[What Urganda told them about the future; and thus this great story comes to an end.]
[Acabanse los quatro libros del esforzado y muy virtuoso cavallero Amadis de Gaula hijo del rey Perion y de la reyna Elisea: en los quales se hallan muy por estenso las grandes aventuras y terribles batallas en que sus tiempos por el se acabaron y vencieron: y por otros muchos cavalleros assi en su linaje como amigos suyos. El qual se emprimido en la muy noble y muy leal ciudad de Sevilla: por Jacobo Cromberger Alleman y Juan Cromberger. Acabose en el año del nacimiento de nuestro salvador Jesuchristo de Mil y quinientos y veynte y seys años. A veynte dias del mes de Abril. ✠ ]
Then Urganda left Oriana and returned to the knights, who were gathered together to plan the voyage each one would have to make, and she told them:
“My good lords, ye shall well remember how I departed from this island, when ye were together, and I told you the time would come when the young noble Esplandian would receive knighthood for a reason that was hidden to you, and then all of you would be called here again. This has been fulfilled, and your presence is testimony to that. Now I have come as I promised not only for that ceremony but to save you from the adversities and great labors that this search which ye are all prepared to make would place you in without achieving any results of the kind that ye desire.
“If all those who have been born into this world and all those yet to be born, were they alive and all attempted with complete diligence to find King Lisuarte, they could not possibly succeed due to the place where he has been taken. For that reason, my lords, do not let such folly and little discretion enter your hearts, since ye have been forewarned by me, and do not wish to know what the will of the most powerful Lord keeps all from learning, and to leave it to he to whom by His special grace it is permitted.
“And because delay can cause great harm, to accomplish what is necessary, come as ye are with the handsome young Esplandian, Talanque, Maneli the Moderate, the King of Dacia, and Ambor, son of Angriote d’Estravaus, to be my guests tonight and part of tomorrow inside that great ship which seems to be a dragon.”
When those lords heard what Urganda told them, they all fell silent and no one knew how to respond. Things she had said in the past had come true, so they well believed that this would, too. For that reason, without debate, they agreed to comply with what she had ordered, considering it to be best. They immediately mounted their horses and she her palfrey, taking with them Esplandian and the other young noblemen, and they went to the port, where Urganda said that they could go with her in the skiffs to enter the Great Dragon, and so it was done.
When they had arrived and entered that great ship, Urganda went with them into a grand and fine hall where tables had been set for them to eat. She entered a chapel at the end of the hall with the young men, which was adorned with gold and valuable stones, and there she ate with them while damsels played sweet tunes on musical instruments. After they had dined, Urganda left the young men in the chapel and came out into the great hall where the lords were, and asked them to go to the chapel and provide company to the novice knights.
After a while, Urganda returned with a coat of mail in her hands, and behind her came her niece Solisa with a helmet, and Solisa’s sister Julianda with a shield. And this armor was not like those of other novice knights, who usually began their knighthood wearing white. This was blacker and darker than anything else could be. Urganda went to Esplandian and told him:
“Young nobleman, more fortunate than any other of thy time, wear this armor in accordance with the sorrow and sadness in thy mighty and brave heart thou hast for thy grandfather the King. For just as in the past those who took the order of chivalry established and considered good that new joy be marked by new white armor, I hold it proper to give sad black armor in grief, because at their sight thou shalt recall and give remedy to their forlorn color.”
Then she put the chain mail on him, which was strong and well made. Solisa put the helmet on his head, and Julianda put the shield on its strap around his neck. Then Urganda looked at Amadis and said:
“For good reason these knights could ask why this armor lacks a sword. But ye will not, my good lord, for ye know where ye found it and how long it has been waiting, placed there by she who in her time had no equal in the magical arts, but who met a disastrous and sorrowful end none other than by the treacherous love she had for the man whom she loved more than she loved herself. With that enchanted sword he will have the power to undo and dissolve all other enchantments when the hilt is held by his mighty hand, and he shall do such things so that those deeds that until now have shone bright shall be diminished and placed into obscurity.”
When Esplandian was dressed in his armor, as ye hear, four damsels entered the chapel, each bearing suits of armor as bright and shining as the moon, worked and decorated with many precious stones and with black crosses. Each one of them armed one of those young noblemen, and with Esplandian in the middle of them, they knelt before the altar of the Virgin Mary and kept vigil over their weapons. As was the custom at the time, they all had their head and hands bare.
