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Full text of "Anniversary papers by colleagues and pupils of George Lyman Kittredge"



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ANNIVERSARY PAPERS 



BY COLLEAGUES AND PUPILS OF 

GEORGE LYMAN KITTREDGE 



PRESENTED ON THE COMPLETION OF HIS 

TWENTY-FIFTH YEAR OF TEACHING 

IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY 

JUNE, MCMXIII 






•A 



GINN AND COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 
BOSTON AND LONDON, MCMXIII 



COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY GINN AND COMPANY 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



9 



THE ATHEN^UM PRESS • GINN AND COMPANY • PROPRIETORS • BOSTON • U.S.A. 



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PREFACE 

At the end of the present academic year Professor George Lyman Kittredge 
will have completed twenty-five years of teaching in Harvard University. A 
number of his colleagues in the Division of Modern Languages, desiring to 
celebrate this date in a term of service which has been of unusual significance 
for the advancement of American learning, planned the publication of the pres- 
ent congratulatory volume. The limits of time and space made it impossible 
to invite contributions from any large number of Professor Kittredge 's pupils, 
or even from all those doctors of philosophy who had pursued their studies 
under his special direction. But some fifty of his colleagues and older pupils 
were asked to write for the volume, and forty-five of them were able to pre- 
pare papers in the short time allowed for publication. To their contribu- 
tions has been added a Bibliography of Professor Kittredge's own writings, 
compiled by Professors Neilson and Hanford and Dr. Long, assisted by 
Mr. Albert Matthews and Dr. H. de W. Fuller. It is hoped that no important 
work has been omitted from this list, though many small or unsigned articles 
must have escaped the notice of the committee, who were precluded from con- 
sulting Professor Kittredge by their desire to keep the whole project from 
his knowledge. The general editorship of the volume has been in the hands 
of Professors Robinson, Sheldon, and Neilson. 

To provide for the expenses of publication a subscription was raised among 
nearly three hundred of Professor Kittredge's friends, with the understanding 
that any surplus should be set apart as a book fund for the University Library, 
the income to be expended under his direction. But the publishing house of 
Messrs. Ginn and Company, wishing to have a share in the tribute, generously 
offered to bear the entire cost of publication ; so that the whole sum sub- 
scribed, after the payment of a few incidental expenses, will become available 
for the Library. A special bookplate to be used for works purchased from the 
fund has been designed by Mr. Pierre La Rose. 

It is now the privilege of the authors and editors of these papers to offer 
them to Professor Kittredge in the name of the many men who delight to 
honor him. 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 
June 9, 1913 



I 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

HINDU LAW AND CUSTOM AS TO GIFTS i 

Charles Rockwell Lanman, Ph.D., LL.D., Wales Professor of Sanskrit, 
Harvard University 

THE MOTHER-IN-LAW 15 

Francis Barton Gummere, Ph.D., Litt.D., Professor of English, Haverford 
College 

GICLATOUN SCARLET ^ 25 

George Foot Moore, D.D., LL.D., Frothingham Professor of the History of 
Religion, Harvard University 

SOME REMARKS ON THE ORIGIN OF ROMANCE VERSIFICATION. . . 37 
Edward Stevens Sheldon, A.B., Professor of Romance Philology, Harvard 
University 

THE SCULPTURES OF THE GOLDEN GATE AT FREIBERG 47 

Kuno Francke, Ph.D., LL.D., Litt.D., Professor of the History of German 
Culture, Harvard University 

A FANTASY CONCERNING THE EPITAPH OF SHAKSPERE 51 

Barrett Wendell, A.B., Professor of English, Harvard University 

JOHNSON AND HIS FRIENDSHIPS 55 

Charles Townsend Copeland, A.B., Assistant Professor of English, Harvard 
University 

THE DATE OF HEGETOR 63 

Albert Andrew Howard, Ph.D., Pope Professor of Latin, Harvard University 

CHANTICLEER 67 

Charles Hall Grandgent, A.B., Professor of Romance Languages, Harvard 

University 

W^HAT IS CHAUCER'S HOUS OF FAME? 73 l 

John Matthews Manly, Ph.D., Professor of English, University of Chicago >■'' 

THE MODERNNESS OF DANTE 83 

Jefferson Butler Fletcher, A.M., Professor of Comparative Literature, 
Columbia University 

THE TWO PROLOGUES TO THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN: A NEW TEST 95^/ 
John Livingston Lowes, Ph.D., Professor of English, Washington University 

CAIPHAS AS A PALM-SUNDAY PROPHET 105 

Carleton Brown, Ph.D., Professor of English, Bryn Mawr College 

MERLIN AND AMBROSIUS 119 

GusTAVUs HowAprw A/T.^rx, . -;)ier^ Ph.D., Instructor in English, Harvard University 



^^^^^^^^^^^" CONTENTS ^^^^^^^^ 

PAG« 

THE EPICEDIA OF STATIUS 127 

Clifford Herschel Moore, Ph.D., Professor of Latin, Harvard University 

THE SEA-BATTLE IN CHAUCER'S LEGEND OF CLEOPATRA 139 

[ William Henry Schofield, Ph.D., Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard 

University 

THE RENDERING OF THE HOMERIC HYMNS 153 

Charles Burton Gulick, Ph.D., Professor of Greek, Harvard University 

BURNS IN ENGLISH 165 

I William Allan Neilson, Ph.D., Professor of English, Harvard University 

' ALISCANS, S702: DES TORS D'ARCAISE 171 

Raymond Weeks, Ph.D., Professor of Romance Languages, Columbia University 

THE OXFORD TEXT OF THE NOIE OF ANTONIO PUCCI 175 

Kenneth McKenzie, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Italian, Yale University 

HUMAN SACRIFICE AMONG THE IRISH CELTS 185 

Fred Norris Robinson, Ph.D., Professor of English, Harvard University 

THE LOGIC OF LITERARY CRITICISM 199 

William Tenney Brewster, A.M., Professor of English, Columbia University 

^ THE NARRATIVE ART OF THE OLD FRENCH FABLIAUX 209 

Walter Morris Hart, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, University of 
California 

GERM/NISMS IN ENGLISH SPEECH: GOD'S ACRE 217 

John Albrecht Walz, Ph.D., Professor of German, Harvard University 

THE TWELFTH-CENTURY TOURNEY 227 

Kenneth Grant Tremayne Webster, Ph.D., Instructor in English, Harvard 
University 

NOTES ON CELTIC CAULDRONS OF PLENTY AND THE LAND-BENEATH- 

THE-WAVES 235 

Arthur Charles Lewis Brown, Ph.D., Professor of English, Northwestern 
University 

THE DYING INDIAN 251 

Frank Edgar Farley, Ph.D., Professor of English, Simmons College 

HAMLET AND I AGO ' 261 

Elmer Edgar Stoll, Ph.D. 

FROM OUTDOORS TO INDOORS ON THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE ... 273 
Ashley Horace Thorndike, Ph.D., L.H.D., Professor of English, Columbia 
University 

4 THE QUARTO ARRANGEMENT OF SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS 279 

Raymond Macdonald Alden, Ph.D., Professor of English, University of 
Illinois 



CONTENTS vii 

PAGE. 

POSSIBLE FOREIGN SOURCES OF THE SPANISH NOVEL OF ROGUERY 289 
Jeremiah Denis Matthias Ford, Ph.D., Smith Professor of the French and 
Spanish Languages, Harvard University 

THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS IN TOLSTOY'S ETHICAL SYSTEM .... 295 
George Rapall Noyes, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Slavic Languages, Univer- 
sity of California 

MEDIEVAL LIVES OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 305 .^ 

Edward Kennard Rand, Ph.D., Professor of Latin, Harvard University 

AN EPIC TENZONE AND A PARALLEL 317 

Murray Anthony Potter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Romance Languages, 
Harvard University 

SIDNEY'S ARCADIA AS AN EXAMPLE OF ELIZABETHAN ALLEGORY . . ' 327 -j 
Edwin Almiron Greenlaw, Ph.D., Professor of English, Adelphi College 

ASTROLOGY AND MAGIC IN CHAUCER'S FRANKLIN'S TALE 339 " 

John Strong Perry Tatlock, Ph.D., Professor of English, University of 
Michigan 

NICHOLAS BRETON, CHARACTER-WRITER AND QUADRUMANIAC . . . 351 
Chester Noyes Greenough, Ph.D., Assistant ft-ofessor of English, Harvard 
University 

THE BRECA EPISODE IN BEOWULF 359 

William Witherle Lawrence, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, Columbia 
University 

FROM TROILUS TO EUPHUES . . .- • • 367 

Percy Waldron Long, Ph.D., Instructor in English, Harvard University 

THE CELTIC FEE IN LAUNFAL zil 

Tom Peete Cross, Ph.D., Professor of English, University of North Carolina 

VEGETIUS IN ENGLISH 389 " 

Henry Noble MacCracken, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English, Yale 
University 

THE PLAN OF THE CANTERBURY TALES 405 

Karl Young, Ph.D., Professor of English, University of Wisconsin 

MRS. BEHN'S OROONOKO 419 

Ernest Bernbaum, Ph.D., Instructor in English, Harvard University 

THE POETIC DICTION OF THE ENGLISH CLASSICISTS 435 

Raymond Dexter Havens, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English, University [, 

of Rochester 

THE DEBATE ELEMENT IN THE ELIZABETHAN DRAMA 445 

James Holly Hanford, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English, Simmons College 

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE PUBLICATIONS OF PROFESSOR KITTREDGE 
FROM 1885 TO 1913 457 



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ANNIVERSARY PAPERS 

HINDU LAW AND CUSTOM AS TO GIFTS 

Charles R. Lanman 

Three kinds of children of Praja-pati, Lord of Children, lived as Brahman- 
students with Praja-pati their father : the gods, human beings, the demons. — 
Living with him as Brahman-students, the gods spake, '' Teach us. Exalted 
One." — Unto them he spake this one syllable Da. '' Have ye understood ? " 
— ''We have understood," thus they spake, ''it was damyata, control your- 
selves, that thou saidest unto us." — '' Yes," spake he, '' ye have understood." 

Then spake to him human beings, ''Teach us. Exalted One." — Unto 
them he spake that selfsame syllable Da. " Have ye understood ? " — " We 
have understood," thus they spake, " it was datta, give, that thou saidest unto 
us." — " Yes," spake he, " ye have understood." 

Then spake to him the demons, " Teach us. Exalted One." — Unto them 
he spake that selfsame syllable Da. " Have ye understood .? " — " We have 
understood," thus they spake, " it was dayadhvam, be compassionate, that thou 
saidest unto us." — " Yes," spake he, " ye have understood." 

This it is which that voice of god repeats, the thunder, when it rolls " Da 
Da Da," that is damyata datta dayadhvam. Therefore these three must be 
learned, self-control, giving, compassion. 

Such is the story, a bit of the oldest Indo-European narrative prose, by 
which the Great- Forest-Upanishad gives to some of the cardinal virtues the 
sanction of supernatural revelation. The sanction is as needless as it is quaint ; 
but the Brahmans are never weary of inculcating the duty of free-handedness, 
and deem it more blessed (at least for others) to give than to receive. The 
Upanishad is one of the ancient classics of the Hindu theosophy, the doctrine 
of the divine immanence ; but even the much older hymns of the Rig- Veda 
abound in laudation of giving, and do ut des is the key-note of many a pious 
chanson. A case there is indeed in which the worshiper, with cheerfully 
brazen suggestiveness, tells what would happen if he and the deity were to 

change places : 

Were I, O Indra, e'en as thou, 

The lord of wealth, and lord alone, 

My servant should be rich in kine. — Rig-Veda, viii, 14, i 



2 HINDU LAW AND CUSTOM AS TO GIFTS 

Old as it all is, there is in it an amusing touch of modernity, and the thunder 
is still rolling. 

A gift or donation is defined as the voluntary transfer of property without 
consideration. In order that the gift may be valid, there must be capacity 
(i) in the donor to give, and (2) in the donee to receive ; (3) the gift must 
be the free act of the donor, that is, an act not prompted by fear or force or 
fraud or any undue influence ; (4) there must be actual delivery by him with 
intent to transfer title ; and (5) there must be acceptance on the part of the 
donee. These conditions of validity are manifestly essential ones, and as such 
they may be presumed to be general the world over. The violation of any one 
of them accordingly is and has been, always and everywhere, fertile of quar- 
rel or litigation. The extent and many-sidedness of the subject of donation 
is surprising to any one not versed in legal studies. In a recent American 
cyclopedia,^ the article on Gifts, itself the merest outline, but with a multitude 
of cited cases, extends over sixty pages ; and of Hemadri's great Sanskrit 
work on law, the Quadripartite Thought-jewel^ one bulky volume of over a 
thousand pages is devoted to gifts. ^ 

The Sanskrit word for law in an untechnical sense ^ is dharma-s, ' that 
which holds or is firm (LaXm Jirmu-s) or established,' ' the established behavior 
(of the good),' that is, 'righteous action,' and so, as towards the gods, 'religion,' 
and, as towards your fellow-men, ' law.' Thus the beginnings of law, like 
those of medicine,^ are intimately blended with religion. The oldest sources 
of Hindu law are called Dharma-sutras,^ or Dharma- Rules, and they are in 
prose with occasional quotation of an old versus memorialis. Such are the 
Dharma-sutras of Apastamba, of about 250 b.c. The Dharma-9astras, or 
Dharma-Treatises, are later metrical recasts of the older traditional material, 
and of these may be mentioned the Manavan Treatise, best known as the 
Laws of Manu. The Rules and the early Treatises are preponderatingly in- 
junctions and restrictions, largely of a quasi-religious kind, relating to the de- 
tails of daily life. Law as a body of technical teaching is vyavahdra. This 
is not a conspicuous element of the earlier books, and only the later Treatises, 

1 Cyclopedia of Law and Procedure, edited by William Mack, Vol. XX, New York, 1906. 

2 The Chatur-varga Chmtd-manl. Hemadri (' Herr Goldberg ') was archivist of two 
powerful kings of the Yadava dynasty at Daulatabad, 1 260-1 309. See Th. Aufrecht, Catalogics 
Catalogorum, p. 768 b, 

* As a bibliographical entering wedge, the student may use A. A. Macdonell's account of 
the Hindu law-books in his History of Satis krit Literature (London, 1900), p. 428. Most compre- 
hensive is J. Jolly's Recht und Sitte (Strassburg, 1896). For donation, see § 31. 

* Compare E. W. Hopkins, \n foumal of the American Oriental Society, XI, 247. 

5 Compare William H. Welch, in 77ie Yale Bicentennial Celebratiott, p. 203 ; also the 
Atharva-Veda, passim. 

6 Translated by G. Biihler, in Max Muller's Sacred Books of the East (SBE.), Vols. II 
(Apastamba and Gautama) and XIV (Vasishtha and Baudhayana). 



LANMAN 3 

such as that of Narada^ (about 500 a.d.) or Brihaspati,^ may properly be 
termed juristic. The Maha-Bharata, although nominally an epic, must have 
had the character of a law-book in part, as early as the fourth century of 
our era. 

The conditions of validity are treated by Narada ^ under the surprising title 
Resumption of Gift ; that is, he discusses the conditions which justify retrac- 
tion. The positive conditions, instead of being stated abstractly and directly, 
are left to be inferred from examples, concrete and in part negative. Upon 
the capacity of the donee to receive, little stress is here laid. Actual delivery 
and acceptance ^ are elsewhere duly emphasized. Narada makes four classes 
of things : (i) the non-donable ; (2) the donable ; (3) gifts, that is, valid gifts ; 
(4) non-gifts, that is, invalid gifts. His eight cases of the ' non-donable ' 
(such as wife, pledge, deposit) may all be subsumed under one, the lack of 
unqualified ownership, that is, non-capacity in the donor to give. His ' dona- 
ble ' is what is left over after all the outgo for the family has been met. 
The Hindu paterfamilias accordingly holds his property subject to the rights 
of his dependents. The etymological import of the Sanskrit word for husband 
(bhartar, Varro's fertor) is ' maintainer ' ; and for wife (bharya, ferenda) it is 
* the one to be maintained.' That is to say, the conception of the paterfamil- 
ias as the supporter is as old as the language itself, and the denial of his 
unqualified ownership of his lawful gettings, as implied by Narada, is as 
ancient as it is inexorable. As to giving that on which the family has a prior 
claim, Brihaspati,^ in Apocalyptic phrase, observes that the religious merit of 
the man who does it, although (like the little book out of the angel's hand) 
sweet as honey in the mouth, will change to poison in the end. 

Narada's class of ' valid gifts ' (such as price of merchandise, a prostitute's 
fee, gifts made out of affection) ignores the absence or presence of considera- 
tion and thus confuses gift and purchase. This may be due in part to the 
habit of the Sanskrit language, which speaks of a thing sold as a thing ' given 
for a price.' To pay a debt is to ' give ' it (back). Of his sixteen ' invalid 
gifts,' those made by a child or an idiot or by a man possessed or drunken or 
not his own master plainly violate the first condition, capacity in the donor 
to give. For others, his line between legality on the one hand, and rashness 
or folly or carelessness on the other, is vaguely drawn. Others, again, violate 
the condition that the act must be clear of force or fraud. Of these, a couple 
of the Scholiast's examples may be cited, if only to show their form. Thus 
for intimidation : A ruffian hails an honest man in the forest : You give me 

1 Translated by J. Jolly, SBE., Vol. XXXIII. 

2 In The Institutes of Narada, edited by J. Jolly (Calcutta, 1885), p. 137, SBE., XXXIII, 128. 
^ The acceptance should be made openly, especially in the case of immovable property. So 

Yajfiavalkya, ii, 176. For a gift, the act of the acceptor is absolutely essential, danasya prati- 
grahitrvyaparasapeksataiva, Mitrami9ra's Vtramitrodaya, edited by G. Sarkar (Calcutta, 1879), 
p. 15, i. II. 4 SBE., XXXIII, 342. 



4 HINDU LAW AND CUSTOM AS TO GIFTS 

a hundred drachmas, then you live, else you die. And for fraud : A man is 
desperately enamored of a public woman named Chuta-mafijarl (Mango-bud). 
She is sent thirty leagues away to the Thakkur. To the lover, hot with the 
fire of separation, comes somebody and says, " If I show you Chuta-maftjari, 
will you give me a ring.? " " Certainly I will, and here's your surety." At 
that, the other, trotting out a bud that he had taken from a mango tree and 
concealed about him, shows it to him and demands the ring. 

Before quitting this topic, one point may be noted. The practical recogni- 
tion of a legal distinction or principle for the abstract statement of which we 
might search Hindu law-books in vain is often clearly implied by the inci- 
dents of a story or the details of a rule. Thus as to the doctrine of nominal 
consideration. In the charmingly amusing story ^ of Yayati's fall from heaven 
to earth (it must have lasted longer than the day-long tumble of Hephaistos 
towards Lemnos), he is hailed by Ashtaka, Pratardana, Vasumant, and others 
in turn. These most obligingly offer him their *' worlds " in which to enjoy 
the privilege of an unlimited stop-over on his trip. " No king may with dig- 
nity accept a gift," he answers, and declines. " Then," says Vasumant, " if 
thou likest not to take them as a gift, buy them for a straw." Or again, as to 
the establishment of a good right of ownership. A fisherman^ has caught 
seven redfish, strung them on a vine, buried them in the sand, and dropped 
down the Ganges to try his luck for more. An otter smells the fishy odor, 
scrapes away the sand, and finds the string of fish. As if to forestall an action 
of trover, he solemnly calls aloud three times, " Does any one own these ? " 
and, finding all the world in default, he draws the fish to his lair. Or again, 
a certain Buddhist practice ^ requires that a monk shall wear robes made only 
out of refuse rags. He that keeps it in severest fashion may not accept cloth 
given by a pious layman to the Order, nor cloth that is actually put into his 
hand. If it is laid on the ground at his feet, that act constitutes an abandon- 
ment of ownership. The cloth becomes constructively a '' refuse rag " and he 
may pick it up and use it. 

Vasishtha introduces his chapter on gifts ^ with an ancient and oft-recurring 
rule, '' By giving, a man attains all desires." Comprehensive, but not specific ! 
For us moderns, the things of daily use are so multitudinous that it is hard 
to conceive a life in which they should be few, — so few indeed that it was 
easy to single out some things as highly commendable gifts. The specification 
of umbrellas and sandals is not surprising, if we consider the intensity of the 
Indian sun, the violence of the rain, and the burning heat of the ground. 

1 Mahd-Bhdrata, Book i, chapters 88-93, ^^^ especially i, 92, 17-18, and 93, 3. 

2 Jdtaka, text, III, 52 ; translation, H. C. Warren's Buddhism, p. 275. 

* Visuddhi-Magga, Book ii, Rangoon edition of 1901, p. 49, end. 

* Chapter 29. See SBE., XIV, 136. 



LANMAN 5 

And so with the gift of thirst-quenching water and of wells. The gift of food, 
as that on which the whole cycle of life depends, is praised, ^ hke much else, 
with superlatives so reckless as not to be forcible. But when Vasishtha quotes 
the old versus memorialis. 

Three gifts, they say, all else transcend, 
Land, cattle, and the Sacred Word, 

we feel that here is no exaggeration. To the Hindu, the teaching of the 
Vedas, the Brahman's noblest duty, is a '' giving of the Sacred Word." Here 
let us pass it by and consider the gifts of cattle and of land. 

And first, the gift of cattle. '' Movable property, in Anglo-Saxon law, 
seems for all practical purposes to be synonymous with cattle." ^ The con- 
nection of pecunia and pecus proves the fact for much more ancient times in 
Europe ; while for yet remoter periods it is attested in the history of India by 
the Veda itself. For one who is to make a gift of a cow the Maha-Bharata ^ 
prescribes, by the mouth of Bhishma, what it calls a '' primeval ritual." The 
donor is to appoint a day for the gift, to spend the preceding night out of 
doors with the cattle, to address the cow with two adulatory epithets, O per- 
fect one (samange), O abounding one (bahule), and to utter certain archaic 
formulas which play upon two Sanskrit words, each with the double meaning 
of cow and of earth, spoken of as nourishing mother and as foundation or 
giver of good. At sunrise he makes the actual gift, confirming his act by 
reciting the first two verses of a certain stanza (xiii, y6^ 13); and by way of 
formal acceptance the donee then recites the last two verses of the same 
stanza, the two halves of which thus serve as a kind of verbal stock and 
counterfoil. 

The Hindu itch for putting everything into schematic form is well illus- 
trated by a previous chapter of the Maha-Bharata (xiii, 64), which concerns 
the rewards of gifts as depending upon the asterisms of the lunar zodiac. 
'' They who give a milch cow with her calf under the asterism of the Stag's 
Head [in Orion], proceed from the world of men to the supremest heaven." 
The promises, as rehearsed by a celestial sage, run through all the twenty- 
eight asterisms in order, beginning with the Pleiades or Krittikas. But the 
possibilities of reward are so exhausted at the outset, that the sage is able to 

1 Makd-Bhdrata, Book xiii, chapter 63. 

2 Sir Frederick Pollock, English Historical Review, April, 1893, p. 267. 

* Mahd-Bhdrata, Book xiii, chapter 76. Bhishma, mortally wounded and lying on a 
bed of arrow-points, discourses to King Yudhishthira on the duties of kings, and on other 
topics of almost encyclopedic range. Considering the painful situation and that the very hour 
of his death lay wholly within his own choice (he chooses in fact the coming winter solstice), 
one would suppose that the old hero would cut it short ; but in fact he runs on for some twenty 
thousand double verses, often with amazing dullness and repetitiousness. This is the discourse 
of which the chapters on gifts (xiii, 57-81) form a part. 



6 HINDU LAW AND CUSTOM AS TO GIFTS 

offer few further inducements to liberality under the subsequent asterisms, 
except perhaps cattle or children in this world or an occasional heavenly 
nymph in the next. 

The gift of land. Since everything comes out of the earth, argues Bhlshma,^ 
the gift of a piece of the earth is potentially all-inclusive and so really the 
best. Thus all the superlatives applied by the epic to the other gifts must 
be roundly discounted. Let us consider Hindu usage in the giving of realty. 
This brings us at once to the inscriptions. Of these, the best general account 
is John Faithfull Fleet's Indian Epigraphy? Fleet observes that the vast 
majority of the epigraphic records of India are " title-deeds of real property 
and certificates of the right to duties, taxes, fees, perquisites, and other privi- 
leges." They are mostly royal charters, " donations and endowments made 
to gods, to priests on behalf of temples and charitable institutions, and to 
religious communities."^ Brihaspati, of about 600 a.d., has a chapter on 
documents.^ Within six months, he begins, doubts will arise as to a transac- 
tion, if it be unrecorded. It was with this in mind, he continues, that the 
Creator invented the letters of the alphabet. After defining the various kinds 
of documents, he prescribes in detail the features of a royal grant as follows : 

Having given a tract of land or the like, the king should cause a formal grant to be 
executed on a plate of copper or on cloth. It should give the place, the names of the king's 
ancestors, and other particulars, and the names of the king's father and mother and of him- 
self, and the declaration. 

This grant has to-day been made by me to so-and-so, who is son of so-and-so 
and belongs to the Vedic school of so-and-so, to last as long as the sun and moon 
endure, and to descend by inheritance to the son and grandson and remoter issue, 
as a gift which is never to be taken away and is exempt from diminution and assures 
heaven for sixty thousand years to the giver and defender, and hell for just as long 
to the one who takes it away. 
The Minister of Alliances and War should sign the grant, with the remark " I know this." 
It should be provided with the king's own seal, and give a precise statement of the year and 
month and so on, the value of the donation, and the magistrate's name. 

That these rules represent actually prevailing legal custom and usage, even 
for the early centuries of our era, is absolutely certain. The copper-plate grants 
are drawn up in remarkably close conformity with these law-book precepts.^ 

1 Mahd-Bhdrata, xiii, 62, 2 ff. 

2 This forms chapter i of Vol. II of The Indian Empire (Oxford, 1908), a part of The 
Imperial Gazetteer of India. Fleet's masterly treatise, within the brief compass of 88 pages, 
furnishes the most admirable introduction to the study of the inscriptions. It sets forth the 
various classes of them, the materials on which they are recorded, their topics, and their value 
as historical sources. ^ Jndian Epigraphy, pp. 60 and 57. 

* SBE., XXXIII, 304. Hindu documents are described by Jolly, Zeitschrift der deutschen 
morgenldndischen Gesellschaft, XLIV, 350-360; briefly also in his Recht und Sitte, § 35. 

6 It may fairly be questioned whether the rules simply formulated existing custom, or 
whether the usage grew out of the rules. I suspect that, as in the case of linguistic usage and 



LANMAN 7 

Instead of showing this conformity by reference to single items of several 
different inscriptions, it has seemed advisable to present, virtually in its en- 
tirety, a single characteristic example. As such may be taken a royal land- 
grant^ of Dadda Pra^anta-raga IV, coming from Gujarat, and dated in the 
year 392, that is, probably, 392 of the Chedi era, or 641-642 a.d. 

[i. The invocation.] Om, Weal! 

[2. The proem.] From [the city of] Nandipura, [the Illustrious Dadda,] 

Who covereth the vault of heaven with the offshoots of his glory, [a glory] 
white as the lotus that is awakened by the rays of the moon as she issueth 
forth from a veil of dense watery clouds, 

Whose bright pitiless [sword's] splendor is at hour of dawn loudly sung as 
it were by the wailings of the noble ladies of the hostile vassals who marched 
out to meet him in many a deadly fray and were slain, 

Whose head is irradiated by a diadem glittering with the brilliant flashings 
of ten million diamonds polished by his obeisances at the lotus-feet of gods 
and Brahmans and [others] worthy of reverence, . . . 

Who hath thrust the mass of dense darkness of the Iron Age into the 
cage made of the beams of his own spotless virtues, . . . 

The Illustrious Dadda, being hale and sound, unto all and singular kings, 
vassals, landed provincial chiefs, headmen of the villages of Our kingdom, 
officials, and so forth, sending greeting, maketh proclamation. 

[3. The grant.] Be it unto you known : By Us 

A field, in the district of Sangama-khetaka, at the eastern boundary of 
Suvarnarapalli village, of a size that requireth of rice wherewith to seed it 
down one basket (according to the standard of the province), of which [field] 
the bounds are : on the east, the march of the village of Kshlra-sara [Milk- 
lake] ; on the north, the march of the village of Kukkuta-vallika [Cock's- 
creeper] ; on the west, a field granted to a Brahman, and a banian tree and a 
pool ; on the south, the road to the village of Suvarnarapalli, and the Atavi- 
pataka village line, — a field thus clearly bounded and butted, ... 

For so long a time as moon and sun and sea and land shall endure, to be 
enjoyed by sons and grandsons and [remoter] issue, 

the rules of Hindu grammarians, the influence worked both ways. Usage determined what 
Panini's rules should be, and Panini's rules had a mighty normative influence on the Sanskrit 
language. To specify donor and donation and donee was an indispensable essential and so 
became a custom. This was formulated into rule, the nucleus of others, which in turn became 
a norm of legal usage. 

1 It has been edited and translated by the trusty hand of Biihler, Sitztmgsberichte der Wiener 
Akademie, Phil.-hist. CL, 1896, Vol. CXXXV, no. 8. His German version does not make the 
general structure of the document quite so clear as might be wished, and I have ventured to 
translate the Sanskrit text anew and into English, but with excision of several clauses, tedious 
or technical, and of two of the five stanzas. The version of the other three, although metrical, 
is very close. 



8 . HINDU LAW AND CUSTOM AS TO GIFTS 

Unto the Brahman Surya, from Dagapura emigrant, in Kshira-sara village 
resident, a member of the Bharadvaja clan and belonging to the Madhyandina 
school of the White Yajur Veda, 

For the purpose of meeting the costs of the five great sacrifices, . . . and 
other religious rites, for the increase of the glory and the religious merit of 
Our mother and father and of Ourself, 

To-day on the* fifteenth of the bright [fortnight] of Vaigakha, with an over- 
pouring of water hath been [over-poured, that is] granted. 

[4. The sanction.] Wherefore, by all coming landed chiefs, whether of Our or 
of other lineage, — seeing that life is unstable as the billows of the storm- 
lashed ocean, that riches are transitory and pithless, and that virtue is for a 
long time steadfastly abiding, — who wish to attain the reward that all may 
share from the granting of land, and who wish to accumulate enduring fame 
brilliant as the rays of the moon, this Our grant is to be confirmed and defended. 

Whoso, his mind covered with the veil of the darkness of ignorance, shall 
either take it away or suffer it to be taken, — he shall be [as if] guilty of the 
five deadly sins. 

And thus it hath been declared by the Exalted Vyasa, the author (vyasa) 

of the Vedas : 

For sixty thousand years in heaven 
Abideth he who land hath given ; 
And just as many must, in hell, 
Who takes or suffers taking, dwell. 

On Vindhya's arid mountain-side 
In parched holes shall he abide, 
Shall be reborn as cobra black. 
Who lands once given taketh back. . . . 

Lands given by others or by thee, 
Yudhishthira, guard zealously. 
Best lord of lands 'mong all that live, 
'T is better to defend than give. 

[5. The date.] In the year three-hundred-two-and-ninety, on the fifteenth 
[lunar day] of the bright [fortnight] of Vaigakha, by [the king's] own oral 
command, this was written by the Minister of Alliances and War, Reva, 
ye[ar] 300 90 2, Vai^akha br[ight] 10 5. 

[6. The teste.] Of him who delighteth in worshiping the feet of the God- 
of-day, the Illustrious Vitaraga's son, the sign-manual is here — 

Illustrious Pra^antaraga's. 



This document suggests a number of interesting considerations and paral- 
lels. First, as a whole. It is at once clear that the charter consists of six 



LANMAN 9 

distinct parts : (i) the invocation, (2) the proem or preamble, (3) the grant 
proper or the operative clause, (4) the sanction, (5) the date, and (6) the teste. 
These are precisely the constituent elements of an Anglo-Saxon land-boc ^ such 
as was in use in the wilds of distant unknown Britain at the very time that this 
charter was issued in India or not much later. This is a striking instance of 
the fact that (given similar needs) the natural working of the human mind 
may produce results which are astonishingly similar and which are neverthe- 
less each wholly independent of the other. It is also a sharp warning to the 
theorists who in such cases rashly assume a borrowing in one direction or 
the other. 

Then, as to the parts, i. The invocation. In many cases this is long and 
highly elaborate ; but in this charter it is brief — just the syllable Om and 
the word Well-being or su-asti. The mystic syllable, a true multum-in-parvo, 
typifies the Hindu Trinity, and is quite as replete with solemn significance as 
are the opening words of many an ancient will, In the name of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. 

2. The proem. This begins with the name of the grantor's city in the 
ablative case, and the essential parts of the sentence (as indicated by the 
Clarendon type) are : From Nandlpura the Illustrious Dadda, sending greet- 
ing, maketh proclamation. In the Sanskrit original, the no English words 
beginning with WAo covereth and ending with reverence form only three words, 
each a compound of great length. They are notable rather as amusing examples 
of complexity than as serious occasions of perplexity, and they make the 
wildest '' hyperpolysyllabic sesquipedalianism " of which we are capable seem 
like the diction of a book of nursery tales. The grant proper is in the first 
person (By Us) ; but as the proem is in the third, we may, for the sake of the 
king, assume that the responsibility for the flamboyant adulation of the proem 
is to be put upon the shoulders of Reva, his minister, who drew the charter, 
and who composed or copied this part of it. The irrelevance of most of the 
proem is fairly comparable with the irrelevance of the delightful verbiage at the 
beginning of many an old will.^ 

3. The grant proper. The opening clause, Be it unto you known, sug- 
gests the Vobis illud notwm sit^ the Know ye that, and the Sciatis quod that 
are so familiar. To understand its Sanskrit original, astti vo viditam, a 
smattering of Latin almost suffices, for astzi is esto, and the enclitic vo serves 
for vobis as well as vos, and viditam is made from vid, ' to wit, ' as is habitum 
from hab-ere. The second paragraph contains the premises (in the literal 
sense of premises) or describes the premises (in the transferred sense). To 
indicate the size of the field by the measure of seed-rice that it takes is round- 
about. The text of this paragraph ends with the rehearsal of valuable privileges 

1 See, for example, Henry Cabot Lodge, in Essays in Anglo-Saxon Law, p. 102. 

2 Cf. N. H. Nicolas, Testamenta vetusia, passim. 



lo HINDU LAW AND CUSTOM AS TO GIFTS 

and exemptions too technical for this occasion. ^ Of the counter-clockwise 
order of the bounds we must not fail to speak. The Vedic literature lays 
great stress on the sunwise order (north, east, south, west) as the auspicious 
order of making any circuit, a bit of folk-lore that goes back to Indo-European 
times.2 The Atharva-Veda observes it even in magic charms^ for defense 
against dangers from the different quarters ; and it is observed in many 
grants.'* Now that airships are calling into existence a " law of the air," we 
may note that a Nepalese charter^ of 725 a.d., on ceding a village, is at pains 
to include as thereto appurtenant " the land and the sky above and the nether 
regions below." The third paragraph means no more than " [to him and] his 
heirs forever." The moon and the sun appear, not only as parts of a conven- 
tional standing phrase, but also as emblems depicted upon the seal of the donor, 
with his totem, as an easily understood symbol of perpetuity.^ Of the fourth 
paragraph the essential part is the nomination of the donee. This is made 
explicit by particularizing his former and present abode. Bharadvaja, of 
whose line he claims to be born, is one of the few great names of the Rig- 
Veda. Data as to schools of Vedic study, if, as here, the time and place are 
not doubtful, are of obvious value for literary history. The fifth paragraph 
recites the moving cause of the instrument. The purpose of the grant is 
religious. I have noted inscriptions whose provenience ranges from Nepal to 
the Gulf of Cambay and Central Java,^ entreating future kings to defend the 
grant as being a bridge to heaven (dharma-setu) built by a former king for his 
own and others' welfare. For this they have good scripture-warrant in the 
Maha-Bharata, which assures us that a man who gives land purges from sin 
or rescues from hell ten generations on both sides. Dadda, thus offered an 
ell, takes only an inch, and that for his father and mother and himself. In 
just this sense the land-boc says pro redemptione cnmhmm meonim and pro 
remedio aiiimae meae^ In the sixth paragraph, the word to-day is important. 
Yet more so is the word over-poiiring. To this we will later revert. 

4. The sanction, consisting of three parts. These, as our friend behind 
the arras might have called them, are the moralizingly-mandatory, the mina- 
tory, and the metrically-promissory-minatory-hortatory. The stanzas, especially 
the first and the last, are quoted very often in the grants, as Brihaspati 

1 Wood, grass, water, pasturage, and the right to impose fines are sometimes specified ; 
cf. Indian Antiquary, VI, 193. 

2 Cf. W. Caland, Een Indogermaansch Lustratie-gebniik, KoninkHjke Ak. van Weten- 
schappen, Amsterdam, 1898. Had the land-hemisphere (and so the course of human history) 
lain mostly south of the equator, the sunwise or lucky order of circuit would surely have been 
from right to left. ^ Yox example, III, 26; IV, 40; V, 10. 

* For many examples, see Ind. Ant., VI, 194-213. ^ Ind. Ant., IX, 175. 

6 A. C. Burnell gives admirable pictures of such seals in his South-Indian Paleography 
(London, 1878), plate facing p. 106. As totems appear elephant, tiger, boar, and fish. 

■^ Ind. Ant., IX, 176 ; Journal of Bombay Branch of Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. XVIII, no. 49, 
p. 269; Vol. XVII, no. 47, p. 3. 8 H. C. Lodge, ibid. p. 103. 



LANMAN I I 

prescribes, and with more or less variation, and are credited, now to Vyasa 
and now to Manu.^ Although they have not been traced in our texts of Manu 
or the Maha-Bharata, they read precisely like stanzas of that great poem. 
They are really old verses of Hindu oral tradition, commonplaces of which the 
royal donors sought to increase the authority by ascribing them to such great 
names as Vyasa or Manu. 

5. The date. That the day should be the day of full moon is doubtless no 
accident ; we may suppose it was chosen advisedly by the king.^ Moreover, 
for certain gifts Vasishtha ^ commends especially the full moon of the lunar 
month Vaigakha or April-May. The numbers are first written out in words 
and then repeated in figures, again a touch of modernity such as surprises us 
when, for instance, we read the rule ^ that partial payments of a debt should 
be written on the back of the bill of debt, that is, indorsed on the note. 

6. The teste. It should be noted that the royal signature is in the 
genitive case.^ 

The pouring of water as the accompaniment of a gift. The oldest formal 
prescription of this rite that I have noted is in Apastamba's Dharma-sutras : ^ 
All gifts [are to be] preceded by [the pouring out of] water, sarvany udaka- 
purvani danani ; and, as Mr. S. K. Belvalkar, a friend and pupil from India, 
informs me, the custom persists even to the present day in his native land. 
The usage is prescribed in many law-books J Concrete examples of its observ- 
ance in connection with gifts of land are common in the inscriptions, and 
are to be found often elsewhere in connection with all manner of other gifts, 
from an alms to a daughter. For the paltry gift of food, Paragara directs '^ 
that the giver put water on the recipient's hand, then the food, and then again 
water. The Jataka^ tells how the Future Buddha gives a superb elephant to 
the Brahmans. He puts the noble creature's trunk in their hands, and then, 
pouring scented water from a golden ewer, he makes over the gift. To 
Manu's definition^ of an adopted son as one ''given by mother or father, 
with water," the scholiast Raghavananda ^^ adds that they may have no choice 
as to the water. The story of Buddha's previous existence as Vessantara (his 
last but one) is famous and tells how, as an act of supreme abnegation, he 

1 Cf. E. W. Hopkins, m. Journal of the Am. Oriental Soc, XI, 243-245. 

2 Cf. The Institutes of Vishnu, xc, 3-16, SBE., VII, 266-268. 

3 See Vasishtha, xxviii, 18-19; SBE., XIV, 135; cf. VII, 267. * Yajnavalkya, ii, 93. 

5 For many such signatures, see, for example, Ind. Ant., VI, 192 ff. 

6 Biihler's 2d ed., ii, 4, 9^ ; translated by him, SBE., II, 121. He assigns them to the third 
century B.C., ibid. p. xHii. 

■^ For example: Gautama, v, 18-19, SBE., II, 201; Baudhayana, ii, 17, 29-30, SBE., XIV, 
277 ; Vishnu, lix, 15, SBE., VII, 192 ; Para9ara, i, 53, in Bibliotheca Indica. 

8 Pali text, II, 371 ; translation, II, 253-254. 

9 Manu, ix, 168. 

10 In V. N. Mandlik's ed. of Manu with the six scholiasts, Bombay, 1886. 



12 HINDU LAW AND CUSTOM AS TO GIFTS 

gave away to an ugly Brahman his Httle son and daughter.^ Even this heart- 
breaking act is not without formal confirmation. He takes water in his gourd, 
and calling, *' Come hither, Brahman," he pours it out and thus makes over 
the gift to himself so precious. 

The manumission of a slave may be viewed as a gift, to wit, of freedom. 
Narada^ describes the ceremonial. The slave comes up, bearing on his 
shoulder a jar of water. This the master smashes in token that he has done 
with looking for that service ; and then, sprinkling the slave on the head with 
water in which (most significantly) flowers and unground grain have been put, 
he cries aloud, " No slave [is he], no slave, no slave," and, facing him to 
the east, lets him go. Of this usage the essentials are the sprinkling and the 
thrice-uttered auspicious words. The ceremonial for restraining a runaway 
slave ^ seems to me to consist of essentially the same rites, but reversed (for 
the threefold declaration of freedom, a threefold declaration of bondage ; for 
water with flowers and grain, urine sprinkled from a horn), and with the 
addition of a most inauspicious accessory, the anti-sunwise circumambulation. 
The master, watching his chance, makes three circuits from right to left around 
the slave while he is asleep, sprinkling each time and uttering charms that 

end as follows : 

Servole, circumminctus es, 

quo circumminctus f ugies ? 

The oft-noted parallel from Petronius,^ si circummijixero ilium, nesciet qua 
ftcgiat, is fairly startling — and may be purely accidental. 

Giving is one of the commonest everyday acts, a deed whose normal course 
is to brighten life and pass into oblivion. But in the long history of '' unhis- 
torical " India, a few gifts have stood for centuries, celebrated in song and 
story, and known to untold millions of admiring souls devout. Thus the 
giving of Sita to be the wife of Rama, — of Sita, to threescore generations 
the exemplar, almost or even quite divine, of every womanly virtue. King 
Janaka says^ to Rama, " Here is my daughter Sita. Take her, with my bless- 
ing. Her hand grasp thou with thy hand." With these words he pours upon 
Rama's hand water consecrated with holy spells and thus he "giveth this 
woman to be married to this man." 

And again, the first great religious endowment in the annals of Buddhism, 
the famous gift of Bamboo-Grove, made in solemn phrase by King Bimbisara 
to Buddha and the Order. It is narrated ^ in the Pitaka : '' Then the king of 

'^ Jdtaka, text, VI, 547 ; translation, VI, 283. 

2 Narada, text, v, 42-43 ; translation, SBE., XXXIII, 138. 

8 Paraskara's Grihya-sutras, iii, 7 ; SBE., XXIX, 350; of. XXX, 176, 296. 

* In Trimalchio^s Dinner, Ivii. See Pischel, in Philol. Abh., Martin Hertz dargebracht, p. 69. 

^ Rdmdyana, I, 73, 26, Nirnaya Sagara ed., Bombay, 1888. 

6 Vinaya-Pitaka, Oldenberg's ed.. Vol. I, p. 39; SBE., XIII, 143. 



LANMAN 



13 



Magadha, Seniya Bimbisara, took a golden vessel of water and poured it over 
the hand of the Exalted One, with the declaration, 'This park, Bamboo-Grove, 
I, reverend Sir, unto the brotherhood of the monks with the Buddha at their 
head do give.' The Exalted One accepted the pleasance." The introduction 
to the Jataka^ adds with pious gravity : '' Upon the acceptance of this pleasance 
the mighty earth did quake, as if to say, * Now the Buddha's religion hath struck 
root.' For in all the Land of the Rose-apple, there is no monastery whose 
acceptance made the earth to quake, save only Bamboo-Grove. And in Ceylon 
there is none such, save only Greatminster." 

This last is in allusion to the first religious endowment of Ceylon, the 
gift of Cloud-Grove, famous under its later name ^ of Maha-vihara or Great- 
minster, and made by King Tissa to Mahinda, the Apostle to Ceylon. The 
charming story is told in the Great Chronicle or Mahavansa :^ '' King Tissa 
took a vessel, a splendid one, and with the words ' Great-Cloud-Grove pleas- 
ance here, give I unto the brotherhood,' upon the hand of Mahinda the Elder 
the gift-water he did sprinkle. When the water fell on the earth, then quaked 
the mighty earth. ' Why quakes the ground ? ' the monarch asked him. 
' Because the religion has got a foothold on the island,' Mahinda replied." 

But for India the climax of all pious gifts is reached in the story of 
Anatha-pindika, the Treasurer of Savatthi. It is given in the Vinaya,* and, 
more fully and with many pleasing embellishments, in the introduction to 
the Jataka. He had gone on business to Rajagaha,^ had met the Buddha, 
and, won over by the strength and beauty of his character and teaching, had 
become his disciple. Returning home, he buys of prince Jeta, for "a layer of 
ten million gold pieces," that is, for coins enough to cover the ground, the 
famous J eta-Grove or Jetavana. In it he builds a beautiful monastery and 
eagerly awaits a visit from the Buddha. And when at last the Exalted One 
arrives, the treasurer asks him, '' Reverend Sir, how shall I proceed in the 
matter of this monastery .? " *' Well, householder, this monastery unto the 
brotherhood of the monks, present and to come, give thou." '* Be it so, 
reverend Sir," said the treasurer, and taking a golden vessel, he poured water 
over the hand of the Buddha, and, with the words, " This Jetavana monastery 
unto the brotherhood, present and to come, of all the four quarters, with the 
Buddha at their head, give I," he gave it. The Teacher accepted it. 

The story of Jetavana recurs in many books, and the formula of donation 
to the brotherhood of all the four quarters became, as the inscriptions show, 
a standing one, and the fame of the gift has spread from India to Ceylon 

'^ Jdtaka, text, Vol. I, p. 85 ; translation, Rhys Davids, Buddhist Birth Stories, p. 118. The 
Land of the Rose-apple is India. 

2 Compare Mahavansa, xv, 214, with the rest of the chapter, or W. Geiger's translation. 

3 Mahavansa, xv, 1-26. It is told also in the Island Chronicle or Dtpavansa, xiii, 18-34. 

* Vinaya, Vol. II, pp. 154-159; SBE., XX, 179-189. Jataka, Vol. I, p. 92; Rhys Davids, 
ibid. pp. 130-132. & Raja-gaha, or Kings-bury, was the capital of Magadha. 



14 HINDU LAW AND CUSTOM AS TO GIFTS 

and Burma and China. A thousand years later, the touchingly beautiful 
records of the courage and devotion of the Chinese pilgrims who crossed the 
'' Sand-ocean " to visit the Holy Land of Magadha fail not to tell the story 
of Jetavana and in particular the curious circumstances of its purchase.^ Nor 
is this all. Thanks to Hindu piety and Hindu art, the story has been made 
the subject of one of the most interesting sculptures of a noted Buddhist 
monument of 250 b.c, the Stupa of Bharhut.^ A medallion, of which a 
reproduction is given here, shows us the unyoked bullocks, the cart in which 
the coins were brought, a man unloading them, another carrying them, and 
yet two others at work covering the ground with a layer of them. The coins 
are quadrangular and rudely swaged, just such as we know from the texts .^ 
In the center stands the great treasurer with his golden vessel ready to pour. 
And, that nothing may be lacking, there is underneath the medallion the 
legend, Anathapindika giveth Jetavana, [having become its] purchaser for a 
layer of ten million. 

Jetavana Anadhapediko deti koti-santhatena keta 
Jetavana Anathapindika giveth, by a-crore-layer a-buyer. 

So perfectly does the venerable monument confirm the books. 

That the donor should have the right or capacity to give, that he should 
actually deliver, that the donee should actually accept, — such conditions of 
validity are so obviously necessary as to be universal, and herein they differ 
from the condition that the act of gift should be confirmed by a pouring of 
water. This seems to me to be primarily a symbolic act.^ Its implication is : 
As this water which is now let go by me cannot be gathered up and taken 
back, — so shall it be with this gift which I now let go to thee, the donee. 
It was doubtless an immemorial Hindu usage, that grew (as we have seen) 
to be established custom at an early time, and thus came to be embodied in 
the law-books. The limits of this paper have allowed the discussion of a few 
details and no more, but enough, let me hope, to suggest that a systematic 
comparative study of the legal aspects of donation would make an interesting 
chapter in the history of Indo-European legal antiquities. 

1 Samuel Beal, Si-ytc-ki, Vol. II, p. 4. Cf. James Legge's Fd-hien, p. 59. 

2 See Alex. Cunningham, The Stupa of Bharhut. 

8 Visuddhi Magga, Book xiv, Rangoon ed. of 190 1, p. 374, 1. 25. 

* The German word schenke means primarily 'pour' and secondarily 'give,' but the latter 
meaning does not appear until the post-classical period of Middle High German. As to the 
semantic connection, see Jacob Grimm's essay, " Ueber Schenken und Geben," in Kleinere 
Schriften, Vol. II (Berlin, 1865), pp. 173-210, and especially p. 204. He mentions the Indian 
water-pouring in his Deutsche Rechtsaltertiimer, 2d ed., p. 190. 




THE GIVING OF THE LAND FOR JETA-VANA MONASTERY 
From a Buddhist monument of about 250 B.C. 



THE MOTHER-IN-LAW 

Francis B. Gummere 

In two lectures / fortified by ample notes and references, Professor Schrader 
has traced back the tradition of the wicked mother-in-law. He argues partly 
from old literature, partly from survivals. A sinister figure, yet the most 
conspicuous member of the actual household, the husband's mother keeps her 
'' wicked " name in Russian ballads and in the popular literature of South- 
eastern Europe. Conditions of family life in those lands which lie apart from 
the highways of civilization have changed but little in the course of centuries ; 
and the mother-in-law seems to hold there still the place and power which she 
once held throughout the Aryan world. '' Wicked," of course, is not her own 
word ; it expresses the young wife's point of view, and has long been current. 
Old literature, Germanic and Celtic, older Greek and Latin, yet older Indian, 
testify to the envy and hatred of the wife towards her husband's mother. An 
older and better state of affairs in the family, however, can be faintly but 
definitely discerned, and a far better reputation of the mother-in-law, which 
survives by implication in English ''goodmother." ^ Ranging far and wide 
for evidence. Professor Schrader finds not only that the relation between the 
husband's mother and his wife is one of the oldest concepts recorded in Aryan 
speech, and therefore one of the primitive facts of our household organization, 
but also that this mother-in-law was a leader in the struggle for domestic order 
and a decent family life.^ Vivid is the contrast of that ancient dignity with 
the mother-in-law's present state, powerless, the butt of cheap wit or cheaper 
pathos. Excluding this third stage, however, one may ask whether the second 
and first stages in the career of the mother-in-law, particularly the first, are 
illuminated at all by a study of the English and Scottish traditional ballads. 

1 Die Schzviegert7iutter tind der Hagestolz, eine Studie aus der Geschichte uitserer Familie, 
Braunschweig, 1904. — The author assumes patriarchal conditions for the Aryans as far back as 
their history can be followed or inferred. The matriarchate, by his reckoning, has always be- 
longed to quite alien peoples. 

2 The ballads use "mother deere" both in description {Childe Waters, A, 33) and in address 
(by the husband, /^j-j-zw; by the new wife, Gil Brenton, C, 55). So the Danish usage, even where 
the mother is a bad witch: "bans kiere moder" {Hustru og Mandsmoder, F, 2). A similar for- 
mula, perhaps, was the aibolti {Iliad, xxii, 451) which Schrader notes as given by the "good" 
daughter-in-law, Andromache, to Hecuba. Later views of the case would thus be responsible 
for the change of Hecuba's attribute in Plautus {Menaechmi, 714 ff.), and make Schrader's 
"doch" (note 15, work quoted) unnecessary, 

^ Work quoted, pp. 26, 79. — The husband's mother is now to a large extent superseded 
for jocose purposes by the wife's mother, a relation practically unnoticed in oldest times. 

15 



1 6 THE MOTHER-IN-LAW 

The question was put by Professor Schrader, when he was gathering his 
material, to the present writer ; and the answer, too hastily given, was mainly 
negative. A subsequent review of the ballads has led to some positive results. 
What sort of evidence can the ballads, which rest upon tradition of five or 
six centuries at the utmost, give for a state of affairs which belongs by the 
hypothesis to a far older date } Only the survival in sentiment, in the setting 
of an ancient story which has been cast anew in the ballad mold, in fossil 
phrases, wreckage of old habits of speech that once expressed a definite cus- 
tom or a forgotten attitude of mind. The ballads are not a bank upon which 
one draws at will ; but they are a very likely place for finding lost money. 
Theirs is the romance of tradition, a kind of obsolete reality, as different from 
literary romance of the past as it is from modern realism. They have not 
much of the fantastic element so plentiful in popular tales, and speak more 
willingly of old custom than of old myth. The ballad is more stubborn, its 
form is far from the flexible prose of the tale, its choral and dramatic origins 
keep it '' near the ground," and it gives fancy too narrow range. Rare are 
the wafts from the fantastic world of the tales, such as the stanza about that 
hypothetical wolf in Johnie Cocky an impressive passage, which seems to have 
strayed from some story of " the grateful beast " ; and commonplace, if common, 
are the recurring lines about birds who tell tales, bring first aid to the injured 
husband, and carry messages, — an affable and serviceable band. It is easy, per- 
haps too easy, for the tales to point back from witch to matriarch ; witches are 
fantastic and cannot be explained by the modern instance. On the other hand, 
the tradition of ballads about old custom, and their sentiment of a vanished 
way of life, are always in danger of this modern parallel and its easy explana- 
tion. Scott pointed out the reference to sworn brotherhood in Bewick and 
Graham. It is a survival in sentiment — 

In every town that I ride through, 

They'll say, " There rides a brotherless man" — 

to be compared with the fine realism used by Chaucer's pardoner,^ and with 
the unreal character of relationship generally in the popular tales. Here, in- 
deed, is the great difficulty in taking the evidence of the ballads. The brother- 
less man, one may say, needs no stay in tradition ; he can be found in any 
modern kailyard story. It may be. But that phrase and that sentiment cannot 
be found in the modern transcript from life. The stay in tradition is demanded 
because of the incongruity of the old sentiment with the modern facts, with the 
actual narrative setting ; and this demand holds good of the sentirrient about 
actual as well as artificial kindred. A preference, inexplicable in the life of 
the balladists, for the inferior bond of kin, as modern eyes see it, over the 
superior, must pass as traditional sentiment sprung from earlier custom. 

1 '' Herkneth, felawes," etc., C. T., C, 696 ff. 



GUMMERE 



17 



Absurdities, too, are often helpful. For material things, one knows how faith- 
fully tradition has clung to such absurdities as the bower on the strand, ^ and 
the bigly bower far from the brother's or the father's hall. For more abstract 
nonsense. Prince Robert says to his own mother in her own house, '' It is the 
fashion in our countrie, mither, — / dinna ken what it is here, — to like your 
wife better than your mither." Textual absurdity, too, bewrays an effete but 
sincere sentiment in Lady Maisry i"^ the nice conjunction of pronouns, the 
dislocation of facts, the formal phrase, show that to the old washerwoman 
who sang the ballad this silliness about a sister's son came down so, and must 
somehow be right. A different triumph of old sentiment over new fact is when 
Ebbe Gait, in the Danish ballad, is brought before the king, charged with 
horrid crime. Proper tragedy would make him the king's son. But the cry of 
horror is — '' Ebbe Gait, soster-son min ! " Similar surplus of sanctity hangs 
over the relation of sister and brother. Not the husband here wagers on his 
wife's constancy ; it is the brother, Wise William, confident in his sister, and 
he wins. Even when a competent father is at hand, the bold brethren, prefer- 
ably seven, are nearest and dearest to the sister, the one sister ; ^ they swarm 
in tragic tales ; and outside of tragedy it is the sport to see them hoist by their 
own officiousness. Chief mourners at their sister's funeral, as in Saunders 
and Lord Thomas, — the old way, — they are chief dupes at her resurrection, 
as in the Gay Goshawk, — surely a fine new ballad for the new woman. 

What, now, and at last, of the husband's mother in traditional English and 
Scottish ballads 1 These alone shall be studied ; comparison with the Euro- 
pean ballads would lead too far. In one case, however, the related foreign 
ballads must be examined, simply to show that such comparisons would often 
restore a lost mother-in-law to her empty place in the English version. In 
Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight, neither the elf nor Sir John — he that lures 
away the maid, would kill her, and meets his own death or defeat — is provided 
with a mother ; but the mother appears in sundry important versions of the 
same ballad in Western Europe. '' Far better preserved than the English, and 
marked with very ancient and impressive traits," says Professor Child, is the 
Dutch ballad of Halewijn. Impressive, certainly, and surely ancient is the 
story here of the stolen maid's safe return, not, as in the stupid conclusion of 
some English ballads, to meet her own family and fool them with a fable 
about her absence overnight, but to meet a solitary and perhaps tragic figure, 
the mother of her tricked captor. It is true that even here the ballad as genre 
asserts itself in some versions, indulges its own function of incremental 

1 See Professor Child's quip, Ballads, IV, 391. 

2 G, 5, I (her) ; 7, i (his). 

8 This " ae sister " with many brothers may dimly recall the times when exposure of female 
infants (the Gunnlaugssaga was contemporary with the last of the practice) made the propor- 
tion. The stories of naval foundlings began in that stage of culture ; and of course the example 
of a husband preferred to brothers was set by the new and prevalent version of the Nibelungenlied. 



i8 THE MOTHER-IN-LAW 

repetition, and revels in the relative-climax. The maid meets in succession the 
man's father, brother, sister, mother, who ask after him ; and, in the right 
climax, only the last inquirer gets true answer, taunt, and perhaps a sight of 
the severed head. The old sooth of the story, however, reminding one not 
only of Judith, Bugge's instance, but also of the mother of Sisera, occurs in 
sundry Dutch and Westphalian versions.^ Here the girl's triumph is over the 
man's mother alone, whom she meets, now on the road, — 

Frau Clara de kam de Straten entlang, — 

now, Sisera's mother to the life at home, — 

Frau Jutte de kek torn fenster herut : 
" Helena, wo ist mein Sohnelein ? " 

Had the killing of Sisera been recorded in the song of his own people, 
one would hear, instead of the taunt to his mother, her own kiiia over 
her son's death. If the ballad had taken that older tradition of the '* good " 
man's-mother, it would have given her lament as conclusion to a story of 
the dangerous or fatal bride. In Yozmg Huntmg, B, 19, appears this mother 
only in a casual way, a " dowie woman" moaning for her son whom the 
wily true-love, so it turns out, has slain. In C the mother finds her son's 
drowned body. But in related Scandinavian ballads this mother has warned 
her son against the leman's treachery. In Lord Randal^ too, the man's mother, 
wise and good, right guardian of her son and his house, is too late to save 
him from the false true-love ; who, indeed, belongs to the *' dangerous bride " 
category, not necessarily to the modern setting of intrigue. In H, traditional 
in Ireland, the mother's " own pretty boy " has been poisoned by a wife ; and 
Professor Schrader, noting that the daughters-in-law of Russian ballads — and 
real life — are '' oft keine Heiligen," shows that in these cases '' wicked " is a 
late and unfitting word for the mother-in-law. Here the old type of helpful, 
authoritative mother-in-law comes into view. If the *' situation " can be saved, 
she saves it. In Lee some Brandy corrupted as it is and astray from the path 
of the right story, one nevertheless sees the man's mother in the part of one 
who '' knows how," and has the word of command. Advice from the man's 
mother in matrimonial or other amorous quest is indeed inevitable, and should 
be taken. Even the devils obey her, and tremble. The elf, demon, hill-man, 
in old and widespread Scandinavian ballads, runs to his mother for counsel, a 
fact significant for the elf -knight of Lady Isabel. '' Min kiere moder, y kiender 
mig rad," says the dwarf-king,^ *' huor ieg skall kongens datter foe " ; and 
German Wassermann seeks the same help. The manage of Grendel and his 
more formidable mother is suggestive, though the poet knew of no other 

1 Uhland, I, 153 ; Reifferscheid, p. 162. The simplest form is Uhland's D, 33-35. 

2 Grundtvig, II, 40, A, 14 f. 



GUMMERE 19 

members ; and it is needless, almost, to point to popular tales of the devil him- 
self and his mother, where the lady — now and then grandmother — is always 
more powerful and wise than her son. It is well known, too, that the devil's 
sire is never or rarely named. Superior knowledge always belongs to the 
husband's mother ; Estmere's resourceful brother owns that he got his skill in 
white magic from that source. Women, of course, taught magic to their 
daughters ; and Mary Douglas had her skill from her mother, '' a witch 
woman." ^ Professor Karl Pearson makes the malignant witch direct de- 
scendant of the mother in the matriarchate ; but a nearer source can be indi- 
cated. It is a short step from Sir John, or elf-knight, or Halewijn, wicked 
all three, to a wickedly advising mother, who, from the maid's point of view, 
is the wicked mother-in-law of tradition. But tradition has more and better to 
say of her : '' ealodrincende oSer ssedan." There was an older story, different 
in all its details as well as in its chief persons ; and the basis of it is historical 
rather than mythical. Halewijn and the elf may indeed go back to the '' half- 
human, half -demonic being " assumed by Mr. Child ; but the human half is 
the original. The man from a far country is the primitive bride-stealer. He 
stole or lured away his bride, — the great promises of gold in Swedish versions 
would fit this as well as the demonic case, — and took her home. In that 
home waited the man's mother, who ruled the household, and tamed young 
shrews to its ways. If, as often happened, no son came back with a bride to 
greet the waiting mother, that solitary figure was tragic. Sympathy with her 
responsible and arduous life, as Schrader notes, lingered long among the 
Romans, a practical and order-loving folk. But with new times, new marriage 
customs, new women, came new songs. The bride's point of view prevailed. 
The bride-stealing turned in retrospect to violence and willful or motiveless 
murder ; the bride-stealer to a demon, or a humanized demon like Hind Etin ; 
the man's mother to a black witch. For that happy ending to which the Lady 
Isabel ballads, notably the Ulinger group, have mainly come, a brother is pro- 
vided — not, as in later fiction, a lover — to prevent the foul deed. Demon 
and witch are disenchanted ; man, and often mother, are killed. But the inti- 
macy and economic alliance of that older pair were not altogether lost in the 
change of conditions and with the shifted point of view. 

One makes no case of the mere household of widow and son, frequent 
enough in times of war and feud. ''Gin a widow would borrow me," says 
Young Bekie, C, 4, '' I wad swear to be her son." Naturally. Henry V will 
draft no widow's son into his army, for fear of a widow's curse. Sybill and 
Jock o' the Side do not count ; although Jock's '' good night " to his mother 
and to Lord Mangerton, his mother's brother, is attractive. Little stress can 
be laid upon the homely appeal in Lady Alice, B, where '' Giles Collins he 
said to his auld mother," that he was dying for love. But in ballads of the 

1 Child, III, 412, No. 176, St. 26. 



20 THE MOTHER-IN-LAW 

type of Gil Brenton one comes to the man's mother in something like her 
ancient offices. Here is no necessary assumption of widowhood for her ; often 
a father as well as a mother is named, but he plays no part. Gil Brenton's 
mother is authoritative, stern, but just ; " stark and steer," she dings doors off 
their hinges as she strides to the inquisition ; the shadow of memorial awe is 
upon her. Blankets, sheets, pillows, or the Billie Blin, tell Brenton the wife 
he has fetched home is no leal maid, — the substitution device can hardly be 
original in the story, — but their detective function is limited to present facts. 
It is the mother who, at her son's request, takes charge of the case and sets 
it aright. She is detective, judge, jury, executive. In the older and better ver- 
sions, Scandinavian and German, of Fair Annie} — another happy ending, 
— the man's mother plays the same part. In Childe Waters she is beneficent 
only by second intentions ; but the force of her query and command is not 
quite obscured. This is romance of the old style if not of the old tradition. 
Under new conditions of the household, the ravished maid bears her Tristram 
in the forest, but marries anon, while the son bides an outlaw or hunter in the 
wood. The recognition could now be happy or tragic ; but in either case the 
husband's mother is forgotten. Not so in the days of stolen or far-fetched 
wives. If the bride-stealing went awry, the mother was her son's refuge or 
hope ; and romantic features in a Douglas Tragedy, less obvious in Earl 
Brandy do not altogether hide the old function. What, indeed, to look more 
closely at a single ballad, what has this Earl Brand to show of that lost money, 
that evidence of long-vanished custom } First, and plain to see, is the ballad 
form, the specific functions which make this poem a ballad and not a 'dra- 
matic lyric ' or other product of the artistic poet. There are the chanting, 
the pervasive refrain, the choral effect as of definite situation and shifting 
parts, the incremental repetition, the dialogue two thirds and the narrative one 
third of the whole. Next is the story, the plot, easily classified, comparable 
in a vast range of literature both popular and artistic. Third, — and is there 
any third element 1 Yes, the apparition of the mother, her cry for her mortally 
wounded son, her bitter word for the dear-bought bride, and the appeal of 
the son to her authority and her wisdom to save the fortunes of the house. 
The mother disposes. All this, taken by itself, can be explained in terms of 
modern romance ; but the cumulative proof of many cases of the sort, where 
the sentiment often runs counter to all modern ideas, bids one see in this 
figure the traditional '' goodmother " of the household of very distant times. 
For tragic completeness, indeed, the mother herself must also fall, the last 
prop of the house ; so it is in Ribold og Gtildborg^ when, with dawn, — 

der vaar tre lige i Her Ribolts huss. 
Det ene Her Ribolt, det andet bans moe : 
det tredie bans moder, aff sorg bleff dod. 

1 Child, II, 65. 2 Grundtvig, II, 355 ; D, 52 f. 



GUMMERE 21 

These are the principals in the old domestic drama : man, stolen bride, man's 
mother. For modern notions, lover and bride alone are tragic victims ; and 
the mother in Earl Brand remains to rule the house. This ancient office 
survives in many an episode. The child bom of secret and tragic love is 
brought to her; there is no need to name all the ballads — Fair Janet is 
typical — where Willie, the widow's son, or another, gives his newborn 
child, soon to be orphaned, into his mother's care.^ The ballad's lust of 
repetition, to be sure, often calls up all the members of the family ; but the 
mother is not only head of the group, but is easily detached as a solitary and 
commanding figure. Substitutions are not hard to detect. In the tragic 
Bonny Hind, Jock Randal goes from the death-scene ''his father dear to 
see," and to hear words of comfort ; and Lizie Wan sits, absurdly enough, 
at her father's bower-door. But in the second case the mother is clearly the 
original figure, as is shown by the contaminated verse ; while for the former, 
Mr. Child's apt comparison of Kullervo and his mother in the Kalevala is 
decisive. To be noted in this Finnish tradition is the shadowy, inactive father 
as against the real and active mother. Whether or not Clerk Colvill, C, gets 
its grouping from Willie and May Margaret, '' Clark Colven and his gay 
ladie " of A seem less fitting for the scene of the '' forbidding " formula than 
*' Clerk Colin and his mother dear." For these warnings were once absolute 
property and right of the man's mother. The Faroe versions of Elveskud, 
which, as Mr. Child notes, are nearest the English, make Olaf's mother, not 
his wife, warn him to keep away from his elfin love. So in French, Italian, 
Spanish versions, and naturally in the Slavic, a mother plays this main part. 
By new reckonings, to be sure, the mother could counsel ill. In Lord Thomas 
and Fair Annet, A, where the whole family convenes and advises, Thomas 
says, '* Na, I will tak my mither's counsel." In C, E, only the mother is 
asked. In H she is main adviser, and will lay a curse upon her son if he 
shall spurn her own choice of the nut-brown bride. But this mother's curse, 
an important matter, belongs with the second stage of the tradition. 

In the well-known group of stolen brides, sung in certain late but mainly 
traditional Scottish ballads, the authoritative mother-in-law appears in fairly 
close relation with actual life. In Lizie Lindsay a Highland lord asks his 
mother for permission to fetch home a bride from Edinburgh city. Court her 
"in grit povertie," counsels the mother. So he woos and wins Lizie in the 
guise of a lowly shepherd, takes her to the Highlands, points out a poor 
shieling as his home, and bids the old woman there treat them as son and 
daughter-in-law. The supposed mother welcomes Lizie, but sets her to hard 

1 Sisters, too, are at hand to help ; but the ballad-form loves a large family, and is bound, 
like Buchan's wight, to indulge in what may be called the relative-climax at every turn. Per- 
versions and substitutions of relationship in this case of the man's mother, the entrance of step- 
mothers and bride's mothers, cannot be treated here as they deserve. 



22 THE MOTHER-IN-LAW 

work just as would be the case in a Russian ballad. In Richie Story this com- 
mand to work under the mother-in-law's oversight is in earnest. The good- 
mother bids Richie's highborn wife to kilt her coats — 
And muck the byre with Ritchie Storie. 

Finally, a late ballad, marked indeed by " barrenness and folly," as Mr. Child 
phrases it, puts forth the man's mother not simply as a wise woman, like King 
Estmere's mother, but as a sort of white witch. She gives her son Cow-me-doo 
his dove's form, takes his children in charge, and, in time of stress, with aid 
from another woman who knows how, turns him into a goshawk and his sons 
into swans. But this matter is far better handled in popular tales. 

It is only what one would expect from the ballads when one finds there the 
mother-in-law as witch, nearly always of the black variety, companion figure to 
the wicked, mother-in-law of tamer domestic ways. The trail now becomes 
plain enough. In Willie's Lady the wife is to be justified as right head of 
the household and first claimant upon her husband's love. Willie's mother, 
*'a vile rank witch of vilest kind," is malignant to a degree, jealous of the 
son's wife and thwarting her hope of offspring. Cruelty outright is here ; 
and cruelty is the mark of the mother-in-law in Russian ballads.^ Professor 
Child very properly put Willie's Lady next after Gil Bf-enton in his collection ; 
tradition of the old order precedes vindication of the new, and each is a pend- 
ant to the other. Happy also is the juxtaposition of Lord Randal and Edward. 
Both are retrospective ballads, dialogues in climax which bring out the story 
but do not tell it all or tell it clearly. A good mother's rede has been spurned, 
it would seem, in one ballad ; a bad mother's rede has been taken in the 
other ; and, in both cases, to a tragic end. In Lord Rajzdal, with very old 
versions current in Southern Europe, the case is fairly plain. As for Edward, 
one would fain know precisely what were the '' counsels " that his mother gave 
him. He has killed his father dear ; as, in A, Son Davie has killed his 
brother John, probably a later phase of the story. Was his prototype perhaps 
some Hind Etin's or even Jellon Grame's son, avenging the mother, but here 
condemned by the new fashion of thought } In any case Son Davie will leave 
the *' mother dear " a fire of coals to burn her, and Edward, more vaguely, 
the curse of hell. '' Hell and fire," on the other hand, are for the true-love of 
Lord Randal ; and she is surely representative of the '' dangerous bride," — 
her real function in H. This curse of the son is return and echo of the 
mother's older curse for choice of bad wives. The jealousy of the wicked 
mother, her malignancy towards the young wife, — who is often romanticized 
into a sweetheart, — are set forth in a few of our ballads ; and while the 

1 Schrader, p. 99, quotes a case from modern Greek life, often reflected in ballads, where a 
mother-in-law refuses to help her son's wife, who is mortally ill. The son begs his mother to go 
for the physician. Reluctantly she starts, but lingers outside the house until she is sure that the 
doctor's help will not avail. 



GUMMERE 23 

older relation is often blurred, and hints of the older conditions are less clear 
than in related ballads of Europe, enough is also told to back the very modest 
claims that have been made for the tradition of the goodmother. One can 
imagine a vast range of stories, now lost, of the good and just mother-in-law 
who bars her son's door to the unworthy or suspect or positively devilish can- 
didate for wifehood. The witch's stocking may have been on the other leg.^ 
It may be by pathetic fallacy that modem readers sigh over Annie of Roch 
Royal when the false impersonating mother, so named and slandered by 
changed tradition, repels her from the son's door. '' Awa," she cries, '' ill 

woman, . . . 

" You 're but a witch or vile warlock 
Or mermaid o the flude," — 

undesirable inmates all three, and the last with a particularly bad ballad repu- 
tation. By the Clerk Colvill argument, Annie might have been just what she 
is called, and Gregory's dame a true goodmother. Again, two can play at 
the poisoning game. The dangerous bride once poisoned her husband, — as 
happens in Russia ; and by the new reckoning mothers-in-law must be shown 
in this congenial part. Prince Robert is a ballad not far from the Russian 
type, with no supernatural soliciting, but full of plain jealousy, hatred, and 
murder. The only son makes a poor marriage and refuses to be sorry for it, 
but dares not bring the wife home. He asks his mother's blessing, and gets 
a curse. He tells her, in a disordered stanza, that it is the fashion to like 
one's wife better than one's mother. She beguiles him to drink poison. In 
anticlimax she merely insults the wife, who has been summoned to the house 
only to find Prince Robert dead. " A slender tale," is Professor Child's com- 
ment ; the full-bodied story perhaps showed the mother intending to poison 
the bride, but, by a blunder, killing the son. 

The curse of the man's mother upon the wooing which she vainly forbids 
would naturally be most tenacious among the traditions of her ancient power. 
The formula of asking leave to woo, or seeking advice in a dilemma, has been 
noted as fairly frequent in the ballads. Defiance, failure to act upon the advice, 
have tragic results. In Burd Isabel and Earl Patrick the quite modem and 
silly story hinges upon an evasion of the mother's command. 

" Burd Isabel has born to me a son, 

What sail I do her wi ? " — 
" Gie her what ye like, Patrick, 

Mak na her your ladie." 

Patrick compromises, to his ultimate sorrow. In the better ballads, however, 
the hero comes to a tragic end by reason of his mother's curse. Yarrow, 

i"Lord Gregory . . . calls his dame 'witch mother,'" remarks Mr. Child, II, 214, "but 
there appears to be no call for magic or witchcraft in the case." No call, certainly ; but the 
tradition of witchcraft is not at all foreign to these ballads of the man's mother. 



24 



THE MOTHER-IN-LAW 



among its other victims, counts such a cursed man. The fine ballad of The 
Braes of Yarroiv, to be sure, does not furnish the actual instance ; but it be- 
longs to the stories of a marriage unwelcome to one or the other house, in 
their oldest form to the man's family, but under more romantic conditions 
to the family of the stolen bride. From this point of view it is by no means 
"of no importance to the story "^ that in group A to I "the hero and heroine 
are man and wife," while in J to P they are unmarried lovers. The older 
group has the sooth of it. Still, it is not here, but in the two succeeding 
ballads. Rare Willie Drowned in Yarrow and The Mother s Malison, that 
ancient sentiment best survives. Willie, in D, promises to marry his love ; 
but it is she, not he, who asks the man's mother, and is rejected. He rides 
back for a blessing and gets it in mockery ; when he fords the water of 
Gamrie, at the third step of his horse Willie's saddle is empty. The bride 
drowns herself. In two other versions, the mother consistently curses her 
son, and tells him Gamrie water is wide. In a traditional version, Willie him- 
self asks leave, but rides unblest to his fate. A plainer tale is told in The 
Mother s Malison, traditional, but sung of modern times and placed by the 
Clyde. Dialogue, with incremental repetition, leads straight to the event. 
Willie will ride to his true-love's gates, and asks his mother's aid. Stay at 
home, she says, and have the best bed in the house. He cares not for best 
beds. Stay, and eat "the best hen in a' my roost." — No. — Well, then "gin 
Clyde's water be deep and fu' o flood, my malison drown ye ! " Here, by the 
hypothesis, enters alien matter, — a rival and a false sweetheart, found after 
safe crossing of the flood. But the son's cry, " My mother's malison will drown 
me," returns to the right way. He goes back to his fate. 

What of it all ? Is this " evidence " .? By itself, almost any of the cases 
has little or no value. The tragedy of a clash between the son's duty and the 
husband's or the lover's devotion needs no stay in tradition of any place or 
time. Mr. Thomas Hardy found that tragic matter to his hand on Egdon 
Heath, among his own people ; in his Rettcm of the Native, mother, son, 
and son's wife enact the old drama and meet the old fate. The very mention 
of the man's mother would seem to be enough to forbid all searching of 
trails, all attempts to straighten the crooked ways. In French fiction and 
life this is the sacrosanct relation. Comedy and ribaldry, too, have laid 
hold of it. But this very universality makes for the need of a wider outlook. 
In the case of the mother-in-law, as in the case of the mother's brother, of 
the sister's son, there is direct historical evidence of ancient power and 
dignity now unknown ; and faint as the traces are in the ballads of this old 
supremacy of the man's mother, and of the reaction against her pride of place, 
by cumulative proof they help one to visualize her as a beneficent and authori- 
tative member of the primitive household. 

1 Child, IV, i6i. 



CICLATOUN SCARLET 

George Foot Moore 

Ciclatozm, which is found in all the Romance languages as well as in Eng- 
lish, is the name of a costly stuff. Chaucer describes Sir Thopas in all his 

magnificence : 

His heer, his herd was lyk saffroun, 

That to his girdel raughte adoun ; 

His shoon of Cordewane. 
Of Brugges were his hosen broun. 
His robe was of ciclatoun, 

That coste many a jane. 

Middle High German has cicldt in the same meaning. Thus in Tristan 

11106 : 

Er truoc ciclades kleider an, 

Diu waren uzer maze rich.^ 

Ciclatoun was employed also for ecclesiastical vestments. A charter of 
Alfonso (VIII) of Castile, dated in 1 191, is quoted by Du Cange i^ ''In ornatum 
Ecclesiae trium marcarum pretio, tres frontales, duos de ciclaton, infulas tres, 
unam de ciclaton, aliam de palio, duas dalmaticas palias, unam capam de cicla^ 
ton, duo vestimenta linea cum stolis et manipulis," etc. 

A robe or mantle of this stuff is called by the same name. At the creation 

of Knights of the Bath, the knights wore '' un couverton d'or appelle sigle- 

ton." A knight rides into battle, '' armez de haubregon, couvert d'un singla- 

ton." Another 

Si a vestu un hermin pelicon, 

Et par deseure un vermeil ciglaton, 

Mantel a riche, qui n'est mie trop lon.^ 

In Latin contexts cyclas occurs in similar senses and uses. At the wedding 
of Henry HI and Eleanor of Provence, the citizens of London set out toward 
Westminster to meet the royal pair, mounted on fine horses, '' sericis vesti- 
mentis ornati, cicladibus auro textis circumdati, excogitatis mutatoriis amicti," 
etc.^ The apparel of the Countess Judith, daughter of Vratislav, king of 
Bohemia, is described : " cycladem auro textam, instar Dalmaticae, et precio- 
sissimi operis, quam sub mantello ferebat, etiam auro texto induta " (1096 a.d.). 

1 See Muller u. Zarncke, M. H. D. Wdrterbuch, III (1861), 881, for other examples. 

2 From Antonio de Yepes, Chronicon Ordinis S. Benedicti, VII. Yepes wrote in Spanish : 
CorSnica general de la orden de San Benito, 7 torn, fol., 1 609-1 621. The Latin text which 
Du Cange quotes is a translation by T. Weiss, Cologne, 1648 (.^). 

3 These examples also are from Du Cange. * Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, anno 1236. 

■ 25 



26 



CICLATOUN SCARLET 



Further : " Portabant autem diversi generis species pretiosas, aurum et argen- 
tum, pallia oloserica, purpuram, siclades, ostrum, et multiformium vestium 
ornamenta." '* Vestibus cultioribus, aureis et argenteis, velvetis, syndonicis [?] 
sicladibus, aliisque pretiosis." 

Du Cange, who quotes these and other examples, inferred, as was quite 
natural in his time, that the Romance ciclatoti, sigleton^ etc., were derived from 
the Latin cyclas^ cycladem^ and consequently that the primary meaning of the 
word was a robe or mantle of circular cut,^ worn by both men and women ; 
whence it came to be employed also for the material of which such garments 
were usually made. Both inferences were erroneous, as will be shown below. 

The word ciclaton was in use in Arabic also, and a vocabulary ^ made in 
Spain in the latter part of the thirteenth century, conjectured by some to 
be the work of the celebrated Raymond Martini (died 1286 a.d.), gives as 
the equivalent of Arabic siqldtun Latin ciclas, perhaps taking siqldtfm as 
ciclatum? Dozy, in a note in his edition of Ibn 'Adharl's Baydii al-Miighrib 
(II [185 1], 24), explains siqldtun: " etoffe de sole brochee d'or," and adds 
that both this word and siqldt (whence the German cicldt) are derived from 
Lat. cyclas, " Voyez Du Cange." This note is substantially repeated, with 
some additional references to Arabic authors, in Dozy's SuppUment aux dic- 
tionnaires arabes, s.v. siqldt (I [1871], 663). Diez, in his Worterbuch 
(ist ed., 1853), derives Span, ciclaton, O. Fr. siglaton, singlaton, etc., from 
eye las y cycladis. In later editions it is added : '* Nach anderen arabischer 
Herkunft, von Engelmann^ nicht aufgenommen." 

With Du Cange, Dozy, and Diez for authorities, it is not strange that the 
derivation of ciclatoun from cyclas should have been widely accepted. It is 
repeated, e.g., in the Century Dictionary (s.w. Ciclatoun and Scarlet^ 1889), 
though the etymologist is aware of some of the difficulties that beset it, and is 
inclined to suspect contamination with an Oriental (Persian) word, saqlatun [sic]. 

So long as siqldtun was known to the etymologists only in the mediaeval 
Arabic of Spain, it was possible to suppose that it was merely Spanish ciclaton, 
and that the latter was Latin cyclattim, or with some stretch of imagination, 
cycladem. But in fact the Arabic siqldtun and kindred words had been fully 
discussed by the philologists of Basra and Kufa in the third century of the 
Hijra, and an example is quoted from a native Arabian poet who was a younger 
contemporary of Mohammed. In this time and place the initial s excludes a con- 
nection with cyclas KVK\d<;, any derivative of which, by whatever channel it came 
into the language, would have begun with k (q), as in Caesar, Kolcrap, qaisar, 

1 See Du Cange, s.v. cyclas. 

2 Vocabulista in Arabico. Edited by C. Schiaparelli, Florence, 187 1, pp. 118, 291. 

8 Du Cange quotes from the Necrologium Eccles. Paris. : " Dedit nobis unum cyclatum pretio 
12. libr." 

* I.e. Glossaire des mots espagnols et portugais derives de Parabe, 1866; 2d ed. with additions 
by Dozy, 1869. 



GEORGE FOOT MOORE 27 

The theory of Du Cange, Dozy, Diez, and many followers in their foot- 
steps, is thus refuted. The unquestionable connection between cyclas and 
ciclaton is to be explained in. another way than Du Cange supposed. 
When authors writing in Latin had to find an equivalent for ciclaton, cyclas 
offered itself through a double association of sound and sense. A contamina- 
tion of significance would be a natural result, and it is possible that ciglaton, 
sigleton, etc., in the meaning ' robe or mantle,' is sometimes a vernacular 
equivalent for cyclas. 

In recent times a different view has been advanced, which is thus set forth 
in the New English Dictionary, '^.v, Ciclatoun: ''The source of the names 
found in most of the European langs. in the Middle Ages appears to have 
been Arabic (orig. Pers.) siqildtun, also siqildt, siqaldt, saqaldt^ (ace. to 
Mr. J. Platts) from siqilldt, siqalldt, for saqirldt, saqarldt, Arabicized form 
of Pers. sakarldty the same word which has given Scarlet. The primary 
meaning was ' scarlet cloth,' later ' fine painted or figured cloth,' * cloth 
of gold.' " 

Under Scarlet the same Dictionary gives a somewhat different account of 
the matter : '' The prevailing view is that O. F. escarlate is an alteration of 
Pers. saqaldt, siqaldt, stiqldt, a kind of rich cloth, a derivative of which 
appears as Ciclatoun. (The form saqirldt, given in some Arabic dictionaries, 
is modem and probably adopted from some European language.) " 

The New International Dictionary (19 10) is closer to the mark: " Scar- 
let .. . fr. Ar. siqldt^ sort of silk stuff (cf . Ar. siqldtun in the same sense, 
whence E. ciclatoun, through F.), or Per. saqalldt, saqaldt, saqalldt, saqaldt, 
a sort of woolen cloth, broadcloth, prob. orig. a figured cloth and ultimately 
fr. L. sigillatus adorned with little figures, fr. sigilla little figures, as on seal 
rings, pi. of sigillum.'' 

In a review of Crooke's edition (1903) of Burnell and Yule's '' Hobson- 
Jobson," published in the New York Nation for October 29, 1903, the origin 
of the word was rightly asserted to be the Latin sigillatum, but without any 
attempt to establish the connection ; and from the confusion the author is in 
about the history of the Arabic and Persian forms it is evident that the opinion 
had not been arrived at from that side. The reviewer wrote : '' The Anglo- 
Indian . . . suklat . . . (Telugu sakaldti, Canarese sakaldtu) represents 
the Per. suqldt, siqaldt, saqaldt, Ar. siqilldt, ' particolored linen,' and this is 
merely the Middle Latin sigillatum or sigillata, ' figured cloth.' We read in 
late Latin of tentoria sigillata, 'particolored tents,' and serica sigillata, ' fig- 
ured silks.' . . . The Ar. word appeared also with Ar. suffix as siqldtun, 
Per. siqldtun, saqldtun, whence Old French siclaton, ciclaton, siglaton. Middle 
English siclatoun, ciclatoun, etc. Further, the Ar. word, as of foreign origin, 

1 Not one of these forms is found in Arabic. 

2 No such word is known to the Arabic lexicographers. 



28 CICLATOUN SCARLET 

took a popular twist, perhaps under Mediterranean influence, and as saqnarldt. 
Per. saqirlat, Turkish iskerldt, gave rise to Ital. scarlatto, English scarlet,'' etc. 

This derivation, which, as we shall see, is that of the Arab philologists, 
might well have been suggested to any etymologist in the last eighty years by 
two or three brief entries in Freytag's Lexicon Arabic o-Latimim (1833) : II, 
330. '' Siqilldt. Id. quod Sijilldt^ — II, 286. '' Sijilldt. . . . Stragulum 
laneum, quod mulieres pilentis iniicere solent; vel Panni linei, in quibus 
annulorum figurae pictae sunt. Kam." — /die/. '^ Sijilldtus (vox Graeca). 
Stragulum Graecum. Kam." 

In 1 901 I prepared a short note on the etymology of Ciclatoim and Scarlet 
for the meeting of the American Philological Association held that year in 
Cambridge ; but other more exciting matters being up for discussion, the 
paper was not read. If I present here the substance of that paper somewhat 
amplified, it is not because the subject is either important or obscure, but in 
order to show in a fairly typical instance the necessity for a revision of the 
etymologies of words derived from the Arabic in European dictionaries, and 
to illustrate the method of such an investigation. 

The etymologies passed on from one dictionary to another have for the 
most part, as in the present instance, come down from a time when the works 
of the native Arabic philologists were unknown to European scholars, who 
were chiefly dependent, directly or indirectly, upon a late and extremely con- 
densed dictionary — hardly more than an enormous vocabulary — the Qdmus 
of al-Feiruzabadi (died 141 3 a.d.). Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (Vol. I, 
1863 ; left unfinished at his death in 1876 and never completed) first made 
the Arabic lexicographic tradition accessible. But Lane excluded words noted 
by the native authorities as foreign or vulgar, reserving them for a separate 
work which he did not live to undertake ; consequently many comparatively 
common, and often old, words will be sought in vain in his pages. 

After Lane's death, the native lexicons from which in manuscript he had 
drawn most of his material were printed : the Lisdfi al-Arab, by Ibn Mukarram 
(d. 131 1 A.D.), between 1882 and 1889, in twenty volumes; and the Tdj 
al-Arus (in form a commentary on the Qdmus, completed in 1768 a.d.), by 
the Seyyid Murtada, from 1888 on, in ten volumes quarto ; not to mention less 
extensive general lexicons and many special lexicons and glossaries, e.g., of 
foreign words. The comprehensive dictionaries named above are based on 
older works, and derive ultimately, in large part, from the great lexicographers 
and grammarians of the third century of the Moslem era. 

It is much to our advantage in using these works that the Arabic philo- 
logical tradition is a tradition of authority for the form, meaning, and use of 
words, and that, consequently, later compilers constantly quote their predeces- 
sors for authority ; the numerous examples from classic poets and the litera- 
ture of tradition are also introduced, not as illustrations of usage, but as 



GEORGE FOOT MOORE 



29 



authority, and often in the name both of the poet and of the lexicographer 
who first adduced his testimony. In these ways it is frequently possible to 
prove that a word of rare occurrence in literature is both old and good Arabic, 
or that a loan word was borrowed at an early time. 

There are a great many foreign words in Arabic, derived from various 
sources — Aramaic, Ethiopic, Greek, and Persian. Many of these were 
current, either generally or in particular regions and dialects, before Mo- 
hammed ; a vastly larger number were adopted in the first century, when the 
Moslem conquests carried Arab armies into remote lands and extended Arab 
rule over peoples of diverse speech. Further conquests in the East and the 
West, and the peaceful intercourse of trade continually added others. Part of 
these borrowings were made directly, part at second or third hand. Many 
Greek words, for example, came through Syriac, in which there were not only 
many Greek words in common use but a large body of translations in theology, 
philosophy, and science, carrying over multitudes of Greek technical terms. 
Latin words came chiefly through the late Greek, which contained a consider- 
able Latin element ; some of these also came into Arabic by way of Syriac. 

The natural tendency was to Arabicize foreign words by squeezing them into 
some one of the Arabic morphological paradigms. In the case of words de- 
rived from other Semitic languages this was generally easy, and such words 
can often be recognized as alien only by phonetic criteria. Greek and Persian 
words were not so pliable ; nevertheless, by the aid of analogy and popular 
etymology many of them were made to sound like something Arabic. The 
philologists, some of whom were Arabs of the Arabs while others were of 
alien — chiefly Persian — lineage, gave much attention to loan words, and en- 
deavored to determine the source from which they were borrowed. Special 
glossaries of '' Arabicized " words were made, and in the larger dictionaries 
the derivation of such words is noted. 

The main reliance of the Western student engaged in an etymological 
investigation is on the works of the native lexicographers ; he may not always 
agree with their conclusions, but he cannot dispense with their testimony. 
Collections of examples from Arabic authors may serve to supplement the 
native lexicons ; but so long as we have no thesaurus of a European type, in 
which a large body of illustrative passages is brought together and classified, 
what we can add in this way will necessarily be incomplete and often accidental. 

To come now from this excursion to the matter which has given occasion 
to it, I will set down, to start with, the forms which are authenticated by 
the native lexicographers, leaving the discussion of them till after the mean- 
ings of the words have been considered. These forms are sijilldt} siqilldt, 



^ Etymologically sigillat. The original sound of g (English g in got^ get) is preserved in 
Arabic as spoken in Egypt ; elsewhere it is generally pronounced like English g in gem (in 
some dialects, hke French^ in y«^^), and the letter is conventionally transliterated by/ 



30 CICLATOUN SCARLET 

siqldtim. The variants which make such a formidable array in the New Eng- 
lish Dictionary and elsewhere are unknown either in classical Arabic or — so 
far as any record shows — in modern dialects. Siqilldt is expressly said to be 
identical in form and meaning with sijilldt ; the dictionaries treat the word 
in full under sijilldt. 

The definitions come from the scholars whose names make the third cen- 
tury of the Moslem era the golden age of Arabic philology. The materials 
had been largely collected in the previous centuries, and the foundations of a 
scientific treatment in lexicography and grammar had been soundly laid by 
Abu 'Amr al-'Ala, Halil, al-Laith, al-Kisa'l, and Sibawaih ; on these founda- 
tions their pupils built. 

Al-Farra (d. a.h. 207^ = 822-823 a.d.) defines sijilldt, "a woolen thing 
that a woman throws over her camel saddle." Somewhat more precisely, Ibn 
Doreid (d. 321 = 933), '* a colored cloth {namat) with which a woman's camel 
saddle is covered." 

In explanation it is to be said that the camel saddle {kaudaj) has an arched 
framework of wood ; a covering thrown over this protects and conceals the 
rider. The word namat employed by al-Asma'i in his definition is said (like 
zaiij, which is sometimes given as a synonym) to mean, in the speech of the 
Bedouins, a kind of dyed stuff, red or green or yellow, neither namat nor 
zatij being used of the material when it is left white. So al-Azharl (d. 270 = 
883-884). The namat was also used as an outer cover laid over a bed to sleep 
on, or for a carpet spread on the ground to sit or lie upon. 

Other uses of the word sijilldt are early attested. Abu 'Amr (d. 205 = 
820-821) says : ''A dark blue {kuhll)'^ robe or mantle is called sijilldti^'' \ 
and Ibn al-'Arabi (d. 231 = 845-846) : '' Hazz [a fabric of silk and wool] is 
called sijilldtl when it is of dark blue color." In a tradition of Mohammed 
it is said : ** There was given him a Persian mantle of hazz sijilldtl!' Another 
authority tells us that the adjective is used also of material which is dyed a 
pistachio green ; and one lexicographer suggests that the name is derived 
from the color (yellow) of the jasmin, which is also called in Arabic sijilldt. 
This connection is false, as will be shown below,* but it may be inferred 
that the author thought that a material of yellow color would come under 
the name. 

A third definition of peculiar interest in its bearing on the origin of the 
word is the following : '* Sijilldt is a figured stuff, the figures of which 

1 I have taken these dates from Lane ; where different years are given, I have taken the 
eariiest. The differences are commonly only of a year or two, and for my present purpose 
nothing depends upon them. 

2 'Dark blue' is the usual, but not the only, meaning of kuhli; ' purple ' also may be so trans- 
lated, and we read in one author of a carbuncle ktihlt. 

^ The so-called " relative " adjective, formed by affixing »to the noun, meaning ' of ' or ' like.' 
* See p. 35. 



GEORGE FOOT MOORE 



31 



resemble a seal {hatam). Scholars hold that it is Greek (Romaic)." A verse 
is quoted by al-Azharl (d. 883 a.d.) from the poet Humaid ibn Thaur : 

" They (fern.) preferred either ornate purple 
Or else figured ^ sijillat of Irak." 

This verse is of importance, in the first place for its age. Humaid ibn 
Thaur was a contemporary of the Caliph Omar, and is said, indeed, to have 
composed verses in the pagan days before Mohammed .^ We have in it, there- 
fore, an example of the use of the word from the first generation of Islamic 
poets. In the second place, it attests in this oldest record the figured sijillat^ 
'* with seals on it." 

That the name is Greek is the prevailing opinion. Al-Asma'i is quoted as 
saying : " I asked an old Greek woman in our neighborhood about a namat 
[see above, p. 30], What do you call that.? She replied, Sijillatusy Abu 
Hatim (al-SijistanI, d. 248 = 862-863), a pupil of al-Asma'i, reports the 
same inquiry and answer in his own name ; in another account, if the text is 
in order, Ibn Doreid (d. 321 =933) is the questioner,^ Jawallql (d. 539 = 
1 1 44- 1 145), in his glossary of Arabicized words {Micarrab), writes : ^'^ Sijillat. 
. . . Scholars are of the opinion that it is the Greek sijilldtus^ Arabicized and 
pronounced sijillat!' In one place {Tdj^ V, 150), indeed, I find the opinion 
that the word is Persian ascribed to al-Asma'l on the authority of Ibn Doreid ; 
but this contradicts the statement quoted above from the same work on the 
same authority (IV, 165), and is presumably due to a confusion of some kind 
or other. 

If we turn now to siqldtwt, we find it also defined as a kind of stuff. Ibn 
JinnI (d. 392 = 1 001 -1002) infers from its behavior in inflection that the final 
un is not the Arabic plural ending, for which it might easily be mistaken, but 
that the n is radical, and the Greek origin of the word is supported by Abu 
Hatim's testimony about sijilldtus already adduced. Similarly the author of 
the Tdj puts it down as a Greek word, with radical n ; the oldest lexicons 
entered it under sqltn. 

A different theory is found, so far as I see, only in the Qdmus (fourteenth 
century a.d.) : ''Siqldtun is a country in Rum [properly the Byzantine empire ; 
often vaguely for western lands], from which the material is called siqldtunl 
or siqldtun!' The commentator on the Qdmus, the Seyyid Murtada, fortifies 
this assertion by citing the name of a man, 'Ali al-Hasan ibn Ahmad, al- 
Siqldtunty called Ibn Bir, who died in a.h. 5 14 (= i i 20-1 1 2 1 a.d.). No such 
country is known to the geographers, and the man's name is capable of other 
explanations. Whatever al-Feiruzabadi may have been thinking about, his 
opinion can hardly count against the authority of the older lexicographers. 

1 Lit. 'sealed,' i.e. with figures like a seal, mu^attam. ^ Aghani, IV, 98. 

^ Hence sigilldtus in the native lexicons, with the definition, namat rumt (Greek colored 
cloth). 



32 CICLATOUN SCARLET 

To the testimony of the dictionaries may be added some examples from 
Arabic authors, which prove that the word was in common use in later times. 

Freytag refers to the TJionsatid and One Nights, IV, 360 (Habicht's 
edition), where, in the preparation for a sumptuous banquet, slaves spread, 
to set the dishes on, a cloth {sufreh) of zanj al-siqilldt. Zaiij, as has been 
noted above, is a colored cloth ; whether it is here called siqilldt from its 
color or because it was figured does not appear. 

According to Ibn 'Adharl (end of thirteenth century a.d.) in the Baydn al- 
Mughrib, II, 319, the famous Mansur (ibn Abu 'Amir), at the close of the 
campaign in which he sacked St. James of Compostella (a.d. 997), distributed 
among his allies 1285 pieces of different kinds of embroidered silk (hasz al- 
tirdzi), 21 robes of " sea- wool," 2 'Anbar robes, 1 1 of siqldtfm, 11 outer gar- 
ments with feather-like figures {nttirayyas), 7 rugs (anmdt), and 2 garments 
of Greek brocade, etc. This list is found also in al-Maqqarl (d. 1631 a.d.), 
I, 217, being copied from the Baydn. 

Edrisi, whose geographical work, written at the instance and under the 
patronage of Roger II of Sicily, was completed in 11 54 a.d., in his account 
of Almeria in Spain, which was noted for the product of its looms, ^ says that 
there were in the city in his time 800 silk weavers, and that there was made 
in it common silk and brocade and siqldtfm, and Ispahan cloth, etc. Al- 
Maqqarl (I, 102) multiplies the weavers of Almeria: there were 800 looms 
employed on common silk, 1000 on brocades, 1000 on 'isqaldtun, etc. 

The examples cited from Ibn 'Adharl and Edrlsl are of particular impor- 
tance to us because they carry us to Spain ; and the latter is close in time to 
the charter of Alfonso (1191) quoted above (p. 25). 

We have seen that the oldest recorded use of the Arabic sijilldt is for a 
luxurious stuff adorned with seal-like figures, and that the native lexicographers 
derive it from the '' Romaic " sijilldtus. For this use of the Latin sigillatns 
it will suffice to quote a couple of examples. Trebellius Pollio, who wrote in 
the reign of Constantius Chlorus (d. 305 a.d.), in his lives of the '' Thirty 
Tyrants " (rebels and pretenders in the times of Valerian and Gallienus), de- 
scribes Herod, son of Odenathus of Palmyra,^ as '' homo omnium delicatis- 
simus et prorsus orientalis et Graecae luxuriae, cui erant tentoria sigillata et 
aureati papiliones et omnia Persica." ^ 

An edict of the emperors Theodosius, Arcadius, and Honorius, of the 
year 393 a.d., prescribes : " Nulla mima gemmis, nulla sigillatis sericis, aut 
textis utatur auratis. His quoque vestibus noverint abstinendum, quas Graeco 
nomine a Latino crustas ^ vocant, in quibus alio admixtus colori puri rubor mu- 
ricis inardescit. Uti sane iisdem scutulatis et variis coloribus sericis, auro sine 
gemmis collo, brachiis, cingulo non vetamus " (Cod.Theodos. XV, vii, 11). 

1 See Yaqut, IV, 517, 3 Scriptores Historiae Augustae. 

2 Murdered with his father in 266-267 a.d. * Text probably corrupt. 



GEORGE FOOT MOORE 



33 



Latin-Greek glosses give as the equivalent of sigillatus, ^coSlcot6<;=^co(ot6(;, 
on which Pollux : 'O Be Karda-Tt/crof; '^^ltcov ianv 6 e)(^cov fcoa ^ dvOr] ivv(f>a(r- 
fieva ' Kol ^(D(oro<^ he '^^ltodv eKaXelro koI ^coSccor6<;. 

The forms which the word assumes in Arabic are easily explained. The 
neuter sigillattim (Greek ^sigilldton) would be reproduced in Arabic as sijil- 
Idttm, in which, as soon as the consciousness of its foreign origin was lost, 
the Un would inevitably be taken for the Arabic plural ending and dropped, 
leaving an apparent singular of a possible Arabic noun-type. Even where 
sigilldtuSj sigilldton^ were recognized as Romaic, the foreign inflectional end- 
ings would be dropped in '' Arabicizing " the word.^ Precisely the same thing 
happened in the case of sigillum cri^iXkov (diploma, letters patent, and the 
like, authenticated by a seal), which appears in the Koran (xxi, 104) as sijill^ 
and is in common use for the written decision of a judge or a judicial record. 

The spelling siqilldt is an independent attempt to represent the Greek or 
Latin g, presumably in a dialect in which Arabic q was pronounced, as it was 
early in parts of Arabia, and still is throughout North Africa, as a hard g. 
This phonetic peculiarity is shared by siqldtun, which is a reduction of '^siqil- 
Idtun, through the effect of the heavy final stress, or under the influence of 
analogy. 

From Arabic sijilldt passed into Ethiopic in the form segldt (or segelldt)^ 
which occurs in the Ethiopic translation of Isaiah iii, 19-23, an inventory of the 
wardrobe and jewelry of a lady of fashion in Jerusalem. It is here the name 
of a costly fabric of which fine clothes were made. The Ethiopic translation 
of Isaiah was based on the Greek, and segldt here corresponds to KOKKiva? 
The word is found also in unpublished liturgical texts referred to by Dillmann 
in his Lexicon. The age of the Ethiopic version is not certainly known. 

We should expect to find the word in Syriac, but the native lexicons do 
not record it, and only one occurrence is rioted by Pa5nie-Smith. This is in 
a letter of certain Nestorian bishops in India to the Patriarch (dated 1504 
A.D.), in which they report the arrival of the Portuguese on the Malabar coast. 
The Christian commander of the expedition, they say, bestowed on a native 
prince ''garments of gold and variegated (or brocaded) stuff, that is, seqdat.''^ 
Probably the name is here taken from an Indian vernacular, into which it 
had come as a trade term through Persian (see below, p. 35) ; the stuff was 
presumably European. 

From Arabic siqilldt the '' scarlet " forms arose by resolution of // into rl. 
These forms get no recognition from the Arabic lexicographers, who from 
the beginning have felt it their mission to stand guard over the purity of the 

1 See Ibn Jinni, and Jawaliqi, above, p. 31. 

2 I owe this identification — the solution of a problem which others had given up — to 
Professor C. C. Torrey. ^ Assemani, Bibliotheca Orientalis, II, i, 597. 



34 CICLATOUN SCARLET 

language. The author of the Taj (eighteenth century) does, however, note 
under siqilldt : "This is what is vulgarly called sakarldf' (the first two 
vowels are uncertain), and quotes a verse from a " post-classical " poet : 
With more of a strut than she in her scarlet gown {sakarlat). 

Unfortunately, the age of this attestation is uncertain. The " post-classical " 
(mtiwallad) poets include the contemporaries of Harun al-Rashid and his 
successors ; al-Mutanabbi (d. 965 a.d.) is sometimes reckoned the last famous 
representative of the class, but poets of more recent times are included in it. 
Further than this, it can only be said that the substitution of k for q sug- 
gests a Persian mouth. In a Persian-Hebrew glossary, from the early decades 
of the fourteenth century,^ siqlatun is explained by saqirlatd (here also the 
first two vowels are uncertain). 

From sakarlat (or saqarldt)^ by reduction of the first vowel and subsequent 
prothesis,2 comes the Spanish escarlata, and, through Spanish, French escar- 
late, English scarlet^ and the rest. In Spanish escarlata is now the name of a 
woolen stuff of a red color. The definition of the Academy is : ** Pano y texido 
de lana, tenido de color fino carmesi, no tan subido como el de la purpura 6 
grana." The word originally designated the fabric, not the color ; a roll of 
Henry III of England (1230 a.d.) speaks of sanguine, brown, red, and even 
white scarlet. The restriction to a particular shade of red is more recent, and 
the use of the word for the color without regard to the material later still. 

A reflux carried the Spanish escarlata back into Arabic in the form, eskarldt. 
Dozy {Noms des vetementSy 1 1 1) quotes from a manuscript history of the Almo- 
ravides, in a list of presents distributed by the Berber prince, Yusuf ibn 
Tashfin (d. 1106 a.d.): ''Fifty robes {jubbeh) of eskarldt, that is, of fine 
cloth." Al-Maqqari speaks of sleeved robes {qaba) of eskarldt. 

The s for Spanish s corresponds to Arabic sa7zt, e.g. in sant Ydquby 
St. James of Compostella, and often, and may perhaps be ascribed to local 
pronunciation of Spanish. 

The Persian saqirldt (so explicitly, " with a and i,' in the native lexicons) 
is thus defined : '' A woolen stuff which is woven in the country of the 
Franks." ^ Edmund Castell, in the Lexicon Heptaglotton to Walton's Poly- 
glot (1669), quotes from another native lexicon: '' Saqaldt, etc. . . . telae 
genus quod in Romania [Rum] paratur." ^ Steingass, Persian-English Dic- 
tionary, s.v. : ''A[rabic] saqirldt. Warm woolen cloth, purpet, broadcloth." 
It is superfluous to quote more dictionaries ; that the Persian word is borrowed 
from Arabic, not the Arabic from Persian, needs no further demonstration. 

1 Edited by W. Bacher, 1900. Professor Theodor Noldeke kindly called my attention to 
this glossary. 

2 An instance of the same process in Arabic is *isqaldtun in the passage quoted above 
from al-Maqqari. » Shems al-Loghai, s.v. 

4 See above, p. 31, n. 3, Arab, sigilldtus, defined as namat riimu 



GEORGE FOOT MOORE 35 

From Persian the word passed as a trade term into various modern 
languages of India : it is found in Urdu and Hindustani,^ in Telegu, and 
doubtless in other vernaculars, whither it is not incumbent on us to pursue it. 
The dictionaries made by Europeans define it as '* scarlet cloth." 

The evolution of the various senses of sijilldt, siqldtim, etc., may be con- 
ceived as follows : I . A figured stuff, perhaps originally embroidered in 
raised designs like embossed metal work (cf. scyphi sigillati). 2. Various 
costly fabrics in rich colors. — Ciclaton, Cicldt. 

The differentiated form sakarldt^ saqirldt, appearing to be another word, 
was appropriated to a particular kind of stuff, commonly of some shade of red. 
Also the usual color of this stuff. — Escarlata, Scarlet, 

Sijilldt is also, according to one of the earliest lexicographers, Al-Laith (d. 

ca. 175 = 791-792), a name for the jasmin (Pers.-Arab.jj/^i-wf;/). Al-Dinawarl 

(d. 282 = 895-896), the author of a special dictionary of plant names, more 

guardedly says that some of the reciters of poetry are of the opinion that 

sijilldt is the jasmin. Sinjilldt is defined as an aromatic plant,^ as in 

the verse : 

I love the singing girls and the basil, 

And a drink of old wine with sinjilldt.^ 

The word is obviously not Arabic, and as often happens in such cases, the 
lexicographer at a loss puts it down as the name of a place, thinking possibly 
of Sinjdly a town in Persia. 

In Syriac we have segeltd, a fragrant plant, defined in the native diction- 
aries and writers on materia medica by Arabic suad, a cyperus. In Ara- 
maic, also, sigld is a sweet-smelling plant. Thus the Babylonian Talmud, 
Sabb. 50 b, describes a cosmetic mixture for cleansing the face, compounded 
of one third jasmin, one third aloes (agallochum), and one third sigll.^ The 
word is defined in the Talmudic lexicon of R. Nathan, the Anich (completed 
in 1 10 1 A.D.), s.v. *aphar, by the Arabic suad. This interpretation is inde- 
pendent of the Syriac lexicons, and therefore of the greater weight. The 
Syriac and Aramaic words correspond to Assyrian sagilatu, which is shown 
by the determinative to be the name of a plant (Delitzsch, Handworterbuchy 

p. 490). 

This old Semitic word, taken over from Syriac into Arabic, was con- 
formed to sijilldt {sigillatus) with which it has etymologically nothing to 
do. From Arabic, as the final / proves, it passed into Ethiopic in the form 
segldt, the name of a fragrant plant (see Dillmann, Lexicon, s.v.). 

1 See Platts, Urdu^ Classical Hindi, and English Dictionary, 1884; Shakespear, ^w</«j/a«* 
Dictionary ; Burnell and Yule, Hobson-Jobson, s.v. Sucldt. 

2 The Qdmiis, probably by a misreading or misunderstanding of its authority, makes it 
' sweet basil.' ^ Aromatic plants in wine, like Waldmeister in a Bowie. 

* See also Berak. 43 b, Sanhedr. 99 b. Low, Aram. Pflanzennamen, No. 208. 



36 CICLATOUN SCARLET 

In the foregoing pages I have confined myself as closely as possible to the 
Arabic side of the etymological problem. The history of the words and their 
meanings in the European languages, and the history of the stuffs they desig- 
nate, are fields of investigation in which I should not presume to disport my- 
self, even if the limits of this article permitted. My European examples of 
the use of ciclaton are all taken from Du Cange, because I was concerned, 
not with the word, but with the genesis of the erroneous etymology which 
connects it with cyclas — an error to which so eminent an Arabic scholar as 
Dozy gave the weight of his authority. I had therefore no reason to draw 
upon the ampler collections illustrative of European use which have been 
made in more recent times. The same thing is true about " scarlet " : the 
migrations of the word and the kinds of cloth to which the name was 
applied lay outside of my plan, and the inquiry into these questions would 
require wide excursions into the history of industry and trade. A complete 
solution of such problems, which often hold the key to interesting chapters 
in the history of civilization, cannot be reached by the study of words alone ; 
the knowledge of the things they stand for is indispensable. But the philol- 
ogist may make his contribution to the subject in history of words as words, 
leaving the larger task to the historian of art or industry. 

The case of Ciclatoun-Scarlet in the dictionaries is, I regret to say, not 
singular. A large proportion of the words of Arabic derivation in the New 
Etiglish Dictionary and the Centitry Dictionary are as badly treated. A be- 
wildering variety of forms are alleged, many of which do not exist in Arabic 
at all, and are not made Arabic by printing them in Arabic characters ; mean- 
ings which, when not erroneous, are taken at haphazard without regard to history 
or semasiology ; assumed relations which are historically highly improbable or 
phonetically impossible. It is particularly to be regretted that in the New 
English Dictionary, which will undoubtedly for a long time be the first author- 
ity in its field, the compilations of its etymologists were not subjected to a 
revision by competent philologists. 



SOME REMARKS ON THE ORIGIN OF 
ROMANCE VERSIFICATION 

Edward S. Sheldon 

In the following pages it is intended to set forth a general theory for the 
origin in Vulgar Latin of the most popular of the early forms of Romance 
verse. To do this in the space available it will be necessary to refrain from 
going into all the details that would require examination for a final solution 
of the question. Nor do I mean to present the theory as one of whose correct- 
ness I am myself absolutely certain. But it does seem to me both simpler and 
more plausible than any other with which I am acquainted, and I think 
that if rightly applied it will account for all the phenomena more satisfactorily 
than other attempts at explanation of the problem. 

The Romance verses to be explained are the old narrative verses which we 
find well exemplified in Old French, the verses of six, eight, ten, and twelve 
syllables (these being the minimum numbers), and in general I shall have only 
these in mind, though I might add the Spanish verse of the Poema del Cid^ 
explained as Cornu has explained it, and possibly the seven-syllable French 
verse seen in Aticassin et Nicolette. I shall not discuss whether the Italian 
endecasillabo was derived from France or not. Lyric verse is left out of con- 
sideration, this allowing even in early times too much play for the art of the 
individual poet. If, now, the narrative verse-forms in question were developed 
from two — or I might even say one — Vulgar Latin types of accentual verse, 
what were those types and how did the Romance verses spring from them > 
These are the questions which call for answer. 

Obviously, if such Vulgar Latin verse types existed, the natural sources to 
which we first look, besides such popular verses as the soldier songs belong- 
ing to the times of Julius Caesar and Aurelian, together with, for instance, the 
hymn of Augustine, are those early Latin hymns of whose popular character 
we have assurance. I shall give no attention to the old Saturnian verse. Of 
the hymns in question the most important are the four unquestionably genuine 
hymns of Ambrose. But before taking up these hymns I wish to lay down 
certain general principles or statements without adducing evidence in support 
of them. These are as follows : 

I. As in the study of the Romance languages and of Vulgar Latin we dis- 
tinguish learned words and popular words, so for the subject of verse we 
must distinguish popular or Vulgar Latin verse and learned verse, the latter 

37 



38 THE ORIGIN OF ROMANCE VERSIFICATION 

constructed on the classical or quantitative (metrical) plan. In the time of 
Ambrose the composition of verses of the second kind required a certain 
degree of learning, and the ordinary speaker of Vulgar Latin, even in Italy, 
could not compose such verse with correctness. It is not, to be sure, incon- 
ceivable that an accentual verse, arising in some way or other from a learned 
quantitative verse, might in course of time become popular either during the 
Vulgar Latin period or in the earliest Old French, for instance ; but if such 
originally learned verse was to become popular, it must evidently be of pretty 
simple and nearly or quite invariable character ; nothing complicated or dis- 
tinctly artificial could '' take " with the common people. Hence, the hex- 
ameter and the metres seen in Horace's odes are almost certainly to be 
excluded from consideration. The sapphic verse, to be sure, may need a few 
words (see below, p. 46). 

II. In accentual verse of simple type a rigid adherence to the basic scheme 
of accents (e.g., one on every alternate syllable) is not necessary. If there 
are enough accents in the proper places to make the rhythm obvious to the 
ear, that is sufficient ; one here and there, especially near the beginning of a 
line, may be out of place without seriously altering the effect. And we may 
perhaps go so far as to say that, once the general simple scheme is fully recog- 
nized, especially if only one such scheme is in common use, and there can be 
no doubt in the reader's or hearer's mind as to the rhythm intended, even a 
rather considerable departure from the rigid scheme is permissible. Obviously 
different versifiers would vary greatly ; the earliest forms of an accentual line 
might, especially if sung by marching soldiers, adhere very closely to the rule 
of accents on alternate syllables, while men of a later time or under different 
circumstances might vary the accents, either from lack of skill or with the 
purpose of avoiding a monotonous singsong or attaining some artistic effect. 
It should also be remembered that, though accent is a very important feature 
in the history of Vulgar Latin and of the Romance languages, it is not neces- 
sary to assume that it ever had as much force as in English, nor that those 
unaccented syllables which were not lost in Vulgar Latin (or were not lost 
until a very late period of Vulgar Latin or only locally) were so slurred as is 
often the case with English unaccented syllables. 

III. It is necessary to bear in mind for popular verse some of the note- 
worthy features of Vulgar Latin pronunciation, particularly those which may 
have been among the early features of Vulgar Latin. I might mention differ- 
ences from classic Latin in the place of the accent and differences in the num- 
ber of syllables, whether due to (vulgarly or in classic Latin) unaccented i (or e) 
and u taking on consonantal value or to non-pronunciation of certain unac- 
cented vowels existing in classic word-forms.^ Examples, not illustrating 
all the possibilities, are facies^ habeat, batuit^ vohiit in two syllables, and 

1 Cf. Grandgent, Introduction to Vulgar Latin, Boston, 1907, §§ I36ff., issff-, 224, 232 ff., 450. 



SHELDON 



39 



voluerunty voluera{n)t in three with the accent on the first. But it is not 
necessary to assume \h2X. fades, for instance, in three syllables would have 
been unrecognizable to the common people, nor that all vulgar pronunciations 
were equally old.^ 

Having now somewhat cleared the way by what precedes, which, whether 
fully accepted or not, certainly has a bearing on the problem, I proceed to 
the examination of the hymns of Ambrose. Of these only four are uni- 
versally admitted to be genuine; the four, namely, which Ebert mentions 
in his Allgemeine Geschichte der Literahir des Mittelalters im Abend- 
lande, I (= Geschichte der christlich-latemischen Literatur von ihre^i 
Anfdfigen bis ziitn Zeitalter Karls des Gj^ossen), 2. Aufl., 1889, p. 180. 
Other hymns have been ascribed to Ambrose, and notably August Steier 
has printed fourteen hymns as by Ambrose, in his '' Untersuchungen liber 
die Echtheit der Hymnen des Ambrosius " in Jahrbiicher fiir classische 
Philologie, 28. Supplementband, 1903, pp. 549-662. In these investiga- 
tions, after examining the linguistic side of the problem, he raises the ques- 
tion whether any of the hymns he has added to the list of those written by 
Ambrose must be rejected on account of its metrical structure, and says 
(pp. 644-645) : 

" Ehe ich der Sache selbst naher trete, ist es notwendig, die Frage zu 
erortern : Hat Ambrosius rhythmisch oder metrisch gedichtet } Diese Frage 
darf man gestiitzt auf die Urteile von Forschern, die sich mit der Metrik 
lateinischer Hymnen befasst haben, dahin beantworten, dass Ambrosius seine 
Hymnen metrisch, also nach dem Prinzip der Qitantitdt der Silben, nicht 
rhythmisch, also nicht in Riicksicht auf betonte und unbetonte Silben ge- 
dichtet hat. . . . Das Richtige hat dariiber m. E. Spiegel . . . gesagt, wenn 
er schreibt : ' Des Ambrosius Hymnen weisen denn auch das Kennzeichen 
der Kunstdichtung auf, die metrische Form. Freilich ist seine Art, die Silben 
zu messen, in etwas verschieden von der antiken Metrik, und seine Lieder 
stehen der accentuierenden Poesie weit naher als die Dichterwerke des klassi- 
schen Altertums, allein das ist nur eine Folge der veranderten Zeitumstande.' 
Hier ist zu bemerken, dass in den Hymnen des Ambrosius Wort- und Versac- 
cent zwar ofters zusammenfallt, als dies durchschnittlich bei klassischen Dich- 
tern der Fall ist, dass jedoch der Widerstreit zwischen Wort- und Versaccent 
noch viel haufiger ist als in spateren Hymnen, in denen ' der Zwiespalt zwi- 
schen Hochton und Vershebung allmahlich seltener wird, bis im Laufe der 
Zeit die Vershebung ganz und unbedingt an den Hochton gebunden und die 
Tondauer der Silben dem Hochton erlegen ist ' [these lines Steier quotes 



1 The importance, not to say the necessity, of keeping in mind these three principles (and 
perhaps others too) seems to me not open to question. It is not necessary to formulate them 
as I have done above, but if they are plainly formulated, there is less danger of ignoring them in 
one's work. 



