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Between Geneura, and her favourite knight,
Resolv'd to kindle rage and jealous spite,
And so the fire of enmity increase,

143
As ne'er again might be compos'd to peace:
Nor would he trust with me his treacherous thought,
But counsel only from himself he sought.
At last, he thus his speech began to frame:
My dear Dalinda, (thus I'm known by name) 150
Thou see'st the tree, though often hewn, will shoot
Fresh branches from the new divided root;
Thus nought can wholly my desires suppress,
Though lopt so often by their ill success;
Yet think not that I prize the haughty dame, 155
But bafiled !---scorn'd---my soul rejects the shame!
This is my will: whene'er by love inspird
We meet, tire princess to her bed retird,
Take every garment that aside she throws,
And on yourself her ornaments dispose:
Like her attempt to dress your flowing hair,
Let every gesture feign Geneura's air.
Before the window take your silent stand,
And let the ladder down with ready hand.
Then will I come, in fancy prepossest

165 That you are her you seem by mien and vest: For well I trust, while thus myself I cheat, To cure my fond desire with this deceit.

Ile said; and I unconscious ne'er perceiv'd (So far had love my thoughts of sense bereav'd) 170 That what he ask'd, my treacherous lover meant, With secret guilt t' effect some base intent; But like Geneura cloth'd in vestment white, Receiv'd his visits many a secret night;

160

Nor saw the reason workinz in his miin!,

175 Till all la lolluri'), which is willihersier.

His purpose lindo na gril, this wily duke
Aside th’unvary drivslilit: - tok;
Tor one they did in frie indsleip?s.ocial land
Ere fiatal rivie's fui Cikini's luckil.

180)
With depart I find il. tills 2!!rossil
The gentie latvia Lind from the rest,
Anniest iny piecini it with Irishoni revail,
You should so i!!!!!!!!71c choice rewd.
Full well you knois wint!): long time declar'lj 185
With mine Gore ra's seule lart has shari;
And see me now preparins, tu denad
The maid in mrria fruid my sovereig!ı's hun.
Why will you then dieuh my rightful claim?
Why thus incluye il renk and lopeless flame? 190
I swear, had Ilearen levers:l our fates, tu thee
My juster choice had left the fair-one free,

It moves me more to view your tiuitless pain, (Thus Ariodantes answer’d him again) Since, ere your thoughts aspirad 10 win the dame, 195 My soul had nourishiil long the gro:ving ilime; And nic'er could sympathy more powerful love, To join tuo amorous minds in meal love. Why then respect not you our triclly band!, Or pay my vors the deference you demand? 200 Were you beheld with more propitious eyes, Long since bad I resign’d the beauteous prize ; But well I hope the priucely maid to wed, Though your possessions may be wider spread: Not less my deeds by Scoiland's king approv'd, 205 And by his daughter am I more belov'd.

210

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friendship may

in thee repose.

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O'erweening confidence (the duke rejoin'd)
Has but deceiv'd thy fond distemper'd mind!
Sincere the progress of thy love impart,
And, in return, will I disclose

my

heart.
So he, who in success appears to yield,
Shall to his happier rival quit the field.
Whate'er thee speak’st, yon' Heaven I here attest,
The tale shall safe within this bosom rest;
So shalt thou vow, thou never wilt disclose
Whate'er

my
This said; each other's secrets to conceal
They swore; then Ariodant began to tell
His love's pursuit, and undisguis'd display'd
His tender contract with the royal maid ;
Who, if the king her sire her suit deny’d,
Vow'd, for his sake, to shun the name of bride.
He urg'd his hopes, by many battles won
In former fields, by trophies yet unknown,
Which still he hop'd in future fields to gain,
For the king's fame and welfare of his reign,
To rise so high in rank, the monarch's voice
Should yield his daughter, and confirm her choice.
Behold (he cry’d) the point my love has gain’d,
And none, I deem, has equal grace obtain'd.
I scek no other at Geneura's hand,
Till sanctify'd by IIymen's holy band:
"Twere vain to ask her more, whose virtuous mind
Leaves every maid in chastity behind.

When Ariodantes thus with truth declar'd
How far he deein'd his love might find reward,
Duke Polinesso, who with guile devis'd
To make Geneura by her knight despis’d,

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Thus fraudulent pursu'd--- Vow hear me tell,
Ilow far my happier chance can thine excel.

2:10
With thee she feigns, she scorns ihy hated name,
While with vain hopes she feeds th: board ilame;
But better proofs of love to me afford-,
Than airy promises, and empty words:
Which, under secrecy, I shall reveal;

?13 Though lady's favours we should still conccal. No conscious month revolves, but sees me kd Full many a night in fair Genera's bed; Beholds me clasp her yielding in my arms, And riot, unconfin', in all her charms. Judge, if thy favours can with mine compare : Then yield to me, and seek some kinder fair, Since love has crown'd my happier fortune there.

'Tis false! (thus Ariodant intensil replies) Thou has defani'd the fair with odious lyes;

255 And hast devis'd what thou hasi saiki, to prove If shallow tales can fright me from my love. But since tuo much Gencura's fame they stain, It fits, what thou hast spoken, to maintain. This instant wi!! I brand thce, cre we part,

200 1 liar and a traitor in thy heart.

"Twere weak indeed (the duke again reply'd)
A strise like this by combat to decide;
When here I offer, what ihese lips have told,
Those eyes shall wituess, and the truth behold. 203

At this to stagger Ariodant began,
While through his bones a chilling tremor ran :
And but some glimmering yet of hope remain’d,
Jlis heart had scarce its vital heat retain'd.

His bosom throbb’d, his shifting colour fled, 270
As thus at length with falt'ring words he said:
When you disclose this deed before my sight,
(Attend me here my sacred promise plight)
Thenceforth I vow to leave Geneura free,
So liberal found to you, so harsh to me!

275 In vain your words my constant mind would move, Unless these eyes her fatal falsehood prove.

This said, they parted: soon was fix'd again The night my treacherous duke to entertain : When to complete the share his craft had wrought, 280 My guileful lover Ariodantes sought; And bade him take his stand th’ ensuing night Amidst those ruin’d piles, conceald from sight.

But Ariodantes now in thought began To doubt that this conceal'd some murderous train; 285 That the false duke, by rival hatred sway'd, A secret ambush for his life had laid, Pretending there a cruel proof to give Of what his thoughts till then could ne'er conceive. Yet was he firm to go, but on his guard,

290 Tesolv'd for all assaults to be prepard; That, if the chance requir’d, he bravely might Withstand his ambush'd enemy in fight. Ilis brother was a knight of prudence sound, Of all the court in arms the most renown'd,

295 Lurcanio call'd, and less, with him, he fear’d, Than if ten others on his side appear'd. This gallant youth he bade his arins prepare, And led th' adventure of the night to share. Not that he told the secrets of his heart,

300 For these to him, nor none, would he impart.

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