Page images
PDF
EPUB

escape. Then the mother took him in her arms, and wept bitterly over him. But Darioleta took ink and parchment, and wrote upon it, this is Amadis, * son of a king. It was the name of her saint, and of great reverence in that country. She covered the parchment with wax, and hung it by a string round the neck of the babe, and Elisena fastened upon the string the ring which King Perion had given her at his departure. Darioleta then placed the infant in the ark, and laid his father's sword beside him ; this done, she covered the ark, which was securely joined and calked, and, opening the iron door, took it in her arms, and placed it in the river, commending it to God.

The tide ran strong, and soon carried the ark into the sea, which was not more than a half-league distant. Now the dawn appeared, and it pleased God that there was a knight of Scotland sailing on that sea, returning from the lesser Britain to his country, with his wife, who had newly been delivered of a son called Gandalin. The morning was both calm and clear, whereby the Knight Gandales saw the ark floating among the waves, and he ordered the mariners to put out a boat and take it up. They speedily overtook it, and Gandales opened the cover, and beholding the babe within, he cried, This is from no mean place ! and this he said because of the rich garments, and the ring and the good sword, and he cursed the mother who had for fear abandoned so fair a child. He carefully laid aside all the things that were contained in the ark, and desired his wife to breed up the infant, and she ordered the nurse of her own child Gandalin to suckle him. So they went their way through the sea with a favour

* Este es Amadis sin tiempo, hijo de rey; y sin tiempo dezia ella porque creya que luego seria muerto.

able time, and took port in a town in Scotland called Antalia, and from thence departing they came to his castle, which was one of the good ones of the land ; there he had the child brought up like his own son, and such he was believed to be, because the mariners who took up the ark, had sailed away to other parts.

CHAP. III.-How King Perion went to his own country, and of

what befell him. And how Urganda met Don Gandales and

of that which she said to him. Fo ING PERION having departed from Alima

went his way in great heaviness, as well as for

the loneliness wherein he had left Elisena whom in his heart he loved, as also for the dream which in such a season had come upon him. But having reached his own country, he sent for all his great lords, and ordered the bishops to bring with them the most learned clerks in their parts, to the end they might expound his dream. When his vassals knew of his return, many others, as well as all who were summoned, came with great desire to see him who was beloved of all. The king conferred with them on the state of the realm, but it was always with a sad countenance, whereby they were much afflicted ; and this business being dispatched, he dismissed them each to his own lands, only staying with him three clerks whom he knew were the most skilful in what he desired to learn. These men he took into his chapel, and there upon his sacred Host he made them swear to answer truly what he should demand, without fear, how dangerous soever it were. That done they left the chapel, and he told them his dream. Then one of them whose name was Ungan the Picard, the most expert of them, thus an

swered, Dreams Sire, are vain things, and for such ought to be esteemed; notwithstanding seeing it is your pleasure that some account should be made of yours, give us time to consider thereon. Let it be so, said the king ; take twelve days : and he ordered them to be separated, that they should neither see nor converse with each other. They to their uttermost travailed upon this matter, and when the time was elapsed they went to the king. He first took Alberto of Champaigne apart, and said to him, you know what you have sworn,—now then speak to me. Sire, answered Alberto, then let the rest be called into your presence for before them will I tell you. Whereupon they were sent for, and being all met, Alberto began. It appears to me that the closed chamber, and he whom you saw enter by the secret door, signify this realm, which is close and well guarded, nevertheless some one shall enter to take it from you, and like as he thrust his hand into your side and rent forth your heart and threw it into the river, even so shall town or castle be taken from you, and put into his hand from whom you shall not easily recover them. And the other heart ? quoth the king, which he said should remain with me, and yet he must take it away against his will. It seemeth by this, answered Alberto, that some other shall invade your country, as the first did, yet constrained more by another commanding him to do so, than by any will in himself, and upon this, sire, I know nothing more to say. The king then commanded Anteles to say what he had discovered. He agreed to all that the other had said, except in this quoth he, that my art shows me* it is already done, and by the person that most loveth ye: this makes me marvel, for nothing of your kingdom is yet lost, and if it were, it could not be by one who loves you so dearly. Hearing this the king smiled a little, for it seemed he had said something. * But Ungan the Picard, who knew much more than they, held down his head and laughed heartily, a thing which he had seldom done, being by nature a thoughtful and melancholy man. The king wondered at this, and said, now master tell us what you know. Sire, said he, peradventure I have seen into things which should be manifested to you alone, therefore let these depart. Then the doors were closed and they twain remained together.

* Mis suertes me muestran.

Know, king, said he, that what I laughed at was a word of which you thought little, when he said it was already done, and by the person who best loveth ye. Now shall I reveal what you keep closely concealed and think that none knows. You love, where you have already accomplished your will, and she whom you love is marvellously fair; then told he all the fashions of her as if she were there before him. The chamber in which you saw yourself enclosed, you well know, and how she to ease your heart and her own, entered without your knowledge by the secret door; and the hand that opened your side, is your union, and the heart which was taken out sheweth that she hath by you a son or a daughter. Master, said the king, what meaneth then the casting thereof into the river ? He replied, seek not to know that which is of no importance. Tell me howbeit, quoth Perion, and fear nothing. Since you are pleased to hear it, answered Ungan, I demand assurance that for any thing which I may reveal, you will never hereafter be wroth with her who loveth you so loyally ; and Perion made the promise. Know

* Que no avia dicho nada.

then, said the master, that what you saw cast into the river, is the child which she has had by you. And that other heart that remained ? what should that be?

-You may interpret the one by the other, answered Ungan: you will have another son, who will in some manner be taken away against the will of her that caused the loss of the first. Strange things hast thou told me! said Perion, and may it please God that the latter part, the misfortunes of my children, prove not so true as what thou hast told me concerning the lady whom I love. The master answered, None can alter the things which were ordained by God, nor know wherein they shall end. Men therefore should neither repine nor rejoice thereat, for oftentimes as well the evil as the good proves far otherwise than it seemed. And do thou O king, lay aside from thy memory all this which thou wast so solicitous to know, and pray to God to dispose these things to his holy service. The king was satisfied in what he desired, and so pleased with the wisdom and the last words of Ungan the Picard, that he rewarded him well, and kept him thenceforward near his person.

As Perion parted from the clerks, he met a damsel * more ornamented than beautiful, who said to him, know King Perion, that when thou recoverest thy loss, the kingdom of Ireland shall lose its flower ! and away she went, so that he could not detain her, and he remained thinking upon these things.

The author ceaseth to speak of this, and returneth to the child whom Gandales brought up. He was called the Child of the Sea, for so they had named him, and with much care was he brought up by that

* We have no word for the Donzel of the Spaniards, and Damoisel of the French.

« PreviousContinue »