Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chapter 78 [part 1 of 3]

How the Knight of the Green Sword, who was at that time called the Greek Knight, Sir Bruneo of Bonamar, and Angriote de Estravaus traveled together by sea accompanied by the very beautiful Grasinda on their way to the court of King Lisuarte, who was determined to send his daughter Oriana to the Emperor of Rome to become his wife; and what happened when Grasinda declared her quest. 

[Medieval ships portrayed on postage stamps from the Republique de Burundi.]

The Knight of the Green Sword, Sir Bruneo of Bonamar, and Angriote de Estravaus, sailed the sea with Grasinda, sometimes with good weather and sometimes with bad as God sent, until they arrived at the ocean along the coast of Spain. When he of the Green Sword saw that they were nearing Great Britain, he gave profound thanks to God for letting him escape so many dangers and storms as they had crossed the seas, and for bringing him to the land where his lady was. Great joy overcame his heart.

Then he happily ordered all the ships to draw together and asked everyone to call him by no other name than the Greek Knight, and ordered them to hasten to land at Great Britain. Then he sat with Grasinda at her estrado and told her:

“Beautiful lady, the time you have wished for will come soon and, if God pleases, your heart’s desire shall be fulfilled. And truly, my lady, believe that neither for toil nor for danger to my person shall I fail to repay you for some of the kindnesses ye have shown to me.”

“Greek Knight, my friend,” she said, “I have such faith in God and His guidance that if your will were not so, He would not have given me such a knight as you to protect me. And I thank you for what ye have told me, because my heart burns twice as bright being so close to the challenge.”

The Greek Knight ordered Gandalin to bring him the six swords that Queen Menoresa had given him in Constantinople, which Gandalin did. The Greek Knight gave one to Sir Bruneo and one Angriote, who were astonished by how richly they were decorated. He took another one for himself and ordered Gandalin to put his green sword where no one could see it and to put the other one with his arms. He did this because he was going to King Lisuarte’s court and wish to do so undercover, and he did not want to be recognized by that sword.

By then it was between three and six o’clock. Grasinda, who was seasick, had the Greek Knight and Sir Bruneo and Angriote take her to the railing of the ship because she would feel relieved to see land. The four spoke of whatever pleased them most, continuing on their voyage, and as the sun began to set they saw a ship becalmed in the sea. The Greek Knight ordered to sailors to head toward it.

When they were close enough to hear each other, the Greek Knight told Angriote to ask the men in the ship if they had any news. Angriote greeted them courteously and said:

“What ship is this and who is in it?”

When they heard the question, they answered:

“The ship comes from Firm Island and two knights travel in it, who shall tell ye what ye may wish to know.”

When the Greek Knight heard Firm Island mentioned, his heart felt happy, as did the hearts of his companions, thinking they might learn what they had hoped to hear. Angriote said:

“My friends, we ask if these knights might please come forward so we may ask them about news we wish to learn. And if ye please, tell us who they are.”

“We shall not give their names, but we will tell them your request.”

They called the two knights, who came beside their men. Then Angriote said:

“My lords, we wish to know where King Lisuarte is, if by chance ye know.”

“We shall tell you everything we know,” they said. “But first we wish to ask about something we have toiled hard to learn, although we expect even more toil before we succeed.”

“Ask what ye please,” Angriote said, “and if I know, ye shall learn it.”

They said:

“My friend, what we wish to learn is news about a knight named Amadis of Gaul. All his friends are wandering and dying in foreign lands to find him.”

When the Greek Knight heard this, tears immediately came to his eyes from the great pleasure his spirit felt to know that all his relatives and friends were so loyal, but he remained quiet. Angriote told them:

“Now tell me who ye are, and I shall tell you what ye wish to know.”

One of them said:

“Know that my name is Dragonis, and this is my companion, Enil, and we plan to sail through the Mediterranean Sea and its ports from one end to another to try to learn news about this man of whom we ask.”

“My lords,” Angriote said, “may God give you good news about him. People from many lands are on these ships, and I shall ask to see if one of them knows anything, and I shall gladly tell you it.”

He said this on orders from the Greek Knight, and he told them:

“For the moment, I ask you to tell me where King Lisuarte is, and what news ye know of him and of his wife, Queen Brisena, and of his court.”

