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.”


No comments:

Post a Comment