Bulfinch's Mythology
Thomas Bulfinch

Part 15 out of 19

East, with Rinaldo and many other brave knights, called home to
aid with our arms the great Emperor of France, we reached a spot
where the powerful enchantress Alcina possessed a castle on the
borders of the sea. She had gone to the water-side to amuse
herself with fishing, and we paused to see how, by her art,
without hook or line, she drew from the water whatever she would.

"Not far from the shore an enormous whale showed a back so broad
and motionless that it looked like an island. Alcina had fixed her
eyes on me, and planned to get me into her power. Addressing us,
she said: 'This is the hour when the prettiest mermaid in the sea
comes regularly every day to the shore of yonder island. She sings
so sweetly that the very waves flow smoother at the sound. If you
wish to hear her come with me to her resort.' So saying, Alcina
pointed to the fish, which we all supposed to be an island. I, who
was rash, did not hesitate to follow her; but swam my horse over,
and mounted on the back of the fish. In vain Rinaldo and Dudon
made signs to me to beware; Alcina, smiling, took me in charge,
and led the way. No sooner were we mounted upon him than the whale
moved off, spreading his great fins, and cleft rapidly the waters.
I then saw my folly, but it was too late to repent. Alcina soothed
my anger, and professed that what she had done was for love of me.
Ere long we arrived at this island, where at first everything was
done to reconcile me to my lot, and to make my days pass happily
away. But soon Alcina, sated with her conquest, grew indifferent,
then weary of me, and at last, to get rid of me, changed me into
this form, as she had done to many lovers before me, making some
of them olives, some palms, some cedars, changing others into
fountains, rocks, or even into wild beasts. And thou, courteous
knight, whom accident has brought to this enchanted isle, beware
that she get not the power over thee, or thou shalt haply be made
like us, a tree, a fountain, or a rock."

Rogero expressed his astonishment at this recital. Astolpho added
that the island was in great part subject to the sway of Alcina.
By the aid of her sister Morgana, she had succeeded in
dispossessing a third sister, Logestilla, of nearly the whole of
her patrimony, for the whole isle was hers originally by her
father's bequest. But Logestilla was temperate and sage, while the
other sisters were false and voluptuous. Her empire was divided
from theirs by a gulf and chain of mountains, which alone had thus
far prevented her sister from usurping it.

Astolpho here ended his tale, and Rogero, who knew that he was the
cousin of Bradamante, would gladly have devised some way for his
relief; but, as that was out of his power, he consoled him as well
as he could, and then begged to be told the way to the palace of
Logestilla, and how to avoid that of Alcina. Astolpho directed him
to take the road to the left, though rough and full of rocks. He
warned him that this road would present serious obstacles; that
troops of monsters would oppose his passage, employed by the art
of Alcina to prevent her subjects from escaping from her dominion.
Rogero thanked the myrtle, and prepared to set out on his way.

He at first thought he would mount the winged horse, and scale the
mountain on his back; but he was too uncertain of his power to
control him to wish to encounter the hazard of another flight
through the air, besides that he was almost famished for the want
of food. So he led the horse after him, and took the road on foot,
which for some distance led equally to the dominions of both the

He had not advanced more than two miles when he saw before him the
superb city of Alcina. It was surrounded with a wall of gold,
which seemed to reach the skies. I know that some think that this
wall was not of real gold, but only the work of alchemy; it
matters not; I prefer to think it gold, for it certainly shone
like gold.

A broad and level road led to the gates of the city, and from this
another branched off, narrow and rough, which led to the mountain
region. Rogero took without hesitation the narrow road; but he had
no sooner entered upon it than he was assailed by a numerous troop
which opposed his passage.

You never have seen anything so ridiculous, so extraordinary, as
this host of hobgoblins were. Some of them bore the human form
from the neck to the feet, but had the head of a monkey or a cat;
others had the legs and the ears of a horse; old men and women,
bald and hideous, ran hither and thither as if out of their
senses, half clad in the shaggy skins of beasts; one rode full
speed on a horse without a bridle, another jogged along mounted on
an ass or a cow; others, full of agility, skipped about, and clung
to the tails and manes of the animals which their companions rode.
Some blew horns, others brandished drinking-cups; some were armed
with spits, and some with pitchforks. One, who appeared to be the
captain, had an enormous belly and a gross fat head; he was
mounted on a tortoise, that waddled, now this way, now that,
without keeping any one direction.

One of these monsters, who had something approaching the human
form, though he had the neck, ears, and muzzle of a dog, set
himself to bark furiously at Rogero, to make him turn off to the
right, and reenter upon the road to the gay city; but the brave
chevalier exclaimed, "That will I not, so long as I can use this
sword,"--and he thrust the point directly at his face. The monster
tried to strike him with a lance, but Rogero was too quick for
him, and thrust his sword through his body, so that it appeared a
hand's breadth behind his back. The paladin, now giving full vent
to his rage, laid about him vigorously among the rabble, cleaving
one to the teeth, another to the girdle; but the troop were so
numerous, and in spite of his blows pressed around him so close,
that, to clear his way, he must have had as many arms as Briareus.

If Rogero had uncovered the shield of the enchanter, which hung at
his saddle-bow, he might easily have vanquished this monstrous
rout; but perhaps he did not think of it, and perhaps he preferred
to seek his defence nowhere but in his good sword. At that moment,
when his perplexity was at its height, he saw issue from the city
gate two young beauties, whose air and dress proclaimed their rank
and gentle nurture. Each of them was mounted on a unicorn, whose
whiteness surpassed that of ermine. They advanced to the meadow
where Rogero was contending so valiantly against the hobgoblins,
who all retired at their approach. They drew near, they extended
their hands to the young warrior, whose cheeks glowed with the
flush of exercise and modesty. Grateful for their assistance, he
expressed his thanks, and, having no heart to refuse them,
followed their guidance to the gate of the city.

This grand and beautiful entrance was adorned by a portico of four
vast columns, all of diamond. Whether they were real diamond or
artificial I cannot say. What matter is it, so long as they
appeared to the eye like diamond, and nothing could be more gay
and splendid.

On the threshold, and between the columns, was seen a bevy of
charming young women, who played and frolicked together. They all
ran to receive Rogero, and conducted him into the palace, which
appeared like a paradise.

We might well call by that name this abode, where the hours flew
by, without account, in ever-new delights. The bare idea of
satiety, want, and, above all, of age, never entered the minds of
the inhabitants. They experienced no sensations except those of
luxury and gayety; the cup of happiness seemed for them ever-
flowing and exhaustless. The two young damsels to whom Rogero owed
his deliverance from the hobgoblins conducted him to the apartment
of their mistress. The beautiful Alcina advanced, and greeted him
with an air at once dignified and courteous. All her court
surrounded the paladin, and rendered him the most flattering
attentions. The castle was less admirable for its magnificence
than for the charms of those who inhabited it. They were of either
sex, well matched in beauty, youth, and grace; but among this
charming group the brilliant Alcina shone, as the sun outshines
the stars. The young warrior was fascinated. All that he had heard
from the myrtle-tree appeared to him but a vile calumny. How could
he suspect that falsehood and treason veiled themselves under
smiles and the ingenuous air of truth? He doubted not that
Astolpho had deserved his fate, and perhaps a punishment more
severe; he regarded all his stories as dictated by a disappointed
spirit, and a thirst for revenge. But we must not condemn Rogero
too harshly, for he was the victim of magic power.

They seated themselves at table, and immediately harmonious lyres
and harps waked the air with the most ravishing notes. The charms
of poetry were added in entertaining recitals; the magnificence of
the feast would have done credit to a royal board. The traitress
forgot nothing which might charm the paladin, and attach him to
the spot, meaning, when she should grow tired of him, to
metamorphose him as she had done others. In the same manner passed
each succeeding day. Games of pleasant exercise, the chase, the
dance, or rural sports, made the hours pass quickly; while they
gave zest to the refreshment of the bath, or sleep.

Thus Rogero led a life of ease and luxury, while Charlemagne and
Agramant were struggling for empire. But I cannot linger with him
while the amiable and courageous Bradamante is night and day
directing her uncertain steps to every spot where the slightest
chance invites her, in the hope of recovering Rogero.

I will therefore say that, having sought him in vain in fields and
in cities, she knew not whither next to direct her steps. She did
not apprehend the death of Rogero. The fall of such a hero would
have reechoed from the Hydaspes to the farthest river of the West;
but, not knowing whether he was on the earth or in the air, she
concluded, as a last resource, to return to the cavern which
contained the tomb of Merlin, to ask of him some sure direction to
the object of her search.

While this thought occupied her mind, Melissa, the sage
enchantress, suddenly appeared before her. This virtuous and
beneficent magician had discovered by her spells that Rogero was
passing his time in pleasure and idleness, forgetful of his honor
and his sovereign. Not able to endure the thought that one who was
born to be a hero should waste his years in base repose, and leave
a sullied reputation in the memory of survivors, she saw that
vigorous measures must be employed to draw him forth into the
paths of virtue. Melissa was not blinded by her affection for the
amiable paladin, like Atlantes, who, intent only on preserving
Rogero's life, cared nothing for his fame. It was that old
enchanter whose arts had guided the Hippogriff to the isle of the
too charming Alcina, where he hoped his favorite would learn to
forget honor, and lose the love of glory.

At the sight of Melissa joy lighted up the countenance of
Bradamante, and hope animated her breast. Melissa concealed
nothing from her, but told her how Rogero was in the toils of
Alcina. Bradamante was plunged in grief and terror; but the kind
enchantress calmed her, dispelled her fears, and promised that
before many days she would lead back the paladin to her feet.

"My daughter," she said, "give me the ring which you wear, and
which possesses the power to overcome enchantments. By means of it
I doubt not but that I may enter the stronghold where the false
Alcina holds Rogero in durance, and may succeed in vanquishing her
and liberating him." Bradamante unhesitatingly delivered her the
ring, recommending Rogero to her best efforts. Melissa then
summoned by her art a huge palfrey, black as jet, excepting one
foot, which was bay. Mounted upon this animal, she rode with such
speed that by the next morning she had reached the abode of

She here transformed herself into the perfect resemblance of the
old magician Atlantes, adding a palm-breadth to her height, and
enlarging her whole figure. Her chin she covered with a long
beard, and seamed her whole visage well with wrinkles. She assumed
also his voice and manner, and watched her chance to find Rogero
alone. At last she found him, dressed in a rich tunic of silk and
gold, a collar of precious stones about his neck, and his arms,
once so rough with exercise, decorated with bracelets. His air and
his every motion indicated effeminacy, and he seemed to retain
nothing of Rogero but the name; such power had the enchantress
obtained over him.

Melissa, under the form of his old instructor, presented herself
before him, wearing a stern and serious visage. "Is this, then,"
she said, "the fruit of all my labors? Is it for this that I fed
you on the marrow of bears and lions, that I taught you to subdue
dragons, and, like Hercules, strangle serpents in your youthful
grasp, only to make you, by all my cares, a feeble Adonis? My
nightly watchings of the stars, of the yet warm fibres of animals,
the lots I have cast, the points of nativity that I have
calculated, have they all falsely indicated that you were born for
greatness? Who could have believed that you would become the slave
of a base enchantress? O Rogero, learn to know this Alcina, learn
to understand her arts and to countervail them. Take this ring,
place it on your finger, return to her presence, and see for
yourself what are her real charms."

At these words, Rogero, confused, abashed, cast his eyes upon the
ground, and knew not what to answer. Melissa seized the moment,
slipped the ring on his finger, and the paladin was himself again.
What a thunderclap to him! Overcome by shame, he dared not to
encounter the looks of his instructor. When at last he raised his
eyes he beheld not that venerable form, but the priestess Melissa,
who in virtue of the ring now appeared in her true person. She
told him of the motives which had led her to come to his rescue,
of the griefs and regrets of Bradamante, and of her unwearied
search for him. "That charming Amazon," she said, "sends you this
ring, which is a sovereign antidote to all enchantments. She would
have sent you her heart in my hands, if it would have had greater
power to serve you."

