Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Chapter 127 [part 2 of 2]

[How the lady came to seek Amadis, and what he feared most about the giant.] 

[The fortress of Alquézar, Spain.]
 


“And so my husband and son and the giant were armed, and they mounted their horses in a great plaza between some large stones and the gate to the castle, which is very stout. Then my unfortunate son begged his father so much that against his will he granted him the first joust, in which my son was struck so fiercely by the giant that he and his horse were knocked down so roughly that they both died immediately.

“My husband charged him and struck his shield, but it was like striking a tower. The giant came to him and grabbed him by the arm and, although he has been gifted with sufficient strength for the size of his body and his age, he was pulled from the saddle as if he were a boy. After this was done, the giant ordered my dead son left in the field, and for my husband and me and my daughter, who we were bringing so she could serve your sister Melicia, to be brought to his fortress, and he ordered our company be placed in prison.

“When I saw this, like a woman out of her mind, which I was at that time, I began to shout wildly and say:

“ ‘Oh King Perion of Gaul! If thou wert here, or one of thy sons, how sure I am that by thee or by any of them I would be saved from this great tribulation!’

When the giant heard this, he said:

“ ‘What dost thou know of this King? Is he by chance the father of the one they call Amadis of Gaul?’

“ ‘Yes, he truly is,’ I said, ‘and if any of them were here, thou wouldst not be powerful enough to do me any injustice, for they would protect me as she who has passed and expended all of my days in their service.’

“ ‘Then if thou hast such faith in them,’ he said, ‘I shall allow thee to call whichever of them thou most preferest, and it would please me the most if he were Amadis, who is so esteemed in the world, because he killed my father Madanfabul in the battle between King Cildadan and King Lisuarte when my father took Lisuarte from his saddle and was bearing him beneath his arm to the ships. Amadis, who at the time called himself Beltenebros, chased him, and although he could rightly attack in defense of his lord and those on his side, he saved him without my father seeing him, which should not be considered as great courage or valor, nor a great dishonor to my father. And if thou wishest he, who is so famous and whom thou hast served, to fight for thee, take that boat with a sailor whom I shall give to guide thee, and look for him. And to incite in him more wrath and a greater desire to avenge thee, take thy son the knight armed and dead as he is. And if he loves thee as thou believest, and if he is as courageous as all say, seeing thy great plight, he shall not fail to come.’

“When I heard this, I told him:

“ ‘If I do what thou sayest and bring that fine knight to thine island, how may he be certain that thou hast spoken the truth?’

“ ‘Nor thou nor he should have any fear of this,’ he said, ‘for although there may be in me evil and arrogance, I have kept and shall keep my word for my entire life, and I would rather die than fail to do so. I give my word to thee and to any knight who comes with thee, especially if he is Amadis of Gaul, that there shall be nothing to fear other than my own self at my wishes.”

“So, my lord, because of what the giant told me, and because of my dead son, and my lord husband and my daughter who are prisoners along with all our company, I have dared to come this way, trusting in our Lord and in your good fortune, and that the cruelty of that devil is so against His service that He shall give me vengeance against that traitor with great glory for you.”

When Amadis heard this, he felt great sorrow at the misfortune of this lady, who was dearly loved by his father King Perion and by his mother the Queen and by all others, and held as one of the best ladies in the world of her lineage. And he considered the confrontation grave, not only for the danger of the battle, which was great given Balan’s fame, but also for going to his island and being among people where he would have to act according to their wishes.

But he put the matter entirely in the hand of the Lord who had authority over all things, and had great pity for that lady and her husband. She never ceased to weep, and he, putting aside all fear, with great courage consoled her and told her that soon her loss would be repaired and avenged, if God were willing and he were able to do so.

They traveled for two days and a night, and on the third day to their left they saw a small island with a castle that seemed very tall. Amadis asked the sailor if he knew whose it was. He said he did, it belonged to King Cildadan, and it was called Prince Island.

