Thursday, January 28, 2016

Why Cervantes claimed he didn't write Don Quixote

You’ll get a lot of jokes in Don Quixote only if you’ve read Amadis of Gaul.

Photo by Sue Burke.

 In front of Spain's National Library in Madrid, a statue of Miguel de Cervantes stands with one foot resting on a pair of books. One of them is spine-out, and we can read its title: Amadís de Gaula (Amadis of Gaul).

In many ways, Cervantes satirizes (or pays homage to) that tale, including a characteristic element of novels of chivalry that began with Amadis of Gaul. An earlier version of Amadis had existed since the 1300s in the form of a three-book novel, but the only surviving version, by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, was different, as Montalvo himself explains in his prologue:

"I corrected these three books of Amadis, such as they could be read, due to poor writers or very corrupt and dissolute scribes, and I translated and added a fourth book and a sequel, Sergas de Esplandián, which until now no one has seen. By great good fortune, a manuscript was discovered in a stone tomb beneath a hermitage near Constantinople, and it was brought by a Hungarian merchant to eastern Spain in such ancient script and old parchment that it could only be read with much difficulty by those who knew the language."

Of course, Montalvo himself wrote the fourth book and Sergas de Esplandián (Exploits of Espandian). Why lie about it? Because, as he himself put it, the novel "had been considered rank fiction rather than chronicles." By proclaiming it an ancient story and perhaps even forgotten history rather than fiction, it could obtain the status of works by Homer and Cicero.

He didn't seem to have fooled anyone, but he did set a pattern. Supposedly, the manuscript for the sequel Lisuarte de Grecia (Lisuarte of Greece) by Juan Díaz (1514) had been written in Greek in Constantinople and taken to Rhodes when the city fell to the Ottomans. Amadis de Grecia (Amadis of Greece) by Feliciano de Silva (1530) had been found in a wooden box behind a wall in a cave in Spain, hidden during the Moslem invasion in 711. Silves de la Selva (Silves of the Jungle) by Pedro de Luján (1546) was encountered in the magical sepulcher of Amadis himself, written in Arabic.

And so on. Manuscripts were discovered in distant castles and during voyages to far-off lands. Some were written in Hungarian, Latin, Tuscan, German, Chaldean, and "Indian" (Sanskrit, perhaps). A few were even supposedly written by characters from earlier novels.

Among the many jokes in Don Quixote whose punchline we have forgotten today is the one in Chapter IX. It recounts how, in a market in Toledo, a boy was selling some old paper to be reused. Cervantes looked at one of the papers, a pamphlet, and it turned out to be part of the History of Don Quixote of La Mancha, written in Arabic by Cide Hamete Benengeli. He purchased a translation of the pamphlets for two pecks of raisins and two bushels of wheat. This discovered manuscript, Cervantes claimed, became the basis of the rest of the first part of his novel. Rather than being found in some exotic place after a search filled with drama, difficulty, and great cost, Don Quixote was supposedly rescued from the garbage and translated on the cheap.


A version of this article also appeared in Fall 2015 issue (pdf) of The Source, a quarterly publication of the American Translators Association Literary Division.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chapter 99

How the doctor Elisabad arrived in Grasinda’s realms and from there traveled to see the Emperor of Constantinople with the message from Amadis, and what he obtained. 

[Detail of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (Constantinople). Photo by Sue Burke.]

This story tells how the doctor Elisabad traveled by sea until he arrived at the lands of his lady Grasinda. There he ordered all the great men of the realm be called, and he showed them the orders that he brought from her, and he urged them to fulfill them immediately. They answered that it was their desire to comply even better than if she were present, and immediately ordered the recruitment of horsemen, crossbow men, archers, and other men of war, and they readied many ships and had other new ones built.

And when the doctor saw that things were being prepared well, he left a knight to oversee it, his young nephew, who was named Libeo, and asked him to put great care into his work. He returned to the sea and traveled to the Emperor of Constantinople. When he arrived, he went to his palace, and they told him that he was speaking with his noblemen. The doctor entered the hall and came to kneel before him and kiss his hands, and the Emperor received him with friendship because he had known him previously and believed he was a good man.