40 



THE ORIGIN OF ROMANCE VERSIFICATION 



from Huemer]. In den Hymnen meines Kanons ergeben sich fiir den Wider- 
streit zwischen Wortaccent und Versictus nach der von Schlicher ^ . . . ange- 
stellten Berechnung folgende Zahlen : 



Hymn. I, II, III, IV, V, XIV 
Hymn. VI ..... . 

Hymn. VII 

Hymn. VIII 

Hymn. IX 

Hymn. X 

Hymn. XI 

Hymn. XII 

Hymn. XIII 



74 
8 

15 
II 
10 
15 

9 
12 
10 



17 
4 

4 
5 
5 
2 
8 
2 
2 



35 
II 

7 
8 
6 
9 
13 
14 



\j ^ 



50 
12 

9 

9 

9 

13 

14 

14 

7 



'' [Steier adds two footnotes, one saying that Schlicher does not count the 
last strophe of hymn III, regarding it as a doxology, and the other making a 
similar statement for the fifth strophe and the first line of the sixth strophe 
in hymn XIII. These nine lines, then, we must suppose are not counted in 
the table. The six hymns (I, II, III, IV, V, XIV) for which the total num- 
ber only of conflicts is given for each of the four feet in the line are the six 
which Schlicher, following Kayser, admits as by Ambrose. For the first lines 
of these six, see below, p. 41, n. i. — Steier concludes:] Auf Grund dieser 
Statistik darf behauptet werden, dass alle Hymnen des Ambrosius nach dem 
Quantitatsprinzip gebaut sind." 

Now the figures at first sight look large enough to justify the conclusion 
that these hymns are not accentual, though it is easy to see that the numbers 
are pretty small for some of the feet and that the figures for the eight hymns 
Steier has added are on the whole larger than would be expected from those 
given for the first six.^ 

But suppose we look at the statistics from a different point of view, notic- 
ing the total possible number of opportunities for conflict between metrical 
ictus and prose accent, and also how often there is agreement instead of con- 
flict. Each of the four feet in each line occurs thirty-two times in each of the 

1 John J. Schlicher, TAe Origin of Rhythmical Verse in Late Latin, Chicago, 1900. The 
value of this work is seriously diminished by the failure of its author to give due attention 
to any of the principles stated above. I should say something similar of Kawczynski's Essai 
comparatif sur r origine et Vhistoire des rythnies (Paris, 1889) ; cf. also the objections to the latter 
work made by Ramorino (pp. 158-159) in his "La pronunzia popolare dei versi quantitativi 
latini nei bassi tempi ed origine della verseggiatura ritmica " in Memorie della reale accademia 
delle scienze di Torino, serie seconda, tamo XLIII, scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, pp. 155-222. 

2 The average numbers for the four feet are for the first six hymns 12I, 2|, 5^, 8|; for the 
other eight they are 11^, 4, 9^, io|. To be sure, one should not attach too much importance 
to these averages. 



SHELDON 



41 



fourteen hymns, except for four lines in hymn IIP and five in hymn XIII, 
or in all each foot occurs 448 — 9 = 439 times, and in the group of six hymns 
each one occurs 192 — 4 = 188 times. If the figures given in the table are 
correct, including all the cases of conflict, there must be agreement in all other 
places than those counted in the table. Put in tabular form the agreements 
are as follows : 



Hymn number 


First foot 


Second foot 


Third foot 


Fourth foot 


I-IV, V, XIV 


188- 


74 = 


114 


188- 17 = 


171 


188- 


35 = 


153 


188- 


50= 138 


VI 


32- 


8 = 


24 


32-4 = 


28 


32- 


II = 


21 


32- 


12 = 20 


VII 


32- 


15 = 


17 


32-4 = 


28 


32- 


7 = 


25 


32- 


9= 23 


VIII 


32- 


II = 


21 


32-5 = 


27 


32- 


8 = 


24 


32- 


9= 23 


IX 


32- 


10 = 


22 


32-5 = 


27 


32- 


6 = 


26 


32- 


9= 23 


X 


32- 


15 = 


17 


32-2 = 


30 


32- 


9 = 


23 


32- 


13= 19 


XI 


32- 


9 = 


23 


32- 8 = 


24 


32- 


13 = 


19 


32- 


14= 18 


XII 


32- 


12 = 


20 


32-2 = 


30 


32- 


14 = 


18 


32- 


14= 18 


XIII 


27- 


10 = 


17 


27-2 = 


25 


27- 


8 = 


19 


27- 


7= 20 


Totals . . 


439- 


164 = 


275 


439 - 49 = 


390 


439- 


III = 


328 


439- 


137 = 302 



If we add these totals we find 1295 agreements out of 1756 places where 
agreement (or conflict) is possible, and of the conflicts 164 are in the first 
foot, a larger number than in any other ; that is, at the beginning of the line, 
where in accentual verse this irregularity need raise no difficulty .^ But this is 
not all. It will be observed that in Steier's table some of the instances of 
greatest frequency of conflict (of divergence from a strictly accentual scheme, 
one might say, if one were to make a comparison from that point of view) 
occur in the hymns which as the result of his investigations, perhaps not 
entirely convincing, he has added to the six previously accepted by Schlicher. 
We cannot from his table tell the figures for the four hymns which are cer- 
tainly the work of Ambrose, nor do I care to make a separate table of my own 



1 I follow Steier's numbering. For the six hymns (the others I need not mention individu- 
ally) the first lines are : I. Aeteme rerum conditor ; II. lam surgit hora tertia ; III. Deus^ creator 
omnhim ; IV. Intende, qui regis Israel (the second strophe begins, Veni, redemptor gentium) ; 
V. Splendor patemae gloriae ; XIV. Aeterna Christi munera. The first four of these are the 
admittedly genuine hymns by Ambrose. 

2 Steier notices that O. Brugman had observed that " im jambischen Trimeter der alteren 
Dichter jener Widerstreit vor allem im ersten und letzten Fuss begUnstigt ist," and that the 
figures given by Schlicher show a similar state of things for Ambrose's use of the iambic dime- 
ter (in six hymns). This is also true, as the table, shows, for the whole fourteen hymns recog- 
nized by Steier. I do not deny that Ambrose's hymns are quantitative, but I emphasize the 
importance of accent in them. They are not in Vulgar Latin ; they are learned quantitative 
verse, but are strongly influenced by Vulgar Latin verse. No late Latin rhythmical verses can 
with any certainty be brought forward as specimens of Vulgar Latin versification unless their 
vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciations are clearly not learned ; but learned or semi-learned 
verses may be influenced by the vulgar versification. 



42 THE ORIGIN OF ROMANCE VERSIFICATION 

on the same plan for them.^ It is enough to say that for the six hymns grouped 
together the number of agreements between verse ictus and prose accent is 
576 out of 752 possible agreements, or rather more than three fourths, and 
this takes no account of the fact that 74 out of the 1 76 conflicts occur at the 
beginning of the line. This is a remarkably high proportion, and it at once 
suggests the question whether Ambrose did not write these hymns, deliber- 
ately or unconsciously, in such a way that they are at once quantitative or 
metrical and accentual or rhythmical, though neither system is followed with 
an absolutely unfailing observance of rigid rules. I doubt if it is possible to 
read aloud the four hymns in question as prose, but with a slight pause at the 
end of every line, without feeling that they are really accentual verses ; and, 
once that is felt, one almost instinctively makes the necessary accommodations 
of accent to fit such a scheme. The ear, not the eye, should be the judge, 
and the verses should not be considered individually, but read in succession, 
the rhythm, wherever there might be room for doubt, being fixed for the ear 
by the verses which precede. The verses which may seem most difficult to 
read accentually are : (i) where two short syllables take the place of one long, 
as in IV, i, 17, 19 ; here the two short syllables can be so rapidly gone over 
as not to interfere with the general rhythm ; geminae (IV, 19) may indeed 
have been commonly pronounced gem' 7iae, and possibly a taVmo for thalamo 
was in existence ; (2) the lines ending in a dissyllable, of which, if I have 
counted correctly, there are forty-two, no one of them, it is true, beginning a 
hymn; (3) the line IV, 8 {Talis decet partus Deitm), in which all the four 
prose accents are in conflict with the usual accentual rhythm. But the preced- 
ing verses may guide to the right rhythm, which can be brought out by divid- 
ing force between the even and the odd syllables so that neither the usual 
rhythm nor the prose accents are lost,^ 

Moreover we have direct testimony to the popular character of Ambrose's 
hymns, including necessarily the structure of the verse (his verse must have 
been like popular verse, or at least so similar to it as to find ready acceptance), 

1 I have, however, for the four admittedly genuine hymns, counted the Hnes which as ac- 
centual lines are correct according to strict rules {veritas, for instance, is of course counted as 
having two accents, one, a secondary accent, on the syllable next but one to the main accent) ; 
and I have also made a count which includes these verses and those in which there is only one 
easily admissible irregularity of accent, namely, at the beginning of the line. For I these num- 
bers are, if my count is correct, fifteen and twenty-two out of the thirty-two ; for II they are 
eleven and seventeen; for III, ten and twenty-one (I include all the thirty-two lines) ; for IV, 
ten and sixteen. For all four the totals are forty-six and seventy-six. In other words, considerably 
more than half the 128 lines are practically perfect as accentual verses, and for almost all the 
others a slight accommodation with some forcing of the accents is easy, the general (accentual) 
iambic rhythm being pretty plain. 

2 It is not absolutely necessary to assume that all the hymns of Ambrose were so accentual 
as some of them appear to be; it may be that in one or the other, even among the unquestion- 
ably genuine hymns, he resisted somewhat, consciously or not, the accentual influence, the 
reality of which it seems impossible to deny. 



SHELDON 



43 



in that his own words (see Ebert, Allgem. Gesch., I, i^/ff., and Ebert's com- 
ments on the passages he quotes; also ibid., 250-251) inform us that his 
hymns were actually sung by the whole body of the worshippers in the church 
service. This makes it clearer why his verses show so strong an approxima- 
tion to the accentual form, if indeed they are not really accentual in plan as 
well as quantitative ; and we could infer with great probability, if we had only 
these hymns with the words of Ambrose quoted by Ebert, that such accentual 
verses, with accents prevailingly on the even syllables, were in common use, 
and that knowledge of them was not confined to the lowest classes, in which 
they may have had their origin. And when we consider the well-known soldier 
verses, where the accent is with great regularity on the uneven syllables, the 
hymn of Augustine, and such other iambic or trochaic verses as seem to be 
of a popular character, ^ it does not seem at all improbable that accentual verses 
with the accent pretty regularly on alternate syllables, sometimes the even, 
sometimes the odd syllables, and of varying length were or came to be in 
common popular use during the Vulgar Latin period. Some of the forms may 
well have been more popular than others, and some indeed may not have come 
into anything like general use till the eighth century or even later. And, 
further, I add that I do not think there is any satisfactory evidence that any 
other kind of verse than this alternating type was really popular during the 
Vulgar Latin period. 

With the qualification as to dates which I have added, the derivation of the 
popular Old French verse-forms from these Vulgar Latin verse-forms, the 
number of syllables remaining essentially unchanged, and the distribution of 
accents likewise remaining unchanged for a time, seems to me probable. As 

the octosyllable comes from original —. J- — -L l _ J- (in the strictest form), 

so, for example, the six-syllable verse points to an original _ -^ _ -^ _ _l, 

and the decasyllabic to an original l_J-_J-_J-_j. (with perhaps 

a caesura in either of two places). Grober {Grdr. d. rom. Phil., II, i, 443) 
derives the French octosyllable, as seen in the St. Leger poem and later, from 
the Latin hymns, not mentioning the possibility of a Vulgar Latin verse as its 
origin or of influence of such Vulgar Latin verse on the hymns ; and this 
might be true of the St. Leger poem without necessarily holding good for the 
French octosyllable in general. Cf. also Stengel in Grober's Grdr., II, i, 22. 

It will be seen that this resembles the idea expressed by Gaston Paris 
when he said {Romania, XIII, 625 2) of French verses : " Les vers de quatre, 
six, huit, dix, douze syllabes ne sont que des variations d'un meme type, qui 
a I'origine avait peut-etre un accent sur chaque syllabe paire." But I put the 
origin of some or all of these forms back into a distinctly Vulgar Latin period, 

1 Cf. Ramorino, " Pronunzia popolare," pp. 211-215, and a number of the iambic and tro- 
chaic verses in Buecheler, Carmina Latina Epigraphica. 

2 Cf. also Rom., XV, 137-138 ; XXII, 575-576. 



44 THE ORIGIN OF ROMANCE VERSIFICATION 

and propose a similar origin for Old French (and Spanish) popular verse with 
the accent on uneven syllables, not assuming a change for French from 
*' trochaic " to " iambic " accentual rhythm. It becomes necessary to meet the 
difficulty he speaks of. This change (from rhythmical " trochaic " to rhythmical 
** iambic"), he says, '*a dd s'op^rer en m^me temps que la langue perdait 
toutes les ulti^mes, sauf V a . . . c'est-a-dire vers le VI 1 1^ siecle. Tous les 
vers frangais, a mon avis, remontent a cette periode, et ceux qui existaient 
auparavant devaient etre assez diff brents." Also we need to account for the 
restriction of the fixed accents in these French verses to one (or two when 
there is a caesura), and for the allowed syllable containing a feminine e at the 
end of the verse and just before the caesura, this syllable not being counted 
as altering the character of the verse. 

Of these three questions I take the last first. In the alternating type of 
accentual verse the general rhythm is the same whether the accents are on 
even or on uneven syllables. Unless you know how the verse begins you can- 
not tell which you have before you, and it could make no essential difference, 
either for Vulgar Latin or Old French, whether the last syllable is accented 
or not. The same explanation applies to feminine e before the caesura in 
mediaeval French verse, the pause giving the first part of the verse more or 
less the effect of a complete verse by itself. (I avoid the words "anacrusis," 
" catalectic," "acatalectic," "iambus," "trochee," "dimeter," "trimeter," 
etc., as properly to be used only of quantitative verse, as interfering with a 
clear perception of the facts in accentual verse, and as possibly confusing.) 

Next, a reduction in the number of accents is easily explained by the fact 
that even in a long verse not many are needed to fix the accentual rhythm 
(see above, pp. 38 ff.), and with the cultivation of the art of versification a 
reduction so great as is seen in the octosyllables of Chrdtien de Troyes, for 
instance, which have only one fixed accent, is intelligible, and it justifies itself 
by the effect on the ear when the verses are read aloud. Perhaps it is then 
necessary (as was previously usual) to have exactly eight syllables with the 
accent on the eighth ; otherwise the rhythm might be spoiled. But that 
originally there was not this one accent only is clear from the tenth-century 
verses in the 5/. Leger, where Gaston Paris {Romania, I, 294) found that out 
of 240 verses 222 show an accent on the fourth syllable. It is, therefore, by 
no means improbable that the original strict scheme called for an accent on 
all four even syllables. 

As to the first question, the difficulty which Paris found, it may be said 
that the Italian endecasillabo is sufficiently different from the French deca- 
syllabic, though the two verses are essentially identical, to make it uncertain 
whether the Italian form is derived from France. If it is not, then there 
seems to be at least one French form of verse for which it is scarcely possible 
to assume a change from rhythmical " trochaic " to rhythmical " iambic " 



SHELDON 

movement due to loss of certain vowels in Latin final syllables, which were 
not regularly lost in Italian. That Old French accentuation favors '' iambic " 
rhythm is true, but iambic verses were common in Latin too, and seem to 
have been easily composed in both metrical and rhythmical forms, quite as 
easily as trochaic verses. But, leaving aside the doubtful case of the rela- 
tion of the French decasyllabic to the Italian verse, I do not think the diffi- 
culty felt by Paris is really a serious one. A Vulgar Latin accentual verse 
with accents in general on the even syllables is so simple and easy a type for 
popular use that it could easily be retained, the old verses being changed, as 
changes became necessary, in various ways, for example, by addition of one 
or more syllables here and there, during the period while the Latin vowels 
were gradually ceasing to exist. The definite article may have been a very 
useful word, and perhaps masculine and feminine verse-endings were for a 
time not kept distinct so carefully as was the case later. The language change 
cannot have been a sudden one, and traces of the older pronunciation doubt- 
less lingered in the verse for some time after ordinary speech had completely 
lost the sounds in question. There must have been a time during which old 
and new pronunciations could be heard side by side, while the verse type 
remained unchanged. Perhaps neither ordinary speakers nor minstrels ever 
felt any embarrassment during this period of remarkable linguistic change or 
were even conscious of it. 

With the tendency to make old verse ictus and prose accent coincide ap- 
parent in the older popular alternating verse of Vulgar Latin, the question 
how classic Latin quantitative verses were read in the earlier Middle Ages, 
whether according to the prose accents ^ or not, loses almost all its importance 
for the view here presented of the origin of vernacular Romance verse. 
Metrical iambic and trochaic verses would naturally fall into the alternating 



1 Cf. Ramorino, " Pronunzia popolare dei versi quantitativi," and reviews of it, notably 
those in Romania, XXII, 574 ff. ; Litbl.f.germ. u. roman. Phil., XV, 1894, coll. 153-154 ; Revue 
Critique, N.S., XXXVIII, 500-501 (noteworthy is the citation from Virgilius Maro) ; Rassegna 
bibliogr. della lett. ital., I, 220-221. From this last I quote a few lines : 

" Alcune forme del dimetro giambico convengono con 1' endecasillabo sdrucciolo [the 
sdrucciolo ending I am inclined to look upon as an easy ItaUan development] : 

Phaselus ille quern videtis hospites. 

. , . Ma non in tutte le combinazioni d' accenti quei versi convengono coi nostri. Venendo poi 
ai versi italiani con accenti fissi, come il decasillabo, I'ottonario e in parte il senario, la teoria 
del Ramorino non trova applicazione se non dove 1' accento abbia preso il posto dell' arsi 
quantitativa. Cosl, per esempio, il paremiaco puro conviene col decasillabo nella forma 

Deus ignee fons animarum 

ma non nelle altre. Da cio s' intende che tra le forme dei versi classici, nelle varie combina- 
zioni dei loro accenti, il senso ritmico popolare fece una scelta : il cercare le ragioni di questa 
sarebbe un utile complemento alia bella memoria del Ramorino, che spiega in parte, ma non in 
tutto, le origini della nostra metrica." 



46 



THE ORIGIN OF ROMANCE VERSIFICATION 



accentual form, and other verses could scarcely become popular but remained 
learned, even though they might be attempted by men of very little learning. 
One might say that there was no " pronunzia popolare dei versi quantitativi 
latini " (except perhaps of iambics and trochaics) ; such learned or semi- 
learned verses were over the heads of the common people. At most one 
could speak of such pronunciation as that of more or less ignorant clerics. 

It is, to be sure, quite conceivable that some such semi-learned reading of 
metrical verses could, if of a sufficiently simple and unvarying character, 
become the basis for a popular form of verse (see above, p. 38). The sapphic 
verse, read with accents as in prose, has been proposed as the source of the 
Old French decasyllabic and the Italian endecasillabo, and a strong (though 
to me not convincing) and ingenious argument has been made for this opin- 
ion.i I have no intention of arguing against it here, but I call attention to 
the fact that the author does not deny influence of iambic verse (cf. pp. 265, 
276 of his book), and add that the sapphic verse read accentually becomes 
in most cases practically identical with the alternating type of verse assumed 
above as the source of the most popular forms of mediaeval verse in the 
Romance languages. Thus, Integer vitae scelerisque purus read in that man- 
ner is J- L L L — L_, where only the first accent is not strictly in 

place, and this variation is quite admissible. Some sapphics indeed would 
give at once the strict alternating form ; as, Non eget Mauris jaculis neqiie 
arcu. If quantitative sapphic verses were later read simply with accents 
as in prose, I suspect the real cause was the influence of Vulgar Latin 
alternating verse. 

1 See Francesco d' Ovidio, " Sull' origine dei versi italiani " (reprinted with additions from 
the Giomale storico della letteratura italiana, 1898) in his Versificazione italiana e arte poeiica 
medievale, Milan, 1910. 



THE SCULPTURES OF THE GOLDEN GATE 

AT FREIBERG 

KuNO Francke 

The two most comprehensive attempts to give a consistent interpretation 
of the sculptures adorning the portal of the Church of Our Lady at Freiberg 
in Saxony have been made by Anton Springer ^ on the one hand, and by 
O. Fischer 2 and R. von Mansberg^ on the other. 

Springer sees the fundamental idea of the whole in the mystic marriage 
between Christ and the Church, and all the scenes and figures of the portal 
he interprets as having a symbolic relation to this mystic marriage. *' They 
are rooted," he says,* ''in the conception that Christ, accompanied by numer- 
ous witnesses, weds himself to the Church ; they glorify Mary, as the visible 
incarnation of the Church and consequently as a symbolic substitute for the 
sponsa Christi ; and they exalt the heavenly Bridegroom of Judgment Day." 
The witnesses of the wedding Springer finds in the eight individual figures 
at the two sides of the door, whom he designates as Daniel, the Queen of 
Sheba, Solomon, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, David, Bathsheba, 
and Aaron ; and he shows in detail how every one of these figures by ecclesi- 
astical writers and poets of the Middle Ages has been brought into more or 
less direct connection with the union between Christ and the Church. The 
wedding itself he finds indicated in the relief of the tympanum, representing 
the Adoration of the Magi, and in the Coronation of Mary of the first archi- 
volt. The heavenly Bridegroom of Judgment Day he finds suggested in the 
Paradise and Resurrection scenes of the three upper archi volts. 

One needs only to summarize this interpretation in order to see its defects. 
For if the artist really had made the mystic marriage between Christ and the 
Church the central thought of his composition, he certainly would not have 
placed the Adoration of the Magi, a scene which is clearly not an adequate 
symbol of this marriage, in the very center of the whole portal ; and he would 
not have relegated the Coronation of Mary by Christ, a fit symbol of Christ's 
union with the Church, to a secondary and inconspicuous position in the archi- 
volts. As for the supposed glorification of the heavenly Bridegroom in the 

1 " Ueber die Quellen der Kunstdarstellungen im Mittelalter," in Berichte der sdchsischen 
Geselhchaft der Wissenschaften (1879), XXXI, i ff. 

2 " Die goldene Pforte zu Freiberg," in J^epefiorium filr A'tcnstwissenscha/t {i^^6), IX, 293 ff. 
* Daz hohe liet von der maget. Symbolik der Sktdpturen dergoldenen Pforte (1888). * p. 40. 

47 



48 SCULPTURES OF THE GOLDEN GATE AT FREIBERG 

Resurrection and Paradise scenes, this conjecture equals the conception of a 
play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out ; for there is not even a suggestion of 
the figure of Christ in these scenes. Springer's interpretation, then, in spite 
of its illuminating quality in the identification of individual figures, is too 
forced to be plausible as a whole. 

Fischer's and Mansberg's analysis is simpler and more natural. Both 
writers proceed from the Adoration of the Magi, the relief of the tympanum, 
as the center of all the various figures and scenes ; and they find in its sub- 
ject, the glorification of Mary, the keynote of the whole composition. To 
paraphrase some of Fischer's words, ^ the Golden Gate is a plastic hymn in 
praise of the Virgin, the iamia coeli. She appears as the center of all creation : 
below her, at the two sides of the door, patriarchs and prophets as represent- 
atives of the life on earth ; above her, in the inner archivolts, the heavenly 
hierarchy; in the outermost archivolt, redeemed and transfigured mankind 
reechoing the chorus of universal jubilation. 

Both the interpretations mentioned are largely based upon the testimony 
of mediaeval hymnology and homiletic literature ; neither of them adduces the 
testimony of the religious drama. And yet, it seems to me, the analogy of the 
Freiberg sculptures with a particular class of dramatic productions of the Middle 
Ages, the Christmas plays, is both obvious and fruitful .^ 

As Marius Sepet^ has shown, there is a close connection between the 
Christmas plays from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries and the so-called 
Prophet plays, dramatic scenes derived from a pseudo-Augustinian sermon, 
in which prophets and patriarchs of the Old Testament are called upon by 
St. Augustine to quote, one after another, their testimony about the coming of 
Christ and thereby to confound the opposition of the Jews against the expected 
Messiah. The names of these witnesses to Christ's coming and the manner 
in which they are introduced vary in the different plays. In the troparium 
of Limoges* — to mention a few of the more important of these plays — 
St. Augustine is replaced by the precentor, and the witnesses called by him 
are Israel, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Habakkuk, David, Simeon, Eliza- 
beth, John the Baptist, Virgil, Nebuchadnezzar, and the Sibyl. In thcfestum 
asinorum of Rouen,^ Israel is omitted, but there are added fifteen other wit- 
nesses, among them Aaron, Balaam and his ass, and Zacharias. In the Bene- 
diktbeuren Christmas play,^ St. Augustine, supported by Isaiah, Daniel, the 
Sibyl, and Balaam, engages in an eager dispute with the archisynagogus and 
the Jews about the Messianic prophecies ; and finally, when neither his own 

^ Repertorium fiir Ktinstw., IX, 294-296. 

2 I have briefly suggested this analogy in my Handbook of the Germanic Museum of Harvard 
University (1906), p. 17. ^ Les Prophetes du Christ, pp. 147 ff. 

* Ed. Coussemaker, Drames liturgiques du moyen dge^ pp. 1 1 ff. 
^ Ed. Ducange, III, 460 f., s.v.festum asinorum. 
6 Ed. Froning, Das Drama des Mittelalters, III, 877 ff. 



FRANCKE 49 

arguments nor the words of the prophets are sufficient to convince his oppo- 
nents, he resorts to a demonstratio ad octtlos : the performance of the Nativity 
itself, beginning with the Annunciation and ending with the death of Herod.^ 
The St. Gall Christmas play ^ differs from all the preceding plays in this, that 
here the controversial character of the pseudo-Augustinian tradition is entirely 
effaced. The prophets — they are Moses, Balaam, David, Solomon, Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, Daniel, Micah — testify, not at somebody's bidding, but of their 
own accord ; they step forth one after another and each of them tells of a 
particular phase of the work of salvation to be carried out by Christ. One of 
the characters, Daniel, includes even an account of the Resurrection of the 
Flesh in his prophecy. After these eight speeches there follows the Nativity 
play proper, from Mary's betrothal to Joseph to the Slaughter of the Innocents 
and the Flight into Egypt.^ 

There is no need of a formal argument to prove that in this combination 
of Prophet and Nativity plays we have a striking parallel to the most con- 
spicuous part of the sculptures of the Freiberg portal : the eight prophet 
figures at the right and left of the door and the relief of the Adoration of 
the Magi, one of the most important scenes of the Nativity cycle, in the 
tympanum. Instead of calling the Golden Gate either, with Springer, a plastic 
representation of the mystic marriage between Christ and the Church, or, 
with Fischer and Mansberg, a plastic hymn to the Virgin, we may call at least 
this part of it a Christmas play in stone. 

But even the remaining part of this composition, the plastic ornament of 
the archivolts, receives, it seems to me, a better explanation by connecting it 
with the joyous, idyllic character of the dramatic representations of the Christ- 
mas cycle than by any other literary parallel. The subject of the innermost 
archivolt, the Coronation of Mary, although apparently it has never formed an 
actual part of the Christmas cycle, may be designated as potentially a joyful 
finale of all those charming scenes which lead from the Annunciation to the 
Flight into Egypt. As for the other three archivolts, the treatment of their 
central theme, the Resurrection of the Flesh and the reception of the blessed 
in Paradise, is marked by the same serenity and hopefulness of expression 
which characterizes the Christmas idyl ; the terror of Doomsday is entirely 
absent from it. 

At the same time, it is just the conception of Judgment Day which con- 
nects these scenes no less than the Adoration scene of the tympanum with 
the figures of the prophets at the sides of the door. For the Last Judgment 

1 A Tirolese Christmas play of the fifteenth century (Pichler, Das Drama des Mittelalters 
in Tirol, pp. 5 ff.) shows Isaiah and Ezekiel disputing with the Jews. In an Erlau Christmas 
play (Kummer, Erlauer Spiele, p. 5) only the protest of the Jews is left of the scene. 

2 Ed. Joseph Klapper, in Gemianistische Abhandlungen, XXI, 77-87. The introduction, 
pp. 53 f., has a good analysis of the Prophet scene. 

3 Vv. 245 ff. 



50 SCULPTURES OF THE GOLDEN GATE AT FREIBERG 

is, beside the Nativity, the great subject of Christian prophecy ; and it is sig- 
nificant that the oldest German Judgment play is introduced, like the Christmas 
plays, by a Prophet scene. ^ 

Two figures in the group of prophets at the Golden Gate seem to me to 
have a particular reference to the Resurrection and Paradise scenes of the 
archivolts : the two women next to Solomon and David. Anton Springer calls 
them the Queen of Sheba and Bathsheba, and he finds in their relation to Sol- 
omon and David symbols of the mystic marriage between Christ and the Church. 
I prefer to call both of them Sibyls, although the figure next to Solomon might 
retain the designation proposed by Springer in a somewhat modified sense, 
since the Queen of Sheba in mediaeval tradition is often identified with a 
Sibyl. It is she who prophesies to Solomon the birth of Christ, the redemp- 
tion of mankind by his death, the subsequent decay of church and empire, the 
advent of Antichrist, and the Last Judgment.^ The name of Bathsheba for 
the woman next to David, it seems to me, should not be retained ; ^ nothing 
prevents us from seeing in her an illustration of the line " teste David cum 
Sibilla." She is clearly a counterpart of the woman companion of Solomon, 
and both correspond to the stage directions of the ordinarium of Rouen : 
" Sibylla coronata et muliebri habitu ornata." ^ 

1 Rudolf Klee, Das mittelhochdeutsche Spiel vom jungsten Tage, pp. 69 ff. The prophetic 
personages appearing here are Joel, Zephaniah, St. Gregory, Job, and St. Jerome. Cf. Karl 
Reuschel, " Die deutschen Weltgerichtsspiele," in Teutonia, IV, iioff. 

2 Cf. " Sibillen Boich," ed. Schade, in Geistliche Gedichte des 14. und 75*. Jahrhunderts vom 
Niederrhein, pp. 303 ff. ; F. Vogt, " Sibyllen Weissagung," in PBB., IV, 86 ff. 

3 Mansberg's designation of this figure as Ecclesia would demand as its counterpart on the 
other side of the door an impersonation of the Synagoga — which is absent. 

* Ducange, s.\. feslum asinorum. — Through Lactantius, Inst. Div., I, 6, the conception of 
the ten Sibyls had become common property of mediaeval tradition. The appearance of a Sibyl 
in the troparium of Limoges and the Benediktbeuren Christmas play has been noted above. 
Two Sibyls together with eight Prophets are found on Syrlin's Bishop's Chair of Ulm Cathedral. 



A FANTASY CONCERNING THE EPITAPH 
OF SHAKSPERE 

Barrett Wendell 

" Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear 
To dig the dust enclosed here," 

and so on. Just where these hnes may have come from I know not; nor 
whether they are frequent on old gravestones. They are on Shakspere's ; 
and Shakspere's has stayed inviolate in Stratford Church for almost three 
hundred years. 

Unless my memory is all at fault, the doggerel character of this quatrain 
has been presented as an argument against the authenticity of Shakspere's 
plays and poems. Whoever wrote these, the whole world would grant, was the 
greatest poet of our literature. Whoever wrote Shakspere's epitaph wrote 
sad stuff. Tradition attributes the verses to him. Grant the tradition true, 
and you have proved him beneath the level of the poetry set forth in his 
name, if not of all poetry whatsoever. 

To pretend, in view of this most reasonable argument, that his epitaph 
has in it true Shaksperean quality may seem preposterous. The poems of 
Shakspere were addressed to the cultivated and fashionable taste of his time ; 
and accordingly are highly studied. The plays of Shakspere were addressed 
to the popular audiences of his time ; and accordingly, though often so care- 
less as to warrant the stricture that he wanted art, are constantly and freely 
ingenious. The epitaph of Shakspere is assumed to have been addressed to 
posterity ; it is poor stuff, even in view of the posterity which curdles about 
us nowadays ; unstudied, devoid of ingenuity, it reveals him, lying there, in 
all the nudity of the vulgar commonplace actually his when he lived and 
moved and had his being under Queen Elizabeth and King James. How any 
sane man nowadays can call it Shaksperean passes belief. 

Something of this would have troubled me until a few years ago. One 
autumn day I chanced to be in Stratford Church, looking at the grave old 
stone, and marvelling a little that it had stayed undisturbed. England is an 
older country than our America ; more used, by centuries, to the dusty accu- 
mulation of death. Instead of filling barren fields with new and ever new and 
swelling generations of the departed, the English can always find room for 
those who seek sepulture in the ancient and inextensive acres of the Lord. 
The incumbent of an English parish, they say, generally has a fee for every 

SI 



52 EPITAPH OF SHAKSPERE 

burial in his church or his churchyard. Wherefore, since before the Conquest, 
there has been no want of room in either. Yet Shakspere still rests beneath 
the stone they put above him when the flowers on his grave were fresh. Match 
this security in all England, if you can. Even royal dust has blown about in 
the winds of three centuries ; this repose of Shakspere's is almost unique, 
when you reflect that, at the utmost, he was finally a small, self-made country 
gentleman, with neither heir male nor considerable estate. 

Ruminating thus, I happened to observe, in the church wall at my left, — 
close beside the newly colored bust of the poet, on whose hazel eyes the after- 
noon sun cast a revivifying gleam, — the outline of a walled-up doorway. You 
can see it in any photograph of the chancel wall ; it is within an easy stone- 
toss of the grave where Shakspere lies in his wondrously prolonged peace. 
A verger — or whatever they call the black-gowned being who watches you, 
and takes your fees, in such places — chanced to be at my elbow. I carelessly 
asked him where that door had led to. He didn't rightly know, he said ; but 
the story was that it used to lead to the charnel house. If so, it had been 
walled up when that grim sanctuary for the communion of the dust had been 
done away with. 

Now whether this tradition has in it a particle of truth I do not pretend to 
know ; nor yet have I any purpose of inquiring. At least it has been a local 
tradition at Stratford, in all likelihood neither more nor less worthy of credence 
than that which attributes to Shakspere himself the invention, or the selection, 
of the doggerel quatrain still above whatever may be left of his mouldering 
human frame. The one truth above perad venture here is that the two distinct 
traditions completely harmonize, each defining the other. In this harmony, 
and only in this, the lines at last sound Shaksperean. 

For look at what little sure record remains of the life of him. A man who 
had his way to make made the same, in a material way, respectably. When 
his savings from his earnings got to be palpable, he began to buy land ; 
at about the same time, his evidently ruined father managed to have arms 
granted him — a luxury which demanded at least fees. The inference of com- 
mon sense is that Shakspere, as a sound and sensible Englishman, desired 
to pass his later years, and to face eternity, in the character of an English 
gentleman, who could put forward some formal claim to having inherited 
his quality. The choice of his burial spot, in the mid-chancel of his parish 
church, crowns the story. The man might have sunk to obscurity among the 
vulgar ; he chose to rise above them — or else recorded facts imply nothing 
whatever concerning his earthly aspirations. 

Yet he did not really found a family ; neither did he leave such a fortune 
as should be apt to preserve the memory of him, as a man, very long after 
decent friends had laid him in a decent grave. Nowadays, of course, he is 
immortal. In his own time, he was a successful playwright and manager, — 



WENDELL 



53 



a man, apart from his recent arms and his petty estate, of about such con- 
sideration as a prosperous reporter might be among ourselves, or one who 
draws good pictures for a popular magazine. Personally, in the country, he 
was respectable enough; professionally, in London, he had been at best 
Bohemian. The tavern scenes in Henry /F portray such surroundings as 
those in which the corpse of Robert Greene was traditionally laurel-crowned 
by a hostess who might have gossipped with her of the Boar's Head in East- 
cheap ; such surroundings as those in which tradition has it that Christopher 
Marlowe met his end amid company such as Doll Tearsheet ornamented ; such 
surroundings as bred the deathless poetry of the Elizabethan drama. To the 
charnel house they went, most of them, almost before their dust was dry — 
Greene and Marlowe, Falstaff and Nym and Pistol, Hostess and Doll. The 
charnel house awaited the skull of Yorick, when Hamlet had done with com- 
menting on the empty vanity thereof. Imperial Caesar himself, when left 
unburned, might well stop holes. Not a sepulchre of sovereign antiquity but 
has oped his ponderous and marble jaws. What was to become of that 
where some small country gentry, hardly yet acknowledged as such, should 
deposit the kindly Bohemian, whose shrewd savings had made them a bit 
better in this world than he or than his forbears, who were theirs } 

In the year of grace 1616, the answer to this obvious question obviously 
lay mostly in the discretion of a fairly obvious line of small functionaries — 
namely, the successive sextons of Stratford Church. When the parson thereof, 
in time to come, should happen to want space, for a new fee, he would prob- 
ably address himself to the sexton for advice as to where such space might 
best be found. Any normal sexton would be disposed to choose it as near 
the charnel house as might be ; it is easier to toss bones a stone's throw than 
to manage their reburial, or to carry them, or to wheel them, across a bubbly 
churchyard. Stratford chancel was a fine place for a small gentleman to lie 
in, but perilously near that practicable doorway in its northern wall. An hour's 
work on the part of the gravedigger, and bones laid there in King James's 
time might well mingle with those of previous generations long before the 
seventeenth century had run its course ; which would have been comfortable 
enough for the gravedigger, but deeply unwelcome to one of the departed 
who in life had loved personal consideration. 

In such circumstance, the most prudent course for a man of sense would 
evidently have been to address himself, as cogently as might be, to the grave- 
diggers. How well Shakspere understood this kind of creature is implied in 
Hamlet. Just there, he had no need of touching on one phase of such char- 
acter pretty certain to influence action — its superstition. To your gravedigger, 
your dead man is a dead man, until something occurs to suggest that he may 
somehow or somewhere be alive ; then your gravedigger may perhaps display 
a degree of respect for your dead man's prejudices remarkably different from 



54 



EPITAPH OF SHAKSPERE 



his stolid disregard of the dead in general. No sane gravedigger has senti- 
mental scruples about corpses ; few gravediggers of the seventeenth century 
can have had eager liking for the visitations of ghosts. 

Suppose, then, that the lines above the dust of Shakspere were addressed 
not to posterity but to the sextons who might at will have cast what was left 
of him through the open door of Stratford charnel house. Suppose that for 
a century the lines gave hesitation to sextons who loved their stoups of liquor 
and their night's sleep. Remember that for the two ensuing centuries that 
grave has been a shrine of pilgrimage, almost as curious as it has been reverent. 
Remember that the stone still stays undisturbed. Then, for sheer power of 
human appeal, match the epitaph, if you can. If you cannot, ask yourself 
whether after all, invented or selected, no matter which, it is not supremely 
Shaksperean. 

But do not forget, the while, that this is no piece of laborious scholarship ; 
I have offered you only a fantasy, sprung from the stray word of a Stratford 
verger, one autumn afternoon, years ago. 



^ 



JOHNSON AND HIS FRIENDSHIPS 

Charles Townsend Copeland 

Boswell's Life of Johnson, without contest the best biography in the world, 
probably has at least a hundred readers for one that ever looks into the Diary 
and Letters oi Madame D'Arblay — Madame D'Arblay, who began life as 
Fanny Burney. And if one book is to be read and the other neglected, it 
were well that a thousand persons should study Boswell for one that looks at 
Burney. But 'tis pity that every reader of Boswell and lover of Johnson 
should not also know the Diary. 

For Boswell, with all his variety, gives an idea of Johnson that is as in- 
complete as it is vividly dramatic. I know that Johnson appears in those 
magical pages, those realized scenes, not only as Johnson loquens, Johnson 
the King of his Company, but also as the sage, the moralist, the genial and 
humorous companion, the friend to his friends, the pitying helper of the poor. 
Yet who rises from each fresh perusal of Boswell without a strong, renewed 
impression of Dr. Johnson as the arch talker, holding the field against all 
comers.? He congratulated Boswell one morning — late one morning — on 
the fact that they had had '* good talk " the night before. To which Boswell 
answered that his revered friend had indeed '* tossed and gored " a number 
of persons. And if Johnson's rejoinders were often taurine, the picador that 
maddened him was a Scotchman. Now Boswell knew what he was about, in 
his tactics, his records, and his book. The unity of the book is plain. Toss- 
ing and goring must predominate. Johnson must talk for victory. The opposer 
must be vanquished, though he be Reynolds, or Garrick, or Goldsmith. Even 
Burke must usually be no better than a good second. The magnificent man 
himself said that he was content to ring the bell for Johnson. 

Yet, as I have said, the arch biographer was not content to show John- 
son ever rampant. He varied his unity by exhibiting '' the big man " (as 
Goldsmith, in pure Irish, once called him) in many another light. And 
one important aspect, revealed long after in Miss Burney's diary, Boswell 
knew, lacked, and greatly desired. If Miss Burney had given him the 
help he wanted, her name might have appeared more often and more illus- 
triously in the Life. She would neither lend him her letters from Johnson, nor 
put him in the way of any knowledge on the subject. It was not for lack of 
urging, and one of the most entertaining pages in the Diary is the account 
of how Boswell pressed his ardent suit. Lovers might pattern after him. It 

55 



56 JOHNSON AND HIS FRIENDSHIPS 

was in 1790, Miss Burney being then at Windsor attending upon Queen 
Charlotte, that the biographer lay in wait for her at the choir gates. He peti- 
tioned for some of " her choice little notes of the Doctor. . . . Grave Sam," 
he explained, " and great Sam, and solemn Sam, and learned Sam, all these 
he has appeared over and over. ... I want to show him as gay Sam, agree- 
able Sam, pleasant Sam ; so you must help me with some of his beautiful 
billets to yourself." The lady evasive, the suitor importunate, he followed her 
up to the castle gate, where he actually read her a letter from defenseless Sam 
to himself. People now began to gather, to see the king and queen, who were 
approaching from the Terrace. Miss Burney was freed at last, and ran away 
to her own rooms. Thus did the Beefeater break the dramatic deadlock in 
Sheridan's glorious farce. '' In the Queen's name I charge you all to drop 
your swords and daggers." 

What wouldn't Boswell have given for Fanny's account, written to her 
'' Daddy " Crisp, of her first meeting with Johnson ? This took place at her 
father's house, St. Martin's Street, in the year 1777, the famous man being 
sixty-eight, the young woman — soon to be famous herself — about twenty- 
five. Dr. Johnson '' kept his friendships in repair " by associating constantly 
with younger people. 

Much music was in progress at Dr. Burney's, — a professionally musical 
house ; and in the midst of it, " before the second movement was come to a 
close. Dr. Johnson was announced." When the music was well over, there 
was much talk ; and Fanny, like most women when Dr. Johnson was in form, 
found herself bewitched. Nor was the spell relaxed to the end of Johnson's 
life. On this first occasion Dr. Burney began to '' draw " him with the men- 
tion of an impending concert by Bach, then established in England and very 
well known. ''The Doctor, comprehending his drift, good-naturedly put away 
his book, and see-sawing, with a very humorous smile, drolly repeated : ' Bach, 
Sir .? — Bach's concert .? And pray, Sir, who is Bach .? Is he a piper .? ' " 

Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale were in merry pin. From lively sally the 
two passed to comparing complimentary notes from Mrs. Montagu. Honors 
being easy, Dr. Burney suggested that the two ladies must get Johnson be- 
tween them that day and see which could flatter him most — Mrs. Montagu 
or Mrs. Thrale. '' I had rather," said the Doctor, very composedly, ''go to 
Bach's concert." Not much of solemn Sam here. This gay little scene, like 
many another in Burney's drama, is far enough from the disputations at the 
Turk's Head, and, except for the lurking humor in Rasselas, immeasurably 
far from that melancholy fable. 

Miss Burney soon became a frequent visitor at Streatham, the Thrales' 
ample villa, where Johnson had the prophet's chamber and for sixteen years 
passed more than half his time. And although Miss Burney (and still more 
Mrs. Thrale in her Anecdotes) tell of Johnson's rugged manners and of some 



COPELAND 57 

terrible outbursts on his part, the total impression remains of brilliant talk, 
happy days, and midnight conversation very different from that in Hogarth's 
picture. At Streatham, too, as in all other places, Johnson's onslaughts were 
often witty and sometimes humorous. We that, like David, are delivered out 
of the paw of the bear, cannot much deplore the blow that fell on the young 
man who, one day at Streatham, said suddenly to Johnson : — '' ' Mr. Johnson, 
would you advise me to marry ? ' 'I would advise no man to marry. Sir,' re- 
turns for answer in a very angry tone Dr. Johnson, ' who is not Ukely to 
propagate understanding,' and so left the room." But now observe what fol- 
lowed. Mrs. Thrale, then of course Mrs. Piozzi, tells the anecdote ; and adds 
that Johnson came back directly, drew his chair among them, and '' with 
altered looks and a softened voice . . . insensibly led the conversation to the 
subject of marriage." He then spoke so wisely and so kindly that, in 
Mrs. Thrale's concluding words, '' no one ever recollected the offence except 
to rejoice in its consequences." Perhaps the young man did not quite forget. 
Perhaps, when he married, he chose a wife without any conspicuous gift for 
repartee. 

No doubt Johnson often turned on Mrs. Thrale and Hannah More ; he 
once displeased Mrs. Montagu mightily ; and once he had a fierce dispute — 
fierce on his side — with Mrs. Knowles, the Quaker lady, who was not with- 
out the pertinacity sometimes attributed to her sect. Her offense was the 
more heinous in that Dr. Johnson was clearly worsted. In general, however, 
he was gay and agreeable in the company of clever and charming women, with 
whom he spent much time in the twenty years of his life that are the only 
well-known period of it. As poor Miss Reynolds said, he was never intention- 
ally '' asperous." . •" 

It is no blame to Bos well that delightful little parties, even had he been 
present at many of them, — where Johnson differed from other people chiefly 
in being more interesting than they, — should have evaded a method that needed 
strong effects for its complete success. Boswell was perhaps aware of this 
difficulty, for often — whether women were present or not — he would record 
a spirited encounter, with Johnson on his highest horse ; and then dismiss the 
rest of the conversation by saying that for the remainder of the evening the 
great man was ''in good humor." Nothing consolidates friendship more firmly 
than meetings where every one is in good humor, but even a Boswell can't 
make his best copy out of them. Of one such meeting he says, **The general 
effect of this day dwells upon my mind in fond remembrance ; but I do not 
find much conversation recorded." We read Johnson's best retorts with keen 
delight, agreeing with Garrick's brother that he was ''a tremendous com- 
panion " : Johnson was a fond remembrance in the minds of many wise and 
clever people, and for the most part the memory died with them. Boswell 
tried to supply part of this deficiency when he begged Miss Burney for her 



58 JOHNSON AND HIS FRIENDSHIPS 

" beautiful little billets." Moreover, when a friend writes that, to have Dr. John- 
son at his best, one must have him to oneself, the statement sets us thinking 
how many quiet, lost talks must have taken place in that past century of time. 
Fanny Burney relates one of these. She must have thojight of many others 
on the last morning of all, when she sat weeping on the stairs, waiting to be 
summoned to the dying man's room. Burke's final visit connotes long years 
of companionship, grave and gay, of which the high disputations formed only 
a part, though no doubt a great part. What passed between Johnson and 
Dr. Taylor in Taylor's long grief and perplexity t We shall never knOw, for 
the surviving letters are an imperfect record. Whatever it was, it made the 
two men more significant to each other. Johnson's "frisk" with Langton 
and Beauclerk, the two collegians who roused him at three o'clock one 
morning, makes all who read of it regret that oblivion has swallowed most 
episodes in Johnson's long intercourse with two men who were thirty years 
younger than he. The frisk is immortal, and deserves to be. Where are the 
genial dealings, tete-a-tete, between Johnson and Beauclerk ? One or two of 
that sad dog's speeches show how genial they must have been. In Beauclerk's 
last illness Johnson exclaimed, ''with a voice faultering with emotion, 'Sir, 
I would walk to the extent of the diameter of the earth to save Beauclerk.' " 
Thanks partly to Boswell, partly to Goldsmith's desire to " get in and shine," 
he and Johnson often had encounters in which " Doctor Minor " was usually 
worsted. But Johnson sold The Vicar of Wakefield for him, and sent him 
a guinea (once, we know ; often, we suspect). What the deep relations were 
between the two, is clear from a well-worn anecdote. Johnson is never known 
to have made a direct apology more than a very few times, or to more than 
a very few persons. On an evening in 1773, however, — Boswell relates — 
Goldsmith "sat silently brooding" at the Club "over Johnson's reprimand 
to him after dinner. Johnson perceived this, and said aside to some of us : 
' I '11 make Goldsmith forgive me ' ; and then called to him in a loud voice : 
' Dr. Goldsmith, — something passed to-day where you and I dined ; I ask your 
pardon.' Goldsmith answered placidly, ' It must be much from you. Sir, that 
I take ill.' " The credit here, in my opinion, is all with Goldsmith ; but the 
silent resentment and the angelic forgiveness throw a flood of light on the 
friendship between Johnson and Goldsmith. It depended little on club suppers 
and the fortunes of debate. Let us be thankful for what we have. 

In another matter not unconnected with the friendly Johnson, as partly 
distinguished from Johnson the talker for victory, Jowett, so long Master of 
Balliol College, has a word to say. It is in a letter published by Dr. Birkbeck 
Hill, Johnso7iianissimus, that Jowett surmises Boswell to have represented 
Johnson too uniformly as " sage and philosopher." In my opinion, Jowett's 
surmise is correct. Boswell knew that his book would contain too little of 
the Doctor of Laws who was capable, to use Miss Hannah More's word, of 



COPELAND 



59 



gallanting young ladies from supper to conversazione. But he appears not to 
have realized that, in order to round the Doctor out, the Club should figure 
much more often in his account. At the Club .the great men were very club- 
able and merry. They drank the Dean of Derry's claret, and eat stewed veal 
and pullets, and listened to Goldsmith's songs. Those Monday evenings in 
Gerard Street were not occasions for Boswell to follow his favorite employ- 
ment of stimulating Johnson to consecutive utterance on all sorts of subjects. 
No doubt he talked. He could n't help it ; though, like a ghost, he never 
spoke first. But at the Club he talked more like a gigantic good fellow, less 
like a dictator; and laughed much, ''blowing out his breath like a whale," and 
sometimes calling out, ''Who 's for punch.?" According to Garrick, that was 
one of the words Johnson always spoke in the Lichfield accent, — poonsh. 
Garrick says too, by the way, — now that we speak of mirthfulness, — "he 
gives you a forcible hug, and shakes laughter out of you whether you will 
or no." Sir John Hawkins, Johnson's first biographer, remarked of him : 
" He was the most humorous man I ever knew." " Dr. Johnson," said 
Fanny Burney (who, remember, knew him only after he had passed the 
grand climacteric) — " Dr. Johnson has more fun, and comical humor, and 
love of nonsense than almost anybody I ever knew." " I never knew a man 
to laugh more heartily," is Boswell's own report. Happily he lets us hear that 
laugh from time to time. Would that he had told more of the Club ! But, 
as we have agreed, it is hard to be any man's Boswell when the man is 
merely happy. 

Boswell was too great an artist, however, not to sound the whole gamut, 
and strike the note of that awful melancholy which, Johnson said, had made 
his life " radically wretched," and kept him always near the verge of madness. 
The cold passion of art, like the hotter ones, drives out pity. Boswell knew, 
from more than one source, Johnson's fear of death, with which his melan- 
choly was closely linked. " I mentioned to him that I had seen the execution 
of several convicts at Tyburn, two days before, and that none of them seemed 
to be under any concern. Johnson. ' Most of them, Sir, have never 
thought at all.' Boswell. ' But is not the fear of death natural to man.?' 
Johnson. ' So much so. Sir, that the whole of life is but keeping away the 
thoughts of it.' " Johnson has been blamed for this morbid terror, but even 
our enlightened republic has not established the entente cordiale with the 
King of Terrors. 

Too much an artist to leave Johnson's melancholy unnoted, Boswell was 
far too good an artist to let it appear often or unrelieved. It was when John- 
son was alone that the enemy conquered him. In his published Prayers and 
Meditations the enemy is never far away. Yet, as with Lincoln, this dark 
undertow of the stream of life helped dignify the man to his friends. And 
the knowledge of it makes his humor strangely attractive. 



6o JOHNSON AND HIS FRIENDSHH^S 

Many of Johnson's friends were of low degree. It is well known that he 
literally loved the poor, and that he gave in charity at least two thirds of his 
pension of three hundred pounds a year. The " dear old friend " of the fol- 
lowing passage from Prayers ami Meditations was a faithful servant in his 
mother's family. 

Oct. 1 8, 1767, Sunday. 

Yesterday, Oct. 17 at about ten in the morning I took my leave for ever of my dear 
old friend Catherine Chambers, who came to live with my mother about 1 724, and has been 
but little parted from us since. She buried my father, my brother, and my mother. She is 
now fifty-eight years old. 

I desired all to withdraw, then told her that we were to part for ever, that as Christians 
we should part with prayer, and that I would if she was willing, say a short prayer beside 
her. She expressed great desire to hear me, and held up her poor hands, as she lay in bed, 
with great fervour, while I prayed, kneeling by her, nearly in the following words : 

" Almighty and most merciful Father, whose loving kindness is over all thy works, be- 
hold, visit, and relieve this thy servant who is grieved with sickness. Grant that the sense 
of her weakness may add strength to her faith, and seriousness to her repentance. And 
grant that by the help of thy Holy Spirit after the pains and labours of this short life, we 
may all obtain everlasting happiness through Jesus Christ our Lord, for whose sake hear 
our prayers. Amen. Our Father." 

I then kissed her. She told me that to part was the greatest pain that she had ever 
felt, and that she hoped we should meet again in a better place. I expressed with swelled 
eyes and great emotion of tenderness the same hopes. We kissed and parted. I humbly 
hope, to meet again, and to part no more. 

The world has forgotten many grander religious documents. It will not 
forget these deep tones of trembling hope, spoken with utter simplicity in a 
simpler age than ours. 

I have said that Dr. Johnson loved the poor, because his charity began 
(and continued) where the charity of most of us misanthropic philanthropists 
comes to an end, — at home. For did he not fill his house with defeated be- 
ings who had no other friend } We know them all, and how they hated one 
another, poor things. Like everything and everybody connected with Johnson 
in his great days — his bitter earlier life he could scarce bear to speak of — 
they are all a part of literature. Blind Miss Williams ; the unsuccessful old 
medical man, Levett; Mrs. Desmoulins and '' Poll " ; Frank, the black servant, 
and Hodge, the cat, — they are all in the saga. '' I recollect him one day," 
says Boswell, ''scrambling up Dr. Johnson's breast apparently with much satis- 
faction, while my friend, smiling and half-whistling, rubbed down his back, 
and pulled him by the tail ; and when I observed he was a fine cat, saying, 
' Why yes. Sir, but I have had cats whom I have liked better than this ' ; and 
then, as if perceiving Hodge to be out of countenance, adding, 'but he is a 
very fine cat, a very fine cat indeed.' " Johnson himself used to go out and 
buy oysters for Hodge, rather than run the risk of making any one else dislike 
him. Immortal Hodge ! 



COPELAND 



6i 



Oddly enough, one member of Johnson's forlorn family group inspired 
him to his best short poem. These ''sacred verses," as Thackeray called 
them, were written after the death of Levett. Not great, only noble and 
tender, the sometimes heavy lines are lifted by impassioned sincerity into the 
realm of poetry. 

Not all of him we celebrate, then, is to be found in Boswell. And, though 
no trait of Johnson is neglected, taking the Life and Hebrides together, dra- 
matic grouping and triumphant talk leave the main impression. Wit never 
yet made a friend. It has indeed made many enemies. It lost an Irishman 
a bishopric and an American the Presidency. But wit such as Johnson's, in 
such a record as Boswell's, keeps ever renewing its delighted audiences. Tren- 
chant wit, sound sense, the glint of paradox, a readiness of retort that sur- 
prises even those who, like Jowett, have read the book fifty times over, — 
these are among the qualities that make Boswell's Johnson incomparable. 
Boswell is incomparable, because there is no one to compare him with ; in- 
imitable, too, I judge, as no man has dared to imitate him. 

How far was the biographer a friend t As far as who goes farthest, Carlyle 
would have us believe. Certainly, whatever his shortcomings may have been, 
Boswell has atoned by bringing Johnson ten thousand friends for every one 
he would have had without that great artist. Whenever Boswell's readers be- 
come also readers of Burney, and Thrale, and Johnson's own letters, they 
increase and diversify their friendship for a great man. 



THE DATE OF HEGETOR 
Albert A. Howard 

Vitruvius, the Roman architect, in the fifteenth chapter of his tenth book, 
has given a detailed account of a huge battering-ram and the shed from which 
it was operated, the invention of Hegetor of Byzantium. The same invention 
is described in practically identical terms by the Greek mechanician Athe- 
naeus, in his work Uepl My'^avq/jLarcov, and also by a later anonymous 
writer of Byzantium who obviously drew his information almost exclusively 
from Athenaeus ; but none of these writers has contributed any information 
by which either the date of Hegetor or facts regarding his life can be estab- 
lished, and the name of this engineer, not elsewhere mentioned in either 
Greek or Roman literature, does not appear in any of the classical dictiona- 
ries in German, French, or English. Possibly the man is too insignificant to 
deserve any extended notice, but as he has appeared to me no less worthy 
than many who have been accorded a place in the Pauly-Wissowa Encyclo- 
pddie, I have thought it worth while to attempt to rescue from oblivion this 
ancient engineer, and, by indicating the time at which he probably lived, to 
secure for him, if possible, a place in future classical dictionaries. 

Pretty certainly the elaborate engine designed by Hegetor, and clearly re- 
garded by the ancients as the limit of audacity in the construction of siege 
machinery, belongs in the period after the battering-ram was perfected, and 
this period is shown by the evidence of ancient writers to have been the 
middle of the fourth century b.c, immediately following the campaigns of 
Alexander, and his death. 

The history of the invention and development of the battering-ram is 
given by Vitruvius (x, 13) and by Athenaeus, the mechanician, who states 
that his account is derived from Agesistratus, a writer on military engines, 
and is in substance as follows. While the Carthaginians were besieging 
Gades, some of the soldiers, taking in their hands a long beam, ran with it 
against the wall and, by repeated blows, burst for themselves a passage. A 
Tyrian shipwright, Pephrasmenus by name, improved this primitive ram by 
setting up a mast from the summit of which he suspended by a cable the 
beam, like the arm of a steelyard. The beam was then swung in such man- 
ner as to knock down the successive courses of masonry. Geras, a Chalce- 
donian, next set this ram on a framed base mounted on wheels, and built 
over it a shed to protect the soldiers who operated it. Later, when Philip, 

63 



64 THE DATE OF HEGETOR 

son of Amyntas, was besieging Byzantium (340 u.c), his architect, Polyeidus, 
improved the invention, which his pupils Charias and Diades, who served 
under Alexander in his campaigns, perfected. 

Having thus determined with some probability the time after which 
Hegetor constructed his ram, there remains to fix, if possible, the time be- 
fore which it must have been built. The solution of this problem depends 
somewhat on our ability to determine the date of the mechanician Athenaeus, 
who in the treatise already mentioned describes the ram of Hegetor, and in 
the introduction to his work implies that he was himself a pupil of Agesistra- 
tus, and states definitely that Agesistratus was the pupil of the Apollonius 
who, in the harbor of Rhodes, loaded into ships and unloaded from them on 
the dock stones of such enormous weight that those witnessing the sight were 
amazed that such operations were at all possible. This Apollonius, called by 
Hultsch in Pauly's Encyclopddie (No. 113) an Athenian, is mentioned in 
only one other place in literature and that, obviously, derived from this 
passage of Athenaeus, so that, in fact, no evidence whatever as to his nation- 
ality exists. Assuming, however, as is not improbable, that these enormous 
stones mentioned by Athenaeus were used in the construction of the walls 
and fortifications of Rhodes, we m^y draw from the story an inference 
as to the date of Apollonius. For the fortifications of Rhodes were cer- 
tainly in an advanced state of completion before the famous siege of that 
city by Demetrius Poliorcetes (308 B.C.), as appears from the evidence of 
Diodorus Siculus (xx, 95), who, in his account of the siege, speaks of towers 
built of stones four feet square, which are perhaps the very stones re- 
ferred to above. If then we are right in assigning this date to Apollonius, 
the date of his pupil's pupil, Athenaeus, should fall somewhere in the third 
century B.C., and in confirmation of this date there is other corroborative 
evidence. 

The treatise of Athenaeus is dedicated to a Roman named Marcellus, who 
is addressed as ae/xvorare MdpKeWe, and it contains mention of Ctesibius, 
a mechanician, both of which facts should give some positive clue as to the 
time of the composition of the treatise. For it seems natural to identify the 
Marcellus of the treatise with the celebrated conqueror of Syracuse (ob. 208 b.c), 
who alone of the Marcelli is sufficiently distinguished in military affairs to 
merit this dedication, and to identify Ctesibius with the mechanician of that 
name mentioned in the Deipnosophistce of Athenaeus of Naucratis (p. 497 d-e) 
as having designed and made for a statue of Arsinoe, the wife of Ptolemy 
Philadelphus (285-247 b.c), a famous rhyton, about which several epigrams 
are preserved, one at least by a contemporary poet, Hedylus, which mentions 
the name of Ctesibius, all of which evidence would accord perfectly with a 
date for Athenaeus, the mechanician, in the last half of the third century b.c, 
the date assumed above. 



HOWARD 65 

It is not necessary to go into the long discussion 1 as to whether one or 
more other Ctesibii, barbers or sons of barbers, who Hved at some later time, 
were mechanicians and writers about the water-organ or inventors of it. The 
unquestionable fact remains that a Ctesibius, said to have been a mechanician, 
flourished in the middle of the third century b.c, made a much-famed rhyton 
for the statue of Arsinoe, and w^s commemorated in contemporary poetry 
which has come down to our time under the name of the poet Hedylus, and 
that this mechanician satisfies the requirements of the present investigation. 
Athenaeus, the mechanician, who mentions a mechanician Ctesibius, may 
well refer to this one, and, if so, naturally falls into the second half of the 
third century b.c. 

It seems, then, reasonably safe to assume that Hegetor lived at some time 
between the middle of the fourth and the middle of the third centuries b.c, 
and there is further indirect evidence to connect his feats of military engi- 
neering with the famous siege of Rhodes under Demetrius Poliorcetes. The 
dimensions of the great ram are given in detail by Athenaeus, Vitruvius, and 
the anonymous Byzantine writer ; and in the account of the siege of Rhodes 
in Diodorus Siculus (xx, 95) there is a description of the battery used by 
Demetrius, which consisted of a gigantic helepolis (also described in both 
Athenaeus and Vitruvius in immediate connection with the description of the 
ram of Hegetor) which was flanked on either side by four excavating sheds, 
and at the extremities of the battery were huge battering-rams, mounted on 
wheels and covered by sheds. The length of the ram itself is given in Dio- 
dorus as one hundred and twenty cubits (one hundred and eighty feet), which 
corresponds exactly with the length given in Athenaeus and Vitruvius, as does 
also the statement that the head of the ram was constructed of hard iron 
shaped like the beak of a man-of-war. 

In view of these coincidences, it does not seem unfair to conjecture that 
Hegetor lived at the end of the fourth and the beginning of the third centu- 
ries, that he was engaged in the siege of Rhodes in 308 b.c, and that he 
served under Demetrius Poliorcetes. 

1 Those who are interested in the discussion as to the date of Ctesibius will find the bibliog- 
raphy of the subject given at length in Susemihl, Geschichte der griechischen Litteratur in der 
Alexandrinerzeit, I, 734 ff. 



CHANTICLEER 

C. H. Grandgent 

" Sans doute il est trop tard pour parler encor d'elle," 

wrote Alfred de Musset of Malibran, a fortnight after the death of the famous 
singer. Plays, except the best and luckiest, are even more quickly forgotten 
than their actors ; and to speak of Chantecler three years after its first pro- 
duction seems almost like disturbing a grave. Yet something of this Yorick 
among comedies still subsists. Now that the merely ephemeral glitter — the 
whimseys and puns, the verbal caprices, the satirical trifling, the novel stage 
pictures — is fading from the memory, there stands out with greater distinct- 
ness the one vital theme that gave the piece body and life while it lived, and 
is worthy to survive the sparkling froth. That theme is the need of faith in 
the importance of one's own task ; or, to put it a bit cynically, the necessity 
of self-deception regarding the futility of human endeavor. The thesis is 
embodied in the part of the Cock, whose moral strength wholly depends on 
the belief that his crowing makes the sun rise day by day. The speeches in 
which this leading idea is developt I have ventured to detach from the more 
or less irrelevant matter in which they are involved, and I have attempted to 
turn them into English verse as similar as possible, in style and in general 
metrical effect, to the original. 

First comes the glorious hymn to the sun, spoken by the Cock from the 
barnyard wall, in Act I, scene ii : 

CHANTICLEER 
Thou that driest the tears of the tiniest things, 
That turnest the wither'd blossom to butterfly-wings, 
When, like a flickering life, the almond-tree flings 

Its petals to the breeze 

Cold from the Pyrenees, — 

I adore thee, O Sun, whose beneficent light, 

To ripen the honey, to make the sad visage bright, 

Piercing each flower and the cottage of each poor wight, 

Divided, remains whole. 

Even as a mother's soul. 

I am thy priest, I am thy herald true. 

Thou who comest to color the soap-suds blue, 

And often choosest, to signal thy last adieu, 

A humble window-pane, 

When thou dost set again. 
67 



68 CHANTICLEER 

Thou makest the sun-flowers' heads turn to and fro, 
Thou makest my golden friend on the steeple glow, 
And, fluttering thro' the lindens, dost stealthily throw 

Round light-flakes on the lawn, 

Too fair to tread upon. 

The varnisht pitcher thou dost enamel and mold ; 
Thou makest the drying clout like a banner unfold ; 
And, thanks to thee, the mill wears a hat of gold, 

The hive, his little mate, 

A bonnet aureate. 

" Glory to thee ! " the fields and the vineyards cry. 

Glory to thee on the gate, in the grasses high, 

On the wing of the swan, in the lizard's glittering eye ! 

Thy broad art never fails 

To show the least details. 

Designing a lowly twin-sister dark as night. 

Which lies outstretcht at the foot of everything bright, 

Thou doublest in number the objects of our delight. 

Adding a silhouette 

To each, that 's prettier yet. 

O Sun, I adore thee ! Thou fillest with roses the breeze, 
With gods the woodland, with flames the brook as it flees ; 
Thou deifiest, O Sun, the humble trees. 

The world, without thy beam. 

Would only be, not seem. 

The theme is continued in a dialogue between the Cock and the Hen 
Pheasant in Act I, scene vi : 

PHEASANT 
All things remain the same . . . 

CHANTICLEER 

Nothing 's the same ! 
Nowhere beneath the sun ! The sun forbids ! 
She changes everything. 

PHEASANT 

She! Who? 

CHANTICLEER 

The light! 

The farmer's wife's geranium over there 

Never shows twice the selfsame red. That shoe, 

That old, straw-spitting wooden shoe — how fair ! 

That wooden comb that hangs among the coats 

With meadow-hairs still clinging to its teeth ! 



GRANDGENT 69 

The aged pitchfork in its corner there, 

Still dreaming, in its penance, dreams of hay ! 

The tight-laced ten-pins, pretty girls who pout 

When Towser comes and spoils their fine quadrilles. 

The huge worm-eaten wooden bowling ball. 

On which an ant, forever journeying, 

With all an old globe-trotter's self-esteem 

In eighty seconds travels round its world. 

None of these things remains two winks unchanged. 

And as for me, Madame, for many years 

A leaning rake, a flower in a vase. 

Have driven me to chronic ecstasy, 

And I have caught from looking at a weed 

This wide-eyed wonder that will not come off. 

PHEASANT 

I see you have a soul ! How can a soul 
Grow up so far from life and live events. 
Behind a farm-wall where a house-dog sleeps ? 

CHANTICLEER 

When we can see and suffer, we know all. 

An insect's death reveals the whole world's pain. 

One sky-lit crevice shows us all the stars. 

In the great monologue of the Cock, in Act II, scene Hi, the Hen Pheasant 
serves as a chorus : 

CHANTICLEER 

I never sing until my eight good claws. 
Tearing away the grass and stones, have found 
A spot where I can reach the soft, black loam. 
Then, close in contact with our mother earth, 
I crow ! And that itself is half the mystery, 

pheasant, half the secret of my song — 
No song for which the singer racks his brain : 
It mounts, like sap, up from the native soil ! 
The moment when this sap rises in me. 

The hour when I am certain of my gift. 
Is when dawn dallies on the dark sky's rim. 
Then, quivering with the thrill of leaves and stalks, 
Which fills my being to my pinions' tips, 

1 feel my mission, and I magnify 

My trumpet posture and my clarion curve ; 
Then Earth resounds in me as in a horn. 
Ceasing to be a common fowl, I then 
Become the official mouth-piece, so to say, 
Thro' which Earth's voice emerges to the sky. 



70 CHANTICLEER 

PHEASANT 
Chanticleer ! 

CHANTICLEER 

This cry that mounts from Earth, 
This call, is such a cry of love for light, 
A frantic and sonorous peal of love 
For something golden which we call the Day, 
Which nature craves, — the pine, to gild its bark ; 
The path uplifted by the writhing roots, 
To light its moss ; the corn, to deck its tips ; 
The tiny pebbles, for their tiny gleam, — 
It is the cry of all the things that miss 
Their tint, reflection, flame, their tuft, their pearl, — 
The entreating cry with which the dewy field 
Demands a rainbow on each point of grass ; 
The forest, at the end of every lane, 
Begs for a ruddy glow to pierce the dark, — 
This cry, which thro' my throat climbs to the blue. 
Is such a call from everything that feels 
Neglected in a dim and murky void, 
Deprived of sunlight for some unknown crime, 
A cry of cold, of fear, of weariness 
From everything made helpless by the Night — 
The rose that shivers in the dark, alone ; 
The grain, longing to dry its wetness for the mill ; 
The tools forgotten by the husbandmen 
And rusting in the grass ; white-color'd things, 
So tired of hiding all their dazzling sheen — 
'T is such a cry from innocent dumb beasts 
Which never need conceal the things they do ; 
From brooklets, eager to disclose their beds ; 
And even (thine own work disowns thee, Night !) 
From puddles, hankering to reflect a ray. 
From mud that wants to dry itself to earth — 
'T is such a grand appeal from all the land. 
Aching to feel its wheat or barley grow ; 
From flowering trees desirous of more flowers ; 
From grapes that long to tinge their green with brown ; 
From trembling bridge that wants a passenger 
And wants the shadows of the birds and twigs 
Softly to dance once more upon its planks ; 
From all that fain would sing, quit mourning, live. 
Do service, be a threshold, be a bank, 
A good warm bench, a stone rejoiced to heat 
A leaning hand or little prowling ant — 
In short, a universal call for day 
From all that 's healthy, all that 's beautiful, 
From all that 's fond of work in joy and light. 
That wants to see its work and make it seen. 



GRANDGENT 

And when this mighty call surges in me, 

My very soul expands and swells and grows 

The more sonorous with its own increase, — 

To make the great cry loud and louder still, — 

So reverently, that ere I send it forth, 

I hold the cry one instant in my soul ; 

Then, when, contracting, I let loose my note, 

So certain am I that a deed is done, 

I have such faith that this good crow of mine 

Will make Night crumble like the walls of Jericho 



PHEASANT 

Chanticleer ! 



CHANTICLEER 

Preluding victory, 
My song bursts forth, so clear, so proud, so stern, 
That the horizon, with a rosy thrill. 
Obeys me ! 

PHEASANT 
Chanticleer ! 

CHANTICLEER 

I crow ! And Night 
With twilight vainly seeks to compromise. 
I crow ! And all at once — 

PHEASANT 

O Chanticleer! 

CHANTICLEER 

I start, surprised to see myself quite red. 
For I, the cock, have made the sun to rise ! 

PHEASANT 

Then all the secret of thy song ? 



71 



CHANTICLEER 



Is this ; 



I dare to fear that if I do not call. 

The east will never waken from its sleep. 

My " cockadoodledoo ! " is not designed 

To make a waiting echo from afar 

Repeat a feebler " cockadoodledoo ! " 

My thoughts are bent on light and not on fame. 

Crowing, for me, is battie and belief. 

And so my note is proudest of them all : 

I sing so clear to make the heavens clear I 



72 CHANTICLEER 

PHEASANT 
(His words are madness ! ) — Thou dost make the dawn ? 

CHANTICLEER 

Which opens flowers and eyes, windows and souls ! 
That is the truth. My voice evokes the day. 
A murky sunrise means my song was bad. 

The severest test of Chanticleer's constancy is reserved for the end of the 
play. The Hen Pheasant, jealous of her lover's devotion to the sun, tries to 
rid him of his illusion. Hiding the east from him at dawn, she distracts his 
attention^until daybreak ; then, showing him the light, she tauntingly cries : 

" Thou seest the sun can rise without thy help ! " 

But in the face of evidence the Cock, after a moment of despair, renews his 
faith. Even tho' his individual ministry be not indispensable as he had 
thought, he is still a collaborator in some vast, mysterious mission destined 
to produce, in the vague future, greater good than he had ever before 
conceived. 

CHANTICLEER 

The herald I of a remoter sun ! 
My cries, piercing Night's veil, inflict on her 
Those stabs of daylight which we take for stars ! 
/ ne'er shall see on spire and belfry gleam 
That final heaven, of cluster'd orbs compact. 
But if I crow, precise and loud, and if, 
Long after me, in years to come, a Cock 
Shall crow, loud and precise, in every farm, 
Night will exist no more ! 

PHEASANT 

But when } 



CHANTICLEER 



Some day ! 



WHAT IS CHAUCER'S HOUS OF FAME ? 

John M. Manly 

One of the strangest facts in literary criticism is that, after more than forty 
years of intense and occasionally even feverish activity on the part of students 
of Chaucer, the question heading this article is still a legitimate question. If 
the poem were a brief and much-mutilated fragment containing part of a 
single episode, the present state of criticism would be intelligible and excusable. 
But of this poem we have nearly all that was written or planned by the author. 
Though incomplete, the extant copy contains 2158 lines, and it obviously can 
never have been intended to contain much more, for at the beginning of the 
third book the author distinctly speaks of that book as the last.^ A dispropor- ^ ^Ubf^i' 
tionate treatment of certain features doubtless prolonged this book beyond the '' ' 

author's original plan (it now contains 1068 lines) ; but the incidents and epi- 
sodes of his plan were obviously such in character and number that at the 
beginning of this third book, he thought of them as forming a single division 
of his poem.2 We have, therefore, in the extant version nearly all that he 
intended to write. 

Moreover, we have, as an indication of the meaning of the poem, the title 
given by the author himself. And we have, in the words of the eagle to the 
author, a positive and definite statement not only of the main features of the 
narrative as far as it is preserved to us, but also of the principal incident of 
the unwritten portion. 

Why, then, are not the purpose and meaning of the poem clear and well 
recognized } Several reasons may be suggested. 

In the first place, much of the study devoted to this poem has been con- 
cerned, not with the interpretation of the author's meaning, but with the dis- 
covery of the sources of his materials. What suggested the temple } and the 
figures on the walls } and the treeless desert } Did the eagle come from 
Ovid, or from Dante, or from folklore t Whence came the ice-capped moun- 
tain and the revolving house } Correct answers to these questions would be 
interesting ; if rightly used, they might be important ; but they could hardly, 
in any event, contribute largely to the interpretation of the poem, for an 
author's meaning depends, not upon where he got his materials, but upon 
what use he makes of them, 

1 This litel laste book (iii, 3). 

" We may be quite sure that there was to be no long account of the journey back to earth, 
as some suppose. This would cctainly, in Chaucer's plan, have called for another book. 

73 







74 



WHAT IS CHAUCER'S HOUS OF FAME? 



Another obscuring cause was furnished centuries ago by an inarticulate and 
unintelligible line of John Lydgate's. The line is the second in the following 
stanza of The Falls of Prifices : 

He wrote also full many a day agone 

Dant in English, him-selfe doth so expresse, 

The pitous story of Ceix and Alcion : 

And the death also of Blaunche the duches : 

And notably [he] did his businesse v 

By great auise his wittes to dispose, 

To translate the Romaynt of the Rose.^ 

We have no evidence that Lydgate had any information about Chaucer except 
what he derived from his writings, and we know that he was not an Italian 
scholar, but Skeat thought that he must have meant the Hotis of Fame, and 
Rambeau attempted to show that that poem was in fact written as a counterpart 
to the Divina Commedia. Despite slight superficial resemblances of form and 
numerous insignificant reminiscences of Dante's great and serious poem in 
this light-hearted y>// d' esprit, Rambeau's theory is now generally discredited, 
though traces of its influence are discernible in some of the latest discussions 
of the poem. 

Less specific than Rambeau's theory, but no less obstructive to the proper 
understanding of the poem, has been the general tendency to interpret it 
allegorically and to assign to it an important autobiographical significance. 
The details of this, as displayed by Sandras, ten Brink, Rambeau, Willert, 
Garrett, Snell, Brandl, and Koch, are too well known to need recital, and the 
latest expressions of this view, that by Brandl ^ and that by Koch,^ have been 
discussed and refuted by Imelmann.^ But Imelmann himself is unable to get 
entirely away from the allegorical interpretation. 

'^hat students of Chaucer should persist in interpreting him allegorically is 
strange. As a matter of fact, his work is singularly free from allegory in the 
strict sense of the term. The mere presence of nonhuman actors, whether 
animal, or mythological, or even personified abstractions, does not create alle- 
gory ; for this there must be symbolism of action or of character. To be sure, 
the term '' allegory " is used loosely to describe compositions in which there is 
no symbolism ; but confusion of critical thinking is likely to arise from this abuse 
of the term. The Roman de la Rose, Everyman, Hawes's Pastim,e of Pleasure, 
Spenser's Faerie Qtteene, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, are properly called 
allegories, because in them the author presents the action symbolically, that 
is, by means of an entirely different sort of action. But a debate between two 
girls concerning their lovers is not allegory, even if birds take sides and 

1 Quoted from Skeat, Works of G. Chaucer, I, 23. « 

2 Sitzungsber. d. kgl. preuss. Akad., philos.-hist. Classe, 1908, XXXV, 732 f. 

8 Englische Studien, XLI, 113-121. * Englische Studien, XLV, 397-431. 






\ 



MANLY 75 

debate and fight, and the decision be left to the god of love or his representa- 
tive.^ In like manner unsymbolic and unallegorical is the action in Li Fablel 
dou Dieu d' Amors ^ in Machaut's Dit du Vergier ; and only slightly alle- 
gorical are Froissart's Paradys d' Amours and Lay Amoureux. In Chaucer - — 
there is scarcely any allegory. None of the Canterbury Tales is allegorical ; the 
nearest approaches to allegory are the Nonne Prestes Tale, which is a beast 
fable, and the Sqiders (unfinished) Tale, which, in spite of Brandl's attempt 
to interpret it allegorically,^ seems to be a mere tale of magic. No one, I 
suppose, has ever attempted to regard Troilus and Criseyde as an allegory. 
The Compleynt of Mars seems to be only a fanciful representation of the 
astronomical relations of certain planets in terms of human action, suggested 
by the general practice of astrologers.^ Neither the Boke of the Duchess e nor 
the Legend of Goode Women has the slightest claim to be regarded as allegor- 
ical ; and the Parlement of Foules, as I have recently shown,^ is a Valentine 
poem, presenting a demande d' amours in the setting of a bird parliament. 
Indeed the only clear example of allegory in the whole of Chaucer's writings ^ 
is the Compleynte to Pite, one of the earliest and most conventional of his 
poems. In view of these facts, the burden of proof that any one of his poems 
is to be interpreted allegorically certainly rests upon the scholar who pro- 
poses such an interpretation, and should meet with acceptance only when 
nonallegorical interpretations have entirely failed. 

Imelmann's recent attempt to interpret the Hous of Fame has many excel- 
lent features. Where he has gone astray he has always, or nearly always, been 
misled by the effort to read allegory into it. Much the same may be said of the . 
view set forth by Garrett in 1 896, particularly as concerns his first section on 
the conclusion of the poem.^ Like Imelmann, Garrett saw clearly that the 
fundamental intention of the poem was to lead up to some good story or 
stories, but both writers were under the influence of the allegorical idea and 
felt obliged to interpret some, if not all, of the objects and incidents of the 
poem as symbolical. This tendency is so strong as to produce definite mis- 
quotation or misinterpretation of the language of the author. Although Imel- 
mann (p. ^J4) rightly rejects Koch's insistence upon any symbolism IriT the 
desert^^ he himself feels obliged to interpret the temple allegorically, and 
says (p. 414), *' Weil er etwas wissen mochte von dem sinn des darin erlebten 
und draussen aufklarung zu finden hofft (i, 474-479)." But Chaucer nowhere 

1 Cf . the whole series of poems connected with the debate of Phyllis and Flora. 

2 Brandl, Engl. Stud., XII, 161-186; Kittredge, ibid., XIII, 1-25. 

8 Cf. Manly, Harvard Studies, V, 107 ff. * Festschrift for Morsbach (19 13). 

5 Studies on Chaucer's " Hous of Fame'''' {Harvard Studies, V), 150-157. — *«« . 

6 Koch, Englische Studien, XLI, 1 18, does not seem to recognize that if the temple had been 
surrounded by a flowery plain, or any other sort of landscape, instead of the desert mentioned 
by Chaucer, the problem of allegorical interpretation would have been just as insistent. In 
other words, if allegory is to be read into a poet's work, no choice of details can defeat the intent. 



76 



WHAT IS CHAUCER'S HOUS OF FAME? 



J^Mj 



ik 



y 



^ 



expresses any interest in the meaning of the temple or what he has seen in 
it. In the passage cited by Imelmann he says, '* I do not know who made 
the images nor where I am, and I will go out and see if I can find any one 
who will tell me where I am." That the temple or the images or his own 
experiences have any occult meaning is nowhere hinted. 

Let us see if the poem is not capable of a simple, unallegorical interpreta- 
tion that is entirely adequate to explain all its features. That it is a love poem 
has been shown by Sypherd and by Imelmann, and is abundantly evident 
from the repeated statements to this effect in the poem itself. Sypherd erred 
in supposing that Chaucer's motive in writing the poem could be adequately 
expressed in the mere desire to produce a love poem. Imelmann rightly calls 
attention to the inadequacy of Sypherd's view and points out that Chaucer 
himself tells us that the poem exists for the sake of the story (or stories) 
promised as the conclusion of the poem.^ It is unnecessary to repeat his citation 
of- passages proving this, the most important of which are ii, 133-143 and 
164-191. 

Beginning with the general intent of the poet as thus expressed, we may 
reconstruct the composition of the poem in some such way as the following : 
Wishing to introduce certain stories (or a certain story) to his readers by a 
pleasing device, the poet conceives of the house of Fame (or Report) as a 
place where such stories may be obtained, since all the sounds of the world 
tend naturally to that place. In order to reach this house, located, as it is, 
between heaven and earth and sea,^ he has need of a winged carrier powerful 
enough to transport him. Such a supernatural creature can be provided only 
by some god or goddess, and the poet's service of the goddess of love motives 
the plan of her rewarding him by having him transported to the house where 
all good stories gather. Venus, of course, has no messenger capable of such 
a feat, but in the yFneid, i, 254 ff. (a passage remembered by Chaucer, H F, 
i, 212-220), Jupiter shows" himself somewhat affectionately ready to aid his 
dear daughter ; and so here Chaucer represents him as lending her his own 
messenger, the eagle, who had already shown his powers by the long flight 
with Ganymede. This is the framework of the story ; the rest is decorative or 
subsidiary. The temple with its storied walls, the treeless plain, the splendor 
of the eagle and his power of human speech, his conversation about the 
heavenly bodies and his explanation of the manner in which sounds reach the 
house of Fame, — all are determined by the fundamental idea. ' .^ ' p{ ^<i' 
^<rhat the poem is badly proportioned is true. The story of Dido is told at 
I too great length, and the other love stories briefly indicated in Bk. i ought 
|to have been omitted entirely. But the worst offense in proportion is, of 

1 It is not the fact that the poet i*j>4:o bfe' rewarded that is important, but the nature of the 
reward, as is sufficiently emphasized in the remarks of the eagle. 

2 Ovid, Met., xii, 39 ff., is the adequate source for this and much more. 



MANLY 



n 



rcourse, the long description in Bk. iii of the outer walls and the great hall 
Lof the castle. It is not at all clear that the conception of Fame as the 
goddess of renown as well as of report came to Chaucer only when he was 
writing or planning the third book. In the earlier parts of the poem there . 
was no occasion to mention renown. The third book is marred, not so much j 
by the presentation of Fame in two aspects, as by the entirely disproportion- 
ate space (and consequent emphasis) given to the ice-cap, the castle walls, the 
hall, the goddess, and the throngs of suppliants. But Chaucer was somewhat 
prone to digression, and, especially in his earlier poems, did not restrain 
within proper limits the ideas brought up by association (note the famous . 
passage on predestination in the Troihis). 

If the reader will make due allowance for these errors in proportion, the 
poem will be seen to be clear and simple in structure, so far as it is preserved 
to us, and to require very little for its completion. What the missing portion 
was to contain is, in a sense, almost equally clear. We have been told -in 
Bk. ii that the poet is to hear new stories ; and, since his interest in learning 
new stories is to tell them, we may be certain that some provision was to be 
made for his telling them, — perhaps some such provision as is made in the 
endbf the Prologue to the Legend of Goode Women (B, 548-551). Even if 
he was to learn and tell only one, we can hardly suppose that it could have 
been told in full in ''this litel laste book." It is possible, therefore, that the 
poet was merely to announce here his new treasure of stories which were to 
- be told later ; that is, that this poem was to serve as a sort of introduction to a 
group of stories. This may conceivably have been Chaucer's first effort — the 
Lege7id and the CanterbiLry Tales are the others — to organize into a group 
tales of similar or of various themes. We may further infer that this group 
was to be a group of love tales of varied character (cf. ii, 136-138, i64-i90)-x 
Garrett, as I have already said, thought that a single story, that of Alcestis, 
" was to form the chief part of the continuation." ^ His suggestion has met 
with little favor, probably for three reasons : (i) it is not in harmony with the 
specifications in Bk. ii, 136-190; (2) Chaucer would hardly have planned 
to make so long and elaborate a story a part of the third book ; (3) whilcO^/^* 
the poem as planned might fitly introduce a group of stories, it could hardly 
serve as an introduction to a single one. 

Imelmann's view also calls for a single story as the completion of the 
poem. He finds special emphasis in the words of the eagle : 

And noght only fro fer contree 

That ther no tyding comth to thee, 

But of thy verray neyghebores, 

That dweller almost at thy dores, 

Thou herest neither that ne this (ii, 139-143). 

^ Harvard Studies^ V, 155. 



78 WHAT IS CHAUCER'S HOUS OF FAME? 

This means, he thinks : there is a love story of present interest to a distant 
land and also to England of which you have heard (or written) nothing ; the 
story is that of the marriage of Anne of Bohemia and Richard. This view he 
supports by arguing : (i) that the Parlement of Foules requires and promises 
a sequel, which is given in the Hous of Fame ; (2) that the tercel royal of 
PF is clearly the eagle sent by Jove to the poet in H F; (3) that If F was 
intended as a gratulatory poem to be presented to Anne on her arrival in 
England, and therefore that December 10 (mentioned twice in H F sls the 
night of his dream) is December 10, 1381, and fixes the date at which the 
poet began to write ; (4) that the unfinished condition of the poem is due 
to the poet's inability to complete it before Anne's arrival ; (5) that Bk. iii, 
1 044- 1 050, affords a strict proof of the nature and the source of the new story : 

And eek a tyding for to here, 

That I had herd of som contree 

That shal not now be told for me ; — 

For hit no nede is, redely ; 

Folk can singe hit bet than I ; ^ 

For al mot out, other late or rathe, 

Alle the sheves in the lathe ; 

(6) that the coming of Anne from a distant land to marry Richard could 
hardly be better presented by Chaucer with the allegorical methods at his 
command than by means of the story of the man, who, driven by Fate, 
arrived, under the guidance of Venus, after manifold delays, at the Latian 
shore and found a wife ; (7) and, finally, that the name Anna was a connect- 
ing psychological link between the journey of the Bohemian princess and the 
fateful wanderings of ^neas. 

As will be seen, Imelmann's theory has some very attractive features. 
That Chaucer should wish to celebrate the arrival of the queen would be 
natural ; that the love story of Richard and Anne should be presented as one 
of special interest would be equally natural. If the question were to be decided 
on a priori grounds, one could hardly refuse assent to Imelmann's view ; but 
unfortunately both the view and the arguments adduced in support of it seem 
to be contradicted by the poem and by other evidence. 

One of the weakest and methodically unsoundest of the arguments is that 
identifying the eagle of this poem with the tercel royal in P F. Their func- 
tions are different; nothing suggests any identification of them. What, more- 
over, could be absurder than to make Richard, as the eagle, call Chaucer's 
attention to his own love story — a story which, according to Imelmann's 
later interpretation (p. 427), comes ''kolportiert von schiffern und sonstigen 
weit herumstreif enden Jeuten " } 

But Imelmann's principal use for the eagle is to establish a connection 
in subject matter between this poem and P F. If such a connection exists, 



MANLY 



79 



something is indeed needed to show it. I have shown, in the Festscknft for 
Morsbach, that P F needs no sequel. But even on Imelmann's theory that it 
needs one, who would expect to find that sequel in a poem different in meter, 
in professed theme, and in dramatis personae ? If the courtiers expected a 
sequel to P F^ they doubtless expected some real continuation of the story con- 
tained in it ; and when they learned in H F, ii, 136 ff., that this poem was to 
introduce a story previously unknown to Chaucer, they would hardly expect to 
hear a sequel to P F. 

December 10 may at first sight seem to harmonize with the date of Anne's 
arrival — Froissart says she left Calais on a Wednesday, which would be 
December 18. But does it really fit Imelmann's theory.? It had been ex- 
pected that Anne would arrive in the preceding summer ; was Chaucer ignorant 
of that 1 After she started, she came by slow stages, and halted a month for 
fear of the pirates who infested the channel ; did Chaucer know nothing 
of her approach.? On December i, Richard issued an order for her recep- 
tion ; was this also unknown to the poet who, according to the current view, 
had celebrated the wooing in February, and who, according to Imelmann, was 
under special obligations to celebrate the wedding .? Why did he not hear 
of it — or receive a commission to write of it — until December 10.? 

That the poem was left unfinished seems unlikely. It is preserved to us in 
three manuscripts and two old prints, all of which are so closely related that 
they may have had a common ancestor not much earlier than 1450. More- 
over, it seems unlikely that Chaucer would represent the Queen of Love in 
L G W2iS citing in his defense an unfinished poem, especially one begun in 
praise of Queen Anne and left unfinished. The excuse that he had begun it 
too late would perhaps have been as uncomplimentary to Anne and Richard 
as eptire silence would have been. 

M^melmann insists upon the fragmentary character of the poem, says that 
Chaucer *' langst fiihlte, dass dieses werk nie zu ende kommen wiirde," and 
gives this as a reason why he '' babbles freely " and refers as he does in Bk. iii, 
1 04 1 ff., to the story that should be reserved to the end.^he reference is 
undoubtedly mysterious to readers of to-day. It may have been, as Imelmann 
suggests, perfectly intelligible to the courtiers of Chaucer's day. It may even 
be an allusion to the wooing and marriage of Richard and Anne. But, unless 
Chaucer v/as incredibly confused in thought and expression, it can hardly 
refer to the story or stories which he is to hear and retell. 

Imelmann is also, Hke Koch, obliged to emend iii, 817-820; and, since 
he declares that Chaucer gets his news of Anne's approach to England from 
the shipmen, pilgrims ('' with scrippes bretful of lesinges " !), pardoneres, 
currours, and messangeres (' with boistes crammed ful of lyes " !) of iii, 
103 1- 1 040, he must credit Chaucer with a confused intention in this 
passage also. 



8o WHAT IS CHAUCER'S HOUS OF FAME? 

That the story chosen by Chaucer to present to Anne as a greeting at the 
completion of her long journey to her betrothed husband should be the story 
of ^neas would, in any case, be odd enough ; that, in telling it, he should 
dismiss in a single line (i, 458) the sole feature which constitutes the point of 
telling the ^Eneas story on this occasion, namely, the winning of a mate, 
would be a serious indictment of his intelligence ; that he should devote nearly 
the whole story to the unfaithfulness of yEneas to Dido, emphasize this by 
a recital of other stories of man's perfidy and woman's weakness, and finally 
warn Anne, who had come so far to wed a king she had never seen, that 
she was acting foolishly, — 

Lo, how a woman doth amys 

To love him that unknowen is (i, 269), — 

would convict Chaucer of a lack of taste and courtesy incredible in a courtier 
and poet. Imelmann, to be sure, thinks this was all a jest for the benefit of 
the initiated. Anne, of course, might not have understood these English 
lines, and so might not have been troubled by the implied comparison of 
herself to Dido or by the warning against " laying to her eye an herb of un- 
known properties" (i, 291 f.) ; but Richard would have understood at once 
and Anne would surely have understood later. We have no evidence 
that Chaucer enjoyed the privileges of a licensed jester, — nowhere in his 
poems is there any hint of the fool's cap and bells and flapstick, unless we 
admit that his compliments were such as some of his interpreters believe 
them to be. 

That, m L G Wy Chaucer was to present to the queen legends involving 
the fickleness and unfaithfulness of man cannot be cited in favor of the sup- 
position that he welcomed her to England with stories of man's perfidy, for 
in H .Fth e emph asis is entirely on man's perfidy while in Z 6^ W^ it is on 
"^v^maji's^faithfulness. 

If HFwas written to celebrate the arrival of Anne, and Dido's sister Anna 
was in any sense a connecting link between the ^Eneas-Dido story and the 
Richard-Anne story, it is certainly remarkable that Chaucer gives the name 
Anna no more prominence than he does in H F, where she receives, in Bk. i, 
366-371, the bare mention required by the story. If Chaucer was given to 
making these sly, scarcely noticeable allusions, why does he never use the 
names Richard and John in such a way as to suggest the king or John of 
Gaunt, his supposed patrons ? 

The theory that Chaucer was to hear (and tell) the story of Anne and 
Richard is, then, so out of harmony with the details of the poem as to be 
untenable. Whether ii, 136-143, necessarily imply, as they certainly suggest, 
that what Chaucer was to hear was news of his own day, we may be unable to 
-determine ; it is certainly the strongest point of Imelmann's theory. 



MANLY 8 1 

But interpreted with no greater strictness than Imelmann applies to this 
passage, the later lines, ii, 164-190, imply that the poet is to hear (and tell) 
many love stories of the most varied character : 

For truste wel, that thou shalt here, 

When we be comen ther I seye, 

Mo wonder thinges, dar I leye, 

Of Loves folke mo tydinges, 

Bothe soth-sawes and lesinges ; 

And mo loves newe begonne, 

And longe y-served loves wonne, 170 

And mo loves casuelly 

That been betid, no man wot why, 

But as a blind man start an hare ; 

And more lolytee and fare, 

Whyl that they finde love of stele. 

As thinketh hem, and over-al wele ; 

Mo discords and mo lelousyes, 

Mo murmurs and mo novelryes, 

And mo dissimulaciouns. 

And feyned reparaciouns ; 180 

And mo berdes in two houres 

Withoute rasour or sisoures 

Y-maad, then greynes be of sondes ; 

And eke mo holdinge in hondes. 

And also mo renovelaunces 

Of olde forleten aqueyntaunces ; 

Mo love-dayes and acordes 

Then on instruments ben cordes ; 

And eke of loves mo eschaunges 

Than ever cornes were in graunges. 190 

And this impression is borne out by what is said in iii, 103 1 ff., of the stories 
and the bearers of them in the house of Rumor (or Fame). 

I am therefore disposed to believe that this poem was intended to herald or 
announce a group of love stories and to serve as a sort of prologue to them. 
As the attachment between the poem and the stories announced was loose, — 
looser perhaps than that between the legends of good women and the prologue 
to them, — the poem might well have been cited in L G Wsisa. complete poem 
although it lacked the stories it w :is to introduce. Until a better theory is sug- 
gested, I shall therefore regard the Hotis of Fame as the first of the series of 
experiments in grouping stories of which the Legend of Goode Women was the 
second member and the Canterbury Tales the final and satisfactory outcome. 



THE MODERNNESS OF DANTE 

Jefferson B. Fletcher 



Puffed up with the pride of the New Learning, a certain ItaHan humanist 
of the fifteenth century once exclaimed, '' What we humanists write we write 
not for ourselves, we write for humanity." Perhaps that was the trouble with 
him, one reason at least why he is forgotten — except by other scholars. 
Humanity as a whole has few interests and a short memory. To write for 
nobody in particular is usually to be read by nobody in particular. To speak 
at one time for all time is to speak to no time. 

There is truth in these quibbling phrases, — truth which modern historical 
criticism is, if anything, inclined to exaggerate. Historical critics to-day grow 
impatient when it is declared that Shakspere '' wrote for all time." They 
emphasize rather his dependence on contemporary stage conditions, his appeal 
to an Elizabethan, nay, a London audience. He kept, they contend, his 
eye on the pit and never turned it on posterity. M. Jusserand would reduce 
Edmund Spenser to a purveyor of perishable intellectual dainties to an ephem- 
eral courtly taste at Greenwich and Hampton in the year of our Lord 1590. 
Milton's business, we are told, is to represent a precise moment in the history 
of English Puritan theology and of the pseudo-classic epic. 

No doubt this scrupulous adherence to historical perspective has been salu- 
tary as a corrective against loose talk. We have put ourselves back, so to say, 
among the author's immediate audience, and can better understand him as he 
meant to be understood. Wanting this just perspective, critics in the Middle 
Ages totally misread antique literature, forcibly wresting pagan meanings into 
impossible compliance with Christian and feudal conditions. And perhaps 
the romantic critics in the early nineteenth century who used to talk about 
a philosophic Shakspere writing '' for all time " were as fantastic. 

But there is another side to the story. A literary masterpiece is not merely 
the mouthpiece of its maker. Once born, it has a voice of its own ; and to 
them who lovingly hold communion with it, it speaks a various language. The 
ideas it contains live, and are fertilized by contact with ideas, distantly akin, of 
later generations. If, by rigidly sticking to what an author actually had in mind 
when writing, we may in some measure put ourselves back among his original 
audience ; so, by considering what he may mean for us of another time, we 
in so far bring him himself back to life, and set him talking to us, as he might 
have talked, of our affairs. This is no doubt what in a sense mediaeval critics 

83 



84 



THE MODERNNESS OF DANTE 



did with the classics, — and we condemn them for it ; but I think there is a 
distinction to be drawn. It is one thing to try the ideas of a past writer by 
ours, another thing to dye his ideas with ours. Resemblances shown by the 
first method are illuminating, by the second only confusing. 

So, while realizing the critical risk, I mean to try certain ideas of Dante's 
by certain of ours, to ask what Dante has to say, if anything, anent certain 
larger issues of to-day. I can only hope that in so " interviewing " the great 
Florentine I may not — to invert one of Byron's titles — merely present Dante 
as ' the transformed deformed.' 

Dante is still — for most people — the grim poet of the Inferno^ the black 
dreamer he appeared to those women of Verona, with visage seamed and hair 
crisped from the fires of hell. Not long ago in New York City I heard a 
moving-picture showman explaining a film of the Inferno. On one grotesque- 
grisly representation of certain sinners stuck heads down in pits, their protrud- 
ing wiggling legs aflame, he remarked deprecatingly : " It is presumed — Dant' 
was a paraesthetic. No sane man 'd 'a' dreamed such queer an' awful visions." 
Maybe the worthy barker meant * paranoiac' It is a good word, is ' paraes- 
thetic ' — for some aesthetes, say for * Cubists ' and ' Futurists ' in art ; but it 
is plainly a libel on Dante. 

My Broadway commentator, however, was really expressing, after all, only 
the very common opinion of the poet of hell as of course a great genius (for 
the books say so), but decidedly queer and nightmarish to the plain citizen. 
Yet I must in justice add that my showman found at least one kind of mod- 
emness in the Inferno. As to these upside-down sinners — '* It is presumed," 
he said, '' these were unfair business men." And he found a subtle fitness in 
the mode of their punishment. '' It is presumed — only their limbs were let 
free because the only honest part of 'em were their limbs." 

The majority have 'their Dante of the dread Inferno.' But besides this 
majority of the small minority who have any Dante at all, there is another 
more refined and knowing set of readers who ignore or deprecate the things 
Dante most cared about, to extol if not his ' paraesthetic,' at any rate his 
pure aesthetic power. The poet Carducci once sonnetized this view. I 
translate — as best I can : 



Dante, whence comes it that I, reverent, bear 

My votive homage to thy shrine sublime? 

That me the sun leaves bending o'er the rime 

That made thee gaunt, and dawn still finds me there ? 

For me St. Lucy prays not, nor the fair 

Matilda laves away my spirit's grime, 

And Beatrice and her chaste lover climb 

Godward in vain along the starry stair. 

I hate thy Holy Empire ; and my sword 

Gladly from thy good Frederick's head had cleft 



FLFTCHER 85 

The crown, when he in Val d'Olona warred. 

Empire and Church are ruins life-bereft 

Where hwoods thy song, and makes with heaven accord : 

Jove passes, — but the poet's hymn is left. 

The idea — by him — is strikingly put, but is it true ? Is the ' hymn,' the 
'poetry,' all that is left of Dante — even for those for whom Church and 
Empire, as Dante conceived them, are a melancholy ruin ? Must we hold to 
Dante simply as the idle singer of a day that is dead, and of prophets who lied ? 
If so, is there not left to us even less of him than Carducci seems to allow .? 

For what makes Dante admittedly one of the two or three supreme poets 
of the world } He himself indeed once gave thanks for 
The fair style that hath done me honor. 

But man-of-letters shall not live by style alone. Nor, again, does Dante's 
greatness, his unique greatness, lie in reproducing life, holding the mirror up 
to nature, creating many-sided men and women. His thumbnail character- 
sketches are indeed marvelously suggestive ; but his men and women as such 
cannot endure comparison with those of Shakspere, perhaps not even with 
those of his humble admirer Boccaccio. Neither of the protagonists — besides 
himself — in the Divine Comedy^ neither Virgil nor Beatrice is, I think, a 
full and lifelike character. They are spiritual symbols ; they are more than 
mere personified abstractions surely, and yet they are abstract, or at least 
they are not solid. They are above and apart from complex human beings ; 
they are mouthpieces for human and divine wisdom or justice or mercy. They 
move in one dimension of character. And in varying degrees the same thing 
is true of the vivid but unilateral folk who people the three regions of the 
other world, — articulate moods of wrath and pathos in hell, of resignation 
and hope in purgatory, of tenderness and peace in paradise. 

One character indeed emerges from the Divine Comedy foursquare, yet 
not so much created as vicariously revealed. I mean of course Dante him- 
self. He is the measure of his ideal world ; it is the many-faceted mirror of 
him. He is the ever present Issue. Behind the mask of the stormy St. Peter 
it is the Ghibelline exile who fulminates against the abuses of the Church ; 
behind the stately pathos of Francesca da Rimini it is the fate-driven outcast 
who remembers in wretchedness the happy time ; behind the relentless 
Ugolino, softened a little by the thought that 

my words 
Shall seed-like bear the fruit of infamy 
Upon the traitor whom I gnaw, 

it is the patriot betrayed by false Florence to the * salt bread ' of others who 
chafes for vengeance. Dante is no curious analyst of other men for their own 
sakes ; he is strangely self-absorbed ; but, it must straightway be added, he has 



86 THE MODERNNESS OF DANTE 

made his self-interest coterminous with the universe. He has interpreted all 
truth in the light of his own spiritual needs. So far he is a pragmatist. The 
unifying principle of the world as he sees it is the projection of his own 
master passion. The true primum mobile of his universe lie^ not beyond the 
stars, but in his own breast. And just because he was intensely human, that 
moral universe of his remains essentially true and real. 

I say that moral universe. A vision of the world, a reordering of man's 
world, unified by an ideal intensely and permanently human — that is Dante's 
distinctive accomplishment, I think. Not artistry alone, nor pure dramatic 
power, but constructive criticism of life is what makes him one of the two or 
three supreme poets. No doubt he himself believed in the world he ideally 
reconstructed as an external and physical fact. Earth was for him still center 
of nine concentric revolving solid heavens somehow mystically enwrapped in 
their turn by an immaterial tenth heaven, the Empyrean, residence of God 
and his angels and saints. God was for Dante a demonstrable fact ; so were 
the nine orders of angels, and the Devil and his fiends ; so was that divine 
and foreordained right of the Holy Roman Empire, hateful to Signor Car- 
ducci. Dante also very probably came to regard even his subterranean ringed 
and pocketed cone of hell, made in the inverse image of the heavens, as a 
literal fact. For him, too, a real Mount of Purgatory thrust out from the pre- 
cise antipodes to that dome at Jerusalem which covers the sepulcher of Christ. 
Was it not written by Virgil himself how the restless Ulysses had sailed past 
the forbidden mount, and perished for his presumption 1 

I need not multiply illustrations. None of us to-day believes in all the 
things that were to Dante facts, or conclusive inferences from fact. Some 
still believe in a personal Devil ; many more in a personal and revealed God. 
I will not say that Dante has not something to give to such co-believers which 
the skeptic or agnostic cannot get, and would hardly value if he could. I do 
say that the most radical skeptic or agnostic need not find himself an alien in 
Dante's world, if he will but recognize that this world, false or not in literal 
fact, is also an interpretation, a projected mirage of Dante's own mind and 
character, — a symbolic or ' picture ' language in which the poet has phrased 
his supreme human desire. Ptolemy, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and how 
many others are responsible for the picture language. Dante thought this 
picture language the hieroglyphics of God. We may not think that. What 
matter, if through the ' dead ' language we may read the live message } 

Manifestly, I can here hope only to hint at a line or two from that mes- 
sage, to expose maybe just a corner of the heart of it, — a heart alive and 
beating still, as I believe. 

It has often been remarked that the triumph of the Copemican system of 
astronomy involved the greatest defeat ever suffered by human pride. Hitherto 
the universe had revolved about man ; now man went spinning somewhere in 



FLETCHER %j 

the bleak outerness. In a picturesque phrase of Professor Royce's, the earth 
was forthwith reduced to a '' mere local item in the news of the universe." 
True — from the point of view of the reading public of heaven ; but hardly- 
true for the citizens of earth. However humbler his habitation, there is 
still nothing more interesting or important for mankind than man. Indeed, 
like all suburbanites, we residents of this now out-of-the-way planet are only 
the more thrown back upon ourselves, upon our own resources. Cut off — 
during our lives here anyway — from cosmopolitan activities and the courts 
of heaven, we must needs make the best of our local, our earthly selves. 
Amidst all the modern varieties of belief and unbelief, there is the one 
practical agreement that our present task as men is the betterment of human 
conditions. We are at least bound to make ours the * suburb beautiful.' For 
us, far more emphatically than for the old philosopher recorded by Pliny, 
** God is the helping of man by man." 

And this is just what Dante is forever saying, — although his God is also 
something more besides. 

Before ever I opened his essay on monarchy, the De Monarckia, I sup- 
posed, I was led to believe, it an archaic curiosity, a museum specimen of 
' high priorism.' So I was startled, when I actually began the book, to find 
this thesis laid down as a starting point : '' The work proper to the human 
race, taken as a whole, is to keep the whole capacity of the potential intellect 
constantly actualized, primarily for speculation, and secondarily (by extension 
and for the sake of the other) for action." The vocabulary is a bit archaic ; 
but the doctrine sounded essentially modern. Translated into modern terms, 
it suggested an idea as modern as Matthew Arnold's saying that conduct is 
three fifths of life, and culture the rest. For '' speculation " as the outcome of 
keeping ''the whole capacity of the potential intellect constantly actualized" 
I take to be, so far as human experience is concerned, not really different 
from what Arnold means by culture, — '' culture being," to quote his familiar 
words, '' a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all 
the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said 
in the world." Arnold would give three fifths of life to conduct ; Dante 
would apparently give three fifths to ' speculation.' We need not quarrel 
about that odd one fifth. The important thing is that the Florentine no less 
than the Victorian is asserting that the goal of humanity is more humanity, 
not any mediaeval ascetic stifling of the life that is in us, but rational enlarge- 
ment of that life, ' new life ' on earth in ' sweetness and light.' It is the 
modernist's summjim bonum. 

And to this end, this ' greatest good,' continues the author of the De 
Monarchia, the primary condition is peace. " In the quiet or tranquillity of 
peace," he declares, ''the human race is most freely and favorably disposed 
towards the work proper to it." And furthermore, to be efficient to its end 



88 



THE MODERNNESS OF DANTE 



this peaceful work must itself be organized, must have unity of direction, must 
have the unified direction of a single mind. So Dante argues for a universal 
monarchy, an international tribunal making for concordant cooperation to- 
wards the goal of human effort — realization of fullest humanity. Modern 
idealism recognizes the same goal, premises the same requirements ; only, 
grown politically democratic, postulates instead of an international emperor 
at Rome an international parliament at The Hague. 

Peaceful cooperation towards the realization of fullest humanity — such is 
the social ideal of the Ghibelline pamphleteer. The £>e Mottarchia might 
fitly bear the imprint and the motto of our international peace-society — Pro 
patria per orbis concordiam. Peace — outward and inward, here and here- 
after — is the gospel which Dante preaches ever and everywhere. When the 
brother of the monastery at which he once applied for refuge, asked what he 
sought, the wayfarer only replied, '* Peace." Not selfish withdrawal from life 
indeed, but fullest harmony of life with self and man and God — such rich 
peace is ever the object of Dante's seeking. True, in the Divine Comedy he 
seems to set his goal, his millennium, in an otherworld beyond the grave ; 
but as I have stated, while this paradisiacal otherworld of his was for him a 
reality hereafter, it is also the symbol of a possible earthly state here and now. 
His paradise is not that *' inverted world," that " verkehrte WeW of Hegel's, 
where everything just is n't what it here is, but a model world for men to 
pattern their world upon. Earthly life is made in the image of heavenly life 
just as, and in proportion as, man is made in, and may grow in, the image of 
God. Dante's Paradise is fairly construable precisely as More's Utopia is 
construable, — as a criticism of our civilization as it is, and as a theory of 
improvement. 

But, it may be said, just in that matter of democratic ideal rises the barrier 
between Dante and us. His world is a world of caste, a social hierarchy as 
stiffly ringed and graded as his immutable hell. That is what makes him so 
mediaeval. He is no democrat. He has no sympathy with man as man. 
Whether in hell or heaven, he will converse only with people of importance, 
and takes almost an exclusive interest in 'good society.' The great revolutionary 
watchwords of modern democracy — liberty, equality, fraternity — are not 
heard in a state so rigidly policed by prince and priest. It is such indictments 
as these, I suppose, that made Signor Carducci reject everything in Dante 
except his ' poetry.' 

Well, as to equality, Dante does not believe that, in any romantically literal 
sense, men are born equal. I doubt if any one does, or ever did — really. 
Nature opposes too obvious a veto. I know, for instance, so beyond all perad- 
venture, that I was not born William Shakspere's equal. But apart from 
Nature's favoritism, inequality is essential to human progress itself. For human 
progress demands social organization ; social organization involves diversity of 



FLETCHER 89 

individual function, — which is to say, speaking plainly, humble jobs as well 
as exalted jobs, privates as well as captains, stokers as well as stewards, col- 
lege professors as well as college presidents, — or in a word, inequality. 

Dante therefore is not speaking mediaeval feudalism but common sense, 
when he asserts and justifies such inevitable social inequality, a graded world. 
(What else do we mean by organism ? ) For instance, the princely young 
Charles Martel meets his former friend, Dante, in the heaven of Venus, and 
in the course of a discussion as to how degenerate sons can spring from 
worthy parents, he asks Dante, '' Would it be worse for man on earth were 
he no citizen," — were he, that is, not a member of organized society ? Dante 
admits that of course it would. And Charles retorts, '' And may that be, 
except men live below diversely and with diverse offices .?" The argument is 
implied that I have just now outlined : social organization implies diversity 
of function, and hence inequality. But, according to Charles, inequality is 
quite independent of heredity, though men in their blindness persist in 
acting as if it were not. They think mistakenly that a son ought to be given 
his father's place, however unfitted by nature he may show himself. Hence 
people are constantly trying to fit square pegs into round holes. '' Ye wrench," 
he exclaims, '' to a religious order him born to gird the sword, and make a 
king of him who should be for discourse ; wherefore your track runneth 
abroad the road." 

The further implications of Charles's argument are obvious. A man is 
indeed born, if you will, to his ' office,' his place in society, but — not because 
he is his father's son. Personal fitness, inborn merit, alone shall qualify him 
for his birthright ; nothing else. 

The rank is but the guinea's stamp, 
The man 's the gowd for a' that. 

In the true sense of the word Dante does not seem to be undemocratic, 
after all. Faith in social democracy is quite compatible with faith in a 
political monarchy, as present-day England proves. And indeed Dante made 
democratic a social doctrine as aristocratically exclusive as ever was. I mean 
the social doctrine implied in the love poetry of the troubadours, his literary 
masters. According to the Provencal code of courtly love, gentleness of 
feeling was confined to gentility of birth. Love was the flower of good 
breeding ; it could not be grown in * common or garden ' soil. 

The troubadours intended indeed no social theorizing. For the most part 
they were simply writing amorous compliments to and for high-bred dames ; 
and they naturally voice the exclusive prejudices of a rigid feudal caste. Dante 
borrows their phrases, but by a single amendment alters their whole meaning. 
Gentleness of feeling is confined to gentility — yes, but, qualifies Dante, 

E gentilezza dovunque h virtute. 



90 THE MODERNNESS OF DANTE 

' Gentility is wherever virtue is.' Love is the "flower of good breeding — yes, 
but good breeding is just high-mindedness. Only the gentleman really loves — 
yes, but the gentleman is literally o KaXo^ Kaya66<;, the beautiful and good 
character. Though an emperor has said that gentility rests on birth and out- 
ward manners, he is, comments the independent Florentine, but one of " those 
who err." To the old jibing question — 

When Adam delved and Eve span, 
Where was then the gentleman ? 

Dante must in consistency have replied, " Nowhere " ; but — merely for the 
reason that a gentleman would n't have thrown the blame on a woman ! 

Dante's gentleman — or, as he prefers to say, ' gentle heart ' — is thus far 
enough removed from the ' nobleman ' of feudal caste. His gentleman is 
virtuous, high-minded, a beautiful and good character, and might — in consist- 
ency — be a" shoemaker or a peasant, — though I admit Dante might have 
been also surprised to find him one. Even the greatest are sometimes practi- 
cally inconsistent in their prejudices, /am — about simplified spelling and 
some other things. Dante's gentleman alone can love — in Dante's sense of 
loving. Indeed, whatever his gentleman does is a work of love. 

This last sentence sounds sentimental or evangelical. In fact, it is neither. 
Dante means much more by * love ' than his troubadour masters meant. They 
meant only amorous passion, however much sophisticated or quintessentialized. 
I cannot pretend to say how much amorous passion, simple or sophisticated, 
the young Dante Alighieri felt for the Florentine girl. Bice Portinari. It may 
well be that as a boy of nine he was really infatuated with her, and as a 
youth of eighteen actually besonneted her ; but, however all that may be, the 
man of thirty composed his book called the New Life to record no mere 
personal affair of the heart. Philosopher that he had become he had come to 
recognize the impulse to self -forgetful service which springs from all deep 
personal affection as one with 

The Love that moves the sun and other stars. 

The highest and the humblest love meet in this, that each burns with '' a flame 
of charity." Whenever he saw Beatrice, *'a flame of charity possessed me," 
he says, "which made me pardon whomsoever had offended me." In that 
moment at least, his will was the good will which should bring peace among 
men, was that ' helping of man by man ' which was to bring God, the 
' greatest good,' to earth. The fulfillment of his vision of God, as he records 
it in the Paradiso, is ethically only the clearer realization of that early 
mood of love. His will and desire, as he tells us, have at last become intelli- 
gently one with the love that moves all things to its ends. His purpose is 
now God's purpose ; to its fulfillment he is spontaneously and wholly self- 
dedicated. And God's purpose for man is the '' pursuit by man of his 



FLETCHER 91 

total perfection," as Arnold called it, or the keeping *'the whole capacity of 
the potential intellect constantly actualized," as Dante called it. 

Here then is the evolution of this idea of love from the troubadours 
through Dante. For them in theory love was the self-devoted service of 
one's lady. In practice, their ' service ' was largely a gallant make-believe, a 
matter of forms and ceremonies. For the young Dante of the New Life^ love 
is also self-devoted service of his lady, even though to no more practical 
ends than the celebration of her excellence living, and the perpetuation of her 
memory dead. (The New Life has broader philosophic intentions, I believe, 
but they are enigmatically presented, and therefore say relatively feebly what 
is later said with power.) But for the mature Dante of the Divine Comedy 
and the De Monarchia, though love is still self-devoted service, yet it is 
service not of his lady merely, however bright and fair she be, but also of his 
fellow men. It is in the highest sense the spirit and ideal of fraternity. 

We begin to see the rich implication of Dante's line — 

Amore e cor gentil sono una cosa. 

' Love and the gentle heart are one same thing.' If love is thus measure of 
gentility, of rank and office, and if love is self-devoted service of one's fellow 
men, then Dante's practical solution of social inequality becomes plain. It is 
for the general good that the right man should be in the right place, and the 
right kind of man, the gentlermn, will joyfully acquiesce in his place, be it 
high or low. All that he, as one moved wholly by love, asks for is the greatest 
possible serviceableness. To be doing what one is qualified for doing, to be 
where one serviceably belongs — that is the basis for content, the necessary 
condition for inward peace. And inward peace is as essential for the general 
good as outward peace. So the meek Piccarda expresses to Dante her con- 
tentment with her place in the lowly heaven of the Moon. '' Brother," she 
smiles, '*the quality of love stilleth our will, and maketh us long only for 
what we have, and giveth us no other thirst. Did we desire to be more aloft, 
our longings were discordant from his will who here assorteth us — and his 
will is our peace." 

A recent and brilliant writer on Dante, Professor Santayana, has, I believe, 
curiously misunderstood Piccarda. According to him, '' For Piccarda to say 
that she accepts the will of God means not that she shares it, but that she 
submits to it. She would fain go higher, for her moral nature demands it, . . . 
but she dare not mention it, for she knows that God, whose thoughts are not 
her thoughts, has forbidden it. The inconstant sphere of the moon does not 
afford her a perfect happiness ; but chastened as she is, she says it brings her 
happiness enough ; all that a broken and a contrite heart has the courage to 
hope for." If that is indeed what Piccarda means, it is strange that Dante, 
leaving her, could say : '' Clear was it then how everywhere in heaven is 



92 THE MODERNNESS OF DANTE 

paradise, e'en though the grace of the chief Good doth not rain there after 
one only fashion." Piccarda fairly sings her joy ; Dr. Santayana would have 
her but sighing her resignation. 