“Guide us there,” Amadis said, “so we may take on board some food, for we do not know what might happen.”

So he turned the boat and soon they reached the island. When they were at the foot of a craggy hill, they saw a knight descending it, and when he arrived, he greeted them and they greeted him. The knight from the island asked them who they were. Amadis told him:

“I am a knight from Firm Island and, if it is the will of God, I am coming to put right an injustice and wrong done to this lady that she suffered at an island farther on.”

“What island was this?” the knight said.

“The Island of the Vermilion Tower,” Amadis said.

“And who did this injustice?” the knight said.

“Balan the giant, who they say is the lord of that island,” Amadis said.

“Then what remedy can ye give alone?”

“To fight with him,” Amadis said, “and break the arrogance with which he has treated this lady and many others who did not deserve it.”

The knight began to laugh as from disdain, and said:

“My lord knight from Firm Island, do not place in your heart this great folly, by your own free will, of searching for he from whom all the world flees. Even if the lord of that island, who is Amadis of Gaul, and his two brothers, Sir Galaor and Sir Florestan, who are the flower and height of all the knights in today’s world, were to come all three to fight Balan, this would be considered great madness by all who know him. For that reason, I advise you to leave this quest, for I would have to mourn your injury and harm because I am a knight and friend to those whom my lord King Cildadan loves and esteems, and I have been told that he and King Lisuarte are now at peace with Amadis of Gaul. I do not know how, but I know for certain that they now share great love and concord. And if ye continue on what ye have begun, it is nothing else than to go knowingly to death.”

Amadis told him:

“Death and life are in the hands of God, and those who wish to be praised above all others must place themselves in the attempt to do dangerous things that others do not dare to try. I say this not believing I am thus, but because I wish to be thus. And for that reason I ask you, my lord knight, not to cause me more fear than I already hold, which is not little, and if ye please, as a courtesy help me with some supplies that could be of service to us if some difficulty overcame us.”

“I shall do that gladly,” the knight from the island said, “and I shall do more. To see such an amazing thing, I wish to keep you company until your fate, good or ill, comes to pass with that brave giant.”

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Chapter 127 [part 1 of 2]

How Amadis departed with the lady who came by the sea to avenge the killing of the dead knight she brought in her boat, and what happened on that quest. 

[Drawing of King Arthur as he finds a giant roasting a pig from the Roman de Brut by Wace (Edgerton 3028), second quarter of the 14th century, made in England. From the British Library.]
 

 
As ye have heard, Amadis remained at Firm Island with his lady Oriana enjoying the greatest delights and pleasure that any knight ever had, from which he had no wish to leave even to become the lord of the world. If his lady had been absent, the troubles and pain and anxieties of his impassioned heart would have tormented him without comparison, and he would have found no renewal or rest anywhere; yet everything was the utter opposite being in her presence and seeing her great beauty, which had no equal. That made him forget all his past troubles and had no thought except for the good fortune he found himself in.

But since among the perishable things of this world, nothing can be found that ends well, since God did not wish to make it so, and when we think we have reached the goal of our desires, at that point we are immediately tormented by others of greater size or better fate. So soon, Amadis looked within himself, and while he was aware that what he possessed was beyond comparison, he began to remember his earlier times when his honor and esteem had been achieved by feats at arms, and he thought that if he spent much time in his present situation, his fame would begin to fade and shrink. So he was placed in great worry, not knowing what to do with himself.

He sometimes spoke to Oriana with great humility, asking her urgently to give him permission to leave and go to places where he believed his aid would be needed, but she, finding herself on that island far from her father and mother and all the people of her native land, having no other consolation or company besides him for her solitude, never wished to grant it. Instead, always with many tears, she begged him to give his body some rest from the labors of the past, and she also reminded him that his friends had left at great danger to themselves and their men to gain realms to increase their honor, and were they to suffer some reversal, if he were there, he could help them much better than if he were somewhere else. With this and other many loving things she tried to detain him.

