Page images

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 lopt off that arm with which he had murdered his own king and brother; arm and shoulder he lopt off, and cried, 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,

* There follows in the original a page of advice to all wicked kings and rulers,

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.


Don Galaor and Florestan remained in the castle of Corisanda till their wounds were well healed, then took they their departure; but Corisanda made such sorrow that it was pitiful to see her, albeit Florestan comforted her, and assured her of his speedy return. They crossed to the mainland, and proceeded towards Sobradisa, hoping to arrive there before the battle. Brother, quoth Florestan, as they rode along, grant me a boon for courtesy. Sir, and good brother, cried Galaor, is it a thing that I shall repent? You will not repent it, said Florestan.—Ask it then ; for what I can grant without shame, I shall grant with good will.—I ask then, that you will attempt no combat in this journey till I have tried my fortune. Certes, quoth Galaor, I repent. Not so, replied Florestan, for if there be any worth in me, it is to your honour as well as to mine. Four days they rode without

adventure: on the fifth at evening they came to a Tower. A Knight, who stood at the court-gate, courteously invited them for the night; and there were they worshipfully entertained. The Knight their host, was a fair Knight and a wise, and of goodly stature; but oftentimes he appeared so lost in thought and sadness, that the brethren asked each other what it might mean, and Don Galaor at last said to him, Sir, methinks you are not so chearful as you should be if your sadness is for any cause which our aid can remedy, tell us, and we will do your will. Many thanks, replied he of the Tower: I believe you would do so like good Knights; but my sadness proceeds from the force of love, and I will not tell you more now, for it would be to my own great shame. The hour of sleeping came on ; their host went to his apartment, and the brethren remained in a handsome chamber where there were two beds. In the morning he rode to bear them company, but unarmed ; and, that he might see whether they were such in arms as their appearance bespoke them, he led them not along the high road, but through bye ways, till they came to a place called the fountain of the Three Elms, for there were three great and lofty Elm-trees above the fountain. Three fair Damsels and well apparelled, were by the fountain, and there VOL, i t . p

was a Dwarf aloft in the trees. Florestan went first and saluted them gently, as a courteous man, and one who had been gently bred. God save you, Sir Knight, quoth the one ; if you are as brave as you are handsome, God hath gifted you well. Damsel, he replied, if my beauty pleaseth you, my courage would please you more if it were put to proof. You answer well, quoth she see now, if your courage be enough to carry me from hence. —Certes, quoth Florestan, little goodness is enough for that ; since it is your pleasure, I will do it.— He then bade his Squires place her upon a palfrey which was tied to one of the Elms : when the Dwarf, who was sitting up in the tree, cried out aloud, Come forth, Knights, come forth ! they are carrying away your mistress' At these words a Knight, well armed and on a great horse, came up from the valley, and cried out to Florestan, Knight! who bid you lay your hands upon that Damsel ? I do not think she can be yours, replied Florestan, seeing of her own will she desired me to carry her hence. The Knight answered, though she consent, I do not; and I have defended her against better than you.—I know not how that may be, but unless you act up to your words, carry her away I will !—Learn first what the Knights of the Valley are, and how they defend their mistresses :

« PreviousContinue »