But Dr. Santayana — I speak under correction — quite misses Piccarda's 
point. To say that she " would fain go higher, for her moral nature demands 
it," is to confuse two very unlike aspirations — the aspiration for higher 
office, and the aspiration for highest service. Piccarda's aspiration to serve is 
indeed infinite, insatiable ; for such is the quality of love. But it is this very 
'' quality of love " that, as she says, '' stilleth our will, and maketh us long 
only for what we have " ; because, incompetent to a higher place, she would 
there be of less service. Now in her right place, all her powers have full 
play. From no one can more be asked ; to no one can more be given. 
Perfect service is perfect freedom. 

For human conduct the moral of Piccarda's words is obvious. They do not 
spell ' quietism ' or ' standpattism, ' or exalt the maxim ' Whatever is, is best.' 
Personal ambition, the desire to better one's self in the world, is justifiable so 
long as one's power for good measures up to the coveted place. For the 
individual as well as for the race it is right that " the whole capacity of the 
potential intellect " should be kept '' constantly actualized." Else there is 
waste. So any one who sincerely feels that he has not found or been allotted 
his right place, his place of greatest usefulness, has a right, nay, a duty to 
protest. Not only he but, through him, society is the loser by the dislocation. 
' Noble discontent ' is awakened when one is needlessly kept from doing 
one's best. But individual discontent or social unrest, when stirred by desire 
of self-aggrandizement and not of disinterested service, is like the ambition 
of the bullfrog in the fable to swell himself to the bigness of the bull. His 
was not ' noble discontent ' ; it merely — as the event proved — spoiled a 
* perfectly good ' frog. We may heroically resolve to hitch our wagon to a 
star ; but we should remember that such a team calls for a specially gifted 
driver. 

Have I been saying undisputed things in a solemn way .? Well, so be it. 
I held out no promise of showing novelties in Dante, but rather the opposite 
— ideas and ideals so staled by frequence in our time that they have grown 
commonplace, and seem still more so in my commonplace handling. But if 
they are in Dante, if I am right in thinking they are in him, assuredly they 
will not sound commonplace from him. Really, isn't everything common- 
place and also not commonplace — as it is spoken ? 

Social inequality, then, regulated by social justice ; social justice bent on 
giving each individual his fullest scope, and so his greatest opportunity of 
service ; individual and collective service wholly dedicated to the realization 
of the whole potential capacity of mankind for ' speculation ' and ' action,* 
culture and conduct, — liberty^ equality^ fraternity interpreted and upheld as 



FLETCHER 93 

the best thought of the twentieth century is interpreting and upholding them, 
— such is Dante's social program. Is it mere empty paradox to speak of his 
modernness ? 

In conclusion, I may submit as it were an amendment on Carducci's son- 
net, with which I began this paper. Mine may be no more than a travesty of 
a sonnet, but I believe it a juster appreciation. 

Dante, not supine in ecstatic swoon 

Held'st thou communion with the Love which moves 

The sun and other stars ; not so behooves 

Man to abjure his manhood. Late and soon 

Thy gentle heart besought as for a boon 

Service ; believed he serves God best who loves 

Life, — who, still holding fast the good, yet proves 

All things, — and else were recreant and poltroon. 

Unto this end sweet Lucy made her prayer ; 

Gentle Matilda washed thy spirit clean ; 

Pure Beatrice led up the mystic stair — 

That thou might'st know where lies man's true demesne ; 

Which is not yet where angels have no care, 

But in such loving toil as left thee lean. 



THE TWO PROLOGUES TO THE LEGEND 
OF GOOD WOMEN: A NEW TEST 

John Livingston Lowes 

There is excellent authority for the persuasion that one's private glee in 

harping " ay o werbul " on however jolly a harp is not always shared by one's 

courteous auditors. And to touch again the Prologue to the Legend of Good 

Women is to court at best gently tolerant rather than eagerly expectant ears. 

So be it ! 

And therefore, who-so list it nat y-here, 

1^ Turne over the leef, and chese another tale. 

What I wish briefly to do is to look at the problem of the two versions of the 
Prologue from what I hope is a fresh angle, and to supplement by internal evi- 
dence certain considerations earlier adduced ^ as looking towards the priority 
of B. 

One of the curious features of the problem has been the seeming absence 
of decisive aid and comfort accorded by the two versions themselves to the 
literary detective. Where a revision has been so sweeping as that which is 
embodied in the first four hundred lines of the poem, it would seem inevitable 
that some trace of the actual process of change should be left in the workman- 
ship to betray unmistakably which is original and which alteration. Yet none 
of the evidence of this sort so far brought forward has been felt to stand 
wholly free from ambiguity. Strangely enough, however, one obvious test has 
not been hitherto thoroughly applied. And it is the application of this test 
which constitutes the purpose of the present paper .2 

I There are in the Prolo^e three passages of some length which in the re- 
/ vision have been transposed. That is, they have been taken out from between 
the lines of their original context, and inserted between other lines. In doing 
this, certain changes both in the new context and in the transposed lines have 
been rendered necessary. And if one take the trouble to go through the 
process of assuming first one version, then the other, as the original, and of 

1 Publications of the Modem Language Association of America, XIXr593-683; XX, 749-864; 
Journal of English and Germanic Philology, VIII, SIJ3-569. 

2 In presenting the considerations which follow, I sKalLliave to deal with matters of rathcik. 
minute detail, which in the nature of the case exact, in order to their just appraisement, close 
and constant reference to the documents themselves. I have tried, however, to organize and 
coordinate these details as far as possible, in order to reduce to the minimum the burden of 
weighing the evidence adduced. 

95 



96 THE TWO PROLOGUES 

thereupon actually making the necessary transpositions as Chaucer in either 
case must have made them, some interesting and pertinent facts are at once 
disclosed. ^ ^ 

Let us examine first the implications of A 71-80 and B 188-196, so far as 
matters of m^x^ joinery are involved,^ and let us assume for the moment that 
Chaucer has lifted the passage from its place in B, and carried it back a hun- 
dred and odd lines to its present position in A. Precisely what, on this as- 
sumption, must have happened? The question can be answered explicitly. 
The last two lines of the passage, thus shifted, will read as they still read in 
B, and will now be brought into immediate juxtaposition with B gj-gS^ so 
that the four lines which Chaucer has brought together will stand as follows : 

B 195 For this thing is al of another tonne, 

1 96 Of olde story ^ er swich thing was begonne. 

B 97 But wherfor that I spak, to give credence 

98 To olde stories^ and doon hem reverence, etc. 

We have simply done over again, that is to say, what Chaucer must have 
done, if B is the original^ and these four lines are what he must have had 
before him. 

Certain things are obvious at a glance. I have already ^ pointed out the 

1 I am deliberately steering clear, in the present discussion, of arguments drawn from purely 
aesthetic considerations — always more or less dependent on disturbing personal equations — 
and confining myself to the less alluring but more demonstrable evidence of technique. Ques- 
tions of the comparative elegance of two passages may admit of, or even invite, disputation 
without end ; questions of the mere mechanics of style are susceptible of what approaches 
demonstration. And it is the minutiae of literary craftsmanship that concern us here. 

2 For it must be remembered that we are now engaged with Chaucer in the process of mak- 
ing A (on our assumption of the moment), and that it is B alone that we have before us. 

3 Publications of the Modem Language Association, XIX, 665. Dr. French argues ( The Prob- 
lem of the Two Prologues to Chaucer's Legend of Good Women, Johns Hopkins Dissertation, 1905, 
p. 78, n. i) that "^ thing is in Chaucer's usage not always the very general term that it is 
in modern English, but is here evidently used in a sense akin to that in which it is employed in 
F [B] 364, 

But for he useth thinges for to make. 

The contrast is between this poem and that genre of poetry, and thing is used in a sense almost 
technical." But that is to force the second thing from the plain sense of its context. On 
Dr. French's own view that stryf has been changed to thing to avoid "a heaping up of sibilants" 
(p. 78), see Publications of the Modem Language Association, XX, 751, n. I. Professor Goddard's 
explanation (foumal of English and Germanic Philology, VIII, 105), to the effect that no hecter 
word than " the delightfully indefinite ' thing ' could be hit on to describe the nature of this 
gloriously unique production, the Legend of Good Women," and that " by the repetition of ' thing ' 
in the following line . . . the poet achieves one of his roguish ambiguities," perhaps demands 
no comment. Professor Koch, in his review {Englische Studien, XXXVI, 144) of my first article, 
is forced to the conclusion that the scribe has slipped up : " Umgekehrt kann das in B aus 
z. 195 inz. 196 wiederholte thing 2i\xi unaufmerksamkeit des schreibers beruhen, wahrend A an 
letzterer stelle das gewiss passendere stryf bietet." The " umgekehrt " is not without signifi- 
cance, as it refers back to Dr. Koch.'s suggestion that it is also the scribe, this time of A, who 
has changed elsewhere an original " florouns " to " floures." 



I 



LOWES 97 

awkward repetition of thing in two successive lines — a repetition to which 
Chaucer's attention would inevitably be directed as he now scrutinized crit- 
ically lines thrown off in the glow of composition. To hold that once seen the 
repetition would not be recognized as a blemish is to deny to Chaucer a sense 
of the rudiments of his craft. ^ But by following through his actual processes 
in revision, there is brought to light a fact which has so far escaped observa- 
tion. It is possible (in a word) to see how the change in revision came about. 
For as Chaucer inserted the couplet in its new position in his manuscript, his 
eye could not fail to catch the couplet (B 95-96) which had originally preceded 
B 97-98, but which he had now cancelled : 

As to myn erthly god, to yow I calle, 
Bothe in this werke and in my sorwes alle.^ 

The mere glance at his manuscript as he wrote would have been enough to 
suggest the apt substitution of ''this werke'' for ''this thing y And the further 
substitution of " stryf " for the second "thing" is merely carrying out the 
differentiation. 

Might not the change, however, have been the other way about.? If we 
assume A as the original, that is, may it not have been " this werk " of A 79 
which suggested " this werke " in B 96, when the passage in A was carried 
forward t One has still to answer, on such an assumption, the question : Once 
granted the careful discrimination involved in werk and stryf, what conceivable 
motive could there be for substituting, not for one only but for both (thus 
bringi7ig about the awkward repetition), the undiscriminating thing f But this 
question may be waived. "In this werke" of B 96 could not have had its sug- 
gestion in " this werk " of A 79, for the phrase in B has its own independent 
origin in the " NelV opera la quale a scriver vegno " of the Filostrato? In 
other words, the change from " this thing'' of B to " this werk " of A is ex- 
plicable at once through the wording of the cancelled passage in B. This 
wording of B, on the other hand, has its independent origin in something 
wholly outside of A. So far as this couplet is concerned, then, an examination 

1 Chaucer's procedure may be readily paralleled, of course, from the work of other poets. 
In 181 5, for example, Wordsworth found in the 1807 text of " I wandered lonely as a cloud," 

the following lines : 

A host of dancing daffodils ; 
Along the lake, beneath the trees, 
Ten thousand datjcing in the breeze. 

By the substitution of " golden " for the first " dancing " the repetition was obviated. 

2 In all probability the new passage was inserted in the margin, so that B 195-196 would be 
brought opposite B 95-96 : 

B 95 As to myn erthly god, to yow I calle, B 195 For this thing is al of another tonne, 

96 Bothe in this werke and in my sorwes alle. 196 Of olde story, er swich thing was begonne. 

But wherfor that I spak, etc. But wherfor that I spak, etc. 

* See Publications of the Modem Language Association of America, XIX, 619. 



98 THE TWO PROLOGUES 

of the craftsmanship involved seems to afford definite evidence of the order 

of revision.^ 
/ Moreover, as if to make assurance double sure, the very next couplet offers 

\ J even more striking evidence. For A 81-82 and B 97-98 are as follows : 

But wherfor that I spak, to yeve credence But wherfor that I spak, to give credence 
To bokes olde and doon hem reverence. To olde stories^ and doon hem reverence. 

If A is the earlier version, it is difficult to see any reason why for " bokes 
olde" there should be substituted "olde stories." On the face of it, such a 
change seems to be purely arbitrary. But, postulating B as the earlier version, 
and actually making the shift of the Flower and Leaf passage thus required, 
what we get is the group of lines already brought together on page 96. It is 
at once clear that the change from " olde stories " to '' bokes olde " is due to 
the necessity of obviating the repetition involved in " olde story " and '' olde 
stories " within three lines — a repetition brought about by the shift of para- 
graphs. Absolutely no such reason is operative in the other case. For what 
is inserted in place of A 71-80 (namely, B 83-96), if A is the original, con- 
tains nothing which requires the change from "bokes olde" to "olde stories," 
as a glance will show. That is to say, on the assumption of the priority of B 
there is again an obvious and cogent reason for the change ; on the contrary 
■ assumption, the explanation is to seek. And once more the order of revision 
has left its traces in the workmanship — traces which have not hitherto been 
observed simply because nobody has repeated the actual processes involved .^ 

^ It should be observed that still another change is perhaps accounted for by this same new 
juxtaposition of the Unes. For if we add the next couplet, we shall have (as Chaucer had) the 

° * For this thing is al of another tonne, 

Of olde story, er swich thing was begonne. 
But wherfor that I spak, to give credence 
To olde stories, and doon hem reverence. 
And that men mosten more thing beleve, etc. 

Thing is thus repeated three times within five lines. The use of aiUoritees in A 83 may readily 
enough have been also due to what a glance at the rearranged lines disclosed. For Chaucer 
had probably at least as much sense for such details as the average corrector of Freshman 
themes. Nor is the repetition of thing the only such blemish he would observe. 

2 Instances could be multiplied from other sources of changes in revision which carry still 
other changes with them. In Wordsworth's " I wandered lonely as a cloud," to which reference 
has already been made, the present second stanza, which was inserted in 181 5, contained the hne 

Ten thousand saw 1 at a glance. 
The original first stanza ended in the line 

Ten thousand dancing in the breeze — 
which was thereupon altered to 

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 
The inserted stanza contains the line 

Along the margin of a bay. 
The penultimate line of the original first stanza was 

Along the lake, beneath the trees — 



I 



LOWES 99 

This evidence falls in, it is obvious, with other considerations, based on 
the larger structural changes in the poem, which have been presented else- 
where.i In this paper, however, I am confining myself to the implications of 
the 3.ctu3l joiner s work involved in the transposed passages, and the evidence 
just adduced seems to be conclusive; even independently of other indications 
looking the same way. For there is nothing whatever involved in the changes 
just pointed out beyond the ordinary, mechanical processes of revision. Their 
very unimportance enhances their evidential value. 

But the results of the application of our test are not yet exhausted. Let us 
assume this time that A is the original, and that, accordingly, the paragraph 
A 71-80 is to be set forward a hundred lines or more. In the first place, lines 
71-72 of A constitute as they stand a complete couplet, rhyming in tmdertake- 
make. It would be a perfectly simple and obvious procedure, accordingly, 
to transfer this couplet intact to its new position, and that is certainly what we 
should expect to find — above all in the case of Chaucer ^ — if the assumption 
of a splitting of the paragraph in A be sound. But we do not so find it. On 
the other hand, at the point of its assumed insertion in B (11. 187-188) the 
passage begins with the second line of the couplet, the make now rhyming 
with sake of the preceding line, which ends an entirely independent sentence. 
And this sentence happens to be a reminiscence of Froissart, and it grows 
directly out of the preceding lines, which are also suggested by the DittU? 
In other words, with a complete and adequate couplet ready at his hand, 

which became 

Beside the lake, beneath the trees. 

An uncommonly interesting example of changes which involve still other changes is found 
in the first and second quartos of Hamlet. The reading of Q^ for I, ii, 150-152 is as follows : 

The Cocke, that is the trumpet to the morning, 

Doth with his earely and shrill crowing throate, 

Awake the god of day, and at his sound, etc. 
Q2 has become 

The Cock that is the trumpet to the mome, 

Doth with his lofty and shrill sounding throat 

Awake the God of day, and at his waming, etc. 

The change from " shrill crowing'''' to " shrill sotindmg" makes it necessary to substitute another 
word for sound in the next line. But the word actually substituted {warning) introduces at once 
a rhyme with morning two lines before. The further change from morning to mome accord- 
ingly becomes necessary. 

1 Publications of the Modem Language Association, XIX, 663 ; Tatlock, Development and 
Chronology of Chaucer"" s Works (Chaucer Society, 1907), pp. 92-93 ; etc. 

2 See especially below, pp. loo-ioi. 

^ Lines 175-185 of B are clearly traceable, for their suggestion, to lines 142-171 of Froissart's 
Dittie de la Flour de la Margherite [Poesies, ed. Scheler, II, 213-214). The limits of the present 
article do not permit citation of the two passages, but the comparison may be readily made. The 
next two lines of B (186-187), which end with the sake referred to above, retain, with a some- 
what different turn, the substance of the lines which immediately follow in the Dittii: 

I pray to God that faire mot she falle, Et pour I'amour d'une seule . . . 

And alle that loven floures, for her sake. Toutes les voeil honourer et servir (11. 172, 175). 



lOO THE TWO PROLOGUES 

Chaucer actually ends the new passage which leads up to it ^ ivith a ivord in 
the same rhyme, and thus forces himself to a quite gratuitous remodelling of 
his old couplet. That is of course within the bounds of possibility, but it is 
(especially, as we shall see, in Chaucer's case) in the highest degree improbable. 

Let us see, on the other hand, what happens if we assume the priority of 
B. The reminiscence of Froissart (B 175-187), now of a piece with all the 
other "glenings," ends in a prayer for "alle that loven floures, for hir sake," 
and this leads, with perfect naturalness, to a disclaimer of any intention to 
" preyse the flour agayn the leef." The sake-make rhyme, in other words, 
grows out of an unforced association of ideas, which bears every mark of spon- 
taneity. But now suppose the disclaimer (B 188-196) to be brought, for the 
sake of greater unity, into connection with the earlier Flower and Leaf para- 
graph. The omission of B 83-96 leaves this paragraph ending in a complete 
couplet, B 81-82 ; the paragraph to be transposed begins with the second line 
(B 188) of a couplet. It is necessary, accordingly, either to begin again 
de novo, or to expand the second line of the broken couplet to form a new 
couplet. In point of fact (on our present assumption) the first line and a half 
(188-189) of the passage in B have been dexterously expanded into two lines 
and a half (71-73) in A by repeating in reverse order (of which more later) the 
" flour ageyn the leef " phrase, thus giving the complete couplet needed.^ In 
other words, on the assumption of the priority of A, Chaucer finds a simple 
mode of juncture ready at his hand, and proceeds to introduce instead a very 
complicated one ; on the assumption of the priority of B, he finds the com- 
plication already there, and resolves it skillfully. Either alternative, again, is 
possible. There can be no question, even apart from what has been already 
pointed out, which is probable. 

But all this brings out another interesting fact. One of the most striking 
phenomena connected with the revision of the Prologue, on either hypothesis, 
is the scrupulous care which Chaucer takes to save himself the trouble of alter- 
ing rhymes, and this invincible disinclination to touch his rhyme-words is of 
the utmost interest even independently of its present bearing.^ But it has 
peculiar pertinence at just this point, and a concise statement of the essential 

1 And which, it may be added, makes necessary the further assumption' that Chaucer returned 
for fresh suggestion to his French originals. 

2 It is of course possible to say, on general principles, that the one and a half lines of B 
represent a condensation of the two and a half lines of A, in order to avoid this very repetition. 
But it is a little complicated to suppose (as in this case one must) that Chaucer consciously kept 
one eye on Froissart's lines, which he was charmingly paraphrasing, and the other on the pas- 
sage to whose insertion he was leading up, and triumphantly ended his reminiscence of Froissart 
with a rhyme-word which was designed to dovetail into the opening couplet of the shifted 
paragraph ! 

^ I am summarizing briefly in this paragraph, for its specific pertinence to the present case» 
what I have discussed elsewhere at greater length and in another connection. See Publications 
of the Modem Langicage Association, XX, 797-800. 



LOWES loi 

facts will aid in making their particular application clear. What has happened 
is briefly this : In only eleven instances in the entire Prologue has Chaucer 
changed the rhyme of a couplet, and then, it would seem, usually under vir- 
tual compulsion. 1 On the other hand, in twenty-one instances he has changed 
an entire line except the last word? Moreover, in nine lines the last two 
words alone remain unchanged ; ^ while in two lines the last three only,^ and in 
three lines the last /<??/r only ^ are left untouched. That is to say, in thirty-five 
instances more than half the line has been altered, and the rhyme carefully 
preserved. To these thirty-five cases, furthermore, there should be added the 
nine lines ^ in which a single new rhyme-w^r</ is substituted for an old with- 
out, however, changing the rhyme itself. It is clear, then, that the vis inertiae 
to be overcome before Chaucer could bring himself to sacrifice a rhyme already 
at his hand was by no means inconsiderable. And this notable reluctance finds 
significant illustration in the paragraph we are examining. 

For if A is the original version, a moment's consideration shows that 

line 72 

For trusteth wel, I ne have nat undertake 

As of the leef] ageyn the flour ^ to make — 

is curiously illogical. To write in praise of the leaf, as against the flower, is 
neither what Chaucer has done, nor what he intends to do, and to put the 
leaf first is a clear hysteron proteron. It is scarcely conceivable that Chaucer, 
if he were writing spontaneously — as he would be doing if A were the 
original — should have fallen into so manifest (and so gratuitous) an inconse- 
quence. It is a disclaimer of any intention to put Xh^Jlower before the leaf 
that we should expect to find emphasized — as, indeed, we actually find it 
in B l8g? But if A is the revision, the discrepancy is readily accounted 
for.^ For Chaucer, in making the transfer, obviously desires to keep the leef- 
sheef xhyTcvt of B 189-190, precisely as we have seen him retaining, instead 

1 The couplets are the following: A 13-14 = B 13-14; A 49-50 = B 49-50 ; A 53-54 = 
B 63-64 ; A 91-92 = B 181-182 ; A 224-225 = B 270-271 ; A 264-265 = B 332-333 ; A 266-267 
= B 334-335 ; A 312-313 = B 338-339 ; A 330-331 = B 354-355 ; A 332-333 = B 356-357 J 
A 526-527 = B 538-539. All but three of these changes in the rhyme of couplets belong to the 
more thoroughgoing portions of the revision, where measures which for Chaucer were rather 
heroic were rendered necessary. 

2 A 28 = B 28 ; 51 = 61 ; 58 = 56 ; 59 = 67 ; 60 = 68 ; 69 = 81 ; 70 = 82 ; 72 = 188 ; 78 = 
194; 83 = 99; 84 = 100; 107= 120; 127 = 139; 146 = 214; 160 = 228; 165 = 233; 179 = 276 i 
227 = 300 ; 348 = 368 ; 402 = 414 ; 532 = 543. Cf. 106 = 202 ; 108 = 1 19. 

8 A 33 = B 33; 36=36; 52 = 62; 68 = 80; 89= 108; 117 = 129; 136= 150; 144= 212 r 
242 = 316; 341 =363- * A 73 = B 189; 98 = 204. 6 A 94 = B 198; 166=234; 533 = 542. 

6 A 39 = B 39; 138=152; 143 = 211; 164 = 231; 234 = 308; 247=321; 317 = 341; 
364 = 380 ; 544 = 578. 

■^ It should be noticed that the precedence of the lea/in B 71-72, on the other hand, is en- 
tirely logical. " Even if you hold with the leaf, there is still reason why you should further me 
in my labor. For^^ — and so on. 

8 It is really a case where, as Tatlock pu<$ it with reference to another passage, " the 
superiority of B actually suggests that A is the later" [Development and Chronology, p. 97). 



I02 THE TWO PROLOGUES 

of recasting, his other rhymes. But to keep leef, when the Hne becomes A 73, 
makes it necessary, in this line, to throw flour first, with the inevitable con- 
sequence that Iccf must come first in A 72, which in turn (as we. have seen) 
forms part of the expansion of B 188 into a couplet.^ The discrepancy in 
A, that is, which is extremely difficult to understand if in that version Chau- 
cer was writing with a free hand, becomes explicable enough when we bring 
it into relation with Chaucer's sharply marked conservation, in his revision, of 
existing rhymes, and consider it as a result of his remodelling of B. 

Our examination of the implications of the shifted passage A 71-80 = 6 
188-196 has shown, it may be hoped, that point after point which is obscure 
or inconsistent on the assumption that the paragraph has been transferred from 
an original position in A to its present place in B becomes clear and consist- 
ent on the alternative hypothesis. There are, however, two other paragraphs 
(A 93-106 = B 197-21 1 ; A 179-202 = B 276-299) which have been simi- 
larly transposed. A briefer analysis must suffice for these. 

The shift represented by A 93-106 = B 197-2 11 involves, like the first, 
a structural change in the poem as a whole, the significance of which I am 
not here concerned with.^ It is again the mechanical changes involved in the 
actual transfer to which I desire to call attention here. I shall not append the 
two versions of the paragraph, as they are readily accessible. 

Assume for the moment that A is the earlier version. In that case, what 
has Chaucer done.? In the first place, he has retained (now as B 211) the 
second line (A 106) of the closing couplet (after striking out the reference 
to the lark in A 139-143), and has changed its last half in order to introduce 
the rhyme needed to effect a junction with its new context — i.e. the '' mede " 
of A 144. That is easy enough to understand. But he has not stopped with 
that. For he has also taken this same closing couplet (A 105-106) eiitire, 
modifying its wording, and inserted it {now as B 201-202) between lifies 
g6 and gy, where there is no need of it whatever. And in doing this he has 
brought about a mass of repetitions. Not only has he unnecessarily repeated 
himself so far as the idea is concerned, but he has also introduced a verbal 
repetition of ''To seen this flour" (B 202, 211), and (through the further 
modification of A 94 = B 198) has three times repeated ''this flour" itself 
(B 198, 202, 211). Nor is that all. For the "goon to reste" of the new 
B 201 now repeats the "goon to reste" of B 198. And finally, the change 
resulting in B 198 ( = A 94) has also introduced a repetition of both " that " 
and " gan " of the preceding line. 

1 In like manner the retention of the honour-floicr rhyme of B 81-82 throws /^^ first in 
A 70, although in this instance, as in the case of B 72, there is no real violation of logic. 

2 See Tatlock, Development and Chronology, p. 93. My own earlier discussion of the same 
point is obscured by overemphasis laid on the relations between the supposed two parts of the 
Prologue to the Lay de Franchise and the Paradys d'amours respectively {Publications of the 
Modem Language Association, XIX, 679-680). 



LOWES 103 

Assume, now, the contrary change. The last line (B 211) in this case must 
give place to a complete couplet so as to connect with that represented by 
B 1 19-120 (B 1 09-1 18 having been cancelled), and at the same time the 
reference to seeing the flower must be kept. Both the couplet and the refer- 
ence are already at hand in B 201-202, which, moreover, are not needed 
where they stand. This couplet is, accordingly, transferred, with necessary 
modification of the wording, to the end of the paragraph. Thus the threefold 
reiteration of ''this flour," and the repetition of the phrases ''to seen this 
flour" and "to goon to reste " are obviated at one stroke. Moreover, the 
simple change of B 198 to A 94 does away with the awkward repetition of 
"that" and "gan." If, then, A is the prior version, Chaucer has (while 
revising) introduced in a passage of fifteen lines the repetition of no less 
than five words or phrases ; if B is the earlier form (in which case the repeti- 
tions are the result of rapid composition), in effecting the transposition he has 
at the same time obviated sXl five. The latter phenomenon is manifestly the*^ 
one more characteristic of revision. And the only alternative open, I think, 
is the assumption that Chaucer, while actually exercising his critical judg- ^ 
ment in revision, was either oblivious to or careless of the most obvious blem- 
ishes of style. In other words, the changes that are made, if A represents a 
revision of B, are such as may be illustrated from actual records of revision in 
the case of many other writers. For the phenomena that appear, if B is the 
revised text, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a parallel. 

But another point is perhaps equally significant. Lines 1 19-124 of B are 
unmistakably inspired by Machaut's Dit de la Marguerite, as a comparison 
will render clear at once : 

That was \A\}s\ floures jw^/^ enbrouded al, Or resgardons k ceste douce flour : 

Of swich swetnesse and swich odour over-al, Toutes passe, ce m'est vis, en coulour ; 

That, for to speke of gomme, or herbe, or Et toutes ha surmonti de douqour. 

tree, Ne comparer 

Comparisoun tnay noon y-maked be; Ne se porroit [nulle'\ k li de coulour. 

For hit surmounteth pleynly alle odoures, Par excellence est garnie d'' odour, 

And eek of riche beautee alle floures. Et richement parde de verdour.^ 

B 1 19 -120, therefore, are directly reminiscent of Machaut's Dit, and they 
follow with perfect spontaneity the lines about " the smale softe swote gras." 
If, now, B is the earlier version, Chaucer has skillfully changed this couplet 
to A 107-108, in order to effect his juncture : 

Fair was this medew, as thoughte me overal. 
With floures swote enbrowded was it al. 

'^ Dit, 11. 17-23 (ed. Tarbe, p. 123). Lines 18-21 of the Dit were cited by Professor Skeat 
{Oxford Chaucer, III, xxxi) as parallel with B 53-55, which they resemble, however, very slightly. 
I called attention in my earlier discussion {Publications of the Modem Language Association, 
XIX, 628, n. 2) to the fact that they were closer to B 123-124, but I failed even then to see 
the full extent of the parallel. 



^ 



I04 THE TWO PROLOGUES 

The *' fair was this medew " carries over " the medew " of B 210 (= A 104) ; 
" me thoughte " takes up '* me mette " of the same line. In other words, 
Chaucer is deaUng freely with his own lines, quite independently of their 
suggestion in Machaut. But if the change is the other way about, in making 
his connection with what are now the newly inserted lines B 1 1 5-1 18, he has 
at the same time increased the closenesss of his paraphrase of the Dit} That, 
to be sure, is possible, but it is not probable. In a word, an actual test of 
what is involved in the two alternatives presented by the transposition of 
A 93-106 = B 197-21 1 again throws light on the or-dcr of revision. 

Nor is the case of A 179-202 = B 276-299 without suggestion. In B the 
lines rehearsing Alceste's comfort as against '*the drede of Loves wordes 
and his chere " (B 278-281) are separated by forty lines, including the ballad, 
from the actual account (B 239-240) of the God of Love's "stern loking," 
to which they refer ; in A the two passages are together. As in the parallel 
case of the Flower and Leaf passages, it is difficult to see a reason why, origi- 
nally united, the two paragraphs should be separated ; there is excellent rea- 
son why, originally separated, but later seen to belong together, they should 
be joined. But it is the further consequences of this junction to which I wish 
to direct attention. For suppose that Chaucer, having observed the connec- 
tion between the two separated paragraphs, actually begins the transfer. 
B 276 (with a change which does not concern us here) will now follow B 246. 
When Chaucer comes, in his copying of B 276-299, to the last two couplets, 
these four lines (B 296-299) are brought into immediate juxtaposition with 
B 247—248 — a situation which would instantly afford the suggestion for the 
transfer of the ballad itself from Chaucer to the atte7idant ladies. The shift 
of the paragraph from its place in B to its place in A, that is, not only puts 
together lines which logically belong together, but it also contains an almost 
inevitable suggestion for the extremely important change in the treatment of 
the ballad. The transfer in the opposite direction not only effects none of 
this, but actually breaks the logical unity and weakens the dramatic situation. 

It would be easy to carry farther this minute analysis of details, but it is 
perhaps neither necessary nor advisable. Sat patnae Priamoque datum. 
Even within the rigid limitations to which we have confined ourselves, ex- 
cluding all but the one sort of evidence, the case seems to be clear. 

1 Compare the parallel situation in the case of B 187-188. See above, p. 100. Since Words- 
worth's " I wandered lonely as a cloud " has already been twice referred to, it may not be out of 
place to observe that it also illustrates the familiar tendency in revision to move away from 
whatever source may have suggested the details of the original. The fourth line of the present 
third stanza originally read " In such a laughing company," where the ^^ laughing" is clearly 
suggested by Dorothy Wordsworth's /f?«?7?«/ (ed. Knight, I, 106). In 181 5 the line became 
" In such a jocund company." The point is noted, because sufficient attention has not been 
paid to the similarity between Chaucer's procedure in revision, and that of other poets. For 
Chaucer's procedure as illustrated in the Troilus, see Tatlock, Development and Chronology., 
PP- 3-5- 



CAIPHAS AS A PALM-SUNDAY PROPHET 

Carleton Brown 

The piece of Middle- English verse which forms the subject of the present 
paper occurs in Sloane MS. 2478, a vellum manuscript of the early fourteenth 
century, fol. 43^" to fol. 44*^. The volume in question is a miscellany con- 
^sting of religious tales, extracts from the Fathers, sermons, lists of Church 
r estivals, and similar material. A complete list of the contents is given by 
Mr. J. A. Herbert in Vol. Ill of the Catalogtte of Romances in the Dept. of 
MSS, in the British Miisetim, p. 512. With the exception of the Caiphas 
poem the contents of the MS. are entirely in Latin. Though wholly distinct 
from their environment in the MS., the English verses were written by the 
same hand, and formed a part of the original contents of the volume. End- 
ing the life of St. Alexius at the middle of fol. 42*, the scribe left the lower 
half of the page blank, in order, it would appear, that he might begin " Cay- 
phas " at the top of a new page ; and having completed the English poem he 
drew a line across the foot of the page and proceeded, at the top of fol. 45'', 
with a miracle from the life of St. Patrick. 

The Caiphas poem was printed by Thomas Wright in 1843 in Reliqtiice 
AntiqncB, II, 241-245, though with the omission of a few lines at the end 
where the MS. was illegible. For the recovery of these lines I am under 
obligations to Mr. Gilson, Keeper of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 
who permitted the use of reagents on the lower portion of fol. 44*, with the 
result that the lines were brought out distinctly. The text as printed below is 
based throughout upon an independent collation of the MS. 

CAYPHAS 

AUe hayle and wel y-met ^ 
AUe 566 schulle|> beo fe bet 

Nou icham y-come 
4 Blysful and bly]?e 566 mowe bee 
Such a prelat her y-soe 

I-toUed to J)is trome 

1 The t oi y-met is followed by a loop or flourish which appears repeatedly afterwords end- 
ing in/, ^, k, or t. In a few cases these loops may have been intended by the scribe to repre- 
sent final e, but for the most part they are without significance. In 11. i6o and i6i these loops 
have been expanded as -es, but elsewhere they have been disregarded. Since it is not practicable 
to reproduce them in printing, I give here a list of the words where they occur : folk, 1. 59 ; 
uolk, 1. 24 ; y-met, 1. i ; 3//", 1. 14 ; yvf, 11. 89, 124, 131 ; /^, 1. 90 ; long, 1. 17 ; menamonk, 1. 161 ; 
noJ>yng, 1. 17; ^/, 11. 27, 30, 41, 70, 79, 91, 114, 144; olyf,\. 115; 5ong,Vi. 16, no, 117; J>onk,\. 160. 

105 



io6 CAIPHAS AS A PALM-SUNDAY PROPHET 

^e boe)) wel wery aboute y-go 
8 So icham my sulf al so 
Ich bysschop Cayface 
Ich moste her sone synge 
Ipe prophecye of heuene kynge 
12 J>at whyle ich seyde by grace 

]>^ stonde}) a stounde and blowe)> bref 
And 5if icham as jee soe]) 

Ichulle bere me bolde 
1 6 And synge 50U sone a lytel song 
Ha schal boe schort and no]>yng long 

J>at rsLper ichadd y-told^ 

Ich was bysschop of ])e lawe 
20 J>t jer ]>^ crist for 50U was slawe 
^e mo we boe glade f^rfore 
Hit com to soj^e ]j* ich ])0 seyde 
Betere hit were ^ o man deyde 
24 J? an al uolk were y-lore 

C expedit et c[etera]. 

Ichot je mowe noujt longe dwelle 
f>y i are 5e go ichow wol telle 

of crist ane litel tale 
28 And of jour palm je bere J? an honde 
Ich schal habbe leue ichonder stonde 

of grete men & smale 

A welsoop sawe soj^lich ys seyd 
32 Ech god game ys god y-pleyd 
Louelych & lyjt ys leue 

f>e Denes leue and alle manne 

To rede and synge ar ich go hanne 
36 Ich bydde ])^ 30U ne greue 

O i Decane reuerende 

In adiutoriuw meuw intend [e] 

Ad informandu/« hie astantes 

Michi scitis fauorante 

Si placet bone domine 

lube benedicere 

JLansstmii hodie cantat//r quidam cantus, Occur [r]u«t turbe cum floribus et 
palmis redemptori obuiam et c'. Et nos similiter''- debemus ei occurrere cum floribus 
v/rtutuw et palmis victorisLrtim. palma enim victoriam significat, vnde scribit^^r: 
lustus vt palma florebit, et secundum gregoriuw ^ : £x qualitate palmarum designa- 
Air pxoficiens vita iustorum. ad no-^ c^uod om;zem a crucifixo habemus, vnde ipj-e 

1 fol. 43*. 2 Moralium Lib. XIX, Migne, Patrol. Lat., LXXVI, col. 130. 

* At this point the scribe evidently skipped several lines. 



CARLETON BROWN 107 

dicit: Si mundi'^ hoc faciunt in arido quid fiet. In suwma ergo duw pr^cessionem 
facimus, christum. ad nos veniente;« suscipimus cwm pueris obuiam imus. si inno- 
cenciam s^ruamus oliuas gerimus ; si pacis et rmsericordio. o^erihus indulgemus, 
palmas portamus ; si de viciis et diabolo victoriam optinemus, virentes flores et fron- 
des gestamus ; si virtutibus exomamur, vestimenta stemimus camem mortificantes, 
ramos carpimus, sanctorum, vestigia imitantes. De istis aliqua pr<? laicis intendo p^r- 
tractare, et sic in breui expediam vos. 

Welcome boe jee i J)at stonde)? aboute 
f>at habbe]? y-siwed fis grete route 

Sone ychuUe 50U synge 
40 ^ou alle today i*= mot y-mete 
Ichabbe leue of pe grete 

Wysdom for to wrynge 

A bysschop ich was in cristes tyme 
44 J'o gywys vawe wolde do by me 
Wbat i^ ham euere radde 
[lujdas to ous Ihesus solde 
J>o annas and ich panes tolde 
48 Our by5ete was badde 

C pontifex anni iWxus qui cowsiliuw dederat iudeis. 

Whar fore ich & annas 
To fonge Ihesi^s of ludas 
Vor )?rytty panes to paye 
52 We were wel faste to helle y-wronge 
Vor hym ]>^ for 50U was y-stonge 
In rode a gode fridaye 

C tamen expedit ynxxm hominem mori &c. 

fat latyn J>at i*' lascht out nouryjt 
56 To joure Ihesus hit was y-dy5t 
& is pus moche to telle 

Hit is betere pat o man deye 

fan al folk euere boe in eye 
60 In pe pyne of helle 

J>e pri^phecie ]>^ ich seyde par 
Ich hit seyde po as a star ^ 

Ich nuste what ich mende 
[fol. 44] 64 Ich wende falslyche jangli po 
Of me pat wyt naddych no 

bote as Ihesu sende 

Man t at fuUojt as chabbe y-rad 
68 fy saule ' ys godes hous y-mad 
& tar * ys wassche al clene 

^ Idead vindi; cf. Luke, xxiii, 21- ^ Starling (Ang.-Sax. j/^r). ^ MS. corrected from soule. 
* = & ]>ar; f/". And tou, Si. Eustas, v. 147 (Horstmann, Altengl. Leg. N.F., p. 214). 



^ 



io8 CAIPHAS AS A PALM-SUNDAY PROPHET 

Ac after fullou5t )>oru5 iu\\>e of synne 
Sone is mad wel hory wy|) inne 
72 Al day hit is y-sene 

Man t ]>ou hast |>roe wel grete fon 
f>at fondef euere hou mo don 

To foule godes hous 
76 J>at is pi flechs wyj? lechery e 
f>e world wy}> coueytise & enuye 

JJerto hi buj) wel vous ^ 

J>e frydde fo is ]>e deuel of helle 
80 J>at f onde]> in ])i saule ^ dwelle 
And holde cryst J^ar oute 

Wy)) prude and wrethe he wole com yn 

J>i i of hym and hys engyn 
84 ^ee scholde habbe doute 

Laste your soule boe fuld ajee 
Wy|> ))oes * )?roe foon syker je boe 

(gee mote boe wel clybbe 
88 To floe ham ' and ]>e sunnes seuene 
Wylnep schryft jyf je wol heuene 

Good lyf 5e mote lybb[e] 

Wy]> sorwj>e of herte t & schryft of mou))e 
92 Do]? deedbote pis tyme noup 
^yf 5e woUe god awyn[ne] 

& loke|) hys hous boe wel clene 

J>at non hore paryn boe sene 
96 3y[f] he schal come par ynne 

& hwanne je habbep ou^rcome panne * voend 
fanne y-metep cryst 50ur froend 
Wyp palm & bowes grene 
100 J>at ys a tokne i pat alle & some 
Habbep pe deueles al ouercome 
Ham to sorwe and toene 

To ierusalem as to day 

104 Ihesus rood hys ryjte way 
Vpane slowe asse 
Vale par were p* on hym lyfde 
J>t louede hym & faste hym sywede 

108 More men & lasse 

1 Ready (Ang.-Sax./tis). ^ MS. corrected from soule. 

' Above the o an i has been written in different ink. * MS. corrected fivm i>onne. 



CARLETON BROWN 109 

Chyldren of hebreys hym y-mette 
Meklyche wyj) song hy hym grette 

& knooled to har kynge 
[fol. 44*] 112 Wy)) hare cloj^es hy spradd ys way 
In gret worschepe of hym to day 

& blessede hym syngynge 

Hy here bowes of olyf troe 
116 & floures ]>e vayriste hy myjte y-soe 
Wy mury song & game 
Anon as hy my3te hym y-soe 
Hy seyde blessed mot ha boe 
120 J>at come]) in godes name 

C benedictwj qui venit in nomine dommi etc'. 

Cryst com as moeklych as a lorn 
To habbe for 50U dej^es dom 
To de\)Q a wolde hym pulte 
124 gyf he ne deyde ne blod ne bledde 
Euere yn helle 5e hadde ba wedde 
ffor Adames gulte 

Nou 5ee f* here]? today jour palm 
128 Wei aujte je queme such a qualm 
To cnst jour herte al jyue 

As dude J>e chyldren of )?olde lawe 

gyf je hym louede je scholde wel vawe 
132 boe by tyme schryue 

^ Lewede ]?* here]) palm an honde 
fat nutej) what palm ys tonderstonde 
Anon ichulle 50U telle 
136 Hit is a tokne ]>* alle & some 

J>t bu]7 y-schryue habbe}> ou^n:ome 
Alle fe deueles of helle 

gyf eny habbe J> braunches y-brojt 
140 & buj) vnschryue har host nys nojt 
Ajee ])e fend to fyjte 

1 With this explanation of the significance of the palm may be compared w. 1-30 of the 
metrical version of the Assumption in the Auchinleck MS. (ed. Max Schwarz, £ng-/. Stud., 
VIII, 448), and also the following passage in Mirk's homily for Palm Sunday : " Wherfor ych 
cristyn man and woman schall \>y% day here palmes yn pr(3cessyon, schewyng >at he hai>e foghten 
wyXJi >e fend, an haj'e |>e vyctory of hym by clene schryft of mow>e and repentans of hert, and 
mekely don his penance, and '\n ]>is wyse ou^n;ome his enmy " {Mirk's Festial, EETS., p. 116). 
The Palm Sunday symbolism is also interpreted by theological writers in very similar terms : 
cf. Bp. Hildebert of Le Mans (Migne, Patrol., CLXXI, col. 503) and Hugh of St. Victor (Migne, 
Patrol., CLXXVI, col. 473). 



no CAIPHAS AS A PALM-SUNDAY PROPHET 

Hy make}> ham holy as Jr-were * 
Vort ^ hy boe schryue hy schulle|> boe skere 
144 Of loem of heuene lyjte 

Ich moste synge & ba go 
Schewe me ]>e bok }>* i<= haddydo 
J>e song schal wel an hey5 
148 Ich may nojt synge hym al bi rote 
Vorto tele eche note 

Hy boe|> y-nome wel ney5 
C Cantat expedit. 

Ich wamy alle schrewen vnschryue 
152 To symon Cuwpayngnou« i*' habbe y-5yue 
power of disciplyne 

He wol boe redy ase je 

ich rede ])ar come non to me 
156 Anaunter last ha whyne 

Nou gawe hom hit is fordays ^ 
Lengere ne tyd jou here no pays * 

f>e belle wol sone rynge 
160 DoJ> so f* ich cunne 50U ]>onkes 

WyJ) bordoun hauteyn menamonk^j ® 

lat me hure 50U synge. 

The date to which Mr. Herbert assigns the MS. on palaeographical 
grounds agrees fairly well with the linguistic evidence presented by the text 
before us ; though so far as its language is concerned the poem may easily 
have been composed as early as the year 1300.^ The occurrence of the in- 
strumental Ay (vv. 13, 26, and 83), for example, is extremely rare after the 
beginning of the fourteenth century, except in the combination yi??^^;/. More- 
over, the inflectional forms when compared with those in the thirteenth- 
century Owl and Nightingale show but few modifications. 

A more difficult problem is that of fixing the place of composition. In 
dealing with this question it will be convenient to consider, first, the dialectical 

1 Everywhere (Ang.-Sax. ge-hwdr). 

2 Until; cf. Leg. of Holy Rood, EETS., p. 26, line loi ; p. 28, line 114. 

3 I.e. late in the day; ci.ferdayes, Knight of LaT. Landry, EETS., p. 45, and A Gest of 
Robyn Hode, stanza 16; 2Xs,ofar day, " Examination of William of Thorpe," ed. A. W. Pollard, 
Fifteenth Cent. Prose and Verse, p. 160, line 26. 

* O.Yx.pas ; here used of time as in " Lystyn a lytyl pas " {Pol. Pel. and Love Poems, EETS., 
p. 272, line 45). 

5 Monks would have no place in such a procession. Possibly the word is a half-playful 
designation of the choir-boys : " minnow-monks " ; cf. the etymology of " minnow " in the 
New Eng. Diet. Altar-boys were often referred to as " monachuli." 

® The date of composition cannot, of course, be fixed by the date of the MS. In the case 
of Caiphas evidence that the scribe was not the author but merely a copyist is seen in the blun- 
dering omission of a portion of the Latin text (see above, p. 106, note 3). 



CARLETON BROWN ill 

characteristics which appear in the text itself and, second, such evidence as 
may be afforded by Hturgical usage. 

A casual inspection of the text is sufficient to establish the fact that the 
dialect is consistently Southern. Moreover, the complete absence of Kentish ^, 
and of the breaking ea^ as well as of the initial z makes it clear that the poem 
does not belong to the Southeast. In attempting to narrow the field still 
further it will be necessary to scrutinize the forms in our text with special 
reference to the linguistic distinctions between the Middle-Southern district 
and the Southwest. 

The most important of these, as Morsbach defines them, consists in the 
treatment of Anglo-Saxon ce (including shortened Anglo-Saxon &). Whereas 
documents of the Middle-South normally represent Anglo-Saxon (e by e} 
those of the Southwest as regularly show the vowel a? Applying this test, 
now, to our text, we see that it ranges itself decisively on the side of the 
Southwest. 

1 . Anglo-Saxon cs>a: 

after 70. 

at 67. 

badde 48. 

faste 52, 107. 

glade 21. 

habbe 29, 41, 84, 122; chabbe 67, 152. 

hadde 125, 146; ichadd 18; naddych 65. 

smale 30. 

star 62. 

>at 18 et passim. 

was 19, 43, 48, 53, 56. 

what 45, 63, 134. 

2. Anglo-Saxon ^ shortened > a : 

lasse 108. 

laste (Ang.-Sax. i^jK l(£s J>e) 85, 156. 

radde 45 ; y-rad 67. 

spradd 112. • 

lati62. 

wharfore 49. 

l>ar 61, 106, 155 ; tar 69; J>ar-oute 81 ; t>ar-ynne 95, 96. 

are (Ang.-Sax. <kr) 26 ; ar 35. 

3. Exceptions: 

wrethe 82. 

flechs 76. 

any 139 

Jjerfore 21 ; >er-to y^. 

1 In later documents, such as St. Editha (ed. C. Horstmann, Heilbronn, 1883 ; composed 
about 1420), this distinction is lost, for the Middle-Southern e has yielded to a, but the distinction 
was certainly preserved as late as 1300. 

2 Morsbach, Mittelengl. Gram., §§ 95, 97. 



112 CAIPHAS AS A PALM-SUNDAY PROPHET 

Another distinction between Southwestern and Middle-Southern documents 
is found in the treatment of Anglo-Saxon a before nasals. In the Southwest 
this vowel before nasals regularly remains a, while Middle-Southern documents 
waver between a and 0} It should be noted, however, that where the original 
short vowel has been lengthened by following consonant combinations,^ this 
distinction has been lost, for in these cases Middle-Southern and Southwestern 
texts alike show 0. The following instances of Anglo-Saxon a before nasals 
occur in Caiphas : 

1 . Followed by lengthening consonant combinations Ang.-Sax. a becomes o : 

fonde> 74, 80. 

honde 28, 133. 

lorn 121. 

long 17,25. 

song 16, no, 117, 147. 

stondep 13, 37; (onder)stonde 29. 

|>onkes 160. 

2. Otherwise Ang.-Sax. a remains : 

an (prep.) 28, 133, 147. 

and I, etc. 

game 32, 117. 

man 23, 58, 67 ; manne 34. 

name 120. 

i>an (conj.) 24. 

)>anne (adv.) 98. 

hanne (dem.) 97. 

hwanne 97. 

Somewhat noteworthy is the frequent (though by no means regular) 
appearance in our text of voiced / in initial position. Thus : 

vale (Ang.-Sax. ^/«) 106. 

vawe (Ang.-Sax. y2?^^«) 44, 131. 

vayriste 1 1 6. 

voend 97. 

volk 24. 

vor(prep.)5i, 53, 149. 

vort 143. 

vous (Ang.-Sax. /"//j) 78. 

In older Southern texts, such as Ancren Riwle and Owl and Nightingale^ 
the voicing of initial / is carried much further than in Caiphas, as it is also 
in Robert of Gloucester. In St. Katharine, on the other hand, initial / is 
preserved,^ as it is in almost every case in the poems of MSS. Laud 108, 
Harl. 2277, and Harl. 2253. In the homilies in MS. Lamb. 487, /occurs 
more commonly than v in initial position.* It will be seen, therefore, that 

1 Morsbach, §§ 88, 93. 2 cf. Morsbach, §§ 55, 93. 3 Einenkel, EETS., 13, p. xlii. 

* Cf. O. Cohn, Die Sprachein dermittelengl. Predigtsammlungder Hs. Lamb. 487, 1880, p. 22. 



1 



CARLETON BROWN 



113 



the initial vs in our poem, though they do not afford any definite indication 
as to the place of its composition, are quite consistent with the neighborhood 
of Gloucestershire. 

The evidence thus far points distinctly toward the Southwest as the home 
of Caiphas. Some of the pronominal forms, on the other hand, look toward 
the Middle-South. 

1. The masculine third personal pronoun nominative singular shows not 
only the regular form he (vv. 82, 96, 124, 154) but also the unaccented ha 
(vv. 17, 119, 156). The latter form is one which occurs most frequently in 
Kentish documents.^ At the same time, it is to be noted that in Robert of 
Gloucester (v. 3826) the form a (= he) occurs. 

2. The dative and accusative plural of the third personal pronoun is 
regularly ham (vv. 45, 88, 102, 142), which is the characteristic form in 
documents of the Middle-South .^ Robert of Gloucester, on the other hand, 
invariably writes horn ; in the Homilies of Lamb. MS. 487 the usual form is 
heom, though ham occurs occasionally.^ The only Southwestern text in which 
ham (or ^am) appears regularly is Lajamon B.^ 

3. The possessive pronoun third person plural is har (w. 1 1 1, 140), hare 
(v. 112), as in the Middle-Southern documents (cf. Diehn, p. 21). Robert of 
Gloucester, on the other hand, writes hor or her ; in the Life of Thomas a 
Beketono, finds in every case here ; in Owl and Nightingale and Lamb. MS. 
487 the forms are hore or heore, although in the latter hare sometimes occurs.^ 

One of the most striking peculiarities in the Caiphas text is the use of oe 
for Anglo-Saxon /<?, though it is never employed for the short eo. Thus : 

boe (14 times); beo 2; ba 125, 145. 

boe)> 7, 150; but> 78, 137, 140. 

floe 88. 

voend 97; fend 141. 

froend 98. 

loem 144. 

moeklych 121 ; meklych no. 

soet> 14; y-soe 5, 116, 118. 

)>oes (plu.) 86 (cf. Diehn, Die Pron, im Friihmittelengl., p. 34, B.y). 

koe 73, S6. 

toene 102. 

troe 115. 

The regularity with which oe appears for Anglo-Saxon ^0 is surprising — 
the single exception,^ knooled (v. iii), being probably a mere scribal slip. 

1 Cf. O. Diehn, Die Pronomina im Fruhmittelenglischen, 1901, p. 29. 2 cf. Diehn, p. 21. 

3 Old English Homilies, EETS., I, p. 31, line 19; p. 43, Hnes 15, 19; p. 45, line 16. 

* On the dialect of this MS. cf. A. Luhmann, Die Uberlieferung von Layimons Brut, 1906, 
p. 10, note. ^ Old Eng. Horn., I, p. 43, line 10. 

6 Deuel (79, etc.) and /j/3/? (v. 33) are not really exceptions for the reason that in these words 
the original long vowel had been shortened. Cf. Morsbach, p. 79. 



114 CAIPHAS AS A PALM-SUNDAY PROPHET 

Unfortunately, however, this occurrence of oe offers but little assistance 
toward fixing the home of our poem. Morsbach notes the frequent occur- 
rence of ue, u, and oe for Anglo-Saxon /<? in Southern and West-Midland 
documents.^ The spelling ue appears to be specially characteristic of Here- 
fordshire ; at least in Harl. MS. 2253, which was written probably at Leomin- 
ster in that county, one finds tie almost regularly .2 The spelling oe, on the 
other hand, appears with great frequency in the well-known Digby MS. 86, 
a Southern text whose exact home has not been determined. The form boe 
occurs once in the Owl and Nightingale (Cott. Text, v. 1303), written in 
Dorsetshire, and is to be found as far east as Chichester.^ 

The results gained from this examination of dialectical forms, although 
not definite enough to fix the home of the poem with precision, suggest that 
it belongs to the Southwestern district, but not to the extreme west of this 
territory. Or, to put the matter in geographical terms, one would say that the 
text before us could hardly have been written east of Wiltshire or west of 
Eastern Somersetshire. 

Turning now from linguistic evidence to liturgical usage, we may note at 
the outset an important clue afforded in the poem itself by the reference to 
the '* Dene " (v. 34). This mention of the Dean appears unquestionably to 
connect the Caiphas verses with a cathedral church.^ Furthermore, the office 
of Dean is never found in the organization of the monastic cathedrals, but 
was peculiar to the secular cathedrals. The authority of the Dean was second 
only to that of the Bishop, and in the government of affairs within the cathe- 
dral church he took a more direct and active part than the Bishop himself ; 
for he presided over all the canons and vicars *' cum animarum regimine et 
morum correctione," ^ and, unlike the Bishop, he was required to be in resi- 
dence at the cathedral.^ Again, one observes that the lines of invocation 
spoken by Caiphas ('* O Decane reuerende," etc.) imply that the Dean was 
actually present. In this connection it is interesting to note the explicit direc- 
tion in the Consuetudinary at Salisbury (and doubtless at other cathedrals 
also) that on Palm Sunday, if the Bishop be absent, the Dean is to officiate 
in person." 

We shall not be mistaken, then, I think, in assuming that the verses of 
Caiphas were spoken in some one of the secular cathedrals, and the only 

1 Mittelengl. Gram., p. i6, note i. Cf. also K. D. Biilbring, tjber Erhaltung des altengl. 
kurzen und langen ce-Lautes itn Mittelengl., Bonner Beitrage, XV, 114-115. 

2 Cf. Boddeker, Altengl. Dicht., p. 10, and Jos. Hall, King Horn, p. xxiv. 

3 Cf. the description of Emmanuel Coll. Camb. MS. 27, fol. 162, in James's Catalogue. 

* There were, to be sure, also " decani rurales " who presided over chapters of the parish 
clergy, at which all manner of offenses and misdemeanors of the laity as well as of clerks were 
considered and corrected (cf. W. W. Capes, Hist, of the Engl. Church in the Fourteenth and 
Fifteenth Centuries, p. 241 ). But I think it wholly improbable that Caiphas referred to one of these. 

* Consuetudinary of St. Osmund, in the Register of St. Osmund, Rolls Ser., I, 2. 
«Ibid., I, 18. Mbid., I, 4. 



CARLETON BROWN 115 

secular cathedrals within the entire area of the Southern dialect were 
Chichester, Salisbury, Wells, Exeter, and Hereford. Of these Salisbury and 
Wells alone fall within the probable limits fixed for the poem on linguistic 
grounds. Manifestly, therefore, we are called upon to make particular inquiry 
in regard to the Palm Sunday customs in these two cathedrals. 

At Salisbury the ritual of Palm Sunday is carefully prescribed in the 
Consuetudinary of St. Osmund^ a document composed in the second half of 
the twelfth century and edited from a MS. of the early thirteenth century by 
Canon W. H. R. Jones in the Rolls Series. Expanded versions of the Palm 
Sunday ritual occur also in early printed editions of the Sanim Missale (first 
printed in 1487), of which a modern edition, with painstaking collations from 
the numerous early prints, has been prepared by F. H. Dickinson,^ and also 
in the Sarum Processionale (first printed in 1508), edited with collation of 
other sixteenth-century prints by W. G. Henderson, Leeds, 1882. 

As to the route of the procession and the location of the three '* stations " 
the Missale and Processionale agree with the earlier Consuetudinary, though 
in the later texts the ritual has been elaborated by the introduction of several 
additional antiphons. 

After the palms had been blessed and distributed to clergy and laity, the 
procession began its march, issuing from the church through the west door, 
then turning to the left and entering the cloister by the Porta Canonicorum. 
Proceeding round the cloister to the east side, the procession continued its 
easterly course through the Cimiterium Canonicorum, and thence entered the 
Cimiterium Laicorum, through which it passed to the extreme eastern limit of 
the *' close " on the north side of the church. This was the place appointed 
for the first '' station." Here the procession was met by other clerks who issued 
from the north door of the church bearing the sacred relics and the Host sus- 
pended in a ** pyx." From the first station the whole procession returned by 
the same route to the second station, on the south side of the church, where 
seven choir boys ''in eminenti loco" sang the antiphon : ''Gloria, laus et 
honor." From the second station the procession re-entered the cloister and 
so made its way again to the west door of the church, where it halted for the 
third time. As it was here that the prophecy of Caiphas was sung, I quote 
the text of the Processionale so far as it relates to this third station : 

Hie fiat tertia statio ante prce dictum ostium ecclesicB occidefttale, ubi tres 
clerici de superiori gradu, in ipso habitu non mutato, ad populum, simul 
incipiant et cantent hunc sequentem versum hoc modo quo sequitur: 

Versus. Unus autem ex ipsis, Caiphas nomine, cum asset pontifex anni 
illius, prophetavit dicens : Expedit vobis, ut unus moriatur homo pro populo, 
et non tota gens pereat. Ab illo ergo die cogitaverunt interficere eum dicentes : 
Ne [forte veniant Romani et tollant nostrum locum et gentem]. 

1 Missale ad u sum insignis et prceclarcE ecclesice Sanim, Burntisland, 1861-1883. 



ii6 CAIPHAS AS A PALM-SUNDAY PROPHET 

His finitis intrent ecclesiam per idem ostium sub feretro et capsula reliqui- 
arum ex transvcrso ostii elevatis cajitanteSf cantore incipiente, responsorium. 

Ingrediente Domino in sanctam civitatem, etc.^ 

It is clear, then, that the recognized liturgy at Salisbury offered but little 
opportunity for the introduction of the role of Caiphas as it appears in the 
English verses. Caiphas is not individualized ; his prophecy was sung by 
three clerks (or " sacerdotes " according to the Coiisuctiuiinaryi) in unison. 
Accordingly, if Caiphas belongs to Salisbury, it supplies a somewhat surpris- 
ing instance of the power of the " Denes leue." 

Information in regard to the ritual at Wells is less accessible, owing to the 
fact that the mediaeval " Ordinale " and Statutes of this cathedral are still 
unprinted.2 The usage at Wells was modeled for the most part upon that of 
Salisbury. Indeed, Mr. Chambers goes so far as to declare, after giving an 
abridged account of the Palm-Sunday procession at Salisbury : " This Pro- 
cession was precisely the same at Sarum, Wells, Exeter, Canterbury (Lanfranc's 
Works), and, as it would seem, at Rouen {De Moleon, 338 ; Migne, CXLVII, 
48, 1 18) in the eleventh and twelfth centuries." ^ Nevertheless, there is reason 
to suspect that, so far as the prophecy of Caiphas is concerned. Wells varied 
in some important particulars from Salisbury. In the " Kalendarium de Colo- 
ribus Vestimentorum Utendis et Variandis pro ut Festa et Tempora Totius 
Anni Requirunt in Eccki-ia Welknj/" one finds the following significant 
direction as to the copes to be worn on Palm Sunday : 

Dominica in Ramis palmaru;;^ omnia in rubeis excepto una capa de nigris 
ad opus cayphe.^ 

At Wells, therefore, the prophecy of Caiphas was sung by one person,^ con- 
spicuously distinguished from the other clergy by the color of his cope. Here 
was an opportunity for just such a piece of impersonation as we find in the 
Sloane MS. Ordinarily, no doubt, the part of Caiphas consisted merely in 

^ Processionale, p. 53. The directions in the Consueticdinary {^Register of St. Osmttnd, Rolls 
Ser., I, 122) are for the most part verbally identical, including even the cautionary " habitu non 
mutato." 

2 The Ordinale et Statuta of Wells " appear to have been compiled about 1240. . . . There 
is a transcript (a.d. 1634) at Lambeth (MS. 729). An earlier though mutilated copy {cir. 1500), 
which came to be known afterwards as the ' Creyghton MS.' . . . was restored to the Dean and 
Chapter of Wells by Admiral Ryder about fifteen years ago " (C. Wordsworth and H. Little- 
hales, Old Service-Books of the English Chicrch, 1904, p. 186, note). I regret that I have not been 
able to examine either of these volumes. 

^ J. D. Chambers, Divine Worship in England in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries., 
London, 1877, P- 191- 

* Wells Cathed., its Foundation, Constit. Hist, and Statutes, ed. H. E. Reynolds, 1881, pp. 95, 
96. I am under obligations to Professor F. N. Robinson for kindly identifying this reference. 

^ In all probability Wells found precedent for this usage in Continental liturgies. Cf. the 
twelfth century Ordo in die Palmarum quoted by M. Sepet {Les Prophetes du Christ, 1878, p. ii), 
according to which the Cantores sang the introductory Unus autem, etc., while the words of 
Caiphas, Expedit, etc., were assigned to " Unus de choro." 



CARLETON BROWN 



117 



the singing of the Expedit ; but it would be an easy matter to extend his role 
(with the gracious consent of the Dean) to include a short sermon to the laity, 
explaining the significance of the procession in which they had just taken part. 

Finally, it is interesting to note that at Salisbury also a *' prophet " figured 
in the Palm-Sunday procession. The prophet's part is clearly an addition to 
the earlier ritual, though the date of its introduction is not known ; it is found 
only in the 1508 and 15 17 editions of the Processionale, In these texts the 
following passage occurs directly after the Gospel at the first '' station." 

Finito eva7igeliOy times puer ad modiim prophetce iitdtitus, stans in aliquo 
enii7ienti loco, cantet lectionem propheticam modo quo sequittir: 

Hierusalem, respice ad orientem, et vide : leva, Hierusalem, oculos et vide 
potefitiam regis. ^ 

Although the prophet's name is not expressly stated, his appearance imme- 
diately before the singing of '* En rex venit mansuetus," etc. {Zech. ix, 9), 
appears to identify him as Zechariah the son of Barechiah, who, it will be re- 
membered, is also one of the figures in the Rouen Prophet play .2 Again, it 
is to be observed that the Salisbury prophet was introduced at the first '' station," 
whereas Caiphas belonged to the third station, just before the procession 
reentered the church. 

The appearance of Zechariah in the Palm-Sunday procession at Salisbury 
makes it still more unlikely that the Caiphas verses were connected with this 
cathedral. It also warns us against too hastily identifying Caiphas with the 
Palm-Sunday Prophet frequently mentioned in Church-wardens' Accounts of 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.^ In matters of liturgical usage no other 
church in England compared in influence with Salisbury, so that it might fairly 
be supposed that the presentation of a '' prophet " in these parish churches 
was directly connected with the custom recorded in the Salisbury Processionale, 
In the absence of any direct evidence identifying the *' prophets" of the 
Church-wardens' Accounts with Caiphas, we are left wholly without a parallel 
for the role given to Caiphas in the Sloane MS., and it is very possible that 
the usage on which these verses were based was peculiar to Wells. 

In conclusion, I must content myself, for lack of space, with merely calling 
attention to the distinctly dramatic character of the Caiphas poem and the 
relationship in which it stands to the liturgical " Prophetae." As an example 
of lively impersonation introduced into a liturgical Office it marks an interest- 
ing stage in the development of the early drama, although, so far as I am 
aware, it has escaped the notice of students in this field. 

^ Processionale^ ed. Henderson, p. 50. 

2 Cf. M. Sepet, Les Propkhes, p. 44, and E. K. Chambers, Med. Stage, II, 55. 

3 A number of these entries have been collected by H. J. Feasey, Ancient English Holy 
Week Ceremonial, 1897, pp. 75, 76. Cf. also the reference to "the Propheteupon Palme Sonday " 
in a list of garments for players dated in the seventh year of Henry VIII (Collier, Annals of 
the Stage, ed. 1879, I' 82). 



MERLIN AND AMBROSIUS 

GusTAVus Howard Maynadier 

Though Merlin was one of the romances of the Round Table cycle most 
liked by our mediaeval ancestors, nowadays we are inclined to think of it as 
less important than three or four other legends of that cycle, as those of 
Arthur himself, and of Lancelot, Percival, and Tristram and Iseult. One 
reason is that, in its very early and close association with the great central 
Arthur-legend, it has lost its individuality more than these others, with the 
possible exception of Lancelot. Merlin's achievements are frequently of more 
consequence to his royal masters, Uther and Arthur, than to himself. Another 
reason is that the manifold adventures of the romance, loosely strung together, 
are of a nature to appeal more than those of the other chief Round Table 
stories to a simple, not to say childlike, audience. Take, for instance, Arthur's 
fight with the Great Cat by the '' Lak de Losane." It is interesting in its 
ingenuous account of the origin of the cat, which, drawn up by an avaricious 
fisherman in his net from the bottom of the Lake, only a *' litill kyton as 
blakke as eny cool," grew so great and horrible that it was **merveile hym to 
se " ; and so the beast strangled the fisherman for his sins, and his wife and 
children, and fled to a mountain near the Lake, where he destroyed all that 
came near him. What with gnashing his teeth, howling, growling, scratching, 
biting, and finally attempting to jump at the king, even after the loss of all 
four legs, the cat put up such a strong fight that Arthur casually remarked, 
after it was all over, that he had '' never so grete doute " of himself in any 
fight, save only in the one with the giant that he slew the '' other day on the 
mountain." ^ But stirring contest as this is, it has not the human interest of 
Lancelot's struggle between love and duty, of the religious mysteries of the 
Grail, and of the devoted love of Tristram and Iseult. The idea of sage 
Merlin's inexhaustible knowledge, however, has made more impression on 
nineteenth-century imagination. Tennyson tried to emphasize this allegori- 
cally, but never very distinctly, in the Idylls and later in Merlin and the Gleam; 
and Edgar Quinet in France and Immermann in Germany tried, but without 
conspicuous success, to give Merlin some of the aspirations of Faust. 

And yet one incident in the history of the great seer has so much human 
nature in it and has so strongly impressed the imagination of poets in the 
last hundred years that it is as much alive to-day as it was when mediaeval 

1 Prose Merlin, Early English Text Society, London, 1899, pp. 665 ff. 

119 



I20 MERLIN AND AMBROSIUS 

romancers first told it, with exquisite poetry — his enchantment by the Lady 
of the Lake, Vivien, in that forest of wonders, BroceUande. When the wily 
fay had persuaded the amorous old man to reveal the secrets of his magic, 
having got out of him at last all the information she desired, she lulled him 
to sleep under a flowering hawthorn-tree, with his head in her lap. Then 
she softly rose, and nine times paced in a circle round him, and nine times 
repeated the spells that he had taught her. So Merlin was locked fast within 
that magic circle forever. 

" But she herself whither she will can rove — 
For she was passing weary of his love." ^ 

As the weeks passed and Merlin came no more to Caerleon and Camelot, 
Arthur and his courtiers lamented his loss sorely. Gawain and thirty other 
knights set out in search of him, and once Gawain got speech with him in 
the forest of Broceliande, but none of them ever looked on the sage more. 

Yet, though apparently thus shut up forever by enchantment. Merlin may be 
found in almost every city of the United States to-day. He no longer passes 
for a seer, but he is a wealthy, highly respected business or professional man, 
an old gentleman generally reputed wise till he meets Vivien. She often 
insinuates herself into his good graces by coming to work in his office, and 
she is apt to have chemically blonde hair. Marriage is the magic captivity in 
which he is '' lost to life and use and name and fame." Instead of Arthur 
and his courtiers to lament him, there are his old friends and relatives — 
most of all, the children of the first wife, who ultimately make public their 
lamentations in the probate court. 

Mediaeval students are generally agreed that this Merlin, who in his tragi- 
cally ignoble end at least is a character of fiction of all time, is a combination of 
an actual Welsh bard of the sixth century, Myrddin, and a boy with super- 
natural powers, one Ambrosius, who is mentioned in Nennius's Historia 
Britomim of the early ninth century. Now this boy Ambrosius is probably 
no other than an actual leader of the Britons against the Saxons in the wars 
of the fifth century. If this is so, we have in Merlin as good an example 
as that of his king, Arthur, of an historical character's undergoing a complete 
change as his fame was perpetuated in romance. 

In the confusion of British history of the fifth and sixth centuries no char- 
acters stand out clearly, and only a few even dimly. Most important of these 
are Vortigern, a British king or prince who was friendly to the first German 
settlers, the leaders of these same Germans, and two British warriors who 

^ Matthew Arnold, Tristram and Iseult. Arnold, in telling his story, followed the mediaeval 
version of the enchantment of Merlin, which is found in that continuation of the original Mer- 
lin, known as the Merliti Ordinaire. Another account, which is in the continuation commonly 
called Suite de Merlin, has the sage enchanted in a subterranean chamber or cave in the same 
forest of Broceliande. Cf. Malory, Book iv, chap. i. 



MAYNADIER 121 

fought bravely against them, Ambrosius in the fifth century and Arthur in 
the sixth. It often happens that more recent historical events obscure the 
importance of those more remote. Partly for this reason and partly because 
the wars of Arthur seem actually to have been more important than those 
of Ambrosius, Arthur, magnified and glorified by legend and romance, lives 
as the most splendid king of mediaeval fiction, while Ambrosius (at least by 
his own name) is known to few except those who try to throw light on the 
darkest years in the history of England. 

All the information about Ambrosius that can possibly be deemed authen- 
tic is found in the works of those two early British chroniclers, Gildas and 
Nennius. Gildas, who wrote in the middle of the sixth century the work 
called De Excidio et Conqiiestu Britanniae, prefaces the main part of it — a 
denunciation of his countrymen for their vices and an exhortation to reform 
— with a brief historical sketch of Britain. After the Saxon invaders began 
their attacks on the island they were generally successful till Ambrosius 
Aurelianus, rallying his countrymen, led them several times to victory. This 
was the greatest success of British arms until greater successes, some years 
after the death of Ambrosius, culminated in Arthur's victory at Mt. Badon. 
Ambrosius Aurelianus, as his name implies, was a Roman, the only one in 
Britain *' then in the confusion of this troubled period by chance left alive." 
From this account of Gildas, there seems no reason to doubt that there was 
a general named Ambrosius, of Roman blood, who was the first after the 
Germanic invasion to win victories for the Britons over the strangers. 

Next after Gildas to give information about these early times is Nennius, 
whose Historia Britoniim is between two hundred and fifty and three hundred 
years later than the Dc Excidio. It is pretty well established, however, that 
the Historia, in its account of the Saxon wars, is a transcript of a much 
earlier history. Therefore Nennius's mention of Ambrosius, as well as that 
of the more famous Arthur, may be only little more than a century later than 
Gildas's work. However that may be, Nennius's mention of Ambrosius is 
much less clear than Gildas's. 

According to the later chronicler, Vortigern, the British prince, was at first 
glad to see the Saxons coming to Britain, because of aid which he might get 
from them not only against the harrying Picts and Scots but also against the 
Romans and the Briton Ambrosius, of whom he stood in fear. After Vorti- 
gern's death, one of his sons became ruler of two principalities with the con- 
sent of Ambrosius, who was the chief king of the Britons. A few years later, 
Ambrosius was at feud with one Guitolinus, or Vitolin, evidently from his 
name a Briton and presumably a person of some consequence. This strife 
between Ambrosius and Guitolinus is mentioned also in the Annates Cambriae 
of the tenth century. Nennius makes no mention of Ambrosius as the leader of 
the British against the Saxons. Instead, he has Vortimer, a son of Vortigern, 



122 MERLIN AND AMBROSIUS 

lead them in their only successful campaigns before the more glorious ones 
of Arthur. These three are the sole references to Ambrosius by Nennius that 
point to anything like accurate history. Probably the second one at least, 
mentioning Ambrosius as chief king of Britain, is not so accurate as it seems. 

For the disagreement between Nennius and Gildas in their account of Am- 
brosius is one of the signs that they represent the traditions of two different 
parties among the Britons during the first Saxon wars. One, pro-Roman, was 
made up of the descendants of Roman colonists and of Celtic Britons with 
Roman sympathies. They regretted sorely the withdrawal of the legions. The 
other, a '' home-rule " party, rejoiced at this withdrawal. Now Gildas makes 
clear everywhere that his sympathies are with the Romans. Nennius, on the 
other hand, suggests that he is expressing, three hundred years later, tradi- 
tions that have come down from the patriot, or anti- Roman, party. Otherwise, 
why should he suppress all mention of Ambrosius as a successful general in 
the campaigns against the Saxons, and replace him with one with the British 
name of Vortimer ? But Ambrosius was too big an historical figure to suppress 
entirely. And so Nennius shows him to us first inspiring fear in Vortigern, 
and later on not only fighting with Vitolin but also, as a sort of overlord, 
permitting Vortigern's son to reign in two principalities. 

All this points clearly to an Ambrosius who was a fighter of great fame 
and probable ability among the Britons in the Saxon wars. But was he ever, 
as Nennius makes him out, — at least after Vortigern's death, — chief among 
the petty kings who then ruled in Britain .? Probably not ; if he had enjoyed 
this honor, Gildas, the admirer of Ambrosius, would have been likely to 
mention it. Rather the mention of it by Nennius points to popular story 
adding to the fame of Ambrosius, as it has done to that of nearly every 
national hero. And this brings us to a fourth mention of him in the Hts- 
toria Britonum — one which presents the worthy in such a different light from 
other references to him in Gildas and Nennius, that some commentators have 
thought him quite a different man. But more have judged him rightly to be 
still the doughty fighter against the Saxons, only now strangely disguised. 

This fourth reference of Nennius to Ambrosius is found in the part of his 
Historia which deals with that well-known tower that Vortigern tried to build ; 
but without success, because the materials for it unaccountably disappeared night 
after night. Vortigern, questioning his wise men, was informed that the only 
way to stop this disappearance was to sprinkle the foundations of the tower 
with the blood of a child who had had no father. Then Vortigern sent out 
men to find such a child ; and they did find one in the region Gleguissing, 
which commentators agree is in the southernmost part of Wales. For there 
was a boy there, Ambrosius, whose mother declared under oath that she did 
not know how he was conceived, since she had never had intercourse with 
any man. Brought before Vortigern, this boy confuted the king's advisers 



MAYNADIER 123 

by showing their ignorance of a pond which was under the ground on which 
the tower was to be built ; and their further ignorance of what he knew very 
well, that in the pond were two vases ; in them, a folded tent ; and in that, 
two serpents, one white, one red. From the immediate fight of these serpents, 
Ambrosius was able to prophesy concerning the wars between Britons and 
Saxons. 

Then Vortigern asked the youth — the term is adolescents now, though it 
has generally been Z?/^;' before — who he was; and he replied, "Ambrosius." 
'' Id est," Nennius explains, '' Embreis Guletic ipse videbatur." That is, " he 
seemed to be Ambrosius, the high king, himself." And Vortigern asked him 
of what race he came. '' My father was a consul of the Roman race," he 
replied. Then Vortigern gave Ambrosius the tower, and the lands of western 
Britain for a kingdom, and went himself into another part of the island, where 
he built a town called after him Caer Vortigern. 

At first sight this mysterious youth, by common report conceived without 
a father, seems a very different person from the Ambrosius of whom Nennius 
says that Vortigern was afraid, and also from the Ambrosius Aurelianus of 
Gildas, '' a worthy man ... of the Roman nation " fortunately left alive to 
teach the Britons how to fight the Saxons. And yet have we here anything 
more than the exaggeration usual among simple, credulous people of the 
mighty deeds of a national hero .? Just as the fame of Arthur grew by the 
attachment to him of various popular stories, some of mythological origin, so 
the fame grew of the earlier and lesser British hero. In Gildas's so-called 
chronicle, written perhaps only half a century after the death of Ambrosius, 
he appears much as he really was — a Briton of Roman descent and sym- 
pathies, but loyal to the land of his birth, a leader of men, and a good fighter 
against the Saxons. Already in the years between Gildas 's work and the orig- 
inal of Nennius 's Historia — not more than a century and a half — the fame 
of Ambrosius had grown. From a general he had been raised to the rank of 
chief king of Britain, who, after the death of Vortigern, allotted certain lands 
for Vortigern's son to rule. And just as wonders were connected at this time 
with Arthur, 1 so they were with Ambrosius. Thus he was able to appear 
before Vortigern in a form not his own, apparently a boy without a father, 
found by Vortigern's men in South Wales. But when it suited his pleasure, 
" Embreis Guletic ipse videbatur." Have we not here that well-known attribute 
of change of shape, which is seen in Geoffrey's Merlin and still more in the 
Merlin of the later romances } Naturally Vortigern, hardly believing his own 
eyes, questioned the man before him further as to who he was. The answer 
that his father was a Roman consul leaves no doubt that he is the historical 
Ambrosius of Gildas. 

1 Cf. Nennius's Mirabilia Britanniae for the marvellous cairn to Arthur's hunting-dog, Cabal, 
and the tomb of Arthur's son, Anir. 



124 MERLIN AND AMBROSIUS 

Still, the transformed — and also self-transforming — Ambrosius of Nen- 
nius is far from being the Merlin of Geoffrey of Monmouth. We may see 
without much difficulty how he became so. 

There is little doubt that there lived in Wales, in the sixth century, a 
famous bard named Myrddin. Of several Welsh poems ascribed to him few, 
if any, are authentic. In fact, Ferdinand Lot believes that only one, the 
Dialogue of Myrddin and Taliesin} is as old as the works of Geoffrey of 
Monmouth, or possibly older. Still, mediaeval testimony seems to prove that 
a Myrddin lived and that he was famous. Beyond this, we can only conjecture. 
He may have been so famous as to have had supernatural properties bestowed 
on him in popular story, to have passed from a bard to a seer, even to an 
enchanter, but we do not know. At any rate, his fame, whatever it may have 
been, was confined, so far as we can see to-day, to popular tradition, till the 
twelfth century fixed it in literature. 

In the thirties of that century, Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote his Historia 
Regtini Bntamiiae^ and there Myrddin appeared, with his name altered to 
Merlin, in substantially the character in which the world has known him since. 
Just why Geoffrey changed Myrddin^ pronounced Merthift, into Merlintis, it 
is impossible to say. Gaston Paris conjectured that it was because the natural 
Latin equivalent of Myrddin^ — or Merdin, — Merdinus, was objectionable .^ 
The soft Welsh sound dd is not remote from l^ and might have been repre- 
sented by /in Latin. Anyway, that Geoffrey's Merlinus came from the Welsh 
Myrddin is established beyond doubt, for he says that Merlin was found at 
the city which afterwards, evidently from this fact, was called Caermarthen. 
Giraldus Cambrensis, in his Itinerarinm Cambriae,^ confirms this explanation 
of the name of the town. Of course the explanation is meaningless, unless 
we take the name of the sage to have been Merdin or Myrddin, Needless 
to say, Geoffrey's etymology is false. Caermarthen comes from the name by 
which the Romans knew it, Maridunum. But Geoffrey is fond of such ety- 
mologies ; throughout his " History," may be found instances of his explain- 
ing names of places by their association with supposedly distinguished men. 
And in the chance resemblance in sound of Caermarthen and Myrddin is per- 
haps to be found the reason for Geoffrey's association of Merlin, or Myrddin, 
and Ambrosius. For he first introduces Merlin as playing the part of Am- 
brosius in the tale of Myrddin 's tower. The two are identical in being dis- 
covered by Vortigern's messengers seeking for a boy who had had no father, 
in confuting the king's wise men, and in prophesying the future of Britain 
after the fight of the two snakes or dragons that are found at the bottom of 
the pond. That Geoffrey was the first to make the identification, seems to be 
proved by his calling the sage twice, in the early part of the story, Ambrosius 

1 "Etudes sur Merlin," Annales de Bretagne, XV (1899-1900), pp. 325, 505. 

2 Romania, XII, p. 375. 3 go Professor Robinson tells me. * I, 10 ; II, 8. 



MAYNADIER 



125 



Merlimis} and by his explanation that MerUn ''was also called Ambrosius" -^ 
'' Merlinus, qui et Ambrosius dicebatur." Later on, Geoffrey drops the 
Ambrosius and uses the name Merlin only. 

Several reasons may be imagined why Geoffrey made this identification. 
It is possible that the fame of the bard Myrddin may have grown in the 
same way as that of Ambrosius ; that he, too, may have taken on the attributes 
of a seer and necromancer. In fact such a reputation in the case of a great 
bard would be almost likely, for the Welsh were inclined to look on their 
bards as supernaturally gifted. A more cogent reason is the name Myrddin. 
We have seen that Geoffrey liked to explain place-names by the names of 
people. Therefore, as he was constructing his Historia, the resemblance 
between Caermarthen and Myrddin would at once strike him. Now Caer- 
marthen was as important as any town in South Wales west of Caerleon. 
There is no doubt that Geoffrey was familiar with Nennius's Historia Brito- 
mim^ so far as is known to-day, the principal literary source of Geoffrey's 
chronicle. Nennius has Ambrosius (that is, Geoffrey's Merlin) found in the 
region Gleguissing. As to the extent of this, there is difference of opinion. 
Some scholars take it to have covered virtually all southern Wales ; others 
take it to have been limited to country between the rivers Usk and Towy. 
But whatever the extent of the region, whether it included the vale of the 
Towy or not, it was in the neighborhood of that stream, on whose banks, near 
the head of tidewater, Caermarthen was pleasantly situated. So there we have 
a plausible explanation of Merlin. Ambrosius, of legendary fame, fixed by 
Nennius in a region near the Towy. Myrddin, perhaps also of considerable 
legendary fame, connected by Geoffrey's imagination with Caermarthen on 
the banks of the Towy. Nothing would be more natural than for Geoffrey to 
combine the two men. 

Geoffrey was not content that his newly created character should figure only 
in the story of Vortigern's tower. He makes Merlin highly important in the 
reigns of the kings who followed Vortigern — Aurelius Ambrosius, who seems 
to have been taken mostly from the historical Ambrosius Aurelianus, and 
Uther Pendragon, Ambrosius's brother and Arthur's father, who seems to be 
chiefly a character of Welsh tradition. For the former. Merlin brought Stone- 
henge, or the Giants' Dance, from Ireland to England ; for the latter, he 
employed his magic so successfully that Uther assumed the shape of Gorlois, 
Duke of Cornwall, and accompanied by Merlin, who assumed the shape of a 
follower of Gorlois, had access to Gorlois's wife, Igerna, in her castle, and so 
begot Arthur. After this service to Uther, Merlin virtually disappears from 
Geoffrey's story. But a few years later, Geoffrey made him the central 
character of Vita Merlini, that deals largely with various attacks of insanity, 

1 Book vi, chap. 19; vii, chap. 3. 

2 Book vi, chap. 19. Cf. also R. H. Fletcher, " Arthurian Material in Chronicles," Harvard 

Studies and Azotes in Philology and Literature, X, p. 92. 



126 MERLIN AND AMBROSIUS 

during which Merlin lived a wild man in the woods, only from time to time 
showing enough reason to utter prophecies. Here he is made king of South 
Wales, perhaps a reminiscence both of the promotion of Ambrosius to king- 
ship in Nennius and of his being found as a boy in the region Gleguissing. 

In time Merlin became too prominent for the romancers to be content to 
lose sight of him at Arthur's birth. A metrical romance of Merlin of about 
the year 1200, ascribed to Robert de Boron, and a prose romance, based 
apparently on Boron's verse, added to the history of Merlin many incidents 
taken from Celtic folklore and other popular sources. Merlin here became such 
a devoted guardian of Arthur that ever since his fame has been particularly 
associated with that of the Great King. And so story-tellers soon felt dissatis- 
fied that Robert de Boron had not traced Merlin's career beyond his seeing 
Arthur recognized as Uther's son, '* rightwise king born of all England," and 
as such securely crowned. Weaving together other stories taken from the 
great mass of poetic legend then accessible, they prolonged Merlin's adven- 
tures beyond Arthur's incestuous love for his half-sister, — whence the birth 
of Mordred, who was to prove Arthur's ruin, — beyond Arthur's marriage 
with Guinevere and his acquisition of the Round Table, to his triumphant 
campaign against the Emperor of Rome, on which Merlin accompanied him, 
ever ready to help Arthur with his great wisdom. Then, when Arthur had 
returned to Britain, came at last the seer's own enchantment by false Vivien. 

Much of which study is not new. Geoffrey made the identity of Merlin and 
Ambrosius quite plain. But so far as I am aware, no one has tried before me 
to trace the steps which led Geoffrey to his identification. Nor are quite dif- 
ferent explanations of the identification by any means impossible. Professor 
Rhys accounts for it entirely on mythological grounds, seeing in Ambrosius 
and Merlin both, attributes of a Celtic Zeus.^ It seems unnecessary, how- 
ever, to make this the explanation. It is simpler to conjecture that the actual 
Ambrosius, something of a national hero, was transformed into a character of 
romance by the workings of popular story, just as the greater national hero, 
Arthur, was transformed ; and there is no innate improbability in such a con- 
jecture. In the process of transformation, Ambrosius may have, either before 
or after his association with Myrddin, been endowed with some mythological 
attributes. But it seems likely that the first origin of the Merlin of romance 
is the historical Ambrosius, rather than a god of the Celtic Pantheon. 

Strange distortion of history, which Ambrosius, even had he possessed all 
the powers of prophecy ever attributed to him, could hardly have foreseen ! 
That warlike Roman-British worthy, with both name and character changed, 
is known best to-day as a pitiable old man whose great gifts, after years of 
useful service, came to naught because he allowed himself to be tricked by a 
designing young woman. 

^ Celtic Heathendom (Hibbert Lectures, 1886), pp. 144 ff. 



THE EPICEDIA OF STATIUS 

Clifford Herschel Moore 

The epicedia of Statius represent to us the final and complete develop- 
ment of a literary type which was first recognized as a distinct form in the 
Hellenistic age. Originally i7rtf€rjSeio<i atSrj signified only a song of mourn- 
ing for the dead.i The Trojan Women of Euripides call on the Muse in 
Ilium's day of sorrow,^ 

''AlJL<f>L IXOL IA.tOV, W 

Mowa, KaivSiv vfivoiv 
acwrov iv SaKpvoi^ 
ioBav C7rtK7;8etov • 
vvv yap ixeXo<i is Tpovav 
la)(rj(TOi, ktX. 

As such a song it is simply defined by Hesychius — ijnKrjSeLov • eTnOavdriov, 
and by Suidas likewise — iirLrdcfiiov^ eirLdavaTLov, although Proclus attempted 
a more elaborate definition to distinguish it from other literary forms 
(p. 352 g), to €7n/crj8eLov Trap' avro to tcrjSof; ert tov (rd>fjLaTO<; Trpo/ceifjLcvov.^ 
The close relation of the epicedion with the Oprjvo^ and other songs of 
mourning is indicated by the remark of Dionysius, Ars Rhetorica, 6, i, /cat 
Ta TTOcq/JLaTa /xeaTa tovtcdv, ol iTrLKtjSetoL (sc. \6yoc) ovro)? ovo/JLa^o/jLcvoi 
dprjvoL T€, and by the words which Suidas adds to his definition quoted above, 
Kal eTTLKrjheio'i Oprjvo^ 6/jlolq)^. The eiriKrjhetov which Euripides wrote over 
the Athenians who fell at Syracuse, of which Plutarch, Nic. 17, quotes two 
verses, was probably an i7riTd<f)Lo<;, as Bergk ^ would have it, 

otSc liVpaKOCTLOvs OKTO) VLKas iKparrjaav 
avSpcs, oT rjv to. ^cwv c^ tcrov dfXffiOTipoLS' 

Yet the name iinnriheLov is appropriate to it, as it is to the other iTn/crjSetov to 
which Plutarch refers, Pelop. i, AaKeBatfjLovtoc 8e kol ^rjv iJSeW Kal dvqajceiv 
a/JL(l>6Tepa ap€Ty 7rap€l')(ov, cJ? SyXol to iTTLfCijSeLOV • otSe jdp (jyija-LV edavov, 

ov TO t,rjv OifxtvOL koXov ovSt to OvqCTKUV, 
dAAa TO TavTa koAcus d/xtpoTep* CKTeAcVat.^ 

1 Plato uses the term apparently in a general sense, Laws, 800 e, Kal 5^ Kal aroK-fi 7^ irov 
ratj iviKTfdeLois ySots oi (rr^ipavoi irpiiroiev hv oid' iirlxpwroi Kbayuoi, wdv 8i roivavriov. 

2 Troades, 11. 511 ff. 

8 This definition is repeated by Servius, Eel. 5, 14, nam epicedion est quod dicitur cadavere 
non sepulto. * Foetae Lyrici Graeci, II*, 265. 

fi This is apparently from a sepulchral inscription. Cf. p. 128, n. 5. 

127 
i 



128 THE EPICEDIA OF STATIUS 

But, as was said above, the development of the epicedion as a Hterary type 
belongs to the Hellenistic age. Aratus of Soli and Euphorion of Chalcis 
composed i7n/ct]8eLa, now unhappily lost to us. It was Parthenius of Nicea, 
brought to Rome as a captive in the war with Mithradates to become later 
the teacher of Virgil and the friend of Cornelius Gallus, who introduced this 
form of composition to the capital. There his epicedia on Bias, Archelais, 
Auxithemis, and his wife Arete, enjoyed a high reputation and must have 
influenced the Latin writers. The fact that he had his poem about his wife 
cut on her tomb^ is significant for the relationship between the sepulchral 
epigram and one form, at least, of the epicedion at this time. Of a similar 
epigrammatical character is the pathetic address which Catullus makes to his 
brother, buried in the Troad (loi), 

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus 
advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias, etc. 

Yet we cannot determine the exact character of Parthenius' epicedia, nor can 
we trace with certainty the full history of this form of composition in Latin. 
Propertius' elegies on Marcellus (3, 18) and Cornelia (4, 11), Ovid's on 
Tibullus {Am. 3, 9), as well as the two anonymous elegies on Maecenas ^ 
approach the epicedion and the philosophic consolatio, as we find them de- 
veloped during the first century of the Empire. But the tottol are not yet 
established, although Ovid's work shows greater obedience to rhetorical rules 
than any of the other elegies which I have named. It is, however, in the 
anonymous Consolatio ad Liviam that we find the epicedion in its new and 
final form : ^ the verse is the prevailing hexameter in place of the elegiac 
distich, and practically all the toitoi which presently appear almost fixed are 
here employed. 

Now it is natural that any song of mourning, any /xeXo? eiriKrjheLov, should 
aim not only to express the sorrow of the living but also to rehearse the vir- 
tues of the dead and to console those left behind ; we should expect the 
epicedion therefore to have much in common with the \6^oi eirLrdcfyiot, irapa- 
/jLvdrjTLKOL, the fjLov(x)BiaL of the rhetoricians, the Latin laudationes funebres,^ 
and, since epitaphs are frequently either laudatory or consolatory, or both, 
with sepulchral epigrams.^ A superficial reading of the Consolatio ad Liviam 

^ Kaibel, Epig. Gr. 1089. It is worth remembering in this connection that Ausonius tells us 
that he had his Epicedion in Patrem (ed. Peiper, pp. 21 ff.) placed beneath his father's portrait. 

* Riese, Anth. Lat., 779, 780; PLM., I, pp. 125 ff. 

8 According to the common view this consolatio was composed not long after Drusus' death 
in 9 B.C. 

* Cf. Fr. VoUmer, Laicdationum Ficnebrium Romanorum Historia et Reliqiiiarum Editio, 
Jahrbb. fur class. Philologie, Supplb. XVIII, 447-527, especially 475-477- 

^ Cf. Bruno Lier, Topica Carmimim Septdcraliufn Laiifionim, Philologns, LXII (1903), 
445-477, 563-603; LXIII (1904), 54-65. I here make general acknowledgment of my in- 
debtedness to this excellent work. 





CLIFFORD HERSCHEL MOORE 129 

is sufficient to show the unknown writer's dependence on the rhetoricians. 
The same thing is true of the epicedia of Statius {Silvae 2, i. 6 ; 3, 3 ; 5, i . 3. 5)/ 
some features of which I now propose to set forth so far as I can within the 
allotted space. 2 The main divisions are well stated by Vollmer in his edition 
of the Silvae:^ (i) introduction, (2) laudatio of the dead, (3) last sickness 
and death, (4) funeral, (5) reception of the dead in Hades, (6) consolations of- 
fered the living. Statius employs all these in an order which is almost fixed, 
as we might expect of one who wrote as rapidly as he,^ yet within the divi- 
sions he often shows great skill and variety of expression, although certain 
motifs constantly reappear. 

Statius varies his introductions according to the subject or the person 
addressed, employing many themes.^ These are such as require little inven- 
tion on the poet's part, and it must be confessed that they are at times 
handled in a conventional way. On the other hand, they touch emotions 
which are genuinely human, and if we will accept, as we must, the standards 
of the poet's day, they often have the merit of sincerity. 

One epicedion only, that on the loss of the poet's young favorite (5, 5), 
opens with a moan. 

Me miserum — neque enim uerbis soUemnibus ulla 
incipiam nee Castaliae uocalibus undis, 
inuisus Phoeboque grauis ! 

But when Statius celebrates his own father's death (5, 3), he begins with a 
prayer for strength and inspiration for his sad song. 

Ipse malas uires et lamentabile carmen 
Elysio de fonte mihi pulsumque sinistrae 
da, genitor praedocte, lyrae ! 

1 I speak of all these poems as epicedia, but it should be observed that this specific name 
was not attached to all by their author or by the manuscript tradition. In his prefatory epistle 
Statius speaks of 2, i — recens uulnus epicedio prosecutus sum ; but in the same place he refers 
to 2, 6, identical with the first in theme, as cofisolatio, with which the traditional title agrees. Of 
3, 3 he says in his letter to Pollius Felix — merebatur et Claudi Etrusci mei pietas aliquod ex 
studiis nostris solacium. The manuscript tradition calls 5, i. 3 and 5 " epicedia," a name which 
may well come from the author. (Cf. Ausonius' borrowing, pp. 21 ff. P., from Statius 5, 3 : 
Epicedion in Patrem, and the poet's certain use of the word noted above.) It appears therefore 
that four of the six poems are designated " epicedia," the other two are called by the poet 
" consolatio " and " solacium." Perhaps we should speak of the " epicedia and consolationes " 
of Statius. Yet, apparently, Statius uses the names without any intention of making a sharp 
distinction. I intentionally omit 2, 4 from consideration. 

2 I was unable to examine Lohrisch, De Papinii Statii Silvanim Poetae Studiis Rheioricis, 
Diss., Halle, 1895, ^^^^^ after this paper was in the printer's hands. 

3 Teubner, Leipzig, 1898, pp. 316 f. I take this opportunity to acknowledge my debt to 
Vollmer's elaborate commentary. 

* Praefatio, 1. i, hos libellos, qui mihi subito calore et quadam festinandi uoluptate fluxerunt, 
— nullum enim ex illis biduo longius tractum, quaedam et in singulis diebus effusa. 

6 A method recognized and recommended by the rhetoricians. Cf. Nicolaus Sophistes, Sp. 
Ill, 479, 28 f. 



I30 



THE EPICEDIA OF STATIUS 



He goes on to declare that he owes all his former poetic skill to his father, 
but he fears that now his sorrow has quenched his song, that Apollo and the 
Muses have withdrawn their favor and left him dumb, unless his father's 
spirit from the heavens or from Lethe's grassy plain give him voice and 
power to express his pain. The consolatio ad Claudium Etruscum (3, 3) 
opens appropriately with a prayer to Pietas to come back to earth and gaze 
upon the son's grief for his aged sire. To Abascantus (5, i) Statius declares 
that if he were painter or sculptor, he would have tried to reproduce the 
features of the beloved Priscilla, for she deserved the art of an Apelles or a 
Phidias ; but as it is, he will strive to give her a memorial of enduring song, 

longa nee obscurum finem latura perenni 
temptamus dare iusta lyra.^ 

The first lines of the consolation addressed to Flavius Ursus (2, 6) declare 
the cruelty of one who would check tears and grief ; and of Atedius Melior 
he asks (2, i, i ff.) what solace his unseasonable song can bring. Yet 
Statius knows that his verses can give comfort, for he has consoled others 
before; and, besides, he too has suffered (2, i, 30 ff.), 

me fulmine in ipso 
audiuere patres, ego iuxta busta profusis 
matribus atque piis cecini solatia natis 
et mihi, cum proprios gemerem defectus ad ignes 
(quem, Natural) patrem.^ 

Again he reminds his friend that he shares his grief and has taken part with 

him in the last rites (2, 6, 14), 

heu mihi ! subdo 
ipse faces.^ 

One of the most natural themes is the sorrow of the bereaved. The 
intensity of Melior' s mourning for his beloved Glaucias was such that he 
would not listen to the poet's song (2, 1,6 ff.), 

tu planctus lamentaque fortia mauis 
odistique chelyn surdaque auerteris aure. 



nee si tergeminum Sieula de uirgine carmen 
affluat aut siluis chelys intellecta ferisque, 
mulceat insanos gemitus. 

It is true that here the poet is offering his consolation too early, while the 
wound is still too new.^ To Abascantus, however, he dared offer his consolation 

1 Cf. 3, 3, 37-39. This concept is as old as Pindar's fifth Nemean ode, and was repeated 
too many times by the classic poets to enumerate here; but hackneyed though it be, it is 
especially appropriate in Statius' poem. ^ q{^ 3, 3, 31 ff. ^ (^f 2, i, 19 ff. 

^ Such precipitate consolation was expressly forbidden by the expert : Cicero, Tusc. 4, 63, 
vetat Chrysippus ad recentis quasi tumores animi remedium adhibere; Seneca, ad Helv. i, 2; 
ad Marc. 4, i ; Pliny, Epist. 5, 16, 11 ; 8, 5, 3. 



CLIFFORD HERSCHEL MOORE 131 

only when the second year after Priscilla's death had come ; before that time 
any comfort would have been premature, so great was his friend's grief 
(5, I, 16 ff.). Indeed, the poet declares that not even Orpheus or the Muses, 
that no priest of Apollo or of Bacchus, could have quieted the groans of the 
mourning husband or soothed his sorrow before ; nay, even now at these strains 
his wound opens and tears flood his heavy eyes. Not so wept Niobe, Aurora, 
or Thetis for their loved ones. In the case of Statius' grief for his own father 
three months passed before he could resume his lyre, and then only to offer 
his moans and tears (5, 3, 29-46). Even the loss of his little favorite over- 
whelmed the poet for thrice ten days (5, 5, 24 ff.). 

Again, the sorrow is said to be so great that the bereaved one doubts the 
justice of the gods and complains against fate, as did Abascantus (5, i, 22), 

Fataque et iniustos rabidis pulsare querelis 
caelicolas solamen erat.^ 

Statius also, in his grief for his father, attacked the gods above and below alike 
{St 3 J 69 f.) ; and in anguish cried out against them at the loss of his favorite 
(5) 5j 77 ff-)- Such accusation is a habit of mankind. So Priam excused 
Helen (//. 3, 164), 

OV TL [XOL OLTLTJ i(T(rL, deOL VV fXOL (UTLOL d<TLV. 

In sepulchral inscriptions expressions such as crudelis Pluton, BaKpvxv^ UXov- 
T(Dv, crudeles Parcae, crudeles divi, etc. are common ; ^ and Catullus' execra- 
tion will occur to all (3, 1 3 f .), 

at vobis male sit, malae tenebrae 
Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis. 

Of the topics which make up the body of the poems, the laudatio of the 
dead is the most important and receives the most elaborate attention. It cor- 
responds to the eiratvo'; of the X070? iTrirdcfyto^, which is practically identical 
with the iytccofjLiov ; its tottol are Trarpi^, yevo^;, (l>vcn<;, aycojij, iTrirrjBevfjLara, 

Statius employs all these, but naturally adapts his treatment to his subject. 
Three of those whom he celebrates were young favorites, slaves by birth ; an- 
other was the aged father of Claudius Etruscus, who rose from the slavery into 
which he was born to the position of imperial secretary and to knighthood, 

1 At Drusus' death Livia was moved to exclaim [Cons, ad L. 130), 

lam dubito magnos an rear esse deos. 

2 Cf. e.g. Buecheler, Carm. Epig. 971, 11 56, 1204, 12 12, 1549; Kaibel, Epig. Gr. 566, 
575-578, etc. 

^ Dionysius, Ars Rhet. 6, 2, <ru»'eX6»'Tt iikv oSv 6 iiriTd(f>ios eiraivds iffri rdv Karoixofxivcov • el 8^ 
TOVTO, 8rj\6v irov ds Kai dirb tQp airCov tSttup Xtjitt^ov, d<f> <av irep koL rd, iyKtbfua • irarpiSos, y4vovs, 
0i5<rews, dywyrjs, wpd^eus. Menander, Sp. Ill, 413, 9 ff., XP^ ^^ eldivai 6ti avvla-Tarai ij fiovcfdia iK 
tQv iyKbJfjuacTTiKQp yivovs, ^iJcrews, dvarpocpijs, iraiSelas, iiriTrjSevfidTcov, irpd^euv ; cf. also Sp. Ill, 
420, 10 ff. 



132 THE EPICEDIA OF STATIUS 

serving every Emperor from Tiberius to Domitian ; a fifth was the poet's own 
father, well born and endowed with poetic gifts, but forced by poverty to adopt 
the profession of teaching, in which he won distinction ; and the last was 
Priscilla, the faithful and lovely wife of Abascantus. 

In his laudations of the three favorite boys we find various devices em- 
ployed to conceal or minimize the awkward fact of servile birth. In the casCj 
of Glaucias, the favorite of Atedius Melior, Statins masks his origin by dwell- 
ing through some thirty-five verses on the child's charms and his loving rela-J 
tion to Melior. True to the teaching of rhetoric, ^ the poet declares that he is 
at a loss how to begin his praises (2, i, 36 ff. ; cf. 2, 6, 50). Glaucias' youth 
— anni stantes in limine vitae, his beauty of person and of character,^ his 
pretty ways, his devotion to his master, Melior's hopes for the boy's future — 
now alas ! gone to ashes, all claim expression. At this point the 7FV09 is intro- 
duced. We are told that the child was not bought in the slave market, but 
was born in his master's home (2, i, 72 ff.). The same thing is said of the 
poet's own favorite (5, 5, 66 ff.), 

non ego mercatus Pharia de puppe loquaces 

delicias doctumque sui conuicia Nili 

infantem, lingua nimium salibusque proteruum. 

And the favorite of Flavins Ursus is represented as of unknown parentage, 
yet showing a spirit and a character too noble for* servile stock. By compari- 
sons with Theseus, Paris, Achilles, and Troilus the possibility is suggested 
that the boy, too, is a king's son (2, 6, 21-33).^ In the two latter cases, how- 
ever. Statins touches on the 7eVo9 first and quickly passes on to other themes ; 
he recites at length the charms of person and of mind which Ursus' favorite 
possessed, his precocity, his devotion and fidelity, which recalled these same 
qualities in Patroclus, Theseus, and Eumaeus, even as his beauty reminded the 
beholder of Parthenopaeus or some Spartan youth ready to test his prowess 
for the first time in the Olympic games (2, 6, 34-57 ; cf. 2, i, 106 ff.). The 
humble origin of his own foster child Statins blots out with the cry — dilexi, 
mens ille, mens, and declares that from the moment of the child's birth he 
cared for him with all a parent's love ; he set the babe free and adopted him 
while he was still at the nurse's breast. All the poet's desire for children was 
satisfied so long as this child lived ; he taught the babe to walk, lulled him 
to sleep, and with joy heard the child's first word — his own name (5, 5, 66 ff.). 
In the epicedion on Glaucias we find similar motifs employed after the brief 
mention of the 761/09. Melior's affection is said to have begun with the child's 
birth (2, I, 78 ff.). Statins holds that such a relationship may be closer than 

1 Cf. Doxopater, in Walz, Rhetores Graeci, II, 449, 26 ff. 

2 Cf. Menander, Sp. Ill, 420, 12 f., refieis 5^ tt]v (pvaiv St'xa, ets re t6 toO <rc6yuaTos /cdXXos, Sirep 
irpuyrov ipeis, ets re ttjv ttjs ypvxv^ €v<pvtap. 

* Perhaps such suggestion was a commonplace. Cf. Horace's banter, C. 2, 4, 13 ff. 



CLIFFORD HERSCHEL MOORE 



^33 



the natural bond, adding the commonplace — natos genuisse necesse est, 
elegisse iuvat.^ This he supports in the learned fashion with mythological 
lore : Chiron was closer to Achilles than was Peleus, and it was Phoenix who 
went with the young hero to Troy ; Acoetes looked on Pallas 's battles while 
Evander waited at home for his son's return ; and Dictys was the one who 
cared for Perseus. Ino and Bacchus, Acca and Romulus, close the learned list 
(2, I, 88-IOO). From the y€vo<; Statins turns to the ayayyrj, eTnTrjSevfJuaTa, 
and TTpd^ei^, which naturally run into each other in the case of the young. 
Notwithstanding all Glaucias' promise in palaestra and in school, Lachesis, alas ! 
had already doomed him (2, i, i2off.), 

scilicet infausta Lachesis cunabula dextra 
attigit et gremio puerum complexa fouebat 
inuidia ; ilia genas et adultum comere crinem, 
et monstrare artes et uerba infigere, quae nunc 
plangimus. 

When Statius celebrates those who came to maturity, he can tell at length 
of accomplishment and tried character, and is not forced to dwell on hope 
and promise only. Claudius Etruscus, he acknowledges, was born a slave, but 
Fortune supplied his lack of birth ; his masters were not of common stock, 
but lords of the whole world. '' There can be no shame in serving a Caesar 
when all the world serves him as well ; even the stars and the moon are sub- 
ject to higher powers, and Hercules and Apollo once served masters." Fur- 
thermore, he was born in no mean city, but in Smyrna, rich and famous. Of 
Etruscus' a<y(oyr} there was nothing to say, but the history of his rise, his ac- 
complishments, and his character gave the poet abundant material. Under 
Tiberius Etruscus received his liberty; his practical wisdom carried him through 
the reign of Caligula — immitis quamquam et Furiis agitatus ; he was ad- 
vanced under Claudius, and by Nero he was raised to the most responsible 
post in the imperial administration, that of financial secretary, a rationibiis. 
The importance of this position Statius emphasizes by enumerating the im- 
perial income and expenses under Etruscus' control in a passage of consider- 
able length, where he handles his prosaic material with no slight skill (3, 3, 
85-105). Etruscus' absorption in his duties, his frugal life, the honor shown 
him by Vespasian at the time of the triumph over the Jews, his elevation to 
the order of the equites — all the eighty years which he had spent without 
a cloud, generous and kind, are duly recorded. But then the blow fell and 
Etruscus was banished. As a courtier Statius glosses over Domitian's act and 
represents the banishment as a pleasant retirement — hospes, non exul erat — 

1 Cf. Galba's address to Piso, in Tacitus, Hist, i, i6, nam generari et nasci a principibus for- 
tuitum, nee ultra aestimatur ; adoptandi iudicium integrum, et si velis eligere, consensu mon- 
stratur; Pliny, Episi. 4, 15, 10; Faneg. 7, 89, 94; Dio Cassius LXIX, 20, 2. The expression 
seems a commonplace. 



134 THE EPICEDIA OF STATIUS 

not long continued. Etruscus' restoration is attributed to the clemency of the 
kindest of rulers — ductor placidissime — Domitian ! 

This praise of the father contains also a laudatio of the mother, Etrusca, 
introduced at the proper place (3, 3, 108-137). She possessed great beauty 
and high birth, and thus she supplied the home with what the father lacked. 
She bore Etruscus two children and then suddenly drooped and died. For all 
their exuberance of expression Statius' verses here deserve to be quoted in 

full 1(3, 3, 1 26 ff.), • ^ .. .. K • 

sed media ceadere abrupta luuenta 

gaudia florentesque manu scidit Atropos annos, 

qualia pallentes declinant lilia culmos 

pubentesque rosae primos moriuntur ad austros, 

130 aut ubi uerna nouis expirat purpura pratis. 

ilia sagittiferi circumuolitastis Amores 

funera maternoque rogos unxistis amomo, 

nee modus aut pennis laceris aut crinibus ignem 

spargere collectaeque pyram struxere pharetrae. 

Statius gives the greater part of his laudatio of his own father also to the 
eTTLTTjBevfjiaTa and Trpd^ec^ (5, 3, 1 16-252). He was of good birth but poor; 
the Muses smiled on the child and Apollo touched his lips with water from 
his sacred fountain. Velia and Naples contended for the right to call him 
citizen, even as of old many cities claimed the son of Maeonia. He early en- 
tered poetic contests, far beyond his years, but he was laudum festinus et 
audax ingenii. Not satisfied with victories at home he contended successfully 
in the great festivals in Greece. Then he opened a school in Naples. Here 
he not only expounded the great Greek poets from Homer and Hesiod to 
Callimachus and Lycophron, but showed himself a master in the art of para- 

phrasis (5, 3, i59ff.)» 

tu par adsuetus Homero 

ferre iugum senosque pedes aequare solutis 

uersibus et numquam passu breuiore relinqui. 

To profit by such a teacher youth came from all southern Italy and even from 
Rome, so that the son could proudly say (185 ff.), 

et nunc ex illo forsan grege gentibus alter 
iura dat Eois, alter compescit Hiberos, 
alter Achaemenium secludit Zeugmate Persen, 
hi dites Asiae populos, hi Pontica frenant, 
hi fora pacificis emendant fascibus, illi 
castra pia statione tenent, — tu laudis origo. 

Neither Nestor nor Phoenix nor Chiron could have rivalled this teacher. 

As a poet the father won praise from Caesar and Jove himself by a poem 
on the burning of the Capitol in the year 69 a.d. ; another on the outbreak 

^ Verses 128-130 are repeated in an epitaph in Africa. Buecheler, Ca^yn. Epig. 1787. 




CLIFFORD HERSCHEL MOORE 135 

of Vesuvius was never completed, but is duly named. Then Statius dwells on 
his debt of piety, for all his poetic power he owed to his father (211 ff.), 

nee enim mihi sidera tantum 
aequoraque et terras, quae mos debere parenti, 
sed decus hoc quodcumque lyrae primusque dedisti 
non uulgare loqui et famam sperare sepulcro. 

The father attended the son's public appearances filled with an anxious joy ; 

and to the Thebais he gave much. 

The same loyalty and love marked the relation of the elder Statius to his 

wife, whose answering affection was such that she had thought only for her 

dead husband (240 ff.), 

una tibi cognita taeda 

conubia, unus amor, certe seiungere matrem 

iam gelidis nequeo bustis ; te sentit habetque, 

te uidet et tumulos ortuque obituque salutat. 

Serious, loyal, upright, with mind untouched, the gods granted the aged 
teacher reputation and happiness. Death came too soon, but gently like 

sleep (260 f .), 

sed te torpor iners et mors imitata quietem 
explicuit falsoque tulit sub Tartara somno. 

In the laudatio of Priscilla (5, i, 43-134) Statius dwells throughout upon 
her great devotion to Abascantus. He speaks of her high birth, her loveliness, 
and absolute fidelity such that no Paris, nor Dulichian suitors, nor a Thyestes 
would have tried to harm. She preferred honorable marriage to all the wealth 
of the Orient. She was not stern by nature, but frank, cheerful, and modest ; 
brave enough to face any danger for her husband's sake. His advancement 
was due to her influence. With change of station she showed no change of 
spirit, but still helped and cared for her husband with all the simple fidelity 
of an Apulian or sunburned Sabine wife ; with him she would have gone to 
the very ends of the world and boldly taken part in battle. 

This praise of the faithful Priscilla, however, is marred by some lines of 
intolerable flattery of the Emperor. To us the brutal Domitian is far removed 
from the wise ruler whom Statius describes (5, i, 81 ff.). But we must re- 
member that the alternative to flattery was that silence which men like 
Tacitus maintained. 

In these ways Statius varies his laudationes according to the age and posi- 
tion of his subject. I have allowed myself to go into greater detail here be- 
cause of the importance of this division. The remaining topics can be 
handled more summarily. 

The suddenness with which a premature fate struck down the young, the 
gentle coming of death to the old, the rapidity of the fatal disease, the anxiety 
and appeals of those who feared the loss of their loved ones, are all themes 



136 THE EPICEDIA OF STATIUS 

which Statius uses in his description of the last sickness and death.^ The 
only comfort that the poet knows how to offer here, apart from the thought 
that Glaucias entered Hades with his youthful beauty still unwasted (2, i, 
154 ff.), is the memory that the dying recognized his loved one and breathed 
out to him his last breath .^ So Priscilla's last look was fixed on her husband's 
face, and with her last words she endeavored to console him (5, i, 172 ff.). 

The funeral is treated in more conventional fashion. The wealth of silk 
and purple hangings, the masses of Oriental incense and perfume burned on 
the pyre, the sorrow of the bereaved as the flames mounted, driving him to 
try to throw himself into the fire and to perish with his love, are almost con- 
stant elements.^ The efforts of Abascantus to keep the form of his loved 
one by recourse to the Egyptian art of mummification, to counterfeit her ap- 
pearance in bronze and marble as Ceres, Gnosis, Maia, and Venus (5, i, 
225 ff.), are matched by Etruscus' promise in his address to his father's 

ashes (3, 3, 200 ff.), 

te lucida saxa, 
te similem doctae referet mihi linea cerae, 
nunc ebur et fuluum uultus imitabitur aurum. 

In all the topics thus far considered Statius has been employing chiefly 
the arts of narration and description, for which his training had well fitted 
him ; and although in singing the praises of the dead, in reviewing their 
characters and deeds, and in dwelling on all the evidences of love and grief 
which the bereaved could show, he had many opportunities to offer comfort, 
the consolatio proper must come at the end. 

The thought of the shade entering Hades and there encountering all the 
dangers and terrors which tradition and the poets knew, might well sadden 
the mourner. But Statius assures his friends that rude Charon will give ready 
and quick passage, that Cerberus will not threaten, no Fury wave her torch, 
no Hydra, Centaurs, or Scyllas terrify.^ Furthermore, the poet can offer a 
positive consolation in the promise that the loved ones will recognize in the 
happy fields, among the shades of the great and famous, friendly spirits who 
will welcome them.^ Glaucias will love and be loved by the shade of Melior's 
friend Blaesus (2, i, 189 ff.); Flavius' favorite may find his parents (2, 6, 98 ff.) ; 

1 2, I, 137-157; 2, 6, 58-80; 5, I, 135-208; and 5, 3, 252-261. For the rhetoricians' direc- 
tions, see Hermogenes, Sp. II, 12 ; and Menander, III, 435, 18 ff., fiaWov -ykp 6 X6yos kip7]tlk(*}- 
repos etr] dirb twv ^tr 6\piP Kai tQp vvv avfx^&vTwv, oIktL^iov re ei t^v TjXLKiav rj rbv rpbirov rod davdrov 
\4yoL Tis, et fxaKpq. v6<T({) irepnreirTijJKOJS etrj, ei 6^i>s 6 ddvaros kt\. 

2 This too was apparently a favorite commonplace. Cf. Consolatio ad Liviam, 90 ff . 

3 2, I, 157 ff. (cf. 23-25) ; 2, 6, 82 ff. ; 3, 3, 31-37, 176 ff. ; 5, i, 210 ff. ; 5, 3, 4i-44» 262 ff. 

* 2, I, 183 ff. ; 5, I, 249 ff. ; 3, 3, 22 ff. In this last case the rbiro^ is placed in the introduc- 
tion in the form of a prayer, and is supplemented by 205-207. 

s This was the prospect which cheered Socrates (Plato, Apol. 32), and it became a common- 
place. Cf. Menander, Sp. Ill, 414, 16 ff., efra 6tl ireldoixai rbv fjxraardvra rb ifk^xnov irebiop oiKeip, 
8irov 'FaddfMPdvs, Swov Mep^Xeuis, 8irov wais 6 IlTyX^ws Kai G^rtSos, Sirov Mifxpup ; 421, 16 f., TroXt- 
TciJerat ydp yuerd tCop deup ^ rb rfkOaiop e^et ireblop. 



CLIFFORD HERSCHEL MOORE 



137 



Etruscus will relate to Etrusca all their son's fidelity (3, 3, 205 ff.) ; and for his 
father's shade Statius craves honor from the bards of Greece (5, 3, 284 ff.), 

ite, pii manes Graiumque examina uatum, 
illustremque animam Letheis spargite sertis 
et monstrate nemus, quo nulla inrupit Erinys, 
in quo falsa dies caeloque simillimus aer. 

Other consolatory tottol are the universality of death (2, i, 209 ff.), the 
thought that death is a happy escape from ills which make the living the 
proper objects of pity (2, i, 220 ff. ; 5, i, 220 ff.)/ and the appearance of 
the dead in a dream, which is a warrant that the spirit still lives. Etruscus 
closes his address to his father's ashes with the words (3, 3, 204), monitura 
somnia poscam ; Glaucias is besought to return and bring comfort (2, i, 
227 ff.) ; and Statius prays his father's shade (5, 3, 288 ff.), 

inde tamen venias, melior qua porta malignum 
cornea uincit ebur, somnique in imagine monstra 
quae solitus. 