The doctor gave him the letter from Amadis, and when the Emperor read it, he was very surprised to learn that the Knight of the Green Sword was Amadis of Gaul, whom for long time he had wished to meet because of the amazing things told by so many of those who had seen him. He said:

“Doctor, I would be very angry with you if ye knew the name of that knight and did not tell me, because I would be ashamed if a man of such high estate and lineage and so famous throughout the world were to come to my house and not be received with the honors that he deserved, but only as a knight errant.”

The doctor told him:

“My lord, I swear by my holy orders that until he ceased to call himself the Greek Knight and made himself known to my lady Grasinda and to all of us, I never knew that he was Amadis.”

“What?” the Emperor said, “he called himself the Greek Knight after he left here?”

“Then, my lord, the news has not come to your court that he called himself the Greek Knight?”

“It is true,” the Emperor said. “I never heard about it until now.”

“Then ye shall hear great things,” he said, “if Your Mercy were to be pleased for me to tell you.”

“I would consider it very good if ye were to do so,” the Emperor said.

Then the doctor told how, after Amadis had left there, he arrived to where his lady Grasinda was and how, because of the boon that he had promised her, he took her by sea to Great Britain, and why and how before they arrived, he ordered that they call him only the Greek Knight; and of his battles in the court of King Lisuarte against Salustanquidio and the other two Roman knights who fought for the damsels, whom he defeated easily. And he also spoke of the Romans’ great arrogance, and how before the battle began they told King Lisuarte to let them fight the Greek Knight immediately, because when he knew he would have to fight them, he would not dare await them, because the Greeks feared the Romans like fire. He also told him about Sir Grumedan’s battle and how the Greek Knight left two knights there who were his friends and how they defeated the three Romans. He told him everything, and left nothing out, as one who had been present for all of it. Everyone who was there was amazed at the knight’s skill, and was very satisfied at how he had broken the Romans’ arrogance and given them such dishonor.

The Emperor praised him highly, and said:

“Doctor, now tell me your credentials, and I shall hear you.”

The doctor told him everything about the matter between King Lisuarte and his daughter, and why Amadis and those knights had rescued her at sea, and what had happened between King Lisuarte and his subjects, and how Oriana had sent letters of complaint everywhere about what a great injustice her father the King was doing to her so cruelly, disinheriting her without any reason from such a grand and honorable kingdom of which God had made her heiress, and how neither heeding his conscience nor having any mercy, wishing to make his younger daughter heiress to his kingdom, he delivered her to the Romans despite the weeping and sorrow of herself and all those who saw her.

And he told how because of these complaints and the Princess’s alarm, many knights errant of great lineage and high deeds at arms united, and he recounted the names of most of them, and how there at Firm Island they had found Amadis, who knew nothing about this, and there he took counsel with them about how to rescue the Princess, for such a great outrage as that should not come to pass. It was true that they were obliged to remedy the injuries done to damsels and ladies, for whom they had until then suffered many labors and dangers, so they were even more obliged in such a situation that was notable and manifest to all the world, and if they did not rescue her, not only would all the aid and remedy that they had given to other women be forgotten, but they would be dishonored forever and would not dare appear where other good men were.

And Elisabad told how they took a fleet to the sea and of the great battle they fought with the Romans, and how in the end the Romans were defeated and Salustanquidio, the Emperor’s cousin, was  killed; and Brondajel de Roca, the Duke of Ancona, and the Archbishop of Talancia were taken prisoner, among others who were killed or captured; and how they took the Princess and all her ladies and damsels and Queen Sardamira to Firm Island, and from there they had sent messengers to King Lisuarte asking that he cease to cause such cruelty and injustice to his daughter and allow her to return to his kingdom without any acrimony; if so, supplying all the security proper in such a case involving royalty, they would immediately send her along with all of the spoils and prisoners that they had taken.

And he told him what he was asking on behalf of Amadis, that in case King Lisuarte did not wish to agree to justice and instead remained firmly committed to his unwise principles, and if the Emperor of Rome came to his aid with the great quantity of fighting men, then, because His Mercy the Emperor of Constantinople was one of the principal ministers that God had placed on the Earth to maintain justice, especially since it was so widely known what had been done to such a virtuous Princess, for very good cause he should aid her; and in addition, provide help to the noble knight Amadis to put pressure on those who did not wish justice to be done, making sure that such an outrage and injury as that would not come to pass; for besides serving God that way and doing what the Emperor ought, Amadis and all his lineage and friends would be obliged to serve him all the days of his life.

