Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Chapter 86

How all the knights were very pleased by what Sir Cuadragante proposed. 

[Detail of Jerpoint Abbey, Ireland. Photo by Clemensfranz.]

The knights were very pleased by Sir Cuadragante’s response because it seemed he left nothing more to say. They immediately agreed that Amadis should send word to his father, King Perion, asking for help and support when it would be needed from the King and all his men, as well as from those who were the King’s friends and vassals; also asking him to send word to all others that he knew who might wish and be able to help, for he had aided many people by doing great deeds to their honor and advantage although it had brought great peril to himself.

They agreed that Agrajes should send word or should go to see his father, the King of Scotland, asking for the same things, and that Sir Bruneo should send a message to his father the Marquess and to his brother Branfil asking them to diligently call up all the men they could but not to come until they were ordered. They also agreed that all the other knights and friends who were there and who had estates should do the same thing.

Sir Cuadragante said he would send his nephew Landin to the Queen of Ireland, because he believed that although her husband, King Cildadan, would send King Lisuarte the number of men that he was obliged, she would make it possible for all the men in her kingdom, both vassals and friends, who wished to come and serve, to be able to do so, and that would amount to a good number of men.

Once this was agreed to, they asked Agrajes and Sir Florestan to tell Princess Oriana and receive her orders for the best way to serve her. They all left the meeting greatly encouraged, especially those of low rank to whom this seemed like a very grave conflict and who feared its result more than they showed. After they had seen the great concern and foresight of those who were high ranked, which should bring them great aid, their courage rose and they lost all fear.

When they reached the gate of the castle, which offered a lookout over the entire island, they saw a knight in armor riding up the hill with five squires carrying his weapons and belongings. They all watched to find out who it was. When he got closer, they were very pleased to recognize him as Sir Brian of Monjaste because they all esteemed him and considered him a good knight, which he truly was, as well as being of such high estate as the son of Lasadan, the King of Spain. He enjoyed a fine reputation everywhere and was known for his discretion and valor.

In addition to that, he was a knight who loved his friends more than anything else in the world, and whenever he was with them he provided fine jests, as one who was very discreet and properly bred, so they were fond of him and were always happy to be with him. They all went down the hill together on foot as they were; when he saw them, he was very surprised and could not imagine what venture brought them all together, although he had been told a little bit about it after he had arrived by sea. He dismounted and came to them with his arms open, and said:

“I wish to embrace you all, for I consider you all as one.”

Then those who were in the forefront arrived, and behind them Amadis. When Sir Brian saw him, it gave him such great pleasure that it need not be recounted because they were descended from siblings: Sir Brian’s mother, the wife of the King of Spain, was the sister of King Perion. In addition, Amadis was also the knight he most loved in the world. Sir Brian said, laughing:

“Are ye here? Well, I was coming in search of you, and even if we did not have enough other adventures, we would wear ourselves out looking for you, the way ye can hide.”

Amadis embraced him and said:

“Say what ye will, ye have come to where I will make amends for all that. And these gentlemen order you to get back on your horse and ride farther into this island, where a prison is being prepared for the likes of you.”

Then all the rest of the knights came to embrace him, and against his will, they made him mount his horse and, with them on foot, they went up the hill to Amadis’ lodging, where he dismounted and his cousins Agrajes and Sir Florestan helped him disarm and ordered a scarlet cloak be brought for him to wear. Once he was disarmed, he saw himself surrounded by very many noble knights whose skill at arms he knew, and he told them:

“A company of so many good men could not have assembled here without some great and mysterious purpose. Tell me, my lords, because I heard a little bit about it after I arrived at these lands, and I would very much like to know more.”

They all asked Agrajes to explain what had happened since he had been present during everything, and he told him all the events that this story has recounted it, blaming King Lisuarte and offering earnest praise and approval for what the knights had done and wished to do in the future. He spoke of what was to come and how Sir Brian might wish to take part in what would bring him riches and honor.

As he listened, he thought their plans were inordinate, for he was a person who by his great discretion considered the outcome of any event more carefully than its beginning. Since he did not know about Amadis’ secret love, his advice could have opposed their plans, or he might have recommended considering other honest methods rather than the extremes that things had come to. He knew King Lisuarte to be concerned and protective of his honor and that its affront had grown so large that he feared the King would seek vengeance.

But he realized that the issue had reached a point that required more help than advice, and especially seeing Amadis at its head, he heartily approved of it, praised the great propriety that had been used on Oriana’s behalf, and pledged not only himself but all the men that his father could manage to provide. And he told them that he wished to see Princess Oriana so that she would know from him how completely he desired to be in her service.

Amadis told him:

“My lord cousin, ye have just come from a long trip and these lords have not eaten, so while your arrival is being announced, rest and eat, and it can be better carried out this afternoon.”

Sir Brian thought that was wise, and he bid farewell to those lords, who went to their lodgings. In the afternoon, Agrajes and Sir Florestan, who as ye have been told were selected to speak with Oriana, took Sir Brian with him and the three went finely dressed to see her. They found her waiting for them in Queen Sardamira’s chambers accompanied by all the ladies that ye have heard of and this story has told of. When they arrived there, Sir Brian went to Oriana and knelt to kiss her hands, but she pulled them back and did not wish to give them. Instead she embraced him and received him with great courtesy, as she in whom all the nobility in the world could be found. She told him:

“My Lord Sir Brian, ye are very welcome, and given your nobility and virtue, at any time ye would deserve to be well received, but at this moment ye deserve it more than ever. I believe that these noble knights and your friends, have told you everything that has happened, so I can be forgiven from having to tell you anything, nor for reminding you of what ye ought to do, because, as is customary, your discretion is better served by giving advice than by taking it.”

Sir Brian told her:

“My lady, the reason I have come is that a long time ago I took part in the battle that your father the King had with the seven kings from the islands, and after that I was with my father in Spain to deal with a concern he had with the Africans. I learned that my cousin and lord Amadis had gone to foreign lands and that no news had been heard from him. Since he is the finest member of all my lineage and he for whom I have the most esteem and love, his absence put such pain in my heart that it drove me to go in search of him.

“Since I thought that I would likely find news about my cousin here on this island more than anyplace else, I came here, where my good fortune and fate guided me not only by finding him but by arriving at a time when I could put into practice the desire that I have always had to serve you. And as ye have said, my lady, I know what has happened and am concerned about what might result from it given the intransigence of your father, the King. Whatever may come to pass and wherever fate may guide me and whatever the consequences for my person, with all my will I offer and am prepared to provide my aid.”

Oriana gave him her deepest thanks for that.


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