This running review of the main features of Statius' epicedia is sufficient, 
I trust, to show their character, although I have been forced to omit much 
that is not insignificant. By observing the attention which the poet gives to 
rhetorical rules and by noting his frequently repeated phrases and verbal com- 
binations it is easy to do him injustice, for in spite of all, he shows much skill 
in treating his themes and in handling his verse. In the epicedia, as in other 
poems of his Silvae, he borrowed much of his material from earlier poets but 
gave it a new and stricter form ; and he endeavored throughout his work to 
enhance the value of his borrowings by expansion and exaggeration. Most of 
the Silvae he wrote for his friends or the Emperor, only occasionally choosing 
a theme for himself. His flattery of the dominus et deus Domitian offends 
us, as does his willingness to treat so trivial a theme as the Capilli Flavi 
Earini (3, 4), but for both he could quote good precedents, and more than 
one poet of a later age has done as ill. He is always the doctus poeta : his 
large use of mythology, personification, and learned reference, his conscious 
devotion to the schools often burden his verses, and his very skill sometimes 
betrays his lack of high poetic imagination. If he had left us a few more 
poems like his appeal to Sleep (5, 4), we could almost call him the poet of a 
new era ; as it is, we must regard him as one of the two chief representatives 
of an artificial and timorous age, when art endeavored to conceal the want of 
greater things. His epicedia are valuable as representing the final develop- 
ment of a poetic form. With all their evident conventions, they at times 
show Statius in his most sincere moods, and they contain certain passages 
which deserve the renewed existence given them by Poggio's happy discovery. 

1 Cf. Dionys., Ars Rhet. 6, 5; Menander, Sp. Ill, p. 413, 23 ff. These themes are frequent 
on tombstones. Lier, Philologies, LXII, 563 ff. 



THE SEA-BATTLE IN CHAUCER'S ^^ LEGEND 
OF CLEOPATRA" 

William Henry Schofield 

''At Cleopatre I wol that thou beginne," said the god of love to Chaucer, 

when he bade the poet write 

a glorious Legende 
Of Gode Wommen, maidenes and wyves, 
That weren trewe in lovinge al hir lyves. 

And Chaucer straightway took his books and started on the task. His com- 
mand was merely to rehearse '' the grete" in the stories of certain faithful 
lovers of the past, " after thise olde auctours listen to trete " ; but he did not 
hesitate to embellish their narratives with new details calculated to heighten 
interest in his work. By far the most striking part of Chaucer's first legend, 
the graphic description of Antony's sea-battle at Actium, is unparalleled in 
any '' old author " from Plutarch to Boccaccio. My present object is to show, 
that its peculiarly stimulating effect is due to the fact that the poet here 
pictured an ancient scene with the color of recent events. 

It may be well to remark at the outset that Chaucer does not refrain 
from '' mediaeval touches " in other parts of the Legend of Good Women. 
Thisbe, for example, wears a ''wimple," and she and Pyramus speak "with 
a soun as softe as any shrifte " ; Dido " seketh halwes " ; Philomela knew 
how to " weven in her stole the radevore " {ras de Vaur, serge of La Vaur, in 
Languedoc) ; Lucrece is canonized a " saint " ; Hypermnestra's fate, decreed 
by the " Wirdes," is stated in terms of astrology ; when the poet writes of 
Demophon, he is reminded of " the fox Renard " ; when about to relate the 
misfortunes of Medea, he exclaims (with a figure taken from the chase) : 
" Have at thee, Jasoun ! now thyn horn is blowe ! " And of his long account 
of Dido's feast, Skeat justly wrote : " This passage is practically original. 
Chaucer here tells the story in his own language, and gives it a wholly 
mediaeval cast." Moreover, in the particular legend before us, Antony is 
pictured as a " knight," who had sought " honour " in Egypt, and become 
famous for his " chivalry " and " gentilesse." Though "a ful worthy gentil 
werreyour," Antony was also a " lover " of a courtly type. 

Him thoughte, nas to him no thing so due 
As Cleopataras for to love and serve ; 
Him roghte nat in armes for to sterve 
In the defence of hir and of hir right. 

And Cleopatra took towards him the attitude of a gentle lady, faithful and 
true, like Dorigen. 

139 



I40 THE SEA-BATTLE 

If, as scholars now seem agreed, Chaucer produced his Legend of Good 
Womeft some time between 1385 and 1387, he wrote when all his country- 
men were engrossed with naval proceedings. One has only to read such an 
account of the events of those years as is easily accessible in Nicolas 's History 
of the Royal Navy ^ to realize that there has seldom been a time when 
Englishmen were more excited over maritime affairs. In many sea-conflicts, 
great and small, prominent knights and humble shipmen were engaged, while 
the whole nation anxiously feared a French invasion, which had been pre- 
pared on a vast scale. Froissart, who described this extraordinary armament 
with particular zest, went so far as to declare that no one had ever seen a 
fleet like that gathered at Sluys to destroy England " since God created the 
world." When, for various reasons, the invasion was abandoned, in the 
autumn of 1386, the relief of the English was intense. Early in 1387, they 
made great efforts to fit out a strong fleet, which set sail about the middle of 
March and soon after won a signal victory over a large number of foreign ves- 
sels under the command of the Flemish admiral Sir John de Bucq, who had 
previously done them much mischief at sea. According to Walsingham, the 
prizes were sent to Orwell ; and Lord Arundel, the English admiral, refused 
to sell the great quantity of wine on board, even to the friendly merchants of 
Middelburgh, who offered to purchase what they had lost. It belonged, he 
said, to the commons of England, who had equipped the expedition. 

No one will doubt that Chaucer took a keen interest in all these happen- 
ings. He had had business relations with many a man like his Merchant, who 

wolde the see were kept '^ for any thing 
Bitwixe Middelburgh and Orewelle. 

He had seen many a " good fellow " of the west like his Shipman,^ who 

knew wel alle the havenes, as they were, 
From Gootland to the cape of Finistere, 
And every cryke in Britayne and in Spayne. 

1 London, 1847, II» 296 ff. 

2 Gold nobles were then in circulation which showed Edward III in a large ship, asserting 
his right to sovereignty of the sea. See Nicolas, II, 222 ff. The author of Mare Clausum, 
in the time of Henry VI, remarked : 

For foure things our noble sheweth to me, 

King, ship, and sword, and power of the sea. . . . 

But King Edward made a siege royall, 

And wanne the town ; and in speciall 

T7tc sec was kepi, and thereof he was lord. 

Thus made he nobles coined of record (Bk, ii, ch. xxv). 

3 " For aught I woot, he was of Dertemouthe," said Chaucer of his Shipman. One wonders 
if he had in mind the exploit of the sailors of Dartmouth and Portsmouth in 1385, of which 
Walsingham tells. " ' Hired by none, bought by none, but spurred on by their own valour and 
innate courage,' these gallant mariners proceeded to the Seine with a small force, where they 
captured four, and sank the same number of French vessels. Among the prizes was the 
barge of the Sire de Clisson, which was worth 20,000 florins, and had no equal in size or beauty 
either in England or France" (Nicolas, II, 298). 



SCHOFIELD 



141 



He was intimately acquainted with actual combatants in recent struggles ^ (far 
more, probably, than documents can ever be made to show), as well as with 
participants in similar struggles of an earlier date ; 2 and it would have been 
miraculous if he had not heard first-hand accounts of sea-fights from some of 
his numerous acquaintances in London, where such engagements were matter 
of common talk. 

Furthermore, his thoughts, like theirs, must have run back to the great 
naval conflicts of the past fifty years, which had filled English hearts with 
pride. In 1386 he was chosen a knight of the shire for Kent, and sat in the 
parliament that was held in Westminster from October i to November i, 
when much discussion took place of the defense of the realm and the pro- 
tection of merchandise at sea. Discontented members then complained, as 
had been done in Parliament before, of the contrast between the past and 
present. '' What is now become," they demanded, '*of our grand enterprises 
and our valiant captains ? Would that our gallant King Edward and his son, 
the Prince of Wales, were now alive ! We used to invade France and rebuff 
our enemies so that they were afraid to shew themselves or venture to en- 
gage us, and, when they did so, they were defeated. . . . We have seen the 
time when, if such a fleet had been known to have collected at Sluys, the 
good King and his sons would have hastened to take it." ^ 

1 John Philipot, collector of customs from 1378 to 1384, fitted out a fleet at his own ex- 
pense in 1379, and won a signal victory over the French led by the notorious Mercer; to judge 
from Walsingham's account, he participated in the fight himself. Sir Lewis CUfford was one of 
those who, at Carlisle, opposed Sir John de Vienne, admiral of the French fleet which was 
sent to assist the Scots in 1385. In the same year, Sir William de Beauchamp, then Captain 
of Calais, captured many French vessels in a spirited engagement. Sir Thomas de Percy was 
then, as at previous times, an admiral of the English fleet. Henry Scogan was in the employ 
of Simon de Burley, Warden of the Cinque Ports, Governor of Dover Castle, and Justice of 
the Peace for Kent, this last a position which Chaucer also occupied in 1385. (For the poet's 
relations with the above-mentioned persons, see T. R. Hulbert, Chaucer's Official Life, Univ. 
of Chicago, 191 2 ; and on their public activities, see Nicolas, \\, passim.) Chaucer, of course, 
had many other possible sources of direct and indirect information on the naval affairs of 
his time. 

2 Edward III was probably not reticent about his exploits. Regarding the battle of Sluys, 
Froissart says : " There were in this fleet a great many ladies from England, countesses, bar- 
onesses, and knights' and gentlemen's wives, who were going to attend on the Queen at 
Ghent." Here was another means of making the combat well known in the circle in which 
Chaucer was to move. His father had recently been connected with the court. Froissart says 
that four hundred knights accompanied the King at Espagnols-sur-Mer. "The Prince of 
Wales and John Earl of Richmond [John of Gaunt] were likewise on board the fleet. The 
last was too young to bear arms, but he had him on board because he much loved him." 
Froissart dwells on the return of the King and his companions to Queen Philippa, who was 
waiting anxiously for them on the shore. They " passed the night in revelry with the ladies, 
conversing of arms and amours." At La Rochelle the English fleet was under the command of 
the Earl of Pembroke (whose lands Chaucer was later to have in custody), and one of the 
admiral's most valiant supporters was Sir Otho de Graunson, " flour of hem that make in 
J'rance." 

8 Froissart, translated by Thomas Johnes, 3d ed., 1808, VIII, 227 ; cf. Nicolas, II, 264 f. 



142 THE SEA-BATTLE 

" The name of Edward the Third is more identified with the naval glory 
of England than that of any other of her sovereigns ; for, though the saga- 
cious Alfred and the chivalrous Richard commanded fleets and defeated the 
enemy at sea, Edward gained in his own person two signal victories, fighting 
on one occasion until his ship actually sunk under him, and was rewarded 
by his subjects with the proudest title ever conferred upon a British mon- 
arch,* King of the Sea.' . . . Like the Nile, Camperdown, and Trafalgar, 
the battles of Sluys and Les Espagnols-sur-Mer led the English to imagine 
that they were always to command the sea.''^ 

Froissart's vivid descriptions of the great victories of Sluys (1340) and 
Espagnols-sur-Mer (1350) provide us with authentic pictures of sea- 
conflicts in the fourteenth century. When we add to these his account of 
the unfortunate encounter of the English fleet with the Spaniards off La 
Rochelle (1372), we find ourselves in possession of sufficient parallels to the 
sort of description that Chaucer undertook to write, and quickly recognize 
that he depicts the battle of Actium (31 B.C.) as if it had happened in 
his own age. 2 

His account is as follows : 

Octovian, that wood was of this dede, 
Shoop him an ost on Antony to lede 
Al-outerly for his destruccioun, 
With stoute Romains, cruel as leoun ; 
To ship they wente, and thus I let him saile. 
Antonius was war, and wol nat faile 
To meten with thise Romains, if he may ; 
Took eek his reed, and bothe, upon a day, 
His wyf and he, and al his ost, forth wente 
To shippe anoon, no longer they ne stente ; 
And in the see hit happed hem to mete — 
Up goth the trompe — and for to shoute and shete. 
And peynen hem to sette on with the sonne. 
With grisly soun out goth the grete gonne. 
And heterly they hurtlen al at ones. 
And fro the top down cometh the grete stones. 
In goth the grapenel so ful of crokes 
Among the ropes, and the shering-hokes, 
• In with the polax presseth he and he ; 

Behind the mast beginneth he to flee, 

^Nicolas, II, I. Laurence Minot commemorated these sea-battles in vigorous poems; see 
Joseph Hall's edition, with notes, Oxford, 1887. 

2 This article was written before I observed that Professor Ker, in his admirable essay on 
Froissart {Essays on Medieval Literature, 1905, p. 231), had incidentally noted a likeness be- 
tween Chaucer's description and Froissart's account of the battle off La Rochelle ; but he did 
not pursue the matter, and apparently did not consider the more striking resemblances with 
Froissart's accounts of Sluys and Espagnols-sur-Mer, or the circumstances which may have 
stimulated Chaucer's particular interest in sea-fights when the Legend was composed. 



SCHOFIELD 143 

And out agayn, and dryveth him overbord ; 

He stingeth him upon his speres ord ; 

He rent the sail with hokes lyke a sythe ; 

He bringeth the cuppe, and biddeth hem be blythe ; 

He poureth pesen .upon the hacches slider ; 

With pottes ful of lym they goon togider ; 

And thus the longe day in fight they spende 

Til, at the laste, as everything hath ende, 

Antony is shent, and put him to the flighte, 

And al his folk to-go, that best go mighte. 

Here we have a general situation not unlike that when Edward III set out 
to meet the stout Spaniards in the fight of Espagnols-sur-Mer. 

'' About this period," says Froissart, '' there was much ill will between the 
King of England and the Spaniards, on account of some infractions and 
pillages committed at sea by the latter. It happened at this season that the 
Spaniards, who had been in Flanders with their merchandise, were informed 
they would not be able to return home without meeting the English fleet. 
The Spaniards did not pay much attention to this intelligence. However, 
after they had disposed of their goods, they amply provided their ships from 
Sluys with arms and artillery, and all such archers, cross-bowmen and soldiers 
as were willing to receive pay. 

'* TAe King of England hated these Spaniards greatly, and said publicly : 
* We have for a long time spared these people ; for which they have done us 
much harm, without amending their conduct : on the contrary, they grow 
more arrogant ; for which reason they must be chastised as they repass our 
coasts.' His lords readily assented to this proposal^ and were eager to engage 
the Spaniards. The King therefore issued a special summons to all gentlemen 
who at that time might be in England and left London. 

"He went to the coast of Sussex, between Southampton and Dover, which 
lies opposite to Ponthieu and Dieppe, and kept his court in a monastery, 
whither the Queen also came. . . . On finding that he was not too late to 
meet the Spaniards on their retiirit, the King, with his nobles and knights^ 
embarked on board his fleet ; and he was never attended by so numerous a 
company in any of his former expeditions at sea. . . . The King kept the 
sea with his vessels ready prepared for action, and to wait for the enemy, who 
was not long before he appeared. He kept cruising for three days between 
Dover and Calais. 

*' When the Spaniards had completed their cargoes . . . they embarked on 
board their fleet at Sluys. They knew they should meet the English, but were 
indifferent about it. . . . If the English had a great desire to meet them, 
it seemed as if the Spaniards were still more eager for it. . . . Intending to 
engage the English fleet, they advanced with a favourable wind until they 
came opposite to Calais. The King of England, being at sea, had very 



144 THE SEA-BATTLE 

•distinctly explained to all his knights the order of battle he would have them 
follow. . . . The King posted himself in the forepart of his own ship : he 
was dressed in a black velvet jacket, and wore on his head a small hat of 
beaver,^ which became him much. He was that day, as I was told by those 
who were present, as joyous as he ever was in his life, and ordered his min- 
strels to play before him a German dance 2 which Sir John Chandos had lately 
introduced. For his amusement, he made the same knight sing with his min- 
strels, which delighted him greatly. From time to time, he looked up to the 
casde on his mast, where he had placed a watch to inform him when the 
Spaniards were in sight. Whilst the King was thus amusing himself with his 
knights, who were happy in seeing him so gay, the watch, who had observed 
a fleet, cried out, ' Ho, I spy a ship, and it appears to me to be a Spaniard.' 
The minstrels were silenced ; and he was asked if there were more than one. 
Soon after he replied, " Yes : I see two, three, four, and so many that, God 
help me, I cannot count them.' The King and his knights then knew that 
they must be the Spaniards. The trumpets were ordered to sound, and the 
ships to form a line of batde for the combat." 

We may now take up Chaucer's account line by line and indicate such 
parallels as are afforded by Froissart's chronicle, and certain other mediaeval 
works. ^ 

I . up goth the tro7npe — and f 01' to shout e and shete. 

Sluys : " The battle then began very fiercely ; archers and cross-bowmen 
shot with all their might at each other. . . . There were then great shouts 
and cries. . . . There were great noises with trumpets and all kinds of other 
instruments" (I, 209). 

^ Chaucer's Merchant wore " a Flaundrish bever hat." 
2 We read in the "'House of Fame," 1233 ff. : 

Ther saugh I famous, olde and yonge, 

Pypers of the Duche tonge. 

Among the minstrels at the court of Edward III was one Rynald le pyper. Others were Nicolas 
de Prague and Jean de Metz. See Kervyn de Lettenhove, CEuvres de Froissart, I, ch. vi. The 
author of Morte Arthure (1. 2030) represents " dauncesynge of Duche-mene, and dynnynge of 
pypez " at a feast of the " Roman " opponents of Arthur. 

* It may be noted here that the author of the alliterative Morte Arthure (ed. Brock, E. E. T. S., 
187 1 ) did exactly the same thing as Chaucer, namely, revivified a scene of ancient story by the 
introduction of modern incident and equipment. The sea-battle which he represents Arthur as 
waging against the Danes when the King set out from Flanders to punish Modred (11. 3588- 
3711) is extremely interesting from our present point of view, showing various features in com- 
mon with Chaucer's narrative. Indeed, as Mr. George Neilson has made clear {Huchown of 
the Azule Ryale, Glasgow, 1902, pp. 60 ff.), the author had the fight of Espagnols-sur-Mer 
^definitely in mind. He even mentions " Spanyolis " as the King's enemies. 

When ledys of crwt-londys leppyne in waters, 

Alle cure lordes one lowde laughene at ones ! 

Be thane speris whare spronngene, spaldydd chippys, 

Spanyolis spedily sprentyde ouer burdez ; 

Alle the kene men of kampe, knyghtes and other, 

Killyd are colde dede, and cast>'ne ouer burdez ! (3697 fT.) 



SCHOFIELD 



145 



La Rochelle : '' When the EngHsh and the Poitevins saw the Spaniards 
thus posted . . . they made preparations for an immediate combat, posting 
their archers on the bows of the ships. They advanced with shoutings and 
with great noise. ... At this commencement great were the shouts and cries 
on both sides " (IV, 156). '' When' it was day, and the tide had flowed full, 
the Spaniards weighed their anchors, and, with a great noise of trumpets and 
drums, formed a line of battle " (IV, 160 ; cf. 163). 

2. And peyneft hem to sette on with the sonne. 

Sluys : '' When the King of England and his marshals had properly divided 
the fleet, they hoisted their sails to have the wind on their quarter, as the sun 
shone f till in their faces, which they considered might be of disadvafitage to 
them. The Normans, who saw them tack, could not help wondering why they 
did so, and said they took good care to turn about, for they were afraid of 
meddling with them " (I, 209). 

This feature of the battle, mentioned by Walsingham and other chroniclers, 
was long remembered, as will be seen by Holinshed's account {Anno 1340) : 
" The King of England stayed till the sun, which at first was in his face, 
came somewhat westward, and so had it upon his back, that it should not 
hinder the sight of his people, and so therewith did set upon his enemies with 
great manhood, who likewise very stoutly encountered him, by reason whereof 
ensued a sore and deadly fight betwixt them." 

3. With grisly soun out got h the grete gonne. 

Espagnols : The Spaniards '' had marvellously provided themselves with 
all sorts of warlike ammunition ; such as bolts for cross-bows, cannons, and bars 
of forged iron to throw on the enemy " (II, 254). 

La Rochelle : *' The Spaniards were well-equipped with men at arms and 
foot soldiers, who had cross-bows and cannons ... to make their attack 
with" (IV, 156). 

Of the conflict with Sir John de Bucq in 1387, we read : " The gunners 
made ready their bows and cannons. . . . Their cannons shot balls of such 
weight that great mischief was done" (VIII, 158-159). 

Nicolas, after discussing the evidence regarding the use of cannons and 
gunpowder in the fourteenth century, concludes : ^ " It is manifest from these 
records that cannon formed part of the armament of many ships as early, and 
probably a few years before, 1 338 ; that, about 1 372, guns and gunpowder were 
commonly used ; that some guns were made of iron, some of brass, and others 
of copper ; that there was a kind of hand-gun as well as large cannon ; and 
that gunpowder was formed of the same elements, and made in nearly the 
same manner, as at present." 

V II, 185 ; cf. II, 296, note b. 



vV 



146 THE SEA-BATTLE 

Skeat, in a note on Chaucer's line,^ takes Bell severely to task for thinking 
the poet's mention of the guns " a ludicrous anachronism." He maintains 
that " gonne " is here used merely for " missile " hurled from one of the 
'' engines of battery " which Plutarch says Antony used. That view would 
certainly be tenable if Chaucer were not so obviously modernizing his narra- 
tive ; but under the circumstances there can be little doubt that he had regular 
cannons in mind. These were being used in all important sea-fights of his day, 
and, as Skeat himself remembered, the poet elsewhere used " gonne " for 
cannon, evincing great interest in the new instruments of war. The sound of 
the trumpet of Slander went, he says, 

As swift as pelet out of gonne, 
Whan fyr is in the poudre ronne. 
And swiche a smoke gan out wende 
Out of his foule trumpes ende, 
Blak, bio, grenish, swartish reed, 
As doth wher that men melte leed, 
Lo, al on high fro the tuel ! . . . 
And hit stank as the pit of helle.^ 

4. And heterly they hurtlen al at ones — (And fiercely they dash together all at once). 
Espagnols : '' When the King of England saw from his ship their order 
of battle, he ordered the person who managed his vessel, saying, ' Lay me 
alongside the Spaniard who is bearing down on us ; for I will have a tilt with 
him.' The master dared not disobey the King's order, but laid his ship ready 
for the Spaniard, who was coming full sail. The King's ship was large and 
stiff ; otherwise she would have been sunk, for that of the enemy was a great 
one, and the shock of their meeting was more like the crash of a torrent or 
tempest. The rebound caused the castle in the King's ship to encounter that 
of the Spaniard ; so that the mast of the latter was broken, and all in the castle 
fell with it into the sea, when they were drowned. . . . The fight now 
began in earnest. . . . The battle was not in one place, but in ten or twelve 
at a time. Whenever either party found themselves equal to the enemy, or 

1 Works of Chaucer, III, 312. Shakspere, we may note, pictures Angiers as threatened 
with cannons in the time of King John. 

The cannons have their bowels full of wrath 

And ready mounted are they, to spit forth 

Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls (II, i, etc.). 

2 House of Fame, 11. 1643-1654. In a recipe for gunpowder given in the MSS. of Dr. John 
Arderne of Newark, who began to practise as a surgeon before 1350, we read : " Cast poudre 
vault a gettere pelottes de fer, ou de plom, ou d'areyne, oue vn instrument que I'em appelle 
gonne.'''' See H. W. L. Hime, Gunpowder and Ammunition, 1904, p. 177. "The accounts of 
John de Sleaford, clerk of the King's Privy Wardrobe, prove that in 1372-1374 workmen were 
employed in the Tower in making leaden ' pelottes ' for guns " {ibid., p. 203). In Piers Plowman, 
C Text, xxi, 293, we find : 

Setteth bowes of brake and brascnc gonnes, 

And sheteth out shot enowh hus shultrom to blende. 



SCHOFIELD 



147 



superior, they instantly grappled, when grand deeds of arms were performed " 
(II,256ff.). 

5. And fro the top doun comet h the grete stones. 

Espagnols : The Spaniards were '' in hopes, with the assistance of great 
stones,'' to sink the EngHsh boats. '"' Near the top of their masts were small 
castles [topcastles], full of flints and stones'' (II, 254). ''The English had 
not any advantage ; and the Spanish ships were much larger and higher than 
their opponents, which gave them a great superiority in shooting and casting 
stories and iron bars on board their enemy, which annoyed them exceedingly " 
(11, 257). 

La Rochelle : " The Spaniards, who were in large vessels, had great bars 
of iron and huge stones, which they launched and flung from their ships in 
order to sink those of the English." " The showers of stones . . . annoyed 
them exceedingly." " The Spaniards had too much the advantage, as their 
vessels were larger and higher above the water than those of the English, 
from which they flung down stones, bars of iron and lead, that much annoyed 
their adversaries " (IV, 156, 158, 160). 

6. In goth the grapenel so ful of crokes 
Among the ropes ^ and the shering-hokes . 

Sluys : '' In order to be more successful, they had Xdirgt grapnels, andiron 
hooks with chains, which they flung from ship to ship, to moor them to each 
other" (I, 209). 

Espagnols : " Another large ship bore down, and grappled with chains 
and hooks to that of the King" (II, 257 ; cf. 258, 259). 

La Rochelle : '' When they came to close quarters, the Spaniards flung 
out grappling hooks with chains of iron, lashed the English to their vessels, 
so that they could not separate, and thus, as it were, held them close " (IV, 
160; cf. 161). 

Nicolas notes that one of the King's ships was provided in 1338 with a 
grape-iron with a chain, an iron '' myke-hoke," and a "sherehoke" (II, 171, 

475)- 

7. In with the polax presseth he and he; 

Behind the mast beginneth he to flee, 

And out agayn, and dryveth him overbord, . . . 

He rent the sail with hokes lyke a sythe. 

In the account of Espagnols-sur-Mer, we read of a noteworthy exploit by 
an individual : " The Spaniards would have carried away with ease this prize 
[the King's ship] if it had not been for a gallant act of one Hanequin, a serv- 
ant to the Lord Robert [de Namur], who, with his drawn sword on his wrist, 
leaped on board the enemy, ran to the mast, and cut the large cable which 
held the mainsail, by which it became unmanageable ; and with great agility, 
he cut other four principal ropes, so that the sails fell on the deck, and the 



148 



THE SEA-BATTLE 



course of the ship was stopped. Lord Robert, seeing this, advanced with his 
men, and, boarding the Spaniard, sword in hand, attacked the crew so vigor- 
07isly that all were slain or throtvn overboard, and the vessel won " (II, 260). 
*' The knights on board the King's ship were in danger of sinking, for the 
leak still admitted water. This made them more eager to conquer the vessel 
they were grappled to ; and at last they gained the ship, and Jlting all they\ 
foimd in it overboard'' ^ (II, 258). 

In a great battle between the English and French in 12 17, certain Eng- 
lish sailors were instructed to take axes and when they could board the enemy's 
ships, to climb up the masts and cut down the banners. " The English then, 
rushed on board ; and cutting away the rigging and haulyards with axes, the 
sails fell over the French, to use the expression of the chronicler [Matthew 
Paris] Mike a net upon ensnared small birds.' Thus hampered, the enemy 
could make but a feeble resistance ; and, after an immense slaughter, were 
completely defeated. . . . Though the French fought with great bravery, very 
few among them were accustomed to naval tactics ; and they fell rapidly under 
the lances, axes, and swords of their assailants " (Nicolas, I, 1 77-1 81). 

8. He stiiigeth him upoti his speres orde. 

In the account of a sea-engagement off Guernsey, between Lord Robert 
d'Artois and Lord Lewis of Spain, we find : '' When the barons, knights and 
squires were able to come to close combat, and could reach each other ivith 
their lances, then the battle raged, and they made good trial of each other's 
courage. The Countess of Montfort was equal to a man, for she had the heart 
of a lion ; and, with a rusty sharp sword in her hand, she combated bravely. 
The Genoese and Spaniards, who were in those large vessels, threw down 
upon their enemies great bars of iron, and aimoyedthem micch with very long 
lances " (II, 22 ff.). 

La Rochelle : The English and Poitevins '' handled their spears, which 
were well steeled, so briskly and gave such terrible strokes, that none dared 
to come near unless he were well armed and shielded " (IV, 157-158). 

9. He bringeth the CMppe, and biddeth hem be blythe. 

Espagnols : " The King ordered wine to be brought, which he and his 
knights drank" (II, 256). 



1 Cf. Morte Arthure, 11. 3665 ff. (above, p. 144), and Minot's accounts of Sluys and Espagnols- 
sur-Mer (ed. Hall, pp. 16, 33-34). For example: 

Fone left J?ai olive bot did )>am to lepe. 

To wade war J'O wretches casten in j^e brim ; 

]3e kaitefs come out of France at lere l^am to swim. 

Chaucer says of his Shipman : 

Of nyce conscience took he no keep, 

If that he f aught, and hadde the hyer bond, 

By water he sente hem boom to every lond. 



SCHOFIELD 149 

It is said in the romance of Richard Coeur de Lion ^ that after a naval 
exploit in the harbor of Acre (i 194) : 

For joye off this dede, 
The cuppes fast abouten yede, 
With good wyA, pyement, and clarrd. 

10. He poureth pesen upon the hacches slider. 

Regarding this line, Skeat wrote as follows : " By pouring hard peas upon 
the hatches, they became so slippery that the boarders could not stand." But 
there is no likeUhood in this explanation. We have no evidence that peas 
were ever used thus in naval warfare, and the device would surely have been 
of very doubtful advantage, since it would work harm to both sides. The 
"pesen" were evidently poured upon the enemy s hatches, and Chaucer does 
not say that this was to make the hatches '' slider," but only that these were 
" slider." Perhaps we have here a confused reference to what was a striking 
feature of sea-battles in the time of Richard Coeur de Lion, the use of " Greek 
(or wild) fire." A passage near the close of Jean de Meun's translation of 
Vegetius' De Re Militari'^ seems to throw light on the situation. Speaking 
of naval tactics, he says: *' Envolepent saietes d'estoupes et d^ pois et de 
oyle ardant que on apele fu grijois,^ et les getent ardans par ars et par 
arbalestes et les fichent es nes de lor anemis et ardent soudainement les 
tables des nes ointes de cire et de pois re sine et d'autres norrissemens as feus." 
Apparently, ''pois" here means 'pitch,' which was poured on the decks of 
the enemy's ships {ointes de cire — therefore " slider ") to nourish and spread 
"wild fire." But since "pois" also means 'peas,' confusion might easily 
have arisen in the mind of one who merely read of the practice described. 
As Chaucer seems to have known Jean de Meun's translations of Boethius 
and Albertano of Brescia, as well as the Roman de la Rose, it would not be 
strange if he also consulted Jean's Art de Chevaletie. 

^ Dating in its English form from the last quarter of the thirteenth century. Ed. Weber, 

Metrical Romances^ i8io, II, 11. 2623 ff. The whole of this description should be compared, 

since it contains many features like Chaucer's — trumpets (2631), stones from the topcastle 

(2539), axes (2555), spears (2547), leaping overboard (2567), hooked arrows (2577), etc. Of the 

mariners it is said : , , , , , 

They rowede hard, and sungge ther too : 

"With hevelow and rumbeloo" (2521-2522). 

It is interesting to observe that this refrain was in use quite recently by boatmen on the Mis- 
sissippi; see Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Story of a Bad Boy, ch. iii. Cf. Schofield, Eng. Lit. from 
the No-rman Conquest to Chaucer, p. 364, and Marlowe's Edward II, Act II, Sc. ii. 

2 VArt de Chevalerie, ed. Ulysse Robert, S.A.T.F., 1897, pp. 173-174; cf. pp. xxxi, 142, 148. 
The translation was made in 1 284, and the verse rendering of it by Priorat between 1 286 and 1 290. 

3 There is, of course, no mention of Greek fire in Vegetius. The Latin runs : " oleo in- 
cendiario, stuppa, sulphure et bitumine obvolutae et ardentes sagittae " ..." in hosticarum 
navium alveos." On page 142 of Jean de Meun, we read : " On doit apparaillier ciment [bitu- 
men], souffre, poys clere, oyle ardant que on appelle feu grijois [oleum, quod incendiarium 
vocant], pour ardoir les engiens as anemis." 



I50 THE SEA-BATTLE 

In an interesting account of a sea-fight with the Saracens in 1 190,1 Geof- 
frey de Vinsauf wrote : " Soon the battle became general ; the oars were 
entangled ; they fought hand to hand ; they grappled the ships with alternate 
casts, and set the decks [tabulata] on fire with the burning oil commonly 
called the Greek fire. This fire, with a deadly stench and livid flames, con- 
sumes flint and iron ; and, unquenchable by water, can only be extinguished 
by sand or vinegar." In the romance of Richard Coeur de Lion, we read : 

Kyng Richard, oute of his galye, 
Caste wylde-fyr into the skeye, 
And fyr Gregeys into the see, 
And al on fyr wer the (11. 2627 ff.). 

The line we are discussing should be considered in its connection with 
that which immediately follows. In writing these two lines Chaucer seems to 
have recalled famous tactics that were used in English sea-battles of a some- 
what earlier period than his own. 

1 1 . With pottes ftd of lym they goon to-gider. 

Skeat notes : ^ '' Some carried pots full of quicklime, which they threw into 
the eyes of their enemies. See Notes and Queries^ 5 S., X, 188. The English 
did this very thing, when attacking a French fleet, in the time of Henry III. 
Strutt {Manners and Customs, 1774, II, 11) quotes from Matthew Paris to 
this effect : ' Calcem quoque vivam et in pulverem subtilem reductam, in altum 
projicientes, vento illam ferente, Francorum ocuIqs excaecaverunt.' Cf. Aen, 
viii, 694." 

The battle above mentioned was that in which Eustace the Monk was 
captured. In the romance concerning him, we read : 

Dont commenchi^rent a ruer 
Caus bien molue en grans pos 
Kil depdchoient a lor bors. 
La pourriere molt grans leva : 
Che fu chou que plus les greva 
Dont ne se porent plus desfendre ; 
Car lor oel furent plain de cendre. 
Cil estoient desor le vent 
Ki lor faisoient le torment.^ 

^ " Itinerarium Regis Anglorum Richardi et aliorum in Terram Hierosolymorum," in Gale, 
Hist. Britann., Sax., Anglo-Dan. Scriptores, II, 274. In 1194, or 1195, the King of England paid 
for carrying " Greek fire " (" targiis et quarellis et pilettis et igne Graeco ") from London to 
Nottingham for the use of an engineer named Urric. (See Nicolas, I, 80 ff.) The "pellets" 
here spoken of, and Vinsauf's description of the fire (with its " deadly stench and livid flames "), 
remind one of Chaucer's words in the House of Fame. Vinsauf was an author whom Chaucer knew. 

2 Works of Chaucer, III, 312 f. See also Nicolas, I, 179. 

8 Ed. Michel, p. 82. 



SCHOFIELD 151 

Hime writes : 1 '' Cameniata tells us that at the storming of Salonika in 
904 the Moslems threw ' pitch and torches and quicklime ' over the walls. 
By * quicklime ' he probably meant the earthenware hand grenades, filled with 
wet quicklime, described by the Emperor Leo, who then sat on the throne 
(886-911). 'The vapour of the quicklime,' he says, 'when the pots are 
broken, stifles and chokes the enemy and disturbs the soldiers.' " Chaucer's 
'' pots full of lime " seem to have been more definite instruments of war than 
has usually been supposed. 

12. And thus the longe day in fight they spende 
Til, at the lasts, as everything hath ende, 
Antony is shent, and put him to theflighte. 
And al his folk to-go, that best go mighte. 

Edward III wrote in a letter to his son, the Black Prince, after Espagnols- 
sur-Mer, that the enemy made a noble defense " all that day and the night 
after" (Nicolas, II, 502). 

Froissart says : "I cannot speak of every particular circumstance of this 
engagement. // lasted a considerable time ; and the Spaniards gave the King 
of England and his fleet enough to do. However, at last, victory declared for 
the English. The Spaniards lost fourteen ships ; the others saved themselves 
by flight'' (II, 269). 

From the foregoing study it should appear that Chaucer's sea-battle is of 
an almost wholly mediaeval sort. The methods of naval warfare that he de- 
picts correspond in the main to those actually used by mariners of his own 
land when he wrote his poem ; and some of the tactics that he mentions had 
been employed to advantage by English kings on celebrated occasions. It is 
likely that the poet was influenced by what he had read of sea-battles, and 
perhaps had Jean de Meun's Art de Chevalerie before him, but he probably 
gained most of his information from oral accounts of recent conflicts ^ and dis- 
cussions with navy men. He did not undertake to describe any particular 
event, but simply to paint a vivid struggle between two fleets, which he knew 
would appeal to his readers the more if it seemed to them lifelike, and 
answered to their preconception of what such a picture should present. This 
procedure was fully in accord with Chaucer's practice. I have dwelt elsewhere 
upon the realism of the description of the tournament in the Knight's Tale.^ 

1 Gunpowder and Ammunition, p. 40. For the use of " wild fire " down to the siege of 
Paris in 1870, see pp. 50 ff. It was employed by the Flemish engineer Crab in the defense of 
Berwick when besieged by Edward II in 13 19. Barbour says in the Bnue (Bk. xvii) : 

And pyk {pitch) and ter (tar) als haiff they tane, 

And lynt {Jlax) and herdes (refuse of flax) and brymstane, 

And dry treyis {trees or wood) that wele wald brin {bunt). 

2 Cf. Froissart's "as I was told by those who were present" (above, p. 144). 

^ Chivalry in English Literature {Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature, Vol. II). 
Cambridge, 1912, pp. 38ff. 



152 



THE SEA-BATTLE 



The sea-battle in the '* Legend of Cleopatra " is another witness to the con- 
temporaneousness of his work. Indeed, one* may even go so far as to suggest 
that the widespread interest in naval affairs in England while Chaucer was 
fashioning the Legend of Good Women may have led him to include Cleopatra 
among the " Saints of Cupid," though she had not previously been famed as 
" trewe in lovinge al hir lyve " : it gave him an opportunity to describe one 
of the decisive sea-battles of the world in a way that must have stirred all his 
associates. The author of the Morte ArtJmre wrote his poem which reflects 
historical conditions of the reign of Edward III, in a similar spirit. 



THE RENDERING OF THE HOMERIC HYMNS 

Charles Burton Gulick 

Since the time when Wolf expounded his theory of the composition of 
the Homeric poems, scholars have accepted with unusual unanimity his opin- 
ion concerning the origin and the purpose of the hymns to various deities 
which ancient citations and the manuscripts agree in caUing "Homeric," 
or " Homer's," or the "poet's." This opinion ^ is to the effect that all the 
shorter hymns were composed by rhapsodes for various local celebrations and 
chanted as preludes to longer passages selected from the epos. Such preludes, 
it is said, were called Trpooi/jLta and were rendered at contests between rhap- 
sodes, a custom which Hesiod mentions when he tells how he and Homer 
sang at Delos, and how at another time he went to Chalcis and won the tripod 
for a hymn. 2 He, however, calls his work a v/jlvo<;, not a irpool^tov. Wolf's 
definition has proved useful, to say the least of the most fruitful book ever 
produced in the field of literary criticism ; but the practical application of it 
has led to such diversity of conception, not to say misconception, among 
scholars who have dealt with the details of the hymns, that it may be worth 
while to reconsider the evidence, in order to determine more precisely the 
nature of this ge7ire in Greek poetry, and whether its purpose can be regarded 
as uniform throughout. 

An invocation to a divinity was an essential preliminary to every act the 
Greek undertook, from a public festival to a private drinking bout, and the 
duty applied with peculiar force to an act so abundantly reflecting popular 
religious aspirations and theological conceptions as the recital of an epic. 
Accordingly, we find such an invocation as early as Odyssey 6, 499,^ where 
Demodocus, urged by Odysseus to sing of the wooden horse at Troy, ' began 
with the god, and voiced his lay.' And since the lays of the bard have been 
called olfiai just before,^ it seemed to Wolf and others clear that Trpooifjuov 

1 F. A. Wolf, Prolegomena, pp. cvi-cvii. Baumeister, Nymni Homerici, larger edition, 
pp. 102 ff. Reisch, De Musicis Graecorum Certaviinibus, p. 3 : constat enim inter homines doctos 
hymnos illos ad deorum soUemnia celebranda compositos esse ita ut maiores in certaminibus 
musicis recitarentur, minores carminibus epicis prooemiorum loco praemitterentur. 

2 Hesiod, frag. 244 Rzach ; Works and Days, 650. 

3 ws (f>6.d* , 6 8' opfxrjdels deov dpxero, (paive 5' doidi^p. This eighth book of the Odyssey is, as 
Croiset {Histoire de la littiraUire grecque?- I, 89) has pointed out, the locus classicus on the 
origin and method of the epic. 

* Verse 481 ; cf. x» 347> and ol/ios aoihri^ in Hymn to Hermes, 451. The first lines of the Iliad 
and Odyssey, sometimes cited in illustration, stand for something different, namely, a convention 
due to literary instinct and not to religious practice. The invocation to the Muse (Calliope in 31, i) 
occurs in nine of the hymns. 



154 THE RENDERING OF THE HOMERIC HYMNS 

is the natural designation of such an invocation. The earliest occurrence of 
the word lends support to this view, for Pindar ^ expressly connects a 
TrpooifjLtov to Zeus with a Homeric lay : odevrrep koI 'Ofiripihai painoiv iirecop 
TO, TToW' aotSol apxovrai Ato^ Ik Trpootfiiov. But the word, like so many 
other terms in music and literature in all languages, lost its strict etymological 
application soon after Pindar, as is shown by the tragedians and all the prose 
writers of the fifth century who employ it. With them it means ' prelude,' 
without any implication of something to follow. Even Thucydides is not to be 
excepted. In the well-known passage ^ in which he quotes the hymn to Apollo, 
he speaks of it, to be sure, as a irpooLfiiov, but in the face of contemporary 
usage there is no need to infer that he regarded the hymn as an introduction 
to an epic recital. Alcaeus and Empedocles, neither of whom was a rhapsodist, 
wrote a irpoolixiov ek ^AiroWcova ; ^ and the case of Socrates, occupying his 
hours in prison with an address to the same god,* likewise called a irpooipLiov, 
illustrates the same free use of the word. The scholiast on the Thucydidean 
passage understood it in this broader way. On eK irpooipiiov he remarks : 
ef vfjLvov ' Tov<; yap vfjLvov<; Trpooifxia eKoXovv. In fact, in the fifth and fourth 
centuries the term was equated with vfivo^; generally, whether the rhapsodic, 
that is hexameter, hymn is meant, or the lyric. Plato,^ accordingly, speaks of 
TTcto-?;? fjiovcTT]^ TTpooifjLta, ' procms (or introductions) to every kind of lyric 
poetry,' in connection with the lyre, and the proper commentary on this is a 
remark of a late rhetorician ^ : 7rpooLp,ia eXeyov ol iraXaiol ra tmv KiOapwhoyv. 
The TrpooL/jLLov, properly so called, was sung with a harp accompaniment, 
and its singers (uolSol) are coupled with harpists (KLdapcarai) in the hymn 
to the Muses and Apollo.^ One might be tempted to think, with Welcker^ 
and Gruppe,^ that ttpool/jllov was the peculiar designation of an Apollinic 
hymn, were it not for Pindar's Ato? €k TrpooLfiLov just cited. 

There are other facts which lead to the conclusion that Trpooifjuov was not 
the inevitable or stereotyped name for a hymn to Apollo or any other god. 
The oldest hymn-writer of all, according to Pausanias,^^ was the Lycian Olen, 
who wrote for the divinities worshipped in Delos, and bore in fact the title of 
''prophet of Apollo." Yet Herodotus ^^ calls his song a v/jlvo<;. It was un- 
doubtedly in hexameters, which he is said to have invented. ^^ More important 
is the disappearance of the word irpootpLLov as a description of Homeric 

1 Nemean Odes, 2, i. 2 Thucydides, 3, 104. 

8 Pausanias, 10, 8, 10. Diogenes Laertius, 8, 57. * Plato, Phaedo, 60 d. ^ Laws, 722. 

6 Rhetores anon., Spengel, I, 427, 6, cited by Christ, Geschichte d. griech. Literatur,^ p. 74. 

■^ Hymn 25, 3. The "lyrical" hymn — the Enghsh word shows how unsafe a guide is ety- 
mology pressed too far — was frequently performed to a flute accompaniment, in which case 
the term irpoaijXiov (Plato, Cratylus, 417 e) might be appUed to it. — Cf. also on the hymn Proclus, 
Chrestom., 244:6 Kvpius v/jlvos irpbs Kiddpap ridero eardiiTuv, i.e., the performers did not dance, 
but stood still. 8 Der epische Cycbis, I, 328. 

» Griechische Culte und Mythen, p. 523. 1° 9, 27, 2. 11 4, 35. ^^ Pausanias, 10, 5, 8. 



GULICK 155 

hymns in all the quotations of them after the age of Thucydides, with the 
single exception of the rhetor Aristides,i who is evidently quoting Thucydides. 
There are not many of these,^ but they are sufficiently numerous and authori- 
tative to show that vfivo^ was the normal term, as in all the manuscripts. They 
often reflect good Alexandrian opinion, as in the learned note on the 'O/xrjpLSaL 
and the payfrcpSot in the scholia to Pindar.^ Further the word vfivo^ has the 
advantage of being general in its scope, since the extant hymns vary so greatly 
in length, and sometimes in matter, as to betray a difference of purpose, and 
we are not committed to the belief that all were intended to precede an epic 
recitation. Pindar, then, is the sole authority for irpoolixLov meaning such a 
prelude. He uses the word again ^ in addressing his golden lyre : ireCOovrai 
S' aoihol adfiacnv, ayrja-fx^opcov oirorav irpooLfiicov afi^oXa^ "^^^XV** ^^^XL^ofxeva, 
' the bards are ready to obey the cue whenever thy quivering note makes pre- 
lude for the choruses.' Here afjLl3o\a<; TrpooLfiLcov, 'the striking up of the 
preludes,' is a periphrasis for Trpooifiia meaning the opening strains and 
words of a hymn, and used just as one might employ the term for the 
beginning of a Terpandrian nome^ — obviously a different thing from what 
concerns us here. 

It is necessary to insist on the virtual uniqueness of Pindar's testimony in 
the passage first quoted, in order that we may approach the question of how 
the hymns were rendered without prejudice derived from the word irpooL/jLiov, 
at least in its etymological sense. On the other hand, to seek to avoid the 
difficulty by following Gruppe's suggestion ^ that Thucydides has reference to 
some other hymn to Apollo than that handed down to us would be fantastic. 
For although Thucydides 's quotations — there are really two of them — depart 
in several grave particulars from the text of the manuscripts, they are, in fact, 
close enough to that text to establish identity. The discrepancies prove merely 
that the poems had not yet been canonized in form by the written authority 
of a vulgate, as had fortunately happened to the Iliad and the Odyssey a cen- 
tury before under Pisistratus. They were still the oral property of the rhapso- 
dists, not of a large public, and consequently were in a more or less fluid state. 
This point we may now consider more fully. 

1 Orat., L, Dindorf, II, 558. 

2 The list is conveniently given in Allen and Sikes's edition (1904), pp. xlv-liii. To it 
should be added the important citations from the long hymn to Demeter in the papyrus from 
Abusir el malaq, published in 1907 in Berliner Klassikertexte^ I, 7-18. Cf. below, p. 156. 

« Schol. Pind. Nem., 2, i. * Pyth., i, 4. 

^ Such seems to be the intention of the passage in Plutarch, De Mttsica^ 6 : riu ykp xpbs 
Toi>s deoiis aJs ^oiXovrai dcpocriuxTdfievoi (' discharging their duty ') i^^^aivov evdis ivl re t^v 'O/xi^pov 
Kal tQ>v &Wu)v irolr]<TLV. brfKov 5k tovt iarl 5tA rdv Tepirdv5pov vpooi/iluv. This was cited by Wolf 
to illustrate the practice of the rhapsodes, but Allen and Sikes (p. Ixii) rightly object that 
Plutarch is talking about nomes, not rhapsodes. The seven parts of the Terpandrian nome 
were headed by an dpxd, apparently identified by Plutarch with vpoolfuov. 

^ Griech. Culte u. My then, p. 538. 



156 THE RENDERING OF THE HOMERIC HYMNS 

The question, When were the hymns reduced to writing? cannot, of course, 
be answered with precision. The complete silence of the Homeric scholia, 
which never cite the hymns, is interpreted by Gruppe to mean that they did 
not exist in written form in Alexandrian times. The more probable explana- 
tion is that the Alexandrian critics, especially Aristarchus, did not regard them 
as Homeric.^ According to Aristarchus Homer was an Athenian, whereas the 
hymns betray divers local origins and could not have been cited into court in 
illustration of the Iliad or Odyssey. Moreover the scholiast to Pindar,^ whose 
note almost certainly goes back ultimately to an Alexandrian source, accepts 
a tradition which he had discovered to the effect that the hymn to Apollo was 
composed by a rhapsodist, Cynaethus of Chios, the first to recite Homer in 
Syracuse.^ This tradition of special authorship could hardly be based on any- 
thing else than a written book containing the hymn, which does not mean, of 
course, that many copies of the book existed. We have, besides, fairly early 
testimony that the hymn to Apollo was inscribed on an album (Xeu/cw/xa) and 
kept in the temple of Artemis at Delos.^ Desultory and transitory as the 
materials for preservation undoubtedly were, they nevertheless existed. The 
papyrus mentioned above (p. 155, n. 2), which dates from the second or first 
century B.C., proves the existence of a written book. It is a popular, not a 
scholarly work, even ascribing to Orpheus the hymn to Demeter ; but the 
correspondence of its tradition with that of Pausanias at one point ^ indicates 
with some clearness the use of a written text.^ While, therefore, the oral 
transmission of the hymns remained in vogue much later than that of the 
epos, we may confidently assume that copies of them existed by 300 b.c. 

Nevertheless, the poor state of the text is notorious, and is a proof, as was 
asserted above (p. 155), that the hymns were committed to writing late and 
hastily. The one existing papyrus which cites the few lines from the hymn 
to Demeter stands out in singular contrast to the great number of papyri of 
the Iliad, and the fairly large number of the Odyssey. The hymns were little 
read for seven hundred years at least ; but they may have been heard occa- 
sionally down to the time when the last notes of the rhapsodic aoihr] ceased. 
This happened presumably at the end of the fourth century of our era, when 

^ So Wolf, Prolegomena, p. cclxvi. ^ Qn Nem., 2, I. 

^ The last statement, to which is added a wrong date, is given on the authority of Hippos- 
tratus, who flourished before Hadrian, and whose source must have been Didymus. Cf. Christ, 
Geschichte d. griech. Literatur^, p. 707. An interesting explanation of the way in which such 
authorship became obscured is given by T. W. Allen in Tke Classical Quarterly, VII, p. 42 
{January 1913). 

* Certamen Hotneri et Hesiodi, 310, a work which is apparently based on a book by the 
rhetor Alcidamas, a pupil of Gorgias. 

s In the citation of the Hymn to Demeter, vss. 418-423, where it agrees with Pausanias in 
omitting vs. 419. 

* In the generation following Aristarchus we have his pupil Apollodorus apparently citing 
from a hymn the word 0ep^(r/3tos (Geneva Scholia on 4> 319, quoted in Allen and Sikes, p. 1). 



GULICK 157 

the edict of Theodosius put a stop to the great pagan gatherings in centres 
like Olympia, Eleusis, and Athens. In Byzantine times interest in them re- 
vived, extending over wide areas of the Eastern Empire, if we may judge from 
the respectable number of manuscripts and the double, if not triple, tradition 
which they represent. It is in this age, perhaps as late as the ninth century, 
that the editing of them was prosecuted with results now to be noted. 

The text has been handed down in two ways. Either it is contained in a 
Homeric corpus, bound up with the Iliad and the Odyssey and the minor 
*' Homeric" poems, or, in the great majority of cases, it forms part of a small 
collection of hymns, including those of '' Orpheus," Proculus, Callimachus, 
and a few others. Either method of transmission implies a relatively late date 
for the compilation. The collection into a book of hymns may possibly be the 
older way, since it accords better with the Alexandrian view of non-Homeric 
authorship, supposing that that view might have had influence still ; and it is 
in accord with the old practice of listing and editing works according to classi- 
fications based on subject matter. But it is in precisely such a work that most 
" editing " is required, with attention paid to titles, to transitional lines, and 
in a less degree to the text, which in this case did not enjoy the benefit of 
any scholiastic material for its correction or elucidation. The glosses are few 
in number and banal in quality.^ 

Editorial activity, at times eager, at times again lapsing in interest, may be 
discerned in the titles. The Leyden codex (M), with a half-hearted industry, 
prefixes tov avrov, 'by the same author,' to the titles of eight hymns, dropping 
it from the remaining ten.^ The other manuscripts, much more closely re- 
lated to one another than to M, exhibit the same diversity and arbitrariness, 
sometimes prefixing o/jLrjpov v/nvot, more often neglecting it ; sometimes using 
the article before the name of the divinity, or again discarding it. In one case 
a supplement is certainly due to a Byzantine editor. It occurs in the title to 
Hymn 15, et? 'Hjoa/cXea, to which the Leyden and Ambrosian manuscripts 
(M and D) and the editio princeps, based on a codex now lost, add AeovroOvfiov, 
This is a Byzantine word, a substitute for the classical OvfioXeovra, 

As to the text, it is impossible here to consider all the passages which have 
been revised or altered in later times. Two instances will suffice. Of the harp 
improvised by Hermes we read,^ 

eTTTOL Sc <TVfjicf>(x)vovs oitov 6Tavv<TcraTO xop^d^. 

1 I hesitate to take issue with such an expert palaeographer as Mr. T. W. Allen, who (in his 
note to the Hymti to Apollo, 162) says that ^a/jL^aXiacrTijv can hardly be a graphical error for 
Kpe/jL^aXMo-riv. But in the latter word in K (Laur. 31, 32) I found the /3 written in the u form, 
and opposite the word stands /3 in the margin, obviously due to a scribe who knew that /3, and 
not K, was to be read. Might not the t^ form of k explain the error ? John of Scutari unin- 
telligently copies it into Riccardianus 52 (R^). 

2 It concludes abruptly at Hymn 18, 4, its archetype having been truncated at that point. 
8 Hymn to Hemies, 51. 



158 THE RENDERING OF THE HOMERIC HYMNS 
But the rhapsodes were in the habit of chanting the verse, 

CTTTtt Sk dr)\vT€p(ji)v oLtav iravwra-aTO ^ophd^, 

because, as Antigonus of Carystus ^ explains, the guts of ewes were deemed 
better than those of rams for making harpstrings. Long after the rhapsodes, 
the more intelligible word cru/i<^a)i/of ? was substituted .2 

Again, in the hymn to Heracles,^ which is of excellent workmanship, and 
not at all Byzantine, as has been thought on account of its Byzantine title, we 
have three lines in two incompatible versions. The Leidensis gives them thus : 

OS pa i7/i€i/ Kara yaiav aOiat^aTov 178c OdXacraav 
TrXa^ofxevos trrj/x^LViT aidXevwv iSk) Kparaiu)^ 
TToAAa fxkv avTos tp€$€V aTacrOaXja, €^o;(a ipya. 

The other manuscripts have : 

OS -rrplv pxv Kara yaiav aOia^rov rfhk OdXaa-crav 
TrAa^d/Aevos TTop.Trrja-iv vtt* Eupvor^os avaKTOs 
TToAAoL pkv avTos €pe$€v dTaadaXja, TroXXa 8' dv€T\rj. 

We can explain the difficulty here by assuming that some sciolist wished to 
point an antithesis between vroWa /xev epe^ev and an imagined TroXXa 8* 
av€T\7j, and since corruption lurked in the preceding verse, he recast that 
entirely. In view of the shortness of the poem, which elsewhere observes 
digamma, we cannot lay stress on the fact that f is disregarded in Evpvadrjo'; 
dvaKTo<;, which is taken from I/zad O 639. But that we here have a late 
alteration designed to make the text easier nobody can doubt. 

With the presumption thus established of late, and probably Byzantine, 
alterations in titles and text, we may be permitted a certain degree of skepti- 
cism regarding the last lines of the hymns and the propriety of citing them in 
all cases to prove what followed them. The diversity of phrasing in the last 
lines is sometimes accounted for by the individual purpose of the hymn, to be 
considered presently ; but in several cases we have to note the same indolence 
or ignorance or pernicious activity that characterizes the treatment of the titles. 

I . Omissions. — Hymn 14, to the Mother of the Gods, closes with the line : 

Kol (TV fxkv ovTO) X^^P^ ^^"^ ^' ^/^ TTtto-at ololStJ. 

But /JL€v has no antithesis, and the proper supplement must be sought in 
Hymn 9, to Artemis : 

avTop iyu> ae Trpdra koL €k (tWcv dp)(op.* det'Sctv, 
(rev 8' iyiii dp^dfievo^ p.eTa/3i^(ropxn dWov i<% vjxvov. 

Similarly Hymn 16, to Asklepios, ends with 

Koi ai) fxkv ovto) X^-'-P^ dvai ' XtropxiL Si <t doi8y. 

1 *l(TTopiwv irapaS6^u}p avvaywyi^, 7. He was born about 295 b. c. 

2 Allen and Sikes (p. xlv) point out that this is the earliest occurrence of the word avfufnivovs. 
« 15' 4-6. 



GULICK 159 

The proper balance, however, is not between a-v fiev and Xirofxai Se. On the 
contrary. Be is parenthetical, a kind of weak yap. This is the only short 
hymn quoted by any authority which may be regarded as remotely Alex- 
andrian, ^ and the importance of Asklepios after the fifth century b.c. — we 
recall that Ion the rhapsodist made Asklepios his theme ^ — establishes a 
strong probability that we have here only a fragment, the original hymn 
having been much longer.^ It is, therefore, impossible to restore the ending 
with certainty ; but the true antithesis to crv /nev appears in the finale to the 
hymn to Pan : 

Kttt (TV fxev ovTta X^-^P^ ava|, iXafJuai Si a doLSfj • 
avTap iyo) kol creio /cat aX.Xrj<; jxyT^a-ofi dotS^s. 

This is borne out by Hymn 28, to Athena ; also by the hymns to Aphrodite, 
to Hestia, and to Ge (nos. 10, 29, and 30), where fiev does not occur in the 
first member. In Hymn 10 we have the parenthetic Se despite the absence of 
/JL€V. The same unintelligent curtailment is found in Hymn 21, to Apollo. In 
this, as also in the hymn to Pan, the word iXafiac, not Xcro/jbaL, is the proper 
ritual term,^ and by aocBrj is meant the prayer just uttered, not an epic 
lay to follow. Hymn and prayer, of course, are often synonymous.^ Another 
example of omission occurs in the first hymn to the Dioscuri (no. 17). The 
full form of the close is seen in the second hymn to them (no. 33). 

2. Unwarranted additions. — If the editors have been guilty of omissions, 
they are also answerable for certain lines which are out of place. We catch 
them, as Socrates would say, eV avrocfxopcp, in the short hymn to Hermes 
(no. 18, 10-12) : 

Kttt crv ix\v ovTO) xplpe., Ato? Kat MataSos vie* 

(T€v 8' €ya> dp$a.fxevo^ fjLera/Si^a-OfjjaL dXXov i<s vfxvov. 

X^^^P ^PP-V X^P^^^"^^' SlOLKTOpe, Su)Top idoDv. 

The first two of these verses belong in the last place ; nowhere else do they 
occupy the position in which we find them here. We have, in fact, two end- 
ings, the first suggested, like so many other verses in this cento, by the longer 
hymn to the same god. 

There is good ground for Gruppe's suspicion that the transitional formulae 
in all the long hymns are later additions. Complete certainty in such ques- 
tions is, of course, unattainable in the present state of the evidence, and Gruppe 

1 Schol. Find. ^M., 3, 14. 

2 Plato, /on, 530 A. The single cantor was often replaced by choruses, and so we find a col- 
lege of TaiaviffTaL singing at festivals of the Munichian Asklepios about 210 a.d. ; see Ditten- 
berger, Sylloge^, 738. 

2 This was Groddeck's view, De Hymnorum Homericorum Reliquiis, 1786, p. 49, and it has 
not been disproved since. * Cf. A. Roemer in Bayr. Gym., XLVII, 161. 

5 Hymn 21 is a direct apostrophe to the god. Other instances occur in Hymns i, 3, 8, 10, 
21, 24, 29, 30. What Gemoll (p. 334) means by saying that apostrophe is confined to i, 24, 29, 
and 30 I know not. 



i6o THE RENDERING OF THE HOMERIC HYMNS 

adduces merely general considerations. But the procedure of the editor 
at the close of the long hymn to Demeter comes pretty near to a specific 
justification of the suspicion. Here we read, in a final address to Demeter 
and Persephone : 

7rp6(f>pov€^ avr wBrjq ^lotov dvfirjpe* otto^c, 
avrap iyio Kal creto kol aAArys ixvrjcroix dotS^g. 

Nowhere else do we find this last formula without a %at/3e or ;j^at'|0€Te imme- 
diately preceding ; but what is more important, the singular o-rra^e, here a 
solecism, has been copied from the much later hymn to Ge, where it is 
entirely proper : 

X-'-^P^ Oewv fxriT-qp, aXo)^ ovpavov da-repoevTO^, 
7rp6cf>p(i)v 8' avT wSrj<s /StoTov 6vp.rjp€ 6ira^€ • 
avrap eyco kol aclo kol akXr]<; /xviycro/x' aoL8rj^. 

In view, then, of the difficulties which arise if, with Wolf and the others, 
we regard the long hymns to Demeter, Apollo, and Hermes as preludes to a 
Homeric rhapsody, any one of which would normally be shorter than any one 
of the hymns in question, it seems right to assume that the formulae of transi- 
tion have been added by some one who, in putting together in a book of 
hymns these along with the minor hymns, thought it proper to add the for- 
mula as a connecting link from one poem to another. In other words, it is a 
bookish device, and not truly rhapsodic, though copied from the rhapsodes' 
practice as disclosed in the minor hymns ; and even for these we may in 
some cases dismiss the notion of a irpooiixiov} Only for the hymn to Aphro- 
dite, the shortest of the longer hymns, we may perhaps claim an exception. 
In this we have an old formula, detected in the verb fiera^rjo-ofjiaL : 

(T€v 8* eyo) ap^dfX€vo<s fxeTa/ST^aofxaL dXXov cs vfxvov. 

Odysseus ^ with the same verb invites Demodocus to change his theme : 

aAA' aye 8r] jxeTOL^rjdL Kal lttttov Koafxov detaov. 

In the earlier period, when rhapsodic performances constituted the sole feature 
of a 7ravrjyvpL<;, a rhapsodist had more time for a long introduction to his 
selections from Homer and the other epic poets. When, however, other con- 
tests, musical and athletic, were introduced, the time allowed for rhapsodic 
competition was necessarily cut down, though its place remained at the begin- 
ning of the festival.^ This explains the genesis of a shorter hymn, such as 
no. 6, from the longer, no. 5, both to Aphrodite. And it is this shorter hymn 
which contains explicit reference to the festival or the contest. Similarly the 

1 Allen and Sikes, p. Ixii. 2 Odyssey, 0, 492, 

^ This is proved by inscriptions: from Oropos, *E0. 'Apx-> HI* 128, 5; from Orchomenos, 
IG., VII, 3195 ff.; from Delphi, 270 B.C., Dittenberger^, 691. 



GULICK i6i 

short hymn to Demeter, no. 13, has supplanted the longer, no. 2. It is the 
prelude to an entire festival, and as such closes with the appropriate words : 

^^aipe Oea kol rr/vSe (tolov ttoXlv, oip^e 8" dotS^?. 

The view of Jevons/ that the lesser hymns were intended to invoke the 
god in whose honor the rhapsode was going to select a passage from Homer 
where that deity was mentioned, has been sufficiently refuted by others^ on 
a priori grounds. It is further contradicted by the fact that several of the 
hymns close with a mention of deities other than the one who appears in the 
title. A good example may be seen in Hymn 14, to the Mother of the Gods, 
quoted above (p. 158), in which all the goddesses are included in the call 
at the close. This is in accord with the Seia-LSaLfiovia of the Athenians 
noticed by Paul on his visit to their city,^ and with the following votive in- 
scription found on the west slope of the Areopagus : ^ 

Eio-t'as AioScopov 

€K Aa/XTTT/OetOV 

Mryrpt Oeiov 

Kar' eTrirayqv. Travra 

Oeov (Tifxyvvofxev. 

Compare with this Plato, Symposium, 180 e : eiraivelv fiev ovv hel iravra^ deov^. 
In the same spirit we find the hymn to Dionysus (no. 7) ending thus : 

X^^^P^ T€KO<; Sc/xeAr^s cvwTrtSos • ov8i tty] tan 
aeTo ye XrjOofxevov yXvKeprjv KOCTfujcraL ololStjv. 

We see how little we can trust the finale for a perfect indication of the nature 
of the proceedings that are to follow it. Certainly we can deduce no inference 
concerning the subject of the epic narrative which may have ensued, and as 
for the gods who appear in the I/iad and Odyssey in their extant form, it 
would be hard to find a rhapsody in honor of Dionysus, although we have 
three hymns addressed to him, and impossible to find any about Pan, who is 
unknown to Homer but is the subject of one hymn. On the other hand. 
Ares, who was somewhat of a favorite as a subject for the humor of the bards, 
— witness the exploits of Diomed and the lay of Ares and Aphrodite by 
Demodocus, — appears, to be sure, in one hymn (no. 8), but in a hymn which 
is unlike all the rest in its Orphic coloring, and which entirely lacks a transi- 
tional formula. We can, in fact, account for its intrusion in Homeric com- 
pany only by supposing that an overzealous editor has made a hymn book at 
all costs. The only other hymns beside those considered above which con- 
tain a direct reference to rhapsodic contests are nos. 31 and 32, to Helios 

'^ Journal of Hellenic Studies, VII, 291. ^ j^^ts, xvii, 22. 

2 Allen and Sikes, p. Ixiii, note 2. * Dittenberger 2, 786. 



l62 THE RENDERING OF THE HOMERIC HYMNS 

and to Selene, which seem to show Alexandrian workmanship, corresponding 
with the relative lateness of their cults on Greek soil.^ 

Another class remains, embracing hymns which were invocations to a 
festival or a religious ceremony wherein the rhapsodic a'^oiv plays no part. 
These are more distinctly prayers to be chanted by the singer — or the 
herald ^ — and may be recognized by such a formula as x^^^P^ ^^^> ^^^ ^' ^t^f^t 
Tvxv^ €v8aLfjLovi7)v T€ m the hymn to Athena (no. 1 1). This might have been! 
written for any one of the multifarious occasions on which the people of 
Athens approached their tutelar divinity. Compare also the hymns to Hephaes-j 
tus (no. 20), to Hera (no. 12), and to Heracles (no. 15).^ To Hestia there is 
a hymn of particular interest (no. 24), written for the dedication of a house or 
temple. In it occurs the mention of Apollo and Zeus, who, as Apollo Agyieus 
and Zeus Herkeios, were guardians of the entrance and the enclosure. The 
occasion of the poem may well have been the ^eo^evLa at Delphi.^ 

The shortness of the hymn to Zeus, which besides lacks any indication of 
its specific purpose, may be explained by the perfunctoriness with which he 
figured in invocations, to judge from Pindar's dictum above quoted (p. 1 54). 
Even at his own festivals Zeus sometimes took second place ; for the divine 
honors paid to Philopoemen^ in the course of the festival of Zeus were lavish, 
impressing deeply the writers who mention them, and they show that the mortal, 
not the god, was nearer the hearts of the people. The short hymn to Dionysus 
(no. 26) is a vintage song and prayer, repeated as the season for gathering 
grapes came round ;^ and that to Poseidon (no. 22) is precisely such as Arion 
might have sung when he prepared to go overboard : 

;)(atpc Iloorct'Saov yaLi^o^^e Kvavo)(cuTa, 

KOL fMiKap evfieves rjTop €)(u)v TrA.wovo'iv oiprfye. 

1 They conclude thus : 

31, 17-19 X**/'^ dva^, 7rp60pwv 5^ ^lop dviiijpe tirade' 

iK ffio 5* dp^dfievos kXt/o-w fxepdiruv y^vos dvSpQv 
ijfudiuv <jjv ipya deol dvrjToicriv edet^av. 

32, 17—20 Xtt*P^ &pa(r<ra ded, XevKibXeve 5ia 'ZeXTfjvTj, 

Trp6<ppov ivirXdKafJLOi • a^o 5' dpx^pj^vo^ K\ia (purrQw 
q.aop.ai ijULdiuiv tZv Kkelova epy/xar' doidol 
Movaduv depdirovres dirb ffrotxdruv ipoivrtav. 

2 Thucydides, 6, 32. 

3 The verb ippixraTo in 11,4, said of Athena, may have reference to a special event. Cf. also 
Dittenberger 2, 721, 11: rbv dijfiov rbv 'Adijvaiuv vfiprja-ev. Heracles was worshipped in many 
places, but in illustration of the motive of his hymn may be cited the festival of Heracles at 
Chios, Dittenberger 2, 524, in which there were contests of rhapsodes, musicians, and athletes. 

* See the interesting inscription which mentions this festival, Dittenberger 2, 662. 

5 Diodorus, 29, 18, Dittenberger 2, 289. 

6 It ends with the excellent lines : 

Kal ail fikv ovTu x<**Pf» iroKvardtpv}^ w Ai6vv<r€' 
dbs 5' Tjfxcis xo^po'''''<*5 is upas oCrtj iKiadai, 
iK d' at>d' (apduv ets roiis iroWovs iviavroijs. 



GULICK 163 

Plutarch, describing Arion's adventure/ says that he dressed himself in his 
best clothes and, telling the sailors who threatened him that he wanted to sing 
the Pythian nome for the safety of himself, the ship, and the sailors, stood at 
the rail by the stern and, after calling upon one of the sea gods, sang the hymn. 
That the hymns have been so badly transmitted is due perhaps to another 
cause. They were soon supplanted by the lyric hymns, composed for special 
occasions in a great variety of meters and in intricate language, and with 
this came the substitution of the choir for the rhapsodist. These circum- 
stances, again, contributed to the undoing of the lyric hymns in turn, so that 
we have less of them than of the epic type, because the elaborate music joined 
to words of an ephemeral character was seldom recorded for wide distribution. ^ 
The lyric hymn is mentioned as early as the epic hymn to Apollo. It was 
sung by Delian girls in honor of Apollo, Leto, and Artemis, and introduced 
another hymn about the men and women of old, exactly after the manner of 
the rhapsodists. In it the performers imitated the ' speech of all mankind ' : ^ 

irdvTOiv 8' dvOpwTTuyv <f>(j)va<s koI Kpefi^aXvaa-rvv 
fii/xdcrO* icracriv <f>aLr] hi kcv avro? eKa(TTO<; 
<l>6e.yye(T$^ , ovto) <t<^lv KaXrj (Twdprjpcv dotSr/. 

The accompaniment of the castanets suggests a likeness to the later 
hyporcheme, a lively dance in Apollo's honor, which Sophocles introduces 
with striking effect before the climax of the CEdiptis and the Antigone. But 
most interesting here is the mention of the mimicry of the singers, by which 
they reproduced the various dialects of the visitors at the shrine.* Parallels to 
this have been suggested, such as the gift of tongues, and the international 
confessionals at St. Peter's. A closer analogy on Greek soil may be found in 
Athens to-day, where at Easter it is the practice for a priest of the Metropoli- 
tan Church, understanding not a word of what he is reading, to '' preach the 
gospel to every creature " by reciting it in French, English, German, Italian, 
and other tongues, from a text transcribed in Greek letters. 

From the seventh century b.c. the melic hyrtin grew in importance. The 
dithyramb to Dionysus, the paean and hyporcheme to Apollo, and the host 
of other types do not concern us here. Choirs of girls sing to Artemis in 
Magnesia ; ^ the mystae Bacchi, who called themselves /3ovk6\ol, rendered 
hymns to Dionysus at Pergamum ; and we have vpLvcpSoi generally in Asia 
Minor and Thrace. And yet, though we hear less and less of the rhapsodist, 

1 Septem Sapientum Conviviutn, 161 D. 

2 Cf. the hymn to the Delphian Apollo, first published in Bulletin de correspondanct hellenique, 
XVII, 569 ff. ; also the chorus of women singing at the ApoUonia, ibid., XIV, 501 f. 

* Hymn 3, 162 if. 

* That this was not always looked upon by the visitors as satisfactory is shown from the case 
of the Messenians, who sent their own singers along with their delegates ; see Pausanias, 4, 4, i . 

^ Dittenberger^, 552, second century B.C. Ziebarth, Das griech. Vereinswesen, pp. 90 ff. Cf. 
also the Peiraeus iraiavLo-Tal, above, p. 1 59, n. 2. 



l64 THE RENDERING OF THE HOMERIC HYMNS 

or reciter of hexameters, the single cantor, vfivrfrij^, occasionally appears 
instead of a chorus.^ 

We may, then, state the results of this review of the material in the follow- 
ing terms. Disregarding the hymn to Ares, which shows Orphic influence, 
three types of hymn are clearly recognizable in the collection. First, hymns 
which are themselves an epic recital, but which have gods, not heroes, for 
their theme — precisely the gods, moreover, who appealed the most to popu- 
lar imagination and lent themselves most readily to epic treatment. Apollo 
belongs to the class of youthful heroes and dragon slayers whose name is 
legion. Demeter's hymn is the story of a hero — or heroine — of civilization, 
the ' Comer,' iiriao-aa, who brings culture from distant lands ; but, like such 
the world over, notably Prometheus, her story touches on the mystery of 
human sorrow. Hermes is the imp and sprite whose cleverness made him 
the patron saint of all who follow the inventive arts. The humor, depend- 
ing as it does on the ingenuity of the hero and his skill in overreaching, is 
characteristically Greek, and akin to the spirit of Book lo of the Ilzad. Aphro- 
dite is the fairy who marries a mortal. None of the other Olympians afford 
such popular motives. From all these hymns, excepting perhaps the last 
mentioned, the formula of transition is to be discarded as an unmeaning 
Byzantine device. 

The second type consists of those minor hymns — seventeen in all — 
which are designed as preludes to an epic recital. For these alone the desig- 
nation irpooifiia may be admitted. The third class includes seven which were 
composed for temple worship. In three others, as for example the fragmentary 
hymn to Dionysus, the last lines are lost, and their purpose remains indeter- 
minate. Many of them are of excellent technique, and faithful to their epic 
heritage in verse and diction, so that the name *' Homeric " given to them 
is easy to understand and to accept. But most lack any high imaginative 
qualities, and are sorrowful witnesses to the decay of the rhapsode's art and 
of the gradual decline from the high level of the 'O^irjpChai to the bathos 
of the 'OfJirjpLaraL. 

1 Dittenberger 2, 739, an inscription dated 200-211 A.D., found in the Peiraeus. He sings a 
hymn to Euporia Belela, a foreign goddess whose origin and worship are obscure. In her train 
were Oraia (or 'Opela, the Magna Mater; cf. Hymn 14, which may be as old as Hesiod), Aphro- 
dite, and the Dea Syria. 



BURNS IN ENGLISH 
William Allan Neilson 

" By his English poetry Burns in general belongs to the eighteenth cen- 
tury, and has little importance for us. . . . He tells us himself : ' These 
English songs gravel me to death. I have not the command of the language 
that I have of my native tongue. In fact, I think that my ideas are more 
barren in English than in Scotch. I have been at Duncan Gray to dress it 
in English, but all I can do is desperately stupid.' We English turn naturally, 
in Burns, to the poems in our own language, because we can read them easily; 
but in those poems we have not the real Burns. The real Burns is of course 
in his Scotch poems." 

Thus Matthew Arnold, whose feeling for '' the real Burns " left something 
to be desired. But in the opinion expressed in the foregoing sentences he 
does not stand alone. '' There can be no question," says Henley, '' that when 
Burns wrote English he wrote what, on his own confession, was practically a 
foreign tongue — a tongue in which he, no more than Fergusson or Ramsay, 
could express himself to any sufficing purpose. ... To compare these two 
\Corn Rigs and Green groiv the Rashes'] and any two of Burns 's songs in 
English, or pseudo-English, is to realise that the poet of these two should 
never have ventured outside the pale of his supremacy." And Burns's 
countryman, Dr. Service, speaks of '' that English tongue of which he never 
attained any mastery in verse." 

It is hardly worth while to cite further evidence of a critical opinion which 
has achieved almost the dignity of a dogma. The purpose of the present note 
is to show, first, that the case against Burns's poetical capacity in English has 
been greatly overstated ; and, secondly, that the explanation of what truth 
there is in the belief that his English poems are inferior is to be found in 
a cause quite distinct from that usually assigned. In the face of Burns's own 
plea of guilty this might seem a hopeless attempt ; but Burns is the last poet 
who should be allowed to give evidence against himself. 

First, then. Burns showed, not once, but again and again, that he was 
capable of more than adequate poetical expression in English ; and this can 
be proved by the judgment of critics, of other poets, and of the general public. 
The Jolly Beggars, ''that splendid and puissant production," in Arnold's 
own phrase, consists of eight hilarious songs set in a broad dialect "recitativo." 
More than half of the songs are in English, almost, if not quite, pure ; and 

i6s 



i66 BURNS IN ENGLISH 

these contribute as much as the others to the poetic vitality of the piece. 
McPherson s Farewell y the favorite of Carlyle, has not three words of dialect, 
outside of the borrowed chorus. The lines so highly praised by Byron, and 
considered by Arnold to " have in them a depth of poetic quality such as 
resides in no verse of Byron's own," 

Had we never lov'd sae kindly, 
Had we never lov'd sae blindly, 
Never met — or never parted — 
We had ne'er been broken-hearted, 

can hardly be regarded as owing their quality to the sole use of sae for so ; 
and even this proportion of Scots is scarcely maintained through the poem. 
The lines from A Bard's Epitaph which Wordsworth called "a confession at 
once devout, poetical, and human," are entirely English. Scots wha hae owes 
much of its popularity outside of Scotland to the fact that it is all English 
except the first two lines (and in them the dialect is false). The poem To 
Mary in Heaven has no dialect, and the equally familiar Highland Mary 
only the merest shading of it. The same is true of the delicate and musical 
Sweet Afto7t, of A Red, Red Rose, a highly characteristic love song, of My 
Heart's in the Highlands, of The Gloomy Night is gathering fast, with its 
passionate melancholy. Even poems which we are apt to think of as pure 
Scots, Of a the Airts, for example, and The Silver Tassie, will be found on 
examination to contain very little dialect, and to depend on it for their effect 
not at all. I do not deny that the great majority of Burns 's successful poems 
are in his native tongue. I merely insist that he did write some of his best 
poetry in that southern speech which he is supposed to have been unable to 
master. The works I have cited seem to be sufficient proof of this, as they 
are at the same time sufficient to dispose of the remark that " by his English 
poetry Burns in general belongs to the eighteenth century," unless a dis- 
proportionate amount of saving grace be granted to ''in general." Nothing 
could be farther from these pieces than the note of neoclassicism. 

If, however, notwithstanding the evidence just given, it be granted that 
Burns was more frequently successful in Scots than in English, the under- 
lying conditions will be found not simply in an imperfect mastery of a foreign 
tongue, but in facts much more significant for a true criticism. The root of 
the matter lies less in the peculiar equipment of Burns than in the nature and 
social history of the Scottish speech. 

For two centuries or more before the Scottish Reformation, the language 
of the country north of the Tweed had been developing on a line that diverged 
from English, so that the speech of Dunbar, Douglas, and Lindsay was more 
remote from that of Skelton than the speech of Barbour was from that of 
Chaucer. Not only was Scots increasingly different from English, but it was 
growing independently in range and power, and it served for purposes of the 



NEILSON 167 

law, of the court, of the Church, of Uterature and learning, as well as for fa- 
miliar intercourse. This growth was suddenly checked by the religious changes 
of the sixteenth century, and the Union of the Crowns practically stopped it 
altogether. The affiliation of the Scottish reformers with Protestant England 
rather than with Catholic France led to an interchange of preachers with the 
south, and so to an Anglicizing of the speech of the pulpit, which was carried 
farther by the fact that no translation of the Bible into the northern vernacular 
issued from the press, and the English of the Geneva version early became 
familiar to Scottish ears. Henceforth the dialect in Scottish religious expres- 
sion is less and less pronounced, and as early as 1566 we may note that the 
language of John Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland is northern 
in spelling rather than in vocabulary. 

As a common Protestantism tended to subdue the differences between the 
religious speech of the two peoples, a common sovereign, and one who held 
his court in London, tended to produce the same effect on the speech of polite 
intercourse and public affairs. And as the bonds joining the two countries 
drew tighter, the influence spread to legislation, to learning, and to formal 
literature ; until, by the eighteenth century, English — or something as near 
English as could be managed — had become the normal means of expression 
in Scotland for all cultured and ambitious people, while the native speech had 
withdrawn into the homes of the humbler classes and the dwellers in the 
country. This narrowing of use was inevitably accompanied by a shrinkage 
in vocabulary and a growing unfitness for the treatment of themes that are 
not habitually discussed by the fireside. It retained, however, its colloquial 
suppleness and an extraordinary capacity for the expression of intimate per- 
sonal feeling, of tenderness, of conviviality, of natural description, of charac- 
terization, of humor satirical and droll. There had survived, too, a vernacular 
literature of song, of satire, of lament, and of description, moulded in a 
variety of characteristic forms, which offered Burns's generation a collection 
of models, limited in range, but still with very considerable possibilities. 

The explanation of the nature and degree of Burns's success in his native 
speech will now begin to appear. It will be seen that it was neither by acci- 
dent nor by premeditation that in The Cotter s Saturday Night the opening 
dedication is in pure English, since there was no Scottish tradition of this 
kind of writing, and it was always in English that a Scottish peasant strove 
to address a social superior ; that the description of the landscape, of the 
family supper, of the rustic wooing, are all in broad dialect, since it was in 
such matters that the native idiom had persisted ; that in the account of the 
family worship and in the closing pious and patriotic apostrophes English is 
again employed, since for two hundred years Scottish Protestantism had found 
the southern speech more reverent. To address the Almighty in broad Scots 
would have savored of blasphemous familiarity. 



1 68 BURNS IN ENGLISH 

The discrimination illustrated by the different parts of this poem can be 
discerned equally in the separate poems. The love poems to Jean Armour in 
Mauchline are prevailingly Scots, those to Highland Mary in heaven or 
Clarinda in Edinburgh are English. Addresses to various country gentlemen, 
prayers, repentances, moralizings, odes, and other forms not found in the 
vernacular tradition, songs like The Lass of Ballochmyle^ where the sense of 
social inferiority to the lady is patent — all show little or nothing of the 
peasant speech ; while it is used in all its richness and force in the love songs 
to girls of his own class, in the satire of his contemporaries, in descriptions of 
local scenery and manners, in humorous narratives like Tarn o Shaftter (but 
not in its literary similes), and in drinking songs. 

If Burns had written all his poems in English or all in Scots, their rating 
according to their relative poetical merit would probably be much nearer the 
present one than the critics imply. It would not have been identical, for he 
has done things well in Scots that could not have been done by any one with 
precisely the same quality in English, as he has done in English things that 
Scots even in his hands would have spoiled. His fortunate choice of a medium 
is often an important factor in his success ; but the more fundamental truth 
that I have sought to establish is that Burns's success is most frequent in his 
own dialect not because he was at home in that dialect only, but because the 
subjects which he instinctively treated in that dialect were those most suited 
to his poetic genius. 

In the application of this view to the criticism of Burns's poems, one further 
consideration should be borne in mind. His native speech, like the dialect of 
the Scottish peasant to-day, was not a definite and fixed thing. In spite of the 
clear-cut contrast to be observed in poems such as The Cotter s Saturday Night, 
Burns did not habitually speak or write now Scots, now English. It would 
be nearer the truth to say that he always used more or less Scots, more or 
less English. That very shrinkage of the Scottish vocabulary of which I have 
spoken rendered what had once been a separate language more and more 
dependent on English as a source to borrow from whenever the vernacular 
proved inadequate, until it became little more than a dialect of English, as it 
had been in the days of Wallace and Bruce. Yet a native speaker of Scots 
retains a subtle sense of different values according as the northern accent falls 
more or less heavily, and this sense Burns uses with admirable skill. It was 
not merely that he used English, as Stevenson says, ''when the rhyme jibbed " ; 
in his finest productions there is a delicate change in modulation, in the way 
in which a thing is thought or felt, indicated by the shift to a more or less 
marked degree of dialect. In Diincait Gray we hear the full-throated utterance 
of the Ayrshire peasant, and it was surely an ill-judged attempt and one des- 
tined to failure when he tried to turn that song into English. Its situation, 
its atmosphere, obviously would not go in any other medium. It was not that 



NEILSON 169 

his ideas in general were '' more barren in English than in Scotch," but that- 
these particular ideas would not ''voluntary move harmonious numbers," to 
use Milton's pregnant phrase, in any language but their own. In O, wert 
Thou in the Caiild Blast or in My Nanie 's awa it is a matter of a subtle 
flavoring of dialect deepening the tenderness yet not destroying a certain 
elevation of tone which would have been hopelessly lost in the broader accent 
of Willie brew d a Peck MatU. No foreigner can fully discern all these 
shadings, though many more of them could be made perceptible to the ear 
than to the eye, if the songs were well read or sung. The countrymen of 
Burns, by their idolatry and indiscriminate eulogy, have perhaps forfeited the 
right to be heard among cosmopolitan critics on the question of their poet's 
final rank ; but those of them who have been born and bred to the northern 
speech have a heritage which may still be used for a criticism of his work 
more subtle and penetrating than has yet been made. 



A LI SCANS, 5702 : DES TORS UARCAISE 

Raymond Weeks 

The name Arcaise in line 5702 ^ of Aliscans has never been explained. It 
has probably been dismissed by readers as one of the numerous Saracen proper 
names which were invented by the fancy of the trouveres. The usual expla- 
nations of such names, however, do not apply : it is not in the rime, and does 
not occur in the rime anywhere in the poem, nor does the (doubtless) variant 
form Arcage^ of line 8035. Again, it cannot owe its existence to the habit 
of the ancient poets of assigning to pagan chieftains names which were either 
grotesque or sinister. 

Perhaps the context of the line in question may throw some light on our 
investigation. A Saracen hero, M argot, appears in battle : 

5700 Es vous un roi, Margot de Bocident. 
• N'ot si felon desci k'en orient. 

Des tors d'Arcaise tenoit le casement, 

Desor I'abisme ou desoivrent li vent. 

Illuec dist on ke Lucifer descent. 
5705 Outre eel regne n'a nus abitement. 

Fors Sajetaires et Noituns ensement. 

Onques n'i ot un seul grain de forment. 

D'espices vivent et d'odour de pieument. 

Par de cha est li grans arbres ki fent 
5710 Deus fois en I'an por rajonisement. 

Some of the features in this description are found in other poems. For 
example, we read of those who inhabit Bocident in the Conquete de Jenisalejn'^ : 

Chil mainent .x. jornees de la I'arbre qui fent. 
8135 Une fois ens en Pan, por renovelement, 

Se vait chascuns baigner el flove de jovent.^ 
Onques chil ne mengerent de nul grain de froment. 
Ainc parler n'en oirent ne n'en sevent noient. 
Trestot vivent d'especes, n'ont nul habitement, 
Et sont lait et hisdeus ; de conbattre ont talent. 

1 The edition cited is that of Wienbeck, Hartnacke and Rasch, Halle, 1903. 

2 Edited by C. Hippeau, Paris, 1868. In lines 2561 ss. of the same poem, there is mention 
of Bocident and Monuble, the latter being a country where froment does not exist, where the 
inhabitants (who are said to be blacker than soot) live on " espices, de chucre et de piment." 
This passage also includes mention of the " arbre qui fent." 

3 The fountain of youth is mentioned often in Esclarmonde (edited by Max Schweigel, Mar- 
burg, 1S89, in Aiisgaben tind Abhandhiiigen) and is near Bocident. 

171 



172 ALISCANS, 5702: DES TORS D'ARCAISE 

Again, Brehier des Tors de Bocident is said to be " Hideus et noirs plus 
q'arremens froi^s." ^ Another case : Margot is said in one passage of the 
Chevalerie Vivien'^ to be from Marsaine, while another hero, Mathamar (or 
Martamar), is said to be from the same place. We have in this chanson no 
description of the country of Margot, but that of Martamar is thus described 
(vv. 1651-1654): 

Par mi I'estor est Martamars venus, 
Rois de Garise qui siet outre lou flun ; 
Solaz n'i luist ne n'i prent son escons, 
II n'i croist bleis, ne tramois ne nus fruis. 

While it is not possible to identify Bocident, Garise (which may of course 
be the same as Arcaise), and Arcaise, certain things in the passages here cited 
indicate that the poets had in mind the extreme limits of the Orient as they 
imagined them. The literature concerning mediaeval opinions of the Orient 
is too vast to be cited here. Mention may be made, however, of the fact that 
mediaeval scholars and poets say that the extreme limits towards the Orient 
(as indeed towards the Occident) were reached by Hercules, who set up pillars 
to mark the place.^ With such a legend as a starting point, it is easy to see 
with what strange creatures the mediaeval poets would people the region near 
the pillars of Hercules, and what a reversal of usual climatic and astronomical 
phenomena they would assign to it. May it not be that the tors cT Arcaise of 
line 5702 of Aliscans means the towers of Hercules, or, rather, of the region 
named after Hercules } The change of here- to arc- is perfectly regular in 
French, and the alteration in the remainder of the word is not in the least 
remarkable in a rare proper name which figured in the songs of popular poets. 
It is likely that a manuscript of Aliscans once existed in which the Arcaise of 
line 5702 bore more resemblance to Herctde. The unknown fifteenth-century 
translator of this chanson thus renders the passage in question : " II [Margos] 
estoit si puissant qu'il possedoit la terre des tours d'Arcalde jusques an habisme 
ou les vens dessendent. Et dist Ten que la est la gueulle d'enffer ou les deables 
habitent les plus souvent. Et outre cellui lieu n'a royaulme, terre ne seignourie 
habitable si nom a bestes et oyseaux sauvages, et n'y croist pain, vin ne ble si 

1 La Chevalerie Ogier, Paris, 1842, v. 10,019. The word arrement occurs often in descrip- 
tions of Bocident; cf. ConquHe de Jerusalem, 7510-751 2 : 

La premiere eschiele est de ceus de Bocidant. 
Plus sont noir c'arremens (a malfes les commant !) 
Et n'ont de blanc sor aus mais que I'oil et la dant. 

In Huon de Bordeaux, Agrapart offers to Huon " le marche par devers Bocident " and his sister, 
■who is "noire com arement" : vv. 6519-652 1. 

2 Edition of A. Terracher, Paris, 1909, v. 173 ; for the other passage, vid. v. 314 (from the 
text of Boulogne). 

^ Professor Kittredge has treated the pillars of Hercules in a masterly article in the Putnam 
Anniversary Volume, New York, G. E. Stechert, 1909, pp. 545-566. I desire to thank Professor 
J. Douglas Bruce for drawing my attention to this article, and for furnishing me other data. 



WEEKS 173 

nom d'aulcunes espices, dont on aporte aucuneffois par dega." ^ Evidently 
the translator did not see in Arcalde (if that be the form of his original) a 
reference to the towers of Hercules. To be sure, he may not have been ac- 
quainted with the legend. In any event, he misunderstood the text, and trans- 
lated it to mean that Margot possessed the country from the towers of Arcalde 
clear to the abyss. 

In conclusion, it may not be amiss to offer a few facts showing how, in 
other forms, the name Hercules was used in Old French without, doubtless, 
any one's understanding that it referred to the great hero. 

One of the most frequent ways of saying : ''at the ends of the world," 
was : ''as bornes (or bonnes) Artu (or Arcu)." 2 Scholars long since dis- 
covered that the form Arhi, by much the more frequent, is an alteration of 
Arcti^ which is derived from Herade. The triumph of the form Artu of course 
attests the popularity of King Arthur.^ 

Although the lines "^J 00 -^^J \o oi Alls cmis do not contain the words "bornes 
Artu" [or "Arcu"], they contain an equivalent, for, passing over the somewhat 
vague " desci k'en orient," we have, in " arbres ki fent," an expression which 
means " at the ends of the oriental world," as, for example : " Et le mer et 
le terre jusqu'a I'arbre qui fent," Bastart de Buillon, edited by A. Scheler, 
v. 587, cf. V. 2874 ; " N'i laissent a semondre dusc'a I'arbre qui fent," Co7i- 
qiiete de Jerusalem, v. 2570; " N'a plus fier chevalier jusqu'a I'arbre qui 
fent," Bauduin de Sebourc, II, p. 284. A well-known equivalent expression 
in the old poems is : " jusqu'au sec arbre," as : " Desc'au sec arbre, ne tant 
c'on puet aler," Huon de Bordeaux, p. 105. 

It is probable that a careful search would disclose stranger descendants of 
Hercule than Artu or Arcaise. We read in line 1 1 1 of the second redaction 
of the Moniage Gtdllaume : " Car fust il ore as puis de Montagu ! " but one 
manuscript bears : " ore droit as bones Artu." ^ This causes us to suspect a 

1 Vid. Fritz Reuter, Die Bataille d'Arleschant, Halle, 191 1, p. 123. For an attempt to explain 
Arcalde as Arcadie, see Leo Jordan, Litblt.f. Germ, und Rom. Phil., XXXIV, 117. 

2 Vid. the following passages : " Querre t'ai fait jusq' as bones Artu," Aliscans, p. 358, v. 25 ; 
" Car il n'a en ce monde jusqu'a bonnez Artus," Ungues Capet, p. 211 ; " Que n'a si bele fame 
dusc'as bones Artus," Roman d' Alixandre, H. Michelant, Stuttgart, 1846, p. 380, v. 33 ; " Toie 
ert la terre dusc'as obes Artu," Moniage Renoart, MS. of Boulogne, fol. 143 v". Sometimes 
another word than bornes is used : " .C. liewes loing outre les pors Artu," MS. of Boulogne, 
fol. 148 ro. Occasionally the form Arcu occurs : " .1. des bons c'on trovast dusqu'as bones 
Arcu," Roman d'Alixandre, p. 168, v. 36. 

3 Vid. P. Paris, Manuscrits Francois, Paris, 1840, III, pp. 92, 93, 104, 105; P. Meyer, 
" Etude sur les mss. du Roman d'Alexandre," Romania, XI, pp. 216, 323, and the same author 
in his Alexandre le Grajid dans la litterature fran^aise du moyen age, Paris, 1886, Vol. II, p. 171 
and note 2 ; J. Runeberg, Etudes sur la geste Rainouart, Helsingfors, 1905, p. 97, note i ; the 
article by Professor Kittredge mentioned above. 

* W. Cloetta, in the publications of the Societe des Anciens Textes, Paris, 1906. The author 
gives the reading of the variant as boues, which is probably an error. In line 5182 of the same 
poem, we find : " N'a trois vilains dechi a Montagu," with Montargu and Morangu as variants. 



174 ALISCANS, 5702: DES TORS D'ARCAISE 

similar alteration in many passages, such as : " Mius vous venist tous estre a 
Montagu," Aliscans, v. 7433"*. Similarly, Mont-Uu has doubtless dispossest 
occasionally ArUc or Arcii. In line 846 of the Chevalerie Ogier we find : 
" Nostre iert la terre dessi a Mont-L^u," but a variant reads : " dusc'as bones 
Artu," an expression used again by the poet in line 12,243. 

It is barely possible that a trisyllabic form of Hercide in bo7ies or bor}ies\ 
Hercule found a substitute in the Montosaire of a passage in Foiicoii de\ 
Candie, v. 4054 of the edition of O. Schultz-Gora, Dresden, 1909: " El montj 
d'Oscure, ou la lande ert pleissiee " (MS. 774 of the Bibliotheque Nationale] 
has est plesie and niotit osair, fol. 106 r^; and MS. 25,518 of the same library 
has mo7tt d'osairc, fol. 68 v°. The significant part of this line, permitting] 
us perhaps to identify Montoscure, is the last word, which means apparently 
' folded.' If so, the same statement is made of the earth in the Roman 
d'Alixandre, in the very passage which relates the arrival of Alexander at 
the homes Arete: '' La mer(s) qui tiere clot a les mons si plaies " (that is, 
ploih), p. 316, V. 31. Another similar descendant of bones Hercide may per- 
haps be seen in one of the names of Brehier des Tors de Bocident, whom 
we have already mentioned. He is also called Brehier des Tors de Mont 
Argiie, in the Chevalerie Ogier ^ v. 10,311. 



THE OXFORD TEXT OF THE NOIE OF 
ANTONIO PUCCI 

Kenneth McKenzie 

Investigators of Florentine literature, history, and life of the fourteenth 
century would find their work immensely facilitated by a scholarly edition of 
the complete writings of Antonio Pucci, the town crier, bell-ringer, and 
popular poet ; by a thorough study of his life and works ; or by an exhaustive 
bibliography of manuscripts and publications. At present no one of these three 
much-needed works is available ; and the texts of Pucci's poems, and studies 
of various matters connected with him, are scattered through an infinite 
number of books, periodicals, and pamphlets. After a few of his poems had 
been printed separately, the first collective edition appeared at Florence in 
1 772-1 775 ;i it contains the lengthy Centiloqtdo, followed in the fourth vol- 
ume by a number of shorter compositions, including the Noie. No subsequent 
editor has had the courage to reprint the Centiloqido. In 1909 Ferruccio Ferri, 
in a book with the inappropriate title La Poesia Popolare in Antonio Pucci^ 
republished most of the shorter poems which had already appeared, and for 
the first time made accessible a large number of others. For this service he 
deserves gratitude, but his book proved most disappointing ; the biographical 
portion contains nothing new, the bibliography, while impressively long, is 
inaccurate and incomplete, and the texts, as we shall see presently, have been 
edited in a distressingly unscholarly fashion. There is ground for expecting 
that within a reasonable time a satisfactory work on Pucci will be brought out 
by a competent Italian scholar. In the meantime, we have to be content with 
incomplete studies and uncritical texts ; the material is abundant, and minor 
contributions will have their importance. The present writer has recently 
published in the volume Stiidii dedicati a Francesco Torraca (Napoli, Perrella, 
191 2, pp. 179-190) the text of the Noie as it is found in the so-called Kirkup 
manuscript, recently in the Plimpton Collection at Wellesley College, but now 
in Florence. The object of this paper is to present the text of the same poem 
as preserved in modified form in a manuscript of the Bodleian Library at 
Oxford. 

1 Delle Poesie di Antonio Pucci . . . pubblicate da Fr. Ildefonso di San Luigi, 4 volumes, — 
being Vols. III-VI of the series Delizie degli Eruditi Toscani. 

2 Bologna, Libreria Beltrami. See the review by Ghino Lazzeri in Rassegna Bibliografica 
della Letteratura Italiana, XVII, 81-106, and cf. D'Ancona e Bacci, Manuale delta Letteratura 
Itatiana, VI, 481. 

175 



176 THE OXFORD TEXT OF THE NOIE 

The poem entitled Le Noie^ consisting of over three hundred verses in 
tersa rima, enumerates things which annoy. This type of composition was 
recognized as a regular form in the Middle Ages, and in Provencal was called 
enneg} The two essential features are the enumeration in epigrammatic style 
of a series of vexatious things, and the repetition at frequent intervals of a 
phrase to indicate their annoying character. In Pucci's poem the annoyances 
are arranged in groups : lack of reverence at church, offenses against ordinary 
politeness, violations of table manners, want of consideration for one's com- 
panions, etc. ; the human element and the humor of these verses make them 
most entertaining, and many of the poet's satiric thrusts have as much force 
to-day as they had in the fourteenth century. That the poem enjoyed consid- 
erable vogue is shown by the fact that it now exists in at least fifteen manu- 
scripts,^ some of which, including the one here published, contain dialect forms 
from beyond the borders of Tuscany. The text was first printed from a Riccar- 
dian manuscript in 1 775 (edition cited. Vol. IV, pp. 275-285) ; while the pointed 
text follows the manuscript in general, the editor has standardized the orthog- 
raphy and modified certain expressions which shocked his sense of propriety, 
disregarding the warning given in the closing verses : 

A noia m'^ chi queste cose muta, 
Ovver le cresce sanza Antonio Pucci : 
Al vostro onor questa parte e compiuta, 
Non lo mutar, se non vuoi me ne crucci. 

This text has loi terzme, or 304 verses. The Kirkup text, except for 
verbal differences and the insertion of four additional terzine^ corresponds line 
for line with the printed text ; it has also a final couplet, — 318 verses in all. 
The Oxford text corresponds line for line with the other two, but breaks off 
after 177 verses. Other manuscripts have the terziiie arranged in different 
order, the rhyme-scheme, however, being kept intact ; ^ and this fact indicates 
that in some instances the transmission was oral. The best single text is 
probably that of the Kirkup MS.,^ but a critical text based on a comparison 
of all the manuscripts would doubtless differ from it widely. The first editor, 

^ For a general treatment of the subject, with bibliography, see R. T. Hill, " The Enueg," 
in Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, XXVII (1912), 265-296; Pucci 
is discussed on pp. 287 f¥. 

2 Ferri, Foes. Fop., p. 242, names fourteen, not including the Kirkup MS. (see below). All of 
these were already enumerated in Fropugfiatore, N. S., V, ii, 287. 

8 This is the case with the text in cod. Univ. Bologna 147, of 81 terzine, with dialect forms 
similar to those of the Oxford text. The heading : " Quive si chomen9a le noglie del patechia," 
is interesting as showing how the name of Girardo Patecchio or Pateg, a thirteenth-century 
writer of 7ioie, had become associated with the genre ; see F. Pellegrini, " Di due poesie del 
secolo xiv," in Giomale Storico delta Letterattira Italiana, XVI, 341-352 ; F. Zambrini, " Des- 
crizione di codici," in Fropugnatore, I, 507-509 ; E. Monaci, Crestomazia italiana dei primi 
secoli, p. 529 ; Hill, " The Enueg," p. 277. The variations of text in the Florentine manuscripts 
were mentioned in the preface to the 1775 edition, p. ix. 

* See Margaret H. Jackson, "Antonio Pucci's Poems in the Codice Kirkupiano of Wellesley 
■College," in Romania, XXXIX, 315-323; S. Morpurgo et J. Luchaire, Za Grande Inondation 



McKENZIE 177 

while he naturally had little conception of modern scholarly methods in edit- 
ing, did at least indicate where he had tampered with the text ; but the two 
reprints of his edition reproduce his text without the notes : in the Raccolta 
di Rime antiche toscane (Palermo, 1817; III, 311-320) the only material 
change is in restoring one word for which the first editor had substituted a 
less offensive one; while in 1909 Ferri, apparently ignoring the 18 17 edi- 
tion, uses his opportunity to consult the manuscripts of the Noie only so 
far as to supply from some source, which he does not name, a single line 
which was lacking in the manuscript used in the 1775 edition. Pending the 
publication of a definitive text, the readings of the several manuscripts, if 
accurately reproduced, are valuable. The Oxford manuscript (O) is not de- 
rived either from the Kirkup (K) or from that used by Ildefonso di San 
Luigi (R), for it agrees now with one, now with the other ; it is of compara- 
tively slight importance for establishing the original readings, although even 
in this respect it cannot be neglected ; but it is of considerable interest on 
account of its dialect forms, and also because everything which can throw light 
on Antonio Pucci is worthy of attention. 

What I have called *' the Oxford manuscript " is cod. Canon. 263 in the 
Bodleian Library. It belongs to the fifteenth century, and contains miscella- 
neous Italian compositions in prose and verse ; ^ the Noie begins without title 
or heading of any kind on f. 131% and ends with the word *' Finis" at the 
bottom of f. 133''; the name of the author is not mentioned. Apparently 
the copyist grew tired of his work, for there is no reason for stopping where 
he did, and the last part of the text gives evidence of absent-mindedness. 
The poem is preceded by a siruentese and followed (f. 133^) by a prose 
Lapidario. The other texts in the manuscript, so far as I have examined 
them, show dialect forms similar to those in the Noie, which are enumerated 
at the end of this paper. In printing the text I have followed the manuscript 
scrupulously, merely solving abbreviations, separating words, and punctuating. 
A few obvious blunders, chiefly in the rhyme-words, have been corrected, with 
the manuscript reading in the footnotes. Variants which involve the sense 
are given from K and from the published text (R) ; also from the fragment 
published by D. M. Manni.^ In this form, and with this much apparatus, the 
text is offered as a contribution toward the definitive edition of Pucci. 

•de PAmo en MCCCXXXIII, anciens po^mes populaires iialiens, Paris-Florence, 191 1, p. 65; 
[S. Morpurgo], " L'Apografo delle rime di Antonio Pucci donato dal Collegio di Wellesley alia 
Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze," in Bollettino delle Pubblicazioni Italiane, Firenze, 
presso la Biblioteca Naz. Cent, no. 133, gennaio, 191 2; and several publications of A. D'Ancona 
cited in these works. 

1 For contents see A. Mortara, Catalogo del manoscritti italiajii Canoniciani, Oxford, 1864. 
The date of the MS. is fixed by a list of the Doges of Venice to the year 1478 (f. 201). 

2 Manni in Poesie di Antonio Pticci, I, p. xvii; also in Manni's Veglie piacevoli, Firenze, 181 5, 
Vol. V, p. 131 (and in other editions). I have also quoted two MSS. of the University Library 
at Bologna, — cod. 158 as described by F. Zambrini, // Libro della Cucina, Bologna, 1863, p. xx ; 
•cod. 147 as described in Proptignatore, I, 507-509. 



178 



THE OXFORD TEXT OF THE NOIE 



lo priego la divina maestade, 

superna alteza e suma sapienzia, 

lume infenito, eterna veritade, 
4 Che innela mia ingnoranzia e inteligienzia 

inspiri alquanto del beato lume 

che faza reluminar la chonosanzia. 
7 Riprender vogio algun bruto chosthume, 

benche la mazor parte me ne tochi 

de quelo ch'io scrivo in questo mio volume. 
10 None schuxando me dibaso i ochi, 

scrivando zio che tal uxanza nuogia 

in queli ch'a seguitar sono schiochi. 
13 Chonselgio hogn'omo tegna per sua zolgia 

questa sgritura, inprendendo da essa, 

lasando i vizi che mi sono a nogia. 
16 A nogia mi quando se dixe mesa 

chi ponpezando e non con umil core 

oltra mexura al prevede s'apresa. 
19- A nogia mi quando se lieva el signore 

non si zenochia e non se lieva il chapuzo 

faziando riverenzia al nostro salvatore. 
22 A nogia m'^ ch'io me ne chorozo 

che stando in giexia a merchantare 

che ronper si voria di 'n oso in oso. 
25 A nogia mi chi in giexia al predichare 

va per audir la parola di dio 

e posa dorme quando die' vegilare. 
28 A nogia m'^ chi per mondan dexio 

nei sagri luogi le done vageza 

ponemo ch' ogni parte e ato rio. 
31 A nogia mi chi chol frate moteza 

quando h in ato di chonfisione ; 

non par che pensi che dio se n'aveza. 
34 A nogia mi quando io sto in orazione 

chi mormorando dinanzi e di lato 

mutar mi fa la bona intenzione. 
37 A nogia m'e quando elo e domondato 

del ben per dio a quel che son axiati 

che '1 puovero sia da piu pover chazato. 

2 O, K, R superna alteza, Manni eterna altezza, cod. Bel. 147 eternal lume e certa sapienza. 
8 Cod. Bel. 147 e perfecta bontate. * K, R, Manni, cod. Bel. 158 ignorante. ^ Manni assai 
del suo santo heme. ^ Manni che faccia, K, R che fa. ^ K che fiano. ^^ K, R, Manni a 
cib che . . . muoia; MsLuni (/uesto vizt'o. ^^ K., 'R segtittarla souo sclochz. ^^ Manni to prego 
ognun che. ^'^ MS. timilitade. ^^ K, R, Manni al prete si rapresa. ^^ si lieva (so MS. R, 
but s^alza in all editions) ; K, Manni chi vegiendo. 20 k, R, Manni non si ira '/. 21 nostra 
lacking in K, R, Manni. 22 j^^ r m'e tanto ch'i. 23 k, R chi sta con donna in chiesa a 
mercaiare, Manni con donne in santo. ^4 k, R di bucio in bucio, Manni a buccio a bitccio. 
25 R chi in chiesa, K qualunque, Manni chi in santo. ^o r^ Manni che in ogni luogo. ^^ frate : 
Kfratte, MS. K frate (but printed prete in all editions), Manni prete. ^ K quandalttre in. 
36 mi: K //; intenzione: K, R op(p)enione. ^^ Cod. Bol. 158 limosina per dio a piu persone. 
2^ R dal pih ricco scacciato, O, K, ^o\. piu pover. 



179 



McKENZIE 

40 A nogia mi che nei luochi sagrati 

si conpri chandele piu per risa 

ch'a riverenzia di santi bead. 
43 A nogia molto m'e per ogni guixa 

chi trata in giexia chosa tenporale 

dovendo a dio senpre tegnir la mente afisa. 
46 A nogia m'e achi e tanto bestiale 

che va zigando achonpagnando el morto, 

chomo se non sentise esser mortale. 
49 A nogia m'e chi di raxon o torto 

zercha chostion ch'a lui non s'apartegna 

chome di molti za mi son achorto. 
52 A nogia m'^ I'uxanza che ozi regna 

che artixan o zentilomo hover pien di vertude 

che mal vestito va, ogni omo lo sdegna. 
55 A nogia m'e chi si rende salute 

al merzenagio perche sia ben vestito 

che finalmente tute son perdute. 
58 A nogia m'e veder un schostumato 

riprender altrui del falo ch' eli 

h piu che quel chotale invelupato. 
61 A nogia m'e veder quando noveli 

algun per dar ai chonpagnoni dileto, 

che algun da chanto mormori e faveli. 
64 A nogia m'e zaschun che ronpe el dito 

d'algun, e sia chi vol, quando raxona ; 

pero al mio parer e gran difeto. 
67 A nogia m'e ziaschaduna persona 

che inver I'amicho per pichola ofexa 

ingrosa si che I'amista abandona. 
70 A nogia m'e ziunche fa chontexa 

d'alguna chosa che sia da niente 

che za se n'e dimolta briga azexa. 
73 A nogia m'e zaschun simelmente 

che fuor d'ogna mexura parla tanto 

che fa inmalanchonir chi I'e prexente. 
76 A nogia m'e zaschun che si da van to 

d'aver fato eli quel ch'un altro k fato, 

che sarebe ben che li tornase in pianto. 
79 A nogia m'e chi e tanto mato 

che per esser tenuto piu gagiardo 

chontra el signor sparla ad ogni trato. 

*^ R sopr'ogni. *5 senpre lacking in K, R. *^~5i Manni (lines 34-39 of the fragment) 
has these two terzine in modified form, with different rhymes. *'^ K, Kgkignando. *^ MS. a 
iortt. ^ zercha : K decAa, R decca, Manni ptg/ia. ^^ artixan lacking in K, R. ^ R ogmin, 
"K ciaschuno. ^^ vestito : 'R. addobbato ; Y^ a mercienaio che sia ben adobatto. ^"^ 'Rchepeggio 
elle mi paion che perdute. ^^ MS. chelelui. ®l~^2 K quand'' un noveli alchun per dare, R 
quand'' un novelli Per voter dare. ^^ K, R ch'altri. '"^ MS. quel che ad unnaltro. '^^ K 
chiunque e ttanto ; MS. R = O, but all editions have chi i tanto fo lie o matto. ^i k inchonttro 
a dio sparla tratto tratto, R Incontro a Dio. 



i8o 



THE OXFORD TEXT OF THE NOIE 



82 A nogia molto m'^ chi ^ buxardo, 

pogniamo che n'^ vendeta quando zura, 
che chi '1 chognose li '1 grede piu tardo. 
85 A nogia m'^ chie contra mexura 

vestito va piu che non ^ el potere, 
vezando il padre nudo e non ^ chura. 
88 A nogia m'6 chi sta a vedere 

o ascholtare chi vol parlar sagreto, 
vogiando udire chontra I'altrui volere. 
91 A nogia m'^ chi in abito sagreto 

parole ascholta e posa le redize 
quando sono porte per amor sagreto. 
94 A nogia m'(^ chie in stato felize 

disdegna tal che di virtu I'avanza 
chi ne zerchase ben ogna radize. 
97 A nogia m'^ chi k tanta burbanza 

che quando h salutato non risponde, 
unde si turba chi move la danza, 

100 A nogia m'e chi non avendo donde 

va pizorando perch' altrui li rechie 
e tale a tal che piu di lui confonde. 

103 A nogia m'^ chi h di techomechi, 

ch'a te di me, a te di te mal porze 
unde mi par che Tun e I'altro aziechi. 

106 A nogia m'e chi una dona schorze 
e va la motizando per la via 
che fa mal pensar chi se n'achorze. 

109 A nogia m'^ chi ode vilania 

dir d'alguna persona e poi riporta 
chotanto piu, seminando rexia. 

112 A nogia mi chi d'una chosa torta 

per ben piazer a queli che I'k fata, pregia, 
e nel seguir tal opera conforta. 

115 A nogia mi chi dinanzi mi pregia 

di tal vertii che niente mi tocha 
e con altrui drieto mi dispriezia. 

118 A nogia m'^ parlar di meza bocha 

che una mostra ne le suo parole 

e una altra ad opera innel chor achocha. 

121 A nogia tanto m'^ che me ne dole 

che invitato a manzare o a here 
se piu con siego poi menar ne vole. 



^* K chiunque olttra misura, R ciascun ftcor di misura (but all editions have ciascun ch'oltra 
misurd). 87 r ^ ^g^g^ 88 ^^/ ; k chiunque, R qualunque. ^9 sagreto : K di queito, R di cheto ; 
O has sagreto in rhyme, 89 : 91 : 93. »! sagreto : K, R discrete. ^^ R discaccia tal. 100 MS. 
dove. 101 K, ^pigolando ; R s'arrechi. 102 k e ttogli attal ; MS. R e torce (but all editions 

have e tollo). i^ k cha me di tte e atte di me, R ch'a te di me, a me di te. lo^ R Onde convien. 
113 MS. pregi, K a chi la fatto pregia, MS. ^pregia (but all editions ha^v^fregia). i" MS. confurta. 
120 K, R ad operar. 122 j^^ j^ ^^^- ^ invitato alia tavema a here. 12^ MS. menar no vele. 



Mckenzie i8i 

124 A nogia m'e chi adireto vol tenere 

ad un che vada a ber o a manzare 

senza invito, sol di suo volere. 
127 A nogia m'e chie a zena o a disnare 

senza chiarir le man sin vada a mensa 

o di fuor manzi anchor senza lavare. 
130 A nogia m'e per persona milensa 

che non si forbe la bocha e la mano 

volendo here, ma solo a manzar pensa. 
133 A nogia m'^ per chostumo vilano 

che '1 morsegato bochone chole dita 

nela schudela torni a mano a mano. 
136 A nogia m'^ persona di bandita 

che zunzendo a la mensa non saluta ; 

e s'el il fa, chi non risponde e non invita. 
139 A nogia m'e chi a taola insputa 

di quel che manza e dize che li spiaza, 

se la persona h udita e veduta. 
142 A nogia m'e chi manduchando schiazia 

noziuol altro a taola choi denti, 

pero ch'e rizichio, fa bruta la faza. 
145 A nogia m'^, benche a molti contenti, 

chi suza I'oso e poi piu volte lo repiega 

in sul tagieri dove piu v'a prexenti. 
148 A nogia m'e chi le gambe ingroza 

istando a mensa, tanto le distende 

che li suo piedi sopra i altri mentiga. 
151 A nogia m'e quando il bochon si prende 

e chi 'I charga e chi con la bocha va in su la schudela 

e chi '1 charga si che '1 mezo disende. 
154 A nogia m'^ chi manzando favela 

e chi richonta chosse che ringrescha 

sopra manzare, chi e bruta novela. 
157 A nogia m'e quando per piu si pescha 

in schudela o in altro d'atorno 

che chon chiaro vi si manzi o trescha, 
160 A nogia tanto m'e ch'io me ne schorno 

chi nanzi a forestieri la sua famelgia 

o di note o di zorno lasismilgia. 

124 MS. adireto a chose terene ; K A noia anchora ni'^ diettro tenere. ^27 k, R desinare. 
128 R lavar le inani vada. 1^9 j^ alcun sanza lavare, K senzalchun lavare. ^^^ '^ E se v''^ 
chi risponde non lo invita. 1*<^ MS. piaze, K, R spiacia. ^^^ MS. schiazio. 1*^ K miciole 
od alttro, R nocciuole o noci. 1** R rischio e fa turbar la faccia. 1** = 1*^: 160 (Jq not rhyme; 
K ripichia : inchrocichia : moncichia, R ripiglia (but all editions have ripicchia) : incrocicchia : 
ammonticchia. 1*^ K, R ^ tanto. 152-163 ^ chil charga belongs only in the second of these two 
lines, but was not cancelled in MS. ^^^ R sopra il mangiar, cio^, K agli udittor cioe. ^^^ R 
Che con cucchiaio vi si mangi in tresca, K cho}i li chuchiai vi si manucha in trescha. 
162 By inverting the order and putting lasismilgia (meaning ?) at end, the scribe has made this 
line rhyme with 161 : 163 : 165 instead of 158 : 160 ; K, R batte minacia di notte e di giomo. 



i82 THE OXFORD TEXT OF THE NOIE 

163 A nogia m'^ chi chol servo bisbilgia 

stando a mensa, ch^ se ben conprendo 

provede male chi de sezo consilgia. 
166 A nogia m'^ chi favela servendo 

se non lo induze Hzita chaxione, 

e se al chiamar non risponde chorendo. 
169 A nogia m'^ chi sofia innel balchone 

avendo tenpo a poterlo fredare, 

per6 che mi par ato di giotone. 
172 A nogia m'^ chi non chura pasare 

dal lato di '1 chonpagno in sul tagiero 

quando vede bochon che bon li pare. 
175 A nogia m'^ chie senza mestieri 

s'apogia a mensa e chon un brazo strinze, 

chon I'altro manzi zia chome poltronieri. 

