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And having said thus much, he went his way;
To root from out a bank a rock or two,
« How think'st thou, glutton, such a stone to throw ?> When Alabaster heard his deep voice ring,
He suddenly betook him to his sling.
And hurl'd a fragment of a size so large,
That if it had in fact fulfill'd its mission,
And Roland not avail'd him of his targe,
And in his bulky bosom made incision
With all his sword. The lout fell; but, o'erthrown, he However by no means forgot Macone.
Morgante had a palace in his mode,
Composed of branches, logs of wood, and earth, And stretch'd himself at ease in this abode, And shut himself at night within his birth. Orlando knock'd, and knock'd, again to goad
The giant from his sleep; and he came forth, The door to open, like a crazy thing,
For a rough dream had shook him slumbering.
He thought that a fierce serpent had attack'd him,
Is nothing worth, and not an instant back'd him;
At liberty from all the fears which rack'd him;
Morgante said, «O gentle cavalier!
Now by thy God say me no villany;
The Saracen rejoin'd in humble tone,
A savage serpent fell on me alone,
If this good wish your heart can really move To the true God, who will not then deny us Eternal honour, you will go above.
And, if you please, as friends we will ally us,
<< The Lord descended to the virgin breast
Without whom neither sun or star can shine, Abjure bad Macon's false and felon test,
Your renegado God, and worship mine,Baptise yourself with zeal, since you repent. >> To which Morgaute answer'd, « I'm content. >> XLVI.
And then Orlando to embrace him flew,
And made much of his convert, as he cried, << To the abbey I will gladly marshal you :>>
To whom Morgante, « Let us go,» replied; «I to the friars have for peace to sue.»>
Which thing Orlando heard with inward pride, Saying, My brother, so devout and good, Ask the abbot pardon, as I wish you would:
<< Since God has granted your illumination, Accepting you in mercy for his own, Humility should be your first oblation.»>
Morgante said, «For goodness' sake make knownSince that your God is to be mine-your station,
And let your name in verity be shown; Then will I every thing at your command do.» On which the other said, he was Orlando.
« Then,» quoth the giant, « blessed be Jesu,
A thousand times with gratitude and praise! Oft, perfect baron! have I heard of you
Through all the different period of my days: And, as I said, to be your vassal too
I wish, for your great gallantry always.» Thus reasoning, they continued much to say, And onwards to the abbey went their way. XLIX. And by the way, about the giants dead
Orlando with Morgante reason'd: « Be, For their decease, I pray you, comforted,
And, since it is God's pleasure, pardon me; A thousand wrongs unto the monks they bred, And our true scripture soundeth openlyGood is rewarded, and chastised the ill, Which the Lord never faileth to fulfil :
«Because his love of justice unto all
Is such, he wills his judgment should devour All who have sin, however great or small;
But good he well remembers to restore: Nor without justice holy could we call
Him, whom I now require you to adore: All men must make his will their wishes sway, And quickly and spontaneously obey.
They don't disturb themselves for him or her; What pleases God to them must joy inspire;— Such is the observance of the eternal choir.»
«A word unto the wise,» Morgante said,
«Is wont to be enough, and you shall see How much I grieve about my brethren dead;
And if the will of God seem good to me, Just, as you tell me, 't is in heaven obey'd— Ashes to ashes,-merry let us be!
I will cut off the hands from both their trunks, And carry them unto the holy monks.
«So that all persons may be sure and certain That they are dead, and have no further fear To wander solitary this desert in,
And that they may perceive my spirit clear By the Lord's grace, who hath withdrawn the curtain Of darkness, making his bright realm appear.»> He cut his brethren's hands off at these words, And left them to the savage beasts and birds.
Where waited them the abbot in great doubt.
LVI. Orlando, seeing him thus agitated,
Said quickly, «Abbot, be thou of good cheer, He Christ believes, as Christian must be rated, And hath renounced his Macon false;» which here Morgante with the hands corroborated,
A proof of both the giants' fate quite clear: Thence, with due thanks, the abbot God adored, Saying, << Thou hast contented me, oh Lord!»>
He gazed; Morgante's height he calculated,
And more than once contemplated his size; And then he said, «Oh giant celebrated,
Know, that no more my wonder will arise, How you could tear and fling the trees you late did, When I behold your form with my own eyes. You now a true and perfect friend will show Yourself to Christ, as once you were a foe.
