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Within a month, (now hastening to an end)
445 You will the flower of beauteous dames obtain, 'Twixt distant India and th’ Atlantic main; With power and wealth, and knighthood's envy'd praise, To crown with blessings all your future days. Our king shall fix on you his sovereign grace,
Rinaldo mus'd awhile, then made reply:
Accurst be those that could such law procure!
The rest with good Rinaldo deemil the same,
Soon as the rosy morn, with pleador bright,
When near at hand they hear a screaming sou
sound, The forest echoes to the noise around, One spurs Bayardo, t'other spurs
his steed, To search the valley whence the crics proceed.
435 Beisist tvo mien a dinisel there was seen, Who distant seem'l of fair and comely mein; Bui ne'er before did dame or damsel show Looks more deprest with anguish or with woe. On either side the ruflians ready stood
500 With naked swords to dye the ground with blood; While she with prayers and many a ilowing tear, Did for a while ihe dreadful stroke defer.. Rinaldo comes, and when the fair he spies, Ile hastens to her aid with threatening crics.. 505
Soon as the murderers saw th’approaching knight, At once they turn’d their backs in sudden flight; Through the dark vale precipitate they flew; Nor would the Paladin their steps pursue, But, drawing near the damsel, sought to hear 510 Her deep distress, and whence her death so near; Then, for dispatch, commands the squire to bear Behind him, on their way, the weeping fair; While, as they rode, he better mark'd her face, Her beauteous features, and her pleasing grace 515 That savour'd of a court; though still appear Upon her troubl’d looks the marks of fear. Again Rinaldo ask'd, what cruel fate Had so depress’d, her to this wretched state?
She then, with lowly voice, began to tell What in th’ ensuing book we shall reveal.
END OF TILE FOURTH BOOK.
RINALDO hears, from Dalinda, the tale of the loves of Ariodantes
and Geneura, with the treachery of Polinesso, who had contrived to blacken the reputation of Geneura, and caused her to be openly accused of incontinence; in consequence of whiclı, by the laws of Scotland, she was condemned to death. Rinaldo takes up her cause before the king, and enters the list with her enemy