But as ye have been told many times in this great story, ever since the knight’s spirit had been lit by that great fire of desire on the first day when he began to love her, he had a great fear of somehow angering her or failing to follow her command regardless of the good or ill that would come to him. So with little pressure, although his desire had reached anguish, he was detained.

Determined to fulfill his lady’s command, he agreed with Grasandor that until some news came about the fleet, they would ride out through the mountains and go hunting for exercise, and preparations were quickly made. They left with their beaters and dogs from the island, and rode to where, as this book has told you, there were hills and riverbanks with more bear, boar, deer, waterfowl, and many other animals than could be found anywhere else. They hunted often, and at night returned to the island with great pleasure for themselves and for the ladies, and so they lived that life for some length of time.

Then it happened one day that as Amadis was among the beaters on the skirts of the mountain near the seashore waiting for a boar or wild beast, holding the leash of a very handsome dog that he especially liked, he looked at the sea and saw a boat coming in the distance toward him. And when it was closer, he saw in it a lady and a man who was rowing, and because it seemed odd, he left the line of beater without being seen and rode downhill with his dog, passing through some thick brush.

He reached the shore, where he found that the lady and the man with her had landed and were dragging from the boat a fully armed dead knight, whom they laid on the ground, covered by his shield.

When he reached them, Amadis said:

“Lady, who is this knight, and who killed him?”

She turned to look, and although he was dressed as knights usually do to go hunting, and he was alone, she immediately recognized him as Amadis, and she began to tear her veils and clothing in great mourning and said:

“Oh my lord Amadis of Gaul! Help this sad and ill-fated lady for what ye owe to chivalry, because these hands of mine took you from your mother’s womb and made the ark in which ye were placed in the sea, saving your life when ye were born. Help me, my lord, for ye were born to save and rescue those with tribulations and bitter persecutions such as those that have come over me!”

Amadis felt great sorrow for the lady, and when he heard her words, he looked at her more carefully and immediately recognized her as Darioleta, who was with his mother the Queen when he was engendered and born, and so his pain for her grew. He came to her and took her hands from her hair, which was mostly white, asked her to tell him why she was weeping and tearing her hair so hard, and said he would not fail to immediately place his life in danger of death to repair her great loss.

When she heard this, she knelt before him and wished to kiss his hands, but he would not give them, and she told him:

“Then, my lord, without going elsewhere and finding some delay, come with me right away in  this boat, and I shall guide you to where ye may remedy my troubles, and on the way I shall tell you my misfortune.”

Amadis, seeing her with such anguish and passion, believed the lady had indeed suffered a great injury. And because he had no armor and only his fine sword, knowing that if he sent for his arms, Oriana would stop him from going with the lady, he decided to arm himself with the armor of the dead knight. He ordered the man to disarm the dead knight and help him put on that armor, and so it was done. With the lady and the man who was rowing, he immediately entered the boat. As he was about to cast off from the shore, by chance a beater from his company came chasing a wounded deer that had hidden there where the brush was very thick.

When Amadis saw him, he called to him and said:

“Tell Grasandor that I am leaving with this lady who landed here, and I ask for his forgiveness. Her great loss and haste mean that I cannot see him and speak to him. I ask him to have this knight interred and to win the forgiveness of my lady Oriana because I am making this trip without her permission. She must believe that I could not have failed to do so without great shame.”

That having been said, the boat left the shore as fast as it could be rowed, and they traveled all that day and night the same way that the lady had come. In the meantime Amadis asked her to tell him about her urgency and injury that needed such help. Weeping bitterly, she told him:

“My lord, ye know that when your mother the Queen left Gaul to go to your island to attend the weddings of yourself and your brothers, she sent a messenger to my husband and me at Little Brittany, where at her command we were governing, and in her letter she ordered us to follow her to Firm Island because it would not be right if those celebrations happened without us. She did this because of her great nobility and her great love for us rather than for anything we deserved.

