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despite of being swordless, Rinaldo by dexterity and strength remains the victor. Saluted as such by Clarice, he courteously escorts her to her castle's gate. But when she bids him enter with her to greet her mother, he declines. Though secretly smitten with love for the brave stranger, the lady had not encouraged the suit which he tried to prefer as they rode together. The knight's own consciousness of small desert makes him forbear as yet to press it; and so he "denies himself his own de
sire," and, with a divided heart, rides on in search of adventures. Although thus speedily parted, each breast feels the beatings of an unwonted passion. If Rinaldo seven times turns his horse's head to go back and as often returns to his first purpose, Clarice sighs and laments at home, and bathes her lovely face with tears, saying, "Whence comes this bitter sweetness, this sorrowful delight, this hope full of grief 1" She answers her own question :—
Alas! too plainly now I come to know,
-Canto ii. 10.
While thus fair Clarice bewails herself in her chamber, Rinaldo pursues his quest of Bayard. A knight, whom he finds seated under an oak, fights with him for the privilege of undertaking the adventure; and after being defeated, is permitted to share it. Isolier, as he is called, approaches the enchanted cave in Rinaldo's company, and they soon see its occupant. Bay, as his name indicates, with a silver star on his forehead, and splendidly proportioned, Bayard's skin is invulnerable by Isolier's weapons, as, fierce and snorting fire, he receives their attack, and knocks their wielder down, llinaldo, however, succeeds in subduing him by a mixture of force and dexterity; and Bayard, submitting to him as to his rightful master, thenceforward proves his faithful and devoted servant.
Mounted on his predestined charger, Rinaldo rides on with Isolier
in search of adventures. The result of one of these brings him into contact with the ambassador of Francardo, King of Armenia, from whom he hears the unwelcome news that he has a powerful rival in that monarch for the hand of Clarice. Francardo's first love was an Assyrian princess, Clarinea, for love of whom he roamed over Asia, and, maintaining whose charms to be peerless, overthrew the King of Tyre and three doughty giants—not to mention a leopard-like man who fell before him in the lists, presided over by the Soldan of Babylon himself. But after a while, hearing of the temple of beauty in India— a great magician's work—Francardo, unluckily for Clarinea, resolved to behold its marvels, slew the wild beasts set to guard it, and forced his way inside. There he beheld the all but breathing images of the five or six loveliest women of each century, set there by the enchanter's art. After gazing on the shapes of departed loveliness, the king naturally turned to the fair ones of his own day in search of the Princess Clarinea's form. Alas! it was not to be found there; and a glance told him that, great as might be her charms, they were eclipsed by those of the ladies preferred to her; especially by those of Yvo of Gascony's sister, Clarice. Hereupon Francardo, resolving to make her his wife, sent Rinaldo's
informant, the Knight of the Siren, to demand her of the emperor in marriage, promising both to respect her religion and to bring up their children in the Christian faith; but threatening war if her hand is refused him. The answer the ambassador has received from the emperor has been not unfavourable; and he is now on his way to procure the assent of Clarice herself and of her mother. How Clarinea bears her desertion remains untold.