It was needless for Melissa to say more. Rogero's love for Alcina,
being but the work of enchantment, vanished as soon as the
enchantment was withdrawn, and he now hated her with an equal
intensity, seeing no longer anything in her but her vices, and
feeling only resentment for the shame that she had put upon him.

His surprise when he again beheld Alcina was no less than his
indignation. Fortified by his ring from her enchantments, he saw
her as she was, a monster of ugliness. All her charms were
artificial, and, truly viewed, were rather deformities. She was,
in fact, older than Hecuba or the Sibyl of Cumae; but an art,
which it is to be regretted our times have lost, enabled her to
appear charming, and to clothe herself in all the attractions of
youth. Rogero now saw all this, but, governed by the counsels of
Melissa, he concealed his surprise, assumed under some pretext his
armor, long neglected, and bound to his side Belisarda, his trusty
sword, taking also the buckler of Atlantes, covered with its veil.

He then selected a horse from the stables of Alcina, without
exciting her suspicions; but he left the Hippogriff, by the advice
of Melissa, who promised to take him in charge, and train him to a
more manageable state. The horse he took was Rabican, which
belonged to Astolpho. He restored the ring to Melissa.

Rogero had not ridden far when he met one of the huntsmen of
Alcina, bearing a falcon on his wrist, and followed by a dog. The
huntsman was mounted on a powerful horse, and came boldly up to
the paladin, demanding, in a somewhat imperious manner, whither he
was going so rapidly. Rogero disdained to stop or to reply;
whereupon the huntsman, not doubting that he was about making his
escape, said, "What if I, with my falcon, stop your ride?" So
saying, he threw off the bird, which even Rabican could not equal
in speed. The huntsman then leapt from his horse, and the animal,
open-mouthed, darted after Rogero with the swiftness of an arrow.
The huntsman also ran as if the wind or fire bore him, and the dog
was equal to Rabican in swiftness. Rogero, finding flight
impossible, stopped and faced his pursuers; but his sword was
useless against such foes. The insolent huntsman assailed him with
words, and struck him with his whip, the only weapon he had; the
dog bit his feet, and the horse drove at him with his hoofs. At
the same time the falcon flew over his head and over Rabican's and
attacked them with claws and wings, so that the horse in his
fright began to be unmanageable. At that moment the sound of
trumpets and cymbals was heard in the valley, and it was evident
that Alcina had ordered out all her array to go in pursuit. Rogero
felt that there was no time to be lost, and luckily remembered the
shield of Atlantes, which he bore suspended from his neck. He
unveiled it, and the charm worked wonderfully. The huntsman, the
dog, the horse, fell flat; the trembling wings of the falcon could
no longer sustain her, and she fell senseless to the ground.
Rogero, rid of their annoyances, left them in their trance, and
rode away.

Meanwhile Alcina, with all the force she could muster, sallied
forth from her palace in pursuit. Melissa, left behind, took
advantage of the opportunity to ransack all the rooms, protected
by the ring. She undid one by one all the talismans and spells
which she found, broke the seals, burned the images, and untied
the hagknots. Thence, hurrying through the fields, she
disenchanted the victims changed into trees, fountains, stones, or
brutes; all of whom recovered their liberty, and vowed eternal
gratitude to their deliverer. They made their escape, with all
possible despatch, to the realms of the good Logestilla, whence
they departed to their several homes.

Astolpho was the first whom Melissa liberated, for Rogero had
particularly recommended him to her care. She aided him to recover
his arms, and particularly that precious golden-headed lance which
once was Argalia's. The enchantress mounted with him upon the
winged horse, and in a short time arrived through the air at the
castle of Logestilla, where Rogero joined them soon after.

In this abode the friends passed a short period of delightful and
improving intercourse with the sage Logestilla and her virtuous
court; and then each departed, Rogero with the Hippogriff, ring,
and buckler; Astolpho with his golden lance, and mounted on
Rabican, the fleetest of steeds. To Rogero Logestilla gave a bit
and bridle suited to govern the Hippogriff; and to Astolpho a horn
of marvellous powers, to be sounded only when all other weapons
were unavailing.


We left the charming Angelica at the moment when, in her flight
from her contending lovers, Sacripant and Rinaldo, she met an aged
hermit. We have seen that her request to the hermit was to furnish
her the means of gaining the sea-coast, eager to avoid Rinaldo,
whom she hated, by leaving France and Europe itself. The pretended
hermit, who was no other than a vile magician, knowing well that
it would not be agreeable to his false gods to aid Angelica in
this undertaking, feigned to comply with her desire. He supplied
her a horse, into which he had by his arts caused a subtle devil
to enter, and, having mounted Angelica on the animal, directed her
what course to take to reach the sea.

Angelica rode on her way without suspicion, but when arrived at
the shore, the demon urged the animal headlong into the water.
Angelica in vain attempted to turn him back to the land; he
continued his course till, as night approached, he landed with his
burden on a sandy headland.

Angelica, finding herself alone, abandoned in this frightful
solitude, remained without movement, as if stupefied, with hands
joined and eyes turned towards heaven, till at last, pouring forth
a torrent of tears, she exclaimed: "Cruel fortune, have you not
yet exhausted your rage against me? To what new miseries do you
doom me? Alas! then finish your work! Deliver me a prey to some
ferocious beast, or by whatever fate you choose bring me to an
end. I will be thankful to you for terminating my life and my
misery." At last, exhausted by her sorrows, she fell asleep, and
sunk prostrate on the sand.

Before recounting what next befell, we must declare what place it
was upon which the unhappy lady was now thrown. In the sea that
washes the coast of Ireland there is an island called Ebuda, whose
inhabitants, once numerous, had been wasted by the anger of
Proteus till there were now but few left. This deity was incensed
by some neglect of the usual honors which he had in old times
received from the inhabitants of the land, and, to execute his
vengeance, had sent a horrid sea-monster, called an Orc, to devour
them. Such were the terrors of his ravages that the whole people
of the isle had shut themselves up in the principal town, and
relied on their walls alone to protect them. In this distress they
applied to the Oracle for advice, and were directed to appease the
wrath of the sea-monster by offering to him the fairest virgin
that the country could produce.

Now it so happened that the very day when this dreadful oracle was
announced, and when the fatal mandate had gone forth to seek among
the fairest maidens of the land one to be offered to the monster,
some sailors, landing on the beach where Angelica was, beheld that
beauty as she lay asleep.

O blind Chance! whose power in human affairs is but too great,
canst thou then abandon to the teeth of a horrible monster those
charms which different sovereigns took arms against one another to
possess? Alas! the lovely Angelica is destined to be the victim of
those cruel islanders.

Still asleep, she was bound by the Ebudians, and it was not until
she was carried on board the vessel that she came to a knowledge
of her situation. The wind filled the sails and wafted the ship
swiftly to the port, where all that beheld her agreed that she was
unquestionably the victim selected by Proteus himself to be his
prey. Who can tell the screams, the mortal anguish of this unhappy
maiden, the reproaches she addressed even to the heavens
themselves, when the dreadful information of her cruel fate was
made known to her? I cannot; let me rather turn to a happier part
of my story.

Rogero left the palace of Logestilla, careering on his flying
courser far above the tops of the mountains, and borne westward by
the Hippogriff, which he guided with ease, by means of the bridle
that Melissa had given him. Anxious as he was to recover
Bradamante, he could not fail to be delighted at the view his
rapid flight presented of so many vast regions and populous
countries as he passed over in his career. At last he approached
the shores of England, and perceived an immense army in all the
splendor of military pomp, as if about to go forth flushed with
hopes of victory. He caused the Hippogriff to alight not far from
the scene, and found himself immediately surrounded by admiring
spectators, knights and soldiers, who could not enough indulge
their curiosity and wonder. Rogero learned, in reply to his
questions, that the fine array of troops before him was the army
destined to go to the aid of the French Emperor, in compliance
with the request presented by the illustrious Rinaldo, as
ambassador of King Charles, his uncle.

By this time the curiosity of the English chevaliers was partly
gratified in beholding the Hippogriff at rest, and Rogero, to
renew their surprise and delight, remounted the animal, and,
slapping spurs to his sides, made him launch into the air with the
rapidity of a meteor, and directed his flight still westwardly,
till he came within sight of the coasts of Ireland. Here he
descried what seemed to be a fair damsel, alone, fast chained to a
rock which projected into the sea. What was his astonishment when,
drawing nigh, he beheld the beautiful princess Angelica! That day
she had been led forth and bound to the rock, there to wait till
the sea-monster should come to devour her. Rogero exclaimed as he
came near, "What cruel hands, what barbarous soul, what fatal
chance can have loaded thee with those chains?" Angelica replied
by a torrent of tears, at first her only response; then, in a
trembling voice, she disclosed to him the horrible destiny for
which she was there exposed. While she spoke, a terrible roaring
was heard far off on the sea. The huge monster soon came in sight,
part of his body appearing above the waves and part concealed.
Angelica, half dead with fear, abandoned herself to despair.

Rogero, lance in rest, spurred his Hippogriff toward the Orc, and
gave him a thrust. The horrible monster was like nothing that
nature produces. It was but one mass of tossing and twisting body,
with nothing of the animal but head, eyes, and mouth, the last
furnished with tusks like those of the wild boar. Rogero's lance
had struck him between the eyes; but rock and iron are not more
impenetrable than were his scales. The knight, seeing the
fruitlessness of the first blow, prepared to give a second. The
animal, beholding upon the water the shadow of the great wings of
the Hippogriff, abandoned his prey, and turned to seize what
seemed nearer. Rogero took the opportunity, and dealt him furious
blows on various parts of his body, taking care to keep clear of
his murderous teeth; but the scales resisted every attack. The Orc
beat the water with his tail till he raised a foam which enveloped
Rogero and his steed, so that the knight hardly knew whether he
was in the water or the air. He began to fear that the wings of
the Hippogriff would be so drenched with water that they would
cease to sustain him. At that moment Rogero bethought him of the
magic shield which hung at his saddle-bow; but the fear that
Angelica would also be blinded by its glare discouraged him from
employing it. Then he remembered the ring which Melissa had given
him, the power of which he had so lately proved. He hastened to
Angelica and placed it on her finger. Then, uncovering the
buckler, he turned its bright disk full in the face of the
detestable Orc. The effect was instantaneous. The monster,
deprived of sense and motion, rolled over on the sea, and lay
floating on his back. Rogero would fain have tried the effect of
his lance on the now exposed parts, but Angelica implored him to
lose no time in delivering her from her chains before the monster
should revive. Rogero, moved with her entreaties, hastened to do
so, and, having unbound her, made her mount behind him on the
Hippogriff. The animal, spurning the earth, shot up into the air,
and rapidly sped his way through it. Rogero, to give time to the
princess to rest after her cruel agitations, soon sought the earth
again, alighting on the shore of Brittany. Near the shore a thick
wood presented itself, which resounded with the songs of birds. In
the midst, a fountain of transparent water bathed the turf of a
little meadow. A gentle hill rose near by. Rogero, making the
Hippogriff alight in the meadow, dismounted, and took Angelica
from the horse.

When the first tumults of emotion had subsided Angelica, casting
her eyes downward, beheld the precious ring upon her finger, whose
virtues she was well acquainted with, for it was the very ring
which the Saracen Brunello had robbed her of. She drew it from her
finger and placed it in her mouth, and, quicker than we can tell
it, disappeared from the sight of the paladin.

