Lion de Bourges: Folios 151-160 (lines 28893-30625)


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Guillaume, Mélior and Gracienne flee from Palermo. When Morandin learns of this news, he ends his own life. The three escapees get to Rome where they obtain an audience with the pope, who is very happy to meet the son of his old friend Lion. The pope baptizes Gracienne, then marries her to Guillaume. After two weeks in Rome, Guillaume and Gracienne head for Monlusant where they hope to find Olivier, but he is in the Holy Land. Guillaume therefore decides to go to Bourges to sound the horn and claim his rights.

Guillaume takes leave of his wife Gracienne in order to head for Bourges, where he stays at the home of Fouquier, who describes the atrocities of the thirteen sons of Hermer. To everyone’s joy, Guillaume reveals his identity. The sons of Hermer are the only ones that are not happy but one of the brothers, Ysacart, reminds them that Guillaume is no threat since the real horn was replaced. Ysacart insists that Guillaume try the test with the magic horn. Naturally, Guillaume fails, and Ysacart tries to take advantage of this in order to execute him. The barons notice the extraordinary resemblance between Guillaume and Lion and they decide to spare Guillaume and imprison him instead.

Olivier ends his expedition in the Holy Land and sails for Sevilla. From there, he reaches the castle of Caffaut that he had given to Elie and his wife Béatris. From the window of the castle, he sees a ship that is heading for Caffaut carrying a beautiful young girl, who only has one hand. Joieuse is known by the name Tristouse. Olivier is in love with this young girl and offers to marry her. After some hesitation, Joieuse accepts. The wedding takes place the next day, followed by a great celebration and a tournament in spite of Béatris’ violent opposition.

A month after the wedding, Gracienne arrives in Caffaut, where she tells Olivier that his brother escaped from prison in Sinagon, but that he had been imprisoned in Bourges by the sons of Hermer. Olivier gathers an army and takes leave of his young wife.

Accompanied by Guy de Carthage, Olivier crosses Spain and France to lay siege to Bourges. He tries many assaults on the defense of the city but without success. Under pressure from the inhabitants of Bourges, Ysacart allows Olivier to try the test with the horn, knowing that he will be unable to sound it. As expected Olivier fails causing him to doubt that he really is Lion’s son. On the road, he is attacked by the sons of Hermer and imprisoned. Not seeing Olivier, Guy de Carthage cuts the head of the hostages. Gracienne convinces him to continue the siege of the city.

Lion had withdrawn to the hermitage where his father had spent eighteen years. He spends his time praying for the soul of Florantine, while the White Knight brings him the Manna from heaven three times per week. One day, the White Knight predicts that he will be absent for two weeks. Lion tells him of a premonitory dream that he had the previous night, and he asks the White Knight to explain the reason for his departure. He tells Lion that he must help Guillaume and Olivier. Lion expresses his intention to go with him but the White Knight reminds him of his vows that he had made before becoming a hermit. Lion dismisses this objection and takes leave.

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