Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chapter 71

How King Lisuarte went hunting with the Queen and their daughters, accompanied by many knights, and visited the mountain that held the hermitage of the holy man Nasciano, where he found a very fine childe with a strange history, who was the son of Oriana and Amadis, and who was well-treated by the King without knowing who he was.

[A gargoyle of a lion and a boy on the Torres dels Serrans, the northern monumental gate in the medieval wall of the city of Valencia. The towers were built between 1392 and 1398, and are used each year to announce the beginning of the Fallas festival. Photo by Sue Burke.] 

For his own relaxation and for the pleasure of his knights, King Lisuarte decided to go hunting in the forest and to take with him the Queen, their daughters, and all their ladies and damsels. He ordered tents to be put up at the Spring of the Seven Beech Trees, which was a very pleasant location. And know ye that this was the forest where the hermit Nasciano dwelled, and where he was raising Esplandian.

After the King and Queen had arrived with their company, the Queen remained at the tents and the King and his hunters entered the thickest part of the forest, and since the land was protected, they had a fine hunt. And it happened that when the King was there with his beaters and dogs, he saw a very tired buck and thought to kill it, and chased it on his horse until they had entered a valley.

And there something odd happened. He saw a childe, a noble boy, coming down the other side of the valley, perhaps five or six years old, the most handsome boy he had ever seen, who led a lioness on a leash. When the boy saw the buck, he let her loose and shouted for her to take it. The lioness ran as fast as she could, reached it, threw it on the ground, and began to drink its blood. Then the childe arrived happily, and then another boy a little older arrived who had been following him, and they came to the buck with great cheer, took out their knives, and began to cut off the part the lioness was eating.

The King was in some bushes, amazed by what he saw, but his horse was frightened by the lioness, so he could not go near them. The childe blew on a little horn he carried around his neck, and two hounds came running, one yellow and the other black, and they fed on the buck. When the Lioness had eaten, they put her on the leash, and the older boy went with her over hill, and the childe followed him.

But the King, who was now on foot and had tied his horse to a tree, went after them and called to the handsome childe, who carried more meat, to wait for him. The childe stood still, and the King came and saw him so handsome that he was astounded, and he said:

“Good childe, may God bless you and keep you. Tell me where ye were raised and whose son ye are.”

The childe answered:

“My lord, the holy man Nasciano, the hermit, raised me, and I have him for my father.”

The King spent a while wondering how a man so holy and so old could have a son so young and so handsome, and in the end he did not believe it. The childe wanted to go, but the King asked him were the house of the hermit was.

“Up there,” he said, “is the house where we dwell.” He showed him a small and not much used path, and told him, “Ye may go there, and God be with you, for I wish to follow the boy who is taking the lion to a spring where we keep our game.”

And he left. The King returned to his horse, mounted it, and went up the path, and he had not gone far before he saw the hermitage between some beech trees and thick brambles. When he arrived, he saw no one to talk to, dismounted, and tied his horse below a portico. He entered and saw a man on his knees praying in front of a book, dressed in the habit of a holy order, and his hair was all white. The King also prayed. The holy man, when he had finished reading from the book, came to the King, who knelt before him and asked for a blessing. The holy man gave it and asked what he sought.

The King said:

“My good friend, I found a very handsome childe hunting with a lion on this mountain, and he told me that he was being raised by you. Because he seemed so unusual to me in his looks and bearing, and to be hunting with a lion, I came to ask you to tell me about him, and I promise as King that no harm will come to you or him for it.”

When the holy man heard that, he looked at him harder and recognized him, for he had seen him before. He knelt to kiss his hands, but the King rose him up and embraced him, saying:

“My friend Nasciano, I have come with a deep desire to learn what I asked you, and do not hesitate to tell me.”

The holy man took him out of the hermitage to the portico where his horse was, sat on a bench, and told him:

“My lord, I well believe all that ye have told me, and how as King ye will protect this boy, as God wishes him kept. And since I am so pleased that ye wish to know, I tell you that I found and raised him in very strange circumstances.”

