Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chapter 72 [part 2 of 2]

[How Amadis traveled to Greece and then left for Constantinople, and what awaits in the remainder of Book III.] 

 [A portion of the world map by "Henricus Martellus Germanus" (Heinrich Hammer), made in Florence in 1490-1492. It was a mixture of information from Ptolemy, recent Portuguese discoveries, and unknown sources.]

They arrived at the lady’s palace, where she gave him a very fine room to stay in as was fitting for the house of such a lady, and had him disarm and wash the dust from his hands and face, and gave him a cape of rosy scarlet to wear. When Grasinda saw him thus, she was amazed by how handsome he was, more than she had thought any human man could be. She had a doctor come immediately to care for his wounds, the best and wisest that could be found in the area. He examined the injury to his throat and said:

“Knight, ye are wounded in a dangerous place, and ye must rest. If not, ye shall find yourself in great trouble.”

“Master doctor,” he said, “by the faith ye owe to God and to your lady who is here, as soon as I am able to ride, let me know, because I wish no rest or repose until God in His mercy sends me to the place where my heart is.”

As he said this, such anguish arose in him that he could not keep tears from coming to his eyes, which made him very embarrassed, and he quickly wiped them away and tried to look happy. The doctor dressed his wound and had him eat what was suitable, and Grasinda told him:

“My lord, rest and sleep, and we shall go to eat. We shall see you again when it is time. And order your squire to ask for everything ye need without hesitation.” With that she bid farewell.

He remained in his bed thinking hard about his lady Oriana, for there was all his joy and happiness mixed with storms and passions battling one another, and as he was tired, he slept.

Of Grasinda I tell ye that, after she had eaten, she retired to her room and lay on her bed and began to think about how handsome the Knight of the Green Sword was and the great deeds he had done. And since she was very rich and beautiful, and of such lineage that she was the niece of King Tafinor of Bohemia, and had been married to a great knight who had lived only one year, without engendering any children, she decided to take him as a husband, although he seemed to be nothing more than a knight-errant.

Wondering how she could do this, she remembered that she had seen him weep, and she thought that it had to have been over a woman whom he loved and could not have. This made her decide to wait until she could learn more about his situation. When she knew he was awake, she took her ladies and damsels and went to his room to honor him and to enjoy the great pleasure that she would feel to see him and speak with him. And it was no less pleasurable for him, although his thoughts were far from hers.

The lady spent time with him, doing everything for his pleasure that she could. But one day, she could suffer no more, and she took Gandalin off to the side and said:

“Good squire, may God help you and bless you, tell me something if ye know it, for I wish to ask you about a concern that I promise I shall never tell anyone else. And it is whether ye know that your lord is deeply and truly in love with another woman.”

“My lady,” Gandalin said, “I have spent little time with him, as has this dwarf, and we came into his service for the great things we had heard about him. He told us not to ask about his name or his affairs, and if we did, we would have to leave for our own fates. Since we have been with him, we have seen many of his great deeds and acts of courage that put terror in us, as he is without a doubt, my lady, the best knight in the world. And of him I know no more.”

The lady lowered her face and eyes and was lost in thought. When Gandalin saw this, he realized she was in love with his lord, and he wished to put an end to that because in no way would she get what she sought, so he told her:

“My lady, I have often seen him weep with such great anguish in his heart that I am amazed that he can sustain his life. And given his great valor, confronting with ease all brave and fearful things, I believe these tears can only come from some extreme and deep love for a woman, because this is the kind of illness where neither valor nor discretion can be of any use.”

“May God help me,” she said, “I believe what ye say, and I thank you for it. Go to him, and may God give him remedy for his cares.”

She went to her ladies having decided not to continue with what she had planned, having seen him so sure in what he did and said that she thought she would not change his mind.

And so as ye hear, the Knight of the Green Sword remained in the house of the great, rich, and beautiful lady Grasinda while his wounds healed, where he received so much honor and pleasure it was as if rather than being a poor knight-errant she had found out he was the son of a very noble king, which he was, of the noble King Perion of Gaul, his father.

When he found himself able to bear arms, he ordered Gandalin to prepare everything that was necessary for the road. He replied that everything was ready. As they were speaking, Grasinda entered with four of her damsels, and he took her by the hand. Then she sat on an estrado covered by a silk cloth embroidered with gold. He told her:

“My lady, I am ready to take to the road, and the honors that I have received from you have given me great concern about how I may serve you. For that reason, my lady, if I may undertake anything in your service, I would put all my will in that work.”

