Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Chapter 126 [part 2 of 2]

[How the Kings and knights left Firm Island, and what they planned to do.] 

[A series of photos depict the Moon rising over Sesimbra Castle, south of Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by Miguel Claro.]

The lords and ladies returned to island for the games and great merriment in honor of the weddings. When they were finally over, the Emperor asked Amadis for permission to leave, if he were pleased, because the Emperor wished to return to his lands with his wife and reform that great realm, which after God Amadis had given him. He asked for Sir Florestan, King of Sardinia, to come with him, and said he would immediately deliver all the realm of Calabria, as Amadis had ordered, and the rest he would divide with him as a true brother. This he did, and after Arquisil, Emperor of Rome, arrived in his grand empire, he was received with great love by all, and he was always accompanied by that courageous and valiant knight Sir Florestan, King of Sardinia and Prince of Calabria, by whom both he and all the empire was benefitted and honored, as we shall recount farther on.

When the Emperor had bid farewell to Amadis, offering him his person and realm at his wishes and command, he took his wife, whom he loved more than he loved himself, and the very noble and courageous knight Sir Florestan, whom he considered to be just like a brother, and the very beautiful Queen Sardamira. He also brought the bodies of the Emperor Patin and the very courageous knight Floyan, which were in the monastery at Lubaina at the orders of King Lisuarte, and of Prince Salustanquidio, which at the time when Amadis and his companions brought Oriana to Firm Island, he had ordered to be very honorably placed in a chapel so that it could receive the sepulture in his lands appropriate to his grandeur.

He ordered the great fleet that the Emperor Patin had left at the port of Windsor to come there, and he and all the Romans who had been prisoners at Firm Island returned to his empire.

All the other Kings and lords prepared to go to their lands, but before they left they decided to plan how the knights who were going to win the realms of Sansuena, the Kingdom of Arabigo, and Deep Island might proceed with precautions so that they could achieve their goals without any obstacles.

Amadis spoke with King Lisuarte, saying that he thought that given the time the King had been away from his lands, he might be feeling anxious, and if he were, Amadis hoped he would not delay his return. The King said that in fact he had been relaxing with great pleasure, but now it was time to do as Amadis said, but if for what was being planned he needed Lisuarte’s knights, he would gladly give them. Amadis thanked him deeply and said that since the lords of those lands were being held prisoner, no more provisions would be needed than the men that his lord King Perion was leaving behind, and if by chance Lisuarte’s were necessary, he would accept them, for all had to serve Lisuarte as a lord, and those lands were being won for him.

The King said that if that was how things seemed to him, he would immediately arrange to leave, but first he wished to call together all those lords and ladies in the great hall because he wanted to speak to them. When they were all together, King Lisuarte said to King Cildadan:

“Your great loyalty, which has delivered me in the recent past from many dangers and fears, has tormented and afflicted me because I did not know how I might offer satisfaction. A reward equal to your great merit would be hopeless to search for because it could not be found. Considering what was in my hand and possible, I saw that just as your noble person had been placed at my service in many battles, in that same way mine with everything in its realm shall with complete willfulness be place to fulfill whatever may be to your honor, and so from here onward ye shall no longer be in vassalage to my service, which your contrary fortune had subjected you to by force. From here on any service shall be done at your pleasure as between two good brothers.”

King Cildadan said:

“Whether this deserves thanks or not I leave to be judged by those who by some compulsion were caused to follow another’s will rather than their own, which is always accompanied by anxiety and sighs. And ye may believe, my lord, that the volition which until now ye received by force and with no friendship, shall from here on be given with love and many more men and obedience and attention to whatever is most agreeable to you. Let the time come that can demonstrate this by deeds.”

All the great lords thought King Lisuarte had acted with great virtue, and many praised him, above all Sir Cuadragante, who had always thought the vassalage was a enormous and sorrowful misfortune for that kingdom, where he was had been born, which in other times had been very honored and empowered over all others, for he now saw it freed from such heavy and dishonorable servitude.

King Lisuarte asked King Cildadan what he wished to do, because Lisuarte was arranging to return to his lands. He answered that if it pleased King Lisuarte, he would remain there to help plan how his uncle Sir Cuadragante could win the kingdom of Sansuena and, if necessary, go with him. The King told him that he had spoken wisely and he was pleased for him to do so, and if any of his men would be necessary, he would immediately send them. King Cildadan thanked him sincerely and said that he believed what they had would suffice, since Barsinan was their prisoner.

With that King Lisuarte and his company left, and Amadis and Oriana went with him, although he did not wish them to, for almost a full day’s journey, then they returned to plan what ye have heard about, which they did in this way: since the kingdom of King Arabigo shared a border with Sansuena, Sir Cuadragante and Sir Bruneo would go together and immediately try to win whatever part was weakest, and the rest would be easier to conquer.

Sir Galaor said he wished to go, and his cousin Dragonis would go with him, since he would soon be able to bear arms, and that he, with all the rest of what he would have in his kingdom, could be used to help him win Deep Island. Sir Galvanes said he also wished to make the same journey, and he would get good men for it from the island of Mongaza. With that agreement Sir Galaor left with his wife, the very beautiful Queen Briolanja, and Dragonis went with them, and Sir Galvanes and Madasima went to his land to prepare for the journey as fast as they could.

Although Amadis had urged Agrajes to stay with him at Firm Island, he did not wish to do so. Instead, he said he would go with Sir Bruneo and with the men from his father the King, and would not leave Sir Bruneo until he was a king and at peace. Sir Brian of Monjaste and all the other knights there said the same and left with Sir Cuadragante, especially the good and courageous Angriote d’Estravaus, who no matter what Amadis said would not go to his own lands and rest, or be dissuaded from going with Sir Bruneo of Bonamar.

All these knights left with new arms and brave hearts, taking the men from Spain, Scotland, and Ireland, and from the Marquis of Troque, who was Sir Bruneo’s father, and from Firm Island and the King of Bohemia, and many other companies that had come from other lands. They boarded a great fleet and they all urged Grasandor to remain with Amadis to keep him company, which he did much against his wishes, for he would rather have made that journey.

But he was not there in vain, nor was Amadis, for they often left to accomplish great feats at arms, righting many wrongs and injuries done to ladies and damsels and others who could not defend themselves by their own hands and abilities, and who sought them ought, as this story shall recount farther on.

King Cildadan, who deeply loved Sir Cuadragante, tried as hard as he could to be allowed to go with him, but Sir Cuadragante would not consent to it at all. Instead, he asked him out of love to return immediately to his kingdom to bring happiness and consolation to his wife the Queen and all his subjects with the good news he brought and could fully recount: that by fulfilling his duty he had lost his freedom, and by fulfilling the promise and vow to his honor and obligation, he had won it back.

Gastiles, nephew of the Emperor of Constantinople, had send all his men with the Marquis of Saluder, and remained to see the results of the effort so he could tell his lord the Emperor everything about it. When he saw what was being done, he spoke with Amadis and told him that he was very sorry not to have men prepared to help those knights in their journey, but if Amadis considered it good, he would go personally and with some of the men who had remained behind.

Amadis told him:

“My lord, what has been done should be enough, and because of your uncle and yourself I have been given all the honor that ye see. May God be pleased in His mercy to have a time come when I can serve him. And ye, my lord, should leave immediately and kiss his hands for me, and tell him that everything that has just been won here has been won by him, and it shall always be at his service or whomever he may send. I also commend you to kiss the hands of the very beautiful Leonorina and Queen Menoresa for me, and tell her that I shall fulfill everything I promised and shall send them a knight of my lineage who will be able to serve her very well.”

“I fully believe that,” Gastiles said, “because there are so many in your lineage that there are enough to serve all the world.”

With that he said farewell and boarded his ship, and for now nothing more shall be told until the proper time.

When everything ye have heard of was arranged and prepared, the great fleet left the port and went out to sea with all those knights and the courage that their great hearts would give them in perilous encounters. Amadis remained at Firm Island with Grasandor, as has been said; Mabilia, Melicia, Olinda, and Grasinda remained with Oriana, praying for God to help their husbands. King Perion and his wife Queen Elisena returned to Gaul. Esplandian and the King of Dacia and the other youths remained with Amadis waiting for their time to become knights and for Urganda the Unrecognized to arrange it, as she had said and promised.

But now this story shall cease to speak of those knights who went to win their kingdoms, and shall recount what happened Amadis a little later.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Chapter 126 [part 1 of 2]

How Urganda the Unrecognized brought together all the Kings and knights that were at Firm Island, and the great things she told them that would happen in the past, present, and future, and how she finally left. 

[Gargoyle at the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, Barcelona, Spain. Photo by Bernard Gagon.]

The story recounts that after the great festivities of the weddings were over at Firm Island, Urganda the Unrecognized asked the Kings to order all the knights and ladies and damsels to gather together because she wished to tell them all of them her purpose and reason for coming, which they ordered to be done.

When they were all together in the great hall of the castle, Urganda sat before them, holding her two young noblemen by the hands. When everyone was quiet, waiting for her to speak, she said:

“My lords, without being told, I knew about these great festivities following those many deaths and losses that ye have suffered, and God is my witness that if any or all of those evils could have been prevented by me, I would have not failed to place all my effort and person into such labors. But as it had been permitted by the Lord on high, they could not have been avoided, because what by Him is ordained, without Him none has the power to prevent. And since I could not have forestalled those evils with my presence, I realized that to improve on what good was within my powers, given the great love I have for many of you and that ye have for me, and to declare some things that I had previously told you by private means, as I am accustomed to do. That way ye may truly believe what I said, as ye could the things ye heard from me at other times.”

