Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Chapter 77 [part 2 of 2]

[How Oriana sought help from Sir Florestan, and how he promised to give it.] 

[Detail of a tower at the Lesser Quarter side of the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, showing a poor woman. Bridge construction began in 1357. Photo by Sue Burke.]

Then they all went to the Queen’s chambers, which were delectable, with trees and fountains and fine rooms. Leaving her there with her ladies and damsels and Sir Grumedan, who remained to serve them, Oriana returned to her chamber. In private with Mabilia and the Damsel of Denmark, she said she truly believed that the knight whom Queen Sardamira spoke of was Amadis. They said they also thought so and were sure of it.

Mabilia said:

“My lady, now I understand a dream I had last night, in which it seemed we were in a locked and enclosed room, and we heard a great noise from outside that terrified us. And your knight broke down the door and shouted for you, and I showed him where you were lying on an estrado. He took you by the hand and brought us all from there and put us in a marvelous high tower and said:

“ ‘Wait here in this tower and fear no one.’

“And that is when I awoke. And that is why, my lady, my heart is full of courage. He will save you.”

When Oriana heard this, she felt joyful and embraced her, weeping, tears falling down her beautiful cheeks, and told her:

“Oh, Mabilia, my good lady and true friend, how well you come to my aid with your courage and fine words! And may God order in His mercy that your dream will come true as you told it. And if this is not His will, may He make it so that Amadis will come and we will both die together and neither of us will remain alive.”

“Let us not speak of this,” Mabilia said, “for God, having made him so blessed in the wonderful things he does for others, will not forsake him in his own needs. And speak with Sir Florestan, showing him great affection, and ask that he and his friends do everything they can so that you are not taken from this land, and ask him to tell that to Sir Galaor on your behalf.”

But I tell you that Sir Galaor, without anyone having spoken to him, already felt this concern and had so counseled the King, and we shall tell you how he did so. Know that King Lisuarte was hunting with Sir Galaor, and after they had hunted, the King was heading toward a valley. He reigned in his palfrey, and after all the others had passed on ahead, he called Sir Galaor and told him:

“My good friend and loyal servant, I have never asked for your counsel about anything in which your advice did not serve me well. Ye already know of the great power and high standing of the Emperor of Rome, who has sent for my daughter to be the Empress. In it I see two things to my great advantage. First, by marrying my daughter so honorably, making her a lady of such a great realm, I shall have the Emperor for my aid whenever I may need it. Second, my daughter Leonoreta will be lady and heir to Great Britain. I wish to speak of this to my noblemen, whom I have sent for, to see what they may advise about this marriage. And I would like you to speak to me here, where we have privacy, if ye please, about how this seems to you. I know you well and I know that ye will advise me about this matter in every sense that would be to my honor.”

Sir Galaor, after he heard this, spent a while thinking, then he said:

“My lord, I do not have a great mind, nor do I have a lot of experience in affairs of this type to know the ins and outs of such a great matter as this. For that reason, my lord, may I be excused, if ye please, because in these matters ye speak of, your lords are the ones with whom ye ought to consult, and they will tell you much better what would be to your honor and service, because they understand it much better than I do.”

“Sir Galaor,” the King said, “yet I wish you to tell me. If not, it would be the greatest sorrow in the world, especially since until today I have never received anything from you but great pleasure and service.”

“May God keep me from angering you,” Sir Galaor said, “but since ye are still pleased to test my simple mind, I shall tell you. And I say that although ye believe that ye would marry your daughter very honorably and to high estate, I think the opposite because she is your heir and successor to these reigns after your days, and ye could not do worse than to take them from her and put them under the subjugation of a foreign man over whom she will have no authority nor power. And if she achieves the goal of such ladies, which is to bear sons, and these sons marry, then she will be placed in even greater subjugation and poverty than before, seeing another empress reign.

