Matteo Maria Boiardo.

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with a great variety of episodes.


The theme, announced as I before stated, begins
with the threatened invasion of France ; to con-
sult on which, Agramant calls a council of his
tributary kings. Here Sobrino strongly opposes
the measure ; but finding his opposition useless,
observes that the only thing which can render
it effectual, will be to get possession of Rogero,
a youth who is the cousin of Agramant by the
mother's side, and now detained a prisoner by
the African, Atlantes, on the mountain of Ca-
rena. This advice is better listened to than the
former, and the council breaks up after it has
been adopted, and the king has commanded a
search to be prosecuted for him, on whose
presence so much appears to depend.

The scene now again shifts to Albracca,
from before the walls of which, still besieged by


Marphisa, Rinaldo departs in pursuit of his
new enemy, Orlando, accompanied by Astolpho,
Iroldo, and Prasildo.

Astolpho was at the head of this party when
they fell in with a weepin g damsel, who, being
questioned as to her cause of sorrow, related
that, on lately crossing a neighbouring bridge,
a wretch had issued fi'om a tower which com-
manded it, and seized upon her sister that ac-
companied her, whom he made prisoner, and
whipt bitterly ; having first stript her, and tied
her naked to a cypress. Astolpho immediately
places the weeping sister behind him on his
horse, and all proceed together to effect the
deliverance of the damsel.

The damsel, bridge, tower, and scourging
warder are soon descried. Iroldo and Prasildo
first 'encounter the oppressor, but are succes-
sively defeated; and the ruffian casts their
bodies into a lake, into which the river, bestrid
by the bridge, disembogues itself. ' Rinaldo


now attacks him with as little success, and is
beat down with an iron mace ; but when the
conqueror attempts to dispose of him like the
Others, he makes such violent efforts to free
himself, that the savage, being unable to throw
him, springs with him into the lake ; where they
both disappear.

Astolpho remains a long time in affliction
upon the banks, but is at last persuaded by the
two damsels (for one sister had in the meantime
freed the other) to depart.

He accordingly mounts Bayardo, gives Rabi-
can to one of the damsels, and one of the Baby-
lonian knights' horses to the other; and they
both, thus mounted, go forth under his guidance.

At this time, Brandimart (who, it may be
remembered, was in Albracca) hearing of
Orlando's departure, determines to pursue him.

The same resolution is taken by Gryphon
and Aquilant ; and these, arriving at the shore,
find a castle situated upon the beach, with an


open gallery towards the sea. In this, damsels
are dancing ; and the brothers are informed by
two maids, who are passing with hawks upon
their fists, that it is their usage to detain every
passenger ; who is obliged to join in their dance,
and to pass a night under their roof.

The brothers consent to submit to this joyous
usage, but have soon reason to repent their
complaisance. They soon see a damsel a^
poaching upon Brigliadoro, which she had
stolen fi'om Orlando, as was told in the former
book, and who, being interrogated as to the
manner in which she had become mistress of
him, said that he was the horse of a knight
(describing his ensigns as those of Orlando)
whom she had found dead upon a plain, with
> the body of a giant by his side.

The two brothers are much distressed by this
falsehood, which leaves them little inclination to
enjoy the festivities of the castle, in which they
had been compelled to join.


To add to their misfortune, they are surprised
the ensuing night in their beds; and, having
been detained for some days in chains, are,
together with the damsel, who had also arrived
mounted on Brigliadoro, led forth for execution.
As they are however conducting to the place of
punishment, a stranger knight is seen approach-
ing ; but here the author breaks off, and carries
his readers back to the war before Albracca.

Marphisa had now encountered and worsted
every one of the defenders of Angelica, in an
attack which they made upon her camp, when
she was assailed by Sacripant, who had hitherto
been confined to the fortress jfrom the effects of
a former wound.

