Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Chapter 89

How Amadis sent a messenger to Queen Briolanja. 

 [Portrait of Simon de Varie by Jean Fouquet in a 1455 prayer book at the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

The story says that after Amadis had dispatched the doctor Elisabad and had lodged Grasinda with Princess Oriana, he had Tantiles called, the majordomo of the beautiful Queen Briolanja, and he told him:

“My good friend, I would hope that on my behalf ye would labor is carefully in things for me as I would in things for you, and that is because, considering the extreme in which I have placed my honor, and how much it could be improved with careful preparation, and on the contrary how it could be discredited, I wish you to go to your lady and, since ye have seen everything and can tell her what she needs to know, try hard to have her order all her people and friends to be prepared for when they will be needed. And tell her that she knows that what involves me involves her, since if I were to fail, she would lose my services.”

Tantiles answered him:

“My Lord, I shall immediately do as ye order, and ye may be very sure that nothing would give my lady the Queen such pleasure as to know that the time had come to show you the great love and goodwill that she has to secure for you all ye would wish to ask from her and her entire kingdom. And have no worries about this, for I shall come when it is necessary with everything properly prepared that a great lady such as she is must send to he whom, after God, gave her her entire realm.”

Amadis thanked him sincerely and gave him a letter of credentials that was sufficient for him as a person who governed all her estate. Tantiles immediately went out to sea in the ship he had arrived in and did what shall further on be told.

After this was done, Amadis took Gandalin aside and told him:

“My friend Gandalin, thou hast seen how I need friends and family in this dire situation I could not avoid being placed in, and although I would feel very troubled to see thee depart from me, reason obliges me to do so. Thou hast seen how all these knights have agreed that all our friends be asked and advised so that when the time comes, they can sustain our honor. And although I have great hopes that many of them for whom I have done a great deal will wish to pay the debt they owe me, as thou knowest, I have even greater hopes in my father, King Perion, for he rightly or wrongly ought to provide aid for my concerns.

“Thou better than anyone else and without any difficulty canst tell him about everything that has happened to me, and how although there are many famous knights of grand lineage here, they all follow me and only me in their will and thoughts. It would be good if thou wert to leave soon to see him and tell him what thou hast seen and learned about the need in which I find myself. And in addition to these things, tell him that although I do not fear any armed force anywhere in the world in view of our own, it would be a hardship for him if I as his oldest son could not respond to these two princes if they were to attack me in the form and manner that I would be called to do.

“And because I understand that thou art aware of everything, it will not be necessary for me to tell thee more, except that before leaving, go speak with my cousin Mabilia to see if she would send something to her aunt and my sister Melicia, and see how my lady Oriana is, because although she would hide her feelings to others, only to thee would she reveal her true desire and will. And when this is done, leave immediately with these credentials that I have written for thee, which say:

“Thou shalt tell my lord the King that His Highness already knows how, after God wished by his hand that I became a knight, I never aspired to any other thing than to be a knight errant, and to do everything in my power to right the many wrongs and injustices that have been received especially by ladies and damsels, who above all else ought to receive aid. Because of that, I have placed my person in great labor and danger, without any other interest or hope except to serve God and to earn fame and praise. With this desire when I left his kingdom I went to travel to foreign lands, looking for those who needed my protection and defense and seeing new sights, where I had many adventures, as thou canst well tell him if he would wish to know of them.

“After much time had passed, I returned to this island and learned that King Lisuarte, with no fear of God and against the advice both of his own people and of others who were concerned for his honor and wished to serve him, with great cruelty and with a great loss to his reputation, wished to disinherit his daughter, the Princess Oriana, who after his days were done should be the lady of his realm, and instead to make a younger daughter the heir, who had no right to them, and to give Oriana to the Emperor of Rome as his wife. The Princess objected to this to all those who saw her and to others by messenger with great weeping and anguish so that they might have pity for her and not consent to the great injustice that was her disinheritance, and the just Judge, the Emperor of all things, heard her, and by His will and permission many princes and great knights were brought together on this island to give her help, for I, when I came, found them and from them learned of the great violence that was happening.

“Their agreement and advice held that since in things of this kind, more than in any other, knights are most obliged to act, and in this particular one they had to come to her aid. All that we had achieved until then with great personal danger and effort we would otherwise lose to this singular cause, since not merely reason required it but given the size and nature of the cause, our loss would be attributed more to cowardice and a lack of effort. And so it was done. In the battle the Romans were defeated and many of them killed and others taken prisoner, and we rescued the Princess along with all her ladies and damsels. We have agreed to send Sir Cuadragante of Ireland and my cousin Sir Brian of Monjaste to King Lisuarte to ask him on our behalf to be reasonable. If by chance he does not wish to do so, in the face of that danger, first his help and then the help of all our friends will be necessary, so I ask him to be ready with all of the men that he can when he is called for.

“And give my regards to my lady the Queen and ask her to send my sister Melicia here to accompany Oriana, so her nobility and great beauty will become known to all those who shall see her rather than just having heard of her.”

This done, he told him:

“Make preparations to go in any of these ships that thou findest best provisioned, and take someone to guide thee, and speak with my cousin Mabilia first, as I told thee.”

Gandalin said he would do so.

Agrajes spoke with Sir Gandales, Amadis’ foster father, and asked him to go see his father, the King of Scotland. In case the trouble of writing a letter was not necessary, because he had been in his service for such a long time and so trustworthy in all things that he was considered more a family member and advisor than a vassal. So it can be believed that this knight with full affection and diligence would procure with this trip its purpose for his foster son Amadis, who was the thing he most loved in the world. And what he did shall be told of further on.


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