Saturday, May 10, 2008


He looked at her constantly, pondering with overflowing heart, how he could honor her by prayer, because he thought that one could not make an ordinary prayer for a queen. He could say: “Pater noster, qui es in coelis, sanctificetur nomen Tuum,” because a certain Franciscan monk taught him this in Wilno; but it may be that the Franciscan himself did not know more, it may be that Zbyszko had forgotten, but he was certain that he could not recite the whole "Our Father." But now he began to repeat these few words which in his soul had the following meaning: "Give our beloved lady good health, long life and great happiness; care for her more than for anyone else."

A man over whose head severe punishment was suspended said this; therefore there was no more sincere prayer in the whole church.

After mass Zbyszko thought that if he could fall upon his knees before the queen and kiss her feet then he would not care what happened next. But after that mass she attended second mass and then third one, then the queen went to her apartments. Usually she did not take any nourishment until noontime, so she was not present at the breakfast, during which jugglers and jesters appeared for the amusement of the king. The old noble of Dlugolas came and summoned Zbyszko to the duchess.

"You will serve Danusia and me at the table as my courtier," said the duchess. "Hopefully you will please the king by some amusing words or deed. The Knight of the Cross, if he recognizes you, may not complain to the king seeing that you serve me at the king's table."

Zbyszko kissed the duchess' hand. Then he turned to Danusia and exclaimed:

"In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost!"

Danusia, looking at him with her blue eyes, asked:

"Why do you make the sign of the cross, Zbyszko, after mass is ended?"

"Because your beauty increased so much, during last night, that I am astonished!"

Mikolaj of Dlugolas, who did not like the new, foreign customs of chivalry, shrugged his shoulders and said:

"Don't waste your time talking to her about her beauty! She is a dwarf who has hardly grown up."

At this Zbyszko looked at him upset.

"You must be careful talking about her like that" he said, turning pale with anger, "if you were younger, I would challenge you immediately and would fight until either you or I were dead!"

"Keep quiet, you beardless boy! I can manage you even to-day!"

"Be quiet!" said the duchess. "Instead of thinking about your own danger, you are seeking a quarrel! I would prefer to find a steadier knight for Danusia. If you wish to foment, go where you please, because we do not need you here."

Zbyszko felt ashamed by the duchess' words and began to apologize. But he thought to himself that if Sir Mikolaj of Dlugolas had a grown-up son, then sometime he would challenge his son and would not forgive Mikolaj for calling her "dwarf." Now he determined to be quiet while in the king's castle and not to provoke anybody, only in case of absolute necessity.

The horns announced that breakfast was ready, so Duchess Anna taking Danusia by the hand, went to the king's apartments, where the lesser dignitaries and the knights, stood awaiting her arrival. Duchess Siemowit entered first, because being the king's sister, she occupied a higher seat at the table. Soon the hall was filled with guests, dignitaries and knights. The king was seated at the upper end of the table, having near him bishop of Krakow, the bishop, although inferior in rank to the other bishops, was seated at the right hand of the king because he was the pope's envoy. The two princesses took the next places. Near Anna Danuta, the former archbishop of Gniezno, Jan, was comfortably seated in a large chair. He was a descendant of the Piasts of Szlonsk and the son of Bolko, Prince of Opole. Zbyszko had heard of him at the court of Witold; and now while standing behind the princess and Danusia, he recognized the archbishop by his abundant hair which being curled, made his head look like a wooden sprinkler. At the courts of the Polish princes, they called him "Sprinkler," for this reason; and the Knights of the Cross gave him the name of "Grapidla." He was noted for his giddy manners. After receiving, against the king's wishes, the nomination for the archbishopric of Gniezno, he tried to take it by military force. For that he was deprived of his rank and banished. He then joined the Knights of the Cross who gave him the poor bishopric of Kamieniec on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Then he concluded that it was better to be friendly with the mighty king, so he asked for a pardon, returned to the country and was now waiting for a vacancy to occur, hoping that the king would let him fill it. He would not be disappointed in the future, but in the meantime he was trying to win the king's heart with humor and anecdotes. But he was still sympathetic to the Knights of the Cross. Even now, at the court of Jagiello where he was not well received by the dignitaries and knights, he sought Lichtenstein's company and gladly sat beside him at the table.
Zbyszko, standing behind the princess' chair, was so near to the Teutonic Knight, Lichtenstein, that he could touch him. In fact, his fingers began to twitch and curl, but he overcame his temper and did not permit himself any bad thoughts. But he could not refrain from looking eagerly at Lichtenstein's head and shoulders, trying to decide whether he would have a lot of work with him, if they met either in the battle, or in single fight. He concluded that it would not be difficult to defeat the German, because even though shoulder appeared quite large under his shirt he was still a weakling comparing with Powala or with the other knights sitting at the king's table.

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