Then he told him how he had taken the boy from the mouth of the lioness wrapped in rich fabric, and how he had fed him with the milk of the lioness and a sheep until he found a nursemaid, who was his brother Sargil’s wife.

“And that is the name of the other boy that ye saw with him.” He added, “Truly, my lord, I believe the boy is high born, and I wish you to know that he has the strangest thing I have ever seen, and it is that when I baptized him, I found on the right side of his chest some white letters in obscure Latin that said ‘Esplandian’ and so I gave him that name, and on the left side over his heart are seven letters as burning red as a fine ruby, but I could not read them because they are not in Latin or our language.”

The King said:

“Ye have told me the most amazing things I have ever heard, Father, and I think that since the lioness brought him to you as young as ye said, she must have taken him from somewhere near here.”

“I do not know anything about that,” the hermit said, “and let us not worry about knowing more than what our Lord God is pleased to have us know.”

“I ask you to come tomorrow to eat here in the forest at the Spring of the Seven Beech Trees,” the King said, “and there ye shall find the Queen and her daughters, and many other members of our company. And bring Esplandian with the lioness as I found him, and the other boy, your nephew, whom I must treat well because of his father Sargil, who was a good knight and served my brother the King well.”

When the holy man Nasciano heard this, he said:

“I shall do as ye order, my lord, and may God in His mercy be pleased to have it be at His service.”

The King, mounted on his horse, returned by the path he had taken, and rode so fast that he arrived at the tents two hours after midday. There he found Sir Galaor and Norandel and Guilan the Pensive, who had just arrived with two large bucks they had killed. He relaxed with them and laughed a lot, but he told them nothing about what had happened to him. When he asked that tables be set up to eat, Sir Grumedan came and told him:

“My lord, the Queen has not eaten, and asked for you to please, before ye eat, speak with her, and it is important.”

He immediately rose and went to her, and the Queen showed him a letter sealed with a very beautiful emerald and golden cords, and around it some letters said: “This is the seal of Urganda the Unrecognized.” She said:

“Know, my lord, that when I was coming down the road, a richly dressed damsel was seen there on a palfrey, and with her was a dwarf on a beautiful roan horse. Those who rode ahead of me arrived where she was, but she did not wish to say who she was, not even to Oriana or the other princesses who rode with her. When I arrived, she came to me and said, ‘Queen, take this letter and read it with the King today before ye eat.’ She immediately left with the dwarf behind her, spurring their horses so much and so fast that there was no way to ask her anything.”

The King opened the letter and read it, and it said:

“To the most high and honorable King Lisuarte: I, Urganda the Unrecognized, who loves you dearly, advise you that it would be to your advantage when the handsome childe appears, who was fed by three different foster-mothers, to love him deeply and protect him, for he shall give you great pleasure and defeat the greatest danger that ye shall ever face. He is of high lineage, and know, King, that the milk of his first foster-mother shall make him so strong and brave of heart that he shall overshadow all the valiant men at arms of his time. And the milk of his second foster-mother shall make him gentle, discrete, humble, and of great good will, able to suffer more than any other man in the world. And the care of his third foster-mother shall make him intelligent, wise, very Catholic, and well spoken. And in all things, he shall strive and be more outstanding than all others, loved and respected by good men, and no knight shall be his equal. His great deeds at arms shall be put to the service of the Most High God, and he shall despise those knights who often do things more for vainglory in the world than for what their good conscience tells them. His name shall always be on his right side, and his lady on his left. And I tell thee further, good King, that this childe shall be the cause to put peace between thyself and Amadis and his lineage, peace that shall last all thy days, which shall be granted to none other.”

When the King finished reading the letter, he crossed himself to see such things foretold, and said:

“The wisdom of this woman is beyond speech or writing.” And he said to the Queen: “Know that today I found the childe who Urganda speaks of.”

And he told her how he saw the boy with the lioness and how he went to the hermitage and what he learned about him, and how the hermit would come to dine with them the next day and would bring that boy. The Queen was very happy to hear that this odd childe would come and that she would be able to speak with the holy man about some things on her conscience.

