Lion de Bourges: Folios 51-60 (lines 9677-11777)

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Lion, having learnt that Florantine is being held hostage at Reggio, puts on the pilgrim’s clothes and goes toward Reggio. The White Knight warns him of the dangers that await him and urges him not to fall into sin. As soon as he arrives at Reggio, Lion breaks into the palace where he is recognized only by Florantine.

Meanwhile, it does not take long for Clarisse to become aware of the lengthy conversation between Florantine and the “pilgrim”: but, in the end, it is Genoivre that recognizes Lion. Clarisse, who is aware of Lion’s adventures, brings him into her room, where he acknowledges his true identity. She quickly realizes that Lion is gracious, handsome and strong, just as Florantine had said, and she desires to take the place of Florantine in his heart. She has him take a bath and serves him the best dishes. Clarisse falls in love with Lion and offers herself to him. From this union a child is born bearing the name Girart.

Meanwhile, Florantine and Marie disguise themselves as men and leave. As soon as Clarisse finds out about their escape, she faints because she knows that the duke of Garnier will seek revenge. She begs Lion for help, who takes her from Reggio. After a long day’s journey, Lion and Clarisse arrive at a castle where they wish to spend the night, but Lion realizes that he is in a hideout of bandits. He kills the aggressors; however, three of them escape with Clarisse. The knight Gautier de Monrochier, who marries her, eventually saves her.

The next day, Lion leaves in search of Clarisse, but the White Knight meets him and chastises him for his infidelity towards Florantine; a sin for which he should endure great suffering before returning into God’s Grace.

Florantine and Marie meet a knight who tells them that Lion left Reggio with Clarisse. Florantine faints and under the effects of jealousy, she cannot listen to Marie who is trying to reason with her. Marie takes her to an abbey where they reveal their identity to the abbess, who offers them protection.

King Henry is still laying siege to Monterose but is discouraged because his daughter, Lion and the White Knight are not there to help him. He attacks the fortress but his troops are pushed back when the Bâtard de Calabre arrives with a reinforcement army of thirty thousand men. The following morning, the Sicilians are in great difficulty during a relentless battle in which the king is taken prisoner.

Lion comes back to Monterose to find the Sicilian army in full flight. He regroups the fugitives for a counter attack. Lion disguises one of the men in white in order to make the enemy believe that the White Knight is on the battlefield. Lion rescues King Henry and kills the Bâtard de Calabre, while the prince of Taranto kills the knight dressed in white, and the duke of Garnier escapes.

The duke of Garnier is welcomed back at Reggio by Genoivre, who tells him of the escape of Florantine, Lion and Clarisse. The duke accuses Genoivre of betrayal and condemns her to the stake. The prince of Taranto intervenes and saves her, however she is immediately exiled. She goes to the abbey where Florantine and Marie are hiding, and recognizes them immediately. Genoivre realizes that she can regain the good graces of the duke, so she sends a message to Garnier.

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