The ships put back out to sea and the voyage continued as before, except that the force of Passion had thrown two hearts aboard entirely off their intended course. Both were much oppressed by thought, seriously encumbered with the delightful sorrow caused by a strange wonder that makes gall of honey, turns the sweet to sour, sets the dew ablaze, infects balm with agues, disheartens every heart, and turns the world upside down. This had deeply troubled them, Tristan and Isolt. Some compulsion was driving them in a new and strange way. Neither of them was able to find any rest or comfort except in each other's sight. But when they gazed at each other, that perturbed them also, since between them they could not reconcile their desires. 11900 Strangeness and embarrassment lamed pleasure for them. When they tried secretly to steal a fascinated look in each other's direction, their complexions showed the color of their hearts and senses. Passion with her tinctures would not be satisfied that one bore her nobly concealed in the heart. She meant to make her power visible and obvious, using them as her palette. Her colors played over them as she played with her tints— the hues succeeded one another, first pale, then flushed. They turned red, and then white, as Passion called the shadings. Thus it slowly began to dawn on each one of them that something—could it be desire?— in the mind of the one was intended toward the other. At this point they began to venture signs of affection, watching for a time and place to exchange whispered pleasantries. Now as lovers on the prowl they laid their nets and snares here and there for one another, set up their blinds and ambushes concealed in questions and answers. They spoke of many different things. Isolt's method in this stalk was proper for a maiden. She circled her beloved prize on all sides from a distance. She started from the beginning, rehearsing how, alone and wounded, he had drifted in his boat near the harbor at Develin, how her mother had taken charge and by her arts healed him, and then the whole story of how she herself had learned first how to read and write, then Latin and music as he taught her. She enlivened her account 11950 with many vivid recollections about his intrepid courage and the fight with the dragon, also how she knew him twice, first in the swamp, then the bath. Soon their talk was flowing freely, she to him and he to her. "Alas," Isolt mused aloud, "I'll never have a better chance. When I failed to kill you in the bath— God, why didn't I do it? Had I known then, what I know now, upon my word, you'd be dead!" "What?" he spluttered, "lovely Isolt, are you mad? What do you know?" "What I know is driving me mad— everything I see, hurts. It all hurts—the sky, the sea— life and limb are killing me!" For support she leaned against him with her elbow, daintily. Then one thing led to another. Her mirror-bright eyes grew wet, although she tried to hide it. Her heart began to fill, her sweet mouth and lips to swell, her head sank down and forward. Tristan took his cue and put his arms around her, neither too tight nor closely, only in a friendly way. His voice was soft and gentle. "Oh, my beauty, tell me, what is it, what's troubling you?" And Isolt, Passion's accipiter said "lameir, that's what it is, lameir is making me so sad, it's lameir that hurts so bad." Hearing lameir repeatedly, he began to deliberate and consider with much care what this word might mean. On the one hand, he knew, lameir could mean "love," but also "bitter," and la meir the sea. It could mean almost anything. He left out one of the three and focused on the other two— disregarding Passion, who in fact ruled them both, 12000 their desire and their mainstay, he considered "sea" and "sour." "I think, fairest Isolt," he said, "the bitter sea must trouble you. The flavor of the sea and wind together must seem bitter to you?" "No, sir, no, what are you saying? none of that bothers me. I don't smell the air or sea. Lameir alone afflicts me." This left him with the last word, which now he knew meant "passion." He said, very tenderly, "It's true, my finest, so does it me— lameir and you, you are my need. Beloved woman, dear Isolt, you alone and your love have so possessed all my mind and so distracted all my senses that I have lost my way entirely, and indeed with no prospect that I shall ever find myself. Everything that meets my gaze makes me doubt and tremble, feel weak and as though lost. There's nothing left in the world that my heart loves but you." "Just so, she said, feel I, sir, toward you." Now when the lovers knew each other to be of one mind between them, a single heart, a single will, this began both to ease and to expose their disquiet. Now each could speak more frankly and openly to the other, man to maiden and maid to man. All hesitation now was gone. He kissed her and she kissed him tenderly and sweetly. This made a fortunate beginning to soften the pangs of love— each poured out and each drank the sweetness flowing from the heart. Whenever they could find occasion, this pleasant trade between them flowed both ways, back and forth, but always so covertly that no one in that little world suspected what it was they felt but one, who knew all about it: 12050 Brangaene the wise. She often watched them quietly, careful not to show herself, seeing plainly through their pretence, and wrestled long with her thoughts: "Alas, now I'm sure of it. Passion is taking hold of them." It didn't take her long to see how seriously they meant it by all the outward indications of the inmost pains afflicting mind and heart. Their distraction troubled her, seeing them continually ameiren and amuren, sighing and languishing, longing and fantasizing, first blushing, then growing pale. In such deep infatuation that they took no nourishment, this stress and deprivation began to undermine their health so that Brangaene began to fear it might mean the end of them, and finally in deep concern told herself,"now do something— find out what's really going on!" One day she came to sit with them, quietly and confidentially, proud and wise as she was, and said, "now we're alone, we three. Tell me, what's got into you? I see you, all the time, as though lost in longing, sighing, sorrowing, and lamenting." "Courtly lady," Tristan said, If I dared, I would tell you." "Very well, sir, let's hear it— You can tell me whatever you wish." "Oh, fine lady," he replied, I cannot say any more unless you will assure us on your solemn word of honor that you will take compassion upon our misfortune, for otherwise, we are lost." Brangaene reassured them. She faithfully promised by God and her loyalty to be obedient to them. 12100 "Trusted companion," Tristan said, "look to God, first of all, and then to your own salvation. Have pity on the pain we suffer and the trouble we are in. I, and also Isolt, alas— I don't know what's wrong with us. It's happened so suddenly. We have lost our senses by some peculiar malaise. We are dying of desire and can by no means regain any time for repose when it does not confound us. But this is sure: if we perish, it's no one's fault but our own. Now, our death, and our life, are given into your hand. That's as much as I can tell you. Brangaene, blessed maiden, now assist and forgive your sovereign lady and me." Brangaene addressed Isolt: "My Lady, are you affected so severely, as he says?" "Yes, dear cousin," sighed Isolt. "God have mercy," exclaimed Brangaene, "that the Fiend has chosen us upon whom to make his sport! I see there is no help for it, that now for your sakes I'm forced to condone this vice, whatever it may cost me. Rather than see you perish, I'll give you every chance I can to do whatever you want to do. You needn't desist on my account from anything you won't avoid by your own sense of honor. But as far as you can resist and restrain yourselves from such doings, by all means, abstain, I say. Keep the secret of this corruption strictly to the three of us— if you let out a word of it, it will destroy your reputation. If anyone knows but we three, It's the end of you, and me with you. Beloved lady, beautiful Isolt, be your life and your death 12150 now given into your own control. Preside over death and life as your whim may incline, but entertain no suspicions from this time on, about me. You can do what you please." That night, as the beauty lay thinking of her pain and longing for her true beloved, there came stealing quietly into her private chamber her amis and physician, Tristan and Passion. Passion the physician led her ailing patient, Tristan, by the hand, and found the ill Isolt there. She took her two sufferers and administered them to each other as a sure and certain remedy. Who else could have cured and freed these two afflicted from their common malady by joining one to the other, while shackling their senses? Passion the shackler shackled both their hearts with the shackles of her sweetness so masterfully together, with such mysterious power, that nothing could release them for all the rest of their years. ndless talk about desire is more that courtly minds require. Brief talk of good desire betters what good minds require.