Matteo Maria Boiardo.

The Orlando innamorato online

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the midst of their strife, a new sound of drums
and trumpets was heard, and the army of
^ Charlemagne was descried advancing in bat-

Rodomont, who had in the meantime
mounted the horse of Dudon, leaves Rinaldo,
who was on foot, and gallops to the attack
of the enemy. A desperate battle ensues, but
I night separates the combatants.

Rodomont now thinks only of Rinaldo, and
I deceived by a false report, sets off in pursuit of
r him towards the forest of Arden. (

Rinaldo, however, having this time gone in|
Isearch of Bayardo, was returning towards the\
field upon that courser, when he fell in with \


the Saracens, engaged in carrying aboard their
ships the plunder, and the prisoners made in
battle. Some of these had already sailed for
Africa with Dudon, while Rinaldo, still seeking
Rodomont, makes a tremendous carnage among
the rest.

He at last learns that his adversary, following
a false scent, is gone towards Merlin's fountain,
in the forest of Arden, when he quits the pur-
suit of the Saracens, in order to follow him.

Rodomont was in the meantime far advanced
upon his way, when he fell in with a strange
cavalier, that proved to be Ferrau, who had, it
seems, returned to France, in search of Ange-
lica. The two knights mixing in conversation,
their talk, according to the practice of chivalry,
turned upon love, when Ferrau spoke of Do-
T^ff^^'^^j daughter of Stordilano, king of Granada,
as a lady to whom he had been a suitor. Ro-
domont, kindling at this, avowed his passion for
her, declared he would bear with no rival in his


love, and bade him resign all pretensions to
her, or take his ground and defend himself.
Ferrau replied, that he had loved her and left \
her; but that he would now love her in his

A duel ensues, but the author leaves the
knights engaged, in order to pursue the story
of Rinaldo. He, still seeking his pursuer,
Rodomont, misses him, whilst he is engaged in
combat with Ferrau; and wandering into a
sylvan lawn, in the middle of the forest of
Arden, is surprised by the vision of a bea,u-
t tiful child, dancing naked, with three damsels,
as naked and as beautiful as himself. While
lie is lost in admiration at the sight, the child
approaches him, and smiting on his helmet with
a bunch of roses and lilies, strikes him from his
horse. He is no sooner down than he is seized
by the dancers, by whom he is dragged about
and scourged with flowers till he falls into a
swoon. While he is yet absorbed in this, one



of the group approaches him, who says her
name is Pasiphae; that his punishment is the
consequence of his rebellion against that power,
before whom every thing bends ; and that there
is but one remedy that can heal the wounds
which have been inflicted ; and this is, to
drink of the waters of Love.

Rinaldo, sore and faint, drags himself into
the neighbouring wood, and being parched with
thirst, drinks greedily, and almost unconsciously,
of a spring which he finds there. After repeated
draughts of the water, which is sweet to the
taste, but bitter at the heart, he recovers his
strength and recollection, and finds himself in
the same place where Angelica had formerly
awakened him with a rain of flowers, and
whence he had fled in contempt of her courtesy.

His remembrance of the scene is followed by
the recognition of his crime; and, repenting
bitterly of his ingratitude, he leaps upon Bay-
ardo with the intention of following Angelica


to India, and soliciting his pardon at her feet
He has not ridden far with this intention,
when he beholds, at a distance, a damsel
mounted upon a palfrey, attended by a cavalier
who bore a burning mountain for his device :
but, before explaining who were the damsel and
knight, the author returns to Marphisa, lately
left in pursuit of Brunello.

She had now hunted him for fifteen days.
Her horse had sunk under her during the
chase ; and she had cast away her arms, to be
the better able to pursue him.

Her pains were thrown away. Brunello
arrived before her at the sea- side, and finding a
vessel ready to sail, embarked, and arrived at
Biserta, in Africa. Here he found Agramant,
who was impatient for the ring, which was to foil
the enchantments of Atlantes and to put Rogero
into his hands. The dwarf, now kneeling be-
fore the king, related his story, and presented
him with the ring of Angelica, and the horn
p 2


stolen from Orlando; when Agramant, delighted
at the success of his mission, crowned him, in
recompense, Icino^of Tin|oritAT^g^ ,

All are now anxious to go in quest of Ro-
gero, nor will BruneUo be left behind. The
cavalcade accordingly departs, and having
traversed the Great Desert, arrives at the
mountain of Carena.

