BY ROBERT SOUTHEY 1872.
on Galaor and Florestan remained in the castle of Corisanda till their wounds were well healed, then took they their departure; but Corisanda made such sorrow that it was pitiful to see her, albeit Florestan comforted her, and assured her of his speedy return. They crossed to the mainland, and proceeded towards Sobradisa, hoping to arrive there before the battle. Brother, quoth Florestan, as they rode along, grant me a boon for courtesy. Sir, and good brother, cried Galaor, is it a thing that I shall repent? You will not repent it, said Florestan. Ask it then; for what I can grant without shame, I shall grant with good will. I ask then, that you will attempt no combat in this journey till I have tried my fortune. Certes, quoth Galaor, I repent. Not so, replied Florestan, for if there be any worth in me, it is to your honour as well as to mine. Four days they rode without adventure; on the fifth at evening they came to a tower. A knight, who stood at the court-gate, courteously invited them for the night; and there were they worshipfully entertained. The knight their host, was a fair knight and a wise, and of goodly stature; but oftentimes he appeared so lost in thought and sadness, that the brethren asked each other what it might mean, and Don Galaor at last said to him, Sir, methinks you are not so chearful as you should be! if your sadness is for any cause which our aid can remedy, tell us, and we will do your will. Many thanks replied he of the tower: I believe you would do so like good knights but my sadness proceeds from the force of love, will not tell you more now, for it would be to my own great shame. The hour of sleeping came on; their host went to his apartment, and the brethren remained in a handsome chamber where there were two beds. In the morning he rode to bear them company, but unarmed; and, that he might see whether they were such in arms as their appearance be spoke them, he led them not along the high road, but through bye ways, till they came to a place called the fountain of the Three Elms, for there were three great and lofty elm-trees above the fountain. Three fair damsels and well apparelled, were by the fountain, and there was a dwarf aloft in the trees. Florestan went first and saluted them gently, as a courteous man, and one who had been gently bred. God save you, sir knight, quoth the one; if you are as brave as you are handsome, God hath gifted you well. Damsel, he replied, if my beauty pleaseth you, my courage would please you more if it were put to proof. You answer well, quoth she: see now, if your courage be enough to carry me from hence. - Certes, quoth Florestan, little goodness is enough for that; since it is your pleasure, I will do it. He then bade his squires place her upon a palfrey which was tied to one of the elms: when the dwarf, who was sitting up in the tree, cried out aloud, Come forth, knights, come forth! they are carrying away your mistress! At these words a knight, well armed and on a great horse, came up from the valley, and cried out to Florestan, Knight! who bid you lay your hands upon that damsel? I do not think she can be yours, replied Florestan, seeing of her own will she desired me to carry her hence. The knight answered, Though she consent, I do not; and I have defended her against better than you. I know not how that may be, but unless you act up to your words, carry her away I will! Learn first what the knights of the valley are, and how they defend their mistresses! With that they ran at each other, and Florestan smote his shield so strongly against his helmet that the laces brake, and the helmet came off. The knight could not keep his seat; he fell upon his sword, and broke it in two. Florestan turned his horse and pointed his lance at him: You are dead, unless you yield the damsel! I yield her, quoth he, and cursed be she, and the day wherein I first beheld her, for she made me commit so many follies that at last I have destroyed myself. Florestan left him, and went to the damsel, saying, You are mine! You have well won me, quoth she, and may do with me as you please. Let us go then! said he ; but one of the other damsels then said to him, Sir knight, you are parting good company; we have been a year together, and it grieves us to be separated. Said Florestan, If you chuse to go in my company I will take you also, otherwise you must be separated, for I will not leave so fair a damsel as this. And if she be fair, quoth the damsel, neither do I esteem myself so ugly, but that knight should venture something for me also; but I believe you are not of that temper. What! cried he, think you that I would leave you here for fear? so help me as I would have done so only to respect your free will, but you shall see. He bade the squires place her also on her palfrey, and the dwarf, who sate up aloft, cried out again for help.
Presently there came another knight from the valley, and said to Florestan, Don Cavalier, you have won one damsel, and, not content with her, you would carry off another; you must, therefore, lose both, and your head too; for it is not fit that a knight of such degree as you should have in your keeping a damsel of such rank. You praise yourself bountifully, quoth Florestan; yet had I rather have two knights of my kin for my helpers than thee! I neither regard thee nor them, said the knight: you have won this damsel from him who could not defend her; if I conquer thee, she shall be mine; if the victory is yours, you shall take the other whom I defend. Content, quoth Florestan. Defend yourself now, if you can! said he of the valley; and they ran their encounter. The knight pierced through Florestan's shield, and broke his lance against the strong mail. Florestan failed in the race: ashamed at that, when the knight had taken from his squire another lance, he ran again, and pierced the shield of his antagonist and the arm that held it, and drove him back upon the crupper of his horse; the horse reared and threw him, and the ground being hard, he neither moved hand nor foot. Damsel, said Florestan, you are mine; for methinks your friend can neither help you nor himself. So it seems, quoth she.
