BY ROBERT SOUTHEY 1872.
his valiant and hardy knight, Don Florestan, you should know how and in what land he was begotten, and by whom. Know then that when King Perion, being a young man and of good heart, sought adventures, he passed two years in Germany, doing great deeds in arms, and as he was returning with great glory to his own land, he lodged one day with the Count of Selandia, where he was right worshipfully entertained, and at night he was shewn to a rich bed, and there being weary with his journey fell asleep. Ere long he felt a damsel embracing him, and her mouth joined to. his; and, waking thereat, was drawing back, but she cried out, How is this, sir? would you rather be alone in the bed? The king then looked at her by his chamber-light, and saw the fairest woman that ever he saw: tell me, quoth he, who you are? She answered, one that loves you, and gives you her love.- First tell me your name? Why do you distress me with the question? I must know. I am the Count's daughter. Then the king said, It becomes not a woman of your rank to commit this folly: I tell you I will not do this wrong to your father. Ah, quoth she, ill betide those who praise your goodness! you are the worst man in the world, and the most discourteous! what goodness can there be in you when you thrust away a fair lady of such lineage? King Perion answered, I shall do that which is to your honour and my own, not what would injure both. Then, quoth she, I will do that which shall grieve my father more, than if you consent to my will! and she leapt up and took King Perion's sword, that same sword which was laid in the ark with Amadis, and unsheathed it, and placed the point against her heart: Will not my father grieve more for my death? When the king saw that, he was greatly astonished, and he sprang from the bed, crying, hold! I will perform your will! and he snatched the sword from her, and that night she became pregnant. On the morrow Perion departed, and never saw her more.
She, so long as she could, concealed her situation, and when the time drew nigh contrived to go visit her aunt, with one damsel; but as she was passing through a forest her pains came on her, and she alighted from her palfrey, and there brought forth a son. The damsel seeing her in this plight, put the baby to her breast. Now, lady, said she, the same courage that you showed in sinning, show now in supporting your self till I return; and then she mounted her palfrey, and rode on as fast as she could to the aunt's castle, and told her all that had happened. The dame was greatly troubled, yet delayed not for that to succour her, but went forthwith with a litter, wherein she used to visit her brother to shade her from the sun; and when she saw her niece she alighted, and wept with her, and had her placed with the infant in the litter, and taken by night into the castle, and enjoined secrecy to all who were with her. So the mother returned after her recovery to the Count's castle, and nothing was known of what had passed, and the boy was educated till he was of eighteen years, a braver youth, and better limbed than any other in the district; and the dame his aunt seeing this gave him horse and arms, and took him to the Count to knight him, who knew not that he whom he was knighting was his own grandson.
As they were returning, the dame told him the secret of his birth, and said he ought to go seek his father and make himself known to him. Certes, lady, quoth he, I have often heard of King Perion, but never thought he was my father; but by the faith I owe to God, and to you who have brought me up, neither he nor any one else shall know who I am, till they can say that I am worthy to be the son of so good a man. Then taking his leave, he went with two squires to Constantinople, where he heard there was a cruel war; there he remained four years, and did such deeds in arms as never knight had wrought before in those parts, so that at the end of that time he determined to go and discover himself to his father. But as he drew nearer France, he heard the fame of Amadis and Galaor, who were now beginning to work wonders, so that he changed his first intention, and resolved to gain more honour in Great Britain, where there were more good knights than in any part of the world, and that he would not make himself known till his prowess had given him sufficient renown: in which mind he continued till his combat with Galaor, as you have heard.