Then she looked at Oriana and said:

“My good lady and beautiful bride, ye should well recall that when I was with your father the King and your mother the Queen in their town in Fenusa, sleeping with you in your bed, ye asked me to tell you what would happen to you, and I asked you not to wish to know. But because I knew your will, I told you how the lion of Fearful Island would leave its cave, and his great roars would frighten your guardians so he could take control of your flesh and, with them, put his great hunger at rest.

“This ye ought to clearly understand, for your husband, who is very much stronger and braver than any lion, left this island, which may rightly be called Fearful for it has so many caves and hiding places, and with his strength and shouts the, fleet of the Romans, who guarded you, was defeated and destroyed, and so ye were placed in his mighty arms and he took control of your flesh, as all have seen, without which his ravenous hunger could not have been contented or appeased. And thus ye know that everything I told you was true.”

Then she said to Amadis:

“Then ye, my good lord, shall clearly see the truth in everything I had told you, that ye would give your blood for others, for in the battle with Ardan Canileo the Fearful ye gave it for your friends King Arban of North Wales and Angriote d’Estravaus, who were prisoners. Then your fine sword, when ye saw it in the hands of your enemy and which was turned against your flesh and bones, ye dearly wished were in some lake from which it would never reappear. And then the reward that followed from this, what was it? Truly, none other than anger and great enmity between yourself and King Lisuarte, who is here, which was the result of your winning the Island of Mongaza, as all have clearly seen and as I told you.

“And things that I wrote to you, very virtuous King Lisuarte, when ye found this very handsome and noble youth Esplandian, your grandson, in a forest hunting with a lioness, ye still hold clearly in your memory. From what I said about the past ye can see that I knew, because he was raised by three very different wet nurses, in fact a lioness and a sheep and a woman, all of whom gave him milk.

“I also told you that this youth would bring peace between yourself and Amadis, and I leave it to be judged by both of you all the ire, all the acrimony, and all the enmity he has eliminated from your wills with his grace and great handsomeness, and how because of him and his great discretion ye were rescued by Amadis when ye expected no other thing but death. Whether such a service as this was worthy of eradicating enmity and attracting love, I leave to these lords to judge.

“As for other things that in due time shall occur, as the letter foretold, may they be judged by those who will be alive to see them, from by what I knew about the past they may believe that I know about the future.

“Another prophecy I told you was much greater than the rest, for it contained everything that happened by delivering your daughter Oriana to the Romans, and the great evils and cruel deaths that resulted, which, so as not to remind you of a thing which would cause so much anguish and ire at a time when ye ought to be enjoying great pleasure, I shall leave for those who wish to see it in the second book where they may observe clearly that all the things that happened are contained in it and were said by me previously.

“Now that I have spoken of things in the past, I wish ye to learn about the present things ye do not know about.”

Then she took the handsome youths by the hand, Talanque and Maneli the Moderate, for such were their names, and said to Sir Galaor and King Cildadan:

“My good lords, if in your lives ye have received any services and aid from me, I am content with the reward I have, which is enormous glory for me. Since I myself cannot engender any progeny, I caused to have in other women such handsome youths as these to be born, whom ye see here. Without a doubt ye may believe that if God allows them to reach the age for knighthood and to become knights, they shall do such things in His service to maintain truth and virtue that not only those who engendered them against the prescripts of the Holy Church shall be forgiven, and I for causing it, but their merits and worth shall be so surpassing in this world that in the next they shall achieve their rest, and I as well. And so many things shall happen because of these youths that no matter how much I might say, it would not be enough, so I shall leave them to their time, which will not be long from now, given the age that they have already acquired.”

Then she said to Esplandian:

“Very handsome, blessed, and noble Esplandian, thou wert engendered in the great blaze of love by those from whom thou hast inherited a great part of it without them losing a single bit of their own, and which thy tender and innocent age now conceals. Take this youth Talanque, son of Sir Galaor, and Maneli the Moderate, son of King Cildadan, and love one as much as the other, for although by them thou shalt be placed in many dangerous confrontations, they shall rescue thee from other confrontations in which none but themselves shall be able to aid thee.

“And this great dragon that brought me here I leave for thee, in which thou shalt be made a knight with the horse and arms that lie hidden within it along with other rare things that at the time of thy knighthood shall be made manifest. This serpent shall be the guide to the first events in which thy mighty heart shall reveal thy high virtue, and it shall guide thee and many others of thy great lineage through fearsome storms and misfortunes in the open sea without any danger, where with great battles and labors thou shalt repay the Lord of the world for some of the great mercies thou shalt receive from Him, and in many places thou shalt be known by no other name than the Knight of the Great Serpent.

“In it thou shalt travel for long days without rest, for besides the great and dangerous battles thou shalt fight, thy spirit shall be placed in all affliction and great anguish by she who shall read and understand the seven letters that will burn like fire on thy left side. That great heat and ardor shall burn within thee with flames that shall not be quenched until the great flocks of cormorants fly to the East over the rough waves of the sea and place the hawk in such dire straits that it will not dare to alight in its tight nest, and the proud black falcon, the most esteemed and beautiful of all birds of prey, along with those of its lineage and other birds that are not, shall come to its aid and cause such great destruction among the cormorants that the field shall be completely covered by their feathers and many of them shall perish in their sharp claws, and others shall drown in the water where the mighty black falcon and its allies overtake them.

“Then the great hawk shall pull out most of their entrails and place them in the sharp claws of its helper, and with them, its ravenous hunger, which for a long time had tormented him, shall be satisfied and ceased. It shall give him possession of all its forests and great mountains, and he shall be brought back to his perch in the tree of the Holy Garden. At this time the great dragon, having fulfilled  the hour marked by my great wisdom, before all shall sink into the great sea, giving thee to know that more on firm ground than on moving water thou ought to pass the coming time.”

This said, she told the Kings and knights:

“My good lords, now I must go elsewhere and cannot avoid it, but when Esplandian is ready to receive knighthood and all these youths receive it with him, I know that for a reason now hidden to you, many of you here now shall be brought together and at that time I shall come, and in my presence great festivities will be made for the novice knights, and I shall tell you many great and amazing things that will come to them. And I warn you all not to dare to approach the serpent until I return, for if anyone does, everyone in the world could not prevent that person from losing his life.

“And because ye, my lord Amadis, have here as a prisoner the wicked and evil-doing Arcalaus, who is called the Sorcerer and whose vile wisdom is never used except to do harm, and who might still do you injury, take these two rings, one for you and the other for Oriana, for while these are on your hands, nothing that he may do can cause harm to you or to anyone in your company, nor shall his enchantments have any power while ye hold him prisoner. And I tell you not to kill him because with death he would not pay in the least for the evil he has done. Instead put him in an iron cage where all can see him, and there he shall die many times. Much more painful is the death that leaves a person alive than that with which all dies and perishes.”

Then she gave the rings to Amadis and Oriana, which were the finest and most extraordinary ever seen. Amadis told her:

“My lady, what can I do to repay you for all the honors and gifts I have received from you?”

“Not a thing,” she said, “for everything I have done and shall do from here on ye already paid for when I could not take advantage of my wisdom and ye restored that very handsome knight to me, who is the thing I most love in the world, although he felt contrary, when by force of arms ye defeated the four knights at the causeway of the castle where they were holding him, and then ye defeated the lord of the castle. Then ye made your brother Sir Galaor a knight. And with that great benefit to my life, which could not be sustained without my beloved, I was repaid and will still be repaid for all the days in which I will be allowed to aid your advancement by the most powerful Lord of this world.”

Then she called for her palfrey to be brought, and all the lords and ladies accompanied her to the seashore, where she found her dwarves and the skiff. After she was bid farewell by everyone, she got in and they watched her return to the great dragon, and then the smoke was so black that for more than four days nothing could be seen of what was within it, but after that, it dissipated, and they saw the serpent as it was before. Of Urganda they knew not what she had done.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Chapter 125

How the Kings met to organize the weddings of the great lords and ladies, and what they decided. 

[Marriage of Philip III and Marie of Brabant, Queen of France, a miniature in the manuscript Chroniques de France ou de St. Denis, British Library.]

The Kings met again as they had before, and they set the date of the weddings to be four days hence and the festivities to last for two weeks. At their conclusion, when everything had been settled, the kings would leave to return to their lands.

When the appointed day came, all the grooms met in Amadis’ lodgings, and they dressed in the fine and precious clothing that their great estate and the event required. And the brides did the same. The Kings and great lords took the grooms with them, mounted on richly adorned palfreys, and went to the garden, where they found the Queens and brides also on their palfreys.

They all rode together to the church, where the holy man Nasciano was ready to celebrate Mass. The marriage rites and weddings took place with the solemnities that the Holy Church requires, then Amadis came to King Lisuarte and told him:

“My lord, we wish to ask you for a favor that will not be troublesome to give.”

“I grant it,” the King said.

“Then, my lord, order Oriana to take the test of the Enchanted arch of the Loyal Lovers and the Forbidden Chamber before dinner, which she has not been able to do until now due to her great sadness, no matter how much we have begged and asked her to. I have such faith in her loyalty and her great beauty that there, where for a hundred years no woman has been able to enter no matter how much she excelled over all others, she shall enter without any difficulty. I saw the statue of Grimanesa there in such perfection that she seemed alive, made by the surpassing magic arts of her husband Apolidon, and her great beauty does not equal that of Oriana. And in that Forbidden Chamber, we shall hold the festivities of our weddings.”

The King told him:

“Good son, my lord, it is easy for me to comply with what ye ask, but I am concerned that with it we may cause some disturbance in these festivities, because often times, in fact always, great affections can fool the eyes and judge things to be opposite from what they are. This may be happening to you with my daughter Oriana.”

“Do not worry about that,” Amadis said, “for my heart tells me what I say shall be fulfilled.”

“Then if it pleases you, so be it,” the King said.

Then he went to his daughter, who was with the Queens and other brides, and he told her:

“My daughter, your husband has asked me for a favor, and it can only be fulfilled by you. I want you to make my word true.”

She knelt before him, kissed his hands, and said:

“My lord, may it please God that some way might come for me to serve you. Order whatever ye please, for it shall be done if I can accomplish it.”

The King raised her up, kissed her face, and said:

“My daughter, before eating ye should take the test of the Arch of the Loyal Lovers and the Forbidden Chamber, which is what your husband asked of me.”

When everyone heard that, many were pleased to see the test attempted, and others were upset because such a challenging thing had ended for so many women in failure, and so they thought that just as glory would be acquired by achieving it, if she failed she would risk dishonor and shame. But since they saw that the King had ordered it and Amadis had asked for it, they did not wish to say anything except that it should be done.

And so they left the church, and on horseback, rode to the line a the Arch that marked the limits beyond which no man or woman would be free to enter if they were not worthy of it. When they had arrived, Melicia and Olinda told their husbands that they also wished to take that test, which gave great joy to their hearts to see the how they were emboldened with true loyalty. But fearing that some reversal could occur, they said they were very content and satisfied by their wishes, and as far as they were concerned, they should not undertake that effort. But the wives said they ought to take the test, and if they had been elsewhere, they could be excused, but since they were there, they did not wish others to think that they had failed to try because of what they knew they truly felt.

“Then, if it is so,” the husbands said, “we cannot deny that we would receive greater favor from it than from any other thing.”

They immediately told this to the King and the other lords.

“In the name of God,” they said, “and may He be pleased by it, for it would add greater pleasure to our festivities.”

They all dismounted and agreed that first Melicia and Olinda would enter, and so they did, and one after the other they passed the line and without any difficulty walked beneath the Arch and entered the room where the statues of Apolidon and Grimanesa were. The trumpet held by the image above them played very sweetly, and they were all cheered by that tune, which no one had witnessed except those who had already seen or attempted the test.

Oriana came to the line, looked at Amadis and blushed, then turned to enter, and when she came halfway to the site, the image began to play a sweet song. And when she arrived beneath the Arch, so many flowers and roses emerged from the mouth of the trumpet that the entire field was covered with them, and the song was so sweet and so different from the others it had played that everyone there felt such great delight within themselves that as long as the song lasted they did not wish to depart from there.

But when she passed through the Arch, the song immediately ceased. Oriana found Olinda and Melicia, who were looking at the statues and their names, which they found written in the jasper, and when they saw her, they came to her very pleased and took her between themselves by the hand and returned to the statues. Oriana looked very closely at Grimanesa, and she saw clearly that neither of the two nor any of the women outside were as beautiful as she was. She had great doubts about the test of the Chamber, for to enter she would have to exceed Grimanesa in beauty, and if it had been left to her will, she would not have tried, although she never had any doubts about the test of the Arch since she knew in her most hidden heart that it had never been given to anyone other than her beloved Amadis.

And so they remained there a while and would have stayed longer if the day were not such that the others were awaiting them. They decided to leave there, all three together, so content and joyful that those who were waiting looked at them, and it seemed as if their beauty had increased quite a bit, and they believed that any of the three was sufficient to pass the test of the Chamber. And this was caused, as I say, by their great happiness, for all beauty is increased by joy just as to the contrary it is distressed and diminished by sadness.

Their three husbands, Amadis and Agrajes and Sir Bruneo, who had already passed the test, as the second book of this story has already told you, came to them, which none of the others who were there could have done. When they arrived, the trumpet began to play a song again and emit flowers, which fell over their heads. They embraced their wives and kissed them, and so all six left the Arch.

This done, they agreed to go to the test of the Chamber, although some were very concerned that it could not be successfully completed. When they arrived at the site in the castle hall, Grasinda came to Amadis and told him:

“My lord, although my beauty may not help me as much as the desire in my heart wishes were so, I cannot contain my madness. I desire to test myself in that doorway, for, certainly, I would never cease to feel sorrow if I did not attempt the test. Regardless of what may happen, I still wish to try.”

Amadis thought that all the women should attempt the test before his lady did so that she would achieve glory over all the others, for he never doubted that she would pass although he did doubt the others would. He answered Grasinda by saying:

“My good lady, I do not consider what ye say to be anything other than grandeur in your heart to wish to attempt what so many other beautiful women failed to do. So may it be done.”

Then he took her by the hand, went forward, and said:

“My lords, this very beautiful lady wishes to take this test, as ye, my ladies Olinda and Melicia, should also do, for it would require great cowardice, God having distributed among you such extreme beauty, to fail to attempt such an exemplary thing out of fear. It may be that one of you may pass the test, and ye would free Oriana from her great dread.”

That was what he said publicly, but it was all dissembled because he knew well, as has been said, that none of them could pass except his lady, for neither Grimanesa in her time nor later any other lady in any way could approach her beauty.

Everyone said they should to it, and immediately Grasinda commended herself to God, entered the Forbidden area, and with little difficulty reached the copper pillar. She went forward and near the marble pillar she was detained, but with difficulty and great spirit she showed she was a much stronger woman than expected and reached the pillar, but from there she was pulled without mercy by her beautiful hair and thrown from the area so stunned that she was senseless.

Sir Cuadragante took her away and although he knew for certain she was in no danger, he could not avoid feeling very sorry and having great pity for her, for although this knight now was no longer a young man and his heart had never been captivated in love by any woman any more than he himself could have been, what he had earlier forgotten along with what he saw before him came over him like a blow in such a way that he would not have allowed any man to say he desired and loved his lady more.

Immediately Olinda the Moderate came forward, bringing Agrajes by the hand, who gave her great courage, but he did not hold much hope, for neither his great love nor affection for her kept him from realizing that she did not equal Grimanesa’s beauty, although he believed she was among the more beautiful of women. When they came to the area, he let go of her hand; she entered and went straight to the copper pillar, and from there she continued to the marble one, and she felt nothing. But when she wished to go farther, the resistence was so great that no matter how she tried, she could take only one step beyond, and then she was thrown out like the other lady.

Melicia entered with a gentle mein and healthy heart, for she was the most hale and very beautiful. She passed both columns and they all believed she would enter the chamber, and Oriana, who thought she would, was beyond herself with anguish. But she took one more step than Olinda had and then was stunned and thrown out with no more mercy than the others, as senseless as if she were dead, for the farther forward each one went, the greater was the penalty that each received given her achievement, as had happened to the knights before Amadis passed the test. Sir Bruneo’s rants for her moved many to pity, but those who knew how little danger she was in laughed a lot to see it.

This being done, Amadis took Oriana, in whom all the beauty of the world was united, and led her to the area with very relaxed steps and a very modest face. She crossed herself and commended herself to God and entered, and without feeling a thing she passed the pillars. When she had come one step away from the chamber, she felt many hands pushing her and turning her away, and so she was turned around three times until she was near the marble pillar. But she only pushed them aside one after another with her beautiful hands, and it seemed to her that she was touching other arms and hands.

And so with a great deal of effort and spirit, and above all with great beauty, extremely more than Grimanesa’s, as has been said, she reached the door of the chamber exhausted and held onto one of the lintels. Then it seemed that the same arm and hand that had taken hold of Amadis reached out and took her by the hand, and she heard more than twenty voices singing sweetly that said:

“Welcome noble lady whose great loveliness has surpassed the beauty of Grimanesa. Ye shall be the companion for the knight more valiant and courageous in arms that Apolidon, who in his time had no par, that has won the right to be lord of this island. His descendants shall reign over it for a long time and from it shall win other realms.”

Then the arm and hand pulled, and Oriana entered the chamber, where she felt as happy as if the world were her realm, not merely for her beauty but because her beloved Amadis was lord of the island. Without any difficulty he would be her companion in that beautiful chamber, and she had removed all hope forever for any woman to come to test herself, no matter how beautiful she might be.

Isanjo, the knight and governor of the island, then said:

“My lords, enchantments of this island have now been fully undone and none remains, as was established by he who left them here. He did not wish them to endure after a lord and lady were found who could complete these tests, as these have. Without any impediment all ladies can enter here as all men could after Amadis completed the test.”

Then the Kings and Queens entered, and all the other knights, and ladies and damsels: everyone who was there. They saw the finest and most delightful dwelling as was ever seen, and they all embraced Oriana as if they had not seen her for a long time. Such was their pleasure and joy that no one thought about eating or any other thing but about gazing upon that extraordinary chamber.

Amadis ordered that tables be brought to that grand chamber right away, and so it was done. Finally the brides and grooms, and Kings, and those who could fit, rested and ate in the chamber, where a great variety of delicacies and fruit of all kinds and wines were properly served.

When night came, after eating, in that very beautiful portion of the chamber, which we have told you in the second book was much finer than all the rest and was set apart by a glass wall, they made the bed for Amadis and Oriana to lodge there, and for the Emperor and the other knights with their wives in other chambers, for there were many of them and very fine. There they fulfilled their great and mortal desires, because of which they had suffered many dangers and great troubles. They made women of those who were not yet, and those who were took no less pleasure than them in their very beloved husbands.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Arch of the Loyal Lovers and the Forbidden Chamber

Another refresher for readers. 

Illustration of the Arch of the Loyal Lovers from a 1531 edition of Amadis de Gaula.

The next chapter, Chapter 125, will involve the magical tests of love and beauty at Firm Island. These were created by Apolidon before he left to become Emperor of Constantinople – a century before Amadis arrived, passed the tests, and became the new lord of the island.

Apolidon, who had great skills at enchantment, created those tests at the urging of his beloved wife, Grimanesa, so that in the future the island would be ruled by “those who in fortitude at arms, loyalty in love, and great beauty” would resemble those two.