She responded:

“Truly, Knight of the Green Sword, my lord, I believe what ye say, and since there has been some satisfaction and pleasure in how ye were served here, I shall ask for your service, and at that time without any hesitation or shame something about me shall be revealed that up until now no one has known. But for now I ask ye to tell me where it is your will to go.”

“To Greece,” he said, “if God is so disposed, to see how Greeks live and to see their Emperor, of whom I have heard good things.”

“Then,” she said, “I wish to help you with your travels, and to do that I shall give you a very good ship with a crew who shall be under your command, and enough provisions to last a year. And I must give you the doctor who treated you, who is named Elisabad, for it would be hard to find anywhere someone as good at him at his work. I shall do this on the condition that if ye can, ye must be in this town with me within a year.”

He was very happy for the help, which he badly needed and had been very concerned about where he would find it, and told her:

“My lady, if I did not offer some recompense for these gifts that ye give me, I would count myself as the most unfortunate knight in the world, and I would hold myself as such if by shyness or shame ye were fail to ask what ye may.”

“My lord,” she said, “when God brings you back from this trip, I shall ask for what my heart has desired for a long time, and it shall be to increase your honor, although with some risk.”

“So be it,” he said, “and I trust that in your great prudence ye shall not ask of me anything but what I ought rightly to grant.”

“Then rest here five days,” Grasinda said, “while the things necessary for the trip are prepared.”

He agreed, although he had hoped to leave the next day. In that passage of time the ship was stocked with everything it needed to carry. The Knight of the Green Sword got on board with the doctor Elisabad, in whom, after God, he placed his health. After he said farewell to the beautiful lady, the sails were raised and the oars were employed, and he went on his trip, not directly to Constantinople, where the Emperor was, but to the islands of Romania he had not visited and others in the Kingdom of Greece. There the Knight of the Green Sword spent some time doing great feats at arms fighting with foreign men, some for the great purpose of correcting their arrogance, and others who having heard of his great fame had come to test their strength against his.

Thus he underwent many encounters of great danger and suffered many injuries, achieving victory and honor in all of them which brought him glory, and his wounds were healed by the great doctor that he brought with him.

As he traveled from one to another of these great battles, sailing from one island to another, and from there to others, the sailors became very tired and complained about it to the captain. He told that to the Knight of the Dwarf, reminding him that although his plans had been to visit all those islands, it was growing tiresome, and he should go straight to Constantinople. In the trip there and back, if God did not intervene, they would arrive to see Grasinda at the end of the year as promised. With that agreement and to the pleasure of everyone on the ship, they turned toward Constantinople with a good and direct wind.

In the second book we told you how Patin was a knight without land, but he expected to have it after the death of his brother Suidan, who was emperor of Rome and who had no son to inherit the empire. He had heard of the great fame of the knights in Great Britain in service to King Lisuarte at that time, and decided to go there to test himself against them.

Although he was very much in love with Sardamira, queen of Sardinia, for whom he undertook the trip, when he arrived at the court of King Lisuarte, where he was well received due to his high lineage, he saw the very beautiful Oriana, the King’s daughter, who had no equal to her beauty in the world. He was so taken by her that he forgot his old love in favor of this new one and asked her father for her hand in marriage. While the answer allowed Patin some hope, the King’s will was very much against that union, but Patin thought he had achieved what he wanted and wished to show off his strength, believing that this would make his lady love him more. He traveled through the land looking for knights-errant with whom to fight.

His misfortune guided him to the forest where Amadis at that time was desperate over his lady, weeping painfully. After Patin first praised love and Amadis then complained about it, they fought, and Patin went to the ground in the joust. Afterwards, back on his horse, by a single blow of a sword on his head he was so badly injured that he almost died several times.

As a result, without resolving the issue of his wedding with Oriana, he returned to Rome, where his brother the Emperor soon died, and he became Emperor. He did not forget the passion that Oriana had placed in his heart, and believing that with his higher position he could take her more easily, he decided to ask again for her in marriage from King Lisuarte.

To do that, he sent his cousin Salustanquidio, Prince of Calabria and a knight with fame at arms, and with him sent his principal majordomo, Brondajel de Roca, and the Archbishop of Talancia, along with three hundred men, and the beautiful Queen Sardamira with an abundant number of ladies and damsels to escort Oriana when they brought her. As it was the will of the Emperor, they began to prepare what they would need for the trip, which farther on and in more detail shall be recounted.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

After next week, a vacation

We’re halfway through Book III.

