Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Chapter 124

How Amadis arranged to have his cousin Dragonis marry Princess Estrelleta and go to take Deep Island, where he would be King. 

[Kingdom of Sardinia, 16th century map made by Sigismondo Asquer.]

Now the story says that Dragonis, cousin of Amadis and Sir Galaor, was a very honorable young knight with great courage, as had been shown in the past, especially in the battle King Lisuarte had fought with Sir Galvanes and his companions over the island of Mongaza. There, Sir Florestan, Sir Cuadragante, and many noble knights were stunned and taken prisoner by Sir Galaor, King Cildadan, and Norandel, and most of their men on the other side had charged them and Sir Galvanes was taken to the island badly injured. Then this knight Dragonis stayed with the few remaining men of his father to aid and protect the rest, where due to his discretion and good courage they were rescued, as the third book of this story has told at greater length.

He was not at Firm Island when Amadis arranged the marriages of his brothers and the other knights, as ye have heard, because he had left the monastery in Lubaina with a damsel to whom he had earlier promised a boon, and he fought with Angrifo, the lord of the Valley of the Deep Sea, who held her father prisoner to take his fortress at the entrance to the valley.

Dragonis fought a great and cruel battle with him, because Angrifo was the most valiant knight that could be found in the mountains where he dwelled, but in the end he was defeated because Dragonis was fighting for what was right and freed the damsel’s father. He ordered Angrifo to go within twenty days to Firm Island and place himself at the mercy of Princess Oriana.

Because Dragonis found himself near the island of Mongaza, he went to see Sir Galvanes and Madasima, and while he was with them, King Lisuarte’s messenger arrived calling them to come to Firm Island, as Agrajes had promised. Dragonis went with them to Windsor, where they were received with much love and great honor. And from there they went with the King and Queen to Firm Island, where Dragonis discovered the agreements about the marriages and the divisions of realms, as has been told, and he took great pleasure in it. He praised what his cousin Amadis had done, and he prepared himself as best he could for the conquest, for he was convinced that it could not be accomplished without great deeds at arms.

But Amadis, who loved him with all his heart, believed it would be a great injustice and a shame to himself if such a knight were to be left without a significant part of what he had helped with so much effort to be won. And one day, Amadis took him aside in the garden and spoke to him thus:

“My lord and good cousin, although your youth and the great courage in your heart wishes to increase your honor in great battles, it removes your desire for a greater estate and more repose than what ye have had so far. But reason, to which we are all obliged to regard as the principal font from which virtue emanates, and the opportunity which is to be offered you, should change your plans if ye were to follow the advice from my little wisdom and great good will, which loves you as if ye were my own heart.

“When we were in Lubaina rescuing King Lisuarte, I learned that among those opponents who fled in the beginning was the King of Deep Island, who was wounded, and I have just learned from a squire of King Arabigo who came here that when the King of Deep Island was setting out to sea, he died.

“I consider it proper that the island where he was lord be yours, and that ye be proclaimed its king, and that your brother Palomir retain the realm of your father, and that ye be married to the Princess Estrelleta, who as ye know comes from royalty on both sides of her lineage, and whom Oriana dearly loves. I hold this to be good, and it would please me if it were done, because I would rather force your will to submit to reason than to suffer such shame at not having you, my good cousin, take part of the goods that God has given me, just as ye more than anyone else felt shame when I was treated badly.”

Dragonis had wished to go with Sir Bruneo and Sir Cuadragante to aid them personally until they had won their realms, and if he remained alive, to pass through the area around Rome looking for adventures and to spend some time with Sir Florestan, King of Sardinia, to see him and to learn if he needed help with anything, since he would be in a foreign land, and from there to return to see Amadis at Firm Island or wherever he was. He thought that he could win much honor and great fame in these travels, or die as a knight.

But at seeing such great love behind what Amadis had told him, he was too embarrassed to respond in any other way than to defer totally to his will and to be obedient in that and everything he might order. So immediately he was betrothed to that Princess, and Deep Island was designated as his, as ye have heard, of which he was then proclaimed king, and he reigned with great honor, as shall be told farther on.

When this was done, as ye hear, Amadis asked King Lisuarte for the Duchy of Bristol for Sir Guilan the Pensive, whom he loved deeply, and for him to marry the Duchess, whom he loved so much, and to be delivered the Duke’s son, who was being held prisoner there. Because the King had great love for Amadis, because he owed many and great debts to Sir Guilan, and because the Duke had been a traitor, he granted it with good will.

Amadis kissed his hands for that, and Sir Guilan wished to kiss Amadis’, but Amadis would not let him. Instead, he embraced him with great love, for in his time, this was the most prudent, gentle, and humane knight in the world with his friends.


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