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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Face to face (4)

[3: 79]

Sappi che tanto habbiam sin hor sofferto
In mare e 'n terra, a l'aria chiara e scura,
Solo che fosse il dubbio calle aperto
A queste sacre e venerabil mura,
Per acquistar gratia divina e merto
Togliendo lor da servitù sì dura;
Né mai grave ne fia per fin sì degno
Esporre honor mondano, e vita, e regno.

". . .  You have to understand that we have suffered [so much] so far, by sea and by land, in the clear and in the dark air, only in order to re-open the now dangerous way to these holy and venerable walls, thus obtaining divine grace and merit by freeing them from such a hard servitude. Nor will it ever look heavy to us to jeopardize worldly honor, and life, and our own kingdoms for such a worthy purpose."

Godfrey's reply to Aletes (this is only a brief section of it) needs no comments. It gets here clearer that no "clash of civilizations" proper is under way, but simply a local war for the Holy Land. In Gerusalemme Liberata, the head of the Crusaders was a "pure" hero in both senses of the word. In Gerusalemme Conquistata his personality is more complex; these anyway are the values he does believe in.