Now came the Bulgarian ambassadors, and, kneeling at the feet of Rogero, besought him to return with them to their country, where, in Adrianople, the crown and sceptre were awaiting his acceptance. Prince Leo united his persuasions to theirs, and promised, in his royal father’s name, that peace should be restored on their part. Rogero gave his consent, and it was surmised that none of the virtues which shone so conspicuously in him so availed to recommend Rogero to the Lady Beatrice as the hearing her future son-in-law saluted as a sovereign prince.
THE BATTLE OF RONCESVALLES
After the expulsion of the Saracens from France Charlemagne led his army into Spain, to punish Marsilius, the king of that country, for having sided with the African Saracens in the late war. Charlemagne succeeded in all his attempts, and compelled Marsilius to submit, and pay tribute to France. Our readers will remember Gano, otherwise called Gan, or Ganelon, whom we mentioned in one of our early chapters as an old courtier of Charlemagne, and a deadly enemy of Orlando, Rinaldo, and all their friends. He had great influence over Charles, from equality of age and long intimacy; and he was not without good qualities: he was brave and sagacious, but envious, false, and treacherous. Gan prevailed on Charles to send him as ambassador to Marsilius, to arrange the tribute. He embraced Orlando over and over again at taking leave, using such pains to seem loving and sincere, that his hypocrisy was manifest to every one but the old monarch. He fastened with equal tenderness on Oliver, who smiled contemptuously in his face, and thought to himself, “You may make as many fair speeches as you choose, but you lie.” All the other paladins who were present thought the same, and they said as much to the Emperor, adding that Gan should on no account be sent ambassador to the Spaniards. But Charles was infatuated.