Orlando Furioso, a Prose Translation (Oxford World's Classics)
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Translated by Guido Waldman
The only unabridged prose translation of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso--a witty parody of the chivalric legends of Charlemagne and the Saracen invasion of France--this version faithfully recaptures the entire narrative and the subtle meanings behind it.
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he was mounted on another’s filly, spurring her as his back jerked up and down. / ‘That this struck the king as outrageous you will accept without my having to swear to it. He was ready to explode, to run amuck; he was ready to ram his head against every wall, to scream; he was ready to break his oath. But in the end he had perforce to plug his mouth and swallow his acrid, bitter rage, having so sworn upon the Sacred Host. / “What am I to do? What do you advise,” he asked, “as you forbid me to
he appointed Brunello his witness—Marfisa had evinced a wish to hang him, so hanged he was forthwith. / He left the knave in a barren, deserted spot, food for the crows and vultures. Ruggiero, who had shielded him on an earlier occasion and might have saved his neck from the noose, was now ill and could not help him: such was the dispensation of divine justice. When he did hear of it, the deed was already done, so Brunello was left to his fate. / Bradamant meanwhile was complaining at the length
drew the sword which opens every helmet, every breastplate, the like of which never existed, and offered Dudone a sample of his prowess. / But as his constant concern was to harm his lady as little as possible, and he was sure to hurt her if he bespattered the ground with Dudone’s blood—well versed in the French genealogies, he knew that Dudone’s mother Armellina was sister to Beatrice, Bradamant’s mother— / he never attacked with his sword-point and rarely with its edge, but protected himself
whose brain has not been addled by surplus years. Orlando also approves Rinaldo’s wish; I have them both on my side, a pair whom the world honours and respects more than all the rest of our house put together. / If everyone regards these two as the flower, the glory and splendour of the house of Clairmont; if everyone sets them above the rest and exalts them higher than the brow is above the foot, why should I wish to be given away by Aymon rather than by Rinaldo and Orlando? I should not wish
across it for a few days they reached the gulf named by the Magi. Here the roving ships put into harbour and tied up stern to the quay; and here Astolfo, safe from Alcina’s pursuit, went ashore to continue his journey. / Many were the fields and woods he crossed, over many a mountain, through many a valley; often, by dusk and in broad daylight, he was confronted or pursued by robbers. He saw lions, venomous dragons, and other wild beasts cross his path—but the moment he set his horn to his lips,