The King left, telling her to tell no one about it, and went to his tent to eat, where he found many knights waiting for him. There he spoke with them about their hunting and told them that the next day, no one was going to hunt because he wanted to read a letter to them that Urganda the Unrecognized had sent. He ordered the huntsmen to take all the dogs they had to a different valley, and to spend the next day with them there. He did this to avoid frightening the lioness.

As ye hear, they spent the day resting in that field, which was full of flowers and very fresh green grass. The next day they all came to the King’s tent, and there they heard Mass. Then he took them all to the Queen’s tent, which was set up next to a spring in a very fresh field as was fit for that time of the year, which was May, and the tent had its sides raised, so all the ladies and princesses and other damsels of high estate could be seen on their estrados. Knights of great fame came there to speak with them.

When everyone was there, the King ordered Urganda’s letter read to them, which ye have heard, and when they had heard it, they were amazed that such a blessed childe would be there. But Oriana, who had paid even more attention to the letter than the rest, sighed for her lost son, thinking that by chance it might be him.

The King told them:

“How does this letter seem to you?”

“Truly, my lord,” Sir Galaor said, “I do not doubt that it shall happen as she says, for many other things said by Urganda have proven so true. Perhaps many will be pleased by the arrival of this childe when God has held it good to bring him to us, but I rightly ought to be more pleased than all others, since he shall be the means to bring about what I desire most, which is to see my brother Amadis and all his lineage in your love and service, as it was before.”

The King said:

“All that is in the hands of God. He shall do His will, and with that we shall be content.”

And as they were speaking, they saw the hermit coming with his boys. Esplandian came first, and his foster-brother Sargil behind him bringing the lioness on a very light leash, and behind them came two archers, the ones that helped raise Esplandian on the mountain, and they brought a packhorse carrying the deer the King had seen them kill and on another horse, two roe deer, and hares and rabbits that they and Esplandian had killed with their bows. Esplandian brought two hounds on leashes, and behind them came the holy man Nasciano.

When the people at the tents saw them come, and the lioness so big and frightening, they rose up as one to place themselves before the King to protect him. But he lifted his scepter and had them remain in their places, saying:

“He who has the power to bring the lioness shall protect us from her.”

Sir Galaor said:

“That may be, but it seems to me that the hunter who brings her will provide little protection if she becomes angry, and it is an amazing thing to see.”

The boys and archers waited for the holy man to pass them, and when he had neared, the King said:

“My friends, know that this is the holy man Nasciano who lives on this mountain. Let us go to him and he will give us his blessing.”

Then they knelt before him, and the King told him:

“Beloved servant of God, bless us.”

He raised his hand and said:

“In His name receive it, from a sinful man.”

Then the King took him and went with him to the Queen, but when they saw the lioness they were very frightened, for it looked fiercely at each one of them and ran its scarlet tongue over its lips, showing strong sharp teeth. The Queen and her daughter and all the women received Nasciano well, and they were all very amazed by how handsome the childe was. He came before the Queen with the animals they had hunted and said:

“My lady, we bring you this game.”

The King came to him and said:

“Good childe, divide it as ye will.” He said this to see what he would do.

The child said:

“The game is yours, and ye may do as ye wish.”

“Still,” the King said, “I want you to divide it.”

The child felt embarrassed, and a color like a rose came to his face, and he said:

“My lord, take the buck for yourself and your companions.”

He went to the Queen, who was speaking with his foster-father Nasciano, knelt, kissed her hands, and gave her the roe deer. And he looked to his right and it seemed to him that after the Queen there was no one more worthy of being honored, by her appearance, than Oriana, his mother, although he did not know it was she. He came to her, knelt, and gave her the partridges and rabbits, and told her:

“My lady, we hunted no other game with our bows than this.”

Oriana told him:

“Handsome childe, may ye have Godspeed in all your hunting and everything ye do for Him.”

The King called him, and Galaor and Norandel, who were near him, took him and embraced him again and again, since his shared family roots naturally attracted them. Then the King ordered everyone to be quiet, and told the holy man:

“Father, friend of God, now before everyone tell what ye know about this childe, as ye told me.”

