Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Chapter 107

How King Perion moved his men out of the camp to march toward their enemies, and how he arranged the columns for battle. 

[Sculpture of a king from the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris, 1250-1258, damaged and broken off the building in 1793. Now in the Cluny Museum.]

The story tells how King Perion, as he was a very wise knight of great valor whom fortune had always exalted by protecting and defending his honor, found himself in an extraordinary confrontation in which he himself and his sons and all the rest of his lineage had been placed. He knew King Lisuarte would strive to avenge his injuries, but from what he knew of the Emperor and his troops, he esteemed them as nothing. King Perion never ceased to think about what needed to be done because he believed that if fortune went against them, King Lisuarte, like a rabid dog, would not be content with the initial victory and instead, with great diligence and rigor and with no concern over the effort, would seek them out wherever they went, as was his plan if he won.

In addition to other necessary provisions, Perion always kept people in places where they would know what his enemies were doing so he would be immediately advised if troops were coming for them and in what formation.

So when he knew the enemy was on the march, early the next morning he got up and ordered all the captains and knights of high lineage to be called, and he told them the news and that he believed it was time to break camp; and once the men were assembled in the fields, they should be split into columns so that each one would know which captain and flag he should follow; and then they should move out against their enemies with great courage and expectation to defeat them, for their cause was just.

They all held that as good, and they beseeched him, due to his royal dignity and his great courage and discretion, to take it upon himself to direct and command them, and they would all obey. He agreed because he recognized that what they asked for was reasonable and he could not properly refuse. Then he ordered everything to be put underway: the camp was broken, and the men, fully armed and on horseback, assembled in a great meadow. The noble King stationed himself in the middle of it all on a very handsome and large horse, armed with fine weapons and with three squires to carry them, along with ten pages in uniform on ten horses who would ride through the battle and come to the aid of knights who needed horses.

And as he was now of such an age that most of his hair and beard was white, and his face was lit with the heat of his armor and the burning of his heart, and as they all knew of his great courage, he seemed so handsome and he gave such strength to the men looking at him that he made them lose all their terror, and they believed that, after God, his leadership would be the reason for winning glory in the battle.

He looked at Sir Cuadragante and told him:

“Brave knight, I place you in charge of the right flank. And thou, my son Amadis, with Angriote d’Estravaus, Sir Gavarte of the Fearful Valley, Enis, Balais of Carsante, and Landin accompany him, along with the 500 knights from Ireland and the 1,500 that I brought. And ye, my good nephew Agrajes, take the second column with Sir Bruneo of Bonamar and his brother Branfil with their men along with yours, which makes 1,600 knights. And ye, honorable knight Grasandor, take the third column accompanied by thou, my son Sir Florestan, and Dragonis, Landin of Fajarque, and Elian the Brave, with the troops of Grasandor’s father the King, and with Trion and Queen Briolanja’s men, which will make 2,700 knights.”

And he said to Brian of Monjaste:

“And ye, my nephew and honorable knight, take the fourth column with your men, and with 3,000 of the knights from the Emperor of Constantinople, and so ye will have 5,000 knights. And with you will go Mancian of the Silver Bridge, Sadamon, and Urlandin, son of the count of Urlanda.”

And he ordered Sir Gandales to take 1,000 of his knights and to aid in the major melees. And the King took with him Gastiles and the remaining men of the Emperor, and put them beneath the Emperor’s flag, and asked everyone to regard it as if the Emperor himself were there in person.

When they were all arranged in columns as ye have heard, they moved out in order over that field playing many trumpets and other instruments of war. Oriana and the Queens, princesses, ladies, and damsels watched them, praying from their hearts for God to help them, and if it was His will, to bring them peace.

But now the story will cease to speak of them, as they go to meet their enemy as ye hear, and it shall turn to Arcalaus the Sorcerer.


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