Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Chapter 127 [part 2 of 2]

[How the lady came to seek Amadis, and what he feared most about the giant.] 

[The fortress of Alquézar, Spain.]

“And so my husband and son and the giant were armed, and they mounted their horses in a great plaza between some large stones and the gate to the castle, which is very stout. Then my unfortunate son begged his father so much that against his will he granted him the first joust, in which my son was struck so fiercely by the giant that he and his horse were knocked down so roughly that they both died immediately.

“My husband charged him and struck his shield, but it was like striking a tower. The giant came to him and grabbed him by the arm and, although he has been gifted with sufficient strength for the size of his body and his age, he was pulled from the saddle as if he were a boy. After this was done, the giant ordered my dead son left in the field, and for my husband and me and my daughter, who we were bringing so she could serve your sister Melicia, to be brought to his fortress, and he ordered our company be placed in prison.

“When I saw this, like a woman out of her mind, which I was at that time, I began to shout wildly and say:

“ ‘Oh King Perion of Gaul! If thou wert here, or one of thy sons, how sure I am that by thee or by any of them I would be saved from this great tribulation!’

When the giant heard this, he said:

“ ‘What dost thou know of this King? Is he by chance the father of the one they call Amadis of Gaul?’

“ ‘Yes, he truly is,’ I said, ‘and if any of them were here, thou wouldst not be powerful enough to do me any injustice, for they would protect me as she who has passed and expended all of my days in their service.’

“ ‘Then if thou hast such faith in them,’ he said, ‘I shall allow thee to call whichever of them thou most preferest, and it would please me the most if he were Amadis, who is so esteemed in the world, because he killed my father Madanfabul in the battle between King Cildadan and King Lisuarte when my father took Lisuarte from his saddle and was bearing him beneath his arm to the ships. Amadis, who at the time called himself Beltenebros, chased him, and although he could rightly attack in defense of his lord and those on his side, he saved him without my father seeing him, which should not be considered as great courage or valor, nor a great dishonor to my father. And if thou wishest he, who is so famous and whom thou hast served, to fight for thee, take that boat with a sailor whom I shall give to guide thee, and look for him. And to incite in him more wrath and a greater desire to avenge thee, take thy son the knight armed and dead as he is. And if he loves thee as thou believest, and if he is as courageous as all say, seeing thy great plight, he shall not fail to come.’

“When I heard this, I told him:

“ ‘If I do what thou sayest and bring that fine knight to thine island, how may he be certain that thou hast spoken the truth?’

“ ‘Nor thou nor he should have any fear of this,’ he said, ‘for although there may be in me evil and arrogance, I have kept and shall keep my word for my entire life, and I would rather die than fail to do so. I give my word to thee and to any knight who comes with thee, especially if he is Amadis of Gaul, that there shall be nothing to fear other than my own self at my wishes.”

“So, my lord, because of what the giant told me, and because of my dead son, and my lord husband and my daughter who are prisoners along with all our company, I have dared to come this way, trusting in our Lord and in your good fortune, and that the cruelty of that devil is so against His service that He shall give me vengeance against that traitor with great glory for you.”

When Amadis heard this, he felt great sorrow at the misfortune of this lady, who was dearly loved by his father King Perion and by his mother the Queen and by all others, and held as one of the best ladies in the world of her lineage. And he considered the confrontation grave, not only for the danger of the battle, which was great given Balan’s fame, but also for going to his island and being among people where he would have to act according to their wishes.

But he put the matter entirely in the hand of the Lord who had authority over all things, and had great pity for that lady and her husband. She never ceased to weep, and he, putting aside all fear, with great courage consoled her and told her that soon her loss would be repaired and avenged, if God were willing and he were able to do so.

They traveled for two days and a night, and on the third day to their left they saw a small island with a castle that seemed very tall. Amadis asked the sailor if he knew whose it was. He said he did, it belonged to King Cildadan, and it was called Prince Island.

“Guide us there,” Amadis said, “so we may take on board some food, for we do not know what might happen.”

So he turned the boat and soon they reached the island. When they were at the foot of a craggy hill, they saw a knight descending it, and when he arrived, he greeted them and they greeted him. The knight from the island asked them who they were. Amadis told him:

“I am a knight from Firm Island and, if it is the will of God, I am coming to put right an injustice and wrong done to this lady that she suffered at an island farther on.”

“What island was this?” the knight said.

“The Island of the Vermilion Tower,” Amadis said.

“And who did this injustice?” the knight said.

“Balan the giant, who they say is the lord of that island,” Amadis said.

“Then what remedy can ye give alone?”

“To fight with him,” Amadis said, “and break the arrogance with which he has treated this lady and many others who did not deserve it.”

The knight began to laugh as from disdain, and said:

“My lord knight from Firm Island, do not place in your heart this great folly, by your own free will, of searching for he from whom all the world flees. Even if the lord of that island, who is Amadis of Gaul, and his two brothers, Sir Galaor and Sir Florestan, who are the flower and height of all the knights in today’s world, were to come all three to fight Balan, this would be considered great madness by all who know him. For that reason, I advise you to leave this quest, for I would have to mourn your injury and harm because I am a knight and friend to those whom my lord King Cildadan loves and esteems, and I have been told that he and King Lisuarte are now at peace with Amadis of Gaul. I do not know how, but I know for certain that they now share great love and concord. And if ye continue on what ye have begun, it is nothing else than to go knowingly to death.”

Amadis told him:

“Death and life are in the hands of God, and those who wish to be praised above all others must place themselves in the attempt to do dangerous things that others do not dare to try. I say this not believing I am thus, but because I wish to be thus. And for that reason I ask you, my lord knight, not to cause me more fear than I already hold, which is not little, and if ye please, as a courtesy help me with some supplies that could be of service to us if some difficulty overcame us.”

“I shall do that gladly,” the knight from the island said, “and I shall do more. To see such an amazing thing, I wish to keep you company until your fate, good or ill, comes to pass with that brave giant.”


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