The holy man told them how, when he left his hermitage, he saw how the brave lioness brought that childe in her mouth wrapped in fine fabric to feed him to her cubs, and how by the grace of God she put him at his feet, and how she gave him her milk, as did a sheep he had who had just given birth, until he gave him to be raised by a foster-mother. And he told them all the things that had happened while he raised him, and left out nothing, as this book has told.

When Oriana, Mabilia, and the Damsel of Denmark heard this, they looked at each other, and they trembled with pleasure to know that he was truly that boy, son of Amadis and Oriana, whom the Damsel of Denmark had lost, as ye have heard. But when the hermit told how he had found the white and red letters on his chest, and showed them to everyone, they knew for certain that their suspicion was true, which put great joy in their spirits beyond recounting, especially in the beautiful Oriana when she fully recognized that boy as her son, whom she had thought she had lost.

The King very insistently asked the holy man Nasciano for the two noble boys to raise, and he, seeing how God had made them more for that life than the one he could give them, although he would feel very lonely, agreed, but with great pain in his heart because he deeply loved Esplandian.

When the King had them, he gave Esplandian to the Queen to serve her, and she quickly gave him to her daughter Oriana, which pleased her since she had given birth to him. And so as ye hear, this child came under the care of his mother, who had thought she had lost him, as ye have heard, borne away in great fear, and then taken from the mouth of the very fierce lioness and raised on her milk.

These are the wonders that powerful God, who protects us all, can do when it is His will. Other children of kings and great lords are raised amid rich silks and gentle and delicate surroundings, with great love from those who raise them in such comfort and care, forsaking sleep and rest for them; but with a small accident or minor illness, they are taken from this world. As God is just in all things, He wishes it to be thus, and it should be accepted as proper by fathers and mothers, giving thanks because He wished to do His will, which unlike our own can never err.

The Queen confessed with the holy man, and Oriana as well, by which he learned all the secrets of her and Amadis, and how that boy was their son and by what means he was lost, which until then she had not spoken of to anyone in the world except those who already knew about it, and she asked him to keep the boy in his prayers. The holy man was very amazed by such love in a person of such high standing, who much more than any other woman ought to be a good example for others, and he reprehended her, saying that she should cease to err, for if not, she would not be absolved and her soul would be put in danger.

But she told, weeping, how when Amadis had rescued her from Arcalaus the Sorcerer, when she first knew him, he gave her his word that he could and would be her husband. When the hermit heard this, he was very happy, and this was the reason that many people were saved from the cruel deaths that awaited them, as the fourth book shall say farther on. Then he absolved her, gave her the appropriate penance, and went to the King.

He took Esplandian with him, embraced him, weeping, and told him:

“Child of God, who was given to me by Him to raise, may He keep you and protect you and make you a good man in His holy service.”

He kissed him, blessed him, and gave him to the King. He bid farewell to the King and Queen and everyone else, and with the lioness and the huntsmen, he returned to his hermitage, and the story shall make great mention of him farther on. The King and his company returned to the town.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

The story of the madman in the bath

Let this be a lesson for you. 

The apodyterium or dressing room of the medieval public bath in Girona, Spain – an outstanding website worth a visit. Like Roman baths, it also had cold, warm, and hot rooms for bathing.


Here’s a little medieval story with a moral and a punch line. It comes from El Conde Lucanor, a book written in 1335 by Sir Juan Manuel (1282-1348), Prince of Villena and nephew of King Alfonso X the Wise of Castile.

The book is filled with “exemplary stories” to help the fictitious Count Lucanor deal with his concerns. For example, this story blogged in March 2012 turns out to be the source for “The Emperor’s New Clothes” with the lesson that you should never trust people who tell you not to trust the people who have always been honest with you.

In Example XLIII, the Count has asked how much he should tolerate from bad people. His advisor Patronio tells him this story, whose final line has become a refrain:

“A good man had a public bath, and a madman came to the bath when people were bathing. He hit them with buckets and stones and sticks and everything else he could find, so no one in the world dared to go to the bath that belonged to the good man. He lost his income.

