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    Chapter 3

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    Chapter 3
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    IT was the month of May and the feast of Pentecost. Charlemagne
    had ordered magnificent festivities, and summoned to them, besides his
    paladins and vassals of the crown, all strangers, Christian or
    Saracen, then sojourning at Paris. Among the guests were King
    Grandonio, from Spain; and Ferrau, the Saracen, with eyes like an
    eagle; Orlando and Rinaldo, the Emperor's nephews; Duke Namo;
    Astolpho, of England, the handsomest man living; Malagigi, the
    Enchanter; and Gano, of Maganza, that wily traitor, who had the art to
    make the Emperor think he loved him, while he plotted against him.
    High sat Charlemagne at the head of his vassals and his paladins,
    rejoicing in the thought of their number and their might, while all
    were sitting and hearing music, and feasting, when suddenly there came
    into the hall four enormous giants, having between them a lady of
    incomparable beauty, attended by a single knight. There were many
    ladies present who had seemed beautiful till she made her
    appearance, but after that they all seemed nothing. Every Christian
    knight turned his eyes to her, and every Pagan crowded round her,
    while she, with a sweetness that might have touched a heart of
    stone, thus addressed the Emperor:-
    "High-minded lord, the renown of your worthiness, and of the valor
    of these your knights, which echoes from sea to sea, encourages me
    to hope that two pilgrims, who have come from the ends of the world to
    behold you, will not have encountered their fatigue in vain. And,
    before I show the motive which has brought us hither, learn that
    this knight is my brother Uberto, and that I am his sister Angelica.
    Fame has told us of the jousting this day appointed, and so the prince
    my brother has come to prove his valor, and to say that, if any of the
    knights here assembled choose to meet him in the joust, he will
    encounter them, one by one, at the stair of Merlin, by the Fountain of
    the Pine. And his conditions are these: No knight who chances to be
    thrown shall be allowed to renew the combat, but shall remain prisoner
    to my brother, but if my brother be overthrown, he shall depart out of
    the country, leaving me as the prize of the conqueror."
    Now it must be stated that this Angelica and her brother who
    called himself Uberto, but whose real name was Argalia, were the
    children of Galafron, king of Cathay, who had sent them to be the
    destruction of the Christian host; for Argalia was armed with an
    enchanted lance, which unfailingly overthrew everything it touched,
    and he was mounted on a horse, a creature of magic, whose swiftness
    outstripped the wind. Angelica possessed also a ring which was a
    defence against all enchantments, and when put into the mouth rendered
    the bearer invisible. Thus Argalia was expected to subdue and take
    prisoners whatever knights should dare to encounter him; and the
    charms of Angelica were relied on to entice the paladins to make the
    fatal venture, while her ring would afford her easy means of escape.
    When Angelica ceased speaking, she knelt before the king and awaited
    his answer, and everybody gazed on her with admiration. Orlando
    especially felt irresistibly drawn towards her, so that he trembled
    and changed countenance. Every knight in the hall was infected with
    the same feeling, not excepting old white-headed Duke Namo and
    Charlemagne himself.
    All stood for a while in silence, lost in the delight of looking
    at her. The fiery youth Ferrau could hardly restrain himself from
    seizing her from the giants and carrying her away; Rinaldo turned as
    red as fire, while Malagigi, who had discovered by his art that the
    stranger was not speaking the truth, muttered softly, as he looked
    at her, "Exquisite false creature! I will play thee such a trick for
    this, as will leave thee no cause to boast of thy visit."
    Charlemagne, to detain her as long as possible before him, delayed
    his assent till he had asked her a number of questions, all of which
    she answered discreetly, and then the challenge was accepted.
    As soon as she was gone, Malagigi consulted his book, and found
    out the whole plot of the vile, infidel king Galafron, as we have
    explained it, so he determined to seek the damsel and frustrate her
    designs. He hastened to the appointed spot, and there found the prince
    and his sister in a beautiful pavilion, where they lay asleep, while
    the four giants kept watch. Malagigi took his book and cast a spell
    out of it, and immediately the four giants fell into a deep sleep.
    Drawing his sword (for he was a belted knight), he softly approached
    the young lady, intending to despatch her at once; but, seeing her
    look so lovely, he paused for a moment, thinking there was no need
    of hurry, as he believed his spell was upon her, and she could not
    wake. But the ring which she wore secured her from the effect of the
    spell, and some slight noise, or whatever else it was, caused her at
    that moment to awake. She uttered a great cry, and flew to her
    brother, and waked him. By the help of her knowledge of enchantment,
    they took and bound fast the magician, and, seizing his book, turned
    his arts against himself. Then they summoned a crowd of demons, and
    bade them seize their prisoner and bear him to king Galafron, at his
    great city of Albracca, which they did, and, on his arrival, he was
    locked up in a rock under the sea.
    While these things were going on, all was uproar at Paris, since
    Orlando insisted upon being the first to try the adventure at the
    stair of Merlin. This was resented by the other pretenders to
    Angelica, and all contested his right to the precedence. The tumult
    was stilled by the usual expedient of drawing lots, and the first
    prize was drawn by Astolpho. Ferrau, the Saracen, had the second,
    and Grandonio the third. Next came Berlinghieri, and Otho; then
    Charles himself, and, as his ill-fortune would have it, after thirty
    more, the indignant Orlando.