Rogero looked around him on all sides, like one frantic, but soon
remembered the ring which he had so lately placed on her finger.
Struck with the ingratitude which could thus recompense his
services, he exclaimed: "Thankless beauty, is this then the reward
you make me? Do you prefer to rob me of my ring rather than
receive it as a gift? Willingly would I have given it to you, had
you but asked it." Thus he said, searching on all sides with arms
extended like a blind man, hoping to recover by the touch what was
lost to sight; but he sought in vain. The cruel beauty was already
far away.

Though sensible of her obligations to her deliverer, her first
necessity was for clothing, food, and repose. She soon reached a
shepherd's hut, where, entering unseen, she found what sufficed
for her present relief. An old herdsman inhabited the hut, whose
charges consisted of a drove of mares. When recruited by repose
Angelica selected one of the mares from the flock, and, mounting
the animal, felt the desire revive in her mind of returning to her
home in the East, and for that purpose would gladly have accepted
the protection of Orlando or of Sacripant across those wide
regions which divided her from her own country. In hopes of
meeting with one or the other of them she pursued her way.

Meanwhile Rogero, despairing of seeing Angelica again, returned to
the tree where he had left his winged horse, but had the
mortification to find that the animal had broken his bridle and
escaped. This loss, added to his previous disappointment,
overwhelmed him with vexation. Sadly he gathered up his arms,
threw his buckler over his shoulders, and, taking the first path
that offered, soon found himself within the verge of a dense and
widespread forest.

He had proceeded for some distance when he heard a noise on his
right, and, listening attentively, distinguished the clash of
arms. He made his way toward the place whence the sound proceeded,
and found two warriors engaged in mortal combat. One of them was a
knight of a noble and manly bearing, the other a fierce giant. The
knight appeared to exert consummate address in defending herself
against the massive club of the giant, evading his strokes, or
parrying them with sword or shield. Rogero stood spectator of the
combat, for he did not allow himself to interfere in it, though a
secret sentiment inclined him strongly to take part with the
knight. At length he saw with grief the massive club fall directly
on the head of the knight, who yielded to the blow, and fell
prostrate. The giant sprang forward to despatch him, and for that
purpose unlaced his helmet, when Rogero, with dismay, recognized
the face of Bradamante. He cried aloud, "Hold, miscreant!" and
sprang forward with drawn sword. Whereupon the giant, as if he
cared not to enter upon another combat, lifted Bradamante on his
shoulders, and ran with her into the forest.

Rogero plunged after him, but the long legs of the giant carried
him forward so fast that the paladin could hardly keep him in
sight. At length they issued from the wood, and Rogero perceived
before him a rich palace, built of marble, and adorned with
sculptures executed by a master hand. Into this edifice, through a
golden door, the giant passed, and Rogero followed; but, on
looking round, saw nowhere either the giant or Bradamante. He ran
from room to room, calling aloud on his cowardly foe to turn and
meet him; but got no response, nor caught another glimpse of the
giant or his prey. In his vain pursuit he met, without knowing
them, Ferrau, Florismart, King Gradasso, Orlando, and many others,
all of whom had been entrapped like himself into this enchanted
castle. It was a new stratagem of the magician Atlantes to draw
Rogero into his power, and to secure also those who might by any
chance endanger his safety. What Rogero had taken for Bradamante
was a mere phantom. That charming lady was far away, full of
anxiety for her Rogero, whose coming she had long expected.

The Emperor had committed to her charge the city and garrison of
Marseilles, and she held the post against the infidels with valor
and discretion. One day Melissa suddenly presented herself before
her. Anticipating her questions, she said, "Fear not for Rogero;
he lives, and is as ever true to you; but he has lost his liberty.
The fell enchanter has again succeeded in making him a prisoner.
If you would deliver him, mount your horse and follow me." She
told her in what manner Atlantes had deceived Rogero, in deluding
his eyes with the phantom of herself in peril. "Such," she
continued, "will be his arts in your own case, if you penetrate
the forest and approach that castle. You will think you behold
Rogero, when, in fact, you see only the enchanter himself. Be not
deceived, plunge your sword into his body, and trust me when I
tell you that, in slaying him, you will restore not only Rogero,
but with him many of the bravest knights of France, whom the
wizard's arts have withdrawn from the camp of their sovereign."

Bradamante promptly armed herself, and mounted her horse. Melissa
led her by forced journeys, by field and forest, beguiling the way
with conversation on the theme which interested her hearer most.
When at last they reached the forest, she repeated once more her
instructions, and then took her leave, for fear the enchanter
might espy her, and be put on his guard.

Bradamante rode on about two miles when suddenly she beheld
Rogero, as it appeared to her, hard pressed by two fierce giants.
While she hesitated she heard his voice calling on her for help.
At once the cautions of Melissa lost their weight. A sudden doubt
of the faith and truth of her kind monitress flashed across her
mind. "Shall I not believe my own eyes and ears?" she said, and
rushed forward to his defence. Rogero fled, pursued by the giants,
and Bradamante followed, passing with them through the castle
gate. When there, Bradamante was undeceived, for neither giant nor
knight was to be seen. She found herself a prisoner, but had not
the consolation of knowing that she shared the imprisonment of her
beloved. She saw various forms of men and women, but could
recognize none of them; and their lot was the same with respect to
her. Each viewed the others under some illusion of the fancy,
wearing the semblance of giants, dwarfs, or even four-footed
animals, so that there was no companionship or communication
between them.


When Astolpho escaped from the cruel Alcina, after a short abode
in the realm of the virtuous Logestilla, he desired to return to
his native country. Logestilla lent him the best vessel of her
fleet to convey him to the mainland. She gave him at parting a
wonderful book, which taught the secret of overcoming all manners
of enchantments, and begged him to carry it always with him, out
of regard for her. She also gave him another gift, which surpassed
everything of the kind that mortal workmanship can frame; yet it
was nothing in appearance but a simple horn.

Astolpho, protected by these gifts, thanked the good fairy, took
leave of her, and set out on his return to France. His voyage was
prosperous, and on reaching the desired port he took leave of the
faithful mariners, and continued his journey by land. As he
proceeded over mountains and through valleys he often met with
bands of robbers, wild beasts, and venomous serpents, but he had
only to sound his horn to put them all to flight.

Having landed in France, and traversed many provinces on his way
to the army, he one day, in crossing a forest, arrived beside a
fountain, and alighted to drink. While he stooped at the fountain
a young rustic sprang from the copse, mounted Rabican, and rode
away. It was a new trick of the enchanter Atlantes. Astolpho,
hearing the noise, turned his head just in time to see his loss;
and, starting up, pursued the thief, who, on his part, did not
press the horse to his full speed, but just kept in sight of his
pursuer till they both issued from the forest; and then Rabican
and his rider took shelter in a castle which stood near. Astolpho
followed, and penetrated without difficulty within the court-yard
of the castle, where he looked around for the rider and his horse,
but could see no trace of either, nor any person of whom he could
make inquiry. Suspecting that enchantment was employed to
embarrass him, he bethought him of his book, and on consulting it
discovered that his suspicions were well founded. He also learned
what course to pursue. He was directed to raise the stone which
served as a threshold, under which a spirit lay pent, who would
willingly escape, and leave the castle free of access. Astolpho
applied his strength to lift aside the stone. Thereupon the
magician put his arts in force. The castle was full of prisoners,
and the magician caused that to all of them Astolpho should appear
in some false guise--to some a wild beast, to others a giant, to
others a bird of prey. Thus all assailed him, and would quickly
have made an end of him, if he had not bethought him of his horn.
No sooner had he blown a blast than, at the horrid larum, fled the
cavaliers and the necromancer with them, like a flock of pigeons
at the sound of the fowler's gun. Astolpho then renewed his
efforts on the stone, and turned it over. The under face was all
inscribed with magical characters, which the knight defaced, as
directed by his book; and no sooner had he done so, than the
castle, with its walls and turrets, vanished into smoke.

The knights and ladies set at liberty were, besides Rogero and
Bradamante, Orlando, Gradasso, Florismart, and many more. At the
sound of the horn they fled, one and all, men and steeds, except
Rabican, which Astolpho secured, in spite of his terror. As soon
as the sound had ceased Rogero recognized Bradamante, whom he had
daily met during their imprisonment, but had been prevented from
knowing by the enchanter's arts. No words can tell the delight
with which they recognized each other, and recounted mutually all
that had happened to each since they were parted. Rogero took
advantage of the opportunity to press his suit, and found
Bradamante as propitious as he could wish, were it not for a
single obstacle, the difference of their faiths. "If he would
obtain her in marriage," she said, "he must in due form demand her
of her father, Duke Aymon, and must abandon his false prophet, and
become a Christian." The latter step was one which Rogero had for
some time intended taking, for reasons of his own. He therefore
gladly accepted the terms, and proposed that they should at once
repair to the abbey of Vallombrosa, whose towers were visible at
no great distance. Thither they turned their horses' heads, and we
will leave them to find their way without our company.

I know not if my readers recollect that at the moment when Rogero
had just delivered Angelica from the voracious Orc that scornful
beauty placed her ring in her mouth, and vanished out of sight. At
the same time the Hippogriff shook off his bridle, soared away,
and flew to rejoin his former master, very naturally returning to
his accustomed stable. Here Astolpho found him, to his very great
delight. He knew the animal's powers, having seen Rogero ride him,
and he longed to fly abroad over all the earth, and see various
nations and peoples from his airy course. He had heard
Logestilla's directions how to guide the animal, and saw her fit a
bridle to his head. He therefore was able, out of all the bridles
he found in the stable, to select one suitable, and, placing
Rabican's saddle on the Hippogriff's back, nothing seemed to
prevent his immediate departure. Yet before he went he bethought
him of placing Rabican in hands where he would be safe, and whence
he might recover him in time of need. While he stood deliberating
where he should find a messenger, he saw Bradamante approach. That
fair warrior had been parted from Rogero on their way to the abbey
of Vallombrosa, by an inopportune adventure which had called the
knight away. She was now returning to Montalban, having arranged
with Rogero to join her there. To Bradamante, therefore, his fair
cousin, Astolpho committed Rabican, and also the lance of gold,
which would only be an incumbrance in his aerial excursion.
Bradamante took charge of both; and Astolpho, bidding her
farewell, soared in air.

Among those delivered by Astolpho from the magician's castle was
Orlando. Following the guide of chance, the paladin found himself
at the close of day in a forest, and stopped at the foot of a
mountain. Surprised to discern a light which came from a cleft in
the rock, he approached, guided by the ray, and discovered a
narrow passage in the mountain-side, which led into a deep grotto.

Orlando fastened his horse, and then, putting aside the bushes
that resisted his passage, stepped down from rock to rock till he
reached a sort of cavern. Entering it, he perceived a lady, young
and handsome, as well as he could discover through the signs of
distress which agitated her countenance. Her only companion was an
old woman, who seemed to be regarded by her young partner with
terror and indignation. The courteous paladin saluted the women
respectfully, and begged to know by whose barbarity they had been
subjected to such imprisonment.

The younger lady replied, in a voice often broken with sobs:

"Though I know well that my recital will subject me to worse
treatment by the barbarous man who keeps me here, to whom this
woman will not fail to report it, yet I will not hide from you the
facts. Ah! why should I fear his rage? If he should take my life,
I know not what better boon than death I can ask.

"My name is Isabella. I am the daughter of the king of Galicia, or
rather I should say misfortune and grief are my parents. Young,
rich, modest, and of tranquil temper, all things appeared to
combine to render my lot happy. Alas! I see myself to-day poor,
humbled, miserable, and destined perhaps to yet further
afflictions. It is a year since, my father having given notice
that he would open the lists for a tournament at Bayonne, a great
number of chevaliers from all quarters came together at our court.
Among these Zerbino, son of the king of Scotland, victorious in
all combats, eclipsed by his beauty and his valor all the rest.
Before departing from the court of Galicia he testified the wish
to espouse me, and I consented that he should demand my hand of
the king, my father. But I was a Mahometan, and Zerbino a
Christian, and my father refused his consent. The prince, called
home by his father to take command of the forces destined to the
assistance of the French Emperor, prevailed on me to be married to
him secretly, and to follow him to Scotland. He caused a galley to
be prepared to receive me, and placed in command of it the
chevalier Oderic, a Biscayan, famous for his exploits both by land
and sea. On the day appointed, Oderic brought his vessel to a
seaside resort of my father's, where I embarked. Some of my
domestics accompanied me, and thus I departed from my native land.

