Tristan in his cleverness arrived very cleverly at the necessary decision that he would divide himself between both his fathers as though sliced in half. He made two parts of himself as smooth and equal as an egg and presented then to each of them what he knew was suited best to the concerns of just that one. If you have never heard about the split dividing the whole person, I'll tell you how this split is made: No one, I'm sure, has any doubt that two things go to make a man, what I call person, and property. from these two comes a noble mind and many a worldly honor. But if you separate the two, 5700 of property you make poverty. The person, if it is despised, quickly loses its repute, leaving the man half a man, even though just one person. All this goes for woman too— be it either man or woman, still must property and person make common cause to yield one whole name. But if they're separated, there's nothing left of either.
Following this reasoning, Tristan went into action with foresight and vigor. He ordered brought together fine mounts and noble dress, victuals and all supplies needed for festivity and published the occasion. He summoned and invited the finest in the land, with whom its power rested. They did as friends and allies do, assembling as commanded. Tristan too was ready, having made all preparations. On two youths he bestowed the sword, sons of his father Rual, thus constituting them as heirs after their father Rual. And anything on that occasion he could give at his own cost to their honor and position, he was ever ready to show a sincere will to do it, as if they were his own sons. Now they have attained knighthood, each with his own twelve attendants. One among those followers was the courtly Curvenal. The distinguished Tristan took his brothers by the hand, mindful of courtly ceremony, and by hand led them out. All his kin and his retainers, any who at that time by years or by maturity or perhaps by both could use informed consent, 5750 all of them were summoned and invited to come to court. --"Now, my lord, they're all here." Tristan rose to stand before them. "Gentlemen," he addressed them, "to whom I'm ever pleased to render such service truly and persistently as much as lies in my power— kinsmen and esteemed retainers, by whose grace it is I hold whatever honors God has granted, it is by your assistance that I have now accomplished everything my heart desired. What God may have granted, still I know very well it was realized with your support. What more can I add to that? Just in these latter days you have risked your goods and welfare on me in so many ways that I can have no doubt at all that this world would sooner have to end before any of you at any time would set yourselves against me. My friends, men, and all of you assembled here at my wish or by your own sense of worth, let what I now have to say not displease you greatly. I declare and say to you all, as my father Rual, present here, has both seen and heard, that my uncle has bequeathed his land into my hands, and also intends, on my behalf, to renounce a legal wife so that I shall be his heir, and wishes me to attend him always, wherever he may go or stay. Now I have decided, and it is my firm intention, to fulfill all his requirements and return to be with him. Such revenues and dues as in these lands are mine, I bestow in trust as fief upon my father Rual, as his in perpetuity, 5800 whatever be my fate in Curnewal, whether it be well or ill, should I prevail there or die. And here stand his sons before us, with others of his descent. They shall follow him as heirs, and have every right to this. But I remain sovereign, and will hold that power in my hand all the days of my life."
Cries of grief and lamentation broke out among the knighthood. They were thrown into uncertainty. All their confidence was lost. "Oh, master," said one of them, "we would have been much better served never to have laid eyes on you. That would at least have spared us this hurt you do us now. Lord, our reliance and our belief depended so much on you, as though you gave us each life. Nay, but now that life for all of us which we expected to enjoy has perished and lies buried if you abandon us now. Lord, you have only increased, not decreased our sorrow. It seemed that our fortunes were just beginning to rise a little, only now to fall again." Yes, I know, sure as death, just how strong for all of them the grief and sorrow was that this announcement caused. Rual, who came out well ahead, receiving great benefits, and much increase in wealth, was affected even more deeply with dismay than all the rest of them. This endowment, so suddenly— God knows, he never had received one so painfully before.
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