THE BATTLE OF RONCEVALLES 183
have hostages as pledges of his good faith. It is time that the war ended; therefore send him one of your Barons to speak with him face to face.' And the nobles answered, ' The Duke has spoken well.'
'Noble Lords, what envoy shall we send to King Mar-sile at Saragossa ? ' 'I will go, if it is your pleasure,' said Duke Naiines. ' Give me your glove and the wand of office.' 'No,' replied Charles, 'your wisdom is great, and I cannot spare you from my side. Remain where you are, I command you.'
'Let me go,' cried Roland. 'No, no,' answered Count Oliver; ' you are too hasty and too imprudent. You would only fall into some trap. With the King's good leave I will go instead.'
'Hold your peace,' said Charles, shaking his head; ' you will neither of you go. None of my twelve peers shall be chosen.'
Then Turpin of Rheims left his seat and spoke to Charles with his loud and ringing voice. 'Fair King, give your Franks a little peace. For seven years you have been in Spain, and your Barons have all that time been fighting and suffering. It is now, sire, that the glove and the wand of office should be given. I will go and visit this Unbeliever, and will tell him in what scorn I hold him.' But the Emperor, full of rage, cried out, ' By my beard, you will stop with me. Go to your place on the white carpet, and give me none of your advice unless I ask for it.'
' Good Frankish Knights,' said Charles, ' choose me a Baron from my own land, who shall be envoy to King Marsile, and who, at need, can fight well.'
' Ah,' cried Roland, ' let it be Ganelon, my stepfather; you will not find a better man.' ' Yes,' said the Franks, 'he is the man; let him go if the King pleases.'
' Ganelon,' commanded the King, ' come here and I will give you the glove and the wand of office. It is the voice of the Barons that has chosen you.'