Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chapter 63 [part 1 of 3]

How Amadis departed from King Lisuarte with ten other knights, who were his friends and family and were the best and most striving of the court. They left for Firm Island, where Briolanja was attempting the tests of the true lovers and the forbidden chamber. And how they decided to free Madasima and her damsels from the control of the King. 

[Vladislav Hall in Prague Castle. Photo by Sue Burke.] 

When Amadis saw the disdain that the King held for him, he brought all the knights he had with him to say farewell. He entered the palace hall, where everyone was because the tables had been set to eat, and when they saw the look on his face, they came to hear what he would say.

Amadis came before the King and said:

“My lord, if ye have wronged me in any way, God and ye know it, and I shall say no more now. Although my services were great, ever greater was my will to repay the honors that I had received from you. Yesterday ye told me to travel around the world and look for someone who would recognize me better than you, giving me to understand that it would be more agreeable for you if I were to leave your court. Since this is what pleases you, I ought to do so. I cannot ask to leave your vassalage, for I was never yours, nor of anyone else but God. But I bid farewell to your great desire to do me honor and mercies when it pleased you to have such a desire, and farewell to the great love I had to serve and repay you.”

And then the other knights bid him farewell: Sir Galvanes, Agrajes, Forestan, Dragonis and Palomir, cousins of Amadis; Sir Bruneo of Bonamar and his brother Branfil; Angriote de Estravaus, his brother Grindonan, and his nephew Pinores.

Sir Cuadragante came before the King and told him:

“My lord, I only stayed with you at Amadis’s request, wishing and desiring his love, since reason found a way around the feeling I had for him that had kept my honor distant. His cause was yours, so I shall not remain here any longer, for my small services would have little hope for reward when his great ones fail.

“Poorly have ye recalled that he took you from the hands of Madanfabul when no one else could save you; and that he gave you a victory in the battle of King Cildadan; and how much blood he and his brothers and family members lost there; and that he removed me from your way, as well as Famongomadan and his son Basagante, the strongest giants that there were in the world; and Lindoraque, son of the giant of the Forbidden Mountain, who was one of the best knights that I knew of; and Arcalaus the Sorcerer.

“All this has been erased from your memory and won a poor prize. If all these whom I named were to be placed in battle against you, and Amadis were not at your side, think about what could become of you.”

The King responded:

“Sir Cuadragante, I understand well from your words that ye do not love me, nor do ye speak to my benefit, nor do ye have such a debt with Amadis that ye ought to wish him good or benefit, but perhaps what ye said is not as certain in your mind as it was in your words.”

Sir Cuadragante said:

“Ye may speak as ye please, as is fitting for the great lord that ye are, but it is certain that ye have not been moved against Amadis with false words, as others may be moved only later to recognize their error. And if I am a good or bad friend of Amadis, I shall soon show it.”

And he withdrew. Then Landin stepped forward and said:

“My lord, I did not find help nor aid in your house but in that of Amadis, and so, I take my leave of you, and I wish to leave with him and my uncle, Sir Cuadragante.”

And the King replied:

“Truly, I think that ye would not be a good friend of ours.”

“My lord,” he said, “I am what they were for you, thus I have no need to leave their command.”

In the palace at that time were Sir Brian of Monjaste, a very esteemed knight, son of King Ladasan of Spain and a sister of King Perion of Gaul; Grandiel; Orlandin, son of the Count of Urlanda; Grandores; Madancil of the Silver Bridge; Listoran of the White Tower; Ledadin of Fajarque; Transiles the Proud; and Sir Gavarte of Valtemoroso. When they saw those knights leaving the King for the love of Amadis, they all came before him and said:

“My lord, we came to your court to see Amadis and his brothers and to win his love, and since this was our main purpose, there is no reason to stay.”

When all these knights had made their farewells, as ye have heard, and no one else remained, Amadis wished to say goodbye to the Queen, but the King did not want that because she had always been opposed to him in this dispute. Instead she sent Sir Grumedan to say goodbye.

Amadis left the palace and went to his lodging, and all those knights went with him, where they found the tables set and were served many fine delicacies. Then they armed themselves and mounted their horses, and they numbered fully five hundred knights, among them the sons of kings and counts and others of high rank, as equal in lineage as in great prowess and skill at arms, and who were known throughout the world for their great deeds. They took the road leading directly to Firm Island and dwelled that night on the seashore three leagues away, where Amadis had ordered tents to be set up.

Mabilia, who watched them from a window in the Queen’s palace, and saw how they left so handsomely, and how their armor was new and fine, and how the bright sun struck it and made it shine. No one who saw them did not marvel and consider the King unfortunate to have lost such knights as Amadis and those who followed him.

