1. Travels in France and Spain

Now hear how Ampedo and Andolosia, the two sons of Fortunatus, fared with the two magical treasures. When their lord and father died, they wore their grief and observed mourning for a year, like dutiful sons. And while Andolosia was living a quiet life, not daring to participate in jousts or other courtly pastimes, he came across his father’s books. When he read them, and learnt how many Christian kingdoms and heathen lands his father had passed through, he was filled with such delight and desire that he fixed on the earnest resolve to travel.

So he went to see Ampedo. “Dear brother, what are we doing here? Let us travel and strive for honour, following in our father’s footsteps! If you haven’t yet read about all the distant lands he travelled across, then read now.”

Ampedo answered his brother good-naturedly: “God speed the man who wants to travel. But I have no desire to, for I could easily come to a place where I am not so well-off as I am here. I shall stay put in Famagusta, and conclude my days in the beautiful palace.”

“If you’re of that mood and mind, then let’s share out the treasures,” said Andolosia.

“Do you wish to overrule our father’s command? Aren’t you aware that his last will was that we should not, on any account, separate the two valuables?”

Andolosia replied, “I don’t care about that; he’s dead, I’m alive; and I want to share.”

“Then take the Hat and go wherever you will,” said Ampedo.

“You take it yourself and stay here,” rejoined Andolosia.

And they could not come to an agreement, for they both wanted the Purse. Finally, Andolosia said: “Dear brother, I know how we can resolve this; according to our father’s advice, we should share our division with no one. So let’s fill two chests with gold from the Purse, and you keep them here; they will more than meet your needs. You also keep the Hat – it’ll give you many happy hours – and leave the Purse to me. I’ll travel and strive for honour for six years, and when I return, the Purse will be yours for six years. In this way we can own and enjoy it in common.”

Ampedo, who was a kindly soul, let it pass as his brother suggested; and when Andolosia understood that he was going to be allowed to depart with the Purse, he was happy with all his heart. He began his preparations, hiring strong servants and buying handsome horses; and he had a cart constructed, which was to follow in his train and bear his jousting equipment and other courtly paraphernalia.

Riding Out

Then he took his leave of Ampedo and rode out of Famagusta with forty smart menservants on prancing chargers, all dressed in his livery. His first stop was at the King of France’s Court, where he joined the company of nobles, counts and barons. Being prodigal, and having an accommodating disposition, he was held in high regard by the majority; and he served the King as if he were his hired man. While he sojourned there, it so happened that a tournament was held, with jousts, wrestling and leaping, and Andolosia came first in every event, so that his praise was cried abroad. After the jousting, it was customary to hold a ball for the noble ladies; Andolosia was invited to this and given the first dance. The ladies enquired after his name and land, and were informed that he was called Andolosia from Famagusta in Cyprus, and he came from a noble line. Then they began to single him out for attention and to flirt with him; and he was not slow to return the compliment. And the King invited him to table.

Andolosia, seeing that his appearance and society were pleasing to the nobility, invited them, and all their wives, to be his guests. He provided them with a splendid banquet, which delighted the noble ladies and convinced them that he was born of noble lineage. In the midst of their merriment, there was a nobleman at the King’s Court whose wife was a paragon of beauty; her appearance far surpassed that of all other women. This nobleman was Andolosia’s jousting-partner, and there was no one to match them for skill. His wife captivated Andolosia, who began to woo her assiduously, promising her a thousand crowns if she would spend one night with him. The wife thought that a thousand crowns were soon earned, but her honour prevented her from complying, and she told her husband. He said: “Oh wife, the thousand crowns would be handy, we could really use them – but it is best not to do this, for honour takes precedence over riches.

“I know what we can do,” he continued. “We have a beautiful, shapely neighbour, an accommodating companion, who refuses her body to no one if the price is right. How if you were to tell her about the proposal that has been made you, which you do not dare undertake, for your husband is a stickler for honour and you would fear for your life?”

The woman followed her husband’s instructions and spoke to their neighbour: “So that is what has occurred. If you wish to take the matter on, I will see to it that you take my place, in my house, and you will lie with the nobleman who is here at the moment and is good with his lance. He offered me a thousand crowns for spending a night with him; if you do this for me, I’ll give you a hundred.”

The good neighbour said: “I don’t care much about that – I would lie with such a man for nothing. But I’m afraid that if I went through with this, you wouldn’t give me the hundred crowns, but would send me away with one or two, because of my low station.”

“I’ll give you the hundred crowns up front, before you earn them,” the wife assured her.

She was satisfied with this, and said that if the lady arranged the preparations, she would oblige her with great gusto. The lady told her husband how she had won their neighbour over to her will, and he expressed his contentment.

In France

Then Andolosia came up to the lady and urged his suit in true lover’s fashion, mentioning the thousand crowns. She replied: “If you are not merely fooling, then come to me tomorrow night and bring the money with you; for tomorrow my husband rides out in the King’s service.”