“At this command, I and my husband and my unfortunate son, whom we left there dead and whose armor ye wear, immediately set sail with a fine company of servants in a very large ship. We sailed with good weather, which to our ill fortune changed to bad weather that pushed us far off course, and after two months and many dangers that overcame us because of that storm, one night a high wind took us to the island of the Vermilion Tower, where a giant named Balan is the lord, the bravest and strongest of all the giants of any island.

“We came to port, not knowing where we were traveling, and we took shelter, but we were soon surrounded by people from the island in boats, and we were all taken prisoner and held until the next day when they took us to the giant. When he saw us, he asked if there was a knight among us. My husband said yes, that he was, and that the man next to him, his son, was also a knight.

“ ‘Then,” the knight said, “ye must follow the custom of this island.’

“ ‘And what is the custom?’ my husband asked.

“ ‘Ye must fight me one by one,’ the giant said, ‘and if either of you can defend yourself for an hour, ye and all your company are all free, and if ye are defeated within that hour, ye are my prisoners, but ye shall have some hope for your safety if as good men ye had put all your strength to the test. But if by chance your cowardice is so great that ye do not place yourselves in battle, ye shall be put into a cruel prison where ye shall suffer great anguish as payment for having taken the order of knighthood and fearing loss of life more than loss of honor or those things for which ye took your oath. Now that I have told you everything rightly about the customs maintained here, decide what ye would prefer.’

“My husband told him:

“ ‘We wish to fight, for in vain we would bear arms if out of fear of some danger we would fail to do with them what they were made for. But what security have we that if we are victorious, the custom ye have spoken of shall be followed?’

“ ‘There is none other than my promise,’ the giant said, ‘for come good or ill, it will not be broken willingly by me. I would rather have my body be broken, and I have had my son whom I have here and all my servants and vassals swear to uphold it.’

“ ‘In the name of God,’ my husband said, ‘have my arms and horse be brought to me and to my son, and prepare yourself for battle.’

“ ‘This shall be done at once,’ the giant said.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Chapter 126 [part 2 of 2]

[How the Kings and knights left Firm Island, and what they planned to do.] 

[A series of photos depict the Moon rising over Sesimbra Castle, south of Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by Miguel Claro.]
 
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The lords and ladies returned to island for the games and great merriment in honor of the weddings. When they were finally over, the Emperor asked Amadis for permission to leave, if he were pleased, because the Emperor wished to return to his lands with his wife and reform that great realm, which after God Amadis had given him. He asked for Sir Florestan, King of Sardinia, to come with him, and said he would immediately deliver all the realm of Calabria, as Amadis had ordered, and the rest he would divide with him as a true brother. This he did, and after Arquisil, Emperor of Rome, arrived in his grand empire, he was received with great love by all, and he was always accompanied by that courageous and valiant knight Sir Florestan, King of Sardinia and Prince of Calabria, by whom both he and all the empire was benefitted and honored, as we shall recount farther on.

When the Emperor had bid farewell to Amadis, offering him his person and realm at his wishes and command, he took his wife, whom he loved more than he loved himself, and the very noble and courageous knight Sir Florestan, whom he considered to be just like a brother, and the very beautiful Queen Sardamira. He also brought the bodies of the Emperor Patin and the very courageous knight Floyan, which were in the monastery at Lubaina at the orders of King Lisuarte, and of Prince Salustanquidio, which at the time when Amadis and his companions brought Oriana to Firm Island, he had ordered to be very honorably placed in a chapel so that it could receive the sepulture in his lands appropriate to his grandeur.

He ordered the great fleet that the Emperor Patin had left at the port of Windsor to come there, and he and all the Romans who had been prisoners at Firm Island returned to his empire.

All the other Kings and lords prepared to go to their lands, but before they left they decided to plan how the knights who were going to win the realms of Sansuena, the Kingdom of Arabigo, and Deep Island might proceed with precautions so that they could achieve their goals without any obstacles.