“And regarding what ye said, that he shall help you, given that ye and your knights and friends are so worthy and have enhanced your dominions and your great fame in the world, I think, rather, it would diminish you to think and believe that ye could to turn to him in need. Given the arrogant ways everyone says he has, I think instead it would be the opposite, and ye would always suffer opposition and expenses without reward from him. The worst of this is that ye would be subject to being in his service and being judged as his servant, and ye would always be remembered that way in the books and chronicles. That is why, my lord, while ye see this to your greater honor, I see this as the greatest dishonor that could happen to you.

“And as to what ye say about your daughter Leonoreta inheriting Great Britain, this is a very great error, and from it many other errors would follow if discretion did not intervene. If ye, my lord, were to take this reign from a daughter so outstanding in the world, who rightly deserves it, and give it to one who ought not have it, may it never please God for me to advise you to do so. I do not say this about your daughter, because even the poorest woman of the world should not have what is hers taken from her. I say this for the loyalty I owe to God and you and my soul, and your daughter, for I hold myself as your vassal and hers.

“I am leaving tomorrow, God willing, for Gaul, to see my father the King, who for some reason has called for me. If ye please, I shall leave a letter explaining all that I have said under my name that ye may show to all the noblemen. If there is a knight who says otherwise, holding himself to be wiser, I shall fight him and make him know that what I have said is the truth.”

The King, having heard this, felt unsatisfied by his reasoning, although he did not show it, and he said:

“My friend Sir Galaor, if ye wish to go, leave me the letter.”

But he did not plan to show it to others unless it became very necessary.

And so as ye have heard, King Lisuarte rode with Sir Galaor until they arrived at his palace, and that night they rested with pleasure, everyone talking about the wedding, especially the King, who felt very eager for it. The next day Sir Galaor gave him the letter, said farewell to him and the noblemen, and left for Gaul. And know ye that the intention of Sir Galaor at this time was to prevent that wedding because he did not think it was to the advantage of the King, and he also suspected an affair between Amadis and Oriana, daughter of King Lisuarte, although no one had told him about it. He wished to go far away where he would no longer hear it spoken of, knowing that the King was already totally determined for it to happen. And Oriana knew nothing of this, and this is why she asked Sir Florestan to speak about it on her behalf with Sir Galaor, as ye have heard.

So that is how the day passed, as ye hear, at Miraflores. Queen Sardamira was very astounded by Oriana’s great beauty and could not believe that any mortal could be so lovely, although her beauty had been greatly diminished due to the great anguish and tribulations her heart gave her, fearing the marriage to the Emperor and hearing no news from her beloved friend Amadis of Gaul. And she did not wish for the Queen to speak to her about the Emperor but rather of other news and pleasure. But the next day she did speak of him, and such was the reply of Oriana, although with honor and courtesy, that she did not dare to speak of it again.

Then Oriana, knowing that Sir Florestan wished to leave, took him and went beneath some trees where there was a very fine estrado, had him sit facing her, and told him plainly and with her entire will about how her father was forcing her to be disinherited and sent to foreign lands, and she hoped for no other thing but death. And she wished to express her grievances not only to Sir Florestan, who loved her so well and in whom she had all hope and faith, but to all the grandees in all the kingdom, and to all the knights-errant, so they would have sorrow and pity for her and beg her father to change his mind.

“And ye, my good lord and friend Sir Florestan,” she said, “ask to advise him so he will understand the great sin that he is doing to me with this great cruelty and offense.”

Sir Florestan said:

“My good lady, without a doubt ye may well believe that I must serve you in everything that ye may order with the same will and humility as I would do for my father and lord King Perion. But I could not request this of your father at all because I am not his vassal nor would he take me into his counsel knowing the disdain I have over the ills he has done to me and my lineage. If he has had some service from me, he has no reason to be grateful to me, since I did it on the orders of my brother and lord Amadis, whom I could never contradict. It is not because your father the King would have lost these lands in the battle of the seven kings but because ye would have, Amadis placed himself in that battle and brought King Perion and myself with him, as ye know.

“He did that because he holds you to be one of the finest princesses in the world, and if he knew now about how ye are being coerced and wronged against your entire volition, my lady, believe that, with all his strength, he and his friends would put it right. I do not say this because ye are the high lady that ye are, since he would do this for the poorest woman that could be found in the world. So, my good lady, have hope, for there is still time to save you, if God wills, and I shall not stop until I am at Firm Island, where the knight Agrajes is, who is very willing to serve you because his father and mother raised you and because of the great love ye have for his sister Mabilia. And there we shall meet and decide what we can do.”