"Sailing with a fair wind, after some hours we were assailed by a
violent tempest. It was to no purpose that we took in all sail; we
were driven before the wind directly upon the rocky shore. Seeing
no other hopes of safety, Oderic placed me in a boat, followed
himself with a few of his men, and made for land. We reached it
through infinite peril, and I no sooner felt the firm land beneath
my feet, than I knelt down and poured out heartfelt thanks to the
Providence that had preserved me.

"The shore where we landed appeared to be uninhabited. We saw no
dwelling to shelter us, no road to lead us to a more hospitable
spot. A high mountain rose before us, whose base stretched into
the sea. It was here the infamous Oderic, in spite of my tears and
entreaties, sold me to a band of pirates, who fancied I might be
an acceptable present to their prince, the Sultan of Morocco. This
cavern is their den, and here they keep me under the guard of this
woman, until it shall suit their convenience to carry me away."

Isabella had hardly finished her recital when a troop of armed men
began to enter the cavern. Seeing the prince Orlando, one said to
the rest, "What bird is this we have caught, without even setting
a snare for him?" Then addressing Orlando, "It was truly civil in
you, friend, to come hither with that handsome coat of armor and
vest, the very things I want." "You shall pay for them, then,"
said Orlando; and seizing a half-burnt brand from the fire, he
hurled it at him, striking his head, and stretching him lifeless
on the floor.

There was a massy table in the middle of the cavern, used for the
pirates' repasts. Orlando lifted it and hurled it at the robbers
as they stood clustered in a group toward the entrance. Half the
gang were laid prostrate, with broken heads and limbs; the rest
got away as nimbly as they could.

Leaving the den and its inmates to their fate, Orlando, taking
Isabella under his protection, pursued his way for some days,
without meeting with any adventure.

One day they saw a band of men advancing, who seemed to be
guarding a prisoner, bound hand and foot, as if being carried to
execution. The prisoner was a youthful cavalier, of a noble and
ingenuous appearance. The band bore the ensigns of Count Anselm,
head of the treacherous house of Maganza. Orlando desired Isabella
to wait, while he rode forward to inquire the meaning of this
array. Approaching, he demanded of the leader who his prisoner
was, and of what crime he had been guilty. The man replied that
the prisoner was a murderer, by whose hand Pinabel, the son of
Count Anselm, had been treacherously slain. At these words the
prisoner exclaimed, "I am no murderer, nor have I been in any way
the cause of the young man's death." Orlando, knowing the cruel
and ferocious character of the chiefs of the house of Maganza,
needed no more to satisfy him that the youth was the victim of
injustice. He commanded the leader of the troop to release his
victim, and, receiving an insolent reply, dashed him to the earth
with a stroke of his lance; then by a few vigorous blows dispersed
the band, leaving deadly marks on those who were slowest to quit
the field.

Orlando then hastened to unbind the prisoner, and to assist him to
reclothe himself in his armor, which the false Magencian had dared
to assume. He then led him to Isabella, who now approached the
scene of action. How can we picture the joy, the astonishment,
with which Isabella recognized in him Zerbino, her husband, and
the prince discovered her whom he had believed overwhelmed in the
waves! They embraced one another, and wept for joy. Orlando,
sharing in their happiness, congratulated himself in having been
the instrument of it. The princess recounted to Zerbino what the
illustrious paladin had done for her, and the prince threw himself
at Orlando's feet, and thanked him as having twice preserved his

While these exchanges of congratulation and thankfulness were
going on, a sound in the underwood attracted their attention, and
caused the two knights to brace their helmets and stand on their
guard. What the cause of the interruption was we shall record in
another chapter.


France was at this time the theatre of dreadful events. The
Saracens and the Christians, in numerous encounters, slew one
another. On one occasion Rinaldo led an attack on the infidel
columns, broke and scattered them, till he found himself opposite
to a knight whose armor (whether by accident or by choice, it
matters not) bore the blazon of Orlando. It was Dardinel, the
young and brave prince of Zumara, and Rinaldo remarked him by the
slaughter he spread all around. "Ah," said he to himself, "let us
pluck up this dangerous plant before it has grown to its full

As Rinaldo advanced, the crowd opened before him, the Christians
to let his sword have free course, the Pagans to escape its sweep.
Dardinel and he stood face to face. Rinaldo exclaimed, fiercely,
"Young man, whoever gave you that noble buckler to bear made you a
dangerous gift; I should like to see how you are able to defend
those quarterings, red and white. If you cannot defend them
against me, how pray will you do so when Orlando challenges them?"
Dardinel replied: "Thou shalt learn that I can defend the arms I
bear, and shed new glory upon them. No one shall rend them from me
but with life." Saying these words, Dardinel rushed upon Rinaldo
with sword uplifted. The chill of mortal terror filled the souls
of the Saracens when they beheld Rinaldo advance to attack the
prince, like a lion against a young bull. The first blow came from
the hand of Dardinel, and the weapon rebounded from Mambrino's
helmet without effect. Rinaldo smiled, and said, "I will now show
you if my strokes are more effectual." At these words he thrust
the unfortunate Dardinel in the middle of his breast. The blow was
so violent that the cruel weapon pierced the body, and came out a
palm-breadth behind his back. Through this wound the life of
Dardinel issued with his blood, and his body fell helpless to the

As a flower which the passing plough has uprooted languishes, and
droops its head, so Dardinel, his visage covered with the paleness
of death, expires, and the hopes of an illustrious race perish
with him.

Like waters kept back by a dike, which, when the dike is broken,
spread abroad through all the country, so the Moors, no longer
kept in column by the example of Dardinel, fled in all directions.
Rinaldo despised too much such easy victories to pursue them; he
wished for no combats but with brave men. At the same time, the
other paladins made terrible slaughter of the Moors. Charles
himself, Oliver, Guido, and Ogier the Dane, carried death into
their ranks on all sides.

The infidels seemed doomed to perish to a man on that dreadful
day; but the wise king, Marsilius, at last put some slight degree
of method into the general rout. He collected the remnant of the
troops, formed them into a battalion, and retreated in tolerable
order to his camp. That camp was well fortified by intrenchments
and a broad ditch. Thither the fugitives hastened, and by degrees
all that remained of the Moorish army was brought together there.

The Emperor might perhaps that night have crushed his enemy
entirely; but not thinking it prudent to expose his troops,
fatigued as they were, to an attack upon a camp so well fortified,
he contented himself with encompassing the enemy with his troops,
prepared to make a regular siege. During the night the Moors had
time to see the extent of their loss. Their tents resounded with
lamentations. This warrior had to mourn a brother, that a friend;
many suffered with grievous wounds, all trembled at the fate in
store for them.

There were two young Moors, both of humble rank, who gave proof at
that time of attachment and fidelity rare in the history of man.
Cloridan and Medoro had followed their prince, Dardinel, to the
wars of France. Cloridan, a bold huntsman, combined strength with
activity. Medoro was a mere youth, his cheeks yet fair and
blooming. Of all the Saracens, no one united so much grace and
beauty. His light hair was set off by his black and sparkling
eyes. The two friends were together on guard at the rampart. About
midnight they gazed on the scene in deep dejection. Medoro, with
tears in his eyes, spoke of the good prince Dardinel, and could
not endure the thought that his body should be cast out on the
plain, deprived of funeral honors. "O my friend," said he, "must
then the body of our prince be the prey of wolves and ravens?
Alas! when I remember how he loved me, I feel that if I should
sacrifice my life to do him honor, I should not do more than my
duty. I wish, dear friend, to seek out his body on the
battlefield, and give it burial, and I hope to be able to pass
through King Charles's camp without discovery, as they are
probably all asleep. You, Cloridan, will be able to say for me, if
I should die in the adventure, that gratitude and fidelity to my
prince were my inducements."

Cloridan was both surprised and touched with this proof of the
young man's devotion. He loved him tenderly, and tried for a long
time every effort to dissuade him from his design; but he found
Medoro determined to accomplish his object or die in the endeavor.

Cloridan, unable to change his purpose, said, "I will go with you,
Medoro, and help you in this generous enterprise. I value not life
compared with honor, and if I did, do you suppose, dear friend,
that I could live without you? I would rather fall by the arms of
our enemies than die of grief for the loss of you."

When the two friends were relieved from their guard duty they went
without any followers into the camp of the Christians. All there
was still; the fires were dying out; there was no fear of any
attempt on the part of the Saracens, and the soldiers, overcome by
fatigue or wine, slept secure, lying upon the ground in the midst
of their arms and equipage. Cloridan stopped, and said, "Medoro, I
am not going to quit this camp without taking vengeance for the
death of our prince. Keep watch, be on your guard that no one
shall surprise us; I mean to mark a road with my sword through the
ranks of our enemies." So saying, he entered the tent where
Alpheus slept, who a year before had joined the camp of Charles,
and pretended to be a great physician and astrologer. But his
science had deceived him, if it gave him hope of dying peacefully
in his bed at a good old age; his lot was to die with little
warning. Cloridan ran his sword through his heart. A Greek and a
German followed, who had been playing late at dice: fortunate if
they had continued their game a little longer; but they never
reckoned a throw like this among their chances. Cloridan next came
to the unlucky Grillon, whose head lay softly on his pillow. He
dreamed probably of the feast from which he had but just retired;
for when Cloridan cut off his head wine flowed forth with the

The two young Moors might have penetrated even to the tent of
Charlemagne; but knowing that the paladins encamped around him
kept watch by turns, and judging that it was impossible they
should all be asleep, they were afraid to go too near. They might
also have obtained rich booty; but, intent only on their object,
they crossed the camp, and arrived at length at the bloody field,
where bucklers, lances, and swords lay scattered in the midst of
corpses of poor and rich, common soldier and prince, horses and
pools of blood. This terrible scene of carnage would have
destroyed all hope of finding what they were in search of until
dawn of day, were it not that the moon lent the aid of her
uncertain rays.

Medoro raised his eyes to the planet, and exclaimed, "O holy
goddess, whom our fathers have adored under three different
forms,--thou who displayest thy power in heaven, on earth, and in
the underworld,--thou who art seen foremost among the nymphs
chasing the beasts of the forest,--cause me to see, I implore
thee, the spot where my dear master lies, and make me all my life
long follow the example which thou dost exhibit of works of
charity and love."

Either by accident, or that the moon was sensible of the prayer of
Medoro, the cloud broke away, and the moonlight burst forth as
bright as day. The rays seemed especially to gild the spot where
lay the body of Prince Dardinel; and Medoro, bathed in tears and
with bleeding heart, recognized him by the quarterings of red and
white on his shield.

With groans stifled by his tears, and lamentations in accents
suppressed, not from any fear for himself, for he cared not for
life, but lest any one should be roused to interrupt their pious
duty while yet incomplete, he proposed to his companion that they
should together bear Dardinel on their shoulders, sharing the
burden of the beloved remains.

