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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Is it her or not? (6)

[GC 17: 52]

Così disse ella; e 'l Re con lieto cenno:
- Nobile donna, al tuo valor concedo,
A tua tua fede et al tuo grave senno
Dafne, che sol per te sicura io credo.
E maggior doni a tua virtù si denno,
Se fia cacciato d'Asia il fier Goffredo;
E parte non oblìo l'opre leggiadre
Del tuo marito e del tuo saggio padre -.

So spoke her. And the King, nodding pleased:
"Noble Lady, I here grant to your valor,
To your loyalty, your judgment, Daphne,
Which I deem safe in your hands only.
Greater gifts will be given your power
If the fierce Godfrey is thrown out of Asia;
Nor do I forget the wonderful deeds
Of your husband and of your wise father."


Notes
The Sultan of Egypt lavishly grants her the land that she already possesses. (In the final printed text, again, "Daphne" was replaced with Seleucia.) Anyway, Godfrey of Bouillon will not be chased away from the Holy Land, least of all by her.
The last line seems to indicate that the Queen of Daphne is actually not Armida; but it may be interpreted humorously. Armida's father, in Gerusalemme Conquistata, was a man who had been seduced by a mermaid.
In Gerusalemme Liberata (17: 44 ff) the dialog was completely different. The sexy witch Armida accused the knight Rinaldo of having freed the Christian hostages and destroyed her own army -- just skating over her previous love story with him -- and promised "the top reward I can give" to the Muslim warrior who would behead him. The response of the male listeners can be easily imagined.