BY ROBERT SOUTHEY 1872.
s it had pleased God to make Lisuarte, of a prince who had no heritage, king of Great Britain, and to give him the greatest glory and prosperity that man could wish, so now, lest his heart should wax proud and be corrupted, his peace was to be disturbed. He sent forth his summons to hold the court on the fifth day at London, a city which then was like an eagle above all the rest of Christendom, that they might take order for the advancement of chivalry; but there, where he thought all the world would yield him obeisance, began the first change of fortune, and his kingdom and person were put in danger of utter ruin.
King Lisuarte with all his chivalry departed from Windsor to the court, and the queen with all her dames and damsels. The assembly was wonderfully great; young knights costily armed and adorned, and infantas who were king's daughters, and damsels of high degree, for whom their lovers were about to make pastime and pleasure. That they might not lodge in the city, the king ordered pavilions to be pitched in the plain by the brooks and fountains that abound in that land. Here led they the happiest life that could be imagined. To this court there came a great lord, more noble in estate and rank than in the dignity of virtue, Barsinan, lord of Sansuena; not that he was vassal or friend to king Lisuarte, nor even known to him, but for this cause.
He being in his own land, Arcalaus the Enchanter came to him and said, Lord Barsinan, if you like it, I will so contrive, that with little difficulty or labour you shall become King of Great Britain. Barsinan answered, I should gladly undergo any labour or difficulty for such a reward. Promise then, to make me  chief of your household for life, and the thing shall be done. That will I right willingly; but how shall it be done?- In this manner, quoth Arcalaus: Go you with a good company of knights to the first court? that King Lisuarte shall hold. I will contrive to carry away the king prisoner, so that no person shall be able to succour him, and at the same time I will give you his daughter Oriana to wife. In five days' time I will send Lisuarte's head to London; then do you, having the heiress to the throne in your power, take the occasion and seize the crown.
With this design came Barsinan to the court, where he was honourably entertained, and albeit his heart failed him, and he almost repented of the enterprise, seeing the great power of knighthood that was with Lisuarte, yet determined he to abide the end. But Lisuarte, nothing misdoubting him, to do him the greater honour gave him his own palace, and pitched tents for himself and for the queen in the fields, and consulted with him upon the business of that court, how he might best advance chivalry. To this effect the next day was appointed for council. When morn ing came, the king clad himself in royal robes, befitting the solemnity, and sent for the crown which the old knight had left him, and desired the Queen to attire herself in the mantle. She opened the coffer wherein they were laid, with the key which she always kept herself, and found nothing therein, whereat she was greatly amazed, and crossed herself and sent to inform the king. He, albeit he was much troubled, dissembled his chagrin, and going to the queen took her apart and said, how, Madam, have you kept so ill a thing of such value? Sir, she replied, I know not what to say : the coffer was locked, and the key, which I have never trusted from me, in my own possession; but I dreamt last night that a damsel came and asked me to shew her the coffer, which in my sleep I did, and she demanded the key and I gave it her; and she opened the coffer and took out the crown and mantle, then fastened it again and replaced the key. And she clad herself in the mantle and put on the crown, which so well became her that I had great delight in looking at her; and she said to me, He and she whose these shall be, before five days end shall reign in the realm of the mighty one who now labours to defend it, and to conquer the lands of others. I asked her of whom she spake. She answered, You will know at that time. And then she vanished, taking with her the crown and mantle; but I know not whether this happened to me in a dream, or in very deed. At this the king marvelled greatly, and charged her that she should tell no one.
Then leaving that tent they both went to the other, accompanied by so many knights, and dames and damsels, that all who saw them wondered. The king seated himself upon a rich seat, and the queen sate on another somewhat below him, both of which were placed upon carpets of cloth of gold; the knights ranged themselves on the king's side, and the ladies on the side of the queen. The four knights whom the king most esteemed, were nearest him, Amadis, Galaor, Galvanes, and Agrayes at his back was King Arban of North Wales, armed at all points, and holding a drawn sword, and with him were two hundred knights. In this order, all being silent, there stood up a lady, exceeding fair, and richly garmented ; and there arose with her at the same time twelve dames and damsels, attired with like bravery and the same adornments; for this custom had the ladies and chiefs of high degree to take with them to such solemnities their followers, apparelled like their own proper persons. This lady with this attendance stood up before the king and queen, and addressing Lisuarte she said, Sire, hear me! I have a claim against this knight, stretching forth her hand towards Amadis. She continued, and related how Angriote of Estravaus had sought her love, and why he kept the vale of pines, and how Amadis, having forced the pass, had promised to procure for him his mistress's favour. Whereof, quoth she, when I attained knowledge, I withdrew myself to my castle, where I kept such a strong guard and custom, that it was thought no strange knight could enter ; nevertheless this knight entered who is at your feet,- pointing to Amadis whom she knew not. He afterward of his good will promised to make Amadis revoke his word to Angriote: but then there chanced a combat between him and mine Uncle Garsinan; and all eyes were fixed upon Garsinan while she related how the battle had been, marvelling that he should have dared do battle with Amadis.- And here, sir, said she, am I come to claim his promise, aud discharge my own.
When she had ended, Amadis arose and said, What the lady hath said is true, and I promise to make Amadis revoke his word to Angriote: let her also grant the covenanted boon. Thereat in great joy she exclaimed, ask what you will! What I demand is, quoth he, that you marry Angriote, and , love him even as he loveth you. Holy Mary, help me! she exclaimed: what is this? Fair lady, replied he, it is that you should wed a knight deserving one of your birth and beauty. But your promise?- It is performed: I revoke my word to Angriote, for I am Amadis! but I claim the performance of your's; so give I you to him, and keep my faith with both. Sir, quoth she, to the king, is this Amadis indeed? With out doubt. All wretch, she cried, it is vain for mortal man to avoid what God hath decreed! it was for no dislike nor misesteem that I refused Sir Angriote, but because being free I would have preserved my single liberty; and now, when I thought myself safely separated, I am thus put in his power. Then said Lisuarte, as God shall help me, fair lady, you have great reason to rejoice; for, as you are fair and of high degree, so is he young and of great prowess; and, as you are rich in possessions, so is he in all goodness: great reason is there then in such a marriage, and so it must appear to all. Grovenesa turned to the queen, You, my lady queen, whom God has made one of the best and wisest princesses in the world, what do you say to me?- That Angriote deserves the love of any lady. Trust me, quoth Amadis, my promise to Angriote was made neither by chance, nor for any undue favour to him, but because having to my danger proved his worth in arms, I felt myself bound to remedy as far as I could his extreme passion for you, and your little regard toward him. I must yield, quoth Grovenesa; and, after all that has been said, it were folly not to be well pleased. Sir Angriote, quoth Amadis, here is your lady: I perform my word on condition that the marriage be performed without delay. The king commanded the Bishop of Salerno to go with them to his chapel, and give them the blessings of the church. Forthwith Angriote and his bride with all their lineage went into the city, and there was the marriage ceremony with all solemnity performed ; and, we may say, that all this had been so ordered to requite Angriote for his great courtesy and forbearance towards this lady when he had her in his power.
 Mayordomo mayor.