At the bottom of this was a fruitful and
well-wooded plain, watered by a large river,
which traversed it in its way to the sea ; and
from this plain was descried a beautiful garden
on the mountain-top, which contained the man-
sion of Atlantes : but the ring, which discovered
what was before invisible, could not, though it
revealed this paradise, enable Agramant or
his followers to enter it. So steep and smooth
was the rock by nature, that none could acale
it; and even Brunello was obliged to renounce
die attempt. He did not, however, for this,
despair of accomplishing the object of the en-


terprise; and, having obtained Agramant's
approbation, caused the assembled courtiers
and knights to celebrate a tournament upon the
plain below. This was done with the view of
seducing Rogero from his fastness, and the
stratagem was attended with success.

Rogero joins the tourney, presented by Bru-
nello with Sacripant's horse, Frontilatte, (whose
name is afterwards changed into Frontino,) and
with Balisarda, the sword of Orlando. In the
medley he is treacherously wounded, but avenges
himself of the traitor ; and, returning to the
summit of the mountain, is healed by the skill
and attention of Atlantes, having previously
learned from Brunello the preparations which
were making for the invasion of France, and
having indeed received his horse and arms, aa
an earnest for his service in the expedition.

The author now leaves him again on the
mountain of Carena, to accompany Orlando
and Brandimart.

p 3



These two, having separated from Rinaldo,
Astolpho, and the rest, were pursuing their
journey through India, when they found them-
selves near a stone, situated by a fountain, where
sate a lady, having her eyes fixed ^ upon the
ground, while a bridge, which divided two
roads hard by, was kept by an armed knight.

While Orlando and Brandimart were en-
gaged in a friendly contest, who should first
encounter him, a pilgrim advanced towards
the bridge, notwithstanding the prohibition of
him who kept it ; and finding that the knight
approached in order to enforce his threat, cast
off his pilgrim's slough, and showed that he
was armed cap-a-pe. A fierce combat now
ensued, between him and the warder of the
bridge, whom both Brandimart and Orlando
thought they had seen before, but could not
recognise, through the strangeness of his dis-
guise. In this strife the pilgrim at last sue-


ceeded in making the warder give ground, and
retire slowly from his post.

On the other side of the bridge, and near
the foimtain which formed the stream, was a
monmnent, which an inscription proclaimed to
be the sepulchre of Narcissus.

Contemplating himself in the neighbouring
fountain, he had pined away ; and his death was
productive of new calamities. The fair y Sil-

vanella, as her evil destiny would have it, pass-
ing near the body, fell in love with the dead
youth, whom she entombed in this mausoleum
of alabaster. Here, too, consumed by hopeless
passion, she perished, and left this dying curse
upon the waters ; that who contemplated them
should see pourtrayed there such a vision of
beauty, that they should become incapable of
departing from the place.

Many, who had arrived upon the banks of
the river, in consequence of her malediction,
remained gazing upon the stream, till they
p 4


expired. Among these was the gentle king
Larbino, who came there with his leman Cali-
dora, who remained inconsolable for his loss,
and took up her dwelling in the meadow, where
he died. This is she, who sits weeping by the
water-side, and whose champion maintains the
bridge against all comers.

And such was the tale she told Orlando,
whom she conjured, in favour of her pious
intentions, to aid her cavalier, hard pressed by
the pilgrim.

Orlando, moved by her prayer, thrust him-
self between the combatants, whom he separated,
and recognized one for Sacripant, and the other
for Isoliero. Isoliero had accompanied the lady
from Spain to India, for the purpose of render-
ing her this service ; and Sacripant had been
dispatched (as was said) by Angelica, to king
Gradasso, for assistance, towards whose king-
dom he was now upon his way.

When the count had learned from this mo-


narch the object of his journey, and the peril
of Angelica, he fled with Brandimart, from the
dangerous water, mindful of the fate of those
that had perished there ; leaving Isoliero, who
had been severely wounded by Sacripant, in
the company of Calidora.