Amadis and Agrayes remained five days at the castle of Torin; then all things being prepared, they set forward with Briolania and her aunt, who took with them two damsels and five serving-men, on horseback and three palfreys laden with apparel, for Briolania went in black, and would wear nothing else till her father's death was avenged. As they began their journey Briolania requested a boon of Amadis, and her aunt another of Agrayes ; the which they granted, without knowing what it might be: they then demanded, that, let what would happen, the knights should not leave the road, that so their present quest might not be interrupted. Much did they repent their promise, and great shame did they endure thereby, for in many places was their succour needed, and rightly might they have bestirred themselves if they had been at liberty. Thus they travelled twelve days before they entered the kingdom of Sobradisa; it was night when they reached it: they left the high road, and struck by a by-way for three leagues; and then, great part of the night being past, they came to a little castle, where a lady dwelt named Galumba, who had served in the court of the king, Briolania's father. She right joyfully admitted them, and set supper before them, and provided their night's entertainment; and the next morning asked the aunt whither they were going. A joyful woman was she, hearing that those knights were going to revenge her master's death; but I fear, said she, lest that traitor should destroy them by some deceit: for that reason, said the old lady, am I come to consult with you. Leave it to me, quoth Galumba. Then she took ink and parchment, and wrote a letter, and sealed it with Briolania's seal, and gave it to a damsel, and directed her what she should do. The damsel mounted her palfrey, and rode on till she came to the great city of Sobradisa, from whence the whole kingdom took its name. She went directly to the palace of Abiseos, and rode through the gate, being richly apparelled. The knights came around to assist her to dismount; but she said, No, she would not alight till the king saw her, and commanded her so to do. They then took her bridle, and led her into a hall where the king was, with his sons and many other knights, and he bade her alight if she had anything to say. She answered, I will, sir, on condition that you protect me, and that I shall suffer no injury for any thing that I may say against you, or against any other here. The king assured her that she should be under his protection and royal faith, and bade her deliver what she was come to say. Upon that she alighted, and said, Sir, I bring a message which must be delivered in the presence of all the chiefs of your realm: summon them, and it shall be made known. Quoth Abiseos, it is as you would wish: they are already in my court, and have been assembled on business these six days. Call them together, said she. Forthwith they were summoned, and being all met, the damsel then said, King, Briolania, she whom you disherited, sends you this letter, to be read before this assembly. When Abiseos heard the name of his niece he was touched with shame, remembering the wrong he had wrought her; yet, the letter was openly read, which was to give credit to the damsel's words. To this he only replied, That they were not to believe what the damsel might say on Briolania's behalf: but the people of the realm who were there present were moved with great compassion at the name of their lawful lady, who was so unjustly dispossessed, and they besought God secretly that he would no longer suffer so great a treason to remain unpunished. Give your errand, quoth the king. Sir king, said the damsel, it is true that you killed the father of Briolania, and have disherited her of her kingdom; and you have often declared, that you and your sons would justify what you have done by force of arms. Briolania now sends to say, that if you hold your word she will bring here two knights who will undertake the battle in her cause, and make you know your treason and great tyranny. When Darasion, the eldest of the sons heard this, he arose in great anger, being of a hot nature, and without his father's permission replied, Damsel, if Briolania has these knights, I promise the combat for myself, and for my father and brother; and, if I do not perform this, I promise before all these knights to give my head to her, that she may take it in requital of her father's. Certes Darasion, answered the damsel, you answer like a knight of great courage, yet may I doubt your words to proceed from choler, for I see you are enraged; but if you will obtain from the king an assurance of your words, I shall think they proceed from that great worth and hardihood which are in you. What would you have? quoth he. Cause the king, she replied, to give our knights assurance that, for any mishap which you may receive in the battle, they shall sustain no injury from any in this land, nor be meddled withal but by you three: give them this safe conduct, and they will be here within three days. Darasion knelt down before his father;-- You see, sir, what the damsel requests, and what I have promised ; and, because my honour is yours, let it be granted, else they will without danger have put us to shame, for we have always avowed that if any one attainted your deeds we would justify it in battle; and even without the promise we ought to accept the defiance, for they tell me these knights are some of King Lisuarte's rash household, whose pride and folly makes them magnify their own worth and despise all others. The king, albeit he felt himself guilty of his brother's murder, and dreaded the battle, yet, because he loved his son as he did himself, gave the safe conduct as the damsel had demanded, the hour appointed by the Most High being come. The damsel having accomplished this, said, Hold yourselves ready, for tomorrow the knights will be here. And then she mounted her palfrey, and departed.
