Lion de Bourges: Folios 91-100 (lines 17512-19494)

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The Saracens are taken by surprise during their sleep and Orible is taken prisoner. When the heathens realize that the assailants are not great in number, they take up the fight again, and are on the verge of annihilating the Christians, when God intervenes and sends Saint Dominique, Saint Georges, Saint Jacques and an army of saints that reverse the course of the battle.

Upon his return to Toledo, Herpin receives a triumphant welcome. The emir makes him governor of his lands and makes him stay in his kingdom. Having no choice, Herpin accepts and obtains the right to live in the castle of Haut-Lieu where he can practice his religion.

Florie rejoices in seeing Herpin triumphant because she wants to marry him and informs him of her desire. Herpin, however, assures her that he is married, but is forced to give in due to her threats. Florie obtains permission from the emir to marry Herpin. The news of the upcoming marriage spreads so far, that the duchess Alis learns of it, too. Returning to his castle at Haut-Lieu, Herpin meets a poor creature on the side of the road and gives her an offering. Alis recognized her lord, but she didn’t have the time to speak to him. She follows him to Haut-Lieu and overhears him confess to his men that he is forced to marry Florie. This confession relieves Alis of her remaining hesitation.

The following day, Alis breaks into the palace of Toledo, where the wedding celebration is in progress. She is hired to sing, but she asks to drink and eat first. Herpin serves her a roasted peacock. Alis refuses, declaring that if Herpin treats her like a fool, then he is even more of a fool because whoever does not remain true to his word is not very wise. After having eaten, Alis gets up and heads toward Herpin’s table and begins singing the story about her life. At the end, she faints and falls at Herpin’s feet, who finally recognizes his wife. Herpin declares that if he married another that same day, Alis will be the wife once the night has come.

Under the effect of this unexpected outcome, Florie tries to kill herself, but Herpin promises to marry her to a knight of France. Alis receives the entire honor, while Florie puts up a good front in helping with the great celebration organized by the emir in honor of Herpin and Alis.

Lion had already spent a long time in Cyprus, when a pilgrim from Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle brings him news of the miraculous victory of Herpin de Bourges against the giant Orible, as well as the discovery of his wife Alis. Lion decides to leave for Toledo immediately; he embarks with Ganor, Alis and Herpin of Cyprus, accompanied by his barons. He reaches the port of Magloire where a giant demands the payment of twenty florins for each ship. Lion refuses to pay, and the giant defeats Lion in single combat. After a serious confrontation, Lion wins and leaves the control of the port to the countess of Eu, whose husband and children had been killed by the giant. Lion learns that Toledo is not much further and that a tournament is being prepared to celebrate the marriage of Florie and Gombaut de Cologne, the famous magician and grammarian. Lion cannot resist the temptation of participating in the tournament; he continues towards Toledo with his squire Ganor, leaving behind Herpin of Cyprus, Alis, and the countess of Eu in Magloire.

Lion arrives in Toledo just in time to participate in the parade before the jousts. Alis, who is helping Florie with the festivities, cannot help but notice the strength and grace of Lion. Ganor opens the tournament by confronting Gombaut, who makes him fall with his first blow of the lance, while Lion accomplishes the same against his father (without knowing his identity) three times in a row, gaining the admiration of the emir, of Florie and even of Alis. Gombaut presents himself to avenge Herpin, but Lion cuts his thigh. Under the blow of pain and humiliation, Gombaut swears revenge.

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