Matteo Maria Boiardo.

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seats her on his horse's croup, and goes in pur-
suit of Orlando, from whom he had separated.

Whilst he is thus engaged, the author re-
sumes the story of Albracca. RiflaWo was left
in close combat with Gryphon, whom he at last
stunned with a desperate blow. When Aqui-
lant, believing his brother killed, took up the
conqueror. Gryphon, however, reviving from
the effects of the stroke, returned to the charge.


Marphisa seeing Rinaldo thus oppressed with
#dds, came to his assistance ; and others
again of those sworn to defend Truffaldino,
who was an unwilHng spectator of the fray,
took part against her and Rinaldo. Orlando
was, this while, pursuing his way in search of
Brandimart, while Brandimart as vainly sought
him through the forest.

Whilst Orlando is thus engaged, he sees a .
damsel issue from a wood upon a palfrey, who
bears a book and horn. Addressing herself to
the count, she tells him, that, if he is what his
countenance bespeaks him, the fairest adventure
awaits him, which ever was achieved by knight;
and which, indeed, had hitherto foiled the
prowess of all who had attempted it, who
re'mained prisoners in the enchanted garden,
which she invites him (if he has the courage
sufficient for such an adventure) to attack.
Orlando accepts the proposal with rapture ;
the damsel presents him with the book and


horn; both necessary for the achievement of
the enterprize; and, having instructed him in
the use of them, retires to a distance.

O rlando accordingly, having first disposed of
the other damsel whom he carried behind him,
sounds the bugle, and a rock opens, from which
issue two ferocious bulls, with horns of iron, and
strangely coloured hair turned contrary to the
natural grain :
And sometimes green; now black, now white it

Now yellow, and now red ; and ever gleamed.

Orlando learned from the book, by whose
rules he was to proceed, that h,e.jyas to bindjthese
beasts ; and this done, was to enter the opening,
from which they sallied, and plow with them the
space within. Such was to be his first la|^our.

The bulls long maintained a severe fight with
the champion, and often tossed, though they
could not gore him : at length he so fatigued
them by repeated Jblows^ from Durin4ai?a, (for
their skin was as impenetrable as his own,) that



he was enaoled to master them, seized them by
their horns, and bound them separately, with
Bajardo's bridle, to an adjoining column, which
was the monument of the king Bavardo. He
then made a plow of Durindana, the point of
which served as a share and the hilt as a handle,
yoked the bulls to the instrument, and having
torn off the limb of a tree for a whip,
ploughed, Jthe-,fieldi as he was directed. The
work acgogiplislied, he loosed his beasts, who
^[•an roaring through the wood, and disappeared
behind a mountain.

Orlando now devoutly thanks God for his
first success, and the damsel of the book and
horn,1iavii^ dismounted from the palfrey in the
meadow, wreaths her brows with the flowers
which it produced. Orlando, however, does
not allow himself a longer truce, but sounds a
second challenge on his enchanted ^j^le._

Upon the second sound, the earth trembles,
and a neighbouring hill vomits forth flame;
which is followed by the appearance of a figry
K 3


dragon. The damsel of the golden apples is
now about to fly ; but she of the book and horn
bids her

** in faith and hope, stand near,

" For only he who proves the quest need fear."

The damsel of the golden apples, who re-
sented Orlando's coldness during their journey
through the forest, observes she is glad that he
only is in danger, and that she cannot regret
what may happen to him ;

" In that there lives not a more worthless wight."
This reproach reaches Orlando's ears, as he con-
sults his book. This guide taught him that his
only means of safety consisted in cutting off the
dragon's head, before he was consumed by the
flame and venom, which issued from her mouth.
The head cut off, he wa s to perform the labour
of Jason, and sow the field in which he had
laboured with the serpent's teeth. From these
I was to spring a crop of armed men ; arid, if he
saved himself from their swords, he might es-
teem hinlself the flower of chivalry.


He has scarce learned his lesson, when the
serpent is upon him. Orlando protected him-
self from her assault with his shield ; but this
and all his armour was consumed by the flame
which she vomited forth. He contends long
with the monster, enveloped in fire and smoke,
but at last separates her head at a blow. He
immediately draws the teeth, puts them into his
helmet, and sows them as the book had enjoined.
The effect followed which had been foretold.

