Tristan and Iseult: Dinas de Lidan

Here is the translation of the Roman de Tristan et Iseult of 1900 by Joseph Bedier. Here is the seventeenth part: Dinas of Lidan.

Lidan dinas

Lidan dinas

Dinas therefore returned to Tintagel, went up the steps and entered the hall. Under the canopy, King Mark and Iseut the Blonde were seated at the chessboard. Dinas took his place on a stool near the queen, as if to observe her game, and twice, pretending to point out the pieces to her, he placed his hand on the chessboard: the second time, Iseut recognized by his finger the jasper ring. So she had played enough. She struck Dinas' arm lightly, so that several peacocks fell in disorder.

"See, seneschal," she said, "you have disturbed my game, and in such a way that I could not resume it. "

Marc leaves the room, Iseut retires to his room, and calls the seneschal to her:

"Friend, are you Tristan's messenger?"

- Yes, queen, he is in Lidan, hidden in my castle.

— Is it true that he took a wife in Brittany ?

- Reine, we told you the truth. But he assures us that he did not betray you; that not for a single day has he ceased to cherish you above all women; that he will die if he does not see you again, only once: they sow you to consent to it, by the promise you made to him on the last day he spoke to you. "

The queen was silent for some time, thinking of the other Iseut. Finally, she replied:

"Yes, on the last day he spoke to me, I said, he remembers it:" If I ever see the green jasper ring again, neither tower, nor fort castle, nor royal defense. will prevent me from doing my friend's will, whether it be wisdom or folly ... "

- Reine, two days from here the court must leave Tintagel to reach Blanche-Lande. Tristan tells you that he will be hidden on the road, in a thicket of thorns. He begs you to take pity on him.

- I said it: neither tower, nor fort castle, nor royal defense will prevent me from doing the will of my friend. "

Two days later, while the whole court of Marc was getting ready for the departure of Tintagel, Tristan and Gorvenal, Kaherdin and his squire put on the hauberk, took their swords and their shields, and by secret paths set out on the way to the place. designated. Through the forest, two roads led to Blanche-Lande: one beautiful and well-railed, through which the procession was to pass, the other stony and abandoned. Tristan and Kaherdin stationed their two squires on it: they would wait for them there, keeping their horses and their shields. They themselves slipped into the woods and hid in a thicket. In front of this thicket, on the road, Tristan put down a branch of an elbow tree in which a honeysuckle was intertwined.

Soon the procession appears on the road. It is first of all the troop of King Mark. The fourriers and the marshals, the queux and the cupbearers, come the chaplains, come the hound servants leading the greyhounds and the brachets, then the falconers carrying the birds on the left fist, then the hunters, then the knights and the barons; they go their little train, well arranged two by two, and it is nice to see them, richly mounted on horses harnessed in velvet strewn with goldsmith's work. Then King Mark passed and Kaherdin marveled at seeing his private people around him, two from there and two from there, all dressed in cloth of gold or scarlet.

Then the procession of the queen advances. Washerwomen and chambermaids come first, then women and girls barons and counts. They pass one by one; a young knight escorts each of them. Finally approaching a palfrey ridden by the most beautiful that Kaherdin has ever seen with her eyes: she is well made in body and face, the hips a little low, the eyebrows well defined, the laughing eyes, the small teeth; a robe of Samit red covers her; a thin rosary of gold and precious stones adorns her polished forehead.

"It's the queen," Kaherdin said in a low voice.

- The Queen ? said Tristan; no, it's Camille his servant. "

Then comes, on a pale palfrey, another damsel whiter than snow in February, more ruddy than pink; her clear eyes quiver like the star in the fountain.

"Now, I see her, she's the queen!" Kaherdin said.

- Hey! no, said Tristan, it is Brangien the Faithful. "

But the road suddenly lit up, as if the sun were suddenly streaming through the foliage of the tall trees, and Iseut la Blonde appeared. Duke Andret, God hate! was riding on his right.

At that moment, the songs of warblers and larks started from the thicket of thorns, and Tristan put all his tenderness into these melodies. The queen understood her friend's message. She notices on the ground the branch of the elbow tree where the honeysuckle is tightly embracing, and thinks in her heart: “So goes with us, friend; neither you without me, nor I without you. She stops her palfrey, goes down, comes towards a haquenée which carried a niche enriched with precious stones; there, on a purple carpet, was lying the dog Petit-Crû: she takes him in her arms, flatters him with her hand, strokes his ermine coat, celebrates him many times. Then, having replaced it in its shrine, she turns to the thicket of thorns and says aloud:

"Birds of this wood, who have me delighted with your songs, I take you for hire. While my lord Marc will ride as far as Blanche-Lande, I want to stay in my castle of Saint-Lubin. Birds, make me a procession there; tonight I will reward you richly, like good minstrels. "

Tristan held back his words and rejoiced. But Andret le Félon was already worried. He put the queen back in the saddle, and the procession moved away.

