No sooner had the king departed than Isolt awoke, and also Tristan. They looked around in puzzlement for the accustomed sunbeam, which however now came in only at two windows. They examined the third one, which, much to their surprise, no longer admitted any light. Without any further delay they rose and went to investigate. Climbing the outside of the stone they very soon discovered the leaves, blossoms, and grass heaped up before the window. Also, plainly to be seen, up on the fossiure and before it, were the tracks of men's feet, both coming and retreating. Much alarmed by this, they now had cause to fear that Marke, as they could imagine, had somehow found his way there and had been able to spy on them. 17650 This notion, being circumstantial, could afford them no certainty— The evidence proved nothing. But still they had the reassurance that whoever had discovered them could only have seen them lying turned well away from each other in the pose they had devised. Immediately the king summoned his council and his kinsmen at court and in the land abroad for an advisory session. First, he announced to them the circumstance of his discovery, as I have just narrated, and declared that he would hear no more about any misdemeanors respecting Tristan or Isolt. His councillors saw at once that he had made up his mind, and could read between the lines that he wanted to have her back. They counselled him, as wise men do, in accordance with his heart and as they knew in fact he wanted— that he should at once recall his wife Isolt and his nephew, inasmuch as he knew nothing inconsonant with their honor and would never again pay attention to malicious gossip about them. They sent at once for Curvenal, entrusting him as messenger to carry the decision to them, since he knew the situation. The king confirmed his favor both toward Tristan and the queen, declaring his respect and love, asking them to return and to consent not to harbor further ill will against him. Curvenal sped on his way to announce Marke's change of heart. The lovers welcomed his news which gladdened their hearts also. Their joy, however, was occasioned much more by being reconciled with God and salvaging their honor than for any other issues. Again they set foot on the path 17700 leading back to their sovereignty, although, in all their years remaining never again would they enjoy the same easy familiarity nor would they have such freedom for their trysts as before. Nevertheless, Marke himself, as well as court and retainers honored them assiduously, although now no longer so freely or so openly. Marke, the veteran of doubt, commanded and implored both Tristan and Isolt to behave with due modesty for God's and his own sake, avoiding and refraining from those very sweet liaisons of intimate glances and the cozy exclusiveness of secret conversations. These restrictions pained them, but Marke again knew happiness.
Next Episode Index of Episodes