Amadis spoke with King Lisuarte, saying that he thought that given the time the King had been away from his lands, he might be feeling anxious, and if he were, Amadis hoped he would not delay his return. The King said that in fact he had been relaxing with great pleasure, but now it was time to do as Amadis said, but if for what was being planned he needed Lisuarte’s knights, he would gladly give them. Amadis thanked him deeply and said that since the lords of those lands were being held prisoner, no more provisions would be needed than the men that his lord King Perion was leaving behind, and if by chance Lisuarte’s were necessary, he would accept them, for all had to serve Lisuarte as a lord, and those lands were being won for him.

The King said that if that was how things seemed to him, he would immediately arrange to leave, but first he wished to call together all those lords and ladies in the great hall because he wanted to speak to them. When they were all together, King Lisuarte said to King Cildadan:

“Your great loyalty, which has delivered me in the recent past from many dangers and fears, has tormented and afflicted me because I did not know how I might offer satisfaction. A reward equal to your great merit would be hopeless to search for because it could not be found. Considering what was in my hand and possible, I saw that just as your noble person had been placed at my service in many battles, in that same way mine with everything in its realm shall with complete willfulness be place to fulfill whatever may be to your honor, and so from here onward ye shall no longer be in vassalage to my service, which your contrary fortune had subjected you to by force. From here on any service shall be done at your pleasure as between two good brothers.”

King Cildadan said:

“Whether this deserves thanks or not I leave to be judged by those who by some compulsion were caused to follow another’s will rather than their own, which is always accompanied by anxiety and sighs. And ye may believe, my lord, that the volition which until now ye received by force and with no friendship, shall from here on be given with love and many more men and obedience and attention to whatever is most agreeable to you. Let the time come that can demonstrate this by deeds.”

All the great lords thought King Lisuarte had acted with great virtue, and many praised him, above all Sir Cuadragante, who had always thought the vassalage was a enormous and sorrowful misfortune for that kingdom, where he was had been born, which in other times had been very honored and empowered over all others, for he now saw it freed from such heavy and dishonorable servitude.

King Lisuarte asked King Cildadan what he wished to do, because Lisuarte was arranging to return to his lands. He answered that if it pleased King Lisuarte, he would remain there to help plan how his uncle Sir Cuadragante could win the kingdom of Sansuena and, if necessary, go with him. The King told him that he had spoken wisely and he was pleased for him to do so, and if any of his men would be necessary, he would immediately send them. King Cildadan thanked him sincerely and said that he believed what they had would suffice, since Barsinan was their prisoner.

With that King Lisuarte and his company left, and Amadis and Oriana went with him, although he did not wish them to, for almost a full day’s journey, then they returned to plan what ye have heard about, which they did in this way: since the kingdom of King Arabigo shared a border with Sansuena, Sir Cuadragante and Sir Bruneo would go together and immediately try to win whatever part was weakest, and the rest would be easier to conquer.

Sir Galaor said he wished to go, and his cousin Dragonis would go with him, since he would soon be able to bear arms, and that he, with all the rest of what he would have in his kingdom, could be used to help him win Deep Island. Sir Galvanes said he also wished to make the same journey, and he would get good men for it from the island of Mongaza. With that agreement Sir Galaor left with his wife, the very beautiful Queen Briolanja, and Dragonis went with them, and Sir Galvanes and Madasima went to his land to prepare for the journey as fast as they could.

Although Amadis had urged Agrajes to stay with him at Firm Island, he did not wish to do so. Instead, he said he would go with Sir Bruneo and with the men from his father the King, and would not leave Sir Bruneo until he was a king and at peace. Sir Brian of Monjaste and all the other knights there said the same and left with Sir Cuadragante, especially the good and courageous Angriote d’Estravaus, who no matter what Amadis said would not go to his own lands and rest, or be dissuaded from going with Sir Bruneo of Bonamar.

