Orlando Innamorato, by Matteo Maria Boiardo

Book III.

Argument.

The third book opens with the introduction of a new character, Mandricardo, son of Agncan, the Tartar king, who, pursuing his way to France in order to avenge his father’s death, is made the prisoner of a fairy. He frees himself, acquires the arms of Hector, and is, as well as other knights, involved in various adventures, till the story returns to the invasion of France, which is suddenly interrupted in the middle.

THE author opens this book by stating, that he is called away to the north. Here a mighty storm was gathering; and France, already sorebested, was suddenly threatened by a new storm from the remote quarter of Tartary.

The emperor of this region, named Mandricardo, having wasted it by his violences, was proceeding in a course of imperious tyranny, when an old man threw himself in his way, and, reproaching him with his outrages, bade him desist from warring upon the innocent and defenceless, and seek to revenge the death of his father upon one who was worthy of his wrath; to wit, upon Orlando, the murderer of king Agrican.

Stung to the heart by the old man’s repreaches, Mandricardo, determining to owe his success in the enterprise on which he resolved to his own individual valour, leaves his kingdom incognito, and departs, without horse or arms, towards the west. Travelling thus alone and a-foot, he had passed the confines of Armenia, when he spied upon a day a pavilion, pitched near a fountain; and imagining that he might there find what he was determined to win by force, entered it, with the view of searching for the horse and arms of which he stood in need. There was none to defend the entrance, and he was already within the pavilion, when a voice was heard to murmur from the waters, that he was a prisoner to the power, whose possession he had violated.

Mandricardo, however, heard not, or else disregarded the voice; and pursuing his search, found a suit of armour, disposed upon a carpet, and a courser fastened to a neighbouring pine.

He immediately clothed himself in the arms, and seized upon the steed, with which he was departing, when a fire suddenly sprang up before him, that, spreading itself, destroyed the pine, and left the fountain and pavilion alone untouched. Mandricardo is himself embraced by the flames, which destroy his armour and clothing even to his shirt. To escape the torture, he leaps from his horse, every thing which he had on him being consumed, and casts himself into the water. Here, he is received into the arms of a naked damsel of incomparable beauty, who kisses him, and bids him be of good cheer, informing him that he is taken in the snare of a fairy, but that if he has heart and discretion, he may rescue not only himself, but so many damsels and cavaliers, that he shall reap immortal glory from the achievement.

She pursued her story, informing him, that the fountain was the work of a fairy, who had imprisoned there king Gradasso of Sericane, Gryphon and Aquilant, and many other knights and ladies. “Beyond the hill,” said she, “which you see before you, is situated a castle, where this fairy has laid up the arms of Hector, with the exception of his sword. On his being slain treacherously by Achilles, a queen, named Penthesilea, possessed herself of this. At her death it passed to Almontes, and from him was taken by Orlando. This weapon was called Durindana. The remainder of his arms was saved and carried off by AEneas, from whom they were received by her, in recompence of a marvellous service which she had bestowed upon him. If you have the courage to attempt the acquisition of these arms, secured in yonder castle by enchantment, I will be your guide.”

Mandricardo was enraptured at the proposal, and only hesitated at the idea of exposing himself naked. This difficulty was, however, got over by the lady, who, letting down her hair, which was bound about her head in braids, furnished a complete covering for herself and the cavalier. Being sheltered from sight by this, they issued, linked arm in arm, from the water, and took their way together to the pavilion.

Entering this, which, as was said, remained untouched by the fire, they reposed for some time upon flowers. At length the damsel gave the signal for departure, and having clothed Mandricardo in armour, conducted him where a courser was in waiting. Upon this he leapt, all armed as he was; and the lady having mounted on a palfrey, both set forward on their enterprise.

They had ridden about a mile, when the damsel, explaining the dangers of the quest, informed Mandricardo that he would have to combat with Gradasso, the conqueror of Gryphon, who had at first maintained the field against all comers.

Thus speaking, they arrived at the castle, which was of alabaster, overlaid with gold. Before this, on a lawn, enclosed with a barrier of live myrtles, sat an armed knight on horseback, and who was no other than Gradasso. Mandricardo, upon seeing him, dropt his vizor, and laid his lance in the rest. The champion of the castle was as ready, and each spurred towards his opponent. They splintered their spears with equal force, and again returning to the charge, encountered with their swords. This contest was long and doubtful, when Mandricardo, determining to bring it to an issue, threw his arms about Gradasso, and the two horsemen, grappling together, tumbled to the ground. In the struggle, however, Mandricardo fell uppermost, and preserving his advantage, made Gradasso prisoner. The damsel now interfered, proclaiming the victory of the new comer, and consoling the vanquished as she could, for his discomfiture.