The text, which is at the beginning of Book II, continues:

Then he made an arch at the entrance to a garden in which all the trees of every species were, and in which there were four beautiful chambers of rare construction. It was surrounded by a fence so that no one could enter the garden without passing through the arch. Above it he put the copper image of a man who held a trumpet to his lips as if he wished to play it. In one of those chambers he placed two statues resembling the faces and bodies of himself and his beloved, and next to them a pale jasper stone. And at the distance of half a crossbow arrow's flight away, he ordered placed a iron pillar five cubits high in a large field that was there.

He said:

"From here on no man nor woman shall pass who have erred since they first began to love, for if they try, the image that ye see shall play that trumpet with a sound so frightening that they shall be stunned by smoke and flame and thrown out from here as if dead. But if a knight or lady or damsel were to come here worthy of completing this test for their loyalty, as I have said, they shall enter without impediment and the image shall play such a sweet song that it shall delight all those who hear it. They shall see our statues and see their names written on the jasper, but they shall not know who wrote them."

And taking his beloved by the hand, he had her pass through the arch, and the image played a sweet song. He showed her their statues and their names written in the jasper. When they left, Grimanesa wanted to test it, so she ordered some of her ladies and damsels to enter, and the image played such a terrifying song that they were knocked unconscious and thrown from the garden, and Grimanesa, knowing they were in no danger, laughed with pleasure and deeply thanked her beloved Apolidon for fulfilling her will completely.

Then she told him:

"My lord, what then will become of that beautiful chamber in which we had such pleasure and delight?"

"Now," he said, "let us go there and ye shall see what I shall do."

Then they went to the chamber and he ordered two columns brought, one of marble and the other of copper, and he had the marble column placed five paces from the door of the chamber, and the copper column five paces beyond that, and he told his beloved:

"Now know that no man nor woman may enter this chamber by any means or at any time until a knight comes here who surpasses me in skill at arms or woman who surpasses your beauty. But if those who come surpass than me at arms and you at beauty, they shall enter without any trouble."

And he had words inscribed on the copper column that said:

"Knights of great arms may pass here, each according to his valor."

And he had other words inscribed on the marble column that said:

"No knight shall pass here who does not surpass Apolidon in skill at arms."

And above the door of the chamber he had words inscribed that read:

"He who surpasses me in skill shall enter this beautiful chamber and shall be lord of this island. And of the ladies and damsels who arrive, none shall enter inside who do not surpass your beauty."

And with his wisdom he made an enchantment so that no one could approach the chamber within twelve paces on any side, which had no entry other than that which passed the columns of which ye have heard. And he ordered that a governor rule over the island and collect its income and to keep for the knight whose fate was to enter the chamber and be lord of the island. And he ordered that those who failed at the test of the arch of lovers be expelled without honor, and those who passed be served.

And he further said:

"The knights who try to enter the chamber and who cannot pass the copper column shall leave their arms there, and those who manage only to pass it shall leave their swords, and those who reach the marble column but no further shall leave their shields, and those who pass this column but who cannot enter the chamber shall leave their spurs. And from the damsels and ladies nothing shall be taken, but they shall give their names to be put at the door of the castle, saying where each had reached."

And he said:

"When this island shall have a lord, the enchantment for the knights shall be undone, who shall freely be able to pass the columns and enter the chamber, but it shall not be undone for the women until one shall come who will end it with her great beauty, and who shall lodge with that knight who has won the lordship within that beautiful chamber."

This done, leaving the Firm Island well protected as ye have heard, Apolidon and Grimanesa left on their ships and sailed to Constantinople, where they were Emperor and Empress, and they had sons who succeeded them in the empire after their days were done.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Chapter 124

How Amadis arranged to have his cousin Dragonis marry Princess Estrelleta and go to take Deep Island, where he would be King. 

[Kingdom of Sardinia, 16th century map made by Sigismondo Asquer.]

Now the story says that Dragonis, cousin of Amadis and Sir Galaor, was a very honorable young knight with great courage, as had been shown in the past, especially in the battle King Lisuarte had fought with Sir Galvanes and his companions over the island of Mongaza. There, Sir Florestan, Sir Cuadragante, and many noble knights were stunned and taken prisoner by Sir Galaor, King Cildadan, and Norandel, and most of their men on the other side had charged them and Sir Galvanes was taken to the island badly injured. Then this knight Dragonis stayed with the few remaining men of his father to aid and protect the rest, where due to his discretion and good courage they were rescued, as the third book of this story has told at greater length.

He was not at Firm Island when Amadis arranged the marriages of his brothers and the other knights, as ye have heard, because he had left the monastery in Lubaina with a damsel to whom he had earlier promised a boon, and he fought with Angrifo, the lord of the Valley of the Deep Sea, who held her father prisoner to take his fortress at the entrance to the valley.

Dragonis fought a great and cruel battle with him, because Angrifo was the most valiant knight that could be found in the mountains where he dwelled, but in the end he was defeated because Dragonis was fighting for what was right and freed the damsel’s father. He ordered Angrifo to go within twenty days to Firm Island and place himself at the mercy of Princess Oriana.

Because Dragonis found himself near the island of Mongaza, he went to see Sir Galvanes and Madasima, and while he was with them, King Lisuarte’s messenger arrived calling them to come to Firm Island, as Agrajes had promised. Dragonis went with them to Windsor, where they were received with much love and great honor. And from there they went with the King and Queen to Firm Island, where Dragonis discovered the agreements about the marriages and the divisions of realms, as has been told, and he took great pleasure in it. He praised what his cousin Amadis had done, and he prepared himself as best he could for the conquest, for he was convinced that it could not be accomplished without great deeds at arms.

But Amadis, who loved him with all his heart, believed it would be a great injustice and a shame to himself if such a knight were to be left without a significant part of what he had helped with so much effort to be won. And one day, Amadis took him aside in the garden and spoke to him thus:

“My lord and good cousin, although your youth and the great courage in your heart wishes to increase your honor in great battles, it removes your desire for a greater estate and more repose than what ye have had so far. But reason, to which we are all obliged to regard as the principal font from which virtue emanates, and the opportunity which is to be offered you, should change your plans if ye were to follow the advice from my little wisdom and great good will, which loves you as if ye were my own heart.

“When we were in Lubaina rescuing King Lisuarte, I learned that among those opponents who fled in the beginning was the King of Deep Island, who was wounded, and I have just learned from a squire of King Arabigo who came here that when the King of Deep Island was setting out to sea, he died.

“I consider it proper that the island where he was lord be yours, and that ye be proclaimed its king, and that your brother Palomir retain the realm of your father, and that ye be married to the Princess Estrelleta, who as ye know comes from royalty on both sides of her lineage, and whom Oriana dearly loves. I hold this to be good, and it would please me if it were done, because I would rather force your will to submit to reason than to suffer such shame at not having you, my good cousin, take part of the goods that God has given me, just as ye more than anyone else felt shame when I was treated badly.”

Dragonis had wished to go with Sir Bruneo and Sir Cuadragante to aid them personally until they had won their realms, and if he remained alive, to pass through the area around Rome looking for adventures and to spend some time with Sir Florestan, King of Sardinia, to see him and to learn if he needed help with anything, since he would be in a foreign land, and from there to return to see Amadis at Firm Island or wherever he was. He thought that he could win much honor and great fame in these travels, or die as a knight.

But at seeing such great love behind what Amadis had told him, he was too embarrassed to respond in any other way than to defer totally to his will and to be obedient in that and everything he might order. So immediately he was betrothed to that Princess, and Deep Island was designated as his, as ye have heard, of which he was then proclaimed king, and he reigned with great honor, as shall be told farther on.

When this was done, as ye hear, Amadis asked King Lisuarte for the Duchy of Bristol for Sir Guilan the Pensive, whom he loved deeply, and for him to marry the Duchess, whom he loved so much, and to be delivered the Duke’s son, who was being held prisoner there. Because the King had great love for Amadis, because he owed many and great debts to Sir Guilan, and because the Duke had been a traitor, he granted it with good will.

Amadis kissed his hands for that, and Sir Guilan wished to kiss Amadis’, but Amadis would not let him. Instead, he embraced him with great love, for in his time, this was the most prudent, gentle, and humane knight in the world with his friends.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Chapter 123 [part 2 of 2]

[Of the arrival of a great dragon from the sea, and whom it bore within.] 

[Lithograph from an 1838 edition of Amadis de Gaula printed in Madrid by M. Pita.]

The day after they arrived was spent resting from the journey, then the Kings met with great pleasure to arrange the manner in which the weddings would be performed, and to plan the return to their lands, where they had much to do, some of them to go to win the kingdoms of their enemies, and others to lend them help.

As they were meeting beneath some trees next to the fountains that ye have been told of, they heard shouting from outside of the garden, and a great deal of outcry. They asked what it was about, and they were told that the most terrifying and strange thing ever seen was coming by sea. Then all the Kings called for their horses and mounted, as did all the other knights, and they went to the port. And the Queens and all the ladies climbed to the height of the tower, where they could see a great deal of the land and sea.

They spotted a great cloud of smoke, the darkest and most frightening they had ever seen, coming over the water. They all stood still waiting to learn what it could be. And soon the smoke began to clear, and they saw in its center a dragon much larger than the largest ship or galley in the world, and it had great wings longer than the flight of an arrow from a bow, and a tail spiraling upwards much taller than a great tower. Its head and mouth and teeth were so large, and its eyes so terrifying, that no one dared to look at it, and from time to time it blew black smoke from its nostrils that rose up to the sky and covered it. It made snorts and hisses so loud and so frightful that it seemed that the sea was about to collapse, and it spit so much water from its mouth so hard and so far that no ship, no matter how large it was, could approach it without being sunk.