First, feathers sprouting from the ground appear,
By little and by little ; then a crest ;
And next is seen the bust of cavalier,
Furnish'dwith manly limbs, and spreading chest.
Foot in the front, and horsemen in the rear ;
They rise and shout, and lay the lance in rest ;
And, drums and trumpets sounding to the charge,
Level the spear, and lift the covering targe.

Orlando, however, though he had neither
lance nor shield left him, soon reaps this bar-
K 4



vest with Durindana j^nd the seed of the ser-
Y pent thus springs and perishes in a day.

f The victory achieved, he blows the third

**{ and last blast upon his horn, which the author

thus prefaces :


These dragons and these gardens, made by spell,
I And dog, and book by witch or wizard writ,
1 And savage hairy man, and giant fell,
^' I And human face, to monstrous form ill fit,

/ j Are food for ignorance, which you may well
j Decypher, that are blest with shrewder wit :
j Then muse upon the doctrine sage and sound,
' Which lies conceal'd beneath this rugged ground.*

Such matter as is excellent and rare.

And things of scent or savour, rich or fine.
In open hand we do not loosely bear ;
Nor cast such pearls to be defiled of swine.
Nature, great mistress, teaches better care.
Who loves the flower with fencing thorns to twine;
And covers well her fruits, and things of mark ;
The kernel with its stone, the tree with bark ;

* The Italian reader will here again trace some lines of Dante.


A safe defence from bird, and beast, and storm ;
And has conceal'd the yellow gold i' the ground,
Jewels, and what is rare for tint or form ;
That these may be with cost and labour found.
And vain and witless is th' unwary swarm
Who show their wealth, if they with wealth

The mark, at which knave, thief, and cheater

level ;
And so by matchless folly tempt the devil.

As duly would it seem to square with reason.
That good should be with toil and trouble bought.
And to obtain it otherwise were treason,
Than by activity of deed and thought.
'Tis thus we see, that art and labour season
The victual, which without their aid is nought ;
And simple viands, in their nature good^
Convert to sweeter, and more savoury food.


If Homer's Odyssey appear compounded
Of lying legends, deem not these unfit ;
Nor, reading of some god or goddess wounded,
Let this aught scandalize your weaker wit :
For who the secrets of the sage has sounded,
Well knows, that for the sage, the poet writ ;
And veils a different thing, from that which lies
Open to them, who see but with their eyes.

But stop not ye, content, at the outer rind ;
Be not as these, but seek what is within ;
For if no better nourishment you find.
You will have made small progress for your sin ,
j And see in these strange emblems ill-divined,
i But sick men's dreams, and fables. Then begin
A better task, their secret meaning measure,
And turn the stubborn soil for hidden treasure.

Returning to the story, Orlando sounded
his horn a third time ; and, on the echo dying
away, was disappointed by the appearance of
a little white bitch-hound.

This, the damsel of the book, in hopes to
stay the count, who was now disposed to depart,



assured him was that which was to crown his

She explains herself, by informing him, that
in a neighbouring lake is an island, the resi-
dence of the Fata, Morgana, whom God has set
over riches ; which she

" Distributes in the bowels of the mount,

" Whence they are dug with long fatigue and pain ;
" And hides them in the river and the fount,
" In India ; where ants work the golden vein.
" Nor let the tale seem strange, which I recount,
'* Since two fair fishes feed upon the grain.
" Now good Morgana the bitch-hound has sent
" To guerdon thee with treasure and content :

" The wondrous Fay, for various riches vaunted,
" Mistress of all that seas or earth enfold,
*^ Is owner of a hind, in this enchanted ;
" Tliat she is white, and armed with horns of gold ;
" And that by her no forest long is haunted,
" Still restless and impatient of a hold. ^
" Her many hunters vainly seek to catch ;
" But you may take her with this little brach.
* K 6



" Who soon shall rouse her from her secret lair,
" Yelping upon the trail with questing cry :
" Thou shalt pursue, thro' holt or desert bare,
" Though hound and hart more swift than arrow


" Six days shalt thou pursue the flying pair ;
" But on the seventh cease the chase to ply.
" Since in a fount the milk-white hind shall soil,*
" And thou be guerdon'd for thy tedious toil.

" Six times a-day (such riches shalt thou measure)
" She sheds her horns ; which yield an hundred

weight. ;j ajs{ i-:n -rmk,

" And thus shalt thou collect such mighty treasure
" As may defy the wit of man to rate ;
" Thrice blest, if countless wealth can purchase

pleasure ;
" To this perchance deserve a happier fate ;
" And with the hind obtain what is above
** That precious prize, the beauteous fairy's love."