“When the good man realized that the madman was making his business fail, he got up early one day and went to the bath before the madman came. He took off his clothes and got a bucket of boiling water and a large wooden club. Then the madman who had been attacking people arrived at the bath.

“The naked good man who was waiting saw him and ran toward him bravely and angrily. He threw the bucket of boiling water at his head and grabbed the club and began to strike him again and again on his head and body. The madman was afraid he would be killed and thought that the good man was mad.

“He ran out screaming, and he encountered a man who asked him why he was running and yelling. The madman told him:

 “ ‘My friend, beware, because there is another madman in the bath.’ ”


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chapter 70 [part 3 of 3]

[Which tells of the battle between the twelve knights of the King of Bohemia and the eleven knights of the Emperor of Rome, and of the departure of the Knight of the Green Sword.] 

[The Riders’ Staircase in the Old Royal Palace at Prague Castle. It allowed knights on horseback to enter Vladislav Hall, which was used for coronations, banquets, and tournaments. Photo by Sue Burke.]
The Roman knights took Garadan, dead, to their tents and mourned over him, for they had dearly loved him. They would miss his presence in the battle that awaited them the next day to the point that they wondered if they could possibly undertake the battle without him against the Knight of the Green Sword.

As they discussed what to do, they considered two serious issues: first, as ye have heard, that their valiant companion was dead but their enemy would be able to fight; and second, that if they forwent the battle, the Emperor would be held in dishonor and they would risk death. But they thought they could avoid the battle and excuse themselves before the Emperor with Garadan’s arrogance, who against their will had fought and died. Most of them agreed with this, and the others were quiet. Among them was a young knight of high lineage named Arquisil, whose bloodline came straight from the Emperor’s so closely that if Patin were to die without a son, Arquisil would inherit all his reign, and because of this, he was unloved by Patin, who kept him distant.

When he saw that his companions were making the wrong decision, although until that time he had not dare to speak due to his young age, not yet more than twenty years old, he told them:

“Truly, my lords, I am amazed to see such good men as yourselves fall into an error so great that if someone were to suggest it to you, you would consider them an enemy and would not take their advice. While ye may fear death, your weakness and misadventure would give rise to something far worse. What is it that ye doubt and fear? Is there a great difference between eleven and twelve? If ye do it over the death of Sir Garadan, ye should be pleased that a man of such arrogance and lack of restraint is no longer among us, because his actions could have brought us harm. If it is due to that knight whom ye fear so much, I will take responsibility for him myself, and I promise you that I shall pursue him unto his death. And since he shall be occupied for a while, consider the difference that remains between yourselves and your opponents. So, my lords, ye have no cause for such fear in your spirits, and from your plan we would receive death and perpetual dishonor.”

These words by Arquisil held such force that his companions’ changed their minds. Thanking him sincerely and praising his advice, they determined to go bravely into battle.

The Knight of the Green Sword, after his wounds were treated and he had eaten, told the King:

“My lord, it would be good if ye were to choose the knights who must fight tomorrow so they can prepare and be here at the break of day to hear Mass in your chapel, so we may go into the field together.”

“So it shall be done,” the King said. “My son Grasandor will be one of them, and the others will be such good knights that with God’s help and yours we shall win victory.”

“May it not please God,” he said, “that ye or your son shall bear arms while I can, for the others are so skilled that he and even myself will not be necessary.”

Grasandor told him:

“My lord Knight of the Green Sword, I shall not be exempt from anywhere your person is put in danger, either in this battle or any other fought in my presence. And if I were worthy of the gift that such a knight as yourself has given me, starting now I would ask to have you take me in your company. So by no means shall I fail to be in that fight tomorrow, if only to learn something about your amazing skills.”

He of the Green Sword bowed at the honor he did him, as was proper, and told him:

“My lord, if that is what pleases you, may it be done with the help of God.”