Now, listen to a bad adventure. In the time when the royal procession passed, over there, on the other road where Gorvenal and the squire of Kaherdin guarded the horses of their lords, came an armed knight, named Bleheri. He recognized Gorvenal and Tristan's shield from afar: "What did I see?" he thought; it is Gorvenal and this other is Tristan himself. He spurred his horse towards them and shouted, "Tristan!" But already the two squires had turned bridle and were fleeing. Bleheri, launched in pursuit of them, repeated:

" Tristan ! stop, I beg you by your prowess! "

But the squires did not turn around. Then Bleheri shouted:

" Tristan ! stop, I beg you by the name of Iseut the Blonde! "

Three times he conjured the fugitives by the name of Iseut the Blonde. In vain: they disappeared, and Bleheri could only hit one of their horses, which he took away as his capture. He arrived at the castle of Saint-Lubin when the queen had just taken up residence there. And, having found her alone, he said to her:

“Queen, Tristan is in this country. I saw him on the abandoned road that comes from Tintagel. He fled. Three times I called out to him to stop, conjuring him in the name of Iseut the Blonde; but he was afraid, he did not dare to wait for me.

- Handsome sire, you say lies and madness: how would Tristan be in this country? How would he have fled in front of you? How could he not stop, conjured by my name?

- Yet, lady, I saw him, so badly that I took one of his horses. See him all harnessed up over there on the threshing floor. "

But Bleheri saw Iseut angry. He mourned it, for he loved Tristan and the queen. He left her, regretting having spoken.

So Iseut wept and said: “Unhappy woman! I have lived too much, since I saw the day when Tristan laughs at me and hates me! Once, conjured by my name, what enemy would he not have faced? He is bold in his body: if he fled before Bleheri, if he did not deign to stop in the name of his friend, ah! it is because the other Iseut possesses it! Why did he come back? He had betrayed me, he wanted to hate me on top of that! Didn't he have enough of my old torments? So let him return, hated in his turn, to Iseut aux Blanches Mains! "

She called Perinis the Faithful, and repeated the news that Bleheri had brought her. She added:

"Friend, look for Tristan on the road abandoned which goes from Tintagel to Saint-Lubin. You will tell him that I do not greet him, and that he is not so daring as to dare to approach me, for I would have him driven out by the sergeants and servants. "

Perinis set out in search, as long as he found Tristan and Kaherdin. He gave them the queen's message.

“Brother,” cried Tristan, “what did you say? How could I have fled from Bleheri, since, you see, we don't even have our horses? Gorvenal was guarding them, we did not find them at the designated place, and we are still looking for them. "

At that moment came Gorvenal and the squire of Kaherdin : they confessed their adventure.

"Perinis, beautiful sweet friend," said Tristan, "hurry back to your lady." Tell her that I send her greetings and love, that I have not failed in the loyalty that I owe her, that she is dear to me above all women; tell her to send you back to me to bring me her thank you: I'll wait here for you to come back. "

Perinis therefore returned to the queen and told her what he had seen and heard. But she did not believe it:

“Ah! Perinis, you were my private and my faithful, and my father had intended you, as a child, to serve me. But Tristan the Enchanter has won you over with his lies and gifts. You too have betrayed me; go away ! "

Perinis knelt before her:

“Lady, I hear harsh words. I had never had such pain in my life. But I do not care about myself: I mourn for you, lady, who insult my lord Tristan, and who too late will regret it.

- Go away, I don't believe you! You too, Perinis, Perinis the Faithful, you betrayed me! "

Tristan waited a long time for Perinis to forgive him the queen. Perinis did not come.

In the morning, Tristan is surrounded by a large tattered screed. He paints his face in places with vermilion and walnut stain, so that he resembles a gnawed patient. by leprosy. He takes in his hands a wooden hanap with grain to collect alms and a miserable rattle.

He enters the streets of Saint-Lubin, and, changing his voice, begs all comers. Will he even be able to see the queen?

She finally leaves the castle; Brangien and his wives, his servants and his sergeants accompany him. She takes the road to church. The leper follows the servants, makes his rattle sound, pleads in a sad voice:

“Queen, do me some good; you don't know how needy I am! "

By his beautiful body, by his stature, Iseut recognized him. She shudders all, but does not deign to lower her gaze towards him. The leper implored her, and it was a pity to hear; he crawls after her:

“Reine, if I dare approach you, do not be angry; have mercy on me, I have deserved it! "

But the queen calls the servants and sergeants:

"Get rid of that miser!" She told them.

The servants push him back, hit him. He resists them and cries out:

“Queen, have mercy! "

Then Iseut burst out laughing. Her laugh was still ringing when she entered the church. When he heard her laugh, the leper left. The queen took a few steps in the nave of the monastery; then his limbs gave way; she fell on her knees, her head against the ground, her arms crossed.

The same day, Tristan took leave of Dinas, to such discomfort that he seemed to have lost all meaning, and his nave set sail for Brittany.

Alas! soon the queen repented. When she learned from Dinas de Lidan that Tristan had gone to such mourning, she began to believe that Perinis had told her the truth; that Tristan had not fled, conjured by name; that she had driven him away with great wrong. " What ! she thought, I have chased you, Tristan, friend! You hate me now, and I'll never see you again. You will never learn only my repentance, nor what punishment I want to impose myself and offer you as a small pledge of my remorse! "

From that day on, to punish himself for his error and his madness, Iseut the Blonde put on a hairshirt and carried it against his flesh.