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FRENCH SCHOOL. 600cc N. POUSSIN. vcrco PRIVATE COLLECTION,

RINALDO AND ARMIDA.

The intrepid Rinaldo having delivered the warriors whom Armida held captive, the fair enchanteress grew furious, and immediately exclaimed : «It shall not be said that he who offered me such an affront ever dares to boast of it; he has delivered others from slavery, but shall become a captive himself, and be alone shall suffer all the ills that his companions were to have endured. What do I say! I would that he should perish, and his death bring ruin on his followers. »

After having described the fury of Armida, Tasso relates the means she employed to cause Rinaldo to fall into her

power.

He presents him landing on a small island of the Orontes, whither he was attracted by a false inscription which led him to believe that he might there acquire glory. Tasso makes a syren issue from the water, who, by her enchanting strains, induces Rinaldo to forsake the murderous career of arms in which he had become distinguished, and give himself up to the pleasures of love. By her harmonious songs she succeeds in spreading soporific poppies over the eyes of the heedless warrior. « As soon as Armida , who was on the watch, saw her enemy locked in the rms of sleep, eager to satiate her vengeance, she ran to him with hasty steps; but no sooner had she cast her eyes upon this lovely enemy than she felt her fury instantly subside. In surprize she stops, and gazes on the young hero, who, in a tranquil sleep, seemed to smile on her kindly. »

This is the moment which Poussin has pourtrayed in such a manner as to express the passions which hurried on Armida, and those which force her to stop at the moment when she thought of satiating her vengeance. An engraving has been taken from this picture by G. Audran. ÉCOLE FRANÇAISE. coceco N. POUSSIN. cccc-CABINET PARTICULIER.

RENAUD ET ARMIDE.

L'intrépide Renaud ayant délivré les guerriers qu'Armide retenait captifs, la belle enchanteresse entra en fureur, et s'écria aussitôt : « Il ne sera pas dit que celui qui m'a fait un tel outrage ose jamais s'en vanter; il a tiré les autres d'esclavage, mais il y tombera lui-même, et il souffrira seul tous les maux que devaient endurer ses compagnons. Que dis-je! ce n'est point assez pour ma vengeance; je veux qu'il périsse, et que sa mort cause la perte de son parti..

Après avoir décrit la fureur d'Armide, le Tasse raconte les moyens qu'elle employa pour faire tomber Renaud en sa puissance. Il le montre abordant une petite île de l'Oronte , dans laquelle il fut attiré par une fausse inscription qui lui fit croire qu'il trouverait dans cette ile quelque gloire à acquérir. Le Tasse fait sortir des eaux une syrène qui, par des sons enchanteurs, engage Renaud à quitter la carrière meurtrière des armes dans laquelle il s'est signalé, pour se livrer aux plaisirs de l'amour. Par ses chants harmonieux elle parvient à répandre d'assoupissans pavots sur les yeux de l'imprudent guerrier. * Dès qu'Armide, qui l'observait , vit son ennemi entre les bras du sommeil, impatiente de satisfaire sa vengeance, elle courut à lui; mais elle n'eut pas plutôt jeté les yeux sur cet aimable ennemi qu'elle sentit à l'instant sa fureur s'évanouir. Surprise, elle s'arrête; elle regarde ce jeune héros, qui, dans un sommeil tranquille, semblait gracieusement lui sourire. »

Tel est l'instant que Poussin a su rendre de manière à faire sentir également les passions qui conduisaient Armide, et celles qui la forcent à s'arrêter au moment où elle croyait satisfaire sa vengeance.

Ce tableau a élé gravé par G. Audran.

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