Sunday, April 6, 2008

1.2.08


Then there was silence because everybody was busy eating. Zbyszko picked the best pieces of sausage, which he handed to Danusia or put directly into her mouth; she, being glad that such good-looking knight served her, ate heartily looking and smiling either at him or duchess.

After they emptied the dishes, the servants began to pour sweet wine, abundantly for the men, but not much for the ladies. Zbyszko's gallantry was visible when they brought dishes full of nuts sent from the monastery. There were hazelnuts and some very rare nuts, walnuts also called Italian nuts, imported from afar. They all started at them and after awhile there was no other sound heard but the cracking of crushed shells. But Zbyszko preferred to show to the duchess and Danusia his knightly strength and abstinence rather then showing his craving for rare treats Therefore he did not put the nuts between his jaws, as the others did, but he crushed them between his fingers, and handed to Danusia the kernels picked from the shells. He even invented for her an amusement. After removing kernel, he placed his hand near his mouth and, with his powerful blow he blew the shell pieces all the way to the ceiling. Danusia laughed so hard, that the duchess fearing that the she may choke, asked him to stop that. However, seeing how much the girl enjoyed the play, she asked her:

"Well, Danusia, is it good to have your own knight?"

"O! Very much!" answered the girl.

And then she touched Zbyszko's white silk outfit with her little finger, and asked:

"Will he be mine tomorrow too?"

"Tomorrow, and Sunday, and until death," answered Zbyszko.

The supper lasted a long time, because after the nuts, sweet cakes with raisins were served. Some of the courtiers wished to dance; others wished to listen to the musicians or to Danusia's singing; but after a while her eyelids became heavy, she was tired. She looked twice at the duchess then at Zbyszko and then with a great confidence put her head on the knight's shoulder and fell asleep.

"Is she sleeping?" asked the duchess. "There, this is your 'lady.'" "She is dearer to me while she sleeps than the other would be while dancing," answered Zbyszko, sitting motionless not to awaken the girl.

But she was not awakened either by the music or by the singing. Others also stamped their feet, others rattled the dishes to the music; but the greater the noise, the better she slept.

She was finally awaken when the roosters and the church bells awoke everybody in the inn and they all rushed from the benches, shouting:

"To the church! To the church!"

"Let us go on foot for God's glory," said the duchess.

She took the awakened Danusia by the hand and went out first, followed by the whole court.
The night has already whitened. In the east one could see a light glare, green at the top, then pink below, and under all a golden red, which extended while one looked at it. It seemed as though the moon was retreating before that glare. The dawn grew brighter. Moist with dew, the rested and joyous world was awakening.

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