* The technical phrase for a stag taking the water : as he
usually does when distressed. Hence our view-hollo of *' Tayo ! *'
for the stag, is taken from the old French cry of" Taihors," or
" out of the swamp !" as our " Tally ho !" for tlie fox, is derived




Orlando however treats the temptation with
contempt, and unwillingly seating the damsel of
the golden apples behind him, £asts down the
book and horn, and departs*

Proceeding with her, he arrives at a bridge,
where he meets with an armed cavalier, who
claims the damsel as his own. This turns out
to be Qrdauro, to whom Orlando resigns her
with great satisfaction, and pursues his journey
to Albracca .

Here the strife was still continued between
Rinaldo and Marphis a, united on the one
part; and Gryphca,.jmd_^A;g[uilaiit» and all
those confederated to defend Truffa^^^^ on
the other. Rinaldo having in this gained some

from " Taillis hors /" or ** out of cover !" which last etymology
we learn from Lady Juliana Bemers. All our hunting
phraseology indeed is Norman ; even where we should be least
inclined to trace it to such a source. Thus the cry of " Hi-
loicks! Hiloicks !" used by us in trying a cover, we find in her
precepts to be " lUocques, Illocques !" or " There ! There !"
The Normans indeed formed both our hunting code and hunt-
ing vocabulary. See many well founded allusions to this in


advantage over his immediate opponents, Truf-
faldino, who was present, fled into the citadel.
This put a short stop to hostihties, and the
combat was suspended till the ensuing day ;
when TrufFaldino was to be agahi produced,
and to abide its issue.

In this interval two impo rtant circum-
stances occur. Astolpho (who was Agrican's
prisoner, when those, who entered Albracca
\ji J^ with Angelica, took the engagement to defend
lSI TrufFaldino) learning from Gryphon, that Ri-

\P naldo had been his antagonist, changes sides,

and goes over to his cousin.

To counterbalance this loss to the besieged,
^^ ;j Orlando arrives in Albracca, and is received

i-^ with open arms by Angelica.

/ On the ensuing day the combat is renewed
I between the former parties with the addition
of Astolpho on one side, and of Orlando on
the other. In this Orlando and Rinaldo single
1] each other out, and after bitter reproaches.


Rinaldo reproving Orlando for his defence of \
a traitour, and Orlando twitting Rinaldo for
his robberies and evil life, engage in a furious
combat; but here Orlando is ill seconded by
Bayardo, who will not advance against his own

At this moment Rinaldo sees Truffaldino
treacherously unhorse Astolpho, and pursuing
him, (for the traitour flies upon his approach,)
comes lip with hkn before he is overtaken by
his defenders, makes him prisoner, and ties him
by the feet to Rabican's tail. With the wretch
thus suspended, he gallops off at fiill speed ;
the superior swiftness of Rabican rendering all
interference on the behalf of Truffaldino impos-
sible ; and drags him at his horse's heels till
he is dashed in pieces.

Whilst he is running this cruel course,
R inald o thunders out reproaches and threats
against the abettors of the tyrant ; and Orlando,
who had now obtained his own horse, Briglia-


doro, through the arrival of B randim art, who
joins him, renews his battle with Rinaldo on
personal grounds, the others considering them-
selves released from the necessity of fighting
him by the death of Truffaldino.

Night however separates the two combatants,
Rinaldo returning to Marphisa's camp, and
Orlando to the citadel of Albracca.

Here Orlando is received with all love and
honour by Angelica ; who is, however, sighing
in her heart for Rinaldo, and, with this view,
declares she will attend the duel which was to
be renewed on the morrow, and sends Sacri-
pant, delighted with the task, to demand a safe-
conduct for her from ^_Ma rnhisa. Previously
\ however to Orlando's taking the field, she de-
mands of him a boon ; swearing she will make
him lord of her person, if he will promise to
undertake an adventure upon her bidding; and
avails herself of this promise, the next day,
when the strife is at its hottest ; telling Orlando


that enough has been done for honour, and
entreating him now to depart upon the promised
quest; which was no other than the d^truction
of Falerina^^rden in^the^ir^ of Orgagna.^ \^-^

The combatants being separated, and Orlando! ^ ^
departed, AngeHca seeks to communicate with
Rinaldo, but in vain ; and returns disconsolate
to Albracca, from whence she sends a damsel
to Rinaldo with Bayardo, whom Orlando had
dispatched to that fortress on receiving Brig-
liadoro from Brandimart ; but Rinaldo remains |
unmoved by these various acts of kindness.. J

The scene is now again changed, and Or-
lando, whom Angelica had dispatched upon
what she conceived a fatal enterprise, pursues
his way towards Orgagna.

