The Story of Amis and Amile: A Medieval Legend
From BIBLIOTHECA ELZEVIRIANA
Translated by William Morris
This story concerns the devotion of two medieval knights. Friendship?
Amis and Amile were devoted friends, twins in resemblance and
life. On one occasion, having strayed apart, they ceased not to
seek each other for two whole years. And when at last they met
"they lighted down from their horses, and embraced and kissed
each other, and gave thanks to God that they were found. And they
swore fealty and friendship and fellowship perpetual, the one
to the other, on the sword of Amile, wherein were relics."
Thence they went together to the court of "Charles, king
Here soon after, Amis took Amile's place in a tournament, saved
his life from a traitor, and won for him the King's daughter to
wife. But so it happened that, not long after, he himself was
stricken with leprosy and brought to Amile's door. And when Amile
and his royal bride knew who it was they were sore grieved, and
they brought him in and placed him on a fair bed, and put all
that they had at his service. And it came to pass one night "when
as Amis and Amile lay in one chamber without other company, that
God sent to Amis Raphael his angel, who said to him: 'Sleepest
thou, Amis?' And he, who deemed that Amile had called to him,
answered: 'I sleep not, fair sweet fellow.' Then the angel said
to him: 'Thou hast answered well, for thou art the fellow of the
citizens of heaven, and thou hast followed after Job, and Thoby
in patience. Now I am Raphael, an angel of our Lord, and am come
to tell thee of a medicine for thine healing, whereas he hath
heard thy prayers. Thou shalt tell to Amile thy fellow, that he
slay his two children and wash thee in blood, and thence thou
shalt get the healing of thy body.' "
Amis was shocked when he heard these words, and at first refused
tell Amile; but the latter had also heard the angel's voice, and
pressed him to tell. Then, when he knew, he too was sorely grieved.
But at last determined in his mind not even to spare his children
for the sake of friend, and going secretly to their chamber he
slew them, and bring some of their blood washed Amis-who immediately
was healed. then arrayed Amis in his best clothes and, after going
to the church give thanks, they met Amile's wife who (not knowing
all) rejoiced greatly too. But Amile, going apart again to the
children's chamber to watch over them, found them at play in bed,
with only a thread of crime round their throats to mark what had
The two knights fell afterwards and were killed in the same battle;
" even as God had joined them together by good accord in
their life- and so in their death they were not sundered."
And a miracle was added even when they were buried apart from
each other the two coffins lay together in the night and were
found side by side in the morning.
HTML, Paul Halsall