Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Chapter 118

About how King Lisuarte brought together the Kings and great lords and many other knights with him in the monastery at Lubaina and told them of the great services and honors he had received from Amadis of Gaul, and the reward he gave him for them. 

[Portrait of Baldwin of Lannoy, painted in about 1435, by Jan van Eyck, when Baldwin became one of the first knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece.]

As ye have heard, the brave and courageous knight Arquisil was accepted as Emperor of Rome because of his good friend Amadis of Gaul. Now the story tells how all those kings, princes, and knights were enjoying themselves very much at that monastery in the town of Lubaina waiting until King Lisuarte was in a better state of health and could rise from his bed. Many of his noble knights who had been injured had remained there, and they and the King had been treated by the great doctor Elisabad.

And when King Lisuarte was well, one day he had all the Kings and great lords from both sides called, and in the monastery’s church he told them:

“Honorable Kings and famous knights, ye may very well forgive me from reminding you of the events that have recently happened, since just like me ye have seen them, and if they had not been ended early, those of us who are alive would be just like those who are dead. And so, leaving that aside, and knowing the great harm both to the service of God and to our own selves and estates that would have occurred had events continued, I have detained the noble King Perion of Gaul and all the knights on his side so that in their presence and in yours I may say what ye shall hear.”

Then he turned to Amadis and told him:

“Courageous knight Amadis of Gaul, the purpose and goal of my speech is not to praise anyone in his presence, which ye would not desire and always makes you embarrassed, and which is very out of habit for me, yet I must remind the Kings and knights of the things that happened between you and I since ye came to my court as a knight for my wife Queen Brisena. And although these things are all well known to them and to me exactly as they happened, everyone will no doubt consider it proper and honest to state the reasons behind the recompense that ye deserve to be given by me.

“Truly, ye were in my court after your defeat of Dardan the Arrogant and ye had brought for my service your brother Sir Galaor, who was the best any king has ever received, when I and my daughter Oriana were deceived by the evil Arcalaus the Sorcerer, and she and I were taken prisoner while all my knights could neither protect us nor rescue us, being constrained to respect the promise I had given. She and I were in danger of death or cruel prison, and my kingdom was at risk of being lost.

“At this time ye and Sir Galaor came from where ye had been sent by the Queen, and learning of the perils, ye placed your lives at the point of death for our own, and we were rescued and saved, and my enemies were taken prisoner and were delivered to death and destruction. And then my wife the Queen was quickly rescued by you, and Barsinan was killed, who was the father of the current lord of Sansuena, and who had besieged her in my city of London. So although I had been badly tricked and taken prisoner, with great honor and safety I and my realms were restored by you.

“Then, and after some time had passed, a battle was decided upon between myself and King Cildadan, who is present, with one hundred knights fighting against another hundred knights, and before we came to battle, ye removed from my way the hindrances of this knight Sir Cuadragante, and Famongomadan and his son Basagante, the two bravest and strongest giants in all the islands of the sea. And from them ye freed my daughter Leonoreta and her ladies and damsels and ten fine knights from my household, who were being held prisoner in carts from which all my power never could have taken them.

“Then, King Cildadan had brought formidable men to the battle, including powerful giants and other very valiant knights, and ye with one blow killed the mighty Sardaman the Lion, and with another freed me from the hands of Madanfabul, the giant of the Vermilion Tower. He had snatched me from my saddle while all my senses were overcome and was carrying me away beneath his arm to place me in his ships. Without that and the other many famed things ye did in that battle, it is known that I would not have had the victory and great honor that I enjoyed there.

“Along with that, ye defeated the very valiant and world-famous Ardan Canileo the Feared, and as a result my court was honored for having there what could not be found in any other where he had been. Not one, two, three, nor four knights could nor had dared meet him on the field.

“While we may say that ye were obliged to do all this, since ye found yourself in my service and the great obligation and duty to your honor constrained you to do so, let it also be said what ye have done for me since then, when to my fault for accepting bad advice rather than to your fault, ye left me more as an opponent and enemy than as a friend and servant.

“In the time when we faced our greatest number of enemies, when ye learned about the great battle I was to fight against King Arabigo and the other six Kings and many other foreign men and nations who came with the purpose and hope of subjugating my realms, ye found a way with your father the King and with your brother Sir Florestan to come to my aid. With more reason and just cause due to our rigor and rage against you, ye ought to have been my opponents. And almost solely due to the skills of all you three, although many good and esteemed knights fought on my side, I achieved such a great victory, destroying all my enemies, that I assured the safety of myself and my royal estate with much more honor and greatness than I had held it before.

