Saturday, August 2, 2008

1.9 (Chap. 9)

The next day Jurand did not avoid Zbyszko at all; and he did not try to prevent Zbyszko from serving Danusia during the journey, since being her knight, he was obliged to do. On the contrary, Zbyszko noticed that the gloomy Lord of Spychow looked at him kindly and with regret. The young knight tried several times to have some conversation with him. After they left Krakow, there were plenty of opportunities during the journey, because they both accompanied the duchess on horseback. Jurand talked readily but as soon as Zbyszko endeavored to learn something about the secret difficulties separating him from Danusia, the conversation ended. Jurand's face became gloomy, and he looked at Zbyszko uneasily.

Zbyszko thought that perhaps the duchess knew what the obstacle was, so having an opportunity to speak to her privately, he inquired, but she could not tell him anything.

"Certainly there is some secret," she said. "Jurand himself told me that; but he begged me not to question him further, because he not only did not wish to tell what it was, but he could not. Surely he must be bound by some oath, as so often happens among the knights. But with God’s help, sooner or later, we will learn everything."

"Without Danusia I will be as unhappy as a chained dog or a bear in a ditch," answered Zbyszko. "There will be neither joy nor pleasure, nothing but sorrow and sighing. I would go to Duke Witold already to fight against the Tatars, but first I must take my uncle to Bogdaniec, and then cut from German heads the peacock's tufts as I promised. Perhaps they will kill me there, and I prefer that rather than to see someone else take Danusia."

The duchess looked at him with her kind blue eyes, and asked him, with a certain degree of astonishment:

"Then you would permit it?"

"Me? As long I have breath in my nostrils, it will not happen, unless my hand be paralyzed, and I be unable to hold my axe!"

"Then you see!"

"Yea! But how can I take her against her father's will?"

To this the princess said, as to herself:

"Does it not happen that way sometimes?"

Then to Zbyszko:

"God's will is stronger than a father's will. What did Jurand say to you? He said to me 'If it be God's will, then he will get her.'"

"He said the same to me!" exclaimed Zbyszko.

"Do you not see?"

"It is my only consolation, gracious lady."

"I will help you, and you can be sure of Danusia's faithfulness. Only yesterday I said to her: 'Danusia, will you always love Zbyszko?' And she answered: 'I will be Zbyszko's and no one else's.' She is still a young, but when she promises anything, she keeps her word, because she is the daughter of a knight. Her mother was like that."

"Thank God!" said Zbyszko.

"Just remember to be faithful to her too; man is inconstant, he promises to love one faithfully, and afterward he promises another and even rope will not hold him. I know what I am talking about."

"May Lord Jesus punish me if I prove such!" exclaimed Zbyszko energetically.

"Well, remember then. And after you have conveyed your uncle to Bogdaniec, come to our court. There will be some opportunity then for you to win your knightly spurs; then we will see what God brings us. In the meanwhile Danusia will mature and she will feel God's will, although she loves you very much even now, it is not the same love a woman feels. Perhaps Jurand will give his consent, because I see he likes you. You can go to Spychow and from there can go with Jurand against the Germans; it may happen that you will render him some great service and thus gain his affection."
"Gracious lady, I have thought the same, but with your sanction it will be easier."

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