Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chapter 88

What Amadis said to Grasinda, and how she responded. 

[Saint Luke, the patron saint of doctors. Detail of the Saint Luke Altarpiece by Andrea Mantegna, 1453.]

Amadis went to see Grasinda, whom he dearly loved and esteemed both for who she was and for the many honors he had received from her. He did not think these had been repaid, although he had done for her all the things that this story has recounted. He believed there was a great difference between men who do great feats out of virtue without much knowledge of those who benefit, and men who receive satisfaction and payment from those who benefit, because the former has a generous heart, and the latter, although he may be recognized and thanked, created a debt and was repaid.

Seated with her on an estrado, he told her:

“My lady, if I have not given you the kind of service and pleasure that I wish and desire and that your virtue deserves, I hope I may be pardoned, because as ye have observed, these troubled times are the reason for that. And because your nobility will understand that, I shall not speak of it. I have decided to speak to you and to ask if ye would favor me by telling me the goal of your desires and intentions, because ye left your lands a long time ago, and I do not know if your spirit is suffering any distress over that. If I were to learn this is so, the means to solve that shall be placed at your command.”

Grasinda told him:

“My lord, if I did not believe that your companionship and friendship had not brought me greater honor than anything that could have come my way, and that all the service and pleasure that ye received in my house was repaid and satisfied, if it indeed gave you any contentment, the person with the poorest judgment in the world would notice. And because this is true and well known by all, my lord, I wish that all my desires as I have them be manifest to you. I have seen that although many princes and knights of great valor have come together here to aid this Princess, my good lord, ye are the one whom they all look to and obey, so that in your wisdom and courage they have placed all the hope and good fortune they expect. Given your great courage and position, ye cannot avoid taking charge of everything, because it should and must fall upon no one else but you.

“So it is necessary for your friends and supporters to do all they can to sustain your honor and great estate. Because I hold myself by my own will to be one of your important friends and supporters, I wish to put my desires into practice, and I have agreed with the doctor Elisabad to send him to my lands, and with great care to have all my vassals and friends prepare and supply a great fleet for whenever it may be needed to serve at your orders, my lord. And meanwhile, I shall remain in the company and service of this lady, with the others who are with her, and I shall not part from her nor from you until the conclusion of this matter tells me what I should do.”

When Amadis heard this, he embraced her laughing and said:

“I believe that if all the virtue and nobility in the world were to be lost, it could be recovered in you, my good lady. And if that is what pleases you, so it shall be done. In your service and at my request, the doctor Elisabad must go to see the Emperor of Constantinople with a message from me, although it will be a hardship for him. Considering the gracious offer that the Emperor gave me and the discontent that many told me there he has with the Emperor of Rome, and knowing that the dispute is principally with him, I am sure that given his great and accustomed virtue he will send me help equal to the good service I have given him.”

Grasinda agreed with that, and given the great affection the doctor had for him, she would not need to order him to perform that service, for making such a journey with the message for such a person would be more of an honor and pleasure than a labor.

Amadis told her:

“My lady, since it is your will to remain here with that Princess, ye should be with her and in her chambers along with the other princesses and great ladies, and so ye shall be there and from her ye shall receive the honor and courtesy that your great virtue deserves.”

Then he had his foster father Sir Gandales called, and asked him to go to Oriana and tell her of that lady’s great willingness to be at her service, and to ask her on his behalf to accept her and give her that same honor that she was giving the highest ladies with her. This was done, and Oriana received her with the same love and goodwill that she was accustomed to give to such people, not just for her present service but for what she had done in the past for Amadis by giving him what he needed to go to Greece and above all for the gift of the doctor Elisabad. As this story has told in its third part, by treating the grave injuries that Amadis suffered when he killed the Endriago, second only to God, Elisabad gave life to him and to her, for she could not survive a single day after his death.

After this was done, Grasinda gave Doctor Elisabad everything necessary for him to carry out what had been agreed to, and she asked and ordered him that, considering what Amadis wished him to do, he should begin work on it, giving it all the importance that it deserved. The doctor responded that although he might have to expose himself to danger and travail, he would not fail to fulfill the order. Amadis thanked them deeply and then decided to write a letter to the Emperor, which said:

Letter from Amadis to the Emperor of Constantinople

“Most high Emperor: I, the Knight of the Green Sword, who by his own name is called Amadis of Gaul, send you my respects and remind you of the offer that more by your great virtue and nobility than for my services ye were pleased to give me. Now the time has come in which this is necessary especially from Your Majesty as well as from all my friends and supporters who wish to pursue justice and righteousness, as the doctor Elisabad shall tell you about more extensively. I beg you to give faith to his mission so that it may have the same effect that I myself and all those who must protect and obey would place at your own service.”

When the letter was finished and the full accreditation was given to the doctor, as shall be told later, he took leave of him and of his lady Grasinda, and went to sea to begin his voyage, which he concluded successfully and which in its time shall be told.


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