"Mad is that lord who thinks by sword and lance
is Rinaldo's exclamation on hearing this tale. But after the Armenian knight has left him and proceeded on his errand, many fears disturb his mind; not that he doubts his own ability to defend Clarice against a world in arms, but that he dreads her being dazzled by the offer of an Eastern diadem. This new-born jealousy must plead his excuse for an act of apparent discourtesy. For, coming shortly afterwards to the Seine, he sees a boat with sails of clothof-silver and awnings of cloth-ofgold, and on its flower-wreathed decks maidens who play sweet instruments and sing. It is an attendant satellite on the car of Galerana, Queen of France; a car with golden axles, on which blaze orient gems, and with pearl-embroidered purple coverings, drawn by ten milk-white stags with gold collars and azure bridles, and es
corted by a hundred knights in rich armour. Like the sun's fair sister amid the stars, like Thetis among her nymphs, sits the majestic queen on her raised seat in the chariot, surrounded by her damsels. One of them is Clarice. Rinaldo, at sight of the lady whose loss he has begun to dread, cannot restrain himself. He at once challenges the knights attendant, among whom the lance which Tristram used of oldi works great havoc. Having soon, ably seconded by Isolier, routed or slain her whole guard, he approaches the queen, and, with a show of courteous submission, begs her pardon for taking away one lady from her goodly company. But he brooks no refusal, lifts the pale and trembling Clarice on to a palfrey without asking her own consent, and leads her off, though her downcast eyes are full of tears at this rough method of wooing. The result, however, justifies his boldness in so far as an easily obtained pardon can go. For no sooner has Rinaldo raised his vizor, and, assuring Clarice of his respectful obedience to her every wish, disclosed to her the Armenian embassy as his reason for wishing to place her in safe keeping, than the lady dries her tears and feels the tempests of her heart calmed by Rinaldo's eyes—as, says the classically-minded poet, are the storms of ocean by the shining sons of Leila. But the experienced reader who observes that the poem is as yet only in its fourth canto, knows well that this peace cannot be of long duration, and marvels not to see Malagigi appear on the scene to disturb it. That potent enchanter, fearing a too early interruption of Rinaldo's victorious career, meets the enamoured pair in the guise of a black knight, bearing a dragon on his shield. Before his onslaught even Bayard falls; and ere Rinaldo can raise him, the stranger strikes the earth with his lance, a car like Pluto's, drawn by four black horses snorting fire, rises from the cleft, and, white and half dead with terror, Clarice, a second Proserpine, is whirled away in it out of sight.
1 Just before this, Rinaldo and his friend came to the bronze statues of Lancelot and Tristram, erected by Merlin's art, each grasping a lance which will only be yielded up to a knight who surpasses its former owner in strength. Tristram holds his too tight for Isolier to take, but readily relinquishes it to Rinaldo. Lancelot is nnattempted by either. Like other episodes by which Tasso seeks to enhance the impression of his yoting hero's might, this is brought in with some lack of art; and the reader is in danger of growing weary of adventures which succeed each other without definitely advancing the progress of the story.
Rinaldo seeks her, but in vain, and finds no comfort in his transports of rage and grief. Thick mists prevent Bayard, risen mightier than ever when released from the magic spell, from pursuing the flying car; and its rider's despair exceeds his poet's power to paint. A faint hope of recovering his lost lady keeps her cavalier alive; and he records a vow to seek her for years and lustrums if needful, alike when winter whitens the fields and when spring adonis them with her roses and her lilies.
He is alone in his sorrow; for Isolier disappears at this point from the poem, being last seen in vain pursuit of the robber and his prey.
But Rinaldo's solitude is relieved before long; and he finds a congenial companion in a young shepherd who is lamenting his own hopeless love—the story whereof the knight hears seated at his side upon the grass. No shepherd, but the supposed son of a wealthy Spanish noble, Florindo had fixed his affections on Olinda, daughter of the King of Numantia. His boldness has displeased her; and, au exile for her sake, he is now wandering, the pilgrim of love, in search of a cave where Cupid gives oracles. This cavern, as he has just heard, is nigh to the spot where they are seated, and he invites Rinaldo to accompany him thither. The entrance is defended by flames which only faithful lovers can pass through unscathed. But Florindo and his new friend alike abide the test, and each receives a favourable answer; Florindo, yet a pagan, in requital of sacrifice duly offered — the Christian Rinaldo, because Cupid's image is Merlin's work, and so framed by him that it denies a faithful response to no man who fulfils the indispensable conditions. The cavern shakes with a sound as of winds and waves, Cupid's golden bow and quiver rattle as he claps his wings and speaks. Then Rinaldo learns what Malagigi has done, and why, and that he has restored Clarice safely to her mother; and is further cheered by being promised that he shall yet wed her if he perseveres in the career of arms. Florindo, too, is assured of happiness when his own princely birth shall in due time be disclosed, and bidden meanwhile to follow the same course.