A desperate combat ensues, in which the
Circassian is much assisted by the speed and
docility of his horse Frontilatte. In the heat
of this a courier brings him news of the in-
vasion of his kingdom by Mandricardo, the
son of Agrican. As he and Marphisa, however.


cannot agree upon the conditions of a truce,
this occasions but a short interruption of the
duel ; which is at last only broken off by the
author, that he may give some account of the
search made for Rogero, in consequence of
what was determined at the council of Agra-

The emissary of the king returns, reporting
the inutility of his journey, made through the
mountain of Carena, and Rodomont, enraged
at the delay, sets out with his own forces for
the invasion of France. In the mean time
Agramant is assured that Rogero is upon
Mount Carena; though the garden, where he
is confined, is invisible ; and that thejpossession
of Angelica's ring would enable him to succeed
in his enterprise.

Agramant now promises a langdom to who-
ever shall obtain for him this prize, and the
theft is confidently promised by a dwarf, who is
entitled Brunello.




This while, Orlando, robbed by the damsel
of Brigliadoro, was plodding upon his way
a-foot : when he one day fell in with an escort
of armed men, leading two knights as prisoners,
whom he immediately recognized for Gryphon
and Aquilant, and the damsel who had carried
off his courser.

The escort was, it seems, carrying oiF these
to be devoured by the serpent of the garden
of Orgagna; but Orlando immediately routs
the guard, and sets the prisoners at liberty.

He has scarcely looked the damsel in the
face, when he forgets the wrongs he has re-
ceived; and Gryphon , who had exchanged
hearts with her, almost at sight, is yet more fas-
cinated by her graces. Orlando observing this,
under some pretence sends the two brothers
away, that he may keep her to himself; and
sitting down by her on the grass, begins to
woo her with such courtesy as he can.



While he is thus engaged, another damsel
approaches on a white palfrey, who warns
Orlando of impending danger, and informs
him he is close to the garden of Orgagna.
Orlando is delighted at the intelhgence, and
entreats her to inform him how he is to procure

She promises him full instructions ; and, as
the first of these, tells him he must keep himself
chaste for three days, previous to attempting the
adventure, if he would preserve himself irom
being devoured by the dragon, who guards the
gate. She then says she will give him a book,
in which he will find painted the garden and
all it contains, together with the palace of the
false enchantress, which she had only entered
the day before, for the purpose of executing a
magic work in which she was engaged.

This, which was the manufacture of a sword,
capable of cutting through even enchanted
substances, she only pursued on moonless nights.


The object of this labour was the destruction of
a knight of the west, hight Orlando ; who, she
had read in the book of Fate, was destined to
demolish her garden. To this, the damsel
adds, that the garden can only be entered at
sunrise ; and, having presented him with a book
of instructions, departs.

Orlando, who finds he must delay his enter-
prize till the next morning, now lies down, and
is soon asleep. In the mean time, Orjgilla,
who was still with him, meditated her escape,
in order to rejoin Gryphon; and yielding to
the impulse of her evil nature, was about to
slay Orlando with his own sword, which she
had drawn for the purpose. Afraid, however,
to execute her design, she mounts Brigliadoro,
and gallops off, carrying away Durindana.

Orlando wakes, in such indignation as may
be supposed, on the discovery of the theft ; but,
like a good knight and true, is not to be di-


verted from his enterprise. He tears ofF a huge
branch of elm to supply the place of his sword,
and, the sun rising, takes his way towards the
eastern gate, where the dragon was on his

This he slays by repeated blows upon the
spine ; but finds that the wall of the enchanted
garden, which he had entered, was closed upon
him. Looking round him, he saw a fair foun-
tain of water, which overflowed into a river,
and in the centre of the fountain was a figure,
on whose forehead was written,

" The stream which waters violet and rose,
" From hence to the enchanted palace flows."

Following the banks of this flowery stream,
and rapt in the delights of the delicious garden,
Orlando arrives at the palace, and entering it,
finds the mistress, clad in white, and with a
crown of gold upon her head, in the act of
viewing herself in the surface of the fatal sword.


He surprises her before she can escape, deprives
her of the weapon, and holding her fast by her
long hair, which floated behind, threatens her
with immediate death if she does not instruct
him in the means of retreat.

Faler ma, however, was firm of purpose, and
refused. Hence Orlando, being unable to move
her either by threats or kindness, was under the
necessity of binding her to a beech. Having
thus secured his prisoner, he renewed his
questions, but she still refused to point out the
gate of the garden.

He now bethinks him of his book, and con-
sulting it, finds there is an entrance to the south
but that it is watched by a bull, with one horn
of iron, and another of flame.

