Fonte della Fata

Stephen Chacon
The Tartar hero Mandricardo is entertained by maidens at the Fountain of the Fairy in Syria – until the giant Malapresa crashes the party (from Orlando Innamorato 3.1.57-63)

(“Acting Medieval Literature,” Prof. Evelyn Birge Vitz, New York University, spring 2015;
performed at the Italian Academy, Columbia University, October 1, 2015)

3.1.57 “Oh no! Why does the dwarf sound with such fury on his horn?”

3.1.58 All of the ladies shouted this (they looked dead, so pale were their faces), but Mandricardo never changed. To guard the maids was why he came. The giant mentioned here before — understand this — had smashed the door. He was the cause of all the cries and turbulence that I’ve described.

3.1.59 As that colossus reached the hall, it seemed his shouting shook the walls. [….]

3.1.60 Just as the giant reached the loggia, King Mandricardo drew his blade. He did not wait or calculate the cost. They met, and he attacked. [….]

3.1.61 [….] He struck precisely where he aimed underneath armor at the knee; he slashed through plate and chain-mail links and both legs with a single swing.

3.1.62 The giant fell. I’ll let you say what revelry the ladies made. Once Mandricardo finished him, a servant cut away his head. They dragged him from the palace and buried him far off in the forest in a deep pit, both corpse and legs, and he was never named again.

3.1.63 As if he’d never lived on earth, nobody ever mentioned him.

Orlando in Love, trans. Charles S. Ross (West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press, 2004).