In the meantime, the sun had set upon the strife, and it was too late for Mandricardo to enter the enchanted castle, which the damsel informed him would be only accessible after sunrise. She invites him, therefore, to lie down amongst the flowers with which the meadow is enamelled, proffering to be his guard; but informs him, that there is harbourage to be obtained at a neighbouring castle, though it can only be purchased by exposure to notable peril. This, she says, is kept by a kind and courteous lady, who is often disturbed, in the exercise of her hospitality, by a giant named Malapresa, whom he would do well to avoid, as he has already sufficient toil and danger on his hands.

Mandricardo rejects this kind intimation, and insists upon being guided to the lady’s lodging.

He and the damsel accordingly set off in that direction, and soon arrive at the palace, which is illuminated with a thousand lights. It appeared as if a watch was kept for friends or foes; and a dwarf was posted in a gallery over the entrance, whose duty it was to give notice of all comers. On the winding of his horn, if there were cause for suspicion, the household, armed with missile weapons, assembled in the balconies: but if it were an errant knight, in search of hospitality, damsels came forth to salute him, and conduct him into the castle.

In this manner was Mandricardo received, who was afterwards magnificently entertained by the lady of the mansion. Their festivity is, however, interrupted by the dwarf’s horn, which sounds an alarum. The signal is hardly given, before Malapresa has forced the gate, and appears in the middle of the guests, armed with an enormous mace. A furious combat now ensues between him and the Tartar king, in which the giant is slain, and cast into the castle ditch. This event occasions only a short interruption of the festivity, which is prolonged late into the night. The revellers at length retire; and Mandricardo amongst the rest, who is as magnificently lodged, as he had been feasted, by the lady of the castle.

At sun-rise he starts from his couch, descends into the castle-garden, washes himself at a fountain; then puts on his armour, and, guided by his former conductress, proceeds upon his enterprise.

On arriving at the eastern entrance of the outer wall of the enchanted castle, which was not more magnificent than extensive, and which entrance Mandricardo found undefended, he was informed, that he must plight an oath upon the threshold, to touch a shield which was suspended. there from a pilaster of gold. The bearing of this was a white eagle on an azure field, in memory of the bird of Jove, who bore away Ganymede, the flower of the Phrygian race. Beneath was engraved the following legend:

Let none, with hand profane, my buckler wrong,

Unless he be himself as Hector strong.

The damsel immediately, alighting from her palfrey, inclined herself to the ground; the Tartar king bent himself with equal reverence, and afterwards passed the threshold without an obstacle.

Advancing through the eastern entrance of the enclosure towards the shield, Mandricardo touched it with his sword. An earthquake immediately shook the place, and the way by which he had entered closed. Another, and an opposite gate, however, opened, and displayed a field, bristling with stalks and grain of gold. The damsel upon this told him, that he who had entered had no means of departure but by cutting down the harvest which was before him, and in uprooting a tree which grew in the middle of the field. The champion, without answering, prepared himself, for his work, and immediately began to mow the harvest with his sword. A strange effect followed; and every grain was instantly transformed into some ravenous animal, lion, panther, or unicorn, who all flew in fury at the reaper.

Mandricardo, thus assailed, snatched up a stone, without knowing what virtue resided in it, and cast it amongst the herd. This stone was party-coloured, green, vermilion, — white, azure and gold. A strange wonder followed: for it no sooner lighted amongst the beasts, than they turned their rage one against the other, and perished by mutual wounds. Mandricardo did not stop to marvel at the miracle, but proceeded to fulfil his task, and uproot the tree. This, which was lofty and full of leaves, he embraced by the trunk, making vigorous efforts to tear it up by the roots. At each of these fell a shower of leaves, which were instantly changed into birds of prey, who attacked the knight, as the beasts had done before. Undismayed, however, by this new annoyance, he continued to tug at the trunk till it yielded to his efforts. A burst of wind and thunder followed, and the hawks and vultures were dispersed.