He arrives at a bridge, on which is seen a
cavalier, armed at all points, and mounted, as if
for its defence. Near this was seen a beautifoJL»
damsel, suspended by her hair to a pine, and
weeping bitterly. Orlando immediately moves t


to her relief; but is exhorted by the armed
cavalier to leave her to a fate, which she had
well deserved by her wickedness. In proof of
which he proceeds to relate her adventures.

" My name," pursued the knight, " is Uldano,
and hers Origilla. We were both bom in the city
of Bactria, and I, from earliest infancy, conceived
a passion for her, which grew with my growth,
/and derived strength even from her fickleness^
Another youth, of the name of JLucrmo, loved
her equally with myself; and both were so well
kept in play by her artifices, that each believed
himself to be favoured.

'* Being at length impatient of longer delay,
I threw myself at her feet, and entreated her to
take compassion on my torments. She appear-
ed to meet my passion half-way ; but told me,
there was but one mode in which I could gra-
tify my desires without the sacrifice of her
honour, and suggested the following stratagem
as the means.


" * You know/ said the damsel, * that my bro-
ther, Corbino , though scarcely arrived at man-
hood, was slain by Oringo in combat, a man grown,
and trained to arms. To avenge this treason,
my father has offered a large reward to him who
shall take the murderer, and would soon find
one who would undertake to execute his revenge. (^

You shall bear the cognizance of Oringo, shall y^^^j^"'
suffer yourself to be taken, and thus procure \^^f0
admission into my father's house. Here you -^'^
shall receive the reward of your constancy, and
I will afterwards effect your deliverance.'

" I, senseless as I was, gave into the snare,
and had scarce departed, in order to assume the <

device and arms she suggested, when the trai-
tress called to her my rival, Lucrino, and told
him, that now was the time to win her by the
death or capture of the murderer of her bro-
ther; for she knew his motions, and where he was
to be found, indicating to him the place whither
she had sent me with his borrowed ensigns.
L 2


". To complete her purpose more effectually,
she furnished him also with the ensigns of a
third lover, named Ariantes. to whom her father
had promised her in marriage, on condition of
his avenging him on Oringo.

" In the mean time, this Ariantes met and
attacked me, taking me by my cognizance
for Oringo, and I yielded myself a prisoner,
after little resistance, in the hope of the reward
promised by Origilla.

" Lucrino, who was, this while, dispatched
by her in pursuit of me, fell in with the real
Oringo, and both were desperately wounded in
the combat which ensued. Lucrino had, how-
ever, strength enough left to master his opposite,
and was bringing him away prisoner, when he
was met by the father of Origilla, who at first
judged him to be Ariantes; but when unde-
ceived on a nearer approach, offered him his
daughter in marriage, whom he had pre-
viously promised to Ariantes on the same con-


ditions, provided he would deliver up his

" The offer was scarcely accepted, when
Ariantes arrived, bringing in me, disguised in
the arms of Oringo; and the whole ^tratagem
was now apparent.

" The clearing up this led to new contests :
for Ariantes complained of Lucrino's having
taken his bearings ; and Oringo thought him-
self wronged in that his had been usurped by


" Now, to wear the ensigns of another is i
death by our law, unless the penalty be re- |
mitted by him who has been offended ; and the \
cause being brought before the king, we were
all condemned; Oringo, for having slain (as
before told) Corbino, who was a youth scarcely
capable of defending himself; Ariantes, for
having bargained away the life of another; and
Lucrino and myself, for having usurped arms
and ensigns, which we were not entided to wear.
L 3


" Origilla was (condemned to a yet heavier
punishment; to wit, to be hanged up by the
hair tiU she was dead; while we, in the ex-
pectation of our sentence, were to assist in the
execution of hers ; and to keep watch and ward
over her, as she wavered in the wind. My lot
(for we drew lots to determine the order of our
guard) happened to be the first, and I have
already slain seven knights, that would have
relieved her ; whose arms and bearings may be
seen fastened to the tree."