“Do you know,” Oriana said, “if Agrajes is there for certain?”

“I know it,” he said, “for Sir Grumedan told me he knew it because he sent a squire of his to him.”

“May God have mercy and guide him,” she said, “and give him my greetings. And tell him that I have great hopes in him and I rightly ought to. In the meantime if ye hear some news about your brother Amadis, let me know so I can tell it to his cousin Mabilia, who is dying from loneliness for him. May God guide you and Agrajes to come to a good agreement about my situation.”

Sir Florestan kissed her hands and said farewell. He took Sir Grumedan with him and went to Queen Sardamira and told her:

“My lady, I wish to go, and wherever I go I am your knight and servant, so I ask ye to think of me as such and order me to do anything that may serve you.”

The Queen said:

“Any woman who would not wish the service and honor of a man of such worth as you, Sir Florestan, would be foolish, and if God wills, I shall not fall into such great error. Instead, I receive your fine courtesy and I thank you as much as I can, and I shall always remember to ask you for anything you could do.”

Sir Florestan, who was studying her closely, said:

“May God, who has made ye so beautiful, thank you on my behalf for your answer, since I can give you nothing now more than my will and my word.”

And with that, he said goodby to her and to Mabilia and all the other ladies that were there, and he asked Sir Grumedan that if he heard any news about Amadis, to send it to him at Firm Island. He went to his lodging and armed himself, mounted his horse, and, with his squires, took the road that went straight to Firm Island, where he wished to speak with Agrajes and arrange with his friends to save Oriana if her father were to give her to the Romans.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

“What it is to be a knight”

“There is no other beast that so befits a knight as a good horse.” 

Cover of El Vitorial (The Unconquered Knight), from the Biblioteca Nacional de España.

When the Spanish knight Sir Pero Niño went to war, he was accompanied by Gutierre Díez de Games, a childhood friend. In the 1430s, Games began to write a chronicle of Niño’s life, The Unconquered Knight, a book that became key in the literature of medieval Castile.

In addition to the story of Niño’s deeds, it includes careful descriptions of the code of conduct of the era. Here is an excerpt about knighthood, translated by Joan Evans. In Spanish, a knight is a caballero – a man on a horse (caballo) – but having a horse is not enough.


Now it is fitting that I should tell what it is to be a knight: whence comes this name of knight; what manner of a man a knight should be to have a right to be called a knight; and what profit the good knight is to the country wherein he lives.

I tell you that men call “knight” the man who, of custom, rides upon a horse. He who, of custom, rides another mount, is no knight; but he who rides upon a horse is not for that reason a knight; he is only rightly called a knight who makes it his calling. Knights have not been chosen to ride an ass or mule; they have not been taken from among feeble or timid or cowardly souls, but from among men who are strong and full of energy, bold and without fear: and for this reason there is no other beast that so befits a knight as a good horse.

Thus have horses been found in the thick of battle that have shown themselves as loyal to their masters as if they had been men. There are horses who are so strong, fiery, swift, and faithful that a brave man, mounted on a good horse, may do more in an hour of fighting than ten or mayhap a hundred could have done afoot.

For this reason do men rightly call him “knight.”

What is required of a good knight? That he should be noble. What means “noble” and “nobility?” That the heart should be governed by the virtues. By what virtues? By the four I have already named. [Justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance.] These four virtues are sisters and so bound up one with the other that he who has one, has all, and he who lacks one, lacks the others also.

So the virtuous knight should be wary and prudent, right in the doing of justice, continent and temperate, enduring and courageous; and withal he must have great faith in God, hope at His glory, that he may attain the reward for the good that he has done, and finally he must have charity and the love of his neighbor.

What profit is a good knight? I tell you that through good knights is the king and the kingdom honored, protected, feared, and defended. I tell you that the king, when he sends forth a good knight with an army and entrusts him with a great emprise, on sea or on land, has in him a pledge of victory. I tell you that without good knights, the king is like a man who has neither feet nor hands.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chapter 77 [part 1 of 2]

How Queen Sardamira sent a message to Sir Florestan, telling him that because he had defeated her knights and left them injured, she wished him to guard her as far as Miraflores Castle, where she was going to speak with Oriana; and what happened there. 

[Statue of Beatriz Galindo (1465-1535) in Madrid. She served as a professor at the University of Salamanca before she became tutor to the children of Queen Isabella. Because of her proficiency in Latin, she was nicknamed La Latina, and the neighborhood in Madrid where she lived is still called La Latina. Photo by Tamorlan.]

So, as you have heard, Sir Grumedan was speaking with Queen Sardamira, who was happy to hear about the journey the Emperor had made back when he called himself Patin. He had been traveling for her love, since he had loved her dearly and had gone to Great Britain hoping to win her love by testing himself against the fine knights there. But he had never told her about what had happened to him with Amadis, and she laughed a lot inwardly over how he had kept it from her.

Sir Grumedan told her:

“My lady, give me the message ye would be most pleased to have sent to Sir Florestan.”

She thought a bit and said:

“Sir Grumedan, you can see that my knights are badly injured and can no longer guard me or themselves, and they ought to stay behind for their health. Given how the knights of this land are, I would wish that Sir Florestan were my guard along with you.”

He said:

“I tell you, my lady, that Sir Florestan is so courteous that a lady or damsel could ask nothing from him that he would not do, and even more for you, for ye are a great lady to whom he must make amends for his error.”

“I am very pleased by what ye say,” she said, “and if ye give me someone to guide this damsel, I shall send her with my message.”

He gave her four squires, and the Queen sent the damsel who had received the horses with a letter of credentials, and told her privately what to say. She mounted her palfrey and with the squires she hurried on her way. When she arrived at the hermitage, she found Sir Florestan, who was speaking with the hermit, and she dismounted. Since she had not veiled her face, he recognized her immediately and received her very well.

She told him:

“My lord, there was a time today when I did not wish to look for you because I thought things would happen differently between you and our knights.”

“My good lady,” he said, “it was their fault, for they asked me to do what I could not refuse without shame. But tell me if your lady the Queen is going to lodge tonight where I left her.”

The damsel said:

“My lord, the Queen sends you her greetings. Take this letter I bring from her.”

He looked at it and said:

“My lady, tell me the order she sent with you, and I shall fulfill it.”

“It would not be unreasonable to do so,” she said. “In fact, it is to your honor and courtesy as a good knight, and I tell you I was ordered to say that the knights who guarded her were left in such a poor state by you that they cannot serve her. And since this trouble is caused by you, she wishes you to guard her until she reaches Miraflores, where she is going to see Oriana.”

“I am very gratified to your lady, for I hold it as a great honor and gift to be able to serve her. Let us leave here at such a time that we arrive at her tent at dawn.”

“In the name of God,” the lady said. “And now I say that ye are well known to Sir Grumedan, who told the Queen that ye would give the answer that ye did.”

The damsel was very taken by the fine words and great discretion of Sir Florestan, and by how he was handsome and debonair, and in every way he seemed like a high-born man, which he was. There they supped together and spoke about many things until well into the night. When it was time to sleep, they made a lodging for the damsel in the hermitage, and Sir Florestan went beneath the trees with his squires and slept that night very peacefully after the day’s labors. But when it was time, the squires awoke him, and he armed himself and brought the lady and the rest of the company with him as he rode, arriving at the tents early in the morning.

The damsel went to the Queen, and Sir Florestan to Sir Grumedan’s tent, who had already risen and was speaking with his knights, and he was about to hear Mass. When he saw Sir Florestan, he was delighted, and they embraced each other with pleasure and immediately went to the Queen’s tent.

Sir Grumedan told him:

“My lord, the Queen wishes you to guard her, and you should, for she is a very noble lady. And it seems to me that she made no bad exchange to lose her knights and win you,” he said laughing.

