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good knight and his wife, and he grew and became so fair, that all who saw him marvailed. One day Gandales rode forth, for he was a right good knight and strong, and always accompanied King Languines at such time as they followed arms, and though the king had ceased to follow them, yet Gandales ceased not. He, as he rode along, met a damsel, that thus spake to him. Ah, Gandales if many great personages knew what I know, they would cut off thy head! Wherefore? quoth he. She replied, because thou nourishest their death. Now this was the damsel who had prophesied to King Perion. But Gandales understood not, and he said, Damsel, I beseech ye for God's sake, what is this? I shall not tell thee, she answered, but so it must be. And she went her way. He remained thoughtful, but soon he saw her returning upon her palfrey with all speed, and crying with a loud voice, Gandales help me or I am dead! He looked and saw a knight come after her, sword in hand, and he spurred his horse between them, and cryed out, Sir Knight, God confound thee, * what wouldst thou with the damsel ? What? said the other, wouldst thou protect her, who by her art has made me lose body and soul ? Of that know I nothing, said Gandales, but protect her I will, for women are not to be thus punished, even though they deserve it. The knight answered, that we shall see, and returning his sword into the scabbard, he rode to a little thicket wherein there waited a damsel exceedingly fair, who gave him a shield and a lance, and then he ran at Gandales, and Gandales at him.
* A quien Dios de mala ventura. It is the Irish phrase, Bad luck to you!
They had not long fought before she who had desired succour of Gandales, stepped between them, and cried, Hold ! Forthwith the knight who had pursued her drew back, and she said to him—Come, make obeisance to me! That shall I do willingly, said he, as to the thing in the world which I most love : and throwing the shield from his neck, and the sword from his hand, he bent his knees before her, to the wonder of Gandales; then she bade him tell the damsel under the trees, to get her away immediately, or he would take her head off. He turned to her and exclaimed, Thou ill woman! I know not why I spare thee. And the damsel saw that her friend was enchanted, wherefore she mounted her palfrey and rode away, making great sorrow.
The other damsel then said, Gandales I thank you for what you have done, go and good be with you! as for this knight, I pardon him. That, said Gandales, you may; but I shall not give over the battle, unless he confess himself vanquished. She answered, Give it over, for though you were the best knight in the world, I could make him vanquish you. Then tell ine, said he, the meaning of what you said, that I nourished the death of many great personages. She made him swear that none should know it from him till she permitted, and then said, I tell thee, he whom thou foundest in the sea shall be the flower of knighthood in his time; he shall cause the strongest to stoop, he shall enterprize and finish with honour that wherein others have failed, and such deeds shall he do as none would think could be begun nor ended by body of man. He shall humble the proud, and cruel of heart shall he be against those who deserve it, and he shall be the knight in the world who most loyally maintains his
love, and he shall love one answerable to his high prowess. And I tell you that on both sides he is of kingly parentage. Now go thy way, and believe that all this shall come to pass, and if thou discoverest it, there shall happen to thee therefore more evil than good. Ah, lady! said Gandales, tell me for God's sake where I can find you to talk with you upon this child's affairs ! She answered, that shalt thou never know. Tell me then your name I beseech you by the faith you owe to the thing in the world that you love best. Thou conjurest me so that I will tell: but the thing that I love best is that which least loves me, and it is that fair knight with whom you combated; howbeit I cease not for that to bring him to my will, whatever he can do. My name is Urganda the Unknown, mark me well, and know me again if you can! And he who first saw her a damsel in her spring time, as one of eighteen years, now beheld her so old and overspent, that he marvailed how she could sit upon her horse, and he crost himself. She took a perfume box from her bosom and touching it became as she was before. Now, said she, think you to find me hereafter though you should seek me ? weary not yourself for that, for though all living creatures go about it, if I list, they should lose their labour. As God shall save me, I believe it, lady! but I pray you remember the child who is forsaken of all but myself. Doubt not that, said Urganda, I love him more than thou canst think, for I shall soon receive aid from him twice, which none else could give me, and he shall receive two guerdons to his joy. Now God be with thee ! thou shalt see me sooner than thou expectest. And then she took the shield and helmet of her friend to carry them, and Gandales, seeing his head disarmed, thought him the goodliest knight that he had ever beheld, and so they parted.
As Gandales returned to his castle he found that other damsel by the way, sitting beside a fountain and lamenting. She knew him and exclaimed. How is it knight that the wicked woman whom you helped has not destroyed you? Wicked she is not, said Gandales, but good and wise, and if you were a knight I would make you pay dearly for the folly of your words. Ah, the wretch, quoth she, how she knows to beguile every. one! she has taken from me the fair knight who would more willingly be mine, but I will be revenged if I can. Gandales answered, It is a wild thought to hope to injure her who knows your very intentions, and as for the knight, it seems to me that you are both without reason or conscience. With that he left her and came to his castle, and seeing the little boy come running towards him, he took him up in his arms, and lovingly embraced him, and remembering all that Urganda had told him, he said in his heart, My fair child God let me live to see thy good days ! and with that the tears came. At this time the child was of three years, and his beauty was marvellous to behold, and he, seeing the tears, put up his little hands to wipe them away, whereat Gandales rejoiced as a sign that he would be gentle-hearted, and thenceforward he taught him with a kinder will. And when he came to the age of five, he made a bow for him suited to his strength, and another for his son Gandalin, and they used to shoot before him.
When he was seven years old, King Languines and his queen and household, passing through his kingdom from one town to another, came to the castle of Gandales, where they were well feasted ; but the Child of the Sea, and Gandalin and the other children were removed to the back court that they might not be
seen. It fortuned that the queen was lodged in one of the highest apartments of the castle, and looking from her window she saw the children at play with their bows, and among them remarked the Child of the Sea for his shapeliness and beauty, and he was better clad than his companions, of whom he looked like the lord. The queen called to her ladies and damsels, Come and see the fairest creature that ever was seen! While they were looking at him, the child, who was thirsty, laid down his bow and arrows, and went to a water-pipe to drink. A boy bigger than the rest took up his bow to shoot with it ; this Gandalin would not suffer; the other struck him angrily, and Gandalin cried out, Help me, Child of the Sea! He hearing this ran to him, and snatched the bow and crying, In an ill minute did you strike my brother, struck him on the head with all his force. They fought awhile till the other was fain to run away, and meeting their tutor, who asked what was the matter, replied, that the Child of the Sea had beat him. The tutor went towards him with the strap in his hand ; How is this, Child of the Sea, said he, that you dare beat the boys ? I shall punish you! But the child fell upon his knees; I had rather you would strike me, said he, than that any one before me should dare to beat my brother; and the tears came in his eyes. The tutor was moved, and told him to do so no more. All this the queen saw and she wondered why they called him the Child of the Sea.