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personally interested in them as people like yourself; whereas, in Ariosto, with all his humanity, the knights are too much of mere kuights-warlike animals. Their flesh and blood is too much encrusted by their armour. Even Andrea Rubbi, the quaint and formal editor of the Parnaso Italiano, with all his courtesies towards all established things, says in distinguishing the effect of three great poets of Italy, that " You will adore Ariosto, you will admire Tasso, but you will love Pulci.” The alliteration suits our critic's vivacity better :“ In fine, tu adorerai l'Ariosto, tu ammirerai il Tasso, ma tu amerai il Pulci.”
Twelve Paladins had the Emperor Charlemagne in his court; and the most wise and famous of them was Orlando. It is of him I am about to speak, and of his friend Morgante, and of Gan the Traitor, who beguiled him to his death in Roncesvalles, where he sounded liis horn so strongly asier the Dolorous Rout.
It was Easter, and Charles had all his court with him in Paris, making high feast, and triumph. There was Orlando, the first among them, and Ogier the Danc, and Astolfo the Maglishman, and Atsuigi : and there came Angiotin of Bayonne, and Uliviero, and the gentle Berlinghieri; and there was also Avolio, and Avino, and Otho of Normandy, and Richard, and the wise Vamo, and the aged Salamon, and Walter from Monlione, and Baldwin who was the son of the wretched Gani. The son of Pepin was too happy, and oftentimes fairly groaned for joy at seeing all his Paladins assembled together.
But Fortune stands watching in secret, to bafie our designs. While Charles was thus hugging himself with delight, Orlando governed every thing at court, and this made Gan burst with envy; so that he began one day talking with Charles after the following manner :-". Are we always to have Orlando for our master? I have thought of speaking to
you about it a thousand times. Orlando has a great deal too much presumption. Jiere are we, Counts, Dukes, and Kings, at your service, but not at his ; and we have resolved not to be governed by a boy, You began in Aspramont to give him to understand how valiant he was, and that he did great things at that fountain ; but if it had not been for the good Geraril, I know very well where the victory would have been. The truth is, he has an eye upon the crown, and this, Charles, is the worthy who has deserved so much : all your Generals are allicted at it. As for me, I shall repass those mountains over which I came to you with seventy-two Counts. Do
take him for a Mars?!
Orlando happened to hear these words as lie sat apart, and it displeased him with Gan that he should speak so, but much more that Charles should believe him. lle wonld have killed Gan, if Oliver had not prevented him and taken his sword Darlindana out of his hand; nay, he could have almost killed Charlemagne himseli; but at Jast he went away from Paris alone, raging with scorn and grief. Ile borrowed as he went, of Ermellina the wise of Ogier, the Dare's sword Cortana and his horse Rondel, and then proceedel on his way to Brara. llis wise, Alda the Fair, hasiened to embrace lim; but while she was saying " Welcome my Orlando," he was going to strike her
on the head with his sword, for his head was bewildered, and he took her for Ganellone. The Fair Alda marvelled greatly, but Orlando soon recollected himself, and she took hold of the bridle, aod he leaped from his horse, and told her all that had passed, and rested himself with her for some days.
He then took his leave, being still carried away by his disdain, and resolved to pass over into Pagan-land; and as he rode, he thought every step of the way of the traitor Gan; and so, riding on wherever the road took him, he reached the confines between the Christian countries and the Pagan, and came upon an abbey, situate in a dark place in a desart.
Now above the abbey was a great mountain, inhabited by three fierce giants, one of whom was named Passamonte, another Alabastro, and the third Morgante; and these giants used to disturb the abbey, by throwing things down upon it from the mountain with slings, so that the poor little monks could not go out to fetch wood or water. Orlando knocked, but nobody would open till the Abbot, was spoken to. At last the Abbot came hin:self, and opening the door, bade him welcome. The good man told him the reason of the delay, and said that since the arrival of the giants, they had been so perplexed every day that they did not know what to do. 66 Our ancient fathers in the desart,” continued he, rewarded according to their holiness. It is not to be supposed that they lived only upon locusts ; doubtless, it also rained manna upon them from leaven; but here one is regaled with stones, which the giants rain upon us from the mountain, 1
These are our nice bits and relishes. The fiercest of the giants, Morgante, plucks up pines and other great trees by the roots, and casts them on
s.". While they were talking thus in the cemetery, there came a stone, which seemed as if it would break Rondel's back.
66 For God's sake, Cavalier," said the Abbot, come in, for the manna is falling.” dear Abbot,” answered Orlando, " this fellow, methinks, does not wish to let my horse feed any longer; he wants to cure him of being restive; the stone seems as if it came from a good arm.”
