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they are probably all asleep. You, Cloridan, will be able to say for me, if I should die in the adventure, that gratitude and fidelity to my prince were my inducements."Cloridan was both surprised and touched with this proof of the young man's devotion. He loved him tenderly, and tried for a long time every effort to dissuade him from his design; but he found Medoro determined to accomplish his object or die in the endeavor.Cloridan, unable to change his purpose, said, "I will go with you, Medoro, and help you in this generous enterprise. I value not life compared with honor, and if I did, do you suppose, dear friend, that I could live without you? I would rather fall by the arms of our enemies than die of grief for the loss of you."
Pinabel, the son of Count Anselm, had been treacherously slain. At these words the prisoner exclaimed, "I am no murderer, nor have I been in any way the cause of the young man's death." Orlando, knowing the cruel and ferocious character of the chiefs of the house of Maganza, needed no more to satisfy him that the youth was the victim of injustice. He commanded the leader of the troop to release his victim, and, receiving an insolent reply, dashed him to the earth with a stroke of his lance; then by a few vigorous blows dispersed the band, leaving deadly marks on those who were slowest to quit the field.Orlando then hastened to unbind the prisoner, and to assist him to reclothe himself in his armor, which the false Magencian had dared to assume. He then led him to Isabella, who now approached the scene of action. How can we picture the joy, the astonishment, with which Isabella recognized in him Zerbino, her husband, and the prince
had continued their game a little longer; but they never reckoned a throw like this among their chances. Cloridan next came to the unlucky Grillon, whose head lay softly on his pillow. He dreamed probably of the feast from which he had but just retired; for when Cloridan cut off his head wine flowed forth with the blood.The two young Moors might have penetrated even to the tent of Charlemagne; but knowing that the paladins encamped around him kept watch by turns, and judging that it was impossible they should all be asleep, they were afraid to go too near. They might also have obtained rich booty; but, intent only on their object, they crossed the camp, and arrived at length at the bloody field, where bucklers, lances, and swords lay scattered in the midst of corpses of poor and rich, common soldier and prince, horses and pools of blood. This terrible scene of carnage would have destroyed all hope of finding what they were in
time of attachment and fidelity rare in the history of man. Cloridan and Medoro had followed their prince, Dardinel, to the wars of France. Cloridan, a bold huntsman, combined strength with activity. Medoro was a mere youth, his cheeks yet fair and blooming. Of all the Saracens, no one united so much grace and beauty. His light hair was set off by his black and sparkling eyes. The two friends were together on guard at the rampart. About midnight they gazed on the scene in deep dejection. Medoro, with tears in his eyes, spoke of the good prince Dardinel, and could not endure the thought that his body should be cast out on the plain, deprived of funeral honors. "O my friend," said he, "must then the body of our prince be the prey of wolves and ravens? Alas! when I remember how he loved me, I feel that if I should sacrifice my life to do him honor, I should not do more than my duty. I wish, dear friend, to seek out his body on the battlefield, and give it burial, and I hope to be able to pass through King Charles's camp without discovery, as
accepted the terms, and proposed that they should at once repair to the abbey of Vallombrosa, whose towers were visible at no great distance. Thither they turned their horses' heads, and we will leave them to find their way without our company.I know not if my readers recollect that at the moment when Rogero had just delivered Angelica from the voracious Orc that scornful beauty placed her ring in her mouth, and vanished out of sight. At the same time the Hippogriff shook off his bridle, soared away, and flew to rejoin his former master, very naturally returning to his accustomed stable. Here Astolpho found him, to his very great delight. He knew the animal's powers, having seen Rogero ride him, and he longed to fly abroad over all the earth, and see various nations and peoples from his airy course. He had heard Logestilla's directions how to guide the animal, and saw her fit a bridle to his head. He therefore was able,