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Friday, November 27, 2015

This is a thriller night (18)

At last, after this long sequence from Nicaea's viewpoint, we see Tancred's reaction.
N.B. Nicaea disguised herself as Commander Clorinda just in order to be free enough to be able to leave Jerusalem undisturbed. But she didn't know that Tancred, whom she is in love with, is secretly in love precisely with Clorinda in his turn. On the other hand, Nicaea had her servant tell Tancred that "some woman" asked for a meeting, without naming her (as Clorinda). Renaissance soap opera!

[7: 131]

Tancredi, a cui pur dianzi il cor sospese
Quell'aviso primiero, udendo hor questo,
Com'egli era magnanimo e cortese,
Da l'altrui rischio e dal suo amore è desto;
Onde vestito del suo grave arnese
Monta a cavallo, e tacito esce e presto.
E seguendo gli inditii e l'orme nove
Rapidamente a tutto corso il move.

Fine del Settimo Canto

Tancred, whose heart was kept in suspense
By the first message, (*) after this new one, (**)
As a magnanimous and courteous knight
Is quickened by her risk and his own love;
Therefore, wearing his heavy armor, he (***)
Straddles his horse and goes, silent and swift.
And following the most recent traces
And imprints, he soon gallops his horse.

The End of Canto Seven

(*) By Nicaea's servant.
(**) That his men have caught sight of Clorinda -- formally, a head of the enemy army -- near the encampment.
(***) He was still convalescing after his duel against Argantes. In fact, a new duel has been planned as soon as both warriors had recovered. Some stanzas ago, Tasso also stressed that, paradoxically, the "herb healer" Nicaea had to take care of Argantes while she was in love with Tancred.