Erec and Enide Quotes
by Chrétien de Troyes

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Quotes

My lord, since you press me so, I shall tell you the truth; I shall conceal it from you no longer, but I fear it will distress you. Throughout this land all people—the blondes and the brunettes and the redheads—are saying that it is a great shame that you have laid down your arms. Your renown has greatly declined. Previously everyone used to say that there was no better or more valiant knight known in all the world; your equal was nowhere to be found. Now everyone holds you up to ridicule, young and old, high and low; all call you recreant [cowardly].

Enide is in the difficult position in the quote above of needing to tell her beloved Eric an unpleasant truth. People are saying terrible things about him for no longer fighting. They interpret this as cowardice. Erec, true to human nature, does not thank the messenger who gives him unwelcome news, but gets angry at her instead. He tells her to prepare for a journey the two will take alone and not to say a word to him during it without his permission.

Woe to you, who decided to disobey my orders and do what I forbade you to! And yet I knew very well that you had little esteem for me. Your kindness has been wasted, for I am in no way grateful to you; in fact, you may be certain that I hate you for it. I have told you this already and I tell you again. I shall forgive you again this time, but take care next time and do not even look in my direction, for it would be a very foolish act: I do not like your words.

Enide has just told Erec that five knights are waiting to attack him. Once again, rather than being grateful to her, this time for possibly saving his life, he is instead angry at her for disobeying him. But, notably, he forgives her:

My sweet love, I have tested you in every way. Don't be dismayed any more, for now I love you more than ever I did and I am once more certain and convinced that you love me completely.

When Erec hears Enide's words as he lies wounded and she defends herself against the advances of an evil count, Erec realizes Enide truly loves him, allowing them to marry and become king and queen. Enide has survived the challenge and proven her love.