The whole golden brigade quaked for fear and anger, those words giving notice of their king’s danger; not but that they could soon relieve him, but because their king being thus saluted they were to lose their warden on the right wing without any hopes of a recovery. Then the golden king retired to the left, and the silvered knight took the golden warden, which was a mighty loss to that party. However, they resolved to be revenged, and surrounded the knight that he might not escape. He tried to get off, behaving himself with a great deal of gallantry, and his friends did what they could to save him; but at last he fell into the golden queen’s hands, and was carried off.
Her forces, not yet satisfied, having lost one of her best men, with more fury than conduct moved about, and did much mischief among their enemies. The silvered party warily dissembled, watching their opportunity to be even with them, and presented one of their nymphs to the golden queen, having laid an ambuscado; so that the nymph being taken, a golden archer had like to have seized the silvered queen. Then the golden knight undertakes to take the silvered king and queen, and says, Good-morrow! Then the silvered archer salutes them, and was taken by a golden nymph, and she herself by a silvered one.
The fight was obstinate and sharp. The wardens left their posts, and advanced to relieve their friends. The battle was doubtful, and victory hovered over both armies. Now the silvered host charge and break through their enemy’s ranks as far as the golden king’s tent, and now they are beaten back. The golden queen distinguishes herself from the rest by her mighty achievements still more than by her garb and dignity; for at once she takes an archer, and, going sideways, seizes a silvered warden. Which thing the silvered queen perceiving, she came forwards, and, rushing on with equal bravery, takes the last golden warden and some nymphs. The two queens fought a long while hand to hand; now striving to take each other by surprise, then to save themselves, and sometimes to guard their kings. Finally, the golden queen took the silvered queen; but presently after she herself was taken by the silvered archer.
Then the silvered king had only three nymphs, an archer, and a warden left, and the golden only three nymphs and the right knight, which made them fight more slowly and warily than before. The two kings seemed to mourn for the loss of their loving queens, and only studied and endeavoured to get new ones out of all their nymphs to be raised to that dignity, and thus be married to them. This made them excite those brave nymphs to strive to reach the farthest rank, where stood the king of the contrary party, promising them certainly to have them crowned if they could do this. The golden nymphs were beforehand with the others, and out of their number was created a queen, who was dressed in royal robes, and had a crown set on her head. You need not doubt the silvered nymphs made also what haste they could to be queens. One of them was within a step of the coronation place, but there the golden knight lay ready to intercept her, so that she could go no further.