(in Orlando Furioso). An English duke (son of Otho), who
joined Charlemagne against the Saracens. He was carried on the back of
a whale to Alcina's isle; but when Alcina tired of him, she turned him
into a myrtle. He was disenchanted by Melissa. Astolpho descended into
the infernal regions, and his flight to the moon (book xviii.) is one
of the best parts of the whole poem. (See Inferno.)
It came upon them like a blast from Astolpho's horn—i.e.
it produced a panic. Logistilla gave Astolpho a magic horn, and
whatever man or beast heard its blast was seized with panic, and became
an easy captive. (Orlando Furioso, book viii.)
Like Astolpho's book, it told you everything. The same fairy gave Astolpho a book, which would not only direct
him aright in his journeys, but would tell him anything he desired to
know. (Ariosto Orlando Furioso, book viii.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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