“Now, coming to the point, I know that because of you in the second battle we so recently fought, the great danger in which I and all those on my side faced was averted and eliminated because of you, as they know here, for I understand that each one here felt what I did. And this most recent rescue shall not need to be brought to mind, for the blood still flows in our wounds and many souls have not had the opportunity to return to their homes, although they have already departed and left us.

“Now, my good lords, tell me, what reward may be given that would equal such great services and duties? Truly, none save that while I shall be honored and respected as long as my days last, my realms and kingdom, which with me have been rescued and restored so many times by the hand and skill of this knight, he shall have through marriage to my daughter Oriana.

“And because by their own free will they have been joined in matrimony without my awareness, know that I have learned of it and wish it to be so, and they shall be my son and daughter, successors and heirs to my realm.”

Amadis, when he heard how publicly the King had given his consent for his lady to be his, which compared to all the other things Lisuarte had recounted and told seemed like nothing, he went to the King and knelt and, although the King did not wish it, he kissed his hands and said:

“My lord, if it pleases Your Mercy, all this praise for me may be excused because, given the favors and honors that I and my lineage have received from you, we are obliged to even greater services. And for that, my lord, I do not wish to give you any thanks, except for the final thing, and I do not speak of the inheritance of your great realms but of giving me willingly the Princess Oriana. I shall serve you all the days I live with the greatest obedience and attention that any son has ever done to a father or any servant to a master.”

King Lisuarte embraced him with great love and told him:

“In me ye shall find love as deep as that which ye have from the King who engendered you.”

Everyone was very amazed at how the King in his speech had put out the great fire of enmity that had burned for so long, and had left out nothing that needed to be understood. And if that pleased them, it shall not be necessary to say, because, although earlier both sides had eagerly sought each other in the battlegrounds, when they saw the deaths of their men and their own deaths so close, they were joyful to have peace. And they asked each other if they knew why the King had said that Amadis and Oriana were joined in matrimony, because after they had taken her at sea and brought her to Firm Island, never did they show such a thing, instead much more the opposite.

But the King, who heard their questions, asked the holy man Nasciano to tell those lords what he had told him so that they would know the little role Amadis had played in taking her at sea and also how Lisuarte was blameless in giving her to the Emperor because he did not know, and how if his daughter without his permission or knowledge had done so, they would learn the great cause and reason for her to do it. Then the good man told everything, as ye have heard, that he had told King Lisuarte in his tent at the army encampment.

When the noble youth Esplandian, whom the good man was holding by the hand, heard that those Kings were his grandfathers and that Amadis was his father, if that pleased him need not be questioned. And then the hermit knelt with him before both Kings and before his father, and he had him kiss their hands and them give him their blessing.

Amadis said to King Lisuarte:

“My lord, since from here on it is my pleasure and it is proper for me to serve you, it will also be necessary to ask favors of you. And the first would be that since the Emperor of Rome has no wife and is disposed to take one, may it please you to give him your daughter, Princess Leonoreta, and I ask him to accept her so that his wedding and mine may take place together, and together we shall be your sons.”

The King considered it good to take him into his family, and immediately granted him Leonoreta as his wife. And the Emperor accepted her with great contentment.

King Lisuarte asked King Perion if he had any news about his son Sir Galaor. He told him that earlier Gandalin had arrived and had reported him to be somewhat improved, and that as his father, he was still very worried about his illness and had great fears it might worsen.

“I say to you,” King Lisuarte said, “that although he is your son, I do not consider him to be anything less to me, and if it were not for the differences that had arisen at the time, I would have visited him. And I urge you to send for him if he is able to come, because I shall depart immediately for Windsor, where I have ordered the Queen to come, and I wish to return quickly with her and my daughter Leonoreta to Firm Island in honor of Amadis and yourself, where the weddings shall be held for him and the Emperor, and we may see the amazing things that Apolidon left there. And if I find Sir Galaor there, the sight of him would give me great pleasure, for I have wished to see him for so long.”

King Perion said that it would immediately be done as he wished. Amadis kissed King Lisuarte’s hands for the favors and honor he had given him. And Agrajes urged him insistently to send for his uncle Sir Galvanes and Madasima, and to bring them with him. King Lisuarte said that he would be pleased and would do so without fail, and that he wished to leave immediately in the morning so he could return promptly, and that now it was time for the knights and their men to return to their lands and rest, which they well needed for the labors they had done for him.

He said they should all have their ships brought to the port at Firm Island so that there they could all embark to go on their ways. The Emperor asked King Lisuarte to order his fleet to Firm Island, since he and the Queen would return there, and to give him permission to go with Amadis, who wished to speak to him at length about his estate, and the King agreed.


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