    Astolpho, who drew the first lot, was handsome, brave, and rich.
    But, whether from heedlessness or want of skill, he was an unlucky
    jouster, and very apt to be thrown, an accident which he bore with
    perfect good-humor, always ready to mount again and try to mend his
    fortune, generally with no better success.
    Astolpho went forth upon his adventure with great gayety of dress
    and manner, encountered Argalia, and was immediately tilted out of the
    saddle. He railed at fortune, to whom he laid all the fault; but his
    painful feelings were somewhat relieved by the kindness of Angelica,
    who, touched by his youth and good looks, granted him the liberty of
    the pavilion, and caused him to be treated with all kindness and
    The violent Ferrau had the next chance in the encounter, and was
    thrown no less speedily than Astolpho; but he did not so easily put up
    with his mischance. Crying out, "What are the Emperor's engagements to
    me?" he rushed with his sword against Argalia, who, being forced to
    defend himself, dismounted and drew his sword, but got so much the
    worse of the fight that he made a signal of surrender, and, after some
    words, listened to a proposal of marriage from Ferrau to his sister.
    The beauty, however, feeling no inclination to match with such a rough
    and savage-looking person, was so dismayed at the offer, that, hastily
    bidding her brother to meet her in the forest of Arden, she vanished
    from the sight of both by means of the enchanted ring. Argalia, seeing
    this, took to his horse of swiftness, and dashed away in the same
    direction. Ferrau pursued him, and Astolpho, thus left to himself,
    took possession of the enchanted lance in place of his own, which
    was broken, not knowing the treasure he possessed in it, and
    returned to the tournament. Charlemagne, finding the lady and her
    brother gone, ordered the jousting; to proceed as at first intended,
    in which Astolpho, by aid of the enchanted lance, unhorsed all
    comers against him, equally to their astonishment and his own.
    The paladin Rinaldo, on learning the issue of the combat of Ferrau
    and the stranger, galloped after the fair fugitive in an agony of love
    and impatience. Orlando, perceiving his disappearance, pushed forth in
    like manner; and, at length, all three are in the forest of Arden,
    hunting about for her who is invisible.
    Now in this forest there were two fountains, the one constructed
    by the sage Merlin, who designed it for Tristram and the fair Isoude;*
    for such was the virtue of this fountain, that a draught of its waters
    produced an oblivion of the love which the drinker might feel, and
    even produced aversion for the object formerly beloved. The other
    fountain was endowed with exactly opposite qualities, and a draught of
    it inspired love for the first living object that was seen after
    tasting it. Rinaldo happened to come to the first-mentioned
    fountain, and, being flushed with heat, dismounted, and quenched in
    one draught both his thirst and his passion. So far from loving
    Angelica as before, he hated her from the bottom of his heart,
    became disgusted with the search he was upon, and, feeling fatigued
    with his ride, finding a sheltered and flowery nook, laid himself down
    and fell asleep.

    * See their story in "The Age of Chivalry."

    Shortly after came Angelica, but, approaching in a different
    direction, she espied the other fountain, and there quenched her
    thirst. Then resuming her way, she came upon the sleeping Rinaldo.
    Love instantly seized her, and she stood rooted to the spot.
    The meadow round was all full of lilies of the valley and wild
    roses. Angelica, not knowing what to do, at length plucked a handful
    of these, and dropped them, one by one, on the face of the sleeper. He
    woke up, and, seeing who it was, received her salutations with averted
    countenance, remounted his horse, and galloped away. In vain the
    beautiful creature followed and called after him, in vain asked him
    what she had done to be so despised. Rinaldo disappeared, leaving
    her in despair, and she returned in tears to the spot where she had
    found him sleeping. There, in her turn, she herself lay down, pressing
    the spot of earth on which he had lain, and, out of fatigue and
    sorrow, fell asleep.
    As Angelica thus lay, fortune conducted Orlando to the same place.
    The attitude in which she was sleeping was so lovely, that it is not
    to be conceived, much less expressed. Orlando stood gazing like a
    man who had been transported to another sphere. "Am I on earth," he
    exclaimed, "or am I in Paradise? Surely it is I that sleep, and this
    is my dream."
    But his dream was proved to be none in a manner which he little
    desired. Ferrau, who had slain Argalia, came up, raging with jealousy,
    and a combat ensued which awoke the sleeper.
    Terrified at what she beheld, she rushed to her palfrey, and,
    while the fighters were occupied with one another, fled away through
    the forest. The champions continued their fight till they were
    interrupted by a messenger, who brought word to Ferrau that king
    Marsilius, his sovereign, was in pressing need of his assistance,
    and conjured him to return to Spain. Ferrau, upon this, proposed to
    suspend the combat to which Orlando, eager to pursue Angelica, agreed.
    Ferrau, on the other hand, departed with the messenger to Spain.