Moreover, before arriving at this, there is
another impediment: a lake is to be passed,
pregnant with new danger; but to provide
against this, he is instructed by his book.
According to its directions,
M 3


He, Still his path pursuing, gathers posies
Of flowers, which every where about him spring.
And filling well his casque and ears with roses,
Lists if he hears the birds in green-wood sing :
He sees the gaping beak, the swelling throat,
And ruffled plumes, but cannot catch a note.

Having thus proved the force of his defence,
he proceeds towards the lake, which was small
but deep ; and so clear and tranquil, that the
eye could penetrate to the bottom.

He is no sooner arrived upon the banks,
than the waters are seen to gurgle ; and a syren,
rising midway out of the pool, sings so sweetly,
that birds and beasts troop to the water-side,
attracted by her song. Of this the count
hears nothing; but feigning to yield to the
charm, sinks down beside the water; from
which the syren issues with the intent to accom-
plish his destruction. Orlando, however, seizes




her by the hair, and, while .singing yet louder
(song being her only defence), cuts off her head,
and (so instructed by the book) stains himself
all over with her blood.

Having done this as a protection against
the horns of the bull, and taken the roses from
his helmet and ears, he proceeds towards the
southern gate.

Here he is encountered by the bull, whose
horn of iron he severs at a stroke. His horn
of flame was however yet left, and by this Or-
lando, but for the^virtue of the syren's blood, ^ ^*'*
would have been consumed. Guarded by this,
he pursues his advantage, and at last slaughters
his enemy. The bull is, however, no sooner slain,
than the gate, of which he is the guardian, dis-
appears, the wall closes, and Orlando again finds
himself a prisoner, without the means of escape.
^ A^inresorting to his book, hefinds that another
river, running westward, leads to a gate formed
of jewels, which is kept by an enchanted ass.
M 4



Taking his course towards this, he arrives at
a tree of surprising height, and again consulting
his book, razes off his crest, and makes a pent-
house of his shield for the protection of his sight.
Covering himself with it, he advances with his
eyes fixed upon the ground, towards the mira-
culous tree.

On approaching it, a harpy with a beautiful
female head, and crowned with strangely co-
V loured plumes, flutters out from the branches,
,- \ and hovering above the count, squirts her ordure
at his head. This is fortunately protected by
his shield, on which it hisses like boiling oil.
Orlando, distracted by the yells of the harpy,
is often tempted to raise his eyes : he how-
ever perseveres in keeping them fixed to the
ground till he is near the tree, when he falls,
as if blinded by the burning hquor. The bird
now swoops to the ground, and having darted
her talons into his breast-plate, attempts to
drag him towards the trunk. The count sees


his time is come, and dispatches her with a
back-handed stroke of his sword.

The harpy demolished, he re-adjusted his
crest, the gift of Angelica, braced his shield
anew, and took his way towards the western
gate. Nothing was ever seen more beautiful
than this, with respect to the materials, or the
workmanship. Nor was the animal who kept
it less extraordinary ; being an ass, armed with
scales of gold, and ears of such length and
strength, as to be able to seize, and drag to
himself by the aid of them, whatever was within
his reach ; his tail cut like a trenchant sword,
and his bray made the forest tremble.

Though his golden scales had resisted all
other weapons, they were not impenetrable by
Orlando's steel, and he smote off his head at a

A strange wonder followed ; the earth swal-
lowed the carcase of the ass, this gate too disap-
peared, and the walls again closed upon Orlando.


He is now directed by his instructions to a
a northern entrance, and, strong in patience,
proceeds in this direction. On his way thither
he sees a table spread in the wilderness. He
is tempted by the viands ; but recurring to the
book, is informed of his danger, and refrains.

From this he learns that a faun lay concealer)

amongst the neighbouring thorns and roses,

provided with a chain, with which she snared

whoever tasted of the banquet. She fled

^ , from Orlando on his approaching her haunt,

V dragging after her a serpent's tail, till then con-

\v cealed, which was as loathsome as her face was


lovely. Being overtaken, she made no defence
and was slaughtered at a blow.

