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but I rather think you will carry back one shame upon another.
The Ladies, seeing how gallantly they had jousted, thought they would then have accorded, but when they saw the sword-battle, they were greatly amazed at the fury with which it was begun. Such mortal blows they gave each other, that the head was often made to bow upon the breast, and the steel “arches of the helmets were cut through, and their trappings, and the sword went through the linings and was felt upon the head; and the field was strewn with the fragments of their shields and their broken mail. This continued long, till each wondered that his antagonist could hold out. Galaor's horse at last began to fail him, and could scarcely move, whereat he waxed exceeding wroth, thinking that only this delayed his victory, for the stranger could lightly come on, and withdraw again from his blows. Galaor, when indeed he did reach him, made him feel the sword, but his horse tottered as if he had been blind, and he began to fear his own death more than he had ever done before in any battle, save in that with his brother Amadis, for from that he never expected to leave off alive. Next to Amadis, he thought this the best Knight he had ever encountered, albeit he doubted not of conquering him, were it not for the fault of his horse. Being in this strait, he called out, Knight ! either finish the battle on foot, or give me another horse, or else I will slay yours, and that villainy will be your fault. Do your worst ! replied the stranger : the battle shall not be delayed; it is a great shame that it hath lasted so long. Look to your horse then quoth Galaor. The Knight rode close to him, fearing for his horse; so close, that Galaor caught him with both arms, and at the same instant spurred his own horse violently, and they both fell upon the ground, each holding his sword, and there they struggled for some time before they released each other. But, when they rose, they attacked again so furiously as if the battle were but then beginning ; there was not a moment's respite, now that they could freely close or strike. As the fight continued Galaor perceived he was gaining the better, for his enemy's strength evidently weakened: Good Knight ! quoth he, hold a while ! whereat the other paused, being indeed in need of rest. You see, quoth Galaor, that I have the better of the battle ; tell me your name, and why you so carefully conceal yourself, and I will acquit you from the combat and shall receive great pleasure; but unless you do this I will not leave you. Certes, quoth the Knight, I shall not leave off with these conditions: I never found myself so hardy in any battle as in this, and God forbid that any single Knight should ever know me, except to my great honour. Be not rash, cried Galaor; by my faith I swear never to let you go till I know who you are, and why you conceal yourself. God never help me, quoth the stranger, if ever you learn it from me : I will rather perish in battle than tell it, except to two Knights, to whom, tho’ I know them not, I neither could nor ought to deny any thing. Who are they whom you value so much 2 quoth Galaor. Neither shall you know that, replied the stranger, because it seems that it would please you. Certes, rejoined Galaor; I will know what I ask, or one of us, or both, shall die. I am not averse to that, quoth his enemy. Then they renewed the combat with full fury; but the stranger waxed weaker, his armour was
* Cortando de los yelmos los arcos de azero con parte de las faldas dellos, assi quilas espadas descendian a los almofares, y las sentian en las cabeças.
every where laid open and streaming with blood, till at last the Lady of the Island ran like one frantic to Galaor, and cried, hold, Knight! would the bark had been sunk that brought thee hither Lady, said he, if it offends you that I am avenging myself, and one who is better than myself, the fault is not mine. Offer him no more harm, quoth she, or you shall die by the hands of one who will have no mercy. He answered, I know not how that may turn out, but I will not leave him till I know what I have asked.—And what is that ?—His name, and why he conceals it 2 and who the two Knights are whom he esteems above the rest of the world. She ansswered, A curse upon him who taught you to strike, and upon you who have learnt so well ! I will tell you : his name is Don Florestan; he conceals himself because he hath two brothers in this land of such passing worth in arms, that, albeit you have proved his prowess, he dares not make himself known to them, till, by his fame, he is worthy to join them ; and these two Knights are in the household of King Lisuarte, the one is called Amadis, the other Don Galaor, and they are all three sons of King Perion. Holy Mary ! cried Galaor, what have I done 2 and then he presented his sword to Florestan : good brother, take my sword, and the honour of the battle !—Are you my brother ?—I am your brother Don Galaor. Then Florestan fell on his knees before him, saying, Sir, pardon me! for this offence that I have committed in combatting against you, was caused by no other reason than that I durst not name myself your brother, as I am, till I had somewhat resembled you in prowess. Galaor raised him up, and took him in his arms, and wept over him for joy, and for sorrow to see him so sorely wounded.
But the Lady beholding all this was greatly rejoiced. Sir, quoth she, if you gave me great anguish you have repaid it with double pleasure. They were then both carried into the castle and laid in bed, both in one apartment, and Corisanda, being skilful in chirurgery, looked to their wounds herself with great care; for she knew that if the one died, the other would die also for pure sorrow, and her own life would be doubtful if Florestan were in great danger.