The Kings and knights, regardless of how brave they were, looked at each other and did not know what to say, for against such a fearful and ghastly thing they did not believe or imagine that any resistance could suffice, but they stood their ground. The great dragon, as it drew closer, rose up from the water three or four times, showing its ferocity and flapping its wings so hard that the clatter of its scales could be heard from half a league.

When those lords’ horses saw it, no rider was able to contain his mount, and they fled away through the fields until the lords were able to force them to let them dismount. Some said that it would be good to arm themselves against it, and others said that since it was a wild beast of the water, it would not dare to come onto land, and in case it did, they would have time to take shelter within the island, for already, having seen the land, it had begun to slow.

As they stood in astonishment at such a thing, the likes of which they had never heard nor seen, they saw that from the side of the dragon was launched a skiff covered with rich golden cloth. A  lady was in it with young noblemen on either side, all richly dressed, whose shoulders she held for support. Two very ugly and strange-looking dwarves were rowing, and they brought the skiff toward land. The lords were very amazed to see such an extraordinary thing, but King Lisuarte said:

“If I am not wrong, this is Urganda the Unrecognized. And ye should recall,” he said to Amadis, “the fear it gave us when we were in my town of Fenusa and we saw those flames coming across the sea.”

“I also thought so after I saw that skiff,” Amadis said, “but earlier I was sure that dragon was some devil against which we would have a difficult struggle.”

At this time the skiff neared the shore, and as it did, they knew that the lady was Urganda the Unrecognized, for she had chosen to show her real form, which she rarely did. Instead she would often appear in strange bodies, sometimes exceptionally old, other times as a small child, as has been told in many places in this story.

So she arrived with her very handsome and well-dressed young noblemen, and their clothing was adorned in many places and worked with precious stones of great value. The Kings and lords came forward on foot, as they were, to the part of the beach where she landed. And when she arrived, she left the skiff holding the hands of her handsome youths, and immediately went to King Lisuarte to kiss his hands, but the King embraced her and did not wish to give them, as did King Perion and King Cildadan. Then she turned to the Emperor and told him:

“My good lord, although ye do not know me nor have I ever seen you, I know a lot about your estate and who ye are and the great worth of your noble personage and your great state. And because of this and for the service that ye shall receive from me soon, along with the Empress, I wish to have your love and consideration so that ye shall remember me when ye are in your empire and shall send me news about anything in which I may serve you, for although it may seem to you that the lands where I live are very far from yours, it would not be a great effort for me to travel the entire distance in a single day.”

The Emperor told her:

“My good friend and lady, I am more content to have won your love and goodwill than to have won most of my empire. And since by your virtue ye have invited me to make use of it, do not forget what ye have promised, for if my heart and will are prepared to thank you with all my ability, ye know better than I do.”

Urganda told him:

“My lord, I shall see you at a time when through me the first fruit of your engenderment shall be restored to you.”

Then she looked at Amadis, with whom she had not had time to speak, and she said:

“Of you, noble knight, no embrace should be forsaken, but given how favorable fortune has raised you into such grandeur and heights, ye may no longer have much consideration for the few services and pleasures that we can provide, because these mundane things, given the nature of the world, with or without cause may come and go quickly. It may seem that now ye may enjoy your life without care, especially since ye have the thing that ye most desired in the world in your power, without which all the rest left you with painful loneliness. Yet now it is more necessary than ever to sustain them with redoubled effort, for fortune is even more content to attack and show its strength at such heights because a much larger loss and disgrace to your great honor may be caused by losing what ye have won than it would have been before ye had won it.”

Amadis told her:

“Given the great benefits that I have received from you, my good lady, with the great love that ye have always had for me, although I now find myself in a powerful position and with the satisfaction of my will, I would find it very poor to place such matters in my own hands that involve your honor and that should be placed in yours. What I have cannot be so much, even if it were the whole world, that it would be unreasonable to risk it that way.”

Urganda told him:

“The great love that I have for you makes me speak foolishly and give advice where there is none needed.”

Then all the knights arrived and greeted her. And she said to Sir Galaor:

“And to you, my good lord, nor to King Cildadan shall I say anything now, for I shall dwell here with you for some days, and we shall have time to speak.”

Turning to her dwarves, she ordered them to return to the Great Dragon and bring her palfrey in a boat, and a horse for each of her young noblemen, and so it was immediately done. The horses of the Kings and lords were some distance away, and the fear of that fierce beast did not permit them to be brought near. They left men there to put her on her palfrey, and they went on foot to get their mounts.

She asked the men to agree that no one should escort her besides those two youths, who were her beloved, and so it was done, and they all went on to the castle, she in the rear with her company. They rode until they reached the garden where the Queens and great ladies were, for she did not wish to be lodged anywhere else.

Before she entered, she said to Esplandian:

“Very handsome youth, I commend to you my treasure to guard, for none so fine shall be found in many lands.”

Then she delivered the two youths by the hand, and she entered the garden, where she was received by all the ladies there better than any woman anywhere. When she saw so many Queens, Princesses, and an infinite number of other ladies of great esteem and worth, she looked at them all with great pleasure and said:

“Oh, my heart! What canst thou see ever again that could not cause thee more melancholy? For in one day thou hast seen the best and most virtuous and courageous knights in the world, and the most honorable and beautiful queens and ladies ever born. Truly, I can say that of the one and the other, here is perfection. And I can say even more, that just as here is brought together all height at arms and all beauty of the world, so love is upheld with greater loyalty than could be found at any other time.”

So she entered the tower with the ladies, and she asked permission from the Queens to be able to lodge with Oriana and with the ladies who were with her, and they brought her up to their quarters. When she was in her chamber, she could not take her eyes from Oriana and Queen Briolanja, and from Melicia and Olinda, for their beauty could not be equaled, and she merely embraced them one after another. And so she was with them as if she were out of her mind with pleasure, and they did her such honor as if she were the lady reigning over them all.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Chapter 123 [part 1 of 2]

How King Lisuarte, his wife Queen Brisena, and his daughter Leonoreta arrived at Firm Island, and how the lords and ladies came out to receive them. 

[Mosaic depicting Empress Zoe of Constantinople, from the Hagia Sophia.]

As has been said, after King Lisuarte arrived in Windsor, he ordered the Queen to make ready everything necessary for herself and their daughter Leonoreta, and he ordered his chief majordomo, King Arban of North Wales, to prepare what he needed. And when everything was readied and done according to their grandeur, he left with his accompaniment. He only wished to bring King Cildadan, Sir Galvanes and his wife Madasima, who earlier at his orders had arrived from the Island of Mongaza, and a few of his other knights, richly dressed, for Gasquilan, the King of Suesa, had returned to his kingdom.

With great pleasure they traveled each day until they finally arrived to spend the night only four leagues from the island, which Amadis and all the other princes and knights with him promptly learned about, and who agreed that together, the ladies with them, should go out to receive them two leagues from the island. And so it was done, and the next day they all left with the women behind Queen Elisena. Of their clothes and the adornments worn by themselves and their palfreys, memory is not enough to recount nor hands to write. This much I tell you: that neither before nor after was there known in all the world of a company of so many knights of such high lineage and great courage, and of so many ladies, queens, princesses, and other women of high estate, so beautiful and so well-attired.

They traveled together through meadows until they could see King Lisuarte, who when he saw so many people coming toward him, immediately knew who it was, and with all his company continued on until he met King Perion and the Emperor and all the other knights who rode ahead. There they all stopped to embrace each other.

Amadis came farther behind speaking with his brother Sir Galaor, who was still very weak and could barely ride on horseback, and when he neared the King, Amadis dismounted. The King shouted for him not to, but he did not stop and arrived on foot, and although the King did not wish it, he kissed his hands. He went on to the Queen, whose reins were carried by the handsome young noble Esplandian. The Queen dismounted from her palfrey to embrace him, but Amadis took her hands and kissed them.

Sir Galaor came to King Lisuarte, who when he saw him so weak, went to embrace him, and tears came to both their eyes. The King held him for a while but neither was able to speak for so long that some said that this showed the pleasure that they had in seeing each other, but others held that they were thinking about recent events and of not having been together in them as their hearts wished, and this brought those tears. Ye may take the side that ye choose, but in any case it was because they loved each other so much.

Oriana came to her mother after Queen Elisena had greeted her. When her mother saw her, as the thing that she loved most, she took her in her arms. They both would have fallen if knights had not held them up, and she began to kiss her eyes and face and said:

“Oh, my daughter! May God be pleased to grant His mercy! May the labors and fatigues that thy great beauty has given us now be the means for now and in the future to remedy them with peace and joy!”

Oriana could only weep for pleasure and did not answer. At this time the Queens Briolanja and Sardamira came and took her from her arms, and they spoke to the Queen, and then to all the other ladies came to her with great courtesy, for they considered this lady one of the best and most honorable queens in the world. Leonoreta came to kiss Oriana’s hands, and she embraced her and kissed her many times, and so did all the ladies and damsels of her mother the Queen, who loved her from their hearts more than they loved themselves, for as we have told you, this Princess was the most noble and most moderate in her time who did honor to everyone, and for this reason she was very well loved by all the men and women who knew her.

And so after this welcome, not as it was, which would be impossible to describe, but as is more suited to this book, they all went together to the island.

When Queen Brisena saw so many knights and so many ladies and damsels of high estate whom she knew well and where their great worth came from, all at the will and orders of Amadis, she was so astonished she did not know what to say. Until then she had believed that in all the world there was no house nor court equal to that of her husband the King, but when she saw what I tell you of, his estate seemed to be that of a mere count. As she looked around, she saw that everyone followed Amadis and treated him as a lord, and that the one closest to him considered himself the most honored, and where ever Amadis went, everyone went.