Andolosia was overjoyed, and he regarded the expense as a mere trifle. So the following night he sneaked away from his men, bearing the thousand crowns, and crept alone to the lady’s house, where she was waiting for him. She received him with the money, which was in a bag, and she did not count it out, for she could tell by the weight that all was in order. Leading him to her room, she told him to get into the bed and not make a sound; she would join him presently. Then she hurriedly sent for her neighbour and gave her a hundred crowns. The good lass had really spruced herself up with clean and sweet-scented hands and other enticements, for she was well versed in the ins-and-outs of these affairs. And as they lay together in vigorous joy, Andolosia believed himself to be in the arms of his jousting-companion’s wife. But when the good young lady heard how deeply she pleased Andolosia, and how wonderful he thought her, it struck her as unfair that the lady should pocket nine hundred crowns, while she had no more than one hundred. So she disclosed the deception, and when Andolosia heard how he had been cheated, he did not care about the money he had expended, but he was afraid that the affair would spread throughout the city and he would become a laughing-stock for having let himself be tricked by two women. So he stood up and gave the lass another hundred crowns, and returning to his inn, he woke all his servants up and ordered them to make ready: he was about to ride away. ‘From now on, I’ll be on my guard against the tricks of faithless women’, he thought; and he rode away from Paris, without blessing, without leave, in a black mood.

And when he had a day’s ride from Paris behind him, the affair still preyed on his mind; so he sent a servant to the woman he had lain with to give her another two hundred crowns and the instruction to prosecute the nobleman’s wife before the King or parliament. She should tell them that the lady had unlawfully appropriated money – to the sum of nine hundred crowns – which was not hers by right; it belonged to the neighbour, as the reward for her services. The good neighbour promised the serving-lad that he would soon hear how she had prosecuted the affair with a vengeance. So the two women went to law and expended as much money as they had received, and then more; the case was grist to the mill for the advocates, clerks and procurators, for the greatest part of the money ended up in their hands.

As Andolosia rode away from the King of France’s court, he thought: ‘At least the false women didn’t cheat me out of the Purse’. And he resolved to cast the matter from his mind and to think of a way to restore his spirits.

He rode without stopping to the King of Aragon’s Court, and from there he continued on to Navarre, Castille and Portugal. It were a long process to write of his chivalric behaviour at each Royal Court: his jousting exploits, his chivalric deportment, and, in particular, his lavish expenditure to maintain a stately equipage. Afterwards he arrived before the King of Spain, a mighty monarch who held great court and was waging war at that time against the King of Granada, a heathen land bordering his realm, and against the King of Damascus in Barbary, who was also a heathen King. When Andolosia came there, he was strongly attracted to the people and their customs; for the Spaniards are exceedingly proud, even though their skin is black or brown. Then he dressed himself, his servants, and his horses, after the fashion of the land; and he penetrated the circle of nobility, attaining the position of servant to the King. He launched himself into tournaments and pursued all knightly sports, distributed prizes, and extended invitations to the noble ladies, whom he wined and dined superbly. When the King rode out against his enemies, Andolosia hired a hundred mercenaries at his own expense; and he served the King so diligently that he won his deep affection, for in every battle he would be in the foremost press, where he performed many manly deeds, so that the King dubbed him knight.

There was an old Count who had an only daughter at Court. The King wanted Andolosia to marry this daughter, so he could make him a Count in the father’s place; but Andolosia refused, for the Count’s daughter did not attract him – she was not pretty – and he was perfectly indifferent to the promise of wealth and a comity, for he possessed Fortune’s Purse. And when he had spent several years with the King, Andolosia found that time began to hang heavy on his hands, especially as there were no beauties at the Court to take to bed or heart. So he asked the King for leave to depart, which was graciously granted; and the King decorated him with his livery1 and told him that whenever he returned, Andolosia would find him a well-disposed lord and master.

Then Andolosia sought out a sturdy ship and hired a crew to take him and his to England, and to be well recompensed for their efforts; and he took his leave from many whose close acquaintance he had made. Some members of the Court were overjoyed at his departure, for they no longer had to witness his luxurious lifestyle; and many were sad, having enjoyed his favours. So he sailed away and came with a fair wind to England, to the great city of London where the King holds court. He rented a stately mansion, had all necessities bought to excess, and began to live like a Duke, inviting the nobles at the King’s Court to guest, loading them with presents, and earning their favour. Once again, he jousted, tourneyed, and performed the deeds expected of a knight in more accomplished a fashion than anyone else, which led both women and men, nobles and commoners, to award him the prize. The King and Queen often saw, with their own eyes, Andolosia giving proofs of his manliness, and they approved of his bearing; and the King asked if he would like to belong to his Court. Andolosia replied that he would willingly serve him with body and goods.

The English King

CHAPTER 2, Agrippina

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