    Orlando's quest for the fair fugitive was all in vain. Aided by
    the powers of magic, she made a speedy return to her own country.
    But the thought of Rinaldo could not be banished from her mind,
    and she determined to set Malagigi at liberty, and to employ him to
    win Rinaldo, if possible, to make her a return of affection. She
    accordingly freed him from his dungeon, unlocking his fetters with her
    own hands, and restored him his book, promising him ample honors and
    rewards, on condition of his bringing Rinaldo to her feet.
    Malagigi accordingly, with the aid of his book, called up a demon,
    mounted him, and departed. Arrived at his destination, he inveigled
    Rinaldo into an enchanted bark, which conveyed him, without any
    visible pilot, to an island where stood an edifice called Joyous
    Castle. The whole island was a garden. On the western side, close to
    the sea, was the palace, built of marble, so clear and polished that
    it reflected the landscape about it. Rinaldo leapt ashore, and soon
    met a lady, who invited him to enter. The house was as beautiful
    within as without, full of rooms adorned with azure and gold, and with
    noble paintings. The lady led the knight into an apartment painted
    with stories, and opening to the garden, through pillars of crystal,
    with golden capitals. Here he found a bevy of ladies, three of whom
    were singing in concert, while another played on an instrument of
    exquisite accord, and the rest danced round about them. When the
    ladies beheld him coming, they turned the dance into a circuit round
    him, and then one of them, in the sweetest manner, said, "Sir
    Knight, the tables are set, and the hour for the banquet is come";
    and, with these words, still dancing, they drew him across the lawn in
    front of the apartment, to a table that was spread with cloth of
    gold and fine linen, under a bower of damask roses by the side of a
    Four ladies were already seated there, who rose, and placed
    Rinaldo at their head, in a chair set with pearls. And truly indeed
    was he astonished. A repast ensued, consisting of viands the most
    delicate, and wines as fragrant as they were fine, drunk out of
    jewelled cups; and, when it drew towards its conclusion, harps and
    lutes were heard in the distance, and one of the ladies said in the
    knight's ear: "This house and all that you see in it are yours; for
    you alone was it built, and the builder is a queen. Happy indeed
    must you think yourself, for she loves you, and she is the greatest
    beauty in the world. Her name is Angelica."
    The moment Rinaldo heard the name he so detested, he started up,
    with a changed countenance, and, in spite of all that the lady could
    say, broke off across the garden, and never ceased hastening till he
    reached the place where he landed. The bark was still on the shore. He
    sprang into it, and pushed off, though he saw nobody in it but
    himself. It was in vain for him to try to control its movements, for
    it dashed on as if in fury, till it reached a distant shore covered
    with a gloomy forest. Here Rinaldo, surrounded by enchantments of a
    very different sort from those which he had lately resisted, was
    entrapped into a pit.
    The pit belonged to a castle called Altaripa, which was hung with
    human heads, and painted red with blood. As the paladin was viewing
    the scene with amazement, a hideous old woman made her appearance at
    the edge of the pit, and told him that he was destined to be thrown to
    a monster, who was only kept from devastating the whole country by
    being supplied with living human flesh. Rinaldo said, "Be it so; let
    me but remain armed as I am, and I fear nothing." The old woman
    laughed in derision. Rinaldo remained in the pit all night, and the
    next morning was taken to the place where the monster had his den.
    It was a court surrounded by a high wall. Rinaldo was shut in with the
    beast, and a terrible combat ensued. Rinaldo was unable to make any
    impression on the scales of the monster, while he, on the contrary,
    with his dreadful claws, tore away plate and mail from the paladin.
    Rinaldo began to think his last hour was come, and cast his eyes
    around and above to see if there was any means of escape He
    perceived a beam projecting from the wall at the height of some ten
    feet, and, taking a leap almost miraculous, he succeeded in reaching
    it, and in flinging himself up across it. Here he sat for hours, the
    hideous brute continually trying to reach him. All at once, he heard
    the sound of something coming through the air like a bird, and
    suddenly Angelica herself alighted on the end of the beam. She held
    something in her hand towards him, and spoke to him in a loving voice.
    But the moment Rinaldo saw her, he commanded her to go away, refused
    all her offers of assistance, and at length declared that, if she
    did not leave him, he would cast himself down to the monster and
    meet his fate.
    Angelica, saying she would lose her life rather than displease
    him, departed; but first she threw to the monster a cake of wax she
    had prepared, and spread around him a rope knotted with nooses. The
    beast took the bait, and, finding his teeth glued together by the wax,
    vented his fury in bounds and leaps, and, soon getting entangled in
    the nooses, drew them tight by his struggles, so that he could
    scarcely move a limb.
    Rinaldo, watching his chance, leapt down upon his back, seized him
    round the neck, and throttled him, not relaxing his grip till the
    beast fell dead.
    Another difficulty remained to be overcome. The walls were of
    immense height, and the only opening in them was a grated window of
    such strength that he could not break the bars. In his distress
    Rinaldo found a file which Angelica had left on the ground, and,
    with the help of this, effected his deliverance.
    What further adventures he met with will be told in another chapter.

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