« And one of our apostles, Saul once named, Long persecuted sore the faith of Christ, Till one day by the Spirit being inflamed,
'Why dost thou persecute me thus?' said Christ; And then from his offence he was reclaim'd, And went for ever after preaching Christ; And of the faith became a trump, whose sounding O'er the whole earth is echoing and rebounding. LIX.
«So, my Morgante, you may do likewise;
He who repents,-thus writes the Evangelist,— Occasions more rejoicing in the skies
Than ninety-nine of the celestial list.
And thus great honour to Morgante paid
And saunter'd here and there, where'er they chose, The abbot show'd a chamber where array'd
Much armour was, and hung up certain bows;
There being a want of water in the place,
« Morgante, I could wish you in this case
Arrived there, a prodigious noise he hears,
An arrow for his bow, and lifts his head;
Morgante at a venture shot an arrow,
Which pierced a pig precisely in the ear, And pass'd unto the other side quite thorough, So that the boar, defunct, lay tripp'd up near. Another, to revenge his fellow farrow,
Against the giaut rush'd in fierce career,
The tun was on one shoulder, and there were
With the dead boars, and with that brimful vase,
The monks, who saw the water fresh and good, Rejoiced, but inuch more to perceive the pork; All animals are glad at sight of food:
They lay their breviaries to sleep, and work With greedy pleasure, and in such a mood,
That the flesh needs no salt beneath their fork. Of rankness and of rot there is no fear, For all the fasts are now left in arrear.
As though they wish'd to burst at once, they ate;
Perceiving that they all were pick'd too clean.
The horse Morgante to a meadow led,"
Or to skim eggs unbroke was light enough;
And burst, while cold on earth lay head and hoof. Morgante said, «Get up, thou sulky cur!» And still continued pricking with the spur.
But finally he thought fit to dismount,
And said, « I am as light as any feather, And he has burst-to this what say you, count?» Orlando answer'd, «Like a ship's mast rather You seem to me, and with the truck for frout:Let him go, fortune wills that we together Should march, but you on foot, Morgante, still.» To which the giant answered, «So I will.
« When there shall be occasion, you shall see
But never mind your horse, though out of sight 'T were best to carry him into some wood, If but the means or way I understood.»>
The giant said, «Then carry him I will,
Full from the spring, which neither swerved nor shook. As you have done to him, will do to you.
The abbot said, « The steeple may do well,
But, for the bells, you 've broken them, I wot.»> Morgante answer'd, « Let them pay in hell
The penalty, who lie dead in yon grot:>> And hoisting up the horse from where he fell,
He said, «Now look if I the gout have got, Orlando, in the legs-or if I have force;»And then he made two gambols with the horse. LXXIV. Morgante was like any mountain framed; So if he did this, 't is no prodigy; But secretly himself Orlando blamed,
Because he was one of his family;
And, fearing that he might be hurt or maim'd,
Once more he bade him lay his burthen by:
« Put down, nor bear him further the desert in.»> Morgante said, « I'll carry him for certain.>>
LXXV. He did; and stow'd him in some nook away, And to the abbey then return'd with speed. Orlando said, « Why longer do we stay?
Morgante, here is nought to do indeed.» The abbot by the hand he took one day,
And said with great respect, he had agreed To leave his Reverence; but for this decision He wish'd to have his pardon and permission.
Perhaps exceeded what his merits claim'd:
The lost days of time past, which may be blamed; Some days ago I should have ask'd your leave, Kind father, but I really was ashamed, And know not how to show my sentiment, So much I see you with our stay content.
« But in my heart I bear through every clime,
For me, from heaven reward you with all good The God so true, the eternal Lord sublime!
Whose kingdom at the last hath open stood: Meanwhile we stand expectant of your blessing, And recommend us to your prayers with pressing.»>
Now when the abbot Count Orlando heard,
LXXIX. We can indeed but honour you with masses, And sermons, thanksgivings, and pater-nosters, Hot suppers, dinners (fitting other places
In verity much rather than the cloisters); But such a love for you my heart embraces,
For thousand virtues which your bosom fosters, That wheresoe'er you go, I too shall be, And, on the other part, you rest with me.
<< This may involve a seeming contradiction,
By whom you were directed to this waste: To his high mercy is our freedom due, For which we render thanks to him and you.
