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AMADIS of GAUL.
750ch the first.
Amadis and Galaor were within two leagues of London when they saw Ardian the Dwarf coming towards them as fast as horse could gallop. Never trust me, quoth Amadis, if he comes not with the news of some great mishap to seek us. Presently the Dwarf came up and related all his tidings, and how Oriana was carried away. Holy Mary, help me! cried Amadis ; which way did they take her ?—By the city is the nearest road. Amadis immediately spurred his horse, and gallopped amain towards London, so confounded with the terror of this news that he never spoke word to Galaor, who followed him full speed. They passed close by the town without stopping a minute, only Amadis enquired of all he saw which way the Princess had been taken; but as Gandalin passed under the windows where the Queen and WOL. II. A
her Ladies were, the Queen called him, and threw the King's sword to him, which was the best sword that ever Knight girded on ; take it to your Master, quoth she, and God speed him with it ! and tell Galaor that the King went from hence with a Damsel this morning, and is not yet returned, and we know not where she has led him. Gandalin took the sword and rode as fast as he could after Amadis, who coming to a brook missed the bridge in his hurry, and forcing the horse to leap the tired animal fell short into the mud; then Gandalin came up to him and gave him the sword, and the horse which he himself rode. Presently they turned aside from the road to follow the track of horsemen, and there they saw some woodmen, who asked them if they came from London, for if a Knight and a Damsel be missing there, said they, we have seen an adventure; and then they told them what they had beheld. Who is it that has taken them 2 quoth Amadis ; for he knew it was Lisuarte by the description. They answered, the Damsel who led the Knighthere called loudly for Arcalaus. Lord God quoth Amadis : let me but find that traitor —The woodmen then told them how the party had seperated, and said that one of the five Knights who went with the Damsel was the biggest Knight they had ever seen. Amadis knew that that was Arcalaus ; and bidding Galaor follow where the King went, he spurred on after Oriana. By sunset the horse could carry him no farther, and he being greatly distressed, saw a little to the right of the road a Knight lying dead, and a Squire by him holding his horse. Who slew that Knight 2 cried Amadis. A traitor that passed by, carrying the fairest Damsel in the world by force, and he slew my master only for asking who they were, and here is no one to help me to remove the body.—My Squire shall help you : give me your master's horse: I promise to give you two better in return. He told Gandalin to follow him after the body was disposed of, and gallopped on. Towards day-break he came to a hermitage in a valley, and asked the Hermit if he had seen five Knights pass carrying with them two Damsels 2 Do you see yonder castle he replied: my nephew tells me that Arcalaus the Enchanter is lodged there, and with him two fair Damsels whom he hath taken by violence. By God the very villain whom I seek —He hath done much evil in this land, replied the Hermit. God remove him, or mend him —Then Amadis asked him if he had any barley for his horse; and, while the horse was feeding, enquired who was the Lord of the castle. Grumen, said the good man, cousin to Dardan who was slain in Lisuarte's court, and therefore the King's enemies put up there. Now God be with you, father quoth Amadis; I beseech you remember me in your prayers , which way to the castle —Amadis followed the path which the good man had pointed out, and came up to it, and saw that the wall was
high and the towers strong. He listened and could
hear no sound within, and that pleased him, for he knew that Arcalaus was not gone forth ; and he rode round, and saw that it had only one issue. Then he retired among some crags, and, dismounting, stood holding the bridle, and with his eyes fixed upon the gate, like one who had no will to sleep. By this the morning broke, and he removed farther across a valley to a hill that was well wooded, for he feared that if those of the castle saw him they would suspect there were others at hand, and therefore not come out. Presently the gate opened, and a Knight came out, and went to a high eminence and looked all round; then returned into the castle. It was not long before he saw Arcalaus and his four companions come out, all well armed, and among them Oriana. Ah, God quoth he, now and for ever help me in her defence They drew near him, and he heard Oriana say, Dear friend, I shall never see thee more, for I go to my death. The tears came