Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chapter 106 [part 1 of 2]

How the Emperor of Rome arrived in Great Britain with his fleet, and what he and King Lisuarte did. 

[A reconstruction of the face of Richard III of England (2 October 1452 - 22 August 1485), based on the skull discovered in 2012.]

This story says that after Giontes, the nephew of King Lisuarte, departed from Grasandor, as ye have heard, he went directly to Rome, where with his haste along with the urgency he gave the Emperor, very quickly a great fleet was raised and equipped with the ten thousand knights we have told you about, and then the Emperor set sail. Without any incident on the way he arrived in Great Britain at the port of Windsor, where he knew King Lisuarte was.

And when Lisuarte learned he had arrived, he along with many noblemen, among them two kings, Cildadan and Gasquilan, mounted their horses and went to receive him. When he arrived, most of the men had come to shore, the Emperor among them. And when they saw each other, they went to embrace and receive each other with great pleasure.

The Emperor told him:

“If ye, King, have received any injury or trouble because of me, I am here, and with a double victory your honor will be satisfied. And as I alone am its cause, I would wish to have the chance to take vengeance with only my men so it will be an example and a lesson to everyone that such a high man as myself no one should dare to anger.”

The King told him:

“My good friend and lord, ye and your men come exhausted from your long trip on the sea. Order them to disembark, take lodging, and refresh themselves from their labors. And meanwhile, we shall take counsel regarding our enemies, and when it is heard, ye may choose the place and means that most pleases you.”

The Emperor wished to leave immediately, but the King, who better than him understood what was necessary and whom they were fighting, restrained him until a more appropriate time, for he knew well that everything depended on that initial battle. And so they were encamped for a week as each day more men came to serve the King.

Then it so happened that one day as the Emperor and Kings and many other knights were riding through the fields and meadows around the encampment, they saw an armed knight coming on a horse with a squire who carried his weapons. If anyone were to ask me who it was, I would tell them that he was Enil, a good knight, Sir Gandales’ nephew. When he arrived at the encampment, he asked if Arquisil was there, a relative of Emperor Patin, and he was told that he was and that he was riding with the Emperor. When he heard this, he was very happy, and he went to where he saw the men riding, for he was sure he would be there. And when he reached them, he found that the Emperor and Kings were speaking in a field near a riverbank over their concerns about the battle. Enil knew that Arquisil was with them, and he went to them and greeted them very humbly, and they told him he was welcome and asked what he sought. When he heard this, Enil said:

“My Lords, I come from Firm Island with a message from my lord the noble knight Amadis of Gaul, son of King Perion, for a knight named Arquisil.”

When Arquisil heard this and on whose behalf he was asked, he said:

“Knight, I am he whom ye seek, say what ye wish and ye shall be heard.”

Enil told him:

“Arquisil, Amadis of Gaul would have ye know how when he called himself the Knight of the Green Sword and was in the court of King Tafinor of Bohemia, a knight arrived there named Sir Garadan, accompanied by eleven knights, of which ye were one. And he did battle with Sir Garadan, in which Garadan was defeated and killed as ye saw. And then the next day he did battle with you and your companions, he and eleven knights as had been agreed upon, and when ye and they were defeated, he took you as prisoners, and set you free at your request, and ye promised him as a loyal knight that anytime he called upon you, ye would put yourself under his control. And now through me he calls on you to comply with what a man of such high standing and such a good knight as yourself must do.”

 Arquisil said:

“Truly, knight, in everything ye have said ye have spoken the truth, and it happened just as ye say. It only remains to be seen if the knight who called himself the Knight of the Green Sword is Amadis of Gaul.”

Some knights who were there told him that without a doubt he may believe that he was. Then Arquisil said to the Emperor:

“Ye have heard, my lord, what this knight asks of me, and I cannot avoid fulfilling that to which I am obliged, because ye may believe that he gave me life and saved me from being killed by those who had a great desire to do so. And for that reason, my lord, I beg you not to be troubled by my leaving, for if I failed to do so in this case it would not be right for a man as high born and powerful as ye are to have me in his family nor in his company.”

The Emperor, as he was very impetuous and often given more to following his passion or preferences than the propriety of the grandeur of his estate, said:

“Ye, knight who has come on behalf of Amadis, tell him that he must be tired of giving me the kind of annoyances that petty men tend to do to great men, whom he nothing resembles, and the time will come when he shall find out who I am and what I can do. He shall not escape from me anywhere, even in that cave of thieves where he is hiding, and he shall pay for what he has done to me seven times over to satisfy my will. And ye, Arquisil, fulfill what has been asked of you, for it shall not be long before I put into your hands he of whom ye are prisoner, so ye may do with him what ye will.”

When Enil heard this, he was enraged beyond all fear, and he said:

“I do believe, my lord, that Amadis knows you, for he has seen you in the past, but more as a knight errant than as a great lord, as then ye also knew him, and that ye did not leave his presence so easily. And now, as ye come as a great lord, he also comes looking for you. Let he who knows the past judge as he will, and God shall judge what is coming, as He alone can do.”

As King Lisuarte saw this, he was very worried that Enil might receive some harm on orders of the Emperor, which troubled him greatly, as did all that he had heard him say, because it was quite unlike Lisuarte’s nature to be other than a king very discreet in what he said and very rigorous in what he did. And before the Emperor could say anything, he took him by the hand and told him:

“Let us go to our tents, for it is time to eat, so this knight may enjoy the freedom that messengers by custom and right must have.”

And thus the Emperor left as enraged as if the anger were for someone of equal grandeur as himself. Arquisil took Enil to his tent and did him great honors, and then he armed himself, mounted his horse, and left with him.

From here nothing else is told about what happened to him except that they arrived at Firm Island in peace and agreement. And as they came close to the encampment and Arquisil saw so many men there, since the troops of the Emperor of Constantinople had arrived, he was very amazed and fell quiet and said nothing, instead acting as if he had not seen it. Enil took him to Amadis’ tent, where he was well received by him and by many other noble knights.

Arquisil was there for four days, during which time Amadis took him to show him all the troops and outstanding knights and told him their names, for they were well-known for their skills in great feats at arms everywhere in the world. Arquisil was very amazed to see such knighthood, especially all those famous knights, and he fully believed that if the Emperor were to suffer some reverse, it would be only due to them, for he did not fear the other troops very much and would not have worried about them at all if they had not had such leaders, for their strength was enough to fortify all the men beneath them.

He also saw that his lord the Emperor would need great resources to do them battle, and considered himself most misfortunate to be a prisoner at that time, for if he had been far away, hearing about such an extraordinary and great thing as this, he would come to take part in it. But as he was a prisoner and could not take fight, he considered himself the most unlucky knight in the world, and he fell into such thoughts that without noticing nor wishing to do so, tears ran down his cheeks. And with that great anguish he decided to test the virtue and nobility of Amadis.


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