<< You saved at once our life and soul: such fear The giants caused us, that the way was lost By which we could pursue a fit career
In search of Jesus and the saintly host; And your departure breeds such sorrow here, That comfortless we all are to our cost; But months and years you could not stay in sloth, Nor are you form'd to wear our sober cloth;
<< But to bear arms and wield the lance; indeed,
Your state and name I seek not to unroll, But, if I'm ask'd, this answer shall be given, That here an angel was sent down from heaven,
«If you want armour or aught else, go in,
Which might be turn'd to my companion's use,
Was cover'd with old armonr like a crust,
Morgante rummaged piece-meal from the dust The whole, which, save one cuirass, was too small, And that too had the mail inlaid with rust. They wonder'd how it fitted him exactly, Which ne'er had suited others so compactly.
T was an immeasurable giant's, who
The story on the wall was figured well; In the last moment of the abbey's foe,
you chuse ;
Who long had waged a war implacable: Precisely as the war occurr'd they drew him, And there was Milo as he overthrew him.
Seeing this history, Count Orlando said
In his own heart, «Oh God! who in the sky Know'st all things, how was Milo hither led,
Who caused the giant in this place to die?» And certain letters, weeping, then he read,
So that he could not keep his visage dry,— As I will tell in the ensuing story.
From evil keep you, the high King of Glory!
AN APOSTROPHIC HYMN.
Note 1. Page 500, stanza 64.
He gave him such a punch upon the head.
«Gli dette in sulla testa un gran punzone.» It is strange that Pulci should have literally anticipated the technical terms of my old friend and master, Jackson, and the art which he has carried to its highest pitch. « A punch on the head,» or « a punch in the head,» « un punzone in sulla testa,» is the exact and frequent phrase of our best pugilists, who little dream that they are talking the purest Tuscan.
Qualis in Eurota ripis, aut per juga Cynthi,
Such on Eurota's banks, or Cynthia's height,
TO THE PUBLISHER.
I AM a country gentleman of a midland county. might have been a parliament-man for a certain borough, having had the offer of as many votes as General T. at the general election in 1812. But I was all for domestic happiness; as, fifteen years ago, on a visit to London, I married a middle-aged maid We lived happily at Hornem Hall till last season, when my wife and I were invited by the Countess of Waltzaway (a distant relation of my spouse) to pass the winter in town. Thinking no harm, and our girls being come to a marriageable (or as they call it, marketable) age, and having besides a chancery suit inveterately entailed upon the family estate, we came up in our old chariot, of which, by the bye, my wife
grew so much ashamed in less than a week, that I was obliged to buy a second-hand barouche, of which I might mount the box, Mrs H. says, if I could drive, but never see the inside-that place being reserved for the honourable Augustus Tiptoe, her partnergeneral and opera-knight. Hearing great praises of Mrs H.'s dancing (she was famous for birth-night mi
nuets in the latter end of the last century), I unbooted, and went to a ball at the Countess's, expecting to see a country dance, or, at most, cotillions, reels, and all the old paces to the newest tunes. But, judge of my surprise, on arriving, to see poor dear Mrs Hornem with her arms half round the loins of a huge hussarlooking gentleman I never set eyes on before; and his, to say truth, rather more than half round her waist, turning round, and rouud, and round, to a d~~d see
saw up and down sort of tune, that reminded me of the « black joke,» only more « affettuoso,» till it made me quite giddy with wondering they were not so. By and by they stopped a bit, and I thought they would sit or fall down:-but, no; with Mrs H.'s hand on his shoulder, «quam familiariter» 2 (as Terence said when I was at school), they walked about a minute, and then at it again, like two cock-chafers spitted on the same bodkin. I asked what all this meant, when, with a loud laugh, a child no older than our Wilhelmina (a name I never heard but in the Vicar of Wakefield, though her mother would call her after the Princess of Swappenbach), said, «Lord, Mr Hornem, can't you see they are valtzing,» or waltzing (I forget which); and
up she got, and her mother and sister, and away ¦ they went, and round-abouted it till supper-time. Now that I know what it is, I like it of all things, and so does Mrs H. (though I have broken my shins, and four times overturned Mrs Hornem's maid in practising the |
preliminary steps in a morning.) Indeed, so much do I like it, that having a turn for rhyme, tastily displayed | in some election ballads, and songs in honour of all the victories (but till lately I have had little practice in that way) I sat down, and with the aid of W. F. Esq., and a few hints from Dr B. (whose recitations I attend, and am monstrous fond of Master B.'s manner of delivering his father's late successful D. L. address), I composed the following hymn, wherewithal to make my sentiments known to the public, whom, nevertheless, I heartily despise as well as the critics.
I am, Sir, yours, etc., etc.