Finis 

The Venetian coloring of the text as here presented is due entirely to a 
copyist ; for there can be no doubt as to the authorship and consequently the 
originally pure Tuscan form of the poem. Without making any attempt to 
discuss exhaustively the dialect, the non-Tuscan forms may be enumerated. As 
is readily seen, they are not consistently used. In fact, the Oxford text, corre- 
sponding, as it does, line for line with K and R, seems closer to the original 
version than some of the manuscripts in which the language is still Tuscan 
while the order of the terzine varies considerably. Presumably the sound did 
not vary as much as the spelling in O seems to indicate ; for instance, the 
recurring word nogia, like the form noglie in cod. Bol. 147, doubtless sounded 
very much like the corresponding Tuscan noia. In verses 11-15 it rhymes 
with niLOgia (muoia) and zolgia {gioia) ; ^ cf. vogio 7, merzenagio 56 (K mer- 
cienaid), gagiardo 80 (¥^ ghagliardo), bisbilgia 163, tagiero 173 (K tagliere), 
chonselgio 1 3 ; and with vogiando 90 (K volendo), cf . scrivando 1 1 , fazi- 
ando 21, vezando 87, but zunzendo 137.^ The recurring phrase which dis- 
tinguishes this poetical genre varies between A nogia me and A nogia mi ; but 
without change of meaning, for nogia {noia) is in both cases surely the noun 

1^ MS. conprende. ^^^ All editions have E se risponde quatid' io lo riprendo, having de- 

parted from reading of MS. R ; K = O. 1^9 balchone : K bochone, R boccone. i'^<* Kposendo 
ad agio lasarlo, '^Avendo Pagio di poterl (18 1 7 ed.poter). ^'^'^ K, R mangia come paltojiiere. 

1 A similar phenomenon in the following Bolognese lines is cited by Monaci, Cresiomazia 
italiana, p. 293 and p. 560, § 4, as an instance of rintegrazioni errate : 

Le pene che durai 

conteleme in gran ^oglia, 

po che partita e noglia 

da mi, ch'era in pesan§a. 
Boerio, Dizionario del dialetto veneziano, gives nogia, vogia, zogia, as regular forms for noia, 
voglia, gioia, etc. 

2 In North Italy " fiir das Gerundium aller Verba dient -ando "; Grober's Grundriss, 2d ed., 
I, 705. 



McKENZIE 



183 



(cf. mi sono a nogia 15).-^ On the other hand, giotone 171 {ghiottone), luogi 
29 (cf. 40), vageza 29 {vagheggia). Like many other manuscripts, ours alter- 
nates between //^/ and put ; as it is often impossible to distinguish, /2// is here 
printed throughout. Ca- and cha-, co- and cho-^ as in Tuscan manuscripts, are 
used indiscriminately. Taola 139, 143 {tavola) is characteristic .^ Single con- 
sonants instead of double are constantly used, — mesa 16, apresa 18, ato 30, 
tute ^Jyfalo 59 ; dileto 62 and dito 6^ {dettd) rhyming with difetto 66 ; note 
162, etc.; there is one instance of a double consonant for single, chosse 155.^ 
Tuscan gi is represented by z, more rarely by x : mazor 8, zolgia i'^, ponpe- 
zando 17, zenochia 20, vageza 29, moteza 31, aveza S3, za 51, 72, ozi 52, 
zentilomo 53, ^?/r<3: 83, vezando 87 (K vegiendo), porze 1 04, schorze 1 06, 
achorze 108, motizando 107, dispriezia 117, m,anzare 122, zimzendo 137, 
m,anza 140, zomo 162, strinze 176] axiati 38, raxon 49, raxona 65, ^/^;ir- 
«;'<^<? 82, chaxione 167. Tuscan <:/ is also represented once by ;r : <a^2:r^ 16 ; fre- 
quently by ^ : /<2^^ 6 {faccia ; K /«), 22<? ^//^ 1 1 (K ^ r2<? <r>^^), capuzo 20 
(K chapiicio), chorozo 22, [dinoso in oso 24 is supposed to rhyme with the pre- 
ceding; K dibucio in bucid\, faziando 21, chazato 39, merzenagio 56, zaschim 
64, 73, ziaschadtma 6^, azexa 72 (K aciesa), redize <^2,felize 94, radize 96, 
zerchase 96, aziechi 105, piazer 113, ^^/?^ 127, </2>^ ^//^ li piaze 140 (K ^/a> 
^//^ li spiacia), schiazio i^2,faza 144 [these three rhyming], noziuol 143, j//<s'<3: 
146, indnze lizita 167, brazo 176. In zizmche 70 (K chiunque) the Tuscan 
r/^/- had doubtless passed through the dialect form a- (cf. Griindriss, I, 706). 
Tuscan intervocalic j is frequently written ;r : schnxando 10, mexnra 18, 74, 
^^, giexia 23, 25, 44 (K chiesa ; cf. Monaci, p. 411, line 192), <3?'^;r2^ 28, 
guixa 43, Jixanza 52, ^^;ir« 68, chontexa 70, azexa J2, prexente 75, 147, 
/r;ir/<^ III. Tuscan j-^/ given as j- : /^j^ 27, 92, chognose 84, disende 153 ; 
Tuscan <: sometimes as ^ : algun 7, 62, sgritura 14, grede 84, sagreto 89-93, 
algtma no, i-^>^^ 123 (K secho), morsegato 134 (K morsichiattd), repiega 
146 (K ripichid), me?itiga 150 (K moncichia, R ammonticchia), charga 153 
(K chanchd), ringrescha 155. For <?^«^ 74, 96, cf . Monaci, p. 668 ; Wiese, 
Altitalienisches Elementarbzcch, § 198. 

1 Cf. also Dante, ?^Vd! Nttova, xii [Ballata): Lo perdonare se le fosse a noia; Inferno^ 
XXX, 100 : si reco a noia Forse d'esser nomato. ^ Grundriss, I, 706. 

3 Cf. Goldstaub und Wendriner, Ein Tosco-Venezianischer Bestiarms, 1892, § 24 a (in the 
" Dialektologische Anmerkungen," pp. 442-494). The Bestiary text, Hke our text of Pucci, is 
a copy made in Venetia from a Tuscan original ; it also has z and x for ci (§ 18), z iox gi (§ 19), 
giox c (§ 17) ; but xvoX. gia for za; ox glia. 



HUMAN SACRIFICE AMONG THE 
IRISH CELTS 

• F. N. Robinson 

There exists a somewhat strange difference of opinion concerning the 
practice of human sacrifice among the ancient Irish Celts. While the majority 
of writers on Celtic religion and folklore assume the custom to have prevailed, 
and refer, more or less as a matter of course, to ancient instances or to modern 
survivals, a number of scholars of recognized authority in various departments 
of Celtic learning insist that there is little or no evidence of the existence of 
any such rite. O'Curry's sweeping statement that *'in no tale or legend of the 
Irish Druids which has come down to our time, is there any mention . . . 
of their ever having offered, or recommended to be offered, human sacrifices, 
either to appease or to propitiate the divine powers which they acknowledged," ^ 
might be dismissed as coming from an older generation when Irish historical 
material was more difficult of access ; especially since W. K. Sullivan, the 
editor of O'Curry's volumes, expresses a different opinion in his Introduction, 
and cites three apparent references to the practice. ^ But a denial of human 
sacrifice nearly as sweeping as O'Curry's, and defended by argument, is made 
by Dr. P. W. Joyce in his admirable Social History of Ancient Ireland, pub- 
lished in 1903, a work which is likely for some time to come to take the place 
of O'Curry's older compilation. Dr. Joyce, for example, designates as a con- 
spicuous difference between the Druids of Gaul and those of Ireland, that the 
former practised the cult in question while the latter did not.^ Dr. Douglas 
Hyde, in his widely influential Literary History of Ireland, published in 1899, 
while citing more evidence for the practice than Dr. Joyce, still disparages 
the value of some of the testimony by attributing it to "a Christian chronicler 
familiar with the accounts of Moloch and Ashtaroth." He concludes that the 
existence of human sacrifice in Ireland is by no means certain, and that the 
custom, if ever resorted to at all, had fallen into abeyance before the landing 
of the Christian missionaries.^ To these opinions of native Irish scholars 
may be added that of at least one distinguished recent Continental writer on 

1 E. O'Curry, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, London, 1873, II, 222. 

2 Ibid., I, cccxx ff., cccxxxv ff., dcxl ff. Tlfe stories referred to — the Death of Fiachra, 
the Echtra Airt, and the Dinnsenchas of Tailtiu — will be discussed later. 

3 Joyce, Social History, I, 239 ; see also the arguments at pp. 281 ff. 
* Hyde, A Literary History of Ireland, New York, 1899, pp. 92-93. 

185 



i86 HUMAN SACRIFICE AMONG THE IRISH CELTS 

Celtic antiquities, M. Alexandre Bertrand. In his Religion des GauloiSy where 
he argues that the Druids of Gaul should not be held especially responsible 
as an order for the practice of human sacrifice in that land, he observes : " On 
devrait refl^chir, avant d'accuser les druides, qu'en Irlande, le pays druidique 
par excellence, les sacrifices humains liturgiques ^taient inconnus." ^ In the 
face of such statements as the foregoing, — and more to the same purport 
might easily be added,^ — it seems worth while to inquire briefly what the 
nature is of the evidence for the custom in question. If^the scholars cited 
are right in their assertions, then the current opinion of most students of 
Celtic antiquities is mistaken and should be corrected. If, on the other hand, 
there is good evidence for the usual view, such general denials as have been 
quoted above ought not to be constantly reasserted. It is doubtless difficult, 
if not impossible, to arrive at decisive proof in settlement of so obscure a 
problem. But it ought to be easy, by a short examination of the material, to 
determine whether the evidence for human sacrifice in Ireland is conspicu- 
ously different from that which is held to prove the existence of the practice 
elsewhere. No part of the testimony to be presented, it should be added, is 
new in the sense that it has not been somewhere mentioned in previous dis- 
cussions of the subject, though the various items have not all been treated 
elsewhere together, so far as the writer is aware. And of course no claim is 
made that the material here discussed is in any sense complete. Ancient 
Irish literature, whether in the vernacular or in Hiberno-Latin, is still far 
from wholly accessible, and that portion of it which has been published has 
not yet been thoroughly canvassed for the light it throws on history and 
institutions. 

It may be observed at the outset that there is, to say the least, no ante- 
cedent improbability that the Irish Celts were accustomed to sacrifice human 
victims. Disregarding the wide diffusion of such a practice among the 
civilizations of antiquity and among savage tribes of modern times, one 
can find particularly good evidence of its existence among the Celtic peoples, 
who were most closely related to the ancient Irish. It was so familiar and 
well-recognized a feature of the religion of the Gauls that the testimony on 

1 Bertrand, La Religion des Gaulois ; les Druides et le Dniidisme (in the series entitled 
Nos Origines), Paris, 1897, p. 68, n. It is fair to add that the statement quoted is based upon 
the authority of M. d'Arbois de Jubainville, Introduction h la Litterature Celtique, I, 51 ff., 
and that this scholar seems afterwards to have modified his opinion. In his later work, Les 
Druides et les Dieux Celtiques a Fonne d^ Animaux (Paris, 1906), pp. 100—102, M. d'Arbois admits 
that the Irish Druids probably presided at the immolation of first-born infants before the idol 
of Cromm Cruaich. See below, pp. 189 ff. 

2 It is not necessary to accumulate references to similar expressions of opinion. But one 
additional instance may be cited from a recenf contribution to a learned journal. The reviewer 
of Rolleston's Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race, in thQ Journal of the Ivernian Society, IV, 
189 (1912), declares that "the evidence of human sacrifice in Ireland consists of one single 
statement in one tract." 



I 



I 



ROBINSON 187 

the subject need not be cited here.^ Roman and early Christian historians 
repeatedly expressed their horror at what M. Camille Jullian has aptly called 
" le plus celebre de tous les rites gaulois, et en realite le plus banal de tous."^ 
The evidence indicates, furthermore, that the human sacrifices of the Gauls 
were performed for a variety of purposes. Sometimes they were undertaken 
as offerings to the dead ; ^ sometimes as a protection against disease ; * fre- 
quently, it seems, as offerings to the god of war ; ^ at other times, again, as a 
mode of divination,^ or as a means of procuring the fertility of the soilJ In 
many cases, apparently, the offering took the form of self-devotion, or sacri- 
ficial suicide.^ Even if such costly sacrifices were resorted to only in times of 
great public or personal need, or were restricted, as M. Jullian suggests,^ to 
the greater gods alone, they cannot have been confined to a single cult or a 
narrow territory. Among the Celts of Britain, too, although the evidence is 
less extensive than for the Continent, the existence of the custom is well 
attested.i^ jf^ then, the Irish did not practise it, they differed from the peoples 
nearest of kin to them in a way that historians may well be puzzled to explain. 
One other consideration may be presented here for its bearing on the 
general question of antecedent probability. Certain customs of the modern 
Gaelic peoples, both of Ireland and of Scotland, look very much like modified 
survivals of human sacrifice. The ceremonies associated with the Beltane, or 
May-Day, fire are perhaps most clearly of this character, as the festival is of 
most assured antiquity on Celtic soil. The oldest account of Beltane, to be 
sure, — that found in Cormacs Glossary}^ — contains no reference to sacrifice. 
It simply mentions two fires which Druids used to make with great incanta- 
tions, and between which they used to drive the cattle as a safeguard against 
disease. But according to the testimony of Martin's Description of the West- 
em Islands of Scotland^'^ there existed as late as the eighteenth century the 

1 The necessary limits of the present article forbid extended discussion or illustration of the 
Continental practices in question. Convenient summaries of the recorded facts, with references 
to the classical authorities, will be found in Ch. Renel, Les Religions de la Gaule avant le Chris- 
tianisme, Paris, 1906, pp. 355 ff. ; Camille Jullian, Recherches stir la Religion Gatiloise, Bordeaux, 
1903, pp. 51 ff. (dealing with the earliest periods) ; and the same author, Histoire de la Gaule, 
II, 157 ff. 2 Jullian, Recherches, p. 51. 

3 Cf., for example, Caesar, De Bello Gallico, vi, 14, 19. Historical testimony on this point 
is supported by archaeological investigations. See Naue, translated by Reinach, Revue Archi- 
ologique, 1895, I^' 4° ^- '■> ^^so L'Anihropologie, VI, 586, and references cited by MacCuUoch, 
Religion of the Ancient Celts, p. 337, n. ■* Caesar, DBG., vi, 16. 

^ See, for example, Justin, xxvi, 2; Livy, xxxviii, 47; Diodorus Siculus, v, 32; xxxi, 13; 
Athenasus, iv, 51 ; Scholia in Lucani Bellum Civile, ed. Usener, p. 32. 

^ Cf. Strabo, iv, 4, 5 ; Tacitus, Annates, xiv, 30; Diodorus Siculus, v, 31. ^ cf. Strabo, iv, 4, 4. 

^ On suicide for sacrificial purposes cf. Jullian, Histoire de la Gaule, I, 359 ff. 

^ Recherches, p. 51. 

1° Cf. Pliny, Hist. Nat., xxx, 4, 13 ; Dio Cassius, Ixii, 7 ; and, for archaeological evidence, 
some of the references cited by MacCuUoch, p. 337, n. 

11 See Whitley Stokes's edition of O'Donovan's translation, Calcutta, 1868, pp. 19, 23. 
^2 Published at London, 17 16 (reprinted at Glasgow, 1884), p. 105. 



1 88 HUMAN SACRIFICE AMONG THE IRISH CELTS 

tradition that malefactors were burned in the Beltane fire. And if the authority 
for this statement be questioned, certain Perthshire customs described by 
Sir John Sinclair,^ and often cited in books on Celtic religion, may still be 
urged as pointing back to human sacrifice. Sinclair relates how lots were cast 
among the people by the division of a loaf of cake, the person who received 
a certain blackened piece being taken as the "devoted" victim and subjected 
to various penalties. Sometimes the victim was compelled to leap through 
the fire, or a pretense was made of throwing him into it ; and throughout the 
ceremony he was spoken of as " dead." The whole performance may well be 
a playful substitute for what was once serious business, just as the horse's 
bones thrown into the fire in modern Beltane ceremonies at Dublin may be a 
substitute for the body of a human victim.^ It is commonly held that the man 
or woman sacrificed in such cases was originally a representative of the spirit 
of vegetation, and that the purpose of the cult was primarily to secure the 
fertility of the soil.^ Indeed, Professor Bury has discerned a possible reminis- 
cence of such immolation in the ordeal which St. Patrick's pupil Benignus 
and the Druid Lucetmael are said to have gone through at Easter on the hill 
of Slane.^ In the final test which Patrick proposed, Benignus and the Druid 
were placed in a hut built half of green and half of dry wood. Benignus, 
clothed in the magician's garment, was put in the dry part, and Lucetmael, 
wearing the garment of Patrick, in the green part. Then the hut was set on 
fire, and as a result of Patrick's prayer the magician was consumed, leaving 
Patrick's robe unburnt, while Benignus escaped unhurt, though the Druid's 
robe was destroyed. If Bury's interpretation of the episode be accepted, then 
the story, which occurs in Maccumactheni's life of Patrick, constitutes very 
early testimony as to human sacrifice in pagan Ireland. But the element of 
conjecture in the theory is not to be ignored, and the whole question of the 
significance of the popular ceremonies under consideration may be freely 
admitted to be of uncertain answer. All that is here contended is that the 

^ See especially his Statistical Account of Scotland, XI, 620. The passage is printed also by 
T. Stephens, The Gododin, London, 1.888, p. 125, n. For further references on Beltane, with 
comparison of similar ceremonies, see Elton, Origins of English History, p. 261 ; Sir John Rhys, 
Hibbeji. Lectures, p. 520 ; L.' Gomme, in the Report of the Liverpool Meeting of the British Associa- 
tion, 1896, pp. 626 ff. ; and J. A. MacCuUoch, Religion of the Ancient Celts, pp. 265-266. MacCul- 
loch, at p. 261, compares a similar Welsh custom of jumping through the "November fire." 

2 Cited by MacCulloch, p. 265, from Hone, Everyday Book, II, 595. Fo^: testimony con- 
cerning the burning of live animals, in some cases on May-Day, on the Isle of Man, see Rhys, 
Celtic Folklore, Oxford, 1901, pp. 305 ff. 

8 See MacCulloch, p. 163; and cf. Frazer, The Golden Bough, III, 319 ff. For a somewhat 
different view (comparing the Athenian Thargelia) see Rhys, Hibbert Lectures, pp. 519 ff., and 
Celtic Folklore, pp. 309 ff. ; and for an attempt to show a phallic element in the May-Day rites 
cf. W. G. Wood-Martin, Traces of the Elder Faiths of Lreland, London, 1902, pp. 262 ff. 

* Cf. J. B. Bury, Life of St. Patrick, London, 1905, pp. 108 ff., 302 ff. He compares the trans- 
formation of the burning of Sandan into the story of the funeral pyre of Croesus, discussed by 
Frazer, III, 168 ff. 



ROBINSON 189 

Gaels possessed, and have maintained until recent times, customs which are 
commonly explained, wherever they are found, as transformed survivals of 
human sacrifice. It will probably not be objected that the traditions of the 
Gaels of Scotland should not be used for the evidence they yield concerning 
the common inheritance of the Gaelic people.^ 

In spite of the expectations aroused by the general considerations just pre- 
sented, the explicit references to human sacrifice in Irish literature appear to 
be few. But they are not quite so rare as was implied by the writers quoted 
at the beginning of this paper, and at least seven passages, or groups of pas- 
sages, deserve consideration here. These all make direct mention of sacrifice, 
and no such theoretic interpretations are involved as in the case just mentioned 
of Benignus and the Druid. Even if no one of them records an historical 
occurrence, they bear testimony at all events to the popular knowledge of 
human sacrifice, and to that extent are evidences of its existence. The fact 
that none of the passages in question is of very early date does not matter 
essentially to the present discussion, since the Irish vernacular texts in any 
case date from a period considerably after the conversion to Christianity. This 
fact, indeed, may go far to account for the scarcity of literary references to a 
custom which must have been vigorously opposed, if not early eradicated, by 
the Church. 

The purposes of the sacrifices mentioned in Irish writings correspond very 
well in general to those recognized in Gaulish sacrifice or surmised in the 
transformed rites of the Beltane festivals. The first instance to be considered 
apparently belongs to an ancient vegetation cult, the famous worship of 
Cromm Cruaich,^ which St. Patrick is said to have overthrown. In the early 
lives of Patrick, although the destruction of the idol is lauded as a great 
achievement, nothing is said of human sacrifice in relation to it. But popular 
tradition on the subject seems to be preserved in the account of Mag Slecht 
('* The Plain of Prostrations "), in the so-called Dinnsenchas. This collection 
of topographical legends is found in the Book of Leinster and later manu- 
scripts and was probably compiled in the eleventh or twelfth century. But 
the component parts, especially the metrical portions, may be in some cases 
of much older date, and the material often seems to rest upon very early 

1 Instances of the sacrifice of human beings to avert pestilence among cattle are reported 
to have taken place in recent times in Gaelic Scotland, and may be noted here. See G. Hen- 
derson, Survivals in Belief among the Celts, Glasgow, 191 1, pp. 275 ff. The cases cited are not 
brought into relation with any festival, and may be too exceptional to have any significance 
with regard to ancient tradition. But they seem to involve, on the part of the people concerned, 
the same old belief attributed by Caesar to the Gauls (DBG., vi, 16), that hfe must be offered in 
the purchase of life. For a tale of a modern Scottish foundation sacrifice see below, p. 196, n. 3. 

2 The explanation of this name is uncertain. Rhys's interpretation, " The Bent One of the 
Mound" (or Cenn Cruaich, " The Head of the Mound"), is perhaps the best. See his Hibbert 
Lectures, p. 201. D'Arbois de Jubainville, Cycle mythologique, p. 106, proposed rather to connect 
Cruaich with cm, " blood." 



I90 HUMAN SACRIFICE AMONG THE IRISH CELTS 

tradition.^ According to the prose Dimisenchas of Mag Slecht, Cromm Cruaich 
was the king-idol of Erin, the god of every folk that colonized Ireland. '* To 
him they used to offer the firstlings of every issue and the chief scions of every 
clan." To him King Tigernmas and the men and women of Ireland repaired 
on Hallowtide, in order to adore him. " And they all prostrated themselves 
before him, so that the tops of their foreheads and the gristle of their noses, 
and the caps of their knees, and the ends of their elbows broke, and three- 
fourths of the men of Erin perished at these prostrations." ^ The metrical 
Dinnsejzchas adds the statement that the purpose of the sacrifice of firstlings 
was to obtain com and milk. 

To him, without glory, 

They would kill their wretched offspring 

With much wailing and peril. 

To pour their blood around Cromm Cruaich. 

Milk and corn 

They would ask from him speedily, 

In return for one-third of their healthy issue ; 

Great was the horror and the scare of him. 

To him 

Noble Gaels would prostrate themselves ; 

From the worship of him, with many manslaughters, 

The plain is called Mag Slecht. 

Then the verse goes on to describe more fully the prostrations, and to recount 
how St. Patrick applied a sledge-hammer to the idol.^ Now whatever exagger- 
ation there may be in these passages, — and both the extent of the slaughter 
and the importance of the cult are very likely overstated,^ — they clearly 
describe an agricultural sacrifice with human victims.^ Whether the reader 

1 On the date and character of the material in the Dinnsenchas cf. Stokes, Revue Celiique, 
XV, 272; Meyer and Nutt, Voyage of Bran, London, 1895, ^^1 iSo^-l '^ ^^^ro^^, Journal of the 
Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, IX, 21 ff. For the texts themselves, see Stokes's edi- 
tions of the prose portions in Folk Lore, Vols. Ill and IV, and Revue Celtique, Vols. XV and XVI, 
and E. Gwynn's editions of the metrical Dinnsenchas (not yet completed), in the Todd Lecture 
Series of the Royal Irish Academy, Vols. VII, VIII, and XI. 

2 The text and translation from the Rennes MS., published by Whitley Stokes, Revue Cel- 
tique, XVI, 35-36, are here followed, with slight condensation. Cf. further the account of 
Cromm Cruaich in the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, ed. Stokes, Rolls Series, 1887, pp. 90 ff. A 
different (Christianized?) account, which ascribes the death of Tigernmas and his people to an 
attack of plague in punishment of their idolatry, is found in the Lebor Gabala ; see the Book 
of Leinster, 16*, 127*; also Lizeray and O'Dwyer, Livre des Invasions, Paris, 1884, pp. loi ff. 

8 For the text of the metrical Dinnsenchas of Mag Slecht, edited from four manuscripts 
and translated by Kuno Meyer, see Meyer and Nutt, 77/*? Voyage of Bran, London, 1895, I^' 3°^ ff- 

* On the probability that the cult was of only local importance cf . Bury, Life of St. Patrick, 
pp. 123 ff. 

5 For further arguments to establish this agricultural character associating Cromm Cruaich 
with Crom Dubh and the Dagda, cf. MacCulloch in Hastings's Encyclopcedia of Religion and 
Ethics, III, 284, and the same author in his Religion of the A^icient Celts, pp. 78-80. 



ROBINSON 191 

will accept the account as representing genuine popular tradition, or will reject 
it as the invention of Christian chroniclers, will doubtless depend partly on 
his estimate of the other evidence presented in this paper. But it may be 
observed in passing that the Dinnsenchas collection as a whole does not show 
any considerable influence of foreign literature or of Christian learning.^ 

The second Irish reference to human sacrifice to be noted here seems also 
to point back to an agricultural cult, though the text is of very different char- 
acter from those just described and does not at all purport to be an account 
of pagan religion. The episode in question is found in the Middle Irish saga 
entitled Echtra Airt? The only known version of the story is preserved in 
the Book of Fermoy, a manuscript of the fifteenth century, and the language 
of the text seems to be not much older. But since the title Echtra Airt 
appears in the Hst of ''prime tales" in MSS. Rawlinson B 512, Harleian 
5280, and Betham 23 N 10 (R.I.A.), the saga itself probably goes back at 
least to early Middle Irish.^ The passage which concerns the present inquiry 
may be briefly summarized as follows : Conn Cetchathach, the king of Ireland, 
after the death of Eithne his consort, formed a union with Becuma, a woman 
of the Tuatha De Danann, who had been banished from the Land of Promise 
because of her infidelity to her husband Luathlam-ar-Claideb. She and Conn 
dwelt together in Tara for a year, and there was neither corn nor milk in 
Ireland during that time. The Druids declared that the cause of the evil was 
the depravity and unbelief of the wife of Conn,* and that the only way of 
deliverance would be to find the son of a sinless couple, and slay him before 
Tara, and mingle his blood with the soil of Tara. So Conn gave over the 
kingdom to Art, his son, and set out in search of such a boy, whom he finally 

1 Compare the remarks of Kuno Meyer, in Die Keltischen Literaturen {Kultur der Gegen- 
wart, Teil I, Abteilung xi), p. 83, contrasting such learned compilations as the Lebor Gabala with 
the " unverfalschteres Bild von den heidnischen Vorstellungen und Brauchen der alten Iren " 
furnished by the Dinnsenchas. 

2 Attention was called to this instance of human sacrifice by Sullivan in his introduction to 
O'Curry's Manners and Customs (see p. 185, above), and again by Professor Kuno Meyer, in 
Eriu., II, 86. The saga was edited and translated by R. I. Best in Eriu^ III, 149 ff. 

* On this list (usually cited as " List B," to distinguish it from that preserved in the Book 
of Leinster and MS. H. 3. 17. T.C.D.), cf. d'Arbois de Jubainville, Essai d^un Catalogue 
(Paris, 1883), pp. 259 ff. 

4 This conception that failure of crops, or scarcity of fish or game or cattle, is due to the 
evil conduct of rulers, or sometimes of lesser people, is familiar. Cf ., for example, Deuteronomy, 
xxviii, 17 ff. ; Herodotus, vi, 139; and other instances cited in the London Academy, L (1896), 
pp. 182, 264, 310. For illustrations of the idea from Irish literature see the Annals of the Kiftgdom 
of Ireland, by the Four Masters, I, i, 96 [aitno Christi, 14 and 15) ; Annals of Ulster., ed. B. 
MacCarthy (Rolls Series), III, 596; Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, ed. W. Stokes, pp. clx, 507 ; 
Publications of the Ossianic Society, I, 102, n.; O'Grady, Silva Gadelica, London, 1892, I, 255, 
317 ; O'Grady, Catalogue of Irish MSS. in the British Museum, p. 330, n. ; Revue Celtique, XVI, 
35, and XXII, 28 ; Martyrology of G' Gorman, ed. Stokes (Bradshaw Society), p. xi ; Proceedings of 
the Royal Irish Academy, July, 191 1, pp. 157, 173 ; Keating, Forus Feasa ar Eirinn, Irish Texts 
Society, III, 34. Cf. also Douglas Hyde, Literary History of Ireland, pp. 27 ff. 



192 HUMAN SACRIFICE AMONG THE IRISH CELTS 

found in the Land of Promise. He brought him back to Tara, and the Druids 
counselled that the child should be slain. But as the sacrifice was about to be 
performed, the lowing of a cow was heard, and a woman wailing behind it. 
The woman declared that the cow had come to save the life of the youth, and 
she directed the Druids to slaughter it and to mingle its blood with the soil. 
She also bade them open two bags on the cow's sides, in which she said they 
would find two birds, a bird with one leg and a bird with twelve legs. And 
when the birds were taken out they fought with each other, and the one-legged 
bird prevailed over the other ; which the woman interpreted as a symbol of the 
way the little boy prevailed over all the rest.^ So the youth was not put to 
death. The rest of the story concerns the adventures of Art, the son of Conn, 
and has no further bearing upon the sacrifice, the aim and character of which 
seem reasonably clear. Though no one will probably hold the narrative to be 
historical, it nevertheless bears witness to the popular tradition of a human 
sacrifice conducted by the Druids for the purpose of securing fertility in crops 
and herds.2 It is interesting to observe, too, that the Irish story offers, in 
the substitution of the cow for the human victim, a parallel to the familiar 
narratives of Isaac and of Iphigenia. Yet the detailed circumstances in the 
Irish tale are so different from those in either of the ancient stories that a 
theory of imitation or borrowing does not appear probable.^ 

There is a close relation between the conceptions of sacrifice to ensure fer- 
tility of crops and herds and sacrifice to avert a pestilence from human beings. 
Human victims were offered for the latter purpose, as we have seen,^ by the 
Continental Celts, and there is some evidence, at least of an indirect character, 
that a similar practice was known in Ireland. Certain passages from the met- 
rical Dinnsenchas of Tailtiu, sometimes cited as testimony to such a sacri- 
fice, are so doubtful, as regards both text and interpretation, that they may 

1 Sullivan, in his Introduction to O'Curry's Manners and Customs (I, cccxxxiii ff.), compared 
the story of Conn, and particularly the episode of the fighting birds, with Nennius's tale about 
Vortigern, which contains the fight of the two symbolic dragons. For further mention of this 
story see the discussion of foundation sacrifice, p. 195, below. 

2 Further traces of the existence of agricultural sacrifice with human victims are found 
by MacCulloch in the tribute paid to the Fomorians by the Nemedians, in the strife between 
Carman and the Tuatha De Danann, and in the story of the rescue of Devorgilla. See his 
Religion of the Ancie?tt Celts, pp. 57, 133, 168, and 237. His interpretation of the episodes in 
question is very likely right, but since the passages do not contain direct and explicit reference 
to human sacrifice they have been omitted from the present discussion. 

^ Another literary reference in Irish to the employment of human sacrifice to avert a 
great calamity, this time to put an end to drought, may be mentioned here in passing. It is in 
the story of " How Samson slew the Gestedha," and since the practice is ascribed to this uniden- 
tified oriental people, the passage has no bearing upon Irish conditions beyond bringing one 
more piece of testimony to the knowledge of such sacrifices. The text, which is perhaps of the 
twelfth century, was described by Meyer in the Zeitschrift fur Celtische Fhilologie, IV, 467, and 
edited and translated by Marstrander, Eriu, V, 145 ff. The source of the story appears to 
be unknown. 4 See p. 187, above. 



ROBINSON 193 

best be left out of the reckoning for the present.^ But two accounts of self- 
devotion by Christian saints to save the land from plague seem to involve 
something different from the regular Christian conception of sacrifice, and 
suggest the existence in the Irish mind of the idea, attributed by Caesar to 
the ancient Gauls, that the life of a diseased man may be purchased from the 
gods by the substitution of another human victim .2 In the Middle Irish life 
of St. Finnian of Clonard it is related of him that '' as Paul died in Rome for 
the sake of the Christian people, lest they should all perish in the pains and 
punishments of hell, even so Finnian died in Clonard for the sake of the peo- 
ple of the Gael, that they might not all perish of the Yellow Plague." ^ But 
the parallel suggested is not quite natural, and it is hardly fanciful to see in 
the sacrifice of Finnian, or in the explanation of it, an element of paganism 
not apparent in that of Paul. Still more strikingly true is this of the story of 
Eimine Ban, who is said to have devoted himself to death along with forty- 
nine of his monks in order to save King Bran of Leinster and forty-nine of 
his princes from pestilence.^ The strictly numerical application here of the 
principle of vicariousness is noteworthy. 

1 The poem was cited, and the passages in question printed and translated, by Sullivan in 
O'Curry's Manners and Citsto??is, I, dcxl. Sullivan apparently followed the text in the Book of 
Lecan, which he interpreted as meaning : ( i ) that Patrick preached in Tailtiu against three for- 
bidden bloods, — yoke oxen, slaying milch cows, and burning the first-born [children] ; (2) that 
hostages were drowned and the son of Aed Slan immolated to avert three plagues from Ire- 
land. MacCulloch follows him in citing the second passage as an instance of the sacrifice of 
hostages, including the son of a captive prince. See his Religion of the Anciettt Celts, p. 238. 
But Sullivan's translation is questionable at several points, and a comparison of his text with 
the versions of the poem in the published facsimiles of the Book of Leinster (p. 200^) and the 
Book of Ballymote (p. 403 a) throws additional doubt on the meaning of both passages. The 
Book of Leinster, for example, has fogla, ' spoils,' in place of fola, translated '' bloods " by 
Sullivan ; and in the next line it reads gait dam ar cuing, " the stealing of yoke-cattle," with no 
apparent reference to sacrifice. Again, at the end of the stanza, the word primicht, or prim- 
shlicht, may mean first-fruits of crops or cattle as well as first-born children. In the second 
passage the line rendered "immolating the son of Aed Slan" reads in both the Book of Leinster 
and the Book of Ballymote mortlaid mac n- Aeda Slain (with mac n- in the genitive plural), which 
would more naturally refer to the death by pestilence of the sons of Aed Slan, — a well-known 
occurrence. Professor Edward Gwynn, who is editing the Metrical Dittnsenchas for the " Todd 
Lecture Series," has not yet reached this particular poem or completed his general classifica- 
tion of MSS. The materials for determining a critical text are therefore not yet available, and 
while there is so much uncertainty as to readings it seems best not to use the passage as evi- 
dence of human sacrifice. In the prose Dinnsenchas of Tailtiu, as printed by Stokes {Revue 
Celtique, XVI, 50 ff.), there is no reference to such a custom. 2 Caesar, DBG., vi, 16. 

* See Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore, ed. W. Stokes, Oxford, 1890, pp. 82, 229. 
This episode and that of Eimine Ban were both cited as containing suggestions of human sac- 
rifice by Henderson, Survivals in Belief among the Celts, p. 285. A third instance, possibly of 
similar significance at bottom, is that of the crosan who is sacrificed to the sea-cats in the " Life 
of Brendan." See the Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore, ed. Stokes, pp. iii, 353. On 
voluntary self-devotion, or sacrificial suicide, among the Continental Celts see above, p. 187. 

* The text of this story was printed by J. G. O'Keefe in the Anecdota from Irish MSS., I, 
40 ff.; for a translation see Rev. Charles Plummer, Eriu, IV, 39 ff. Attention is called in 



194 HUMAN SACRIFICE AMONG THE IRISH CELTS 

Among the ancient Celts both on the Continent and in Britain, as has 
been already pointed out,^ a frequent occasion of human sacrifice seems to have 
been found in offerings to the dead, and various signs point to the existence 
of similar sacrifices among the Gaels. That animal victims were commonly 
put to death as a part of funeral rites may be inferred from a formula in the 
story of the Wooing of EtaiUy where the heroine is bidden, in case of the 
death of Ailill, to provide that his grave shall be dug, and his dirge sung, and 
his quadrupeds slain.^ It is less safe to infer, as MacCulloch has done,^ from 
the lamentations of widows who express a desire to be buried along with their 
husbands, that relatives were sometimes thus immolated ; for the passages 
cited may imply no more than the natural shrinking of the bereaved from 
surviving their loved ones. But at least one episode in Irish saga is reasonably 
susceptible of interpretation as a case of human sacrifice offered to the dead. 
In the story of the Death of Crimthanjt^ it is related that Fiachra and his 
brothers (sons of the celebrated King Eochaid Muigmedoin, of the fourth cen- 
tury) gained a battle over the Munstermen, in which Fiachra himself was 
severely wounded. The victorious party set out to return to Tara with the 
wounded Fiachra and with fifty hostages of the Munstermen. When they 
reached Forrach, in Meath, Fiachra died of his wound ; and then, the saga 
goes on to relate, in a formula closely resembling that mentioned above, "his 
grave was dug, and his tomb was laid, and his funeral game was started, and 
his name was written in ogham, and the hostages who had been brought from 
the south were buried alive around Fiachra's tomb." ^ The purpose of this 
cruelty, according to one version of the Irish text, was '' that it might always 

Plummer's introduction both to the story of St. Finnian and also to that of a Druid of the Dessi, 
who exposed himself to be slain in order to secure victory for his people in a battle. The latter 
instance is also mentioned by Henderson {Sia-vivals in Belief, p. 285) and definitely explained 
as an example of vicarious sacrifice. But an examination of the tale shows the act of the Druid 
to have been of a different character. The Dessi, on the eve of a battle with the army of Os- 
sory, learn from a Druid of the enemy that whichever of the two armies shall first kill or wound 
one of the other, shall be the loser of the fight. Both side§ therefore determine to refrain from 
slaughter, and the Druids of the Dessi undertake to cheat the men of Ossory by transforming 
a man into the shape of a cow and sending it among them to be slain. According to one ver- 
sion of the saga (the older version, apparently), a serf is thus transformed, and is killed. Ac- 
cording to another text, a Druid of the Dessi undergoes the transformation himself and is slain 
for his people. In either case the slaughter is hardly a normal example of human sacrifice, the 
object being not to offer up a life but to trick an enemy into committing an act of evil omen. 
Both versions of the saga have been edited by K. Meyer, the earher in Y Cymmrodor, XIV, 
loi ff., and the later in Anecdota fro7n Irish A/SS., I, I5ff. 

1 See p. 187, above. 

2 See Windisch, Irische Texte, I, 122. This formula, with slight variations, and generally 
without the mention of sacrifice, occurs frequently in Irish sagas. 

8 Religion of the Ancient Celts, p. 338 (with references). 

* Edited by Whitley Stokes (from the Yellow Book of Lecan and the Book of Ballymote) 
in the Revue Celtique, XXIV, 172 ff. Cf. also a brief version of the episode in the Book of Lein- 
ster, p. 190, col. 3, printed by O'Grady, Silva Gadelica, II, 494, and translated, ibid., p. 543. 

5 See Revue Celtique, XXIV, 184. 



ROBINSON 195 

be a shame for Munster and be as a triumph over them." ^ But the concep- 
tion of sacrifice may have been originally involved, and have been unfamiliar 
to the mediaeval narrator. His interpretation would be a natural explanation 
of what he may have regarded as an isolated act of barbarity. Yet the very 
formula, evidently traditional, in which he describes it, coupling it with the 
other rites of Fiachra's funeral, might be held to bear unconscious witness to 
the original meaning of the story. It is only fair to add that burial alive was 
apparently a form of punishment for malefactors in ancient Ireland, so that 
still a third possibility exists for the explanation of the Fiachra episode.^ But 
there seems to be no strong reason for adopting this in preference to the theory 
of sacrifice. 

There remains to be considered one more type of sacrifice, in which the 
Irish seem to have offered human victims. This is the so-called ''foundation 
sacrifice," an institution familiar in all ages and in many parts of the world. 
The gold coin, which is now often buried in the corner stone of a new building, 
is generally recognized to be a substitute for the more precious offerings of 
animal or human life once deemed necessary to ensure the permanence of a 
structure.^ No record seems to have been preserved of the existence of such 
sacrifices among the Gauls, but there is good evidence of the custom among 
the insular Celts in mediaeval and modern times. The most familiar Celtic 
instance is doubtless that which Nennius relates of the sacrifice ordered by 
the British Druids at the building of Vortigern's castle.^ Among the Gaels 
themselves a similar legend is attached to the founding of the monastery of 
St. Columba at lona. Columba, according to the story, said that it would be 
well for some one of his followers to go under the clay of the island to con- 
secrate it, and Oran straightway made a voluntary offering of his life.^ While 
there are various reasons for not regarding the occurrence as historical, the 

1 Joyce, who discusses the episode in his Social History, II, 545, takes in general the point 
of view of the Irish narrator. He cites, though without urging its authenticity, a variant form 
of the story according to which the hostages find Fiachra unprotected and bury him ahve. 

2 On burial alive as a punishment see O'Curry, Manners and Customs, I, cccxxi ; also 
K. Meyer, Cain Adamndin [Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediaeval and Modem Series, Part XII, 
Oxford, 1905), pp. 6, 35. 

8 For an extended general account of the forms of foundation sacrifice and of its geograph- 
ical and historical extension see P. Sartori, " Ueber das Bauopfer," Zt. filr Ethnologic, XXX, 
1-54. Foundation sacrifice among the Germanic peoples is treated very fully in an unpublished 
Harvard dissertation by Professor J. A. Walz (deposited in the Harvard University Library). 

* See Nennius, Historia Britonum, cap. xl. The work was of course also known to the Irish 
in a vernacular version ; see, for the episode in question, Todd's edition for the Irish Archaeo- 
logical Society, Dublin, 1848, pp. 90 ff. Certain points of resemblance between this story and 
that of Conn Cetchathach have been noted above (p. 192, n.). 

fi Cf. Adamnan's Vita Sancti Columbae, ed. Reeves, pp. 203 ff., 417 ; Lives of Saints from the 
Book of Lismore, ed. Stokes, pp. 30, 309 ; Revue Ccltique, II, 200 (a version from the Lebor 
Brecc) ; and, for a form more closely resembling the Vortigern story. Pennant's Second Tour 
in Scotland, in Pinkerton's Voyages, III, 298. A modern Scottish Gaelic variant, not involving 
sacrifice, is recorded by A. Carmichael, Carmina Gadelica, II, 317. 



196 HUMAN SACRIFICE AMONG THE IRISH CELTS 

narrative itself is again an indication that the form of sacrifice involved was 
known to the Gaelic people. The supposition is borne out by another passage, 
in an old poem in the Book of Lecan, which describes the building of a stone 
fort over groaning hostages ; ^ and by a curious etymology (worthless, of course, 
as such) in Comtacs Glossary, which derives the name ' Emain ' from ' ema, 
id est sanguine ' \alixa\ and ' uin, i.e. unus,' " quia sanguis unius hominis 
[effusus est] in tempore conditionis ejus."^ The evidence afforded by these 
references in the older Irish literature is supported by various stories of 
foundation sacrifices among the Gaelic populations in modern times,^ so that 
the existence of the foundation rite is better attested, on the whole, than that 
of any of the other forms of sacrifice previously discussed. In fact it is ad- 
mitted by Joyce in his Social History,'^ though he would assign it to a very 
remote period, " long before the time of St. Patrick," and though he appar- 
ently does not recognize that the existence of human sacrifice for this pur- 
pose increases the probability that similar offerings were made for the other 
purposes previously mentioned. 

These references to foundation sacrifice complete the list of direct state- 
ments concerning human sacrifice in Irish literature, so far as they have been 
noted by the present writer. Several passages which are ordinarily interpreted 
as such have been rejected above as uncertain,^ and others have been inten- 
tionally left out of account which, though not explicitly mentioning sacrifice, 
may be plausibly explained as disguised reflections of the custom.^ Without 
doubt some pieces of testimony have been overlooked, and still others may be 
brought to light as new texts are published. But in any case the obtainable 
evidence appears to be meagre, and notably so in comparison with that found 
by recent investigators of similar practices among the Germanic peoples.*^ There 
remain, nevertheless, some seven episodes or references of clear import, and 
these documentary evidences in early Irish are substantiated by what is known 
of ancient Gaulish and British sacrifices and of modern Gaelic popular cus- 
toms. One may disparage, of course, in general the value of all such testimony, 
and may question whether, in any part of the world, human sacrifice has been 

1 See O'Curry, Manners and Customs, III, 9. 

2 Cf. O'Donovan's translation of Coitnac^s Glossary, ed. Whitley Stokes, Calcutta, 1868, 
p. 63 ; for the Irish text see Stokes, Tliree Irish Glossaries, London, 1862, p. xli. 

8 See Carmichael, Camiina Gadelica, II, 317; MacCuUoch, Religion of the Ancient Celts, 
p. 239; Revue Celtique, IV, 120; Revue des Traditions Fopulaires, VI, 134, 173. , 

* See pp. 284 ff. 

^ Compare, for example, the discussion of the Dinnsenchas of Tailtiu and of the Druids of 
the Deisi (pp. 192 ff., above). 

® Such instances are the story of Lucetmael, with Bury's interpretation (p. 188, above), and 
the episodes interpreted by MacCulloch as agricultural rites {Religion of the Ancient Celts, 
pp. 78 ff.). 

■^ Cf. Professor Walz's dissertation on foundation sacrifices among the Germanic peoples 
(already cited) ; also E. Mogk, " Die Menschenopfer bei den Germanen," Leipzig Abhandlungen, 
XXVII (1909), 603 ff. Mogk says that more than fifty pieces of testimony are known to him. 



ROBINSON 197 

as prevalent, or survived as long, as is commonly asserted by students of reli- 
gious history. This skeptical attitude, for instance, seems to be maintained by 
M. Salomon Reinach in his Orpheus^ and the general issue which he thus 
raises, it is beyond the province of the present article to discuss.^ But, at all 
events, in the face of the considerations here presented, it is hardly possible 
to claim for the ancient Irish a condition altogether exceptional or unique 
among the races that dwelt near them. That the practice of the terrible rite 
in question was probably checked early in Ireland may well be granted. The 
Druids themselves, as Bertrand has argued,^ were very likely opposed to its 
continuance both in Ireland and in Gaul. The early conversion of the Irish 
to Christianity (as compared, for example, with the Scandinavian Teutons) 
would help further to account for its suppression, and might also explain the 
disappearance of most references to the subject from Irish literature. But 
that the custom did not in some measure survive the establishment of the 
new religion seems unlikely both from general considerations and from the 
particular evidence of native tradition. 

1 S. Reinach, Orpheus^ Histoire Ginirale des Religions, Paris, 1909. See the " Index Alpha- 
betique," under " Sacrifice humain," and especially pp. 61, 177 if. 

2 La Religion des Gaulois, p. 68, n. 



THE LOGIC OF LITERARY CRITICISM 
William Tenney Brewster 

The common classification of literary criticism into such types as construc- 
tive and destructive, appreciative, impressionistic, judicial, and the many other 
catchwords with which readers are familiar, though often warmly opposed as 
academic rather than human and often depending on verbal quibbles, has con- 
siderable convenience for students of the subject. So far as such terms have 
any meaning, it can best be understood by reference to logical classifications 
and logical processes, a point of view not sufficiently urged in writings on the 
subject of literary criticism. The purpose of this paper is briefly to indicate 
the logical bases on which literary criticism actually rests. 

Taking the term *' literary criticism " in the broadest possible way, we find 
it more than merely '' a disinterested endeavour to learn and propagate the best 
that is known and thought in the world " (Arnold), or the result of '' a certain 
kind of temperament, the power of being deeply moved by the presence of 
beautiful objects " (Pater), or '' the getting behind spontaneous judgment, the 
ascertaining of how and why we differ in our judgments " (J. M. Robertson), 
or more than any of the many other definitions of purpose, quality, or method 
with which eminent critics have variously tickled our minds. Literary criticism, 
in the first instance, is simply any opinion about any writing, or, perhaps a little 
more definitely, opinion about books and the writers of them, or about parts 
and aspects of books or particular books, or about groups of books and writings, 
or about all books and writings. That is to say, criticism, regarded as an extant 
record, not as a theory, is any and all opinion on particular or general matters 
connected with literature. Fact it is not, except in so far as it is a datum or 
fact of an " existential " sort. 

But any critical utterance that is not merely irresponsible or deliberately 
false tries evidently to be a true opinion ; that would seem to be normal to 
human nature. Though it may merely express any opinion whatever about 
literature, literary criticism, like many other pleasurable pursuits, tends to be- 
come elaborated into a form of procedure and to take on scientific dignity and 
method. To produce just opinions, such as accord with some fact of whatever 
sort, to transfer opinions into the realm of fact, is obviously the purpose of 
any critical method. Criticism, as a live process, is constantly finding new opin- 
ions and modifying old opinions, and in both cases it is trying to verify and 
substantiate opinions, to transfer these things more and more into the realm of 

199 



200 THE LOGIC OF LITERARY CRITICISM 

fact. On the question of how much verification is possible, hinge, for example, 
the disputes between the impressionists and those other critics who maintain 
that there is some objective substantiation for opinion ; and the question 
whether there is any other sanction than personality for critical opinion is a 
fundamental one in all critical theory. 

I If we turn to the common rhetorical classifications of writing, we shall find 
some indications of an answer to this question. It will be observed that the 
findings of any criticism are never the same as the thing criticized ; they are 
always about the writing. The opinions of criticism are derived from something 
else. Psychologically, the opinions may be stimulated in a variety of ways ; but 
in no instance are they the same thing as the source of stimulation. Thus 
descriptions, summaries, abstracts, digests, epitomes, and so forth of books, we 
do not ordinarily call criticism, since they merely reproduce, usually in more 
compact and convenient form, the ideas of the original. These things are 
often very useful in any critical act ; but criticism itself does not try to produce 
ideas ; it derives new ideas from existing data. 

Criticism is, in short, a form of argumentation, in which, as in argumen- 
tation, the powers of persuasion and personality may have much play. It is 
important to note that a true line of cleavage among the so-called forms of 
discourse is between narration, description, and exposition, on the one hand, 
and argumentation, on the other. The former deal mainly with what is, with 
happenings, observations, records, sensations, etc., presenting them mainly 
as objects or as explanations ; all these forms are interested in facts of what- 
ever kind. But argumentation, on the other hand, is interested in these facts 
merely as evidence for a set of derived facts ; it is always concerned with a new 
set of facts, technically called conclusions, which are never the same as the 
premises and are never the first-hand facts of observation, or record, or sen- 
sation, or memory. Argumentation may obviously enter into any act of narration, 
or description, or exposition, when any doubt arises or when any choice has 
to be made ; in which case it merely tries to derive a new fact that shall be 
useful in the writing of another class. 

Argumentation is not, like narration, description, and exposition, a vary- 
ing method of representing things ; it is a method of comparison, whereby 
something else, different from the objects compared, is the result. Derived 
facts, or conclusions, are its bone and marrow ; and it always arrives at these 
new facts by a series of comparisons. You compare one fact or one body of 
facts with another fact or body of facts to the end that you may reach some 
new fact. The antecedent facts are usually called evidence, and this evidence, 
to be good for anything, may itself have to be substantiated. Besides conclu- 
sions and evidence, there has to be the correct application of fact to fact, and 
of fact to conclusion, if we are to be sure that the conclusion is itself a fact. 
The application of fact to fact is a matter of logic ; and as material fallacies 




BREWSTER 20I 

arise when the facts are not right, so logical fallacies, of many picturesque 
descriptions, are nothing more than the failure of facts properly to apply to 
each other. It is manifest that in the actual world many things besides objec- 
tive fact stand for us as evidence ; and we argue from all sorts of positions, 
using prejudices, desires, opinions, say-so, hearsay, authority, and many other 
things much more freely than we do really sound evidence. And argumenta- 
tion, as we know it in our hourly lives, is full also of many different kinds of 
wrong application of fact to fact, and hence of unsound conclusions. But it 
is, however misdirected, always a system of comparison, the end of which is 
facts of a derived character. And the science of argumentation is the science 
of arriving at these facts by the truest processes that can be devised. 

This elementary account of argumentation is necessary to make clear how 
literary criticism is true to the more general argumentative type to which it 
belongs. Like most argument and discussion, literary criticism, when not 
merely description, is mainly a matter of say-so, wherein one's vanity or 
desires or prejudices or training become the premises, or the evidence, from 
which the critic leaps to a favorable or unfavorable finding. Between ante- 
cedents of this kind and a body of writing in question, some sort of compari- 
son is made, and a new thing results. And as in argumentation, new facts 
are engendered by the comparison between premises, principles, standards, 
and data of various kinds, on the one hand, and the particular things in 
debate, on the other, and as conclusions also arise from the merging of specific 
data in a generalization ; so, in criticism, the movement toward the desired 
findings may be of a deductive or of an inductive character. 

The matter will be clearer if treated in some detail. Much literary criticism, 
as actually carried on, is nothing more than a series of loosely used deductions, 
barely amounting to more than a series of somewhat bobtailed syllogisms. For 
example, it is very common to compare any work that one happens to be read- 
ing with what one already knows of that or of other subjects, — economic, 
political, scientific, historical, or what not, — or to compare it with work of 
the same class or by the same writer, and thence to arrive at a new opinion, 
— as that the data are wrong, or the point of view unusual and interesting, 
or the treatment broad, novel, and humane, and many other things. Thus 
Macaulay's rapid-fire attack on the poems of Montgomery is a series of points 
of comparison : Montgomery stole ideas and mutilated them in the steal- 
ing, his figures of speech are indiscriminate, he is guilty of false syntax, of 
stupidity, lack of harmony, bad taste, blasphemy, silly anatomy, physics, 
metaphysics, theology, and many other sins. Thus Johnson defines the 
''metaphysical poets" by comparing them with what he believed to be true of 
wit, of ''numbers," of sublimity, of "nature," and several other standards of 
respectable canonization. Thus nature lovers have been known to object to 
Shelley's descriptions, as in the Ode to the West Windy on the ground that 



202 THE LOGIC OF LITERARY CRITICISM 

they don't square with nature. Thus a poem may be measured against Rus- 
kin's theory of the pathetic fallacy, and found to be poetry of the first rank, 
or of the second rank, or not poetry at all. Thus, as there were in more 
antique criticism canons of judgment and some reliance on such categories 
as fancy and imagination, so there are in more modem work such premises 
of a stylistic or moral or practical kind as are represented by the words ease, 
limpid grace, lucidity, resen>e, affectation, hamionioiisncss, artifice, word- 
painting, and the thousand others which stand for some idea or image of 
what is desirable. 

Much, probably most, criticism as actually practised is of this loosely de- 
ductive type. It is certainly the easiest to produce. Nothing can be an act 
of less intellectual labor than to measure up your reading with your predilec- 
tions, or with knowledge and standards that you have somewhere acquired, and 
thence proclaim a resounding sentence, — provided you have sufficient literary 
skill to attach interest to your words. Our commonplace types of criticism 
are but various kinds of literary deduction. An exponent of the so-called 
" judicial " criticism, for example, is almost wholly engaged in deducing con- 
clusions from premises which are satisfactory to himself. If these be set, 
treated as irrevocable, if he appeals to the authority of canons and preceding 
critics, especially if he suppresses his reasoning by the way, his criticism is 
called " dogmatic." If he uses his syllogisms to undermine a vogue and fame, 
as did Macaulay and Jeffrey, he is termed " destructive," but the deductive 
type applies equally well to findings of a favorable character. For these terms 
do but name the result of a process of which the characteristic is the testing 
of data in the light of other material, true or alleged to be true. Even " im- 
pressionistic " criticism of the simplest sort conforms to this type ; for the 
impressionistic critic, in describing his own reactions, is comparing the data 
with which he is dealing with tastes and likings that have, as critical enginery, 
become personally standardized and generalized. 

The aspect of criticism that has just been described is much less variously 
interesting than what may be called inductive criticism. This is certainly so 
of the history of criticism ; for whereas deductive criticism would take account 
of a multitude of critical findings and the logic of the comparisons by which 
they came about, inductive criticism has to do with the establishment of the 
premises, principles, and standards by which particular works are judged, and 
with the sense and justness which go into the making of these. The way in 
which these standards originate is roughly this : A critic is struck by some 
detail or phenomenon or is impressed by some special passage. Thenceforth 
that phenomenon or passage begins to erect and establish itself in his mind 
either as the type and image of some sort of goodness or as a result, the 
causes of which are to be analyzed as a criterion for further judgment. Thus 
we read a passage that is not clear, and we come to have a type of obscurity 



BREWSTER 203 

and may make some generalization about clearness. Thus Lessing may be 
thought to have achieved his memorable distinction between poetry and paint- 
ing, and Burke to have analyzed the elements of the sublime and to have 
recognized a kind of literary procedure in which '' we yield to sympathy what 
we refuse to description." Thus we have Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Mr. 
Chesterton. Thus we have '' laws " of the short story and the drama. Thus 
Lamb, probably much moved by many passages in Shakspere, came to the 
conclusion, which furnished him with the central principle of a famous essay, 
that the plays were '' in themselves essentially so different from all others " 
that they could not be acted. It is evident that the number of such inspi- 
rations is limited only by the ingenuity of the human mind, and it is also 
true that most of them are stillborn. When they live, it is probably because 
they have been tested and have been found to be both true and useful, be- 
cause they appeal to the common sense, or because they are enforced by a 
persuasive literary skill. 

By this is not meant an exact description of the critical process. What 
happens in actual practice is rather that a critic takes these standards on 
authority, or because they are conventional and handy, or because they appeal 
to him as sensible, and all this without much thinking about these major 
premises. As a matter of fact, too, a critic is not unlikely to make up or to 
marshal his standards as he goes along. Lamb supplies a good example of 
this practice. Possessed of the idea that Shakspere is essentially different from 
all other dramatists, he proceeded to devise premises from which he could 
deduce the conclusion that the plays could not be acted. Macaulay, observing 
some instances of asininity in Montgomery, picks up a standard — of gram- 
mar, of reverence, of sound anatomy, of clearness, of simplicity — wherewith 
to *' ascertain " the failing. Another writer, dealing with the same subject, 
might have picked up a different set of criteria, getting some of them from 
his knowledge of other things, from his likes and dislikes, and endowing them 
all with apparent reasons. Walter Bagehot, stimulating critic, in order better 
to describe Charles Dickens, draws up the classes of the '' regular " and the 
" irregular " genius ; in another instance it becomes convenient to classify 
novels into the ** ubiquitous" and the '* sentimental " ; or again, Wordsworth, 
Tennyson, and Browning being interesting persons, it is handy to make them 
types of '' pure, ornate, and grotesque " art, and then to describe them in the 
light of these classes. Pater, disdaining the older distinctions between fancy 
and imagination, finds a sounder distinction to make between the more intense 
and the less intense ; this is convenient in the criticism of Wordsworth, but 
when it comes to accounting for Charles Lamb, an old distinction between wit 
and humor has the floor. And generally speaking, we do not to-day cite Aristotle 
and Lord Kames, but rather make up new ideas with that fertility of invention 
which is presumed to be one of the great glories of the present century. 



204 THE LOGIC OF LITERARY CRITICISM 

The foregoing is merely a description of the critical process, not any con- 
demning of it. The description may be carried further by showing how some 
of the familiar types of criticism fall under the head of inductive form. When 
one accepts authority as a standard of judgment or relies on principles and 
canons that have been in vogue, he is simply doing what he would be doing 
if he accepted authority anywhere else, — in religion, in law, in science, in the 
auction room, or in the caucus. That is, he accepts the induction that somebody 
else has made, and is in consequence deducing results from previous accept- 
ances. When, however, he indulges in a bit of interpretation, and tries to tell 
what a thing means other than what it says on the face of it, there is a con- 
structive act. A similar act of construction is performed when a critic, or any- 
body else, attempts to make up a generalization from any particular body of 
data. Most of the so-called " constructive " criticism, and almost all interpre- 
tation, is inductive in type. 

We are now in a position to consider the logic of the matter, though this 
again can be treated only with great brevity. With the so-called "impressionistic" 
type of criticism we need have little to do ; since impressionism is somewhat of a 
law unto itself, and so long as its findings are delivered in an entertaining way 
there is little to be said. But many attempts have been made to treat criticism 
in a more scientific way, that is, to get at facts, to resolve new facts from writings. 
This is a very large matter. Only one small part of it can here be indicated, 
— the application of logic to the types of criticism that have been described. 

This logic is, as usual, and like such things as correctness in writing and 
composition, best seen in the negative, that is, in the fallacies. No full anal- 
ysis of the critical fallacies has, so far as I am aware, ever been made, nor 
is it possible to do anything like that in the present limits. A few illustrative 
instances, however, may serve. Perhaps most common of all critical fallacies 
is that of the false example or illustration. A particular passage that for some 
reason has struck the critic is not infrequently chosen as generally represent- 
ative, whereas the truth of the matter is, that unless bolstered by other evi- 
dence, such a passage is representative only of itself. But, on the strength of 
a few such passages, a work is often totally condemned. This fallacy is of 
such frequent occurrence in book reviewing that for convenience it might be 
called the reviewer's fallacy, just as certain well-known maladies are known 
by the names of the discoverers or first exponents thereof. It amounts, of 
course, to a bad induction or generalization, in that the critic jumps from a 
particular to a general without due regard to the laws by which leaps may logi- 
cally be made. Much reviewing, from this point of view, is as absurd as it 
would be to charge a railroad with habitual lateness simply because your train 
happened to be behind time one morning. 

But bad inductions are not confined to reviewing and such comparatively 
hasty work. It is possible, for example, — it actually has been done, — to 



BREWSTER 205 

select a group of novels which will delightfully substantiate a theory of the 
" evolution " or the '' development " of the novel, which would be quite dif- 
ferent from the theory which another set of novels would reveal. It is an 
easy and common act to draw a circle around some part of human activity and 
label the result with the more general names of 'Mife," ''art," "evolution," 
or some other pleasing term of criticism. Much of the discussion of the 
modern short story is nothing more than an isolating and describing of some 
characteristics which the form probably possesses, — as that it has unity, point, 
etc., — and thence jumping to the generalization that the form has these things, 
not in common with many other forms, but exclusively. Attempts to define 
poetry are likely to illustrate this fallacy. Thus, when Poe would have poems 
limited to about one hundred lines, on the ground that the inspiration cannot 
be sustained over a longer space, and when he considers Death to be the most 
beautiful and appropriate of poetical subjects, the first thought that occurs to 
a reader is that the theory may possibly not square with the facts. 

Here are some other instances of bad generalization of different sorts. 
When Dryden, in a moment of enthusiasm, says of Chaucer that '' not a single 
character escaped him," the saying can be reconciled with the demands of 
common sense and logic only by supposing Dryden to have meant that of all 
the characters that Chaucer treated not a single one escaped him. It is very 
difficult to be certain that Chaucer '' has taken into the compass of his Canter- 
bury Tales the various manners and humours (as we now call them) of the 
whole English nation, in his age." The chances are against it, even if we did 
not know of other characters in other writers. Or again, when Dryden, in the 
same famous Preface to the Fables, said that '' it were an easy matter to pro- 
duce some thousands of his [Chaucer's] verses which are lame for want of 
half a foot, and sometimes a whole one, and which no pronunciation can make 
otherwise," he evidently generalized from that lack of knowledge which an 
alleged happier age has since made good. When Mr. Frederic Harrison calls 
attention to the '' consonance " of Ruskin, that is, to the recurrence of similar 
vowel and consonantal sounds as an element of excellence in prose, he does 
a very interesting thing, but the observation should be cautiously pressed with- 
out more proof than is given ; for, since the language has only about forty 
sounds and twenty-six signs to represent them, some repetition of sounds is 
unavoidable in any such voluminous writer as Ruskin. When Lamb most 
persuasively argues that Shakspere cannot be acted, he loses sight of the 
historical fact that the plays were written to be acted, he forgets that there is 
such a thing as good acting as well as bad acting, and he neglects the other 
important fact that the tragical and spiritual happenings of which he so much 
approves, and which he thinks mutilated by stage representation, can be repre- 
sented only by words and pantomime, either on the stage or in the imaginings 
that reading may conjure up. 



2o6 THE LOGIC OF LITERARY CRITICISM 

It would doubtless be possible to find instances in literary criticism of nearly 
all the types of logical fallacy that are classified in books of formal logic. A 
few may be indicated. Begging the question is a very common practice. A re- 
cent writer is inclined to take exception to George Meredith on the ground 
that he did not have " temperament," the term being vaguely defined by some- 
thing possessed by Thackeray and George Eliot, among other novelists, and 
hence assumed to be a desirable thing. The real point is, however, to show 
that the absence of this temperament is a drawback to Meredith, and this can- 
not be assumed by any summary handling of the word. Arnold often supplies 
examples of this kind of fallacy ; here is one : " The accent of such verse as 

In la sua volontade h nostra pace . . . 

is altogether, beyond Chaucer's reach; we praise him, but we feel that this 
accent is out of question for him. It may be said that it was necessarily out 
of the reach of any poet in the England of that stage of growth. Possibly ; 
but we are to adopt a real, not a historic, estimate of poetry," etc. {T/ie Study 
of Poetry). Well, nobody says that Chaucer did the same thing that Dante 
did, and it is conventional and possibly reasonable to give the latter the palm 
of greatness ; but what is the '' real " thing in poetry } Arnold uses the term 
in other writings also ; in this essay it is set in opposition to the " historical 
estimate " and the " personal estimate " and has some advantage in being 
illustrated by the well-known " touchstones." But it does not appear that the 
touchstones of high excellence are chosen on other ground than Arnold's own 
personal predilections ; certainly there is no hint of any more objective defi- 
nition than is supplied by the " personal estimate " of many generations of 
readers. What Arnold is doing, then, is, as in most of his criticism, to point 
out, with great impressiveness, a distinction in result which is fairly evident, 
and then to assume the very thing to be demonstrated, that one result is better 
than another. 

He also gives a good illustration of the fallacy of false cause or false sign, 
a kind oi post hoc {in hoc would be more accurate), ergo propter hoc fallacy, 
in his essay on Gray, a thing alleged, in comparison with Johnson's Life of 
Gray, to be very broad and catholic. The reason, according to Arnold, that 
" Gray never spoke out " is that '' he fell on an age of prose." But logically, 
before coming to such a fine conclusion, it would be worth while to ascer- 
tain whether or not Gray " fell on an age " of dyspepsia, or comfort, or lazi- 
ness, or many of the other conditions that have deterred people from producing 
work which it is fancied they might have been capable of. Gray did not pro- 
duce a great amount ; that is probably true ; but it is unwarranted to '' leap 
to a so-called cause " and be satisfied. The fact, however, in the instance 
in question, is probably more important than the reason, the finding of which 
is a form of amusement. 



BREWSTER 207 

Here is a good example of irrelevant conclusion. " The love-dialogues of 
Romeo and Juliet," says Lamb in his essay on the tragedies of Shakspere, 
" those silver-sweet sounds of lovers' tongues by night ; the more intimate and 
sacred sweetness of nuptial colloquy between an Othello or a Posthumus with 
their married wives, all those delicacies which are so delightful in the reading, 
as when we read of those youthful dalliances in Paradise — 

As beseem'd 
Fair couple link'd in happy nuptial league, 
Alone : 

by the inherent fault of stage representation, how are these things sullied and 
turned from their very nature by being exposed to a large assembly ; when 
such speeches as Imogen addresses to her lord, come drawling out of the 
mouth of a hired actress, whose courtship, though nominally addressed to the 
personated Posthumus, is manifestly aimed at the spectators, who are to judge 
of her endearments and her returns of love." If the criticism is at all just, 
a matter not at present in point, then the audience and the actors are not, as 
Lamb seems to imply, the guilty ones, but the great bard himself who wrote 
these scenes with the intention of having people see them and actors repre- 
sent them. Lamb's own conclusion is a non sequitiir. 

Mr. Robertson {Poe) writes thus : '' It is Mr. Henry James who, in a pas- 
sage already quoted from, makes the remark : ' With all due respect to the 
very original genius of the author of the Tales of Mystery, it seems to me 
that to take him with more than a certain degree of seriousness is to lack 
seriousness oneself. An enthusiasm for Poe is the mark of a decidedly primi- 
tive stage of reflection.' One cannot guess with any confidence as to the 
precise ' degree of seriousness ' which Mr. James would concede ; or how much 
seriousness he brings to bear on his own attachments ; or what the stage of 
reflection was at which he cultivated an enthusiasm for, say, Theophile Gautier. 
One therefore hesitates to put one's self in competition with Mr. James in the 
matter of seriousness of character." The remark that Mr. James's '' degree 
of seriousness " is a vague phrase is a legitimate criticism ; but not so the rest 
of the passage. It is irrelevant, an argumentum ad homine'in, good enough 
for a lawyer scoring points, but really apart from the issue and an obscuring 
of it. Mr. James's criticism of Poe is probably not particularly sound, but the 
remarks on his liking for Gautier or his seriousness of character have nothing 
to do with their soundness. Mr. Robertson is inclined to write criticism as if 
he were composing a lawyer's brief, and may occasionally follow the lawyer's 
advice to '' take it out of the other fellow." 

The foregoing examples illustrate from one point of view the meaning of 
the term logic as applied to literary criticism, but of this important side of the 
subject no full account has yet been given. Looked at in another way, many 
of the improvements that have been made in critical method are really the 



2o8 THE LOGIC OF LITERARY CRITICISM 

application of more exact and reasonable logical processes to this interesting 
pursuit of establishing opinions. A glance at the history of literary criticism 
shows many improvements. To-day, for example, we are inclined to define, 
and hence to isolate, from the body of matter which enters into any elaborate 
and conscientious critical act, certain processes which lie on the borderland of 
the comparative methods that have been described above ; and consequently 
we find such types as descriptive criticism, on the one hand, which merely 
recounts data and phenomena, and, on the other, collective criticism, which 
states as data opinions about literature. Large parts of Pater's criticism approx- 
imate the former type ; any statement of common opinion or the growth of a 
vogue, as, for example, Sir Sidney Lee's chapter on " Shakespeare's Posthu- 
mous Reputation " (A Life of William Shakespeare), stands for the latter. A 
great gain is made, also, when we recognize that certain opinions, of the so- 
called impressionistic sort, attempt to be no more than a law unto themselves ; 
for thereby we are enabled to recognize the possibility of a divergent type to 
which more scientific methods may be applicable. 

Or again, the modern study of forms and genres may be regarded as a 
clearing of the decks for the action of logic. Comparisons will not be made 
between things that are not properly comparable. We compare things with 
things of the same class or with the purpose for which they were written, and 
can thereby bring the logical processes into exacter limits and to more definite 
issues. Our modern calling for totality as opposed to the isolated finding — 
what is that but a drift from what has been called the reviewer's fallacy toward 
a fairer examination of the phenomena .? The decadence of polemic, too, in 
the history of criticism, is simply a gain in the relevancy of judgment. The 
attempts to account for literature in terms of contemporary life, and to base 
the value of it on human values and interests rather than on a priori and aca- 
demic criteria, are discoveries of the highest importance, and are fundamental 
to the logic of literary criticism, as to any reasonable logic. 

At best, literary criticism remains, and will always remain, a provoking and 
inexact science, however entertaining as a pursuit. It is a creative art and has 
few bounds but those of personality. About all that a science of criticism can 
do is to check up judgment in the making or in the revision, just as the knowl- 
edge of rhetoric can do little more than tinker with the common, everyday 
act of writing. It is too obvious to need saying that good criticism, like any 
other good thing, depends first of all on mental vigor. The theory of the sub- 
ject can merely tame and prune the untutored result. That more attention, 
however, than has heretofore been given may be properly bestowed on the 
broad application of logic to literary . criticism, it has been the aim of this 
article briefly to indicate. 



THE NARRATIVE ART OF THE OLD FRENCH 

FABLIAUX 

Walter Morris Hart 

The Old French fabliaux were comic tales in verse. They seem to have 
been composed mainly in the north of France, as early as the twelfth, 
and during the thirteenth and part of the fourteenth centuries. The ma- 
jority are anonymous ; their authous were, for the most part, professional 
jongleurs, unfrocked monks or priests, expelled students, half -educated 
** clerks." But individual authorship signifies nothing ; the fabliaux are abso- 
lutely impersonal in style, technique, and subject matter. And yet there is, in 
their narrative art, evidence of a certain self -consciousness. Jongleurs declared 
that their stories were to be brief, interesting, new, that their purpose was to 
make people laugh, to transform anger to good humor and so put an end to 
quarrels. They intended these comic tales for public recitation ; and these 
two factors, comic purpose and oral presentation, determine the whole econ- 
omy of fabliau technique. For a ''funny story" must be well told. The art 
of a tale of adventure, a tale of ghosts or of fairies, matters very little. But 
the only justification for the existence of a *' funny story " is the laugh at the 
proper place. This requires nice adjustment of means to ends, self-conscious 
art. The end must be seen from the beginning ; each step must be remem- 
bered at the right moment ; and it is fatal to forget the '' point." Public 
presentation enforced the necessity of this carefully calculated art. For the 
jongleur, face to face with his audience, knew at every instant whether he was 
succeeding or not. His technique, like the technique of the dramatist, was 
directly and absolutely controlled by his public. Consciously and constantly 
aiming at comic effects, subjected for some two hundred years to immediate 
and emphatic criticism, the fabliau inevitably came to be the best narrative art 
of the Middle Ages. It must be remembered, however, that it was planned, 
not, like the high comedies of Shakspere, to awaken thoughtful laughter, but 
to produce an immediate and momentary effect ; and it must be read to-day, 
if read at all, with no less charity than last night's after-dinner joke. 

Immediate effects are not produced by long, complex stories requiring 
summaries, explanations, transitions. As a means to its own ends the fabliau 
was likely, then, to be — and, as a matter of fact, was — conscientious in the 
observance of the unities. A single day, more often a single night, sufficed 
for the development of the action. It was time enough, manifestly, for a wife 

209 



2IO ART OF THE OLD FRENCH FABLIAUX 

to outwit a jealous husband ; for a husband disguised as a priest to hear his 
wife's confession; for poor students to be avenged upon a thieving miller 
or an unwilling hostess. Such brevity of time did not permit much shifting 
of scenes, nor did a simple plot require it. A house with its immediate sur- 
roundings, or a house alone, or even a single room, sufficed for the main 
action of the typical fabliau. This concentration of attention upon a cir- 
cumscribed space revealed a surprising wealth of detail, which came to be 
inserted in the story sometimes because the action required it, sometimes, 
doubtless, because of a consciousness of the ease with which an audience 
grasps the familiar, or of the pleasure that it takes in it for its own sake. It 
is possible to reconstruct an astonishingly complete picture of the thirteenth- 
century house and its furnishings, of the customs connected with them, and 
of the primitive conditions resulting from the use of a single room for all 
domestic purposes. If such pictures are interesting to us, they were ten times 
more so to an audience in daily and hourly contact with the reality. 

No less was their pleasure in the recognition, in the persons of the 
fabliaux, of beings like themselves. A laugh at the expense of a stupid hus- 
band gulled by a clever wife is all the louder if the laugher can imagine as 
prototypes of the pair his own next-door neighbors ; a sense of superiority to 
an acquaintance, if it is unvexed by sympathy, is far more exhilaratingly comic 
than the sense of superiority to a mere fictitious person. This sense of supe- 
riority was sometimes moral, sometimes intellectual, sometimes both ; for the 
persons of the fabliaux were all, judged by absolute standards, evil, and many 
'[of them stupid as well. Sometimes they were of the upper class ; but for the 
most part they were mere citizens or peasants. Commonly they were three in 
number, — though perhaps with others in the background, — the time-honored 
group of wife, lover, and husband. That there were, in the fourteenth cen- 
tury, a thousand good wives to one bad one we have the word of Chaucer's 
; . » , Miller. For the fabliaux the figures must be reversed. There was, indeed, the 
r>'^ ■ heroine of The Pursefull of Sense, who could remain true to a ruined hus- 
band. And there was Isabeau, the young and pretty wife of Constant du 
Hamel, who rejected priest, provost, and forester, and refused their gifts. 
But the prevailing characteristics of the fabliau heroines were faithlessness 
and cunning. Three wives found a ring and agreed that it should be hers 
who best gulled her husband. One persuaded her lord to drink too deeply, 
and dressed him as a monk ; he conceived that God intended him for the 
religious life and entered a monastery. The second, sent to fry some eels, 
went off with her lover and returned at the proper moment a week later with 
the eels just fried. No one would believe the husband's story, and he was 
confined as a madman. The third disguised herself as the niece of a friend, 
and persuaded her husband to give her away in marriage to her lover. Which 
won the ring ? There were many other candidates for that honor. A wife. 



HART 2 1 1 

on her husband's unexpected return, concealed her lover beneath a tub bor- 
rowed from a neighbor. When the neighbor demanded its immediate return 
and the husband acceded, the wife saved the situation by bribing a passer-by 
to shout '' Fire ! " A wife, surprised by her husband, concealed her lover 
behind the door. ''What would you do," she asked her husband, '*if you 
found a man in the house } " *' Kill him," he answered, drawing his sword. 
" O no you would n't, for I 'd fling a cloak over your head, like this, and he 'd 
escape." The lover took the hint. 

In the typical fabliau a priest plays the part of lo^ er. Usually he plays at 
the same time the part of victim of the comic intrigue, owing his downfall 
more frequently to the wife than to the husband. And if he escapes he has 
to thank her cleverness rather than his own. Clearly the jongleurs rated his 
intelligence no higher than his morality. The young clerks, on the other 
hand, were uniformly clever, uniformly successful in their intrigues. This 
was doubtless because they were themselves, as Bedier suggests, often the 
authors of the fabliaux. Readers of Chaucer need not be reminded of their 
doings in Tke Reeve s Tale and its Old French prototypes. Jongleurs them- 
selves, too, sometimes played the role of hero, as in the pleasant story of the 
poor minstrel who died and went to hell, played at dice with St. Peter for 
the souls of the damned, temporarily entrusted to his keeping, lost them every 
one, and was thereupon expelled from hell and welcomed into heaven. If, 
then, we are to laugh at priests and women, with clerks and jongleurs, we are 
.to laugh at the stupidity of husbands. They were the born dupes of Jheir 
wives ; they could be readily persuaded not to believe the evidence of their 
senses ; their every indulgence in the luxury of jealousy or suspicion was, by 
a kind of poetic justice, severely punished. Ludicrously incredible, with the 
exaggeration characteristic of modern American humor, is the story of the 
peasant, who, persuaded that he was dead, saw his wife with the priest, and 
cried out : '' You rascally priest ! You may well thank God that I am dead ; for, 
were I not, I 'd slay you with my club." 

It is, then, of type, rather than of individual, that the jongleur makes use 
to produce his immediate comic effects. For his purposes these types are re- 
vealed clearly enough by actions. He may add, for emphasis, a conventional 
epithet or two ; beyond this he seldom goes. He has, indeed, an eye for 
characteristic attitude ; he adds a charm to his stories by such instantaneous 
pictures as that of Richeut on her way to mass, with shining red face, in all 
the bourgeois dignity of her Sunday best, her new gown, parti-colored cloak, 
her train dragging in the dust. But for the most part descriptions are beside 
the mark, and the jongleur indulged in them but seldom. 

The fabliaux were not psychological studies ; yet, dealing, as they neces- 
sarily did, with comic disappointments, comic contrasts between expectation 
and fulfilment, between illusion and reality, they had inevitably to emphasize, 



2 12 ART OF THE OLD FRENCH FABLIAUX 

though not to study deeply, the elemental passions of,lpve, greed, jealousy, 
hatred. It will be already evident that love, love of the baser sort, was the 
mainspring of most of the action of the fabliaux. Beside it, in these natural- 
istic tales, and of almost equal importance as a moving force, stands an 
insatiable hunger, a very replica, doubtless, of the wretched authors' longing 
for food, sharpened by their envy of well-fed priests and monks. The jongleurs 
very naturally delighted in such wiles as those which won for a poor clerk 
roast and cakes and wine, doubly relished because destined for the priest. 
They liked, too, to satirize the ecj^lesiastical greed of gold, and told co7i amove 
stories like that of the man who escaped punishment for burying his dead 
ass in consecrated ground when he made it apparent that the animal had 
bequeathed a round sum to the church. 

Intrigues, thus set in motion by base love, or by greed of food or of gold, 
were sometimes, perhaps in a spirit of parody of romance or pious tale, carried 
out by means of supernatural agencies, real or pretended. A magic mantle 
revealed the hidden infidelity of the wives of King Arthur's knights. A 
peasant after death was miraculously conscious of those about him. A jealous 
husband was persuaded that he saw only the apparition of a lover with his 
wife, presaging his own death ; a faithless wife that her "snow-born " child 
had melted in the sun ; a hungry priest that a holy image had deigned to eat 
his roast goose. 

So far, then, as motives and emotions were important for his purposes the 
jongleur traced out and emphasized them. He delighted to contrast passion- 
ate jealousy with stupid confidence. He delighted no less to emphasize the 
wrath of the disappointed, to dwell upon its outward signs, its dramatic ex- 
pression. No more nor less than typical is the psychologizing in The Knight 
who confessed his Wife. It was his great love for his lady that led the 
knight himself to go for the prior whom she desired to hear her confession. 
His thought of her, as he rode, easily became a curiosity to know how perfect 
she really was ; and of this curiosity came naturally the plan to act in the 
place of the prior as her confessor. When he heard her confession he 
" wrinkled his nose in wrath," and wished that sudden death might overtake 
her ; he trembled with anger and with hatred of her whom he had loved so 
much and prized so highly ; the thought of vengeance alone comforted him ; 
when he heard her giving orders as usual he looked at her, shook his head 
wrathfully, and threatened to kill her. The variety in methods is noteworthy, 
— epithet, speech, "pantomime," "physiological psychology." Nice obser- 
vation must have supplied the nose wrinkling and the head shaking in wrath. 
And the greater the emphasis of these symptoms, obviously the greater the 
comic effect. 

No less obvious should now be the fact that it is not primarily the comic 
effect of character or of the emotions that interested the jongleurs. Plot, 



HART 213 

action^ Jntrigue, these jwere what they cared for; the fabliau was abs^ys first v 
of all a sto ry. Normally somewhere near the length of a Maupassant conte^ 
this story varied from mere anecdote to highly elaborated episode. But with- 
out exception it was a single episode, a single adventure. And usually the 
three parts, beginning, middle, and end, were clearly articulated. The middle, 
the episode itself, consisted sometimes of a single intrigue, the single action 
of intriguer versus victim, sometimes of two intrigues, action and reaction, 
intriguer versus intriguer, cause and effect. In the story of Gombert the 
miller's wife is betrayed by a misplaced cradle ; and in this form it is retold 
by Chaucer and by La Fontaine. In the story of The Miller and the Two 
Clerks the miller first steals the poor clerks' corn and horse, and thereupon 
the cradle is misplaced in the interests of poetic justice. It was this form of 
the story that Chaucer's Reeve retold. Involving the conflict of cunning 
versus cunning it has manifest advantages over the intriguer-and-victim type. 
It arouses rnore curiosity as to the outcome, seems a fairer fight, and comes 
nearer satisfying the human instinct for poetic ju„siice. It is not unlikely that 
we have in the story of The Miller and the Two Clei'ks simply a later form 
of the Gombert story, produced by prefixing to the earlier form the intrigue 
of the thieving miller. And this may well be a type of fabliau development. 
It is thus because the second intrigue once stood alone that it does in general 
retain its supremacy, is always conceived as the more important, and is always 
the longer and more elaborate of the two. As a result the fabliaux are invari- 
ably well-proportioned ; the jongleur never exhausts his powers upon the first 
event to treat the second hastily and summarily. 

This greater length of the second event is always due to the presence of 
more dialogue and more details of action. It is almost wholly by these means 
that the fabliau scenes are elaborated. Only the briefest of the fabliaux are 
entirely without conversation ; most of them are one half or more in this 
dramatic form. The speeches are short and carry forward the action, con- 
veying, at the same time, information in regard to the preliminary situation. 
Irt- general they are vigorous, lively, and realistic in effect. They are inter- 
spersed with lively and realistic incidents, so that a typically elaborated fabliau 
reads like a scene in a farce, with copious stage directions. Here, for example, 
is a page from St, Peter and the Mifistrel : (They had been throwing dice 
for the souls of the damned ; the jongleur had just accused the saint of cheat- 
ing and had seized the money from the board) '' St. Peter, without delay, 
caught him around the waist and forced him to drop the coins. He, though 
terrified at heart, seized and pulled the other's beard. St. Peter tore his clothes 
from his back. He never felt greater sorrow than when he saw his own flesh 
appear down to his belt. Thus they pulled and tore and beat and pounded 
one another. Then the jongleur saw that all his strength was of no avail, 
that he was neither so large nor so powerful as his adversary, and that if he 



2 14 ART OF THE OLD FRENCH FABLIAUX 

continued the struggle his clothing would be so torn that he could never 
wear it more. 

"'Sire,' said he, 'let us make peace; we have measured our strength 
one against the other ; let us now go on playing in all amity, if you are so 
inclined.' 

" Said St. Peter : ' I am much offended at your accusing me of cheating 
and at your calling me a rogue.' 

" ' Sire,' said he, ' I spoke a folly which I now repent ; doubt it not. And 
you have served me ill as well ; you have torn my clothes, already ragged 
enough. Let us cry quits.' 

"And St. Peter said, ' I agree to it.' 

"And they exchanged the kiss of peace." 

As for the intrigues themselves, the nature of the comic disappointments 
and catastrophes which they effect will already have been sufficiently illus- 
trated. For the modern reader their cruelty, their reliance upon pain to 
provoke the laugh, is perhaps most striking. Beatings, wounds, physical de- 
formity, even blindness, and even death itself may be made sources of 
comic effect. Thus three humpbacked minstrels who had mocked a jealous 
husband, an ugly cripple like themselves, were concealed in three chests to 
save them from his wrath. There, unfortunately, they died of suffocation, 
and the wife had now to dispose of the three corpses. She bribed a poor 
peasant to fling one into the river, and when he returned for his reward con- 
fronted him with the second, pretending that he had not performed his task. 
Thus also she disposed of the third. But when the irate peasant, on his third 
return from the river, met the husband at his door, he supposed him to be 
the same corpse on his way for the third time back to his chest. Whereupon 
he carried him, despite cries and struggles, to the middle of the bridge, and, 
to make sure of him this time, tied a great stone to his neck and flung him , 
over. He was a peculiarly jealous and cruel husband and doubtless deserved 
his fate. But even in other cases it is possible for the modern reader to ad- 
just himself to the fabliau point of view. The best of us at times laugh at 
pain, deformity, stupidity, drunkenness, poverty in rags, and even at death. 
Taste in the comic varies from age to age, but it depends still more upon 
momentary point of view, upon the mood induced by the author's treatment 
of his subject, and it is easy to exaggerate the difference between ourselves 
and audiences of the thirteenth century. 

It is no less easy to exaggerate the contrast of morals and manners of the 
society which they seem to reflect with the morals and manners of our own 
contemporaries. Certainly the realism of the fabliaux is one of their most 
striking characteristics. They give us astonishingly vivid glimpses of bour- 
geois or peasant dwellings, of the dress and habits and customs of those who 
lived in them. But their purpose was, first, laughter, and truth and vividness 



HART 



215 



only in so far as they might beget laughter. Virtue and intelligence are not 
amusing ; hence vice and stupidity are the inevitable choice. Comic effect 
depends upon the contrast of these with the norm of morality, the norm of 
intelligence. Comic tales themselves imply the existence of such norms, imply 
that, at least ideally, priests and women were not so vicious and husbands 
not so stupid as they were painted. While, then, the realism of the fabliaux 
is undoubted, it must be remembered that it was never an end in itself, but 
was always in the service of comic effect, a limited and irresponsible realism, 
never complete or thoroughgoing, with no rights of its own, but only to be 
employed or cast aside at will. 

The fabliau did not pretend to be a transcript of life ; it made, in fact, no 
pretensions whatever ; it jvas an end in itself, or had, at least, no other end 
than Jo_amuse. Composed, in some instances, by clerks, it showed a certain 
partiality for them, perhaps ; otherwise it had no friends and no enemies ; it 
was neither sympathetic nor satirical. It cannot be conceived as an attack upon 
any one rank or class. Those relatively low in rank were, manifestly, the 
most convenient victims of intrigues ; and if the vicious person were a priest, 
vice could be the more sharply contrasted with standards of virtue ; erotic 
adventures still provoke a laugh, irrespective of other sources of comic effect, 
— hence, one may conjecture, a good part of the fabliau '' scorn of women." 
But priest and peasants, knights and citizens, might often exchange roles 
without affecting the nature of the plot. And the fabliau urged no reforms, 
defended no causes, attacked no general vices. 

To so general a statement there must, of course, be exceptions. The 
observation of the jongleurs was too keen, the organic elaboration of the 
fabliau required a scrutiny too careful of causes and relations, for them to 
remain wholly blind to the moral implications of their plots. And to be 
wholly silent in regard to these implications was not the mediaeval way. Of 
the people, living among them, and writing for them, the jongleurs delighted 
to repeat their proverbs and sententious philosophy. Their tales are strewn, 
too, with their own shrewd observations, and sometimes even begin with a 
brief moral essay which the action is to illustrate. A kind of poetic justice, 
moreoyer, is the rule : it is always a jealous husband, one who beats his wife, 
suspects her continually, or locks her in a tower, who is made the victim of 
the intrigue ; it is a listener who suffers through what he hears ; a thieving 
miller who is punished in the persons of his wife and daughters, — as the 
former tells him. But the fabliau may go even further ; on debatable ground, 
and perilously near exemphtm or moral tale, it may seem consciously to aim 
at satire of general vices. La Bourse pleine de sens exhibits to a ruined man 
the contrast of faithless mistress and faithful wife. Another tale illustrates 
Covetousness and Envy. St. Martin will grant any wish made by either, the 
other to have twice as much. Covetousness insists that Envy begin, whereupon 



2l6 



ART OF THE OLD FRENCH FABLIAUX 



I 



Envy wishes that he himself may lose one eye. La Hotisse partie exemplifies 
filial ingratitude. It concerns three generations, grandfather, father, and son. 
The father is about to turn out of the house the grandfather, to whom he 
owes all that he has. At first he refuses even necessary clothing and at last 
consents to let the old man have only a worn-out horse blanket, for which he 
sends the little son. The boy returns with but half the blanket. When his 
father scolds him he replies : " I see that you desire the immediate death of 
my grandfather ; I am only trying to help you. As for the other half of the 
blanket, it shall not be wasted. I shall save it carefully to give you when you 
grow old." 

Because, then, of the demands of public presentation upon comic purpose, 
the fabliau was forced to nice calculation of effects : to ^asp the_story as a 
whole, seeing the end from the beginning and the relation of part to part ; to 
place this story in real and vivid settings ; to begin the study of character and 
of mental states and motives, and to make these immediately interesting by 
portraying them in terms of concrete narrative ; and to interpret the whole 
with a bit of shrewd or whimsically comic moralizing. All the elements of 
narration are thus elaborated, and elaborated concretely. Widen and deepen 
this elaboration, extend it to deal with serious subject matter, write prose in 
place of verse, and the result is the modern short story. 






GERMANISMS IN ENGLISH SPEECH 
GOD'S ACRE 

J. A. Walz 

The English language possesses in a remarkable degree the capacity to 
incorporate and naturalize words taken from foreign languages. This phe- 
nomenon attracted the attention of foreign scholars long before the rise of 
the scientific study of language. Leibnitz, intensely interested in matters 
linguistic as in every other sphere of human endeavor, has a characteristic 
remark on this point in his Unvorgreifliche Gedanken (ed. by Schmarsow, 
Strassburg, 1877, p. 68). In this essay, which was written to point out the 
best methods towards the improvement of the German language, he recom- 
mends the judicious borrowing of expressive words from other languages, 
especially from those closely related to German. For the naturalization of 
foreign words, according to Leibnitz, is as useful to a language as the natura- 
lization of foreign citizens to a state. '' The English language," he continues, 
" has adopted everything, and if every language were to demand back its 
own, English would fare as ^sop's crow." The Swiss critic Bodmer points 
to this quality of the English language as one of special value to the poet. 
'' English has of old had a strong liking for adopting and retaining the ex- 
pressive and significant words of foreign languages " {Critische Schriften, 
J. Stuck, Ziirich, 1742, p. 78). Bodmer is here discussing Milton's style 
and vocabulary in Paradise Lost ; he is thinking chiefly of the Latinisms in 
phrase and construction that give to the language of that poem much of its 
singular energy and splendor. 

Much study has been given to the different elements of English speech in 
the older periods, but the development of the English vocabulary since 1 500 
has received comparatively little attention. Modern English possesses a 
poetic vocabulary of astonishing variety and richness, a vocabulary which in 
many ways differs greatly from prose usage. Neither German nor French 
has a similar body of words set aside by the genius of the language for the 
exclusive use of the poet. Yet little is known about the origins of this vocab- 
ulary. To attempt to trace the ordinary word to its first source would be 
a hopeless task, for most words were used long before they appear in litera- 
ture. Poetic words, however, were first used by the poets, no matter where 
they may have got them, and as by far the greater part of English poetry 
since 1500 was written down and has survived to this day, it should be 

217 



2i8 GERMANISMS IN ENGLISH SPEECH: GOD'S ACRE 

possible to trace at least a good part of this vocabulary. A most disappointing 
chapter in Mr. Bradley's Making of English is the last one on " Some Makers 
of English." We all know that Shakspere is the greatest of English poets ; 
most of us would assign to Milton the second place ; both must have had great 
influence upon the English language, but more than that we do not learn about 
these two " makers of English." Mr. Bradley, indeed, mentions many phrases 
and lines found in their writings that have passed into common use or have 
become popular quotations, but what words they have actually added to the 
stock of English or to the poetic vocabulary does not appear. Only two words 
are given as being undoubtedly of Miltonic origin : pandcemottiiim and anarch. 
It is not Mr. Bradley's fault that the chapter is disappointing. To Milton and 
Shakspere applies equally the remark which Mr. Bradley makes about some 
of the lesser lights of English literature : '' We cannot attempt to give here 
any account of their respective contributions [to the English vocabulary], be- 
cause the preliminary investigations on which such an account must be based 
have not yet been made." Yet there is no better tool for making such " pre- 
liminary investigations " in any modern language than the New English 
Dictionary, whose superiority to Grimm's Dentsches Worterbnch lies chiefly 
in the wealth of quotations covering all the periods of English and in the sys- 
tematic effort at giving the earliest possible quotation for every word or usage. 
Here is indeed a wide field for English scholarship with much virgin soil. 

We are not only quite ignorant about the makers of modern English, we 
are also very imperfectly acquainted with the influence of foreign languages 
upon modern English. There can be no doubt that German has contributed 
fewer words to the modern English vocabulary than any of the other great 
literary tongues of Europe. Mr. Bradley mentions ''amongst the very few 
words that English owes to High German " the names of eight minerals as a 
reminder '' that it was in Germany that mineralogy first attained the rank of 
a science." The list is in no sense intended to be complete. It could easily 
be enlarged ; in fact, by the inclusion of technical terms in arts and sciences, 
it could be greatly enlarged without impairing the general statement that 
English owes comparatively little to High German. There are, however, Ger- 
manisms in English speech that do not appear as such at first sight, and that 
can be recognized only by a careful comparison of the linguistic usage in the 
two languages and by a close study of the literary and cultural relations of 
the countries. In the same sense, of course, '' Gallicisms " may be pointed out 
in current English speech. When a modern writer speaks of the rise of roman- 
ticism in the eighteenth centur}^, or the romantic ideas in English literature, 
he uses the words in a sense which they first acquired in German, chiefly 
through A. W. Schlegel. This is now well-established English usage and 
nobody would think of calling it a Germanism, but such it was originally. 
Similarly, the Germans in calling a landscape romantisch use the word in a 



WALZ 219 

sense which they originally got from the English. When Matthew Arnold 
speaks of the Philistiiie middle class of England, or Bernard Shaw of '' the 
great Philistine world," they use Philistine^ as is well known, in the sense 
which the word acquired in Germany during the second half of the eighteenth 
century. The title of Shaw's cleverest play, Man and Superman^ owes its 
second noun to the German Ubermensch, as Shaw himself explains in First 
Aid to Critics. Nietzsche's Ubermensch and Shaw's siLperman are responsible 
for formations like snper-farmers, snper-nation, etc., occasionally met with in 
contemporary works of English-speaking reformers and enthusiasts. Shaw 
himself is guilty of the jocular forms snper-apple and super-horse {The Rev- 
olutio7iisfs Handbook). There is apparently nothing German about the word 
superman ; it is formed after good English analogy, but the meaning attached 
to it is taken from the German and has no analogy in older English forma- 
tions of this kind. Superman is a Germanism even if we admit Shaw's con- 
tention that the general conception of Nietzsche's (Jbermensch is found in 
English before Nietzsche. 

Too little attention has been paid by English scholars to this aspect of the 
English vocabulary. Investigations of this kind are of great value and interest ; 
incidentally they show the folly of drawing a sharp line of demarcation between 
linguistic and literary studies. Language appears here both as the handmaid 
and as the mistress of thought and literature. We have valuable monographs 
on the influence of Christianity upon the vocabulary of the older Germanic 
dialects, but the same process of word-translation and adaptation may be found 
in modern times as the result of an international exchange of ideas. In the 
following discussion the attempt will be made to trace the history of one of 
these Germanisms in English speech. 

Every one is familiar with Longfellow's poem bearing the title God's Acre 
and beginning with the lines : 

I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls 
The burial ground God's Acre ! 

It is a common impression that ' God's Acre ' is an old English word, the 
beauty of which inspired Longfellow to write the poem. This popular impres- 
sion is embodied in a number of handbooks dealing with words, phrases, and 
literary curiosities. H. Percy Smith's Glossary of Terms and Phrases (New 
York, 1883) gives as etymology of the word the Anglo-Saxon cecer, Latin ager, 
implying thereby the great age of the whole phrase. In C. C. Bombaugh's 
Gleanings for the Curioiis (Philadelphia, 1890) we find (p. 633) the quotation 
from Longfellow with the remark : '' This ' Saxon phrase ' is not obsolete. It 
may be seen, for instance, inscribed over the entrance to a modern cemetery 
at Basle — ' Gottes Acker! " The remark is taken from Notes and Queries, 
as will be seen later. The compiler has no doubt as to the age of the phrase ; 



220 GERMANISMS IN ENGLISH SPEECH: GOD'S ACRE 

he seems to think that it has become obsolete in English while still living in Ger- 
man. W. H. G. Phyfe, in Five Thousand Facts and Fancies (Putnam, 1901), 
explains ' God's Acre ' as an ancient Saxon phrase, meaning a churchyard or 
cemetery. F'or this original bit of definition the editor is indebted to Long- 
fellow. But even so serious a student of the English vocabulary as Archbishop 
Trench is of the same opinion. He says {On the Study of Words, London, 
1882, p. 69; 1st ed., 1851): "'Godsacre,' or ' Godsfield,' is the German 
name for a burial-ground, and once was our own, though we unfortunately 
have nearly, if not quite, let it go. . . . Many will not need to be reminded 
how fine a poem in Longfellow's hands unfolds itself out of this word." 

Persons familiar with the local history of the city of Cambridge will recall 
that the old burial place at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue (formerly North 
Avenue) and Garden Street was sometimes referred to as God's Acre. There 
is still a lingering tradition to that effect ; it appears crystallized in guidebooks 
and descriptions of Cambridge. E. M. Bacon's Walks and Rides in the 
Country round about Boston (Boston, 1 898) refers to the oldest burial ground 
in Cambridge as '' this ancient ' God's Acre,' as it once was called, south of 
the Common " (p. 248). The Historical Guide to Cambridge, published by 
the Daughters of the American Revolution (Cambridge, 1907), says (p. 134) : 
'' Right in the heart of old Cambridge, opposite the common, is the small but 
historically interesting God's Acre." At the celebration of the fiftieth anniver- 
sary of Cambridge as a city, in 1 896, John Fiske delivered an oration in which 
he sketched the history of Cambridge. Says he : " The common began, as 
now, hard by God's Acre, the venerable burying-ground " {Cambridge Fifty 
Years a City 1846-18^6, ed. by W. G. Dixon, p. 34) ; a little later occurs the 
passage : '' by this route [i.e., Boylston Street] the distance [to Boston] was 
eight miles, as we still read upon the ancient mile-stone in God's Acre." ' God's 
Acre ' is to the learned historian of New England a current, though ancient, 
name of the old Cambridge burial ground. In the same anniversary year 
A. Gilman edited a collection of essays by various authors, with the title The 
Cambridge of l8g6. On page 5 we read : *' The space between the sites of 
Church and Garden Streets was inclosed as a grave-yard or God's Acre in 
1636 " ; p. 134 : '' This ' God's Acre,' as it is often called, contains the dust 
of many of the most eminent persons in Massachusetts." T. C. Amory, in his 
Old Cambridge and Nezv (Boston, 1871), uses the same name: '' Not far 
away [i.e., from the Washington Elm] is Christ Church. ... By its side 
stretches God's Acre, where rest from their labors the dead generation " (p. 22). 
See also The Soldiers' Monument in Cambridge, Cambridge, 1870, p. 82. 
Palfrey, in his History of New England (Boston, 1 860), has a footnote (Vol. II, 
p. 534) on the burial place of Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard 
College : " His grave, in the old ' God's Acre,' near the halls of Harvard Col- 
lege, was opened July ist, 1846." There is, to my knowledge, no other burial 



WALZ 221 

place in New England that was known as ' God's Acre,' but the phrase is occa- 
sionally mentioned in town histories as having been used in olden times. So 
in the History of Haverhill 164O-1860, by G. W. Chase (Haverhill, 1 86 1 ) : 
'' At the November meeting (1660), it was ordered that the land ' behind the 
meeting house should be reserved for a burial ground.' This is the first men- 
tion we find in relation to a burial ground, but as the old English custom was 
to appropriate a spot near the church for that purpose, which they called ' God's 
Acre,' we presume that from the first settlement, the dead had been buried near 
the meeting house " (p. 91). See F. Rowland, History of the Town of Acjish- 
net, Bristol Co., Mass. (New Bedford, Mass., 1907), p. 238. 

' God's Acre ' is not an ancient Saxon phrase. It is not found in any Anglo- 
Saxon dictionary, glossary, or text. It is a very recent adaptation from the 
German, as the Nezv English Dictionary (Vol. I, 1888, s.v. 'acre') first 
pointed out definitely. Its first occurrence known to me is in Camden's Re- 
mains Concerning Britain, London, 1605, Epitaphs, p. 29 : ''I could here 
also call to your remembrance how the place of buriall was called by S. Paul 
Seminatio in the respect of the assured hope of resurrection, of the Greekes 
Caemiterion as a sleeping place until the resurrection, and of the Hebrews 
The House of the Living in the same respect, as the Germaines call Church- 
yardes untill this day Gods aker or God' s field.'' (See Notes and Queries, 
6th series. Vol. II, p. 173, 1880.) The next quotation in point of time, the 
first given in the Nezv English Dictionary (s.v. ' God's acre'), is from the Itin- 
erary of Fynes Moryson, 16 17. Moryson spent considerable time in Germany 
between 1591 and 1597. His observations on German life and manners are 
of great interest, though they seem to have received little attention from German 
scholars. He makes the following entry about the cemetery at Leipzig: ''Out 
of this City they have (as many cities in Germany have) a beautiful place to 
bury their dead, called Gods-aker, vulgarly Gotts-aker, where the chief citizens 
buy places of buriall, proper to their families round about the Cloisters, and 
the common sort are buried in the midst, not covered with any building " 
(Part I, p. 7). Moryson does not hesitate to repeat an interesting observation. 
In Part III, Book 2, p. 68, he again refers to this German custom : " I have 
seen in Germany some fields without the Cities, compassed with faire square 
walls of stone, wherein Citizens were buried. Of these the fairest is at Leipzig, 
the walles whereof are built with arched Cloysters, under which the chiefe 
Cittizens are buried by families, the common sort only lying in the open part 
of the field. . . . This place is called Gotts aker, that is, that Aker or field 
of God." ^ The second example quoted in the New English Dictionary is 
from Trapp's Commentary on John, xi, 11 (1646) : "The Greeks call their 
Church-yards dormitoryes, sleeping-places. The Germans call them God's 

1 A third reference to the word may be found in that part of Moryson's Itinerary which was 
published by Charles Hughes (London, 1893) under the title Shakespeare' s Europe, p. 333. 



222 GERMANISMS IN ENGLISH SPEECH: GOD'S ACRE 

acre." Then follows the quotation from Longfellow's poem, which was pub- 
lished in 1 841.1 Other passages, however, may be found. Edward Browne, 
the son of the celebrated author of Rcligio Medici^ gives the German phrase 
without a translation in his Account of Several Travels through a Great Part 
of Germany (London, i6yy). In speaking of Leipzig he says (p. yy) : " The 
Church of St. Nicholas is well adorned, and hath the name to be the fairest 
within side of any Lutheran Church in Germany ; they have also a remarkable 
burial-place or Godts aker^ walled about, and cloystered near the Wall, wherein 
the better sort are buried, as the rest in the middle and open part." We 
find the phrase again in a work entitled NcKpoKijOeia or the Art of Embalm- 
ing (London, 1705), by Thomas Greenhill, an English surgeon. Greenhill is 
considering the purpose of burial (p. 17) : " But the fifth Cause and ultimate 
End of Burial is in order to a future Resurrection, and as B. Gerhard asserts, 
agreeable to that Comparison of Christ and St. Paul, his Apostle, John xii, 
24, I Corinthians xv, 37, 38. That Bodies are piously to be laid up in the 
Earth like to Corn sowed, to confirm the assured Hope of the Resurrection, 
and therefore the place of Burial was called by St. Paul Seminatio, as others 
term it Templi Hortns, the Churches Orchard or Garden. By the Greeks it 
was called KotfjLrjrripLov, Dormitorium, a Sleeping Place. By the Hebrews, 
Beth-Chajim, i.e. Domus Viventium, the House of the Living in the same 
respect as the Germans call Church-yards, Gotsacker, i.e. Dei Ager, aut 
Fundus, God's Field, in which the Bodies of the Pious are sowed like to 
Grain or Corn, in expectation of a future Harvest." The last illustration of 
the use of God's acre in English before the publication of Longfellow's poem 
I take from the first edition of John Murray's Handbook for Travellers {A 
Hand-Book for Travellers on the Continent^ being a Gnide through Holland^ 
Belgium^ Prussia and Northern Germany. London 1836). Before mapping 
out the itineraries Murray gives several pages of general information about 
Germany. There is a special section on '' German Burial-grounds " in which 
we read (p. 192): "One of the peculiarities which distinguish Germany from 
England is the different light in which the abodes of the dead are regarded 
by the living. Before a traveller completes his survey of a German town, it 
will be not unprofitable or uninteresting to visit the public burial-ground — 
the ' court of peace,' the ' place of rest,' or ' God's Acre,' to give the German 
names literally translated." The statement is repeated, with the omission 
of ''place of rest," in all the later editions of the Hand-Book, including the 
nineteenth, of 1877. 

All these passages, written as they are by different men and extending 
over a period of more than two hundred years, agree in one point : ' God's 
Acre ' is not an English phrase, but a translation or adaptation of the German 

1 The metaphorical use of ' God's Acre ' quoted from R. Steele, Husbandman' s Calling, 1672, 
does not belong here. 



WALZ 



223 



Gottesacker. Now in 1841 Longfellow calls it ''an ancient Saxon phrase." 
Where did he get the phrase ? The Century Dictionary quotes a passage 
from Hyperion (Book II, chap, ix), which gives a clear and definite answer : 
''A flight of stone steps leads from the street to the green terrace or platform 
on which the church stands, and which in ancient times was the churchyard, 
or, as the Germans more devoutly say, God's-acre." 

Longfellow had heard the phrase on his travels in Germany, he had read 
it in German books ; its beauty and suggestiveness appealed to him as it had 
appealed to English writers and travelers before him. He remains under the 
spell of that phrase until he has written his poem. But he evidently believed 
that the word went back to the time when the Germanic ancestors of the 
English people were still on the Continent, hence he called it an ancient 
Saxon phrase. The assumption that Longfellow used Saxon in the sense of 
German has no basis in English usage. 

Goethe attributes to the poet the power to compel his readers to believe what 
is most unbelievable, while under the spell of his genius. Longfellow's poem 
has made people believe that there was such a phrase as ' God's Acre ' in early 
English ; it has made the people of Cambridge, including learned historians, 
believe that their oldest burial-ground was at one time actually called ' God's 
Acre.' The latter process, a sort of modern myth formation, is not hard to 
understand. Given, on the one hand, the poet's '' ancient Saxon phrase " for 
the burial-ground, on the other hand, the historical old burial-ground with its 
sacred memories ; the connection between the two was readily established in 
the minds of people fond of poetry, especially sentimental poetry, and imbued 
with a profound reverence for the past, though not professional philologists. 
I do not know who first called the old burial-ground in Cambridge ' God's 
Acre,' my earliest reference is Palfrey's History of New England^ i860, but 
the name cannot have been applied to it before 1841. There is not a scrap 
of evidence in the early records or town histories that the old Cambridge 
burying ground or any other burying ground in New England was ever called 
' God's Acre ' before the publication of Longfellow's poem, or that the phrase 
was at all known. 

There is a very instructive discussion of the word in the London Notes and 
QzierieSy that unique meeting place of British ignorance and scholarship. The 
first inquirer, accepting the word as old, asks : '' Was not God's Acre applied 
to Christian cemeteries before sepulture was admitted in churches or church- 
yards.? " (ist series. Vol. II, p. 56, 185 1.) Another, after quoting Longfellow's 
lines, very pertinently asks : ''What is the Saxon phrase alluded to .? " (Vol. Ill, 
p. 284.) The query is answered on page 380 of the same volume : " By a 
' Saxon phrase ' Longfellow undoubtedly meant German. In Germany Gottes- 
Acker is a name for churchyard." Another contributor, proceeding on the 
assumption that the phrase is old English, explains it by references to 



224 GERMANISMS IN ENGLISH SPEECH: GOD'S ACRE 

I Corinthians xv, 38 ; Matthew xiii, 39 ; Rev. xiv, 15. In Vol. IX, p. 492, 
W. S. Simpson informs us that the phrase is not obsolete, at least not in German, 
for he has seen the name Gottesacker over the entrance to a modern cemetery 
in Basel. In the tenth volume of the second series (i860) the phrase turns 
up again (p. 387) : '' Can you, or one of your correspondents, inform me by 
whom the term " God's Acre ' as applied to a churchyard was first used in 
English literature ? It appears in the writings of Longfellow who seems to 
have adopted it from the German ; but I have some doubts whether it had 
not been previously used by one of our early writers — George Herbert, for 
instance ? " No reply was received. In 1875 a new discussion began (5th series, 
Vol. IV, p. 406). J. Dixon writes : " Of late years this term has with senti- 
mental writers become a favorite substitute for churchyard or burial-ground, 
and they fancy it is a translation of the German Gottes-Acker. It is nothing 
of the kind ; acker means not an acre, but any portion of land under tillage. 
I fancy Longfellow is responsible for popularizing this mistake. . . . Instead of 
being poetical, ' God's Acre ' seems to me prosaic and commonplace. The 
German term ' God's field ' is poetical. It suggests the harvest at the end of 
the world, and the reapers, the angels ; all this has been well set forth by 
Longfellow ; but God's acre reminds one of a land-surveyor and his chain." 
No less than five correspondents call Mr. Dixon to account on page 495 of 
the same volume. They find fault, partly with his German, partly with his 
reasoning. It is pointed out by one that Longfellow's ' God's Acre ' is not a 
mistranslation of the German word ; by another that ' God's Acre ' is not at all 
a translation of Gottes-Acker, but the identical phrase in its English form ; a 
third points out the difference between the meaning of A. S. ^r^rand modern 
English acre and maintains that ' God's Acre ' has exactly the meaning of the 
German Gottes-Acker, '' with which it is cognate, though most probably not 
derived from it." The kernel of the discussion is brought out by F. Chance 
in Vol. V, p. 33 (1876) : ''The great point to be settled is . . . whether ' God's 
acre ' is really a translation of Gottes-Acker ox merely an old English expression 
revived. Can any one tell us whether or where it is to be found before the 
time of Longfellow } If it is an old English expression revived, nothing can 
be said against it further than that the revival is not likely to meet with general 
acceptance. But if it is a translation of Gottes-Acker, then I think Mr. Dixon 
is perfectly right, and that it is a mistranslation ; and I cannot conceive any 
one who is at all familiar with German defending it. An expression cannot 
be said to be adequately translated when the idea conveyed by the translation 
is entirely different from that conveyed by the original. To the ordinary Ger- 
man mind the word Acker conveys no, or but a very slight, idea of measure- 
ment, to the ordinary English mind the word acre conveys no other idea than 
that of measurement. ... It is clear, therefore, that Gottes-Acker is, to use 
a mild expression, altogether inadequately rendered by ' God's acre.' ' Acre ' 



WALZ 225 

may once have had the meaning that Acker has now, but it has lost that 
meaning, and it is useless to expect that it will ever regain it." On the same 
page Mr. Dixon writes again : '' What I meant, and still mean, is this, that at 
the present day the word ^^/^^r suggests to a German a special sort of land — 
plough land, and the word acre suggests to an Englishman a definite quantity 
of any sort of land, and therefore, that the two words are not the equivalents 
of each other." The discussion in Notes and Qiieries is brought to a close in 
the second volume of the sixth series (1880) on page 173, where a correspond- 
ent cites the passage, quoted above, from Camden's Remains Concerning 
Britain as the earliest example of the use of the phrase in English. 

Whenever the philologist pits himself against the poet he is bound to lose, 
though he have analogy, etymology, and usage on his side. It is true that 
''acre" in nineteenth-century English is used exclusively as a measure; genera- 
tions ago it ceased to have the meaning of field, as a look at the New English 
Dictionary tells us ; yet Longfellow's adaptation of the German word became a 
permanent part of the modern English vocabulary, especially the poetic vo- 
cabulary. Without knowing it, yes, without intending it, Longfellow added a 
beautiful word to the stock of English. Its adoption into the language was 
doubtless greatly favored by the general misunderstanding which saw in it a 
revival of an old English phrase. 

The newness of the word in English is also borne out by the fact that ' God's 
Acre ' is not recorded in any English dictionary until very recent times. Neither 
is it found in the English Dialect Dictionary. It would be vain to look for it 
in the dictionaries of Bailey, Johnson, or in any dictionary published before 
the second half of the nineteenth century. It is not found in German-English 
or English-German dictionaries before that time, though they usually give 
Gottesacker 2i?> a translation of churchyard. This we find as early as 161 7 in 
John Minsheu's Guide into Tongnes. So far as I am aware, ' God's Acre ' is 
first recorded as an English expression in The Encyclopcedic Dictionary^ 1884, 
and in Stormonth's Dictionary of the English Language, New York, 1885. 

'God's Acre' seems to have passed into general use, in prose and poetry, 
not many years after the publication of Longfellow's poem. In 1858 Elizabeth 
Stone published a book on the funeral rites and ceremonies among different 
nations, to which she gave the title ' God's Acre.' The usual reference to the 
great age and beauty of the term we find on page 87. God's Acre Beautiful or 
the Cemeteries of the Fntiire is the title of a pamphlet published in 1880 
(London) by W. Robinson. Quotations from works of the last fifty years are 
found in the Centtuy Dictionary, the Neiu English Dictionary, and J. W. 
Dixon's Dictionaiy of Idiomatic English Phrases (London and New York, 
1891). In Eugene Field's poem "The Singing in God's Acre" {Second Book 
of Verse, 1893) the phrase appears not as a Germanism nor as an ancient 
Saxon phrase, but simply as beautiful English. 



226 GERMANISMS IN ENGLISH SPEECH : GOD'S ACRE 



It is interesting to note that the German Gottcsackcr is of comparatively 
recent origin. It is first recorded in Maaler's Die Teiitsch Spraach, 1561. 
It was quite generally used in the sixteenth century (cf . Kluge, Etymologisches 
Worterbiich, 7th ed.), but it has not yet been found in any work before the 
sixteenth century. Weigand's Deutsches Worterbuch, 5th ed., quotes from 
Luther's Commentary, 1544: " wir Deudschen von alters solche Begrebnis 
nennen Gottesacker." Luther evidently looked upon the word as old. 



THE TWELFTH-CENTURY TOURNEY 
K. G. T. Webster 

If one can only read the metrical romances of the twelfth century unro- 
mantically, and consider these magnificent productions of an exuberant period 
from a strictly common-sense point of view, one may gain a tolerably definite 
notion of a genuine old-fashioned tournament in the days when chivalry 
was in its youthful prime. To be sure, since the writings of Niedner, ^ 
Schultz,2 and Jusserand ^ upon this topic, and particularly since Meyer's edi- 
tion of GidllaiLme le Marechal,^ the popular conception of an early mediaeval 
tournament has been wholesomely modified ; yet it may not be uninteresting 
to see what of unpoetic truth can, in corroboration of the remarks of these 
scholars, be extracted from one or two of the purely poetic accounts.^ Our 
Philistine eye may stop upon a material detail or two as yet unnoticed. 

On the real reasons for which tourneys were held we do not get much light 
from our poets — nor do we need it. We are not obliged to believe that they 
were usually called in order to select a mate for the lone princess,^ or for 
the ladies en massed or to toll back a lost and regretted hero.^ The Lanzelet, 

1 Das deutsche To2irnier, Berlin, 1881. ^ £)as hofische Leben, Leipzig, 1889, Vol. II, ch. ii. 

^ Les Sports et Jeux (T Exercice dans Vanciejine France, Paris, 1901. 

* Paris, 1891. Valuable Introduction in Vol. III. The poem was written about 1225, but is 
authentic twelfth-century matter. 

^ The romances principally utilized are these: Chretien's works (1160-1180), ed. Foerster, 
especially Erec, 2128 ff., the tourney of Tenebroc; Cligh, the Four Days' Tourney, 4629 ff. ; 
and Charreite, 5379 ff., the Tourney of Pomelegloi ; Ulrich von Zatzikhoven's Lanzelet (about 1 193, 
but really an accurate reflection of a French version of about 11 50), ed. K. A. Hahn, Frankfort, 
1845 » ^^ great jousts at Djofle, 2595 ff. ; Hue de Roteland's Ipomedon (French version written in 
England about 1185), ed. Kolbing, Breslau, 1889, the Three Days' Tourney, 3129 ff. ; and Parthe- 
nopeus (before 1188), ed. Crapelet, Paris, 1834, 6547 ff. Miss Jessie L. Weston in her booklet, 
The Three Days'' Tott7'jiament, London, 1902, has pointed out that several of these tournaments 
are to some extent dependent on a common source. That is, however, not a matter which in- 
validates the evidence of the poems as we employ them. For instance, we make no use of the 
most striking detail which any of them have in common — the different colors in which the 
hero appears on three successive days. That is not a matter of unpoetic truth. On the relation 
of the Ipomedon and Parthenopeus tourneys — a matter which would bear investigation — Miss 
Weston says nothing. 

6 Parthenopeus, Ipomedon, Cliges^ and others. Why so many married men and apparently 
ineligible persons could take part in these contests for the princess is fortunately explained 
in Parthenopeus ; the former would hand the princess over to some friend (7175) ; a pagan, if 
he won, would consent to receive baptism (7165). " ChajTetie, 5379 ff. 

^ ChaTvette. Cf. W. H. Schofield, Harvard Studies and N'otes in Philology and Literature, 
IV, 112, n. I. 

