Well, Rosalind and Orlando, as we may as well call them, are two newly married young people who've been married, say, a year, and who find themselves at the end of it loving each other more than at the beginning,--for you are to suppose two of the tenderest, most devoted hearts that ever beat as one.
It would not be seemly to inquire how far certain of these conditions had been kept,--how often, for example, Orlando's little hermit's bed had really needed remaking during those twelve months!
And to this did Orlando and his Rosalind set their hands and hearts and lips.
Their love didn't want a holiday; and when Orlando had referred to the matter during the early days of May, Rosalind had burst into tears, and begged him to reconsider a condition which they had made before they really knew what wedded love was.
And thus it had come about that Orlando had gone off for his month's holiday with a charming girl, who, with the cynic, will no doubt account for his stern adherence to duty; and Rosalind had gone off for hers with a pretty young man whom she'd liked well enough to go to the theatre and to supper with,--a young man who was indeed a dear friend, and a vivacious, sympathetic companion, but whom, as a substitute for Orlando, she immediately began to hate.
Now the question was, How had Orlando been getting on?
"To put the case on the most general principles, apart from Orlando's great love for you, it is an eternal truth of masculine sentiment that man always longs for the absent woman."
To which Don Quixote replied, "She is not of the ancient Roman Curtii, Caii, or Scipios, nor of the modern Colonnas or Orsini, nor of the Moncadas or Requesenes of Catalonia, nor yet of the Rebellas or Villanovas of Valencia; Palafoxes, Nuzas, Rocabertis, Corellas, Lunas, Alagones, Urreas, Foces, or Gurreas of Aragon; Cerdas, Manriques, Mendozas, or Guzmans of Castile; Alencastros, Pallas, or Meneses of Portugal; but she is of those of El Toboso of La Mancha, a lineage that though modern, may furnish a source of gentle blood for the most illustrious families of the ages that are to come, and this let none dispute with me save on the condition that Zerbino placed at the foot of the trophy of Orlando
's arms, saying,
She would probably have known why the Italian poet makes Angelica prefer Medoro, who was a blond Chevalier de Valois, to Orlando
, whose mare was dead, and who knew no better than to fly into a passion.
In many respects the most direct source was the body of Italian romances of chivalry, especially the 'Orlando
Furioso' of Ariosto, which was written in the early part of the sixteenth century.