When the Emperor had heard all that, he saw that the cause was great and the deed was grand, both because of its character and because he knew of the excellence of King Lisuarte and how he always maintained his honor and his fame, and also because he knew of the arrogance of the Emperor of Rome, who was more given to following his whims than wisdom or reason. And although he knew that this would not be solved without great acrimony, which he took seriously, he considered how those knights had justice on their side, and how Amadis had come from such a distant land to see him, and the Emperor had given him his word, although lightly and not said with the purpose that he had now taken it, he chose to consider his own grandeur and remember some of the arrogant deeds that the Emperor of Rome had done to him in the past.

He answered the doctor Elisabad:

“Doctor, ye have told me extraordinary things, and from such a good man as ye are everything ought and must be believed. Since the courageous Amadis has need of my help, I shall give it to him and fully comply with the word that he received from me; although it may have seemed light at the time, he may find it true and compelling, as the word from such a great man as myself given to such an honorable and outstanding knight as he ought to be, because nothing that I offer shall not be fulfilled.”

And all those who were present took great pleasure at how the Emperor had responded, above all his nephew Gastiles, who as ye have heard went to see Amadis when he was calling himself the Knight of the Green Sword and had killed the Endriago. He immediately knelt before his uncle the Emperor and said:

“My lord, if it pleases Your Mercy and if my services deserve it, do me this extraordinary favor: may it be I who is sent to help that noble and virtuous knight who has done so much to honor the crown of your empire.”

When the Emperor heard this, he told him:

“Good nephew, I grant you that, and I am pleased to do it, and I now send you and the Marquis Saluder to take charge of preparing a fleet that shall be of the proper quality as the grandeur of my estate requires, because in no other manner would I achieve honor. And if it is necessary, ye and he shall go with it and do battle against the Emperor of Rome as would be fit.”

Gastiles kissed his hands and took it as a great favor. And he did as he and the Marquis had been ordered. When the doctor Elisabad saw this, ye may well believe the pleasure that it gave him, and he said to the Emperor:

“My lord, for what ye have said to me I kiss your hands on behalf of that knight, and because I shall be the one to bring him that response, I kiss your feet, and because now there is much for me to do, may Your Mercy give me license to leave. If the Emperor of Rome calls up his men, since he is a man very given to such things, when he does, at that same time ye should call out your men so that they arrive in time to await them.”

The Emperor told him:

“Doctor, go with God, and leave these matters to me, for if they are necessary, then ye shall see who I am and the way in which I value Amadis.”

And so the doctor bid farewell to the Emperor, and he returned to the lands of his lady Grasinda.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chapter 98

About the message that Sir Cuadragante and Brian of Monjaste brought from King Lisuarte, and what all the knights and lords at Firm Island decided to do about it. 

[Castle of Jadraque, also called the Castle of Cid because it is mentioned in the poem The Song of El Cid. Photo by Reinhardhauke.]

The next morning all the lords and knights gathered to hear Mass and the message that Sir Cuadragante and Brian of Monjaste had brought from King Lisuarte. After Mass, with everyone there, Sir Cuadragante told them:

“My good lords, our message and the answer to it was so brief that we can say no other thing but that ye should give thanks to God because with justice and righteousness ye can express the virtue of your noble hearts and win great glory and fame, for King Lisuarte wishes only acrimony.”

And with that he told them everything that had happened, and how they had confirmed that Lisuarte had sent messengers to the Emperor of Rome and to his friends. Agrajes was untroubled by this. Although by Oriana’s order and request he had until that time been more moderate, now he said:

“Truly, my good lords, I have believed that given the state of these negotiations, it would be much more difficult to secure safety for the Princess and for the reputation of our honor than help for this war. And until now, because with great urgency she had ordered and asked me to restrain your anger and mine, I have avoided speaking as much as my heart desired. But now that we know that her hope that some agreement could be reached with her father the King has not been fulfilled, I am free of what I had promised to do more to serve her than of my own will.

