poem. The famous siege of Paris by the Saracens in the time of Charlemagne, which was so often expected during the middle ages, that it at last came to be believed to have been real, was the main point of his story; but he diverges from it so often, in search of adventures with particular knights, that we wellnigh forget the principal object of the poem, and feel no absorbing interest in the issue of any particular events, or the exploits of any particular heroes. He had no great moral to unfold, or single interest to sustain, in his composition. His object was to amuse, not instruct--to fascinate, not improve. He is often as beautiful as Virgil in his descriptions, as lofty as Homer in his conceptions; but he as often equals Ovid in the questionable character of his adventures, or Catullus in the seducing warmth of his descriptions. There is no more amusing companion than the Orlando Furioso for the fireside; but there is none less likely to produce the heroes whom it is his object to portray.<
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