66 Yes," replied the holy father, “I did not deceive you. I think some day or other they will cast the mountain itself upon us." Orlando quieted his horse Rondel, avd then sat down to a meal; after which he said,
Abbot, I must go and return the present that has been made to my horse.” The Abbot with great tenderness endeavoured to dissuade him, but in vain, upon which he crossed him on the forehead, and said, 6 Go then, and the blessing of God be upon you.”
Orlando scaled the mountain, and came where Passamonte was, who seeing him alone, measured him with his eyes round about, and asked him if he would stay with him for a page, promising to make him very comfortable. Stupid Saracen,” said Orlando, “ I according to the will of God, to be your death, and not your foot-boy. | You have displeased his servants here, and are no longer to be endured, you mastiff."
Non puo più comportarli, can mastino. The giant finding himself thus insulted, ran in a fury to arm, and returning to Orlando, slang at him a large stone, which struck him on
the head with such force, as not only made his helmet ring again, but felled him. senseless to the earth. Passamonte thought he was dead. “ What,” said he, retiring to disarm himself, "could have brought that paltry fellow here?”
But Christ never forsakes his followers. While the giant went to di arm himself, Orlando recovered, and cried aloud, “ Giant, where are you going?
you thiok that you have killed me? Turn back, for unless you have wings, you shall not escape me, you doġ of a renegade.” The giant greatly marvelling, turned back, and stooping to pick up a stone, Orlando, who had Cortana naked in his band, cleft his skull; and, cursing Mahomet, he tumbled, dying and blaspheming, to the ground. Blaspheming fell the sour-hearted and cruel wretch; but Orlando, in the meanwhile, thanked the Father and the Word. ::
The Paladin went on, seeking for Alabastro, the second giant ; who
when he saw him, endeavoured to pluck up a great piece of stony earth by the roots. " Ho, ho !” cried Orlando, “what you think to throw that stone, do you ?”. Then Alabastro took his sling, and fung at him so large a fragment as obliged Orlando to defend himself, for if it had struck him, he would no more have needed a surgeon; but collecting all his strength, he thrust his sword into the giant's breast, and the loggerhead fell dead.
Morgante, the third giant, had a palace, made of earth, and boughs, and shingles, in which he shut himself up at night to rest. Orlando knocked, and disturbed the giant from his sleep, who came staring to the door like a mådman, for he had had a bewildering dream. 6 Who knocks there ?" • You will know too soon,” answered Orlando : “ I am come to make you a do penance for your sins, like your brothers. Divine Providence has sent me to avenge the wrongs of the monks, upon the whole set of you; and I have to tell you, that Passamonte and Alabastro " are already as cold as a couple of pilasters.” “Noble Knight," said Morganite,“ do me rio ill; but if you are a Christian, tell me in courtesy who
66 I will satisfy you of my faith,” replied Orlando : “ I adore Christ; and, if you please, you may adore him also.”
“I have had a strange vision," replied Morgante, with a loir voice : 66 I was assailed by a dreadful serpent, and called upon Mahomet in vain; then I called upon your God, who was crucified, and he succoured me, and I was delivered from the serpent; so I am disposėd to become a Christian.”
“ If you keep in this mind," returned Orlando, “ you shall wor. ship the true God, and come with me and be my companion, and I will love you with perfect love. Your idols are false and vain; the true God is the God of the Christians. Deny the unjust and villainous worship of your Mahomet, and be baptized in the name of my God, who is alone' worthy" "I am content," said Morgante. Then Orlando embraced him, and said, "I will lead you to the abbey." “Let us go quickly," replied Morgante, for he was impatient to make his peace with the monks. Orlando rejoiced, saying, “ My good brother, and devout withal, you must ask pardon of the Abbot; for God has enlightened you, and accepted you, and he would have you prac.
tice humility.” “Yes," said Morgante, “thanks to you, your God shall henceforth be my God. Tell me your name, and afterwards
. “Blessed Jesus be thanked," said the giant, "for I have always heard you called a perfect knight; and, as I said, I will follow you all my life through." And so comersing they went together towards the abbey, and by the way Orlando talked with Morgante of the dead giants, and sought to console him, saying they had done the mooks a thousand injuries, and our scripture says the good shall be reišarded and the evil punished, and we must submit to the will of
ee .God. The doctors of our church,” continued he,
are all agreed, that if those who are glorified in heaven, were to have compassion of their miserable kindred, who lie in such horrible confusion in hell, their beatitude would come to nothing; and this, you see, would plainly bę unjust on the part of God. But such is the firmness of their faith, that what appears good to him, appears good to them. Do what he may, they hold it to be done well, and that it is impossible for him to err; so that if their very fathers and mothers are suffering everlasting punishment, it does not disturb them an atom. This is the custom, I assure you, in the choirs above.”
