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.


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