227 



228 THE TWELFTH-CENTURY TOURNEY 

indeed, makes the occasion sufficiently attractive for the manly man without any 
of this. " At these jousts," declares the messenger, " are to be won fame and 
honor ; there one can thrust and slash at will ; all the celebrities will partici- 
pate ; and there one can meet distinguished knights and ladies. To stay away 
were a disgrace. All that can delight the knightly soul is there to be had : 
fighting, horse-racing, jumping, running, fencing, wrestling, play at tables 
and at bowls, the music of the rote, the fiddle, and the harp ; and besides these 
an opportunity of buying things from all over the world." But a thirst for glory 
and for entertainment was not all that led these heroes to a tourney. Even 
in the refined Parthenopctis we observe that knights come sometimes for gain.^ 
Indeed, it appears that the handsome and poor — yet withal so well attended 
— Gaudins had to make his living, as did William Marshall,^ by following 
tourneys .3 And an acquisitive champion might not find the beautiful lady too 
great an encumbrance upon the broad lands that were invariably to be won 
with her. 

The tourney, once decided upon, was proclaimed by messengers sent 
far and wide.* One of these described in the Lanzelet^ was a handsome 
youth in white clothes, with a scarlet mantle, white gloves, and a nev/ hat. 
A good while had to be allowed for the news to get about and for the par- 
ticipants to gather ; this period may vary from a few weeks to something 
like a year.^ 

Although the preparations for such an event must have been extensive and 
difficult, our poets are quite properly not often concerned with the housing 
and feeding of the thousands of lusty warriors, with their still more numerous 
retinue and horses. In ParthenopeiLs'^ we find the clearest account of how 
this was done. Here an old expert has charge ; the wise Ernols ^ is just the 
sort of man who to-day is indispensable for managing a ball or a charity fair ; 
and his arrangements are in all likelihood those made in most cases — but 
not related. '' You must order all the merchants in your lands to come with 
whatever they have to sell, and hold 3. f aire in this meadow for the space of 
fifteen days. Guarantee them safe passage, and relieve them of customs dues. 
They will bring horses and new arms, fine shields and trappings — in fact, 
whatever a knight can want. Let them make a fine large town with their tents, 
booths, and pavilions. Then have the tourney begin on the Monday^ after 
the fair ; and have some of the visitors lodge in our city of Chief d'Oire, the 
rest in the merchants' booths." Of course Ernols contemplates nothing less 
than one of those great mediaeval fairs, such as for a few weeks made at 

1 Contrast 11. 6614 and 8206. Cf. 8668. 2 See Meyer's remarks, Vol. Ill, p. xli. 

^ Contrast 11, 7770 and 7829. * cf. Niedner, p. 72. ^ L. 2595. 

^ Cliges, 4598; Lanzelet, 2667 ; Ipomedon, 2566; Parihenopeics, 6547. "^ LI. 647 5 ff. 

^ In Ipomedon King Meleager is a similar, but less active director. 

^ Monday is the usual day to begin on — at least in the German accounts ; see Niedner, 
P- IZ' 



WEBSTER 229 

Winchester another Winchester, and first gave Smithfield fame.^ So it is 
done ; and thus a contestant can reserve accommodations beforehand, in a 
quite modern fashion, and on arriving find comfortable quarters and good 
service. The prudent Gaudins — who is almost a '* professional " — has se- 
cured a maison, which he invites the less experienced Parthenopeus to share 
with him. 2 That some such provision for sustaining the multitude was made 
at the Djofle tournament in the Lanselet we can gather from the allusion given 
above to the opportunity for shopping which was to be found there. In Ipome- 
do7t^ is only the briefest statement "that the counts and barons spread their 
tents and pavilions and made shelters and lodges to attract meat and pro- 
visions." ^ Yet it is remarkable on what slender rations these men perform 
their feats. Their superhuman exertions last from sunrise to sunset ; and 
the only breakfast and luncheon noticed were enjoyed in one day by 
Lanzelet. Chretien makes no mention of such vulgar affairs. He deigns, 
however, to speak of lodgings. Cliges during the Four Days' Tourney, held 
between Oxford and Wallingford, — on which occasion the two towns sheltered 
all the company,^ — sojourned in Wallingford. Lancelot at the Pomelegloi 
jousts, where the great part of the participants had to remain without the two 
castles in temporary shelters, took for good reasons an obscure booth, where he 
fared not so well as Gaudins, for the bed was wretched.^ Here Chretien speaks 
of the custom which the knights had of putting their shield or cognizance at the 
door, which custom in this instance gives rise to the most realistic episode in 
his works, — and one of the most charming, — that of the inquisitive little 
gamester-herald who disturbed the hero's rest.''' In Erec one side appears to 
be within, the other without the town of Tenebroc.^ Lanzelet, in the Middle 
High German poem, sends a page ahead, who picks a good lodging within 
the town ; ^ but King Lot and King Arthur and myriads more lay without, in 
rich pavilions ^^ — and doubtless such booths as have been mentioned. In the 
Ipomedon one side occupied the city of Candres, the other the eaves of the 
wood which stretched for two leagTies along the tourney meadow — ten thou- 
sand tents there must have been.^^ King Meleager pitched his glorious pavilion 
under the towers of Candres, and dug fosses about it — doubtless for defense 
and not for drainage ; and in the Cojite del Graal we find one of the parties 
to a tourney occupying a strong earthwork without the other's castle.^ 

^ See T. Hudson Turner's Domestic Architecture in the Middle Ages, I, 116. 

2 LI. 7837 ff. 3 L. 3319. 

* LI. 3099 and 3146. Hearing mass is more important than breaking one's fast {Parthe- 
nopeus, 7865 and 8288). However, in Cliges we are expressly told that there was no service 
(1. 4763). Supper — or dinner — is presumably taken always after the day's work {Ipomedon,, 
4291, 5313; Parthenopeus, 8262). ^ L. 4579. ^ L. 5546. 

■^ So Cliges exposed his various coats. L. 4721, etc. ^ Cf. 11. 2131, 2137, 2233 f. 

^ L. 2845. O^ this occasion Lanzelet is accompanied by a lady — one of the numerous loves 
of this merry, unsophisticated pre- Chretien Lancelot. 

10 LI. 2818 ff. 11 L. 3388. Cf. 3291, 3149 f. 12 L. 13659. . 



230 THE TWELFTH-CENTURY TOURNEY 

The site of a tournament is always a great meadow or similar level 
place ; 1 and the "field of play" is somewhat indefinite. There is yet little 
conception of lists or precise boundaries.^ From the exhibition joust which 
usually opened the tourney ^ to the sunset horn '* which closed it, immunity 
from attack was only to be found in numbers or in distance ; one sought the 
serried ranks of one's supporters, or rode far off to a quiet spot.^ Only in 
the Lanzelct do we find mention of something which may be an arranged | 
safe retreat — the lezze into which Lanzelet disappeared when King Arthur 
and his band spurred to Erec's rescue.^ Spectators are as yet not a conspicu- 
ous feature at a tourney : they are not mentioned in Erec, Cligh, or the 
Lanzelet ; in Ipomedoii and Parthenopeiis they are a mere handful of persons 
in a tower."^ But in the Charrette we find a sort of grand-stand, a long struc- 
ture — with windows — to which one ascended by steps.^ Here sat the queen 
and her ladies, together with the prisoners,^ the Crusaders — who were not 
supposed to tilt — and an occasional non-combatant, such as Gawain happened 
then to be, closely observing all that passed, and chattering about the con- 
testants and their coats.^^ Even here lists are not mentioned, but the field 
seems relatively restricted.^i 

There would have been little sport in these great tourneys if the sides were 
too uneven. In the Parthenopeiis an equitable division is made, and the 
emperor of Germany is chosen to lead one side, the king of France the other. 
But to put all the Christians in one party and all the pagans in the other — 
the natural procedure — would be war and not tourneying, observed the sage 
Ernols ; ^^ and so the infidel monarchs of Spain, Africa, and Asia, who had 
flocked to win the lovely Melior, are apportioned. ^^ In Erec, the knights of the 

1 That is, reasonably level. Twice Ipomedon is said to come up from a val or vallee (U. 4954 
and 5837). 

2 In William Marshall this is most evident. There the tourney ranges over plains, vine- 
yards, swamps, and woods, and through inhabited towns. Knights take shelter in farms or in 
deserted towers, where they stand, as it were, little sieges. See II. 4834, 2822, 3996, 3933 ; Meyer's 
ed.. Ill, p. xxxviii ; and Jusserand's Les Sports, p. 60. In William Marshall lists are 
mentioned three or four times (e.g., 11. 1309, 5529), and they appear to mark a sort of fenced 
neutral ground at each end of the field proper. Cf. Meyer and Jusserand, above. Moreover, see 
Meyer, III, 21, n. 2, for a sort of retreat, called the recet. Cf. note 7 below. ^ See below. 

4 Parthenopeus, 8237. Cf. 8983. In the Lanzelet (3433) the third day's tourney ends before 
night. 5 Lanzelet, 3127 ; Parthenopeus, 8174. 

6 Lanzelet, 301 1. Cf. Parzival, I, § 40, 1. 25, and the note in E. Martin's ed., Halle, 1900, 
II, 52. Cf. Niedner, p. 73, and note 2, above. 

■^ However, the author of Parthenopetcs (8008) lets us know that ladies haunted tourneys 
to show off their fine clothes. Of course outside of our romances there is plenty of evidence 
for spectators. ^ li_ 5601, 5926, 5936. ^ Tourney prisoners, or others t ^"^ LI. 5790 ff., 5973. 

11 Lancelot is always under observation ; the queen's messenger can always get to him — 
yet she takes a horse to do so. LI. 5666, 5856, 5905. ^^ L. 7179. 

18 As Melior enumerates the great chiefs, any one of whom may — alas — become her hus- 
band, she often characterizes them and their people. Of the English king she remarks : " He 
cannot live without fighting. His land is so greedy that he cannot hold it without contention. 



WEBSTER 231 

Round Table, tourneying against each other, are divided — we must suppose, 
evenly.i Such care is not found in any other of this httle set of romances ; a 
knight took sides according to his fancy. In Ipomedon a late comer, hearing 
that one side is being worsted, throws in his lot with them.^ Lanzelet, wishing 
to prove himself against King Arthur's famous knights, sides against them ; 
as does Cliges. The disguised Ipomedon, in order the more to distinguish 
himself, takes first one side and then the other.^ Nothing seems to dictate 
Lancelot's choice in the Charrette. Each side has a titular leader, as we have 
seen was the case in ParthenopeiLs. In Erec Gawain leads one side, Melis 
and Meliadoc the other ; in the Lanzelet it is '' King Lot vs. King Gurnemanz " ; 
in the Charrette '' the Lady of Noauz vs. the Lady of Pomelegloi " ; in Cligh 
we presumably have the Round Table divided as in Erec, but since nothing is 
said about this, the tourney here may have been styled '' Oxford vs. Walling- 
ford " or '' The Round Table vs. All Comers." In Ipomedon the leaders are 
not emphasized. Indeed, after a tourney begins, we hear as a rule little of 
captains ; the party which lodges within the town is spoken of simply as the 
" Ins," and that which tents outside as the '' Outs." ^ 

The general course of one of these tournaments was this. The knights, 
singly or in troops, came riding forth upon the plain soon after sunrise ^ — 
for there were yet no clocks to keep people abed. And a fine sight they must 
have made on the green expanse, these plumps of slender,^ upright^ spears, 
gaily painted^ and tipped with bright steel and fluttering banners and 
pennons,^ or with some lady's sleeve or wimple.^^ The undersized and agile 
horses ^^ had no heavy plate-armour to carry ; but their riders wore the relatively 

He will bring good knights, strong, agile, quick, hardy, courageous, prudent ; in battle formi- 
dable and foolhardy. But they drink overmuch" — and they still do. L. 7269. Later on we 
learn that the Germans cannot bear being made fun of — and they still cannot. L. 8754. 

1 L. 2134. 2 L. 5606. 

3 First the Outer side (11. 3571 ff.) ; next the Inner (11. 4537, 4713) ; on the third day the Inner 
(11. 5606 ff.).' 

* Ipomedon, 4006, 4013, 4098, 4713; Parthenopeus, 7875, 7226, 8139; Erec, 2237. 

s Ipomedon, 3572, 4541 ; Lanzelet, 3080 ff. 

® On the lance used see Jusserand, Les Sports, p. 54. When a lance is spoken of as being 
short and thick and strong, as in Cligh, 4845, and Parthenopeus, 8066, that does not mean that 
the butt or truncheon was enlarged, as in the lances of the fifteenth century ; the expressions 
are relative. 

■^ They did not lower their points till it was necessary to do so. Parthenopeus, 7900, 8047, 
8058, 8210, 8798; Ipomedon, 3641, 3944. ^ Erec, 2143. 

** Erec, 2138 ; Parthenopeus, 6874, 8337 ; Ipomedojt, 3580, 5002 ; Lanzelet, 2869, See Hewitt's 
Ancient Armour, I, 95, 165 f. "^^ Ipomedon, 3172. Ladies made banners also (1. 3411). 

11 There is no necessity to assume that in those days the war-horse was of the unwieldy 
Flemish stock that may later have been bred to carry the overweighted warriors. It is much 
more natural to suppose that he was a stocky native — like one of our Western " ponies " — or 
a wiry and fleet Arab. Cf. Cligh, 4915 ; Ipomedon, 3897. On the ground of analogy a twelfth- 
century horse should have been such. The horses themselves wore no armour ; see Hewitt's 
Ancient Armour and Weapons in Europe, I, 169. 



232 THE TWELFTH-CENTURY TOURNEY 

light and handy ^ chain hauberk, that is — or should be — associated with all the 
heroes of the early and fresh romances, of the chansons de geste, of the first 
three and greatest Crusades. These hauberks had been carefully rolled and 
rocked in barrels of sand the night before to clean them from the insidious 
rust.2 On their heads were their mail hoods,^ covered by the Norman helm, 
conical or round, with its invaluable nasal."* Hung by the gtiige about their 
necks and by the enamtes about their forearms was the long kite-shaped or 
the shorter triangular shield,^ conspicuously retinctured for the occasion.® 
The opposing sides range themselves some distance apart, and the two dis- 
tinguished knights who are to have the honor of the first joust complete their 
bout before all these spectators,^ and then the melee begins. This is a free 
fight between individuals or between small troops, the chiefs of which first 
meet just as the champions have done, and which then rush together pell- 
mell. The frequency with which an individual thus gives a dare between 
lines of active spectators, the rush of acceptance, the quick contest, and the 
subsequent capture of one or the other of the fighters, who may yet be so 
fortunate as to be recaptured by his comrades, all make our boys' game 
of prisoners' base an amazingly close counterpart of mediaeval tourneys, — 
and of mediaeval war,^ — of which, indeed, it may be a descendant. The ex- 
tended field and the numbers engaged in these early tourneys must have 
allowed romantic situations, such as could not occur in the later lists. Thus 
Parthenopeus and the Sultan meet amain ; the Sultan is overthrown, and a 
thousand spur to his rescue. Parthenopeus, seeing that he cannot return, 
presses forward through them all, felling one, and rides far beyond to the tower 
which marks the enemy's headquarters, and in a window of which sits the lovely 
Melior, his lost love. In the presence of almost certain death Parthenopeus 
impulsively reaches up to her his lance with its gonfalon, and she involuntarily 
takes them. The enemy close in ; Parthenopeus is struck by three lances, but 
manages to get rid of these assailants with his sword, and hastens again into 
the hostile ranks. With Gaudins's help he cuts his way back to safety.^ 

In these present days of the overregulation of sport it is a relief to find a 
pastime as free from rules as is the twelfth-century tournament. There was 
no such thing as obligatory fair play ; that would have been too great a restric- 
tion on the right of the individual. There are, to be sure, magnanimous — 

1 Even so, the author of Ipomedon observes that it is hard for an armed man to rise after a 
fall (1. 571 1 ). Of course they do rise constantly, to fight effectively. 

2 Parthenopeus, 8290 f. ; Ipomedo7i, 3166. 

3 Parthenopeus, 6821. Cf. Parzival, § 44, 1. 4, and Herz's ed. (Stuttgart, 1898), p. 473, n. 18 ; 
p. 480, n. 35. Parzival is sufficiently near the twelfth century to be quoted here. 

* Capaneus's jewelled nasal just saves his nose in Ipomedon, 3973. In Ipomedon, 3888, the 
helms are " pointed" {aguz). ^ See Hewitt's Ancient Armour, I, 143. ® Ipomedon, 3173. 

' Cligh, 4640 ff. ; Ipomedon, 3622, 4617, 561 1 ; Lanzelet, 2896. 

^ Cf. Jusserand's remarks on the similarity between battle and tourney, Let Sports, p. 57. 
^ Parthenopeus, 8300 f . 



WEBSTER 233 

what we should call chivalrous — acts, but these are exceptional, and gener- 
ally performed by the hero whose virtues the story is written to exalt. Thus 
Ipomedon throws away his lance in order to meet the formidable Capaneus 
upon equal terms ; ^ Parthenopeus once helps a fallen enemy to mount 
again ; ^ Erec does not care to capture either men or horses.^ But in general 
we find no sentiment, and therefore no regulations, that would prevent three 
men with lances from attacking Parthenopeus who has only his sword ; ^ or a 
whole troop of Germans from setting upon the king of France ; ^ or a band 
of Saracens from laying hands on the stunned Gaudins ; ^ or Ipomedon from 
repeatedly overriding a stubborn foe who tries to regain his feet ; "^ or the 
Count of Flanders from striking Ipomedon in the back.^ No effort is made 
to mitigate the effect of the sharp weapons ; a spear pins shield to arm and 
arm to side,^ ears and arms are lopped off,i^ heads split,^ and bodies transfixed 
so that the lance, pennon and all, stands out six feet beyond. ^^ A dour spec- 
tacle this of a melee in the Ipomedon : '' Now begins a right hard battle ; many 
fall and many die ; they pierce and rend the shields, and split the pointed 
helms ; swords ring, and rive the rich hauberks ; shivered is many an ashen ^^ 
lance. There are to be seen trailing bowels and spattered brains. Many a war- 
horse runs masterless through the roads ; many a noble Castilian steed courses 
the field with empty saddle. The living mourn the dead ; great grief is there 
and pain. Many a good horse and man have been captured ; gone is many 
a crupper and many a knee-piece ; much good armor is destroyed, many a 
saddle-cloth ^^ rent, and many a saddle overthrown." ^^ But why object to this 
sort of thing 1 Each participant in a tourney knew what he had to expect, 
and he could generally avoid the worst by running away or surrendering. 

In a typical encounter the two knights lower their lances, slacken their 
reins, 1^ and gallop at each other. The lances glance, or pierce, or break, — or 
almost any combination of these three occurs. We will say that they break 
without dismounting a rider : then new spears may be brought by the watch- 
ful varlets^'^ — who stand like grooms about a polo field — and broken, some- 
times to the number of ten ; ^^ or else the knights draw their swords and slash 
— apparently never thrust — at each other. If the girths have given way, or 

1 Ipomedon, 4747 ff. 2 Parthenopetis, 8320. ^ ^rec, 2215. 

* Parthenopeus, 7937. ^ Parthenopeus, 8675. ^ Pa^-thenopeiis, 8812. 

"^ Ipomedon, 5718, 6260. There is an excellent case of this "unnecessary roughness" in 
Parzival, § 38, 1. I ; cf. Herz's note, p. 473, of his ed. Cf. Knighfs Tale, 1756. 

^ Ipomedon, 41 12. ^ Charrette, 5962 ; Cligh, 4689. 1° Ipomedon, 3990, 4079, 5071, 5880. 
1^ Parthenopeus, 8834 ; Ipomedon, 5878. 12 Jpomedon, 3950, 6025. Cf. 6224. 

1^ Ash is the usual material: Parthenopetis, 6875, 8099; Ipomedon, 4675. 
^* For such ornamented saddle-cloths, see Hewitt's Ancient Armour, I, fig. 44. 
1^ Ipomedon, 3885-3908. 

1^ Ipomedon, 3944. Whether this indicates merely speed and abandon, or that the bridle hand 
was now needed for the shield might be a question. Cf. Niedner, Das deutsche Tumier, p. 56. 
In Erec, 2194, the rein is held by the " knot." 

1'^ Lanzelet, 2972 ; Ipomedon, 3714, 3879. ^® Lanzelet, 3003. 



/ 



2 34 THE TWELFTH-CENTURY TOURNEY 

the riders been hurled from their saddles, or the horses felled by the lance- 
shock, this sword-play takes place on foot. If their swords break, then it is 
quite likely that the two will wrestle desperately until one yields, or is dragged 
"resisting into the hostile ranks. Once the foolhardy Parthenopeus rushed into 
a hostile squadron, and seizing their leader about the waist, tried to throw him 
over his horse's neck and carry him off ; but Parthenopeus was lucky to escape 
himself.^ The object of the fighting is not simply to unhorse an opponent, 
or to prove one's superiority to him, but to batter him into surrender. The 
person, arms, and horse of a beaten foe were the victor's until ransomed. 
Public opinion, no doubt, kept a knight's ransom at a reasonable sum ; the 
horse was held at his market value. ^ To make sure of his conquests the victor 
compels them on the spot either to swear obedience {i.e., to g\wQ fiances),^ or 
to leave an actual gage.^ Then he frees the captives on parole, and turns the 
horses over to his page ? An amorous knight will often send his captives to 
be at the disposal of his lady-love ; ^ a generous one will eventually free them 
without ransom, and he will make liberal presents of mounts to his lady,^ his 
varlets,^ and others.^ 

In the evening, after this terrible play, the hero of the day exchanges con- 
fidences with his brother in arms over good meat and drink,i*^ or indulges in 
a cozy supper with his amie ;^^ the judges quarrel over their decision ;^2 ^nd the 
captives bustle about in order to make an arrangement by which they may be 
free to fight on the morrow.^^ 

Such then, to one who peers overcuriously beneath the surface of the 
twelfth-century poetic accounts, are seen to have been the tourneys of this 
lusty time — a time that was the full flood of romance and chivalry, the great 
pitiless river of it, bearing along many foreign bodies mayhap, but running 
with a swiftness and volume unattained by any subsequent tide. The merry 
barbarity of the sport is still sufficiently obvious in the well-regulated tourna- 
ment of Chaucer's K^iighf s Tale, where twenty may fall upon one, where a new 
assailant may bury his sword in the flesh of a man already fighting, and where 
a fully-armed horseman may ride down an unfortunate on foot who has only 
his broken lance-butt for a weapon. Not until the fifteenth century did this 
knightly pastime take on the form which has crystallized in the popular mind. 

1 Parthenopeus, 8841. 2 See William Marshall, 4197 ff. 

8 Ipomedon, 3744 ; Clig^s, 4692. A beaten suitor might prefer death to appearing before the 
princess as his rival's gift ; but he would keep his oath. " There was greater loyalty in those 
days," says Hue de Roteland — Ipomedon, 3747. 

* Parthettopetis, 7870 ; Ipomedon, 4002. When Ismeun left his ear and arm in the field, he 
left too much gage, says the jesting poet in the latter passage. 

fi Lanzelet, 2930, 2964; Charrette, 6002. ^ Jpomedon, 3730; Lanzelet, 3057, 3486. 

■^ Ipomedon, 2T^9- ^ Lanzelet, 3058. ^ Ipomedon, 3833. 

I*' Parthenopeus, 8260. ^^ As in Lanzelet. ^^ Parthenopeus, 8251, etc. 

13 Cliges, 4769 ff. Compare the busy and sociable evenings in William Marshall, and the 
remarks of Meyer and Jusserand thereon. 



NOTES ON CELTIC CAULDRONS OF PLENTY 
AND THE LAND-BENEATH-THE-WAVES 

Arthur C. L. Brown 



The following pages study the connection between Celtic cauldrons of 
plenty and the Land-beneath-the- Waves. The subject has interesting possi- 
bilities, because the oldest Grail romances seem to contain traces of an original 
location of the Grail castle, with its talisman of plenty, upon or beneath the sea. 

Some twenty-five years ago Nutt ^ sought to connect the Fish of Wisdom 
in Irish story with the Fisher King, and with the marvellous fish which Brons, 
according to Boron, caught at the bidding of Joseph of Arimathea. Although 
Nutt made the valuable suggestion that the talismans of the Grail castle are 
ultimately derived from the four '' jewels " of the Tuatha De Danaan, he re- 
lied upon stories of the Irish Finn Cycle, which are difficult to prove ancient, 
and upon recently collected Irish folk-tales. He dwelt upon particular traits 
of the Salmon of Wisdom which are hard to find in the fish of the Grail 
stories. It would seem, therefore, that further progress does not lie along the 
exact lines that he laid down. 

Rhys, somewhat later,^ suggested as a parallel to the Grail the mzvfs or 
basket of Gwyddno Garanhir. The basket of Gwyddno is described in the 
Welsh tale of Kidhzuch and Ohveji, which is generally admitted to date back 
to a period before the rise of French and English Arthurian romance.^ This 
clue, together with Nutt's important suggestion of the four ''jewels" of the 
Tuatha De Danaan, seems to mark the path for probable future discovery. 

On the other hand, advocates of the theory of a purely Christian origin for 
the Grail have sometimes argued as if Christian legend could adequately ex- 
plain the Fisher King, and as if the epithet '' rich fisher " were a stumbling 
block for the Celtic hypothesis.^ They rely upon the fact that Boron and 

1 Studies on the Legend of the Holy Grail, pp. 184 f. (1888). 

2 The Arthu7-ian Legend, pp. 311 f. (1891). For other references see Professor Nitze's useful 
articles, FMLA., XXIV, 365 f. ; Studies in Horior of Marshall Elliott, I, 19-51. 

3 Loth, Rev. Celt., XXXII, 433 (1911). 

* Heinzel, Ueber die franz. Gralromane, pp. 13, 192 ; Hertz, Parzival, p. 427 ; and especially 
Wechssler, Die Sagevom heiligen Oral, p. 130 : " Die Bezeichnung ' reicher Fischer,' hat christ- 
lich-symbolische Bedeutung, = Menschenfischer : Matt, iv, 19; Mark i, 17 ; Luke v, 10. . . . Dieser 
Name des Gralhiiters stammt also aus der christlichen Symbolik, und nicht, wie sammtliche 
Graldichter erzahlen, daher, dass der alte Gralkonig dem Gralsucher auf einem Flusse fischend 
erschien." 

235 



236 CELTIC CAULDRONS OF PLENTY 

many later Grail writers obviously tried to connect the Fisher King with the 
Biblical phrase " fishers of men," and with the fish {Ix^v^) used as a symbol 
by early Christians. Reflection, however, reveals difficulties which have pre- 
vented the general acceptance of any theory of this kind, and which seem to 
indicate that the true origin of the Fisher King is not to be found in this 
direction.^ To discuss the whole question of the origin of the Grail would lead 
us too far. Since, however, the hypothesis of a Celtic source (whether Welsh 
or Breton) is more probable than any other,^ an endeavor is made in the fol- 
lowing pages to test it in what has been regarded by some as a vulnerable 
point, by examining as searchingly as possible how far it can explain the title 
'" Fisher King," and the other traces of the watery realm which, as has been 
remarked, appear in the Grail romances. 

The oldest and best-known vessels of plenty in Irish and Welsh respec- 
tively are the coire of the Dagda, and the mivys of Gwyddno Garanhir. For 
the sake of completeness other vessels of plenty which figure in Irish and 
Welsh tradition are briefly considered. 



II 

The cauldron of the Dagda is one of four famous talismans^ of the Tuatha 
De Danaan which are best described in the Catk Maige Turedh : ^ 

1 If the phrase " rich fisher " meant in origin one who converted many, Peter ought to be 
the original Fisher King, certainly not Joseph of Arimathea or any other figure like Brons. Yet 
none of the oldest Grail romances give any hint that Peter was the original Fisher King. He 
is not even mentioned except in Boron, and here he is a subordinate character rather obviously 
inserted because of Boron's idea that a connection existed between his Fisher King and the 
Biblical phrase " fishers of men." Compare the admission of Heinzel, op. cit., p. 98 : " Das ist 
Nutt zuzugeben, dass das 26. Capitel des Matthausevangeliums und das 15. des Evangeliums 
Nicodemi nicht, wie Birch-Hirschfeld, Die Sage vom Gral, 222, meint, ausreichen, um alle 
Vorstellungen, welche das Mittelalter vom Gral hatte, zu erklaren." In short, the connection 
between the Fisher King and Christian legend looks like a post factum invention made to 
account for the epithet " fisher " already in the story. The oldest Grail romancers, Chretien, 
Wauchier, do not give the purely Christian theory any support. Space does not permit the men- 
tion of other difficulties, such as the heterodox tinge present in all the Grail romances, which 
can hardly be accounted for except by supposing that a Christian interpretation has been 
superimposed upon a heathen basis. 

2 The so-called " Tischlein-deck-dich " motive occurs in the popular tales of every age and 
every clime. But it would seem that only from the Celts could the Grail stories have appeared 
precisely in the way in which they did appear in the Middle Ages, and tradition has always con- 
nected these stories with a Celtic origin. 

8 Called "jewels" {seoid) and "gifts" {aisgeadha), Keating, Irish Texts Soc, IV, 205-210. 

* Rev. Celt., XII, 56-58. This text is in a MS. of the fifteenth century, but must from evidence 
of grammatical forms be older. The antiquity of the tradition concerning the four jewels seems 
indisputable. The Lia Fail is referred to in LL. 9 a, 14 (Book of Leinster, a MS. of 1 150). See 
Nutt, Voyage of Bran, II, 171. The Dagda's cauldron is mentioned in LL., and under the name 
/:aire ainsic, " the undry cauldron," in Cormac's Glossary, which is generally thought to be a 
work of the ninth or tenth century. See Stokes, Three Irish Glossaries, London, 1862, p. xviii, 
and the translation, p. 45, London, 1868. 



ARTHUR C. L. BROWN 237 

Out of Falias was brought the stone of Fdl, which was in Tara. It used to roar under 
€very king that would take (rule over) Ireland. 

Out of Gorias was brought the spear that Lugh had. No battle was ever won against 
it or him who held it in his hand. 

Out of Findias was brought the sword of Nuada. When it was drawn from its deadly 
sheath no one ever escaped from it and it was irresistible. 

Out of Murias was brought the Dagda's cauldron. No company ever went from it 
unthankful.! 

The name Murias evidently refers to the sea, mtiir^ and probably to the Land- 
beneath-the- Waves. According to Keating's History ^ the Tuatha De Danaan 
were seven years at Dobar and lardobar, '' Water " and " Behind Water." ^ 
The Dagda is obviously associated in old documents with the water-world. He 
had a son, Angus, by Boand, the nymph of the river Boyne.* Fie is in numer- 
ous passages connected with Manannan mac Lir, the well-known sea god of 
the Irish {Ler, ''the sea "). In one of the oldest of Irish stories, Imram Brain, ^ 
Manannan drives in a chariot over the waves, and occasionally plucks a salmon 
fish from the water. The Dagda is called brother to Nuadha Airgetlam,^ 
who, as will be pointed out later,^ is pretty certainly a sea god. 

In the great collection of Irish place-legends called the Dinnshenchas the 
Dagda's '' cauldron " {coire) is apparently referred to under the name '' tub " 
{drochta). The entry, like many others in the Dinjishenchas, seems to be a 
mnemonic sketch of a story well known at the time.^ For us it is obscure and 

1 The text of this paragraph is : "A Murias tucad coiri an Dagdai. Ni tegedh dam dimdach 
uadh." 2 /„-^/^ 'p^^ts soc, IV, 205. 

3 Rhys, Hibbert Lectures, p. 257. Dobar, " water," is explained in Cormac's Glossary, tr. p. 40. 

* Rhys, op. cit., pp. 123, 144. In LL. 191 a, is an account of Boand's adventure at Nechtan's 
well, which she profaned, and in consequence it overwhelmed her and issued as the river 
Boyne (translated in O'Grady, Silv. Gad., II, 474, 519). This passage calls Boand "Nechtan's 
wife," but adds that she was the mother of Angus, son of the Dagda. 

fi Meyer, Voyage of B^-an, I, 16 f. ^ Rev. Celt., XII, 80, etc. ''' See below, p. 243. 

^ The text in LL. 1 59 a, 50, says : " Gabhal Glas, son of Ethadon, son of Nuadha Argatlaim, 

took away a bundle of twigs, which Ainge, the Dagda's daughter, had gathered to make a tub 

thereof. For the tub {drochta) which the Dagda used to make {dognid, impf.) would not cease 

from dripping while the sea was in flood, though not a drop came out of it during the ebb." 

Silv. Gad., II, 476, 523. The same account is in the Bodleian Dinnshenchas, No. 6, and in the 

Rennes Dinnshenchas, Rev. Celt., XV, 302. In the metrical Dinnshenchas in LL. the account is 

somewhat different : ^ • , • , ^ , , 

Dear to me is bnght Gabul . . . 

A tub {drochta) was made for his daughter 

Above the breastwork of the high river mouth. 

It would not leak unless the tide were full. 

She loved the lot of virginity. 

He it was who stole it (burden of a tale), 

Even Gaible, the pale, son of Ethedeoin. 

Gwynn, RIA., Todd Lecture Series, IX, 58 (1906). The word drochta is of somewhat doubtful 
meaning. Stokes, ZFCP., Ill, 468, would connect it etymologically with " trough," and points 
out that in Cormac's Glossary, tr., p. 14, it is glossed by seinlestar, "an old vessel." Gwynn, 
op. cit., thinks it may mean a kind of boat. He also suggests that the connection between it and 
the tide may have been one of sympathy only. But something more than this seems implied 
by the words " above the breastwork of the high river mouth." 



238 CELTIC CAULDRONS OF PLENTY 

the translation is in part uncertain. It appears probable, however, that the 
passage connects the Dagda's vessel of plenty with the sea, and regards it as 
a kind of woven basket (of twigs). 

The Brugh of the Dagda, Bnigh na Boinne, was a favorite form of the 
Irish otherworld. It contained his cauldron, which satisfied all comers ; his 
unfailing swine, one always living, and the other ready for cooking ; a vessel 
of ale, and three trees always laden with fruit. No one died there.^ By a 
trick the palace of the Dagda passed into the possession of Angus, and it is 
sometimes said to belong to Bodhb Dearg, son of the Dagda. In the Book 
of Fermoy, a fifteenth-century MS., occurs what is evidently another descrip- 
tion of Bncgh na Boinne. Manannan, we are told, " settled the Tuatha De 
Danaan in the most beautiful valleys, drawing round them an invisible wall, 
which was impenetrable to the eyes of men, and impassable." He also sup- 
plied them with " the ale of Goibniu the smith," which preserved them from 
old age, disease, and death.^ 

In the oldest records are a number of statements connecting the Dagda 
with smithcraft. In the Triads of Ireland, which are dated by the editor be- 
fore 900,^ we read that one of '' the three things that constitute a blacksmith " 
is inneoin in Dagda, '' the anvil of the Dagda." According to Cormac's Glos- 
sary,^ Brigit or Ana was daughter of the Dagda, and was called Brigit bi 
goibnechta, *' Brigit the female smith." 

The Dagda's abode, Brngh na Boinne, resembled the Grail castle in having 
connected with it a lacustrine smith. The Dinnshenchas associates Bodhb's 
sid (the Dagda's palace) with a subaqueous smith who dwelt beneath Lake 
Killarney : '' Whence loch L^in (Killarney) t Lein Imfiaclach mac Ban, etc., 
was the craftsman of Bodhb's sid. He it was that dwelt in the lake (Ise boi isin 
loch), and wrought the bright vessels of Fand, daughter of Flidais." ^ 

The reader will be reminded of the sword of the Grail castle, which accord- 
ing to Chretien could be remade only by the smith Trebuchet, who dwelt ** au 
lac qui est sor Cotovatre." ^ Trebuchet probably dwelt beneath the lake. In 
Gerbert's continuation of Perceval a visit of the hero to Trebuchet is described.*^ 
The entrance to his abode was guarded by two dragons, and was perhaps 
located beneath the lake. Wolfram's Parsival also describes the Grail sword. 
It would break at the first blow, and must be plunged in the water of the 
spring Lac by Karnant to be restored.^ 

1 D'Arbois, Cours, II, 270 f., from LL. 246 a. 2 Todd, RIA., Irish MS. Series, I, i, 46. 

8 Meyer, RIA., Todd Lecture Series, XIII, 16, No. 120. 

* Tr., pp. 4, 23, 145. According to the Cath Maige Turedh {Rev. Celt., XII, 81), the Dagda was 
brother to Goibniu the smith. 

s Silv. Gad., II, 477, 523, from the Book of Ballymote. The same account is in the Rennes 
Dinnshenchas, Rev. Celt., XV, 451, and in the metrical Dinnshenchas, in LL. 154 b, 35. 

^ Perceval, ed. Baist, 3637. Miss Weston {Sir Perceval, I, 135) reads from MS. 12576 
" soz Cothoathre." ' Miss J. E. Weston, Sir Perceval, I, 141 f. 

8 Parzival, ed. Martin, 253, 24 f. ; 433, 25 f. 



ARTHUR C. L. BROWN 239 

The Grail romancers seldom mention the proper name of the Grail King. 
Chretien and Wauchier, the two oldest, leave him anonymous, calling him "le 
riche roi pescheor," or '* le peschiere." Boron names him Brons, and Wolf- 
ram, Anfortas. A parallel to this may be traced in the treatment of '' the 
Dagda " by the Irish records. '' The Dagda " is an epithet of uncertain ety- 
mology,^ and the god's proper name, which is not often mentioned, is variously 
given. The reticence of the Irish about the Dagda probably arose from a de- 
sire to avoid offending the deity by mentioning his real name, just as the 
modern Irish avoid mentioning the fairies, but speak of them as " the good 
people." 

Another resemblance between the Grail King and the Dagda, is that both 
are magicians and shape-shifters.^ 

Ill 

Other well-known vessels of plenty in Irish story are the cauldron of 
Gerg, that of Curoi, and that of Cormac. The cauldron, dabach, or airidig, 
of Gerg is described in the Tochniarc Ferbe : ^ 

Conchobar mac Nessa brought out of the fortress of Gerg Faeburdel the brazen vat that 
stood in the house, which when full of beer was wont to be sufficient for the whole land of 
Ulster, and this is that vat which by the men of Ulster was called the 01 Guala, or Coal- 
Vat, since a fire of coals was wont to be in that house in Emain in which that vat was drunk. 
And from it hath been named Loch Guala Umai in the Island of Daim, which is in the 
realm of Ulster ; for underneath the lake unto this day is that vat hidden in a secret place.^ 

The cauldron of Curoi was in the first place carried off by Cuchulinn and 
Curoi from the stronghold of Mider in the island of Falga.^ Mider is one of 
the Tuatha De Danaan, and Falga, although strictly speaking a name for the 
Isle of Man, doubtless here, as often, denotes the otherworld. According 
to one form of the story Cuchulinn attacked a revolving castle in which Curoi 
dwelt, and after killing him carried off his cows and his cauldron.^ Another 

1 " The good god " or " the good hand " is the meaning assigned by Irish scribes, and by 
Stokes, Rev. Celt., XII, 83, 125. But in Rev. Celt., VI, 369 and Cormac's Glossary, tr., p. 23, Stokes 
translated Dagda " the cunning one," and connected it with a root DAGH {doctus) ; see below, 
p. 243, n. 8. Among names for the Dagda are " Eocho the All- Father," ^f/^<? OllAt/tzr,'LL..gh, 17; 
Dagan, LL. 245 b, 41 ; Cratan Cain, LL. 1 14 a, 40 ; Cera, H. 3, 18, 633 d, Cormac's Glossary, tr., 47 ; 
" Lord of Great Knowledge " or " Red Man of Great Knowledge," Rtiad Rofhessa, Cormac, tr., 
144-145 ; and " Son of all the Sciences," Mac-na-n-ule-dana, LL. 149 a. He is commonly called 
Dagda Mor " the Great." 

2 On the shape-shifting of the Fisher King see the " Elucidation," Perceval, ed. Potvin, 222. 

3 Ed. Windisch, Irische Texte, III, 516, from LL. 

* The text of the last phrase is : " Ar is foi ata indiu i n-diamraib." The same story is in 
C6ir Anmain, Windisch, Irische Texte, III, 358. In neither place is Gerg's cauldron explicitly 
said to be a cauldron of plenty, but since it contained enough liquor for the whole of Ulster, 
this is a reasonable hypothesis. 

5 Rhys, Hibbert Lectures, p. 475 ; Keating, Irish Texts Soc, VIII, 223. 

6 LL. 169 b, 42 f, printed by O'Grady, Silv. Gad., II, 482, 530. 



240 CELTIC CAULDRONS OF PLENTY 

variant tells how Cuchulinn voyaged to the land of Scath, " shadow," and after 
escaping terrible dangers carried off three marvellous cows and a cauldron 
of plenty.^ 

Whatever be the origin of the cauldron, Ciiroi is himself undoubtedly a 
sea divinity. Henderson calls him " a great magician, really an othenvorld 
power, at any rate a water demon like Grendel." '^ Curoi's combat with 
Cuchulinn is referred to in an ancient Welsh poem, which calls the ocean 
Curoi's " broad fountain," and in another phrase connects him with the south- 
ern sea.^ In Fled Bricrendiroui LU., it is expressly said that the giant Terror, 
who is merely Curoi in disguise,^ lived in a lake : " To Terror at his Loch 
they went. . . . [Terror] departed into the Loch."^ 

Cormac's cup of truth and his cauldron of plenty are described in the 
Echtra Cormaic^ The Coire Aisic, or cauldron of plenty, '' used to return 
and give to every company their suitable food. . . . No meat was found 
therein save what would supply the company, and the food proper for each 
would be taken thereout." The Echtra Cormaic does not tell the origin of 
the cauldron of plenty, but it does say that the cup of truth, which evidently 
belonged with the cauldron, and was perhaps identical with it, came from 
Manannan mac Lir, the well-known Irish sea god. This cauldron, therefore, 
like the others, probably belonged to Under- Wave-Land."^ 



IV 

The best-known vessel of plenty in ancient Welsh tradition is the mwys 
or basket of Gwyddno Garanhir^ which has been repeatedly compared to the 
Grail.^ The description of it in Kulhwch mid Olwen,^ a tale which, as has 

^ Siaburcharpat Conculaind (in LU. 113, i, a MS. of 1 100), ed. Crowe, Proc. Roy. Hist. Soc. of 
Ireland, 4th. sen, I, 385 f., 1870-1871. Cf. Eriu, II, 20 f. 

2 Henderson, Irish Texts Soc., II, 197. 

3 Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales, I, 254-255; text, II, 198; Rhys, Proc. of Royal Soc. 
of Ant. of Ireland, XXI, 642 (1891). 

'* " Iwain," [Harvard) Studies and Notes, VIII, 53, 76. ^ Irish Texts Soc, II, 96-99. 

6 Irische Texte, III, 205-206. The MS. is of the fourteenth century, but a story by this 
name is mentioned in a list of ancient stories in RawHnson, B. 512. This Hst has been attributed 
to the tenth century ; see d'Arbois, I, 355. 

' Commonly written Tir fa Thtiinn. Compare the golden cup of Finn, which was one of 
a collection of treasures. The whole collection, according to the eighth poem of the Diianaire 
Finn, came originally from Manannan {Irish Texts Soc, VII, 1 18-120 ; text, pp. 20-21). (These 
poems of the Duanaire, although late in form, may record ancient tradition.) Compare also 
the green cup which Teigue had, and which would turn water into wine. It was brought to him 
out of the sea by a whale {Silv. Gad., II, 395). For other cauldrons of plenty, in less ancient 
stories, see O'Donovan, Battle of Mag Rath, Irish Arch. Soc, pp. 51 f. (1842). 

^ Rhys, Arthurian Legend, p. 312. 

^ Nutt's edition of Lady Guest's translation of the Mabinogion, p. 123 (1910); Loth, Les 
Mab., I, 244. In references to the so-called Mabinogion, the page of this English translation 
-will always be given first, and then the volume and page of Loth's French version. 



ARTHUR C. L. BROWN 241 

been remarked, dates back to a period before the rise of French romance, is 
as follows : 

The basket of Gwyddneu Garanhir, if the whole world should come together, thrice nine 
men at a time, the meat that each of them desired would be found within it.^ 

Gwyddno's epithet Garanhir, if it means, as Rhys thinks,^ ''long crane," 
doubtless implied that Gwyddno was a fisherman. His fisherman char- 
acter is all but proved by references in four ancient Welsh poems which 
have been printed and translated by Skene.^ The first two of these poems 
are in a MS. of the third quarter of the twelfth century,^ which is generally 
admitted to be uninfluenced by French romance. The third may fairly be 
dated as early as the first, and the fourth, the Gododin poem, is probably 
older still. 

In the first poem Gwyddno Garanhir is represented in connection with 
Gwynn ab Nudd, who, as will be seen, is probably an ancient sea god. In the 
second poem Gwyddno tells how the sea overflowed his land, which from other 
documents we learn was Cantref y Gwaelod, a region in Cardigan Bay. The 
author of the poem is obviously endeavoring to represent Gwyddno as a his- 
torical character, but the story is most naturally explained as a rationalization 
of a myth concerning a sea god whose dominions lay beneath the waves. The 
fourth poem connects Gwyddno's son with the flowing sea. 

The connection indicated between Gwyddno and the sea is close, and such 
an epithet as '* Fisher King," although we do not find it actually applied to 
him, would be perfectly appropriate. That the mwys was the object of a 
quest by Arthur,^ just as in the French romances the Grail is the object of 
quests by Arthur and his knights, is probably significant. 

1 " Mwys Gwydneu Garanhir. Kyt delei y byt y gyt bop trinaw wyr. Y bwyt a vynno pawb 
wrth y uryt a geiff yndi." Rhys and Evans, Text of the Red Book of Hergest, p. 122, line 4. 

2 Rhys, AHhicrian Legend, p. 316. It is proper to note, however, that Ivor John {Alab., 
p. 376) would identify the first part of Garanhir with cam, " haft," and would translate, "long 
weapon." He compares Peredur paladyrhir, " Peredur long-spear." 

3 Four Ancient Books of Wales, I, 293 (text, II, 54). The poem is a dialogue between 
Guitnev Garanhir and Gwynn ab Nudd. It mentions a terrible battle before Caer Vandwy. 
Caer Vandwy, according to Preidde2i Annwn, was one of the names for the place where the 
cauldron of Pryderi was kept : " Except seven none returned from Caer Vandwy " ; see below, 
p. 245. From The Black Book of Caermarthen. 

I, 302 (text, II, 59). "Guitnev" tells in this poem how the sea overflowed his country. 
From The Black Book of Caermarthen. 

I, 363 (text, II, 162). This poem relates that Urien "made an expedition " to the country 
of " Gwydno," an expression which suggests an imram or otherworld voyage. From The Book 
of Taliesijt. 

I, 384 (text, II, 71). This poem mentions "Issac, son of Gwydneu," and adds, "his conduct 
resembled the flowing sea." Gwynn is mentioned in the verses following. The Gododin poem, 
from The Book of Aneurin. 

* The Black Book of Caermarthen, autotype by J. G. Evans, 1888, p. xiii f. 

5 " Kulhwch and Olwen," Mab., p. 123 ; I, 244. 



242 CELTIC CAULDRONS OF PLENTY 

Concerning Gwyddno's mwys Rhys ^ has made three additional points : 

First, it was not a vessel for cooking, but for holding food, like the Grail. 
It could be opened like a chest : " The budget, basket (or weel), of Gwyddno 
Garanhir : if provision for a single person were put into it to keep, a suffi- 
ciency of victuals for a hundred persons would be found in it when opened." ^ 

Second, Gwyddno was the owner of a marvellous fishweir : "At that time 
the weir [cored] of Gwyddno was on the strand between Dyvi and Aberyst- 
wyth, near to his own castle, and the value of an hundred pounds was taken 
from that weir every May eve." ^ 

Third, like the Grail, which at the last " remained not in Britain," the 
mwys of Gwyddno ultimately disappeared beyond the sea : " Thirteen Rari- 
ties of Kingly Regalia of the Isle ^f Britain [of which the mwys was one] 
were formerly kept at Caerleon on the river Usk in Monmouthshire. These 
curiosities went with Myrddin, son of Movran, into the house of glass in 
Enlli or Bardsey Island." ^ 

For these three points Rhys is dependent upon the prose tale of Taliesin, 
which exists in no MS. older than the sixteenth century (although Gwyddno's 
weir is mentioned in verses included in the tale, which are probably much 
older than the prose), ^ and upon Bardic tradition recorded in the eighteenth 
century. It must in fairness, however, be admitted that no cogent reason can 
be alleged for doubting the value either of Taliesm or of the Bardic tra- 
dition. What they say about Gwyddno has plainly not been fabricated in the 
interests of any theory, nor does it show any trace of the influence of French 
romance. It is not antagonistic to the brief records of Gwyddno Garanhir in 
the ancient poems which have been examined, but it appears to be something 
more than a development from these records. 

It may be wise in the present state of knowledge to put aside the evidence 
of these late documents. Without them, records the antiquity of which is 
undoubted suffice to indicate that Gwyddno was in origin a kind of sea god, 
or sea fairy, who might naturally have been called a Fisher King. The 

1 Arthurian Legend, pp. 312-326. 

2 Quoted from Edward Jones, Welsh Bards, II, 48, London, 1802. The text is : " Mwys 
(neu bwlan) Gwyddno Garanhir ; bwyd i ungwr a roid ynddi, a bwyd i gannwr a gaid ynddi 
pan egorid." 

2 Quoted from Tallesln in Nutt's edition of Lady Guest's Mablnoglon, p. 297. 

* Quoted from Jones, II, 47. The text is : " Llymma tri-thlws-ar-ddeg o Frenhin Dlyseu 
ynis Prydain : y rhai a gedwid yn Nghaer-Lleon ar Wysg ac a aethant gyda Myrddin ab Morfran 
i'r Ty Gwydr, yn Enlli." 

5 Mab., p. 298. The text is : " Ni chaed yn ngored Wyddno," and the translation : " Never 
in Gwyddno's weir was there such good luck as this night." One may conjecture that the cored 
of this passage in " Taliesin " was in origin identical with the mwys of " Kulhwch and Olwen " 
and of Bardic tradition. A cored was made of wattles. Pughe's Dictionary defines mwys as " a 
pannier or hamper," and mwys bara as "basket for bread." The passage just quoted from Jones 
gives as a synonym for mwys the word bwlan, which the dictionaries explain as "a straw vessel 
to hold corn," " a basket." 



ARTHUR C. L. BROWN 243 

explanation of Gwyddno as originally a divinity of the water is supported by 
the connection indicated in the ancient poems of The Black Book of Caermar- 
then between him and Gwynn ab Nudd, concerning whom a few observations 
may be of interest. 

In Kulhwch and Olwen this personage is called "Gwynn Gotyvron," and 
in the Black Book^ we meet with a "Gwynn Godybrion." The epithet seems 
to mean " under the water." Davydd ab Gwilym calls the mist " the desert 
border land of Gwynn and his family," and refers to "the high projecting 
towers of the family of Gwynn," doubtless seen beneath the waves. He also 
calls the morass " Gwynn's fishpond " and says it is the dwelling of Gwynn's 
family .2 A Welsh Triad mentions "llys Gwynn ab Nudd," "Gwynn's castle," 
as " one of the invisible things of the Island of Britain." ^ 

Stern has identified^ Gwynn ab Nudd with the Irish Finn mac Nuadha 
Necht.^ Nudd, Irish Nuadha, was probably an ancient Irish sea god, or 
Celtic Neptune. Of the numerous identifications proposed by Rhys none 
is better substantiated than that of Nudd with the sea divinity {Nicdons, 
Nodonti) anciently worshiped at Lydney Park on the west bank of the 
Severn.^ Rhys quotes from Bathurst "^ an account of the remains of a temple 
to this god found at Lydney Park in Gloucestershire. A bronze ornament 
pictures the god surrounded by tritons. Another fragment of the ornament 
represents a triton with an anchor in one of his hands, and opposite him 
a fisherman in the act of hooking a fine salmon. Oars and shell trumpets 
are also pictured, and in the mosaic of the temple floor marine animals are 
represented. 

Gwynn, the son of this Nuadha (Nudd), is, in modern Welsh popular 
belief, a king of the fairies who dwell in the fenland and the sea. It is fair 
to hold that the association between Gwynn and Gwyddno marks them both 
as belonging to the Land-beneath-the- Waves. Indeed, one character seems to 
be little more than a doublet of the other.^ 

1 Mab., P- III ; I, 216; Skene, I, 262. 

2 Stern, ZFCP., Ill, 608-609 (1901) ; Loth, Les Mab., I, 252. 

3 Stem, ZFCR, VII, 233 (1909). * Stern, ZFCR, IV, 579 (1903). 

5 On Finn mac Nuadha see Keating, Irish Texts Soc, VIII, 331. 

6 Rhys, Celtic Folk-Lore, II, 446. 

"^ Roman Antiquities at Lydney Rark, London (1879). 

8 Gwyddno probably means " the knowing one," from gwydd, " knowledge." Cf , Pwyll, lord 
of Annwn, whom Rhys [Arthurian Legend, p. 283) has sought to identify with Pelles and Pellam. 
Pwyll seems to mean "intelligence" (Holder, Alt-Celtischer Sprachschatz, s.v. " Pellus "). These 
parallels add to the likelihood of Stokes's explanation of the Dagda as " the cunning one " 
(see above, p. 239 and cf. also the epithets of the Dagda, " lord of great knowledge," etc.). Gwynn 
seems to be the same as Gwynhan in Kulhwch and Olwen {Mab., p. no; I, 211), "his [son's] 
dominions were swallowed up by the sea." That both Gwynn's son and Gwyddno lost their 
dominions by the sea favors the notion that Gwynn and Gwyddno are doublets. Rhys believes 
{op. cit., 315-316) that Gwynn is identical with the personage whom Chretien calls Gonemans, 
and Manessier, Goon Desert. 



244 CELTIC CAULDRONS OF PLENTY 

V 

Other well-known magic cauldrons in early Welsh literature are the 
cauldron of Bran, that of Caridwen, and that of Pryderi.^ 

Bran's cauldron of regeneration which restored the dead to life was origi- 
nally brought by a yellow giant and giantess out of a lake in Ireland called 
Llynn y Peir, " the Lake of the Cauldron." ^ The story is in " Branwen the 
Daughter of Llyr," one of the four genuine branches of the Mabiiiogi? 

The cauldron of Caridwen is described only in the late prose tale o£j 
Taliesin : *' She boiled a cauldron of inspiration and science for her son . 
which from the beginning of its boiling might not cease to boil for a year 
and a day, until three blessed drops were obtained of the grace of inspiration."^ 
This cauldron belonged to Caridwen and her husband Tegid Voel, " and his 
dwelling was in the midst of the lake Tegid." ^ Like other Celtic magic 
vessels, therefore, this cauldron probably belonged to Under-Wave- Land. An- 
other evidence of this is the connection indicated with Gwyddno Garanhir, 
who, as we have seen, belongs to the water-world : '' The horses of Gwyddno 
Garanhir were poisoned by the water of the stream into which the liquor of 
the cauldron of Caridwen ran."^ 

1 The following objects may be left out of account since other details concerning them or 
their owners cannot be ascertained: "the bottles of Gwiddolwyii Gorr'" which alone will keep 
heat in the blood drawn from the slain sorceress Gorddti [Mab., p. 125; I, 247); the dish of 
Llwyr son of Llwyryon, which contained 2Lpenllad (twenty-four bushels of oats), Mab., p. 123; 

I, 244 ; the cauldron of " Diwrnach the Irishman," Diwmach Wyddel, in which meat was boiled, 
and which Arthur carried away full of money {Mab., pp. 124, 140; I, 246, 273). 

The " table-cloth or dish," lliain 7ieu dysgl, of Riganed is mentioned in Jones's Welsh Bards, 

II, 47-48, among the thirteen "rarities" of the Island of Britain. Whatever victuals or drink 
were wished for, this table-cloth instantly supplied. Another of these " rarities " is the cauldron 
of Dyrnog the giant (cf. Diwrnach above), which "would not boil the food of a coward." 

2 It has been objected that a cauldron of regeneration, like Bran's, is not a cauldron of plenty, 
cf. Heinzel, Ueber die franz. Gralromane, p. 97 : " Der Kessel Brans hat so gut wie keine Aehn- 
lichkeit mit der Gralschiissel." Those who desire may reject Bran's cauldron from this discussion. 
But even proceeding cautiously, as I wish to do, it seems difficult not to connect the regenerating 
Celtic cauldron with the cauldron of plenty. The Grail preserved from death and old age those 
who were in its presence. {Parzival, ed. Martin, 469, 14 f.) On the powers of the Grail cf. 
T. P. Cross, Mod. Phil., X, 293, n. Nutt's association of Bran with Brons should be remembered 
{Studies on the Legend of the Holy Grail, p. 218.) According to the Mabinogi Bran's head miracu- 
lously supplied with food seven men at Gwales in Penvro overlooking the ocean {Mab., p. 41 ; 
I, 93-94). Bran, like his brother Manannan, was evidently a water god. He waded through 
the sea in the story of Branwen {Mab., p. 35 ; I, 83. Cf. Nitze, PMLA., XXIV, 405). He was 
wounded in the foot much as the Fisher King was wounded {Mab., p. 39 ; I, 89). Brian, "god 
of the Tuatha De Danaan " and son of Brigit, grandson of the Dagda (Cormac, tr. 145), is 
perhaps the same person. 

3 Mab., p. 31 ; I, 76. * Mab., p. 295. Cf. Skene, I, 297. 

5 Rhys, Celtic Folk-Lore, Welsh and Manx, I, 376, shows that the notion that Lake Tegid 
(Bala) covers a submerged town is current in the neighborhood to-day. The same idea is in 
Marie Trevelyan, Folk-Lore and Folk-Stories of Wales, p. 13. 

6 Mab., p. 296. Some will feel that a cauldron of inspiration is not a cauldron of plenty. 
But the fact that the owners of this cauldron dwelt in a lake seems worthy of attention. 



ARTHUR C. L. BROWN 245 

The cauldron of Pryderi is described in an obscure poem called "Preiddeu 
Annwn " in the Book of Taliesin/ a fourteenth-century MS., but the poem is 
apparently uninfluenced by French romance. Arthur is represented as sailing 
in his ship '' Prytwen " through a stormy sea in quest of this cauldron. It 
was at Caer Sidi or Annwn, the Celtic otherworld, and belonged to Peft (' the 
head of") Annzun. According to the Mabinogi^ Pryderi was called Pen 
Annwn, and this vessel was in Welsh tradition known as the cauldron of 
Pryderi. It would not boil the food of a coward or of one forsworn. It was 
rimmed with pearl and warmed by the breath of nine maidens. That it was 
a cauldron of plenty is not expressly said, but is probable. It was beneath the 
sea in yi/^^ze/;/,^ which is also called Caer Pedryvan, ''the four-cornered castle" ; 
Caer Wydyr, '' the castle of glass"; Caer Gohtd, '' the castle of riches" ; and 
Caer Vandwy, ''except seven none returned from Caer Vandzvyy The inhabit- 
ants of Annwn were in pitch darkness except for " a torch burning before 
the gate." They were people exempt from old age and death, and spent 
their time " quaffing the rich wine." 

VI 

It appears from Irish story that the cauldron of the Dagda came from 
Murias, which seems to mean the sea ; that the cauldron of Gerg is at the 
bottom of a lake ; that Curoi, the owner of another magic cauldron, was a 
sea god ; and that Cormac's cauldron was the gift of Manannan mac Lir, the 
best-known of all Celtic sea gods. 

In Welsh story it has been seen that the magic cauldron of Branwen was 
brought by a red-haired giant out of a lake ; that the cauldron of Caridwen 
belonged to Caridwen and her husband Tegid Voel, whose dwelling was in 
Lake Tegid ; that the cauldron of Pryderi was the object of an obscure quest 
beyond the sea, and was apparently beneath the sea in a tower of glass {Caer 
Wydyr). And finally, that Gwyddno, who owned the famous mwys, was lord 
of a country submerged by the sea, and was connected in many other ways 
with the watery realm. This mwys was carried away by Merlin (Myrddin) 
into the tower of glass {Ty Gwydr), thought of as beyond or under the sea. 

It is interesting further to observe that recently collected Irish popular 
tales commonly connect vessels of plenty with subaqueous folk. A good 
instance is in Giolla an Fhingha,^ where a cauldron of plenty is carried away 
and remains beneath a lake. In Waifs and Strays, Finn's cup of victory is 

1 Skene, I, 264-266 (text, II, 181-182). 2 j^j^b., p. 9 ; I, t^%. 

8 Cf. Skene, I, 274-276 (text, II, 153), from the Book of Taliesin : " Complete is my chair 
in Caer Sidi. No one will be afflicted with disease or old age that may be in it. It is known to 
Manawyd and Pryderi. Three utterances around the fire will he sing before it, and around its 
borders are the streams of the ocean. And the fruitful fountain is above it." (See Rhys, 
Arthurian Legend, p. 301.) Cf. also Skene, I, 285 : '* There is a caeroi defense under the ocean's 
wave," etc. ■* Irish Texts Soc, I, 48. 



246 CELTIC CAULDRONS OF PLENTY 

carried off by the " Muilearteach," who is the eastern sea personified as an 
old hag. 

No similar tale collected in modern Wales is at hand, but names like 
Cawellyn, "lake of the basket, or cauldron," ^ together with the fact that 
Cawellyn and other similar lakes are believed to be inhabited by subaqueous 
folk, suggest that similar stories must have been current in Wales till recently. 
The evidence is cumulative that magic vessels, most of which are cauldrons 
of plenty, whether in Irish or Welsh, have been associated from the earliest 
times with the water-world, and especially with the Land-beneath-the- Waves. 

VII 

Except the epithet "Fisher King," no evidence has, I think, hitherto been' 
pointed out to connect the Grail and the sea, but a careful examination of the 
oldest Grail romances seems to reveal traces of such a connection. Novel as 
at first thought it may seem to believe that the Grail originally belonged to 
Under- Wave-Land, the idea is really not out of line with general tradition. 
Every one knows the story of King Arthur's sword Excalibur, which came 
from the Lady of the Lake, and finally went back to her into the lake. 
Excalibur is the same as the Irish sword Caladbolg? and that in turn is 
identical with the sword of Nuadha, one of the four " jewels " of the Tuatha 
De Danaan. Nuadha, as we have seen, was a sea god. The evidence of 
these pages tends to show that the Grail, which, though not so closely identi- 
fied with Arthur as Excalibur, is always mentioned in connection with him,^ 
may go back to the cauldron of the Dagda, another one of the four " jewels," 
and, like the sword, originally belong to the Land-beneath-the- Weaves. ^ 

In Wauchier's account of Gawain's visit to the Grail castle,^ which 
Miss Weston has given reasons for thinking is the most archaic of all,^ the 
palace of the Fisher King is far out on the sea, and is reached by a long 

1 Rhys, Celtic Folk-Lore, I, 32, suggests that' Cawellyn is the same as cawell-lyn, " creel 
or basket lake," and tells a number of stories collected in the neighborhood which deal with 
fairies that dwell in this lake. Of another lake in the neighborhood, Corwrion, Rhys gives 
similar stories (I, 68), and tells of a supposed submerged village there and of a family in the 
neighborhood reputed to be of fairy origin, who are said " to have arrived in the parish at the 
bottom of a cazoell,'" " a creel or basket carried on the back." Evidently they were thought to 
have been brought out of the lake in a basket. Not to attach undue importance to details, a 
connection between the sublacustrine folk and a basket or cauldron seems clearly indicated. 

2 See my " The Bleeding Lance," PMLA., XXV, 33 f. 

8 Brugger, ZFS., XXXVI, Referate tend Rezensionen, 189-190, has pooh-poohed the idea that, 
because all Grail stories are connected with Arthur, the connection must be old. But he gives 
no reasons, and it still seems to me a highly probable hypothesis that the Sword, Round Table, 
Grail, etc., belong together, and were associated very early with Merlin and with Arthur. 

* For a rather different view see Windisch in the Leipzig Abhandlungen, XXIX, 197 f. (191 2), 
a publication that came to me since this paper was in type. 

5 Ed. Potvin, 19639-20333. Wauchier's date is about 1190. 

^ Legend of Sir Perceval, I, 229 f., 286 f. 



ARTHUR C. L. BROWN 247 

wave-beaten causeway. Gawain's horse took the bit in his teeth and entered, 
against the will of his rider, the forbidding opening ^ to this passage. Some 
idea of the length of the causeway is gained by noticing that Gawain rode 
over it from nightfall till midnight before he drew near to the Grail palace. 
If we take the description literally, the Grail castle must have been a crannog^ 
or lake dwelling, far out in a large lake or bay. The description is most natu- 
rally explained as a euhemerization of a castle beneath the waves. Gawain 
was carried thither on the back of a particular horse which knew the way. 
Next morning when he awoke from sleep he found himself '' on a lofty cliff 
beside the sea." No house, castle, or trace of man was visible. Some veil of 
illusion had evidently covered both them and the causeway over which Gawain 
had ridden the previous night. In an earlier form of the story it is probable 
that this mysterious veil was the surface of the sea. The thoughtful reader of 
the romances will be reminded of the description, in the prose Lancelot, of 
the surface of a lake as a veil of illusion for a fairy abode.^ 

Chretien's version, although older in time of composition ^ than Wauchier's, 
is apparently more modified by the constructive skill of the author than is the 
latter. In Chretien's version are several points which may indicate that the 
castle of the Grail was, in a more original form of the story, an under-wave- 
abode. Perceval found the Grail king fishing from a boat which was upon a 
broad, deep water. When Perceval inquired about a lodging place for the 
night, the fisherman told him to follow a cleft made in the rock, adding that 
when he arrived at the top he would see before him in a valley a house with 
streams and woods. Perceval went to the top of the hill, but at first could see 
nothing but sky and land. For several moments he blamed the fisherman for 
misdirecting him. Then he saw before him in the valley the top of a tower 
with beautiful turrets.^ 

1 "Moult i fet hideus entrer" (MS. Montpellier). On the perilous entrance to the other- 
world, see my ^^ Yv^dS.n^'' {Harvard) Studies and Notes, VIII, 75 f., and cf. the "cleft made in the 
rock " in Chretien's account below. ^ ggg below, p. 249, n. i. ^ About 1175. 

* The text in Baist's edition is as follows : 

Montez vos an par cele frete (says the fisherman) 
2992 Qui est en cele roche fete 

E quant vos la amont vanroiz 

Devant vos an un val verroiz 

Une meison ou ge estois 

Pres de rivieres e de bois. 

Maintenant oil s'an va amont 

E quant il vint an son le mont 

Si garda avant devant lui 
3000 E quant il vint an son le puy 

Si ne vit mes que ciel e terre 

E dit : que sui ge venuz querre 

La musardie e la bricoigne ! 

Dex li doint hui male vergoigne 

Celui qui ca m'a anvoie 

Si m'a il or bien avoi6 



248 CELTIC CAULDRONS OF PLENTY 

This sudden appearance of the castle with its towers and turrets below the 
knight may most naturally be explained as a rationalization of an earlier form 
of the story in which the tower of the Grail castle lay beneath a lake. The 
peculiar " opening made in the rock " ^ would then be a rationalization of a 
perilous entrance to a subaqueous domain. Chretien, however, wished to 
represent the story as entirely natural, and mentions no further difficulty in 
the way of Perceval's attaining the castle. But the next morning, when Per- 
ceval awoke, the castle was empty, and no search of his could reveal the 
whereabouts of its inhabitants. 

Doubtless one should be cautious about attaching excessive importance to 
these apparent traces of an original location of the Grail castle in the sea. 
Yet they demand some explanation, and it is a striking fact that it is precisely 
in the oldest known Grail writers (Chretien, Wauchier) that they appear. If 
Chretien had a Celtic source which represented the Grail palace as beneath 
the sea, he would be sure, according to his usual procedure,^ to rationalize 
this into a location on the edge of the sea, and would give us something like 
what we have in his lines, and in those of Wauchier. 

4 {Continued) Qu'il me dist que ge verroie 

Meison quant ca amont seroie ; 

Chevaliers {Pescilres Mons MS.) qui ce me deis 
3010 Trop grant desleaut6 feis 

Se tu le me deis por mal. 

Lors vit devant lui an un val 

Le chief d'une tor qui parut 

L'an ne trovast jusqu'a Barut 

Si bele ne si bien asise 

Quarree fu de pierre bise 
3017 Si avoit [deus] tomeles antor 

La sale fu devant la tor 

E les loiges devant la sale. 

With verses 301 2-3019 above may be compared the account of the Irish Book of Fermoy: 
" Manannan settled the Tuatha De Danaan in the most beautiful valleys, drawing round 
them an invisible wall, which was impenetrable to the eyes of men " (p. 238 above) ; and of 
the Welsh poet Dafydd ab Gwilym : " The high projecting towers of the family of Gwynn " 
(p. 243 above). 

With the great fire in the Grail palace, insisted on in Wauchier and in Chretien : 

ed. Baist, 3055 Si ot devant lui un feu grant 
De sesche busche bien ardant, 



3143 Antor le feu qui cler ardoit ; 



and in Parzival, " So great a fire was never seen at Wildenberc " (ed. Martin, 230, 10) ; cf. 
the fire by the cauldron of Gerg (p. 239 above), and the burning torch in Pryderi's castle 
(p. 245 above). 

1 The words ^^frete . . . fete " (11. 2991 f.) can hardly mean a natural cleft in a rock. 

2 Compare Yvain, in which Chretien has euhemerized an original f^e into the haughty 
ch&telaine of a mediaeval castle; and the "Joie de la Cort" episode in Erec, where something 
thoroughly supernatural has plainly been toned down. Of course Chretien's sources, assuming 
them to have been essentially Celtic, may have been already somewhat rationalized. 



ARTHUR C. L. BROWN 249 

That every ancient Welsh and Irish magic vessel turns out to be connected 
with the sea is a remarkable coincidence, if nothing more.^ Other points, 
such as the association of the Dagda, not only with a cauldron of plenty, but 
with a lacustrine smith, just as the Fisher King is associated with the Grail 
and with a smith who dwelt by or under a lake, seem to make the hypothesis 
of a mere coincidence unlikely. Nuadha, who, as we have seen, was brother 
and associate to the Dagda, was, according to ancient Irish tradition, a wounded 
king 2 who lost his kingdom on that account, like the Grail king. The mwys 
of Gwyddno, considering how little we are told of it, is a remarkable parallel 
to the Grail. All of these Celtic stories have been shown to antedate Chretien. 

What may be perhaps thought new in this paper is the indication of a 
persistent association between Celtic magic cauldrons and the Land-beneath- 
the- Waves, and the pointing out of traces of an original location of the Grail 
castle upon or beneath the sea. It has been seen that the Celtic hypothesis 
can readily explain the epithet '' Fisher King " and other features which con- 
nect the Grail castle with the watery realm. This, it is thought, must tend to 
increase the probability that the Grail story, whatever be the ultimate origin of 
the elements from which it is composed, took shape in the fancy of the Celts. 

1 No one can deny the possibility that a Celtic description of a Land-beneath-the-Waves 

may have formed the basis of Chretien's account. In his Lancelot he mentions two felons 

passages to Gorre, a land which has a number of points in common with the otherworld. The 

passage chosen by Gawain was called : 

Li Ponz Evages, 

Por ce que soz eve est li ponz (ed. Foerster, 66i). 

The prose Lancelot relates that a water fairy (cf. merfeine memiinne, Lanzelet, 194 f.) carried the 
infant Lancelot away to her residence beneath a lake : 

" La damoisele qui lanselot emporta el lac estoit une fee " (p. 19). . . . " En chel lieu ou il 
sambloit que li lais fust plus grans et plus parfons avoit la dame moult beles maisons et moult 
riches. ... La samblanche del lac le covroit si que veus ne pooit estre" (p. 22). Vulgate Version, 
ed. Sommer, vol. III. Compare the pucieles despuis of the " Elucidation " {Perceval, 29-62), 
who used to rise out of the water of springs bearing golden cups and food for the wayfarer. 
For numerous references to the Under-Water-Realm in the romances see Miss Paton, Studies in 
the Fairy Mythology, pp. 167 f. ^ Kev. Celt, XII, 61. 



THE DYING INDIAN 
Frank Edgar Farley 

The American Indian was, as every reader knows, an object of lively 
curiosity to Europeans of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the 
literature of the time every effort was made to satisfy that curiosity. Any 
book treating of the history, topography, manners, morals, or arts of America 
or its inhabitants, from Captain Smith's True Relation down through the 
period of the Revolution and beyond, was almost sure to make some mention 
of the Indians, and not a few such books were chiefly devoted to their affairs. 
This eager interest may be accounted for in two ways. Of course, whatever 
could be learned of the red man's origin, language, religion, ethics, mode of 
government, habits, and manners had scientific value. ^ But further than 
that, the Indian was to a greater or less degree on the white man's con- 
science. The white man had cheated him out of his lands, debauched him 
with rum, and dealt treacherously with him in various ways, and yet the 
Indian was a brother man, and at bottom he retained many of the virtues of 
the unspoiled child of nature. He was on the whole, in spite of his fiendish 
cruelty, a pathetic figure, — not without nobility, and indubitably possessed of 
an immortal soul for whose welfare the less hardened of the whites felt some 
measure of embarrassed responsibility .^ As the eighteenth century wore on, 
with its ever increasing talk of '' sensibility " and '' the return to nature," the 
white, although he continued to ply the Indian with fire water and to de- 
fraud him of his hunting grounds,^ interested himself more and more deeply 
in the sentimental aspects of the Indian's character and fate. 

No trait of the red man was oftener dwelt upon than his stoical endur- 
ance of hardship, especially when subjected by his enemies to torture. Hun- 
dreds of anecdotes of such fortitude may be found in the literature of the 

1 For a recently published example of such scientific inquiry (a physician's), see " Letters 
of Samuel Lee and Samuel Sewall relating to New England and the Indians," edited by 
G. L. Kittredge, Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Vol. XIV, 191 2. 

2 Much was written in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries on the subject of Indian 
missions. Samson Occom, the celebrated Indian preacher, who visited England in 1766-1768 
on behalf of Wheelock's Indian Charity School, collected there over £12,000 as a result of some 
four hundred sermons and other addresses. Occom was presented to George III and met many 
other distinguished people. See Love's Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New 
England, Boston, 1900, chap. viii. 

^ See The Indian Dispossessed, by S. K. Humphrey, Boston, 1905. 

251 



252 THE DYING INDIAN 

eighteenth century alone.^ It was natural that these recitals, always shocking 
but often thrilling, should fire the imagination of some of the poets, for the 
victim was usually represented as chanting a death song in which he derided 
his enemies.2 We have in consequence a number of poems in which the 
central figure is an Indian singing his death song at the stake. The notes 
•comprising the present article had their origin in the curiosity aroused in the 
writer's mind by some songs of this character which were composed in the 
eighteenth century. Investigation revealed several other poems belonging to 
the same epoch which exhibit the Indian in various sentimental situations. A 
few of these songs and other poems are here briefly described and annotated. 
They cannot be held to portray the Indian accurately. None of them has 
high poetic merit. That degree of praise can hardly be bestowed upon even 
the best of Freneau's compositions. But they afford one more illustration of 
the interest in the emotions and the virtues of barbaric races which the Eng- 
lish literature of the second half of the eighteenth century frequently reveals, 
and which may be regarded as one of the manifestations of that vague 
impulse commonly known as the Romantic movement. 

It remains to be said that the poems reviewed in these notes are confined 
to the eighteenth century and to the English language, and that the writer 
has not by any means exhausted all available sources of information. 

I. Of the songs supposed to be sung by Indians who are dying under 
torture, the following is on the whole about the best that has survived : 

THE DEATH SONG OF A CHEROKEE INDIAN* 

The sun sets in night, and the stars shun the day, 
But glory remains, when their lights fade away. 
Begin, ye tormenters : your threats are in vain : 
For the son of Alknomock can never complain. 

Remember the woods, where in ambush he lay. 
And the scalps which he bore from your nation away. 
Why do ye delay ? . . . 'till I shrink from my pain ? 
Know, the son of Alknomock can never complain. 

1 For typical examples see the London Magazine, XXXII, 459(1763), and the American Mu- 
seum, II, 594 (1787). The periodicals of the time abound in such instances. So do the many 
narratives of individual captivity, and such books (their number is legion) as Major Robert 
Rogers's A Concise Account of N^orth America, London, 1765; James Adair's T/ie History of the 
American Indians, London, 1775; Jonathan Carver's Travels through the Interior Parts of 
North America, London, 1778; and John Long's interesting Voyages and Travels of an Indian 
Interpreter and Trader, London, 1791. See also ih^fesuit Relatiotis. 

2 The songs of the dying Indian were often compared with the numerous translations and 
imitations of the Dying Ode of Regnar Lo&brok, a poem of Norse origin which Percy made 
popular in 1763. See the Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature, IX, 66, n.2, 
Boston, 1903. The dying negro slave was also the subject of much sentimental verse in the 
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. 

3 As printed in The American Museum, second edition (1787). 



FARLEY 253 

Remember the arrows he shot from his bow : 
Remember your chiefs by his hatchet laid low. 
The flame rises high. You exult in my pain : 
But the son of Alknomock will never complain. 

I go to the land where my father is gone : 

His ghost shall exult in the fame of his son. 

Death comes like a friend. He relieves me from pain : 

And thy son, O Alknomock, has scorn'd to complain. 

This composition has been ascribed to three different authors. Its earUest 
appearance in print seems to have been in the first number of Mathew Carey's 
American Museum, January, 1787 (I, J J), I have not seen a copy of the first 
edition. In the second (1787) no author is given ; but in the third (the preface 
of 'which is dated July 20, 1790) the poem is attributed to '' P. Freneau." 
Royall Tyler introduced the song into the opening act of The Contrast, which 
was performed for the first time in New York, April 16, 1787, and printed 
in Philadelphia in 1790. A character called Maria, who is disclosed at the 
beginning of the second scene '' sitting disconsolate at a Table, with Books, 
&c.," sings the Cherokee song and then observes, somewhat stiffly, ** There is 
something in this song which ever calls forth my affections. The manly virtue 
of courage, that fortitude which steels the heart against keenest misfortunes, 
which interweaves the laurel of glory amidst the instruments of torture and 
death, displays something so noble, so exalted, that in despite of the prej- 
udices of education I cannot but admire it, even in a savage." Thomas J. 
McKee, who edited the play for the Dunlap Society in 1887, prints (facing 
p. 1 1) a reduced facsimile of a contemporary broadside containing the words 
and music and bearing the title Alknomook, the Death Song of the Cherokee 
Indians. He remarks in his Introduction (p. x), *' This song had long the 
popularity of a national air and was familiar in every drawing-room in the early 
part of the century." 

Oddly enough, the song was printed among the Poems of Mrs. Anne Hunter, 
London, 1806, as her own composition, with the title The Death So?tg, 
written for and adapted to an original Indian air. Maria Edgeworth quotes 
the poem in her Rosamond (Philadelphia, 1821, II, p. 52 of The Print 
Gallery), where she calls it The Son of Alknomook. She adds a note by 
Mrs. Hunter (to whom she ascribes the authorship), explaining that '' the idea 
of the ballad was suggested several years ago, by hearing a gentleman, who had 
resided many years in America, among the tribe called the Cherokees, sing 
a wild air, which he assured me it was customary for these people to chaunt 
with a barbarous jargon, implying contempt for their enemies in the moments 
of torture and death." The version in Mrs. Hunter's Poems, which I have 
not seen, evidently differs somewhat from that printed in Carey's Museum 
(and reproduced above), but it is said by McKee to be ''an exact copy" of 



254 



THE DYING INDIAN 



that in Tyler's play. The version printed by Miss Edgeworth, however, not 
only omits one of Tyler's stanzas (" Remember the woods "), but varies a 
little in other respects. Compare Mrs. Hunter's version as printed in 
Duyckinck's Cyclopcedia, I, 341. The broadside varies slightly from Tyler's 
version and considerably from Freneau's. 

Professor Pattee, the editor of The Poems of Philip Freneaii (Princeton, 
1 902- 1 907), agrees with most authorities in accepting the song as Freneau's 
in spite of the fact that Freneau never included it among his own works, 
although he " hoarded his poetic product, especially in his earlier period, with 
miserly care." McKee, on the contrary, is convinced ''after considerable 
research . . . that Alknomook is the offspring of Tyler's genius." The evi- 
dence does not seem conclusive in the case of any one of the three candidates.^ 

2. In the American Mtisetcm for September, 1789 (VI, 193), appeared 
an anonymous prose tale bearing the title Azakia: A Canadian Story. An 
officer in the French army, St. Castins, becomes enamored of a young Indian 
woman, Azakia, whom he has saved from death. Although Azakia returns 
his affection, she remains faithful to her husband, the chief Ouabi, with whom 
St. Castins takes refuge. Presently Ouabi is made prisoner by hostile Indians 
and bound to a stake, where he is to be tortured to death. He has already 
begun his death song when St. Castins, at the head of the chief's followers, 
disperses the enemy and releases the captive. In gratitude Ouabi surrenders 
Azakia to the Frenchman and takes a new wife. 

This tale was versified, with some changes in names and incidents, by 
Mrs. Sarah Wentworth Morton, the Delia Cruscan, and published in Boston 
in 1790 with the title Oicdbi, or the Virtues of Nature, An Indian Tale. In 

1 For discussions of the authorship of this song see Pattee, Poems of Freneau^ II, 313 n.; 
McKee's edition, p. x. ; Duyckinck, Cyclopcedia of American Literature, New York, 1856, I, 
341 n. ; Onderdonk, History of American Verse, Chicago, 1901, pp. 80 ff. ; Marble, Heralds of 
American Literature, Chicago, 1907 (to which I owe the reference to The Contrast), pp. 95 ff. 

McKee notes that the song was introduced into another play. New Spain, or Love in Mex- 
ico, Dublin, 1740. The date is an error. The opera called New Spain, sometimes attributed to 
John Scawen, was published in London in 1790, and according to the title-page received its 
first performance July 16 of that year, at the Theatre Royal. One of the characters is Alkmo- 
noak, a Chickasaw chief, who is captured by the Spaniards and who sings the death song in 
the third act. One stanza (" Remember the arrows ") is omitted. , The three remaining stanzas 
vary somewhat from all the other versions, but most resemble the version of Tyler. 

In the American Museum for October, 1789 (VI, 338), is printed A Favorite Song. Tune, 
The Son of Alknomack. This has nothing to do with Indians. The Philadelphia Minerva for 
December 23, 1797, reprints from the Weekly Museum a poem of sixty Hnes, in rhymed couplets, 
with the heading Alknomack, the great Indian chief, when preparing for the war in which he was 
made prisoner and tormented, is said to have made the following bloody reflections and obserz'atio7is 
to the virgins and attendants of his wigwam, in the night preceding the first battle. The beginning 
indicates that Gray's The Fatal Sisters served as a model : 

Now the storm begins to come I 

Every yell foretokens doom. 

Hear the warrior's whoop from far, 

Tells us to prepare for war. 



FARLEY 



255 



Four Cantos. By Philenia, a Lady of Boston?- The book was reviewed with 
much enthusiasm in the Massachusetts Magazine for December, 1790 
(II, 759), by a writer who hails her as *'the Seward of America." ^ 
One of the best things in the poem is the death song, beginning, 

Rear'd midst the war-empurpled plain, 
What Illinois submits to pain ! 
How can the glory-darting fire 
The coward chill of death inspire ! 

This song was printed in the Scots Magazine for October, 1793 (LV, 503), 
with due credit. 

A notice of Oudbi which appeared in the London Monthly Review, 
September, 1793, inspired one James Bacon to construct a three-act play in 
prose, which he called The American Indian ; or, Virtues of Nature, and 
which he published in London in 1795 with a dedication to Anne, Marchioness 
Townshend. The author explains in an introductory note that he began to 
write from the description in the review. '' I had nearly compleated the second 
act," he says, ''when the politeness of the editor of the Monthly Review, to 
whom I had applied for information where I might meet with the poem, fur- 
nished me with a sight of the only copy which, it is believed, ever made it's 
way into England." Bacon departs only slightly from Mrs. Morton's version 
of the action, and pays her the compliment of reprinting her '' justly admired 
death song " intact. 

3. The collection of American Poems published by Collier and Buel at 
Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1793, contains (p. 287) a lively composition by the 
versatile William Dunlap, entitled Cololoo — An htdiait Tale, thrown into 
English Verse. Cololoo, a Cayuga brave, has fallen into the hands of a hostile 
tribe, who are about to torture him at the stake in revenge for Colwall, one 
of their own warriors. The poem begins with a spirited account of the prep- 
arations for the sacrifice and the captive's indifference to his fate. The singer 
taunts his captors with the number of scalps they have lost to his nation and 
presently begins to boast of the fame of the great Cayuga chief, Logan. 

Then whilst from every limb the red streams gush, 

And round him glows the fire ; 
Whilst thorns and nails transfix the quivering flesh, 

The death song rises higher. 

1 Mrs. Morton annotated her poem with great care. She acknowledges her indebtedness 
to " the obliging communications of General Lincoln," and quotes from the letters of William 
Penn and from Jefferson's Notes on Virginia. 

2 The same number of the magazine contains Lines on Female Genius. To Philenia ; occa- 
sioned by reading her PoEM^ entitled " Oudbi, or The Virtues of Nature.'''' "Mean is the man," 

writes Philenia's admirer, 

who never can bestow 

A leaf of laurel to a female brow ; 

When sterling sense and tuneful diction join'd 

Are the twin offspring of a female mind. 



256 



THE DYING INDIAN 



The captive sings not only of Logan's valor but of his magnanimity. He 
reminds his hearers that Logan once stayed his hand when about to take ven- 
geance for the murder of his children, because the white man who had fallen 
into his power showed no fear of death. Then he jeers again at his tormentors : 

Why bring ye not the heated stone, 

To sear and seam my manly breast? 
Why sure the torture is not done ! 

Such pain Cololoo bears in jest. 

The prisoner's courage and his rehearsal of Logan's generosity have so 
wrought upon his enemies, however, that 

Reldor then with sullen stride, 

His knife was in his hand, 
Advanc'd, and thus aloud he cried, — 

And cut the twisted band. 

Reldor takes thee for his son, 
Colwall in battle slain. ^ 

The poem was reprinted in The Cohimbian Muse, Philadelphia, 1794 

(p. 1 87)- 

Cololoo is of special interest because of its mention of Logan. The wrongs 
of Logan,^ "the white man's friend," whose family is reported to have been 
barbarously murdered by Captain Michael Cresap in the spring of the year 
1774, aroused much sympathy in the eighteenth century. The alleged murder 
led to '' Cresap 's War." At a peace conference held near the end of the war, 
Logan is said to have made a speech which Thomas Jefferson praised^ as 
equal to anything in Cicero or Demosthenes. This speech, which was famous 
two generations ago "in ever}^ hemisphere," as Drake quaintly observes, 
begins, " I appeal to any white to say if ever he entered Logan's cabin 

1 S. G. Drake, in The Book of the Indians, eighth edition, Boston, 1841, relates that Logan, 
" who took no delight in tortures," cut the bonds of a white captive named Robinson and had 
him adopted into an Indian family. (Bk. v, p. 42.) 

2 The Cayuga Logan, son of Shikellimus, is to be distinguished from the Shawnee Logan 
who was killed in the service of the Americans during the Revolution. See Drake, Bk. v, 132 f. 

^ Notes on the State of Virginia, London, 1787, p. 104. Jefferson's statements with regard 
to Cresap's part in Logan's misfortune were challenged by Cresap's friends and led to a con- 
troversy. The genuineness of the speech has also been questioned. See Drake, Bk. v, 41-48 ; 
W. L. Stone, Life of foseph Brant, Albany, 1865, I, 39 ff. ; B. Mayer, Tah-gah-Juie, or Logan 
and Captain Michael Cresap, Baltimore, 1851 ; Joseph Doddridge, Logan, the last of the race of 
Shikellemus, Chief of the Cayuga nation. A dramatic piece. . . . Reprinted from the Virginia edi- 
tion of 1823, with a7t appendix [by J. R. Dodge] relating to the murder of Logan's family, Cin- 
cinnati, 1868. Doddridge's play, which is in prose, closes with Logan's speech. In the appendix 
are two poems by J. D. Canning, The Shade of Logan, and Epitaph for the Logan Monument, 
both reprinted from Williams^ American Pioneer. See also a passage in Richard Alsop's travesty 
of Jefferson's Inaugural (1805), printed in Duyckinck's C>(rA7/^^/^, I, 500. Alsop alludes to 

That story sad, by fiction's hand adorn'd, 
Where hapless Logan for his offspring moum'd. 



FARLEY 257 

hungry, and he gave him not meat ; if ever he came cold and naked, and he 
clothed him not." One sentence, '' There runs not a drop of my blood in the 
veins of any living creature," suggested a passage in Campbell's Gertrude of 
Wyoming (published in 1809).! 

Logan's speech was printed and his story was told in the Universal Maga- 
zine, LXXXIII, 181 (1788), under the title Fine Specimen of Indian Elo- 
quence? He is the hero of a poem called The Indian Victory, a Fragment 
Decorated by the Pencil of Fancy, signed '' Lavinia," and contributed to the 
MassacJiusetts Magazine in 1791 (III, 763). 

4. Passing over Joseph Lyndon Arnold's The Warrior s Death Song, 
1797^ (a poem inspired perhaps by the Son of Alknomock), and Thomas 
Gisborne's The Dying Indian, 1/98,* a '' Pindaric " ode in which the Indian's 
last moments are oddly contrasted with those of the saint and martyr Stephen, 
we may dismiss the Indian under torture,^ and consider briefly a group of 
poems in which the Indian dies in some other way. In Joseph Warton's 
The Dying Indian (Dodsley's Collection of Poems, London, 1782, IV, 220; 
American Museum, II, 414) he is slain by a poisoned arrow. William 

1 See Campbell's own note to Part iii, stanza xvii. Campbell quotes at length from Jefferson. 
Washington Irving used a variant of " I appeal to any white," etc., as a motto for his essay 

on " Traits of Indian Character " in The Sketch-Book. 

2 One of the characteristics of the American Indian which the eighteenth century most 
admired was his native eloquence. The periodicals of that era, as well as the various Travels 
and Histories are full of alleged Indian addresses or " talks " of one sort and another. Exam- 
ples may be found in the Gentleniati's Magazine, IV, 449 (1734); XVIII, 60 (1748); XXV, 
252 (1755); London Magazine, XVII, 8i, 419 (1748); XXVII, 631 (1758); Scots Magazine, 
XXV, 463 (1763); XXIII, 12, 602 (1761); Monthly Review Enlarged, IX, 465 (1792); 
Critical Review, IV, 13 (1757); American Museum, III, 256, 449 (1788); Massachusetts Maga- 
zine, III, 355 (1791) ; Weekly Magazine (Philadelphia), II, 410 (1798). Others are in the 
Memoirs of Lieutenant Henry Ti?nberlake, London, 1765, The History of the Five Lndian 
Nations of Canada by the Honorable Cadwallader Colden, London, 1747, and the works of Carver, 
Long, etc. Drake prints a great many. William Smith's Some Account of the North American 
Indians, London, 1754, contains a Speech of a Creek Indian against the Immoderate Use of 
Spirituous Liquors, which has an interesting history recounted in The Works of William Smith, 
D.D., Late Provost of the College and Academy of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, 1803, II, 214. 
Speeches in verse may be found in the Gentleman' s Magazine, XXXV, 526 (1765), and in the 
American Museum, IV, 481 (1788). Compare G. L. Kittredge, The Old Farmer and his 
Almanack, Boston, 1904, pp. 333-378. 

' See Kettell's Specimens of American Poetry, Boston, 1829, II, 80 f. 

* Reprinted in Gisborne's Walks in a Forest, eighth edition, London, 1813, p. 215. 

^ A variant of the tortured-Indian motive was introduced by William Richardson, Professor 
of Humanity at Glasgow University, in The Indians, a five-act tragedy in blank verse printed 
in London in 1790. At the opening of the third act a young Englishman is disclosed in fetters 
and surrounded by hostile savages. The captive defies his tormentors in true Indian fashion : 

Begin your rites : I scorn them ; and defy 
All that your bloody vengeance can inflict. 

He is released in the nick of time by a friendly chief. 

The Massachusetts Magazine for August, 1789 (I, 521), contains a poem called Rosetta, in 
which a white prisoner dies at the stake. 



258 



THE DYING INDIAN 



Preston's ample Poetical Works (London, 1795) contain a poem which was 
quoted entire in the Monthly Review for February, 1795 (XVI, 168), and 
again the next month in the Scots Magazine (LVII, 173). The title is Speech 
of an old savage to his soriy who^ ifi a war with a neighboring tribe y was 
preparing to bear his feeble father on his back. The savage begs to be left 
behind. " But first," he cries, 

But first strike here ; leave not thine aged father, 
To feel their rage, whose kindred he has mangled ; 
Nor let his tortur'd members feast the sight 
Of those that hate him and his tribe ! — Farewell, 
Be kind and quick. — Thy lance be sharp as now, 
Thine arm as strong, my son, in all thy warfare ! ^ 

This is virtually suicide.^ In some poems an Indian expresses his despair 
at the loss of home and kindred and then destroys himself. In Freneau's 
Prophecy of King Tammany^ first published in the Freeman s Journal, 
December 11, 1782, the famous chief immolates himself upon a funeral 
pyre. In the Indian Warrior s Lamentation, printed anonymously in the 
Massachusetts Magazine, IV, 120 (1792), the aged Wimar hurls himself 
down the rocks of Niagara in the manner of Gray's Bard. Carandoc, the 
center of interest in The American Warrior, an anonymous poem printed in 
the Columbian Mnse (1794), kills himself, we infer, in order to join his 
murdered sweetheart.^ 

5. Freneau's The Dying Indiait, or Last Words of Shahim, which 
first appeared in the Freeman s J oiimal, March 17, 1784, deserves a more 

1 It was the custom in some Indian families to put to death, as an act of mercy, the aged 
and infirm members. John Long prints in the Indian language the " grand medicine song " 
which the Chippeways use on such an occasion. His translation is as follows : " The Master 
of Life gives courage. It is true, all Indians know that he loves us, and we now give our 
father to him, that he may find himself young in another country and be able to hunt." After 
the ritual, " the eldest son gives his father the death-stroke with a tomahawk : they then take 
the body, which they paint in the best manner, and bury it with the war weapons." Voyages and 
Travels, London, 1791, p. 74. 

A peculiarly revolting incident of this kind is described by Peter Williamson in French and 
Indian Cruelty, third edition, Glasgow, 1758, pp. 22 f. Compare a passage near the end of 
Joseph Warton's The Dying Indian, Chalmers' edition of the Poets, XVIII, 170. 

2 On suicide among the Indians, see G. L. Kittredge, Letters of Samuel Lee, etc., pp. 150, 181. 

3 See William Prichard's lines on the Character of St. Tamany, in the American Museum, 
V, 104 (1789), reprinted in the Columbian Muse, p. 223. Compare Drake, Bk. v, p. 17. See also 
O. Wegelin, Early American Plays, New York, 1905, p. 43, for information about an opera 
performed in 1794, called Tammany, or the Indian Chief 

* Compare the lament of Cascarilla for her dead lover in Cascarilla, an American Ballad, 
printed in the American Museum, IV, 384 (1788), and again in the Massachusetts Magazine, IV, 
327 (1792) ; also the reflections of a jilted lover in Joseph Smith's Att Indian Eclogue, published 
in the Columbian Muse, p. 160. 

In Freneau's The American Village (1772) it will be remembered that Colma drowns herself 
in order that her husband and her child may be rescued in a boat which cannot hold all three. 
{Poems, ed. Pattee, III, 388 ff.) 



FARLEY 259 

extended comment. This poem belongs to a different type from any we have 
yet considered, for Shalum evidently dies a natural death. He is represented 
as reflecting, as he takes leave of his family, on the sweetness of his mortal 
life and the probable dullness of the life hereafter. He does not look forward 
to a Happy Hunting Ground. 

No deer along those gloomy forests stray, 
No huntsmen there take pleasure in the chace, 
But all are empty unsubstantial shades, 
That ramble through those visionary glades. 

In the edition of his poems published in June, 1795, Freneau changed the 
title to The Dying Indian Tomo-Cheqni, perhaps because he had in the mean- 
time given the name Shalum to his Indian Student (1788), and because, fur- 
ther, he was at that time engaged on ''a series of papers entitled 'Tomo 
Cheeki, the Creek Indian in Philadelphia,' in which the manners and absurd- 
ities of the Americans are described from the standpoint of an observant 
savage." These papers were published in successive numbers of the Jersey 
Chronicle^ beginning with the issue for May 23, 1795. Two years later 
Freneau republished them in the Time Piece mid Literary Companion, with 
a note explaining that they were ''said to be translated from one of the Indian 
languages of this country." ^ 

Tomochichi (the name is variously spelled) is an historical personage, a 
famous chief of the Creek Indians, who, together with his wife, his adopted 
son Toonahowi, and a considerable retinue, visited England under the care 
of General Oglethorpe in June, 1 734. The Indians were received with marked 
respect, and an ode has survived which was composed in the chief's honor .2 

The somewhat hackneyed device by which Freneau pretends to reproduce 
the naive comments of a savage upon the customs of a civilized community 
will remind every reader of the Spectator of an interesting episode in the reign 
of Queen Anne. In April, 17 10, four (some reports say five) sachems of the 
Iroquois nation visited England, ostensibly to request the Queen to drive the 
French out of Canada. They were received at court, their portraits were 
painted by a famous artist and engraved in mezzotint, and they attracted gen- 
eral attention, of which we find echoes in the literature of the day. A catch- 
penny pamphlet called The Four Kings of Canada (London, 17 10, reprinted 
in 1 891) gave a meagre account of them, which included their speech to the 

1 Pattee, Poems of Freneau, I, Ixvi, Ixxiv. 

^ Georgia, a Poem, Tomo-cha-chi, an Ode. — A Copy of Verses on Mr. Oglethorpe'' s second 
voyage to Georgia, London, 1736. See Charles C. Jones's Historical Sketch of Tomo-chi-chi, 
Mico of the Yamacraws, Albany, 1868, pp. 58 f¥. 

Accounts of this visit are in the Gentleman's Magazine, IV, 449, 450, 571 (1734), Con- 
cerning Toonahowi, who was killed (1743) in the service of the English and buried with mili- 
tary honors, see the Gentleman's Magazine, XII, 496 (1742), and the London Magazine, XV, 
622 (1746). See also Drake, Bk. iv, p. 29. 



26o 



THE DYING INDIAN 



Queen.^ One of them became the hero of a delightful ballad, The Four Indian 
Kings (telling " How a beautiful Lady conquered one of the Indian Kings "), 
of which the Harvard University Library has three copies in "broadside" and 
one in "garland" style. And further, they were made the subject of a Tatler 
paper by Steele (No. 171, May 13, 1710) and of a v§>^^/^/^r paper by Addi- 
son (No. 50, April 27, 171 1). The bulk of Addison's paper is a pretended 
translation from a bundle of papers left behind by " King Sa Ga Yean Qua 
Rash Tow " when he quitted his lodgings. This manuscript records a savage's 
impressions of English customs and institutions, with mildly satirical intent. 
Swift, in thtjottmal to Stella (April 28, 171 1), takes credit for having sug- 
gested this device to Steele, and repents that he did not make use of the 
subject himself. 

In the Scots Magazine for February, 1742 (IV, 73), is a four-page con- 
tinuation of the observations in the Spectator, "translated from the original 
manuscript, and communicated by a correspondent to the Universal Spectator.'' 
This again has a satirical object. 

It is interesting to note that the chief's name had been used for satirical 
purposes before Freneau's time. In 1758 Tombo-Chiqid : or the American 
Savage, a Dramatic Entertaiftment in three acts was published in London. 
This play (said to have been " taken from a French piece, entitled Harle- 
quin Sanvage'') is described in the Monthly Review for June of that year 
(XVIII, 648) as "a satire on the foibles of those European nations, who 
deem themselves superior to the rest of the world, on account of X\v€\x polite 
accomplishments : which, in the opinion of the honest American Savage, are 
only vicious deviations from the .original simplicity and integrity of nature." 

" The original simplicity and integrity of nature " is the characteristic note 
in Freneau's The Dying Indian Tomo-Cheqni, as it is in most Indian pieces 
of the eighteenth century, with the exception of those which are purely of the 
Son of Alknomock type. In the latter, as we have seen, bravado and manly 
endurance are the motives. One who is familiar with the sentimental literary 
tastes of the second half of the century finds no difficulty in understanding 
why both types of the Dying Indian should frequently appear in the British 
and American poetry of that era. 



1 The speech alleged to have been made to the Queen was reprinted in the Gentleman'' s 
Magazine, XVIII, 60 (1748), and again in the London Magazine, XVII, 81 (also in 1748). For 
further information and references, see Drake, Bk. v, pp. 13 ff. 



HAMLET AND lAGO 

Elmer Edgar Stoll 

"He is the counterpart of Hamlet, who tries to find reasons for his delay 
in pursuing a design which excites his aversion. And most of lago's reasons 
for action are no more the real ones than Hamlet's reasons for delay are 
the real ones. Each is moved by forces which Jhe doea not understand." 
Embedded in this observation of Professor Bradley's lies a truth of funda- 
mental importance, I think, when viewed in the light of historical criticism. 
Hamlet and lago are not actuated by the motives which they allege. But, 
as I see it, their designs excite in them no aversion, and the forces which 
move them are not obscure. 

As has been suggested elsewhere, ^ the Elizabethan soliloquy is the truth 
itself, and though in real life a liar may lie to everybody, even to himself in a 
way, lago cannot be lying when he expresses his ambitious jealousy of Cassio, 
his sexual jealousy of Othello, and his lust for Desdemona, any more than 
Autolycus can be lying when he tells the audience that his traffic is sheets 
and for the life to come he sleeps out the thought of it. The soliloquy or 
aside, and the confidence of friend to friend, are for information, like prologue 
and chorus, and in treating them psychologically Shakespearean criticism has 
ignored dramatic convention, whether it be in England or on the Continent, 
in ancient or in modern times. By it, in Shakespeare, any curious bit of human 
nature is labelled, any devious path in the intrigue is placarded. Cordelia is 
not permitted to say to her father, '' Nothing, my lord," without two previous 
asides to the effect of '' love and be silent " ; and Desdemona, when merry 
with lago as she awaits her lord's belated arrival at the quay, must hasten 
to apprise the audience that she is beguiling the thing she is by seeming 
otherwise. How, then, when the placard is misleading, is an audience, before so 
tenderly guided, to know it, and find its way to the truth behind these con- 
fidences of lago or behind Hamlet's theological reason for sparing the king at 
prayer ? If either character really deceives himself, it is he himself — as Hamlet 
when he falls a-cursing like a very drab, or lago when for the moment he dallies 
with the notion that be is not a villain — that detects it. 

Hence we may say that the technique of Shakespeare and his times was 
incapable of coping with the unconscious or subconscious. The character him- 
self detects the self-deception — and then it is no longer self-deception. Nor 

1 In my article " Anachronism in Shakespeare Criticism," Modem Philology^ April, 1910. 

261 



\ 



262 HAMLET AND lAGO 

of a subtler technique had the poet any need. Even the philosophy of his 
time, of which he had as little as of Greek, knew not the unconscious. The 
doctrines of Neoplatonism, of Bruno, Boehme, and Paracelsus, the scientific 
interest in magic, alchemy, and animistic medicine turned the world and every 
atom of it, as did popular superstition, for that matter, into beings full of 
passion and knowledge. There were spirits of the heart and brain as well as 
of earth and water ; and by Shakespeare and the other poets Fate, conscience 
(even in the bosom of a man incapable of one), all the vague stirrings and 
impulses of the soul, and the sympathetic throes of dumb nature itself are 
given a voice. " Genug, das Geheimniss muss heraus," as Goethe well says, 
" und sollten es die Steine verkiinden." Motives, when not merely neglected, 
come boldly to the light of day, instead of betraying themselves casually 
and unawares as in present-day drama and in real life. So far, indeed, are 
poet and people from a notion of the relative and unconscious that the 
motives appear, not in the subdued colors in which they are seen by the 
soul itself, but in the glaring black or white of vice or virtue, as if a cherub 
saw them. The poet who made Brutus and Othello so conscious of their own 
virtue, and lago and Lady Macbeth so cheerfully aware of others' virtue and 
the wickedness of their own doings and intents, had not looked much into the 
dimmer chambers of the soul. 

Yet Hamlet and lago do not act or recoil from action for the reasons they 
allege. Most of his motives lago touches on but once, and he demeans him- 
self, as Professor Bradley says, not at all like one stung with resentment, fired 
by ambition, or consumed with hatred, the poisonous mineral of sexual jeal- 
ousy, or lust. He takes no particular pleasure in Cassio's place once he has 
got it, and his glee at the success of his intrigue is not that of an injured 
husband or a libertine, getting even, wife for wife. Having motives, then, he 
acts as if he had them not. Shall we, therefore, discard them, and, like the 
critics, get him new ones of our own .? In so doing we discard Shakespeare, 
and, unawares, cease from criticism. Rather let lago run his course regardless 
of motive, like Aaron, Richard HI, or Marlowe's Barabas, the badge of whose 
lineage he bears, being a Machiavel, or stage villain, who is utterly given over 
to evil and shrinks at none.^ As such he has a charter to do evil, liberal as the 
wind. And roundly he goes to work intriguing and destroying, fired by no 
particular passion, but flaring up again and again with the central flame of hell : 

Work on, 
My medicine, work ! Thus credulous fools are caught, 
And many worthy and chaste dames even thus 
All guiltless meet reproach.'-^ 

^ See my article on " Criminals in Shakespeare and Science," Modem Philology, July, 1912, 
pp. 5-6, 17-20. 

2 Cf. II, iii, 366-369, where he delights in turning Desdemona's virtue into pitch, although 
he has no grudge against her. " Hell and night," etc. 



STOLL 263 

That lago loves evil for its own sake Professor Bradley denies, finding in 
him, on the contrary, traces of the obscure working of conscience, and sub- 
conscious motives of so neutral a character as a sense of superiority and a 
delight in the pain of his victim as a proof of his power. Even a safety valve 
he provides for him, as for that other self -deceived one, Hamlet, to relieve 
him from the discomfort of hypocrisy. Space forbids me to enter upon the 
question further than to say that here very evidently Mr. Bradley's counsel is 
darkened by the notions not only of modern psychology but of modern meta- 
physics. The Kantian '* resistance " of the moral law in every man's bosom 
(therefore in lago's), and so monistic a motive as the '' sense of power," 
are ill in keeping with the dualistic Machiavel, who scoffs at conscience, and 
revels in his villainy and the help he has from ''all the tribe of hell." Far 
from being a discomfort, hypocrisy is part of lago's program and profession, 
sweeter to him than honey and the honeycomb. The conscience darkly work- 
ing within him is no more than that familiarity with the true moral values 
of which we have already taken notice. He puts himself in the wrong by vir- 
tue of his own self-consciousness — by virtue of his maker's naivete. And 
the motive-hunting in his earlier soliloquies is no sign of ''uneasiness" or 
" aversion." Coolly and clearly he sees that he has no cause, and therefore acts. 
The very accumulation of his motives and the uncertainty and flimsiness of 
his suspicions but show the hellishness of his purpose. Instead of denying the 
devil a conscience or moral sense, as we should do, for good and all, it is accord- 
ing to Shakespeare's lights to give him one, but perverted, turned upside down. 

Nor does this mean that we too discard Shakespeare and discredit lago 
in his confidences to gallery and pit. Apart from the impression that lago is 
bent upon villainy, Shakespeare saw no necessity whatever of carrying over 
the motives lago professes into his part in the play. Macbeth and Lady 
Macbeth, as for the crown they commit murder after murder, think not of 
the crown, but of the horrors of murder and the spirits that tend on mortal 
thoughts. Hamlet, who says that he loved Ophelia more than could forty ^ 
thousand brothers, kills her father without remorse, and before or after, in 
his soliloquies or serious moments, never gives her a word or a thought. 
Timon, in his misanthropic meditations after his friends forsake him, shows 
no trace of wounded affection, and Lear, Hamlet, and he dwell on the delin- 
quencies of officers of the law, women who lisp and paint, prostitutes, and the 
incontinent, with all of which they have little or nothing to do. To-day we 
demand in a work of art concentration and point, not unity only but identity, 
complete integration and interpenetration of part and part, form and thought, 
plot and character. If Ibsen's Krogstad and Mortensgard have certain grudges 
and cravings to satisfy, they are suffered to talk and act only as such men 
would, and not like scoundrels let loose upon the town. In lago, on the 
other hand, Shakespeare keeps to the Machiavel type, and finely as in the 



264 



HAMLET AND lAGO 



y 



\/ 



turn of his speech he individualizes him, never thinks of making any particular 
motive or motives shine through thought or deed. 

So it is, I think, with Hamlet. Except, as we have seen, when he himself 
detects it, he is not deceiving himself, and he honestly believes that the ghost 
may have been a devil, has the play performed really to catch the conscience 
of the king, and fails to kill him afterward only because he fears that in so 
doing he should waft his soul to heaven. No weak-kneed dreamer, when he 
takes Polonius for the king he kills him on the spot, slips his own neck out 
of the noose and the two innocent gentlemen's into it with all his heart and 
soul, grapples with the pirate and boards him, and kills the king at the end 
of the fifth act as soon as ever the dramatist himself has got ready. And yet 

whether it be 
Bestial oblivion or some craven scruple 
Of thinking too precisely on the event — 
A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom 
And ever three parts coward — I do not know 
Why yet I live to say " This thing 's to do," 
Sith I have cause and will and strength and means 
To do it. 

Though he brings these vague and conflicting charges of cowardice against 
himself twice over,^ he again quite as truly protests that he is no coward. ^ 
Contradiction upon contradiction, for the play is but a story. In the plot there 
is the customary Shakespearean explicitness ; in the character — witness the 
four thousand treatises ! — an unwonted obscurity and confusion. On the one 
hand, the heroic quality must be preserved ; on the other, some show of 
reason must be furnished for Hamlet's not killing the king (if the bull may 
be pardoned me) before the play is over. So he accuses himself, and the 
contradictory charges and excuses cancel one another. Such motivation as 
this is an epical device rather than a dramatic. The character is sacrificed 
to plot, and is rescued like the darlings of the gods in old fable, as it were, 
by being enveloped in a cloud or mist. '' I do not know why yet I live to say 
' This thing 's to do, ' " whereas he avows what can be known by no man — 
that he hoodwinks himself ; and all the other characters in Shakespeare, 
even those who, like Lear, would in real life have known themselves "but 
slenderly," know their weaknesses very well. Sooner or later their friends 
know them too, as the Fool and Kent know Lear's, Lady Macbeth her 
husband's, Enobarbus Antony's ; but Horatio, Ophelia, Gertrude, Laertes, 
Fortinbras, who at the end avers that as a king he would have proved right 
royally, even Claudius himself, find in Hamlet none ^t all. And ''bestial" 
oblivion," mere forgetfulness or neglect, which is the main explanation of his 
delay, — what a reason or dramatic motive have we there ! " Remember me," 



1 See II, ii, final speech, as well as the passage quoted above. 



2 II, ii, 597-604. 



«/ 



STOLL 265 

the ghost cries at parting, and Hamlet whips out his tables. ''Do not for- 
get," he adjures his son when he appears to him in the queen's bedchamber, 
though so much else there was to say, and the motive has no more psycho- 
logical import than the '' antic disposition " (which, as we shall see, serves not 
as a safety valve, but, however awkwardly, as a mask for his intrigue), and 
is almost as naive and purely outward a touch as the hardening of Pharaoh's 
heart in the story of the Exodus, the potion of Siegfried, or the lapse of 
memory in the Edipus of Voltaire. Psychologically taken, how could Hamlet 
forget — while memory holds a seat in this distracted globe ! — and remember 
anything else ? Such an explanation of remissness is familiar to us only as 
the disobedient child's last shift when it is taken to task, and for you or me 
can hardly have a deeper meaning. And as with the cowardice and forgetful- 
ness, so with Hamlet's intimation that he thinks ''too precisely of the event." 
It serves the purpose of explaining his inaction, but nowhere does he exhibit 
the trait. As we have seen and are to see, he is bold and resolute, and the 
only instance of his stopping to "consider the event," or outcome — when 
the king is at prayer — is to be taken in another way. 

In short, the story is not the embodiment of the character. The dramatist ^A^ 
takes it as he gets it from Belleforest and Kyd, instead of inventing it, or '/y^i^w*^^ 
much modifying the details of it, to suit the conception of the character 
formed in his brain. " Story came first with him," says Sir Walter Raleigh, 
^' and to argue from the character to the plot is to invert the true order of 
things in the artist's mind." " Why did Cordelia not humour her father a 
little .? " he says again. "It is easy to answer this question by enlarging on 
the character of Cordelia, and on that touch of obstinacy which is often found 
in very pure and unselfish natures. But this is really beside the mark. . . . 
If Cordelia had been perfectly tender and tactful there would have been no 
play." And again there would have been none if Hamlet had struck home 
at the first chance given. Not all of Shakespeare's heroes in tragedy betray ^ 
a tragic fault, and Hamlet seems to have no more of a fault than " star- 
crossed " Romeo. Be that as it may, the details of the drama have not, as 
in our drama to-day, a secondary, retroactive intention. Olivia's vow for seven 
years not to show her face and to water once a day her chamber round with 
eye-offending brine has no bearing on her character further than in the first 
sullen word she utters: — "Take the fool away!" We, as we sit in the 
playhouse or con the text, are wont to look before and after, attending not so 
much to words and things as to their relation and meaning, their echoes or 
shadows ; and so it is that we find in the doubt of the ghost and the sparing 
of the king at prayer an excuse for delay, and in the killing of Polonius, the ^ 
hoisting of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with their own petard, and the 
boarding of the pirat^, instances of the futile activity of one whose will is 
fluttering but broken. But such meaning there is none, and we have rather to 



266 HAMLET AND lAGO 

attend to the words and things. Not before the end of the eighteenth century 
did men begin to speculate upon Hamlet's character ; and the Elizabethans 
were interested not in the changes of his thought and mood as they appear 
in deed and demeanor, but in those delectable changes for their own sake, 
the sentiment and wit, the poetry, the check and countercheck of the plot, 
the ways in which Hamlet escapes from the toils of Claudius only to en- 
tangle himself and Claudius too in them, the sensations, mystery, and "ocular 
picturesqueness " of the whole. To them these vague and conflicting self- 
accusations — most of the time Hamlet does but chide and scold himself — 
may have meant no more (except, as I said, to explain the story) than a 
friend's self-accusations in real life, which no one takes to heart. Indeed, it is 
quite probable that one really actuated by craven scruples and reflective coward- 
ice would in those rough-and-ready times have found small favor on the stage. 
The heroes, the gentlemen in the Shakespearean and Elizabethan drama not 
branded with infamy or disgrace, are, however under Senecan and Renaissance 
influence they may bewail themselves, all quick and gallant spirits. Romeo, 
both before and after he lies on the ground with his own tears made drunk, 
shows the pluck of a paladin. And rightly Goethe's view of Hamlet, as sinking 
under a burden too great for him, is held by Mr. Bradley to be sentimental. 

Instead of framing the character at first hand, and, as Carlyle says he 
does, from within outward, the poet again conforms it to a type. This is the 
Malcontent,! the type of another revenger, Marston's Malevole, and, in some 
degree, of Jaques in As Yotc Like It. With Hamlet and Malevole it is a feigned 
part, though continually confused with reality, and is practically the incar- 
nation of the Elizabethan '' humor " of melancholy. In Hamlet's case it 
comprehends the "antic disposition," which is unlike any other madness in 
Shakespeare, and it embraces practically all of the role (that is not a revenger's) 
after he sees the ghost. It is the part of critic and cynic, who holds forth in 
set, professional meditation, inspired by no experience of his own, addressed 
to no one in particular, and oblivious of the issues in hand, on the theme that 
all is at last vanity, rottenness, and ruin ; and holds forth in equally profes- 
sional .and impersonal satire of the cunning lawyer at last put to confusion, of 
the painted lady unmasked and laid bare in her ugliness, of lisping, ambling, 
and incontinence. Traits of a type, they have been taken by the critics for 
traits of a soul fleeing from its purpose. 

At the conclusion that he shows symptoms of ancient and Elizabethan 
melancholy Mr. Bradley and I, commonly of so different a mind, arrived 
independently,^ though he before me. But here we part company. I find in 

1 For a fuller account see my article " Shakespeare, Marston, and the Malcontent Type," 
Modem Philchgy, January, 1906. 

2 I mention the fact, not only because it gives me greater faith in our conclusion, but 
because I wrsji to explain that it was owing to ignorance of it that in my article, in 1906, I 
gave Mr. Bradley no credit. 



STOLL 



267 



Hamlet, as I said, a type, a stage figure, whose sombre meditations and satire 
are mainly impersonal, having to do, like Malevole's, with the base uses to 
which the dust of the mighty is put, and with the lisping and painting of 
'' my lady " (not Ophelia or Gertrude but women in general), ^ and, together 
with the mimicry, freakishness, and gibberish of the part, are not definitely 
related to his own particular grief, but serve, in the plot, mainly as a blind or 
stalking-horse, and, out of the plot, to tickle the taste of an audience which 
delighted in rare and extravagant humors. Save for the delicacy of his phrase 
and the tenderness of his spirit Hamlet might be Malevole as he meditates in 
the churchyard, or when in/' 'To be or not to be" he speaks of the oppressor's 
wrong, the proud man's contumely, the pangs of dispriz'd love, the law's 
delay, the insolence of office, from which he himself cannot have suffered, 
and the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns, though 
one had just returned to him. He has after all forgotten — not only the ghost 
but himself ! 

What I venture to make a matter of dramatic technique Mr. Bradley makes 
a matter of psychology. For him Hamlet's disease is not feigned. Disposing 
easily of the previous theories (for in Shakespearean criticism is little of that 
truth of which Plato avers that it can never be confuted), he shows that by 
\ nature Hamlet is neither weak and irresolute nor too much addicted to spec- 
ulation, but, plunged in melancholy as he is by the loss of his father and by 
his mother's inconstancy, he is shocked beyond capability of action by the 
ghost's disclosures. His mind is infected, and he henceforth probes and 
lacerates the wound in his soul, struggling in vain to perform his vow. 

Of all psychological theories of Hamlet this best fits the text, but even as 
a psychological theory it fails to appease the mind. If by nature Hamlet 
is not diseased or abnormal, but strong in thought and deed (as many of the 
saner critics nowadays think him), why should a grief and a plain and simple 
command like this render him incapable of action, and lead him into feigned 
madness in the presence of his enemies and pointless eccentricity and aimless 
meditation in the presence of his friends ? I should think he would have taken 
the ghost's bidding with a cry of relief. How can his '' forgetfulness " or 
''dulness," again, be explained as the ''lethargy of melancholy," seeing that 
he is of all the characters in the play the most active, the keenest, and the 
wittiest .? And what is this melancholy .? Mr. Bradley begins with the word 



«/ 



1 Commonly, and even by Professors Bradley and Brandl, the bitterness against women is 
thought due to disillusionment in respect to Gertrude and Ophelia. The language of III, i, 
147-157 and V, i, 212 does not permit of this interpretation. It is no more likely that Ophelia 
paints or lisps than that she is wanton. By some critics the last charge is actually entertained ; 
but no heroine of Shakespeare's is unchaste, Cressida being no exception. And there is no 
reason that I can see for thinking as most critics do that Hamlet suspects OpheHa's treachery 
in the nunnery scene. All of these interpretations are the result of taking Shakespeare's 
dramatic structure to be as close and compact as Ibsen's. 