All these knights left with new arms and brave hearts, taking the men from Spain, Scotland, and Ireland, and from the Marquis of Troque, who was Sir Bruneo’s father, and from Firm Island and the King of Bohemia, and many other companies that had come from other lands. They boarded a great fleet and they all urged Grasandor to remain with Amadis to keep him company, which he did much against his wishes, for he would rather have made that journey.

But he was not there in vain, nor was Amadis, for they often left to accomplish great feats at arms, righting many wrongs and injuries done to ladies and damsels and others who could not defend themselves by their own hands and abilities, and who sought them ought, as this story shall recount farther on.

King Cildadan, who deeply loved Sir Cuadragante, tried as hard as he could to be allowed to go with him, but Sir Cuadragante would not consent to it at all. Instead, he asked him out of love to return immediately to his kingdom to bring happiness and consolation to his wife the Queen and all his subjects with the good news he brought and could fully recount: that by fulfilling his duty he had lost his freedom, and by fulfilling the promise and vow to his honor and obligation, he had won it back.

Gastiles, nephew of the Emperor of Constantinople, had send all his men with the Marquis of Saluder, and remained to see the results of the effort so he could tell his lord the Emperor everything about it. When he saw what was being done, he spoke with Amadis and told him that he was very sorry not to have men prepared to help those knights in their journey, but if Amadis considered it good, he would go personally and with some of the men who had remained behind.

Amadis told him:

“My lord, what has been done should be enough, and because of your uncle and yourself I have been given all the honor that ye see. May God be pleased in His mercy to have a time come when I can serve him. And ye, my lord, should leave immediately and kiss his hands for me, and tell him that everything that has just been won here has been won by him, and it shall always be at his service or whomever he may send. I also commend you to kiss the hands of the very beautiful Leonorina and Queen Menoresa for me, and tell her that I shall fulfill everything I promised and shall send them a knight of my lineage who will be able to serve her very well.”

“I fully believe that,” Gastiles said, “because there are so many in your lineage that there are enough to serve all the world.”

With that he said farewell and boarded his ship, and for now nothing more shall be told until the proper time.

When everything ye have heard of was arranged and prepared, the great fleet left the port and went out to sea with all those knights and the courage that their great hearts would give them in perilous encounters. Amadis remained at Firm Island with Grasandor, as has been said; Mabilia, Melicia, Olinda, and Grasinda remained with Oriana, praying for God to help their husbands. King Perion and his wife Queen Elisena returned to Gaul. Esplandian and the King of Dacia and the other youths remained with Amadis waiting for their time to become knights and for Urganda the Unrecognized to arrange it, as she had said and promised.

But now this story shall cease to speak of those knights who went to win their kingdoms, and shall recount what happened Amadis a little later.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Chapter 126 [part 1 of 2]

How Urganda the Unrecognized brought together all the Kings and knights that were at Firm Island, and the great things she told them that would happen in the past, present, and future, and how she finally left. 


[Gargoyle at the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, Barcelona, Spain. Photo by Bernard Gagon.]
 

 
The story recounts that after the great festivities of the weddings were over at Firm Island, Urganda the Unrecognized asked the Kings to order all the knights and ladies and damsels to gather together because she wished to tell them all of them her purpose and reason for coming, which they ordered to be done.

When they were all together in the great hall of the castle, Urganda sat before them, holding her two young noblemen by the hands. When everyone was quiet, waiting for her to speak, she said:

“My lords, without being told, I knew about these great festivities following those many deaths and losses that ye have suffered, and God is my witness that if any or all of those evils could have been prevented by me, I would have not failed to place all my effort and person into such labors. But as it had been permitted by the Lord on high, they could not have been avoided, because what by Him is ordained, without Him none has the power to prevent. And since I could not have forestalled those evils with my presence, I realized that to improve on what good was within my powers, given the great love I have for many of you and that ye have for me, and to declare some things that I had previously told you by private means, as I am accustomed to do. That way ye may truly believe what I said, as ye could the things ye heard from me at other times.”

