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Re: Tirant Lo Blanc excerpt
Henry Best wrote:
> Have you any examples that are heavy on the extravagant boast and light
> on the slaying insult? I would like to hear a couple.
[From _Tirant_Lo_Blanc_, written by Joanot Martorell &
Marti' Joan de Galba, published in 1490, translated from
Catalan by David H. Rosenthal (c) 1984. This excerpt is
from Chapter LXXIV: "How a Knight Named Bonnytown
Challenged Tirant to Battle" ]
"Worthy knight, your fame and renown illumine the world.
Apprised of your feats, I have traveled from my native land,
leaving my lord and master, the noble King of Scotland. The
reason for my journey is that one day when I was taking leave of
my beloved, she cruelly announced that she would not speak to
me till I had slain or defeated that knight who has won such
glory, and since it is to you, Tirant, that my lady sends me, I
challenge you by your chivalric oaths to mortal combat on
horseback without visors. You may devise the other arms as you
like, as I have devised half of them."
Tirant quickly replied in the following manner: "Knight, it
seems to me that your request is more voluntary than necessary,
and I advise you to shun such battles till they are truly
imperative. Mortal combats are strong and hard to digest, and
as my wounds have not yet healed, I pray you seek another
knight, of which there are many present in this court."
"I would follow your suggestion," said the knight, "but what
can I do, for my lady will not be satisfied until I vanquish you.
If the fear of death dismays you, here before His Majesty the
king I offer to renounce one weapon, provided it is not my
"It was out of concern for your safety that I tried to excuse
myself," replied Tirant, "but I would not want worthy knights to
think I had declined out of cowardice. I shall gladly satisfy you
and accept your challenge, and since you have named some of
the arms, I forfeit my right to name the rest. As for the
advantage you offer me, I would never accept it, and I think it
ill-advised of you to pour so much vitriol into your speech."
"Having agreed to do battle," said the knight, "you, Tirant
lo Blanc, must swear before king, queen, and these worthy
knights to accept no other challenge, lest you be disabled."
-------- end of excerpt -------------
Tirant does so swear, then ,while he's recuperating (from the
battle with the mastiff) he writes home for money for a trip
to Scotland, which happens to lead (in a manner to complicated
to relate here) to another knight arriving to accuse him of
treachery. He ends up battling the brother of his accuser
(his accuser having died by other means) and goes to Scotland
The narrator of the book asks,
"What should he have done: respected his oath before the king,
or defended himself against such slander? Many arguments could
be offered on both sides, but I shall leave the decision to worthy
and honorable knights."
Alfredo el Bufon
Elvegast, Windmaster's Hill, Atlantia
Be kind, for everyone you meet in life is fighting a hard battle.
-- Plato (427-347 B.C.)
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