Now the noble Blanscheflur noted well what they said, but to her alone, of all of them, did such words really mean something. She perceived his true worth. She had set her mind on him. He had come into her heart, and taken over its kingdom to rule there supreme, to wear its crown and scepter. But she kept her feelings to herself and disguised them so carefully that no one suspected them. Now that the riding show was over and the mounted experts began to scatter and each one made his way wherever his mood led him, it came about--as chance would have it— that Riwalin retired to where the lovely Blanscheflur was sitting. Urging his horse closer there, he caught her eye, and spoke to her, in Franzois, of course, courteously: "Ah, de vus saut, bele!" "Merci," replied the girl, and went on most modestly: "May God in his riches, who enriches everyone in heart, enrich you too in heart and mind! And bow to you indeed I may, but not absolve you from one business 750 about which I must speak with you." "Ah, my sweet, what have I done?" replied the courtly Riwalin. "Through a dear friend," she said, "the dearest I have ever known, you have caused me no little pain." "Good heavens," he thought to himself, "What's this I hear? Or what can I have done to her companion? What is this she tasks me with?" thinking that some time or other in the course of knightly duty he might have done an injury to some relative of hers, from which her heart was heavy and indignant toward him. Not so. The friend she felt for, that was her heart, in which she bore deep discomfort on his account— that was the friend she talked about. Of course he knew nothing of this. In his most courteous manner he apologized politely: "Loveliest, I would not that you bear me any ill will, thus if what you tell me is so, pass judgment on me yourself. What you demand, that will I do." The girl spoke: "For this affair I'm not altogether angry with you, but neither do I love you for it. Later I'll put you to the test of how you may recompense me for what it is you've done to me." About to take his leave, he bowed, when, with a sigh meant only for him the lovely girl spoke again directly from her heart: "Ah, dearest friend, may God bless thee!" From this point on it was that things first grew serious between them. Canelengres went away filled with many thoughts. He tested from every angle what Blanscheflur's distress and the whole story might mean. The way she greeted him, and spoke, her sigh, her blessing, her every gesture he marked together and separately, and in the process soon began 800 to weigh her sigh, her sweet blessing in the ways of love's desire. He soon arrived at the notion that both of these were surely due to nothing but desire. This so aroused his attentions that these signs went straight back to fetch Blanscheflur, then brought her back with them into the kingdom of his heart and crowned her in that realm his undisputed queen. Now Blanscheflur and Riwalin, he the king, she as queen, they ruled in equal shares the kingdom of their hearts: hers was Riwalin's, and his in turn was hers, yet all the while neither knew what had happened to the other. Between the two of them, as one, as though singlemindedly, each had been entrapped in thought. And so too was justice done: he took her to heart with all the same distress that she had felt because of him. But when he began to doubt again what she really wanted, from which it was she acted, annoyance or attraction, that made all his senses flee to and fro: his thoughts rose and fell, now down, then up again. He kept wanting to run away, and at the same time return, until he had so tangled himself in the coils and snares of his own thought that he couldn't run if he wanted to. Riwalin, so trapped in thought, himself afforded the perfect example of how the mind, caught in desire, acts just as does the wild bird, that by its own free choice alights upon the limed twig. Soon realizing its mistake and trying to fly away again, it sticks fast by its feet. It beats its wings and tries to rise, 850 and doing so, no matter where it touches the branch, however slightly, there it sticks, still more tightly. It struggles then with all its might this way and that, again and again, but in the end lies exhausted, having overcome itself, stuck firmly to the branch. Exactly in the same way does the mind at liberty behave. Longing thoughts have but to beckon, and passion work its strong wonders with the heaviness of yearning, to make the yearner long to regain his lost freedom, and yet what draws him down again is the sweet lime of desire. He gets himself so involved in it, that by no means, this way or that, can he escape. That's what happened to Riwalin, whose lengthy introspections ensnared him with desire for the sovereign queen of his heart. Such an array of uncertainty suspended him in strange confusion, for he knew not what her inclination toward him was, well or ill, nor was he sure of one or the other, either her favor or her contempt. Whether doubt or confidence, neither brought him here nor there. Doubt and confidence alike drove him continually to and fro; confidence suggested favor, doubt, contempt; and in this strife he dared not set his hope in either, neither doubt nor confidence. Thus his mind remained adrift upon the tides of uncertainly, confidence the flood, doubt the ebb. He found no constancy in either; the two could not be harmonized. When advancing doubt proclaimed his Blanscheflur's contempt for him, he lost his nerve and made to flee. Then confidence approached to announce her favor and a cherished hope, and so he had to hold his ground. 