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CHAP. VIII.—How Guilan the Pensive took the shield and
armour of Amadis, which he found by the fountain, and carried them to the court of King Lisuarte.
ON GUILAN the Pensive proceeded with the
arms toward the court of Lisuarte. He
always carried the shield of Amadis round his neck, except when he was constrained to fight, and then he took his own. So as he rode, two nephews of Arcalaus met him and knew the shield, and attempted to force it from him, saying they would take that shield, or the head of him who carried it, to their uncle. When Guilan knew of how bad a race they were, he cared the less for them, and gave them both battle. They were strong knights, and both younger men than he; he, nevertheless, was a valiant man and tried in arms, so that he slew one, and drove the other to flight. That eveniħg he took up his lodging in the house of a knight whom he knew, who welcomed him gladly, and gave him another lance, for his own was broken in the encounter. He continued his way till he came to a river called Guinon, which was a great water, and over it was a wooden-bridge, just so broad that one horseman might come and another go. At one end of the bridge was a knight who wished to pass ; he bore a shield vert, with a bend argent, whereby Guilan knew him to be his cousin Ladasin. On the other side was a knight who kept the passage; he rode a large bay horse, and did bear in his shield argent a lion sable: This knight called out aloud to Ladasin, You must joust, knight, if you would pass. Your joust shall not prevent me, quoth Ladasin. They ran at each other upon the bridge, and Ladasin and his horse fell into the river. There would Ladasin have perished, by reason of the weight of his arms, and the height whence he had fallen, if by good hap he had not caught the boughs of some willows, by which he got to the bank. Don Guilan ran to his help, and with the aid of his squires got him out of the water. Cousin, said he, you would hardly have been saved without these boughs : All knights should avoid to joust upon these bridges, for they who keep them have their horses practised to the place, and rather by that, than by their own prowess, win the honour. I would rather turn out of the way and go round, if this had not happened to you, but now I must try to revenge you, By this, Ladasin's horse had got upon the opposite bank, and the knight bade his servants lead him to the castle, which was a strong and pleasant fortress, built in the river, and the way to it was by a bridge of stone. The knight was ready at the bridge-end. Don Guilan gave the shield of Amadis to his squire, and took his own, and they met together upon the bridge with a most rude encounter. The knight was unhorsed and fell into the water; Guilan also was dismounted, and his horse went over, but he sayed himself by clinging to the planks. The knight got upon Guilan's horse, and so to shore, while Guilan's squires took the bay courser for their master. Don Guilan presently saw the knight of the bridge shaking off the water, and holding the bridle : Give me my horse, said he, and let me depart. How ! quoth he, think you to escape so lightly with this £Quoth Guilan, Have we not performed the custom ? The battle is not yet over, cried the knight, because we both fell: we must decide it with the sword. Perforce must I fight? cried Guilan : is not the wrong done already enough, for bridges should be free for every passenger? Will you, nill you,
quoth he of the bridge, you shall feel how my sword can cut. He then sprung upon Guilan's horse, without setting his foot in the stirrup, and placed himself right in the road. Don Cavalier, tell me, said he, before we fight, if thou art of Lisuarte's country or court – Why ask you ?--I wish it pleased God, that I had King Lisuarte here as I have thee, by my head his reign should be finished. Certes, quoth Guilan, you have now given me a good will to fight with thee, which before I had not: I am of his household, and, if it be in me, you shall never more do him disservice. Before noon, quoth the knight, you shall carry my message to him, and I will tell you who I am, and what present I will send him : my name is Gandalod, son to Barsinan, lord of Sansuena, he whom King Lisuarte slew in London. The presents you shall carry him, are the heads of four of his knights, whom I hold prisoners in yonder tower ; the one is Giontes his nephew, and thy own right hand, which I mean to cut off and tie round thy neck. Don Guilan laid hand to sword: you have boasting enough, if that were all that were needed.
Then began so fierce a battle, that Ladasin and the squires thought even the conqueror could not escape with life; but they were both hardy knights, and their armour of excellent temper, and they knew how to defend themselves. Now when their fight was at the hottest, they heard the winding of a horn from the top of the tower. Gandalod knew not what it could mean, and Guilan thought it was a signal for succour to his enemy; therefore they both more eagerly bestirred themselves to end the battle. Gandalod grappled with him, and they both fell; then was the fight closer and more dangerous, but Guilan had the advantage; it was evident that his antagonist waxer
weary and weak, and at length by a well driven blow, Don Guilan lopt off his right arm. He shrieked out, and turned to fly to his tower, but Guilan reached him, plucked the helmet from his head, and bade him chuse instant death, or to present himself with his presents, but in another guise, to King Lisuarte. I will rather trust his mercy, quoth Gandalod, than be slain here outright.
Don Guilan then took horse, and rode with Ladasin towards the tower, where there was a great uproar. The knights had broken from their prison and seized arms, and one of them it was who wound the horn, and now they had won the castle; the gate was opened, and the servants and one knight came flying out : they called out to Ladasin and Guilan to kill those villains, and particularly the knight : three of the men escaped them, but the knight they took. Then said Guilan to them, sirs, I cannot tarry, but my cousin Ladasin shall keep you company ; let the castle be kept for me, and do you carry this knight and Gandalod to King Lisuarte for his judgment. Then he gave his own shield, which was much battered, to his squire, and took that of Amadis, and as he hung it round his neck the tears came. They knew the shield, and hearing how Don Guilan had found it, were sorely troubled, thinking that some great mishap had befallen Amadis. So he proceeded to the court, and all that saw the shield crowded round him ; and the king said, For God's sake, Don Guilan, tell us what you know of Amadis. I know nothing of him, sir, quoth he, but how I found the shield I will declare before the queen. So he was taken to the queen, and he knelt before her weeping, and told her how he had found the arms of Amadis, and sought for him three days in vain.
Knowing, said he, the value of that good knight, and that it was his desire to employ it till death in your service, I have brought you these arms, in testimony of the duty which I do owe both to you and to him. Let them be placed where all may see them; there may be some among the many strangers who come here, who may know some tidings of their master, and they will be memorials to all who follow arms, that they may take example by his great chivalry. Greatly was the queen distressed at this, and Lisuarte also, and all the court; but Oriana could not remain there, and she went to her bed, and bitterly reproaching her own folly, wished for death. Albeit Mabilia did somewhat cheer her with a hope that the Damsel of Denmark might find him and repair all.
The knight and damsels whom Don Guilan had released, soon arrived, and the two damsels who had seen Gandalin, and they related what lamentation a squire had made over the arms. Presently after came Ladasin, and the knights who led Gandalod prisoner; and when Lisuarte heard what cruelties he had purposed, he said to him, Here I slew thy father for the great treason which he committed against me, and here thou shalt die for that which thou didst purpose to commit. So he commanded him, and the knight his follower, to be thrown from the tower, before which Barsinan had been burnt.