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this island shall have another Lord, the enchantment shall be dissolved, and all Knights may freely pass the perrons and enter the chamber; but it shall not be free for women, till the fairest shall have come, and lodged in the rich chamber with the Lord of the island. These enchantments being thus made, Apolidon and his wife entered their ships, and passed over into Greece, where they reigned during their lives, and left children to succeed them.
While Amadis remained with his comrades at the court of Sobradisa, his thoughts were perpetually fixed upon his Lady Oriana ; and, so thoughtful was he, and so often, both sleeping and waking, was he in tears, that all saw how he was troubled, yet knew they not the cause, for he kept his love silent, as a man who had all virtues in his heart. At length, not being able to support a longer absence, he asked permission of the fair young Queen to depart, which she not without reluctance having granted, loving him better than herself, he and his brethren and their cousin Agrayes took the road towards King Lisuarte. Some days had they travelled when they came to a little church, and entering there to say their prayers, they saw a fair Damsel, accompanied by two others, and by four Squires, who guarded her, coming from the door. She asked them whither they went. Amadis answered, Damsel, we go to the court of King Lisuarte, where, if it please you to go, we will accompany you. Thank you, quoth the Damsel, but I am faring elsewhere. I waited, because I saw you were armed like Errant Knights, to know if any of you would go and see the wonders of the Firm Island, for I am the Governor's daughter, and am returning there. Holy Mary 1 cried Amadis, I have often heard of the wonders of that island, and should account myself happy if I might prove them, yet till now have I never prepared to go! Good Sir, quoth she, do not repent of your delay; many have gone there with the same wish, and returned not so joyfully as they went. So I have heard, said Amadis : tell me, would it be far out of our road if we went there —Two days journey.—Is the Firm Island then in this part of the sea, where is the enchanted Arch of True Lovers, under which neither man nor woman can pass that hath been false to their first love 2 The Damsel answered, it is a certain truth, and many other wonders are there. Then Agrayes said to his companions, I know not what you will do, but I will go with this Damsel, and see these wonderful things. If you are so true a lover, said she, as to pass the enchanted Arch, you will see the likenesses of Apolidon and Grimanesa, and behoid your own name written upon a stone, where you will find only two names written besides, though the spell hath been made an hundred years. In God's name let us go, quoth Agrayes, and I will try whether I can be third. With that, Amadis, who in his heart had no less desire and faith to prove the adventure, said to his brethren, we are not enamoured, but we should keep our cousin company who is, and whose heart is so bold. Thereto they all consented, and set forth with the Damsel. What is this island 2 said Florestan to Amadis, tell me, Sir, for you seem to know. A young Knight whom I greatly esteem, replied Amadis, told me all I know ; King Arban of North Wales: he was there four days, but could accomplish none of the adventures, and so departed with shame. The Damsel then related the history of the enchantments, which greatly incited Galaor and Florestan to the proof.
So they rode on till sunset, and then entering a valley, they saw many tents pitched in a meadow, and people sporting about them, and one Knight, richly apparelled, who seemed to be the chief. Sirs, quoth the Damsel, that is my father : I will go advertise him of your coming, that he may do you honour. When he heard of their desire to try the enchantment, he went on foot with all his company to welcome them, and they were honourably feasted and lodged that night. At morning they accompanied the Governor to his castle, which commanded the whole island, for at the entrance there was a neck of land, only a bow-shot over, connected with the main land, all the rest was surrounded by the sea; seven leagues in length it was, and five broad, and because it was all surrounded by the sea, except where that neck of land connected it with the continent, it was called the Firm Island. Having entered, they saw a great palace, the gates whereof were open, and many shields hung upon the wall; about an hundred were in one row, and above them were ten, and above the ten were two, but one of them was in a higher nich than the other. Then Amadis asked why they were thus ranked. The Governor answered, according to the prowess of those who would have entered the Forbidden Chamber ; the shields of those who could not enter the perron of copper, are near the ground; the ten above them are of those who reached it; the lowest of the two passed that perron, and the one above all reached to the marble perron, but could pass no farther. Then Amadis approached the shields to see if he knew them, for each had its owner's