900 Uncertain amid such a conflict he could nether advance nor retreat. For every little gain he made, desire resisted all the stronger. But if he tried to turn and flee, desire drew him back again. And so desire dealt with him, but confidence finally won the field, putting doubt in full retreat, and Riwalin remained convinced his Blanscheflur favored him. At last his heart and all his mind were given to her in such an agreement that nothing more could strive against it. Now that desire in her sweetness had bent his heart and his mind to her own way, as she willed, still she left him unaware of what a painful burden heartfelt love can be. When he reviewed his adventure with his Blanscheflur from its beginning thus far, and looked at everything in turn: her hair, her face, her forehead, her cheek, her mouth, her chin, the Easter morning gleam of joy that sparkled laughing in her eyes, then came that real desire, the true, fiery one, and set ablaze her yearning fire, the fire that now inflamed his heart, that suddenly made it evident and unmistakably plain to him what heartfelt sorrow is, and yearning's heavy pain. Now he entered a second life, the different life he had been given, in which his thought and every action were so changed, it was as though he had become a different man. Now everything he undertook seemed strangely done, and unaccustomed, as though in a kind of blindness. His ordinary senses had been deranged by desire, seeming so untamed as though by design. He began to lose his hold— his deep, hearty laugh 950 that once had come so easily now was only seldom heard; silence and unhappiness seemed to be his best pleasures. Now his former good humor had been diverted to painful longing. Nor did Blanscheflur escape the fate of yearning that befell him. She endured the same burden because of him, as he for her. Desire, that can govern all, had invaded her senses also more stormily than she could resist and with its power taken from her all her moderation. Now her own actions seemed as strange to her as to others, quite unlike her usual custom. What once she had delighted in, the diversions that had pleased her so, gave her no more satisfaction. Now her life followed paths guided only by the pain that lay so near to her heart. And all the while she bore the load, yearning's heavy misery, she didn't know what troubled her, for never before had she learned what burdens of this sort and heartaches really were. Again and again she said to herself: "Ah, dear God, to live like this! What has befallen me, and how? I have looked at many a man and suffered no such harm from that. But ever since I saw this man, never again has my heart been as free as once it was. That one look, that I cast on him, that is what has given me such penetrating sorrow. My heart has never been hurt before, and now it's deeply wounded. It has spoiled for me my happiness and life. If what's happening to me happens to each and every woman that ever sees or hears this man— is it just the way he is?— then all his handsomeness is wasted 1000 and really he lives to no good purpose. But if it's a skill that he has learned, some kind of sorcerer's magic trick that brings about this strange marvel and causes such a marvelous pain, better then that he were dead and never should any woman see him. God knows, because of him I've suffered such pain and sorrow! Never, surely, never yet have I looked at him, or any man, with wrong intentions, or ever borne ill will toward any other person. How do I deserve it now that I have been so hurt by someone that I have only been friendly toward? But why do I blame this good man? It can hardly be his fault. Whatever heartache I have from him or take on myself, on his account, God knows, most of that is only the doing of my own heart. He's not the first man I've seen— how could he help it, that my choice fell on him, and him alone, out of all the others? I heard so many fine women, like a sporting crowd, shouting praises from every corner of the field of his highborn handsomeness and all his winnings as a knight— so did everyone else too— and when I saw with my own eyes these qualities, sung so far and wide, and read into my own heart all that was so praiseworthy about him, it turned my good senses foolish, and that's how my heart fell for him. In truth, it really blinded me— that was the magic, the real cause of how I so forgot myself. He himself did me no harm, that dear man I complain about, the one I raise my charges against. My own, foolish, fickle mind, that's the one that does me harm, the one that wants to see me hurt. It's a willful thing, and what it wants is often what it shouldn't. If only it would think 1050 of what is right and honorable! But no, it never looks beyond just what it selfishly desires, such as this wonderful man, it has got so attached to, so quickly and so eagerly. And God help me, I even think— if indeed it's right to think such things, and if I weren't ashamed of it for my good name as a chaste woman— it seems to me this heaviness about the heart I have for him— it can only be desire. That's what makes it plain why I want to be with him. Well, whatever the case may be, something about it has to do with attraction and a man. And all those things I've always heard about the desire women feel for a man, and about love, that's what has come into my heart— that sweet pain of heartache that torments noble hearts with such pleasant pains— yes, that's what I have." Now, once this courtly woman admitted without reserve and understood in her heart, as lovers always finally do, that her companion Riwalin would surely be her heart's delight, her fondest comfort, her life's best, he became the object of her glances at her every opportunity. Whenever there was a proper chance she passed him a secret greeting, eye to eye only. Her longing gaze rested again and again on him, long and longingly. Now when her partner in this affair, her friend, began to notice this, his desire gave him courage and also fired his hopes of her. The heat of wanting warmed his heart, so that he soon returned her glances more quickly and with greater feeling than he had once used to do. And when he had the chance, 1100 he returned her greeting with his eyes. The lovely girl soon realized he felt toward her as she toward him, which eased the great anxiety of fearing, as she had before, that he was not attracted to her. Now she knew his feeling for her was as fond and as affectionate as fond feelings ought to be. This he also knew of her, and knowing now excited both. As a result the two began to care for one another and feel this in their hearts. It went with them as in the proverb that when lovers look each other in the eye, the fires of desire are set blazing.
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