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That he who clears her honour from the stain, 460
The royal maid, with princely gifts, shall gain.
As yet no champions in her cause appear,
Each views his fellow's face with marks of fear :
In arms so dreadful is Lurcanio's might,
That all, with terror, seem to shun the fight. 465
Her cruel fortune adds this sorrow more,
Her absent brother treads a foreign shore,
The brave Zerbino, who in field displays
Such deeds as merit ever-during praise :
Brit could he hear in time her dangerous state, 470
llow would he fly l' avert his sister's fate !
The monarch, who would all his thoughts employ
By other means, than arms, the truth to try,
Secur'd some damsels of Geneura's train
In hopes the fatal secret to explain !
And hence I dreaded, if myself were caught,
The duke and I in danger might be brought.
That night, in fear, the palace I forsook,
And, privately withdrawing, sought the duke :
Declar'd how much to both it might import 180
That I without delay should quit the court.
He prais'l my prudence; promis'd to provide
A safe asylum whcre I might reside;
Appointing two, to guide me through the wood,
Where near, he said, liis lonely fortress stood. 485
Reflect, sir knight, if acts like mine should prove
To Polinesso marks of faithful love;
Then say, that maids must ever hope in vain
For tender love to be beloved again.
This cruel, perjur'd, and ungrateful man,
490 At length to doubt my constant faith began;
And fearing lest I should at length reveal
The treacherous act he labour'd to conccal ;
He feign’d I should awhile from court retire,
Apart to shun the kiny's inreuding ire;
Aud sent me thence to this remote retreat,
liere, not my safety, but my death to meet.
For secretly he yave my gudes conmund,
Soon as their steps hai reucli'd this forest-land,
To take iny litem-lo! how my faith was paid !
Too well his dire command had leen obey'd,
Had not my cries so timely reach'ủ your ears ;
Behold how Love his votaries prefers !
Thus to the Paladin Dalinda told Iler mournful tale, while still their way they hold; 505 And if before he meant t assist the dame, When just suspicion scem'd to tax her fame; More earnest now his boson's zeal appear’d, When thus the cruel calunny he heard. Then tow'rds St. Andrew's town with eager haste 510 Rinaldo with the squire and damsel pass’d; The king and court were there; and there the strife Must soon decide his daughter's death or life.
Ver. 501. Thus to the iniin.-) Sem Shakespeare's Much Ado About Norling, where the circumstances of the plot, so far as re. late to Clandio and liero, ire very similar to this story of Ariodantes and Genenra: but one of our last new tragedies, called the Law of Lombardy, is more immediately built on the incidents of Ariosto's table. This story of Geneura was imitatti by Ilain de Gelais, a French Poet, about 1572. Aaother tale was written on the same subject, entitled, Conte de l'Infante Gencure nile du roy d'Ecosse, 1556.
do nearer to the neighbourin; towas they drew, They found a squire who gave their titing new; 515 Thu a strange champion there in armour came, 7:10 undertook to clear Geneura's lame; Crknown his cuirass, and unknown his shield, ! is name and lineaye from his squire conceal'd; Tor since he first appear'd, he ne'er expos'd
His face to view, but wore his beaver clos'd.
This heard, Rinaldo swift his way pursu'd,
And soon the city and the gates he view'd.
There seem'd Dalinda sore oppress’d with fear,
Till brave Rinaldo's words her spirits cheer: 523
Observing how the gates were closely barr’d,
He ask'd the cause, and thus reply'd the guard :
That thence the crowd were fied to view the fight
Between Lurcanio and a stranger-knight,
Which, distant, on a spacious plain they wag'd, 530
And that the combatants were then engag’d.
None here Rinaldo's eager course oppos’d,
The porter open’d, and the gate re-clos'd;
Through the void city pass’d the gallant knight;
But, by the
he made the dame alight; 535 And bade her wait the issue of the fight.
Impatient thence he hastens to the field, Where the two knights their wrathful weapons wield; Who many blows had given on either part: There fought Lurcanio with revengeful heart
510 Against Geneura; while on t'other hand The stranger's courage well her cause maintain'd. With these, six warriors in the lists appear On foot; the cuirass on their breast they wear.
The duke of Albany there takes liis . C,
Upon a gallant siced oi generous iaco:
To him, as to high consible, they vichi
To keep the order of the lisicii field.
Fierce were his looks, culing in his thought,
To see Cencura in surh diger krouchi.
Through the thick pins Rinaldo furst his way
No multitudies Bayardu's corse could stay:
Those, who the temple i vi bis coming found,
Appear'd not slow to give the courser ground.
Rinaldo, eminent above the rest,
Appeard the flower of chivalry consest:
Til, ncar the king arriv’!, his course he stay'di;
All listening round to hear the words he said.
My nuble lord, (the champion thus began)
The hands of yonder combatants restrain,
Whoe'er shall perish in the doubtful strife,
Must undeserv'd resign a noble life.
One thinks himself by justice only ledd,
But treason o'er his head a mist has spread :
Thai fatal error which his brother slew,
Ilimself to brare the dangerous combat crew :
The other knows not yet it wrong or right
Attend his cause, but issues to ihe fight,
The courteous prowess of his arms to try,
Rather than let such matchless beauty die.
Lo! here I come to give the guiltiess aid,
Avenging on the traitor, the betray'd:
But first, bid each awhile his rage forbear,
Then audience give to what I shall declare,
The king was mov'd with what Rinaldo said,
Both by his words and noble presence swar'd;
Then, stretching out his hand, commands the peace,
and bids awhile the combatants to cease.
When to the king, and barons of the land,
The knights, and populace on either hand,
Rinaldo all the subtle snare display'd
By Polinesso for Geneura laid.
The tale explain'd, he offer'd with his sword
Ev’n there to prove the truth of every word.
Now Polinesso, summond to the place,
585 Appear’d with deep confusion in his face; But yet with boldness, he the fact deny'd : Soon shall we (said Rinaldo) this decide.
Thus, ready arm'd, the list prepar’d in view, They both, without delay, to combat drew.
590 What transport to the king, and all the land, To hear Geneura's innocence maintain'd! Each hop'd, that God would openly proclaim llow falsehood had defac'd her spotless name. The duke was known for every treacherous art, 595 Unjust, and cruel, fraudulent of heart, That none could wonder such a villain's mind, A snare so horrid and so black design'd!
Now Polinesso stands with fear confest, With bloodless visage, and with panting breast. 600 Thrice sounds the trump, and at the warning blast, His lance in rest the trembling traitor plac'd. On ť other hand Rinaldo came, and try'd At one fierce course the conflict to decide. Nor err'd the weapon from the knights intent, 605 But through the traitor's panting bosom went: Pierc'd through and through, he, by the dreadful force, Was borne to earth six feet beyond his horse,