“May God help me,” Sir Florestan said, “I very much wish to put myself in her service in whatever may please her, especially doing it in your company, since I have not seen you for so long.”

“My lord, God knows how much it pleases me to see you,” he said. “Tell me what ye did with the shields that ye took from here.”

“I sent them last night with my squire to Firm Island and to your friend Sir Gandales, so he can put them where they may be seen by everyone who comes there, and the Romans will know where they are if they wish to come and try to take them.”

“If they do,” Sir Grumedan said, “the island will be well supplied with their shields and weapons.”

So they spoke as they came to where the Queen was, who knew they were coming. Sir Florestan came before her and wished to kiss her hands, but she would not let him and put her hand on the sleeve of his coat of mail as a sign of welcome, and told him:

“Sir Florestan, I am very thankful that ye have come and for the effort ye wish to make in my service. In that way ye have made amends for the injury ye did to my knights, and it is right to forgive you.”

“My good lady,” he said, “it is no effort or labor to serve you. Instead, I am very sorry if I gave you any affront, and I accept this as a great honor and kindness. And I ask ye to order me to do whatever else may be in your service, my lady, and as your knight and servant I shall fulfill it with my deepest devotion.”

The Queen asked Sir Grumedan if everything was ready for travel. He replied:

“My lady, ye may go whenever ye wish, and I shall have these injured knights taken to a town near here where they shall be cared for until they are well. Given their injuries, they cannot travel with us until they are healthy.”

“So shall it be,” she said.

Then they brought the Queen a palfrey white as snow with a fine saddle marvelously decorated with gold, as were the reins. She was dressed in fine clothing with pearls and expensive stones around her neck, which added to her great beauty. Her ladies and damsels, finely attired, immediately mounted, and with Sir Florestan taking the Queen’s horse by the reins, they took the road to Miraflores.

I tell you that Oriana already knew they were coming, which weighed on her, for there was nothing worse in the world for her than to hear speak of the Emperor of Rome, and she knew for certain that the Queen came for no other reason. But she was very pleased that Sir Florestan was coming when she learned that he was traveling with her, because she could ask him for news about Amadis and express her grievances to him about her father the King.

Although she was very upset, she ordered the house be decorated beautifully with fine estrados to receive them, and she wore her best clothing, as did Mabilia and her other damsels.

When Queen Sardamira entered the palace where Oriana was, Sir Florestan and Grumedan escorted her. She impressed Oriana, who thought that if it were not for what she was seeking, she would be very pleased to have her with her. The Queen approached and knelt before Oriana and wished to kiss her hands, but she pulled her up and told her that she was a queen and lady, and herself a poor damsel whose sins had brought her harm.

Then Mabilia and the other damsels greeted her, showing great pleasure to meet the Queen. But Oriana could not, for she had never felt pleasure since the Romans had arrived at her father’s court. But I tell you that she was very delighted with Sir Florestan and Sir Grumedan, for her heart found some rest with them.

All the women sat on an estrado, and Oriana had Sir Florestan and Sir Grumedan sit facing her, and after she had spoken a while with the Queen, she turned to Sir Florestan and said:

“My good friend, it has been a long time since I saw you, and I am sorry for that since I love you dearly, as do all who know you. And great is the loss of you and Amadis and your friends to Great Britain because you used to set right great wrongs and grievances here. May those who caused your estrangement from my father be damned, and if ye were all here together as before, an unfortunate woman, now sadly awaiting to be disinherited and be brought close to death, could have hope for remedy. And if ye were here, you would speak for her and come to her defense as ye have always done, for ye would never forsake those who need your help in their time of troubles. But such as been the ill fortune of she of whom I speak that nothing awaits her but death.”

As she said this, she wept bitterly, and for two reasons: The first because if her father were to deliver her to the Romans, she planned to throw herself into the sea. The other, because of her loneliness for Amadis, whom Sir Florestan reminded her of as he sat before her, looking so much like him.

