The king, witness to his chagrin thus revealed in plain sight, faced for the first time his own endless heartbreak. Here was the certain proof. Supposition and doubt, his old nemeses, were gone. He supposed no longer. He knew. What he had so long sought lay there now revealed to him. I truly think, however, he would have been better off with suspecting than with knowing. He had tried diligently to do away with his doubt— that cure was now a living death. Silently, he turned and left. Summoning his men and council, he addressed them privately. To begin with, he declared that he had information claimed to be accurate that Tristan and the queen were together at this moment. All were to come with him to see the two for themselves. If they were caught in the act, it would be up to the council to pronounce judgment in his name as the law of the land required. But no sooner had Marke turned away from the couch and began to make for the door that Tristan chanced to awake and saw him leaving, from behind. "Ah," he cried, "what have you done, 18250 faithful, loyal Brangaene? By God, Brangaene, I fear this sleep has been the death of us. Awake, Isolt, unfortunate woman— wake up, queen of my heart. I believe we are betrayed!" "Betrayed?" she gasped. "But how?" "My lord was standing over us. He saw us together, and I saw him— there he goes, just now leaving. And now I know, certainly, that for this I must die. He's going to bring witnesses to the facts of the case, so he can put us to death. Lovely Isolt, my heart's lady, now we must part forever. It is not at all likely that we shall enjoy, ever again, such pleasures as we once have had. But you must always remember what pure and perfect love we have known until now. hold to that memory forever— keep me always in your heart! For no matter what befalls me, you will never escape from mine. Isolt must dwell forever in the heart of Tristan. However far I may be, my heart's friend, do not let me fade from your affections. Never forget me, in any need! duze amie, bele Isolt, kiss me now, and dismiss me!" She stepped two paces back and replied, sighing deeply, "Sir, it has been so long now that our hearts and our minds have belonged to one another so closely and sincerely that they can scarcely know what it means to forget. Whether you are near or far, there shall be in my heart nothing of life, or living there, except Tristan, my life and being. Sir, long since have I yielded to you my body and my life. Let no living woman 18300 ever displace me. Then shall our love remain and continue just as fresh and faithful as for so long now it has remained pure. Here, take this ring of mine. Let it always certify our loyalty and our love. If it should ever come about that you perhaps are moved to love one other than me, it is there to remind you what my heart thinks of that. Remember, too, our parting, how near to our hearts it lies and to both our beings. Think of the many hardships I have borne for your sake, and let no one be nearer to you than Isolt, your lover. Do not forget me for another! We two have carried love and sorrow in such companionship up until the present day. It is right to continue this observance until death. Sir, there is no need, I know, for me to admonish you further. If Isolt once was with Tristan one heart and one faith, it will be so, always anew, a permanence that must endure. Yet I will make one request: through lands however far you travel, take care of yourself, my life, for if you orphan me of that, then I, your life, am finished. Myself, your life, I pledge for your sake, not for mine, to guard and protect with care, for your body and your life, I know so well, depend on me. We are one life, one body. Now remain always aware of me, your life, Isolt. Let me see you, my life, as soon again as can be, and see yours again, in me. Both our lives are in your hands. 18350 Come to me now, and kiss me. Tristan, Isolt, you and I, we two shall remain forever one thing, indivisible. This kiss will be the seal of my faith in you and yours in me which will hold steady until death— one Tristan, one Isolt." With this seal on their farewell, Tristan set out on his way with much regret and affliction. His being, his other life, Isolt, was left in much sorrow. These two companions had never said goodbye before under such torment as this. The king had very soon arrived, bringing with him quite an army of courtiers and councillors. But they had come too late, and found Isolt alone, lying still on her bed, lost in thought, as before. Finding now no one there other than Isolt alone, his advisors led him aside to speak with him in private. "Sire," one said, "again, you transgress most grievously against your wife and your honor— You have been worrying, how long now, at this charge of adultery, first this way and then that, on no grounds and for nothing. You despise wife and honor, but even more so, yourself. How shall you find happiness while you continually despoil your own pleasure in your wife, making her a source of gossip in court and everywhere else, although you never have produced a single incriminating fact? What is this with you and the queen? You keep accusing persons who haven't done anything. Sire, by your own honor, there has been enough of this. Stop all this insinuation, For God's sake, and for yours!" 18400 So, by their persuasion, he gave up pursuing them and once again cooled his anger, thus remaining unavenged.
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