“And I say, my lords, as far as my desires and preferences are concerned, I am much happier with what ye brought than if King Lisuarte had granted what ye asked him on our behalf, because it might have been that under the pretext of peace and harmony he could have made some fraudulent agreements that could have deceived us, because since King Lisuarte and the Emperor are powerful, with little difficulty they could quickly call up their men, which we would not be able to do, because ours have to come from many different places and very distant lands. And although our persons, by being in such a mighty fortress, would be safe from danger and harm and would give us some advantage, it would not be the same for our honor. And for that reason, my lords, I believe that known warfare would be better than fraudulent peace agreements, since by them, as I have said, more danger could come to us than to our opponents.”

They all agreed that he had said the truth, that they should immediately take precautions against any troops that might be coming, and that they should do battle in their enemies’ lands. Amadis had been full of doubt and fear that in some way peace might be reached and he would have to deliver his lady, for even if the honor of her and of everyone else were entirely assured and protected, the desire in his suffering heart would have reached such extreme pain and sadness were she to have gone where he could not see her that it would have been impossible for him to sustain his life. When he heard the news those messengers brought and what his cousin Agrajes said, even if he had been made lord of the world, it would not have pleased him as much, because no battle nor war nor labor seemed important in comparison to having his lady with him as he did. He said:

“My lord cousin, ye have always acted like a knight, and as such everyone knows you, and those of us in your lineage and blood must give deepest thanks to God for having placed among us a knight who is so cautious in matters of honor when facing affronts, and whose honor grows by offering such discretion in his advice. And since ye along with these lords have determined what would be best, I can be forgiven for doing nothing other than following whatever your wish would be.”

Angriote d’Estravaus, who was a very wise and courageous knight and who loved Amadis loyally, saw clearly that although he did not come forward to speak and instead placed himself at the will of all others, he was very pleased with the discord. Angriote attributed that to his great courage, which was not content except when facing confrontations such as that, since he knew no other reason for it. Angriote said:

“My lords, we all should be pleased with the news your messengers have brought and what Agrajes has said, because it is certain and sure. But leaving both aside, I say, my lords, that war is much more honorable for us than peace, and because so much could be commented about this that if I were to say it, ye would all become annoyed, I only wish to remind you that ever since ye were knights and even to this moment your desire has always been to seek danger and confrontation, because with them your hearts, unlike those of other men, might be strengthened and win that glory that many desire and few achieve. And since this is obtained with great affection and affliction to your souls, when at any other time in the past have ye so completely achieved it as in the present?

“For truly, although ye have rescued many ladies and damsels in this fashion, never is it recalled that in your time nor in the time of your ancestors has anything as momentous as this been achieved nor will it be in times to come until many years have passed. And since fortune has satisfied our desire so fully and given us this opportunity, just as our souls are immortal in the next world, so our fame might be in this world where we live, and we must be careful to win what fortune has offered us and not to lose it through our own fault and negligence.”

Once everything those knights had said was agreed upon, and since it seemed time to put the matter under way, they decided to send word immediately to call up all the men on their side, and with that done, they went to eat. And for now this story shall cease to speak about them and shall return to the messengers who had been sent, as has been discussed and as this story has recounted.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chapter 97 [part 3 of 3]

[How Queen Briolanja greeted Oriana and met Grasinda.]

[The Tower of Lozoya, built in the 14th century in Segovia at San Martín Plaza. Photo by Sue Burke.]

Then Queen Briolanja came on shore, as did all her ladies and damsels and knights, and they brought out the beasts that they had with them: for the Queen, a palfrey with splendid saddlery as was proper for such a lady. And they all mounted and rode to the castle where Oriana was, and who took such great pleasure to learn of her arrival that it was a rare sight to behold. She asked Mabilia and Grasinda and the other princesses to go to the entrance of the garden to receive her, and she remained with Queen Sardamira in the tower. When Queen Sardamira saw the pleasure that they all showed at the news, she said to Oriana:

“My lady, who is this newly arrived woman who has given so much pleasure to everyone?”