Marching with rapid strides under their precious load, they
perceived that the stars began to grow pale, and that the shades
of night would soon be dispersed by the dawn. Just then Zerbino,
whose extreme valor had urged him far from the camp in pursuit of
the fugitives, returning, entered the wood in which they were.
Some knights in his train perceived at a distance the two
brothers-in-arms. Cloridan saw the troop, and, observing that they
dispersed themselves over the plain as if in search of booty, told
Medoro to lay down the body, and let each save himself by flight.
He dropped his part, thinking that Medoro would do the same; but
the good youth loved his prince too well to abandon him, and
continued to carry his load singly as well as he might, while
Cloridan made his escape. Near by there was a part of the wood
tufted as if nothing but wild animals had ever penetrated it. The
unfortunate youth, loaded with the weight of his dead master,
plunged into its recesses.

Cloridan, when he perceived that he had evaded his foes,
discovered that Medoro was not with him. "Ah!" exclaimed he, "how
could I, dear Medoro, so forget myself as to consult my own safety
without heeding yours?" So saying, he retraced the tangled passes
of the wood toward the place from whence he had fled. As he
approached he heard the noise of horses, and the menacing voices
of armed men. Soon he perceived Medoro, on foot, with the
cavaliers surrounding him. Zerbino, their commander, bade them
seize him. The unhappy Medoro turned now this way, now that,
trying to conceal himself behind an oak or a rock, still bearing
the body, which he would by no means leave. Cloridan not knowing
how to help him, but resolved to perish with him, if he must
perish, takes an arrow, fits it to his bow, discharges it, and
pierces the breast of a Christian knight, who falls helpless from
his horse. The others look this way and that, to discover whence
the fatal bolt was sped. One, while demanding of his comrades in
what direction the arrow came, received a second in his throat,
which stopped his words, and soon closed his eyes to the scene.

Zerbino, furious at the death of his two comrades, ran upon
Medoro, seized his golden hair, and dragged him forward to slay
him. But the sight of so much youth and beauty commanded pity. He
stayed his arm. The young man spoke in suppliant tones. "Ah!
signor," said he, "I conjure you by the God whom you serve,
deprive me not of life until I shall have buried the body of the
prince, my master. Fear not that I will ask you any other favor;
life is not dear to me; I desire death as soon as I shall have
performed this sacred duty. Do with me then as you please. Give my
limbs a prey to the birds and beasts; only let me first bury my
prince." Medoro pronounced these words with an air so sweet and
tender that a heart of stone would have been moved by them.
Zerbino was so to the bottom of his soul. He was on the point of
uttering words of mercy, when a cruel subaltern, forgetting all
respect to his commander, plunged his lance into the breast of the
young Moor. Zerbino, enraged at his brutality, turned upon the
wretch to take vengeance, but he saved himself by a precipitate

Cloridan, who saw Medoro fall, could contain himself no longer. He
rushed from his concealment, threw down his bow, and, sword in
hand, seemed only desirous of vengeance for Medoro, and to die
with him. In a moment, pierced through and through with many
wounds, he exerts the last remnant of his strength in dragging
himself to Medoro, to die embracing him. The cavaliers left them
thus to rejoin Zerbino, whose rage against the murderer of Medoro
had drawn him away from the spot.

Cloridan died; and Medoro, bleeding copiously, was drawing near
his end when help arrived.

A young maiden approached the fallen knights at this critical
moment. Her dress was that of a peasant-girl, but her air was
noble, and her beauty celestial; sweetness and goodness reigned in
her lovely countenance. It was no other than Angelica, the
Princess of Cathay.

When she had recovered that precious ring, as we have before
related, Angelica, knowing its value, felt proud in the power it
conferred, travelled alone without fear, not without a secret
shame that she had ever been obliged to seek protection in her
wanderings of the Count Orlando and of Sacripant. She reproached
herself too as with a weakness that she had ever thought of
marrying Rinaldo; in fine, her pride grew so high as to persuade
her that no man living was worthy to aspire to her hand.

Moved with pity at the sight of the young man wounded, and melted
to tears at hearing the cause, she quickly recalled to remembrance
the knowledge she had acquired in India, where the virtues of
plants and the art of healing formed part of the education even of
princesses. The beautiful queen ran into the adjoining meadow to
gather plants of virtue to staunch the flow of blood. Meeting on
her way a countryman on horseback seeking a strayed heifer, she
begged him to come to her assistance, and endeavor to remove the
wounded man to a more secure asylum.

Angelica, having prepared the plants by bruising them between two
stones, laid them with her fair hand on Medoro's wound. The remedy
soon restored in some degree the strength of the wounded man, who,
before he would quit the spot, made them cover with earth and turf
the bodies of his friend and of the prince. Then surrendering
himself to the pity of his deliverers, he allowed them to place
him on the horse of the shepherd, and conduct him to his cottage.
It was a pleasant farmhouse on the borders of the wood, bearing
marks of comfort and competency. There the shepherd lived with his
wife and children. There Angelica tended Medoro, and there, by the
devoted care of the beautiful queen, his sad wound closed over,
and he recovered his perfect health.

O Count Rinaldo, O King Sacripant! what availed it you to possess
so many virtues and such fame? What advantage have you derived
from all your high deserts? O hapless king, great Agrican! if you
could return to life, how would you endure to see yourself
rejected by one who will bow to the yoke of Hymen in favor of a
young soldier of humble birth? And thou, Ferrau, and ye numerous
others who a hundred times have put your lives at hazard for this
cruel beauty, how bitter will it be to you to see her sacrifice
you all to the claims of the humble Medoro!

There, under the low roof of a shepherd, the flame of Hymen was
lighted for this haughty queen. She takes the shepherd's wife to
serve in place of mother, the shepherd and his children for
witnesses, and marries the happy Medoro.

Angelica, after her marriage, wishing to endow Medoro with the
sovereignty of the countries which yet remained to her, took with
him the road to the East. She had preserved through all her
adventures a bracelet of gold enriched with precious stones, the
present of the Count Orlando. Having nothing else wherewith to
reward the good shepherd and his wife, who had served her with so
much care and fidelity, she took the bracelet from her arm and
gave it to them, and then the newly-married couple directed their
steps toward those mountains which separate France and Spain,
intending to wait at Barcelona a vessel which should take them on
their way to the East.


Orlando, on the loss of Angelica, laid aside his crest and arms,
and arrayed himself in a suit of black armor expressive of his
despair. In this guise he carried such slaughter among the ranks
of the infidels that both armies were astonished at the
achievements of the stranger knight. Mandricardo, who had been
absent from the battle, heard the report of these achievements and
determined to test for himself the valor of the knight so
extolled. He it was who broke in upon the conference of Zerbino
and Isabella, and their benefactor Orlando, as they stood occupied
in mutual felicitations, after the happy reunion of the lovers by
the prowess of the paladin.

Mandricardo, after contemplating the group for a moment, addressed
himself to Orlando in these words: "Thou must be the man I seek.
For ten days and more I have been on thy track. The fame of thy
exploits has brought me hither, that I may measure my strength
with thine. Thy crest and shield prove thee the same who spread
such slaughter among our troops. But these marks are superfluous,
and if I saw thee among a hundred I should know thee by thy
martial bearing to be the man I seek."

"I respect thy courage," said Orlando; "such a design could not
have sprung up in any but a brave and generous soul. If the desire
to see me has brought thee hither, I would, if it were possible,
show thee my inmost soul. I will remove my visor, that you may
satisfy your curiosity; but when you have done so I hope that you
will also try and see if my valor corresponds to my appearance."
"Come on," said the Saracen, "my first wish was to see and know
thee; I will not gratify my second."

Orlando, observing Mandricardo was surprised to see no sword at
his side, nor mace at his saddle-bow. "And what weapon hast thou,"
said he, "if thy lance fail thee?"

"Do not concern yourself about that," said Mandricardo; "I have
made many good knights give ground with no other weapon than you
see. Know that I have sworn an oath never to bear a sword until I
win back that famous Durindana that Orlando, the paladin, carries.
That sword belongs to the suit of armor which I wear; that only is
wanting. Without doubt it was stolen, but how it got into the
hands of Orlando I know not. But I will make him pay dearly for it
when I find him I seek him the more anxiously that I may avenge
with his blood the death of King Agrican, my father, whom he
treacherously slew. I am sure he must have done it by treachery,
for it was not in his power to subdue in fair fight such a warrior
as my father."

"Thou liest," cried Orlando; "and all who say so lie. I am
Orlando, whom you seek; yes, I am he who slew your father
honorably. Hold, here is the sword: you shall have it if your
courage avails to merit it. Though it belongs to me by right, I
will not use it in this dispute. See, I hang it on this tree; you
shall be master of it, if you bereave me of life; not else."

At these words Orlando drew Durindana, and hung it on one of the
branches of a tree near by.

Both knights, boiling with equal ardor, rode off in a semicircle;
then rushed together with reins thrown loose, and struck one
another with their lances. Both kept their seats, immovable. The
splinters of their lances flew into the air, and no weapon
remained for either but the fragment which he held in his hand.
Then those two knights, covered with iron mail, were reduced to
the necessity of fighting with staves, in the manner of two
rustics, who dispute the boundary of a meadow, or the possession
of a spring.

These clubs could not long keep whole in the hands of such sturdy
smiters, who were soon reduced to fight with naked fists. Such
warfare was more painful to him that gave than to him that
received the blows. They next clasped, and strained each his
adversary, as Hercules did Antaeus. Mandricardo, more enraged than
Orlando, made violent efforts to unseat the paladin, and dropped
the rein of his horse. Orlando, more calm, perceived it. With one
hand he resisted Mandricardo, with the other he twitched the
horse's bridle over the ears of the animal. The Saracen dragged
Orlando with all his might, but Orlando's thighs held the saddle
like a vise. At last the efforts of the Saracen broke the girths
of Orlando's horse; the saddle slipped; the knight, firm in his
stirrups, slipped with it, and came to the ground hardly conscious
of his fall. The noise of his armor in falling startled
Mandricardo's horse, now without a bridle. He started off in full
career, heeding neither trees nor rocks nor broken ground. Urged
by fright, he ran with furious speed, carrying his master, who,
almost distracted with rage, shouted and beat the animal with his
fists, and thereby impelled his flight. After running thus three
miles or more, a deep ditch opposed their progress. The horse and
rider fell headlong into it, and did not find the bottom covered
with feather-beds or roses. They got sadly bruised; but were lucky
enough to escape without any broken limbs.

Mandricardo, as soon as he gained his feet, seized the horse by
his mane with fury; but, having no bridle, could not hold him. He
looked round in hopes of finding something that would do for a
rein. Just then fortune, who seemed willing to help him at last,
brought that way a peasant with a bridle in his hand, who was in
search of his farm horse that had strayed away.

Orlando, having speedily repaired his horse's girths, remounted,
and waited a good hour for the Saracen to return. Not seeing him,
he concluded to go in search of him. He took an affectionate leave
of Zerbino and Isabella, who would willingly have followed him;
but this the brave paladin would by no means permit. He held it
unknightly to go in search of an enemy accompanied by a friend,
who might act as a defender. Therefore, desiring them to say to
Mandricardo, if they should meet him, that his purpose was to
tarry in the neighborhood three days, and then repair to the camp
of Charlemagne, he took down Durindana from the tree, and
proceeded in the direction which the Saracen's horse had taken.
But the animal, having no guide but its terror, had so doubled and
confused its traces that Orlando, after two days spent in the
search, gave up the attempt.

It was about the middle of the third day when the paladin arrived
on the pleasant bank of a stream which wound through a meadow
enamelled with flowers. High trees, whose tops met and formed an
arbor, over-shadowed the fountain; and the breeze which blew
through their foliage tempered the heat. Hither the shepherds used
to resort to quench their thirst, and to enjoy the shelter from
the midday sun. The air, perfumed with the flowers, seemed to
breathe fresh strength into their veins. Orlando felt the
influence, though covered with his armor. He stopped in this
delicious arbor, where everything seemed to invite to repose. But
he could not have chosen a more fatal asylum. He there spent the
most miserable moments of his life.