Esplandian among them was so handsome that his face shone like the rays of the sun, and those who were with him were astonished to see him. He knelt and with great devotion and humility asked Mary to intervene with Her glorious Son to help him and direct him in such a way that in His service he could fulfill everything required by the great honor he was undertaking, and that by the grace of His infinite goodness, he rather than anyone else would restore King Lisuarte to his honor and realm, if he were alive.
So he spent all the night saying only those prayers and many other orisons, believing that neither strength nor courage, no matter how great they were, would be more useful than what might be granted there.
Thus the night passed, as ye have heard, with all men and women there holding vigil with those novice knights. When morning came, on top of the Great Dragon appeared a very ugly and feeble dwarf with a large trumpet in his hand, and he played it so loudly that its sound was heard in most of the island, thus everyone was alerted and came out on the walls and in the towers of the castle, and many other people came to the rocks and heights from which they could watch. And the ladies and damsels who were in the great tower in the garden quickly climbed up to the top where they could see what could have made such a mighty sound.
When Urganda saw them ready, she had the lords there climb up to where the dwarf was, and then she took the four novice knights and Esplandian with her and came up behind them, and after her came six damsels dressed in black with six golden trumpets. When they had all climbed up, Urganda said to the giant Balan:
“My friend Balan, as nature wished to distance thee from all those of thy lineage by making thee so different from their customs, bringing thee to know reason and virtue, which until now none of thy ancestors could find, it can be said that this came to thee as a gift or grace. So, for the affection and love that I recognize in thee for Amadis, I wish thee to be granted another distinction among these outstanding knights, a distinction that no one else shall achieve now or in the future, which is that by thy hand this young man shall be made a knight. His great feats shall be testimony to the truth of my words and shall make permanent the glory that thou shalt attain in conferring knighthood to he who shall be so prestigious and superior over all other fine knights.”
The giant, when he heard this, looked at Amadis without responding, as if he felt hesitant to comply with what that lady had said. Amadis, when he saw this, immediately realized that his consent was needed, and he said with great humility:
“My good lord, do as Urganda says, for we must all obey her orders without contradiction.”
Then the giant took Esplandian’s hand and said:
“Handsome youth, dost thou wish to be a knight?”
“I do,” he said.
Then he kissed him and put on his right spur and said:
“May the powerful Lord who put so much of His form and grace in thee, more than has ever been seen in anyone else, make thee such a good knight that very rightly I may from now on keep a fourth vow, which I make now: that I shall never perform this ceremony for anyone else.”
When that was done, Urganda said:
“Amadis, my lord, if by chance ye think of instructions that ye wish to give this novice knight, speak now, for soon he shall depart from your presence.”
Amadis, who knew the ways of Urganda and that she would not make that admonishment without good reason, said:
“Esplandian, my son, when I was passing through the islands of Romania and arrived in Greece, I received from that great Emperor many honors and gifts, and after I left his presence I received many more, as these lords have seen, to meet my and their needs. For that reason I am obliged to serve him all my life, and among the great honors that I achieved there was one that I must consider more highly than the rest.
“It is that the very beautiful Leonorina, the Emperor’s daughter, the most gracious and beautiful damsel that could be found in the entire world, and Queen Menoresa and other ladies and damsels of great estate all took me with them in their chambers with such delight and joy and care for me as if I were the son of the emperor of the world, knowing nothing more about me than that I was a poor knight. When I departed, they asked from me a boon: that if I could, I would see them again, and if I could not, I would send a knight from my lineage who could serve them.
“I promised to do so, and because I am not in a position to fulfill my word, I commend thee to do so. If God in His mercy allows thee to accomplish what we all wish, bear this in mind and release my promise from where it is being held prisoner by such a high lady. And so that they may believe that thou art he who comes in my place, take this beautiful ring, which she took from her hand to put on mine.”
Then he gave the ring that the Princess had given him with a precious stone that matched the one in a fine crown, as the third part of this story recounts. Esplandian knelt before him and kissed his hands, saying that what he had been ordered to do, he would carry out if God considered it good. But this he would not fulfill as quickly as they both thought. Instead, the knight passed through many perils out of his love for this beautiful Princess, only knowing what he had heard tell of her, as shall be recounted to you further on.
When this was done, Urganda said to Esplandian:
“Handsome son, make these young men your knights, for very soon they shall repay you for the honor that they receive from your hand.”