Oriana told her:

“She is the most beautiful queen not only in her appearance but in her reputation that I know of in all the world, as ye shall now see.”

When Queen Briolanja arrived at the gate of the garden and saw so many ladies in such fine apparel, she was amazed and felt the greatest pleasure in the world for having come there. And she turned to the knights and told thm:

“My good lords, may ye be commended to God, for upon seeing these ladies I no longer wish your company.”

And laughing very beautifully, she was dismounted and joined them, and then the gate was closed. They all came to her and greeted her with great courtesy, and Grasinda marveled at her beauty and great composure. And if she had not seen Oriana, who had no peer, she would not have believed that any woman in the world looked as beautiful as she did. And so they brought her to the tower where Oriana was, and when they saw each other, they came to each other with their arms outstretched and embraced each other with great love. Oriana took her by the hand and brought her to Queen Sardamira, and told her:

“My lady and Queen, speak with Queen Sardamira, and do her much honor, for she well deserves it.”

And so she did, and they greeted each other with great courtesy as their royal status required of each of them. And with Oriana between them, they sat on the estrado, and all the other ladies around them. Oriana said to Queen Briolanja:

“My good lady, ye have done me a great courtesy by coming to see me from such a distant land, and I thank you deeply for it, because such a trip could not have been made without abundant love.”

“My lady,” the Queen said, “I would be charged with great ignorance and very poor disposition if, given this situation that ye are in, I did not show the entire world desire I have for your honor and the improvement of your estate, especially since the duty falls principally on Amadis of Gaul, whom I love and owe so much, as ye know, my lady. And when I learned from Tantiles that he could be found here, I immediately ordered everything in my kingdom be prepared for whatever he might ask, and it seemed to me that meanwhile I ought to make this trip to accompany you or to see him, whom I very much wish to see, more than anyone else in the world, and to be with you, my lady, until this affair is resolved, which may our Lord be pleased to have come out as ye wish.”

“So may it please Him,” Oriana said, “through His holy mercy, and I hope that Sir Cuadragante and Sir Brian of Monjaste will bring some agreement with my father.”

Briolanja, who knew the truth, that they brought nothing, did not wish to say so. And so they spent some time talking about the things that gave them the most pleasure. And when it was time to eat, the Damsel of Denmark said to Oriana:

“Remember, my lady, that the Queen has been traveling, and she will want to eat and rest, and now is the time that ye might go to your chamber and take her with you, since she is your guest.”

Oriana asked if everything had been prepared. The Damsel told her it was. Then she took Queen Briolanja by the hand and took leave of Queen Sardamira and Grasinda, who went to their chambers, and took her to her chamber showing her great love. And when they arrived, Briolanja asked who was that finally dressed and beautiful lady next to Queen Sardamira. Mabilia told her that she was named Grasinda, and that she was a very noble and rich lady, and explained why she had come to the court of King Lisuarte and the great honor that Amadis had won for her there, and the honor that she had done for him when she did not know who he was. And she told her in great detail everything that had happened with Amadis, whom she loved dearly, when he had called himself the Knight of the Green Sword, and how he had come so close to death when he killed the Endriago, and he was brought to health by a doctor whom Grasinda had given him, the best doctor who could have been found throughout the width and breadth of the Earth. She told her everything and did not leave out a thing.

When the Queen heard this, she said:

“What a small-minded woman I am, because I did not know it before, and she came to me to speak, and I passed her by quickly. But that will be remedied, for even if she did not deserve it, merely by having done so much honor and given so much help to Amadis I am deeply obliged to honor her and give her pleasure all the days of my life, because after God, I have no other protection in my difficulties, nor anything else to give my heart contentment, besides this knight. After we eat, have her called because I wish to meet her.”

Oriana said:

“Queen, my friend, ye are not the only one who must honor her for that reason, for look at me here. If not for that knight, I would today be the most lost and ill-fated woman who was ever born, because I would be in a foreign land and so lonely that nothing but death would await me, and I would be disinherited from what God made me to reign over. And as ye know, this noble knight who rescues and aids all those in trouble, without any other reason or cause than his noble virtue, has become involved, as ye see, so that justice may be done for me.”

