Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chapter 73 [part 3 of 3]

[In which is recounted how the doctor Elisabad treated the Knight of the Green Sword for his wounds, which brought him near death.] 

[The Fiera Corruptia, a monster of Spanish folklore.]

Gandalin, when he saw that the knight was unconscious, made no effort to respond. Instead, he galloped up a small hill and sounded the horn as loudly as he could as a sign that the Endriago was dead. Ardian the dwarf, who was in the tower, heard it and shouted to the doctor Elisabad to go help his lord, for the Endriago was dead. As soon as he was ready, the doctor rode with everything he might need as fast as he could directly toward where the dwarf had pointed. He had not ridden far before he saw Gandalin on the hill, who, when he saw the doctor, came galloping toward him and said:

“Oh, my lord, by God and by mercy, help my lord, who desperately needs it. The Endriago is dead!”

When the doctor heard this, he felt great pleasure at Gandalin’s good news, not knowing the injuries of the knight, and spurred his horse to go as fast as it could. Gandalin guided him to where the Knight of the Green Sword lay. They found him unconscious and senseless, but groaning loudly. The doctor went to him and said:

“What is this, my lord knight? Where has your great courage gone at the time and cause when ye need it most? Do not fear dying, for your good friend and loyal servant is here, doctor Elisabad, who shall help you.”

When the Knight of the Green Sword heard doctor Elisabad, although he was weak, he recognized his voice and opened his eyes and tried to raise his head, but he could not, and raised his arms as if he wished to embrace him. Doctor Elisabad immediately took off his cloak and laid it on the ground, and he and Gandalin picked him up and put him on it, then took off his armor, disturbing him as little as possible. When the doctor saw the injuries, although he was one of the most skilled in the world, he was frightened and felt no hope for the knight’s life. But as one who loved him and held him as the best knight in the world, he decided to do all he could to heal him. He examined his wounds and saw that his flesh and bones had been injured, but that his entrails had not been touched. He felt more hope that he could heal him, so he set the ribs and bones, and sewed up the flesh, putting ointments on it and wrapping him well all around his body, which stopped the bleeding and helped him breathe. Then the knight gained more consciousness and strength, enough so he could speak, and he opened his eyes and said:

“Oh all powerful Lord God, Who chose to come to the world and take human flesh within the Virgin Mary and open the gates of Paradise, which had been closed, Who chose to suffer many injuries and in the end was killed by evil and ill-fated people! I ask thee, Lord, as one of the greatest sinners, to have mercy on my soul, for my body is condemned to the earth.”

Then he was quiet and spoke no more. The doctor told him:

“My lord knight, it pleases greatly me to see you with such consciousness, because He from whom ye ask mercy shall deliver the best medicine to you, and after that, I as your servant shall use my life for the care of yours, and with His help I shall heal you. Do not fear death at this time, only strengthen your heart and have as much hope to live as you had to die.”

Then he took a sponge with medicine against poison and put it at his nose, which gave him great strength. Gandalin kissed the doctor’s hands, knelt before him, and begged him to have mercy on his lord. The doctor ordered him to mount and hurry to the castle and bring back some men to carry the knight on a litter before night fell. Gandalin did so, and the men came and made a litter from trees in the forest as best they could, then put the Knight of the Green Sword on it and carried him to the castle on their shoulders. They readied the best chamber with the fine bedding that Grasinda had ordered put in the ship, and placed him in the bed so unconscious that he felt nothing. Thus he spent the night and did not speak, groaning as one who was badly injured, and tried to talk, but could not.

The doctor ordered his own bed placed there and was with him to care for him, and put all the proper unguents to draw out the vile poison that the Endriago had filled him with. At the dawn of day the knight fell into a peaceful sleep, so good was the medicine. Then the doctor ordered everyone out so they would not awaken him, because he knew that sleep was a great consolation. After a long time, the sleep was broken, and the knight began to shout with great affliction, and said:

“Gandalin, Gandalin, protect thyself from that cruel and evil devil. Do not be killed!”

When the doctor heard that, he laughed happily, although in his heart he still feared for his life, and said:

“If ye protected yourself as well as ye wish he did, your fame would not be as widespread throughout the world.”

He lifted his head and saw the doctor, and said:

“Doctor, where are we?”

He came to him, took him by the hands, and saw that he was still faint. He ordered he be brought something to eat and fed him with what he thought would help him regain his strength. He ate it as a senseless man. The doctor stayed with him giving him the care he needed, as he who was the best at his work as could have been found in the entire world. Before vespers came, the knight had become fully conscious and recognized everyone and spoke with them.