Much were the ladies and the knights rejoiced at the success of her embassy. When Amadis heard that Darasion held them as fools, because they were of King Lisuarte's household, he grew angry, and exclaimed, There are those in that household who could easily break his pride, and his head too! but when he had said this, he was ashamed that he had been so mastered by anger. Briolania, who could not keep her eyes off him observed this, and said, You cannot, sir, either say or do anything against those traitors which they have not deserved, and worse: have pity on me, since you know my father's murder, and my wrongs : my trust is in God and in you. Amadis whose heart was submiss to virtue and all gentleness, moved with pity for that fair damsel, answered, If God be so pleased lady, I ween that ere to-morrow night your sorrow will be turned into joy. Then Briolania would, for thankfulness, have humbled herself to have kissed his feet, but he drew back abashed, and Agrayes raised her up. They determined to set for ward by day-break, and hear mass at the chapel of the Three Fountains, which was half a league from Sobradisa.
That night they made good cheer, and Briolania, who talked much with Amadis, was oftentimes moved to offer marriage to him, but seeing his frequent reveries, and the tears that sometimes fell down his cheeks, which she knew proceeded from no fear in his brave heart, she suspected that he loved elsewhere, and so refrained. At dawn they all departed; and arriving at the Three Fountains, heard mass from the good hermit, who hearing wherefore they were on their way, besought God to speed them well in the battle, as he knew their cause was right. There they armed themselves all save the head and hands, and so proceeded to the city. Without the walls they found King Abiseos and his sons, and a great company attending them: the people all flocked towards Briolania, whom in their hearts they loved, thinking her their rightful and natural lady. Amadis led her bridle, and uncovered her face,  that all might see her how beautiful she was: she was weeping, and the multitude blessed her in their hearts, and prayed that she might now be restored to her rights. Abiseos dissembled a feeling from which neither his ambition nor his wickedness could shield him, and seeing how the people flocked round Briolania, he exclaimed, Fools, I see how you rejoice in her sight! but it is to your honour and safety that a knight like me should protect you, not a weak woman, who in so long a time has only been able to get these two knights for her champions; whom, because they are thus deceitfully brought to their death, or dishonour, I cannot forbear to pity. These words so kindled the indignation of Amadis, that blood seemed starting from his eyes ; he rose in his stirrups that all might hear him, and answered King Abiseos, I well see how the coming of Briolania troubles you, because you have murdered her father, who was your king and brother: if there be yet virtue enough in you to resign to her what is her own, I will excuse the battle, that you may have leisure for repentance, that, though you have lost your honour in this world, you may save your soul. Before the king could reply, Darasion exclaimed, Thou foolish knight of King Lisuarte's court! I never thought I could endure to hear a speech like thine: come on! and if your heart fails, you cannot fly where I cannot reach you with such a vengeance, that none can behold it without compassion. Arm thyself, traitor, and do battle! quoth Agrayes. Darasion answered, say what thou wilt now! presently I will send thy tongue without thy body to King Lisuarte's court, as a warning to all such fools! Then they armed themselves; and Amadis and Agrayes laced on their helmets, and took their shields and spears, and entered the place which had been of yore marked out for such trials. Dramis, the second son, who was so good a knight that no two knights of that country could keep the field against him, said to his father, Sir, where you and my brother are present, I might well be excused from speaking; but now I have to act with that strength which I have received from God and you. Leave that knight who has reviled you to me : If I do not slay him with the first lance-thrust, may I never again bear arms! or if it be his good fortune that the spear does not strike right, the first blow with the sword shall do it. There were many who heard this speech, and did not think it vain boasting, he was of such exceeding strength. Darasion looked round the lists: How is this? quoth he; ye are but two! hath the heart of the third failed him? call him to come directly, for we will not tarry. Trouble not yourself about the third, said Amadis, you will presently wish the second away: now look to your defence!
