Thursday, April 17, 2008

1.3.03


Thus prayed Kiejstut's daughter, who born in paganism, in everyday life mentioned God's name just as everybody else did in those times, familiarly; but in the Lord's house she used to raise her eyes with fear and humility, toward his secret and immeasurable power.

The whole court, although with less humility, prayed devoutly. Zbyszko knelt among the Mazurs, and committed himself to God's protection. From time to time he glanced at Danusia who was sitting beside the princess and he considered it an honor to be the knight of such a girl, and that his vow was not a small thing. Now when his mind cleared from the beer and wine he drunk in the inn he was wondering how he is going to fulfill it? There was no war. But amidst the disturbances on the frontier, it was possible to meet some Germans, and either kill them or lay down his own life.

He had told that much to Macko. But he thought: "Not every German wears peacock or ostrich feathers on his helmet.” From the guests of the Teutonic Knights maybe counts would wear them, but only some and from among the Teutonic Knights themselves, only komturs, and not every one of them was a komtur either. If there be no war, then years may pass before he shall get those three crests; he has not been knighted yet and he can only challenge those who are not knights either. He was expecting to receive the girdle of a knight from the king during the tournaments, which have been announced to take place during the christening, but what will happen then? He would go to Jurand of Spychow to help, he would get as many soldiers as possible, but that will benefit him little. The soldiers are not knights with peacock feathers on their heads.

Therefore in his uncertainty, seeing that without God's special favor, he could do nothing, he began to pray:

"Jesus, grant a war with the Teutonic Knights and the Germans who are the foes of the our Kingdom and of all other nations in our language confessing Your Holy Name. Bless us, but crush them who would rather serve the lord of hell, than serve you; they have hatred in their hearts against us, being angry because our king and queen, having baptized the Lithuanians, forbade them cut your Christian servants with the sword. For that anger, punish them!"

"And I, Zbyszko a sinner, repent before you and from your five wounds beseech for help, that in your mercy you permit me to kill as soon as possible three Germans having peacock feathers on their helmets. These crests I promised upon my knightly honor to Miss Anna Danuta, Jurand's daughter, and your servant."

"If I shall find any booty on those defeated Germans, I shall faithfully pay to holy church the tithe, in order that you also, sweet Jesus, may have some benefit and glory through me; and also that you may know, that I promise to you with a sincere heart. As this is true, so help me, amen!"
But as he prayed, his heart softened under the influence of his devotions and he made another promise, which was that after having redeemed Bogdaniec from its pledge, he would give to the church all the wax which the bees could make during the whole year. He hoped that his uncle would not make any opposition to this, and that the Lord Jesus would be especially pleased with the wax for the candles, and wishing to get it, would help him sooner. This thought seemed to him so right, that joy filled his soul and he was almost sure that his prayer would be heard and that the war would soon come, so that he could accomplish his vow. He felt such might in his legs and in his arms, that at that moment he would have attacked a whole army. He even thought that having increased his promises to God, he would also add for Danusia, a couple of Germans! His youthful anger urged him to do it, but this time prudence prevailed, as he was afraid to exhaust God's patience by asking too much.

No comments: