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placed the sword in the sheath, which became it well, although the sword was somewhat short, and the King was glad he took the sheath because of its virtue, which would protect him from exceeding heat or cold, for the bones of the serpents whereof it was made were of such a constellation;
but of very different goodness was this sword from the other.
Thus they passed that day till it was the hour of sleep, and then all those Knights had their arms around the King's bed. But all that night Ardan Canileo had merry-making in his tents, with music and dancing, and ever at the end of his songs his people all cried out, come Morning, come ! and let the day be clear, that Ardan Canileo may per-form what he has promised to the fair Madasima but it fell out otherwise than they expected. That night Amadis slept in the King's chamber, but the sleep which he slept was of no avail, for presently at midnight he rose without speaking, and went to the chapel, and having awakened the chaplain confessed all his sins to him, and there they both were before the altar of the Virgin Mary making prayers, and beseeching her to be his patroness in this battle. When it was dawn the King and those other Knights arose, and heard mass, and Amadis was
armed by such Knights as well knew how to do it; but before his breast-plate was put on Mabilia came up and hung round his neck certain reliques shrined with gold, saying, that the Queen her mother had sent them to her by the Damsel of Denmark; but it was not so, for Elisena had given them to Amadis when she knew him for her son, and he gave them to Oriana when he delivered her from Arcalaus. When he was armed they brought him a goodly horse, which Corisanda had sent with other presents to her friend Florestan. Florestan carcarried his lance, and Don Guilan his shield, and Don Bruneo his helmet, and the King went before on a great horse, holding a wand in his hand. All the people of the court and town were assembled about the lists to see the battle, and the Dames and Damsels were at the windows, and the fair Oriana and Mabilia were at their chamber window, and with the Queen were Briolania and Madasima, and other princesses. As Amadis came up to the lists they loosened one of the chains and he entered and took his arms, and as he put on his helmet he lookat his Lady, and felt therewith such strength as though no one in the world could withstand him. Then the Judges entered the field, who were to assign to each his right; they were three in number, that good old man Don Grumedan, who was well skilled in such things, and Don Quadragante, who was now the King's vassal, and Brandoyuas; then came Ardan Canileo well armed, and upon a great horse: his harness was of thick mail, and his shield and helmet were of steel, so polished that it was bright like looking-glass; and he had girded at his side the good sword of Amadis, which the Damsel had stolen, and he bent his huge lance as if he would have broken it, and thus he entered the lists. When Oriana saw him, she said in great agony, ah my friend, how fierce and terribly my death approaches, unless God in his mercy prevent it. Leave this, quoth Mabilia, and make good chear, for so shall you encourage your friend.
Then Don Grumedan led Amadis to one end of the lists, and Brandoyuas placed Ardan Canileo at the other, with their horses heads fronting each other; and Quadragante at an equal distance between them held a trumpet in his hand to sound the signal. Amadis, who was looking at his Lady, exclaimed, What is Quadragante about that he does not blow the trumpet 2 Quadragante then blew the blast, and the two Knights ran full speed, and encountered lance against shield so fiercely that the lances shivered, and they hurtled with such force that the horse of Ardan Canileo fell and broke his
neck and died, and the horse of Amadis broke his shoulder and could not rise. Amadis presently arose, though with some difficulty, for a truncheon of the lance was sticking in his shield, and through the lappets of his armour, though it had not reached the flesh; he plucked it out, and laid hand to sword and made at Ardan, who had risen hardly and was adjusting his helmet. But Ardan seeing his approach drew his sword, and they joined battle so furiously that there was not a man who saw them but was greatly amazed, for their strokes fell so fierce and so fast that flames of fire seemed to proceed from their helmets and swords as if they burnt, and chiefly from the shield of Ardan Canileo, for that being of steel, and the blows of Amadis so rapid and heavy, it appeared as if the whole shield and arm were in a blaze of fire, but the great hardness of the shield protected him and saved his body, which was to the mortal evil of Amadis ; for as his arms were not so good, and as Ardan had one of the best swords in the world, never blow reached him that did not pierce through and reach his flesh, so that in many parts the blood ran down, and his shield was all hacked. The sword of Amadis could make no impression upon the shield and helmet of his enemy, and though his own harness was of thick and strong mail, it was pierced in more than ten places, and the blood streamed from them all. What then most profited Amadis was his activity, for by that he made Ardan miss all his heaviest blows, though Ardan was well practised and expert with the sword. Thus they continued till the hour of tierce, striking and foyning, and grappling and struggling so manfully that Ardan Canileo was in great amazement, for he had never before found Knight nor Giant so strong as to resist him thus much ; and what made him doubt the issue was, that he always found his antagonist more active and stronger than at the beginning, whereas he himself waxed weary and faint, being full of blood. Then Madasima knew that he had boasted vainly when he promised to conquer Amadis before the swiftest footman could run half a league, whereat she was little grieved, nor would she though Ardan were to lose his own head there, for such was her mind, that she would rather lose all her lands than be joined in marriage with such as he. The Knights still continued in battle, striking at each other in every part where they could work most harm, each striving for the other's death ; and if Amadis had then had arms good as his own activity and breath, Ardan could not have held the field against him, but all his efforts were now