When Tristan, as I have related, had adventured in Almanje for half a year or longer, he began to feel the longing to return once more to his homeland in order to find out there what sort of news and stories were being told about his lady. He had made up his mind to depart from Almanje and once again make his way back as he had come, returning to Normandie and thence to Parmenie to visit Rual's children. He thought to find Rual himself, and tell him of his distress, but he was no longer alive, nor was his wife Floraete. But you should know that Rual's sons who were still living there greeted Tristan's arrival with the most heartfelt pleasure. The welcome they accorded him was full of innocent delight. The kissed his hands and his feet, they kissed his eyes and his mouth, many times, over and over. "Sir," they told him eagerly, "God has sent us in your person once again father and mother. Most good and faithful lord, now you must settle here and take again to yourself all that is rightly yours and ours. Let us prosper here with you as did before us our father who was bound to you in fealty, as we are also glad to be. Our mother, so dear to you, and our father are both dead, but God has taken compassion on our great need in you, whom he has now sent to us." Tristan, already full of sorrow, now had cause for even more regret and great discomfort. He asked to be shown their graves, and having been conducted there, he stood long in meditation, 18650 weeping and lamenting, giving vent to his regrets. He spoke with great emotion. "God, the all-powerful, knows— if it shall come to this, as I have heard since childhood, that loyalty and noble honor can be buried in the earth, they both lie here interred. And if loyalty and honor consort with God, as it is said, then I have not the slightest doubt that this is surely the truth: they two stand in God's sight, Rual and Floraete, whom God put in the world to its benefit and dignity. They wear the crown now where all of God's children are crowned." Those blessed sons of Rual put at Tristan's disposal with the purest of good will their homes, persons, and possessions, ready to be of service to him to the best of their ability. At every hour of the day they were at his command. Whatever he ordered was done in all matters concerning him as far as they could accomplish. They accompanied his inspection of the knighthood and the ladies. They were at his side for many days of tourney, tracking, and hunt, whatever diversion he undertook.
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