Florestan looked at the other damsel, who now remained alone by the fountain, and saw that she was very sad. Damsel, said he, if it please you, I will not leave you here alone. She did not answer him, but said to his host, Go from hence, I counsel you! you know that these knights are not enough to protect you from him who will presently be here, and, if he take you, you are sure to die. I will see what may happen, he answered, my horse is swift, and my tower at hand. Ah, said she, take care of yourself; ye are but three, and you unarmed, and you well know that is nothing against him. When Florestan heard this, he became more desirous to carry away that damsel, and see him whom she praised so greatly. So he had her also placed on her palfrey ; and the dwarf, who sate up aloft, said, Don Cavalier, in an ill hour are you so bold: here comes one who shall take vengeance for all! and then he shouted out, Help! help, sir, you linger too long! Presently there came another knight from the same valley; his armour was inlaid with gold, and he rode upon a bay horse, big enough for a giant. Two squires came after him, armed with corselets and morions like serving men, and each carried a huge battle-axe in his hand, in the use of which weapon their master prided himself. He cried out to Florestan, Stay, knight, and seek not to fly, for it will not save you: die you must, and it is better die like a brave man, than like a coward! When Florestan heard himself threatened, he waxed wondrous angry, and cried out, come on, wretch and rascal, and clumsy fool !  So help me God, as I fear thee no more than a great cowardly beast. Ah, quoth the knight, how it grieves me that I cannot wreak sufficient vengeance upon thee! would that the best four of thy lineage were here, that I might cut off their heads with thine! Protect yourself from one, cried Florestan, you may dispense with the rest. Then, being both greatly incensed, they ran at each other, and the shields and the mails of both were pierced with the violence of the encounter: the large knight lost both his stirrups, and was fain to save himself by clinging round his horse's neck. Florestan, as he past on, caught at one of the battle-axes, and plucked it with such force from the squire who held it, that both the man and his horse were brought to the ground. The knight of the valley had recovered his seat, and was ready with the other battle-axe, and Florestan made at him with equal arms: both struck at once, each on the helmet of his enemy; the axes went in three fingers' depth. Florestan bowed his face upon his breast with the weight of the blow: the knight fell upon the neck of his horse, and the axe, being fast in the other's helmet, slipt from his hand; before he could raise himself, Florestan smote him as he lay between the helm and gorget, so that his head fell at the horse's feet. This done, he turned to the damsels. Certes, good knight, quoth the first of them, I once thought that not ten such as you could have won us.
The young knight, their host, then came up to Florestan, and said, Sir, I love this damsel dearly, and she loves me. It is a year since this knight whom you have slain hath forcibly detained her, so that I could not see her: now, that I may receive her from your hands, I beseech you refuse me not. My host, quoth Florestan, of a truth I will right gladly aid you, if it be as you say; but against her will I will yield her to none. Ah, sir, cried the damsel, this is with my will! I beseech you give me to him: he is my true love. Florestan answered, In God's name, dispose of yourself as you like best! and she went joy fully to her true love. Galaor then gave his horse to their friend, and took the bay horse of the dead knight, which was the handsomest he had ever seen, and then they separated. The two damsels whom Florestan had won, were young and fair; he took the one to himself, and gave the other to Galaor : I give you to this knight, said he, and command you to do as he pleases. What! quoth she, do you give me to this knight, who has not the heart of a woman? who stood by and saw you in such danger, and did not help you? Damsel, answered Florestan, by my faith to God and to you, I swear that I give you to the best knight whom I know in the world, except it be Amadis my lord. The damsel then looked at Galaor, and seeing him so handsome, and so young, she marvelled at his worth, and granted him her love. That night they had their lodging at the house of a lady, sister to their last night's host. On the morrow they resumed their road, and said to their fair friends, we have a long journey to perform thro' foreign lands, where you would endure many hardships in following us: tell us where you would like best to go, and there we will conduct you. They replied, that their aunt had a castle four days journey on that road whither they would go. As they proceeded, Galaor asked his damsel how she came into the power of those knights. She answered, That great knight who was slain loved the damsel who went with your host, but she hated him. He took her by force, for he was the best knight in all these parts, and none could gainsay him, yet would she never yield him her love; and he, for the affection he bore her, withheld from offering her any wrong; and he said to her, My fair friend, great reason is it that I should be loved by you, being the best knight in the world. Now I will do this for your sake: there is a knight who is called the best that ever was, Amadis of Gaul by name, and he slew my cousin Dardan in King Lisuarte's court; I will find him, and cut off his head, and then shall I inherit all his renown. Till I do this, I will give you two of the fairest damsels in all this land for your companions, and they shall have the two best knights of my lineage for their friends; and you shall every day be taken to the fountain of the Three Elms, where many errant knights pass, that you may see brave jousting, and learn to love me as I love you. He then took us by force, and gave us to his kinsmen, and thus had we past a year, till Don Florestan broke the bonds. That knight, quoth Galaor, had a haughty mind: what was his name? Alumas, she answered; and, if it had not been for his exceeding pride, he was of great prowess. Thus they proceeded till they reached the Lady's castle, who thankfully entertained them, because they had delivered her nieces from Alumas and his kinsmen, who had forcibly and dishonourably detained them.
Galaor and Florestan proceeded till they reached the kingdom of Sobradisa, and there heard the joyful tidings of what their brother and Agrayes had done. They hastened to the city, and went immediately to the palace, where Amadis and his cousin, now whole of their wounds, were conversing with the new queen. Amadis, from the damsel who had guided Galaor, knew who they were, and went to welcome Florestan with tears of joy, embracing and kissing him who would have knelt before him. But when Briolania saw four such knights in her palace, and recollected how powerful she now was, and how lately she had lived, not without fear, in a single castle, she knelt down, and thanked the Most High for the mercy he had vouchsafed her. Of a truth, sirs, said she, these changes are the work of him, before whom the mightiest are nothing; but for this dominion, and this wealth, which we suffer so much anxiety and trouble to gain, and having gained, to keep; would it be better, as being neither certain nor durable in themselves, and as things superfluous and destructive to the body, and moreover to the soul,would it be better to reject and abhor them? Certainly I say, no: and affirm, that, when they are gained with a good conscience, and justly administered, we may enjoy from them comfort and pleasure and joy in this world, and everlasting glory in the next.
Here endeth the First Book of the noble and virtuous Knight, Amadis of Gaul.
 Ven cativa cosa , y mala , y fuera de razon , sin talle. The language of vituperation is not easily translatable.