While Orlando took his way to Albracca, Sa-
cripant took up the pilgrim's garb and staff, and
pursued his towards the kingdom of Gradasso.

Orlando, arriving before Albracca, finds it
closely beleaguered. He, however, makes his
way into the citadel, and relates his adventures
to Angelica, from the time of his departure,
up to his separation from Rinaldo and the rest,
when they departed to the assistance of Charle-
magne. Angelica, in return, described the
distresses of the garrison, and the force of the
besiegers; and in conclusion, prayed Orlando
to favour her escape from the pressing danger,
and escort her into France. Orlando, who
did not suspect that love for Rinaldo, who had


returned thither, was her secret motive, joyfully
agreed to the proposal, and the sally was resolved.

Leaving lights burning in the fortress, they
departed at night-fall, and passed in safety
through the enemy's camp. On the ensuing
day, however, the besiegers discovered the de-
ceit, stormed and sacked the citadel, and then
pursued the deserters.

Of these, Orlando went first, escorting An-
gelica and Flordelis, while Brandimart covered
their retreat. In consequence of this arrange-
ment, Brandimart was separated one night
from his companions, while Orlando and the
two damsels were advancing on their way.

As these last, sorely tormented by hunger,
were entering a valley at sunset, they saw, at
the other extremity, a party of Lestrigonians,
seated at their supper, and immediately gal-
loped towards them ; Orlando first, but fol-
lowed by the damsels. Arriving amongst these
cannibals, he prayed them, either for courtesy


or hire, to give them food ; and, being re-
ceived with a feigned hospitaUty, had already
dismounted from his horse, in order to take
some refreshment, w^hen the leader of the party,
coming behind him, dealt a blow with his club,
that laid him senseless on the ground. The
damsels, who had just come up, terrified at

i this catastrophe, fled different ways, pursued

* by a party of the Lestrigonians.

During this time, the others had stript Or-
lando of his arms ; and were handling him, to
see if he was fat, when he was awakened by the
operation. Possessing himself of Durindana,
he soon cleared the field of the cannibals, and
was seeking an outlet from the valley, when
he recognized Angelica, hunted by those who
had pursued her and FlordeHs. To save her,
and avenge her of the miscreants, was the
work of a moment.

It was said that the two damsels separated
in their flight ; in directing which, chance con-


ducted each towards her natural protector ; for
Flordelis, flying east, whilst Angelica fled west,
galloped towards a wood, where Brandimart
was sleeping, after having long sought his com-
panions in vain. Brandimart was as prompt in
rescuing her, as Orlando was in saving Ange-
lica. It is needless to describe his transports
on this occasion : these were, however, of short
duration ; and he heard, with the bitterest
regret, the narrative of Flordelis, who, relating
what she believed she had witnessed, informed
him she had left Orlando dead upon the field.

Returning with Brandimart towards the spot
where she had left the count, a strange adven-
ture for a long time delayed their search ; for
they had not ridden far, before they fell in with
a cavalier on foot, unarmed, except as to his
sword, who defied Brandimart to battle ; and
while he, in a spirit of generosity, refused
the challenge, snatched Flordelis from her
palfrey, and running up a steep rock with his


burden, threatened to throw her down a preci-
pice, unless Brandimart ransomed her with his
armour and his steed.

As Brandimart's armour rendered it impos-
sible for him to pursue, he consented to the
sacrifice; and the stranger appropriated the
spoils. This was Marphisa, who had thrown-
by her arms, in order to pursue Brunello, and
who, finding the chace hopeless, took this
method to equip herself anew.

Brandimart, now reduced to his tunick, and
deprived of his courser, mounted the damsel's
palfrey, seated her on the croup, and pro-
ceeded on his way.

They were doomed to experience new dan-
gers and interruptions. For journeying thus,
they fell in with a band of robbers, from whom
Brandimart fled, in the hope of finding some
means of defence. His hope was realized ; for,
penetrating a wood, he arrived at a fountain,
near which a king lay dead, who was armed


cap-a-pe. Providing himself with his sword,
Brandimart turned to bay, and soon made his
pursuers repent of their temerity. These slain
or put to flight, he clothed himself reluctantly
in the other arms of the monarch, leaving him
his crown and regal ornaments. This king was
no other than Agrican, so preserved by a visible

An after-combat with the captain of these
corsairs put the knight in possession of a steed,
and thus re-equipt, he accompanied Flordelis
in search of Orlando.