“My lady and friend,” the Queen said, “let us speak no more about Amadis, for he was born to do such things. Just as God made him unique and outstanding from everyone else in the world in his great strength, He also made him outstanding in all the other qualities and virtues.”

Seated at the table, they were served a great variety of delicacies, as is proper for such great princesses, and they spoke of many things that they enjoyed. And after they had eaten, they sent the Damsel of Denmark to go to Grasinda and tell her that the Queen wished to speak to her. The damsel did so, and Grasinda came immediately with her. When she arrived, Queen Briolanja came to embrace her and told her:

“My good friend, forgive me because I did not know who ye were when I arrived, and if I had known, I would have received you with greater love and affection because your virtue deserves it. For the great honor and good service that Amadis received from you, we who are his friends are very much obliged to thank you, and as for me, I tell you that the time shall never be when I fail to repay you for it, because although I give you from what is mine, I give you from what is his, since everything I have is his and by him I have it.”

“My good lady,” Grasinda said, “if I did any honor to this knight as ye say, I am as satisfied and content by it as any person would be who had given him any pleasure, and I give greater thanks to your virtue for what ye said than to the debt that he may owe me. May it please God that since I have received from him more than what I have paid him, I shall have some further opportunity to serve him.”

Then Mabilia told her:

“My good lady, tell us, if ye please, how ye came to meet Amadis, and for what reason he was received so well by you, since ye did not know him or even his name.”

She told him everything that the third part of this story has recounted more fully. And they laughed a lot about Bradandisel, whom Amadis made ride his horse backwards with its tail in his hands. And she told them how she had welcomed him badly injured in her home for some time, and how, before he came to that land, she had heard tell of the great and amazing feats at arms that he had done throughout the islands of Romania and in Germany, and everyone who knew about them were amazed at how a single knight was able to surmount such great dangers, and of the many injuries and great injustices that he had resolved for many ladies and damsels and other people who needed his help and rescue.

And she told how he was recognized by his dwarf and by the green sword that he carried, and how he was called by those names. She also told them everything about the battle he had fought with Sir Garadan, and the one he then had with the other eleven knights, and how by defeating them he saved the King of Bohemia from a very cruel war with the Emperor of Rome, and she spoke of many other things that were known about him in those lands that would be too extensive to write.

And then she told them:

“Because of those things that I had heard of him, and for what I saw of him when he was present, my ladies, I wish you to know what came to happen to me. I was so taken by him and his great deeds that, although I was extraordinarily rich in those lands and a great lady, and he was traveling as a poor knight, and without my knowing anything else about him except what I had been told, I thought it a good idea to marry him, and if I were to have him, no queen in the world would be my equal.

“But as I saw him so restrained and with such deep thoughts and concerns, knowing the strength of his heart, I suspected that he suffered for no other cause than some woman that he loved. And to be more sure about it, I spoke with Gandalin, who seem to me to be a very wise squire, and I asked him about it. He, knowing what I was thinking, on one hand denied it, and on the other hand gave me to understand that his anguish was not for any other reason than for some lady whom he loved. And I understood well that he said this so I would no longer have such thoughts, for they would not go any further, since they would be fruitless. And I thanked him for that sincerely, and from then on I have ceased to think about it.”

Briolanja, when she heard this, looked at Oriana laughing, and told her:

“My lady, it seems to me he goes more places than I thought sowing that illness. Ye will recall what I told you about this at the castle at Miraflores.”

“I recall it well,” Oriana said.

That happened when Queen Briolanja, coming to see Oriana in that castle at Miraflores, as the second book has said, told her almost the same thing that had occurred to her with Amadis.

And so of that and of other things they spoke until it was time to sleep, and Grasinda took leave of them and returned to her chamber, and they remained in theirs. And a bed had been set up for Queen Briolanja in Oriana’s chamber next to hers, because she and Mabilia slept together, and there they went to sleep, and that night they rested in great comfort.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Chapter 97 [part 2 of 3]

[How Trion attacked, and how Sir Cuadragante and Brian of Monjaste fought bravely.]

[Illustration of the raising of the siege of Mahdia and the crusaders leaving Africa in 1390, in Chroniques Vol. IV by Jean Froissart, the “Harley Froissart,” made in Bruges between c. 1470 and 1472. At the British Library.]