He looked around, and noted with pleasure all the charms of the
spot. He saw that some of the trees were carved with inscriptions
--he drew near, and read them, and what was his surprise to find
that they composed the name of Angelica! Farther on he found the
name of Medoro mixed with hers. The paladin thought he dreamed. He
stood like one amazed--like a bird that, rising to fly, finds its
feet caught in a net.

Orlando followed the course of the stream, and came to one of its
turns where the rocks of the mountain bent in such a way as to
form a sort of grotto. The twisted stems of ivy and the wild vine
draped the entrance of this recess, scooped by the hand of nature.

The unhappy paladin, on entering the grotto, saw letters which
appeared to have been lately carved. They were verses which Medoro
had written in honor of his happy nuptials with the beautiful
queen. Orlando tried to persuade himself it must be some other
Angelica whom those verses celebrated, and as for Medoro, he had
never heard his name. The sun was now declining, and Orlando
remounted his horse, and went on his way. He soon saw the roof of
a cottage whence the smoke ascended; he heard the barking of dogs
and the lowing of cattle, and arrived at a humble dwelling which
seemed to offer an asylum for the night. The inmates, as soon as
they saw him, hastened to tender him service. One took his horse,
another his shield and cuirass, another his golden spurs. This
cottage was the very same where Medoro had been carried, deeply
wounded,--where Angelica had tended him, and afterwards married
him. The shepherd who lived in it loved to tell everybody the
story of this marriage, and soon related it, with all its details,
to the miserable Orlando.

Having finished it, he went away, and returned with the precious
bracelet which Angelica, grateful for his services, had given him
as a memorial. It was the one which Orlando had himself given her.

This last touch was the finishing stroke to the excited paladin.
Frantic, exasperated, he exclaimed against the ungrateful and
cruel princess who had disdained him, the most renowned, the most
indomitable of all the paladins of France,--him, who had rescued
her from the most alarming perils,--him, who had fought the most
terrible battles for her sake,--she to prefer to him a young
Saracen! The pride of the noble Count was deeply wounded.
Indignant, frantic, a victim to ungovernable rage, he rushed into
the forest, uttering the most frightful shrieks.

"No, no!" cried he, "I am not the man they take me for! Orlando is
dead! I am only the wandering ghost of that unhappy Count, who is
now suffering the torments of hell!"

Orlando wandered all night, as chance directed, through the wood,
and at sunrise his destiny led him to the fountain where Medoro
had engraved the fatal inscription. The frantic paladin saw it a
second time with fury, drew his sword, and hacked it from the

Unlucky grotto! you shall no more attract by your shade and
coolness, you shall no more shelter with your arch either shepherd
or flock. And you, fresh and pure fountain, you may not escape the
rage of the furious Orlando! He cast into the fountain branches,
trunks of trees which he tore up, pieces of rocks which he broke
off, plants uprooted, with the earth adhering, and turf and
brushes, so as to choke the fountain, and destroy the purity of
its waters. At length, exhausted by his violent exertions, bathed
in sweat, breathless, Orlando sunk panting upon the earth, and lay
there insensible three days and three nights.

The fourth day he started up and seized his arms. His helmet, his
buckler, he cast far from him; his hauberk and his clothes he rent
asunder; the fragments were scattered through the wood. In fine,
he became a furious madman. His insanity was such that he cared
not to retain even his sword. But he had no need of Durindana, nor
of other arms, to do wonderful things. His prodigious strength
sufficed. At the first wrench of his mighty arm he tore up a pine-
tree by the roots. Oaks, beeches, maples, whatever he met in his
path, yielded in like manner. The ancient forest soon became as
bare as the borders of a morass, where the fowler has cleared away
the bushes to spread his nets. The shepherds, hearing the horrible
crashing in the forest, abandoned their flocks to run and see the
cause of this unwonted uproar. By their evil star, or for their
sins, they were led thither. When they saw the furious state the
Count was in, and his incredible force, they would fain have fled
out of his reach, but in their fears lost their presence of mind.
The madman pursued them, seized one and rent him limb from limb,
as easily as one would pull ripe apples from a tree. He took
another by the feet, and used him as a club to knock down a third.
The shepherds fled; but it would have been hard for any to escape,
if he had not at that moment left them to throw himself with the
same fury upon their flocks. The peasants, abandoning their
ploughs and harrows, mounted on the roofs of buildings and
pinnacles of the rocks, afraid to trust themselves even to the
oaks and pines. From such heights they looked on, trembling at the
raging fury of the unhappy Orlando. His fists, his teeth, his
nails, his feet, seize, break, and tear cattle, sheep, and swine;
the most swift in flight alone being able to escape him.

When at last terror had scattered everything before him, he
entered a cottage which was abandoned by its inhabitants, and
there found that which served for food. His long fast had caused
him to feel the most ravenous hunger. Seizing whatever he found
that was eatable, whether roots, acorns, or bread, raw meat or
cooked, he gorged it indiscriminately.

Issuing thence again, the frantic Orlando gave chase to whatever
living thing he saw, whether men or animals. Sometimes he pursued
the deer and hind, sometimes he attacked bears and wolves, and
with his naked hands killed and tore them, and devoured their

Thus he wandered, from place to place, through France, imperilling
his life a thousand ways, yet always preserved by some mysterious
providence from a fatal result. But here we leave Orlando for a
time, that we may record what befell Zerbino and Isabella after
their parting with him.

The prince and his fair bride waited, by Orlando's request, near
the scene of the battle for three days, that, if Mandricardo
should return, they might inform him where Orlando would give him
another meeting. At the end of that time their anxiety to know the
issue led them to follow Orlando's traces, which led them at last
to the wood where the trees were inscribed with the names of
Angelica and Medoro. They remarked how all these inscriptions were
defaced, and how the grotto was disordered, and the fountain
clogged with rubbish. But that which surprised them and distressed
them most of all was to find on the grass the cuirass of Orlando,
and not far from it his helmet, the same which the renowned
Almontes once wore.

Hearing a horse neigh in the forest, Zerbino turned his eyes in
that direction, and saw Brigliadoro, with the bridle yet hanging
at the saddle-bow. He looked round for Durindana, and found that
famous sword, without the scabbard, lying on the grass. He saw
also the fragments of Orlando's other arms and clothing scattered
on all sides over the plain.

Zerbino and Isabella stood in astonishment and grief, not knowing
what to think, but little imagining the true cause. If they had
found any marks of blood on the arms or on the fragments of the
clothing, they would have supposed him slain, but there were none.
While they were in this painful uncertainty they saw a young
peasant approach. He, not yet recovered from the terror of the
scene, which he had witnessed from the top of a rock, told them
the whole of the sad events.

Zerbino, with his eyes full of tears, carefully collected all the
scattered arms. Isabella also dismounted to aid him in the sad
duty. When they had collected all the pieces of that rich armor
they hung them like a trophy on a pine; and to prevent their being
violated by any passers-by, Zerbino inscribed on the bark this
caution: "These are the arms of the Paladin Orlando."

Having finished this pious work, he remounted his horse, and just
then a knight rode up, and requested Zerbino to tell him the
meaning of the trophy. The prince related the facts as they had
happened; and Mandricardo, for it was that Saracen knight, full of
joy, rushed forward, and seized the sword, saying, "No one can
censure me for what I do; this sword is mine; I can take my own
wherever I find it. It is plain that Orlando, not daring to defend
it against me, has counterfeited madness to excuse him in
surrendering it."

Zerbino vehemently exclaimed, "Touch not that sword. Think not to
possess it without a contest. If it be true that the arms you wear
are those of Hector, you must have got them by theft, and not by

Immediately they attacked one another with the utmost fury. The
air resounded with thick-falling blows. Zerbino, skilful and
alert, evaded for a time with good success the strokes of
Durindana; but at length a terrible blow struck him on the neck.
He fell from his horse, and the Tartar king, possessed of the
spoils of his victory, rode away.


Zerbino's pain at seeing the Tartar prince go off with the sword
surpassed the anguish of his wound; but now the loss of blood so
reduced his strength that he could not move from where he fell.
Isabella, not knowing whither to resort for help, could only
bemoan him, and chide her cruel fate. Zerbino said, "If I could
but leave thee, my best beloved, in some secure abode, it would
not distress me to die; but to abandon thee so, without
protection, is sad indeed." She replied, "Think not to leave me,
dearest; our souls shall not be parted; this sword will give me
the means to follow thee." Zerbino's last words implored her to
banish such a thought, but live, and be true to his memory.
Isabella promised, with many tears, to be faithful to him so long
as life should last.

When he ceased to breathe, Isabella's cries resounded through the
forest, and reached the ears of a reverend hermit, who hastened to
the spot. He soothed and calmed her, urging those consolations
which the word of God supplies; and at last brought her to wish
for nothing else but to devote herself for the rest of life wholly
to religion.

As she could not bear the thoughts of leaving her dead lord
abandoned, the body was, by the good hermit's aid, placed upon the
horse, and taken to the nearest inhabited place, where a chest was
made for it, suitable to be carried with them on their way. The
hermit's plan was to escort his charge to a monastery, not many
days' journey distant, where Isabella resolved to spend the
remainder of her days. Thus they travelled day after day, choosing
the most retired ways, for the country was full of armed men. One
day a cavalier met them, and barred their way. It was no other
than Rodomont, king of Algiers, who had just left the camp of
Agramant, full of indignation at the treatment he had received
from Doralice. At sight of the lovely lady and her reverend
attendant, with their horse laden with a burden draped with black,
he asked the meaning of their journey. Isabella told him her
affliction, and her resolution to renounce the world and devote
herself to religion, and to the memory of the friend she had lost.
Rodomont laughed scornfully at this, and told her that her project
was absurd; that charms like hers were meant to be enjoyed, not
buried, and that he himself would more than make amends for her
dead lover. The monk, who promptly interposed to rebuke this
impious talk, was commanded to hold his peace; and still
persisting was seized by the knight and hurled over the edge of
the cliff, where he fell into the sea, and was drowned.

Rodomont, when he had got rid of the hermit, again applied to the
sad lady, heartless with affright, and, in the language used by
lovers, said, "she was his very heart, his life, his light."
Having laid aside all violence, he humbly sued that she would
accompany him to his retreat, near by. It was a ruined chapel from
which the monks had been driven by the disorders of the time, and
which Rodomont had taken possession of. Isabella, who had no
choice but to obey, followed him, meditating as she went what
resource she could find to escape out of his power, and keep her
vow to her dead husband, to be faithful to his memory as long as
life should last. At length she said, "If, my lord, you will let
me go and fulfil my vow, and my intention, as I have already
declared it, I will bestow upon you what will be to you of more
value than a hundred women's hearts. I know an herb, and I have
seen it on our way, which, rightly prepared, affords a juice of
such power, that the flesh, if laved with it, becomes impenetrable
to sword or fire. This liquor I can make, and will, to-day, if you
will accept my offer; and when you have seen its virtue you will
value it more than if all Europe were made your own."

Rodomont, at hearing this, readily promised all that was asked, so
eager was he to learn a secret that would make him as Achilles was
of yore. Isabella, having collected such herbs as she thought
proper, and boiled them, with certain mysterious signs and words,
at length declared her labor done, and, as a test, offered to try
its virtue on herself. She bathed her neck and bosom with the
liquor, and then called on Rodomont to smite with all his force,
and see whether his sword had power to harm. The pagan, who during
the preparations had taken frequent draughts of wine, and scarce
knew what he did, drew his sword at the word, and struck across
her neck with all his might, and the fair head leapt sundered from
the snowy neck and breast.