The King told him:

“My good friend, your arms are in such a state that they will not offer you any protection, so I wish to give you some that have never been worn. I am sure you will like them, for although ye have seen many, ye have never seen any better.”

Immediately he had brought richly made reins and a saddle. When he of the Green Sword saw them so beautiful and embellished, he sighed, thinking that if he had been in a position to send them to his loyal friend Angriote de Estravaus, he would have done so, and they would have been put to good use. The arms were very fine and had field of gold with purple lions, as did the surcoat. But the sword was the best he had ever seen except for King Lisuarte’s and his own, and after he examined it, he gave it to Grasandor so he could carry it into battle.

The next day early in the morning they heard Mass with the King, were all armed, and kissed his hands. They mounted and, accompanied by many other knights, rode to the field where the battle would be held. They saw that the Romans had already arrived and were armed and on horseback, while many of their men played trumpets to encourage them.

Arquisil was among them on a white horse with green arms, and he told his companions:

“Remember what we spoke of, and I shall do what I promised.”

Then they charged at each other, and Arquisil saw the Knight of the Green Sword coming at him and galloped at him. They struck each other with their lances, which shattered, and Arquisil was thrown out of his saddle onto the haunches of his horse, but since he had held onto the saddle tree and was brave and agile, he returned to his saddle.

He of the Green Sword rode past him, and with the piece of lance he still held, he struck the first knight he found himself before, knocked off his helmet, and would have brought him down, but two knights hit the knight of the Green Sword with their lances, one on his shield and the other on his leg, which passed through the skirt of his chain mail and the lance blade gave him a painful injury on the leg, which made him more irate than he had been.

He put his hand to his sword and attacked a knight, but the blow was deflected and hit the neck of the horse and cut completely through it, so the horse fell to the ground on the leg of its rider and broke it. Arquisil, who now sat straight in his saddle, grabbed his sword tightly, and went and struck the Knight of the Dwarf with all his strength on the top of his helmet: flames flew from the helmet and the sword, and he made him lower his head.

But his triumph did not last long, for the Knight of the Green Sword struck him on the top of his shoulder and cut through the armor and flesh, so that Arquisil thought he had lost his arm. When the Knight of the Green Sword saw that, he rode past him and attacked others whom Grasandor and his men had placed in danger.

But Arquisil followed him and struck him on all sides, but not with as much strength as at the beginning of the battle. He of the Green Sword turned and struck him, but immediately returned to the others, having no urge to attack him because he held him in greater esteem than all the other knights on Arquisil’s side for he had seen him come ahead of the rest to attack him.

But Arquisil did not worry about the blows he received. Instead, he rode into the fight and attacked the Knight of the Green Sword as best he could. At this point, all the knights on his side were destroyed, some dead, others injured, and the rest too exhausted to defend themselves.

And as he of the Green Sword saw that Arquisil pursued him without fearing his blows, he said:

“Is there no one who can protect me from this knight?”

Grasandor, who heard him, came with two other knights, and they attacked Arquisil together. Since they found him weary and exhausted, they threw him from his saddle onto the ground, and then came to kill him. But the Knight of the Dwarf came to his aid and said:

“My lords, since I have received more harm from this one than the rest, leave him to me to take my remedy.”

Then they all backed away, and he came and said:

“Knight, surrender if ye do not wish to die at the hands of he who is eager to kill you.”

Since Arquisil had expected nothing but death, he was happy and said:

“My lord, since fate has wished to give me no other choice, I declare myself your prisoner, and I thank you for the life ye have given me.”

He took his sword and immediately handed it to him, and promised to do as he was ordered, and the Knight of the Green Sword dismounted and stayed with him and had him mount a horse that he ordered brought. Then he remounted, and they rode to the King, who was waiting for them with great pleasure because the threat of war had ended, and took them to the palace. He placed the Knight of the Green Sword in his chamber, and he had his prisoner remain with him to do him honor as he deserved, being a good and high-born knight, as ye have heard.

But Arquisil said:

“My lord Knight of the Green Sword, I ask you in your discretion to allow me to go to help my companions who are alive and to have the dead carried away. I shall remain your prisoner and shall come when ye call me to be held in prison wherever ye may indicate.”