Since Trion knew where Queen Briolanja was traveling, one afternoon he arrived behind her without arousing suspicion. Soon the men in her ship spotted his two ships, and they told the Queen. Sir Cuadragante and Brian of Monjaste immediately came to the ship’s railing and saw that they were coming right at them. They ordered the Queen’s men to arms and they armed themselves, but made no change in their course, and the two ships came so close that they could hear what each other said.

Then Trion shouted:

“Knights who are traveling in that ship, tell Queen Briolanja that her cousin Trion is here and wishes to speak to her, and have her order her men not to fight, for if they do, none of them shall escape death.”

When the Queen heard this, she felt great fear and terror, and she said:

“My lords, this is the greatest enemy that I have, and he has now dared to do this and has come with a tremendous purpose and a great company of men.”

Sir Cuadragante told her:

“My good lady, fear nothing, for as it pleases God, he will very soon be punished for his madness.”

Then he ordered a knight to tell Trion that if he wished to come alone to see the Queen, he would be willingly received. Trion said:

“If that is so, I shall see her in spite of her and all of you.”

Then he ordered a knight, his father’s servant, to attack the ship on the far side and try to board it. When Sir Brian of Monjaste saw the ships separate, he told Sir Cuadragante to take as many men as he wished and guard the other side, and that he would defend his side, and so they did. Sir Cuadragante went to the side where Trion planned to fight, and Brian of Monjaste to the side the other knight planned to attack. Sir Cuadragante ordered his men to step forward so he could hide as best he could behind them, and told them that if Trion wished to board, not to stop him.

And at this point, the ship was attacked on both sides fiercely because the attackers felt very sure there was no one to defend it and no danger for them, but they knew nothing about those two knights from Firm Island. And when the ships drew near, Trion, with his great arrogance and desire to carry out his deed, jumped on board without any suspicions, and the Queen’s men began to retreat, as they had been ordered.

Sir Cuadragante, when he saw him on board, passed through his men, and as he was a very large man, as this story has told you in the second part, when Trion saw him, he realized that this was not one of the knights he knew about, but he did not lose his courage over this. Instead he charged him bravely, and they gave each other great blows on the tops of their helmets, and sparks flew from the steel and from the swords. But since Sir Cuadragante was stronger and could do as he wished, Trion received so many blows that his sword fell from his hand and he dropped to his knees on the deck.

Sir Cuadragante looked around and saw that their opponents were boarding the ship as fast as they could. He told his men:

“Take this knight.”

Then he charged at the others, and the first man he saw before him he gave such a great blow on the top of his head that no doctor could have saved him. When the others they saw that their lord had been taken prisoner and the other knight had been killed and the great blows that Sir Cuadragante was giving to one knight after another, they tried as fast as they could to return to their ship. But under the attack from Sir Cuadragante and his men, some managed to save themselves but others died in the water, and in very little time they were all defeated and driven off Briolanja’s ship, which Sir Cuadragante now held.

Then he looked at the other side where Brian was fighting, and saw that he was on board the enemy’s ship, wreaking havoc among its men. Sir Cuadragante he sent as many of his men as he could to help, and he stayed with the remaining men to see if their opponents would attack. And with the help that arrived for Sir Brian, and with the men that he had, very soon all his opponents were defeated. The knight who was their captain was killed, and Trion’s other ship was departing in defeat. Then those who were alive begged for mercy, and Sir Brian ordered that none of them be killed, since they could not defend themselves. And so it was done, and they were taken prisoner, and Sir Brian took control of the ship.

During the battle, Queen Briolanja was in her chamber with all her ladies and damsels, on their knees praying to God for Him to protect them from danger and to protect the knights who were aiding and defending her. As they were doing that, one of her men entered and told her:

“My lady, come out, and ye will see that Trion has been taken prisoner and all of his men injured or defeated, for these knights from Firm Island have done great and wonderful feats at arms, which no one else could have done.”

When the Queen heard this, she was as happy as ye might think, and she raised her hands and said:

“Almighty Lord God, blessed be Ye because at this time and moment in fate, Ye brought me these knights, for from Amadis and all his friends nothing can come to me but good fortune.”