Sir Florestan, who was very clever, understood that she was speaking about herself, and said:

“My good lady, God in His mercy brings help to those in great troubles, and my lady, place your hope in Him to bring you counsel for your trouble. And of what ye say of Amadis, my lord brother whom I deeply long to see, if in some places they lack his help, in others those who need it find it. Believe, my lady, that he is well and in his free will, traveling in foreign lands doing wondrous feats at arms and helping those who have been done ill, for God has placed his excellence in the world above all others He caused to be born.”

Queen Sardamira, who was near them and heard every word, said:

“Oh, may God keep Amadis from falling into the hands of the Emperor, who despises him mortally. I can only feel sorrow for his hatred at him for being so esteemed, and at you, Sir Florestan, who is his brother.”

“My lady,” he said, “many others love him and wish him well and honor.”

“And I tell you,” the Queen said, “that from what I know, there is no man whom the Emperor hates as much as him, except for a knight who lodged for a time in the court of King Tafinor of Bohemia when the Emperor’s men went to war with him. That knight of whom I speak killed Sir Garadan in battle, who was the best knight in the entire lineage of the Emperor and in the entire dominion of Rome besides Salustanquidio, the very honorable prince sent on orders of the Emperor to your father for your wedding.

“And that knight of whom I speak, the day after he had killed Sir Garadan, through his great skill at arms he killed another eleven knights of the Emperor, among the best in all Rome. And with these two battles that I speak of, that knight brought to an end the Emperor’s war against the King of Bohemia, who otherwise would have had no expectation but to lose all his kingdom. So it was a good day when such a noble knight came to his court to solve all his ills.”

Then Queen Sardamira explained in detail the reasons behind the battles, and how the war was won to the honor and advantage of King Tafinor, just as this book has told. After she was done, Sir Florestan said:

“My good lady, do you know the name of this knight to whom all these things happened to increase his honor?”

“Yes,” the Queen said. “They call him the Knight of the Green Sword or the Knight of the Dwarf, and he answers to either of those names. But everyone knows those are not his real names. He carries a grand sword in a green sheath, and a dwarf accompanies him, so those names come from that. And as with the squire who accompanies him, the dwarf never parts from his side.”

When Sir Florestan heard this description, he was joyful and believed that it was in fact his brother Amadis. Oriana and Mabilia also believed that. Sir Florestan, after some thought, decided that when he left King Lisuarte’s court, he would go look for him. And Oriana, who was dying to speak privately with Mabilia, said to the Queen:

“My good lady, ye have come from far away and must need to relax, and it would be good if ye were to rest in these fine room that ye have here.”

“So it shall be done,” she said, “since ye wish it, my lady.”


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chapter 76 [part 3 of 3]

[How Sir Grumedan and Queen Sardamira came to know the knight was Sir Florestan, brother of Amadis.]

[A late 15th century parade shield from Flanders or Burgundy depicting an image of courtly love: “vous ou la mort” (you or death). At the British Museum.]

Sir Grumedan said to Sir Florestan:

“My lord, if ye please, tell us your name, for such a fine man as yourself should not go unknown.”

He replied:

“My lord Sir Grumedan, I pray it does not trouble you if I do not say, because due to the discourtesy I did to that lovely Queen for no reason, I do not wish her to know it, and I feel very guilty, although she and her ladies are more guilty. Their great beauty was the cause for my error, for it left me dazzled. And I beg you, my lord Sir Grumedan, that ye seek their forgiveness in exchange for whatever amends I might be able to make, and that ye send me their answer to the round hermitage near here, which is where I shall lodge today.”

Sir Grumedan told him:

“I shall do all in my power to do as ye wish, and I shall send my squire with the response. I think that the answer he shall bring you will be good, as ye deserve.”

The knight from Firm Island told him:

“I ask you, my lord Sir Grumedan, that if ye know any news about Amadis, please tell me.”

And Sir Grumedan, who deeply loved he whom he had been asked about, had tears come to his eyes from longing for him, and said:

“May God help me, good knight, from the time he left Gaul and his father King Perion’s house, I have heard no news at all about him, and I would be delighted to learn anything and tell it to you and to all his friends.”