" A word to the wise," said Morgante ; you shall see if I grieve for my brethren, and whether or n
no I submit to the will of God, and behave myself like an angel. So dust to dust; and now let us enjoy ourselves. I will cut off their hands, all four of them, and take them to these holy monks, that they may be sure they are dead, and not fear to go out alone into the desart. They will t
then be sure also that - the Lord has purified me, and taken me out
out of darkness, and assured - to me the kingdom of heaven.” So saying, the giant cut off the hands of his brethren, and left their bodies to the beasts and birds.
They went to the abbey, where the Abbot was expecting Orlando in great anxiety; but the monks not knowing what had happened, ran
to the Abbot in great haste and alarm, saying, " Will you suffer this giant to come in?". And when the Abbot saw the giant, he changed countenance. Orlando perceiving him thus disturbed, made haste and said, “ Abbot, peace be with you. The giant is a Christian; he believes in Christ, and has renounced his false prophet, Mahomet.” And
Morgante shewing the hands in proof of his faith, the Abbot thanked 1 heaven with great contentment of mind.
The Abbot di much honour to Morgante, comparing him with St. Paul, and they rested there many days. One day wandering over 了 I the abbey, they entered a room where the Abbot kept a quantity of armour; and Morgante saw a bow which pleased him, and he fastened
Now there was
Be the place a great scarcity of water; and
Morgante, I wish you would fetch us some water." 6 Command me as you please,” said he; and "placing a great tub upon his shoulders, he went towards a spring at which he had been accustomed to d drink,
at the foot of the mountain. Ilaving reached the spring, he suddenly heard a great noise in the forest. He took an arrow from the quirer, placed it in the bow, and raising his head, saw a great herd of swine rushing towards the spring
where he stood. Morgante shot one of them clean through the head, and laid him sprawling, Another as if in revenge, ran towards the giant, without giving him time to use another arrow; so he lent him a cuil on the head, which broke the bone, and killed him also; which stroke the rest seeing, fled in haste through the valley. Morgante then placed the tub full of water upon one shoulder, and the two porkers on the other, and returned to the abbey which was at some distance, without spilling a drop.
The monks were delighted to see the fresh water, but still more to see the pork; for there is no animal to whom food comes amiss. They let their breviaries therefore go to sleep awhile; and fell heartily to work, so that the cats and dogs had reason to lament the polish of the bones,
“Now, why do we stay here doing nothing?" said Orlando, one day, to Morgante; and he shook hands with the Abbot, and told him he must take his leave. “I must go,” said he, "and make up for lost time. “I ought to have gone long ago, my good father, but I cannot tell you what I feel within me at the content I have enjoyed here in your company. I shall bear in mind and in heart with
ever, the Abbot, the abbey, and this desart; so great is the love they have raised in me in so short a time. The great God who reigns above must thank you for me in his own abode. Bestow on us your benediction, and do not forget us in your prayers.”.
When the Abbot heard County Orlando talk thus, his heart melted within him for sweet tenderness, and he said; “ Knight, if we have failed in any courtesy due to your prowess and great gentleness, (and indeed what we have done, has been but little) pray put it to the account of our ignorance and to the place which we inhabit. We are but poor men of the cloister, better able to regale you with masses, and orisons, and paternosters, than with dinners and suppers. You have so taken this heart of mine by the many noble qualities I have seen in you, that I shall be with you still wherever you go, and on the other hand you will always be present here with me.
This seems a contradiction, but you are wise, and will take my meaning discreetly. You have saved the very life and spirit of us : for so much perturbation had those giants cast about our place, that the way to the Lord aniong us was blocked up. May he who sent you into these woods, reward your justice and piety, by which we are delivered from our trouble. Thanks be to him and to you. We shall all he disconsolate at your departure. We shall grieve that we cannot detain you among us for months and years; but you do not wear these weeds; you bear arms and armour; and you may possibly merit as well in carrying those, as in wearing this cap. You read your Bible; and your virtue has been the means of shewing the giant the way to heaven. Go in peace and prosper, whoever you may be. I do not ask your name, but if ever I am asked who it was that came among us, I shall say that it was an angel from God.
there is any armour, or other thing that you would have, go into the room where it is, and take it.” “ If you have any armour that would suit my companion,” replicd Orlando, “that I will accept with pleasure." " Come and