She was amazed at what heights a knight could reach who had never owned more than his arms and horse, and although she considered him her daughter’s husband, and he had been fully committed to her service, she could not help but feel great envy because she wished that estate for her husband, which Amadis would inherit through their daughter. She saw that things were the opposite, and she could not be happy about them.

But as she was very wise, she pretended not to see nor notice it, and with a happy face and troubled heart she spoke and laughed with all the knights and ladies around her, for the King, after he had spoken with Sir Galaor, never left him during all the entire journey until they reached the island.

As they were traveling, Oriana could not take her eyes off Esplandian, whom she deeply loved, as was only reasonable. And her mother the Queen, when she saw that, said:

“My daughter, take this young man to lead your horse.”

Oriana paused, and the youth came with great humility to kiss her hands. Oriana had a deep desire to kiss him, but embarrassment kept her from doing that. Mabilia came to him and said:

“My good friend, I also wish to share in your embraces.”

He turned his face toward her with a look so gracious that it was amazing to see, and he immediately recognized her, and he spoke to her with great courtesy. And so they rode with him between them, speaking with him about what gave them the most contentment, and they were very taken with how he answered, very happy with his gracious speech and gentle ways. Oriana and Mabilia looked at each other and at the young nobleman, and Mabilia said.

“My lady, does it seem to you that this was fine food for the lioness and her cubs?”

“Oh, my lady and my friend,” Oriana said, “by God do not remind me of that, for even now it afflicts my heart to think about it.”

“As I understand,” Mabilia said, “no less danger happened to his father, as young has he was, in the sea. But God protected him for what ye see now, and so, if it pleases Him, He shall protect this boy, who will surpass him and all others in the world in excellence.”

Oriana laughed wholeheartedly and said:

“My true sister, it seems as if ye wish to tempt me to see which of the two I prefer. But I do not wish to say, and may it please God that between them neither shall have a peer, just as each one has not had at his own age so far.”

In this and other things they spoke with great pleasure, and they all arrived at Firm Island’s castle. King Lisuarte and his wife the Queen were lodged very comfortably where Oriana had been, and King Perion and his wife where Queen Sardamira had been. Oriana and all the other women who were going to be brides took the highest rooms of the tower.

Amadis had ordered very fine tables be placed under the arcades of the garden, and there all the company ate very well with a great abundance of foods and wine and fruit of all types, and it was wonderful to behold, each one seated as their estate merited, and everything done in a very orderly way.

Sir Cuadragante left with King Cildadan, whom he dearly loved, and every knight escorted one of the King’s men, according to their preference. Amadis took with him King Arban of North Wales, Sir Grumedan, and Sir Guilan the Pensive. Norandel lodged with his great friend Sir Galaor. And so that day passed with all the pleasure ye can imagine.

But what Agrajes did with his uncle and with Madasima can not be told in any way nor even thought. He had always held his uncle with as much respect and reverence as he had always held his father the King, and he had Madasima stay with Oriana and the queens and great ladies that were there, and he took Sir Galvanes with him to his lodging.

Esplandian immediately came to the King of Dacia, who was his age and seemed very compatible, and from the moment they first saw each other they shared such great esteem that it lasted their whole lives. For a long time they traveled together after they became knights, and they achieved many great deeds at arms as courageous knights in great peril to their lives. This King knew all the secrets of Esplandian’s love, and by his good advice he was often saved from great anguish and mortal cares that brought him to the edge of death over his lady. This King I speak of made tremendous efforts to speak with this lady and tell her of the love that this knight suffered and ask her to have pity on his deathly affliction.

These two princes that I tell you of, for the love of this lady, taking with them Talanque, son of Sir Galaor, and Maneli the Moderate, son of King Cildadan, whom the nieces of Urganda bore when the men were prisoners, as the second book of this story has told at greater length; and Ambor, son of Angriote d’Estravaus, all of them novice knights, crossed the sea to Constantinople and from there to pagan lands, and they fought great battles against mighty giants and against foreigners of different customs, and achieved great honor from them.

Because of these high deeds and great acts of chivalry, they were proclaimed throughout the world, as we shall tell you at more length in the continuation of this story which is named after Esplandian and which speaks of his great deeds and the love he had for the flower and greatest beauty of the world, who was the shining star before whom all other beauty paled: Leonorina, daughter of the Emperor of Constantinople, she who had been a girl when his father Amadis took leave of Greece when he passed through there and killed the mighty Endriago, as ye have told you.

But we shall leave this now until its time, and we shall return to the purpose of this story.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Some refreshers to help with the coming chapter

About the engenderment of the sons of Sir Galaor and King Cildadan, and what the Endriago was. 

View of the Lindajara garden in the Palace of the Nazaríes at the Alhambra. Photo by Sue Burke.

I’d like to refresh readers’ memories about a couple of references coming in the next chapter, Chapter 123. It talks about events in Book II, specifically in Chapter 59.

In it, King Cildadan of Ireland had challenged King Lisuarte of Great Britain to a war, and the fighting force was limited to 100 knights on either side. Amadis of Gaul took part, disguised as Beltenebros. He rescued King Lisuarte when he was captured by a giant in battle, and helped win the war.

However, Sir Galaor and King Cildadan were badly injured, and when they were found after the battle was over, they seemed likely to die. Then twelve maidens arrived from the sea and carried the two men away, unconscious.

Sir Galaor awoke in a beautiful room in a garden. King Cildadan awoke in a tower. Both were receiving expert treatment for their injuries. Soon they realized they were in the custody of Urganda the Unrecognized, the powerful sorceress. Each was cared for by a beautiful damsel, nieces of Urganda and the descendants of a king, and in the course of the care, the damsels became pregnant.

Galaor’s son would be called Talanque and Cildadan’s Maneli, and as adults they would be very valiant and brave knights.

Chapter 123 also mentions that Amadis visited the court of the Emperor of Constantinople after he killed the fearsome Endriago. This horrible demon-monster was introduced in Book III, Chapter 73. He had taken over an island in the realm of the Emperor and had killed or driven off all its inhabitants.

Amadis had been traveling by ship and was blown off course to the island. When he learned about the monster, he decided to fight him as a service to God. After a fierce battle, Amadis killed him, but was badly injured. The demon’s “strong, sharp claws tore open all the armor on his back and the flesh and bones down to his entrails.” Only the services of the good doctor Elisabad saved Amadis’s life.

After Amadis was well, he traveled to the court of the Emperor of Constantinople, who welcomed him as a hero. There he met the Emperor’s young, charming daughter, Leonorina.

I hope this refresher helps you enjoy the coming chapter with a little less befuddlement.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Chapter 122 [part 2 of 2]

[How Sir Bruneo urged the people of the town to fight, and how the Prince became King of Dacia.] 

[Coronation of Henry the Young King by the Archbishop Roger of York in 1170. A page from the Becket Leaves, four surviving pages from the 13th-century Vie de Seint Thomas de Cantorbéry, written in French verse.]

When Sir Bruneo looked for the Prince, he saw him at some distance, for the guide, who did not have much confidence in his skill, had moved them back. He gestured with his sword for them to come, and they did, and when the Prince arrived, he was astounded by what Sir Bruneo had done. And as he was a boy who had never seen such things, his face became white.

Sir Bruneo told him:

“Young man, have these enemies of yours killed, although it will be a small vengeance for the great treachery that was done by their lord to your father.”

The childe told him:

“My lord knight, perhaps these men bear no guilt for that treachery, and it may be better, if ye please, to take them alive rather than kill them.”

Sir Bruneo considered that good, pleased by what the Prince had said, and thought he would be a good man if he lived. Then he ordered the man who came with them to help the other knight and put the one who was barely conscious across the saddle of his horse, and the other to mount his horse so they could go to the town, and so they did.

When they arrived there, many people came out to see them, who were surprised that they brought those two knights who had left there that morning. Sir Bruneo and the others rode down the town’s main street to the plaza, where many people had assembled. When they saw the Prince, they came to kiss his hands weeping, and they told him:

“Lord, if our hearts had dared to do what we desired and if we had the weapons for it, we would all be in your service unto death. But we did not know what to do, since among us there is no leader or mayor who knows what to tell us.”

Sir Bruneo told them:

“Oh people of little courage, although ye have behaved honorably, do ye not recall that ye are vassals of the King, the father of this youth and of his brother the Prince, who shall be King? How do ye repay what as subjects and natives of this land ye owe, seeing your lord murdered with such great treason and his sons surrounded and besieged by their enemy, that traitorous Duke?”

“My lord knight,” said one of the most honorable men of the town, “ye have spoken a great truth, but as we have no one to guide us and lead us, and we are all people who live more for farming than for bearing arms, we did not know how to respond as our loyalty called us to. But now that our lord is here and ye are protecting him, tell us what we ought and can do, and it shall immediately be put underway with all our ability.”

“Ye have spoken as a good man,” Sir Bruneo said, “and it is right that the King grant favors to you and all those who follow your vow and action. I have come to guide you and to live or die with you.”

Then he told them about the precautions that had been taken in the town where the other Prince was, and how he had come with their lady the Queen, and where they had left her, and how they had found her as they were traveling to Firm Island in the sea. He told them to have no fear, for with a little of their help, their enemies would be promptly destroyed and dead. When those people heard this, they were greatly encouraged and took heart, and they said:

“Lord knight from Firm Island, there never has been a knight who was not well-fated from that land since the famous knight Amadis of Gaul won it, so order and direct us in everything we must do, and we shall immediately begin our labors.”

Sir Bruneo thanked them deeply, and had the Prince thank them, and he told them:

“Then order the gates to this town be closed, and place guards, so that no one from here may warn our enemies. And I shall tell you what ye ought to do.”