These, however, only gave place to a new foe; for from the hole made by tearing up the tree, issued a furious serpent with many tails, who darted at Mandricardo, wound herself about his limbs, and was about to devour him. Fortune, however, again stood his friend; for, writhing under the folds of the monster, and struggling to free himself, he fell backwards into the hole, and his enemy was crushed beneath his weight.

Mandricardo, when he had somewhat recovered from the shock, and assured himself of the destruction of the dragon, began to contemplate the place into which he had fallen, and saw that he was in a vault, encrusted with costly metals, and illuminated by a live coal. In the middle was a sort of ivory bier, and upon this was extended, what appeared to be a knight in armour, but what was in truth, an empty trophy, composed of the rich and precious arms, once Hector’s, and to which nothing was wanting but the sword. While Mandricardo stood contemplating the prize, a door opened behind him, and a bevy of fair damsels entered dancing, who bore him away to the place where the shield was suspended, and where he found the fairy of the castle seated in state. By her he was invested with the arms which he had won, he first swearing, at her injunction, to wear no other blade but the sword Durindana, which he was to ravish from Orlando, and thus complete the conquest of Hector’s arms.

The adventure was now accomplished, and the champion departed in order to achieve die great purpose, for which he left his realm of Tartary. Many illustrious knights issued at the same tune from the dungeons of the fairy, who had remained prisoners on a failure of their enterprise, and who had been now liberated by his success. Amongst these were Gradasso, Isolier, Sacripant, Gryphon, and Aquilant, with many others.

Mandricardo himself pursued his journey, in company with GradasSo. Of the others, Gryphon and Aquilant, who knew the language of the Saracens, travelled through strange countries; and thus journeying along the sea-shore, fell in with two damsels, the one clothed in white, and the other in black, and attended by two dwarfs. As the colour of their respective ladies, such was that of their dwarfs, and of the palfreys which they rode: saving in this, they were so alike, as to be undistinguishablc one from the other; and were equals in beauty and grace.

“Sister,” said one of these, addressing herself to her companion, “ there is no defence against destiny; yet wisdom may in some sort, controul fortune: then let us detain these, at least awhile, from the fate which is reserved for them in France.” Thus spoke the sable to the white dasmel, unheard of the two knights who were approaching, and who saluted them with all the courtesy due to their bearing and appearance.

One of the ladies demanded a boon of the two cavaliers; who both as instantly vowed to perform whatever was enjoined them. This was to take the field against a miscreant, named Orrilo, engendered of a goblin and fairy, who inhabited a tower upon the Nile, where he kept (says the story) a kind of dragon, termed a crocodile, and fed it with human flesh. The damsels go on to state, that hitherto no one has been able to prevail against the wretch, who, in dying, renews himself like the phoenix. This account does not discourage the brothers, who again proffer their assistance.

Aquilant accordingly encounters Orrilo, where he keeps the way against travellers; and he being sore pressed, flies to the tower, and turns out his crocodile.

Gryphon now deems himself justified in assisting his brother; and the crocodile is at length slain. Orrilo, however, though often worsted, appears to be irresistible: for though he is frequently unhorsed, and is actually severed into two parts by one of the brothers, he constantly re-unites himself, and renews the contest. The day is now closing, and the two .brothers are in despair.

While things are in this state, a new performer appears upon the theatre. This is a knight, who dragged a giant captive: but here the author leaves Gryphon and Aquilant, as well as the knight and his prisoner, and resumes the story of Mandricardo and Gradasso, who were left journeying together towards France.

This pair, after traversing various regions, arrive upon the sea-coast, where they find a lady chained and exposed upon the beach. On their interrogating her, she tells them, that she awaits the approach of a furious Ork, who will devour her alive; and entreats them, as an act of compassion, rather to put her to an immediate death, than to leave her exposed to so horrible a fate. The only favour that she requests of them, besides this dreadful grace, is, (should they fall in with him,) to inform Norandino, king of Damascus, of her death, and dying sentiments of affection to him.

The knights, however, insist on defending her, and a dreadful conflict ensues between them and the Ork, who is represented as something indistinct, monstrous and gigantic. Gradasso is soon overpowered, and Mandricardo, who, in conformity to his vow, was unprovided with a sword, is obliged to fly before the pest.

He, however, finds his deliverance in flight; for, speeding his steps along the cliffs, he arrives at a frightful chasm, at which he springs in utter desperation. The Ork following him, is unable to clear it, and tumbles down the abyss.