She left the chamber and saw that her men held Trion prisoner, and Sir Cuadragante was guarding against any enemies who might come to fight, and Sir Brian of Monjaste had won the ship that her men now controlled. She approached Sir Cuadragante and told him:

“My lord, I owe deep thanks to God and to you for what ye have done for me, for truly both myself and my realm were in great danger.”

He told her:

“My good lady, ye see your enemy here. Order that justice be done.”

When Trion heard this, he knew his life was not secure, and he knelt before the Queen and said:

“My lady, I big mercy for my life, and I look to your great restraint, for I am of your blood. And if I have made ye angry, I will be in your service for it.”

As the Queen was very noble, she took pity on him, and she said:

“Trion, not because ye deserve it, but because it is my duty, I shall assure your life until I can learn more from these knights.”

And she ordered him placed in a chamber and guarded.

At that point Sir Brian of Monjaste came to the Queen and she went to embrace him, and she asked him:

“My good lord, how are things going for you?”

He told her:

“My lady, very well, and I am very happy to have the good fortune to have been able to serve you in some way. I have an injury, but thanks to God, it is not serious.”

Then he showed them his shield, and they saw how an arrow had passed through it at the part where he held it against his forearm. The Queen with her own beautiful hands took the shield from him as gently as she could, and she helped him disarm, and his wounds were treated just as many times other greater wounds had been treated, since his squires, both his own as well as those of all other knights errant, always carried all the supplies that might be urgently needed for wounds. They were all very happy at the great good fortune that had come to them, and although they wished to pursue Trion’s ship, they saw that it was very fast, and they decided against it. They raised their sails and went directly to Firm Island without any other mishap befalling them.

It happened that when they arrived at port, Amadis and all the other lords were riding on their palfreys through a wide meadow below the hill where the castle was, as they often did to relax. And when they saw those ships arrive at the port, they went there to find out whose they were. When they reached the shore, they found the squires from Sir Cuadragante and Sir Brian of Monjaste, who had left in a skiff to notify them of the arrival of the knights and Queen Briolanja so they could come and receive them. And when the squires saw Amadis and the other knights, they told them that message. The knights were very happy, and everyone came to the seashore and greeted those on board the ship amid great laughter and joy.

Sir Brian of Monjaste told him:

“What do ye think of us coming back richer than we were when we left? Ye have not done so, since ye have been locked up here, useless.”

They all began to laugh, and they told him that if he had returned so proud, he should show them what he had won. That was when a very large boat was placed in the sea and both the knights and the Queen got in it with a crew to take them to shore. And all the knights dismounted and came to kiss the Queen’s hands, but she did not wish to give them. Instead, she embraced them with great love. Amadis came to her and wished to kiss her hands, but when she saw him, she took him into her very beautiful arms and held him for a while and did not let him go. Tears came to her eyes and fell down her very beautiful cheeks from the pleasure she felt to be with him, because she had not seen him since the battle the King Lisuarte had with King Cildadan, when she saw him in Fenusa, the town where King Lisuarte was. And although she no longer thought about marrying him and held no hope of that, he was the knight she loved most in the world and for whom she would rather place her person and realm in danger than lose him. And when she let him go, she could not speak to him because she was so overwhelmed with great joy.

Amadis told her:

“My lady, I give many thanks to God because He brought you here where I could see you, which I very much desired, and now more than at any other time, because your sight will give great pleasure to these knights, and much more to your good friend, Princess Oriana, for I believe that no other person could come to her who would give her as much joy as ye will, my good lady.”

She responded:

“My good lord, this was why I left my kingdom, principally to see you, which was the thing in the world I most desired. God knows how much distress I have had until now to spend so much time without having seen you, my lord, and I could not learn any news, no matter how much I tried. And now when my majordomo told me ye had come and gave me your letter, I immediately thought, leaving everything that ye had ordered well prepared, of coming here to you and to this lady that ye speak of, because now is the time when her friends and servants must show her the desire and love that they have for her. But if it were not for God and for these knights who by great good fortune were with me, great danger could have befallen me during this trip. They can tell you how they remedied it with great courage, but this can wait for when there is more time.”