They placed their shields before them, and gave their horses the rein. Dramis ran right at Amadis and pierced his shield and broke his lance against his side; but Amadis smote him so roughly, that the spear went through his shield, and, without piercing his breast-plate, burst his heart within him, and he fell like the fall of a tower. In God's name, cried Ardian the Dwarf, my master's deed is better than his word! The other twain ran at Agrayes: he and Darasion broke their lances upon each other, and both kept their seats. Abiseos failed in his course; he saw Dramis on the ground, and in great grief, albeit he did not suppose him to be dead, ran full at Amadis, and pierced his shield, and broke the lance in his arm, so that all thought he could not continue the battle. Well may you think how Briolania felt at that; her heart sunk, and the sight of her eyes failed her, and without support she would have fallen from her palfrey. But he, who was not to be dismayed by such wounds, graspt well that good sword which he had so lately recovered from Arcalaus, and struck Abiseos upon the helm; through helm it went, and slanted down the head, and pierced into the shoulder ; a slant wound, but so staggering that Abiseos tottered on his seat, and fell, half senseless. Then he of Gaul rode up to Darasion, who was close engaged with Agrayes : -Now Darasion, you had rather the second were absent, than that the third were come! Agrayes cried out to him to hold: Cousin, you have done enough, leave me this man who has threatened to cut out my tongue. Amadis did not hear him; he had made a blow which sliced off a part of the shield, and came through the pummel of the saddle to the horse's neck; but Darasion as he past, ran his sword into the belly of Amadis's horse; the horse instantly ran away ; the reins broke in the rider's hand, and Amadis seeing that he had no remedy, and that he should be carried out of the lists, struck the beast between the ears with his sword, and split his head ; the fall bruised him sorely, but he arose, and turned to Abiseos.
At this time Agrayes had driven his sword into Darasion's helmet, so that he could not recover it. Darasion had forced it from his hand, and was. driving at him. Agrayes grappled him; they fell together and struggled on the ground. Abiseos came up, and was lifting the skirts of his armour to thrust his sword into him. Amadis came up in time. The king was compelled to look to his own safety; he lifted his shield, the blow dashed shield against helmet, and made him reel. Agrayes and Darasion had loosed each other: Agrayes caught up Darasion's sword; Darasion plucked the other from his helm, and ran towards his father. Amadis saw that Agrayes was all bloody from a wound in his neck, and fearing it was mortal, he cried, Leave them to me, good cousin, and rest yourself! I have no wound, quoth Agrayes, to keep me from aiding you: see if it be so! Have at them, then! cried Amadis; but the fear he felt for his cousin gave him such anger, that presently his enemies, their armour all hacked, and their flesh too, began to turn here and there disorderly, and with the fear of death. So it continued till the hour of tierce, when Abiseos, seeing death before him, lifted his sword in both hands, and ran desperately at Amadis, and gave him a blow, such as might not be looked for from a man so wounded: it cut away the brim of the helmet, and the shoulder mail and a part of the flesh with it. Amadis felt it sorely, and did not delay to give him his wages : he struck his shoulder, and lopt off that arm with which he had murdered his own king and brother; arm and shoulder he lopt off, and cried out, That arm brought thee by treason to the throne, and it now brings thee to death and the depth of hell! The king had fallen in the pangs of death. Amadis looked round him, and saw that Agrayes had smitten off the head of Darasion. Then the people of the land went joyfully to kiss the hand of Briolania their  lady.
The conquerors dragged their enemies out of the lists. Amadis, though he was much wounded, would not disarm himself till he knew if there were any to gainsay Briolania's right. But one of the chiefs of the realm, by name Goman, came before him with an hundred men of his lineage and household, and they declared that they had only endured the usurpation of Abiseos because they had no remedy: now God had delivered them, they were in that loyalty and vassallage which they owed to Briolania. Within eight days all the kingdom came joyfully to do homage to her. Amadis meantime was laid in bed, and that fair queen never left him but when she went to sleep herself. Agrayes, who was dangerously wounded, was put under the care of a skilful man, who suffered none to approach him, that he might not speak, for the wound was in his throat.
 Quitole los antifazes.- She was muffled in the Moorish manner, not veiled.
 There follows in the original a page of advice to all wicked kings and rulers.