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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An offer you can't refuse (1)

[6: 13]

Ben altamente è nel pensier tenace
La morte di [ . . . ] quasi scolpita,
E si reca a disnor ch'Argante audace
Rimanga ancora lunga stagione in vita;
E parte d'ascoltare anco gli piace
Quel parlare ch'al dovuto honor l'invita;
E 'l giovenetto cor s'appaga, e gode
al dolce suon de la verace lode.

***'s death is like deeply sculpted in Richard's determined mind, and he considers it dishonorable for himself that the bold Argantes should outlive it so long. Meanwhile, he likes to listen to those words [of Eustace's] inviting him to his due honor; and his young heart feels gratified, enjoying the sweet sound of a deserved praise.

In the manuscript of Gerusalemme Conquistata [the text we are following for these translations] Tasso didn't choose between "Guidon" and "Ruggier" for the name of the Captain of the Christian mercenary troops who has been killed by the Muslim knight Argantes; the final version will be Guidon[e], i.e. Guido. But the choice of "Ruggier[o]" would have been more interesting because, by doing so, Tasso would have the hero of Gerusalemme Liberata killed at the very beginning of the Conquistata, sort of a symbol of the passage from the old story to the new one like in Sergio Leone's 1967 movie C'era una volta il West (Once Upon a Time in the West). Anyway, it won't be up to Richard to kill Argantes in the end.