\ 



268 HAMLET AND lAGO 

in the ancient physiological sense, but later uses it as if it were the equivalent 
of melancholia, or even " melancholy " as we use the word to-day. Melan- 
cholia is out of the question. The melancholy to which Hamlet has succumbed 
before the ghost appears to him is no more than the despondency of grief ; and 
neither that nor the true Elizabethan variety (which, in this case, we must 
remember, is feigned, and anyway is a mythical disease which nowadays 
means little or nothing) is enough, even under a shock like his, to paralyze 
the powers of one not already enfeebled. Psychological interpretation such 
as this does not do even what it most plumes itself upon doing — bridge over 
the centuries and bring the character home to our souls and bosoms. 
/ Still less does it interpret. It does violence to Shakespeare's technique 
and contradicts the spirit of his time. At every turn of the simple old story 
Mr. Bradley has recourse, like his predecessors, to the subconscious, the safety 
valve, the pretext. Thus a mere pretext is the "more horrid hent," not, as 
many have thought, because for an honest reason it is too horrible, but 
because deep in his heart Hamlet hates to kill a defenseless man. In The 
Maid's Tragedy Evadne is bent upon killing her king body and soul ; and 
in the Elizabethan novel Jack Wilton, Cutwolf makes a bella vendetta of 
it, model of Alexander's in the anonymous Alphonsns Emperor of Germany, 
by beguiling his victim into a blasphemous renunciation of God and assign- 
ment of his soul to the devil, and then shooting him through the open 
mouth that he might not recall his words.^ How is the audience to under- 
stand that Hamlet is not, though he says that he is, of a like mind with 
these .? Shakespeare never palters with us in a double sense. If Hamlet in- 
deed disdained to strike a defenseless man, he might have cried, like many 
another Elizabethan hero, "Draw and defend thyself," and cursed him 
while he drew. The playwright chose rather to stain Hamlet's character with 
such a sentiment as this, — a stain even then, — having a matter of two acts 
still before him. 

As I have remarked elsewhere, if here the man were really meant to 
blench, he would be made to do so once rrK)re. In all times, and particularly 
in early times, in order to make a point dramatists have found it necessary to 
drive it home. If Polonius, at first sensible enough, is to turn ass, he must 
play the fool not in his own house only, but with Hamlet and also with the 
king and queen. If Brutus is an impractical idealist, he must thwart Cassius's 
worldly prudence not only in the matter of the oath but also in the matter of 
letting Antony speak to the People and in the strategy at Philippi. But blench- 
ing, if you will, when the king is delivered into his hands at prayer, at his 
next opportunity to kill a man who, as it seems, is the king, Hamlet kills him, 
and there is only one thing for an audience, Elizabethan or modern, to think 

^ McKerrow, Works of Thomas N'ash, II, 325. Creizenach cites this instance and the pre- 
ceding, IV, 223-224. 



STOLL 269 

of that. In the very next scene he has caught the king, he thinks, '' about an ^ 
act that has no reUsh of salvation in it," and is as good as his word. 

Likewise the antic disposition is taken for a safety valve, the play within 
the play for a subterfuge and evasion, and the doubt of the ghost for no 
genuine doubt. In drama and story, particularly Hamlet, which in various 
versions all Elizabethans knew, feigned madness had been long established as ^ 
an artifice of craft and intrigue, to protect the hero, as in Belleforest, and 
"cunningly to find an opportunity," as in the German Hamlet, and was 
received as the appropriate and natural employment and " business " of the 
revenger biding his time. Men bore in mind the old story of the crafty mad- 
ness of the elder Brutus,^ also a revenger ; and quite beside the mark is the 
prevailing notion that the antic disposition must have a psychological signifi- 
cance because to our minds it is an artifice lacking in prudence or practical 
point. And if a safety valve Hamlet must have, he need not, surely, be fitted 
with it forthwith, the ghost's words, still ringing in his ears, before he has had 
a chance to act or to shrink from action ; and in nature this is not to be ex- 
plained away by Mr. Bradley and others as a '' forefeeling " of his need. Men, 
particularly strong men such as Hamlet has been shown to be, believe in them- 
selves longer, if anything, than they have reason : — and he a moment before 
so eager, with wings as swift as meditation or the thoughts of love, to sweep 
to his revenge ! Here is backsliding before sin or temptation, and, unless 
Hamlet is meant to be a whimpering hypocritical dastard, the remark about 
the antic disposition, and the last line of the scene — 

O cursed spite 
That ever I was born to set it right — 

have to do mainly with the mechanism and movement of the plot. 

That the ghost should be a devil sent to tempt him is, according to the 
folklore and theology of the age, the most natural thought in the world. As 
Spalding has shown, the Reformers and such theologians as Hooper and 
James I had denied ghosts the power to walk in these latter days, and had 
characteristically attributed the phenomenon to the devil instead of refusing 
it credence. To Hamlet, moreover, the pretext, if such it be, occurs again 
before he needs it, or can have a forefeeling of it, the ghost having not yet 
so much as unsealed his lips : 

Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned. 

Nor is that a sign that his wit is diseased if we remember Brutus's question 
as he faces Caesar's ghost : 

Art thou some god, some angel, or some devjl ? ^ 

1 Cited in Saxo Grammaticus in this connection, and frequently alluded to in Elizabethan 
literature. 2 Quoted to this effect by Spalding. 



270 



HAMLET AND lAGO 



Even by freethinking Milton a like theory is propounded of oracles ; and for 
that matter no other scruple than this is that of the elder Hamlet, Orestes, 
himself surely not weak of heart or of hand, when in Euripides he confesses 
to Apollo that " there came a dreadful thought into my heart that it was some 
fiend I had listened to, when I seemed to hear thy voice." ^ 

Such are the artistic and religious traditions which Shakespeare knew, 
accepted, and here instinctively turned to account, and for these we have no 
more right to substitute our own by way of criticism than in a more primitive 
age the Tates and Gibbers had to substitute theirs, as they wrote the plays 
anew. To be a Shakespearean doubter, Hamlet must needs doubt his uncle's 
guilt after the proof — the mousetrap play — as Leontes continued to doubt 
Hermione's innocence after the oracle, a thing which he never does. 

The mistaking of epical or constructive devices for dramatic or psycho- 
logical, the misconception of the open-hearted purport of soliloquy and com- 
ment in the dramatic economy, and the substitution of modern moral notions 
for Shakespeare's own, — all these shortcomings are to be found in the ablest 
interpretation of Hamlet as in the feeblest. Likewise out of the irrelevances and 
the impersonality in the role of Hamlet psychological capital is made — out 
of the philosophical soliloquies, the discussion of the actor's art, the satire and 
mimicry. "To be or not to be " follows his words resolving upon the play 
as "the thing," and precedes the performance of it. There, they say, is the 
dreamer all adrift ! Lost, rather, even to himself. What, even in memory, 
has become of the Murder of Gonzago, or a revenger's duty, or the harrowing' 
look and accents of a father's ghost } Why, that 's his character, whisper the 
critics, like Puff at the play ; but it is not his character, not the same man ! 
Hamlet has not "forgotten," but has been forgotten ; and a queer criticism 
I cannot but think it that lends psychological import to discursiveness, im- 
personality, laxity of structure. If Hamlet speaks not to the question as to-day 
he would be required to do, but is, in parliamentary phrase, out of order, so 
are Lear and Timon, as we have seen, and many another character, as well, 
in Elizabethan, Greek, and Spanish drama. 

By one thing Mr. Bradley is puzzled, the hero's reticence concerning 
> Ophelia. Rightly repudiating the view that Hamlet deliberately put from him 
all thought of her to hear the higher call, he comes to the conclusion that 
Hamlet's love for her, though not lost, was mingled with suspicion and re- 
sentment ; but his silence, especially after the death of her father, he knows 
not whether to attribute to the deadening influence of melancholy upon his 
love or to Shakespeare's finding that he had enough to do in showing the 
state of mind which caused Hamlet to delay his vengeance, without intro- 
ducing matter " which would not only add to the complexity of the subject but 
might, from its sentimental interest, distract attention from the main point." 

1 Orestes, 1 668-1 669 ; and Electra, 979. 



STOLL 271 

There is the core of the whole present discussion ; and I for one cannot 
come to such a conclusion in the one question or suspend judgment in the 
other. From the silence of Shakespeare we can infer nothing ; his words, of 
all men's, are neither faint nor few. In this instance he was not inclined to 
complicate matters, to be sure, by exhibiting Hamlet's love for Ophelia, just 
as in the character of Desdemona he does not exhibit filial love as well 
as conjugal, or in that of Cordelia he does not exhibit conjugal love as well as 
filial. Always it is a simple passion that he portrays. But the root of the 
matter is that, in the spirit of a less compact and integrated structure than 
ours, he takes Hamlet at his word when he says that he loves her, and yet thinks 
nothing of letting him, in his feigned part of Malcontent, or madman, jeer 
at her, insult her, and, without a thought of her, kill her father. So incon- 
sequently, in the spirit of the same art, now extinct, he lets Hamlet, like 
lago, charge himself with various faults and " offenses," — cowardice, forget- 
fulness, and thinking too precisely on the event, — and in the general tenor 
of his thinking and doing show scarcely a sign of them. 

Granted for the moment that Hamlet is a study in psychology, how strange 

a study it is ! *' So shall you hear," cries Horatio to the wondering Danes at 

the end, 

" Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, 

Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters. 

Of deaths put on by cunning and forc'd cause, 

And, in this upshot, purposes mistook 

Fallen on the inventors' heads." 

A tragedy of intrigue, fate, and blood ! Others before me have remarked 
upon the melodramatic quality of the great play, the abundance of sound and 
fury in it, of all that takes the eye, fills the ear, and shocks both ; and no one 
so shrewdly as Mr. Bradley himself has noted the quantity of noise required 
by the old stage directions and implied in the text. Cannon roar whenever 
the king takes a rouse, the kettledrum and trumpet bray out the triumph of 
his pledge, and Danish marches, hautboys, and flourishes celebrate his move- 
ments. According to the unabridged text of the last scene, the cannon, 
sturdier equivalent of our melodramatic pistol, as Mr. Bradley says, should be 
kept booming continually, — when Hamlet scores a hit and the king drinks 
to him, when Fortinbras draws near on his march from Poland, and when 
the body of the irresolute dreamer is borne with a warrior's honors to the 
grave. " Go, bid the soldiers shoot," cries Fortinbras — but never when you 
or I have been at the play ! 

There is no irony intended, ^ none, as this cutting shows, that we to-day 
will put up with, at any rate. It is thought to be a triumph of Shakespeare's 
art that out of this sensational material — well-nigh every stimulant of popular 

1 See my article " ShyXoc^" Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 191 1, pp. 268-269. 



/ 



272 



HAMLET AND lAGO 



excitement he could collect — he made the most mysterious and inward of his 
dramas. To my thinking and, if facts prove anything, that of Irving and all 
our other modern managers as well, the triumph would have been greater 
were the form better suited to the sense. The world does not move if the 
earth does, and harmony, not incongruity, is the secret of art in the time of 
Shakespeare as in the time of Synge. "A strange harmony of discords," 
says Mr. Bradley, but there is plenty of that sort of thing in Elizabethan art 
without adding to it this incomprehensible variety. In the sixteenth century, 
as in the twentieth, no great poet would have chosen to tell, or succeeded in 
telling, such a tale of the soul as criticism has thought to hear, athwart all this 
booming and trumpeting, and this mass of violent and bloody action in 
which man is pitted against man, Hamlet against Claudius, Laertes, pirates, 
Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern, instead of an enemy seated in the depths of 
his bosom. In the thick of that story there is no place for undermeanings, 
and no spectator could discover them if there were. 



FROM OUTDOORS TO INDOORS ON 
THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE 

Ashley Horace Thorndike 

Much active research in regard to the EUzabethan theaters and their 
methods of staging has provoked during the past ten years an abundance of 
discussion which now seems leading toward conclusions that will gain general 
acceptance. Even on the much-debated problems of the curtains and of that 
portion of the stage which they concealed, we seem to be near a solution. Is 
not the evidence convincing that curtains were frequently used from the early 
days of the London theaters, and also that, usually at least, the inner stage 
which they shut off from the front was not a projecting enclosure, but rather 
an alcove or some portion at the rear ? Has there not been much progress 
toward agreement in regard to the various purposes for which this inner stage 
was employed and the extent and importance of its use .? 

There can, indeed, be little question about the employment of the inner 
stage for certain specific purposes. First, it was used frequently for scenes 
requiring a small interior — cave, arbor, study, bedroom. Many cases of such 
use have been noted from the time of the building of the Theater down to 
1642. The inner stage represented a specific locality, and the closed curtains 
concealed the preparation of the necessary properties. When the curtains 
were opened, the action could take place on either the inner or the outer stage, 
as was convenient. 

Second, a further use very early suggested itself in scenes requiring dis- 
covery or disclosure. Since the main stage extended into the auditorium, with 
its only entrance from the rear, actors had something of a journey on and off 
between the door and the front. No disclosures and no tableaux were possible. 
This lack was supplied in part by the use of the curtain. So, to take only three 
early plays, in David and Bethsabe, '' The Prologue speaker, before going 
out, draws a curtain and discovers Bethsabe with her maid, bathing over a 
spring : she sings, and David sits above viewing her " ; in Friar Bacon and 
Friar Bungay, '' Friar Bacon is discovered in his cell, lying on a bed, with 
a white stick in one hand, a book in the other, and a lamp lighted beside him ; 
and the Brazen Head and Miles with weapons by him " ; in the Old Wives 
Tale, *' The Ghost of Jack draws a curtain and discovers Delia sitting asleep." 
Numerous other instances might be given ; in general, it is clear that where- 
ever there is a discovery the curtains were used. 
* 273 



2 74 THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE 

Third, in various scenes where heavy properties were required, the inner 
stage provided a background, as in forest or other elaborate outdoor scenes, 
and in temple, church, or other elaborate interiors. In two of the cases just 
mentioned, heavy properties were concealed behind the curtains ; and the use 
of the inner stage was early extended to provide for all scenes requiring heavy 
properties. Whenever a propertied scene was required, the properties were 
placed on the inner stage while the action was going on before the closed 
curtains. When the curtains were opened, the inner stage, now an integral part 
of the whole, supplied the needed localization for the action. This would make 
it necessary or advisable that the preceding scene should be played only on 
the outer stage. 

Fourth, a further extension in the use of the inner stage led to its employ- 
ment for the representation of scenes where the specification of locality by 
properties was desirable rather than essential. Almost any scene might thus 
be prepared with a background, and the change of place would come to be reg- 
ularly indicated by the closing or opening of the curtains. To this extensive use 
of the curtain we may apply for convenience the name, the Principle of Alterna- 
tion, although we must understand that several outer scenes might follow with- 
out any use of the curtain, and that the same setting might be employed for 
different places, as a forest setting for different parts of the forest, or a palace 
setting for different rooms in the palace. This principle of alternation can 
best be illustrated by its use to-day, in the employment of drop scenes. 

For the first three uses the evidence may be described as clear and direct, 
but for this fourth use of the inner stage the evidence must be admitted to be 
indirect and inferential. It is in regard to the extent of this practice that con- 
siderable difference of opinion still exists. Yet important as are the first three 
uses, the fourth is still more important in connection both with the practice 
of the stage and with dramatic construction. I wish to deal with only one 
phase of this alternation principle, but with a phase that was, I think, the 
first to appear and that' became the most securely established — the use of 
the inner stage in sudden alternations, when the actors pass immediately 
from outside of a house to the inside, or the reverse. The difficulty arises 
when actors are outside of a house, seeking admission, and in the next scene 
appear within the house ; or, when in one scene they are within a room and 
start to go outdoors, and in the next scene appear on the street. 

There are many such sudden transitions in Elizabethan plays, and it seems 
probable that when the curtains were used in the three ways already indicated, 
their use would be further extended to avoid these clashes. On the Restora- 
tion stage, flats were very frequently employed to make this change from an 
interior to an exterior, and Dr. Albright ^ has noted a striking case in a Resto- 
ration play, An Evening s Love, where the scene is changed with one character 

^ The Shakespearian Stage, New York, 1909. 



THORNDIKE 275 

remaining on the stage. We may also accept his inferential evidence that the 
Restoration methods were derived from the practice of the Elizabethan theaters, 
directly from that of private theaters. Still, the direct evidence for this use of 
the curtains on the Elizabethan stage is not quite conclusive. I wish to notice 
the evidence offered by A Yorkshire Tragedy^ which has not, I think, been 
cited before. It seems to me conclusive evidence of the use of the curtains to 
make this transition from indoors to outdoors, and it also presents an instance 
of such a change of scene made with one actor remaining on the stage. 

Before examining this evidence, however, I may state my opinion that such 
alternations of exterior and interior scenes did not always involve the use of 
the curtains. What we may call the fundamental principle of Elizabethan 
staging is that the main stage was conceived as unlocalized territory. It is 
only a secondary principle that provides for the localization of scenes by the 
use of the curtains and the inner stage. We must be cautious in imagining 
settings for scenes vaguely localized and entirely free from any dependence 
on setting or properties. Take Twelfth Night, for example. It is possible to 
arrange this in front and rear scenes, and it may have been so played in the 
private theaters ; but the distinction between exterior and interior scenes is 
very slight and there is no evidence of the use of curtains and no real need 
of them for actors and an audience who were accustomed to a bare stage. In- 
deed, in this case there is presumptive evidence that one interior scene was 
not designed for an inner stage. Act I, scene v, may be considered within 
the house, but there are no properties and it could be acted on the outer stage. 
At the close Olivia sends Malvolio in pursuit of Viola. If this scene had been 
played on the inner stage, the scene in which Malvolio overtakes Viola would 
have followed immediately, as in so many similar cases where it seems prob- 
able that curtains were used to mark the change. But this scene of their 
meeting (II, ii) does not occur until after an act interval and one other front 
scene. Presumably Shakespeare wished to avoid the incongruity of making 
the stage appear in successive scenes as the inside and the outside of the house, 
and yet did not use the curtains to avoid this incongruity. This case may 
serve as a sort of complementary comment on that of A Yorkshire Tragedy, 

A Yorkshire Tragedy was acted by Shakespeare's company about 1605. It 
is a short play, '' one of the foure plaies in one," and is divided by modern edi- 
tors into ten scenes. The first four scenes are apparently all within the house, 
but there are no indications of any use of the inner stage. In Scene iv the Hus- 
band enters with the Master of the college, who has come seeking money for 
the Husband's brother. After some conversation and wine, the Husband says : 

Now, Sir, if you so please 
To spend but a few minuts in a walke 
About my grounds below, my man heere shall 
Attend you, etc. 



276 THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE 

The Master goes out to wait there for the Husband. The scene continues and 
the Husband murders his little boy and Exit with his Sonne. 

Immediately following this, comes the stage direction, Enter a maide unth 
a child in her amies ^ the mother by her a sleepe, (Scene v.) Manifestly this 
is a discovery scene requiring curtains, which are opened disclosing the inner 
stage. In a moment, Enter hnsband with the boic bleedijig. He struggles 
with the nurse and throws her down ; the mother wakes and seizes the young- 
est child ; the Husband stabs her and the child and, after a struggle with a 
" lusty servant " who comes to the rescue, makes his escape. 

My horse stands reddy saddled. Away, away ; 
Now to my brat at nursse, my sucking begger. 
Fates, He not leave you one to trample on. 

Immediately following this speech, we have the stage direction The Master 
meets him. Apparently the struggle and murders have taken place on the 
inner stage (often employed for scenes of violent horror that could hardly be 
enacted in the full light of the front stage), and the Husband has rushed down 
front. There is no direction for his exit, and the curtains must have closed 
behind him while he was on the front stage. There enters the Master, who 
has been a"waiting him outdoors. 

The action (Scene vi) is now clearly conceived as outside the house, for the 
Husband at once says, " Please you walke in. Sir," and excuses himself for a 
moment. Both Exetmt. The curtains must have been opened again at this 
point, (Scene vii) disclosing the inner stage just as when the Husband had left 
it, the servant, wife, and others wounded and groaning. Then Enter Master, 
and two seruants, but they immediately go out to pursue the murderer. The 
persons remaining soon Exeunt to seek surgeons. The curtains must have 
been closed, and the scene is outdoors again, for (Scene viii) Enter Hnsba7id 
as being throivn off his horse, And falls. 

In this rapid action the curtains have been used (i) to discover an interior 
room, (2) to change from indoors to outdoors with one of the actors remaining 
on the stage, (3) to change from outdoors back to the same interior, and (4) to 
change again from interior to outside. Scene ix, it may be added, is an interior 
again, the house of the magistrate, before whom the Husband is brought for 
trial, and Scene x is outdoors before the house. The Husband is on his way 
to execution and the wife is brought in a chaire from the house, now probably 
represented by one of the doors, or possibly by the curtains. 

There is one possible exception, so far as I can see, that may be taken to 
this analysis. Could not the interior scenes have been represented on the 
balcony .? In many interior scenes acted on the rear stage and separated from 
the front by a curtain, it is often diflficult to prove with certainty whether they 
were set on the upper or lower inner stage. So here, if these scenes are taken 



THORNDIKE 



277 



in isolation, it is impossible to prove absolutely that they were not acted on the 
upper stage. However, they should not be taken in isolation, but in connection 
with other similar interior scenes. Because of their length, their action, the 
probable use of the lower inner stage in Scene ix, and because of their simi- 
larity to many other interior scenes, it seems to me highly probable that they 
were acted on the level of the main stage. Even if they were acted on the 
upper rather than the lower inner stage, their evidence still holds in regard 
to the use of the curtains in alternating scenes. 

The importance of these scenes from A Yorkshire Tragedy in comparison 
with many other interior scenes in Elizabethan plays is that, in their stage 
directions, they offer direct and, as it seems to me, conclusive evidence ( i ) that 
the curtains were used, and (2) were used to mark immediate alternation of 
outdoor and indoor scenes. 



THE QUARTO ARRANGEMENT OF 
SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS 

Raymond Macdonald Alden 

The purpose of this paper is to inquire whether we have reason to beheve 
that the Sonnets of Shakespeare were arranged, either by the author or by 
any other competent person, in the order appearing in the quarto of 1609, 
which is followed in nearly all modern editions, and whether this order is 
therefore significant for their interpretation. This question is by no means 
identical with the question whether the sonnets are autobiographical or imagi- 
native, much less with the various problems connected with the identification 
of the persons addressed. Yet it is true that critics who seek to interpret these 
poems in connection with Shakespeare's personal life are naturally disposed 
to read them as connectedly as possible, while those who reject the biograph- 
ical interpretation are perhaps tempted to magnify their diversity and disorder. 
Since I shall undertake to test somewhat skeptically the prevailing assumption 
that the quarto arrangement is authentic, it may be as well to grant at the 
outset (for the purposes of the argument) that the sonnets are, in general, 
personal and '' sincere," that ''Mr. W. H." was the person addressed in a 
large number of them, and that he may be identified as the Earl of Quidlibet ; 
also that Shakespeare was involved in at least one amour of a lawless and 
disturbing character. Admitting all this tentatively, have we a fairly con- 
nected history of the relations of the three persons concerned, in the form 
of a collection of poems significantly arranged in two parts or series ? 

If we should approach the sonnets without knowledge of their content, as 
if discovering them for the first time, our first inquiry would naturally be 
whether the collection appears on the face of it to be one of the ''sequences" 
so familiar in the Elizabethan age. Of this type of collection the leading traits 
are well understood. A series of sonnets is addressed to a lady of great beauty, 
to whom a fanciful name is given (Stella, Diana, Idea, or the like), which 
commonly forms the title of the whole. This lady is usually cold of heart, 
and the sequence of poems represents the successive efforts of the writer, her 
lover, to win her to yield to his passion. Turning to the Shakespeare quarto, 
we find that the title-page bears no conventional title ; no lady's name gives 
it a name ; no lady's name is mentioned (if we may anticipate further explora- 
tion) within it. The book is called simply " Shakespeare's Sonnets : never 
before imprinted." It is not, we may say tentatively, a conventional sequence. 

279 



28o ARRANGEMENT OF SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS 

A second approach will naturally be the inquiry whether the volume ap- 
pears to have been published by the author's authority or under his super- 
vision. The discussion of this would be an important matter of detail, were 
the facts not all but universally admitted. The quarto is dedicated not by the 
author but by the publisher, a well-known pirate in his trade ; it contains 
numerous unintelligent misprints ; whereas the two poems which Shakespeare 
is known to have published contain dedications from his hand and seem tc 
have been carefully proof-read. These are the chief considerations which hav< 
led critics to agree on the surreptitious character of the quarto of 1609.^ 

In 1640 appeared the second edition of the Sonnets, now printed in 
entirely different order, and grouped by the editor with subtitles as the te: 
suggested. In this edition, of course, there is nothing authoritative ; the on] 
significance to be found in its character is negative — to the effect that there' 
was no tradition implying a continuous or two-part text as of 1609.2 

It is clear, then, so far as this preliminary evidence goes, that the burden 
of proof is on any attempt to call these sonnets a sequence in the usual mean- 
ing of the term. If the character of the contents, examined in detail, indicates 
a consecutive and significant order, then just to that extent we may regard the 
arrangement of the quarto as important ; but we have no warrant for begin- 
ning to read the collection with the assumption that it is to be interpreted as 
one interprets a series of poems, much less chapters of a story, set forth by 
the author in predetermined form. On the contrary, in the absence of further 
and conflicting evidence, we should expect to find that we have before us a 
collection of all the sonnets written by Shakespeare, so far as the publisher 
was able to get hold of them.^ 

But while the sonnets do not appear to be a sequence of the usual sort, 
they may perhaps give evidence of being a sequence in an unconventional 
sense ; that is, they may form a series, either from having been written in the 
present order or from having been carefully arranged. This, if true, is not to 
be assumed, but to be proved. Our next task should be, therefore, to read the 
collection through with a view to asking, not how far it would be possible to 
conceive the sonnets to be significantly consecutive if we knew that they had 
been put in this order by the writer, but how far they imply such consecutive- 
ness when we know nothing of the circumstances of their arrangement. Here, 
of course, there is room for great diversity of judgment. Nor do the limits of 



1 There is one dissident voice worthy of respect, — that of Mr. George Wyndham (Intro- 
duction to T/ie Poems of Shakespeare, 1898) ; but his arguments have been sufficiently answered, 
— for example, by Dean Beeching {The Sonnets of Shakespeare, I904)> who is nevertheless a 
believer in the authoritative order of the quarto text. 

2 On this point see Lee's Life of Shakespeare, p. 100. 

3 This expectation will perhaps be strengthened when we remember that two of the sonnets 
included, numbered 138 and 144, had been published together ten years earlier (1599) in another 
pirated collection, called The Passionate Pilgrim. 



ALDEN 281 

the present paper admit of a detailed explanation of my own answer to the 
question. All that can be done is to give the results of such a reading as has 
just been described, in the attitude of one who does not set any limit to the 
probability of the existence of a large amount of continuity, but who requires 
to see evidence of it in the text.^ 

These results involve the grouping of apparently connected contiguous 
sonnets as follows : 

I -1 7 A man friend is urged to marry. 

18-19 A pair of sonnets on the power of poetry to " eternize " a friend. 

26-28 Sonnets in absence,^ 

33-35 Estrangement, due to a fault of the friend addressed. 

40-42 The theme of estrangement renewed, and the fault revealed as the theft of a 

lady's affections.^ 

43-45 Sonnets in absence (the poet having journeyed). 

46-47 A pair of sonnets on the conceit of Eye and Heart. 

50-52 Sonnets in absence.* 

54-55 A pair on the " eternizing " theme. 

56-58 Sonnets in absence (the friend having journeyed).^ 

63-65 A pair on the " eternizing " theme. 

66-68 The friend's beauty contrasted with degenerate times. 

69-70 A pair dealing obscurely with scandal or slander.^ 

71-74 The poet's death anticipated. 

78-80 A rival poet compared with the writer.^ 

82-86 The theme of the rival poet continued. 

87-93 A threatened estrangement between poet and friend.^ 

94-96 A fault on the friend's part. 

97-99 Sonnets in absence (summer and spring). 

1 For a somewhat fuller outline of the collection, including the sonnets omitted in the 
following table, the reader may be referred to my Introduction to the Sonnets in The Tudor 
Shakespeare^ 1913- 

2 The two following sonnets, 29-30, on love as consolation, may be regarded as a pair. 
They may have been brought together, on the other hand, merely from similarity of theme. 

^ These sonnets, apparently connected with 33-35, are separated from the latter by four 
sonnets which have nothing to do with the theme of the two trios, and one of which {36) has to 
do, on the other hand, with a fault on the poet's part. 

* Since 47 also implies absence, one may read 43-48, or even 43-52, continuously ; but there 
is no link between 45 and 46, 49 is apparently unconnected with absence (anticipating a theme 
developed later in 88-93), ^'^^ 50-51 seem properly, if they refer to the same absence as 43-48, 
to precede the latter in order of composition. 

5 To this group 61 would seem to belong, but the intervening sonnets are more general and 
without links. ^ The immediate connection of these two is by no means certain. 

"^ This and the following group are not only on a new theme, but the friend addressed 
is now viewed from the standpoint of protege and patron, rather than from that of intimate 
friendship, hitherto implied. 

^ With this group we return to the tone of personal friendship as distinguished from the 
relation of patronage. It is odd that Sir Sidney Lee, who emphasizes so strongly the theme of 
patronage and at the same time disbeUeves in the continuity of the collection, should not have 
remarked on this difference of tone. (It is not certain that 91-93 should be viewed as continuous 
with 87-90.) 



282 ARRANGEMENT OF SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS 

100-103 Apology for a period of silence.^ 

109-125 An estrangement, involving absence and bitter experiences on the poet's part, 

reviewed in terms of penitence and devotion.'-^ 

1 31-132 A pair of love-sonnets to a dark lady.*^ 

J 33-^ 34 A pair on a mistress stolen by a friend (cf. 40-42). 

135-136 A pair addressed to a mistress beloved by " Will." * 

137-^38 A pair addressed to a false and guilty mistress. 

139-140 A pair addressed to a mistress conventionally unkind and proud.*^ 

141-142 A pair similar to 137-138. 

143-144 A pair on the theme of 133-134.^ 

147-152 A stormy and guilty passion analyzed.' 

^53-154 A pair of epigrams on Cupid. 

It must be understood that this table includes only those sonnets whose 
text appears to imply some immediate connection with their immediate neigh- 
bors in the collection ; the omitted sonnets being those which, in the absence 
of any theory of sequence, may naturally be read as, independent compositions, 
together with those which are naturally associated with others not standing in 
contiguity with them. No two readers would be likely to reach identical re- 
sults in pursuing such an attempt as this, but it is hoped that the method may 
appear valid for general inferences. What has been the result ? Two con- 
siderable series of sonnets have appeared, — one with some clearness, consist- 
ing of seventeen ; the other of less certain extent, possibly reaching the same 
number. Three short series appear to number respectively five, six, and seven 
sonnets ; there is one group of four ; there are eleven sonnet trios, and twelve 

1 The following sonnets, 104-108, are seemingly disconnected, but some of them, it should 
be noted, are addressed to a beautiful youth in terms suggestive of the earlier sonnets of the 
collection rather than of those standing nearest them. 

2 It is stretching a point to view these seventeen sonnets as continuous. The obvious 
groups are 109-112, 117-120, and 123-125; but it is possible and suggestive to read the inter- 
vening sonnets in the same connection. Nos. 121, on slanderous misjudgment, and 122, an 
occasional poem with reference to a gift which the poet has received and in turn given away, 
seem at first reading definitely to interrupt the sequence ; but they can be viewed in connection 
with the incidents involved in the preceding sonnets, and one may read in the opening words 
of 123 an allusion to the " lasting memory" of 122. 

3 The dark lady has been introduced in 127 and 130, but no continuity is implied between 
130 and 131. 

* This pair may be read as a continuation of the preceding; the interpretation of the "Will" 
theme is a classic crux which cannot be discussed here. 

5 Many readers connect this pair with the preceding and the following, and Dowden com- 
ments to the effect that the poet " goes on to speak of his lady's untruthfulness." There is a 
possibility of reading unfaithfulness into the portrait ; but surely the whole tone of the two 
sonnets is distinct from that of their neighbors. When we find "the wrong" done by the lady's 
"unkindness" developed by means of the conventional conceit — "Wound me not with thine 
eye," etc., we are naturally disposed to understand by that unkindness the usual haiUeiir of the 
besonneted lady of the period. In 140, too, is "disdain" the word for the lying mistress of 138 
or the adulteress of 152 ? 

6 Both these sonnets may be individual, the connection of 143 with earlier groups being 
much less clear than in the case of 144. 

■^ The continuity of all six sonnets is by no means certain. 



ALDEN 283 

pairs. A few sonnets unconnected with their immediate neighbors seem from 
their subject-matter to belong in one or another of these groups ; while the re- 
mainder (at least thirty sonnets) seem to have the character of complete single 
poems, unarranged. To the unbiased reader the impression produced by this 
analysis is in accord with the hypothesis already suggested by the more ex- 
ternal evidence, namely, that the publisher of this collection gathered all of 
Shakespeare's sonnets that he could obtain, in the form of various manu- 
scripts, — some arranged, some unarranged, — and made a rough attempt to 
set them in order. He placed at the beginning of the book the longest obvi- 
ous series. 1 In other cases his manuscript furnished him with pairs and trios 
which he preserved intact ; in still other cases he may have made a pair or a 
trio of sonnets similar in theme or tone. Finally, observing that the sonnets 
plainly addressed to women were in the minority, he reserved them for the 
end of the collection, together with certain other poems on topics obviously 
different from those dominating the collection. ^ 

It may be objected that the want of a clearly continuous thread of thought 
throughout the collection does not prove it to be inconsecutive ; can one trace 
such continuity in any of the Elizabethan sequences ? Probably not. But the 
point in the present case is that the burden of proof has been shown to be on 
those seeking to view Shakespeare's sonnets as a sequence ; moreover, our 
survey of the contents has indicated not merely a want of clear continuity but 
no little evidence of discontinuity. Professor Dowden, one of the critics most 
sure of their foothold in reading the collection consecutively, describes an 
Elizabethan sequence as '' a chain or series of poems, in a designed or natural 
sequence, viewing in various aspects a single theme, or carrying on a love-story 
to its issue, prosperous or the reverse." ^ Would any one examining these 
sonnets of Shakespeare's without a predetermined theory be led to find them 
within the scope of this definition .? 

Another objection may be stated as follows : admitting that the series is 
not a sequence in the usual sense, especially the concluding portion, this does 
not prevent us from regarding the sonnets as standing, on the whole, in the 
order of Shakespeare's manuscript. Does this mean the order of Shakespeare's 
original manuscript, — that is, the order of composition, — or that of some 
final manuscript in which he arranged his sonnets } The first alternative no 

1 Or, possibly, the series which he knew had been addressed to the person to whom he 
dedicated the volume. 

^ In this last suggestion there is of course no novelty ; it is accepted by some who believe 
in the existence of a true sequence in sonnets 1-126. Thus Professor Dowden: " I do not here 
attempt to trace a continuous sequence in the sonnets addressed to the dark-haired woman, 
127-154 [though even here he begs the question of their constituting a "second series"]; I 
doubt whether such continuous sequence is to be found in them." {Sonnets (1881), Introduction, 
p. 34.) And Beeching, still more reasonably : " It looks as if all the sonnets not addressed to the 
friend had been thrown together without arrangement at the end of the series." ( T^e Sonnets 
of Shakespeare^ Introduction, p. Ixvi.) ^ Introduction, p. 26. 



284 ARRANGEMENT OF SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS 

one supposes to be applicable to the whole collection, for about the only cer- 
tain inference to be drawn from the text of the poems is that some of those 
in the " second series " were written at the same time as some in the " first 
series." The most that is claimed, then, is that sonnets 1-125 are in the 
original order, — preserved, perhaps, among the papers of the person to whom 
they are supposed to have been addressed. This view has not been shown to 
be impossible ; but it remains " not proven." And, if accepted, it raises a 
number of difficult questions, such as why the i8th sonnet, if it followed im- 
mediately on the 1 7th, took a different, not to say contradictory, standpoint ; ^ 
why the person addressed was in No. 70 said to be of " pure unstained prime," 
after having been charged somewhat earlier with no trifling misdemeanors ; 
and how it happened that two or three groups of sonnets apparently concerned 
with the same situation were interrupted by single sonnets of independent and 
conventional character. Some of these things, of course, may be due to trifling 
misplacements. Dean Beeching observes of No. 75, " This sonnet is perhaps 
misplaced; it would come better after 52," and of No. 81, "This sonnet is 
plainly misplaced ; its theme is conventional." But if such misplacements 
have occurred, how are we to set a limit ? If a wanton breeze or a careless 
maidservant once disarranged the manuscripts of the Earl of Ouidlibet, what 
may not have happened } The only answer is, again, that we must fall back 
on the intrinsic character of the text as it stands. As to the second alternative, 
that the existing order represents Shakespeare's wishes at the time the sonnets 
were collected, we have already seen what the probabilities are that Shakespeare 
made any copy for the purpose of publication, and it is a bold assumption that 
he brought all his sonnets into one manuscript for any purpose whatever. But 
if he did this, it has already appeared that either he did it very carelessly, or 
at certain points his manuscript was disarranged. And again we must ask, if 
at certain points, at how many ? 

It is time now to inquire more particularly why the view that the quarto 
arrangement of the sonnets is authentic has taken such strong hold. The 
chief reason, no doubt, is the mere natural desire to find a connected story, 
and the fascination that comes from discovering that it is possible to do so. 
Professor Dowden has connected the sonnets (up to 126) into an alluring 
narrative, by a process sometimes akin to that followed by a certain insane 
theologian who used to draw startling conclusions by bringing together two 
apparently remote texts of Holy Scripture. When asked for his authority, he 
would reply : ''I apprehend that, when I draw a line from this verse to that, 
I connect them." A more important source of the dominant theory is to be 
found in the circumstance that all the sonnets up to 125, and including the 

1 That is, in 1-17 the poet claims that future ages can have no idea of his friend's charms 
unless they are perpetuated through descendants; whereas in No. 18 he claims that his own 
verse will be solely sufficient to that end. 



ALDEN 285 

pseudo-sonnet numbered 126, may be read as addressed to a boy or man, 
whereas of those following 126 but few can be so read, and on the other hand 
several of the latter have to do with a woman (or women). ^ But why should 
a distinctive character in the last portion of the collection imply that it was 
separated from the rest by the author f If its character is clear to us, was it 
not equally clear to the publisher ? Is it not, then, the simple explanation of 
the present arrangement, whoever made the arrangement? It may be said 
that the bipartite character of the collection suggests that the first part was 
kept together, in the hands of the person addressed in the "first series." But 
this begs the question whether the whole '' first series " was addressed to one 
person ; and even if we decide that it was, we have already seen that this does 
not guarantee that the sonnets in that group remain in any significant order.^ 
We have still to consider the so-called ''envoy," numbered 126. Says 
Dowden : ''That the sonnets are not printed in the quarto, 1609, at hap- 
hazard, is evident from the fact that the Envoy, 1 26, is rightly placed ; that 
poems addressed to a mistress follow those addressed to a friend ; and that 
the two Cupid and Dian sonnets stand together at the close." ^ The second 
of these reasons — and the third by implication — has already been considered. 
But as to the " envoy " — what is it to be rightly placed? Why, to be placed 
at the end of the " first series." And how do we know it is an envoy } Be- 
cause it is placed at the end of a series. And how do we know that this is 
the end of a series ? Because here stands the envoy ! Now this " envoy " is 
a poem in twelve lines, six couplets, beginning " O thou, my lovely boy." It 
has no apparent connection with the sonnets immediately preceding, but one 
may easily conjecture why it was set here. The editor or publisher thought it 
was an imperfect sonnet, as he indicated by adding two pairs of brackets mark- 
ing the lines which he supposed had been lost. But it was addressed to a boy, 
and so did not belong in the " appendix " with sonnets on women and miscel- 
laneous topics. Nothing more natural, then, than to put it just here ; and in 
this sense it may be called a coda or envoy to its predecessors. But if we look 
more closely, and ask whether there is the slightest ground for supposing that 
it was meant by the poet as a conclusion to a preceding series, we find none. 
On the contrary, there is ground for believing just the opposite. If the "lovely 

1 There are in the " first series," to be sure, a good many sonnets which 7Jiay have been ad- 
dressed to women, and would be thus interpreted were it not for their connection with those in 
which a person of the other sex is referred to. Examples are 21-24, 29-30, 46-47, 99, 11 5-1 16. 

2 Dean Beeching offers a kind of variant of the argument, as follows : " The fact . . . that 
some of the sonnets in the appendix throw light on those addressed to the friend, confirms the 
theory that the sonnets do form a sequence and are not a mere bookseller's haphazard collec- 
tion." (P. Ixiv.) One wonders why. It may confirm the theory that the sonnets in question are 
based on some actual occurrence ; but how the fact that certain sonnets near the end of the 
collection were written at the same time and on the same subject as some which appear earlier, 
shows that the order either of these sonnets or of the whole collection is consecutive, it is 
difficult to see. s Introduction, p. 24. 



286 ARRANGEMENT OF SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS 

boy " here addressed is the beautiful youth to whom Sonnets 1-17 and many 
of the others were written,^ the poem is very naturally connected with the 
opening group of the collection, and with other sonnets standing at some 
distance from 1 26, in which the youth is warned of the flight of time and the 
approach of age. Here he is told again that, though for the present his beauty 
triumphs over Time, Nature will in the end insist on her sovereignty and 
render him up. The poem may be conjectured, with little hesitation, to have 
been written at the same time with the series 1-17. Now, is there anything 
of the same character in the sonnets standing near the end of the "first series " } 
On the contrary, their theme and tone are entirely different. If we assume 
the continuity of 109-125, there has been separation, estrangement, suffering, 
penitence, and this (possible) series is devoted chiefly to the hope that friend- 
ship will outlive these vicissitudes and put to shame the "fools of time." Now, 
suppose Shakespeare to be arranging the sonnets in some final form, and to 
be setting an epilogue or envoy to the series (a somewhat daring supposition),^ 
what will the envoy be "i It may be on love, on friendship, on the steadfastness 
of a " true soul " (end of 1 25), on the struggle of personality and friendship with 
evil days and " policy " the heretic, it may be a return to the ever recurring 
theme of the power of poetry to eternize a friend, it may be almost anything, 
one might venture to say, rather than a return to the relatively trivial theme of 
the danger of the decay of the friend's youthful beauty. The assumption, then, 
that this little poem is an epilogue written by the poet for the whole preceding 
collection comes near being entitled to rank as a curiosity of criticism. 

Certain other arguments have been advanced in support of the consecutive- 
ness of the quarto text. Professor Dowden suggested, some time ago, that 
the use of thou and yozi, in different parts of the collection implies a develop- 
ment such as a true sequence might show.^ But he has not been followed in 
this belief, and has been sufficiently answered by Beeching.^ Dean Beeching, 
however, willing to replace one conjecture with another, advances a similar 
theory based on "the fact that a printer's error of their iox thy occurs fourteen 
times in the series of sonnets from 26 to 70 inclusive, and only once besides, 
viz. in 128." ^ His " fourteen " should read thirteen^ by his own computation 
as given on another page, and these thirteen instances are found in nine 
sonnets, distributed as follows : 26, 27, 35, 37, 43, 45, 46, 69, 70. Admitting 
the utmost which these facts can imply, namely, that the misreadings of their 
for thy indicate that the manuscript of the sonnets in question was in a different 

1 Sir Sidney Lee, to be sure, seems to think that the lines are an address to Cupid. {Life of 
Shakespeare, p. 97 n.) 

2 One would suppose, from the readiness with which the "envoy" theory has been accepted, 
that it was customary to conclude Elizabethan sequences with something of the kind, in distinct 
metrical form. This is, of course, by no means the fact. The only thing of the kind that I recall 
is the three " conclusions " (lyrics considerably longer than sonnets) which Robert Tofte appended 
to the three parts of Laura. ^ Introduction, p. 25. * Sonnets^ p. Ixiv (note). ^ P. Ixv. 



ALDEN 287 

handwriting from later ones, we can apply the argument only to the twenty- 
one sonnets from 26 to 46 ; and the recurrence of the error in 69 and 70, 
after an interval without it, suggests that we may have come back to the same 
manuscript, and that consecutiveness has been lost ! 

In this connection it is instructive to notice how a skilled editor like Dean 
Beeching, bound by the theory of an authentic order, meets the difficulties 
which arise. Sonnets 36-39, as we have seen, intercept two apparently con- 
nected groups. Dowden finds, however, the necessary links of thought, as 
usual ; but Beeching points out that his view is untenable, and that we must 
admit that '' the sonnets from 36 to 39 refer to a different topic." ^ How, 
then, explain the recurrence in No. 40 of the subject of the friend as thief of 
the poet's mistress ? Beeching is here less charitable to the unknown friend 
than any other critic ; he thinks the offense has probably '' been repeated 
during the poet's absence referred to in 39 " ! In other cases, as we have 
seen, he admits misplacement; in others, observes simply, as on 105, ''This 
sonnet has no connection with the subject of the previous five sonnets." 

These two editors, Dowden and Beeching, are the best who have handled 
the sonnets with thoroughness in recent years, and they meet our mooted 
question more fairly and frankly than most of the other editors who hold the 
same view. Tyler remarks simply that it is '' assumed that the order given in 
the First Quarto is the right order ; and this must certainly be maintained 
until the contrary has been proved." ^ Mr. Wyndham, in his valuable edition, 
disposes of our question by saying that all critics '' not quixotically compelled 
to reject a reasonable view are agreed that the order in the First Series can 
scarce be bettered."^ Professor Herford rests the case on the vague asser- 
tion: ''Displacement may be here and there suspected ; but on the whole they 
form a connected sequence, passing by delicate gradations through a rich com- 
pass of emotion." ^ So they do ; and so they would if shuffled in any one 
of a dozen ways. But the possibility of such a manner of reading, in itself 
intelligible, is not proof of its authenticity.^ 

1 p. 91. 

2 Praetorius Facsimile, p. xxvi. The remark shows the necessity that has been pointed out 
of considering the matter of the burden of proof. ^ P. cix. * Eversley Shakespeare, X, 374. 

5 Sir Sidney Lee has truly observed that " if the critical ingenuity which has detected a 
continuous thread of narration in the order that Thorpe printed Shakespeare's Sonnets were 
applied to the booksellers' miscellany of sonnets called Diana, that volume . . . could be made 
to reveal the sequence of an individual lover's moods . . . quite as convincingly as Thorpe's 
collection." {Life, p. 96 n.) To which Herford (p. 374 n.) rejoins, " He may be invited to 
try." For myself, I should dislike to make the experiment with the monotonous pages of 
the Diana ; but if only Wordsworth's minor poems, including his sonnets, had come down to 
us without date, author's title, or note, in an order perhaps determined by the convenience of 
the publisher, I should cheerfully undertake to put them in a plausible sequence, and even to 
show that that sequence went far toward solving the one mystery of the poet's life — the per- 
sonality of " Lucy." I should follow her among the lakes, along the River Duddon, and the 
vicinity of Tintern Abbey, show why she was instrumental in preventing the poet from visiting 



288 ARRANGEMENT OF SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS 

One recent editor, Professor W. A. Neilson, has shown the courage of 
agnosticism, and, in his brief introduction to the Sonnets, taken safe and 
reasonable ground. ^ Still another, Mr. C. M. Walsh, in his edition of 1908, 
has not only dared to say that '' Thorpe's arrangement of the sonnets is of no 
more help in our understanding of their development than is the Folio-editors' 
arrangement of the plays," but has printed them in a new order, not — as 
had been done already — according to one more unprovable hypothesis, but 
with reference to general indications of theme and style. These are perhaps 
happy omens of a time when the prevalent but unwarranted faith in the 
arrangement of 1609 will no longer dominate criticism ; the way will then be 
open for dating or interpreting any sonnet or group of sonnets on the merits 
of the evidence. 



Yarrow, indicate the influence on him of her views on the Visitation of the Sick, Old Abbeys, 
and the Emigrant French Clergy, and probably demonstrate that she was a daughter of the 
Leech-gatherer and a niece of Simon Lee. 
1 Works of Shakespeare, 1906, p. 11 70. 



POSSIBLE FOREIGN SOURCES OF THE 
SPANISH NOVEL OF ROGUERY 

J. D. M. Ford 

The novel of roguery, otherwise termed the picaroon (picaresque) romance 
or novel, has been regarded as essentially a Spanish creation. Scholars — and 
scholars in this country ^ have not been amongst the least industrious in deal- 
ing with the subject — have generally agreed in attributing to Spain the genesis 
of the perfected novel of the type, although they have been careful enough 
to recognize, for matters of detail, the indebtedness of Spanish writers to ante- 
cedent literature of various categories and of both foreign and native origin. 
So it is that Professor F. W. Chandler,^ summing up his own researches and 
those of other scholars, says, '' Although the picaresque tale was indigenous 
to Spain, its elements had existed earlier and elsewhere in literature." He 
proceeds, even while he claims priority of perfection of the form for Spain, 
as he has a right to do, to enumerate various foreign factors that enter into 
its make-up. Among these are the late Greek novels — and here he doubtless 
has in mind such works as the Theagenes and Chariclea and the Leucippe and 
Clitophon — with their adventures of pirates and robbers, to say nothing of 
the chief characters, who were certainly " chevaliers d'industrie " and ladies 
of easy habits, not unlike those found in the Gnzmdn de Alfarache, the Mar- 
cos de Obregon, and other fully developed Spanish novels of roguery ; the 
comedies of Plautus with their intriguing slaves and parasites, who used their 
wits for gain's sake in a way resembling the methods of the Spanish //^^/-^i- ; 
the Latin novel, represented by the Satyricon of Petronius, with its disgusting 
pictures of low life and debauchery, and, more particularly for our purpose, 
by the Asinns Aureus of Apuleius, in which a satirical description of masters 
and their ways is given by one in servitude ; mediaeval documents such as the 
Dit siir les etats du monde and the Dance of Death, in both of which the dif- 
ferent ranks and callings in life are made the subject of review ; the Facetiae, 
the Italian Novelle, and the Beggar Books, with their accounts of cheating and 
practical jokes, some of which were anticipated by the Romati de Renart, with 
its knavish beasts playing the part of anti-heroes. 

1 Cf. F. De Haan, An Outline of the History of the N'ovela picaresca in Spain, The Hague 
and New York, 1903 ; id., " Picaros y ganapanes," in Homenaje a. Menendez y Pelayo, Madrid, 
1899, II, 149 ff. ; F. W. Chandler, Romances of Roguery, New York, 1899 ; id., The Literature of 
Roguery, Boston and New York, 1907 ; F. M. Warren, A History of the N'ovel, New York, 1908, 
pp. 284 ff. 2 Romances of Roguery, p. 3. 

289 



290 SOURCES OF THE SPANISH NOVEL OF ROGUERY 

To the foreign literary contributors to the Spanish novel of roguery we may 
add others of native origin, and of these the Libro de buen amoroi Juan Ruiz 
and the Celestina are especially to be stressed. Into the element of fact under- 
lying the novels of roguery it is not the present purpose to enter. Undoubtedly 
they offer in no slight degree pictures of real rogues and transcripts of real 
knavish happenings in the Spain of their day, and they have much satirical 
comment upon the life of the time. It is meet to point out, however, that too 
much stress should not be laid upon the picaro stories as documents valuable 
to scholars who would write the history of Spain in her glorious period of the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Back of the knavery and sordidness 
which inform these stories there is all too much of a literary paternity, and, 
with a slender basis of living fact, the resourceful Spanish novelists of the 
period could parade them as contemporary records. However this may be, it 
is obvious to all who read that the writers of the Spanish novels of roguery 
placed themselves in deliberate opposition to the purveyors of novels of 
chivalry, which had been and were still captivating the many in Spain. As 
Professor Warren^ says: ''The picaresco novel was not only a study of a 
rascal, but it was, besides, a protest against the predominance in literature of 
the aristocratic type. In carrying its hostility to the romances of chivalry so 
far as an entire forgetfulness of their spirit, the insurgent went to the other ex- 
treme and busied itself with portraying the exact opposite of the manners and 
ideals of a true and perfect knight. And undoubtedly this feeling of revenge 
and irony made the heroes of realism from the very start the embodiment 
of all that is mean and crafty." 

The correctness of Professor Warren's statement can hardly be questioned. 
The novel of roguery stands in conscious antithesis to the aristocratic type of 
romance, but the present writer believes that this antithesis had already become 
an actuality in literature outside of Spain before the Spanish novel of roguery 
had become a fact, and on that account he is prompted to suggest as additional 
literary material utilized by the Spanish authors certain noted Italian works. 
These are the Morgante ^ of Luigi Pulci and the Baldus ^ of Teofilo Folengo. 

The work of Pulci, completed by 1483, is essentially a romance of chivalry, 
but it is marked by tendencies frankly bourgeois, verging at times upon some- 
thing like satire of the deeds of derring-do, without becoming absolutely this. 
As Byron ^ has said, 

Pulci was sire of the half-serious rhyme, 

and, in general, he succeeded in remaining at least half-serious and in avoid- 
ing a really satirical attitude with regard to chivalry, its ideals and achieve- 
ments. Yet, in one famous passage of his Morgante, he seems to put forward, 

1 A History of the Novel, p. 289. ^ Cf. ed. by G. Volpi, 3 vols., Florence, 1900-1904. 

8 Cf. ed. by A. Luzio, Merlin Cocai, Le Maccheronee (in Scrittori (T Italia), 2 vols., Bari, 191 1. 

* Don Juan, iv, 6. 



FORD 291 

with decidedly comical and satirical effect, a personage who has the very 
opposite of the chivalrous characteristics and is even the very embodiment of 
roguery. This is the demi-giant Margutte. Margutte tells his story himself 
(and here it should be borne in mind that several of the leading Spanish novels 
of roguery are autobiographical), making therein a confession which extends 
through nearly thirty-three octaves and convicts him of offenses against all the 
laws of God and man. He has done all the things that a chivalric person 
should not do and he exults in the fact. As the Morgante ^ had been translated 
into Spanish and published at Valencia by 1533 (it was reprinted at Seville, 
1552, in this translation), it was accessible early enough to the makers of the 
Spanish novels of the type of the Guzman de Alfarache. Moreover, so many 
Spanish men of letters had been in Italy as soldiers or in other capacities that 
a knowledge of Italian was common with them. 

Let us quote some of the lines of Margutte's confession, showing that he 
is really giving us a roguish autobiography. Morgante, the giant, has encoun- 
tered in a wood the demi-giant Margutte, and now asks the latter to account 
for himself ; this he proceeds to do. 

xviii 114 

Disse Morgante : " Tu sia il ben venuto ; 

Dimmi piu oltre, io non t'ho domandato, 
Se se' Cristiano, o se se' Saracino, 
O se tu credi in Cristo o in Apollino." 



"5 



117 



Rispose allor Margutte : " A dirtel tosto, 
Io non credo piu al nero ch'all'azzurro, 
Ma nel cappone, o lesso o vuogli arrosto ; 
E credo alcuna volta anco nel burro, 
Nella cervogia e, quando io n'ho, nel mosto, 
E molto piu nell'aspro che il mangurro ; 
Ma sopra tutto nel buon vino ho fede, 
E credo che sia salvo chi gli crede. 



La fede e f atta, come fa il solletico : 
Per discrezion mi credo che tu intenda : 
Or tu potresti dir ch'io fussi eretico : 

Questa fede h come I'uom se I'arreca : 

Vuoi tu veder che fede sia la mia ? 

Che nato son d'una monaca greca, 

E d'un papasso in Bursia la in Turchia ; 

E nel principio sonar la ribeca 

Mi dilettai, perch'avea fantasia 

Cantar di Troia e d'Ettorre e d'Achille. 



1 Cf. Brunet, Manuel die libraire, s.v. Pulci ; M. Menendez y Pelayo, Origenes de la novela 
{in Nueva Biblioteca de AiUores Espanoles), Vol. I, p. cxlii, Madrid, 1905. 



292 SOURCES OF THE SPANISH NOVEL OF ROGUERY 

119 

Poi che m'increbbe il sonar la chitarra, 

lo cominciai a portar Tarco e '1 turcasso : 
Un di ch'io fe' nella moschea poi sciarra, 
E ch'io uccisi il mio vecchio papasso, 
Mi posi allato questa scimitarra, 
E cominciai pel mondo a 'ndar a spasso ; 
E per compagni ne menai con meco 
Tutti i peccati o di Turco o di Greco, 
120 

Anzi quanti ne son giu neU'infemo. 

lo n'ho settanta e sette de' mortali, 

Che non mi lascian mai la state o '1 verno ; 

Pensa quanti io n'ho poi de' veniali ! 

Non credo, se durassi il mondo eterno, 

Si potessi commetter tanti mali 

Quanti ho commessi io solo alia mia vita : 

Ed ho per alfabeto ogni partita." 

In a number of verses following he acknowledges his gambling propensities, 
his gluttony, and his lechery. Sacrilegious theft he glories in : 

134 

" S' tu mi vedessi in una chiesa solo, 

Io son piu vago di spogliar gli altari, 

Che '1 messo di contado del paiuolo : 

Poi corro alia cassetta de' danari ; 

Ma sempre in sagrestia fo il primo volo, 

E se v'^ croce o calici, io gli ho cari, 

E' crocifissi scuopro tutti quanti, 

Poi vo spogliando le Nunziate e' santi." 

And so he continues, accusing himself of robbing henroosts and clotheslines, 
of being a highwayman, forger, and perjurer, and concludes with the statement 
that he has omitted mention of a number of his vices. 

With Folengo's heroi-comic Baldtis ^ in macaronic verse we need not deal 
in detail. First published in Italian in 15 19 and later ampHfied greatly, it 
appeared in a Spanish translation at Seville, 1542, and was probably known 
in Spain in its original form before that date. It is a medley of many things, 
but is chiefly a transformation of the chivalrous romance. Baldus, the pro- 
tagonist, although descended from Rinaldo, is brought up in base surroundings. 
He becomes a vagabond, and, accompanied by the giant Fracasso, who is a 
scion of Pulci's Morgante, and by other rascals, notable among whom is 
Cingar, the son of Margutte, he wanders about everywhere, performing deeds 
of violence and knavery. Baldus is the degenerate knight developing into the 

1 Cf. the excellent account of it by F. Flamini, // Cinquecento (in Storia letteraria cTItalia, 
etc.), pp. 150 ff. 



FORD 293 

rogue. Cingar is entirely the rogue and is so described by Folengo, who 

declares him to be 

Accortus, ladro, semper truffare paratus. 

It is hardly necessary to stress further the fact that the Baldtis, like the Mar- 
gutte episode of the Morgante, could easily furnish inspiration and material 
to the Spanish authors of novels of roguery. Rabelais ^ knew well the writ- 
ings of Folengo ; the chances are that Spanish writers of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries knew them too. 

1 Cf. Flamini, // Cinquecenio, p. 1 54 ; B. Zumbini, II Folengo precursore del Cervantes in Studi 
di letieraiura italiana, Florence, 1894, pp. 163 ff. 



THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS IN TOLSTOY'S 
ETHICAL SYSTEM 

George R. No yes 

In My Confession Tolstoy has given the world a stirring spiritual auto- 
biography. Born and educated in the Orthodox Church of Russia, he lost 
while still a mere boy all faith in the dogmas of that church ; and grew up, 
like the vast majority of educated Russians, without definitely formulated re- 
ligious belief. But questions of personal conduct never ceased to occupy him ; 
the moral law was ever present with him as a potent, if not always a con- 
trolling, factor in his personal life. At last, in his mature years, doubts and 
questionings on religious and moral problems began to present themselves 
to him with ever increasing vividness. What is the aim of life } What profits 
it a man to toil upon earth not knowing the purpose of his labors } These 
questions Tolstoy could neither solve nor forget. The riddle of fate would not 
let him rest, and at forty-six, rich and famous, surrounded by a family whom 
he loved and who loved him, he found himself on the verge of suicide. He 
must solve the riddle or perish. He sought an answer in science, but could 
find none ; science would answer questions of the chemical constitution of 
matter, or of the laws of light, but of man's destiny it knew nothing. Rather 
it confirmed his belief that life is void and meaningless ; reason taught him 
that life is contrary to reason. Distrusting his own powers, Tolstoy turned 
for help to the sages of different times and nations, to Solomon, Socrates, 
Buddha, and Schopenhauer, and found that they shared his belief that life is 
evil and death better than life. Secure in the truth of his despair, Tolstoy 
divided the society in which he lived into four classes. First came those — 
'' mostly women or very young or very stupid people " — who fail to recognize 
that life is evil and senseless ; from them he could learn nothing. Next were 
the men of the world, the Epicureans, who see the futility of existence, but pro- 
vide themselves relief from it in transitory pleasures. The third class was com- 
posed of logical and brave people, who, seeing the futility of existence, commit 
suicide. The fourth class included the weaklings, among them Tolstoy himself, 
who, recognizing the worthlessness of life, nevertheless fail to kill themselves. 

This division seemed inclusive. But suddenly Tolstoy saw that it applied 
only to men of his own class in society ; that the millions of toiling peasants 
belonged to no one of his four divisions. They recognize the problem of life 
with surprising clearness ; they are certainly not Epicureans, and they regard 

295 



296 ELEMENTS IN TOLSTOY'S ETHICAL SYSTEM 

suicide as a fearful crime. Their solution of the riddle is the faith of the 
church, with its doctrines of " God as one and three, the creation in six 
days, devils and angels, and all that which I cannot accept so long as I am 
possessed of reason." Yet this illogical faith justifies life for them, and gives 
to their existence a dignity utterly wanting in that of men of higher station. 
Tolstoy's course was clear ; he set aside his reasoning powers and became a 
faithful member of the Orthodox Church, cheating himself into believing, or 
professing that he believed, doctrines that were repugnant to his intellect. 

Other features of the church, however, revolted not only Tolstoy's intel- 
lect, but his moral sense as well. His Orthodox Church, forgetting the 
precepts of Christian love, cursed and reviled Catholics and Protestants, 
though it had no more foundation for its pride than had the Sumski Hussars 
for their confidence that they were the leading regiment in the Russian army. 
Furthermore, in the war between Russia and Turkey, the church pronounced 
its blessing on the Russian armies. Now Tolstoy, ignorant though he might 
be, knew with his whole soul that any church that blessed murder was an 
immoral church. He forthwith left the church — the doctrines of which he 
examined in his Critique of Dogmatic Theology, and pronounced to be "the 
blasphemy against the Holy Ghost," the absolute contradiction of the teaching 
of Christ — and proceeded to build up a religious system of his own. Study- 
ing attentively the Gospels, he strove to separate their central truths from the 
rubbish wherewith they were overlaid. The details of his study he gave to 
the world in his Harmony and Translation of the Four Gospels; the general 
results of it in his treatise My Religion. 

Of Tolstoy's theological opinions the most striking is his entire denial of 
temporal immortality ; no warrant for a belief in a life beyond the grave can 
be found in the discourses of Jesus. ^ To questions of doctrine, however, 
Tolstoy pays scant attention ; the nature of God is unknowable, so that spec- 
ulation upon it is worse than fruitless. For Tolstoy the central truth of the 
Christian faith is that one should not resist evil by force. To this are added 
four other precepts : (i) Be not angry, live at peace with all men ; (2) Be pure, 
never regard as good the feeling of love for woman ; (3) Take no oaths, sub- 
mit your will only to the will of God ; (4) Love all men, making no distinction 
between your own nation and others. These commandments, it will be noted, 
by implication destroy all existing society ; a man who will neither submit his 
will to that of another nor impose it on another by force can take no part in 
the labor of government. 

Thus from Tolstoy's personal ethics there results immediately his attitude 
to modern civilization, as expounded in his book What Shall We Do Then ? 

1 In time Tolstoy changed his opinion. His Course of Reading (Moscow, 1910) is full of 
expressions of faith in immortality, such as, " Only those disbelieve in immortality who have 
never seriously thought of death " (I, 117). 




NOYES 297 

This volume opens with an indictment of the existing social system, which is. 
based on violence, on the enslavement of man by man. At present the chief 
means of enslavement is private property, expressed in money, the chief object 
of which is the subjection of the poor to the rich. The first duty of a right- 
eous man is to appreciate his share in the unrighteousness of society. He 
will then feel bound to divest himself of property, to labor with his hands 
instead of being supported by the labor of others, and to live a simple life in 
the country instead of a luxurious life in the city. Manual labor for man, and 
childbearing and the care of children for women, are the proper tasks for 
regenerate humanity. All luxury, including most modern art and science, 
will disappear. The world will be transformed, not by an external change 
such as that advocated by the socialists, but by the change of character in 
individual men and women. 

Obviously Tolstoy's spiritual development and his ethical system, despite 
the logical scheme into which he so often casts them, contain national and 
personal elements. The contrast between an idle, irreligious upper class and 
a toiling, religious peasantry, which gave the impulse to Tolstoy's conversion, 
is certainly not true in our own country, and perhaps even in Russia the lines 
of cleavage are not so clear as Tolstoy represents them. Further, it is not 
self-evident that non-resistance to evil is the leading thought of the gospel 
teaching ; an equally honest inquirer might find the essence of primitive 
Christianity in the belief in an all-wise and all-loving personal deity ; he 
might even find an otherworldly tint in the discourses of Jesus, with an 
emphasis on the life beyond the grave. So a critic of modern society might 
see its chief evil not in the presence of violence, but in the absence of jus- 
tice, and might regard the use of force in the resistance of evil as quite con- 
sistent with the spirit of the Christian teaching. In order to appreciate the 
true character of Tolstoy's theory of morals we must look for its sources else- 
where than in the Gospels, from which he believed it to be derived, and 
we must define its central characteristics in a somewhat different fashion 
from that adopted by Tolstoy himself. Studying the whole development of 
his thought, we may find that these essential elements of his ethical system 
are (i) individualism, (2) a dislike of artificial, civilized society, (3) pessimism,, 
and (4) asceticism. 

In all his novels, the greatest of which precede his ethical works, Tolstoy 
is primarily interested in the personal life of his heroes ; their participation 
in government or in any sort of social work he regards as useless or even as 
harmful. In Anna Karcnin the hero is Levin, a solitary farmer, who refuses 
to bother with governmental activity. In contrast to him Karenin, the high- 
placed official, lives in a world of paper and ink rather than one of flesh and 
blood ; his weakness is seen when he comes face to face with a real problem 
in his relations with his wife. In War and Peace Prince Andrei, the most 



298 ELEMENTS IN TOLSTOY'S ETHICAL SYSTEM 

energetic and practical of Tolstoy's men, wins success in governmental work, 
only to turn from it in disgust. The real hero of that novel, Pierre Beziikhi, 
ludicrous as a masonic functionary, attains peace and calm only in his family 
life and in his own spiritual progress. Yet in War and Peace Tolstoy deals 
continually with the mass movements of humanity, with the marching of 
armies, with the glow of patriotic enthusiam that seizes the Russian nation 
when Napoleon invades the country. Notice, however, that individuals have 
no influence on these mass movements. Napoleon did not cause the invasion 
of Russia, but only fancied that he did so. Kutuzov, Tolstoy's favorite among 
the Russian generals, sleeps during a council of war and lets events take their 
course. The history of mankind is directed by a blind fate, over which indi- 
viduals have no power. Each man must care for his own moral life and cease 
to hope that he may influence society. 

Tolstoy's individualistic heroes represent his personal traits. He was tem- 
peramentally opposed to any cooperative movement. From his boyhood he 
refused to affiliate with any political or social party ; he might be affected by 
the ideas of liberals or Slavophiles, scientists or socialists, but he would never 
account himself a member of an organized body. His position was that of his 
hero Levin, who, when called a " reactionist," proudly replies : '' Really, I 
never thought who I am ; I am Constantine Levin and nothing else " {Anria 
Karhiin^ part ii, ch. 17). Once or twice, to be sure, Tolstoy did engage in 
social work. As an arbiter of the peace after the emancipation of the serfs in 
1 86 1 he showed courage, but soon abandoned a position for which he was 
ill adapted and in which he must submit to irksome compromises. In 1891 
he became a chief worker for the relief of the Russian famine, forcing him- 
self to use means, such as money, that were in flat contradiction to his own 
principles. A saving grace of inconsistency only emphasizes his fundamental 
individualism. 

This individualism resulted from Tolstoy's temperament rather than from 
any logical reasoning. A strong element of contradiction pervaded his whole 
character. In conversation he was prone to take the opposite side in any 
discussion that might arise. In his early life his hot temper led him into 
continual quarrels, so that he retained few constant friends. His passion for 
sincerity and his analytic bent led him to detect insincerity in all about him, 
and sometimes, particularly in the case of men of intellect, to refuse forgive- 
ness to human weaknesses. 

Tolstoy's individualism was fostered by his environment. A wealthy aris- 
tocrat, he never had to work for his living. His views might develop un- 
checked by the conflicts of business or professional life. Their progress was 
aided even by the government. A despotism is the best soil for the growth 
of extreme social theories. Men whose efforts at practical reform are ham- 
pered are prone to indulge all the more freely in abstract social dreams. 



NOYES 299 

Extremes of character result ; many men perish in sloth or vice, while a very- 
few become saints or speculative geniuses. 

Intimately connected with Tolstoy's individualism, as a revolt from con- 
ventional standards, is his admiration for the life of primitive, half-savage 
men, and for that of uncultivated, illiterate peasants. His early novel The 
Cossacks pictures the Russian inhabitants of the base of the Caucasus moun- 
tains, who live in constant warfare with the Circassians and have come to 
resemble them in manners and morals. These men Tolstoy describes with 
enthusiasm, not hiding their cruelty, lustfulness, and drunkenness, but find- 
ing in them a natural vigor that is absent in the Russians of his own class. 
A similarly negative attitude towards his own comrades may be seen in his 
Sevastopol Sketches. The officers in the Russian army are actuated only by 
vanity and ambition ; each is ready to sacrifice thousands of lives in order to 
gain a decoration for himself. The common soldiers, on the other hand, are 
modest, brave, self-sacrificing ; forgetful of themselves, they obey orders and 
aid their wounded comrades. In the story Childhood the one representative 
of the religious life is a half-witted peasant mendicant ; in the existence of 
the upper classes there is little nourishment for the religious emotions. 

Tolstoy's scorn of civilized society greatly resembles Rousseau's condem- 
nation of the arts and sciences as degrading influences in the history of 
mankind. One is not surprised to learn that at an early age Tolstoy almost 
worshipped Rousseau, reading all his works and wearing a medallion of him 
about his neck. The likeness between the two men is, however, purely on 
the negative side. Tolstoy found in Rousseau a systematic exposition of his 
own instinctive dislike of a civilization, an art, and a science that rest on the 
servitude of millions to a select few. When he later built his own system he 
went far beyond his master. Rousseau regrets the rise of the arts and 
sciences, but now that they are here he cannot dispense with them ; he will 
strive to mitigate their evil effects. Since primitive liberty has perished for- 
ever, he will strive to organize society on principles of justice. Patriotism is 
the controlling motive of his Social Contract. Since the pure Christianity of 
the Gospels is inconsistent with patriotism, he will replace it by a civil re- 
ligion, designed to uphold the laws. Tolstoy sees with equal clearness the 
inconsistency between the Gospels and patriotism, and forthwith denounces 
patriotism as one of the greatest of sins. The state organization must disap- 
pear because it is incompatible with true religion, the religion of the heart. 
With it there must perish all science and all art not directly devoted to the 
service of religion. Tolstoy accepts Rousseau's fundamental principles, but 
carries them out with greater logical rigor, and with greater courage. 

Though Tolstoy found inspiration in Rousseau's criticism of human 
society, he could not always accept his view of human nature. According to 
Rousseau human society is bad, but human nature is good ; to Tolstoy, in the 



300 ELEMENTS IN TOLSTOY'S ETHICAL SYSTEM 

years immediately preceding his religious conversion, human nature itself 
seemed bad. Schopenhauer, not Rousseau, was the writer who then had 
most influence over his thought ; Tolstoy became a pessimist, believing that 
life is empty and meaningless and that death is better than life. 

Though this statement has the authority of Tolstoy himself in his Confes- 
sion, it must be received with important reservations. Tolstoy's pessimism, as 
applied to human life in general, rather than to existing human institutions, 
-or to the class in society of which he was a member, was a passing intelk 
tual opinion rather than a deep-seated temperamental conviction. Pessimism 
is a belief that the non-existence of the universe would be preferable to its 
existence. Such a belief steals into our minds as we read the novels of Hardy 
or the tales of Guy de Maupassant. The offense lies not in the portrayal 
of sin and shame, but in the denial of any possibility of improvement or in 
the negation of all standards of right and wrong. Tolstoy's novels are of 
different stuff. They are books wherein " all noble lords and ladies " " shall 
-find many joyous and pleasant histories and noble and renowned acts of 
liumanity, gentleness, and chivalry. For herein may be seen noble chivalry, 
courtesy, humanity, friendliness, hardiness, love, friendship, cowardice, mur- 
der, hate, virtue, sin. Do after the good, and leave the evil, and it shall bring 
you to good fame and renomm^e." And, unlike Malory, Tolstoy is so con- 
vincing in his picture of this checkerboard world that " all noble lords and 
ladies " find themselves constrained " to give faith and believe that all is true 
that is contained herein." Tolstoy's pessimism remained external ; the vital 
force that saved him from suicide kept his picture of the world from ever 
becoming black and despairing. 

Such novels might seem quite as much at variance with asceticism, the 
denial to oneself of simple and natural pleasures, as they are with a perma- 
nently pessimistic philosophy. But such is not the case. Asceticism was a 
fundamental element in Tolstoy's temperament. Its influence, already visible 
in his earliest works, constantly increased, until it became all-pervading in the 
writings of his latest years. It was the central element in his religious sys- 
tem, and in time it became almost the sole element, so that the last phase of 
Tolstoy's religion approximates to mediaeval monasticism. 

Tolstoy's early life was, to be sure, anything but ascetic ; it was that of a 
young man swayed by strong animal passions. This wild-oats period is re- 
flected strongly in his novels, with their descriptions of scenes of debauchery 
and violence. Tolstoy could hardly have rebuked the sins of the world with 
so fervent an eloquence had he not himself shared in them. 

Moreover, asceticism implies a contempt of wholesome physical pleasures, 
a Puritanic disregard of all that is beautiful and graceful, such as no one is at 
first sight likely to impute to the author of War and Peace and Anna Kar^nin, 
-K fervent joy of life fills the description of the hunt in War and Peace, when 



NOYES 301 

Nikolai Rostov gallops over the open field or prays the Lord that the wolf 
may come his way. So Tolstoy feels to the full the delight of Natasha at the 
great court ball when he writes, '' She was at that highest pitch of happiness 
when one becomes wholly good and kind and does not believe in the possi- 
bility of evil, unhappiness, and grief" {War and Peace, part vi, ch. 17). 

The truth is that in Tolstoy there were two different spirits, one that of 
the healthy animal, enjoying his own strength and the fineness of his per- 
ceptions ; the other that of the moralist, analyzing the experiences through 
which he passes and tending more and more to reject all joys of the flesh, 
and even all delight in beauty, as distinct from morality. In his earlier writ- 
ings, up to his religious conversion, the instinctive elements predominate ; in 
the later they gradually disappear under the influence of an ascetic ideal. To 
sins of the flesh, resulting from a thoughtless animal nature, Tolstoy was 
merciful. In Anna Karenin the thoughtless, good-humored Stiva, while he 
violates all the commands of the Decalogue, amuses rather than enrages the 
sternly Puritanic novelist. Again, in Tolstoy's view, animal debauchery does 
not wholly defile a man so long as he recognizes it as something bad and 
degrading ; it becomes fatal only when it is regarded as something fine and 
elevating, as it is by so many poets and artists. To be more explicit, even in 
his youthful years Tolstoy was never a conscious hedonist ; as an ideal he 
never recognized pleasure even of the highest sort, not to speak of animal 
enjoyment. Beauty and strength he admired, and his keen appreciation of 
them gives to his great novels their glorious vitality ; but they never entered 
into his moral ideal. From his own ideal of art he finally banished beauty 
and pleasure ; and even in his earliest writings, so soon as he begins to reflect, 
he becomes an ascetic, preaching self-sacrifice and self-abnegation, however 
much, as a spectator of this world's motley show, he may understand the appeal 
of types of character to whom self-sacrifice is unknown. His most extreme 
religious tracts only expand a point of view that is already implicit in his 
novels, though it is there so overshadowed by other elements, that, had Tolstoy 
died at the age of fifty, it might have passed unnoticed. 

Tolstoy's individualism accounts for the anarchic character of his social 
criticism. Concentrating his attention on the single man, he is impatient of 
any social restraints that hamper the growth of universal love, expressed in 
self-abnegation. Patriotism, the preference of one's own countrymen over 
foreigners, forthwith becomes a cardinal sin \ since some of its fruits are evil, 
none can be good. Since all cooperation involves compromise, Tolstoy comes 
perilously near condemning all cooperative effort. Herein he is sharply dis- 
tinguished from the socialists, whose condemnation of modem society is much 
the same as his own. No change in economic arrangements, no laws of the 
state, administered by imperfect men, can regenerate the corrupt modem 
society ; and perfect men, by their very perfection, are forbidden to make or 



302 ELEMENTS IN TOLSTOY'S ETHICAL SYSTEM 

administer laws that lay compulsion on their fellows. Hence as a leader of 
constructive reform Tolstoy has been without influence. The greatest apostle 
of peace in modern times, he opposed the movement for international arbitra- 
tion, since, resting as it does on the recognition of government and armaments, 
it must remain a hollow mockery. 

Yet Tolstoy believed himself a constructive reformer. The Christian 
Church, he exclaims in My Religion^ offers men either a monastery, entire 
retirement from the world, or base compromise with it. He himself will 
remain in the world as a servant of humanity. But the ascetic element in 
his ideal is often more prominent than that of service ; ^ and finally, as he 
advances in life, his ideal becornes monastic in all but name, differing from 
monasticism only in its anarchic exaltation of disobedience rather than obedi- 
ence, and in being put forward as an ideal for all men instead of being enjoined 
as a formal rule for a few elect spirits. A sketch of his changing point of view 
on one concrete problem, that of sex relations, will make this plain. 

Of all the passions that fettered the young Tolstoy that of lust was the 
most fierce and untamable. He recognized the sinfulness of his life, but 
could not change it. The men in his novels are reflections of their creator, 
preserving their ideal aspirations in the midst of external debauchery. But 
they do not shroud their lusts with any poetic charm, as do the Roman ele- 
gists, to say nothing of their modern successors. Sexual inclinations in 
Tolstoy's novels are sordid, base, animal. Prostitution and light and graceful 
society adultery are mentioned with whole-souled contempt, mingled with 
charity it is true, but with no sympathy. True poetry surrounds only the rela- 
tions of a man with the woman whom he will marry, who will be the mother 
of his children, and to whom he will be devotedly faithful all his life. In 
thinking of her he anticipates a lifelong spiritual companionship, made holy 
by love of her and of their children. 

A happy family life saved Tolstoy from lust and from despair. Accord- 
ingly the family ideal dominated War and Peace ; the charming maiden 
Natasha ends as a portly and somewhat untidy housewife, caring for her 
chubby children. Infraction of this ideal brings about the tragedy of Anna 
KarMn. Perhaps the most eloquent positive pages that Tolstoy ever wrote 
are those in praise of motherhood, at the close of What Shall We Do Then f 

Then came a change. Tolstoy's latest writings are occupied not with 
praises of family life, which in the last analysis depends on sexual attrac- 
tion, however regulated, and however atoned for by self-sacrificing love of 
children, but with the tremendous power for evil of this same sexual attrac- 
tion. The Kreutzer Sonata shows this changed point of view. The hero is a 

^ " Jesus Christ nowhere bids us give to the poor in order that the poor may be well fed and 
content; he says that a man must give all to the poor in order that he himself may be happy," 
Harmony of the Gospels^ Geneva, 1892-1894, II, 126. 



I 



I 



NOYES 303 

man who has lived loosely, and whose sins lead him first to the murder of his 
wife and then — to asceticism, to the condemnation of all sexual impulses, 
as productive only of evil. The destiny of the human race, as it advances 
spiritually, is to die physically, to cease to reproduce itself. The result is 
tolerable to Tolstoy because of his pessimistic view of the world as it is now 
organized ; the means to reform is consonant with his whole moral system. 
Asceticism and pessimism make him an unsafe guide in personal ethics as 
in social reconstruction. 

These conclusions concerning Tolstoy's ethical system have been negative, 
even as was Tolstoy himself in his conclusions upon the world. Tolstoy was as 
broad, impartial, all-embracing, and sympathetic as Shakespeare or Chaucer in 
his picture of society ; in his theories of it he developed a system founded on 
the duty of self-sacrifice, which, as it grew more logically consistent, grew 
more narrow, partial, and intolerant. Yet, as the years go by, Tolstoy's reli- 
gious writings may prove to be of equal import with his novels. As a maker 
of an ethical system Tolstoy was weak, faulty, even absurd ; as a religious 
leader he has had few superiors. A theorist upon ethics may broaden our 
concepts of right and wrong, but his abstract distinctions, his cold, impersonal 
attitude can hardly arouse moral enthusiasm. A religious leader enunciates a 
few dogmas, a few rules of conduct, and makes them splendid by the force 
of his enthusiasm and his readiness to act on them. He gathers followers 
and transforms their lives, founds an organized church, and after his death 
his enthusiasm stiffens into a lifeless creed. Tolstoy was such a leader, a man 
of the type of St. Francis. But from the very extremity of his position, and 
from the peculiar character of his personality, his doctrine is not likely to 
become the creed of a lifeless church. He himself repelled the idea of organ- 
izing his followers, and was only distantly interested in their abortive attempts 
to organize for themselves. The few men who accepted his system as a whole 
were not as a rule inspiring personalities. On the other hand, no one writer 
of our own time has so quickened the consciences of men without subjecting 
them to his own. He was like Emerson in his fearless independence of 
tradition and convention and in his spiritual purity ; but he differed from him 
in attacking concrete problems rather than abstract concepts ; he was a realist, 
close to the earth ; his novelist's genius for observation never failed. Tolstoy 
himself might finally reach a monastic ideal ; the effect of his writings is to 
show the weakness of such an ideal. A prophet of anarchy, he leads his 
readers to work for a better social order. In an age that emphasized material 
and financial standards he was the most potent spokesman of spiritual and 
moral worth. In his personal life, groping as it was, and often even grotesque, 
he was the greatest idealist of his time, the man who dared most fully to act 
in obedience to his own conscience against the judgment of the world. 



4^ 



MEDIEVAL LIVES OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 

Edward Kennard Rand 

The imaginary career of Judas Iscariot proved a fascinating subject in the 
Middle Ages, and received something Hke canonization in the Legenda Aurea 
of Jacopo da Voragine, which presents the earhest Latin form of the legend 
hitherto discovered. But the familiar story there told presupposes, as Gaston 
Paris declared, 1 an earlier and simpler account. The versions treated in the 
present paper, while still leaving many questions unanswered, may bring the 
investigation of this subject somewhat nearer to the goal. 

An immediate precursor of the account in the Golden Lege^id may be 
found in a Vatican manuscript, Palatinus 619 (= F), dated s. XII/XIII in the 
catalogue of Stevenson-De Rossi. The manuscript contains sermons, legends, 
and other ecclesiastical matter. On fol. 18 there begins an Hystona de hida 
Proditore thus : " Mathias apostolus in locum lude substitutus est.- Sed primo 
ortum 2 et originem ipsius lude proditoris breviter videamus. Legitur enim in 
quadam historia quod fuit quidam vir in Jerusalem nomine Ruben, qui alio 
nomine dictus est Symon de tribu luda, qui habuit uxorem quae Ciborea 
nuncupata est." These are almost the words of Jacopo,^ except that the 
latter cautiously adds licet apocrypha after historia^ and makes Ruben of 
the tribe of Dan.^ The text of the Vatican manuscript agrees thereafter 
with that of Jacopo word for word, saving a few scribal vagaries, until the 
strictly Biblical part begins. Just there Jacopo adds : " Hucusque in praedicta 
historia apocrypha legitur, quae utrum recitanda sit lectoris arbitrio relinquatur, 
licet sit potius relinquenda quam asserenda." These words are not in FJ 
which has, however, all of the remainder, including the moralizations at the 
end. Since the script of Fis clearly before the date of Jacopo (i 230-1 298), 
we have here the source which he incorporated, almost without change, in his 
Golden Legend. It is precisely the text the existence of which Gaston Paris 
had prophetically surmised and the date of which he had assigned to the 
twelfth century.^ 

1 Revue Critique, IV (1869), I, 412 ff., in a review of D'Ancona, La Leggenda di Vergogna e 
la Leggenda di Giuda. Another important review is that by R. Kohler \n Jahrb . fur romanische 
21. englische Lit., XI (1870), 313 ff- In these articles and in L. Constans, La Ligende d'CEdipe, 
1881, references to earUer treatments of the subject will be found. There has been no recent 
examination, so far as I am aware, of the sources of the Latin story of Judas. 

2 ortu V. In the different texts here published I have cited only the most important errors 
or variants. 

' Legenda Aurea, ed. Graesse, sec. ed., p. 184. I will refer to the version given in Jacopo as L. 
* See below, p. 312. L adds vel secundum Hieronymum de tribu Ysachar. 
^ Revue Critique, IV, 413. 

305 



3o6 MEDIEVAL LIVES OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 

Another important document is represented by two copies, one in a Munich 
manuscript, Latinus 21259 (=^)> written in a beautifully clear script of the 
very end of the twelfth or the beginning of the thirteenth century,i the other 
in Paris, Arsenal 387 (= A), s. XIII, formerly of St. Victor. The text of A, 
though in general less perfect than that of M, is an independent and there- 
fore indispensable source. In MA (= fx), after the story of Pilate, there follows 
(fol. 231") Be Ortti lude Scariothis^ which begins : " Fuit in diebus Herodis 
regis Pylato preside vir in ludea Ruben nomine ^ ex tribu luda,^ qui noctis in 
tempestate legalibus uxoris sue Cyboree alligabatur amplexibus." The subse- 
quent account is virtually identical in its details and in many of its phrases 
with V, though there are numerous variations and amplifications. Thus V 
says of the birth of Judas: "Procedente igitur tempore cum filium peperisset, 
parentes plurimum timuerunt et quid de eo vellent ^ facere cogitare ceperunt. 
Cumque filium abhorrerent occidere nee vellent destructorem sui generis enu- 
trire, ipsum in fiscella positum mari exponunt, quem marini fluctus ad insulam 
quae Scharioth dicitur propulerunt." y^ works out this idea with a touch of 
an Ovidian suasoria, in which, naturally, the feelings of only one of the par- 
ents are described : '' Ruben vero multis modis et inexplicabilibus involvitur 
curis. Nefarium enim filium ducit occidi, scelerosum totius gentis destructo- 
rem enutriri. Tandem seponitur pietas, preponderat ^ impietas. Cistella vimine 
contexitur, in qua maris fluctibus iniectus ad insulam Scarioth propellitur." 

The casket is found, according to F, by the Queen of Scarioth : " Regina 
autem loci illius carens liberis ad litus maris causa spaciandi processit et fiscel- 
1am a marinis fluctibus iactari videns, ipsam aperiri precepit. Inveniensque 
ibi ^ puerum elegantis forme suspirans ait : ' O si solatiis ^ tante sublevarer ^ 
sobolis, ne regni mei successore privarer ! ' 1^ Puerum igitur secreto nutriri 
fecit et se gravidam simulavit. Tandem se filium peperisse mentitur et per 
totum regnum fama haec Celebris divulgatur." 

The word precepit implies that the queen was not alone when she made 
the discovery. This suggestion is developed by //-, in which the queen's attend- 
ants are given an important part in the action : " Tunc regina huius com- 
itata pedissequis fortuitu ad litus maris processit spatiari, viditque infantulum 
procellosis maris fluctibus fluctuari. Pedisseque dum accurrunt et vultum pueri 
diligentius intuentes regieque pulchritudini conparantes domine disserunt ^^ et 

1 The Munich catalogue of Schmeller-Halm, etc., gives "s. XIII et XIV (mixtus) " as the 
date, but s. XIV surely does not apply to the part containing Godfrey of Viterbo and the life 
of Judas. Waitz, in his edition of Godfrey {M. G. H. XXII, 14), calls the manuscript s. XIII. 

'^ So J/ fol. 231^. A begins without title, fol. 70^. 

3 Ruben nomine om. A. * rubem A. 6 nollent V. 

^ seponitur pietas preponderat A ; se p(re)ponit(ur) p(re)pond(er)at (pietas om.) M. The 
complicated error of M shows that the text of that manuscript has already had something of 
a history. '^ id' FI 8 solacie V. ^ sublevaret V. 

10 These words suggest Dido's appeal in Aen. IV, 327 ff. 

11 deserunt M. Perhaps de eo should be suppHed before the verb. 




RAND 



307 



de longinquis partibus in illas profluxisse assenint.^ Regina itaque liniamenta 
corporis pueri preconsiderans et diligenti oculorum intuitu prenotans ait : ' O si 
solatiis tante subolis sublevarer, ne regni mei successione^ privarer ! ' Pedisseque 
infantulum nutriri suggerunt ut vidua sterili permanente habeantur heredes. 
Regina obsequitur hancque regiam peperisse prolem terram promulgatur 
in omnem." 

In certain details, it will be noticed, /i is a bit briefer than V. This feature 
is especially prominent at the end of the narrative, where, without the lengthy 
comment on the thirty denarii or the moralizing on the manner of Judas's 
death, /a has simply : '' Hie autem a Domino diligebatur pre ceteris donee 
consilium iniit cum ludeis et XXX Dominum vendidit argenteis. Videns 
autem quia innocentem condempnaverat, proiecto in tempk) sanguinis precio 
laqueo se suspendit et medius crepuit. Explicit iste liberT 

Without denying that /i may be directly based on the version of V, with 
now an expansion and now a contraction of the original, I incline to the 
opinion that both ytt and V follow a source (I will call it 7) which, though 
simpler than either, presented the same essential features of the narrative. 
These I define as the names of Judas's parents, Ruben and Ciborea; the 
dream of Ciborea ; the exposure of the child in the casket ; his discovery by 
the queen of Scarioth; his quarrel with the real prince, born shortly after 
Judas's arrival ; his detection of his real origin and his flight after slaying the 
prince; his kindly reception by Pilate; his murder of his own father, a deed 
wrought by Judas while stealing fruit from the latter's orchard for Pilate; 
his espousal of his own mother, a favor granted by Pilate in recompense for 
the stealing of the fruit ; the lamentation of the woman over the unhappy 
fates that had overtaken her child, her husband, and now herself ; Judas's 
immediate recognition of his two-fold sacrilege ; his repentance ; his entry into 
the service of Jesus ; his betrayal of his Master ; his death. A terminus post 
qnem is fixed for the script of M, though not necessarily for the composition 
of the narrative, by the fact that it is immediately preceded, in the same hand, 
by the Pantheon of Godfrey of Viterbo, a work finished certainly before 1 191, 
the year of the author's death. A terminus ante quern is offered by the script 
of M, which, if not still in the twelfth century, should be dated, I am con- 
vinced, very early in the thirteenth. To this same period F should likewise be 
assigned. Whatever the exact genealogy of our versions may be, it is safe to 
assume that a life of Judas comprising the elements given above was known 
and amplified at least as early as the end of the twelfth century. 

This evidence does not solve the fundamental query raised by investiga- 
tors of our subject ; it pushes farther back the date of the version adopted by 
Jacopo da Voragine, but does not account for the growth of the material of 

1 pedisseque aute(m) accessera(n)t (dum accurrunt . . . profluxisse om.) A. 

2 successione A, m. i M ; successore m. 2 M. 



3o8 MEDIEVAL LIVES OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 

which the story is itself composed. We may next examine a curious modifi- 
cation of the legend, to be found in a manuscript at Reims, 1275 (= R), s. XIII. 
As often, a Vita Pylati immediately precedes. I give the Vita hide Scarioht 
in full (fol. 2 ff.) : 

Pater lude Scarioht de tribu Dan duxit uxorem generis sui secundum legis 
preceptum.i Qui ingressus ad earn impregnavit eam. Ipsa autem nocte vidit 
mulier presagium malorum in sompno, videlicet presagium malorum suorum. 
Videbat ignem de utero suo egredientem qui paulatim crescens primo maritum 
suum corripuit eumque penitus consumens donee in favillam deficeret post 
paululum domum eius in qua iacebat conflagrabat. Qua consumpta prodigio- 
sum monstrum in eosdem ortus^ hoc est in utero suo mater agnovit. Ignis 
vero non totum terrendum dabat sed^ interiecto longi temporis spacio inde 
iterum quasi moderacius se subducebat et subito in altum excrescens primo 
ludeam et Galileam deinde omnem circa regionem afflabat et penitus con- 
cremabat ; ad ultimum urbem regiam David Iherusalem et arcem Syon una 
cum sancto et venerabili templo corripiebat et omnia in cinerem et favillam 
redigens concremabat. Ita mulier in medio visu subito exterrita evigilavit et 
ingenti clamore et gemitu horrorem visionis sue testata maritum excitavit ; 
querenti quid esset, quod haberet, quid clamaret, quid fleret, visa sua exposuit. 
Ille prodigioso sompno attonitus diluculo surrexit et cum uxore in Iherusalem 
abiit (erat enim in vico Scarioht qui est ante Iherusalem ad aquilonarem urbis 
plagam unus de sacerdotibus Domini, magni vir ^ meriti) venitque ad eum cum 
uxore sua seorsumque abducens prodigialem illius visionem ei indicavit. Qua 
ille audita visione permotus ingemuit diuque stupens et quasi mutus tandem 
in banc prophecie vocem ora resolvit. 

" Ha! mulier misera, filius^ quern concepisti magni doloris causa erit tibi, 
patri autem prius, deinde omni ludeorum genti et regioni et sancte urbi et 
templo sempiternus interitus. Sed placate Deum precibus penitencia votis et 
muneribus ut avertat Dominus iram sue indignationis a vobis." 

Hec dixit et tristes ac metu magno consternatos eos dimisit. Evoluto autem 
tempore quo conceperat mulier peperit puerum satis quidem scitum^ sed in suam 
et multorum perniciem natum. Vnde anxii propter^ visionem et sui vatis 
divinationem decreverunt eum statim necare et parricidas^ se sui sanguinis 
esse. Sed non est possibilitatis humane convertere consilium ordinationis 

1 p(re)ceptum R. Ae is nowhere found in the present text. I omit reference to other com- 
pendia, save in cases of especial importance. As ci for // occurs in certain words, 1 have fol- 
lowed this spelling in resolving several abbreviations as in that for Eciam. 

^ The sense seems to require something like regredi. 

3 Sed is generally written/^ in this text, and perhaps should be spelled set. 

* viri R. 5 fiiium R. 

^ The phrase suggests Terence, And. 486 : Per ecastor scitus puer est natus Pamphilo. 

^ p(ro) R. 8 p(er)ricidas R. 




RAND 309 

divine. Ille de quo postea passivus pro salute mundi dixit Filius Dei, "Melius 
illi erat si natus non fuisset homo ille," cum natus statim debuit occidi, reser- 
vatus est in perdicionem sui, in traditionem Domini lesu ^ Christi, in ^ nutri- 
mentum ignis eterni, in memoriam patrum suorum, et in recordacionem precati 
misere matris sue. Pugnaverunt diu affectus pietatis et amor ^ patrie. Noluit 
diu pater pius esse, noluit ipse prius nocens esse interficiendo eum quem non- 
dum noverat, aliquid quod morte puniri deberet commisisse. Porro autem pie 
sollicitabatur pro salute patrie malleus unum innocentem adhuc et filium suum 
suis maioribus interire quam per ilium succedenti tempore pocius patrie ruinam 
videre. Vicit tandem amor patrie utrosque paventes clausumque in cistella 
lignea puerum superata pietate proiecerunt in mare. Inhorruisse ferunt pelagus 
mox ut sensit prodigiale bonus, totis fluctibus frementes torsisse vertices et 
futurum sui conditoris venditorem tortis impulisse fluctibus ut et^ futurum 
latronem dissecaret et collideret suis molibus et occultaret profundis gurgitibus 
priusquam venditor audax horrendum seclis omnibus perpetraret facinus. 
Miser luda et infelicissime, quo tuo vel tuorum parentum crimine contigit 
tibi tot tantisque malis natum esse ? Cur ^ misera ilia mater tua cum te con- 
cepit ^ non statim abortivit .? Cur autem natus .? Cur^ exceptus genibus? Cur^ 
lactatus uberibus ? Esset certe modo tibi melius parricidari ; tantum ^ crimen 
fuisset tuis miseris parentibus tuo crimine venalius. Cur ^ autem vel in mare 
proiectus non statim es mersus et a tanto abysso suffocatus ? Esset tibi vel 
mare vel aliquis beluinus venter sepulchrum nee postea celo terreque perosus 
tam infelici morte perisses inter utrumque. Sed cum mori poteras adhuc sine 
crimine, pepercit tibi inter fiuctus nescio quis deus, quamvis ether, venti et 
pelagus ut perires totis pugnabant viribus. Incertum est, inquam, quis deus 
hoc discrimine te eripuit ; et elementa dum te laborant obruere, visa sunt po- 
cius obsequium prestitisse. Actus enim tot fluctibus fertur unius diei et noctis 
spacio, ab loppe civitate Galilee transvectus per tot maria usque ad horam 
Illirici maris usque Bitradum et ad introitum pervenit, ad hanc^ famosam 
alitricem lude traditoris. Vbi mare piscator quidam ingressus sagenam suam 
in mare misit, quam vacuam quidem piscibus sed honeratam cistella ^ lude ad 
littus adduxit. Quam acceptam mox ad uxorem suam attulit dicensque ^^ mag- 
num tessaurum invenisse qui eos inopia sublevaret gratulabundus ostendit. 
Sed effracta cistella et detecta spes expectati tesauri nulla fuit. Nihil enim in 
cistella aliud invenerunt nisi puerum vagientem et membranam parvulam hec 
continentem : I/ic infantuhis est ludas natics de vico Scarioht qui est ante 
Iherusalem. 

Mulier, mota visceribus humanitatis, ''Maiorem," inquit ad maritum, "ex- 
pectato nostro dii ^^ nobis dederunt tesaurum, hunc elegantis formae puerum, 

1 ih{es)u R. 2 jn om. R. « timor (?) R. * et ut R. « cui (?) R. ^ cepit R. 

' parricidari ; tantum] parricida | rit aut(em) (?) R. ^ ad banc] adhuc R. 

9 cistellam R. 10 dicens q(ui ?) R. ^^ di(i)s ? A'. 



3IO MEDIEVAL LIVES OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 

quern quia non habemus proprium hunc adotivum habebimus proprium." Hec 
dixit, marito facile in id ipsum consenciente, puerum de cistella exposuit, et 
nesciens quam magnum malum aleret in perdicionem sui et multorum eum 
nutrivit. Qui postquam adolevit Grecorum disciplinis et studiis se exercitando 
cito perfecit. Erat acer corpore et ingenio animi. Factum est autem ut consue- 
tudinaria institutione decreto principum Bithordi^ quinquennalis agon in honore 
lovis Olipiadis^ celebraretur, et ubique^ de urbibus, vicis, castellis, oppidis agris- 
que studium ostendendae^ virtutis et cupido laudis et spes palme multos alliceret. 
ludasque affuit inter alios et super ceteros agonistas clarissimus victor emicuit. 
Quod aliqui invidentes et indigne ferentes cum ^ captivus et advena indigenis 
et nobilibus civibus se comparare auderet, cum gravi opprobrio conviciantur ^ 
ei eumque de agonali ludo non sine iniuria expellunt. I lie gravi ira permotus 
ad matrem, quam adhuc credebat suam, furibundus venit, exsertoque ' in eam 
nimis ferociter gladio, quis ipse aut unde aut cuius filius esset aut quomodo 
illuc venisset aut cur^ tanto tempore matrem eius se mentita^ fuisset, eam 
fateri coegit. Ilia unde aut quando illuc venisset aut quomodo a marito suo 
piscatore inventus, quomodo ab ilia nutritus qui adoptivus filius esset ei indi- 
cavit. Ceterum quis aut cuius filius esset, quomodo etiam illuc venisset se 
nescire respondit, simul et cartulam cum illo in cistella inventam ei protulit. 
'' Et si tantus amor est," ait, " tibi te ipsum cognoscendi, scis patriam nomen- 
que tuum.^^ Inquire gentem et genus tuum et quomodo veneris hue." Ille 
hiis auditis attonitus iram tunc quidem compressit, tempus vero opportunum 
nactus Bitrodum quasi Andropolim iturus reliquit. Inde navim conscendens 
in ^1 Syriam proficiscentem paucis post diebus in loppen portu expositus ad 
urbem Iherusalem pervenit. Erat eo tempore in Iherusalem Poncius Pylatus 
procurator rerum publicarum a Romanis in ludea missus. Ei ludas officio- 
sissime deserviendo adhesit, nichil de gente et cognatione sua fortunisque suis 
cuiquam locutus pro officio suo brevi tam presidi quam clientibus eius fuit carus. 
Accidit autem quadam die ut Pylatus deambularet per solarium domus in qua 
manebat. Aspiciens vicum Scarioht vidit in orto unius pauperis dactilos in 
palma pendere et desideravit ex eis comedere. Vocansque unum ex astantibus 
misit et de fructu sibi afferre iussit. Ille servus abiit, sed prohibente domino 
pomerii capere suos fructus, inanis ad presidem rediit. Ille ita commotus, " Et 
quis," ait, " adhuc ibit pro nobis .? " '' Ego," ludas et abiit. Erat autem ortus 
ille Symonis qui erat pater lude. Irruens ludas cum furore palmam excussit, 
deinde quod excusserat fructus collegit. Et conversus contumax turbatis oculis 
in patrem suum (nesciebat autem quia^ pater suus esset), 'Xur^^ non," inquit, 
*' o decrepite senex et me repellis .? Cur non et mihi contradicis .? " " Et 

1 bithor J?. 2 olipiadi 7?. » gt ubique] ubi 9 7?. * ostend(er)e J?. ^ cur {or cui ?) J?. 
6 eiciu(n)t J?. ' exc(ri ?)toque /?. ^ cui (?) J?. ^ mentitam J?. 

1"^ Cf. Virgil, Aen. ii, 10, " Sed si tantus amor casus cognoscere nostros," etc., and note also 
the dactylic rhythm at the end of the sentence. 

11 eu(m) J^. 12 q(ui) ^. 13 cui (?) 7^. 



RAND 311 

rogasse quam rapuisse equius fuerat," senex respondit, "et depone quod meum 
est. Depone, inquam, quod meum est," ingeminavit et quod coUegerat de palla 
illi excussit. ludas ut leo frendens nil id tale promeritum senem patrem suum 
fuste percussit diminutoque eius cerebro morientem et suam ulcionem deo 
clamantem dimisit et recollectos fructus paterno sanguine ^ respersus presidi 
attulit. Audita morte innocentis fit de tota urbe concursus, oritur gravis sedicio 
et furentis populi confusa vociferacio illis clamantibus, " Homicida exibeatur," 
aliis autem succinentibus eciam, *' Et preses cum sua domo ignibus subiciatur.'* 
Preses cogitans esse optimum ad evitandam tali tempore seditionem, viros 
sapientes et discretos mittit ad populum, quam sedicionem temere ^ inceptam 
illis mediantibus facile compescuit.^ Accitaque muliere cuius erat maritus 
occisus consilio seniorum et amicorum suorum factum est ut ludas eam in 
uxorem duceret rediretque per hoc in eius gratiam cuius maritum nullis pre- 
missis inimiciciis sed ira precipitante occiderat. Ne quid ^ ergo nephas intac- 
tum, ne quid ^ scelus illi esset inausum, fit ipsius parricida matris maritus et 
ut omnino Veritas attestaretur sompnio, in suos ortus monstrum^ revolvitur. 
Sed nichil tam occultum quod non reveletur neque absconditum quod non 
sciatur. Parum temporis fluxerat quam una nocte mulier ilia misera inter 
amplexus mariti sed filii recordata eius quam aliquando viderat visionis sus- 
pirare graviter cepit et modo ad memoriam revocando filium parvulum in mare 
mersum modo autem maritum ab eo quem modo habebat interfectum ''' cepit 
abhorrere tales nupcias. Cepit detestari sua tempora in que nimirum infeliciter 
vivendo pervenerat. ludas tacito auscultans uxorem et eandem suam matrem 
cepit diligenter ab ea scrutari et querere textum huius tragedie. At vero post- 
quam omnia audivit seque et ex visione matris et ex litteris secum in cistella 
inventis recognovit detestatus patris parricidium, obscenum matris adulterium, 
'' Et que crudelis fortuna me miserum persequitur ? " dixit, '' Et quis erit modus 
miseri sceleris ? Si parricida patris, si adulter futurus eram matris, nonne 
melius fuerat adhuc latuisse sub undis ? Nonne melius fuerat opprobria nobilis 
Grecie pertulisse quam tam infami crimine me ipsum perdidisse ? " Sic ait et 
amens exiliit stratis exertoque gladio, '* Hie certe," dixit, " iugulus piabit et 
adulterium matris et mortem patris et crimen non iam filii sed parricide," 
et verso in suis visceribus mucrone incumbere voluit. Sed misera mater eadem 
obscena uxor librantis dextre ictum sustinuit. Correcta itaque temeraria ira 
filii mariti et amencia ut tandem ille in hominem rediit, consulit et persuadet 
ut ambo communiter eant ad sacerdotem ilium cui ipsa aliquando visionem 
suam retulerat, quique ex magna parte quod iam evenerat divinaverat. Eunt 
igitur ambo et fusis genibus omnia quae sibi evenerant seriatim indicant. Quid 
faciant quomodo hec crimina expient orant cum lacrimis ut sibi consulat. Ille 
attonitus rerum novitate et sui vaticinii veritate nullum super habere consilium 

1 sanguitie (?) /?. 2 demere /^. ^ Qpestuit /^. * q(ui) ^. 

5 quam J^. ^ monstro J^. "^ interfectorem /?. 



312 MEDIEVAL LIVES OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 

in se esse dixit. Tamen consulit ut lesum magni iam nominis et meriti virum 
adeant et ut ei suarum miseriarum tragedias narrent, eius super tantis malis et 
peccatis consilium et auxilium postulent, pietati et misericordie se commendent. 
Erat enim iam illo tempore Dominus lesus miraculorum potentia clarus tam 
quam doctrina et predicatione divina quam signorum mirabilium attestatione ; 
credebatur a fidelibus plus quam homo inter homines esse. Ilium ludas cum 
matre uxoreque adiit effususque pedibus eius criminis sui omnem historiam ei 
detexit, veri etiam penitentis habitum, luctum et lacrimas pretendit. Dominus 
autem lesus intuitus hominem et quod noverat ab inicio qui essent credentes, 
sciens quam longe esset a regno Dei, tamen ne desperatione cogeretur amplius 
periclitari, 'Totes," inquit, "adhuc salvus^ fieri si digne penitueris, sed et hec 
et cetera peccata deinceps vitaveris nee ^ eciam ad maiora te inclinaveris, et ut 
omnis occasio peccandi ulterius tibi tollatur, reiectis omnibus impedimentis et 
secularibus negociis sequere me meque imitando in veritate vitam etemam 
habere poteris." 

The main difference between the Reims version and 7 is obvious ; while 
preserving the general outlines of the story, R omits most of the specifically- 
Biblical parts and shows instead a large infusion of classical, not to say pagan, 
material. In 7 the mother of Judas is called Ciborea, a name appropriately 
suggested by Sephora,^ the wife of Moses, who was similarly set adrift by 
his mother ; in R the woman is unnamed. In 7 the father is called Ruben, 
perhaps with the idea of prophesying grimly the action of his son, since 
the Biblical Ruben defiled his father's couch ; ^ R has Symon as the name,^ 
but, though here using the Scriptures, has not indulged in an invention, for 
Simon was indeed, according to St. John,^ the father of Judas. Symon ap- 
pears as a variant name in VL but not in M. M on the other hand agrees 
with V in declaring his tribe to be Juda, with which one might naturally 
associate Judas, while R and L call it Dan, in memory perhaps of Isidore's 
identification of Dan with Antichrist.'' This is the only point in which the 
nomenclature of R is more subtle than that of Fand M. Very important for 
determining the relation between the two accounts is the incident of the casket, 
which in 7 is obviously reminiscent of the discovery of the child Moses by 
Pharaoh's daughter ; ^ the drifting Judas of the Reims version is accompanied 
by tokens in the ancient style, protected by nescio quis dens, and found by a 
fisher who suggests a familiar character in the Rudens of Plautus. The 

1 saluum R. 2 ^^ R. 

^ Exod, ii, 21. Since one of the two Hebrew obstetrkes mentioned in Exod. i, 15, was also called 
Sephora, the name is connected with Moses' birth as well as his marriage and thus suggests, as 
nearly as anything Biblical can, the mother-wife. 

* Gen. xlix, 4 (cf. xxxv, 22). ^ ggg above, p. 310, 1. 35. ^ vi, 72 : ludam Simonis Iscariotem. 

"^ Allegoriae quaedam scripUirae sacrae, 42 (Migne, P. Z., LXXXIII, 107). 

^ VL agree further with the Vulgate {Exod. ii, 3) in calling the casket ^sce/ia ; in fi as in R 
it is cistella. 



RAND 



313 



fisher and his wife Hve at Buthrotum ^ in Epirus, where Judas takes part in 
agonistic sports such as Aeneas had celebrated there before him.^ There are 
touches of Livy in the descriptions,^ while the lament of Judas is Ovidian in 
flavor and has in one of its sentences a dactylic cadence.^ The late date of 
the manuscript and the mention of Dan as the tribe of Judas 's father make 
it not impossible that this version, despite its extraordinary divergences, de- 
pended on Z. As will shortly appear, however, it is more probable that the 
starting-point is a version still more simple than 7. 

I now give in full a form of the story clearly earlier than any thus far con- 
sidered. It is found in a Paris manuscript, 14489 {= P), s. XII, formerly of 
St. Victor. The codex contains various theological works, among them the 
Opuscula Sacra of Boethius. The latter, written in a hand of the late twelfth 
century, end at the top of fol. 109". The rest of the page and no'' were origi- 
nally left blank. The life of Judas, which immediately follows the Boethius on 
fol. 109'', is thus a later addition, though the script, I believe, is still of the 
twelfth century. 

Nihil occultum quod non reveletur et opertum quod non sciatur. Qui a 
malo progreditur et in malo perseverat, non corona sed meriti pena donatur. 
De luda proditore nobis vita innectitur, qui malus in ortu, peior in vita, pes- 
simus extitit in fine. Pater eius itaque quantum apud homines cluebat, divi- 
ciis aflfluens et honorabilis omnibus vicinis suis habebatur. Hie nocte quadam 
visionem vidit se filium habere qui mortem ei intentaret ; iam enim uxor eius 
pregnans erat. De quo praestigium hoc futurum erat. Nato autem infante 
pater in eo omen tale consideravit et expavit, tibias illius transfixit atque inter 
frutecta longius ab urbe Iherusalem collocavit. Cuius vagitum et voces plo- 
ratus quidam pastorum intelligentes a loco dimoverunt eum et in Scarioth 
deferentes a quadam muliere alere fecerunt. Qui nutritus et in robur virile 
deductus regi iunctus est Herodi atque inter servos eius mixtus cum omni 
probitate regi ceterisque militibus serviebat. Et tamen, ut moris est servorum, 
que habere poterat prodige distribuebat et quam plurima sibi furtive vendicabat. 
Accidit autem quodam tempore ut Herodes sollempne convivium cum pri- 
moribus apud lerosolimam haberet et inter multa ferculorum genera nascentia 
pomorum rex quereret. Cuius voluntatem ludas festinavit implere et ad vir- 
gultum sui patris descendens, quem tamen suum patrem ignorabat, vi evelle- 
bat et eradicabat arborum fructus. Vir vero cuius haec erant animo motus et 
amaritudine plenus erexit se adversus hominem perversum, sed ludas invale- 
scens^ ilium percussit et occidit. Commovetur adversus eum tota civitas et 



1 Or Buthrotus. 2 Virgil, Aen. iii, 278-293. 

3 Cf. especially p. 311, 1. 5, " paterno sanguine respersus," and Livy i, 48, 7 (of TuUia), 
' fertur partem sanguinis ac caedis paternae . . . respersa . . . tulisse." 
* P. 311, 1. 29, "adhuc latuisse sub undis." ^ i(n)nalescens P. 



314 MEDI.CVAL LIVES OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 

insurgentes in eum morti tradere disposuerunt. ludas autem ad presidium 
Herodis fugiens mortis periculum evasit. Herodes et ipse turbatus egit quem- 
admodum ille ab amicis interfecti pacem obtineret, ne re unius mali ^ in 
aliud maius periculum declinaret. Accepto igitur consilio Herodes uxorem 
interfecti lude copulavit, ipso et omnibus ignorantibus quod mater eiusdem 
asset. Die vero quadam accidit ut ludas coram matre et uxore nudus appare- 
ret et videns ilia stigmata plagarum in tibiis, suspicata est filium suum esse, 
quem olim inter frutecta proiectum dimiserat. Unde querit ab eo, quis pater 
eius extiterat, vel que mater eius, qui parentes, et unde vel ex qua provintia 
ortus vel a quibus fuerit nutritus. Ille se nescire profitetur sed hoc tantum a 
sua nutrice audisse quia inter frutecta illo in loco iactus fuisset et a pastoribus 
reppertus in Scarioth delatus ibique nutritus sit. Et cum ad robur virile perve- 
nisset Herodis se inter ^ servientes se miscuisse et suo servicio multis placuisse. 
His auditis ilia corruit et proclamans se miseram dicebat, '' Infelix mei visio 
mariti que a filio completa est et insuper in me malignitatis et peccati redundat 
insania. Dies meae pereat nativitatis et caligo tenebrarum irruat in eum." 
ludas autem tantam a se factam intelligens nequiciam doluit et pro tanto sce- 
lere penitens a matre recessit. At tunc temporis lesus illis habitabat in locis, 
qui predicando et subveniendo multis corpora sanabat et mentes a diversis 
peccatis revocabat ; gravatos peccatis ad se venientes suscipiebat et more 
pastoris oves ore lupino raptas ab eorum incursu abstraebat. Cuius virtutem 
atque pietatem ludas agnoscens ad eum se contulit et ut sui misereretur 
rogavit. Assensit lesus voluntati ipsius, secum quoque ac inter suos discipu- 
los eum esse passus est. Cui etiam que habebat committebat ^ ut sibi ceteris- 
que provideret necessaria. Ille vero sacculos habebat et que poterat furabatur. 
Et cuius intentionis ipse ludas esset, in fine apparuit, quia magistrum precio 
vendidit et ludeis tradidit. Qui tandem se ipsum suspendit et miserabili 
morte vitam finivit. Tu autem Domine miserere nostri. Qui perseveraverit 
usque in finem in bonum, hie salvus erit. 

This is certainly the finest of all the versions, with a pathos direct and 
touching, not far removed from tragedy. The Judas of the mysteries is a 
comic character, and in the later forms of the vita he is well on the road to 
that end, a subject for as many flaunts and fisticuffs as the reader can bestow. 
But the Judas in this little story awakens our compassion and the recognition 
of our common human frailty. "He that endureth to the end, the same shall 
be saved." 

The version is also the simplest and hence presumably the earliest. No 
Biblical names are appropriated for the parents of Judas, and, a point of especial 
significance, the part of Pilate is here taken by Herod. The appearance of 

1 da{m)pni ss. m. i P. 

2 inter om. P. Could the original have had the Insular abbreviation {X) for inter? This 
could easily be mistaken for a deleted /. ^ c(on)mitebat P. 



RAND 



315 



Pilate in the story of Judas. occurred at some time after the legend of Pilate 
had been well developed and it became appropriate to associate those two 
'' wicked birds " ^ as closely as possible. The manner of the exposure of the 
infant Judas, who is not set adrift but abandoned in the thickets, brings this 
version nearer than the others are to the story of CEdipus. In two particulars 
it is connected with R, first by the quotation of Nihil occultum qtiod non reve- 
letttr and, second, by the motive attributed to the ruler for marrying to Judas 
the wife of the man he had killed. In 7 the act is a reward of merit for 
Judas, a hideous device appropriate enough for Pilate. In P and R the ruler, 
fearing the mob of irate citizens, follows the advice of his council and makes 
amends, considerately if somewhat naively, by providing the widow with a new 
husband in the person of the murderer of her late one. These important coin- 
cidences between P and R make it probable that the latter version is based on 
early material rather than on Z. 

Though we must proceed cautiously on this uncertain ground, I venture to 
suggest a tentative clue for the further investigation of both the Latin and the 
vernacular 2 lives of Judas in the Middle Ages. From the versions above pre- 
sented, we may infer the existence as early as the twelfth century, if not be- 
fore, of a simple Vita hcdae based in the main on the story of CEdipus or 
on one of the similar tales of an unfortunate who kills his father and marries 
his mother. Judas is here associated with Herod as his partner in vice. This 
version (a), represented by P, was then changed by the addition of certain 
Biblical names, the substitution of Pilate for Herod, and the new account of 
the exposure of the infant. To this revised form of the legend ifi) some lover 
of the old authors gave an extraordinarily pagan coloring, as we see in R, As 
the Reims manuscript contains, besides exempla moralia, ^sopic tales and 
Sibylline prophecies, a very extensive collection of the poems of Hildebert, 
Marbod, and Bernard Sylvester, we may possibly look for the source of this 
paganized story in the circle of these humanists of the eleventh and twelfth 
centuries. The author seems to regard Buthrotum with a special animosity,^ 
which, if a Frenchman, he may have acquired as a result of the Crusades. As 
Robert Guiscard took possession of Buthrotum (Butrinto) in 1084,^ his troops 
may have published an unpleasant report of the city upon their return. From 
^ descended a version (7) which differed from a and /3 in inventing a new 
motive for the marriage of Judas to his mother, in making more prominent 

1 A phrase of Furnivall's in his Early English Poems and Lives of Saints^ with those of the 
Wicked Birds Pilate and fudas, 1882. 

2 Very important seems the Proven9al version mentioned by Constans, La Legende d'CEdipe, 
p. 100. 3 See above, p. 309, 1. 29. 

* On Buthrotum see Oberhummer in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyklopddie der Altertumswissen- 
schaft, III, i, 1084, and Spruner-Menke, Hand- Atlas fi'ir die Geschichte des Mittelalters und der 
neueren Zeit, Tafel No. 84 (for the years 1096-1204). AndropoUs lies not far to the north of 
Buthrotum. 