The Knight of the Green Sword told him:

“I grant you that, and remember the promise that ye have given me.”

Arquisil embraced him, said farewell, and went to his companions, and ye may imagine how he found them. Then they ordered to have Garadan and the other dead carried away, and they took to the road. Now this story shall speak no more of this knight until his time, when it shall tell to what ends he placed his great valor.

He of the Green Sword remained with King Tafinor until his wounds had healed. Since the King’s war was over, the Knight of the Green Sword thought about the concern and mortal desires his lady Oriana gave him, which at that time were greatly troublesome, and decided he could better deal with them by the fatigue of travel than in the great pleasure and rest where he was. He spoke with the King and told him:

“My lord, since your war is over, the time has come when my fortune will not let me rest, so my will can no longer be yours. I wish to leave tomorrow, and may God in his mercy give me a time when my service may be equal to the honors and mercies that I have received from you.”

When the King heard this, he was troubled, and he said:

“Oh, Knight of the Green Sword! Take from my reign what land ye will and be its lord, so I shall not see you part from my company.”

“My lord,” he said, “I believe that ye know how much I desire to serve you, and so ye have done me honor and mercy, but I can stay no longer. I cannot rest until my heart is where my thoughts always are.”

The King, seeing his determination, and considering him so calm and sure in his affairs that by no means could his mind be changed, told him with a sorrowful face:

“My loyal friend, if that is how it is, I ask two things of you: first, that ye must call on me and my kingdom if ye have any need of them, and second, that tomorrow ye hear Mass with me, for I wish to speak to you.”

“My lord,” he said, “I accept these words ye give me and shall remember them if the situation arises, and tomorrow, armed and ready to travel, I shall be at Mass with you.”

That night the Knight of the Green Sword ordered Gandalin to prepare everything necessary, for he wished to leave the next day, and so it was done. That night he could not sleep because his body had undergone no physical labor, so his mental labor found it easier to suffer great cares and mortal desires, and fatigued him more.

When morning came, having wept all night, he armed himself and mounted his horse. Gandalin and his dwarf mounted their palfreys, carrying the needed supplies for the road, and went to the chapel of the King, who was waiting for them. After they had heard Mass, the King ordered everyone to leave and remained there alone with him, and said:

“My great friend, I ask ye to grant me a boon, which will not be harmful to you during your journey nor to your honor.”

“I believe,” he said, “that ye, my lord, may ask for what ye will in keeping with your great virtue, and I shall grant it.”

“Well, my good friend,” the King said, “I ask ye to tell me your name and tell me whose son ye are, and believe that I shall keep it a secret until ye wish it to be told.”

The Knight of the Green Sword spent a while without speaking, thinking about what he had promised, and said:

“My lord, I wish your mercy would be pleased not to ask this question, which will not be to your advantage.”

“My good friend,” he said, “do not hesitate to tell me it, for I shall protect your secret just as ye do.”

He told him:

“Since it pleases you, although it is not my wish, know that I am Amadis of Gaul, son of King Perion, whom ye spoke of the other day in accord with the battle.”

The King said:

“Oh, blessed high-born knight, blessed be the hour in which ye were engendered, for so much honor and advantage ye have given to your father and mother and all your lineage, and to those who are not in your family! Ye have made me very happy by telling me that, and I trust in God that it shall be to your good and your cause for me to someday repay some of the great debts that I owe you.”

And while the King said this more out of good will than out of any need he knew the knight might have, in the future he fulfilled his promise in two ways: first he had all the deeds at arms that had happened in those lands written down; and second, he was very helpful by sending his son and men from his kingdom when he saw him in great need, as the fourth book shall tell.

When this was done, he of the Green Sword mounted his horse and bid farewell to the King, making him stay behind, although he wished to go with him. Grasandor and Count Galtines and many noblemen left with him, and he set out on the road with the intention of traveling through the islands of Romania and test himself in the adventures he found there. When they were a half-league from town, those knights turned back, commending him to God, and he continued on his way.