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VIII

Spoken: Story and Dialogue

While Aucassin, shut away in the room, missed Nicolette his friend, Count Bougar de Valence, who had to conduct his war, did not neglect it, but, after having summoned his infantrymen and his cavaliers, moved toward the castle to attack it. Immediately the alarm was raised, knights and soldiers armed themselves and ran to the doors and the walls to defend the castle, the burghers went up to the rampart walk from where they attacked with crossbows and sharpened piles without stopping.

While the assault raged at its height, Count Garin de Beaucaire went to the room where Aucassin abandoned himself to his pain and missed Nicolette his very sweet friend who he loved so much.

"Ah! son," said the father, "here you are the most miserable and the most unfortunate of men, because you see someone's attacking your castle the best and the strongest; know well that, if you lose it, you lose all your heritage. Son, take up arms then, mount horse, defend your land, help your men, go to combat: supposing that you yourself do not deal any blows, and the others do not strike you, your subjects, seeing you in their midst, will better defend their belongings and their persons, your land and mine. And you are so large and so strong that you could easily do it, and it's your duty."

"Father," responded Aucassin, "what are you talking about? May God refuse to grant anything I ask if I accept, once a knight, to mount a horse, to take part in combats and battles where I exchange blows with knights, without you allowing me to marry Nicolette, my sweet friend who I love so much."

"My son," replied the father, "it is impossible: I would rather be completely dispossessed and lose all my belongings rather than letting you ever have her for a wife and spouse."

And he turned to leave. But when Aucassin saw he was going, he called him back:

"Father," he said, "come here: I have a good bargain to propose to you."

"What, my dear son?"

"I will take up arms and go into combat, on the condition that, if God brings me back safe and whole, you will let me see Nicolette, my sweet friend, for enough time for me to say two or three things to her and to give her a kiss."

"I accept," said the father.

He made the promise to Aucassin who was filled with joy.

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