Rude and unfeeling as he was, the pagan knight lamented bitterly
this sad result. To honor her memory he resolved to do a work as
unparalleled as her devotion. From all parts round he caused
laborers to be brought, and had a tower built to enclose the
chapel, within which the remains of Zerbino and Isabella were
entombed. Across the stream which flowed near by he built a
bridge, scarce two yards wide, and added neither parapet nor rail.
On the top of the tower a sentry was placed, who, when any
traveller approached the bridge, gave notice to his master.
Rodomont thereupon sallied out, and defied the approaching knight
to fight him upon the bridge, where any chance step a little aside
would plunge the rider headlong in the stream. This bridge he
vowed to keep until a thousand suits of armor should be won from
conquered knights, wherewith to build a trophy to his victim and
her lord.

Within ten days the bridge was built, and the tower was in
progress. In a short time many knights, either seeking the
shortest route, or tempted by a desire of adventure, had made the
attempt to pass the bridge. All, without exception, had lost
either arms or life, or both; some falling before Rodomont's
lance, others precipitated into the river. One day, as Rodomont
stood urging his workmen, it chanced that Orlando in his furious
mood came thither, and approached the bridge. Rodomont halloed to
him, "Halt, churl; presume not to set foot upon that bridge; it
was not made for such as you!" Orlando took no notice, but pressed
on. Just then a gentle damsel rode up. It was Flordelis, who was
seeking her Florismart. She saw Orlando, and, in spite of his
strange appearance, recognized him. Rodomont, not used to have his
commands disobeyed, laid hands on the madman, and would have
thrown him into the river, but to his astonishment found himself
in the gripe of one not so easily disposed of. "How can a fool
have such strength?" he growled between his teeth. Flordelis
stopped to see the issue, where each of these two puissant
warriors strove to throw the other from the bridge. Orlando at
last had strength enough to lift his foe with all his armor, and
fling him over the side, but had not wit to clear himself from
him, so both fell together. High flashed the wave as they together
smote its surface. Here Orlando had the advantage; he was naked,
and could swim like a fish. He soon reached the bank, and,
careless of praise or blame, stopped not to see what came of the
adventure. Rodomont, entangled with his armor, escaped with
difficulty to the bank. Meantime, Flordelis passed the bridge

After long wandering without success she returned to Paris, and
there found the object of her search; for Florismart, after the
fall of Albracca, had repaired thither. The joy of meeting was
clouded to Florismart by the news which Flordelis brought of
Orlando's wretched plight. The last she had seen of him was when
he fell with Rodomont into the stream. Florismart, who loved
Orlando like a brother, resolved to set out immediately, under the
guidance of the lady, to find him, and bring him where he might
receive the treatment suited to his case. A few days brought them
to the place where they found the Tartar king still guarding the
bridge. The usual challenge and defiance was made, and the knights
rode to encounter one another on the bridge. At the first
encounter both horses were overthrown; and, having no space to
regain their footing, fell with their riders into the water.
Rodomont, who knew the soundings of the stream, soon recovered the
land; but Florismart was carried downward by the current, and
landed at last on a bank of mud where his horse could hardly find
footing. Flordelis, who watched the battle from the bridge, seeing
her lover in this piteous case, exclaimed aloud, "Ah! Rodomont,
for love of her whom dead you honor, have pity on me, who love
this knight, and slay him not. Let it suffice he yields his armor
to the pile, and none more glorious will it bear than his." Her
prayer, so well directed, touched the pagan's heart, though hard
to move, and he lent his aid to help the knight to land. He kept
him a prisoner, however, and added his armor to the pile.
Flordelis, with a heavy heart, went her way.

We must now return to Rogero, who, when we parted with him, was
engaged in an adventure which arrested his progress to the
monastery whither he was bound with the intention of receiving
baptism, and thus qualifying himself to demand Bradamante as his
bride. On his way he met with Mandricardo, and the quarrel was
revived respecting the right to wear the badge of Hector. After a
warm discussion both parties agreed to submit the question to King
Agramant, and for that purpose took their way to the Saracen camp.
Here they met Gradasso, who had his controversy also with
Mandricardo. This warrior claimed the sword of Orlando, denying
the right of Mandricardo to possess it in virtue of his having
found it abandoned by its owner. King Agramant strove in vain to
reconcile these quarrels, and was forced at last to consent that
the points in dispute should be settled by one combat, in which
Mandricardo should meet one of the other champions, to whom should
be committed the cause of both. Rogero was chosen by lot to
maintain Gradasso's cause and his own. Great preparations were
made for this signal contest. On the appointed day it was fought
in the presence of Agramant, and of the whole army. Rogero won it;
and Mandricardo, the conqueror of Hector's arms, the challenger of
Orlando, and the slayer of Zerbino, lost his life. Gradasso
received Durindana as his prize, which lost half its value in his
eyes, since it was won by another's prowess, not his own.

Rogero, though victorious, was severely wounded, and lay helpless
many weeks in the camp of Agramant, while Bradamante, ignorant of
the cause of his delay, expected him at Montalban. Thither he had
promised to repair in fifteen days, or twenty at furthest, hoping
to have obtained by that time an honorable discharge from his
obligations to the Saracen commander. The twenty days were passed,
and a month more, and still Rogero came not, nor did any tidings
reach Bradamante accounting for his absence. At the end of that
time, a wandering knight brought news of the famous combat, and of
Rogero's wound. He added, what alarmed Bradamante still more, that
Marphisa, a female warrior, young and fair, was in attendance on
the wounded knight. He added that the whole army expected that, as
soon as Rogero's wounds were healed, the pair would be united in

Bradamante, distressed by this news, though she believed it but in
part, resolved to go immediately and see for herself. She mounted
Rabican, the horse of Astolpho, which he had committed to her
care, and took with her the lance of gold, though unaware of its
wonderful powers. Thus accoutred, she left the castle, and took
the road toward Paris and the camp of the Saracens.

Marphisa, whose devotion to Rogero in his illness had so excited
the jealousy of Bradamante, was the twin sister of Rogero. She,
with him, had been taken in charge when an infant by Atlantes, the
magician, but while yet a child she had been stolen away by an
Arab tribe. Adopted by their chief, she had early learned
horsemanship and skill in arms, and at this time had come to the
camp of Agramant with no other view than to see and test for
herself the prowess of the warriors of either camp, whose fame
rang through the world. Arriving at the very moment of the late
encounter, the name of Rogero, and some few facts of his story
which she learned, were enough to suggest the idea that it was her
brother whom she saw victorious in the single combat. Inquiry
satisfied the two of their near kindred, and from that moment
Marphisa devoted herself to the care of her new-found and much-
loved brother.

In those moments of seclusion Rogero informed his sister of what
he had learned of their parentage from old Atlantes. Rogero, their
father, a Christian knight, had won the heart of Galaciella,
daughter of the Sultan of Africa, and sister of King Agramant,
converted her to the Christian faith, and secretly married her.
The Sultan, enraged at his daughter's marriage, drove her husband
into exile, and caused her with her infant children, Rogero and
Marphisa, to be placed in a boat and committed to the winds and
waves, to perish; from which fate they were saved by Atlantes. On
hearing this, Marphisa exclaimed, "How can you, brother, leave our
parents unavenged so long, and even submit to serve the son of the
tyrant who so wronged them?" Rogero replied that it was but lately
he had learned the full truth; that when he learned it he was
already embarked with Agramant, from whom he had received
knighthood, and that he only waited for a suitable opportunity
when he might with honor desert his standard, and at the same time
return to the faith of his fathers. Marphisa hailed this
resolution with joy, and declared her intention to join with him
in embracing the Christian faith.

We left Bradamante when, mounted on Rabican and armed with
Astolpho's lance, she rode forth, determined to learn the cause of
Rogero's long absence. One day, as she rode, she met a damsel, of
visage and of manners fair, but overcome with grief. It was
Flordelis, who was seeking far and near a champion capable of
liberating and avenging her lord. Flordelis marked the approaching
warrior, and, judging from appearances, thought she had found the
champion she sought. "Are you, Sir Knight," she said, "so daring
and so kind as to take up my cause against a fierce and cruel
warrior who has made prisoner of my lord, and forced me thus to be
a wanderer and a suppliant?" Then she related the events which had
happened at the bridge. Bradamante, to whom noble enterprises were
always welcome, readily embraced this, and the rather as in her
gloomy forebodings she felt as if Rogero was forever lost to her.

Next day the two arrived at the bridge. The sentry descried them
approaching, and gave notice to his lord, who thereupon donned his
armor and went forth to meet them. Here, as usual, he called on
the advancing warrior to yield his horse and arms an oblation to
the tomb. Bradamante replied, asking by what right he called on
the innocent to do penance for his crime. "Your life and your
armor," she added, "are the fittest offering to her tomb, and I, a
woman, the fittest champion to take them." With that she couched
her spear, spurred her horse, and ran to the encounter. King
Rodomont came on with speed. The trampling sounded on the bridge
like thunder. It took but a moment to decide the contest. The
golden lance did its office, and that fierce Moor, so renowned in
tourney, lay extended on the bridge. "Who is the loser now?" said
Bradamante; but Rodomont, amazed that a woman's hand should have
laid him low, could not or would not answer. Silent and sad, he
raised himself, unbound his helm and mail, and flung them against
the tomb; then, sullen and on foot, left the ground; but first
gave orders to one of his squires to release all his prisoners.
They had been sent off to Africa. Besides Florismart, there were
Sansonnet and Oliver, who had ridden that way in quest of Orlando,
and had both in turn been overthrown in the encounter.

Bradamante after her victory resumed her route, and in due time
reached the Christian camp, where she readily learned an
explanation of the mystery which had caused her so much anxiety.
Rogero and his fair and brave sister, Marphisa, were too
illustrious by their station and exploits not to be the frequent
topic of discourse even among their adversaries, and all that
Bradamante was anxious to know reached her ear, almost without

We now return to Gradasso, who by Rogero's victory had been made
possessor of Durindana. There now only remained to him to seek the
horse of Rinaldo; and the challenge, given and accepted, was yet
to be fought with that warrior, for it had been interrupted by the
arts of Malagigi. Gradasso now sought another meeting with
Rinaldo, and met with no reluctance on his part. As the combat was
for the possession of Bayard, the knights dismounted and fought on
foot. Long time the battle lasted. Rinaldo, knowing well the
deadly stroke of Durindana, used all his art to parry or avoid its
blow. Gradasso struck with might and main, but wellnigh all his
strokes were spent in air, or if they smote they fell obliquely
and did little harm.

Thus had they fought long, glancing at one another's eyes, and
seeing naught else, when their attention was arrested perforce by
a strange noise. They turned, and beheld the good Bayard attacked
by a monstrous bird. Perhaps it was a bird, for such it seemed;
but when or where such a bird was ever seen I have nowhere read,
except in Turpin; and I am inclined to believe that it was not a
bird, but a fiend, evoked from underground by Malagigi, and
thither sent on purpose to interrupt the fight. Whether a fiend or
a fowl, the monster flew right at Bayard, and clapped his wings in
his face. Thereat the steed broke loose, and ran madly across the
plain, pursued by the bird, till Bayard plunged into the wood, and
was lost to sight.

Rinaldo and Gradasso, seeing Bayard's escape, agreed to suspend
their battle till they could recover the horse, the object of
contention. Gradasso mounted his steed, and followed the foot-
marks of Bayard into the forest. Rinaldo, never more vexed in
spirit, remained at the spot, Gradasso having promised to return
thither with the horse, if he found him. He did find him, after
long search, for he had the good fortune to hear him neigh. Thus
he became possessed of both the objects for which he had led an
army from his own country, and invaded France. He did not forget
his promise to bring Bayard back to the place where he had left
Rinaldo, but only muttering, "Now I have got him, he little knows
me who expects me to give him up; if Rinaldo wants the horse let
him seek him in India, as I have sought him in France,"--he made
the best of his way to Arles, where his vessels lay; and in
possession of the two objects of his ambition, the horse and the
sword, sailed away to his own country.