Mandricardo quit of his foe, descends to the shore, in search of Gradasso and Lucina, (for so was named the lady chained to the rock,) and proceeds in company with them along the beach. From this they behold a ship in the distance, which bears the flag of Tibiano, king of Cyprus and Rhodes, the father of Lucina, and who was then seeking his daughter. Lucina, overjoyed at the sight, makes a signal of her vest, and waves the galley to the land. On board this she embarks, together with her defenders; but the vessel has scarcely shown her stern to the shore, when the Ork re-appears, with a monstrous fragment of a mountain on his shoulders: This he heaves into the sea, which flashes above her topmast head, and all cower at the bottom of the vessel for refuge; but the mass misses the mark at which it was hurled, and a loud land-wind rising at the moment, the vessel is blown off to sea.

One danger is only substituted for another; the storm increases, and all is darkness and dismay. In this situation, the night closes in, during which they drift at the mercy of the winds. The succeeding day dawns upon them under better auspices; and they find themselves, in the morning, upon the shore of Acquamorta, where a mountain separates France and Spain.

Here they land in the neighbourhood of a cave, called Runa, without having any knowledge of the coast upon which they are cast. Leaving there Tibiano and Lucina, Graclasso and Mandricardo proceed, armed and mounted, in search of intelligence.

They have not proceeded far, before they hear the noise of battle, and pushing their horses towards the sound, find Agramant engaged with Charlemagne.

The main story is thus brought back to the point where the Christian and paynim armies were left, and where the tide of conquest was fluctuating between the hostile forces. Retiring from the medley, Ferrau had withdrawn into a neighbouring wood, and was fishing for his helmet, in a stream in which he had lost it as he stooped to drink. At this period fortune declares decisively in favour of the infidels; and, while Rogero and Rinaldo are engaged in a single combat on foot, Charlemagne’s forces give way at all points, in irreparable confusion.

The duel of the two champions is interrupted by the crowd of fugitives and pursuers; and Rinaldo, now seeing Bayardo loose in the field, attempts to get possession of him. The horse, however, will not be taken; and Rinaldo, following him into a thick wood, is left there by the author, who returns to Rogero.

Rogero was also a-foot, and grieving for the loss of his own horse, Frontino, whom he however recovered in the rout. He now finds Bradamant and Rodomont engaged in combat. Though he knew not who they were, he could distinguish that one was a paynim, and the other a Christian; and, moved by the spirit of courtesy, approached them, and exclaimed, “Let him of the two, who worships Christ, pause, and hear what I have to say. The army of Charles is routed, and in flight; so that if he wishes to follow his leader, he has no time for delay.” Bradamant, who is thunderstruck with the tidings, desires immediately to leave the field; but this is refused by her antagonist: and Rogero, indignant at his discourtesy, insists upon her departure, while he takes up the quarrel with Rodomont.

This, long and obstinately maintained on both sides, is interrupted by the return of Bradamant, who, not being able to overtake the fugitives, and being divided in her feelings, as to what she owed on the one side to her emperor, and on the other to the stranger who had so generously taken her part, yields at last to what was the stronger impulse, and comes back to his assistance.

She arrives, however, when he was least in need of it; and when he had smote his enemy such a blow, as obliged him to drop both his sword and bridle. Rogero, however, disdaining to profit by his defenceless situation, sate apart upon his horse, whilst that of Rodomont bore his rider, stunned and stupefied, about the field. Rogero was at this juncture approached by Bradamant; who conceived a yet higher notion of his valour, on beholding such an instance of forbearance. She addressed him, by excusing herself for leaving him exposed to an enemy from his interference in her cause, pleading her attachment to her sovereign as the motive; and was engaged in conference with him, when Rodomont recovered from his confusion. His bearing was however changed, and he disclaimed all thoughts of further contest with one of who he said, had already vanquished him by his courtesy.” So saying, he quitted his antagonist, picked up his sword, and spurred out of sight.

Bradamant was now again desirous of retiring from the field, and Rogero insisted on accompanying her, though yet unconscious of her sex.

