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not weep, lady, quoth he, you shall be restored to your chearfulness with the help of God, and the king, and this knight your nephew, and me, who willingly will serve you. When Agrayes departed he would have taken the Child with him, but Elisena said he was her sister's knight, and should be lodged with them. So he became his mother's guest.
King Abies and Daganel soon heard that succour was arrived. Now, said the king, if King Perion has a heart to fight he will give us battle. Daganel replied, he feareth you too much, for Abies was then the best knight known. Galayn, Duke of Normandy, who was present, then said, I will tell you how we will make him. Daganel and I will set out to-night, and at break of day we will appear before his town with a reasonable force. King Abies with the rest of the army shall lie in ambush in the forest. He will take heart and sally out upon us; we will feign a fear, and take flight towards the forest, and there shall they all be destroyed. You say well, replied Abies, let it be done. Presently they and all their people were armed and entered the forest, and there the king remained, while Daganel and Galayn proceeded.
When the morning came, Perion and the queen went into the Child's chamber, whom they found rising and washing his hands, and they saw that his eyes were red and his cheeks marked with tears, so that it was plain he had slept little that night, and truly he had been thinking of his lady, and how hopeless his love was, and that death was all he could expect. Queen Elisena took Gandalin aside, and asked him the cause of his master's sadness, if it was for any offence that he had received there. He replied, He hath received great honour here, and this, madam, is his custom : he is wont to weep at night, as you see. While they were discoursing, the townsmen saw their enemies near, and shouted, to arms! to arms ! Right glad was the Child of the Sea at this alarm : they armed themselves and rode to the gate, where they found Agrayes in wrath, because the wardens would not let him go forth, for he was one of the most spirited knights in the world, and if his strength had been like his courage, there would have been none to surpass him in prowess. At the king's command the gates were opened, and all the knights went forth; but, seeing their enemies to be so great a number, there were some who said it would be folly to attack them. But Agrayes spurred his horse, exclaiming ill luck to him who tarries longer; and the Child of the Sea had already advanced before him,so they went to the charge. Daganel and Galayn made ready to receive them as those whom they heartily hated. The Child of the Sea encountered Galayn, who was foremost, and overthrew both man and horse, and the duke brake his leg in the fall. The Child had broken his lance; he laid hold of his sword, and rode among them, striking on all sides so fiercely that nothing could withstand his blows, till he was beset that his horse could not move for the throng. Agrayes with some of his followers forced their way to him, and made a great destruction among their enemies; and king Perion with his people came up, whom Daganel as well received. Then were the armies mingled together : there might you have seen the Child of the Sea doing wonders, felling all that opposed him, hewing and chining his enemies, and showing such chivalry that none durst abide him. Agrayes, at seeing him, took the more courage, and
had come to the teeth. Then and they fled to
cried aloud to encourage his men, Look at the best knight that ever was born! When Daganel saw the Child of the Sea, what havoc he made, he made up to him, and strove to kill his horse, that he might fall among the throng ; but that he could not effect, for the Child gave him such a stroke on the helmet that the laces burst, and it fell off, and King Perion, who had come to the Child's succour, with another blow cleft him to the teeth. Then were they of Ireland and the Normans conquered, and they fled to the forest, crying aloud for King Abies that he should not tarry longer, and suffer them to be destroyed; and Perion and his company pursued till they saw Abies and his main army advance, crying, Set on them ! leave not a man alive! enter the town with them ! When the knights of Gaul found themselves thus surprised they were affrighted, for they were weary and their lances broken, and King Abies was the best knight in the world, and the one whom they most feared.
But the Child of the Sea cried, Now, sirs, ye must maintain your honour ! it will be seen what each is worth! The Irish came on like fresh men, and who had a great heart to do mischief. King Abies left not a knight in his saddle so long as his spear lasted ; then drew he his sword, and laid about him so valiantly that King Perion's men could not withstand him, and they retreated towards the town. The Child seeing that, bestirred himself more angrily, and fought in the front, so that he gave the Gauls leisure to retire in some order, and prevented their utter rout. Agrayes and Perion always kept by him, and they three were the safety of the host, and enough to do had those Irishmen whom Abies had sent forward to enter
that sea, who new your nothing but that knice came
the town, that the war might be finished. And now the Gauls had entered the gates, and King Abies came up, hoping that his men had entered with them, and greatly was he grieved to see that it was otherwise, and the more for he now heard how that Galayn and Daganel were slain. One of his people came up to him, and said, Sire, do you see that knight on the white horse, who does nothing but what is marvellous ? he it is who slew your captains. It was the Child of the Sea, who rode the white horse of Galpano. With that King Abies rode up to him and said, Knight ! thou hast slain the man in the world whom I most love, and dearly shalt thou abide it if thou wilt come out and continue the battle. The Child replied, This is not a time to fight with you : for your men are many in number and fresh, and we are but few, and so travailed, that it is a wonder how we have resisted you ; but if ye will show the great hardiness for which you are renowned, and revenge him of whom ye speak like a knight, chuse you of your people as many as you think fit, and I will do the same, and then being equal you may gain the more honour; which is not to be won by coming with so great a number to take what is not your own. King Abies replied of how many shall the battle be? Since you leave it in my choice, said the Child, I will propose what may please you better. You are mine enemy for what I have done to-day, and I yours for the wrong you have done this land. It is not reasonable that any other than ourselves should suffer. Let the battle be between you and me, and presently, if you will, only let neither side stir till the end.—So let it be, said Abies; and he called ten of his best knights, who, with ten knights of the Child's party, were
appointed to keep the field. King Perion and Agrayes would have had him delay the combat till the next day, seeing that he was sore wounded ; but he would not be moved, desiring the battle above all things, that he might prove himself against him who had the renown of the best knight in the world, and thinking that if he conquered, the war would be finished, and he might return to his lady Oriana, on whom his heart and all his desires were fixed.
CHAP. X.-Of the battle which the Child of the Sea had with
King Abies, and how he conquered him, whereby the war
between King Abies and King Perion was concluded. tay UT they on both sides, seeing that the greater
| part of the day was spent, determined that
the combat should be delayed till the morrow, albeit against the will of both champions, and this also they did that their arms might be repaired, and some remedy applied to their wounds, and because both armies being wearied, and having been hardly handled, stood in need of rest. The Child of the Sea therefore entered the town with Agrayes and King Perion, and as he rode along with his head unarmed, the people cried out, Ah, good knight! God give thee grace to proceed as thou hast begun ! thou art a fair knight, and one upon whom knighthood was well bestowed. As they drew nigh the palace, a damsel met them, and said to the Child of the Sea, that the queen desired he would not be disarmed any where but in her apartments. This was at the king's desire, who now said, friend, you must needs grant this request, and Agrayes must bear you company. So they went thither, where they found the