This paladin, having recovered Angelica
(as has been related) had journeyed as far
homeward as the sea-coast of Syria without
impediment. Here he found a vessel ready to
carry the king of Damascus, Norandino, to the
island of Cyprus, where he was to make his
first essay of arms.

This was to be made for love of a lady
whose name was Lucina, and whose father, Ti-


biano was king of Cyprus. This sovereign had
proclaimed a tournament, of which the princess
was to be the prize, and thither went Noran-
dino, who invited Orlando to accompany him.
The count, disguising his name and country,
and feigning himself a Circassian, called Roto-
lante, accepted the offer, and, together with
Angelica, joined Norandino, who was accom-
panied by a brilliant train of adventurers. He
was scarcely on ship-board before a breeze
sprang up from the land, and the galley was
under sail.

For the tournament which was preparing,
many Greeks and many Pagans had assembled,
among whom were Basaldo and Morbeco,
Turks, and Gostanzo a Greek. This Gostanzo
was the son of Vataron, emperor of Constan-
tinople, and had brought Gryphon and Aquilant
in his company, who, together with Origilla^
had sought the hospitality of the Grecian court.

In the tourney the combatants are ranged


under the banner of this Gostanzo on the
one side, and that of Norandino on the other.
Gryphon and Aquilant serve under the first,
and Orlando under the second. They are,
however, disguised from each other by borrowed
devices, and Gryphon only suspects a knight
who bore away the honors of the first day, to
be Orlando, from his superior prowess, and
from the presence of Angelica, whom he had
observed seated amongst the ladies that
honoured the spectacle with their presence.

Imparting his suspicions to Gostanzo after
the trumpets had blown to lodging, the wily
Greek determined to rid himself of so formid-
able an adversary. He accordingly introduced
himself secretly to Orlando, and informed him of
a treason which (as he said) the king of Cyprus
meditated against him, at the instigation of Ga-
nelon, offering him at the same time the means
of escape. This was a pinnace moored in a
creek, in which Orlando, breathing vengeance


against_^ie Maganzese, embarked with Ange-

lica, for France. >

Disembarking in Provence, they pursued
their way by land, and arriving hot, and weary,
in the forest of Arden, where Rinaldo had
lately drunk of the fountain of Love, chance
directed Angehca to the waters of Disdain, of
which she drank.

Issuing thence, the count and damsel en-
countered a stranger knight. This was no
other than Rinaldo, who had missed Rodomont,
then engaged in combat with Ferrau ; and who,
on a nearer approach, recognised Angelica with
joy, though his new arms and ensigns disguised
Orlando, who accompanied her. The conse-
quences of such a meeting are easily foreseen.
Angelica views Rinaldo with disgust, and a new
cause of strife is kindled between the kinsmen.

Terrified at the combat which ensued, An-
gelica fled amain, through the forest, and came
out upon a plain, covered with tents. This was


the camp of Charlemagne, who led the army of
reserve, destined to support the troops which had_
advanced to oppose the descent of Rodomont.
Charles, having heard the damsel's tale, with
difficulty separates the two cousins, and then
consigns Angelica, as the cause of quarrel, to
the care of Namus duke of Bavaria, promising
she shall be his who best deserves her, in the
first battle with the Saracens.

The author here jeturns to Agramant, who
was left holding a tournament at the foot of
Mount Carena in Africa. He having heard of
the knight who was slain, and that^ contrary to
his orders, (which were only to employ courteous
weapons,) determined to take vengeance upon
his murderer, and supposing Briinello to be
the criminal, (since Rogero had appeared with
his arms and steed,) ordered him to be hanged
upon the spot.

The danger of him who was about to suffer
for his sake, now again brought Rogero from


his retreat. He routed the troops appointed
to watch over the execution, rescued Brunello,
and then, presenting himself to Agramant, re-
lated every thing as it had passed.

