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good hermit, who hearing wherefore they were on their way, besought God to speed them well in the battle, as he knew their cause was right. There they armed themselves all save the head and hands, and so proceeded to the city. Without the walls they found King Abiseos and his sons, and a great company attending them : the people all flocked towards Briolania, whom in their hearts they loved, thinking her their rightful and natural lady. Amadis led her bridle, and uncovered her face,* that all might see her how beautiful she was : she was weeping, and the inultitude blessed her in their hearts, and prayed that she might now be restored to her rights. Abiseos dissembled a feeling from which neither his ambition nor his wickedness could shield him, and seeing how the people flocked round Briolania, he exclaimed, Fools, I see how you rejoice in her sight! but it is to your honour and safety that a knight like me should protect you, not a weak woman, who in so long a time has only been able to get these two knights for her champions; whom, because they are thus deceitfully brought to their death, or dishonour, I cannot forbear to pity. These words so kindled the indignation of Amadis, that blood seemed starting from his eyes; he rose in his stirrups that all might hear him, and answered King Abiseos, I well see how the coming of Briolania troubles you, because you have murdered her father, who was your king and brother: if there be yet virtue enough in you to resign to her what is her own, I will excuse the battle, that you may have leisure for repentance, that, though you have lost your honour in this world, you may save your soul. Before
* Quitole los antifazes. She was muffled in the Moorish manner, not veiled.
and if your with such an Arm ti
the king could reply, Darasion exclaimed, Thou foolish knight of King Lisuarte's court ! I never thought I could endure to hear a speech like thine : come on! and if your heart fails, you cannot fly where I cannot reach you with such a vengeance, that none can behold it without compassion. Arm thyself, traitor, and do battle ! quoth Agrayes. Darasion answered, say what thou wilt now! presently I will send thy tongue without thy body to King Lisuarte's court, as a warning to all such fools! Then they armed themselves; and Amadis and Agrayes laced on their helmets, and took their shields and spears, and entered the place which had been of yore marked out for such trials. Dramis, the second son, who was so good a knight that no two knights of that country could keep the field against him, said to his father, Sir, where you and my brother are present, I might well be excused from speaking; but now I have to act with that strength which I have received from God and you. Leave that knight who has reviled you to me : If I do not slay him with the first lance-thrust, may I never again bear arms ! or if it be his good fortune that the spear does not strike right, the first blow with the sword shall do it. There were many who heard this speech, and did not think it vain boasting, he was of such exceeding strength. Darasion looked round the lists : How is this ? quoth he ; ye are but two! hath the heart of the third failed him ? call him to come directly, for we will not tarry. Trouble not yourself about the third, said Amadis, you will presently wish the second away: now look to your defence !
They placed their shields before them, and gave their horses the rein. Dramis ran right at Amadis and pierced his shield and broke his lance against his side ; but Amadis smote him so roughly, that the spear went through his shield, and, without piercing his breast-plate, burst his heart within him, and he fell like the fall of a tower. In God's name, cried Ardian the Dwarf, my master's deed is better than his word! The other twain ran at Agrayes : he and Darasion broke their lances upon each other, and both kept their seats. Abiseos failed in his course; he saw Dramis on the ground, and in great grief, albeit he did not suppose him to be dead, ran full at Amadis, and pierced his shield, and broke the lance in his arm, so that all thought he could not continue the battle. Well may you think how Briolania felt at that; her heart sunk, and the sight of her eyes failed her, and without support she would have fallen from her palfrey. But he, who was not to be dismayed by such wounds, graspt well that good sword which he had so lately recovered from Arcalaus, and struck Abiseos upon the helm ; through helm it went, and slanted down the head, and pierced into the shoulder ; a slant wound, but so staggering that Abiseos tottered on his seat, and fell, half senseless. Then he of Gaul rode up to Darasion, who was close engaged with Agrayes : --Now Darasion, you had rather the second were absent, than that the third were come! Agrayes cried out to him to hold :-Cousin, you have done enough, leave me this man who has threatened to cut out my tongue. Amadis did not hear him; he had made a blow which sliced off a part of the shield, and came through the pummel of the saddle to the horse's neck; but Darasion as he past, ran his sword into the belly of Amadis's horse; the horse instantly ran away ; the reins broke in the rider's hand, and
Amadis seeing that he had no remedy, and that he should be carried out of the lists, struck the beast between the ears with his sword, and split his head; the fall bruised him sorely, but he arose, and turned to Abiseos.
At this time Agrayes had driven his sword into Darasion's helmet, so that he could not recover it. Darasion had forced it from his hand, and was driving at him. Agrayes grappled him ; they fell together and struggled on the ground. Abiseos came up, and was lifting the skirts of his armour to thrust his sword into him. Amadis came up in time. The king was compelled to look to his own safety; he lifted his shield, the blow dashed shield against helmet, and made him reel. Agrayes and Darasion had loosed each other : Agrayes caught up Darasion's sword; Darasion plucked the other from his helm, and ran towards his father. Amadis saw that Agrayes was all bloody from a wound in his neck, and fearing it was mortal, he cried, Leave them to me, good cousin, and rest yourself! I have no wound, quoth Agrayes, to keep me from aiding you : see if it be so! Have at them, then ! cried Amadis ; but the fear he felt for his cousin gave him such anger, that presently his enemies, their armour all hacked, and their flesh too, began to turn here and there disorderly, and with the fear of death. So it continued till the hour of tierce, when Abiseos, seeing death before him, lifted his sword in both hands, and ran desperately at Amadis, and gave him a blow, such as might not be looked for from a man so wounded : it cut away the brim of the helmet, and the shoulder mail and a part of the flesh with it. Amadis felt it sorely, and did not delay to give him his wages : he struck his shoulder, and
Briolan of the land the head
lopt off that arm with which he had murdered his own king and brother; arm and shoulder he lopt off, and cried out, That arm brought thee by treason to the throne, and it now brings thee to death and the depth of hell! The king had fallen in the pangs of death. Amadis looked round him, and saw that Agrayes had smitten off the head of Darasion. Then the people of the land went joyfully to kiss the hand of Briolania their* lady.
The conquerors dragged their enemies out of the lists. Amadis, though he was much wounded, would not disarm himself till he knew if there were any to gainsay Briolania's right. But one of the chiefs of the realm, by name Goman, came before him with an hundred men of his lineage and household, and they declared that they had only endured the usurpation of Abiseos because they had no remedy: now God had delivered them, they were in that loyalty and vassallage which they owed to Briolania. Within eight days all the kingdom came joyfully to do homage to her. Amadis meantime was laid in bed, and that fair queen never left him but when she went to sleep herself. Agrayes, who was dangerously wounded, was put under the care of a skilful man, who suffered none to approach him, that he might not speak, for the wound was in his throat.
* There follows in the original a page of advice to all wicked kings and rulers.