Thursday, March 6, 2008


Here the noblemen began to shout:

"For God's sake! Here, in the presence of the queen, will fight not people like you, but only the most famous knights in the world. Here will fight Zawisza of Garbow, Dobko of Olesnica, Powala of Taczew, Paszko of Biskupice, Jasko Naszan and Abdank of Gora. Andrzej of Brochocice, Krystyn of Ostrow, and Jakob of Kobylany! Can you measure your sword against the swords of those, with whom neither the knights here, or of the Bohemian court, or of the Hungarian court can compete? What are you talking about? Are you better then them? How old are you?"

"Eighteen," answered Zbyszko.

"Everyone of them could crush you between his fingers."

"Will see."

But Macko said:

"I have heard that the king rewards handsomely those knights who are returning from the Lithuanian war. You live here, is it true?"

"Yes, it is true!" answered one of the nobles. "King's generosity is well known but it will be difficult to get near him now, because the guests are swarming to Krakow. They are coming for the queen's child delivery and then christening, wishing to show reverence to our lord or to pay homage to him. The king of Hungary is coming. They say that the Roman emperor will be here also, plenty of dukes, counts and knights, and neither of them expect to leave empty-handed. They even say that Pope Boniface, himself will arrive, because he also needs a favor and help from our lord against his adversary in Avignon. Therefore, with so many dignitaries it will be difficult to be seen by a king; but if one could pay his respects and deserves a reward he will get one."

"Then I will bow before him, because I have served enough, and if there is another war, I shall go again.

We have taken some booty and got rewarded by Duke Witold, so we are not poor; but I am getting old, and with an old age and the strength gone one would be pleased to have a quiet corner somewhere."

"The king was glad to see those who returned from Lithuania with Jasko of Olesnica and they feast well now."

"I did not return by then yet - I was still fighting. You need to know that the reconciliation between the king and Duke Witold was at Germans’ expense. The duke resolved all disputes and then rushed against the Germans! He destroyed and burned the castles, slaughtered the knights and a great many simple folks. The Germans wanted revenge, as did also Swidrygello, who escaped to them. There was again a great expedition. The grand master Kondrat himself joined it to lead a huge army. They besieged Vilnius, they tried using their great siege towers to destroy castles; they also tried to capture them by treachery — but they did not succeed! While retreating they lost so many, that not even half of them came back. We also fought Ulrich von Jungingen, the grand master's brother, who is a Vogt in Samland. But the Vogt was afraid of the duke and ran away. From that day there is peace, and they are rebuilding the city. One pious monk, who could walk barefooted on hot iron, has prophesied that from that time as long as the world exists, no German soldier will be seen under the walls of Vilnius. And if that be so, then whose hands have done it?"

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