She went to Oriana and told her:

“My lady, stop feeling sad and look at your vassals, and let your heart be content to love such a man. Although he has been serving your father, he always lived as a knight-errant. Now that he is not in your father’s service, he will prove himself to be a great and powerful prince, which will only increase your greatness, my lady.”

Oriana, very consoled by these words, looked at them, and with her great courage and discretion remedied the passion and affliction that tormented her will and desire.

To do Amadis honor, others accompanied him as he left: King Arban of North Wales; Grumedan, the tutor of the Queen; Brandoivas; Quinorante; the King’s nephew Giontes, and Listoran, the good jouster. They went with him apart from the rest, very sad because he was departing from the King. Amadis asked them to remain his friends as much as they could without damaging their honor, for he would always hold them in the same esteem as he had until then. And although the King had disdained him unjustly, they should not disdain the King nor cease to serve and honor him with the loyalty to which they were obligated, nor cease to love him with all their hearts.

Amadis told them:

“I ask you, my lords, to tell the King that what Urganda told me in front of him seems clear now: that the reign won for another would have no other reward than anger and separation against my will, since just when I won the Island of Mongaza for his kingdom, his will was turned against me for no reason, as ye have seen. And often these things are amended by the just Judge, Who puts all things right.”

Sir Grumedan said that he would tell the King everything as he had been instructed, and may Urganda be damned, for she had been so truthful. With that they returned to the town, and immediately Sir Guilan the Pensive came to Amadis and said, weeping:

“My lord, ye know well my situation, and I cannot follow my own will or heart but that of the woman for whom I am put in mortal anguish and pain, and who has forbidden me from going with you. I am very ashamed for that because I wish I could repay the great honors that I have always received from you and your brothers, but I cannot.”

Amadis, who knew of the great and excessive love of this knight, and how he himself loved Oriana and feared her, embraced him and said, laughing:

“Sir Guilan, my great friend, it would not please God that such a good and understanding man as yourself were to do wrong to your lady or disobey her orders, nor shall I advise you to do so, for then I would not be your friend. Instead, serve and fulfill her will and that of your lord the King. I am certain that your loyalty shall remain firm wherever ye may be, and I shall have you as a friend the same as I have always had you.”

“Now, my lord,” Sir Guilan said, “go where ye will, and I trust in God that ye shall always have my service.”

Then he departed from him, and Amadis and his company spent that night on the sea shore, where they lodged. They were all happy, and they gave strength to one another, saying that God had given His Mercy to leave the King, who held their services as so little, and it was better to know about that disappointment sooner rather than to have wasted more time there.

But Amadis’s heart, although it was strong in many other ways, was very weakened by departing from his lady, not knowing or imagining when he could see her again. And so they passed the night very pleasantly with everything they needed. The next day they mounted and got on the road to Firm Island.

The day after Amadis and his companions left, the King, having heard Mass, sat in his palace hall as was his custom. He looked from one end to the other and saw very few of the knights that used to be there. He remembered how in a fit of anger he had turned against Amadis, and he became so lost in thought that he noticed nothing else.

When Gandandel and Brocadan, who had learned what Angriote had said about them, saw the King that way, they were very frightened, thinking that the King would not consider good the counsel that they had given against Amadis. But since it could no longer be taken back, they decided to continue with their evil plan, for great mistakes compound themselves. They schemed to be sure those knights would not return to the King, or else they themselves would be killed. So they came before him at once together, and Gandandel said:

“My lord, starting today ye may relax and rest, for those men who could do you harm have left  your service, for which ye should give God many thanks. We shall take charge of your lands and court with greater care than we would for our own. And, my lord, when ye think of the gifts ye would have given them, from which ye are now free, your spirit will feel much more relaxed.”

The King looked at them angrily and said:

“I am amazed that ye tell me to put my lands and court in your hands as if all the care that I give them is not enough, and ye, in whom I do not see such discretion, think that ye can do better. And even if ye were, it would not make my vassals nor those of my court content to be governed by you. And about this that ye tell me of being able to keep what I would have given those knights, I would wish to know how I could better employ it to my honor and service. Because nothing is well employed except in the power and worth of men, and if anything left my hand and purse for them, my honor was defended by it and my kingdom was increased, and in the end it all returned to my hand. So anything that is employed as it should be remains as a fine treasure that is never lost. I do not wish ye to speak to me about this because I shall never take your advice.”

He arose and left them, and ordered the hunters be called and went to the countryside. The two schemers remained behind, very frightened by that reply, for they had seen that the King now understood the bad counsel they had given him.

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