The count now arrives at the northern gate,
which he finds guarded by a giant. Orlando
had so often been engaged with enemies of this
description, that he thought little of the combat
^m which he was going to engage. In effect,
his expectations were in part justified, as he


slew his adversary. This was, however, but the
beginning of his labour; for, jfrom the blood of
the slaughtered enemy sprang a fire, and from
this issued two other giants yet fiercer than the
first. Orlando sees that to spill the blood of
these, would be but to multiply his foes, and
accordingly, changing his mode of proceeding,
grapples with one of the two in the hopes of
squeezing him to death. He is, however, still
interrupted by the other, before he can accom-
plish his purpose ; and at last sees the necessity
of separating them .

To effect this, he feigns to fly, but the giants,
instead of pursuing, return to keep guard over
the enchanted gate. If, however, Orlando was
disappointed in his hope of dividing them, his
stratagem was productive of another advantage.
He saw the chain lying on the gromid, which was
spread for his destruction by the faun. Return-
ing with this, he nooses the giants and then again
recurs to the book for his future proceedings.


This informs him, that the total destruction
of the garden (the task imposed by Angelica)
can only be accomplished by tearing off a cer-
tain branch of a lofty tree, in which was in-
volved the destiny of this fairy creation.

According to the rules which he received, he
returned through a spacious valley towards the
palace, passing Falerina, whom he had left
fastened to the beech. He soon descries the
fatal tree, which is of an immeasurable height :
while the stem, even at the bottom, is no more
than a palm in girt.

No thicker ; but from this close branch and spray
Bristled, whence foliage green and narrow grew.
The leaves which died and sprouted every day,
Conceal'd within sharp pointed thorns from view :
Apples of gold the loaded twigs display ;
Apples in form, but burnish'd gold in hue.
Suspended from small stalks, so slight in show.
The man had periled life who walked below.


To obviate this danger (and we are after-
wards told that the fruit was as large as the
human head), Orlando forms a sort of grating
of boughs of trees, and, under cover of this,
proceeds towards the tree, amidst a shower of
the golden apples, which fall, loosened by the
vibration of the soil beneath his feet. Having
reached it, he severs the trunk close to the
root, and every thing is instantly involved in

The cloud at length clears away, and the
sun shines forth upon a wild landscape ; where
no vestige is to be seen of the garden, or
trace of the adventure, except in the appear-
ance of the fairy Falerina, who remains in
the middle of the wilderness, fastened to the

beech. ,

Her tone is now changed, and she entreats
Orlando's mercy, assuring him that many lives
depend upon the preservation of hers. She
explains herself by saying, that she had con-


structed the garden and a neighbouring snare
in a bridge over a torrent, in order to be re-
/ venged on a knight called Ariantes, and an
I infamous woman of the name of Origilla, who,
I though many had fallen into her toils, had both
I hitherto escaped.
*" " Many," pursues the fairy, " were entrap-
ped in my garden, and yet more at the bridge ;
and here it was that I took a certain enchan-
tress, daughter of king Galaphron, who by some
secret means escaped, and effected the deliver-
ance of her fellow prisoners. Many more,
however, have been taken since, and all these
will perish, if you are resolved on my destruc-
tion." Orlando immediately promised her hfe,
upon her pledging herself for the deliverance of
the captives.

With this view they proceed together, towards
the bridge; but the author snaps this thread,
to take up that of the story of Albracca.

Here Sacripant and Marphisa were lefl en-


gaged in a single combat, which was still con-
tinued with mutual animosity; while Angelica,
surrounded by a group of warriors, sate con-
templating the fight from the ramparts of the
citadel. While the attention of all was thus
engaged, Brunello, who (it will be remembered)
had undertaken to steal Angelica's ring, arrived
beneath the walls of Albracca, scaled the rock
and walls of the fortress, while the crowd
was watching the duel, and disputing on its
probable result, approached the princess unob-
served, and, slipping the ring from her finger,

escaped amid the confusion which followed.

