at great peril to himself he entered into the fray where there were the fewest men, reached Amadis and said:

“I know not who ye are, but because of what I have seen, I have brought you this horse.”

Amadis took it, mounted, and said quietly:

“Oh, my friend Durin, this is not the first service that thou hast done for me.”

Durin grabbed him by the arm and said:

“Ye shall not leave until ye tell me who ye are.”

Amadis bent down as far as he could and told him:

“I am Amadis, and do not tell anyone except the lady thou knowest.”

Then he immediately went to where he saw the greatest fighting, doing amazing and marvelous feats at arms as if his lady were before him, which is what he was thinking, knowing how it would be fully recounted to her.

King Lisuarte, who was fighting with King Aravigo, struck three blows with his good sword, and Aravigo did not dare fight him anymore. Because Aravigo did not know that Lisuarte was the head and the commander of his enemies, he did not use all his strength to attack, instead retreating behind his men and cursing Aracalaus the Sorcerer for making him come to these lands, assuring him that he would take them.

Sir Galaor was fighting with Sarmadan, a valiant knight, and since his arm was exhausted from all the blows it had given and his blade could no longer cut, he grabbed Sarmadan with his mighty arms and pulled him from his saddle and threw him onto the earth. Sarmadan fell over his neck and immediately died.

And I tell you that Amadis, thinking of the time he had wasted while he was in Gaul and how his honor had been debilitated and scorned, and how he could not recover it except through action, did such valiant things that he soon found no one who dared to fight him. With him rode his father, Sir Florestan, Agrajes, Sir Galvanes, Brian of Monjaste, Norandel, Guilan the Pensive, and King Lisuarte, who was also proving his bravery.

They felled so many of their foes, and surrounded and put terror into so many, that their opponents could take no more. They had seen King Aravigo flee, injured, abandoning the field, so they fled too, trying to take refuge in the ships or in the nearby hills. But King Lisuarte and his men continued to cruelly attack and kill, with the knights with the dragon insignia ahead of them all, and did not let their opponents escape. The remaining foes took refuge in a ship with King Aravigo and those who had reached it, but many died in the water and others were taken prisoner.

By the time the battle had been won, night had fallen, and King Lisuarte went to his enemies’ tents, and there he lodged that night with great joy at the victory that God had given him. But the three knights with the dragon insignia, when they saw that the field was empty and no resistence remained, together left the road they thought the King would take, and took shelter beneath some trees next to a spring. There they dismounted and drank water, as did their horses, which they all needed due to their hard work during the day.

When they were about to mount and leave, they saw a squire coming on a horse. They put on their helmets so he would not know them, and called to him when their faces were covered. The squire was uncertain, thinking they might be the enemy, but when he saw the insignia of the dragons, he approached them without concern.

Amadis told him:

“Good squire, give our message to the King, if ye would.”

“Say what ye please,” he said, “and I shall deliver it.”

“Then tell him,” he said, “that the knights with the dragon insignia, who found ourselves in his battle, ask for his mercy to forgive us for not coming to his camp, for we must travel far from here to a foreign land and place ourselves at the discretion and mercy of someone we do not believe will have any for us. We ask him that he give our part of the spoils to the damsels in the tower for the harm they have suffered. And bring him this horse, which I took from one of his pages in the battle, for we want no other reward than what we have asked.”

The squire took the horse and left and went to the King to give him the message. Amadis, Sir Florestan, and King Perion mounted and rode until they reached their lodging in the forest, and after they removed their armor and washed the blood and dust from their faces and hands, they tended to their injuries as best they could, and ate, for their servants prepared a good meal. They lay down in their beds, where they had a very restful sleep that night.

King Lisuarte, at his enemies’ tents because all his opponents had been defeated, asked about the three knights with the dragon insignia, but he found no one who could tell him more than that they had been seen riding quickly to the forest. The King said to Sir Galaor:

“By chance could the knight with the gold helmet be your brother Amadis? From what I saw him do, it could not be attributed to anyone else but him.”

“Believe, my lord, that it was not him,” Galaor said, “because only four days ago I received news from him, that he is in Gaul with his father and his brother Sir Florestan.”

“Holy Mary!” the King said. “Who could it be?”

“I do not know,” Sir Galaor said, “but whoever it was, may God bless him, for with great effort and peril, he won more honor and praise than anyone else.”

As they spoke, the squire arrived and told the King what he had been ordered, and the King was troubled to hear that they were going to be in more danger, as ye have heard. But if Amadis said that in jest, it turned out to be very true, as shall be told farther on. Thus men should always offer good news and predictions about themselves. The horse that the squire brought fell dead before the King from the injuries it had suffered.

That night Galaor and Agrajes and many other of their friends lodged in Arcalaus’s tent, which was costly and handsome, with scenes embroidered in silk of the battle he had fought with Amadis and how he enchanted him, and other things he had done.

The next day, the King split the spoils among all his men and delivered a large portion to the damsels in the tower. He gave permission to those who wished to return to their lands, and with the others he went to one of his towns, named Gadampa, where the Queen and their daughter were. The pleasure they had in seeing each other could not be told, but each one of you can imagine how it would be, given what had happened.


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