Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chapter 100

How Gandalin came to Gaul and spoke to King Perion about what his lord had asked, and the reply he received. 

[King Baldwin V of Jerusalem in his sickbed and being crowned. From William of Tyre's Historia and Continuation, 13th century manuscript from Acre. Bibliotheque Nationale Française, Richelieu Manuscrits Français 2628.]

Know that Gandalin arrived at Gaul, where he was very well received for the good news about Amadis that he brought, for they had not received any information about him for a long time. Then he took the King aside and told him everything that his lord had ordered him to say, as ye have heard. And as this was a King so courageous that he feared no confrontation, regardless of how great, especially involving that son who was a shining example throughout the world and whom he loved so much, he said:

“Gandalin, what thou askest on behalf of thy lord shall be immediately done, and if thou seest him before I do, tell him that I would not consider him a knight if he were to have let that happen, because to great hearts are given great labors. And I tell thee that if King Lisuarte does not wish to be reasonable, it will be to his own harm. And take note that I ask thee to say nothing of this to my son Galaor who is here seriously ill, so ill that I have considered him more dead than alive, and who is still in great danger, and say nothing to his companion Norandel, who thou seest coming here, for I shall tell him myself.”

Gandalin told him:

“My lord, it shall be done as ye order. And I am very pleased to have been warned, for I would not have thought about it and might have erred.”

“Then go see him,” the King said, “and tell him the news about his brother, and be careful not to say anything about why thou hast come here.”

Gandalin went to the chamber where Galaor was so weak and so ill that Gandalin was astonished to see him thus. When he entered, he knelt to kiss his hands, and Galaor looked at him and recognized who he was. Tears of pleasure came to his eyes, and he said:

“My friend Gandalin, thou art very welcome. What canst thou tell me about my lord and brother Amadis?”

Gandalin told him:

“My lord, he is at Firm Island healthy and well, and with a great desire to see you. He does not know that  are ill, my Lord, nor did I until my lord the King told me, for I came here at Amadis’ orders to tell him and the Queen that he had arrived there. And when he learns of your state of health, he will be very sorrowful, as he loves and esteems you more than anyone else in his lineage.”

Norandel, who was there, embraced him and asked him how Amadis was, and he told him what he had said to Sir Galaor and some of the things that had happened in the islands of Romania and in other foreign lands.

Norandel said to Sir Galaor:

“My lord, with such news is this ye should rightly take strength and overcome your illness, because we are going to see that knight, and may God help me, he is such that if it were only to see him, all those who are worth anything ought to consider unimportant the difficulty of their journey, although it might be very long.”

And as they were talking and Galaor was asking Gandalin many questions, the King entered and took Norandel by the hand and, speaking of other things, took him from the chamber. And when they were where Sir Galaor could not hear them, the King told him:

“My good friend, ye ought to go immediately to your father the King, because according to what I have learned, he needs help from you and all his men. Do not be concerned about other quests, because I know for a fact that he will be well served by your arrival. And do not say anything about this to your friend Sir Galaor because it would upset him deeply, which could cause him a great deal of harm due to his frailty.”

Norandel told him:

“My lord, from such a good man as yourself one ought to take advice without questioning the reason, because I am certain it will be as ye say, and I shall bid farewell to Sir Galaor tonight and take to the sea tomorrow, for there I have my ship, which awaits me at all times.”

The King did this so that Norandel could comply with what he was obliged to for his father, and also so that he would not see the King ordering his men to prepare and sending word to his friends.

And so that day they were encouraged about Sir Galaor because he was happy with the news from his brother. Gandalin told the Queen what Amadis had asked of her, and she told him that everything with be carried out as he had been ordered to say.

“But my friend Gandalin,” the Queen said, “I am very upset by this news, because I understand that my son will be in great anxiety and then in great personal danger.”

“My lady,” Gandalin said, “do not be afraid, because he will have so many men that King Lisuarte and the Emperor of Rome will not dare to attack.”

“May it please God,” the Queen said.

When night came, Norandel said to Sir Galaor:

“My lord, I have decided that I must go because I see that your illness will be lengthy, and it would be best for me to attend to other things because, as ye know, I have been a knight for a short period of time, and I have not earned enough honor as needed for me to be considered worthy by men of any valor. When I learned about your illness, it took me from the road on which I was placed when I left the court of my father the King. Now I ought to go elsewhere for I am needed, and God knows the sorrow that my heart feels to not be able to remain in your company. But may it please God that in this period of time I may fulfill my duties and that ye shall be improved, and I shall make it my duty to come to you, and we shall go together in search of adventure.”

When Sir Galaor heard this, he sighed with great affliction and told him:

“My good lord, I do not know how to describe the pain that I feel at being unable to go with you, but, may it please God, since no other thing can be done, His will should be fulfilled as He wishes. I commend you to God, and if by chance ye see your father the King, my Lord, kiss his hands for me, and tell him that I remain in his service, although more dead than alive, as ye see, my lord.”

Norandel left his chamber, very sad over the illness of his loyal friend Sir Galaor. The next day he heard Mass with King Perion, and bid farewell to the Queen and her daughter and all the damsels and ladies, and the Queen commended him to God, as did her daughter and all the other ladies and damsels, as those who loved him dearly, and so he went out to sea. And here nothing is told about what happened to him other than that with good weather he arrived at Great Britain, and he went to where his father the King was, and by him and by everyone else there he was very well received as the fine knight that he was.


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