Agramant, too happy to find the object of
his searcE in the youth who had performed
such wonders, forgave the death of the
slaughtered cavalier, knighted Rogero, and car-
ried him off to Biserta, where his vassal kings
and barons assembled for the invasion of Chris-

While they are in the midst of their revelry,
a messenger reports the return of Rodomont's
fleet, whose followers brought with them, as a
prisoner, Dudon the Dane; but could give no
account of Rodomont their leader.

He was this while engaged in battle with
Ferrau, with whom we left him quarrelling
about Doralice ; but their strife was soon inter-
rupted by the arrival of a messenger, who
brought news that Marsilius was, at the insti-
2 2


gation of Ganelon, besieging Mount Albano.
' On hearing this, the dueUists make peace, and
ride together to join the besiegers.

On their way they fall in with Vivian and
Malagigi, sons of duke Aymon, of Mount Al-
bano, who are proceeding towards Paris, to
demand succour of Charlemagne; and Malagigi,
retiring with Vivian into a wood, performs a
magic rite, by which he ascertains the design of
the approaching warriors Rodomont and Ferrau.
To frustrate this, he conjures up a bevy of fiends,
armed and mounted as knights, divides them
into two squadrons, takes the command of one
himself, and gives that of the other to Vivian.
Thus accompanied, the Christian knights
charge their adversaries. But the Pagans are
too strong for them, take Malagigi and Vivian
prisoners, and send their demons howling back
to hell.


armour, as has been before related, proceeds
with Flordelis towards Europe.

Thus journeying, the pair arrived in front of
a magnificent palace. Here a damsel, standing
in a balcony, motioned to them to take another
way ; but in vain ; for Brandimart, feigning not
to understand the purport of her signs, rode
boldly up to the gate. He is now opposed by
a giant, armed with a serpent, which he uses as
a sword. Him the knight vanquishes after
a long battle, in which he is opposed by a
variety of enchantments ; the giant and serpent
exchanging forms, as one or the other is slain
He next kills a knight who kept a sepulchre
in the inner court, and opposed his further

He and Flordelis, who had followed her
lover, now seek the gate by which they had
entered, but all appearance of it was lost.

While they are vainly seeking the means of


escape, they are addressed by the damsel who {)v\-tfej
had at first waved them from the palace ; and ^^f^"^^
who informed Brandimart, he must open the J* l^ a
sepulchre, and kiss whatever issued from it,
if he expected deliverance from his prison.
Brandimart, little terrified by the injunction,
promised compliance ; but started back, and put
his hand to his sword, on the appearance of a
dragon. Reproached by the damsel of the
castle for his breach of promise, he manned his
spirits for the encounter, and kissed the monster
in the mouth. A sudden cold ran through his
bones at coming in contact with her : but what
was his surprise, on seeing the dragon trans-
formed into a beautiful damsel !

This was a fay so transmuted, who, grateful

for her deliverance, offered to enchant the \

horse and arms of Brandimart, at the same time

entreating him to conduct the lady of the

castle, who was named X)oristella, into Syria.

This promised, the gate re-appeared, the fay

^f ^


W rS^ .A-


enchanted the steed and arms of Brandimart,
and he, accompanied by the two ladies, de-
parted upon the quest enjoined.

They had ridden some time in silence, when
Doristella, rallying the knight for his taciturnity,
proposed to beguile the way with the relation
of her adventures. The offer was gratefully
received, and the damsel began her story as
follows : —

" My father, king Doliston," said she, " had
two daughters, the eldest of whom, while yet a
child, was carried off by a thief from the shore
of Lissa. Of this daughter, who was the pro-
mised spouse of Theodore the son of a neigh-
bouring king, nothing was ever afterwards

" And what was the name of the mother ?"
exclaimed Flordelis ; but Brandimart having
checked her for her interruption, Doristella
continued her narrative in her own way. " My
intended brother-in-law," said the damsel, ** still


kept up his connection with my family, and he
and I soon became mutually enamoured of
one another. The young man at length un-
bosomed himself to my father, and demanded
me in marriage; but my father, to his morti-
fication, told him, that he had that very day
promised me to the wretch, whom you slew in
the palace.

" To this wretch, named Usbeck of Bursa,

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Online LibraryMatteo Maria BoiardoThe Orlando innamorato → online text (page 11 of 13)