As they pursued their way, she enquired the name and quality of her new associate; and Rogero informed her of his nation and family. Beginning from the destruction of Troy, he told her that Astyanax, who was preserved by a stratagem of the Greeks, having established the kingdom of Messina, in Sicily, perished by the treachery of a priest, named AEgystus. The widow of this prince, being then big with child, flying from her enemies, escaped to Rheggio. Here she brought forth a son, who was christened Polydore. From this Polydore descended Polydantes, and from, him twin branches, who gave origin to two other families of renown. From one of these sprang the royal race of Pepin and Charlemagne; and from the other, two illustrious, houses, one of which took root at Rheggio, (’ once called Risa’) and the other at Ancona. “From that of Rheggio am I derived,” continu-. ed he; “and am son of Rogero, the son of Agolant and Gallicella. She flying when big with me, from a horrible persecution which she endured during the absence of her husband, then, engaged in war, brought me forth in a foreign land, and died in giving me life. It was here that a magician took charge of me, who trained me to feats of arms amidst the dangers of the desert and of the chace.”

Having thus ended his tale, Rogero entreated a similar return of courtesy from his companion; who replied, without disguise, that she was of the race of Clermont, and sister to Rinaldo, the fame of whom was perhaps known to him. Rogero, much moved by this intelligence, entreats her to take off her helmet; and, at the discovery of her face, remains transported with pleasure.

Whilst he is contemplating this with rapture, an unexpected danger hangs over the future lovers. A party which was placed in a wood, in order to intercept the retreating Christians, breaks from its ambush upon the pair; and Bradamant, who was uncasqued, is wounded in the head. Rogero is in fury at this attack; and Bradamant, replacing her helmet, joins him in taking speedy vengeance on their enemies. Of these they clear the field, but separate in the pursuit; and the author first resumes the story of Rogero.

Quitting the chace, and wandering by hill and vale, in search of her whom he had no sooner found than lost, Rogero now falls in with two knights, whom he joins, and who promise to assist him in the search of his companion, whose arms he describes, concealing, from a vague feeling of jealousy, her quality and sex.

It was evening when they joined company, and having journeyed together through the night, the morning was beginning to break, when one of the strangers, fixing his eyes upon Rogero’s shield, demanded of him by what right he bore the device pourtrayed upon it. Rogero, in return interrogated the enquirer as to his pretensions to the bearing of Hector, who proclaimed himself to be Mandricardo, declared how he had won it, and proposed that arms should decide which of the two was most worthy to bear the symbol of the Trojan knight.

Rogero felt no other objection to this proposal, than die scruple which rose out of the observation, that his antagonist was without a sword. Mandricardo, however, insisted that this need be no impediment; and then informed him of the vow which he had taken, never to wear a sword till he had completed the acquisition of Hector’s arms by the conquest of Durindana.

This was no sooner said, than a new antagonist started up in Gradasso, in whom the reader will have recognised the companion of Mandricardo. Gradasso now vindicates his prior right to the quest of Durindana, to obtain which he had embarked (as was related in the beginning) in that fearful war upon France. A quarrel is thus kindled between the kings of Tartary and Sericane. Mondricardo uproots a young elm-tree, to supply the place of a, sword; and Gradasso, disdaining to combat with unequal weapons, arms himself with a pine. Being thus furnished for offence, they encounter. one another with fury, while Rogero laughs and looks upon the strife.

He, nevertheless, several times attempts to separate the combatants, but always without success. While the conflict is thus raging, a knight arrives upon the ground, accompanied by a damsel, to whom Rogero relates the cause and progress of the strife. This turns out to be Brandimart,” accompanied by Flordelis. He also interposes his mediation, and succeeds better in bringing the two champions to accord. This he effects, by informing them that he can conduct them to the presence of Orlando, the master of Durindana.

“If,” said he, “ you can heal him of a strange enchantment, it is from him that you may claim the sword; nor is he one who will refuse you a fair field for obtaining it. Two leagues from hence,” continued Brandimart, “ is a water, called the River of Laughter, but which would be better entitled the Stream of Tears. Here Orlando is enchanted. An African magician made this known to me, and I had already disposed myself to free him, or perish by his side, but being insufficient by myself for such an enterprise, Heaven has willed that I should light upon you to assist me in the attempt.”

Gradasso and Mandricardo instantly make truce, in order to accompany Brandimart in his quest, nor will Rogero be left behind.

This resolution, however, gave rise to a serious difficulty; for the number to be employed in the adventure was to be unequal, as Brandimart was instructed; and one must therefore necessarily be rejected. Who should lie rejected, it was now determined to decide by lot; and chance pronounced against Mandricardo, who departed with reluctance from the field, and wandering long, arrived at last in Agramant’s camp, who had sate down before Paris.

