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wounded so many. But God and his own worth succoured him in this peril. The young damsel beheld the battle, and seeing his brave behaviour she was moved to pity, and calling to one of her women, she said, I had rather all my people were slain than that good knight should perish-follow me ! Lady, said the woman, what would you do ? Let my lions loose upon his enemies, said she, and I command you being my vassal to release them, for you can do it because they know you. Upon this the woman loosed the chain of the lions, who were two in number and very fierce, and then she cried out, save yourselves, for the lions have broke loose! They who were besetting Amadis forthwith fled, yet not so lightly but that many of them were torn to pieces by the beasts. But Amadis immediately made for the gate as well as he could, and going out closed it behind him, and fastened the lions in the court. Then he seated himself upon a stone, sore wearied as one who had fought hardly, still holding in his hand his sword which was broken.
The lions meantime having scoured the court, ran here and there, and would fain have escaped thro' the grate. The people of the castle dared not descend to them, nor she who had let them loose, for they were too fierce to be controlled. In this distress, not knowing how to help themselves, they agreed that their mistress should ask Amadis to open the gate, which perhaps he might do at a lady's request. Full loth was she to ask him, considering how little she had deserved such favour at his hands; yet, knowing it was her last refuge, she looked from the window and said, Sir knight, however hardly we have dealt with you, let your courtesy exceed our demerit, open the gate that the lions may go out and we may be safe. We
will make what amends we can for the past, and on my faith I assure you my intent was only to hold you as my prisoner, till you would consent to be my knight. Amadis mildly answered, that should have been gained in another guise : I would willingly have become your knight to do you service, as I am the knight of all dames and damsels who need it.-And will you not open the gate ?-No! as God shall help me you shall not receive that courtesy from me. With that she went from the window lamenting, and the fair young maiden said to him, Sir knight, there are those here who had no part in the wrong which has been done you, and who deserve some favour at your hands. Then Amadis greatly admiring her, answered, Fair friend, do you wish me to open the gate ? I should thank you earnestly, said she; and seeing Amadis rise to do it, she stopt him, saying, stay a moment while I make the lady secure your safety. So that he marvelled at her discretion. The lady then warranted him that he should be safe from her people, and promised to release to him Gandalin and the dwarf, and the old knight bade him take a mace and shield to kill the lions as they came out. Give me the arms! said Amadis; but God forsake me if I do harm to those who have aided me so well. Certes, sir knight, quoth the old man, you will not fail in your faith to man, since you keep it so to beasts. Then they threw to him the mace and shield, and Amadis took them, and sheathed the little of his sword that was left, and opened the gate, being ready with the mace in his own defence. Immediately the lions ran by him into the open country. He entered the court, and presently the lady and her people came to receive him, and they brought him Gandalin and the dwarf. I have lost my horse here, said Amadis ; if it
please you, lady, give me another, else I must depart on foot. That, quoth she were shame for a knight like you ; but remain here this night, and on the morrow we will provide you a horse. Then they disarmed him, and brought him a costly mantle, and led him to the apartment where the lady and the young damsel expected him, and they seeing him so young and beautiful, being so brave a knight, were greatly amazed. He on his part no less wondered at the damsel, how fair she was; but addressing the lady, he said, If it please you, tell me what the figure meant which I saw in the chariot. She replied, Promise me to do what you ought after having heard it, and I will tell you ; otherwise, I pray you hold me excused. It were no reason, madam, quoth Amadis, to promise lightly, I know not what : if it be to do what befits a knight, I shall not fail you. You say well, sir, said she ; and then dismissing all, her attendants, she began.
Sir knight, that figure of stone is made in remembrance of the father of this fair maiden, who lies in the monument which you saw in the chariot. He was a crowned king, and being upon his throne on a festival day his brother came up, and drawing a sword from under his cloak, smote him on the head and cleft it, as you saw in the statue. This was a concerted treason ; he had brought with him many adherents, and seized the kingdom which he still holds. This child, the only one of the murdered king, was then under the care of that old knight whom you have seen ; who fled with her to me, being her aunt. I procured my brother's body, and entombed it as you have seen, and every day it is laid in the chariot, and carried forth; and I have sworn
that none should see the monument but those who attain the sight by arms, nor having seen it, learn the meaning without promising to take vengeance for so wicked a treason. Now, if you be a noble knight bound to prosecute virtue, and on so just occasion, you will employ the forces God hath lent ye in this right cause; and I will continue this course, being sure of you, till I have found two champions more, to fight with the traitor and his two sons, for they will not undertake the battle except they be together.
Let them come one by one, said Amadis, and I will singly cope with them. That, quoth she, they will never consent to ; but do you return here at a year's end, and I will have the other two champions ready. I will not fail, answered Amadis ; and do not you trouble yourself in that search, for I will bring those with me who shall well maintain your right. This he said trusting in that time to meet his brother Galaor and Agrayes. They heartily thanking him, bade him besure they were good knights, for that wicked king and his sons were some of the strongest knights in the world. If I find but one of those whom I look for, said he, I shall not care for a third, however strong they may be. Tell us then, gentle sir, of what country you are, and where we may find you? I am of the house of Lisuarte, Queen Brisena's knight. Now then, let us go eat, said she, with the better appetite after this agreement. Then went they into a spacious hall, where such cheer and honour was made him as might be desired till the hour of rest came. The good night being given on all sides, he was conducted to his chamber by the damsel who had loosed the lions. Sir knight, said she, there is one in this castle who helped you when you knew it not.— And when was that ?—When I set the lions loose to save you by my young lady's order; for she pitied you : if she live, she will be without peer for wisdom as well as beauty. Of a truth, quoth Amadis, I believe so; but tell her I truly thank her, and bid her think me her knight. She will gladly hear me say so, replied the damsel ; and with that she departed, leaving Amadis in bed. All this Gandalin and the dwarf heard, who lay in another bed at his feet; and the dwarf, who knew not of the loves of Amadis and Oriana, thought that he loved the young maiden, and had therefore called himself her knight, and sorely did Amadis suffer afterwards for this error.
In the morning after mass, Amadis asked the names of those with whom he was to do battle. The father, said the lady, is called Abiseos, the sons Darasion and Dramis, all three of great prowess. And where do they reign? In Sobradisa, which borders upon Serolis, and on the other side is bounded by the sea. He then armed himself and mounted, and was about to take his leave, when the young damsel came to him, bringing a rich sword which had been her father's. Sir knight, said she, use this sword while it may last you, for my sake, and God prosper you therewith. Amadis received it with a smile: Hold me, lady, for your knight! Certes, lady, quoth the dwarf, you gain not a little in gaining such a knight.