Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chapter 62 [part 4 of 4]

[How Amadis sadly announced his departure.] 

[From On the Art of Hunting With Birds, from a manuscript commissioned by King Manfred of Sicily in the 13th century.]

Amadis went to his lodging with more anger and melancholy than his face showed, where he found many good knights who always stayed there with him, and he did not want anything about what had happened with the King to be spoken of until he had talked with his lady Oriana. He took Durin aside and sent him to tell his cousin Mabilia on his behalf that he needed to see Oriana that night, and she should wait for him in the old passageway under the garden, where he had entered on other occasions.

With that, he returned to the knights and ate and enjoyed himself with them as he had on previous days. And he told them:

“My lords, I would very much like all of you to join me here tomorrow because I have to speak about something very important.”

“So it shall be,” they said.

When the day had passed and the night came, after people had supped and gone to bed, Amadis took Gandalin and went to the garden. He entered the underground passage, as he had done before, and arrived in the chamber of his lady Oriana, who was waiting for him with a loyal and true love equal to his own. With many kisses and embraces they were joined without envy for anyone else who truly loves in this world, believing their own to be without equal.

As they lay in bed, Oriana asked him why he had sent word that he need to talk with her. He told her:

“Because something very strange happened to me and my cousin Agrajes and Sir Galvanes with your father.”

Then he told her everything that had happened, and how the King finally told them that the world was exceedingly large and they should seek in it someone who would recognize them better.

“My lady,” Amadis said, “since that pleases him, then we ought to do it, because otherwise all the fame and glory that I have won by keeping your delightful memory in my thoughts would be lost and my honor would be diminished so much that no knight in the world would be as lessened and debilitated as I would be. So I ask you, my lady, not to order me to do anything else, because, since I am more yours than my own, that loss would reach you, and although it would be hidden to all, it would be plain to you, my lady, and it would always put your spirit in great anguish.”

When Oriana heard this, although her heart broke, she became as strong as she could, and she said:

“My true beloved, for little reason ye ought to complain about my father, because ye have served more me than him, and by my order ye came to his court, and from me ye are and shall always be rewarded while I live. And if any blame could be laid on my father, it is only in believing that things were done in his service when they were secretly done on my orders, and these deeds oblige him not to give you such an insolent reply. Although your departure will be as grave for me as if my heart were broken into ever-smaller pieces, it pleases me to do as ye ask, considering more what is right than my will and my excessive love for you. Due to the reign that I have over you, I have in my hand more the remedy than my pleasure, although I know that by losing you, what that remains for my father will give him great loss and loneliness.”

Amadis, hearing this, kissed her hands many times, and said:

“My true lady, if until now I have received many great gifts from you, from which my sad heart was turned from death to life, this must be considered greater because of the transcendent difference that issues of honor have over delights and pleasures.”

In this and other things they spent the night talking, mixing their great pleasure with their many tears, thinking of the deep loneliness that awaited them. But as day approached, Amadis arose, accompanied by his very beloved cousin Mabilia and the Damsel of Denmark. He humbly begged them to console Oriana, and they agreed, weeping, and he left them.

When he arrived at his lodging, he spent the rest of the night and some part of the day sleeping. But when the time came, all the knights ye have heard of arose from their beds and came to him, and after they heard Mass, they gathered together on horseback in a field.

Amadis spoke to them thus:

“As ye all know, my good lords and honorable knights, after I left the Kingdom of Gaul and came to Great Britain, and my brothers and friends followed me, things happened that placed King Lisuarte in greater or lesser honor, and so there is no reason to remind you of them. I only believe that it must rightly be said that ye and I should expect to have been justly rewarded, but due to inconstant Fortune who in her usual way changes and reverses events, or due to bad counsel, or perhaps due to the advanced age that has come over the King, we have encountered a situation much to the contrary of our expectations.

“Agrajes and Sir Galvanes and I had asked the King to give Madasima her land so that when she and Sir Galvanes were married, it would remain in his reign and vassalage. But not considering the great worth and high lineage of this knight, and the other services he had received from him, the King not only did not wish to grant us that, but we were denied by him with an answer so insolent and false from a mouth previously so truthful and with such discreet wisdom that it would be difficult for you to believe me.