Having descended safely to the ground, and
swam a water by which the citadel was sur-
rounded, the dwarf perceived that the two
combatants had separated for an interval of
repose, and immediately meditated a new ex-
ercise of his art. With this view, he approached
Sacripant, who, absorbed in an amorous reverie,
sate apart, upon his courser, and having

^, ...^,17.


first loosened the girths, and supported the
saddle by a piece of wood, withdrew the horse
from under him. *

Marphisa, who was at a little distance, wit-
nessed this with wonder, and, before she re-
covered from her astonishment, was herself
plundered of her sword. Marphisa is no
sooner aware of the theft, than she pursues
the robber; but he, mounted upon Fronti-
latte, his new acquisition, soon distances the

While Angelica, who felt her misfortune yet
more than the others, is in despair at the loss
of her treasure, an alarm is given by the warder,
who reports the arrival of a new army before
Albracca. This was a Turkish force, led by
Caramano, brother of Torindo, one of the
princes who had been seized and imprisoned by

вАҐ The reader will recollect the imitation of this absurd
incident in " Don Quixote," whose squire's ass, Dapple, is
ctolen in a similar manner.


TrufFaldino, and who, having refused to enter
into the engagement to which the others agreed,
on his delivering them from durance, now
brought this brother against Albracca.

Angelica's last hopes of dehverance rest
upon Gra d^^so ; who, it seems, was her re-
lation, and who was meditating anew the inva-
sion of France. Hence Sacripant undertakes
a secret embassy to this prince, with the view of
soliciting his succour.

Rodomont, this while, who was too impa-
tient to wait for Agramanfs attack upon Charle-
magne, had already sailed for France. A tre-
mendous storm wrecked his fleet upon the coast
of that kingdom ; but he, landing with such
force as the tempest had left him, made good his
footing, and routed the Christians in more
engagements than one: though the balance at
last turned in their favour.

Previous, however, to this, Gano, or Ganelon,
(as he is sometimes called) enters into a traitor-



ous correspondence with Marsilius, whom he
invites into France.

While great events are preparing in this
quarter, the author resumes the story of
Orlando, who was journeying with Falerina
towards the bridge, where so many prisoners
were entrapped. On their way thither, however,
they arrived at a yet more perilous pass : this
was the bridge, and lake into which the felon
warrior leaped with Rinaldo in his arms. Fa-
lerina, enchantress as she was, turned pale at
the sight of this place, and cursed the hour in
which they had taken the road which conducted
them thither ; informing Orlando that they were
approaching a snare, laid by Morgana; who
plotted revenge against a knight who had de-
stroyed many of her spells, and set at nought
her riches and her power.

For this purpose she had formed the lake;
and selected, as a defender of the pass, a man
named Arridano, a churl of the most ferocious


and pitiless character she could find. Him she
had clothed in invulnerable arms, and charmed
in such a manner, that his strength always in-
creased in a six-fold proportion to that of the
adversary with whom he was matched. Hence,
no one had hitherto escaped from the contest ;
since, such was his strength and power of en-
durance, that he could breathe freely under
water. Hence, having grappled with a knight,
and sunk with him to the bottom of the lake, he
returned, bearing his arms in triumph to the

While Falerina is explaining the danger of
the enterprise, Orlando sees Rinaldo's arms,
erected in form of a trophy, amongst other
spoils made by the villain ; and forgetting their
late quarrel, determines upon revenging his
friend. A desperate contest ensues between the
churl and the knight, during which Falerina
flies. The combatants (as in the case of Rinaldo)
N 2



BOOK ir.

both grapple, and sink together in the water.
jT^\, Arrived at the bottom, Orlando finds himself
^o/ ^ in another world, upon a dry meadow, with the
-S\* lake overhead, through which shone the beams

of our sun; the meadow being on all sides
surrounded by a crystal wall. Here the battle
was renewed, and in this Orlando had an ad-
vantage, which none had hitherto possessed.
Besides that he was himself invulnerable, he
was now in possession of the sword, tempered
by Falerina, against which no spells could
, avail. Thus armed, and countervailing the
> strength of his adversary by his superior skill
and activity, he had the good fortune to lay
him dead upon the field.

Orlando having slain his foe, discovers a gate
in the crystal wall ; and having passed through
a dark labyrinth, comes at last where it is lighted
by a carbuncle, whose lustre was equal to that
of day. This discovered to his view a river
little less than twenty-yards over, and beyond


this was seen a field as thickly covered with

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