Then she looked at Oriana and said:

“My good lady and beautiful bride, ye should well recall that when I was with your father the King and your mother the Queen in their town in Fenusa, sleeping with you in your bed, ye asked me to tell you what would happen to you, and I asked you not to wish to know. But because I knew your will, I told you how the lion of Fearful Island would leave its cave, and his great roars would frighten your guardians so he could take control of your flesh and, with them, put his great hunger at rest.

“This ye ought to clearly understand, for your husband, who is very much stronger and braver than any lion, left this island, which may rightly be called Fearful for it has so many caves and hiding places, and with his strength and shouts the, fleet of the Romans, who guarded you, was defeated and destroyed, and so ye were placed in his mighty arms and he took control of your flesh, as all have seen, without which his ravenous hunger could not have been contented or appeased. And thus ye know that everything I told you was true.”

Then she said to Amadis:

“Then ye, my good lord, shall clearly see the truth in everything I had told you, that ye would give your blood for others, for in the battle with Ardan Canileo the Fearful ye gave it for your friends King Arban of North Wales and Angriote d’Estravaus, who were prisoners. Then your fine sword, when ye saw it in the hands of your enemy and which was turned against your flesh and bones, ye dearly wished were in some lake from which it would never reappear. And then the reward that followed from this, what was it? Truly, none other than anger and great enmity between yourself and King Lisuarte, who is here, which was the result of your winning the Island of Mongaza, as all have clearly seen and as I told you.

“And things that I wrote to you, very virtuous King Lisuarte, when ye found this very handsome and noble youth Esplandian, your grandson, in a forest hunting with a lioness, ye still hold clearly in your memory. From what I said about the past ye can see that I knew, because he was raised by three very different wet nurses, in fact a lioness and a sheep and a woman, all of whom gave him milk.

“I also told you that this youth would bring peace between yourself and Amadis, and I leave it to be judged by both of you all the ire, all the acrimony, and all the enmity he has eliminated from your wills with his grace and great handsomeness, and how because of him and his great discretion ye were rescued by Amadis when ye expected no other thing but death. Whether such a service as this was worthy of eradicating enmity and attracting love, I leave to these lords to judge.

“As for other things that in due time shall occur, as the letter foretold, may they be judged by those who will be alive to see them, from by what I knew about the past they may believe that I know about the future.

“Another prophecy I told you was much greater than the rest, for it contained everything that happened by delivering your daughter Oriana to the Romans, and the great evils and cruel deaths that resulted, which, so as not to remind you of a thing which would cause so much anguish and ire at a time when ye ought to be enjoying great pleasure, I shall leave for those who wish to see it in the second book where they may observe clearly that all the things that happened are contained in it and were said by me previously.

“Now that I have spoken of things in the past, I wish ye to learn about the present things ye do not know about.”

Then she took the handsome youths by the hand, Talanque and Maneli the Moderate, for such were their names, and said to Sir Galaor and King Cildadan:

“My good lords, if in your lives ye have received any services and aid from me, I am content with the reward I have, which is enormous glory for me. Since I myself cannot engender any progeny, I caused to have in other women such handsome youths as these to be born, whom ye see here. Without a doubt ye may believe that if God allows them to reach the age for knighthood and to become knights, they shall do such things in His service to maintain truth and virtue that not only those who engendered them against the prescripts of the Holy Church shall be forgiven, and I for causing it, but their merits and worth shall be so surpassing in this world that in the next they shall achieve their rest, and I as well. And so many things shall happen because of these youths that no matter how much I might say, it would not be enough, so I shall leave them to their time, which will not be long from now, given the age that they have already acquired.”

Then she said to Esplandian:

“Very handsome, blessed, and noble Esplandian, thou wert engendered in the great blaze of love by those from whom thou hast inherited a great part of it without them losing a single bit of their own, and which thy tender and innocent age now conceals. Take this youth Talanque, son of Sir Galaor, and Maneli the Moderate, son of King Cildadan, and love one as much as the other, for although by them thou shalt be placed in many dangerous confrontations, they shall rescue thee from other confrontations in which none but themselves shall be able to aid thee.