The story of Orlando is now resumed, where it was left by the author at the conclusion of the second book. The count having plunged into the fountain, termed the River of Laughter, is so delighted with the company of Naiads, and with the pleasures which he finds beneath the waters, that he remains there a willing prisoner.

About this water extended an enchanted wood, thick with evergreen trees; and here arrived Rogero, Gradasso, Brandimart, and Flordelis, determined to attempt the deliverance of Orlando.

This forest seemed impenetrable; but by the advice of Flordelis, the knights descended from their horses, and determined to cut themselves a passage. Rogero, in pursuance of this resolution, hews down a laurel with his sword. The tree is no sooner overthrown, than a beautiful damsel starts from its trunk, and claims the compassion of the knight. She informs him, that the trees which he beholds, as well as that which he has felled, contain sister nymphs, the victims of enchantment; the nature of which is such, that they remain transformed till liberated, as she had been, by the destruction of the plant in which they are imprisoned. “ This deliverance is, however, as yet incomplete,” pursued the damsel; “ and, to perfect it, you must accompany me to the water, if you would not see me again rooted in the forest.” Rogero yields to her prayer, accompanies her to the water, and, seduced by the enchantment, leaps hand in hand with her into the fountain.

In the meantime, Gradasso, attempting to clear his way, cuts down an ash, which is converted into a courser. He immediately mounts it; when the horse transports him through the air, and plunges with him into the enchanted stream, where he remains a prisoner with the rest.26

26 The reader will see in this adventure, more especially in the author’s fitting the temptations to the character of the knights, the hint which Tasso turned to so much better account in his creation of the forest of Armida.

Brandimart, counselled by Flordelis, pursues the adventure with better success; and resisting every species of temptation which is presented to him, at length arrives at the banks of the fountain. Here, however, he would have yielded to the same fascination as the others, but for the wise precautions of Flordelis,

Who, for a safeguard, round his brow disposes

A mystic garland of enchanted roses,27

27 The idea of roses being a solvent of enchantments, is as old as Apuleius and Lucian; and, like most of the mysticisms to be found in those authors, is probably to be traced to a much more ancient source.

She had also furnished him with the same ornaments for the others whom he was to deliver from the pool. Armed with these wreaths, he approaches the knights, whom he finds in the bowers of crystal, into which he plunged, and crowns them with the garlands. The charm forthwith operates; their perverse inclination ceases, and they gladly return with their deliverer to the surface.

They are scarcely safe from the spell, when Gradasso bethinks him of his long quest, and a fierce battle ensues between him and Orlando, for the possession of Durindana. They are, however, induced to suspend this by the instances of their companions, and the entreaties of a stranger dwarf, who appears, mounted on a palfrey, and entreats the assistance of some of the knights.

These accordingly divide; Orlando, attended by Brandimart and Flordelis, taking his way towards Paris, and Rogero and Gradasso accompanying the dwarf.

The author accompanies Orlando and his friends, who arrive before Paris, besieged by the forces of Agramant, amid whose ranks were to be found assembled, Rodomont, Mandricardo, Ferrau, the newly arrived Gradasso, and all the worthies of the paynim army. Flordelis now retires into a wood for safety, while the two champions approach the camp of the besiegers. At this crisis Charlemagne makes a desperate sally, which is seconded by Orlando and Brandimart, and the fortune of the day seems balanced between the contending troops.

The author here leaves things thus suspended, and takes up the story of Bradamant, who lately separated form Rogero, in repulsing the ambuscade of the paynims. She journeying alone, and still suffering from her wound, at length reaches a hermitage, the tenant of which examines her head, cuts off her hair and with this bandages, and finally heals the gash which she had received.

Departing from his hermitage, and still pursuing her way alone, she alights from her horse, and reposes herself in a wood, where she is surprised sleeping by Flordespina, who, deceived by the appearance of her hair, takes her for a man. This princess, who was engaged with her damsels in the chase, by a stratagem detains Bradamant in the forest, where they pursue their sports in company.

But, exclaims the poet, while I sing these lays of ladies and of loves, I see France arming against Italy, and the horizon bright with flames. Hereafter, if it shall be permitted me I will piece the tale which I leave unfinished.

So ends the story of the Orlando Innamarato.

“To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new.”

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Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31