“I well believe this,” Sir Florestan said, “due to your good will and the great loyalty within you, my lord. If all men were like that, immoderation and disloyalty would find noplace here to lodge, and they would be forced from this world. May God be with you, and I shall go to the hermitage, where I shall wait for the word your squire brings.”

“May ye go with God,” Sir Grumedan said.

He went to the tents, and Sir Florestan to where his squires were. He ordered the horses he had won be brought to the tents, and the peach-colored horse be given to Sir Grumedan on his behalf because it seemed especially fine, and the other four be given to the damsel who had spoken to him to do with as she pleased, and to say that they were sent by Sir Florestan.

Sir Grumedan was very happy with the horse for having belonged to the Romans, and even more to know that the knight had been Sir Florestan, whom he deeply loved and appreciated.

The squires gave the other horses to the damsel and told her:

“My lady damsel, that knight to whom ye spoke derisively today, praising your Romans, sends you these horses to do with as ye please, and asks ye to take them as proof of the truth of the words he said.”

“I am deeply grateful,” she said, “and truly, he won them with great honor and nobility, but I would be even more pleased if he had left his horse here than to receive these four.”

“That may well be,” said one of the squires, “but whoever would win his horse would have to have better knights than the ones who tried to take it from him here.”

The damsel said:

“Do not be surprised if I prefer the honor of those knights than honor from one whose name I do not even know. But however that may be, he has sent me a beautiful gift, and I am sorry to have said something to such a good man that made him angry. I shall make amends however he may ask.”

With that the squires returned to their lord, who waited for them, and told him what had happened, which pleased him. He ordered them to take the Romans’ shields and went to the round hermitage to wait there for word from Sir Grumedan. The hermitage was on the road straight to Firm Island, and he had no desire to go to the court of King Lisuarte. Instead, he wished to go talk to Sir Gandales, who governed the island, to ask him if he had any news about his brother and to deliver the shields.

But I tell ye that Sir Grumedan immediately went before Queen Sardamira and very humbly told her what Sir Florestan had asked him to say, and he told her his name. The Queen listened very carefully and said:

“Would this Sir Florestan be the son of King Perion and the Countess of Selandia?”

“He is, my lady, just as ye say, and I think he is one of the most courageous and courteous knights in the world.”

“I do not know how things have gone for him,” she said, “but I tell you, Sir Grumedan, that the sons of the Marquis of Ancona speak very highly of his great skill at arms, and his fine deeds, and how he is wise and prudent. And this ought to be believed, for they were his companions in the great wars in Rome, where Sir Florestan spent three years when he was a young knight. But of his skill they do not dare speak in front of the Emperor, who disdains him and does not wish to hear him spoken well of.”

“Do ye know,” Sir Grumedan said, “why the Emperor disdains him?”

“Yes,” the Queen said, “because of his brother Amadis, with whom the Emperor is aggrieved because Amadis got to Firm Island first and passed the tests that Patin expected to win. This is why he despises him, because Amadis deprived him of the honor and praise that he meant to gain.”

Sir Grumedan smiled over that and said:

“Truly, my lady, he has no reason to be aggrieved. Instead, I believe that he ought to love him for this because he saved him from the greatest dishonor he could have had, as happened to many other knights who tested their great skill at arms there and could not win. The winner could only be he whom God had raised above all others in the world in strength and every other thing a good knight ought to have. But believe me, my lady, that there is another reason why the Emperor ought to despise him.”

The Queen said:

“By the faith ye owe to God, Sir Grumedan, tell me.”

“My lady,” he said, “I shall tell you, but do not become angered by it.”

Laughing, she told him:

“Whatever it is, I wish to hear it.”

“In the name of God,” he said. Then he told her what had happened to the Emperor with Amadis in the forest one night when the Emperor rode praising love and Amadis rode lamenting it, and everything they said to each other, and how the fight between them was, just as ye have heard in the second book.* The Queen was very taken by the story and had him tell it three times, and said:

“May God help me, Sir Grumedan, from what ye say, it is easy to understand why this knight can serve love when he is happy with it, and do the opposite when love runs contrary. Yet it seems to me this small cause was not enough to create disdain between the Emperor and Amadis.”

*In Chapters 46 and 47.