BY ROBERT SOUTHEY 1872.
madis rode on without any adventure till he entered the forest of Angaduza, where he met a knight and a damsel; and the knight coming near drew his sword, and ran at the dwarf to cut off his head. The dwarf fell from his horse with fear, and cried lustily for help. Amadis with all speed went to protect him. Why would you slay my dwarf? quoth he; trust me it is but poor manhood to lay hands on so poor a wretch: he is mine, and I shall defend him. For that, replied the other, I am sorry; but at any rate I must have his head. Do battle first, quoth Amadis. They took their shields and ran at each other; both shields were pierced and both breastplates. Their horses shocked together and their bodies, and both were driven to the ground; but the sword-battle that ensued none could have seen without affright, for never before had either warrior found him self so matched nor in such peril; their shields were shivered, their helmets hacked and bruised, their mail sliced away, and every where free openings for the sword. Both at length drew back to breathe. Knight, said the stranger, do not suffer this any longer for the sake of a dwarf: let me cut off his head, and I will make amends to you for the wrong hereafter. Talk not to me of that, said Amadis: the dwarf shall not be harmed. I must either perish, said the knight, or give his head to that damsel. Said Amadis, One of us shall perish first! and resuming his shield and sword, he renewed the combat more fiercely, provoked at the knight's unreasonable will. But if he was strong, the other was not weak, and the battle continued till each expected nothing but death, though neither of them a whit abated of his courage. When they were in this plight a knight came up, who crossed himself to see so desperate a combat, and asked the damsel how it began. I set them on, said she, and end as it will, it must be to my joy: I shall be glad if either of them be killed, much more if both. That, quoth the knight, is an evil disposition : wherefore do you so hate them? I will tell you: he who hath most of his shield left, is the man whose death my uncle Arcalaus most desires, and is named Amadis; the other is called Galaor, and he slew the man whom I loved best. I obtained a boon from him, and have asked him one which will cost him his life ; for, because that other knight is the best in the world, I have demanded the head of his dwarf; both are brought near death hereby to my great pleasure. A curse upon thee, woman! cried the knight; and he drew his sword and smote her head from, her shoulders : take this for the sake of thy uncle Arcalaus and his prison, from whence that knight released me! and with that he galloped to the combatants. Hold, Sir Amadis, for it is your brother Galaor!
Then Amadis threw down his shield and sword, and the brethren embraced, and Galaor knelt down and besought his pardon. Brother! quoth Amadis, the danger through which I have passed is well requited, since it has proved to me your great prowess ; and then they unlaced their helmets, for they had need of air, and the knight told them how he had served the damsel for her wickedness. Good fortune befall you for doing it, quoth Galaor; for now am I clear of my boon. And indeed, sir knight, said the dwarf, I am better pleased that you are quit by these means, than in the way you first designed. Now, said the stranger, come with me to my castle. I am the happiest man in the world, Sir Amadis, to have requited you with this service for delivering me from the cruellest dungeon in which ever wretch lay. Where was that? In the castle of Arcalaus : my name is Balays of Carsante. So they went to that good knight's castle, where they were laid in bed, and their wounds dressed; and Amadis dispatched his dwarf to inform Queen Brisena that he had found Galaor, and would bring him to Windsor as soon as they were able to travel.