The knight had scarcely ended, when the
wretched woman gave the lie to his assertions,
and denounced him as having slain those he
mentioned by treachery, hoping by the show of
these trophies to terrify others from attempting
to defend her.

fV t.1onr|n HpItpx^p.^ ^ f ViQ^Joayj and dcfics and
unhorses Uldano. He is no sooner conquered,
than a horn sounds, which a dwarj* win ds fi'om
a tower's top; when another knight takes up


the conqueror; and the four concerned are
all successively encountered, and dismounted,
by Orlando, who now cuts down the damsel,
and departs with her seated on his horse's croup.

Thus riding together, and beguiling the
way with talk, they descried, in the middle
of a meadow, a huge rock of marble cut into
steps, and bearing an inscription in letters of
gold ; when the damsel informs him they are
near a notable wonder, which well deserves his
examination ; since, if he will take the pains of
climbing this pile, which is hollow within, he
may from the top descry Hell and Paradise,
opened to the sight below. Orlando b^efey^s^
th e tale,^^^and.=. ^-^cends the stepsj, when Origilla
having possessed herself of Brigliadoro, laughs
at him for his folly and departs.

Orlando, now examining the inscription,

finds it imports nothing more than that this

was the tomb of Ninus, the founder of Nineveh.

Little satisfied with the discovery, and cursing

L 4


the damsel from the bottom of his soul, he
departs on foot, in order to prosecute his

But here the author closes his first book,
with the promise of treating of higher and
worthier matters in his second.






Agramant, king of Africa, assembles his council for advice
respecting an intended invasion of France, and is exhorted to
seek out Rogero, as necessary to the success of his enterprise.
Binaldo, with Astolpho, Iroldo and Prasildo, leaves the camp
before Albracca, in search of Orlando, with whom he is im-
patient to terminate his quarrel. On his way, he falls in with
a damsel, in whose behalf he combats with an enchanted man,
who plunges with him into a lake, in which they both disap-
pear. Agramant, in the meantime, is unable to find Rogero,
and Rodomont of Sarza, one of his vassal kings, determines
to undertake the expedition alone. Orlando, who had been
dispatched by Angelica on a perilous quest, achieves this and
other adventures. She is in the meantime robbed of her magic
ring by Brunello, who steals his horse from Sacripant, and
her sword from Marphisa. Rodomont, who threatened to
invade France alone, embarks for that country in a storm,
and makes good his descent. Orlando now falls in with the
enchanted man, who had regained the shore after leaving
Rinaldo below the waves, and a long combat ensues between
them on land and under water. Orlando at length vanquishes
him, and makes the conquest of Morgana's garden, of which
he was the champion. From this Orlando delivers all her pri>-


soners, except Ziliantes, son of Monodontes, her minion ; and
more especially Rinaldo, to whom he is reconciled. The Christian
knights delivered, excepting Orlando, depart to the succour of
Charlemagne ; but Rinaldo, with his friends, soon falls into a new
snare. Orlando, accompanied by Brandimart, returns towards
Angelica, in Albracca; but, by the way, encounters Bru-
nello, pursued by Marphisa, and is himself plundered by the
fugitive of his sabre and his horn. He is afterwards entrapped
by the same spell as the others, and carried prisoner to Damogir,
in the empire of Monodontes. This adventure leads to the
discovery, tliat Brandimart is the eldest son of Monodontes; for
whom his younger son, Ziliantes, is also recovered by Orlando,
who a second time makes himself master of Morgana. Ri-
naldo, Astolpho, and the rest, again delivered from prison
by him, pursue their way to France j but Astolpho is seduced
from his companions by the devices of Alcina. Rinaldo
and Rodomont meet in battle in France ; but are sepa-
rated. The invasion of this country is to be attempted
by a yet more formidable force than that of Rodomont;
for Agramant, having received from Brunello the booty he
had made, discovers, by help of the magic ring, the abode
of Rogero, and allures him into his service. Orlando, with
Angelica, whose covert object is the pursuit of Rinaldo,
takes his way to France: she, drinking, however, of the foun-
tain of Disdain, while Rinaldo now drinks of the fountain of
Love in the forest of Arden, the two exchange passions ; he
becomes her lover, and she now mortally detests Am, who
is involved by his present pursuit of her in a desperate duel
with Orlando. Charlemagne, to end thq, strife, gives An-
gelica in charge to Namus, duke of Bavarian Agramant hav-
ing this while landed in France, pursues the war with various
success. The main actions are, as in the first book, diversified

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Online LibraryMatteo Maria BoiardoThe Orlando innamorato → online text (page 8 of 13)