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Though Rodomont excell'd in nerve of fight,
No less in skill excell'd Circassia's knight.
Not with more swiftness turns the kindling wheel, 580
When from the stone is ground the whitening mcal,
Than Sacripant, with hand and foot untir’d,
Turu’d, chang’l, and parry'd still as need requir’d.
Their sivords Terrau and Serpentino drew,
And midst the chiefs themselves undaunted threw: 585
Then Isolero, king Grandonio came,
And maliy nobles of the Moorish name.
Such was the tumult, such the noise combin'd,
That reach'd tie tent where both the princes join'd,
Essay'd to calm Rogero's wrath in vain,

590 The Tartar lord and king of Sericane.

Now to king Agramant, perplex'd in thought,
A messenger unwelcome tidings brought,
That Sacripant, with Rodomont engag’d,
A cruel battle for his courser wag'd.

595
Then thus the king bespoke the lord of Spain:
Amidst these new alarms, thou here remain,
Lest aught should worse among these chiefs befall,
While I attend where yonder tumults call.
When Rodomont his royal lord beheld,

600 He stay'd his weapon, and his fury quell’d: Not with less awe Circassia's prince retir’d, When Agramant appear’d; who now inquir'd, With kingly looks, and with majestic tone, From what new cause this sudden strife was grown. 603 The whole declar'd, he sought with fruitless care T' appease cach warrior, and the breach repair. Unmov'd, Circassia's monarch still deny'd The king of Algiers longer should bestride

610

615

620

The generous steed, unless by fair request,
For that day's use he first his lord address’d.
But Rodomont, as wont, with fell disdain
Reply'd---Nor thou, nor Heaven, so far shall gain,
That, what this arm can on myself bestow,
I ever to another's gift will owe.
The king inquir'd of Sacripant his right
To urge such claim, and if by force or slight
He lost the sterd: the prince the truth display'd,
And, as he spoke, a blush his shame betray'd.
He own'd how well the subtle thief had wrought,
Who marking, while he sate entranc'd in thought,
Four stakes beneath his saddle plac'd, and drew
The courser thence, ere aught his rider knew.

Amidst the train appear'd Marphisa bold,
Who, while his courser's loss the warrior told,
In colour chang’d, for on the self-same day,
A robber's hand * had borne her sword away.
Advancing near, her eyes confess’d the steed,
On which Brunello once with light-foot speed,
Escap'd pursuit: brave Sacripant she knew,
Till then unfound; she mark'd the mingled crew
That crowded near, when numbers there appear'd,
That oft these thefts from base Brunello heard.
All turn’d to him, by whom they kuew abus'd
The knight and dame, and by their looks accus'd.

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* Brunello.

Ver. 620. IIc oun'd how well the subtle thics, &c.] This ludicrous and extravagent incident is taken frou Boyardo. The passage is wittily ridiculed by Cervantes, wiere Sancho, while asleep, loses his ass, which is stolen from him bys Gines de Passamente in t} sanie manner.

Oi each Marphisa ask'd, nor fail’d to find
That this was he whose hand her sword purloin'd.
She learnt, for this and many an impious cheat,
For which he well deserv'd a noose to meet,
By Agramant the shameless wretch was prais'd, 6.10
And (strange to tell) to regal honours rais’d.
Marphisa felt her former wrath to wake,
Determin’d, for her injur'd honour's sake,
On the foul thief a just revenge to take.

Now by her squire she bade her helm be lac'd, 6:15
Her other shining arms already brac'd
Her martial limbs, for never yet the maid
Ten days was seen, but bright in mail array'd,
Since her fair person, brave beyond compare,
She first inur’d the weight of steel to bear.

650 Then, with her helmet clos'd, she went and found Brunello seated midst the peers around. Him, when she saw, the dame with furious heat Seiz'd by the throat, and dragg’d him from his seat; Easy, as grip'd within his hooky claws,

655 The ravenous eagle some weak chicken draws, And bore him thus before Troyano's heir, Then deep engag'd to heal intestine war. Brunello, fearing worse might yet befall, Ceas'd not to weep, and loud for pity cail.

660 IIis cries were heard amidst the mix'd alarms Of shouts and trimults from the camp in arms, For mercy now he sues, now aid demands : Near as he drew, thick crowd the gazing bands: To Afric's king the dame her prisoner took, 665 And thus address’dl him with an haughty look:

This wretch, thy vassal, by my hand ere long
Aloft suspended, shall atone the wrong
Niy honour felt---for know his shameful thcft,
Him of his horse, me of my sword berest.

670
Should there be one who dares my purpose blame,
Forth let him stand, and wliat he thinks proclaim:
To prove my justice, I his inight defy;
And in thy prescence give his tongue the lye.
Since some may urge, ill-chosen time I take,

675 When civil broils so many murmurs make; When discord kindles now, with dire alarms, The bravest warriors of the camp to arms; Three days I respite his determin'd fate, Meanwhile would any friend prolong his date, 680 Let such appear--if not ere then releas’d, I give him to the birds a welcome feast. But three miles distant by the wood's lone side, To yonder tower behold my coursc I guide : Without companion shall I there retire,

635 Save two, a damsel and a faithful squire, If any dare this wretch's calıse befriend, There let him come, I there his arms attend.

She said; and waiting no reply, pursu'd Hier destin'd way to reach the neighbouring wood; 690 Brunello on her courser's neck she cast, And in his locks the martial virgin fast IIcr hand securl, while loud he slirick'd and pray'!, Invoking every friend by name for aid.

Ver. 670. ------ 1.2 of my storil ---] This is sold in Covardo. See Book xviii. noie to ver. 732.

693

700

King Agramant, amid these tumults tost,
Where thought itself to find a clue was lost,
Above the rest more sorely now displeas’d,
Beheld Brumello by Alarphisa scizd:
Not that he still the treacherous caitiff lor'l;
Who (some few days elaps’d) his anger mor’d.
Ere since the ring's late loss, the king revolv'd
Brunello's fault, and oft his death resoli’d.
But now he deem'd a monarch's sacred name
Too boldly scorn’dl, and red with conscious shame,
He stood prepar'd to follow, with his haud
T'
avenge

th’affront that rezal power sustain’d:
But grave Sobrino, present, soon inclin'd,
To better thoughts the prince's wrathful mind.

705

Ver. 695. King A ramant, ami:l these tumults. Nothing can be better worked up than the confusion in the camp) of the Pagan-, from these dissentions among ihiirleachers. (prvallie's islimourously makes Don Quixote, in the mirit of the quarrels at the Inal, thus allude to the above passage of Ariosto): "Did I cottcil you, Sirs, that this castle was enchanted, and ihal: imelion ou cievil, !hillst certainly inhabit it? In con: mion wireproof, I wild have you see, with your own eyes, how the discord of Agruant's camp is passer over, and transferred isither among us. Devold how there they fight for the sworil, here for the horse, Vorder for the eagle--liere azuin for the helmet; and we all fight, and no one uiderstands another. Come, therefore, my lord judge, and yoni, inaster priesi, and let one of yo'l stanı tor king Agramant, the other for king Sobrino, and make peace ainong us, &c.”

See jarris's Don Quixote, Vol. I. B. iv, C. xvii.

Ver. 707. But grare Sobrino, &c.] This is the first appearance of Sobrino in Ariosto. Ilis character is continued from Boyarde, where he makes a figure in the council !ield by: Agramant, to clebuie on the intended invasion of France, and endeavours to dissuade the king from thai expedition. Sobrino appears to be the Nestor vitke poem.

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