The Age of Fable eBook

Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,207 pages of information about The Age of Fable.
but his sword was useless against such foes.  The insolent huntsman assailed him with words, and struck him with his whip, the only weapon he had; the dog bit his feet, and the horse drove at him with his hoofs.  At the same time the falcon flew over his head and over Rabican’s and attacked them with claws and wings, so that the horse in his fright began to be unmanageable.  At that moment the sound of trumpets and cymbals was heard in the valley, and it was evident that Alcina had ordered out all her array to go in pursuit.  Rogero felt that there was no time to be lost, and luckily remembered the shield of Atlantes, which he bore suspended from his neck.  He unveiled it, and the charm worked wonderfully.  The huntsman, the dog, the horse, fell flat; the trembling wings of the falcon could no longer sustain her, and she fell senseless to the ground.  Rogero, rid of their annoyances, left them in their trance, and rode away.

Meanwhile Alcina, with all the force she could muster, sallied forth from her palace in pursuit.  Melissa, left behind, took advantage of the opportunity to ransack all the rooms, protected by the ring.  She undid one by one all the talismans and spells which she found, broke the seals, burned the images, and untied the hagknots.  Thence, hurrying through the fields, she disenchanted the victims changed into trees, fountains, stones, or brutes; all of whom recovered their liberty, and vowed eternal gratitude to their deliverer.  They made their escape, with all possible despatch, to the realms of the good Logestilla, whence they departed to their several homes.

Astolpho was the first whom Melissa liberated, for Rogero had particularly recommended him to her care.  She aided him to recover his arms, and particularly that precious golden-headed lance which once was Argalia’s.  The enchantress mounted with him upon the winged horse, and in a short time arrived through the air at the castle of Logestilla, where Rogero joined them soon after.

In this abode the friends passed a short period of delightful and improving intercourse with the sage Logestilla and her virtuous court; and then each departed, Rogero with the Hippogriff, ring, and buckler; Astolpho with his golden lance, and mounted on Rabican, the fleetest of steeds.  To Rogero Logestilla gave a bit and bridle suited to govern the Hippogriff; and to Astolpho a horn of marvellous powers, to be sounded only when all other weapons were unavailing.


We left the charming Angelica at the moment when, in her flight from her contending lovers, Sacripant and Rinaldo, she met an aged hermit.  We have seen that her request to the hermit was to furnish her the means of gaining the sea-coast, eager to avoid Rinaldo, whom she hated, by leaving France and Europe itself.  The pretended hermit, who was no other than a vile magician, knowing well that it would not be agreeable to his false gods to aid Angelica in this undertaking, feigned to comply with her desire.  He supplied her a horse, into which he had by his arts caused a subtle devil to enter, and, having mounted Angelica on the animal, directed her what course to take to reach the sea.

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The Age of Fable from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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