“I shall tell you,” Dragonis said. “Know that he is in a town called Tagades, and it is a large seaport facing Normandy. He has called all his noblemen to court for their counsel on whether to give his daughter Oriana to the Emperor of Rome, who has asked to have her for his wife. Many Romans are there to take her, and among them the greatest is Salustanquidio, Prince of Calabria, and many others whom he commands, who are esteemed knights. They have a Queen with them named Sardamira to accompany Oriana, whom the Emperor is already calling the Empress of Rome.”

When the Greek Knight heard this, his heart shook and he felt faint for a time. But when Dragonis began to describe how Oriana was bitter and weeping, and how she had sent her complaints to all the noblemen of Great Britain, his heart became quieter and strong, since she was sorrowful. He realized that the Romans could not be so many or so mighty as to prevent him from taking her by sea or land, and since he would do that for the poorest damsel in the world, what ought he do for she whom if he were to lose for only a moment, he could not live?

He gave great thanks to God because he would arrive in that land where he could repay his lady for some of the great favors she had given him, and if he took her, he would have her as he wished with no shame on her part. And with that idea he became as happy and joyous as if it were already accomplished and done.

He quietly told Angriote to ask Dragonis where he had learned that news. When he was asked, Dragonis said:

“We have left from Firm Island, where four days ago, some knights arrived: Sir Cuadragante and his nephew Ladin, Gavarte of the Fearsome Valley, Madancian of the Silver Bridge, and Helian the Lighthearted. These five came to hold counsel with Florestan and Agrajes, who are there, about how they should begin the quest for Amadis, he whom we search for. Sir Cuadragante wanted to send someone to King Lisuarte’s court to learn if the foreigners there had some news about the valiant Amadis. But Sir Florestan told him not to because he had just come from there and they had no news. His squires told of a contention Florestan had with the Roman, and how his praise shall be sung as long as the world endures.”

When Angriote heard this, he said:

“My lord knight, tell us who this man is and what praiseworthy things he did.”

“He is a son of King Perion of Gaul,” Dragonis said, “and he is very much like his brothers in his great skill at arms.”

And he told everything that had happened with the Roman knights as Queen Sardamira watched, and how he brought their shields to Firm Island with the names of their owners written in their blood.

“And this Sir Florestan recounted the news that we told you, and how Queen Sardamira’s knights were in such poor shape that she asked Sir Florestan to guard her until she reached Miraflores, where she went to see Oriana, King Lisuarte’s daughter.”

The Greek Knight and his friends were very happy about Sir Florestan’s good fortune. And when the Greek Knight heard Miraflores mentioned, his heart jumped and would not be still as he remembered the delightful time he passed with she who was his lady. He left Grasinda and the other knights, drew aside Gandalin, and told him:

“My true friend, thou hast heard the news about Oriana, and if it were to come to pass, she and I would meet our deaths. I ask thee to be extremely careful with what I send thee to do, which is this: that thou and Ardian the dwarf bid me farewell, saying that you wish to go with the men in the ship to search for Amadis. Tell my cousin Dragonis and Enil all the news about me, then go back to Firm Island. And when thou arrivest there, tell Sir Cuadragante and Agrajes that I beg them not to leave there, for I shall be with them in two weeks and they should keep with them all those knights there who are our friends and send for more of them if they know where they are. And tell Sir Florestan and thy father Sir Gandales that they provision all the ships they have there with viands and arms because I must use them to go to a place were I have promised to be, which I shall tell them about when I see them. Take great caution in this for thou knowest what it means to me.”

Then he called the dwarf, and told him:

“Ardian, go with Gandalin and do as he tells thee.”

Gandalin, who was eager to fulfill his lord’s orders, went to Grasinda and told her:

“My lady, we wish to leave the Greek Knight to join the search with those knights in that ship, who are looking for Amadis, and may God thank you for the kindnesses that we have received from you.”

And in the same way they bid farewell to the Greek Knight, Sir Bruneo and Angriote, commended them to God, and boarded the other ship.

Angriote told them:

“My lords, ye see there a squire and a dwarf who share the same search as you.”

But when they saw that they were Gandalin and the dwarf, they were very happy. And when they learned their news, their galley left the fleet and took them toward Firm Island.



  1. Thank you so much for producing this translation and making it publicly available.

    I've only one question - are you going to do any more mini-summaries? They're very useful for keeping the story straight in my mind, but the last one I can find is for Chapters 58-62 two years ago.

  2. Thank you for the reminder. I should do that, and I simply forgot. I'll get on it.