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soon espied Rogero with Atlantes, and drawing near them, entered into conversation : Brunello was then completely armed and mounted on Frontino, when observing, that Rogero was struck with the beauty of his
orse and armour, he presented them to him, and the young warrior impatiently arming himself, and girding Balisarda to his side, leaped on Frontino, and entered the lists, where he overthrew every opponent, and obtained the whole honour of the day. All the combatants were astonished at the valour of this unknown champion, till Agramant, having at last discovered him to be Rogero, whom he had so eagerly sought for, received him with open arms, conferred upon him the honour of knighthood, and engaged him to accompany him to France, notwithstanding all the arguments used by Atlantes, to dissuade the king from taking Rogero with him in that expedition.
After encountering a variety of dangers and adventures, Orlando and Angelica arrived at the Christian camp, where Orlando and Rinaldo meeting, a dreadful combat ensued between them for the lady; but Charlemain interposing with his authority, put an end to the battle, and delivered Angelica to the care of Namus duke of Bavaria *.
Marsilius, king of Spain, being encamped near mount Albano, to which he prepared to lay siege, was joined by Rodomont, king of Sarza, who had passed from Africa before Agramant, and after having lost great part of his fleet in a storm, landed with the remainder of his forces near Monaco, where he met with a very warm reception from the Christians.
* Jere begias the action of Ariosto's poem.
Charlemain, having collected the strength of the empire, marched with Orlando and Rinaldo to attack Marsilius, whose army being now reinforced by some of the bravest warriors, among whom were Rodomont, and Ferrau, was able to make head against him. The battle was fought with great obstinacy on both sides. Orlando and Rinaldo, elevated with the hopes of possessing Argelica, performed prodigies of valour: Rodomont made great slaughter of the Christians, and Bradamant, sister to Rinaldo, signalized herself in a particular manner. In the mean time, Agramant, having embarked his forces at Biserta, was landed, and advanced with speedy marches towards mount Albano, bringing with him the flower of the African chivalry, among which was the young Rogero, who had been with difficulty drawn from the enchanted fortress, in which he had been shut by Atlantes, to avoid the destiny which thrcatened him, but whose presence, like that of Achilles, had been declared of the highest importance to the expedition. This young warrior was accompanied by Atlantes, who, since he could not divert his charge from the pursuit of glory, was prompted, by his anxiety, to be near him in time of danger.
The whole force of the Saracens being now united, the battle raged with redoubled fury. Rogero, having overthrown numbers of the Christians, at last singled out Orlando, when Atlantes, fearing the event of such an encounter, by his magic art fascinated the eyes of Orlando, who, believing that he saw Charlemain in danger, abruptly left the field, and was made prisoner in an enchanted garden. At this time Mandricardo joined the army of Agramant, when Rogero and Rinaldo being
engaged in single combat, the Christians began to give ground, till being entirely discouraged by the absence of Orlando, the rout became general, and the tide of fugitives and pursuers parted Rinaldo and Rogero.
During this general battle between the Pagans and Christians, Bradamant being engaged in single coinbat with Rodomont, received intelligence from Rogero, who chanced to be a spectator of their battle, that Charlemain was in imminent danger; upon which she desired to go to his assistance, but Rodomont ofposing this, Rogero took her quarrel upon himself, encountered Rodomont, and disarmed him, who then retired vanquished by the courtesy of his enemy. After the departure of the prince of Sarza, Bradamant, struck with the manly deportment of Rogero, was desirous to learn who he was, and receiva ed from him the account of his origin.
Bradamant, in return, discovered her birth and name, and taking off her helmet, surprised the young warrior with her beauty. At this instant a band of Pagans fell in with them, one of whom wounded Bradamant in the head, which was then unarmed. Rogero, who had by this time conceived a violent passion for the fair warrior, and enraged at the brutality of the action, advanced furiously to revenge it on the author; the Pagans then attacked him all at once, and Braclamant, who now began to feel the tenderest sentiments for Rogero, inimediately joined him : their united force soon got the better of their adversaries, who were either slain, or put to flight: but it so happened, that in the pursuit the two lovers were separated, this being their first meeting; after this, Bradamant continued to go in search of Rogero, and arrived at the dwelling of a hermit, or friar,
who healed the wound that she had received in her head. Afterwards falling asleep on the banks of a river, she was seen by Flordespina, daughter to king Marsilius, who was hunting in the forest, and being deceived by the arms and dress of Bradamant, supposing her to be a man, fell deeply in love with her *
Orlando, having been delivered by Brandimart, Rogero and Gradasso, from the enchanted garden, where he had beeen confined by Atlantes, arrived at Paris when the city was closely besieged by Agramant, Marsilius, Rodomont, Mandricardo, Ferrau, and the whole power of the Pagans. Orlando and Brandimart attacked the enemy with great slaughter, and Rodomont attempting to scale the walls, was thrown down by Orlando. The city was however at last in imminent danger of being taken, having been fired in several places; but a great storm arising, with a sudden violent shower of rain, extinguished the flames, and put an end to the battle for that time.
Here the great action of Boyardo breaks off unfinished, and the subject is again taken up by Ariosto, in the eighth book of the ORLANDO FURIOSO.
• This story is completed by Ariosto, Orl. Fur. book xxv.
DAMES, knights, and arms, and love! the deeds that
Ver. 1. Dames, knights, and arms.---] It is said Cardinal Hippolito had been heard to declare that Ariosto was particularly diflicult in composing the two first lines of his poem, and that he wrote tliem many times before he could satisfy himself. Marc Antonio Mureto, a most respectable writer of the xvith century, delivers himself thus on the subject: “ Audivi a maximis viris qui facillime id nosse poterant, Ludovicum Areostum nobilissimum nobilissimæ domus præconem in duobus primis grandiosis illius poematis sui versibus, plusquam credi potest, laborasse, neque sibi prius animum explere potuisse, quam quum illos in omnem partem diu multumque ver. sasset." Ver. 6. Troyano dead,] See General View of Boyardo's Story