The doctor never left his side and gave him all things necessary for his injuries, and with that care and principally with the will of God, Who wished it so, the doctor in his wisdom saw that the wounds would heal. Then he told that to all those who were there, who felt great pleasure and thanked the sovereign God because he had saved them from both the storm in the sea and the perilous devil.

Greatest was the happiness of Gandalin, his loyal squire, and the dwarf, as those who loved him from the bottom of their hearts, for they were returned from death to life. Then they all gathered around the bed of the Knight of the Green Sword with great pleasure, consoling him and telling him not to worry about his injuries because of the honor and good fate that God had given him, more in both arms and courage than He had ever given to any other earthly man.

They insistently asked Gandalin to tell them everything about the feat as it had happened, since he had seen it with his own eyes, because they wanted to be able to recount the great prowess of the knight. He told them he would willingly do so on the condition that the doctor would have him swear on the holy Evangels, so that they would believe him and it could be written down truthfully, and thus such a great and notable deed would not be lost to oblivion from memory. Doctor Elisabad did so, to make the great deed be more certain.

Then Gandalin told them everything that had happened just as this story has recounted it, and when they heard it, they were astounded by it as the greatest exploit they had ever heard spoken of. Yet none of them had seen the Endriago, which had fallen amid some underbrush, because they had been to busy helping the knight to worry about it.

Then they all said they wished to see the Endriago. The doctor told them to go and gave them many medicines to protect themselves from the poison. When they saw the thing so terrifying and out of proportion to any living thing they had ever seen, they were much more amazed than before and could not believe that such a courageous heart existed in the world to dare to attack that devil. Although they knew for certain that the Knight of the Green Sword had killed it, it seemed to them it was only sleeping.

After they had stared at it for a long time, they returned to the castle, speaking among themselves about what a great deed the Knight of the Green Sword had brought to completion.

What shall I tell you? Know that they were there more than twenty days before the Knight of the Green Sword had become well enough that they dared to take him from his bed. But in time by God and the great diligence of doctor Elisabad his health had improved so that without any danger he could go back out to sea. When the doctor saw him thus disposed, he spoke to him one day and said:

“My lord, now due to the goodness of God, as He has wished and Whose power none equals, ye have come to the point where I dare believe that with His help and your good effort ye may go out to sea and travel where ye please. And because we still lack some very necessary things, both regarding your health and to sustain the crew, ye must give the order to leave, because while we are here, we will find ourselves lacking even more.”

The Knight of the Dwarf said:

“My lord and true friend, I owe many thanks and gifts to God because he has seen fit to heal me in my danger, more out of His holy mercy than because I deserve it, and nothing can be compared to His great power because everything is permitted and guided by His will, and every good thing that happens in this world must be attributed to Him. And leaving His part aside, my lord, I thank you for my life, because truly I believe that no one born now in this world would be able to help me the way ye have. And although God may have done me a great mercy, my fate is very contrary, for the prize for the great service that I have received from you cannot be satisfied by a poor knight who possesses no other thing but a horse and some armor, which has been damaged, as ye see.”

The doctor said:

“My lord, I need no other satisfaction than the glory that I have with you, which is to have, after God, saved from death, the best knight who has ever borne arms, and this I will dare to say before you for what ye have done before me. And the prize I hope from you is much greater than that which any king or great lord can give me, which is the help that many men and women in trouble will find in you, for you will aid them. For me a greater reward than any other shall be to have caused, after God, your recovery.”

The Knight of the Green Sword was embarrassed to hear himself so praised, and he said:

“My lord, let us leave this of which we speak aside. I wish ye to know that which I hold most firmly in my will. I had wished to travel through all the islands of Romania, and after ye told me about the fatigue of the sailors, I changed my purpose and we turned toward Constantinople, which contrary weather has kept us from. Now that it has calmed, I still desire to go there and to see that great Emperor, because, if God sends me to where my heart desires, I will be able to tell some amazing tales about things that one may rarely see except in such royal houses. My lord doctor, for the love ye have for me, I beg you not to be angry about this, because one day ye shall be rewarded by me. And from there we shall return, sovereign God willing, within the deadline set for me by the very noble lady Grasinda. I must try to fulfill it, as ye well know, so that if it is possible and as it is my desire, I may repay some of the great mercies I have received from her without deserving them.”


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