Esplandian did as she commanded in such a way that on that morning all five received the order of knighthood. Then the six damsels ye have heard about played such a sweet song on their trumpets, so delightful to hear, that all those lords, including the five novice knights, fell asleep, senseless to everything. And the Great Dragon blew such thick black smoke from its nostrils that no one who was watching could see anything other than darkness.
But a short time later, not knowing by what way or means, all those lords found themselves in the garden beneath the trees where Urganda had encountered them when she arrived. When the smoke had dispersed, the Great Dragon was no longer to be seen, nor did they know what had happened to Esplandian and the other novice knights, which frightened them all.
When those lords understood what had happened, they looked at each other, and it seemed everything had happened in a dream. But Amadis found beside his right hand a manuscript which said:
“Ye Kings and knights who are here, return to your lands, bring joy to your souls and rest to your spirits. Leave esteem at arms, fame, and honor to those who have begun to climb high on the wheel of inconstant fate. Be content with what ye have achieved so far, for fate, more with you than with any others of your time, has been pleased to hold still and firm its perilous wheel.
“Thou, Amadis of Gaul, who from the day that thy father King Perion made thee a knight at the request of thy lady Oriana, defeated many knights and strong and brave giants, placing thy person in great danger at every moment until today, filling with fear the brute and fearsome vermin terrified at the courage of thy mighty heart, from here on give repose to thy fatigued limbs, for thy favorable fortune has turned the wheel from thee to Esplandian, leaving all others beneath him, granting him a place at the top.
“Begin now to taste the bitter elixir that kingdoms and realms attract and that shall soon arrive, for just as with only thy person and arms and horse, living the life of a poor knight who gave aid to many who greatly needed thy help, now with great estates, which promise false rest, thou shalt become he who shall need great help, aid, and protection. And thou, who until now only concerned thyself with gaining fame, believing with that to repay the debt to which thou wert obligated, shalt find thy thoughts and concerns now spread among so many and so varied matters that many times thou shalt wish to be returned to that earlier life with only your dwarf to command.
“Take thy new life now with more concern for governance than for battle. Leave arms to he whom victories are granted by the high Judge, who has no one above Him to revoke His sentence, for thy great feats at arms so famous throughout the world shall become dead before thine eyes, and many who know no better shall say that the son killed the father. But I do not speak of that natural death to which we are all obliged, rather of that which erases the glory won by passing through many great dangers and greater anguish. If anything remains, it cannot be called glory or fame but their shadow.”
When that manuscript had been read, they spoke at length among themselves about what they should or could do, and their opinions were varied, although in effect they were limited. But Amadis told them:
“My good lords, although it is forbidden to give credence to enchanters and those wise in such arts, the things that we have witnessed and experienced in the past from this lady should give us true hope in what is to come, for while above all else the Lord has the power to know and make possible all things, some of what with difficulty we could not otherwise see may be permitted to be made manifest to Urganda and shared before it happens, as has so far been proven in many ways.
“And for that reason, my good lords, I consider it proper for us to carry out what she has advised and ordered. Return to the realms ye have recently won. My brother, King Sir Galaor, and my uncle, Sir Galvanes, should take Brandoivas with them and go to see Queen Brisena so she may learn from them with what will we meant to carry out her orders and why we have chosen not to act. And from her they may learn what more she would be pleased to have us do.
“I shall remain here with my cousin Agrajes until we hear news, and if our help and aid is needed, we shall learn of it faster if we are together, and wherever duties take anyone, let others know if they should come.”
To all those lords and knights, what Amadis said seemed like a good plan, so they put it to work. King Bruneo and Sir Cuadragante, Lord of Sansuena, returned to their realms, taking their very beautiful wives Melicia and Grasinda with them. King Galaor and Sir Galvanes, with Brandoivas, went to London, where Queen Brisena was. Amadis, Agrajes, and Grasandor remained at Firm Island, and with them was the mighty giant Balan, lord of the Isle of the Vermilion Tower, whose will was not to leave Amadis until they learned some news about King Lisuarte, and to undertake whatever venture and labor that they might wish to give him.
With thanks to God.
Thus ends the four books of the courageous and very virtuous knight Amadis of Gaul, son of King Perion and Queen Elisena, in which are found detailed the great adventures and terrible battles which in his time he carried out and won: and those of many other knights both of his lineage and of his friends. Which was printed in the very noble and loyal city of Seville: by Jacobo Cromberger of Germany and Juan Cromberger. Concluded in the year of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ at one thousand and five hundred and twenty and six years. At twenty days in the month of April.