Let it not appear strange that Rinaldo found Bayard obedient at last, after having so long prevented any one from even touching his bridle; for that fine animal had an intelligence almost human; he had fled from his master only to draw him on the track of Angelica, and enable him to recover her. He saw when the princess fled from the battle, and Rinaldo being then engaged in a fight on foot, Bayard found himself free to follow the traces of Angelica. Thus he had drawn his master after him, not permitting him to approach, and had brought him to the sight of the princess. But Bayard now, deceived like his master with the false intelligence of the goblin, submits to be mounted and to serve his master as usual, and Rinaldo, animated with rage, makes him fly toward Paris, more slowly than his wishes, though the speed of Bayard outstripped the winds. Full of impatience to encounter Orlando, he gave but a few hours that night to sleep. Early the next day he saw before him the great city, under the walls of which the Emperor Charles had collected the scattered remains of his army. Foreseeing that he would soon be attacked on all sides, the Emperor had caused the ancient fortifications to be repaired, and new ones to be built, surrounded by wide and deep ditches. The desire to hold the field against the enemy made him seize every means of procuring new allies. He hoped to receive from England aid sufficient to enable him to form a new camp, and as soon as Rinaldo rejoined him he selected him to go as his ambassador into England, to plead for auxiliaries. Rinaldo was far from pleased with his commission, but he obeyed the Emperor’s commands, without giving himself time to devote a single day to the object nearest his heart. He hastened to Calais, and lost not a moment in embarking for England, ardently desiring a hasty despatch of his commission, and a speedy return to France.
BRADAMANTE AND ROGERO
Bradamante, the knight of the white plume and shield, whose sudden appearance and encounter with Sacripant we have already told, was in quest of Rogero, from whom chance had separated her, almost at the beginning of their acquaintance. After her encounter with Sacripant Bradamante pursued her way through the forest, in hopes of rejoining Rogero, and arrived at last on the brink of a fair fountain.
This fountain flowed through a broad meadow. Ancient trees overshadowed it, and travellers, attracted by the sweet murmur of its waters, stopped there to cool themselves. Bradamante, casting her eyes on all sides to enjoy the beauties of the spot, perceived, under the shade of a tree, a knight reclining, who seemed to be oppressed with the deepest grief