Bradamante replied: “Old man, hope not to move me by your vain entreaties. It is precisely the liberty of Rogero that I require. You would keep him here in bondage and in slothful pleasure, to save him from a fate which you foresee. Vain old man! how can you foresee his fate when you could not foresee your own? You desire me to take your life. No, my aim and my soul refuse the request.” This said, she required the magician to go before, and guide her to the castle. The prisoners were set at liberty, though some, in their secret hearts, regretted the voluptuous life which was thus brought to an end. Bradamante and Rogero met one another with transports of joy.
They descended from the mountain to the spot where the encounter had taken place. There they found the Hippogriff, with the magic buckler in its wrapper, hanging to his saddle-bow. Bradamante advanced to seize the bridle; the Hippogriff seemed to wait her approach, but before she reached him he spread his wings and flew away to a neighboring hill, and in the same manner, a second time, eluded her efforts. Rogero and the other liberated knights dispersed over the plain and hilltops to secure him, and at last the animal allowed Rogero to seize his rein. The fearless Rogero hesitated not to vault upon his back, and let him feel his spurs, which so roused his mettle that, after galloping a short distance, he suddenly spread his wings, and soared into the air. Bradamante had the grief to see her lover snatched away from her at the very moment of reunion. Rogero, who knew not the art of directing the horse, was unable to control his flight. He found himself carried over the tops of the mountains, so far above them that he could hardly distinguish what was land and what water. The Hippogriff directed his flight to the west, and cleaved the air as swiftly as a new-rigged vessel cuts the waves, impelled by the freshest and most favorable gales.
ASTOLPHO AND THE ENCHANTRESS
In the long flight which Rogero took on the back of the Hippogriff he was carried over land and sea, unknowing whither. As soon as he had gained some control over the animal he made him alight on the nearest land. When he came near enough to earth Rogero leapt lightly from his back, and tied the animal to a myrtle-tree. Near the spot flowed the pure waters of a fountain, surrounded by cedars and palm-trees. Rogero laid aside his shield, and, removing his helmet, breathed with delight the fresh air, and cooled his lips with the waters of the fountain. For we cannot wonder that he was excessively fatigued, considering the ride he had taken. He was preparing to taste the sweets of repose when he perceived that the Hippogriff, which he had tied by the bridle to a myrtle-tree, frightened at something, was making violent efforts to disengage himself. His struggle shook the myrtle-tree so that many of its beautiful leaves were torn off, and strewed the ground.