316 



MEDIAEVAL LIVES OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 



the likeness of the exposure of the child to that of Moses, and in adding still 
more Biblical names. There is no need to assume with Gaston Paris ^ that 
those Oriental details are the work of a converted Jew ; Christians also were 
familiar with the Old Testament in those days. F'rom 7 descended, with their 
various enlargements, fi and the ancestor of VL {=v), still in the twelfth cen- 
tury, and V was only slightly modified by Jacopo da Voragine for his Golden 
Legend? Various amplifications of L were made,^ and finally the story was 
told in verse ; * one rendering starts pompously with a promise of things un- 
attempted yet in prose or rhyme,^ and though never rising to the epic height 
which its author sought, at least achieves the respectable length of seven 
hundred and twenty verses. 



1 Revue Critique, IV, 414. 

2 The above relations may be illustrated by the following diagram ; 



B.XII 




8 Cf., e.g., the Latin versions in Munich, Lat. 12262, s. XV, fol. 206 ff.; British Museum 
8 E XVII, s. XV, fol. 125 ff. ; ibid. 9 A XIV, s. XV, fol. 255 ff. 

* See G. Schepss, "Judas Ischarioth in lateinischen Versen," Anzeiger filr Kunde der 
deutschen Vorzeit, XXVII (1880), 114. 

s Munich, Lat. 237, an. 1460, fol. 67'^ begins : Dicta vetusta patrum iam deseruere teatrum | 
Et nova succedunt que prisca poemata ledunt. | Ergo novis quedam placet ut nova versibus 
edam | Que discant multi novitatis stemate culti. 



AN EPIC TENZONE AND A PARALLEL 
Murray Anthony Potter 

The Baloches, as well as other Asiatic peoples, possess a considerable 
amount of epic literature, a part of which was published in 1907, with trans- 
lations and an introduction by Mr. M. Longworth Dames, under the title of 
Poptdar Poetry of the Baloches} One of its important characteristics has been 
indicated by its editor in the introduction to the volume : " There is a much 
stronger personal element than is usual in ballad poetry." ^ Certain " poems 
are full of satire and invective ; they are believed to be the actual utterances 
of the celebrated leaders whose names they bear, and I can assign no good 
reason for refusing credence to this belief.^ . . . These poems form an im- 
portant part of what may be called the heroic or epic poetry, equally with the 
purely narrative ballads, and the long speeches and invectives put into the 
mouths of the heroes of the Iliad and other primitive epics must have been 
derived from originals of this description. In considering poetry intended for 
recitation to an audience already familiar with the events of the story, it must 
be remembered that the verses containing the actual words addressed by a hero 
warrior to his adversaries are quite as important as the purely narrative poems." ^ 

The Baloches, then, like other lovers of narrative, are not fretted when its 
march is halted by the speeches of the chief actors. Rather do these speeches 
afford a welcome pause, or goad a flagging attention. The historians of antiq- 
uity did not hesitate to place in the mouths of famous men whose deeds they 
were recording, words or harangues never uttered, but which they themselves 
invented. And their example has been followed down to fairly recent times 
by those who have loved eloquence as well as facts. 

If a Livy or a Sallust permits himself such a liberty, why not the epic poet, 
who is frequently regarded as an historian, and who knows, no one better, the 
effect produced on an audience by the spoken word } He will introduce, then, 
in his poems, speeches ; and in the case of the Kara-Kirghiz epic the speeches 
at times almost crowd out the narrative.^ Eloquence here is art for art's sake 
and its only justification. 

1 The following " bibliographical note " is printed on the page preceding the title-page : 
" Of this work looo copies are printed, 700 of which are issued with the title-page of the Folk- 
Lore Society, and 300 with the title-page of the Royal Asiatic Society. " 

2 Dames, Popular Poetry of the Baloches^ p. xviii. ^ Ibid., p. xix. * Ibid., p. xx. 
^ W. Radloff, Proben der VolksliiteratJir der nordlichen turkischen Stdmme, V. Theil : Der 

Dialect der Kara- Kirgis en, St. Petersburg, 1885. 

317 



3i8 AN EPIC TENZONE AND A PARALLEL 

But in the songs referred to by Mr. Dames there is something more than 
a mere display of rhetoric. " Certain poems are full of satire and invective." 
It is their polemic character which makes them so truly epic and therefore so 
important. It would be incorrect to assume that only combats with weapons, 
or parts of the body used as weapons, have been regarded as worthy of epic 
treatment. The definition of weapon must be enlarged sufficiently to include 
any means employed to inflict an injury, not merely upon the body, but upon 
the nervous system as well ; magic,^ grimaces, words printed, written, or spoken, 
and even silence. 

Than silence there is nothing more terrible. The unfortunate victim is in 
a sorrier plight than if he had been wounded or slain. The laws of nature have 
been circumvented, for the hero who has been deliberately passed over in 
silence by poet or chronicler ceases to exist, joins the ranks of brave men 
who lived before Agamemnon and lacked a Homer. 

But frightful, too, is the immoitality of shame meted out to the victims of 
the male cha7iqim. It is difficult to conceive of anything more tragic than the 
dismal procession in the French epic and the Italian romances of chivalry 
which is headed by Ganelon followed by his kinsmen infected with the same 
taint. Epic poet and epic hero have always fully realized the potency of the 
spoken word. In the Balochi epic the poet is apparently often the hero, enters 
into the fight, and defends as well as attacks. The result is a word-combat. 

The word-combat appears in more than one form. Sometimes it is inci- 
dental in a narrative, sometimes it is independent of any context except that 
which the reciter assumes the audience to have in mind. Of the examples 
in the epic,^ none is more apposite than the scene between Achilles and 
Agamemnon in the Iliad^ which would have ended with blows, had not Pallas 
Athene intervened. " Cease from strife, and let not thine hand draw the 
sword ; yet with words indeed revile him, even as it shall come to pass. ..." 
** Then Peleus' son spake again with bitter words to Atreus' son, and in no 
wise ceased from anger : ' Thou heavy with wine, thou with the face of dog 
and heart of deer, never didst thou take courage to arm for battle among thy 
folk or to lay ambush with the princes of the Achaians ; that to thee were 
even as death.' " ^ 

1 One form of magic closely connected with the present subject is discussed in " Satirists 
and Enchanters in Early Irish Literature " by Fred Norris Robinson, in Studies in the History 
of Religions presented to Crawford Howell Toy, pp. 95-130, published by The Macmillan Com- 
pany, New York, 191 2. 

2 There are many. As Hermann Jantzen says in his Geschichte des deutschen Streitgedichtes 
im Mittelalter (Breslau, 1896), p. 27, we must take into account an old custom : " dass sich kamp- 
fende Helden vor dem ersten Waffengange erst griindlich mit kraftigen Worten reizen, wie 
es uns das Hildebrandslied, die Dichtungen von Walther von Aquitanien, das Nibelungenlied 
hinlanglich zeigen." Cf. also Beowulf, 11. 499 ff., Aliscans (edition of Wienbeck, Hartnacke and 
Rasch, Halle, 1903), 11. 1050-1065, etc. 

^ Iliad i, 11. 210-21 1 and 223-228 ; translated by Leaf, Lang, and Myers. 



POTTER . 319 

Returning to the Balochi songs, Dames says that the long speeches put 
into the mouths of the heroes of the Iliad dj^d other primitive epics must have 
been derived from originals of this description. ^ The originals which he pre- 
sents are the following. First, the correspondence of Chakur and Gwaharam,^ 
chiefs of the Rinds and Lasharls and the two principal heroes of the Balochi 
Iliad. The songs are six in number, and are supposed to have been composed 
after a great battle. In the first,^ Gwaharam sings of the day on which the 
Rind Mir-Han was slain. He is defiant and exultant, for he has won. " Let 
the Rinds and the Dombkis come together ; let the Bhanjars and Jatois 
repeat their gibes ! " They did and have been defeated. Chakur has fled 
hence by night, and is now a herdsman. In the second part of the first,^ 
Gwaharam again speaks. Narrative, rhapsody, and taunts alternate in more 
striking fashion, but narrative prevails. ''Let me sleep," he cries, ''in the 
good lands of the Baloches ; green are the streams at the mouth of the Mullah. 
. . . What ailed you, thick beards ? You possessed wealthy Bingopur, and 
the wharfs and markets of lofty Chetarvo. ... I make a petition to the 
Creator ; may the Lord of mercy be exalted ; he gives a hundred and the 
hope of a thousand ! " A long narrative passage follows, and the poem ends 
with a prophetic gab. " Rehan and Hasan will churn butter, Khohu will carry 
buttermilk for the Mir, and the Elephant 'All, that mighty man, will no longer 
delight the watches in the assembly with his long hair, the delight of women." ^ 

Chakur replies to Gwaharam ; " For once," he acknowledges, " you were 
lucky in your game " ; but he accuses him of failing to mention a flight " like 
a stampede of wild asses." As for the present, " You hide under Omar's pro- 
tection, I will fall on you as a man slain by his brethren. We are the Rinds 
of the swift mares ; now we will be below you and now above ; we will come 
from both sides with our attacks, and demand a share of all you have." ^ 

Threat answers threat. Gwaharam declares : " Let the King but give me 
an opportunity one day, and I will bring together the Sammas and the Bhattis 
and will pour the armies of Thatha on his head. I will place coals of fire on 
the palms of my hands and blow upon them like the south wind, and will kindle 
a mighty fire in the houses of the covetous men." '^ Again there is jeering 
narrative, which now casts discredit on Mir Chakur, who is pictured in striking 
language as a notable example of the reverses of fortune.^ Mir Chakur in. the 
last two poems replies defiantly, declares emphatically his intention to fight, 
and scoffs at the degeneracy of the times. " The youths wearing two turbans 
{i.e. of high birth) do not rise up to sport among the tents of the venerable 
fathers, but they feed on the flesh of fat-tailed sheep, and boil strong liquor in 
their stills. There is none of them who bears the sign of a ruler." ^ 

1 Dames, p. xx. 2 ibid., pp. 20-25. ^ Ibid., pp. 20-21. 

* Or it might be called the second. Dames numbers this i (b). ^ Dames, pp. 21-22. 

6 Ibid., pp. 22-23. ^ Ibid., p. 23. ^ Ibid., p. 24. ^ Ibid., p. 25. 

1 



320 AN EPIC TENZONE AND A PARALLEL 

In addition to the correspondence of Mir Chakur and Gwaharam, there is 
the impressive controversy of Mir Chakur and Jaro,^ the poems which relate 
to the war of the Rinds and the Dodals,^ and the altercation between Blvaragh 
and Balach, which consists, as usual, of narrative, taunt, and gab.^ 

In the Dames collection these poems are assigned to the " heroic or epic 
ballads dealing with the early wars and settlements of the Baloches." ^ Other 
examples are given in the " more recent ballads, mainly dealing with tribes 
now existing, and other tribal ballads";^ and these are as interesting as 
those first mentioned. It would appear, then, that the BalochI warriors have 
always regarded words as effective weapons, to which, on one occasion at least, 
they have been explicitly compared. '' Come, O Relan, bard of rejoicings, 
King and warrior of song, to the assembly of good men. Take the songs I 
have uttered and carry them to our warlike foes. Shut and open these ten 
words of mine, replies given head by head, arrows of which a seer is as heavy 
as a matmdy ^ 

The Baloches, of course, are not the only warriors who have seen fit to 
combat with words. John White, in The Ancient History of the Maori, his 
Mythology and Traditions^ gives a '' battle of song." '' The battles (quarrels) 
between the Nga-ti-maru, Nga-ti-tama-te-ra and Nga-ti-paoa in which man was 
killed have been given, but now we will give the account of the battles of song 
which were waged between these tribes."^ Five of the songs are translated. 
In the last, Toko-ahu, among other things, says : 

" But hearken to the thoughts within, 

Which sound Uke booming noisy surf. 

Thus comes the sound of slander from afar 

Across the little peaks, beyond the sea." ^ 
and later, 

" I still am thy old foe, and still my weapon 

Clashes against thine own in war, as in the days of old. 

And thou canst own I saw thee three times 

In the trench around thy fort at Weta-hara." ^^ 

'' Toka-tapu," says the narrator, '' composed a song in answer to this, but the 
old men who related this history to me could not remember it. . . . So ends 
the battle of song fought by those old chief-poets." ^^ 

Better known than the song-combats of the Maoris are the song-duels of 
the Eskimo, called a pacific people, not alone in acts but in speech. Rink, 
in his Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo, makes the statement that " from 
their living together in small habitations, a frieiidly zuay of conversi7ig was 
necessary ; and all high words or quarrelling are considered as unlawful. The 

1 Dames, pp. 27-28. 2 ibid., pp. 34-40. ^ ibid., pp. 44-46. * Ibid., p. 21. 

5 Ibid., p. 21. 6 Ibid., p. 97. 

7 Wellington, 1888. The "battles of song" are given in volume V, pp. 105-115. 

8 White, p. 105. 9 Ibid., p. 114. 10 Ibid., p. 115. " Ibid., p. 115. 



POTTER 321 

Greenlandish language is therefore devoid of any real words for scolding. 
The general mode of expressing annoyance at an offence is by silence " ; but 
he goes on to say that '' the slightest harshness in speaking ... is considered 
as an offence in so far that it may give rise to violent quarrels and ruptures." ^ 

The Eskimo, then, are keenly aware of the fact that words are dangerous 
weapons. At the same time, just because they attached so great an importance 
to them, they had recourse to satirical songs " for settling all kinds of quarrels, 
and punishing any sort of crime or breach of public order or custom, with the 
exception of those which could only be expiated by death, in the shape of the 
blood revenge." ^ The Eskimo have made of word-combats an institution. As 
much pomp and circumstance accompanies these duels as any combat on the 
battle field, or in a tournament. '' The songs are always composed by the 
singer himself." ^ Quoting Rink again : '' He invited his opponent to meet him, 
announcing the time and the place where he would sing against him. Generally, 
and always in cases of importance, both sides had their assistants, who, hav- 
ing prepared themselves for this task, could act their parts if their principals 
happened to be exhausted." ^ Rink gives examples of these songs. There is a 
'' Nith-Song of Kukook, who was a bad hunter," which is unaccompanied by 
an answer.^ 

Sometimes it was no easy matter to reply. In his work on Danish Greenland, 
Rink mentions a certain Ajakutak who was reproached for neglecting kayak- 
hunting : '* ' O ! behold this Ajakutak, he will not do like me, . . .' At that 
time this Ajakutak could make no answer, but, anxious to revenge himself he 
made enquiry about the life and behaviour of his adversary, and ... at the 
next meeting he gave a song upbraiding him with all his bad habits, and 
ending : ' To be sure Ajakutak will not be like thee.' " ^ 

In the Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo Rink quotes a '' Mutual Nith- 
Song between Savdladt and Pulangitsissok." ''' He says that the composition 
of these songs was sometimes exhausting. Perhaps, after all, these song- 
duels are seriously epic. In an article which appeared in the Boston Herald 

1 Henry Rink, Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo^ Edinburgh, 1875, P- S^- ^ Rink, p. 34. 

3 Boas, " The Central Eskimo," Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 602. 

* Rink, p. 34. ^ Ibid., pp. 66-67. ^ Rink, Danish Greenland, p. 276. 

'^ Rink, Tales and Traditions, pp. 67-68. It will be noticed that these songs are called nith- 
songs, and the writer to the Boston Herald quotes James Mooney's article on the Eskimo in The 
Catholic Encyclopedia : " A peculiar institution among the central and eastern tribes is that of the 
so-called 'nith-song' (Norse, nith, contention), or duel of satire." E. W. Nelson, in his paper on 
"The Eskimo about Bering Strait" {Eighteenth Anmial Report of the Bureau of American Eth- 
nology, Part I, 1896-1897, p. 347), says that "songs are composed ... for ridiculing one another, 
— these latter are similar to the nith songs of Greenland and are said to have been commonly 
used before white men came to Alaska." One of the sources for information about the Norse 
nith-song is Eugen Mogk's article on Norwegisch-isldndische Literattcr in Paul's Grundriss der 
germanischen Philologie, II, 660, 673, 681, 703, 720, and 750. On the last-mentioned page, speaking 
of the Bjamarsaga Hitdcelakappa, he says : " The quarrels of the rivals are enlivened by nith 
songs for which this saga is the most important source." 



322 AN EPIC TENZONE AND A PARALLEL 

April 21, 191 2, with the headline " Eskimo dies in Talking Duel," the state- 
ment is made that '' an explorer recently returned from Greenland," on draw- 
ing near an ice hut, '' heard a most peculiar rabble of voices. ... In the 
centre of a small cleared space stood two of the Eskimos dancing wildly about, 
and gesticulating in a frantic manner. . . . The disputants were not prepar- 
ing for fight, but were engaged in a duel of satire and mutual abuse that 
would have relegated the most mealy-mouthed legislator in Washington to the 
deepest recesses of mortification. . . . The argument waxed sterner — one of 
the disputants, frothing at the mouth, suddenly reeled towards his opponent, 
threw up his hands, and fell face downward on the snow. When the others 
reached him, he was dead. He had died from his efforts and his opponent 
was proclaimed victor." 

For a parallel the writer has called upon " the legislator in Washington." 
This may seem a far cry, but readers may remember a scene not dissimilar 
in Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi ^ the word-combat of " Sudden Death 
and General Desolation," and the '' Pet Child of Calamity." The former 
*' jumped up in the air three times, and cracked his heels together every time 
. . . and flung his hat down, which was all over ribbons, and says, ' You 
lay thar tell his sufferin's is over.' Then ... he shouted out ' Whoo-oop ! 
I 'm the original . . . corpse-maker from the wilds of Arkansaw ! . . . I 
split the everlasting rocks with my glance, and I squench the thunder when 
I speak ! . . . Stand back and give me room according to my strength ! . . . 
Blood 's my natural drink, and the wails of the dying is music to my ear ! 
Cast your eye on me, gentlemen ! and lay low and hold your breath, for I 'm 
'bout to turn myself loose ! ' " The '' Pet Child of Calamity," not to be out- 
done, shouts : '' Whoo-oop ! bow your neck and spread, for the kingdom of 
sorrow's a-coming ! Hold me down to the earth, for I feel my powers 
a-working ! I 'm a child of sin, dont let me get a start ! Smoked glass, here, 
for all ! Don't attempt to look at me with the naked eye, gentlemen ! " 

Here is a genuine combat of words, for the only one who deals blows is " a 
little black-whiskered chap," who, tried beyond endurance by their altercation, 
*' skipped up . . . jerked them this way and that, booted them around, 
knocked them sprawling faster than they could get up. Why, it warn't two 
minutes till they begged like dogs — and how the other lot did yell, and 
laugh and clap their hands all the way through and shout, ' Sail in, Corpse- 
Maker ! ' ' Hi ! at him again. Child of Calamity ! ' ' Bully for you, little 
Davy!'" Ultimately the disputants "shook hands with each other, very 
solemn, and said they had always respected each other and was willing to let 
bygones be bygones." ^ 

Is this extraordinary scene pure invention on the part of Mark Twain, and 
so of no importance whatever in this connection } Long before Life on the 

1 Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi^ the authorized uniform edition, 1906, pp. 32-34. 



I 



I 



POTTER 323 

Mississippi v^2iS written, — that is, in 18 10, — Christian Schultz, Jr., Esq., pub- 
Hshed his Travels 07z an Inland Voyage through the States of New- York, 
Pennsylvania^ Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee ; and through the 
Territories of Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New-Orleans. One eve- 
ning he walked down to the levee at Natchez to give some directions to his 
boatmen. " In passing two boats next to mine, I heard some very warm words ; 
which, my men informed me, proceeded from some drunken sailors who had 
had a dispute respecting a Choctaw Lady. Although I might fill half a dozen 
pages with the curious slang made use of on this occasion, yet I prefer select- 
ing a few of the most brilliant expressions by way of sample. One said, ' I 
am a man ; I am a horse ; I am a team ; I can whip any man in all Ken- 
tucky, by G-d.' The other replied, ' I am an alligator; half man, half horse ; ^ 
can whip any on the Mississippi, by G-d.' The first one again : ' I am a man, 
have the best horse, best dog, best gun, and handsomest wife in all Kentucky, 
by G-d.' The other, ' I am a Mississippi snapping turtle ; have bear's claws, 
alligator's teeth, and the devil's tail ; can whip a7iy man, by G-d.' This was 
too much for the first, and at it they went like two bulls, and continued for 
half an hour, when the alligator was fairly vanquished by the horse." ^ 

These word-combats, BalochI, Greek, Maori, or Eskimo, are only a few 
examples of a vast, multiform genre, whose existence must, of necessity, be 
conterminous with that of man. Not merely are they at home in the epic ; 
they disturb the peace of the Arcadia of the pastoral. They are loved by 
the militant churchman as well as by a Demosthenes, a Cicero, or any states- 
man or politician of to-day. The scholar, too, is not always a man of peace, 
and the din raised by the Humanists of the Renaissance has not utterly died 
away. In whatever direction you start, parallels swarm about you. Particularly 
important in this connection are some which come from Provence and Italy. 

It is impossible to be much interested in a controversy or a combat unless 
you know something about those who take part in it. In the BalochT litera- 
ture, poet and combatant are apparently one and the same person. What is 
more, there is a sharp distinction between the poet and the minstrel. The 
latter is simply a medium of publication. It is impossible not to be reminded 
of the literary activity in Provence at the close of the Middle Ages. In 
Provence we have the troubadour and the jongleur, but there is no insur- 
mountable barrier separating the two classes. 

Provencal literature is famous for its love lyric. At the same time, by force 
of circumstance, as well as by inclination, the Provencal was a fighter, and this 
aspect of his character finds striking expression in his verse. 

Among the different genres cultivated by the poets, is one called the tenso. 
According to the definition in a Provengal poetics, it is a '' contrastz o debatz, 

1 Cf. Dames, p. 45, where Balach, in a tenzone, says of himself. " Balach is a tiger, a hail- 
storm." 2 Schultz, II, 145-146. 



324 AN EPIC TENZONE AND A PARALLEL 

en lo qual cascus mante e razona alcun dig o alcun fag." ^ A third party passes 
judgment.2 This definition is disappointing. More pertinent is the last sen- 
tence of the description of another genre, the sir-jentes : " Deu tractar de 
reprehensio, o de maldig general per castiar los fols e los malvatz, o pot tractar, 
qui's vol, del fag d'alquna guerra."^ 

At the same time, as Stimming has pointed out, this definition lacks com- 
pleteness, and he has called attention to the relationship between the te7isc 
and the sirventes and cobla^ 

The tenso^ then, is sometimes more than a dispassionate argument. Som< 
times, starting with the best intentions in the world, the debaters forget them- 
selves, and indulge in personalities which frequently wound and give rise to 
a heated controversy, or to what sounds uncommonly like one. At other 
times the tone is bitter and insulting from the beginning. A good example 
of the hostile tenso is the one between Albert, marques de Malaspina, and 
Raimbaut de Vaqueiras, in the course of which Raimbaut says : 

" Albert marques, enoi e vilania 
sabetz ben dir e mieils la sabetz far, 
e tot engan e tota fellonia 
e malvastat pot horn en vos trobar, . . ."^ 

This is an excellent example of a tenso which is a song duel.^ But with the 
tenso we link the sirventes^ and no one thinks of the siruentes without recalling 
a Provencal poet who was a past master in this kind of warfare, Bertran 
de Born. 

The tenso^ or verse-duel, flourished even more vigorously in Italy, whose 
literature shows so markedly Provencal influence. Throughout the Renais- 
sance, poets belabored each other with verse invective, generally in sonnet 
form. Two only need be mentioned here, Dante and Petrarch. Dante was 
not the first to contribute to the tenso. Tensoni, as they are called in Italy, 
had already been composed, which resembled the more temperate Provencal 

1 Las Leys d^amors. See Appel, Provenzalische Chrestomathie, p. 199. 

2 Among the Eskimo the audience present at the song-duel acts as judge. Rink, Tales and 
Traditions, p. 34. 3 Appel, p. 198. 

* Stimming, "Provenzalische Litteratur," in Grober's Griindriss der romanischen Philologies 
II, ii, 24-25. For the polemic tenso see remarks made by Diez, Die Poesie der Troubadours, 
2d edition, 1883, p. 164 ; Zenker, Die provenzalische Tenzone, 1888, p. 10 ; Fiset, " Das altfranzo- 
sische Jeu-Parti," Romanische Forschungen, XIX, 1905-1906, p. 408 ; etc. 

s Appel, p. 1 28. The tenso begins with the words, 

"Ara-m digatz, Rambaut, si vos agrada, . . ." 

^ Some of the parodies of these song-duels are droll. Cf. the one given by Suchier in his 
Denkmdler provenzalischer Literatur ujtd Sprache (Halle, 1883), p. 336, " Tenzone zwischen 
Rostang und dem Herrgott," beginning, " Bel segner deus, s'ieu vos soi enojos." A milder one 
with an occasional strong expression, Suchier, pp. 326-328. Cf., too, a jocose one by Per- 
civalle Doria and Filippo de Valenza in Romania, XL, 191 1, pp. 454 ff. " Nuovi versi provenzali 
di Percivalle Doria." 



POTTER 325 

ones. Among the contributors were Pier della Vigna, Giacomo da Lentino, 
and Fra Guittone. When we come to Dante, we find him attacked bitterly 
on more than one occasion by Cecco AngioUeri, but in the matter of tenzo7ii, 
he is especially associated with Forese Donati. A reader may regard the 
correspondence between these two men only as examples of the rough, but 
good-natured, verbal sparring in which friends often indulge. Its resemblance, 
however, to that of Mir Chakur and Gwaharam is striking. 

Striking, too, is the parallel in the case of Petrarch. No man in the four- 
teenth century seems to have had more friends than he, friends who were 
almost worshippers. But Petrarch was too human to pose foreveron a pedestal 
before the eyes of his admirers, especially when those eyes, though loyal, were 
as keen to detect weakness as to appreciate strength. Great, then, was the 
consternation and wrath of a number of Florentines when their idol stepped 
down rather heavily from his pedestal and accepted the hospitality of the 
Visconti. The indignation found expression in loud expostulations, to which 
Boccaccio contributed. Even now the need is felt of defending Petrarch's 
action. Among his most recent apologists is Novati, who, speaking of the 
anger of the poet's contemporaries, says : '' Not less sharp, at least in inten- 
tion, than the ' satira ' of the good Giovanni, must have been the philippics 
of Zanobi da Strada, Giovanni d'Arezzo, Forese Donati, and Lapo da 
Castiglionchio. Gano da Colle wrote instead a sonnet to dissuade Petrarch 
from his sinister decision, and had the poem sung to him in Milan by a 
jongleur named Malizia." ^ 

This act of Gano da Colle seems an anachronism. It belongs to Provence 
of the twelfth century rather than to Italy of the fourteenth, when the rela- 
tions between the poets and their audiences resembled rather those between 
the same two classes at the present day. As a matter of fact, in the fourteenth 
century in Italy, publication was largely oral, and we still have the jongleur- 
publisher and the poet-troubadour. The best evidence comes from Petrarch 
himself. In a letter to Boccaccio, he speaks of men who live by words of 
others, and who have increased greatly in numbers. Sterile themselves, they 
pester unsuccessful authors, whose poems they recite before kings and nobles, 
and thus fill their purses.^ To this class of men belonged Malizia, whom Gano 
called upon to recite his sonnet in the presence of Petrarch. 

Petrarch did not reply in a sonnet. In its stead, he wrote a Latin letter 
which Fracassetti has published.^ '' Malicia salutabis Ganum. Eius vulgare 
carmen responso non egere idem ipse qui scripsit fateretur, si videre omnia 

^ F. Novati, " II Petrarca ed i Visconti," in F. Petrarca e la Lotnbardia, 1904, p. 26. The 
article was printed also in the Rivista (T Italia, July, 1904. The same passage, with a slight 
change in the wording, is on pp. 144-145. 

2 Epistolae de rebus senilibus, Book V, letter 3. In the Basle edition of the complete works^ 
1554, the passage is printed on p. 877. 

^ Epistolae de rebus familiaribiis et variac, III, 515. 



326 AN EPIC TENZONE AND A PARALLEL 

penitus posset," etc. He asks Malizia to repeat these words to Gano : " Super 
his secundum tuam illam praerapidam eloquentiam disputabis ut tibi videtur 
viva voce, sed non aspera ut solitus es : suaviter, oro te, sine clamore . . . 
et sine accentibus horrificis, denique non barbarice, quaeso, sed italice." Here, 
then, is rather an original /^«^^«^-correspondence.i Gano da Colle reproves 
Petrarch in the orthodox sonnet form ; but, instead of sending the poem by 
ordinary channels, he has it memorized and repeated before Petrarch's face. 
It is one thing to receive an insulting written communication and read it in 
the privacy of your room, composing your countenance before you issue forth ; 
it is quite another to look absolutely indifferent while stinging words of cen- 
sure are repeated by a skilled dramatic reciter.^ And the smarting sense of 
injury is increased by the thought that this same messenger will publish broad- 
cast, as well as render to his master an account, probably exaggerated, of your 
confusion during chastisement. 

Petrarch apparently was irritated. His answer to Gano is rather contemp- 
tuous, but it is Malizia who has to bear the brunt of his anger. Gano is far 
away — Malizia is present, and has delivered an offensive poem in an offensive 
manner. He must be punished, and is. 

Petrarch is not the only man who has resented being sung at in this 
fashion. A remarkable parallel is to be found in the exchange of invectives 
between Mir Chakur and Gwaharam. To the latter's abuse, Mir Chakur 
replies : '' You injure yourself with that enmity. . . . You took flight from 
the fort of Dab, and drew breath at the mouth of the Mullah, yet I never 
made such a mock of you, nor sent a bard to taunt you, reciting a song with 
twanging of strings in front of your noble face." ^ 

1 It willDe noticed that this letter is little more than a Latin translation or adaptation of a 
vernacular tenzone. 

2 Coluccio Salutati, censuring a friend for his lack of patriotism, says, " Vellem me coram 
videres ut adderetur mordaci epistole etiam vultus asperitas et indignantis signa pudibundus 
aspiceres." The letter from which this passage is taken is the tenth in Novati's edition of the 
Episiolario di Cohiccio Sahitati, I, 26, and it is addressed to Ser Andrea di ser Conte. Gano 
evidently more nearly attained this wish than Coluccio. ^ Dames, pp. 22-23. 



SIDNEY'S ARCADIA AS AN EXAMPLE OF 
ELIZABETHAN ALLEGORY 

Edwin A. Greenlaw 

By Sidney and his contemporaries, Arcadia was regarded as an heroic 
poem. Fraunce lists it with the IHad, the Odyssey, and the ^Eneid ; ^ Haring- 
ton cites it in his defense of the structure of Orlando Furioso ;'^ Harvey says 
that if Homer be not at hand, Arcadia will do as well to supply examples of 
the perfect hero : '' You may read his furious Iliads and cunning Odysses in 
the brave adventures of Pyrocles and Musidorus, where Pyrocles playeth the 
doughty fighter like Hector or Achilles, Musidorus the valiant Captaine, like 
Pandarus or Diomedes ; both the famous errant knightes, like Aeneas or 
Ulysses." ^ And Meres, after a reference to the Cyropaedia as'' being an abso- 
lute heroical poem, this reference, by the way, being lifted bodily from Sidney's 
Defense^ says that Sidney ''writ his immortal poem. The Countess of Pembrokes 
Arcadia, in Prose, and yet our rarest Poet." * As to Sidney's own conception 
of heroic poetry, it is sufficient to note his reference to Orlando, Cyrus, and 
^neas as types of excellence presented by poets ; his theory that it is n^ot 
riming or versing that maketh a poet ; his conception of the Cyropaedia as 
giving the '' portraiture of a just empire " ; his test of a poet by his power of 
'' feigning notable images of virtues, vices, or what else, with that delightful 
teaching " ; and the eloquent praise of heroic poetry as the highest of 
'' kinds," even as the poet surpasses, in his power to teach, both historian and 
philosopher.^ 

This conception of Arcadia as being an heroic poem, together with the 
theories set down by Sidney in his Defense, makes it reasonable to infer that 
the book was thought to conform to the ideas of the time as to the province 
of this '' kind." The Puritan attack on poetry intensified the view, inherited -» 
by the Renaissance from the mediaeval period, that the great epics should be 
regarded as allegories. But there is a difference between the interpretation 
of Virgil given, for example, by Alberti in 1468, and the conception held in 
the time of Tasso and Spenser. The earlier view was still mediaeval : the 
^neid was an allegory of Platonism and Christianity, which were held to be 
identical.^ Of the sixteenth-century interpretations, that of Douglas, as 

\ '^Arcadian Rheto^-ike, 1588. ^ Palladts Tamia, 1598. 

■ ^ Preface, 1591. 6 Defense, ed. Cook, pp. 8, 11, 17, 30, 31. 

* Pierces Supererogation, 1593. ^ Villari, Machiavelli, I, 128. 

327 




328 SIDNEY'S ARCADIA AS ELIZABETHAN ALLEGORY 

might be expected from the author of the Palicc of Honour, is still mediaeval. 
Stanyhurst regards Virgil as a profound philosopher, but says nothing of any 
theological motive.^ But Sidney sees in ^neas the portrait of the " excellent 
man"; "a virtuous man in all fortunes"; "no philosophers precepts can 
sooner make you an honest man than the reading of Virgil . . . there are 
many mysteries contained in poetry which were of purpose written darkly." ^ 
Nash inveighs against " the fantasticall dreames of those exiled Abbie- 
lubbers " as contained in the metrical romances, but counts poetry "a more 
hidden and divine kinde of Philosophy, enwrapped in blinde Fables and 
darke stories, wherin the principles of more excellent Arts and morrall pre- 
cepts of manners, illustrated with divers examples of other Kingdomes and 
Countries are contained." ^ This theory of allegory is more fully explained 
by Harington : " The ancient Poets have indeed wrapped as it were in their 
writings divers and sundry meanings ; ... for the litterall sence (as it were 
the utmost barke or ryne) they set downe in manner of an historic the acts 
and notable exploits ; . . . then in the same fiction, as a second rine and 
somewhat more fine, as it were nearer to the pith and marrow, they place the 
Morall sence profitable for the active life of man ; . . . manie times also 
under the selfesame words they comprehend some true understanding of 
naturall Philosophic, or sometimes of politike governement, and now and 
then of divinity : and these same sences that comprehend so excellent knowl- 
edge we call the Allegoric, which Plutarch defineth to be when one thing is 
told, and by that another is understood." ^ In the passages just cited we have 
a view of allegory quite different from that illustrated by the Romance of the 
Rose or by Piers Plozvman. The whole theory is excellently summed up by 
Spenser in his letter to Sir Walter Raleigh ; in which he says that he has 
followed " all the antique Poets historicall ; first Homere, who in the Persons 
of Agamemnon and Ulysses hath ensampled a good governour and a vertuous 
man, the one in his Ilias, the other in his Odysseis ; then Virgil, whose like 
intention was to doe in the person of ^Eneas ; after him Ariosto comprised 
them both in Orlando ; and lately Tasso dissevered them againe, and formed 
both parts in two persons, namely that part which they in Philosophy call 
Ethice, or vertues . of a private man, coloured in his Rinaldo ; the other 
named Politice in his Godfredo." Finally, we have, in a single sentence in 
the Defense, evidence of Sidney's acceptance of the view that an heroic poem 
may be written in prose, and that it should have allegorical significance : 
" For Xenophon, who did imitate so excellently as to give us effigiem 

1 Smith, Elizabethan Critical Essays, II, 137. 

2 Sidney, Defense, ed. Cook, pp. 8, 17, 57. Webbe in 1586 expressed exactly the same view 
{English Poetrie, ed. Arber, p. 28). 

* Anatomie of Absurditie, in Smith, Elizabethan Critical Essays, I, 323, 328 ; Works, ed. 
McKerrow, I, 2 5ff. 

* Preface, in Smith, Elizabethan Critical Essays, II, 201-202. 



I 



GREENLAW 329 

jtisti imperii . . . under the name of Cyrus, . . . made therein an absolute 
heroical poem." ^ 

We now need evidence that Sidney regarded his Arcadia seriously. Ac- 
cording to the views usually expressed in recent criticism, the book was 
carelessly written, during a period of enforced retirement from court, for the 
delectation of the writer's sister; it was a mere toy of which its author 
was ashamed and which he wished never to be published ; it has no serious 
significance.^ There are three objections to these views. In the first place, 
it was a point of honor among gentlemen writers in that age to affect contempt 
for their literary works ; ^ moreover, there may have been reasons why Sidney 
should have hesitated to print a book capable, in those suspicious times, of 
direct application.^ In the second place, the testimony of Fulke Greville is 
that of an intimate friend ; it is too earnest to be disregarded ; and it exactly 
fits the character of Sidney as revealed in his conversations and his corre- 
spondence. Greville says that it was Sidney's aim ''to turn the barren Phi- 
losophy precepts into pregnant Images of life." The story, he says, had a 
twofold character ; on the one hand, it was to represent '' the growth, state, 
and declination of Princes " ; on the other, '' to limn out such exact pictures " 
that a courtier might know in all ways how to conduct himself toward his 
Prince as well as in '' all other moodes of private fortunes or misfortunes." We 
are to see, '' in the scope of these dead images . . . that when Soveraign Princes, 
to play with their own visions, will put off publique action, which is the 
splendour of Majestic, and unactively charge the managing of their greatest 
affaires upon the second-hand faith, and diligence of Deputies, . . . even then 
they bury themselves, and .their Estates in a cloud of contempt, and under 
it both encourage, and shaddow the conspiracies of ambitious subalternes to 
their 'false endes, I mean the ruin of States and Princes." He speaks of 

1 Defense, ed. Cook, p. ii. 

2 V^. Stigant, in Cambridge Essays, 1858, pp. iioff., sees contemporary references in the 
romance, and accepts Fulke Greville's views ; but recent opinion is fairly represented by 
M. Jusserand {English N'ovel, p. 245), who thinks Greville was exaggerating and that Sidney's 
main object was not politics, but love. Sir Sidney Lee {Great Englishmen, pp. 99, 100) is more 
than usually inaccurate, a specimen being his name " Synesia " for Gynecia, and his statement 
that she is a " lascivious old queen " ! 

3 Of many illustrations of this point, the passage in Puttenham's (?) Arte of English Poesie 
will serve : " I know very many notable Gentlemen in the Court that have written commendably, 
and suppressed it agayne, or els suffred it to be publisht without their owne names to it : as if 
it were -a discredit for a Gentleman to seeme learned and to shew himselfe amorous of any 
good Art " (Smith, II, 22). Compare Spenser's dedications for self-depreciation exactly similar 
to that contained in Sidney's lette^ to his sister ; and note that Sidney speaks of his Defense as 
an " ink-wasting toy." 

* It will be remembered that the reason for Sidney's retirement was his bold letter to the 
Queen about the French marriage. That this brought him into great danger is indicated by 
Languet's letter, October, 1580, from which it is clear that Sidney realized the risk he ran, 
but wrote the letter because he was ordered to do so, presumably by Leicester (Pears, Corre- 
spondence^ p. 187). 



/ 




330 SIDNEY'S ARCADIA AS ELIZABETHAN ALLEGORY 

"this extraordinary frame of his own Common-wealth," and, at the end of 
his biography, insists once mo^e that Sidney's aim " was not vanishing 
pleasure alone, but morall Imager:, and Examples ... to guide every man 
through the confused Labyrinth of his own desires, and Life." ^ Finally, the 
discovery of an earlier Arcadia, in manuscript form, by Mr. Dobell in 1907, 
showing as it does that Sidney was making a thorough and radical revision of 
his book, presents convincing proof that he regarded it seriously. Probably 
he was at work upon this revision even up to the time when he engaged in 
the expedition in which he met his death ; at any rate, we have the evidence 
of Greville's letter to Walsingham to show that Sidney left in trust with his 
dearest friend his revision of his work, and " notwithstanding even that to be 
amended by a direction sett downe under his own hand how and why." ^ As 
to the fact recorded by Greville that, when dying, Sidney wanted his manu- 
script burned, it should be remembered that he had got only half through 
with his revision and no doubt felt the uselessness of preserving a mere frag- 
ment, while the solemnity of the hour of death made him feel the vanity of 
it all. In a similar mood, Chaucer wished all of his work that we value most 
highly to be destroyed. 

My purpose thus far has been to establish, by a priori evidence, the 
grounds for assuming that Arcadia was regarded as an heroic poem ; to 
show what characteristics this '' kind " was supposed to have in the view of 
Sidney and his contemporaries ; and to give reasons for thinking that the 
author regarded his work as a serious attempt to illustrate these theories. 
We now turn to the work itself for further evidence. 
^^'•^ In the first place, the revision changed the earlier version from a pastoral 
\ romance, with the simplicity of a direct tale, into a complicated heroic '' poem." 
^ I The manuscript copies begin with an account of the oracle that sent Basilius 
into retirement, this fundamental circumstance being fully disclosed at the 
outset instead of being held in suspense.^ Philanax attempts to dissuade the 
*' Duke " in direct conversation and with possession of all the facts, instead 
of through a letter based on imperfect knowledge. Again, the long story of 
^Ae Captivity, which in the revised form is structural, not an episode, is wholly 
wanting in the manuscripts. And most significant of all, the epic story of Pyrocles 
and Musidorus, vitally important as it is to the structure of the revised form, 
I '"b^ginally appeared in eclogues.^ The effect of this radical change is to make the 
\ Pyrocles-Musidorus story the main plot, not the Basilius-pastoral motive, while 
I the whole is now tTirown into the form of an heroic " poem," which follows the 

1 Life of Sidney, chaps, i, xviii. ^ Arber, English Game?; I, 488. 

^ For a similar withholding of the fundamental situation, compare the revised Arcadia 
with the Faerie Qiieene, in which we should not know of the plan of the entire poem at all 
were it not for Spenser's explanation in his letter to Raleigh. 

* For this account of the manuscripts I am indebted to Mr. Dobell's article in the Quarterly 
Review, CCXI, 76-90. 



GREENLAW 



331 



rules of Aristotle, as Sidney understood them, with considerable accuracy.^ 
In its revised form, the first book contains the story of how the two princes 
arrive in the kingdom of Basilius, and how they meet and fall in love with 
Philoclea and Pamela, being compelled to conduct their wooing in disguise 
because of the strange whim that has seized the king. The epic history of 
Pyrocles and Musidorus is reserved for the second book, which it dominates. 
It is in this epic history that Sidney presents the chief exposition of his 
'' Ethice, or vertues of a private man." The method is most artful : Musidorus 
tells the first group of adventures ; Philoclea and Pamela follow with ex- 
planations of the stories of Erona and Plangus, and Pyrocles finishes the 
account. But the narration is by no means continuous, being interrupted 
several times by incidents that either afford comic relief or remind us of the 
central plot, these interruptions having the effect of interludes. 

The ten adventures that make up this epic history are by no means of the 
haphazard type of the conventional chivalric romance. They fall into two 
well-defined groups, in the first of which, it seems to me, the influence of the 
Cyropaedia is plain, while the second group finds its unity in the fact that 
the adventures deal with various sins against love and have a well-defined 
allegory. The adventures of the first group open with an account of the boy- 
hood and education of the two heroes that parallels with some closeness the 
account of the education of Cyrus given by Xenophon. In each case there is 
stress on ethical training ; on the study in their sports of the elements of war, 
and the inuring of their bodies to hardship ; this training occupying their 
time until, in all three cases, they are about sixteen years of age.^ Then 
Pyrocles and Musidorus go to aid Evarchus against his enemies, this Evarchus 
being the uncle of Musidorus, just as Cyrus goes to the aid of his uncle 
Cyaxares.^ Though Sidney's heroes are prevented by the shipwreck from 
reaching Evarchus, the parallelism with Xenophon still holds.^ The strategy 

1 Sidney was in Italy at the time when Aristotle was just coming to be regarded as a literary 
dictator.. His letters to Languet speak of his anxiety to be able to read the works of the phi- 
losopher in the original (Pears, Correspondence, p. 28). In the Defense he shows acquaintance 
with Aristotelian theory, having gained his knowledge either directly or through the works of 
Scaliger. A convenient statement of Elizabethan understanding of these rules as applied to heroic 
poetry is in Harington: The fable should be grounded on history; the action should be limited in 
time to not more than a year ; there should be nothing incredible ; the " peripeteia " should be 
" the agnition of some unlooked-for fortune either good or bad" (Smith, II, 217). It is worthy of 
note that in this very connection Harington appeals to Arcadia as an authority, and that Sidney 
does indeed observe these rules in his pseudo-historical setting of Greek kingdoms, dynasties, 
and civil wars ; in the limitation of the main action to a few months, while antecedent action is 
told indirectly ; and in the elimination of the supernatural elements so common in the romances. 

2 Cyropaedia^ I, ii ; Arcadia, II, vii. ^ Cyropaedia, I, v ; II, i; Arcadia, II, vii. 

* Sidney's use of pirates, shipwrecks, etc., to diversify his narrative illustrates, as is well knowp, 
his indebtedness to the Greek romances (cf. Stigant, Cambridge Essays, 1858, p. no). Stigant 
and others have held that he also adopted from HeHodorus the device of beginning in the midst 
of the action. But he might equally well have got it from the theory of epic poetry held in his 
time. Tasso thought Virgil and Heliodorus used the same method (Dunlop, ed. Bohn, I, 30). 



332 SIDNEY'S ARCADIA AS ELIZABETHAN ALLEGORY 

of Cyrus depends on his power to win various minor kings as allies, on his 
establishment of better conditions of government by casting out tyranny and 
righting wrongs, and on his habit of leaving his allies in independent control 
of their territories while uniting them into a federation. Illustrations are 
found in his treatment of the Armenians, the Hyrcanians, the wronged 
Gobryas, etc.^ Just these methods are used by Pyrocles and Musidorus in the 
Phrygian episode, in which the wicked prince is overthrown, a new govern- 
ment established, the crown offered to Musidorus, who refuses it ; in the 
Pontus episode, next following, in which precisely the same course is followed 
with the addition that an alliance between Phrygia and Pontus is arranged ; 
and in the Leonatus-Plexirtus episode. ^ There are other evidences of the 
influence of Xenophon, such as the correspondence between the ethical and 
political thought in the two works ; the deliberate balancing of Cyrus as a type 
of the good prince against Cyaxares, the type of effeminacy, envy, and tyranny, 
which finds a counterpart in the balance between Pyrocles and Musidorus and 
the various evil princes with whom they have to do ; and studies of various 
admirable types of character. One of the most interesting of these last, from 
the point of view of our inquiry, is the parallel between Parthenia and Panthea ; 
the two stories are not the same in details, but are closely similar in their 
beauty and pathos, while Xenophon, like Sidney, distributes his romantic 
story through a considerable portion of his work.^ It is to be noted, finally, 
that Cyrus is praised for the same qualities of justice, personal bravery, and 
winning personality so well illustrated by the heroes of Arcadia} 

The second group of adventures in the epic history seems at first sight 
more difficult to follow, especially as Sidney finds it necessary to give the 
histories of such^ characters as Plangus, Erona, etc., as additions to the main 
story. This involved method is similar to that used by Spenser, and the ad- 
ventures themselves are like Spenser's in type and allegorical character. 
After establishing the various kingdoms on firm foundations, the two heroes 
become knights-errant. The change is marked by a sentence that is signifi- 
cant of the difference between ancient and Renaissance epic : "And therefore 
having well established those kingdomes . . . they determined in unknowne 
order ... to seeke exercises of their vertue ; thinking it not so worthy to 
be brought to heroycall effects by fortune, or necessitie, like Ulysses and 
^neas, as by ones owne choice and working." ^ The adventures are those of 
Erona and Antiphilus, of Pamphilus, of Anaxius, of Chremes, and of Andro- 
mena. Unity is gained through the fact that the misfortunes which the 
heroes now seek to correct proceed not from tyrannical or unjust government 

1 Cyropaedia, II, iv ; IV, ii, vi. 

2 Arcadia, II, viii-x. 

8 The references in Xenophon are IV, vi ; V, i ; VI, i, iv ; VII, i, iii. 

* Compare the "triumph" of Cyrus [Cyropaedia, _ III, iii) and that of Sidney's heroes 
{Arcadia, II, xxiii). ^ Arcadia, II, ix. 



GREENLAW 333 

but from sins against love. Erona has blasphemed against Cupid, and is 
punished by her passion for Antiphilus ; this man, as his name indicates, 
being guilty of sin against love in his unworthiness, in his cruelty toward Erona, 
and in his selfish desire to save his own life at the cost of hers.^ The story 
of Pamphilus, the inconstant lover, is even more in the manner of Spenser .2 
The tone of this portion of the narrative is admirably kept in the interlude 
which interrupts Philoclea's story of Erona, in which Miso and her ill-favored 
daughter tell stories that are travesties on love.^ As to the other adventures, 
Anaxius represents Pride ; the Plangus story introduces unlawful love, which 
finds a climax in the story of Andromena, while Chremes is the Malbecco- 
Barabas-Shylock who would sacrifice wife or daughter for his property.^ This 
allegorical treatment of sins against love is supplemented by the increasing 
stress on the guilty passion of Basilius and Gynecia for Zelmane-Pyrocles.^ 
On the other hand, types of love showing tenderness and beauty are sup- 
plied by Palladius and Zelmane, the woman page ; ^ while the entire story of 
Pyrocles and Musidorus is an example of the exaltation of friendship between 
men so constantly found in Renaissance literature^ 

It is now possible to summarize this exposition of the virtues of the private 
man. Sidney has treated his education and his wisdom in dealing with public 
and private wrongs. He is actuated by the desire for glory, this glory being 
not personal but subordinated to the duty to right wrong and rescue the 
oppressed.^ Love is the guide of all his actions, this love being manifested 
in his devotion to his friend and in his efforts to stamp out all unworthy and 
lustful love. The relation of this to the main situation is also clear : Pyrocles 
and Musidorus, great as is their valor and achievement, are made subject to 
love, even submitting to fantastic disguises (Zelmane, Dorus) in their obedience 
to its high behests. This 'course of development may seem to us somewhat 
anti-climactic, but to the spirit of the Renaissance it rings absolutely true. 

1 Arcadia, II, xii, xiii. 

2 His character is given II, xviii ; see especially his " jollie scoffing braverie," Cambridge 
ed., p. 268. 3 Ibid., II, xiv. * Ibid., II, xvii ff. ^ Ibid., II, xvi, xvii. ^ Ibid., II, xx-xxiii. 

■^ This motive is due in part to the admiration for Cicero. Of the many illustrations, the 
stories of Damon and Pythias and of Titus and Gysippus, as told by Elyot {Boke of the Got/eitiour^ 
xi, xii) and others, may be cited. The climax of such stories is that a friend will seek to die for 
his friend if need be, and this motive is several times used by Sidney. There are also resem- 
blances between Sidney's presentation of the various types of love and Spenser's, especially in 
Faerie Qiieene, IV. 

8 This conception of honor is, of course, a subject constantly treated in Renaissance litera- 
ture. Sidney begins with the idea that constitutes the theme of the Cyropaedia : " For to have 
been once brave is not sufficient for continuing to be so, unless a man constantly keep that 
object in view" {Cyropaedia, VII, v) ; on which compare Sidney: "High honor is not only 
gotten and borne by paine and danger, but must be nursed by the like, or els vanisheth as 
soone as it appeares to the world" {Arcadia, II, ix). But Cyrus has in view the definite 
purpose of building an empire ; the knightly progress of Pyrocles and Musidorus is to seek 
through individual exploits not only to serve others but to exercise their virtues without regard 
to personal ambitioiji. It is a theory of education, and is preparatory to the work of the Prince. 



334 SIDNEY'S ARCADIA AS ELIZABETHAN ALLEGORY 

We come now to Sidney's conception of the Prince. This subject is 
treated from different points of view. The epic of Pyrocles and Musidorus 
presents the ideal of his education and the character of his youth. This por- 
tion of the book also contains examples of what he should not be : not a 
follower of lust and pleasure, like the king of Iberia ; not melancholy, sus- 
picious, observing a ''tode-like retyrednesse," like the king of Phrj'gia ; not 
a creature of whim and caprice, rewarding without desert and punishing with- 
out reason, like the king of Pontus.^ This last type is more fully delineated 
in Antiphilus, the base man suddenly exalted, who ** made his kingdom a 
Tenniscourt, where his subjects should be the balles." ^ More direct methods 
are observable in the exposition of the Machiavellian theory of statecraft. 
There are three important studies of this subject, presenting Machiavellism 
under as many aspects. Plexirtus stands for the Machiavellian tyrant : he 
secured the crown by unjust means ; kept it by the aid of foreign mercenaries 
who were established in citadels, the nests of tyrants and murderers of liberty ; 
he disarmed his countrymen to prevent their return to the cause of his father ; 
he blinded his father and sought the death of his brother Leonatus, following 
the precept that all who have any claim to the throne must be destroyed ; he 
was crafty enough to hide his faults, thus not only deceiving his subjects but 
securing for his service good men like Tydeus and Telenor. Even after he 
was thrust from the throne, he was still able through hypocritical humility to 
win the confidence of Leonatus, only to seek to poison his brother and secure 
the throne again. When, finally, he was given a neighboring kingdom as a 
field in which he might practice his art with less inconvenience, he contrived 
the death of his faithful Tydeus and Telenor, fearing that their popularity 
would create faction against him.^ The second example is found in the story 
of Clinias, who is the lago of this Machiavellism as Plexirtus is its Richard III. 
Sophist, tragedian, hypocrite, he stimulates rebellion against Basilius while 
pretending to be innocent of wrong and indeed to have been anxious to restrain 
the mischief-makers. It is a picture of unmitigated baseness and cowardice.^ 
The third portrait shows how a man of noble instincts, but more regardful of 
honor as Hotspur understood the term than possessing any solid qualities- 
swollen by a windy ambition, outwardly courteous and humane, may be a 
follower of Machiavelli. Amphialus follows the rules very closely : he accepts 
the results of his mother's plotting by holding the rightful claimants to the 

1 Arcadia, II, xix, viii, ix. ^ Ibid., II, xxix. 

3 There are even verbal resemblances that prove the source of this exposition ; these I 
have no space to give, but any one who will take the trouble to read the passage in Sidney will 
at once recognize how close is the parallel. Every one of the characteristics of Plexirtus is a 
concrete illustration of principles taken from Machiavelli or from the hostile summary of the 
theory by Gentillet. That Sidney was acquainted with Machiavelli appears in his correspond- 
ence with Languet. In one case (Pears, p. 53) he shows hostility to the central doctrines of 
this political philosophy. ^ Arcadia, II, xxvii ff. 



GREENLAW 



335 



throne in captivity ; he foments rebellion by appeals to the malcontents ; he 
pretends to have at heart only the safety and best interests of the kingdom. 
In his strategy he follows the rules also : he pays attention to his citadel, his 
supplies, his selection of the men who are to be nearest him, making use 
even of their vices. In the jousts, characterized as they are by an outward 
courtesy, he is the seeker for renown in order to make an impression on 
others, as laid down in the twenty-first chapter of // Principe. 

Sidney shares the feeling of his time that a wise monarchy is the true form 
of government. His attack on oligarchy as being the cause of the worst of 
tyrannies prefaces the story of the wise Evarchus : '* For they having the 
power of kings, but not the nature of kings, used the authority as men do 
their farms." ^ Democracy is no less impossible. The story of the giants of 
Pontus suggests Spenser's allegorical method.^ The two chief instances, 
however, of Sidney's distrust of the commons are found in the account of the 
rebellion against Basilius and in the depicting, near the end of the story, of 
the anarchy resulting from the supposed death of the king.^ In the first of 
these Zelmane (Pyrocles) asks the rebels what they want, and the confused 
replies indicate Sidney's conviction that popular rule would bring anarchy.^ 

All these illustrations, however, are merely supplements to that which is 
the central theme in Sidney's treatment of the Prince : the contrast between 
Evarchus, the wise prince, and Basilius, king in name only. One of the most 
eloquent passages in the book is that in which the author paints, in Evarchus, 
his ideal monarch.^ Coming to the throne when his kingdom was prostrated 
by tyranny, he was compelled at first to command respect by severity. After 
he was firmly established, '' then shined forth indeede all love among them, 
when an awful feare, ingendred by justice, did make that love most lovely." 
He lived the life he wished his people to live, and lived it among them, not 
apart from them ; he did not regard their persons and their property as instru- 
ments for his own pleasure, for *' while by force he took nothing, by their love 

1 Arcadia^ II, vi. On this compare Elyot, I, ii, and The Courtier, Book IV. 

2 Arcadia, II, ix. The giants represent a mistreated populace, useful to a wise prince, but 
a source of danger made greater through their ignorance. 

* Arcadia, II, xxv, xxvi. It should be stated that I have confined my investigation to that 
part of Arcadia which is indubitably Sidney's. The second passage (ed. Baker, pp. 564 ff.), 
though it comes in the portion revised by the Countess of Pembroke, bears the marks of 
having been written by Sir Philip. 

* The passage is too long to quote, but the suggestions for tariff reform, change of adminis- 
tration, public improvements, reduction of the high cost of living, the desire of each class for 
a reduction in all products other than its own, all remind one of the political campaign of 191 2 ; 
while the blind confidence in a large number of statutes as necessary to the welfare of the state 
is preeminently American. Less pleasant because of its betrayal of Sidney's aristocratic con- 
tempt for the mob, though it is good fun, is his ridicule of the butchers, tailors, and millers, 
together with the account of the artist, ancestor of the modern war correspondent, who was to 
paint the battle of the Centaurs and rushed to the fray in search of local color. He got it. 

5 Arcadia, II, vi. 



OJ 



6 ■ SIDNEY'S ARCADIA AS ELIZABETHAN ALLEGORY 



he had all." ^ " In summe ... I might as easily sette downe the whole 
Arte of government, as to lay before your eyes the picture of his proceedings." 
Contrasted with this ideal is the course of life pursued by Basilius. The sig- 
nificance of this central idea of the book is not that Sidney wished to portray 
an ideal life away from the conventionality of the court, but the disasters that 
come upon a nation when its sovereign, fearful of fate, retires to solitude in 
an effort to avoid it. Kalander's account of Arcadia : the solid qualities of 
its people, their love for Basilius, the respect in which the nation was held by 
neighboring peoples, the peace that encouraged happiness and invited the 
Muses, all this is sharply contrasted with the evils that follow. The letter 
of Philanax warns the king against superstition and points out the conse- 
quences of his retirement.^ The rest of the main plot shows how these proph- 
ecies came true. The king is the prey to flatterers like Clinias and base 
upstarts like Dametas ; the rebellion of the commons is due to the practices 
of those who seek to profit by the king's seeming cowardice ; lust rules his 
own life ; the people are torn by factions so that Cecropia and Amphialus 
bring about civil war ; utter chaos results,, and the larger duties of Basilius to 
aid Evarchus in repelling hostile nations are neglected. Philanax sums up 
the indictment when he tells Basilius that his whole duty, as a Prince and the 
father of a people, is '' with the eye of wisdome, the hand of fortitude, and the 
hart of justice to set downe all private conceits in comparison of what for 
the publike is profitable."^ Over against this is set, in the closing pages of 
the story, the nobility of Evarchus, strengthening his people against expected 
attack ; seeking to form alliances among other nations against a common 
enemy ; going to Arcadia to try to withdraw its prince from burying himself 
alive ; and with calm justice dooming his own son to death in his effort to 
bring to an end the anarchy he found there. 

Thus Fulke Greville spoke with full knowledge in saying that Sidney in- 
tended more than idle amusement in his story. Corroborative evidence is 
found in his account of the conversations between the two friends, and in 
Sidney's correspondence with Languet. Sidney, we are told, complained of 
the " neglect " of the Queen in her failure to use the Huguenots as a means 
of checking the increasing Spanish aggression ; it was '' an omission in that 
excellent Ladies Government" that Austria ''gained the fame of action, 
trained up his owne Instruments martially, and got credit with his fellow- 
bordering Princes," a condition that came through a '' remiss looking on " ; 
a yet greater oversight was characteristic of England and France, because 
"while their Princes stood at gaze, as upon things far off, they still gave way 
for the Popish and Spanish invisible arts and counsels to undermine the 
greatness and freedom both of Secular and Ecclesiastical Princes." '' In this 

■^ Compare the object lesson, on the subject of riches, taught by Cyrus to Crcesus, Cyropae- 
df/a, VIII, ii. ^ Arcadia^W^'w. ^\\yid..,\W^yi\yi. This is just what Sidney told the Queen in 1580. 



GREENLAW 337 

survey of forrain Nations," we are told, " he observed a fatal passivenesse 
generally currant, by reason of strange inequalities between little humors and 
great fortunes in the present Princes reigning." ^ In this ''fatal passive- 
ness," due as it was to ''little humors" of those who should be alert, we 
have the keynote to the interpretation of the story of Basilius. The testi- 
mony of the correspondence with Languet is not less explicit : Sidney ex- . 
presses impatience with the delays and intrigues of Elizabeth and Burghley ; 
"our princes," he says, "are enjoying too deep a slumber; nevertheless, 
while they indulge in this repose, I would have them beware that they fall not 
into that malady in which death itself goes hand in hand with its counter- 
part." 2 At the very time when he was working on his book, Sidney was in 
disgrace because he had addressed a letter to the Queen protesting against 
the proposed French marriage. It is this sloth, this foolish fear of fate, this 
wasting of time in amorous toying while factions were multiplying and plots 
against the throne grew ripe, that the Basilius story shows forth. Sidney does 
not hold up the pastoral life of Basilius as a model ; he does not find in it an 
admirable withdrawal from the cares of life ; it is no idyllic existence in the 
forest of Arden, but a crirninal evading of responsibility that will bring ruin 
to any state.^ Sidney's book, concrete application of the theories of the prov- 
ince of poetry laid down in his Defense, springing out of his interest in the 
problems of government, the object of his care during the ripest and most 
thoughtful years of his life, is less truly to be described as a pastoral romance 
than as an " historicall fiction," a prose counterpart of the Faerie Qtieene, 
having for its object " to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and 
gentle discipline," and to portray "a good governour and a vertuous man." 
That this intention was not vaguely moral, but was intended by Sidney to 
apply to political conditions in his own time and to the crisis that he saw was 

coming upon England, I shall seek to show more fully in another place. 

9 

1 Life, Caradoc Press Reprint, 1907, pp. 18 ff. ^ Pears, pp. 58-59. 

3 Even the oracle which led Basilius to leave his duties in order, as he thought, to avoid the 
loss of his kingdom, finds a counterpart in Elizabeth's superstitious regard for nativities and 
portents. (Cf. Aikin, Memoirs, II, 27.) As to the unpleasantness of that part of Arcadia which 
deals with the lust of Basilius and Gynecia, about which much has been written, we have merely 
a representation of what the author believes will happen when princes lead slothful lives, with 
perhaps a reference to immoral and unnatural conditions at Elizabeth's court. Compare Spen- 
ser's stinging castigation of these conditions in Colin Clout, lines 664 ff., in which he shows the 
pettiness and selfish hollowness of the court, and makes a similar distinction between pure love as 
understood by the " shepherds" and the licentious talk of the courtiers on " love, and love, and love 
my dear." This gallantry, filled with " lewd speeches and licentious deeds," profanes the mighty 
mysteries of Love. Compare also Languet's letter to Sidney, written soon after a visit to Lon- 
don : " To speak plainly, the habits of your court seemed to me somewhat less manly than I 
could have wished, and most of your noblemen appeared to me to seek for a reputation more by 
a kind of affected courtesy than by those virtues which are wholesome to the state" (Pears, 
p. 167). I have given other evidence of these conditions in my discussion of the relations be- 
tween Spenser and Leicester {Publications of the Modem Language Association, September, 1910). 



ASTROLOGY AND MAGIC IN CHAUCER'S 
FRANKLIN'S TALE 

John Strong Perry Tatlock 

Dorigen, pining by the Breton shore for her husband Arveragus, absent in 
England, has fallen into a melancholy, a ''derke fantasye," which is only in- 
creased by the means she takes to relieve it ; she cannot look out on the sea 
over which he must return to her without seeing the grisly fiendly blacky 
rocks l3ang out along the coast, and without thinking of the perils of ship- 
wreck and striving to see through a thicker cloud than the Breton haze, the 
mystery of evil. Even though her friends try to divert her in a charming 
inland garden, the menacing rocks seem to be still before her eyes. When 
the squire Aurelius has revealed his love to her, and she playfully casts about 
for a gentler way of rejecting him than her first flat refusal, she promises to 
be his when he shall have removed every stone from the coast of Brittany. 
He, like many another lover in mediaeval romance, attempts neither to forget 
nor to content her, but takes to his bed ; till his more practical brother at last, 
after the husband's return, bethinks him how by the aid of magic Aurelius 
may keep the word of promise to her eye and break it to her hope. He 
fetches an old college mate from Orleans, through whose skill in magic the 
rocks vanish for a week or two. Thus by a brilliant stroke of dramatic irony 
the very means Dorigen has taken to rid herself forever of her unwelcome 
suitor is what puts her helpless in his power, and the very task which her 
anxious fidelity to her husband has led her to choose threatens to become the 
cause of her unwilling infidelity. It is only through the rare generosity of 
her lover, stimulated by that of her husband, that she saves; her honor as a 
wife without prejudice to the honor of her word. 

In this tale astrology and magic are more essential than in any other of 
Chaucer's works except the Squire s Tale and the Complaint of Mars, and are 
used with more evident familiarity ^ than anywhere else except in the latter and 
in the treatise on the astrolabe. Everything hinges on the achievement of a 
feat of which the lover himself can only say despairingly, when it is proposed, 

" This were an inpossible." 

Since Chaucer has set the poem in pagan times, he might have ascribed the 
marvel to the power of a divinity, but characteristically of his later manner 

^ It is curious to notice how astrology and its terms were in Chaucer's mind all through the 
poem: cf. 11. 781, 1033, 1057-1058 (and Skeat's note), 1067-1068, 1246. 

339 



V;-"^ 



340 ASTROLOGY AND MAGIC IN FRANKLIN'S TALE 

he chose a means which brought the poem closer to real life, the astrological 
magic which the Middle Ages almost universally credited. ^ A long episode 
precisely in the middle of the poem is formed by the project to bring the 
Orleans clerk to Penmark, his reception and entertainment of the travellers, 
their return to Brittany, his watching for a time celestially fit for his rites, 
and the disappearance of the rocks. 

The magician ^ is the most subtly interesting person in the tale, the only 
character who is always master of the situation ; a somewhat complex person, 
fit to refute the boast of Simkin in the Reeve s Tale that 

"The gretteste clerkes been noght the wysest men," 

for he is no more notable for his skill in his art than for his practical sagacity 
and tact, his proficiency in the business side of it. He is still young (i 173), 
but through the reminiscences of Aurelius' brother (1123 ff.) we are allowed 
a glimpse of him when he was yet younger, as a bachelor of law at Orleans, 
active, inquisitive, and daring, who neglected his legal pursuits in order to 
study magic on the sly (1119-1128).^ Meanwhile he has so progressed in 
it that when the brothers meet him he can tell them all that is in their 
minds. Since he is walking about alone with a disengaged look ^ in the out- 
skirts of Orleans on the road which leads from Brittany, we may perhaps 
infer that he is resolved not to let a rich client slip through his fingers for 
want of meeting him halfway. When they reach his well-appointed house, 
which impresses even the wealthy Aurelius (11 87-1 188), by the prodigality 
of his supper ^ he prepares his visitors for a high price, and gives tacit assur- 
ance that he is worthy of it by presenting shrewdly-selected examples of his 
skill, taking care however not to weary them (1202- 1204). Knowing that his 
client is the squire Aurelius and not the clerk-brother, as they sit in his study 

1 Magic is also the means in the only ante-Chaucerian analogues which involve a quasi- 
impossible task, Boccaccio's two versions of the story which are in the Filocolo (Moutier edition, 
II, 48-60) and the Decameron (tenth day, novel 5), and the former of whith many believe to be 
Chaucer's source. See Rajna in Romania, XXXI, 40-47, and XXXII, 204-267, and Lot in Le 
Moyen Age, 1902, pp. 108-1 12 ; but, contra, Schofield in Pubk Mod. Lang. Assoc, XVI, 405-449. 

2 So called in 11. 1184, 1241, 1295; also called a "maister" (1202, 1209, 1220, 1257) and a 
" philosophre " (1561, 1585, 1607), general words often used in a specific sense. Cf. the Oxford 
Dictionary, Godefroy, Ducange (s.v. magisteriztm) ; according to Martinus Del Rio's Disquisi- 
tiones Magicae (Mainz, 1606), 11, 500, the second part of astrology contains magisteriicm and 
nativitatiis ; cf . also Albertus Magnus's use of magisterium ( Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum 
Graecorum, Brussels, 1898-1906, V, i, loi, 105), and Zeitsch. fiir Mathematik u. Physik, XVI, 373. 

8 It is not quite certain that he is the particular " felawe " whom Aurelius' brother first 
thought of, for they seem to have belonged to a set in which the clandestine study of magic 
flourished (11 52-1 156), but most of the above would apply to any of them. The University of 
Orleans in Chaucer's day was only a law school. 

* Whan they were come almost to that citee, 
But-if it were a two furlong or three, 
A yong clerk rominge by him-self they mette (1171-1173). 

5 Hem lakked no vitaille that mighte hem plese (1186). 



TATLOCK 



341 



among his imposing books (1207,1214) he shows them magic visions of hunt- 
ing, hawking, and jousting, and finally a cruelly tantalizing vision, enough to 
break down the last stronghold of their caution, of Aurelius going on the 
dance with Dorigen.^ Allowing his hints to work while his guests eat, he. 
takes advantage of their postprandial optimism to state his terms,^ and after 
all this he ran small risk of rejection when he '' made it straunge " and would 
have them believe a thousand pounds a low price,^ and it is no wonder 
Aurelius ''with blisful herte" answers impatiently, 

" Fy on a thousand pound ! " 

to pay which he later realizes would ruin him (1559 ff.). Whenever the clerk 
speaks, the manner of his words is apt and forceful. He is imperious and 
shows deference toward his guests in addressing his attendant (1209-12 14). 
But to them he shows a more familiar manner and gentle traits ; toward the 
woebegone lover he is now humorously sympathetic, with his genial chaff,^ now 
kindly and effectively zealous, with his usual energy and promptness (1261— 
1262). Business is business with him, and at the end his cross-examination of 
his recalcitrant client is a model of terse pointedness (1585-1591); but, in the 
same style, he announces his magnanimous release of him, when he learns 
that this is no time for merely business methods (1607-16 19). The keen 
and ambitious clerk responds instantly to the noble example set by the self- 
controlled knight and the gentle squire. That every one of these interpreta- 
tions represents what was in Chaucer's mind, who could prove (or disprove) > 
But when we notice how every touch makes fuller and firmer the outline of 
a business-like man of science who is a gentleman as well, how can we doubt 
that this is what Chaucer meant ? Chaucer's appearance of simplicity is some- 
times due merely to the modern reader's inattentiveness. 

But our chief concern is with the clerk's technical skill. In the account of 
his observances more is meant than meets the ear of the twentieth century, 
but much of it was doubtless instantly clear to a well-informed reader in the 
fourteenth. The only planet which he is mentioned as considering is the 
moon,^ and there is reason for this : '' Luna enim, ut dicunt, significat super 



1 LI. 1189-1201. Magic illusions such as these were just what Aurelius' brother expected his 
friend could produce (1142-1151), are discussed by the rabble in S^. T., 217-219, and are 
ascribed to " Colle tregetour" in JI. F., 1277-1281. Professor Schofield gives various other 
examples of illusion from mediaeval romance {Publ. Mod. Lang. Assoc, XVI, 419) ; cf. also 
Comparetti, Virgilio nel medio Eva, Pt. II, ch. x (Engl, transl., p. 360). 

2 At-after soper fille they in tretee (1219). 

^ L. 1225; an enormous sum, of course, for such a service, equivalent to ten or fifteen 
thousand pounds to-day. * " This amorous folk som-tyme mote han reste " (1218). 

^ And knew the arysing of his mone weel (1287). 
And knew ful weel the mones mansioun 
Acordaunt to his operacioun (1289-1290)." 
Cf. 1129-1131. 



342 



ASTROLOGY AND MAGIC IN FRANKLIN'S TALE 



J 



nigromantiam et mendacium, ct ideo lex Lunae erit nigromantica et magica 
et mendosa," ^ and therefore should be particularly favorable to magic illusions. 
As to the phase of the moon we are not told, but if it was considered, the 
probabilities are that it would be the full.^ The wizard in the Filocolo story 
(significant as a parallel, whether or not as a source) begins his spells at full 
moon.^ Medea in Ovid's Metamorphoses expressly waits for it when she is 
about to rejuvenate -^son.^ In the Vedabbha Jdtaka^ a Brahmin by a spell 

1 Roger Bacon, Optts Majus (ed. Bridges, London, 1900), I, 262. Cf. also n. 4, below, and 
pp. 347 ff. Cornelius Agrippa, speaking especially of the celestial matters to be observed by 
magicians, says the moon transmits the influences of the other planets, and has more manifest 
powers than they, her movements must be regarded more than theirs, and by her means we 
attract the power of higher bodies {De Occulta Philosophia, Lugduni, 1531 ? ; Bk. II, ch. 32, and 
cf. 59). The general connection of the moon with witchcraft is well known. Cf. Lea, Inquisi- 
tion of the Middle Ages, III, 437 ; also Apuleius' Apologia (London, 1825), III, 1398, and Ovid's 
Metamorphoses, vii, 174-178. On the peculiar power of the moon, according to the Babylonian 
paganism, cf. Cumont, Astrology afid Religion among the Greeks and Romans (New York), 
pp. 59, 124, 126; "a multitude of mysterious influences" were attributed to the moon (and 
some are still, even in America). Further, in all " elections of times " the moon was to be 
considered, " semper in electione aspice locum Lunae " (Joannes Hispalensis, Epitome totius 
Astrologiae, Nuremberg, 1548; sig. R 3''°) ; cf. Man of Laiv's Tale, 306-308. 

2 If this were history, of course we could not assume a full moon at a given time in a given 
celestial position. But this is fiction, and analogy and the data point to this phase. 

8 " Vide i corni della luna tornati in compiuta ritondita" (p. 53). 

* Bk. vii, 179-182, 268. This is the source of Boccaccio's account of the magic (Zingarelli in 
Rom., XIV, 433-441), and must have been known to Chauce'r. It is highly characteristic of the 
two men that the former's account is ancient and literary in source, and Chaucer's is contem- 
porary and " scientific," being based on astrology, as the others are not. From Ovid is also 
the story of Medea's spells in Gower's Confessio Amantis, who seems muddled as to time 
(v> 3957-39585 3961, 4019, 41 1 5), but puts the end of the process at new moon. He may have 
had reason for this, but it would seem a very unsuitable time for the magic of the Orleans clerk, 
for the new moon would be in Capricornus, which is its " fall " or " detriment," the position of 
least potency (Joannes Hisp., sig. B i, 3; Henry Coley's A'ey to Astrology, London, 1676, 
p. 85; Gower's C(P«/". /^w., vii, II 75 ; Oxf Diet.; Skeat, III, Ixxviii). Except perhaps at the pre- 
cise moment of conjunction, the new moon anywhere would be unfavorable, according to the 
sixteenth-century Cornelius Agrippa {De Occ. Philos., Bk. II, ch. 30) : " nisi forte sit in unitate 
cum sole," for magical purposes the moon should not be " combust " (and so deprived of power), 
as it or any other planet within 8° 30' of the sun (or 6° according to Joannes) is said to be (cf. Oxf 
Diet.; Coley, p. 95; Joannes Hisp., sig. D 4'^o^ E 1''° f., F y^). Joannes also says (sig. T y) 
that the ^conjunction of the sun and moon is unlucky. Agrippa does not seem to favor the 
precise moment, at least, of full moon either, — "nee sit opposita soli." Roger Bacon (in his 
commentary on the Secreta Secretorum, quoted by Bridges, I, 403-404) says of the day of the 
moon's opposition to the sun, " Dies cavenda est in omnibus operibus quia nullum bonum est in 
ea," and of the day of conjunction with the sun, " In hac die erit luna sub radiis [a technical 
term]. Nullum bonum nisi in his quae necesse sunt occulta^i et contegi." But none of this is said 
with reference to magic. The choice of a waning moon for the riot of witchcraft in the Wal- 
purgisnacht scene of Goethe's Faust may be due to a sense of picturesque fitness, though pic- 
tures in early works show a moon near the new (Witkowski, Walpurgisnacht, 28, 33). Altogether, 
my supposition as to this baffling subject seems justifiable. 

^ This is the supposed ultimate original of the Pardoner's Tale ; cf. Originals and Analogues 
(Chaucer Soc), pp. 4iSff. An oriental parallel is the more likely to be significant because 
ideas about the lunar mansions were of oriental origin. The translation edited by E. B. Cowell 
{The fdtaka, Cambridge, 1895; I, 121-124) mentions the full moon but not the lunar mansion. 



TATLbCK 343 

produces a rain of riches when the fulf moon is in a certain lunar mansion ; 
here, too, the magic depends on the J^inar mansions. The full seems also to^ 
be the phase of greatest power ; according to Joannes Hispalensis,^ a high 
twelfth-century authority, the most , powerful stage is from opposition to 1 2° 
thereafter, the next most powerful i being from 12° before to opposition. If 
the moon is full, this fits in remarkably with other matters. The sun is in 
the sign Capricornus,^ and the full moon therefore in Cancer. This sign 
is the '* house " of the moon,^ that sign in which it is most potent.* Further, 
in Cancer the moon is '' lord of the triplicity in common." ^ Now we must note 
that Chaucer tells us a little more ^f the date ; while it is close to the end of 
December when the travellers arrive from Orleans,^ with his utmost haste, 
watching night and day (i 262-1 263), it is only '' atte laste " that the clerk 
finds a favorable time ( 1 270), which would naturally bring us into January. This 
may be significant, for degrees 21-30 of Cancer, which in the fourteenth cen- 
tury the moon (if full) would pass through in about three fourths of a day"^ about 

1 Op. a'L, sig. F 3'^'^. Roger Bacon puts the matter a little differently : " Nam in istis quad- 
raturis fortissima operatio Lunae est" {op. cit., p. 385) ; " quando Luna est in augibus suorum 
circulorum, ut in novilunio et plenilunio, tunc sunt fortiores operationes ejus, ut patet in flux- 
ibus maris et in piscibus" (p. 388). He is speaking especially of the influence of the moon on 
weather, the tides, and living beings. Aristotle mentions the especial influence of the full moon 
on grubs and children {De Animalibus Hisioriae, Paris, 1854; V, xxiii; VII, xii; and cf. Pars. 
T., 424). 

2 But now in Capricorn adoun he lighte {1248). 

^ Joannes Hisp., sig. B 3''°, C 2^0; Bacon, I, 258; Coley, p. 34; John of Salisbury, Policra- 
ticus (ed. Webb, Oxford, 1909), I, no; Gower, Conf. Am., VII, 1062-^063. In Troil. and 
Cr., Ill, 624-628, the moon (near the new), Saturn, and Jupiter conjoined in Cancer produce a 
great rain ; Cancer is aquosae naturae (Joannes Hisp., sig. B 3"'°) and is the exaltation of Jupiter, 
the conjunction of Saturn and the moon indicates rain (sig. G 2^°), and the conjunctio maxima 
of Saturn and Jupiter indicates floods (Bacon, p. 263). The moon itself was thought to have 
especial influence over rain (Joannes Hisp., sig. G2''°, etc.) ; therefore Nicholas in the Miller's 
^^^ {35i3~352i) pretends to have learned from it of an imminent flood. 

* The five " essential dignities " of a planet are house, exaltation, triplicity, term, and face. 
In the first it has five "fortitudes " (or units cf power), in the second four, and so on down to 
one in a face. See Coley, p. 88 ; Joannes Hisp., sig. C 2^° f., F 2^° ; Bacon, pp. 257-261 ; Skeat, 
III, Ixxviii and 359; Oxf. Diet., s.vv. house, mansion. (Is there not some error in the last two 
authorities as to the exaltation ?) Note that while each of the other planets has two signs as 
houses, the sun and moon have only one each. 

5 I.e., by both day and night (Joannes Hisp., sig. B 3''o, C 2^° ; Skeat, III, Ixxvii f.), Venus 
and Mars being lords by day and night respectively. According to Vettius Valens' Anthologiae 
(ed. Kroll, Berlin, 1908 ; Bk. II, ch. i, p. 56), a Greek work on astrology of the second century A.D., 
often quoted by later writers, these three are lords of the triplicity in Cancer, but the moon 
takes third place both day and night. Reginald Scot's Discouerie of Witchcraft (London, 1584), 
p. 398, gives the lords as the moon, Venus, and Jupiter. 

* And this was, as the bokes me remembre. 
The colde frosty seson of Decembre (1243- 1244). 
Janus sit by the fyr, with double herd (1252). ^ 

And ' Nowel ' cryeth every lusty man (1255). 

■^ The moon advances an average of 13^° daily, the tropical month (or time it takes the 
moon to return to a given right ascension) being about 27^ days. 



N 



344 ASTROLOGY AND MAGIC IN FRANKLIN'S TALE 

the second or third,^ are the " face " of the moon.^ Moreover, at exactly the 
same time (or within a couple of hours) the moon would enter the fourth term 
of Cancer, which includes degrees 20-26 and belongs to Jupiter, according to 
Joannes Hispalensis,^ or 21-27 and belongs to Venus, according to Henry 
Coley, a seventeenth-century authority.^ These two planets are respectively 
the greater and lesser fortunes, whose influence is favorable, and both are 
called friendly* to the moon ;^ and if we can believe Coley,^ a planet in the 
term of Jupiter or Venus has an " accidental fortitude " of one. All this no 
doubt is why the Franklin says the clerk 

knew the arysing of his mone weel, 
And in whos face and tenne, and every deel (i 287-1 288). 

At the time in question the moon was in term of Jupiter (or Venus) and in its 
own face ; but it behooved him to act promptly, for not much over half a day 
after entering this favorable term the moon would enter the term of Saturn 

1 Cf. Astrolabe^ ii, i and 12, and Bacon, 272-273. The sun, reaching the tropic of Capricorn 
on the 1 2^** December in 1361 and for about 125 years thereafter, would enter the last 10° of the 
sign on 2"«^ or y^ January, and the full moon would of course- be at the same time at the point 
directly opposite. The date agrees remarkably with that in the Filocolo (Rajna merely notes 
that in both tales the travellers return in December: Romania, XXXII, 239). Tarolfo and the 
wizard Tebano arrive " assai vicini del mese del quale era stato dimandato il giardino '' (the 
garden being required in January). After privily waiting, " entrato gia il mese," they have a full 
moon that night (p. 53), Tebano begins his spells, and after gathering certain matters from all 
over the world, returns in his dragon-car before the end of the third day (p. 55), immediately 
finishes the garden, notifies Tarolfo, and he the lady (p. 57). This puts the accomplishment of 
the task on the 3'''' or 4'^ January (in the Decameron version it is the night before the i^'). Since 
there is nothing about the time of year in Ovid, it may be that Boccaccio, too, was aware of 
the astrological fitness of the early days of January ; yet it is an independent fact that the time 
apparently most favorable for astrological magic is the time most unfavorable for gardens. As 
to Chaucer, I should be quite ready to admit that at this point he may have remembered 
Boccaccio's tale ; but considering that the latter ignores astrology and the Franklin's Tale is 
full of its minutiae, we can hardly doubt that Chaucer clearly saw reason for the date he indi- 
cates. It is curious, but hardly significant, that the tables from which the position of a planet 
for any date was calculated gave it for noon of the last day of December {Astrolabe, ii, 44-45). 
This season can hardly have been selected because the rocks would seem more formidable 
then ; they are hardly mentioned here, and from the point of view of the story the selection of 
winter is a mere chance. 

2 Joannes Hisp., sig. B 3''o, C 3'° ; Coley, p. 85 ; Skeat, III, Ixxvii. Cf. Astrolabe, ii, 4, 
11. 62-65 {Studenfs Chancer). As early as the fourth century Ammianus Marcellinus ridicules 
atheists who will not do the most trivial thing without learning in what part of Cancer the 
moon is {Res Gestae, XXVIII, iv, 24). 

8 Sig. B 3''°, C 2^°. He assigns degrees 1-7 to Mars, 8-12 to Venus, 13-19 to Mercury, and 
27-30 to Saturn. 

* Coley assigns the five terms to the planets in not quite the same order as Joannes does 
{op. cit., p. 85). That there are not more cases than there are of imperfect agreement among 
the astrological authorities cited in this article, ranging in date from the second century to the 
seventeenth, shows how firmly the pseudo-science rested on tradition. Joannes' Epitome (250 
years before Chaucer) and Coley's Key (300 after) agree closely. Cornelius Agrippa mocks at a 
few disagreements among astrologers as to detail, in that pessimistic work. The Vanity of Arts 
and Sciences (London, 1676), p. 94. ^ Coley, p. 90. ^ P. 88. 



TATLOCK 345 

(degrees 27 or 28 to 30), which, according to Coley,i would produce an 
'' accidental debility " of one. One thing more ; that he 
knew the arysing of his mone weel 

is doubtless because a planet rising is in the ascendent, the daily position 
of greatest power .2 This would give the moon five fortiticdines or virttites 
for being in its house, three for the triplicity, one for being in term of 
Jupiter or Venus, one for being in its own face, and five (or twelve) for 
the ascendent.^ 

The moon in the fourth term and third face of Cancer is in its strongest 
6° or 7° of the whole 360° ; ^ put it, the planet of necromancy, in the ascendent 
to boot, and what time could be so favorable for the clerk's design ? When 
we find analogy indicating a full moon, and the careful and subtle Chaucer's 
implications harmonizing with a certain date, and when we find that the full 
moon on that date would have this extraordinary potency for his purpose, 
how can we believe this accidental ? Chaucer, who knew astrology well, must 

1 p. 88. Cf. Cornelius Agrippa {De Occ. Fkilos., II, 30), — the moon for magical purposes 
" non sit impedita a Marte vel Saturno." 

2 The " house of the ascendent," that one of the twelve daily locations of a planet in which 

it is most potent, extends from 5° above the eastern horizon to 25° below it {Astrolabe, II, 4, 

11. 17-30 ; cf. 1-4) ; or from the eastern horizon to 30° below (Joannes Hisp., sig. D 3''°). When 

astrological images are made (according to Albertus Magnus, in Catal. Cod. Astrol. Graec.y 

V, i, 103), " sit luna in ascendente facie etsigno " ; in our case it is stronger yet. For the above 

purpose, Agrippa would have it in the ascendent in the Jirst face of Cancer {De Occ. Fhilos., 

II, 44). In the Filocolo (p. 53) the time is well on in the night : " I vaghi gradi della notte pas- 

savano, gli uccelli le fiere e gli uomini riposavanO senza alcuno mormorio " ; and midnight in 

Ovid (1. 184) : ^ ^ ,. ,.,,.,. 

Fertque vagos mediae per muta silentia noctis 

Incomitata gradus. Homines volucresque ferasque 

Solverat alta quies : nullo cum murmure saepes, 

Inmotaeque silent frondes. 

In both the Filocolo and Ovid, accordingly, the full moon would be far past the ascendent. 

2 Coley, p. 88 ; Joannes Hisp., sig. F 2"^°. Cf. also sig. F 3''°, — twelve virtutes from opposi- 
tion to 12° thereafter, and eleven from 12° before to opposition. Doubtless an astrologer with 
such a problem would have considered many other points. As to these there is little to say, 
for want of details. From what we are told we are extracting pretty much the uttermost 
farthing, and in any case the points mentioned are the main ones. That Chaucer had not for- 
gotten others may be indicated by 11. 1 273-1 279, partly explained by Skeat. From his "rotes" 
and other data, by means of " his centres and his arguments," " his collect " and " his expans 
yeres," " and his proporcionels convenients," he made his " equacions " ; that is, probably, 
located the signs of the zodiac in the " houses " in the second sense mentioned in note 3, p. 346, 
and perhaps ascertained the positions of the other planets both in the zodiac and in the houses, 
and hence their " aspects " to the moon, and the nature and amount of their influence. Cf. Astro- 
labe, ii, 36-37, 40, 44-45, ^^^ Joannes Hisp., sig. O 4''° f. 

^ The second-best sign would be Taurus ; the moon is exalted in the third degree of it, is 
lord of the triphcity by night, and has the second face (degrees 11-20). See Joannes Hisp., 
sig. B 2''°, C 2^0 f. ; and Coley, p. 85. The moon could not have more than three essential 
dignities at once, for terms are not assigned to the sun and moon, and the house and exalta- 
tion are never in the same sign, except for Mercury in Virgo (Joannes Hisp., B 3^°, C 2^° ; 
Coley, p. 85; Bacon, p. 261). 



346 ASTROLOGY AND MAGIC IN FRANKLIN'S TALE 

have studied the matter out as much as his clerk did, and have known as well 
as he in what term and face the moon was.^ 

But as to their attention to another lunar matter we are not at all left to 
inference. Four or five times we are told that Aurelius' brother and the 
Orleans clerk heeded especially 

the eighte and twenty mansiouns 
That longen to the mone.^ 



The mansions^ of the moon are divisions of its monthly path each nearly 13° 
in length.^ When the clerk sets about his work, his first task relates to them. 

By his eighte spere in his wirking 
He knew ful wel how fer Alnath was shove 
Fro the heed of thilke fixe Aries above, 
That in the ninthe speere considered is ; 
Ful subtilly he calculed al this (i 280-1 284). 

Alnath is the name of the first lunar mansion.^ He calculates how far it has 

1 Two other cases of unobtrusive accuracy confirm this belief. First, Aurelius prays the 
sun and moon to help him, 

" now next at this opposicioun 
Which in the signe shal be of the Leoun " (1057-1058). 
This, as Skeat shows, is not because at the opposition next after May 6 (1. 906) either planet 
is in Leo, but because Leo is the house of the sun. Secondly, the Franklin evidently had good 
reason for assuring those who might be acquainted with " Tables Toletanes " that che clerk's 
were "ful wel corrected " (1274). Roger Bacon complains (I, 298-300) that the "tabulae Tole- 
tanae " make mistakes as to longitude. Though the term " Toletan tables " is sometimes given 
especially to those "published under the direction of Arzachel in 1080" (Arthur Berry, Short 
History of Astronomy, New York, 1910, p. 80; cf. Bacon, I.e., editor's note), Chaucer doubtless 
and Bacon very probably refer to the better ones pubUshed in 1252 by order of Alfonso el Sabio 
of Castile (Berry, p. 85). In the fifteenth century an eclipse of the moon was observed to be 
an hour later than it should have been, and Mars 2° from where it should have been, according 
to them ; in 1 563 Tycho Brahe observed a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn a month from the 
time calculated from them (Berry, pp. 87, 130). One trouble with them is said to be that they 
recognized " trepidation," an imaginary inequaUty in the precession of the equinoxes (Bacon, 
I.C.; Zt. d. deutschen morgenldndischeit Gesellschaft, XVIII, 178). Possibly, however, "cor- 
rected" has the modem meaning of adaptation to a different standard, here to a different 
latitude and longitude. * LI. 1130-1131 ; cf. 1154-1155, 1280-12S6, 1289-1290. 

8 This word, in which there is no ambiguity in this tale, is of course used in two astrologi- 
cal senses — as above, and as a synonym for "house in the first of the following senses." 
" House" is used for the sign in which a planet is most powerful, and for a twelfth part of the 
fixed vault of heaven starting down from about the eastern horizon. Cf. Bacon, pp. 258-260. 

* Joannes Hisp., sig. T \^°\ Zt. d. deutschen jnorgenldndischen Gesellschaft, XVIII, 175-176. 

s " Alnath dicitur prima mansio lune " (gloss in MS. EUesmere). It is also the name of the 
third magnitude star a Arietis. El-nitih or El-nath or Al-nath is one name of the star and man- 
sion in the Arabic system of mansions, whence the European was derived ; cf. Ludewig Ideler, 
Untersttehungen iiberden Ursprung und die Bedeutung der Stemnamen (Berlin, 1809), p. 135, and 
F. K. Ginzel, Mathematische und technische Chronologic (Leipzig, 1906), p. 72. According to 
Joannes Hispalensis, op. cit., sig. H 1^°, 83^°, T4''o, the first mansion is called comua Arietis. 
Other references on these mansions in the skies are Cornelius Agrippa, l.c., ch. 33, 46 ; Stein- 
schneider in Zt. d. detttschen morgenldndischen Gesellschaft, XVIII, 1 18-201, and in Zt. f. 



TATLOCK 347 — i 

been carried, by the precession of the equinoxes, ^ westward from the vernal -^^^ [^ 
equinox, or first point of the sign Aries, which was conceived to be in the 
sphere next above that of the fixed stars. He does this because the lunar 
mansions, unlike the signs, were determined by the fixed stars,^ and therefore 
their right ascension, being of course measured from the receding vernal 
equinox, gradually increased. It was necessary to know their right ascension 
because, though the stars which named them fixed them roughly, the pre- 
cise limits of each, and in this case the time of the moon's entrance and 
departure and the mansion which included this precise part of Cancer, could 
not be found without calculation. The clerk's finding first the right ascen- 
sion of Alnath, rather than directly that of the mansion he was seeking, 
probably indicates that he had no tables giving the exact limits of all the 
mansions either in right ascension or in the constellations. Having found 
the first, and knowing the angular size of the mansions, he easily found 
that which the moon had then reached,^ and knew it to be favorable to 
his design.^ 

If my conclusion as to the moon's position is correct, this mansion would ^y^ ^^ 
apparently be the eighth,^ but none of the accessible authorities reveals anything 

Math. u. Fkys., XVI, 369, 371-372, 383; Albiruni's Chronology of Ancient Nations (tr. Sachau, 
London, 1879), PP- 335~365 ; Journal Asiatique, IX Serie, VIII, 156-162; Memoires of the 
Academie des Inscriptions, XVIII, ii, 354-362 ; Bibliotheque de VEcole des hautes Etudes^ 
fasc. 121, pp. 107-111; N'otices et Extraits des Mamiscrits de la Bibliotheque du Roi, XII, i, 
244-252 ; XIV, ii, 35-36; Franz Boll, Sphaera (Leipzig, 1903) ; Roger Bacon, op. cit., 384-385; 
Contemporary Review, XXXV, 418-419. This lore came from the Far East, and was known in 
India, China, and perhaps Babylon (Boll and Ginzel). Joannes Hispalensrs quotes the Indians 
as authorities on it. The mansions are still observed in the Orient. 

1 This may be the exact meaning of 1. 1280, above, the second "his" meaning its, and the 
" wirking " of the eighth sphere being the agency of the " shoving " of the mansions fixed in it. 
Skeat takes the line with " knew," but the clerk could hardly have told the amount of preces- 
sion by the sphere of the fixed stars, but only by tables. 

2 Cf. Joannes Hisp., sig. T4''0; Albiruni, 354; and Ideler, p. 149; also Cornelius Agrippa 
{De Occ. Fhilos., II, 33; cf. Zt. d. d. morg. Ges., XVIII, 152), — " octo et viginti mansiones 
Lunae . . . quae in octava sphera fixae a diversis earundem sideribus & stellis, quae in eis con- 
tinentur." Speaking of Alnath he says, " Initium eius est in capite arietis octavae sphaerae " 
{ibid.). Ibn Esra, a Jewish astrological writer, gives directions for finding the mansions {Zt. d. 
d. morg. Ges., XVIII, 161); so does Albiruni, 357 ff. 

3 Whan he had founde his firste mansioun. 

He knew the remenant by proporcioun (1285-1286). 
* And knew ful weel the mones mansioun 
Acordaunt to his operacioun (i 289-1 290). 
Doubtless he had done earlier as much of all this as he could ; but with imperfect tables and 
instruments, and with the moon's rapid motion, he had to be alert at the time. 

5 Called " Nebula" or " Nebulosa cum nube " (after the star-cluster Praesepe), and extend- 
ing from 16° i' to 28° 51' of the sign Cancer in the time of Joannes Hispalensis (sig. S 4^'°, T 4'^°) ; 
called El-nethra by the Arabs (Ideler, 159-160, 287). Steinschneider gives numerous tables of 
the mansions {Zt. d. d. morg. Ges., XVIII, 164, 176, 198, 200). Cf. also Albiriini, 343 ff.; 
Journal Asiatique, IX Serie, VIII, 1 58-161 ; and Agrippa, ch. 33, who seems to give their 
limits in the constellations, and not in contemporary right ascension. 



348 ASTROLOGY AND MAGIC IN FRANKLIN'S TALE 

to account for the clerk's especial satisfaction with it.^ The explanation 
probably is that reputable astrological writers ignored the bearings of their 
lore on magic. For Chaucer plainly intimates that the twenty-eight mansions 
of the moon were connected in some especial way with magic, particularly 
with the production of magic illusions. It was a book of " magik naturel," 
into which Aurelius' brother had peered at Orleans, that 

spak muchel of the operaciouns 
Touchinge the eighte and twenty mansiouns 
That longen to the mone (i 1 29-1 131). 

It seems to be illusions produced by their help that Holy Church's faith in 
our Credo does not suffer to grieve us (i 1 33-1 134). After recalling what he 
has heard of ''diverse apparences" of "subtile tregetoures," he hopes for a 
similar " apparence " through some one's help 

" That hadde this mones mansiouns in minde 
Or other magik naturel above "(11 54-1 155). 

This implication is confirmed by Albertus Magnus' Speadum Astronomicum ; 
denouncing the most blameworthy kind of necromantic astrological images 
and the exorcisms and suffumigations with which they were used, he says this 
kind of necromancy tries to make itself more respectable by observing such 
things as the twenty-eight mansions of the moon and their names. ^ This connec- 
tion between the mansions and magic is amply established by other authorities. 
Cornelius Agrippa, speaking of times when the planets are favorable for 
magic, says : " Lunam vero habebimus potententem \sic\ si in domicilio suo : 
vel exaltatione, vel triplicitate, vel facie, & in gradu sibi ad opus optatum con- 
venienti, atque si mansionem ex viginti illis & octo sibi & operi competentem 

1 Except that Cornelius Agrippa says it favors love and friendship, "et societatem itineran- 
tium" (ch. 33). According to Joannes Hispalensis, it is temperate and fortunate; (here he quotes 
Dorothius Sidonius) bad for marrying and employing servants, prosperous for sea voyages, 
etc. No oth^ mansion looks any more promising. Among the Arabs, the mansions seemingly 
were observed chiefly for their connection with the weather (Ideler, 121, 148, 167, 172; 
Albiruni, 336; Zt. d. d. morg. Ges., XVIII, 159-161, 179, etc.); Bacon says the'same of them 

(P- 384). 

2 " Haec est idololatria pessima, quae ut reddat se aliquatenus fide dignam, observat viginti 
octo mansiones lunae et horas diei et noctis cum quibusdam nominibus dierum, horarum et mansio- 
num ipsarum " (cap. xi : Catal. Cod. Astrol. Graec, V, i, 99. The author gives a valuable bibli- 
ography of contemporary authorities on astrology and magic, on which see Zt./. Math. u. Phys.., 
xvi, 357-396). Cf. also what he says (p. 98) of certain images exorcized by fifty-four names of 
angels, " qui subservire dicuntur imaginibus lunae in circulo eius " ; the number 54 would ap- 
parently allow two angels' names to each mansion on the Hindu system of 27 mansions {Zt. d. 
d. morg. Ges., XVIII, 121-122, 157 ff.). The number varied to 29 and 30 (late, for symmetry) ; 
hence a thirteenth-century MS. ^eXTjvodpd/xiov in Milan and a fifteenth-century 'ETrfo-zce^ts rijs 
'ZieX'^vrjs in Naples give the moon's influence in 30 stages {Catal. Cod. Astrol. Grace, III, 
32-39 ; IV, 142-145)- 



TATLOCK 



349 



obtineat " {De Occ. Philos., II, 30). There is a 'Mib. ymaginum " on the 
mansions of the moon in a Christ Church and in a Harleian MS., which 
professes to be magical, a work printed at Venice in 1 509 treats of the same 
subject,! and I have already referred to the Brahmin in the Vedabbha 
Jdtaka who would repeat a spell '' when the moon was in conjunction with a 
certain lunar mansion." 

It is clear then that the Orleans clerk was well grounded in astronomy and 
in astrological magic. Though his astrological observances are what is most 
fully described, their sole purpose is to secure a time when the influences al- 
ways streaming from the heavens shall reenforce his other rites,^ for he 

knew also his othere observaunces ( 1 29 1 ). 

These are so effective that 

thurgh his magik, for a wyke or tweye, 
It semed that alle the rokkes were aweye (i 295-1 296). 

Just what the observances would be, for this and for the lesser feats done at 
Orleans, the Franklin does not tell us, either because of imperfect knowledge 
or of distaste for the subject. Yet we can form some idea. For the earlier 
ones he must have used at least images or charms, such as were used in 
'' natural magic " and were necessary for directing the more hidden powers of 
nature to his purposes, yet for even these illusions it looks as if he may have 
used the aid of spirits, since they vanish when he claps his hands (i 202-1 204). 
For his similar but far greater exploit, the vanishing of the rocks all the way 
from the Seine to the Gironde, if he kept his bargain (i 221-1222), it may be 
suspected that he had to use blood, sacrifices, suffumigations, incantations, and 
invocations of demons,^ which, according to the authorities,^ would make him 
a necromancer. 

1 Steinschneider in Zt.f. Math. u.Phys., XVI, 371, 383. 

2 Night and day he spedde him that he can 
To wayte a tyme of his conclusioun (i 262-1 263). ^ 

This point is well illustrated in the Squire's Tale, 1 29-131, by the oriental knight's account of 
the making of the magic horse. 

8 Cf. House of Fame, 12 59-1 270. 

* Isidor of Seville (Migne's Patrologia Latma,Yo\. LXXXII), Eiymologiae, VIII, ix, 1 1 ; John 
of Salisbury, Policraticus (ed. Webb), I, 51 ; Albertus Magnus, in Catal. Cod. Astrol. Graec, V, i, 98- 
103 ; cf. Bacon, op. cit., 241, 395-396. It is Aurelius' brother, who has only glanced into a book or 
two on magic, and is vague and ignorant about it (1117-1164), that expects such a result merely 
from natural magic. The feat of the wizard in the Filocolo and in the Decameron is due to necro- 
mancy, though the word is used only in the latter. Such performances as his in the Filocolo are 
strongly condemned by Isidor [Etymol., VIII, ix ; cf. Differentiae, I, 291). Of course the word 
" necromancy " became nigromancy, and was used in a wider sense than the original. Possibly, 
however, Chaucer meant all his clerk's work to be due to natural magic. Cf. Agrippa, Vanity 
of Ai-ts, p. III. Or he may have been vague about the matter; we cannot be sure, here and 
elsewhere, how full and exact his knowledge really was. 



350 



ASTROLOGY AND MAGIC IN FRANKLIN'S TALE 



It is against nefarious magic art, and astrology as a helper to it, that the 
Franklin utters the scornful, yet not wholly skeptical, condemnation which 
has often been noticed. They are 

swich folye 
As in our dayes is nat worth a flye ; 
For holy chirches feith in our bileve 
Ne suffreth noon illusion us to greve (i 131-1 134). 

The Orleans clerk's observances through which the rocks vanish are 

his japes and his wrecchednesse 
Of swich a supersticious ^ cursednesse (i 271- 1272); 

swiche illusiouns and swiche meschaunces 
As hethen folk used in thilke dayes (1292- 1293). 

This censure of the arts on which the tale hinges is by no means an artistic 
error in the Franklin's mouth, still less in Chaucer's, and could not have been 
so understood by any mediaeval reader. It is true that Chaucer would hardly 
have cared to portray his professor of forbidden arts with such evident and 
penetrating esteem had he not very carefully set the tale in pagan antiquity. 
But in the same breath in which such practices are flouted as worthless and 
impious in the days of Holy Church, they are represented as efficacious and 
are not even wholly blamed for earlier times. The attitude toward astrology 
and magic which they point to in the speaker is precisely that which we find 
in many other mediaeval writers than Chaucer, both literary and theological. 

1 In the Middle Ages this word had not the implication of unreality which it has now. Cf. 
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae^ II, ii, 92, i. 



NICHOLAS BRETON, CHARACTER-WRITER 
AND QUADRUMANIAC 

C. N. Greenough 

The years 1615 and 1616, in which Nicholas Breton pubUshed two Httle- 
known but not unimportant prose works, Characters upon Essaies Morall 
and Divine (161 5) and The Good and the Badde (16 16), mark an interesting 
point in the development of the ''character." In 1608 Joseph Hall had put 
forth what seems to be the first book in English to consist wholly of undoubted 
characters. These Characters of Virtues and Vices were wholly delineations 
of persons, their aim was professedly moral, and their style — though not 
without an occasional flicker of sober wit — was grave and clerical. Six years 
later, in 16 14, appeared the famous collection of characters by Sir Thomas 
Overbury and his friends, at whose hands the character undergoes some 
change. *' It is," writes a contributor to the Overbury collection, in attempting 
*'to square out a character by our English levell," *'a picture (reall or per- 
sonall) quaintly drawn, in various colours, all of them heightened by one 
shadowing. It is a quick and soft touch of many strings, all shutting up in 
one musicall close ; it is wits descant on any plaine song. " ^ That is, the 
character may be impersonal and it should be quaintly and wittily phrased. 
Accordingly we are not surprised to find in the Overbury collection a character 
of a prison and one of the character itself, nor are we surprised that a most 
serious and admirable portrait, " A Worthy Commander in the Wars," should 
conclude with a flourish in which the '' silver head " of the good soldier is 
made to " lean near the golden sceptre." Such was the technique of the 
character in 16 14. 

From that time until the outbreak of the Civil War, the character was 
often in danger of becoming an excessively flimsy and overstylistic affair. In 
161 8, for example, Geffray Mynshul, in Essay es and Characters of a Prison 
cw'^f'-^^isofiers^ affords an important instance of a man who wrote, in the same 
volume and on the same subjects, both essays and characters, and whose 
method perceptibly changes when he turns from one to the other. His essays 
display a greater depth and variety of thought ; his characters, a sharper and 
more elaborate wit. His essays show variety in point of view, fair sequence 
of thought, and an occasional mention of the writer and of the person ad- 
dressed. All these should occur naturally enough in any kind of writing. Yet 

1 Overbury'' s Miscellaneous Works, ed. E. F. Rimbault, London, 1856, pp. 168-169. 

351 



352 NICHOLAS BRETON, CHARACTER-WRITER 

they almost never do in Mynshul's characters, where the sentences are nearly 
all cast in one mould, as can be seen from the following skeleton of " The 
Character of a Prison." ^ "A prison is . . . . It is . . . , it is . . . , it is 
.... It is .... It is ...; it is .... It is .... It is .... It is 
.... It is .... It is .... It is .... It is .... To conclude, what 
is it not ? In a word, it is . . . ." The blanks one should imagine filled in 
with such conceitful, paradoxical, metaphorical strokes as that the prison is 
"a little commonwealth, although little wealth be common there," or that the 
prisoner is "an impatient patient lingering under the rough hands of a cruell 
phisitian." In Mynshul's hands, the character is clearly by way of becoming 
something little better than a verbal puzzle. As compared with the essay it 
apparently was, in his estimation, less subjective, meditative, and pregnant, 
and more inclined to coincide with the instructions of one Ralph Johnson, 
who in 1665 2 directs his pupils in writing characters to make ''a witty and 
facetious description." 

This conceitful tendency of the character, and the whole matter of the re- 
lation of character and essay, could hardly be more clearly shown than in two 
of Nicholas Breton's prose works. In 161 5 Breton published Characters \ 
Upon Essaies | Morall, And \ Divme^ \ Written \ For those good Spirits^ \ that 
will take them | in good part ^ | And\ Make use of them to \ good purpose? 

The book, as its title implies, is an application of the manner of the char- 
acter to the matter of the essay. That such " charactering " of the essay was 
fairly well known in 161 5 appears both from some of the commendatory verses 
prefixed to the work and from Breton's dedication of it to Bacon. A certain 
I. R. was kind enough to say of his friend's w^ork : 

Who reads this Booke with a iudicious eye, 
Will in true Judgement, true discretion try, 
Where words and matter dose and sweetly coucht. 
Doe shew how truth, wit, art and nature toucht. 
What need more words these characters to praise, 
They are the true charactering of Essaies.'* 

Breton himself furnishes similar evidence in his dedication of the book to 

Bacon : 

To the Honorable, and my much worthy honored, 

truly learned, and Iudicious Knight, Sr Francis Bacon, 

his Ma^'^s Attourney Generall, 

Increase of honor, health, and eternall happinesse. 

1 Geffray Mynshul, Essayes and Characters of a Prison and Prisoners, Edinburgh, 1821, 
pp. 14-17. 2 In The Scholars Guide from the Accidence to the University, p. 15. 

3 Original editions of Breton's works are extremely rare. Most of them are reprinted in 
A. B. Grosart's Works in Verse and Prose of Nicholas Breton, 2 vols., Edinburgh, privately 
printed, 1879 (" Chertsey Worthies' Library"). My references are to this edition. 

* Grosart, II, q, 4. 



GREENOUGH 353 

Worthy Knight, I haue read of many Essaies, and a kinde of Charactering of them, by 
such, as when I lookt vnto the forme, or nature of their writing, I haue beene of the con- 
ceit, that they were but Imitators of your breaking the ice to their inuentions ; which, how 
short they fall of your worth, I had rather thinke then speake, though Truth need not blush 
at her blame : Now, for my selfe vnworthy to touch neere the Rocke of those Diamonds, or 
to speake in their praise, who so farre exceede the power of my capacitie, vouchsafe me 
leaue yet, I beseech you, among those Apes that would counterfet the actions of men, to 
play the like part with learning, and as a Monkey, that would make a face like a Man, and 
cannot, so to write like a SchoUer, and am not : and thus not daring to aduenture the Print, 
vnder your Patronage, without your fauorable allowance, in the deuoted seruice of my 
bounden duty, I leaue these poore Trauells of my Spirit, to the perusing of your pleasing 
leasure, with the further fruits of my humble affection, to the happie employment of your 
honorable pleasure. At your seruice 

in all humblenesse 

NICH: BRETON 

Although the extravagant tone of this address perhaps injures the value of 
the first sentence as evidence of a fact in literary history, it need not prevent 
us from believing that some writers showed, and others perceived, that the 
" character of an essay " was a fairly well-defined variation of the usual char- 
acter. Nor need we wholly disregard Breton's suggestion that the form was 
influenced by the essays of Bacon, then in their second and enlarged edition. 

Breton's subjects, in his Characters upon Essaies, are Wisdom, Learning, 
Knowledge, Practice, Patience, Love, Peace, War, Valor, Resolution, Honor, 
Truth, Time, Death, Faith, and Fear. He thus helps to form the convention 
that, as Ralph Johnson wrote in 1665,^ "an Essay is a short discourse about 
any vertue, vice, or other commonplace." 

The '' charactering" of such material consists in giving it a stylistic treat- 
ment in which mannerisms are rather tiresomely prominent. 

1. The subjects are generally personified. Wisdom, Learning, Knowledge, 
Practice, Patience, War, Valor, Resolution, Truth, and Faith are feminine ; 
Time and Death are masculine ; and only Love, Peace, and Honor are neuter .^ 

2. As in Mynshul, the subject of the character is also the subject of 
almost every clause. The character of Peace, for instance, may be represented 
by the following skeleton : '' Peace is .... It is .... It is .... It 
holds .... It is .... It is like .... It needs .... It is .... It 
is .... It fills .... It is .... It hath .... It was . . . ." This is 
typical : rarely is the subject varied, and ver)^ rarely does a sentence begin 
with anything but its subject. 

3. The language is notably high-sounding and conceitful. Learning is 
'' the nurse of nature, with that milk of reason that would make a child of 
grace never lie from the dug." Love is ''a healthful sickness in the soul." 

^ The Scholars Guide, ?• I7- 

2 Of these Love only is consistently neuter : Peace and Honor are several times made 
feminine. 



354 



NICHOLAS BRETON, CHARACTER-WRITER 



Practice is '*the patient's patience." Time "is known to be, but his being 
unknown, but only in his being in a being above knowledge." In this dizzy 
region inconsistencies necessarily abound. Indeed, Breton seems to make no 
effort to avoid them ; his ideas are set down curiously rather than significantly 
and coherently. It is therefore of no particular consequence that Resolution, 
although " she is a rock irremovable," also " wades through the sea, and 
walks through the world." 

4. Alliteration, both plain and crossed, is frequent, and hardly less frequent 
is the repetition of a prefix or suffix. The character of Truth is thus ended 
" in the wonder of her worth " : " she is the nature of perfection in the per- 
fection of nature, where God in Christ shows the glory of humanity." Of 
Practice Breton is " fearful to follow her too far in observation, lest being 
never able to come near the height of her commendation, I be enforced as I 
am to leave her wholly to admiration." In the case of Patience he makes 
a similar concluding flourish : "in sum, not to wade too far in her worthi- 
ness, lest I be drowned in the depth of wonder, I will thus end in her endless 
honour." 

5. Breton's other mannerisms, however, become inconspicuous in com- 
parison with his strange passion for arranging his ideas in sets of four. Ordi- 
narily he does this in a perfectly parallel construction ; sometimes he varies 
his method and achieves a sentence ^ in which, without grammatical paral- 
lelism, there are, in effect, four cadences or waves. In most of the characters 
in Breton's Characters upon Essaies every clause consists of four parts ; in 
all, the preference for four over any other number is overwhelming. The 
effect of reading Breton, when once this jingle has got into one's head, is 
almost inevitably to concentrate attention upon the pattern rather than upon 
the ideas. To illustrate I have ventured to heighten the effect of Breton's 
quadruplications by numbering them in his character of Truth. 



TRUTH 

Truth is (i) the Glory of time, and (2) the daughter of Eternity : (3) a Title of the highest 
Grace, and (4) a Note of a Diuine Nature : she is (i) the life of Religion, (2) the light of Loue, 

(3) the Grace of Wit, and (4) the crowne of Wisedome : she is (i) the Beauty of Valor, (2) the 
brightnesse of honor, (3) the blessing of Reason and (4) the ioy of faith: (i) her truth is 
pure gold, (2) her Time is right pretious, (3) her word is most gratious and (4) her will is 
most glorious: (i) Her Essence is in God and (2) her dwelling with His seruants, (3) her 
will in His wisedome and (4) her worke to His Glory: she is (i) honored in loue, and 
(2) graced in constancie, (3) in patience admired and (4) in charity beloued: she is (i) the 
Angels worshippe, (2) the Virgins fame, (3) the Saints blisse and (4) the Martirs crowne: 
she is (i) the Kings greatnesse and (2) his Councels goodnesse, (3) his subiects peace and 

(4) his Kingdomes Praise : she is (i) the life of learning and (2) the light of the Law, (3) the 
honor of Trade and (4) the grace of labor : she hath (i) a pure Eye, (2) a plaine hand, (3) a 
piercing wit and (4) a perfect heart : she is (i) wisedomes walke in (2) the way of holinesse, 

1 Like the final one in the extract below. 



GREENOUGH 355 

and (3) takes vp her rest but in (4) the resolution of goodness : (i) Her tongue neuer trippes, 
(2) her heart neuer faintes, (3) her hand neuer failes and (4) her faith neuer feares : (i) her 
Church is without schisme, (2) her City without fraude, (3) her Court without Vanity, and 
(4) her Kingdome without Villany : In summe, so infinite is her Excellence, in the construc- 
tion of all sence, that I will thus only conclude in the wonder of her worth : she is (i) the 
nature of perfection, in (2) the perfection of Nature, where (3) God in Christ, shewes (4) the 
glory of Christianity.^ 

Of Breton's The Good\And\ The Badde, \ Or, | Descriptions of the Worthies, 
and Unworthies\of this Age (1616), little need be said except that, in a slightly 
less pronounced degree, it reveals all the mannerisms of Characters upon Essaies. 
It is, however, more like such collections of characters as Hall's, Overbury's, 
Stephens's, Mynshul's, and Earle's, in that its subjects are persons instead of 
personified things. These subjects, most of them arranged in contrasted pairs, 
are A Worthy King, An Unworthy King, A Worthy Queen, A Worthy 
Prince, An Unworthy Prince, A Worthy Privy Councillor, An Unworthy 
Councillor, A Nobleman, An Unnoble Man, A Worthy Bishop, An Un- 
worthy Bishop, A Worthy Judge, An Unworthy Judge, A Worthy Knight, 
An Unworthy Knight, A Worthy Gentleman, An Unworthy Gentleman, A 
Worthy Lawyer, An Unworthy Lawyer, A Worthy Soldier, An Untrained 
Soldier, A Worthy Physician, An Unworthy Physician, A Worthy Merchant, 
An Unworthy Merchant, A Good Man, An Atheist or Most Bad Man, A 
Wise Man, A Fool, An Honest Man, A Knave, An Usurer, A Beggar, A 
Virgin, A Wanton Woman, A Quiet Woman, An Unquiet Woman, A Good 
Wife, An Effeminate Fool, A Parasite, A Drunkard, A Coward, An Honest 
Poor Man, A Just Man, A Repentant Sinner, A Reprobate, An Old Man, A 
Young Man, A Holy Man. It will be seen that the classification is less by 
ethical types, as in Hall, than by callings or ranks, as was later to be the case 
in Fuller's Holy and Profane State. Although Breton's wit is rather sharper 
in his adverse characters, most of the distinctive traits of his euphuistic style 
appear in his first character. 

A WORTHY KING 

A Worthy King is a figure of God, in the nature of government : he is the chiefe of 
men, and the Churches champion, Natures honour, and Earths maiesty : is the director of 
Law, and the strength of the same, the sword of Justice, and the scepter of Mercy, the glasse 
of Grace, and the eye of Honour, the terror of Treason, and the life of Loyalty. His com- 
maund is general, and his power absolute, his frowne a death, and his fauour a life, his 
charge is his subiects, his care their safety, his pleasure their peace, and his ioy their loue : 
he is not to be paraleld, because he is without equalitie, and the prerogatiue of his crowne 
must not be contradicted : hee is the Lords anointed, and therfore must not be touched, 
and the head of a publique body, and therfore must bee preserued : he is a scourge of sinne 
and a blessing of grace, Gods vicegerent ouer his people, and vnder Him supreme gouemour: 
his safety must bee his Councels care, his health, his subiects prayer, his pleasure, his peeres 

1 Grosart, II, q, 9. 



356 NICHOLAS BRETON, CHARACTER-WRITER 

comfort ; and his content, his kingdomes gladnesse : His presence must be reuerenced, his 
person attended, his court adorned, and his state maintained ; his bosome must not be searched, 
his will not disobeyed, his wants not vnsupplied, nor his place vnregarded. In summe, he is 
more then a man, though not a God, and next vnder God to be honoured aboue man.^ 

It is a curious fact that quadrumania, which runs through this character 
and through all of The Good and the Badde^ appears in some of Breton's 
other works.'^ It appears regularly in the " Necessary Notes for a Courtier" 
appended to The Court and Coimtry, 1618. These notes consist of fifty-three 
questions and answers, and of the answers no fewer than forty-two are phrased 
in fours. The last two questions, with their answers, will probably be more 
than sufficient. 

Q. What is the life of a Courtier ? 

A. The labour of pleasure, the aspiring