“But it cannot be hidden because of how it ended, and so, my lords, know ye that at the end of our conversation, when we said how poorly we were recognized for our services, he told us that the world is large and we should travel through it and look for someone who would recognize us better. And so, because we have been obedient while in agreement and friendship, we should be obedient in discord and enmity, and we should comply with what he thought we should do. It seems to me to be right that ye know, because it involves not only ourselves in particular but everyone in general.”

When those knights heard what Amadis said, many were amazed, and they said to each other that their small services would be would receive a very poor reward if the great ones by Amadis and his brother had been forgotten. Immediately their hearts were moved to serve the King no more and to do him disservice when they could.

Angriote de Estravaus, who wanted to share in whatever good or ill befell Amadis, said:

“My lords, I have known the King for a long time, and I have always seen him as very calm in all his business. He has never become angry except with great cause and just reason, so I cannot believe that what has happened to Amadis and these knights was an act of his own nature or volition. Instead I truly think that deceitful people have overcome all his wisdom and good judgement. For that reason, I cannot blame the goodness and great virtue of the King, and what I truly think has happened is I have seen him speak in recent days with Gandandel and Brocadan more than usual. They are false and dishonest and have forgotten God and the world and think to seek gain to themselves and their sons for what their evil works do not deserve. I think this has caused the change in the King.

“And so that ye may see how the justice of God is executed, I wish to arm myself at once and tell them that they are vile and envious and have done great treason and dishonesty to the King and Amadis, and I will fight both of them. And if their age excuses them, they should send their sons to fight me alone and bear the evil deeds of their fathers.”

He was about to leave, but Amadis stopped him and said:

“My good friend Angriote, may it not please God that your good and loyal body be placed in danger for what is not known to be true for certain.”

He replied:

“I am certain that it is thus, because I have known them for a long time. And if the will of the King were to say the truth, I know that he would say that I have told the truth.”

Amadis said:

“If ye love me, do not try to solve this, so that the King does not receive an affront. And if they are as ye say, presenting themselves as my friends when they have been my enemies, they will get what those lies deserve. When it is discovered and known, ye may more justly and with greater cause proceed against them. And know that then I shall not let ye avoid it.”

Angriote said:

“Although it is against my will, I shall let it go this time, since it pleases you, but it shall remain for the future.”

Then Amadis, turning to the knights, told them:

“My lords, I wish to bid farewell to the King and Queen if they will see me. Then I will go to Firm Island. Those of us who wish to live there together shall receive honor in addition to pleasures because that land is very agreeable, abounding in all good things and good hunting and beautiful women, who are the reason, wherever they may be, that knights are praised and proud. I have many precious jewels there of great worth so that our needs may be fulfilled.

“Many people will come there who know us, as well as strangers, both men and women, who will need our help. There we shall return whenever we please to seek shelter and rest from our labors. And along with Firm Island, during the life of my father, King Perion, and afterward, the Kingdom of Gaul will also be there for us in Little Brittany, for I have letters giving it to me now and after his days. Ye can count on all this without a doubt. But I also remind you that the Kingdom of Scotland is there for my cousin Agrajes, and that the Kingdom of Queen Briolanja neither for good nor ill will be closed to us.”

“My lord Amadis, you may say this with great truth,” said a knight named Tantiles, majordomo and governor of the Kingdom of Sobradisa. “The beautiful Queen whose kingdom ye returned to her shall always be at your command.”

Sir Cuadragante said:

“Now, my lord, bid farewell to the King, as shall those who love you and your company.”

“So it shall be,” Amadis said, “and I hold in esteem those who at this time wish to honor me, but I say that those who stay with the King to their advantage do me no dishonor. Truly, I believe that an equally good lord could not be found anywhere at this time.”

The King rode past with Gandandel at his side and many other knights. He had gone hunting with falcons, and although he rode close by, he did not speak to them nor look at them, and returned to his palace.

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