Your translator, Sue Burke, at the Torres dels Serrans, the triumphal entry gate to medieval Valencia. Photo by Jerry Finn.


As usual, this blog will take August off after the post next week, July 22, which will finish Chapter 72.

When we meet again in September, the action will begin as the Knight of the Green Sword finds himself on Devil’s Island facing a hideous monster, the Endriago. Soon, he is traveling to Great Britain, where he must rescue Oriana....

In the meantime, you can learn more about me and translating in an interview with Lisa Carter at Intralingo’s Spotlight on Literary Translators:

Remember that this blog is licensed under Creative Commons 4.0, so please feel free to use your summer to copy, distribute, display, share, or perform all or any part of it, or to create derivative works — for non-commercial use. Just say that you got it here. If you’re interested in commercial use, I can be very reasonable.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chapter 72 [part 1 of 2]

How after the Knight of the Green Sword left King Tafinor of Bohemia for the islands of Romania, he saw Grasinda approaching with a crowd of people and a knight of hers named Bradansidel who wanted to make the Knight of the Green Sword come by force before his lady; and how he fought him and won.

[Detail from an illustration for William of Tyre’s Historia. The chronicle, written in Latin between 1170 and 1184, covers the First Crusade and the political history of Jerusalem. The artwork depicts the well-deserved death of Byzantine Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos and appears in a 15th-century French version of the Historia.]


We have told you how when the Knight of the Green Sword left King Tafinor of Bohemia, his intention was to go to the islands of Romania because he had heard that brave people were there. And so he did, but not by the most direct road, but by wandering from one place to another, resolving and setting right many injuries and grievances that arrogant knights had inflicted on weak people, both men and women. Many times he was injured and other times he was ill, so against his will he needed to rest.

But when he reached Romania, there he faced mortal danger from knights and brave giants, and placing his life at risk, God granted him victory over all of them, and he gained so much praise and honor that he was looked upon by all with wonder. But even so, those great confrontations and labors were not enough to remove the burning flames and mortal afflictions and desires for his lady Oriana from his heart. And certainly ye may believe that were it not for Gandalin’s advice, who always encouraged him, by himself he would not have had the strength to keep his sad and troubled heart from being undone by tears.

And so as he traveled through that land in the manner that ye hear, wandering to as many places as he could without rest for his body or spirit, he came upon a port town on the sea facing Greece located on a beautiful site with many great towers and gardens at the edge of terra firma named Sadiana. Because the greater part of the day was yet to pass, he did not wish to enter the town, but he gazed at it, and it seemed beautiful, and he was pleased to view the sea, which he had not seen since he left Gaul now more than two years earlier.

He saw a large company of knights and ladies and damsels coming along the shore toward the town, and among them was a lady dressed in fine clothing, and a beautiful cloth on four poles was carried above her to protect her from the sun. The Knight of the Green Sword, who did not enjoy meeting people but instead preferred to travel alone thinking about his lady, left the road so he would not have to encounter them.

He had not gotten far when he saw a well-armed knight coming toward him on a large horse, brandishing a lance as if he wished to charge with it. The knight had a valiant bearing and a muscular body, and he rode well, so he seemed to be strong, and a damsel from the company of the lady, finely dressed, accompanied him. When he saw they were coming, he waited. The damsel arrived first, and she said:

“My lord knight, that lady there, who is my lady, has told me to deliver orders to you to come immediately to her. She tells you this for your own good.”

Although she spoke in German, The Knight of the Dwarf understood her perfectly because he always tried to learn the languages of the places where he traveled, and he responded:

“My lady damsel, may God give honor to your lady and to you. But tell me, what does that knight want?”

“That is not to your benefit,” she said, “but do as I say.”

“I shall not go with you at all if ye do not tell me.”

She responded thus:

“If that is how it is, I shall tell you, although against my will. Know, my lord knight, that my lady saw you and this dwarf with whom ye travel, and because it has been said that such a foreign knight is traveling through these lands doing marvelous feats of arms the likes of which have never been seen, she thinks it is you and wishes to do you great honor and share the secret in her heart which until now no one has known. And as this knight serves her wishes, he said that he would make you come at her orders, even against your wishes, which he can well do as he is more powerful in arms than anyone else in these lands. So I advise you to come with me rather than leaving it to him.”