When we last parted with the adventurous paladin Astolpho, he was
just commencing that flight over the countries of the world from
which he promised himself so much gratification. Our readers are
aware that the eagle and the falcon have not so swift a flight as
the Hippogriff on which Astolpho rode. It was not long, therefore,
before the paladin, directing his course toward the southeast,
arrived over that part of Africa where the great river Nile has
its source. Here he alighted, and found himself in the
neighborhood of the capital of Abyssinia, ruled by Senapus, whose
riches and power were immense. His palace was of surpassing
splendor; the bars of the gates, the hinges and locks, were all of
pure gold; in fact, this metal, in that country, is put to all
those uses for which we employ iron. It is so common that they
prefer for ornamental purposes rock crystal, of which all the
columns were made. Precious stones of different kinds, rubies,
emeralds, sapphires, and topazes were set in ornamental designs,
and the walls and ceilings were adorned with pearls.

It is in this country those famous balms grow of which there are
some few plants in that part of Judaea called Gilead. Musk,
ambergris, and numerous gums, so precious in Europe, are here in
their native climate. It is said the Sultan of Egypt pays a vast
tribute to the monarch of this country to hire him not to cut off
the source of the Nile, which he might easily do, and cause the
river to flow in some other direction, thus depriving Egypt of the
source of its fertility.

At the time of Astolpho's arrival in his dominions, this monarch
was in great affliction. In spite of his riches and the precious
productions of his country, he was in danger of dying of hunger.
He was a prey to a flock of obscene birds called Harpies, which
attacked him whenever he sat at meat, and with their claws
snatched, tore, and scattered everything, overturning the vessels,
devouring the food, and infecting what they left with their filthy
touch. It was said this punishment was inflicted upon the king
because when young, and filled with pride and presumption, he had
attempted to invade with an army the terrestrial paradise, which
is situated on the top of a mountain whence the Nile draws its
source. Nor was this his only punishment. He was struck blind.

Astolpho, on arriving in the dominions of this monarch, hastened
to pay him his respects. King Senapus received him graciously, and
ordered a splendid repast to be prepared in honor of his arrival.
While the guests were seated at table, Astolpho filling the place
of dignity at the king's right hand, the horrid scream of the
Harpies was heard in the air, and soon they approached, hovering
over the tables, seizing the food from the dishes, and overturning
everything with the flapping of their broad wings. In vain the
guests struck at them with knives and any weapons which they had,
and Astolpho drew his sword and gave them repeated blows, which
seemed to have no more effect upon them than if their bodies had
been made of tow.

At last Astolpho thought of his horn. He first gave warning to the
king and his guests to stop their ears; then blew a blast. The
Harpies, terrified at the sound, flew away as fast as their wings
could carry them. The paladin mounted his Hippogriff, and pursued
them, blowing his horn as often as he came near them. They
stretched their flight towards the great mountain, at the foot of
which there is a cavern, which is thought to be the mouth of the
infernal abodes. Hither those horrid birds flew, as if to their
home. Having seen them all disappear in the recess, Astolpho cared
not to pursue them farther, but alighting, rolled huge stones into
the mouth of the cave, and piled branches of trees therein, so
that he effectually barred their passage out, and we have no
evidence of their ever having been seen since in the outer air.

After this labor Astolpho refreshed himself by bathing in a
fountain whose pure waters bubbled from a cleft of the rock.
Having rested awhile, an earnest desire seized him of ascending
the mountain which towered above him. The Hippogriff bore him
swiftly upwards, and landed him on the top of the mountain, which
he found to be an extensive plain.

A splendid palace rose in the middle of this plain, whose walls
shone with such brilliancy that mortal eyes could hardly bear the
sight. Astolpho guided the winged horse towards this edifice, and
made him poise himself in the air while he took a leisurely survey
of this favored spot and its environs. It seemed as if nature and
art had striven with one another to see which could do the most
for its embellishment.

Astolpho, on approaching the edifice, saw a venerable man advance
to meet him. This personage was clothed in a long vesture as white
as snow, while a mantle of purple covered his shoulders, and hung
down to the ground. A white beard descended to his middle, and his
hair, of the same color, overshadowed his shoulders. His eyes were
so brilliant that Astolpho felt persuaded that he was a blessed
inhabitant of the heavenly mansions.

The sage, smiling benignantly upon the paladin, who from respect
had dismounted from his horse, said to him: "Noble chevalier, know
that it is by the Divine will you have been brought to the
terrestrial paradise. Your mortal nature could not have borne to
scale these heights and reach these seats of bliss if it were not
the will of Heaven that you should be instructed in the means to
succor Charles, and to sustain the glory of our holy faith. I am
prepared to impart the needed counsels; but before I begin let me
welcome you to our sojourn. I doubt not your long fast and distant
journey have given you a good appetite."

The aspect of the venerable man filled the prince with admiration;
but his surprise ceased when he learned from him that he was that
one of the Apostles of our Lord to whom he said, "I will that thou
tarry till I come."

St. John, conducting Astolpho, rejoined his companions. These were
the patriarch Enoch and the prophet Elijah; neither of whom had
yet seen his dying day, but, taken from our lower world, were
dwelling in a region of peace and joy, in a climate of eternal
spring, till the last trumpet shall sound.

The three holy inhabitants of the terrestrial paradise received
Astolpho with the greatest kindness, carried him to a pleasant
apartment, and took great care of the Hippogriff, to whom they
gave such food as suited him, while to the prince they presented
fruits so delicious that he felt inclined to excuse our first
parents for their sin in eating them without permission.

Astolpho, having recruited his strength, not only by these
excellent fruits, but also by sweet sleep, roused himself at the
first blush of dawn, and as soon as he left his chamber met the
beloved Apostle coming to seek him. St. John took him by the hand,
and told him many things relating to the past and the future.
Among others, he said, "Son, let me tell you what is now going on
in France. Orlando, the illustrious prince who received at his
birth the endowment of strength and courage more than mortal,
raised up as was Samson of old to be the champion of the true
faith, has been guilty of the basest ingratitude in leaving the
Christian camp when it most needed the support of his arm, to run
after a Saracen princess, whom he would fain marry, though she
scorns him. To punish him his reason has been taken away, so that
he runs naked through the land, over mountains and through
valleys, without a ray of intelligence. The duration of his
punishment has been fixed at three months, and that time having
nearly expired, you have been brought hither to learn from us the
means by which the reason of Orlando may be restored. True, you
will be obliged to make a journey with me, and we must even leave
the earth, and ascend to the moon, for it is in that planet we are
to seek the remedy for the madness of the paladin. I propose to
make our journey this evening, as soon as the moon appears over
our head."

As soon as the sun sunk beneath the seas, and the moon presented
its luminous disk, the holy man had the chariot brought out in
which he was accustomed to make excursions among the stars, the
same which was employed long ago to convey Elijah up from earth.
The saint made Astolpho seat himself beside him, took the reins,
and giving the word to the coursers, they bore them upward with
astonishing celerity.

At length they reached the great continent of the Moon. Its
surface appeared to be of polished steel, with here and there a
spot which, like rust, obscured its brightness. The paladin was
astonished to see that the earth, with all its seas and rivers,
seemed but an insignificant spot in the distance.

The prince discovered in this region so new to him rivers, lakes,
plains, hills, and valleys. Many beautiful cities and castles
enriched the landscape. He saw also vast forests, and heard in
them the sound of horns and the barking of dogs, which led him to
conclude that the nymphs were following the chase.

The knight, filled with wonder at all he saw, was conducted by the
saint to a valley, where he stood amazed at the riches strewed all
around him. Well he might be so, for that valley was the
receptacle of things lost on earth, either by men's fault, or by
the effect of time and chance. Let no one suppose we speak here of
kingdoms or of treasures; they are the toys of Fortune, which she
dispenses in turning her wheel; we speak of things which she can
neither give nor take away. Such are reputations, which appear at
one time so brilliant, and a short time after are heard of no
more. Here, also, are countless vows and prayers for unattainable
objects, lovers' sighs and tears, time spent in gaming, dressing,
and doing nothing, the leisure of the dull and the intentions of
the lazy, baseless projects, intrigues, and plots; these and such
like things fill all the valley.

Astolpho had a great desire to understand all that he saw, and
which appeared to him so extraordinary. Among the rest, he
observed a great mountain of blown bladders, from which issued
indistinct noises. The saint told him these were the dynasties of
Assyrian and Persian kings, once the wonder of the earth, of which
now scarce the name remains.

Astolpho could not help laughing when the saint said to him, "All
these hooks of silver and gold that you see are the gifts of
courtiers to princes, made in the hope of getting something better
in return." He also showed him garlands of flowers in which snares
were concealed; these were flatteries and adulations, meant to
deceive. But nothing was so comical as the sight of numerous
grasshoppers which had burst their lungs with chirping. These, he
told him, were sonnets, odes, and dedications, addressed by venal
poets to great people.

The paladin beheld with wonder what seemed a lake of spilled milk.
"It is," said the saint, "the charity done by frightened misers on
their death-beds." It would take too long to tell all that the
valley contained: meanness, affectations, pretended virtues, and
concealed vices were there in abundance.

Among the rest Astolpho perceived many days of his own lost, and
many imprudent sallies which he had made, and would have been glad
not to have been reminded of. But he also saw among so many lost
things a great abundance of one thing which men are apt to think
they all possess, and do not think it necessary to pray for,--
good sense. This commodity appeared under the form of a liquor,
most light and apt to evaporate. It was therefore kept in vials,
firmly sealed. One of these was labelled, "The sense of the
Paladin Orlando."

All the bottles were ticketed, and the sage placed one in
Astolpho's hand, which he found was his own. It was more than half
full. He was surprised to find there many other vials which
contained almost the whole of the wits of many persons who passed
among men for wise. Ah, how easy it is to lose one's reason! Some
lose theirs by yielding to the sway of the passions; some in
braving tempests and shoals in search of wealth; some by trusting
too much to the promises of the great; some by setting their
hearts on trifles. As might have been expected, the bottles which
held the wits of astrologers, inventors, metaphysicians, and above
all, of poets, were in general the best filled of all.

Astolpho took his bottle, put it to his nose, and inhaled it all;
and Turpin assures us that he was for a long time afterwards as
sage as one could wish; but the Archbishop adds that there was
reason to fear that some of the precious fluid afterwards found
its way back into the bottle. The paladin took also the bottle
which belonged to Orlando. It was a large one, and quite full.

Before quitting the planetary region Astolpho was conducted to an
edifice on the borders of a river. He was shown an immense hall
full of bundles of silk, linen, cotton, and wool. A thousand
different colors, brilliant or dull, some quite black, were among
these skeins. In one part of the hall an old woman was busy
winding off yarns from all these different bundles. When she had
finished a skein another ancient dame took it and placed it with
others; a third selected from the fleeces spun, and mingled them
in due proportions. The paladin inquired what all this might be.
"These old women," said the saint, "are the Fates, who spin,
measure, and terminate the lives of mortals. As long as the thread
stretches in one of those skeins, so long does the mortal enjoy
the light of day; but nature and death are on the alert to shut
the eyes of those whose thread is spun."

Each one of the skeins had a label of gold, silver, or iron,
bearing the name of the individual to whom it belonged. An old
man, who, in spite of the burden of years, seemed brisk and
active, ran without ceasing to fill his apron with these labels,
and carried them away to throw them into the river, whose name was
Lethe. When he reached the shore of the river the old man shook
out his apron, and the labels sunk to the bottom. A small number
only floated for a time, hardly one in a thousand. Numberless
birds, hawks, crows, and vultures hovered over the stream, with
clamorous cries, and strove to snatch from the water some of these
names; but they were too heavy for them, and after a while the
birds were forced to let them drop into the river of oblivion. But
two beautiful swans, of snowy whiteness, gathered some few of the
names, and returned with them to the shore, where a lovely nymph


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