Sunday, March 30, 2008


But Zbyszko, who surrounded by the laughter, preserved his seriousness, said with dignity while still kneeling:

"I vow that as soon as I reach Krakow, I will hang my shield on the door of the inn, and on it I will put a card, which a schooled cleric will write for me. On the card I will proclaim that Miss Danusia the daughter of Jurand is the prettiest and most virtuous girl among all living in this or any other kingdom. Anyone who wishes to contradict this declaration, I will fight until one of us dies or is taken into captivity."

"Very well! I see you know the knightly custom. And what more?"

"I also learned from Sir Mikolaj that the death of Miss Danusia’s mother was caused by a German who wore the crest of a peacock. Therefore I vow that I will tear several such crests from the helmets of German warriors and put them under her feet."

Here the duchess became serious.

"You are not making jokes of your vows?"

And Zbyszko replied:

"So help me God and Holy Cross, this vow I will repeat in a church before a priest."

"It is a praiseworthy thing to fight against the enemy of our people; but I pity you, because you are young, and you can easily be killed."

At that moment Macko of Bogdaniec who until now stayed back approached, thinking it is time to say something.

"My lady, do not be worried about that. In a battle anybody can get killed, but for a noble whether old or young it is an honor. But war is nothing new nor strange for this boy, because although he is only a youth, he has fought on horseback and on foot, with a spear and with an axe, with a short sword and with a long sword, with shield or without. It is a new custom for a knight to vow to a girl whom he likes to see, but I do not blame Zbyszko for his promise. He has fought the Germans before. Let him fight them again, and if during that fight a few heads are broken, he will only gain a glory."

"I see that we are not dealing with someone ordinary,” said the duchess.

Then to Danusia, she said:

"Take my place as the first person today; only do not laugh because it is not dignified."

Danusia sat in the place of the lady, she wanted to be dignified, but her blue eyes were smiling at the kneeling Zbyszko, and she could not help moving her feet from joy.

"Give him your gloves," said the duchess.

Danusia pulled out her gloves and handed them to Zbyszko who pressed them with great respect to his lips, and said:

"I will fix them to my helmet and whoever riches for them will regret that!"

Then he kissed Danusia's hands and then her feet, and then got up. Then his dignity left him, and great joy filled his heart because from that moment the whole court would consider him a mature man. Therefore shaking Danusia's gloves, he began to shout, half jokingly, half angrily:
"Come, you dogs with peacock's crests, come!"

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