“Damsel,” he said, “I am very ashamed to tell you that I cannot comply with the orders of your lady, but I wish ye to see if he will do as he said.”

“I am very sorry,” she said, “for I am very pleased by your speech and conduct.”

Then she left him, and the Knight of the Green Sword continued down the road as before. When the other knight saw this, he shouted:

“Ye, vile sir knight who did not wish to go with this damsel, get off your horse and mount it backwards, holding the tail in your hand as the reins and wearing your shield backwards, and present yourself in that state before the lady if ye do not wish to lose your head. Choose what ye prefer.”

“Truly, knight,” he said, “I do not have the heart to choose either of these two at this time. Instead, I wish that they be for you.”

“Well, now ye shall see how I can make you accept one,” he said.

Then he spurred his horse intending to knock him from his saddle in their first meeting, as he had done to many other knights because he was the best jouster in the entire area. The Knight of the Dwarf, who had taken up his arms, rode at him well covered by his shield, and that joust was finished in its first encounter when the lances were broken. The knight who had threatened him was thrown from his saddle, but his lance pierced the shield and mail of the Knight of the Green Sword, and the blade of the lance wounded him seriously in the throat.

He rode past the other knight and took out the piece of lance from the shield where it was lodged.
Then he turned toward Bradansidel, as the knight was called, and saw him laying on the field as if he were dead. He said to Gandalin:

“Dismount and pull off the shield and helmet from this knight, and see if he is dead.”

So he did, and the knight took some air and became more conscious, but not enough to regain his senses. He of the Green Sword put the point of his sword in his face and struck him several times, and said:

“Ye, sir knight, who threatens and disdains those whom ye do not know, now ye must lose your head or do what ye had instructed earlier.”

He, in fear of death, became more aware and lowered his face. And he of the Green Sword said:

“Do ye not wish to speak? I ought to cut off your head.”

Then the other knight said:

“Oh, knight, mercy, by God! I would rather do as ye order than lose my soul, as this is the state I am now in.”

“Then let it be done without delay.”

Bradansidel called the squires he had there, and on his orders they put him on his horse backwards, put the tail in his hand, and put his shield around his neck backwards, and in that manner they brought him before the beautiful lady and through the town: thus all could see him and he could serve as an example for those who due to their arrogance wish to shame and despise those whom they do not know, including God if they could reach him, not considering the misadventures they will have in this world and then in the other as they deserve.

The lady and her company and the people of the town were so surprised when they saw the misfortune of the knight they had considered so strong. They exalted and lauded the knight who had defeated him even more, for it confirmed the great things they had heard about him.

When this was done, the Knight of the Green Sword saw the damsel who had called him and had seen the battle and heard everything that had been said. He went to her and said:

“My lady damsel, now I shall go at the orders of your lady, if ye please.”

“I am very pleased,” she said, “and so shall be my lady Grasinda,” for that was her name.

They went quickly, and when they arrived, he of the Green Sword saw the most lovely and lively lady he had met since he left his sister Melicia. And, likewise, to her he seemed to be the most well-born and handsome knight with the best arms of all those she had seen in her life. She said:

“My lord, I have heard many amazing things said about what ye have done at arms since you entered these lands. From what I have seen of you in person, it seems to me that it must be true. And they have also told me that ye were in the court of King Tafinor of Bohemia, and of the honor and benefit that ye gave him, and they tell me that ye are called the Knight of the Green Sword or of the Dwarf. Because I see him with ye, I shall call you that. But I ask you for your own good, for I see ye are injured, to be my guest in my town. We shall treat your wounds, and ye shall find no place better for that in these lands.”

He told her:

“My lady, seeing the good will of your request, if there is anything that I can do to serve you, be it dangerous or risky, I shall, even more because of the needs of my injury.”

The lady took him with her and went to the town. An old knight, who carried the reins of the lady, reached out and gave them to the Knight of the Green Sword, then he rode to town to prepare the knight’s lodging, for he was the lady’s majordomo. The Knight of the Dwarf led the lady, speaking with her of various things, and if earlier she had thought highly of him, she esteemed him even more seeing his great discretion and gentlemanly speech. He thought the same of her, for she was very beautiful and was gracious in everything she said.

When they entered the town, all its people came to their doors and windows to see their lady, who was well loved by them all, and the knight who was so highly considered for his great deeds, and he seemed the most handsome and well-bred they had ever seen. And they thought that there was no greater feat at arms than to have defeated Bradansidel, who was feared by all.