This was immediately carried out, and he told them:

“Go to your homes and eat, prepare your arms, whatever they be, and be ready to guard your town. Do not be afraid of those evil men, for they shall have enough to do, since the Prince is well protected. And when we have eaten and our horses have rested, the Prince and I shall move on to another town with this guide whom we have brought and who tells us is three leagues from here. We will take all the people from there and come back here, and I will lead you in such a way that your enemies, if they remain, shall be lost and defeated and put into your power.”

They told him they would do so, and they immediately all went eager to do what he had ordered. And they gave the Prince and Sir Bruneo something to eat, very good food, in a palace that had belonged to the King. After they had eaten, when it was already midday and they were about to mount their horses and leave, two men on foot arrived as fast as they could to the town gate, and they told the guards to let them in for they brought good news. The guards took them to the Prince and Sir Bruneo, who asked them what they had to say.

They answered:

“My lords, we came to this town not knowing if the Prince or ye had arrived, for we had never seen you. And the news that we bring is such that ye and the people of the town shall take great pleasure in learning it. Know now that last night many men left the town and attacked the guards, and they killed and took prisoner many of the Duke’s men. When the Duke learned this, he came there and found two foreign knights, of whom could be said amazing things, for they were killing his men. To help them he fought with one of them, who with one blow knocked the Duke from his horse. He was captured by the people of the town, and it is not known if he is dead or alive.

“All the men in the encampment do not know what to do except to wander about in groups sharing counsel, and it seemed to us that they were preparing to leave there in terror of those foreign knights whom we told you of. We are from a town near there, and we were in the camp to provision it. When we saw this, we agreed to tell it to the leaders of this town so that they might place guards and the men who come fleeing cannot do them any harm or rob them.”

Sir Bruneo, when he heard this, went out on horseback with the Prince to the plaza, and they had the men on foot tell the news to everyone who had gathered there so they would take courage and heart, and he told them:

“My good friends, I have decided that I should not continue to the next town, for given this good news, ye and I are enough to do what I had ordered. For that reason, ye should all arm yourselves, and tonight we should leave here, for it would be a great injustice if those in the main town were to take all the glory of this defeat without any part of it for us.”

“It shall all be done immediately as ye order, lord,” they said.

So they spent the entire day preparing their arms with such will that they imagined the time when they would be fighting because they already considered their enemy defeated, and they wished to avenge themselves for the evils and harm they had received.

When night came, Sir Bruneo armed himself, mounted his horse, and took all the men out to a field. He asked the Prince to wait for him in town, but instead the Prince wished to go with him. And so as ye hear, they all headed for the encampment. After part of the night had passed, Sir Bruneo ordered the guide with him to go and make the signal to those in the town from a place where they would see it, as had been agreed, and so he did. And when they saw it, they believed that Sir Bruneo had been successful, and they quickly prepared to go out before dawn to attack the camp.

But those in the camp had decided something else. They had seen how their lord the Duke had fallen into the hands of their enemies, and they had seen those fires lit as signals in the night. They had lost all hope in recovering him; in fact they believed that if they stayed there longer, they would be in great danger. They spent part of the night assembling all their people and equipment and injured men, and, very stealthily, they struck camp and took to the road to their own land, so that before their departure had been noticed, they had traveled a good distance.

When the time came for those in the town to leave and attack, and Sir Bruneo arrived at the other side of town, they found nothing. Instead, as it was night, if they had not recognized each other, there would have been a great battle, each side thinking that the others were their opponents, since no troops were between them. But once they did recognize each other, they were very sorry to learn their opponents had left. They immediately followed their trail, but with great difficulty because it was night, and they felt their way until dawn came. Then they saw them very clearly, so those on horseback rushed to reach the pack train and foot soldiers and injured men; the rest, who already considered themselves defeated, had not wished to wait until sunrise and had ridden ahead because they were still traveling in the land of their enemies.

Of those who were overtaken, they killed many men and took others prisoner, and they recovered many things great value, so with great joy and glory they returned to the town. They immediately sent knights to bring the Queen. When she came and saw her sons safe and sound, and their enemy a prisoner, who could speak of the great pleasure that she felt?

Angriote and his companions, who knew of the arrangements at Firm Island and how they were awaiting great lords there, asked the Queen for permission to leave, saying that on an appointed day they would have to be at Firm Island, and since they were no longer needed, they wished to continue on their way.

The Queen asked them by their love for her to wait for two days because in their presence she wished to have her son Garinto proclaimed King and to do justice to that very cruel traitor the Duke. They said that they would be pleased to be there for her son, but not for the justice for the Duke, and since he was in her power, she could do what she wished after they had left.

The Queen ordered a large stage to be built of wood in the plaza covered by very fine and well-wrought fabric of gold and silk, and ordered all the leaders of the kingdom who were in the area to come.

Prince Garinto and the three knights came on the stage and they brought the Duke, injured as he was, on a hackney without a saddle, and before him many trumpets sounded, naming the Prince as King of Dacia. Angriote and Sir Bruneo put on his head a very fine crown of gold with many pearls and precious stones.

They remained at the festivities most of the day, to the great suffering and anguish of the Duke, who was watching and to whom people addressed many insults and abuse. But the knights asked the Queen to have him taken from there or they would leave, for they did not wish to see any man, defeated and a prisoner, receive such abuse in their presence. The Queen ordered him taken to prison, for she saw how much it hurt them to be there, and asked them to take some fine jewels she had brought to give them. But they, no matter how much she asked, only wished to take one thing because they knew that those lands had very fine hounds that hunted by sight or scent, and asked her for the favor of ordering some given to them for hunting in the hills at Firm Island. Quickly more than forty were brought so they might select the most handsome ones they wished.

When the Queen saw that they wished to go, she told them:

“My friends and good lords, although ye did not wish to take any of my jewels, ye must take one, and it is the one I love most in this world, which is my son the King, to give on my behalf to Amadis so that in the company of him and his friends he may be raised to acquire the good manners a knight must have, for with worldly goods he is well provided. And if God allows him to reach the age of adulthood, it would be better at Amadis’ hand than at any other to be made a knight. And tell him that through his fame and your skills, this kingdom that ye gained for me was won by him and by yourselves.”

They agreed, since they saw with how much affection she wished it to be done, and because it would be a great honor to have in their company a King like that, for being of such high estate he still sought their presence to be made more worthy.

The Queen had a ship very richly decorated as was suited to a king, with great adornments and with very fine and precious jewels that her son could give to knights and to other people as he wished, and his guardian and servants. She went with them to the sea, and from there she returned, and when she arrived at the town, she ordered the Duke to be hung with great dishonor, so everyone could see the fruits borne of the flowers of treason.

They boarded their ships and sailed until they arrived at the great port of Firm Island, where many people eagerly awaited them. When they entered the port, they sent word to Amadis that they brought with them the King of Dacia and why he was there, and that he should come to give him the welcome such a prince deserved. Amadis mounted his horse and brought with him only Agrajes, and halfway down the hill below the castle they met those knights and the King, who was richly attired and rode an exceptionally well-decorated palfrey.

Amadis went to him and greeted him, and the boy greeted him with great courtesy, for he had already been told who he was. Then they all embraced with much laughter and pleasure, and together they all went to the castle, where the King was lodged in the company of Sir Bruneo until other young noblemen whom they were expecting would arrive.

And so all those lords were at the island waiting for King Lisuarte, and to speak of him we shall leave the others until their proper time.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Chapter 122 [part 1 of 2]

What happened to Sir Bruneo of Bonamar, Angriote d’Estravaus, and Branfil as they went on a mission of rescue with the Queen of Dacia. 

[The postern gate at Denbigh Castle in northeast Wales. Photo from the glossary of castle terminology at the Castles of Wales website.]

The story says that Angriote d’Estravaus, Sir Bruneo of Bonamar, and his brother Branfil, after they left Queen Elisena, continued by sea, where they were guided by those who knew the way. The Queen, due to her distress and the pleasure of having found help for her danger, never even asked them where they were from nor who they were.

And as they sailed, one day she said:

“My good lords and friends, although I have you in my company, I know nothing more about you than I did before I found you and saw you the first time. I ask you, if ye please, to tell me so I will know how to treat you according to your honor and my own.”

“My good lady,” Angriote said, “learning our names, given what little ye know about us, would not increase nor decrease your relief nor aid, but since it would please you, we ought to tell you. Know that these two knights are brothers, and one is called Sir Bruneo of Bonamar and the other Branfil. Sir Bruneo is a brother-in-law of Amadis of Gaul, whom ye went seeking. And I am named Angriote d’Estravaus.”

When the Queen heard him say who they were, she said:

“Oh, my good lords! I give many thanks to God for finding you at such a time, and to you for the relief and pleasure ye have given my afflicted spirit in letting me know who ye are. Although I do not know you and had never seen you, news about you is heard everywhere, for those knights from Greece whom I spoke of to Queen Elisena and who were passing through my land had told and recounted to my husband the King the great battles that occurred between King Lisuarte and Amadis.

“As they spoke of things they had seen, they told him the names of all the most principal knights in the battles and many of the great deeds of chivalry they had done. And I recall that ye were recounted among the best, for which I thank our Lord, for truly I had been very concerned coming with you because ye were so few and I did not know if ye would suffice for the great purpose I have. But now I shall continue with more hope that my sons will be rescued and defended from that traitor.”

Angriote said:

“My lady, since this is now our responsibility, no more could be put into it than all our efforts and our lives.”

“May God thank you,” she said, “and may I be granted a time when my sons and I shall repay you with the enlargement of your estates.”