“And this great dragon that brought me here I leave for thee, in which thou shalt be made a knight with the horse and arms that lie hidden within it along with other rare things that at the time of thy knighthood shall be made manifest. This serpent shall be the guide to the first events in which thy mighty heart shall reveal thy high virtue, and it shall guide thee and many others of thy great lineage through fearsome storms and misfortunes in the open sea without any danger, where with great battles and labors thou shalt repay the Lord of the world for some of the great mercies thou shalt receive from Him, and in many places thou shalt be known by no other name than the Knight of the Great Serpent.

“In it thou shalt travel for long days without rest, for besides the great and dangerous battles thou shalt fight, thy spirit shall be placed in all affliction and great anguish by she who shall read and understand the seven letters that will burn like fire on thy left side. That great heat and ardor shall burn within thee with flames that shall not be quenched until the great flocks of cormorants fly to the East over the rough waves of the sea and place the hawk in such dire straits that it will not dare to alight in its tight nest, and the proud black falcon, the most esteemed and beautiful of all birds of prey, along with those of its lineage and other birds that are not, shall come to its aid and cause such great destruction among the cormorants that the field shall be completely covered by their feathers and many of them shall perish in their sharp claws, and others shall drown in the water where the mighty black falcon and its allies overtake them.

“Then the great hawk shall pull out most of their entrails and place them in the sharp claws of its helper, and with them, its ravenous hunger, which for a long time had tormented him, shall be satisfied and ceased. It shall give him possession of all its forests and great mountains, and he shall be brought back to his perch in the tree of the Holy Garden. At this time the great dragon, having fulfilled  the hour marked by my great wisdom, before all shall sink into the great sea, giving thee to know that more on firm ground than on moving water thou ought to pass the coming time.”

This said, she told the Kings and knights:

“My good lords, now I must go elsewhere and cannot avoid it, but when Esplandian is ready to receive knighthood and all these youths receive it with him, I know that for a reason now hidden to you, many of you here now shall be brought together and at that time I shall come, and in my presence great festivities will be made for the novice knights, and I shall tell you many great and amazing things that will come to them. And I warn you all not to dare to approach the serpent until I return, for if anyone does, everyone in the world could not prevent that person from losing his life.

“And because ye, my lord Amadis, have here as a prisoner the wicked and evil-doing Arcalaus, who is called the Sorcerer and whose vile wisdom is never used except to do harm, and who might still do you injury, take these two rings, one for you and the other for Oriana, for while these are on your hands, nothing that he may do can cause harm to you or to anyone in your company, nor shall his enchantments have any power while ye hold him prisoner. And I tell you not to kill him because with death he would not pay in the least for the evil he has done. Instead put him in an iron cage where all can see him, and there he shall die many times. Much more painful is the death that leaves a person alive than that with which all dies and perishes.”

Then she gave the rings to Amadis and Oriana, which were the finest and most extraordinary ever seen. Amadis told her:

“My lady, what can I do to repay you for all the honors and gifts I have received from you?”

“Not a thing,” she said, “for everything I have done and shall do from here on ye already paid for when I could not take advantage of my wisdom and ye restored that very handsome knight to me, who is the thing I most love in the world, although he felt contrary, when by force of arms ye defeated the four knights at the causeway of the castle where they were holding him, and then ye defeated the lord of the castle. Then ye made your brother Sir Galaor a knight. And with that great benefit to my life, which could not be sustained without my beloved, I was repaid and will still be repaid for all the days in which I will be allowed to aid your advancement by the most powerful Lord of this world.”

Then she called for her palfrey to be brought, and all the lords and ladies accompanied her to the seashore, where she found her dwarves and the skiff. After she was bid farewell by everyone, she got in and they watched her return to the great dragon, and then the smoke was so black that for more than four days nothing could be seen of what was within it, but after that, it dissipated, and they saw the serpent as it was before. Of Urganda they knew not what she had done.

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