Thus both the young men depart mit, in completing his victory over
with uplifted hearts from the cav- the Saracens. Rinaldo's respectful
ern, and at once betake themselves salutation of the imperial land, as he
to join Charlemagne's army in the descends on it from the Alps, may
south of Italy, to aid, if fate per- be not unknown to some readers :—
Hail! laud by glorious palms and trophies good
But the warriors whom Rinaldo severe defeat by the hosts of the
Led by the Hours, the Sun his burning wheel
—Canto vi. G.
Florindo presents himself to first to leave his saddle empty, is Charles; and, having received Walter of Montlyon; followed in knighthood from his hand, de- his fall in rapid succession by livers a challenge to his host in twelve other Christian knights, his own and his friend's name, Next the steel-clad Saracen, Atlas who, as he says, are prepared to —a giant on an elephantine charger maintain against all comers, "That —finds his steed all too weak to no man can mount to true honour withstand the shock of Bayard's unless he have love for his guide." impact. Disengaging himself from The challenge is eagerly taken up, his dead charger, as his courteous not only by Christians, but by antagonist gives him full time to knights of the Saracen host, to do, the Paynim renews the fight which it is transmitted by a her- with his good sword Fusberta, aid. Men who have never known that "priceless brand," as Tasso love, or who now delivered from calls it, which, like Orlando's Durits chains still have them in pain- indana, and Arthur's Excalibur, ful remembrance, are eager to is treated in the tales of knightfight Love's champions. The great errantry rather as a person than Charles himself comes down into as a thing. This is the sword prethe plain where the lists are set to destined for Rinaldo's use, who is see the joust. to be henceforward known as the
First to attack Rinaldo, and striker with Fusberta as well as the rider of Bayard. But ere he a wound from his opponent's lance,
wins the famous weapon he nar- grasps it suddenly with both hands,
rowly escapes meeting his death wrests it from his hold, and then
by it; for Atlas, stung to fury by prepares to deal him a deadly blow.
"What wilt thou do, Rinaldo? who will aid?
is the poet's exclamation as he beholds his hero's peril. But a timely leap to one side makes Atlas miss his stroke, and fall himself overbalanced to the ground. A wound from Rinaldo's dagger loosens his grasp of his peerless sword; and Fnsberta, snatched by the young champion, severs her former master's head from his shoulders.
The Saracen's death pleases the Christian host well; but when equally hard measure is dealt to some of themselves, and Sir Hugh, a knight dear as his own soul to Charlemagne, is likewise slain, the emperor sees it time to interfere, and calls on his nephew Orlando to repress this audacious stranger. He, though unwillingly, obeys, puts on the helmet which he won from Almonte, mounts his famous Brigliadoro, and rides to meet the unknown knight, whose valour has gained his heart. Evenly matched in strength, both horses go down after the first encounter, and then the contest between their riders is continued on foot, reflecting equal honour on the skill and valour of each. Or
lando is amazed at being matched alike as a fencer and a wrestler, and longs to know the name of his antagonist. The emperor, too, feels moved by so much valour to forgive his knights' loss, and to interfere lest either of such brave champions should be injured; so that, after the combat has been long continued without visible advantage to either side, he himself rides within the barrier and parts the two knights.
Rinaldo refuses to disclose his name, though requested to do so, saying modestly that it is as yet too obscure; and departs, with the likewise victorious Florindo, after a mutual interchange of compliments and gifts, to seek elsewhere the adventures which the Moors, obstinately shut up within their entrenchments, seem unlikely to afford them. But on their way they see a sad sight: the shades of night arc lit up by many funeral torches, and their lurid glare discloses to them the slain Hugh's father, lamenting bitterly over the corpse of his beloved and only son. As he weeps over its severed head he cries :—
Whither is gone of these fair eyes the light?
Where the clear honour of this beauteous face?
How from these cheeks, these lips, the hue once bright
Has strayed, alas! and all the smiling grace!
Is this the brow, so dark and dim to sight,
That filled my heart with joy? Ah, woeful case,
If all it gave me once of joy and gladness
Is now to me made greater grief and sadness!
Son, those last duties now to thee I pay,
The which thy youth to me more justly owes;
Farewell, farewell for ever, while I say
Lo! with my wretched hands thino eyes I close;—