So they sailed through the sea with no obstruction until they reached the Kingdom of Dacia. When they arrived, they agreed that the Queen should remain in her ship at sea until she saw how things were faring for them. They had their horses brought from the ship and armed themselves, and with their squires and the two unarmed knights who had been with the Queen when they went out to sea, who guided them, they took the road directly to the city where the Princes were, for it was equal to a long day’s ride to get there. And they ordered their squires to carry something to eat and barley for their horses because they would not be entering any towns.

And as I say to you, these three knights rode all day until it was late. They rested at the edge of a forest with thick brush, and there they and their horses ate. Immediately they remounted and rode so fast through the night that they arrived an hour before dawn at the camp, which they approached as hidden as they could to see where most of the men were so they could avoid them and go to the weakest area to enter the town. And so they did, and ordered their squires and the two knights traveling with them to stand guard while they tried to make their way.

All three attacked some ten knights they found before them, and at the first meeting each one knocked down his man, and their lances broke. Then they put their hands on their swords and struck so bravely that not only because of the great blows but because their opponents thought more men were attacking, they began to flee, shouting for help.

Angriote said:

“It would be good to let them go and for us to reinforce those under siege.”

And so they did, and with their companions they reached the walls, where some of those inside had come because of the noise of their skirmish. The two knights coming with them called out and were immediately recognized, and those inside opened the postern gate from which they sometimes came out to attack their enemies, and through which Angriote and his companions entered. The Princes came there, because they had been awoken by the shouting, and they learned that those knights were coming to their aid and that their mother the Queen, whom they did not know if she were a prisoner or dead, was safe and sound, which gave them great pleasure.

Everyone there was especially encouraged by their arrival when they learned who they were, and they had them lodge with the Princes in their palace, where they were disarmed and they rested for a long time.

The Duke’s camp had been in an uproar from the shouts made by the knights who were fleeing, and with haste all the men both on foot and horseback came, but they did not know what the concern was, and before they were calmed, the day came. The Duke learned from his knights what had happened, and how they had seen no more than eight or ten men on horseback, although they had thought there were more, and that they had entered the town.

The Duke said:

“They could only be some locals who dared to go inside. I shall give orders to find out who they are, and if I learn it, they will lose all they have out here.”

Then he ordered everyone to disarm and go to their lodgings, as he did himself.

Angriote and his companions, after they had slept and rested, got up and heard Mass with the young Princes, who were waiting for them. And immediately they told them to order all their most important men to come there, and they did. The knights wished to learn how many men they had, to see if they were enough to go forth from the town and fight their enemies, and they urged those men to have everyone be armed and brought together in a large plaza so they could review them, and so they did.

When all had come, and when they knew for certain how many men the Duke had, they saw well that they were in no way disposed to take on the Duke’s men unless they were to employ some maneuver often used in war. All three took counsel and decided that in the coming night they would go out to attack their enemies with great caution, and that Sir Bruneo with the younger Prince, who was almost twelve years old, would leave in another part of town, attempt to get past their opponents, and go to some towns that were nearby. Because their inhabitants knew that the King was dead and their lords besieged and the Queen fled, they had not dared to come earlier to help. Instead, much against their will, they were sending food to the Duke’s encampment.

With their arrival, when the inhabitants saw the Prince and were encouraged by Sir Bruneo, some men might come to aid those who were besieged. And if that plan succeeded, they would make certain signals by night. Those in the city would come out to attack the camp, and Sir Bruneo would come with the men at another side of the town where they had no fear of attack, and in that way they could do great harm to their enemies.

This seemed like a good plan to them, and they consulted with some of the knights who seemed most worthy and in whom they could place the most confidence that they would serve the Princes in that attack despite the great danger that they were in. They all considered the plan worthy to carry out.

When night fell and most of it had passed, Angriote and Branfil, with all the men of the town, sallied forth to attack their enemies, and Sir Bruneo left in another place with the Prince, as we have told you. Angriote and Branfil, who rode ahead of the rest, passed down a walled road they had seen between some orchards during the day that led to the main encampment. It had been unprotected during the day, but at night it was guarded by fully twenty men. Angriote and Branfil attacked so bravely that the guards were immediately reduced to confusion, and the two knights  chased the guards down as they fled. Some were killed and others injured, and as they were men of low degree and the knights were so skilled, they were quickly overcome and destroyed.

The shouts and noise from the injured were great, but Angriote and Branfil did nothing but continue on and attack more men who came from the camp and from other guard posts, and they left many of them in the power of their own men, for they did nothing but attack and kill until they reached the field containing the main encampment.

By then the Duke was on horseback, and when he saw his men being overcome by so few of his enemies, he was irate. He spurred his horse and went to attack them with all the troops that were with him, so fiercely that it seemed the entire camp was in battle. The men from the city were terrified and took shelter in the road by which they had come, so the only ones out fighting were those two knights, Angriote and Branfil. The entire fury of the Duke awaited them. So many men attacked them that although they gave extraordinary blows to those in the lead and they knocked the Duke from his horse, they were forced to retreat to the road where their men had taken shelter, and there, since the road was narrow, they stopped.

The Duke was not injured, although he had fallen, and immediately he was helped by his men and put back on his horse. He saw his opponents in that narrow road, and when he came to them, he felt anguish that only two knights could defend themselves against all the men he had brought and hold them at bay.

He shouted so that all could hear:

“Oh, what vile knights-errant to whom I give all I have! What shame is this that ye have not the strength to defeat two lone knights, for ye do not fight against more than two!”

Then he attacked and many others came with him, so many so fast that Angriote and Branfil and all their men unwillingly had to retreat a ways up the road. The Duke thought that they were already defeated and that in the press of men many could be killed, and he could take the town. As if he were already the victor he rode ahead of his men and came with his sword in his hand to Angriote, whom he found before him, and gave him a great blow on top of his helmet. But it did not take long for him to be repaid, because Angriote had been looking out for him after he heard him speak ill to his own men. He raised his sword and with all his strength struck him on the helmet with such a blow that he left him helpless and knocked him down to lay at the feet of his horse.

And when Angriote saw that, he shouted to his men to take him, for he was the Duke. He and Branfil rode ahead against the rest and attacked with great and weighty blows. The other men did not dare wait for them, but as the place was narrow, they could only attack to the front. In the meantime the Duke was taken prisoner by the men from the town, but he was so stunned and senseless that he did not know if he was being taken by his own men or by his opponents.

When his men saw him thus, they thought he was dead, and they retreated from that narrow road. Angriote and Branfil, when they saw that, because they knew the Duke was dead or prisoner and because their opponents were numerous and it would not be wise to attack them in a wide place, decided to return and consider it sufficient that their first assay had achieved so much. And so they did, and very slowly they returned to their men, very content at how the incident had gone, even though they had suffered some injuries, none of them great, and their arms were damaged.

But soon their horses died from their wounds, and they collected their men and returned to the town. They found the Prince, named Garinto, at the gate, and when he saw them coming safe and with his enemy the Duke as a prisoner, ye may imagine the pleasure he felt. Then they all took refuge in the town with great joy because they had captured their mortal enemy, who, as has been said, was still not conscious, nor was he in what remained of the night nor the next day until noon.

Sir Bruneo, who had departed from another gate of the town, knew nothing of this except for the shouting and great noise he heard. And because all the men outside had rushed to help, no one was there except for a few men on foot who were spread out and lacked leadership, he killed some, but he left others behind and passed them without hindrance so he would not lose the Prince, for whom he was responsible.

They rode during what remained of the night behind a man who guided them and rode a nag. When morning came, they saw in the distance the town where the guide was taking them, which was extremely fine and was called Alimenta.

Coming from it were the two armed knights the Duke had sent to find out who the knights were who had entered the town. They had also gone to other towns, but they had found no trace or clue about them. They were returning to tell that to the Duke, and, as he had ordered, they had told the people of the town to send all the supplies they could to the camp at the threat of great penalties.

Sir Bruneo, when he saw them, asked the guide if he knew who those two knights were and where they came from.

“My lord,” the man said, “they come on behalf of the Duke, for I have seen that armor many times riding outside the town along with many companions.”

Then Sir Bruneo said:

“Then watch over this young man and do not leave him alone, for I wish to see what kind of knights serve such a bad lord.”

Then he rode ahead a bit to meet them, who were not worried about him because they thought he was from the camp. When he drew closer, he said:

“Vile knights who dwell with that treacherous Duke and are his friends, protect yourselves from me, for I challenge you unto death.”

They responded:

“Thy great arrogance shall be the payment for thy madness, for thinking that thou wert one of our own, we wished to leave thee pass. But now thou shalt pay with the death that thou speakest of for what a man of little sense as thou dares to attempt.”

They immediately galloped at each other as fast as their horses could go and struck each other mightily on their shields, and their lances flew into pieces, but one of the knights that Sir Bruneo struck fell to the ground at once with such a great crash on the field, which was hard, that neither his feet nor hands moved, and he lay as if he were dead.

Sir Bruneo put his hand on his sword with a very lively heart, and he attacked the other knight, who also had his hand on his sword and waited for him well covered by his shield, and they gave each other great and hard blows. But as Sir Bruneo was stronger and more experienced, he delivered so many blows that he made him drop the sword and lose both stirrups. The knight grabbed the horse’s neck and shouted:

“Oh, my lord knight, by God do not kill me!”

Sir Bruneo withheld his attack and said:

“Acknowledge your defeat.”

“I acknowledge it,” he said, “so I do not die and lose my soul.”

“Dismount the horse,” Sir Bruneo said, “and remain on foot until I order otherwise.”

He did so, but he was so dazed he could not stand up and fell to the ground. Sir Bruneo made him rise unwillingly and told him:

“Go to your companion and see if he is dead or alive.”

He did so as best he could, went to him and took the helmet from his head. And as the other knight got air, he recovered his breath and became more aware of himself.